Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Pie That Is Awaiting Us

I got to go on exchanges
with Sister Watts this week!!
She is incredible!
She's only been on her mission
for 2 weeks now,
but she literally is a natural.
She could have been out for 20 weeks.
And we coordinated on accident,
so I mean, that's incredible.
On Sunday the Spanish sisters called us to say they left us some pie on top of the fridge. We were so pumped and as we were leaving our house Sister Hollon included in her prayer "and we're thankful for the pie that is awaiting us." We got to church and totally forgot about the pie. It's still awaiting us.

It's been quite the information packed week haha We had a broadcast on Wednesday that changed a lot about missionary life. Our schedule has loosened quite a bit and we only report half of the information that we used to. It's been interesting getting used to it but I love it! It definitely promotes the idea that we're agents unto ourselves.

We also had Elder Echo Hawk come and visit our mission on Thursday and Friday. It was so awesome. I loved hearing his testimony and the testimonies of the missionaries I'm privileged enough to be serving with. The broadcast and Elder Echo Hawk both talked about being converted and how we do that. It's most definitely a process, but I think if my conversion level were on a graph, the time on my mission would have a pretty drastic spike.

Exchanging back :)
On one of the days this week (they kind of all run together in my head), we knocked a man's house and when he discovered we were mormon he started talking about how crazy Joseph Smith is and how if we did our homework we'd think so too. The reaction in that situation is usually to start trying to mildly argue or to start to question your own beliefs, or to just walk away. I started to mildly argue and Sister Hollon went with the walk away tactic.

My heavens. Part of me was frustrated that he would question my testimony or knowledge of the church, part of me was sad that he wouldn't even consider listening to the incredible truths we had to offer him, and for like a millisecond part of me wondered what it is that he knew that maybe I didn't about Joseph or the church. Which then led directly into an incredible thought process of what I do know. I don't know everything, but I know enough. I've received a personal witness through the spirit of God that God is my loving Heavenly Father, that Jesus Christ is my Savior and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is where They want me to be. Nothing else should or ever could persuade me otherwise.

In other exciting news Uttra passed her baptismal interview on Sunday!! She is so excited :D We're so happy for her. She talks about all the time the difference that she's seen in her and her son's life from learning about the gospel of Jesus Christ. We taught her about tithing and she literally had zero concerns. All she had to say was "Sure! I need all the blessings from God that I can get!" She's absolutely incredible.

Our first concert is tonight! We had a dress rehearsal yesterday and today's the real deal. It was kind of funny, I felt like I was in high school again getting ready for Beauty and the Beast or something. I'm not dressed as a tea pot this time though, don't worry haha We're all super excited. There are just so many wonderful things that are going to come from this. We can feel it every time we practice. Our song list is powerful. Miracles to come.

Peace and Blessings
Sister Hepworth

P.S. So I resurrected my high school habits of food snatching. I didn't mean to, but I guess old habits die hard haha Sister Hollon and I were standing in the hallway after dinner with Elder Echo Hawk and she was down to the last couple bites of her rice krispy treat. I looked over at Sister McSweeney and said "watch" which distracted Sister Hollon which made for the perfect opportunity to swoop in and snatch the rice krispy. Now being the expert I am at food snatching, I know that I had to stick in my mouth right away or she'dl just steal it back. Boom. I stuck that treat right in my mouth and I wish I could have had someone record Sister Hollon's reaction. Her face was bright red and had the most intense frown I've ever seen hahaha We spent the next 2 and a half minutes laughing hysterically. I don't even know how to accurately describe what was happening as I was trying to chew, but my goodness it was hilarious. She was like half tackling me while I was trying to not choke on the krispy I was laughing so hard.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

For Heaven's Sake

It's hard to make a 16 with ten fingers.
I still have no idea where time has gone.
My goodness. It somehow feels like last Tuesday was an eternity ago, but yesterday. I legitimately don't understand. BUT LIFE IS SO DANG GOOD.

Last week with the new missionaries was insane amounts of fun. The sister I went contacting with was just a natural. I handed her a card and said "your turn" and without hesitation she just grabbed it and started talking to everyone. We walked past a car dealership and showed these two guys a sign that says "Jesus Loves You." One guy kept pointing to the other but we couldn't understand so we just smiled and walked away. We went back and showed them a sign that said to check out Mormon.org. The one guy pointed at the other guy again and he mouthed "I am Mormon." Hahaha We literally laughed so hard.

