Monday, December 28, 2015

Week #58 - 2015 Dec 28 - Merry Christ-MOOSE! (Love, your FAVE Canadian!)


It boggles my mind to know that the next time I email y'all, it will be 2016. I remember when I was in Grade 1, we were doing this thing where we were putting dates on this paper about the future. And I remember writing down 2013 as the year I would be graduating high school and at the time, that seemed so far away! And now, it was practically 3 years ago. Oh man. That's crazy. Time seriously does fly..and I know I say that a lot, but it's the truth. I'm tellin ya! 

This week was super good. LIKE REAL GOOD. I love Christmas so much. And I love it on the mission even more. It makes my heart sad that this was my last one on the least this time around. I am totally planning on going on a couple's mission one day....that will be fun. But anyway, it's definitely a bittersweet thing. Bitter because on the mission, Christmas has a whole new meaning it feels like. Everything is taken away from the commercialized aspect of Christmas that we are all too used to, and everything is directed towards the true meaning of Christmas - which is on our Savior, Jesus Christ. But Sweet because next year I'll be able to actually spend Christmas with all of you beautiful people that I love so so much <3 But anywho, putting that aside, here are some highlights of my week!! 

We got to see our investigator, Will twice this week!! Both times in the Juncker's (the senior missionary couple) home. Oh my goodness, he is such an amazing guy. He's so open minded and he has such a soft heart towards God and the whole idea of religion. He is always so happy and his laugh is contagious. Basically, we love teaching him because we always know we're going to smile, laugh, and feel the spirit super strong. And that combination is AMAZING. That's always what you want. :) He's doing really well and progressing at a good, steady pace. He's leaving for some sort of training for a month or two. So I'm hoping we get to see him one more time before he leaves because I'll most likely be out of Jacksonville by the time he gets back. He has a goal of reading the whole Book of Mormon by the time he comes back though! It'll be super good. I know he can do it :) 

For Christmas Eve, we had dinner with the Relief Society President's family. They invited both us and the elders over and we got special permission to be there at the same time. (Usually, elders and sisters cannot be at a member's house at the same time.) And not gonna lie, it was a lot of fun! Mostly awkward because they put us and the elders across from each other and it was totally double date status....yeahh...but it was fun :) You know if I didn't think about it too much hahahaha. Now we see why we shouldn't be eating at the same house...rules are in place for a reason! I've learned that a lot of the rules that we have are to help us stay away from super awkward that's always good. BUT ANYWHO. Christmas Eve, overall, was awesome! :)  

The BEST part of the week, was definitely Christmas day. It was SO AWESOME TO SEE YOU ALL! I just love you all so so much. It was fun talking to y'all and getting a tour of the new house. And seeing the snow. Which, by the way, it's been 80 degrees since last week...and I'm loving it. I don't miss the snow like at all....haha. Apparently the weather is supposed to drop big time though by the end of this down to the 40s. Which is still a lot better than snow..ha! It was also nice seeing my kitties. Dang I miss Kovu and Penny haha. I can't wait to give them snuggles when I get back. Haha. It's crazy to think that the next time I skype home, I'll only have like 2 weeks left. WEIRD. But I still got lots of time till then...thank goodness! 
Y'all looked really good though! I'm so grateful for the technology we have these days and the ability we have to not only talk to each other, but to see each other too through a screen! Supa neat! :) 
We got to spend Christmas with the Wilson family (a newer family in the ward...they have 6 girls between the ages of 6-13 and they're all biological! It's a busy house..but a fun one!!), we went over to the Murphy's and had a great time there as per usual, and then we went to the Juncker's. Needless to say, we had a very successful Christmas this year!! I loved every second of it! 

I think that's about it! Sister Scribner wasn't feeling too well for a couple days, so we took it easy so that she could get better instead of worse. But she's mostly healthy again, thank goodness :) being sick on the mission is the worst. Ah. This upcoming week should be good though, I can just feel it :) 

I hope you all had a great Christmas and I hope you all took a minute or two to ponder about the true reason for the season. Everything we have is because of our Savior, without Him we would literally have nothing. His love is so full for each and every one of us. So full it's, in fact, perfect. And because of that, we have the potential to love others just like that. And that is the true meaning of Christmas - to love and to give all that we have. Now, just because it's past December 25th doesn't mean that Christmas is over! We should be celebrating Christmas every day of the year! :) Remember the Savior always because He always remembers you. 

