Monday, March 30, 2015

One More Week in Swansboro!

Well next Monday I'll be packing and spending my last Preparation day in Swansboro!  It is surreal, but I think I am ready to see what the rest of North Carolina has in store for me.  I have a feeling I am probably going to go serve up North.  The mission president is actually taking sisters out of 3 areas in my zone!  There aren't enough coming out to replace how many are leaving.  It's crazy.  I hear missionary work is a ton different up north, but we shall see!
This week was a good one.  I was definitely spiritually fed due to the General Women's Broadcast and having a leadership training with President Bernhisel and the other missionaries holding leadership positions.  The theme for the Broadcast was great; perfect for this day and age I think.  I loved what Sister Esplin said about being filled with light and truth.  If this broadcast didn't encourage me or make me want to be a righteous parent, I don't know what will :) I would encourage every one to view it if they haven't.  At the leadership training our Mission President talked about patterns for success and those included: Listen and rely on the spirit, mighty prayer, study for understanding, and be unified.  It was quite good and I learned a lot at that meeting! 

During the week we were able to go help two sweet ladies who were part of the Episcopalian church down by where we live.  They had ordered a lot of bark to mulch the yard around their church, but when it arrived it was a lot more than they had expected.  We passed by them during the week and told them they would love to help.  They were a little shocked at first but said if we really wanted to we could.  But they said on another day when we weren't dressed so nice, haha!  we always dress like that.  But we went back over the weekend in some work clothes and helped them spread bark for a couple hours.  They were so impressed that they got ahold of their minister and had him come down to the church building so he could meet us.  When he arrived he told us that we were truly humbling him.  He said, "Two girls from the Latter Day Saint church helping and serving us...I am humbled.  You come from a good church."  I think it is important to leave a good impression on those around us because we do represent our Savior and the restored gospel that is here on the earth.  I was reading in Jesus the Christ, a book written by Elder Talmage (I am loving it!)  He talks about how we are the salt of the earth, and how salt is used as a preservative.  We as saints are trying to preserve the name of Christ and the true church here on the earth today.  I learned that before the time of Christ, salt actually held the symbolism for fidelity, hospitality, and covenant.  I am trying to apply those three things into my life as of now.  How can I be more loyal to my savior?  How can I show hospitality for all I come in contact with, no matter what?  How do I want to live so that I can keep the covenants I have made?  To be of use, salt has to be PURE.  If there is any chemical alteration to it, or has anything mixed in, the salt loses its effects, and its savor.  If we allow ourselves to be altered, or swayed by the ways of the world and not stay pure and virtuous, always striving to be more like the Lord, then we too will lose that influence on the world.  As a missionary we are under a magnifying glass, and our influence is noticed and felt by all.  

This week we had a pretty rough experience with one of our investigators.  I won't go into detail, but they weren't able to keep the baptismal date we had set because there was lack of keeping commitments and not coming to church.  They were pretty upset and that caused some drama (which I am not used to anymore!  And I don't miss it either!)  But what I have been able to take away from that experience is that the great test of this life is obedience.  The Savior asks us to follow Him.  And there are so many different ways to do that.  Being set apart as a missionary means we are on a different plane than the rest of the world.  We are expected to be EXACTLY obedient, and represent NOT ourselves, but Jesus Christ.  Because we are human, because I am human, I am no where near perfect nor will I ever be in this life.  And at times I get overwhelmed when I think about how far I am from where I would like to be.  In contrast to that I know that when we are firm in keeping our covenants and living true to the light we have, the Lord will bless us and our lives and give us inspiration and hope.  

So, a few things that are super great about the south: when leaving a store, or anything of the sort the people working there say 'Have a blessed day!'  It is so cute :)
The people here also love family.  So when we teach that families are together forever they usually latch right on and give a few 'hallelujahs' or 'amens' haha.  That makes it easy.  

