Friday, September 14, 2012

September 11, 2012

Sister Dransfield, my wonderful companion, had to get oral surgery this week and we traveled about 45 min to get there. While we waited though, we talked to this wonderful man. He is in the Army and has a wife and daughter. We were both scared to start a conversation with him and didn't know quite how to do it, but I couldn't handle not listening to the Spirit, so I started with "how are you?". And he was very open and kind. We somehow got to religion. He is Protestant and is so excited about his first daughter. We wrote him a little note and gave him our Article of Faith card.
Anyway, the Song we sang was special because Sister Dransfield invited a man to come listen who has been trying to come back to church and just moved to Nauvoo, and he came! He said it was beautiful and he wanted his daughters to grow up and have the faith that we 12 sisters showed as we sang in dressed in white. :)

Oh, I was so surprised to see Serena, Lex and Lily. The thought crossed my mind that Minn was close enough that they could make the trip, but I didn't think they would because of cost and time. It really meant a lot to me for them to come. Lily is HUGE! And so different, but still her. I could hardly recognize this large kid in Lily's body sitting in the stroller. haha! It was a wonderful surprise.

Well, something new we started last week is called: "Angels in the Outbound". This is to help prepare us for the outbound where we will be teaching lessons. We have one or two appointments set up each night with the Senior Couple missionaries in their home. They take on the pre-selected role of an investigator and we young sisters teach. Last week it was all the Restoration, this week it is the Plan of Salvation, next week is the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
We are encouraged to teach the lesson, but also teach according to where the Spirit leads us and the need of the investigator. We are to teach people not lessons. I have come to realize how very important it is to have the Spirit with you. This is great practice.
I was teaching with Sister Mitchell, one of my FAVORITE sisters here. She is hard-working, selfless and super obedient. And I was doing the 1st Vision and she stopped me right before I was going to recite Joseph's own words and said, "And Sister Zibetti is going to sign it for ya." I looked at her and said, "As Sister Mitchell recites it." She recited some of the most powerful words in this Gospel as I interpreted the 1st Vision.
Maricela--the missionary who was playing an Investigator--had tears streaming down her face when we finished with "This is my Beloved Son. Hear Him."
It was a wonderful experience and I actually felt useful and like I can kinda follow the Spirit in teaching, because the lesson before, I didn't feel very useful. Sometimes ya just don't know what to say. But when you act, the Spirit directs and helps. He never leaves you without help if you go forth with faith and are worthy of Him.
On Friday I was paired up with one of my old companions Sister Brown. We were both very scared because we were to teach President and Sister Gilliland! I was quite nervous because we all KNOW how much they'd get into character and make it real for us. Well, they did, and it turned out to be a really great experience. In the lesson, I likened the importance of going church to going to the store. If you want pickles, you can't just sit around in your house and expect them to show up without you doing anything about it. What do you have to do? Go to the store. It is the same with going to church. If you want to receive the Spirit and happiness, you've got to go to the Lord's house where he is and come with an open heart and you can receive. So we committed them to going to church with an "open jar of pickles". haha. It worked and they said they'd try.
The President and Matron of the Nauvoo Temple, the Condies, did a sociable, like a fireside, on Sunday. It was amazing. Sister Condie grew up in Germany and lived through World War II. When people ask how old she was, she responds, "I was old enough to remember". She explained and demonstrated to us that although hard and awful things happen to people, God is still and forever will be more powerful than the destroyer.

September 4, 2012

I called this lady at just the right time. She said, "I knew I was going to get a phone call from a missionary today. I have been meeting with the missionaries and one of them asked me to abandon my Jewish family and heritage to join the 'family' of the Church. I didn't take that so well and I was ready to call the Elders and tell them to never to come back. But then you called and you explained that I can take it slow. You helped me realize that I should not get baptized just because I love the Elders or the members, but because I know the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true." I had just read the following scripture in my studies and shared with her:
2 Ne. 31:14 "But behold my beloved brethren, thus came the voice of the Son unto me saying: After ye have repented of your sins and witnessed unto the Father that ye are willing to keep my commandments, by the baptism of water, and have received the baptism of fire and of the Holy Ghost, and can speak with a new tongue, yea, even with the tongue of angels, and after this should deny me, it would have been better for you that ye had not known me." 
And I explained that she needed a testimony of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and her personal Savior. She was raised never believing in Christ. She said she has one foot in the door and one foot out. I told her she needs to pray and decide what path to take and then jump in with both feet. I said, "You know Christ is real." "I do." She has a testimony but is afraid to act on it. It will take her some time, but eventually she will decide, and make the right choice. Her son just recently died from colon cancer. She felt like her son was a saint and very unique. I felt like he was there with us cheering her on. "Do you feel him here?" I asked. "Yes, I do." "Then this is a good thing and the way you should be going. He wants it for you. He has accepted the Jesus Christ." "Yes. Thank you. If we were in a crowd of people, I would be able to pick you out, I feel that close to you right now." she said. It was a powerful experience.
I KNOW that God lives and that he loves us unconditionally. He never gets angry, frustrated or confused with our choices. Perhaps disappointed or sad, but never mad. He loves us so much. I have been pondering this week WHY God loves us. I still am not sure. The only conclusion I have come to is that it is because He created us. We are His. We are a creation that brings Him joy. His work and His glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Us. His children.
One of my favorite quotes is from a really good friend of mine from when he was on his mission. He said:
"He [God] has promised us all He has, as we give Him all we have to give. That exchange is so imbalanced in our favor that there is no effort too great, no hours too long that we can give in serving Him, His Son and His Children."
Serving our Heavenly Father and representing His Son as a baptized member of Christ's church holds a sacred responsibility. We need to treat every moment and person with respect and honor and holiness. I must give all I have to the Lord and I enjoy doing it. We all must strive to be that way.

