Tuesday, December 5, 2017

It's Been 18 Months Already?!?!?

Hi family,

In all honesty it doesn't really feel like this is my last email. I have always pictured myself still knocking on doors in Washington until I was 80...I think that may change once I see the mountains flying into Utah. 

This week was wonderful. Andrew was able to come to church and he loved it!! He said there were so many happy and uplifted people. He was really surprised by that! That just goes to show the difference the gospel makes in people's lives. 

Also this week Jelina and Jacob from Star Lake got baptized!!! So I was able to go back for the baptism! It was so wonderful to see them and I was thrilled to be there. There is another baptism in Star Lake for Judy this week so I will go to that as well. :) 

My last zone conference was this week! When Elder Leavitt was announcing car inspections Sister Curry and I were praying we won the Gold Plates! Lo and behold we did!!!! We earned 100 extra miles so no more biking in the rain this week :) That was a blessing of fasting and praying! At the end of zone conference it is a tradition that the departing missionaries bear their testimonies. I was filled with so many emotions. I am incredibly grateful for all the wonderful blessings Heavenly Father has given me. It was a time of reflection for me to see really how the atonement of Jesus Christ has changed my life as I have served a mission.There is no greater joy than helping others come unto Christ! I know without a doubt that Jesus Christ lives and loves me. Heavenly Father has shown his love by sending his Son and by restoring the church to the earth through the Prophet Joseph Smith. I know that the Book of Mormon is the most correct book on the earth and that we can come to understand the atonement of Jesus Christ as we study and abide by its precepts. I have come to learn that these things are true by the power of the Holy Ghost and I invite anyone who has not come to learn that these things are true for themselves to pray and ask God. 

Heavenly Father has given me a portion of his love for the people in Washington. I have loved serving! I am sad to leave, but I feel prepared. I have faith in returning home, and I am ready to serve Heavenly Father in Utah. 

See you soon! 

Much Love,

Sister Wynder

Jelina and Jacob's baptism

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Rockin' the Frumpy Sister Missionary Look

Hi Family,

A lot happened this week...

To start off our investigator Andrew is doing really well. We had a powerful lesson with him about the Sacrament and the word of wisdom. He committed to living the word of wisdom at the end of the lesson and has continued to keep his other commitments. However, when Sunday rolled around Satan was working extra hard...While his fellowship was on his way to pick him up for church, Andrew took his car on a test drive that he had been working on for a few weeks. While he was driving the steering wheel was acting up and made him crash! His car got totaled and right when his ride showed up his car was getting towed. It was a blessing Andrew wasn't injured but sadly, he couldn't make it to church. So please keep Andrew in your prayers! 

Thanksgiving was a lot of fun. The north half of the mission got together and played volleyball, basketball, and four square for 3 hours. It was pretty awesome when President and Sister Rasmussen came in and President was wearing his tennis shoes with his suit! He was ready to play and dominated in volleyball!! We had a great dinner with the Jarvis family. The food was heavenly and we were stuffed! 

This week we got approval to ride the mission bikes...when the office elders dropped them off one had 2 flat tires and the other had a problem with the chain. Our district leader and his companion fixed them for us - what a miracle! Unfortunately we are owning (not really) the frumpy sister missionary look with reflector vests and helmets! I think were are figuring out how to ride a bikes in  skirts! 

On Sunday we taught Gospel Principles on Eternal Families...we had to chuckle because we are teaching YSAs! I felt the spirit working through us and it ended up being a great lesson! It got me really excited to go to the temple next Saturday - I can't wait. 

Yesterday (the reason p-day is today) we set up for the Maple Valley Nativity! It is a pretty big deal. We set up with the zone from 12-4 and then for FHE we set up from 6-8. I have never set up so many Christmas trees and fluffed garland before. I am really looking forward to it this weekend. We have passed out a ton of invitations and had a lot of good responses. Last year over 700 non-members came! 

I hope you all have a great week! 

Much Love,
Sister Wynder



Tuesday, November 21, 2017

In the Ward but Not of the Ward

Hello Family,

This week has been amazing!!! 

So last Monday we went with Andrew (recent convert) to Costco! It was like going to Disneyland! We ate lunch, walked around getting samples, and basically only bought a 40 pack of Capri Sun - life is good. 

This week we had interviews with President and Sister Rasmussen! I love them so much and they gave me such great advice for making the transition when I get home and how I can continue to work hard these last 3 weeks (yikes). President Rasmussen commitment patterned me to come to their homecoming since they came to my farewell. I told him I wouldn't miss it. :) 

Andrew (the referral) that I mentioned last week came to institute this week!!! He also became a new investigator and he is on date to get baptized :) Heavenly Father blessed us so much this week. 