Take care and have a great week. I love and miss y'all a ton. Keep smiling, God is good.

Sister Blumel
xoxoxo <3

Christmas Eve Selfies

Christmas Eve Selfies

Christmas Day! I found a cat to go with my cat shirt heheh. <3

These are SOME of the Wilson girls :)

We forgot one of the she had to be added in of course!

Monday, December 21, 2015

Week #57 - 2015 Dec 21 - The Spirit of Christmas


So this week was good. To be honest, it felt like it lasted 3 months. Haha I'm amazed that it is finally Monday and the start to a new week. It felt like it was never going to be over haha. But it's all good because now it is and we're on to bigger and better things!!! And it's not like it was a bad week, it was actually a really good week, it just dragged on FOREVER. Haha. 

Onto the report! 

Monday we had a Christmas zone activity in Wilmington. So some more travelling. It was great haha. It was fun though. We played some games in the gym and then we did a white elephant gift exchange. The only rule was that we couldn't go out and buy anything, it had to be something from our apartment. And let me tell you, people had some pretty weird stuff at that exchange....but that doesn't surprise me or anyone else that's served a mission....there's just some straight up weird stuff stashed in missionary apartments hahaha it's hilarious really. Like Sister Scribner ended up with a mini bowling game, and I got a used razor...but an elder ended up needing it and so I had to part with am I ever going to keep this beard under control now?! And this one elder ended up with a thing of pads. Now that was just awkward. Haha someone got a boogie board...basically everything and anything under the sun was there. It was funny. 

On Wednesday we got to experience a miracle! :) We were finishing up our list of people to see and we were on the last name. We needed to see if they still lived at the address and if so, do they want home teachers or not. So we get to this house after we missed the turn like 3 times and we find the door wide open with a man just sitting on the couch right by the door. And so we go up and say hi and we caught him off guard I guess because we scared him bahaha. It was funny. He was super nice to us though! He let us know that the people we were looking for didn't live at that address anymore. So instead of just leaving, we took advantage of the situation and started asking him all of our missionary questions haha. AND THEN we actually had a really good 25 minute conversation with him and his wife! It was awesome!! We taught them a mini restoration lesson and went over the Book of Mormon with them AND set up a return appointment. It was great. We had a good time with them and I hope we get to keep working with them and that they won't lose interest haha. They're a great family. They have 6 kids (3 are his and 3 are hers) and they're SUPER fun. :) I'll definitely keep you posted on them. Their names are Mike and Alex. :) 

We met with Jessica on Thursday and taught her about tithing and fasting and it went very well. She was very open to it as with all the lessons and she said that it made perfect sense. We asked her about baptism again and she doesn't know yet if this is something the Lord wants for her. She's just not sure if she's gotten an answer yet. So because we just had a lesson on fasting, Sis Scribner told her that if she fasted for an answer she would receive one. And Jessica was all for that. And to put the icing on the cake, I told her that we would fast with her, just so that she would get that much more of a powerful answer. :) And she was all for that as well. We haven't been able to talk to her since the lesson, but we're hoping the fast went well for her and that she has been able to receive the answers that she's looking for in a way that she will understand them. But she is progressing very well! :) 

On Saturday we met with another one of our new investigators, Will. We had dinner and a lesson at the Juncker's home. (The senior missionary couple here.) And it went very well! It was us, the Juncker's, Will, Phineas, Josh, and Jr. So we got to teach 4 marines! Will is the only non member though. Before dinner we shared our conversion stories and wow, those were all super powerful. And then after dinner we had a 2 hour long spiritual discussion about basically everything. The spirit was SO strong and it was so amazing. Will is definitely open to learning more and afterwards HE told us that we should do this again sometime. So that was super awesome. 

I just love being a missionary. It's honestly the best thing ever and it's so fulfilling! Especially around this time of year because everyone's hearts are a little softer and the spirit is just so much stronger everywhere you go! It's amazing. And there's nothing like remembering Christ in Christmas like serving a mission :) I just love it. <3 

And and ANDDDDD! I'm super excited to see y'all in 5 days! Wowza. I can't believe it's been a year already. That's crazy. Yesterday in church, I can't remember what I was doing but I came to the realization that the amount of months I have left are just one hand and I kinda freaked out inside. Ladies and gents, I have 5 months left.....WHERE DID THE TIME GO?! Awe man I can't believe that. It's definitely bittersweet. But putting that aside! Haha I'm excited to see all your beautiful faces on Christmas!!! I hope you're all doing well. I miss you tons. But I know we're all where we need to be right now. :) 

Have a great week! And I'll see you on Friday!!!! :D Remember to look at the bright side of everything! Keep smiling and remember God is good!!!

