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, February 28, 2017

Ask me about my grand-dog February 27, 2017

Sooo transfers happened and I had to say goodbye to my favorite Asian...but now I get to be with Sister Janson!! Also, I'm finally a GRANDMA! Sister Young is training the only new sister and I couldn't be more proud. :)

This week was good! We had a lesson with this former investigator Zach. He met with missionaries about a year ago and has read the whole Book of Mormon. He knows everything is true, but his parents are devout Catholics and they won't let him come to church. He's looking to move out, so we're trying to see if any guys in the ward are looking for a roommate. We also taught David this week and are praying he can come to church and some activities this week. The APs gave us yet another referral! His name is Boris and is originally from Africa. We had a hand off lesson with the elders at the trail center. He has so much faith!

On last thing before I go, I know the Lord guides us and directs this work. We are meeting YSAs left and right. I feel like those used to be so rare to come across, but now wherever we go, even knocking on doors, we find YSAs to talk to! The church is true.

Sister Irwin

1. Sister Henry wears my shirt better!
2. New comp Sister Janson! :)
3. Mesa better give a warm welcome to Sister Hall!
4. Queen Creek better give a warm welcome to Sister Smith!
5. Hermana Marshall also went home!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The church is true Febraury 20, 2017

Hello beautiful people!

Wow. So many exciting things this week. I thought Ricky had dropped off the face of the earth, but I heard that he texted the Eagle Run sisters and Brother Bruun is taking him out to lunch! Also, I got to see Carrie the other day! She is doing so much better and is living in a nicer place. The happiest news of all: Kathy's husband, Scott, got baptized!!! :) President let us go and it was so good to see them and other old friends.

Sister Firth and I had another lesson with chill Dave! We both love that kid. He's so funny and really sincere! He's also reading his scriptures! He asked a few "frequently asked anti-questions" but we got them all cleared up. Dave likes how happy Mormons are and really admires the strength of the pioneers. He said that right there is a good starting point in proof that there's a God! He prayed again at the end of the lesson. I hope and pray that the Spirit touches him and testifies that there really is a God - that He's our Heavenly Father and He loves us!

The assistants gave us two referrals, John and another David, who are neighbors. We had a hand off lesson on Saturday and awkwardly managed to fit all six of us outside on John's tiny trailer home porch. We couldn't go inside because we weren't able to find another female to come with us. There were so many awkward and hilarious encounters, but the funniest was when Elder Karl was praying we heard "hey, hey you! Whoever parked their car in front of my house needs to move it! I need it moved right now" was our car so we drove away in the middle of our lesson, trying to find another place to park! The crazy thing is we weren't even blocking his driveway and he didn't pull his car out or anything. But despite all the chaos, John and David both came to church! And so did four Muslim students from UNO who just walked in during sacrament meeting! They've only been in the United States for two months, and want to learn more about Jesus Christ! We made sure to get all of their information!

Last bit of crazy news, the boundaries changed between the Papillion and Omaha stakes. We lost the Old Mill ward and gained Millard and Chalco Hills. We ended up losing more people overall, including half of our relief society presidency! This is a hard change for a lot of people, but I know the Lord has a plan! Transfers are also this week and we have no clue what's happening, but all is well. :)

Sister Irwin

1. Life size version of hungry hungry hippos
2. We love YSA family home evening!
3. Tanner loved his birthday present :)
4. Scott and Kathy <3
5. We love Brookelyn!
6. Shalyn and Melissa are leaving us :(
7. Best friend Sister Cope is going home </3

Friday, February 17, 2017

Love is in the air Febraury 13, 2017

We had an online lesson with Allie this week and it was SO GOOD! She is so prepared and it was nice to talk on the phone instead of just text. For just being 16, she has a great understanding of things we've taught her. She believes that God still calls prophets today and is going to pray about The Book of Mormon. She wants to get baptized, even if she had to wait a few years it wouldn't matter to her. She loves the scripture Moroni 10:3-5 and the concept that she can find out truth for herself!

Something our mission has been working on is asking inspired questions. Sister Firth and I gave a man named Brother Oliverson a tour and she asked him one that was so simple. It was something like "How do you apply the doctrine of Christ every day?" And he started crying! The whole objective is to help the person feel the Spirit and open up so we know how to help them. 

We found the family that we weren't praying for! We've been praying to find roommates instead. #singleswardprobs It was a really cool experience though. We took Hannah along with us, and I'm so grateful we did, because she helped a ton! She just got back from her mission in December, and is so cute! This family hardly spoke any English because they were all from Nepal. We talked to their YSA age son and scheduled the appointment a few days ago when I was on exchanges, but he ended up leaving so we taught his family instead! The other son spoke the most English, so we would say something and he'd translate. The cool thing is that the Spirit is universal. One of my favorite things is to hear people pray in another language.

Exchanges was with Sister Collins this time. I adore her! This is only her second transfer but she's such a powerful teacher. We spent a lot of time street contacting downtown, and people were definitely placed in our path. So many miracles! We prayed specifically that we would be able to find and talk with someone wearing red and gray, and they just started popping up everywhere!

Another cool miracle: Sister Firth and I fasted last Friday to be able to find two new investigators this past week. Guess what? We got a referral from the Spanish elders - Jose, who doesn't really speak Spanish! We also met this kid named David at a gas station! We've had a lesson with each of them and Jose even came to church with Manny. David's lesson was really cool because he's atheist but willing to learn. He said his first prayer ever and it was so sincere. Dustin came with us and was able to relate a ton because he didn't grow up believing in God either, but he was baptized 4 years ago, and has since served and returned from a full time mission! The church is true friends. If you know someone that's struggling, or if you're struggling yourself, the gospel will help. Guaranteed. Here's a link to meet with representatives of Jesus Christ! What have you got to lose?

Sister Irwin

1. Protein smoothies with Alexis! (Flexis)
2. Exchanges...excuse the blurriness 
3. The complete Asian cuisine 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

What should I call this email? February 6, 2017

This week was pretty chill. I had exchanges with Sister Orton in Bennington! That was fun. A lot of changes are being made to the Trail Center with our new directors. Four new senior couples, some pictures rearranged, new office and teaching center furniture, and different ways of starting tours. It's taking some time to get used to...but it's all good! The church is still true. 

On Friday, Sister Firth and I fasted for more direction and help in finding people to teach. The next day we traveled to this little town way on the Western side of our area  called Ashland. It was a cute little place; population 60? Not many people were out, but we were able to find a few possible YSAs!

Miracle moment: there's a girl I've been talking to on teaching center for a little over a month, and originally she came on chat wondering how to learn more about the gospel without having missionaries. Her parents are strict Catholics and she's only 16 so they didn't really approve of her going to another church. She has a good member friend who told her some things and taught her how to pray! I've been sharing a little bit with her about the church and sending her links to videos and such. Last week she told me that her parents decided it's her own choice and they are letting her go to church with her friend! I took that as the okay for me to actually start teaching her the lessons! She doesn't want to meet with her local missionaries just yet, she wants to meet them first before actually meeting with them. I'm going to call her some time this week and teach her the Restoration! :)

We cleaned the temple this morning. Love that place. And I love all of you! Have an awesome possum week.

Sister Irwin

1. Sister Orton + frosties = good exchange
2. Sister Youngberg came to visit!!
3. Tour from Germany
4. Companions that brush their teeth together, stay together