Also this week, we have started having teaching appointments! With fake investigators. Our lovely Senior Missionaries are acting as an Investigator and we teach them. It is so wonderful and powerful. Each time I think I get a grasp on a principle, I realize how much I don't know and don't understand. There is so much to learn and so little time. Teaching is one of the best things to do. The Spirit is the teacher, we as missionaries and members of this church are the guides.
We are singing this powerful song in church this Sunday. I recited the lyrics in my head as I sat in the Celestial room of the Nauvoo Temple.
"Heaven's light flows through the windows warming even walls of stone. In the refuge of the Temple, I find strength beyond my own. Filled with purpose, filled with power, granted gifts to lift the world. In God's house and in His presence, I find strength beyond my own. I can feel the power of Heaven as I stand on holy ground. And the Spirit whispers what I long to learn. Eyes are touched with understanding, I can see beyond this world. It's the place I reach for heaven and it reaches in return." 
Remember those lyrics as you sit in the Celestial room. :) 

The Nauvoo Temple

A man and his wife came to do the Temple to do Sealings today for some family names. The Spirit was so strong in there! The husband had tears streaming down his face the whole time because he KNEW what this meant to his great grandfather. He could hardly contain himself. It was very touching. I won't ever forget that.
Sister Zibetti

August 28, 2012

Call center. aka. Mira-Call center
Crowds have slowed way down, many missionaries have gone home, but we sisters are using every moment as golden time to study. We call on referrals for 4-6 hours a day. We call from a computer and have a headset. We try to share a message with them according to the Spirit and what the person on the phone talks about.

This week has mostly been calling. We have been calling on all of the referrals for the Pageant CD and missionary referrals. My companion and I's goal for calling last week was 660 and we accomplished 617. Pretty crazy. Most of these people don't answer the phone, but some do and some accept. Some are prepared. Some want missionaries, some, most, refuse. Some people just need to hear a message of uplift. No conversation goes the same. Some are less actives that I try to boldly and lovingly encourage to come back to the Savior.
I miss being on the floor of the VC and talking with people face to face. Looking in their eyes and figuring out what they need spiritually. Being on the phone really causes me to rely on the Savior and the Spirit to tell me what to say and how to say it. Which is good and how it should be. I need to rely on Him more.
On the floor this week I gave a Pastor a mini tour of the Christus statue. It took a while to get her to open up, but soon I got to discuss the Savior and the Book of Mormon. I recited My Missionary Commission which states: "I am called of God. My authority is above that of the kings of the earth. By revelation, I have been selected as a personal representative of the Savior Jesus Christ. He is my master. And He has called me to stand in His place, to say and do what He Himself would say and do if He were personally ministering to the very people to whom He has sent me. My voice is His voice, my acts are His acts, my words are His words and my doctrine, is His doctrine. My commission is to do what He wants done, to say what he wants said, to be a living modern witness in word and in deed of the divinity of this great and marvelous latter-day work. How great is my calling!" -Bruce R. McKonkie
It was powerful. She agreed to read the BoM.
Elder Golden of the 70 recently came to speak to us. When he spoke, it was so reverent and quiet that you could hear a pin drop in the large chapel. The Spirit was so strong there. One thing he said that I thought was prophetic was: "The point is being reached where Satan can no longer stop the church from going forward. It's almost reached the point of no return." Meaning the work will go forward quickly and fully very soon.
After that fireside, Elder Golden came over to President Gilliland's house and talked to us YSM's and YPMs. He said: "We don't study the scriptures to just gain knowledge. We do it so we can be cleansed by the Holy Ghost each time we study we are cleansed. It changes your nature." That's why reading scriptures must be a consistent process.

Sister Zibetti

August 21, 2012

I went on splits and went with Sister Petricek to an eye appointment. We traveled 40 min away to Burlington, Illinois. While she was in with the doctor (since there was no room for me) I sat in the waiting room. There were three people there and the Spirit kept saying, "talk with everyone, talk with everyone, you're a missionary". Ahh! Okay. I prayed to know which person I should talk to, since there were three. I made a decision and told Heavenly Father who it was. I know it is a right decision when my heart warms up. It is very subtle and I am still learning the language of the Holy Ghost.
I started a conversation by using a technique learned from President Gilliland: use their surroundings. So I said from across the waiting room, "Hey what does your shirt say?" She held it open and it read: 'making a difference in the lives of others.' I said, "So you like to make a difference in the lives of others?" "Yeah, I'm a CNA. Well, I use to be until my accident last october..." And she just opened up. Soon, I asked if she believed in God and if she prayed. She said yes. Eventually, I got to tell her about church and how her kids would be occupied for 2 hours in a different class where they learn about faith in Christ, while she and her husband could go to Sunday School together and then Priesthood and Relief Society, explaining both. She just brightened up at that idea. I got up and moved over to sit by her and gave her a card with some missionaries phone number on it. 
She asked about my name tag and I explained that I am a missionary and told her I was called by a Prophet. I explained what a Prophet was and she said. "I feel like we are all prophets sometimes. That we can receive revelation for ourselves and families." I told her that was exactly right. It reminded me of a scripture in the Book of Mormon, so I shared. 2 Ne. 32:3 "Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do." The Spirit led me to that scripture, by simply making it a thought in my head. Following that prompting made a world of difference. I started explaining the background of the Book of Mormon and she got really interested. I showed her some of the pictures, talked about Joseph Smith and right as I was talking about Moroni burrying the plates, the nurse came up and called her name. I asked her if she wanted a Book of Mormon and if she would read it. She said yes. That was the only copy I had with me. It is the one I have all marked up. (Not the one I've had since I was 8 Mom) I asked her if she really wanted a marked up copy. She said, "If that's okay with you..!" I could see she wanted it, so I gave it up. It was a huge sacrifice because of all of the markings I've made in it over the past couple of months, but at the same time, I wanted to give her everything she needed so she could find joy, peace and truth.
It's strange to think that a year ago, or even 6-ish months ago, some of my most prized possessions would be my car or my phone, now it is a studied, marked up copy of holy writ; the Book of Mormon.
I have wonderful experiences all the time and very difficult and saddening experiences. Looking on the positive side helps. And having a wonderful, charitable, hilarious companion. A missionary's day is up and down. Mostly up. :)
Your sister in the gospel,
Sister Zibetti

August 14, 2012

So this week to prepare for the outbound, I got to go on splits with the sisters who serve in the city of Carthage. At first, I was very nervous to go in a home and teach a lesson, but I soon realized that missionary work is the exact same wherever you go. Just the setting is different.
 Instead of in the visitor's center, we were sitting in this woman's home and able to more fully teach because of the time allotted and the relationship we had with her. It was really wonderful. I used something in the lesson which I had read that morning for personal study. I love when that happens.

