Monday, September 11, 2017

Baptism week!

September 11, 2017


Hey y'all! This week was one for the books. :) 

Monday- on Monday (I bet you can guess) we had P Day! we washed our clothes and cleaned and emailed and shopped. Yay! after that we spent the evening visiting less actives but no one was really home. Bummer. 

Tuesday- On Tuesday we went and did service at the Newtonia Red Library! After that we went to see our nursing home friends, Mary and Donald. They were so fun to visit with and so are all of the other lonely people in the nursing home. after that we tried visit some less actives who are always an adventure to talk to but they weren't home... so sad. Tuesday night we had dinner with the Lemons :) I love the Lemons. They made fried chicken and it was oh so good. That night we went to visit Page Talbot and see how she was doing before her baptism and she was doing well! We came home at 8:30 and did some exercises! It was a good day.

Wednesday- On Wednesday we did weekly plannins (plot twist! it wasn't on Thursday) and it was good. That took the whole morning and then we got a text from our Mission President's assistants asking us all to clean our cars in anticipation of our meeting with him the next day. So we spent the afternoon making sure our car was in tip top shape. That night we had dinner and then visited a less active and then came home and exercised. 

Thursday- On Thursday we woke up bright and early and got ready and drove for an hour and a half to... SPRINGFIELD for our meeting. I love Springfield and it was so fun to drive through the town I spent the first 5 1/2 months of my mission in. We had zone conference at the stake center and I got to see so many people! My trainer, Sister Sanders and my good ole MTC friend Sister Naegle! It was so fun. Another cool thing was that a member of the seventy came, Elder Villareal. He instructed us and gave a lot of really cool thoughts  After the meeting they had some people come in and give us all flu shots if we wanted. I knew my mom would want me to get one so I braved the needles and got a flu shot. Sister Naegle held my hand. It was all good. After that we drove home and had dinner with some members who have celiacs disease so they are the masters of gluten free cooking and they made homemade biscuits. They were so dang good. That night we went and  met a less active who we didn't know and had a really good conversation with him and got to know him. It was awesome. 

Friday- Remember that time I got a flu shot so I wouldn't get the flu? Guess who woke up with the flu. Gosh dang it. So we had a sick day. Didn't get a whole lot done. The High Priests had a karaoke activity where they invited tons of less actives and some non members so I threw my hair up in a bun and we went to that. It was really fun! They bought me my own gluten free pizza (I'm so blessed) and had soda and karaoke. I sat down at a table and talked with some members and Sister Crandall sang karaoke and did a puzzle. All was good. 

Saturday- Saturday was a special day! Paige got baptized :) I was so happy I could have died right there. Paige has some health struggles so we spent the whole morning taking bleach wipes to the font to make sure it was clean and bacteria free. It was a great service opportunity. Then we had her baptism. She was so sweet and the spirit was so strong. We sang I'm trying to be like Jesus and I got all teary eyed because I thought of how Jesus Christ was baptized, how I was baptized and now how Paige who I love dearly was baptized. So much happiness comes from "trying to be like Jesus" and "Following in his ways". After the baptism we had dinner with Paige's family and then that night we went to see our investigator Shawn. He is doing really really well and we are excited he is making so much progress. Saturday night we came home and went over to the high school's track across the street and exercised. It was such a good day.

Sunday- On Sunday we went to church and then went home teaching with one of the men in our ward. It was pretty cool. After that we came home and did some studies and then went to see some potential investigators. They didn't let us in BUT they said that we could come back this coming Sunday so that's pretty great! After that we had dinner and then we took some copies of the Book of Mormon to a member who wants them so she can hand them out (it's great! you should all try handing out copies of the Book of Mormon! :) ) and then we came home and went to sleep. 

This week I have been thinking a lot about singing. I saw my mission president and his wife at zone conference and I got to talk to Sister Loveland for just a minute and she asked me how much I was singing. I said "not much" and asked what made her ask me that. She said the spirit told her and that I needed to sing. I thought that was kind of an odd thing but I started singing and holy cow does that make a difference for me. I found the scripture Doctrine and Covenants 136: 28 " if thou are merry, praise the Lord with singing, with music, with dancing and with a prayer of praise and thanksgiving." I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to sing praises and to worship, If you are happy, take the time this week to sing a little bit. It made a difference for me. I love y'all! have a great week!

~Sister Madisen Lloyd

Pictures:

Picture 1 Sister Lloyd and Paige pre baptism :) 

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Round 2 In Granby MO

September 4, 2017


Well I've said this before but I'll say it again. I never know what to tell everyone on these short weeks. I feel like I just gave my life update a couple days ago... because I did. But I'll see what I can come up with. Here goes it.

Thursday- On Thursday I took Sister Snyder to transfer point in Joplin and dropped her off, picked up my new companion Sister Crandall and drove the two of us back to Granby. We spent the afternoon weekly planning and I told her about the area. Updated her on everything she needed to know to be successful, okay maybe not. I don't even know everything I need to know to be successful but I sure try. That night we had dinner at the Moffit's house. They are awesome and they fed us Chinese food which is my favorite, but it is not Brother Moffit's favorite. After that we did online training and I worked on some family history! 

Friday- On Friday we started our morning by going through the ward list. I told her how everyone is related and anything else that she needed to know about the members. After that we went and started trying to visit people. and we got to see a lot of members that Sister Crandall needed to meet. We went to visit some of the less actives we work with. One of which was this really funny old man who loves the sister missionaries and he gives us all nicknames. My nickname is "Red horse" because I guess that is an orange fish and he thinks that I have orange hair which thus makes me look like a red horse. I looked up pictures of these fish and... they aren't very pretty so I'm a little offended. BUT that's okay because the nickname came from a loving place so I can't be mad. The rest of the night we drove around and met members and less actives and then we came home for the night. 

Saturday- On Saturday we started the day by helping with the highway clean up our ward was doing. We put on some ugly orange vests and each walked down a different side of the highway cleaning up garbage. You would be amazed what people throw out their car windows. *shudder* On a happier note, I was reading Elder Uchtdorf talk where he mentions forget me not flowers earlier this week and as I was walking down the highway I saw some growing in the ditch bank I was walking on and it was such a cute tender mercy that let me know God was thinking about me! (I'm not a flower expert, I don't know if they were actually forget me knots or not but I decided that they were. Don't bust my bubble.) The rest of the day was good. We went to the elderly home in Granby and visited a member who was in there and when we got there this elderly lady wheeled up to me and asked "Are you looking for me?" I thought maybe she was confused or maybe just really lonely and so I asked her where she was headed and wheeled her there and then went back to the guy we were visiting. We finished our visit and  went on our way. It was good! We finished the day with a lesson with our investigators, Jess, Steve and Chloe and it was awesome. We taught them the Plan of Salvation and they were really open to it. It was cool!  

Sunday- On Sunday we went to church and we were talking to the relief society president and she mentioned she needed to go see a new name that just came onto our records. An older lady who lives at the elderly person home in Granby. Remember the confused lady who thought we were looking for her? Yeah, she's a member. *face palm* I'm the worst. So after church we went back to Granby House and met her and talked to her. She's super nice. That night we had a really good dinner with some members in the ward and then we went to scone night! We had invited some investigators to scone night but they didn't end up coming. I was super bummed but that's okay. There's always another scone night. :)  

This week my spiritual thought is not mine. My grandma Maughan sent it to me and it was such a tender mercy for me I thought it might be for someone else too. 

"Isaiah 41:13 For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, fear not, I will help thee.

President Uchtdorf said Christ's perfect love allows us to walk with humility, dignity and a bold confidence as followers of our beloved Savior. Christ's perfect love gives us the confidence to press through our fears and place our complete trust in the power and goodness of our Heavenly Father and of His Son Jesus Christ."

I'm so grateful to know that the Lord is willing to hold my hand and help me through anything that I am asked to go through. Sometimes I forget that and I usually end up falling on my face as I let go and try to run ahead of Him. But when I do choose to hold His hand and let Him help me I am always more successful. I'm so grateful for the song I am a Child of God. "I am a Child of God and He has sent me here. Has given me an earthly home, with parents kind and dear. Lead me, guide me, walk beside me. Help me find the way. Teach me all that I must do, to live with Him some day." I'm so grateful to know that as I walk through this life, I never walk alone. God is so good.

I love you all! Have a great week! 