Love you tons and tons and tons. Y'all are always in my prayers. 

Sister Blumel
xoxoxo <3

PS - the story behind the title....well there's not really one. It's just Christmas time and the spirit was so strong this week. So bam. There ya go :) 

PPS - And I didn't get the chance to pick a ponderize scripture this you'll just have to stay tuned for it next week! :)

Monday, December 14, 2015

Week #56 - 2015 Dec 14 - Finding the Lost Sheep


This past week was CRAZY. SO MUCH TRAVELLING OH MY GOODNESS. Haha I didn't realize how many roadies we would be taking as missionaries. But it's a lot of fun. So I'm okay with it! And I've always really liked road trips so it don't phase me much. :) 

We went to Wilmington on Wednesday for our zone training, so that was about a little over an hour drive...which really isn't that bad. And then on Friday, we went to Garner for our Christmas Zone Conference! And that's like a 2.5 hour drive. So that one was a little bit longer. But it was a lot of fun. But before all this happened, let me tell you what went down on Tuesday!! It was AWESOME. 

We were finishing up our contacting of all the unknowns on the roster with the Juncker's (the senior missionary couple here) and we were looking for this one address, but it didn't seem to exist. The closest thing was the Middle School across the street. So Sister Juncker was like, let's look in these townhouses and see if it's in there. Now, this was a complete act of faith because we knew that it was going to be a completely different address in there, but we went anyway. We had to find house 101 and the first house we saw was 1. Knowing it was going to be a somewhat lengthy search, we started to pray that we would find something. And then we found house 87 and we realized we were close. And finally, we found 101! We were super excited! All the lights were off, but we were determined. Before going out, Elder Juncker told us that if nobody answered the door, to go down to 99 and see if they knew anything about the person we were looking for because their lights were on. Well, we knocked and nobody answered, so we decided why not, let's go knock on 99. And they ended up answering the door! The man who answered the door knew nothing about who lived at 101 or anything, and a woman behind him told him to get our number if we were Catholic of Presbyterian after we stated the fact that we were missionaries for our church. So we proudly said, we're missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And then another man came out and said "I'll talk to them!" And when he came outside, he shut the door behind him and was like, "there's a church around here?" So we told him where it was and invited him to the ward Christmas party. Turns out, he's a member and he got to the area in January, but he never realized there was a church nearby, so his records never got transferred. 
We needed to be in that townhouse complex because we needed to find Joshua. He was so amazed at the fact that we found him and he shook our hand like 3 times and he kept saying "thank you" over and over again. It was such an amazing experience and it never ceases to amaze me how wonderful the Spirit is. We prayed that we would be led to someone today and we were! Seriously this man was so happy to see us that if he could he probably would have given us huge hugs. And a couple times that's what it looked like he was going to do! Haha he's this super buff, 6'5 marine. But he's seriously like a giant teddy bear. A gentle giant :) It was amazing to see this man and see the gratitude in his eyes. It honestly felt like we had lifted burdens off of his back by just showing up at his door. AHHH. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!! God is so good! :D He didn't end up making it to the Christmas party or church...but we'll stop by again and help him back! And he lives at 99. The light from the moon hit the number just right so that the number on the door caught my eye. And I immediately thought of the story of the ninety and nine. And the sheep. And it gave me goosebumps. We came out here to find the one lost sheep and we found him. And now we get to lead him back to the fold. :) It was so amazing that I literally couldn't find the words to say anything after that. When we got back in the car we told the Juncker's what happened and we were like, see this is why we come out with y'all!! 4 heads are better than 2 sometimes! And then Elder Juncker said, "And the Spirit is better than all of us." And it was perfect <3 Super neat experience. 

And then we had zone training on Wednesday and learned a lot. It was really good. I loved it. 

