Monday, December 26, 2016

Merry Christmas!

The first e-mail we got from Bryn today . . .

Sister Suttle texted us this morning and said her and Brother Suttle have the day off and if we needed anything or we wanted to go do something fun today is the day. So we asked her about Cafe Rio and she said she would love to get it for us. So GUESS WHAT??? SISTER SUTTLE IS ON HER WAY TO GET SISTER POPE AND I CAFE RIO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ANOTHER CHRISTMAS MIRACLE. (For anyone who doesn't know, Bryn would eat Cafe Rio at least 2 or 3 times a week before she left so getting Cafe Rio after 7 months of not having it is really exciting for her - in case you couldn't tell!!)

And the second e-mail . . .

Sorry this email will be really short.
Hello Family,

It was so great to talk to you last night. I am so grateful I got to talk to the cousins and aunts and uncles. I thought Christmas would never come. We have had such a wonderful week. I love the members of the Sumner ward and being able to serve here.

Earlier this week we went on exchanges, I was with Sister Hammond in South HIll. I love her so much and saw a lot of miracles.

Saturday during the day we had another Festival of Finding! I was a little worried we wouldn't have a lot of success because it was Christmas Eve and a Seahawks game. However with the Lord anything is possible. Sister Petersen and I were white washing South Hill the first hour and a half and we had a "Third floor, first door" experience. The first door we knocked on of an apartment complex was a family - we taught the mom at the door about the Book of Mormon and Restoration. So neat. We also had a "Third floor, Last Door" moment too. The rest of the day was really great. That night we had dinner with the Jacobsens. Both of the parents served in Europe and their son is serving in Italy so we had a European Fondue party! I loved it and it was delicious. After dinner we read the Christmas story in Luke. I told them that is something my family does every Christmas Eve so it was great to keep the tradition going.

( I know from President Uchtdorf's talk it was "Fourth Floor, Last Door" but there were only 3 floors in the apartment complex.) 

Christmas Day -

We went to church and it was lovely, so many great musical numbers and both bishops of the Sumner and Puyallup wards bore their testimonies. We had lunch at the Fellers and then the Zone went to an assisted living center to sing Christmas carols. It was so tender one man cried as we were singing. Then we had dinner with the Suttles (love that family) and we played the jelly bean game. It was the best - gross flavors but we had a blast. Also Wesley one of our investigators came too!

Hope you have a great week!

Much love,

Sister Wynder

The Sumner ward Christmas party with Santa

Christmas Eve with the Jacobsens

Christmas morning - opening presents

Christmas day lunch

 Caroling on Christmas day

 Christmas dinner with the Suttle family

Skyping on Bryn's end!!!!

Skyping on our end . . .
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Sumner is Hallmark

Merry Christmas Week!!!! 

So many miracles this week - let me tell you about them!

But first on Thursday we had a zone conference + Christmas Devotional. We had training and went over the basic fundamentals. President Rasmussen talked about the Green Bay Packers and Vince Lombardi and related it to missionary work. I thought of dad when he said Green Bay Packers. We had lunch and then we played a game that was straight up a Christmas riff-off!!! No joke - we all split off into zones (there were about 5) then Sister Rasmussen would point and a zone had to start singing a Christmas song. We went back and forth until my zone was in the top two zones basically having a sing off. Sadly my zone lost but we went through so many rounds it was crazy! So much fun though.

We went back into the chapel and each zone delivered a Christmas message and musical number. The spirit was so strong. I love that at zone conference we do training first and then we change gears and focus on the Savior and what we are really striving to become. I love that and it really helps me to keep in perspective what my purpose really is as a missionary.

