Monday, July 21, 2014

Sunday Love‏

Hello Family and Friends.
I feel like this week will be a really short letter and I am sorry. I have no idea what has happened this week. I do know that It was a tough one though! It seemed as though everyone dropped us, and no one wanted to talk to us and we were tired from knocking doors and talking to everyone in sight. On top of all that I got sick. I guess that flu bug came all the way from Utah to see me.
It seems to be a trial of our faith as we work to find people. However the miracles are awesome when they happen. We had a guy that cancelled his appointment get back in contact with us (it rarely happens) And he wanted to come to church! It was really good. His name is James but I call him Luigi, because he looks like him! ha he is really great.
Also Paul has to go out of town this weekend so we had to move his baptismal date to August 2nd. He is still amazing and every time we talk about him it makes me so happy. He is so prepared and he passed his Baptismal interview. It makes me think of a couple of scriptures. First is D&C 18:15-16. How great shall be our joy when we bring souls unto Christ. I have never had this scripture stand out to me so much!! It is so true. I have such complete joy when I see how happy Paul is and how ready he is. It also reminds me of Alma the younger and the sons of Mosiah.  in Alma 26 30 " And we have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul: and we supposed that our joy would be full if perhaps we could be the means of saving some soul."
I wont lie, this area is really hard for me, and I try and stay positive but it seems like a lot of work just to have people reject you over and over, and then to have creepy people say creepy things to you all the time. It really isnt the most fun. but ALL of those trials we go through as missionaries or as people in general. They are all worth it when we help bring that "one soul" who is ready. I love it. None of the bad things seem to matter at all when you find that one person you have helped find the truth. I really love this gospel and the work that I get to do every day.. even the hard days.
Also we met a woman named "Sunday Love" This week and she wants to learn more. ha ha i think it is quite ironic that her name is that. I hope that we get to work with her more so that I can think of lots of puns for her and the gospel.
Well all is going well here. I am sorry it is so short this week. It flew by and I dont really have anything else to tell you about!! Have a great week! Love you.
Sister Zwahlen

Zone conference

The will of God

Monday, July 14, 2014

Cinnamon Bears!‏

"You will come to know that what appears to be a sacrifice will prove instead to be the greatest investment that you will ever make" President Hinckley We will always be required to make sacrifices on this earth but I know that when we make them for the right cause we will always be blessed. Whether on this life or in the life to come.
Ok so we were at a member dinner this week and talking about how yummy cinnamon bears are to the members and they stop us and they are like "what in the world are cinnamon bears???!?" Uh everyone knows what a cinnamon bear in its a cinnamon.... bear.... a candy... its gummy.. "Oh like a gummy bear??" Uh kind of. So we have been on a search for others who have heard of cinnamon bears and people in Ohio think you are crazy when you ask them if they know what a cinnamon bear is. Go figure. I am going to have to start carrying them around and having people try them. Thanks to the NIcholls Family I have a whole bag of them.
This week has been a great week, and a week of trials. It seems like everyone drops us and Anti. is everywhere. I have never heard so many untrue things about our church. I think that especially with the students they want to research and the internet is right at their finger tips. Of course they dont look up the websites we tell them to. Who would do that. ha ha but it has been eventful. We were teaching a man named Tyler and he told us that God gave him a nightmare about fireflies and somehow it meant that the book of Mormon wasn't true. ha ha dont ask me how.
I got asked out this week as well. We were talking to a 36 year old man and he was talking about random things that I didnt understand so I was like "We actually have to get going to an appointment (which we did) but we would be happy to teach you more about the book of Mormon another time. He was like "actually I would really like to take you out."
Uh.. we dont date as missionaries..
Well you wont be on your mission forever. 
Thats true. How about I give you a website to look up with really uplifting videos about what we believe?
How about you give me your number and I will use it.
To learn more about our church?
No. To ask you out. 
Oh, well here is a card. There is a really great website. Have a great day.
AWKWARD!! Sister Tueller laughed all day about it. Gross.

