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

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

It's Christmas time in the city December 26, 2016

I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas!! We had a rainy, but good one here! :)

Sister Maes picked us up in the morning to have breakfast with her family. All of her sons + one girlfriend came to church afterwards which was so happy because only the youngest kid usually goes! Then afterwards we went to our ward mission leader's, the Lemieux's, house for dinner!

The biggest Christmas miracle of all is that earlier in the week we talked with Doug about living the word of wisdom. He said he was down to only one cup of coffee a day instead of two. We told him we'd have to push his baptism day back just a little bit. In a previous lesson, we gave him a little sticky note to remember to say his morning and night prayers and he stuck it on his bathroom mirror. He said one night he prayed for the strength to give up coffee. The next morning he couldn't even get himself to make a pot of it before he went to work! He just stopped cold turkey and so far it's been a week! :) We also asked Doug to pray about a date to get baptized and he said he wasn't sure if it was just himself thinking this or what, but he feels like January 21st is the day for him. We almost screamed because that's the same day that Sister Beck and I were thinking of!!

Other news from this week...

-We drove up to Sioux City, IA for zone conference
-Got enough other people to come with us so Diana's temple trip is all green lights go
-The seniors put on the best dinner/program on Christmas eve
-I got to talk with my parents!!

Hope everyone has a Happy New Year! Keep remembering Christ through the new year. :)

Sister Irwin

1. Fun at zone conference 
2. A sweet note from the young men/young women/leaders back home - thank you guys!! :)
3. 14 months ft. Sister Orton's face in miniature
4. The best ugly socks from my companion
5. Doug at church on Christmas!

Some pictures from around the trail center and the party and caroling on Christmas eve :)

Gingerbread!! December 19, 2016


Tis the season to be jolly! December 19,2016

Another amazing week in the good life! Besides the power outage at the trail center and negative degree weather we are doing great. :)

Doug is on a roll! He's reading his scriptures every night and is already done with 1 Nephi! Last Monday we had another lesson with him and Sister Castillo over some pizza. Also, three weeks in a row for church! He's getting to know more of the members and I think he was even invited to someone's house last night for dinner!

The Searles are also doing awesome. Amber is so ready for baptism! She studies and takes notes in her Book of Mormon, she's already been watching conference and reading the Ensign for almost all their marriage. She plays primary songs for her kids in the car and when they go to bed. Plus, she makes the best pumpkin chocolate chip cookies known to man. I just love their little girl Anastasia. Sister Beck and I sit and color with her in church. She says she wants to be a missionary when she grows up! 

Diana is doing fabulous. Yesterday she had an interview with bishop and got her temple recommend! We are aiming for the 30th to go and do baptisms for the dead.

To finish off the week we had a Christmas musical fireside last night for the other stakes and it was SO. GOOD. This time of year is the best for music about the Savior! We had a lot of different group numbers and some smaller groups that sang/played piano and violin. I sang What Child is This? But my favorite, was the Gardner's daughter, Allie, who sang a beautiful one called Son of God. President and Sister Gardner sat in the front row and both of them cried so we all started crying ugh we were a hot mess but everyone did a great job, there was a good turn out, the Spirit was strong, and we made lots of good memories.

I hope everyone has such a Merry Christmas!! I am so grateful for the reason for the season; our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ! May we all find ways to remember the greatest gift of all, and share it with others. Go light the world. 🎆🎄

Isaiah 9:6 - For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Sister Irwin

1. Catch me first in line opening day
2. Rare sighting of snow in C-town
3. This can't be legal
4. We love when Allie comes to visit!!
5. More friends :)
6. Companion!

Friday, December 16, 2016

I like to look for rainbows December 12, 2016

...Whenever there is rain
And ponder on the beauty
Of an earth made clean again
I want my life to be as clean
As earth right after rain
I want to be the best I can
And live with God again!

Saturday was the happiest day ever!!!! DIANA GOT BAPTIZED! When she came up her face was just glowing. It was a good turn out with her family, some others from the ward, and Doug! Her little 8 year old nephew gave the cutest talk ever. He just got baptized earlier this year so he was so excited for his aunt. :) 

Yesterday Diana was confirmed a member and given the gift of the Holy Ghost. Doug came to church for all three hours again! He's set for January 7th. :) We also visited with the Searles again and Amber is so awesome. She basically just shared her testimony with us the whole time. Brother Searle has the priesthood already so hopefully his work schedule lets him come to church more often and he can baptize her in the near future! They weren't at church this week because someone got sick, but the little 3 year old loves talking about Jesus and can't wait to go to primary.

My mission dream came true! I handed a Book of Mormon to someone at a red light through the window! There was a couple standing with a cardboard sign that I honestly couldn't read but I'm assuming they were asking for money. Instead they got something ever greater!

Whoever calls Sundays the day of rest has never worked a trail center shift during gingerbread. We had FOUR buses with different tour groups yesterday morning which kept us all on our toes! It's so fun though. I love staying busy especially at this time of year!

Exciting news, they're coming out with a District 3!! For all you out there wondering what the District is, it's a series of training videos that we watch. And part of this one is from the one and only Arizona Tempe Mission!! We got to watch one of the segments that was filmed in the ASU institute building and Elder Kwao is in it! I can't wait until we get to watch the whole thing!

Don't forget to Light the World! Today's theme is to teach others. :)

D&C 18:15 "And if it so be that you should labor all your days in crying repentance unto this people, and bring, save it be one soul unto me, how great shall be your joy with him in the kingdom of my Father!"

Sister Irwin

1. Diana!! ♥
2. The whole Rodriguez familia! 
3. #getdunks
4. Dinner at the mission home

Monday, December 5, 2016

Another one bites the dust December 5, 2016

Sooo transfers happened and our trio is back down to two! Sister Parsons is in Cottonwood again, but Sister Beck and I are still here in Bellevue. There's so many other new changes. President Gardner is starting to make this a regular thing where sisters from the Trail Center can get pulled out for full proselyting for a few transfers and vice versa. We had two sisters leave and three new get put in! 

This week was also quite an adventure for another reason. Sister Beck got cellulitis from an infection in her finger, so we had to go to the emergency room and ended up in the hospital for 24 hours. Luckily she is doing okay now! I was able to go out with our sister training leaders for the day to their area, and then to a lesson with Diana that night. Then it was back to the hospital to stay overnight! So many senior missionaries visited Sister Beck and brought us both goodies. We felt so loved! 

On Thursday we had a lot of appointments and the best one was with Doug! He's a friend of Jennifer in our ward that we've taught once before. Jennifer is so awesome because she also invited her neighbor Peggy over, but that's a different story. Doug is set for baptism on January 7th! He says he reads the Book of Mormon for a half hour each night!! :)

This weekend was the best because all the sisters in the mission had a special fireside with Young Women General President Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson! She is so amazing I loved being able to hear her testimony in person and getting the chance to talk with her afterwards. Plus we were wearing matching maroon turtlenecks so I don't know what could get better than that :) ..Except for church the next day because Diana, Doug, and this part member family, the Searles, were all there!!! I could've cried it was so happy. 

This Saturday at 12 is Diana's baptism! We have a few more commandments to go over with her and then she has her interview on Wednesday. I can't believe it's actually happening but she is so ready!! :)

I hope everyone has a blessed week! Don't drive down any hills when it snows. 10/10 would not recommend. 

Sister Irwin

1. Baby Church is going to Kearney! 
2. Orton leaving the trail center too :(
3. Hospital sleepover!
4. Gingerbread hosting at the Kanesville Tabernacle :)

Here is a picture of us with Sister Oscarson and one of the whole TC family!