Tuesday, April 11, 2017

I Never Have To Do That Again!

Sundae supper with the Hewitts!
Waffles and ice cream. What more can you ask?
Well here are again one last time. Let's not talk about that yet.

Holy incredible week! I hardly know where to start.

We'll start with the happiest! Alex was baptized on Saturday! My heavens he is such a cute kid. When he and his family walked into the church he couldn't even walk he was so excited he just kind of darted everywhere he went haha We had talked about in the beginning that it would be a full immersion, so his face would get wet.
The final district
He did not like that idea one bit, so we talked to his mom about it and we just decided to not bring it up again. He was so brave! When bishop was lowering him into the water he got pretty worried, but he was a champ! When they were changing back into dry clothes bishop asked Alex what he thought about the baptism and he said, "I'm glad I never have to do that again!" Hahaha We went over to his house for lunch yesterday and his mom said she asked him to help with the laundry and he responded "I can do that for you Mom! I'm a baptized kid now!" There's a pretty hilarious story with the baptism, but it's better acted out. I'll just have to tell you in person ;D

Sister Taylor made enchiladas mmmmmm
Our other investigator Jody also passed her baptismal interview on Sunday! She was so so nervous going into it. Our district leader lives in Edmonton and doesn't have a car, so she had a Skype interview. When she came out she was just beaming. We gave her a tour of the baptismal font, showed her the white jump suits, and talked about how everything will happen this Saturday. She's so cute. I'll have to try and figure out if I can Skype in or something for her baptism haha

We took Sister Taylor's exercise ball
to the church for morning exercises
and had a grand ol time haha
So we met with Jonel and Mel, the Filipino men we found last week, and my goodness they are incredible. They're so kind and so excited to learn. We showed them the Prince of Peace video on Thursday night and they were a little nervous with their English fluency. Last night, we had another lesson with them and had the Tagalog speaking Elders in the city Skype in. We understood basically nothing that happened, but the investigator Mel has agreed to be baptized on May 13th! They're so great. We gave Mel a Book of Mormon in Tagalog and the second we handed it to him he started reading.

The lovely Gloria
Alright fine. I'll acknowledge that this is my last time writing and that I'll be back in Gridley on Thursday. Last week I talked about how ready I am, but the closer I get, the more nervous I get too haha Last night though we were following up with Jonel about looking through the principles of peace on mormon.org, and after he expressed his thoughts he asked what brought us peace.

My faith brings me peace. My trust that God is my loving Heavenly Father and that he would never do anything or ask me to do anything that wouldn't be what's best for me. Coming home and learning how to live non-missionary life again is scary, but "perfect love casteth out fear." I know Heavenly Father perfectly loves me, so I'm not afraid.

Since I'll be home for Easter,
we made baskets
and hid eggs around the apartment
for each other on Sunday.
Peace and Blessings
Sister Hepworth

P.S. After we showed Jody the font she was so giddy she was just cracking jokes all over the place. Her main friend in the church, Bill, has always been her right hand man for any questions she has about church. He was walking kind of ahead of us while we were walking with Jody. At one point she asked Bill if she needed to bring rain boots for when she gets baptized. He responded with a no and tried to explain why she wouldn't need them while Jody turned to us and gave us a cute little wink and giggle. "Oh. Ok Bill."

Just cute.

Sometimes in Canada people call ponds lakes. Really all the time.

Peace out girl scout.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

You Look Like Roadkill

We attempted our bubble gum experiment,
but it was a fail.
We bought better bubble gum,
so we'll try again this week.
I can't even type that email title without laughing haha Which happens often. Sister Taylor and I literally laugh so dang much it's basically a constant ab workout. But you'll just have to wait for the P.S.

Happy news first!! Our nine year old investigator Alex passed his baptismal interview!! We're so excited for this Saturday!! I didn't get to be there for the interview because we were on exchanges, so when Sister Taylor was telling me the story later she kept telling me about all these hiccups with it. I was so stressed the whole time and kept thinking that he hadn't been interviewed or didn't pass or wasn't even an investigator anymore. She's a very sneaky story teller. She saved the good news for the very very end. I literally just yelled I was so happy when she finally spit it out haha We called him the yesterday (daily contact for the win) to have him look up a scripture and he was so excited to go run and find his Book of Mormon. It was so so cute haha Afterwards his soon to be 6 year old sister also demanded to read a scripture.

