Thursday, April 27, 2017

Longest. Week. Ever.

April 26, 2017

I am so sorry that last week I forgot to warn you guys that on the last week of the transfer our P-Day is switched so it is on Wednesday and not on Monday, we find out Tuesday night about transfers and if we are staying or going so that just gives us all of Wednesday to pack and makes it a P-day instead of us just missing a day of missionary work. Don't worry! I'm still alive and you still get to read my emails ;) I knew you were worried. This week has felt super long because of the P-Day delay but it has been a great week none the less! 

Tuesday: EXCHANGES! We had another exchange on Tuesday and I got to go back to Grandby! I seriously love Grandby! This week I was with Sister Sterling and this was her last transfer which was really sad because we got along super well and now she goes home! Dang it! Anyway, we started the day by visiting the ward mission leader who has baby cows! I got to play with them! It was the best! We did some more service and that was great and then we went around visiting potential investigators, investigators, and less active members. At one point we were driving down this little dirt road and we both saw a turtle crawling across the road and we both freaked out and Sister Sterling pulled over and we both jumped out of the car to find this turtle. We found him and named him Randy and gave him to a member to take care of. It was hilarious! 

Wednesday: On Wednesday we had District Meeting and Sister Sanders and I were asked to give instruction. I was REALLY nervous. I have barely been out a month and I did not want to stand up and give instruction to all of these awesome missionaries who know what they're doing. But we did it and it actually went really well! Sister Sanders is awesome and she is really good at knowing when to save me from not knowing what to say and knowing when to let me struggle for a minute! It's been awesome! On Wednesday nights we do an English Class for foreign students and it's really where we just talk with them and help them practice talking in English and at the end of it Sister Sanders and I give a short thought and tell them that they are able to meet with us or ask us questions if they have any. There's this guy that comes, Ross, and he has the biggest crush on Sister Sanders and it's so funny! We shared our message and he said he liked it and then we somehow got on the topic that we could be getting transferred and he was like "please don't! I really adore.... you're company!" It was so funny! 

Thursday: We had a lot of good lessons on Thursday and it was so fun! Alec, our investigator, took us out to breakfast and we had a lesson about tithing and fast offerings and talked about how he was feeling about his Sunday baptism! He said he was super excited and it was a good lesson. We went through what his baptism would be like and he asked me to speak, I was really nervous and really humbled. I felt so honored that he would want me to be a part of it! We had a lesson with another investigator and it was our first lesson with him. He was really neat and had a lot of cool thoughts and comments about the Restoration which is interesting because he is Catholic. I love Catholics but they don't usually enjoy the Restoration lesson, but he did! We scheduled another lesson with him so we will see how he continues! Thursday night we got a text from our District Leader, Elder Durrant, and he asked us to set a new investigator goal for the week that would stretch us, force us to have faith in Heavenly Father to provide and force us to act more than we normally would. Our usual goal is three new investigators and we usually get a few new investigators but we very rarely get three. I always assumed it was just because three is a lot of people to find every week! Anyway, they asked us to pick a number of new investigators we could have by Sunday night. Going into this I was like "Yeah! five is a solid number! I can do like five!" We prayed about it and both felt like we needed to set a goal for eight new investigators. I was a little defeated before we even started because it's usually a struggle to even get three, but we decided it was going to push us! We already had two we just needed six more.

Friday: On Friday we did service and then we went on campus and talked to just about anybody that would give us the time of day. Sister Sanders and I would find two people sitting in the same area and split up and talk to them. No one was interested in what I had to say. Everybody Sister Sanders talked to set a return appointment. I was a little bitter. Finally I decided that it was because I didn't think we could get eight new investigators. So I changed my attitude and talked to the first girl I saw and didn't get a return appointment. We finished out the night with a couple of lessons and it was really good! We met with our investigator named James, it was our third lesson with him and we are still working on him believing in God. We've been afraid to push him too much so we haven't until this lesson. We just started asking him the questions we needed to, "Do you believe in God?", "Do you want to know if God is real?" and it ended up being the best lesson we have had with him. 

