Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 9 11.22.16 - 11.28.16

Hello Family and Friends,

So.... Sister Tu'ivailala will no longer be my trainer/comp.... she is being transfer on Wednesday to Palatka.... and I am getting a new trainer.... Sister Gibb...... mixed emotions of sadness and happiness...... but this will be Sister Gibb's last transfer before she goes home.... so she is ending mission training me.

This week has been slow...... All of our investigators canceled their lessons with us due to either illnesses or family emergencies. But we were able to knock around and find others to teach and set up return appointments for this upcoming week. 

On Monday we had District Pday and just played Knock out at the church, I got second and third place. We all just talked and hung out. We had dinner with some members and they have the cutest most fluffy dog EVER!!! It is a mix of a Golden Retriever and Poodle... weird yes, but SUPER cute!!! It would put its front paws on my lap and I would just snuggle with him!! AHHHH!!!! 

We then had interviews with President Lee. It was really good, He is truly inspired and such an amazing mission President!! We were able to get the Christmas pass along cards and role play.... I went up to Elder Barrott and Elder Coy and shared with them both the message. I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE YALL TO GO TO MORMON.ORG AND WATCH THE VIDEO AND PRINT OUT THE CALENDAR AND ACT UPON IT!!!!!!! 

As a district we went to Buffalo Wild Wings for 50% off wings. We had all three of our investigators cancel our lessons with them this week. Two were due to illness, but we were able to reschedule with them for next week sometime. Bummer, but good. 

The next day I woke up with the worst Migraine of my life!! I have been getting little ones every now and then due to stress of the mission field, but have been able to manage them well. But this one was terrible, so we stayed in that morning and then later went to the new Wendy's with Sister Caton and Sister Harris. We then went to go try a Less-Active we had prayed to visit, and they weren't home so we knocked around to see if they still lived there and ask them who do you know questions and tried to share the Christmas Initiative, but we found little success.... Then right before we were going to leave to an appointment I saw a couple come out to pack their car... I immediately went over and offered to help, they said no, but we were able to talk with them about their Thanksgiving plans and then share the Christmas Initiative and part of the Restoration with them. We scheduled an appointment with them for next week. 

We then went to our appointment with another Less-Active. After wards we went to a follow up appointment and it fell through so we went with Kira Santos, a member who came out with us for the follow up, to her parents the Carver's to help them prepare for the Thanksgiving feast we were having with them and the Chandler's the next day. Sister Tu'ivailala made fudge, and I made English Toffee, Snickerdoodles, and Double Decker Brownies. 

The next day was Thanksgiving!!! We went and played in the Turkey bowl with all of our Elders in our district and a ton of people from our ward. Everyone was impressed that I not only could catch a football but that I could throw a football.... Wellp.... I was trained well, thank you pops!! I got tackled several times and got one interception and a touchdown from it. We then went home and got ready to go to Chandler Oaks for our Thanksgiving feast. We had such a great time!! Delicious food, Gorgeous Barn and Property, got to drive a golf cart and four wheeler. SO MUCH FUN!!!! 

The next day we had a relaxed morning of Weekly Planning in our beds and doing predictions for the upcoming transfers... We thought we would be staying together..... 

We then had to take care of some emergency items at the mission office. We went and helped Sister Patty Hunt and her non member husband Fred Hunt decorate and set up for Christmas. They then fed us delicious soup and shared some amazing stories from their life's. We then went to our apartment for Elder and Sister Fershutt to check and make sure everything was good and clean. Elder Fershutt and I though had to fix one of our rocking chairs. The base was broken so we had to pull the wooden beams back into place and then drill holes for the screws and then screw it all back together. Reminded me of Grandpa Petersen and Pops! They were at our apartment from 7:30-9:30 at night. 

The next day was my 6 week conference training call...AWESOME!!! We took a ton of Christmas photos and today put them into a Christmas Card... Yall will get one soon!! We had two baptisms to attend, one for the YSA Sisters and we gave a spiritual thought. Her name is Catie and she is 28 years old and seriously the sweetest person ever. Right after there was another baptism for the Mandarin 2nd Sisters for a 10 year old girl named Dana. Such an amazing spirit there is at baptisms!! 

We then went to Nicole's house, an 'other' investigator, who is a single mom of 5 and is seriously such a strong woman! Once 8pm here hit I went said a prayer for the Wong's and cried cause I wasn't able to be there... But I am sure it was a beautiful evening and that Emi was a Gorgeous Bride!!! SO EXCITING!!!!!! 

