Monday, August 31, 2015

Fwd: It Ain't Always Peaches and Cream....

What a week. I'm just going to be real, this week was not all peaches and cream. It was rough, tough and hard. It was one of the longest weeks of my life. The days felt long and and nights were short and I never thought it was going to end.  We taught so many lessons and it was amazing, but everything seemed to fall through. Satan did a number on us this week. I hate that guy. 

All week we made plans and then, at least once in the day, the plans would fall through or need to be rearranged or something would happen and then our backups didn't works either! I felt like the world was caving in on me. Like I said, hard week! But, through all of it, I learned so many great lessons. 1. Enduring to the end, yeah, that is a real thing and it's really hard. 2. Patience is the key to success. It will all work out it God's own due time! 

We taught Teresa and she almost dropped us, but we saved the lesson and her soul and set a bap date. Clearly, the purpose of our visits had never been explained (or it was 8 months ago and she forgot) but she sat us down and asked why we were coming over. Oops. That was bad. We talked with her, finally clarified the priesthood and then set a baptismal date with her! She also read the entire conference ensign in one night. Teresa is incredible! She wants to learn and is well on her way to the truth! We were also able to go over and teach billy and he is doing so well! He is tackling his word of wisdom problems and excited to be baptized! Billy is so RAD!

I was able to give the training to the missionaries in the district this week at district meeting.  It was pretty cool! I didn't know what I would be training on until Friday morning, but the revelation came! (district meeting is Friday at 11am....haha just in the nick of time!) I thought I wouldn't have enough material, but I ended up having too much! It was a great training and I learned so much from teaching!  I trained on asking heaven sent questions and listening to our investigators needs to help resolve concerns they might not share with us.  It was interesting to see how that training applied to us just a day later!

Sunday was the hardest day because everyone bailed on coming to church except one person, Patsy.  She showed me that church is important.  She had just rolled out of bed, got ready in 5 minutes and made it to church.  If she can do it, we can too! She showed me true effort and the importance of keeping her word! :) I love Patsy so much (and her kids are my favorite!)!

After the trial of your faith comes the miracle.  Even though this week was extremely hard, we still saw tender mercies and blessings. (like when we were walking down the street and a guy gave us an ice cream sandwich for free, or when Patsy came to church!) God truly is in the details of our lives! I learned so much. I got to feel a little bit of what my savior felt when people rejected him. I got to feel his sorrow and anguish. It is temporary, but it will be worth it to see one soul be saved in the kingdom of God! The joy from the triumphs well outweighs the anguish and sorrow felt when people reject this glad message. 

I love this work so much, even when it is frustrating and I want to give up. It is still so worth it! Enduring to the end is worth it! I KNOW that this is the TRUE church. I know that it is headed by Jesus Christ and I know that He is my Savior and Redeemer.  That is what keeps me going.  I know He loves me and He loves each and every one of us all so much!

Love yall so much! 
Sister Hannah

moon pie ice cream sandwich.  greatest thing ever.

Sent from my iPad

Baby Seth

Sent from my iPad

Monday, August 24, 2015

Fwd: YALL be steppin!

This week. Man. Insanity. Kick butt week.

Tuesday rocked. We had 5 set appointments and they all went through! WOOHOO!
We taught Sonia about Joseph smith and clarified a lot for her. We
read Joseph smith history and it was so Powerful! She clearly
understood why we need a prophet and was again reminded of the
importance of the Book of Mormon. Sonia is just incredible. She loves
the Lord so much! We also were able to teach Billy and help him
understand the Word of Wisdom. Billy is awesome and is not looking
forward to is actual baptism, but is looking forward to being a member
of the true church. (He had a previous bad experience with being dunked)
 He keeps telling us that he knows it is true! We
were then able to finish the night with Austin and Whitney! We even
got to take austins last bit of chew me with us! To dispose of,
definitely not for our own use! We taught them the word of wisdom and
they are extremely excited to be baptized and sealed! We can't wait
for them! They are temple bound!

