Monday, February 23, 2015

The Cold Continues

We were able to get out all day Thursday, most of Friday, all Saturday and all Sunday. But there are sisters in our ward who live in the boonies and they have been stuck inside every day since last Monday. The Bishop went to take them food and he couldn't get in their driveway and then when we tried walking down it, he just slid all the way down. All their roads were covered in ice. I feel bad for them.

Me and Sister Gustaveson went off sweets. The exception though is we can have it if it is from a member... so we've had sweets every day because members feed us all the time! But we've still had less than usual. So that's good.

I think last week was the first time I'd ever had Sweet Potato Pie and it was seriously heaven!! I need to keep that in mind for when I move back to TN and start cooking classic Southern meals for all the missionaries I have over.

Well.. about my week.. my oh so exciting iced-in week.

Iced in. Didn't go anywhere except outside to play a lot and to the church for martial arts. Real exciting day

Iced in day 2
We were told to plan as much as we could, and we tried. But there just wasn't much to plan. We trekked to CVS to buy the last 2 out of 3 gallons of milk. It was cold and slippery and it looked like we lived in the land of desolation! Everyone was gone! No noise, nothing. Just snow... Haha

Walking home from CVS with our milk.

We tried contacting some people who had been contacted before in our complex. No one was home, so that didn't last very long. We also went next door to Andi's and she made us homemade pasta and sauce. We emailed there and watched 17 Miracles. I bawled! I was in my bed in the corner just crying to myself haha. Oh it was embarrassing! But it is such a good movie!

We got out! Hallelujah! Sister Gustaveson's iPad was wiped on Monday, we don't know how, so we spent a couple hours with Brother Sims trying to resurrect it and all her pictures, but it's gone. So Brother Sims emailed all her companions and members and is going to gather as many pictures as he can to give to her as a gift. We seriously have the best ward mission leader on the face of the planet. He needs to keep his calling for life!

We had dinner with the Davis' that night and they were a lot of fun! They have two little boys, Aiden and Evan and they just talked our ears off haha. It was a fun dinner and I was happy to be outside the apartment!

Traded hats with my dinner partner.

Lastly we found a Less active that we've been trying to contact forever! She's totally the perfect rich lady right down to the fluffy white cats who are her babies. It's so funny! We helped her get ready for her husband to come home. She hardly sees him because of work and so she was setting up dinner and everything for him when they got home from the airport. She's a really nice lady and offered to feed us dinner in the future! So I'm excited to work with her! What's sad though is I feel she hasn't come to church because she's so wrapped up in life and work.... and she doesn't see the importance of church. We should always remember to make church our first priority!

We did our weekly planning which went really well! We set some sweet goals for the rest of the transfer and I'm excited for them! We made a vision as a companionship of what we want to accomplish in the next 4 weeks. Then our appointments cancelled and it started snowing super hard.. so we went to the bus and we were going to ride it to mark down where all the stops were because they're not all marked on the map. We were coming up to our stop where we needed to get off and turn around, and I forgot that I didn't know what time the bus across the street would come. The bus we were on was 40 minutes behind schedule. So if we got off we would have to wait up to an hour...... we panicked and just stayed on the bus which ended up going all the way to downtown Nashville! Oops...  We then had to ride it all the way back up to our area. On the bus we taught someone who said that everything was beautiful and wanted my name and wanted to know what I required in a partner for marriage. Super awkward. We listened to the "F" word about..... a lot. Like every other word for 10 minutes. We taught a drunk. We also taught 3 amazing people though! Keith is a YSA from Nashville and is interested so we gave his info to the YSA sisters, Jerral is interested. I didn't get to talk to him, but I guess he was this super tough guy with piercings all over telling Sister Gustaveson about some adorable kittens he rescued. And I taught a girl named Iesha but she wasn't really interested. She was really nice though and was laughing at us teaching the drunk man. We got called in early that night and we had permission to watch The Work and the Glory so we watched that.

We contacted a lot of potentials this day..... we thought we had success... with a guy named Miguel. He had been taught by the Hermanas and we taught him that day and his parents told us to leave but he told them no, because he was talking to us. He said he'd come to a church tour yesterday but never showed up. I'm trying to have faith in him, but I just don't know if he's really interested.

We also saw Sarah and Kassie. Tim wasn't home. Sarah told us she believes everything - The Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith, the Priesthood, but she doesn't want to be Mormon. So something isn't clicking and I don't know what it is. They mean a lot to me and since Sister Gustaveson wasn't there from the beginning, she kind of wants to drop them... I hope she doesn't do that when I leave. They have so much potential!!!

We had dinner at the Bishop's that night and I just love him to death! He has such a love and fire for missionary work. And he loves the missionaries in his ward. He's been my favorite Bishop.

We also got to see Debbie and watched Finding Faith in Christ with her. She loved it! About half way through she said "I know all these stories!" She is the sweetest lady ever and I can't wait for y'all to meet her!

