Monday, September 26, 2016

Week 75 - "If you want a beautiful life, let beautiful people in"

NI ZHONG! Channeling my inner Hmong person to say "hello"! (Must be the fact that we are having to switch apartments this week where the Hmong Elders were living.) This week has flown, but what else is new? Another transfer has come and gone and I'm sad that Sister Carlini is gonna be leaving me, but SO STOKED to get Sister Hansen! It's going to be such a rad 6 weeks with her. Sorry, but this is going to be a lot of bullet points. My mind is all over the place today! 
  • Went hiking on p-day with the Hermanas and the zone leaders. One of the Hnas got hurt so we had to hike by ourselves back to the car and got lost for a little bit. Kind of felt like a story that would be told in conference. But we made it. No worries. 
  • Had exchanges with the Hermanas and I went to GB Spanish with Hna. Brian! Ahh, I adore her. We had a blast and tracted our hearts out. She's such a hard worker! Also, apparently in Kenosha/Racine (her last area) Dawn Armstrong, the missionary mom from Meet the Mormons, came and spoke at their youth conference and a quote Hna. Brian told me she said was, "If you want a beautiful life, let beautiful people in". I just really like that.
  • Some girl danced on our car while we were stopped at a stop sign
  • Met with Cayla a couple times this week. She didn't end up coming to church, but after we talked to her. I can kind of understand, it's still frustrating. But she and Nick came to the Vanderheyden's for dinner last night and it was wonderful.
  • After dinner at the Bishop's home, we saw Sister Mangum and her daughter finishing up their afternoon walk and stopped our car to talk to them! Then their neighbor called out to us and we all started talking to him. Then Sister Mangum invites him to hear the missionary lessons. WHAT. Way to go, Sister Mangum!! I was so happy to talk to Gary and tell him more about the church, but maybe even more excited that Sister Mangum was so bold in being a missionary!! She's a rockstar. We ended up giving him a BoM and he said we could come back over. So, yay! Then Sister Mangum texted us saying that he used to play for the Packers. So that's pretty cool, I guess :)
  • GENERAL WOMEN'S BROADCAST. Oh it was the best, wasn't it? I loved all the talks given. There is just such a special spirit that comes during this General Conference season! I loved hearing from all of our leaders, but I really loved Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson's address. She was so bold. It was fantastic. 
  • SUNDAY. Was the best day. We had church. Then we saw Ashley and she fed us, well, me, pizza! Then we went to see Victoria and her family. We're so sad Emma has to move. She's had a really rough life and she's only like 11. Breaks my heart, but we hopefully helped her to feel that God knows her and loves her so so much! She really wants sisters to teach her wherever she ends up, so we'll have to figure that out when the time comes. Then we went to see Cayla cause she skipped out on church. She's had a tough week and is struggling with some things. It was good that we stopped by though. Cause at first she wasn't going to come to the Vanderheyden's for dinner, but at the end Nick came in and they decided they wanted to come. YAY! So we stopped by this LA couple's house and set something up with them. Then we went to the Vanderheyden's for dinner and it was the best. Them + the Elders + The Mills' family + Benson + Jena & Jake = dream team. It was basically all my favorite GB people in one room! Then we went to Hmong class at the Dodson's and I learned all sorts of Hmong phrases from Grandma Ying Moua and it was the best. She told Elder Davis that my Hmong was super awesome hahaha so basically I should have been called to speak Hmong. 
  • Elder Platero ate a bee
But I just love all these people in Green Bay so much and I'm really grateful to be here. Grateful to be a missionary and so grateful to be learning so much about my Savior! He lives! And loves us so much. I hope you are all excited about General Conference this weekend. My heart is just so ready to hear the inspired words of our cute Prophet and other general authorities!

Have a wonderful week, everyone! I LOVE YOU. CTR. 

Sister Quist

Best Sunday night ever at the Vanderheyden's with the Mills family, Cayla & Nick, the Elders, and Jena & Jake, and Benson! 
 That gap though haha, such a fun district! 
Hna. Brian, Hna. Martinez, Me, Sister Carlini, E Bartholomew, E Davis, E Ipson, E Bastian
 Really putting Elder Uchtdorf's message into action! ;) Just keep knocking!
 I love this beautiful place! Even though, it's beginning to be tights weather! 
 I love Benson! He was baptized earlier this month! 
Such gem.
b/c the packers won 
 Me & Junior 
Some pics with Selena! She and her mom were baptized in March after the elders tracted into them!

throwback to MLC in August!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Week 74 - "move forward in faith"

