Monday, May 16, 2011

"...that ye may have faith on the Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world..." -Alma 7:14

Hi guys!

We have had an amazing week! I'm excited to write this email because I get to reflect on how the Lord's hand is so much apart of this work.

Sunday morning I woke up to a phone call at 6:00 a.m. It was Melanie calling. I was like, "Sister, It's Melanie." I got worried because it was odd she was calling us at that hour. I sat up in my bed and answered it. This is how the conversation went:
Me: "Hello it's Sister Zwick."
Mel: "Hi Sister Zwick. I'm sorry I'm calling so early, did I wake you up?"
Me: "Yeah but that's okay. I was getting up soon anyways. What's up?"
Mel: "I have been up all night studying general conference and I haven't been able to sleep."
Me: "Really!? What talks did you like?"
Mel: "I really liked the one called 'Preparing the World for the Second Coming' and I have a question for you and Sister Stacey. What do I have to do to prepare to go on a mission?"
Me: "Melanie, you would be the best missionary! You can totally prepare for a mission. You can go on a mission a year after your baptism."
Mel: "I know it's crazy I'm telling you I want to serve a mission before I'm even baptized but I just can't stop thinking about it and when I read that talk I got that feeling I get when I come to church and when you teach me, the spirit feeling."

She went on to say that she has a year left of school and it would be perfect timing for her to go on a mission in a year after graduation. She said she loves people and feels like she could relate to a lot of people with her crazy life she's lived. I think I told you on Mother's Day about her rough childhood. She grew up in Brooklyn, almost got shot. She's just amazing. I told her when I decided to serve it was the same way, I couldn't stop thinking about it and nothing else felt right. She was like, "yeah, yeah!" She would be so good because she loves people and has the most tender heart. She gets emotional in our lessons and is just really sensitive to the promptings from the Holy Ghost.

Something that's cool is that we had just gotten our May Ensign (the conference issue) and Saturday morning Sister Stacey read that talk (during breakfast) and told me it's awesome all about missionary work and left it out open for me to read on the table, which I did during dinner. The next morning Melanie called us saying she was touched by that specific talk!

Melanie, along with two other investigators were at church yesterday. We were planning on 6 being there but just 3 came. Sister Stacey and I sang a musical number in sacrament meeting, "The Olive Tree" which is all on missionary work. It's one that kept coming up on my ipod when I put it on shuffle mode the weeks I was praying about serving a mission. So that song is really special to me. But it's even cooler singing it as a missionary with your companion. I made sure not to cry. Mike (aninvestigator) was hilarious about it. He's like, "Woah! I didn't know you had that in ya. You sounded like angels up there." It really was pretty; better than any of the practices we did. The spirit was there and everyone loved it. We got asked to sing it again as a musical number at this funeral on Thursday of a woman in our ward who passed away this week. She's only 61 and has had health problems and died from an anurism and heart attack. Her family is all in town and was at church Sunday and heard us sing and asked if we'd sing at the funeral this week. It's sad because Sister Taylor (who died) was the music chairman and we had literally
just talked to her the Sunday before last to confirm our singing in church and she was so excited to hear it. So when we were asked I thought of her and this way she'll still hear it :). She's one amazing lady. We'd help her do the relief society bulletin boards and she's all creative. She and I used to talk about scrapbooking all the time. Her husband is okay now that all his kids are in town but I think he'll be sad when they leave.

During the passing of the sacrament Melanie leaned over to us and said, "Can we pick a date for my baptism?" Ha ha. Sister Stacey's like, "You're one step ahead of us." We were planning on setting her with a date this week but she beat us to it! She chose June 25th and is preparing for baptism! I'm really so excited for her. She's one of my best friends. It's so fun to teach someone our age. I'm going to mention BYU to her this week because it would be so good for her to transfer there right before her mission. I can't wait for you to meet her, you guys. She's got a rock solid testimony already. At church she always raises her hand and makes comments. People have mistaken her for a member. Yesterday was her 8th week in a row at church. She has a little journal she takes notes in during Sacrament, Sunday School, and Relief Society. Oh my, I just love her.

We knocked on a door this week of a man who came to church on Sunday! His name is Dave and we had a lesson with him and then he came to church. That's faith. I love seeing people act in faith and see the joy that comes into their lives from their righteous use of agency. He loved church and said he'll be back next week. He's in his sixties, divorced, jobless, and searching for greater peace and happiness. And we knocked on his door. He told us his parents used to have the missionaries over when he was growing up! I love hearing about seeds that were planted by other missionaries. It helps me know that no effort is wasted.

