Monday, January 26, 2015

I shook his hand...‏

“Only faith that He suffered for our sakes will give us the strength to endure to the end.”—Elder Robert D. Hales,

Well family, your theory was half right.. Ha I am staying in Westerville, which in mission language means I will "die " Here. Sister Burningham got transferred and my new companion is Sister Parkes! She is wonderful! I love her already! She is 19 from Rigby Idaho. She has been on her mission for 10 months now. She is really tall and like to play volleyball. She is great! So that is nice. 

It is weird going into your last transfer. I was fine and now all of the sudden I have become emotional. Whenever we watch a mormon message I cry. 1st because I am going to be so sad when I dont get to be a full time missionary anymore and second because THIS IS MY LAST TRANSFER!! It is scary! ha 

This week has been awesome. I accompanied the Elders in our ward in sacrament meeting with the flute. It was really good.
Me and my new companion Sister Parkes
our "OH MY GOODNESS WE JUST SHOOK AN APOSTLES HAND" picture!
Also Elder Christofferson came last night for a missionary fireside!! It was perfect. I got to sing in the missionary choir. AND I got to shake His hand.
 It was sweet!! It is so amazing how strong the spirit is when an apostle speaks! He talked about baptism and not waiting to receive the blessings that can come from it. It was perfect for our investigator Gail!! 

Also we are still teaching the 12 year old girl and she is working to be baptized on the 28th of February. We are also hoping to have Gail be baptized in February... Well that is my hope since I can only be here if it is in February. ha ha 
Well life is good my family and friends. I hope that all is well at home. It snowed last night and the roads are slippery here. at the beginning of the week when we were exercising outside i slipped on black ice. I have a bruises all up and down my hip and knee ha it is fine though that is life:) 

love you all
Sister Zwahlen 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Last Transfer Week‏

Family and Friends,

We find out on Wednesday what will happen with transfers. oh yea did I mention. This is my last transfer?? It is so weird. I will let you know what happens next week when I email again. 

THis week has been pretty great! I don't really remember what has happened so sorry this might be a short one. I do remember that OSU won!! That was a nice way to start off the week and everyone was pretty happy. That night we had our weekly Book of Mormon study group and then they all had to go to watch the game so we did family history for the rest of the night. It isn't a good idea to knock doors during the game! That would do more harm than good. 
Tuesday I was on exchanges with Sister Russ in her area! It went well. They don't have a car so she had planned to find all day out in the cold and we had a member drive us to the area which was far from everything. ha after about 2 and a half hours of knocking doors and not really talking to anyone. I told her that we needed to find a gas station for hot chocolate. It was the best idea. She made calls to confirm appointments while we drank our hot chocolate and defrosted. 
Thursday we had another exchange. I was with Sister Chapman from Australia. I was in Westerville this time. It was a really good exchange as well. We met with a lady named Rose who never leaves her house and she cried because she loves when we come over. She doesn't have much company and she was so grateful to have someone to talk to. It really is a rather sad situation because she isn't that old. I think she is in her 30's. 
Sad Sad Sad, oh yes and this week we got called and asked if we could come and pick the lice nests out of some ones hair. I almost freaked out. I didn't know what to do. So sister Burningham kindly told her that we weren't comfortable with that. Oh she is an angel sent from above I am so glad that she told her no. I know that is mean, but I really don't want lice.  
Well I guess that is about it for right now, we are just working hard and loving life and anxious for transfers!! I love you all and hope you have a great week!!

Love 
Sister Zwahlen

Monday, January 12, 2015

BRRR Winter decided to come!‏

Winter is here in Ohio, so I am grateful that it came a couple months late. It brings horror flash backs to last winter during the polar vortex! but it is not that bad. just in the negatives with wind chill. 
This is how we stay warm in the Ohio cold.
"The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead and remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives." Elder Holland

This week has been really good and for some reason on my list I have a lot of things to write about. I dont know if I will get to everything. ha but here we go I will do my best! 

