Thursday, February 27, 2014

The Gospel is a Blessing!

Hey Family! Thanks so much for your emails and love this week! I truly appreciate your love for me and comforting words since the news about Grandpa Terry. I know he's doing well and sharing the gospel right next to me! This week has been really great. I can't think of anything so extraordinary that happened that y'all would love! We went to a lesson the other day and basically got anti-ed... but now have a baptism date for her! Haha it's funny how the spirit can soften people's hearts. I'm so grateful for that! Zone conference was on Tuesday and I wish I could tell you how wonderful it was. We receive so much revelation from those meetings and learned so much about how to become a better missionary and help us reach the goals we have for the Fort Worth Texas Mission! I'm so glad to be a missionary here and teaching these people right now! Sister Tanner and I also won cleanest car award! We spit shined that thing until our teeth were gone ;) Just kidding! Our ward mission leader took at temple trip with some people who are planning to get baptized and Prince was able to go :) We've been teaching him since I got here and he's getting baptized on March 8th (as long as we keep working hard!) He loved the temple and said the spirit was so strong on the grounds. He learned so much about what we do in the temple and loved it! It's so true that the temple has such great blessings, even if we just go on the grounds the world melts away! I'm grateful for that. Take advantage of going to the temple as much as you can! I wish I could go more often, but I know my missionary work is important for the living right now! The sisters have been teaching a woman, Jeanette, for almost a year and she came to church for the first time yesterday! She's so funny. We invited her a couple weeks ago but she bailed out because she thought it would be too quiet. When she came yesterday she fell asleep during sacrament (she goes to dialysis and had taken medication that makes her drowsy) and then started snoring and Sister Tanner and I were doing all we could to not just giggle out loud. But, she stayed for all 3 hours and loved it! She's planning to come again and we keep saying "Jeanette, are you ready to get baptized?" and she says... "I don't know yet". Haha she makes me laugh so hard and I love her to death. This last week I've been so happy, I know the happiness is coming from my Heavenly Father. I know that the gospel blesses families! I know that as I watch these people make changes in their lives to come closer to our Heavenly Father he blesses them! I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ can lift the hands that hang down and help people know that our Savior Lives! I'm grateful to be serving the Lord, teaching the people in Fort Worth everything that I know and learning for myself as I do it! I'm grateful especially for the Plan of Salvation. I have had so many opportunities recently to ask if it's true and have received, many times, my answer. It brings me so much comfort! Thank you for your love and prayers, I truly love y'all and am grateful for all y'all do! Have a great week! With all my love from Texas, Sister Tawny Sylar

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Another Week as a Missionary

Hey family! Thank you so much for your letters and emails. I really do love hearing how y'all are doing and what's going on in your lives. Things are going great here in Texas! The weather is starting to warm up and we are getting out there and teaching people who have been prepared for the gospel. It's so amazing to be amongst so many miracles that we know the Lord is making possible. We have a few people who are getting baptized in March and we are so excited! Felicia, one of our investigators, is going to get baptized and after we taught her the Word of Wisdom the next time we went to see her we followed-up on how she was doing and she went to the fridge, took out her last beer and poured it down the drain. She said "I saved that one to show you I was done and I didn't know it was in my fridge" Hahaha :) I love that she wants to follow the savior so much she's willing to make the necessary changes to become more like him. What a faithful woman she is and such an example to me! Gretchen, our recent convert, also went to the temple for the first time on Thursday night and absolutely loved it! :) When we asked her how it went she said "I feel like I died and went to heaven" Hahah Great! Cause that's the closest place you can be to heaven on the earth. What a great opportunity we have to be a part of the church and perform saving ordinances for those who didn't have the opportunity in this life! I miss the temple and I wish I could go there more, but I know that missionary work for the living is so important as well and I'm grateful to be a part of it! So... whenever we go to visit Chris, our other recent convert, we drive by a house that has girl scout cookies for sale. I told Sister Tanner that we were going to stop there sometime cause I wanted cookies. After we got done visiting Chris we stopped there to share a message and hopefully in return get some cookies. I didn't have cash! But, this wonderful couple wants to have a discussion sometime about what we believe! Thanks to my Thin Mint fettish, we've found some people who may want to learn more! :) There aren't many highlights for this week. I've had a pretty hard time the last 2 weeks with the news of Grandma Terry and with Grandpa Terry passing away. The greatest thing I know about these challenges is we can overcome it through the Savior. I know the Lord is aware of me and my situation and aware of my family. What a great gospel we are a part of to know where grandpa is now. We were teaching a lesson last night about the plan of salvation and I had been praying to know for myself that it's true and that grandpa is okay. I received my answer by a small feeling that grandpa was sharing the message with me and that it was true. Through these are times I'm grateful to be here on my mission and see that the gospel can help anyone in any situation. I know that it's true. I know the Lord lives. Thank you for all y'all do for me. I truly appreciate it and love you so much! Have a good week. With all my love from Texas, Sister Tawny Sylar

