Tuesday, January 20, 2015



I'm so glad you got to see We are Marshall!!! Because now I am Marshall!!! I can't wait to see it! I'm also super super jealous you got to ski. My heart just wants to go skiing so bad. Those were such good times going as a family. I also can’t wait to eat at your newly-found Vietnamese place when I get home! I have to say, though, that the people feed us so awesome here in Bluefield. Yesterday we went to correlation meeting and we didn't expect to get fed but Sister M------ is a crazy awesome cook and loves to feed people and she said, "Y'all hungry?" and proceeds to make us the most delicious omelets I've ever eaten in my life. And it was Sunday. . . and it was breakfast food. . . I can't tell you how happy that made me! Being with the M------‘s----man, it just felt like home! I was full and they were asking me if I wanted more and I said, "no, thank you so much though," and Brother M------- (he's hilarious) said, "Have some more, you're too skinny, you look poor." Haha. Church was cancelled yesterday because the wind blew the power out. It was super depressing as a missionary. It was even worse because we had two investigators coming!

I told you about the family we are teaching who are into archery.  They have a little land with archery targets all set up all over. The husband wears this awesome bracelet made out of bullet casings. He's really, really sarcastic and kind of has a sense of humor like Dad's—except a little meaner----but it's awesome because I know how to deal with it and I like it!  His wife is such a sweetheart! 

 So this last week we were at the rest home with Sister S------, a lady we visit. She was gasping for breath when we got there and I couldn't really tell, but I kind of had a feeling she was going to die soon, but I kind of brushed the feeling off because I had no knowledge to base that feeling on. Her niece was there, and the niece is probably in her 50’s.  We talked to her a bit and comforted her as she cried, and she just kept saying that she wished the Lord would just take her aunt. The niece had to leave to go make some phone calls, so we stood there with Sister S------ for a bit until I said, "Let's say a prayer," so Sister Lichtenstein offered one and pretty much asked that she could be taken out of her pain. After the prayer we both felt like we should sing to her, so we did. We sang the first song together then Sister Lichtenstein wanted to sing one I couldn't sing.  Sister S-----'s breathing kept getting slower and slower until after a few gasps. . . it just stopped. Her eyes were twitching,  and deep inside I knew she was gone, but it was the first time I had ever seen someone die and I was a little distressed so I kept telling myself she had just fallen deeper asleep. 

After the song finished we looked at each other and knew we needed to go get a nurse. We got one, and she looked into the room and immediately was like, "Oh yeah, she's gone." Things then got a little hectic and more nurses came but when just the first one arrived, she looked at us and said, “Do y'all want to pray?” And so we held hands with those two nurses and said a prayer of thanks and love for Sister S------. It was really, really beautiful. I'm honestly having a really hard time finding words for it because it was so. . . spiritual I guess, and peaceful. But at the same time it was a little shaking. Luckily it was the last thing we had scheduled that night and we were able to go home after. We walked out of the nursing home with our arms around each other. We were able to be with a beautiful woman as she passed through the door from this life into the next, and it was beautiful. It makes the plan of salvation even that much more real to have that experience. It was also interesting, because at one point while Sister Lichtenstein was singing, I just thought of Matt. Out of nowhere. He just came to mind. I feel him often taking such good care of me :)

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Christmas in the WVCM

Back to my roots.  Do I look like the great-granddaughter of a sheepherder and a farm flock owner?
I believe these are Dorsets, and they belong to my Bishop.


Talking to y'all on Christmas was the best thing of my life!!!!!!! It was such a good day, and the people of Bluefield made it great for us.  Thank you so so so much for all the Christmas stuff!  You spoil me.  We had a really good week and exchanges were AWESOME!!!  I actually ended up going to Blacksburg with Sister Hutchings, and it was so helpful! We had a  district meeting while we were there and the district leader gave me a blessing, then yesterday I spoke in church.  It's been a whirlwind here, but I love it.

Exchanges were so much fun!
Sister Frehner from Instagram, Me, Sister Lichtenstein, Sister Hutchings

Our cool gift from President and Sister Salisbury--a temple recommend holder

Monday, January 5, 2015

District Meeting in a Cave

Sister Lichtenstein, Me, Elder Garrett, Elder Davis
Elder Johnson, Elder Larson


We went caving for our district meeting! We had a great spiritual meeting in this cave, and after the meeting we did a little exploring and it was one of the most fun things of my life. It was actually super claustrophobic and they were going through teeny tiny spaces and it was sort of freaking me out a lot, but the elders were super helpful. At the end as we were going back out I touched the wall and it starts squeaking . . . so I'm thinking, “that's weird,” and Elder Garrett is behind me and starts cracking up, so I look where I had touched and there's a bat!!!!! I totally put my hand on bat!  

