Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Moroni 7:48

Hello Family! 

Good to hear from you! Sounds like the dedication was super great! I'm excited to go to that new temple! I bet the Connolly's are in 7th Heaven right now. That is so awesome! 

Well this week has been really great:

Wednesday: I had a cool experience helping some people out in the Family History library. First off, I don't know a whole lot about family history or how to help people who come in with all their binders to try and find them things, I can pretty much just show them on the computer their ancestors name and that's about as far as it goes. But, I remembered that I am a missionary, and the line between family history and missionary work needs to be dissolved (see PMG pg. 164-little blue box). So, I prayed to Heavenly Father and said "Heavenly Father, I am a missionary, and this is your work, please help me to help them." And then I started looking through different books about those who came by sea, and I looked in the index to see if the ship they came across on was in this book. The ship was called "Hope." I didn't see it in the index. So as I was about to close the book, I just flipped through the pages and the first page I opened to was the section on the ship "Hope." Pretty awesome. They were thrilled with it. Then, later I used my google skills and found for them a book at the Family History Library in SLC that would answer every question (they live in Layton-so this is actually possible for them get). But they were so excited. It was really cool to be able to go in there and help them. Especially to really see how what is said in Ether 12:27 of weaknesses becoming strengths if we humble ourselves before the Lord and ask Him. Pretty cool. 

Thursday: I went on exchanges with one of the newer sisters. It was such a great experience. She told me that she looks up to me a lot, and that she trusts me and so she opened up a lot about some things that she has been struggling with. She doesn't have the most supportive of families at home, especially her Dad. She talked about how the only person she wanted to make proud was her Dad, and she was never able to do it. Her Dad would constantly tell her that she wasn't good enough. This made me so sad to hear. I started to tear up because I thought about how GOOD my Dad was. About how he would always tell me I was beautiful or smart. He takes every opportunity to tell me that he loves me. He will let me sit next to him on the couch and play with his hands. He will give me hugs. He called me an elect lady after going on trek together. He always would tell me that I was making him proud. Let me tell you, this has made more profound an influence on my life than anything else. This kind of love from a Father shapes children to be who they are. It gives them confidence and helps them recognize their Divine worth. But most of all, it makes it even easier for them to recognize that they have a Father in Heaven who loves them. So, Dad, I thank you. Mom too, because you did the exact same thing. To all of you parents, I recommend that you seek every opportunity to show your love and to build up your children. It makes such a difference as I have seen serving this mission. 

Friday: Sister Arnold and I have really been working hard to get our songs recorded. We are working with this guy in the Stake who has a recording studio and he is going to do it all for free. He said it would normally cost $10,000 dollars. INSANE! But, it's awesome to see how members of the Church are so willing to help each other out. To bless each other with the talents that they have been given. WAY COOL.

Saturday: I took a neat tour with a family from Ohio. They are driving to Utah for a wedding and they had 5 kids all under the age of 9. They were so fun. We were in the memorial room and I was asking them what were some of the things they were doing because they were a Forever Family-ie pray, scripture study, FHE. Anyway, then I asked them how doing those things helped them. They said that they had driven through a HUGE storm the day before and that they had prayed to be safe during it, and then felt prompted to go under a bridge. Right as soon as they got under the bridge HUGE golf-ball sized hail came down, and they were protected. After the Mom had finished this story, I asked the kids how they felt as their Mom was telling the story. They said they felt happy and good, and I pointed out that it was the Spirit that was making them feel that way. It was such an awesome thing and they were such a good family. Man, I love the gospel!

Sunday: We had this incredible lesson in Gospel Principles from our Ward Mission Leader. He talked about Charity, which as we all know, is the pure love of Christ. But, what is the verb for pure- it is to purify- or to make pure. Think of a diamond that is pure and clear- well it definitely doesn't start out like that, but it has to go through a process to become pure. It goes through heat and pressure. So, through these trials that we have in our lives we are being purified, thus becoming more charitable! It was so cool to realize. I don't know if I'm explaining it good enough, but it was blowing my mind. It makes the scripture Moroni 7:48 seem more incredible when it says that we will "become purified even as He is pure." Very cool. 

1- The Watsons, Sister Coats, Sister Belka, Sister Atkin, Sister Brown, Me, Sister Arnold at Longhorn Steakhouse. The Watsons wanted to take us out for an appreciation lunch. It was super fun. I love all of them. 
2- Sister Arnold and I like 5 minutes ago. I am having the time of my life with Sister Arnold. She is one of my best friends. Missionary work is really great when you are with your best friend. She reminds me SO much of Sarah, and I want her to marry Jared. :)
Welp, Family, I love you. I hope that things are going well getting ready for the wedding and the holidays. I love this gospel and I love what it has done for our family. Keep being good. 

