Monday, September 28, 2015

I KNOW now WHY I am here in NY

Hello and Good Morning to All!

I am a little short on time today, but I have SO MUCH that I need and want to tell ya'll about my super spiritual week. So let's get to it!

Utica's Uniques:

---> We use the paper cups for the sacrament water. hehe takes me back to the olden days of the 5th ward.
---> the "Maverik" gas station of New York is called "Nice 'n Easy"
---> Squirrels run around here like cats... and well, with the cats. ha!
---> the weather has been soooo nice lately. 70's and gorgeousssss.
---> Had my first taste of NY pizza! YUM. Gave the owner a pass along card after. haha 
---> I have had more member meals in the past 3 weeks then I did for the 4 months I was in Czech.. haah umm... we are spoiled here.
---> I have YET to wear the SAME outfit twice. I'd say that's pretty impressive considering the size of my wardrobe. Go me.

Alright first off, I have some BE-LATED birthday wishes to send out! Gma Woman! Happiest day to you on the 12th... I think it was! and Grandpa Don up in Heaven deserves a shout out too. His was last monday on the 21st. <3 Happy birthday to the two of you! :)

Nate the Great is doing well. He is progressing, but we are only able to meet with him once a week due to busy work schedule, kids, and his divorce business that he is going through. We haven't gotten him back to church since my first Sunday here... but we will. It's hard when he has the kids because he doesn't want to do anything to jepordize him and having his wife get full custody, and religion can sometimes make that situation messy. He's great though. We always have really good lessons with him. He's a thinker, so it makes me have to think even more then I already do in lessons. Sometimes I leave and I have a gospel headache! hah! It's a good thing though. ;)

ALIEANNA. I think I have mentioned her.... but if not I'll give a quick summary. She is 16 years old has a twin named Ayanna. They are friends with Sheaquanna who is 17 and a recent convert. Sister Thao and her previous companions picked Alieanna up via TRACTING just before I arrived. I'm tellin ya, tracting works in these parts. Although, we have yet to do it since I've been here... No complaints on my end. ha. Anyway! We have been meeting quite a bit with Alieanna the past 3 weeks. Her twin and her little sister Olivia (5) almost always sit in on the lessons too. Just before I got here, the sisters put ALIEANNA on date, but then she prayed about it and it just didn't feel right. So when I came in and had a few lessons with her and got to know her better I kept telling sister Thao we needed to get her on date. Soooo finalllyyyyyy we put her back on date for the 14th of November this past week. I believe it was on.... Tuesday or Wednesay. When we invited her to be baptized again, she said yes, but she was kind of hesitant, so we asked her what her concerns were. Her biggest one was that she'll mess up after she is baptized. We silenced that concern real quick with short powerful testimony on the Atonement and she felt a little more at ease. THEN!!!!! We go to have a lesson with her on Saturday and as we are getting ready to say the prayer I hear her start to say that she wasn't going to be able to come to Church. UGH. I was a little bugged not going to lie. Ha then she got interrupted by Olivia blah blah blah then she started her sentence again, but it had nothing to do with church... She says to us, " I have made my final decision and I know for sure I want to be baptized." WHHHHAAAATTTTTT!!! Pretty sure my heart jumped right out of my chest. ha! We asked her how she came to her final decision and she said that she approached both her mom and dad and told them that she wanted to be baptized and that she wanted their support. They both said yes and that they would be there on her baptism day. (wow!) Then she prayed a lot and she just felt that it was the right thing to do. She ended up coming to the Women's Conference broadcast we had at the church Saturday night and it was great. 

The church is true everyone.

It was the second greatest moment of my mission thus far in Utica, New York.... 

The first greatest moment was the day I knocked on Daniela Sykora's door. 

A week ago Sunday, a member approached me and told me that we had a Less Active sister in our ward who was from Czech. 

Let me repeat that again.


