Wednesday, September 14, 2011

sept 12

Hey everybody! Well, it has been one of the longest and most expensive weeks of my mission! And that's not from the fair! The member that took Sister Stokes to the fair (who is also one that I know quite well) would buy the different deep fried foods and we would split them. Man they were SO good. The best was the deep fried cookie dough! mmmm :) Totally NOT healthy. I think I spent a total of $16 for my ticket, bus ride, and some water. So that was super nice.

So we are now here in Dinkytown and we opened up a new apartment. Wednesday night we literally had nothing. So we slept on the floor and hung old sheets that Sister Stokes had left behind, and a shower curtain on the windows. Thursday some man from the apartments showed up to put blinds up, and we also got our beds from the church. (I'm not sure I've ever been so grateful for a bed!) Yesterday a member came up and told us she had tons of furniture she was trying to get rid of, so we now have 2 desks, a table, 2 chairs, a shelf, and a dresser. Also the member that was at the state fair with us, Laura used to have sister who lived with her and when they moved out they had left a bunch of stuff behind. So Saturday she brought us two boxes of kitchen stuff including pots and pans and silverware. (The 2nd box I haven't opened yet, so we will see what there is!) However, Wednesday we had gone out to get the bare necessities, so we got a lamp, 4 spoons, 4 forks, 2 glasses, 4 bowls and a couple shower curtains. It was an expensive trip to the store. But, it's nice that our apartment finally looks like someone lives there and we now have a place to put our stuff! I am super grateful for people's charity and love.

Here in the Dinkytown ward I feel like I have gone out to eat for almost every meal. It's a terrible feeling and I don't like it. Unfortunately, it's hard to avoid when that's all the students have to offer. We also go out with a couple of Sister Stephenson's best friends in the ward on a fairly regular basis and we then pay for ourselves. I think 2 things are gonna happen this transfer. The number on the scale is gonna skyrocket and the number on my card is gonna deplete :S But, I guess I will figure out how to balance it all, right? It's crazy how different each area is.

There is this incredible recent convert of 2 weeks here! Her name is Ann. She's from Kenya. She said when she saw the elders walking toward her something told her that she was gonna go to their church. So when they talked to her, she just asked for the address and time and she showed up the following Sunday. Yesterday I was talking with her and she said that she was sort of mad with herself for being here at the U for almost 4 years and never finding this. She said she has always been searching for this truth. Her dad is a Lutheran pastor and she would ask him questions all the time such as, where were we before this life? Where are we going? The bible says to be baptized by immersion, how come we don't have that in our church? And he could never answer her. She is so awesome :D

Last night there was an awesome CES fireside. Sister Oaks is so funny! And Elder Oaks gave an awesome talk on Tolerance and truth. He talked of when to tolerate something and when to stand up for truth. He talked of uniting with all believers to stand up for truth. He said that we should be tolerant of the beliefs that do not coincide with ours and rejoice in the fact that we all believe in God and Jesus Christ. It was a really awesome talk.

Oh, so Sister Stephenson got a super bad ingrown toenail that kept us from being able to go out walking on campus. The earliest the Podiatrist could see her was Monday morning, but miraculously they ended up calling her and telling her to come in Friday. So, they cut it out and this week we should be able to go out and talk to tons of people! I look forward to getting busy!

So, did you actually sign for the house to rent? How come rent and not buy? Has anything happened with the auburn house? The rental house sounds absolutely....beautiful? At least the outside and the land it sits on...

I'm glad all went well with getting Miranda to school. I can't believe it. I'm glad work is going alright. I hear you are going to NE for Thanksgiving? That should be fun. Something really weird for me is that on the next transfer day I will be at my 1/2 way mark :S I hear that from that point down it flies, which scares me because from January to now has flown as well. I can't believe it's been this long, I feel like a brand new missionary still!! Anyway. I need to get going. I love you all and hope you are doing well! Have a great week!

Sister Randall

Sept 5

Well, today we are going to the state fair! It should be good. Expensive, but good. 12 bucks to get in, plus lunch and all the other stuff. I don't want to stay as long as we are going to, but sometimes you have to do things you don't want to do--Actually a lot of times. So, we got transfer calls this morning. Sister Stephenson and I are moving to Dinkytown again, the college campus. She was trained there, transferred to Winona, transferred back to Dinkytown, transferred to Rochester, Northfield and now back to Dinkytown. The only question we have is where we will be living. We heard the roof collapsed in the old apartment that we used to live in. I was hoping to be able to go to a family ward, but if I need to be with the singles, then that's where I'll stay. But, Northfield is closing and the Zone Leaders will be taking over the singles branch.

Nicole dropped us. She said that she couldn't believe that Joseph is a prophet if he practices against what the bible teaches on polygamy, which is just an excuse. There would have to be much more to it if she won't even let us come back and talk to her about it. Robert--he cancelled our last appointment because he was going to a job interview and we haven't been able to get a hold of him since. Andrew, is awesome. He is such a sweet kid who sincerely wants to be forgiven and the plan God has for us. We taught him the Plan of Salvation. His dad died in June, and it's been really hard on him. Abby moved back this weekend, she has read the BoM twice, D&C twice, and really the only thing holding her back is her family. But, sadly, we won't be teaching her, since we will be gone. We have had some progression with a couple less actives, and I'm worried about how that will go with the change from us to elders. It's hard to leave this area. I love it so much. I guess you could say it was my first real area. It's beautiful here. Let me know how the house stuff goes. I pray for you and your ability to sell the house.

That's so cool about Ashley. She was truly converted to the gospel. It makes me think of Kipp. He didn't join for his girlfriend, but she was the means of introducing him to the gospel. He is just awesome. I love seeing people join and really just "get it". As for young people being more receptive, I found that the 14-16 age is prime for teaching them. Once they get older, they may listen to you, but are too stubborn to either believe or make the change. But when the timing is right, they are ready to receive the gospel.

I'm glad that dad feels cool in his car. I'm excited to see it in real life some day. haha.

Well, it's been a pretty dull week, sort of. Here's an entertaining story from tracting this past week. We were knocking doors and as we were walking toward the next house, there were 2 women outside and one said "Oh no, I've got to go." And got in her car, parked in the driveway. The other woman walked inside and shut the garage. So, we ignored the woman in the car, and went and knocked on the door, and waited. And waited. Then we rang the doorbell, and waited. Well, no one answered, but meanwhile the woman was still in her car in the driveway, and her car had totally broken down. So as we walked past Sister Stephenson called through the window and said "Do you need help?" She said no, as she put the phone up to her ear and she said, I'll call them and they will come out and help me. Oh dear, so we got in the car and they came out, and we flipped around and smiled and waved as we drove past. I guess that's what you get for trying to run away from God's servants?

Oh! EXCITING STUFF! Remember my companion Sister Stokes, who went home? SHE CAME TO VISIT!!!!! she was at church yesterday and is coming to the fair with us today. I MISS HER SO STINKING MUCH! It made my day. Anyway, that's about all. I've got.

The tights, probably a medium? Yes I would appreciate my coat, as for the brown coat, I don't know what I'll do with it yet. I can't believe winter is coming. I'm not ready to accept it yet. It's been chilly the last couple days, but nothing extreme. I love hearing all the things you have grown in your garden. Hopefully in the next house you will have a place to have a garden! It sounds like you have enjoyed it!

Well, I'm distracted by kids in the house and transfers and everything else. We've got to be leaving for the fair soon. Sorry it's short. I love you all! :D

Sister Randall

Aug 31


I don't know what it is about reading your emails and emailing you that just gives you a much needed uplift. Sorry that Pday is late this week. We got to go to the temple :) It was a wonderful session. Wow, so what all has happened? It has definitely been a roller coaster of a week.

We had some way good lessons with a couple less actives, did some tracting, had some sick days, got some good referrals...

Hm, So, Friday we were planning for the upcoming week and the Farmington elders called and said that they had a referral, his name was Robert and he wanted us to call him right then. So, we called Robert who was grateful that we called and we told him we had a fairly open schedule, I started flipping through the upcoming days and asked when he wanted to meet. His reply? Anytime between now and 2pm. So, we picked up a new investigator, and he is very sincere and super awesome. He was going to come to church Sunday but had an allergic reaction Saturday night and he ended up in the ER. So, that didn't happen.