More good news! Timmia had her baptismal interview. Our District Leader was really impressed with her testimony. He said he loves giving interviews to baptismal candidates. I bet that would be so cool to hear these people who not too long ago were not meeting with missionaries and now bear testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel! Her baptism is planned for May 28th. She is so cute. Her prayers are amazing. I love teaching people how to pray for the first time. But the better part is teaching them that and then a month later they're volunteering to give the opening prayers and it's completely natural and comfortable for them! We're still teaching her Mom and grandmother. The Elders met all of them (when they came over to give the interview) and said they can see the family all joining. So that's hopeful! It was really funny, the grandmother kept looking Elder Duffin up and down. He's really tall and he was teaching her about the plan of salvation when we were waiting for Timmia to come out of her interview. You could tell the grandmother had a crush on him. haha. We're glad they're not teaching this family or they'd be a little toooo interested.

We meet with a less active woman who at our first meeting said she has no belief in God anymore. Well week after week we go see her and teach her from the Book of Mormon. She's again reading from it on her own! Randomly this week in the mail we got a note. It had no return address. We opened it and it was from her! It said: Dear Sister Zwick and Sister Stacey, Thank you for taking the time to visit and care about me. Not many do. It makes me believe again." Isn't that sweet?! We were jumping up and down because we were so happy. We didn't know if she was really progressing but just showing her love, and getting her back in the Book of Mormon has supposedly helped her.

We also had a really good lesson with Mike this week. He committed to come to church with his family and CAME again. He's progressing more than ever!!!!!!! After a lesson we extended him a committment to come to church on Sunday and he said, "Yes I will be there." Then his wife looked at us and said, "How do you do that?" And we all laughed. It's all the power of the holy ghost though. There is a quote in PMG by President Hinckley that says, "Every morning missionaries should get on their knees and plead with the Lord to loosen their tongues and speak through them to the blessing of those they will be teaching...They will come to know they are servants of the Lord speaking in His behalf. They will find a different response from those they teach. As they do so by the spirit, their investigators will respond under the influence of the same spirit." President Bulloch had us memorize that. I know it's true. When the spirit is present in the lessons we will say what the Lord wants us to say and the investigator will as well. It's almost like hypnotism. haha. It's just crazy the things people tell you and agree to do under the influence of the spirit. It's real and needed with every person we talk to. I know Mike felt the spirit and responded in that way because he knew it was what the Lord wanted him to do.

Well, this has been long. I love you guys! I will see you next week!!!

Love, Sister Zwick

One more thing: Mom, you asked if people are sad I'm leaving. This ward will get an even more awesome missionary in my place, I'm sure, so they should not worry. But at church yesterday like every person asked me, "So when do you go home, we need to have you to dinner?" Sister Stacey was like, "Let's not talk about this." But I guess the meal calendar was full, so now people are having us for breakfast and lunches. Multiple meal appointments in one day! They're all so so so nice. The Relief Society President is one of my favorite people in the world and is coming to Utah in July and so Mom, we're hanging out with her! She's so awesome and excited for it. Her husband is in the mission presidency and I met him while I was serving in Ogdensburg and now I'm in his ward. So that's been cool. Aw, I love these people here soooo much!

These are just a few pictures from this week:
-Beautiful Mohawk River
-This cat has thumbs!
-It's not white, it's green!
-Sister and Stacey and I with Timmia. Oh and I forgot to tell you. She asked us if she can wear a shower cap during her baptism. We didn't know the answer and have to ask our ward mission leader! ha ha.
-For service we sing hymns at the nursing home. This lady is named Sally. I love her!

Have a great week!

Monday, May 9, 2011

God and mother, partners in creation, in love, in sacrifice, in service, are as one."-President Thomas S. Monson

Hi guys!

Oh my, talking to you yesterday was soooooo great! It was by far my favorite phone call I made home, I think because I know I don't have to wait until the next phone call to hear your voices but that I'll be talking to you in person! Mom, I loved your email and I am really happy to hear your Mother's Day was special. Dad's gifts were so cute.

