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


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 

Monday, June 19, 2017

Sister Moser and Sister Lloyd- the biking cousins

June 19, 2017

What a week this has been! This was Sister Moser and my first week as biking missionaries! Oh what an adventure it has been! I have a new appreciation for people who ride their bikes everywhere! I have to say that it is fun that I am getting to know the streets better! I might know the streets of Springfield better than the streets of Twin Falls!

Monday- On Monday we had P-Day! We spent a good chunk of the day going to bike shops trying to figure out Sister Moser's bike. On her first day as a missionary Sister Moser was riding in a car to her first area when all of a sudden she saw her bike fly off the bike rack on the back of the car onto the freeway! No one was hurt but her bike is in rough shape so we decided it would be good to get it looked at and fixed up before she rode it. When we took it to the bike shop the guy priced it at $250.00 to get it fixed.... that's basically a new bike. She said no thank you and a member lent us one that she is using until she figures out if she wants to get it fixed or buy a new one or buy a used one. So anyway that was fun! Monday night the missionaries were in charge of FHE! We had a missionary boot camp and we had different rotations about how to do member missionary work in a non scary way. It was really awesome and we have heard several people tell us that since then they have used the things we talked about to share the gospel! It was awesome! We then rode our cute bikes onto campus and talked to people. 

Tuesday- On Tuesday we had an awesome day! We had service in the morning and then we went onto campus. While we were on campus I started talking to this girl about her cute laptop case and then casually worked the conversation to gospel topics. It was a really good conversation! Not gunna lie it was one of my better experiences I have had trying to casually talk to people on campus! We gave her a Book of Mormon and set up a return appointment! After that we had a lesson with two of our investigators. Katie and Julia. They are really nice, they just don't actually want to learn. They meet with us and just ask us a lot of questions trying to prove us wrong. It's a little frustrating because we have so much to offer people and so much to teach and they won't even give us a chance. But that's okay. Later that night we had another lesson with our investigator, Brad. Brad is awesome! We showed him President Monson's talk from last General Conference about the Book of Mormon and we asked him what he thought. He said "I wish everyone talked like that! That totally makes sense!" We asked him if it answered any of his questions and he was like "yeah! I'm not worried about Joseph Smith anymore. I thought maybe you guys saw him on the same level as Christ but now I understand that you don't!" I was really excited! We hope to set a baptismal date with him this week!

Wednesday- On Wednesday we started out day by going on campus and talking to people. After that we had a lesson clear across town. We biked like 7 miles there (which I understand isn't that far) and we were both SO TIRED and just dripping sweat. I felt so bad because I can't imagine anyone wanted to talk to this tired, sweaty girl with helmet hair but we had our lesson anyway. After that we had another lesson scheduled but when we got there, they weren't home. Bummer! So we went and tried to visit other people in the area. That night we had two lessons, a dinner lesson with a less active member who is working on coming back and one with our recent convert trying to help him find names to take to the temple. While we were helping him do family history we HAPPENED to figure out that Sister Moser and I are 5th Cousins (once removed but we don't talk about that). We were so excited. We frequently refer to each other as cousin now. 

Thursday- On Thursday we spent a lot of time biking all over Springfield trying to find people on our ward roster that we didn't know. It was not all that eventful. Honestly, the most disappointing thing is biking to find someone, getting there, and having no one be home. It's a bit of a bummer. BUT that's okay. That night we had an awesome lesson with our new investigator, Justin. Justin is the one who used to be an investigator but couldn't quit smoking. We biked to Justin's lesson and he looked at us and with one eyebrow raised said "well, I give you props. That's a long bike ride." We just laughed. We had a really awesome Restoration lesson and talked about priesthood. Our member who was there gave him a blessing and it was really spiritual. He told us that he is excited to quit and he wants to stop smoking. As we were leaving he said "I just want y'all to know that I appreciate y'all coming. I met with missionaries before and I have listened to the missionaries that come to visit my mom, but y'all are different and you have brought me something different that I really needed." I just started crying. It was so good to hear that, at least for him, I was making a difference. After that we biked home.

Friday- On Friday we had Zone Conference which was so good. We talked a lot about joy which is something that is very special to me and it was really cool. We talked about all of the joy that comes from serving a mission. We talked about the joy that comes from being obedient. We talked about all sorts of things. The spirit is always so strong and it is always fun to see missionaries I haven't seen for a minute. After zone conference everything we had planned fell through so we did a lot of biking around and trying to find more people on the ward roster and contacting less active members. 

Saturday- On Saturday we had weekly planning. It is a long day of being inside and staying focused but I always feel so good at the end of it when my whole week is planned. We had one lesson scheduled but it fell through which was a bummer. We did weekly planning so there is not a whole lot to tell about Saturday.

