Monday, December 26, 2016

Heyy Fam!!!

Hey Everyone! Hope you all had a wonderful holiday! Huge thanks to so many people who remembered me by sending cards and packages. I loved it! This week was awesome filled with the spirit of Christ and so many people we were able to serve and those who served us here is my week in pictures :) 
Love you all :) 

-Sister Cleveland

Monday, December 19, 2016

Because of Him "All is Well" // 15 months

Hey Everyone :)

Merry Christmas Week! It really is the most wonderful time of the year. As my title suggest I hit my 15 month mark this last week and it was weird note the expression on my face in the photo below. This week was exhausting to say the least we spent a lot of time on the road, Tuesday we were asked to come down to Nampa and so I spent lots of time helping the office staff and saw some of my favorite people again. Of course we had to make a mess in the mission office putting up the Christmas tree but it was so fun to see them again. By the time we were ready to leave we couldn't drive back to McCall so we had dinner with President and Sister Sorensen teriyaki bowls yumm :) just casually having family dinner with your mission president. After dinner we sat and chatted for awhile and then I went to spend the night with one of my favorite people out here Sister Sorenson and her companion. We had a blast. It was tough being so close to my old area. I just wanted to see everyone :( the next morning it was snowing and we needed to beat the snow back to McCall, so we got on the road and I bought myself the best Christmas gift I could have asked for Chic Fil A.. I was soo thrilled to have lunch and my Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshake as you can tell by my facial expression ignore how scary I look. Living  on the roads for forever does that to you. WE got back to McCall and the next day we went on exchanges. I stayed in McCall with my one of my old companions Sister Abello. It was fantastic we went to the Pancake House and split the famous cinnamon roll, and enjoyed talking about our experiences, we were able to clean up the area book and it was like being companions again I loved it. We were out contacted and one point we were in the snow and she fell over and then I just plopped down but when its 10 below you can't even feel the cold anymore so we just sat in the snow while people drove by and starred at us. we love it. sometimes being a missionary makes you crazy. We talked tons about the miracles of our missions the lessons we've learned, and the testimonies that have blossomed. We are a transfer apart so she goes home next transfer.. :( tons of reflecting moments throughout the day. Also we were contacting and a nine month pregnant lady yelled at us for coming over.. it was funny. Clearly pregnancy can make you crazy too. 

The next day we headed down to Weiser when we got a text that mission vehicles were not allowed to be driven at all that day because of a storm working its way across the valley. We were already down the canyon when we got the text so we just changed our trip to Middleton and we went to go wait it out with our companions. We got there and started to go stir crazy after hour 2 so Sister Abello and I went to brace this "storm" it was literally freezing out the wind was whipping so hard but we were determined that heavenly father would lead us to someone who needed his love that day. We walked and tried contacting which resulted in people not being home and doors slammed in our face but I believed no matter the lack of success that maybe someone saw us and their faith increased that day. As we walked we expressed appreciation for the pioneers who left blood stains in the snow from walking  miles and miles to find a promised land were they could build Zion. It is there footprints we admire and strive to add ours too that we stand with them with the vigor and frivolity that they had, we the assurance that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true, that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has the keys and tools to happy and successful families that will be prepared to return back to our heavenly father presence one day. How grateful I am for those pioneers who admits the hardest trials sang " Gird up your loins, fresh courage take Our God will never us forsake; And soon we'll have this tale to tell All is well! All is well!" Let us take courage this week and always because of the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ "All is Well" Merry Christmas Everyone :)

All my Love, 

Sister Cleveland

Monday, December 12, 2016

Christmas to Me

Hey everyone :)

First off sorry for my lame update last week! I know all you faithful readers are probably tired of those lame three sentences paragraphs. I promise mission life is great :) McCall has been fun, its been snowing like crazy here thank goodness I'm from New Jersey! This week it hit -17 I thought my eyes were confused. But this week we have been working to learn the area my companion doesn't know the area very well, so its been an adjustment, I wish I could say who we are working with but it's going to take some time to get adjusted! This week we had a district meeting on the savior naturally. But as I sat and thought about it this week, I was  reflecting on the humility of the saviors birth we say it so often it may be trite but as i was studying the old testament I thought about everything leading up to  this humble birth.

