Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Awesome Athens‏

Hello Family and Friends.

I dont know what I did to be on Heavenly Fathers good side but I must have done something right. I am going to be staying one more transfer.:) I am so happy that I get to stay at least one more transfer so that I can be with sister Bassett. Remember how that means I will be in this area for 5 transfers, just like I did with Greenfield. I think it is mostly to keep me far from the city and the people but who knows.
This past week and a half have been wonderful as always. We started off strong with a power outage, it was only out for about 5 hours and so Sister Bassett and I got out flashlights (thanks Grandpa and Grandma Kimball for providing me with one) and we ate cereal and chips and sat in our beds (this was at 9:00 at night) It was quite eventful.
It is apple season here. Everything is about apple pie, apple sauce, apples, apples, apples. So we were able to help pick some apples, and make apple pie and of course we served others by eating the pie as well. One of my favorite service activities!! Ha 

Ok so I have a funny story about this week. So we ran into a lady that is a former investigator and we were talking to her as we walked down the main street in The Plains. She had a really heavy bag so I asked her if I could help her carry it. She told me that she had it but that I could walk her little dog/rat "Diamond". So here I am holding the leash with one finger praying that no body we know drives by. Ha oh course right as I think this a car honks and the elders drive past with a "what is Sister Zwahlen doing?" look on their faces. It was great. So I had to explain later what I was doing walking a tiny dog down the street. 
So, let me just say. I love Chinese people. They are the greatest. 
We are teaching a guy named Peter, from China and he came to church on Sunday! He loved it! When we gave him a Chinese Book of Mormon he just kept saying thank you over and over again. Its the greatest. I keep thinking how grateful I am that I went to Taiwan. I think that it really helps me here on OU campus. I get to meet so many from China and in my broken Chinese. I can tell them about Heavenly Father and Jesus. ha After Church the young women asked us if we were trying to find the 12 apostles since we had Paul, James, and now Peter. Next on the list are Luke and Mark. 
We meet a lot of international students here on campus and they are great. We met a Muslim from Saudi Arabia and he told us that he was more christian than we were because he both believed in Mohammed and Christ.  Uhhh. I think you dont understand what it means to be Christian. but anyways he wasnt interested to say the least. Then he says my name is Saad (said like Sad) What do you think my name means?? 
uh we dont know. Sad like boo hoo??
No Happy, I am Happy. 
he hehe the people we meet! It makes life exciting! I love it.
Well I guess that is all for right now. I hope you all have a great rest of your week!!

Love you,
Sister Zwahlen
Went on splits with a Sister Zollinger in the mission.  I made our lunches and thought I was so clever!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Peace

"The Savior is the source of true peace. Even with the trials of life, because of the Saviors Atonement and His grace righteous living will be rewarded with personal peace." -Elder Quinton L. Cook.
So first things first. Transfers is here again. So next week my p-day will be Wednesday! Word on the street is there is a good chance I'm getting transferred... It might just be because I have been in Athens 6 months now:) I hope I get to stay one more transfer though so that I can be with Sister Bassett for one more transfer!
This week has been a Chinese week. Two of our new investigators are from China:) I love people from Asia. They are the most kind people as well as the most humble, and excited to learn. Also when they say they will keep commitments they normally do. Peter, who is one of the guys from China. Asked if we wanted him to read the WHOLE Book of Mormon by then next time we met with him. ha YES! but you you dont have to. just read a couple chapters and then pray. Ha he is the greatest! I am excited to teach him more. Then there is Crystal, She is from China and her brother lives in Utah. And she has a friend in Utah who is Mormon. So that is really good. She is willing to learn, and that is all it takes a small amount of faith.
Last but not least, we are teaching a guy named Eric. He is a student. He wasnt raised in a religious home. He believes that there is a higher power but he just doesnt know what it is yet. ooo ooo pick us. We know what the higher power is and we have the tools to help you find it out. he is so willing to learn. I think that is the key to missionary work. It isn't about being able to be the best teacher and convince people that our message is true. It is about finding those who are prepared and willing to put the work into finding out if it is true. 
Im not sure anything amazing happened this week, but I will share somethings that I learned. First I have such a strong testimony of our Heavenly Father. He knows how to perfectly, with love and kindness correct us and teach us what is right and why His plan is better than our own. Ok so lately I have been in a panic mode because I dont want to come home... not yet at least. I have been feeling like I want to serve for a longer time. like 6 more months in addition to the time I still have left:) I have been worried about feeling pressure to come home and get married, and go to school, and get a job. All things that I dont need to think about here. We were at a member dinner this week and the Sister served a mission and she was talking about how she wanted to stay longer and didnt want to get married right away... etc. EXACTLY what im feeling. Then she said, " My mission president told me that Heavenly Father didnt want her to leave from her mission. It just needed to be in a different way. She needed to return home and be a missionary through out her life. She needed to raise a family and teach her children the way she taught investigators." It hit me. Just like Heavenly Father always does. I need to come home and not worry about it. I have so many great opportunities that await me. I can still  serve and do the things I need to in life after my mission. If I have faith in His plan he will guide me where I need to go in life.

