Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Very Sneaky Harold, Very Sneaky

The Hackenschmidts are gonna miss me ❤
My time in Tofield is finally coming to an end! Way sad guys. I love Tofield. I love the people here and I love the area and have felt so much love from so many people here that I seriously am way sad to be leaving, but my next area will be great too! I'm going in to the city to the Mt. Pleasant YSA ward!! Which is literally the ward Sister Woolsey was serving in before she came here!! Way crazy!! She spent six months there and came here. I spent six months here and am going there!

My last night with the Bates!
They made me eat two servings of ice cream.
They always offer,
 but I said a while ago that not until my last night
would I accept a second helping.
They have excellent memories.
We've gotten to show so many people the video that came out for Easter. It's provided such a good way to have lessons with people we don't normally get to have lessons with. Easter's usually a time when people are thinking about Christ anyways, so we just get to give them some more things to think about. This has seriously been the greatest Easter I've ever had. I mean don't get me wrong, I love chocolate and Easter eggs, but having such a special opportunity to be a representative of Jesus Christ and study about him and testify of him during the time of year when it all happened.

The Kastendiecks!
So Roni is the bomb. She doesn't like going unfamiliar places, which ya know, is kind of understandable, but she her calling is compassionate service leader which means she helps make sure the sister in the branch are taken care of. One of the less-active ladies was going to be home alone for a few days and she's not in the best health, so she asked for people to come out and visit her to make sure she hadn't fallen or something. Roni coordinated everything and one of the days was a person short to go and visit her. So she decided she would just go! We saw her after and she was so great. And the less-active lady loooooved her. She's already asked Roni to come back and visit again and stay with her haha

President Hillyer and his family :)
Friday we had to spend some time at the hospital because that same less-active lady who was home alone couldn't stand up and ended up pushing her medic alert button. An ambulance came and took her in to the hospital. She was totally fine other than needing to do some leg exercises so she can build up her strength again. We had to coordinate getting her home and everything since her boyfirend still wasn't home. Sister Roughley (RS President) had just gotten back from a 3 week trip to Israel that day and had to come and take her home. S Roughley's pretty awesome too. She always helps Roni get to church and navigate through the building and is doing Roni's family history for her and helps Roni with her tithing, just seriously an awesome lady.

​Six red dot days people. This is getting a little crazy.
Sunday was awesome. We came to church here in Tofield, went out to the Hackenschmidt's for lunch, then went out to Vegreville for another sacrament meeting. After the Veg service everyone went out to the Bates for some ice cream. It was so great to be able to be in sacrament meeting on Easter. The day Christ was resurrected is an incredible day to remember him.

Just this morning, we got to see a lady who removed her records a year ago because of some anti stuff she had gotten into. Her entire family ended up leaving the church. She's an awesome lady and still feels likes she's happy, but there's a definitely a difference in her home and life.

Listen. This church is the one that brings eternal life. Regardless of what previous or current leaders of the church say or do, this is it. Elder Ballard said, "Too many people think Church leaders and members should be perfect or nearly perfect. They forget that the Lord's grace is sufficient to accomplish His work through mortals...Focusing on how the Lord inspires His chosen leaders and how He moves the Saints to do remarkable and extraordinary things despite their humanity is one way that we hold on to the gospel of Jesus Christ."

People make mistakes. Joseph Smith included. That doesn't change the fact that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him and restored their church. There's a good article Jinny sent me a while ago that said, "Only Jesus ever had a 100% approval rating from God." Literally everyone else sins and makes mistakes. Lucky for us, "The works, and the designs, and the purposes of God cannot be frustrated, neither can they come to naught," D&C 3:1. If God wants it to happen, it's gonna happen. No matter what anyone else does.

Peace and Blessings
Sister Hepworth

You better believe we dyed Easter eggs!
P.S. Sister Woolsey and I hid eggs for each other around the apartment on Sunday night. We both had half the apartment to hide/hunt for eggs. I had hidden a greenish egg in the midst of all of Harold's foliage. She was bent over my desk looking in the windowsill behind it with her face practically in Harold's leaves. As she was starting to stand up again, she finally noticed the egg in Harold and said, "very sneaky Harold. Very sneaky."