~Sister Madisen Lloyd

Pictures: 

Picture 1- We had a really bad rainstorm that flooded and we were trying to get to a members house. So I hopped out to make sure the water wasn't too deep for the truck. 

Picture 2- Sister Snyder's feet hurt on Sunday so we hitched a ride home in the back of a truck 



 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Aggressive Driving and Bible Bashing and ticks... oh my

August 21, 2017


Well what a week this has been! There's been a lot of ups and a lot of downs but at the end of it all I love everyday.

Monday- Can you guess what Monday was? P-DAY! We did all of the needful things. We washed our clothes, bought groceries and emailed. What a good day! At the end of the night we had dinner with the Lemons! What a stellar day.

Tuesday- On Tuesday we had a pretty good day We didn't have the car which is always an adventure so we found ways to be productive anyway. We called people, set up appointments did companionship study! All the time we were doing this my leg was itching right behind my knee, super weird. All of a sudden as I'm itching I feel a bump. What on earth could that be? I look to see what it is and it's a freaking SEED TICK. Fun fact, I've never had a tick before. So I start panicking and my dear companion was kind enough to pull it out of my leg. But, of course, the head didn't come out so she had to take tweezers and dig it out of my leg. All the while I'm crying and she's assuring me I'm going to be fine. I have a very kind companion. By the time this ordeal was over it was time for dinner. Our members are so kind to come pick us up for dinner when we don't have a car. The members we had dinner with are a gluten free family and they are really good at cooking gluten free things so I always am excited to eat there. When we got to their house there was a big bag of gluten free baking flour on the table and Sister Byrd (the member who was feeding us) said "We have this bag of flour for you so that you can make cookies or pancakes or muffins or whatever you want." I just about died I was so happy. I thanked them profusely. After dinner we went and tried to visit some people but no one is home when the missionaries come to visit.

Wednesday- On Wednesday we had District Meeting, which meant we got our car back! Oh happy day! After District meeting we headed down to Neosho because Sister Snyder has been having some back problems and so we went to the chiropractor. I just read my Jesus the Christ and we had a great old time. After that we headed home and went to the Lemons for dinner. After the chiropractor Sister Snyder was hurting pretty bad so the Lemons helped her by having her use an ice pack. The Lemons are basically our Granby parents and so they take good care of us. It was a really good day.

Thursday- On Thursday we had to drive to Joplin to get our Tiwi installed in our car. For those of you who have not had the opportunity to find out what a Tiwi is, let me tell you about it. Tiwi is a little box that is stuck to our front windshield of our car and it monitors or driving. It tells us to "check your speed" when we go to fast or when we are hitting bumps to quickly or our RPM's get too high it informs us we are using "aggressive driving." I have never had a problem with Tiwi (however, I do get a few more "check your speed"s than I probably should)  it's just something to help me drive well but a lot of missionaries HATE Tiwi. The guy who installed our Tiwi was really nice and we gave him a pass along card before we left. Hopefully he will watch the video and decide to meet with missionaries! While in Joplin on our way to get our Tiwi installed we did get to drive on Historic Route 66 so that was really fun! :) After Tiwi we headed back to Granby and to dinner at a members house. We got to dinner and we find out there are two non members there! Score! So we ate dinner (salmon, crab legs and shrimp with fresh fruit and corn, so yummy!) and it was great. After that we went to go visit this old man who is a member of our ward and he was sleeping so we left him a note and then we went home to do our weekly planning. While we were planning we texted our investigator to ask when we could come see her and she told us she was having a really hard time and had lost her job so we hopped in the car to go see her and try to uplift and encourage. We had a really good talk with her and we got to meet her daughter who is so sweet. We ended up inviting her daughter to meet with us as well and she said yes! So we got a new investigator! :)

Friday- On Friday we did service at the Newtonia Library and that was good as always. After that we headed to see the old man we tried the day before and we got to see him. We sat down to talk with him and his caretaker was there. We had scheduled to do service the week before but no one could take us and it was too far to bike so we had to cancel and his caretaker just went ham on us. She told us that when we "decided not to show up" that he did it himself and wore himself out and it could have been really bad for him. We tried to explain we gave him few days notice and she wouldn't have it. So we let it go and kept trying to talk to him. We started talking about the spirit world and his caretaker pipes up again and just starts trying to Bible bash us, and asks us where we found this in the Bible and when we tried to show her she wouldn't let us talk. We tried to wrap up the visit because it was a bad, contentious situation and we were both angry when she starts in about how the members of our ward are not fulfilling their duty because they are not coming and taking care of this man's lawn. She basically tore us apart. So we sat quietly and took it and then when she was done assured her we would tell our ward of her concerns and that it was time for us to leave. We were so mad. One of the hardest things about being a missionary for me is that when stuff like that happens I am still a representative of Jesus Christ so while I normally would have put on my boxing gloves and gone a couple rounds with her, I can't. I am learning how to turn the other cheek and forgive and love my enemies. It's not an easy lesson for me to learn. After that we went and had a lesson with our investigator, Sean. It was a really good lesson and we ended up setting a baptismal date for the 22 of September! We are really excited about that! :)

Saturday- On Saturday we had a good day! We started the day by having breakfast at the Lemons, they are so kind to feed us so often. As we were leaving I was trying to start driving on wet grass and we were in a little bit of a rut so I had to give it some gas to get us out of the rut and freaking Tiwi decided I was angry and gave me an "aggressive driving" *eye roll* The car wasn't even going about 5 mph, so annoying. Then we went and did service picking up some dead baby turkeys and then we headed home and got ready for the rest of our day. In the afternoon we went to a carnival called "howdy neighbor days" and we set up a table with some elders and tried to talk to people! It was really cool because we were back a ways and not a lot of people were coming and talking to us but this one guy came strolling back and was just looking at our picture of Jesus we had on our sign and he starts talking to us about how he's looking for a  Christian church and how he wants a reverent place to worship. I told him "you should really give our church a try and he said he would! I didn't have the address for the building in Monette so I got his number instead. It's always cool when prepared people find the missionaries as they are led by the spirit. That night we had a lesson with our investigators Jess and Steve and it was one of the best lessons I've had on my mission. They asked us if instead of teaching them or reading with them if we could tell them why we choose to believe what we believe and basically why we are doing what we are doing. As we talked and shared with them they shared really personal things with us. I can't share a lot of details but I can say that I am so grateful for strong people who have a desire to come closer to God. It seriously makes all the difference. 

Sunday- On Sunday we woke up and went to ward council which was good as always and then church started! I love church. I love being able to sit and feel the spirit and learn from other people's testimony and experiences. We have been trying to figure out how to work with the ward during the times we don't have a car and so we tried sending around a different kind of calendar when people could pick when they give us rides to the things we need to get to instead of us just sending texts and asking and I think this is going to work better which is a huge blessing. After church we met with our ward mission leader and we were able to talk about the work and how we can get the ward more involved. I'm super grateful for a ward mission leader who is so willing to help. After church we had lunch with some members and it was good! After that we went home and studied because we didn't have time to before church and studies are important. After that we went to dinner with the Lemons (different Lemons from the same family, the son of the other Lemons). Earlier this week Brother Lemon, Darrell, and I were talking and he said something that has been on my mind this week. He said "If you want to quit and go home when the days are good then that's fine, quit and go home. But don't quit when the days are bad." That really struck a chord with me. There are always going to be hard days, on a mission, as a parent, just in life. There are always going to be bad days. But you can't quit when the days are bad. If you're going to quit something quit when the days are good. If you're having a good day and what your doing still doesn't bring you joy then okay, find something else to do. God intended for his children to feel joy, not muddle through. But when the days are through quitting can't be an option. Opposition comes in all good things, but the good outweighs the bad. I thought that was a really cool thought and have decided that this is my new life mantra (i learned that word on my mission, I think I just used it correctly but I'm not positive). 

Well, I hope that y'all know how much I love you and I hope that y'all will push through the bad days so that you can enjoy the good. Don't give up because the days are hard. If you're going to quit quit when the days are good and life is going well. Jesus Christ didn't have an easy time, so we shouldn't expect to. I love y'all and I hope that the days are good. Have a great week! :) 

2 Timothy 2:3
"Thou therefore endure hardness; as a good soldier of Jesus Christ." 
Keep on enduring my fellow soldiers, God loves you and I do too. 