Uttra is still so incredible. We're kind of in crunch time now trying to make sure we teach her everything before the 4th. She made the suggestion to us to like meet a bunch of times and is so dedicated to coming to church. She just loves it so much it's so fun.

This we went back over to an investigator's house only for the second time and he had read so much of the Book of Mormon. He opened with "sorry I didn't get to read very much" but he had actually read significantly more than any other investigator reading it for the first time than I've ever seen. He totally understands how important all this is. He said himself that he just needed to pray about it.

Sister Heredia
is training a new missionary!!
Oh my goodness
I was literally so pumped.
We taught our DJ Terry again this week. He just loves our guts haha He tries to get us to come to his shows all the time and we always remind him that we legitimately choose to not do that stuff for a year and a half haha We taught about the Book of Mormon and I just love talking about it. I've gained such a deeper testimony of the Book of Mormon as I've taught about it, studied about it, and had it answer my questions. It's literally one of my most treasured possessions. I thought about just last night that if there were a fire and I only had time to grab one thing, I would legitimately run for my scriptures.

His Hands starts soon! We have a mini performance on Sunday night and then our first full fireside is next Tuesday night! We're so excited. We've talked to so many people about it and members are so excited to invite their friends. We're going to be seeing some miracles.

Peace and Blessings
Sister Hepworth

P.S. On Sunday in our Gospel Principles class our teacher had us play Jenga throughout the lesson. Sister White had never played Jenga before, so she went up and started poking all the blocks. She at first was trying to sneakily hold up the tower as she kind of pushed it over. Our ward mission leader said "Sister White I think you're cheating." To which she responded "Shhh." Then she had no shame and she just grabbed the whole tower with her hand to grab the one block. We were all dying laughing. She was supposed to give a little spiritual thought after pulling the block out, so she tried to bring in the Spirit. We were all laughing too hard to even try to listen. She finally gave up and just ended with "And for heaven's sake don't cheat." 

We had mini group funny pictures instead of one huge group funny pictures.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

You Walked Didn't You?

​Someone dug a tunnel through a giant pile of snow haha
Happiest of happies: Sister Hollon and I are going to stay together another transfer!! :D So I don't remember if I've talked about this yet, but we're going to be a part of a travelling fireside! We and 8 other missionaries are going to be putting on a musical firesides through the whole month of February all over the city. Oh my goodness we are SO PUMPED. We've been practicing for a couple weeks and it is going to be absolutely incredible. Fun fact I'm breakin out my flute playin' again :D

On Wednesday we traded our car with the Coronation Park Elders for their bus passes just to kind of shake things up. We literally picked the worst day ever to be walking haha The wind was goin so hard. It was blowing off all the snow on rooftops and on the sidewalks and what have you. When we were walking against the wind with the snow blowing into our faces it literally felt like someone was throwing rocks at our face haha

​Sister Hollon hit 6 months
so we got some celebratory ice cream :D
We had forgotten to take our instruments home before trading and we didn't want to leave them in the cold car, so we asked the Elders to just run them home for us. Small problem, we don't know our address, but we gave them incredible directions and descriptions and figured it would be fine. They called us when they turned down the street for more descriptions about which house was ours. They had gotten out of the car with our instruments and started walking down the street looking at all the houses. While explaining that it's a yellow house with a brown gate and suchly things Elder Higham said said "Oh hang on sisters, we have to talk to the police." What.

Side note, our neighbor was arrested a couple weeks ago. Apparently the cops have been watching our house ever since haha

For the next five minutes we just heard random blurbs of the conversation. "We're just dropping some stuff off for our friends." "They don't know where they live." "Just a flute and a violin." "Missionaries." "We're on the phone with them, do you want to talk to them?" When we talked to the Elders later they said that when the cops asked what was in the cases and they said just instruments, the cops made them open up the cases so they could inspect them hahaha

​Sister McSweeney left her iPad
after one of the practices.
Dangerous thing to do.
The cops let them continue on and we kept trying to explain which house is ours. Unfortunately Elder Higham is colorblind and Elder Cheng doesn't have the best English. We would say "yellow" and Elder Higham would say "Elder Cheng which house is yellow?" They found a house that fit all the descriptors and tried to unlock the door. We explained that it was the gold key and Elder Higham said "Elder Cheng which key is gold?" We talked for another solid 5 minutes listening to them unsuccessfully trying to open the door. We tried to re-explain in every way we could think of to put the key in the keyhole, turn the key, and unlock the door while they kept trying to tell us none of the keys fit. At one point Sister Hollon tried to quietly say just to me "Does he not know how to use a key??" To which Elder Higham responded "YES I do know how to use a key, none of these work!"  We finally gave up and had them drop the instruments off at the church.

