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