Monday, October 28, 2013

Happy Halloween

The beautiful Ohio
" If you really concentrate on trying to walk the way He walked- loving, caring, serving and obeying each step of the way- one day you will look up and discover that His path has lead you directly to the throne of God." -Elder Ballard. I LOVE this quote. I have been sharing it with families this past week. It is so true. Christ was that perfect example and if we follow that example he is going to lead us back to our Heavenly Father.
First off thank you family for the Package. The caramel apples were perfect and so delicious!! I am a huge fan of the Sister Zwahlen inspired apple!! yum! and the hat is adorable I love the color and I have been wearing it everywhere because it is freezing here and the wind just freezes my ears off!! Sister Love wants a bow on her hat and she wants the color purple or gray or black ha ha she isnt picky so any color works wonders. All the candy I already ate. ha just kidding. I havent but mmm the reeses are amazing!!  Sister Love and I have been practicing a musical number for a baptism for the Elders but it got canceled so now we are practicing for sacrament meeting. Oh and I made the pumpkin bread and added chocolate chips and it is delicious! I have been eating it for breakfast and throughout the day too!!  Heidi's family also sent me a package with some witch fingers and brownies and barbie bandaids. It was great!!
last weeks Hayride
In Ohio they dont celebrate Halloween on Halloween they just do it on Thursday, so obviously since it is on Thursday they do it on Thursday but normally they just do it on the week of Halloween. but yes we do work on that day but we are in our apartments early that night I think we go in at like 7. So that will be fun. We can eat candy and make ourselves sick. Oh yea and we can study and all that spiritual stuff. ha ha
This week we were able to put two people on date for the 16th of November. They are a Father and Daughter, and they are progressing so much!! We love teaching them and they have been coming to church and driving to members houses to have lessons. Its wonderful! We are even starting to kind of teach the son, He believes in Greek Mythology and isnt religious but he doesnt run out of the room when we pray now so that is good. Anyways, we are way excited for them. We are also teaching a man named Reynold he is probably in his 70's but he is stubborn but so wonderful. All we can see is him working in the temple one day. He is progressing but he wont come to church because he doesnt want to be around people ha so we are working through that one.
This week I have been reading chapter 4 in PMG and it is all about recongizing the spirit. It is an amazing chapter. I have been working on listening to the promptings and as I have listened I have been blessed with amazing experiences. I am also finding out what it means to "feast upon the words of Christ." I cannot get engough study time. I love reading the scriptures and studying for the resources I have. I hurry and eat lunch so that I have extra time to study!! It is so unlike me to like to read but I have been so blessed to have the desire to learn. I am finally really understanding the things I am reading in the scriptures! ahh missions are the greatest. I have only been here almost 2 months and I have learned so much. I am grateful I have 16 more months to continue to learn. I sometimes pray that they extent the time sisters can serve so that I have extra time here on my mission. ha ha
So Sister Love hasnt been sleeping ever since she got to Greenfield so that has been really hard. She functions amazing without sleep by the way. I wouldnt be able to do it. but anyway it is really starting to take its toll on her so we are going to see the doctor and see if we can figure things out, she has been having other health concerns too. I am probably the worst companion, because I just want to go, go go  and she just wants sleep ha so we are working on it but I am grateful that we have such an amazing mission president and his wife. They are always there and they remember what is going on with each of us to they check in on Sister Love to see how she is doing. I am amazed how they remember so much!! Man they are so inspired it is amazing.
Oh and I saw the first snow for the season here. It didnt stick but I didnt like it. I told the branch that I was being transferred to Hawaii. Ha I wish right? Well anyways this week I have really learned that I didnt really have the talent of loving people. infact I didnt really love people at all. but I will just tell you I love these people. Its overwhelming the amount of love I have for them. The brach is my family and I love being around them. turns out im a people person! Its a miracle what happens when you push your self out of your comfort zone. "There is no learning in the comfort zone and no comfort in the learning zone."
I love you all!! Thank you so much for the prayers, support, and letters!!
Sister Zwahlen

Sister Leaman & Sister Zwahlen

Shelby and I  (shelby is a branch missionary, she is wonderful and planning on going on a mission next year when she turns 19)

Monday, October 21, 2013

The lady in Purple!‏

"The word hope is sometimes misunderstood. In our everyday language the word often has a hint of uncertainty. For example, we may say that we hope for a change in weather... In the language of the gospel, however, the word hope is sure, unwavering, and active."  I love that. I am studying Chirst-like attributes and hope is one of them. Also I am reading "our search for Happiness" by elder Ballard and it is wonderful!! Everyone should read it.
This week has flown by. I cant even tell you how fast time moves here. They all say that by my half way mark it will go fast. Well if time moves any faster, I wont make any progress because I wont have time to even blink. Its crazy. This week has been calm and mostly drama free. Completely drama free is not possible here, but things have seemed to calm down so its really nice.