We also are doing our best to not go over on our mileage limit so we have been doing a lot of walking. One day we walked 8 miles! We also tried riding bikes...that lasted about 1 mile. Sister Tayco let us borrow their bikes. The only problem is that they are beach cruisers and don't shift gears when you go up hill! So we had to walk the bikes up the hill. That was the first time I have rode a bike my whole mission. All I can say is riding a bike in a skirt is as awkward as it looks. Haha. 

The ward has some really great activities. This week there was a Priesthood Appreciation dinner and we were able to serve. There was also a linger longer after church on Sunday before the Face to Face broadcast. We didn't stay for that because there was a missionary devotional that night. I was able to see Sister Taylor and there are a few baptisms coming up in Star Lake before we go home so I will be able to go back for those :) 

This transfer I have really learned what it means to reach out to those around you as the Savior would. I am so blessed to have the knowledge of the Gospel. Some have forgotten and others don't know. I pray that I will be able to recognize those people that Heavenly Father places in my path. I encourage everyone to reach out to someone this week and serve them. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! I pray that I will always be able to live in the attitude of gratitude. Heavenly Father has blessed me in every aspect of my life. When I take a step back and see all of the blessings that sometimes I take for granted I fall to my knees in awe. 

Much Love,
Sister Wynder
 Costco parking lot with Andrew

After walking 8 miles in one day!

Bike riding

Bryn and Sister Curry

Monday, November 13, 2017

Oh Say Can You See

Hey Family (read in Mason's voice), 

Well it's been another great week in the Green Valley YSA. Something I really love about YSA is all the great activities. This week we went to FHE, Book of Mormon Club, institute, and the Relief Society (herbal) Tea Party! President wants us to focus on strengthening the members and helping them reach out to their friends. So part of that is going to the activities. It has been really fun and a lot of the members have said they really like seeing us there and it reminds them to share the Gospel. 

This week was also the first "Outreach Night" for the ward. It is organized by the ward mission. It is a night where we go out and visit less-actives or new move ins. Anyone is welcome to come and it is really fun to go on splits with the members. 

We have a new investigator this week, and have been working with recent converts! There is a potential investigator that we are working with and really want him to become a new investigator. We stopped by a few times this week but he wasn't home. We drove by his apartment on the way to the church and the spirit prompted me to turn around to go see Andrew. Sister Curry had the same prompting, so we turned around and lo and behold Andrew was home. He said he was interested in learning more and we set up an appointment with him for this week. :) 

We also sang the National Anthem with Sister Tayco, Sister Scott, and some of the youth in the stake for the Maple Valley Veterans Day Dinner. It was a lot of fun and we were able to have dinner with the Veterans and talk with them. I am really grateful we were asked to sing because it helped us get to know more people in the community and it was great for them to be in the church building and to meet the missionaries. 

I love Sister Curry so much. This week I have really noticed how strong her testimony is of the Savior's Atonement. It carries her as we teach and work in unity. I have been so blessed on my mission with amazing companions. I have loved every one of them! 

This week I was studying "By Divine Design" by Elder Rasband. It is amazing how Heavenly Father guides our lives and I have come to see that his hand is in everything. I know there is no coincidence that I am serving in Washington at this time. I was led here by the spirit! One of my favorite quotes from his talk is "When we are righteous, willing, and able, when we are striving to be worthy and qualified, we progress to places we never imagined and become part of Heavenly Father's "divine design." Each of us has divinity within us. When we see God working through us and with us, may we be encouraged, even grateful for that guidance."

Much Love,

Sister Wynder
Bryn and Sister Curry, fancy dino nuggets, and Andrew who is a recent convert in the YSA Ward


Monday, November 6, 2017

Have you ever had a panini?

Hello Family!!! 

I have to admit I was a little nervous about being in a YSA ward but I love it! Sister Curry is so great - she is from California! We get a long great and have so much fun together. The YSA ward has so many wonderful members. After being here a week I know that I was placed here for a reason. I feel that one of those reasons is to learn how I can be involved in a YSA ward  and how I can keep sharing the Gospel after my mission. 

We had Festival of Finding this week as a mission. I was with Sister Hardy and Hermana Ohlsen throughout the day. We saw many miracles and I am so grateful to learn from the other missionaries. Our zone set a baptism goal of 11 this transfer and the mission goal is 36! We fasted and prayed this week as a mission and I know Heavenly Father has so many wonderful things in store this transfer. 