I love you!

Sister Proctor

P.S. I will be on for about 10 or 15 more minutes... can someone please send me a picture of a teacup pig--- really showing just how small they are?! that would be very needed and appreciated haha. Thanks!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Alma 19:6

 Hello Family!!!

Today has been great! We just got back from our latest Watson Wagon. We went to the Joslyn Art Museum and then out to lunch and then to the bridge where you can be in Iowa and Nebraska at the same time. Pretty great. It was a lot of fun, and I'm sending some pictures of those. Also, I got the package from Laura and Sarah, the package from Laralee and family, and the letter from Isaac! So thank you thank you thank you!!!

This week has been super great! First off, I want to apologize for not writing real letters very often. I'll try and be better! Probably not this week though since we still have to get groceries and what not. Since we just got back from the Watson Wagon I don't have my journal or anything to help me remember what we did this week. Oh well.

One of the biggest highlights was just like what happened in Alma 19:6. Our investigator Diane is coming along so well! We set her for baptism and I am so excited. I love the way Alma 19:6 describes what happens when people are learning about the gospel. I have seen it countless times and it is incredible!

Ok, so this last week we had a mission tour. Elder Nash of the Seventy came and talked with us. It was super cool. So when we went to go shake his hand, he asked me "Are you enjoying your mission?" I said, "YES!" and then he said "It shows, thank you for your service!" That was awesome.... then later in the training, I made a comment to something he was saying and then right when I finished he said "Sister Proctor, that was a true statement and it was said with confidence." And then he just STARED at me, while I smiled awkwardly. Then he went on for about 5 minutes on how we needed to say things with confidence, so that the Spirit will resound in people's souls. He mentioned that we have the truth, and there is no reason to be afraid to state it. It was awesome. Then at the very end while I was playing the postlude music he came up to me and said "Sister Proctor, you are wonderful." Holy moly. It was crazy, and so cool. Big confidence boost that day haha.

Sister Arnold and I are working hard to get everything in order for the rest of the year, which has been fun/really crazy. It's cool though. So this last week we had Zone Conference with Elder Nash, then Zone Leader Council, and then we went to the temple. It has been some of the most spiritually packed weeks it was incredible!!!

I wish I could write more, but one of the sisters just called and said that the internet wasnt' working and so I've got to go fix it for them.

Know that I love you all and I am grateful for each of you!
Keep up the hard work!
Sister Proctor

I forgot to mention that Sister Arnold and I have been figure skating/dancing in the lobby of the TC for exercise. It's hilarious and so much fun. I have a video but it's way too big to send via email. Also, Mom, I promise to send you pictures of the quilts next week! Sorry it's taking so long.

Love you all!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Greetings from Nebraska

Hi Family,

It was good to hear from a few  of you this week :) I want to thank my devoted fans. Hahah, just kidding, I know you are all probably super busy. Things are going great here. Sister Arnold and I are having the time of our lives. We are doing a lot of stuff to make sure the rest of the year runs smoothly. Gladys Knight is doing a fireside thing with her choir in October. We called them to invite them to come to the Trail Center, so some of their board came and Sis. Arnold and I took them on tour. It was good, it looks like they will be coming!  So that's exciting. I have learned so many business/people skills on my mission and especially as a TC Leader, it's crazy. It's so awesome though. Did I tell you we are going to be singing in malls during the holidays? haha we are. It will be cool. To try and promote people to come to the TC for the Gingerbread Festival. 

The quilts are all up and look really great. I am reminded every day but EVERYONE of how great of a quilter Mom is. I'm so proud of her. She makes us all look good :) Anyway, there are a lot of fun quilts and I quite enjoy it. It makes me really excited to start sewing stuff again. 

So, pictures this week:
1- Me and my roommates in our weird storage cubby thing. We decided to do our BOM study in there together. It was fun :)
2- The Wrights went home. How I will miss them and their nightly popcorn parties at their apartment
3- A bunch of us sisters last week at the Trost's apartment. They were also going home so we had a little party with them. We are SO SPOILED with all of these Senior Couples.
P.S. I had no idea that Shayla Rowley was going on a mission. That is awesome and I'm so excited that she gets to go to a VC! She will love it! 


