Sunday, September 28, 2014

Hey Friends and Family!

>   Last Monday....I had no time to email because Sis. Alvey was saying goodbye
to the lovely people of Redmond that she was able to serve for 71/2 months! :(
It was sad and she is missed here...Its been a CRAZY busy week!!! On Tuesday
within 24 hrs I had 3 companions and it was so fun!!! I have never been so tired
in my whole life and its great. Ahh I cant wait to talk about some of the
miracles we experienced...I don't know if I will be able to adequately describe!

>  I want you all to know how much I loved serving with Sis brings
tears to my eyes as I start to think about it. When our zone leaders told us the
news and then drove away I completely broke down in tears! I was being kind of
selfish cause I wanted her to stay...she should be the one that is crying she
was leaving people and a place she served for 71/2 months and I know what that
feels like (Bville) I didn't just want to serve 6 short weeks with her! But the
Lord has a reason and a plan for everything, even if we cant see it! I know
this. We were supposed to cross paths and we had so much fun together...I got to
know her so well in only six weeks, when it has taken much longer with other
companions. Not saying they were bad...everyone is different. Missions are
bittersweet. :)

>  I LOVE my new companion! Her name is Sister Sullivan and she is from the
north east part of Iowa! She has been out a transfer less than me and she is an
AMAZING missionary...I love her! So grateful to be serving here in Redmond with
her. Her last area was in Lincoln City on the coast and she was there as long as
sis alvey was here in the centennial park ward. Sullivan told me she knew she
would serve with me someday! Another cool fact is that she trained Sis Alvey
last year! Sis Sullivan has 2sisters and 6brothers one of which is serving in
California, she is 21 and the oldest of all her siblings! She cheered and danced
like me and we both broke off an engagement haha ;) Its like we are supposed to
be on missions or something? Its like the church is true or something? ;)

>   While I was waiting for Sis Sullivan to come to the "Celestial" part of the
mission (so they say) I was in a temporary companionship with Hermana Ahlstrom
she is a Spanish sister in bend and she was also getting a new companion. We
spent the day in Redmond! This day was directed by a Loving Heavenly Father. So
we drop off our loved and missed comps at the stake center which is like 2
seconds away from our apartment. Went back planned for the day and then started
to study with the time we had left...(my mind was going crazy) We had texted
Renee to have a lesson with her and she is always usually available in the
mornings, so she said sure! And this whole past transfer we had tried but never
had been able to get a member to come teach with us. She basically is friends
with everyone in the ward, so almost anyone could come if there schedule aloud.
Anyways so we texted Sis Riding (I love this woman) She rocks. And you will see
why soon! She said she was able to come. Awesome. So now what does Heavenly
Father need us to teach Renee?...hmm Started to study faith! Called the Spanish
elders to ask what the taught them as a family on Sunday (the Spanish help teach
them cause Hugo speaks EspaƱol) It was confirmed to me that we needed to talk
about...FAITH! Simple as that. Hermana Ahlstrom agreed and we correlated
together on how we would go about it. Side note: God was making this lesson with
Renee happen and the adversary was trying to not let it happen not that there
was anything horribly wrong but you could just tell.
>    We asked Renee what she has faith in...and then what she doesn't have faith
in...we read faith out of the bible dictionary, sis Ahlstrom shared a scrip she
studied that morning, Sis riding speaks her mind....:) And helped clear up a lot
of things Renee was bringing up, for example the mark of the so glad
that sis Riding was there haha She helped us keep it simple. We followed up
about her reading in the Book of Mormon and she told us that her and Hugo have
been slacking in there reading and that she has seen and felt a difference, that
when they were reading there was more peace and not so much contention and
things were working out more often. Sis Riding responds and says "So what your
saying is that the Book of Mormon is from God"... she couldn't deny it. So it
came to the end Hermana asked Renee if she would "pray to know if Joseph Smith
was a prophet of God tonight?"(not the first time either) Renee starts to
explain things and eventually she will give you a straight answer it just takes
her awhile to get there. Sis Riding totally cuts her off and says..."Renee don't
dodge the question! Did you hear the missionaries?? (as she points at us) Are
you going to pray about Joseph Smith tonight?!" ....there was a moment of
silence and Renee just starts to cry and she said I don't need to pray about
it...I know..I know that he was a Prophet of God."
> The spirit filled the room and we all started to cry...kind of like what I
feel like doing now. The spirit did all the talking as we sat there speechless.
Renee says "I guess I just need to pray and thank God for the answer I just
received." Without saying anything, we all got on our knees and Renee said the
prayer we were all in tears and sis Riding proceeds to tell Renee I could see
your family all in white at the temple.
>     I don't know what I did to deserve to be in the room that day...or to be
part of these peoples  lives but I am so grateful. I will never forget that day.
There are more miracles that Sis Sullivan and I have experienced this week but
that is all I have time for. I'm extremely grateful to have the experience of a
mission! And for all of you that love and support me! I know that as we put our
faith and trust in the Lord and our Savior Jesus Christ that all things are

> ps sorry for the horrible grammar.

