Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Week 5 - Cars and Boulders DON'T Play Well

Happy Tuesday!  This week was so weird. I just feel off my game (...if I even had a game to begin with!). The reason being is probably because we got in a little accident Saturday. Don't freak out. We just ran into a boulder. Okay, that still sounds bad. Hahaha, there were some boulders placed alongside the road and we parked right behind one. And then when we were pulling out the boulder scraped up the front bumper and torn off the hubcap. Yikes. It's been a rough week with car troubles. Sis. S thinks we're being punished or something. I don't think that's really the case :) We're probably going to have to bike or walk for a couple days this week because of our car. Lol, we'll see how that goes.
I'm happy to hear that your Memorial Day was great! Ours was quite fun as well.  We had a double dinner, so that was fun. Both with the Elders.  Okay, the day started out not so good. Our car wouldn't start! We had to call a member to come jump it. Luckily it started and no more problems happened. What is up with our car this week! We went to the Irizarry's and they grilled us some food. The Irizarry's are my fave. They're hilarious. My Spanish Grandparents. Then we had a second dinner at the Murphy's a couple hours later. Double dinner- holla!

This week we were visiting the V family, who we visit frequently.  They have five kids under the age of 10 and struggle a bit. It is always chaotic and stressful when we visit.  Sis V really does her best. I can tell she is just so overwhelmed with life.  We could see the enormous amount of dirty dishes in their sink.  So we volunteered to wash them for her.  She humbly accepted.  But she didn’t have any dish soap.  Only laundry detergent.  I was getting so overwhelmed/ frazzled I was just like "OKAY! We're gonna go buy some real quick". So we ran to the gas station and bought a little thing of soap, then washed dishes for like an hour.

On the drive home, I was just thinking how thankful I am to have two parents who love and care for me. I just have such a greater appreciation for you both. There are so many families here who have negligent parents, especially fathers.  I am just oh so blessed to have grown up in the gospel and in a Christ centered home. There is nothing worse than seeing a family where the mom or dad (or both) don't take their calling as a parent seriously. You two truly are my heros. Pres. Boyd K. Packer said, "Being a parent is a divine calling. Your most important role on earth and in the eternities".  I can't thank you enough for continuing to fulfill that role. It's so sad to see absent fathers in families. I can't imagine not having you, Dad, in my life. There is so much responsibility a father has, as it is his "divine calling on this earth and in the eternities"! Your righteousness as a father has blessed my life so much. You are like hitting the top of the righteous-o-meter, Dad.  How lucky I am to have parents who work together as a team to build up our family.

Our teaching pool is very small. We did have some headquarter referrals this week, FOUR to be exact. Which was a MIRACLE! An hq referral is when somebody goes online and orders a BoM or BIble. So we get to go visit them and bring it to them. We have an appointment with a woman, Donna, who ordered a BoM. I'm very excited for that. I just feel this space in my heart ready to love her and help her. I hope it works out and that I'm not disappointed. Opening my mouth seems to be getting a bit easier.

Also I read (am reading...) this talk called something about the Blueprint of Christ's Church by Tad R. Callister. SO GOOD! Have you read it? I just want to hand it to every person who says "No thanks, we already have a church". Do people not realize that this is Christ's church? Do they not realize that if they really want to follow Christ's example then they should be trying to find a church that follows the primitive church so closely? Well, this is that church! And that talk just goes on to explain how the church Christ established while He was on the earth is basically the same as our church. It's a good talk.

I love you all so much and pray for you and the fam every night. Thanks for the photos and letters and everything. It means so much to me. I miss you, but the home-sickness is getting easier. My heart just bursts with love every time I think of you all!


Sis. Q

Sending us some love as she was emailing us! 
Right back at ya, girlie!  

Monday, May 18, 2015

Week 4 - Happy One Month this week!

Hi all! This week has flown by. Holy cow, have I really been gone for almost a month? That's crazy! So many things happened this week so I'll just recap it for you with some inserts from my journal…

P-day! Holla! We were going to play sports with the zone, but didn't end up going. It would've been just Elders there anyways so we couldn't have gone inside. Instead we went to the American Girl Doll store and it made all my childhood dreams come true. It was actually really small, nothing too exciting, but it was a fun little adventure. We then went to this super yummy custard place called Leon's. You drive up to the place and flash your lights when you're ready to order. It's all 50's like. And it was delicious. 