Saturday: Saturday was weekly planning so we spent a long time in the apartment planning our week. After dinner Sister Sanders felt really strongly that we needed to go visit a guy who we tracted into about a month ago. We drove across town to see him and he wasn't home. We decided to check up on a couple other potential investigators in the area and as we walked up the stairs to visit one named Emily her two neighbors were outside smoking. We said hi and started talking to them and one of the girls, Tiffany was so excited that our job was to build faith in Christ and she was like "tell me about it! Fill me up! Build my faith!" So we talked to her about it and she set an appointment for a few days later! (In case you were wondering she was new investigator number 6) 

Sunday: Sunday was awesome! We went to church and then had some meetings! After that we went to the stake center and started setting up for Alec's baptism. Alec came and got changed and we walked him through how everything was going to work again and it was awesome! The program was beautiful, everyone did a great job, I did the best I could on my talk and it ended up going pretty well! Alec was baptized and the spirit was so strong! Oh my gosh. It was a moment I will never forget. Afterwards Alec got up and bore his testimony and it was just awesome. The spirit was so strong. After the baptism we talked with him for a little while and he was just the happiest human I'd ever seen! It was very humbling to be able to be a small part of his journey. After the baptism we went tracting. Hoping to find those last two new investigators. We knocked a lot of doors and they were either uninterested or not home until the last one. I knocked the door and this really pretty woman opened it, I explained to her what we were doing and asked if she had a minute, she said no but that we could come back another time and she would love to talk with us. New investigator number 7! It was dark so we went home and and looked through our area book, basically a binder full of information about people. We decided to call to see if we could get our last investigator. The first guy we called answered and set an appointment with us! EIGHT NEW INVESTIGATORS! It was so cool! 

Monday: On Monday we went to District Meeting and then we went tracting. I have said this a million times but I am not a huge fan of tracting. However, I prayed to be more willing to do what God would have me do and I definitely saw that. As we went door to door and knocked and literally no one wanted anything to do with us I realized that for the first time I didn't want to beat my head against a wall while I was tracting. That sounds silly but it really was the first time that I was willing to tract and didn't dislike it and think about how uncomfortable I was the whole time. Once we got back to the car I was so grateful I just started crying. It was such a blessing.
Tuesday: Tuesday was probably the longest day I've had in a long time. All day long we were waiting for transfer calls. We had some really good lessons and did a lot of finding activities (tracting, OTMing, etc.) and our last lesson before it was time to go home was with Samuel, he is getting baptized this coming Sunday. He was so funny! He kept saying "Give me your boss' phone number! I will call him and tell him you need to stay here!" He was so nervous Sister Sanders or I was going to leave. We went home and waited for the transfer call. Longest. Wait. Ever. We finally got it and we put the phone on mute so no one could hear our reaction to whatever happened. Sister Sanders and I are both staying in the YSA for another transfer! We get six more weeks together in this area! We are so blessed! 

This email is way longer than usual because of the two extra days but I just want to let you all know how much God loves all of you. He hears and answers prayers and he supports us always. He helps and loves us through whatever we are going through and he hopes that we will turn and rely on him. I love you all so much and I'm so grateful for all of you and that I get to be a missionary. I LOVE being a missionary and being able to wear Christ's name on my name tag. I strive everyday to do what he would have me do and to represent him in a way he would be proud of. I love this gospel, I know that it's Christ's gospel! Have a great week! 

~Sister Madisen Lloyd

Thursday, April 20, 2017

I know that my Reedemer lives!

April 17, 2017

This week FLEW! It was Easter Break for the second half of the week at MSU so we had to get a little creative in how we filled our time because 1) campus was dead and that's where we do our version of tracting and 2) all of our investigators went home for the break.
Tuesday- On Tuesday we did some service in the morning and then we had almost all of our appointments cancel on us, it was SO sad. We did a lot of tracking down less actives and talking on campus. In the evening we had one appointment who hadn't cancelled so we went to his lesson and the two members who came to that brought a parakeet with them! Apparently they bought it and then came to our lesson. I asked if I could hold it. I went to grab it and it was squacking so loud. I picked it up anyway and the little buggar bit me! HARD! It latched on to my finger and wouldn't let go! We were all freaking out and trying to get it off. Finally we did and my finger was bleeding! It was hilarious! Anyway, after that we left the parakeet in the box and had a really good lesson. It was with Samuel and he has a baptismal date for the 30th. He's so awesome! 

