Tuesday, January 28, 2014

THE TEMPLE WAS AMAZING!!!!!!!


 I want to live there. Straight up. So, Sister Nelson and I had the opportunity to go with a less active, Sister Sloat, who we've been working with a lot. Her goal recently had been to get back to the temple. The last time she went was in 1995. We were so excited for her! The Lord helped her with her smoking addiction, and when she was interviewed by Bishop Stone and found worthy to get her temple recommend we were SO HAPPY for her. It was incredible. I love her so much. We waited a whole 2 weeks in agony, from the day we found out we could go, until Thursday morning! It was the longest 2 weeks of our lives. For real. But it was worth the wait!!! The minute we pulled in, I was overcome with so the spirit so much, I kept thinking to myself, "are we really at the temple right now?" The session was amazing and I was bawling like a baby the whole time. Of course, would you expect anything less? IT'S THE TEMPLE. The the celestial room.. Words literally cannot describe how peaceful and beautiful it was. I never wanted to leave. I think I used the entire box of Kleenex in there. I was hysterically sobbing. I was just SO happy. Never in my entire life have I felt the spirit so strongly than that day. Never. The whole thing was surreal. And seeing the smile on Sister Sloats face while we were there, I wouldn't trade for anything in the world. She was grinning ear to ear. I'm so grateful that we were able to share that special moment with her. In that moment, I KNEW without a single doubt in my mind, that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer and loves me so much. That he suffered on the cross and in the Garden of Gethsemane so that I can return to live with him and Heavenly Father someday. I am extremely grateful for the wonderful opportunity that Sister Nelson and I had to go to the temple together with Sister Sloat. It was an experience that I will never ever forget.
 
Sister Sloat and I after the temple! LOVE HER. 

All 3 of us at the temple! :)

 

Next item of business. OUR BAPTISMSSSSSS. Waddup. Morgan, Grant, Joan and Anna were all baptized this weekend and they were wonderful! Especially Joan's. I really felt a strong connection with her. Joan is the 77 year old woman who has full custody of her great-grandson who is 7 months old. She has had SUCH a hard life, but I don't think she's ever doubted our church. The first time she came to church, she said "I've made my decision, this is the church I want to join. There's just such a good feeling about you people." She's so amazing. She has so much faith, I look up to her. When she was baptized, again, Sister Nelson and I were hysterical. Literally. We were both bawling so hard and hugging each other while she was getting baptized! Afterwards, she had a big smile on her face and said "I finally belong!" It was so amazing! Crazy how Heavenly Father trusts us enough to be apart of her conversion! I am one lucky sister!

So kind of a funny story. Last week I had really been struggling on whether to stay here in Virginia or go to Brasil once my Visa comes. I just love the people here so much, I can't ever imagine leaving. So I had been praying, reading my scriptures, praying, reading talks, and PRAYING! I was kind of leaning toward Brazil but every time I thought about that I was like, but what about Virginia? Needless to say, I needed help from the Lord. Well, it was perfect that we were going to the temple, because I was like SURELY I'll receive an answer there! So when we got in the celestial room, before I could even ask Heavenly Father, if I should stay in Virginia or go to Brasil, He said "Go to Brazil." Then I cried some more (apparently I haven't cried enough this week) and I was like but I'm scared! I don't know! Then we had interviews with President on Friday so I told him everything that had happen and his response was "oh, that's not even an option. When your visa comes, you're going to Brazil. You can't stay here in Virginia." I SWEAR, HE'S THE ONE WHO TOLD ME THAT IF I REALLY WANTED TO STAY IN VIRGINIA, I COULD. SO whatever! hahaha. Sister Nelson and I couldn't stop laughing. I had been stressing out this whole last week and question wasn't even valid! I can't even stay in Virginia!!! Goodness! Hahaha. Guess I'll be going to Brazil. :)

I know I say it a lot, but I've LITERALLY never been so happy. THIS is the reason I came on a mission! To find people like Joan and hep bring them unto Christ. That is my purpose. I want EVERYONE to feel the wonderful joy that I felt that day in the temple and when Joan was being baptized. BEST feeling in the whole entire world. I wouldn't trade it for anything. I have a year left on my mission! That means, one more year of this complete happiness!!! YAY!! I KNOW that this gospel is the true and everlasting gospel on this Earth today! I'm so honored to have this opportunity to share it with the world. Stateside mission's are the BEST! I LOVE it here! I was worried before I came out that I would be stateside, I was just like ughh, I want to be cool and go foreign. I'm retarded. I would be SO happy if I got called in Virginia! I don't ever want to leave here! My visa can take as long as it wants!!! :)


Tchau,
Sister Hallmark


 
Anna and I! :)

Anna's family and I! :)



Sister Nelson, Morgan, Berkley, Grant, me before their baptism!!


Me, Joan, Sister Nelson, right before her baptism!

Right after Joan got baptized!! :)




My birthday last Monday!!! Jan 20th I'm finally 20!!   

Sister Wangberg couldn't make a gluten free birthday cake, so she got a gluten free cupcake instead! She's the best!


My first grey hair on my 20th birthday! I'm getting so old!!! Hehe























Monday, January 27, 2014

I WANT TO SEE THE TEMPLE, I'M GOING THERE....THURSDAY!


WE CAN GO TO THE TEMPLE!!!!!!! I can't even describe my excitement!!!! SO. HAPPY. I was probably more excited to find out that we could go to the temple then when I get my visa. 

So here's how it happen.

