Tuesday, February 28, 2012

2 Nephi 25:29...You're Welcome Mom

Hello Family!!!

I decided that instead of a movie quote for each subject line, I could do a scripture that I like that week. Just like Mom always wanted when we were growing up. hahaha. All of your letters were so awesome!!! A new baby and Disneyland pictures! I don't think that can be beat! I love getting your letters and I am so grateful for your support.

This week:
Monday: M officially told us he is getting baptized!!! He is getting baptized this Saturday and I cannot WAIT! His grandpa is flying in from California to baptize him. It is going to be such a special special experience, I cannot wait. I love that little family SO much!

Tuesday: I was especially grateful for the lack of snow this winter. Sometimes it feels like it's almost spring and I cannot wait. I love it. We had some great appointments and we got to have chat as well, so it was a great day.

Wednesday: This was the miracle day. We are teaching this couple who has had missionaries for FIFTEEN YEARS!!! They know everything is true, but they are so afraid of commitment! It was so frustrating! We have basically been having Moroni 18 lessons every time, where it talks about "what have you against being baptized?" Well, this night, we had a great member there who started off the meeting with such a great testimony about the gospel blessing his family. Then the wife of the couple just jumped in and started talking about how she doesn't know why she hasn't been baptized yet. The Spirit was so strong in this lesson, it was amazing. I felt like I was going to burst every time I would teach or testify to them. I felt prompted to share my story about deciding to go on a mission and how things were able to work out. I told them that for years I knew that I had to serve a mission, but that I was hesitant/didn't want to. I told them how I even kept going to school and getting student loans so that I wouldn't have money for a mission (excuses, excuses). However, I eventually thought that it might be a good idea. So then I started praying and telling Heavenly Father that if I had the money, if it some how showed up that I would without a doubt use that money to serve a mission. We all know that didn't work. Then, I shared about what happened on February 24, 2011, when I knew without a doubt that I needed to and wanted to serve a mission. It was then that I prayed to Heavenly Father and told Him that I was going to serve a mission, that I would talk to my parents the next day and that I would start my papers. I told him I had no idea how the finances would work out, but I was leaving it in His hands. The next day, I told Mom and Dad, they reassured me that somehow, the expenses would be taken care of. Then, within the next few weeks, it seemed like every time Dad came home from a family or ward function, there was someone new who said that they wanted to contribute money to my mission. I was able to testify to them the POWER of committing to our Heavenly Father, and so then when I invited them to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized on March 24, they stared at me, and I stared right back, and finally, the husband through His hands in the air and said "Let's do it!" It was amazing!!!!!!!!! I am so grateful for the experiences that Heavenly Father has given me so that I can share them with others. I also want to thank all of you who are supporting me on my mission, for not only changing my life, but the lives of all of those that I get to teach and share that story with. What an amazing thing. All we have to do is show Heavenly Father our faith, and He will grant to us the things that we desire!!!

Also on this day, I hit a deer. haha. It jumped on the hood of the car! It was nuts, but luckily we were only going like 20 mph and it didn't do anything to the car. Or the deer-I think. I kind of just kept going. There was no way I was going to pick it up and put it in the back of the car. We all know what could happen then!

Thursday: This is all that I wrote in my journal: "Do you want to know who is amazing? Heavenly Father. He just knows perfectly how to make all of His children happy, because He LOVES us! I am so grateful for that. I am so glad I followed His plan to come on a mission. I really love what I do and the people that I am surrounded by. "

Friday: I woke up feeling sick, but still exercised, got ready and then about half way through personal study I couldn't keep going. So I just slept. pretty much all day. But Sister Davis was so good and was able to do a lot while I was sick, so that was very great.

Saturday: We were at the Trail Center all day. Sister Bown and I were talking about the changes that we have seen in ourselves because of our missions. I am so grateful for the person I am becoming. I feel closer to my Savior. I feel happier. I feel like I care more about others. What a tender mercy to be able to come on a mission and see other peoples lives change, as well as my own!