Another week come and gone here in beautiful Wisconsin! How I love it here. Recently we have been seeing a lot of cool miracles. Who am I kidding, every week we see a lot of cool miracles! But along with the miracles have come some really challenging situations. We've been meeting a lot of people who are just so close, yet so far! Good Christian people who have a strong belief in Christ, but are just wanting to bash us and try to convert us. We had a lesson with M & M and at the end of our meeting they kept expressing how they will pray that we are able to find the truth. Helloooo, we've already found it. Then they pulled out this book on converting Mormons. LOL. And then I see there is a chapter specifically on how to convert Mormon missionaries! I was appalled. Seriously, who would write a book like that? Mostly, it just made me really sad to see them reject the real truth. The Plan of Salvation gives me so much hope, knowing that this life isn't all we have to learn about the gospel, but that we will continue to learn and teach others who didn't accept the gospel in this life. 

RICHARD! He didn't come to church, again. Ugh! But we did set a baptism date with him! Woohoo! October 14th is the date. He's kind of in a sticky situation with moving and everything, but we know that he needs this gospel now more than ever!! He's been reading the BoM every day and is just so willing to experiment upon the word of God! It's great. He has some very sincere desires. We're excited to start teaching his son, as well. It's just hard getting their schedules to line up. 

Had exchanges with the Manitowoc sisters this week. I was able to be with Sister Hall for the day and it was wonderful!! First of all the weather was the bomb. Second of all, we just worked really hard. There is nothing more satisfying than a full purpose day. Sister Hall is so cute. We had a lot of fun. 

Met with Shawna and Rilee and the Moore's a couple times this week. The ward boundary change is really taking a toll on them. They're pretty upset about it and being really stubborn! We just love them and want them to be able to keep progressing. So we just have to have faith that whatever happens, God will take care of them. 

Met with a cute former investigator, Crystal. She's DARLING. She's a single mom of a super cute baby. She's very involved in her own church and is a very firm believer in Christ. Unfortunately, this lesson also turned out like the one with M & M :( She just can't accept the Book of Mormon as true scripture. I'll tell you, people are very quick to say that the BoM isn't true, but are SO unwilling to crack it open and read it! The spirit only testifies of truth, and I know that if you read and pray about the BoM then you will be able to receive a confirmation from the Holy Ghost and know that it is the word of God. 

Friday was Zone Conference! What a boost to my soul. Not only did I get to see some of my faves, but leaving the conference I just felt spiritually full! I have been struggling with some things this past transfer and I left that day feeling completely void of all negativity. It was wonderful and I'm just so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Because that's how we are able to overcome our individual trials. I know that if we rely solely upon ourselves we will get nowhere, but if we rely on Christ we can get anywhere! :)

We have also met with Cayla a few times this week! She's doing SO GOOD. Please pray for her, cause the adversary is working hard on her. But she's a tough cookie. She told us that no matter what she is going to come to church every week. If not for herself, for her kids. And that's what she did! Came again for all 3 hours and loved every minute of it. The ward just adores her. Sunday night we went to dinner with her and Nick at the Grant's and it was perfect. Their stories are strangely similar. It was so good for C & N to see that members of the church are flawed and imperfect, but can live the gospel fully and happily! 

In Relief Society on Sunday I sat by Cayla and we're singing the opening hymn and after we get done it's quiet, cause everyone is waiting for the prayer and Cayla just blurts out, "YOU SING LIKE A DISNEY PRINCESS". Haha, it was really funny. She's so darling. 

God is so good, folks. There are so many things each day that try to shake our faith, but as we actively choose to do the things God has asked us to do our faith will be strengthened!! :) 

A quote from Elder Neil L. Andersen, “Your faith will grow not by chance, but by choice,” on a white background bordered by a lake and clouds.

I love you all TONS. CTR and be kind to people. 

Sister Quist

So fun seeing these cute sisters!
Sister Carlini, me, Sister Naughton, Sister Christenson, Sister Peterson, and Sister Stosich

I love President and Sister Williams!
How would you like to have Lambeau Field in your backyard?

Monday, September 12, 2016

Week 73 - this is gonna be a long one!

HELLO! What a week it's been. Lots of great things going on here.

