Monday, September 30, 2013

A rough one

his week I really liked the quote my President Monson " the greatest single lesson we can learn in mortality is that when God speaks and a man obeys, that man will always be right." Its so true, if we ask our selfs daily, am i doing what God would do? and would He be pleased with me? and if the answer is yes then we will ALWAYS be right! I love that.
This week my friends and family has been a long and rough week. Tuesday we had specialized training, which was so good, we learned to be more effective missionaries and push through the false yes's we get with commitments. Amazing. We then had exchanges so we were with our sister training leaders in their area all day and we slept over there as well. We went to their investigators house and her mom was there and they were very defensive about their religion. Everything we tried to teach was bashed by what the bible say.. (if you can even do that) Anyways the power of Satan was there and we were getting no where and they don't think we are supposed to be happy in life. That God doesn't want us to be happy. Uh ok, that is really sad but I told them that I knew our purpose in life is to be happy but also to learn and to grow so that we can one day become like God. the mom wasn't happy I said that she was like " I cant believe you think you can be like God, that is what Satan wanted, you are a child of the devil. I can feel the presence of Satan right now." Well you  could feel the presence of Satan but I can assure you it wasn't coming from me. It was amazing though because Sister Mitchell was like "I am a representative of Jesus Christ. I wear his name on me and I am here to represent him. I can assure you that if we were from Satan, I wouldn't be able to sit here and say that." The spirit was off the charts. It was amazing. The lesson ended up going pretty well and you could see the moms heart being softened. It was neat. Although I still cant believe she called me a child of the devil. so that is always fun ha
Anyway, that night when I met back up with Sister Malloy she told us that our investigator Grace, and her husband Brother Dudley had been in a serious car crash and that Grace wasnt expected to make it through the night. It was a hard night. I love Grace and she has been like our mother I cant remember if I have told you about her but she is a Philippino woman and she is tiny and always making us food and sending us home with things and we have been working with her to get her on date for baptism. Grace did make it through the night but she has a lot of internal bleeding and probably some brain damage. She is in the Intensive Care Unit still. As a result though Samantha postponed her baptism. Brother Dudley and Grace are her grandparents so they have been at the hospital, and dealing with that so Its understandable but still its hard to see your baptism pushed back. We have a couple on date for the 12th of October so hopefully we can work and have those. 
Then lets keep going with the stress shall we, Thursday we had new missionary training at OSU and let me tell you that campus is amazing. I would like to live there. ha just kidding but really that campus is wonderful. We were on the campus talking to people and it was fun. Afterward we got to go see Grace at the hospital and that was nice. On our way home from Columbus we got a call that there was an Emergency Transfer and sister Malloy was leaving us in 3 hours. Ahh we had to rush home and get her packed up and we went and saw as many of the people we could so she could say goodbye to.
Sister leaman and I thought that it would just be us to, but suprise we have new sister here in Greenfield her name is Sister Love and she is amazing. So we love her and its been nice but the dynamic of our companionship has changed since sister Malloy is gone and we are working on figuring out how us 3 will teach and work together. but its way fun and we still all get along great.
Lets just say this has been a crazy week. Full of trials of our faith but we know that trials come before great blessings and I look forward to the blessings as we press forward with faith.
Oo fun story, we have had about 4 brown recluse spiders hanging out by our outside door so we have been trying to figure out how to kill them. We had a member and her son come kill them. ha ha so we are once again safe.
The RS broadcast was amazing. I wish we would have had investigators there because they talked so much about covenants it would have been perfect for them, but also because they could have seen President Monson speak! That's ok though because general conference is next weekend and I am so excited!!
Everyone here feeds us and then they feed us and desserts are wonderful and I am loving every minute of it. We just got a meal coordinator for us so they assign who we eat with so it will be a great opportunity to get into less active and part member families. I am excited for the month of October. Transfers are coming up on the 15th of October, and i'm already really anxious to see what happens.
I love you all and I love getting letter and emails from you, thanks for all your prayers and love and support!!

Love Sister Zwahlen 

Monday, September 23, 2013


Hey y'all(they say that here),
I have decided that I wanted to share one quote or scriptures that have strengthened my testimony each week, so hopefully they can have a similar effect on someone else as well. This week during personal study I was reading a talk by Elder Holland and he said

