Monday, November 24, 2014

Clarksville Is Amazing

Ahh... I feel like I have so much to tell you! So this transfer as far as I know is the normal six weeks. It ends on December 30th and the missionaries will go home on December 31st. It does stink, but Christmas in the mission is way better than going home! One elder just went home this transfer because he wanted to have time to get ready for school and all I could think was "NOOOOO!" I would cherish 6 more weeks on the mission! I am addicted to serving God!

This will totally be me at the airport when it's my time to come home. 

So about Sister Hargadon. She is famous. Haha she is in the Meet the Mormons movie for about 30 seconds talking in Napal about the guy there. She lived there for a while building schools. She is very free spirited and independent. She grew up in Northern California and then went out on her own when she was 18. She went to BYU for a year and was also an EFY counselor. She is very motivated and has a super strong testimony because of trials she's had and then applied the gospel. I just love her! She is a very open person and loves to talk things out. So it's different for me, but if I'm ever feeling anything, she wants me to be able to talk about it, which I love, but it's also different because I'm never the one to be like "Hey I'm feeling a little sad" or "My stomach is hurting" or "You need to talk less in lessons" haha. It's different but it's opening up a whole new aspect of communication that I need to know in life! She's a great teacher and I know that I'm going to learn so much from her in the time I'm her companion. She is very motivated but she doesn't overdo it and she is very relaxed. My Sunday morning was great because I came downstairs and she was just bundled up on the couch writing in her journal and it made me just slow down and prepare for church. We've worked so so hard and she's taught me so much! She is very loving and has such a great way of teaching! She has many good questions and I'm just in awe at how she teaches. The thing I love most about her is she is so real when she prays. When she prays, you KNOW she's talking to God. She is very sincere and talks with Him as if He were here. It's so incredible to witness. She is a great companion and I really hope we get to be together for at least one more transfer!

Sister Rokovitz and Sister Hargadon

I thought Chris looked like a YSA when I first met him too... but he's too smart and mature to be YSA haha. He cracks me up though! So I told you about the coffee story right before his baptism and so ever since then we've joked about coffee.... Monday night we all went out to McDonalds with Chris for the last few minutes pf the night for a coffee break (white hot chocolate.) Then I messaged him on Facebook and told him we needed to prank Sister Hargadon. He agreed but then never told me what we were going to do. So last night we get there and sit down and as usual he interrupts asking if we wanted water. Sister Hargadon said yes and so he got her and Aaron some water and he had a Starbucks bottle...... Aaron commented saying Starbucks was good and he agreed. We were all laughing and joking about Chris and his "coffee". He then pretended to read the ingredients and he said "Oh, it has coffee.... that's ok though isn't it?" I panicked! I was like "oh no.... this isn't real" I asked to see it and sure enough.. the first ingredient was brewed coffee.... I just looked at him and asked what he was thinking! I thought "Oh no our joking made him think it was ok!" He kept asking if it was ok... and I said "No! It's not ok!" and he busted up laughing! Prank gone wrong! He pranked me!!!! Haha he kills me with laughter every time we see him! Haha Chris... the Mormon.

For Thanksgiving we have been invited over to Elder and Sister Bolos'. So it may possibly be a Greek/American Thanksgiving! I'm so stoked! I know they'll cook good. And then right after that we're going to head to the church for a dinner with all the lonely YSA. The majority of military don't leave for Thanksgiving because then they get more Christmas time.

Remember how Aaron told us he had a special experience with prayer last week after we left? Aaron said that during his prayer he felt his mom hugging him. It was so sweet! I thought he was going to say he felt his mom telling him to be baptized... That didn't happen though. Haha

We didn't get to see Keith teach in Elder's Quorum, but he couldn't help but smile after. We asked how it went and he said it went good. He just had a little smirk the whole time! He taught on loving others and living with differences. Keith is such a solid and perfect member! He bought pizza for everyone at institute on Wednesday! And he bought the Spanish elders groceries too. I love Keith!

Ok so here goes this week!

For FHE we set up Christmas trees for the community nativity next weekend. We made it into the Clarksville paper! I'm going to get a copy and put it in my journal! The nativity is a huge event they do here every year where they set up a ton of nativity sets, including a live one, and then while people look at them they have performances like the Messiah and other local performances. Sister Hargadon is playing in the McMinnville one next weekend. On Saturday we get to set up the church's float for the Christmas parade and we might get to be in it!

We packed up and went to unload stuff at Sister McDonald's apartment. Then we were picked up and headed to the transfer meeting. I got to chat with Sisters Ferrin, Frampton and Schenk for a while. They are all doing so well! I love them so much! I got to see Brother McGladdery from Illinois also! He is just a sweet man!

