Monday, September 29, 2014


                                             Out Tracting and Contacting Referrals
We are almost at the end of the month which means we get more miles on our car in October!  Wow has it been stressful not being able to drive anywhere.  The members tried helping out as best they could.  Which was nice!  But I totally didn't appreciate having a car until they limited our usage on it!  We live at the edge of the boundary so we have to travel twice as far as everyone else to get anywhere.  Yea, dumb!

Highlights from the week: 
First.  So I found my voice this week!  And it was lovingly bold!  (This is one of our goals as North Carolina Missionaries...I guess it just came natural to me.)  We were teaching a man who is devoutly Christian but has mainly Catholic views. He came to his second lesson with a very obvious intention that he was there to teach “US”, and denounce anything we were saying that wasn't in accordance with what he believed.  So there I am teaching about the 3 Kingdoms of Glory.  And explained to him that those of us on earth will not go to Hell, because we had already chosen to follow God's plan and come to earth.  So depending on how we act and if we follow the examples of Jesus Christ, that is where we will end up. He did not agree with me one BIT!  And he let me know!  He kind of went off about all this random stuff telling me I was wrong and contradicted himself several times. We were getting no where and I was annoyed at this point and was getting very tired of his ranting, so I kindly cut him off and told him there was no further point in arguing. I told him I was glad he had faith in God, found Jesus Christ, and wanted his family to live righteously.  I followed up by saying we needed to leave because we were getting no where and there was no use for us to sit there and tell one another what we believed.  Then we left.  My companion was like, "Whoa, Sister Golden! You were bold! I loved it!"  We both died. It was quite amusing.  Haha.  
Second.  We went to go teach a cute girl, around 26, her third lesson when she calls us and says, "Uhm you guys, I hope this is okay, but I have a friend who wants to come to the lesson.  She is interested.  I'm sorry for not telling you sooner!"  Sister Arave and I tell her that it was fine and the more the merrier.  We hang up, hive five and laugh!  Woot woot!  Getting friends to come is awesome:)  The next night was a YSA dinner at the Bishops house and they both came as well as 2 other of our investigators.  In total we had 4 investigators show up to the YSA dinner.  How wonderful is that?!
Third. Another great part of the week was going to watch the General Women's Broadcast!  It was really great and all the speakers touched on points that we are currently teaching our investigators!  It was neat to hear.  I really loved all of the talks and have learned that if you go with a question in your heart, it will get answered in one way or another during that meeting!  I encourage you to do that with conference coming up!

                                  Sister Arave and I at the General Woman's Broadcast
Fourth. I love the senior missionary couples in this area.  There are two of them and they are so sweet!  I have gotten close with one of them and I just adore them. They have served a mission prior to this, so this is their second!  They love it and said they have grown so much.  What I love about the couple missionaries is that they are always willing to help us out.  They sometimes drive us to lessons, and give us moral support and are there to boost our confidence.  They remind me of my grandparents so I gravitate towards them:)  The one couple got sister Arave and I a few groceries from Costco this week because they heard we had a scarce month coming up for missionary dinners!  How sweet is that?? 

Funny of the Week:  When my companion and I were doing our nightly planning this week, all of a sudden we were attacked by these little black bugs!  We had NO idea where they came from, or what they were!  One crawled across the desk and I jumped back into my chair with surprise!  I snatched my planner up for fear of it getting contaminated by the little insect...only seconds later do my instincts kick in and I smack the thing with my planner.  Then I am overcome with feelings of guilt.  I just squished the poor little thing!  It was hardly as big as my thumb nail and it was probably just coming inside to stay cool and out of the scary world that is beyond our front door!  We scooped it up and threw it into the garbage. This happened 4 more times during study time, and then again in the bathroom where we found another one!  The people here say this usually happens when you move into an apartment because you disturb all the little bugs that were previously there...I didn't know whether I should be worried, repulsed or just let it go. Ha!

                                                   Tree Bug (but still it's a bug)!
Second, there was a lady who saw my name tag and asked me what kind of parents name their child 'Golden'!  I told her I was the oldest so they prized me above all else.  I quickly told her I was kidding because I think she believed me. 

People here often think both mine and my companions first name is "Sister"  :)  How cute is that!

Interesting things of the South:
Several times my companion and I have gone to teach at the local trailer parks.  I am still working on my love for these quaint little living spaces.  Anyway, the southerners in this area don't really like turning their lights on. So when we walk inside the house their window shades are drawn (privacy is huge here) and they don't worry about flicking the switch so we have some light to see by.  They prefer dim lighting I guess!  I just chuckle to myself and squint to try and read them a passage in the Book of Mormon.  

