Monday, July 20, 2015

Investigators + church (Prayers please)

July 20, 2015

Hey Family,

Love you all and hope everything is going good. Love the pics!!!!

Monday, we hanged with the elders for a little bit at the church playing spot it. Then we went to Fern's house and painted. We had a lot of fun painting and I know that she sent you a few pics.

Tuesday, while we were tracting I went to go knock on a door and I looked up and a huge spider was right in front of my face. Sister Demetropolous and I were laughing about it. After we went and saw Essie. We sang a few hymns with her and showed her my picture book. It was fun looking through the pictures and being able to sing. It went very well, but we are struggling to have Essie come to church. She is an eternal investigator and has been seen by a bunch of missionaries. We will just have to see where the Lord takes her. 

Wednesday, the Zone Leaders came up because they had MLC the week before so they talked with us about what happened. Nothing much is going to change right now. President Olsen is just feeling out the mission and will make some changes later on in the future. Then later that, Tammy Myhre and her husband took us out to dinner. We had a lot of fun being able to talk with another member. She is a convert to the church and they are both working on going to the temple. When we were leaving, it was pretty dark outside and we could see Tornado funnels starting to form. It was pretty cool.

Thursday, we went to Temple Theatre and we got to walk behind the scenes there. It was cool but creepy at the same time. I felt like the Phantom was going to pop out. Then after that we went to go see some referrals that we had recieved. We met Tocarro and were able to teach her the Restoration and when Sister Demetropolous invited her to be baptized, and  she said she would. Yay!!!!!! We were super excited about it and are trying to find a ride for her to come to church. Then we went to Sister Stone’s house and did a practice lesson with her on the Plan of Salvation. The lesson went very well and Sister Stone was very talkative today, which she normally isn't. Then we went over to Sarah and Colton Campbell’s house to have dinner. They are moving in a few weeks which is super sad because they are great. Later  we went to an investigators house, Jottie. Her daughters are members but she isn't. The oldest daughter had just got back from youth conference and wants to serve a mission. So we talked with her about our mission and got to watch some mission call openings on youtube. It was pretty fun to watch them and to think that I have already gone through that. It is so weird!! 

Friday, we rode our bikes in the morning and it was super hot outside. We had drank all of our water and no one answered the doors. But it was nice to ride the hills going back home. Then we went out to Marion to visit some  potential investigators. We got to see Clarissa and Brandi's girls. After we went to the Nelson's house to teach Tybise and then they feed us dinner. It was really good. Then we were able to talk with them for a little bit. 

Saturday, we tracted in the morning and tried seeing people. Then we went and helped a new family move-in. It took us about an hour or less to unload the moving truck. It was fun to meet the new family and talk with members.

Sunday, Church was kind of rough because none of our investigators came to church and the whole day was about pioneers and families. It made me pretty home-sick. After church we had correlation meeting and Brother Morgan was telling us to not be discouraged. After lunch we tried to see people and tract. We were getting eaten a live by mosquito's.   

My testimony has grown the most through everything. I know for a fact that Joseph  Smith was a prophet and he was called of God to restore the church in this dispensation. I know that my Faith in him has grown a lot. Having faith in him has made me become a better missionary and has helped me listen to the Holy Ghost more. I have been come a better, stronger person just being out almost 6 months and am excited to see me grow more.

Love you all!!!!!

Sister O'Connor

Tornado Funnel forming in Meridian

Spider that came down to my face while I was knocking on a door.
 "Gross and creepy"

McKenna's Meridian Masterpiece

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

My 1st Investigator that came to church!

July 13, 2015

Hey Family,

It sounds like you had a lot of fun and I am super jealous.

Monday, we had a mini Zone Conference to meet President Olsen and his wife. It lasted about 2 hours asking them questions and all of that stuff. We had to leave early to get there because it is about an hour and a half drive to get to Brandon from Meridian. After the conference we stayed to have our P-Day there. We played soccer and it was a lot of fun. Got a few bruises from it but oh well. Then we hung with the Zone leaders for a little bit then we headed home.

Tuesday, It was raining again. But we were able to go see Essie and then after saw Susan who is inactive. She is going through a lot of trials right now and we just pray that she can feel the love that Heavenly Father has for her. Then after we went to the Slaughter's to have dinner. We helped brother Slaughter with the backyard and got to throw bricks and brake them. It was a lot of fun, but I got attacked by mosquitos. They even bite my face.

Wednesday, We had to go to Philly for DDM. So we had that, then had lunch, then went back to Meridian. We went to visit with people and tracted. We tracted and found a women who had a snake. We held her snake and she gave us water. She also invited us to the community garden on Saturday. Then after we went to the Slaughters again and they feed us. They are such a great family. Then we had exchanges. Sister Demetropoulos  went to Jackson and I stayed in Meridian with Sister James.

Thursday, we went to Temple Theatre and Sister James thought it was so cool. Then we went and tracted and we meet a lady who is a member of the Jehovah Witness church. She let us in her home, gave us water and talked with us for a little. Then she invited us to come back, so we will see how it goes. Then we went and saw Sister Stone. Then we exchanged back.

Friday, We helped Fern Buntyn with the activity this weekend which is on Emergency Preparedness. So we had lunch and we helped make posters and a PowerPoint .  After we went to Marion and saw some potential investigators, which no one answered but oh well.

Saturday, we went to the community garden and got to help pick some food, we even got some. It was awesome. Then we went to the Relief Society Activity and it went very well. A lot of people came and I learned a lot from it. Then we went and tracted and it was super hot and humid. It's going to be a long summer! After tracting, we went to Brother Morgans' house who is our Ward Mission leader and his family feed us. It was a lot of fun.

