Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Week!

 Made sister Maya let me curl her hair, she hadn't had it curled in like 5 years!
 Totally forgot to mention our awesome team up Rachel! She is an RM, she served in Japan!
 Our tree
 Out tracting.
 Beautiful sunset... So much for a white Christmas, feels and looks more like spring or fall.
Went to a fancy restaurant with some members, they make the Caesar salad in front of you and the guy made me "help him". Mostly just let us take a picture, but it was pretty awkward, way to close for comfort.. Haha. 
District meeting :)
Cranberry and Beaver districts after White Elephant :)
  Christmas Morning :)

 Sister Maya all bundled up.. Good thing it was 60 degrees
This week we actually weren't able to teach a whole lot of people, they either were never home, "about to leave", busy, or just straight up didn't let us share a message, BUT we did get to bring Christmas spirit to a lot of people, doing service, plus Christmas, so is week was awesome! 
Unfortunately, Tuesday night I could tell that I was about to get sick, and of course I did. Isn't the flu shot supposed to prevent you from getting the flu or something?! So that put a damper things, but Christmas Eve, which was probably the day I felt to worst, I got a Priesthood Blessing. Faith heals! I have been able to recover really quickly, and just have a little cough now! 
So, We had a wonderful week of Christmas, the people who are in this ward are so amazing and made sure that we were well taken care of (probably too much with all the goodies they have sent us home with). we got to go Christmas caroling at a nursing home! It was just so sweet to see the joy that we were able to bring to these people. It touched my heart when Children of some of these residence would come up to us and say a very genuine "thank you", I know that our Heavenly Father loves them, and all of us, and I am grateful to feel a small portion of that love, and to serve these wonderful people! We also had district meeting combined with the Beaver district which was super great! Helped me to remember the importance of the basics, the Book of Mormon and studying out of Preach My Gospel, as well as being wise with our iPads! We also had a White Elephant exchange after! Missionaries can find the most random things in their apartments... I ended up with some batteries. That evening we went to the Fentons for a Christmas Eve dinner, there were like 5 families from the ward, super great Christmas Eve :) Christmas was a pretty chill day, which was nice, and I got to talk to my family! of course it was great to be able to skype home, as ALL 5 of my siblings, their spouses, and their children were able to be there on that call! I am so grateful for them. I know that this is A Christmas I will never, ever forget.  
Sunday was of course great as well, there were 2 girls leaving on their missions from the ward, they will be great, but one of them sang Called to Serve and of course I start bawling... I don't know why I keep crying in the middle of sacrament meeting! I swear like besides my siblings picking on me when I was younger I don't cry! Anyways, we also go to teach Relief society which I thought went pretty well, Sister Maya had never taught relief society, and I only have once, but It went pretty well!  
Anyways, hope you all have a wonderful week, and that you had a Merry Christmas and have a happy New Year!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Really long weekly update that doesn't even include much of what we did...‏

 This is our district leader, Elder Mink. He found my iPad and decided it would be a good idea to take some selfies.
 We made some more Christmas cards :) these are the ones I made.
 Huge house that we went to looking for a less active member... Doesn't live there anymore. These pictures just never do the actually things any justice.
Some crazy fancy chocolate that our stake president let us have after we Caroled at their house.

