CALLED TO SERVE

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, May 23, 2016

Too blessed but still stressed‏ May 23,2016

This week we had zone conference! It was super insightful and
President Gardner talked about the difference between having head,
heart, and soul knowledge. Soul knowledge is when you know something
is true with every fiber of your being and you act on that to share it
with others!

Sister Parsons and I visited with the Daguenons who are both from
Benin Africa and they speak French!! :) When we got to their house
they were assembling a dining table set so we helped them with it and
afterwards they were so nice to feed us yummy French ragu (some sort
of potato stew). Tres bien. J'aime manger. J'aime etudier ausi. Le
livre de Mormon est vrae! There's your French lesson for the
day...moving on.. :)

Friday was exchanges with Sister Hyde and my mom Sister Strong for the
first time! I'm under Winter Quarter's stewardship now since I'm in
the Omaha Zone. We had a blast!

HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY last week to my most bestest friend - the one and
only Morgan Janda!! Your emailing/writing game is stellar and you are
the bomb. You go glen coco. :)

Soo I've been hearing comments from people saying wow you are so
positive like ALL the time how do you do it?? Are you really that
happy?? I must say the mission is definitely the hardest thing I've
ever done and probably will ever do but it's so worth it. I often feel
like the current bush that gets chopped down or the piece of metal in
the refiner's fire but I just don't care to waste time talking about
that. ( Both of which are awesome Mormon messages if you haven't seen
them the links are here:
https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2012-01-014-the-will-of-god?lang=eng
https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2014-11-010-the-refiners-fire?lang=eng
)

Something Heavenly Father promises us if we live the gospel is an
assurance of peace and joy. It doesn't mean that we don't have
challenges, because trust me they do come and they come even when
you're doing the right thing. Happiness comes and goes but we can have
constant joy. I think of all the examples in the scriptures of people
who are serving the Lord and standing up for the truth and they suffer
much tribulation. I love the story of Alma and Amulek! They kept
preaching and helping others even when they kept getting turned down.
You just gotta keep on keepin on! :)

Love,
Sister Irwin

P.S.
1. Nebrasquad reaches 7 months!!
2. NOM olympics...we work out
3. Played pterodactyl with the Austin fam after a lesson




Friday, May 20, 2016

Pioneer children sang as they walked and walked and walked...‏ May 19, 2016

Hey friends!

Remember when we got locked out of our house last Monday? The same guy
Dawson came to let us in and we talked to him about what we do as
missionaries and gave him a pass along card. He ended us texting us
saying thank you and that he's always been interested in religion! He
accepted to meet with the missionaries in his area!! :)

On Tuesday we visited with Sister Holmes and washed her hair because
it's hard for her to get around and she can't do it herself. She is
one of the most humble and optimistic people I've ever met! She is so
sweet and told us stories from when she served a mission.

The trail center is getting crazy since it's almost summer! I'm so
grateful for the opportunities we still have to teach on the online
teaching center as well. Mormon.org - check it out. :) I've talked
with people all over the world like Switzerland, Brazil, South Africa,
and even France! We still keep in touch with our friend Patrick from
Indiana and he is visiting with sisters in his local area as well. It
is amazing to see how technology is hastening the work of sharing the
Gospel.

Friday night we had ward coordination dinner at Raising Canes with our
mission leader Brother Meyer. The assistants, Elder Sherman and Elder
Smith, are in Eagle Run too! It's kinda awkward working close with
elders sometimes but it's always a party!

Saturday was Florence Day! Celebrating the history here in Omaha. We
were in a parade and dressed up as pioneers; I felt like I was back at
trek! We also had a mini concert at the park afterwards and one of our
members, Amber, showed up! It was so much fun and it brought a lot of
people into the trail center.