A tender mercy this week happened when we went over to a part member families home for dinner.  She is a member but her husband and kids are not.  Her son is 10, daughter 8, and other son is 5.  We have gotten to know them really well and we love when they have time in their busy schedule for us to come over.  It is neat to see the bonds that grow as you love and listen to people.  Well, we saw the mom at the church building for Wednesday night activities and she asked us if for the lesson we could talk about baptism.  She felt that her kids were ready and they had been asking about baptism.  We (the sisters) had gained their trust and made them feel comfortable enough to approach us when they were ready for baptism.  In the past, others have confronted them, or asked them right away to be baptized, which threw this family off a little bit.  I was so excited when she told us that they are ready and want to start working towards baptism for her two children!
This week we also:
- helped a family move
- professionally organized a home
- almost ran out of miles
- drove to raleigh at 5 am
- ate Brunswick stew (look it up)
- said goodbye to the senior missionaries and had a pizza party
- got yelled at by an angry mom
- looked for chicken eggs
- got asked how many husbands we have (polygamy thing)
- had the best curry of my life

I have loved serving here, but being in a place too long means you get to know people too well, resulting in LOVING them.  Love is a hard thing.  It is so good, but so bad at the same time, haha.  Everyone here is so heart broken when I tell them I am being transferred.  Which is so nice to hear, but hard to think about.  I have truly seen a change in myself and have no one else to thank but my Savior.  And for that I am grateful.  Elder Talmage says, "the capacity to be grateful is a blessing..." and it is.  I love being able to say prayers each and every day because I have felt unworthy of all the blessings I have been receiving.  Serving a mission has really opened my eyes to how many things I have been privileged to have, yet, it has helped me gain so much more. 

I love you so much and hope you have a great week :) Don't forget about me and know that I think about you ALL the time!!! 
<3 Sister Mallory Golden

Monday, March 23, 2015

Speaking Spanish?!

So this week I was able to go out to Wallace and do an exchange with the Spanish sisters there.  Oh boy, that was a fun time!  I was able to meet a few of the local members who live there and have dinner with them as well.  They were all Hispanic families and so very sweet.  They thought I was the new sister so they go off jabbering to me in Spanish...when they realize I have no idea what they are saying they smiled and laughed and had my companion translate.  I did get to say 'Si' a lot though..they thought that was funny;)  Over dinner they were focused on trying to break me in and help me learn Spanish.  It was a fun time.  At the end of the evening when we were saying goodbye, I guess the cute Spanish mama's told my companion that they LOVED me and wanted me to stay.  When she told them I was just there for 24 hours they got SO sad and told me not to leave!  They thought I was just a newbie from the MTC and didn't know my language yet.  But I was sad to leave also.  They were so kind and humble and loving, even though I couldn't understand them.
That is something I love about the gospel.  It creates a family for you wherever you go.  You can feel the spirit and share your testimonies about the same things and know that they understand.  I am so grateful that the church is world wide and that I am able to see it here in the south as well!

I also got some exciting news this week.  Our mission president texted Sister Jones and I (which kind of freaked us out because that usually never happens) and said he had news for us.  We sat down on the bed so we wouldn't pass out or anything.  He told me that I was going to be transferred and that Sister Jones would be training again!  we were both pretty happy about that :) I will have been here for 7.5 months...AKA my ENTIRE mission.  I wonder where I will be sent to next... Any guesses?

Something funny that happened this week as Sister Jones and I were out tracting, was in this one neighborhood in a small subdivision.  All the houses we walked up to had a pamphlet stuck in the door...we pulled it out to see what it was.  Well it was from the Jehovah's Witnesses who go around talking and tracting also, which kind of makes it tough for us Mormons, haha.  A lot of people ask us if we are JW and we say no.  But we are often confused with them.  Each door we went to had this little pamphlet in it...and I am not going to disclose whether or not we left the pamphlets in the door...but we didn't want there to be litter laying around in case they fell out... ;)

At our district meeting we went through our church building and did a mock-church tour.  That was really neat because I have only ever been to one and that was back in my home ward in Washington.  I loved being reminded how a church tour can be a great tool in showing people around the church in an unprofessional way and allow them to go at their own pace and be comfortable. Sister McDonald (our sen. missionary)  taught me so many things about the different paintings that I want to use in any church tours we have coming up.  We were supposed to have one with an investigator this week, but they cancelled.  That's alright! It happens!