Thank you so much for letting me share stories about the mission and our investigators. It's my favorite thing to think and talk about and I'm really going to miss it here. I don't want to come home. I love feeling the Lord's love for the people we meet.

It's been warming up and the trees are blossoming! It's beginning to get so green! It's super nice to not have to wear a coat. We've been able to be on our bikes and walk a lot more. We can find and testify to a lot more people when we're car-less. Something I miss about a walking area. But we're kind of just making it a walking area now :) since it's nice weather. We drive to an area and then work around there. I love street contacting. It reminds me of Ithaca and I have such a testimony of God guiding our steps when we just are out searching for people. I learned that in Ithaca because that's how we found amazing investigators.

Some things I didn't tell you:
The Elders talked to this guy named Jeffrey from Puerto Rico :) who lives in our area and was really interested. We went and met him and he was very open and set an appointment with us. He's in his late twenties and is a father of three. We called a recently returned missionary who is home for college to come teach Jeffrey with us, and the member (Patrick) was sooooooo excited! Ha ha. He said he hadn't been out with the missionaries since his mission and wants to come out with us whenever we need anyone. We'll be using him A LOT. The three of us met at Jeffrey's and Jeffrey had to reschedule...:( But we asked if he just had a few minutes. We got to know him a bit and then he told us he does "Christian rapping". I had never heard of such a thing. ha ha. But just imagine Jeffrey: big baggy jeans a crazy designed shirt and a NY Yankees side ways hat. He started rapping. It was so cool AND we got to learn soooo much about his heart through his rapping. He really loves the Savior and is seeking forgiveness. We were able to bear testimonies of the BOM and tell him it was written by his ancestors, which excited him. We committed him to read Enos and set up another appointment for this coming Wednesday. He seems sincere and humble. I feel like he and his family are prepared.

Timmia is getting interviewed this Friday for her baptism. It's scheduled for May 21st. She's so cute and is making a lot of friends in the church. Her Mom, Leslie Ann loved the focus on Mothers all day yesterday. This is kind of funny: So I had to speak in sacrament meeting you know? They called me because a youth speaker backed out. Well the microphone wasn't working! So I had to speak without it. It totally brought me back to my musical theater days when Mr. Smith would sit in the back of the auditorium and tell me to project my voice. So yeah, I had to like shout from the pulpit. Sister Stacey was sitting near the back with Leslie Ann and her kids and said she could hear me. After sacrament meeting Sister Mika in the ward came up to me and said, "My daughter is terrified of speaking and was scheduled to be the youth speaker, but just didn't feel good about it." Then I said, "Okay that explains why he called me." She's like, "I don't know what she would've done. If she had to speak without a microphone she probably would never have wanted to speak in church again." So phew. I'm grateful I was the one it happened on instead of a youth.

Well, I feel like I talked to you so much about our teaching pool over the phone, so I don't want to bore you too much. I love you guys and it just felt so natural on the phone, like I never left. I'm sure that's how it will feel in a couple weeks. I can't wait to see you. I feel so blessed to have you as my family. You're all so sweet and funny. I hope you have a wonderful day! HAPPY SWEET SIXTEEN Matty!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I love you!

Love, Sister Zwick

Monday, May 2, 2011


Downtown Schenectady

We died eggs with the Bishop's family

Almost Christina Street!

Did I tell you EVERYONE in New York has cats?

Sister Stacey's skirt. ha ha. Good thing we cary lint rollers!

We went to visit this less active in this rehabilitation center and the nurse was like, "We are on restriction because of the vomiting and diarrhea. But with a mask you can still visit her." So we put on the masks and went and read the Book of Mormon with her!

Walking this woman's dog for service. ha ha long story, but she was so grateful and even bore her testimony about it. Her dog is trapped in her place day after day and just pees in there. So sad.

"Let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still..."-D&C 123:7

Hi guys!

Yes! Bin Laden is history! That's pretty exciting, even though we're not supposed to delight in bloodshed. ha ha.

How is everyone!? It sounds like Lizzy's wedding was pretty. I was thinking about her this past weekend and Sister Stacey and I both were hoping you'd send pictures since she knows Tyler. The one outside the temple from your phone was kind of small, Mom. Did anyone take any others?

We're still seeing bed bugs in our apartment but I'm trying to just forget about them. Sister Bulloch should be calling us today about her solutions.

