Thursday, May 29, 2014

Happy Memorial Day! I love America!

Happy Memorial Day! I love America so much. We truly are so blessed to live in the land of liberty. We live in a very patriotic community here, so yesterday morning when I woke up and went outside, my heart was overwhelmed at the sight of so many American Flags. They lined the street with a flag in the grass about every 6 feet. I loved it. It made me so grateful for all the lives that have been sacrificed for our freedom and all those who willingly put themselves in danger to protect our country. It truly is amazing. We studied scriptures yesterday about the promised land and I came across 2 Nephi 3:2...I love it. I love how we are promised "security forever" if we will keep the commandments of our God. I just can't even put into words how grateful I am to be living in America.

We had a really good week! We had another lesson with M, and she also came to a baptism with us! I can see a change in her since we've been meeting with her. She has been more willing to meet with us and wants to learn more. We have lessons more often and she is really engaged in our lessons. At our lesson yesterday, we talked a lot about putting our faith in God not in Man because she has some concerns about the social effects of being baptized. She has many friends who are trying to persuade her to avoid the church. But, I can tell that once she gains enough faith and grasps what she knows to be true, she will be able to stick with her decision. We are going to continue to teach her and help her as much as we can. She is awesome. She has a lot of faith, but she is also a very smart girl. She wants to make sure that this is exactly the right decision for her.

We tried to get back with the S family, but they have been hard to reach. We stopped by one day and the cute little boy who wants to be baptized answered the door. He is so excited and enthusiastic about being baptized. But his parents will probably be our biggest struggle. His mom avoids us and his dad is just recently showing a speck of interest in coming back to church. They have been less active for many many years. We are persistent and go by very often to visit and teach them. The boy is also very involved in baseball so that keeps them quite busy. Silly sports haha!

The members in our area continue to be so supportive and loving towards us. The other day, a lady in our ward picked us up from the library and then she goes "alright I'm treating you to lunch. Where do you wanna go?" So she took us to the cheesecake factory! My goodness it was so delicious. We had a great time talking with her and getting to know her better. It's fun to have these members in our ward who treat us as their own daughters.

The mission is going great. I sit here to write and then I can't remember what we did all week....but I know it was a good one. I am learning so much from my studies and gaining a testimony that I never imagined was possible. It's gonna be sad when I have to go back to real life and deal with worldly things again. It's been so wonderful to have all my focus on the gospel and inviting others to come unto Christ. Every day is a new opportunity to do my best and work my hardest to do the Lord's will.

I hope you are all having a fantastic week! And enjoy the summer up ahead.
Sister Hoer

I love America!

My district hiked to Castlewook Canyon

Me and Sister Koval

Sister Koval, M, and Me!

Memorial Day!

Colorado is Beautiful!!!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

I believe in miracles!!!

I believe in miracles!!! This week was such a good one. We worked really hard and saw the tender mercies of the Lord many times this week. So I've been in this area for 3 months now, and there are a lot of less active members and part member families of this ward that I had never met. We were determined to meet them all this week and we made some huge progress! Lots of families that the ward council has never gotten into their homes let us in this week. 

There is one family, the L family, who is less active and also a part member family, and we had a great visit with them. They let us in to share a thought and we asked if we could start teaching their family! We are going back this week to start the lessons with them. The nonmember dad said he would sit in on the lessons! I was very excited about that. We also stopped by another less active family, the S family, who has been recently making some efforts to come to church! We've seen them twice in the past month or so. But they have a son who is 9 years old and hasn't been baptized yet. When we saw them this past week they were much more friendly and welcoming towards us! They even expressed their desire to get their son baptized. So we will also be going back to their house this week to begin teaching him and getting him ready for baptism!

We also visited a lot of former investigators and found someone to teach! She is a past investigator, but she told us she would love to learn more. Her daughter is probably more interested than she is, but they both asked us to come back. I am starting to see a lot of progress and potential in this area! We have really put forth all our efforts this week and seen the fruits of our labors. I can tell that we are gonna have some good work ahead of us.