We then watited for 9pm transfer call to happen and ate Oreos and PB while writing in our journals. Then it was our transfer call.... President Lee was naming off the companionships Zone by Zone... He got to JAX South Zone and read Sister Nay will be serving with Sister Tu'ivailala and Sister Rigby will be going home.... I died and cried..... Sister Tu'ivailala was shocked!!! He then went on and finally got to the new Mandarin Zone, my zone was split, and he then said Sister Foster will be second half trained by....pause.... (I was dying for him to say something.... he hadn't paused until now) Sister Gibb, Sister Tu'ivailala will be transferred out... I have no clue who she is, besides that she trained Sister Caton, so I was excited but saddened and kind of mad. That night I went to pray while Sister Tu'ivailala was in the shower. As soon as my knees hit the floor I felt an overwhelmed amount of peace and comfort almost like a hug that everything was going to be good. I felt that Emi and Micheal love me and that my new trainer will be great and what I need at this time in my mission. I love prayers!! 

The next day was Sunday and Sister Tu'ivailala said bye to a lot of people and we had a great dinner with the Astorga Family and went home and Sister Tu'ivailala started to pack... then this morning we dropped off Sister Anderson's trainer Sister Webb at the mission office to go home.

I Love yall so much and miss yall!!

Send me your addresses so I can send out my Christmas card and letter to yall!!

Love,
Sister Foster

Mandarin District!! (Left to right... Elder: Christensen, Britch, Coy, Jheng, Botalla, Masino, Kidd, & Barrott.... Sister: Anderson, Webb, Harris, Caton, Tu'ivailala, & Foster)

Chandler Oaks Barn... aka our Thanksgiving place

Me four wheeling in a dress

Me on a swing

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree Pic

Me and Sister Anderson today!!

Our last Sunday together....

A video around the property and a video of the barn...

video


video

Monday, November 21, 2016

Week 8 11.15.16 - 11.21.16

Hello Family and Friends, 

Let me start by saying a mission is a roller coaster ride of emotions... this week was exactly that! Two things pulled me through this week... 1) I got an amazing blessing from my District Leader Elder Botalla. Which was a miracle/answer to my prayers that he showed up at the church when he did. We were having comp inventory, the time when we talk about our issues as a companionship etc, and I kept telling myself I needed a blessing and that I could just wait till interviews next week and get one from President Lee. But I broke down and Sister Tu'ivailala went into the other room where the APs and DL were waiting for a gator for a baptism interview. And all 4 walk in. Elder Coy, an AP, said a prayer. Then I asked Elder Botalla if he could give me the blessing. And just WOW!!! I recommend to anyone who feels lost or just down to take advantage of the amazing worth priesthood holders around you! 2) Was my constant reading of my Patriarchal Blessing. Things happened this week that just made me feel lost about my future and hurt and sad, but reading that blessing every day honestly helped a ton remembering whose I am and the grand things he has in store for me and my life. I highly recommend Everyone to get a Patriarchal Blessing. It truly is a blessing from Heavenly Father himself. It is your own personal scriptures and from the words of President Monson, "it is your personal Liahona"

As far as what happened this week... We helped Lorraine (non member) who just got home from the hospital, clean her house. She is such a sweet lady and is so weak, but every time we go over and help she prays for us rather than herself. She is amazing! 

We then had a lesson with Sharon (investigator) whose house is already decorated for Christmas! We taught her from the Introduction to the BoM and she kept asking us questions about where it talks about it in the Bible. We then had dinner with our Golden Members, the Hays couple, they are both RMs and just moved here. 

We then had District Meeting which was honestly AMAZING! We had two great trainings on King Josiah and Faith. We had a great dinner at the Matzke's (Less-Actives) home and then had a lesson at the church building with Lisa (investigator) and Sister Thomas (member). We taught her the Plan of Salvation and she cried. She is AMAZING! I honestly love her so much!! We set a Baptism Date with her for January 21st!! The Spirit So Strong in that room!!! Crazy thing is her niece who lives in Missouri was baptized into the church a few days after our first lesson with Lisa. Lisa even said, "Coincidence? I think not!" 

Then on Thursday morning we had to take Sister Caton to the mission office. We then had to pick up Sister Anderson and Sister Gilbert. We all went to FarmShare and then went to the Mandarin 2nd Ward Sisters apartment for training. Sister Tu'ivailala loved it, she was our Mother Goose, cause the rest of us are all in training. We had a lesson with Jessica (investigator) who has a cute little girl who is 4 and brought Sister Santos (member) who just got sealed to her husband. Every time we go over there her cat comes and curls up on my lap, so cute, even though I really don't like cats... We taught her the Plan of Salvation and it was amazing! We set a baptism date with her for December 31st!! So EXCITED!!!! 