We also received a referral from the Burnsville Elders for a girl named Nicole. They had taught her once and she had come to church. So, we went with the elders to the lesson and she is just a wonderful wonderful person. She does all her reading, reads the pamphlets, answers the questions in the back and makes a list of her own questions for us to answer when we go over. She had a date for baptism, but she told us she isn't ready for that because she really wants to make sure she's ready. She also had something come up and ended up not coming to church :(

It felt so good to have investigators again! We have an appointment with what we hope will be a new investigator tonight. His name is Andrew, and he is also a referral. All of a sudden all the elders around us started finding YSAs. Why is it that they can find them and we can't? Good question, but I will take it either way! Sunday we were supposed to have 2 investigators and several less actives at church, but not one showed up. It was a bummer, but next week should be better. We did have some awesome speakers though. Brother Brox, a high councilman, spoke (his daughter just came home from a mission and I just love that girl-she served with sister beu actually, but she's now at byu) and did an awesome job. He said that he was at the shoe store the other day getting some new shoes for school time and he heard a little kid say to his mom "Mom, I want the shoes with the big boy shoe laces." She said, "But you never tie your shoes, even though you know how!" He responded, "That's because there is so much important stuff to do that I don't have time!" He talked about prioritizing our lives and putting the most important things first and how when we do that we reach higher planes. He closed his talk by saying, the next time someone tells you your shoe is untied, you can remember that it's because you had too many important things to do. It was a great talk. Then the stake president spoke during 3rd hour and he spoke of faith, hope, and charity. He said Faith is taking a thing you once knew was right and doing it despite your current feelings and emotions (in relation to when we are doubting). As for hope, he said to be irrationally optimistic and don't get discouraged. Charity-act like you care, act like you love, don't just pretend, but do the actions and love will follow. "All you have to do is obey and God will give you charity." It was a good day.

Monday I was sick. I had felt nauseous the last couple days but nothing like the way I felt Monday morning. I have also been grinding my teeth lately, so we went to Target and I got a mouthguard, which I have yet to actually use, I hate having stuff in my mouth at night--it gags me. Anyway, then the Farmington elders gave me a blessing and I felt much much better. I sort of felt chastised as I was counseled to have faith in the power of the blessing and also that the Lord was preparing people in our area, and also some other areas. So, I guess I've been focusing a little too much on love and now I need to balance it out with faith. It has definitely been a transfer where faith, hope, charity, and patience have been greatly needed. Unfortunately, Sis. Stephenson also felt ill and so we stayed home all day :(

Tuesday was a hectic day and we did a lot of driving. We went out to Northfield, then met the New Prague elders to pick up some pass along cards off of one of the exits, and then drove the rest of the way to Faribault (fair-bo), somehow the exit I took and the road I was on turned into an on ramp back onto I35 S and we went 7 miles up before we reached another exit, then had to turn around. It was ridiculous. It was a busy day.

Oh, so funny story that Sis Stephenson just reminded me that happened this past week. We decided to bike all day one day last week and were out in Eastern Lakeville. We were tracting this street, and when people don't answer we slip a card in between the door and the door jam. Well, a good 30 mins after we had left the street we get a phone call, so I answer it and a woman starts to talk and says something along the lines of "Hi, your number was on this card and I just wanted to let you know that we just saw 2 girls on bikes leaving this neighborhood, was that you?" Yes. And then she started telling us that we had "finagaled" the card into her house and she had found it INSIDE her house and that the cops were on the way to her house and she was going to file a police report for trespassing and violating her rights and forcing mormonism into her house. She also said that she knew an "ex-mormon" and knew all the loop holes of our doctrine and that I would never know them because I was brainwashed. Several times I tried to talk, but not once was I able to even say "I'm sorry" before she hung up the phone. I suppose anyone with common sense would realize that when you open your door something that is held by that pressure would fall (hence the law of gravity?). So what she accused us of "finagaling" into her house really fell because she opened the door. I'm sure the cops just laughed at her, secretly anyway. So, that was an entertaining event in our past week. We actually ended up pretty sunburnt that day, it was exciting, the members we had dinner with cut off branches of their aloe plant and sent them home with us. I was grateful for it.

Something I have been wanting to do was to sit down and start writing about the definition of a Christian, and when I get home I will probably make a blog wholly centered on that. Well, as a missionary that sort of time is few and far between, but last night provided a perfect opportunity. At 10:20 we laid down to go to sleep and at 12:30 I was still awake. So, I finally sat up, turned on my lamp and started writing. It was a good start and I probably wrote for 1/2 an hour. It's just a very interesting term that people use so carelessly and without meaning. Anyway, so I think I finally fell asleep around 1:30...I wasn't too happy when the alarm went of this morning :S Hopefully this doesn't start a pattern.

Cool, it's so good to hear that everyone is doing well. I'm so proud of Austin and I can only imagine the changes going on in his life. I'm a little nervous to hear his voice... I feel like my younger siblings have done much better with their life than me, so I'm proud of them and happy for them as well. I still can't believe how old everyone is. Miranda is a freshman in my mind, Austin a 7th grader, and I think Shae will forever be 12 in my mind. Miranda will be off to school in less than a week! It's so crazy all the changes that are going on.

As for editing your papers, I'm sure Beki would still love to help you out. Just email her and ask her. We exchange cards every so often. As for Elder Chapman. The last letter I received from him was at the end of April. I'm sure he is doing well, and I take that as a sign that he is very focused on the work and I'm grateful for that. Cash--well I could always use cash. But I think I have about $100 maybe 120. We managed to get permission to go to the State Fair, which is rated #2 in the country, on Monday. It's ridiculous how quickly money goes. Just the mouthguard alone was $16 and I feel like it's all going down hill. I left my wallet in the car when we went to the LDS bookstore after the temple today (it was a good idea, I could spend TONS of money there). I'm getting tired of my shirts, and I'm sure by the end of everything I will be sick of them. I had hoped that my skirts would go beyond the mission, but the 2 that I can bike in both have grease stains from getting caught in the brakes. It just all goes to show how hard I worked. I am grateful to have the shoes I do, ugly as they are. I only really use the black ones, and on ocassion I use my gold flats. The brown shoes, well they are just too casual to wear with a skirt, but don't worry, I WILL use them after my mission. I absolutely love them. But I am pretty sure my shoes will last my whole mission and Sister Stephenson is on like her 3rd pair? It helps that I will be wearing boots for like 3 or 4 or 5 months... I guess the coldest it got in the cities last year was -37 with windchill, and we don't go inside until it hits -40. Frozen nose hairs, eyelashes, frostbite etc.... it should be a fun winter! I've been told a down coat is going to be necesarry to stay outside as much as we do...So, I'm thinking about that black coat I had kind of forgotten about when we bought a new coat... Maybe we could sell this brown one, cute as it is.

Christmas list, already!? Wow, lets see. I'm sure by that point hand/foot warmers, hot chocolate/cider, just the cash so that I might have a little bit of money when I get home? I don't know. I'll think about it and remind me in your next email. Man, sorry this is so long. I feel like so much more has happened. Tell shae to keep up the hard work with tennis! Austin and dating. Those 2 terms don't mesh well, but I heard about a kid who was just an incredible example and he would plan dates and especially ask girls who didn't get asked very often. tell him to have fun and it's ok to admit that he likes girls ;)

So, sorry if I forgot anything, I've got to write President and respond to my siblings! I love you all! I hope you are well, I pray for you daily and keep on smiling!

Love, Sister Randall

Aug 22

Hey family!

I wish I had some awesomely amazing news for you! Wednesday we taught our recent convert, Ryan. He is doing better and seems to be more himself finally. We had an appointment fall through with the kid who answered the phone drunk, and we had dinner with a member (I think I eat the healthiest I ever have on my mission at their house--and it's a couple of YSA boys!) Thursday we spent the majority of the day at home, Sister Stephenson was sick. But, we did go to our dinner appointment, and help a member stain her deck--even though Sister Stephenson wasn't feeling well. Friday, was kind of the same, but we had a lesson with Kipp (who is doing AWESOME and will be baptizing his friend next week!), and we had 2 hours of weekly planning, dinner and another lesson, and about an hour of tracting. We actually tracted into a YSA that we are hoping to be able to set up an appointment with. He had a friend that was LDS passed away about a year ago. He said he went to the funeral and people kept talking about the Spirit World and he didn't understand why that was so important. We had a really good conversation. It's interesting how you sometimes have to stick out a street where no one is answering to have the last person you talk to be the reason you were there. Friday night the zone leaders came and gave Sister Stephenson a blessing. She was up most of the night, sick, but slept in and was feeling much better. So, we actually worked! We did some tracting, and had dinner with a member, and did some more tracting. Sunday was good. Church is a time where it feels like we can rest from our labors! Patrick came to church! Ryan was sick :( We did some tracting and only talked to a few, but then Kipp and April came with us to President's Fireside--which was really good. I love going and hearing the testimonies of recent converts, it's super awesome! And that concludes our week.

