Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Go See MEET THE MORMONS! - September 29, 2014

Buenos dias mi familia :) 

We had a great week! Started off with a wonderful Zone Meeting! Elder Rhodes, who is an area 70 and member of my ward, came and spoke to us. It was fabulous!! He told this really amazing story about when he was a Stake President and his son came home from his mission in Brazil (his mission president was Brother Turner, Cory's dad). His son told him that his last week on his mission he and his companion were walking down the street when a picture of a house came into his head. He described the home to his companion and they went to go and find it. And they did! The lady that lived there said she had been waiting for them! His son doesn't know what ended up happening to the lady since he went home right after. But the cool part of the story was that as Elder Rhodes' son was describing this house, Elder Rhodes started to cry. He said that when he had set his son apart as a missionary 2 years before, during the blessing he saw that exact same house! Then Elder Rhodes explained that as a Stake President he had many many experiences similar to that when he would set missionaries apart. That during their blessings he could see specific people and homes, etc. that they were meant to find and teach!!! Wow!! Isn't that just simply amazing! The power of the priesthood is soooooooooo real! And what a testimony that we are EACH specifically called to our missions for specific people! Wow! I just loved that story!

After Zone Meeting we had the opportunity to go and watch Meet The Mormons at a church building with President Brown and some other missionaries. It was wonderful!! Mom and Max, I know you got to watch it and you had an amazing experience while you did! Lennon, I am pretty sure you will get to before it comes out in theaters. Dad, you should go and watch it! I just loved it! It was so real, funny, cute and amazing! Mom, I was totally crying too during the last ladies story!! Absolutely amazing! And how neat that you got to sit next to her! 

The church building we watched it at was right next to the temple! (which is like 2 blocks outside of our zone so I have not been able to see it being built) It looks awesome! The frame work is coming along! So exciting! :)

This week we still have not had much luck with E. or M... they both keep canceling on us... ugh! I am so sad that they have stopped progressing. It just breaks my heart! I love them so much! But on the plus side, we did get a new investigator this week!! His name is K. His wife is from Peru, she has the thickest, heaviest accent She is so sweet! She is a member, just suuuuuuuper inactive! So we are working on reactivating her and now teaching her husband who is not a member!!! Yay! So exciting :) And we also have a new pretty promising potential investigator, M. We have an appointment with her on Friday! So exciting :) 

We did a lot of service this week! We helped the Cornwall family set up for a moving sale. Bro. Cornwall is doing well enough now that they are finally able to move to Hawaii for his job as a professor at BYU-H :) I am so happy for them! They are such a wonderful family!!! 

We also went and helped another family that lives about 45 mins up the mountain. We hauled wood sticks into a giant pile down the mountain and chopped up wood and other stuff :) It was really fun! My arms are covered in scratches now... makes me look tough ;) Alan Lin, the Taiwanese man in my ward, went fishing with the Elders that morning and they cooked the fish for us for lunch. Head, eyeballs, teeth, skin, brains, bones, everything  still in them... they were pretty freaky looking! I didn't have my camera with me :( or I would have taken a picture! 

We had another meeting with President Foster about the Spanish work and branch that is coming! So exciting! But I am just sad because the chances of me staying here next transfer are not very high... :( and I want to be here for the Branch!!! And to continue teaching the people here! I really just want to finish my  mission in Fort Collins. I hope by some miracle I am able to! 

The Women's Broadcast was just fabulous!!! I loved loved loved Elder Uchtdorf's talk! Man, he is an amazing person! He is so captivating and handsome! haha! I loved when he talked about how much Heavenly Father loves each of us! I wanted to copy a part of his talk onto my letter but it hasn't been put online yet... :( I'll try next week! But I hope you all know how much our Father in Heaven loves EACH OF YOU INDIVIDUALLY!!!!!! We are all His children and He loves us more than we can imagine! 

Thank you family for all you do! Thanks Dad for your package :) I love you all so much!! Enjoy watching General Conference this week! I can't wait to hear about all your thoughts on it :) 

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Mangum Sr. ;)

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Chopping Wood and Making Sushi - September 22, 2014


It was a great week! Just wonderful!! Much needed too :) 

So, I guess lets start with the fun stuff... :)

We made homemade sushi!! Oh me oh my was it good!!!!! I love sushi!! It was so fun and delish!


We also had an AWESOME dinner with the R family! Food was fantatstic! Como siempre :) It was so much fun!! We were laughing our heads off the whole time and then had an amazing lesson :) J. is a great guy - Hermana Stratford took a pic with him this week. I will send it! He attends church regularly now and you can see how the light of Christ has changed him and made him happier and a sweeter person :) He works as a chef in a couple different restaurants so he told us to go on Friday and he would hook us up with food :) We went and turns out he didn't have to work that day... :( So Y. came and ate with us and we had so much fun again! Oh man do I love that family!!!!!! 