On Friday we went to the mission office to finish some of my online training. It was much needed, even though we had amazing lessons, I have been breaking down on the inside and have cried every night in prayer to God to help me feel and think better about myself. That night is the night we had companion inventory and I got a blessing from Elder Botalla. Just Wow! Half the things he said was exactly from my Patriarchal Blessing and everything was what I needed to hear!! 

Then Saturday we tried to visit Less-Actives in our area book. And found a New Investigator!!!!! Her name is Sheena... we had a quick lesson with her at the door and set up a return appointment. We then went to a baptism for a 10 year old boy named Aaron. He's the APs investigator and is so cute and really awesome! 

Then the STL's took Sister Tu'ivailala and I out to ice cream at my favorite place here. Sunday was disappointing... Neither Lisa or Jessica came to church.... that is probably the one thing that I don't like the most about missionary work... this work is based on others agency to accept and commit... But I still love everyone we talk to here!!!! Oh man the FJM is truly Great!!!!!

Pre-Congrats to Mr. and Mrs. Wong!!

Pre-Happy Thanksgiving Y'all!! Sister Tu'ivailala and I are going to dinner with a family in our ward. We are going to their family barn!!! It is called Chandler Oaks... look it up on FB... it is gorgeous!!

Love,
Sister Foster
 
 
Sister Tu'ivailala and I waiting for our car tires to be fixed...




 
Left to Right... Sister Anderson (Mandarin YSA also was in my MTC District) Sister Gilbert (Arlington area) Sister Harris (Mandarin 2nd area) Sister Tu'ivailala (my trainer) and Me!!




 
Look at this door mat!! Hahahahahaha
A random video of Sister Tu'ivailala and I checking out this church you can't see from the road... 
video

Monday, November 14, 2016

Week 7 11.8.16 - 11.14.16

Hello Family and Friends, 

Y'all need to read the talk by Elder Oaks from this past conference!!! It is AMAZING!!!!

This week has been Blessing after Blessing!!! I had so many things happen that just reminded me of home and realize that it isn't as far away as I feel it is at times. It started with us being asked to help teach Activity Days!! Oh man it was a blast from the past! Before the mission I would sometimes help Aunt HeHe with her girls, and it just brought back memories and just made me happy. Some of the girls asked really hard, but great questions. 

TRUMP WON!?!?! 

We then visited with Less-Actives and some gators lessons fell through, but we went to visit one of our ward missionaries who is awesome... she always has me fold her laundry. She then went with us to visit a potential gator... who is really not interested, and just wants friends and our spirit in her home. 

We then had a gator cancel her lesson with us, cause she was a depressed Democrat and didn't want company. One of our members, who reminds me of Grandma, fed us a delicious lunch and we got to visit with her about the temple and the sealing to spouses and the strength and peace we are able to find at the temple. She went to the temple this weekend and got sealed to her husband who had passed away last year. It was really nice to talk to someone about my love for the temple after working there and the peace it brought to me before my mission and how much I can not wait to go back. 

We went and taught a guy we knocked into, he is gay and a very 'spiritual' person, that is what he told us... walking away from the lesson with him Sister Tu'ivailala and I did not feel good, so we got into the car and we just felt off.... it was not good. 

Later that day though was AMAZING!! We had a member present lesson and it was Grand!! We taught her the Restoration and the BoM Introduction she loved it! She is a middle school math teacher and has a 4 year old daughter who reminds me of Owen with her sweet personality and one who loves to tell you everything they have learned and just littles things she would do. But what made my night was that she accepted our invite to baptism and we set a date for December 10th!!!! I WAS ON CLOUD NINE!!!!! AHHHH!!! (I am smiling Ear to Ear right now as I am typing!!!!) 

We then had our Mission Tour with Elder Gaverret from the 70!!! AMAZING, just AMAZING!!!!!!!! I learned sooo much from not only him, but we had trainings from our AP's Elder Coy and Elder Britch. Then Sister Lee and President Lee. Oh man how I LOVE them!!! The AP's talked about the new Christmas Initiative for the church this year... Be on the Look out for an amazing video that will impact you!! Then Sister Lee talked about Hearing the voice of the Lord. President Lee talked about the Game Changers and the PEARLS of PMG. But my highlight from mission tour was that Sister Lee asked me to use her fancy Cannon camera to take pictures of everyone at lunch and the activities. It helped me so much!! I have been having a hard time being outgoing and myself here, and while taking pictures it helped me a ton to be myself and just felt amazing!! It comforted me a bunch!!! 

