Monday, October 27, 2014

This Woman is Golden!

Well, I have completely run out of time to email today! I just wanted to let you all know a few quick things. :) 

First off - this is the last week of the transfer, so don't send any mail to the address in Bountiful just in case I get transferred next week. 

This week was awesome! And also really hard! We taught a lot of lessons, but unfortunately most of our friendshippers weren't there. Friends, if you agree to go to a lesson with the missionaries, please go! And if something comes up, don't feel bad about cancelling last minute. 30 minutes before the lesson is still preferable to once we've STARTED the lesson. That happened 6 times last week. 

We go to a quilting group every Wednesday that makes quilts for people in need, and this week they found out that I didn't have a warm winter blanket, and so they gave me a quilt that they made! It's so WARM and fuzzy and I'll cherish it forever. Love you Bountiful 16th, 24th and Dry Creek wards! 

There is also a GIANT pumpkin growing in a lot near our house. Probably for a contest or something. Seriously this squash is HUGE. It makes me smile. 

We spent 3 hours on Saturday helping a nonmember decorate for Halloween... and we still didn't finish! This family is INTENSE with their Halloween decorations! But their yard looks so awesome. They thought it was really hilarious to see sister missionaries - skirts and all - scattering body parts throughout their yard. Good times, good times. :D 

The AP's called us one night this week. (Assistants to the President - as far as missionary leadership goes, they're as high as you get) They said that they were checking with all new missionaries to see if we had driving privileges. I woulda believed them too, until my companion said, "Yeah right. They're trying to be all sneaky - they want to make sure you can drive because President is probably considering having you train next transfer." Oh. Well that's different. I mean... it could also mean that he's considering sending me a companion that is partially trained, or is foreign and can't drive. Or nothing could happen. But Sister Haddock and I are pretty sure that we won't be together next transfer, which is very SAD! 

There are great things happening in Bountiful! This week one of our ward mission leaders told us about a woman who isn't a member of the church who has been coming the last few weeks. Last week he asked her if he could send her the missionaries and she agreed instantly.This woman is golden! We had a lesson with her on Thursday and committed her to baptism! Seriously, who does that?? We also committed her to pray every night before she went to bed, and when we followed up with her yesterday at church she told us that she was also praying every morning! Really, where did this woman come from?! I kept praying before coming on a mission that just ONCE I would have the opportunity to meet someone that was prepared to receive the gospel like I was, but I really didn't think it would happen. It's so awesome that it actually has!!! She just eats up the lessons and was so eager to schedule regular meetings with us. Also, this is the first time that I've taught someone with even the slightest hopes of seeing them accept Christ and choose to be baptized. It's awesome. I'm SO not allowed to get transferred. That would be a mean thing. 

We carved pumpkins with our friend Jenn Sabovcik this week. She's awesome. Seriously, google Jozef Sabovcik. (that's her husband) he's incredibly talented. We love that family! 

So that's it! I've taken too long of course. Here are some pictures for you! 

Love always,
Sister Tipton

Monday, October 20, 2014

I, Who Never Fall Ill, Succumbed

So here we are - only two more weeks left in this transfer. How can it be almost time for transfers again?? 

Well I know that time feels like it flew by especially fast this week - mostly because I slept for most of the week!

Yes friends, I, who never ever fall ill, succumbed to such a fate. 

Last Monday I started to feel a little under the weather as our preparation day ended and we went to begin our evening work. In our church when you aren't feeling well you can ask for a blessing - two Priesthood holders will anoint your head with oil and bless you to recover. There have been incredible miracles recorded with this Priesthood power over the years - many times people that have been knocking on deaths door were restored to perfect health in an instant. Until I became a missionary I have never needed a healing blessing because in the last 6 years I have only ever had a cold for a few days at a time and then recovered fully. 

But on Monday evening, even though it didn't feel like much more than a cold, I kept having the thought that I should ask for a blessing. Sister Haddock supported me and we asked the Elders (the boy missionaries) to come over that night. 