Wednesday- We really didn't do anything too exciting on Wednesday. We went on to campus and talked to a lot of people and I actually had a really cool experience. I went up and talked to one girl who was sitting and studying and I started talking to her about the church's Prince of Peace initaitive and she was interested in talking about Christ. We talked a lot and I ended up leaving her with a Book of Mormon, Plan of Salvation Pamphlet and the Easter Initiative pass along card! We actually set an appointment with her for a week from today! She seems a little hesitant because she is pretty religious BUT I have hope. ;)

Thursday- Thursday was the first day of Easter break so it was... slow. We went chalking at a park which was a lot of fun and we always have interesting conversations with people when we go chalking. I really enjoy it! Then we did some Less Active finding which is usually an adventure but we did find one who invited us in and we had a good chat with her. She was super nice! Anyway, Thursday was pretty slow as well. 

Friday- On Friday I went on an exchange! I can't remember if I've explained this before but an exchange is where you switch companions ( and sometimes areas) for a day! I ended up going to Grandby and being with Sister Snyder for a day. I LOVE Sister Snyder! She was so fun. We went and did service at a church/library/store. I honestly am not quite sure what it is but it was fun! Then we went to an old lady's house to do some more service! We walked in and I kid you not it was the dirtiest house I've ever seen. The floors were peeling up, there was a rotting pumpkin on the floor, bugs everywhere, there was a little bucket with rotten eggs cracked in it. I almost threw up. My only thought was "at least this isn't where our lunch appointment is." She put us to work sweeping and mopping and it took us a good while to get it as close to clean as we did. Then she calls us into the kitchen and, of course, she has two big slices of chocolate cake on plates for us. I immediately panicked. 1) Gluten 2) I just cleaned the kitchen and I don't wanna know what ended up in that cake 3) This sweet old lady wants me to eat this... but germs.  Anyway, she sat down with us and watched us eat it so I ate most of it because she kept asking us if it was good. I left her house and thought I was going to throw up. After that we went and helped some members plant their garden and that was a hoot! We were planting and it was good but then towards the end this little boy, Hyrum, comes out and in pure frustration goes "I NEED SOMEONE TO HELP ME WITH THE CHICKENS!" I laughed and volunteered. He needed to get them in the coop so he explained how to help and I tried, long story short we ended up letting out the rest of the chickens and having to run around and catch them by hand. It was so fun! Hyrum was very impressed with my chicken catching abilities. On our walk back from the coop he looked at me and asked "soooo when ya coming here to stay?" I told him to say lots of prayers that "Sister Lloyd will come to Grandby" and hopefully I would come to stay soon! I guess we will see if I get transferred to Grandby!  

Saturday-  Saturday was weekly planning so we spend a LOT of time in the apartment planning for all of our investigators and potential investigators. It's a long day. BUT we did make it out to another park to do some chalking and we also went to the mall and talked to a bunch of people. I love going out and talking to people. That evening we ended up going to see our investigator, Alec, at work. He works at a liquor store. I was really really nervous. Liquor stores are not the best place for missionaries to be. It ended up being a big store that had a liquor section in it which was WAY better. On our way in though we started talking to this guy who was sitting in the parking  lot, afterwards, another guy came up and offered us little tequila shots. We politely declined. Turns out he dated a Mormon before "she was a really nice girl, she didn't drink either." It was really good to sit and talk with Alec, he has been working really hard to do all the things we've asked him to do and to be diligent in his studies. He is so awesome. We ended up having to push his baptism one day so he will be getting baptized on the 23rd and we are so excited for him! He seems pretty confident and excited too! 

Sunday- Sunday was Easter. I loved being a missionary on Easter. It was so cool to be able to know that I was continuing the work that he started and that my sole purpose in being a missionary is to bring people closer to him. It was kind of like a realization that missionary work is kind of like celebrating Easter all the time. You are constantly testifying of Christ and trying to help people more fully exercise the Atonement in their lives. I loved it. It also happened to be my one month mark of being in the field! That was fun! We also met with Alec again, he had to meet early because his brother needed the car to go to the family Easter dinner that he was no longer invited to. It was really sad to hear him say that. He took it really well though! The rest of the night was trying to visit less active members. 

