Sunday, November 25, 2012

November 15, 2012

We had to switch our Preparation day so we could go to the Temple when it was open. We just got back. We drove up with the Eagan's! A lovely recent convert member couple. The are from New York. Brother Eagan calls us "Mission-ettes".It felt SOOOOOOOOOO good to be back in the Temple. I kept hearing from the Spirit over and over, "Welcome Home." I tried to imagine my investigators in the Celestial room and figure out what it will take to get them there. That is how heavenly father sees us, as our potential.

Last night we had a miracle contact. The entire day of tracting and no one was interested; no one cared and some people were rude; usual. But we love em. Then we went to pick up a Laurel from our ward who is thinking about a mission and wanted to come with us. We had an extra 20 min, so we decided to tract her street. The first house we went to, her neighbor, they opened the door. I said, "Hi, we are missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints". And this lovely African American lady said, "Oh, girls come in here out of the cold!" WHAT?! Someone let us in? Her husband and their son joined us. They were SOO nice. It was her birthday today and they said us coming over was an answer to their prayers. The dad is Baptist, she use to belong to The Church of Christ. The dad is going to be doing a missionary task for his church next week and was wondering how it was to be done and he was nervous. But because we showed them that we can come out in the cold and at night to share the gospel, he was inspired and felt like we were an answer to prayer. We prayed with them. They had us hold hands and stand in a circle for the prayer. The father asked me to pray. The mom was saying things like, "amen" "mmhmm" "praise him" during the prayer after I'd say something she liked. It was so awesome. I've never had that happen before! They said we could come back.

Just think, if we decided not to tract that short 20 min, we would not have found them. I am praying that we will be able to teach them!!!!!!!!!!!!
A guy came to church for the first time!! A lot to digest. The sacrament talks were on Virtue, sunday school was the scattering and gathering of Israel and Priesthood was word of wisdom. We haven't been able to talk to him about it yet. But I am so grateful he came.
The gospel is so true. Missionary work in its smallest effort is worth building God's kingdom.
Tell the primary I love their CD.

Friday, November 9, 2012

November 5, 2012

I don't have much time today. 

We have not had many new investigators and some are dropping us or not interested. The work is tough, but the Gospel is true and real. I think I am learning that this mission really has been more for my conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I thought it was to help others out, which it is, but in turn, the Lord blesses me with a stronger faith and conviction to live the way he needs me to.

October 31, 2012

I survived the storm! We had to be inside at 2pm on Monday. We stayed the night on Sunday night and on Monday night at a members house. They are amazing! The dad is a convert to the church and in the Bishopric and the mom served her mission here in Washington DC Vietnamese speaking. They have one little daughter. She loved having sisters for 2 days. We even got to watch "The Other Side of Heaven". Approved by the mission president. So this week has been slow for work. We've been able to offer service to many people though which is good. 

We are meeting with a woman who said she let us in because she "felt bad for us and our salvation". She thinks God and Jesus Christ are the same person. We gave her the first lesson and she believes that it is possible for that to happen to Joseph Smith. We gave her a Book of Mormon to read and pray about. She thought I looked familiar. We came back again and she said she prayed about the BoM and God told her, "No. It's evil. It's blasphemous". Well....not exactly what we wanted to hear. She has a lot of Biblical arguments. She use to be a Catholic teacher or something special. It is hard for me to find the line between proving a true point of doctrine without bible bashing or contention. She gets defensive easily. We testified of the BOM. We also talked briefly about where our authority came from and she believes it is also blasphemous. This whole second meeting things were quite chaotic: she was cooking food for the week (since she works during the week she can't cook).
We were just sitting at her kitchen table as she hammered us and asked questions. Her son came in and said, "Are you girls hungry? Did she feed you?" It became obvious that she didn't offer. Barbara said, "Oh I'm sorry. Are you hungry, would you like to eat? I have lasagna with buffalo meat." "Don't let her fool you. She's a really good cook. Mom I can't believe they sat here and watched as you made food. haha". It was funny. Things like that helped break the ice. She really is a nice woman, just concerned for two young girls in the world. She is a tall, skinny white woman with  short greying hair. Her husband became hungry also and joined us. He is a short, and a bit round. Super hilarious. He was cracking jokes and dancing the whole time. We stayed there for about an hour and a half! We became more of their friends. I asked em, "Well, what can we bring next week?" They all laughed but she said that we could come back and that we definitley had to see her before we left the area. It'll take some time with her. But I know I look familiar, and she let us in for a bigger reason than for feeding us buffalo lasagna. :) which was good.

