Monday, October 26, 2015

Week #49 - 2015 Oct 26 - MIRACLES IN THE NCRM

Hey y'all!

This past week has been really good! One of the better weeks. We have seen so many miracles. Hence the super original subject line. ;)

On Tuesday, we were accounting with our District Leader. (Accounting = once a week we give a report to our district leader about how the work is keeps us accountable for what we do on a weekly basis.) And he chastised us pretty good because we haven't found any new investigators since he's come. (So like 5 weeks.) It's not that we haven't been putting the effort in...we have. But we obviously could have put MORE effort in finding. So we didn't really have a good reason as to why we haven't found anybody in the last few weeks. To make a long story short, that call to repentance was a blessing in disguise because it gave us the motivation we so desperately needed. AND. AND. ANDDDD! WE ENDED UP FINDING THREE NEW INVESTIGATORS THIS WEEK!!! WUT?! Yeah. That's a huge deal. Family! As we put our faith in our finding efforts and relied upon the Lord, we were blessed with not only 1 investigator, but 3. One was a referral from the elders, one we tracted into, and then the other one is a part member family. Their 9 year old son hasn't been baptized yet. It's so amazing what comes from working hard. I love it. Trust in the Lord and you won't EVER be disappointed! I can promise y'all this! :) 

First miracle! We taught our investigator that the elders referred us to this past week and it went very well! We first met her on Tuesday, we went to go contact her and as we were walking up to her house, she came right outside! We didn't even have to knock! And I can testify that as long as you have the faith that the Lord will fill your mouth, the words will come. We had no idea what we were going to say. But before we left the car we made sure to say a prayer and ask for the spirit to be with us to lead and guide our words. And then out of nowhere we gave a full on explanation of the Book of Mormon using the pictures in the front and everything! It went so well! And the words just kept on coming! She said she wanted us to come back a couple days later so we did!  We taught her the Restoration and she soaked it all in like a sponge. And she understands it all! We were talking about the great apostasy and she was like, 'Yeah, they were missing something" and we were like yes! Yes they were! So that was awesome. And she is totally cool with the Priesthood only being for the men. Which is a huge deal down here in the south haha. But she is absolutely amazing! And I love her so much already! Her name is Jessica and she's in her mid to late 30's we're pretty sure...haha. 

Our other miracle story was when we were on exchange with the other sisters. I was with Sister Alldredge who serves in the Jacksonville 2nd ward. We were contacted a referral, but to our dismay, the lady we were trying to contact wasn't living there anymore. So we decided to tract around her house. We knock on the first door, we see someone look through the window and then they don't answer the door. Awkward. So we move on to the next door. We knock. This cute lady comes out with her kids (they're 3 and 5, I'm pretty sure.) and we told her we have a unique message that we share with the world and we asked if there was a time she would be willing to listen to it and she said she had time then! So we taught her a 4 minute Restoration and she was totally intrigued. I've never felt the spirit so much on a door approach. It was amazing! And then she told us we could come back and talk to her more! And we're actually going over there tonight! She seems like she'll be good. She's very friendly and nice :) 

And then the part member family is also a miracle! They have been inactive for the last little bit. But for the past few weeks they have been coming back to church. They've come to church and they came to the Halloween party that the ward had this past weekend. They're on the road to becoming totally active again. They want their son to be baptized and so because he's 9 he has to get the lessons. So that will be fun. The mom says that the whole family will benefit from hearing the lessons again. I'm excited to start teaching them. They're a great family. The mom has a super thick southern drawl hahaha it's the best. 

God is SO good! I love being a missionary. I love serving the Lord full time. It's crazy to think that in a little less than a month, I'll be coming up to my year mark. That's insane. It definitely doesn't feel like it's been that long. But at the same time it feels like I've been here forever. It's a weird concept. But I LOVE being here! I wouldn't dream of being anywhere else. Even when the going gets tough...I've learned that you just gotta keep going :) Put one foot in front of the other and take it one step at a time. Keep smiling and keep trusting in the Lord. He's got your back always. 

I hope you all have a fan-freakin-tastic week!!! I love you all a ton. And miss you like crazy! Take care. Be safe. And know that God is with you always. 

Sister Blumel
xoxoxo <3

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Week #48 - 2015 Oct 19 - "Hey, My Name Is Nicholas. And This Is Ridiculous."

Hey family!

