September 21, 2015 ~ Blessings of a Mission!
So for the biggest part today.... HAPPY BIRTHDAY CALLI JO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love you so much baby sis! Even though you're 18 now and I'm 20 we're always gonna act like we're 12! LOVE YOU!
Wow! What a week! And we are so tired, but it's so worth it! So this week, while we were weekly planning we were thinking and praying about who we should put into an empty spot and as we both pondered and searched through the area book for someone to fill the spot, a member called us with a golden referral!! So we filled the spot and then after we were done planning, we went and contacted our referral and set up an appointment. Well, we went back for our appointment and met Kris and Kara. Kara has been going to the LDS church her whole life with her grandmother (but was never baptized), and she wanted to go back. And Kris has been through some crazy medical issues in his life and he honestly doesn't know why he's still here. So we shared the message of the Restoration with him and answered some of his questions. He's had a hard time because he's felt that God hates him and that's why he has so many medical problems. We explained a little bit about the Plan of Salvation as well since he had questions. He said that everything makes sense and that he wants to keep learning. And right as we were about to invite him to be baptized, a rude acquaintance of his came in and disrupted the Spirit and basically told us to get out of the house because they weren't interested. Well Kris walked out with us to let us out of his gate and Kara stayed inside the house and talked to their friend, and Kris was livid. He basically told us that he would go "talk" to his friend and set him straight. And so in just talking to him at the gate, we invited him to be baptized and committed him to be baptized on October 17th! He said he's so excited and that he knows what we're teaching is true! So we're meeting with him hopefully a couple times this week. And we're going to invite Kara to be baptized as well. Wonderful things are happening in Kern!!
For other news, Chris (#1, the one that's getting married) and Kat are officially getting married in two weeks! And Sister Ashburn and I get to be her bridesmaids!! We're helping them plan their wedding, set it up, and get everything done so Chris can be baptized on October 10th!!! BOOM BABY! Everything is awesome!!!!!!!
I also met Kristin Lewis' grandparents at stake conference last night!!!!!! IT WAS SO COOL!!!!!!!!!!
Also, last night on our way home from a lesson, Sister Ashburn and I were driving on this ole dirt road and THERE WAS A BIG NASTY HAIRY BLACK TARANTULA!!!!! And then we found out that this is the time of the year that tarantulas are everywhere up here and as soon as October hits, BOOM! There are going to be tarantula herds everywhere for mating season. I asked Brother Henry if it were true and he said, it's a good thing that the church doors are closed and locked because otherwise we'd have the nasty things in the church too! So i'm officially panicked. Halloween has officially started for me since I'm going to be stressed like crazy watching out for those monsters. NOPE! BIG NOPE! Someone send me a flamethrower.
Oh and speaking of spiders, I went to use the bathroom in the church this week and there were two HUGE (no joke...) spiders in there. One was dead. The other was mostly dead. So I kicked the mostly dead one aside to see if it would die.... and then when I kicked it, 80 BABIES STARTED RUNNING EVERYWHERE!!!! I WAS IN A HORROR MOVIE!!!!! So because I'm a courageous missionary, I stomped on at least 20 of them and then ran out of the bathroom freaking out. BIG NOPE! Spiders are a no bueno. Nightmare in Kern Valley, starring Sister Weaver and her million and one phobias.
Okay! So for the most special part of my weekend, we got to attend Stake conference. And it didn't dawn on me until I got there that I'm in the East Bakersfield Stake..... which means I'm back in the stake I started in.... which means.... I SAW SO MANY OF MY HOMIES FROM TEHACHAPI!!!!! And the best thing in the world is that I got to see my wonderful Roman and Laura. Oh my gosh. ALL OF THE FEELS. SO MANY FEELS!! So when we saw each other we all hugged. I just love them so much. And then Roman introduced me to a friend that he was talking to as "this is my missionary. This is my girl." :'D
And then later, during conference, Roman got up and bore his testimony. He told his conversion story and talked about me, Sister Anderson, and Sister Liebelt and how if it hadn't have been for us coming to help Laura, it would've taken him longer to find the gospel. He got emotional while bearing his testimony, and I was bawling like a baby. Then he looked at me and said, "I will forever love my sweet missionaries. They mean the world to me and I love them dearly. I will never forget them and what they did for me."
And President and Sister Wilson were there to witness this! I have never experienced so much joy in my life. That moment in my mission defined me. Until that moment, I never realized that missionary work goes so much deeper than just teaching and baptizing. I mean, I knew it was super important and that it means so much to Heavenly Father and me as a missionary, but I never fully realized that when we are disciples of Christ and love with our whole hearts and SERVE that somehow and in some way, you touch someone's life so deeply that they will never ever forget you and you end up loving them more than you ever thought possible. Roman did that for me. Roman and Laura have touched my heart in such a way that if I would've never come on a mission, I would be so incredibly lost without them. Literally, my soul would grieve because I never would've met them. My mission has been the greatest blessing and experience of my life. I have never felt so much joy in my life. Never. This mission field is the only place in the world I could feel this much joy. Celestial joy. This is everything I've ever wanted. This is so worth it.
