Monday, September 26, 2011

Birthday Week!

Well here we are again!!! Can you believe we are in the last week of SEPTEMBER!!! Which means I have quite the day coming up this week!! I am so excited. Its going to be especially different this year being that I wont be able to be with all of you!! I just get to spend it with other friends that I have made. I don't have any super exciting plans as of yet, but that doesn't mean it wont just be the greatest, and really its all about the attitude. HAPPY BIRTHDAY this week to an Amazing and Beautiful SISTER!!! I Love you Linnea!! You better celebrate hard for the both of us.... OK. Maybe even have some mocha almond fudge ice cream seeing that's not really the thing I should be buying at the grocery store, and some pie!! I got a little teary eyed as I read your sweet email. You are the best, and you keep me going. I cant wait to open your present. I don't have it yet, but they should deliver it sometime before Thursday. Have the best day ever!!! Of course I sent something home for you as well because that's just what I do. So be excited, and don't you dare open it until 9/29. Take lots of pictures for me. Oh and guess what you will be 23 when I get home.... ha ha. Love you. Also its TOREE's Birthday Tomorrow, so someone can write on her facebook page or something to tell her that I Love her.
OK so this week has been really good actually. We have found some new investigators with some really high potential. They have committed to reading the book of Mormon, and they are still allowing us to come and teach them which is always a good sign. Like I have mentioned before its finding the people who are really ready to make the change. We met this lady and I really cant remember her name which is sad, but it was the most interesting visit ever. We knock on the barley pokes her head out, and after a few minutes she finally lets us in. She knows quite a bit about the gospel. We just have to set a few things straight. I think she might have been taught by the Jehovah Witnesses at one point in time, and that's never good. She is 26, and has been married for about 10 months now. She is so nice, but a little different we definitely have to figure out what is going on because she was open to reading the book of Mormon, but when we were quoting the first vision she told us to stop because she is sick. Then she wouldn't let us end with a prayer because of her sickness...Weird. Not to mention she talked to us for about 20 Min's about how we should make sure we get and education. Then another 15 Min's on Boyfriends, and making sure we marry someone who is going to treat us well, and that we can be happy with. It was quite funny, so I call her "potential" because she has a lot of it. I will keep you updated on how she turns out. 
Now have to fill you in on Carolina and her family. Last week like I mentioned they didn't come to church. Monday night we went over to visit them, and found out that she was in a car accident. What to know when...yep when she should have been at church. I am not going to judge, but not only was she not a church she was shopping. Which just a few days before we taught her keeping the Sabbath day holy!!! What the heck. Hopefully its a little bit of a eye opener to her. I love her really, but she is super busy and is a little lazy when it comes to getting to Church. This week we have to make her realize the blessings that can come from attending church because she didn't come yesterday either!!! We had a short lesson with her this week because she needed some help with her insurance stuff from the accident. She expressed how she felt bad that she missed her baptismal date, and she is still keeping the commitments of reading, and praying. So once she comes to church she can finally make the baptism step. I keep praying, and staying positive. I just have to stop thinking about it, and let the lord do his work. So hopefully this month, but don't hold your breath.
We had a zone fireside last night. Which we have every sunday night to discuss new things in the mission or just how everyones week went. Last night we just had a testimony meeting, and talked about the zone conference we had a few weeks ago. Missionary Work is hard, and nothing really prepares you for it until your actually here. Its more emotionally hard as your trying to be the best missionary you can, getting people to church and make the necessary changes in their lives, and being away from every thing thats comfortable. Some one shared a quote from a talk saying "Missions are made up of disappointments, and spiritual experiences. You just dont remember the disappoinments." Its so true!! This week I have really realized how its the people that make it all worth it. Some examples from this week.
1. A cute little girl about 3 years old giving me a kiss on the cheek as we leave a lesson.
2. Another little girl learning my name, and repeating it to me about 5 times. I had met her once before, but its been a few weeks since I have seen her family at church. She comes up to me after "I remember you, I just dont remember your name."
3. Carolina giving me the most genuine hug, and telling us she is so grateful for how she feels when we are in her home.
4. Being in someones home, and being a conselor as they share everything. Which I still only catch about 50% of whats going on.
5. Kneeling with Carolina and her family for prayer before her kids went to bed.
6. Having people be excited when you show up to there home.
Its just the simple things, but it gives it purpose. Even though its hard you just have to look for the small things. Some exciting News Dallin H. Oaks is coming to our Mission on November 19th!!  Also on thursday night (our birthday)  I am going on exchanges with Hermana Stout!! So I get to have a sleep over with her that night, and then do some missionary work with her friday!! That is going to be fun to just catch up with her.
Oh and wasn't Dieter F. Uctdorfs talk AMAZING in the relief society meeting. I know the talk was given to women all over the world, but I kind of think it was just for me. Isn't that amazing how it can apply to all of us in the different stages, and hard times in our lives, and it being exactly what we need to hear. I loved it. Enjoy conference this week!!! I am super excited for that as well. I wil be watching it the same time you will just in a different place.
Linnea please UPDATE my BLOG!!!!
Well family I love you all!! Your amazing, and I hope you have the best week ever. Know that I always am thinking about you, and praying for your success. Keep doing whats right, and enjoy every moment. Love your favorite missionary!!! Les Amo Mucho!!!
Siempre Amor
Hermana Grimes