Some things worth mentioning:
So this week my personal studies were all really good!  I would love to share some of that with you.  First I learned that the word “Perfect” can be translated into the word complete or finished; fully developed.  We don't need to compare ourselves to the standards of the world.  Or what we think perfect actually is.  Our Savior is the only perfect being we know, and we can continually look to Him for that example.
Being busy is not the same as being worthy, and being worthy does not require perfection.

Why does the Lord allow the evil speaking to chase after the good? One reason is that opposition against the things of God sends seekers of truth to their knees for answers.

When we are firm in keeping our covenants and living true to the light we have, the Lord will bless our lives and give us inspiration.

When the Lord wants to teach us he will often do it by giving us a question to ponder.  Answers come by being faithful to our covenants and serving others as we study, because that is the pathway to having personal experiences that over time provide the answers to all questions.

I miss everyone back home!!
Love, Mallory

Monday, March 16, 2015

A Week of Service!

This week was spotty with good weather!  It was super rainy on Saturday but the other days it was pretty nice which I am grateful for.

Oh, the rain!
Aah, the sun!
Anyways, this week was filled with a whole lot of service!  My companion and I have been trying to reach out to our members and build trust with them, and it has been working.  Everyone in our ward either has a newborn, or is pregnant.  In relief society we look more like a mothers lounge than a Sunday school class!

We helped 2 sisters in the ward, one who had a baby recently, and one who is about to have one.  Both needed help making freezer meals so that they don't have to worry about making dinners.  They got a ton of their recipes from Pinterest...oh how I miss pinterest. Ha!  I learned a lot though and think that maybe when I go back to school or am a mom I will do freezer meals!  Such a good idea.

Elder Oaks says,
"Our Savior gave Himself in unselfish service. He taught that each of us should follow
Him by denying our selves of selfish interests in order to serve others.
As a group, Latter day Saints are unique in following that teaching unique in the extent of their unselfish service."

We also helped an older single woman in our ward rearrange her trailer.  We turned her guest bedroom into a craft room, and a second one into her sewing room.  She has been collecting fabric, and crafting stuff and yarn for about 15's like a JoAnn Fabrics in there!  Crazy.  We spent a few good hours doing that and then left to head to our next appointment.
Wednesday was a little bit funky because our usual district Mtg. day had been moved to Friday.  So we went out and visited one of our investigators with a LA sister from our ward who was on exchanges with us.  Bruce is a 65 year old man, retired marine and lives alone.  His ex-wife was Mormon so it was a funny coincidence that we ran into him.  He is very responsive and feels the spirit really strongly.  Each time we see him and talk about a gospel principle he cries, ”I'm out of tissues now.  But that's okay!”  He was really interested in hearing about how our sins can be washed away, and our burdens lifted, and start over without feeling heavy.  "Through it all, the Savior offers us sustaining strength and support, and in His own time and way, He offers deliverance" says L. Whitney Clayton. We then shared a Book of Mormon scripture with him that reads, "I will … ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that … you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions."  He loved that scripture and then asked for a book of Mormon so he could start reading it for himself.  We hope that we can continue to meet with him and strengthen him.  Because this gospel truly does bring so much happiness.  I ache when I hear people's sad stories and then don't accept the glad message we share.  The Savior, his church, is here on the earth today.  And I want everyone to feel what I feel by being a member!

But lessons don't always go as planned, or even happen.  On Thursday we had two appointments set up to go and see some of our investigators.  When we got there no one was home, or chose not to answer.  Sometimes that can be frustrating, but I need to remember that the Lord is preparing those who are ready and willing to listen.  We just have to keep moving forward and know that He is going before us.  "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."