Dont you worry though because I am an awkward person. Some may even say crazy.  We were talking to a man on the street and he was in a wheel chair. I asked if we could give him a card and he said "no church isnt for me, I dont need it." So, of course I have to act without thinking and I put a card into his shirt pocket and tell him that one day he might. and that he should look up the website on the card ha ha You just cant take no for an answer as a missionary. ha 

We met some really great people this week though as well. A man named Dave or "friendly dave" He is wonderful. We taught him for the first time and he is so open and willing to listen and pray about the things that we have taught. Anna is a college girl who doesnt shave.. uh that is ok no judgement, just different. She is cool though and came to church on sunday. Joe is in a wheel chair and he cried during the 1st vision and then told us that we needed to have lunch with his pastor. That might be fun ha ha But the greatest person of the week is Paul. He is so prepared. He is telling all the members about his baptism on the 26th and he cant wait. he finished the whole book of Mormon in 2 weeks! and he is going to start reading the bible. ha He makes our day everytime. I am so excited for him! He is going to be such a great member!
This week has been wonderful and I am grateful to be here, and ready for change all at the same time ha ha I hope you all have a great week!! Love you all.
Sister Zwahlen
Happy Yadhtrib Banner! (Mom glued it backwards! Oops!)

One of the oldest confectioneries in the nation

My cheesecake

Grilling on the 4th

A german  chocolate cake for me:)

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Happy yadhtriB!!‏

Hello Family and Friends,

Thank you so much for all the birthday wishes! I had a great birthday!! When I opened my birthday banner Birthday was spelt backwards ha ha so that was exciting. Sister Tueller was a little sneak.. just as I suspected and she had members decorate our apartment with balloons and stars and a cheesecake. yum. It was a great birthday. We got to help with one of our young mans eagle projects. Which was a 5 k run. So we were at the half way handing out water. So that was fun. I wish I could have run it... but I am really out of shape and sister Tueller didn't want to. So it all worked out:) We also had a couple part member BBQ's to hit. I ate way too much. I turned 23 and I gained 23 lbs as well. ha ha ok not really.
This week has been week of the weirdies. So  all who know about  how I always seem to attract the weird ones, a mission isnt any different. We were walking on campus and I had this guy stop me and he was like "hey, I like your socks... They are HOTT" Uhhh that is weird. plus they are normal socks. anyways I almost asked if he meant as in temperature, but I was scared of the response so I just went with a " hey thank you, have you ever heard of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints?" ha ha gets them everytime. Then we run into a guy that we start talking to and he seems really great.. Crazy but great. We invite him to church. AND he comes. Great right?!? Wrong. It was testimony meeting. We are all sitting there and all of the sudden we hear a man from the back start talking. I looked back and my heart fell into my stomach. We comes up to the front and starts yelling about how he felt the spirit and he loved these people, but he had severe anxiety and had to go to his church. and then he is like "I was invited by two beautiful ladies. oooo there they are and he points to us. Oh we could have died. We just waved and then we runs out the door and says Amen Brothers and sisters God bless. Everyone looks around and you hear a kid say "what in the world just happened?" Then there mom says just say amen. ha ha we had a good laugh from that one. ha ha
Paul came to church again and he is SO excited to get baptized!! he is really awesome and on date to be baptized on July 26th! I hope that he wasnt confused by our outburst friend in sacrament meeting. ha He seemed fine though. I will tell you this week has been so sad we have had so many people drop us just as they are about to come to church.. GRRR darn satan. ha he knows how to get them. Its ok though it just means they arent prepared!! Well I guess that is about all for this week. I had a great birthday! I love you all. Have a happy week. It hit 100 degrees this week. Not good. such is life
Sister Zwahlen

Monday, June 30, 2014

The "Great Daines"‏

"Each day compel yourself to do something you would rather not do." -my latest fortune cookie. Yes I know so spiritual:) I do what I can. I really like it though. I need to be better at doing things that I dont like. I keep this fortune in my Ether Chapter 12 page, because doing things that you dont want  but you know is right takes a lot of faith. Especially during trials. I hope you all will try to push your self out of your comfort zones and do something this week that you would rather not do. (preferably to do with missionary work or the gospel.)
Well I just emailed a couple days ago and not much has happened since then. However President and Sister Daines are officially arriving today and The Nilsens are officially off. It seems weird I kind of feel like we are president less right now. We havent heard anything from either of them!! Do you like the "Great Daines" I think I am so clever. Im sure they have never even thought of that before. ha ha ok probably they have heard it one million times. I am excited to get to know them though. And rumor has it that apple products are in the mission office. Which means i pad mission. bleh and yay. I have mixed feelings.
Also I have been opening my birthday countdown. Thank you for all the party supplies. Um I have to admit, I opened #7. I thought if it was a countdown. I should start high and count down. but I soon learned I was supposed to count up in my birthday countdown. So I am really sorry. I re wrapped #7 so that I can pretend I dont know what it is on day seven. 
Oh I know something that happened. Paul. Paul is the guy from China. I love him! He is awesome. He came to church on Sunday and LOVED it!! He wants to be baptized. I am so excited for him. Plus I like that he is from China. That makes everything better. We also found out that he was a dentist in China and had like 50 patients a day and wasn't making much money. So he moved here to Ohio to go to school for sports medicine. He is only 26! He is one of those crazy people who never stop reading or studying. Which is great because he is really smart! Ok sorry enough about Paul. Keep him in your prayers that he will be baptized in July!!
Well Im sorry, there isnt much else to say this week!! I hope you all have a Happy 4th of July!!

