Friday, December 7, 2012

It's already December!?

Well, not too much has changed since October. I am still working 2 jobs, and with it being December my job at the Joseph Smith Building is very busy. I am working 42 hours this week and probably a few more next week. It's good to be busy. I am finishing up my only class on the 13th and I am so excited to be done. I have decided to go to Massage Therapy School next year sometime. So, until I begin I will be working and saving up money for that schooling.

I guess since my last post I started dating a guy named Sean. It's been fun and interesting and I found out that now that I've been on my mission, dating is completely different. So in between work and school I manage to find time to spend with him.

I am sooo happy that the weather has been nice. I really cannot complain. It makes walking to work so much easier!

My apartment is nice and I love going for walks around the state capitol, which is conveniently close. Unfortunately, our lease ends at the end of January and they are raising the price of rent. So, here I go, moving again. Maybe someday I will be able to stay in one place for at LEAST a year? Maybe?

Well, that's the update. And, I am currently procrastinating my homework. So...I should probably do that before I have to go to work! Later!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

City Livin'

Who would have ever guessed that this small town girl would ever live in downtown Salt Lake City, UT? My hometown could practically fit in a 3 block radius! (Ok, that might be a little dramatic...) I have officially moved downtown. I live a 15 minute walk from school, 10 minute bike-ride from job #1 and a 10 minute walk from job #2. It's nice to not have to deal with a 45 minute commute. Yay!!

Job #1 (The Senior Center) is going well! I love the residents, but it is so hard to see them start to fade away. To listen to them have the same conversation they had 5 minutes before, or to be asked over and over again the same questions. One lady has asked me a few different times how we know her name. Awww. One of my first weeks there I was asked what day it was. I said, "It's Tuesday." The woman looked at the woman next to her and said loudly, "Today is Tuesday!" Her friend responded just as loudly, "All day!?" They are so cute. I definitely have favorites and I miss them when they don't come for meals. I am grateful to have a job that I enjoy :)

Job #2 (Joseph Smith Building as a Banquet Server) is going well too. I don't get too many hours in. But, I really enjoy working with people my age. It's kind of intimidating to try to remember all the etiquette rules of serving and setting and clearing. It's so much to remember. Then, to add to that, let's put an apostle in the room at the table right next to yours. DON'T MESS UP! I enjoy it and I enjoy the free food that comes along with it. :)

Today was the first snowfall of the season. I have to admit that I am disappointed. I was hoping for it to hold off until at least mid-November. But, like my mom said to me, "ready or not, here it comes!" Why, oh why oh why do I keep moving to places with cold winters? I know that I don't like it! Why can't I move back to Arizona!? Ok, I'm just being ridiculous now. I just need to invest in a good pair of boots so I don't freeze on my walks to work--that 10 minute bike ride is gonna turn into a 25 minute walk. Bummer! Well, I survived 1.5 winters in Minnesota as a missionary, I am sure I can handle this too.

Next weekend my former roommate and current friend, Tandy is coming to visit! I cannot wait to see her! She is funny and I am glad she was my roommate way back in 2008-2009. =D It's gonna be a blast! Well, now I am about to start rambling about, I will end this little update! I hope you are all doing well!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Gettin' Busy

Well, since my last post I think that my life has changed some! I began a new job. I work at a place called Emeritus Senior Living as a Waitress. Many years ago, during my 1st job, the only experience I had with elderly people was being yelled at for messing up. Here I have learned that I actually enjoy working with the elderly people. They are sweet and rather funny. I love feeling like I am helping someone have a better day! I have truly been blessed in receiving this job. I was reaching the end of my available funds, so I said a prayer. I told Heavenly Father that I knew He had asked me to come to Salt Lake and that He would provide a way for things to work out, but that I really needed a job by the end of the next week. At this point most places had already called and told me that they had hired someone else. I was feeling quite discouraged. Then, one day the phone rang. It was Emeritus. They had already called and told me they had hired someone else, but some positions opened up and they offered me a job! I started that weekend. It truly has been a blessing and I enjoy having something productive to do.

I also have officially started a 2nd job. I am a waitress at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building. Today was my first day. It was good and I am grateful that things are starting to work out! :)

My algebra class is going well. It can be frustrating and I get mad at the problems and realize that the only problem was me! Once I figure it out it's easy! Anyway, things are coming back to me and I'm feeling more comfortable with where life is at!

Next step...make time for a social life. =D

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Back to Life!

Well, it has officially been one month since I was released from 18 months of service devoted to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I wish I could say that coming home has been the best thing ever, but I cannot quite say that. It's been nice to reconnect with friends and family and even to start school again but I greatly miss having days full of serving others. So, I am going to make a list of things I miss and things that I am looking forward to!

What I miss most about Minnesota:         Why I am happy to be home:
My companions                                                                       Friends and Family
The people I taught                                                                 More relaxed schedule
3 hours of gospel study                                                         Ability to do what I want, when I want,
Feeling the Holy Spirit strongly each day                           I get to go to the temple whenever I want!! 
Not worrying about money, school, work etc.                    Being alone!!!!
Knowing for a fact that I was doing the right thing          Socializing...maybe, eventually even dating?
8 hours of sleep each night (or close to)                              Naps :D
Anyway, the socializing thing is still coming. I seem to be quite awkward still. What do normal people talk about? I have found that I am more quiet than I have been in a long long time (unpleasant flashbacks of 7th grade... yikes). If you have any suggestions on how to become unawkward on a social basis and how to meet people, feel free to comment!

Monday, April 9, 2012

April 9, 2012

Well, it's the end of the transfer already. Those first two weeks were SLOOOOW. But, now it's the end. Sister Meraz is being transferred to the Nepali area and I am getting that sister, who also came out with Sister Meraz. So, one more transfer of training for me. Then, maybe I can move to a new area? This will make 9 months here. I guess I'm being taught to be ok with consistency. I like change too much maybe? We shall see.
Thanks for the package! I have enjoyed the's like you know what my favorite candy is, or something? It's great! Also, thanks for the pictures. I was unable to view the videos, there isn't a program on the computer for me to see it! I'm glad they had fun searching for eggs, even though they felt too old for it. You need grandkids soon so that you can keep this going! :D
Sorry work has been hard. Hopefully it picks back up! That's rough. Congrats to Austin on his tennis matches! That's awesome! I'm proud of him! I hope Shae has fun in the musical. And best of luck to Miranda at BYU-I and with her dating life. marriage before I get home (It's not unreasonable to ask that anymore...) And, mom is still busy with all sorts of activities! I swear you never sleep! ;) Thanks for the Mary Kay stuff mom!
Well, friends, it's been a crazy week. One day this week we stopped by the apartment to grab something and it smelt like gas! So, we made some phone calls. It ended up being the pilot light on our stove. But, Elder Randall had us go spend the night with the Spanish Sisters. That was fun, and I enjoyed it. Hermana Blood goes home this Wednesday, so I'm glad I got to spend a little time with her! She's fun.
President met with our Muslim investigator. We can continue to meet with her. She came to a baptism on Saturday and then had a concern with women not holding the Priesthood. We tried to explain it to her. She was supposed to come to church yesterday, but she didn't show up and hasn't responded to us. We will have to work with her a little more. Teaching different cultures is hard. You really have to understand their background!
Our Chinese investigator is doing great! WZ is so cute. We showed her the Restoration in Chinese and she loved it. She got a huge smile on her face during the 1st Vision and she gasped a little. It was cute. Our joint teacher (also chinese) went and hung out with her Friday night and it turns out she might be married...? that or engaged. But the boy is going to school somewhere else. Hopefully she's not married...
AB is doing great. We have met with her 3 times in 8 days and will be meeting with her tonight again. So 4 times in 11 days. She's great. We love her.
No stories about people running away from us this week. There was a U of M football player who passed away this week. They don't really know what happened. It was in the building right across from the Institute. They don't think it was foul play, something about his heart just stopping. One of our investigators played for the team, and one of the less actives the elders are teach did as well. It was so sad. It's sad when someone so young with so much potential pass on. He was going to be the first member of his family to graduate college. At least we know he is in a better place.
Well, things are great. I loved the tender mercy journal! I plan to use it every night (at least I'll try to....). I hope you are all doing well. I love you and miss you and look forward to mothers day! :D It's gonna be great! I hope you all have a great week!
I love you!!!
Love, Sister Randall

April 2, 2012

It's great to hear from you! It sounds like you enjoyed conference! I found it quite edifying as well! That's good that Miranda is headed back off to school next week. Dad would offer to mow her lawn so that he could use the mower! I laughed at that :) Shaelyn seems involved and busy, that's good. I am grateful for the events I was involved in in school. I think it helped me a lot. I don't remember Elder Hulme, but maybe someday I'll end up meeting him again. Austin is also involved, that makes me happy. Charleston seems to have been good to him? Keep me updated on his games! Yes, I still want to do a triathlon. Someday. :D We biked from the St Paul campus back to our apartment the other night. We had used the campus connector (bus) to transport us and our bikes to St Paul, but when we came to go back, each bus that came had bikes already on the rack. So, to make it home in time, we biked back. It was fun. It was misting, and it was a work out, but it was fun. :D

It's so weird to hear of missionaries coming home. I can't believe how fast 2 years goes by..let alone 18months. It's just insane! Anyway, thanks for sending me Mary Kay stuff. I appreciate it. As for anything else that I need, my night solution is running low (I can survive without it) and I could use some eyeliner--either black or dark brown.