P.P.S. You lucky ducks get two stories this week ;D We saw some formers this week that we haven't seen in ages but are the funniest people quite possibly ever. They had been telling us about their trip to Florida the whole time we'd been there, and as we were walking out we noticed a lawn sign for Trump. They then explained that while they were driving around, they noticed the sign and their friend basically dared the husband to jump out of the car and take it. After some convincing, he finally ran out and grabbed it. As they were driving away a car pulled up next to them and starting waving at them to pull over. Apparently it was the guy who had just put the sign in and he was all in a huff that they were a bunch of democrats trying to steal all his Trump signs. They offered to give it back right away and go back to headquarters and buy one instead. It all smoothed out by the end, but I was dying laughing as they described how panicked they were to prove to the guy they weren't being malicious. "We're from Canada! We don't even care about Trump! Check our IDs!" Then they went on a rant about how America is changing so much even the name's gonna change. The husband asked his wife what the new name was going to be and she very casually spouted out "Korea." Oh my. I laughed so hard. So hard.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

My Girls Are Here

I arm wrestled
our mission leader.
 I'll have you know
I did way better
than he thought I would.

We were at Roni's and her phone rang. She answered and said "Can I call you back? My girls are here." Literally made me so happy. Roni is one of my favorite human beings on the entire planet.

I know almost every missionary says this, but TIME IS FLYING. Tomorow's my sixth red dot day and let me tell you, this has been the fastest six months of my life. Also, some of the greatest six months. Being a missionary is probably the greatest thing I've ever done. My poor kids are gonna hear "mission stories" instead of bedtime stories.

This is probably my last week in Tofield. Six months is usually bootin' time. I'll be so sad to leave. I know my way around Tofield better than I know my way around Gridley and there are so many people here that I love so much. I'm lucky though because I get a seventh week here instead of the usual six week transfer period. Which means I get to be here for Easter!

Add caption
There was a Relief Society birthday party last Tuesday and everyone brought a present for a white elephant. S Woolsey and I brought an inflatable dinosaur and homemade cookies. I bet you wish we could be at your white elephant parties dontchya? There were lots of less actives there and a potential investigator AND it was way fun, so I'd say it was a successful party.

Friday we finally got to see a less-active lady that we haven't been able to see in over a month because she lives in the next town over. She had a lot of really hard trials piled on top of her one after another and was pretty miserable for a long time. She's so happy right now though. Which makes me way happy. She used to almost argue with us about whether or not God loves her because she felt like he wasn't answering her prayers and was giving her trial after trial. When we saw her though, she talked a lot about how she's recognizing that he was answering prayers, just in different ways than she thought and maybe took a little longer than she would have wanted. It's cool to see such a difference in her life.

There's an investigator we haven't seen for over a month that we finally got to see again, but we're pretty sure she only lets us in cause she's nice, which is kind of a bummer. We saw Greg though and he's finally gonna start reading the Book of Mormon from the beginning. He's been reading, but just weirdly skipping around instead of reading it. We read the first chapter with him and he said, "Maybe I should read it from the beginning. Which is what you guys have been telling me to do. It makes a lot more sense like this than from starting in the middle." I would have to agree Gregory.

A return missionary came and spoke at church and it was weird to think that that'll be me some day. It doesn't seem possible. Church was great otherwise. We talked about the Atonement in Relief Society which is perfect since EASTER IS COMING UP.

I've never loved the Easter season as much as I've loved the Easter season this year. it gives a perfect opportunity to talk about and testify of Christ which is the GREATEST. Joseph Smith said, "The fundamental principles of our religion is the testimony of the apostles and prophets concerning Jesus Christ, ‘that he died, was buried, and rose again the third day, and ascended up into heaven;’ and all other things are only appendages to these, which pertain to our religion." Easter is a big deal people. If you want to understand a little better why, go look at followhim.mormon.org It's got some good stuff.

Christ lives. He knows us. He loves us. Any struggle or pain or sin or trial. He knows it. He knows how to help us. But we have to let him.