Our Christmas Zone Conference was on Friday and it was AH-MAZING! :D The first half was a few guest speakers and then we had a testimony meeting and then we had lunch and then after lunch we had a music program. Basically, anyone who wanted to share their musical talents got to have a part in it. So our district did an a capella song and it actually turned out a lot better than we thought it would. It was to the tune of "This Christmas" by pentatonix. But we had to change the words because the original words are romantic haha. So Elder Davis rewrote it so it was more centered on Jesus Christ. We got a video of it, so I'll send it home on the flash drive because it's too big of a file to send through email. (#LAME.) But it was pretty awesome. Everyone LOVED it. You'll love it too I'm sure :) 

And then Wade got baptized on Saturday!! It was super great. Being able to see all the miracles happening in that family is such an honor and a blessing. They're doing so good. Wade's brother, Shane got the Priesthood yesterday during church and then their mom got called into the YW's Presidency. AHHH it's so exciting. I love watching the Atonement work in people's lives. It's a miracle! I love miracles! 

Our ward Christmas party was also on Saturday and we may have a new investigator from it! His name is Will and his friend, Phineas brought him. Phineas is a convert too. So this is going to be super good. We're super excited to start teaching him. 

Basically, all in all, it was a good week. Crazy! But super good. I'm so grateful to be a missionary! Even when things get tough, I know the Lord's got something planned and it will be better than we can even dream of. So we just have to trust Him and be submissive to His will because it's a lot greater and more perfect than ours. :) 

On that note, have an excellent week and I hope you're all doing well. I miss you all like crazy and I love you even more. :) 

Take care, be safe, and always remember to smile!!! 

Sister Blumel
xoxoxo <3

PS - My ponderize scripture for the week is Ephesians 4:29, 31-32

WADE! At his baptism!

And this is what I wanted to post for my facebook picture 
hahaha but I figured it wasn't "dignified" enough.....dang. 

Monday, December 07, 2015

Week #55 - 2015 Dec 07 - All Aboard the Mission Roller Coaster!

Hey hey hey!

This week was great! Not too much happened, but enough to make it count!! Haha :) 

We got the opportunity to see President and Sister James at a missionary meeting for all the greenies. We got to drive all the way to Fayetteville and we met at the Scotty Hill building..which isn't the building we went to when I was serving there - it's the other stake center...but nonetheless I was still in Fayetteville! Man, that place is ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS gonna hold a special place in my heart. I just love it there so much. Anywho! The meeting was really good. Like REAL good. We learned a ton and it was wonderful. I love missionary meetings, they're honestly my favourite. <3 and seeing the James' is always the best. They are the definition of Christlike love. 

We got to see our investigator Jessica this past week! We were planning on teaching her the word of wisdom this week. We already knew she's struggling with a smoking addiction and she can't go on without her cup of coffee in the morning! So we were kinda nervous about it and had been praying for it to go well for like a week. Anywho, so we go to her house and we have the lessons at her dining room table and so we walk over to that..and the FIRST THING I SEE ash try with some freshly smoked cigarettes.....and a cup of coffee.....yep. No joke. I was like "awwwwe crap......" But then I was like, whatever! She needs to know this and we've been praying for a few days now, it'll be okay! And as soon as I thought that, she moves all of that to the counter and then it's gone. And we give the lesson. AND it actually went really really reallllyyyy well! She said that everything made sense and we got her to commit to lessen her use of cigarettes and coffee. She said she won't be able to quit cold turkey, but she did say that we would do it less and kinda wean herself off of them. And we were totally fine with that! So we'll see how that's going this week! It was super exciting :) I love seeing the gospel change lives. It's amazing. 

The rest of the week was super good. We stayed busy. And we were able to go on exchanges with the other sisters this past weekend. So that was good. It was very much needed and it went well. Sister Macrum and I had a couple really good lessons with a couple less actives. There were tears...but good we did something right! haha I just love the spirit :) I wasn't too completely sure what we were going to end up doing because we had nothing planned, but then I prayed about it and a couple names immediately came to mind and so I went with it. And it turns out that they were both struggling with something that happened that day or a couple days beforehand and so our visit was perfectly timed. It was amazing. The Lord's hand is definitely over all of this work. I love being a missionary! 

That's about it! I hope you all had a wonderful week, and that this upcoming week is even better! I miss you all a ton. And I love you all. You all have such a special place in my heart and I pray for you on the daily! :) 

Remember who you are and return with honor, as Mama Blumel always says :) Take care, be safe, and don't forget that God loves you more than you know, no matter what!!! 