When we met to get our house key back from them they showed us a picture of the house they were trying to get into. Oh my. They tried to break into someone else's house. It's a cream house with a brown gate on the side 4 or 5 houses from the end of the block with some steps going up to the front door. All the same features of our house except that it's cream haha In all fairness cream and yellow would be really hard to distinguish if you were colorblind.

​District picture
Later that night, we were eating dinner with Sister White and she knew we were walking and didn't have our house key. She kind of held us hostage for a while until we could get ahold of the Elders to figure out how to get our key back. She is so sweet and was just worried that it was so cold and windy. She tried to convince that no one wanted to talk to us in this weather anyways haha She finally relented with driving us to the church so we could walk a little ways to our next appointment. She said to call her when we were done and if we still didn't have our car, she would come pick us up. Well the appointment finished and we just started walking home because we didn't want to inconvenience her.

A couple minutes into the walk she tried to call us, but we ignored it because we knew she would know that we were walking. We called her back at 9:40ish and she didn't even let us get out a hello or anything haha The conversation went like this:

White: How did you get home?
Us: Oh we're home safe and sound.
White: You walked didn't you?
Us: ...
White: You walked!!
Us: ...
White: Oh you bad girls.
Us: But we got our key back

We were laughing about it the next day and she said that she knew we walked the second we didn't answer the phone: "You saw it was me and just put that phone back down. 'We don't want to phone her right now. She'll know we're walking.'" Hahaha we're literally like bffs with Sister White. It's so great.

So missionary work and stuff, but this email is super long now haha Just know that I am alive and well and we have our car back ;D We also get to go street contacting with the new missionaries arriving today!

Peace and Blessings
Sister Hepworth

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Would They Dare?

​Literally wanted us
to drive right through the houses.
I got to go on another exchange with Sister DeMillard this week :D It was our third round haha We always have so much fun together though! We knocked on a guy's door, offered a cool video to watch about the New Year and he said, "Oh man, sorry, but I'm making a grilled cheese right now." Ya know, I can't even be mad. Grilled cheese sandwiches are an important part of life. We got ice cream and fries and our GPS app on our iPads told us to cut through a field and some houses to get where we needed to go haha It was a great day!

So much fun :D
Back in the end of November Sister Van Vleet and I knocked on a lady's door and she said she was busy making cookies (I seem to be noticing a trend) but that she wanted us to come back another time. Oh my goodness we went back and her name is Freda and she is incredible. We would talk about going to church or reading our scriptures or praying and then she would say "Well I better start doing that then!" She literally committed herself to come to church. We are so excited!

​We have twin CTR rings :D
We met with a man named Terry again this week and he is so flipping awesome. We taught him the plan of salvation and he just loved everything we had to say about it. As we were leaving he set up another appointment with us and then invited the member that we brought to come along again himself!
Every time we explain any mission rules though he complains so much haha "You're a bunch of teenagers! If you want to go home at the end of the night and watch Star Wars you should be able to do that!"

Charlene was finally back in town this week and she came to church! It was so good to see her again after her being gone for so long. She's recommitted to baptism and the ward sounds excited to help her! It was so fun to be able to teach her. It was so obvious that she was really feeling the Spirit. She kept talking about how meeting with us makes her feel happy and my little heart just kept melting every time.

Sister Hollon and I were listening to I Love the Lord this morning which is 2 Nephi 4 put to the song of Be Still My Soul and oh my heavens I love it so much. 2 Nephi 4 is one of my favorite chapters and Be Still My Soul is one of my favorite songs. I just feel so empowered every time I read or listen to any and all of the song or the scripture.

I'm so sorry I know a million other things have happened this week I just don't have the patience to keep thinking of them and typing them out.

