Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Be Happy Forever

10th Red Dot Day
​That's 10 fingers up there. Count em.
Summer time is great. Warm weather, lots of sunshine, but in a YSA ward it means that people are moving in and out all the time. We've lost dozens of members to moves in both wards the past few weeks. Thursday we helped Brittany move to the other side of the city. Sad day that she's not in our area anymore, so we don't get to teach her, but way happy that she's living in apartment instead of the camper she's been living in for the past several months. It's seriously crazy how much love we have the capacity for. I just want SO BAD for Brittany to be happy. And every other person that we get to see. And all of you. And the world.

​Sister Heredia made me t
he cutest breakfast
in the world
for my 10th red dot day :)
We saw Ruben again and she hadn't read the Book of Mormon, but felt so bad that she hadn't. We had had a great training in district meeting the day before about having short powerful lessons with people. We hit 'em with the Spirit, then we leave and they recognize that those good feelings were coming from learning about the gospel. We just read a few scriptures with her and asked her to finish the chapter. We gave her kind of a taste tester and she seemed pumped to go dig in. (Gross, that was so cheesy. I already regret typing it)

​Our district
(plus a couple photobombers) a
t the temple this morning
Our mission president has asked us to meet with all the members of our wards across the whole mission to share a message about a new pattern for missionary work that he's created: pray, look, speak, invite. It's been great to be able to meet with all the members we have so far. Every one of them has been so willing to let us come over and help engage them in missionary work. We're gonna see miracles. So we've been having the members practice talking to their friends about the gospel with us and some people just do not like practicing haha But when we open our mouths, the Lord fills them and they've been great sports.

​I got to see Sister Woolsey at the temple!
We had a great lesson with the less-active that said she doesn't "care" this week. All we talked about was the Atonement. We read Alma 7 where it talks about everything Christ went through for us and how much he must love us to be willing to do that. It was powerful and she I think she definitely felt the Spirit asking her to care again. Jinny sent me a speech a while back that said, "We should not use appeals to pride or even to a rational calculation of what is in one's best interest: heaven or hell. The best way - the only way - to persuade people to repent and come unto Christ is to get them - to get us - to think about what He has done for us and especially what He has suffered for us. That is how Christ does it."

​We got to go the Legislature building
for FHE yesterday :D

Remember George? Probably not, but that's ok. We met him at a bus stop months ago and then it turned out that he lives in the building right behind ours. We see him all the time, but have never been able to teach him, until Saturday! We were walking past his house (like we do literally every day) and he came out and said hi to us. We asked if he had time to sit and talk, he did, so we talked. And talked. Holy man does he know how to talk haha I'm convinced though that meeting with him hadn't worked out before now because God was waiting for Sister Heredia to get here. Every time she talked and bore her testimony, you could see how much he was feeling the Spirit. He called us after we left and thanked us for coming over and talked about how good and enlightened he felt. He's such a great man who just needs the gospel. We all do.

​Kayla (fantastic hair)
let us raid her raspberry bush.
We had about 3 times as many as
what you see by the end.

We were walking past a guy rummaging through some stuff in his car and his license plate was from Washington! I got excited and said I knew people that lived in Washington so we chatted about life in Seattle (which is where he was from). He wasn't even remotely interested in the gospel, but gosh dang it he was the nicest guy. As we were walking away and saying goodbye he said, "Bye! Be happy forever!" So there you go. I'm extending Mellick's wisdom to all of you.

Peace and Blessings
Sister Hepworth

P.S. For Brittany's move, we had a member of the bishopric come help since he has a truck. We were on our way back to her camper from her apartment after dropping off the load of stuff and I saw a Harvey's (fast food burger place up here). Supposedly they have really good Nutella milkshakes, so I was sharing my thoughts with everyone. 10 minutes later I was still talking about ice cream - my favorite shake flavors, how McDonald's has such a quality cone, the frequency of my ice cream eating - and Brother Miller said, "Alright let's go get some ice cream. Who has the best stuff?" I was a bit confused and he said "You've been talking about ice cream so much I want some. Where we goin?" I'm sure you all think I'm just being funny when I talk about how much I love ice cream. I'm serious. I love ice cream. On our way to McDonald's (for the ice cream) I said that the two things I talk about most are Jesus and ice cream. Brittany even said she remembered that when we met for the first time I kept talking about ice cream. It's real.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The Magic Key

We tried to take a selfie with the rainbow.
Didn't work obviously but it was still cute.

