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


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Oh my gravy! November 28, 2016

Hopefully everyone had a happy turkey day! This Thanksgiving was definitely one for the books. 

Rewinding a few days...we had our second lesson with Diana on Tuesday and it turns out she went over the chapter we assigned her to read FOUR times and said she'd have no problem with getting rid of coffee! Quick someone pinch me! Ahh I just love her so much. 

We surprised Diana by raking all the leaves in her yard right before we had dinner #1! The Rodriguez family made authentic Mexican food complete with rice, corn, tamales, popusas, and cheesecake. The best part of all wasn't even the food. Diana told her brother that she's getting baptized!! We were all dying inside because she waited almost a week to say anything to anyone. She started crying and they hugged; it was a precious moment caught on film! After that excitement, we hurried over to dinner #2 at the trail center with everyone. We had a traditional meal prepared by our wonderful senior missionaries. Then came the program by us sisters that I was asked to plan! There were musical numbers, spiritual thoughts, testimonies, and a skit that Sister Chappell was in charge of. Then to finish the night off with some laughs, we watched The Best Two Years! Twas a good day. :)

The new Christmas initiative is out!! I would like to invite everyone to check out Mormon.org and to participate in the world wide day of service on December 1st and the Light the World advent calendar! This time of year we need to focus even more on our Savior because He truly is the light, the life, and the truth. Go watch the video! What are you waiting for?? :) Mormon.org - no promises that you won't cry because I do every time. 

Have great week. Be a light to someone. 🔆

Love,
Sister Irwin

P.S.
1. Raking leaves
2. "Where's the food?"
3. The big reveal!!
4. Best text ever
5. Festivities
6. 13 month







Monday, November 21, 2016

Count Your Blessings November 21, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!! :)

On Friday, the Council Bluffs zone went to the temple and when we got out it snowed for the tiniest of tiny bits! It was so fun because Sister Ibanez is from the Philippines and had never seen snow before! 

We had the Gingerbread Festival ribbon cutting on Saturday morning and some old sisters came to visit as well! Then that night Sister Beck and I secretly arranged a surprise dinner for Sister Parsons with the Chappells and roped their good friends Bob and Lucy into coming. :)

Super happy news!! Shauna's nonmember fiance, Michael, came to church! Last thing we heard was that he didn't want anything to do with it. His heart is softening!

The biggest blessing of all is named Diana. She is Brother Rodriguez's sister who is also a nonmember. She has been coming every Sunday and is ready to be taught. The elders were teaching her for a little while, but then she moved away - now she's back and Brother Rodriguez was the one who told us about her. Diana is such a sweetheart and a single mom with two kids. She already has a testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith! She is GOLDEN! We set her for baptism on December 10th!!! Last night was our first lesson with her and there wasn't a dry eye in the room. Then we all had hot chocolate and Mexican pastries. We have another lesson with her tomorrow and then Thanksgiving dinner with her and her family on Thursday! I just love her so much already!

And I love all of you! I am grateful for everyone's support while I'm out here. I'm grateful for my parents, family, friends, companions, and dog. Most importantly, I'm grateful for my Heavenly Father and my Savior. Alma 26:37 - "Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, and my great thanksgiving; yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen."

Love,
Sister Irwin

P.S.
1. I love to see the temple
2. #lighttheworld coming to you soon in T-10 days
3. Gingerbread at it's finest
4. Reunion with Fronk, Hyde, Slater, and Murphy!
5. Birthday surprise for Sister Parsons 



  





Friday, November 18, 2016

...And then there were three! November 14, 2016

Hello Friends! :)

Newsflash - I am now in a trio!! Sister Parsons' companion sadly went home on medical release so she's with us for the rest of the transfer! We are getting along great. We made up a great name for us: Beckwin and Sons!

In other news, exchanges were fantastic the other day! We met this kid named Billy outside working on his truck. We taught him a little bit about the Restoration and then asked if he had a family. He brought us to his apartment where he lived with his girlfriend and her friend! They were all about our same age. We taught the whole Restoration and gave them all Book of Mormons! The friend was more interested than the others and she really wants to come to the gingerbread festival, so hopefully the other two tag along as well. We also had a lesson with their investigator Kale, who is so golden he believes everything is true and has already been to church twice in a row!

I am so glad that we were placed in Bellevue 1st ward. I can't count how many times people have said they've really missed having sister missionaries, or they have someone they want us to talk to and think sisters would be a better fit. (No offense to elders they are still great!) There are a lot of single sisters/part member families where only the wife is active. Yesterday at church, we got three member referrals! Last night, we met Annie who is so sweet! She's a single mom with four kids. She hasn't been to church in a few years, but she wants to come back so bad. Annie also wants us to teach her son who is 10 because he wants to get baptized!!! :)

I hope you all have a fantastic week and that everyone is getting in the holiday spirit because I know I am!

Love,
Sister Irwin

P.S. 
1. Sloth buddies with Sister Farmer, Mo, and Eddy ♥
2. Exchanges with Sister Orton!
3. Good times behind the desk with Sister Clark 
4. Our trainers sent us the cutest package for our year mark in Nebraska! The signs say "We are one" and "Love mom"
5. Hopefully this video works...adventures with Beckwin and Sons​




Monday, November 7, 2016

Time Traveling pt. 3 November 7, 2016

I still don't quite understand daylight savings...but the good news is we started decorating for the gingerbread festival!! :) The trail center is slowly being transformed into a winter wonderland. And what's fun about it is that Sister Ellis and Sister Hettinger from Walnut Creek are here every day putting it together! Some other good news is that we don't have to move apartments for a while, I sang a solo while Sister Hutchison accompanied at zone training, and we found our phone in the laundry bag after saying a prayer! 

On Tuesday, we had a lesson planned with this girl Lexi. We went and no one was home, so we tried her neighbor who's less active and talked with the daughter on the porch. Then Sister Beck felt like we should knock on Lexi's door again for good measure. Just as we did, she pulled up in the driveway! She invited us inside and we had a great first lesson and taught her how to pray. Plus, her roommate was listening in the whole time, so we'll see what happens when we go back next time! 

We've also been teaching Sister Rowley who hasn't been able to come to church for a while. Her visiting teacher came with us and we had a spiritual discussion on the plan of salvation. This week we also got to meet her daughter Miriam and her husband Brian. He's not a member but he said he's always liked the Mormons and wants to start coming to church! This is totally the family we've been praying for!

I want to give the biggest shout outs ever to Moira who got her mission call to Guadalajara, Mexico, and Savannah who got her mission call to Auckland, New Zealand!!!! I love you girls so much and I'm so happy for you. You two will be so amazing! :) 

Have a great week everyone!!

Love,
Sister Irwin

P.S. Halloween festivities and our quilt!