Sunday, December 21, 2014

December 15, 2014 - Kennesaw

      First off, let me just say that I love serving here in the Big Shanty YSA, it's wonderful! My companion is a great example to me and I really respect her. It's fun being able to relate to someone who has served for the same time as I have. The people here are so nice too! Of course, that's not to say that the people in my first area weren't nice it was just a different kind of nice. This past week we've taught a lot of people, and gone contacting, and I love it! One of the best miracles of this week was probably when one of our investigators, J, called us last night. 
     When we taught J a couple days before Sunday we left him with a commitment to come to Church with a question, which he accepted. When Sunday rolled around we were excited to see that he was at Church and knew that when he called us afterwards the phone call was going to be either sad or really good. The first thing he said when we talked with him was, "I did what you said and I didn't really get an answer." Our hearts dropped. As we began to talk with him we all realized that he had received his answer, but that he didn't recognize it and by the end of our lesson with him he had made leaps and bounds. The Spirit was so strong and I am so grateful that I was able to witness another turning point for someone. It's so exciting to see the change and I can't wait to see what lies ahead for him. Please keep him in your prayers.
     I know that Heavenly Father is aware of us and on a more personal level I know He's aware of me. I feel peace when I think about that. To think that there is someone who knows and loves me perfectly and that that someone knows all, from beginning to end, and has a plan specifically for me, it's such a relief and comfort. I know that if I trust in Him, it will always work out.
     This Christmas Season is such a special time. It's a time where the Spirit of Christ is all around us, and it's the one time that everyone on this Earth can feel it. An obvious outcome of His Spirit is the abundance of kindness, generosity, love, and hope that people give to one another. Could you imagine what the world would be like if everyone kept the Spirit of Christ in their lives? This Christmas Season I want to make Christmas last beyond the season, and I don't mean that I want wrapped gifts, and other "Christmas" things to last. I mean that I want to remember Him not just for a season, but for a life-time. Please help me in making the Christmas Season last by discovering Him, embracing Him, and sharing Him with our brothers and sisters. 
     Remember I ya'll soooooo much-ooooo!!!!! I hope ya'll have a wonderful week focused on Christ!! 

Lots of love (from your favorite Sister Missionary),
Sister Megan Rice

December 8, 2014 - Last of Lilburn

 So here's some exciting news...1. Our Ward was split!! 2. Transfers is this Wednesday and 3. I'm being transfered to Marietta East Stake, Big Shanty YSA Branch!! This means that I will be on Kennesaw State University everyday!!...dun dun dunn. Who would've thought that I would be a YSA Sister Missionary! It's a little crazy, but I'm excited for this new adventure!     
     I am so grateful for the time I've had with my companion this transfer. She has meant so much to me and I know that she is going to continue to do great things as she comes to the close of her mission. I'm really excited for this new chapter in my mission life and am so grateful that the Lord knows me and that He has a plan because that is something I can always trust in. 
     This past week we've had great progress with one of our investigator's, L. When we met with her at the beginning of this week we shared Helaman 5:12 with her. When she read it she started to cry. Eventually she said, "How can people not see this Book is from God?" She has gone through so much and lost so much for the sake of what she now knows that when I think about her I'm given strength. 
     What have I had to give up for this truth, for this knowledge? I am so grateful and thankful to have been born into this Gospel; to have had this knowledge from such a young age. I will never forget what one of our investigators, who struggles with a smoking addiction, said to us. She said, "Why didn't I ever hear about Joseph Smith before? Why didn't anyone ever tell me? Why didn't I get the chance when I was young? I could've avoided some of these challenges if I had known what you've known your whole life." 
     This Gospel is a blessing. This knowledge we have is a gift. How can I not share it with my brothers and sisters? How can I keep it from them? How can I not give up a year and a half for them? Well I can't. Plain and simple. I love them too much, to keep it from them. I know I'm being bold, but that's what this Gospel is; bold. Boldness is given with love, overbearing is not.
     This Christmas season I want to remember. I want to remember the gift that this Gospel is, I want to remember the love that was our Savior's character, and I want to be like Him not just for a season but for a lifetime.
     I hope ya'll have a wonderful week!! Remember I love ya'll sooooo much-oooooo!!!!!!!!!!