Wednesday was slow key day! Sister Starkey was sick and so we went and
volunteered at gods food pantry and then came home to rest. Her
stomach was not her friend. I understand the stomach flu and
missionary work. They don't mix, so I made her rest. We went and saw
Teresa and taught her some of the restoration and the had to run to
the Bohannons for dinner. I celebrated the big 2-0 with them and had
cake and party poppers and a grand time! I absolutely love them! It
was a wonderful time. 20 is weird. I still don't know how I feel about
it. We finished the night at coordination. We finally had it, brother
working is alive and the work in Somerset is thriving!

Thursday was NUTS. we went and helped sister purser at the library and
she treated us to lunch. We walked down there and then were going to
walk to the rest of our appointments. Well we didn't sync our iPads
so our schedules didn't matchup. We thought "oh it is 12:30, we will go
to brother Alexander's early and then come home and plan. We get half
way there and completely forget we had an appointment with our Spanish
investigator, Estrella. We turn back to run home and realize we are
more than halfway to Estrella's house. So we literally BOOK IT there.
Sister starkeys lil legs were going so fast. Some random sweet black
lady yelled at us "YALL are steppin'!" Yes ma'am we sure are! Well we
made it to her appointment and then brother Alexander's and to the
rest of our day, but man were were steppin all day long. It became our
motto. We finished the night with brother Goleman and billy and it was
an awesome lesson on faith. Brother Goleman really got billy thinking!

Friday we had district meeting and it went well. We have five new
missionaries in our district and so all companionships are training.
It is so sweet! After that we ran around like chickens with our heads
cut off and ended up teaching Austin no Whitney about the Ten
Commandments. It was a powerful lesson! They are so rad and we love
them so much! Their focus is the temple and they will do anything to
get there! That is the main goal! The temple is where we want to be!

Saturday. Eventful but also not. We weekly planned and helped Mike and
Brenda move. I must be in Kentucky or something because I literally
witnessed the most hillbilly move. It was so wonderful. We were moving
two fridges and so the two guys slap them in the truck, one horizontal
and one vertical. The tied the horizontal one down and just left the
vertical one lay flat on the rubber in the back of the truck. "Yeah,
thatll be just fine." Did I mention it was tied down with clothes
line? Hahaha this was priceless. The two guys moving even said
"yep,this is how we Kentuckians do it." So we embark on the 20 mile
drive out to nancy and I blew past the fridge truck because the last
thing I wanted was a fridge on the engine.... The fridges made it safe
and all was well. I love Kentucky. So much. We finished that night up
at Billy's with the Cooks. We clarified the plan of salvation from the
spirit world on and then challenged billy to bring a question to
church tomorrow. It was a powerful lesson!

Sunday. BEST DAY OF THE WEEK. Wow. My only word to describe it. Billy came to church! he
brought his question. HE GOT AN ANSWER. it was so so so powerful. His
question was "lord, show me where you want me." He was touched by the
tender spirit we heat our meetings. He was tearing up in Sunday school
and really enjoyed priesthood! And after the block we asked him if he
got an answer. He responded "yes, I will be back next week." YES YES
super prepared & ready child of God! She accepted everything we had to
teach her and accepted a baptismal date too! WOHOOO! Blessings
blessings blessings! We finished the night at Billy's church. A deal's
a deal. He came to ours, we will go to his. It was extremely
different. I couldn't feel the spirit while the preacher was preaching
because he was, quite frankly, screaming at us. There was seldom time
I could feel the spirit except when music was being played. Just a
very different service. If I didn't already have a testimony of the
church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, I sure do now! The spirit
is one of the greatest blessings in my life! It was interesting to see
the people worship at this church and see how devout they were. They
were doing the very best they could to worship God, but they were and
are missing something. The fullness. They don't have the priesthood,
they don't have the Book of Mormon and they don't have a living day
prophet. As Jesus Christ's authorized representative, I testify in his
name that the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has ALL the
truth, the fullness of doctrine and the priesthood power to receive
full and complete salvation and exaltation. There is no other church
on the earth that can give us exactly that, none. It is all or
nothing. I'm so extremely grateful that I have the fullness, that I
have clarity, that I have the spirit of God with me. I know that this
is Jesus Christ's church and I know that it is true!