We are also meeting with an investigator who is 25 and use to be Baptist..ish. When he was young, something must've happened because he said he threw away God for 13 years. Then he met the missionaries in March and started learning. He hasn't ever been able to go to church because he works on the weekends only....until THIS WEEKEND! I'm so excited he can come! He struggles with prayer. When he was younger, his aunt forced him to pray. I like him a lot, he is a good guy. Very humble. He doesn't know if the whole "Joseph Smith thing" is true. So i asked him if he wanted to know, and he said he'd heard that question before and he still doesn't know if he wants to know. 
Well, he's heard that question before because he hasn't really progressed since July! But we'll see what happens this weekend! 

We did service for an investigator, we pulled weeds and talked with her gorgeous daughters. We got to do some street contacting while pulling weeds in the front yard. Many people came by that I was able to jump up and talk with. My comp didn't really say a word, but she was inspired to serve that day. It is hard to always, well more often than not, be the one who starts up the conversation with some random stranger on the road. BUT! These are God's precious children, for whom He gave a Savior. So, I need to put away pride and fear and just talk to em.

Today we get to watch a movie for Halloween. We can't proselyte today because the leadership doesn't want it to look like we are dressing up as missionaries. Plus things could get dangerous. So we'll be with the zone. 

I am trying my best. It is hard sometimes but I am pressing onward ever onward to glory in His name.

-Sister Zibetti

Thursday, November 8, 2012

October 22, 2012

Gainesville is awesome! It is rather large. We have many many neighborhoods of which we have jurisdiction and responsibility. We have a car to use and have 1000 miles each month. (We live out of our area, so we have to travel a bit more, hence the number of miles.) We try to save miles as much as possible, so we will drive to the church each day and have a lunch and dinner packed. Then walk to our destination, contacting people on the street on the way. We go back to the church to have meals. We do have bikes to use, but one has flat tire, well tube, so we need to get a new tube to replace it. Then we can do more biking. Hmm, biking in a skirt. I've yet to see how this could be an easy thing haha! I need to get biking shorts. 

I have not been to the mission home and I probably won't make it there. We had a mission Zone Conference. It was AMAZING. The spirit of missionary work is strong here. The AP's that we have are incredible. They with President Riggs got together to pray about where to put me and who with. They put me with someone else at first and said they hit a brick wall and that it wasn't right. Then they put me with Sister Hanson and it felt right. President Riggs shared that experience in Zone Conf. His wife is also amazing. This meeting went from 9am to 4pm. We had a lunch provided by the local RS sisters. I think these happen once a transfer. 

I actually serve in the Northern Virginia area. I have still not been to DC. The Temple is in the Northern DC mission and I think also the White House and all the famous museums and most monuments. It's about a 45 min drive there, unless you have traffic. Which most of the time there is traffic. From some of the cities in our mission, you can see the White House. My companion served in the same city as the Pentagon before coming south to Gainesville. So it just depends on which part of the mission whether or not you can see into DC much. We can take investigators to the Visitor Center in DC. I REALLY want to do that and see how their VC is run. Plus that would be an amazing experience for the investigator to feel the spirit there. 

We have a recent convert, converted before I arrived, who is awesome. He's 18 and super gungho about the gospel. He is trying his best to teach his family, who argue with  him, have disowned him and say he is now part of a cult. We stop by occasionally to keep his spirits up and help strengthen his testimony. He has received the Aaronic Priesthood and in 9 days will have an interview with the stake President to receive the Melchizedek. He is on fire and the Stake President has sought special permission to allow him to get the Melchizedek Priesthood so early on. Usually a recent convert must wait a year for that. He was just baptized on Sept 26th. He wants to go into the military after his mission. He's in the Army reserves currently. He can always tell who in the ward is part of the FBI, CIA or Secret Services. It's pretty funny. :) He always tells us. 

We have been tracting a lot. It seems almost like that is all we do! Which is fine, but hard sometimes. Many people think we are part of a political campaign for Romney. We then explain we are missionaries for our church and they say they "already have a church or religion". Or they are "already Christian and are saved". Oh boy. The thing is, they are right. They are "saved". Jesus Christ overcame death so that we all will do the same; resurrection. We will all live again, whether we accept him as our Savior or not. The thing they don't understand is that we must accept him as our REDEEMER. He redeemed us from sin, pain, sorrow and doubt. The way we accept Him as our Redeemer is to obey His commandments and live his Gospel the way He set it up: exercise faith in Christ's Atonement, change our ways and repent, be baptized with approval from God by using God's Priesthood power, receiving the Holy Ghost as a gift from God and enduring to the end of our lives; enjoying it too. 