As for the video I promised...I guess I can't send it, because it's too long. It's like 4 minutes long. Bummer. I'll show you eventually..... This coming week we have district meeting, Thursday night visits, a couple less active and recent convert lessons and hopefully a couple investigator lessons.

So, I think I might have an ingrown toenail, and I don't know how to make it better. Any ideas? Anyway, I really wish there was more to share...Oh, I know! The weather is always a good topic of discussion! the leaves are changing, at least on some trees. That means that summer is almost over...I swear summer just started. I'm not certain I'm ready for the long and bitter winter, but of course that doesn't stop me from anything. Ready or not, here I come!

It sounds like you are all staying busy. Is school going well for everyone? How is work? How is the relief society doing? Well, I love you all, sorry this is so short and lacks the promised video. Have an awesome week and keep working hard!


Sister Randall

Aug 16

Hey family!

Yesterday was a long 7 1/2 hour zone conference. But, I love the mission meetings. You always leave with an extra umph! and wanting to go out and get to work! We love President Clements and everything he does. He is an awesome mission president.

I still can't believe that Charity is getting married! So much is changing! But, it sounds like everything is going mostly well. Miranda is about to leave the house. That's gonna be quite the change. Who's gonna do the cleaning when mom is busy?!? ;) Who are Austin and Shae gonna hang out with!? She's always been a fairly responsible girl. She'll do well at school, I'm sure. Mom, try not to cry too much. Also, what's her address? I need that. Which apartment number and what not. It will be a fun adventure.

As for our past week...Once again, we've been out tracting. We tract anywhere between 3 and 5 hours a day. We added an investigator, her name is Roseanna. I've talked about her before, but we were never able to teach her, so now she is officially an investigator--we just have to figure out how to help her have the desire to know that everything she's been taught is true. We also added another investigator, but he leaves for school at the end of this week. And, when we called him yesterday we don't know how sober he was. But, hopefully he will keep our appointment tomorrow. We've been working with Ryan who is a recent convert who fell back into addiction. It's been a struggle. We've also been working with Patrick who is less active. We had an AWESOME lesson with him. The Spirit was strong, he was moved to tears and he said he would do everything for Christ. We read Alma 7:11-13 and everytime it talked about the people we inserted Patrick's name. It was powerful. Roseanna, Patrick and Ryan all said they would come to church. Church came and went with no sign of any of them. That was a tough night for me. Thankfully, zone conference was Monday and our Zone leaders shared a poem that really cheered me up. It's called The Race:


"Quit, give up, you're beaten," they shout at me and plead,

"There's just too much against you now, this time you can't succeed."

And as I start to hang my head in front of failures face,

My downward fall is broken by the memory of a race.

And hope refills my weakened will as I recall that scene,

For just the thought of that short race rejuvenates my being.

A children's race, young boys, young men, how I remember well.

Excitement sure, but also fear, it wasn't hard to tell.

They all lined up, so full of hope, each thought to win the race,

Or tie for first or if not that, at least take second place.

And fathers watched from off the side, each cheering for his son,

And each boy hoped to show his dad that he would be the one.

The whistle blew and off they went, young hearts and hopes afire,

To win and be the hero, that was each boy's desire.

And one boy in particular, whose dad was in the crowd,

Was running near the lead, and thought, "My dad will be so proud."

But as they speeded down the field, across a shallow dip,

The little boy who thought to win, lost his step and slipped.

Trying hard to catch himself, his hands flew out to brace,

And 'mid the laughter of the crowd, he fell flat upon his face.

So down he fell, and with him hope- he couldn't win it now.

Embarrassed, sad, he only wished to disappear somehow.

But as he fell, his dad stood up and showed his anxious face,

Which to the boy so clearly said, "Get up and win the race."

He quickly rose, no damage done, behind a bit that's all,

And ran with all his mind and might, to make up for his fall.

So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and win,

His mind went faster than his legs, he slipped and fell again.

He wished then, he'd quit before, with only one disgrace,

"I'm hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn't try to race."

But in the laughing crowd, he searched and found his father's face,

That steady look which said again, "Get up and win the race."

So up he jumped, to try again, ten yards behind the last,

"If I'm to gain those yards," he thought, "I've got to move real fast."

Exerting everything he had, he gained eight or ten,

But trying hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again.

Defeated he lay there silently, a tear dropped from his eye,

"There's no sense running anymore, three strikes, I'm out, why try?"

The will to rise had disappeared, all hope had fled away,

So far behind, so error prone, a loser all the way.

"I've lost, so what's the use," he thought, "I'll live with my disgrace,"

but then he thought about his dad whom soon he'd have to face.

"Get up," an echo sounded low, "Get up and take your place.

You were not meant for failure here. Get up and win the race.

With borrowed will, get up, you haven't lost at all,

For winning is no more than this: to rise each time you fall."

So up he rose, to run once more, and with a new commit,

He resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn't quit.

So far behind the others now, the most he'd ever been,

Still he gave it all he had and ran as if to win.

Three times he'd fallen, stumbling, three times he rose again,

Too far behind to hope to win but sill, he ran to the end.

They cheered the winning runner as he crossed the line, first place

Head high, proud and happy, no falling, no disgrace.

But when the fallen youngster crossed the line in last place,

The crowd gave him the greater cheer for finishing the race.

And even though he came in last, with head bowed low, un-proud,

You would have thought he'd won the race, to listen to the crowd.

And to his dad he sadly said, "I didn't do so well,"

"To me, you won," his father said, "You rose each time you fell."

And now when things seem dark and hard and difficult to face,

The memory of that young boy helps me in my race.

For all of life is like that race with ups and downs and all,

And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.

"Quit, give up, you're beaten," they still shout in my face

but then another voice within me says,
"Get up and win the race."

I really liked this poem and it meant a lot to me. So, we are back up and refuse to give up. Sometimes I have to remind myself that people have their agency and as much as I may not like it at times, it's so very essential in God's plan for us.

Really, not a lot has been happening. I got the package, thanks so much, my face feels so much better--and my lips are softer too :D Did you close my account? I suppose I can cut up my card now? Oh, next week pday might not be on Monday either, we might be going to the temple. :) I know, it's been a weird transfer. So as of today I have been in Minnesota for 6 months! It has flown by. All my missionary friends are going home, but I'm sure I'll make more friends as I go! So, President Clements said that they were thinking about doing a mission blog, but they have decided against it, because some people will search them out, find the names of those baptized and track them down and anti them. That, I thought, is absolutely ridiculous! Who would spend their time tearing down a church? The devil is one powerful being, but he will not win. Last week at ZLC President talked about how life is like a basketball game, but the score is already posted. All we have to do is decide which jersey we want to wear. Do we want to wear the winning jersey (or the Lord's) or do we want to lose? Anyway, good luck with the upcoming week! I love you all! Keep working hard and enjoying life. Good luck with the house, you are in my prayers. Have you found a new house that you want? Well, I love you! I'd better write President and the others who have emailed me!


Sister Randall

Aug 10

Hey family! Sorry this is late. We were invited to Zone Leader Council on Monday morning and Tuesday we had District meeting. So, today is Pday. Next week Pday will be on Tuesday. It seems like a lot is going on. This transfer is only 5 weeks long, and next one will be 7. I guess the MTC messed up their schedule.

(Grandma and Grandpa Randall especially...) There is a new senior couple in the mission, Elder and Sister Randall :) I talked to him briefly and he asked if we were descended from Alfred Randall, and I said yes. I don't remember which wife he said, but we are through Margaret, which makes Alfred my 4th great grandpa. Elder Randall gave me a little booklet to read about him and his 5 wives and said he could get a CD of it for me if the family wanted copies. The booklet is titled The True Life Story of Alfred Randall, Pioneer. So if anyone is interested in it let me know and I can get a CD and send it your way. It's a cool booklet and really helped me understand our heritage :) Elder Randall was so nice to me and told me that if I needed ANYTHING to give him a call and he would make sure I got it.

