Monday, March 31, 2014

The Climb

So I am now living through a never ending winter...and I'm sorry that you have to hear about the weather AGAIN but it is crazy!! We had two insane blizzards this week. 100 mph winds - causing near death experiences (jk..kinda). Then saturday felt like spring!! The sun was shining and we spent two full hours just walking around outside talking to everyone we saw!! The streets and sidewalks were sooo wet but we were happy. Then after talking to several interesting people we were heading back to our car when someone kindly drove by and sprayed us with a large amount of dirty, stinky was a little bit funny but mostly sad hahaha. 

Of course Sunday was another full blown snow/freezing rain storm. But we were still able to have sacrament meeting with a few faithful (brave) members. The snowy days are some of my favorite meetings though - the testimonies are so sweet and powerful. The spirit was strong and I just sat there so grateful - so full of love for this Gospel, for the chance to partake of the Sacrament and the knowledge that I have that I am on the right path - the path that will lead me home. 

Our investigator Cindy (from taiwan) came!! That was exciting, she said she liked it but she was a little tired....sadly most of our other investigators have been dropped or they dropped us..or they disappeared. They were not yet prepared but we planted a seed and that is so important. 
I have some sad news to share..the Hendrickson's are being transferred to Halifax to work in the mission office. They leave on Saturday - we will miss them so much, they have done so much for the ward and for us but they are needed elsewhere and they will do great things. 
Continuing on with the never stopped. The freezing rain actually hurts when the wind is slamming it into your face. So we spent a good portion of the day inside working on the area book. However, we had a goal to talk to 21 people so that we could reach our weekly goal of 175 contacts. Soo we knew that we had to go find some people to talk to and we were confident that The Lord would provide a way for us to accomplish our goal. We arrived safely on a street (the roads were quite slick but i am becoming an excellent snow driver), as we got out of the car the rain let up and we happily trudged through the large amounts of snow to each door. We knocked for an hour and we reached our goal. We were so happy and thankful - especially for the small miracles like this that we witness everyday. 
Despite the weather there have also been a lot of good things that happened this week. I got a letter from both mom and dad. They were an answer to my prayers and came at a time when I really needed them. I am so thankful for your testimonies, your encouragement and support. The Atonement has become so real and powerful in my life and I was so thankful for the message you shared mom. About the holes in our boat. We limit ourselves - we are the only ones who can. It is vital that we don't compare ourselves with others, that we don't judge and that we do not look down upon anyone. We all make mistakes. We all have holes in our boats but we also ALL have a Savior who loves us and wants to heal us - to repair the holes. To tape up our wounds and fix our sinking life boats. I will be forever grateful for Christ's grace - the knowledge that when we have done all that we can do, he will make up the difference. 

And dad, I loved the story of the woman who wanted to make sure that her reccommend was renewed even though she would soon pass away. She wanted to enter the presence of God - worthy and true to her covenants. She saw the bigger picture. 

I loved being able to watch the women's broadcast because we were again reminded of our worth. That we are precious daughters of Heavenly Father, covenant keeping women, here to help others along the path - with so much to offer and so much potential. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ - so thankful and proud to stand in his place. To work hard so that I can make sure that I say and do what he himself would say and do. I too mom, hope that when I am asked to do something hard, when I need to stand up for the truth that I will not hestiate to say - Here I am. Send me. 
I am so excited for conference next week. I can't wait to hear from President Monson, to learn from him and be strengthened by his testimony. I know that he is called of God to lead us and help us along the path . I am so thankful for the leaders of our church and the light that shines brightly in their eyes. 

I can't believe that tomorrow is my 3 month mark and that transfers are next week - it all seems unreal. Each week a new trial as well as new joys and experiences come along. I had reason to draw closer to my Savior than ever before, this past week. A time or two I felt like I was not good enough..that I was taking on something that is so much greater than me. Then I felt my Savior's love and I learned that my perfect Savior died for me - I am good enough that he actually suffered in my behalf. And then I realized that I should focus less on myself and my abilities and more on my desires. I want to be good. I want to make someone proud. I have a strong desire to choose the right to learn and grow and help others but I have far to go. Heavenly Father knows we cannot be perfect therefore, he does not excpect perfection, he simply expects progress. I am learning that I need to forget myself and give this work all that I've got. 

