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, May 17, 2017

The last melon May 15, 2017

WOW where did the time go??

This is it friends! The last email that Sister Irwin will ever write. It's been a good ride in the good life. It can't get NE better than this. 

Thursday was our departing interviews with President Gardner. I cried like a baby then just sat in the mission office and waited for district meeting to start. Sweet secretary Sister Gareis gave me a spoon so I could cry in my applesauce and eat it too. It was greatly appreciated. Afterwards, Sam had his baptismal interview! It went awesome. Elder Grey said it was one of the best he's ever had! 

Saturday was Florence Days celebrating 150 years of Nebraska statehood and 170 years of the pioneers! It was an adventure with a mix of emotions too with departing testimonies at trail center training. We had birthday breakfast and then it was off to sing outside the old mill with a small group of sisters. The best past was that I ran into Diana there!! :) It was a pleasant surprise for both of us because she thought I had already left. She is just the best ever. I love her! Then it was off to Sam's baptism!! It was so so good. Word's can't even express. Dustin baptized Sam and they only had to do it once. Afterwards he gave two thumbs up!

Sam got confirmed yesterday on Mother's Day. It was bittersweet because his mom actually passed away a few years ago. I know she was smiling down on her son yesterday because that was the greatest gift a mom could ever ask for. We are all so excited for him to go to the temple to do his family's work. 

Well, I guess I'll end by sharing my testimony of our Savior and his gospel. I've been studying The Living Christ found here
What a remarkable journey it has been as one of his representatives. I know He lives. He is our Savior and Redeemer, and this is His church restored through the prophet Joseph Smith. I know we are lead by a living prophet today, and that that the priesthood power and authority is the only thing that can seal our families together for time and all eternity. The Book of Mormon is the word of God written for our day. I am so grateful for my Heavenly Father letting me serve a full time mission. It has changed my life.
“And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of him: That he lives!"

Sister Irwin

1. Temple trip
2. Almost expired
3. Sam dunk!! :)
4. Matching after the baptism
5. Take the road less traveled
6. Church is true

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Little pioneer children May 9, 2017

Hello friends!

This is going to be super condensed because temple. Friday was awesome! We had a lesson with Patricia and she loved the message of the Restoration. Her and John had been reading The Book of Mormon together and are trying to encourage their other roommate Andy to join in. Then we went to dinner with Dustin and Jessica at Red Robin which was a party because bottomless fries. Later, we had another lesson with Sam and Kent came with us! He had already learned about tithing and fast offering from a meeting with Bishop that he had the night before! He's such a pro. We are trying to get the program for his baptism in order for this Saturday. I am so excited!!! He is so ready. I hope and pray his dad and friends will come to support him. It's going to be sweet.

On Saturday all the trail center sisters went on a field trip to some historic sites in Iowa. It's incredible to think my ancestors were here some 150+ years ago. I'm so grateful for their sacrifice, faith, and diligence, and trust in the Lord. There is no way the pioneers could have done what they did without the help of God. I know this is the true church of Jesus Christ.

Sister Irwin

1. They sang and made me eat ice cream dang it Dustin
2. Missouri River!
3. Group picture for the first field trip 
4. Last zone conference
5. This is why #1 is so funny (we're all lactose intolerant) 

Sunday, May 7, 2017

"Bless her and her family with rays of sunshine" May 2, 2017

Hello hello!
We were on shift yesterday so that's why we're emailing today. Next week our P day will be on Tuesday again because it's our temple day, so don't be surprised when your inbox is empty again on Monday. :)

Sam is on fire!!!! He is killing the game. If the gospel was a game? It's not. It's really serious stuff. But still, he's doing so well. We were able to meet with him 5 times this past week! We set him for May 13th, and he said "Yea man let's do it!" Ahh!! :D Word of wisdom? Law of chastity? Fasting? No problem. We asked him who of his friends he could share the gospel with and he said they all need it. We taught Sam about keeping the Sabbath day holy yesterday. Before that, on Sunday, he was about to call an uber to drive him home and we mentioned that we try not to have others work on Sundays; he ended up walking home! He is so awesome. 

Sunday was actually a super duper exciting day! The Council Bluffs YSA ward combined with ours, so we had a TON of new people at church. It was packed! And if that wasn't exciting enough...we had not one, not two, but SEVEN non members at church! *happy tears* It definitely wasn't all from us, some of our members brought their friends because they're cool like that. Bishop Biggs taught a combined second hour class, and he really stressed the idea of loving everybody. No matter who they are or what they do, love them anyway! He also talked about what we can do to have the Spirit with us always:
*Remember the Savior
*Study the scriptures
*Love others
*Prepare for the sacrament

On teaching center I was able to have a lesson with a sweet lady named Virginia over the phone. She had a rough upbringing and ended up running away at age 12. She recognized the voice of the Spirit at an early age, and she said that's what kept her alive on her own. She loves God and wants to be a missionary! Virginia's neighbor came over while we were talking and she asked if she wanted any scriptures for her family as well! She loved the message of the Restoration and ended up saying a beautiful closing prayer. That's where the title of my email comes from this week. :)

Sister Irwin

1-3. FHE minute to win it games (Sam beat Tanner and Nick at an eating contest...and then we gave the rest of the brownies and ice cream to homeless people)
4. Tried alligator at Voodoo Taco!
5. Came home from church just in time to our neighbor's apartment flooding
6. Took Sam on a tour and Bishop's son Josh came too!