I can't let another week go past without talking about President Pattison! President and Sister Manion are back in Texas doing "Larry and Gail Manion" things and President and Sister Pattison are here to run the Canada Edmonton Mission! It's been great! He's already gotten
some new ideas rolling and he is so pumped to be here. We got to meet him a couple weeks ago and he and his wife are so nice. They're gonna do great things for this mission and I'm excited to be a part of it :D

So our investigator from last week that we weren't sure how old she is, is 18! So we get to teach her :) We saw her again and everything we taught seemed like it was definitely making sense in her head, but she kept saying "I just don't think I'm ever gonna be religious." She wouldn't come right out and say that she didn't want us to come over again though, so I kind of just kept talking until in the end we had another appointment set up with her this week haha Also, she loves Pokemon Go. They haven't technically released it in Canada, but people are downloading it from some other sketchy server. Literally so many people are obsessed with it haha

We had a great lesson with one of our less-actives this week. Her house is always full of family and friends running around all over the place, so the lessons are always a little crazy. Her dad was home this week though and sat in with us. After we said the opening prayer he stood up and walked in to the kitchen, so we thought he was leaving (which would have been a bummer) but he just got up to ask everyone to go to another room so we could have a lesson :D It was great! We taught about families and it was seriously such a blessing to have him there. He had great testimony to add about how important the gospel is for families.

​The Alberta Games ​
On Saturday we volunteered at Alberta Games which is basically a huge provincial wide tournament of all the sports. All of em. Football, swimming, dancing, triathlons. We just monitored the bouncy houses that they had for the siblings of the kids in the Games, but it was so fun. The one I was in charge of was actually an obstacle course bouncy house and there were some kids that kept doing it over and over so I would have them race or I'd time them or we'd come up with extra stuff they had to do through the whole course (for example run it backwards). I never got to try it #skirtprobs but it seriously looked so fun. The Games were in a town in our area that we don't get to go to very often. We stopped by a less active that we'd never met on our way home and she is the sweetest! She's terrified of driving in the city and is the only employee at her work so she has to work the Sundays. She's gonna meet us halfway next week though and we'll have dinner together :)

​Our singing group this week :)
This last Sunday we dubbed as "miracle day" :D We stopped by a referral after church and she is so ready for the gospel. When we got there her mom said she was in the shower, we figured we were about to be sent away, but she invited us in and we played with their hedgehog until she got out of the shower. She was seriously so nice and said that she feels like something's missing in her life and that she thinks it's a relationship God. Well cool beans it's literally our job to try and make that happen :D We're meeting with her again next week.

​It was pouring
and our parking spot
was blocked
so we had to walk
two blocks
back to our apartment.
Don't worry
I had my handy dandy
umbrella in the car :)
Another Sunday miracle, a guy we met at the Whyte Ave booth last week asked us to bring him an Book of Mormon in Arabic this week. He already had one in English, but reading in native language would definitely be more fun. We got the book, but couldn't go back to the booth, so we gave it to the Elders to give to him. They said he's been reading the Book of Mormon in English and loves it! They invited him to church and HE CAME. They have an appointment with him this week :D

One more Sunday miracle, we'd been in contact with a former investigator but hadn't been able to set a time to meet with her. She randomly texted us during church and said we could come over that night. She lived in that same town that we almost never go to, so we booked it over there Sunday night and had a lesson with her. She learned for years back in high school, but never felt like she "knew" that she was supposed to get baptized. We had a really great lesson with her, but she's still weary of committing to take the lessons again. We said we'd give her a few days to think about it and she said, "Well, I'm pretty busy the rest of July, but I should totally be free starting August." Hmm. We're pretty sure she's gonna let us over again haha