Grace is improving. She is responding and she smiles so that is a pretty good sign, I dont know what they think will be her final outcome, but for her circumstance I would say she is doing pretty well. Samantha isnt progressing right now. We arent allowed to teach her or ask about baptism until we have been given permission from her mom. So we just continue to pray and we know it will happen one of these days. 
Transfers was fun. Sister Leaman is gone like we said and so now it is just Sister Love and I, and let me tell you I am moving up in the world, not only am I not the greenest of the missionaries, I moved from the cot to the bed, I have a desk, I sit in the front seat of the car, man life is good!! ha ha I cant even imagine moving up anymore in the world. This is the life. :) Oh also at transfers we role play (ew) but anyways we role play all day, everyday. and so we were playing a game where you have a list of ideas that you had to use to try and get someone interested on the " door step". It was just fun and funny like I told them that I liked the picture they had hanging in their house and they would say that their ex wife forgot to take it with her. Awkward, but anyways we had to try all the suggestions on our list until we guessed the one that they had picked to let someone in. So sort of like trying to guess the right pass code to get into their home.  Well of course I get picked to be the missionary and role play in front of a bunch of missionaries. Then President Nilsen is standing beside me and teaching us how to do door step approaches. Unfortunately he didnt know what we were doing and just thought I was terrible at door step approaches and so he made me practice like 12 thousand times in front of everyone!! Ahh it was embarrassing. After wards the AP's came up and apologized that that had happened to me. ha that was a bad explaining of the story but I don't know how to tell it through an email.

This Saturday the branch had a hayride at one of our members farms, it was a lot of fun. It was potluck and then they told the history of the farm and there was a bon fire and they told a story about a lady in purple standing in the cornfields and then they had the youth dress up as ladies in purple and walk around as the hay ride was going by so it was a little creepy. The next day me and sister love accidentally wore purple, and members said they saw an Amish dressed all in purple with her purple cap at Walmart and  so they were telling all of us at church about it. It was funny we got a good laugh out of it. 
Jimmy is amazing and he is working on his family history so that he can do their work at the temple. He is totally going to go through the temple a year from now and I am so excited for him. He is dating a girl that is in another state and she doesnt really like us so much because she feel threatened by having two girls with him teaching him about the gospel. Sounds threatening right? ha anyways she calls him constantly while we are there and he is getting so annoyed with her. but I tell you this story only because he has started calling her "dragon lady" haha I think that is so funny. I mean really its quite sad but I laugh every time I hear him say it.

This week I have helped members make salsa and applesauce. It is wonderful. I am learning so many skills and I am going to be the best homemaker you ever met by the time I leave Greenfield. Dont worry I am still doing missionary work and we are only helping as service, not for fun although it is fun.
This week has been wonderful we are teaching a father and daughter and son and the father and daughter came to church this week which is a huge step!! I am so excited to keep working with them. Also we found 2 new investigators this week and they are both named Carl. go figure. then we flipped open our sex offenders list and the first name I saw was carl. Ahh what is with all the carls?? I dont know but hey its fun and I dont mind. I taught RS this week on the work moves forward and the spirit was so strong all the ladies were crying and it was great. I think it was good because sometimes our lessons go a little off topic so it was nice to keep them on track. Also the Elders have a baptism next week and sister love and I are doing a musical number!
Well I guess thats it for this week. I love all of you. Thanks to the young women and primary for their packages and letters. although the young womens note didnt make any sense it was kind of a disaster by the time it got to me but I ate all the candy already. Also if I gain weight here on my mission I am going with the excuse of proverbs 28:25:)
Love you all

Sister Zwahlen

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Happy Columbus Ohio Day

Hey family, because the libraries are closed we are emailing at a members dr. office. and there is only one computer. So this is going to be a really short email because of lack of time. I dont have an hour to email like usual! 

We just got our transfer call and drum roll please... ha ha I am staying in Greenfield. which is good, I am excited, Sister Leaman is being transferred and Sister Love and I will be here, most likely just us two. So it should be fun. Me and Sister Love get along really well. There is a lot of drama that we get dragged into here so I am hoping that it changes because I dont do drama! ha but I am loving it and I am excited to stay here, we have a lot planned for this next transfer. I guess the lord needs me here to make sure they happen huh? 

Jimmy was baptized this Saturday and confirmed yesterday so I had my first baptism and it was wonderful since I was here to start teaching him as well. So I have been here the whole process to see how much he has changed. He really is so smart and He has grown tremendously since we started teaching him. He is going to do great things so we are excited for him. 

