IT’S MY BIRTHDAY SOON!!!!!!!

How the flippedy flop is it Monday again. Wat?

This email will start with the miracle of the corned beef.

Sister Jensen was SO excited for St. Patrick’s Day for who knows what reason. The Mortensens had signed up on our dinner calendar for that day & they are the best people. One of the reasons that they’re the best, is because they are super healthy and gluten and dairy free and eat everything good and green. At least 3 times a day, Sister Jensen would mention that she hopes the Mortensens make corned beef and cabbage for the holiday. I had to nicely explain to her a million times (I’m not drama into or anything) that there was no way on this beautiful green earth that the healthy Mortensens were going to make corned beef OR cabbage. We show up at their house Tuesday night & Sister Mortensen is telling us about how she was at the store earlier that week getting supplies for our dinner tonight. She then told us that she was at Publix that morning & suddenly felt like she needed to change dinner plans and buy corned beef, cabbage, and root veg instead for the holiday. Sister Jensen was so happy, not smug at all, bless her soul, and we had the best dinner ever. Miracles happen, my friends. Usually they have to do with food.

Bowling for p day! Soon, our mission will only have 60 sisters. The big surge of women seems to be over.

Bowling for p day! Soon, our mission will only have 60 sisters. The big surge of women seems to be over.

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On Wednesday night I went to Hendricks for trade offs with Sister Training Leader Gillman. Trade offs are always a fun change of pace and a great way for us to ask for ideas on how to improve. I learned a lot about how important it is to always look at yourself first to see how you can improve before placing the blame on someone else.

Thursday we met Brandon at the park again and read the Book of Mormon with him. He really understands everything very well and has a desire to do what is right. I ALSO ALMOST CAUGHT A SNAKE. then we went to dinner with Laura which is always just the best time, because she’s the best. Chris had her baptism interview and passed with flying colors! She will be baptized and confirmed next Sunday after church. She is very excited

Wendall loves to give us grapefruit and food out of his garden.

Wendall loves to give us grapefruit  and food  out of his garden.

From this cute old widower we have been spending some time with.

From this cute old widower we have been spending some time with

Also our dream miracle family dropped us. Through text. I’m surprised how much it felt like a break up. This is what it said, “Bubba and I have done a lot of talking and praying about what we are looking for in our church. We wanted to talk to you about this Tuesday, but things were a bit rushed. Sister, you gave my husband and I a great gift by reopening our eyes and bringing God back into the forefront of our world and for that we are and will be eternally grateful. However, after much thought and prayer, we have decided to go back to our roots. You will never fully understand the positive impact you have had on us, and I hope you will always consider us a success story in some ways. We will always see you all as extended family and you are always welcome in our home. We love you ladies dearly , but feel this is the best course of action for us. Hope you will still visit from time to time :-)”

It’s been a roller coaster week.

On Friday we had a lesson with a family that we met a couple weeks ago and it’s going really well so far. Prayers for them, please!

We love JAX beach.

We love JAX beach.

We also have a new investigator introduced to us. Her name is Jazzy & she is exciting as she sounds. She met with missionaries 2-3 years ago and called us back up because she feels the need to have this religion back in her life. She’s very adamant about not being baptized, but she’ll come around (:

On Saturday night we were getting gas & Sister J was talking to everyone like a pro while I filled up. She started talking to this guy named Rocky and it turns out that he also used to have missionaries meet with him. He even had a Book of Mormon. He invited us over to his house for Sunday diner with his wife the next day. We had a lovely evening & like I said, most miracles involve food. We’re going to go back next weekend and show them the new Easter video.

My birthday is coming up soon, just in case you forgot. And also, I’m so sorry for not being more specific, my literal, snail-mail mailbox has been empty for a couple weeks, not my email box. My address will be the same for at least three more weeks.

Love y’all sosososososo much & I pray mightily for you daily.

Love,
Sista Sista

When You Love Them They Will Blossom

THIS WEEK HAS BEEN THE BEST WEEK.

Sister Pasko and I with Chris. She's getting baptized on the 29th!!!

Sister Pasko and I with Chris. She’s getting baptized on the 29th!!!

After I wrote last week, we were leaving our taco joint and this oldish man was walking past us. Sister Jensen said hello to him and he stopped and said hello back and started asking about her name tag. We ended up teaching him part of the restoration and setting a return appointment. The best part about this is that it turns out he lives right down the street from us on the other side of town! We visit him at our appointment and he’s read the whole pamphlet and has a bunch of questions and is super excited to come to church on Sunday. SPOILER ALERT He, Ron, and 3 other investigators were able to come to church on Sunday, which was amazing.

