Monday, November 30, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving

Hi There!

H a p p y T h a n k s g i v i n g! I hope everyone had a phenomenal day with family, friends and good food of course. :)
Can you believe that is is December tomorrow? I can't. 

This week was so amazing. I am going to pre-warn you that my writing capabilities are not going to be able to express to you how INCREDIBLE the week actually was. So just bear with me. :)

Toga Tajemstvi:
I'm the worst. I've got none this week! haha!


We were fortunate enough to have 2 Thanksgiving dinners! One Wednesday night with the Idemudia family. There were lotssss of people there and lots of good food. Then on Thursday we spent it with a younger couple, the Emmett's who moved into the ward not too long ago. Their family had eaten earlier in the day so it was just us and them at 5 o'clock. It was a  nice change of pace compared to the night before. :) 
Sister Emmett's mother made the BEST PUMPKIN PIE I have ever eaten in my entire life. Wow. It was prolly the best thing I ate at either meals. ha 

Before we went to dinner on Thursday, Sister Seader and I did our regular studies in the morning, decorated our apartment for Christmas (We have the cutest baby christmas trees!) and then we went to see Albertina, our recent convert who is in a physical therapy rehab center recovering from a broken hip. After dinner with the Emmett's we met the Elders at their home, (yeah they live in a HOUSE. They're spoiled.) and we made our way to Utica for MLC, which we had Friday!

Mission Leadership Council (MLC):

We got into Utica around 9 Thursday night. We got to stay at the mission home with all of the other STL's and ZL's. It was so much fun being there together, talking, playing piano, etc. There was one elder who shattered his ankle playing in a Turkey Bowl. So sad. :( He headed home Friday morning and will hopefully be returning in 3 months or so! It was nearing 10:00 so President and Sister Rogers gathered us all in the family room and we all knelt in prayer together. It was a sweet moment. 

MLC is an all day event. It started at 9:00 and lasted until 3:30. We sit together and discuss certain areas of missionary work and how we can better help the other missionaries see success in their areas. One of the areas we talked about was the Faith to Find, which I will talk about in a moment. MLC was amazing. I loved every second of it! It's neat being with the other leaders of the mission and feeling their energy and desire to serve and server 110%. It is my hope and prayer that when we go on exchanges and such that the other missionaries can feel that from us as well to help them be motivated to keep working hard so that they can see the blessing of putting themselves in a position to be blessed by trusting in what President, the assistants and all of us come up with as a council to focus on in Zone Conferences, Zone Training Meetings, etc. There really is a lot of thought that goes into it. I have a testimony that President Rogers is called of God and is divinely inspired. I am thankful for the privilege I have in working with him and his sweet wife.

Faith to Find:

Sister Seader and I have been studying the Christlike Attribute of Faith in Jesus Christ. Our ponderize verse to go along with that is Ether 12:6:  
And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore,dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.

In MLC we talked about how it is sometimes have faith that Heavenly Father will place in our paths the elect. President talked about an Elder that is serving in a very small town that has only 1 stoplight and a Stewart's gas station, the one that has the really good ice cream that I talked about last week. :) He went on to say that this Elder prays to Heavenly Father to send the elect and prepared to Stewarts to get ice cream so that he and his companion can teach him. ha! Some days it works and others it doesn't, but President emphasized the faith of this Elder in God that he will deliver to them those who are ready to hear the Gospel despite the odds that are against them in that tiny little town. 

Sister Seader and I decided to put our faith to the test. Saturday night we were walking again because we were low on miles. We had a lesson with Melanie (Gator) and her daguhter Mckayla (RC) and then went to try a few potentials that live in the same apartment complex as them, one of the being Kaitlyn (keep that in mind) but we weren't exactly sure which doors were theirs so we decided that we'd try again another time. We quickly walked back to our apartment to grab the GPS so we could find a few other potentials. We grabbed that and then said a prayer. We asked speicifically that God would place in our path someone who was ready to hear the gospel. 

