July 2014 through February 2016
MTC (Provo, UT) – July to August
I started off in a trio and remember thinking there is no way you could find two sisters more different then these two. It was a bit of a struggle but as I spent one on one time with each of them I found that they had incredible strengths and had experienced hard things that had brought them to this point. They were examples of faith to me and in the end we figured out how to teach a cohesive lesson! They went to Washington D.C.
Visitor’s Center Training! Being with these two was like a dream! So easy and wonderful and we got to study the sites and visit temple square! It was like a princess week and made me so excited to go out to my area. I was also excited because Sister Storms went to NY with me. We basically did everything together once we got there and I loved having her with me through it all!
Highlight:I lived at the Peter Whitmer Farm where the church was first organized. It was an incredible place and out in the middle of nowhere. Every morning we went running or riding our bikes out on the roads between the cornfields. I learned how to work hard and how to take a second each day to have fun. One time we ran through an entire corn field and for Halloween we dressed up as the two of the Whitmer daughters.
Winter in Rochester: literally, record in the books as the coldest month in the history of Rochester. The average temperature was 11 degrees and it did not reach above freezing the entire month. So that made for an adventure. We taught Darlene and Victoria; two incredibly faithful women. During this time we didn’t always get to be out in our area but I was amazed to see the blessings that Heavenly Father provided for us.
I was pretty shocked when I heard that we were trio training. It was a giant adventure! We had a grand time! Trio’s are always fun because you have enough people to have a party at any time! I was so grateful to have Sister Barlow come. The three of us were different enough that there didn’t have to be issues between us. The Rochester ward is incredible and definitely one of the most missionary focused. I was always inspired by the members.
We honestly told President that if he kept us together the rest of our mission we would hit the baptism goal just from our companionship. We had such a grand time in such a wonderful place. Every morning started with a jog down Temple Road and then past the Smith Farm. We were getting ready for the pageant and making all kinds of changes at the sites. It was an incredible experience of giving up all those things we hold back and letting God change us. Our district was dedicated and incredible. work took place as we gave our hearts to God.
Cue Pageant! ! We were constantly at the sites morning to night and talking to hundred and hundreds of people. Then in our off time we were running around the area getting the work done. One week a lady in the ward had her basement flood. The two of use moved out the entire basement (which was basically food storage). It was a wet adventure. We went to bed delightfully exhausted and I remember at least a few times throwing a pillow at Sister Stoddard to wake her up from her mid-prayer/nap.
– August to November
Take two with Sister Barlow! We seriously felt spoiled to have another transfer together. We worked so hard and had so many adventures. We loved serving in the YSA ward and were able to make great friendships and help to encourage missionary work. We spent time scrubbing mold off walls together and after a friend of the members came over and when we were introduced said, “These are the sister missionaries… they don’t always look like this!” It was truly a gloriousadventure there.
Canandaigua – November to February
I don’t think there was a shorter sister in the mission! I loved my Philippine companion. She was so determined to do her best and she constantly strove to get better. In our new area we had some quality time tracking and walking. The other sisters hit a deer with the car so we were sharing and often we would just walk a whole day. It made us feel like the real missionaries of the early church days. We celebrated Thanksgiving together, her first, and a Philippino Christmas Party (my first).
We called this brief time Christmas Vacation. We were companions for a few weeks as we waited for our new companions to come and we covered both areas. It was a gift. We spent so much time teaching and were able to celebrate the holiday season with so many members. It truly was blissful
Right at the end of my mission I got the energetic, excited, spiritual, talented Sister Barrett! I loved being with a new missionary again and we grew together as we found new ways to serve and help those in our area. We spent time in the darling town of Naples helping out in the library and trying their grape pie. I remember sitting in a members house that looked out on the lake in the snow and just feeling so blessed to be a servant of God in this beautiful land with these incredible people. I also remember organizing donated clothing in a little underground store and thinking, “How in the world did I get here??”