Love you
Sister Zwahlen

Wednesday, June 25, 2014


Sister Tueller and I are both staying in the wonderful town of "The plains". I guess with how transfers have been so far on my mission I cant say Im surprised. I feel that I am ready for a change. Heavenly Father knows best though, so trusting in him is the best that I can do. I know I am needed here if I haven't been transferred. So that is all that is exciting... I think. ha No really am glad to be here we are starting to have success.
Let me tell you I have never been caught in the rain so many times in my life as I have this past week. Thursday last week we decided to be adventurous and ride our bike from Campus back home. This is probably 10 miles on a bike path. No big deal. We start off and then the rain starts. It gets heavier and heavier THEN the winds start and the tornado sirens go off and we are no where near home. Ha so we just keep pedaling. 20 Min. Later we are pulling into a members house and knocking on there door. We were so wet. I have never been so wet. Not even when I take a shower. Ok maybe a little over exaggerated. It was fun. I felt like a missionary, you know those ones that they make movies out of?? ha Anyways we ended up creating huge puddles on the members floor and then having another member pick us and our bikes up  and take us back home. 
Borrowing bikes from the members 

On the other hand there are so many fireflys here! They are beautiful. I love them. Family we need to come back to visit my mission at this time of the year!! It is perfect! It is beautiful and green and then millions of fireflys come out at night. I catch them. Sister Tueller and I caught a ton and put them in a jar and put them in our apartment for a little bit of time.
We have found a couple new investigators this week. They are so cool. Eric is president of the Jugglers club on OU. So that is pretty awesome. We have taught him a couple times and one time he wasnt wearing any shoes... um gross. but hey half of his family is mormons from Utah and he is totally prepared. Then we have been meeting with a guy named Alex. He is agnostic... for now. He is great as well. He is learning and hopefully coming to church Sunday. We are teaching all college aged men right now I feel. I pray they are really interested in learning about the church. I know It seems suspicious that we arent teaching any women right now.
I feel like I havent emailed in years but I cant think of anything else that has happened this week. I cant believe that I have been out 10 months and I turn into a grandma age next week. "Why are you so old?" thats what I ask myself everyday. Ha I love you all!! Thanks for all of your prayers. Talk to you soon.
Sister Zwahlen
P.S. Do you realize that by the end of this next transfer I will have pretty much been out a year. Time goes way too fast!! 

Monday, June 16, 2014

World Traveling in Athens‏

" When we are grateful to God in our circumstances, we can experience gentle peace in the midst of tribulation. In grief, we can still lift up our hearts in praise. In pain, we can glory in Christ's Atonement. In the cold of bitter sorrow, we can experience the closeness and warmth of heaven's embrace." President Uchtdorf " Grateful in Any Circumstances"  I love this I am trying to be more sincere in my gratitude. Especially in my prayers. I have been praying for the specific food that I have in front of me. Which sometimes seems funny when I say " I am so grateful for the cheerios" but I really have noticed a difference in my prayers and how  much more grateful I am!
Just a quick reminder that transfers are next week. the 26th of June. So p-day will be on Wednesday.
This past week has been so good!! Tuesday was a little rough we wanted to ride the shuttle to campus and we missed the first one we wanted to. So we visited a member till we could the next one came in an hour. So while we are waiting. We start talking to a woman named Ashley. She was awesome, but then the shuttle passes and didnt even slow down for us. AND our appointment on campus cancelled. Ha needless to say. I dont think Heavenly Father wanted us on campus. So we sat down and re analyzed our plans. We decided we needed to be other places. It was a good learning experience for us. Unfortunately it took us missing our bus twice ha It was great though because we got a return appointment with Ashley and we met a drunk man. cant complain about that. We also went tracting on a street and found a castle house. So now I can say that I knocked on a castle. (note it wasnt a cool castle it was made of storage sheds with foam sprayed on it. ha  but hey with a draw bridge car port.
We had a chance to meet with "Paul" (Cheng-Ge) this week and taught the plan of salvation. It was perfect. He prayed at the end of our lesson and it was so sincere. He talked about how grateful he was to know that there was a God and to have us help him learn more! He is amazing. His girlfriend went back to China for a little bit so she wasnt able to meet with us though. We also met a really cool man named Tim. He went to school with Mormons and he lives all the standards we do. so its wonderful. We are teaching him as well.