The rainy season has begun!

Well I had quite the interesting week!! I can't say it was the best one by any means. Its seems this week we had a lot of appts that we had scheduled, but they all pretty much fell through. No one was home!! Its so frustrating  because Hispanics really are kind of flaky I love them, but they are flaky!!! They really have no sense of time either so when you say Wednesday night at 6 it could be anywhere from 4- 9 that they might be home. I just have to keep telling myself there must be someone else we have to see instead. It makes you feel a little bit better. Its hard because the Lord has a time that he wants people to be ready to hear and accept the gospel, but everyone has to use there agency. I just want to say to them " you know I am doing you a favor, this is your eternal salvation we are talking about." It doesn't quite work that way though!! Oh well. Also some other disappointing news, Carolina didn't come to church which means she is being pushed back again!! I am so sad. She is so ready to be baptized, and she has been to Church before. Its just hard because of her work schedule. Another thing with Hispanics in the states is they work on Sunday's, and jobs are hard to come by for them because some of them are here illegally so they cant really just quite. The goal is hopefully for next week, but don't get your hopes up. Just keep praying it works!! 
This week we had a zone conference and Keith R. Edwards-( I think he is in the quorm of the 70) came to speak with us. It was amazing. You always walk away from those kinds of meetings just feeling pumped, and ready to go. He talked about the spirit of revelation and using the spirit of prophecy to teach. Only the spirit can change people, so we need to make sure we invite the spirit. Then he talked about Abraham and how he was commanded to sacrafice Issac. How we have to be willing to put it all on the altar to come to know Christ, and do what he needs us to do. We are the ones who signed the paper, and submitted the papers to be the missionaries he needs us to be. It was just encouraging, and always adds something a little different to the week. He mentioned its supposed to be hard because Jeffery R. Holland said it best "Salvation is not a Cheap Experience" we are here to represent Christ, his journey wasn't easy for us with the atonement so, what makes us think that we are going to have it easy. There is a special calling in bringing forth the work. We are promised that if we do our best we can and will make up the for the rest.
Also its started raining so needless to say I no longer stay  dry!! Which means I start to look a little special because I am not going to be doing cute things with my hair, and then  5 mins later have is soaking wet, so don't judge. Mom that cute rain coat has become quite handy especially with the HOOD!!! I am thinking more and more I will learn to appreciate the rain. People arent kidding when they say Washington has two seasons August and Rainy. Gotta Love it! Well we do get a few sunny days here and there, like today!! Of course because its P-day, and its the one day we can a hangout inside in our warm and comfy sweats. Oh well, Its just the beginning.
Well family I love you all so much, and I can't thank you enough for all your support. Each of you have such exciting and big things happening in your lives. Know that I pray for you always so keep being the best you can. I Love getting all of your emails. Until next week. Also saturday is the Relief Society Broadcast, and I cant wait!! So mom and Linnea just know at the exact same time your watching it so will I- well an hour later, but still!!!
Siempre Amor
Hermana Grimes

Another amazing week in Seattle!!

