Canterbury Continued!

Hello hello!

So transfer calls did not come in. Meaning: I get to stay in the Canterbury ward for another 6 weeks. It also means, I’m still in a trio because Sister Herrick did not get her visa yet. As much as I love both of my companions, I’m ready to just be with one companion. Oh well! We’ve made a TON of progress as far as comp unity goes,though – I want to recommend to everyone who is married (or has a roommate that they see a lot/too much of) to go ahead and do the companionship inventory from Preach My Gospel in Chapter 8 with your spouse every week. Seriously. It helps. Our companionship inventory this week helped me so much to see what I need to improve on. Both of my companions have said they’ve seen a lot of improvement with me since I came in. Which I’m happy about because it’s hard to see your own improvement. My goal for my mission is to be able to learn and grow in every transfer as much as I have with this one. If I can do that, man I’ll know a LOT about the Gospel, life and myself. It’ll be great!

Exciting news for this week: Ray came to church!!!!! I can’t tell you how ecstatic we were about that! And he was very happy to be there. And the talks were so perfect for him. We’ve been teaching him about prayer and it took a few lessons with him for him to at least start to understand how we pray and exactly why. There was a talk about prayer. Ray has a lot of questions about life and why things happen and what he needs to be doing. There was a talk about faith. An analogy that was used here about why some questions we have for God aren’t answered right away. Imagine a little kid (let’s say 7 years old) coming up to you and asking how you would write an algorithm (or other difficult math/engineering stuff). Is that something that you can explain to them in five minutes and have them understand so they can do it on their own later? Not really. What else do they need to learn first, in order to understand? A lot. So sometimes, we ask God those kinds of questions, and an answer won’t come for weeks, months or even years. We often get frustrated that we didn’t receive an answer. Really, God is just preparing us and teaching us so that when the answer comes, we’ll be able to comprehend, understand and internalize it for ourselves. I absolutely LOVED that analogy because it can apply to each and every one of us. πŸ™‚ The last talk was about obedience and that was also wicked awesome (they like to say wicked here. It’s kind of fun). WOWEE!!! It was a pretty great sacrament meeting. One challenge I have for those of you who go to church (not just the LDS church, any church) on a regular basis and have problems focusing through it: Listen with new ears. Try to put yourself in an investigator’s shoes. How would they hear things? Would it be anything new or different from what they’ve learned before? How does it feel when prayers are being said, hymns are sung or the speaker is bearing their testimony? Think about how it would be to be completely new and not know exactly what this church teaches. You’ll be amazed at how much it can open your eyes to concepts we’ve been learning since we were learning how to walk (or at least for many years).

Something else I learned this week ( or it might have been last week), is how amazing the Book of Mormon really is. I mean, I already knew it was amazing, but it really can do so much for people. When we do street contacting, a lot of people will tell us that they don’t have time or they’re not interested, so we ask them if we can quickly share a message from the Book of Mormon with them. Most often, they say yes. So we share it. And then they’re like “Wow. That’s really interesting. Can I have a copy of that?” Or something along those lines. Or usually, we’ll share it, ask what they think of it and then we’ll say “We’d love to come visit you sometime. Would that be alright?” And they often say “Yeah, sure I would love that!” The teachings in the Book of Mormon go right along with the Bible. Seriously. It’s awesome. And it’s kind of funny how people seem to think it’s full of devilry until they hear part of it or start reading it themselves. So. My challenge to each of you this week: Start reading the Book of Mormon. It’s a difficult read, but so is the Bible. If you want a specific place to start, 3 Nephi is great. That’s when Christ comes to the Americas and teaches the people there. Or Mosiah. Or Moroni. Or just the whole thing. But really. Please take at least five minutes a day to read something from it. Start from the beginning. Start from the introduction page. Start from the end. Start from the middle. Wherever you start it, read it with a prayer in your heart that you’ll be able to understand and learn from it. Read it sincerely with a question in mind, a question you would want ask Heavenly Father. Either before or after you read (preferably both), pray to know and learn. Pray to the Lord and ask Him what you want to know, whether it be as simple as “Is this book from Thee? Is it true?” or if it’s a more personal question that has been weighing on your mind. Whatever question it is, if it’s a righteous and sincere desire to know, you will receive an answer. You’ll receive comfort, peace and love. And I testify to you, that when you feel joy, peace, comfort, love, or anything like it, that is the Holy Spirit testifying to you that what you are reading or doing is true and right and good. We learn from the scriptures that anything good comes from God and anything evil comes from the devil. I know that as you read the Book of Mormon, you’ll feel good and happy, and that tells you that it is from God. I know this because I’ve taken the time to do it. I’ve read and prayed to know and I have received an answer, actually, many answers. I know it with all my heart and soul and I want everyone else to know it, too.Β 