Also this week, we went tracting in Burlington Illinois! That was a great experience. Some people didn't want to hear anything, others wanted to listen. In the morning, Sister Cloward and I met a fellow and at first he was rough and defensive. Soon we got him talking and by the end, he was cracking jokes and laughing with us. We had the Spirit there most of the conversation. He doesn't have any hope in his life. He believes the law is so corrupt and doing good deeds is not worth anything. "You sow what you reap." We told him.
He was in the army for 19 years. So I thought he'd enjoy reading Alma 46, which is about the Title of Liberty and the amazing Captain Moroni. He has read the Book of Mormon before and says he's explored many religions. He still has a copy and committed to read it. So a fun experience.

Yesterday was my last day serving in Carthage Jail. :(. Sad day. Sister Brown said, "Wouldn't it be so great if a Deaf person came today needing interpreting on our last day here?" "Yes!!" And guess who came up the walk a couple hours later?! A SWEET Deaf couple. Some of their signs I could hardly understand, but Sister Brown and I were able to communicate. She and I switched off with interpreting and speaking for the tour in each of the different rooms of the Jail. It was really one of the most powerful tours I'd ever been a part of. The Spirit was so thick you could cut it with a knife. There is a tape we play in the Martyrdom room and as I interpreted it, Robert began to weep. The tears were so much that he couldn't hardly watch me sign. It was all very special.
We also had a Deaf family come to Carthage last Friday. The Lord truly had blessed us with using the language because we study so much, and because He has answered our prayer of sending Deaf people here.
The Carthage Sisters
I've been thinking a lot about rejection this week. With phone calls, tracting, and at other times, I get rejected as a missionary. And it is my responsibility, my calling, to represent the Savior. So I want to react to rejection in the way the Savior would. So I've studied this week a bit of what he did when he was rejected. 3 Nephi 12:10-12 "And blessed are ye when men shall revile you and persecute, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake; for ye shall have great joy and be exceedingly glad, for great shall be your reward in heaven; for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you." Then the next few verses down says "let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father who is in heaven." That is one of the ways the Savior took rejection. Being that perfect example of truth and light always. I must never let him down, for has never let me down, nor you, nor anyone else. He is pleased to take that persecution for His Father. He will be satisfied. I love my Savior, brother and friend. His Atonement is what gets me through anything and everything.
By the way! I have a new companion!!!!! I LOVE her! It's Sister Dransfield! She is amazing and wonderful and has the best, most contagious laugh. Her first name is Chelsea, and often reminds me of Chelsea Larsen. All the sisters are back in Nauvoo to serve. The second summer sisters are all going home tomorrow (except for two who decided to stay a couple more weeks) and it is basically just the sisters who are here for their first summer who are still here. It is so weird that they are leaving. It feels surreal and sad. They are a part of me now and will be greatly missed, but it is their time to go. And that is according to God's will, and I must not tamper with that. The YPM's have also left. Crazy! Time to prepare for outbound, but still focus on the here and NOW of Nauvoo.

Sister Zibetti

August 9, 2012

 Some things from this week, the second Summer sisters are leaving quickly. For most of them, this is their last week on the mission. We had a farewell breakfast. It is so weird that they are leaving! The YPM's are also going. We will only have one show going on: Rendezvous. Everything will be so dead and sad when they go. But the light in Nauvoo won't go out. We still have our purpose here and much to testify about; many souls to bring to Christ. I asked President what I could best do to prepare for the outbound since I was/am a bit nervous. He told me to study and practice teaching the Lessons in Chapter 3 of PMG. The Lessons are: The Restoration, The Plan of Salvation, The Gospel of Jesus Christ, and The Commandments. So I am studying them. We will go tracting this Saturday! We're going to a city called Burlington (because we can't in Nauvoo). I'm excited for the new things.
As sisters, President Gilliland allowed us to watch pageant again on the last night. Sister Brown and I were asked to interpret for a Deaf man. It was so fun though! It started raining, not hard. It was just one of the craziest things: There I was a missionary, in a spotlight in the middle of the crowd, it's raining and I'm interpreting for this amazing pageant behind me. haha! It was great. I truly felt at times my hands guided by the Spirit with how to sign certain concepts and ideas. I realized this week that if I want to go on an ASL mission for my outbound call, I must be preparing better now, so God can use a prepared missionary, so I am really trying to get in my Language study every day even though it is rarely scheduled.
One of my favorite things about this mission is that I'll give a tour to someone in Nauvoo, and later I see them and give them another tour. Or I just greet them at a show and then I later give them a tour at Carthage. That happened a couple times this week. God really does place us in specific spots so we can influence those around us.
This week, Sis. Brown and I decided to go to the Jail early and study the Book of Mormon in the Martyrdom room. It was powerful. The Spirit is ever present.
I'll tell you of an experience from my journal that happened on Tuesday. Two men: J and B. J was a member of the church his whole life except the last 3 years. "Why is that?" I asked him. "They invited me never to come back because I couldn't quit smoking tobacco." "Oh. I'm sorry." "So I didn't." He walked away. His friend B came up to me and said, "I'm Pentecostal. Is that really true about the Mormons? You can't be a member if you smoke?" I was hesitant on answering because I wasn't sure of the entire situation and what exactly J meant by "they" and "never come back". So I said, "We believe our body is a house of God, a holy place and..." "We believe that too! But although we highly discourage drugs, we don't kick people out who struggle. An addiction is very hard to overcome." "I believe you about that, and agree. We do believe though, that God has set a high standard and we need to follow it otherwise..." I could just feel his disappointment in us as a church. The Carthage movie was beginning, so it was time for them to enter the theatre. I went into the back room and prayed hard, apologizing that I did an awful job in the conversation; I hadn't responded well. I then asked Heavenly Father for another chance to testify. I asked the Senior missionaries for help and advice on the situation. Besides the fact that they all wanted to answer at once haha, they gave me very good, and spirit-directed ideas.
In the Martyrdom room, I testified how we must follow Christ, and I read 2 Ne. 31:12. "The Savior said, "follow me, and do the things which ye have seen me do." That is our goal. No one is perfect, but we all try to live that truth. Joseph tried. Hyrum also. Joseph wasn't perfect, but I know he, and we, can be made perfect IN Christ". The Spirit filled the room even more and B was smiling; a new understanding had come upon him. J had a face of longing to be a part of the truth again, but perhaps guilt was stopping him, I'm not sure.
With all the courage God gave me, I stopped B and said, "To answer your question from earlier, he is always invited back and I hope he does come back." "Me too. I understand that one is not perfect and some might hold grudges." Later B came back into the VC and said, "Wonderful tour. I've got a lot to think about."
It was a wonderful experience.
Well I must be off! I love you!
-Sister Zibetti