My Amazing Family,
Hello, Again!! Thank you for your emails!! I love email day, its the best to open the inbox and see your emails. I know life is getting busy with school and work, mail has really started to slow down so hearing from you is the best. It just is the tender mercy that keeps you going. Linnea I am so sorry about not sending you a letter last week, but this week should make up for it. I already have it written, and it will be going in the mail first thing tomorrow morning. Be excited!!! I hope you had fun at your concert, and I cant believe that Lion King is this week!!! I LOVE LOVE that play, and steven is going with you, man your going to have a blast. Also that nashville tribute thing so sounds cool!! I totally would listen to the CD mom but we have a dumb rule that we can only listen to Hymns. Dont get me started! I dont know why but I am so bitter about this rule. Its because of a few stupid missionaries that the whole mission gets punished. I love hymns dont get me wrong, but there is so much other good inspiring church music thats not hynms. Whatever. I am going to have a great appreciation for regular music when I get home. The other day we were having a little chat outside with a lady and her neighbors were blasting the Kings of Leon song "Use Somebody" and it was great!!! Well Carolina and her Kids are just as amazing as ever I cant even describe how much I love that family. As of right now she is scheduled to be baptized on the 20th of this Month!!! We taught her the word of wisdom last week, she is a coffee drinker and she had absolutly no problems with it at all. She didnt come to stake conference last week because she got called in to work which was a huge bummer. She has to come this week or we are going to have to push the baptism back another week. She is still going strong. Speaking of church this last week we had stake conference. It was broadcast from Salt Lake City!! We got to hear from Elder Snow, Sister Dalton, Elder Holland, and Elder Packer. It was amazing at least the parts of the talks that I happened to understand. I had to watch it in spanish which I was a little bummed about. We just had our little spanish branch in the Relief Socitey Room while everyone else was in the chapel. I was a little bitter about it, but I got the gosple part of each talk. I didnt quite understand every little story or personal experience they were using. A lot of the talks were on the importance of the holy ghost, and how there are 3 places in our life that need to be a santuary, are family, church, and the temple. Last night we had a lesson with Joel, and he is doing a lot better with drinking and smoking. We had the Elders come over and give him a blessing and it was amazing. He just kept explaining how its not easy because obvioulsy he has grown an addiction over the years, and all of his friends drink so its a social thing as well. It was mentioned in the blessing that Heavenly Father is aware of him, and his difficulties so I am sure that will help give him the strength. It was powerful. This week and Last we are finding new people to teach, and really figuring out which of our investigators are really ready to make the commitment. Last week about 50 missionaries were invited to a meeting with the President. I was one of them along with my companion. We are still not sure why he called all of us there he said there was a common thread between all the missionaries there, but he wouldn't tell us what it was. Anyway basically he talked about Gideons Army, and the 50 of us need to be Gideons Army for are mission. We have a yearly goal of baptizms in the mission which of course was set by the mission president. He talked a lot about that goal, and how he wants us to be a part of making that happen the next 4 months. It was way intense, and I felt very honored to be there. It was such a spiritual meeting, which every meeting I have had with the president is, he is a spritual giant. This morning we got to attend the temple. I attached some pictures. Then afterwards we went and had a little zone party at deseret book while each missionary was in amazment looking at everything. The things you get excited for. Then a few of us went to lunch at dairy queen. I love making friends with the elders it adds something a little more to the mission, and we have such a fun time. Ok I have to tell  you about my experience yesterday with food. It was the typical missionary food experience. Ok so I made myself a small lunch around 12 which consisted of a fruit smootie and some crackers- healthy right. I am trying. Then we had an appt at 2 with the Branch President so we get over there and his wife gives us some yogurt. Ok thats just fine. Then she asks if we want lunch we politely say yes so she makes us 3 eggs I dont think I have ever eaten three eggs, the we have rice with some type of mexican seasoning, and tortillas!! Then after we have cake. I havent had sweets for a week!! The first thing I have is some leftover birthday cake thing with strawberries between both layers, and thick frosting. It was a good meal I am not complaining, but I was pretty content by this point. Like I would have been fine with out food the rest of the Night. Then at 4 so 2 hours later we had another appt with the relief society presient. We get over there and she is feeding her kids-of course. Her mom lives with her as well, so with an older mexican lady you have to be careful with not offending. So they feed us more!! So we had rice, and some type of batttered chicken, with tortillas. I was dying!!! My comp just took it like a champ, but I really was not even a little hungry because 2 big meals with in 2 hours. None of these were supposed to be dinner appts. Then She brings out more chicken!!! By this point I will throw up if I put one more thing in my mouth so we ask her if we can take it to go. Then the cute little grandma the whole time we are eating she just keeps pointing out we have vegtables, and pico. I dont know how my comp did it. I have never eaten that much before it was worse than a thanksgiving, probably because there was no time for any digustment whatsoever. After we had about 30 mins of a little break, we both went home and curled up on the floor. I told her I was never doing that again. I refuse to get fat!!! Its nice because the elders are in some biggest loser competition with each other, and they always say Hermana Grimes you dont even have anything to lose. Thanks guys, but really I was dying. It was not even a little funny, and I love every meal we have its all good food so thats never the concern. At least now I have one of those stories. Also saturday night we had a less active/ recent convert teach us how to make tortillas I am going to come home an awesome mexcian cook!!! I attached pictures of that as well.
Well You all have an awesome week. I still always pray for you!!! Enjoy
Also Birthday ideas
1. Purse- needs to fit scriptures, and a camera-side strap kind of stylish
2. Slippers- Like the ones Linnea and B have from Target
3. All sorts of Tights- different colors as well.
Love you All!!! Thanks for your amazing Support.
Love Always Lindsey