Finding is a little bit different in YSA. We still tract and contact but we only teach YSA age so we send out referrals to other missionaries quite often. We are teaching a girl named Tabetha right now. She is truly prepared and really seeking for truth. We taught her the Restoration this week and invited her to be baptized. She said she needs some time to pray about it and to receive a confirmation. I know that the spirit will touch her heart. 

On Sunday it started SNOWING! Our church building is out in Auburn but it was mostly raining out there when we got to church. The ward is amazing! I loved hearing all of the strong testimonies of the members. Tabetha and her less-active friend Brooke came to church. Towards the end of the testimony meeting the first counselor who lives in Buckley stood up and said the Bishop has asked and would like Sister Wynder our new missionary to bear her testimony. I also gave the closing prayer so hopefully the ward wasn't sick of hearing from me. 

Something that really touched me was during Gospel Principles our WML taught the lesson on missionary work. He had us:

1. Read Alma 7:11-13 to ourselves and whenever it said "his people" replace those words with your name
2. Think about the blessings you have received and our relationship with the Savior.
3. Think about someone in your life who doesn't know what you know about the Savior or has forgotten.
4. Pray to know what you can do to help that person who the Spirit has brought to your mind.

It was a powerful lesson and strengthened my testimony of missionary work. There really is no greater joy than sharing the Gospel and helping others come unto Christ. I would invite all who are reading this to read Alma 7:11-13 and see who the Spirit brings to your mind. 

Much Love,

Sister Wynder 

P.S. Mom - we have a George Foreman grill and Sister Curry and I have made paninis almost everyday this week :) 

Bryn and Sister Curry

Snow in Washington

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Happy Halloween

Hi Family,

Wow, what a week it has been. To start off, I am being transferred to the Green Valley YSA ward in Maple Valley. Maybe this is Heavenly Father preparing me for the future... I am really excited though. I will be serving with Sister Curry! 

I am sad to leave Star Lake! I love this area and Sister Taylor so much!! 

This week Kuol and Ariik were bapized! They are the 8 and 11 year old boys I taught in Federal Way. They are so sweet and the spirit was so strong. I love seeing children of our Heavenly Father enter the waters of baptism. 

This week we had a ward Halloween party! It was a chili cook-off and Sister Taylor and I were the judges along with Bishop Kersh and Bishop Meldrum (former Dolloff Lake Bishop). It was so much fun! There were a lot of less actives and non-members there including Jeremy who became a new investigator earlier that day. He is a friend of Bruce who sat in on one of Bruce's lessons a few weeks ago. We taught him the Restoration and he is really interested in learning more. 

One thing we seemed to have really focused on this week was the Book of Mormon. We were in a lesson with a less active couple that is working on going to the temple. During the lesson we read 1 Nephi 8 and President Monson's talk "The Power of the Book of Mormon." As we discussed and read we invited them to read the Book of Mormon everyday together! After the fact, the spirit impressed upon me to read the Book of Mormon everyday with Sister Taylor as companions. I am so grateful for that prompting! I have felt a stronger spirit within our companionship as we read the Book of Mormon every night before we go to bed. I love the blessings President Monson promises to those that read the Book of Mormon each day:

"My dear associates in the worof the Lord, implore each of us to prayerfully study and  ponder the Book of Mormon each day. As we do so, we will be in a position to hear the voice of the Spirit, to resist temptation, to overcome doubt and fear, and to receive heaven's help in our lives. I so testify with all my heart in the name of Jesus Christ, amen."

I know that these promises are real because I have felt them in my life. I want to invite everyone to follow President Monson's counsel. Along with reading individually, I invite families, couples, companions,etc. to read the Book of Mormon everyday together! There is so much strength that we will receive if we do this simple act. 

I am again grateful for the time that I had to serve in Star Lake. There is a great love that I have felt for the people on my mission. I am so blessed to be on the Lord's errand. 

Have a great week! 

Much Love,

Sister Wynder
Kuol & Ariik's baptism

"Our hub cap came off while we were driving, but miracles happen and we found it."


Monday, October 23, 2017

Plant the Word

Hi Family,

Well it has been a pretty wet week here. There is nothing like knocking on doors when it is pouring buckets on you... only in Washington! We saw many miracles this week and are continuing to find joy in the work. 

