Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Texas Experience!

Hey Family,

It's been so great to see pictures of your fun adventures and hear about what's going on in your lives! Things are going great here in Denton!
It's a lot different than I expected it to be. It's definitely screaming at the country in me. Are you ready to hear about where I live and how long it takes us to get places?...
Well... I live in a barn. Yes, you read right. A barn. We have a little apartment above the barn and do our laundry where the stables are. We go outside to exercise in the morning and get a great view of horses, cows, longhorns, and green landscape as far as the eye can see :) Bet you wish y'all were a missionary in Denton don't you?
It takes us about 8 miles to get to where the people actually live in our area. The miles on our car are basically gone so we've been biking a ton this week. Right now there are only 2 people we are teaching. We are working really hard on finding people who are ready to accept us and the gospel of Jesus Christ. One of the challenges we face is Denton Bible church (a mega church) which preaches against Mormonism quite often, so many people have misconceptions and think we don't believe in God. Despite the challenges our area is facing right now I know the Lord has sent me to Denton to help find the elect. To teach them about the gospel and bring them closer to our Heavenly Father. Sister Meiners and I are having a blast trying to figure out what we can do to help the area progress. It's definitely going to be a process, but I know we've been sent here for a reason.
One of the young women we are teaching, M.S. is very sweet. She's 13 and has a lot of energy, that's for sure! She grew up in a very tough atmosphere and her mom made the choice to be homeless, so she lives with her grandma who is a very strong member of the church. M.S. has grown up in another church that has really changed her life and helped her. Right now she feels like she's being pulled between two churches but wants to find the truth. I know she will find it as she asks with a sincere heart. :) We also are teaching. E.C. He's so funny and has had a quite a hard life as well, but the gospel is what I know can bring him so much happiness.
I've been studying Doctrine and Covenants for the last couple weeks and I was recently studying in Section 14 when the Lord tells John Whitmer that the thing that will bring the most joy into his life will be sharing the gospel and declaring repentance to the people. I can testify of that! I know that sharing the gospel brings more joy in my life than anything else I've ever done! I've never been on such a great spiritual high for so long and I know it's because I'm sharing the gospel every single day. It's a blessing to be a missionary. I love it, I feel like the time is short and it's slipping from under me. But I will work hard until the day I go home, because this is what the Lord has sent me here to do!

I love y'all! Hope you have a great week and remember to read the Book of Mormon! :)
XOXOXO- Sister Sylar


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Goodbye FloMo 1st- Hello Countryside Denton :)

Hey family! :)
It's been so great to hear from y'all this week and see the exciting things that y'all have been up to. It's been a great week for us and we were able to work hard and see many miracles happen. I truly love to be a missionary and see how the Lord makes us instruments in his hands.
Not too much exciting happened this week. On Wednesday I received a phone call from President Ames and he told me that I was being transferred to Denton. I am privileged and excited to help other sisters in their assignments as missionaries as I have been called to be a Sister Training Leader. :) I'm so excited, but I also know this is going to be a great learning experience and I will have the opportunity to grow for myself. A call to lead is a call to repentance and I'm ready to change! I enjoyed going to new leadership training with President and Sister Ames and learned more of my role and how I can show genuine love for the people I serve. I know the Lord has called me to be where I am when I need it most! Everything in my mission has helped me to become the missionary I am today and I'm so grateful.
J.T. came to church again on Sunday and felt the spirit so strong. We had a great sacrament meeting about temples and the importance of going often and how it's the house of the Lord. After, she stayed for gospel principles and got a blessing from our ward mission leader and another man in the ward. It was the most beautiful blessing I have ever heard given to one of God's children as she strives to live the word of wisdom more fully and learn of the truth of the gospel. I know that she felt the spirit and will continue to feel it as she learns more about the gospel.
I went on exchange with Sister Tanner in Southlake this week. It was really great to serve with her again and feel of her sweet spirit and love for missionary work. I have been so blessed to have her in my life. She's going through a lot of struggles right now and is having surgery in a few weeks, please keep her in your prayers. I know she's been in my thoughts and prayers recently and I know the Lord has a plan for her.
I love y'all with all my heart. I'm sorry this is short, but I have so much to do it's insane! Have a blessed week. Remember that I love y'all! :)
XOXOXO- Sister Sylar


Thursday, August 14, 2014

Family History, I am doing it!!

