Monday, July 24, 2017

Happy Pioneer Day!

Happy Pioneer Day! I kind of forgot that was a thing because they don't celebrate Pioneer Day in California. Well, the members of the church do. Our ward had a Pioneer Day picnic last week, but all of the investigators we invited to it were very confused by what we were inviting them to. Anyway, that was a random tangent.

This week has been good! Sister Losee and I are getting used to Yucaipa a little bit and we are learning our way around. We've met a lot of the ward members now and we've at least talked to all of our investigators, so we are making progress slowly but surely.

We had an awesome day on Tuesday. Our bishop came with us to a lesson. There is a woman that the elders who were here before us were teaching and she had grown really attached to them. So attached, that when they told her they were leaving, she told them to delete her number and not have the new missionaries visit her. However the elders recommended we go see her, but to bring Bishop Ochs because she likes him. We had a good get to know you lesson. She likes us now, so that's good. Later in the week she told us, "I love you and I don't know why!"

Later that day we had a lesson with another investigator. He wasn't quite so excited to have us come. He mostly preached to us and wouldn't let us talk. There seem to be a lot of those around here so it will be a good opportunity to learn to politely interrupt people. Yay.

That evening we had dinner with the sweetest family on the planet. The wife was baptized at the end of June and her husband isn't a member. He hasn't been very open while the elders were meeting with his wife, but we taught the restoration during dinner and he was very willing to listen. He said he would listen to and pray about the Book of Mormon. We get to meet with them again tonight and I am so excited to hear how it went! Also, their kids are adorable. They have SO much energy but they love the missionaries and they are already super attached to the sisters. :)

On Wednesday we met with the other Sisters in the Zone because we are doing a musical number for Zone Conference. It's sounding pretty decent. It's always good to get together with other missionaries.

We had another lesson with someone who likes to talk a lot. Gotta have at least one of those every day, I guess.

We also got to do some service at DI

Thursday was good. We weekly planned, found some service opportunities around the community, and contacted a part member family that we will hopefully be teaching soon.

On Friday we did some service for a less active member of the ward.
She called us and asked if we could do some yard work for her. We showed up and the yard work she had in mind was cleaning out a horse stall. I've never scooped horse poop before so that was a first for me. I decided that I never want to live on a farm or own a horse because we only cleaned out one stall and it took two hours! We were happy to help though and it sounds like we'll be going back again soon!
I won this water bottle doing the mission health challenge. We were supposed to send in a funny picture.
Saturday was a day of miracles. The very first thing we did was contact a less active member that the Stake President asked us to see. Her visiting teacher just so happened to be there when we stopped by and they had been talking about signs. The member we had come to see was planning to move and stop going to church all together once she was out of Yucaipa. However, she took it as a sign when we came by and now she is planning to keep going to church!

We also had a spontaneous lesson with a former investigator named Bree. She had been told some very interesting things by her pastor and we were able to talk to her about the importance of finding out truth from God and not from men. We testified of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and the spirit was so strong. She agreed to have us back a few days later. Unfortunately, she texted us later in the day and told us she couldn't do it anymore. We asked if everything is okay and we haven't heard from her since. Hopefully We hear from her soon, but I think if she isn't ready to listen now, she will be one day because she has definitely been prepared to accept the gospel.

Also, we were in a trio on Saturday. Sister Jones from Yucaipa 2nd spent the day with us because her companion was at a baptism in 29 Palms. It was an adventure being in a trio. I had never done that before!

Sunday was a little crazy. We sang in Sacrament meeting -We had been asked a couple days before so we threw something together with the help of one of the women in the ward. Then we were asked the day before to teach Gospel Principles so we taught that class. The rest of the day was pretty much just trying to find people to teach.

It's been a good week. I'm still loving it here in Yucaipa!

Hope you all are doing well!


Sister Melissa Heiner

Monday, July 17, 2017

New Place, New People, and Lots of Other Stuff

OH MY GOODNESS! This week has been insane.

Last Monday I found out that I was being transferred to Yucaipa so I spent most of that day packing and saying goodbye to some people. I honestly can't even remember that much because too much has happened since then.

Tuesday was my last day with Sister Gunter and my last day in the Bloomington Ward.
We had a very inspired evening where we went to visit a few people to say goodbye. Two of them that we visited that night were going through some really hard things and really needed to talk about them. We were able to read some scriptures with them and bring a little bit of comfort. There were definitely many tears that evening for various reasons.
Saying goodbye to Sister Dallin

Saying goodbye to Sister Gunter
Wednesday morning Sister Gunter and I went to the training meeting where we got to meet our new companions. I get to be with Sister Losee. She is from Payson, Utah and she is so sweet. She is the oldest of 5 siblings and she is so excited to be here. After the meeting we drove to our new apartment (elders lived there previously and you can tell, but we are deep cleaning today so its okay) and we got a call informing me that due to the accident last week I no longer am allowed to drive on my mission. So poor Sister Losee got to drive her very first week in the mission field.