So theirs this thing that a lot of people do here in Pennsylvania that we like to refer to as the PA ramble. Once you get these people talking they will talk..And it can go on and on and change subjects 20 times, and somehow all flow together and we get nothing in within an hour unless we interrupt..Love these Pennsylvanians.  Heavy black heart️ Anyways,moral of the story, I'm pretty sure I am picking this up. This week especially I have realized that I just start talking and talking and don't even remember what I was trying to say but I got in about 5 other stories without even finishing the first. For example, this email, so long! Sorry! Gotta love the PA ramble. This week we have been making a lot of cards so we could get them done before Christmas. We started delivering a few of them on Sunday while caroling! So much fun and joy! So this week we did a lot of finding without actually finding too many people, BUT a few people actually let us in while tracting! On Thursday we were way ahead of schedule because we had planned to try a bunch of people but nobody was home so we decided to tract. We could have just not, because it was pouring rain, but we felt like we should.. So we heeded the prompting! While tracting on just one little road we were able to get into 2 houses to share the Christmas video! Funny thing was, neither of them actually believed in Jesus Christ! But it was cool to see how they were willing to learn more! One said "I thought the video would be scary... But it wasn't! It was really good!" Gotta love the Christmas spirit! This week the Pitt 4 ward had 5 people getting baptized, a woman and a family of 4. Since we share a church building we were able to go to the baptism! It was so amazing to feel the spirit and to witness these 5 people being baptized! It is such an important promise that we make to our Heavenly Father, in which he promises us that we can return to him, it is a necessary step towards salvation! So this week, I feel like I have been able to recognize a lot more the influence that the spirit truly does have on me every single day, in everything that I do. I know that the our Heavenly Father loves me and though we haven't been able to teach many people this week he has given me strength! I have had so much motivation to do good! To be a better missionary, to be a better person, to follow Christ, to follow the plan that has been set for me, and I am so grateful for the guidance of the spirit in all of that! And though they sound like the cliche answers, I know that this is all possible when I am doing the basic things like studying my scriptures and sincerely praying! So we had a dinner with a member of the bishopric and family. During our conversation Elder Glick (who is going home next week) was talking about how he was giving a talk next week, then Sister Maya chimes in and is talking about how she hasn't had to give a talk yet in this ward, so brother Fenton decides that it would be a good idea to get Sister Maya, me, and Elder Hoyt signed up to give talks because none of us have in this ward. I go on to tell him that February (the month that he is in charge of setting up) would be a good month for Sister Maya to talk if she's still in the area because that's when she will hit her 2 year mark of being a member of the church, well somehow that totally got turned around on me and he texted the member of the bishopric in charge of setting up January telling him that I want to talk... I love sharing the gospel, and I am totally ok with teaching every day, but the whole public speaking is still a rough one.. Yeah well.. More opportunities for me to learn and allow the Lord to give me strength! The spirit of Christmas is real. I am so grateful for the Holy Ghost and the love and comfort that I feel. Sunday at church there was a lot of music and I got to sing in the ward choir, and it was just a wonderful, spirit filled meeting. At the end, for the closing hymn we sang Silent Night. Now this wasn't just any singing of this song, they had a flute, and the organ, and the piano, and to top it all off they had the primary kids go up to sing the first verse, and the rest of us joined in for the rest. I don't think there was a dry eye in that room, including mine! I don't cry! The spirit, and just the pure love of Christ that those kids have is amazing. I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to spend 2 Christmas's as a missionary, though it can be hard to be away from family and friends that I love, I wouldn't trade this opportunity for anything. It is such a blessing to always be surrounded by the true meaning of Christmas, our savior Jesus Christ, and to be able to share that with every single person that we see! To see hearts softened, and to be able to serve so many people, I am just so grateful! So... #ASaviorIsBorn CHECK IT OUT if you haven't already!!! It is on seriously, go watch! And then after, share the video, and the Christmas spirit with others, and help CHRIST be the center of this Christmas season. You could change someone's life! This is the last few days before Christmas, share your testimony of Christ with others! :) And have a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Monday, December 14, 2015


He was Born so I can have Peace and Joy Heavy black heart
Pitt North and Jamestown
 Ugly sweaters :) yes I do have a fur vest on.
 Our mission presidents sister made these noses for all of the missionaries in the mission!
 Our zone (plus a few from Jamestown) going caroling :)
 Wexford ward missionaries with Santa :)