We didn't get to go to church because of the weather. Our whole day was thrown off. That night after dinner we were getting ready to leave and I was looking at what time the bus would come and realized it was coming at that very minute. The next bus wouldn't come for an hour..... So I sat down and tried to figure things out and Sister Gustaveson kept saying "Let's just get out the door and just go do something." I was getting kind of stressed because I am a planner, and I wanted to make sure we had some good plans before we went out into the freezing cold. She kept pushing me to get out. So I snapped and I don't really know what caused it. We started to work things out and then we realized we needed to plan better.... so we tried to do some good planning, but that didn't quite work out. I just didn't know what to do. I didn't know how to change the situation. I'm the oldest one in the apartment, the STL, the most experienced on a mission, and I failed. I finally went and asked Sister Gustaveson to come to the room and we knelt down. I started to pray. I felt peace just envelop me. I felt forgiveness. I repented in front of her and that was one of the absolute hardest things I've EVER done. It was humiliating. But then, after it was all said and done, I felt ok. I have an amazing companion who just dropped it all and forgave me right then and there.

As I prayed that night, I really felt the atonement start to work. I had studied a few days before about how quick the Savior is to forgive... but how could He so quickly forgive me? I felt it though. In a split second it was all gone. And I felt renewed. At that moment, all I could feel was that God KNEW me. He KNEW me so perfectly and it didn't matter what anyone else said. It was rewarding. I studied repentance this morning and one thing I read said that repentance is accepting the loving chastening of the Lord. Trials and challenges and temptations come to us to test how we will react. I reacted wrong, but because of the atonement I can be forgiven. The atonement is to bring about unto us faith unto repentance. And I experienced that last night. I had the faith that I had a God who loved me. He sent His son to die for me and because of that, I had the faith I needed to repent.

Now... Pday is rushed again and we need to go run around like crazy some more. Sorry this is a shorter email. This week wasn't super eventful.

Love you!

~Sister Rokovitz~

I wanted to send my Daddy a giant teddy bear for Valentine's day....but I couldn't figure out how to send it.

Me with the flowers you sent me for Valentine's Day.

Remember this toy?

Frozen branches

A frozen leaf

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Iced In - Part 2

I'm finally emailing. I am so sorry for all of this but it has been an adventurous week!

At transfers I was asked to accompany the musical number. Sister King and Hermana Hofrietza sang and Sister Cotton played the violin. It was a version of Come Thou Fount. It sounded so good! The photo below is of me at the podium sharing a miracle. I asked for my former YSA companions who were there to come up with me because I'm not used to sharing miracles alone. So they came up and I shared the success of the YSA with how we've had 7 baptisms and Keith went to the temple, got the priesthood, and got his patriarchal blessing. Aaron has been to the temple and got the priesthood, Austin same, Jaykob same, Wayne is getting the priesthood.... Miracles are just flowing out of there. So we all were up there talking about it and it just brings tears to my eyes.

Sharing YSA miracles with Sister McDonald, Sister Oldroyd and Sister LeFevor at transfer meeting.

Chris's friend Nathan moved out and it sounds like they're getting too old to keep track of each other. ..... like I'll ask Nathan and he says he doesn't know. I wrote Chris a pretty bold letter yesterday and I'll send it off today. That’s the last way I can think of to try to get in contact with him..

It's funny that you ask about my new companion. I've served around her a ton so I already know her so I just assume you do too haha. So I am just loving being with her! We have been laughing so much every day!! She is from South Ogden and she is a brand new STL. She's been out for just barely over a year. We now have Hermana Gamble living with us and I like her. We've had a fun 3 days stuck inside.

OOooook... The long awaited email about the week!!!

So Monday was not real relaxing. We just went around visiting Spanish people before Sister Dansie was transferred and I typed my emails as I followed along. It was rough for me to want to be there. But I tried to just make the best out of the situation that I was in. I played with the little kids and just smiled and tried not to be sour about it all.

Our ward mission leader, Brother Sims, took us to the transfer meeting and it was a good one! It was hard though... because I knew it was the last time I would ever be at a transfer meeting and be in the audience to watch it. It made me want to cry. Things became really real when I saw the last group before me go home. Now... I only have my time left. And I have to work harder than I've ever worked before!

So we came home and then we were taken by the Hermanas over to the Sims for dinner. Waffle Tuesday! Then Brother Sims came with us to see Debbie S. Debbie is an Investigator who has known missionaries for a while. She met them about 2 years ago in Lebanon, TN. Then she moved here and met more. She's learned a lot, but I don't know how much she's really considered and prayed about. So we told her our purpose and asked what she expected from our visits. She said she wanted to learn. Her only concern is being so connected to her church back home in another state. She's going to start making some progress.

We went back to the Sims and went over the ward list a bit to sort them into groups of who is active and Less-active. Lastly, Sister Sims came with us to see Debbie F., the recent convert. We talked about her study on the Holy Ghost and what she learned. She is just amazing as a convert to the church! She is always so excited to learn something new and progress in the gospel.

We had District meeting and it was a good meeting. I love those meetings. We have trainings and then we spend the majority of the time role-playing.