Something that really has stood out to me is how inspired our plans have been. There have been several experiences that have shown to me how aware of everyone God is and how he uses us to reach out to others. The first experience:  We had planned to go and see a Less Active but our plans were behind and we almost didn't go but we decided to go. She is an older woman who lives by herself. As we pulled up we noticed that her driveway hadn't been shoveled and that her car was covered in snow. We knocked on her door and asked if we could clear the snow for her. She let us. We have been there before but something was different this time. She was kinder and talked to us a lot more than normal. Sister Burningham and I both left feeling as though we needed to be there. It wasnt until Sunday though that we understood better. Her visiting teacher came up to us and said "Thank you so much for helping her out. She called me and expressed how grateful she was. She has been really sick and didnt know how she was going to get it done on her own. She had just gotten out of bed and was getting ready to do it herself when you sisters knocked on her door!" What a blessing. I know that we dont always get the opportunity to know how we are able to bless others, but having those moments when you do makes what we do so much more rewarding. 
The next one was, our plans fell through and we didnt know what to do so we decided to call people in our phone who we didnt know and had been put in by other missionaries. So we started calling and found several people who wanted to meet with us. One in particular was a lady named Kim, we found out that she lived out of our area so we had other sisters go visit her! They called us and told us that she was so prepared. She told them how she had been thinking about how she needed to go to church and had remembered the missionaries giving her a book of mormon so she went to go look for it. When she came back she saw that we had called and she called us right back! She accepted baptism! Oh life is so cool!! 
Ok so a couple funny stories. We are teaching a girl named Winter. She is 12 and really great! So we taught her with her member friend and they got on the topic of "One Direction". They are starstruck to say the least. So I asked them if they were obsessed? They quickly responded " We arent obsessed we are dedicated!" ha ha it is so funny to watch them they squeal at everything and almost die when they talk about them! ha
Also you know how you hear about
missionaries going to other countries and having ladies breast feed in front of the missionaries like it is no big deal?? Yep we had that experience this week. It was awful. Life is so awkward sometimes!! Also remember the 18 year old boy who thinks we are cute? We went over this past week and he was drinking straight vinegar from the bottle!! Um I think something is wrong with him ha ha 
Ok I guess I didnt have that many stories after all. It has been a great week though. and Next week are transfers! I will probably stay and Sister Burningham will probably get transferred! We are anxious to find out next Wednesday! I hope that you all have a great weeek this week and stay warm!! Love you all!

Enjoy the game tonight! Go Buckeyes!
Sister Zwahlen

Monday, January 5, 2015

Happy 2015! Bucks Vs Ducks!‏

Happy New Years Everyone!! I hope it has been a great one!! I cannot believe that it is already 2015!! Its crazy! 

"The Lord has a plan for us in this life. He knows us. He knows what is best for us. Just because things are going well does not mean that we should not from time to time consider whether there might be something better. If we continue to live as we are living, will the promised blessings be fulfilled?" -Carlos A. Godoy

First off, Thank you mom for the New Years Package!! It was a surprise to get! ha It was really fun to get, we took it to the members home that we have New Years Eve Dinner with. So we counted in the New Year at 8:30 then did poppers and took pictures then Sister Burningham and I left and went to bed!! No better way to start off the New year. ha
We also have started doing a Book of Mormon Study group for the Recent Converts and Investigators. We have been working with and investigator named Gail. She has been coming to church  for almost a year now. She is what we call a dry mormon. but she is coming to the Book of Mormon Study groups. We have only had one so far, but we got a really good turn out so we are going to keep doing them. 
This week has been a really good one!! For our area we have been praying for and increased amount of faith, especially in our finding. We wanted to be more optimistic and trust more that the people we were talking to were prepared for our message of the restoration. While on Exchanges with Sister Garza we knocked on a door and the lady pulled into the driveway right as we were knocking. We talked to her about the Book of Mormon for a few brief moments and set up a return appointment. I watched as we walked away and the lady wasnt home for more than a couple minuets before she left again. The first miracle of knowing that we were at the right place at the right time. The next miracle happened as Sister Burningham and I went back for the appointment and taught the first lesson. It was such a spiritual lesson. One of the most spiritual that I have had in awhile. The spirit filled the room with love and because the spirit was there we were able to boldly testify. It was such a blessing and we are very excited to see her again today. I know that Heavenly Father answers prayers and I also know that he has a sense of humor. We prayed for faith and the woman's name was Faith. He literally gave us Faith. I still need to work on the attribute of faith as well. ha ha