So, that is that. We spent 4 hours straight tracting on Thursday. That was a long, but good day. We have had 0 investigators and have had plenty of rejection. Yesterday after District meeting our district did a "blitz", meaning we all went tracting streets that sister Stephenson and I picked out, looking for investigators for us. We have a couple potentials from that and we visited an old potential and she is now officially an investigator. She was raised being taught everything from the church, her mom is a member, but was never baptized. She has taken the missionary lessons before but has never had the desire to find out if it is true. She said that when she decides it is true, she will give her all to the church, so we just have to help her close that gap. Other than those exciting events, nothing too exciting has been happening in the area. Kipp Wilson is still doing awesome! He has an incredible understanding of the doctrine and acts like a life-long member.

This coming Monday we have zone conference. We have had so many meetings lately, but they are always so spiritual and uplifting. I love President Clements and he is great at showing his love for each companionship, area, and each missionary. He is proving to be an awesome mission president.

Sister Stephenson just reminded me of what happened this past week. We decided to stop by Brittney Brenner, a girl previously active in the family ward, but recently not attending, and we've been trying to get ahold of her for weeks. On the door is a home typed sign saying "Gaurd Dog on Duty." And with the way the door looked, we kind of believed it. Suddenly the door opens with this man with huge chops on his face and out comes running this HUGE black dog that weighs 120 lbs and is nearly 3 feet tall running straight toward Sister Stephenson. She about tripped over backward from the scare. Thankfully the dog is harmless and Brittney's dad is just as harmless. We talked and he asked us not to give up on Brittney. Sunday evening we set out to tract and after we prayed I just felt very unsettled, so we decided to go stop by two of the people that we had planned. When neither of them had answered and tracting still didn't feel right we turned to prayer. The decision made was that we needed to go see Brittney Brenner. This time when we went, she was home! We got in, got to know her and had a little lesson, and she said that we could come back. It was a cool experience and I'm grateful for the direction of the Spirit in all things. It's a huge reminder that this is the Lord's work, not ours.

Anyway, that's the exciting news of the week! Congrats on your lab score, and the final grade in your class. Have you found a house to move into yet? The garden sounds like it is fruitful (or vegetable-full?). The Lockett's, the family we live with have a very successful garden as well. (And as a side note, apparently Alfred Randall had quite the fruitful garden as well). Yes, I took money out, I took $170, since I figured I would need most of it for my prescription. My preventative inhaler lasts 2 months and costs $25, which is cheaper than the albuterol. I have hardly used my albuterol at all since I started Flo Vent. But, go ahead and close the account. I might stop using the flo vent during the winter, since we won't be biking as much and then start up in the spring/summer time and hopefully stop after I get home. We will see what happens. It's been a huge help to me.

Well, I love you all. I'm glad things are going well. Time is running short to email, but I hope you have an awesome week. Let me know about the CD with the information about Alfred Randall and his 5 wives.

Keep on keepin on!
Sister Randall

Aug 1

Well, it's been a great week. We did lots of contacting and we have been challenged to invite 1 person to be baptized everyday. So, we have been trying to invite people we meet on the streets to be baptized. Overall we have invited 5 people to be baptized since last Tuesday. It's not an easy thing to do, but it is kind of cool! Saturday we talked to 58 people, had 10 Quality Gospel Conversations, invited 4 people to be baptized and gave away 7 referrals! it was an awesome day :) I love giving referrals away! It's a really cool experience.

Tell Austin Happy Birthday for me, i was going to put his card in the mail late last week and forgot, but it is getting sent today! But, I did think about it and had it ready last Monday (It's the thought that counts, right?) I can't believe he is all grown up and getting his license! My little brother is getting so big!

Well, I have been anxious for transfer calls, wanting to know what was going to happen. There were so many possibilities and the result FINALLY came this morning at about 9am. (Waiting for transfer calls is one of the most nerve-wrecking things ever!) They started making calls at 7:30, so an hour and a half really gets you anxious. Well, President told me that some changes were coming my way and that Sister Stephenson would be coming to serve with my in my area. (SURPRISE!) I was so happy my area didn't close. I really wanted at least one more transfer here. It's fun serving in a singles branch, definitely very difficult, but it's an incredible experience. I was with Sister Stephenson for a week during all those random emergency transfers my 2nd transfer. So, yep. It should be a good transfer.

The weather has been hot, humid and sticky, but bearable. Tuesday we agreed to go help a member, Andrew, work on the house that he is living in (fixing it up in exchange for a place to live). So he had Laura, the woman who owns the house, pick us up at the church and take us to Northfield. On the way out we learned that both her and her husband were religion majors and she told us that we were welcome to give them our "schpeel" after dinner. Well, Andrew ended up having to leave to go to rehearsal during dinner so sister Hart and I were left at the table with two religion majors. So, as agreed, we left a scripture and talked about faith. We then asked a question, probably about how do we exercise faith, and it was quiet....and quiet....and more silence. Then their daughter came running into the room, causing a distraction and Laura goes, well I don't mean to interrupt but we should probably get you home. It was extremely awkward, but that's what makes a mission a mission, right? haha, It was quite the experience!

We had a branch activity Saturday which was themed Jumbo Jamboree and they had jumbo twister, tic tac toe, hot dogs, etc. Well, they pulled out the jumbo twister board and a couple of non member YSA's came over and asked if they could play,even though they were intoxicated. Only a few people joined the game and it seemed ridiculously easy, but I guess a simple task such as putting one hand on red is not so simple under the influence of alcohol. Needless to say it was fairly entertaining, but sadenning all at once. There is joy outside of sin.

Hmm, well that seems to complete our week! Today is super busy with getting stuff ready for Sister Hart to go home and her interview in Bloomington, and cleaning and grocery shopping and all that.

Good luck with girls camp! That should be fun! Don't worry about the zuccini bread, I do need some face wash and moisturizer though. I'm currently using noxema and I'm just not a fan of what it does to my face. Blech. maybe 2 would be better, so when I'm on my last one I can let you know early? How did finals go? How is Sam and Erin doing? It's been ages since I have heard from them!

Oh, last week, or maybe 2 weeks ago, I got a letter from Sister Martin, it made my day! I do enjoy getting letters :) Anyway, I'm excited for another 6 weeks in the Lakeville stake! It's pretty out here, I never have been much of a city fan.

Well, I love you all so very much and I hope all is well. You never did answer my question about selling the house? Ok, well, i guess that concludes this weeks email! Keep smiling and working hard!

Love your favorite missionary,

Sister Randall

(Ooo I can't say that anymore can I, Koltn is gone now, right? So many of my AZ friends have recently gotten mission calls, it's so exciting!)

July 25

Well, this week....we had awesome contacting numbers! As for the amount of lessons we taught....not so great. But, we'll keep on going! Nothing too exciting happened last week. So, Sister Hart will give you a little recap of the week...

Hola Familia Randall! Sister Randall did me the awesome favor of writing my family a few weeks ago, so I decided to gladly return the favor. :) This week we worked super hard--we talked to an average of 28 peopole a day! Sister Randall is super awesome about talking to everyone--even people mowing their lawns. Because they definitely need the opportunity to hear about the gospel too. Probably the most exciting part of the week was seeing Kipp enjoy the blessings of being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He went to the temple Tuesday night, came joint teaching with us Saturday, passed the sacrament and said the closing prayer in sacrament meeting on Sunday. Whew! But he took it all like a champ and is doing awesome. Sister Randall will probably tell you more about him... Ok, well I guess I'll let her finish telling you about the week, but I just want to tell you thanks for supporting her on her mission! She's an awesome companion and has helped me work hard and I appreciate her so much. Thanks a million! It's wonderful to have a companion like her. :) Hope you all have a good week!! Love, Sister Hart :)

Ok, I'm back :) Sister Hart is awesome! As well as Kipp! We have seen a change in since his baptism. It has been a cool thing to watch and he has become a lot more comfortable. He's so awesome!

We taught a kid named JJ this past week, but he is leaving to go back to college in Iowa this week. We also tracted into this awesome girl, Erin. But her appointment fell through. One of the less actives we have been working with came to church yesterday and stayed for all four hours! (including linger longer). He made some friends with a couple kids who came for the first time in a long time. So, it was awesome!

We get transfer calls next week. From the looks of things, such as the number of sisters going home vs. coming out and that we have 0 progressing investigators. But, I have come to be ok with that. The work that we were sent here to do, has been done and now it's time to move on. It's amazing the way the Lord works!

Well, that's really all I've got, I love you all and have a good week!

Love, Sister Randall

July 18

Hey Family!