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I usually make a smoothie for breakfast (thanks Sister Pasko) and earlier this week I had to shower & the smoothie just wasn’t mixing, so I asked Sister Jensen to finish it. While I was in the shower I hear a very angry noise from the kitchen. It turns out that she had grabbed one of the homemade ice packs (alcohol and water) and dumped it in the smoothie thinking it was cold water. She didn’t want us buzzed for the rest of the day, so she tossed it and made another one. So sweet of her. Then I gave her a vitamin & it was too healthy for her, I guess, because she immediately threw it all up. I like this girl a lot.

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On Saturday we had a couple hours of street contacting. Towards the end of the night, sister J saw someone sitting alone staring at the ocean in a park & she felt strongly that we should talk to him. He was very kind and mentioned to us that he used to have sister missionaries stop by all the time, but he got busy and they eventually stopped coming. We taught the restoration and were able to strongly testify to him that his Heavenly Father really wanted him to hear His message. He asked to meet with him again next week.

Sister Dill took us out for sea food

Sister Dill took us out for sea food

Crab Cakes

Crab Cakes

We taught part of the restoration to this old man and he made me try one of his raw oysters

We taught part of the restoration to this old man and he made me try one of his raw oysters

Sunday was good, as it always is, the members are still incredible. For instance, TJ & Katherine Lay took us to St Augustine for P Day today.

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We helped Chris Hunt move & she gave us a bunch of cool old stuff. She’s getting more and more excited to be baptized and even helped fellowship Ron at church.

OH AND ALSO ELDER KOPISHCKE CAME AND SPOKE TO US and it was incredible. He totally changed the way I think about missionary work, especially teaching. So we’ve been working a lot this week on different ways to implement what he taught.

I wish everyone in the world could be here experiencing what I’m experiencing, but hopefully this email suffices.

xoxo
Sister MissionAure

Sister Jensen

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I always wish I had something funny lined up to start these with, but I just don’t have time to think about missionary one-liners. Or the brain power. Sleep, study, preach, breathe, preach, eat, preach, study, repeat.

#MissionaryLyfe

#MissionaryLyfe

I love it though.

On Wednesday our relief society president drove us to Mandarin so we could say goodbye and meet our new companions. At every transfer meeting they have the departing missionaries bear their testimonies. We have a lot of spiritual meetings as missionaries, but I think those ones win the prize. There were a few missionaries that I have worked with leaving (I felt like I was in high school again watching all of my friends graduate and leave me behind) so it was a blessing to hear them bear their dying testimonies about what serving a mission has meant to them. It’s impossible to not feel the importance of not wasting a minute of the Lord’s time while listening to His servants say goodbye. I’ve really been thinking a lot this week about how serving a mission is truly a life long commitment because we have people that will be watching us and emulating us for the rest of our lives. Investigators and members that we served along side with will always remember us at our absolute best that we can only be when we are living the consecrated life of a missionary. I want people to say, “I feel the spirit when you’re in my home” for the rest of my life, not just on the mission.”

I digress.

New companion sister Jensen!

                              New companion sister Jensen!

Saying goodbye to sister Blatter with our favorite fish tacos‏

Saying goodbye to sister Blatter with our favorite fish tacos‏

Sister Pasko surprised me with that wind chime upon her departing. Best trainer ever.

Sister Pasko surprised me with that wind chime upon her departing.
                                         Best trainer ever.

We picked up Sister Jensen and brought her back to the Beach. She’s really great. She’s from Portland and we listen(ed) to a lot of the same music. She watched Freaks & Geeks back home, so don’t worry, she’s a cool kid. We were able to hit the ground running and talk to everybody about the gospel. We had a miracle week of 6 member present lessons, 6 recent convert/less active lessons, and 13 other lessons! Top it all off with Miss Chris coming to church and solidifying her baptism date for the 29th of March. Pls say prayers that it will go through.

I love being a missionary because I get to learn how to put to use everything I’ve learned my whole life. I feel that I finally understand why the scriptures are important. I feel that I finally know why church attendance and deep heartfelt prayer is so vital. And I have the privilege and responsibility to teach that to everyone. I’m grateful that I get to teach that to the members of this ward & help strengthen their testimonies as well.

I just love it, okay? (Also I got that skirt for 3 dollars at goodwill)

I just love it, okay? (Also I got that skirt for 3 dollars at                                                                   goodwill)

I will stop existing when I leave the beach, I hope I stay here for 18 months!!