One of the big highlights for me this week was Zone Conference! I always love zone conferences, or really just any training because of the spiritual boost that I get, but the Christmas one was even better! The music was great, the testimonies of departing missionaries were touching, the entire training was wonderful, but what I got out of the whole thing was a stronger Christmas spirit, the motivation that I needed to get out and be the person that I know my Heavenly Father has plans for me to be, a greater love for my fellow brothers and sisters who I have the opportunity to share the message of the restored gospel with!
Because my Savior was born I need to share that with everyone!!! After zone training we got to go caroling around Cranberry with our zone, I love the people that I have met while on my mission, I have made so many wonderful friends, and so it was awesome to join together with some of them to brighten other lives with the Christmas spirit! After zone conference I went on exchanges in Franklin with Sister Sibley! She is such a sweet girl! I love exchanges so much, and I have missed going on them every week! It really is so cool though to experience other areas, to know how we can improve in our own area. We also had our ward's Christmas party, which was so cute! As well as a stake Christmas fireside with AMAZING music!!
Nothing really huge happened with the work that week, but the little tender mercies each and every day have made this week a great one! It really is just continually slowly but surely progressing.  
Just a reminder, if you haven't watched yet, go to and check out A Savior is Born!!! And Share it with those you love!!! Hope everyone is having a wonderful Christmas season, just don't forget to remember the true reason for the season, Jesus Christ! I am so greatful to have a loving Heavenly Father that sent his son for all of us!!!

Oh also! Forgot to throw into the other email, at zone conference we got to watch the mission video for 2015!!! It's really good, but I can't send it home cause it's too long, but look forward to watching that with me in 6 months! 

Monday, December 7, 2015


Last week when we went to Pittsburgh I got this Steelers outfit :) speaking of Steelers! I forgot to mention the Turkey bowl! So the bishop in the Pitt 4 ward is a former Steelers player, and we all played football on Thanksgiving! I was SO SORE for the next few days though..
 Christmas lights in our apartment!

 Panoramic of the city
 Yours truly
 Heinz stadium
 Love this place!
OH also, another side note, I hit 12 MONTHS last week on the 3rd! One year ago today I was in the MTC!!!!! :) 

I LOVE CHRISTMAS TIME!!!! I have always loved this time of year, but another great benefit, peoples hearts are more open! Seriously, this week was great! The average for lessons that have been taught per week in this area for a while has been about 6... but this week we were able to teach 13 different people! 
Alright, so a few of the things that happened this week.. so on Wednesday we got a call from a guy inviting us to an "interfaith" event. We got this call right after district meeting so I figured we should get the Elders invited as well (luckily we did). So we go to this thing later, turns out it was us 4, and some people who were all Hare Krishna. That was interesting. The basically just did this chanting/singing  thing over and over for the entire 2 hours.. I am so grateful for the gospel, and the knowledge I have of a loving Heavenly Father. 
So we also had a lesson with Amanda!! She is SO prepared! I think I mentioned her last week, shes a referral from a member in another ward, we called her, set up a time, she was super excited.. WELL we went over Thursday and she was SO receptive to the message of the Restored Gospel! She also has a daughter that she wants to get involved as well, and she was so willing to read from the Book of Mormon, and pray, and she asked if there was anything else she could do, and she basically committed herself to come to church! I am just so excited to see what is to come! 
On Saturday, we had Sister Bourquin come out with us. She was so ready to share the gospel with everyone, and she even asked for #ASaviorIsBorn pass along card, suggested that we tract a house, so we did, and she was just so excited to share and invite the lady to learn!! I KNOW that the most successful way of doing missionary work is by getting the members involved! 
I loved the first presidency Christmas devotional! If you didn't get a chance to watch, check it out on! I LOVE Christmas music, and the Spirit that Christmas brings. I know that the Christmas lights, that I love so much, are representing the Light of the world, Jesus Christ. I am grateful for the PEACE and HOPE that comes because more than 2000 years ago, and baby was born, which was Jesus Christ. 
Also, If you weren't able to watch yet, check out #ASaviorIsBorn!!

