Monday, June 29, 2015

2nd Week in Meridian, Mississippi

June 29, 2015

Hey Family,

So another week in Meridian and it has been pretty HOT!!! But it's supposed to get hotter in August, Yay... not.

So on Monday, we went and did laundry at a members house, Kori Clyde. Then we went to Dirt Cheap and looked around, and we found these shirts that are pretty funny. Then we meet the elders at a park and we played on the playground and took pics by the carousel. Then we went to the church building and played Spot it. It was a pretty fun day.

Tuesday, we went tracting in the morning and then we went and saw Essie and we talked to her about Faith and read from Ether 12. It was a really good lesson and you could feel the spirit there. Then we saw a less-active sister after and visited with her. 

Wednesday we had to drive to Philadelphia for District meeting which is about 30 minutes away. We talked about how we can introduce the Book of Mormon to people. It went very well. Then we did some tracting and it was super hot outside, we were sweating from head to toe. It was pretty gross. Then after we went to the church to judge the Cupcake Wars with the Young Women. There were some interesting cupcakes. Girls put cheese, hard-boiled eggs and roman noodles on it. It was pretty gross, but some were good. We had a lot of fun!!!

Thursday we biked to the Temple Theater which is about 2 miles away and there are a bunch of hills. It took us about 30 minutes to get there. Then we cleaned up the Theater to get everything ready for the show this weekend. Then we biked back to the apartment and drove to visit with Sister Stone. She is a convert for about a year now and we shared with her the talk that Elder Holland gave this last General Conference on How Justice, Love and Mercy Meet. I love that through the Atonement we are able to repent of our sins and how Jesus Christ holds on to us, even though it is with pierced hands.

Friday, we went out with Sister Golden to go visit with some potential investigators out in Marion. We saw some people, but most of them didn't have time so we are going to try back later. Then after she took us to Dairy Queen and got some ice cream. Then we got back home and did some more tracting. 

On Saturday, there was another Baptism for the Elders. So we went and helped with that and it was really good. Then we did some tracting and walking around down-town Meridian and took some pictures.

Sunday, Sister Demetropoulos and I went to Ward Council Meeting at 7 am. We talked a lot about how to make sacrament more spiritual. Then we talked about what was happening in the month of July and the Pancake breakfast that we are having on July 4th. Then we had church and we talked about the Prodigal Son. The lesson was good and I could feel the spirit so strongly. During Relief Society the lesson was on The Holy Ghost/ Comforter talked by Elder Eyring in the Women's session. I love how the Holy Spirit is our comforter and how he helps us chose for right and wrong. After church, we went out with Sister Connie Caraway for lunch and to go visit some people out in Stonewall. We had tacos and we had a lot of fun. It was nice to be able to drive through the country and see all of the green trees. We were with Connie about all day and as soon as we got home, we went and did some visiting teaching with Ashley and Kori. So we were pretty busy seeing people all day. The last sister we went to see was Sister Young and she was so excited to see us. She lives in a nursing home and her friend Mary was with her. We talked to them about the lesson which is one Forgiveness and Mercy, and it brings up the Prodigal Son. It went super good and her friend Mary wants Sister Demetropoulos and I to come visit with her again. Today has been such a great day. Learning of how even though we make mistakes, we still can return to our Father and He will welcome us with open arms. 

Love you all!!!!

Sister O'Connor  

 CUPCAKE WARS....Sister missionaries judging!

Carrousel Ride during PDay

Shopping at the Dirt Cheap store in Meridian

 Service at the Temple Theater

Pictures from last weeks Transfer to my second area Meridian, Mississippi
and President and Sister McDonough's last transfer before they return to Utah.
We will miss them.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Transfer to Meridian, MS and MY FIRST BAPTISM!

June 22, 2015

Hey Family,

So it's my first week in Meridian and I love it here. But let me say what happened the week before because I didn't have time to say it last week. Mostly what happened was that I was saying good-bye to everyone cause I knew that I would be leaving. And I have pictures to send.

So on Monday, We went and said good-bye to Tracy and her grand kids, and they were surprised that both Sister Quilty and I were leaving Flowood. Yea, President took me and Sister Quilty out of Flowood and are pink washing it. (Changing both companions out) Sister Poulson (Who was in the MTC with me) and Sister Harrison are in Flowood now. But I was able to say good-bye to them, and then after we went over to the church building to help sent up for the new missionaries coming in. I can't believe it was just a few months ago that I was coming in to the mission field. Time goes by so fast. 

