Monday, September 23, 2013

Mum, PahPea, Family and Friends!

Ok, so I have to apologize right up front, this email is going to be insanely short due to transfers and all that we need to get done, I'm so sorry! So sorry about my quick responses and lack of details but I'll do better next week, I promise!:)
1.  TRANSFERS....what's up with that?!?
I'm staying here in Etobicoke with Sister Williams and Sister Arksey is going to Oshawa to train the new sister training leader sister Stats who came out with me:) 
2.  How cold is it getting there?
freezing, actually! not really...but seriously. I'm just a wimp. :) 
3.  Are you staying warm enough?  (translation - do you need anything?)
some more thick tights would be fantastic actually. preferably dark colors that are not black, I have like 10 of them. :) gray would be appreciated:), and yes they can have patterns, like the knitted ones. thanks!
4.  Pictures???
I am so sorry....I forgot the connection again. I'm sorry, so is my brain on transfer p-days! Apologies, next week for sure. 3rd times the charm, eh?:) 
5.  Any message for the Birthday girl (aka Grandma)?
6.  How is Roza?  Jorge?  Arlene?  Anyone else?
They're all doing well, plus a couple new investigators I'll expound on next week!:):):)
7.  Any packages?
YES!!! thank you SOOO much, all the candy is gone. :) haha I LOVE YOU and thank you so much for the journal, I was going to buy one today but don't need to anymore!:)

8.  When Sister Arksey and I heard about transfers, we...
realized how much we had to get done. haha!
9.  I've been SO excited to tell you about...

Well, I must head, and again, I apologize for the awfully short letter this week! Please forgive me but know that I love you all SOOO much! This Gospel is so true and it blesses all who will humble themselves before God and do what He has asked. I know this Gospel changes lives! why? because it's the truth! Because of that knowledge alone, let's go share it with everyone!:) how great is our calling!

Love for now and for ever,
Sister De Groot:)

Missionary Invitation: Read a Conference talk this week that is on a topic that has been on your mind lately. If you don't have one, then with prayer, select one, and then read it. :) How wonderful it is that we have the opportunity to hear from a Prophet of God! Let's prepare ourselves adequately to hear our Father's glorious direction for these, our times!:)

Monday, September 16, 2013

Doctrine and Covenants 50:44

Mum, PahPea, Family and Friends!

Hello, hello! I love hearing that you're all doing well! I am glad you are, since I pray for you each and every day!:) We are doing really well here in Etobicoke, the work is definitely moving along! we're implementing new ways to work with the ward and it is definitely making strides in the work! I love member missionaries, they're soo cool!:) yes. that means I love you all, as well!:) We had a wonderful zone conference this past week, my testimony grew in so many different areas!! I love how the Spirit teaches so much at once!! who knew my testimony could actually grow that much at once, eh?:)
alright, let's jump into.......
1. Are you sending pictures today? (I really hope the answer is YES!!)
I was going to until I realized I didn't bring my connection...sorry! next week!:)
2. Any message for Larissa, whose birthday is this week?
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SHNOOKUM!!!! I hope you have the greatest birthday in the whole wide world! You should, because I'm praying for you!:) I hope your roommates make you a giant cake and sing to you on your wonderful day of birth! :) I'll be doing the same! but with cookies. and we probably won't be singing since we'll be at a members home teaching a lesson...:) Love you lots, dear! happy birthday!!!
3. How were splits this week?
wonderful! I stayed here in Etobicoke for one and then went off to weston for another. I've discovered that you have to time travel VERY strategically because traffic here in Toronto is CRAZY!!!! haha our 20 minute commute sometimes ends up being an hour or longer! we're getting smarter, though, so don't worry!:)
4. Any feelings about transfers next week?
I don't think we're going anywhere, in all honesty. well, I hope not, at least! But hey, wherever the Lord wants me to go, I'll go! is it seriously transfer calls, again??? my goodness...where is time going......?
5. How did your presentation at Zone Conference go?
It was ok....because we taught at the same time as some zone leaders, we split the companionships and taught twice. the second one went much better, but my goodness it is so difficult to smoosh everything you want to say into 10 minutes so you can give the missionaries enough time to role play! It's a talent. one in which I'm learning VERY quickly!!! haha But it was good, we talked about keeping an eternal perspective while teaching our investigators so they understand that commandments and progression is a pattern for living rather than just up til baptism or a couple years after. It helped me recognize in my own life, why I live commandments and how I see it change my nature so that I may return to live with our Father in Heaven someday. I love how everything in the Gospel can be likened unto ourselves to help us learn and grow! :)
6. Any Ashley sightings?
7. How's Jorge?
Doing well! Sadly he wasn't able to come to church yesterday but we talked about General Conference a bit and he got really excited to hear the living prophet!!! WOOHOO!! greatest time in the world, as a missionary!!!!!:)
8. Any other investigators?
Roza: adorable sweet muslim lady, loves the Atonement!!:)
Arlene...found on exchange so I don't know her yet haha
9. Did any packages arrive this week?
nope but that definitely makes me want to go home and check our mailbox!!;)