--

~Sister Madisen Lloyd

Monday, August 14, 2017

Team Jesus

August 14, 2017

Hello my lovely friends! I hope all is well! Life here in Granby is so good! I feel like these weeks just fly. Every Monday I'm amazed it's Monday again. 

Monday- On Monday we had P- Day. We washed our clothes, cleaned our house, grocery shopped and emailed. All of the usual fun things that you do on Monday. That night we had dinner with some members who drove us to Neosho for dinner (there's only one resteraunt in our area so we have permission to drive the 20 minutes to Neosho for dinner with members). They took us to get tacos and they were so good! After that they bought us ice cream and drove us home. As they were dropping us off the member we were with (who happens to be in the bishopric) asked us to speak on Sunday in church. Dang it. We accepted and went inside, did comp study and went to bed. 

Tuesday- We started out the day by doing a lot of work in our area book again. Re calling the people who didn't answer last time and trying to find new people that we didn't call or that we need to go visit in person. It's a lot of paperwork to read through and look at but it makes finding people a lot easier. That evening we went with some members, the Powell's, and helped Brother Powell to do his home teaching. Then they took us to dinner. While we were at dinner the lady we were going to meet with after dinner texted and cancelled, which we were bummed about, but it gave us an opportunity to go and knock on a door or two. 

Wednesday- On Wednesday we had District Meeting. Which was awesome! We talked about working with our ward councils and also some ideas on questions we can ask when we are talking to people that will make them think. It's really cool when we get to practice with other missionaries because they always have way better ideas than I do which helps me improve! After that we all went out to lunch because one of the Elders was going home! He finished his mission! A really nice member paid for the lunch of all ten missionaries which was SO kind. After that we went home and did some tracting. We had dinner with some members that night, the Lemons, and that was fun as always. They are really kind to the missionaries and we love them dearly. After dinner we tried to visit one of our investigators but she wasn't  home so we headed home, did some companionship study and went to bed. 

Thursday- On Thursday we had weekly planning. We got to plan our week and do some online training. We printed out the talks we had to study for our talks and we planned the rest of our week. Weekly planning is so bitter sweet because it is so boring to me but it makes the rest of our week go so much better. We also got a chance to work on our talks which was good. That night we had dinner with the Keeling's who are members in our ward. They are so good to us and we had a really good dinner with them. We talked about counseling with the Lord and the importance of that. They took us home and we finished weekly planning.

Friday- On Friday we did a LOT of service. We started by doing service at the Newtonia Library and then we did service at Leanor's house and THEN we did service for some people who own a quilting shop. It was a lot of service but it was good! After we finished all of our service we were able to go home and work on our talks a little bit more before dinner. We had dinner with The Rollins family and it was a little tender mercy from heaven because she made a sweet pork barbecue, Café Rio copycat recipe and I have missed Café Rio like you wouldn't believe! That night the lesson that we were going to have cancelled which was really sad but we got to use that time to try to see an investigator, she wasn't home, and then we stopped in and talked to some members who live in the area! It was a really good day. 

Saturday- On Saturday we got to finish our talks for Sunday as well as plan our Gospel Principle's lesson. It was good. After that we hopped on our little bikes and went tracting. While we were riding up our road these little Chihuahuas came running from out of this house and this one chased Sister Snyder for a solid three minutes. I was laughing really hard and she was screaming and pedaling as fast as she could. She had ended up behind me. She was okay, the dog didn't get her. Just scared her. We finally got to a house we felt like we should knock on and we got off our bikes and walked up the drive way and the guy who lived there came out to meet us. We talked with him for a really long time. Probably an hour and he was interesting. He had some interesting views on the Sabbath and Sabbath day observance. He also had some interesting ideas about a prophet. He told us that he should wear a robe and should not walk up stairs... it was an interesting concern but I don't think it's one he can't get past. We left him with a Restoration pamphlets and set up a time for us to come back next week. After that we biked home and got ready for our dinner with some members of the ward. They were awesome and made us grilled chicken which was really good. That night we typed and printed our talks and went to bed. 

Sunday- I love Sundays on a mission. We went to church and were super busy all three hours. We spoke in Sacrament meeting and that was good and then we taught Gospel Principles during second hour and then Sister Carter, a member of our ward, needed someone who could lead the music in primary. Lucky for her Sister Lloyd had quite a few awesome Young Woman's leaders and one of them taught me how to lead music.  So I got to go to primary and lead the music. It was so fun! We played a game and we danced! I miss primary! After church we had lunch with some members and they were awesome and then we were able to do a little bit of studying (because we don't have time before church) and then we had dinner with some members. After dinner we went to scone night. Scone night happens once a month and it's where different members have people from the ward over. They invite less actives and non members and some active members and the missionaries. It's a cool opportunity to be able to interact with them in that environment. After that we came home and went to bed.

 

Lately I have been thinking a lot about something that people keep saying to or around me "You can't run faster than you have strength" this is something I didn't pay a lot of attention to the first couple times I heard it but I have heard it so consistently lately I started to notice that it just stuck out to me. I love this concept. I think that a lot of times we try so hard to do everything that we feel we are expected to do and we just. can't. We can't do everything that everybody expects us to do all the time. We have to have priorities. This is something that a mission has taught me. Priorities are important and even though you may not be doing everything you want to do, or everything everyone else wants you to do, if you are doing what the Lord NEEDS you to do then you are doing enough. We don't need to burden ourselves with unrealistic expectations, we just need to know the strength we have and do the best we can with it and trust that if it's not enough, God will strengthen us. I know that Christ loves us and I know that through His Atonement we are able to be more and accomplish more than we could on our own and I am so grateful for the strength I receive from the Atonement of Jesus Christ each day. I love you all and I hope you have a great week! 

~Sister Madisen Lloyd

Pictures: Picture 1: Sister Snyder and I waiting for our ride after district meeting Picture 2: Sister Snyder and I splurged and bought $5 Walmart shirts because we are both on team Jesus, we're pretty cool. Picture 3: Us on our bikes!



Tuesday, August 8, 2017

I've never claimed to be clever.

August 7, 2017


Well, I've never claimed to be clever and I won't start now! This week was a good one and an adventure for sure. I had so many cool experiences this week. 

Monday- On Monday all the missionaries in our Zone went fishing! It was way fun! We went at a place called Roaring River and it's basically a stock pond and a stream. It was good and I caught a trout, all by myself! ;) Dad you taught me well. Monday night we had a really good dinner with some members. They were really nice and made some gluten free cashew chicken and then for dessert they had a "special surprise" when they served it to us it was chocolate ice cream with chocolate syrup and part of a Hershey's chocolate bar in it. When they gave it to us they said "someone told us that the new sister really likes chocolate." I was so happy and I couldn't stop laughing. 

Tuesday- On Tuesday we had service in the morning and then we went and looked up some former investigators. We visited some members, The Endicotts, in the afternoon and then we invited their  less active son to come to church on Sunday. After that we had dinner with some members who are gluten free and so we talked a lot about gluten and the adventure that is a gluten free lifestyle during dinner. That night we went to see another less active member named Greg. Greg was super funny to talk to because he is super into painting action figures and then playing this war game with them and his friends. I didn't even know that was a thing. He showed us some of his action figures though and he does a great job. When he found out I did archery he said I should join a larping club and I told him I would definitely think about it. Maybe I could be the new queen of larping! 

Wednesday- On Wednesday we had a good day. I went through and called all the former investigators we had phone numbers for in our area book and asked them if they would ever want to meet with us. Some were nicer than others and we even found two that said they would meet with us again which was very exciting! Hopefully those end up working out. That night some members gave us money to go get dinner so we got to go out to eat which was fun. Sister Snyder got these banana pancakes with white chocolate and caramel and I got steak so we were both really happy. :) That night we helped one of the members in our ward do his home teaching, we visited Sister Hendon and she was very kind. She told us that she is working with a lot of non members and that she needs FIVE copies of the Book of Mormon to hand out! We were so excited we could hardly stand it! :) 

Thursday- Thursday was fun. We had interviews with out mission president on Thursday and we were supposed to be there at ten. Sister Snyder woke up and did our morning routine and around nine Sister Snyder checked the phone and we had two missed calls from our mission president. Which is not good. We called him back and he informed us that the schedule had changed and we were supposed to be there at eight and it's a thirty minute drive to get there. We panicked and ran to the car and drove there as fast as the speed limit would allow us to. Turns out no one bothered to tell us that the time had changed and so we were an hour and a half late to interviews. Oops. It was really cool though because I was able to talk to my mission president and his wife one on one which is a rare experience, it only happens once a transfer. And I always feel of their love and concern for me as their missionary. They are amazing people. One thing I thought was really cool was that my mission president asked me if I see The Lord's hand directing me as I go about doing his work and I said yes. He asked me if I record those experiences in my journal and I said that was something I was working on being better at. He strongly encouraged me to record those and promised me that I would be able to see more miracles. As I have tried to act on that promise I have seen it be true. I have definitely seen more examples of the Lord directing me as I have tried to record them. After interviews we went back to Granby and had a good dinner with some members and then we got to have a lesson with some of our investigators. It was a really good lesson and we were able to read with them. We invited them (again) to read daily and as we promised blessings the spirit was so strong. I KNOW that reading the Book of Mormon daily brings blessings.