I met Maureen over a year ago
when I was in Mt. Pleasant YSA.
She drove out to Drayton
to have lunch with us!
It was so fun!
We got to help people a lot this week. Mmmm I loved it. It felt like real life. I mean, being a missionary does too, but just getting to help someone clean their yard, or move across town, or put together posters for the library, or clean their curtains. I just love it. Serving people is the best. Saturday was especially great though. We helped an investigator who'd been in pretty sad living conditions for a while move to a nice house right near our apartment. Oh it was so great. After watching them have such a great attitude through the whole mess they've been in I was so thankful to help get them somewhere so perfect for their family. The ward really came through as well. Eight members of the ward came and helped and brought four extra trucks. We had their entire storage unit moved in just over an hour!

The travelling sisters!
There's a companionship of sisters called in the mission to travel to all the other sisters in the mission and go on exchanges with them. We got to have Sister Engelbrektsson and Sister Christensen here with us for Sunday and Monday! Holy so much fun. We got to get a lot of things done for the area with two companionships running around for two days. So many miracles there's not enough time to even begin to list them all.
​Just a giant metal flower
out in the middle of nowhere
At least one is that we met a guy on Monday who is only in Drayton Vallley for a couple weeks for work. As we were introducing ourselves he asked which church we were from. Once he realized who we were he pulled off his work gloves to shake our hands and introduced himself as Brother so-and-so. He joined the church in the Philippines and has been in Canada for 5 years. He knew which church building was supposed to be his and it just so happened to be the chapel I just spent the last six months attending in the Belmead ward! He and his friend both said they wanted to meet while they were here! People who need the gospel are everywhere and are being put where they need to be find it.

General conference was amazing and I got answers to so many questions. I'm just so ready. Ready for whatever the Lord calls me to do next. Helaman told me this week how every job is important and I agree! I'm so excited to go do whatever job I'm asked to do next. I'm sad to leave my current job of course, but life goes on! And I'm ready.

Peace and Blessings
Sister Hepworth

P.S. So Sister Engelbrektsson and I were taking some *attempted* cute jumping pictures. She's the cutest so she has the nice little hair bounce and a cute little knee pop in all her pictures. For some reason I decided to throw my head back and kind of go for the "star" look with my arms and legs extended. Mistake. When Sister Taylor and I were looking at the pictures later and laughing at how ridiculous I look she said "You look like roadkill!" I can't even deny it. I look like roadkill.

A much more successful jumping picture.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

This is Canada

The Hewitts took us out to a lake in our area today, and it was so fun!! As a result emailing time is cut pretty short today. While we were out "in the bush" (Canadian for "out in the country") and "on the patch" (Canadian for out on an oil patch) Brother Hewitt included said we were next to a little lake, ice fishing, with a fire for a smokey roast: "This is Canada." Oh man. It was so great. I need to go camping real bad.

Brother Hewitt is a sneaky "kiss the fish" picture taker. Don't trust him. Slimy fish does not taste good.

Sister Hollon
was at the same zone conference,
so we took the temple picture
we didn't get to take at transfers
Last Wednesday we went in to the city for zone conference on Wednesday and it was the best. We learned about how to help members more effectively use social media to share the gospel. At one point I wrote in my notes "This is going to be me." Furreal. I basically just received a training on how to be a good member missionary in a couple weeks haha

A few days ago we were having a lesson with someone who won't really get their act together and come to church even though they know they need to. We've been unsure what to do to help this person decide to  ct. During the lesson I was kind of exasperated that this person wouldn't just make the choice they knew they needed to, but I stopped myself and thought about what I'd just heard in the women's conference from President Eyring.
My last Red Dot Day homies.
Seeing people as God sees them, I said a prayer in my heart that I'd feel how Heavenly Father felt about this person and my heavens if you want to have your heart explode with love, just pray and ask God how he feels about His children.

I was reading the Book of Mormon later that night and read in Alma 5 where Alma begins with explaining the change wrought in the people of Alma's hearts after they escaped King Noah, the Lamanites, and sin. In verse 9 he says "they were loosed, and their souls did expand." I think that that's a much more verbose way of describing what this 18 month service to the Lord has done to me. My soul has expanded. I, like them, "did sing the song of redeeming love." What beautiful music love has been.

So many times throughout my mission and even yesterday, my soul is filled as I witness the truth of the things I know are true. I don't know how to accurately describe it other than that it fills me. My soul expands.

