Monday, October 29, 2012

happy halloween!

This week Presdient asked us two questions to report on, I think the email to him covers pretty much this week. Here is what he asked:

1.       I would like each of you to tell me if you are happy or not happy in your missionary service and why?

2.       Secondly, do you feel you are productive in your missionary service or not productive and why?

Hello President.

The questions you asked us to report on, are very interesting because this is something I am asking myself. I love missionary work. I love being involved. I love serving. But this week was hard, but the good ALWAYS outweighs the bad. We were suppose to have two baptisms this Saturday, and we didn't. Gwen Ross, was unable to be baptized because of her husband. He didn't want her to be because of his involvement in his church. It was such a confusing week. Here we see people who get baptized all the time and you question if they are ready but Sister Ross was more than prepared. She wanted it so bad but she couldn't act on her agency because of the respect that she had for her husband. He didn't tell us we couldn't come back or that she couldn't come to church BUT she wasn't able to act. I was mad, frustrated, confused, sad, and so many other emotions. I didn't understand what Heavenly Father wanted me, Sister Dunford, or even Gwen to learn. SHE IS READY HEAVENLY FATHER!! WHY CANT SHE DO THIS?? Those were a few things I asked while praying. I have trust in Heavenly Father but it just seemed unfair and from PMG it kept running through my head, "As we rely on the Atonement of Jesus Christ, He can help us endure our trials, sicknesses, and pain. We can be filled with joy, peace, and consolation. All that is unfair about life can be made right through the Atonement of Jesus Christ." I was prideful last week. I wanted Gwen to enter into the waters of baptism but I wanted her to enter into that covenant on MY time, not the Lord's time. We aren't sure why Sister Ross isn't able to at this time. A member we have been serving told us, "Sisters, you did your part. You brought her the gospel! You helped her convert. Now its the Lord's will what happens." 

Later in the week, Elder Shelley asked us when do we feel like we are fulfilling our purpose the most. The answer..when we are teaching. And if we follow PMG we need to always be TEACHING! I know sometimes I don't always give 100%, thank goodness for the Atonement. I cannot worry about what I cant control, but worry about what I CAN control. I control my attitude, I control how "wide I open my mouth", I control my obedience. No one else has control of that. I have my agency and I can act on it. 

So long story short, I am HAPPY about my missionary work. Why? because its a constant battle of learning. The Lord guides this work. He gives us multiple chance. We just had a return missionary in the ward speak yesterday and one thing he said was if we saw all the good that came out of our trials we wouldn't work hard for our "prizes". I love missionary work. I can confidentially say, I have no regrets. There isn't room for regrets in this gospel, only improvement. It remind me of a quote from Elder Nelson, "We all need to remember: men are that they might have joy—not guilt trips! We also need to remember that the Lord gives no commandments that are impossible to obey. But sometimes we fail to comprehend them fully."

Next part, do I feel productive? Well, baptism wise, no...not at all. BUT I know I am doing what the Lord wants me to do. I know how to utilize the time as a missionary and find meaningful activities. I have really grown out of the habit of saying, "Well what should we do now" Instead, my mind is constantly thinking about back ups and we pray we aren't sure and we let the Lord and His Spirit guide. I need to stop being a perfectionist and remember the Lord and keep reading and re reading "A successful missionary" PMG PG 10. 