So we had to put up a CO detector,
but we don't have a drill.
The mission office said
to just hammer a screwdriver
into the wall to make a hole.
We don't have a screw driver.
Or a hammer. S
o I hammered my pencil into the wall
with a frying pan.
This was the finished product
of my pencil.
But that CO detector
 is up there
and never comin down.
The video is just me
hammering with my frying pan.
When I told Brad
(the sassy one that called me
a lying piece of crap a few weeks ago haha)
about it he said
"What do you think this is?
We also got to give talks on Sunday in Mt. Pleasant and neither of us really had much time to prepare a ton for them. They were great though and Sister Heredia is a rockstar (it was her first time giving a talk in English!). After church, a member came up to us and said that he had brought his friend to church who hadn't been to church in a long time and he said that our talks answered a lot of the concerns that he's been having with the church. Further evidence that the Lord makes happen what needs to happen, despite our human weaknesses getting in the way like not feeling prepared to give a talk.

Peace and Blessings
Sister Hepworth

P.S. We were walking out of one the church buildings as the Mandarin Elders were walking up to it with two other people with them. The thing is with this particular church building, not many people actually have keys to get in, there's just a particular way to *ahem* finagle your way in. The Elders asked if we had the key and we said no, cause well, we don't haha They didn't have a key either but were fully aware of the finagling that they could do to get in, they just didn't necessarily want the other two people to be aware. One Elder said, "Ok well I'll go try our key (code for I'll go finagle) and you guys stay here and get introduced." We politely chatted with these two people (one of them was named Pegasus, so I mean, that's incredible) when the Elder came back over and announced that the key didn't work. I gave him confused look and he said under his breath "Or I'm apparently not strong enough." He borrowed our key to try again and tried ehh, finagling, a little harder. He got it and came back over and said "you guys must have the magic key." I agreed and did my best to hold in my laughter until we had at least pulled out of the parking lot.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Hotel! Hotel! Hotel!

​Took temple pictures
while we waited for exchanges
Well we'll start with some good news, we found a couple new investigators​ this week which is way happy! One's a girl that just graduated high school and another is a girl who's actually still in high school so we probably won't be the ones that actually get to keep teaching her. But that's ok! As long as people are hearin the gospel I don't mind who teaches them haha The girl that just graduated high school was raised Islamic and when her mom came over by us, they argued in some other language for a bit and then she randomly reverted back to English and said, "Mom! We're talking about Islam! It's fine!" Soooo it'll be fun next time we go over I'm sure haha

This week we got to help at a booth on Whyte Ave which is a really famous street in Edmonton that has all kinds of shops and restaurants. On Saturday we got to stand in front of the church building and try and get people to talk to us. It's seriously so fun. Ironically, I went to this booth way back in the day in my third week on the mission but kind of hated it because I didn't really particularly like talking to strangers at that point. I've come a long ways because it's seriously one of my favorite things now. We had a white board that said "Where does your inspiration come from?" I forgot to take a picture of it, but we had people write their answers and there were lots of cute ones. One little girl wrote "EVERYTHING" and lots of people said some variation of their family.

In the midst of learning about family history work.
I was done learning about it
(we already talked about this)
so I entertained myself with selfies
Since Sister Heredia's a new missionary, we have an extra hour of study everyday. This week we got to study about using family history work in our missionary work. I've never really been very good at family history work, and I'd never really made any efforts to use it in my missionary work. PLUS the website we were using kept crashing and it took waaaay longer than it was supposed to to learn about family history work. I was pretty done with it by the time we left the library, and didn't really have any intentions to change much about how I did missionary work in regards to family history work.