OK, time for the greatest miracle of all this week! Yesterday morning
on shift a guy named Glen came in from out of state on a business
trip. He has been less active for a few years because he's a truck
driver and is constantly on the road for his work. He said he's only
able to go to church a few times a year. We got to the end of the tour
and I asked if he was going to church today. He said probably not
since he only had his semi and he didn't want to drive that and didn't
have church clothes. We invited him to ours that started in a half
hour. It just so happened that the sisters who had borrowed our car
for their church called and said the battery was dead. So Elder and
Sister Whittle offered to give us a ride to church and Glen agreed to
come with!!! :) He was so incredibly grateful and said it was almost
an immediate answer to a prayer. I know that God has a plan and that
He hears and answers all of our prayers, maybe not in the way we
expect Him too but I promise they are answered! I know that we can all
be the answer to someone else's prayer if we have the courage to just
open our mouths and invite others to come unto Christ! The church is
true folks.

Love,
Sister Irwin











P.S. Tired and sunburned pioneers went for a well needed sonic run





Tuesday, May 10, 2016

I'm in the ER‏ May 9, 2016

I got transferred to the Eagle Run area! (ER) We talked with Harold on
the phone on one of my last nights and he said he'd put in a good word
and then he prayed that I could stay. I wish I didn't have to leave
him and all the amazing members there and Sister Young but apparently
the Lord has different plans. I'm super sad to be leaving my
birthplace but so far everyone that I've met is really nice here! My
new companion is Sister Parsons and she came out a transfer after me.
She is the sweetest ever - and way good at Spanish. We went to the
ghetto part of our area and these people who only spoke Spanish
invited us in and she had a full on lesson with them as I just sat
there dumbfounded. But it was awesome! We live with this fun couple
Bob and Lucy who aren't members but their daughter is. They've been
out of town for the weekend and won't be home until late tonight and
we somehow got locked out of the house...for the second time. Maybe we
can laugh at this some time down the road...maybe. :-)
Happy Mother's Day to all the amazing moms out there! We wouldn't be here without you!
Hope y'all have a good week. Don't get locked out of your houses, or drive on the wrong side of the road, or have bats fly at your head!
Love,
Sister Irwin
P.S. Going to the zoo made my whole life because of the sloth








I call this..the attack of the bats 2k16. This wasn't even the worst
part! We walked down on the jungle floor and had to go through a cave
where they swarmed at us! It was an adventure. Hope the video works below.
video


an adventure.








Monday, May 2, 2016

Sister Irwin had a little lamb‏ May 2, 2016

Hey y'all this will be a shortish letter because we finna go to THE ZOO!! :D

The highlight of my week was going on exchanges with Sister Yancey! We
visited with a member who told us about his life story. He grew up in
the ghetto and said he was a real thug who did horrible things and was
in and out of prison his childhood-young adult life. He found out
about the church and was baptized after finishing his time and now he
has a wife and kids and is a completely different person!! It is so
amazing how Jesus Christ and His atonement can really work miracles in
people's lives.

We visited another lady who's their investigator and her adorable
kids. We talked about the importance of The Book of Mormon and prayer.
The nine-year-old daughter said the other day she was just relaxing
and taking a bath when she remembered to ask God about the book and
she said when she did she felt an overwhelming sense of happiness. She
said that was her answer that the scriptures were true! She then said
the sweetest prayer I've ever heard in my life; she asked for her
brother to get better, her mom to get a better education, world peace,
and that everyone would be Christian. I couldn't stop a few tears from
coming to my eyes. She's NINE! I am constantly amazed by all the
children I've met on my mission and I continue to learn so much from
their testimonies. The Gospel works no matter what age you are! The
church is true. :)

I also tried lamb for the first time! ...I think I'll stick with chicken.

Love,
Sister Irwin

P.S. 1. We found another mural which has the Winter Quarters statue on it!
2. Also found some fun bronze statues in down town Omaha :)
3. I learned that worms come out of the ground when it rains a lot and
if you've seen 17 Miracles where the girls jump over the snakes that's
how I feel...
4. There was a tornado warning so we all took shelter in the
basement!! It was just a small one and it didn't hit close to us but
still the siren was deafening and very eerie. It was an adventure!