"Today seemed to go by so slow. But it's weird because when I got home the day seemed to have gone by super fast". Basically how I feel everyday. Our appointment with Mindy didn't happen because she cancelled. And Julia also cancelled. Lame. We did have a dinner appointment with the Thompsons. Paige and Andy are very cool. Andy has just recently become active and Paige is a convert of about 5 months. Now they are both incredibly active. Fun fact. Andy's sister, Emma (who is also in our ward), was roommates with Alli Butters! Such a small world. We also had my very first district meeting. It was fun to meet the other missionaries in my district. 

"You know what I love?? Wearing PANTS"! On Wednesday we went to a member's mother in law's house and helped them move. Lots and lots of packing. The lady who lived there was like this old woman from Austria. She had so much stuff. Like some plastic silverware from 1986. I'm pretty sure this felt a lot like what cleaning out Mimi's house was like. We went and visited the Irizarry's. They are the most hilarious old Mexican couple. They are both basically deaf and just yell at each other and it's so funny. Sister Straight says that they always feed us, and it's true! They insisted on a plate of cheese and crackers with some juice. And we happily ate it :) Afterwards, we went tracting...not my fave. But it's okay. There will randomly be some group home for disabled people in the middle of a neighboorhood. Anyways, we ran into a man in a wheelchai just soaking up some sun in the driveway of one of these group home. We asked him how he was doing and he said "terrible"! We asked why and he said "Because I'm dying"! He then told us how he was a Mormon once because after a 20 minute converstation with God he knew that he needed to turn his life around. Then he told us how he lived in Chicago and was apart of the mafia there. "I killed 49 people, or so they tell me"...I'm not quite sure what that means, but Sis. Straight and I were trying so hard not to laugh. We run into some of the most interesting people. At another doorstep I began to do an approach and I started talking, then realized I was quickly going nowhere and said OUT LOUD, "Wait. Hold up." and I started over again. SO EMBARRASSING. Luckily the old man at the door was kind and didn't say anything. We couldn't help but laugh. We still laugh about it. We had dinner at a member's house. We had some chicken noodle soup, but there was like a whole chicken in my soup, I swear. 

"Just trying to hang in there today". Thursday brought a lot of feelings of discouragement and inadequacy. I'm really learning that the Lord is the ultimate source of comfort. Nobody was home today, so tracting was a bummer. We stopped by a potential's house, Natalie, and she was really rude to us. I don't get why people don't like us. On a positive note, I got through most of a door approach today! Yay! I also got a big whiff of some weed. The guy told us he was studying...I don't know what he was studying for, but nothing good I'll tell ya that.
Sometimes I feel like the reason we aren't finding success is because of me. I just look at Sister Straight and see a missionary who is so amazing. I sure hope that I'm not the one holding us down. Being on a mission has made me so aware of all my weaknesses. I have moments when I think about my relationships with people before the mish and just think, "Wow. I was so immature". Or "I really need to work on this or that". There's so much self reflection that goes on daily! It makes me feel so bad for things I've said or the way I may have acted towards others. A mission is the hardest thing mentally that I have ever done. 

Mindy's lesson was earlier. We taught her the Law of Chastity. Hahahaha, I never thought I'd be teaching the LoC my second week in the field. It happens, people! But it was a solid lesson. A bit awkward, but that's to be expected- especially since she lives with her boyfriend. But we got through it and walked away feeling pretty awesome about where Mindy was at. 

Rough day, but the evening was lots better. We went and visited Sis. Lowery (a less active who I love so much). We just went and visited "We also saw a girl named Ashley. Ashley is 18 and a convert of about a year. She was an atheist before converting, so that's cool. The lesson was outside and just pretty casual. I felt very comfortable. God has blessed us so much with the day always ending pretty well. 

We taught gospel principles AND relief society. The Sabbath is always such a wonderful day. I just love going to church and visiting with all the members there. They're great. Now only if they'd give us a million referrals and feed us every night :)

And that's a wrap! It was a good week. I'm getting a smidge more comfortable with tracting. Sister Straight and I are becoming fast friends. Hahaha, we have too much fun together. It gets crazy sometimes, but laughing is how I get through the day. I feel so blessed to be here. And I can feel the Savior softening my heart everyday. Sometimes I just get bursts of joy and love for the work that I'm doing. It's so, so difficult to not think about home and school and life outside of being a missionary, but as I've prayed to be a more consecrated missionary the Lord has gradually helped me to become more focused. I know that in the strength of the Lord I can do all things! 