BUT SISTER HEREDIA, the incredible missionary that she is found family history pass along cards and has been handing them out like candy. One of our investigators was trying to tell us she didn't really want to learn anymore, but Sister Heredia whipped out on the family history cards and started explaining it and our investigator's totally interested again. I've been sufficiently humbled and have officially jumped on the family history band-wagon haha

Exchangin back
We went on exchanges this week and every single appointment that I had planned fell through, but we saw some incredible miracles, I tell you what. Sister Arnold and I stopped by a girl that we hadn't had contact with in months and we have an appointment for next week. We stopped by a less-active I'd never met and her brother answered the door and wants to learn about the gospel. We jumped on the LRT for a bit and decided to have a two-person flash mob (cause Sister Arnold is a flipping incredible singer and I'd told her about all the flash mob adventures). It was seriously so fun!

​Sister Arnold and I got ice cream
of course.
One of our less-actives this week said she doesn't come to church because she "doesn't care." I wish I could accurately explain to all of you how much those words have affected me. Saying "I don't care" is saying "Oh. I don't get to have the Holy Ghost with me all the time? I don't care." "The Savior of the world, my older brother, suffered unspeakable anguish for me? I don't care." "My family won't be together forever?" "I won't get to go to the celestial kingdom?" "I can have all the feelings of guilt and shame in life go away?" I don't care.

Don't you ever not care. This is the most important thing EVER.

​We completely accidentally
perfectly matched haha
I care. Holy cats I care. I want to be able to get up to heaven someday and have Christ say "Well done." I have to care for that to happen. I want to be able to spend eternity with my family now and whatever future family Heavenly Father has for me. I have to care for that to happen. I want to have the happiness that God promised I can have. I have to care for that to happen. So care ok?

Peace and Blessings
Sister Hepworth

P.S. Sister Heredia has been teaching me some Spanish and it's been way fun! We were talking about how I need to know how to ask for help or something, so she said, "What would you say if you were in Mexico and someone was chasing you?" I don't know. "No, like, what would you say if you were running and needed someone to give a ride back to your hotel cause somebody was chasing you?" I don't know! "No really, what would you say?" I have no idea! "Just try!" I don't know, I'd just yell out 'Hotel! Hotel! Hotel!' She then laughed for about 2 solid minutes and said, "Never go to Mexico by yourself. You will be kidnapped."

I've since improved and the video is me introducing us as missionaries in Spanish :D

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

O Canada

For those of you who are unaware, July 1st was Canada Day! Basically Canada's equivalent to the 4th of July haha They have parades and fireworks and everything! I'm so excited about our Canada Day festivities that I have to talk about it first, I can't even get my mind to think about anything else that happened this week. July 1st fell on Friday, so our usual Friday singing took on a very Canadian theme. We jumped on the LRT and flash mobbed O Canada
(it was decided that it was my turn to start everyone off for the flash mob and I'll just let you know that it's absolutely horrifying the first couple times, but I got over it and am very at ease with singing a couple notes solo at random strangers now haha)

​Our Canada Day selfie
So the legislature building in the city is Alberta's equivalent to a state capital building since Edmonton is the capital of Alberta. The province always hosts lots of awesome Canada Day activities at the legislature, so there are always lots of people there all day. We were talking about this as we were flash mobbing the LRT and eventually talk turned into deciding we should go up to the legislature and find a corner to stand and sing at passer-bys. Just for some general good-hearted Canadian patriotism and nice exposure for the nice mormon missionaries.

​Our mobbers this week :D

We sang all the way there and stood in random stairwells for a bit with nice acoustics and sang at people walking through the LRT station. We eventually made our way up to the legislature building and there was a huge concert going on that completely filled your ears. There was no way that we could just stand somewhere and hope to be heard over an entire sound system of guitars and drums. My heavens we had come to the legislature to sing, so we were determined to sing. We decided to ask if we could just jump on the stage with the concert and sing, cause why not? We asked, they said no, but to check with a smaller stage just around the corner.