love, Sister Ploth

So thank you all who kept Gwen in your prayers. On Saturday we were able to go down to the temple with Bishop and Sister Crookston so she could see it. We all forgot that the grounds would be closed but just her seeing it was amazing. As I looked at this beautiful, daughter of God, I wept because I knew her desrie and I saw her patience. I have no doubt that Gwen will be able to enter into the Lord's house one day. I am not sure when. Maybe she needs to wait for her family to come here from Jamaica. Maybe her husband needs the Gospel. Who knows. For now, we will involve her as much. She is still going to work on getting Sundays off so she can more fully participate in Sunday services. 
We did meet a cool guy this week. His name is Travis...actually we met him two weeks ago, in the rain while biking. He is 22 and so awesome! He grew up in foster care but you would never guess it. He is going to school to be a sports journalist and has a job! He is pretty self sufficient. He was asking amazing questions and he is looking for more in life. When we invted him to church he said, "Whoa Sisters, baby steps." ahahah and the lesson was AT THE CHURCH! We are seeing him on Thursday. 
Saturday night as we were driving home, we went through the neighbor right before our complex...we were at a stop sign and I looked at Sister Dunford and I saw this creature thing on a driveway.....I point and say, "WHAT IS THAT!!!" Now...what do y'all think it was??!?!?!?! Okay, I will tell you! A BEAR!!!!! WE SAW A BEAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We watched him walk over to a tree and climb up. It was in a cul-de-sac so we drive slowly to see if we can get a picture. I roll down my window and it sounded like it was hissing at us! We quickly took a picture of the tree and sped off. SUper cool. So the second picture...there is a bear up there! 

There is our week. I hope y'all are doing well! We are now back to an empty teaching pool but the Lord needs us to go out and find someone. And we will! Maybe it will be a family!! Oh and dont worry...we didnt get bunch from Hurricane Sandy...but it is really windy and cold. So weird!!

Have a great week!
love, Sister Plorh. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Happy Bike Week!!

Hello Everyone!

So its Bike Week and its SOOOOOO cool. So many people biking around. I am super jealous. And I guess Romney was in town this past Friday so Daytona Beach is a jumping place to be right now.

But a s a missionary its always great! We had a great week. First off, we have Gwen. She will be getting baptized this Saturday, OCt 27th at 6pm BUT she needs all of y'alls prayers. Charles (her husband) at first said he supported her but now he doesn't so she is struggling because she doesn't want to upset him but she knows this is what she needs. We will be seeing her everyday. Pretty much, this whole week is playing it by ear. But yesterday she tried on her baptism clothes and got a blessing from OUR NEW BISHOP!! yes, through all this we have a new Bishopric. Bishop Crookston. He is legit though. The Crookston's were the first member meal I had here. I love them! They have been so involved with Gwen too. So its really cool. Oh and Dad you would love SIster Crookston, she has like 13 guns...hahahahahahahahaha. They are super cool. I love Gwen so much. She is an amazing lady and everyone should know her.
Next big miracle, Morgan, the 16 year old girl we are teaching has a baptism date for December 22nd!! Yessss!! Finally!! I love her. She is so cool and so spiritual. you would never guess she isn't a member. She is legit. We taught her the Word of Wisdom and Law of Chastity yesterday, She agrees and knows they are good. We taught the Law of Chastity by using this video,   Its an awesome video. One of my favorites. 

We biked in the rain again. So fun. Its easier to talk to people when you really look like a goofball. We have been working with Sister Mercador a lot. she said she is coming back to church because of us. I love her to pieces. She is so giving and loving. Unfortunately, sometimes people aren't kind to others but she came to church! 

With the pictures attached... I just hit my 400 days and we were by beachside so we thought we would snap a picture, don't worry, we didn't go on the beach...thats from the parking lot. Then!! Sister Durr...I mean Shannon.....came to visit!! It was so cool to see her. So weird. But cool. I love her and I am so lucky to have served with her.

Well I am still lvong this work. I am so grateful for this chance to be able to do this. What a blessing. I wish everyone could go on one. 

Until next week,

All my love, 
Sister Ploth 

oh and check out the latest mormon message...POWERFUL!!

Today is district prep day...we are going on a tour of a chocolate factory!! woot! 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Transfer #10...ready...set.....GOOOO!!!!