We tried to see Cathy... she wasn't home. I don't know how well she is progressing. She hasn't been remembering when we're coming lately and we can't confirm because she never answers her phone.... Bummer. We also tried visiting Aiijalon. I don't know if you remember me talking about her. She has 3 kids and she is just so sweet! She had been gone for a month which is a long time not to see someone.... so we decided to try knocking on her door and she was home! We went in and sat down to talk to her. The elders were teaching her too, but we felt it was kind of confusing for her to have more than one set of missionaries coming to teach her. We didn't know what she had been taught by the elders. So we talked to the elders and they told us we could just teach her. So we went and told her that just us would be coming and she said that she was kind of confused with everything. So we went over with her some of her concerns. She was confused about the Book of Mormon and where it came from. She has been taking it to Bible study and trying to find comparisons in the Book of Mormon. She asked her Pastor about it, but he said he didn't know and would do his research. She thought that she had to believe in the Bible or the Book of Mormon, so when we told her we believed in both, she was pretty excited about it. She is incredible! She said she'll keep reading and praying.

We finished the night by contacting potentials and we had success with contacting Tawyna. She served at the storehouse one day and said she was interested but she's always so busy that she's never been taught... so she was home that night! And we got to set a return appointment with her!! It was for today... but we're stuck. So we had to cancel. But so many miracles happened that day! Sister Gustaveson is a miracle worker!

Later that night we tried to contact an Investigator and we had to get past the apartment gate. We planned to just sneak in behind the car in front of us. but the problem was that they didn't know the code either.... so soon a train of 7 cars were lined up and a guy from one car came running up to let her in... and we snuck in with them haha We sat there for close to ten minutes and..... the lady told us to go away. So we left.

I can't even remember much about Thursday besides the fact that we laughed a TON and it was super funny! It was a good day! This was the first day we had to ride the bus and I had to figure it all out. We made it to Cha's and it was fun for her to see Sister Gustaveson. Sister Gustaveson took my place in Nashville so she knew Cha too.

We then realized that we wouldn't have enough time to get all the way home for dinner, so we had a Rafferty's gift card from Aunt Cheryl and we took ourselves out to dinner. It is an amazing restaurant! We had to scarf our food down and then while I was paying we asked for sweet potato pie to go. So we ran to the bus, and had to figure out how to get onto the connector bus. No one on the bus knew, not even the driver. So we got off and asked a lady and she told us. We made it on the connector just fine which just ventures out into some neighborhoods away from the main road. While I was freaking out about where to get off, Sister Gustaveson was talking to a lady name Jaque, who is amazing! She was totally interested! We got her number and she said we could come over on Friday, but we've been calling and its telling us that she has her phone off or is out of service range. So... that's a bummer. We got off at the right place and went to Debbie F.'s but she wasn't home yet... so we plopped down on her porch in the 30 degree weather and had ourselves some sweet potato pie. It was so good! We were just laughing and eating and having a good time in the cold.

We had a great lesson with Debbie but it was short because we had to get back to the bus. She talked about how she's learning about forgiveness and learning to forgive her grandfather even though he did some pretty terrible things to her. She is amazingly strong and has a deep testimony of the gospel and the atonement of Christ. I love her. We got home that night and we were just dead and sore because we ran to all our bus stops because we were afraid we'd be late! So we did lots of running and walking. But it was such a fun day full of good hard missionary work.

We tried contacting a lot of potentials this day and we had no success at all! Not a single person answered their door... it was lame! But we did have fun driving and laughing and singing and telling stories. I really love being with Sister Gustaveson because we just get along and she is a good hard working missionary. Those hard workers are the companions that have been my absolute favorites. It makes it a lot easier to work hard and to have fun while doing it too.

Lastly we saw Debbie S. and taught her the Restoration and she really liked it. We only got through half and then asked her to pray about it and she said she would. I wish we could see her more often. That would help her progression. But I really love her a lot and she's one person I want to stay in contact with forever.

Sister Sims picked us up and we went to visit Aijalon. She had been reading and so we taught her a bit more about the Book of Mormon and answered her questions. She's so sincere and really seeking answers... so we are going to explain the Restoration clearly to her next time we see her.

When Sister Sims dropped us off, she asked if we had a dinner appointment for Valentine's. We said no and she laughed and said "It's ok, I don't even know what I'm doing for dinner..." Haha but when we walked in, the Hermanas had warm pizza and bread sticks and shared with us. It was a good Valentine’s dinner.

That night we trekked back to our complex and met with Sherry, Kia, and Tastasia. They have been taught quite a bit but I just didn't know if they were interested... so we went and asked and they said yes and then Sister Gustaveson got them to commit to church!! It was a miracle! We left and I joked with Sister Gustaveson "Hi my name is Sister  Gustaveson and I work miracles. Wanna come to church? Yeah? Ok see you tomorrow!" Hahha it was really cool though.

Everyone was freaking out about "the storm". We had meetings and then..... KIA, SHERRY, AND TASTESIA CAME To CHURCH!!!! They came! And..... Sacrament meeting was the most zombie meeting I've probably ever attended. EVERYONE was asleep. They didn't stay because they had already been to 2 hours of their own church so they were tired, but we had Investigators at church!!! It was so cool.

