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Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Is this real life??

Well Familia! It looks like Portugal is a real thing after all! On Tuesday I am coming for Portugal! WOOOOHOOOO! So Stoked, but it is definitely bittersweet leaving Vernal. Here are some of the miracles we saw this week.
On Tuesday we drove out to Jensen hoping to contact some people and we stopped at a part member house. Unfortunately the husband who is not a member wasn't there when we stopped by, but we were able to talk to Sister Snow and it just so happened that we stopped by when she was doing a less-actives we definitely took full advantage of this and shared a message with them in the middle of hair being permed, and they even stopped to let us say a prayer with them. It was a small tender mercy, but I definitely know that the Lord was involved in that!
We also saw another miracle in a lesson we had just a couple of days ago. Brother Timothy has been quite the difficult contact for he is a stinker some times! Our lessons are usually us defending while he contends and questions everything he knows to be true. He is a member of the church, and says every single time we are there, "The LDS religion is my religion, I know it is true, I always will", yet he never follows through with commitments and is always questioning the church. This is the same guy who thought everyone in the church just thought of him as a number or a recruit. ANYWAYS, we were determined that we were just going to kill him with love. We went to this lesson and the first thing he said to us was, "Because of these boundary changes I probably won't go to church anymore.".......great. So again it was kind of a battle. I was thinking, "You didn't even go to your last ward....YOU TOLD US YOU DIDN'T EVEN LIKE YOUR LAST WARD, so why does it matter?!" Probably not the best mindset....But we even made sure to bring a fellowshipper from his new ward, to get him started on a good note. Well like I said before, a miracle happened and as we bore our testimonies about the importance of this change and the blessing that would come, his attitude completely changed. By the end of the lesson he actually seemed excited to go to church. We set up plans for the fellowshipper to pick him up, and I think we actually will see him at church this blew my mind. such a change. That's the power of the spirit.
I've seen so many miracles during my time in Vernal which makes it so sad to leave. I love the people here and will miss them so much! They are incredible. However, I can't wait to get to Portugal! This week has been so crazy finding out all that and trying to pack and get ready for the temple open house. It is going to be a bit nonstop for the next few days, but that's exactly how I like it! Missionary work is incredible! Eu tenho muito muito muito Bencoes! Hope you all have a wonderful week! Amo Voces!
-Sister Selk

Meet Valerie - she is crazy and we love her!

Infamous country grub for our last DTM

Car Selfie - luckily we drive around a whole lot of nothing!

We have been getting real good at card dropping. #sneakysisters

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

How great is my calling!

Minha Familia!
What is going on my family!? First of all let me just say that your emails are incredible, so keep up the good work, you are making this sister very very happy. Wow, I am so lucky!
At the beginning of this week we had an awesome lesson with a recent convert who has been in and out of activity. Her husband is currently in the army and she is 22 with 2 kids....crazy. I can't even imagine, but having her husband gone has been really good for their relationship ironically enough. It has made them both realize that they want the gospel in their lives. So good. We talked all about the Book of Mormon, and as you know, in the MTC I got a huge testimony of asking questions as you read the Book of Mormon, so we decided to do this with her for her lesson. We had her think of a specific question right there (she is moving in about a month, so she had a question regarding that) and then we asked her to pic a number between 1-531 and then we had her pick a verse from the page she picked. I was not surprised when we read the verse and it answered her question perfectly. PERFECTLY! All she could say was "Woah"....."Woah". She was in shock, and we really had nothing else to say, so it ended up being a pretty short lesson but it was soooo good. The church is true fam. Wow.
We have been trying to do a lot of contacting this week since the wards have been changed which has created a whole bunch of opportunities for us. We were able to contact this amazing young family this week-The Walkers. While we were visiting with them I just kept thinking "why are they not members yet?" They know a lot about the church, and they are such good people, so I am hoping we can make some progress with them because they are just awesome!
We had some pretty tragic news this week. We only have about 4 investigators we are currently working with, and we just found out on Friday that 2 of those got taken from their grandmother- Sister Reese this week. Sister Reese is an amazing woman who has done an amazing job raising her grandchildren, so she was just devastated by this happening. We were able to stop by her house and share a message with her, and the spirit was very strong as we did so. We fasted for their family yesterday, and we have already seen some amazing Miracles come out of it. Sister Reese and her husband came to church yesterday, and even though they are going through this devastated time they are doing exactly what they should be and are relying on the Lord. I can't even explain it, but I know that everything will work out for them.
Saturday was Sister Wagner's Birthday! PaRtY!...or missionary work...same thing right? We had a little celebration that night at sister Sunkees house and also at the Reynolds which was fun. We also had a tender mercy that day as well. Last week I talked about going to visit a trailer in the trailer park, but then we ended up visiting with Jack Ray etc. Well we went back to the original trailer we were planning on visiting and they ended up being home this time! There were 6 of us in this tiny little trailer, so it was quite crammed, but we had an amazing visit with these people! It is a long story, but they ended up curling sister wagner's hair while we shared scriptures with them and talked all about trials and the good! haha so good!
Yesterday was probably the highlight of the week! We drove out to Payson to get some more training on the temple open house. THE PAYSON TEMPLE IS GORGEOUS! WOW. It literally doesn't even look real. We got to take a tour of the temple with Brother Richards of the 70. It was quite the experience. President McCune testified that he knew that for some of us, the Payson Temple open house could be the sole reason we got called to this mission. As he said this, I definitely got the most overwhelming feeling of peace and comfort. I don't know exactly what is going to happen during the temple open house, but I am stoked for it and spiritually preparing myself for this event. Before I walked in the temple I thought a lot about Ashley, Uncle Wayne, and Aunt Jocelyn during the Calgary temple open house. I just feel something special about temple open houses since that happened, and I can't help but feel that she is preparing people for this event. The inside of the temple was absolutely breathtaking. Being counseled by Brother Richards inside the temple was....incredible, and seeing about 100 sister missionaries standing in awe in the Celestial room is a picture I will never forget. As far as I know so far I will be volunteering on the Monday afternoon shift and depending on what is going on with my travel plans to Portugal, I may or may not be doing the Tuesday morning shift as well. I am so blessed to be a part of this temple open house, even if it may just be for one day.
Every week I can't get over just how blessed I am to be a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It is just incredible. How great is my calling! 
I am praying for you all. I love you so much! Thanks for everything you do, and for all of your prayers. I can feel them give me strength every day! You guys are awesome!
Amo Voces!
-Sister Selk

