Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Week 6

My dear family :)
Wow, it's been an incredible week. It was our stake conference as well. A woman in the ward came up to me yesterday and asked me if this little girl looked familiar. I told her no. Apparently the kids were from the Mattoon ward and whoever they are..somehow they knew I was from there... I dunno. So yep. What kind of food do I like? Well, I'm always looking for snacks for during the day. Granola bars, fruit snacks, trail mix. I also love chocolate and if you mix that with peanut butter, I can't complain! If you find fleece lined tights, that would be awesome, but get them in like a medium. You wanna hear what I wear on a daily basis? I wear long underwear, (also sometimes thermals), 2 pairs of tights, a pair of regular socks, a pair of 40 below socks, a pair of shorts, my skirt, and on top I wear a long sleeve shirt, an undershirt, a regular shirt, a sweater, scarf, and coat. I'm staying warm, but all the layers on the bottom squeeze into my hips and it hurts. So maybe some bigger tights? I also want a fleece jacket that zips up the front. It doesn't need a hood.
Bowling was fun. I didn't do great, but when do I ever? Bowling just isn't my strong point. I got a letter from Jesse. He said that his mom had 2 strokes last week. She's ok, and his dad took a week off to be with her. Crazy how that can happen.
Food interesting. We teach many different cultures, including African. Let's just say that when we ate at Sister Francis' house I had a "stomach ache" and couldn't eat all my food. :S Last night I was asleep by 20 till 10pm. I was not feeling well, and I'm still not feeling the best. But, I got 9 hours of sleep! I think it's dehydration. The water from the tap here is gross tasting. So, I'm going to buy a gallon of water today, maybe I'll drink more that way.
Ok, here's the story of the week. It's been incredible and has really helped me. Wednesday morning we received a referral from some missionaries in another part of MN. A guy named Moses has a cousin in that area. Moses had been talking to his cousin, and wanted his life to go better, so he'd asked his cousin why his life seemed to be so good. His cousin gave him the missionaries numbers and they set up an appointment, then gave us the referral. So, Wednesday night we went to teach him the Restoration. Brother Thomas and Brother Quinn came with as joint teachers. The lesson went great and the Spirit was SO strong. At the end of the lesson both brother Thomas and Quinn bore their testimonies. Before we prayed I felt prompted to tell Moses that as he continued to learn and act on these things that he would face challenges, but that God would help him and that we would be there. Moses committed to be baptized that night, and he even said the closing prayer. He wanted to meet everyday, but we set up another appointment for Friday. So, Friday we met at Brother Quinn's house. The 1st thing he told us cleared up our concern of the Law of Chastity. We had left the previous visit under the impression that he was living with his girlfriend. BUT! He's married! The 2nd thing he told us was that he had lost his job that morning. (Satan is so rude!) Moses then told us that it was ok. He said that since he had met with us he had felt joy and he knew that it was in God's hands. He is so strong and so faithful. He is one of the "elect" as described in the Doctrine and Covenants. He is prepared for this. His baptismal date is set for the 26th. He came to stake conference on Sunday and got to meet some members of the ward. We plan on meeting his wife and hope to teach her too. Also, on the 26th a recent convert family is getting sealed and we get to attend that that morning! That will be an incredible day! The 19th we also have a baptism. Katie has been taught by the Cottage Grove Elders, but she's actually in our ward boundries. She's been going there because she has friends and families. She recently quite smoking..going on 5 days now! So, we are hoping to introduce her to ward members this Sunday so that she will continue coming after her baptism.
One night last week we dropped my a less active's house. She has depression and apparently is bipolar. She wasn't feeling well and so we offered to bring some priesthood holders over to give her a blessing. So, another night we went by with Brother Sheffeild (we live in his basement) and a member of the bishopric. We talked about her life and problems and how church can bless her life. Brother Sheffeild was very kind and loving and encouraged her to come to church. They then gave her a blessing and while they were doing that I was under the impression that we were not alone. There were angels in that room. Several times I opened my eyes, just expecting to see them. Well, I never did, but they were there. She was concerned with being lonely, but I know that she is not alone. That was another incredible experience from this past week.
We've had a couple of "warm" days. Warm being 25-30's. The snow was starting to melt. But, we've had light snow this weekend and another storm is supposed to come tomorrow. Will the snow ever melt? I hear they are already concerned about flooding when the snow melts. There is so much of it.
People from Salt Lake are coming this week to talk to us about the new training program. So on Thursday I get to see all my elder's and sister from the MTC. We will pick apart the program and talk about what we like and how we feel like it's helping us. I'm excited to see them again. I get to see 2 of them every once in awhile. Elder Hudson I see weekly and Elder Waite (the one Miranda is supposed to write) is in my zone so I see him occasionaly. I saw him last week and he still had not received any letters. He's a good kid :) 
Friday Sis. Sorensen had to go to Bloomington for meetings so I went with the Spanish Sisters in West St. Paul. You ready for this? Hermana Hedengren dated the oldest HOTCHKISS boy. As in Wesley Hotchkiss's older brother. She never met Wesley though, because he was on his mission. She's good friends with their mom though. Also, there is an inactive member of the Spanish branch there who is from puerto rico who converted some 20 years ago. They were gonna ask her if they knew an "Elder Randall". What a small world it is.
Well, I suppose that's my week! Shae, congrats on the musical! I wish I could have seen it. Dad, how's work? Oh, and how are my taxes going along? One of the members of the bishopric here is a lawyer in the tax area. So now I just wonder what's going on with that.
Mom, you started a project? When did you find time for that!?
I hope all is going well! Things are great here! I love you all!
Sister Randall

