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, September 19, 2016

Last week as a teenager say what?!? September 19, 2016

Wow this week was so good!

Carrie was finally able to come to the trail center so we could show
her around and have a lesson on having faith in and obedience to
commandments. I don't know if I've talked about her before but right
now she's our only investigator. Carrie is so sweet and is in a
difficult situation to where she can't get baptized right now, but she
still comes to church almost every week!

We had a special zone conference on Saturday with Elder Falabella from
the Quorum of the Seventy! We also had stake conference that night and
yesterday morning, so we got to hear from him and his wife a lot. It
was really cool because Sister Falabella is from Honduras and spoke
pretty good English but still had an interpreter. They were both so
personable, kind, and funny. The main topics were about using family
history in finding, working with members, the Sabbath day, the
sacrament, and temples! One of my favorite quotes: "Blessings don't
have feet, you do." Yes we are promised so many amazing gifts from our
Father in heaven, but we can't just sit around waiting for them to
fall in our laps! We have to take action and do the things that He
expects of us, and then we will have our reward. I feel like there has
a been a huge push for preparing for the Sabbath and keeping it holy
and really what it means to have a "day of rest". I was brainstorming
ideas and looking on for ways to stay productive on Sundays
for my future life all y'all because I remember that I used to just
spend them doing homework and napping. Here are some great and simple

-make treats for your neighbors
-take a walk
-watch Mormon messages or Bible videos
-create a food storage plan
-have a family council
-write thank you notes for the people who spoke at church
-research information on ancestors
-study patriarchal blessing
-feature family members in a "why I love you" spotlight
-sing or practice a musical instrument

And then if this weekend couldn't get any better, we had another
musical fireside last night to top things off and let me tell you
something, the Spirit was so strong that I'm pretty sure everyone in
the choir and audience had tears brought to their eyes. It was one of
those moments you just want to capture in a jar to remember forever.
There were even a few testimonies given by recent converts that
hopefully inspired all of the investigators that came. Also exciting,
I saw a few families from Walnut Creek!! It was such a happy reunion.
:) There is so much power and emotion and even healing that comes from
music (if it's good music) ahh I just love it. And I love you guys!

Eat some cake for me.

Sister Irwin

1. Carrie, her daughter Jessica, Sister Tryon (who is totally related
to people I know back home it's such a crazy small world)
2. Omaha Zone!
3. Some sisters after the fireside
4. I love President Gardner!!!!!!!!!!! :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Eye love the clinic September 12, 2016

This week we served at the free clinic which is so much fun because we
get to be little receptionist people and schedule appointments in the
computer. Dr. Fischer informed me that I have blue sclera which just
means that the whites of my eyes have a slight blue tint to them.
Apparently in ancient Egypt if you had it your were considered

Great things are happening in the trail center! I don't know why I've
never really made a lesson plan or thought of the commitment before a
tour. I always just rely on the Spirit in the moment, which isn't bad
I guess, but thinking more beforehand on their needs is so important.
Sister Svennson and I had the opportunity to take two members on tour
together and after we put them in the video we walked around the
gallery to pick out a spot for a specific principle. We chose the log
cabin and compared it to the brother of Jared boats that were "tight
like a dish" and how we need to serve our
family and keep them close together so that worldly influences don't
have any room to come through. It was a neat experience and we both
felt more prepared because we had taken the time to think about what
to share.

Sister Preator and I went to visit some of the less active girls with
the young women for mutual! The elders and us formed a youth challenge
that has them all pumped to do missionary work and it's so awesome. :)

Last but not least, for ward coordination meeting we had a member from
the stake come and share what they want each of the ward's mission
plans to include. One easy thing he mentioned is that everyone who
speaks in church should invite nonmembers to come and hear them! I
thought that was such a good idea because it's less intimidating for
both people. We're also encouraged to have the ward pray for specific
ways they can share the gospel in whatever situations they are in and
that God may place prepared people in their path! I hope y'all can do
the same!

Have a gorgeous week!!