August 2, 2012

I saw the Allphins! It all worked out perfectly! I was in Carthage yesterday morning and I saw Mark (the younger) and his family. I wasn't up next for the tour, so they went with another missionary.
When the rest of the Allphin family arrived, Chris and his family from St. Louis, Kara and Brother and Sister Allphin, I was up for the Tour! So they were able to hop on and I gave them the tour of Carthage. Mark rejoined. It was wonderful! They really are such a great family. We talked about missionary work and how the ward and stake are doing back home. It really rejuvinated my motive to work harder and be more diligent and urgent about the work.
This week, a Deaf couple and their hearing daughter (who are from Minnesota) came to Nauvoo. The dad taught at the MTC and his wife taught ASL too. We first saw them in Sacrament meeting. They noticed that we had interpeters and they came to watch. I discovered that while interpreting, it is more important to love the people than it is to make sure you get every word or concept translated. Making sure the person feels God's love. We later went around with them to a couple of sites.
Today I am going to sign a Birthday Card for President Monson from the Nauvoo Mission! I'm excited!
Well, here's an experience I had while calling on our Referrals. A nice woman answered the phone and I introduced myself and told her that her sister-in-law was visiting Nauvoo and thought of her (and referred her to the missionary program). I asked how familiar she was with the church. Her response, "I've been around the church for 45 years because my sister-in-law. I love her, but have no interest in that church." I got up the courage to ask, "Can I ask why that is?" "I believe the Bible is the only word of God, and nothing should be added to it. I'm a born-again Christian. So no thank you ma'am." "Okay..well keep your heart open." "Okay." "thanks bye." Well after the phone call I felt like I didn't do my duty as a missionary and give her a way to come unto Christ. I didn't give her the options to have agency in the situation. I should have asked her more about the Book of Mormon, and told her that it is the word of God. I realized that the thing that I DIDN'T want to do, was exactly what I was supposed to do. Elder Bednar said something similar, paraphrased "When you pray about something and the answer is usually something you don't want to do, then that means it is from the Spirit." Our natural reaction as humans is 'carnal' and 'of man'. I needed to yield to the enticings of the holy spirit and do the hard thing. So I decided I'd call her back and just ask if she's read it. "Hi, this is Amber (we use our first name with non-members), we were just on the phone." "Yes?" "I'm just wondering, have you ever read the Book of Mormon?" "I've been to the New York Pageant and learned things from it." "Oh that's good! But have you read the Book of Mormon?" "I've read books about the Book of Mormon." She was avoiding my question like the plague. "Okay, but have you read the Book of Mormon?" "No. I haven't and I never plan to." "Alright, well, can I ask one question?...If you have never read it, how can you KNOW it is not the word of God?" "...well, I just know..." Yeah. That was the end of our conversation.
I'm just glad I learned how better to recognize the Spirit.
Here is something from my journal:
I played the Piano this morning at Carthage when all was quiet. Elder Morgan (one of the Senior missionaries) came up to me and said with emotion in his voice and red-rimmed eyelids, "Thank you for playing the piano. It reminds me of my daughters. On Sundays I'd sit and they would play while I listened." It was sweet. He has twins and one died from cancer about 5 years ago, so it was a sweet little experience.

Pageant is done this weekend! I can't believe it!!!! It has flown by. Sister Brown and I got to practice interpreting it last night again and tonight someone will need it for real.
-Sister Zibetti

July 26, 2012

I do keep up with some people I've met. We call referrals and try to help non-members accept missionaries to their home. If they don't get to that point, we'll see if we can follow-up and teach them over the phone and email. 
I am still in Carthage. I LOVE it! We get to greet for Pageant in Nauvoo 3 times a week. It is not as busy as I thought it would be. Send people to Nauvoo mom! :) jk.

Well, a cool experience. On one of my tours in Carthage Jail, I had quite a few kids. Sometimes it's hard to keep them entertained and calm, while still keeping the parents engaged. We were about to enter the Martyrdom room and I told the group that it is a very sacred, reverent room and to be aware of that. As soon as one of the young boys walked in, I could tell he could sense that. He folded his arms immediately. In a place where so much sacrifice was given, it becomes hallowed and holy ground. Just like where the Savior performed the Atonement. In Doctrine and Covenants 135 it says: "Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world than any other man that ever lived in it." I know that is the truth because I feel it every day as I enter that room or walk the streets of Nauvoo. I love the Prophet Joseph Smith. I love that he translated the Book of Mormon. It is truth.
The same thing happens to us when we sacrifice things. We become more hallowed, holy and sanctified. It is an eternal principle of truth. So whatever you need to do to get to that point of holiness is worth it. And it is a process, not an event.