Missionary work has a whole new meaning. It is real, it is powerful
and it is necessary! We must save those lost souls who are seeking for
the truth but "they know not where to find it!"

I love the Lord, I love this work and I love my calling!

Much love,
Sister Hannah


Sent from my iPad


Billy's church!


Sent from my iPad

Roadkill stew

Sent from my iPad

My road kill stew is going to be a little crunchy tonight.

The big 2-0

Sent from my iPad

Kentucky continues to amaze me

Sent from my iPadUp at Sonia's house in science hill

Monday, August 17, 2015

I survived the first 6 with Sister Starkey

The first 6 weeks of training, COMPLETE!

I heart KY

this is why I love KY


This week in the GKLM, it was a week of firsts!

So we are teaching the most awesome investigator and we call him baptist billy. He teaches Sunday school at his church and calls himself a preacher. I love going over to teach him. He is knowledgeable, he loves God and is willing to do what it takes to get closer to Jesus Christ. We had the coolest lesson with him. Billy believes in the rapture, whatever crazy doctrine that is (we ask, he explains, it makes no sense) and so we went to teach him the plan of salvation. He agrees with us all the way through earth life and then we blew his mind. We started to talk about the spirit world and this was where his doctrine couldn't back up his belief. We read 1 Peter 4:6 with him out of my quad and it read: "6 For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit." I had the Privilege of watching his face as he read along. His eyes got WIDE and his jaw about hit the floor. He sat there astounded at what we had just read. He then handed me back my sticks and said "I'll be right back." He didn't believe that what we read was in 'his bible' as he likes to call it, so he had to double check. He then found it in his bible, sat there shocked, and said "ok, the two Mormon girls got me." It was so cool to see it all click for him! He is understanding! We told him that we would go to his church if he would come to ours as well. So this week we will be attending a baptist church.... It will be interesting! Billy will be getting baptized! Every time we go over he says "I feel something when YALL are here and I miss it when you leave." Billy, that is the spirit and it is a gift you can have. IF you act on the answers you receive! 

We followed up with billy later on in the week and actually set a baptismal date with him. We were extremely bold with him and told him that it is either our church or nothing. We have the fullness; no other church in the world has this or anything close to it. He completely understood and said he would continue praying about it. We then went over yesterday and helped him understand recognizing the spirit. Billy has already gotten his answer that this is the true church, he just doesn't recognize it. He believe that the Book of Mormon is from God. He believes Joseph Smith is a prophet and so the next step is baptism. As we asked him if he recognized his answer he responded "nope, haven't gotten one yet." So we discussed the spirit and watch the patterns of light video by elder Bednar. As we pointed out the instances in the past few weeks that his prayers have been answered, he slowly started to connect the dots. Baptist billy will soon be Mormon billy! He practically already refers to himself as a Mormon too! Billy is seriously awesome! Billy will be baptized on September 12th!

After we taught billy (about the plan of salvation) and were not boasting completely in God, we taught our Spanish investigator, Estrella. She doesn't speak a drop of English and we had a wonderful member, sister Orantes, come with us to translate. When we walked into the lesson, I knew everything that needed to be taught. As we opened up, every single bit of anything that I possibly had was wiped from my brain. Everything. I didn't know what to say or do. I was literally confounded. I looked over at sister Starkey and she gave  me the same look. We both had our mouths sealed. Lesson learned. Always boast in God. And it is true. We didn't confound baptist billy, the spirit did. We didn't show him the scripture, the spirit prompted US To bring that specific one up. Everything we do in this work is because God is in the details of our lives! Thankfully, we had a pamphlet in Spanish and English to read from. Thankfully, this will never happen again because we were pioneers in the GKLM this week! YES WE TAUGHT THE FIRST FACETIME (online proselyting) LESSON IN THE GKLM! Well, sister Starkey and I sat there and looked cute while Hermana butts taught Estrella in Spanish, but the point is, we were the first two companionships to use our online proselyting technology! It was incredible! :) the spirit was so strong as Estrella learned more about the church and made commitments to her father in heaven! :) 

We were so pleased to travel up to Lexington for the third time in three weeks and hear from a member of the first quorum of the seventy, elder zwick! He is so rad. He and his wife along with president and sister Brough gave us so much counsel that I am still digesting it and trying to process it all! They all focused on 1. Obedience, 2. Change, 3. prayer. It was so powerful ,the spirit was strong and the meeting was so worth it! Well all missionary meetings are! :) shoutout to the awesome stettlers who drove us there and helped up save miles! I love you! 