Sunday: We had a great Sabbath day. We had 3 investigators at church and then we had dinner with Bishop and Sister Witters (who we live with), and some recent converts. It was such a great day. Being a missionary is the best!

Monday: We were in the Trail Center all day again doing chat and then a TC shift. So, I am doing this thing called the 40 day fast, where you give certain things up or do certain things for 40 days to become a more consecrated missionary. One of the things that I am doing is that I can't complain about chat hahaha. It actually makes it a lot more enjoyable ahhaha, go figure. It was a good day. I am grateful to be a missionary.

1: I had to finally get a picture with one of the Martha St. signs. I go to it every week for district meeting, so I figured I should finally get one. Also, that is my new hair cut.

2: This is just some random text that we got, that I thought was hilarious hahaha.

3: Yesterday morning.

4: As we were walking into the library to write our emails, I saw this on the back of a truck and so I had to take a picture. It reminded me of Dad :)

Rachel Hale Proctor looks adorable! And I'm so glad to hear that Michelle is having another girl! That's so awesome!!! It will be just like I never left since Ella will be the same age as Eve was, and the new baby will be the same age as Ella! Crazy!

I haven't had any fermented duck egg over here, luckily. I did have some oldish fruit cups from the grocery store, that was pretty gross ;) Sorry Jared :)

Our new mission President will be announced in the Church news this weekend. His name is Micheal Weston from Logan, Utah. He looks very nice in his picture :) It will be really hard to say goodbye to President and Sister Kunz though, that's for sure. But I know that he is called by God to come and be the President here in NOM, so that will be a good thing.

I want you all to know how much I love my Savior and this gospel. Even all the crazy people that we talk to that try and tell me otherwise, I know that Heavenly Father is in fact our Father. That He loves us. That Jesus Christ is His Son. That through Him we can return to live with our Father in Heaven. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet. I know that Thomas S. Monson is the prophet today who is a mouthpiece for God. I know that the gospel is the only way that we can true happiness in this life and in the next. I love my family. I am so grateful to have been raised in a family where I could learn the gospel. Where I knew that we would be together forever. What an amazing thing! I love all of you, thank you again for your love and support!!!

Sister Proctor

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mother Likes to Chat

Hello family!!!

Today is my 7 month mark!! Crazy stuff! I can't believe that I have been out 7 months. And with my mission probably only being 17 months, that means I will be home 10 months from today! That is nuts!

Is Laralee having her baby today?!?! I hope so! That is so exciting!! I can't wait to see pictures of her!

Well, here is this week:

Tuesday: Valentine's Day. This is the best Valentine's day I have ever had in my life. Why? I'll tell you. That night we went and tried a referral from a member in our ward. These people have a ton of member friends, they have had missionaries over on P-days playing in their basement, but they have never had the lessons. So we went over on Valentine's Day and we were chatting with them. The husband is really funny and the wife has MS and is super quiet. Well, we were talking about how they were able to get through all of their hardships with her having MS and he said well, I took those marriage vows seriously, for richer or poorer in sickness in health. And then right away I said, but how do you feel about "until death do you part" and he said he had never really thought about it. So then, I got to bear my testimony of eternal families. I told him that as missionaries we aren't here just to baptize people, we want to make forever families and that he needed to do that with his wife. So, on Valentines Day, and the 30 year anniversary of when he proposed to her, he agreed to learn from us because he wanted to be with her forever. IT was amazing!!!!! That beats any bouquet, chocolate or card!!! I got to tell a couple who loves each other SO much that they could be together forever. Soooo awesome!!!!