This week was so cool. I saw so many miracles, even if it was just somehow managing to fill extra time that we don't normally have or weren't planning on having. Something always works out. Sister Sanders and I have set a goal to try to memorize one scripture a week to help us either feel motivated or to be able to use it in a lesson and this week I picked one from Alma. It says "36. Now if this is boasting, even so will I boast; for this is my life and my light, my joy and my salvation and my redemption from everlasting wo. Yea, blessed is the name of my God who has been mindful of this people... 

37. Now my brethren, we see that God is mindful of every people whatsoever land they may be in; yea he numbereth this people, and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy and my great thanksgiving; yea and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen."

This scripture has been super awesome for me to memorize this week because I have talked to so many people who have said they are turned off by the idea of missionaries going door to door or "pushing" their religion on people. Honestly, I've always been a little turned off by that too. However, as I've thought about this scripture I have realized I am not going door to door talking about me. I'm not talking about how I can help them or what I know. I'm talking about God. I'm inviting people to come to Christ, to know him better, to love him more fully. I'm trying to help them have Him in their lives more fully, experience the joy and peace that come with relying on Christ. If that is "boasting" or "pushing", even so will I "boast" and "push". This has been the hardest thing I've ever loved to do. I love you all so much. Thank you for your support, love and prayers. Have a great week! 

 ~Sister Madisen Lloyd

Monday, April 10, 2017

Opposition In All Things...

April 10, 2017

This week was a very humbling week for me! Not in a bad way though! Last Sunday we set lots of lesson appointments and throughout the week we had lots of people not show up! It was disappointing to say the least but that's okay! The Lord provides you with the opportunity to fill the time with missionary activities. I learned a lot about how to fill an hour you weren't planning on having! 


Tuesday: we met with James and he is so awesome! We are really focusing on helping him to see God's hand in his life and to be able to recognize blessings. It's not the easiest but it's really been awesome to help him recognize things that he is grateful for! We also had interviews with our mission president and his wife on Tuesday. That was really special. I went into interviews with a lot of concerns and came out with a lot of answers. It was super spiritual so I won't share too much BUT I will share a little. While I have been on my mission I have recognized how completely inadequate I am. I have had every weakness I have made very clear to me and it has been a struggle. The biggest thing I have been concerned about is, I am not a great teacher. This is really difficult as a missionary because our job is to teach. I talked to President Loveland about that in interviews and he gave me a blessing. I don't know how, but I know that through Christ and the enabling power of His Atonement, by the end of my mission I will be a good teacher. It was a really neat experience. 


Wednesday: On Wednesday I went on exchanges! I went to Ingram Mill Ward and was with Sister Ferrell in that area. We spent the day visiting less actives in their ward and it was really fun to get to explore a family ward area and see what that was like! We had dinner with the bishop's family and THEY HAD CHILDREN! I got to play with them and we became buddies. I loved it! I don't see a lot of kids in the YSA ward. Sister Ferrell was super awesome! I am trying really hard to learn how to ask "inspired questions" which are just questions that you think would help your investigator recieve answers to their questions or testify of things that your teaching. It's a really good tool to be able to use and I get so nervous that I don't ask questions, I just talk! Sister Ferrell helped me a lot with that. She made me play a game where she had a concern that I needed to address but I could only ask questions to 1) Figure out what it was and 2) Try to help resolve it. It was HARD. I ended up being able to do it and now I have noticed that I am better able to ask questions to my investigators! It was a neat learning opportunity! 


Thursday: On Thursday we did the table! It actually was bearable this week! It was great! We also had a lesson with our investigator, Samuel. Samuel is the one who accepted a baptismal invitation before I got here and set a date during General Conference. He is so awesome! He has a really solid testimony and he just really wants to progress and increase his dedication. He is so awesome!