We also got to go and help an inactive member of our ward chop down wood and stack it up for her winter supply! She lives way up in the mountains! It was super fun! A family in our ward came to help with their 2 young boys. The oldest son just turned 4 (like last week) and the entire time he worked and showed us all up. He was just in heaven! It made me realize even more the importance of teaching your kids at a young age what it means to work hard! He will be so blessed for it down the road! It is scary how much kids do not know how to work these days! Good thing there are still GREAT parents like the Larsens teaching their kids :) 

After we went over to Denae's house (Maude's cousin) and helped her make homemade applesauce! It was sooooooooooooooo fun!!!!! We had a blast! Denae played good music! #tendermercyofthelord and we had lots of fun talking. I love Denae and Brenden! They are awesome! They are having us over for dinner tonight too :) I am so excited!

So, we also had Zone Conference this week. It was great :) We talked a lot about Joseph Smith. When Elder Cook came he told us that the 2 things that people remember most about when the missionaries teach them are 1. the first vision and 2. the plan of salvation. So we talked a lot about the importance of making sure people have a testimony of Joseph Smith. It was great! :)

We decided to go and try to visit a less-active member that the Elders were visiting a few transfers ago, but when the new Elders came in, she didn't like them and said she didn't want missionaries to come and see her anymore. So we decided we would give it a try and she immediately fell in love with us! Yay! It was awesome and she said we can start coming to visit her! So we set up that we will be visiting her twice a week! Milagros I tell you! 

Another huge miracle this week was this...

We had been trying to visit this less-active family for over a week now. Every time we would go over they were never home! We tried different times during the day and still nada... BUT on Thursday we went over and the wife was home!!! She let us right in and we talked for a little and got to know her better. Her little baby is ADORABLE!!!! And then we decided right before we started the lesson to NOT teach what we had originally planned, but decided to talk about faith. As we were talking with her, she started to cry. She said,

"Wow, I can't believe how perfect that was! I have been struggling a lot with having faith lately and I haven't prayed for 2 weeks, but this morning I prayed for the first time and then you 2 came over and talked about faith. I know Heavenly Father sent you and is aware of me." 

It was soooooooooooo cool!!!! Oh my goodness!! Talk about everything being totally perfect and orchestrated by the Lord! So cool! And then she came to church yesterday! As well as 6 other less actives! I have grown to love the work of “reactivating” so much - I feel it is what the Savior would do. So amazing! And such a wonderful feeling! Max, it is like you said to me, THE CHURCH IS TRUE!!!!! The Gospel blesses families! It blesses lives!!! I love being able to see that light in people when they make commitments and exercise faith!!! Alma 32:27. All we need is a desire to believe and Heavenly Father will make that desire work in us! I know that is true!!!! 

I love you all! thank you for your great examples and support and love! Max I am so proud of you and for you being a good worthy young man! Way to be ordained a priest:)


Hannah :)

Also pic of stained glass we made with Christine!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Little Service Here, Little Service There - September 15, 2014

Hi Guys :)

We are still riding high from our meetings with Elder Cook last week! 

And it has been another good week here :) Started off with exchanges... and actually, honestly, those were not that great. Hna. Stratford and I just wanted to stay together! We have been with each other 24/7 for 4 months now and we still are not sick of each other! I think that is pretty awesome! Haha!! The exchange was so awkward...no one spoke ... awka-awkward! BUT the Sisters live with Ferdy Brown's parents! So it was cool that I got to spend the night there! (even though they were in Utah visiting family... haha) 

We had a lesson with E. this week about the Plan of Salvation again. Brother Walton came with us :) I love that man! He is wonderful!!! It was a good lesson but we are at a loss of what we need to do. She is so wonderful but not really progressing, and a lot it is because of her babysitting job. She doesn't come to church she isn't reading the BOM, she cancels quite a bit... but expresses that she wants to keep learning and she knows it is true. We have been praying about it all week and I think we have decided we need to let her go.. :( no quiero!!! But I think it really is what we have to do... We can check back up on her in a month or 2 ahhh, don't know what to do.