Sunday- Happy Father's Day Dad! We went to church and it was awesome. All three hours were just so spiritual. In Gospel Principles we watched my favorite Mormon Message, about the gardener and the currant bush. Makes me cry every time. We biked around and found a lot of the addresses on our ward roster which was awesome. We only got to talk to a couple of people who lived in them, which is a bummer. After that the bishop and his wife fed us. They are so awesome! Sunday night we had a lesson with a less active member and the spirit was so strong. We showed him the Prince of Peace video. He opened up and told us he is going through a really hard time and when he was watching that video was the first time he felt peaceful and calm in a long time. We had a really good discussion about how Jesus Christ can bring peace and following the commandments brings joy. It was a really good day. 

This week I have been thinking a lot about obedience and the promised blessings that come from obedience. I thought a lot about when I first felt like I should go on a mission and how hard I fought that. I thought about coming on a mission and how much I didn't want to. I thought a lot about waking up at 6:30 every morning and how much I don't want to do that every morning and as I have studied obedience I have been so very humbled. Whenever the Lord tells you to do something it's a commandment and we are supposed to act. I was told to go on a mission and I didn't listen for a long time and the whole time I fought it I was miserable. I finally came on a mission and I was a little grumpy I had to be here. I was happier than when I was disobedient but I still wasn't happy, especially because they were asking me to wake up at 6:30 in the morning (not that early, I know, I just really like sleep). As I have studied obedience and the blessings that come from being obedient it's very interesting to me the pattern that has always been there but I haven't always noticed. We can do what makes us "happy" but if it's not what God wants us to be doing we aren't ever going to be truly happy. We won't ever have joy. If we do what makes us grumpy or uncomfortable momentarily and know that we are doing what God would have us do then we may be momentarily grumpy or uncomfortable, or even angry! But God will always give us joy. We will be happier doing what God would have us do. I love the Mormon Message I mentioned earlier about the currant bush because I have often cried out in frustration and anger "why would you do this to me? I was doing so well!" and then heard the soft reply "I am the gardener here. I KNOW what I want you to be." I am so grateful to be the spirit child of such a wonderful gardener who knows exactly what he wants me to be and who loves me enough to cut me down so that I can fulfill my full potential. I hope y'all feel the same way and are doing everything you can to follow His plan. I love y'all so much and I hope this is a great week for y'all! 

~Sister Maddie Lloyd



Picture 1: After Day 1 of biking Picture 2: After Day 2 of biking (we didn't like it quite as much) Picture 3: We also had a lemonade stand where we handed out free lemonade and pass along cards! 



~Sister Madisen Lloyd

Monday, June 12, 2017

"That's super honest"

June 12, 2017

This week has been a week full of miracles. After weeks like this I am always amazed by all of the little things that Heavenly Father does and how much he is aware of us. I love seeing little snippets of the plan he has for others and I absolutely love when I get to be a part of that plan. Being a missionary is such a blessing. 

Wednesday- Wednesday was prep day which was crazy. I had to take care of things like grocery shopping for staying but Sister Sanders had to get ready to leave which made for a crazy day. By the end of prep day we had it all done. Sister Sanders was packed and I was ready to go for the next week. 

Thursday- Thursday was transfer day and, not gunna lie, I was pretty stressed. I knew my companions name was Sister Moser and that she was coming from Branson and I had met her once but that was all I knew and that was not nearly enough for comfort. When the bus pulled in with her on it I got butterflies and was so nervous but when she hopped off the bus and gave me a hug I immediately knew it was going to be great. Sister Sanders gave me a huge hug and hopped on the bus, I cried, not gunna lie. I was sad to see her go. But it drove away and we went home and got Sister Moser's stuff moved in! The rest of the day was kind of crazy because I was kind of in charge because Sister Moser was new and we don't have a car to go visit people anymore so we did a lot of walking and talking to people. I love Heavenly Father and missionary work has given me a testimony that when you are trying to be productive and do what he would have you do, he will put people or things in your path. The days when nothing is planned always get filled with good things. 