One great lesson we had this week that really touched me was with a lady in our ward who is a returned missionary, has a special needs son, and her husband is currently deployed.  We went to go visit her with our Relief society president, to check in and make sure she was doing okay.  We ended up talking about some of the struggles she had been facing, and the challenges she was going through.  We all cried and got emotional- I am grateful for the knowledge I have gained about the Atonement.  My testimony has grown on that subject and I can see how far reaching it truly is. This sweet sister testified of that as well, and it made me realize that none of us are exempt from this amazing gift. She had turned what could be seen as a hard life situation into that of a blessing.  She was using this experience with raising her son to not only help him and fulfill her divinely appointed call to be a mother, but to better herself and become more humble, meek and submissive to the Lord. 

A story is told of an encounter between the Prophet Joseph Smith and Brigham Young. In the presence of a rather large group of brethren, the Prophet severely chastised Brother Brigham for some failing in his duty. Everyone, I suppose somewhat stunned, waited to see what Brigham’s response would be. After all, Brigham, who later became known as the Lion of the Lord, was no shrinking violet by any means. Brigham slowly rose to his feet, and in words that truly reflected his character and his humility, he simply bowed his head and said, “Joseph, what do you want me to do?” The story goes that sobbing, Joseph ran from the podium, threw his arms around Brigham, and said in effect, “You passed, Brother Brigham, you passed”.  In the kingdom of God, greatness begins with humility and submissiveness. These companion virtues are the first critical steps to opening the doors to the blessings of God and the power of the priesthood.

This week we also had a going away party for Brooke and Ryan.  They were my first converts and will always hold a special place in my heart!  I am so glad to have seen them progress through the gospel.  I feel privileged to be an instrument in the hand of the Lord :)

Sister Tuivai
I hope you are doing well and have a great week!
I love you so so much and hope you know that I have come to truly appreciate my mission.  I am so grateful for my Savior, the book of Mormon, and a modern day prophet.  As we do the little daily things to add to our testimonies, we will be filled with light and life.  I have found that to be TRUE for myself. :)

Lots of love!
Sister Mallory Golden

Monday, March 9, 2015

Investigators, Inactives, and Members ~ I Love Them All!

This week was pretty good.  We are starting to see better weather, which I am so grateful for!  Except everyone keeps saying, "It's coming! That heat and's comin' "!  So we will see how I survive it this summer.  Luckily I only have to endure it once.

Last Monday was just a regular day... getting groceries, (Sister Jones and I eat the same thing every day, every we look forward to having dinner with our members.  Haha.  It is just easier to shop that way for us) then looking around a few stores to try and find her sister a birthday present, then we headed to the Benson's house to help her finish up writing thank you cards for her baby shower.  The cards were so cute!  She custom made them and printed them herself to give out.  I need to take a few photography classes again when I get back.  We had dinner with them and ended up having a GREAT gospel discussion afterwards.  We each bore a testimony and opened up about the topics we were discussing.  They are one of the families that Sister Jones and I feel closest too.  I love them!

Tuesday was a day full of visiting the inactive sisters in our ward. Our mission is doing a big push to get our less and inactive members to come back to church.  So we have really tried to focus on bringing certain ward members with us that can relate to these sisters and help in the process of bringing them back to church and making them feel loved.  Along the way that day we were able to stop by an older woman's home - she is 85 and still coming to church!  She proceeded to tell us during that visit about all the many ailments she is dealing with right now.  An infected, and blackened toe, a wart on her elbow, a cut on her forearm, a swollen calf, a hematoma (however you spell that) on her hip, and other various stomach issues we won't go into detail about.  This little widow loves our company though since she is alone and has been for years.  Her only company is 6 dogs and 19 cats...that's always a lovely time ;)

Wednesday we had Zone Training for the month of March.  Our zone is so, so different from when I had first gotten here...I guess that was 6 months ago.  Oh yeah, happy 6 months to me today! :D I am 1/3 of the way there!
February 27 marks 6 months!

