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

Friday, March 24, 2017

The things they teach are crystal clear... March 20, 2017

...for love is spoken here! ❤

Today has been a crazy day! We were at the temple cleaning from 8 to a little after 12. We got to clean all the crystal which I had never done before; it was so cool! They brought the huge chandelier down and we used these little finger gloves to wipe every single crystal until it was spick and span. (Not that it was even really that dirty in the first place which is why I love cleaning the temple.) There were a lot more missionaries there than usual because of the long list of things to do this time, so the temple presidency was so kind and ordered us all pizza! It was a funny scene with all of us eating in our white scrubs haha. After that, we ran home to switch our laundry because we had an appointment at the auto shop to take our car in for an oil change! They ended up finding some things wrong with our brake pad and rotating the tires and such, so we didn't leave until over 2 hours President says we can make up P-day time for both the temple and the waiting for our car.  

Last Monday, we had a lesson with a family of YSAs! We thought we were going to just meet one, but all of her cousins were over so we taught them all. The most interested was probably the boy. His name is Jamal, but told us to call him Nemo because one of his arms is shorter than the other...He asked a bunch of great questions about The Book of Mormon and prophets! We were supposed to have a return appointment, and it fell through but we're not giving up yet.

Dave is the man! We had another lesson with him and Tanner came along. He's read a little more but still hasn't prayed on his own. He wants to know if God is really there, he's just struggling to find the answer for himself. We told him it takes time, just like learning how to do anything else. We found this awesome video for him, and if you've never seen it here is the link below!

Sister Janson and I spent some more time downtown this week. We met this cool girl named Jocelyn. She was singing and playing her guitar on the popular corner for musicians. I love Old Market so much, it feels like you're in a movie! We listening to a song she wrote, and then she listened to our 3 minute Restoration. We got her number and will hopefully be scheduling an appointment some time soon!

Saturday was the highlight of the week!! President Gardner showed us the new Easter initiative video. It is so good! I can't wait until it actually comes out. Sister Janson and I stopped by Judith's rehab center and took her some cookies. She's moving to another facility in Hastings, so I'm glad we got to say goodbye! The elders already got in contact with the missionaries there so she can continue to have the lessons. Then we hit up Bellevue for yet another baptism!! Amber looked so beautiful and it was so fun to see little Stasia and Sammy again. (Stasia is so funny and can't hold still for more than a minute, so that's why she's a little grumpy in the picture). I got a sticker from her that I put on the back of my name tag! I am so proud of that whole family and I love them to pieces. They have come along way. The Spirit was so strong, and BJ got emotional during the baptism and his talk afterwards. It was a precious jar memory to bottle up for sure. Then it got even better because a few of us sisters went to get Chic fil a for lunch. We had some familiar faces stop by the TC that night! Elders Olsen, Craig, and Wright came back for the sealing of one of their investigators. Sister Parsons and I took the sweetest lady Linda on a tour! She was driving back from South Dakota, on her way to Illinois with a new puppy she had just bought. We were able to testify strongly of how much God loved her, and the importance of tithing. Even more amazing things happened that day that I figured I'd just write in my journal. Twas a good day indeed. :)

Sister Irwin

1. Exchanges with Sister Northrup!
2. Happy baptism day for Amber :)
3. Diana was there too!
4. Bob and Lucy ft. not so sneaky photo bomber Firth
5. The Hettinger family ft. Tanner
6. Most of the Papillion and Omaha Zones at the musical fireside!

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Time Traveling pt. 4 March 13, 2017

Hey all you Zonies + other friends! We're now two hours ahead of you again. It's crazy!

Two of the best moments this week happened at gas stations. I've been praying for half my mission to find a guy wearing green at a gas station. The other day we stopped at your neighborhood QT for a bathroom break! I came out of the restroom, and lo and behold Sister Janson was talking to a YSA guy wearing a green shirt that literally said forest green on it! I almost screamed! His name was Carlos and he wrote down his number for us. Everything was great, until we got back in the car and discovered that we couldn't read his handwriting....we tried every combination that we thought it could be, and ended up calling like four wrong numbers....Note to self, always write down other peoples' numbers.