I am also learning that DESIRE and BELIEF are two very strong words and they count for a lot. They are simple but they mean a great deal to our Father in Heaven. When we have that desire to do good and to believe in Him and in ourselves - it doesn't matter where we started but rather where we are going and where we want to end up. WHO WE BELIEVE WE CAN BE IN THE END. I think the journey is what really matters. Who we meet and who we become along the way. Not the amount of times you fall down but rather the number of times you stand up - stronger and braver than you were before. Like miley says - IT'S THE CLIMB. And we have a Savior to walk beside help us up. I am so thankful for this journey. For every new day that brings me a new chance to be better and to stand a little taller than before. I know that this church is true and that we never walk alone. I know that repentance is for us - it frees us and brings us so much closer to our Savior. I know that the Book of Mormon can answer our questions and provides SO much spiritual strength. My heart is full of gratidude. I am happy

I love you and miss you all
Love, Grace

Monday, March 24, 2014


Hello everybody - can I just tell you that 

We are already half way through the transfer..can you believe it? Time is still flying. And the snow is still falling. We are supposed to get 45-50 MORE cm next week! Ya insane. 

It has been a good week. 

Monday I had that weird, terrible painful stomach thing again (the one that I had during the movie on thanksgiving - thought my appendix was bursting ahhahaha) yeah it hurt but then passed so by Wednesday I was feeling great again. No need to worry!! Then on tuesday we drove to St. Stephen for district meeting and stayed there all day to do visits with our district leader - it was fun!! And a long day, we were very tired driving back and the roads are SO bumpy - it was an adventure. I kept handing Sister Turner skittles to keep her awake and I kind of felt like my insides were stabbing me each time we hit a bump....oh dear. 

Wednesday we had skype interviews with President! He is so funny and amazing. He is really proud of the work we are doing :) And Thursday we met Jeannette - she is a young mom who requested a bible online so when we delivered it to her she invited us right in and we taught her the Restoration. She loved the message and even invited herself to church. She said she has been searching for the truth and that she knows Heavenly Father will answer her prayers when she finds that right one - I know it too. She is working to stop smoking and has two young daughters.

One thing that is really hard- none of our investigators have one here really does so getting them to church is somewhat of a challenge but we are working through it!! 

On Friday we went to the Hendrickson's for a birthday lunch (for Elder Skinner and Elder Hendrickson) we wore party hats and the elders taught us how to make homemade tortillas - it was FUN and yummy! We are so blessed to work with such amazing people. On Sunday we got to go into primary - I was Mary Magdalene and told the story of when I saw Christ, when he called out my name. Then I testified that I know he was resurrected and that he lives. The rest of the missionaries acted out a part as well (nephite woman, joseph smith, and thomas) and then we got to sing with them. I miss singing time!!! SOOO that basically sums up the week. Things are going well here in Fredericton. We are working hard and very happy!!!
In a talk President Uchtdorf gave last conference he said - 
"Our destiny is not determined by the number of times we stumble but by the number of times we rise up, dust ourselves off, and move forward." 

I love that. We can make it through any trial and any mistake we make because we have a Savior - who made peace and forgiveness possible. 

President Uchtdorf continues, "We have a champion, a Savior, who walked through the valley of the shadow of dealth on our behalf."  WE ARE SO LUCKY. I was reading in Heleman 3:35 and I felt like I should share it with you - it says, 
"Nevertheless they did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation, yea, even to the purifying and the sanctification of their hearts, which sanctification cometh because of their yeilding their hearts unto God." 

Like in Meet the Robinson's 
Keep moving forward!! Firm in the faith. With hope in the future. Let us stand strong for what we believe in. Let us be happy. Let us give our whole hearts to God.
Have the best week of your lives. I love you and miss you always!
Love, Sister G

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Umbrellas AND Ice Skates


SOO hi this week went so fast!! 

The days just keep going..I go to bed tired 
and I wake up tired 
then the day happens (in what feels like three hours) 
and then it repeats! 

I can't believe it is already the middle of march!!!! And Lucy's birthday!!