We had Zone Conference this week. It is amazing how faith building every zone conference is. We watched an exclusive MTC Devotional given by Elder Bednar. His address focused on Alma 32 and 1 Nephi 8. I always thought of Alma 32 as a faith chapter...oh boy, was I wrong! In that chapter Alma compares "The Word" unto a seed, not faith. The Word is Jesus Christ and we have to exercise faith to plant The Word into our hearts. As we nourish The Word by faith, diligence, and patience the seed takes root and becomes a tree growing up into Everlasting life. So basically what that last part means is that the tree grows within us and we can become like the Savior. He then focused how the Tree of Life in 1 Nephi 8 is Jesus Christ and as we cling to the rod (The Word of God) we can reach Jesus Christ and partake of the blessings of His Atonement. As I study the scriptures each day I have learned that Jesus Christ is found in every aspect of the gospel. Everything points to Him! 

We also went on an exchange with the Jovita Creek sisters. I was with Sister Riggs! She is a ray of sunshine and loves the work. After having 3 of our 5 lessons cancel we knew that there was someone else we needed to find. We decided to contact a referral we received from the Spanish elders. We knocked on the door and John opened. It was rainy, dark, and his house was right next to a main road. We started teaching John about the Restoration and as we taught we could see his countenance change. I know he felt the spirit as we taught and testified of the Restoration of the Gospel. We invited him to read the Book of Mormon and he accepted our invitation. There is nothing I love more than teaching the Restoration. 

Sister Taylor and I had another experience this week where we received a media referral but when we contacted it the person we talked to said "there is no one here by that name." As we paused, a little confused we knew there was someone in that area that was ready to hear the Gospel. We knocked around the neighborhood and the last door we knocked on was the home of a family. We could see there was a little boy looking at us from the top of the stairs. He ran up and down the stairs debating if he should open the door or not. He finally did and we asked if his mom was home. He ran to tell his mom and when she came to the door she was shocked because he never answers the door.  We began to teach the mom part of our message. She was so kind and invited us back. I know the Lord sends His missionaries to find his lost sheep. I love being on the Lord's errand. 

Also Bruce was ordained a priest on Sunday! He is making such great progress. 

I hope everyone has a wonderful week and can have opportunities to share the Gospel. 

Much Love,

Sister Wynder 

Monday, October 16, 2017

Night of Music

Hello Family,

I can't believe it is Monday already. 

To start off I went on two great exchanges with Sister Graff (my redheaded twin) and Sister Nebeker.
Sister Graff is amazing. This is her second transfer but you would never have guessed it. We learned more about the role of the spirit in missionary work and the importance of serving a mission. 

Sister Nebeker is a sweetheart. We had some really powerful lessons with Jelina and Jacob and also Khoa. They were both focused on the Book of Mormon. We studied and did the best we could to prepare for those lessons and the spirit guided them both. It is amazing how different lessons can be when you prepare and role play verses "winging it". The spirit will always guide when we do our part. 

Also this week we had a great lesson with one of our investigators, Keshon. He is Muslim, but as we taught about the Atonement his heart softened and we could see that he was understanding that Christ was more than a prophet. I knew that the spirit touched is heart and that his faith in Christ is growing. 

Saturday night we had a Night of Music. Sister McClellan and Sister Zavala came up with this idea in May and it worked so well the first time that we did it again. So we had about 9 musical numbers.  Sister Taylor and I sang "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul" with 3 of the young women. I am so grateful for everyone who performed - all of the performances brought the spirit. It was a great turnout - we had about 6 non-members, 5 or so less-actives, and the rest members. So that is what I call a success. 

On Sunday Bruce was confirmed! Later that night we had a great lesson with him. At the end of the lesson one of the guys in the house asked us if we were Mormons. We told him "yes" and he continued to tell us that his sister is a member and he has seen how it has changed her life. He also said that he would love to sit in on Bruce's next lesson and learn more about the gospel. Bruce is already a missionary and Heavenly Father is continuing to prepare the hearts of his children. 

I love you all and am grateful for your sacrifices. 