We had to leave right when the new missionaries got there, because we had a lesson with Leslie and a member, Sister Hintze, who just moved into the ward. We met with Leslie and her husband and the lesson went very well. Sister Hintze was talking with them and they have so much in common, so we hope that they can become friends and be able to get a connection through their friendship. After the lesson when we were talking with Sister Hintze, she was telling us that there is a missionary in the MJM mission that was set apart by Brother Hintze's dad. She was talking about Sister Kendall.  The funny thing is, is that Sister Kendall is at the mission office because she had to drop off her companion because she was going to Brazil. We told Sis. Hintze this so she called her husband to see if they could come see her. Their baby had just fallen asleep so they couldn't. We went to the mission office and told Sister Kendall that the Hintze Family were in Flowood, then we asked President for permission to have Sister Kendall go on a trio with us and we would bring her to the mission home later, and he said, “yes”. So we took Sister Kendall with us first to the Bishop's house to have dinner with them. Also we were able to see the bees that they have and I got to hold one. It was pretty cool. Then we took Sister Kendall to the Hintze house and surprised them. It was pretty cool to talk with them about everything. Then we took Sister Kendall back to the mission home and went home to finish packing.

Tuesday was Transfers. Sister Quilty and I packed up the car with all of our stuff and drove to Clinton. I DROVE on the Freeway for the first time! It was pretty interesting with our car full of stuff and two bikes on the back. We made it there in one piece though. We got there and took everything out of the car and just stared hanging with other missionaries. I was able to see everyone and it was great. It was President and Sister McDonough's last T-Point (transfer point) and then they leave to go home to Utah and we get the new president, President and Sister Olsen on July 1st. I said good-bye to Sister Quilty who is going to Laurel which is by Hattiesburg. Then we played handball (I watched) and then played volleyball. Then Sister Demetropoulos and I went and got lunch at Chick-fa-la. Then we got back and started playing Werewolf (it’s like cops and robbers). We played and then it was time for everyone to leave. I said good-bye to Elder Mobley because he was going home. It's sad to see people that I have spent all of my mission with go home but I am excited to see what he does and hopefully he will walk on to the BYU Football Team. Then we got everything in the car and drove the almost 2 hour drive to Meridian.

Wednesday, we had our district meeting and it went well. In my district is Elder Clayton Eidson, Elder Jordan Eells (same one from my MTC district, which I'm excited about), Elder Cordon Mecham and Elder Jepherey Shcmitt. I'm excited to see how it all goes.
On Thursday, we went and cleaned this old theater, "Temple Theater". It is a super cool theater. It is all based off of volunteer work, because Meridian has no money to fix it. They have Fiddler on the Roof playing this weekend so it was cool to help them set everything up for it. 

I'm just going to skip and tell you what happened this weekend. I HAD MY FIRST BAPTISM!!!!! Lauren is 9 years old and she was baptized. It was so exciting. It was so great to be a part of her being baptized. She is a sweet girl and has such a great testimony in this gospel. 

So ya, this week has been pretty great. Sister Demetropoulos and I get along great with each other and I’m so excited to be in Meridian. 

Love you all !!!!
Sister O'Connor

 Lauren's Baptism with Sister O'Connor and Sister Demetropoulos
McKenna's first exciting!

 Car all loaded and ready for her transfer to Meridian, MS

 View on the drive to Meridian.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Fun week and visit from the Ridges

June 9, 2015

Hey Family,

On Monday, So we did our normal p-day stuff, got up, emailed, got lunch and went to the church to hang with the Elders. We played some basketball and then watched some old Mormon messages. It was a lot of fun just to hang out with all of them. After P-day, we went over to the Crowder’s house to have dinner. They feed us black beans and rice with sausage and it was so good. We were able to talk with them more and were able to get to know them a little better. They are such a great family!!

Tuesday,  We were supposed to see Tracy but when we got there she had things to do so we were going to come back later. When we got into the car, Sister Bentley (one of the senior missionaries) called us to tell us that a new family was moving into the ward. So Sister Quilty and I went to go visit them. We meet the Hintze's, they just moved from Ohio and they are a cute little family. We were able to visit with them for a little bit and welcome them into the ward. After we went and tracted 2 hours and no one wanted to talk to us or open their door. Then after, we went and saw Cindy. Usually we have pizza but this time she made us steak and potatoes and it was super good. I always love going over to Cindy's house.