Friday: Friday was the day that tested me the most. I told you guys about our investigator, Alec. He is the one who came to church on his own and started meeting with us and accepted a baptismal date in his second lesson, he is so awesome. Friday we were scheduled to meet with him and when we met him at the Institute Sister Sanders and I both had the weirdest feeling. We kind of joked about it on our way to meet with him. When we got there we could tell something wasn't right. Not in a way that made me feel like I was in danger but something was wrong. We sat down and asked him how his day had been and he got teary and told us it had been a rough day. We asked him why. This was his response "About 30 minutes ago my family found out that I am getting baptized on the 22nd. Since then my grandpa and all of my uncles have called and told me that I am no longer welcome in their homes and I am no longer a part of their family. My mom called me and started preaching from the Bible about how wrong my decision was and when I told her that the Book of Mormon was another testament of Jesus Christ I heard her gasp on the other end of the phone. Most of my family now hates me. It's been a rough day." We had a long conversation about that and I honestly, didn't know how to respond. We testified a lot of Jesus Christ and His Atonement. Sister Sanders looked at him and said "Alec, we are so happy you're here and you haven't changed your mind because we know that this is what God wants for you, but, that's really hard. What made you continue moving forward with this?" He paused for a minute and then through tears said "For a split second I thought about turning my key in the ignition and going home. Shooting you two a text that said I wasn't interested in meeting anymore and telling my family I had changed my mind. But then I remembered how good I feel about this. I feel so happy and so much light and I know this is what is right for me." Needless to say it was an emotional lesson. We taught the Word of Wisdom, Alec is a manager at a brewery that requires him to taste alcohol in order to be able to sell it. We asked him to live it and he said he had already told his boss that he wouldn't be able to taste alcohol anymore. It was a great lesson. It was very humbling to me that this man would be willing to lose his whole family and risk losing his job because he wants to come closer to Christ. I'm honored to be a part of his conversion. 


Saturday: Saturday was slow, we did a lot of weekly planning and a lot of knocking doors. Some weren't home, Most weren't interested. It was a long day. I did however, see the blessings that come from trying your best to be obedient. We were somehow able to make it through the whole day! That sounds silly but some days, that's the best blessing you could ask for! Sister Sanders is always great at making long days fun, which also helps them seem just a little shorter. 


Sunday: Yesterday was fast Sunday. I LOVE fast Sunday! We ended up having a lot of investigators come yesterday which was really neat. The whole meeting was very focused on Jesus Christ. About ten minutes before the end of the meeting, Alec stood up. He walked up to the front and told his story. It was amazing. He talked about how hard it has been but how great it's been . He talked about the light he has seen enter his life as he has come to know Christ. He got a little emotional when he talked about his family disowning him but then he said "But I know it's okay, because now I have two Sisters who text me to make sure I'm doing okay and who send me scriptures, somehow, at the exact moment I need them during the day. I know that even though I am losing my blood family, I am gaining a family by joining this church." There were a lot of tears from him, Sister Sanders and I and the congregation. Alec came up and talked to us later, turns out he was also demoted from his job this week. Turns out the brewery isn't interested in having a manager who can't sample alcohol.I told him how sorry I was that he was going through so much and he said he saw it as a blessing! He has been a huge example to me of optimism. 


Overall this week has been a really wonderful learning experience for me. I have learned that every trial is a blessing. I have learned that I need to be more willing and happy to make sacrifices that will lead me closer to Christ. I have learned that without God, Christ and the Spirit, I am nothing. I have learned that with them, I can do anything they ask me to. I have learned that the worth of EVERY SOUL truly is great in the sight of God. All of his children are special to him and all of them deserve to be treated that way. I have learned that I am a child of God, I am also important to him. I have had my testimony strengthened that he truly does hear my prayers and he is aware of my needs. I know that Christ loves and carries us through any trials we may be facing and that if we will just endure and continue acting in faith and doing what is asked of us, we will see blessings. What a blessed life I have! What a wonderful opportunity I have to be here! I just want to talk to everybody and tell them how much Christ loves them and that he wants to bless them and he wants to know them. He, who created the world, loves us and is mindful of each of us! Jesus Christ loves you all. I love you all. Thank you so much for your prayers and your support. I feel your prayers carrying me and protecting me everyday. I appreciate you all so much! <3


~Sister Lloyd


Monday, April 3, 2017

A week of miracles!

