Thursday, December 8, 2016

More pictures from December 5, 2016 - Miami - Calle 8

These pictures are from a place Hermana Monson visited on her P-Day.  It is called Calle 8.  It has lots of Cuban restaurants, gift shops, and even a Mariachi band.  Herman Monson and Hermana Whitney tried cream cheese, guava, and Maria cracker Cuban ice cream.  Sounds like fun!

Pictures from December 5, 2016

                           Herman Monson and Hermana Whitney on their P-day in Miami.

        Random man on a bike.  Herman says she sees a lot of random things like this in her area!

       Large toad they found outside their apartment door when they returned home one night.

December 5, 2016

Herman Monson did not do a group e-mail this week, but she wrote a beautiful response to request that I want to share.  Brother Cameron Clark in our ward is Dallon's Teachers Quorum advisor.   He asked if Sadie would tell the Teachers how she prepare to teach the gospel each week.  Dallon gets to read it in his class on Sunday.  I love what she wrote!

One of the most important things I do each week to prepare to share the gospel is to study the scriptures every day. As missionaries, we get 1 hour to study from the scriptures, and it is awesome! Sometimes it can be hard to focus on studying the scriptures, but I know that if we try to have the Spirit with us as we are reading there is so much we can learn. In D&C 11:21 it says "seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men." If we want to teach the gospel to other people, we have to learn about the gospel for ourselves first, and not just learn about the gospel, but gain our own testimonies.

Another thing that I do each week to prepare to share the gospel is to take the sacrament. The sacrament has some amazing promises! We promise God that we will always remember, and try to follow Him. In return, He promises us that we will always have His spirit to be with us. Having the spirit with us is absolutely essential when we are sharing the gospel. The Spirit can help us know who to share the gospel with, He can help us know when to share the gospel, He can help us to have the courage to bear our testimonies, and He can bear witness of the truthfulness of what we are saying. It is pretty pointless to share the gospel if you don't have the Holy Ghost there to help you. Taking the sacrament each week can help us to qualify to have the Holy Ghost with us all day, every day!

Something else that I do each week to prepare to share the gospel is to pray, a lot. My companion and I usually pray at least 30 times every day! We don't always know the best way to share the gospel with the people around us, but Heavenly Father does! He knows His children, and He wants ALL of them to hear about the gospel. I know that if we will pray to have missionary opportunities, and the Lord will bless us with little things we can do everyday to share the gospel. Even if it is just a simple act of service. 

Scripture study, sacrament, and prayer are so important! In order to share the gospel with other people, we ourselves have to be converted first. I know that if we will do the little things each week (prayer, church, and scripture study), we will strengthen our own testimonies, and then we will qualify for God's help as we look for opportunities to share the gospel.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Little excerpts......from the past 3 weeks. November 2016

I wanted to add in just a few little things from Sadie's letters to me over the past 3 weeks.  I think they are fun additions to her group emails.  Sure do love my Hermana Monson!

November 7, 2016

Mari is doing pretty well, she has a lot of pain from her disease. One day this week we felt like we really needed to go visit her, and we were glad we did because when we went over she was trying to clean her house, and she was just sobbing. We watched a conference talk with her, helped her clean her house, and put her kids to bed. I think she felt better after that. She bore her testimony last Sunday, and it was super cute! She just said that she is so grateful for the sister missionaries that knocked on her door a month ago to bring her the gospel. That was one of my favorite experiences of the week. 

The other was that we were able to do an exchange on Wednesday. I got to go with my STL Sister Kronmiller and work in her area for 24 hrs. It was such a blast! Riverside is the name of the area, and oh me word. It felt like I was back in Mexico, I loved it! Sister Kronmiller is a super boss missionary, and we were able to teach tons of lessons in one day, and it was super fun! I love teaching lessons, even if I can't always say what I want to say. I feel like my Spanish is definitely getting better, it is just so hard to remember all of the past tense conjugations! But, I'm working on it. Anyways, on the exchange we went to a super hole in the wall little Latin restaurant and got some super authentic Baleadas for dinner, oh me word. So good! It was also lots of fun because the STLs live with another set of sister missionaries, so it was super fun to be in a house with 4 people. It was kind of like having roommates again! I really hope that I can live in a house with 4 sisters at some point, it is just so much more exciting! I also loved the attitudes of the other missionaries, they have all been on their missions for a really long time. One of them goes home at the end of this transfer. It gave me hope that they all talk about how much they love being a missionary, and how they don't even want to go 