I've been following up with that girl I told you all about on the phone on Mother's Day. She emailed me a question. She said: "I'm just not sure God exists. How do you know that? How do you know there is a life after this one?" And it was difficult for me to really find an answer, because I have been raised, by goodly parents, who've taught me that I have a loving Father in Heaven my whole life. So it has never really been a question of whether he exists or not. It has been instilled within. I struggled explaining it to her but found a good solution by the help of the Spirit. I called her and over the phone we read Mosiah 4:9 "Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend". I asked her what she understood from that scripture. She gets it. I told her that Prayer is what brings you to the knowledge of God. That brings you closer to Him and He wants us to pray. It is a commandment, not a suggestion. She said she'd sincerely pray. I prayed and had faith that she did. 
So that is something that the world is missing, belief. And more than that: faith. Faith in God and His Son Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world.

I love you! Must be going. 

Sister Zibetti

BLOG for July 17, 2012

The first night of Pageant was FANTASTIC! All of the Sisters got to greet that first night it was on. That's what we do as missionaries with Pageant. We start by grabbing Pageant referral cards, then we go and pray in the groves to get the Spirit of the Saints with us and motivate us to invite people to Christ, and last follow the Spirit to find out who to talk to. Usually the people who stand out are the ones I talk with. The Spirit hasn't been like: TALK TO HER! Just little whispers. We commit them to different things as the Spirit directs so they can improve their lives. (With Pageant Referral cards we ask members if there is a non-member they know who would like a CD of the music of the pageant. If they are the non-member we ask them if they want a CD and missionaries in their area will drop that CD off.) Sisters also post-greet, so after Pageant. Which ends at like 10:15ish. We are allowed to be in bed by 11pm and sleep in till 7am if we want. You don't post-greet if you live in Carthage because the drive is 30min. Carthage only greets on their preparation day and on the weekends.
We got to see Pageant on the second night it showed. I LOVE Pageant! It's incredible. My favorite line is said by Parley P. Pratt: "Because when you're here, we're here." The show tells a couple of stories of the Nauvoo period going from like 1839-1846. Joseph Smith's amazing leadership as a Prophet of God and the many lives he blessed. It goes over Joseph's and Hyrum's death and the carry out westward by Brigham Young. Every restored truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is touched on, plus more fundamental principles are taught. It is like Preach My Gospel in play/pageant form.
It's genius.
Missionary work goes SO well here! Yesterday I went on a tour with Sister Dransfield, who is the most lovely sister you can imagine, everything she touches turns to gold. We normally take Carthage tours on our own, but there were three non-members and a very impatient member (who needed to take a conference call at a certain time), so she asked if I would go with her. It went very well. Every now and then, the Father of this family would raise his hand in the air and say, "hallelujah!". haha! I loved it.
Afterward, we talked to him, while his son listened (his sweet wife was on the phone) for like 2 hours. He did most of the talking, but it was exactly what he needed and we were able to teach him a LOT. Just by discussion, the Book of Mormon and the Spirit. He honestly believes that God is in the details of our lives, so I asked him: "You believe that? Well, why do you think you are here at Carthage today talking to us?" He sincerely responded, "I don't know." but he could feel it was for a big reason. He looked into my eyes and then into Sister Dransfield's eyes and said, "You know. You two know God loves you, and me. You're strong." We ended up giving him a Book of Mormon, committed him to read it and attend church this Sunday. It was an incredible, Spiritually-led experience, and most definitely set up by our Heavenly Father. We shall see what happens.
I love serving Carthage Jail. It is incredible. We had a district meeting with all the missionaries who serve there. We have transfers on Thursday and I am nervous. I want to stay here another transfer...but whatever President decides is inspired, and I've accepted that.
I've been working on being humble and courageous at the same time. "True to the Faith" says it's possible, so I am trying to do both.
I am well and happy!
-Sister Zibetti
P.S. Yes I got that wonderful package of letters from the Primary! I loved it! Please tell them: thank you so much!

BLOG for July 10, 2012

 We had a lovely 4th of July Mission Breakfast last Wednesday! President Gilliland adressed us, which he does often and I love it! He is so inspired. He said to the 300 or so missionaries there, "You missionaries are incredible. There is no place in the world I'd rather be. And I have 10 kids. But there is no place i'd rather be than here in Nauvoo with you all." It was really special. Then the sister missionaries got to go to his house that night for a BBQ. It felt like home. :) We all sat around after dinner and asked President and his regal wife questions and just listened as they imparted wisdom and strength through the Spirit. It was powerful.
Super embarrasing thing. I saw two women, one who looked a bit older, with a 19 or 20 year old girl. Stepping up to meet them I said, "You are grandma and you are granddaughter?!" The older looking woman said, "No this is my daughter". oh boy. that's a great start to a tour. "Oh, I'm so sorry!" They said it was no problem. I prayed to heavenly Father that they would forgive me and at the end of the tour they did. The mom and the daughter both gave me a hug in the martyrdom room. The mother had been waiting her whole life to come to Carthage. It was special. I have wonderful experiences similar to that everyday.
As much as I can, I try memorize everyone's name in my tour group; if it is a smaller group. It helps me get to know them a tiny bit more than I do, so I can apply the message of Carthage and the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother to their lives. It makes the spirit all the more powerful and the visitors open up more to me once I use their name. It feels more like we are all a family, as it very well should, because we are. They feel more comfortable, and I hope, loved. I am trying to grow and learn and become like the Savior. He knows everyone by name and as His representative, I strive to become like Him in all things.