Sorry I don't have creative subjects, but that's one of my favorite quotes, I keep it in the front of my planner :) I have several that I keep close by to keep my smiling and positive! So, what happened this week? Well, we will just start at the end and work back to the beginning!
Saturday KIPP GOT BAPTIZED! I will try to remember to include a picture or two. It was awesome. Sister Hart and I played a piano duet of I am a Child of God. It went pretty well. I want to record us playing it so you can hear it, it's pretty! We had the elders teach a short Restoration while Kipp and brother Little were getting dressed. From what we could tell his mom really enjoyed it and I'm sure she felt the Spirit. Now, how to get the missionaries in to teach her? We also had Kipp share his testimony--which was awesome! I think I will try to have any investigators that ever get baptized do that. It was an awesome opportunity for Kipp but also his mom to hear the things that he knows. He bore testimony of the Plan of Salvation and His love for Him and also of Joseph Smith and Pres. Monson. It was awesome. He was confirmed a member of the church on Sunday and also received the Aaronic Priesthood, and he might be going to do Baptisms for the dead tomorrow! How awesome would that be?!? I am super excited for him.

We went on exchanges again this week. I got to go back to Oakdale and was companions with Sister Whetten. It was weird being back. Katie, one of the people that was baptized while I was there isn't doing so well :( She wouldn't even come to the door when we stopped by. She just wants to be left alone. I wish there was an answer to how to help people remain strong. I think the secret is the family support, friends at church, continued spiritual experiences (new member lessons and visiting/home teaching), and a responsibility. I have found that the hardest thing is utilizing the members that aren't the RS president, EQ president etc... The members without the high stress callings are so essential! They just don't know how to help, or what to do or say, and they don't realize how much they affect the RC, LA, or Investigator. I wish I knew how to help them see that.

Another one of our recent converts is moving at the end of the month. She is headed to Arkansas, and all I can say is that I hope she finds what she is looking for and that her life starts to look up. We have had several people move away and will have several more leave in about a month. The transfers are in 2 1/2 weeks. Hermana Hart goes home, and from the looks of things, my area will probably close :( I really just want one more transfer here, but "I'll go where the Lord wants me to go." I'm sure I will love my next area just as much as I love this one. :)

The weather has recently gotten super hot and humid, but up till this point it hasn't been bad. But, I guess it will be this way all week, yuck! But, come October/November, I'm gonna want it back! ;) Well, mostly we've stayed busy, but nothing exciting has really happened (with the exception of Kipp's baptism!)

My friends Jason and Amber (from Arizona) are getting married this weekend. I should make a prediction of how many weddings will happen with my friends and family while I'm away....This one will make 2, plus I know more are already planned. It's so weird that life back home keeps going while mine is on "hold" in a sense. I have been trying to imagine my little Austin all grown up and teenager-ish, but I just keep seeing a little 7th grader! Sorry buddy, I know you probably don't like that! ;)

How is tennis going? And how did your test go? Anything fun and exciting happening? I can't believe Kevin has been gone for 2 years! For real? Wow, time flies. I realized that I will hit my 6 month mark next week, it does not feel like it's been 6 months. I still feel like I'm brand new and learning everything! I've heard that feeling never leaves though. Anyway, enough about that. (It's hard not to realize these things and wonder what you are gonna do at the end of 18 months when 1) You are a planner and 2) Your companion is making those plans now...)

Well, family! I love you all. Keep smiling. Keep working hard. Tell Kevin hi and sorry he had to leave the "real world".
Love ya guys :D
Sister Randall <3

July 11

It's Pday once again! The weeks just fly by. I'm in the middle of my 4th transfer, and enjoying it so much. We have a huge list of potential investigators that we have been able to gather over the past week or so. We have 15 people we need to get in contact with. Which is AWESOME in our area. We have never had that many possibilities. The Lord is definitely blessing us. This past week we saw the most lessons this area has ever seen. We taught 16 lessons!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The goal is 20 each week and so we really want to get there. It was an incredible week and surprisingly our finding numbers were better than the week before. That could have something to do with the parade that we went to and talked to like 30-40 people. It's so different contacting on the street rather than knocking on doors. It was fun.

Over the past week or 2 we have had 4 people randomly decide they were moving and are gone already. So that was a bummer, but we had a girl move in, I think I told you about Roseanna. Raised mormon, but not baptized. However, we are finding out some possible road blocks and explanations for that. It's interesting the things you come across as a missionary. :) We went on exchanges again this week. So I was with Hermana Blood. She's super awesome and was great at getting lessons while we were tracting. I really enjoyed my time with her. It's not very likely that we ever are companions, but that's ok. We exchanged after our meeting with the mission president, and we had never really talked much before, I was nervous that we wouldn't have anything to talk about. Well, Bloomington is a 15 min drive from Lakeville and about 7 mins from the exit that we wanted to take so we could go to dinner. It took us 1 hour and 45 minutes!!! So, my worry of us not talking was overcome in the car and the almost 2 hour (7 mile) drive was actually quite enjoyable. I almost got out and talked to the YSA in the car behind us, but I wasn't sure how well that would go over.

President Clements is going to be an awesome mission president. It's cool to see that they kind of go through the same phases you do. They aren't perfect the first day they are here. It will be cool to see them progress and become more comfortable as our president. I'm excited to get to serve with him and learn from the change! It's a good thing you taught me how to love and accept change. :)

Tell Austin to stop growing! He can't be taller than me!!! That's so weird. One of the girls mentioned that you are selling the house? Are you staying in Charleston? Sounds fun. I need the combination to oily stuff. I will use the tinted stuff I have in the winter, but it's pointless when I'm sweating it off anyway. I don't think I need anything else...I'm trying to stop snacking on junk food. I have come to like fruit. Yes, the girl who never ate strawberries, or cantaloupe, or blueberries, or raspberries.... So, hopefully I can find a way to be able to afford fresh fruit each week so that i can snack on instead of snack crackers and cookies and whatnot. I'm still not too much of a veggie lover, but we do try to eat vegetables with the meals we eat at home. We usually get a frozen combo of broccoli, cauliflower and carrots. ooo but zucchini bread would be good...and i wouldn't complain if it was chocolate ;) (So much for being healthy...)

KIPP IS GETTING BAPTIZED ON SATURDAY! I am sooo excited. It's awesome. 1pm is when it starts, so by 2pm Kipp will be baptized--my first baptism away from my trainer. It's pretty cool. Our branch president took several people up to the boundary waters this week, so instead of coming home Saturday, they will be home Friday night. Him and his wife are doing well, and our counselor's wife finishes her treatments today and should continually feel better! She was at church this week for the first time in 2 weeks. We've missed her.
We have a new investigator, we aren't sure where his desire to find out for sure is, but he is willing to listen, read and pray. He isn't sure that God exists. It's so hard trying to teach someone the concept of God. Well, that depends on their backgrounds. The hardest are those who were raised religious and have consciously decided that God does not exist and the bible is fake. But, we make it work.

Well, I'm glad that I wasn't supposed to remember Sister Benson. Tell her thanks for the letter though :) I'm sure that your ward will be replenished over time, it always has a way of working out. I haven't gotten to go back over there, but i think we are this week. The only one home that is YSA age is Nick. Mike moved in with Stacey in St Paul or Eagan or something. :( Nick is active--he teaches primary. maybe we can get him to serve a mission. Sis Sanderson is in the stake relief society, and I don't remember what Brother Sanderson does. Hopefully we can catch them at home!

I did call Kim, but it wasn't the right number. I thought I told you that, sorry...or maybe I did and you just pretend to read my emails ;) just kidding! Well, that pretty much concludes my week. It's been fun and we will be doing exchanges again this week. Austin, keep up the tennis. Our Mission president is a tennis player, him and his daughter. Anyway, I hope all is well. Sorry about the car. But, I love you and pray for you often! keep on keeping on, smiling, working hard, etc.