I love each of you, and I’m happy that I know you and have you in my life. My life is a gift and I’m so grateful for it. The more I learn about myself and the Gospel, the more I wish I could alert the whole world of it right now and make sure each person knew it the way that I do. I love the Gospel because it makes me happy and because it brings me closer to my Savior, Jesus Christ. I love Him and I love my Heavenly Father. Without them, I would be lost and completely discouraged with how to get through life.Β 

Enjoy the day, enjoy the week, enjoy your life. Think of something you’re grateful for when you wake up and when you go to bed. Be sure to tell God that you’re grateful for those things because He’s the one that gave them to you. Mosiah 2:23-25 says: “And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him. And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore,Β of what have ye to boast? And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth; yet ye were created of the dust of the earth; but behold, it belongeth to him who created you.” Ponder about that and remember: Everything, including your body, belongs to the Lord. So, what would He have you do? In earlier verses of the same chapter, He says: “Behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments…” I invite each of you to study this chapter. Actually, Mosiah 2-6. Those are wonderful chapters that basically tell you what you need to do in order to return to God. I love these chapters and I hope each of you takes the time to study, ponder and pray about them. πŸ™‚

Stay happy and full of love! πŸ™‚

Sister Mayle

PS: I forgot my camera cords this week…. I’m so bad at getting pictures out. πŸ˜› SORRY!!! Also, I realize that I keep giving out the wrong scriptures when I talk about my personal study (the Mosiah ones today are not wrong. I had the Book of Mormon open to them. :D) Sorry about that, too. But know that I’m only a chapter or so off when I do that. πŸ™‚

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Final week of transfers in Canterbury!

Hello everyone!