Peace and Blessings
Sister Hepworth

P.S. On Saturday we were at supper with this cute little family and the 2 year old son kept offering his mom his slightly chewed up beans to which she would kindly respond, "No thank you. I don't want your beans." By the end of the meal, his whole face and hands were covered in bean stickiness. We was standing in his chair waiting to be cleaned up when he started reaching, and by reaching I mean he just kind started falling towards, his mom with his sticky outstretched hands. She did the most ninja of all the mom ninja moves I've ever seen. In a split second, she had put down her fork, leaned out of the way and maneuvered around the sticky fingers to catch him by his belly WITHOUT getting a single bean on her. It was incredible.
The Bates took us out to a dairy farm. Yes, those are cow butts back there. 
The Banacks took us to a famous steak house in a town with like 70 people in it.

We bought cookie dough...and ate half of it when we got home.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

I Started With the Wrong Leg!

A member just had a baby and I've been way bummed  that I couldn't hold her  (missionary rule), but some members made me feel better by letting us hold their daughter's baby dolls. My baby's name is Danika and S Woolsey's is Zoey. The daughter said we had to include the names with the picture. haha We literally held them all through the lesson.
Let me just tell you, that Alberta weather is absolutely ridiculous. On Saturday, I didn't even wear leggings or tights or a jacket it was so warm. Anticipating similar temperatures for Sunday, I didn't put on a jacket again as we headed off to church. This was a mistake. We got outside and it was cold and windy. It also started to ever so slightly rain/hail on the way to church. Right before church started I needed to run back out to the car and it looked like a blizzard outside there was so much snow coming down. I'm a boss so I ran out to the car anyways obviously. By the time we looked outside again, it was after church and the sun was shining and all the snow had melted. Whaaaatever Canada.

Brent and Roni are doing absolutely incredible. We had dinner with Brent and his family twice this week cause they're so awesome and we talked about missionary work and patriarchal blessings which are casually two of some the greatest things to ever talk about. We ended up talking to Roni about patriarchal blessings this week too. It makes me so happy to see people that I've come to love so much get to be a part of the incredible blessings that come with living this gospel.

On Wednesday, we went to bowling like we always do. After everyone was done and packing up to leave though, my favorite bowler (literally, I tell Sister Woolsey he's my favorite every week) came up to me and gave me the cutest little ring. I wish I'd remembered to take a picture of it, but it's pink and in the shape of a foot and has a little smiley face on it. Which is perfect because he's my favorite because of his adorable little smile. He's seriously always smiling! I love to be around all those bowlers and see how much love they have. Every week I feel how much Heavenly Father loves them.

Greg is as great as he's letting himself be haha Which is honestly pretty good, he just knows that living this gospel is the best thing for him. We retaught him the Restoration and he just got everything we talked about. He understands it and I even told him, "Greg, I think you already know this is what you should be doing," and he said, "yeah." When we ask him if he's prayed with real intent he always says no cause he knows he's got to really mean what he says. Which is very true. S Woolsey and I think he's afraid to pray because he knows he'll get an answer. I don't mean to sound unsympathetic. I do understand that we're asking him to do a lot. He's got to change some things in his life to be able to live this gospel, and change is hard. We just keep him in our prayers that he'll have the courage to make the changes.

We have Carol's lessons in a member's home and last week the member asked us to bring her a Book of Mormon at work. When we took it to her she said she'd prayed about it and felt prompted to share a Book of Mormon with one of her coworkers that day. Incredible! We asked her how it went on Sunday and she said, "Well, my friend's been reading it and feels a little confused so I thought I'd invite you ladies to lunch on Monday with us so you can explain it to her!" Literally the best member missionary I've ever seen. We went to the restaurant yesterday when the member texted us and said her friend didn't want to meet today. We were already at the restaurant, so we were just gonna eat lunch there anyways, when the member and her friend walk in two minutes later. Oi. It was totally fine though. We all had lunch together and just talked about hockey and their grandkids. Her friend really does want to meet with us, so hopefully we'll get to do that soon.