Then on top of all of that, Korin sent me a letter and in it she said something like "isnt it cool that we are doing the same work just in different ways?  Ok Ok I got it Heavenly Father. Thank you for humbling me and helping me learn. I love that. He always knows how to correct me and show me His plan.
Ok well that was a long story. It taught me a lot! I guess that is all for now!! I hope you all have a wonderful week!! 

Love you all

Sister Zwahlen

I carved this from an apple.

Painting Princesses

Our District

Monday, September 1, 2014

Hello my family and friends,

A story told in President Monsons talk "Charity Never Faileth". 
woman by the name of Mary Bartels had home directly across the street from the entranceto hospital clinic. Her family lived on the main floor and rented the upstairs rooms tooutpatients at the clinic.
One evening truly awful-looking old man came to the door asking if there was room for him tostay the night. He was stooped and shriveled, and his face was lopsided from swelling—red andraw. He said he’d been hunting for room since noon but with no success. “I guess it’s my face,”he said. “I know it looks terrible, but my doctor says it could possibly improve after moretreatments.” He indicated he’d be happy to sleep in the rocking chair on the porch. As she talkedwith him, Mary realized this little old man had an oversized heart crowded into that tiny body.Although her rooms were filled, she told him to wait in the chair and she’d find him place tosleep.
At bedtime Mary’s husband set up camp cot for the man. When she checked in the morning,the bed linens were neatly folded and he was out on the porch. He refused breakfast, but justbefore he left for his bus, he asked if he could return the next time he had treatment. “I won’tput you out bit,” he promised. “I can sleep fine in chair.” Mary assured him he was welcometo come again.
In the several years he went for treatments and stayed in Mary’s home, the old man, who was afisherman by trade, always had gifts of seafood or vegetables from his garden. Other times hesent packages in the mail.
When Mary received these thoughtful gifts, she often thought of comment her next-doorneighbor made after the disfigured, stooped old man had left Mary’s home that first morning.“Did you keep that awful-looking man last night? turned him away. You can lose customers byputting up such people.”
Mary knew that maybe they had lost customers once or twice, but she thought, “Oh, if onlythey could have known him, perhaps their illnesses would have been easier to bear.”
After the man passed away, Mary was visiting with friend who had greenhouse. As shelooked at her friend’s flowers, she noticed beautiful golden chrysanthemum but was puzzledthat it was growing in dented, old, rusty bucket. Her friend explained, “I ran short of pots, andknowing how beautiful this one would be, thought it wouldn’t mind starting in this old pail. It’sjust for little while, until can put it out in the garden.”
Mary smiled as she imagined just such scene in heaven. “Here’s an especially beautiful one,”God might have said when He came to the soul of the little old man. “He won’t mind starting inthis small, misshapen body.” But that was long ago, and in God’s garden how tall this lovely soulmust stand! 3

This talk is so wonderful! I hope you all will take the time to read it sometime this week!! 

