Tuesday, May 16, 2017

April 11, 2017

       Hermana Monson had to make a doctors visit for her swollen eye:  diagnosis?.....an allergic reaction.

                                                              Homemade pedicure night.

                                                      They made each other planner covers.

Hello everyone!

I hope it has been a great week! We found out last night that both Sister Carling and I will be staying to finish training in Coral Reef South, we were so relieved. I love this area and these people! I'm excited to work here for another transfer!


After P-Day had ended we went out to knock doors. We had been praying to find a hispanic family of four, with one son that is baptismal age and a younger daughter. Well, first door we knocked on that night we ran into Ana. She let us right in to share a prayer with her, her 7 year old daughter, and 11 year old son. She is from Cuba, but also speaks perfect English. Her husband came home part way through the lesson, and so an hour and a half later we walked out of their house having taught them the Restoration. They loved it, and are just the sweetest family. The other part of that story is a little bit sad. We went back to teach them on Wednesday, and Ana answered the door. She apologized for making us come all the way back to her house, but that ever since we had started teaching them things had not gotten better, but that they had gotten much worse. She said that she did not feel like she should continue learning with us. We were heart broken, they are such a cute little family! We testified to her that just like God is real, and Jesus Christ is real, the devil is also real and he does not want these blessings for her and her family. She is not ready at this time, but we know that she will remember the message that we shared, and that one day she will be ready! If nothing else, they will remember the way they felt the first night we taught them as a family, and they all sat on the couch to watch the new "Prince of Peace" video. I love that video! It was still a really cool miracle that we knocked right into our vision family at the very first door that night. 


I woke up on Wednesday morning, walked into the bathroom, and was startled to see my eye was super super puffy and swollen. I couldn't even open it! I called Sister Carling, and the other sisters in our house. None of us were sure what that would be from, so I decided to take some Benedryll and see if that would help. Well, an hour later I still couldn't open my eye so we called the mission nurse who told us to go to the nearest walk-in clinic. The doctors at the walk in clinic took one look at my eye, and said I would need to see an eye specialist, or at the very least go to the urgent care. So, we went to the urgent care. The doctor determined that I had some type of allergic reaction in my eye, he wasn't sure from what. I had to get two shots, and they gave me a prescription. The shots were not very fun, but they worked! About an hour later my eye was starting to return to normal size again. I was pretty drowsy from all of the medication, so we had to take a quick nap. Plus, I think I would have looked a little scary walking around with my eye swollen shut. Thankfully, by the time I woke up from my nap it was pretty much back to normal. We still aren't sure what caused it, but I just had to take pills for a few days, and all is well now :). 

That night we met with Angela briefly, she is doing well. She LOVES "the word" (which is what she calls the Book of Mormon, conference talks, etc). My family sent her a picture of the temple, and of Jesus Christ which made her cry. She loved it! She will hopefully be going to the temple next week!


We went to give service for a man who is selling his parent's old house. The house has been abandoned for five years, and so there were mouse droppings GALORE, and cockroaches all over the place. It took Sister Carling and I an hour and 45 minutes to clean one bathroom. We could smell nothing but bleach cleaner for the rest of the day, but boy did that bathroom look better by the time we were through with it!

That night we went to visit a less-active member named Tarri Bauer. She LOVES animals, and loves to tell us about her horse. He is pretty much like her child, so we spent an hour looking at horse pictures on her phone and eating pizza. It was a good visit, and she promised to watch President Monson's talk from conference.


We went to give service at a Farmshare distribution. It was a drive-through style food pantry, so our job was to register all the cars. Almost all of them spoke Spanish so it was good practice to go down a HUGE line of cars and get people registered for their food. We were there for 5 hours, and we gave away so much food! Bonus: there was a bunch of left over food so we got a ton of frozen chicken, tomatoes, green beans, and cheesecake!

That afternoon the Elders in our ward had a baptism. I was playing the piano, so we went to help them set everything up. It was a really nice service, for a young woman named Kay Kay. She had to be baptized 4 times because her dress and her hair kept flying up!


Angela received a calling as "door greeter." It was so fun to watch her stand outside and tell EVERYONE (old, young, male, female, missionary, investigator, etc) that she was "givin' out hugs today!" So, everyone got a hug from Angela as they walked inside, it was so cute. 

We saw an awesome miracle at church. One of our ward members brought a friend to church. This friend's name is Judenea. Her and her family arrived from Cuba 1 week ago, so they are brand new! They loved church, and we were able to go teach them yesterday! Judenea, her adorable 8 yr. old daughter, and her two teenage sons all accepted baptism. We are so excited to keep teaching them this week!

That is all for this week! I hope you have a wonderful Easter weekend, and remember that it is truly only through our Savior, Jesus Christ that we can find hope and happiness. I love Him, and I love His gospel!! 