So, what happened this week? We had 4 investigator lessons! That was really good! They are some of the sweetest people. We are starting to see our contacting efforts reflect in our teaching, which is super nice! AJ, One of our investigators wants to bring his "mentor" to the next lesson. His mentor is an on-campus minister. But, I guess he doesn't tell him what to believe, but sends him to the Bible to search for answers. So, that could be interesting.

P.M. has to meet with President before we continue to teach her. AB is so sweet, we have taught her once. She is so innocent and when we invited her to be baptized she got such a horrified look on her face. We assured her we weren't pushing her into anything and that we just want her to know where this will lead to when she finds it to be true. AK was interested in learning more. He is from Kenya. He said he would read and pray about the Book of Mormon and if it's true, he'll be baptized. I love Africans, so much!

We had a humorous event happen last night on campus. We had been out contacting and then needed to go back to the Institute to send some emails before we headed home. Well, to get to the institute we had to pass the Elders who were talking to a kid. In between us and them was a guy 1/2 running and looking back over his shoulder. When he got to us he stopped and urgently said "Watch out, there are two Mormons over there! I literally just ran away from them!" Sister Meraz and I were confused and just started laughing, thinking he was kidding. Well, when we realized he was serious we pointed to our name tags. He saw them, looked terrified and took of running! All we could do was laugh. I have never seen anyone so terrified of me before! Haha.

Well, we have a good week planned and will hopefully continue to add to our teaching pool. It's been a great week and we really enjoyed General Conference. It gives me so much to think about and work on! I just love conference! Maybe next time I can go to the conference center! That would be fun. Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful Easter. I am grateful for the Savior and His sacrifice. I know He lives and He loves each and everyone of us. He is our Redeemer. I know that He can help us through anything. His sacrifice is not just for that of repenting, but forgiving and finding strength to continue. The power of the Atonement is real. I am grateful for the Plan of Salvation and the reality of our ability to live with God again. I love you and hope you have a wonderful week!

Sister Randall

Monday, March 26, 2012

Mar. 26, 2012

Hallo meine Familie!

Wie geht es euch? I speak German now! ;) Just kidding. But one of my friends in the ward does. She's awesome. :D

I'm glad you had a good week!  Congratulations to Austin! That's amazing! I'm so proud of him :) He's great! You'll have to take some pictures of him in action and keep me  posted! Shaelyn has stayed busy as well and Miranda is heading back to school! Fun! It sounds like you have hit a midlife crisis with that car of yours, dad? ;)  That's too bad that your blue jeans don't fit... (I know, right?). I always forget how young my parents are...not meant in the way it sounds. Meaning, everyone else my age it seems like their parents are much older. I just always remember that I've got young parents! How wonderful is that? :D

The zoo was not a double date. One of the members took us and the elders, so there were 5 of us, plus when we showed up there was a whole spanish zone at the zoo plus a set of elders from our district. So, it was a party! However, my companion did get hit on...I had to move closer to the guy till he noticed my name tag..then he backed off pretty quick. That's the trouble of having such a beautiful companion. haha.

How was Sam's competition? Did Erin enjoy the time with her mom? Since when does Madalyn have a baby? Sounds exciting!

Well, you manage to stay busy, as always! We did lots of contacting again. Monday night we were out contacting and there was a huge thunderstorm coming in. As we were finishing up our conversation we looked up and saw a WALL of rain and dirt. We all turned our backs to avoid the blow and then we ran, making it half way to the institute before we realized running was pointless. We were SOAKED. It was fun. I laughed pretty good.

We had several appointments fall through, so we didn't teach too much. We are working with an awesome less active right now. She really wants to come back to church and her and Sister Meraz have just hit it off. They are great. I love it. Friday night Sister Meraz started getting sick, but she stuck it out until Saturday evening at 5 when we had to come home for the rest of the night. Sunday we made it through Correlation and Ward Council and Sacrament. Then we spent the rest of the day at home. She's much better now. And now we can work again. This week is looking much busier and hopefully we will continue to build our teaching pool!

Oh, we no longer have a car. President gave it only to the elders because they are the zone leaders and they need it. So, we get to bike now. I'm glad that it's warm weather (except today is cold...)

This weekend is General Conference! :D I'm so excited. I love General Conference. It's just great. Well, my family. I think this covers the week. It's been a good week!

Anyway, I love you and hope you are all doing well! I look forward to hearing from you next week! Have a great week! You are the best!!!

Love, Sister Randall

Sorry everything is so scattered. I feel so scatter brained today. Well, love ya and talk to ya later!

A note from mom

Thanks to all of you that are supporting Adrianna thru letters, packages, thoughts and prayers. We are proud of her and love to hear her weekly letters. Sorry I keep all of you waiting until I get them posted. FYI - Adrianna will return from her mission in Aug. of this year. It will be exciting to see her, glad she is serving and know she is doing a great job.

Thanks again-

Mar. 19, 2012

and HAPPY BIRTHDAY DADDY! What are you doing today? Anything exciting? Fun? Work? Eating? I hope you have an awesome day.
Well, it sounds like the weather is just a little bit nicer there than it is here. The trees are not yet budding, but the weather has been quite incredible. I expected winter to last at least a week or two into April. But, I'll take this. 65 degrees is a good temperature. Now I can send winter stuff home, but I might wait a little bit just to make sure it's not going to take a sudden turn and get cold again. That would be weird. It sounds like you had a fun Spring Break, hanging out, playing, know, all the important things :D
How were classes this week? and Work? We stayed busy, even though it was Spring Break. There weren't tons of people on campus, but we had enough to meet the standard of excellence in finding. However, our lessons are down. But, that comes with time as we slowly build our teaching pool. We met this really cute Chinese girl, WZ. (If only I could just use their names...) Anyway, she's going to a Catholic college and just happened to be at the UofM enjoying the weather. She has no knowledge about God and Jesus Christ. It's so hard to start at the basics and teach up. How do you teach someone the concept of God? Anyway, we had one of the recent converts who is also Chinese help us teach her yesterday. She did amazing and taught her in Mandarin. It's a slow process, but WZ is awesome! She's so cute. She's going to come to church next week and we will teach her again. She's so sweet. 
On Wednesday we had a new missionary training meeting in Bloomington as well as interviews with President. That took most of the day. Then, that night we went on exchanges with the Oakdale sisters. That was fun. But all of our appointments fell through on Thursday, so we ended up contacting on campus all day. I felt bad for Sister Lor. You definitely have to build your endurance to be able to walk around talking to people all day. It's not easy.
Friday we had a lesson with a girl, PM. She has a difficult religious background that could keep us from being able to teach her. She's interested in learning though and is pretty strong-willed.
Saturday we did our best to not be out contacting in the evening. We had no desire to deal with drunk college students. So, we taught a lesson to our regular investigator, who used to be progressing, but is now just driving me nuts. We can't decide whether to drop him or what.
As a mission we are studying the Atonement leading up to Easter. We have a study guide that has a talk or chapter to read. It's exciting. I love studying the Atonement!
So, that's the week. Today a member is taking us to Como Zoo. It's free and it's beautiful weather. It should be fun! Elder Ruesch is still here in the area as well (we both came to Dinkytown the same transfer, we also came out together as well), so it will be our 2nd time going. 
I will think about the schooling thing. I don't know how I'd pay for the other some odd thousands. I know I need to get back to school, but I don't know what to do. Anyway. I'll think on it and let you know.
I love you all and miss you. You are awesome and I look forward to hearing from you next week!
Love ya!
Sister Randall

Mar. 12, 2012

My dear family! It's so good to hear from you! I am feeling better. I still have congestion and a sore throat sometimes. But, I'm doing so much better than I was last week! I suppose if that's the only sickness I have to experience then I can handle it. Sickness makes you appreciate health. 
It's good to hear that you are all staying busy and having fun. I hope spring break is relaxing and fun! It's spring break here too...which means less people to find. But, we will always find things to do! I think that church/house sounds awesome! The grandkids (when they eventually come) will love coming to grandma and grandpas house! How far away is Lerna? How big is Lerna? I do remember Sam talking about creating Randallville. That would be quite entertaining! You will have to send pictures of whatever house you end up moving to.
The kids seem to be kept busy and it sounds as if all is well. Shaelyn mentioned something about Austin going on a mini-mission? That would be SO cool. He will have to let me know how that goes! That little stinker rarely writes me! Maybe twice since I've been out? ;) School sounds tough. Microbiology? eeek. Science is NOT my forte! But you CAN do it!