Last but not least, I hope you all have heard about the Buckeyes beating Alabama! and now we are going to the National Championship, Playing the Oregon Ducks.  Remember how Buckeye Football is a religion here? Yea it is some serious stuff everyone is freaking out and talking about making the Game Day a holiday with no school. Ha people in Ohio, really have pride in their teams and state! It is great, unless you are trying to knock doors during a game. ha 
Well I guess that is about all for this week!! Love you all!! Have a great week!!

Love,
Sister Zwahlen

Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy New Year!!‏

I cannot believe the 2015 is right around the corner!! That is so weird to me! I remember last year thinking. "man 2015 seems so far away.. it will never come" and looky looky its here!! 

"Look ahead and remember that faith is always pointed toward the future." -Elder Holland

This past week has been really good. I mean you cant complain when you have had a Christmas something everyday in the week!! That has been a blessing. It was wonderful to see the family!! It was also weird, I always kind of think its awkward. I never know what to say. but It is worth the awkwardness to see you all!! Christmas eve this year was kind of an uneventful one. We had a dinner appointment with a couple in our ward.. ha it was a night full of talking about financial planning and I dont even know what else. ha it was awkward. The food was really good though. Sister Burningham and I kind of went into a depression after dinner because we didnt have anywhere to go, so it was depressing but it all worked out. When we got home we watch the church video "Noras gift". It made us feel better ha. 
Christmas was good. We got to skype and open presents!! Thank you so much for all of you who sent Christmas memories. They were a perfect start to my Christmas day! I really appreciate you taking the time to write them down. 
Later Christmas day we had dinner with a member and after that we had dessert with several other families(they were all at one place) That was really fun. We also stopped by to see one of our investigators. She wasnt home but her mom was. she let us right in and it was a really neat experience where we were able to talk about our Savior and how we can overcome all of our challenges through him. It was such a blessing to bring that Christmas spirit. I love when we get to have experiences like that they make everything right and happy!! 
The rest of the week was filled with Exchanges with some sisters. Those are always so fun to work with other sisters! We are working with a man named Tek, He is awesome and he is reading the Book of Mormon. He wanted to come to church but his son threw a fit and didnt want to come so he didnt get to come. next week. Also we were working with an 18 year old boy. We thought the lesson was going really well. We read Alma 17 with him when Ammon cuts off all the arms of the lamanites. We prayed and got ready to go and as we were leaving he says "you girls are really pretty.." So we ignored him and acted like we didnt hear him. So he is like " did you hear me you girls are really pretty.. Did you know that?" ha Sister Burningham says " Yes we know that, see you later" Darn we hate when that happens. Because then we dont get to teach them. but hey thats life. 

Us at church With Mariah(a member)
Well I guess that is about it this week!! Something that was said in Sacrament meeting this past Sunday was making our Resolutions the difference between want and will. I hope we all can make goals that we are going to do and not just that we want. 