I took a Sister who served here last year on a tour of Carthage. I was so nervous! Because she knows all about it and I was scared she'd critique. But she didn't. I felt every ounce of love from and for her throughout the tour. Along with a non-member who is a resident of Nauvoo and has become one of my good friends here. The people are REALLY what bring the Spirit or not. I can testify all day, but if people don't accept it, it feels like my words just bounce off of the 200year old walls of the jail, instead of being sunk deep into their hearts. I love when they accept it; when they accept the Savior's teachings.
The cast members for the Pageant have arrived! Today it premiers! Sister Brown and I get to greet for it tonight and see it tomorrow. I met a family who will be in the cast. They are all set apart as representatives for the show. Even infants are set apart. All as representatives of the Savior. I could see the light of Christ in their eyes. It was wonderful. I gave them a challenge to pray and find out the reason they are here because no one comes to Nauvoo by accident.
So it is getting busier, slowly. I am stoked!
I can't believe I have been out here for almost 6 months!! AHH! It goes by so fast and I'm a week behind in my journal! Wish me luck with catching up!
Sister Zibetti

Blog for July 3, 2012

This week has been so great. I am loving Carthage! I am with my MTC companion Sister Brown in a huge apartment. I tried to make mac and cheese for us and took the noodles out too early so they were a bit hard, then a few days later Sister Brown made hers like mush. Soon we will figure it out. It's just been fun.

Wednesday of last week, June 27, was the 168th year anniversary of the martyrdom. We had a Commemoration at Carthage Jail where we paid tribute to the Prophet Joseph Smith and his brother Hyrum. The young sisters sang "Joseph Smith's First Prayer" and the YPM's sang "No Ordinary Brothers" (which is a beautiful, sad, but motivating song about those two men.) A member from the Temple Presidency spoke and talked of a scripture I love that says, "Joseph has done more, save Jesus only, for this work".
Then President Gilliland spoke. He is such an inspired man. He always says what I need to hear, and I've noticed, what we all need to hear as missionaries of Nauvoo. I got to take people on a tour through the Jail after the Commemoration. It was powerful. It made it all the more real talking of the event on the very day it took place. Although it was a sad thing, it was supposed to happen. God has a plan for everyone, part of Joseph's plan was to die for the cause of truth.That night, we had a devotional as sisters with President in the Martyrdom room. Some sisters shared their testimony. All of the sisters are so powerful and beautiful. President said something very profound that I'll never forget, "We will all have our own martyrdom to go through in this life. We'll all have to prove ourselves and give our all for what we know is true." The spirit was so strong. That room has a feeling of peace like you wouldn't believe it could.
I got to do some service around the Jail this week! The grounds are beautiful. Picking weeds here is a sinch. Because of the humidity, the plants come right out of the ground, root and all. In Utah, that never happens unless it just rained. haha! This week I experienced the most humid day I think I've ever felt. Walking outside from indoors is like walking into a sauna. can't breathe!
A man walked in to the Carthage VC and he just had a personality I knew would mesh well with mine. I grabbed my compy and we headed over to talk. He was the bus driver for a youth group from St. Louis. He started his conversation in a humorous fashion like this, "Hey! I've come to see my cousin. (Smith). Can ya'll show me 'round?" with a big smile on his face. He is not really a cousin, but we joked about it. We showed him the 1st Vision mini statue and did our best to follow the spirit. We read part of the Book of Mormon introduction to him and he asked tons of questions, but some things clicked in his brain. We testified of its truthfulness and power. He would ask unimportant questions occasionally like, "These gold plates...where'd they get the gold?" or "Did Mr. Mormon have a last name?" haha! I loved this man! He took a referral card to fill out and a book of Mormon. He said he'd read it and in 365 days, he'd be back here to see if we found the answers to those two questions. haha! My job is to find out if Mormon had a last name. Do you know? I searched but haven't found anything yet.
It was a wonderful experience. I know the Lord puts people in our paths on purpose. If we are prepared as his servants to jump at the opportunity, we and they are blessed. We'll see what happens. :) Or maybe I won't see what happens in this life.
On Sunday I got to work in the Cultural Hall with Sister Brown. That was fun. A bit of history about it: Hyrum Smith dedicated the building and it had about 16 different uses back in the day. Banquets, court sessions, schools, funerals, concerts, plays, dances, recitals, Nauvoo Legion meetings, and police meetings. Brigham Young was even in a play called "Pizzaro" 19 days after the building was dedicated. So fun! A lot of people today imagine the saints having so many trials and having so much faith, which they did, but they also had fun!
But, most importantly, when the Saints prepared to move west, they took out the benches in the cultural hall and had enough space to make their wagons for leaving. It was fun to work there.
Sister Zibetti