Sister Randall :D

Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4

Hola mi famila! Como estan? Somos misioneras por la iglesia de la JesuCristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias. Quiere que vengan otra misioneras que hablan espanol? Ha, that is my attempted spanish for the week. I'm slowly learning! :)
Sounds like you are having fun for the 4th of July weekend! We are having a normal pday. And we have FHE tonight at a park. So we are going to make flags with tags on them. It should be pretty cool. We are hoping to contact several people!
We went on exchanges this week. Sister Gibson (from Casa Grande AZ) came and spent a day with me. That was fun. It was a glimpse into training. Umm, the Howell's are gone. We had a conference call with them on one of their last nights. Now the Clement's are here, we will meet them tomorrow at Specialized Training.
One of our Recent Convert/Less Actives picked up and moved randomly. Hermana Hart talked to his madre. It was really sad. A lot of our lessons fell through. But, we had 2 investigators at church and a nonmember who just moved here from Scottsdale AZ. She grew up Mormon but her parents never had her get baptized. They told them to wait until they could make the decision. And she just hasn't decided to yet. So, we are hoping that she will decide to act on what she knows. We reached 58 baptisms last month. SO CLOSE! That is the highest amount of baptisms this mission has seen in a month! So, our goal for July is....60! :) We hope we can reach it this time through. Kipp is getting baptized July 16th at some point. And we are hoping to have at least 1 more baptism this month. The chances of this area being closed at the end of the transfer are pretty good :( I hope to be able to go back to Dinky Town in September, for the school year. That would be awesome. :D But, I'll go where the Lord wants me to go!
Ummmm, really, nothing exciting has happened. We have several potentials, hopefully we can move them to investigator status and then to member status! That would be neat. Let's see, I got a letter from Sister Torrie L Benson. Do I remember her? I feel terrible, but I can't picture her. And if I should remember her, don't tell her I don't :S Well, that's all that's going on here. Oh we tracted into a girl named Adriana, we taught her the Plan of Salvation. Hopefully we can go back and teach her more.
Sorry I forgot to say this in the last email, I could use some facewash and normal moisturizer sometime in the next month or so? Sister McGregor isn't doing so great. She's been in the hospital. She's the 2nd counselor's wife who is going through chemo and radiation. It breaks my heart and I wish there was something we could do. She is such a wonderful woman. Well, that's the update of my week.
From Miranda's email I had some pretty entertaining imagery of your canoe trip. I wish I could've been there. Our branch president is taking 9 people up to the boundary waters next week, and I wish I could go! How fun would that be? Maybe someday...
Mom I am sure your lesson was fine. Have confidence in yourself. When you believe in yourself it goes better. You have taught some awesome lessons and I remember how you talked about how much you enjoyed them. Never admit to the audience that you feel uncomfortable, nervous, unprepared, or worried. Stand tall and proud, smile and just go for it. The teacher is the Spirit, you are simply the instrument. :D
As for dad crying...I swear the older I get the more I cry...and the more grey hairs I get! I can't believe I'm 21 and already pulling grey hairs out of my head. I'm just gonna blame that one on dad, considering he has the greyest hair of the family...
Well, that's all. Have a great week! I love you. I hope all is well! Keep smiling!
Love Sister Randall!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Monday, June 27, 2011

Como estas? Ok, I really haven't learned any Spanish this past week, but I've started speaking Spanglish with the little Spanish that I do know. My companion, Sister Hart is on her last transfer and was switched to English speaking. So, we don't have language study. Sister Hart's brother actually was in the same district as Sam in the MTC. It's a small world.

Saying goodbye to Sister Stokes wasn't easy. I'll miss her, but she promised to keep the boys away from Miranda while she is at school! Good to know I have someone I can trust to take care of my little sister (while she is away from home). Sister Hart is a very hard worker and has a strong testimony of the gospel. We have spent many hours tracting together already and have taught some lessons. We will have a good 6 weeks together. And then the goodbye process starts all over again.

President Clements gets in on Wednesday. We said goodbye to the Howell's last night. It will be an interesting transition.
I met the brother of one of Alissa's friends. I believe her name was Kira? I spelled that wrong. They lived in Lincoln like 15 years ago. She is married and has a couple kids. I can't remember the name of Kira's brother. So much to remember as a missionary and only the really important stuff sticks. It has shocked me how much I forget.
I also met Dana Gibson, or Sister Gibson last night! I was so excited to finally meet her after hearing so many stories about her in AZ. Hopefully we can be companions someday.

So the other day we decided to tract Hershey Street. We thought it sounded pretty "sweet". Well, it was definitely NOT sweet. I do not think I have had so many people be so rude on one street. We may have given out one pass along card out of 15 houses? It was pretty ridiculous. Then one of the last houses, we rang the doorbell and we started hearing what at first we thought were gunshots. IT WAS SOOOO LOUD. But, we then concluded that it was fireworks in some sort of pot or something. It was in their backyard. I don't know if it had to do with us being there or if we just had incredibly bad timing. We finished the street and took an early dinner before going and doing some more tracting.

Throughout the mission we are seeing miracles. We only need one more baptism this week and then we will reach our 60. The people us as missionaries have thought less likely than others to accept baptism have been coming out and asking us when they can be baptized. It's so awesome. We are going to get it! The Lord provides people who are ready when we strive to set His goals and then work diligently toward them. He is definitely blessing this mission.

We have several lessons to teach this week (to investigators). Remember my first week here and we had NO investigators to teach? Well, we have a referral we are teaching this week, plus a recent convert's roommate, also hopefully Taylor, who we set a date with, but he has been scheduled to work and so that date will not work. Kipp is still doing awesome. He has a great understanding and is committing to live the gospel. It's awesome to watch him grow. :)

Well, I will attatch some pictures. I hope you enjoy. I hope you have a great week. Remember I love you and pray for you. It's good to hear from you all!
Keep smiling!
Sister Randall

PS, the skies here are GORGEOUS! The ones of the sunset are taken from our church parking lot. :D

Monday, June 20, 2011

Well, this is my last few days with Sister Stokes :( I drop her off at the mission home on Wednesday and I will probably bawl! She is so awesome and I have loved serving with her and have learned so much from her. She is so good at loving EVERYONE, no exceptions. My new companion is Sister Hart. She is actually a Spanish sister, but we have an odd number of English and an odd number of Spanish. This will be her last transfer, so I'll be sending another one home. Since she is Spanish that means we will have an extra hour of study in the morning. So we will have 1hr Personal, 1hr Companion, 1hr Language Study. So I will either start to learn Spanish or just do more personal study.

This past week has been HUMID and cloudy. We've had a couple thunderstorms (which I absolutely love! We don't get those in AZ, I missed them!) We have biked some, but can't bike after today because we are taking Sister Stokes bike to the mission home to get shipped home. Biking is just so much fun :D As for missionary work, it was a bad week for getting ahold of our Recent Converts and Less Actives, BUT! We have 2 investigators with baptismal dates! :D Kipp is still doing awesome! He called us before our lesson on Saturday and said, "I'm going to be late, because my mom was asking about momon-y things and I thought that was more important." He's funny. We also got a referral from the Apple Valley Elders who contacted a young man on the street, his name is Taylor. They taught him once, then took us over the 2nd time and he is now our investigator and we invited him to be baptized while we were there for the 2nd lesson. He accepted and is super excited to be baptized. Now we just have to get his job to give him Sundays off.

Yesterday Sister Stokes and I both spoke in Sacrament meeting. It was a bit emotional as she has spent about 6 months in the branch. Everyone is going to miss her. What else is exciting? Well, there really isn't too much going on. We are trying to find service opportunities. We have a few potential investigators that we need to contact this week. We went and helped Andrew Bacon with a house that he is fixing up in exchange for a place to live. He had his friend Chelsea there and she is AWESOME (not to mention she's from Nebraska...) Sister Stokes and I both connected with her very well and we hope to be able to teach her. She is out of town until July 9th...can you believe it's almost July!? Crazy. And by the time this next transfer is over, it will be August. Time is flying by. I just can't believe it.

The Howell's fly home the 29th and will be giving their homecoming talks in 2 different wards in Utah. They are going to be missed, but we look forward to meeting President and Sister Clements. I am going to miss the Howell's down syndrome daughter. She is so sweet and so sensitive to the Spirit. We were at a baptism (where over 100 people attended) and the Howells were there and Loribeth (their daughter) wrinkled up her face trying not to cry and then looked at her mom and held her chest. It was such a sweet thing to watch. Lori Beth also sings for all the new missionaries when they come in. She sings I Am a Child of God and it is one of the sweetest things you can imagine. It's so touching.

Well, we are staying busy and having fun. I don't know if I told you, but our Branch President was going through Chemo and was supposed to have 3 or 4 more treatments, but when they scanned him he was cancer free and is officially in remission and back to working...or should we say flying? His wife also has cancer, not treatable and she is just living life, I can't imagine what it would be like living and just waiting for when this disease overcame you. One of the counselor's wife is also going through chemo and radiation and is really really struggling. It breaks my heart and I have come to love them so much.