Power of prayer. So we are teaching Austin and Whitney. They are the sweetest couple set to be baptized in September! Whitney was interviewing for a job at zaxby's and asked us to come over and pray with her and Austin before her interview. We took this as an awesome teaching opportunity and taught them about the correct way to pray and why we do it like that and so on. Well we pray with them and then Whitney got the job! It was such a tender mercy! Later on in the week we were able to take Sister Goleman, the branch presidents wife, over to their place and taught them about the family proclamation. It was so powerful and we even bumped Whitney's baptismal date up to September 5th! She is so beyond excited and Austin will follow suit shortly after her on September 19th pending his doctors approval to put all his weight on his foot! Pray for this way rad & enthusiastic couple! 

Sunday's are always a great day! I love Sunday's because of church! Yesterday we had four investigators with us and two less actives! It was such a wonderful harvest from all of our hard work! Austin and Whitney loved it, Sonia came again and our super sweet friend, Kat, came! It was a huge blessing! They all felt the spirit and loved the block! I have to say, I love Sonia's attitude about it all: "I wish it was longer, I could sit here all day and soak it all in. I don't think it's long enough." Yep. This is why I love Sonia! :) every one though I was getting transferred too. In a small branch, word travels faster than normal! I'm not kidding, every single person I saw was like "you're getting transferred?!" NO! I am never leaving Somerset! I love it too much! But I really have at least six more weeks and I am praying for another 6-12 after that! I never want to leave this glorious area! I love it so much!

The Lord is incredible! He brings about so many great tender mercies and miracles in my life each and everyday! I know that my savior LIVES and loves me too! "The spirit whispers this to me and tells me it is true." I know this gospel is real and true without a shadow of a doubt in my mind! :)

Much love, 
Sister hannah
Or Hutch, because every single person we meet or know calls us "Starskey&Hutch"

Sent from my iPad


Sent from my iPad

Our super cute investigator, Whitney!

The Syphax's

Sent from my iPad

My adopted mission grandma and grandpa! I love these people to death!

where we weekly planned this week

Sent from my iPad

The most beautiful state!

Sent from my iPad

HAppy Birthday Noodles!

Sent from my iPadNoodles turns 4!

The gorgeous drive up to Lexington!

Sent from my iPad

Some of the Petersons :)

Sent from my iPad

Noah's photography at dinner last Friday!

Monday, August 10, 2015

After the Trial of Your Faith... "IT'S RAINING MEN!"

This week. The Lord delivered. It was insane. Miracles. Check. Tender mercies. Double check. Blessings times a zillion. It was a week to remember! We have been working SO HARD on finding people to teach and doing everything we can in order to increase our teaching pool. It was extremely difficult at first, but now we are reaping the rewards! 