> Love Sister Heywood!

> Part of our email from President Samuelian;

> "Although many of you did not know this, Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Elder Richard
J. Maynes, And Bishop Gerald Causse conducted a priesthood leadership training
for all our Stake Presidencies, Bishops, Ward Mission Leaders and Elders Quorum
Presidents on Saturday. (Ask your Bishops and WML's what they learned from it.)
Then yesterday, Elder Oaks and our Area Seventy, Elder Richard Hansen held a
special stake conference in the McMinnville stake, while Elder Maynes and Bishop
Causse presided at a special stake conference in Monmouth.
> I am sorry that time did not permit these brethren to meet with all of you.  I
wanted dearly for each of you to meet them.  I did get to spend time with all
these men.  Elder Oaks asked me to send his love and best wishes to each of you. 
He asked detailed questions about you, we discussed openly our break from
technology, and the distraction caused from mis-use of the devices and Facebook. 
Elder Oaks opening remarks in the priesthood leadership session were about
building faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.  He exhorted us to help our members and
converts to have their testimonies based not upon the church, or missionaries,
but upon the Savior.  (Indeed we all must build upon the Rock.)"
Hey Fam and Friends!!!
>      Well after getting emails and pics of my moms blue hair, dancing videos
from paige and shae, labor day videos from my dad, pics of my moms new car
(finally), a little sneak peak of the house that i don't think i was supposed to
see and Hiking Tumalo falls right outside of Bend today with a whole bunch of
Elders and Sisters....i would say I'm pretty pumped right now and exhausted!!!
>  So something that i love about my mission is that it has helped me to be in
the scriptures everyday and it has not always been that way before my mission
and even on the mission as much as i have wanted or should. It has been a
complete paradigm shift and i look forward to studying every morning and esp. in
the Book of Mormon! Its kinda like i get lost and just so into it that nothing
else around me matters and i love marking them up and its just me and my
scriptures and the spirit! Sis Alvey and i will get so much out of one chapter
and get so pumped about the truthfulness of the Gospel which in turn helps us
want to share it more! Preach my Gospel talks about just that. This has been
happening a lot :)
>  A little update on Xena! We have decided together that we are going to take a
little more time teaching her which is so good and needed esp because she just
started school. She is living with the Davis Family and learning a lot there
which she has really needed, they are so good for her! She really has not had
much stability in her at all!! So she is learning so much and came
to church on Sunday and came to mission prep that we taught Sunday night!
>  Another thing i love about my mission is working with the youth and helping
them to see how fun being a missionary can be!! And that they are very capable!
Ah! I cant even explain it.
>  So i mentioned Damian in my last email (but called him damon) and talked
about how he has been coming to church and he came yesterday for a third time
and stayed for all three hours! We got to sit by him cause we were sitting in
the very back and he walked in late and so he sat by us. He tried going to
different churches and didn't feel comfortable and so apparently his aunt
suggested he come to the LDS church and so he did. We asked how he feel and what
he like about it...he said he liked it and he wouldn't come back if he wasn't
comfortable and we asked him why he thinks he is so comfortable and his response
was because we are like minded people. And is cool to not only hear that but to
see it. Bro. Schofield has really been fellow shipping him and...seriously he is
such an awesome member missionary...invited him over for dinner and sends him
Mormon messages and invites him to stay for more hours at church...participates
like heck in gospel principles class. So we are hoping to teach him this week
because we know he has questions!
> ps. in the gospel principles book in the chapt on the sacrament there is a pic
of a congregation, y'all should spot someone church famous and email me and let
me know if you found it! :)
>  Bro. King a less active member also showed up to church and we were seriously
so pumped about that..we visited him and he was only baptized about 5 years ago
and a missionary that taught him is now married and living in this ward, named
Bro Mercker which is also cool cause they will see each other around and will
tease him about getting to church! So he came and it was funny cause after each
hr he was about leave and we would say no chuck you gotta stay and basically
bribe him and say no no so and so is teaching you don't want to miss out! But i
know if were not in the right place at the right time he would have snuck out
haha but we still gave him is agency! Otherwise we would be going against
heavenly fathers plan ;) but i know he felt blessed for staying. It was also
interesting he said the first time he ever came to church it was a fast Sunday
and yesterday was fast Sunday! I know there is power and blessings that come
from fasting and that goes for all of Gods Commandments :)
> I love this Gospel and thank my Heavenly Father everyday for the opportunity i
get to be out here and be a missionary and meet so many amazing people that i
learn and grow from! Theirs nothing like it.
> Love Sister Heywood!
Family and Friends!