November 21, 2016

The best part of my week was probably yesterday when we were able to find 2 new investigators. On Saturday night I had been feeling super un-motivated. I woke up Sunday morning, and just prayed that Heavenly Father would give me the charity that I needed to get through the day because I knew we would be spending a lot of time knocking doors. Well, He definitely followed through because we found 2 awesome potential investigators, and the time went really quickly. 

The worst part of my week is probably feeling a little more homesick than usual with the holidays and everything. I miss you! Thanksgiving will be a normal proselyting day. We have two meal appointments with families in our ward, and I'm not sure if it will be the normal Latin food or if they will do something Americanized. Either way I will definitely be missing your sweet potato casserole, so please eat some extra for me. 

Sister Whitney is from Taylor Arizona. She went to a small community college there before her mission (doesn't know what she is studying yet), and she has been out for one year. She struggles a lot with her Spanish, so sometimes I am able to speak/understand more than her, but she is trying so hard! She's awesome! She is pretty shy, and that makes it hard to get to know each other super well, but we have fun. We are both super excited for Christmas, so we always love looking at the Christmas lights and listening to MOTAB Christmas songs in the car. 

November 28, 2106

Ok, I forgot to write about this, and I'm not entirely sure how to incorporate it into a group email, so....

Anyways, I think it was on Wednesday? I woke up, and had to write down this dream that I had, because it was pretty amazing. 

So, in this dream I had just come home from the mission. I had completed my entire mission, but I had only been gone for 6 months (I'm not entirely sure how that works, but hey, it's a dream). It was a spring morning, and dad had already gone to work. The boys were getting ready for school, and I was helping mom cook breakfast. I didn't have anything else to do (no work or school or anything) so I decided to walk the boys to the bus stop, and mom decided to come too. 

Pretty normal, right? However, for whatever reason, I was SO UNCOMFORTABLE. I felt like I couldn't look any of you in the eye, and I couldn't talk because there was a lump in my throat. In the dream, I felt like something was weighing on my shoulders, and I had a sickening pit in my stomach. Even though everyone was super happy that I was home, and it was really good to see the family, I felt so awful. The reason I felt so bad was because I knew that I had not done everything that I could have on my mission. I felt so many regrets about the 6 months that I had served because I knew that I had only given a half-hearted effort, and I felt sick about the fact that there was no do over, and I had failed on my mission. 

I woke up from the dream like: "wow. Ok, now I know how I DON'T want to feel at the end of my mission."

I don't know if Heavenly Father was trying to tell me something or what, but let me say that I have been feeling pretty motivated since that dream. 

Thanksgiving Week! Fontainebleau November 28, 2016

Hola everyone! 

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving week! I did!

First of all, we found 5 new investigators this past week! On Monday (11/21) we had just finished knocking doors, and we had a little bit of time left before we had to go home. We were debating about whether we should stay in the area and knock doors, or go to see a potential investigator that we had met a few days earlier. We both felt like we needed to go see this potential investigator named Pablo. Well, Pablo was busy, but his granddaughter Lily was happy to listen to our message. She has been going through a lot of really hard things in her life lately, especially with her health. She wonders if God even loves her and why bad things happen to good people. It was honestly pretty hard to come up with an answer as to why she has been experiencing so many hard things, even though she is trying to be a good person. However, it was so awesome to be able to testify to her that God really does love her. He has a plan for her. I have been thinking a lot about her question: why do bad things happen to good people? As I have tried to come up with an answer, I was reminded of a talk by Elder Bednar that talks about how sometimes we need a burden in order to help us move forward. Like the truck that was stuck in the snow, but once it was loaded with firewood it had enough traction to move forward. I know that sometimes life is SO hard, and we wonder if Heavenly Father has just forgotten about us. However, I know that He is there for each and every one of us, in every second of the day. We just have to look for His hand in our lives. Really, every opposition is an opportunity to prove to ourselves, and Heavenly Father who we truly are. I love being able to testify about the love that God has for us, because that is something so basic, and something that I really know to be true. 