Oh man pause... I keep looking at my pictures above my bed of old mission memories... And I have just loved every second of this journey. It's been worth all the tears and worries and sacrifices and stepping into the very unknown. No one can ever accurately describe a mission. It has to be experienced. Just like you said. And I'm incredibly grateful for getting to experience it. A mission is worth it. I'm never going to ever miss out on an opportunity to encourage someone to go on a mission. Cory watch out. You live with me and so I'm going to be talking about how much you should go! Haha

Ok resume ---
The transfer meeting was so great! I love them because I love walking around with a huge smile seeing all my really close friends. I use to be terrified of those meetings, but now that I have some very special friends, I can't ever wait to go! And I think our mission has the best transfer meeting! I've never been to any others, but I can't imagine any could top ours... The miracles, laughter, 3 verses of Called To Serve, testimonies... It's all too good.

After the meeting we went to IHOP. IHOP is a wonderful place. It is breakfast all day long. Somebody got it right. I got the one with the most stuff... Pancakes and waffles and eggs and bacon and sausage. Yum!

We were informed that our district was getting changed. An elder went home so they had to take the CV1 elders there. So we now have to drive 30 minutes to District meeting and we're the only sisters.

We taught Ebony, and set a baptism date with her!!! She's been reading and really wants this! She wants it so bad that she braved her fear of riding in a car in the rain and came to church on Sunday in the pouring rain!!! She's getting baptized December 13. WHOO hoo!

We also taught Aaron, and Emily, and Crystal. Crystal needs extra prayers. She is a convert that Sister Stucki baptized but now she's Less-active. He boyfriend, now fiancé, slams her with anti so often. Now she doesn't even think it's true any more and she's been going to his church. So we have to keep her testimony up! We don't really know what to do, but we're going to help her overcome her doubts. I did it, so she can too.

During lunch we had to eat in the car and so we just talked about the ways we communicate best with companions and how we show love and how we are going to work this out if things ever get rough and what our personalities are like. Sister Hargadon is leader-like yet relaxed and it's just a nice balance. I love her!

We found out that we can go finding on campus!! Perfect for YSA! So after District meeting and lunch we went there and it's SO easy to talk to people there! We met a girl named Amber (great name!) and she knew Mormons and was going to see the Book of Mormon musical Sunday. So we set up to teach her on Saturday. She is so sweet and outgoing and knows so many people on campus. She invited so many friends to come but it was just her on Saturday.

We then taught Gabbi and Yuri. I've told you about them. Gabbi is Less-active but really wanting to come back. She's just Less-active because her adoptive family wouldn't let her go. Now that she's on her own she's going and really trying to learn what she can. Yuri is her roommate and she grew up in a Unification church. She is sweet and we taught them both the Plan of Salvation.

Lastly we taught Dre! He is still reading and still praying and he let us know that he just wants to take really small baby steps right now... Like just learning how to pray and read and find answers. He is my favorite! His prayers are always long and sincere and thought out. And he just makes me laugh! Dre will be baptized one day... Cory just you wait! Your testimony has touched him so much!

Weekly planning! Whoooo!
We set some great goals to be able to contact some potentials that we never got to last transfer because of working two areas. We also set some pretty good baptism goals. We want to have 4 baptisms! Everyone is ready! We just have to dress them in white now and baptize them! Haha but really, Clarksville has major help from God right now.

Oh we also taught Calvin and he said he'll have a date for us by Tuesday. That's tomorrow! Pray hard! And he gave me a rosary! It's super nice and he wanted it blessed. We explained we don't bless objects. He understood. So then he gave it to me saying it represented who he is now since he's been on this journey of finding truth. Oh Calvin is the best! Clarksville is amazing!

I'm running out of time...
Ebony did come to church though! She is so solid! She is so ready to be baptized! And Aaron texted us and said he doesn't feel good at church. So at the end of this week he's going to fast all day for an answer. So please pray for him! He needs this gospel so badly! And I know that he has the faith sufficient to receive answers!

We had a good day at church. Emily has come to teach Ebony with us and she sat by her at church. Emily got scriptures in the mail this week and she was so pumped!! She brought them to the lesson with a huge smile on her face!

I just want to testify of how amazing this work is! It's God's and it's real. This church is true! I've had several moments this week where I've experienced what the scriptures say about being brimmed with joy. We met with Chris last night and I just was beaming at the fact that he's been baptized. We were talking about scripture study and he just had so many good honest questions that made me so happy because he's on a journey to strengthen his testimony and I know he's dedicated so I know what that will do for his life! The gospel is so incredible!  I would never trade my testimony for anything.