Friday- Friday we started our morning with our usual service which we always love. After that we had an appointment and we could not find a member to come so we walked about two miles to get there, which is fine, except we didn't know where we were going and only had 30 minutes to get there. We were a little stressed. Luckily, our investigator was running late too and we were able to find the restaurant we were meeting at! Our lesson was awesome. We went over the Restoration with him as a review to make sure he understood our last lesson with him and the spirit was really strong. We talked a lot about the priesthood and he had some good questions about that. He was really open and agreed to pray about Joseph Smith and the priesthood. We are hoping to get him on date for baptism in our next lesson! The rest of the day we had a lot of members come out with us to see people, most of the people we had scheduled to visit weren't home. Oh, the life of a missionary. BUT one of our members, Courtney, is super awesome and she felt bad everyone had cancelled on us all day so she bought us Pineapple Whip! (basically Pineapple flavored ice cream, only better) Which was fun. By the end of the night we were so tired we went to bed early! (10:00) it was amazing. 


Saturday- Saturday was weekly planning. Normally I hate weekly planning but this week it was so good. We walked through all of our investigators and made new game plans for each of them. We talked about all of our potential investigators and figured out how we can continue to visit them without a car. We game planned everything and I have never felt more organized! It's awesome! While we were updating the area book Sister Moser was looking through the super old area book from when there were two sets of missionaries in this area and found a lot of old sheets about former investigators. We were reading through and a lot of them used to have baptismal dates and just didn't follow through on them. We called a lot of them and ended up setting four return appointments. Two of them for Sunday. We were so excited! Sister Moser called one of the former investigators who was very kind but told us she got her questions answered and was not interested in meeting again, she just "doesn't really care". Sister Moser was quiet for a minute and then said "well, okay! That's super honest. Thanks!" and then ended the conversation and hung up. I was a little shocked and then she looked at me and yells "WHY DID I SAY THAT??? THAT WAS A HORRIBLE RESPONSE!" I busted up laughing because I was definitely confused at what "that's super honest" meant but I wasn't going to say anything. She is a hoot and a half. I love Sister Moser so much!

Sunday- On Sunday we went to church which is always great and then we talked with the bishop. We asked him about his goals and focuses for us this transfer and had a few questions about people in the ward that we didn't know. We also both got blessings. I got a lot of my questions answered and I was really at peace after my blessing. I have been wondering a lot lately why I was supposed to come on a mission. Who was I supposed to meet/ teach? Am I being effective? Am I missing the people I'm supposed to be talking to? A lot of typical missionary questions. In my blessing I was told that Heavenly Father was proud of the work I was doing and that this transfer I would be able to look into the eyes of those I was teaching and recognize that I was sent here to teach them. I was really humbled that Heavenly Father knows me well enough to be able to calm that fear and answer my concerns. After church we went to visit the former investigators we called on Saturday. When we met the first one we talked with him and his main concern was that he smokes and can't seem to kick it. We went over the baptismal interview questions and he passed all of them but that one. We invited him to start meeting with us again and he said he would. I promised him God would help him kick smoking if he really wanted to and he said he did so I am excited to see miracles as we meet with him! 

This week I have been thinking a lot about Heavenly Father. What does He do? How actively He participates in our lives. What his plan is. How I can be a better servant of Him. How I can show Him my love and that I'm trying to do what He would have me do. Lots of things and I am so grateful for my Heavenly Father. I am grateful for how actively I have seen Him participate in my life. I see little miracles and tender mercies everyday. I am also grateful for how merciful He is. I have never been perfect and I will not be perfect anytime soon but He doesn't expect me to be. He just expects me to try to be better. All I can do is my best and that's all he expects of me. I love having a Heavenly Father who knows and loves me perfectly. It makes journeying through this life a lot easier. I would invite all of you, no matter where you're at spiritually, to ask Heavenly Father to allow you to more fully feel His love and see His hand in your lives. It's awesome to take a step back and see him arrange things in your life. I love y'all so much! Thank you for all the love and support. I hope y'all have a great week!

 ~Sister Madisen Lloyd



Picture 1: Sister Moser and I Picture 2: I caught a lightning bug! Picture 3: We named the lightning bug Marcus and put him in a jar 

Transfer Call #2

June 7, 2017
This week was awesome! Oh man I am so blessed. It was a week of ups and downs but the Lord is so good! He blesses me so much. This week Sister Sanders and I have been pretty anxious because we knew transfer calls were coming. So we worked a lot and didn't talk about it, that always helps. ;)

Monday- P-Day! On Monday we did all the P-Day things that we have to do to function the rest of the week. For FHE the YSA did a pool party and Sister Sanders and I didn't think it was very productive to go to that, being missionaries and all, so we just went and visited potential investigators. We went to see one named Matt, he was a referral from some elders and when we went to see him he was awesome! We talked about the Book of Mormon and set a return appointment to come back! It was cool! We went to visit another and we met his roommate, Katlyn. She was awesome too! We set a return appointment with her and we plan to go back this coming week sometime! 