10. My favorite study session this week was...
studying "His Grace is Sufficient" from this months Ensign. SOO good! That's my invitation for this week, is to read this talk but a couple of my favorite quotes from it are below;
-The miracle of the Atonement is not just that we can go home but that-miraculously-we can feel at home there.
-Grace is not achieved somewhere down the road. It is received right here and right now.
-There should never be just two options: perfection or giving up.
-Grace is not the absence of God's high expectations. Grace is the presence of God's power.
11. My favorite teaching moment was...
Teaching a less actives unbaptized daughter about prayer. It was so spiritual as we discussed what prayer does and can do for us. prayer is a wonderful tool that brings incredible blessings! how wonderful the tools our Heavenly Father gives that we may be close to Him!
12. I couldn't believe it when...
we did weekly planning and I wrote down the dates for week 5 of this transfer. IT'S MID-SEPTEMBER!!!??? ok. what??? I know this happens to me a lot, but seriously. this is getting insane...
13. I wish you could have seen...
The elders baptism yesterday. A less actives 2 young daughters were baptized and their family was so precious! and she's coming back to the church again! ah. so wonderful!:)
14. This week, I felt my Savior closest to me when...
When I received guidance on something that I've been praying about personally. It just built my testimony that my Heavenly Father is truly aware of me, that He knows me personally and will answer my prayers. God knows us perfectly, so when we don't know what to do about something, why not ask Him? he's our most perfect Resource!:)
15. The one thing I am hoping to accomplish this coming week is...
helping each person I contact feel the Spirit, by profoundly testifying of the message I am sharing. That's the only way people begin their conversion, is by a testimony from the Spirit. I know that, but I want others to feel of that as well. :)
16.  "A grateful heart...comes through expressing gratitude to our Heavenly Father for His blessings and to those around us for all that they bring into our lives." -Thomas S. Monson
This week I am most grateful for...
1. tights. because it's getting insanely cold already. ha!
2. the testimony of solid companions that bring the Spirit immediately!! so inspiring!
3. Missionary Tim Horton's run on the way to Zone Conference. mmmhmmm :)
4. President Scott's yielding to the Spirit in conferences to say exactly what I needed to hear!
5. My Savior's Atoning sacrifice. it is infinite. I testify that Jesus Christ not only sacrificed Himself for us, but that it was essential in our Heavenly Father's plan for us to return to live with Him someday. Many people truly do not have this knowledge, or refuse to believe it. But the thing is, we know this is true. I KNOW this is true. That is why I am on a mission. It's not because I want the stigma of a return missionary in the future, it's not because I know it'll be a good experience, it's not even because I want to improve my testimony, it's because I know that "this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. amen." 2 Nephi 31:21
This Work is eternal! and it's the only way our friends and loved ones can find peace in this life and eternal salvation in the world to come. that's why we share it; because we love others and because it's true, because it saves them. I know my Father lives, I know Christ lives, and I know they love us. I know this Gospel is true, and I know that when we entered those waters of baptism, we committed to assist in the spreading of His work. So let us rise up and do just that. I testify, there is no other way that will fill our lives with peace and joy than through the work of our God! Let us aid Him in this, His GLORIOUS work! :) How great is our calling!!!
Love for now and for ever,
Sister De Groot:)
Missionary Invitation: read the talk. :) page 35 in this months Ensign. you might want a journal next to you as well to write down thoughts and impressions, because lots will come! :) oh! and keep preparing for your General Conference get together!:) LOVE YOU ALL!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Alma 13:24

Mum, PahPea, Family and Friends!

HELLO!!! I hope you are all doing well, I sure am!:) We had a wonderful Stake Conference yesterday with Elder Baxter and my testimony grew so much from it, the Spirit was tremendous during the meeting!:) SO wonderful!:) Well, let's jump straight into some questions since I don't believe I have any shout outs today.....if I do....I'm sorry! my mind is a black hole when it comes to remembering special events...sorry!:)