It was a good thing they did - I don't even want to think how sick I would have gotten if they HADN'T given me a blessing! 

In the blessing they told me that I would be restored to full health "after a few days of rest and plenty of fluids." Sister Haddock and I both noticed that bit of the blessing. Cool, so a little rest, a little fluids, and I'll be fine, right?

On Tuesday she let me sleep in - I think I rose around 9 and attempted to participate in a telephone conference with the senior missionaries serving in our stake. By the end of it I was exhausted - even though I was laying on the couch - and took some Tylenol and went back to sleep. Tuesday was the worst day. I had chills so bad that even with 5 blankets stacked on top of me I was freezing. Sister Haddock kept asking me if she could take my temperature, but I stubbornly refused saying, "No! I don't have a fever! I'm just a little under the weather..." Ha! Finally at some point that afternoon I agreed to her request, and my temperature was well over 102F. I don't think I've so much as had a 99F fever in the last 10 years! I seriously never get sick. 

Sister Haddock called the mission president's wife, Sister Hansen told us to come to Salt Lake the next morning (wednesday morning) because the mission doctor would be seeing missionaries who are all sick at that time. 

So on Wednesday I forced my exhausted self out of bed and showered for the first time in a few days - which used up all of my energy. And then my wonderful companion drove us down to SLC to see the doctor. I was the last one to see him, and after a short examination he said, "It appears that you have tonsillitis." 

I actually laughed at him! Who gets TONSILLITIS? And of course my next thought was, "Do I have to have them removed?" Nope. We caught it early enough. In fact, he said, it was a REALLY good thing that I went to see the doctor THAT DAY. He put me on antibiotics immediately and sent me on my way. 

But of course, while we were having the prescription filled, we indulged in some Ben and Jerry's ice cream. Because you can't very well be diagnosed with tonsillitis and NOT get ice cream! I'm feeling MUCH much better, but have still had to remember to pace myself and not overdo it - I still feel much more tired than is absolutely necessary, but that may just be part of being a missionary. :) 

So that's it. I spent the week sleeping, and Sister Haddock spent the week watching as many church movies as she could find. So, to compensate for the lack of info, I will share some funny quotes from this week. 

We had dinner with a family who gave us curry. When I commented on the fact that I like indian food spicy better than Mexican spicy because you can still TASTE the food with Indian spicy, the dad shared a quote from a friend he had awhile ago. Apparently Brother Davis was eating something hot hot spicy and the friend tried it and then shouted, "Dangit! Pain is not a flavor!!!" 

Then yesterday we were talking about missionary work with the 8th ward missionaries. The 8th ward is a mid-singles ward (age 31-45) and the ward mission leader was going over the rules with his missionaries. He said, "A brother and a sister cannot be alone together. Unless it's a date... but a date is not missionary work." 

And then the same Bishop who I spoke about last week texted us in the middle of the week when I was super sick. He asked if there was anything that we needed. Sister Haddock responded that we had plenty of soup and popsicles and jello from other members who had brought things by (seriously, this stake was SO GOOD to me while I was ill!) And he said, "Well yes, those are all good things for your companion, but what do YOU need?" (seriously, SUCH a good man!) She responded that she was still okay and didn't need anything. And he responded with, "Well, I think I'll break the rules and bring over a DVD player and Pirates of the Carribean - nothing like a little Orlando Bloom to make you feel better!" Hahahah!!! YES! 

Yesterday in church during the announcements the counselor said, "And we will excuse Brother Rice today. He's in Kansas... receiving another award." Ha! No idea what for, but his wife is an EXTREMELY talented violin player that plays for MoTab!! 

Oh! And one last thing! We had a meeting Friday night - I was still feeling really sickly, but we went. Our high counselor over missionary work - the same that is the KSL weather man - came to the meeting in-between segments. So he was wearing his news suit AND make-up!! I lost focus of the meeting after a bit and found myself admiring the professional make-up job on this man. It was probably the funniest thing ever to me at that moment. :) 

Life was good during our preparation week. Now we hope to go forth and do some good ole missionary work! I love hearing from you all! Hope you have a great week!

