Monday, April 25, 2016

Week 53 - The Perfect Pie and the Perfect Baptism

Monique was BAPTIZED! What a wonderful day it was! At the beginning of the week, Sister S and I both felt a little uneasy about the baptism. It all felt a little too good to be true, and we weren't sure if she had received a witness that this is true. But Mo was just super, super prepared. On Friday, we had her baptism interview and after the interview she just kept saying, "I just feel so happy"! We asked her about her testimony and some of her favorite things she's learned, and she told us that she loves the pre-mortal world and the Plan of Salvation. How grateful I am to know that we all chose to come to this earth to progress! And I am especially grateful that Monique chose this plan.

Saturday was a crazy busy day! We had so many things to do in preparation for the baptism. We took Monique to a baptism of a kid in the Neenah ward, which she loved, so she could know kind of what to expect. Then 7pm rolled around and it was time for Monique's baptism! She looked so beautiful in that white jumpsuit. In her own words she said, "I look like a giant marshmallow!" Haha, yes, but a very cute giant marshmallow. She had so many people from the Branch who love her come to support her. Her parents, sister, and niece all came as well! The Spirit was so strong. I can't even explain it, but as soon as the opening hymn began I just got all teary eyed. So much happiness in one room. The service was funny, awkward, and so full of the was perfect! After the actual baptism ordinance, we decided to go in the bathroom to check on her. I've never done that before, but something told me we needed to go be with her. We awkwardly went into the bathroom and asked her how it was and she couldn't stop saying how happy and clean she felt. We all got a little teary and although she was sopping wet we each gave her a big hug #worthit. I am so certain that Heavenly Father was present that night. My heart was basically exploding with joy! 

Fun fact: We asked Mo what her favorite treat was and she said pumpkin pie! Of course pumpkin pie is out of season and no stores had it, so we decided to practice our homemaking skills and made her the pie! The trial run was delicious, but not the most beautiful. But the second one was pretty darn awesome. She was so surprised that we made her a pie. LOL. I don't know if she liked eating the pie or being baptized more (just kidding, guys, obviously baptism :)).

The happiness just kept on coming as Monique was confirmed with the Gift of the Holy Ghost yesterday. The guy who introduced her to the gospel was able to confirm her and give her one of the most inspired blessings I've ever heard! We tried to write down the blessing to give to her, but it was all just so great that we couldn't catch everything he said. I guess it doesn't really matter what was said, just the spirit that was felt. Both her parents came to the confirmation as well, which was awesome. I know it sounds kinda cliche to say that she was glowing, but I'm totally serious! I'm so thankful for the Holy Ghost! It's what sanctifies us and what helps us on our path back to our heavenly home. God is good. Jesus is the Christ. The Book of Mormon is true. The Priesthood has been restored. 

I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week! CTR. Keep it real. Spread the gospel. 

Sister Quist

 A macaron and a photo to celebrate ONE YEAR (what?!)!
(a ginormous shout out to my #1 family for the macarons!)

Monday, April 18, 2016

Week 52 - Segoi!

Hello, hello! What a week it has been. Some amazing miracles have happened in the past 7 days. Let's begin with the fact that Monique is getting baptized this Saturday!! So far, so good. Hopefully the Lord will continue to give her the courage and faith to be baptized on the 23rd. We taught her about the Law of Tithing and Fasting this week. It was fantastic! We did an object lesson, which is always fun. We ran to Kwik Trip and got a couple bags of skittles and set aside ten green ones. At the beginning of the lesson we gave her the skittles and then asked her to give us back one of them. She was hesitant at first, but realized she still had nine more. So what was one skittle to the nine she had left? When she gave it to us we acted sooo happy and sooo grateful for the skittle she sacrificed for us! It was a little exaggerated, but we had to do it for dramatic effect. After fawning over the one skittle we told her to hold out her hands and we proceeded to pour the whole bag of skittles into her hands. So much so that the skittles overflowed into the bowl! We read with her Malachi 3:10 "Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now  herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the  windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it." We talked about how when we pay our tithing Heavenly Father recognizes our sacrifice and will bless us in ways we cannot imagine at the time. She couldn't eat the skittles cause she has braces, BUT it was still a powerful object lesson nonetheless. 