So, this week my letter is different- yesterday we had Stake Conference and this guy told a story from his Dad and Mom who were serving a mission. It was their story of why they decided to serve a mission. And, I realized that while some reasons of why I decided to serve a mission were extremely obvious, there were a few that you don't know about, so I wanted to tell you now :)

Of course, it all starts of when I was 18 years old and in my Patriarchal Blessing it said I would serve a mission. I didn't hear a thing after the Patriarch said that. We all know I was very upset and very saddened by this. I was worried that I would miss out on cool life experiences. That I wouldn't get to have a normal college experience, that I wouldn't get married when I was 19 :), that I would be a weird returned missionary. I didn't want any of it. For years, if you wanted to make me mad or frustrated, all you would have to do is mention that I should go on a mission. Oh man. Anyway, after a year and a half, I decided to finally read my Patriarchal Blessing. Why? Because it talked about my husband, and let's be honest, I thought that sounded great haha. I would just skip over the part that said I would serve a mission. Then, over the years, I became less and less sensitive to the idea of serving a mission. The funny thing is that I wanted so badly to travel somewhere and to help people, just in a humanitarian way, rather than a gospel way. Sarah and I both looked into all the different Humanitarian projects we could be a part of-- who were we kidding? Anyway, serving a mission was ALWAYS in the back of my mind. No matter how much I wanted to forget it, it was there. As I would walk through campus I would think about it. Whenever people would talk about missions, I would try and tune it out. So ridiculous. Anyway, it finally got to the point where I realized that I would eventually serve a mission, I just had to get over my pride. I thought about what it would be like at the MTC, I thought about what my future companions would be like, etc. When Sarah started thinking about going on a mission, and was telling me all the reasons why she was going, it made sense. It was only a year and half. I had been blessed SO much. I have been longing to leave home to go serve in someway (When Sarah told me on the phone, she started out with "don't be mad at me" hahahah, that just tells you my attitude towards serving a mission). So, I decided to fast and pray about it. I did the next day, and NOTHING. I had a lot of plans for the future semester, I felt nothing and I thought I was off the hook. Then Sarah and Nathan were getting ready for their missions, Reeve was getting ready for his, and Jared was just about to start getting ready for his. It all sounded so great. Everyone was so excited. I secretly wanted a part of it, but I couldn't get over my pride. Then Sarah left to the MTC. She was loving it. This excitement that everyone else had for serving a mission was contagious and I couldn't stop thinking about it. Then, one night at the end of February, KSL did a special on the MTC. I watched that video and I wanted to be there. Every change that I wanted to make in my life, I knew I could do there and on a mission. I closed my computer, opened my journal and wrote that I wanted to serve a mission. I knew that if I wrote it in my journal then I couldn't deny it the next day. What would I write the next day? That I had changed my mind? That the huge spiritual prompting to serve a mission was just a joke? Of course I couldn't deny it, so I had to write it down to hold myself to what I knew to be true. I also had to pray and commit to Heavenly Father that I knew that I should serve and that I would serve. The next day, I worried and worried about telling my parents about it. This was a very humbling experience. Finally, it was Me, Mom and Dad and Michelle's kids. We watched Veggie Tales- Jonah and the Big Whale (Dad would like to attribute my decision to go on a mission to this movie, but I assure you I had decided way before :) ). After the kids were gone I finally got up the courage to tell Mom and Dad. They were elated. I was scared. I was scared all the way up until I was dropped off at the MTC. I didn't get to show my excitement or my passion for the gospel as much as I wished I had. I was nervous, I felt stupid because I had to be humbled, and I was sad to leave my family. Therefore, I just tried to talk about it all as little as I could.

