Tuesday, April 21, 2015

April 13, 2015 - Kennesaw

Spring Break, this past week, was not as bad as we were anticipating. In fact, Heavenly Father blessed us in many ways. One such blessing, or rather tender mercy, was the day we decided to go tracting because no one was on campus yet. As we were tracting absolutely no one would answer their doors so finally (two apartment complexes and a neighborhood later) we got the idea to look at our records of former investigators. We contacted quite a few formers and out of all those people we set appointments with three of them! It was super exciting!! Another tender mercy was when we had the opportunity to tract with A. She had a great time going with us and we were able to talk about a lot of important things like missionary work and General Conference. Besides those tender mercies we were able to teach a lot of recent converts and less-actives this week and when Sunday rolled around there were so many of the people we taught at Church, it was absolutely wonderful.
     I have to say that the best tender mercy of all was having the opportunity to be apart of D's baptism this past Saturday...finally. It is such a relief to know that he has been baptized and is on his way to receiving the Priesthood. I love being able to participate in the work of the Lord; the work of Salvation. 
     I love y'all soooooo much-ooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!! Remember, y'all are always in my prayers. So long for now ~

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

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Sunday, April 5, 2015

March 29 , 2015 - Kennesaw

Every time a transfer rolls around, as a missionary, I wonder if I'm going to have to pack up all of my belongings (basically my life) into a few suitcases and leave. And every time I remember that the things of this world are just that things. Besides some of the belongings that have sentimental value, they are not very important, and I've realized that I don't want to have an excess of objects lying around to be sifted through by those left behind and I don't want to carry around the weight of objects not used. Being a missionary has taught me a lot. I've come to realize that the most important thing I could leave behind is a trail of love, because love really is the answer to everything (as cheesy as that sounds) and that is how I want to live my life.
     This past week has been beautiful. The spring in Georgia is breath-taking and I will send pictures soon! With Spring here and Easter just around the corner this past week has felt like a breath of fresh air. We were able to teach A and have been busy planning for her baptism! We are so excited for her and the decision she has made, despite adversity. Along with the joy that A brings into our lives we experienced an incredible miracle that shows the power of member-missionary work. :) 
     It was about 3:30 in the afternoon on Friday and another lesson had canceled. We were just getting ready to walk to campus from our branch when we saw our Branch Mission Leader walking towards us from campus. We were kind of surprised to see him since the walk takes about 20 minutes, but happy none-the-less. When we met up he said that he wanted to do missionary work and, of course, we obliged. We decided that since we didn't have any lessons we would go contacting with him, but the only glitch was that usually the weekends are not the best time for us to go contacting. Most of the students are usually indoors sleeping/studying and the remainder are back at home. As we walked to campus, inside of my heart I was praying that we would find people to teach and share the gospel with. 
     We contacted for three hours straight and talked to 18 people among whom we taught 3 lessons...which turned into 3 appointments. During those 3 hours we also built the trust that our Branch Mission Leader has in us and the trust we have in him.  It is only because of our combined efforts and faith that we were able to retain and spread the hopeful message of the restored gospel with our brothers and sisters and I am so excited for what lies ahead in the future with member missionary work. As I've been on my mission I've come to realize that we can't fully do this work without the members. I am so grateful to be a missionary; to represent my Savior and I will be forever grateful for the things that I have learned while here. 
     Remember that I love y'all soooooooooooo much-ooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Y'all are always in my prayers. So long for now ~ Have a blessed week! 

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

P.S. Did you get to see the General Women's Conference?? It was soooo good!!! :D 


March 23, 2015 - Kennesaw

This past week has been a week chock-full of miracles! It began with Wednesday evening. Elder and Sister Zwick came to visit us all the way from good ol' Utah. :) To give you a little more info Elder Zwick is a member of the seventy and gave a familiar talk in the April 2014 General Conference entitled "What Are You Thinking?" where he talks about his wife jumping off a...semi....yup that's right a semi. lol If you don't remember the talk I would recommend reading it again because it is definitely a good one! :) 