Life is good, and I am loving life still. Well I love you guys!! I will have to email you everything else later. Also, apparently animals are my best friends, I cant even count how many cats I have had on me this week. 

Love, sister Zwahlen

Monday, October 7, 2013

"I don't do politics"

"You come unto Christ to be yoked with him and with his power, so that you're not pulling life's load alone. You're pulling life's load yoked with the Savior and Redeemer of the world, and suddenly your problems no matter how serious they are, become lighter." Amen to that!! As Blaine said "I'm in the real world now" and let me tell you Satan he is such a trouble maker, but I have seen how my problems have been made lighter as a turn them to Christ and rely on him. I have been studying hope and faith this week. I encourage you all to read about them in PMG and in True to the Faith they are amazing. 
Coming to you all from the Greenfield Library. So to answer your questions we just come to the library to email. In our branch there are five missionaries. Two elders and us three sisters. We are in different areas though, but we work with each other in all of the areas of our branch. Our tiny branch is made up of one of the biggest areas in the mission. There is a ton to cover so a car is a nice thing to have or we would spend almost all day walking to one place. 
Pretzel Sandwich
This week have been amazing. why you ask? Well let me tell you its because of the Amish! They are amazing and their food is spectacular. We went to Bainbridge last week and we went to some Amish stores and I was in heaven. They make these pretzel sandwiches that you could die for, oh and their donuts. I could go on for years about how good their food is! Also it is more in the country and the leaves are all starting to change and so it is beautiful. but anyways we were driving along and all of the sudden a deer jumps out in front of us across the road and then jumps right into a tree. and back across the road. ha ha I got the biggest kick out of that. ha ha I am still laughing thinking about it. I cant believe he hit the tree. It was bizarre. Needless to say I am going to live in bainbridge next to the Amish the rest of my life. I guess I am going to need a horse and buggy! 

This week also we were visiting with a Less Active, and she has her grand kids that live with her, and this lady LOVES politics and she could sit and talk about Obama all day long. She is funny but we were telling her that Conference was this weekend and as we were about to leave we asked the little grandson who is seven years old if he is going to watch conference and his responds was "oh no, I don't do politics" ha ha We explained that it wasn't politics, but it was funny to hear out of the mouth of a seven year old ha
So this next weekend we have a baptism for our investigator Jimmy and this week was wonderful. We have been working with him to stop smoking and he had been having a hard time with it so we asked him if we could see his cigarettes and he was hesitant, but he finally did and then we did the math of how much it costs him to buy a pack vs. having eternal life and being baptized and he of course picked baptism. So then we went with him outside and crushed up his cigarettes. and took his lighter. He would crush up his own cigarettes but then he finally did crush up his last one. It was fun for everyone. (well he probably didn't think it was fun) but hey now he isnt smoking and he is so ready to get baptized. He is amazing and he wants all the blessings so he realizes what he needs to do to get them. He is working so hard to live all of the commandments and we are so excited for him to get baptized on Saturday!! 
We have an interesting experience this week as we were tracting we ran into a man named Buddy. He told us that we were just who he needed since he was probably going to jail soon for have cocaine in his house. We talked a little about how through our Savior all of our wrongs can be made right. It was neat. So we made a return appointment with him and unfortunately he wasnt home, but all of his "friends" (about 7-8 of them)  were sitting in his backyard smoking and drinking. They were not such nice men.  We asked them if Buddy was home and they were telling us he was one of the biggest drug dealers in greenfield and that he was inside. So we went and knocked on his door. and the men were telling us things like " hey, I will be buddy for an hour if you want" and really disgusting things. So we ended up leaving without talking to Buddy which was probably a good thing since, we cant go in his house if there are drugs in there and also we weren't so comfortable with his friends. We are going to try another time when his friends aren't there and hopefully he isn't in jail so we can teach him. The thing is we are so protected here on our missions. We are smart about what we do and we are protected for doing the Lords work. 
Oh and one our investigators boyfriends told us that if we ever came back he would call the cops on us. So hey that is pretty neat. We are just going to have to work through that one ha ha

This week has still been a little stressful but conference ended it on a good note. We watched conference at the church and the sessions are from 12-2 and 4-6 so it was different but it was wonderful to hear such good messages that will help us be better missionaries. The last session we watched at the Hall's house they are amazing and they fed us after, but while we were there a severe thunderstorm ran through and so  conference kept turning off. Let me tell you when it rains here it rains. We were grateful to be inside. They said we got like 3 inches of rain from the one storm. it was a lot of water. no wonder it is so green here!! Well I guess that is all for now!! I love you all!! Thanks for all your letters, emails and prayers!! They mean so much!! 
With all my love
Sister Zwahlen

Peeling apples with "big mama" so she could make pie filling and apple butter and apple sauce.