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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Happy Easter, Riding Lawn Mowers, Nails in Tires

Hey ya'll! Happy Easter!

So this week was pretty exciting. Last week I may or may not have ran over a nail and got it stuck in the tire...but we were so busy and no time to go take care of it, so I just kept stopping at the gas station every once in a while to fill the tire with more air. It was leaking that much, I think keeping he nail in the tire kept it pretty sealed, BUT Heavenly Father knows me too well and that I'd much rather teach a lesson then take care of His car, so Tuesday all our appointments fell through and so we were forced to go get a new tire.

You may or may not know, but it has always been one of my dreams to ride a riding lawn mower. Me and the boys used to always play win them at Home Depot while mommy and daddy were shopping. Well....this week my dream came true! Like I've said we started teaching G's grandson, A. Well he does the yard work on Friday and we stayed after the lesson to help. I started with the push mower (I've mowed more lawns on my mission than I ever have in my whole life!) and THEN G brought out the riding mower. And it was a big one. You know, the ones the Mexicans use. It was a BLAST! They all made fun of how happy I was doing yard work. While I was out mowing I decided that when I have a place of my own someday, I'm going to be the one to mow and my husband or kids can weed whack. It's a new passion for me.

Alma 13:22

Yea, and the voice of the Lord, by the mouth of angels, doth declare it unto all nations; yea, doth declare it, that they may have glad tidings of great joy; yea, and he doth sound these glad tidings among all his people, yea, even to them that are scattered abroad upon the face of the earth; wherefore they have come unto us.

I think last week I told y'all about Br, the guy who told us he felt hollow? Anyway, we got to teach him this week. We did a chapel tour with him and then just talked about God and prayer. It's people like Br that make all those awkward moments of going up and talking to people worth it! I LOVE him! He is so sincere and he actually wants to make changes in his life. My favorite prayers on the whole world are when I hear someone who hasn't prayed in a long time pray again for the first time. Br's prayer at the end of the lesson was so sincere and heartfelt. He called us angels. can't wait to see him again this week.

Easter was great. I guess lamb isn't a thing normal American families eat, so we had ham. It was really good though. With Easter it gave me the chance to really study the resurrection. And appreciate that final week of the Savior's life even more. If ya'll haven't seen the Because of Him video on LDS.org yet. Go watch it.

The hardest part of the mission is watching people throw their lives away. D and T keep throwing it away to alcohol. It breaks my heart. They promise us they won't drink anymore. They tell us the sorrows that it brings in their lives the heartache that comes from that poison, but they keep drinking. We saw D yesterday with two big ol' cans of beer. It made me so sad. I think Heavenly Father is teaching me how He feels when we make promises to Him and fall short. He has extreme patience with us. And I am so grateful for that.

I love y'all. Have an outstanding week. Be good. Remember who you are and what you stand for. Thanks for all you do for me.


Sister Byrne

Sou dicípulo de Jesus Cristo

Transfers, Red Sauce, Guided by the Spirit

Transfer calls came late last night....they're sending me up to Weed where there have NEVER been sister missionaries before and I'm training. Opening an area and training...I am scared out of my mind! April Fools! Hahaha I bet I got mommy worried there. Me and Sister Soliai are staying here in Loomis! And I am sooooo glad! I love this place! And things are finally starting to get busy! I was going to be very sad if I got transferred.

So last Monday we had dinner with the Rs whose son just got back from serving in Brazil. After dinner I practice contacted him in Portuguese which was super fun and gav me confidence that I can indeed still speak the language!

Wednesday we went and cooked dinner for G and his grandson, A. I made them mommy's red sauce and the Sts (our ward mission leader and wife) came too. It was SUPER fun! G loves teasing me, probably for the same reason everyone loves teasing me, because I give a pretty good reaction, it was the first time we got A to stay out of his room for awhile and we invited him to take the lessons...and he said YES! A is 19. We committed him to read the intro to the Book of Mormon and when we came back two days later he actually read it!! And read it several times to try to actually understand it!!! It was incredible and I am so excited to continue teaching him. He has no religious background except what he's learned on South Park...so we're starting from scratch.