Lots of love (from your favorite Sister Missionary),
Sister Megan Rice

Friday, December 5, 2014

December 1, 2014 - Lilburn

 Happy be-lated Thanksgiving and Happy be-lated Birthday to Grandma Killpack!! It looks like ya'll had a great time together this past Thanksgiving! I love seeing all of ya'lls smiling faces! :) Thanksgiving this year was really neat. Two families in our ward were kind enough to feed us for both breakfast and dinner (lunch/dinner) on Thanksgiving! Want to know the awesome part?! After dinner the family we ate with had prepared TWELVE PIES!! It was a blast!
     Before dinner we were able to go tracting for two hours! (woot woot) I was kind of surprised to see that the people we talked to were very friendly and not upset that we had interrupted their holiday, in fact, they were happy to take a break and talk with us about our Savior, Jesus Christ. Although talking with a lot of people was great, probably the best part was sharing "He is the Gift" with others. Have ya'll seen "He is the Gift" yet? It's a video all about the greatest gift every given, and wow. It is special! Whether you've seen it or not I would invite ya'll to watch it (and to watch it again and again and again haha). It will bring peace into your life.
     One of the miracles my companion and I experienced this week was with one of our investigator's mother, Y. We decided to pop on over to, one of our investigators, C's house the day after she got back from a cruise with Y, and Y's boyfriend, J. Upon arriving to her home we noticed that J was washing the cars outside and that Y was waiting in the garage. As we approached them, Y greeted us both with big hugs. :) We began talking with her and out of nowhere Y said, "I'm going to come to Church this Sunday." Haha Say whaa?!! Talk about a missionary's dream come true!! My companion and I couldn't believe what we had just heard; we were super excited!! 
     As Sunday rolled around the corner we couldn't wait to see C and Y at Church, but as the time grew closer to the start of Sacrament Meeting we didn't see them. A little worried, we called them only to find out that Y thought Church started at 1 (an hour later than it starts) and by the end of our phone call we weren't sure if they would come or not so we waited and by the end of Church Y and C hadn't shown up. It was disappointing, but we decided to visit them later in the evening to see what had happened.
     After Church the day grew into the evening and before we knew it we were standing at Y and C's home. When we knocked on their door, we were surprised to see Y in a very nice dress and as we began to talk with her we discovered that Y and C had gone to Church! The reason we didn't see them is because they had attended the wrong building!! (Hah!) We were so pleasantly surprised! As we talked with Y more she said, "I liked it. It was warm. Although we were total strangers everyone welcomed us. It wasn't like the other Churches." :) In that moment my worries melted away. 
     God is aware of each of us. This is His work. This Gospel is one of joy; it is a message of peace, love, strength, and change. I am so grateful to share this message with all and to bear my witness to all that He lives and that the Church of Jesus Christ has been restored in it's fullness in these the latter days. 
     With Christmas fast approaching I challenge each of you today to...



     I promise that by DISCOVERING, EMBRACING, and SHARING The Gift with others you will be strengthened, protected, and experience true peace and joy. I hope ya'll have a wonderful week, full of miracles. Remember that I love ya'll soooooo much-oooo!!!! Ya'll are always in my prayers.

Lots of love (from your favorite Sister Missionary),
Sister Megan Rice
Twelve Pies!

November 23, 2014 - Lilburn

My companion and I have gone through another wonderful week together. After an exchange this week we decided to implement a technique that our Sister Training Leaders use to pick their tracting location. This is how it goes: 1) One companion picks 10 street names from a map, 2) Each companion then proceeds to pick 5 names from the list of 10 that stuck out to them 3) After picking 5 names the companions then proceed to see if any of the names match up and if they do, that's where the companionship will tract. My companion and I proceeded to do so during our nightly planning and on the first try the process worked and so the next day my companion went to the street that matched.
     When my companion and I arrived at the location we both felt really good about it; we knew that we needed to be there and as we began to tract we came across a big house with, what looked like, two basement apartments. We couldn't decide which door to knock on first so we went to the main door and decided to start there. No one answered. We walked around the house back to the basement apartments and as we were contemplating which door to knock on we noticed a woman walking out from the back of the home with some trash. She noticed us and said, "Mormon Missionaries. Ya'll represent John Smith." We, of course, began to explain that we're representatives of Jesus Christ and that He is the head of our Church and as we talked further with her she asked if we would pray for her mother. We quickly agreed and asked for her mother's name so that we could be specific when praying for her. She obliged and began to tell us a long complicated name and as we struggled with it she said, "You know what, why don't ya'll just come on in and give her a prayer right now." 
     A little surprised we accepted and began to talk with her some more. We discovered that her name was B and that she was staying with her sister for the time being while they waited for their mom to "return back home". A little confused we  asked her more questions and found out that B was being taught by Sister Missionaries in Lawrenceville and that the Sisters had been trying to get a hold of her for a while. She admitted that she hadn't responded to them because her mom was sick and slowly dying and that she wanted us to pray for her mom as she was "preparing to return back home". 
     A little saddened we entered the home. There we met her sister, C and saw their mother, on a bed, resting. We talked with them about God and our Savior Jesus Christ. We also talked about the beautiful plan that was prepared for all of us and then my wonderful companion offered a harvest blessing. It was so special and so strong. When the prayer was finished you could tell everyone had been touched, even the mother on her sick bed woke up from her rest. As we were walking out to leave, C said that we were always welcome in her home whenever we were in the neighborhood and Barbara said that she would contact the Sisters in Lawrenceville. 
     We met several other people who needed us that day and as we were walking back to the car I was filled with this overwhelming feeling that Heavenly Father is aware of each of His children and their specific needs and that he was pleased with what we had done. I couldn't help but smile and notice the warmth from the sunshine through the trees. I am so grateful for each experience of this life and I am even more grateful to be a missionary; to participate in the miracle that is His work. I hope ya'll have a wonderful week. Remember I love ya'll soooooo much-ooooooo!!!!!!!!!!

Lots of love (from your favorite Sister Missionary),
Sister Megan Rice

Sunday, November 16, 2014

November 10, 2014 - Lilburn

The past couple weeks have been incredibly busy and I'm not gonna lie it's been stressful, but it's also been so rewarding! To give a glimpse, I'll tell you about our miracle day; Friday. :) Friday is the day we weekly plan, which takes about 4 hours (including lunch). While we were weekly planning someone came to fix a part of our carpet that had gotten wet (from a different problem besides the flood haha). What was incredible was that this person started talking with us and we soon learned that 1) he had a huge love for history, 2) he has native American ancestors, and 3) he was open to learning new things. Talk about a golden opportunity! Right before he left we were able to talk with them about our beliefs and were able to give him a copy of the Book of Mormon! 

After weekly planning we went to see one of our investigators. She wasn't there but her father was and we found out that he was super open to learning more about our beliefs and that he would even like to check out our Church one time. This, of course, was a huge blessing because we finally have a way for our investigator to come to Church, which is something that she's been wanting for a long time. 