We started walking down Vanderbilt, which the road we walk down a lot to get to Melanie's, the Libby and other LA's homes, etc. We got maybe a half mile down that road and we see a woman walking towards us on the other side. We say hello and start to cross over to talk to her. As we introduce ourselves, who we are, what we are doing she says to us, "This is so crazy/funny that you stopped me because I was just thinking about God and the verse I read this morning in the Bible." We continue talking with her, asked if we could help carry her groceries. Her name is Shannon by the way:) So we are nearing Shannon's home (on Vanderbilt) and we asked if we could come in for 10 minutes or so and share more of our message about the Restoration. She said absolutely! We sit down, get to know her better and she kept going off about how it was no coincidence that we stopped her that night as she was "ponderizing" her scripture from the morning, thinking about God and how she recently decided she wanted to look for a new place to worship. We had an AMAZING discussion and at the end we felt prompted to invite her to church. and she responded with a resounding YES! hahahah She made is get her number and told us she would be there. We told her that we would get a ride for her, blah blah blah. 

Okay, now it gets better. 

We start walking again in the direction that we first were heading when we saw Shannon. We get almost to the end of Vanderbilt when we pause for a moment while we brainstormed of who we could get to pick up Shannon for church. We called a memeber or two, got a few suggestions. We didn't have some of the contact info of who we were told to try so we were going to go to the Libby to get on the LDS tools. Just as we turned to go I see this figure walking towards us. It scared me half to death. I did a little jump and then screamed under my breath. ha ha ha. After I gathered my composure, I contacted this young lady. She took off her head phones and we started to talk. As we introduced ourselves, you will never guess who she was. KAITLYN. The potential that lives near Melanie and Mckayla we had been trying to find that very night. God doesn't do random. It was crazy! We walked back down Vanderbilt with her to her APT and had a quick lesson with her and set up for Monday (tonight). haha! Sister Seader and I were in complete awe. We couldn't believe what had just happened. In a matter of 100 yards or so on Vanderbilt Ave we picked up 2 new Gators one whom we had just so happened to be looking for earlier. 

God's timing is so perfect and so incredible. 

Church was incredible, like ususal. This ward is amazing. 
Shannon came and LOVED it. And get this, She KNOWS Marie Muller, John's Wife! Who just received a calling to be the Young Woman's Secretary. 
Now talk about divine inspiration. Marie is going to become fully active again and she is going to be our number one fellowshipper to Shannon. Shannon told us she will be at church next week and to call her asap to get a time set up to go see her. 
We also had our other investigator Brain there at church too. He had to leave after sacrament, so once we got Shannon situated in Gospel Principles we ran out to our car to grab some things to give to Brian to help him quit smoking so we missed introducing Shannon to the class. Later that day the Elders told us that she stood right up on her own to introduce herself and as she did so she said she was invited to come to church and she was so thankful for the invitation. 

When I heard the Elders say that my heart filled with immense joy because it was a testimony to me that I am fulfilling my purpose as a missionary. 

I have gained such a greater testimony of Faith in the past 74 hours then I have in my entire life. Faith to find, Faith in prayer, Faith to invite. I know that it isn't until after the trial of our faith, that we recieve a witness from God. Trust in Him, Believe in Him! He is there happy and willing to help us in our lives! I know that He lives and He answers prayers. I know that there are miracles to been had and seen on a daily basis. 

"For behold, am God; and am God of miraclesand will show unto the world that am the same yesterday,today, and forever; and work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith."

It is all according to our faith! It is my prayer that you will have experiences this week that will help strengthen your faith in Jesus Christ this week. 

I love you all! Happy holidays! :)

S laskou,
Sestra Fred
The Emmett's. :)


Monday, November 23, 2015

Dobre Rano Vsichni

Dobre Rano Vsichni :)

It's a warm 27 degrees here this morning. Not quite as warm as last week. ha At least the sun is still shining. :)


THE KNAPP. Happy Bleated Birthday my friend. I hope that you had the best day ever. You deserve it.

