Monday, February 23, 2015

Letter 69 - I don't have any cool titles for my letter today!

Hello Family and Everyone!

Goodness I just love the pictures that I received from Taryn and Jason and Mommy. That is just the cutest little girl in the entire world. So happy that she is healthy and that Taryn is healthy. Families are so wonderful! Keep the pictures coming! 

Brother N... is just loving every minute of his life right now. He already can't wait to finish the Book of Mormon so that he can start over and read it again. He says it just makes so much sense to him. He was a very successful businessman earlier in his life and with that career he knows how to read people and what they are doing. He is VERY smart. On Friday, we had dinner with the Watkins. Brother N... joined us and he talked about how he knew that Sister Howle and I were going to leave someday and it was going to be very hard for him, so it is VERY important to him to get to know the members. So at church yesterday he was introducing himself to everyone, participating in class... he is great. AND he is DOMINATING at the Word of Wisdom. It is so much fun to see. This is completely a journey between him and Heavenly Father. I feel like we are just blessed to stand on the sidelines and watch all of it :)

Our friend has kidney stones and she requested a blessing. So two brothers came with us to give her a blessing. It was such a tender experience. Our friend's house smells a lot of smoke, and the rooms have pretty low lighting. But right as they began to give her the blessing, the smell of smoke lifted, and suddenly the room looked and felt lighter. It was such a peaceful, calm atmosphere. I am SO GRATEFUL that our friend was able to experience that in her own home.

Due to some circumstances I am now officially the Stake Choir Director for this upcoming Stake conference. So excited :) So grateful for Mr. Keyes and everything he taught me!

And for those that asked, my toes are still a little pink but they look better than they were. President Clayton told me that his granddaughter prayed over the phone with them. She said "Please bless that Grandma and Grandpa don't get frostbite. Please bless the missionary that has frostbite. And please bless the other missionaries that she won't give it to them." So I am doing my best no to spread my infection :) haha

Well I love you all! I am so grateful for the Lord's Plan and the peace that it brings. I hope you all have a wonderful week! Keep your standards!

Sister Bodine

Abiail Baptism

Dressing for -40

Frostbitten toes

Sister Howle

 NOTE from Sister Bodine's Dad:
If you read Sister Bodine's blog and you  love her, will you keep her in your prayers.  Her back is not doing well and she desperately wants to finish her mission strong.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Letter 68 -- Frostbitten toes, mini miracles, and the WITNESS

Hello Family!

I still just sit back, awestruck with everything that has happened this past week. What a week let me tell ya :) First off, I have pretty much a best friend as a companion. She is amazing. We work so well with each other in lessons because we trust each other 100%. We laugh a lot. She is just so funny. She has Kristen Mella's type of personality actually (if that helps you at all haha). Contacting with her is so much fun because we don't hold anything back. We are very lovingly bold and honest in the things we say :) and we have found many wonderful people that we are now teaching because of it!

This week truly was a miracle, and Brampton is back on track with brothers and sisters that are working towards baptism and working toward the temple right now! Abigail is excited to go to the temple On March 7th, and Mary from Mississauga will be going that same day too so I will get to be there with her! Another woman named M..., and her boyfriend B... called us about a week ago to reschedule an appointment we had with them. But we were so confused because we didn't have an appointment with anyone named M... and B..... We looked through some records and found them! They had been visiting with missionaries for about a year in 2013 and stopped for some reasons, but they are excited to start from the basics and work again towards baptism with greater excitement! They came to Sacrament on Sunday before going out of town, and it was easy to tell that they felt comfortable there. Old friends in the ward were going up to them, giving them hugs - it is a missionary's dream to see your friends fellow-shipped like that :) I love this ward.

Well you might be interested in the header of this email when I talked about frostbitten toes... Well... I have frostbite on three of my left toes :) Talk about a mission story right?! Three days ago, as we were walking, my little toes felt like they were bruised or something and I guessed that I stubbed them. That night I took my socks off and saw that they were swollen! But it looked like they were just bug bites or something so I didn't pay attention to them very much. The next day, Sunday, it was the coldest day of the year, and of course that was the day that we had no appointments the entire day haha. So we walked outside for a total of four hours straight in -42 C (that converts to -43.6 F) and no one was answering or letting us in. It was so much fun. Sister Howle and I were laughing the entire time haha. Finally, we decided the most effective thing was to organize our areas book to be more effective with our formers. We went home, I took off my socks and they were even more swollen and purple!! We called out mission nurse and now we have to be indoors at all times in the time being. No more walking outside in -40 degree weather at the moment. It okay though. We will be out soon enough. Look out Brampton :)