We then had breakfast for dinner at our Ward Mission Leaders home with the Elders. The next day I was in charge... Sister Tu'ivailala told me I am in charge now and the one to make the decision this week. So we took our area and started contacting and set up an appointment with a former gator. That night we were invited to the High Priest Group social... so good! This reminded me of my home ward... for some reason I feel in great company among old people more than people my own age... GREAT WEEK!!!


Love your missionary,
                     Sister Foster

PS ❤I LOVE GETTING MAIL!!! ❤

 JAK East Zone

DOUG THE LIZARD

 ME!!! 😁

 When Sister Tu'ivailala and I realized that we had taken No pictures all week...

Tour of our Apartment...
video

Monday, November 7, 2016

Week 6 11.1.16 - 11.7.16

Hello Family and Friends,

This week has been good, but at the same time hard... I love it here and everyone I have met. I LOVE sharing the gospel and the joy it brings in my life as I share it. Each time I tell someone about one of our gators or an experience we had, I can't help but smile and get so excited!

But then there are the times when I am not sharing it and I get down and miss the family and just wonder why I am here. I could be home watching the Carter kids grow up, seeing the Howells new addition, celebrate the Wong's big day, and just be home with y'all everyday... this week I realized something in my studies and in our meetings and through those around me.

The Lord uses the weak and simple... he makes all weak things become strong... we are put in the refiners fire to become stronger... I know this is so immensely true!! I have been able to lean on my testimony of Christ and his Atonement and the personal relationship I have developed with him everyday to help me remember that I have weaknesses and may not know everything, but through him I will be able to do all he wants/needs me to do. I will become a strong teacher in the gospel through him. I will know why I needed to come here and who I need to touch through him. I will know what to say and when to say it, or maybe I won't need to say anything and just listen or smile, through him. I will be able to be comforted that my family will be okay and proud of me through him.

We were able to have a early night for Halloween and had a little much needed break. President Lee, my mission president, told us all we had to be in our apartments by 7pm. We made a haunted ginger bread house, role played, and then watching Gods Army with ice cream. We did some service for a less active, Sister Ray. She gave us some cute clothes! Wednesday was my comp/trainer's 11 month mark, so we celebrated at Chick-Fila. 


The next day one of my favorite families surprised us and took us to UNLIMITED SUSHI!!! Oooohhh Y'all it was Glorious!! I out ate everyone... of course... haha... we then went to their house for a spiritual thought, and they made us homemade donuts with their fancy machine. It was so good!!! We then had trade offs with the STL's.... MIRACLES were seen!!! I had a break down though when she asked me when I was first converted to the gospel... not sure why, but that was the breaking point for my week and all the emotions I have bottled up the past month of being on my mission... but while on trade offs I was able to open my mouth and every time with out fail words just flowed out and I was able to know that the people I testified to felt the spirit as strongly as I did... it was powerful!! We traded back the next day and Sister Tu'ivailala and one of the STLs found us two new investigators. Our next week is going to be GRAND! We have tons of appointments and members coming out with us. We are also being fed EVERYDAY!! 

We then went to go invite our gator, Lis Toms, to the family baptism we had that night and she was laying on her garage floor and getting a tattoo... and here we two 'church girls' come walking up and asked her to come to the baptism... she said yes and that she would love to... unfortunately she didn't show up, I took it pretty hard, but Sister Tu'ivailala is great at helping me out with it. That night we had the opportunity to witness the Mendez family get baptized! President and Sister Lee were there... man I love them so much!!! I was able to talk to an Elder I came out with who is from Chico, CA. The next day we had church and saw the Mendez family get confirmed and Brother Mendez got the Priesthood. And gospel principles was AMAZING Brother and Sister Kenny are converts to the church, and have such an amazing story and are so strong in the church, I love them. Today we went to Cracker Barrel for lunch with the YSA Sisters and ran into some members who invited us to sit with them and they paid for our lunch!!! They have such an amazing story of joining the church 50 years ago a few days after they were married and then driving from Georgia to Mesa, AZ the next year to be sealed!

That has been my week...I know that I am here so that other families can be together forever.

Much Love!!!

Sister Foster



Jak's East Zone!!

Sister Tu'ivailala and I... being us!!

Representing both my AMAZING aunts!

the donut machine

Please remember no matter who our next president is we still have a 'WHALE' of a country!

Me, Myself, and I.... cause I know how much Barb loves my terrible selfies.... and how much Jermey loves to laugh at my terrible selfies!! Haha