The other gas station miracle: we saw Dave again! He seemed really excited to see us too, and even gave us free food. :) Apparently he has Tuesdays off so we have an appointment with him tomorrow! We're also on exchanges, so I'm secretly hoping I get to be there for it!

Cold Spring is so great! We have another recent returned missionary, Mason, who just got home two weeks ago. We've taken him out for team ups, and also our power sibling duos: RM Spencer and Sami, and RM Hannah and Josh! We love them all, they're on fire!

John and David came to church again! We've met with them a few times and they are slowly but surely progressing! Dustin taught Gospel Principles about the scriptures and he drew this cool looking diagram about prophets. The person on top is God, the one in the middle is the prophet, and we are all the ones in the cave. It's so important that we follow the prophet because it's the only thing that we can see! He's the way to guide us in truth and righteousness. He can see both us and God, and is able to communicate as a middle man. He may be able to see part of the bigger picture, but still not as much as God. Heavenly Father sees the whole picture and knows what's in store for all of us as His children. We need to trust in Him. I know that Joseph Smith was the prophet who restored Jesus Christ's true church. I know that President Thomas S. Monson is the called of God to be the prophet on the earth today. I love the Lord, and I love all of you! Don't dig a deeper hole. Follow the prophet, he knows the way!

Sister Irwin

1. We didn't choose the thug life
2. I have the best companion who makes us breakfast
3. Bowling with the Tremaynes! 🎳
4. Group shot :)
5. Gospel principles

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Hair we go again March 6, 2017

Happy news!!! Amber from Bellevue 1st is getting baptized in a few weeks! And the best part is that her husband got the priesthood and is going to be baptizing her!! I can't wait to see them and little Stasia and Sammy again! 😅

Last Tuesday was so awesome! Something I've noticed a lot is the days where the most miracles take place, are sometimes the hardest at first! It started out super rough; it was dark and dreary, planning took way longer than it should have, no one was answering their phone, we drove around from place to place and no one was home, I even dropped my scriptures in the street. :( It wasn't until the end of the day that we decided to try an unlocked apartment complex that Tanner had told us about. We'd been praying for about a week to find a girl with short hair, wearing pink. We almost didn't try this one door because it looked dark through the peephole. We were about to turn away but then music started playing! We knocked and a girl named Sarah opened the door, with short hair...wearing a pink jacket! It was a miracle! :) She was so nice and we started to have a lesson right there one her doorstep, but she wasn't feeling good and needed to go lay down. She actually had come home early from work because she was sick, and if she hadn't we wouldn't have met her! Praying for specifics is something we've been doing all over the mission, and there are SO MANY MIRACLES! 

This week we met Sami who just got put into our ward after the boundary change, and it turns out that she knows Brooke Day! I swear it is such a small world. She's now our new best friend and both her and her brother (he just got home 4 days ago from his mission in Paris!) have come out with a few times for lessons! :) 

Another cool miracle is once upon a time, Sister Janson and I took two ladies on tour. They were both nonmembers and we were struggling to think of a commitment to leave with them. We put them in the video and said a prayer in the study room. Almost instantly I felt like we needed to invite them to do family history, which is so weird because I've never challenged someone who's not a member to do that! I told Sister Janson and she said she was thinking the exact same thing! We told that experience to the ladies, and one of them said she'd been wanting to work on her family history! Wow. I just love the Holy Ghost! I know as we follow promptings from the Spirit, we will be blessed.

We also met with one of our ward missionaries, Manny! He is so cool and I really hope he decides to serve a mission! If there's anyone out there who's debating whether you should serve a mission....just do it! Pray about. See what God says. Act on any prompting you get. I promise it will change your life. Missions are way hard, but the blessings are more than I could ever imagine. "If ye have desires to serve God, ye are called to the work." - D&C 4:3

Sister Irwin

1. Happy belated 16 months ahh!
2. Sami! <3
3. The Bascom's farewell :(
4. What happens when you have a hair stylist in the ward....(colors are less extreme in person)