Sister Stowell's talk sounds very applicable to every ward. There is always someone who goes inactive because of offense. About a month and a half ago we had an experience with someone like that. It wasn't a very pleasant phone conversation. I felt bad for my companion who was on the phone with her-- I was driving. We also just went through our ward list with our Elders Quorum president and a member of the relief society presidency and I was surprised how many we were told to not contact because they had been offended.
We had a lesson Saturday night with an investigator and it was tough. He told us he felt like we were pushing him because we ask him "why" when he doesn't do something or tells us no. He continued to tell us that when he was working with the missionaries in Utah he felt the Spirit more throughout the week. He thought it was because we were "pushing" him. (We aren't even pushing him...) So, he said quite a few different things that were pretty frustrating and then our member spoke up and started talking about the reason for us giving commitments and that if he is not feeling the Spirit it is because of his lack of acting, not because we aren't doing our part as missionaries. I was so very grateful for our member. If he wants to feel the Spirit more then he needs to be willing to make this a priority in his life, which he has not yet done. He will read sometimes, if we text him, and even then it's a 50/50. Church is another story. But, he still wants to meet with us. Anyway, that was a tough lesson, but it's good when people trust you enough to bring up their concerns. 
We taught a couple of first lessons this week, they were cool, but haven't seemed to lead to anything yet. We have done great contacting! We were able to get 25 people's information and hope to be able to contact them toward the end of Spring Break.
Thanks for sharing that experience! I'm glad that me being here could open that doorway! That's the perfect gospel conversation starter! :) Hopefully she will come to church on Sunday or at least contact you.

You are all amazing and I love you and pray for your well-being! Stay strong!
Sister Randall

Mar. 5, 2012

Well, I'm back!

I'm glad you are all well and healthy! Things are going well and life seems pretty normal...with the exception of cut work, that is never a good sign. It sounds like you are all involved in worth-while activities and having fun?
So, I was at a lunch on Friday and the man who was speaking was talking with us and asking us where we were from. I told him Nebraska and then he started talking about the Midwest having tornadoes! I was like whoa! Weird. Then, he was like, yeah, one tornado took a whole town out in Illinois! Little did he know that you lived in Illinois. Anyway, one of the sisters at the institute looked up the town for me so that I wouldn't have to wait until Monday ;) But, I can't believe that there has been such a problem with tornadoes already, that's so bizarre! It scared me for a minute though.

My new companion's name is Sister Meraz. She's from Katy Texas! Fun stuff! She's got an accent and for whatever reason, I'm starting to speak like a Texan! I've tried to get the Minnesotan accent down for the last year with no luck and just a few days with a sister from Texas and I'm changing the way I speak. 

Well, I got sick last Tuesday, and I'm still working on getting over it. We had to spend almost all of Saturday inside and from 3 on  on Sunday. I feel terrible. It's the first time I've been sick enough to not go out on my mission. So, poor Sister Meraz has had to spend so much time at home within her first few days. She's been so patient with me and very helpful in supplying medicine. She's doing amazing. She's so much better than I was. She has just jumped right in and started working. It's fun and interesting and I'm enjoying getting to know her. Sunday was awesome. We knew that 2 of our investigators were coming, and then a guy that Sister Cook and I had talked to 3 months ago walked into church, and also one of our members invited his friend in response to a commitment we left him. We also got a member referral from Rochester and we taught her on Sunday. For only being in the area for a few days and for being home for 1 1/2 of those we had some really good numbers. I was excited! 

So, we have 3 investigators now, and 5 potential investigators. We just need to get some appointments set up. Things are picking up quickly and I am looking forward to getting out and working again! And, Spring should be coming soon! (OK, off and on for the next 6 weeks...) But, it's supposed to be 50 degrees tomorrow! I am SO excited! 

Well, I don't know what else to say. It's been a busy/slow couple of days. Just getting settled in and in the swing of things. Anyway, I love you all and I hope you are well! Have an awesome week!

Love, Sister Randall
(Sorry, that's a pretty boring email.... I hope your weeks were full of a lot more excitement!) 

Feb. 27, 2012

It sounds like you have had quite the excitement in Charleston! Crazy!
I feel so badly for that poor student and his family. How quickly our
decisions affect our future. They may seem so small and so innocent,
but yet, they can be so detrimental to our future. I am so grateful
for the gift of the Atonement and the healing power held therein. I
pray that they can find peace and solace through this time.

That's cool about Brother McNabb--I have heard of these websites.
Fortunately, I haven't really taught anyone who was strongly anti'd.
So, I haven't really had to use it. I know one of the student's father
gave her a 2 inch binder of anti when she was investigating, she
brought it back with her so that she can have a bonfire or something.
It's nasty stuff, that's for sure.

Overall, it sounds like you had a good week. Temple trip, exciting
events coming up, work is going well-ish. It's good to hear that you
are well :)

Well, today was the day of the transfer call. And, as expected, and as
President told me in our interviews, I will be going back to Dinkytown
to train a new missionary. Which, is an overwhelming responsibility,
but I'm doing my best to not think about that. I know it will provide
challenges, but it will be good and things will go well. It will be a
fun experience. I will go to the Mission Home on Wednesday to pick her

It's been pretty fun working with Sister Davydenko and Sister Madsen.
It's been fun to hear the slang that Sister Davydenko has picked up
and also to have to try to define words that I use in words that she
will understand. It's been interesting. She speaks pretty good
English, but there are some words, like "linger" or "loiter". It's
fun. Communication was difficult, but we seemed to improve. I did not
learn any Ukrainian though. I don't think my mouth was designed to
make those sounds...which is why I am serving an English speaking

Investigator situation has been rough. We were dropped by a few and
people just disappeared. We have worked a lot with less actives and
whatnot. Oh, the ward boundaries were changed a couple months ago and
you will never guess whose records were sent to our ward! M.
Sanderson. So, I'm going to take his information with me back to
Dinkytown and see if we can get an activation effort going for him. He
keeps popping up when I am sent to areas...

Let's see... we stopped by a former investigator that Sis. D and
taught and a man answered the door and it wasn't her, so Sister Madsen
just gave a door approach. His words were slurring and it was a
weekend night and he wasn't really comprehending much. Then, Sis. D
jumped in and said, "We are looking for Sally, is she home?"
He goes, "Sally?"
"Yes, Sally, is she here?"
"Who's Sally?"
"Your wife..."
"I'm not married!"
Then he told us to go research the Jehovah Witness church and closed
the door. We don't know what happened to Sally or anything, but that's
where they had taught her before... haha. It was pretty funny--funnier
in the moment than via email, but quite entertaining. I laughed until
we got to our next street to tract.

Anyway, it was fun to be back here for a couple weeks and get to see
the people :) And to learn and grow from the experience. Anyway,
that's all that has really gone on this week. Lots of stop-bys,
tracting, etc. Oh, I know why I can't think of much... Cuz I emailed
you on Wednesday. Saturday we went to a baptism to teach the
Restoration while they were changing and it was one of the sweetest
baptisms I've ever seen. This elderly woman who can barely walk or
hear, but so sweet and knows that this is true. Both of the elders had
to assist in her baptism and they even covered the wall-drain so they
could get the font extra full. She's so cute and it's heart-warming to
see her shuffle down the hall with her walker. It's adorable.

Well, as for what to do for me flying or you picking me up, it's up to
you. If you pick me up you can come see the Sanderson's and see some
of my areas and meet some of the most amazing people ever. Or I can
fly home and we can come back and visit in a year when I'll hopefully
coming back for a temple ordinance. It might be longer than a year
though. I don't know. It's your choice. I'm fine either way. I can't
believe there are only 4 transfers left of my mission. That is
absolutely crazy.

So, I'm sending a package home today...just of things that I can't
carry around any longer and that I won't be using until I get home--my
brown coat, my planners thusfar and I can't remember what else, it's
kind of heavy...I have no idea what is in there...Anyway, you don't
need to open it, I can go through it when I get home. Well, I love you
all, and I will talk to you later!

Sister Randall

Feb. 22, 2012

My dearest family,
How has your week been? It's good to hear that you are all keeping busy! Keep you all out of trouble ;) Best of luck to Shaelyn with the musical and Austin in Tennis. I assume Miranda is still working at Cato's? That's cool that you got in contact with the Stouts! Interesting news. I hope their family is well :) What is this diet called that Mom and Miranda are doing. I may have heard about this. It's nice being back at the Sheffield's (that's where we live)--we have a scale again so I can keep track of what I'm at! I stepped on and was surprised to see the number that I did! However, I think the scale is 5 pounds off, I just keep telling myself that it is right and that I really haven't gained as much weight as I thought I have! :)

I didn't even know Rocio was dating anyone! I need her email or address or something. She wrote me while I was in the MTC, but it only had her school address on it, and I think she was at home at the time. So, I tried writing her anyway, but never heard back. Who is this man? That's too bad that they can't just wait a month and then I could be there! Oh well, life will move on. I'm happy for her. :D First, Charity, then Rocio...who's next? Miranda!? (kidding...I hope).

Things here have remained very busy. A constant go go go, but once again, can I tell you what was involved in that go go go? Not really. We've stopped by several less actives, tracted, taught a few investigators. Not much worth telling.