Alright, now for the best news of all. Our dear friend D... :) I can't even try to tell you all the wonderful things that has been happening to him lately, but I'll do my best. Two weeks ago Hermana Ridgeway and I felt that we should tract this specific area, so we did so and found our new friend D.... He told us about his life, about his wife being sick with cancer, and he was just in the lowest of low in his life at that very moment that we knocked on his door - planning to finish his life any day. The first two times that we went to visit him, we just listened to him talk. He just let out everything, all of his religious beliefs, the pains in his life, the struggles and trials he has been going through - we taught him the Atonement but we simply listened. At the end of the 2nd visit, we gave him a Book of Mormon and promised him that it will bring him a lot of peace. D...'s wife died the next day. He was distraught. In the greatest pain of his life he told us. But he allowed us to come back two days later, we invited him to open the Book of Mormon before we came. He did so and when we came, I could see a difference in him. He was still in a lot of pain at that time of course, but his words were much more positive. He had many questions about the Book of Mormon and we taught him about all of it. He listened this time. He prayed at the end. The spirit was undeniable. Then we continued to meet with him almost every day, teaching small pieces at a time. Every day he had that much more light in his eyes. He became so excited about everything. He was noticing so many little miracles in his life - his relationship with his son increasing, his ability to forgive other, he would wake up everyday with so much motivation to do something, excitement to be living, different chances to serve other people, etc.
      D... has a lung disease that is killing him and he is ready to die any time now, but he told us that his dying wish was to be baptized. We told him about the spirit world and he said to us "I don't want to wait until then to accept the gospel".  We prayerfully considered his baptismal date, and we told him we wanted to set a goal with him. He gladly accepted. We told him that we knew he would be prepared to be baptized on March 15. And then he started to weep. He gathered himself together and told us "that is my mother's birthday. She died four years ago and there is nothing I could do to honor her more than being baptized. There is no way you could have known that."
     Next experience, he came to church for the first time and loved it. The last song that we sang was "God Be with you till we meet again" and D... began to cry. He said that was the last message he wrote on his wife's wall just before she passed away.
      Yesterday, we went to visit him. He has been reading the Book of Mormon everyday and can't stop reading it. He was so excited to tell us, he couldn't wait until we sat down to tell us that "he received his answer." He told us that he was reading after church on Sunday and the feeling that he felt was undeniable. It kept coming stronger and stronger. He knew it was all true. He received his answer at 3:14 in the afternoon :) As a result of his confirmation, he made his decision that that was his last day of smoking cigarettes. Going from 2 packs, he is now committed to smoke no more. He said it with so much conviction :) And little did he know that we were planning to teach him the Word of Wisdom! He gladly accepted to make all those changes :)
    I KNOW I came on my mission so that I could meet D.....

I testify that this work is real. I have seen it more powerfully this past week than any other week. I love you all and pray for you everyday. God bless my wonderful family and friends! Have a great week!

Sister Bodine

Monday, February 9, 2015

Letter 67 -- Transfer news always bring so much joy :)

Hello Wonderful Family!

I just love transfers so much. Sister Hoki laughed at me a lot because occasionally I would burst out a little squeal of excitement throughout the week. So Sister Hoki is being transferred to Timpanogos YSA in Utah, and I am staying in Brampton with SISTER COURTNEY HOWLE!!! I almost cried when I found out haha. If you remember, Sister Howle was my friend from Brick Oven who came out the same time I was called to train so I had a feeling I was going to train her. I was blessed to exchange with her when she was in Toronto and now I get to be her companion!! So happy.

Taryn is going to have a baby soon!!!! I'm praying for you Taryn! I love you and Jason so much! You can name her after me if you want.... Sister Bodine. That's a beautiful name :)

Also Happy Birthday to everyone in February!!! I love you all!!

Leading the stake choir has been a blast! The one problem is that I have been having the hardest time calling them by the right titles. I keep calling the women's sections Sisters and the men's sections Elders. They've been getting a kick out of it haha.

While on exchanges in Stayner with Sister Duran from the Phillippines, we visited a Less active family. The husband asked us if he could sing a gospel song for us. We said yes so he got up and left the room to get ready. We kept talking to his wife. The next thing we know we hear Elvis Presley in the other room singing. He sounded EXACTLY like him - haha we found out that he is invited to sing at events as an Elvis Presley impersonator so it makes sense, but it was pretty hilarious at first. He was really good!

Sister Maeta, from Tahiti, and I visited with their friend Kelly. She is preparing to be baptized soon and we planned to invite her to live the Word of Wisdom. She has a HUGE addiction to coffee so we weren't too sure how it was going to go. Turns out that she had researched on her own and learned that the church didn't drink coffee so, on her own, she went from three extra large cups a day to one extra large cup a day. Wow! We asked her how she felt and she said that she felt great. So we invited her to live it, and asked her what her next step was going to be. Her answer was "Well it's going well so far, so I will stop completely." We answer "That sounds wonderful! What is your goal for the day that you will stop entirely." She says "Tomorrow." Booyah Kelly! She received a Priesthood blessing the next day and hasn't drank coffee since. What an amazing example.

We were invited to attend a funeral this past Saturday. It was a beautiful service. I ended up doing the prelude music (even though no one knew me haha) because the organist was stuck in weather traffic and the 1st counselor in the Bishopric knew that I could play. I love going to funerals now because it is amazing to hear the life of the person who passed. It was also very interesting to see the difference in the moods of the people who were members of the church and the reaction of the people who weren't. The gospel truly does bring people hope.

Abigail was baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday! Her testimony after her baptism was so powerful. And her husband was worthy to do both ordinances for her. That is a kingdom building family. No doubt.