Week 5

On Mon, Feb 28, 2011 at 12:52 PM, Adrianna Randall <> wrote:

Alright, today we are in a hurry. The district is getting together at 1 (in 30 minutes) to go bowling, and it's a 20 minute drive. So, yeah. But, things are great. There is still TONS of snow. It's COOOOLD. I'm surviving though. A member gave me boots, they fit and are very warm. I also bought some 40 Below socks. They keep my feet warm. I am going to try to find a fleece jacket. Sister Sorensen doesn't think my coat will be warm enough for the winter. She has a down coat plus a fleece jacket and it's still cold. I don't know, I can hope for warmth! I'm glad that I didn't get here in the middle of winter. They still go out proselyting in -30 weather. :S brrrr. I'm gonna be an icle. But, many are chilled and few are frozen. So, I hope to stay in the majority!
We have 3 or 4 investigators. Getting them to church is SO hard. We also taught a first lesson to a couple who have 1 kid and another on the way. We think they are J.W.'s. Gratefully they haven't been rude. They've pulled out their scriptures, asked questions, listened and moved on. We are going back to teach the Plan of Salvation. How cool would that be to see a JW convert? haha. We are waiting on Bro. Anderson's letter of approval. He can't get baptized until the 1st Presidency approve. Man, it seems like tons has happened, it's just hard to describe. I'm slowly getting better at contacting. I'll get there. We have run into some anti's but nothing to extreme. Sister Sorensen told me stories about some of the people she has run into. She said she was only truly scared once...and that's when she tracted into a bible study of Born Again Christians. The teach anti-mormon doctrine. One woman she tracted into even fell to her knees praying for the devils to be cast out and then ran back, got a pamplet titled "What to say when Mormon Missionaries come to your door.." Crazy. I was a little nervous something like that was gonna happen on Sunday. I talked to this woman in her driveway and once I said who we were she wouldn't make eye contact and quickly told us to leave. Whatever.
Oh, favorite Scripture. Phillipians 4:13. I can't upload a picture onto the library computer. So yeah. Jesse's mom forwarded me his email and told me to forward it to dad. So I will do that. and she wants your email. Not sure why.
I've gotten tons of letters these past 2 weeks. It's kind of crazy. Just send letters to the mission home. They forward the letters the same day and we just get it one day later. It saves the hassle of changing addresses at transfers. And if you ever send a package, do NOT use Fed Ex they won't forward the packages. UPS will. Hmm, let's see....I am definitely here in Oakdale until May 11th. After that I don't know.
As for church meetings. We get up at 5 for 6 am meetings. We meet with Bishop, ward mission leader, and ourselves. Then we meet with just our ward mission leader. Then we go back in for PEC. Sundays are so long. I spoke on Sunday. I guess it went pretty well. Things are going great, and I'm slowly adapting to missionary life. As for our apartment, the members are never in there. It's like our own apartment. I am actually surprised because our apartment has been messy (which stresses me out, believe it or not). That's one of my pet peeves. Dirty dishes left everywhere, things thrown around the living room... (bedrooms are another story!) The bathtub is GROSS. I did a light cleaning of it today, but next pday...It's going DOWN! Haha. Wow, so yeah. Life is great. The mission is awesome.
We get to go to the temple once a quarter. It takes place of pday. have fun cleaning. They are cleaning the chandeliers here, I wanted to go help, but we aren't allowed :(
Miranda and shae both seem to be popular with the boys! Shae, I wish I had advice for you.. If I were to give either of them advice on boys, it would be this: Be honest and straightforward. Don't be afraid to let boys know what you are thinking or what you want. It makes it easier to have open communication. So just straight up tell them! ;)
Austin, the lightsaber picture: It's lead. Colored lead. The flash reflects off of it. It's from a colored mechanical pencil. So yeah. It's fun. Alright, I've got to go! I love you!! Things are awesome and I'm pretty sure I'm gonna start gaining weight. So much for training my body not to overeat. I'll have to retrain my body after my mission. Uggghhhh. I want nice weather so we can go running!!!
Oh, I haven't called Kim. You should ask her where she lives. I don't remember where Luke is, but it's definitely not here. There is no college here. Oh, here is a little about my ward. Our ward covers East St. Paul, Lake Elmo, Oakdale, Woodbury, Lakeland and Stillwater. East St Paul is a very poor area and Woodbury is full of very rich people. So we have both in the ward...our members from Woodbury feel very judged from the more rich. It's hard to see the way that members interact and treat each other. It's a whole new perspective from a missionary's point of view. The Sanderson's live in an Elder's area, but it's right next to a sister's area. That was sis. Sorensen's first area. I'll have to ask the elder's there about them. I'm glad you are all doing well. I love you all and will talk to you soon!!
Sister Randall