Wednesday! We had our return appointment with Richard! We found him street contacting and didn't even teach him anything, but he just asked if we could come over and talk to him more later that week. So Wednesday we went back and he told us that in 2004 he had met missionaries and said that at that time he wasn't ready to learn about or accept the gospel message, but he feels like now God has led him to the gospel again and is giving him another chance to accept it. WHAT. He's so cool and just so prepared. We saw him Friday, too, but I'll write about that in a minute. A few weeks ago we went to dinner at this less active/part member family's home and we asked them if we could come back and teach them more of the lessons and they said yes! So Wednesday night we went back and it was only Kelsey (the non-member), but HEY! She fed us dinner. Sausage, french fries, and broccoli. An odd combo, but in her own words, "the ultimate bachelorette meal". Haha, she's too funny. We then helped her to paint some built in cabinets that she's making. She's kind of a boss. They're out of town this week, but we're so excited to keep building a relationship with them and to hopefully see them progress! :) 

Thursday! Thursday was great. We saw CAYLA! Ahh, my heart. She's the best. Last week in our lessons she just kept emphasizing how she really felt a need to go to church that Sunday. We told her that she needed to act on that prompting and she was super excited to come, but didn't end up coming. So when we went on Thursday she said, "I regret it so bad!! I'm going for all three hours this Sunday to make up for it!!" I believe the Lord was preparing her to come this Sunday cause the lessons given were PERFECT for her. But anyway, our lesson was really great. We read the scriptures with her and I don't know why sometimes I think I underestimate the power of the Book of Mormon, but it was fantastic and we helped her to see that if she's going to do this that it's going to have to be a family thing. That's why we do what we do in the gospel. So we can have eternal families! That night we had a super bomb Restoration lesson with a LA lady and her daughter. Sister S testified of the importance of church and shared all sorts of experiences from her mission and we committed them to come to church on Sunday and they didn't come. So that was a bummer. 

Friday! Friday was busy, busy! We had back to back appointments all day and we were just living that missionary dream. We saw Richard again and brought Sister Mangum. We taught him about the Plan of Salvation and his mind was blown! He had so many questions that we addressed and answered during the lesson. The spirit was such a powerful witness that these things are true. He said the closing prayer and got kind of emotional. Which I did not expect, but he was very excited to come to church and bring his 11 year old son, too!! We saw Cayla again and I'll tell you, God is truly mindful of us because we were so busy that we didn't have to time to have lunch so by the time we got to Cayla's we were starving! So we get there and she opens the door. The first thing she says is, "Hey! I just made homemade meatloaf, do you want some??" BLESSED. Haha, so we proceeded to have the best meatloaf ever and then had a great lesson with her. She knows this is true. She knows that she's happiest when she's living the gospel. She was asking us why it's getting harder to be obedient and we told her it's because November 6th in getting closer and the adversary does not want her to join God's team! So she's making lots of progress and is just really excited to be baptized.

We had an appointment set up with Victoria and her fam and tried numerous times to contact her to confirm, but nothing. So we weren't sure if she was going to be there or not. To preface this, I have a confession to make. I might possibly be addicted to cheese curds... I haven't had any since coming to GB, but that's mostly cause my companion is gluten and dairy intolerant. So I caved into temptation and headed straight to A&W cause their cheese curds are pretty decent. And that must have been divine inspiration because on our way out who pulls up to the gas station right next to us? Victoria! So we were able to confirm our appointment and it was such a tender mercy! So that day I learned that sometimes the Lord speaks through cheese curd cravings :)

why get a picture of your name-tag on the beach when you could get a pic of it on some cheese curds?

Saturday! So in our ward there are a lot of Hmong members and the Moua's invited all the missionaries over for a "celebration" of some sort. I don't know Hmong, but I do know that I ate some dang good egg-rolls and some sketchy tapioca pudding drink. Then we went back to Jessica's to teach her the Plan of Salvation with Sister Taylor! Remember how I said she was an odd one? Well, let's just say she went a little crazy on us. It was an interesting meeting, that's for sure. Then we drove a million miles out to De Pere to go to a church service with M & M! They're the cutest and they were kind of shocked we came, but also really excited to see us. They said they had been "researching" the church more and have lots of questions. I sure hope by "researching" they meant, "reading the Book of Mormon"... we'll see when we go over there this week, I guess! Then the GB2 English and Hmong elders had a baptism so we went there and I gave a spur of the moment Restoration lesson while everyone was getting dried off and changed. I love how excited Bishop Willmott is about missionary work. He has set the ward goal high and we are going to for sure reach it and hopefully exceed it!!

Sunday! Our day began at 7 am for our missionary correlation meeting. Then church, Nick and Cayla (together!!), boundary change meeting, dinner at the Willmott's, Mariah and Daylin, and then home! Like I said, Cayla and Nick were both there for our lesson. Holla! Nick has kind of been hot and cold and so we just had to ask him straight up if he wants to meet and he said yes. There were three witnesses!! Plus all three members of the Godhead, so that makes six. SIX witnesses and so we're just really pleased about his desire to work towards and eternal family :)

Yesterday there was a young man from our ward who gave his farewell talk and at the end of the meeting we all sang "Called to Serve." I was just sitting there and the second verse just really caught my attention this time.