That's all I have time for. If we are able to get on later, I will tell you a little bit more. I love my family so much. Thank you for your support. I am so excited for these last two transfers. There is no question as to where my heart is and how hard I am going to work these last few months. I will give it my all. I will give my Savior my all! Keep your standards and have a great week!

Sister Bodine

Monday, February 2, 2015

Letter 66 - This is why I am serving :)

Hello family!

This week went by so slowly and it made me so happy because so many marvelous things happened this week!

Hermana Ridgeway came with me on exchanges on Tuesday. Monday night as we exchanged, we had an hour and a half before we had to go in. The day before, Sister Hoki and I passed a street that really stuck out to me. So I decided to take H. Ridgeway with me to track the area. She had a specific thing she hoped to work on during the exchange, so we said a prayer, set some goals, and decided to start on one side of the town homes and move across. For the first time in my entire mission EVERY SINGLE door was answered. We have a mix of pretty much every experience, getting yelled at, fake numbers, and teaching a new friend, D..., about the Plan of Salvation on the doorstep. Hermana Ridgeway that night was just so excited because she completely received an answer to her prayers in that hour and half. We decided that even if that was the only amount of time we had to exchange, we could switch back right then and count that exchange as successful...

Good thing we said that! Haha because Tuesday morning, during studies, we received a call from the Assistants informing us that there was a sister coming home to Halifax from her mission in Chaclacayo (spelling?) Peru. But due to the bad weather conditions her flight from Toronto to Halifax was cancelled and she was going to be stuck in the airport by herself for quite some time. We were asked to go save her! Here was the catch they gave us... There is no way of contacting her, we don't know where she will be in the airport, and she has no idea that we are coming to pick her up. All we have is her name and a picture of her holding a pumpkin to know what she looks like... so good luck! Haha Hermana Ridgeway and I drove to the airport, said a prayer, and began the real-life game of Where's Waldo to find poor Sister Chelsea Frasier. We paged her over the airport intercom, walked everywhere, asked all the workers. The answer we received from them was that we were searching for a needle in a haystack. But our answer to them was "no way! We prayed so we will find her!" haha. An hour and a half later we found her! The poor girl was probably freaking out when she heard her name on the intercom and had no idea what was happening. So we took her and gave her to the Spanish sisters to spend the day with them! And what's cool? She served with Tori Hawks and Maria Fuller! Small world :) 
    That night, we picked her up again to take her back to the airport for her flight at 10:55. By permission we ended up getting back to our apartment at 11:30 that night.... I'm never staying up that late again haha. Our bodies automatically started shutting down at 10:30. Overall it was a fun experience!

Quotes from our wonderful friend Donna who was recently baptized:
-"After tomorrow, when I get the Holy Ghost, you better watch out Satan because I will have a black belt with the Holy Spirit!"
-"Satan has been working hard to shut be down, but I say to him GET BACK SATAN! I'm baptized."

Donna is the perfect example of enduring to the end. She was confirmed last Sunday, received her temple recommend and went to the temple for the first time on Wednesday!!!! And then she bore a beautiful testimony at sacrament meeting yesterday! but there's more, she ended her testimony by singing the first verse of "Amazing Grace"! She is coming teaching with us tonight, and she is telling EVERYONE about the gospel. She's so great :)

Sister Hoki and I were blessed to go to the temple with Donna on Wednesday! They let us dress up and help pass out towels while everyone was being baptized. The spirit in the temple is indescribable. Going to the temple will definitely be a weekly thing for me for the rest of my life.

I had the first and most delicious turkey pie I have ever tasted. It was marvelous.

We sang a Quartet of Homeward Bound at MLC. Some past missionaries rewrote lyrics about coming home to Heavenly Father's presence. It is so beautiful.

So do you remember D... that I talked about previously. The man that Hermana Ridgeway and I taught the Plan of Salvation on his doorstep? While on exchanges, we visited with him on Saturday. His wife is sick with cancer and she is going to pass away any time now. We spent that whole meeting just listening to him and his story. He looked at me one time, with tears in eyes, and asked "What can I do for my wife? What can I say to her?" My answer for him was, "I am obviously not married, but I will use my daddy as an example because he means the world to me. If I were sick with cancer, soon to die, that last thing I would want from my daddy would be to hear him pray." That was the invitation we left for him that day. This morning he called us and told us how his visit with his wife went. He told us that would be the last time he would see her. He continued to thank us over and over for stopping at his door the exact time he was going through all this. Over the phone he said "Sister Bodine I want you to know that the last thing I did, before I left, was I prayed for my wife. I prayed for her." That was the first time he prayed for her in a very very long time. What a tender experience. That is why I am serving a mission.

At MLC this week, we had a huge discussion on gaining a greater witness of the Savior. I want to share my testimony with all of you that I KNOW that Jesus is the Christ. He lives. I have faith in everything about Him. I love Him. I will spend the rest of my life bearing witness of my Savior in everything I say and do. That is why I love my mission so much. 

I love you all :) I hope you have a wonderful week! Keep your standards!

Sister Bodine
First Snow Storm. Everything closed down!

My Companion from Malaysia

Sister Frasier