In the past, we have taught this one girl, we'll call her M...she is technically not in our ward boundaries but she did not like being taught by the Elders. She preferred sisters. We've taught her a few times, but she wasn't really progressing. So this weekend, we heard from her friend who is a member soon to go on a mission, and he said that M wanted to meet with us as soon as possible! So the next day, we met with her and began to teach her about the plan of salvation. It was a really good lesson! We began talking about the Holy Ghost and how she can know the truth if she will just ask. We then talked a lot about baptism. It was neat because I could tell she had concerns, so we were super blunt and asked her to be very open with us. She expressed all her concerns and we were able to talk through them and help her a lot. When we were talking about baptism, our lesson was coming to an end and we were inviting her to pray about the decision to be baptized. Her friend was in the lesson with us, and he said, "Why wait? Let's kneel right now and you can ask Heavenly Father if being baptized is the right thing for you to do!"  He spoke very powerfully and I could tell he was speaking as inspired by the spirit. The spirit was so strong in the lesson we knelt and M prayed. I've never seen her feel the spirit so strongly. She asked in her prayer and we had a few moments of tender silence afterwards. We all knew that she got her answer. On the ride home, we tried to help her understand the feelings she had. She knows it was true, but she said she still has a lot to think about.  I'm hoping she will act on the witness she received!  It was such a great experience for all of us.  It really testified to me that the spirit speaks through us.  The lesson we gave was not the lesson me and my companion planned for her that morning. The spirit took us in a different direction and we were able to tell her exactly what she needed to hear.  I am excited to meet with her again!

So, it's been a wonderful week. A cute little boy in our ward asked me to speak at his baptism.  I had that opportunity this weekend.  It was a neat experience.  His dad is not a member and I could tell that the baptism really impacted him.  He gave the closing prayer and it was one of the most heartfelt prayers I have ever heard!  I loved being a part of the program and witnessing this sweet little boy make commitments with our Heavenly Father.

Missionary work is the best work there is!  It is extremely exhausting and I have never worked so hard in my life, but when we see little miracles like we did this week, it is all worth it.  I feel so much joy that I don't even remember how tired I am.  It's so awesome.  And...  Colorado is absolutely beautiful. This week I was especially aware of all the beauty of this earth.  I love to walk around and see all the beauty that Heavenly Father has given me.  Life is so great!  I just love where I am and the people I'm around. And I definitely love you all as well.


Sister Hoer 

My new skirt:) and the view from our backyard!

Me and Sis. Koval with a pretty cherry tree. 
 PRETTY SUNSET from my backyard :)

These gorgeous cherry blossom trees are EVERYWHERE!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! One problem.....IT'S MAY.

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas! One problem.....IT'S MAY. We got a massive dumping of snow last night! I'm sorry I always talk about the weather...I'm just really not used to this.

In other news, it's a new transfer! I am staying in the same area but I have a new companion, Sister Koval. I can tell it's gonna be a great transfer. She's a hard worker. There is a lot of potential in our area right now, so I'm super excited to get going and start seeing some progress here! It is a little weird without Sister Merritt, but I'll adjust pretty quick. Something I have grown to love on my mission is change. Before, I HATED change. It made me nervous and stressed and I tried to avoid changes as much as possible. But I have learned the importance of change and how great it can be. Changes give us the opportunity to grow and change ourselves. People sometimes say "you're great..don't ever change!" But really....I think we should all change. Even if we are great, there is always room for improvement and always things we can change to become closer to Christ. As I have deepened my testimony of the atonement, change has become real and a real exciting thing for me. So with the change of a new companion and a new transfer, I am so excited to change and work harder than last transfer and change into a better missionary!

So my last couple days with Sister Merritt were great. We went down to the Springs (Colorado Springs) on Tuesday for her interview and I got to take the brand new missionaries tracting! That was was a little funny for me because the new missionary I went tracting with was asking me questions and I told her that just 3 months ago I was in her shoes. She was a little surprised at that! It made me really happy to see that I have really come a long way even though I still have a very long way to go. But compared to the first day when I was the new missionary going tracting in the springs, I've learned a lot. Unfortunately not a lot of people were home, but the people we did talk to were very receptive. Much more receptive than the people up here in Parker! We talked to one man who was totally looking for truth. We gave him a Book of Mormon and asked if the missionaries could come back and teach him more. He was very excited about that.