"Called to know the richness of his blessing-- 
Sons and daughters, children of a King--
Glad of heart, his holy name confessing,
Praises unto him we bring".

As I have served Him for the past however many months it's been, I have truly come to know the richness that the gospel blessings bring. It's incredible the amount of joy that has come into my life while serving as a full time missionary!! I have many mixed emotions about the coming months ahead, but I know that when my calling as a full time missionary ends, I will still be "called to serve!" Because the invitation to invite all to come unto Him is an invitation that extends beyond these 18 months into the eternities. Seriously. We'll still be preachin' the gospel in the Spirit World! 

I love you lots and kudos to you if you made it to the end of this uber long email! CTR and have a super rad week! 

Sister Quist

the Hmong celebration that we went to! still not really sure what we celebrated...
I promise. We do other things than eat. haha!
 the view from our ford fusion

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Week 72 - Packer Pride and Sushi

As I look out the library window it's completely sunny and down-pouring. Happy September, Wisconsin! There have been so many cool things that have happened this week! And let me just say that God is SO good. I just know without a doubt in my mind that this gospel is true. It's incredible how Heavenly Father leads you to certain people. This past week we had a very powerful experience with prayer. All of our appointments on Saturday cancelled, so we had a lot of time to go contact less actives, find new investigators, and preach the word. We decided to go this less active/part member family's home. We had never met her and so we navigated our way through the crazy football game traffic and made it to her apartment complex. We had her complex address, but the problem was we didn't have her actual apartment number. Great. So we both decided that the only thing we could do was to pray. So we each said a prayer and walked past each door in the complex. When we got through all of them, we both felt that the last door we got to was the one we needed to try. We knocked, and a woman answered the door saying, "hey guys...". YEAH. It was Katrina! We were so amazed and even more so that after a few minutes of chatting on her doorstep she let us in and we had a super great discussion. She started out very hard-hearted, but as the conversation continued you could physically see her countenance softening. The spirit works wonders, my friends. 

Yesterday we had a return appointment with this young mother, Jessica. Our first encounter with her was super cool and so we were excited to go back. Except both of us were dumb and forgot to write her address down. Cool. I'm still getting used to GB and where everything is and Sister C just doesn't have a good memory haha so we were a little concerned about how we were going to get to the lesson! With only knowing what semi-direction her house was in we said some prayers and headed that way hoping and praying we'd be able to find it. And I'll tell you, those prayers must have gone straight to heaven cause next thing you know we're pulling up to her house. The lesson was great. It was a little odd, but the spirit was definitely there, testifying of the truthfulness of this message! She even accepted a baptism invite! She has so many experiences that align right with the teachings of the restored gospel, it's kind of hard to believe, but I know that God is preparing all sorts of people to help build up His kingdom here on earth. Who am I to say who is prepared and who is not?
There are soooo many things that I am grateful that I've learned on my mission. Especially recently, I'm grateful that I am learning how to receive and act on the promptings of the spirit. Even if nothing miraculous happens, I have never regretted doing what Heavenly Father wants me to matter how illogical it seems. I know that I can't see the big picture all of the time, but He can. I pray that I can always be like Alma in Alma 8:18 and "speedily" act on the revelation I receive. As we trust and heed the revelation He gives to us we will have the surety that it will all work out!! :)

In other news:
- We made sushi with Sara and somehow we got talking about chocolate and she said, "If you tell me you don't like chocolate either you're lying or you're a psychopath". AMEN.
- Had a bomb lesson with the cutest couple, M & M. They're darling and so faithful!
- The youth here are AMAZING and I love them so much.
- MLC was the greatest. So optimistic and uplifting!
- The Cooks fed us last night AND sent us home with lots of groceries! #blessed
- Rilee is doing SO good and we're so excited for her to be baptized this SATURDAY! Please pray that her dad's heart will be softened! She is so excited to go to the temple and lovvvvvess reading the Book of Mormon! It's the best!

I love you all mucho, mucho! Keep doing your thing and being good humans! CTR and pray... cause it works!
Sister Quist

football season has begun! time to get my packer pride on 🏈
shout out to Jess for surprising me once again at church today!! so fun to spend the sabbath with this cute girl!

making sushi with sara! a cute single return missionary girl in our ward! :)

at Jena's (a recent convert) b-day bash