So I have told you how we volunteer at Catholic Charities every week and we make lunch and feed the homeless :) It is awesome! We have become really close to a couple that volunteers there named Dick and Jane. Yep, those are really their names!!! haha! Dick is not religious at all and I think is even agnostic. Jane doesn't go to church but believes in God and everything. We want to teach them sooooooooooooo bad!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She mentioned that they are remodeling their kitchen right now and so I mentioned that I am a designer :) She was so excited and asked us to come over to their home and help pick out paint colors etc. :) So we did! It was awesome!!! Dick was so cute and had "Today's hits" playlist on Pandora playing when we got there. It was so cute! They are older, like late 50's or 60's, so they totally would not have been listening to that music on their own. Adorable :) I am hoping we can start teaching them!! We don't want it to seem like our friendship has any strings attached but I want to teach them! They would be perfect members!!!!!!!!!! 

This week we also cleaned John's bedroom for some service! He has some slobbiness issues! We filled up 2 black trash bags full of garbage and a donation bag too! It was crazy! But I had fun making it look perfect! I took before and after pics that I will send to you! 

We also have been in a pranking war with our Elders :) haha!! So fun and we got them good this week!! We covered their bedroom and bathroom in dixie cups with an inch of water in them!! hahaha!!  every single surface covered!! John helped us :) (The elders live in the Bowman's basement). 

The highlight of the week, though, was that we decided to do a pretty big act of service for A. He hasn't come to church for the last 2 months now because he took ALL of his church clothes to the dry cleaners. He hasn't had money to get them out and he refuses to come to church in jeans and a t-shirt. He told us his dry cleaning is $80!!!!! And he does not have the money. His family is struggling a lot right now with just getting food. So his clothes have been sitting there for 2 months. We talked to the Elders and we all decided we would each pitch in $20 and go pick up his clothes for him! We went to his house after and decided we didn't want him to know it was us (even though he could easily figure it out) we didn't want to embarrass him and so we doorbell ditched them on his front porch :) I was on cloud 9 after!! It felt so good! Service truly brings real and genuine happiness! :) He didn't come to church yesterday... but I have hope he will be there next week!!! :) 

Hey, I am sending pics of our service from last week too. The library computer would not work but all is well today. 

This week we taught the Plan of Salvation a lot!!!! I attached a picture of a drawing of the Plan of Salvation that we use to teach people. I love it!! It is totally a corny missionary object lesson but it is true! The Plan of Salvation is a plan of LOVE! I am so grateful to our Father in Heaven and the immense amount of LOVE He has for each of us. He gave us this beautiful plan! I know it is true!!!

I love you fam fam so much!! I am glad to hear everyone had a great week :) That makes me so happy!!! 

Les quiero muchisimo!!!!


Hna. Mangum Sr. :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

An Apostolic Blessing and Working in a Chicken Coop - September 8, 2104

First of all... HAPPY SWEET 16 MAX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

It has been a fabulous week!  We had a great lesson with Elsa. We read Alma 32 with her. It was awesome! There is such power that comes from reading the Book of Mormon. She apologized for not coming to church. She feels really bad!! But expressed that she still wants to learn more from us and that she has a testimony that the church is true. So that was a huge success :)

We also had a great lesson with Miguel. We had a really nice talk and I felt like it went really well! He struggles with feeling like he has to be perfect after he gets baptized... not true!!! No one is perfect Miguel :) We explained that that is what the sacrament is for and it started to click with him! Ya :) We asked if we could set him up with a new baptismal date and he said no... not yet... :( But, we are not giving up on him yet! He translated our Special Stake Conference yesterday with ELDER COOK!!! :) Which leads me to my next story...

Elder Cook came to our mission! Yep, the Apostle! :) Oh what a treat! We had a mission conference with him on Saturday morning. Before the conference began we had heard a rumor that he was roaming the halls... so Hna. Stratford "had to use the bathroom”. haha! We went outside and, sure enough, we ran into Elder Christensen, from the Presidency of the 70 and talked to him briefly. Then we proceeded down the hallway and we ran right into Elder Cook!, as well as Elder Baxter and Elder Rhodes, both from the 70. Elder Rhodes is actually in our ward so he introduced us to Elder Cook and told him we were "his missionaries" :) Elder Baxter told me I look "magnificent" in his sweet Scottish accent :) We were so happy!!! Elder Cook is so tiny! That man is short! ha!