Wednesday, we had our district meeting and it is the last one for Elder Mobley because he goes home next week. So we had district meeting and then we all went out to eat at a place called Ryan's. It’s kind of like Golden Corral. So after we ate, Sister Quilty and I went to go tract after we went to correlation. Then we went back home to get everything ready for Exchanges. I will be going to Jackson with Sister Houston.

Thursday, I was in Jackson and went around with Sister Houston. We went and visited some of their investigators and was with some members, we also did a little bit of tracting. One of the investigators that we went to was with James, and he is a blind man. It was very cool to be able to talk to him about the gospel and the ten commandments. I could tell that he was wanting a change in his life and that was through what we were teaching. After the lesson, we made our way back to Flowood.

Friday, we did our weekly planning and then we went to the church to have lunch and to watch the funeral for Elder L. Tom Perry. The senior missionaries feed us and we were able to watch the beautiful service for him. Watching it helped remind me that our mission doesn't end when I leave the field or when our life on the earth is over. Our mission continues on into the next life. How amazing is that!! After the service, we went to go visit Shari. It is always fun visiting Shari. We were able to talk with her and to read from the Book of Mormon. She always loves when we are able to read from it with her. After Sister Quilty and I went tracting. A few people answered their doors and we are meeting some of them this week.

Saturday,  We woke up and started to clean the car because it needs to be clean for Zone Conference because they do car inspections. So we did that and then we spent most of the day up by the reservoir. We did some more tracting and we did it in kind of a rich area and people weren't so open hearing from us. After we went and stopped by the Love's house to see how they are doing. They are doing great and are just settling in to their new home and Mississippi.

Sunday, Church was really great. It was Fast Sunday so we got to hear from ward members testimonies and I could feel the spirit. I learned that we can't bury our testimonies in the ground, but we need to share it with others. After church we were able to talk with a few members and then we went home for lunch. After lunch we cleaned the apartment a little because Melissa Ridge and her parents were coming over. The time came when Ridge was here. I was so excited to see her again and to be able to talk with her for a little bit and see how she is doing now that she is no longer a missionary. It is going to be really hard when I have to say good-bye to her one more time.
With transfers next week, I will most likely be leaving Flowood. I will find out on Saturday where I will be going. I got the package and I’m sending back the mesh bottoms, they are a little too big.

For Jared, I guess: State-side- Florida and Foreign- Brazil.
I am so excited to hear what is going on over there back in Utah. Thank you again for the pictures, I really love them.
I love you all so much and miss you.
Alma 38:9  

Sister O’Connor
 Bank Sign

 Bottle Tree

 President and Sister McDonough's last hugs before they return home.
 I have loved serving under them.

 Miss Shari and I

 Zone Conference June 9, 2015

 Dinner at Mugshots with my district. Thank you Brother and Sister Ridge!

 Dessert at Baskin Robbins

 "The Last Supper" as Cindy Roundtree says, with
her granddaughter.

 House we found tracting.

 Melissa Ridge and I together again.

Obediance brings blessings.

May 26, 2015

Hey Family,

On Monday, we handed with the Elders at the church and played some basketball. It was a lot of fun. Then Sister Quilty and I went over to Miss Shari's and she feed us. We had meatloaf and it was pretty good.

On Tuesday, about all of our appointments fell through, but we were able to go to a Relief Society activity. We talked about mothers and learned things to be great mothers. 

Wednesday, we had our district meeting and the Zone leaders weren't there cause they were in Jackson. Oh and there was an Emergency Transfer. Elder Clyde is now our Zone Leader with Elder Gray, and Elder Mobley is our District leader and is companions with Elder Vest. After District meeting, I wasn't feeling good so we went back to the apartment so that I could rest. When I woke up, I just felt worse. I didn't want to do anything. But we made our way to correlation. Sister Quilty and I waited there for a little bit and finally people started to show up. They had the Blue and Gold banquet that night too so we weren't sure if the meeting was cancelled or not. But we were able to do the meeting and on our way out, Sister Mayo stopped us and told us to grab some food from the banquet. So we grabbed some food, which we were super grateful for and then when we were leaving, we saw the elders outside. And of course the elders were being all weird and they could tell that something was wrong. I was just about to cry right there, but I didn't. They then told me to talk to them later that night. So Quilty and I  went and to go try Brandi and her daughters cause it had been a while since we had seen them. They were home and we were able to see how they were doing and are seeing them again this Wednesday. Then we went back home and Sister Ridge had called me. The elders had told her that I wasn't doing so good, so I talked with her for a little bit and promised her that we would get our 7 hours of tracting done this week. After I decided to take a bubble bath to try to calm down and then I went and lay down outside. Sister Quilty and I were talking about everything going on. Then I called the elders to talk with them too. I realized while talking to them, how much they care about me and that they were worried about me. It felt so great to know that I was cared for by them. 