Sister Thao and I tried contacting her with the information that Brother Malczyk had given us, but we were able to get through. We had lunch on Wednesday with Sister Malczyk and told her and she said well, she just lives right down the road, why don't you go try seeing her when you leave. Sooooo we did! There were 3 doors in the apartment so we were quite sure which one was hers... but don't worry we eventually found her. She asked who it was from the other side of the door. We told her it was the sisters and I heard her say under her breath.. "ohh.... uhmm.." and I thought to myself, no way am I letting this woman get away from me! So I threw out a "Dobry Den" and I could hear excitement enter her voice. She told us to hold on and she'd be right back. Eventually she let us it, and it was the happiest meeting of my entire life. I gave her a big fat hug and I honestly felt like I was hugging an old friend that I had known all my life. We had a good 10 minute conversation with her (mostly me because we spoke a lot of Czech.. poor sister Thao) hahah but it was just wonderful. She has some medical problems that keep her from going to church, but she's pretty strong in the faith. We tried getting her to come to the General Women's conference and church, which she was planning on going, but things came up. of course. But that's okay! I KNOW with ALL of my heart she is one of the biggest reasons I am here. And you better believe that I am going to tell her that when we see her this week. I want to see her active by the time I leave, and I know that we can do it! She is so great. Gah. I love her. She said she is going to make us Halusky a slovakia dish. I guess technically she is from Slovakia... but she is fluently in both and has a lot of family from Czech. Wow. I couldn't stop smiling the rest of the day. 

Sister Geatano ( a member ) also has a friend that lives in Czech! She owns her own restaurant called "The Tavern" in Praha. Taylor, Brenton, Carly you ever eaten there? She gave me her information and wants me to go see her when I get over there!
So much Czech excitement here in Utica, I can hardly stand it! :)

We were on the hunt for a potential of ours, Vanessa. We have been trying to get in touch with her for the past two weeks, but have had bad timing. We had this awkward moment where we were getting out of the car and saw that Vanessa walking down to her neighbors... So we were going to go hide behind this truck and then there was this boy on the porch where we were going to hide and then this woman, prolly in her 30's came out. haha soooo we approached her to make it seem less awkward and I know that the spirit was guiding us in this one. We introduced ourselves and started explaining what we do. This woman's name is Randi Jackson. As we get done with our schpeel, and she tells us a little bit about herself, I felt impressed to ask for a return appointment. She replied with, "Actually, yes. I have been praying lately that someone or something would walk into my life, because I know I need God back in my life, but I've been searching for a different religion." HA HA HA HA. Uhmmmm H E L L O. It's always a good day when you get a response like that. :)

I have to get going, but ah it was such a great week! The leaves are starting to change colors and the temperature is starting to cool off.. hopefully the fall weather will linger longer this year.. I do not want to be here when winter hits. I have heard too many horror stories. haha I am doing so well. I really can't complain. I want to bear testimony to all of you that I know that God is in EVERY detail of our lives. I can express to you fully how much love I have felt from Him this past week with all the different experiences I have had. He knows what we need, when we need it. Sometimes we just need to be a little more patient, a little more humble. I would like to invite all of you to strive to see Him in the details of your own lives this week. 

I love you all so much. Thank you thank you thank you for your emails and prayers!!!

Until next week! 

Laska Vzdy,
Sestra Fred
This is our district. It is HUGE! and we are the only sisters... poor us. haha We had District Activity 
last monday at one of the members homes. Football, Volleyball, Apple smashing with a bat (yes I did that)
and some Barbecuing. It was a lot of fun!

Monday, September 21, 2015

FALL is in the Air

Good morning Family and Friends :)

This week was JAMMED pack with a lot of good stuff. 

Utica's Uniques:

---> I had my first door SLAMMED in my face this past week.
---> I also got flipped off by a less-actives daughter. haha it was so sad.
---> Saw my first drug deal.
---> Sleep over with the Fayette sisters. They came in to Utica for Return and Report Friday.
---> There are pizzerias on EVERY CORNER here. It's a ridiculous. 
---> Had my first authentic Utica New York dish: Chicken Riggies.
---> President Rogers' phrase: "You know what I'm sayin??" hahah I love it. 