This week was good. Like always. :) Due to some gimps ("I have a bad back." or "I have a bad knee"....) in the district, our district leader has asked that we share our car. So our FULL time car isn't so full time anymore haha. There are 4 sets of missionaries and 3 cars. Us and the other sisters had a full time car and then the 2 sets of elders just shared a car. But not anymore! Basically, he (the DL) worked it out so each of us only have one "no car" week a month. So it's not TOO bad. I bring this up because our "no car" week was this past week haha. And it was rough stuff hahaha. We did get a lot of exchanges and stuff though! So we didn't have to ride our bikes (sorry mom....hahaha). But it was still rough. And when we got the car back, I was so grateful for it! Man, when you don't have something, you REALLY appreciate it once it's back! haha I'm just saying!

So this week!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING last Monday! One of the members (The Murphy's) fed us a really good thanksgiving dinner last Sunday. It was delicious. I'm pretty sure I forgot to mention it last week haha. BUT! Anywho. The Murphy's are literally the best and they have done so much for us and I don't know what we would do without that family haha. 
And the beach activity was a lot of fun! The zone played football. But Sister Park, Elder Tellez (he's in our district), and I threw a frisbee around. It was funny haha. And then we got bored of Elder Tellez went and played with the zone...I think at this point they were playing Ultimate Frisbee. And Sister Park and I just walked along the beach. It was relaxing. And nice. And apparently there's a picture posted if I find it...I'll have to send it over :) 

Tuesday was our Zone Conference. It was SO good. It felt like we were in a heaven on earth. That whole meeting it felt like we were in our own little world and the scary, dark outside world didn't exist. It was a wonderful meeting. :) Very spiritual and uplifting. 
And then! After the meeting, our lives changed.....
They installed...
Black boxes...........
In all of our cars.........
Now to explain what a little black box's a box that tracks your speed, if you're wearing a seatbelt, your GPS location, and if you take corners too fast or slam on your brakes too hard. Uh yeah. So that's awesome. AND best part is? It talks to us. And it's voice is terrifying haha. To put it in the words of another sister, "It sounds like satan is in the vehicle..." hahaha. #YIKES! So driving back to Jacksonville (it was a 2.5 hour drive) was a trip. Hahaha. Apparently I have more of a speeding problem than I thought... It said "Check your speed." Like 6 times or something. And when it says that you have to slow down within 10 seconds or you get dinged. And there's a monthly report that goes out saying how good of a driver you are. LUCKILY, I slowed down in time and the box didn't actually get me. But dang. That box is something else. Hahaha. It's good keeps us accountable. 
We named our box Nicholas. Because he is ridiculous. (That vine.....hahaha. Hey my name is Nicholas, and this is ridiculous. Got mah gummi money and it is deliciousness. Hahahaha Sarraaaaa you got me ;) haha) 
So yeah. That's an update on mission vehicles! 

On Wednesday, Wesley got interviewed and he passed! Hoorah!!! And then a miracle happened that night as well. We were outside with Wesley's little siblings waiting for our ride to show up and we were just drawing with chalk and stuff. And then a car pulled up and we realized it was Sister Parker (our ride) so we go inside to get our bags. Well Bentley (Wesley's family's dog) got out of the house and then it got out of the yard and made a bolt for it. He was gone. And then we were like awe crap. Andddd to make matters even better! It was getting dark. So we were like oh man.. Well correction. That's what I was like. Sister Park took off after the dog and I was like ha.....I'll be close behind you...but I ain't runnin after a dog. Soooo yeah. Long story short and after MUCH, MUCH prayer. Sister Parker was able to catch the dog and everything was good. Sister Parker was a HUGE tender mercy because she has 6 dogs at she's like a dog whisperer. And if we didn't call her to give us a ride...that dog would have been gone. And that would not have been a good activity. Ha. So crisis averted...we managed to call the right person and she came at the right time. God is good!!!! 

AND THEN. ON SATURDAY! WESLEY GOT BAPTIZED!!!!! HALLELUJAH! It was wonderful!!!!! It was such a good day. The Spirit was so strong. And I have never seen a 10 year old so happy. Wesley is the best. I just love him so much. He was so excited the entire day :) The baptismal service was great and the talks were perfect. Everything was just perfect :) I love baptisms. They are so great! Ahhh being a missionary is the best :) 

That was about it for the week! Thank you all for the love and support you show me. I say this all the time...but I really do mean it. Y'all are the greatest. 

Remember what's most important this week! Good, better, best right?! Always remember to pray and read your scriptures. Praying is how we talk to God and reading our scriptures is how God talks to us. They work together :) Do them both and you'll be so so so much stronger. 