famILY! :)
It's so great to hear from y'all each week and see how you're doing. Things are going great here in Texas. It's been a hot week, but we are surviving through it!
We've seen so many great things recently, I can't wait to share them all with you.
 A couple weeks ago we went to a child of record baptism where they had friends that weren't members. When we went to their home afterward, we met many non members and talked to one, R.R. As we talked with him we discovered that he has done family history for years and has gone to Salt Lake to try and find one person on his tree that he couldn't find. He's been searching for 41 years. 
We invited him to come to the 2nd hour of church where they have the Family History class and the consultants could help him find some clues on what he should be looking for and introduce him to FamilySearch.org. He graciously accepted our offer. 2 weeks later we received a text saying that he was going to come to class. He spent a couple hours with family history consultants on Sundays and then would go home to do his own research. As weeks went by, when he came to church, he started to dress nicer and nicer. (that was just a cool observance) Last Thursday R.R.was able to go to the Family History center with some of our consultants in the ward and found the man he's been looking for for 41 years! He was so excited he said he cried. He's been spending time calling his family and letting them know of the miracle that happened. When he told us the story and showed us all the information I explained the Spirit of Elijah to him, and his face lit up. I know that he's having positive experiences with the gospel and I pray that we may have the opportunity to teach him why it's so important to us!
We are working especially close with J.T. We've been teaching her for about 2 months, going on three. What a great woman of faith she is! I know I've told y'all about her. When I took Sister Coleman tracting for the first time and she was the first door we knocked on and let us teach her! We are still trying to help her gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. But this week we got her a large print copy of the Book of Mormon and Bible. Her washer machine went out a couple weeks ago and she's been going to the Laundromat to do laundry on Sundays and not coming to church because of it. This week, we found out that they're trying to find members for us to live with because our apartment lease is up. So... we rounded up a couple in the ward and they helped us take our washing machine to J.T.'s house. Her husband and her were so happy and she was able to come to church with us on Sunday. The lessons were great, the kids were noisy and it kinda distracted her, but I know she felt the spirit.
We took her to the mission president fireside last night and it was amazing! The spirit it always so strong there when we sing together, hear the testimonies of converts, and listen to president Ames share some great doctrine. At the end she talked to President for a minute, he answered many of her questions and leaned over and said "I want you to have the Sisters tell me when you're getting baptized" and she said "President, will you be there?!" His eyes got wide and he paused and he said "If I don't have a meeting to speak at that night, I will be there!" :) He's so inspiring and really does carry the spirit with him wherever he goes.
After the fireside I also got to see.. .wait for it... my recent converts from River Trails! :) Katie and her husband Bovick are doing so well! I asked them how the Word of Wisdom is going and they're both living it fully! (which is something he was still working on when I left). If you don't remember they are also the couple who got married so she could get baptized! It's so amazing to see them fully living the gospel. They go out with the missionaries and teach, they're preparing to go to the temple soon, and when I was leaving Katie said "I'm so happy!" I know the Gospel of Jesus Christ has brought her that happiness.
Nothing in my life has brought more joy to me than seeing my brothers and sisters join the fold of God and make changes to their lives to live the gospel! As I have been studying the Book of Mormon, I have felt the power that comes from it. I'm grateful for it. I know it's true. I want to share a talk with y'all that I know can help bear testimony of the Book of Mormon as well:
 
 
Elder Holland is such a powerful speaker and apostle (my personal favorite) I add my testimony to his. The Book of Mormon is the Word of God! I pray that the spirit will always witness the truth of it unto us by the power of the Holy Ghost. I want to challenge y'all to read the Book of Mormon by December 18th. :) As you see the power and peace that can come to your life from it, I know y'all will be blessed beyond what you can comprehend. I love the Savior, I love my Heavenly Father, and I love the Texas Fort Worth Mission!
I love y'all sooo much!
Until next week.
XOXOX- Sister Sylar






Carry On, Carry On, Carry On!!!

Hey Family! :)
It's been so great to hear from you this week! I love getting your letters and pictures cause I get to see y'alls faces!
This week was great, we had zone conference on Tuesday and it went so well! The spirit is always so strong when we learn more about the atonement and how we can continually become better missionaries. I'm so grateful for president Ames and his direction and council on how we can continue to find people who have been prepared to come to the fold of God, whether they've been lost or they haven't found it yet.
On Friday we had to go to the doctor's because Sister Coleman hasn't been feeling well. She was in the office for 2 hours getting blood tests and ultrasounds, so I just sat in the lobby and read the Book of Mormon the whole time ( I won't complain, I love my study time!) When she came out she told me that she has "obstipation" BAHAHAHAH. She has something stuck in her digestive system which is painful for her, but I always make fun of her by telling her she has obstipation. :) ANYWAY, as a result she got put on a medication where she had to be near a bathroom all day and is still on it. So on Saturday I went on my first double exchange. Sister Coleman stayed with the Boyd's and I had the opportunity to go with a member to do some service for an investigator. It went really well. I felt weird not being with my companion- but all went well and the spirit was still there as we helped! Although it was a hard week because we didn't get to work as hard as usual I know that I've learned so much about perseverance, patience, and love for my sweet companion. I'm really grateful to be serving with her.
One of the families we are teaching told us on Wednesday they were going to come to church yesterday. We sat and waited and texted and called and waited some more. They didn't show up- about 10 minutes before sacrament was over they texted us and told us they had slept in. I think this is the first time in my mission that I cried when someone didn't come to church because I knew the testimonies could've strengthened them. I know the gospel can help them through this difficult time in their life. I pray that they will understand the importance of coming to church so they can feel the spirit that is there. There are many disappointments as a missionary, but the miracles always outweigh them. :)
We got to eat with our favorite less active/part member family last night and teach them about the restoration! It was really neat because on Friday morning the 13 year old investigator, D.B. called us and said "I've been looking for my Book of Mormon and can't find it anywhere, can you bring me a new one on Sunday?" I was so happy! Then on Sunday afternoon we got a text from her brother, a less active, that said "I've been looking for my Book of Mormon and can't find it anywhere, I was wondering if you have an extra copy that I can have, if not I will get one." What a blessing. This all stemmed from leaving them a chapter to read out of the Book of Mormon and in their pursuits to read it, they realized they had lost their copies.
I'm so grateful for the tender mercies of the lord. I know he's always there for us to guide and direct us as we further his work. I love y'all and hope you have a great week! :)
XOXO- Sister Sylar