1.  What was your favorite exchange of the week?
well since Wednesday, we've only gone on one so...that one!! :) I served in Weston with a new sister and she is just so cute!! She loves the mission so much and loves smiling every moment she can! Such a sweetheart!:)
2.  Did you ever figure out the Yvonne confusion?
nope. still confused. ha!
3.  Have you been able to meet with Ashley again?
Not quite yet, but mainly because we haven't been able to get down to that area in the past few days, we're going to try it out this week, so we'll do our best and if it's God's will, we'll find her again!:)
4.  Have you had the opportunity to talk in church recently?
No, but in all honestly...I'm perfectly fine with that!;) Talking in front of people without a companion isn't exactly my forte...
5.  What did you study about this morning?
I was studying the Doctrine of Christ and my purpose and role as a missionary, seeing as Sister Arksey and I are instructing on that at zone conference this week. I loved recognizing the dedication the prophets who recorded their words on the golden plates, had. I mean, they carved their words on golden plates! that must have taken FOREVER! but they understood it was a commandment from our Heavenly Father, therefore they submitted themselves to His will. How beautiful it is, their obedience, so that we may have another testament of Jesus Christ in our day!:)

6.  Something new I learned about myself this week was...
I give myself pep talks in difficult situations. :) It might sound weird, but that's how I cope. that, and I focus on my motto as a missionary: Thrive in awkward situations!:)
7.  I was so embarrassed when...
I contacted a lady right after petting an INSANELY smelly dog. We first talked to a lady who had a huge dog that was slobbering all over my skirt, so to keep him from doing so, I pet him a couple inches away from me, but boy did that dog smell rancid! After she told us she was uninterested, we went to talk to another lady behind her on the sidewalk. as we stopped and began talking, I realized that the dog was gone but that awful smell was still there and that it was coming from my hand! oh my goodness, I felt so awkward, cause there was seriously NO way to hide that aroma. She kept making the crinkled "what is that awful smell?" look on her face and me and I swear I was as red as a tomato, I felt SO bad! yeah, sure I could have explained why I smelled bad, but I didn't want it to become more awkward than it already was. ha. good times....
8.  I couldn't stop laughing when....
we relived that moment above. It took me 3 hand scrubs to get the smell completely off, by the way! haha
9.  I felt the Spirit so strong when...
I listened to the talks in Stake Conference yesterday by Elder Baxter of the seventy, and President and Sister Scott. I learned so much about the simplicities of the Book of Mormon and the plain and precious truths of our Heavenly Fathers restored Gospel. I love how the Spirit is manifest even when, and I feel the most powerful, we bear simple testimony. It's just so beautiful.
10.  I know that my Heavenly Father is guiding me because...
Everything that I lack and pray for strength in, is taught to me in a future experience. District meetings, Zone trainings, Stake Conference, church each week, contacts on the street, everything is said to me so that I can grow. I have no doubt that this is His work, so therefore, His Hand is seen in every aspect of His work!:)
11.  My favorite teaching moment this week was...
Teaching Jorge about the Word of Wisdom. He didn't quite understand God has commanded us to stay away completely from certain substances, but He said that if it was a commandment from Him, and that he could get closer to Him by obeying it, he would do it. What incredible faith he has! Definitely a testimony builder for me to always submit my will to God's whether I understand the reason behind it or not. Usually, we learn the reason behind it while we live it, anyways.
12.  One area I would like to improve on is...
my understanding of the Atonement. That and not being so hard on myself after a contact doesn't go "as planned". If I do all things with the Spirit, it will always work out, maybe not in the way we planned, but it will always work out!:)
13.  I am most grateful for...
the knowledge of the Godhead and the blessings that it brings to everyone who allows it. It's so simple; God is our Heavenly Father, we are His children, and He loves us. Because of His love for us, He sent His Son, Jesus Christ to atone for our sins so that we may have the opportunity to repent of our sins and, if we so desire, return to live with our Father. Because Christ is not literally next to us, He's allowed us a wondrous Gift, the Holy Ghost to be our constant companion and comforter to help us continue on the path back to God if we simply live worthy of His Gift. The way is already set, the price has already been paid, now we just need to do our part so we can fully access our Savior's atoning sacrifice and obtain eternal salvation. How simple and how beautiful our Father's plan is!
Well, I'm off again to continue to do the Lord's work in the Lord's way, and I'll invite you to do the same. There is no greater work than that of our Loving Heavenly Father! He lives and guides us, and he is preparing our friends to receive the glorious message of His restored Gospel! Let's share it with all those around us!:) How GREAT is our calling!!!!
Love for now and forever,
Sister De Groot:)
Missionary Invitation: General Conference is coming up, one of my favorite times of the year!!!:) Mostly everyone has a tradition they do for general conference, whether it's having a big breakfast, going to temple square, reading scripture, having a family gathering, whatever it may be, invite someone to attend. and if you don't have a tradition, spend this week making one up for your family! Then once that's set, invite those who do not have the Gospel in their lives quite yet! :) Remember, if it's done out of love, it will not be offensive! Love you all!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Life is like a Potato ~Alexis and Amanda Johnson

Mum, Daddy, Family, and Friends!