Sister Tipton

Monday, October 13, 2014

Bountiful Week 9

We had a lot of really cool experiences this week - despite the fact that nearly all of our appointments cancelled! 

When I mentioned that to my District Leader last night when he called in for our weekly report he said, "But you're not going to get discouraged because of it, right?" Right. He's such a good missionary! 

Speaking of good men, the Bishop in one of our wards is a GREAT Bishop. Sister Haddock and I have recently been on a musical number binge - word has gotten out that she can play the flute and that I can play the piano and now suddenly all of the wards want us to play! Yesterday we were practicing for a musical number in the 16th ward when the Bishop from another ward in that building came in to listen to us. When we finished he said, "So. You've been hiding your talents under a bushel." Well. Not intentionally... would you like us to play in your ward Bishop. "Yes. Does next week work?" Well sure - we're already playing in another ward that Sunday, but why not? What would you like us to play. "What you just played is nice. Or... do you know any Pink Floyd? Perhaps some Sting?" I'm a bit shaky on my Pink Floyd - but I have some Pirates of the Caribbean memorized! "Perfect! Let's hear that!" But... we're in the chapel. Is that even allowed? "The Bishop just told you to." Ok! 

And then I played Pirates in the chapel. That Bishop then asked if he could borrow the chapel for a minute so one of the preparing missionaries could practice her farewell talk. We decided to stay and listen since we weren't sure that we could make it to their church service that day - we're glad we did. That talk turned into a homecoming talk - because of medical problems (that this dear sister has already waited over a year and a half to be cleared for missionary service) she is no longer cleared and has to stay home. This good Bishop sat and listened intently to every word she spoke and then gave her encouragement when she finished - and because their wards split a month ago, he's not even her Bishop anymore! I KNOW Bishops are crazy busy on Sundays, and it was just so tender to see that he acted like he had all the time in the world, and provided such support to this sister. 

So, speaking of missionaries. Yesterday we attended a homecoming, a farewell/homecoming, a farewell and another homecoming. In three different buildings! Phew! People also party hard out here when missionaries leave or return - meaning lots and lots of food! 

And now we have at least two musical numbers this week. One in Jon Schmidt's ward! - he may or may not be here because they're touring, but still that makes me feel crazy intimidated! They're used to some incredible piano music in that ward! Sister Haddock and I keep joking that we should just learn a Piano Guys piece for Sunday. ;) 

Speaking of famous people, I'm meeting a lot of them. Go google Jozef Sabovcik. He was an Olympic bronze medalist in figure skating for his country back in the '80s! He's from Czechoslovakia - someone has Olga Campora if she's heard of him! The other cool thing that he's done is something for the church - he's not a member, but he and his family live here in Utah. The church wanted to build a temple in Czechoslovakia, but the government was unsure. So Jozef was asked to write a letter to the Slovak government telling them what it was like living in an LDS community and pretty much saying that building a temple there would be a good thing. And the government accepted it! Maybe we'll see a temple there one day. :) 

Another person to google is Tade Biesinger. He's a 14 year old boy, and is the son of a family that we work with a lot because they're highly active in missionary work. Tade was Billy Elliott on Broadway! Their neighbors are a family that we love.  

Saturday was a day of music! We left the apartment at 7:30 to help out at the Stake 5K and we heard all SORTS of worldly poppy music over the loud speakers. We may have indulged a bit when the Backstreet Boys came on. :) And Kelly Clarkson's "Stronger." :) Then later in the day we got to see Tade's Billy Elliott performance. And that evening we attended a lipsync at one of the wards. BEST IDEA EVER! Seriously, ALL wards should have a lipsync! In between performances - while the next group was getting ready - they did a "name that tune." They would play a piece of a song for a few seconds until someone could name it. Then at the lipsync - the High Priests did "Happy." I actually hate that song - my companion hadn't really heard it until then - but the video they made was HILARIOUS. I hope it ends up on Youtube. :) It starts with one of the high councilors - who happens to be the KSL Weather Man - in a bathtub. Then a whole bunch of men doing household chores - and even one rocking out with his walker! Seriously, I was in stitches. :) The other really great one was the Young Mens (including Tade ;) They did Miley Cyrus' wrecking ball song - which Sister Haddock also hadn't heard until then. The young men dramatically acted out each verse and then pretended to be bowling pins while a giant ball came through and knocked them all over. It was such good fun!