We went to President's Fireside Sunday night and he caught us on our way out and asked us to come up Wednesday (today) to have interviews with him. I'm not really sure what the purpose is. Maybe he is trying to figure out what to do for transfers? He said to us "I just want to help you Sisters as much as I can." So, I guess I have some ideas of what he was referring to, but it's not anything that I can really discuss with anyone. We'll find out in an hour.

The temple was nice. It's always refreshing and you learn new things. Being in a trio has proved difficult--it always is. It's hard to balance who is speaking when and what not. It's a lot easier to communicate silently to one person instead of two. It all works out in the end.

Yesterday in District Meeting we talked about our points of conversion and what the Spirit feels like and why we are here on our mission. This experience, along with my reflections upon my current finishing of the Book of Mormon helped me see how far I've come over the last year. It's gone from a knowledge to understanding, which reflects in action and attitude. It's not just in my head, but in my heart. It's cool to see how much a mission will do for one. It was cool to hear the other Elders and Sisters stories.

Anyway, how are things with work and school and church? Is there anything that I can do for you from here? Just let me know. I know I can't do much, but if I can do anything please tell me! Well, I love you all and hope that you are doing fantastically! You are all awesome and I will talk to you later!

Sister Randall

Feb. 13, 2012

You will never guess where I am at right now, can you? Want a hint? It's not Dinkytown. Want another one? I've served here before.... That gives you two options.... Northfield Singles or Oakdale. Ok, I'll tell you. I'm officially in Oakdale, for at least 2 1/2 weeks, or more. We'll find out in 2 weeks. Saturday we had just finished all of our planning for our upcoming week and then the phone rang. It was President. You know something is going to change when he says "Well, we've got some news for you." It turns out that Sister Stephenson got sick and needed to go home, so President took us out of Dinkytown and we are now with Sister Davydenko in Oakdale. That have several date sets and a baptism this coming Saturday. So, noon on Sunday President picked up Sister Stephenson from the institute and we went with Sister Davydenko to finish packing our apartment. As of 2:30 yesterday I have been in Oakdale. Weird. And, I'm the only one who can drive right now. It's crazy. The ward mission is not organized, and for whatever reason there has not been sufficient communication between missionaries and ward leaders. With the perfect timing of the Ward mission leader going out of town for 2 weeks. So, if I'm still here next transfer, things are changing and we are getting organized. There is a lot of work to do, but I always enjoy a good project :)
Anyway, big news out of the way! I'm glad things are going well. I'm sure you did well on your test mom. I'm glad people enjoyed the Valentine's dance! I'm sorry to hear about Uncle Lavere. Was that expected? Keep me posted on G. Grandma. Oh, and I'm glad dad is staying busy...keeps him outta trouble! ;) Not that he ever gets in trouble, right mom? At least the kids are staying busy and productive :)
So, last week was full of Dinkytown stuff. We taught Nate about church and the importance of it. It was a really good lesson, we made a lot of progress with him. He came to church on Sunday! So, that's a good sign! We had to meet with the Elders on Saturday and turn all of our investigators over and tell them things that they needed to know. The hardest part of leaving is that Jenny was out of town :( So, I didn't get to say goodbye. I called her though.
Oh, we met with a Muslim girl, that was cool. It wasn't really much of a lesson, it was more of a what is it that you believe, what is it that we believe type of exchange. But, I got a copy of the Quaran and some pamphlets, we gave her a Book of Mormon and our pamplets. We also saw a couple of guys doing their prayers. It was interesting. I learned a lot, and we found many similarities. Fun fun.
We had a really rough lesson. Well, more like we went to meet with this girl, we had planned a lesson, we sat down, she asked us about our "Conversion" and then she went off from scripture to scripture to scripture. It was then that I realized what the envelope she had set on the table was. It was a lesson plan. Scriptures about adding to the bible, about who Jesus is, what the gospel is etc. We got preached to for two hours. She was essentially accusing us of different things through the scriptures she read to us. It was hard to listen to, and we couldn't take control of the conversation. We testified to her very powerfully and she acted as if we had said nothing. It hurt to have someone say such hurtful things that are so close to my heart. But, it was amazing the love that I was still able to feel for her. We finally told her that we had to get to another appointment, and we left. I was grateful that we had forgotten to bring a copy of the Book of Mormon for her. She would have taken it and searched for "mistakes". That was a tough morning.
Basically it was a tough week, but it was good. I have learned so much in serving in the Singles wards. It's weird that I'm now in a Family Ward. Crazy crazy. I wish i could explain all that was going on right now, but it would take way to long. Maybe I will write you a letter after this. We only have one computer for the 3 of us...this is gonna take forever. Anyway, tell the siblings sorry that I didn't respond individually. We don't have time for it today. I am proud of Miranda's example Andrea and I hope that she gets to feeling better. The gospel can truly bring happiness. It's just hard to see how restricting yourself can bring happiness and freedom. Anyway, it's awesome. I love you all. And, thanks for the Valentine package. I loved them all. (Yes, I opened it early...I could give the excuse of saying I needed to pack it all....but that's not entirely true. I was just excited!) I thought all the cards were cute and I'm excited to have a pedicure! Haha. Ok, well I'd better get going. I love you and miss you and keep you in my prayers!
Sister Randall

Feb. 6, 2012

How are you all doing!? Hopefully well. Keep me updated about Great Grandma and aunt Colleen. I'm glad that you are all keeping so busy! Hopefully it's a productive busy. :) How is work going dad? Mom, school?
Well, my time is running short! I'm taking forever on la computadora....uh computer! :D

We had a pretty busy week, but most of it was contacting. We received 16 Future Investigators (meaning 16 people gave us their information, agreeing to learn more) and we hope to get 3 new investigators out of that.

We are currently teaching Nate, from Job Corps, who has taken lessons from missionaries before. His concerns are about Joseph Smith, polygamy, and tithing. We had a lesson with him Saturday night and invited him to come to church, we promised him that he would receive an answer to his questions and all he said was possibly. We arranged for a member to pick him up and then he texted us and said, "probably next week." It's so frustrating when they don't come! They say they want to know, but fail to follow through. And, it was even more frustrating when every testimony borne in Sacrament meeting was specifically directed toward the Restoration or Tithing. We will be talking to him this week about the importance of church and we will give him the notes we took of the testimonies shared. He's the only one that is a serious investigator at this time.

Last night we went contacting and approached this young man, he didn't say much and then we realized that he couldn't speak English! But, he spoke Spanish. I looked at Sister Madsen, looked at the young man and said "Somos missioneros por la Iglesia de JesuChristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias." Sister Madsen was shocked. haha. Then I said "No hablo mucho espanol!" (I know, this is extremely bad Spanish, but he mostly understood!) He laughed a little bit, and so I asked "Que iglesia tu?" He gave me the address of his church... "Quiere que otra missioneros que hablan call you?" (With my hand acting as a phone against my ear. It got the point across. "Que es tu nombre?" He gave us his name... "Y tu numero?" And we got his number. hahaha....Well, it worked. I thought you would enjoy the story. It was fun :)

Here is the excerpt from what I told president in my letter about how I'm doing. This will help you know what my goals are for the next 6 months. While studying I've also thought about how this will apply post-mission as well. It's been interesting to see that the things I've learned are more than just "mission skills". Instead, they are life-long skills.

I'm doing pretty well. I'm working on being able to give all of my heart to the Lord. I read a talk in the June 2011 Ensign called "The Heart and a Willing Mind." It talked about the process of turning your will over to the Lord and there is a quote by Neal A. Maxwell that I really love: 
"The submission of one's will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God's altar. . . . The many other things we give to God . . . are actually things He has already given us, and He has loaned them to us. But when we begin to submit ourselves by letting our wills be swallowed up in God's will, then we are really giving something to Him. . . . There is a part of us that is ultimately sovereign, the mind and heart. . . . And when we submit to His will, then we've really given Him the one thing He asks of us." 
I have also had the chorus of a song stuck in my head. This song was written by a woman named Christy Hinckson. The chorus goes: "All of my heart, no more no less. All of my heart, was His request. He gave His all, not merely a part. So I can give, all of my heart." So, I am working on really turning my will over to the Lord. Giving it all to Him and pressing forward. 

We had dinner with a member this week and he was talking about his mission. He shared with us one thing that he realized, looking back on his mission, that he wished he would have changed. He said, "I realized I had an attitude of thinking that I deserved a baptism." He went on to talk about how sometimes we get into the thinking that we deserve something. But, in all reality, we deserve nothing, but owe everything to the Lord. I've thought a lot about that. 
I've worked hard in this area, but maybe I've had too much of an "I deserve" attitude and not enough of an "I'll give everything" attitude. I hope to change this with the help of my Savior. After all, this is His work, not mine. 

So, that's my focus. I hope it will change the tone of my mission as well as my imperfect point of view. I have so much that I want to accomplish in 6 months, but the biggest way to do that is to learn to turn my will over to the Lord. It's going to be hard, but much worth it. I also hope that my love for the Savior will increase throughout this process.

Well, family, I love you and I hope that you are doing well. I miss you and pray for you always! 

Friday, February 3, 2012

Jan 30, 2012

Hey everyone! It's been another week here in the Dinkytown area! What did we do? Well, all sorts of things, but can I remember enough of them to tell ya? Let's find out!