Friday- On Friday we had service at the Newtonia library and then we had service for Leanor. Both were really good! I enjoy both of those services a lot. After that we headed to visit one of our investigators and then a less active member of our ward. He is older and pretty sick which is sad but he loves the missionaries. After that we went home to do weekly planning and part way through Sister Snyder and I both got really sick. We had food poisoning! We still aren't sure what from but it was not fun and we were pretty much down for the count for the rest of the day. 

Saturday- On Saturday we had a really cool opportunity to drive down to Bentonville and then drive with our mission president to Tulsa, Oklahoma. While I was in Bentonville I  got to see my beautiful friend Makenna who lives there and that was such a tender mercy! After that we headed to Tulsa and we got to go to a special confrence. It was with the General Relief Society President, Young Woman's president and Primary President. It was such a cool opportunity to listen to them speak. They are amazing representatives of Jesus Christ. We listened to them speak specifically to the missionaries and then to the YSA in the area and then we headed home. By the time we got back to Bentonville it was midnight and Sister Snyder and I still had about an hour to an hour and a half drive home. Sister Loveland came up to us and asked where we were staying and we said we were driving home. She said that we were going to stay the night with her and President Loveland and so we got to spend the night in the mission home which was fun!

Sunday- We have 7:30 ward council and still had to drive home from Bentonville so we woke up at 5:30 and showered and got in the car and headed back to Granby. We showed up to church pretty tired and muscled through. After church we had lunch with some members in the ward and then we had to give our truck to the elders. Some sisters in the mission wrecked a car that was going to go to some elders close by us. Now the elders don't have a car so we trade off weeks with ours until the mission buys them one. It's kind of a bummer because Granby is really country and has high speed limits and no sidewalks so biking is going to be an adventure. But we gave our car to them and then came home and finished weekly planning. 

This week has been so cool and full of so many awesome experiences. I have been pondering a lot about what Sister Cordon the general Young Women's President said when she was talking to us. She said that we are children of God and he sent us HERE. Not just to Earth but to where we are now. He sent us to our families and as a missionary he sent me to Granby, Missouri. That was such a cool thought that as long as I am following what God would have me do I will be EXACTLY where he wants me to be. What a blessing it is to have a Heavenly Father who loves us enough to be that aware of us. I would encourage you to make sure you are following God so that you can be exactly where he intended you to be and recieve all the blessings he desires to give you. I love you all so much! Have a great week!

~Sister Maddie Lloyd
 
Pictures! 

Picture 1: Me and my trout! :) Picture 2: We got pulled over on the way home from the confrence for not having our taillights on, we gave the cop a pass along card ;) ​​​​Picture 3: Our Special Dessert the members gave us

 




 

 



 

--

~Sister Madisen Lloyd

Monday, August 7, 2017

Paige

July 31, 2017

Well this week has been an adventure for sure! But a good one as usual. I am always amazed at how quickly P Day roles around. This week I am severely lacking motivation to email, I don't know why, I've never had this problem before so forgive me if my email is not as good as usual (not that my emails are ever incredible). 

Monday- Monday (as usual) was P-Day. which is always good! We did everything we needed to to be ready for the coming week. After that we went and had FHE with some members and less actives. It was awesome! We had a really good time and were able to uplift, encourage and hopefully teach. It was awesome!

Tuesday- On Tuesday we started the day with service at the Newtonia Library which was fun! After that we had lunch and then we had a lesson with some less actives, the Mahurins. Technically Sister Mahurin is the less active and her husband is a non member who would be baptized if he didn't have a smoking problem (I feel like everybody in Missouri has a smoking problem). We talked to them a lot and made some really good progress, hopefully he will be better at not smoking this week. Later that night we had a lesson with our investigator Sean who is awesome! We talked about the priesthood and helped him to understand what it is and how the offices work a little better. He is so sincere. The rest of the night was really good. We had dinner with some members and then we tried to visit some less actives.
 
Wednesday- On Wednesday we went on exchanges and it was awesome because I got to be with my first companion, Sister Sanders! I love her! We had a great day. We taught a little girl who's parents are less active. We taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ and we had a really interactive lesson. After the lesson we talked with her and asked her if she wanted to be baptized, she said yes! I was so excited. She will hopefully be getting baptized on August 19th. After that Sister Sanders and I did some tracting. We found one man who was absolutely NOT interested. To us his words "not at all." But we also found a lady named Juanita who is really old but so kind! We taught her a mini restoration lesson on her doorstep and she said we could come back! It was awesome! That evening we went and visited a less active old man who is a little, different. But he is very nice and he LOVES the sister missionaries. It is so funny. He told me that he was adopting me as his granddaughter so that's fun! He is a very sweet old man. 

Thursday- On Thursday we had Zone Conference. President and Sister Loveland came and instructed on finding and ways we can find that are not just tracting. It was a really good day but it was a long day of sitting and taking notes. We got done in time to go to dinner and then to go and tract a little bit before the end of the night. 

Friday- On Friday we went and did service for the Newtonia Library again and then we did service for an old lady named Lenor. Lenor is a very sweet old (and I mean OLD) lady who lives in a house that is very old as well. She had us help her with canning and while we were in her kitchen we found a DEAD RAT. It had been just under her counter for who knows how long, but a very long time. It was disgusting. Sister Snyder and I didn't want to tell her because we were afraid she would make us pick it up and throw it away but we decided it was better to tell her. So we did and she did NOT make us pick it up!  #tender mercy For the rest of the day we did weekly planning.  

Saturday- On Saturday we started our day with service for some members. They have a bunch of turkey barns and they said they would need some help feeding. We showed up at eight to help feed and they put us to work PICKING UP THE DEAD BABY TURKEYS. I almost threw up. We picked up over three hundred. Oh the things I do in Missouri. Later we went and visited some less actives who are struggling, Phil and Donna. Just a back drop for this story, Phil is nuts. So we went to visit them because it's Donna's birthday and they invited us for cake. We told them I couldn't eat it but we would come and Sister Snyder would have some and Phil says, "oh! is that why you're so slim?" I just about died I was laughing so hard. We had cake with them and talked about the priesthood. It was a good conversation. As we were leaving Phil stops us and says to Sister Snyder "are you feeling buzzed yet?" and then starts laughing. He was joking that he put weed in the cake. (What is it with Granby and weed?) I was a little nervous but he eventually gave up and said he didn't put any in. Thank Heavens. 

Sunday- On Sunday we had a really good day! We went to church and Sister Snyder and I taught Gospel Principles and it was on sacrifice and it was really good. After church some members fed us lunch. After that we went tracting and saw Juanita. She was so sweet. We taught her the restoration and she said she would read the Book of Mormon. We ended the evening by spending some time with Paige's family, the Talbotts and trying to help and encourage them. 

This week has been awesome, I have loved it. I have spent a lot of time thinking about obedience and motivation. Something really interesting that Elder Holland talked about one is he said something along the lines of Salvation is not a CHEAP experience. How can we expect to have it easy when Jesus Christ never had it easy. I have thought so much about that because there are days when it is NOT easy. When I'm homesick or tired or  whatever the case may be and I just want to quit. I want to take the easy route. I am so grateful for a Savior who was willing to do hard things and to take the hard route. I'm so grateful for the ability I have to choose not to take the easy route and I'm so grateful for family and friends who are kind enough to support me in my journey.  I love you all so much and I just want to share a great scripture I found. 

"We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed but not in despair:
Persecuted but not forsaken, cast down but not destroyed."
- 2 Corinthians 4: 8-9

Love you all! Have a great week!