Love, Hermana Monson

April 3, 2017

                     Hermana Monson celebrating 9 months, and Hermana Carling celebrating 1 month!!

Hola everyone!

I hope this email finds you all well. I am doing so great! I loved General Conference this weekend, I am so pumped to keep going hard and spreading the joyful message of this gospel. Also, I was SO excited to find out that there will be a temple in Saratoga Springs!!! I did a miniature freakout in the chapel where we were watching conference, and everyone looked at me weird, but I was so excited! I cannot wait to see it finished and to be able to go inside someday! Yay for the faithful saints back in Saratoga :)!

We were a little worried because we didn't have any more investigators to work with after Angela's baptism, but apparently we had nothing to worry about because on Monday night we went out and found 3 new investigators in the short 3 hours we have to proselyte after P-Day! We were so excited. Total this week we found 6, but unfortunately all of them have dropped off by now, except Jose.

We met Jose while knocking, he is an old man from Cuba, and he is very sweet. He has Alzheimer's, has suffered from 2 strokes recently that have made him blind in one eye and mostly blind in the other, and he has had all of his furniture repossessed so he lives in a pretty much empty little apartment. Yet, he still has so much faith and love for God. That is one of my favorite things about the mission, is getting to see people that are going through such hard things, but they have not lost their faith. I don't think that we will be able to keep teaching him because his Alzheimer's makes it difficult for him to remember previous lessons, and he doesn't have a phone, and he is possibly moving to Orlando, but he is an amazing example of faith. We brought our crazy 72 year old Cuban ward mission leader to one of our lessons this week, and the two of them are practically best friends now, so that was awesome!

Other highlights from the week were that we were able to go help a member in our ward clean her house. She has 4 little kids, and when we showed up her house was nearly unlivable with clothes all over the place, food/drink spills everywhere, and garbage littering the floor. An hour and a half later Sister Carling and I felt pretty accomplished as the house looked a lot better! I love doing that kind of service, plus an extra bonus was that she made us BLTs for lunch, so hey, it doesn't get much better than that! 

Another highlight from the week was on Saturday night after conference we went to visit a recent convert named Maria Medina. She is kind of grumpy old lady at first, but once you get to know her she is the sweetest thing on the planet, and I love her, and also she makes the best flan of all time. We had dinner with her, and afterwards we were just talking. She doesn't usually open up to us very much, but that night she expressed some doubts that she was having about the Prophet Joseph Smith. We listened, and after she had finished speaking I was racking my brain trying so hard to think of what Heavenly Father would have us say. Nothing was coming to mind, so I just decided to bear my testimony. I told her about how I gained my own testimony of the Book of Mormon through study and prayer, and how this helped me to plant the seed of my testimony about the prophet Joseph Smith, which has since grown. Sister Carling also shared her testimony, and the spirit was very strong. By the time we had left, she was feeling much better, and she really appreciated the visit. We will definitely be visiting her more frequently this week to try to help her work through her doubts. 

One of my favorite visits of the whole week was when we went to visit Angela after General Conference. She had been very busy all weekend, so we weren't able to see her until Sunday night after conference. She was so excited to tell us about all of the things that she'd learned. She had taken 6 pages of notes on the first two sessions alone. She raved about how humble the prophet was, and about how beautiful the music was, and how many people there were in the conference center. She also couldn't believe that there are 155 temples around the world, she was so excited. She was also telling us about how she had visited another church for a Women's Conference with her son's girlfriend's mother. She told us "I just didn't feel the same. I never want to go back!" She is doing so well. She also showed her son Carlos a little bit of general conference, and she said he seemed pretty interested. We are going to start teaching him this week and we are so excited! Another awesome thing about Angela is that we took her to visit Sister Robinson, a little black lady from our ward who was also raised Baptist. The two of them hit it off so well, we literally didn't even say anything for the whole lesson. The two of them just talked about God and their "journey to find the truth." Next thing we know, a few days later we get a call from Angela who told us she had just finished taking Sister Robinson (who can't drive due to a recent surgery) to the grocery store, after which she had raked her front yard, and cleaned her house. Angela is so awesome! She loves to serve people, and she told us "I can feel myself changing, ever since you knocked on my door." So cool!

Just a quick thought that I loved from General Conference. The whole conference seemed to themed on focusing ourselves more on Jesus Christ. So many of the talks were about how it is only Jesus Christ that can bring us peace, hope, and happiness in the hard times, but also in the good times. I know that is true. I feel so grateful for Him. One of my favorite talks was about "looking up" to Christ, instead of looking around. Rather than focusing on what other people think, or what the world is doing, as long as we keep our focus pointed on Christ everything will work out! I hope that everyone has a great week!

Love, Hermana Monson