How are all of you? This week has been another really busy week!  So busy I cant remember a single thing that has happened. Ha ha just kidding.
I will start with the most exciting news. James was baptized and confirmed this week. It was wonderful. Saturday was also his birthday so it was a double special day for him! If there is anything that I have learned about baptism it is this... Satan always comes in without fail. Mostly I pray that he will spare our investigators and go for us.. This time he did just that. We got to the church to fill the font and we were already late getting started. When we inconveniently found out that the water heater wasn't working because the church ran out of propane. So for the next two hours we are filling bowls of water on the church stove and pouring it into the font to mix it with the ice cold water it was being filled with. It was stressful. When James came back out of the water his face was one of "this water is so cold I'm about to die." So lucky for him when he hadn't gone all the way under and got to do it again:) Ha  I felt bad that all the hard work to get the water warmer had been in vain. It was still Ice cold. We probably could have gone to the river and it would have been warmer.





We ended up having a ton of members there though, so many that they all didnt fit in the room so that was unfortunate, but it was a blessing for James to have family there. Especially since James didnt have any family or friends there. Afterwards we had Refreshments, our wonderful members had made lots of treats and a birthday cake. It was a great day!
Friday was new missionary training at OSU. It was fun. I havent had the chance to go since I was a new missionary. We had training by our AP's and President and Sister Daines. President Daines said my name wrong and told me that I had to correct him if he did it again. So of course I did. Now I am known as sister zWAHlen. With emphasis on the Walh part ha ha It is funny. I really love the Daines! They are perfect mission presidents for me. I am really greatful I get to spend my last 6 months with them.

Thursday Sister Bassett and I did the ice bucket challenge. Not because I wanted to. I was being held against my will. Our District leader challenge us and told us that if we didnt do it then we wouldnt have district unity. Nicely played pulling the "guilt" card. How did he know that was the only way to get me to dump cold water over my head? anyways it ended up being fun! Our bishops wife emailed it to my mom so if you really want to see if you will have to ask her. 


I know that there was more that happened this week but I dont remember. I hope you all have a  great week!! Love you.
Sister Zwahlen

Monday, August 25, 2014

Wedding Crashers..‏

"Praying with real intent means you really intend to follow the divine direction given." Elder Russell M. Nelson
Ok so first things first. The wedding Crashed. Seriously. We got a call on Wednesday from James and he told us that Tonya and Him had broken up. She had moved out and left her son with him. Needless to say the wedding was canceled and Tonya no longer wanting any contact from us or anything to do with the church. James however still is getting baptized and his testimony is growing. I think that while this seems sad. I really feel that this is what the Lord wanted for him. He has a strong desire to serve the Lord and to keep all the commandments and Tonya... Not so much. So there were differences of opinion. So we move on with life and work with those who are really prepared. It was a little stressful to say the least when we found out though. From it though I gained a strong testimony of the potential God has for each of us. I really know that he wants what is best for us and sometimes it seems we are being "cut down" but really it is so we can be molded into what will make us the most happy.
We have been teaching a lady named Alice this week and she is awesome, but anyways her husband Frank is a hoot and he doesnt want anything to do with church but he always teases us and wants to make us food. So you cant complain. This week he made us A fried cucumber sandwich.. Can I just say. Delicious. If you are ever bored and want something to eat. Make a fried cucumber sandwich. He also had a ton of buckeyes that he gave to us and drilled holes in them so that we could make key chains.
We also had Zone Conference this week. Which happened to be on my 1 year mark.. I dont like to talk about it though.  I had been asked to conduct the music at the meeting and everyone was sleeping. and then on top of that President Daines had pulled up the lyrics to the song and then got distracted while we were singing so no body knew the words. Ha um so basically it was me singing. That was fun. An unplanned solo. Also funny story. We were eating lunch with some other sisters. They were telling us a bad experience they had had with Lentil soup. They then ask us if we had tried Lentil soup before. Um no I dont think so. (sister yells) "DONT EAT IT, YOU WILL DIE" Well now everyone is looking at us including president Daines and the wonderful ladies who had made our lunch. Everyone thought that she was talking about the food we were eating right the. We all died with laughter and we couldnt stop laughing. It was really funny and probably one of those stories that you would have to be there for.
Campus is getting so crazy. There are 30 million people everywhere(maybe and exaggeration). Its like being back on a Taiwan Train. Uh not fun. but also really fun because then we get to talk to a lot of people. I can now see why OU is one of the biggest party schools in the nation. So that is also exciting. We also met a guy named Mario from Austria. He is nice. I like him. and I like that his name is Mario. We talked to him for 40 min. It is sad he said he has never felt happiness in his life. What is this? I hope we can help him find some happiness.
We taught one of the Families and it was terrifying they kept asking all of these questions. I was so nervous I couldnt answer them. So while I tried to keep my calm composure nodding my head and saying "please ask us questions, that is what we are here for." Inside im screaming.. NOOOO dont ask anymore questions. So that was a tense moment for me. I hope the lesson went ok and that we get to meet with them again.
Well, I guess that was pretty much my week. It has been a crazy one, and I know that I have many more busy weeks to come. I love you all and I am grateful for each of you. Have a wonderful week.