Sister Rokovitz

Monday, November 17, 2014

Chris Was Baptized

Oh this week has been CRAZY!! So odd! Ok so here's the transfer info! So I felt impressed 3 weeks ago that I was leaving. I didn't tell anyone. I eventually cracked and told my companions. They freaked. So we planned the week for Sister Oldroyd and I was getting ready to pack up and I was saying goodbye to everyone. Saturday night rolls around... NO CALL,!! No call came!! So we went to bed... The next morning. NO CALL!! Finally at 8:00 a.m,. the voicemail came through!! And...... IM STAYING!!! Hahaha can you believe it! This will be my 5th companion in this area!! I'm getting Sister Hargadon. She trained Sister Frampton. Sister Oldroyd is going to Nashville and Sister McDonald is going back to CV1 Ward. I'm happy though because I don't feel my work here is done.

Anyways... Now onto the crazy week!

After FHE, we were headed home and the car in front of me was swerving all over!  Then he pulled over and we passed him. He started following us!! So I didn't go to the apartment. He tailgates me and flashed his brights the whole time! I lost him at one point and then he found us again. He followed us for 15 minutes! So we called 911.We pulled up to a stop light and they asked where we were. So we told them and the guy was diagonally across from us just staring us down! The emergency people stalled the light... for like 6 1/2 minutes! The car in front of us ran the light haha. So finally it turns green and we headed to Walmart. The guy left because he saw where we were going. A cop found us and he said the guy was probably drunk. So he gave us an escort halfway home. As soon as he waved bye, one of our YSA was next to us! And they pretty much drove beside us the whole way home!! It was such a tender mercy! So we had to call President and explain why we were late. He sounded worried haha. Once he knew we were safe, he hung up. We did our planing and then we got a phone call from Nathan..... He said "Hey I just wanted to call you and tell you Chris wants to get baptized on Saturday." I thought "Does Chris know this?" Haha then he said "Tell them Chris." So Chris got on and proceeded to tell us the whole thing. We accidentally didn't schedule a lesson with him on Sunday and he realized he really missed it. Then he realized he knew it was true and he didn't need the lessons to get that joy. So we SCREAMED AND JUMPED AND LAUGHED!!! I'm still shocked! It was supposed to be a surprise for y'all but I guess Facebook ruined that, so we set the date and called President back. President went to bed less worried and more happy that night. Miracles do happen! (We saw a picture on Facebook on Sunday that Amber was tagged in for Chris' baptism, so we knew before she emailed us.)

I went on an exchange with the Princeton sisters. I went there with Sister Nielson. There is still not much going on in that area. At 8:00 p.m. she asked a member if we could come over till 9:00 p.m. I had no clue what to say because our only option was tracting and it was so bitter cold that it made my back seize up and shake and it was painful.....But I heard Sister Hargadon is good at correcting kindly. So I'm going to learn that skill from her.

I went to Cadiz with Sister King. I served around her a lot in Nashville. She is a rock star. She is white washing her area. The work is going well but her companionship is struggling. Her and her companion aren't mad at each other and nothing is bothering them... But they have nothing  to talk about and Sister King feels so lonely. Every suggestion I had was already tried.

I got back to my area and boy did I miss my companions! We went to teach Aaron and his brother walked in right as we were doing the closing prayer. His brother is against it all and so we all just awkwardly left. Aaron texted us later and told us he didn't feel right ending without a prayer... So he said his own and he said the most amazing thing happened! But he won't tell us until we're all in person! So he hasn't told us yet.

We also had our last lesson with Chris. Sister Oldroyd told me something though... Chris had a cup of coffee the day before. I was trying to teach him the Word of Wisdom and he wasn't on Facebook. So Sister Oldroyd felt prompted on her exchange to take a pamphlet to him and he wasn't at work. That’s when he had the coffee... Someone offered it to him at the car dealership. But he hadn't had a cup for like 6 months. So he had to have an interview with President on the phone. And he passed! Haha obviously.... He is just a whole new person! More happy, funny, confident, awake, ready, just everything! He's like the new and improved Chris!

Lastly we saw Emily. She is doing so good! She's studying the scriptures with her husband over Skype every day! And they decided they're getting sealed in Utah next year! So we'll all be there! I’m so excited! That was a good day. Oh and Chris planned his whole baptism on his own!

We met with Calvin! I thought he had disappeared. He's been reading like crazy so he's in Helaman! Crazy right? He's doing good and is feeling like the church is true. Oh it was so good to hear! So now we just have to keep on top of him!