Then afterwards we went to see a referral from the Bishop. It turns out that we were teaching a mother and her son. When we met them they explained how they came to know about the Church, and different things like that and we discovered that one of our other investigators had told this mother about our Church and when this mother heard about it she wanted to learn more so badly that she called up the Bishop and talked with him who then called us up! Crazy right?! Anyway this mother and her son are AMAZING! They said that we have a glow and that we brought a peace within their home and that they wanted to know how they could have that same glow and about an incredible opportunity! They are so ready and I feel blessed to know them. Of course, with the way that lesson was going we went over time, but we both felt that even though we had a dinner appointment next we couldn't just leave them with missing pieces and questions. We had to finish the lesson. 

Unfortunately we were wayyy late to our dinner appointment, but our Father in Heaven heard our prayers and softened the member's hearts. It turned out to be an incredible evening with the members and we left smiling and laughing. The next appointment we had was with a less-active member and her non-member husband who only speaks french. He had been taught by missionaries before and felt way to rushed into things and so he stopped meeting with them. We have been meeting with this less-active member for a long time always hoping that we would be able to help her and her husband, but it seemed like her husband was never interested in meeting with us. That is, he wasn't interested in meeting with us until we could bring someone who spoke french and well we brought someone alright...the President haha.... The first time that President had come with us to meet with this less-active member it was a miracle in and of itself. (which I'll tell at another time) Anyway the lesson went so well and the Elders will be meeting with her husband three times every week to help him learn english!! This is Lord's work on the earth and I am so grateful for this opportunity to be a part of it! I love ya'll soooooooooooooo much-oooooo!!!!

Lots of love (from your favorite Sister Missionary),
Sister Rice 


Wednesday, November 5, 2014

November 3, 2014 - Lilburn

I'm so glad to hear that ya'll are doing well and that you're fighting for what's right! We can never stop fighting! I love the thoughts from Alma and Helaman, what's neat is that I'm reading in Alma too! One of the Elders I knew said something along the lines of, "it's important to keep records (a journal) because if we don't we'll become like the Lamanites; quick to forget."
This past week has been another blurr! I feel like there is so much to do and not enough time to do it in, but I am grateful because it means that 1) Heavenly Father trusts us and 2) it's better to have too much to do than not enough. Though I will admit that sometimes I wish I could just take a moment to breath. It's in those moments that I am reminded of a clear thought that came to my mind while I was at the MTC. "There will be a time for rest later." The thought came so clear and vivid. It brought immediate peace to my mind and I was brought to a remembrance that I chose to consecrate all of my time, heart, might, mind, and strength to the Lord. I know that He is aware of each decision we make and that He knows the desires of our hearts. I also know that He is aware of our hearts because He has given me such an amazing companion and I love her so much! I can't wait to work more with her. I hope that ya'll have a wonderful week.
I love ya'll soooooooooooooooooooo much-oooooo!!!!!!
Lots of love (from your favorite Sister Missionary),
Sister Rice

Thursday, October 30, 2014

October 27, 2014 - Lilburn

Unfortunately I forgot my journal and I don't have that much time left, so I'll try my best to remember some of the highlights that have happened this past week. Last Wednesday my companion and I went to visit a less-active member with an active member. The less-active member lives in an assisted living center and can't get to Church very often because of physical difficulties. As we pulled up to the center we noticed that the less-active Sister was waiting outside. We visited with her outside and while we were doing so her friend came up to us and decided to sit with us and enjoy the weather. We were able to read from the Book of Mormon with them and after reading we found out that the less-active member's friend is Jewish and has been wanting to learn more about Jesus Christ. We were able to get her phone number, apartment number, and will be calling her today to set up an appointment. The member that went with us was really excited and wants to come out with us whenever we go to teach the less-active member's friend. I really love seeing how our Father in Heaven works. The next day we were able to help at the Joseph's Network Seminar and it was really wonderful giving service. There was a break between the seminar for the people there to get refreshments and while they were doing so, my companion and I noticed a woman who was sitting by herself. We decided to sit with her and as we were talking with her we found out that she was the only Catholic person at the Seminar and that she was expecting more to show up. She expressed gratitude for us coming over and sitting with her and I know that, that one act of sitting with this woman planted a seed within her heart. I'm so grateful to be a missionary and to see the Lord's work everyday. Everyone always says that there are so many blessing that come with being a missionary and I have to say that seeing the Lord's work everyday is, in and of itself, one of the greatest blessings. 

And in other news:
1) It's another transfer and my training is (finally) up so I'm getting a new companion this Wednesday and her name is Sister B and everyone says that she is super nice (YAY!!!).
2) Our apartment flooded BIG TIME last Saturday.....oh man it was SO BAD!!! In the apartment above us their dishwasher hose broke so we woke up to 3 inches of water and a downpour of water from the ceiling.....Luckily! The water didn't get to our closets (thank goodness) and most of our things were pretty protected. But besides the closets, a corner of our bedroom, and a corner of our study everything else was soaked with disgusting, smelly pipe water......Our apartment smells SOOOO BAD!!!!! The people that came to clean up the water said that we got hit way worse than the apartment above us. They would clean up the water and in seconds it would be soaked with water again from the walls not to mention a strip of the ceiling fell down. They had to take all of the padding out from the carpet and placed three huge fans and a de-humidifier in our apartment. It's been crazy!! The last couple of nights we've been staying at the Mission Home and today the damage control will come to our apartment to see if everything has dried so that they can put in new carpet. When we've gone to check on our apartment and get things for the Mission Home it has just REEKED!! Everything inside smells terrible which means all though our things didn't get damaged by water e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g. smells. But life goes on and at least we can say that we had an adventure. haha :)

I love ya'll soooooooooo MUCH-OOOO!! Hope ya'll have a wonderful week and remember that you've always got someone in Georgia praying for you, all of ya'll!