Anyways, we are getting used to all the new leaders in our zone and working on a few new goals we have set for our area.  After this meeting we went out to lunch with our senior missionary couple and had some yummy Mexican food.  Sadly, I wasn't feeling well this day, (everyone is getting sick) so I didn't eat.  The waiter serving us felt bad and kept asking me if I needed anything.  But I declined.  So he said, "Next time you come, I give you free dessert, okay??!"  I laughed and said 'Oh sure okay'.
That afternoon we met with someone who asked us to come by and go over “The Family: A proclamation to the world” with them.  They had been really struggling with understanding and not feeling upset when they were reading it.  At this current time in their life, they didn't have a spouse and had to raise their two children by themselves, so that caused some hard feelings and resentment.  We wanted to resolve the conflict as quickly and fully as possible.  Because we don't want people leaving the church!  When we read over the paper the spirit entered the room.  You could tell everyone present felt it and was receiving personal revelation and/or inspiration.  When we talked about what we had read, this sweet individual said, "No, we don't need to go any further.  I know that this is true and that the Lord knows me."
I was amazed at what they had learned and grasped as the Holy Ghost enlightened them with knowledge and acceptance.  I think often times we ourselves try and solve problems with a secular view, opposed to a spiritual one.  I decided then and there that I would always take my problems or questions to the Lord.  I didn't want to limit Him on what areas of my life he could touch or affect.  I know that the Holy Ghost is the true converter and without his help, we missionaries can only get so far.

Thursday we went and saw another widow in our ward that lives near us, as well as the family history consultants.  We jumped on FaceBook for a bit to see if we could reach out and talk to anyone.  We messaged a young marine wife who hasn't come to church since they moved here.  She is homesick, struggling with her testimony, having a hard time being by herself all day,  among other things.  After our conversation and sharing a spiritual message, she told us that we were a rock and foundation for her in NC.  She felt really isolated and alone in the 'Marine Wife Life' and struggled when she first came here.  But when we showed up at her door, and continued to visit her each week for the next few months, she said that she could start feeling the spirit again.  And that she would have gone insane if it hadn't been for us coming to see her.  That made us feel really good and know that we are actually doing something for her.  We went home to plan for the next week, then had dinner with some members we had not really met before and had a great lesson with them.  We shared the Mormon message 'Earthly father, Heavenly Father' and they loved it!  Their countenances changed and we were able to build trust with them.  That was good.  Then on our way home we stopped by a members home who is pregnant with twins!  She was going in the next morning to be induced, and oh my gosh.  She was SO big.  I have never seen such a big pregnant lady!  I swear.  Everyone here is pregnant or has a baby.  It's in the water or something.

Friday afternoon after studies and our weekly zone conference call as sister training leaders, we were picked up by the Cunninghams and taken to the Santorini Grill...the Greek restaurant.  They wanted us to celebrate her birthday with them so they brought us to their favorite restaurant.  I feel like we go with them every week, ha.  It was cute though, all the workers there know them and their favorite things, a lot about their personal lives, and treat them like friends.  After lunch we met up with a few sisters in our Relief Society and went to an inactive sisters home who was in desperate need of help cleaning.  She had 3 little kids and was really busy and couldn't stay on top of things.  So we along with 4 other people met at her house and commenced in some good old fashioned service.  We broke off into two's and took a room to work on.  We hit the kitchen, living room and nursery HARD and left it sparkling and clean.  It took us a good 3 hours, but she was very appreciative and loved meeting some more members in the ward.

The best way to show people you love them is to serve them. That is what Christ did his whole ministry.  And that is often a way to get less active members to return- they feel your genuine care for them and their well being.  The sisters who accompanied us were so willing and kind-hearted and we had a really good time together.  

As of late, every time we go to a dinner appointment the husband is outside building something.  A table here, a chicken coop there, a new porch or doorway here.  I need to, “A”-Learn how to do these things myself, or “B”- Marry a man who can do those things!  Crafty is the way to go!