On Wednesday the Sheboygan sisters called us with a referral. Woohoo! While looking through their area book they found a teaching record for a young guy named Yu. They called him up and he said he was now a student at UWOShkosh so they referred him to us. Since we were conveniently in Oshkosh at that exact moment we gave him a call and set something up for that day! He sounded a little taken back, but agreed to meet. His story is super cool. He is from Japan, but spent his sophomore and junior year of high school living with a host family in Utah. The family was LDS and took him to church and mutual every week with them. He moved back to Japan for the summer then to Wisconsin for his senior year. That's when the Sheboygan sisters began teaching him. Then he went back to Japan and now he's back in WI for college! We had a powerful lesson with him about the Restoration of the gospel and committed him to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and we talked a lot about the obstacles he would have to overcome if he got baptized. We will be meeting with him every week now so we're pretty pleased about that! Fun fact: "Segoi" means "awesome" in Japanese. 

Later that evening we met with our investigator, Vince. Such a nice guy. He began the meeting by telling us that because of us his faith has been rekindled and that he is eternally grateful for the blessing we have been in his life. Then he proceeded with the "but". No, no, no! My heart just sank as he then told us the "answer" to his prayer. Which was that at this time he doesn't think that this is the path he needs to take. He did tell us quite a few times though that just cause it's not now doesn't mean that it's not never. He asked me to bear my testimony of the Atonement to him which isn't something any nonmember has requested of me before. But I did. Guys, the Atonement is so, so real. It works. It works for everyone. Christ loves us. 

Did I ever mention anything about Ben? BEN, guys! We met him while street contacting on LU. He's a gem. Had a super powerful lesson with him on the Plan of Salvation and his mind was basically blown! Afterwards he just sat there saying, "I know that this is true. I don't doubt it one bit". I think the guy was a bit overwhelmed, but we are excited to see him progress!! 

I'm almost out of time, but I have to say a few things about our meeting with T & Co. Woof. What do you get when you have a Satanist, an Agnostic, and an Atheist all in one teaching appointment? Chaos, that's what. There was profanity, anxiety, and so much anger. I've never been in a lesson as quite as high stress as that! God protects, that's fo' sho. 

Have a fabulous week! I love your guts! CTR!

Sister Quist

 cute companions
gonna miss this asian! take care of rexburg for me!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Week 51 - A Piece of the Puzzle

Hello, hello! This has been one of the longest weeks everrr. So many things going on! Started out with the FHE activity we hosted. Who knew dying eggs with a bunch of YSA would be fun? But it was a blast! Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves, and Monique came. So that was awesome! Tuesday we had Zone Training. Our training went SO much better than last time. The Spirit was strong, my friends. It was all about how each one of us are important pieces in this mission and in the zone. Sister Cutler gave us an outline of how the training should go at MLC and gave us an activity to go along with it. It was one of those team-building activities that every high-schooler dreads. But it actually worked out and was very powerful! We each were given a piece to a puzzle and we had to figure out how every piece fit in the big picture. We talked a lot about how no matter how small or big your piece was, it was still significant. Only the song, "We're all in this together" from High School Musical could accurately describe the whole message of our training.

Wednesday we went on our last exchange of the transfer! Sister Carlini and Sister Roskelley came from Appleton for the day. Sister Carlini and I hit up UWOshkosh campus for a little while. People actually have a belief in God there! It's sad that the vibe in the world today is that it's just "easier and more logical" to not believe in a God. Most people we talk to at other campuses are agnostic or atheist. On exchanges we tried to stop by this part member family, but they weren't available, so we tracted! After a few houses of rejection we came to this cute little home. Jake answered the door and was very chatty while taking the survey. After like ten minutes of talking, his cute wife, Rachel, peeks her head out of the door and he was like, "they're talking about Jesus"! And she said, "We love Jesus, invite them to come in'! Whattttt!?! Both Sister C and I were taken off guard! But of course we rolled with it. We walk into their home and it's basically like Pinterest threw up. We proceeded to have an hour long conversation with them about the Restoration of the Gospel. It was magical. And they totally want to learn more! So that's pretty miraculous.

Thursday we met with some new investigators. Ben from Lawrence University. Had a powerful Resto lesson with him and committed him to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. And Tesio (& Co.). They are the coolest cats ever! The Spanish elders tracted into them. We taught Tesio and one of his roommates, Kat, the Plan of Salvation. They just soaked it all in. It was kind of a condensed lesson cause we had an appointment afterwards, but they were excited for us to come back!! So we're praying that they will continue to progress in the gospel. 