I will stop existing when I leave the beach, I hope I stay here for 18                                                            months!!

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Before Christmas, Sister Pasko & I ran into a really cool guy named Jay and he said that he wanted us to help him paint something & that he would call us after Christmas. Well he didn’t and we never saw him again. UNTIL YESTERDAY we went over to his house and taught him the entire restoration. He asked us if he could have Book of Mormon and we were like, “that will be 3 payments of $19.99” just kidding, but really who does that. Anyway, it was really great and just the best because we sat on his front porch in the 70 degree weather and just watched the sun set as we talked about God and faith. Life could literally not get any better.

I’m still waiting for this to get hard, I guess.

Tell someone you love them this week.

xoxo
Sister Aure

Together is the Only Way This Battle Will be Won‏

Well, it’s official. I’m a real life missionary now. I graduated training on Sunday! Now I’m justa regular old Joe Shmoe. Which is fine. We just get one less hour to study in the mornings now & one more hour to have our nets in the water!

I get this look all the time.

I get this look all the time.

We met with our family again. The Johnsons. Our miracle. We met with Laura (who just finished 1 Nephi in Th Book of Mormon!) before her husband got home & she confided with us that she thinks she’s ready to almost kind of maybe admit that she probably might potentially think this is true. She also told us about how she doesn’t think her husband is ready to make that same commitment. She wants to make these changes as a family so she might have to slow down in order for her husband to keep up. I love them so much & am so grateful that I’ve been able to be a part of their spiritual journey. It is amazing to watch people decide that they want to become better people through closeness in Christ. Ugh. I just love it.

This place is famous I guess. We have some members that live in the Sawgrass community there & a member that works at Headquarters.

This place is famous I guess. We have some members that live in the
Sawgrass community there & a member that works at Headquarters.

On Thursday we went to the food kitchen to help serve lunch with Sister Nilsson, Sister Walters, & our investigator Jonathan. When we arrived they informed us that there wasn’t a menu so we just had to look through all the food and come up with something to make. It was so fun!! They get donated some really nice food. We decided on soy and ginger chicken with rice and corn. We found some rolls and put garlic and shredded Parmesan on the top. It was so fun and the people were all so nice! Afterwards, we surprised Jonathan with two suits that the ward had donated for him so he had something to wear to church other than jeans. He was so happy & he showed up to church the next week looking so dapper!! Everyone gave him compliments & you could tell that his confidence really soared.

The best awkward family photo of all time. This is the Smith's (our ward mission leader) and our homeless investigator Jonathon with Sister Pasko holding a vintage Book of Mormon

The best awkward family photo of all time. This is the Smith’s (our awkward mission leader) and our homeless investigator Jonathon with Sister Pasko holding a vintage Book of Mormon

Do you remember Natalie? She made a goal to be baptized by Easter, but her abusive boyfriend was preventing that from happening. She would often call us crying, telling us that she just wanted to leave all her stuff behind while he was work but saying that she felt prompted to stay put. She followed that prompting. Staying strong in her decisions and beliefs. This week, that “man” moved out of her house, her son was able to move in with her, and she was able to keep her possessions. Miracles happen everyday, my friends. I am blessed beyond belief to have a front row seat to watching the atonement of Christ change lives. If all goes well, Natalie will be baptized next month.

I had the opportunity this week to accidentally get invited inside to a Do Not Contact’s (a member that doesn’t want to be contacted by the church) house where he told us all about the religion he is a part of & how we are dammed to Hell. I don’t want to be rude…..but I used to think the anti-Christ were satanists. Now I think the anti-Christ is actually the Christian sect that he is a part of. I never looked into a soul so black as his in my entire life. Sister Pasko & I both felt prompted to leave at one point, but we were too scared to. AND THEN we heard this odd random thumping in the back of the house for about ten minutes, when he got this look on his face and whispered quietly to us, “you need to leave right now”. All of the sudden we hear, a blood-curdling scream come from the back of the house. “GET OUT OF MY HOOOOUUUSE!!!! GET OOOOUT!!!!! GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!!!!”

We ran so fast that Sister Pasko left her purse behind. I’ll save the story of how she got it back for another day. The rest of the day was spent walking a couple miles in the drizzly rain-fog knocking on kind stranger’s doors.

The azaleas are in full bloom, so basically every bush in Florida looks like this one.

The azaleas are in full bloom, so basically every bush in Florida looks like this one.