Unfortunately, all of our investigators have slowly been dropping like flies, and we ended up with only 1 investigator at sacrament meeting. Jose is a super adorable, awkward old man. He LOVES reading church material, and he pretty much has the Restoration pamphlet memorized by heart. He reads from the Book of Mormon everyday, and says that he has a testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith. We were so excited when he came to church! The only sad part was that after church we went to go visit him, and even though he had really enjoyed church, he would not commit to be baptized. He feels like he is not ready to make the changes in his life, even though he knows everything is true. It was sad because we tried everything we could think of to help him overcome the fear of baptism, but he would not even commit to a return appointment. The only investigator we have left to work with is Juana, we will meet with her tomorrow. She is great!

Tip of the day, if you play the piano, or lead music, don't tell anyone! I am now the ward chorister, the primary pianist, and the relief society chorister! Not even sure how that happened, but it's a good time :).

Our Thanksgiving day was great! It was a normal proselyting day, other than the fact that we had 2 Thanksgiving dinners! It wasn't quite the same as an American Thanksgiving, even though it was all the same food. It was such a good time to be with the members though, they are so nice to the missionaries! We felt SOOOO full that night, we thought we would pop! We were pretty much waddling around trying to knock doors after dinner, it was pretty funny. 

Satan is trying so hard to work against us! First of all, my bike tire has been flat every single morning this week. Depsite the fact that I bought a new tube, and have patched up every single hole I can find. I am officially a pro at removing a bike tire and then putting it back on again :)! We finally got my bike tire fixed, and a piece goes missing from Sister Whitney's bike. We barely make it home with her bike wobbling everywhere, and my tire slowly going flat the whole time, but hey, we made it! I guess we will be using the car until we can get that fixed. 

Also, I LOVE the new Light of the World video! If you haven't seen it, please watch it! It is such an amazing reminder of what this holiday season is really all about. I have seen the video probably 20 times already, and I still love it! I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and that through following His example we can find more peace and joy that we could ever create for ourselves. I hope it is an amazing week! 

Fountainbleau November 21, 2016


I hope everyone is doing well, and has some amazing plans for Thanksgiving!

This week was great! We ended up finding 3 different families when we were knocking doors this week, and we were able to share the Restoration with all of them! They all promised to come to church, so that made us super excited. None of them did, which was a major bummer, but that's ok because we found 2 more potential investigators last night!

We were knocking doors and we ran into a woman named Juana. She invited us into her house to share a prayer. She started tearing up almost as soon as we walked in. She is facing a lot of health challenges and she is really worried about her son. After we prayed for her she was crying, she kept saying that she could feel something, but she didn't know what it was. We explained that is was the Spirit there to testify of the truth. She listened attentively to the message of the Restoration, and accepted baptism! We are going back to teach her again this week, and we are super excited! Usually when we ask people to say the closing prayer at the end of the lesson, they won't do it. She is from Cuba and doesn't have any religious background, but she agreed to say the prayer. It was super short, but really sweet. She just said "thank you for sending me your missionaries." It made us so happy to be recognized as the Lord's missionaries! She also gave us a banana from her tree in her yard, and it was the most delicious banana I have ever tasted, so that was great. 

After that we went to visit a former investigator named Jorge. He has been taught by tons of missionaries in the past, but he was never baptized. We shared a prayer, taught him the Restoration, and then committed him to be baptized on Dec 10th. He said yes! We are excited to keep teaching him, and we hope that we will be able to help him understand the need for a baptism by someone who holds the priesthood authority of God. 