Peace and Blessings
Sister Hepworth

P.S. We went to drop off a cake to a family in the ward and our plans were rather foiled. Snow is not conducive to sneakiness. We tried to casually go up the ramp attached to their porch, but every step we took was a crunch. We put the cake down, rang the doorbell and ran back down the ramp. We made it halfway down the block and turned around to watch them come to the door. They never came, so we went back and knocked figuring the doorbell didn't work or something. I knocked and ran, but they still didn't come. We went for round 3, but had to wait for their neighbor to go inside because we didn't want him to see us. Two girls in giant black coats running away from a house seems suspicious haha Sister Hollon was stuck poised on their front steps for a solid 2 minutes. I was waiting down on the sidewalk so there weren't as many footsteps running away. The second Sister Hollon knocked the door flew open and the member said "GOTCHYA." I booked it. I was literally halfway down the street when I looked back and saw that Sister Hollon was still standing on the porch laughing her head off. I went back up and they heard the doorbell, but also heard us run away so they figured it was a prank. When they heard us coming back up for the second time, they watched us but didn't come to the door because she wanted to see "would they dare come back for a third time?" Well we did. Missionaries are persistent. They were gonna get that cake.

 Rock through the dimensions

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

I Already Know It's True

​I learned how to make bannock this week! 
Ya know, I'm sure you're all sick and tired of hearing how fast time is going by, but this is a real thing. I don't understand where on earth time has gone. ​I got to be with Sister Waite on her first exchange yesterday and we got a call from the mission office in the middle of a role play during companionship study to ask me what airport I plan on flying home to. WHAT. I have some good goals for the rest of my mission though, don't fret. Imma keep goin strong to the end.

Sunday was so crazy! We had a new investigator Waylind come to church for the first time and he's planning on being baptized end of March! We're so happy fro him. The ward was great in supporting him and he is so sincere in wanting to know what God wants him to do. He told his friends he wanted a church to go to and stay so his friend referred him to President Pattison who referred him to us. He's seriously so great.

​New Year's Eve with Dan and Chantal Wood.
They are the ultimate member missionaries
and are one of the cutest couples I've ever seen
Sunday morning the Coronation Park Elders called us and said someone was going to be at the church at 1:00 expecting to pick up a Bible. We had totally forgotten when a member came in to the chapel and said someone was looking for us in the foyer. We ran back out and unfortunately didn't have an extra Bible with us, but we pulled out the Book of Mormon and started teaching him about and he said, "Oh, that's the one I wanted." Well perfect! We were talking about how if he prayed as he read then he would be able to know by the Holy Ghost that is was true and he responded, "I already know it's true." Well perfect!

​So it's hard to read, but the guy's sign says
"The experience will move you,"
as he's shooting finger guns.
In Sunday School on Sunday we were all going around and introducing ourselves and Uttra said something along the lines of "Hi, I'm Uttra. I've been coming to church and joined about two months ago." Sister Hollon and I looked at each other and have plans to speed up her teaching by a million so she can be baptized haha She already has the mindset that this is her church. I love it so much. She is so great.

We taught Anthony about patriarchal blessings on Saturday and you could see it on his face that he wants one so bad. I love watching him progress in the gospel. Every new thing that we present to him about the gospel he's always so hungry for more. His testimony is just incredible.

​Sister Waite and I had matching socks!
Going on an exchange with Sister Waite was ridiculous amounts of fun. Literally we just laughed all day. It was about -20 yesterday and we had a couple solid hours of tracting planned, but we seriously had a blast. She's an awesome missionary and it was such a blessing to get to spend the day with her. We saw an investigator we hadn't been able to see in a couple months and had a great lesson with Albert and the kids. I was trying to keep track of the funny things that were happening yesterday so I could tell you all about them, but there were too many. Just know, I laughed. Lots.

Sister Hollon has this cute tradition every New Year to make a wish, set a goal, and make a promise to God. It was really fun and very reflective for me looking at this next year for me. My promise was basically just to seek out the will of God and do it, whatever it is. That's something I've really tried to learn how to do in my missionary work, so it will definitely apply to the next three and a bit months. But I want that to be how I live my life all the time, doing whatever God wants me to.

Peace and Blessings
Sister Hepworth

I noticed that I accidentally bit my toast
into the shape of an inukchuk
(spelling? I don't know, google it.)
this morning.
I was literally so happy.
P.S. So we were tracting yesterday and we we both needed to pee so bad. This is a poor circumstance to be in when you've already been laughing all day. We just finished tromping through the snow like crazy people as we walked up to one of the last doors. We were both standing there trying to compose ourselves when we looked down and saw these super fancy tiny colorful decorative feet that looked like they were trying to support Hitler. Ohhhh my goodness we about peed our skirts. We giggled about the festive swastika feet the rest of the day.