Also, on every street corner there is a new church.  Pentecostal- Baptist- Christian- Methodist- Lutheran- Church of God- and more.  They all claim that, "JESUS IS OUR LAWD AND SAVIOR!"  and tell us everyone believes in Christ.  Well as soon as we tell them that we, the Mormons, believe in that Jesus Christ as well, they all say, "No no, that's another Jesus Christ ya'll believe in.  That just cracks me up.  Haha:) Obviously my Jesus isn't their Jesus!

Well, I love you and I hope you are doing well.  Keep saying your prayers, keep fulfilling your callings.  Keep reading in the Book of Mormon.  I am so grateful for this gospel in my life.  It has really been a glue that has held me together over the last 20 years and I know it can do the same for you.  
Love always, 
Sister Mallory Golden

Monday, September 22, 2014

Second Week in Jacksonville

First off!  Happy 18th Birthday to my wonderful sister!  Congratulations, and I hope it went well:)
So last week was a pretty good week.  I learned a lot more about what goes on in missionary work.  It's funny- you see missionaries in a certain way and a certain light and imagine what their lives are like.  Now that I am a missionary, I can tell you everything I imagined back then was SO OFF.  
I have been able to read in the Book of Mormon every day, pray more meaningfully and meet more people each and every day.  I have learned that the Lord answers my prayers through the scriptures and through other people.  The ward here is wonderful and the families are so easy to get along with.  They don't know how much they have impacted me, but they sure have made my first two weeks more bearable, and for that I am grateful.  Plus as I become more familiar with the Book of Mormon, I see how it applies to me and my life right now.  It is quite an amazing thing and I would love for all of you to try and do this as well.  Read everyday out of the BOM and see how it applies to you and your life.
Some highlights of the Week:  
We were contacting some referrals we had received and had for quite some time in our area book.  (So basically we just went and knocked on some doors.  Probably more scary than I thought it was going to be!)   One lady opened her door, listened to us for a minute then invited us right in to her living room!  We hadn't even asked to share anything with her yet!  Haha.  The Lord Provides:)
We taught her the first lesson and have been back again for the second and she keeps coming up with questions that provide for more opportunities for us to come over!  So that is nice!
Next, is another lady we teach.  She is inactive and her husband is deployed (as most are here).  She wanted to come back to church so we started meeting with her and familiarizing her with the BOM again so she could build her fragile testimony.  She had been sharing a lot of things with her neighbor but never made much headway with them.  When we were teaching her last week, she got a text from them saying that the next time she met with The Sisters, they would like to come over and learn from us!  Little did they know, we were right next door waiting for them;)  They came over, took a BOM home with them, and are meeting with us this coming week.

Last highlight.  There is a young marine who had been taking lessons from the sisters before I came.  I was able to hear his story and learn that he is a strong catholic and is debating between whether he believes Mormon or Catholic is the way to go for him.  After some contact he texted us one day and said he was sorry, but he felt he was wasting our time and that going back and forth between two churches just wasn't working out and was not fair to either of us.  Then he said goodbye.  That was that...or so we thought.  We were teaching a lesson to his friend that same night at the church and when we showed up to teach her HE was there waiting for us!! What?? Mind blown.  After the lesson he shared with me why he showed up.  He said all day at work after he sent us that text, he had felt unsettled about the decision.  When he went home that afternoon he had a nagging feeling that distracted him from anything else.  He felt like he needed to come to the lesson that night, and when he made up his mind to do so, he said he felt at peace and could finally focus again.  How great is that!?  Heavenly Father loves all of his children and does not forsake them when they turn away.  I love that.

Not so much of a highlight:  I haven't been kicked out of any houses yet, told to get off the porch or property nor had a door slammed in my face!  That's a plus!  But I have had some people curtly tell us to go.  We were at a few doors just making small talk getting to know the person, and all  of a sudden out of no where they would say, "I don't mean to be rude, but I'm tired and I think I'm going to go now..." as they close the door behind them.  Or one lady cut in in the middle of our sentence and says, "well girls, I hope you have a great day and travel safe to your next destination." and closed her screen door.  Haha. I just kind of laughed!  I almost stuck my foot in the door, but decided I would rather not go to jail for trying to bring them unto salvation.

Tender Mercy:  The ward members make a HUGE difference in a missionaries day.  So many of the Relief Society sisters from the ward have been willing to come out with us to some lessons.  This not only helps with our miles on the car (of which we don't ever have enough of) and it also brings a new spirit of conviction to the lesson.  The members who also give us dinner are so so nice.  I am so grateful to everyone who has fed us since I've been here.  It reminds me of my family and having dinner back home, so it helps with some of the home-sickness.  Everyone back home: help the missionaries.  It seriously can make or break our day, and you will get blessings for helping!  One of the families even took a picture of me and sent it to my family as well as my sister since it was her birthday.  They told me that they also pray for me everyday to help get rid of my homesickness.  It was so kind of them, that it brought me to tears!  