​Sister Hill happened to be
at the legislature
when we were there
so we had them sing with us.
The other stage had a dance group, but their show was almost finished. Sister McSweeney and I went and asked the lady in charge of the program for that stage if we could sing before the next act started and she was like, "Sure! Why not? That sounds fun!" So we jumped up there and sang O Canada, to Canada. It was seriously so flipping awesome. People stood and sang along and seemed pleased so I'm gonna go ahead and classify it as a success. Now lots of people have seen the nice mormon missionaries who love Canada.

We had a lot of really good lessons this week. Amy, our new investigator from last week is willing to work towards September 10th as the day to be baptized, so we're pretty pumped about it :D We asked her to say the closing prayer at the end of the lesson and she said something along the lines of thanking God for bringing us into her lives, "not in a timely manner, but in a time that matters." GAH My little heart melted.

​We planted herb pots
(Canadians pronounce the "h")
at a Relief Society activity
and my basil
and Sister Heredia's cilantro
are growing quite nicely. 
In another lesson, Sister Heredia made a comment that has literally changed my perspective on life. "We're the ones that make life difficult." At first I thought, "Nuh uh. Not all the time. Sometimes God gives us trials." But then I thought to myself again, "But we're the ones that make them difficult. If we just learn the lesson God wants us to or just trust God that it's gonna work out, it's not really difficult anymore." Holy cats I seriously love it.

A less-active that we haven't seen in literally two months finally let us over again Sunday night and that was an intense lesson. All Sister Heredia and I could even think to say to all the things she was telling us about was to testify of how much God loves her. It seems like she didn't know if she believed that anymore, and I don't know that she's ever really understood how true that is. God loves us no matter what. Period. That's it. You don't earn His love and there's no way you could ever disqualify yourself from it. He loves us. So. Dang. Much. Regardless of what we do or don't do. President Uchtdorf: "This is the paradox of man: compared to God, man is nothing; yet we are everything to God."

​Some members
are out of town for a bit
and asked us
to check on their garden
 every once in a while
which means we
spent almost 2 hours
weeding the other day
because we may or may not
had forgotten to check on it
Yesterday Sister Heredia and I were studying about how it's our responsibility as missionaries to try and share the gospel with everyone. There's a scripture that says to declare the word with the "sound of a trump." I've always wondered why a trumpet is so often used as the symbolism and there was another scripture that talked about how we're the trumps declaring the Savior's coming. Like, right before kings walk into the room and people blow those weird vuvuzela lookin things. We're literally announcing the Savior's entrance. I was explaining my thoughts to Sister Heredia and she said, "Of course it's a trumpet! No one cares about clarinets, all low and you can barely hear them. They hear the trumpets and turn there heads to see what's happening!" Listen all you clarinet players reading this, I do love you, but it's so true! I was in band, I know! The ratio of trumpet solos to clarinet solos is drastically in the trumpets' favor. We've said "no one cares about clarinets" over and over this week to get us pumped up to go talk to people haha

So go trump! (eheheh)

Peace and Blessings
Sister Hepworth

​Happy 'Merica Day.
P.S. On Canada Day, we were in bed before fireworks started happening. Lucky for me it takes me a million years to fall asleep, so when they started going off I could hear the bangs. I tried to resist getting up, but let's be real...fireworks. I peeked out our bedroom window and then ran out to our balcony to watch for a bit. I ran back into our room and yelled out all excited, "Sister!" Sister Heredia yelled out with a much more panicked than excited "WHAT?!" and started trying to sit up or at least turn over to see what I was making such a fuss about. I felt a little bad that I'd made her so panicked, but it was pretty funny to watch her kind of flail around while she was trying to figure out what was going on haha I just pointed to the window and said,
"Fireworks!" So we sat on her bad and watched the display. I do have to admit it was a bit underwhelming compared to 4th of July fireworks, but fireworks are fireworks and I loved them :D

This is Sister McSweeney explaining to everyone what we're doin

And then this is us singing :D At the end I'm running up to the microphone to wish everyone a "Happy Canada Day!"

​Ummmmm hi. My companion is basically a chef.