We had a really busy week! We taught A LOT and met almost all of our goals (key indicators) and we were out two days out of the week because of Zone Conference and Return and Report. Zone Conference was incredible. I left with so much enthusiasm and "go gett'em" emotion. President Rogers' focus was on the Doctrine of Christ as well as the 42 points of the 4 lessons we teach to investigators. We spent an entire hour talking about the Doctrine of Christ, which is found in 2 Nephi 31 and 3 Nephi 11. President pointed out to us that there are VERY FEW places in the scriptures where The Father is actually speaking to us. It is usually the Lord, meaning Jesus Christ. Throughout all of 2 Nephi 31 you find, "And the Father said:" Really and truly is is the Father's Doctrine, and Jesus Christ submitted to His Father's will making it His very own, which all of us can do as well. President Rogers' goal for his missionaries is for each of us to have the Doctrine of Christ or the Father embedded in our hearts. He then brought to our attention that it is only when the Doctrine of Christ is truly understood when true repentance and conversion happens. It was a powerful hour discussing those chapters. We could have gone on for a lot longer I'm sure. Ifffff only. :) 

As for the 42 points. Before I arrived, as well as President Rogers, this mission was teaching strictly by the pamphlets. President Rogers vision for the mission is to be able to teach MORE with the spirit and to teach from Preach My Gospel more. There are 42 points that make up the 5 lessons in PMG. He has challenged all of us to memorize them and use those as a guide in our lessons. I went on an exchange Wednesday night to Thursday night with Sister Wheelock. (I forgot to bring my SD card with the pics from the exchange so I'll have to send those next week!) Sister Wheelock and I had an aahhhhhh-mazing exchange together. We got to see SO many MIRACLES. One of the miracles was Anna. Each week Sister Wheelock and her comp Sister Dahl go volunteer at a Food Pantry usually on Thursdays. So I had the opportunity to go. Anna is a nutritionist and works through Cornell University. She goes around to different Food Pantries and rest homes and does little presentations on nutrition and MyPlate and such. We started visiting with her and saw my name tag. She continued to say, I've seen you guys around, the boys ones, but I've never seen anyone have a tag like yours. ha ha I giggled and jumped at the opportunity to explain. She started asking questions about whether we get to choose where we serve and stuff like that blah blah blah. It was cool. Then I ask her if the Elders that she had seen had ever taught her anything about what we believe. She said they hadn't and so I saw it as an opportunity to go ahead and teach her the Restoration. When I offered to do this, she replied rather excitedly, "Really?! You could do that now?!" Why of course we could. hahaha There we sat in the food pantry teaching this sweet Anna the Restoration PURELY off of the memorization of the 8 points of the lesson. Words just came to me as well as Sister Wheelock and when it came time to recite the first vision Sister Wheelock NAILED IT. The spirit was soooo strong. While she was reciting the first vision I got the chills real good. Ah. When we finished I offered her a Book Of Mormon and she took it gladly. :) (My first BofM I have EVER given out!!!!)
Anna is our Food Pantry miracle! That whole experience was a testimony builder for me in the sense that what is taught to us at Zone Conference is INSPIRED and that we must have faith in what we are trained on to exercise it in our work. Sister Thao and I have been working hard at getting those 42 points down. We should have em locked in the vault here in no time. :)

RETURN AND REPORT: This meeting is typically for "greenies" or as President Rogers calls them "goldens" who are in their first transfer. Techinicallyyy I'm not a "golden greenie" but President said we could come join anyway. I'm so gald we got too. hehe it was fun. I love being around a lot of missionaries. They just make me happy. There was an Elder there that was training.. his name escapes me at the moment, but we got talking and he was asking about Czech and stuff like that. We were getting ready to go into the chapel for testimonies and he said to me, get up there and bear your testimony in Czech! I actually did do that on Wednesday at Zone Conference, so i told him I didn't want to be annoying and do it again, but that I would just do it for him right there before we went into the chapel. I was surprised at how easily the words came to me as I bore my testimony to him in Czech. When I said Amen, the Elder said, "wow. That was so cool and the spirit was SO strong." Then he turns to Sister Thao and says, "You've got the COOLEST COMP!!!!" Hahaha he made my day. It felt so good to bear my testimony, especially in Czech. I really miss speaking it. I know that Heavenly Father is continuing to bless me with the Gift of Tongues. One of my goals is to finish the Bood of Mormon in Czech before I go back to Czech and I finished Alma this past week! Woot woot. I am in Helaman 5 now... So I should be able accomplish that goal before I make my return back to the Czech lands. :) 

AMY AND JACKSON GRAVES: These two are some of my favoriteeee people in the ward. They work with the YSA here. Amy teaches with us a lot. Gah. She is THE best. We will definitely be friends after the mish. They took us to get Indian food! YUM! They also spoke in church yesterday and did a fabulous job. Jackson is going to school here at Hamilton College and will be done after this semester. It will be a sad day when they leave. :(

OH! Mom! Dad! Did I mention that Sister Thao is from OROVILLE!!!! Hahahah I thought that you two would enjoy that. :) Also, how did the surprise trip go????! Tell MEGAN SHE NEEDS TO EMAIL ME.