" there are several reasons for bearing testimony. One is that when you declare truth, it will bring and echo, and unconscious memory to the investigator, that they have heard this truth before- and of course they have... Investigators are not only hearing our testimonies of Christ but they are hearing echoes of other, earlier testimonies, including their own testimonies of Him, for they were on the side of the faithful who kept their first estate and earned the privilege of the second estate. We must always remember that these investigators were among the valiant who once overcame Satan by the power of their testimony of Christ" Sometimes its easy to forget that each of us here on this earth had strong testimonies, We all knew that Jesus was our Savior and our brother. I love that I can be that instrument to be able to help them recall what they once knew so well. Ah missionary work is the greatest.
This week has been a week of miracles. We have had mission fasts to be able to reach our goal of 50 Baptisms this month of September, but we didn't have anyone on date for this month so we have been working hard to find someone to have on date. In our district meeting we learned to pray for miracle in fact to expect miracles. So that is what we did. We prayed for a miracle. "ask and ye shall receive" We have a baptism next Saturday, for our investigator . She is 15 and her parents are converts, but when we first extended the date the family said they couldn't because they have 5000 things going that day, plus its the RS broadcast that night. and when this mom says no, she means it and she doesn't change her mind. Well we pressured her and she was not having it. So this week as we went into the lesson we prayed that we could figure out a time that she could be baptized. (and we had already put her as a no for the 28th of this month) and as we asked what date she could the mom was like " the 28th of sept. seems like the best day" WHAT?!? ahh something had been canceled and they are planning on this Saturday even though it is still a busy day for them. We saw they Lord prepare a way. What a testimony builder that like it says in Alma 26:12 "in his strength we can do all things!
The second miracle we had was I taught my first law of Chastity. We have a girl who is 22 on date for baptism, but she is currently living with her boyfriend. They are sleeping in different rooms but whatever he still needs to move out. but we were terrified to go in and teach this to her because we knew that she wouldn't want to have him move out. We prayed and prayed that she would remember the testimony she has already and not forget just because she didn't want to obey all the commandments. Well we showed up this week and she was limping and had bruises all over and she told us about how she was being abused by him and she has internal bleeding. Now this is a really sad miracle but we were able to teach the law of Chastity and she understands the importance of it. It was truly a blessing in disguise. The boyfriend is still living there because his name is on the lease but we are working hard with her to help her. We are just trying to do it in a safe way so that she isn't put in danger, as she figures out how to get him out of the house, but we know that the Lord will provide a way and she will be able to be baptized on the 12th of October.
Oh ok so that's the miracles that I can think of but i'm sure many happen every day. but anyways we were tracting yesterday and we met some people that are probably on every drug possible they were so stoned, and drunk and whatever else. They were dancing on their porches to techno and there responses to our questions were way delayed but this man was so funny. He was laughing at everything. He kept ringing his own doorbell and laughing like he was being so sneaky. Ha I got the biggest kick out of talking to them. I feel really sad for the choices they are making but hey maybe they will remember us when all is said and done and they we one day accept the gospel. ha who knows. The people here are funny and I wanted to get called to a foreign country, well guess what i'm in one. they are not like a people I have ever met before. but its amazing how much love I have for them.
Driving the mission car!  Ha ha  jk
Soybean Fields
The members here are amazing we had a man in our branch buy us all nice winter boots and he wont let us pay him, so we are going to repay them in service. We are helping weed and clean with the wife. Also we went to a birthday party yesterday and they have a zipline in their backyard that we did. oops I dont know if that is ok in a skirt but I think it was ok. It is only like 20 feet long and 8 feet off the ground but it was fun and the whole branch was taking pictures and they got the biggest kick out of us sisters doing it ha 
Riding the Zipline!  
Also I always get people telling me I have a look alike but none of them make sense I have been told I look like and actress, a dancer from "dancing with the stars", and Celion Deon. ha ha dont ask me how they think that. but hey I dont mind they compliments I suppose.  Well I guess that is all for this week. I love you all, Thank you for all the prayers and support!! 
Sister Zwahlen

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Temple Day

Hey sorry you didnt get to hear from me yesterday!! We got to go to the temple today so therefore our p-day was switched to today!! AHHH I cant believe I am going to have a NEPHEW!! Ahhh I am so thrilled!! I Did get your "greenie package" It was wonderful!! I loved it!! I am eating too much here but I dont mind:) The little packages of almonds are the best thing in the world!! I am in a branch and it is really small, but a huge area that is in the one branch. So I am just assigned to the one branch. I will be in a tri-companionship atleast until transfers but it could be longer than that I suppose, but I love it! Its really fun! I cant believe baby Nixon hasnt shown up yet!! Thats crazy! Fall has decided to come this week and we are freezing our bottoms off, we are all dreading winter if fall is this cold already! Ha I broke out the scarfs and coats and sweaters, not my boots yet but I think I will still be fine. I havent gotten cold at nights yet. So that is nice!
It is funny how the people watch out for us here. A ton of people are always warning us about the "crazies" in Greenfield, but I often wonder if they are one of the crazies, I havent figured it out yet. but we dont walk around after 8:30 here because there are a lot of meth houses and it gets kind of dangerous when it get dark out so if we arent in an appointment we go to our car and read scripture until 9:00. My favorite thing that we do in a week is service. I love being able to go and help people. We have helped people move or clean and its great. but we also are working hard tracking. Its fun to go around and talk to people. We hope to leave a good impression with them whether or not they choose to accept our invitation or not. We just smile to whatever they say and then relate it to the gospel.
Neat story about this week is we went to a womans house, she has a grandson who has a lot of mental and physical problems and she says he should have died but he is living and she loves to share her miracle with everyone she sees. Well I was able to bear my testimony on how we are sent to this earth to be tried and everyone that is here for a reason and I told her about marissa and how even though she is missing her leg, she is such a strong person and has an amazing testimony. She really seemed to respond to that and we have now taught her the restoration and she wants to hear about the plan of salvation. It is really great. She has a strong belief in God and Jesus Christ, and its fun to teach her because it she understands and believes what we are saying. I was reading a talk and It said the Holy Ghost helps people remember what they once knew so well and it helps them remember the testimonies they once had in the pre-earth life. I love that. All of these people had strong testimonies of what we are teaching them they just have the veil to blind them from what they once knew so well. I love being that instrument that helps them remember and draw closer to God! 
Also we are teaching a Philippine lady and she is the sweetest, but very strong Catholic so its been really hard to teach her because she has to forget all that she has grown up believing but we watched the restoration movie with her this week and she felt the spirit so strongly! She wants to get baptized so we just need to figure out a date for her. She also always cooks a huge meal for us even if we arent there during meal times and she is an amazing cook. Plus then she sends us home with tons of food and always ice cream and pepsi! Ah I love her. 
Well I havent had a real p-day in 2 and a half weeks because we have been traveling to and from columbus which leaves little time to do what we need so sorry its short today. but I love you all!! Keep in touch!! I will try and write later today if I have time!!
aunt sister zwahlen