Saturday, we had supper with the couple that we helped move in a few weeks ago and had posole and guacamole and salsa and it was just so happy to have Mexican food again (Canada doesn't have much in the way of Mexican food). Their cousin ended up showing up too and brought a huge dessert. An hour later we went over to one of our favorite less-actives' house and they were just sitting down for supper and insisted we eat some too. Then also made us eat giant pieces of pumpkin pie. I mean, no complaints here that we had an abundance of food, but we were thoroughly no longer hungry. We ended up stopping by some members that night too and they also insisted that we have a slice of apple crisp and a bowl of ice cream. People are so nice man.

I seriously have felt so much love as a missionary. I mean sure, there are the rare horror stories where someone curses you and your cow and your ancestors for knocking on their door, but for the most part, people are nice. People are good. Sure the world has some pretty evil tendencies right now, but for the most part, people just want to be happy and are doing their best to have it. We all just want to be happy and we all want to be loved.

Lucky for us, there's a perfect plan put in place for our happiness by the person who loves us most.

Peace and Blessings
Sister Hepworth

P.S. There's been an abundance of funny stories this week, but I'll just stick with explaining the subject title. With Alberta's weird weather comes a lot of MUD. Which means, our car is filthy and anywhere not paved is extremely gushy. As we were leaving a member's house we were trying to avoid the gushiest of the gushy mud patches. Sister Woolsey finally resorted to just kind of lunging into the car to avoid a mud puddle by her door. Unfortunately, she "started with the wrong leg," and ended up just kind of standing on the edge of the car for a while until she figured out how to get into the car without going back into the mud.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Wouldn't it be nice if everyone were good?

My favorite little old lady Jean gave us that lovely nugget of thought this week. We were talking about hope and she is one the most positive hopeful ladies there ever was. We were talking about how the whole world needs hope though and she gave us that lovely thought because yes indeed, it would be very nice.

Moose 1 & 2
Moose 3 & 4
It's been a pretty great week my friends. We've seen a lot of people, taught a lot of lessons, and had a lot of laughs. To top it all off, we saw FOUR MOOSE this week. Blessings. This last Sunday is probably my last fast and testimony meeting in Tofield. I'll be here until just after Easter, but then I'm more than likely headed off to somewhere new and exciting. I'm gonna miss my little Tofield. It's really come to feel like a home to me. And I literally know my way around better than Gridley. I've met so many wonderful people who I've come to love so much and who show so much love to me, I just love it here :)

We met with several potentials and formers this week and they didn't tell us not to come back, so you better believe we're goin back haha We saw Greg twice again this week. We had a solid lesson with him about fasting on Saturday. At the beginning when I asked him what he knew about fasting, he said, "What, starving yourself?" By the end, he agreed to fast on Sunday though, so it went relatively well haha He's also working on quitting smoking. He felt the Spirit on Saturday. It was so strong it was impossible for him to have not. He knows he did, but he's still being pretty stubborn about coming to church. He himself said, "I don't know what it's gonna take." Well, neither do I, but I know someone way smarter than either of us does, so we'll find out.


​​Random non-functional telephone booth
out in the country.
Obviously we took pictures with it.
Please note the random fake bird
atop the random telephone booth
Rob, our 7th Day Adventist investigator is still pretty serious about Jospeh Smith being a false prophet because we go to church on Sunday instead of Saturday, but he's so willing to talk to us. S Woolsey and I pray and talk about what to do with him a lot. He would be an incredible member of the Lord's church, we just need to help him see that this is the Lord's church. And that keeping the Sabbath day holy is more important than what day we do it on.

We have so many less-active members that we see, but they all love us so much. One lady gives us bags and bags of apples and oranges. Another lady buys us cute scrapboooking stuff "just cause." One couple if we don't see them, calls us and makes sure we come over. One family as we leave always makes sure to say "don't stop coming!" as we walk to our car. One of the biggest life lessons learned on my mission so far is that everyone needs to be loved. Regardless of what choices we make in their lives, regardless of what church we go to or if we even go to church, regardless if we think we need to be: WE ALL NEED TO BE LOVED. So spread the love peoples.

