Today is the 90th Day that I Have Been a Missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints‏

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I cannot even believe that it is preparation day again! Where the heck does the time go? Every night at bedtime I am amazed that it is yet again bedtime. Time goes by so quickly here.

I’m getting to know ward members more & more & this is both great & sad. We’ve been able to reach out to those that feel left out or downtrodden. It’s so hard to watch people struggle with depression or past trauma & be able to do nothing but hug them & take them out for frozen yogurt. So there was a lot of that this week.

We went to Kingsland, Georgia for Zone Conference! All the cars had to get checked. Ours is the read one (:

We went to Kingsland, Georgia for Zone Conference! All the cars had to get checked. Ours is the read one (:

On Tuesday we drove all the way to GEORGIA for a zone meeting. WOW. You know how you feel after you leave a week at EFY? That’s how I felt after just 8 hours. We talked a lot about talking to everyone & about how we need to be personally invested in everyone that we meet. Everyone is my heavenly brother or sister & I wouldn’t let my earthly brother or sister walk past me without trying to share with them what I know, right? We also talked about the atonement & it’s enabling effect to help us become better people.

We had another lesson with our miracle family & please just say so many prayers for them that they will act upon their faith & pray to find the answers they are searching for. They need the church & the church needs them.

We met this little old black lady this week that painted her house “Blessed Cream” & “Harvest Yellow”. Typical. Of course you did, Maria.

I love the South.

There’s a less active woman that we’ve been visiting with frequently & she made the choice to fully reactivate herself last week! She is happier & more alive than ever before & even brought her grandkids this week. What is really incredible to me is that she is now taking it upon herself to reactivate all of the women in the ward that she used to know back when she used to go. It is the best, most exciting thing to watch people shepherd & gather their loved ones.

On Thursday we went to the halfway house that we do weeding for every week & one of the tenants came & talked to us. She told us all about how she has seen God’s hands in her life as she made steps to leave her old life behind. It was a true testimony builder to me that blessings are waiting just on the other side of the action that comes from faith. Having faith isn’t enough to be a catalyst for the blessings, we must exercise (ACT!) that faith.

More cute Valentine's from Bekah's package. We wrote cute notes to all the less actives/single women/and investigators. Best Valentine's Day ever.

More cute Valentine’s from Bekah’s package. We wrote cute notes to all the less actives/single women/and investigators. Best Valentine’s Day ever.

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Saturday wins the award for the best day on the mission so far. Cute Bekah sent me a Valentine’s package a week or so ago with a bunch of Valentine’s stuff for our investigators. Man, did we go crazy with that! Although we only taught one or two lessons that day, we stuck notes & hearts all over everyone’s doors! I have been struggling to find ways to thank the ward members for their kindness & this was the perfect answer. We were able to “heart attack” some of our investigator’s & single women ward members doors & bathroom mirrors which they all absolutely loved. It was so fun to focus on loving and surprising others all day long. If you’ve never set a day aside to do that before, I suggest you try it! It will bring you “exceeding joy”, promise. Also, we were sitting in the neighborHOOD teaching Wendell when A car drove up. A woman got out of the car and brought everyone in the park Valentines with chocolate. All of the Valentines said, “Someone loves you.” It was adorable. & I officially know what I’m going to be doing on Valentine’s Day for the rest of my life.

So you know how I told you that I gave a talk last week? Well this week I sang. Brother Dill, the 2nd counselor in the bishopric, was conducting & said over the pulpit, “We will be hearing from Sister Aure again, but today she will be singing. I can’t wait to hear what she’s going to do next week.” It was funny. & kind of embarrassing. I DIDNT ASK FOR THIS, OKAY? I whispered to him on my way to the pulpit, “Next week I’m bringing my ukulele.”

Our mission goal is to bring 600 souls to Christ this year! That is a statue of a stripling warrior in front of it.

Our mission goal is to bring 600 souls to Christ this year! That is a
statue of a stripling warrior in front of it.

After church we realized that we had no food & nowhere to eat lunch, so we invited ourselves over to Laura’s house. She’s 32, (looks 25) never married, a mechanical engineer, beautiful, & the first person I’ve met here (aside from Sister Blatter) who has the same humor that I do. So that was just super fun. I like laughing. & also it turns out that her sister is Sister Blatter’s best friend. So she’s taking her companionship & Sister Pasko & I out for Indian food this Friday. If I was rich, beautiful, & single, I think I would take the Sister missionaries on Indian food dates too.