Later in the week when we went back to campus we had a youth come with us so that we could split up and talk to twice as many people. It was so much fun. It is like getting the best of both worlds here in Athens I have met people from Ghana, Brazil, China, Japan, and Saudi Arabia. It has been so wonderful. It is like getting a taste of each culture all while being in Athens, Ohio. I love it. I am so excited for this next week so that we can try and teach all of these great people.  It has been a really great week. We have found so many people. I know that it is because Heavenly Father is answering our fast and prayers from us and all the ward members.
Today we had a district fun day. We played ultimate frisbee and soccer. While we were playing it decided to rain. Wait no let me take that back. It started to pour. We were all soaked within minutes. It was a blessing though because it is so hot and humid. It was so funny. Sister Tueller and I were the only sisters there today and for some reason everyone thought I was doing really well at sports today. They started calling me "the wall" Um ha ha I dont think it was a fat joke. but maybe. ha get it zWALLen like that ha oh elders they are something else. It was a lot of fun though.
On Campus of OU.
 Overall it was a fantastic week. We are going to have a really busy week this week and probably next as we say goodbye to president and Sister Nilsen. and Welcome president Daines. I hope you all have a great week. I love you all.

Sister Zwahlen

Party pig, This is the landmark we always refer to in The Plains. 

"Inner courage includes doing the right thing even though we may be afraid, defending our beliefs at the risk of being ridiculed, and maintaining those beliefs even when threatened with a a loss of friends or social status. He who stands steadfastly for that which is right must risk becoming at times disapproved and unpopular." - President Monson " Be strong and of a Good Courage"
I really like this from his talk this past conference. I am not the most courageous person, but I have learned that " perfect love casteth out fear" I know since my mission when I have a love for the people in the area where I am serving. It makes it easy to have courage to share what I believe. I hope you all may have more courage to stand up for what you believe, even if it isnt the most popular belief.
This past week has been really good. We had Zone conference, it was really like going to a funeral. President and Sister Nilsen are leaving pretty soon and it was their last time they will get to train us. They were emotional and everyone else was as well because we love them and respect them. I am going to be so sad to see them leave. I have not emailed a lot about them. They are amazing. I cant even tell you how much they mean for me. I know that I was partially meant to serve here because I needed them as my mission president and wife. They are such great examples and they will be missed. On the other had we saw a little slide show about our soon to be mission president, president Daines and his family and they look awesome as well. I am excited to meet them and have the opportunity to learn new and different things from them. I really get the best of both worlds.
We also helped make some garden boxes for one of our members and we planted corn. It was fun, she had a huge floppy hat that she made me wear, but I actually fell in love with the hat and didnt want to give it back. That is on my list of the first thing I need to get when I get home. ha ha just kidding, but seriously I loved that hat.
Ok also, this past week we met with a guy named Chen Ga or Paul. He from China and you know how I love people from Asia. I was so excited to meet with him and my hopes were not crushed when we met with him. He doesnt have a christian background and doesnt know a lot about God, but he is amazing and wants to learn more. Yay!! and even better he wants his girlfriend to come next time to learn more:)
We got a mini missionary on Saturday. Her name is Sister Glaser (glay- sir)  she is wonderful. She is 16, from Newark OH. and she is bold, and sweet, and quiet all at the same time. I love her. 

Sister Tueller is a terrifying driver so that is us screaming because we almost died. haha only half kidding. 

This last week has been wonderful like always. I am super jealous you are all headed to Lake Powell. Make sure to have some fun for me:)  Shout out to the King family. I got a birthday/ 4th of July package from them. Thank you!! 

I love you all, have a great week.
Sister Zwahlen