Pictures: Picture 1: Me with a baby bunny! Picture 2: Sister Snyder and I with a baby turkey Picture 3: Sister Sanders and Sister Lloyd reunited at last Picture 
--
~Sister Madisen Lloyd

Monday, July 24, 2017

Granby Missouri!

July 24, 2017


This week has been so crazy and fast. But it has been so awesome!

Wednesday- On Wednesday We had P-Day so I spent the day doing everything I needed to do to be ready for Granby, Missouri. There wasn't a whole lot I had to to. That night we took a trip to Alec's work so that I could say goodbye, it was really sad but I am so grateful for the opportunity that I had to teach him. His example of sacrifice and discipleship. He bought me gluten free, chocolate, coconut snacks as a goodbye gift. That night Samuel, my other recent convert and his girlfiend Olivia came to say goodbye to me and it was so good. They are so sweet and we had a really good conversation about all of our lessons we had. As he was leaving he looked at me and said "Well Sister Lloyd, I'll never forget you." and walked away. I cried all the tears. 

 Thursday- On Thursday we had transfers. A member of the YSA, Amanda, (who I love dearly) drove us to transfer point and dropped us off. I said goodbye, hopped on the van and headed to Granby. My new comp, Sister Snyder picked me up and we headed home. It was a long day of meeting people and trying to retain as much information as I could about the area and the people. It was stressful. But before I came to Granby I bought stickers to hand out to the little kids and we were teaching a lesson to a mom and a little girl (teaching families is so different by the way) and I whipped out my unicorn stickers and gave her one and now she likes me! One point for Sister Lloyd! 

Friday- On Friday we had a lot of service and some weekly planning. A lot of the day was spent introducing myself to members in the area. It was awesome! The members are all so nice and happy to see the missionaries which is really nice. We had a lesson with out investigator, Sean. He is really cool and he wants to get baptized, he just has to quit smoking so we are working on that. That night we had dinner with the Alphins and they are so sweet. I love them dearly. Then we went and met the Lemons and I love the Lemons! They have three little girls and one little boy, William.. William is my BUDDY! I gave him a dinosaur sticker and now I'm basically his best friend. He loves me. 

Saturday- On Saturday we had a big ward activity or Pioneer Day which was stressful because there were a lot of people I didn't know but needed to meet. After that we went and did service for a couple who is moving and needed help packing. They also fed us dinner and it was so nice of them. That afternoon we got a text from our investigator,, Chelsea and she tried to drop us but we decided to just send her a text asking if we could just come and talk to her. She said yes so we went over and talked and she is having a hard time. She is really sad and depressed. We talked to her about how she is never alone and Christ loves her and fortunately she decided to keep meeting with us. I was so grateful for the decision we made to go and just listen. 

Sunday- On Sunday it was a long day! It is so stressful for me to have to try to meet and remember so many people. But we were sitting in Gospel Principles and at the very beginning we were talking about how hot it is and the investigator we had who was there was talking about how he has had heat stroke twice so the heat is hard for him and this member of the ward, who is a few french fries short of a happy meal, pipes up and says "I've had heat stroke twice too!" We said we were sorry and he said "Both of them happened while I was doing pot." My eyes just about bugged out of my head. He is just this old crazy guy with really long hair and he starts telling the missionaries and our investigator about these two times when he did pot and passed out because of heat stroke. It was really awkward for a minute and then out ward mission leader, who was teaching, just said "well, alright! Today we are talking about fasting!" and moves on. I was dying trying not to laugh. After church we went and taught two lessons and we visited a lot of less actives. It was a really good day! 

This week I have been thinking a lot about stretching. During my days as a cross country runner I did a lot of stretching. Before runs, after runs, whenever my muscles felt tight, whatever. Stretching is important because if you don't stretch it's bad for your muscles and you can hurt yourself. However, I feel like I am stretched mentally and spiritually way more often than I used to stretch physically. I loved my last area, the YSA and I was comfortable. I was really good at talking to and teaching YSA's. I knew how to relate to young people. I knew where to find and I knew that I was pretty good at it. Then I found out I was going to a family ward. It was a big stretching moment for me. I don't understand how to teach adults and children about the gospel, I don't know how to find, I don't know how to relate. I was sad and knew that it was going to be a stretching moment for me. But as I came to Grandby I saw how much joy comes from missionary work, from trusting God, from being stretched. If you don't stretch your muscles and you try to run you can seriously injure yourself and the same goes for spiritually stretching yourself. Had I not had this opportunity to be spiritually stretched then my mission would have been seriously injured. I am so grateful for a loving Father in Heaven who is willing to stretch me when I don't want to be stretched. He knows me and loves me enough to make me do things that are hard for me. So many blessings have happened to me because of this change and even though it was hard, it is so worth it. I love you all and I hope that any of you who are being stretched will be able to trust and look back and know that it is for your good. I love you all! Have a great week!
~Sister Madisen Lloyd

Sunday, July 23, 2017

THAT'S IT! I'M MOVIN' OUT!


July 19, 2017

Once upon a time there was a Sister missionary who spent her first few transfers going on exchanges in Grandby, Missouri. While she was there she met a sweet little boy named Hyrum who wanted her to get transferred there. She told him to pray really hard for that to happen and that God would decide. Well... God hears prayers and answers them too and so Sister Lloyd is getting transferred to Grandby, Missouri. I leave tomorrow morning. My heart is really heavy as I have spent the last few days saying goodbye and packing up. I have dearly loved my time in the Springfield YSA and I hope that I have had as much of an impact on the area as the area has had on me. I love the people and the work I do for them but I am excited to start my new adventure in a town that is quite the opposite from where I'm at now. Grandby, Missouri is a TEENY little town that have a number of cows that rivals the number of people there. It is very country and it is going to be a great adventure! My new companion's name is Sister Snyder and if you have read my emails you may recognize her name because we have been on several exchanges together and are very good friends. I am so excited to see why the Lord is sending me to Grandby! 

Monday- Prep Day! Nothing too super exciting! Just a lot of preparing. Go figure! 

Tuesday- On Tuesday we had service with my dear friend Rose, after that we exchanged companions for the day! I was with Sister Pierce who is brand new! This is her first transfer and she is already a power house missionary. We had a really good lesson with our investigator, Brad. We taught the Plan of Salvation. It was really awesome! He has done a lot of... research and so while we were teaching he casually asks "so is outer darkness like with this or is it somewhere else?" I was surprised to say the least and then we had a really good conversation about outer darkness. Haha! We were waiting for our next appointment when we got a phone call that said Charles, the guy we were waiting to meet with (he is a less active member), got in a car wreck on Sunday and wouldn't be able to make it because he was in the hospital! He did NOT want us to come visit because, in his words, "I'm not dressed decent". So we went on campus and talked to people instead. After that we went home and had dinner and then went tracting. While we were biking we came across a car that had the keys in the outside key hole of the car door. We didn't want to just leave it so we, through a long series of events, got a hold of the campus patrol so that they could get the keys to the right people. When we biked by the next day the car was gone... hopefully to the right people! Tuesday night Sister Moser and I were back together and we got a text from our District Leader asking us to instruct on the role of prayer in conversion the next morning. THAT'S NOT ENOUGH TIME TO PREPARE.

Wednesday- Wednesday morning we went to District Meeting and Sister Moser and I instructed. The Lord definitely blessed us for trying to be obedient and do things that we are asked to do because we both gave decent instructions! It was so good! After that we went on campus and rode the campus bus and talked to people on there. It was so fun! That night we had a lesson with our investigator Justin and he is always good to talk with. We just can't seem to get him to keep commitments. We finished the night by biking home and trying to talk  to people as we went. 

Thursday- On Thursday we went to visit a new investigator that we just found and we had an awesome conversation with him about Christ and the Book of Mormon. It was so awesome. the rest of the day we were weekly planning and that is always pretty boring. That night we had a lesson with Samuel about the ten commandments. Samuel is so awesome and he shared really cool thoughts about how the commandments are protectors for us and not restrictions. How they allow us to use our agency to make wise choices and after that we can continue to us our agency to choose! It was a great lesson. 