April 3, 2017 

This week has been such a huge testimony builder for me. We have had so many amazing miracles and tender mercies from Heavenly Father it's ridiculous. I usually just summarize the big ones but this week I'm going to have to go day by day!

Tuesday: Tuesday we had exchanges again! Sister Robison and I were together again which was fun! She is so awesome! We were in my area so I was in charge which was SUPER SCARY for the beginning of my second week in the mission but we did it and it was great! We did a lot of tracting. I've said it before and I'll say it again I DO NOT enjoy going door to door and talking to people BUT if God wants me to, I will and I did.

Wednesday: Wednesday we had zone training which is just where our zone meets together and discusses things we can do to improve our teaching and goals we can make and keep. I learned a lot of new tools to use in my teaching to help me be a better missionary so that was awesome! We went through the day and then at about five oclock we got a call from some elders who said "hey! we have a lesson scheduled at 6:00 with a YSA aged girl and we accidentally double scheduled. You're supposed to be the missionaries who teach her anyway so can you sisters teach her?" We said of course and went to the lesson and it was AWESOME! She is so sweet and sincere! She asked so many thoughtful questions about the Plan of Salvation and it was just a good day! Then that night we got a text from the very first person Sister Sanders talked to in this area (in like December/January!) her name is Danielle and she just asked "What's your church doing this Sunday for their service? I'm very interested in attending!" We told her it was a really special Sunday when our prophet and apostles speak to us and we would love to have her there! We didn't get a response.

Thursday: Thursday, as always, we had the table from 11:00-2:00. Like I said last week I do not have a love for the table. However! At Zone Training we were given a HUGE stack of pass along cards for the new Easter Initiative that the church is doing and so Sister Sanders and I made a goal to pass out 50 pass along cards and we did it! We had a lesson planned for right after the table but she didn't show up which was disappointing. We ended up dropping her because we only meet with her about once a month and the past three lessons have been the restoration. She just doesn't meet with us often enough to progress. It was really hard to drop her but Sister Sanders promised me that if we would drop investigators who were not progressing that Heavenly Father would put those who had been prepared in our path and we would be able to teach them instead. She was so right! Miracles started happening. Later that night we had a lesson with our investigator, Samuel, who had been planning on getting baptized for about a month now and he just hasn't been able to find a date that worked for him and his family and his girlfriend. That night we invited him to fast about it and he said he would. That was the end of Thursday.

Friday: On Fridays we volunteer at a place that gives food to the homeless and I love volunteering there! It is honestly one of my favorite parts of the week! After service we had a lesson with our new investigator, Alec. Alec is the one who showed up to church all on his own and said he wanted to meet with us. In our first lesson with Alec he told us that he wanted to know it was true and eventually be baptized. While Sister Sanders and I were planning for our second lesson with Alec we felt we needed to pray about a date for his baptism. We did and we both felt really strongly that April 22 was his day! Sister Sanders and I went to the lesson and we talked with him and extended the invitation to him. We told him that we had prayed about it and we KNEW he could be prepared by that day. He thought for a while and it was silent (Not gunna lie, I have full faith in the spirit, but I was sweatin bullets) and finally he looked up and said "You know, I would really like that!" WOO HOO!!!! I was so excited! Later that night we had a lesson with James who has not met with missionaries in a long time because his last experience was bad but we met with him and he was super open. We talked about how God is our loving Heavenly Father and invited him to pray and to write down all of the ways that he sees God's hand in his life before our next lesson. Him just being willing to meet with us was a miracle.

Saturday: General Conference! Can I just start by saying General Conference is literally the greatest! So many good things! Saturday we woke up to a text from our investigator, Samuel. It was like four pages long and it was him just questioning if he was ready for baptism and if he is then why it had been so hard to find a date. He wanted to know why his family wasn't supporting him if this was what he was supposed to be doing. We were panicked! We called him and talked to him and he said he was just really tired when he sent it but he did have a lot of questions. We promised him that if he would take the question of "should I be baptized" to Conference that he would receive an answer. He said he would. Most of our day was spent watching General Conference and doing training and weekly planning. Right after conference we got a text from Samuel and he set April 30 as his baptism date! We were so excited.