Lots of love (from your favorite Sister Missionary),
Sister Rice

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

October 20, 2014 - Lilburn

This week has been crazy...but awesome! :) Sooo Monday we had plans to meet with a new investigator in the evening but found out that three Sisters from a different Zone were stranded because their car stopped working. They couldn't be taken back to their apartment because it was too far from the Mission Office, where they needed to get a new car in the morning, and so it looked like we were going to house them that night and the next morning. As plans were being made we decided to cancel our appointment only to find out that the plans for the Sister Missionary "sleep over" fell through because they realized it would be smarter to have them stay at the Mission Home was a crazy night. Luckily! We had rescheduled to meet the investigator the next day and when we met with her we found out that she had a migraine hit her in the evening so she would've had to cancel on us anyway. It's kind of funny how the Lord works. It just goes to show that: 1) everything happens for a reason...whether we see that reason immediately or over time and 2) trusting in the Lord always provides a way for everything to work out in the end. Wednesday was an incredible day! In the morning my companion and I had stopped to see one of our investigators, and drop off a Spanish Book of Mormon. She wasn't there unfortunately...But! we saw ADORABLE kittens and stayed with them for a little while. It turns out the kittens were a blessing in disguise because when we were done with the kittens our investigator drove up to her home and was super excited to see us! She happily accepted the Book of Mormon and said her daughter had been asking about us everyday since the first time we met! Again it just goes to show that "everything good [really] is of God"! Afterwards we tracted for 2 hours straight and met some of the most incredible and prepared people!! One of the people we met was a Muslim woman. It was awesome because usually when we meet someone who's Muslim they immediately turn us down or tell us, in a sly but forward way, that we're wrong and need to convert to their faith haha so you can imagine our joy when we met this woman. :) She was super nice and immediately let us in to her home! After tracting we met with one of our younger investigators that we hadn't met with in a while and found out that in the time we hadn't been able to meet with her she had progressed pretty far on her own!! Then after her we met with E... It had been a while since we met with her at her home because she's been crazy busy but we finally were able to meet with her and we discovered that she has been reading the Book of Mormon a lot and that she's even had some "Missionary Moments" of her own!! She also said that she took the PSAT and when she had to fill out what religion she is she said that she really wanted to put Mormon but since she wasn't baptized yet she didn't think she should so she put Catholic... :D Man I love her so much!!!! 
Oh! and then we went to dinner and were able to really help one of the Sister's in our ward. Afterwards we visited with a less-active member and she was just awesome! Our meeting with her went really well! Thursday we met with one of our younger investigators and we finished watching the "Finding Faith in Christ" video with her....our lesson afterwards was super powerful. The Spirit was so strong and we were able to discuss some really important things. Friday - We went on splits with a couple members from our ward and....I don't have that much time left so to sum it all up our Father in Heaven provided a way for everything to work out not only in one moment but in a much bigger way as the week ended. As Sundayrolled around the corner and the week came to a close we met several others who were prepared for the Gospel. In other news we taught the Relief Society meeting at Church and put on a musical fireside for members and investigators. My companion, four elders, and I sang harmony to "Be Still My Soul" and it was beautiful. :) It's so incredible to see how our Father in Heaven blesses us when we trust in Him. I know that our Savior Jesus Christ is always beside us and when we feel that our burdens become to heavy to bear He's there to help us carry the weight. I love ya'll soooooooooooo MUCH-OOOOO!!! Hope ya'll have a wonderful week!!!!
Lots of love (from your favorite Sister Missionary),

Sister Rice

October 14, 2014 - Lilburn

Thank you so much for your thoughts on obedience and coming unto Christ, that was really interesting!! I love the analogy! Sorry you didn't get an email yesterday, our P-Day this week was moved to Tuesday because of the holiday, so just a heads up...whenever there is a holiday, P-Day will be on Tuesday. Sorry, again, about that!! This week, like usual, has been chalk-full of miracles, but before I get onto the miracles I have to apologize for writing such small emails each week. I'm not very good at writing (2 Nephi 33:1) nor am I very good at remembering sometimes, but thankfully the Lord has promised to turn our weaknesses into strengths. Also I decided it would be easier to remember what's happened if I take my journal with me when I write haha. :)

Last Friday a ward member asked my companion and I to help her set up a tent/booth for a craft fair. We happily accepted and as we were serving her we noticed there were a lot of other people that needed help. As soon as we had finished up with her we were able to go to the people in charge of the fair and offer our services. They were surprised that we would want to help but loved that we were willing and so they put us to work. We worked with many people, some of whom that really needed assistance. Such as one woman who has asthma and an injured ankle. She had expected help from her friends only to find that they didn't show up, leaving her with a very big task at hand. Or another woman who had a very large load to carry and not many people to help her, and each time everyone was surprised at first that we would help but very grateful in the end. It felt so good to serve other people and to be there for them when others had fallen through. I know that we were softening hearts. By the end of our service the people in charge of the fair were very thankful and as we were talking with them we discovered that they had a lot more work to do the next morning. We offered to come the next morning and they heartily accepted. The next morning we served just as many people as the day before, if not more, and by the end of our service everyone gave us great big hugs and told us that we were angels and answers to their prayers. I know our Father in Heaven is very happy when we serve our brothers and sisters.

I also know that when we do our Father in Heaven's will we will be blessed in abundance. The same day we helped the people at the fair in the morning we went to go see two potential investigators that we had tracted into a little while ago. As my companion and I walked up to their apartment complex we were surprised to see one of our other potential investigators standing outside her apartment with her elderly mother. They were taking a break from cleaning their home when we walked up to them. At first we were talking to them about life, kind of digging for more information on their beliefs and so forth and we discovered a lot of really helpful things about them. As we continued to talk, they both opened up to us more and the elderly mother told us that every night she asks God why bad things have to happen and honestly I kind of got a little excited because I knew that we had the answer. We talked to her about the Plan of Happiness and she listened very intently. By the end of our visit both women wanted us to meet with them again. The incredible fact is that both of them are Catholic New York-ers and according to my companion Catholic New York-ers are never that open to learning about other religions. I know that Heavenly Father put us in her path so that we could answer her question. Heavenly Father loves all of His children and I know that because I witness it every day. 