We committed him to pray for the first time Friday. Can't wait to see how that went.

Friday we had a super awesome experience. I remember when I went to a meeting with President Weston right before picking up Sis Soliai he gave us great counsel. He said that whenever we weren't sure what to do as senior companion we should stop, take a minute, and pray. Seems simple right? Well Friday we had the option of going to talk to Z at the park with his stoner friends or visit a struggling less active family. Both good options, and we didn't have time for both. I personally wanted to go talk to Z, But I said, let's pull over somewhere and pray.

We said a prayer and this thought came into my head "look at your goals". Okay...so I looked and we had already met our goals of lessons taught for the day, but we had made a goal of visiting two less active families and we had seen none. Well, the street we had pulled into to stop and pray was the street a less active named Gp lived on. We had visited several times and she was never home. I'd never met her, but we saw someone sitting outside her house....we decided to go talk to her and it was Gp! We had a good chat and made an appointment to come back. We finished and then quickly went over to the J's and taught them. We visited two less active families and met our goal. That would never had happened had we not stopped to pray! Prayer brings miracles. It works. It's real!

D&C 31: 11

Go your way whithersoever I will, and it shall be given you by the Comforter what you shall do and whither you shall go.

Saturday we went and did yard work with the Hs!! It was so fun!! Me and the little boy J had so much fun digging and pulling around wheelbarrows and racing. Haha. Then...ready for the highlight of the week....THEY CAME TO CHURCH THE NEXT DAY!!! I love them sooooo much!! I sat next to the three year old, J, I was trying my best to keep him quiet, but I'm not a mom with a diaper bag full of toys and snack, I'm a missionary with a diaper bag full of pamphlets and pass along cards! So I pulled out a pamphlet and starting showing him the pictures. He knew nothing about God or Jesus, so I started to teach him. Once he found out what Jesus looked like he would get this big smile on his face when I pulled up a new picture of Christ and say JESUS! His mom, E, sat next to him (she doesn't even know if she believes in God) and was beaming as she watched and heard me teaching J about Jesus. And she would lean over to her husband and tell him the cute comments J was making and the questions he was asking me. Oh! I also got to teach him about prayer. When the opening prayer was said, I said okay, they're about to say a prayer, close your eyes and be quiet. He did. The in the middle of the prayer he blurted out "mom! It's like when we go to bed at night!" So stankin' cute!! I love him to pieces. They really enjoyed Church and I cannot wait to go and see them again this next week!

Oh another miracle was talking to a guy named Br. He was out washing his car and we started talking to him about God and he expressed to us that he felt hollow. He knew he was lacking the spiritual aspect of life. He literally said he was "thirsting" to feel the Spirit in his life. So we set up an appointment to teach him and his wife at the Church on Friday! :)

And I'm gonna stop there. Loomis is really picking up and it's so exciting to actually be busy teaching! I've never been more exhausted or more happy in my life. This is the greatest calling in the world. I love ya'll and miss you. Be good. Remember who you are. And have a Happy Easter! Go to LDS.org and watch the new bible video. It's da bomb! Also the new Mormon message "the savior wants to forgive" is also incredible. Watch them both for some uplift net before Easter.

<3 Sister Byrne

Sou dicípulo de Jesus Cristo

Fried Chicken insert

My ward mission leader told us this story. And I LOVE it. I hate it when people make excuses for why they don't keep their commitments. Just be real with us. You didn't really want to do it. So you didn't.

Once upon a time there were two neighbors, Rick and Barton. Barton looked out at his lawn and noticed that it was about that time again. He needed to mow his lawn, but had no lawn mower.

*Knock knock*

"Hey Barton. Come on in!" Rick said.

"Hey Rick, how's it going? I need to mow my lawn. Can I borrow your lawn mower?"

Rick thought for a minute and apologetically said "I'm sorry Barton. I would lend it to you, but I can't"

"What? Why not?" Barton asked.

"Well, I think we're having fried chicken for dinner tonight."

"Excuse me?"

As the two were talking Rick's wife walks into the room. Rick looked at his sweet wife and said "We're having fried chicken for dinner tonight, right?"