They all came inside the chapel and Elder Cook requested to shake every missionaries hand! He told us that it was going to be a 2 second interview. That he was going to look into our eyes as we passed and it was a personal interview... ah! So we went up and I got to shake all of their hands again :) #2times 

The conference was AMAZING!!!!!! Elder Cook began by saying that every missionary is carefully and prayerfully assigned to their missions and even more specifically their mission presidents. We are all exactly where we are supposed to be serving! Every missionary in the world is! He also asked us lots of questions, like how many lessons we are teaching etc. Each of the General Authorities then spoke and motivated us to work hard and taught us how to be better and more effective missionaries. One thing I loved that Elder Baxter taught us... Lennon I think you will like this... is that we 

1. Instruct... this leads to knowledge
2. Inspire... this leads to feeling
3. Motivate... this leads to doing

A successful missionary learns what each individual they teach should know, feel and do. Also he said, "From time to time shut up! and let them feel!" A lot of times we can get worried about silence during lessons but really it is during those quiet moments that the Holy Ghost has an opportunity to bare testimony! 

At the end of the meeting, Elder Cook left us with an Apostolic blessing :) He promised that EVERYONE that we love and care about, both at home like family members and friends, and those we have grown to love on our missions, WILL be blessed by our service. I was so grateful and comforted to hear this!!! And I certainly hope it is true! 

On Sunday we had the great privilege of hearing from Elder Cook again in the Fort Collins Stake Conference :) Before the conference began, Hna. Stratford and I were running around trying to get the translation equipment all ready to go and as we were out in the hall, Elder Cook walked by and came up and shook our hands again! #3timesbaby :) And the Denver Temple president was with him (i actually met him when I was just at the temple) and so we shook his hand as well :) 

The conference began and it was FANTASTIC!!!! By far the best stake conference I have ever been to!!! Every single speaker was just fabulous! Everyone talked about the temple. The Denver temple matron said that, "Often in life, we become so busy and overwhelmed and we become so stressed, but the temple is the place where our souls can catch up!" Oh I loved that! It is so true!!! 

Elder Cook said that we, as members, in Fort Collins (because there is a temple being built here) need to do the following... But this applies to everyone!

1. Build Zion in our hearts and home
2. Be an example to our communities
3. Focus our vision and goals on the temple

Then he left another Apostolic Blessing on everyone that, as we are preparing and as we are supportive of the temple, we will bring all of our family members closer in a way never before possible. If our families can see how much we love our Savior and how much we love the temple, their love and understanding will also grow. 

I am so grateful for the opportunity I had this week to shake an Apostle's hand 3 times! And to hear his words as well as the words of other General Authorities and witnesses of Christ! What a truly amazing blessing that was, and an experience I will never forget :)

I have actually been sick all week... but regardless it was a good week :) I was feeling so terrible, so we ran to the grocery store to get some medicine and as we were walking in, I found $10 on the ground!!! But, I was a good and honest person and tried to turn it into one of the cashiers in case someone came looking for it, but he and another employee told me to keep it!!! So that was exciting :) haha

We also went and did service at a farm this week! It was fun! Hna. Stratford and I were in charge of putting down new wood chips in the chicken coops and picking up all the eggs! I loved it! The other missionaries had to build a green house type thing. The farmer had a few already... with lots of pot growing in them... #coloradoissohigh... We also played with the chickens and I am now a pro and catching them! The trick is to grab them by their tail feathers! :)

I love you all so much!! Thank you for your letters this week and for the prayers! I can feel them!! Have a fabulous week!!!! And Max... HAPPY BIRTHDAY :)

Sorry, no pics this week. This computer is not letting me :( I will double up next time. 



Wednesday, September 3, 2014

I Appreciate Elder Holland's Words! - September 2, 2014

Hey there :)

I am staying in Fort Collins for another 6 weeks with Hermana Stratford!!! Crazy! I have never stayed in an area this long or with a companion for this long! I am happy! I love it here and I love Hna. Stratford :)

So have you all heard about the ice bucket challenge that has been going on?? I am sure you have and I am sure you know a lot more about it than I do! haha! But John Bowman got challenged to do it and so we helped him! I got to dump the water on his head! haha!! It was really fun! He challenged us to do it... but I don't want to! It would be funny to see missionaries doing it... hmm... I'll think about it! :)

We also hiked Horsetooth yesterday with John for Pday! It was super fun! I am sore today though... And I am sick... :( It is the worst to be sick as a missionary! I hope I get feeling better quick! Anyway.... the hike was beautiful and it was fun to do something outdoors on the one sunshiny day we have had in a while!!!