Miracle Time -

So Friday night we stopped by the Fry/Welty home to invite Riley to come to church. Right when we got there he asked "When can I get my head dunked in water?" We told him he needed to come to church and he replied "I know." We had him read Moroni 6:5-6 and we were talking we noticed that he was looking at the pictures at the beginning and so we asked his Grandma if he had his own Book of Mormon? She said no because she has a lot of copies so he has been reading out of that. We asked Riley if he would like to keep that Book of Mormon? He got so excited and he turned to a random page in Jacob and said oh this is a good scripture and started reading. He also wanted scripture markers and sticky notes. Keep in mind this kid just turned 8! We asked him how he could know if the Book of Mormon is true and he replied "At the end of the lesson I want to pray and ask if the Book of Mormon is true!" Seriously so adorable and he did pray! He is the sweetest kid and we also told him that we have a Book of Mormon coloring book if he came to church and he got even more excited. Sadly his dad from Oregon picked him and his brothers up for the weekend last minute and so he wasn't able to come to church. So sad but he should be able to come next week. 

So on Saturday the mission had "Festival of Finding" where we went out tracting and contacting from 10am-5pm. We got together with a couple of sisters and starting out in Surprise Lake where I was companions with Sister Erickson for 2 hours. It was basically like we were white washing - not knowing the area. We picked a street and before we got out I said that I had a Spanish pamphlet just in case. Sister Erickson said I have a Russian one that I have always wanted to give out. We talked and we said we are going to find a Russian family today. I also had a prompting to carry The Family a Proclamation to the World with me. The first house we knocked on was a family that was super nice and said we could come back. The second house we knocked on had a scripture on the door in a different language. We looked at each other and said what if it was Russian?! A 16 year old boy answered so we asked him and he told us RUSSIAN! We taught him the Restoration and he prayed at the end of the lesson. His family is very involved in their church but he said we could come back when his family was home. So cool that we found a Russian family. The third house we knocked on was ANOTHER RUSSIAN FAMILY!!! Holy smokes! We taught the mom and she was looking for a different church. She kept talking about her family and how much she wanted to feel closer to Christ. We started teaching her and I gave her the Family Proclamation and set up a return appointment. I couldn't believe we found 2 Russian families in the first hour of finding. It was such a miracle. 

The next two hours we spent in Sumner. I was with Sister Hammond and we were driving through downtown and it started to snow a little bit. We said we felt like we were in a Hallmark movie. Sister Hammond said "Sumner is Hallmark!" I totally agree, haha. We were able to find a few potential investigators - which was great. Then the last 2 hours we met up with the Hermanas in South Hill. We split up into groups of 4 and went Christmas caroling! It was so much fun. I was with Sisters Hammond, Bowman, and Hermana Reed (who is Kara Reed's cousin - Kara went to Cottonwood). The first house we sang to was a Hispanic family. Hermana Reed started teaching them in Spanish as the rest of us smiled...they told her they could come back and teach them. She told us that that never happens. We caroled to about 10-12 other houses. We also passed out the Living Christ as a Christmas present. A lot of people said we could come back. It was amazing to see how people's hearts were softened by Christmas carols. One man was smoking outside and we asked if we could sing him a song and he said let me go get my daughters. It was so neat and we are planning on going Christmas caroling on Christmas eve and day. 

Those are some of the highlights of the week. I am so grateful to be an instrument in the Lord's hands. It is amazing what the Lord can do. 

Merry Christmas! So excited to talk to you this week. 

Love you,

Sister Wynder

Pictures from the "Festival of Finding"

The "snowstorm" in Washington

This is a picture someone posted on the mission Facebook page from the zone conference/Christmas devotional

Monday, December 12, 2016

It snowed!


So last Monday Sister Pope and I went to a tree farm - there are so many in Sumner! We found the cutest little tree and we named her Myrtle. I love getting real Christmas trees, plus they smell good.

Tuesday was really great we had Zone Training on fulfilling our purpose - it was awesome. The Zone Leaders asked a lady in their ward to share her conversion story and it was really powerful. She talked about how every missionary made a difference and impact in her conversion no matter how much or little they taught her. So that was really neat. That night we had dinner with a new family that moved here in October the Williams - they are really great. We showed them Light the World and their 5 year old son said, "Wow, Jesus said yes to everything...well except things that are dangerous." It was so cute and funny. We also had a lesson with a less-active and she had a non-member friend over so we talked to her about the church. She said she was looking for a new church! She lives in Tacoma so we gave her a Restoration pamphlet and a Book of Mormon. She said missionaries could come by so we sent her referral to the Tacoma mission.

