Monday, September 28, 2015

Holy Guacamole!

Hey y'all!  

 I am now serving in Searcy, Arkansas. I've gone from the southwestern most end, to the northeastern most end, and now to the middle of the state almost. :) My companion is Sister Aase, who is as sweet as can be. She is from Minnesota, but her family just moved to Arkansas! I have actually looked up to her for most my mission. I had met her back when I was in Hot Springs and thought she was incredible nice and a great missionary! Who'd a thought we would be companions?! And for anyone that remembers her name can guess this next part. I have been called to be a Sister Training Leader.

Ahhh!! But it's really not that bad. :) I'm just a little nervous. I'm sure that not many people know what an STL is. We are the equivalent of a ZL over the sisters. Does that make sense? We go on exchanges and see what we can do to help the sisters serving in our zone. We instruct at zone meetings with the ZLs. Basically a leader to the sisters. But it'll be good!

I am still in the Searcy Zone, so I know most the people here. Also, because we go on exchanges with the sisters, I will end up in Paragould for a day :) But my address is
512 Walrose Cir
Searcy, AR 72143.
Let the letters commence!! :)

That sounds like fun for the Christensen family! Also, congratulations to Brother Doctor Dent :) He is a good man for the call. Wait... the Christensen's are going to miss this whole school year! Is that allowed? How is everyone else?
Well, this week has been kind of interesting. Said a lot of goodbyes on Monday and Tuesday. That was hard. Even though I had said how hard this area was, it became my home and the people my family. But I had had a feeling that I was getting transferred. The Lord knows what is best for each of us. Then since Wednesday, I've been meeting and trying to learn the area. And my companion. And what I'm doing as an STL. Little known fact about missionaries: _______________________________!!!! I couldn't believe it either! :)   You didn't think I was actually gonna let you in on it, did you?

The General Women's Broadcast was really good! What was actually a little unnerving is how they delivered their talks. Usually the Sisters go all happy valley and tell us how good we are doing. But this time, they were pleading with us and telling us things we need to do. Sister Aase and I half-joked that it was turning into Priesthood session. But it's true. The Church has never had double standards. We are all big enough to be told what we need to fix. No need for sugar coating. 

Then on Sunday, I gave a talk. Brand new to the ward and I'm talking! But I'm a missionary and I'm always willing to talk! :) I made a little joke in the beginning to set myself at ease and because I was introducing myself. (Hope you approve of that Mom.) First, Bishop said my name wrong, but knew he did because he sorta asked it when he announced the program. Then, before I got up there were two youth testimonies. The young man was INCREDIBLY TALL! So I joked with the 1st counselor about lowering the podium. That's what the 1st counselor in Paragould did for me when I spoke in church. But I felt better :) Then Elder Cunningham gave his talk and started with a joke about how I was not only after a tall person but also before another one. So the podium had a good work out yesterday :)

My scripture of the week is going to be a talk today. It is called "Finish With Your Torch Still Lit" by President Uctdorf. Let me know what you think! Then I'll share my insight :)

Sister Pochop

I did flip this but it didn't stay turned.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Dang Good Week!

Sept 14, 2015
We are doing better. I have no idea about transfers. We don't hear anything until the Sunday or Monday before transfers. I would like to be transferred. Not because the area is hard or that I don't like the people. I love the people and the area! It isn't hard either- no area is golden. It's more that's it's very stressing. I know the people and their lives. I'm very attached to them- they've become like family. It won't be the end of the world if I'm here another transfer, because it means the Lord knows what I'm capable of. 

This week has been pretty good. On Tuesday morning, we had district meeting. Two of the elders and I instructed because we had attended the MLC. (I mentioned it two emails ago.) It was one of my favorite district meetings! We talked about FAITH: what it is and why it's so important, PLANNING: why it's so important and how to make the best of it, and PRAYER: what it is and how to make it real and meaningful for us and those we teach. They all go hand-in-hand, just like all the principles of the Gospel. Simply put (and this applies to all of us with our various Church responsibilities and callings, not just missionaries): we need to have faith that God will help us teach and meet their needs. Faith is the first principle of the Gospel and the stepping stone to all we do. Then we need to plan according to our faith. Planning isn't just scheduling time to fill pages in our calendars. Planning is about people. President Uchtdorf said that oftentimes love is spelt t-i-m-e. We love the people we plan for. Then we need to pray to insure that we are doing God's will and confirming that we haven't let our personal desires interfere with His work and glory. 

 We had another scare with a member. She doesn't have the best health. We saw her the other day to visit and had to call the ambulance. She is doing much better!! We actually found her about a month ago collapsed. But she's doing better and both times the elders were able to come over and give her a blessing. I know I've talked about it before, but I love priesthood blessings!!! There is such a great power in them. What was mentioned in this last blessing was specific to her needs. Only our Father in Heaven knows that. This is an example of seeing the Lord's hand in my life. Both times I can gone to see her where we've helped is based on a prompting. The Lord knows He can trust us. I don't ever want to lose that trust. 