We took advantage of being the furthest area in the mission and drove to the Colorado border.  Not much to see - haha!

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Sealing is what brings us together!

Minha Familia!!!!
This was such a good week! Such a good week! So I am super stoked to tell you about all of the details!
We had some miracle experiences contacting this week which was a really nice change! On Tuesday night we had one of our usual families cancel on us, so we both decided we should go out to Jensen to contact. We had a name of a family that we were optimistic would be really interested in our message, but when we got there the Dad was really quite rude to us and definitely wasn't excited to see us. It was the strangest thing and we both just felt really strange and awful about the whole situation, but we decided the best way to dismiss the awful feeling was to work even harder. And after that everything seemed to fall into place. Last week we tried to stop by a referral we got, but they weren't home, so after talking to the dad we felt we needed to try that referral again. It was obviously a trailer park that this referral lived in (because come on we are talking about Jensen...) hahah just kidding....but not entirely. Anyways, so we knocked on the trailer door, and again no one came to the door and all we heard were dogs barking. But someone in the trailer next to theirs peaked out their curtained windows (which was actually just a blanket held up to the windows...I love it here so much! Sorry, I am getting so distracted with all the hickness, but we saw them peak out of their window and so we decided "What the heck, lets go visit them!" We went next door and met Jack Ray. He is a middle aged man who got excommunicated from the church, but is trying his hardest to do what he can to get back into the church. We couldn't go inside his trailer because he was the only one living there, but we shared a message with him from outside of the door. He was super sweet, and even though Easter is over we decided to share Because He Lives with him. It was the most incredible experience. The spirit there was..... it was pretty much indescribable. It was potent, and I felt as if I was in this little heavenly sphere even though I was surrounded with very poor living conditions. As I watched him watch the video I just started to cry. It was like I had a little glimpse into what charity really means. I felt God's love for this man. I felt his spirit so strong. It was incredible.
After talking with him for a bit he referred us to his neighbors- Also less active members. They hadn't had the best feelings towards missionaries and ward members, but they seemed to really enjoy us. The wife was really receptive to us, and at first she was the only one who came out to talk to us because she said her husband refused to talk to anyone from the church, but by the time we left he had come out of the trailer and was talking with us. I truly believe that a lot of these people just need to feel as though they are loved, and like I mentioned last week, I am really trying to work on that, so that was a really neat experience.
This weekend was also one of the neatest experiences I have had thus far on the mission!!! THE REYNOLDS GOT SEALED!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHH!!!! I cannot even express how much I love them! They are the most incredible couple! We got to go to a session at the Vernal temple on Friday when they received their endowments, and then also got to attend their sealing on Saturday. Oh my goodness! It was the coolest experience! Earlier this week when we went over to teach them, we talked with them a lot about the temple, and Fred said that when him and Cat told his mother that they were going to get sealed that his Mother told him that that is the only thing that she had been praying for for years. She is in her 80's and they don't think that she will even make it through the end of this year, so when I saw her in the temple with them I just started weeping!!!!! She came down and sat next to me in the Celestial room and just expressed how special of an experience it was for her and how grateful she was. THIS IS WHAT LIFE IS ABOUT! 
The sealing on Saturday was awesome as well. They both looked like they were glowing. How lucky am I to have met this couple for the few weeks that I have had to serve in Vernal!? They are definitely the people that I have grown the closest to in Vernal, but the amazing thing is that there have been so many amazing people that I have met!
Sunday was crazy! We got asked to speak in 2 different sacrament meetings, and of course on 2 different topics. Unfortunately I am not quite up to Dad's level and I can't just get up with a sticky note and talk for 15 min, so you better believe I was stressed out of my mind when I found out I would have to prepare 2 talks! I stayed up late on Saturday trying to get my thoughts written down, and I really didn't feel too good about either talk- the perfectionist inside of me was dying! But I just said a prayer that my message would be delivered despite the fact that I didn't think it was up to par. I especially felt not so good about my second talk, but after that meeting Sister Cook from the ward came up to me and asked for a copy because she said she really enjoyed it! WHATTT?!?! I had to ask if she was serious...hahah so apparently the Lord does answer prayers....strange how that works! 
Sunday was also craziness, because they redid all of the boundaries in our stake and created a completely new ward, so we are going to have a fun time trying to figure all of that out in the next few weeks! But that just means that our area is growing and the work is progressing, so we are really excited about that! 
Only 2 more weeks in Vernal! Crazy! I definitely have mixed feelings! I love it here, but I am also getting extremely stoked to be in Portugal!!!! We are going to get some serious work done while I am here, because I have to leave Vernal with a bang!
I love you guys! Hope you enjoy your week! The Lord Loves you! Amo Voces!
-Sister Selk