Friday- On Friday we started the day with Service at the Food Pantry and that is always fun. They always like us to warn them when one of us might be leaving and I had a feeling I would be and so I let them know and they were really sad. One oldish guy named Tim was like "You can't leave! We all like you so much! You're sweet face needs to stay here for at least six more months!" It felt good to know that I was so dearly loved by the people in the area. I dearly love them too. After that we spent most of the rest of the day tracting. We knocked so many doors in the heat it was a little ridiculous. That night we went to visit Charles, our member, in the hospital. He is doing well and the car wreck may have fractured his back but it didn't fracture his sense of humor! He is doing well. He can stand and walk a little so he is doing well.  That night we had ice cream with another less active member who told us that she is improving! She has been working so hard to overcome her path and she is almost done! We were so excited! She told us that she is moving to Oregon to be with her mom who is an AWESOME lady and we were so excited for her. 

Saturday- On Saturday we did service for Jina at her store. After that we had a lesson with a guy named Kavon. Kavon was someone that other missionaries handed off to us because he is YSA and he is so awesome! He has a baptismal date for the 29th! (I'm so sad I'm going to miss it!) The rest of the day we did some tracting! 

Sunday- On Sunday we went to church and it was awesome! After church we had a lesson with an investigator named Antwain. Antwain is awesome, he used to meet with missionaries and his life got really busy so he stopped. We just recently picked him back up again and we read from the Book of Mormon with him and invited him to read from it daily. After that a member drove us 45 minutes to Bolivar to meet with an investigator who some other missionaries passed off to us because she is YSA. We taught the Restoration and it was a really good lesson! By the time we got to know her, taught her, and drove home it was time for us to go home! 

Monday- The Monday that isn't Prep Day is always incredibly long. We started the day by going on campus and there really weren't that many people there so we went and did some service at the Food Pantry again. We went home and watched an AWESOME missionary broadcast by Elder Neil L Anderson where he talked about finding. Something that stuck out to me was that he said that there are people EVERYWHERE who are ready and willing to accept the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I think that that is such an AMAZING promise. If I am willing to work to find and open my mouth then there will be someone ready to hear it no matter where in the world I am at. After we watched the broadcast we went and rode the campus bus and talked to people. We got off in the town square to try to talk to people and there was SO MANY PEOPLE and live music. We were nervous and didn't know what was going on and then we asked someone. It turns out there was a Christian Rally! All of these Christians from so many different faiths got together to sing together and worship God! It was amazing! I got a little teary that there were so many good people there. This one guy came up to Sister Moser and I and started talking to us about how hard his life has been we reassured him that God loved him. After that he walked away but a little later he came up to me while Sister Moser was talking to someone else and asked me to "pray over him" I always get uncomfy when people ask me to pray OVER them. I just always think how hard that would be because I'm so short ;) But I prayed with him that he would be able to feel God's love and peace and be able to feel joy. He thanked me! I offered to send missionaries to meet with him and help him feel of that love and peace and he said "mmmm, no thanks. I'll stick with my denomination." *face palm* That's okay. Jesus still loves him. That night we had dinner with the SWEETEST lady! Her name is Barb. We met Barb when we were lost and looking for an address and she loves us! She wanted to feed us so we had dinner with her and it was so good! She made us beef stroganoff on rice, which is my FAVORITE FOOD EVER. It was such a good night. We finished the night be catching the very end of FHE. That night we had transfer calls. It was one of the hardest nights of my mission to find out that I would be leaving my home for the last 5 months and the people I've come to love. I cried and cried and didn't get a lot of sleep. Just tossing and turning and worrying. 

Tuesday- Tuesday I woke up and was SO tired. crying and four hours of sleep don't help a person to function. But I got up and did studies. I've been reading in Jesus the Christ and I read this story about "a nobleman" who comes to Jesus and asks Jesus to heal his son. This nobleman did not have faith yet but he wanted his son to be healed. Jesus told him that he could not build his faith on miracles. The man again asked Christ to come see his son or else he would die. Christ told him to go home, his son would live. In faith the man turned and went away. The book explained that this man did not run home immediatley to see if Christ had been truthful, despite his son being on the verge of death. Instead he took his time. The next day the man was walking home and his servants met him on the road. They had been sent to tell him that his son was miraculously doing better. When the man asked when the improvement had begun it was the very hour when Jesus had assured him that his son would live. This hit me hard. I hope that I can trust God enough that as they tell me to go to Grandby that I can have the same reaction this man had. That I will be able to act in faith and trust Christ. The rest of the day was good. We had service in the morning with Rose and she cried when she found out I was leaving and asked me to please write them letters sometimes. The other lady, Lee, who we volunteer with bought me a cute dress as a going away gift (we volunteer at a thrift store) that afternoon we had a lesson with out new investigator Kavon. We taught him and his two friends. That night we had institute and it was so good. The lesson was awesome and I had a chance to say goodbye to a lot of the YSA. It was sad but I am so blessed to have such wonderful people who I love and who love me. 

This week and especially the past few days I have thought so much about trusting. Trusting friends, trusting companions, trusting parents, trusting leaders, trusting God. What an awesome privilege it is to hold someone's trust and be able to keep it. It's a blessing! What a blessing it is to know that God trusts us. He sent us to Earth with the ability to choose, he trusted us with bodies and trusted us to take care of them. He trusted us to take care of the Earth and he trusted us to choose to follow him. I often find myself doing what God has asked me to do and saying "Fine, BUT I'm trusting you." How silly of me! Trusting God should not be a condition. I should always trust God and know that it is a privilege to have a Heavenly Father who loves me enough to be aware of and have a plan for me. He trusted me, the least I can do is trust Him. I hope that I will be able to keep God's trust and that he will be able to know that Sister Maddie Lloyd is someone that He can rely on. I hope you all think that Sister Maddie Lloyd is someone that you can rely on. I love you all so much! You are amazing. Trust God and he will direct thy paths. 

~Sister Madisen Lloyd

 P.S. my new address is 

13258 Racoon Rd.

Grandby, MO 64844
 

Pictures: 
Picture 1: Sister Moser and I found Drury Lane (do you know the muffin man) Picture 2:My Sister Friends! Picture 3: Kyle and Courtney (the two members who threw me a surprise birthday dinner last week) 



Tuesday, July 11, 2017

This week has been awesome!

July 10, 2017

This week has been so awesome! I feel so blessed to be where I am at and doing so many wonderful missionary things! Missouri is amazing! Missionary work is amazing! I love it! 

Monday- On Monday we had Preparation Day. We did everything we needed to do and had an awesome dinner with one of our members. After that we went out and did some tracting and tried to find some new investigators.

Tuesday- On Tuesday it was the fourth of July! We had some appointments fall through so we did a lot of tracting. In fact, we tracted almost all day long! Which normally wouldn't be too bad other than no one was home, because it was the fourth of July. So we knocked a lot of doors and didn't talk to a lot of people. Fortunately, the people who did answer were very kind and we had some good conversations. We found one new investigator who we will meet with later this week! His name is Avesh and he was really cool! Tuesday night we went to the bishop's house for a fourth of July barbecue and we managed to get two non members to come! We were so excited! Sister Moser and I bought matching fourth of July headbands and wore them. It was super fun and we got to have some awesome interactions with the non members and get them some friends in the ward who can fellowship them. 

Wednesday- On Wednesday we had district meeting which was good as always! We had some awesome conversations about studying for our investigators. It was really good and I have a better understanding of how crucial it is that we study for the needs of our investigators. Heavenly Father blesses us from our efforts and the Holy Ghost brings things to our remembrance, but Heavenly Father can't bless us if we aren't putting forth effort and the Holy Ghost can't bring things to our remembrance if we didn't learn it to begin with. After District Meeting we had a meeting with our investigator, Brad. Brad is awesome but he has been "researching" things. Meaning he googled the church and read through a bunch of different websites which is a bummer because now he is really confused about some things and has a lot of concerns he didn't have before simply because of misconstrued information. We were really sad but he was really genuine. After that we had an awesome dinner/ lesson with our investigator Justin and we talked about how important it is to go to church, pray and read. It was a really good lesson. After that we biked home! 

Thursday- On Thursday we had weekly planning (yes I know, it's usually on Saturday, President changed it) it was a long day of planning out the week but I always feel so much better and organized after we do it because we are better able to function through the rest of the week and we are so much more prepared. That night we were supposed to have a lesson but it fell through so we had a lesson with the members who came for it and asked them to pick a date and have as many spiritual/missionary experiences as they could between now and then and try to get someone to meet with the missionaries (hey! that's me!) by their date they picked. It was a really cool experience to be able to talk with them. They were both really excited and willing to set a date. 