But, first of all, sorry about the house. I know God has a plan and whatever His will, will work out. It'll be grand. The hardest thing is having the patience to wait for it. And not letting patience be idleness. I'm glad that you are enjoying your class! There is a group of girls in the ward here who are really pumping me up for getting back into school...but that's still forever away! As for my birthday, it was perfect. It was probably one of the best birthdays I've had in a long time. Not too much attention on me and just a small gift. :) As for a list for getting home....I have lots of ideas, they are just super expensive. But, it will definitely start with a wardrobe change. No more skirts every day of my life. Or maybe a professional massage... hmmm :)

I'm sorry to hear about Aunt Colleen and Grandpa Burbank. I hope that they are well and they will be in my prayers.

We did not go back to the Jewish center, but hopefully they will check out We had dinner with one of the girls in the ward and her family last night and they talked a lot about Romney and what not. It will be interesting and it sounds like I have a lot of research to do when I get home.

This past week we taught a few RCLA's and we also taught the Who is God class. We had one guy show up who already knows about God- he came because he saw the posters we put up. But, he came with interest of hearing what we had to say. Since he was the only one, and it was week 3 of the class we taught the Restoration. He seemed super excited about having a prophet and we are supposed to meet with him on Tuesday. We'll see if he shows. He told us he didn't have a phone or contact information but then right before he left he pulled his phone out of his pocket and checked the time before walking out. Oh, how we love people.

The ward is getting excited about missionary work. We have had 5 baptisms in the last 5 weeks with one this coming weekend. (most of which have come from the Elder's) But, the ward is very excited and the auxiliaries are becoming more missionary minded. It's been a huge blessing. On Friday we had a Sister's conference. It was good. They had 3 counselors from LDS Family services come in and talk about how to flip the negative to a positive. They also talked about how successful and happy family relationships have 5-10 positive interactions for every 1 negative interaction. Anyway, so it's ok to express negative emotion, but there needs to be surrounding positive things. One of the office missionaries shared a REALLY embarrassing story and as she said it she pointed out the ways that the Lord blessed her. It was funny :D But we talked a lot about comparing ourselves to others and difficult companions-- but that's an awkward topic when your difficult companion is sitting in the room. So, yeah. It was good.

The ward had a cultural night. One of the Chinese investigators played her Chinese flute, then the Hmong group did a dance, it was cute. We also had several returned missionaries share their mission cultures. It was a good turn out and it was really fun! best of all, people did invite their friends- their friends didn't come, but they have begun the essential step of inviting. President wants to create a "Culture of inviting".

Saturday we were super busy. We taught our Karen investigator-- I don't think it went to well. In their culture they believe if they get baptized a 2nd time they will go to hell. So, we spent quite some time on authority, but that isn't going to do it. It needs to be through the Spirit. Later that day we went to the baptism of the Elder's 1st Chinese investigator to be baptized. We taught the Restoration and hope to teach her 3 friends that she brought. We were also given a referral and so we went and taught Nate and his friend. Nate has taken lessons before, but didn't "do the work to be baptized." He said that he is now ready to do the work and find out. We are excited to teach him, but he didn't come to church like he said he would.

Jenny is doing great. She got called as a ward missionary. She's awesome and is working on a profile.

I feel like I never sound like I'm as busy as I feel. But, I promise we are keeping busy! Well, I feel like this is all. I love you, keep on being awesome and know that I'm praying for your success and well being. Oh, but before I close this off I wanted to share a quote that Hermana Hart (my old comp who is now home) sent me:
"To reach, to teach, to touch the precious souls whom our Father has prepared for this message is a monumental task. Success is rarely simple. Generally it is preceded by tears, trials, trust and testimony."

I love you. I know God is there watching out for and protecting you. I know that His angels are round about us bearing us up as we go about His work. I love you and have a great week.

Love, Sister Randall

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Jan. 23, 2012

Man, sorry my emails have come so late! Our pdays have been sooo busy. It's good to hear that you are doing well. I cannot imagine Shaelyn driving. I can't even imagine Austin driving. But, he is and so is she. Crazy. I'm glad your Klondike Derby Camp-out went well. Winter came this week. We had one day that it was a windchill of -11. It's been a bit breezy. But, we have a busy week planned. And someone was telling us today that the coldest days of January are the 18th and 19th. And, those are past. So, it should all be getting warmer now...right? Maybe. We'll see, either way we'll go out and do the Lord's work. We got 1-2 inches of snow this week. That's exciting. Oh, and I had my birthday. It was a busy day. Sister Madsen made a happy birthday sign out of sticky notes while I was in the shower. It was cute. I give her props, especially since she only had like 2 days notice. Thank you so much for the shirt! I'm going to wear it to the sisters conference on Friday! I'm excited. :D And, the necklace and earrings are super cute and I'll be wearing them often :)

That's cool that you had thunderstorms! I miss good midwestern thunderstorms! They are so amazing. I'm glad mom is enjoying the use of your IPAD. It is a fun toy/tool. Thanks for updating the blog. I wonder if anyone reads it? Best of luck with the table. It sounds like quite the adventure... and tell Shaelyn that I'm not offended. It's pretty hard to offend me. :D

Well, cool experiences from the week... I guess I can start with transfers. It was hard to say goodbye to Sister Cook. She taught me a lot and really helped me with the struggles of missionary life. I will always appreciate what she has done for me. But, I felt very calm that this is what the Lord wants. I quickly found out one of the reasons why Sister Madsen and I were put together and I really feel like what Sister Cook taught me will help me to help her and to help future companions. She's had a couple of tough transfers and really needs love and encouragement while someone who can teach her. I really feel like that over the past 3 transfers I've been able to learn how to be able to help her in this situation. She's great and I really do love her. It will be a fun transfer :)

Today, we went with bishop to a Jewish community center where they have a class that meets--it's senior citizens--and for 3 weeks they were studying Mormonism. Actually the "Mormon Quest for President." Bishop did a great job at explaining our core beliefs and then it was opened up to questions. It was super interesting. They asked lots of questions and I was grateful that I knew a small piece of my family history, because they asked questions about whether any of us 4 missionaries had ancestors from the beginning of the church. But, then they asked if our family had stayed within the religion and I was like, well, my immediate family is...but probably someone somewhere walked away. Anyway. It was an interesting experience and there were so many interesting questions. It was cool though :)

Saturday night we went to teach a recent convert/less active who is too old for the Singles Ward. We had been given the responsibility of inviting him to attend the family ward-which was hard, because the last time they tried he got upset and didn't talk to missionaries for quite some time. We were able to bring a member from the family ward with and we went and taught him. We ended up being 15 minutes late, due to unexpected traffic, but our Joint teacher went ahead and went in and got to know him. I was praying so hard that the Spirit could be there and direct the lesson. We read from 3 Nephi 11:10-17 and 3 Ne 19:5-8. We talked about Christ's purpose and how He set up a church and then how they split into congregations with the 12 disciples and how it was the same church but just in different areas. We had asked him a question and he answered it with something about being able to help others. This whole time I was praying to be led in the wording and direction that we took and as he said that the idea came to mind to talk about his ability to help and serve those in the family ward as they can relate to his experiences and he to theirs. The Spirit was so strong. The lesson was only about 20-25minutes, but the Spirit was there. I was so grateful for the guidance we were able to receive. He accepted the invitation and should hopefully go starting next week. It was a great experience that helped me learn to trust more in the Lord. 

I think that's the best thing I've got for you this week. I am grateful for the letters and cards I have received this week :) I love hearing from the people I love! So, Sister Madsen and I are doing a 40 day fast of things that are keeping us from being consecrated missionaries. We fasted yesterday and created lists of things that we need to either start doing or stop doing and we are going to fast from or begin doing those things for 40 days, that way they become who we are and we become more powerful missionaries. It's going to be awesome :)

Well, what are you all up to this week? I'm sure that you are keeping busy. I love you all very much and pray for you daily. Keep on keeping on and I will leave you with a quote that my friend Stephanie sent me this week:
"...the heart and soul of the gospel is love, and all the rest is commentary. Whatever else we may perceive religion to be, we are wrong--for true religion is love in action--God's love for us and our love for God and for our neighbors." Stephen Robinson

I love you! Have an awesome week!
Love, Sister Randall

Friday, January 20, 2012

Jan. 16, 2012

Well, this was THE best weekend ever. The baptism went really well! I attached pictures! The first is "Jenny", Sister Cook and I, and Jenny's friend from California who introduced her to the church. :) The other ones are of Sister Cook and I and Jenny and Elder Neeley and Jenny. Hope you enjoy them! Let me know if it works! Jenny's parents were able to make it. They came up Friday and stayed the weekend in a hotel. So, they were able to make it. We got like 1/2 an inch of snow, and then in melted yesterday. But, it's definitely getting colder. I used my first set of hand warmers this week. Mostly because wearing big gloves gets in the way of writing and grabbing cards, so I just wore small knit gloves and used hand warmers. It worked splendidly!