On Thursday, we were able to see Tracy in the morning and was able to read a little bit from the Book of Mormon. Then Sister Quilty and I went and did an hour of tracting right before going to the Mustard Seed. At the Mustard seed, we were singing songs with everyone and it was a lot of fun. Then after we went and tracted. And the weather right then was pretty good. It was nice and cool with an overcast. We meet a women named Ada and she is a Baptist. We talked to her more about our church and we invited her to read the Book of Mormon. She said, "That her inner Baptist said no, but her curiosity said yes." So she took the Book of Mormon and we are meeting with her on Thursday about it. Then right after we knocked on this house and the husband answered the door and said that they were happy in their church and he was very nice about it. And then he left and we went and knocked on the next door. When we can back, the wife had come outside and introduced herself to us. Her name is Leslie and she had their 8 month old little boy. And we talked with her for about an hour and a half. She was asking us all of these questions and we were doing are very best to answer them. We will be seeing her again also on Thursday. Then when we got back to the car, we had realized that we had done about 3 hours of tracting. That is a lot in one day. Then right after we went to visit Paula and Kyle. And they were home and they had just bought a new puppy which I was super tempted to take it home. So we were talking with them and they decided that they were going to feed us, so they made Burgers and fries for us. I was so grateful that they were doing that for us. I feel so home when I am with them.

Thursday, we did our weekly planning and then we went and did some more tracting. We got about an hour in and no one answered their doors. Then we went over to visit with Shari. We talked with her and see how she was doing. Then we left to go try Demond. And again he wasn't home. So then we called the elders to see if we could come grab my package that you had sent. They had picked it up for me because we weren't going to make to the Mission office in time to get it. So we went and got it and the clothes are super cute. After, Sister Quilty and I had decided that we had earned some ice cream so we went and got some from Bop's. 

On Saturday, we woke up and went straight out tracting, because we wanted to get as much done as we could before it started to get hot. When we tracted no one really answered their door. We had forgot that it was Memorial Day weekend so a lot of people weren't going to be home. The last door we knocked on, his name was Ross and he was super surprised to see sister missionaries walking around. He had only thought that it was just Elders. So we talked with him for about an hour and a half about religion, politics and history. He is a really funny guy. After, we went and grabbed some lunch and watched some And then we went and visited Matt, that me and Sister James had tracted into about a few months ago. SO he was home and we got to talk to him about why he had decided to go back to his old church. And while we were going on in the conversation, it started to get really weird. He said that he was thinking about me the other day and was asking for my email and number. And of course I was playing dumb and said that I had forgot all of that. Then he was trying to add me on Facebook and it wasn't working, Thank goodness! And then he was asking if we can date as missionaries and it was just getting real creepy. Finally it was time for us to go. SO we left and I was walking as fast as my little feet can walk back to the car. We get in and Sister Quilty is dying of laughter and I am just trying to get the heck out of there. We will not be visiting him ever again. So after I settle down for a minute, we realized that we had about a half hour left of tracting and I was down for the day but Sister Quilty helped me and we went and did that last half hour. It was really hard tracting here in the south on Sunday because everyone tells you that they are saved and that they already went to church. SO after we got the tracting done, we headed our way over to Cindy's house. We got to Cindy's and I was able to introduce Sister Quilty to her. We talked a little bit about her trip and we made our pizzas. We had a lot of fun there.

Sunday, we went to church and it was a great. Sacrament meeting, you could feel the spirit very strong. All three classes were just great. After church we took a little nap and then we started making dinner. We made potatoes and stroganoff (don’t know how to spell it). and we realized that we had a bunch so we called the ZL's to see if they wanted any. They told us yes in a heartbeat. So they came over and ate with us. We had some fun talking and we were talking about stuff and Elder Clyde had walked right through the screen door and watching that was so funny. I fell to the floor I was laughing so hard, and then trying to see them put it back was pretty funny. Then it started to down pour rain and thunder and lightening. It was almost tornado weather. It was really pretty to watch.
Sister Quilty and I are getting along great with each other. We are having so much fun. I got really lucky to have another great companion.

Love you all so much and miss you!!!!!
Sister O'Connor