We needed to go to Nashville because Sister Oldroyd had a doctors appointment. So, since we were in Nashville ... I got permission to go see Emad and Cha. Emad wasn't home but I left a note. We saw Cha afterwards. but only for a few minutes because we were late. She is doing good! She is getting back to church. I love that girl! You could tell by her smile that the visit meant the world to her!
Sister Rokovitz and Cha

It was weird to be back traveling the old roads of Nashville! I miss it so much! As we headed back, we had 29 miles till our exit and 20 miles of gas left and no gas stations around. So we kept chugging along. We made the exit and had to travel 3 miles down a barren road and we had 1 mile till empty. We started praying real hard then! That mile seemed to last forever! It hit 0 and we kept going for 2 miles. Finally... A gas station came into sight! And then the CD we had in started singing:
"God is good, yeah God is good
We've come so much farther than we thought we would
Keep [driving] now
God is good, yeah God is good
One more mile behind us God is good!"
We started laughing and crying and singing! Oh it was a good night!! We went to Chris's interview.. He totally passed. So we joked about celebrating with coffee haha! He tried on his jumpsuit.. Over his clothes. He just cracks me up! He is so funny! He was walking around in it and his "elf" shoes. He is just a happy human!

Sister Rokovitz with Chris, trying on his baptism suit over his clothing with his "elf" shoes.

Oh. We also met up with Keith earlier this week and he gave us a TON of food! $122 worth of groceries! Ravioli, lasagna, cereal, milk, veggies, oatmeal.... He said he asked God what he could do to help and the spirit said to buy groceries. He said he was the happiest guy in Walmart walking down the aisles buying food for us! He is the perfect member! And he's teaching Elders Quorum next week... He's been baptized for 2 weeks and he's teaching!! Miracles!

So during my studies I read about Consecration and Sacrifice and it said money... Sacrificing money, I realized we were still being blessed for the money Sister Stucki and I sacrificed. It was an incredible feeling. I had to get on my knees and thank my God for that one!

We went to a chili cook off/turkey bowl and it was cold! Tennessee has frozen lately! So bitter and wind... yuck. But it was a fun activity. We had just enough time to fill up the font and get everything ready. The musical number bailed... So I filled in last minute. We took photos and then I was trying to get Skype to work for Sister Stucki. She was so excited! She was red-eyed the whole time. As I was walking to the piano for the musical number I had 2 in mind. I had no clue which one I could play. So I sat down and asked God to help me. I picked one, on the spot, and then I played it. Chris was baptized and after, he bore a powerful testimony. For the first time I heard Chris say he knew the church was true. Sister Stucki teared up. It was a beautiful day. He took us out to Subway afterwards. It was so good! I love Chris! He's just amazing!

Lastly we attended a Nashville/Clarksville YSA gathering. I knew almost everyone there. It was so much fun! Chris was still on fire just smiling and laughing! We visited a Less-active on the way home and anxiously waited for the transfer call that never arrived. That was killer....

Nathan and Chris

Sister Oldroyd, Sister McDonald, Chris and Sister Rokovitz

Nathan, Chris, Sister McDonald, Sister Rokovitz and Sister Oldroyd

Chris and me with my iPad with Sister Stucki watching the baptism. (Sister Stucki and Sister Rokovitz spent a lot of time teaching Chris before Sister Stucki ended her mission. She was able to watch the baptism through Skype.)

As I was getting ready for church, I just started crying! I never want my mission to end. Bringing people like Chris into the church is truly incredible. I love the spirit and I love the hard work everyday! It's just the best thing. I can't describe it and I never want to leave. We were a bit late to church because we were freaking out with transfer calls. Church was interesting. It always is. One YSA gave a talk on gratitude and it was a very detailed and gory description of Christ's atonement. And the next YSA testified and then sobbed through his whole talk.  Haha the YSA is such a great place.

We then attended 2nd ward where Chris was confirmed. (Technically he's not YSA so he had to get confirmed in the family ward). He was still just smiling away. One of the best miracles I've seen on my mission is the baptism of Chris. The Southern Baptist youth pastor is a Mormon.

I just wanted to take a minute to say how much I love my mission and my Savior. I cannot describe the amount of love I have in my heart for Him. He did an incredible amount for me so I can have His help throughout my life. It's incredible. That's why I love the new Nashville Tribute Band CD because it's all about the Savior and I just get to sing praises to Him when I listen to it. I love this work so much!

I love you! Have a great week!

~Sister Rokovitz~

I have to tell you a quick funny story. So yesterday night we were in the church at night waiting for Keith. Alone. I left the door unlocked for Keith and then we went to the Relief Society room to play the piano. Then the breaker flipped a couple times and we heard someone walking around in the halls... and since there has been so many creepy things happening at the church we freaked out, and hid behind the piano.. hahaha I've never been so scared in my life! After praying, we felt we needed to call the cops... again... they are always near our church anyway. So I called and I was whispering and the lady got mad at me and so I talked normal and told her everything. She asked how old I was. Haha 20. And then she asked if we had any weapons. She was asking for an address. She told us someone hit a power pole.. She asked if we still wanted someone to come check on us. We said yes because we still heard someone. So an officer came over and guess what? As he got here Keith was walking up.. and the cop almost arrested Keith! So that was bad! He came in and walked all around, but whoever was here, left.. so that was creepy. The cop just laughed and walked us out. It was terrifying though! I was going to have to defend my faith and die in the church! Haha anyways. That's it. It was funny.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Two Baptisms - Emily and Keith

Oh goodness. We've been having so much fun today! We've made mission plaques!