We had dinner that night with the Hamblin's and I hardly knew them, but I love them! Super fun couple! She's really into selling tupperwear and she's a violin teacher and she teaches over Skype!! How cool is that?! Her husband also imports scripture cases from Guatemala and so we got to pick some out and take them for free. It was the best dinner appointment ever. And she made us custard with caramel and mint Oreos with marshmallow cream inside. It was so good!
Scripture covers from Guatemala.

That night we tried to contact a lady, but some man kept yelling "Who is it?" We were so scared! We went to leave and saw him staring at us through the window.... we booked it to our car and got our tails out of there! Haha

This week I think the theme has been "who cares!" Meaning.. Who cares what others think. Sister Gustaveson has commented a lot on how happy she sees that I am because she's been around me my whole mission and she says she can see a change... It's awesome. I told her that I just stopped caring what others think of me and really focusing on my relationship with God. She points out when I say "who cares" and I say it a lot. Like she'll talk about being an STL and scared to correct things and have sisters mad at her... And I'm just like "who cares?" Haha so it's awesome.

So it's been a good week and I'm thankful for these few days of being iced in... Because I've needed them to relax. I've been needing pure relaxation for a while, and now that I've got it, I want to just give God even more for the last month. I love this gospel! I love you so much!! Have a great week!

~Sister Rokovitz~

Our Tennessee snow and iciness.

Iced bushes.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


Monday -
We're iced in so we grabbed wifi from the apartment office and we'll go back and type and then come back and send them later. We'll send pics tomorrow from the church computers. We got some GREAT pics of the ice haha. We've been out in it for the past hour just playing. Anyways. I love you! So don't panic. I'll send my email. Love you!

Tuesday morning -
Iced in still. We have to trek to get wifi so I'm working on typing it and hopefully I can send it today.

Tuesday evening -
Hey Mom!
So here's what's going on.. So we aren't allowed to drive our cars, the front office is closed so we can't use their computers, the bus system is down so we can't get to the church, aren't allowed to ride in any vehicle.... Got wifi from our neighbor.. The weather is supposed to be bad tomorrow so District meeting is on hold.... So we don't know when we'll get to get out... So I just wanted to send this note to tell you we're ok. Warm, safe, plenty of milk, having fun, and just enjoying our time all together. I love you!!!

Hey Dad! I just wanted to personally thank you for the flowers! I didn't want to demand flowers... But things lately had been rough and I just really wanted flowers! Haha the bouquet was HUGE and beautiful. I started tearing up because it meant so much to me!! Thank you so much! They're on my desk and I stare at them so much!! I love you more than anything and I'm so grateful to you for doing that for me. You're the best valentine I've ever had! I love you!

Valentine flowers from my Daddy.

Stuck in with an ice storm.

Playing in the ice and snow on p-day and getting soaked.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Convert = Greatest Joy

Oh my goodness this week has felt forever long for me! This week has been pretty crazy. Not like any other week on my mission haha but throughout this week I have felt the prayers of y'all, other family, friends, President Andersen, the prophet, the temples, and everyone else. It's incredible. I felt Heavenly Father walking beside me the entire week and it's made me realize how much He really loves me. As I knelt down each night, there were things that I knew I could have done better, but I knew that I tried my hardest and that He was just there to comfort me. Each day I felt His guidance and it just carried me over what I thought was going to be a really heavy week. I was scared to death and not wanting to face it, but it turned out to be ok. It turned out better than I though and I look back being proud that I accomplished it.

One thing that made me feel really great was what I heard President say. I was talking to Sister Penrod, another STL and one of my great friends. She called me every other day to see how I was. She said President was up in her area for a meeting and she was talking to him about the whole situation and he said that he is really proud of me and the way I've stepped up. It made me feel ten times stronger than I thought. It was really great.

So this week might be kinda scattered because of everything that has happened and my mushy brain.
Let me just say this though, I died this week of Spanish food. The majority of our dinner appointments were Spanish and they just made my stomach hurt so bad. I was so grateful for my roast dinner last night with potatoes and veggies and gravy. Ah. That was nice.

We got to see Cha that night and we watched the Finding Faith in Christ DVD and she loved it! She is doing well. She's quoting hymns and knows scripture stories and is just a lot different from a year and a half ago. She didn't come to church because she was very sick, but I'm working with the ward to get her some great help.. Like visiting teachers and friends.

We got to go serve at the bishop's storehouse and that was a relief. It was nice to just get to serve. Even though it was fast paced, it was relaxing because it was service and it was with the spirit and with people that have the same goal. It felt good to be there. It didn't feel great to not have Sister West there though. I missed her. She was always all smiles and laughs. I have a goal to be more like that.

We went to see a Spanish Investigator named Roxanna and I had a great time sitting and trying to pick up Spanish words! ... Not. I was bored out of my mind. I was really hoping that I would develop the gift of tongues this week and be able to learn Spanish miraculously fast. It didn't happen. I did get to memorize Our Purpose in Spanish though! That was pretty miraculous.

