Hello friends! :) I am currently serving as a missionary for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in the Nebraska Omaha Mission. I'll be emailing home every week for the 18 months that I'm in the Cornhusker state; my amazing mom will be the one posting them on this here blog. Interested in church history? Come on down to the Mormon Trail Center at Historic Winter Quarters and I might just be there to give you a tour!

"As we lose ourselves in the service of others, we discover our own lives and our own happiness." - Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Monday, January 25, 2016

The no snow no show‏ January 25, 2016

Hey everyone!

Last Tuesday we were supposed to have a lesson with this one guy but
when we knocked on his door no one answered! He clearly saw us through
the window so we tried the doorbell but he still didn't get up. We
decided to borrow some snow shovels and went back to shovel his
driveway. We left a note that said "Love, the Sisters" so we'll try
him another time and see if anything changes! Kill em with kindness.

On Wednesday we watched a worldwide missionary broadcast where we
listened to Elder Anderson, Elder Bednar, Sister Oscarson, and some
other general authorities. It was so cool to think that the other
75,000+ missionaries around the world were watching it at the same
time! Something even more exciting, I saw a few sisters that I was in
the MTC with and my friend Chandler Richardson in the audience! Some
of my favorite things from the broadcast...1. Be an agent, not an
object. 2. All efforts bring blessings. 3. Teaching is more than just
talking; it's observing, listening, and discerning.

Sister Strong and I went over one day to visit the Hale family to get
to know them more and share a quick message with them. When we got
there we found out it was Brother Hale's birthday and they insisted we
come with them to Cracker Barrel for dinner! Afterwards we had
cupcakes to celebrate. :) It was so much fun!

We finally had a lesson with our investigator Lauren!! I think we
found her like my first week and have been briefly keeping in contact
with her but have never been able to sit down and talk until now. The
greatest thing ever is that she's been reading the Book of Mormon this
whole time and she's a little over 1/3 of the way done with it. That
is huge! HUGE! If people read it they are so much more in tune with
the Spirit and ultimately they can come to know that the scriptures
and everything else in the gospel are true because it links it all
together. I love the Book of Mormon so much! Lauren is such an amazing
lady who has been battling cancer for 7 months. Her positive attitude
towards life and faith in God are already solid, I can't wait to see
her come even closer to Christ.

Okay, one last story! It was Saturday night, about 8:30, and we knew
we needed to utilize our last half hour really well. We were planning
on trying a couple potentials from the area book but then a name of a
less active member popped in my head. We looked up her address and
realized she lived about 10 minutes away and didn't think it was worth
it, but I felt strongly like we needed to go! We followed the gps and
it lead us to the right street, however we couldn't find the right
house. We almost turned back but instead went farther up the street
and found an apartment complex with the address! We didn't have a
number for her but we prayed and Sister Strong got the impression we
should try 2417, so we did...and no one answered. Then I distinctly
heard in my head that we needed to knock on the door with the green
doormat. We turned around, and down the hall was a green doormat! We
tried it and met the cutest young couple ever, Chris and Carol! They
were happy we stopped by and we set up an appointment for this coming
week to teach them more! I know without a doubt that we were led to
them because we followed the promptings of the Holy Ghost. I know that
when we are on the Lord's errand He will always help us know what to
do and where to go, even if it's little by little.

Happy three months! :)

Sister Irwin

Monday, January 18, 2016

Pigs are man's best friend!‏ January 18, 2016

First things first, I have to do shout outs to some January
birthdays!!! To my wonderful parents: you guys don't look a day over
25! To my best friend Jackie: I've loved growing up with you over the
past 13 years! To my amazing companion who probably won't even see
this: you're the best ever, thanks for putting up with me!

This week we met Rilla, and her grandchildren Egypt and Nick! Very
very sweet family. They've been through a lot but they know the most
important things are the gospel and family. They have a barbie room in
their house that's full of collector barbies - it's so fun! Then one
night we ate dinner with the Reeves and they have a room with star
wars collectibles everywhere! I took a lot of pictures in both. :)

This past week we met with Sister Hackleman who is the most energetic
woman I've ever met! She told us of her passion for missionary work
and some stories about her son who's on his mission right now. She got
us so pumped about the ward's new mission plan and how to involve
members more. Apparently there's a book called The Everyday Missionary
that she read and it inspired her. We were talking with her for about
two hours and left her house feeling so enthusiastic and high on life
it was great!