So I don't know if I told y'all or not (obviously I don't remember) hehe, but President Wilson came to down from Richmond (which is like an hour and a half drive) to have companionship study with Sister Nelson and I.. We are still to this day confused as to why us? Why did he drive all the way down to have comp studs with us? Obviously he prayed about who to study with, so we know it was inspired, but WHY?! There's no way of knowing. Anyway, while he was here, he told us that afterwards he would be having lunch with Elder Lancing. Elder Lancing is the area seventy over our mission. He makes the decisions on where the boundaries are and that we can't go to the temple. So we don't like him. Let me correct myself, we didn't like him. Obviously we do now because he changed his mind about us being able to go to the temple. But I'm getting ahead of myself. So back to companionship study. President Wilson said he was going to have lunch with Elder Lancing and sis nels and I were both like WHY?! Obviously we didn't say that out loud, but in my head I was screaming ARE YOU GOING TO CHANGE THE TEMPLE BOUNDARIES?! So our study ended, and President left. And Sister Nelson and I were confused, as usual. We kept thinking about the temple and wondering if we would be allowed to go, but then kept telling ourselves, no, they're not going to change the boundaries.. They just changed them in July. But we were wrong. Again. So the day went on and we went about our business and completely forgot about the temple. Well Monday rolls around and President and Sister Wilson always send a letter to us all usually with scriptures and some uplifting quotes about how awesome we already know we are. Hehe, just kidding. Sister Nelson and I usually skim through them, if that. Most of the time we don't even open them, we're just so involved with emailing our families. Should we be reading them? Yes. Learned that lesson the hard way. So Monday, we didn't open the letter obviously just continued to email family. Tuesday. District meeting. We're sitting in zone portion of district meeting and the zone leaders just make a few quick announcements, that we don't really pay attention to. Again, should we be paying attention? Yes. Do we? No. Glad that's out of the way. Anyway, they're making announcements, whatever, then they say, does everyone know about the D.C. Temple? And Sister Nelson and I look at each other confused? And I'm like yeah, that it's closed until the 21st for cleaning? The Zone Leaders were like no, that we can now go to the D.C. Temple for sessions? Sister Nelson and Sister Hallmark: SHUT UP!!!! WHAT?!?!?! NO WAY!!! ARE YOU SERIOUS?!?!?!?!!?! AHHHHH!!! AKVMNBIEHVH!!!! Totally just having a freak out moment, while the whole zone just watched laughed. Embarrassing. Then I was like, this is embarrassing, I promise we normally read the letters!!!!!! Did I lie? Yes. I PANICKED, THE WHOLE ZONE WAS STARING AT US. I didn't want the zone leaders to think less of us!!!! Hehehe. So that's the story of how we got the news that we were allowed to go to the D.C. Temple. Pretty good, right? I know. 

We also found out that we're only allowed to go for certain reasons. 1. If we're going with an investigator who we taught and baptized, to receive their ENDOWMENT, not to go to baptisms. 2. If we're going with a less-active who we've helped come back to church and go to the temple, for their endowment. 3. End of temple trip with President and Sister Wilson. Obviously the first and last one aren't really an option for me, since I'll be in Brasil. And there's no temple in my mission there either. Sad, I know. But, the second one, I can do. It just so happens that we've been working with a less-active, Sister Sloat, who has now been coming back to church. She brags about us all the time and tells everyone how Heavenly Father sent us to her to help her come back to church and she loves us so much. She's the sweetest, she's CRAZY, but sweet! Hahahaha, we love her! Anyway, she's been struggling to quit smoking and we've been helping her quit so she can go back to the temple. She's really been wanting to go back. She hasn't been since 1995... So we've helped her get an interview with Bishop Stone and everything. It's been awesome. We always say "ohhh, we wish so badly that we could go with you!" Well, our wishes finally came true! We can go to the temple with Sister Sloat! She was so happy when we told her! I was crying! It was awesome!!! So she has an interview with President Kitchens (stake president) on Wednesday. Then we're all going Thursday. And by we all, I mean, Sister Sloat, Sister Nelson and I and like half of the relief society. It's going to be SUCH a neat experience! Seeing them all in the temple! Ahhhh! I just can't wait!!!!!

Let's see... que mais, ummmm. We have 4 baptisms this weekend. Morgan and Grant Dwyer. They're 10 and 12. They're mom, Brandy Dwyer is a less active who's been coming back so we've been teaching her kids! Then Anna, (Sister Sloat's granddaughter) and Joan Jones, who I talk about all the time. Older investigator, like 75, with full custody of her great-grandson who is 6 months old. :( Then Clarice is getting baptized on the 1st of February!! This here in Spotsy are going GREAT! We're on fire!! :) President called us last night to congratulate us on all our success and baptisms! We're like, it's not us! It's the spirit!!! 

And I have such a testimony of that! I know that if we didn't have the spirit, we don't teach. Simple as that. That's why it's so important that we live in such a way, where the Holy Ghost can be our constant companion and be the teacher. The Holy Ghost is such a gentleman that he only comes when he's invited. I've taken that to heart. My life is 100% better when I'm reading my scriptures, praying daily, and having the spirit with me! I can't live without it! I love this gospel so so so much! :)

Line of the week:
*Get up at 10:50 to get some cereal because we couldn't sleep. I grab a fork (if you know me, you know that I don't like spoons)

Sister Nelson: Do you want a knife? So you won't get any milk, and so you can cut your tongue?
Me: Hahahaha, what?! NO. Hahaha


Ate proximo segunda! Eu amo voces!
Sister Hallmark