Zone Conference was on Tuesday. It was really really good. President Bulloch taught us about the Abrahamic Covenant and our role and obligation (as Abraham's seed) to take the gospel to the world. It's more important than we realize. It's a covenant we entered into by being a descendant of Abraham, to "bear this ministry and priesthood unto all nations and bless all the families of the earth." (-Abr. 2:9). One thing he said was, "If it's not you who will find His people, someone else will because God has made a promise that all the families of the earth will be blessed with the blessings of the gospel, which are the key to salvation. And God keeps his promises." He needs us though. He needs MORE missionaries and more member missionary work. I feel so blessed to be able to be a part of moving this work forward by helping people enter into covenants and understand the power of the priesthood. God is relying on us, to help him fulfill his promises and get his children home to Him. Being born into or adopted into the Abrahamic Covenant is more significant than I realized and more than other members probably do too. It worries me when I hear people not going on missions or not getting married in the temple because it's going against what God wants us to do, to help this promise be fulfilled, and gather scattered Israel. President Bulloch also enforced that our salvation and blessings are dependent upon doing our part in spreading the gospel. Anyways, sorry I go off sometimes. I just wish every member of the church could feel what I feel about missionary work and how important it is for us to open our mouths and rescue our brothers and sisters.

We had a great weekend! Saturday and Sunday we had lessons back to back most of the day and evening! It's awesome when that happens because teaching is a blast. My comp is really good at teaching so I like listening to her teach and bear testimony. We're a good pair.

I'm going to briefly update you on some progressing investigators we're working with:
Melanie: Is a college student at Union College (a small college in our area). She's been to church 7 times and is just struggling quitting smoking before she picks a baptism date. The spirit in her lessons is close to the strongest I've felt my whole mission. She talks a lot about her Grandma who just recently past away. I'm pretty certain her grandma led Melanie to us. She bears testimony to us in the lesson. It's funny. She's very good at recognizing the spirit and tells us she's feeling it like as we're in mid-sentence teaching. Ha ha. On Saturday we taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ and she told us about a dream she had of her baptism. Cool huh? When we taught about the Holy Ghost and how she can have it as a constant companion and feel the feelings she feels more frequently. She kept saying, "I cannot wait to have the Holy Ghost with me always." She's also very humble and was crying when we talked about repentance and just said all these things she needs to change. We were able to bear testimony of the atonement and forgiveness and the cleansing that comes from baptism after repentance. She's so solid. I probably won't be here for her baptism but I know I'll be in touch with her after my mission. It's fun cause she's our age and I know we'll always be friends.

Mike: Was at church again yesterday! His wife was so happy. I know it makes her so happy to have him there. When we taught him last night he was so quick to say he'd like to offer the opening prayer. That never happens! I've seen progress with him in just the past month. I love him and his family and can't wait to see them sealed someday. I really want you to meet him, Dad. He's really funny and a lot like you, I just wish he'd have the kind of faith you do. I told them if they're ever in Utah they have a place to stay. I've been telling a lot of our investigators that. ha ha. Sorry.

Timmia: Is not set for baptism on May 14th anymore. We brought a girl her age to the lesson (the Bishop's dauther, Jenny) who bore testimony and it was just a great lesson. Timmia said the closing prayer and was really thankful Jenny came with us and was all set for church. So we got she and her mom a ride set up and Sunday morning called them to make sure they were up and getting ready and they said they were too tired and not feeling well. She was also supposed to be interviewed for her baptism at church. I think one of the hardest parts of a mission is trying to stir a desire within others to act on the commitments we extend. It's like lessons go awesome, and the spirit is felt, and then we leave and they let the natural man take over. I know it's important to keep fasting and praying for them because eventually they'll have the motivation to live the principles of the gospel.

Well, time is up. I'm going to email some pictures now of the past couple weeks. I love you!