The title of this thing is kind of random but so is the weather here so it seemed fitting. One day it is a blizzard - total snow storm, the next it is nice outside - warm even but POURING RAIN, we wished we had remembered our umbrella (so thankful for my sorrels that keep my feet dry), and the next day is the coldest yet!!!! All of the melted snow and rain turn to complete ice - everywhere you would have been a lot easier to stay on our feet as we traveled up driveways and across parking lots if we had had our ice skates on...SO I'm not sure Spring is actually coming anymore but that's ok - 
I can learn patience.

On Thursday the STL's (sister training leaders) came to do exchanges with us. It was a lot of fun and I learned a lot. We talked to 85 people that day - despite the freezing cold blizzard. 

We went street singing (we sing hymns on the street downtown and talk to people) the snow was falling and it was cold but the spirit was so strong. Everything was quiet and still - all you could hear was our voices as we watched the snow fall to the ground. People said they really enjoyed the music - it was an amazing experience. We also worked on mastering the art of store contacting and actually found a lot of success. We asked people if they knew of places that we could volunteer so then they actually cared to talk with us and it led in perfectly to a discussion about the GOSPEL :)

Friday was the concert! SO FUN. The missionaries are very talented and several nonmembers and less actives came so it was wonderful. Elder Call (senior missionary) is a professor of violin and viola at BYU Idaho and he plays the Orange Blossom Special - it was incredible. He plays that violin SOOOO fast. It reminded me of lucy playing the hoedown - she would have loved it.

Things are really picking up in Fredericton and I love being a part of it. We are working hard and studying hard and seeing a lot of good. We started bus contacting a lot which I love, we just hop on - ride for an hour, basically in circle - talking to people. I'll admit I'm not the best at it yet but I am working hard to replace my fear with faith - and to talk to as many people as I see!!!!

Last night we taught a family!! Sister Turner and Sister Sandberg met Santi at the mall when we were on exchanges. She invited us back and then called us two times during the day to give us her phone number (again) and to make sure we were coming. So CUTE, we were so excited. When we got there she came outside to our car to make sure we knew which house was hers :) then we went inside and she gave us both a BIG hug and took us upstairs to meet the rest of her family! Her mom and 4 other siblings. They are from Nepal and go to a small church with 8 other families from Nepal..but they were excited to hear our message. 

They listened intently and the spirit was strong as we talked about the Atonement, Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. They committed to read and pray. We talked about baptism and had to explain SEVERAL times that they needed to be baptized by the proper Priesthood authority - which they still don't fully understand the difference (because they have been baptized before) but we will continue to work with them and help them understand. The language barrier with them and Santi is a little bit tough. It's hard when they don't fully get what we are teaching but they are so sweet that they just agree ad say yes to everything we ask!!! 

I left the lesson feeling ok but I was a little frustrated because even though the Spirit was strong and they are such good people - I don't think they understand the significance of what we are asking them to do - and I thought that maybe if they did they would not want to do it - I soon repented and humbled myself. THIS IS NOT MY WORK, IT IS THE LORD'S!! 
And I need to have more faith. Like it says in Luke 1:37 "For with God nothing shall be impossible." My only job is to teach simply and powerfully - the rest is up to the Lord and nothing is impossible with him on our side. I am hopeful that they will continue to learn and progress.

I love being a missionary. 
I love Canada and the crazy weather. 
I love Sister Turner and the good things we are working to accomplish so that we can become better missionaries. 
I love the people that talk A LOT and love their cats.???? 
I love learning new things everyday and 
I love my family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
I know that this church is true - I KNOW IT. 
I know that nothing is impossible with the God. 
I know that if we put the Lord first in our lives EVERYTHING else will fall into place. 
I am so thankful for every new day. 
A chance to be better and stronger than I was yesterday. 
To be less fearful and more faithful!!

I just want to leave with a message I read from the ensign - Elder Richard G Scott gives us the steps we need to take to find success in life-
1. Establish principles to guide your life
2. Don't make exceptions to your standards
3. Be loyal
4. Live so that the Lord can guide you
5. Serve others
6. Smile
7. Don't complain
8. Always have a church assignment
9. Go to the temple
10. Use the Savior Jesus Christ as your example for life

Look the talk up if you can - Living a Life of Peace, Joy and Purpose

LOVE YOU ALL. Happy birthday to my beautiful little sister you deserve to have the BEST day of your life! 