Peace and Blessings
Sister Hepworth

How unfortunate!
P.S. After zone conference last week, we decided to use our time in the city to our full advantage and went out to dinner at Panda Express. Mmmm I love me some orange chicken. Once we'd finished we all reached for our fortune cookies. Sister Taylor's said something about exciting things happening in the next month and I was so pumped to open mine and get something so revelatory. Well I was jipped haha I didn't get a fortune. I showed Sister Taylor and she said "How unfortunate." Ha. Ha.

HELLO 7-11 had a Bring Your Own Cup day for $1.50, so you know we got a quart jar's worth of slurpee

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

A Great Day


We forgot about Pi day last week,
but Sister Hewitt did not.
We had pie for dessert of course.
I'm literally so pumped. I wish I could accurately convert to all of you how full my heart feels in this current moment. Hoooooly man.

In other news we had an awesome week! Our investigators are doing well and we're workin our tails off! Peter was able to come to church again this week and he's just so great. I'm so excitied for him to keep learning and growing in the gospel. He's a great guy with a big heart.

Came in for district meeting
We'd been so busy all week, that by the time Saturday rolled around we were really behind on goals we'd set in tracting for the week, so we spent most of the day walking and talking. We told ourselves that if we reached our goal, which was pretty lofty, we could go out for pizza and ice cream. Mmmmm one spicy perogie pizza and tropical chicken pizza we were very satisfied with out labors for the day.

The Relief Society had a dinner on Thursday
and told everyone to wear "fanciful hats."
On Friday I started my morning prayers with asking that it would be a great day. Instantly I had the thought "Aww dang it, now a bunch of crappy things are going to happen and I'm just going to have to choose to make it a great day." Well for some reason none of the forks I used all day worked because I dropped my food in my lap twice that day haha It really was a great day though. I'm definitely an advocate of choosing my attitude. I can make any day I want to great or not. It doesn't matter what happens or doesn't happen. It's totally up to me.

We were so excited to eat pizza
we didn't remember to take a picture
while it was still on our plates.
We're in Edmonton for the day for a meeting tomorrow. We get to go to the temple tonight and I'm so excited. I love the temple. I love being a missionary. I love Sister Taylor. I love Canada.

Peace and Blessings
Sister Hepworth

P.S. This is mostly courteous of Sister Taylor's email today haha "I was making paper footballs and all of a sudden I hear Sister Hepworth looking up french phrases. "Caca sur un bâton" That sounds fancy right? So i asked what fancy phrase it was...
We learned a trick last night ;D
Lo and behold... "Poop on a stick." Sister Hepworth cracked up!! I just looked at her like "are you for real?" Of all the things to look up in french, you are looking up POOP ON A STICK?? Ooooohhh boy... She just laughed and laughed and laughed. I smiled and rolled my eyes.. Silly girl :)" Our day of tracting was the next day and we were still (and ARE still) enjoying our new favorite French phrase. Sister Taylor again: "We would say it in different tones:    Sad: Caca sur un bâton  Offended: Caca sur un bâton  Jovial: Caca sur un bâton   As an insult: Caca sur un bâton Oh how we laughed! We would laugh as we went from house to house and would have to pull ourselves together before we could knock on another door!"

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

His Hands

Fill My Soul With Peace
Sister McSweeney on soprano, me on
alto, Eder Gibson on tenor, and Elder Saumweber on bass

My Kindness Shall Not Depart

Don't Lick His Face

So we had another cold snap
and we were hitting -30 windchills again,
but we're supposed to have
temperatures on the positive side
of the scale the rest of the week.
Spring is coming :D
We had supper out at a member's pond a few days ago and his 3 year old grandson wanted more chocolate milk. The grandpa jokingly suggested licking off the milk moustache from his older brother. Apparently chocolate milk is chocolate milk to 3 year olds because without hesitation he stuck his tongue out and went for his brother's face haha The kids' dad had to come pull the younger brother off his older brother he was so determined to get that chocolate milk.

It's been an incredible week! Last Tuesday night we made a plan with our investigator Peter to quit smoking. We set specific cut backs and checkpoints and he's been doing so great. He's going to be baptized in April and he came early to church on Sunday to shovel all the sidewalks! The ward loves him and he just fits right in.