So it’s the final week of this transfer. I won’t know until Saturday if I’m staying or leaving the Canterbury area. I would LOVE to stay, but also, I kind of want to go. It’s hard to say which I’d like more because our investigators here and the ward are so wonderful and I don’t want to leave any of them! But I also want to see more of the mission area as well as have a new companion. As much as I love Sister Buxton and Sister Herrick, I want to be in just a companionship of two. Sister Buxton and I have had our differences, but we’ve been working through them. Honestly, that’s the hardest part – working with someone that you have such a hard time loving sometimes. But nobody’s perfect and we’re definitely working on it. πŸ™‚
This week was the best week so far! We had two exchanges – Sister Buxton is a sister training leader so she exchanged with Sister Bickle in Laconia (so she was our other companion for a day instead of Sister Buxton) on Tuesday and then on Friday night to Saturday, she switched with Sister Aeschbacher in Bedford. The second exchange was the best one because I finally felt like a missionary! Before, we’d been teaching lessons, but not really – it was most often just a quick scripture and sometimes a prayer with the people, but this week, we focused more on actually teaching. Definitely way more effective and more of what I thought missionary work would be. πŸ™‚ Haha but anyway, we taught the Restoration to this new investigator we tracted (knocked on his door) in Franklin. He LOVES to show how much knowledge he has and make sure we know that he’s smart. He’s been taught before by missionaries, but this time, it seems that he’s a little more open to actually learning about it, rather than doing it solely to know more stuff. He said the closing prayer (pretty much to show off that he could pray. Haha so funny. :D) and he prayed that he would be open to learning more about our church. Man that was good to hear! Especially since no one ever prays for that. At least not in front of us.
That same day, we met with an investigator, Anthony. OH MY GOODNESS!!!! One of the best investigators that we have. He grew up with a Baptist background and was really amazed at how similar our churches really are. We taught him the Restoration as well and he was absolutely awestruck by the First Vision and what the Book of Mormon really is. He never had it explained to him in the way that we did it before and it completely amazed him. The best thing as a missionary is seeing how much joy the Gospel brings people. I know it’s brought me enough joy that that is the main reason I decided to serve – I want to share this joy with everyone. And seeing that actually happen is so amazing! πŸ™‚Β 
Another one of my favorite investigators is Native American. I might have told you all that we met four generations of Native Americans (AKA Lamanites!). Well, this week, we met one of the husbands. His name is Bob Snake Four Feathers. Awesome name, right? Haha anyway. He’s VERY interesting in learning about a lot of different religions and he was extremely impressed that 1) we’re girls. 2) we go out in the hot weather and pouring rain and 3) how similar we are with what he believes (the Great Spirit and other teachings they do on the Reservation here). Oh my gosh he’s so prepared! I am VERY excited to go back and talk more with him! πŸ™‚
So during my personal study this morning, I was awestruck by a couple of things. First off: The Apostasy and the coming forth of Book of Mormon is prophesied in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Because the Book of Mormon prophets didn’t know it was going to be compiled into a book, so that’s why it’s in there too. In the book of Mormon, it’s 2 Nephi 28 (I think, not 100% sure) and in Isaiah, it’s chapter 29 (it tells you in the chapter heading of 2 Nephi, which chapter of Isaiah it’s from). Man that was AWESOME! I was so glad to find that. πŸ™‚Β 
Second: I studied diligence from the Christ-like attribute section of Preach My Gospel. Those scriptures basically equal a pep talk from God. Best. Section. Ever. Some of the scriptures I liked in particular (which all of you should look up) are Moroni 9:6, Doctrine and Covenants 75:2-5 and Doctrine and Covenants 127:4. Those are ALL pretty fantastic.Β 
To my parents: Doctrine and Covenants 58:26-29 brought some memories from my childhood back. You were always asking if we children really needed to be asked to do every little thing. Well, Heavenly Father is the same way (now I know where you got it!). We should be obedient and continue to do as He asks, but there’s more to it than that. We should know enough that we shouldn’t have to be asked to get every tiny thing done.Β 
Mosiah 4:26-27 – God won’t give us anything we can’t handle. We truly can get through anything he throws at us, ESPECIALLY as we lean on those around us. I know my family can testify of that. Though times can get extremely difficult, if we lean on the Lord and the other Christ-like people around us, we’ll be just fine and get through it with nothing more than a few bumps and bruises.Β 
2 Nephi 28:27 was a wonderful one, too. Basically, getting more of God’s word is the best thing ever. The Book of Mormon is God’s word and goes hand in hand with the Bible. We believe in both books, that they are BOTH the word of God. They clarify each other. Also, prophets. Prophets bring us more of the word of God. Some people think there is no need for a prophet on the earth today, but I can tell you right now, that there is a HUGE need for a prophet today. Prophets lead us and guide us so we can get through the things the world will throw at us along the way. That’s what prophets have ALWAYS done. And I would have to say, that we need them now, more than ever. This world is a scary place and there are so many things that we have today that there has never been before. There are new concepts that have been introduced, even just in the last 10 years. Much of that is not very good for any of us. So how do we know how to handle it, since we can’t turn to the Bible or Book of Mormon to tell us? Well, by turning to the prophets. Prophets are key for us to learn what Heavenly Father needs us to do. We have a modern prophet on the Earth today and his name is Thomas S. Monson. I support and sustain him in every way that I can because I know he is a prophet of God – God called him to share His word to the world. I’m doing my best to share the prophet’s words, which lead directly to God’s words (since they are God’s words in the first place).Β 
I sure hope that makes sense to everyone. Seems like a big jumble, but just know I have a testimony of prophets. πŸ™‚ HahaΒ 
Well, I don’t have any time left. I was going to send some pictures today, but the computer that I’m on today (different than usual) is wanting me to download all of my pictures to the computer. I’d prefer NOT to do that, since it isn’t my computer. I’ll keep trying though. I might just have to send my SD card home and have my mom send out some pictures. πŸ™‚Β 
I love all of you and I thank you all for your love and support. A mission really is the best experience! I’ve learned and grown A TON since I got here and I’m so SO grateful for this opportunity! πŸ™‚
Hope you’re all well!
Love,
Sister Mayle

First Week in Boscawin

Hello hello from New Hampshire!!!!!

My first area is Canterbury, in the Concord Stake (NH). I live in Boscawin, but go up to Franklin, Canterbury, and a bunch of other towns. The ward I’m in has five missionaries (the sisters and elders), and we split it in half. (SISTA Z!!!! I met Sister Sansuzi (sp?) yesterday at church! We’re in the same ward!!!!!). I’m in a trio with Sister Buxton and Sister Herrick. They are wonderful. Sister Buxton is my trainer and Sister Herrick is waiting for her visa to go to Brazil.

The first week has been interesting. Weather. I’m sure most of you know how much I hate the heat. With a passion. Well… Let’s just say I’m trying hard to stay positive and the Lord is truly looking out for me. It’s really only been super hot for one maybe two days, but pretty cool the rest of the time. The humidity is fine, it’s just when it gets hot that I have a harder time with it. πŸ˜› I’m in a driving mission which means we drive pretty much everywhere (by the way, gas is pretty cheap here. I’ve seen it down at 3.35!). We walk sometimes and have car fasts once a month to conserve gas/mileage, but it’s not too bad if it’s not hot. The worst is when people don’t have A/C in their houses and the air is SO STILL. BUT I’m doing fine. It’s the Lord’s work and I’m happy to do it. πŸ˜€ I absolutely love this area. It’s BEAUTIFUL!!!!! Not even kidding. Trees are everywhere and it reminds me of Germany. πŸ™‚ Only one problem: I have NO idea which direction I’m going because there are no mountains. Just tall trees every which way. Haha! Also: I’ve been seeing fireflies and my companions didn’t believe me. They’ve never seen one before but THEY SAW SOME LAST NIGHT! So now they know I’m not lying. πŸ˜€