That day we tried to meet some of the investigators the Elders here had been working with. We also met with the ward mission leader and his wife. They are such a fun, loving couple and I'm glad we get to serve with them. We got a fun phone call that night as well from a member of the ward. As it turns out, her daughter was one of my Young Women's leaders! It is such a small world!

On Thursday I got to go to MLC. We talked a lot about the need to be more centered in Preach My Gospel as a mission and we also set some new mission goals. I found out that I am the STL for two sets of sisters this transfer - One in Yucaipa and one in Redlands. Afterward we tried to meet some more people and find more investigators.

On Friday we did weekly planning. It was a little difficult considering we don't really know anyone yet so it is hard to know what there needs are and plan what to teach them. We did it though!  I had another meeting that day, but that was just for the leadership in the Zone. It was kind of weird being the only set of sisters with all the Elders in there, but there are some really good leaders in this Zone and I am so happy to be here.

We saw a couple of cool miracles on Saturday. The very first person we went to see was a random member of the ward who just so happened to live in the area we were going to be in that morning. When we got there she was so excited to see that there were now sisters in the ward and we were able to help her unload a bunch of boxes from her car. Then we sat down with her and got to know her and her family a little bit better. She told us all about her life and about some of the trials she had been through with her family. She has such a strong testimony that families are eternal. If I felt it was appropriate, I would have told her whole story, but it is enough to say that we were all in tears and hugging each other by the end. It was something both Sister Losee and I really needed. It reminded us about the reason we came out on our missions - to allow other families to be together forever. What a privilege it is to be here.

In the Afternoon we had a ward picnic and we got to meet a bunch of other ward members. They are all so wonderful and I am excited to work with them. Our investigator was there and so we had fun getting to know her.

That evening we randomly ran into a less active member at a gas station and talked to her for a while. She invited us to come visit her and her family. Crazily enough we found out that she was the daughter in law of the woman we had met earlier that day!

Sunday was great. We got to go to ward council and meet some of the ward leadership. We met a lot more members and can I just say again how much I already love this ward! I don't think I've ever grown attached to anything so quickly!

Today we have mostly been figuring out where things are. We found the laundromat and the grocery store. We haven't found a car wash yet, but I think we may just end up washing it ourselves here.

Hope you all are doing well!


Sister Melissa Heiner

Monday, July 10, 2017

Tender Mercies of the Lord

Rialto's July 4th Celebration
This week is a little fuzzy. I don't remember a lot of what happened at the beginning of the week, but we saw so many miracles - some missionary related and other ones too.

On Monday we had a BBQ with some of the members from the last ward Sister Gunter served in. They invited all the sisters in the zone to go, so there were 6 of us and it turned into a water fight! We were SOAKED and it was so fun.

We also had an awesome lesson with a less active member of the ward.
We had randomly knocked on her door a few days earlier and we set up a time to come back. She has been through a lot of difficult things in her life and it made her question whether God really loves her. As we were talking, she told us she remembered a song from when she was a Mia Maid (the last time she came to church) called "Walk Tall, You're a Daughter". It's a song all about how we are children of God and no matter what we go through, He loves us. I happen to know the song (thank you girls camp!) and quoted some of the words to her. She definitely felt the spirit. She isn't quite sure yet whether or not God really loves her, but she's getting there. I am in awe that of all things, the spirit would bring that song to her remembrance, because it was absolutely perfect for the life she has had and her current situation. Heavenly Father is so good!

On Tuesday morning we had a zone meeting where we watched a devotional Elder Bednar gave at the MTC last week. It was really good and Hermana Wynn and I got to lead a discussion about it afterward.

In the evening we went to another BBQ with a member of the ward. It was so fun. Afterward we went to the Rialto 4th of July event and talked to people. No one was really interested, but we handed out a lot of flyers for Family History and Just Serve. It was also a really good opportunity to be seen. Driving home was a little scary though because Californians go crazy with their fireworks. They were everywhere the whole drive. It was pretty. And loud.

Roommate bonding time at home the evening of July 4th
We had a lesson with our investigator J on Wednesday. That's all I got. I don't remember anything else.

Thursday was not a very fun day. We had a bunch of lessons scheduled and all of them fell through. We did weekly planning, which is good, but can be long sometimes. After dinner we were about to go do some fun missionary work (contacting some referrals) and we ended up getting in a car accident. We got hit by a Camaro, so that was pretty cool, but our car was totaled. All the airbags went off which was a little freaky! We were fine other than some scrapes and bruises and so were the people from the other car. Everything is all taken care of now, but the rest of that evening we just relaxed because we were both crying pretty hard. We had so many people here who helped us out and I am just so grateful to be part of this mission. The Dixons and several of the senior couples from the office kept tabs on us for a few days afterward to make sure we were okay. There were lots of miracles to go along with it though. To name a few:
Our car after the accident
- No one was seriously injured
- No one got a ticket
-Both of us felt protected. I didn't even feel like I was jerked around or anything
- We were a foot or two away from someone's gate when the car stopped.
It could have damaged property but it didn't
- The other driver was very understanding -I got to talk about the gospel to a random person who was standing nearby
- We were able to stay composed long enough to take care of everything we needed to (talking to the police, talking to the other people, etc).
- I was more grateful afterward
-the mission had 1 extra car that we are now driving
- Lots of other things, but I can't think of them right now because my email time is limited :)

Friday we were told not to do anything strenuous and relax. We ended up doing a lot of paperwork from the crash and going to the mission office to get a new car. We also got blessings from our zone leaders.