Hello All!!
So here I am..10th transfer! And I will still be In Daytona with Sister Dunford. Woot woot!! Sad news though, Lake Mary now has Elders. So no going to Lake Mary to end this 18 months. But thats okay, we have some great things going on here In Daytona, and a lot of progressing.
First off, we had Mission Conference this week!! What a crazy adventure. We woke up at 4am to be at The Elders' by 530 to be in Orlando by 730! Oh man oh man! Crazy!!
But Mission Conference was mind blowing! We had Elder Zwick and he is way cool. He and his wife have been doing missionary work for 23 years!! And not just member missionary work, but for the church headquarters. CRAZY!! I learned a lot, mainly how to improve teaching. We need to shorten and intestify. When people are exposed to short, powerful, pure doctrine and testimony, they can feel the Spirit. It was a great chance to be spiritual fed. I wish I had my notebook to share more, but I left it at the apartment.
But we had a good week! Besides from eating......SALMON CASSEROLE!!! I wanted to DIE! A member made it and when Sister Dunford put some on my plate, the member said, "Oh you need to eat more than that!" And Sister Dunford looked at me with the saddest eyes and put more on my plate. I kept saying to myself, "Okay...this isn't too bad" but oh man, It was! THEN! She gave us the leftovers, but we threw them away. Heck no! That isn't going anywhere near me again! About a hour later from that appointment, our investigator, Sarah, cooked us dinner. It was super good!! But we were full! BUT! It was worth it.
We have one week until Gwen's baptism! She is doing so great!! She is an awesome lady. Everyone needs to know her. The ward already has her a visiting teaching companion and they are working on home and visiting teachers. We are working on the baptism program this week. A perfect program is on its way! She also asked us to send the missionaries to her daughter and grandchildren in Jamaica!!!
We did some service for a less active lady. She is so fun, kind of crazy! We were there for 2 hours cleaning her trailer and she kept giving us stuff and we didnt want to say no, so we have to get to the goodwill sometime. We gave a lot of it to Elder's Recent converts, jade and hope, they are 12 and 13 and sweet girls. They dont have a lot to begin with. And the less active lady gave me....A SKANKY NIGHTIE!! hahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahahaha. Last time we were there she gave Sister Dunford a string leopard print bikini so of course I needed something...ahhaha.
Well time to make this the best week 1 in the history of the FOM!!
love ya all!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

General Conference this past weekend, Mission conference this week!

We dont have to email president this week. We have MISSION conference! so we get to see the whole mission! And a general authority, Elder Zwick, will be coming. I am really excited. General Conference this past weekend and now a mission conference!! 

It has been a year since I have been in Florida, this past wednesday! Conference was so good. I loved Elder Holland's talk. I actually read about Peter this morning. He was the apostle who denied Christ three times! But he showed his love for Christ and went on to be the senior apostle. It shows that we all will doubt but we can all return. I am learning to forget fear. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ are constantly by our side. I really liked Elder Nash;s talk. Remember him? He was our stake president in Lynnwood a few years ago. So funny to see him there. I just loved all of GC! I am excited to go back and re read. How blessed we are to have modern day propherts, seers, and reveltators. I know that Christ's church is restored! 

Our dear friend, Gwen Ross, came to Conference. She is scheduled for baptism on oct 27th. She is an amazing lady. She wants her family to be part of the gospel so bad but she realizes it that she needs to take the first step. I loved sitting by her and watching her take notes. She has so much compassion. She is a beautiful, Jamaican lady who has a heart of GOLD. She is working her tail off at Walmart so she can bring her daughter and 5 grandkids to the states, She went to school and is a CNA but she needs the constant work. I love her so much. She is so sassy. She loves reading the Book of Mormon. She calls us HER missionaries. I know she will make it to baptism. 

We took Sarah on a temple tour. She is also a neat lady. She has had a lot of trials but she is so grateful. She always prays for gratitude. She is feeding us this week. She went to culinary school and loves cooking. 

The Rossi's are doing well. Michael Rossi (20 year old) accepted baptism on Oct 27th. His sister is at BYU Provo right now and she is a driving force for her family. I have heard so many good things about her and I hope I get to meet her. I know her family will follow her into the gospel. Right now we are teaching her dad, older sister, and older brother. I love them all. They love the Gospel and I really believe that Heavenly Father has a plan for them but lame Satan gets in the way. 