Tuesday we went on blitz. This is when the sister training leaders come down to Somerset and all four of us work Somerset. It is so much fun, but literally the most stressful day of the transfer. We have to book double appointments all day, and lately we haven't had the people to do that. This blitz was straight up miracles on miracles. Let me just start by saying we picked up five, yes 5, new investigators and taught four lessons and set a baptismal date with one of our new investigators. Incredible. I was with Hermana Butts. Yes, she is a Spanish speaking sister! It was SO AWESOME. She is absolutely incredible too! We started off at a lady named Barb. She was a referral from a member in our branch. (Cool side story. Sister George had given us barbs information a while back and the number I had written down on a piece of paper was wrong. Last week, I found my old paper planner and had the thought to look through it. As I looked through it, I found a number for Barb and decided to call it. Well, it was her number this time! MIRACLE. She set an appointment with us and this was that appointment.) we taught her the first lesson and then set a baptismal date with her. She is totally going to be baptized! :) she is so sweet and loving too! She told us how she hasn't been going to church lately and wants to get back into it and get close to God again. Here is your help Barb! We have arrived! 
We ate lunch with sister Starkey and sister Taylor and I had my first "hot brown", just for my dad! Haha! It wasn't a true hot brown, but it was definitely a Kentucky sandwich! I am referring all inquiries about the hot brown Kentucky sandwich to my dad. It was delicious! 
We then had an appointment with a guy named Austin, but his phone number had gotten lost. He lives in a place called the Beecher house and it is impossible to get inside. It was an old hotel and they keep the front door locked at all times. Lovely. I was just praying that we would be able to get in. We walked up to the door and looked through the glass. There was a man sitting on the stairs and I made solid eye contact, waved and gestured for him to let us in. He did! Tender mercy #1. So now we are in but I have absolutely no idea what room he is in and we are already 40 minutes late to this appointment..... We start asking around and after some confusion, this old lady pipes up: "Austin married to Whitney? Oh he lives in 607!" Woooo! I had no idea he was married but it was our best shot at this point to try it out! Tender mercy #2. We got up and sure enough, Austin lives in this room AND he is married to a woman named Whitney AND we had contacted her separately AND she is friends with a woman in our branch. What. Yes. Ok tender mercies # 3,4,5 & 6. It was a straight miracle that we found him. We rescheduled for an hour later, ran and quickly taught another lesson and then came back and taught them both the first lesson. The spirit was so incredibly strong and they believed what we had to say. Whitney had amazing questions and although they didn't accept a baptismal date right then and there, I know they will be baptized! They are so awesome! 
We did some Spanish finding because Somerset used to be a Spanish area too. We actually have a ton of Spanish records at our apartment that Hermana butts was able to go through. We pulled up to a house and asked some white people where any Hispanics lived. They pointed across the street, but we saw one down the street and decided to go talk to them. This man walked into his house with a small child so we though, family! We go down there and Hermana butts does her thing in Spanish while I just stand there and look pretty and this woman who answered the door immediately let us in. "HERMANAS!" Was her reaction. What. She knew who we were. She went on to tell Hermana butts that all of her family is Mormon, her sister was married in the temple and she just moved here from Alabama. She was going to be baptized in Alabama but moved and didn't know where the church was in Somerset. What. What the heck just happened. Is this real life? Yes. Yes it is. Estrella is going to be baptized! We are figuring out a way for Hermana butts to teach her and help her get ready for baptism. Meanwhile, we have two members of the branch who speak Spanish and we will be going over with them! AWESOME MIRACLES.  

Wednesday we officially lost the bet to elder polson and elder patten. Sister Starkey had to back me with an orange vest and copies of the Book of Mormon. We were expecting a way worse vest. It is mesh and although you can see it, we were expecting reflectors. The elders talked to 95 people and taught some lessons and we talked to 45 people and taught a lot of lessons. I don't know which one is the real winner here... Haha. We will get em next time! Enjoy the attached picture! 

Thursday we were able to travel to Lexington for the second time in two weeks. (Next week will make it three times in three weeks. Man this is exhausting, so much travel time!) it poured all the way there and all the way back. We hit dead stop traffic on the way up and were almost late because of a car hauling trailer catching on fire (brand new bmws all charred up) but we made it. We were the only sisters and it was the new missionary training. I loved this meeting. I received so much insight as to what I need to be doing to push my little baby Starkey into becoming the greatest missionary she can be. Some of that was giving her more of the reigns in the companionship and letting her take the lead. Failure is what makes us grow right? Right. I am going to test this out over the next few days! Little does she know she will be taking full responsibility of Planning and lessons, contacting and teaching lessons! 

Friday was another solid day. We volunteered at God's food pantry and found a super awesome new investigator. It was such a tender mercy too! We were restocking the drinks at the front and this woman said "aw how cute!" As she grabbed my name tag to see it. At then led to a conversation with her while another woman eavesdropped. Well, the woman who eavesdropped actually is our new investigator, Mandy! We told her we have a living day prophet and she was blown away! It was so sweet! :) she wanted to learn more and we were able to set up a return appointment with her! 