Saturday was fun!  We were able to go and see some of our investigators, less actives and members, have brunch with a family, and then see the new 4 lb baby of our investigator!  She was SO cute :)  Too bad we can't hold them.  That evening we drove up to Wilmington to attend Stake Conference with our two good friends who are young military wives.  We have gotten to know them pretty well and love being with them.  We also ate out at the Mexican Restaurant we always eat at after zone training.  After our meal, the waiter from last time came out with this churro dessert and said, "This is for you! I told you that I would make you something next time you came in!"  He gave it to me for free :)  so nice!  Luckily there were 4 pieces so we all shared.
Stake conference was really great.  Sister Jones and I were called on by the stake president to answer a few questions while he was giving his talk, since we are the sister training leaders.  I don't get shy, but sometimes my mind goes blank when I am called on the spot!  But we both gave some good feedback on how we think our ward counsels are doing and what we are focusing on to help one another.  
The conference ended at 9, people wanted to say hello and goodbye, then we had an hour and a half drive back to Jacksonville!  Sister Jones and I didn't get back to our apartment until midnight!  (Time change included).  Tess, the one girl we rode with teased us and said we were going to turn into pumpkins if we didn't get home!  We felt weird being out past 9:30 and not in bed at 10:30!  To think my social life didn't even start until around 10 at college is like a dream to me. ha!

Sunday morning we had a really hard time waking up...We kind of sat there after our prayers for a minute trying to gather ourselves.  We studied then left to go attend Stake Conference which was luckily being broadcast to our bldg. in Jacksonville.  we saw the first hour, and kind of heard the second hour.  The screen went out and we had some technical difficulties.  Kind of a bummer.  After Stake conference our ward got together and had a lunch!  We ate wraps, and all different kinds of sides that people brought.  It was a fun time and it was gorgeous outside!  So pretty and sunny. I miss the sun. 
My Companion Climbing a Tree
After the lunch Sister Jones and I set out to GO FIND 5 NEW INVESTIGATORS! Yeah!  We hit up a trailor park that is in our area and walked up and down a whole two rows...which is a lot of trailers.  Some people weren't home, others weren't interested, and others said 'No thanks, goodbye' and closed the door.  But!  We did find those really nice people who the Lord had prepared for us to find.  One old man who is a retired Marine teared up as we talked about the Plan of Salvation.  Another man shared the struggles he is having with his daughter and wants her to participate in our church's Young Women's program.  A lady told us that she was actually baptized mormon and was thinking to herself she needed to go back to church!  I know that the Lord does place those in our path that are nice, but also those who are ready to hear and receive the gospel.  We got so into it that we didn't even realize we had tracted for 3 hours.  Well, my feet knew it, but my head didn't realize until after we sat down at dinner with the Parkers.  Haha.  We kind of vegged there for a minute while she got burritos ready.
It was a good day.

I know that as we put the Lord first, he will be ready to bless us.  We sometimes put limits on Heavenly Father and what we think he can do.  But I have learned and now know, that "the Lord is prepared to give us what we are prepared to receive." (Christofferson.)

I love you all so much and hope you have a great week.  I look forward to hearing from you soon :)  I sent you all a letter today, so hopefully they make their way to you!   
I am so extremely proud of each of you my siblings and the directions you are going in your lives.  Keep pushing forward!

<3 Mal

Monday, March 2, 2015

Best P-Day Ever!

So last Monday was the Best Preparation Day I've had so far! All the sisters in our Zone met up in Wilmington and went to an indoor trampoline land called Defy Gravity.  It was a BLAST!  We were boinging around all over the place...just the casual representatives of Jesus Christ soaring through the air ;) I crack myself up! haha.  We were able to say our goodbyes to those sisters who were leaving the next day to return home.  It was bitter sweet!