Monday, February 10, 2014

Miracles in Fort Worth

Howdy y'all! A lot of times you hear that after trial comes miracles, right? Well.. I know faith preceeds the miracle as well. This week has been full of tender mercies from the Lord and I know that it's because after a tough week, we kept the fail and pressed forward! I'm grateful to the Lord for all he's done for me and His love for all his children. It's becoming more evident to me that he truly loves us all! We have been teaching a brother and sister, Liz and Blake, for about 2 months now. They have been coming to church for a year and haven't had the opportunity to get baptized because their dad won't allow it. During a lesson with them a few weeks ago we had a feeling that we needed to fast and invite them to talk to their dad about being baptized. They agreed, and to our surprise they bore their testimony's in sacrament meeting on Sunday. They mentioned that they would be fasting on Thursday before they talked to their dad about being baptized. The whole ward put their arms around Liz and Blake and decided to fast with all of us on their behalf. The result of the talk with their dad wasn't good, but it wasn't bad! He told them he would think about it and let them know this weekend. The prayers continued, the ward kept supporting them and the Lord worked miracles. On Sunday night we received a phone call from Liz telling us their dad said they can get baptized! Unfortunately, not with his approval or blessing, but just with his consent because he knows it's what they really want. They will be getting baptized in March. :) This is such a testimony to me that the Lord loves all his children. He knows us! He blesses us when we are obedient and diligent and have faith in him! I know that the Lord works miracles in our lives every day, whether we recognize them or not. But I'm so grateful for his mercy and his love. I wish y'all could be right beside me seeing these miracles happen in other's lives. I know you would see how true the church is! We taught sweet Felicia about the Word of Wisdom. Texans love tea. Hahaha it's was so funny to see her pull out all her tea and put it on the table and say "You mean to say I can't drink this?" and we said "Yes, that's right" and she said "Good, I don't like it anyway!" :) She's so willing to give up everything she needs to continue learning more about the gospel and become closer to her Heavenly Father and Savior. I'm grateful for her example of obedience! Thursday night we got froze in our apartment. We couldn't walk at night and we weren't allowed to drive our car, but missionary work went forward as we called exchanges, members, investigators and organized things that we've needed to do for a long time! On Sunday, last minute, we also were asked to teach Relief Society. What a great lesson even though we had no time to prepare, the spirit directed the whole thing! As I've reflected on February I've come to realize that I received my mission call a year ago on Valentine's day! What a great blessing it has been to prepare to serve my mission, to get to Texas and conquer fears and be so involved in the Lord's work! I'm grateful for the time I have to be here serving the Lord and sharing the gospel. I love y'all and I'm grateful for your love and support. Thank you for the prayers on my behalf and on the behalf of the people we're teaching! I know they are strengthening all of us. Have a great week and share the gospel with someone! :) XOXOXO- Sister Tawny Sylar

Thursday, February 6, 2014

A week of Trial

Dearest Family,
Mondays always seem to come fast, but they are so needed some weeks! I'm grateful for the emails I have received and the love have felt from y'all through them! I know that Heavenly Father placed y'all in my life for a reason and I hope you know I love y'all!
This week was probably the toughest week I've had since I came to River Trails. Things went well, but emotionally it was draining. We taught a Law of Chastity lesson to a very well progressing investigator who was living with a less active member. After that lesson they texted us and told us they want to take a break from learning and will let us know when they want to learn more. That's really hard for a missionary who thinks about, prays about and does things for a person every single day. I have truly grown to love this couple and want them to be happy and know they can be together for time and all eternity. But I also learned another great lesson. God has commandments and laws that we have to follow. Elder Bednar says "Sin, even if legalized by man, is still sin". I know that's true. I know that we have to show our Heavenly Father we are willing to align our will with his to receive of the blessings he wants to give us.
Among the trials that have happened this week have been the greatest of miracles as well. We taught Felicia about the Restoration of the gospel and the next time we went back to her house she told us about her prayers with Heavenly Father. She said she got on her knees after we left at 8 pm and prayed until 3 am. She has such a desire to learn and know that the gospel is true. As a result, she plans to get baptized on the 22nd of February. What a blessing I know the gospel will be in her and her family's life!
For those of you who don't know, on Sunday Morning during studies I received a phone call from my mission President. He was calling to inform me that my Grandma Terry has been diagnosed with Bioduct Cancer and we aren't sure how long she has until she returns to our Heavenly Father. In the most loving way, he gave me the option to call home or not. I couldn't decide at that moment, I was at peace but also wanted my grandma to know how much I love her. When I hung up the phone I immediately got down on my knees and prayed harder than I have every before so that I may have direction and so my family and grandma would feel comfort. Throughout the day I prayed to know what direction I needed to take and my heart tugged and calling grandma, but I still wasn't sure if it was the right thing to do. When we returned home, I called President Ames to see what he thought would be best in the situation. I know the spirit told me the right thing to do because President told me he wanted me to call grandma.
Grandma has always been the greatest example of missionary work to me. We joke around that she should always carry a Book of Mormon around with her because she lets everyone know that she is Mormon. She's so positive and knows that Heavenly Father has a plan for her. When I talked to her last night, even more peace came to my mind and she was as happy as she's ever been! I know the spirit has comforted me and is helping my grandma and my family through this time in our lives.
I'm also grateful to be serving a mission when I received this news. I teach this every day, I know it and I love it. I know that God has a plan for all of his children. I know that my grandma can receive a place in the Celestial Kingdom with our Heavenly Father because of her faithfulness to the gospel and her testimony. I know that although we have trials, we are given them to show that we will cling to our Father in Heaven. I'm grateful for the everlasting gospel, the truthfulness of it and the time I have to share it.
I pray that the spirit may be with you as you go about your week, look for opportunities to serve and share the gospel. I love y'all with all my heart!
Until next week and with all my love from Texas
XOXOX- Sister Tawny Sylar