I've been trying to catch one of these lizards since I got here!! We weed for a halfway house once a week & I finally succeeded. So cute. This one is kind of small.

I’ve been trying to catch one of these lizards since I got here!! We weed for a halfway house once a week & I finally succeeded. So cute. This one is kind of small.

What I’m trying to say is that I just really love it here. I hate thinking about how I’m going to have to leave, probably sooner than later. BUT it is a huge blessing to know that this is the Lord’s work & that I will always be exactly where he needs me.
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Please keep praying for the people here. There are moments of intense clarity where I can feel the power behind everyone’s prayers. It is truly breathtaking.

All of the love,
Sister Aure
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Musicals and Miracles!

This week there were 3 nights that I didn’t get back to my apartment until 12:30. That just doesn’t happen as a missionary! The best part is that we still had to wake up at 6:20 every morning, so I’m basically living on a hope & a prayer right now.

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We’re going to use everything Satan throws at us to our advantage.

The reason for this would be the Book of Mormon Musical. On Wednesday, Friday, Saturday night, & Sunday afternoon, we spent about 6 hours at & around the theatre handing out pass along cards & sharing with people what the Book of Mormon is really about. Some people said, “Oh I think I know enough about your religion already…”. Some people had a genuine curiosity as to what the Book of Mormon really is. Some people wanted to take selfies with us to show their friends that they met “real” missionaries. Some people asked me if I wanted to be their date to the show. Some people walked out in the middle of the show & said, “I don’t know how anyone who considers themselves a Christian can sit through that show.” Some people gave us their phone numbers! Or added us on Facebook! Some people were members of the church!

A lot of people were ex members of the church. Some people were actually IN the show! We got to know the actors pretty well actually, because we saw them every night. They are all super nice people & told us about when they were in western New York the church bused them out to Palmyra & gave them a personal tour. They all talked about that like it was the coolest thing they’ve done with the show so far. I’m very glad that they were able to go somewhere and feel the spirit that resides near & around dedicated buildings.

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These two wanted a selfie with real missionaries.

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This was the team of 12 missionaries that I worked with for four showings!

This was the team of 12 missionaries that I worked with for four showings!

The last night that we were there (the night that we were able to hand out 6 boxes of Books of Mormon) all of the the theatre goers had left. The few stragglers that were still there were up by the front door where we weren’t supposed to go. There was an older woman up there wearing a yellow cardigan & I kept feeling like I needed to talk to her. So I gritted my teeth, walked across the street, up the steps, & complimented her outfit. We started talking, then her friend started chatting with us, & then her husband starting chatting with us! We talked all about the Book of Mormon & about how missions actually work. Then we found out that they lives 45 minutes away….IN JAX BEACHES! How miraculous is that?! We were able to get their phone numbers & we plan on visiting them this week.

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We handed out over 500 Books of Mormon in just two days! The black elder on the far left is Elder Williams and he is from Ghana! Elder Thompson next to me in from Houston, but his parents are from South America. Sister McCook is one of my STL’s!

One of the best things about this experience was working with the other missionaries. There was only one missionary working with us that had been out for less than a year & he is my zone leader. There were two missionaries that are going home in four weeks. I wasn’t lying last time when I said that the missionaries I would be working with are the best of the best. They were out there talking with everyone unashamed & boldly testifying of what they hold near & dear to their hearts. It was so humbling to work side by side with them. I don’t know why I was chosen, but I will forever be grateful for the blessing that it was.

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These cuties were dressed up as missionaries to see their favorite Broadway musical

Our miracle un-named family came to church on Sunday (we had five total investigators at church on Sunday!) but we haven’t been able to alk to them about how it went yet, so I’m still not going to jinx it just in case. & I gave a talk! I was nervous, but I think it went well. I was able to get them laughing, so at least I didn’t bore everyone to death. & I’ve also been asked to sing next week in church. Everyone’s going to get so sick of me! Too much Sister Aure at the pulpit.