 But, I can tell you this, as I have been serving, I have never been happier in my life. I understand and appreciate the gospel more than I ever would have. I have a stronger, sweeter relationship with my Father in Heaven. I am more personally converted. I have seen the gospel change lives, including my own. I have grown to love, appreciate, admire, respect and look up to the faithful Pioneers. I feel way more prepared to have a family that I can raise with the gospel as I have been invited into so many homes- both those with the Spirit, and those without.  I have been able to use the talents that God has given me to share the gospel. I have seen how much the gospel really does bless our families, especially our own. I have never prayed more for my family than while I have been a missionary. I prayed and prayed that Laura would find someone worthy of her to marry. I have prayed and prayed that Casey and Clint would be able to sell their house (this one is still to be determined :) ). I have prayed for each of you because I love you and I know that Heavenly Father loves you. I know that this gospel is true, not because I read from the Book of Mormon and prayed to know if it was true (although, I have done that and received that spiritual confirmation that it is true). But, I know that the gospel is true because of how it has blessed our family. "By their fruits ye shall know them", the "fruits" our family has received from living the gospel have been so good and brought us closer to God. I am so grateful that we have the opportunity to share it with others. Think about how the excitement of others serving their missions was contagious to me-- now think about how our excitement to live and share the gospel can be contagious to those around us. As we eagerly do our scripture study, prayers, sacrament and other meeting attendance, home and visiting teaching, others will see our excitement and they will long to have what we have. I know this is true. I know our Savior lives, and that He loves us. The way He lived His life makes us long to return to live with Him and Heavenly Father.  Keep doing your best. I love you all. Have a wonderful, wonderful week. 

Sister Proctor

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

3 Nephi 22:10

 Hello Family!

It was fun to get all of you letters and the quilts from Mom! Elder Watson has made me show that quilt to so many people. HE LOVES IT. The quilt show starts this Friday and I'll be sure to send you plenty o pictures. This week has been super great. It is so fun to be with Sister Arnold! We get a lot done and have so much fun doing it. I love it. We are both still Trail Center Leaders and it's just been a ball. I'll be really sad when it's all over. 

This week: 
Thursday: This was transfer day and so it was super busy. We have a lot to do on transfer day, but it was fun being able to do it with Sister Arnold. At night we got to hear the testimonies of the departing missionaries. It was so good to hear from them. Missions really do change people so much for the better. 

Friday: We went and met with our new Elders. We are sharing an area, which is so nice because we are gone from it A LOT. So, it was good to meet with them. Then we went and all had lunch with our Bishop and his wife. I'm excited for the things that are going to happen this transfer. Then we came back to the TC and worked on stuff for the rest of the year, with the exception of going out to dinner with our roommates for Sister Lamb's year mark. That was fun. 

Saturday: We had a phenomenal training! We talked about how the people come into the Trail Center and their lives are changed and it's incredible. But, then we talked about how we come into the Trail Center more than anyone else so our lives must be changing even more. So we had Sisters share how their they have been changed because of the Trail Center. It was super awesome. 

Sunday: We were at Church and then served in the Trail Center for the rest of the day. Something that I learned on tour that was super cool was this: We start off the tour talking about the Nauvoo Temple, and how the covenants they made there meant so much to them and helped them along their journey. We talk about the sacrifices that they made in order to have that temple, ie 5 years and 1 million dollars. But as I was talking about it I realized how much more TEMPORALLY prepared they would have been had they spent that 5 years and 1 million dollars on preparing themselves with food and provisions. But, they understood that the SPIRITUAL preparation of covenants would mean more than any amount of TEMPORAL preparation. It's amazing how much they understood about the covenants made in temples. What a great lesson for all of us today. 

Monday: We went and did service with one of our investigators. After we left, Sister Arnold and I had such a great reminder of how much the gospel has blessed our family. This family has a sign in their kitchen that says "Our family puts the "fun" in dysfunctional" hahah which isn't too off-base. They have a mixed home with kids from different marriages, but all but one of the kids are over the age of 18 but they all act like 12 year olds and it's crazy! It is just wearing the Mom out, and our hearts just ache for her because it's exhausting for her. We asked her why if we were the same age as her kids were we acting different, and she said it obviously had to do something with God. It's incredible what the gospel has done for our family. I am so grateful that Mom and Dad were strong enough and patient enough to raise us the right way. I am so grateful for siblings who are living exemplary gospel-centered lives. It's crazy what you realize when you step into the home of a family who does not have the gospel. It makes your problems seem a lot smaller. I am so grateful for all of you. 

The pictures are:
1- Oh, I forgot my coconut water, is that not just CLASSIC! 
2- Team USA cereal. Pretty awesome! 
3- Me and Sister Arnold at Transfer Point
4-Sister Lamb was dying her eyebrows, so Sis. Brown and I decided to join in. It didn't do anything to ours, but it was still fun :) 

I can't believe Sarah is home! How exciting! I'm so jealous that Laura gets to go up and see her. Give her a great big hug for me please! I'm excited for the package :) 

Family, I love you. I am so glad to be serving a mission. I am so happy to share the good news of the gospel. I hope all of you take some time this week to count your blessings. I know I will. I love you! 
Sister Proctor