Sunday: General Conference part 2! We hadn't heard from Danielle yet on whether or not she was going to come and so we texted her and reminded her and she responded and said "I'll see you there!" James met us there and set a lesson appointment for this week and stayed for about the first ten minutes of conference. He stood up walked back to me and handed me a note and walked out of the building. I read the note and it said "Hey, I have to go but please take notes. I want to hear about it and I want to hear what stuck out to you. I am excited to meet with you later this week." Needless to say, I took a lot of notes! Right before the second session started our member, Isaac, walked in with two non members. One of them we had met and one of them we hadn't. He walked up to us and said "Sisters! These are my friends! I know you've met Big Mike! He wants to meet with you Wednesday is that okay?" We said yes and scheduled that. Then Isaac said "this is my other friend Rachel! She wants to meet with you too!" We scheduled an appointment with her too! It was so awesome! We looked for Danielle but didn't see her so we texted her and right when we sent it she snuck in the back door and came and sat by us! Afterwards we asked her how she like it and she said it was interesting and not as boring as she thought it was going to be! Yay! We asked her if she had a time this week that she would want to meet with us and she said yes! She scheduled and appointment for Saturday! We checked our phone after Conference and Samuel had texted us about halfway through and said "Oh my gosh! Did you guys hear that?" Turns out he truly felt like Elder Costa's talk was an answer to his prayers. He solidified April 30th as his date! We decided to go tracting so we found an apartment complex and started knocking. The first guy we talked to took a pass along card but was pretty obviously not interested. The second door we knocked on the guy opened it and we started talking with him and Sister Sanders said "we're missionaries..." and he goes "NOPE! NEVERMIND! NOPE! NO! NO!" and shut the door. We looked at each other and moved on. The next door we knocked on was the property manager. She talked to us for a second and then said "You girls really aren't supposed to be doing this here, we have a sign." Sister Sanders tried to explain that we, in fact, are not soliciting. We are proselyting. But, nonetheless she said "Still. It means you too." and closed the door. I'm just going to take a brief moment to say: it is ridiculous the amount of people who don't understand the difference between soliciting and proselyting. C'mon people. Anyway, we left. We went home and starting trying to call Potential Investigators and I felt I needed to call a girl I talked to on campus a few weeks ago. I called her and she didn't answer but she called right back and set an appointment. I kid you not, the next five potentials we called all set appointments with us! That doesn't sound like anything super amazing but it is! Most people either hang up once they hear the word "missionary" or tell us they aren't interested. It was such an awesome experience.

I know this email was super long today and I'm sorry for that but I just want to take a second to just bare my testimony. I am so grateful to have a Heavenly Father who loves me. It is so dark and lonely to live life thinking he doesn't. God truly does know each of us. He loves each of us! I know that when we pray to him he listens! I know that when we succeed he celebrates with us and when we are sad he cries with us. I know that God has a plan for each of us. Even though our plans very rarely line up with his I know that if we act in faith and submit to His will, we will experience more happiness than we ever thought possible. This week has also shown me that exact obedience truly does bring blessings. Not just in missionary life but in life in general. If we are constantly trying to walk close to the spirit and do what God wants us to do then our lives are filled with so many blessings we wouldn't otherwise get. I watched a talk that talked about how blessings are being rained down on us all the time, Heavenly Father never stops trying to bless us. However, when we are disobedient we put up a metaphorical umbrella that prevents us from receiving them. For some reason I always pictured it more like I was walking around trying to do what I needed to and once I did something right Heavenly Father sent me a blessing. I WAS SO WRONG! Heavenly Father loves us SO MUCH! He never stops trying to bless us for anything that we are doing right! We choose not to accept blessings when we do something contrary to what we know is right! I am learning so much on my mission, a lot of it is just basic things but they are so amazing to me and they change the way I do things, the way I see and treat others and the way I see my Heavenly Father. I love all y'all so much! Have a great week!

~Sister Madisen Lloyd