Wednesday: We had the most amazing zone conference of all time. Our ward mission leader was asked to come speak. He is PHENOMENAL. He is seriously changing my life and the way I exercise my faith. I will have to show you a little handout that he gave to me the first day I got here. But basically, he takes the Lord's promises very seriously in the scriptures when he says that he will grant unto us according to our desires. And if we desire righteous things, and we do everything that we are supposed to be doing, he will grant it to us. He takes the tithing promise in Malachi to refer not just to tithing, where the Lord says PROVE ME NOW herewith If I will not pour out my blessings unto you. Since 1994, Brother A has achieved every single goal that he came to the Lord with. He taught us new ways to desire righteous things and to PROVE Heavenly Father so we could receive those blessings from the desires of our hearts. SOOOOOOO AWESOME! I am learning so much here, and it is amazing.

Thursday: We tried the whole thing that Brother A was telling us about. And we are teaching these two girls that are so great. But their mom really never joins in on the lesson. Well, we have been PRAYING for a way to get her involved. But we couldn't think of anything. But, we needed to teach the girls about the Holy Ghost and so we played that game where you blindfold them and they have to get somewhere and there is a still small voice telling them where to go while everyone else is yelling. Anyway, afterwards we were talking about all the ways the Holy Ghost either comforts us or warns us of things, and then J just opened up. She shared about when her baby died and she was angry with God and that she has learned that God does love her and it was like the footprints in the sand type of deal. It was amazing!!! And I know it was all Heavenly Father because there is no way that that Holy Ghost game did it! Soooooooo COOOLLL!

 Friday: We did weekly planning and then we were in the Trail Center. But our weekly planning was so awesome! Sister Davis is so willing to make changes and do everything to become more consecrated and better missionaries. So, it's so nice to have that support when I am wanting to just CHANGE for the better!

Saturday: Good day out in our area, we were able to see a lot of people. I have just developed such a love for studying the scriptures and studying Preach My Gospel. I look forward to it every morning. I wish that on P-day I didn't have to do all these other things because I just want to study!!!! It's so awesome!

Sunday: Whirlwind day. We started out by talking to this guy in the projects. He was out with his daughters playing in the snow and they just looked like a happy nice family. Then we told them that we were missionaries and that we shared a message that greatly blessed families. He asked me who gave us the authority to teach, and I said a prophet of God. Then he asked if he was an Israelite... not a normal question that we get... then he went off on how only the Israelites are allowed to preach the gospel and allowed to be prophets and that you can't be an Israelite if you are not black, hispanic or asian (basically everything but white). Then he said that only the minorities are the choice people and that everyone else was sent here to serve them. That we weren't actually God's children and that when it says God so loved the world in John 3 16 that it meant the Israelite world. He couldn't be reasoned with, and even after listening to his false doctrine, he wouldn't let me bear my testimony to him about God's love. So, we just left.  It broke my heart. I can't believe that things are THAT distorted. To actually believe that God doesn't love all of us? That some of us are on this earth just to serve others and that Jesus' sacrifice didnt' pertain to us. What a sad thing to believe, and I don't imagine they get too many converts. It just broke my heart and I left crying because of the things that that man actually believed to be true and how much Satan has ruined plain and precious truths. I felt like Nephi in Helaman 10:3-5 when he is so discouraged and sad about the things that the people are doing. So many of the BOM missionaries feel that way, so if I can stand shoulder to shoulder with them, then I can't complain. One thing that I am grateful for though is that the FIRST principle that we teach in the Restoration is that God is our Loving Heavenly Father. What a beautiful, plain, precious, and true principle.  

Then we went and taught T. He is 8 and so cute. He told us that his brother died from "Spiderman-gitis" (aka Spinal menangitis) haha. But we met with him right before church, and we invited him to come next week and he asked if he could come today, so we told him to ask his mom and next thing I know he's got his white shirt on and is ready to go! It was crazy that his mom let him go off with a bunch of strangers for 4 hours, but he had a great time at church and wants to get baptized!!

Then, that night, R (M's mom, who I took on tour and they referred themselves at the TC, and no R is active, but M is still not baptized), texted us and said that M has been calling his grandpa to set a date for baptism!!!! But he wanted to tell me, so I'll have to act surprised tonight, but I just screamed when I read it!!!! I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO HAPPY for this little family! Such an answer to our prayers! I love them so much and I can't wait for M to get baptized! Ahh! So, yeah, started out the day with tears of sadness, but ended the day with tears of joy. What a wonderful day.