 So Wednesday evening Elder and Sister Zwick talked to the missionaries and members in the branch/ward councils. It was great! He talked a ton about member-missionary work and showed us a great visual of working together. *Fun fact for the day:  He said that 86% of recent converts who attend the Temple 30 days after baptism remain active.* Sister Zwick gave an incredible talk! You could've entitled it "You Can Count on Me". She began by saying something along the line of..."I can imagine that when we were in the presence of our Father in Heaven before this life our Heavenly Father told us about our lives; the challenges we would face, the accomplishments we could make, and the joy that we could experience. As we were preparing to leave I imagine we probably said something like, 'You can count on me' right before we left the presence of our Father in Heaven." What a thought! That night I definitely came away with a renewed desire to always live my life in a way so that I can say to my Father in Heaven "You can count on me." 
     On Thursday we had another special conference with half of the missionaries in our mission and Elder and Sister Zwick. Talk about an AMAZING experience!! I learned so much! I wish I had more time so that I could write about everything that was taught there, but for now all I can say is that there were many blessings that came from that day. 
     Not only did we have the wonderful opportunities to hear from Elder and Sister Zwick on Wednesday and Thursday, but we had two incredible blessings Saturday morning, and Sunday afternoon. Saturday morning we had a lesson with one of our recent converts, Justin. Recently we could tell that something has been weighing on him, but he no matter how we tried to get him to open up he wouldn't. Finally we came to the conclusion that we would read a talk with him given by Elder Holland called, "Remember Lot's Wife". As we discussed the talk in the beginning nothing really stuck out to him and as we were inching towards the end I began to get a little worried, because nothing seemed to help him. Eventually we finished the talk, and again asked him if there was anything that hit him and he said that the talk was good, but what really hit him was the very last paragraph. He said that the last paragraph made him realize that he is not alone in his struggles and that there are others who have felt what he feels. Although he didn't open up to us about the problem, it was a blessing to know that he had been touched by the Spirit and given the help that he needed. 
     Sunday was a cold rainy day. We had 1 new investigator, 25 more contacts, and an hour and a half to go before we reached our goals and we felt a little doubtful that we were going to find anyone on campus due to the day and weather, but we decided to give our all despite the weather and turn to the Lord for help. Right before we left the car we said a prayer, asking for our Father in Heaven's help in reaching our goals. Although it was raining and very cold we were able to find exactly 1 new investigator, 25 contacts, and get an hour and a half of contacting time. It was incredible to witness the Lord's help, but one of the best miracles of that time was finding a student named John. 
     John is agnostic, very friendly, and very respectful. When we went up to him we gave him a card and asked him if he had ever heard about Mormons before and what he thought about them. At first he didn't seem too interested, but then he asked us about the Book of Mormon and, after we explained what it is, said he wanted a copy. Still, he wasn't interested in meeting with us, but we gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and he was on his way and that was all we heard from him until Sunday evening when he text us. He said, "Hello, it's J! I was met earlier by Sister Rice and Sister S (forgive me if that is wrong.) I was asked what my first thought of Mormons was. Although my first thought was negative because of how the majority of my peers view them, I would have to say my strongest thought is admirable. I am almost jealous of the devotion and faithfulness someone could have for something spiritual. Being agnostic the majority of my life, it is difficult to become spiritual and I doubt it will ever happen. Also, I see Mormons as admirable because of the world we live in today and how accepting it is of sin. Although society is like this, I see Mormons as having a sense of purity and cleanliness. One of my favorite quotes from the film 'Se7en' is ' We see a deadly sin in every home and street corner but we tolerate it. We tolerate it because it's common, it's trivial.' Thank you for the chat and have a blessed week." 
Talk about the highlight of my DAY!! Reading that text gave me renewed hope in the people that we contact. In the past I've wondered if the seeds that we've planted every sprout in this life, and after receiving John's text I was reminded that a lot more seeds spring forth than we think they do.
     This week I have learned so much and witnessed so many miracles and blessings. The Atonement of Jesus Christ gives me hope. It renews my strength and makes me whole. I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve my Savior, Lord and King and I know that this is His work. I hope y'all have the BEST.WEEK.EVER. and remember that I love y'all sooooooooo much-ooooooooooo!!! Y'all are always in my prayers.

Lots of love (from your favorite Sista Mish aka Sister Missionary ;) ),
Sister Megan Rice

P.P.S The theme of our District Meeting photo this week was hold something lol :) 

Also...in other good news....we are officially getting iPads in two months!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :DDDDDD

March 16, 2015 - Kennesaw

I'm so glad that you received my letter and that you enjoyed the pictures sent by our friends at the Methodist Food Pantry. They're the best! :) 

My previous companion was transferred to Commerce, GA and is currently serving as a Sister Training Leader there (I'm so proud of her!)  I Apparently had a violent case of the flu. It lasted three days and thankfully I'm all better now! :)  The Elder that got hit by a car is totally fine. It was a miracle for sure!!  Zone Conferences are interesting in this Zone haha... someday I'll have to tell you about them. :)  But to give a brief summary of what a Zone Meeting is it is a meeting where all the missionaries in a zone (zones are like stakes) get together and learn. They usually last 6 hours, including lunch. Also, just in case you don't know what a Sister Training Leader (STL) is they are kind of like the Zone Leaders for an area. They go on companion exchanges with all the Sisters in they're area and usually give trainings at all zone meetings. Hope that helps. Here is a picture of my new companion.