Hm, as for the pictures, I can save them to my thumbdrive and print them off at Target or somewhere. I'm glad the kids had fun at Youth Conference. It sounds like a blast. You might need to purchase a gun to keep the boys away from your daughters though... you don't have to buy ammo, they don't have to know it's empty ;)

So remember our goal of 60 baptisms in June? Well, so far we have had 32 baptisms and have 27 date sets left....which if you do the math adds to 59. We are praying for miracles all over the mission. We have already seen so many of people who have just shown up and have already taken the lessons elsewhere, or have been attending for years and finally decided they want to get baptized. I don't know, all I know is that if we keep working hard and trusting in the Lord then we can still reach 60, He will provide.

Well, it's a busy day and we've got to get running, but I love you all. I'm glad work and school and church is going well. Oh, we stopped by the Sanderson's yesterday and I finally re-met them. They say hi and said they follow you on facebook. haha. They talked about having us over for dinner sometime, that would be fun. Mike wasn't to receptive to us showing up, Nick is still active in church though. Hopefully they will come to the activity our branch is having Saturday.

Ok, but now, for real, I love you, have a fabulous week! Work hard, keep a smile on your faces and remember that there is a missionary out here praying for you and that loves you!

Sister Randall :D

June 13

Monday, June 13, 2011 12:37 PM

Message body

Thanks for the pictures! I enjoyed them. I can't believe that my little siblings are teenagers!! And they are starting to look it too! Crazy crazy crazy. It seems that you are all doing well and are happy :)

Well it's been a super fast week. It was a bad week for our contacting numbers. Monday we had a meeting and FHE, Tuesday we had pday and dinner with one of our members and his family. His mom is in the Stake Relief Society and helped us go through our list of singles in the Stake. That pretty much took up the night. Sister Stokes was sick for 3 days this week, so we were home and I spent a lot of time calling the elders of different areas to talk to them about the singles in their areas. There are 110 Young Single Adults in the Mankato area and 13 are active. We talked with the elders and they said that it's a college town and a lot of singles come in for school, get their records in and then disappear. So most of them aren't even in the area anymore, but we have no idea where they are. They need their own singles ward in Mankato with missionaries who can deal with that. It's about an hour away from here. Even though Sister Stokes was still not feeling well Saturday morning we went to do service for the company one of our members work for. They were opening at a new location and needed help getting everything painted and set up. So we spent a couple hours there Saturday and a couple more this morning. Saturday night we had a lesson with our investigator Kipp aaaand he is getting baptized on July 16th!!! :D I am so excited. He has been coming to church for over a year and had taken some lessons in Mankato, and now he has finally decided that he should get baptized! :D That was a very exciting evening! On Sunday, church started out normal. We were up in the choir singing when in walked one of the LA's we had talked to a couple weeks before!! And then in came another LA who we have spent the last 5 weeks trying to get ahold of! And then there were like 4 new faces from other wards! And then there were some more LA's and then there were 3 non members! There were so many people in Sacrament meeting. I nearly cried. It was absolutely amazing! :D

So, today I got a chiropractic adjustment! My hip has been really sore and also affecting my knee. There is a member here who does free missionary adjustments. He also was able to show me some stretches to help keep my hip from popping out and to get it to stop popping! It was super exciting :D

Hmm, what else has been going on? Sister Stokes goes home a week from Wednesday. I'm so anxious to find out who my new companion is going to be but I'm so sad to see sister Stokes leave. She is so awesome :) I went to the doctor for prescriptions for my inhaler. They had me rate like 4 or 5 different aspects to my asthma and if it was 19 or below your asthma was uncontrolled. Mine was 17. But, that's part of the reason I was there in the first place. He gave me two options. One of them had the possibility of making my asthma worse than it already is, so I steered clear of that one. The other one is FloVent. I take it morning and night. It's another inhaler and I take one puff in the morning and one puff at night. Downfall is that it takes 1-2 weeks to actually work. So hopefully it will decrease my use of my inhaler. Nice thing is that it will last me 4 months and was cheaper than my albuterol.

The thing about the 60+ baptisms is that that is throughout Minnesota. We have 200 missionaries here, so in 200 different areas we have 69 planned baptisms. The ideal is for every area to be baptizing once a month. But I know what you mean about LA's. It's overwhelming and there are sooooo many of them who don't really understand what it meant for them to be baptized. We have a couple of those we are working with and a couple who are super solid and completely understand the commitment they have made.

I'm glad Eva is up and running. The poor computer. Take good care of her, she's my baby ;) Keep practicing the piano everyone!! I wish I was better than I am. I should have taken piano lessons at BYU-I despite the extra costs.

How is dad's job going? How is the Relief Society? I'm glad your class isn't as bad as you thought it would be! Don't stress out! You seem to be doing a great job, just like always, at keeping busy! There is a never ending list of things to get done! So, that pretty much covers everything! Things are going great, the mission is about to go through a transition phase and I'm gonna find out who my new companion will be in a week!

I hope everything is going great! Sorry I missed your anniversary. I new it was in June...but I didn't know what happy late anniversary! You are a quarter of the way to 100 years together and on your way to eternity! :D I love you all! Have a great week and I will talk to you next week!

Love ya!
Sister Randall :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

June 7

Hey Family!
Sorry I'm a day late! We found out Friday or Saturday that we were having one last training with President Howell on Monday. So, Pday got moved again! President and Sister Howell leave for home in just a few weeks. Our new mission president will be here the same day the Howell's leave (whichever day that is). I'm excited to meet President and Sister Clements. Sister Stokes goes to the Mission Home the 22nd and I find out who my new companion will be June 20th! I'm nervous! Did I mention that I kind of know one of the new missionaries coming in this transfer? She is one of my friends sister and other friends friend. I never actually met her, just heard stories! How cool would that be if I ended up training her!?

So across the mission we have been aiming for 60 baptisms this month. We had 9 baptisms this past weekend, and have 69 more "solid" scheduled baptisms for the rest of the month! Let's pray they all go through! How awesome would that be? Pres. and Sis Howell are really stressing that we work hard to not "take a dip" with the hand off to Pres and Sis Clements. Most generally missions will dip in statistics when there is a change, so we are hoping to keep going strong and are able to keep our statistics stable. We have worked hard to get to where we are now.

Well, through all of our hard work, diligence, and faith we have had some blessings this past weekend! One of our members asked her boyfriend to take the lessons (again). He had been away at school and had taken lessons from the Elders, but never really progressed. So, he agreed and we taught him Saturday. He can only meet once a week, so it will slow the progression down, but Sister Stokes and I both feel that he will be baptized. His name is Kipp :) Then, on Sunday we were out tracting and found a 27 year old single (which is rare to find in tracting) who first told us he wasn't interested but then we kept talking, he opened up, talked about all these changes he wants in his life and I wanted to badly to just teach him everything then and there. Buut, we are going back Wednesday! So, in two days we got two investigators!!! We are super excited about that!

We have kept busy with finding and trying to get in with our members. We have been working on perfecting what we call a "Chapel Tour" It is a very spiritual lesson that we do in the church and we teach the Restoration. But we use pictures, The Restoration movie, and other visuals to help people see and understand why it's so important that we have the proper authority on the Earth. We first showed our branch presidency and hope to get all of our members to experience it. We hope that when we do it for the 4th time on Saturday that all the kinks will be worked out and that Kipp will really get a lot out of it. We took his girlfriend and her sisters through yesterday and they really enjoyed it and so now she is prepared to share her testimony of the gospel :) We are definitely excited for Saturday!

Hmm, that about covers it.Our branch president's wife finally let us do service for her. We went and helped her garden. Yes, mom and dad, I actually worked in the garden. :P We have biked a couple times. One day we needed to bike all day because we needed the miles saved for another day and it ended up being the most humid day yet! I think we probably biked a total of 10 miles that day. I just love biking! I got a sunburn, nothing too bad, but none the less I got some color! I'll send a couple pictures, one of us after biking to the neighborhood we were going to tract, another of the burn and one of us when we went to stop by a less active who has a beautiful lake in the area (we drove that day). :D By the way, I'm still looking forward to being able to take up biking when I get finally bike in something other than a skirt! ;) I just love biking :D

Anything else? My branch president in AZ is getting released...I knew it was gonna happen though. I have several friends waiting for mission calls! I'm excited to hear where they are going! Cool. That's all I've got!