The rest of the afternoon was spent doing Spanish stuff. We ended the night by seeing Debbie F. and she is just awesome! We talked a lot about repentance and faith because we are going through the new member lessons with her right now. We also gave her a scripture chase of scriptures about baptism. She was pretty excited to look them up! She just brings a smile to my face every time I see her! She is always smiling and always in tune with the spirit and just sharing the gospel with everyone! I love her. I can't wait for y'all  to meet her!

We had District meeting and I gave a training. I was going to do a cool demonstration where I had something written in white on a white paper and then I would use a colored pencil to reveal the white writing.... I practiced like 4 times in my study journal and they all worked. But the real one didn't work! Haha so everyone just laughed at me and I laughed with them!

After District meeting we had plans to go to lunch with the other sisters. Before District meeting one of the Hermanas just seemed so mad. Then she would act totally fine around everyone else, but when we got in the car with just our companionship again, it was bad. So we pull up at Chick-fil-a and I locked all the doors and said "We're not leaving this car till we work things out." I expressed that I was hurt by the sarcasm that's been going on and I feel hurt when I'm ignored but then treated fine around everyone else. It ended up being over an hour that we sat in that blazing hot car. I was sweating buckets.

The Hermana wasn't talking. So we sat there. I was sick of the negativity and not feeling the spirit in the companionship and so I wasn't going to let those things slide. Finally we worked it out and I made them all get out in the middle of the parking lot and we did a group hug. We had to miss lunch and just grab food and eat in the car.

Later, I was picked up by Sister Norris, a member, to go on exchanges.We first went and saw Marylyn. I think she's progressing, but I'm not really sure. She's kinda hard to read. But Sister West had a lot of faith in her and so I'm not going to give up. We actually made a lot of progress with her. We were supposed to see her again but she said she was sick. She sounded like she was really considering coming to church and bring her son and his family along too.

We then saw Cathy and she is kind of progressing, but not really. She basically said she doesn't want to come to church because she is getting her GED from another church and she is tied to them. She doesn't even attend there on Sunday's. So I'm not really sure what to do with her.

Last we saw Cha and we didn't have much time with her, but she is doing good. It was good to see her.

The Hermanas picked me up for dinner.. Spanish dinner.. And then we went to see William and Evon. We had to stop by because they aren't responding to when we could come back. So we popped in and then Evon asked "So if Joseph Smith was a prophet, are there prophets today and how would you know?" It was a perfect question. We had a really great conversation about prophets and showed them a clip of Thomas S. Monson and then William said a prayer to ask if the things we taught were true and if there were really prophets. It was so cool!  Lastly we saw the Racey family but when we walked in you could tell something was wrong. So we abandoned our lesson plan and talked a lot about finding strength  through trials and how much God loves us and then showed them a video about keeping faith in trials. It ended out really good.

This day was the first day that we had a relaxed morning and didn't have to rush off somewhere. It was great. So when it was time to go out, I went with Sister Counter. She is a Filipino lady and she is so funny! We went to see Crystal, a Less-active, and she just talked our ears off for over an hour. We didn't make much progress..... But I think it was good. But then the next lesson was with Brittany. She opened up, and she told us that she really has no interest in learning more.... This was after she talked for over an hour too. I could see Sister Counter yawning. Haha I saved it a little by telling her that we were there to help strengthen her faith, so she said we could keep coming. But I felt so bad that Sister Counter came and people just talked and talked to us for 3 hours! Haha

We got to have an American dinner that night and I loved it! Haha I got left behind until my temporary companion came, Sister Sims, our ward mission leader's wife. She finally came and we went to see Debbie S. Can I just say though real quick that the Sims are the best! Brother Sims is the ward mission leader, and his dad is the bishop. They all just care and are always on top of things and I have so much fun with all of them! They have become very special people to me. So I have fun laughing with Sister Sims. So Debbie S. is an Investigator and she has known missionaries for years. I wanted to do something else than share a scripture, so I asked what she expects from our visits. She told us that she feels she has to say goodbye to her home church before she can move on and look at other churches but she does want to learn more. What she doesn't know though, is that we are going to teach her all the lessons and she's going to feel the spirit, haha, she's great though!

We also saw Debbie F. and talked about baptism and our covenants and sacrament. I had a cool realization. Debbie outwardly lives her baptism covenants. You can physically see that she is keeping her covenants. She stands as a witness and she comforts others and helps them when they're in need. She is a walking example of what we should be doing. She is amazing.

I did weekly planning kinda by myself because we will have separate schedules again. Then Sister Abernathy picked me up. She is the stake President's wife and she is hilarious! Our 45 minute drive was actually 2 hours long because she kept taking the wrong turn! But we had so much fun talking and laughing and singing to Vocal Point and it was just a fun drive. I made it to Bowling Green and I went on an exchange with both sisters so I was just in a trio with them. It was actually really weird... I just felt like a third wheel tag along. There wasn't much time to talk to them to see how their area was going and what their goals are and stuff. I was only there for the last few hours of the day. Then the next day I left at 6:15 a.m. with a member from there to head back to Goodlettsville. It's funny how parents are ok with putting their teenagers on a plane to go to a random place alone and live with strangers and ride alone with strangers around a foreign state or country... haha. Glad I'm still alive.