So it is hard to get in the door. We've placed a couple copies of the Book of Mormon and almost always give a card with our number on it. We do get a couple of return appointments which is awesome!

The thing for me is, I DO NOT want to baptize anyone who does not have a testimony and is not planning on staying in the church. That would be a destruction to their salvation. I don't care about numbers. It's quality not quantity that matters to me. 2 Ne 31:14. Read that and it'll make sense. I've talked to way too many less actives on the phone to let that happen. But whatever God's will is, I want it to be done. If it is baptism, then so be it, and that is the goal as a missionary.
This time on a mission is consecrated time, not a sacrifice of time. There is a difference you see. A sacrifice means you give something or all up. Consecration means you give something or all to. That is what I want to do on my mission. Give everything I have: my heart, might, mind and strength to the building up of God's kingdom on earth. It is not always easy. But that is how the Savior of the world did it, and I represent Him now, so I must follow and do the things which I have seen Him do. 

Things are so great! Tough but great. And that is how it should be. One of my favorite quotes is by Elder Neal A. Maxwell "The spirit is to comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable." If I am comfortable, then I am not growing. 

-Sister Zibetti

October 15, 2012

Things have been a little bit crazy! I didn't really have a preparation day last week because all the sisters were deep cleaning the Hatch house and packing preparing to leave. My preparation days are now a constant Monday. (Until April that is). The flight was 2 hours and I didn't get sick this time!! :) My ears did hurt really badly though because of the change in elevation that quickly. I talked to a man on the plane. We had some great conversations about our beliefs. He wasn't interested in a Book of Mormon, but I think I helped him remember what it was like to be a believer. I think he might go back to his own church soon.
My new mission address is to the mission home and the AP Elders divide all the mail and it gets sent to our apartment. We live in a very nice apartment. My new Mission President is President Riggs. He's served here for 3 months. He is 43! Crazy young, but he's great. He knows President Gilliland.
I am serving with a Sister from my Zone in the MTC! Sister Hanson. She's really nice. VERY service oriented. She decorated a planner for me on the second day I was here, just because I mentioned I needed a new one.
I am serving in Northern Virginia, which is the DC South area. I am in a city called Gainesville. It's like suburbia capital! So many neighborhoods. These homes are all so nice and big. We have investigators and I love it! AHHH! We street contact and knock doors. I see miracles all the time still. We knocked on a lady's door. She's a Christian and wanted to know what we believed, so we set up an appointment and came back the next day. We did the WHOLE first lesson. It was great. My companion has never been a trainer before, nor has she been responsible for an area. So she is really nervous all the time, sometimes a bit awkward. But hey, missionaries are prone to awkward situations. We knock on people's doors and talk about religion. Not many do that anymore, so we end up in some interesting situations. But it's all well and good.
We serve in the Gainesville Ward in the Centerville Stake. This ward is SO great! We are the only missionaries serving in it. I love all the members. I smiled ALL day yesterday at church. I couldn't stop. I am so excited to have my own ward to serve. I met our Bishop. He is AMAZING. I've never seen someone sacrifice so much for his ward. We are about 600 members strong. Some are inactive. There are 72 youth alone! Crazy huh? The Bishop is very sensitive to the Spirit. All he asked of us Sisters was that we help reach out and visit some less actives and keep up the good work.
I met a recent convert. He is 18 and SOO pumped about the gospel! He is doing everything he can to prepare for a mission. He LOVED general Conference. I am so glad about the new missionary announcement. That is so epic. That is such an inspired change, instilling good gospel habits in people at a younger age is all the better. I feel the second coming is getting closer :) The Savior will come to claim the righteous.
Traffic is crazy sometimes in VA. Most of the people here commute to DC every day to work. They wake up at 5:45am, drive for an hour and a half or so, then work and it's about 2hour drive home. So many go to bed at like 7. EARLY!
Do you have any other questions? I am well and happy and STOKED to have actual investigators.