Much Love,

Sister Wynder

Bryn and Sister Taylor

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Power of Not Knowing

Hi Family, 
Well it has been another wonderful week in "Warshington" as 1 in 500 Washingtonians say. I am so grateful for the things that I have learned this week. 
To start out, district meetings this month are all centered on the Holy Ghost. We discussed how understanding truth only comes by the Spirit as we experience it. One Elder shared an experience where one of his companions said "Elder how do you know when you need to go to the bathroom?" He responded "I just know, I can't really explain it." His companion went on to teach him how that is similar to the way we feel the Holy Ghost...we can't always explain it but it is a feeling of knowing. We then went into role plays where we helped the investigator recognize that they were feeling the Holy Ghost. I learned so much from the role play and Sister Taylor and I really felt the Spirit guiding our role play. It is amazing when you take role plays seriously that the spirit can help resolve concerns for investigators and teach you new insights and ideas. 
This week I went on an exchange with Sister McCrae. She is such a great missionary. She is from Idaho but has not been to the Potato Museum. After our exchange she said she is definitely going to go when she returns home. I learned a lot from Sister McCrae including honoring our sacred calling. I could really see that she understood her purpose and knew that she truly is a representative of Jesus Christ by her example. 
In Mission Leadership Council we watched an amazing talk by Liz Wiseman called "The Power of Not Knowing." I learned so much! Her talked is focused on leadership. She talks about "The Rookie Zone" and how that is when we are given a job or task that we don't feel qualified for but that is when we learn the most. I could relate because that is basically what a mission is. Everyday I do something that makes me get out of my comfort zone but that is when I grow because I had faith and relied on Heavenly Father. I encourage everyone to watch this talk. 
It is amazing how the Holy Ghost is truly the teacher. I can only create an environment where the Spirit can be there but I am not the teacher. It is amazing thought how the Spirit works. We had one of Bruce's new member lessons this week and we went over the Restoration. As Sister Taylor recited the First Vision tears filled my eyes and it was another strong witness that I felt from the Spirit that Joseph Smith did in fact see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I have learned that the Holy Ghost doesn't just carry the message into the hearts of the investigator but also the missionaries. I am so grateful for that important lesson I learned by experience.
I am loving my mission more and more everyday. It is amazing to be a part of this work!
Much Love, 
Sister Wynder
Halloween Decorations

Mission Leadership Council


Bryn and Sister Taylor watched the Sunday afternoon of conference at their ward mission leader's house with another family in the ward, a new convert, and an investigator and they had dinner after conference. While he was getting dinner ready Bryn found his phone and proceeded to take several "selfies" - he posted this one on the Facebook mission page!

Monday, October 2, 2017

Best Weekend Ever

Hi family,

Wow, my heart is so full this week. 

On Friday night Bruce was baptized! Bruce is a character and has been a pleasure to teach. It has been so neat to see the changes he has made and then to see him dressed in white. I felt the tender spirit of the Lord as we gathered together for his baptismal service. Sister Taylor and I gave the Baptism and Holy Ghost talks, and Brother Avila performed the baptism. I am so grateful for the members that helped and made it all possible. Our ward mission leader - Brother Hampton is so on top of things. He even brought extra towels..and good thing to because Brother Avila and Bruce both forgot theirs. Haha! Bruce is the manager of a program that helps men that just come out of prison to get back on their feet. When he got home Friday night one of the guys asked Bruce what he had been up to because he looked different. The was a testimony to me and Sister Taylor of the change that really does occur. Due to General Conference Bruce will be confirmed a member and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost next Sunday

This weekend was amazing! I love General Conference so much. We are truly blessed to receive counsel from the chosen servants of the Lord. We watched the first 3 sessions at the stake center and then the last session we went to the Hampton's house. Bruce, Gib, and the Avilas all came. It was so much fun and the first time Bruce and Gib had watched General Conference. We also had dinner afterwards at the Hamptons and had birthday cake for Sister Taylor. 
I learned so much from the spirit as I watched General Conference. I received many revelations and was taught from on high. I loved too many of the talks it is hard to choose a favorite. These were the highlights that stuck out to me: 

Always focus on what matters most. 
Continue to LOSE myself in the service of others. 
Raise a family in righteousness. 
Make decisions in the context of helping others. 
Take time to be holy. 
Look through the lens of the Gospel not social media.
Maintain my testimony & read the Book of Mormon everyday. 
The Lord does not do things by coincidence but by divine design. 
Look to God and live. 
I can't control everything, but I can control how I respond.
Put Christ at the center of my life today! 
Fear not to do good.
Always follow prophetic counsel. 
I don't know everything but I know enough. 

I especially love the last quote that was given in Elder Neil L. Andersen's talk. It is so important to remember that we are given knowledge and inspiration line upon line. I also love this quote when thinking about what I know about the gospel. I have come to understand that the more I know, the more I know that I don't know anything! There is so much to learn in this life but we should never let the things we don't know change what the spirit has confirmed to us as truth. I am so grateful for my testimony of the Gospel and a loving family that only strengthens it. 

I hope everyone had a chance to watch ALL of the General Conference sessions. I have the priesthood session downloaded on my USB ready to listen to. General Conference is a blessing that we should never take for granted. 

Much Love,

Sister Wynder
Pictures from Bruce's baptism