 Micah prophesied "But thou Beth-lehem Ephratah though thou be little among the thousands of Judah yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting." 

 Isaiah prophesied "Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold a virgin shall conceive and bear a son and shall call his name Immanuel"; "For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given and the government shall be upon his his shoulders; and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace." a testament that the Savior would come. 

I think of Adam and Eve who had to leave  the garden because of sin and transgression. But as we learn in Moses, Adam was taught the plan of happiness that he would have a savior to save them from the thought and belief that they would never be worthy or able to stand in gods presence again "And in that day the Holy Ghost fell upon Adam, which beareth record of the father and the son saying:I am the only begotten of the Father from the beginning  henceforth and forever, that as thou hast fallen thou mayest be redeemed and all mankind even as many as will" (Moses 5:9)  and so it is for ages of people prophets who testified of the birth of the savior. 

One of my most favorite scriptures that pierces my heart is in the Book of Mormon 3 Nephi 1:11-19 as Nephi is pleading for help, "And it came to pass that he went out and bowed himself down upon the earth, and cried mightily to his God in behalf of his people yea those who were about to be destroyed because of their faith in the tradition of their Fathers" The Savior who would enter the world that the next day in Jerusalem thought to answer the pray of  a humble servant,"Lift up your head and be of good cheer for behold the time is at hand and on this night shall the sign be given on the morrow come I int o the world to show unto the world that I will fulfill all that which I have caused to be spoken by the mouth of my holy prophets"  he thought to bring peace to his aching heart surely the sign would come to tomorrow Nephi would see it, but he truly is the prince of peace. 

Of all the things we would be doing before a big trip, before the only begotten son of the father left his fathers and mothers presence he answered the prayer of a humble man. It speaks everything of the character of Jesus Christ. And then of all circumstances to come to, with every ounce of humility, an obedient foster father, and a worthy mother he chose parents who had honor before the birth of this king in the eyes of our heavenly father. AS Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said "But first and forever there was just a little family without toys, or trees or tinsel. With a baby that's how Christmas began." Christmas is one of my favorite times of the year, in our house our parents always may Christmas fun, it wasn't the extravagance of the holiday but in the simply reminders around our home of the savior, it was reading the birth of the savior and our father gathering us around to pray and give thanks for the Saviors birth to remind us that before toys and tinsel, it was just that little family. It was the service projects my mom gathered us together for, making cookies and delivering to neighbors it was nights of songs about the savior that reminded us that it's not only on December 25 that we celebrate the Savior but everyday. As we aspire to follow his example all year round we realize like President Thomas S. Monson said " that it's not the spirit of Christmas but truly the spirit of Christ" that is always in our hearts. As week make preparations in the coming weeks for this big day, I would invite you to find little ways to remind yourself of the true reason for the season! 

Have a great week everyone :) Love you all!

Sister Cleveland

Monday, December 5, 2016

First Week In Mc Call

Hey everyone :)

Happy December! I can't believe it, Christmas in in full swing here in McCall and the first week here has been full of snow and lots of traveling from New Meadows, to Riggins, back to McCall to Weiser and to Cascade. This week flew by and I loveee when my weeks do that! This week to kick off the worldwide day of service Sister Park and I volunteered at the McCall Senior Citizens Center to help get their Christmas Decorations up and it was fun :) This week we were able to meet some of the investigators, the recent converts and try to figure out the work going on in our area. We were able to watch the Christmas Devotional with LA and his father who isn't a member and it was awesome. My favorite line was "rejoice in the gift and the giver of the gift". If you haven't watched it, visit and take a peek it was AMAZING. I hope everyone is keeping up with the advent calendar of service. Sorry this is so short. I'll have a longer update next week. Have a good week everyone :)

All my Love,

Sister Cleveland