"Yes." His wife replied.

"Ya see Barton, we're having fried chicken so I can't be lending out my lawn mower."

Barton confused and a little frustrated leaves Rick's house and goes home.

Rick's sweet wife looks at him and asks "What was that all about?"

He turned and said "I just didn't WANT to let him use the lawn mower, so I figured one excuse is as good as the next."

Moral of the story: You can come up with a million excuses. To try to justify why you're not doing something or going to do something, but it's just a bunch of "fried chicken" if you really want to do something you will find the way.

This is based off of a true story our ward mission leader told us. So now when someone makes up an excuse we call it fried chicken.

Sou dicípulo de Jesus Cristo

Thursday, April 10, 2014

A week of teaching and learning

This week was WONDERFUL! Last PDay Grammy T (who lives with us now. They gave her 6 months to live and put her on hospice like 3 months ago, but now she's Doing better than ever) taught me how to knit! It was super fun to hang out with her. I don't know what ya'll had me do as a kid to teach me to love old people so much, but I do! She's been excited all week to give me another knitting lesson :)

This week was crazy busy with teaching and meetings. Thursday I went to the doctor. Then that night the youth put on this big production about the Savior's Resurrection. It was incredible and brought the Spirit so strongly. T and D were there, but it broke my heart because we had taught them earlier that day about the Word of Wisdom, but they came into the Church smelling like alcohol. It broke my heart because I knew that they wouldn't be able to feel the beautiful Spirit that the youth were bringing because they had tainted their bodies with alcohol. I was pretty upset about it during the play, but as I was sitting there thinking about the Savior, I thought about how many times He has forgiven me and put up with my stupid choices, so my attitude about T and D changed and my love for them grew.

Friday we went on a road trip up to Gridley to meet with President Weston. I love that man! He is absolutely inspired and called of God. I always learn so much from our meetings and when he testifies of Christ I always lose it a little and may or may have tears well up in my eyes. Also, I got to see my trainer Sister Allen. It was so good to see her! I love that girl! Also I got to talk to a girl who has been waiting for her visa for a year and finally got it! She will be going to Brasil for the last 6 months of her mission. BUT she's from Dallas too and put her FBI clearance in at the same time as me....so maybe just maybe my visa will be coming soon.

Saturday and Sunday were General conference! If you didn't watch it, you better get onto LDS.org and watch it! I LOVED President Uchtdorf's talk about gratitude. Heavenly Father is so smart! He knows that when we are grateful we are happier and have a better attitude. He doesn't ask us to be grateful to receive praise and recognition. He does so that we have a more positive attitude. I also LOVED Elder Hollands talk and Elder Aidukaitis! Okay, I loved them all! :) priesthood session was also especially good. Elder Hallstrom's talk blew me away. I absolutely know and cannot deny that these men and women who speak are called of God and are His servants in His Church.

Elder Ballard talked about studying Preach my Gospel. So I'm going to invite ya'll especially William and Giancarlo to study Preach my Gospel, even just like 5 minutes a day and then email me what you are learning and I'll do the same. So boys...will you do that?

After Sunday Conference we went to a house that we tracted into about a month ago. They were the family that let us in right away. E and J. We have tried stopping by, but they weren't home. Well...yesterday they were home!!! :D We sat down and started talking. E doesn't know if she believes in God or not and J was raised Catholic, but doesn't really practice it anymore. I'll be honest, I'm not quite sure exactly what happened, but in our conversation E started getting interested and asking questions that led us to teach the Restoration. And then she kept asking more questions and more questions. Before we even knew it two hours passed by as we talked about basic principles like God and prayer. We invited them to church and they said yes! :D and then we asked if we could come over Saturday and help them with yard-work they were working on and they agreed to that too. They have two little boys, JA (2) and EV (8 months). They are the cutest little family in the world! J is such a great dad and loves his wife and kids. It's so adorable. I am so excited for them! And excited to teach them! They were our biggest miracle of the week!