I don't know what is more stressful, having no investigators or too many investigators. This week has proved to be the miracles after the trial of my faith. The first few weeks of this transfer were a little rough finding investigators wise. We were putting in the effort, finding for an hour or an hour and a half a day and now we are reaping the rewards! It has truly been incredible to watch our teaching pool grown SO MUCH! While we finished up our weekly planning we realized we do not have enough time to fit everyone in and that we will have to go on splits or something to make it all work out! Craziness! Heavenly Father is literally opening the windows of heaven and making it rain men! So many prepared children are falling into our hands! :) Like I said, I don't know what is more stressful, too many appointments or not enough appointments! The blessings of hard work and obedience are real! 

I also found out this week that not only do I sleep pray (Richmond memories, haha, I prayed twice for sister heiner and once for sister jones, I guess I like praying!) but I also sleep teach. Apparently a few nights ago I was teaching the plan of salvation to someone, but I was completely passed out asleep. Sister Starkey said I did pretty well and even cracked a few jokes. I am at that point of my mission where I teach in my sleep! :) I love this work! 

We had the most incredible lesson with Whitney and Austin, two of our most solid baptismal dates! Oh yeah, Austin and Whitney from Tuesday, they accepted baptismal dates! :) When we arrived Whitney told is she is so excited for her baptism she just wishes it could be sooner. Sister Starkey and I literally were in shock so excited. She is the cutest. Then, Austin showed some hesitancy about being baptized. I got concerned, but we came to find out he was only concerned because he can't put 100% of his weight on his right foot because of a car crash injury. We fixed that by telling him he doesn't have to be baptized in the font, we can baptize him in the Cumberland lake! He thought that was so rad! We are praying for a lake baptism! Please keep them in your prayers! They are progressing so well! They absolutely adore the temple and are looking forward to being sealed together forever! The temple is truly the goal in this life! We must always be working towards it! 

Sunday. Sunday is sometimes a struggle on my mission because 1. No Sunday nap & 2 it is still a crazy work day. Those are also totally selfish reasons for the struggle too. This Sunday was incredible. Sacrament meeting was absolutely wonderful. Sister Peterson spoke and the spirit was so strong. It was a feeling of complete peace and comfort, I felt engulfed in the love of my Heavenly Father. It was such a beautiful feeling. A feeling I don't ever want to lose. I am so grateful for the spirit I am able to feel and carry with me always! After church we went with sister Orantes to Estrella's home and she translated for us and Estrella. It was such a blessing because we were able to get to know Estrella better and help her figure out how to get to church. We also got the go ahead to use FaceTime to do lessons with Hermana butts and Estrella! Win win! I love technology! We ate lunch at the Cook's home and when we shared our message with them we got not 1, not 2, but SIX referrals from them. This is unheard of. What? Just a nice little way to end our week. It didn't end there however. We stopped by barb's house and met a woman who literally said "I saw your name tag and I knew you were sent for me." I love those moments. I love when the spirit testifies to others that we bring the truth and they can feel it. Trusting our feelings is so vital because that is how Heavenly Father works! 

We saw so many tender mercies and miracles again and again! We set baptismal dates with wonderful children of God and are working so hard to see that they make it there. Baptism is just the first step! Enduring to the end is the vital part and the temple is how we endure! We must go there, make and keep those covenants and then keep going over and over! This work never ends! It is incredible! The blessings are real. The experiences are worth it. I am in love with this work! :) 

Much love,
Sister Hannah

Sent from my iPad

I heart Somerset

Sent from my iPadI absolutely adore this little town! :)

Sunday nights

Sent from my iPad

Road tripping

Sent from my iPadCalifornia traffic on the 75N, felt like home!

The orange vest

Backing in the rain,,, :(

Sent from my iPadOfficially losing to the elders.

Hot Browns and hermanas.

Sister Taylor, sister Starkey, Hermana butts,sister hannah (BLITZ)

Sent from my iPadMy first got brown! :)