I love all of you so much! I want you all to know that I can FEEL your prayers every single day. I have felt them soo so much and they give me so much strength. Keep praying for me. I need them! 

I want to leave with you some of the verses that stood out to me in 2 Nephi 31. 

  11  And the Father said: Repent ye, repent ye, and be baptized in the name of my Beloved Son. 
  12  And also, the voice of the Son came unto me, saying: He that is baptized in my name, to him will the Father   givethe Holy Ghost, like unto me; wherefore,   follow  me, and do the things which ye have seen me do. 
 13 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, I know that if ye shallfollow the Son, with full purpose of heart, acting nohypocrisy and no deception before God, but with realintent, repenting of your sins, witnessing unto the Father that ye are willing to take upon you the name of Christ, bybaptism—yea, by following your Lord and your Savior down into the water, according to his word, behold, then shall ye receive the Holy Ghost; yea, then cometh thebaptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost; and then can ye speak with the tongue of angels, and shout praises unto the Holy One of Israel.
 20 Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastnessin Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a loveof God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
 21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is theway; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.
I know that this is the Fathers Doctrine. I know that if we follow it, there will only be happiness in store for us! In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

S laskou,
Sestra Fred :)
This is sister Furihman. She feeds us breakfast and lets us do her laundry at her home on Monday's. 
AND! She LOVES Tea!!! AHHHH it takes me back to Czech and I love it. Her and I are officially Tea buds. :)

Monday, September 14, 2015


Drahy Rodiny a Kamaradi,

Holy Konoli. It has only been SIX days and sooooooo much as already happened. I hope that my fingers can type quick enough so I can get everything said that I want because the Elders are chomping at the bit to get in here and use the computers to email. hehe. 

Fun Facts:

Our tub is green and only the hot water works in our bathroom sink.
I get ready in our room on the floor sitting indian style listening to my music. It's great.
I have gotten to run everyday!!!!!! I love running. 
we have had NO FOOD. I have been living off of dry cereal (mini wheats) and baby bagels. I can't wait to go shopping today.
We have a recent convert her name is Sheaquanna. She is 18 years old and HILARIOUS. She is going to teach me all the New York lingo. haha!
and she loves MAN BUNS. She prayed for all the man buns out there to be converted. bahahahah. 

First, Do you like my subject title for the email?? Hahah I'm pretty much counting this mission of mine as a two year one... and if that's the case then I hit my 13 month mark yesterday. YAY! (happy dance)

Okay now let's begin with my companion. 

Her parents are from Laos. There are 8 kids in her family including her. She falls in line at number FOUR. wowwzaa. She got a big Laos family. Hahah they sound great though. Her mom has been a stay at home momma and her dad is a welder. COOL! She measures up to a rather exquisite size of 4'11. She is TINY. I honestly feel like big foot around her. HAHAHAH. But it's great. The office sister, Sister Wiggins. She is a doll. She reminds me a lot of Sister Munro <3 but yes anyway, Sister Wiggins nicknamed us the 7 11 companionship. because I am 5'7 and Sister Thao is 4'11. Soooo clever Sister wiggins. haha it was actually pretty funny when she came up with it. So yeah, Sister Thao is fantastic. She has been out for 11 months now and is so good at what she does. What I love most about her is she IS SO GRATEFUL ALWAYS. In our prayers that is the first thing she starts out with every time without fail. She has already taught me that I need to be more grateful in every aspect of my life. 
I feel that Sister Thao is a huge answer to my prayers and she is exactly what I needed coming back and relearning how to be a missionary (even though we all know I never really left missionary mode) ha ha. We are both super excited to work together and see where the next transfer and a half takes us. Chances are she will be the only companion I have here while I am in New York. 