We started teaching Anthony, a 9 year old, his mom, Ashley, is a recent convert who is so sassy and funny. She cant come to church because she has MS. She comes when she can. She has three kids: Anthony, Aiden, and Ayana. They are all so cute. Missionaries before would try to teach Anthony before but he never paid attention. With us, he did. He really was into it and made comments like, "When i pray I feel good. I haven't prayed in awhile. I should start praying again." hahaa. so cute!! Children are so inspired! They have so many gifts and talents. They are in-tune with the Spirit. That is why we need to come like children ourselves. 

I went on exchanges with Sister Kerns this week. so fun! I was nervous but dang, in 5 weeks she is so bold and daring and loving. I was so proud. I just kept hearing from people how great she is and sister kerns would proudly say, "Well Sister Ploth is my trainer!!" and I was just like naaahhh....she did it all herself (:

Missions are crazy. You learn so much. You are constantly being compelled to be humble. You feel the Saviors love, not only for you BUT for others. You love to serve. You just become a better person. Sometimes its hard to accept the Lord's will, but I am learning.

Well I hope you all have a great week!! Just a little BTW' mailbox was kind of empty this week. I cant write unless I get letters. (;

love always.
Sister Ploth 

Monday, October 1, 2012

A year in Florida!

Hello Everyone!! Yes, So many 1 years coming up! SO Wednesday, October 3rd will be 1 year in Florida! It has gone by so fast and I have loved every minute of it!

So this last week wasn't AS stressful. Man, this transfer has been full of so much drama and confusion but Sister Dunford and I just laugh and brush it off. We aren't letting Satan get us down. (SATAN?? WHO IS THAT GUY?? I DONT NEED HIM!) 

We have a lot of cool things planned for this week..or the next 2 weeks. We have exchanges, I will be with Sister Kerns for the day tomorrow, temple tour on Wednesday, we have ZTM, GENERAL CONFERENCE, Zone Conference, and a few more things in between but I am ready for an inspiring next two weeks. 
We met the coolest mom and her daughter a few weeks ago and last Monday we actually got to see them and later that week teach them. They are sweet! The girl, Marcala, is 14 and amazing! She is so smart and focused. Her mom is so involved with her schooling. When we dropped by Monday they were sitting on their porch doing homework together. it was cool. Marcala is just the coolest. We think she will be the key in getting her mom to come into the Gospel. This 14 year old girl has overcome a lot and is still loving. Whenever we go over she perks up and listens. She doesn't have religion and her mom wants her to...and look we show up! We are going to try to stop by tonight. 

Gwen is doing so great! Last night we talked about the temple and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She is ready for baptism, we just need her to get to church again! Her job holds her back from church. Dang those stores that are open on Sunday! Its so annoying, and Sister Dunford and I don't think its our place to tell someone to quit their job but we know the Lord provides for His Children. We feel Gwen will be a powerhouse in the Gospel, she already talks about it with others. And she is sooooo sassy!! I love her!!! Her husband, Charles, doesn't want to learn anymore, but thats okay, he supports his wife and wants her to. So thats cool. We are going on the Temple Tour with Sarah. She is a neat lady. She is a chef and so spiritual. She also works Sundays but she is close to quitting her job so she can come to church. haha. She is excited to see the temple. We feel it will be really good for her because her husband has passed away and so she will be able to learn more about eternal marriage!! (:

The Relief Society Broadcast was amazing wasn't it?? I loved the first talk byt the new RS President, I forget her name. The Doctrine of the Atonement. WOW!! Powerful! I felt the SPirit so strong. its what I needed especially in this work. I have to repent, I haven't been relying on Christ as much as I should. But I have come to the realization that if I am too stressed out, I cant have the spirit with me. Elder Finke challenged us to write down a list of all the things we can and cannot control. I realized that I cant control a lot, but I can control my attitude. 

The picture attached...THE AMBS! From Eustis, were in Daytona for the weekend and decided to stop by for the church service. It was so great to see them!! (: 

Well I hope you all have a great week. Prepare well for conference!! I know the Lord will provide for us and we will be able to recieve revelation through His Prophets. (:

Love always,
Sister Ploth.