Tuesday- Exchanges! On Tuesday we had exchanges. I was in a tripanionship for a day and we were in my area, so I was in charge. I was SO STRESSED. But we lined up a good schedule and it all worked out. We met with Matt again and taught him the Restoration. He was really responsive and open and when we asked what he thought about the Book of Mormon at the end of the lesson he said "Well... it seems legit so far!" I started dying and just bore my testimony to him that it, indeed, is legit. After that we met with Olivia. Olivia is our Catholic investigator. She is so sweet but she is not open. She truly believes the Catholic church to be the true church. We watched Elder Costa's talk from general conference about remaining open to answers and the Book of Mormon and it didn't really make a difference. We aren't sure where to go with her and it's really sad because she is such a sweet girl. Oh well. Not everyone is prepared. After that we had dinner and then we went to a park and talked to people. We saw more lightning bugs and it was awesome! 

Wednesday- Wednesday was an interesting day. We got a call Wednesday morning from President Loveland (which doesn't normally happen) and he told us that some sisters in another area needed our car at least until transfers. So we drove across town and gave them our car. I feel like I'm learning how to be a missionary all over again because all of a sudden it is much harder and more time consuming to get places and see people. We did a lot of visiting people and some tracting and it ended up working out really well but we walked more than we normally do and, not gunna lie, I've gotten used to riding in a car so it wasn't my favorite. However, I am learning to like it more! It helps me be outside and we have ended up talking to way more people because we are out walking instead of driving in a car. Overall, Wednesday was a slow day of learning how to adjust.

Thursday- Best. Day. Ever. On Thursday we got to go to the Kansas City temple. All the missionaries in this area woke up and met at the church at 4:45a.m. and hopped on a bus to drive to Kansas. It was such a good day. The temple is amazing and I have missed going as frequently as I used to. After the temple we were standing outside and President Loveland all of a sudden goes "well... who wants to go to liberty jail?" Because that's something that you just casually get to do when you live in Kansas/Missouri. Coming from Idaho that was very foreign to me that we could take a twenty minute drive to go visit church history sights. So we went to Liberty Jail and took the tour and it was so neat. I felt the spirit so strongly. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet. After the jail tour we hopped back on the bus and drove home just in time to get to our apartment and go to bed.

Friday- On Friday we had a good day! We went out with the Relief Society President for a little while and tried to visit some people, not a lot of people answered, one person answered in their pajamas and asked us to "schedule an appointment next time" but we sure tried! We did get to talk to a potential investigator named Connor. He was awesome and he had such a strong testimony of God and that God led him to Springfield and just that God is aware of and has a plan for each of us. We invited him to meet with us and he said he would be interested but he needed to think about it, which is okay. That night we went onto campus and there was literally one janitor that we saw and that was all. Summer break, go figure! After that we walked to the park and did some chalking and talked to people. 

Saturday- On Saturday we started our day with some service. We normally have some elders in the are that do our Saturday service with us but they couldn't come so the lady we were working for told us we needed to "suit up" because she had some "elder jobs" for us to do. It was literally just carrying loads of wood and tile downstairs. I was only mildly insulted that she didn't think we would be able to handle it. BUT we got it done and she was very happy. The rest of the day was weekly planning so it was a lot of planning and doing paperwork in the apartment. That night we had some dinner and went to visit one of our investigators who wasn't home and then finished planning. 

Sunday- Sunday was a really really good day! We went to church which was awesome and it was fast and testimony meeting! I love fast and testimony meeting. Sister Sanders bore a great testimony about how God is in charge and if we are following him we never need to worry. She ended by, basically, telling the ward goodbye which was really sad. We didn't know for sure what would happen, but she's been here for six months which is almost unheard of in our mission so we were pretty sure she was leaving. At the end of Relief Society it was so sweet. The girl who gave the closing prayer, Latea, took a minute and just thanked Sister Sanders for the wonderful work she has done in this area and told her how much they would miss her. After that she looked at me and said "Sister Lloyd, we want you to know we appreciate and love you too. We know how hard both of you have worked. We don't know what's going to happen but we want you to know we sustain you. Whatever happens, we have got your back. We love you." Needless to say, Sister Sanders and I cried. We have such great members. After church we decided to go visit one of our investigators who we haven't been able to get a hold of for a while. She lives about a mile and a half away so we started walking and when we were about a quarter mile away, it started raining. Bummer. We finished our walk and when we knocked on the door a woman we had never seen before answered the door, looked at us and said "oh no." She came outside, closed the door behind her and proceeded to say "I do not believe in your religion. I understand what you are doing but my daughter doesn't need this. Please do not come back." We left and were pretty disappointed but were able to laugh about it and have a good conversation. All of a sudden it just turned into a downpour. I'm talking streets flooded, can't open your eyes because it's raining so hard. We just started laughing as we continued to walk. It was that quintessential missionary moment where your investigator just told you to hit the pavement and it rains on you the whole way home. We made the best of it and were able to laugh as we walked. We were about halfway home and some members pulled off the road and offered us a ride, we were so grateful! Tender mercies. The rest of the night wasn't terribly interesting. It stopped pouring so we were able to go visit a few more people and then we did training and went to bed. 