Love, Sister Zwick

Monday, April 25, 2011

"...He hath risen again, whereby he hath gained the victory over the grave; and also in him is the sting of death swallowed up."-Mormon 7:5

Hi Mom and Dad and sibs,
I loved reading about all the grandkids there. It's hard to believe you have 5, Mom and Dad. I love all the stories and funny things they say. The best is that Ellie got Blake out of his crib and he walked around thanking her! Ha ha. So cute.
First let me update you on the BED BUGS. Yep, we have bed bugs. We keep our apartment really clean and so we think we brought one in from a home we visited. We're in some really un-kept places sometimes.
Last Monday night we went to the Dinkle's home for dinner. We started talking about the bug bites and Brother Dinkle grabbed his laptop and looked up bed bugs and sure enough they looked just like my bites did. He also read that dawn is their prime biting time. Sister Stacey and I were up at like 3, 4, and 5 am and I kept hearing her walk into the bathroom to check herself. It was soooo scary. We didn't see any though. The next morning we checked our beds and found 2 dead ones. I tried to convince Sister Stacey that they are dead and gone BUT then I found one crawling right by me as I was studying Tuesday morning. So I called Sister Bulloch. She said, "Go wash all your clothes and sheets, and spray your WHOLE apartment with permetherin. Cancel your appointments. You shouldn't be losing sleep and need to get this solved." So we called Sister Maughan. She's like our second mom and loves to help us because she has a daughter on a mission! She said, "Get over here, the laundry room is all yours." Long story short, we washed everything from our clothes to our shoes and backpacks. And even slept at the Maughans that night. For some reason we had mattresses in the apartment and got permission from the Bullochs to throw two away. We called our landlord and he did a extermination thing. After all this we thought they'd be gone and brought all our clean clothes back and were so excited to have a good night's sleep and as we were getting ready for bed we found 3 MORE living! One in the bathroom, kitchen, and bedroom! And the next day saw 4 others! So now they're everywhere! It was really funny at first but now it's annoying because it's interferring with the work and our sleep. We're so tired because we get home from teaching and are up itching and having nightmares about them. I feel like I'm camping and you know how much I like that ;) I've been wearing bug spray every night and haven't gotten bit for about a week. Sister Maughan is so sweet. She bought us mattress covers and keeps calling us, offering us a place to sleep, and seeing what more she can do to help us. We don't really know what else to do. We have Zone Conference tomorrow and there we'll talk to President and Sister Bulloch. I DO NOT want to move again. Plus I feel like the bugs are in our stuff so if we move, they'll come with us. This has been one of the only things that has made me want to come home, bed bugs. My bites are recovering but now turning into bruises.
Wednesday night we had a dinner appointment with the Forschmidts. Brother Forschmidt converted to Mormonism from Judaism and being Passover, we had a Passover dinner. The sedar ceremony (which we did before eating) consists of some readings from Exodus about the plagues on the Egyptians. I had to read Exodus chapter 8 all about the frogs and lice. When I got to verse 3 I read: "And the river shall bring forth frogs abundantly, which shall go up and come into thine house, and into thy bedchamber, and upon thy bed, and into the house of thy servants, and upon thy people..." And I just started laughing. I couldn't hold it in. It was so bad because the ceremony was supposed to be serious. And then Sister Stacey started laughing. So the whole chapter she was looking at me because she wanted me to laugh again and I was like kicking her under the table so she'd stop. It was just too ironic after all the bed bugs.
The work here is going so good and I'm sad to leave it eventually. Last night we had an amazing lesson with Mike and his family. When we got there his wife (who is like our best friend) told us to come back to the kitchen and get a dessert. The rest of the family was in the family room. She got kind of emotional and thanked us for serving missions. It was really sweet. She said her husband has never been this receptive. It strengthened my testimony that Heavenly Father knows his children. We went in and his returned missionary son showed the "None were with Him" talk by Elder Holland from a couple conferences ago. It is about the power of the Atonement. We all went around and shared our thoughts and testimonies of the Savior. Mike even shared. The Spirit was so thick, you could cut through it. The atonement really applies when we do all we can do (live the gospel) though to obtain the Lord's mercy. I nonchalantly said that because Mike needs to see that he needs to live those steps, faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the holy ghost, and enduring to the end to really utilize the fullness of the gift of the atonement. We love Mike because we can joke around with him (he's super funny) but also be serious. We set a return appointment with him and he's always very busy. I've been using a pen instead of a pencil in my planner and he noticed that I was using a pen and my companion was using a pencil. He's like, "Sister Stacey, do you want a pen?" And handed her a casino one. It was funny that happened to be the one he grabbed. She's like, "No I like using pencil." Then I said, "I'm using a pen so you can't change the appointment." Then his wife's like, "The difference between a new missionary and one that's about to go home." And then we went into a whole conversation about how I'll hand down the pen to Sister Stacey when I leave. The handing down of the pen. ha ha. I really just have used a pen because I can't find my pencil and need to buy more today. On our drive home we got a text message from Mike's returned missionary son. He said, "My dad has progressed more with you two sisters than any previous missionaries. You're doing a great job. Keep it up. The effort you are making is helping." It made our Easter. I love bringing people unto the Savior and helping them feel the Spirit.
Have a wonderful week! I love you!
Love, Sister Zwick