So here goes my week!

Remember how I told you that Sean brought a friend named Wayne to church? Well we taught him on Monday night and it went so well! We sat down and asked if he had read the pamphlet and he said he did! That's a missionaries dream! No one ever reads the pamphlet. We asked him if he had any questions and he said "Yeah... I was just wondering, why Joseph Smith? Like I believe it, but I'm just curious why it was him." We all just kind of looked at each other in awe..... He's the prefect investigator. So we taught the Restoration and it went so well! Ah! He said he'd take a Book of Mormon and pray about it. And then he stayed for FHE! We ended up playing board games and catch phrase. And it was a lot of fun!

We had MLC. So we dropped Sister McDonald off at the Ft. Campbell sisters apartment last night. We left at 6:30 a.m. and drove down to Nashville. They had breakfast ready for us at 8:30 and it was yummy. Then onto 4 hours of training. I loved it! It was just basically a role play forever and we paused to discuss things. I learned so much! And I've really been trying to improve my teaching skills and teach in unity with my companion and focus on the spirit and plan more. It makes the world of difference.

So during the first... maybe 2 hours, I had quite an experience with Mr. Spider. He came out of nowhere and was MASSIVE! Like the kind that makes me want to barf when I look at it! It ran and hid by my bag by my feet and I was feeling like I was going to get sick. My heart was pounding and my face was red and I was sweating! Then... it starts walking towards the chair in front of me which happened to be Sister Dixon’s. The spider crawled up her purse handle and I was freaking out inside!! I was thinking "OH NO! This is so bad! So bad! It's going in her purse!!" Thank goodness it didn't... But it crawled up the handle onto the chair!! It went onto the bottom side of the chair and then was trying to get up to her... I didn't know what do! No one had shoes on, and if I told her, she'd flick it onto me... So I just sat there, freaking out inside! I lost it... I could not focus and I had no clue where it was! Then 15 minutes later I see it sitting on the tag of the chair! And it was letting itself down by its web. It crawled back around and ran towards me! I almost screamed! I picked up my water bottle and tried to slaughter the sucker!! It didn't work! He ran around all confused and went and hid at the end of the hall. I check for the spider every 17 seconds to make sure it didn't move or disappear. Then... I prayed my heart out! I asked Heavenly Father to make the spider go around the corner so I wouldn't have to freak out and so I could focus! A few minutes later,.... He was gone. Heavenly Father answers prayers and cares about the little things haha. I gained so much knowledge and inspiration from the meeting! I'm pumped now! I wish everyone could receive the trainings the way we do.

We skyped Emily for a lesson and talked about the Law of Chastity and Word of Wisdom. She said she started living the Word of Wisdom months ago... Ok, perfect? Holy moly! The lesson went so well! She's so close!

We also taught Ebony, and a guy named Rainan. Have I told you about him? He is Ebony and Steven's neighbor and he is super curious about it all. He wants to order a quad scripture set. He's super into learning about it and has been on the gospel library app for days! We started teaching the Restoration, but he had so many questions, so we didn't get very far.

Next, Sister McDonald went with a member to visit people and Hermana Capener came with me for an exchange to see a less active. She was really sweet! Her name is Julieann and she was baptized when she was 14 and hasn't been active... But she knows she needs to be there. She just can't tell her mom that she doesn't want to go to church with her anymore. But she's sweet and when she's not sick she's going to come to activities. We had dinner at a Spanish member's home which Hermana Capener loved because they were able to speak Spanish to each other. And I know the member liked it too because she was in the Spanish branch, but that was dissolved and so she's in a regular Ward now and doesn't speak a ton of English. So it was a relief to speak Spanish to a sister missionary.
The rest of the night we tracted and we met a cool guy and he listened to us... But we think he was pretty high.

We finally got to see Emily in person! And we met her husband. It was so good to see her! We put together the program for her baptism and figured out everything. She's so excited! She's also terrified of drowning... Like legit terrified.

Next we met with Yuri and Gabbi. They set up little finger foods for us! It was so sweet! So we had some snacks.. And then we talked about the Restoration. Yuri had to leave, but we got to talk to Gabbi. She was adopted when she was 12 and got baptized right before that in her foster family. Her adoptive family didn't like it so she never went to church again. She is now at school and has the choice so she really wants to get back into it. So we're teaching her the lessons because she really doesn't even know that much about the gospel. They are super sweet girls.

