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. 


video

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

Monday, July 28, 2014

Grandma is fine..‏

Hello Family and Friends,
Transfers are next week, so I will not be emailing until Wednesday next week. 

I hope you all had a wonderful 24th of July. I cannot believe that July is almost over. It is crazy how fast time flies. I am almost at my year mark! AHH This week has been really good. We had interviews with President and Sister Daines. We had about 30 min with each of them. They are wonderful. I had such a good time getting to talk to them and get to know them. We had some good laughs about me praying for mountains to climb but trying to pick my mountains . I like to say "asking for ohio mountains" (which for those of you who dont know are hills)  My prayers go something like this "Heavenly Father, please give me mountains to climb, but something that I can handle, not too hard, and please dont let anyone die. I dont want that mountain. Oh and please let my health be good." Ha as I was talking about it with sister Daines, we got the biggest laugh out of how silly I sounded. I really had prayed that way and I hadn't realized how silly I sounded until I was sharing it. ha ha but he answered my prayers. there have been mountains for me this area. Which I am grateful for because I can see my growth and talents that I am developing because of them.
Also when I get into interviews with president he has a paper with my picture and the areas I have served in. Ha he looked at me and was like " you have only been in two areas your whole mission???" Uhh yes. ha ha He told me I was one of the lucky ones. but he also made me feel like he was going to have to change that. it will be interesting to see what happens next week. but pray for some sort of change ha
Ok so Im sure you are wondering about the title of this email. This is our the plains funny moment for the week. We were driving down the street and we see a woman crying. So we turn around and pull up next to her. We ask if everything is ok and this is how it goes...

I just saw a smashed dog on the side of the road, it makes me feel so sad when that happens. I always tie up my dogs, I dont understand why others dont.
Oh no we are so sorry, is there anything we can do for you? 
(tears stop immediately)
Do you have any food? (big toothless smile as the smell of alcohol drifts into the car)
No, sorry
Do you have any money? 
We are sorry we don't.
Well Grandma will be fine then. 
And she walked off. So we drive past where she was crying and there laid the dead dog.. Wait no that is a skunk. We thought it was so funny that she was crying over the dead skunk and then it went on and on about how we hate when people forget to tie up their skunks. ha ha  It is terrible of us to make fun of people who arent quite sober, but sometimes their logic just isnt there.
I cant remember if I told you all about James, but he is awesome and he came to church again this week and he is going to bring his girlfriend to our next lesson. So that should be great! Hopefully we can get them married and then baptized. Paul is still getting baptized this weekend. I am so excited for him! I will send pictures this next week. I am grateful for my mission and the growth that I have seen in myself. I couldnt ask to be any where better right now!! I am grateful to all of you for your love and support! Thank you! 
Love Sister Zwahlen

Our church has a sign :)









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