 I was studying the Book of Mormon today. I was reading in 1 Nephi 17 about Nephi building the ship. In verses 8-11, it mentions specifically how the Lord tells Nephi to build the ship in His manner. Nephi then asks where to find the ore to build the tools he needs. This made me think of 1 Nephi 3:7 where it talks about how the Lord will give no such commandments to the children of men except He gives us a way to accomplish them. Sometimes we are the way to accomplish His commands. 

 We have met more elect people. We are working with them to see if they are prepared at this time.  I still struggle with the discouragement of them not being ready, but I've been remembering what someone said at MLC that we are teaching those who are ready. So we have planted the seed. Sometimes we are the sowers and not the reapers. But the role of the sower is just as important as the reaper if not more. If no one sowed, there is nothing to reap. 

 The elders had a baptism yesterday! And he is on fire! He had an interview with President Milne during Sunday School about getting ordained and receiving a calling. Nick also wants to serve a mission! The fire of the Gospel is incredible!!! The church is true!

 Scripture of the Week: Ether 3:4-19
4  And I know, O Lord, that thou hast all apower, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man; therefore touch these stones, O Lord, with thy bfinger, and prepare them that they may shine forth in darkness; and they shall shine forth unto us in the vessels which we have prepared, that we may have clight while we shall cross the sea.

5  Behold, O Lord, thou canst do this.  We know that thou art able to show forth great power, which alooks small unto the understanding of men.

6  And it came to pass that when the brother of Jared had said these words, behold, the aLord stretched forth his hand and touched the stones one by one with his bfinger.  And the cveil was taken from off the eyes of the brother of Jared, and he saw the finger of the Lord; and it was as the finger of a man, like unto flesh and blood; and the brother of Jared dfell down before the Lord, for he was struck with efear.

7  And the Lord saw that the brother of Jared had fallen to the earth; and the Lord said unto him: Arise, why hast thou fallen?

8  And he saith unto the Lord: I saw the finger of the Lord, and I feared lest he should asmite me; for I knew not that the Lord had flesh and blood.

9  And the Lord said unto him: Because of thy faith thou hast seen that I shall take upon me aflesh and blood; and never has man come before me with bsuch exceeding faith as thou hast; for were it not so ye could not have seen my finger.  Sawest thou more than this?

10  And he answered: Nay; Lord, ashow thyself unto me.

11  And the Lord said unto him: aBelievest thou the words which I shall speak?

12  And he answered: Yea, Lord, I know that thou speakest the truth, for thou art a God of truth, and acanst not lie.

13  And when he had said these words, behold, the Lord ashowed himself unto him, and said: bBecause thou knowest these things ye are redeemed from the fall; therefore ye are brought back into my cpresence; therefore I dshow myself unto you.

14  Behold, I am he who was aprepared from the foundation of the world to bredeem my people.  Behold, I am Jesus Christ.  I am the cFather and the Son.  In me shall all mankind have dlife, and that eternally, even they who shall believe on my name; and they shall become my esons and my daughters.

15  And never have I ashowed myself unto man whom I have created, for never has man bbelieved in me as thou hast.  Seest thou that ye are created after mine own cimage?  Yea, even all men were created in the beginning after mine own image.

16  Behold, this abody, which ye now bbehold, is the cbody of my dspirit; and man have I created after the body of my spirit; and even as I appear unto thee to be in the spirit will I appear unto my people in the flesh.

17  And now, as I, Moroni, said I could anot make a full account of these things which are written, therefore it sufficeth me to say that Jesus showed himself unto this man in the spirit, even after the manner and in the likeness of the same body even as he bshowed himself unto the Nephites.

18  And he ministered unto him even as he ministered unto the Nephites; and all this, that this man might know that he was God, because of the many great works which the Lord had showed unto him.

19  And because of the aknowledge of this man he could not be kept from beholding within the bveil; and he saw the finger of Jesus, which, when he saw, he fell with fear; for he knew that it was the finger of the Lord; and he had cfaith no longer, for he knew, nothing ddoubting.


(Book of Mormon | Ether 3:4 - 19


Sis Pochop

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Working hard!

Hey y'all!

I am halfway through my fifth transfer- kinda crazy. It's gone by
really slow, but I have a feeling it'll pick up again. Happy Labor
Day! Hope everyone's enjoying the long weekend! It doesn't effect a
missionary schedule.