Love,
Sister Zwahlen
Weekly planning and a picnic with Merinda 

So on campus I reached up to pull off a leaf and the whole branch came with it.. Ooops. ha 

Monday, August 18, 2014

Prayer

"Prayer is the power by which we can access the atonement of Jesus Christ" -I heard this in sacrament meeting this week. So I dont know who said it originally
Hello Family and Friends.
This week has been good. Sister Bassett is slowly getting better. Which is always good for a missionary. You can work much better that way. It has been a slow finding week but I have seen so many miracles. First off. We taught James and Tonya the Commandments. All of which we knew they would need to make changes in their lives with. So we taught Word of Wisdom, law of Chastity and Tithing. They committed to live all of them and they didnt even feel that those things would be hard to change in their lives. They are so ready to be baptized. Only thing in the way is a wedding. It has been stressful because we needed someone to marry them and everyone seems to be out of town. but just at the last min. The stake president said that he could do it this next Saturday. I have no Idea how to plan a wedding but here we go. Ha I know that because everything has fallen into place that it is what the Lord wants. I can see his hand is everything I do.
Second miracle this week is we found a family, with a husband(Carl) , wife and  5 boys. ha uh we are so excited to go back and teach them. and we have another family that we found that we are going to start teaching this next week. These next couple of weeks are going to go by so fast!! I am so grateful to have these experiences. It is the greatest to see others come unto Christ, especially when they are families.
I know this is a short email this week but I dont have a lot of time left. I will leave you with an embarrassing moment for the week.

We were on campus talking to a man and this is what my mouth decided to say " there is this really great website mormon.org. You can look up children.... uh not children I mean other people who have similar beliefs and backgrounds."
So now he probably thinks that I am a creeper oops. I have no Idea how that happened. but we got a good laugh about it.
Well I love you all. I hope you have a great week.
Sister Zwahlen

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Ebola‏


Hello Family and Friends,
"Each of us must stay in condition to respond to inspiration and the promptings of the holy Ghost the Lord has a way of pouring pure intelligence into our minds to prompt us, to guide us, to teach us and to warn us. Each son or daughter of God can know the things they need to know instantly. Learn to receive and act on inspiration and revelation." -President Packer

It has been an awesome last half of the week!! Wedensday was a long one, of helping Sister Tueller pack up all of her stuff, and when I say that I mean, she has SO MUCH. ha ha we were up till 1:30 getting everything ready. Then I had to be at transfers early for training. So we had to leave around 6:45 in the morning. Once we got there we had a meeting with all the new missionaries, they all looked around at us trying to figure out who would be their trainer and we all looked at them trying to guess who we would train... but we had to just sit in a tiny room for a couple hours not knowing. This was one of the biggest transfers over 3/4th of the mission was there. I was so happy to see so many of the Sisters. Then comes time for the transfer meeting:) 