Monday, November 30, 2015


 Alright, so Happy late Thanksgiving! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday, and got to eat a lot of yummy food, cause I sure did! We had dinner on Thanksgiving with the McAllisters, some members here in Wexford. Such a great family, and they have a daughter that was here from BYU who recently got back from a mission, she is planning to come out with us when she gets back for Christmas break! It is so weird to have people coming here who are going to school out at BYU, it's kinda like we have just switched places! because then they go back to Utah, and I stay here in Pennsylvania!
Anyways, the work in this area is slowly but surely continuing to move forward, The Lord throws in a little tender mercy every day. I have now been here for 2 Sunday's, so I am slowly starting to learn who the people are! I am terrible with names, but I recognize faces which is good, the names will come! This ward truly is just so amazing, which is such a great blessing. They seem so missionary minded, and so willing to help.
I got an advent calendar this year, I've always wanted one so I'm super excited! We have had dinner with both the Bishop's family, and the Ward mission Leader's family, and they are great people to work with, and it definitely makes me want to continue to work harder to help this ward grow!
This week we had an awesome weekly planning session! It was just so awesome to see that we both want so badly for this area to grow, and the Lord is able to work with that, and guide us by the spirit on how to use our time wisely. A great experience that we had, so we had tried several times to stop by this potential investigator's house with no success, finally we decided to give her a call. Well we found out that number and name was a member from a nearby ward, so good thing she was never home or that would have been super awkward...But this member had referred her friend who is super prepared for the gospel, and we got her name and number and we were able to actually talk to Amanda (the potential investigator) and set up an appointment for Thursday, and she sounded so excited! So I'll let you know more next week how that goes!
#ASaviorIsBorn CHECK IT OUT!!! Hey! The new Christmas video is out! IT is on seriously, go watch! And then after, share the video, and the Christmas spirit with others, and help CHRIST be the center of this Christmas season, as he should be. What can you do to come closer to Jesus Christ this Christmas season?

 Got this email from my mission President this week, looks like I get an extra week on the mission! So my return date will be like June 22 or something I believe.
 The McAllisters made these adorable Turkeys for Thanksgiving!
 We helped the Bourquins set up their Christmas decorations :)
 Me and Sister Maya by the Christmas tree, we finally actually took a picture of the two of us! Haha
 So we were trying a Less active member the other day, and her husband came out with this... It was really cute and little, and He offered to let us keep it... Too bad we can't have pets.
 The Bourquins also let us borrow their cute little Christmas tree :)
 We were all over, we went around and through the whole city, went to the strip district, I got some sweet clothing souvenirs, this is "dahntahn" (down town)

 A cool wall
 The Bourquins were kind enough to take us, Bro Bourquin was raised in Pittsburgh so he was a great tour guide!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Transfers and Wexford

Me with the Rasmussens, they have 4 little kids who are adorable, they kept jumping in and out of the picture..
 So I didn't have an area for a few hours... That was fun..... This is our Area Book Planner, but it usually actually has things on it..

Our new district, there is our ward and the Cranberry ward missionaries (elders and sisters in both wards) left to right Elder Hoyt, Sis Maya, me, Elder Rackham, Sister Huffaker, Elder Mink (our District leader), Sis Beutler, and Elder Glick (Elders Hoyt and Glick are in our ward)
 We made Christmas cards for ladies in our ward, these are the ones I made :)
 Me, kinda Elder May, Elder Listen, Sister Jarvis, and Sister Maya
Me, elder Mays trainee, Elder May, Sister Jarvis, and Elder Liston. We served around eachother in Lancaster Zone.
 Last pic as comps. Sister Landa and I.
Alright, so this week: Monday I basically just packed the whole Pday, not that easy to fit your whole life into 2 suitcases. 
Tuesday was transfers, I was super nervous like all weekend, and then Tuesday I could barely eat I was so nervous, but we went up to Harrisburg, then me, Sister Smith (one of my old comps), sis Wadsworth, and Sis Thompson all drove out to Pittsburgh together. Then transfer meeting was there, it was very different with the change of telling us where we were going before, it was more of a teaching opportunity for President and Sister Johnson, and we got to hear advice from departing missionaries. But after that we headed up to Wexford! We are only about 30-40 minutes from Pittsburgh, like some people in our area have Pittsburgh addresses, so weird!
My companion is Sister Maya, she has been out 3 months so I am her "follow up trainer". I have really come to realize how much I have grown over the past almost year! I still have a LOT to work on, but I have gained much more confidence and I am actually able to talk to people sometimes! hahaha. Amazing what can happen when you allow the Atonement of Jesus Christ work in your life! 
But Wexford seems to be a great ward! We have an awesome Bishop and Ward Mission Leader, which is great! There isn't much work going on at all though, so that's rough, but we are finding work to do! Actually a cool thing, our Bishop came up to us yesterday at church and was telling us about one of his daughter's friends that is at school up in Ferie, Nikki who is coming back down here for Christmas break and Thanksgiving.
The Eerie sisters have been teaching her, and will be passing her over to us, and she is scheduled to be baptized December 21 by our bishop! So that's super exciting!
Wexford is Very different from my other 2 areas, really all of my areas have been SO different. But there are a lot of very wealthy people here, so there are a ton of nice houses. I have heard a lot of "first world problems" hahaha such as spray tan incidents, or nails breaking. But they are great people no matter where I am!
Hope you all have a wonderful week! Don't forget to pray, read your scriptures, and go to church! The best ways to strengthen your faith in Jesus Christ!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Busy week, ending in transfer calls!‏