The pictures are of Me with the Mangum's who went home this morning. They are so sweet and I am really going to miss them. They are from Louisiana and so I would always ask them about the Bayou and swamp people. They said I could come so I could go alligator hunting and eat some. I'm excited for that. :)

Then the other is just from this morning. We are emailing on the Bishop's computer since the library is closed for the holiday, so upstairs of where they live. Did the video that I sent last week work??

I can't believe those that are going to Disneyland!!!! I am so jealous. Let's plan a trip for this Christmas. Deal.

Well, I have had a wonderful week and I can't wait to hear from all of you again soon! Tell Laralee that I got the strawberries on Wednesday and they were DELICIOUS!!! Oh my goodness!! So good. It sounds like things are going well back at home and I am happy to hear that. I love you all so much and I can't tell you enough how grateful I am for all of you supporting me and my mission. This is the best thing that I have ever done in my life and it is changing me into the person that I have always wanted to become. I love you all!!!!
Sister Proctor

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

But Who's Counting....Apparently You Are My Friend!

Hello to the greatest family in the world!!!

Happy Valentines Day!!! I hope you all know that I love you SOOOOOOOO much and I am so grateful for all of you! Also, Happy Anniversary Isaac and Taniel! That is awesome!!

Well, I attached a video of my new apt. Hopefully it works. I'll also send another letter with just the pictures. It's pretty fun.

This week in tender mercies:

Tuesday, reading the Book of Mormon focusing on the Atonement. It's SOOOO Cool! I circle every time it mentions The Savior or Heavenly Father and then I underline all the times they show their love. It's phenomenal, and my pages just end up being filled!!! I will put that in the email with the pictures.

Wednesday: We had a great district meeting with our new district! It was really fun. At district meeting, we all had to point out something that we loved about our companions. Sister Davis said that she noticed that I had charity, and that I was as bold as I was loving. This is something I have been praying for for a long time, so I was very grateful. Also, I was just so happy that Ella was turning one that day!!

Thursday: Elder Watson gave me a little pep-talk because it's been hard having to switch areas, but it was awesome. We had a great day at the Trail Center.

Friday: We got to go to the temple!!! And then we did weekly planning. Sister Davis and I decided that we are going to be LEGENDS!!! Mostly, that we are going to do everything to ensure that we have a happy and successful mission :) It was fun.

Saturday: Eve's 3rd Birthday. We had a lesson with this lady in the projects, and when I asked to sit on the couch, she wanted us to sit on the floor because they had bed bugs on the couch..... because apparently bed bugs don't crawl on the floor!?!!! I'm itching right now just thinking about it. So the biggest tender mercy was that we didn't get them... that we know of... So sick. Another tender mercy is that I got called to Nebraska. I don't think I could handle it where it's like the projects EVERYWHERE. I would die. Heavenly Father knew exactly what I needed.

Sunday: We set someone for baptism! She is so sweet and so excited to get baptized!!! Good news, it's not a single man!!!

Monday: Sister Ford who used to be in President Kunz's ward was telling me that she was asking when we would go home (since we will go home at the same time). He told her that as a Trail Center Sister we can go home 30 days before our 18 month mark. Which would be December 20th!!!!! So, as long as our new mission president does the same thing, I should be home for Christmas!!!! How great is that!!!! That means I have 10 months and 1 week left... if I were counting... That is crazy.

So, we are in big time finding mode right now. Last night, this lady wouldn't talk to us for 5 seconds because she had to go watch the end of the Bachelor. Salvation or Bachelor... hmmm... which one which one. Yikes. It's so hard when people just don't want to learn about the gospel. It hurts my heart. But, we know that the field is white and ready to harvest!!! So we have to find those that have been prepared! As long as we keep working hard and doing the things that we need to be doing, we will be blessed. This much I do know.