We had institute Thursday night which was a trip. Monique came, which was awesome! But there were a lot of comments made about deep doctrine and conspiracy theories that Sister S and I just cringed at. We were praying so hard that the comments would just go over Monique's head! But after church yesterday she brought up some things that had been bothering her from the discussion. But we got them cleared up, and all is well. We may have to move her baptism to the 30th because of some scheduling conflicts, but everything is still looking great. On exchanges we taught her about the Word of Wisdom and she agreed to live it! Yay! I'm always a little weary of people's reactions to hearing about the WoW... especially in Wisconsin.

Had some intense lessons with George this week. Guess what?! He went on the Branch temple trip to Chicago! What, what?! He tried to keep it a secret from us, but President Munson spilled the beans. This was his first time going to the temple and he loved it! Since he couldn't go all the way into the temple he just sat in the waiting area for a couple hours and read the Book of Mormon. HE'S SO CLOSE, Y'ALL!

Hmm, I'm trying to think if any other crazy awesome things happened this week. Oh, we got the transfer text and Sister S and I are gonna be kicking it together for her last transfer here in Winnebago. I'm pretty pleased about that. 

Keep it real in the 801 (or wherever you are)! And make good choices!

Sister Quist

still chilly in the WI
Post Easter EGG-STRAVAGANZA for FHE! It was a success.

Me & Millie with my Plan of Salvation egg

Monday, April 4, 2016

Week 50 - Slack-lining in a Pencil Skirt + General Conference

Hello there! It's been a lovely week. 

1. It's APRIL! What?! Can't believe it. Wisconsin must not know that because we've seemed to reverted back to winter. 

2. Had a cool lesson with an investigator, Vince. He's more into theology, but the spirit was definitely there and we committed him to pray about baptism. He said he would! We brought Megan, the Relief Society Pres, along with us and her testimony just added to the lesson. Like the bathtub was already full, then Megan bore her testimony and it was just overflowing. I'm so grateful for members who know that this church is true. 

3. Went on exchanges with Sister Peterson from Fond du Lac. Basically all our appointments cancelled. Cool. So we spent four hours contacting on Lawrence University campus. Woof. But it went really well. We talked to a lot of people. I even saw some people I've talked to before. Which made me feel famous. They still haven't read the BoM we left with them, but that's okay cause we got to follow up and now they're going to (hopefully haha). So it was hour three and we were making our 17th lap around one of the two streets we can legally contact on and we spot these super hipster guys slack-lining on campus. So I'm like, "Ooooh, Sister! I love slack-lining". We decided it would be a fantastic idea to go talk to them. Of course they invited us to join them. Sister P declined, but insisted that I tried it. First of all, it had been raining hard core that day so the ground was sopping wet. Second of all, I was in my bulky rain boots and a pencil skirt. So I pulled off the boots and managed to get up on the slack-line by hugging the tree (classy, I know). Finally got up and I totally killed it. The hipster guys were pretty impressed. Since we were technically on campus we couldn't give them any cards or BoMs or anything. But I decided to be a rebel and left a card on their jackets anyways. 

Post slack-lining -- Sister Peterson and me

4. General Conference, guys! Feeling spiritually full coming out of this weekend. I loved every second of this past conference! Well, almost every second. Why on my mission have I had to call 911 more than I have in my life? While watching the first session on Saturday an Elder had a seizure and had to be taken by ambulance to the ER. Super scary, but he is okay. Lots of commotion and adrenaline and I don't think that all that Grey's Anatomy prepared me for real emergencies. It kind of just left me thinking about how precious life is and how precious each and every one of us are. I loved Elder Donald Hallstrom's talk. He said, "A correct understanding of our heavenly heritage is essential to exaltation. It is foundational to comprehending the glorious plan of salvation and to nurturing faith in the firstborn of the Father, Jesus the Christ, and in His merciful Atonement. Further, it provides continual motivation for us to make and keep our indispensable eternal covenants". Not only are the saving ordinances of the gospel essential to our exhalation, but "a correct understanding of our heavenly heritage". Motivation and confidence will come as we recognize that the words "I am a Child of God" aren't just lyrics to a primary song.

5. Monique is doing fabulously! She came to both sessions of Conference on Sunday and loved it. Loved watching her take notes and experience it all for the first time. Well, actually the second time, but the first time actually knowing what's going on. We were able to talk to Monique about the temple this past week and she just loved it. We showed her the baptismal font and jumpsuits and she couldn't stop smiling. Still super excited about April 23rd! 

Have a blessed week and keep choosing the {harder} right! 

Sister Quist

Final district meeting of the transfer with these cool cats.