I got my boxes! Thank you so much!! So very yummy and delicious and
needed! I was especially happy for the contacts and the note. Thank
you! I love the minion picture :)

I'm really sad! And it's sad for our branch too! The VanAntwerps are
moving! They have been my bucket house and adopted family here in
Paragould. They fed me for my birthday and are always the first people
to help the missionaries! He got a job in Missouri, which is going to
be so good for them! But we will also be losing our 2nd counselor,
Relief Society president, Sunday school teachers, and branch organist
:( We are eating with them tonight, so I'll take pictures and send
them next week.

On Friday, we had an interesting Specialized Training. In case I
haven't explained before, Specialized is a training meeting done by
the Wakolo's and the APs. It's done by zones. This time, and future
meetings, we decided to "just do it". Not only were we going to be
learning new and better things, we were actually going to apply what
we learned while there! We broke up in 6 groups- not in our typical
companionships- and were dropped off in an area to practice what we
preached. It was really good. It also gave us the chance to work with
other missionaries. I was with another new sister (similar to my
everyday work with Sister Wright), and we got to learn from  each
other. Really a good meeting!

Also had quarterly interviews with President. I love that man. He and
Sister Wakolo say thank you for your support and all that you do as
parents. Truly a man of God.

We also had exchanges after. This was my second time with Sister Aase.
I love her! I've noticed that I've reached the 'age' where I can have
a really good learning experience and personal insight and growth from
the STLs. (Mission age). I look forward to any opportunity to learn
and have better insight and apply it to help me get better.

Church has been rather fun lately. Because of the smallness of our numbers, the sister are now attending young women’s, primary, and relief society. Wednesday was my first youth activity in 2 years. And Sunday we went to young women's and primary.
I am the substitute Primary pianist! Sorta :) The regular pianist is out of town most weekends because of her dad's health. So I get to play! It's fun to be in Primary again!

I love you all and hope y'all have a great weekend!!

Scripture of the Week: 1 Nephi 8 and Mark 4 they go together! :)

Sister Pochop

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

It feels like a minute!

Hey y'all!

For being August in the South, the weather is pretty nice. We have been really lucky with weather that hasn't been too hot thank goodness! :) I'm on walk week again. For those who missed it the past many times I've had, its when we have an entire week out of the month that we walk. We don't have the use of a car. The situation is a little different from before because we are now sharing two cars with three sets of missionaries. But it's for the best! By the way, it's done tomorrow :)

Tuesday was District meeting. It's always pretty fun. We talked/ learned about the importance of listening to the Spirit and our investigators as we teach. It is so important! And not just the listening to them verbally but also physically. Body language is often more telling. Every time I read about it in Preach My Gospel or hear about it in meetings, I always think back to ASL, and how dependent the language is on that. It's really interesting, and I feel lucky that I have that step up on others :)

For some reason or other I, along with a dozen other missionaries scattered in the mission, were invited to attend the Mission Leadership Council meeting. Typically it is only for the Wakolo's, Assistants, Zone Leaders, and Sister Training Leaders. This meeting is for the leaders to discuss the monthly focus, how to increase the focus, what the missionaries need, and other things like that. This time, they decided to invite other missionaries that typically wouldn't attend. But it ended up being another type of training meeting. It was very good though! I was grateful to have been able to attend.

We had two brethren from Church Headquarters attend. One was the head of the Proselyting Department, and he allowed questions to direct his part. Naturally the questions were about the best finding ways, effective use of certain times, good scriptures to use in certain situations, things like that. The best way to find people is through the members. Because you know people and are friends and have opportunities to talk about the Gospel and what you believe in a way that is less threatening than "we're representatives of Jesus Christ with a message for you..." Y'all have already done the scary part :) So to all my loverly family and friends reading this: will you think of people that you can share the Gospel with and people you can give to the missionaries to meet? I promise that it won't offend them. It actually shows that you care about them in another way. 

 Renea is still doing good. She missed her date because she "wants to know everything". She has a lot of questions about all aspects of what we believe, but she has a testimony and knows that what we are sharing is true. The thing is to help her see that. Something that came to me while planning for her was Alma 32:21: "And now as I said concerning faith--faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true." She has faith which doesn't require a perfect knowledge! I think that will help, but ultimately it is her timeframe. But I'll keep y'all updated!

 We also finally met with a family that was referred to us. We had met them in the past, but plans fell through or it was just visiting and trying to set up another time. We actually got to sit down and teach them on Saturday. It was such a good lesson! It was the Restoration- can I just say that I love the message of the Restoration? It is my favorite thing to teach. And I always feel the Spirit so strong with the First Vision. It so happens that the last few times of teaching it I have the part with it to teach. (We switch on points so that our teaching is 50/50.) I love being able to recite it because I know it is true! It isn't just words that I memorized- it is the testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith! And as I have recites it more and more, it has become my testimony as well! It was a miraculous event that changes my life! I know it is true and am so grateful that I can share it with so many others. And the wife came to church on Sunday! So very exciting!!

Scripture of the week: Psalms 27:14


Sister Pochop