Monday, September 9, 2013

Welcome to Greenfield!!‏

Hello everyone and Welcome to Greenfield Ohio!! 
It is the best place I have ever been. I actually am in a tri-companionship with Sister Malloy who is 22 and from California, and has been here 5 months And my trainer sister Leaman who is from Arizona and she is 19 and has been here 6 weeks.  They are amazing we get so much done and we all learn from each other. We get home and just laugh because people here are so funny. Here is a list of how you know when you are in Greenfield-
1. 80 percent of the people are missing ALL of their teeth 
2. They talk funny 
3. They all smoke 
4. They have 15 dogs and 20 Cats all living in their houses and they treat them like their kids. (I'm am currently praying for a member and their cat named emma) 
5. It is the melting pot of religions here everyone has a different church 
6. They are mostly all living off the government and so they don't do anything all day, so when we try to make appointments they think they are busy because they have one thing the whole week.
7. They all have about 60 medical conditions and they will tell you about them after one min of talking 
8. If someone has diarrhea, they will tell you! They are not shy about it.  and last but not least 
9.  They are the best!! I absolutely love them all. 
On my first day we went tracting and my first door they lady saw us and she was like " y'all are wasting your time" and she didnt even get to the door. ha ha it was funny and that whole neighborhood was not so interested but we did meet a guy named Josh and when he answered the door he had doritos all over in his beard. it was really distracting. They were falling out left and right as we talked to him. We may or may not have had the spirit with us as we shared our message with him ha ha Anyways we went tracting again later that night and I placed my first book of Mormon and we set up several appointments! Woo it was really fun. I was pretty scared at first but now I love it. I have had so many funny experiences with it. We have a ton of investigators right now. One whose name is Dwayne and he is so funny he calls us the "Gangsters of Prayer", haha but anyways he is on date for a Baptism for the end of the month so its pretty exciting. We are also teaching a 22 year old guy  and he is so great we taught him about our loving Heavenly Father and prayer and the spirit was so strong. He basically invited himself to Church on Sunday so hopefully he will come!! We are so excited to teach him more! 
 The members here are so funny they freak out if the missionaries dont have somewhere to eat, So we eat with them every night! Can I just say I am loving it. I have had Shepards pie twice since I left home!! LOVING it! Just the other day we went to teach a girl and it was a disaster, she had 12 dogs and they were jumping everywhere, all over us and their house was disgusting. (thats another thing, the houses here are so gross and they dont clean and they have fleas and yea the smell is so bad. between the smell of animal and smoke I might be dead by next week) ha ha just kidding. but seriously. Anyways we were trying to teach and everytime we tried the brother in law or the sister or the dogs would say something so off topic and they were all telling us they had been saved when they were 3 months. They werent interested in the gospel they just wanted someone to talk to. ha ha Oh yea I forgot everyone here is related and they have so not so good family situations. I know alot of this email seems negative but I really cannot emphasis how amazing it is here. I am so happy and I love being a missionary! The people here are unlike anyone I have ever met but I love them so much!  Today we had a luau so I dont have much time left for p-day so sorry its so short! I love you all. The work is going forth!! Congrats to Anna on serving a mission! A mission is amazing! Just work hard and find the good things and you will do great where ever you are!! I love you all. My address is 530 Jefferson Street, Greenfield Oh 45123. Please write me! Emails are great but they are really hard to read all of them and have time to still email back!! I will not be so rushed next week love you!!
Sister Zwahlen
Oh and I live in a house with just us 3 and its big and smells a little!! Its wonderful. Also We dont trust the water here so we buy bottled water. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Pic's from the MTC

 MTC Companion- Sister Woodward

 Sister Woodward -  Texas San Antonio Mission
Sister Zwahlen - Ohio Columbus Mission

 MTC District
 Its Official!