Sister Blumel 
xoxoxo <3

PS - Story behind the subject line...this week was so up and down and all over the place haha. We had our highs and lows....but it ended up being a good week :) Just like a roller coaster. You go up and then you go down and then you go UPSIDE down and then your like "what the junk did I get myself into" *during* the ride but then once it's over you're like THAT WAS AWESOME.....LET'S DO IT AGAIN!!!!! Hahaha. That's just like life. I love it :) 

PPS - Ponderize scripture for the week -- 2 Corinthians 13:11 <3

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Week #54 - 2015 Nov 30 - So. Much. Turkey.


I think I may be dreaming about eating turkey in my sleep...we've had so much if it this past week. Hahaha being a missionary around Thanksgiving (or any holiday for that matter) is the best. Only because people feel like you need extra loving cause you're away from EVERYONE wants to feed you! Least that's how it is for me hahaha. But anyway, I love Jacksonville and I love the members and I'm just so grateful for being a missionary serving here! 

Anywho. My week was good. I don't have A TON to report on because everyone decided that they didn't want to see us this week (people wanted to spend time with their families during the holidays? .....weird. Haha) and a lot of people cancelled on us last minute. So basically this week was full of..well...turkey...but also a LOT of contacting the unknowns on the roster. There's a huge push for home and visiting teachers in the ward right now and our job was to contact all of the people out in the Hubert/Swansboro area and see if they still live where they say they do and if they want home teachers. So after putting off for long enough, we decided to finally put on our big girl pants and go do it. Even though contacting Hubert in the dark is terrifying and super sketchy. We knew this was what we needed to do and we knew the Lord would bless us. And He did!! There were so many tender mercies the days we went out contacting these people :) 
A lot of the people said no to home teachers and they're not interested in coming back...which breaks my heart every time I hear that, just because I know this gospel will bless their lives. But alas, at least they know we still care about them and are making an effort to see them. The lost sheep are always in my prayers and I know that one day, they'll all come back. It'll just take time and that's alright! We just gotta love all of them. Even the ones that scream in your face when you knock on their door :) 

Thanksgiving was wonderful!!! Man, I thought Thanksgiving was big in Canada...and then I had Thanksgiving in murica. Wowza....they take it to the next level hahaha. We, of course, had Thanksgiving dinner with the Murphy's...they're like the closest thing we have to a family out here :) and I LOVE IT! I love the Murphy's so much. Anywho, we had a family dinner with them and we had a blast as per usual. And then the next day we had Thanksgiving at the Lyman's house (Wesley's family) and that was also delicious. AND! Both times we got sent home with a TON of leftovers! I'm gonna need to take a solid break from turkey dinners for a while haha. But all in all, Thanksgiving was great and I'm so grateful I got to spend this years Thanksgiving as a missionary serving my Savior, Jesus Christ and I'm also grateful that I got to spend it with the people that I love so much out here in Jacksonville. The Murphy's take such good care of us, I am eternally grateful for them. 

Our investigators are doing well. We weren't able to see Jessica or Cassandra or even the 2 new investigators that we found last week (they cancelled...sad day). But we were able to see Wade! And he's doing great. We finished the lessons with him last night and he has his interview tonight. Pray for him! We had to teach everything super fast because of the time crunch we had...but he's got it. Just pray that he'll remember everything and he'll pass :) he's getting baptized on December 12th and it's going to be a great day. Seeing the progress this family has made is so amazing. Definitely the Lord's work. It's too perfect to be anyone else's. <3

But yeah, that was basically our week! I hope y'all had a wonderful week as well. I pray for y'all all the time and I think about you all often. Remember the church is true, God is good, He loves you, and I love you too! 

Take care! Be safe, make good choices and always remember to SMILE! Life is always good :) 

Sister Blumel
xoxoxo <3

PS - We went to the beach as a district last Monday and it was a lot of fun :)
Oh! Also, my ponderize scripture for the week is Alma 5:49 :) Found that this morning in my personal studies and I LOVED it! <3

We took Family District Pictures with ugly Christmas sweaters on Thanksgiving! It was awesome!!

I love all these elders and sisters :) 

Andddd we're so super awkward...and derpy...I love that too hahah. 

The moose antlers are because I'm Canadian hahah. Every time
we see each other in the hallway or in the parking lot we go
MOOSES and throw up some antlers. It's the best haha.