This past week I had amazing learning experiences. I was able to break through fear and contact up a storm.Before this week I was afraid to contact and honestly I still am, which is kind of ironic since we're on campus all the time, but what I've learned this past week is that it's ok to be afraid. Before this week I didn't want to admit that I was afraid to walk up to people and talk to them because: 1. I'm a missionary 2. I've been out for over 7 months now, and 3. frankly I thought I shouldn't be afraid, or at least that's what was going through my head. Until I finally conquered my fear I didn't realize that over time this fear began to weigh on me and bind me like a chain. With this new transfer beginning and a fresh start ahead I decided that now was the time to overcome my fear and Heavenly Father provided the perfect opportunity to overcome it. 
     It was a cold, gloomy, rainy day and my companion and I were worried that there would be no one on campus to contact, but we had no one to teach so we decided to pray. Sitting inside of our car, we prayed that people would have the desire to "take a walk" despite the rain, that their hearts would be softened, that we would be courageous and that we would be given the words to say in the moments that we needed them. After finishing our prayer, off we went to campus and the next thing we know we start to see people. At first I thought about how afraid I was, I was so scared, and then I thought, "Yeah, I'm scared but, that's ok, I'm going to do it anyway." That day I talked to everyone. By the end of our contacting time we met 15 people, 5 of which either had a friend or neighbor who was LDS or had wanted to "break down walls" and learn more about the Church. 
     Heavenly Father heard my prayer. He is aware of me and my struggles and with Him I can do anything. I am so grateful for this unique opportunity I have to come unto my Savior as I help bring others closer to Him. I know He does all of this not just for me, but for you. I hope that this week brings you brighter hope and joy. Remember that I love y'all sooooooooooooo much-ooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Y'all are always in my prayers. So long for now~

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

March 9, 2015 - Kennesaw

March 9, 2015 - Kennesaw

So some pretty crazy things happened the end of last transfer and the beginning of this new one...
1. The last day of transfers, Tuesday March 3, one of our bike Elders got hit by a car...going 35-40mph!!! The car window was smashed & the rear view mirror broken off. The Elder flew about 12 feet, rolled a few times, and came out with no broken bones and a few lacerations!!!!! Can you believe it?!! Talk about a MIRACLE!
2. I didn't get your package... D: super sad!!
3. I got food poisoning which turned into the flu.... it is no bueno.....but I'm getting better. All I have to say is...mom...thank you so much for raising me right and teaching me to drink water and gatorade, a long with other things, when I'm sick. The nurse was impressed. ;) (I'll have to get some watercress now!)
4. This past Sunday I met Josh Kohl one of the members of a touring acapella group called, "Fading Point" from SVU...he was an Elder from our ward back home in California for 9 months back in 2012!! Can you believe it?!!!! We talked about so much = SUPER FUN!!
5. This past Wednesday I got a new companion, Sister Stenquist. She is super spunky, fun, and motivated. It's going to be an awesome transfer. :)
     Anywho, I'm sorry it's taking so long to send the pics of our apartment! At first I thought, "I'll just take pictures of the apartment with no one in them" then I realized how boring that is....so now we have to get the apartment ready and take some more pics. But I will get them to you soon! 
I met another distant cousin on the same Foote line at Bishop's Storehouse!!!! His name is Warren Foote after our anscestor!!!! It was super epic!! Next Bishop's Storehouse we're going over my pedigree chart. :)
 I'm so glad that the talks y'all gave went well and am really appreciative for the insight. I would most definitely love copies of the talks. :) Thank you again for your uplifting emails, support, and love. I love y'all sooooooooooo much-oooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Y'all are always in my prayers. So long for now ~