October 2, 2012

I hope you had a great and fantastic day! It is so wonderful to be alive right now! When the Gospel of Jesus Christ is ON the earth! Right here. You're chillin in the light of the Gospel. It's amazing huh? There is a reason you were born at this very moment in time. You should read this awesome talk called "Why 1820?" You can google it. It's by Brad Wilcox. It's all about the Apostasy and the restoration. It's pretty awesome.
So this week for Angels, we have been teaching the Commandments. It has been a really wonderful blessing for me to see why we have these commandments and how much they protect us. I have been sooooooooooooooooooooooooo blessed to have been raised learning and following the commandments. If you imagine yourself driving down a winding canyon, you would expect to have guard rails around the curves right? Yes. That is what the commandments are. They protect us from falling off the edge. They are truly not like fences that keep us "under control".
I got to serve in the Bakery this week. Lucious Scovil is the greatest! He was the Baker here in town and often catered events in the Cultural Hall next door with cookies, cakes, and candies. While here in Nauvoo, he lost his son, then his wife gave birth to twins and 10 days later they died, then his wife died 3 days after that. Every struggle seemed to be coming at once. But he decided to stay with the church because of his sure testimony. 
Soon after leaving Nauvoo in 1846 with the saints, he was called on a mission to England. He had to leave his three surviving daughters with friends and other family. On his way out, he took sketches of the Nauvoo Temple and brought them with him. He commissioned someone in England to make 150-dozen plates with a picture of the Nauvoo Temple on it and a list of the 12 Apostles around the edge. He proclaimed the gospel and taught the power which the Temple gives. He KNEW what it was like to lose loved ones, but he KNOWS the sealing power of the Temple comes from God and can never be undone, depending upon our faithfulness. THAT is why he had all those plates made. To tell others that their families were meant to be eternal. We have 2 original plates in Nauvoo, and the rest are in the Salt Lake City museum.
He faithfully served his mission and came back and found his daughters safe.
A lovely member lady came into the Bakery, Magg. She couldn't eat the cookie because of allergies to gluten that she has recently found in her later years. The allergies give her awful rashes and often because she can't eat a lot, she is a little grumpy to her husband. (She said that, but she didn't seem grumpy at all. She's a Sister Janet Davis type.) As she was talking, a scripture came to mind, and usually when that happens, it is the Spirit saying: "Hey, use this scripture to help this person." So simple, and almost like a whisper, but I decided to share it. I said, "hold on! You reminded me of a scripture. Can I share it with you?" "Yes please." So I did. 3 Ne. 17: "Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy."
I didn't expect that it would really do much for her, but when I looked up, she had tears in her eyes and she said, "thank you" as she leaned over the counter to hug me and kiss my cheek. It was very sweet and exactly what she needed.
Later, my companion, who was serving in the Cultural Hall, told me a sister and her husband came over. Sister Dransfield had them dance together on the 3rd floor where there is a ballroom. :) We love to have people dance where the Prophet and many of the Apostles danced with their wives.  You will all have to try it some day too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This coming week we'll be cleaning and packing and saying our farewells. I love all the missionaries here. The senior couples and temple missionaries are all incredible. All the sisters bought the same ring. We will have it as a reminder of each other while we are on our outbounds. :) It's hard to be leaving, but I'm STOKED for my second assignment.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A few pictures of us in Nauvoo

We have in Nauvoo what is called the "RagBag" It has a bunch of clothes that are free game. For an activity as sisters, we all dressed up crazy and took some pictures for fun.

Sister Kim and Me
My comp, Sister Dransfield, and me

Serving at the Heber C. Kimball home              

Beautiful Nauvoo Sunset

September 25, 2012

We received our Winter assignment! Guess where I'm going. I bet you couldn't guess if your life depended on it.
Washington D.C. South Mission!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Capitol Building
 Yep! All the sisters got their calls on Sunday night while we were at President's house for a meeting. I'll tell you where all the other sisters are going.

Angels surround the US to bear others up
Sister Dransfield: Richmond, Virginia
Sister Streeter: Billings, Montana
Sister Brown: Mesa, Arizona
Sister Umphenour: Spokane Washington
Sister Garner: Las Vegas, Nevada
Sister McInelly: Baton Rouge Louisiana!!
Sister Kim: Birmingham, Alabama
Sister Petricek: Columbia, North Carolina
Sister Ripplinger: Roseville, California