I got home in time to get ready and then did studies and then I went with Laura C. from the Nashville YSA to visit some people. One of our stops was William and Evon and I think William was slightly hung over. They had shot glasses on the table and he was just drinking cup after cup of water. He still functioned pretty well though. We taught them about the Book of Mormon and read the intro with them. They loved it and said they will consider church!

During that lesson the transfer call came in and I'm getting Sister Gustaveson! I have served around her a lot and I know that she is an incredible missionary! I'm really excited to be getting her as my companion for my last 6 weeks.
Next I went with Daniel, Annemarie, and Emily from the Nashville YSA. We went and hung photos in Debbie F.'s apartment. We also put up a cool vinyl thing above her piano. It looks so cool!

Lastly we tracted and that was a lot of fun to do with them! Daniel was really good at talking to people at the door. He's really confident. It was a blast to be out with them!

Tracting with Nashville YSA

Then April W., a member here, took me to Clarksville for Wayne's baptism! The room was packed wall to wall with people! Sister Andersen even came. It was a beautiful baptism. Wayne's grandma flew in for a surprise visit from Colorado and she came to his baptism. She plays the piano super well and so she played while he was changing. When he came up out of the water he had tears and he just hugged Robert! It made me want to just burst into tears of happiness! Clarksville has a very special place in my heart.

At Wayne's baptism with the Clarksville YSA group.

Jaykob and me, YSA cool.

Aaron's profile picture - love it!

With my sisters at the baptism.

I was talking to Aaron after, the one who got baptized in December, and he told me he got all Sundays off now!! I said "How did you do that?!" He said "I just prayed..." He is amazing! All smiles all the time and I thought he was going to struggle a little. He's incredible.

On our way home we stopped by Chris's because he hasn't been to church since he was confirmed. He wasn't home... his car was gone. I left him a note and called him but he wont respond. I don't know what his deal is.

I was just passed off a lot in church. I had to sit in the Spanish sacrament for a few minutes and a little girl looked at me and said "Do you belong here?" haha I looked at her and said "....... no. I don't......." haha sad.

That evening I went out with Sister Frey and I thought I had made such good plans that we wouldn't get to it all.... everything fell through within 15 minutes. Sister Frey is in her 60's and is super hilarious and so we just tried everyone we could think of. We ended up sticky-noting a member's door and peeking in someone's windows and she banged on one Less-active's door and yelled "It's the cops! Open up!" Haha no one answered anywhere..... but it was a fun night full of laughter!

Sister Penrod called that night and we talked till 11:00 pm and I just cried to her because I was so burnt out. I was exhausted. She gave me a great pep talk and I felt better after that.

I want to tell you something that has brought me great joy this week. When I was praying the second time about if I should come on a mission, when I was at school, I got the overwhelming feeling and decided to come. Then I resumed my New Testament homework and everything I read was about missionary work. I remember one heading distinctly that said "Converts are a missionary's greatest joy". For the life of me I can't find it again. But I got a letter from Aaron this week and then he messaged me. He found out about Sister West and said "I need to write her". Aaron has gone through the exact same thing and he felt he needed to write her and let her know that he knows what it's like and that the gospel has helped. I can't even describe the amount of joy I felt. I'm sure you've felt it before on your missions. But as I was sitting in studies one day, it clicked. Convert = greatest joy. Fulfilled. God was right. I have had exploding amounts of joy this week from Aaron and seeing Wayne get baptized and seeing Jaykob speak at the baptism and seeing Calvin pray at the baptism. It's incredible! Keith got his patriarchal blessing yesterday and Calvin, Keith, Jaykob, and Aaron have been to the temple. I've never been happier! So I wanted to share that with you. My call letter was right when it said "More happiness awaits you than you've ever experienced as you labor among the Lord's children in love.."

I love this gospel and the joy I feel is carrying me, helping me work harder. I know Satan sees this and will try his hardest to stop me. But he won't. Mark my words, I will finish stronger than ever and I will come home without a single regret. Fact.

I love you so much! Have a great week!

~Sister Rokovitz~

Friday, February 6, 2015

A Broken Heart

Oh Mom I don't even know where to begin.....          

This week has been really hard. Well, mostly the last 4 days. I'll just start from Thursday for now. Thursday started out to be a really good day. We were laughing so much and the weather was so pretty we didn't need coats. We were both in a great mood! Then we got a text from Sister Andersen that said "Hi sisters, we will be in the Goodlettsville area tonight and would like to take you out to dinner. Could you cancel your 5 and 6:00 pm appointment?" I thought nothing of it and thought "Oh they can come to dinner with our members who are taking us out!" Then I read the "cancel your appointments" part. That freaked me out. That has to be something bad. The day went on and we were both just scatter brained. We couldn't focus. We had some great lessons with Darrell and Brittany. President said he would be late and so we needed to cancel our appointments from 7:00 pm on. They came at 7 to our apartment and took us to Outback Steakhouse. They were so quiet the whole time. If they did smile or laugh, it didn't last long. We KNEW something was bad. I freaked out because I knew you and Dad were both on planes this week.