Mom- Thank you so much for your letter this week about what you thought about the talk, "His Grace is Sufficient". It is seriously one of my favorite talks! I am glad you liked it and I really appreciated your insights on it!! For some reason before my mission I had a hard time really understanding what Grace meant. But after studying it and after reading that talk I totally get it! And I love it so much!!! Also... thank you sooooooooooooooooo much for the treat sent via Christine!!! :) MADE MY WEEK!!!! (We ate it at the top of Horsetooth!!) I am soooooooo glad you got to meet her at Swiss Days! She showed me your selfie :) She told me she felt like you were best friends getting caught up on the last years of your lives :)

I have been trying to think about what I could write home about this week but honestly it was a tough week... One of our investigatros literally tried to sneak out of his house while we were there for our appointment and we totally saw him - haha! Things with other investigators have been a lot slower because they have started jobs and other things and now can't come to church or to activities... nada! No one was home for other appointments. It has been a trying week. And so, I guess I just want to say that I know that we have trails in our lives for a reason. There is a purpose for everything! LIfe is hard. It is not meant to be easy. We are supposed to have difficulties and we are supposed to struggle and have temptations and ups and downs. If we didn't, we would not turn to our Father in Heaven for his help and his guidance. We wouldn't use the Atonement. We wouldn't understand what true joy and happiness is. This is a lesson I having been learning my entire mission and especially this week. I didn't have the most positive attitude the entire week. I wondered why things were not going well. But I am now trying to remember this! But life is not meant to be hard forever! It is meant to be enjoyed! You can find positives and blessings in every situation. I am also reminded of one of my absolute favorite talks by Elder Holland called, "Missionary Work and the Atonement" He says...

"Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, Why is this so hard? Why doesn’t it go better? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the Church? It is the truth. We believe in angels. We trust in miracles. Why don’t people just flock to the font? Why isn’t the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font?
"You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience.Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.
"Now, please don’t misunderstand. I’m not talking about anything anywhere near what Christ experienced. That would be presumptuous and sacrilegious. But I believe that missionaries and investigators, to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price.
"For that reason I don’t believe missionary work has ever been easy, nor that conversion is, nor that retention is, nor that continued faithfulness is. I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul.
"If He could come forward in the night, kneel down, fall on His face, bleed from every pore, and cry, “Abba, Father (Papa), if this cup can pass, let it pass,” 16 then little wonder that salvation is not a whimsical or easy thing for us. If you wonder if there isn’t an easier way, you should remember you are not the first one to ask that. Someone a lot greater and a lot grander asked a long time ago if there wasn’t an easier way.
"The Atonement will carry the missionaries perhaps even more importantly than it will carry the investigators. When you struggle, when you are rejected, when you are spit upon and cast out and made a hiss and a byword, you are standing with the best life this world has ever known, the only pure and perfect life ever lived. You have reason to stand tall and be grateful that the Living Son of the Living God knows all about your sorrows and afflictions. The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane and on to Calvary. The only way to eternity is through Him—the Way, the Truth, and the Life.
"I testify that the living God is our Eternal Father and that Jesus Christ is His living and Only Begotten Son in the flesh. I testify that this Jesus, who was slain and hanged on a tree, 17 was the chief Apostle then and is the chief Apostle now, the Great High Priest, the chief cornerstone of His Church in this last and greatest of all dispensations. I testify that He lives, that the whole triumph of the gospel is that He lives, and because He does, so will we.
"On that first Resurrection Sunday, Mary Magdalene first thought she saw a gardener. Well, she did—the Gardener who cultivated Eden and who endured Gethsemane. The Gardener who gave us the rose of Sharon, the lily of the valley, the cedars of Lebanon, the tree of life.
"I declare Him to be the Savior of the world, the Bishop and Shepherd of our souls, the Bright and Morning Star. I know that our garments can be washed white only in the blood of that Lamb, slain from the foundation of the world. I know that we are lifted up unto life because He was lifted up unto death, that He bore our griefs and carried our sorrows, and with His stripes we are healed. I bear witness that He was wounded for our transgressions and bruised for our iniquities, that He was a man of sorrows acquainted with grief because upon Him were laid the transgressions of us all. 18
"I bear witness that He came from God as a God to bind up the brokenhearted, to dry the tears from every eye, to proclaim liberty to the captive and open the prison doors to them that are bound. 19 I promise that because of your faithful response to the call to spread the gospel, He will bind up your broken hearts, dry your tears, and set you and your families free. That is my missionary promise to you and your missionary message to the world."
I second EVERYTHING Elder Holland said! I know this is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience! I appreciate all of the love and letters and kind and sweet words you send to me! I am grateful for my great family! You are all so wonderful!!! Thank you from the bottom of my corazon :) 
Have a fantastic week!!!!!!!! XOXO

More pics from the week include:

1-2. Waling to Andy Warhol Soup Can with Penny on Campus
3. Katie Fraser :)
4. Mama Juana - going back to Mexico tomorrow :(
Hermana Hannah Mangum :)