Anyhow, I love you all so much!
And again, Happy Birthday baby sis <3
Love, Sister Weaver
September 28, 2015 ~ Week 4 from Kern Valley!
So this week was a bumpy one, but we got things done. So this week we picked up two new investigators!!!!!! We set up an appointment to visit with a couple of less active members and when we went over there, their girlfriends were there and super eager to learn!! So when we sat down and started to teach, Mikki told us she wanted to take the lessons and be baptized!! WE WERE SO EXCITED!!!!!! So we taught the Restoration and invited her and her friend Riley to be baptized on October 17th and they accepted the date!! We are so excited for them!!!!! They didn't make it to church yesterday which was a HUGE bummer, but we're working on them.
So something that touched my heart so deeply this week was when our investigator Kris (#2) texted us and apologized for forgetting about our appointment and that he wanted us to come back because he really wants to learn. And then the next day his girlfriend texted us and told us "Kris is really determined to make a change in his life by joining the church, so don't give up on him okay?" Boy that touched me to the very core. We've only met him once, but he's so ready for the gospel in his life. It reminded me that Christ never gives up on us. It really hit me hard. It was something that needed to happen to help change my heart.
Chris Kennison (the one who's getting baptized next week!! WOOOO HOOOO!!!) is progressing LIKE A BOSS! He's doing so well and both he and Kat (his fiance') came to church yesterday!!! They totally looked like an adorable LDS family. They're doing amazing and progressing so well. She's excited to come back to church and she's progressing as well as Chris is. THE GOSPEL IS TRUE! WOOO!
So speaking of Chris and Kat, their wedding is only a week away!!!!!! So next week at this time, I will be emailing super fast because we will be focusing on their wedding. :) SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!
So funny stories for the week... Sister Ashburn and I were getting ready to leave the apartment and she shut and locked the door from the inside and then realized that she locked the keys in the house! So we tried all of the windows and couldn't get in. We eventually got a hold of our landlord and had him open our apartment. So moral of the story is: Don't lock yourself out of the house! Made for some hilarious experiences though.
Anyhow, not much else to write this week :) But I love you all so much!
Hugs from CA :D
October 5, 2015 ~ Conference, Weddings, and Baptisms!
So the best thing in the world happened!!!!!! It has been downpouring for the last two days!!!!!! GO KERN VALLEY!!!!!!! So we woke up for General Conference yesterday and it was raining cats and dogs! I was so excited!!!!! Rain and thunder and lightning everywhere! It was the best!
So General Conference. Where do I begin? First off, this honestly has been the most amazing thing in the world. I love conference so much. I love hearing from the prophet and the apostles. I LOOOOOOVED President Russell M. Nelson's talk. It was so inspiring! It pumped me up for the next ten years. It really inspired me as a missionary to go teach fearlessly. I trust 100% in the message I teach because I have found out for myself that it's 100% true. I have seen how deeply the Lord has touched my life because of my willingness to listen and follow Him. And so with this knowledge, I shouldn't be shy and I shouldn't be afraid to talk to people and share this message. This world is falling away from God. This world is becoming so increasingly evil and it's easy to see the front lines of the battlefield. We literally are fighting in a war and we cannot afford to turn our backs to the enemy. And so President Nelson really helped me understand why it's important to stay strong and teach fearlessly. We are fighting on the winning side and as long as we stay true to ourselves and our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, we know we will succeed.
Anyways.... my week was pretty great. It was really stressful just because we've been getting Chris and Kat ready for their wedding... and IT'S FINALLY HERE! We decorated the cultural hall in wedding decorations and we are getting them hitched today at 2!!!!! WE ARE SO EXCITED!!!!!! Then this Saturday, Chris is finally getting baptized!!!! He's so so sooooooo excited!!!!!! This is gonna be the best week ever.
We also stopped by Kaisa's house this week and figured out the root of her problems. We were able to address it and get her back on board towards baptism. We cried together and talked together and got everything sorted out. She watched all of conference as well and she cried because she was so deeply touched. My heart is full. My heart is so full. Nothing anyone said before I came on my mission could prepare me for the rigors of missionary service. I have never felt so much heartache in my life until that moment when a beloved investigator almost tells us that she doesn't want to learn anymore. That heartache is so deep and so personal and it cuts me to the very core. I have no words to describe the waves of sorrow that swept over me in that moment. But I am so grateful that the Lord saw it fit to help us determine her concerns and address them in a way that touched her heart and softened it once again... and there is so much joy in my heart. Exceedingly wonderful sweet peaceful joy. This must be how our Heavenly Father and Savior feel when we change and turn our hearts back to them.