Peace and Blessings
Sister Hepworth

P.S. On Sunday, an unknown number texted us and asked how we were doing. We said we were great but that we didn't know who they were. The mystery person proceeded to tell us they would give us hints which included, "I recently heard it's all about the love." Which is what I bore my testimony about on Sunday, so we thought it had to be someone from church. We had no idea who it could be though and didn't want to play a guessing game with random strangers. The next hint was "I like the dark." By the time we got this message, we were home and S Woolsey went and turned on all our lights making sure no one was hiding somewhere in the apartment because we were thoroughly freaked out and thought someone was gonna try and kill us. We were still not responding when Roni called us about an hour later to let us know she got a cell phone. OH MY RONI. I literally fell over I was laughing so hard.

​I bought a plant!!
His name is Harold Pots
(per Roni's suggestion).
 He's an ivy plant.
Ivy is an English plant.
And his name is Harold Pots.
Which happens to sound
strikingly similar
to another
famous English name.
*cough* Harry Potter *cough*

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Don't Worry, They're Fat Free


So Roni has a braille label maker,
and let us make our names in braille!! :D
So just FYI that says "Greta" in braille.
WAY COOL.
So I may or may not have bought two bags of marshmallows on a whim because they were on sale. It was a seriously an excellent sale, and marshmallows sounded heavenly. But don't worry, there was a big 'ol label on them that said they were "Fat Free, As Always." *phew* thanks marshmallow company, now I feel way better about my sugary purchases 😉

Guess where we had supper on Wednesday?? You'll never guess, so I'll just have to tell you. The Ukranian Catholic Church. Yes, the Ukranian part is an important part of the title because Alberta is just littered with Ukranians and their delicious foods. Once a month, the Ukranian Catholic Church puts on a big perogie supper fundraiser and a member took us! *NEW INFORMATION TIME*
The perogie supper 👌
Perogies are delicious little things. It's mashed potatoes and cheese stuffed inside a little dough encasing which is then boiled and served with sour cream and sometimes bacon bits or onions or something. They're incredibly delicious and Canadians are usually shocked when we tell them we'd never heard of perogies beofre coming to Canada. It's a staple up here. Literally. Instead of frozen burritos in the freezer section, they have frozen perogies. S Woolsey and are currently asking around for a recipe to make our own, so we'll let you know how that goes haha

This week we met a less-active that no one's heard from or seen for literally 10 years. She's actually moved and hasn't been in Vegreville for the last 3 years, but happened to be back when we knocked on her door because she's remodeling the house she used to live in. Everyone was seriously shocked when we started telling people we met her. She's only here for another month, but now she's found! Jesus said to go and find the one from the 99, and we, literally, found her haha We ended up going back over to her house a few days later to help her remodel and I used a nail gun for the first time in my life. I tell you what, I've never seen a more beautifully nailed baseboard.

Greg is doing really well right now. We got to have two lessons with him this week and he's reading the Book of Mormon and he came to the Vegreville service on Sunday and is meeting more members and I am PUMPED for when he gets up the courage to agree to this wonderful gospel. I think he already knows it's what he needs in his life, but he just needs the spiritual strength to start making some changes.

I got to give a talk again on Sunday at the Vegreville sacrament meeting. I gave basically the same talk as last time in that it was all about the Book of Mormon, but I had an epiphany literally while I was speaking. Moroni 10:3-5 promises that if you pray about the truthfulness about the Book of Mormon, then you'll receive and answer "by the power of the Holy Ghost." BUT Moroni also says that will only come if we have a sincere heart and real intent. I think I get real intent a little better now. I would always explain it as really intending to do something about the answer you receive.

But I also think that you can only really intend to do something with an answer about the Book of Mormon when you have some understanding of how important that knowledge is. This is literally eternal life, eternal happiness, salvation, all on the line here. The most important thing we could ever wonder or want an answer about. If the Book of Mormon is the truth, then this church is the way to get back to Heavenly Father; to have eternal life. And I know it is true. I wouldn't be here if I didn't.

Peace and Blessings
Sister Hepworth

My llama dance
P.S. Y'all get a video this week. So we drove past a field of llamas and first instinct was obviously to stop and take pictures. As Sister Woolsey was posing for a picture she started doing what we decided to name "The Llama Dance." My contribution to the video is from a weird video on YouTube (I think) that I watched at some point in my life (I'm pretty sure) that had that *air quotes* song *air quotes* in it. So if you want this story to make sense, go ahead and watch the video.

video