A dinner deal

My amazing Family!!
How are you all?! I hope your doing well. I am on a limited time so I didnt have time to read your emails before I wrote this letter so sorry if I didnt get all your questions answered, but I will. Dont worry. Everything is going just great, like always. First off I LOVED the package!! It was perfect so Thank you so much!! Also great job on the headband and scarf!! They are so cute, I will have to send pictures of me when I wear them. I loved everything green in the package, and it was very appropriate considering I am infact a "Greenie." This past weekend we had a little mexican fiesta with the branch, and it was so much fun!! I love hispanics. They are some of the nicest must humble people, I know. They are always open to listening to what you have to say, which is great. You just have to find what people are really ready to make the necessary changes. Anyway the party was filled with tons of FOOD!! Mexican food, which I am loving more and more. Then some of the traditional mexican dances. It was such a nice break, and such a fun way to get to know the branch better. As far as my investigators Carolina- Her and her family were not at church on Sunday we found out
 it was because they were sick, so thats a good reason. They are so ready to accept the gospel!! The still are planning on being baptized this month, but since they missed church it will probably be on the 24th. Just pray it happens this month. She is really hard to get a hold of because of her work schedule, but she is always making time to meet with us. I absolutely love her, and her kids. A few days ago we finished teaching about them about restoration of the gospel and Joseph Smith, and she started crying when were we telling her the experience in the sacred grove. Its amazing because the Lord really does have his hand in this work. Even if people are not ready to accept the gospel it helps lead you to the ones that really are. On sunday are other investiagtor Joel came to church. Joel is dating Alyson who is a member of the church, and she wont marry him unless he makes the changes in his life. He his such a nice guy, and very nice and open to change. He just has a hard time because he smokes, and drinks but its getting better. This week we are coming up with a plan of attack to try and get him to stop. I want to see him baptized before I leave this area!! He is such an awesome guy!! Speaking of plans of attack today we went to visit with a recent convert Manuel. Manuel is having a hard time with the Word of Wisdom as well, and he did really good for a long time. He has some friends that arent the best influence, and so he cracked!! We had about an hour long chat with him today about it, and he is still struggling. So, my companion and I decided to make a little deal with him. Of course he was part the decision process as well. I have to give up chocolate for a few weeks. Our check in period is in about 2 weeks!! I tried telling him my favorite thing was mashed potatoes, but he wasnt buying it!! I could give those up with no problems at all!! Hermana Heywood is giving up Peanut Butter. We have a little night planned in 2 weeks for dinner so we will see who ends up paying up. My St. George Peeps should know, but I KICK BUTT at dinner deals!!! I will let you know the results. Of course we are checking in with him everynight, and he has to let us know it he had a drink or smoked during the day. Personal Accountablity. He is such a great guy he just needs a push. Last week he took us out for fried ice cream, and he was doing great. I dont know what the heck happened he just has ups and downs. What he needs is a single pretty hispanic lady. Maybe with time.
As far as Washington goes the weather has been Beautiful!! I have still managed to keep my self nice and dry.
There is just a few things I need. Mom and Dad when you send the next package would you please enclose some of my winter sweaters because when it gets cold its going to get cold. I have them in a box in the basement. Labeled "Linds Winter" Thanks!
I LOVE YOU ALL!! I pray for you always. Enjoy Everything, and Know I am thinking about You!!!
Next week we have the temple so P-day is once again switched until Tuesday!!
Have an awesome week
Love Lindsey

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

What a week!