Anyhow.... I love you all so much! And I'll have to send all these pictures of the wedding next week :) But have a good week! And keep my wonderful cousin Joslin and my Uncle Steve in your prayers as they battle with cancer and leukemia. I love you both so much and keep you in my prayers daily. <3
Love, Sister Weaver
P.S. I got to hold a gecko! They really do lick their eyeballs!
October 12, 2015 ~ TRANSFER WEEKKKKKK!!!!!!!!!
So to start everything off! We got transfer calls......... *drum roll*........................................ AND SISTER ASHBURN AND I ARE STAYING TOGETHER IN KERN!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That was the best news ever. I hope I'm with this woman through all the holidays. She's the best.
So Mondayyyyyyyyy! Wedding bells chimed, vows were said, and Kat and Chris were married!!!!!!!! Holy cow they couldn't be happier! Being a bridesmaid was the very best. It was so much fun even though we worked our tails off. Holy. Moly. But the wedding was beautiful and we had so much fun! Ever since the wedding, they told us that they feel happier because they're on the right path and know that they aren't living in sin :) That's the best feeling in the world. There was cake shoving, lots of dancing, and man.... that was a highlight of my mission.
And then when it was all over, Chris and Kat came up to us and thanked us and said, "we literally couldn't have done any of this without you two." TEAR. JERKER. Life is just so wonderful. Missions are wonderful. Sorry guys. I'm never coming home.
Hiccup of the week: Sister Ashburn misplaced her jump drive with 1500 pictures (all of her mission pictures) on it on Tuesday. A member found it for us on Thursday and boy did we cry happy tears. It had been a rough couple days for us. Note to self: always have a back up picture drive.
OH! We found a vinegaroo spider in our house. Look it up. It's a nasty little thing. And we saw lots of black widows too. It's spider season...... and I'm not happy about it. But hey, milestone for Sister Weaver: I squash spiders. Granted, I only squash spiders smaller than my hand.... otherwise I use the car.... and cockroaches are fast... Bugs are just nasty. I'll be so glad to come back to Idaho and deal with my normal bugs. Hobos! WATCH OUT!!! (And no Kristin, not homeless people)
Oh speaking of homeless...
(to the tune of party in the USA)
Hopped off the plane in Bakersfield,
with my 50 pound luggage.
Welcome to the land of oil rigs (whoa),
I'm not gonna fit in.
Jumped in the APs van for the first time,
looked to my left and I saw the Bakersfield Sign,
This is all so crazy! Everyone looks so homeless!
My tummy's turning and I'm feeling kinda homesick,
too much pressure and I'm nervous,
But then the APs turned on the radio,
and an EFY song was on! And EFY song was on!
(to be continued when we think of a chorus)
Yup. Life rocks in the mission field. *In Rapunzel's voice* I'M NEVER GOING BACK!!!!
So for the rest of the week we struggled to find people to teach. People really don't care about the Gospel. :/ But we kept our heads high becauseeeeeeeeee.....
WE HAD A BAPTISM!!!
So Saturday, Chris got baptized!!! He was so excited and so nervous. Oh my goodness! He was so happy! He's been waiting for this for so long! When he came out of that water, he looked totally new. He just had that glow. And then we saw him confirmed a member of the church on Sunday :D And now he's preparing to receive the Priesthood :D :D :D He's so excited to get the Priesthood! It's amazing to see the progression that people have once they have the gospel in their life. I asked him afterwards what was the biggest change he's felt from his experience.... and he said, "at the beginning of the year I was thinking about only myself. I wanted to drink and get promoted at work. Now, all I think about is the gospel, my wonderful family and the baby on the way. Nothing else matters."
Life is perfect. And Sister Ashburn and I spoke in Sacrament meeting yesterday :)
Anyways. LIFE IS GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!
Love you all!!
Love Sister Weaver
October 19, 2015 ~ Mudslides
This week has been an adventure!! First off: get on the internet and look up Tehachapi Mudslide. yeah. That happened this week. We've had crazy rainstorms here for the last week and it caused that mudslide and half-buried semis and cars on the freeway! CRAZY STUFF!! So they closed HWY 58 through Tehachapi and redirected ALL OF THE TRAFFIC through Lake Isabella and the dreaded canyon drive. So all week, the drive has been super congested with traffic and it's kinda weird for this little area. But hey! I got to see my lightning storms which made me the happiest Sister Missionary on the planet!
Also! This week was the Primary program and it was so cute! I get a kick out of those kids who come up to the microphone and breathe into it for 20 minutes and those kids who sing on the top of their lungs to outshine their friends, and also those squirrely kids they put on the front row who pick their nose and won't sit down. Yup. I love the Primary program. It reminds me of Calli and I in primary and then watching Connor in the program later. Those good ole days!