 I love ya'll sooooooooooooo much-ooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hope you have a wonderful week!!!!!!

Lots of love (from your favorite Sister Missionary),
Sister Rice

Fun Fact(s) about Georgia: 
1) There are usually only one sidewalk on a road - so in other words one side of a road has a sidewalk and the other doesn't hahaha it's weird :)

Thursday, October 9, 2014

2 months down! 16 more to go! -Lilburn

This past week has gone by, yet again, in a blurr, but we did have some neat miracles! My companion and I are team teaching an investigator with the YSA Elders, her name is Nini and we try to talk with her everyday. Usually if she calls us and we don't answer we try to call her back in the next hour or so and everything works out, but one day we missed her call and no matter how many times we tried to call her back we couldn't get to her. We wanted to talk with her but we couldn't go visit with her because we needed to save miles (we can only go a certain amount of miles in a month) so we went about our day as usual. When the evening rolled around the plans we had made fell through. We decided to go to the Church and come up with a plan. As we were sitting in the parking lot of the church we noticed the YSA Elders over by the YSA building. We needed to talk with them so we decided we'd head over. When we talked with them we discovered N was inside the building for Institute! We were able to stay with her for the class and later discovered that she had a very hard day and needed some comfort, which we were able to give her. The next day we had planned on meeting with N at her place only to discover that she wasn't there, which was a bummer. So we decided to go to a little shopping center parking lot and make plans. OF COURSE, N was sitting right outside at the Sonic waiting for her food! We had a very good meeting with her and overall everything worked out.
Wasn't General Conference amazing?! I can't wait to have a hard copy of the talks in my hand next month, it will be so nice to study them and learn even more! What were some things that stuck out to ya'll? I would love to read your thoughts. :) Some of my favorite talks were President Monson (of course haha), Elder Scotts, Elder Bednar, Tad R. Callister, and Larry S. Kacher. There were tons of other talks that I loved as well!
Life in Georgia has definitely gotten cooler! They're predicting this Winter will be another cold one and I don't doubt it! Other than that missionary work keeps moving forward. Well I don't have too much time now, so I'll end with some of my thoughts from Conference. Families are important to the Lord and as the world is becoming darker the adversary is working even harder to destroy them. As we strengthen our lives with prayer, scripture study, family home evening, and the Temple we will find peace in a world that seems so dark. Listen to the Prophet, heed his council. We will be protected and prepared if and as we do. The challenges we face in this life aren't easy, there were never meant to be, but through the Atonement burdens can be made light and we are able to endure with a positive attitude towards life. Remember, our Savior is the Prince of Peace. He is waiting, come unto Him. I know that our Savior lives. He is waiting for us. Come unto Him.
Remember I love ya'll so muchoooo!! :) You're always in my prayers.
Lots of love (from your favorite Sister Missionary),
Sister Rice :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

Week 5 - Lilburn

A few "fun facts" about Georgia:
1) Drivers are terrible here haha.
2) Krogers (grocery store) has THE best ice-cream - seriously though...sooo good!
3) Never ever sit on the grass, walk in the tall grass, or go in the forests there are all sorts of critters that can harm you such as poisonous snakes and ticks
4) Lilburn is a mix of Oregon, a little bit of California, and I don't know what else but there are all sorts of trees and it's pretty awesome.
5) A lot of people call coke soda so sometimes it gets a little confusing haha.

anddd.....I can't think of any other "fun facts" at the moment but get ready for some more next week! :)

Ok so I thought I might share some (or one) of the miracles my companion and I have experienced while on the mission. You already know that E is one of our investigators but I don't know if I've told you the whole story. When I got out here on my mission my companion and I were at a "plateau", or in other words we weren't teaching anyone and couldn't find any new investigators. It was hard, especially for my companion. About the second or fourth day I had been out here in Georgia we had gone tracting, or knocking on doors, for a majority of the day and the other part was spent trying to find someone to teach because all of our plans had fallen through and nothing was working. It was about 8 o'clock in the evening and we decided instead of giving up we would try tracting one more time so we said a quick prayer and off we went. 

The first door we knocked on, E opens the door and we just start talking and by the end of our conversation she says that she wants to meet with us again. We found out later that different missionaries from other churches came around her neighborhood a lot. When they would stop by her home she would be friendly but she never invited them in or wanted to meet with them again to discuss more, but when she meet us she said there was something different about us. She could tell that we were sincere and really meant what we were saying. Ever since then, we've met with her and she has just gobbled up everything we've had to teach her. She is incredible. 

Skip past a few weeks...She loves coming to church and has made a lot of friends. She is progressing so well and I would like to ask ya'll to please keep her in your prayers everyday. 

Well my time is about up so I'll just say this....I love ya'll soooooooooooooooooooo incredibly much-oooo!!!!!!! Thank you for your support and love!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lots of love (from your favorite Sister Missionary),
Sister (Megan) Rice

Monday, September 8, 2014

One month down :D - Lilburn

This week we did a lot of really neat things. Last Thursday we were able to go to the Temple to watch one of our recent converts do baptisms. Her name is Q and she is incredible! She's been a member for about a year now and this was her second time going to the Temple. E and two of our other investigators came to Church with us this past week and they all loved it! What was even better was that S (mother - Investigator) and L (daughter,  - Investigator) brought a friend with them who is now interested in learning more about the Church! We were so excited!! 