Friday- On Friday we went on exchanges in Bolivar, Missouri. I spent the day with Sister Hadley. She is so cute! She goes home at the end of this transfer and I'm really sad about it, to be honest. We had an awesome day and were able to talk to a lot of really awesome people. We talked to these two ladies, Betty and Brenda and they were really awesome. They had awesome faith and were so willing to testify of Jesus Christ. I loved it! That night Sister Moser and I spent the night at their house. 

Saturday- On Saturday we had a really busy day. We drove home from Bolivar and went straight to the farmers market to talk to people. We talked to one lady who has a brother who is a member. It was awesome! After that we did service for a few hours and then had three back to back lessons. The first was with Alec and we talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ. The next was with Tobias and it was about the Book of Mormon but we ended up dropping him because he isn't progressing, sometimes people just aren't ready yet. The third one was with Justin. We had a good lesson about the ten commandments. We taught him the hand signs to help him remember each of the ten commandments and we talked about why God gives us commandments and the good things that come from keeping them (peace, joy and you stay out of jail a lot of times.) It was a really good lesson! That night we had dinner with some members, Courtney Clarkson and her fiancé Kyle Guison. Courtney picked us up and drove us to her house and I walk in and she goes "Sister Lloyd! guess what!" and I said "What?" and she said "Welcome to your surprise birthday party!" I started crying because this sweet member and my companion had planned a special surprise birthday dinner. Courtney made gluten free chocolate Bundt cakes (my favorite ever) and grilled hamburgers and invited a few of the members over. It was so nice! We had a great dinner and then she dropped us off at home. We went out and knocked a few doors and then ended our night. 

Sunday- On Sunday we had a great day of church! After church one of the bishopric members, Brother Illum, their family fed us! But the power was out so they were freaking out. We ended up having fruit, vegetables and a room temperature rotisserie chicken which they were bummed about but I loved! After that we came home and had a meeting with a new investigator we found this week and we ended the night by having a lesson with a less active member who just had surgery this past week!

This week I have had a lot of thoughts but the main thing that I have been thinking about is time. We measure everything in time, days, weeks, months, missions, life, classes, vacations, whatever it may be. However, it doesn't matter how much time we have if we choose not to use it wisely. I have eighteen months to serve the Lord non stop, but if I choose to waste it then it is all in vain. We all have a certain amount of time that we are allotted to be on Earth, however, if we choose to waste it or not to use it for the purposes the Lord has for us then we have spent 70+ years of our life searching and wandering for nothing. God has given us such a wonderful opportunity to have this lifetime on Earth to be able to do what he would have us do and allow us to show Him that we are willing to rely on him and do what he would have us do. Why waste a second of that precious time doing something that would not bring us lasting joy? As we follow Jesus Christ we are able to find true happiness. We are able to find joy! We can find fulfillment and purpose. God has given us this time and we should use it wisely. I am so grateful for the five months I've been on a mission and I could not be more grateful for the months I have still to go. I would encourage every one of you to devote yourselves to a good cause worthy of the small amount of time that we have to spend here. I love you all so much! Have a great week! 

~Sister Maddie Lloyd



Monday, July 3, 2017

One year older! Wiser too?

July 3, 2017

Hello! What a great week it has been! Thank you to everyone who was so kind to me this week. I love you all so much and I felt so loved as I looked at my emails, letters and packages that I received. I don't know why I'm so blessed but I'm grateful for it!

Monday- P-Day! Just a long day of doing everything that needs to be done to be successful for the rest of the week! We emailed, grocery shopped, did laundary and then ended the day by going to FHE! We a couple of non members there so it was awesome to be able to see them coming to activities. 

Tuesday- On Tuesday we had Sister Johnson with us again so we were in a trio again which was fun! We started the day with service and then we had a lesson with a less active member who is working on coming back and receiving the priesthood! It was a really awesome lesson! After that we had a lesson with one of Sister Johnson's investigators which was also good! We showed her a mormon message called the shiny bicycle and talked about repentance which was awesome! That night we went to go see Justin and see how he's doing and then we biked and checked some addresses. It was a good, busy day!

Wednesday- On Wednesday we had interviews with our mission president and his wife! It was so awesome! I had a really cool experience. I have been struggling to know how to find in this area 
and when I went to my interview Sister Loveland prayed and in her prayer she promised that I would know how to find and I would be led by the spirit. I took that promise to heart and trusted her and moved on with my week. Then in my interview with President Loveland we talked a lot about the different ways and areas that we could find so I got my biggest question answered which was a huge answer to prayers. I suddenly felt a lot more comfortable with tracting, which I was little bummed about but, if it will find the people I need to find then I'm happy. That night we had one of the most powerful Plan of Salvation lessons I've had so far on my mission with our recent convert Samuel. It was awesome! We watched the Hallelujah Mormon Message from a few Easters ago and then just centered the whole thing on Christ (which is how every lesson should be) and it was seriously SO POWERFUL. 

Thursday- On Thursday we had a good day! We started our day by going on campus and talking to people which is always interesting because you never quite know what you're going to get. We talked to a really nice Catholic lady who's daughter is going to start coming to MSU which was awesome! We went and tracted for about an hour and a half and after that we biked about three miles to our next lesson who wasn't home, we were a little bummed. After that we went to our next lesson and on the way one of our members saw us biking and gave us a water bottle! It was such a tender mercy! Our lesson was really good! We taught the Plan of Salvation to our other recent convert, Alec and he has such a strong testimony of it that it was amazing! He also updated me on where he is in Mosiah and, just for everyone's information, I'm winning the great Mosiah race so far. We quickly biked home and changed into service clothes and then went and helped a less active member clean his house. he is getting ready to move. We had a really good conversation with him. He is trying to come back to church he just stays up late and then it's hard to wake up for church. We all shared our favorite scriptures and then talked about his mission. He loved talking about his mission and we are hoping that it helped him to feel the spirit and remember the importance of  being actively involved in the gospel. After that we had an active member lesson with a girl named Payton and then we had a lesson with our investigator Justin. We invited Justin to pray with us about a baptismal date. He said a really sincere prayer asking and then at the end his mom said "You CAN'T get baptized." and then looks at us and said "His girlfriend, Amanda, lives here with us and we love her. I hope they get married someday but right now the living situation is that she lives here which is against the law of chastity." (His mom is a member) I was a little frustrated because we knew she lived there, we just knew we could find a solution to that problem. I was just disappointed because he looked so discouraged. We invited him to pick a date later that night. 

Friday- Friday was my birthday! I turned twenty years old and became an old lady, apparently. We were talking to some elders and mentioned I was twenty and this eighteen year old elder squints at me and with pain and anguish on his face and horror in his voice he says "you're so OLD". If that doesn't boost my confidence I don't know what will. :) That's okay, he's just a baby. We went on campus to have a lesson with a girl named Rachel who works at the Starbucks on campus and when we got there she saw us and went into the back room. We waited for a while and she never came back out and her co workers kept looking at us like we were Satan so we walked around. When we came back she was back out, saw us and went back in the room. We realized she was avoiding us and left. We had a lesson with one of our investigators about the Plan of Salvation and he basically told us he wasn't going to listen to any of it because he didn't think it matched what the Bible said. (spoiler alert IT DOES!) We had a conversation with him but he ended up just telling me I was too lazy to seek out the truth. So we left. We then had a law of Chastity lesson with Justin and talked about his circumstances and reassured him that we could find a solution. It was a good lesson! We spent the rest of the night tracting and life was good! 

Saturday- We started the morning by going to a farmers market and talking to people and then we did service for a less active member. After that it was a long day of weekly planning. 

Sunday-  On Sunday we had a great day at church! All the Relief Society piano players were gone so I ended up having to play, which was stressful but that talent of mine has actually increased on my mission so I did pretty good! After church we spent most of the afternoon tracting and then we had dinner at the Maughan's house and had a good dinner message with them. The rest of the night we called people to set up appointments. It was a really good day!

This week I have been really scatter brained and have lacked focus so I haven't had anything that I have repeatedly pondered this week. However. I have felt an insane amount of God's love this week. I have such a strong testimony that he loves each of us and that he blesses us with tender mercies all of the time. We just need to take the time to see and appreciate them. I know God loves all of you. I know that this gospel is true and that this is the only church that contains the fullness of it. Thomas S. Monson is a prophet and Christ is my Redeemer and my Savior, he is yours too. I love y'all so much! Have a great week!