Alright, as far as investigators go – we don’t have an progressing investigators, but we have quite a few we go talk to at least once a week. And we talk to a lot of less actives.Β 
Debbie is the most interesting and most frustrating. When we teach her, she is happy and excited and knows it’s all good. She commits to go to church and read the Book of Mormon. Problem: She doesn’t follow through. She uses the excuse that she has MS (for all we know that’s totally legitimate), but we think she’s an alcoholic and she’s not being honest with us. SO FRUSTRATING. Especially since her baptismal date is July 27th. She can’t get baptized if she’s an alcoholic, smokes and doesn’t come to church. We’re going to have to talk with her and see if we can’t help her overcome her addictions and figure out her life. It’s so hard when we’re trying to help them come closer to Christ, but they’re not doing what they need to. :/
Terrance Wigglesworth (best last name ever) is a pretty cool guy. He’s willing to listen and really wants to come to church. But sad news: His best friend/roommate (who might have become an investigator) drowned in the river on Saturday. First off: I really hope that Terrance doesn’t keep us from coming back. We have a message that brings hope, love, peace and comfort and I want so badly to share it with him. Second: I’m quickly coming to find why I’ve been called to this mission. I’ve heard of three people losing someone close in the last WEEK. And more have lost people throughout their lives and are still angry and sad and can’t figure out why. This is why I’m here and why I’m a missionary. The Gospel is so perfect for trials and pains like this and I want them to see what it can bring them. I pray hard every night that I’ll be able to bring some comfort to someone every day. I know that every person I meet is going through something and I know that I can be the one to bring them the comfort the want and need.Β 
Sister Creed (endowed less active) is my favorite. Every time we meet with her, she asks such deep, soul-searching questions! It’s so crazy! I learn something new with her every time and I LOVE talking to her! We’re having dinner with her next Sunday and she’s having me cook Chicken Alfredo (mom, can you send me the recipe (I think I know it but I just want to double check)and how long does it take to make again? I always forget). Sister Buxton is a vegetarian, so the chicken will just go on the side. πŸ˜€ I’m pretty excited for that one. Anyway, Sister Creed. The first time I met her, she asked how she could come closer to Christ. She knew she has a relationship with God, but she wants one with Christ too. How many of us really realize that those two relationships are different? I never really thought of it that way, but it was pretty eye-opening for me, because it’s true: God and Christ are two different people, so there must be two relationships. Sometimes it’s hard to differentiate because their purposes are one and the same. The second time we saw her (yesterday), she was trying to figure out how to make both her carnal mind and spiritual mind work together. HOLY COW!!!! Who thinks of things like that? It’s so AMAZING! We’re meeting her again tonight to give her and a special needs woman (Dawn) a church tour. It’s going to be FABULOUS.

I’m running out of time, so I’ll finish up. This week is going to be great. We have dinner with one of our investigators tomorrow and dinner with a member on Thursday. I’m super excited for those. The investigator, Bethany is Catholic and seems to only be talking to us purely for curiosity’s sake, but it’s interesting. I think we’ll be able to help her see tonight how important the Book of Mormon really is. She doesn’t think there’s any need for it, but OH-HO! There really is. πŸ™‚ Take out your Book of Mormon, read the introduction (it says introduction at the top) and figure out what it means. The first paragraph, the one in the middle (Joseph Smith’s quote) and the last two paragraphs are the ones you need to read. Do it. Now. Seriously, that’s the best. Also, 2 Nephi 31 tells us exactly what the Doctrine of Christ is and I love 2 Nephi 32:3 – it tells us that we can receive revelation by studying the scriptures. So study them! Who doesn’t want revelation from God? It’s pretty awesome how that happens. πŸ™‚Β 

Not sure when I’ll send pictures. We email at a library so I’ll figure that out soon. Trust me though, I’ve been taking boatloads of pictures. πŸ™‚

Also, I’m not really sure what’s going on with people’s emails. Sister Zenger, yours is going crazy so though I’m sending you emails, you might not be getting them.

I miss all of you tons! Love you to death! And write me. My address isΒ 
2 Bedford Farms Ste 208
Bedford, New Hampshire 03110.
Seriously. I like mail. πŸ˜€

Love always,
Sister Mayle