Our area is about 10 minutes south of Utica. Utica has a population of about 66,000 ish and New Hartford prolly has...... ehhhhh 20-30,000 or so. It's prolly similar to springville, but definitely smaller. They don't have much in the town... They don't even have like normal lights here. They have a single signal light that has four sides to it and it hangs on a string. hahah! what the? I feel like I'm living in the 60's era or whatever era that was. No, but the town is super cute! It reminds me soo much of the town BLUEBELL in the show HART OF DIXIE. heheh all the little dentist and doctors offices are in little houses likes Zoe's on that show. I love it. When I thought of New York I only thought of city... But Utica is DEF not city. It actually reminds me A LOT of North Carolina. A LOT. So that's kind of fun. I've been reminiscing on that summer quite a bit the past week. 

We have TWO right now! Alieanna and Nate. Alieanna is a 16 year old african american girl and she is so great. They had just recently started working with her before I got here, so we are still in the beginning stages with her, which are some of my favorite. Same with NATE THE GREAT. (He totally nicknamed himself that yesterday after our lesson we had after church. I told him he was great and he came back with, "yeah, I am great. Nate the great.") bahahahahahahahahahah. He's a stud. So, Nate the great is a single father of 3 girls. 9, 7, and 5. They actually found him TRACTING! How bout that? They had only had a few lessons with him before I came. We met with him this past.... Friday I think it was and we invited him to church. He came! Whoop whoop.He justttt missed the sacrament, but he was there for all 3 hours and then we had a lesson with him after church. He was 100% prepared and one of God's elect, but man is he going to be a tough nut to crack. He has a whole load of good questions, but he just keeps confusing himself with them.  Our lesson with him that day was supperrrr spiritual. We really wanted to get him on date for baptism and has discussed that if we felt prompted by the spirit to ask him to do it. Boy did I feel prompted. It was like the spirit was surging through me to just spit it out and ask him. So I did! I thought for sure that there was no way that he would say no! But he did. hahahaha it was a debbie downer for me for sure. His response was, well why do I need to be baptized again when I already have been twice. He's all hung up on the priesthood and why we have to have the authority from God... we have tried pounding it into his head as simply as we can, but it just isn't working. At the conclusion of our lesson on Sunday we invited him to pray to have a better understanding of the priesthood and why it is important. We have high hopes for Nate the Great. We know that he'll get in those waters. I think him saying no to me was a good reminder that all of this is a process. 

We are focusing on Less Actives, Formers and Potentials. So all day everyday we go around trying to find them and while we do we keep our eyes peeled for any others that we might feel prompted to speak with. Yesterday we were taking a book to a Homebound Less Active and on our way to her house I saw this mom with some kids walking. I didn't know where she was going at the time, but as we were getting ready to leave sister Hungerford's home I saw that the mom I had seen actually lived right across the street. I turned to sister Thao and I said I feel like we should go knock on her door. So we did! After talking with her for a bit, she mentioned that she had been wanting to get back to church (prepared). We asked if we could come back and talk a bit more with her about what we believe and she said absolutely. We have a return appointment with her for tomorrow. Pray for her! Her name is Vanessa:)

Okay, our apartment is so cute. and BIG. Holy tolido. We have an ENTIRE room for studying. That is super weird to me. The first night there we went to do planning at 9 and I knelt down at the coffee table like sister Smith and I used to do, and Sister Thao was like, uhmmm what are you doing? We do that in our study room. Hahaha it was pretty funny.

I am truly SO happy. It honestly feels like I never even left. This mission is sooooooo different from Czech, but the work is all the same. I am just so grateful that I get to be a part of it again. I finally feel like I am EXACTLY where I am supposed to be. I've had a few moments where it's been hard, but I look at my CTR ring and remember all that Heavenly Father did for me while I was home, how hard I worked to get back out here and my support system (all of YOU) back home and those overwhelming feelings go away. I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live. They are my greatest friends. 

Until next week! :)

S laskou, 
Sestra Fred

Elder Chase and I just before our flight to utica. That was the crazy day. Staying in the hotel room by myself was kind fun though. haha 
Elder Chase and I are the best of friends after spending more than 24 hours together in an airport. He was a blessing! Glad I didn't have to do it alone.

​Saw this in the Chicago Airport and thought of Eli Rios.

Sister Nowak and us. 

​Our front door. Isn't it cute??