I’ve been getting a lot of emails & study sessions about charity lately & I guess that’s only appropriate because Valentine’s Day is coming up this week. Someone sent me a quote that I really love. It’s by Elder Cornish, “I am led to believe that our Heavenly Father loves us so much that the things that are important to us become important to him just because he loves us.” Can you imagine what the world would feel like if we followed Christ’s example & all felt that way about everyone?

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I live in the prettiest mission in the world!

Anyway….this week was great & I know it’s just the beginning. I can’t wait to see what the next 16 months hold.

Happy Valentine’s Day. Try to spread the love to someone that may not get any from anyone else. We all have the potential to have the Christ like love for others.

Sister Aure

I Have No Time to Write This!

When you see beautiful art you just have to dance in front of it.

When you see beautiful art you just have to dance in front of it.

So, our P-day today was cut short for a few reasons today, one of which I lost my wallet AGAIN (But I have the best Zone Leaders ever & they took care of it for me) & also our dinner appointment is at 5 instead of 6 tonight. Never do that to the missionaries on Monday, Mom & Dad, otherwise they might not be able to finish emailing everyone. (Just in case anyone’s wondering, I email from who emailed me first in the week, to last, so if you procrastinated & didn’t email me until 1 o clock this morning, that’s why you didn’t get an answer)

This week was really fun because we ran out of miles for our car & had to bike 10 miles to our appointments one day. We found out that my bike was WAY too tall for me, so it was really hard to pedal far or fast. I was able to go to the bike shop today & trade it in for a small discount for a brand new bike though, so that’s great. They said they see the missionaries in there a lot so they said they gave me a nice deal. I DONT KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT BIKES THOUGH SO I HOPE THEY WEREN’T LYING. I don’t have trust issues.

Promise

On Tuesday we had a miracle lesson with a miracle family, but I’m not going to talk about them yet, just in case it jinxes it.

Our Ward Mission Leader is trying to be a really good example to our ward by following the Ward mission plan & asking someone each month to listen to the missionaries. He told his co worker that we would help her move if she would listen to a missionary lesson (which is a great tactic, he knows what he’s doin.) & she accepted! We had a great time getting to know her & she had never heard of the Book of Mormon before, & she loved the idea of it all. We will never see her again because she…moved….BUT it just goes to show that if we make a righteous goal & pray about it to our Heavenly Father, He will provide for us. This is especially true about missionary work!

Look! A baby bunny!

Look! A baby bunny!

Something super great is happening this week. The Book of Mormon musical is coming to town, & we have tickets to see it! Just kidding, that last part isn’t true. BUT, we are using this free publicity to our full capacity. President Craig decided that he wanted a team of 12 companionship at the entrance of the theatre each night of the showing to answer questions about the REAL Mormons & help anyone who wants to know more about fact instead of fiction. He sent out an email this week, and of the 12 companion-ships, there were Assistants to the President on the list…..ex-Assistants…..Sister Training Coordinators….okay, yeah, I see the running motif, here….Sister Training Leaders…..Zone Leaders…..Sister Pasko & Sister Aure……WHAT?!!!?? How did our names accidentally get put on that list?! What the what?! ANYWAY, yes, Sister Pasko & I were chosen to represent the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at the Broadway Tour of the Book of Mormon Musical in Jacksonville, Florida.What an incredible opportunity. It really made me stop & think about the caliber of missionary work that President thinks we’re doing out here. It made me always want to live up to the idea that I am a good enough missionary to be working along the best of the best in the mission. AND I’M STILL IN TRAINING. I’m so excited to use this opportunity that the Lord has given us to find people that want to know more about the restored gospel.

Homeless fellow Jonathan is still as strong as ever & coming to church every week. We’ve been very blessed with teaching appointments last week & members that were able & willing to be involved with them. At fast & testimony meeting yesterday we had FIVE testimonies borne about experiences they were having with the Sister Missionaries. Missionary work blesses the lives of everyone involved, not just the investigator.

I have a testimony of that.

Amen.

(:

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I’m so happy here & I honestly wouldn’t mind spending 18 full months with the JAX Beaches Ward. The work is progressing here & all over the globe. Everyone involved in it is receiving blessings they didn’t even know were possible.

Thank you for the loving words I receive every week, I cherish each & every one.

With all my love,
Sister MissionAure