~Sister Madisen Lloyd



Monday, June 26, 2017

The Great Mosiah Race

June 26, 2017


This week was so amazing! It was really hard and it stretched me as a teacher but I have grown and improved more this week than I think I have so far on my mission. I'm so blessed to have such an awesome opportunity to grow! 

Monday- On Monday we had P-Day! We did all the needful things and had a great day! Sister Moser bought her own bike so we aren't borrowing one from a member anymore which is awesome! After P-Day ended we decided that, because FHE was a pool party, it was probably not ideal for us to go despite all of the non members there. So we started biking around Springfield looking for the less actives on our ward roster.  At one point we were biking and we passed by these two guys who were looking a little sketchy to me and all of a sudden I realized one of them had a gun! He was just taking a stroll with his friend and his gun in his hand. I was a little nervous until I remembered I am a representative of Jesus Christ and that I am 1) protected and 2) supposed to talk to everybody. I said hello and then quickly peddled away. After several hours of biking we finally headed home. 

Tuesday- On Tuesday we had a really exciting day! We adopted a missionary from another companionship for the day because her companion had to go to a meeting in Arkansas and she had no where to go. Her name was Sister Johnson and this was her second week in the mission. We went onto campus and talked to some people and she was so good at talking to people! I was so impressed! We went to a lesson with a girl we have been trying to see for a while. She just kept missing appointments. Finally last Saturday we got a hold of her and she texted us and was like "I promise I really want to learn. Hopefully you can give me just ONE more chance." We were happy to hear she was sincere and told her it was fine. Scheduled the appointment for Tuesday and moved on. When we got to her door her roommate opened the door and said "Hi, Jennifer told me to tell you sorry for wasting your time. She's not interested. Have a great day." It was a little bit disappointing. We moved forward and went to meet Alec at the park where we have his lessons. Our lesson with Alec was so good. We followed up on the talk that we gave him to read called "What Lack I Yet?" and he said he hadn't read it but he was pretty sure he knew what the Lord was going to ask him to give up. I told him I was pretty sure he knew as well. We talked about "CPR" Church, Praying and Reading and how those are the things that will keep you spiritually alive and it was really good. We invited him to pick one of those to improve on. He chose reading. When I asked  him where he was at in the Book of Mormon he told me he was in Mosiah 5. He told me about what was happening and I said "Mosiah is SO GOOD! I need to read it again soon." He looks at me and says "I'll race you." MY RECENT CONVERT CHALLENGED ME TO A SCRIPTURE READING CONTEST! HECK YES! I accepted the challenge and we are now racing to see who can finish first. It's always a good feeling when someone you are teaching has a desire to read and allows you to be a part of it. That night we had a lesson with a new investigator who was really nice! He agreed to start meeting with us and taking the lessons. It was a good lesson. 

Wednesday- On Wednesday we had a lesson with one of our newer investigators, Tobias. Tobias is interesting. He has some very different interpretations of the things it says in the Bible. This week he showed us one scripture that he said was talking about dinosaurs. We were a little shocked and didn't know what to say. But we were REALLY shocked when he disappeared into his house to get his Bible and then came out and read us a scripture and says "You know the pledge of allegiance? This scripture says that that's a load of bologna. All my life I said it until I read this scripture but now I understand that it's a sin." I was so shocked I didn't know what to say, that was definitely not what the scripture was saying but I didn't know how to tell him that. Sister Moser handled it really well and just said "I'm not sure that that's what that is saying, but thank you for telling us." We had a lesson with our investigator, Justin. His mom is a member and so she also cooked dinner for us. We started the stop smoking workshop with Justin and we are hoping that he will be able to kick his smoking habit. That night we were biking home from the institute building and I hear someone yell "NEIGHBORS!" I looked and it came from a group of guys sitting in front of their Frat House. Sister Moser stopped and said hi. We asked them how they were doing and made small talk until one of them says "are y'all ever going to come have a drink with us?" I was worried for a minute until another one (the one who shouted neighbors) slaps him on the arm and says "We have TALKED about this! They are CHURCH LADIES! They don't drink!" and then apologizes for him. I was cracking up and we just said thanks for the offer and biked home. 

Thursday- On Thursday we had a busy day! We biked to have another lesson with Alec and it was really good. We followed up on his scripture reading (I'm ahead of him in Mosiah) and then had a really good lesson on commandments. Later we had a lesson with two of our investigators, Katie and Julia They are very Southern Baptist and Julia informed us that at one of her church camps she "took a seminar on the Book of Mormon!" Awesome. We have had several question and answer sessions with them but we decided that that is no longer going to cut it. We invited them to take the lessons and not just ask us questions. Katie counter offered and said "How about you tell us what you believe and we will teach you what we believe out of the Bible?" Sister Moser agreed. I am very nervous to see how these lessons will start going. Our purpose as missionaries is to teach and not to be taught so it makes me really nervous that we just basically agreed to let her Bible Bash us. Updates to come on that! The rest of the evening was good! We biked around and tried to find some people on the ward roster that Bishop Allphin sent us to find. Overall it was a good day!

Friday- On Friday we did service and that was great as always. We also biked to a lesson on campus that cancelled and then on the way home we basically got caught in a Tsunami! It was raining so hard I couldn't see and the wind just about blew me off of my bike. We hid out in the stadium on campus until it lightened a little bit and then biked home as quickly as we could. It was raining so hard! It was crazy! A little later we met with Justin and taught him the plan of salvation and followed up on his smoking. He is still doing good! After that we had dinner and then a member took us out to go visit some people. We visited a lot of potential investigators and a few less actives. It was a really good day! 

Saturday- Saturday was weekly planning so it was a long day inside. We planned for all of our investigators and planned all of our lessons. Later in the afternoon we got a text from Sister Moser's old companion. She had gone home a couple of transfers ago and was going to be in Springfield with her family and wanted to buy us Ice cream. Sister missionaries never say no to free ice cream! We met them and had ice cream and it was a really good break! After that we biked home and finished weekly planning. 

Sunday- On Sunday we went to church and then we went out tracting with a member. It was a really good, productive time and we were able to get three potential investigators. We gave out three copies of the Book of Mormon and have two return appointments! I felt very blessed. After that we went out biking to find less actives. I was really discouraged because we weren't finding ANYBODY and it didn't feel very productive. Sister Moser was awesome though and kept me laughing so that I didn't want to quit. We went back to the institute for a few minutes before it was time to be in and we figured out how we want to teach the Restoration to our Baptist investigators so that hopefully it will make sense and they won't be able to ask tons of Bible Bash questions. 

This week I have seen a recurring theme, sacrifice. This wasn't a fun theme to see because I definitely felt like it was Heavenly Father telling me that it was time for me to sacrifice something so that I could be a better missionary. I decided I would ask what it is he needs from me and the answer I got was "quit complaining." I realized that Heavenly Father was asking me to stop complaining about what he was asking me to do (namely riding a bike) and to start recognizing that as I did it I would be blessed. I decided I was NOT complaining ANY MORE. Every time I got on my bike I picked a different song and I would sing it in my head as I rode. As I made this effort to be more positive about doing what the Lord would have me do I noticed that I was better able to teach with the spirit. I hadn't been grumpy getting to appointments because my legs or feet hurt or because we almost got hit by people texting and driving and it made all the difference in the world in my teaching. I was better able to discern people's needs and teach to them. I am by no means perfect at this new goal and I need a constant reminder every day to not complain but I am so grateful for this opportunity to make a sacrifice so that I can better meet the needs of my investigators. I am so grateful that I have opportunities my whole life to sacrifice things to be closer to the Lord. I have seen so many blessings come from making sacrifices. I would encourage all of you, if you ever feel like the Lord is asking you to sacrifice something, or you just know something isn't helping you come closer to Him, just make the sacrifice. I promise that God makes it worth it. Thanks so much for all of your love and support! I love you all! 

~Sister Madisen Lloyd


Pictures: 

Picture 1: Sister Moser, Sister Johnson and I! Picture 2: This homeless guy asked us for money, Sister Johnson gave him ten dollars because she is a saint and didn't know we weren't supposed to give homeless people money and later we saw him with a huge bottle of vodka Picture 3: Sister Moser, Sister Pond (Sister Moser's old companion) and I