Sister Talbot and all her babies (me, Sister Yates-she had to go home early for medical purposes, and sister Bartlett)

 Our zone #1ancaster
 Me, Deb, and her mom Gene
  Me and Sister Aipa
Grace and I
 Us with sister Yordy
Me with the Fergusons

 I'm f'real leaving Etown... Our shakes before weekly planning
 3 mile island
The Stoffels


 Brother Allen
 After 3 missions this suitcase may need to retire..
 Sauerkraut... Why is this a thing? pork and Sauerkraut is super big in Lancaster county..
Packing during and after...It takes some skill to fit your whole life into 2 suitcases...

Alright, so this week we had a super busy week. We didn't even get to spend too much time actually working in our area. 
We started out on Monday by going up to Harrisburg and spending the day with their zone playing sports. Then we headed up to Sunberry for exchanges with sister Talbot and Sister Bartlett. It is about 2.5 hours from where we live so we got a fun little road trip in there. So we blitzed the area which is when we both stay there and each go with a companion. I got to go with my mom/trainer sister Talbot! It was so cool to be able to serve with her gain for a day to see how much we had both grown in the last 8 months!
On Wednesday we had zone training. We were trained on the same things that we learned at MLC, how to help others observe the Sabbath day. Sister Landa and I were able to train on the new mission initiative, #StressFree3. 1.Getting someone out with us to their lessons. 2. Inviting them to come to church and explaining what it will be like, and 3. Informing the ward leaders! I thought this was such a good idea to help us be accountable, and the help people get to church! We also got to see the church's New Christmas initiative again, #ASaviorIsBorn. It Really is so great!
So I pretty much knew that I was going to get transferred so on Thursday, the first day that we actually got to work in our area this week, we basically went all over our entire area to see a bunch of people that I wanted to say goodbye to! We ended with dinner at the Ferguson's. So Tom is not a member, but he usually asks us every time we go over what our messages for the day. His catchphrase is "bring it don't wing it". He said this right before we started our message, so I was a bit worried bu twent on with the message anyways. We shared a Mormon Message called "in the spirit of Thanksgivig" (feel free to add a link to the video or something) after showing them the video we talked about things that we are grateful for. The spirit was so strong as we talked, and by the end of the lesson Tom said "Way to go Ollie (this is the nickname I have been given..) you brought it!" YESSS!!!
Friday we did weekly planning, it is so hard when you are leaving an area to want to plan for their next week! But we got our Milkshakes and went to work and I was actually a lot more focused than I thought I would be. 
So on Saturday I was basically nervous the entire day, and have been since. Saturday is when they were making calls for transfers. We got to do a lot of service that day, helping the Larsens move, and racking leaves, there was also a stake Fiesta. Finally when we were at the fiesta the zone leaders were there and they told me where I am going. I will be getting transferred to Wexford! It is about 30 minutes North of Pittsburgh, so I will be heading back out to the West side of the mission! My new companion will be Sister Maya, she is just getting done with training, so she was been out for 3 months! Sunday we went and contracted a referral. Usually when we get referrals for a Bible they aren't as promising, but this one was awesome! The referral, Justin, was so receptive to the message that we had to share, and seems so sincere about learning more. So sad that I won't be able to continue teaching him, but I'm sure he will progress in the gospel!
I am so glad that I have had this opportunity to serve here in Elizabethtown, I am going to miss these people so much, but I look forward to the things to come in my new area! I know that I will be able to learn a lot and have so many more wonderful experiences!