Sunday, we had church and it was exciting because our investigator Dianna came to church!!! This has been my first. She stayed all three classes and we are going to see her Friday and she how she liked it. After lunch we tracted some more and we were dying. It was so hot and we were sweating like no other. Then April Miles picked us up and she feed us dinner. She is the mother of Lauren and it was great to talk with her.

 I asked McKenna several questions and here are her answers:
1) My apartment is great. Much smaller than the one in Flowood, but I love it.
2) We go to the Library to email each week.
3) I love the ward here. They are so nice to us and they love helping us out.
4) Sister Demetropoulos  is from So Cal, Ventura County. She has 7 siblings. She went to UVU for a little bit. She is Awesome. We get a long great with each other!!!
5) The Elders in my district are: Elder Eidson, Eells, Schmitt, and Mecham.
6) We haven't had interviews with President Olsen yet, but he seems really cool.

Love you all!!!!
Sister O'Connor

 Sister O'Connor and Sister Demetropolous with the Elders on PDay

Sign on home in Meridian, Mississippi

Fireworks on the 4th of July

Painting at Fern Buntyn's home during P Day!

These next two pictures were taken on July 12, 2015 at President and Sister McDonough's homecoming. There were over 200 returned missionaries from the MJM. It was so fun to see the reunions between missionaries as well the support for the McDonough's service. During the meeting all of the missionaries were asked to come up and sing, "Called to Serve"! Yes, I did cry! The spirit was so strong and I felt a little piece of McKenna there with us. We were able to see her first companion, Melissa Ridge (who we love dearly-it's always great seeing her) and we got to meet Elder Mobley who was in McKenna's district. He just returned home a few weeks ago. (He recognized me and said "I" look like McKenna!!!  (I was technically in the cultural hall when this picture was taken)

Sister Ridge and Elder Mobley

Last picture and hugs with President & Sister McDonough

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Strenghten testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith

July 7, 2015

Love the pictures and it looks like you guys had so much fun!! 

On Monday, we went and biked around Bonita Lakes, which it was a pretty bumpy, hills and jumps all over the place. We were only there for a little bit because Sister Demetropoulas  and I had to leave early to head out to Whynot, Mississippi. There is an investigator out there that we were going to visit. So in Whynot, we meet the investigator and on the way back we found a race track or something like that and we took pictures with it. It was a lot of fun!! 

Tuesday, we had flash flood warnings so we had to wait inside till the storm settled, then we tried to go out with a member to see people and of course no one answered. So when we got back, we figured out what we were going to talk to Essie about, and we decided to talk about Joseph Smith because the night before we had watched the Restoration movie and Mountain of the Lord. So when we got to Essie's, we asked her if she had been reading the Book of Mormon and she told us that she was prompted to re-read Joseph Smith History. We were so amazed by that. So we talked about Joseph Smith and all of the trails that he went through and how he died for this gospel. Then it moved into how temples are important and how we do baptisms for the dead. Then it went to the Plan of Salvation and how the Spirit world works.  I shared with her about  Grandma and her passing and how I know that she is watching over me and is helping me here on my mission and how I will one day see here again. We could all feel the spirit there very strongly and it was pretty emotional. After I reflected on what we talked about, my testimony grew stronger about the Prophet Joseph Smith and how he was chosen by God to restore this gospel back on the earth, and how the plan of salvation works.

Wednesday, the Zone leaders came to Meridian for District Meeting and they talked to us about the new mission president coming in and how he was called just like President McDonough to be a mission President. After we went to Chili's for lunch and we had a lot of fun. Then we tracted and tried to see potential investigators.

Thursday, we went to Temple Theatre to serve and they gave us two trash bags of popcorn that they were going to throw away. Later we went and visited Sister Stone to see how she was doing. Then we had dinner at Sarah and Colton Campbell's house. They both have served missions and Sarah actually served in the MJM mission a few years ago. So we ate with them and talked about Joseph Smith.

Friday, We meet with a new investigator and shared with her the Restoration and she understood everything and agreed about how we have so many churches. We are trying to visit with her again later. Then we saw Essie again and we helped her get the app on her phone and we watched videos and listened to music. When we got back, the Slaughters told us that they had my package, so they came and got us. It was pretty funny to see an elf come out of the car and having Christmas music playing. It was fun opening up the package and all of the letters. It made my day!!

Saturday, 4th of July!!!!!! We had a Pancake Breakfast in the morning and that was a lot of fun, begin able to visit with members. Later we went home and cleaned the place up a little bit cause it is really hard to tract on holidays cause either everyone is out of town or don't answer their doors. Then we went over to the Morgan's house which Sam Morgan had just been called as our Ward Mission Leader. So we had a BBQ over there and we all had a lot of fun, then we drove over to Bonita Lakes to watch Fireworks with some members. The Fireworks we really cool!!!

Sunday, Sister Demetropoulos and I got to teach a primary class and it was pouring outside. The thunder was shaking the church building. It has been raining basically all week. After church we went and tracted a little bit. Then we went to the Blalocks house and had dinner with them. They are such a cute family and really love the missionaries. 

I noticed this week, that we talked about Joseph Smith a lot. Sister Demo and I called it the Joseph Smith week. I have grown to love what he did to restore the gospel and even died for it. I know that he was a prophet and that he was called to do a great and marvelous work. Just like how I am called to do a Great and Marvelous Work in Mississippi. 

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

P-Day at the Meridian Carousal with the Elders (sorry no names yet)

 View in Meridian, Mississippi

Sister O'Connor and Sister Demetropoulas from Thousand Oaks, CA

Welcome to Mississippi

Whynot, Mississippi Motorsports Park Fun!

Christmas in July thanks to ward member Cindy Slaughter and her elf niece and daughter 
fun seens from the movie Elf.... oh and there was Christmas music playing in the background
(Mormon Tabernacle Choir of course)