H a p p i e s t T h a n k s g i v i n g   to everyone in my life. I am grateful for ALL of you. 

Toga Tajemstvi:

---> BJ's is the equivalent to Costco
---> People are CRAZY about the spring water from the state park. I have yet to try it, but it stinks like rotten eggs. Ew.
---> Stewart's like the true Maverik of New York. AND they have their own ice cream. It. Is. AH-MAZING. Seriously, it might even be better then the BYU Creamery. Bold statement, I know. haha 
---> People do what they want here. I have never seen so many people run red lights. 10 seconds after it's turned red. ha ridiculous.


We saw a lot of success this past week. We had the opportunity to take a "Walk Day" (We are low on miles. Always a struggle.) I enjoy walk days. We get to meet and interact with a lot more people. The conversation of someone asking us who we are and what we are doing here never gets old. :)

There is always a million things that I wish I could share with you, but today I want to focus on one experience we had this week that has changed my life and my mission.

There is a family in the ward that Bishop asked us to focus on. The Muller's. The Muller's are a part member family. John and Marie and their 5 kids. I personally have only met Katie (20) and Amy (17). The other three live out of state, one, Sam being in Idaho and she is super active in the church. Currently, John and Marie are separated. Marie is Less-Active along with Katie and Amy and John hasn't been baptized. 
This past week we went over to Johns a couple of times. The first time it was Katie, her daughter Kari and John. The second time Amy was there too and Kari was already asleep so the teaching situation was perfect.

We had on plan to teach the Plan of Salvation. I had some cut outs with me so Sister Seader and I got on the floor and then they all gathered around. As we started teaching the Plan the Spirit immediately filled the room. I can't even begin to describe to you how pure the feeling was that was there as we taught this family Heavenly Father's perfect plan for us to live happy lives here on Earth and then one day return home to Him and His Son Jesus Christ and live together as families for eternity. Amy asked soooo many inspired questions and John asked a couple too. SIDENOTE: John is a bit of a punk. He knows deep down that the Gospel is true and that he needs to get baptized he is just having a hard time setting aside that pride of his. During the lesson I asked him a question or asked if he had any and he says, "No, I'm just listening to your story." hahahahah it was so funny. He got really quiet though during the lesson and Sister Seader and I know that his silence wasn't because he wasn't listening or didn't care. The silence was caused by the Spirit nudging him and teaching him. 

At the end of the lesson we asked if it would be alright if we knelt in prayer together. John said sure, and that he'd say it. Katie's response to that was, "Wow dad, I didn't know that you kneel to pray." Kneeling together with this family was one of the most incredible experiences I have yet had on my mission. It was beautiful. It was perfect. It was heavenly. John asked in his prayer that they will come to better understand The Plan and if it is true and how it will help him. 

John is being prepared and his heart is being softened. It is incredible to see the miracle of conversion through the spirit. We have high hopes for John and his family. I know that one day they will all be dressed in white, in the temple, and be sealed as a family. 


I can't believe that it is thanksgiving again already! Wow! I love this time of year. There is always something to be grateful for. I could go on and on, but I came up with 21 things for my 21 years of life that I am thankful for that I would like to share with all of you. 

1. My family, My Savior and The Gospel of Jesus of Christ (they all tie for first.)
2. My mission.
3. The support of Family and Friends
4. Never having to worry about what my next meal is going to be.
5. All of my senses. Especially the ability to see and hear.
6. The support of Family and Friends
7. The smell of fall and fresh cut grass.
8. A healthy body.
9. Sports.
10. Piano -- thanks Mom and Dad for pushing me to take lessons when I was little! 
11. Nail clippers.
12. Clean water to drink.
13. Blankets and sweat shirts
14. The sunshine
15. Pens and Journals :)
16. P I C T U R E S 
17. Laughter
18. Stars.
19. Hot water -- for showers, clean dishes, and hot coco. :)
20. A Heavenly Father.
21. My life. 