Monday, April 18, 2011

“As your understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ grows, your desire to share the gospel will increase.”-PMG pg.2

Hey everyone!
Palm Springs sounded like fun! You are all probably soooo tan! That's so fun Ellie and Spenny rode back with you, Mom! I miss them so much. Will you tell them and give them a love for me? Spen should think it's cool I'll be on an airplane in a few weeks. Andrea, are you so excited to be with the family for Easter? Too bad I don't get to call this Sunday! Before I forget, I hope you have a HAPPY EASTER and make time to reflect on the atonement.
I feel like I've learned a lot about the Atonement on my mission and how that event is central to why we're here and how we can live in happiness now and for eternity. Before we start teaching people we recite (not word for word) some points from Preach My Gospel, in the Teaching Skills section, under "How to Begin Teaching" and one of them says something like, "Any pain or guilt you feel can be removed because of the Savior's Atonement and you'll feel that as you apply these principles to your life." I almost start crying every time I say that because we all feel those feelings and how true it is that He is just waiting for us to come unto him and partake of his forgiveness and realize we need to change and be given the power to do it because of His help. I am so grateful for the Atonement. Christ just loves us so much and I just want everyone I meet here to feel that. In a scripture I read today it said, "He has all power, all wisdom, all understanding, he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name." That's how Ammon describes him. The Savior really does know how we feel and he went through the pain so he can give us comfort. Sorry I went off on that. It's just amazing to think that someone knows us better than we know ourselves, and loves us unconditionally. It's beautiful :)
A lot has happened this week. It's been one of those weeks full of funny and sad stories. So I'll take you on a little emotional roller coaster ride...
Last Monday evening I noticed 3 little bumps on my right arm. They were red and itchy and looked like mesquito bites. Then Tuesday morning I noticed 3 more on my upper thigh. The redness kept getting bigger around them all even when I wasn't itching them. By Wednesday they started looking like rashes and nothing like a mesquito bite. We were near a member's home (who is a doctor) after visting an investigator Wednesday afternoon and called him. He said he wanted to take a look at them. So we went inside and he and his wife and two little girls were there. He's like, "Let's see your arm." So I showed him my arm. Then he's like, "Do you have any more?" I said, "Yes, on my leg." He's like, "Let me take a look at those." I'm like, "Well, they're kind of high. ha ha." And he's like, "It's still your leg." So I had to lift my gs in front of him and his family. He said something about them affecting my tissue? He gave me some steroid cream and said to put it on twice a day. From Wednesday to Saturday I got 5 more. At church on Sunday he looked at them on my lower leg and arm and was kind of confused because he doesn't know what they are and said it's not bug season. I think they're spider bites because our apartment is old. AND we don't have curtains and this gross blanket is hanging in front of the window (to act as a curtain) that my bed backs too. Saturday during lunch I was so fed up by my itchiness and got a big black garbage sack and took the blanket hanging from the window, and threw it away. Then we moved our beds and vacuumed all around them. We wash our sheets every other week during laundry, so I'm pretty sure it's not bed bugs. But just in case we stripped our beds and propped up all the mattresses and sprayed permetherin on them. We had to wait 24 hours to go into our room because the permetherin has toxins that we can't breathe in. We slept out on the couches Saturday night. Today the bites or whatever they are don't itch and look a little better. If they don't improve, by the end of the week I'll go to the doctor. I think they'll go away though.
We had two investigators at church yesterday!! Mike came!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He sat with his wife. He has not been to church since his son's mission homecoming in December. We want him to gain a testimony so badly. He loves Sister Stacey and I, which is so great. I know we were placed in this area together to help him. We've had awesome lessons at their home and his wife has said some very bold things to him. I mean very boldly. She's just put in a hard situation being so active, with very active children and a non member husband. We got the feeling she doesn't talk about these things to him until we are there because it's a touchy subject. On Tuesday night when we were there she said things like, "If in the future you're not here and I have the opportunity to be sealed to someone..." You can just feel her frustration with him. But yet she loves him and is just waiting for him to have