So after tracting, me and sister Merritt had permission to do as we wished "within reason". So we went to the zoo! That was awesome. We got to feed the giraffes and make fun noises at the other animals. Then we went out to dinner and shopped around at a couple stores. Then we went to Sister Merritt's first area and visited the members in her old ward! it was fun to meet them and see how excited they were to see her again. We spent that night down in the springs at the sister's apartment. That was fun! It was a blast to be with the other missionaries. Then the next day was transfer meeting! I had a good time seeing all the other missionaries and getting to know a lot of them for the first time. I got to say goodbye to some of the missionaries who left our district. Our district was really close last transfer, so it was sad to see them go. But I'm excited for our new district too! We all went to lunch after and then we headed back up to Parker! 

We also moved again....this was the 4th time in the past month. Crazy! But now we are here to stay. I absolutely love the family we live with now. Their daughter doesn't have any sisters of her own, so she was SO excited when we came. About a month ago, we had dinner at their house and she was begging us to move in with her. That worked out nicely! We came and ate with them our first night there and when we sat down by the little girl, she squeals and says "Oh! I'm surrounded by love!!!" She's so happy to have us there, I love it. It's also nice because we are in a different area of our ward so we will be closer to some of the people we want to see more often. It's gonna be great.

So that's about it for this week. We've been doing a lot of organizing and planning for what we want to accomplish this transfer. And of course mother's day was the best! I had such a great time talking to my family. I love them all so so so very much. I think I have the best family in the whole world. But yeah, it was a good week, and great things are coming in the future, I can feel it!

Love you all!

Sister Hoer

I was a little afraid of the Giraffes!

Hanging out with Da Bears...

"What the $now?" It's May!

My new companion~Sister Koval and her fun umbrellas

Saying good-bye to Sister Merritt

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

I am no longer a newbee!

Where does the time go? This week was all a blur. I'm not sure what happened. LOL JK. We did a lot of service this week!!!! There is a food bank here in Parker that we go to every Tuesday and help organize the food and clean. They love the missionaries. Last week, they had a lady there observing the operation and she was just raving about how much help all the LDS missionaries are. There are about 6-8 missionaries helping when we go. 

We also went on exchanges this week! So I was in a different area, but I got to go back to that horse ranch! And tell more secrets to my horses. This time we did more work with the clients than the real horses. But it was still great. I was officially "initiated" into the ranch this time. AKA I got to scoop loads of horse poop. That wasn't so enjoyable. And then at the end of the week, our ward had an AWESOME service project. We helped a lot with the planning and organizing, so I was very pleased with the result. We were really nervous that not a lot of people would come, but we had about 100 people show up! We picked 4 families in the ward who needed help and fellowship and a loving hand, and we split up to do service for them. All the projects were yard work related stuff. It was such a neat sight to go around and see everyone working so hard with such great smiles on their faces! This ward is really amazing. They show so much love and support to everyone! Yesterday was fast sunday and there was a really neat spirit in the meeting as many of them mentioned how touched they were by both the opportunity to serve and to be served. I can tell it really unified our ward.

This week is transfers! This Wednesday I will get a new companion. I am staying in this area which will be great. I have established some good relationships that I am excited to keep working with. I have never met my new companion before, so this will be exciting! It's also a little sad because some of my favorite missionaries are leaving our district. I am also super bummed because my trainer is leaving! She was the best ever. It's gonna be hard for anyone to be as great as her. These are they types of relationships that will last much longer than my mission! But I'm excited for the changes and to keep going with the missionary work!

So the weather this week was crazy. All week it was SO windy! It probably would've been a hurricane if there was any water around here, just kidding. But really, the wind was nuts. and I think the wind affected everyone and threw them off balance because all of our appointments this week fell through! We had such a solid week planned with lots of appointments. I'm pretty sure every single one of them cancelled. But what can you do? Just pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep moving forward! SO even though that was disappointing, we moved on. We will reschedule with them so hopefully things go better this next week.

Anyways, things are great here in Colorado! I am officially done with training! And I am no longer a "new missionary". That's exciting. I'm feeling pretty accomplished right now...I survived training! But I've got a lot more in store for me. I know there is a definite reason why I am here in Colorado and it's fun to see the Lord's hand working through us every day. The church is so great. And there are exciting things happening!

Love you all. Have a great week!


Sister Hoer

Colorado Sunset

Balloons at District Meeting

I'm gonna miss Sister Merritt

Sushi Crew