BLOG for June 26, 2012

The Pageant is coming soon! I'm so excited. A little nervous with how many people will be here. It is not the same as "City of Joseph", as far as I know. But I've heard so much good about that play. I guess Pageant is different. Yeah, crowds here are growing. Lots of youth groups, who are my favorite, or YSA's.
Mom! I received a letter from a Minister who I talked with here at the VC. I honestly thought he was a member of our church. He dressed like it and seemed like it. We talked for a while and I committed him to read the Book of Mormon and look up a church near by his home. And he IS reading my blog! Can you believe it?! That blog is actually a tool for missionary work. So keep it up! Here is part of the letter from him. "I want to take this opportunity to thank you and your sister missionaries for the blessings I received on my recent trip to Nauvoo. There is a something very special about that place. I felt a very sweet Spirit during my time in Nauvoo and was greatly moved by my experiences there. I continue to reflect on all that I saw and all that I heard. First, I thank you for taking time to visit with me in the VC. Your testimony is very strong and you have a gift for sharing your faith. You've been blessed with a natural enthusiasm and charisma that will certainly help you reach others. I want to let you know that as a result of our conversation I did get a copy of the Book of Mormon and plan on reading it again. I have also made several visits to and managed to find the blogs of several missionaries (including yours which is how I got this address). I will continue to read more about your faith."
How great is that?! Because you and Dad had me born with "natural enthusiasm and charisma", I am able to touch the lives of others, and with help from the Spirit of the Lord, bring them to Christ.
 We do calling on referrals here in Nauvoo. That is part of our mission. We ask for referrals from visitors and when they refer someone to the missionary program, it is our job as the young sister missionaries to call that friend and see if they'd like to have missionaries come over and visit them. Or teach them over the phone or email until they feel ready to have missionaries come over. Ha! It's an adventure each time. Calling is REALLY hard; they can't see my face, they don't know who I am, they've never heard of Nauvoo, they don't understand why I'm calling in behalf of their friend. So it can be awkward and difficult, but the more I do it, the more I learn. Last Wednesday I called a Rosemarie Stien. She is 65 and Catholic, well basically she loves all religions. We talked about the gospel and I was able to share scriptures and things from The Proclaimation on the Family that really helped her. She said I called at the right time, and told me to "Tell your mother I said you did a good job". :) so I told ya. I'll be calling her again soon to stay in touch. Not all phone calls go like that. Actually, very few I think. Most people don't answer the phone, or it is just an awkward call. But every contact with the church for each person in the world is important.
I got transferred to Carthage Jail! It's about 30 min away from Nauvoo, so I live like 2 blocks from the Jail in a beautiful house. I have a new companion and I am SO happy to be back with Sister Brown, my MTC Companion, again. I don't feel any judgment from her. We live in an apartment with all the necessary things. It is just us two and the place is way too big for our needs. Big difference. I went from 13 sisters, to 1.
At first, I was nervous, well terrified, and sad to be leaving Nauvoo and my sisters. (Sister Streeter especially. I love her with my whole heart.) I feel immensely blessed though. Carthage Jail made me nervous as I said last email, but now I love it! (But I still get nervous giving tours). I feel so blessed to be here. There are 4 other sisters in Carthage who live in a different apt. and we have a few senior couples. It feels like home, a little family. There are Carthage miracles that happen every day. Relying on the Spirit is of key importance. I'm going to start doing tours on my own tomorrow. And tomorrow is actually the day Joseph and Hyrum were shot 168 years ago. We are having a commemoration at 5pm (which is when the attack happened). It is going to be incredible. I honor those two men for sealing their testimony with their blood; their lives. I know they did so because they believed in Jesus the Christ, the Son of the living God and that because of Him, they would live again. The Savior redeems. That is his job. Repentance is not payment, it is accepting the payment.
I hope all is well!
Your sister in the Gospel
Sister Zibetti

BLOG for June 21, 2012

How is it already June 21?!" 7 months ago today we were all at the Manti Temple for my Endowment Session. Hard to believe that.
I have had the opportunity to interpret for a Deaf Family (my favorite), Deaf woman and for a young girl with autism. Other than that, President approved the ASL sisters to practice interpreting each Sunday for Sacrament meeting, so we can prepare for Pageant season when (so I've heard) there are a lot more Deaf people. My skills in the interpreting area have definitely improved. My facial expressions are still awful haha! I need to work on that. For the most part though, I am able to get the concept across and stay up to speed with the speaker or the play.

Another area where my testimony has grown is trusting God. Walking up to a stranger in the Visitor Center, opening my mouth and getting to a point where I have found their need and am testifying to them of a gospel principle that can help change their life can be daunting to do in a matter of 20 minutes, sometimes and often less.

My testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith has grown immensely. He "suffered wrong rather than [did] wrong" as John Taylor would say. He showed faith in every footstep in restoring the Gospel of Jesus Christ back on the earth where it belongs. Evidence of his divine mission: he brought forth an ancient record and translated it by the power of God for these latter-days. I echo what Brigham Young said, "I honor and revere the name of Joseph Smith". As do I. The same for each prophet who succeeded him down to our current prophet Thomas S. Monson, who leads this church under the direction of the Lord. I wish I had had time enough--or made time enough--to read President Monson's Biography: The Rescue. Have you read it?

A time when I had to be brave and follow the Spirit was doing my first tour in Carthage jail. That place is so sacred that I don't want to mess anything up, or say anything wrong. I studied the material and watched 2 or 3 tours, then my companions said, "Alright Sister Zibetti, it's your turn." I said, ''I'm not ready. I'll just watch today", but they said, "You didn't come on a mission to 'just watch', you came to testify. C'mon."
Oh boy! My heart jumped. I practiced part of it with my comps and botched it, but they made me go anyway. One of them went with me. The Spirit was DEFINITELY there guiding my thoughts and words and heart because I said things right and remembered most names, dates and quotes. My companion did most of the tour, but of the parts I did, I felt the guidance of the Spirit. It turned out to be a really positive experience and actually, Lex's brother and his wife were on the tour. haha! I know that trusting God and taking a step into the dark is when the light is flicked on, or we receive a flashlight. I was indeed able to testify in the martyrdom room.

When was a time in your life that you felt guided by the Spirit? Do you have an experience where you took a step of faith into the complete dark? What happened?