This weekend was Stake Conference, and we had to drive an hour and a half to get there.  So we had to leave pretty early to get seats!  The Saturday night session was ALL about missionary work.  I was just sitting there as everyone around us is going, "oh yeah!  I should do that" and I'm thinking to myself, "I do this EVERYDAY.  But thank you for the reminder." HA!  The Sunday morning session was great too, and there were speakers who said things that I totally needed to hear.  Afterwards there was a ward lunch and I was able to chat with the members and get to know them a little bit better.  I had worn my hair down and a lot of the members commented on how curly it was!  I just smiled at them and thanked them for the compliment while thinking to myself how embarrassing it was...I looked Like Simba from the Lion King.

I love you all and hope things are going well with you.  I love getting all the emails as well as letters.  They are like GOLD to me... and mean a lot.  Keep praying and know that they are being answered.  I pray for you all each and every day.  Only 2 Christmas', 2 New Years, one summer, 524 days left to go and I will be home!
With Love, Sister Mallory Golden

Monday, September 15, 2014

First Week in Raleigh, NC

This week on September 8th, I arrived in Raleigh North Carolina.  21 of us missionaries stayed over at the Mission President's house, getting the run down and being interviewed before we actually started.

                                                             Longest Day Ever!
The next day, or the 9th, we were assigned to our areas.  I will be in Jacksonville North Carolina for at least 3 months. This is MARINE town. Two bases and lots of military personnel, right on the coast so lots of hurricanes and rain as well.  Great!
We drove to the church house where transfers for the other missionaries were being held.  Us newbies had to go over some 'entering the field' information before we met our trainers.  These are missionaries who have been out for over 6-9 months and will take you and teach you everything there is to know about missionary life.  

The next few hours was just some more training, lunch, and then we were set free to travel to our new destination.  I got my luggage, bike and companion into a small 4 door car which was quite impressive.  We drove three hours to the coast and arrived in Jacksonville.  I was asleep for most of the ride since the last two days I had been traveling since 2:30 in the morning.  
When we arrived we dropped my stuff off, got ready to leave, and went to meet an investigator at the church for young single adult meeting.  I got to meet a few people here, but not very many.  As our day was pretty much over, we headed back to our apartment and did evening planning.  It was weird going to bed thinking I will be here for the next three months.

                                                              New Address:
                                                            8 Port West Ct
                                                            Apt/Unit D
                                                            Swansboro, NC  28584

                                                              My Apartment

On Tuesday we got up at 6:30, exercised, got ready, studied, studied, and studied, then had District Meeting to go to.  This was with the one pair of sisters, two senior missionary couples and two sets of elders that are in our area.  The elders told me it takes about a year to get used to missionary life... the butt.  That totally freaked me out and was not good for a one day old missionary to hear.
We did some FB proselyting, set up a few appointments with some New Members, and then went to Texas Roadhouse for dinner with a member.  We came back to teach a lesson to one of our investigators named Victoria who is a new marine and wants what this gospel has to offer.  We were teaching her about the Word of Wisdom and were talking a little bit about baptism.  I felt the spirit telling me that she was ready for baptism.  So I did what any missionary would do that is about 12 hours new in the field.  I asked her if she would follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized on October 25th.  SHE SAID YES!  My first day and I get a baptismal commitment!  I was shocked and excited and could barely hear anything because my heart was beating so fast!  I kill myself, ha ha.

The next few days were a little more slow because we had weekly planning, (where you plan for the week for like 3 hours), I had to unpack, we had to grocery shop, and then just plan our lessons for later in the week.  But a few highlights or exciting things were the flash floods that happened.  Twice this week it rained so much in such a short time that it flooded.  The lighting and thunder didn't help the situation at all of course!  Next, we helped a family move in about two days.  They are less active so it was a good way to get some missionaries back into their lives.  We had dinner with the Relief Society President on Saturday night and then an AWESOME family on Sunday night.  I really like both of them.  The Latter family is into fitness and eating healthy so we clicked right away and got along just fine.  Both of them had served missions in Brazil and you could feel their spirits so strongly.  They also have this spiritual connection between them which I think is amazing.  I really admire her.  

Church was really great- I was able to meet more of the ward and get to know more people.  Its hard teaching lessons when you have no idea who the heck anyone is.  The people are really welcoming and loving and all have southern accents; so it's pretty cute. Although I personally refuse to say, "ya'll".  I am not from the south, therefore I will say, "you-all" haha.  

                                                         Jacksonville 3rd Ward

Anyways, I know this was more along the boring side, but what else can you expect from the first week?!  I love you all and miss you so much.  I have had a great experience in the Book of Mormon this week, with receiving answers to my prayers.  I know that the more time we spend in the Book of Mormon, the more applicable it is in our lives and has a greater chance of aiding us when times get tough.  Keep reading in the book of Mormon!
Lots of Love, Sister Mallory Golden!