I love you all so much!! And I hope you're doing well :) Take care!!! 

Sister Blumel
xoxoxo <3

OH! PS! 
My #ponderize scripture for the week is Alma 53:20-21. And I'm substituting the word "men" to "missionary". :) 
I love this challenge!! 

Our little friend, Nick!

Our little friend, Nick!
A pretty sky! I love North Carolina!!!!

And this is what a successful personal study looks like in the world of Sister Blumel.....bahaha. But! I had a super great study this morning!! so yay!
Wesley Ritchie baptism

Wesley Ritchie baptism

Wesley Ritchie baptism

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Week #47 - 2015 Oct 12 - {Untitled}


This week was great!! It was kind of a I'm not really too sure what even happened. (You know...I think I start out like this in like 95% of these weekly reports...I need a new line hahaha)

Anywho. I don't have a lot of time today because apparently we're doing a zone preparation day activity at the beach haha. So this one will be shorter than the rest of them...sorry haha. 

On Tuesday we met with Wesley and went over the baptismal interview questions with him. AND HE NAILED IT. He's so ready for his actual interview AND baptism. I love this kid so much. <3 He's a genius. We asked him what repentance was and he kinda had to give him a hint..all we said was "it's a change..." and then he's like, "Oh yeah! It's a series of steps that we have to take to ask for forgiveness and then be forgiven!" It was perfect. And then he answered a lot of the other questions like that. And then after all the questions were asked, Sister Park and I were like, "what else can we ask you?" And then he proceeded to ask us to ask him a bunch more questions. Like who's Jesus and Heavenly Father, what's the Book of Mormon, who's Moroni, what's the sacrament. And all of those kinda questions. Needless to say our minds were blown. *insert my hands showing that fact that our minds were blown* He's seriously the best. I am so grateful I get to be a part of his conversion! AND his baptism is this Saturday at 1pm!!! I'm so excited!! :D 

On Wednesday, we had a zone training and it was really good. Super spiritual. We usual have these meetings in the gym..but they were doing some sort of renos or something in we had it in the chapel. And it was amazing. It was neat to see all of the trainings that we planned in our Zone Council come to life. It was awesome. I love missionary meetings. They're always super uplifting. 

And then the rest of the week we just worked as hard as we could!! It was great. I'm doing well. I love being a missionary here in the NCRM. We get to witness miracles everyday and I wouldn't have it any other way. I know this is where I need to be and I'm so grateful I have this opportunity to be a representative of Jesus Christ full time :) I know my Savior lives and He's always there for us. When we fall, He's right there to pick us up. When we're not feeling the best, He's there to share His light with us and make everything feel better. When we testify of Him, hearts are changed. 

I hope you all have a great week and I can't wait to hear from y'all next week. You are loved and missed. Andddd! Love is being sent to you from North Carolina. Thank you all for being the best ever. <3

Sister Blumel
xoxoxo <3

PS - My #ponderize scripture for the week is Mosiah 5:15 :) 

PPS - I couldn't think of any clever subject lines.......#fail. Oh well! C'est le vie!

Monday, October 05, 2015

Week #46 - 2015 Oct 05 - Let the Storm Rage Onnnn, the Rain Never Bothered Me Anywayyy.

Hey you beautiful people!

This past week was good. It was slower. But hey, that's not the worst thing. A lot of awesome things happened though! I'll fill ya in! (That's the purpose of these emails right? hahaha. anywho!)

On Tuesday we had a Zone Council. This was the first one in the NCRM history! It's practically a ward council....but stake level....but on the mission. Ha pretty much all the leadership in the zone got together and we discussed some important stuff that had to do with the mission. Like what were were doing on our zone preparation day. #priorities. Hahah just kidding. That's not ALL we talked about! Although the plan is to go to the beach together and do fun games and that'll be good. We're doing that next week :) We were supposed to do it today...but weather and stuff. (I'll talk about that later....) BUT! It'll be good :) And then we talked about zone training and our missionaries and all that fun stuff. It was such a good meeting! It definitely helped us feel more united as leadership in the Wilmington Zone. I LOVE all this unity stuff that's going on! It's bringing a lot more happiness, success stories, and FUN to the mission. And the work is definitely moving forward because we actually feel like a TEAM now. It's amazing!!! So that was good. 
Oh also side note. With all the rule changes and the fact that we can do more with the elders now...we totally car pooled with our District Leader, Elder Davis and the District Leader from Wallace, Elder Kapu. So we drove with elders. It was sooooo different and we thought it would be super awkward. But it was actually a lot of fun! :) {Yes, we got permission from the Zone Leaders haha they're actually the ones who set it up haha}