Sunday was great. Our ward is so powerful & every fast & testimony meeting is a giant spirit filled bawl fest. There was a baptism for a young 8 year old after church that Jonathan was able to attend. It was so incredible. Oh man. It was so special as a missionary to be able to watch that. I can’t imagine how it will feel when it’s someone I’ve helped get there!

Sunday fun day.

Sunday fun day.

Yesterday we had a Zone Meeting that President Craig attended. It was focused mainly on how importance obedience is. We also talked a lot about the new iPad program that started this week. Church headquarters decided that it is not helpful for the missionary to leave them without the skills necessary to navigate the internet correctly. Pornography has become such a normal part of Internet browsing that they want their returned missionaries to know how to combat it & prevent it. When Elder Zwick came he talked to us about how just that week he had to call 6 missionary’s parents & tell them their child was coming home due to pornography that had been looked at while on their missions. The church doesn’t want this to happen to anyone anymore, so they have put into affect a great training program. Missionary work sure isn’t what it used to be, amiright?

After the meeting, President Craig pulled Sister Pasko aside & asked her to accept a position as a Sister Training Leader!!! I’m so proud of her. This does mean though, that I will be receiving a new companion. Her name is Sister Jensen & Sister Pasko says she’s great, so I’ll just trust her on that one(: I pick her up tomorrow, so next week you’ll hear about all our tales together in JAX Beach. I hope we will be able to keep this area alive & thriving like Sister Pasko & I have been able to.

Sister Pasko is leaving me :(

Sister Pasko is leaving me 😦

Sister Nilsson took us to the prettiest park that I can't wait to go to again when I come back and visit. I can't wait to visit the beach from the OUTSIDE of a car!

Sister Nilsson took us to the prettiest park that I can’t wait to go to again when I come back and visit. I can’t wait to visit the beach from the OUTSIDE of a car!

Much love to all!!

Sister Aure

p.s. My mailbox has been rather empty lately…Face throwing a kiss

Puddles

Hello, hi, how are you? You look great today!

This week I got a sinus infection! & our phone got dropped in a puddle! & now I think I have an eye infection!

Luckily, I don’t feel nearly as disgusting as I did in the EmptySea. I am healing quickly & yes grandma, I’m taking lots of vitamins. Our phone got resurrected after spending 24 hours in a bag of rice. & my eye thing…will work out just like the other things did, I’m sure. All in all, I am fine & dandy.

On Tuesday, Elder Zwick came to our mission & spoke to us. It was incredible. I think he might be my favourite person that ever lived. He told us all about how we should be expanding our vision & having high expectations & goals for ourselves as disciples of Christ. He testified to us that we were all worthy of being exactly where we were & that we are each very important, vital parts of this mission as individuals. It’s like that saying in theatre, “There are no small roles, only small actors.” It will always be exactly the experience that you make it into. He also told us that we are the number one leading (guinea pig mobile device) mission (out of 20) in the world right now for using our technology correctly! He told us about the new changes they will be making to the program, which include a lot more pre-mission online stuff, & also new iPads, which we will be getting later this week. For those of you who have been on missions before and don’t know this yet, our area book & planner have turned digital! It’s all on the area book app which is super convenient & I’ve never had to know the pain & privilege of using them on paper. Lucky me (: So that experience was revelatory & exciting. Also he showed us the new video they will be promoting around Easter! Do you remember #BecauseofHim last year? This year it will be #BecauseHeLives I bawled the entire 3 minutes. I can’t wait for everyone else to see it.

I love JAX Beaches

I love JAX Beaches

Goodbye ole bike.

Goodbye ole bike.

New Bike

New Bike

Our family of miracles is still progressing & we’ve been able to find even more people who are ready for this gospel, so I’m excited to see where that goes.

Next week is transfers again. I will have graduated training & I will be a real life normal missionary! I won’t be able to use the, “I’m still in training & I don’t know anything, so don’t ask me” excuse anymore. Which, when I think about it, is probably a good thing. I have a feeling my time here is coming to a close, so whether that means this transfer, or next, I don’t know. If it were any longer, I would be pretty surprised. Mostly because I really love being here & everything about everything, so I imagine I have harder lessons t learn somewhere else.

Staple of the South

Staple of the South

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This email is really short, and that’s mostly because we went fishing this morning with our district, so it took up most of our p-day. I’m learning everyday about the difference between wanting to change, desiring to change, having a willingness to change & why change is important. Who wants to stay the same forever anyway? Boooriiiing.
Most relaxing Pday ever. We went fishing

Most relaxing Pday ever. We went fishing

Feed some missionaries dinner this week, I bet (know) they’d love it!

God luv ya,

Sister Aure