Hello to my Amazing Family,
It is so good to hear from each one of you. Of course I am sitting here with tears in my eyes as I read everything that is happening at home, and all of the amazing things each of you are doing. I have so much to fill you in on as far as this week goes, it has been crazy!! I feel like I have been here forever, and that it's going to go on forever. I know its all about just getting the hang of a new area, new companion, new language, and new people. It really has been quite eventful, and I have been so tired all week long. I don't know what it is but I am still blaming it on the lack of sleep from flying in, but pretty soon that excuse wont fly. I hit the pillow at 10:30, and I am out!! I am always so dead tired  in the MTC they said its good because that means your working hard, but really its just all the changes that our happening. Well I love my companion but what else is new. She is great. Her name is Abbie Heywood from Ogden Utah, and me and her have quite a bit in common. I really am so blessed to have the ability to get along with others it has become quite handy. Anyway she is patient, loving, non judgemental, and is helping me learn. She has been out about a year. She will hit her "Click" day September 1st so its coming up here in just a few days.
Now like I mentioned we dont waste anytime we get straight to work. Thursday we went to visit with Becky who is (11) and her mom Mercades. There oldest son Christian was baptized a little while ago, and we are working on teaching the Mom and Daughter. Its a huge issue with permission so hopefully one day Becky will be baptized, but it is taking them a little longer to grasp the concepts. Everyone has to learn at there own pace. Becky gets taught in English, and her mom get taught in Spanish. Becky is just the cutest girl ever!! Once we got there of course I introduced myself and Becky just starts throwing out all of these sweet compliments. She told me I looked like some girl off the Disney channel. Which was nice, and how she liked my hair, skin, eyes, clothes, everything. So her and I had quite the conversation getting to know each other. My companion was talking with the mom while I visited with Becky. I was telling Becky how my Spanish wasn't the greatest, and she said "I will Pray for you." Then I was saying something and used por and not para which is confusing, but I am grasping the concept. Ya, she laughed a me for about 5 minutes, but its all good. We asked her to give the closing prayer as she was saying it she said "Please bless...oh wait I forgot your name" so I whisper Hermana Grimes, and she continues "Please bless hermana grimes that she will learn English, oh wait she is already good at that help her to learn spanish." I thought it was sweet.
Also this week we have been doing our service hours at some El-Salvadorian Restaurant which is quite fun, and we get fed every time we go there so thats always nice. The food is great. The other day I was helping peel tamales or something along those lines, and this old man comes up to me asks me my name. He asked where I was from, and then he said "your really cute I want to steal you"!! AHH!! That's not something you really want to hear, and then he asked for my phone number luckily I cant give that out. Its was creepy, but funny.