Little Library + Book of Mormon
= Happy Sister Missionaries
A recent convert Elizabeth has a 9 year old son Alex who also wants to be baptized next month! Alex is pretty shy, so when we first brought it up he refused and talked about how crazy it is, but had a sneaky smile the whole time. Elizabeth kept prodding him and pointing out his little smile, and by the time we left he said "Ok! Ok! I'll be baptized!" He was so funny. We could see how bad he really wanted to, he's just nervous of the unknown like we all are.

Someone gave us a
Boat in a Bottle Kit!
Holy fun.
We now know the secret!
The calibrar of the people here is seriously so inspiring. There are so many people in just terrible situations, but they just grin and bear it. They have faith that it'll all work out, and it totally will; it's just so cool to see people really have the trust and patience to endure well to the end. It really inspires me to never complain. There really is always something good. Our attitude is a choice.

So I've been doing My Plan, which is a program that helps missionaries in their last weeks figure out their post-mission lives, and I've loved it. It's been cool to reflect on the things I've learned and set goals for the future. I
Round 2 lice treatment
remember Caleb Brown telling me after he got home from his mission that you know you're almost home when the milk expires after you do. I'm not quite there yet but getting closer everyday. I'm just so thankful for the change this has brought about in me. I know I'll keep developing and growing and becoming my whole life, but I've really learned a lot about who my Heavenly Father wants me to be up here.

Peace and Blessings
Sister Hepworth

Sister Taylor snuck a picture
as we were walking out of the store.
Probably my favourite picture ever.
P.S. So we were at the Dollar Tree today buying some cheap chocolate and I saw the balloons over in the corner. I looked at Sister Taylor, looked at the balloons, and ran over and bought myself a bright yellow smiley face balloon. I don't know what it is about holding a balloon, but it literally makes me so genuinely happy. Sister Taylor thought I was joking with how happy it was making me, but then she bought a balloon too and totally understood. You just can't be grumpy with a balloon in your hands. We have an experiment planed for this week involving helium and bubble gum. I'll fill you in more next week.

I seriously love it so much.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

In Like A Lion, Out Like A Lamb

She's two months in and I'm two months to go (ish)
So it snowed some more! I have no idea how much, but lots haha We visited an old lady in the hospital and when we talked about all the snow she said, "March always comes in like a lion and out like a lamb." This is true in more ways than one this week, but let me start from the beginning.

I'm out in Drayton Valley with Sister Taylor and we are literally having so much fun. Like, missionary work is fun man, but we're for reals just havin a pretty jammin' time out here haha Drayton Valley is a little town about an hour and a half away from Edmonton. In town the population is about 7,000 and with the outskirts there's about 4,000 more people. So Gridley-esc, but they have more than four stoplights haha The people out here are so nice. I mean, nice people are everywhere, but there seems to be an especially high population of them here. The ward was just recently bumped up from branch status last year. They're some pretty amazing people.

Linus the Louse
The more I think about it, the more Sister Taylor and I are like the same person haha I don't have anywhere near enough patience to list all the ways, but needless to say WE HOMIES. She's from Bismarck, North Dakota and this is her second transfer on the mission. We snack, we laugh, we snack some more haha It's seriously been such a solid week. We both just want to work our tails off so it's a perfect match. We've definitely seen miracles from putting in time to WORK and from doing the hard things.

On Tuesday, Sister Hollon and I got to go on Whyte Ave and street contact with the new missionaries again. It's seriously so fun. There was one girl that I talked to that said a bunch of her friends are actually on missions right now, but when I asked her if she knew anything about the church she said she didn't. When I asked her if she wanted to know she said she did. It made me think of all my friends that my whole life who knew I was Mormon, but that never really knew much more than that. I'm pretty pumped to come be a member missionary! 

I bore my testimony on Sunday about love and how it's the essence of the gospel.  When I got home I read my journal, and in last year's March fast and testimony meeting, I also bore my testimony on love. Love really has been the most important thing I've learned from being a missionary. I've seen the difference in people's lives when they let the Savior's love in and it's almost indescribable how wonderful it is to be a part of. I feel like the Grinch at the very end of the movie where they try to x-ray his heart and it breaks the scale. My heart feels like bursting it's so full of love for my Savior, for missionary work, for my family, for all the people I've had the privilege of being a part of their lives.