We taught Wesley this week, of course! We did the Spiritual CPR lesson with him. That's the one where there's 3 cups and 3 knives and you're supposed to position the knives in such a way that the Book of Mormon can balance on top...without moving the cups! (The missionaries did this for us a couple times, familia.) And then we said that each cup represented something that would keep us spiritually alive. Hence the CPR. We have Church, Prayer, and Reading your scriptures. I've totally explained this before....but oh well. Repetition is always good right? Ha. Anywho...if you're doing all those things, you'll be strong and good to go!!! Anywayyy, it was fun. This lesson is always a hit. ESPECIALLY with kids. Wesley's brother and sister spent the rest of the lesson piling books on this foundation and seeing how many it would hold before it fell. And man! It holds a lot more than I thought!!! It was awesome!!! I got a picture of I'll try to remember to send it haha. But Wesley's doing wonderful as usual. We do have to push his date back. He was supposed to get baptized this Saturday...but we missed a couple lessons and we really want to make sure that he is ready. So we're taking a couple more weeks to make sure that he understands everything :) It'll be good. He's such an amazing kid...I'm not worried about him at all. :) 

Hmm, what else happened this week. Well Conference! I LOVE General Conference. Especially on the mission. It's like the superbowl for missionaries. Not even kidding haha. We had a count down going from like August to when Conference was gonna be here...we were STOKED. And we definitely were not disappointed at all! It was one of the best conferences that I've been able to listen to :) It was GREAT. I loved it!!! ALL of it!! I can't pin point my favourite talk...but I really liked Sister Niell F. Marriott's talk and President Russell M. Nelson's talk. I think those were the ones that stood out to me the most. Also. Elder Holland's and President Uchtdorf's were REALLY good as well. It was a good weekend :) 
"It's the most wonderful time of the year!"

Also. On a completely random side note. I've been super bored with my hair since like July/August. And I've been contemplating bangs this whole time. Sooooo, on Friday night, we got home a bit early, I decided to give myself a hair cut. Ha! So I found some scissors and cut my bangs. Sister Park looked terrified...but my mind was pretty set. And once my mind is set...nothing can really change my mind haha. So I just went for it! And bam it worked out pretty good! Can't complain :) Andddd I got the district's stamp of approval. They all say it looks good and they're impressed with my hair cutting skills hahaha. I'm just the best. No big deal or anything ;) Hahaha just kidding. Sister Park helped me cut a little chunk off my right side...cause it was an awkward angle. But she did a good job too :) So yep! Change is good! :) 

Hmm, real quick. We were supposed to have a hurricane....Hurricane Joaquin. So Sister Park and I were all prepared. And not gonna lie, we were pretty excited because it was going to be our first hurricane for the both of us. We made sure we had our 72 hour kits ready to go. We had a suitcase packed with 3 days worth of clothes and stuff. We had water. Man, we were SO prepared!!! Buttttt.....then it decided to shift paths and NC wasn't in the path anymore. DANG IT. So we aren't actually getting a hurricane....just a lot of rain and wind. Because we're like on the VERY VERY VERY outskirts of it. Lame sauce. Maybe next time ;) hahaha. We were all excited to say that we survived Hurricane Joaquin...but now we can't say that. We can only say, we almost got the chance to survive Hurricane Joaquin...but that's not nearly as exciting....Oh well! 
I'll just say #HurricaneJoaquinFAIL. 

Hahaha. Anyway. I hope you all had a great week! I miss you all so so so much. But I know we're all where we're supposed to be :) Just continue to say your prayers, read your scriptures, keep the Sabbath day holy, and choose the right! Oh and smile too. Because smiles are contagious and everyone love smiling :) 

I love y'all a ton! Take care. Make good choices!!!

Sister Blumel
xoxoxo <3

PS - Also! Almost forgot. My #ponderize scripture for the week is Mosiah 2:41! :D What's yours?!

The tower!!!!! Don't mind the blurry half naked kids in the back....baahahah
 Wesley's siblings are hardly ever dressed completely....

the Before picture! #awkwardselfiesbeawkward

The AFTER pictures! Bam bangs are back!!

After a year of growing them out....I cut them again. Bahaha. Oh well!