Crazy huh?! We are all around the borders of the U.S. God needs the Nauvoo Sisters to be the Angels round about to bear others up. I am very excited. My initial reaction was pure shock. "What? Me in DC? I'm gonna get killed!" I shoulda paid more attention in History classes. Although, I'm not there to learn the History, I'm there to Preach the Gospel as a servant and representative of the Lord.
The DC North mission is an ASL mission. So it is possible that I will be able to use my ASL in the South Mission. I am really hoping that is true.
I am going to be in DC during the elections.
That night, I prayed to Heavenly Father. I said, "DC, Are you sure?" Then I thought: What am I thinking asking Him if HE's sure. Of course He's sure! I slapped myself. "Heavenly Father, I need confirmation that this is where you need me." I prayed for my future mission president, companions, other missionaries and investigators. That night I could hardly sleep. For the first hour, my heart burned within me. THAT was my confirmation of, "Yes, my Child. That is where I need you."
So. Off we go soon.
Well, here is an experience in the VC (visitor's center) that I had the other day which was really special. An 18 year old boy called the Nauvoo VC front desk. One of the sweet Senior Sisters beckoned me over to receive the phone call. She said, "I need a real missionary to take this call." "What, you are a real missionary!" "Yes, but I dont' know what to say. Please take it." "Okay." This boy just said, "I want to learn more about your church." I told him we could get missionaries in his local area to come over and teach him if his parents were okay with that. "No. Right now. I really want to learn more. Can you teach me? I don't want to inconvenience you." The Spirit and I did the whole first lesson and some of lesson 2 and bits n pieces of lesson 3. Emphasizing that God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are three separate beings.
After and throughout the conversation, I asked inspired questions from the Holy Ghost. He said, "Can I tell you something? I feel light. I never want this feeling to leave." I said to him, "That is the Holy Ghost. He testifies of truth and brings feelings of comfort. This feeling can be with you forever......Do you believe that God loves you?" He was silent for a while, then responded, "I've never felt it more than I have right now." "I know God loves you. He loves you so much that he sent his Son Jesus Christ to die for you, so you could return back to live with them." "Wow. How do you know this is true?" "I have prayed and asked God for myself, just like Joseph did." "Joseph was so brave." I replied, "He was." I taught him how to pray over the phone. He said he'd try praying later tonight. I told him he could have this feeling with him as he prayed.
We talked for about 40 minutes! He thanked me many times for taking the time to talk to him. I assured him every time that HE was most important and that this is what I wanted to do. I asked him if I could call him in a week. "Yes. Around this same time." "Yes. Now because you are 18, you don't need to get permission from you parents. But I suggest you do that and talk with them okay?" His faith is Episcopalian I think.
In closing I said, "You know who the opposer of Christ is?" "Satan." "Right. So I must warn you that you must be careful this week. You'll hear a lot of anti-stuff, even from those you love. And I NEVER want you to forget this feeling okay?" "I never want it to leave." He wanted to keep talking to me.
It was such an amazing and powerful experience. All the practice I've gotten on the phone, all the junk and hard times I had, all the no answers, have made this phone call worth every minute of it.

September 20, 2012

I just wanted to share an experience I had this morning. I got to go to the Nauvoo Temple and do Baptisms!!! It was so amazing! The Spirit was so strong in that room. I prayed to have a wonderful experience. Believe it or not, I did the work for a girl named Ambor. From Norway. A little different spelling, but basically my first name. God is so aware of me and so loving. Unconditional love.
This week we had Elder Choi (Chay) from the Quorom of the 70, and his wife, come to our mission for 3 days. He said in the beginning, "The reason why we are here is because the Lord sent us here. He has given me the key from the 12 Apostles to preside over and receive revelation for this mission as I am here this time." He will then report to the 12 upon his return. He gave the mission three training meetings. Each an hour and a half to two hours. Then us Young Sister Missionaries had him for an entire day! What an incredible 3 days of spritual high and uplift! My brain was ready to explode with spiritual information, it was amazing. I have come to understand more why after Joseph Smith had the 1st Vision, he was found on his back and exhausted. Spiritual experiences can wear you out! In a good way. I loved it! Sister Streeter and I sang for one of the meetings upon Elder Choi's request to have a young sister musical number. "Be Still My Soul". That same duet we did on the DVD I sent home to mom. You should watch it.
Also, I was asked to have an interview with him. Only three of us sisters were to be interviewed. It was pretty nerve-racking, but that is how God wanted it. It turned out be very simple and I felt his love.
Some of my favorite counsels I received through the Spirit from Elder Choi are quoted here:
  • "GIGO. Gospel In, Gospel Out.
  • If we don't study hard, we are in DANGER. My study became a survival game.
  • Real teachers will lead others to change.
  • Write down thoughts and feelings. I don't care if you draw! Just write things down as I speak and then act.
  • Regard your investigators as your equals. God's children. See them with the potential of what they can become.
  • We must become one with Christ to do his work. To abide in his love, we must keep his commandments; obey."
Then we referred to John 15. As a servant, I don't know what the master thinks, but as his friend, I understand what he thinks. I must think like the Savior and like President Gilliland. I must be one with them. As we become one, the devil has no power.