Much love, 
Sister Quist

"p.s. I found out Sis. Straight has seen all the Gilmore Girls. So that makes me like her even more :) Haha, and it makes me miss you (and gilmore girls!), but this is a better use of my time for now!"
 study, study, study

Monday, May 11, 2015

Week 3 - "I'm not in Utah anymore"‏

I'm here!! Wisconsin is so BEAUTIFUL! So green. I totally forgot my notebook and my brain is in a million places, so sorry if this is scattered and short, but I promise to catch up...eventually. 

First of all, it was SO fantastic to see your beautiful faces yesterday. Dad, you didn't make it easy when you said oh so casually "Welp, see you in December"! That wasn't very nice. It's okay. Your nice emails made up for it today! 

My companion is Sister Straight. She is from Oregon. She's cool. And we get along all right. This is only day five, so I know that we'll get closer as time goes on. She's only been out here for three months and just got done with her own training. Kind of crazy. Here in Oshkosh there is only one set of Elders and one set of Sisters. This is also a tracting mission which means that we spend a TON of time knocking on doors. I'm having a hard time speaking, but it is only day five so I hope and pray that it will get a little easier. I just freeze up and get super flustered! 

On Wednesday we got right to work. I didn't even unpack before we headed out the door to go tracting. I don't remember a ton about Wednesday...it was kind of a blur. 

Just some happy news: We met with an investigator, Julia. She has three crazy kids and the lesson was pretty hectic with them there. But I was able to extend a baptismal invitation. She said she'd definitely have to think about it, but that she'd for sure come to church. And she DID! Church here is different. Not like church in Utah. The gospel is the same everywhere, which I love and expected. But nothing is very organized here in the Oshkosh ward. We also had cinnamon rolls and o.j. in Relief Society. Cool!

At the end of Friday I just came back to the apartment and thought "Wow. I have the BEST job ever"! I definitely was feeling super blessed. Ironically, the next day was not so good. And that's just the beginning of this whole experience! 

I miss you all so much, and I am trying to think of you less (rude, I know!). But I know as I put everything on the altar of sacrifice that the Lord will be able to mold me into who He needs me to become. 

Xo, Sister Quist

a lovely street in Oshkosh

*Oh how we LOVED seeing and talking with our girl on Mother's Day and so thankful for the technology that allowed us that tender mercy!  We had a wonderful 40 minutes of Maren time! (and not a minute past, but grateful for her strict obedience!)  She said her days are full beginning with exercise at the local high school track, then home to get ready.  Followed by companionship study, personal study and training study.  They are usually out the door by 11 am except on planning days which takes about 3 hours.  She is happy and doing her best to adjust to missionary life!

  our blurry, but still darling girl
a look at her missionary planner… PACKED!
and this is when we informed her of a beloved, fictitious character on a favorite show was killed… I know, not important at all, but now she can move on and really get focused!  But her reaction was priceless.  

Friday, May 8, 2015

It's official! Maren in Milwaukee

Maren is officially in Milwaukee!  Oshkosh, Wisconsin actually.  We received an email this week from her Mission President informing us that she made it safely and has been assigned to her first area, along with this letter and pictures.  She looks and sounds wonderful!  We are so looking forward to seeing her cute face on Mother's Day!

Sister Q with her trainer, Sister Straight
Sister Q with President and Sister Cutler

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

MTC in Photos

We got to hear our girl's voice yesterday as she traveled to Wisconsin!  Maren left the MTC on Tuesday, April 5th.  She was to report to the travel office at 2:30 AM to shuttle to the airport with her flight leaving at 5:55 AM.  Originally she was going to call us at 4:00 AM, but I guess they were a bit tight on time, so she called us from Minneapolis before her connection to Milwaukee.  She sounded SO GREAT!  Just excited and anxious (and a little nervous) for what awaits her next!  It was a brief call, but luckily we'll get to hear her cute voice on Mother's Day!  

She sent us a few photos from her MTC stay:

Sister Quist and her MTC companion, Sister Huffman
Sister Wise and Sister Quist 
(they knew each other at BYU-I and now going to the same mission) 
District Sisters - Sisters Huffman, Blas, Caralini and Quist


Saturday, May 2, 2015

Week 1 - MTC

Wow! Week 1 is complete! How fast did that go? There is so much I want to write, but not enough time to do it! Thank you for all the love and just know that I appreciate every email and letter. Keep them coming, because I can't tell you what it does for my spirit. It makes my day ten times better. I'll try to email people personally next week. I'll be honest, the first day here was rough. Every moment was jam packed with things we had to be doing and I was feeling a tad bit overwhelmed. Not to mention saying bye to the fam was actually pretty tough. I had a good cry that night. My companion is Sister Huffman. She is almost 20 and is from New Mexico. She also was at BYUI and is an accounting major. Her and I are very different, but she is very sweet and nice and like the most obedient missionary ever (like, REALLY, obedient...which is good). I love seeing friendly faces here! I've seen Sis. Abernathy, Sis. Karren, Sis. Killpack, and Elder Birchall, and a couple others from Lone Peak.