Today all of the Sisters in my zone were able to hike Stone Mountain, which just so happens to be the largest body of exposed Granite....IN THE WORLD!! In the past week it's been raining a lot and we had this CRAZY storm so of course Stone Mountain was pretty slippery when we hiked it, but it was definitely a lot of fun!! Overall it's been a great week! Thank you for the comments from... that book! That's definitely one of the first things you learn on a mission, that plain and simple is the way to go. When someone asks a question and we answer with this deep doctrinal answer it's like pushing someone who has never swam before into the deep end of a pool and saying "Why aren't you swimming, it's so easy!" It just doesn't work that way haha :)


Sister B,  Sister Q,  and Sister Rice at the Atlanta, Georgia Temple

Monday, September 1, 2014

Week 3 in Georgia - Lilburn

The training I gave at the District Meeting went well, I'm thankful for the opportunity I was given to teach. Our investigator E is doing wonderful! Her mom is really excited about what we're teaching as well and honestly they are soooo ready for the Gospel! They've had so many neat experiences and I can't for them to progress even further. Please continue to keep them in your prayers. Right now, it seems like we're constantly being led to all of these wonderful people who are just ready to receive the Gospel. It's so exciting! 

Our Father in Heaven loves us so much. As a missionary I feel like my eyes have been opened to recognize His hand in all things and also to see and feel of His great love for all of His children everywhere. It's amazing. As members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we are so blessed to have the knowledge and understanding that we have. It brings peace to the soul and fills all holes that we may feel in this life. It brings joy and understanding. I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I am so grateful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I wouldn't be who I am today without it. I love my Savior and Father in Heaven and am grateful for the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. 

I love ya'll soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo much-o!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ya'll are always in my prayers. Hope you have a wonderful week!

Lots of love from your favorite missionary ;) ,
Sister Rice

Week 2 -Lilburn

So a lot has happened this week. On Sunday August 10th we found a young woman (Elena [ee-lane-uh] 16) while tracting who was super interested in what we had to share and after chatting she said she would love to learn more and that we could come back next Saturday(the 16th) so we came back on Saturday and taught her the first lesson (the Restoration). It was incredible. Elena was so interested and excited she wanted to learn more and even wanted to come to church. She is sooo ready for the Gospel and I know that her family and boyfriend will be too. We also taught two more new investigators who are also ready for the Gospel. It's a great blessing to witness those who's hearts have been prepared. Now that I know Dad has been praying specifically for these type of experiences to happen it all makes sense, because for a while we were hitting a "plateau" period where no one was interested in our message and then BAM three new investigators and four people who are interested in learning more. It really is incredible being apart of the Lord's work. 

Now for the not-so-great experience. On Friday August 15 we were just getting ready to leave this neighborhood when this little girl waved to us and said "hi" from her porch so we decided we would go to one more house. So we start walking up from their driveway to the porch and notice that the majority of the family goes into their house and that some of them are just cracking up! I thought that they were probably just laughing because we had come up to their house after their little daughter had said hi and they really didn't want us to come over so we continued to walk over to them. Then out of nowhere a bee stings my finger and next thing I know we are just covered in bees. They were seriously everywhere. In our hair, on our clothes, on our legs, and feet. It was crazy!!! So we freak out and run out of their driveway and try to get the bees off. It was a nightmare!!!! Eventually we got them off, and realized that the family was laughing because they knew we were going to get stung. Fortunately I only got two bee stings (thanks to my bug repellent which totally saved me) and my companion got five, but all is well, I'm doing great, and unfortunately I've gotta go. I LOVE YOU SOOOO MUCHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lots of love from your sista,
Sister (Megan) Rice

Monday, August 11, 2014

Week 1 in Georgia - Lilburn

Dearest Mom and Dad, 

Thank you for sharing those wonderful insights behind Proverbs 3:5-6. I love what it has meant to our family and President Monson. That scripture has an even greater meaning to me now. Could you send me a picture of the plaque that hangs on Grandma's wall when you go to Oregon with that scripture from my great-great-grandmother? I would like that very much!! I love that you're able to go to Oregon so soon!! I hope you have a lot of fun with family, please send a picture of everyone (including Rosie) and let them know how much I love them! Also my P-Day is on Mondays and now that I'm in-field I have more time to email so expect to get an email either in the morning; 9am GA time (7am UT time)or the evening; 2/3pm GA time (12/1pm UT time). Hopefully we'll be able to start a conversation up! It would be like we're instant messaging but through emails haha. Anyway I'm so glad that I'm able to catch you before you go to Oregon! 

And just remember I LOVE getting letters (here are a few thoughts of what you can write if you can't think of anything: a meaningful message, a scripture you read and thoughts on it, inspiring quotes, etc.) and pictures so keep 'em comin'!! :)

Ok. So onto the questions! My first area that I will be serving in for at least 4 months is Lilburn, GA!! So in other words my ward consists of the Mission President, his wife, the office workers, a set of elders, the assistants to the President, and the rest of the ward. We also live super close to the Mission Office so we get special privileges hehe. President Bennion and his wife are absolutely wonderful! They are so sweet and kind! Elder and Sister Residori and Elder and Sister Jessen are the office workers and I absolutely love them! We get to see them almost everyday because we go to the office for all of our mail and packages. They take such good care of us! Which reminds companion and I pick up all mail and packages at the office even though we have a mail slot at our apartment just because our mail and packages are safer that way, but as soon as I'm transferred to a different area (which could be anywhere from 4-6 months) all mail and packages need to be sent to the apartment address I'll send you because the office can't forward mail anymore. So (shout out to mom <3) feel free to send any and all packages in your possession as soon as you'd like. 