Now on the Biggest Miracle of all this week. We had received a call from a lady that wanted us to go and visit her friend so of course we sent up a day and time. Then she had to cancel because of work but wanted to reschedule and meet with us another time. This was all over answering machines so we never really got a new date set. We were in Auburn a few days later and figured we would just stop by. Her name is Carolina she is a single mom from Honduras, and she has 3 kids. We started teaching the first lesson talking about how we are children of God, then we talked about families, and prophets. The second I walked in you could feel her love. She was so welcoming, and started expressing her feelings. She has such a desire to follow Christ, and you can feel the love she has for Jesus Christ. Of course in the MTC the word Baptism was drilled into our heads so that has been the focus!! I could only understand maybe a few words here and there in the lesson but me and and my companion already know that baptism is on our minds and that is our goal. My companion turns to me, and says "OK we are going to invite them to be baptized". So in my broken/ lovely Spanish  I introduce 2 nephi 31, and talk about how its the doctrine of Christ. How Christ was perfect, and he was baptized then I extended the invitation for her to be baptized. She ACCEPTED!!! So Carolina ( the mom), Kathreen (12), and Bryan (9) are put on date to be baptized on SEPTEMBER 17!! She also has one other son that will turn 8 in December. It was a miracle!! She was defiently a golden investigator, and I couldn't be more excited. She has a friend who is LDS so she has attended church before, and was familiar with a little bit about what we taught. She and her family came to church yesterday, and we are going to continue teaching them. So,  my first week we put 3 people on date for baptism!!
As for the branch that I serve in its small, but I love it. We help with English classes 3 nights a week which helps us get to know the mission leader because we work pretty close with him, and he is always helping us out. Saturday night we were invited to a Birthday Party/ Dinner at on of the members homes and of course we had Mexican food. Miram was just baptized in July and has 2 boys, she is such a sweet lady. Also Last night we had dinner with the Franco family which there is like 3 families in the branch with that last name so pretty soon I will help you know the differences between them. We had Carne Asada which is some really good meat with tortillas, rice, and beans. Its was also Elder Dickinsons Birthday ( the Spanish elder in the zone/branch) We have one set of sisters, and a set of elders. His mom had sent some packages so we were there when he opened them, and the Franco's made flan which is some pudding cake thing. I don't even know how to describe it, but it was good.  Tonight we have dinner with one of the other Franco families in the Ward. The people are so nice, and that's one thing I love about the Spanish culture. They are so friendly, and humble. I still have so much to learn, and I am trying not to get discouraged with the language. I still only get bits and pieces, but it is surely coming and I have to recognize what I have learned. I  have to remember the promises I was given in my setting apart blessing. I am realizing more why he mentioned I would learn different dialects because we have people from all over Argentina, DR, Honduras, Mexico, and many more. I am working hard and staying positive. Keep doing whats right, I pray for you always. Thanks for all your love and support. Keep praying!! I NEED this Lanugage!! Letters are on the way.
My Address is: This is the mission home its the easiest way to get mail to me, and make sure I actually get it.
Hermana Grimes
Washington Seattle Mission
10675 NE 20th St.
Bellevue, WA 98004
LOVE ALWAYS next tuesday because monday is a holiday. Have a great Week
Hermana Grimes