And then my dear companion kept randomly breaking out in "YOU CAME IN LIKE A WRECKING BALL!" for the next day. Apparently this song that she had never heard of before was stuck in her head. ;) 

But ok - I'm not just playing out here. ;) Here are some of the things I learned this week. 

We had an MTC shadow with us on Tuesday - she is a teacher there that goes out into the field with missionaries to evaluate if the things we learn in the Missionary Training Center are applicable in the field. When she first met us she told us that she couldn't tell which one of us was the senior companion! Which made me feel really good about myself. :) She gave us a lot of pointers and even helped me to be less timid - even to the point of commanding us to chase after a car that was pulling out of the driveway of the home we wanted to visit. We did. :) I feel like a real life awkward missionary now! :D 

But the biggest thing she taught us is that amongst all of the lessons and principles we have to share, we have only ONE message. And that is the gospel of Jesus Christ (which is faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end.) The restoration is the what of the gospel, the plan of salvation is the why, and the gospel of Jesus Christ is the how. She showed us how to implement it into our lessons to stay centered on that one message, which is just really cool. 

We also visited P. this week! The lesson was SO much better than last week and I think we helped him to better understand prayer. We started with the video "I can find happiness" (which is incredible and you should all watch!) Then had a really great discussion about God as our Heavenly Father and how much He loves each one of us! Hopefully it helped him realize how personal prayer really is. Seriously, we have the opportunity to talk to the supreme creator of the world!! Who wouldn't want to do that?! 

And finally I had a lesson on faith. We were visiting a woman at the care center who is mostly paralyzed. She was having a bad day so we sang her favorite song with her - Edelweiss from the Sound of Music. As we did that I flipped through my scriptures to see if I could find something to share. We're promised that we will be given the things we need in the moment we need them, but I had doubted my ability to find a scripture in a moment like that. Even as I flipped I said to myself, "if I don't find one by the end of the song, then I'll just use the one I always use." BUT I FOUND ONE! It was one I highlighted a long time ago, but hadn't read in awhile in Mosiah 24:14. And it was PERFECT for her for that day. I wanted to jump up and down and shout "It works! It works!!!" Seriously, faith! Try it! It works!!! (And go read that scripture, because it's a really good one. :) 

I've attached three pictures of two little girls whose families we visit and the ADORABLE BABY KITTIES!!! And then me with all of the baby cuteness. I LOVE KITTIES. 

More pictures to come in another email.
Love you all! Have a great week!

Sister Tipton

The last pictures is me with my new boyfriend, Bones. ;) Then a gorgeous fall colored street, and a beautiful sunset. Seriously, the sunsets here are to die for! They're so pretty! I will definitely miss them when I leave! 

Monday, October 6, 2014

Conference!! And other happenings in Bountiful

So out here in the grand old state of Utah I often get the question, "So what did you think when you opened your mission call letter and saw that you were coming to UTAH?!" 

Honestly, after I got over my initial shock at HAVING A CALL (since it took me 8 whole weeks to get it!) I was thrilled! My first thought was, "I wonder if I'll get to go to the Salt Lake Temple?!" And then, "What if I get to go to General Conference??!" 