Ok hold up! I just found out some incredible news that I am so excited about!!! ALYSSA BAILEY IS GOING ON A MISSION TODAY???? WHAT?????!!!!! oh my goodness, capitalizing everything really doesn't show how excited I am but let's just say...I am SO excited!:) That's just so great!!! What wonderful news to start off a p-day!:) 
Let's just jump into this next area so I can share my quote for the day:)
1.  Where did you go on exchanges this week?
I did 3 exchanges here in Etobicoke with a few sisters plus one in Christie East area with Spanish sisters. I brushed up a bit on my Spanish from back in high school and, yeah.....thank heavens I'm not a language missionary. ha! :)
2.  What's the update on Chris?
can't get a hold of him...sad day. We're still trying though, doing our best!:)
3.  Jorge?
went out of town for a couple weeks...:(
4.  Yvonne?
ha interesting story we went for our appointment and when we got there, she looked like the same lady but without her wig on, and she was unable to pronounce her words as we met with her. I felt really bad because I couldn't understand what she was saying, nor could the sister I was on exchanges with, and in all honesty...I don't even know if it was her. She said that was her name but it wasn't Yvonne. So I dunno...I'm just really confused with that visit. 
5.  Did the package arrive with the book I made you?  (you'll know what I'm talking about if it did!)
OH MY GOODNESS YES!!! MOM! I LOVE IT!!!!!!!:):):) Thank you SOO much, it is the greatest thing ever! I read one letter every day at the beginning of my personally study, President Scott has incredible letters that are helping me so much so thanks again, it's wonderful!!!:) I LOVE YOU!!!!
6.  Speaking of packages, do you have to pay anything to get them?
sure don't!!!:) 
7.  Did you ever receive your new debit card from me?  (I haven't activated it yet, because I keep forgetting to ask if you got it....oops!)
oh right! haha eyup! I got it, thanks!!!:)
8.  Did you get to play sports last p-day?  If so, what?
nope, we spent the day with a couple sisters, and played guitar! mmhmm, yes please!:)
9.  Understanding that there are many aspects of missionary life, one of my very favorites is....
Just teaching everyone. I love when someone in the park wants to listen to you and you end up talking for 45 minutes, being able to share restored truth and then hearing them invite you back. That's when you know the Spirit was there, and you did something right. :)
10.  Sister Arksey makes me laugh when...
I wake up in the middle of the night and she's contacting me or doing follow up calls in her sleep:)
11.  I make Sister Arksey laugh most when...
I just asked her and she said "when do you not?" haha then she said "when she eats my food" nope! Haven't changed at all!:)
12.  My favorite teaching moment this week was....
Teaching Ashley on the side of the street. She's at a very hard time in her life right now and she said that she feels bad for putting God in the dark in her life. We bore her testimony about Christ's Atonement and how, no matter what situation we are in or how dark our life may seem, God is still there, and he will forever care about and love us. The Spirit was so strong as we talked about what Christ did for us and how we can access that cleansing power in our lives, and the yearning in her eyes for that comfort just melted my heart. The only difficult thing is, she doesn't have a place to live or a phone number, so it's going to be quite difficult to meet with her, but we decided on a place that we could continue to drop by and try to contact her, but in the meantime, she has a copy of the Book of Mormon and I will be praying for her every day. Until we meet her again, and even afterwards, please pray for her. :) Thank you so much, I am so grateful for your support and prayers on our brothers and sisters behalves! :) I can promise you, it is truly felt and deeply appreciated!!
13.  Knowing that my mom is itching to send another package, what I would really love to be included in it is....
haha you're so sister arksey's half birthday was last week....
14.  I am happiest when...
I choose to be! I truly am happiest when I share the Gospel. broad answer, but the truth. :)
well, I must be off, But I want to end with a quote I read this morning"...The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat." When I work my hardest I find, almost immediately, a sense of perseverance that I didn't know I had. I push myself harder and harder each day and as I do, I improve, little by little. It doesn't matter how long it takes for us to progress to the extent we'd like to, what matters is that we make the effort to do so rather than settling to be comfortable with where we're at. God says in 2 Nephi 28:30 that if we don't exercise the guidance and tools we've been given, it will be taken from us. In the past couple of days, as I've been striving to push myself even harder little by little, I've found that sense of perseverance pop up again.  I am so grateful that we have the opportunity to progress little by little each and every day, and I know that no matter what situation we're in and whatever we're trying to improve, we should forever remember and live up to the fact that it's much better to be the slowest one in the fast lane, than the fastest one in the slow lane. (insert swimming tidbit) :) I love you all so much and hope you have  a wonderful week! let's share the Gospel, eh? :) HOW GREAT IS OUR CALLING????
Love for now and forever,
Sister De Groot :)
Missionary Invitation: Follow up on the 21 days promise from a handful of weeks ago, if you haven't started, please start. if you have, begin to pray for ways to begin the sharing the gospel with those people who have stood out to you. :) It always works out, I can promise you!:) I LOVE YOU ALL!!!