Wednesday we had interviews and counsel from Sister Rasmussen. Sister Pope is now gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free. She is still having stomach pains but hopefully this new diet will help to see what the problem is. So that night we went to Dairy-Freeze to get ice cream before she had to go cold turkey the next day.

Thursday we had a lesson with Wesley and read Alma 24 and 48 - the lesson went really well and he was able to connect the Book of Mormon to his past experiences. It also snowed tonight. It maybe snowed 1/4 of an inch and everyone was freaking out. Sister Pope was really happy I am the driver because she has never driven in snow before. I thought I would escape the snow this year but looks like it followed me to Washington.

Friday was the ward Christmas party! It was so much fun! There were so many people there. Also a miracle happened. The Paynes in the ward (the ones that live on the horse farm) own a house that they have been renting out. Well Amy the lady that just moved out will still be living in the ward boundaries. She is a non-member but when the Elder's Quorum helped moved her she asked questions about the church and loved the sense of family. Brother Payne invited her to the Christmas party and she came. During the dinner she asked Brother Payne a lot of questions and he taught her basically the Plan of Salvation and the Restoration/ Priesthood authority in 10-15 minutes. He asked her if she wanted to take the discussions and she said yes. He introduced us to her at the party and we are really excited to start teaching her. She moves in to her new house at the first of the new year. So we probably won't be able to really teach her until then, but what a miracle! Member missionary work is what it is all about.

Saturday Sister Pope's stomach was really killing her but she decided to go finding. The first person we talked to was named Doug. He was taking his dog outside next to his apartment. We introduced Light the World and then starting teaching the Restoration. He was really interested. He asked about church and said he would like to come on Sunday. He prayed at the end of the 20 minute lesson. The spirit was so strong even though it was freezing and I literally couldn't feel my toes at the end of the lesson. It is okay because Doug prayed for us that we would stay warm. (He didn't come to church the next day but we are going to follow-up with him soon).

On Sunday during Relief Society I sat next to Sister Fry and she told me that Riley Welty (her 8 yr. old grandson) really wants to get baptized. They aren't going to their dad's that much anymore so they are here Sundays. She said if we asked if and taught him about church this week he would come. I was so happy to hear how he really wants to get baptized because we asked him before and he said yes but at the ward Christmas party he wanted to know where the font was. I know Riley is going to get baptized and I have a feeling it is soon. Later that night we had a lesson with the Whitmans. Brother Whitman is just glowing. He just received a calling to be an assistant cub-scout leader. He also will be called as a Home Teacher at the new year. He was feeling a little overwhelmed so we focused on the blessings he has seen and how we can help him. We also talked about temples and the peace that will come from doing baptism for the dead and in a year receiving his endowment and being sealed. We talked about preparing ourselves to go to the temple and Sister Pope brought up also making your home a temple. That was inspired! I was prompted to share D&C 109: 13-18. Because the home is compared to the temple in sacredness I replaced the Lord's house with the Whitman's house when I read the scripture. It changed their perspective and then they starting listing ways they can make their home more of a temple. It was such a great lesson. This week one of the Elders that taught Brother Whitman years ago that they were really close with is coming to visit because he couldn't make it to the baptism. So Brother Whitman is really excited and Sister Whitman wants to make sure he gets to meet us. So that should be fun!

So a lot of miracles this week. I am so grateful to be in Sumer! I really could stay here for at least 9 months, but we will see what the Lord has in store.

Merry Christmas,

Sister Wynder

P.S. Being a missionary is great especially at Christmas time!

Picking out and decorating Myrtle, the Christmas tree (Bryn probably doesn't realize this but one of her great-great grandma's name is Myrtle!)

Those of you who know the story of "Pearly Paul" will like this picture - we sent a cut out picture of Pearly Paul so Bryn could put it on her tree!!

Pictures of the big "snow storm" they got and getting ice cream

So we are working with a part member family right now the Todds. The mom was inactive but is returning and has been coming to church for the last 3 months. The daughter Kyra is inactive but we get along really well and the whole family loves missionaries. She has a letter press stamp and I thought it was the coolest thing so then at the Christmas party she surprises me with one for me!!!! It makes sense now why she asked me what my first name was...