A member took us to dinner and it was at Ruby Tuesday where Richard works. We haven't seen him for so long. I laughed as we walked in and said "what if Richard was working tonight!" Haha open door, walk in, see Richard. His jaw dropped and he's like "it's the Mormons!" Hahaha he was so shocked but happy to see us! He says he's on some great medicine now that helps him and he just wants to come back to activities now. So I'm going to text him tonight to come to FHE. We taught Chris before Sports Night and he is doing better. He is reading scriptures and really studying them! It's incredible! Still no baptism date for Chris.

We had Zone meeting and it went well. Our Stake President came and spoke to us and I loved it. It was so inspiring and uplifting. The rest of the meeting struggled. No one participated in the training and when we were role playing for them everyone was asleep. It made me kind of mad... Oh and President Craig (stake president) bought us all pizza for lunch.

Next the baptism interviews happened! They both went so well and we got their suits ready and showed them the font. Lastly we had a lesson with Wayne. Keith stayed for it and it went so well! We asked if he prayed about it and he said yes and we asked how it went and he said "I'm here aren't I?" Haha he admitted he knew it's true, but he can't figure out why.

Baptisms for missionaries are exhausting. We were at the church from 10 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. It was so crazy! We had to make the programs and fill the font and make copies and set up chairs and text people. Finally it was all complete. Keith's was first and it started out so well. I played the piano for a musical number that sister McDonald did. I had only played it twice before for practice and somehow the Lord still helped me do it right! It was incredible. The spirit was so strong! And then.... the  water was too hot and Elder P. started laughing and running around and eating cookies and being so loud! Spirit. Gone. It was awful. I was fuming. Good thing I was behind the piano or else I would have strangled him. Finally we fixed it and Keith was baptized. He bore his testimony at the end and it was the sweetest thing ever! He's the perfect member.

Sister Oldroyd, Sister Rokovitz and Sister McDonald with Keith at his baptism. (Elder unknown)

So then Emily came and she was nervous yet excited. She looked so cute! Her husband and two step kids were there. We took pictures and then had some time to just sit and listen to the prelude. We had a good turn out! The program went along great and I played a musical piece for her. It sounded pretty good. When she was baptized she was freaking out... Elder Schnell told her he'd give her a thumbs up. He did and then he dunked her FAST! She was so grateful for that! And then her husband spoke. He got re-baptized a year ago and so she thinks it was really good for him to speak. He did a really good job too! The whole thing was just so good! She has a countenance that is just glowing! I know she's going to be such a strong member of the church for the rest of her life.

Sister Oldroyd, Emily, Sister Rokovitz and Sister McDonald at Emily's baptism.

That night we tried to teach Aaron, but we were all practically falling asleep in his lesson! We talked about baptism a bit and he thanked us for helping him understand why he needs it. He's totally going to be baptized one day!

That night we were hysterical for planning!!  We were laughing so hard at everything! And then as soon as it was done I crashed in bed. I was out! It was a long day for us! But a very good one.

Church was sad... Hardly anyone showed up. Austin was supposed to speak but he disappeared for his talk... He said he was sick. So Sister Bolos and I ended up bearing our testimonies. Sunday school... Eternal marriage. Haha I zoned out of that one.... Doesn't apply to me right now.

We watched Emily get confirmed and you can just see the change in her! She is so incredible! Her husband deploys again on Thursday so they're going to spend some time together and she's super good at scripture study with him and prayers. She's so good! And we're going to help her prepare for baptisms at the temple! Ah I just love her!

Amanda messaged me. She's been reading the Book of Mormon with your testimony in it, Mom! She's loving it too! Dad, I saw John in Walmart this week. He said he's been reading and he's cherishing that book for both you and me. He loves it. He's such a sweet old man!

Sorry. Rushing again.
I love you!

~ Sister Rokovitz~

This man was outside the grocery store today.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Some Rough Lessons

I have just been dying to email you this week! This week has been extremely hard! But things have worked out. So, here goes.

We had a fun p-day watching Elder Schnell stuff 58 cheese balls in his mouth! Haha and then for FHE we got to paint pumpkins and gourds. I painted a gourd to look like me. It was a really fun activity! Also, Sister McDonald taught Keith. They found him outside one day and he wanted to be baptized that day. He's been so solid ever since then. He's getting baptized Saturday and once they asked him to stop smoking he just quit. He's incredible!! He came to Stake Conference and a baptism and is going to help clean the temple before his baptism and he's ready for a calling. He's even having his priesthood and temple interview before he's baptized!! This guy is every missionaries dream!