Every 6 months members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints gather to listen to the words of the prophets and apostles. There are 5 conference sessions that are each 2 hours long, which just sounds tedious, but it is WONDERFUL. Have you ever wanted to know what God's will for your life is at this time? Listening to conference is a sure way to find out! I really loved the Sunday morning session - three different speakers in a row spoke on the importance of listening to the prophet. This was even more incredible given the fact that none of the speakers talk to each other or discuss the talks they are preparing. The prophet spoke during that session. The prophet right now is President Thomas S. Monson, and I was really anxious to hear what he would say after all of those talks about listening to him! President Monson stood up and spoke on following Christ. 

So there it is: follow the prophet, follow the prophet, follow the prophet; follow Christ. I don't honestly know any truer doctrine. 

I think it's just incredible that 6 months ago at the last conference I knew that I wouldn't be home, but I never in a million years would have imagined that I'd actually be able to ATTEND! We went to both of the morning sessions. 

So everyone always talks about the protesters at conference. There are people that don't agree with our religion, so they come to protest outside of large gatherings of Mormon events. They honestly didn't bother me. It was mostly people holding signs telling us that we were wrong, and a few people shouting at us. I must say that they have a LOT of faith in the calmness of the Mormon people! There are 22,000 Mormons that gather in the conference center, and like TEN protesters. I'm not prone to violence at all, and I think it's a waste of time to tell other people how wrong you think they are, but I must say that it just doesn't make a lot of sense to me to try to stir people up to anger when you are so drastically outnumbered. Because really that's their whole goal, is to make us angry. 

But Mormons are awesome and respond in the best ways. Next to all of the really hateful people there were women holding GIANT signs that said, "I LOVE MORMONS!" One woman was singing the primary song "Popcorn popping" that passerby joined in with in order to drown out the sounds of the angry protester. And there were groups of people singing hymns for the same purpose. Pretty cool. :) 

We had interviews with our mission president this week. Sister Haddock told me that during her interview, President Hansen asked her how I was doing. She said, "President, she has Preach My Gospel in her heart!" Oh that makes me so happy! President and Sister Hansen both told me that I have a great companion. I really do. :) 

It's really incredible too to me how the things that we study in the morning can be of use during the day. On Tuesday a passage from the Book of Mosiah (In the Book of Mormon) came up twice during my personal study. It was about prophets, seers and revelators. Then that evening one of the girls we were teaching asked "what's the difference between a prophet and a revelator?" Ahha! I KNOW that answer! And where to find it!! Go go scripture power! :) 

Another really cool thing happened on Saturday. We were going to watch conference with a member but at the last minute realized that there was a miscommunication and that we wouldn't be able to go to their home. With 10 minutes until the session we were a little panicky about where to go - we tried a ward mission leader, but he couldn't. We tried the stake center, but no one was there. Finally we tried the senior couple serving in our area and they said, "Sure! Come on over!" With seriously a minute to spare. At their house we met their granddaughter who was formerly a teacher at the MTC. She asked to come teaching with us that evening, but we hadn't planned any appointments. But this one woman was on my mind all day. It turns out that Kelsie, their granddaughter, had also seen 'B' earlier in the day! Kelsie had the thought that she should speak to B, but didn't because she had no time. So Kelsie was amazed when B opened the door that evening. It was seriously so cool. I had wanted to see B because she has been trying to come back to church, but B doesn't trust missionaries because she has had bad experiences in the past. I just know that Kelsie had to be with us that evening! She really helped her to soften and open up. And now we have another appointment with B!

We are also going to begin teaching one of the eternal investigators! (He's been investigating for actual decades, and the rest of his family are members.) I'm so excited! 

This week we saw a gorgeous rainbow. It was the brightest rainbow I have EVER seen! And a double one too! I didn't get any good pictures of it sadly, but it was incredible. It looked like you could see the base of it, right in the mountains! The beauty of the earth is incredible. It's just evidence of how much God loves us!

And finally, I got to hold baby kitties!!! They were the sweetest ever!!! It was at the end of a long, busy day, so it was great to hold the kitties and feel their softy little purry love. :) 

Well my life is amazing. :) Hope you are all having great lives too! Until next week!
Sister Tipton