That's it for this week. Thanks for all your love and support! :)

Sister Irwin

P.S. I think it's hilarious that there are two families in the branch
that have a pet pig! This is the Brendel's pig Bella who is a little
feisty and bites if you're not careful. They had to feed her cheerios
so we could get close enough for the picture haha!

Monday, January 11, 2016

"Many are cold, few are frozen"‏ January 11, 2016

If you get the pun then congratulations! Sadly, I didn't make it up
haha. We've reached negative degrees people! It was -4 when we got up
yesterday morning!

This past week we've been able to meet a lot more of the members from
Cottonwood! The Ford's are the cutest old couple ever and gave us a
bag of snacks before we left. They both served missions in their youth
and have served a few as a couple. Sister Ipsen is so nice and has an
adorable two year old who loves sacrament meeting because every time
he screams "I see the bread!" Sister Stanley is the young women's
president and she is the best! She's so fun and bubbly. We're actually
going out to lunch with her in about an hour. :)

Zone training was awesome! I always love when a bunch of missionaries
get together for a meeting because the spirit is so strong and
everyone builds each other up. :) We talked about faith, how to extend
better commitments, and the Book of Mormon!

We have chat back at the trail center! Since it's dead season we have
less tours so now we get to go in the back room on the computers and
help people who go to with questions they need answered. I
haven't done it since the MTC and I'm glad we're doing it again
because I love it!

Shane came to church yesterday!!! I can't remember if I've talked
about him before but he is the coolest dude ever. He's bald and looks
like a tough guy and we were honestly intimidated the first time we
met him but he is the sweetest person ever! A real softie. :) He
stayed for the first two hours and afterwards texted us and thanked us
so much saying he really enjoyed it. We are meeting with him some time
this week!

Here's a funny story to end this email: When it snows a lot you get a
lot of snowbanks along the side of the road. Every time I get in and
out of the car it's a struggle! One time I slipped and fell on the
snowbank and was laughing so hard I couldn't get up for a solid five
minutes. The end. :)

Sister Irwin

P.S. It's the abominable snow man!!!! This has to be a world record!
(We didn't build it we just saw it and had to take a picture)

We had to say goodbye to the Deurksen's and the Ellis'! :( I'm going to miss these oldies but goodies!

Monday, January 4, 2016

HELLO 2016!‏ January 4, 2016

Wow! I haven't emailed since last year! :)

Haha on Monday we were grounded again because of the snow which was
kinda bummy since it was P day, but remember that awesome family I
wrote about last week? Brother and Sister Hettinger dropped us off at
the library to email and afterwards they needed to go to Target so we
came with them to buy our groceries!

Nothing too exciting happened this week; we had four actual
appointments but they all canceled except for one. On New Year's Day
we went out to lunch with our investigator Neil and Brother Farrer. He
asked a million questions about EVERYTHING. He's very intellectual and
we had some great conversations about the plan of salvation. We didn't
get to set up another lesson because of his work schedule, but
hopefully we get to see him soon. He is awesome! After that we helped
The Lundmark's clean the house they just moved out of. It's funny
because they moved out of Walnut Creek and into Cottonwood so we'll
still be with them! By the way we now have five hours of church
meetings every Sunday instead of three woohoo! We went to our new ward
for the first time and were able to meet some people. Both sacrament
meetings were so wonderful! One of the young men in our branch acts
like he's a tough guy and loves to joke with us all the time. He got
into some trouble with the law not to long ago and just recently
started coming back to church. He shared his testimony and it was so
sweet because he started tearing up and thanked everyone for the
kindness they've shown to him. Jesus Christ's atonement and the gospel
can heal any heart!

Chandler Myers leaves for Fortaleza Brazil this week!! I still can't
believe we got our mission calls on the same day! She went to a
semester of college first but now she's reporting and it's so
exciting! If anyone can get in contact with her before she leaves tell
her that I said good luck and that she's going to have the time of her
life. :)

Hope everyone has a splendid week!

Sister Irwin

P.S. All of the decorations and gingerbread houses were finally taken
down! Sad day. Luckily I was able to catch a picture of one of my