a greater desire to know if these things are true. We asked him if he wants to know. He said, "I guess." And I said, "Do you want to live with your family forever?" And he said, "Yes." And I said, "Well then, you want to know, because that is a blessing that comes from knowing." We read a lot out of Alma 32 with him and talked about desire and faith. We promised him the Lord hears his prayers but that the witness will come after the trial of his faith and committed him to act in faith and come to church. Then his wife said, "I would love to sit by you in church. And the kids have told me in private they wish their dad was at church." AND HE CAME TO CHURCH! He even brought a separate car (we think to leave). But our awesome members got him to stay for Sunday school and Priesthood! Sunday school was the most spirit filled lesson that I've had my whole mission. It was on sacrifice and just so perfect for those who were in attendance. We had 2 less actives that don't usually come in class as well as Melanie and Mike (investigators).
We received a referral from the San Diego Visitor's Center, that a 9 year old in this area wanted a BOM. So we went to meet the Gilbert family and the Mom answered and was soooo cute and nice. She said her daughter was asleep and so we told her a little bit about ourselves and told her what we do and that we'd love to come back and explain more about the book of mormon and our basic beliefs. She was all for it and said, "I think we'd all like to learn, not just my daughter." We were so happy! Right as we walked away I was like, "Sister Madsen and her 10 year old daughter, fellowshippers!" The next day we called Sister Madsen to see if she and her daughter could come to the appointment, and they couldn't but she told us of all the other women in the ward with 9 or 10 year old daughters. We made some calls and got a member and her daughter all excited to come. Then we called another family in the ward to borrow a children's book of mormon (until the one arrives that we ordered from the mission office) because we thought that would be easier for the 9 year old to read. So Friday it was like one of our only set appointments and we were looking forward to it all day. We taught the family from Trinidad (who are doing awesome by the way) and got back to the car to a voice mail. It was the Gilbert mom. She's like, "I just wanted to call and cancel our appointment for this evening. I don't think my daughter knew what she was signing up for when we were visiting in San Diego. We're happy with our religion and aren't looking to change." It was a HUGE bummer. We had to call the members and tell them not to come anymore and bring the children's BOM back to the family at church yesterday who lended it to us. It makes me so sad when families walk away from this. If they only knew the blessings that flow from it.
We had a lot of those situations this week. Investigators and potentials not being home for their appointment and cancellations right and left. But I know the Lord will take care of them. It's not the end yet.
On a happier note, remember Precious? The cute Mom we met outside Val's house? She and her little black boys were walking to a barber shop. Well come to find out, the barber shop was closed! She told us that Saturday after a really great lesson with her whole family. She said she now knows why they had to go to the barber shop. She reminds me of Tyesha in Ithaca. She's already loving everything she's learning. She, her fiance, and 3 sons are all committed to coming to church this Sunday! Please pray for them with us that they'll use their agency righteously and come! We have their ride all set up. Her boys are adorable, Andrew, Donny, and Emmanuel. They were all participating in the lesson, answering questions, and reading! This is a golden family. So we're really hoping they come on Sunday.
About a month ago Sister Stacey and I created profiles at You should all do one! It would be so fun if we all had one on their. I felt like I was on facebook or something, choosing my profile picture and stuff! It was fun! It took like a month for someone to review and approve it before becoming visible online but now it's there! So here are the links to both mine and Sister Stacey's:
Also GUESS WHO GOT BAPTIZED IN OGDENSBURG!?! DOLORES!!!!!! Remember her? I sent some pictures home with her and I. I worked with her the entire 6 months I was up there and she had the strongest desire to be baptized. I knew she'd make it. She finally broke up with her bf and is living the LOC!!!! She got baptized Saturday and confirmed Sunday. Sister Woodmansee wrote me this last week and let me know the exciting news. I wish I could've seen it but that's just the nature of the work. You plant seeds, teach, and work an area as if you'll be there forever, but your not and you leave and get to hear how the work keeps moving forward. She also said Don received the Priesthood last Sunday!
Jeff, HAPPY BIRTHDAY Saturday! Look for a card in the mail.
Sorry this is so long! I love you all!
Love, Sister Zwick

Monday, April 11, 2011