Oh, we got transfer calls today. I can't believe another transfer is over. I can now count the transfers I have left on one hand. I'm staying in Dinkytown, but Sister Cook is headed to Waconia with Sister Elsholz. They will be white-washing the area. They used to have elders there. I am getting a sister who has been out 2 or 3 transfers, her name is Sister Madsen. I'm not sure I've ever talked with her. I've seen her a couple times. I guess I was meant to serve with the YSA. I've been with singles for 9 months now and by the end of the transfer it will have been 10 1/2 months. It's crazy. We are getting 8 new sisters next transfer, which is crazy because I don't know any sisters that will be going home next transfer. So, we'll see what happens next transfer, will I stay...or go?

It will be a good transfer. I love working with the Asian students and I have enjoyed teaching the Who is God class. Speaking of which! We had 4 new students show up to our Who is God class this past week! It was awesome! They should hopefully come this Thursday again. I'm looking forward to it. I really feel like working with Wesley helped me to start thinking about how to simplify things and I had always wanted to serve my mission among the Asian culture, and here I get to do that while not trying to learn to speak a complex language. It's exciting. I really do love serving here!
The student we were hoping would be back by now hasn't returned our calls. I'm sure if we give him time, he will come around. We will just wait. He has his agency and we've done all that we can do. When he's ready, he'll come looking.

We have stayed busy, but I'm not sure what all was included in that. Preparation for the baptism covered a lot of that. We had some really amazing lessons with Jenny. She shared her testimony at the end of her baptism, it was good for her parents to hear and she really just gets it. I love her :D

It sounds like your projects are going well! haha. Mom, don't worry about how long it'll take you, just focus on the learning, because that's what matters. That's all that you can take with you. So long as you are enjoying your classes and doing what you can, then you can be happy!

Thanks for Bridgett's address! I finally bought stamps today so I can send out my thank you cards that have been sitting around for a few weeks :S woops. It's hard when so many holidays fall on Mondays! Anyway, sorry it's so late today. it's been a busy day. And, we still haven't done our laundry...ooopsies! Anyway! Let me know about the house! 

I love you all. Sorry this is short again. Hopefully I'll get some good stories to share with you soon. Things are going great and I'm really grateful that I get to stay in Dinkytown for another transfer :D I love you and I hope that you are well! Have a good day!


Jan. 9, 2012

How are you all doing? It was good to get your email! I'm glad that you are all doing well and feeling better! It sounds like it's been another normal week? Back to school and the busy life of the Randall's. I enjoyed your story of wearing Austin's shirt to church. I still can't believe how grown up he is. I probably won't believe it until I see him in person..and maybe not even then ;)
Dad, as for your paragraph "The 3 kids all bore their testimonies today in church.  They all talked about how wonderful their family is.  Everyone now thinks that we are perfect.  I wasn't about to stand up and ruin that.  Let them think what they want." The scriptures tell us to avoid all appearance of evil, and I'm pretty sure it's a commandment to "not bear false witness." ;) haha. That's funny though. I'm proud of you all and I love and think of you often. We had a gentleman stand up in our Sacrament meeting and start preaching. He's older, he's a convert, and he's a less active. So, it was interesting, Bishop had to ask him to sit down. That's always awkward...
This week was busy, but it didn't show in our numbers reported for the week. We attended ZLC (Zone Leader Counsel) this week. That was a good meeting, and then we had Zone Training this week as well. So we had lots of meetings and interviews with President. I'm pretty sure I passed! ;) We taught Jenny 3 times this past week. She had her baptismal interview and is ready to go! We are so excited for her! This Saturday at 4pm is going to be the best week of the year (thus far). We were talking with Jenny and she found my profile and then followed the link to my blog. She read about some of my experiences and I was relieved to find out that the last update was in September! It might be a little weird to read about yourself...with a different name. Ha. She's so sweet though. I love her so much and we look forward to meeting her friend from CA who is coming out this week!   It's going to be an awesome week! We are excited for school to start next week so that everyone is back! One of our investigators is still at home and we've had very limited contact with him. :( From what we understand he is still excited to learn more! We are excited for him. We are teaching a referral tonight, and we are hoping that that will go well. Anyway, we don't have a lot planned for the upcoming week, but I'm sure we will make it productive!
Next Monday we find out about transfers. We have no new sisters coming in, but next transfer we have 8 sisters coming in! I didn't realize they ever sent that many sisters out at once for our mission. I don't think we have any going home either... So, we will increase in number! Fun! Oh and Sister Clements was telling us that we are going to have a Sister's conference this month! How fun is that? For the first time we would have a meeting with JUST sisters and no elders. It should be really good and it sounds like we will be having some fun!
As for the insurance thing- I gave the doctor our insurance card, but then I think when the bill came into the office Elder Randall just went ahead and sent it through the MissionaryMedical instead. I don't know why, or if that's for sure. Anyway, that was when I went and got my inhalers back in like May or June or whatever. So you know, I got my flu shot the other day and used the made it free for me! And today I'm gonna be going to the Chiropractor. I've been really tense and have been grinding my teeth for the last few weeks. I'm hoping that this visit will help me out a lot.
I think this is gonna be a short email this week. Not much is happening. I'll send pictures of us and Jenny next week! It's going to be a good weekend :)
Well, I love you all. I hope you are well and enjoying your "normal" lives! Keep working hard and know that I love you! Have an awesome week!
Love, Sister Gunga Randall

Jan. 2, 2012

Oh! My dear family! How are you doing this fine January of 2012? I really never thought this year would come...But, here it is!
I'm glad you seemed to enjoy the New Year! The Boats sound fun! It's a good thing Dad didn't tip over in the canoe...that would've been cooooold! I'm sorry you've all been sick! That is never ever fun. I like Bishop's challenge! We are currently, as a mission, reading 6 pages a day. It takes about 15-25 minutes to read that much. We are supposed to be finished by the middle of February. I've found that you get so much more out of it when you are looking for specific things in the Book of Mormon. Right now we are watching for the application of the Doctrine of Christ (Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Holy Ghost, and Enduring to the End). I also have thought about going through and highlighting things like power and authority, commandment, love, etc. Choose an attribute you want to develop over the next year and watch for it, or similar attributes while reading. It's cool.
Our Relief Society president spoke in Sacrament meeting and used a talk by Marvin J Ashton called Be a Quality Person. I'm excited to read and study it. :) Maybe Miranda would enjoy it. It's directed to the singles.

When does school start back up? Are you doing another semester? What happened with the house? Did you get the house? As for remembering things...I feel like the older I get (and I'm only 22) the more I forget! What is gonna happen to me? :S

This was a really good week. I have not had a week like this in a long time, if ever. We really thought that we would be struggling to reach our goals during the break, but the Lord has worked miracles. We met or exceeded 9 out of 12 goals that we set. The only areas we struggle in was teaching Active members (we aren't really getting fed or seeing many members during the week) and in contacting--but even then our contacting numbers are up from the last couple weeks. Anyway, we got 5 new investigators this week! :D Jenny is doing great! Still going strong for January 14th. She doesn't really understand the difference between this baptism and when she was baptized as a baby. So, we are going to take her down to the temple and walk by it, and then teach her about the restoration of the Priesthood in the chapel right next door. It'll be great!
On New Year's Eve we went to Downtown Minneapolis and walked around. It was beautiful, all the lights and the city...amazing. It started RAINING (Yes, December 31st and it is raining). It was a lot of fun. We met a really neat kid that we will hopefully be teaching tomorrow. We can call him Gerald. He asked us if we could exchange information and he was asking a lot of great questions concerning the Plan of Salvation. It was really cool. And by the time we got home that night the rain turned to snow, the moisture on the ground froze and now we have ice. But, the temperature is supposed to get up to the 40's again this weekend! We have talked to a couple older people who have lived in MN their whole lives and they say that they have never seen a winter this warm! Boy, am I grateful for this weather! :D
Last night we taught an awesome lesson. We started out and he kept asking questions and saying things like "i don't think this is for me" "something just isn't clicking..." So, right off the bat our joint teacher jumps off and well, he was pretty much trying to teach the lesson, and as hard as we tried we couldn't take control of the lesson. Finally, the guy we were teaching was like, I'm gonna go meet up with my friends and go to the movies, if they haven't left yet. So, we were gonna teach his friend-who is a recent convert to the church. But, before we could start teaching her, he came back. But the RC was like, can we still do my lesson? So, Sister Cook, bless her brilliant and Spirit guided mind, said "yes, of course. Today we are going to talk about the Restoration." Which is what we'd been trying to teach our investigator. So, we taught the Restoration, directed to our RC and the Spirit was SO strong for the ENTIRE lesson. He hardly said a word, and neither did our joint teacher. At the end of the lesson our investigator said "This much I will say, this is real (touching the Book of Mormon). The Book of Mormon is true. Buuuut, it's not for me." However, he agreed to meet up again. He has some concerns and undoubtedly very non-supportive friends. But that is the strongest I've felt the Spirit in one of our lessons since Moses back in my first area. It was amazing.