I love and miss you all every day!!!
Love, Sister G

Monday, March 10, 2014

I Stand All Amazed...

Street contacting!!

I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified
That for me a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died
Oh it is wonderful that he should care for me enough 
to die for me
Oh it is wonderful, wonderful to me

John 15:13 Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. I am amazed at how perfectly Christ loves each of us. I am so thankful that he is my friend.

Just want you to know that I love where I am and what I am doing. I am so thankful that Heavenly Father is willing to work through imperfect people because I LOVE being a missionary. I feel like I owe my life to my Savior so I am thankful that I get to bear testimony of him everyday and help other people come to know and love him too.

Zone Conference this week was amazing!!! It was so powerful and spiritual. President Leavitt spoke on the importance of being quiet and listening to the Holy Ghost. He said - think more, ponder more, feel more. 
He invited us to recommit. He explained that the rest of our lives will be influenced by what we are learning and experiencing now!! Then at the end he invited us all to offer a silent prayer and ask Heavenly Father - what can I do to be a better missionary? - then to simply listen. 

My answer came, simple and quiet but sure. It was an incredible experience. We then concluded the meeting by singing one of my favorite hymns - I Know That My Redeemer Lives. The sprit was strong and unmistakeable in that room. As we sang, tears rolled down my cheeks. I know that my Redeemer Lives. I know it. It was a good day.

So things have not progressed with Amanda but that is ok. Heavenly Father is still sending us more blessing than we can handle!!! This week we found three new investigators and all three of them are on date for baptism.

The first is Joanne, we met Joanne street contacting downtown. She was running to catch her bus so we kind of ran alongside her trying to get her information. A few minutes later she came back and found us..turns out she missed her bus and had 30 minutes for a lesson :) We went inside the nearby food court and started teaching her. She has had a troubled life but as we spoke and testified of our Savior and the truthfulness of this message - I saw a light in her eyes. Heavenly Father was truly preparing her and even she knew it. The spirit was strong. I felt so much love for her. We committed her to baptism and she agreed full heartedly. It was a little bit funny because she explained to us how she had been baptized before but that she felt like it didn't mean anything...SHE IS RIGHT! I can't wait to teach her more.

The second one is Cindy - Cindy is from Taiwan (YAY for Henry - so so excited for him) she is a student at UNB. She was a referral that we emailed who quickly replied telling us she wanted to meet! Her english is pretty good and she is so sweet. She asked a lot of great questions and even told us that we were an answer to her prayers. She said she felt good when we were talking and was so amazed and impressed that we had given up our time and schooling - and paid our own way to come on missions to teach people like her - so cute!!!

The third is Rubaina, also a student at UNB that we met street contacting. She is from India and wanted to learn more about Jesus Christ. Her questions were a little more difficult but she was sincere and truly wants to learn more.

I'm so thankful that we have a book - The Book of Mormon that can answer every question. We loved every minute of this crazy, busy, amazing week!!

Yesterday Bishop spoke in church - his talk meant a lot to me and I wanted to share a little bit with you. He said that we cannot serve two masters (a phrase we have heard before) - he then went on explaining that we cannot have one foot in and one foot out because both sides, God or Satan - require every part of us. God requires EVERYTHING of us. But in return he grants us Eternal Life, more than we could ever give him - however, we must choose him. We must serve him with full purpose of heart. Give him everything we can. Love him. We owe our lives to him.

Bishop said - NOW is the time to prepare to meet God. We need to hold true now. Do what is right now. So when difficult times come we will be prepared. God can fix anyone. He can save everyone - you just have to let him IN.
                            I love that.
I love that I have the honor of wearing the Lord's name above my heart everyday. And I thank Heavenly Father everyday for allowing me to be a missionary.