Anyway, I could talk about so many other things that happened, but there's just not enough time. One thing that I've been thinking about a lot this week is giving up, but in a good way. I'm learning to give up trying to do things my way, but doing them the Lord's way. I give up trying to do missionary work, I need to become a missionary. I give up trying to avoid awkward situations because many times those awkward situations in talking to people has led to meeting and teaching incredible people The Lord has prepared. Once I realized that I was getting tired of fighting with The Lord and trying to do things my way I realized how much better and easier it is to do things His way. It's not a matter of me trying to decide if I'm actually going to do what The Lord has asked of me, I've decided to cut out that step and just do it. I trust Him. He knows what He's doing way better than I do. And I'm sorry it took me so long to figure that out and apply it, but it's made me much happier.

I love y'all and I miss you. I can't believe I get to talk to you so soon on Mother's Day!

Keep working hard back home. The gospel is real and I love it!


Sister Byrne

Sou dicípulo de Jesus Cristo

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Twisters, Twister and Addiction Recovery

What an awesome week!! Too many things to share like always, but here's a few things that were particularly awesome :)

So Thursday after dinner our phone starts blowing up - not literally but with texts and calls and voicemails- which is pretty unusual for us. Members, investigators, less actives. Everyone was trying to get a hold of us. Well...turns out there was a tornado warning and everyone was calling to make sure we were off the roads and safe somewhere. Now...being from Dallas I was like what in the world?! Why is this such a big deal?? There must be something really terrible coming our way!! So we went home and the Thomsons were sitting in front of the TV intently watching like this was some big deal. Well turns out tornado warnings don't happen very often here so the tiny storm with a few funnel clouds was big news in this small town. They're actually just wimps when it comes to tornados....Hahahaha! It was so nice to feel loved by everyone we teach though :) they didn't want us to get sucked up and blown away to Brasil or something ;)

Friday we went to the LPs for dinner. They were all sick, so we decided we'd cook dinner for them instead. So we cooked them mommy's famous red sauce and they LOVED it!! That simple recipe has really come in handy for me. T is doing great. He is so close to joining the Church. He knows it's true, we just can't figure out what's holding him back. But he's such a great example of a husband and father. I love him to pieces!

We went to G's this week and he was all dressed up like he was going to church. We asked what the occasion was and he said after our meeting he was going to go do home study.....home study? I was like what? Is he going to go meet with the JW's? Because he used to before. Then it clicked...he was going home teaching!! Hahahaha :) he loved it so much! He is excited to go again next month. Also, G helped bless the sacrament at Church this week!! I seriously love him soooo much! Every time I see him now he has a giant smile on his face.

T2 came to the addiction recovery program on Thursday and LOVED it! I don't know if I told y'all, but I went to one of those meetings in Provo for a project and I LOVED it! They do such a great job and the Spirit is strong in those meetings! T2 is making progress and it's so beautiful to watch.

Church this week was the BEST week of my mission so far. D and T2 came. Both of them are alcoholics, but have good hearts and love learning about the gospel. It was fast and testimony meeting, so members of the congregation can just go up and share what they know to be true and express gratitude to God. Well five minutes before the close of the meeting D leans over to me and says I've been sitting here the past ten minutes and I keep getting this feeling that I should go up there. I want to tell them the story about how I prayed and found my teeth. I encouraged him to go, but then he got nervous, so I said, alright, how about I go up there with you? So we both went up. I went first and then D, who smelled like smoke, was wearing a yellowed white shirt and black jeans and a trench coat, who understands very little about God and much less the gospel got up and bore his testimony about the power of prayer and how real prayer is. He testified with boldness that God answered his prayer and helped him find his teeth that had been missing for weeks. As he testified the Spirit flooded the room and his sincere testimony touched our hearts. Afterwards we sat down and he leaned over again and said that felt good.

T2 and D stayed for all three hours of Church and Bro S said on the way home they were so happy and ecstatic about Church. They couldn't wait till next week! :)

I love ya'll and miss ya'll. cannot wait for General Conference this weekend! We are so blessed to get to hear from apostles of The Lord and the prophet. I love them. They are absolutely inspired men and I know that they speak by he Spirit, and if we listen by the Spirit we will receive our own personal revelation and be uplifted.


Sister Byrne

Sou dicípulo de Jesus Cristo