At transfers on Wednesday, we had one last performance of His Hands for all the missionaries and it was...tender I think is the word for it. Sister McSweeney and I had talked about how we were trying to just be numb to everything because if we let any emotion come, there were too many to be had for good and for sad. After the concert, we stood in the chapel and sang "I Know That My Redeemer Lives." I could hardly make sound I was so overcome with the Spirit. I went and gave Sister McSweeney a hug after and said it's hard to feel numb when you feel so much love.

I love you all. Thank you for all the support that you always show me.

Peace and Blessings
Sister Hepworth

Linus the Louse
P.S. So this other lion. Yesterday morning, Sister Taylor said "I have a really important question" after she got out the shower. She displayed a piece of toilet paper with a little bug trapped in one of the crevices. "Does this look like lice?" And thus began the most gong show of a day. Our iPad is pretty restricted in things it's allowed to do, but I decided to try and ask Siri what lice looks like, then we screamed.
Then we texted Sister Pattison and she called us and we all screamed again. We cancelled everything, bought lice treatment stuff, vacuumed the entire house, and bagged up our bedding and clothes to wash on high heat. Major shoutout to the Hewitt family right here. We went and did a gazillion loads of laundry at their house and they made us supper and gave us two servings of ice cream and they're just wonderful. By the time we finished all our laundry, we came home to nit pick the rest of the night away. When we had talked to Sister Pattison earlier in the day, she asked if we had been anywhere  dirty in the last few days.
Launder all the things
Well, such is the life of a missionary, we are often in rather sketchy and/or dirty places haha BUT I will say that I've gained a greater testimony of fasting. I always wish I had more time with one transfer companions to really bond, so I fasted that Sister Taylor would be able to really be homies with the 6 weeks we have together. Well I tell you what, if spending hours digging through someone's hair looking for bugs isn't a way to bond I don't know what is haha Literally all night one of us would randomly giggle because it would freshly sink in that we in fact had lice.

Puttin in the treatment stuff

We basically watched all the videos on Gospel Library last night

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Make it a Fire Hazard

Sister Morris is just the dang cutest.
So we had our last concert on Sunday. Lots of mixed emotions about that one, but as we were warming up 30 minutes before the concert, people were already starting to come sit in the chapel. We set up more chairs, and then went into a classroom to finish warming up. Some of the Elders came in 5 minutes before it was supposed to start and announced they opened up the second overflow and were setting up all the chairs including adding extra seats at the end of the pews in the chapel. We all started mildly freaking out that so many people were there when Sister McSweeney told them to do whatever they needed to, "make it a fire hazard!"

District picture Round 2
By the time we walked into the chapel, all the chairs were up and there were people standing in the back. The final count was over 700 people. Holy. Cats. So incredibly humbling. This has been such an incredible time of my mission. Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ and we got to do that through music this last month. It's cool to still be living the stories I know that I'll be telling my kids someday.

All the sisters in the zone 
got to go on a tour 
of the Alberta Legislature Building today. 
I find it kind of amusing 
that we learn nothing
about Canadian politics/government 

in American schools, 
but they learn all 50 states 
in schools in Canada
On Monday we went to a member's house with a recording studio in the basement, and professionally recorded 4 songs. Oh my goodness. We were listening to one of the recordings afterwards and I just have come to love all of this and all of these people so much. I don't even want to be sad about it being over. I just want to remember how much I've loved this. We also filmed the whole program on Monday, so I'll be able to remember forever because I'll still be watching it when I'm 80.

Transfers are here and of course there are changes everywhere, but life is so good! I'm basically out of time for today, but I'll fill you all in more about life and the likes next week.

Peace and Blessings
Sister Hepworth

That smoulder tho.
P.S. While we recording the program yesterday, we'd been singing for about 6 hours already and were running out of energy. Elder Saumweber decided we'd take a minute to re-energize, so we ran to the -10 Canadian outside. Elder Saumweber dared Elder Hunsaker to run and tackle a snowman, but then noticed that there were two. It came down to both of them running at top speed to the snowmen in the field. They both took out the head...with their heads. We went back inside with a very sore-headed Elder Hunsaker haha Unfortunately we were only halfway through recording, so some songs have a sore head and some don't. Even more unfortunate we recorded them out of the program order, so a big red spot on Elder Hunsaker's forehead is going to disappear and reappear throughout the videos.

The lady in the painting apparently went by "sister" ;D

Grand staircase up to the chamber that they write Albertan laws and stuff