So my district is funny. There is Sis. Huffman and me, and Sis. Caralini and Sis. Blas. All of us Sisters are going to Wisconsin. Then there is Elder Walker and Elder Taylor, and Elder Hall and Elder Lewis. They are going to Tulsa Oklahoma. This district is one of the most difficult things I've had to adjust to here. Three out of the four Elders have some learning disabilities and the other one is very shy and quiet. When our teachers are gone and we're all left to do our own studying is when things can get a little out of control. The Elders have a very hard time concentrating, especially because of their disabilities. Sometime I feel like I'm babysitting them, which isn't fun or very helpful for me, but I know that the Elders appreciate our help a lot. I was reading in my patriarchal blessing and it said something along the lines of "as you willingly make sacrifices for the benefit of others, your relationship with God will be strengthened". Our teachers, Sis. Murphy and Sis. Evans, are AWESOME. It's kind of interesting because they are the training coordinators for the new MTC teachers. So in addition to them, we have about 12 teachers in training that sit in on all our classes and observe the teachers. I kind of feel like I'm in a fish bowl, but they're cool and I've made connections with like half of them, so I don't mind that they watch us.  I love meeting people here and hearing about everyone's experience and making new friends! I especially love the Polynesians. Sis. Blas does too, haha. That's another thing-- the Elders here are too funny. The other night Sis. H and I were reading in the lobby of our floor and and Elder and I got chatting about our missions and where we were from and when he got up to leave he slipped me his missionary email...woot woot! Haha, I was dying. Only in the MTC...

This mission thing is not exactly what I expected it to be. There is SO much work that goes into every little bit of our personal preparation, prep for our investigators, and lessons. I knew that I was going to have to work hard, but this is a whole nother level of hard work. The other day we were talking about just how up and down one day at the MTC is. Literally one hour I'm feeling on top of the world and the next I'm defeated. The struggle is real sometimes, but I can tell that even after a week I'm beginning to change. Bed time is the BOMB. 10:30 bedtime is great, especially when you have to wake up at 5:45 sometimes for our service projects. My mind is always going a million miles per hour thinking of all the wonderful things I learned that day and I can never seem to fall asleep before 11. Seems that the habit of staying up late isn't helping me much here...whoops. I will tell you that I would NOT be able to wake up at 6 every day if it were not for the Lord's help. I don't know how I got up all those years for early morning seminary. But it hasn't been too much of a problem here. I love going to the gym to play bball, okay, speed, I'm known around here as the champion. Kidding, but I do love getting to play and get to know humans that aren't just in my district and I love giving the Elders a run for their money ;)

Sunday night devotional was hilarious. Vai Sikahema was the speaker and he just made us laugh so hard. It was a nice break from the craziness that is the MTC. His message was that we all just need to infuse missionary work into our daily lives. One of the required things that new missionaries do here, is watch a devotional given by Elder Bednar on Sunday night. It was like life changing. He was talking about how the natural man tends to turn inward in their life. Why me? But Elder Bednar just made it clear that, like our Savior, we need to turn OUTWARD. We need to show love, service, and compassion and get over ourselves. And not only do we need to have a testimony, but we need to be converted unto the Lord in every single aspect of our lives. Alma 23:5 says something about that.  If anything else, this week has taught me about patience and compassion. Having a companion is NOT easy. Especially for this very independant girl. I'm learning that I can't run faster when I feel like my leash is tightening. I have to just keep walking and learn to have a little more patience. There have been some moments here when I think, "what the heck am I doing here" and "I WANT TO JUST JUMP OVER THE FENCE AND RUN HOME". I know that I can't do anything (especially wake up early), without the strength of the Lord. This time next week I'll be in Milwaukee! Can't wait to teach real people about this incredible gospel.


Sister Quist

Sis. Huffman (from New Mexico), Sis. Blas (who is my fave and from Idaho), Sis. Caralini (who is from AZ), me, Sis. Taylor and Pres. Taylor (who are from South Provo, but served as mission presidents in the Phoenix Arizona mission), Elder Taylor (who has no relation to the Pres and is from Oregon), Elder Walker (from Rexburg), Elder Lewis, and Elder Hall (from SLC). The Elders rockin' those glasses that turn into sunglasses...lol. Love it.