My companion/trainer is AWESOME! We're both really similar in our personalities and interests. Her name is Sister Bone. She's really understanding and is a great teacher, I like her a lot. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera in the apartment so I'll send you pictures of us next Monday. [In the MTC] I learned and re-learned a lot of really good lessons like how to roll with the punches, how to validate, how to step back and let someone learn important lessons for themselves, never giving up, looking at the positive, and most importantly loving someone with all of their faults.  In the end I'm glad for the experience.

Since my first area is in Lilburn, we never use our bikes just the car which is actually ok with me haha because I know that I'll be able to use my bike a lot when I'm transferred out of the area. So the first week I've been in Lilburn has been the first week in a long time that the members didn't really sign up for dinners with the missionaries but, the members who have fed us have made some of the most delicious meals!!! None of the meals have been like a traditional southern style meal but they have seriously just been really good. One night we had home made biscuits, fish with sund-dried tomatoes, veggies, and cookies. Last night we had this amazing pasta dish, home made bread sticks (to.die.for.), super good oven baked zucchini, and really good home-made chocolate chip cookies! Oh and Sister Bennion made the missionaries who stayed in their home (including me) this AH-mazing taco salad for dinner and the best breakfast casserole and cinnamon roles I've ever had (and mind you I usually don't like cinnamon roles). Overall I think I'm going to really enjoy the meals with members here very much! By the way the ward members I've gotten to know so far are super friendly! I love them!

The weather here has been kinda crazy; I love it! The first few days in Lilburn the humidity was really low, which was great but then we started getting these CRAZY rain/wind/thunder/lightning storms in the evening/night since Wednesday and ever since then the days have been super humid and you know what?! The Lord is really blessing me because I feel like if I weren't on a mission I would not be enjoying the humidity or tracting because you're literally soaked in sweat and the people who's home we tract seriously ask us if we want to come in and have water because we look hot, and mind you this is after they've rejected our message haha. We've had some really funny experiences with people here, because some people are so polite! For example the other day we came up to this door and this man answers with a phone in his hand and says, "Oh no no no....", starts to close the door then opens it again and says with the phone still up to his ear, "Ya'll are beautiful and I appreciate what'cha do but I'm on the phone with my brother long distance and can't hang up but ya'll are so beautiful" as he's closing the door, "Love you, love you, love you". Hahaha ok so it might not seem funny but my companion and I were cracking up! 

To answer your question I absolutely love being a missionary. I feel like I've been waiting for this for a long time. The MTC and in-field-work are so different. I'm not gonna lie the MTC was a real struggle for me in many different ways and part of the struggle was thinking that I was the cause for my struggles, but my Branch President helped me come to the realization that it wasn't me and that I was ready to go serve in-the-field. That's not to say that I didn't learn a lot of really important things at the MTC and had some wonderful experiences, but I was just ready to go and serve. I really really love being a missionary. There are ups and downs that come along with this work but that's just how life is. The point that we need to remember is that no matter what life or missionary work throws at us we will never be alone. Our Savior will always be there with us. 

I am a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I along with several others have been called to serve as representatives of Jesus Christ Himself. This work is important, it is the Lord's work. He is and has been preparing His children to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I know that as a representative of Jesus Christ it is my duty and my privilege to find them and to teach them with power and authority that I have been set apart to have. This calling is sacred and is a once in a lifetime opportunity and blessing. All of it, the ups and downs, are worth it. I love you, all of you. You are always in my prayers, every day. So long for now, till next Monday I hope you have a wonderful week!

Lots of love from your missionary,
Sister Rice

P.S. Congratulations Emily and Matt!! I'm so excited for what waits ahead for the both of you.

Sister Rice with President and Sister Bennions

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Mission Farewell: "Prophet, Seer, and Revelator" 7/20/14