I want to leave you all with my testimony that I know this church is true. I know that through our Savior Jesus Christ, Heavenly Father created this magnificent world for us to live in and enjoy all the good it has to offer. I know that God lives. I know that The Plan of Salvation is a plan of happiness, a plan of peace and a plan of redemption. I am grateful for my Savior who made the ultimate sacrifice for you and me by performing the Atonement. 

What a wonderful knowledge we have!

Take care, eat lots of turkey and remember to give thanks extra good this week! :)

S laskou, 
Sestra Fred

"Happiness is the design of our existence."
Me. Katie. John. Amy. Sister Seader

Monday, November 16, 2015

Saratoga Springs, NY

Ahoj :)

Today is ABSOLUTELY B E A U T I F U L. It is 55 degrees and SUNNY! Sister Seader and I are definitely going to take advantage of it and go for an HOUR RUN (YESSSSSSS) through the State Park that is near our apartment. YAY! Ah we are so excited we can hardly stand it. ha ha. 

Alright, I have some apologizing to do. 

First off, H A P P Y BE-LATED to Jacob Ronald Crowley and Megan Ann Marchbanks! Gosh, I totally forgot to mention that in last weeks email :/ BUT! I did send both of you letters, sooooo I hope that they found their way to you and on time. :) 

Second off, C O N G R A T U L A T I O N S to the NEWLY-WEDS -----> Ashely & Ivan Brooks and Sierra & Taylor Bell!!! I saw a few pics on my feed on FB and you all looked STUNNING! I hope that the day was magical and perfect for both couples. Yay for weddings! Love you and congrats and best wishes for your futures together!!

Alright, nitty gritty time.

Toga Tajemstvi 

---> Saratoga Springs is home to the HORSE RACING. The horse track is basically our backyard. During race season there is about a 70,000+ influx of people. Missionaries say it's insane here during the summa.
---> Broadway Street reminds me of Lanaville street in Ceske Budejovice. There's lots of stores and people. It's awesome. 
---> The Saratoga State Park is just down the road from us and they have naturaly spring water wells all over.  


Sister Seader is AAHHHHHH-MAAZZZINNNNGGGG. She is 20 years old, from Poulsbo, Washington, 3 kids in her family -- 1 older sister who is married, 1 younger -- She LOVES TO RUN. She is a heaven sent. We are bound and determined to get back in shape together. She studied at BYU-I for a year and worked at a ZOO in Virginia before her mission. How cool is that? Everything about her is so tiny, petite and dainty even her mannerisms. During our first comp study together we started to sing the hymn and I swear I could only hear myself and I look up and she is basically whispering. haha! I told her that that was enough of that and she needed to sing louder. She plays the PIANO TOO! We decided that we are going to learn a duet together! We are so excited. It will be sweet. She has been serving here in Saratoga Springs for 4 1/2 months now. Oh and she also LOVES squirrels. Hahahah she gets the biggest kick out of them and the things they do. They are quite funny creatures. 

I loveee love lovee Sister Seader. We have laughed so much together already and we are not even a week into the transfer. I have a feeling the next 5 weeks are going to be some good ones with her.


There is sooo much happening here! I walked into a gold mine. I feel so lucky. We have about 10 solid gators of which I have only met like half of ha but it's awesome. We are staying super busy, which is always a good good thing. The night I got to Toga we had a dinner appointment with the Stokes, a member family, and Bro Stokes had invited a friend over from work. His name is Joshua and he is aboutttt, oh I dunno, 30 ish. He's been going through a rough time lately and has been visiting with Brother Stokes at work about how he just needs and wants more positive influence in his life. Bro Stokes being the AMAZING MEMBER MISSIONARY that he is proceeded to tell him about the Gospel and how he had the perfect people for him to talk to... the missionaries. :) 