Elder "cheese ball" Schnell

The gourd that I painted to look like me

Two very talented pumpkin painters - Gabbi and Teresa.

At morning we taught Emily. She informed us that her step father was dying.... So her husband and brother-in-law both came home from deployment. Her husband has only been gone for a month and her brother-in-law only for 1 week. They all flew to Utah to see him. We were bummed because she said she was leaving and wouldn't be back till November 5th. I don't know if I ever told you, but we set a goal to have a baptism on November 8th and we were so hopeful it would be her! We've prayed for that every prayer for the whole transfer so far. She left the next day.

We then drove to Russellville for an exchange with the Hartford sisters. Sister Aiono came with Sister McDonald and I. I just love her. We went to see a few people and then taught Keith again. He's just so solid. After dinner we tracted and we found a member! He just moved in and is Less-active and he said he wouldn't mind having the elders over! We also met a lot of atheists. One told us to keep our testimonies to ourselves. Inside I was like "NO. I will not! God gave me permission to share it with everyone on this planet!" It was so sad to see them and how miserable their lives must be.

We saw Dre. He is doing so good! He had read the intro to the Book of Mormon and he has so many questions! We talked for an hour and a half! He's just so curious! And at the end, we asked him to pray. We all got on our knees and he was so nervous... We explained how to pray and he thought about it... And then he said the sweetest prayer I have ever heard an investigator say. He prayed for us and for knowledge and answers and all sorts of things! It was really thought out and not just short. I just wanted to hug him!! He's the best!

We got to dress up for District meeting. I was an old grandma, Sister Aiono was a grandpa, and Sister McDonald was our granddaughter that had to wear my clothes and stay with us always. Haha we tied a balloon to her wrist so we could tell where she was at! We also have two Elder Harris's in our district.. And their costumes made them "tourist" Harris and "terrorist" Harris. Haha

Happy Halloween from the Clarksville district.

The rest of the day was absolutely nuts. We taught Keith and then a member took us to "dinner" at 3:00 pm. It was super far away and then we had to order and eat and drive back. We were 45 minutes late to our ride to switch back from exchanges. Then we rushed back and we were supposed to get a ride from the Bolos's to Institute but they forgot there were 3 of us. So Mia, our member, took us. After the  Institute lesson about the Law of Consecration, Keith came up to us and said "Why don't we live that? That would work!" Haha, the Law of Tithing the next day was super easy for him to accept.

We discovered a problem. We added our math wrong and we had gone 75 miles over our limit. Big mistake. So we parked our car and walked everywhere! We had some cool miracles. We met a lady who always wanted to talk with us. She had a Book of Mormon and was super interested so we got her info and we're going to meet with her this week. We met a guy who was interested and we followed up but he was busy. He is still interested though and we thought he wouldn't be!

While we were walking, Emily texted us. She said she felt like the 17th was her day!! We were a little bummed because it was so far away and that's a Monday... But she wants to be baptized!! Miracle!

Lastly we met a girl with a dog that looked like a mop! He has natural dreds! Haha, his name was Maximus Mopsimus.

We had dinner with a member and it was alright. Some form of tacos. I liked it but not enough to eat two. So I sat there while everyone ate more.. It was awkward. We then went to Sports Night and it was fun! Well we taught Chris first. Chris hasn't read or come to church for a couple weeks. No wonder he's not getting an answer. I read the quote from conference that scriptures are more important than sleep and food and work, etc. It hit him... and he said he wanted to read and pray so he could get answers. He's getting back on track.

For Sports Night we played chair soccer.. and had a hand-stand contest against the wall. Bad idea. I've been practically dead in the back for a couple days now. Emily texted us while we were there.... And .... She said...... "I've been thinking about the 8th actually. I still like the 17th but that's a Monday." Ok.. Wait what??? WE THREW THE PHONE AND STARTED JUMPING UP AND DOWN AND SCREAMING!!!! It's a miracle!! We've been praying for that day for 4 weeks!! So she's getting baptized Saturday! We've been teaching her every day over Skype. She gets home Wednesday night and she'll have her interview and meet with us and get baptized!! GOD ANSWERS PRAYERS!!!

Skyping Emily - Sister Rokovitz, Sister McDonald and Sister Oldroyd

We had a rough day. It was beyond freezing and our car was at the church, 10 miles from home. We walked to an Investigator, Rainan's place, and he has SO many questions. He is really reading and taking notes. It's so awesome! So we're going to answer his questions throughout the lessons. When we left, Austin was supposed to pick us up and take us to the church... But he was late. So we went next door to see Ebony. Finally he came and then we taught Keith.. And Dre. Oh... for Dre, the last lesson he was dying to know where we go after we die. We said if he read the Book of Mormon we would tell him. So he sat down and we asked if he read it. He said no and we pretended to pack up and leave and he said "where's a Book of Mormon?!" He read his assignment and then we taught the Plan of Salvation. He loved it. I just love Dre and his sweet spirit. I know he'll get baptized one day.

