Monday, September 26, 2016

“I Hope to See you Guys There”

Hey Everyone!

   Hope you all had a good week. I'll fill you in on some highlights from the week. We had some super good experiences and we had some rough experiences. This week one of our investigators who is Nazarene dropped us.. she is our "banana bread lady" we love her! But, she told us she's comfortable where she is. And we have come to find so many people who are just comfortable.. nothing pushing them to move forward. The people we have come across don't want to change because they don't believe that they Can or should. Heavenly Father invites us to accept his invitations and to act. And people we have come across are so scared they push it away. 

       This week we have taught the principle of agency over and over again. and we are "free to choose liberty and eternal life through the great Mediator of all Men" We are all free to choose everyday. That is so hard as a missionary to know and understand the power of agency and know that sometimes all you can do is leave your witness. That is something that I have striving to be better at is leaving my witness with this people. I never want to be told you didn't tell me.. I know that as we bear witness and testify of these principles of the gospel and importantly the Savior Jesus Christ through which all these things are possible that those seeds will be planted and someone will come along again to teach her and many others that we come across.

     We had a lesson with Felicity this week that had me in tears. We taught about the Kingdoms of Glory. As we taught about the Celestial Kingdom we told her that you get a gift in that Kingdom- to live with our Heavenly Father forever. As we told her these things the excitement was clearly evident on her face. As we taught her about the Celestial Kingdom it reminded us about what many apostles have said; that the gospel is so simple a child can understand. After we taught Felicity she said I hope I see you guys there (speaking of the Celestial Kingdom) and I thought shouldn't that be our hope for everyone that we meet. I think of the promise in Mosiah 2:41 we can dwell with our father in heaven and enjoy never ending happiness. I know that our heavenly father loves us that he wants us all to return to him. Felicity closed the lesson with a pray because she loves to pray. She paused during the pray to tell us she was going to ask god a question. In the humility of a child she asked if he could forgive for the things she had done in the past weeks that she knew were wrong. She finished her prayer and closed. I got on my knees looked her in the eyes and promised her that Heavenly Father heard her prayer and loves her. Sunday we had testimony meeting, and that morning the family that was suppose to pick up Felicity and her brother didn't so we needed to find another ride in between our ward council meetings. We found one super last minute. As the children were bearing their testimonies during sacrament meeting, Felicity said "I have a testimony but I'm scared." After some sweet talk from my companion she got up there and bore her testimony to the ward. It was super cute and in the words of an eight year old; it was truly pure in heart testimony.  

  I am a witness of that our Father in Heaven loves us, he hears our prays and knows of our desires and struggles. He knows each of us individually and by name. His love in infinite, that he would send his perfect son to show us the way and to be the way to return him. He truly is the Christ as Peter said... "No man can receive that witness but through the spirit." I hope we all yearn as Felicity to live with our Father in Heaven again no matter what sacrifices or changes need to be made, for never-ending happiness is the reward.

Hope everyone had a good week!

All My Love,

Sister Cleveland

1. Exchanges with Hermana Rosales she is from Lima Peru :)
2. Exchanges with Hermana Marin she is from SLC! She's been out for 3 weeks!
3. My new Harry Potter Wand pencil someone in our ward made its awesome :)

Monday, September 19, 2016

One Year Older...

Hey everyone :)

   This week was awesome we saw so many miracles and we had some awesome teaching moments. It wasn't the easiest with a lot of potential investigators we invited so many of  them to learn more and take the lessons and they said NO. Then they always tell us that what we do is good and they will pray for us to soften the blow. One man even started crying.. it was interesting. We have been working with a guy named Raul some elders tracted into him a few weeks back and gave him a book of mormon. He told us he had a mormon co worker and he was talking about The Book of Mormon with him. Raul is technically YSA age and so we told him about the ward and that he could meet with the elders who cover it and he said "If you guys  don't want to teach me you don't have to.." We assured him that we did and are excited for his first lesson next week.

    We also began teaching a girl named Angela she's 16 super sweet and learned about the church about 3 years ago from a friend. She even has been to Seminary! She is ready to be baptized all she needs is the lessons so we started teaching her last week. We have a lesson with her tonight also. It's so nice when we get a call from members saying they have someone for us to teach and they are able to sit in and contribute to the lessons and be the friend to the investigator. It's awesome. We've had a potential investigator family that my last companion met when she got here in this area. we just couldn't get them progressing. One night Sister Hickmott said we should go visit them so we did and she let us in. We talked for a while about having a relationship with god and praying. And she told us about how she wants too, sometimes she feels like she's talking to herself when she prays something many people tell us. She struggles because she wants to go to church but doesn't want to go without her "husband" (not sure if there married..) we taught her about the triangle of having heavenly father at the head and each person in a corner and as we strengthen our relationship with god we can strengthen any other relationship even if your other half isn't strengthen theirs. Well after sharing some stories from personal lives and the scriptures. Maria committed to coming to church. Sunday morning she showed up with her son and stayed for all three hours. She contributed in our gospel principles lesson and her son who is 10 months old didn't cry the whole time. And the talks and lessons were perfect it was such a great Sunday. We went to her house after church for some southern barbecue her "husband" is from Louisiana. And she said "she'll come next week."