My new companion is Sister Bassett from Colorado. She is 19, and she is wonderful. we have a lot of fun together. I also and noticing how good I am at throwing so much information at her that its overwhelming. Ha I am trying to learn to take it slow. She is really good though. and she couldnt be in a better area, you get both the small town work but also the college campus aspect of the work as well. It really is a great, and I am a lot less stressed having her here!  She has been a little sick lately and she was telling a member her symptoms and the member was like " OH no you have EBOLA. There is an outbreak in Africa!!" and I was like "oh yea we just had two missionaries transferred to this mission at transfers. We all started freaking out because we were SURE that she had it. ha then the daughter of the member asked what the cure was and the member in the most doomed voice says "THERE IS NO CURE" ha ha we all were laughing so hard by the end as well as freaked out because what if Sister Bassett has it. She doesnt she most likely just has a cold. 

Any ways, we are excited James is on date officially for Aug 30th. I am so excited for him. He loves church and is so excited to get baptized! His fiance, isnt quite at that level yet. but we will get her there by then! 

I guess that is about all that has happened between now and last time I emailed. Everything is good. I know that a lot of you thought I would be transferred, but all I needed was some sort of change and now that there was change I am so happy to be here in this area! I am feeling so blessed. I love this work. I cant tell you the Joy that comes from serving my Savior, through serving the people of Ohio!! Thank you so much for your love and support!! Love you all.
Sister Zwahlen
Sister Malloy at transfers

District fun day.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Athens Again..‏

Hello Family and Friends. 
" Unless we lose ourselves in service for others, there is little purpose to our own lives." -President Monson
I am not being transferred, Im staying in Athens. Sister Tueller is being transferred though. Sunday night I got a call from President Daines and I he told me that I am going to be training a new missionary this next transfer:) I am so excited to get to train!! I had to do a member split on Monday (So I go with a member and sister Tueller goes with a different member) because I got to go to a special training at the mission home with the Daines and the other trainers. So I was in Powell most of the day. It was a lot of fun. I am very grateful for this opportunity to train, I feel like I can serve more fully. Also this means I get to be the DD or the Designated Driver and a Senior Companion. Neither of which I have been on my mission. I am so grateful for change.
Ok Enough about that!! Saturday Paul was baptized!! He seriously is one of the greatest people I have ever met, He is what people call " A Golden Investigator" He even asked us about home teaching and when he will know who his partner will be and who he visits. How many times have you heard that?? Why do none of the rest of us get excited to do your home or visiting teaching?? Then Sunday, He was confirmed and received the aaronic Priesthood. I have to come back in a year to see him go to the temple!!  I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost. and we watched this really good mormon message...http://www.mormonchannel.org/video/mormon-messages?v=3701964025001.. You should all check it out! its really good! 


James is still doing so well. He committed to being baptized on Aug 30th. He went from a, I will if I know its true to a I want to be baptized that day. We have also been teaching his fiance Tonya and she wants to be baptized as well. A miracle happened with them as well. We had been praying about them and how to teach the law of Chastity to them. (since they are living together) So at our next lesson we were just asking them about baptism and they were like. yea, We are getting married earlier in the month as well. So August is going to be very eventful! What a blessing. They dont have a lot of money so we are trying to help them have a wedding at the church. So we now are going to be planning a wedding as well as a baptism. Another reason, I am grateful to stay here to help them!! I am really seeing the blessings come. I love it. It makes everything that has been hard the last couple transfers so worth it!!

Today we had a zone fun day and we went bowling! It was a lot of fun! I havent been bowling for ever. Well I cant really remember any thing else that happened this last week and a half! I will email it to you on Monday if I think of anything between now and then!! I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Love,
Sister Zwahlen