After dinner they took us home and we jokingly said "Ok bye!" because we knew something was going to happen. They came in and Sister West was giving Sister Andersen a tour of the apartment. President pulled me aside and said "Her mom is not doing well. I need you to be strong for her. Very strong." They came back, we all sat down, and President held Sister West's hand as he told her that her mom wasn't doing good. Sister West didn't cry. She was in shock. She could sense it because her mom didn't email her that much on Monday. President told her to call home and they face-timed on President's phone. She went into our study room and you could hear her laugh and love seeing her family. She said "Hi Mom!" and then a few minutes later came out and sat in the chair and said "My family wants to know if I can come home." President said yes and asked when she would need to be there. She asked her dad and he said "Well, with her kidney and liver and everything shutting down, she doesn't have that much time." He said that they could get her on a flight first thing in the morning and that she should pray about coming back or not. She decided to go and said bye to her family. They let her say goodbye to her mom. Sister West's mom still had so much power and drive in her voice. Sister West said "Hi Mom! I'm coming home to see you ok?"
"I can't wait to see you."
"I can't wait to see you too!!"
"I love you."
"I love you too!"
and then she hung up. I was a wreck. I tried as hard as I could to hold it all in. We said a prayer and both President and Sister Andersen gave her a big hug, and they left. Sister West said "Ok.... let's pack. Don't think about it. Let's just pack." So we got out the suitcases and just packed away. The Hermanas came home later and asked what was going on..... She told them and I just turned around so Sister West couldn't see me and I just cried. I had about 10 million thoughts running through my mind. Mostly I just hurt for her.

We packed all night. We got about 2 hours of sleep before President was back at 5:30 am to get her. I had written her a note and put in pictures of us and some other little things that were inside jokes and memories. I hugged her one last time and then she was gone..... I had asked her how she was so strong and she just said "I have to be. It's for my Mom."

I got one more hour of sleep that morning before we were back on schedule. If it weren't for the Hermana's I would have stayed in bed all day. They said "Well, let's get going so we don't get behind schedule." I just cried and cried. I did studies alone in my room and I just prayed and cried and didn't know what to do. I called the bishop and just cried to him. He came immediately to give us all blessings. I called the Hull's, who actually got to meet Sister West's mom during one of his concerts in Utah. They were so sad. And then as we saw people, I had to tell them. I have been out with many members in the past few days. If I didn't know them before, I will know them now.

This has been a major growing experience and thank goodness I have found blessings. I had been struggling with weaknesses for a long time. I knelt down Friday morning and just cried and said to Heavenly Father "Well... there go my weaknesses. Poof. They're gone." There's no room or time to be bad at planning, studying, teaching, coordination with members. I have no choice. I'm a lot stronger than I thought. Friday I just cried all day. The bishop's wife, Sister Sims, came out with me that night to see Debbie and when we pulled up I realized I had planned nothing for her. I broke down and told Sister Sims and she said she would share a scripture. I walked in and started crying and so Sister Sims told Debbie and Debbie just bawled. It was so sad. I just gave her a big hug!

Saturday I didn't cry until I knelt down to say my evening prayers. Sister West brought a brilliant light into my life and now it's... there, but just dim. She was always SO happy and positive and hard working and I know without any doubt that she did not go home with one single regret.

I am in a trio now with the Hermanas and we handle two areas for the next week. Yesterday they sent around a sign-up for exchanges with "Sister Rockavitch" haha. I have enough sisters that I could have someone all day every day. This ward is amazing. They have just supported me 150%. I have a ride to my last exchange of the transfer next week where I'll just go in a trio. This week is going to be exhausting, but I'm doing my best to handle it. I'm trusting in the Lord. I'm taking alone time to just breathe and pray. I'm trying to keep up with studies to get the spiritual preparation I need. I'm trying to eat good and not let myself get stressed out. I'm trying to do everything in my power to keep this area going and to keep the people progressing. I know God will make up the rest. I know that if I try my absolute best to do what is right, He will sustain me so I won't get exhausted and burnt out. I have a firm testimony of the sustaining power of the gospel. I know that the Plan of Salvation is real. I KNOW that because Sister West's family is sealed in the temple, she will be with her mom forever, for all eternity. That is why I'm here. And now that I've seen how quickly a mission can end, I'm going to serve like every day is my last, because I NEVER know when it will be.