PS- I would love to get some letters as well:) 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

She's Arrived!

We are very pleased to welcome your daughter, Sister Mallory Emi Golden, to the North Carolina Raleigh Mission.  As we spent time with her in the Mission Home and in orientation meetings, we felt her spirit and her heart. She is ready to do the Lord’s work here.  She has been assigned to the Wilmington Zone of the mission, serving in Jacksonville 3rd Ward in North Carolina. Her companion is Sister Michele Arave from Clinton, UT.

                         Elder and Sister Bernhisel

                     My Companion - Sister Arave

With Love,
Marc A. Bernhisel, President
North Carolina Raleigh Mission

Thursday, September 4, 2014

First Week at the MTC

Hi Family! 
I really miss all of you and hope that you are doing well.  This has seriously felt like the longest week of my life as well as the shortest.  You feel like the days never end, but then when it's Sunday you can't remember the past 7 days going by.
Let me start at day one for all of you so you can see how things have been going so far!  I arrived last Wednesday and I was the FIRST ONE... and had no idea what was going on.  It was awkward because I was sitting by myself until the other new missionaries showed up, haha.  Then we were given our badges (finally!) and got to put our stuff away in our rooms.  Immediately following we were taken to our classrooms and the day started there.
In my district there are 10 people.  6 elders and 4 sisters.  The Elders are going to Des Moines Iowa, and us sisters are going to Raleigh NC.  We met our teachers Brother Stanley and Sister Runyon who are super awesome!  They introduced everything we would be doing in the MTC in a general overview and then started teaching us the first lesson about our purpose as missionaries and what is expected of us. 

                                                                  My District

We were all a little anxious and nervous but made friends pretty quickly.  After dinner we were told we had our first three investigators waiting for us to be taught.  We looked like deer in the head lights.  WHAT THE HECK?  Us missionaries only 6 hours old were supposed to teach people about the church?  I was freaking out.  Then we were told not to worry because we would be in groups of about 50.  It went pretty well nonetheless:) This took us into the night and then we were shown around by our Zone leaders just to give us a little familiarity with where we were going to be staying for the next ten days.

The next few days that followed this were emotional and challenging!  A lot of people were missing their families, didn't realize how hard it was to teach, and didn't know how to handle the new lifestyle.  We were in our classrooms for 9 hours, studying every single minute, and having to role play all the things we were learning.  By now we were given a PI (personal investigator that is usually a teacher acting as a non-member) and we had to plan lessons to teach them and get to know them. 

The first day when we had a scheduled gym time... it was HEAVENLY.  All of our stress and nervous energy was able to get channeled out.  I usually run a mile, lift, then play volleyball with our district.  This is something that we use to get through our days. Ha!  

This Tuesday we had to do a service project and I got to clean the showers.  It was basically the worst thing of my life.  The hose kept breaking and spraying me, and then when I had to attach the chemical jar to it, the stupid thing flew off and drenched me.  Luckily I didn't melt, but I was pretty upset.  
Wednesday our teachers were switched:(  I really got close to sister Runyon!  So, I was sad.  She and I had a lot of good talks and shared a lot of stories.  We are super similar.  She told me I am the best teacher in our zone and had an easy time picking up what we were being taught.  I felt like a dork, but appreciated the compliment! (But the new teachers are good as well.)

Sunday was SO awesome.  It was a nice break from the monotonous schedule of studying and teaching and eating.  We got to go to church, relief society, listen to a devotional, sing in the choir, and listen to a talk called "Character of Christ" given by David A. Bednar.  It was amazing.  I would encourage everyone to watch this; it is truly life changing.  By now our district has gotten to know each other pretty well.  We have had a few good laughs and cries as the days go on.  

Today is already Thursday and our FIRST P-day.  We went to the temple this morning, then got to do laundry, write letters, go to gym time, and take care of a few other things.  We feel lost without having a schedule to follow which is crazy.  

I have been able to see a change for the better in myself.  I am growing and becoming a better teacher, listener, and missionary.  It is hard work.  You have to meet new people and get out of your comfort zone every day.  But it is worth it.

The MTC feels like prison half the time, but the things we do here are preparing me to go out to Raleigh NC and I wouldn't be able to do anything without first being at the MTC.  I don't really like the food, or the showers, or having to be with another person for 24/7.  But I am getting over these things!  Haha.  My testimony has been strengthened and each day that I am here, I am becoming more solidified in this gospel and can feel the holy ghost more prevalent as I study the scriptures.  I know that if you spend time in the Book of Mormon each day, your testimony will grow, your faith in Christ will increase, and the want to repent will become greater.  I feel good with where I am at and welcome this new chapter in my life:)  I so appreciate all the Dear Elder letters, letters, and notes I get.  It helps SO Much.  

I love you all,
Sister Mallory Golden