>  Holy holy..I can not even tell you how amazing this week has been and the
miracles we have seen!
> Last pday we got to go longboarding at the Haydens and they have a down
syndrome daughter named Paige and so we hung out with her and took pictures,
played some bball and did some gymnastics in the grass and she is SOO CUTE! And
really talented at gymnastics! I will send of picture of her..i love her so
> I was able to go on exchange with Sis Davis! She is my STL (sister training
leader) and we were companions in Forest Grove for six weeks during Christmas!
We were able to teach Xena for the first was so cool. We had Kali and
Sarah Davis there to help us teach and we were inside the chapel and the spirit
was really strong she shared some personal experiences with us about prayer! We
taught her the Restoration and she really felt the spirit...I said the first
vision and I thought I totally messed it up even though I say it almost every
morning. But then sis davis told me that it flowed so well and that I didn't
mess it up and she was thinking "wow she does this really well" so that made me
feel better haha its not about  me anyways. She really felt the spirit and said
she would prepare to be baptized! We also taught Renee and it was really cool
because for some reason being on exchange with a different sister helped feel
immense love for her and really heavenly fathers love for her. We also were able
to go to the relief society picnic and I got so lost but we eventually found it!
Got to know some of the ladies in the ward better and let me tell you they are
hilarious and it was so funny. We also stopped by a potential that day and as
soon as we knocked on the door and she looked at us and said "come on in!" and
we said are you sure? and she's all "ya im just making dinner!" her name is
Mckayla and she is super chill! She likes to learn about a lot of different
religions and she was totally open to coming to church! Have not taught her yet
but I know its going to happen.
> We taught Renee. Sis Alvey and really prayed long and hard about a baptismal
date for her. Even though she had kinda set a date for Dec. 31st. We felt really
good about Sept. 10th so she is praying about it. All I gotta say is that it was
super intense and I know that she feels pressure. She even told us she works
better under pressure and that she is stubborn. But I know that it was from
heavenly Father. She came to a baptism on Friday night for the Spanish branch
(so did xena!) and it was soo good and she was also able to come to church and
her kids were not she was able to focus really well. She also has been
talking to her neighbor Diana about the church and her and her family came on
Sunday it was super sweet! And also there is this guy that has been randomly
coming to church the past two weeks and his name is Damon.
> Also there are so many things that happen that I don't write about...good bad
and ugly but I seriously love my mission and wouldn't trade it for anything! im
in love with my mission life haha Today we got to hike smith rock and it was
super fun and I almost threw up but it was so worth it once we got to the
top..we went with the hermanas and our stls! it was so great. Wooo!
> Anyways that's all I have time for! I love you all and hope to hear from you
> Love Sister Heywood!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Hey hey Family and Friends!
> Hows it? This week has been a really good one!! Full of some pretty sweet
> We basically got to Teach Renee almost everyday this week! She is doing really
well and we have really helped her undaerstand the imporatance of the book of
Mormon in her conversion! They were also asked to speak in the Spanish branch.
They are in our ward but help out with Spanish because Hugo, Bro Lopez is
Hispanic and is fluent in Spanish not so much Renee! They are such a cute
family. The topic she was given was family history and how it will help her get
to baptism! She set a baptism date for December 31st! Which is awesome...we want
to know if she is willing to act if she gets the answer sooner. She has been
meeting with the missionaries for a year or longer but she is now ready to act
and do what it takes to find the answer! We watched Joseph Smith Prophet of the
Restoration and the spirit was super strong that night. It really helped her to
see the details of everything and not only did he see God the Father and His Son
but that he lived and died for it all along with many others. And that the Book
of Mormon isn't just any other book. She did really good on her talk in the
Spanish was really cool to be in there..but when Hugo got up and it
was all Spanish I didn't get a thing besides something about Pres Hinckley and
Willford woodruff haha but he did great! Also I got sick yesterday and it hit me
like a ton of bricks and so I went home and slept. I am feeling a little better
today. But I was sneazing a 100 times a hr and had a really soar throat and achy
body. But im doing better!
> We also had the "Great Giveaway" on sat.! For all of you that don't know what
this is, I will tell you! Its all free and a ton is donated! And it goes to a
lot people in need! We invited a lot of people and also met a 15 yr old girl
that moved from colver and knew no one in Redmond was lookiin for a church to go
to and ended up at the Great Giveaway that she heard about on fb and so we
talked to her she ended up going to the stake youth activity that day and met
lots of great youth and came to church and LOVED it.. and wants to know more! We
are teaching her this week. And she is soo so sweet! And the ward has really
welcomed her in! It was and is super exciting!! Oh and her name is Xena! (Z-na)
We also got to help one of the La that we have been teaching to it and helped
her find and get stuff for her baby girl that she will have soon and she was
crying and so grateful because she had nothing ready for her and now she does! 
(it was so fun)
> That's all have time for! hope you have a wonderful week! I loved being here
with SIs Alvey and working together she is so fun!
> Love Sister Heywood!