Week 4

On Mon, Feb 21, 2011 at 2:10 PM, Adrianna Randall <> wrote:
Kim might be in our area. We cover East St. Paul, so I will give her a call this week and find out. Well, do you remember Chris and Ken White? They were in 3rd ward when grandpa was bishop. They live in my ward! They remember you. In fact at the baptism the other night she commented "I can see Darin in you. You are definitely a Randall." I hope that's a good thing!! ;) That was kind of fun. (The baptism was an 8 year old girl in the ward..not a convert baptism). We are waiting on a baptism though. We have to wait for clearance from President Monson. Crazy, right? He is such an awesome guy!
I never realized how much missionaries work with the ward...or the inactives. It's crazy! Oh, I suppose I should tell you: I'm in the Oakdale area. It covers Oakdale, Woodbury, East St. Paul and maybe a few other areas that I can't think of the names for. Right now I am looking out the window of a member's house and all I see is WHITE. It has been snowing since about 10am yesterday. We have gotten probably 20 inches or so. Plus all the snow already on the ground. We have a car. However, when the weather gets bad we have to park the car. We had to do that after church yesterday. This morning was clear again, so we got driving priviliges again. But now..I'm just waiting for the text from the Zone Leaders telling us to park it. Oh well, we will go with it. I still don't have boots. we went boot hunting, buuuutt there is almost nothing left. I found a really good boot for 1/2 the original price (great price) but they only had 7s and 8s. The boot is made for -40. We always go out, unless it's -40. Sooo yeah. It gets soooo cold. Oh, however we ran into a member on our way out of Target and she might have boots that will work for the remainder of the winter that she said I could have. We will go look at them tomorrow.

Our CO detector started going off last night..thankfully it was just a low battery. It put my trainer, Sister Sorenson and I on edge for a while. We finally got to sleep though. Sister Sorenson is from NORWAY. She is so awesome. She is happy and hard working and just sooo fun. She wears a small fake wedding ring because she has been proposed to a few times on her mission. She told me that I might consider doing that too. 

My first tracting experience: The first couple days here were surprisingly warm! The first day you hardly needed a coat, the 2nd was a bit colder. So, the 2nd day (my first day in my area) we went tracting. The snow had been melting, so we were trying to avoid this 1/2 inch deep puddle. (With big snow banks on either side). While we were working our way around it, a car came driving past on the road, hitting a puddle and splashed us. We were rather wet. I seriously thought that only happened in movies. It wasn't at foot level either. The sidewalks were higher than the road and the water went UP and then we got a shower. Haha, it was good. We have 2 potential investigators. One is a family who was going up to visit her brother for the weekend. Her brother is a member and they were going up for her neices BAPTISM. So, they had their first exposure to church. We will go back some time this week. It really is exciting. 

The members in the ward are awesome. They have really gotten excited about missionary work and are doing their best to help. The ward missionary leader has been here 3 months, and his humor reminds me of dad. He's fun. Wow, there isn't too much excitement right now. Lots of snow...we are in a new pilot training program. (I guess I'm just a testing dummy or something). Well, the term they use here is "Minnesota nice". Sometimes it's used rather sarcastically, especially in reference to the weather. :D

I'm quickly adjusting to missionary life. We went grocery shopping, finally! I've hated not having food. I had cereal, fiber 1 bars, bananas and a couple yogurts to get me by for the last several days. YAY for food. The members are great at feeding us though. 

I do have my bike. It looks like a great bike..however, we haven't used them. There is TOO much snow. Plus, the members are too conscientious of us to let us do that. Oh yeah, the St. Paul Temple is 1.3 miles away from our house. We live with  members. They built an apartment in their basement that their son and his wife lived in for awhile. It's practically like having our own apartment. We have our own kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, living area... We actually have 2 bedrooms, but mission rules are to share a room. The members actually really like having missionaries living there. They are sweet people. Man, I feel like there is so much to say!

Ok, picture....I don't have my camera with me. I don't have an updated picture. I emailed one to Pres. Anderson several months ago. Maybe he still has it? I might could send one next week. I'll send a scripture next week too. Once again, I don't have my scriptures. Anyway. I have got to write Pres. Howell. 

Thanks for the Valentine's package! I really enjoyed the candy! It was DELICIOUS! Anyway, I hope you all have a good week. Dad, I hope work is still going well. Mom...good luck with Relief Society. Miranda, Austin, Shae. Sorry I don't have time to respond individually. The letter sounds great, Miranda. He's a good guy. Austin, The picture with the lightsaber is not photo shopped, but it's not the best picture. There is a trick to doing it. It's pretty cool. Shae, good luck with the musical. Don't be scared of your teacher, just do your best. I wish I could watch! I love you all!

Sister Randall