We also got to do service this week with a guy in our ward helping him tear down this old movie theater! It was a blast! We helped take up carpet and the elders were flying all over up on scaffolding tearing down stuff on the walls. It was hilarious to see how happy the destruction made them. Afterwards we had a fun dinner all together at Brother S---------‘s. This really is the coolest area ever. Our ward made these HUGE Christmas boxes for each missionary filled with food and treats and stuff. The members here take such good care of us!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Happy Heart

The new Bluefield Family:  Elders Erickson, Rueda, Tullis, and Hadfield
Sister Lichtenstein, Santa, and Me


Adjusting to Bluefield is going well. This week has been much easier then expected, and I can literally feel my prayers and the prayers of others working. I  got to have a great talk with Sister Frehner (from Instagram!) who is my STL.  The STL's are really, really good at taking care of me.  Last night we got to have dinner at our ward mission leader's home.  The ward mission leader is the father-in-law of the bishop.  The bishop is a sheep farmer and the ward mission leader is a cattle rancher. (The ward mission leader had to leave dinner early to go feed :)) We had dinner with the two families at their farm and we just all sat laughing and talking around the big table and eating great southern food and, oh gosh. . . my heart was so happy. This area is incredible.

Sister Reed did amazing work here, so we have some great investigators lined up.  We are teaching a lady who is all ready to get baptized, she just needs to get a new job that will allow her to come to church on Sundays.  

P.S. This week we were in the home of this less active lady who has a son who we are kind of teaching because he's not always there. This kid and I just hit it off and we're laughing and talking about the Book of Mormon and what not. We're sitting after our little lesson and we're about to watch the He is the Gift video. They have five pit bulls and two of them are on my lap, so I'm sitting there with these pit bulls and this crazy little shirtless kid by my side and this wonderful woman who has been to hell and back on the other couch who has let me into her home and into her life even though we met just an hour before, and the thought comes to me, "This is your butterfly." 

The tunnel through the mountain that we have to go through to get to the Bishop's house

My desk in the apartment

Fun thing about this apartment--because Sister Pierson left for home from this apartment, a lot of
her stuff is still here and I recognize it as hers. It makes me feel even more at home.
This made me so happy!  This is my companion Sister Long (Morgantown) who transferred to Ashland, and baptized this sweet lady that Sister Boldrin and I taught in Ashland more than a year ago!

Friday, January 2, 2015


Goodbye Huntington


Well, to say the least, I'm deeply in love with this area already. Bluefield. It's heaven. I just took Sister Reed's place (my MTC companion) so she talked me up and Sister Pierson had just been here and apparently she talked about me, so they already know and love me here. It was actually so cool to come into a ward where everyone already loves you! And this area is beautiful beyond words!!!

I am really missing Sister Maddox! It was hard to leave Proctorville, and I don't understand it fully, but God has such a perfect plan. He puts us into people's lives and they into ours at perfect times and for perfect reasons.

Sister Maddox, Me, and F-------

The Last Supper at our Ward Mission Leader's Home

So hard to leave our investigators

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Wonderful and Crazy and Awful


This last week has been one of the craziest of my life. Wonderful and crazy and awful. I'm getting transferred. They are completely shutting down our area because there aren't enough sisters to go around.  We're down six sisters this transfer, so three areas had to be shut down completely. Gosh. My heart is  broken. There's been a lot of crying these past few days. I'm going to Bluefield, West Virginia. Sister Pierson served her last transfers there.  Bluefield itself is going to be a blast!

Also, this week D------ our atheist and his family came back from their trip to Disney World. The whole family has just taken us in. His niece G---- did a little dance and was so excited to see us again. They got us these adorable plates as a gift from their trip, so they give them to us, and are showing us the videos they took, and I almost lost it because I knew we would have to break the news that we were both leaving. It was heartbreaking. I get choked up just thinking about it. I've never loved people like I've come to love these people out here. I also think that I'm going to leave so much of my heart in these hollers and hills that I'm going to have nothing left of my heart to come home with.

In preparation to leave, we have been getting all our records ready and leaving elaborate notes on everyone for the elders who will take over our area. Elder Signs is getting Elder Steed back and they will take half our area and Elder Markowski and his new companion will take the other half. It's actually really cool though, because the people each of them will be gaining are perfect matches. God knows what he's doing. 

Thanksgiving was AWESOME. We spent it with our favorite older lady Sister P-------, whose husband died about two years ago. Thanksgiving morning was spent playing football with all the Huntington missionaries and the 1st and 2nd Wards here. It was a blast! Since it was also my birthday, everyone made that super great too. Also this week, we got to do a booth at Marshall University. It was so fun talking to interesting people and giving out cards, but I actually got to talk to one girl who was SUPER interested.  It was great to be able to give her a Book of Mormon.  

Have you seen the new "He is the Gift" video? It's the best thing to ever hit the internet. The church is going crazy and taking over youtube for a day and putting up a billboard in Times Square.  Big things are happening. This really is the hastening of the work. I don't know if you can feel it where you're not as deep in the mission field, but this is huge. Just like Elder Nielson said, what is going on now is up there with things like the restoration. This is a BIG deal. Our mission saw 200 baptisms last year. This year, we will see 300! Can you believe that? That's multiple wards!!! West Virginia was the last place in the US to get a stake, and when you look at the map, it's the biggest black hole without a temple, so that kind of growth is amazing, and more importantly, it's changing lives.

Best conversation from this week: We go to our investigator's house and his granddaughter is there. She looks at us and she's says, "Are these Blessers? Did they come to
bless the house?"
J----- the investigator: "Well sort of. They're missionaries. They were here last week too, remember?"
Granddaughter: "What??? How many times are you gonna get this house blessed????"
Bahahahaha!  I love it here!

Huntington. . .My Happy Place!
I'm going to miss this girl!
Watch this movie--it's a huge big deal here.