Tuesday all schools and most businesses were shut down because of the weather.  Nothing compared to Rexburg or Utah, but I guess bad enough for here.  Ha.  We still had work to do so we bundled up, set out, and went to work.  We played it safe and drove slow, going to visit some of our local members and a few less actives in the area.  We had really good visits with each of them and felt pretty successful for the day we were given to work with.  Every home we showed up at they shuttled us inside and asked us what the heck we thought we were doing- "Don't you know it is freezing outside!  They sent me home from work at 10 am today!"  The husbands would say. That night at our dinner appointment  they got a storm warning that encouraged everyone to stay inside.  So we were like, "Great.  Looks like we're stuck."  But we made an evening out of it, and helped them bake some fun things and watched Mormon messages.  When we went outside everything was covered in ice and was slick as could be!  We had to crack the ice off of our car in order to get the doors open and see through the wind shield.  We got home safe and sound though thanks to my companion who is from Utah and can drive in this craziness!
Windy Wednesday ~ and still very cold!
Wednesday was a little bit better.  The temperatures rose enough for all the ice to melt.  But all the schools were still cancelled.  All the parents were getting pretty antsy because there had been so many snow days called.  
District meeting that day was weird.  We have 3 new missionaries that came because of transfers.  Things are changing!  We also got a new senior missionary couple- they are sweet.  That afternoon we had a lesson with a new investigator that is a really good friend with a lady in our ward.  Let me just tell you,  “Missionary work is SO MUCH BETTER when members are involved.”  They are that extra support and knowledge when we can't be there all the time.  The lesson went so well and our investigator was asking a lot of questions and accepted the baptismal date we extended.  She had been prepared by her member-friend who was inviting her to church, activities, FHE, and being a good example.  That is what a prime teaching situation looks like!  We loved it.
  Sister Jones and I felt like we needed to go and visit one of the counselors in the Relief Society to go check in on her and see if she needed anything.  Her husband is deployed and she has been stuck inside with her kids the whole week because of the bad weather.  We gave her some much needed adult interaction and then shared a Mormon message with her.  This sweet sister started crying and said that was exactly what she needed and how that week had been really tough for her.  I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost in my life.  It truly does lead us and allow us to be the instruments here on earth that God needs.   That night we heard from the members we were eating with that the city was given a curfew, and would be shutting down for the night starting at 7 pm!  It was because of this crazy weather.  Geez!  So after dinner we had to go straight home because rumors were floating around that cops were going to pull people over past that curfew.

Thursday morning was a bright one!  Daylight savings is right around the corner too unfortunately.  We spent the day going out and visiting people with some sisters in our ward.  It was a pretty good day and we were able to meet some new people that are less active in our ward.  For dinner we went to the Anderson's who are doing a 'eat clean' diet and made the best healthy little dinner ever.  I love them!  I was really grateful as well ;)Friday the Cunninghams took us out to the Santorini Grill again- that great Greek restaurant.  It's their favorite place and they like to be with us :) 

The Cunningham's
The rest of the day we planned, and then had dinner with a sweet family down the road who is coming back to church.  They made us a great grilled chicken salad and I was a happy camper because it was healthy!  Saturday we got to go out and visit some really sweet old ladies in our ward that aren't able to come to church because of their age and health problems.  One of them was this cute little old African American woman who called us Baby, and her Babies, and said "Amen" after everything we said.  She was a doll and we loved her to death.  She told us to come back any time!  That night we had a super good dinner with one of our favorite members.  Kale and Potato soup with home made bread sticks.  So, so good and yet another healthy meal.  Good luck this week! 

Afterwards we met several of the young marine wives at one of their homes and had an ice-cream social so they could all meet each other and get to know the ladies who lived near them in that area of the base.  

Sister Jones

It was a blast and we all had a good time.  They are all around my age so it feels like I actually have 
friends out here!  Haha.
Ice Cream Party with the Marine Wives

Sunday was like it usually is.  We had good meetings, and got to go see some investigators after church.  Fast Sundays are always the longest days.  And it is even worse when everyone you had planned to go see isn't actually home.  So we went out to go hunt down more people with Sarah (who is recently returned from her mission and in our ward).  Luckily her mom offered to have us over for dinner (no one had signed up to feed us and we were freaking out!) and we ate some really good chili and bread.  Perfect for the cold rainy day that it was.

I am so grateful for prayer.  It truly is powerful and can be used at any time and in any place.  I would encourage you to start saying daily prayers, and if you do, make them a little bit longer and allow yourself to really converse with your heavenly father.

I love you so so so much and wish you the best week ever.
Love Sister Golden :)