So we went up to Wofford Heights for a recent convert lesson on Tuesday and we got there right after Brother Watson had just killed a tarantula and the kids were still screaming. Yup. It's tarantula season in Kern Valley (and I'm mailing myself to Alaska).
We also went over to a new family in the ward's house and they let us hold their parrot! It was so cute! And as soon as it saw Sister Ashburn it did everything it could to get to her and when it got to her, IT CUDDLED INTO HER HAIR!!!!! I wish we would've had our cameras!
Anyways, I'm not gonna write a ton this week due to lack of brain.... but something that happened this week was that Kaisa lost her 8-year-old grandson in a car accident. Please PLEASE keep her in your prayers. She lost a grandson last year to the Choking Game and this was her last grandson. But when we went to see her last night and check up on how she was doing, she was pretty broken up, but she knows that he's okay. And she told us that because she's been taking the lessons, she's been able to look forward with faith. That's a huge step for her! We're hoping that this will bring her closer to the Gospel and the waters of baptism.
I love her. I really do love her. She needs this Gospel. Everyone does, but especially her right now.
Love Sister Weaver :)
P.S. I went to the Onyx store again this week JUST so I could get my Idaho Spud Bars :3 yup. Life is great :D And I gave a talk in Sacrament last week and a brother in my ward made a car decal out of something I said in my talk. MY WORDS HAVE BEEN IMMORTALIZED!!!!!
October 26, 2015 ~ Blessings upon Blessings!
Well your prayers for Kaisa have paid off this week <3 Thank you all for praying for her! So we went over on Tuesday to teach Kaisa and she's been struggling with understanding the lessons and such, so we've started over on them one last time. So we taught her the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ with Brother Moffatt. We went on a "scripture chase" throughout the Bible and Book of Mormon to show her that the prophets of the Old and New Testament and the prophets in the Book of Mormon all testify of Jesus Christ and his divine mission and the mission of his servants, the prophets. And so as we were going through the scriptures and the lesson, Kaisa asked tons of amazing questions that Brother Moffatt jumped to answer. Kaisa just loves the way Brother Moffatt teaches and quite frankly, I do too!
So when we started teaching her about Joseph Smith and how he was called of God to restore the Church of Jesus Christ upon the earth, she started crying. She told us she had never felt so happy and excited about something. She looked right at me and told me, "I want to know it's true. More than anything. What do I need to do to know it's true?" So we taught her to pray and read her scriptures and asked her to pray to know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and to ask Heavenly Father while she was at it if the Book of Mormon was true as well... Because what it all boils down to is if you love Christ, you want to know everything you can about his divine mission. And Heavenly Father loves us so much that he not only provided prophets in the past to guide the people in Israel and in the Old and New Testament, but he also provided prophets in the Ancient Americas too. So what is the Bible? It's a compilation of books that Prophets of Old wrote to guide the Children of Israel, and all who would listen, to follow our Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ. The prophets wrote down HOW to, WHEN to, WHERE to, and everything we needed to know. Same thing with the Book of Mormon. Prophets here in the Ancient Americas wrote down the same things, and then it was later abridged into one book by a prophet named Mormon. And the best part is that the Bible and the Book of Mormon together is a strong witness and testimony that Jesus is the Christ and that He lives! And so we testified to Kaisa that if the Book of Mormon was true, it meant that Joseph Smith was a true prophet because he translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God (because he literally only had a 3rd grade education), which also means that the church that Christ established while He was on the earth has been restored to it's original state by the Power of God. That's what it boils down to.
So after we left she prayed. And then we came back a couple days later and she sat us down and she showed us her Book of Mormon. There were tear stains all over the sticky notes that we had put on her scriptures. And she told us this: "Sisters, I prayed because I wanted to know that these things were true. And I felt that they are because of the truthfulness in your eyes and in your actions. So I prayed, and I felt this overwhelming, overpowering, and empowering feeling of love and joy that all I could do is cry. And now I know that this is the truth that I've been looking for."
Miracles and blessings happen when you seek the truth from your Heavenly Father. He loves us so much!
So that was one highlight of my week. THe other was that Chris received the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! And he's going to the temple to do baptisms next month AHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!
Super good week! Sister Ashburn and I have been really really sick this week too. So continue to keep us in your prayers :) Love you all!
And just to let each and every one of you know, I know that the church that Christ established while he was on the earth is back on the earth today in it's fullness and that church is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. And I know this is a bold statement, but it's the absolute 100% truth. Find out for yourself and experiment because I know it's true with all my heart and I will forever stand by it and I will never move. And I know that you will be the happiest you've ever been if you do.
Love, Sister Weaver