Sister Irwin

P.S. Sister Jones (the bishop's wife) gave us early Christmas presents
since they're moving and they are the most comfy socks ever! :)
P.P.S. After cleaning the temple this morning (the sun was so bright)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Parting is such sweet sorrow September 6, 2016

Hey y'all. :)

Hope everyone had a great Labor Day! I'm emailing now because the
library was closed yesterday and Bob and Lucy took us to the zoo!
There's not a ton of things to report on this week, but Sister Preator
and I taught the Restoration in the mall to one of the workers at a
little kiosk. He tried selling us this really nice lotion, and
succeeded, but we just wanted him to take a Book of Mormon! He ended
up not doing it because he was already really strong in his faith but
it's okay because a lot of people walked by and saw two strange girls
adamantly bearing their testimony about Jesus Christ and we got a
stellar deal on some body cream. ;)

Fun fact...Did you know that the lead singer of Imagine Dragons was
originally Elder Reynolds in the Nebraska Omaha Mission?? In fact, he
even served in this same area. Wow! I love them!

Back to things of more importance - yesterday was the day I said
goodbye to my trainer. :'( Ugh it's like part of my heart is leaving
the heartland with her. Along with Sister Strong, Slater, Laumua,
Murphy, and Robertson are all going home too. My group is the oldest
at the trail center now and it's weirding me out! I still don't know
what I'm doing half of the time. But I do know that God knows what
he's doing ALL the time! Always remember to trust in Him. Proverbs

I'm going to start a special "40 day fast" for this transfer. Starting
next Monday I will just be writing my group emails and no personal
ones or letters for 6 weeks, also I may or may not read any as well I
haven't decided that part yet. I thought I'd try something out to give
even more up for the Lord's work because no sacrifice is too great!
The missionaries in the scriptures and the early days of the church
sometimes wouldn't have contact with their people for years and they
had a lot of success. Just know that I love all of you and appreciate
your love and support!

Til we meet again :)

Sister Irwin

District pic
Artsy district pic
Temple day
Ward mission fam
Too many goodbyes

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Bittersweet August 29, 2016

Hey y'all!

So it turns out that we had our last lesson with Ricky and he's
officially the YSA sisters' investigator to teach. It was sad but I
know this is the right thing for him because they can have better
fellowshippers for him and involve him in church and activities with
people his own age! The handover lesson went great and he actually
agreed to work towards a baptismal date on Oct. 5th, which is his
birthday!! :) Hopefully that goes through because it will be the
happiest day ever.

Another happy thing is the amazing progress that the Prusias are
making! They've been studying the scriptures every day and are finding
things that apply to them. I wish I could better explain the
experience we had at our lesson the other night but the Spirit was
just so strong. Sister Preator and I felt prompted to invite Brother
Prusia to search for the answer himself to one of his questions in the
scriptures, and also to read a specific conference talk. What none of
us knew was that the place where he was reading in Matthew 5 was
exactly what was mentioned in the talk and he knew, without a doubt
that this was true and that things from the past shouldn't control his
life. No matter what happens with people in the church, whether you're
offended or feel lonely or anything, the gospel of Jesus Christ is
100% true. People may not be perfect but the gospel is. It's not about
the social aspect as much as understanding the importance of the
promises you can make with God and the blessings that come into your
life from living in a way that is harmony with His teachings. Only you
are in control of the latter. Don't let others take away that

One last thing, the Egberts in our ward should be the poster family
for member missionary work because they are so willing to help out and
introduce their friends. Sister Egbert gave us the address for a
friend's mom from her kids' school and her name is Michelle. We
stopped by her house and she invited us inside right away and was so
friendly. She let us wash her dishes and help her with dinner while we
taught her the Restoration! We also tried helping her unlock the
bedroom door that her little boy had locked with no luck...(she texted
us later that she fixed it) But the best part was she literally took
the Book of Mormon from my hands and asked if she could have it. YES!

Sister Irwin

My diagram from zone conference
10 months with squad
Adventures at Boys Town