Saturday was one of the happiest days of my mission. Nothing really that exciting happened, but I found out that I really don't like being cooped up when there are people out there who need the gospel. It felt so good to be out working hard again.

On Sunday we had 3 investigators at church! One of our investigators ended up bringing a friend with her and they both had a great time. Our other investigator is YW aged and is getting ready to go to youth conference in Utah this week! If any of you in Utah see a group of youth from Rialto next week, tell 'em hi from me! :)

Pretty much, this week has been crazy, and its gonna keep being crazy for a little bit. We got transfer logistics this morning and I'm being transferred to Yucaipa where I will be training, whitewashing, and serving as a Sister Training Leader. Apparently the Lord has some exciting things he wants me to learn 'cause that's a lot of stuff to do!

Sister Gunter is staying in Bloomington and will also be training. She is going to do such a good job!

I love you all! Sorry if this email was super dramatic! I'm looking forward to a more productive week this week!

Sister Melissa Heiner

Monday, July 3, 2017

Happy 4th of July!

Hi Everyone! Happy July 3rd today and happy July 4th tomorrow! Every day should be happy! :)

If I had one word to describe this week it would be exhausting. Every single day we came home completely tired out and ready to fall asleep as soon as possible. We worked hard and it was AWESOME!

One of the more significant events from last Monday was our investigator's baptism interview. He did great! We showed his sister how to make sister missionary dresses because she wants to be a missionary one day. We just love their family. 

Tuesday was a very exhausting day. We had our regular district meeting in the morning, then Sister Gunter and I ate  lunch at the church so we wouldn't have to use our miles going back and forth so much. We went to the Bishop's Storehouse to do some service after that, and R was there again! This might end up being a weekly thing! The Bishop's Storehouse was soooo busy. We could hardly keep food stocked on the shelves. we were running back and forth like chickens with our heads cut off, but they really needed help that day and it felt good to work that hard.

After that we had dinner with a member named Sister Tadlock. She had invited her friend to join us and we were able to teach her about the Restoration of the Gospel after we ate. We set up another lesson with her and she became a new investigator! That was a HUGE tender mercy!

I can't remember much of what happened on Wednesday. We did have a very good lesson with D. We were really worried after the lesson we had with him right before this one because he disagreed a lot with our beliefs about life after death. We ended up sharing a single verse from the Book of Mormon with him and it resolve all of his concerns! Our leaders have been emphasizing the power of the Book of Mormon over and over, and it is so cool to have moments when you are able to see that power first hand. Then we read a chapter in the Book of Mormon with him. The Spirit was there and it was great!

On Thursday we had the best Weekly Planning Session of my life. We got it done in the allotted time and we didn't have any lessons scheduled to interrupt it, so we just planned and got a lot accomplished! 

We had an awkward moment later in the day. We had Missionary Correlation Meeting with our ward mission leader and the Elders in the ward. Afterward it was dinner time. The Elders had been on the phone talking to a member and it sounded like they were planning to take them to In-N-Out. Sister Gunter and I were planning on eating out that day because we didn't have a dinner and we needed to stay in the area because we had a lesson after dinner that was close by. We decided to go to subway. To our surprise, the Elders were there at Subway having dinner with some members who had taken us to Subway last week, and they were pretty much the only people there. We awkwardly got some sandwiches and ate them in our car.

Friday was super awesome! We found 2 new investigators in the Morning/afternoon while running around putting last minute things together for the baptism that evening!

The baptism went well. Little J had a good experience and he had lots of family there that I think benefited from the spirit there. I was really brave and played some prelude on the piano because our pianist was running late. It definitely wasn't very good prelude, but I noticed a difference in the reverence in the room once the music started.

Also, Sheila and Leo surprised us and came to the baptism! Sheila moved a few weeks ago, but I emailed her last week to update her on life, and told her about the baptism. She came to it! It was so fun to see them both again. They are also doing very well.

On Saturday we had another lesson with Sister Tadlock's friend. She seems very sincerely interested and we are excited to teach her. We also found a new investigator.

Sunday was great! E came to church, J was confirmed, and all the meetings were so good. In the evening, all of our lessons cancelled, but the Lord knows what He is doing, and he put us where he needed us. As we were walking out of a lesson that didn't happen, a man in a white truck started talking to us. It turned out that he needed some peace right then, so we showed him a video and set up a time to have a lesson with him and his family. It is so good to be used as an instrument in the Lord's hands.

So, long story short, this week has been great. So many miracles and so many long, hard, fulfilling days. Being a missionary is great!

Until next week!

Sister Melissa Heiner