Monday- Monday we had District Meeting which was so good! We talked about being bold and helping people to recognize us as representatives of Jesus Christ rather than a bunch of kids running around with name tags. One of the things we talked about was making sure that you ask questions that are a little bold and thought provoking "Do you think you are as happy as you could possible be?" "What if Christ's true church were on the Earth, would you want to be a part of it?" "If God had a message specifically for you and your family, would you want to hear it?" Things like that. It was a really good district meeting and I got a lot of ideas I wanted to try. After District Meeting we went on campus and talked to people. I saw a lady standing and waiting for the bus and I went to talk to her. I asked her if she was as happy as she could possible be and she said she wasn't sure. I told her about the Book of Mormon and promised that it would bring more happiness to her life if she would read it. She took it and said she would read it! I was so excited. After that we went to visit a few investigators and check up on them. Then we had FHE, a blood drive. I love donating blood (or at least trying to) and missionaries are allowed to so I tried to donate. They got me all hooked up to everything and it didn't work so I couldn't donate. But hey, I tried. While I was donating Sister Sanders talked to one of our investigators. Turns out he is not interested at all. He was just being nice and when we asked him to pray and he said he did, he actually didn't, he just didn't want to disappoint us. I was really bummed when Sister Sanders told me that, so we won't be meeting with him anymore. That night we went home and hoped on our weekly confrence call where the Loveland's talk to us and they told us transfer calls would be happening a day early. That the Lord was trusting us to continue to work hard for that day after and we would find out that night instead. Sister Sanders is leaving, she is headed to Greenwood, Arkansas. I am getting a new companion tomorrow. Her name is Sister Mozer. I am really sad to see Sister Sanders go but I am excited to learn new things from someone new. Sister Mozer and I are going to have a great time in the Springfield, YSA. 

Tuesday- Tuesday we had a lot of appointments lined up and we had a lot of appointments cancel. We were sad. But we had a really good first lesson with a new investigator, Brad. He is awesome. He has a lot of questions about Joseph Smith and the Priesthood but he seems really sincere. We are excited to teach him. We asked him if he would be willing to be baptized when he comes to know that the Book of Mormon is true and he accepted! We were pretty excited about that! After that lesson we spent the rest of the day trying to visit investigators an we did my last day of training as a missionary, that's right. I'm official now. Sister Sanders spent the hour we had before bed packing and I cleaned because I didn't know how else to be helpful.

This week was awesome! Sister Sanders and I have been studying a talk called "The Fourth Missionary" and it talks a lot about being a consecrated missionary and all of the blessing that come as you diligently strive to do what the Lord asks of you and the consequences that happen when you don't. Something that really hit me while we've been studying is what is described as the third missionary. The third missionary is someone who does what they have been asked to do, because the Lord wants them too, but they are a little bitter. They go tracting at 3:00 in the afternoon on a dusty road in the heat of summer or the snow of winter and think about everything else they could be doing. They still serve a good mission, they are still succesful but they never let it change them and they never feel fulfilled. It says in the talk that they always look for happiness in what is coming next and by doing that they choose never to be happy at all. That really hit me as a missionary, but also just as a person. If we are always going to church, fulfilling our calling, serving, whatever it may be just because the Lord wants us to but we decide to trudge through it so we can finish and be happy doing what we want to do then we will never be happy. True happiness comes when we align our will with God's and do what he wants us to do because we want to do what he wants us to do because we know it will bring happiness. I am definitely preaching to the choir here, I am the first to admit that I came on a mission expecting to trudge through the next eighteen months of my life and I was a little better and had my sights set on the end date when I could go back to doing what I wanted to do. But so much joy has come as I have realized that this is where I was supposed to be. I want to do what God wants me to do and it's what is best for me. I feel so blessed to be here. and grateful for this opportunity to learn and grow. Thank you all for loving and supporting me as I learn. I love you all so much! Have a great week!

~Sister Lloyd


Picture 1: We did Kung Fu on a park toy! Picture 2: I was really focused. Picture 3: After our Sunday Swim (walking home in the flood) Picture  4: Another MSU bear 

 ~Sister Madisen Lloyd