   We taught quite a few people how to pray this week on their doorstep but they willingly did so. WE taught of the importance of talking to our heavenly father. One of my favorite experiences was with two 10 year olds one girl and another boy her mom is last active and she the little girl comes to activity girls but wants to start coming back to church and get baptized. As we were talking with them we taught them both why we are baptized and about the holy ghost. The little boy who is her cousin said I want the holy ghost "when im home during the summer im alone and i get scared" we told him that he could also pray for safety . He offered a pure simple prayer asking that heavenly father would bless him with extra protection. 

   I'm grateful this week for timing and the importance of following the spirit. I know this week its always devastating when people tell us they don't want to change or hear more, that they'd make bad mormons. But I know that one day they will be ready to hear the message again. I hope they accept it when they hear it again if that is in this life, Sister Hickmott and I were talking about how we hope that we meet this people again in the spirit world that we have the opportunity to teach them again or maybe we'll find them teaching others. I'm grateful that our heavenly father has a plan for all things, and that one day they will know with a surety that the things they have been taught are true an their hearts will be soften and they will be willing to act.

I hope everyone has an awesome week. Love you all :)

Sister Cleveland 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Say it Ain't So..

     This week flew by.. Sorry I don't have a long update for you all. But I just want to express my testimony of this gospel. I have been out here for a year now and I have seen the miracles and heartaches of the lords children in this part of Idaho. I have seen how beautiful and central our heavenly fathers plan of happiness is. I have seen people fight to change and turn their hearts to the Savior and our Heavenly Father. I have witnessed the painful consequences of sin in the lives of his children but the healing ointment of the atonement as they have turned to them. I know that the lord qualifies the called.. I know that this is the Lord's work and that he is mindful of his children that he will provide a way for them all to hear the gospel and make the changes necessary in their life to come back to him. I know that the lord loves his children. I testify the Lord is real that we have a savior who knows and understand the trials of this life. I testify that he is there to bear us up and that we can be yoked with him. I know that there is happiness to be had in this life and in the life to come and we can find the path to follow by living the gospel of Jesus Christ :) 

Have a great week everyone!

All My Love,

Sister Cleveland

1. The Crew a Year In
2. 1 year ago the MTC
3. Me and Sister Hickmott

Monday, September 5, 2016

Transfer Week

Hey Everyone :)

It transfer week and I will be in my area for another 6 weeks. I'm excited for the changes and miracles that will happen this transfer. I did get a new companion Sister Hickmott and I'm excited to serve with her. We both became trainers together we were the only sisters training at the time so we talked often swapping ideas so it will be cool to be companions. It's already September and that's super hard to believe where is the year going? With the transfer brings familiar faces and the trio is going to be in Nampa together for the next six weeks. I'm so excited to have my MTC sisters back with me especially as we hit our year mark :) It's going to be a great transfer.

This week we've focused on teaching when we find, and find when we teach. We have so many potential investigators and the struggle in most of my areas is getting them from the potential bracket to the investigator bracket. So  many of our potentials that we've found tracting, they know what we do is important and think its great just not for them. But they feel enticed by the spirit and they want to know what it is but the change I think is what scares people we work with the most. The commitment, the change they know they are going to have to change everything. One person we tracted named Eric we asked him "If you found  out the Book of Mormon is true what would that mean?" He said "It would change everything" and it does and that the parts that scares people. But, I'm hoping this transfer to really push these potential and investigators (with the spirit of course!) to see why the restored gospel of Jesus Christ is for them and help build their confidence that they can do it.

We had some fun exchanges this week and I was in Marsing with Sister Bertalino we were in the labor camps contacting and these 3 little girls followed us around the whole time and wanted to sit in on the lessons we taught people. They gave hugs, chased down the ice cream man for us, took silly pictures and videos on our cameras. It was one of those tender moments. As we were out there we realized that at some point in there lives they will have the gospel introduced to them again and there will remain the message we shared and the spirit they felt. They will recognize those black name tags and they will be ready. Another fun thing we did in Marsing was playing one on one in my skirt with no shoes against this two boys they took turns against me and boy has is been a while.. I still won.. But it was fun the people from the labor camps looked out the window and we were able to share a message with them about prayer.

When we switched back from exchanges Sister Olson wanted to show me a "video" someone showed her on Mormon Channel. So the members we live with pulled it up and  I looked and low and behold our picture is on Mormon Channel Facebook it was crazy people in our wards were texting us.. they kept telling us we were famous.. it was pretty cool to see that especially for Sister Hansen who took the picture she was in shock. We love her and are happy she got to see her work on Mormon Channel.

Anway its been a good week looking forward to a new transfer, new companion new adventures, and lots of miracles. Have a great week everyone :)

Sister Cleveland