I'd say those were the highlights of the week. We've kept busy. Oh, yeah! We went on exchanges. I went to North St. Paul with Sister Benson. They have been starting a new kind of work there. Sister Benson has been learning Nepali and they work with a lot of people from Nepal. So, I got to meet many of the new converts and investigators from Nepal and even received a Nepali name! My name is Gunga. Or, in Nepali: Mera nam Gunga ho.  (My name Gunga is.) I also got to play a Chinese flute called a "Bawu" I don't remember how to say it, but that's how it is spelt. I want one! And I got to play a Nepali flute called a "Basuri". The Nepali flute is like a thin pipe almost. It's interesting. I had a lot of fun!

We finalized our lesson plans for our class about God and have decided to make it a 3 week course and by the 3rd week have invited them to meet with us outside of the class. Of course, they are welcome to keep coming, but we'll be covering the same material. Anyway, I'm blabbering. So much has been going on. I'm loving Dinkytown. Transfer day is like 2 or 3 days before my birthday, and I really don't want to transfer! But, God's will be done.

Well, it was good to hear from you. I hope you all get to feeling better. I love you all and miss you and hope you are doing well. Oh...yes, we have a freezer and for my birthday I don't know what I want. I'm good on winter materials... a "Bawu" would be cool, but it might be a couple hundred dollars. Cheaper than my flute! ;) umm, I don't know. Not Candy. I feel fat and have no desire to eat candy for a really long time. And I'm collecting lots of stuff...I don't know where it all came from. I'm sure I'll end up leaving a lot of the winter stuff I got for free behind. But, anyway. I'm sure whatever you send will be great, or you can send me a card and save the money for when I come home and need clothes that aren't missionary clothes.... well, I love you. Be safe and enjoy your winter!

Your Daughter, Sister, Granddaughter, or Cousin (but in any case your favorite Sister missionary),
Sister Randall :)

Dec. 26, 2011

Hello, my dear family! I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas! Not too much has been going on lately. All the students left this week to go home. So, campus is dead and will be for another 4 weeks. They have a long winter break. 

Thank you for your cards and gifts. I really appreciated all your kindness and thoughts. It's good to see that you are all doing well!

So, I'm mostly writing this email for the benefit of those of you who were not present with my parents and siblings when we Skyped, but not all of this was shared in our conversation. But, the most exciting news is that Jenny texted us this past weekend and asked if she could be baptized in January! We told her of course and she is now scheduled to be baptized on January 14th! Her friend will be coming from California and we are so excited that she has decided to take this step. Her parents are very supportive and her dad wants to read the Book of Mormon as well. It's very exciting! When at first she told us she wanted to be baptized in Spring we knew we couldn't talk her out of it or even push it too much. So, we still talked about the importance of baptism, but never specifically about her being baptized, unless she brought it up. Which she did. We trusted Heavenly Father that He would help her to feel the Spirit and increase her desire to be baptized in January. Jenny is one of those special people who has been prepared by Angels and came to us. She is such an incredible girl!

We taught Stewart again and resolved and talked about some of his concerns with family and divorce. We finished teaching the Plan of Salvation and finally answered his question. He is so sweet and so sincere. He also accepted a baptism date of January 21st, but we think it will be pushed back a week. He is currently at home and we aren't sure of what he is thinking or if he went to church, but he has also been prepared by Angels. It's amazing to see the way that the Lord takes care of His children, He is willing to lead us where we need to be, if we only give heed. 

Tuesday we went Christmas caroling. It was us, the elders, and 2 people from the Institute Choir. It was a lot of fun and we actually sounded pretty good. Someone told us we were the first carolers he had seen this year. Which doesn't surprise me since this is a college town and everyone is stressed about finals. 

Thursday we taught our first Who is God? Class. It went pretty good. 2 girls showed up (one of which is actually here right now playing ping pong with the Elders). We are learning a lot about their culture and how to explain words and where to put the emphasis. We are hoping to have it pretty well figured out before school starts up again. Thankfully we have a couple members who served Chinese-speaking missions and are helping us figure it all out. It's wonderful. The two Chinese girls came to church on Sunday! Us and the elders made breakfast for lunch and had the 2 Chinese girls from the class and one other Chinese investigator join us. We also had another member join us. It was all three of the Chinese girls first Christmas!  It was fun to be able to be a part of making Christmas! I enjoyed it a lot. 

Friday was Elder Ruesch's Birthday. We went to Sushi to celebrate. It was my first time and it didn't go over very well....   Anyway, We had a fun Christmas week/weekend. We are looking forward to the upcoming weeks! We are wondering if/when the weather is going to change to FREEZING. Today it is 50 degrees. Isn't that amazing!? 

Anyway, I hope you all had an amazing Christmas! I love you and have an awesome week!
Love, Sister Randall

Dec. 19, 2011

Isn't it just a wonderful time of year? I'm glad school is wrapping up well! I should be able to Skype home around 4pm. We will be going to a member's home in Hudson Wisconsin--which is about a 45 minute drive. Sister Cook is going to Skype around 3ish. If anything changes I'll let you know--somehow. I'm super excited to see and talk to you all! I really hope you get to enjoy a magical Christmas this year! :D I'm sure Santa will pull everything through and everyone will have the gifts they have ordered. I think I decided that when I get to start making Christmas traditions I'm going to try to do some sort of service something-special for the Christmas season. Service is good year round, of course. :) I hope you all enjoy your vacation from school and work!
Tell Jimmy congrats! Is she gonna be moving here? Weddings are so exciting :)

Well, for the usual update... *Jenny is doing well! She went to Chicago this weekend to a concert with her sister and some friends. She got home last night and leaves today to go be with her family. We will miss her. She made us cute little presents for Christmas, I will attach a picture :D She's awesome. 
Last Sunday one of our members brought her friend, *Jessica, (I think I'm drawn to J names or something?) so we taught her the Restoration, and she was pretty open. So we went to the Job Core and taught her again on Tuesday. It was a super good lesson, the spirit was strong and our member pointed it out to Jessica. Jessica recognized it as the same feeling she had felt while praying that morning. We invited her to be baptized on Jan. 21st and she accepted. So, on Saturday we drove to her family's home (she's home for the holidays now) and gave her a Joy to the World and met her parents--they were super nice. It was good. Hopefully we can continue to teach her over break. 
Friday was an amazing day. We were eating at our weekly Friday Lunch Devotional when Brother Miller came and told us someone was here to meet us. So, we went out into the hallway and Brother Macdonald introduced us to *Stewart. Stewart had walked into the institute building to learn more about what we believed. He was raised and confirmed Catholic but soon realized that he didn't believe in the pope, so he couldn't be Catholic anymore. Then, he started going to a Protestant Bible Study, but didn't feel that that was right either. He'd passed the Institute building several times and just felt compelled to come in and learn more. So, we taught him the Restoration and he came to church on Sunday. And the lesson for Priesthood/Relief Society was Exaltation and they talked about becoming gods. That's always a good lesson for an investigators first Sunday... We taught him afterward and started teaching him the Plan of Salvation. He was super calm and was willing to listen, and wasn't freaking out about it. It's amazing how much the Spirit can teach people. He had also told Sister Cook after Sunday School that he had read 3 Nephi 11 like we'd asked and that it was all new and different but he felt very calm while reading it. The Lord is preparing people to receive His gospel, it's amazing. 
Also, our member that brought Jessica brought her friend Jarrell to church and he was very skeptical and asked lots of questions, but he kept realizing that everything made sense! I'm not sure how open he is, but he was a nice kid :)

Last night the Mission put on a Musical Celebration of Christmas. We got to go to that, it was cool. At the end the missionaries sung "He Sent His Son", it was cool. Then, Sister Cook and I got to stand at the tables in one of the foyers and hand out Joy to the World DVD's, copies of the Book of Mormon, and other materials. We had some really cool conversations with nonmembers and I was surprised at how many nonmembers there were present! It was cool :)

We have definitely stayed busy this past week. This week we are going Christmas caroling, at least once, we will be having our Christmas Conference as a mission on Tuesday morning at 7:30am (why soooooo early!?), Thursday we will be teaching our first class about who God is. We still don't have a name for it, and we don't know if anyone is coming, but we are certainly going to try. Finals week is difficult with students, and everyone is going out of town. So, for the month of winter break we are going to probably spend a lot of time tracting and giving referrals to family ward missionaries. Thankfully it's been pretty warm! It's been surprising. The coldest it's really been is 25. Yesterday evening around 9 it was 42 degrees! It was so warm! :D Best. Winter. Ever. 

But, that kind of takes care of what's been going on. It's been a good week and we are excited for Christmas! :D I love this time of year! I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas with family! I love you lots and I look forward to talking to you on Christmas day!

Sister Randall

pic 1= Jenny's gift to us, she made them!
pic 2= Sis. Cook and I ready to go talk to people :D

Dec. 12, 2011

It was so good to hear from you this week! Indeed, I got the package! Thanks so much! And, don't worry about the straightener, I don't need it...nor do I really want it. I go through random spurts where I wish I could straighten my hair, but then I remember how long it takes and how much I like my curly hair. :) Isn't it wonderful!? Haha.