I did have a moment of great gratitude too. I was thinking about all that has happened this week. I am safe. I have companions. I have ward members who are loving and ready and willing to help. I have a car to get me around. I know the area pretty well. It's all going to be ok

We had an amazing miracle that I wanted to share with you. Wednesday I was here in the area on an exchange with Sister Squire and we went to contact a referral who had been on our list since December. She never answered her phone and her address never came up on our GPS. We found it on our iPads and so we screen-shotted the directions and found it after much hunting. Her name is Jennifer and she is 53. She opened the door and let us right in before I could even say anything. Then I explained who we were and said "You requested a missionary visit." Usually those requests are on accident or from a friend so I was shocked when she said "Yes I did! I'm so excited you came!" She has known Mormon's for years and it's always been on her mind. She went to another religion on Christmas and just felt empty and that's when she decided it was time for answers and went on We couldn't stay long so we gave her a Restoration pamphlet and a Book of Mormon and set up an appointment for Friday. We went back on Friday, Hermana Stokes and I, and taught the Restoration. Normally, we teach it by telling. Well with her, we just answered all her questions. It was incredible! She had read the whole pamphlet and also the intro to the Book of Mormon. She had so many questions!
Who is Moroni?
Was Mormon a prophet?
Where was the Holy Ghost during the first vision?
What is the Book of Mormon about?
I can't remember them all, but she had SO many good questions! A lot of them linked to the Plan of Salvation and so she is going to love that lesson tomorrow! She was going to come to church, but ended up really sick Sunday morning. Bummer. She is going to be baptized within a few weeks! I just know it! I can't even adequately describe how incredible and prepared she is! I love this gospel!
I feel like Heavenly Father knew what was coming this week and so He has blessed us with the most amazing miracle that I have ever seen! This gospel is so true.

Anyways... I apologize if I don't email much more. I'm just not really wanting to email today. I want to go home and write in my journal and read the Book of Mormon like crazy.

I don't even remember what happened at the beginning of the week......but here are a few things you might want to read about my week.

We had dinner at the Norris's and they are in a band called "The Barefoot Movement" and we got all of their CD's for FREE. Whoo hoo! I can't wait to listen to those in March!

I swear I walked about 14 or more miles. .... we walked everywhere and hardly anyone let us in! So we just walked and walked... but we had a lot of fun! I was on an exchange with Sister Dent, who is so outgoing and loving and easy to talk to so we had a great time! It made it a lot easier. I always get really nervous when I go on an exchange with a sister I don't know.

After District meeting I went on another exchange with Sister Squire and we had a great day! We had a lot of good lessons, one of which was with the Racey family and a member, Brother Davis. We talked about the Restoration movie and what they liked and then explained a lot about temples to them. It was a great lesson! We also taught Cha and a man named Robert, who is a great Baptist guy. He is older and he and his wife have a great niece that is on a mission. Betty, his wife, had just finished reading an email from her when we came. We taught the whole restoration and at the end offered them a Book of Mormon, and they declined!! AH! WHAT?!!! You don't want more of the word of God?! He said it wasn't part of his studies.

Sister West and I were finally back together after a couple of exchanges this week and we were doubled over laughing during studies... we were sweating running to the bus and missed it, but we missed it on purpose because we met a guy who met Sister Schenk in Nashville! He said he was reading the Book of Mormon and loving it! It was so sweet! I love moments like that where you can see the hand of God. He just moved our bus right out of the stop so we could wait for the next one.
Then everything I wrote about earlier happened..... We all put our beds together with our heads in the center like a star that night and just fell asleep holding hands. And crying.

Just cried all day. Just cried.

Didn't cry as much. It was a hard day. I love being with the Hermana's, but I don't like sitting clueless through their lessons while they speak Spanish. That's why I'm going to try to get members with me a lot tonight. I know the Hermana's want to all be together, but I need to keep the work going. If it means getting out of my comfort zone and just teaching with random ladies, fine. I'll do it. I know that Sister West would expect nothing less. So far, nothing has gone incredibly wrong. Everything is ok. I made a to-do list in my iPad to keep track of everything I'm told and all my thoughts together. It's really helping me. Then I can just pull it out and say "what's next."

That night as I prayed, I realized how close I felt to Heavenly Father. I felt His love just encircling me. I knew that He was with Sister West and me. I knew that He was not angry with me in any way that He understood and would help me. That was so comforting to feel.

They announced in church why Sister West was gone and asked for their prayers and the ward just sunk. They were so sad. I had so many people come talk to me after. I have all of Sister West's info memorized now haha The members have been great to me. They're ready to help with anything they can. Daniel, from the Nashville YSA, even found out and is going to get 2 sisters to come with him on Saturday so we can all go work. These people are the best! I love them.

I'm hanging in there and just trying to do everything as well as I can and let God fill in the rest. It's not how I would have an ideal week, but hey, I don't get to decided that. All I can decide is whether I choose to handle it good or not.

I love you!

~Sister Rokovitz~

(Just a note: As far as I understand, Sister West made it home in time to see her mom before she passed away.)

One of our last pictures.

Sister Rokovitz and Sister West. (I'm not sure who else is in the picture with them. Amber didn't say.)

Trying to comfort myself with a can of pineapple. It was shortly after this that President sent a text and told me that Sister West's mom had passed away. I was so sad.

On an exchange with Sister Dent. Such a fun sister.

A beautiful evening in Goodlettsville