Love you all!! (are you ready for the classic new years joke? I cant tell you how many times we have heard this one already..wait for it...) See you next year! ha ha (get it?? because its the new year..its supposedly the most funny joke this week)  

Sister Zwahlen
Thanksgiving




Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas!!‏

Merry Merry Christmas to you all this week!! I hope you all have a good one and that you will take the time to spend it with those you love and feel the love of our Heavenly Father. He loves us so much He sent His son. What a blessing. The greatest gift we could ever ask for!! 
"Because He came, there is meaning to our Mortal Experience." President Monson

This past week has been kind of a struggle. Sister Burningham and I have been sick all week. We have had terrible colds or something that is what we will call it. I was nervous because I was playing the flute Sunday in Sacrament and I couldnt breath let alone breath deep without coughing. So I asked for a blessing. I am so grateful for the priesthood. It truly is the power of God. I felt well enough to play and I think it went well. (I borrowed to flute from a member of the ward). We are still sniffling and blowing our noses and coughing, but we feel well enough to go out and carry on the work! but feeling so so much better than last week!! 

Last week was still really good. We had a mission tour. Where we were able to have Elder Perkins from the 70 come and speak with us and train us. It was so very good. Something I really liked that his wife spoke about and shared was D&C 64:25. "Wherefore, if ye believe me ye, will labor while it is called today." I love this, I really spoke to me and my situation. She related it to worrying only about what you need to do TODAY to serve Him. Dont worry about the future and letting yourself get overwhelmed with all you need to do. It helps us to set priorities. I really like that!!

Yesterday as I said was our Christmas Devotional. It was so much fun! We have a talent portion, and a White Elephant exchange. I ended up with an umbrella and a bag of M&M's. ha It was really fun and I am grateful I got what I did because some of the gifts were autographed, blow-up, pictures of the elders. They think they are funny. and it was pretty funny! We also got to watch a slide show that had picture from the year and baptism and that sort of thing. We played minute to win it games during our lovely Christmas meal. It is always so fun to get together with the mission to see our big family!! The last part of our Christmas Devotional was a musical fireside where members and investigators were invited to come. It was so spiritual. One of those experiences where you feel so encircled with love and gratitude for the many many things that we have been given. We are so blessed. 

This past week we also found this awesome guy named Tek. He is originally from Poland and he is so prepared. Im excited to go back to teach him and his son. We did service this week for one of our investigators. We helped her wrap her Christmas. OH MY GOODNESS. I have never seen so many things to wrap in my life. Her whole front room was full of things!! It makes you sad to see how things are so focused on the material things instead of the spiritual side of Christmas. It was still fun to help wrap. I havent wrapped a gift in sometime. 


Oh I forgot to tell you, Our ward members are the absolute best. They collected presents for us and gave them to us on Sunday. WE are spoiled!! We got so much stuff! I will send pictures!! I just feel so blessed this Christmas season. I cannot put into words how grateful I am to be on a mission, especially around Christmas time. Thank you to everyone who sent Christmas cards and gifts. I love you all!

Merry Christmas!
Sister Zwahlen

Monday, December 15, 2014

Westerville

Sister Burningham and I are sick today and not feeling like being up and about, so this email will probably be pretty short. We also have what we call "pday eve" where we do something fun after we plan for the day on Sundays. So this pday eve we made a gingerbread villiage. I am not very good at decorating, it needs a little practice.

This week we were able to go to the temple with Steven. The Vietnamese who just got baptized. So we got permission to go and see him do baptisms for the first time. It was a recent convert night so the others there were also recent converts. It was so neat to see. I was very glad that we were able to go. What a neat experience. 

We got to have dinner with our investigator Nikki last week and she had Christmas cookies, we were able to decorate with her and her 3 kids. It was a lot of fun.
Other than that it has been a Christmas filled week. We had the ward Christmas party, where we got pictures with a fairly slim santa. I hope we get the pictures soon so I can see them ha 
I am playing the flute next week in Sacrament meeting so that will be ok. and We sang in sacrament this sunday. There were 6 of us so it turned out ok. 

I am still in Westerville and i am so grateful to be able to stay through the holidays!! 
Tell Grandma and Grandpa Kimball thank you for the Christmas present. 
Well I guess that is about it! Love you! Sorry its so short. I wish I was feeling up to making it longer. 

Sister Zwahlen