Lots of love (from your favorite Sister Missionary),

Sister Megan Rice

February 16, 2015 - Kennesaw

 I'm so glad that you received my Valentine on Valentine's Day! I was really hoping that you would! Isn't it funny how busy life can become?! It makes me realize that work, if managed properly and given balance, really does make us happy. Balance is the key to everything. I will never forget the wisdom Mom gave me when she said, "If I could give you a treasure box full of answers for this life, inside the box would be 'balance'." This wisdom has helped me a lot, not only on my mission, but in my life and while I've been on my mission I've come to appreciate more fully how much balance matters to our Father in Heaven. In everything that we do he is always trying to make us balanced. I think that's another reason why we are given periods of testing. Those periods of time are the moments Heavenly Father is adding weight to our scales. Sometimes it may seem like the amount of weight that He wants to add shouldn't be placed on our scale but if we wait and watch the scale becomes steady and the weight evens out to become perfectly balanced. I know that God has a plan and I know that if we do as Psalms 46:10 directs to, "Be still and know that I am God...." we will be filled with the peace and joy that is not of this world, but the peace and joy that comes from our Savior. We will be given the ability to hold on as we trust in the Lord's plan, putting faith and hope in the knowledge that His promises will be fulfilled and that everything will work out. 
     This past week, two of our investigators said that they didn't want to be baptized anymore. It wasn't easy and at times it was very heartbreaking, because no matter how many times you may hear someone say that they have decided to "walk a different path", the reaction is still the same; there will always be sorrow. But I am grateful for that sorrow because it stems from one reason; love and love is powerful. It is the greatest motivator. Love is what motivates us to make other people smile, love is what motivated our Father in Heaven to send His son, and it is love that motivated even the greatest sacrifice of all; that of our Savior's. 
     Love is the "why" of missionary work and it is why I won't give up on these people, because I want to see my brothers and sisters again someday, standing side by side with my Father in Heaven. I am grateful to be in the service of my Father in Heaven and I am so incredibly grateful that we were able to baptize one of God's choice sons this past Saturday and that we will have the opportunity to baptize another one this upcoming Friday. It is an honor to be a part of this work, His work, and I wouldn't trade these experiences and opportunities for anything in the world.  
     I love ya'll sooooooooo much-oooooooooo!!!! Remember that I am always praying for ya'll. Hope ya'll have a blessed week!!

Lots of love (from your favorite Sister Missionary),

Sister Megan Rice

February 9, 2015 - Kennesaw

This past week we've been pretty busy getting D ready for his baptism and also trying to find new people to teach but it's been a hard week for finding new investigators. We're still working hard though and trusting that the Lord has a plan. Besides teaching and contacting people, unfortunately, not to many exciting things have been happening this week. The only kind of news to share is that I gave a talk this past Sunday on the "why" of missionary work, which of course I will send to ya'll probably by next P-day since I don't have enough time to type it out this P-day. Oh! And we helped out at the Food Pantry again and to answer your questions we help out at the food pantry twice every month and occasionally we help with extra things like what we will be doing this week. We also have the opportunity to help out at Bishop's Storehouse every 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month. It's really great being able to do this much service! Service really is one of the highlights of being a missionary. In my first area we hardly ever did community service like this and so to be able to serve all the time now makes up for all of the times that we didn't in Lilburn.

Thank you sooo much for the Birthday wishes and the Birthday gifts!! They made my week!! I can tell that you really put a lot of time and thought into the gifts and I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. <3 Also! Congratulations to Grandma and Grandpa on their 69th Wedding Anniversary!!! That is so cool!!
     The start of last week was kind of difficult. We contacted a lot of students and received a lot of rejection, a lot of self-criticism came into our minds, and it became down-right hard. Rejection is, of course, normal but what made it difficult this week was that, on top of the multitude of rejection, a lot of students were blatantly rude and mocking towards us. The students at KSU are never like that and so we began to wonder if we did something wrong and if there was something we needed to improve on.
     We came to the conclusion that the way to find out was by reviewing our numbers from the previous transfers in this area. As we compared numbers we realized that we were progressing far more than when my companion began her mission in this area six months ago. We also remembered that we had three beautiful people on date for baptism. 
     That's when it hit us; Satan has been attacking us a lot this past week. He knows the progress we've been making with the Lord's help and he has been trying really hard to bring us down with people and even with our own thoughts. My trainer once said, "Why would Satan go for branches when he can cut down a tree?" 
     That's when we decided, right then and there, that we were not going to let him win. We knelt down on our knees and we asked for our Father in Heaven's help and continued protection. A calm assurance washed over me. Along with that assurance came a knowledge that everything was going to work out. I know that we are being watched over and protected.
     This past Sunday evening we met with one of our investigators and taught him the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Spirit was so strong and by the end of the lesson when we invited him to be baptized he full-heartedly said "yes". Now we have four of our dear brothers and sisters on date for baptism. 
     I know that Heavenly Father has a plan. I know that the angels of Heaven are very real and that they do indeed watch over us. I am so grateful to be a part of this great work; to make these things known unto the inhabitants of this world. I know Jesus Christ is my Savior and with His help I can do all things.
     Remember that I love ya'll soooooooooooooo much-ooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ya'll are always in my prayers. I hope ya'll have a blessed week! 

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