The message to the entire world from the Christian leaders in the beginning of 1820 was that the Heaven’s were closed, that God no longer speaks to man, and that everything necessary for salvation in the Kingdom of God was recorded in the Bible. But in the spring of 1820 all that changed. The young boy prophet Joseph Smith could declare to the world not with an eye of faith but with certain knowledge that the Heaven’s were open again. That God speaks to man with a message of great peace, happiness, joy, and salvation.
“Throughout history, God has chosen prophets, such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, and others, to teach the gospel and direct His Church (Amos 3:7). It is no different today. But that leads to these questions.” ( FAQ) Why do we need a prophet and what are their roles in our lives?
The first answer comes from the very familiar analogy of the watchman on the tower. In ancient Israel the Lord of the Vineyard would protect his precious fruit against raiders by commanding that hedges and walls be built round about His vineyard and that a watchman be set upon a tower to sound the voice of warning while the enemy was yet afar off. The elevated view of the watchman allowed him to see what others couldn’t and protect the vineyard from the onslaught of danger. The Lord of the vineyard is Jesus Christ and the watchman on the tower is the prophet. I find it interesting that the warnings given by the watchman on the tower were given when the enemy was far away. The watchman gave plenty of opportunity to prepare, just like the prophet who may warn of danger that is yet to come in the future and gives us the time we need to prepare if we head his warning.
“We all need God’s guidance and warnings in a world that is sometimes confusing. Because God loves His children, He continues to send living prophets. Joseph Smith was the first prophet of our time. Thomas S. Monson is God’s chosen prophet today. Just as God led the Israelites out of slavery and to a better place through His prophet Moses, He leads His children today into happier, more peaceful lives when they choose to follow His living prophet.” ( FAQ)
President Eyering said, “There seems to be no end to the Savior’s desire to lead us to safety and there is constancy in the way He shows us the path. He calls by more than one means so that there will be more willing to accept it and those means always include sending the message by the mouths of His prophets whenever people have qualified to have a prophet among them. Those authorized servants are always charged with warning the people; telling them the way of safety.”
The second answer is found in Mosiah 3:13,“And the Lord God hath sent his holy prophets among all the children of men, to declare these things to every kindred, nation, and tongue, that thereby whosoever should believe that Christ should come, the same might receive remission of their sins, and rejoice with exceedingly great joy, even as though he had already come among them”
The fundamental responsibility of a prophet is to bear testimony of our Savior Jesus Christ to all the world. A Prophet serves under the direction of the living Christ; He is the cornerstone of our religion and through Him the way to our salvation. It would only make sense that a Prophet of God would testify of Him. “This basic call to be a special witness of His name has remained constant whenever…[Prophets]…have been on the earth. This testimony, borne of the Holy Ghost through revelation, was the heart of the New Testament Church and is the heart of the Church today.” (Dennis B. Neuenschwander, October 2000 Living Prophets, Seers, and Revelators)
            The third answer is similar to first in that they both go hand in hand. In the October 2004 General Conference Jeffrey R. Holland gave this wonderful explanation of the Prophet’s role he said, “Among other reasons, so ‘that we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.’…Thus the…prophetic foundation of the Church was to bless in all times, but especially in times of adversity or danger, times when we might feel like children, confused or disoriented, perhaps a little fearful, times in which the devious hand of men or the maliciousness of the devil would attempt to unsettle or mislead. Against such times as come in our modern day, the First Presidency and Quorum of the twelve are commissioned by God and sustained by [us] as prophets, seers, and revelators, with the President of the Church sustained as the prophet, seer, and revelator, the senior Apostle, and as such the only man authorized to exercise all of the revelatory and administrative keys for the Church. In New Testament times, in Book of Mormon times, and in modern times these officers form the foundation stones of the true Church, positioned around and gaining their strength from the chief cornerstone, ‘the rock of our Redeemer, who is [Jesus] Christ, the Son of God.’ He who is the great ‘Apostle and High Priest of our profession’… Such a foundation in Christ was and is always to be a protection in days “when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you.” In such days as we are now in – and will more or less always be in – the storms of life “shall have no power over you…because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.”
The fourth and final answer is one that is very important in our religion, if not one of the very foundations.  “Elder John Taylor, a young English immigrant to this country, was called to be an Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, a prophet, a seer, a revelator. In that calling Elder Taylor once said in sympathy with honest seekers of truth: “Whoever heard of true religion without communication with God? To me the thing is the most absurd that the human mind could conceive of… I do not wonder that so many men treat religion with contempt, and regard it as something not worth the attention of intelligent beings, for without revelation religion is a mockery and a farce…The principle of present revelation…is the very foundation of our religion.”
Jeffrey R. Holland said, “ The principle of present revelation? The very foundation of our religion? Let me return from those foundations to the present, the here and now… For one and all…the issue is still the same. Are the heavens open? Does God reveal His will to prophets and apostles as in days of old? That they are and that He does is the unflinching declaration of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to all the world. And in that declaration lies the significance of Joseph Smith, the Prophet, for nearly 200 years now.”
At one point in my life my family and I lived in an area in California that was a little scary. For a year while our home was being built in Orem, we lived in an apartment complex with little backyards connected to one another. The only thing that separated one backyard from the next was a wooden fence. This fence ran between our backyards and a parking lot on the other side. One night my family was away and I was alone. As I was cleaning up a little and getting ready for bed I remembered I had left something outside in the yard that I needed to retrieve. Before I could go outside I remember getting the very distinct and strong impression that I should not go outside. At first I thought I was just getting scared and overreacting because I was alone, it was dark outside, and we lived in a scary place, but then the prompting came again strong and clear so I decided I to head the warning. That night when my dad got home I learned that an angry drunkard was hanging out in the parking lot and that eventually the police came to pick him up.
The reason I bring up this story is because the Holy Ghost and the Prophet are very similar. Though in this moment in my life I received this prompting from the Holy Ghost it can be compared to the times we are heeded by the Prophet. If we listen to the Prophet and act upon his words I know that we will be protected and blessed just as I was protected and just as the people below the watchman on the tower were protected.

           I love the Prophet. He testifies of Christ, guides in times of turmoil, warns of dangers ahead, watches over, protects, and is a mouthpiece of the Lord. The message that I will take to the people in Georgia is that the heavens are opened; that God speaks to man again through His chosen prophet; that the full power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ can once again be activated in the lives of all people through Priesthood authority, ordinances, and the making and keeping of sacred covenants; that these greatest of all blessings and privileges are once again available to all mankind. In these final times of the world’s history, the great ‘Plan of Happiness’ that gives hope, understanding, reveals hidden pearls of truth and extends unlimited possibilities to individuals and families, will never again be taken from the Earth. As Elder Holland observed, “Later, the incomparable Ralph Waldo Emerson rocked the very foundations of New England ecclesiastical orthodoxy when he said to the Divinity School at Harvard: “It is my duty to say to you that the need was never greater [for] new revelation than now.” “The doctrine of inspiration is lost…Miracles, prophecy…the holy life, exist as ancient history [only]…Men have come to speak of…revelation as somewhat long ago given and done, as if God were dead…It is the office of a true teacher,” he warned, “to show us that God is, not was; that He speaketh, not spake.” In essence, Mr. Emerson was saying, “If you persist in handing out stones when people ask for break, they will eventually stop coming to the bakery.” I know that God is our Father in Heaven and that His Son Jesus Christ, our Savior, lives. They love you and me. This along with other knowledge has brought much peace and happiness to my life. This message is one of joy, peace, and happiness and I can’t wait to share it with the people of Georgia. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.