The whole day wasn't going as planned. We were late to a few things because YSA cancel and reschedule nonstop. We skyped Emily for the first time that night. Her sister-in-law was there. She was serving a mission in Colorado Springs but came home for her father’s funeral. In that family there are 10 siblings so they were all there with their spouses and stuff. But Emily got to be taught by 4 missionaries. I asked if I could play a musical number at her baptism and she said yes! Whoo HOO! I'm excited.

Church was good. We got 2 new Investigators from church. Two members had brought their friends and they were both interested. Wayne and Yuri are the two new ones. We taught Wayne that night at 6. It's not every day that you have 12 YSA at church and 2 new Investigators. Miracles!!

The rest of the day consisted of visits, and follow ups. Sister and Elder Bolos fed us dinner and it was so good! I don't know if y'all knew this... But I am known for my cereal and milk obsession here. Elder Bolos always has a glass of milk ready for me. And they joked that the funeral potatoes were special for me because they had corn flakes on top... Cereal haha.

That night we taught Chris who is still just chugging along. He really wants to know and desires to get an answer. We're doing something now where we'll send him a Book of Mormon scripture and he'll send us a Bible one. Next week we'll switch roles.

We also taught Emily on Skype and her sister-in-law was there again as well as her husband. She's just so prepared!!  Everything is so easy and not a problem. She's getting baptized!!

It was rough. But because of Christ, I made it. I just wanted to email you all week. I just had a lot of tears and trials. Lots of pleading prayers.

This is kind of hard to talk about, but I want to tell you about an experience I had this last week. I accidentally blew up at Sister Oldroyd last week. Ever since then... Things have been awful!! Oh my heck it's bothered me! It's gotten to the point where she would blame me for so many things. I was trying to stay calm and see her side of things and not react and not bring it up so things wouldn't get worse.... But things got worse anyways. I cried each night as I knelt and plead for help from God. I literally was brought into the depths of humility in order to ask for help. I cried and prayed and wrote down impressions. Nothing I tried worked. It got to the point where I was considering emailing President and saying I couldn't be her companion anymore. I do feel like I'm getting transferred which kills me though. So. As I knelt in prayer last night I just told Heavenly Father that I was having a really hard time loving her. I couldn't. I asked for His love and to help me put aside my selfishness to be able to overcome the trial.

I woke up this morning still sad as every morning. Avoiding eye contact and looking at the ground. I felt as if I had forgotten how to be happy. She finally noticed something was wrong,.., she wanted to talk about it but I didn't because I knew she'd get upset. She did. She left the room and I just cried. Sister McDonald talked me through it and helped me form my thoughts into words. Sister  Oldroyd came back down and we all talked to overcome the problems. I've never felt the atonement work more in my life. I felt literal relief as things were discussed, walls were broken down, scars were healed. I knew it would work out. I think the study of prayer lately has really helped me out lately because in this trial I just prayed my heart out and I KNEW He heard me and would help me. I tried not to complain to Him, but rather explain how I felt, and explain I understood He loved her too... And there was a way to get through it. This took so much faith and trust and prayer and study and courage. But we've been laughing today, finally. Things are still slightly awkward ... And tonight Sister McDonald is staying somewhere else because we have a big meeting all day in Nashville tomorrow. So it will just be Sister Oldroyd and I tonight. I'm not worried about it. We can talk more and just rest. The atonement is so real and so is God. I had to fight with everything I had to resist Satan. He wanted to put anger in my heart. I now understand the phrase "tugging at my heart strings." Because Satan was. I tried not to boil over and react or yell. I tried to be calm and speak with love... That's the way Christ would do it. I tried to understand Sister Oldroyd's feelings and where she was coming from. Wow. It was incredible what Christ did for me. I immediately knelt and thanked my Father in Heaven for that. For the help and the love and the courage. The gospel is just real. This has been such a major testimony building experience. I was ready to email y'all today and just complain and murmur. Glad I didn't have to! I'm so glad I got to be happy instead! I love you so much!! I have to go, but I hope you have a great week!

As time goes on... It just keeps getting shorter and shorter. Two elders were saying:
"I go home next transfer"
"And then it's me"
And then I said. "And then it's me........"
Transfers... Only 3 more left and then I come home that 4th transfer. I can’t be this close to being done! I'm not done growing and learning and serving and studying!! I don't want to ever end this! Please understand... I have to stay here forever.

We'll have a great week! I love you!

~Sister Rokovitz~