Monday, April 25, 2016

Time Flies.. and I'm Just Trying to Keep Up

Hi everyone :)

yet another week has flown by. it's already the last week of the transfer super hard to believe. I could be staying in Caldwell or leaving. I hardly want to think about it because i love this people and the awesome investigators that we get to work with. so much work going on with the people in this area. One of our investigators Kelly, has had a baptismal date many times and missed each one usually because he hasn't gone to church or one of his addictions. We've been working with Kelly the last few weeks because he wants to be baptized and overcome his addictions. So just about each week we buy him a bag of lollipops to sublimate the smoking.  He loves it, and says it's working for him.He's been clean from his smoking addictions for a week now! We meet with him a ton though to keep him focused and that he is keeping his commitments. Our other investigator Merissa is doing super well, we had a lesson on real intent and asking in sincerity and the importance of the book of Mormon she has begun reading it on her own. And we are reading with her since our mission president challenged us to finish it in two transfers. I am loving reading the Book of Mormon again and it has opened my eyes to things I missed the other times. It always perfect to see how much the lord loves his children and has a desire to help them!

Tomorrow is sisters conference and I'm super excited to see all my sisters! This week I got a super interesting phone call from the stake president in the are that I am serving in. He asked if we were doing anything on Sunday at six and I though for sure he was asking about dinner. Sadly he wasn't! hah He asked me if I would be willing to speak in the stake priesthood meeting on Sunday. i gladly accepted and then hung up. Afterwards I asked myself what had I gotten myself into.. I agonized the whole week over this talk. One the topic was "How can the priesthood help in hastening the work?" and as a missionary some days you feel like you have no time like at all.. so i was getting nervous when it was Friday and I hadn't written a talk yet. I finally had a window to work on it on Saturday and ended up finishing it. What a unique opportunity to address the priesthood brethren in our stake. I felt of the love and gratitude our heavenly father has for them as they labor in his kingdom. I'm grateful to be an instrument in the hands of the lord at this time of my life. I have seen so many opportunities and blessings in not only my life, but the lives of those I serve with and teach. Last night we of course had to end the week with dessert and stories from our bishop and his wife. Its our Sunday night tradition :) 

Hope everyone has a great week :) 

Much Love,

Sister Cleveland

Monday, April 18, 2016

Unique Journey's

HEEELLOOOO  everyone!

This week had been pretty darn good. So much has happened this week. I'll try to remember all of it. The biggest is Merle got baptized on Saturday! Love that boy. I will talk about him a little later though. This week we hit the pavement teaching as many people as we could and picked up two new investigators this week. Safe to say by yesterday I was wiped out. hah But this week we went to work on the church orchard, we planted apple trees and put in the sprinklers for the trees. That place kept us busy there were so many people who came out to help which was awesome. We also had a couple lessons with our investigator Merissa and got the green light for her to be baptized. She is a foster child right now and we needed to get some approval but when we finish the lessons she gets to be baptized. She has a desire to get baptized we are just trying to help her know in her heart that these things are true and have a confirmation from the spirit. We've also been teaching our investigators Irene, Sherry,and Sebrina. They all have unique journeys to knowing the truth and are enjoying teaching them and helping them the best we can. So much work going on this week. The best way to end the week was Merle's baptism on Saturday. He is just my favorite. He came running into the church building the day of his baptism and was just super excited. This family means so much to me. They were less active for a period of time and the ward has really strive to work with them to get back to church, and get the kids to their activities. Merle has been waiting a year to get baptized by his dad. As we were working with Merle, Bishop was working with his dad so that he would be able to baptize him. As we taught Merle the lessons, his sisters would come sit in and they would answer questions they have all grown together. It has been a tender mercy. Thinking about his baptism brings tears to my eyes. Especially since after he got baptize he came up to me through his arms around my neck and gave me a big hug. That little boy has touched my heart. I know that one day as he stays active he will serve a mission and get married in the temple. Watching him make those promises with Heavenly Father reassured how I always feel, when I am serving. We mean everything to our Heavenly Father and he wants us to come back to him. All of us! I'm so grateful to be a part of so many wonderful people lives here in Idaho. I have loved serving everyday. Running out of time. Hope you all have an awesome week! 

Also I included a pic of my friend Phillpee who is going back home to Mexico on Wednesday. I may never see him again but I'm soo grateful to have met him. As we said goodbye he said "I know you a good person and I will be a good person in Mexico" How grateful I am for the gospel of Jesus Christ."

Much Love,

Sister Cleveland

P.S.   And someone loves the missionaries enough to wash our car for us. love the people of Idaho :))

Monday, April 4, 2016

"Heaven is cheering you on Today Tomorrow and Forever!"

Everybody good news this week made me smile loved the emails :) 
Was Conference on Point or what?!

Those who know me well know that some of my favorite things are the following:
1. Basketball
2. Fruit Snacks
3. Ice Cream
4. Anything Elder Jeffrey R. Holland says..

Not in any specific order..that being said you know that I loved his conference talk.  One thing that we challenged our everyone that we knew this week to do was to write questions, pray and look for the answers. I know that for me I received soo many answers to prayers and questions on my heart. Conference is always a spiritual experience to find hope and peace. It is a strong testament that the lord loves all his children is mindful of all of us! I love that President Utchdorf said "the sheep is worthy of rescue simply because it is loved" If you haven't watched conference I would invite you to go back and watch it. It will invite the spirit into your life and provide peace and love from our heavenly father.

This week we had two phone calls from potential investigators that we're a surprise to us! Each potential asked to take the lessons and learn more about the church. Super happy about that we met with both of them this week. They both watched conference and im sure felt the same spirit that we all did. The weather has been perfect in Caldwell the flowers are blooming and its been in the high 70's. I'm loving it. This week we also visited a woman in our ward who is less active and has many health issues that we didn't know about. We had never actually met her. We went in between our session of conference on Saturday and when we went to visit she told us her story about her conversion. She does not have any family support in fact she said "they would be deeply upset to know I'm talking to you" As she spoke Heavenly Father love for her filled the room. Tears filled my eyes and I knew this is exactly the work the lord would have us to be doing. Missionary work is finding, baptizing, teaching but with one particular quality it can be magnified and that is charity. It brings to mind President Utchdorf's talk "He will Place You On His Shoulders and Carry You Home" Our Heavenly Father and Savior will always invite us we are the ones who choose whether to accept their love and help.  Even when we may choose the wrong path the way back to them is always there. We can choose to believe as Sister Oscarson said in conference. When we  believe these principles and teachings they build our faith and cause us to act which we come to  know them to be true. I love sharing the message of the Savior Jesus Christ. My testimony of who he is is in my personal life has grown tremendously. I know that he lives, I know he is the Christ.I know that he is mindful of the opposition, challenges and trials that come into our lives. Each is an opportunity to become more like him.  He cheers for us when we succeed and when joy enters our lives, Be Happy, Be faithful, Trust God. He will always be there to answer. Have a great week everyone!

All My Love,

Sister Cleveland