So, there is also military housing in our area. It's kind of hard because you can't proselyte there, and they are respectable people who want to be good citizens. So that's hard. But, we also are right next to the Offutt Air  Force Base so there are airplanes all the time! Isaac and Jack would go crazy!!! We got a little bit lost and I ended up on the base... about to go through security... luckily there was a turn around before I had to explain to the security guard hahaha. But they had some sweet planes that I will send you a picture of in the 2nd email.

It is straight-up FREEZING here. Oh my gosh. As soon as you walk outside it feels like your face got bit off. Seriously so cold. I am so grateful though that it only started now and it hasn't been this cold since November. That's another tender mercy.

Well, it sounds like you had a fun week! I am so excited that you are doing international dinner!!!! I have the best recipe for Tamales for when I get home. No they are not a Nebraska thing, but they are a recipe from someone I taught in Nebraska, so it's legit. And they are delicious.

I got Laura's V-day package and I was so happy when I opened it! SO awesome!!!! Also, I won't be at the TC until Thursday, so I won't get the package that Jake and Laralee sent me, but we are having zone conference tomorrow, so maybe the people who live by the TC can bring it to me. I love getting packages/letters, they are so FUN! 

Let me tell you one thing that I have definitely learned, and that is the importance of budgeting. Some people who we teach, blow all of their money within like a week. I know that I wasn't the best at budgeting, but I can see what the potential is for not budgeting. Yikes. I have gotten a lot better with rationing out my monthly money with groceries and what not. Also, it's nice now that I don't have to pay 7 bucks a week for laundry and stuff like that. But, I just see grown people blowing all of their money on stupid things, like cigarettes! Lame! Plus, my coat smells like death. I smell like a total smoker. I am going to wash it today. Anyway, I figured Mom and Dad would be happy to know that I have really been making big changes to budget better.

Speaking of budgeting better, Sis. Davis and I are going to spend a whopping 7 dollars on the heart shaped pizza at Papa Murphy's to celebrate valentines day! hahhaa. I am excited. When I found out there was a Papa Murphy's I about died. I was telling Sister Davis about all of the times I just spent my Friday nights at home eating a papa murphy's pizza and watching a movie with Mom, Dad and Laura. I loved that and I really miss it. So, that will be fun for us today.

Let me tell you just how much I love this gospel. Every morning, after walking up and down the stairs for a 1/2 an hour, I get 1 hour to study the scriptures, and preach my gospel. Then in the next hour I get to study with Sister Davis, where we discuss how awesome the gospel is. I am so blessed! It hit me that I don't have too much time left on my mission, and that all of the things that I wanted to do/learn on my mission needed to get done! I have been taking advantage of the opportunities that I have to change for the better! It's amazing. I am so grateful for our Savior who enables me to change. Who stretches me and pushes me just enough to help me to grow into a better person. It's when we embrace that change that we have the most progress. I know that we are here to progress! There is this amazing talk by Bradley Wilcox called His grace is sufficient. I recommend you all read it. It talks about how we are saved by grace, but more importantly we are CHANGED by grace. How amazing is that!? Heavenly Father has such a great plan for all of us and I am so grateful to be helping others find that plan. I love this gospel, and I love my Savior. I love my Heavenly Father. I am amazed everyday at His love for me and His children. I love all of you and I am so grateful for everything you do to support me. I love you and I miss you.

Sister Proctor

P.S. Laura will you email Sarah and tell her Happy Birthday!!! I love you all!

 This is from last week, all of the snow. That was from ONE night of snowing.

The planes from when we accidentally went to the Air Force Base
 Sister Nichols came to visit me at the Trail Center! I was so happy! I miss her so much. P.S. that is not a weird hat she is wearing, it's from the Nauvoo temple that is behind us. But still funny.
 That was me this morning after I recorded that video. I just got done exercising, so I don't look the greatest, but oh well.
The way I mark my Atonement Book of Mormon. So awesome!!! 

I love you all!!!!!