How are things at home? Good luck with your class mom! That sounds intense and I'm grateful that I've had some time off of school! Yes, Miranda can fix Eva and use her. I don't remember what all is saved on the hard drive, but I'm pretty sure it can all be deleted. (There will be pictures of Curtis and can delete them.) And CONGRATS ON FINISHING PERSONAL PROGRESS! :D Do you know what apartment number you will be living in yet?

Good luck with uniting your members. Maybe working with the missionaries will help. They might have some ideas. One of the ideas used here to help members unite is a 40 day fast. Each member takes a day of the 40 and fast for your specific cause. So for missionaries, we have them fast for missionary opportunities. In your case, it might be for charity, unity...etc. It sounds pretty cool :)

Is inventory for Mr. Farmer over? Enjoying the dirt and everything? Sister Stokes LOVES to garden and do landscaping--of course she did grow up working on a ranch and she wants to go into landscaping/horticulture... She is gonna be one of my friends forever. I told her that she could landscape my yard and in return I will do whatever I end up going into for her...too bad I don't know so I can't make an appealing deal ;)

What are you doing to the basement? Tell Charity congrats and that I love her! And tell Koltn congrats and I am SUPER excited for him. This is one of the best experiences ever! He should also probably email me, I would enjoy that! (Grandma Burbank, could you tell him that for me? I would appreciate that much!)

Well, I love you lots! I hope all is still going well! I love you. Keep smiling and working hard! I love you aaaand well, I love you.

Love your favorite sister/daughter/cousin/granddaughter ,
Sister Randall

June 2

Hey family!!
I'm glad the trip to Ohio went well, sorry you didn't have as much fun as you had hoped to on your cruise! Let me tell you what! Pdays are an inspired day for missionaries. Without a pday I don't think many missionaries would last long. It's been SO long since last pday and I feel like I've lost my mind! I forget words and stutter and mix letters up all the time! Man, I'm going crazy! :S But, the wait was well worth it so that we could go to the temple. I love the peace that can be felt there. It breaks my heart to meet those who have been there and have turned away from the Lord.

So, what has happened since I last emailed? We have tracted a lot. Sister Stokes and I taught Sunday School this past week and we talked about personal mission plans. Thanks to Sister Akenson sharing her experience of wishing she had shared the gospel sooner the Spirit was strong and the branch received some awesome promises. it's up to them now to act. We are still looking for ideas of what more we can do to strengthen the branch. Sister Stokes and I came to the realization that we wouldn't be here in this area if no one was prepared. But we also realize that the Lord is not going to bring them in if the branch cannot retain their members. We can't even get active YSAs to stay in the branch! Why would a nonmember want to join? So, if you have any suggestions of what more we can do to strengthen the branch, they would be greatly appreciated. We are running out of ideas.
Yesterday morning I had gotten a little sick, so while Sister Stokes was eating lunch I laid down to take a nap. Well, the phone rang when I was almost asleep, so i answered it. It was a man who had wanted to know more about what we were sharing! I was excited but half asleep and he was acting weird and when I tried to get his address he wanted to just talk on the phone, so I asked him what questions he had. He asked "What are mormons?" I was confused at the broadness of the question (plus i wasn't completely awake) so I found Sister Stokes and told him to talk to her. Quickly he changed 'character' and started asking about polygamy and told us we weren't the "real" mormons if we didn't practice polygamy. He then wanted us to come over and "teach" him...except he really didn't want us to teach and he was very forward about that. Thankfully sister stokes handled it very well, offered to have the elders come over, he said no and finally gave up trying to convince us to come over and hung up. I was DISGUSTED. That was a rough start to the day. Our next appointment fell through and we went out tracting. Thankfully our appointment rescheduled for later though. We went back (this is one of the first lessons to go through since he was baptized) and we had our branch president with us. We worked through a lot of hold ups and it was very productive. We also got a referral!!!! Yay for YSAs!!! We will contact her today, hopefully. In all honesty it has been a tough 6 weeks. And until the branch starts becoming stronger and more unified, it could continue to be that way. We set a goal for our branch while we were teaching to have one baptism by the end of the month. I hope we can reach that goal. We have some AWESOME people in the branch who will really be the start of this growth. One sister just returned home from the Mesa Visitors Center mission (With Emily) and I had actually talked to her a couple times while I was in AZ! How awesome, right!? She is incredible. With her help and a few others in the branch we hope to see improvement!

We had Thursday night visits last week, and they went really well :D We are going out again tonight and we hope to get in with several of those we have planned. Wow, what else is going on? We spend a lot of time trying to find new ideas to help the branch. We want to serve our branch presidency, but they don't let us, they just tell us to focus on the work. Good news, our branch president doesn't have to get his last few sets of chemo! He is in remission for an estimate of 6 months. We are hoping for longer. Him and his wife have the same type of cancer, but hers isn't treatable :( One of the other counselor's wife has cancer too. It's really hard on them, but they still work hard to serve.

We have 3 English Sisters coming in this next transfer! and we have two that are leaving. One of the 3 is my friend Stephanie's (from AZ) best friend, and my friend Matt's sister. I never met her but I heard lots of stories about her! i also go the news that Stephanie is filling out her mission papers!!!! That is SO exciting. It's the best experience ever! I am learning so much. Have you ever realized how amazing the bible is? Man, it's incredible! Acts is AWESOME and has a lot of scriptures talking about authority. One of my favorite thing to do with people who are set in their ways and refuse to change is talk about the plan of Salvation and how there is a Spirit World. They claim that the bible doesn't talk about it, but then we like to show them the scripture about Christ preaching to those in Prison who had lived at the time of Noah. Then they get confused and decide to go talk to their preacher. I don't know what good will come of it, but it's always good to question what you are taught. At the end of any conversation i love to invite people to think about what we have discussed and then pray about it. There are countless scriptures in the bible that tell us that God will answer our prayers. So, it's awesome. I love tracting. I love talking to people :D

So, Miranda. Do you know which apartment you will be in in Baranessa? My comp, sister Stokes will be there in the fall and living in Royal Crest which is right across the parking lot. I asked her to take care of you and to chase off any boys that want to marry you within the first semester ;) Sister Stokes is awesome and i do expect you both to meet each other. Her first name, for your future convenience, is Mary. She is such an awesome person!! I can't believe she goes home in 3 weeks :( I'm nervous! I'm a little nervous that I will train, but I know if i do, then the Lord knows what he is doing and i will just have to trust him. I feel comfortable in tracting and having member and less active lessons, but I've had little experience with investigators since I left Oakdale. And in Oakdale, Sister Sorensen did most of the teaching. AHH we want investigators soooooo bad! Even if they don't get baptized in June, we want to teach!!!!! It can be frustrating sometimes, because we are called to teach and baptize and we can't baptize if we don't have investigators. But, we are working hard to stay positive. All in the Lord's time!

Sorry, I'm so scattered. I really don't know what has all happened. We stay busy. We work hard. We have fun. We love what we do! Our district is awesome! Elder Flores is a convert and is an older missionary and he is so funny. His companion is 22 and he's pretty funny too. So anytime we are with the district we have fun. We have 10 pm prayer with our district almost every night over the phone, and they are always entertaining phone calls. Our elders are such hard workers and i have a lot of respect for them!

Anyway, that's about all. Sorry I didn't mention the tornado, I just assumed you knew. We almost had another one, but closer this time. It would have actually been within our stake. One almost touched down in New Prague, but we had actually left the area to visit LA's who had recently moved out of the Stake but kept their records in our branch. So we missed that storm and the hail. It was nice and sunny when we received the text from the Zone leaders saying "everyone get inside and call us when you get there!" We were like, uhhhh why?. haha. But, we stay safe. We try to be smart about it. It was actually a cool story. Elder Flores and Dillard (the new prague elders) were actually teaching an important lesson trying to set a date when the sirens went off. They said they were praying in their hearts so hard, because they really wanted to set a date. And the tornado never came! Sweet. The Lord protects his faithful servants and assists them in His work. It's awesome. We have seen many miracles this past few weeks throughout the mission. We ended up with like 113 date sets for the month of June! How awesome!? The number ended up dropping to about 103, but still! We are still praying that we can reach 60 baptisms in June! I guess Hawaii had 102 baptisms last month!!! How awesome would that be if we could do that in every mission every month? It definitely requires the work of the members! The goal is to continually double baptisms :D It's an incredible work to be involved with.

Anyways, I've got to get on to emailing President. I'm not sure what I'll say to him either. But, that's ok. I love you all! :D have a great few days! I'll email again on Monday! Stay strong and keep smiling!

Love ya lots!
Sister Randall