I'm glad that you had a busy week! It sounds like you are all doing well! I have tried hard to remember your birthdays, but I think I missed Erin's, sorry Erin! Only 1-2 more birthdays to remember now before I return to the land of my fathers. Yes, I just tried using scriptural language. haha. Sorry, I'm sort of in a silly mood. The Christmas party sounded beautiful and fun! Our ward had an open house thing at our bishop's house, but we chose to not go. However, our bishopric provided Christmas dinner after church yesterday. We did attend that! We had homemade soup bowls (the bread with the center cut out) and different soups. It was fun! Maybe someday I'll be creative enough to come up with those adorable center pieces that Sister Riley made! That's so cute! I admire people's creativity!

I love "Still, Still, Still" our institute choir sang that in Sacrament meeting this past week. It was pretty. Wish Shaelyn the best of luck with being the anchor. That sounds like fun! :) I hope that you were able to enjoy Shae's birthday. The past 1 1/2 months has been full of events! Halloween, Thanksgiving, Mom's, Miranda's and Shae's birthday and soon to be Christmas! So, that's probably more like 2ish months. But still! It was crazy busy!

Austin sounds like he is leading an exciting life and being, in his words "awesome". :) Good work on doing your chores buddy!
The furry critter doesn't sound like a fun thing to meet. I hope you can get him out! Best of luck with finals! I'm glad you aren't stressing out too much for them. It's good to be calm!

I can Skype! If we can find a member with a computer that will still be around. Which, is hard in a singles ward. We will see what we can work out. We will make some phone calls and what not this week. Our church service is from 10am-11am. So, Sister Cook and I will talk about times and figure out who will call when. It will probably be between 12:30 and 1:30. I'm excited to talk to you all! I'm excited that Sam and Erin will be home! :) I'm in the same area I was in last time I called. How funny. What if I'm back here again next Mother's day?

Tell Charity congrats--and Uncle Jimmy :) That's cute. Wow, first child on the Randall side of cousins. She won! ;) Not that it was a race or anything.

Well, this past week we met with Jenny. We followed up on all of the commitments that we've given her and she'd kept only one of them--and that was to pray. Not church, not reading and not the Word of Wisdom. She had had a terrible week on top of it all--but she recognized the correlation, which was very important. She talked to her boss, and got Sunday mornings off so that she can come to church. When we met with her we read from 2 Nephi 26, the Spirit was strong and it was an incredible thing to be able to feel and understand what she was feeling and thinking. You could tell that the Lord was chastening her through the scriptures, but the end of the chapter brought reassurance, love, and hope. I think she left with a stronger commitment to live the commitments she'd received. She also now wants to be baptized earlier, the only problem is getting her friend and her friend's family safely from CA to MN in the middle of winter. We just love Jenny so much. She's wonderful!

The snow melted again. I can't believe how long we've gotten without tons of snow. It's been in the upper 30's today. It feels great! All you need is a sweater with a jacket! It's great! :) I'm hoping for a mild January and a white Christmas. :) Well, that sounds like our week. We have some Christmas events coming up and we are excited for the Christmas season :)

I hope that you are all well and warm and enjoying the holidays! I love you all and wish you the best! I'll write next week! Thanks for all that you do!

Sister Randall

Dec. 5, 2011

Well, it was transfer calls today. Sister Cook and I are staying but one of our elders is being transferred out. It kinda makes me sad, having him around was like having a little brother on the mission with me.

The Thanksgiving event we went to was in one of our members home, but his roommates and other friends were there and had plenty of alcohol. So, it was just there. Anyway, it was a random event on my mission.

It sounds like all is going well at home. How is Christmas preparation? I am not going to miss the holiday shopping. Not at all.
This is really hard to know what to write this week, since I wrote last Thursday. Thanks for the package! I'll keep an eye out for it. You are all absolutely awesome!! :D

We have been working on our group thing for people who don't know who God is. And guess what we've figured out! Preach My Gospel has it all! We'll start with the first half of the Restoration-- God is Our Loving Heavenly Father, Gospel Blesses Family, Dispensations, Christ's Earthly Ministry. It'll be awesome. And we will keep moving. We still have a lot of kinks to work out, but it will all end up well. The most important thing is to have the Spirit there. Maybe we can start with "I am a Child of God". Anyway! I'm just rambling.

Well, the snow melted, but it snowed again. I think it's here to stay this time. We made it until December! Which is awesome! It's getting pretty chilly. I picked up a long skirt that was left behind by one of the sisters, plus I have one, and they are gonna be my favorite skirts this winter--because I can wear sweats underneath! *I WILL SURVIVE!* haha. I am very nervous for January though. :S I hear it's the worst. Anyway. I'm just gonna say: I love you very much. I am excited to talk to you on Christmas. Oh, do you know Sam & Erin's plans for Christmas? Well, I'm gonna go. I hope you are all doing wonderfully and enjoying this Christmas season!

Sister Randall

Dec. 1, 2011

December DEFINITELY snuck up on me! I can't believe it's already December 1st. Weird. are you doing? It sounds like you enjoyed your Thanksgiving. I don't think I knew Stephanie had another baby...maybe I did? That's fun that you got to see everyone! It sounds like everyone is doing well :) I do vaguely remember the Christmas tree being thrown out Christmas day.... you have got to love the bothersome, yet funny events in life. We had one this week too, I'll share it later! How is school going? Are you getting ready for finals? I know everyone here is already freaking out about finals, it feels like midterms just got over. College students just THINK they are busy. In all reality, if we were better at managing our time, we'd realize that we have quite a bit of spare time. Silly kids. (I think I fall under that category still..and probably will for a long time.) Our Thanksgiving was good. It was the first gathering I've been to that had alcoholic bevereges in my whole life. Funny that it happens on my mission. But, the turkey was really good. It was definitely an interesting experience. You've got to love college students.
We've had a long week, but it's been good. Sunday we fasted for strengthened faith in finding and to be able to find people to teach. Monday we did SO well. It was incredible. Plus we found a couple people out of the area book. It was a cool experience. Tuesday was gonna be awesome and we were going to teach like 6 lessons, but we only ended up teaching 3? Our first lesson was sick, so hopefully next week we can meet. The other one stood us up. And I don't remember what the other one was. It was a hard day. Yesterday I was feeling a bit under the weather and I blame it on the apartment. Speaking of which, we got a phone call yesterday from Elder Randall asking about the apartment and telling us that we needed to make a couple of phone calls and see if we can find a member to live with. Because of the situation and timing of the call, I'm pretty sure I'm staying in Dinkytown for another transfer. But, I think Sister Cook is getting transfered :( Which is sad, because I really have enjoyed serving with her and I love her so much. She's taught me a lot. But, I'm sure I'll love my next companion as well. I'll know by Monday what is happening.
Today I got a letter from Taryn! It was AWESOME. She sent a whole bunch of pictures from her travels this summer. Over to Turkey and Paris and Bulgaria? Maybe. I can't remember off the top of my head. Then her, Amanda, Sarah, and Danielle all went to Harry Potter World. It looks SO cool. It was fun to look at them. Taryn pointed out that she GRADUATES next December. It makes me feel so behind in the world. I haven't even finished my 2nd year of college. :S
(This is the bothersome yet funny event) So a couple weeks ago, I don't remember if I told you about him, we taught a Chinese kid how to pray. He was super sweet and when we were walking away he said, "Oh! In the name of Jesus Christ, have a good day!" It was so cute. Anyway, he was going to come to church around Thanksgiving time, so we emailed him when we hadn't seen him, and this is the response we got:
Hi, I went to the church the weekend before Thanksgiving, but I didn't see you. I sang the songs, and eat the bread with red wine. I had a great time talking with the pastor, Dan is a very good pastor. People who work in sanctuary were very nice. That visit really changed my impression about church. Final exams are coming, I am busy these days. I may have time after the finals, but I am not sure. Again, thank you very much for keeping in touch with me. May God's sacred light shining down on you and on all of us, Amen.
So, my guess is that he went to the building right next door that actually looks like a church building, instead of the institute. Woops! We emailed him back to tell him it wasn't the right church--which was a difficult email to write-- and invited him this next Sunday. But, he's not available. :( Hopefully he'll come and notice a difference. I think we struggle the most with explaining who God is. Do you have any suggestions? It's like teaching an intelligent child who God is. They've lived and understand so much, but it's so hard to explain and comprehend who God is when they've gotten this far in life. Anyway, it's a fun challenge. We've been talking about doing a class 1-2 times a month to explain about who God is. But, before we do that, we have to figure out how to teach it. But, we would advertise it mostly to the Asian students, and it could be really successful. Especially when it's winter break and the only people still here are the international students. It seems like this group of students would be more likely to show up to a generalized group invitation, than to agree to a sit down lesson with 2 random missionaries. We'll see if we can get that going.
Anyway, that's where things are at for now! It snowed last night. It's not too cold yet. I think yesterday was the first day in the 30's, and we are surviving. We just need a lot more investigators so that we can spend less time contacting and more time teaching. Well, I love you a lot and I hope all is well. Keep smiling and I hope you can enjoy this Christmas season! I love you!!
Love, Sister Randall
T2U=T-25   Can ya figure it out?