This week we also had a zone conference. There were a couple of zones there, and also President Richardson and his wife. We received some awesome training from President Richardson where he just asked us to think about the question: Am I trying to impress others or am I trying to impress God? He talked about the reason for everything we do should be because we love God and we want to serve Him. It was awesome! We also learned about the new Christmas campaign that the Church has #lighttheworld. We got a sneak preview of the video that will be released on on November 25th and it is AMAZING! I loved it! Now we have a bunch of pass-along cards, and President told us that our whole objective is to get people to We are excited to start handing those out, and watching the Christmas video with people. Another cool thing we learned at the conference was how we, as missionaries, can help church members have missionary opportunities. Now we have these "Member Missionary Game Plans" that we are using to help members think of friends and family members, and then come up with one small action they can do to share the gospel with them. We haven't really had the chance to use it yet, but that should be awesome!

Sad story of the week, my bike tire is completely flat and now I have to buy a new one. We have been driving everywhere this week, which has been kind of nice. 

Thanksgiving will be a normal proselyting day, but we do have two meal appointments with members in our ward. We aren't sure if it will be the usual Latin food, or if we will eat a turkey and everything. Either way, it will be awesome :)!

I hope everyone has a fabulous Thanksgiving week! I'm grateful for you all!

Fountainbleau November 14, 2016


Hope it has been a great week for everyone! It has been a great week here! 

We had a super awesome Zone Training this week about how to teach at the doorstep, and it helped us to be able to find 5 new investigators in our area this week! None of them came to church, so we will be starting over again this week, but that's ok! We are planting seeds!

This week I got to go on an exchange with the STL's, so I got to work in the area of Riverside for 24 hours. Riverside has TONS of Spanish, and it honestly feels like another country. It was super cool. We were able to teach lots of lessons, and we saw a couple of miracles that day. One of the miracles was that we were trying to get into an apartment building to teach an investigator, but it was locked. We ended up having to go back to the apartment building 4 times in order to meet with this person, and miraculously, each time, someone was either leaving or going in, so they unlocked the door for us! 

One cool experience we had this week was with a Recent Convert named Mari. She was baptized about 3 weeks before I got here. She suffers from a disease that gives her lots of pain in her legs, so sometimes it is hard for her to stand for very long. She has a 13 yr old and 5 yr old twins. One day we felt like we needed to go and visit her, and we were so glad that we did. When we got to her house she was trying to clean, and she was just crying. She said she was in a lot of pain, but she was sick of not being able to cook or clean or do the things she needs to do. We sat down with her, talked, and watched President Nelson's talk from this last general conference about finding joy. She really enjoyed it. After that we helped her put her kids to bed and clean her house so that she could rest. When we left you could tell that she was feeling much better, and that the Spirit was in her house. We were so glad for the opportunity to serve her when she needed it!

Another cool thing was that we had a community service project this week and all the missionaries in our zone went. We were weeding out and then re-planting a community garden at Senior living center. It was super fun! There were lots of Spanish ward members there, so we got to talk to them for a while. Also, we spent about twenty minutes trying to rescue a lizard from a nearby pond because one of the Elders had accidentally flinged (not sure if that is a word?) him in there. It was pretty funny, but we saved the lizard! By the end we were dripping with sweat, and we smelled like cow mulch, but the garden looked really good!

Nothing else too exciting. Pretty much we are biking like crazy, knocking doors, and looking for people to teach. 

Something I read this week in Moroni 7: 4-5. "And now my brethen, I judge these things of you because of your peaceable walk with the children of men. For I remember the word of God which saith by their works ye shall know them; for if their works be good, then they are good also." 

The phrase "peaceable walk" stood out to me, so then I went on a scripture referencing spree trying to find an answer about how to have a peaceable walk. Well, 30 minutes, and lots of scriptures later, I discovered that in order to have a "peaceable walk" we have to take the yolk of Christ upon us. Which, in essence, means that we are going to walk AS He walked. We are going to do what He would do in every situation. We are going to go about doing good, and blessing the lives of the people around us. Sometimes it doesn't make sense that if we stop thinking about ourselves we will find more happiness, but that is something that I am learning. The only way TO find happiness and peace is by continually doing what the Savior would do and serving those around us!

I hope it is a great week! I love you all!
Hermana Monson