I love you all. 
Happy Birthday tomorrow Ralph - I LOVE YOU and hope you have the best day. You are getting old. 
Lucy have fun on tour and more importantly at Disneyland :) 

Mom there are a few things I need so I will make a short list and send it to you next week. Thanks!! 
My hair is getting longer. I can do a little braid!!! 
The weather has been beautiful. 
I am happy! 
Love and miss you.

Love, Sister G

Sister Lewis and me and the AMAZING Brother & Sister Hendrickson
Sister Turner is AWESOME!
President Levitt showing his skills
i love Sister Lewis

Monday, March 3, 2014


Bula family!!!
   Hope you are all happy and remember that I miss you - always!! 
Tons has happened this week! Monday we had dinner at the Hendrickson's to say bye to Sister Lewis and Elder Wolsey. That was nice. 

Tuesday and Wednesday we spent mainly running around to visit members, less actives and recent converts that we are working with so Sister Lewis could say her goodbyes - she shared with many of them the story in Mark, Ch. 9, where the Father is begging for Christ to heal his disabled son. Christ asks the father if he will believe - the father replies, "Lord, I believe. Help thou mine unbelief" - Christ performed countless miracle, all for those who believed. I love that. 
meet my new companion Sister Turner!  
Thursday we left early in the morning for Moncton - there I met many more missionaries (it's fun to see so many missionaries together in one place :) ) including Elder Erickson!! Then I said goodbye to Sister Lewis - which was sad and happy because I picked up Sister Turner. She is amazing, she is a year older than me and A LOT taller ;) she is from Calgary, Alberta but played basketball at SLCC so she loves Utah! She is so sweet ad outgoing. She is already making me a better missionary and I know I can learn a lot from her. I am excited and anxious to find out what the Lord has in store for us.
I will be forever grateful for this amazing missionary Sister Lewis!!

   After heading back to Fredericton we decided to end the night knocking. We started in the apartments nearby and after about five doors.... 
a lady let us in immediately 
(I was dying inside - SO SO happy) 
then we sat down and started teaching her!! I bore my testimony on living Prophets and the Book of Mormon - then we committed her to baptism!! She said that she was not ready yet because there was a lot she didn't understand BUT we told her that was ok, and that we would help her be ready - and she agreed to be baptized on April 12. Her name is Amanda, she is 42 years old with two children. She is a Muslim but not practicing, she was very sweet. We have not been able to meet with her since and she couldn't come to church because of work but whatever Heavenly Father has planned for her - whether she will be ready now or later doesn't matter because THAT was a miracle to ME. I left the lesson on the verge of tears, Sister Turner told me I did amazing and gave me a hug, I was SO HAPPY!!! 

   President called and joked that Fredericton wasn't allowed to teach investigators..and then he congratulated us and offered advise. He is so great. We have zone conference tomorrow back in Moncton so I am looking forward to that. And we were able to watch the CES Devotional last night at the Hendrickson's with the Elders - that was an answer to my prayers. I am happy and well - things are looking up and the sun still isn't ready to warm us but that's ok, hopefully it will soon :0

   Sara also sent me the talk that Adelide wrote about in her letter - The Miracle of a Mission by Elder Holland. It was profound and inspiring. I too held back tears as I realized how important this work is that I get to be a part of. The miracles I get to witness. And the team that I get to be on. Elder Holland tells us to "start fast, run hard and to the tape! You can rest later...we just want 18 months from you. So start now. Just don't look back. Just put your face to the sun and put your shoulder into this work, and give it everything you've got and savor every day!" 

I am amazed how my testimony continues to grow more and more everyday. I am humbled by the love and support I feel from everyone in my life and especially my Savior. I am so thankful to know that this is exactly where I am meant to be right now. That I am doing something that Heavenly Father NEEDS me to be doing. I know that our Savior atoned for each of us because he loves us. And that through him we can see miracles. I know that all we have to do is accept His sacrifice and USE His Atonement - everyday - he begs us over and over again in the scriptures to come unto Him, to repent and have faith. To endure. To use the gift that he DIED to give us. Let us all be more willing to come unto him because he will save us - I know it. 

  The Gospel changes lives  
it's changing mine. 
Love you all, have the best week!!

Love, Grace Caroline

Sister Lewis from Brighton High School off to speak French and Elder Erickson from Skyline High School !!