Doing girly stuff!

Monday, 6 April 2015

Week 9 and Good News!

Minha Familia!
We had some good times this week, so I will get right into telling you all of the highlights!
Last P-day we had our district activity and we hiked moonshine arch which is in the middle of nowhere and required us to do some off roading in the minivan which was a fun adventure....hahah My district is super cool, and it was way fun getting to spend more time getting to know them better. Elder Kalamafoni had a collection of snapbacks in the minivan, so we thought it was appropriate that we all sport those on the hike. I of course got voted to wear his only hockey related snapback- the Canadian Stereotypes continue!
On Tuesday we went on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders. I have to admit that I was NOT looking forward to exchanges. They told us that I would be going to Roosevelt until Wednesday and I didn't have the best attitude about the whole thing, but God definitely humbled me because I had an awesome time. I learned a lot from sister Garding and sister Nebo, and there was one lesson in particular that we taught that I really felt my teaching was improving.
When we got back from exchanges on Wednesday, Sister Wagner and I had planned to help a lady clean her house because she was moving. 
It was horrendous. 
I am pretty sure we killed the vacuum cleaner in our attempts to find the ground, but it was definitely a good service opportunity.
I was able to go back to Sister Bankston's House this week to practice my Portuguese. I feel like I am progressively getting worse at Portuguese, which is not good! Especially because MY VISA HAS BEEN APPROVED!!!! Ahhhhh! Prayers have been answered!!! I am so stoked for life, but terrified at the same time! Looks like it is time to triple my efforts in my Portuguese! Pray for me, I am going to need all the help I can get!
Here are a few fun stories about the lessons we taught this week:
We had a lesson that was quite eye opening this week. As we were visiting with this man he expressed to us that he felt like all of the people in the ward just thought of him as a number, as just someone who needed to be recruited. I was quite shocked by this, and asked him if he felt the same towards us as missionaries. He told us that he did, and I have never been so heart broken in my life! The fact that this man did not feel that we loved him made me reevaluate everything I have done as a missionary. Our Purpose is to invite and to help which ultimately means to love. That is our only purpose, and if we are not getting across that message to our investigators than we are doing something wrong. We had a good talk with him about that, and I hope that by the end of the lesson he was able to feel our love for him, but that is something that I have been thinking a lot about and is something that I hope to improve on.
Another lesson we had was even more out in the boonies than we usually are. We pulled up to this ladies house and all I could think of was "Oh Boy." haha
I fully regret not taking a picture, because it was just the epitome of the kind of people we teach. So great. We walked in her house and she is a bit of a hoarder, but I guess one positive thing about that is that she had about a thousand pictures of Jesus on the wall.....And about a thousand crosses......She is a less active lady- super nice, but we are still a little confused about what she actually believes. All we know is that she is a big fan of Jesus, trinkets, and meditation...
The last interesting lesson for the week happened last night. Sister Wagner went to conference in Salt Lake, so I was on Splits with Sister Cluff from the other district. We showed up to this lady's house that they had apparently visited before, and when we walked in the door I was 90% positive she had been smokin weed or something because it was POTENT in worries though, because she was just burning sage....ha. Oh boy. That lesson was interesting....enough said.
Now for Conference:
So Good!
Every single session was amazing, but I am pretty sure that the Sunday morning session was especially for me. I literally felt like every speaker was talking directly to me. And not only were all the talks perfect, but they also sang my favorite hymn, so I am convinced that session was for me.
We were able to watch conference with two different families. Both were so fun to watch it with, and both fed us wayyy too much!
I don't know what else to say about conference other than it was perfect.
We have some dang exciting things coming up this week! I am excited to share those next week! Man, April is going to FLY by and before I know it I am going to be in PORTUGAL!!!!
I Hope you all have an amazing week! Amo Voces!
-Sister Selk

Swagger wagon.  #obrigadaporGlyfe continues!

Sister Swagner!

Super efficient cleaning skills.  But on a positive note I was super stoked to have picked up these sneakers for only $4.00!

Spoiled for Easter

Sister Sunkees was our Easter Bunny this year and absolutely spoiled us.  Such an incredible lady.

Our are is Booming!!

Who said Vernal was not beautiful?