We did some HTBT with Josh and let him just tell us about himself and vent about what he's dealing with right now. He is currently separated from his wife who has recently filed for divorce. He has two little girls too who are with the mom so that's been really hard on him. Because of everything going on he has acquired some anxiety and depression and can't find joy in life anymore. He talked a lot about how he can't make sense of things and has a hard time explaining what he is feeling and thinking and how nobody can understand. Oddly enough, I felt I had an instant connection with Josh. I told him a little bit about my life that past year and some of my own struggle with depression and anxiety. I then bore testimony of how there is one person who understands EVERYTHING --- All the why's, why not's, the could have been's, etc.--- who is God, our loving Heavenly Father and that He has a perfect knowledge and perfect plan for us. And that there is another person who also understands everything we feel and go through, which is our Savior Jesus Christ. I shared one my very favorite scriptures with him that I fall back on a lot in my own life. 

Mosiah 4:9. It reads, "Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend." 

I know with all my heart that both Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know a whole lot more then we do. If we can but believe, trust and exercise our faith in Them, then I know that all of our hardships and trials will make sense to us one day, whether it be in this life or the next. 

The lesson went really well and he warmed up to us a lot. We set up again for this Friday at the Stokes' again. Keep Josh in your prayers for us!

Understanding how God works in Mysterious Ways

So, the spiritual experience that I would like to share with ya'll this week actually goes back to our night at the Stokes'
Just as Joshua was getting ready to leave, we were inviting him to read the Book of Mormon and while he does so, pray to find answers to some of the "Why's" in his life right now. 
He started to say how he has so much bearing/weighing him down right now that he just doesn't know if he can add one more thing to his to-do list. Meanwhile, Brother Stokes comes sprinting down the stairs 
and says, "Josh, you may see reading and praying as another burden weighing you down, BUT really those are the things that are going to bear you up and help balance out your life in a way that will help you deal with everything you are going through in a much better and peaceful way."

Brother Stokes is the Man.

It's so true! I have such a strong testimony of Brother Stokes wisdom. And now his wisdom is going to tie in to God's mysterious works....

All the while we were teaching Joshua, he kept repeating the phrase, "God works in mysterious ways." I finished in the Book of Mormon this past week and have since started in the Doctrine and covenants. I was reading in Section 5 on Saturday. In section 5 the Lord is calling Joseph Smith and Martin Harries to repentance particularly because of the loss of the 116 pages. in verses 24 it reads, 

"Behold, I saw unto him, he exalts himself and does not humble himself sufficiently before me; but if he will bow down before me, and humble himself in mighty prayer and faith in the sincerity of his heart, then will I grant unto him a view of the things which he desires to see."

After reading this I kept hearing Joshua in my head, "God works in mysterious ways." Something that I desire is to know and recognize when God is working in mysterious ways in my own life and in our work as missionaries. My question then was, "Well, how am I going to do that?" The verse above answers it perfectly. If we bow down to Him, and humble ourselves in mighty prayer and faith with real intent then Heavenly Father will reveal to us through the Holy Ghost and personal revelelation His mysterious and marvelous works. It's a beautiful thing really. 

I would like to invite all of YOU to ponderize D&C 5:24 and strive to see how Heavenly Father is mysteriously working in your own lives. I'll be expecting reports back next week. :) 

I know that God lives. I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can be cleansed from all sin. I love my Savior Jesus Christ, I love him so much! I know that He loves all of us perfectly and knows exactly how to comfort us when we are down. Turn to Him and see the miracle of the Atonement work in your life. 

Mam Vas Radi Mockrat!!! Thank you so much for all of your support and prayers. I feel them on a daily basis. You all are my heroes! 

Have a fantastic week! :)

S laskou,

Sestra Fred 

I met Ocho's long lost brother LEO this past week. Oh  my goodness I could not stop smiling the 
rest of the evening. Such a tender mercy!! Give the Och a big hug for me! :)