BLOG for June 14, 2012

 I went to a grave site here and felt somber way until one of my companions said, "Do you feel how peaceful it is here?" She suggested I read Alma 40. That made a difference. Maybe you could to the same. Remember in Alma 40 where it says in verse 11: "Now, concerning the state of the soul between death and the resurrection--Behold, it has been made known unto me by an angel, that the spirits of all men, as soon as they are departed from this mortal body, yea, the spirits of all men, whether they be good or evil, are taken home to that God who gave them life." It goes on to say that those who were righteous are in paradise, a state of rest from the troubles and all care and sorrow.
We are getting busier here in Nauvoo. More people are starting to come. Quite a few youth groups.
One day the VC was so full of people, I was pretty overwhelmed. I didn't know who to talk to or what about. I know there are specific people I am supposed to talk with, so it was difficult for me, with all that bustle, to figure out who God sent to me and who the spirit was directing me to talk with.
One of the groups had a leader who was fussing and rushing them all over the place. Oh man! That is not the way to enjoy Nauvoo! I felt bad for them. She is going to rush the Spirit right out! It made me sad and a little upset, but I knew I should not get upset with her. I need to love her too. I knew in order to feel calm about it, I had to talk to her. So I did for a few minutes. She is a great woman, and I can see how it would be hard to herd around a bunch of youth and make sure they can see everything they need to. I hope their experience will be great.
I did get to talk with a couple from this group and helped them really focus on Nauvoo. It is interesting how the Lord let me know who I needed to chat with. An entire group of youth came in and one girl stood out to me, so when she was free, I talked with her. I think it made all the difference in her experience.
Well, I best be off. I love you! Thank you for everything you do.
Sister Zibetti,

BLOG for June 7, 2012

I was studying Alma 32 this week during personal study and it is ALL about faith. I had an impression that I would be using it later, so I needed to really study it. And by golly! I did use this chapter later. I was doing tours in the John Taylor home yesterday and 3 youth from Colorado came in. They are with a big group of 250 youth, but they broke off and decided to come on their own.
After reading a quote by John Taylor, a boy from the group of 3 named Joseph Clark, 18yrs old, in a very sincere way, brought up something like, "I don't understand how people can say 'I know the church is true' and still have faith. If you know something, you don't have faith, because you know it. And we can't KNOW the church is true because it is imperfect. The gospel is perfect, but because the church is run by imperfect people, so we can't know it's true." That impression to study faith told me to commit those three people to read Alma 32 while on this trip and learn more about faith. I exlained to him, "That we can KNOW that things are true because the Holy Spirit KNOWETH all things and can if we have the spirit, we can know truth also. And although men might not be perfect, their tutor is. God's works come to pass through man." After the tour, he and I talked about faith and many, many other things for about 45min to an hour. I read verse 17, 18, and 21: "Yea, there are many who do say: If thou wilt show unto us a sign fom heaven, then we shall know of a surety; then we shall believe. Now I ask, is this faith? Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for if a man knoweth a thing he hath no cause to believe, for he knoweth it. And now as I said concerning faith--faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefor if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true." I also mentioned Moroni 10:3-5. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
Anyway, it was just a great experience and I had a pure love for this sincere boy and I felt God's love for him. It was obvious that God had a great love for him and was very mindful of him because it became my job to find him here in Nauvoo and teach, testify, invite and promise. It seems that as a missionary, people open up to you way more easily than they would if not. They just feel the trust from us I guess.  
Interpreting for that Deaf Family was great. Yes, that family of Deaf people were glad to have an interpreter; the father especially. He told us that the trip would have been a LOT less interesting if we hadn't been there to teach them in their language. It was truly an incredible experience. One of the daughters was more independent and very good at reading lips and was fine without an interpreter, but enjoyed having us there.
Just be mindful that speaking louder to those who are Deaf, doesn't mean they will hear you. haha! One of the missionaries here tried to talk louder while doing the rope demonstration, as if they would suddenly hear him. oh boy." They loved the brickyard. There it just explains all about how and why bricks were made in Nauvoo. And the key gospel message is that we want to become a good, strong, beautiful, useful brick.
We went with the Deaf family to: the Bakery, Family Living Center, and Lucy Mack Smith home.
Last night we 20 sisters went down The Trail of Hope. That was where the saints waited to board barges to head West. (The saints didn't have to stay on barges for long however, because the Mississippi froze over and they were able to cross safely). They YPM's (young performing missionaries) were putting on a vignette.(I thought you might like that French word:)) They were dressed up in 1840s clothing and recited/acted out certain person's from the trail. Inspired by journals and histories of the saints. We were lead by lantern light to about 12 stations. It was powerful.
At its close, the YPM's invited us YSM's (young sister missionaries) to sing a song called "Invocation" and pray with them. I actually sung it in high school, so I knew it pretty well. And the YPM's sing it every day in the VC before they start their show. It was just what I had been wanting to do. SING! With good singers and powerful testimony. I feel so blessed to be here, and so unworthy of the blessing.
I best be off. Love you!
Sister Zibetti

BLOG for May 31, 2012

Yes, my first tour that day in Carthage was with Nathan Hokanson and his wife Amy. They are amazing. It was so good to see someone I kinda know. They are way nice, he is nice just like Lex. Carthage is special. In the martyrdom room, while the 4 min tape is playing, I always pray to have the Spirit inspire me to know what I need to say at its conclusion and pray that I can address the visitor's concerns. I hope I said something they needed to hear to help their lives improve.
Heather Miller said that you've got a lot of family names! I am so excited!!!!!!!!!!!!! Don't worry too much. They will get done eventually. Don't stress too much. There is a song that I've heard numerous times in the car here on the way to and from sites and the VC. It is talking about Emma Smith and one of the lines says: "You seemed to weather every storm with a queen's grace." It reminds me of you. You have so many things to do and you have always done and completed everything in an organized manner and with poise and grace mom. Thanks for that example. What a marvelous work we get to be a part of with these names of our family!
Yesterday, an entire family who was Deaf came!!! I was so stoked! i was in the Post Office giving tours in Old Nauvoo. I gave them a tour, then they wanted us (Sis. Cooper and I) to interpret for them at other sites they were going to. So we did!! It was amazing, and I couldn't've been happier. Finally, I got to use the language I was called to use. I interpreted at the Brickyard. I was surprised at how well I was able to keep up and make clear the strange words like: vitirification. Heavenly Father REALLY does help anyone who asks. The Spirit would take over and did guide my hands. The family was very grateful.
Well, I best be off. All is well in the Kingdom!
Sister Zibetti