Tuesday, December 6, 2011

If you want to write me a letter, DO IT NOW.....I don't have much time left.

The coolest thing that happened this week was we gave Tami and Mat a tour of the church. We do this in order to help people feel more comfortable coming to church. In Tami's case she says she is nervous being around a lot of people. So for her coming to the church when there's nobody in it helped because now the building is no longer unfamiliar, just the people are. But we've been taking members to her home so she already knows some of them. Basically we teach them the message of the Restoration (found in Preach my Gospel) while giving a tour of the building. The Spirit was SOOOOO strong, their 7 year old son Michael was there and he was so stinkin cute!!! We showed them the baptismal font at the end and Michael said, "I wish I would get baptized!" Mat also said that he wants to get baptized! Another miracle is Tami quit her job (which was a roadblock for her coming to church) and Mat didn't have to work so they were able to come to church for the first time the next day! So Mat is praying about a baptismal date in January.
And of course the First Presidency Christmas Devotional was great. If you missed it you can still check it our on lds.org I'm sure! :D
If you want to know when my homecoming is just ask my mom, for she'll know before I do...

Late Happy Thanksgiving

It's been a long time since I've written, the time that we have on the computer just seems to slip away from me...
Any who, we have taught Dr. Shull a couple of times, he has a great attitude about life. He says, "People ask me, 'Do you ever have a bad day?' and I say 'Yep, but you'll never know it.'"
We've been busy visiting our less actives that live in New London...or I should say former less actives because when I got to Mt Pleasant they weren't really coming to church at all, but they did have strong testimonies about the truthfulness of the gospel. Now they both are pretty regular fixtures at church and they both have callings, it's amazing! We've also been teaching this woman named Shirley, her heart is definately softening. When we first started to visit her she said she could not be part of a church that has 12 men calling the shots. Since then she has come to General Conference and since then she hasn't said anything against the leaders of the church. She comes to all of our church activities too.
Probably the most amazing thing that has happened this transfer has been a series of events rewinding back to about a month ago. We were walking outside and I gave a card with our phone number on it to a man talking on his phone and took it and went on his way. Well to our surprise he called us that night (that doesn't usually ever happen to us :O) So he told us he didn't know that much about Mormons and if we could explain it to him, it was late so we couldn't really talk to him then but he said he'd call us the next day. He didn't, but the amazing thing is that 2 weeks later I tried to give him another card. He said, "I think you already did" Well oops, we didn't recognize him. We asked him if he'd ever wondered where we came from, where we're going after this life and why we're here. He laughed at us...he said that he wasn't trying to be disrespectful by laughing but those were questions that he wonders all of the time. He didn't want to set an appt though because he was really busy with school and work. About a week after that I was thinking about him when we were in the car and about how it wasn't by accident that we ran into him twice and I told Sis Hancock that and she said "We should call him" So I did, but I really didn't think he would answer because he had told us the time before that his phone was shut off. Well, surprise surprise, he answered! He said that he had a little bit of time right then to talk so I taught him for about 20 min on the phone and asked him if we could just come to his house and teach him and he said yes. The next miracle is that we saw a less active member ride by on her bike and we yelled out her name and she said she's come with us to Nicks house (since we can't go into the home of a single man without the presence of another woman.) So we were able to go inside and teach him. We taught so much, he has SOOOOOO many questions and is a really deep thinker. He has a hard time believeing in God, he said he really wants to believe but sometimes when he prays he just feels like he's wasting his time and nobody hears him. He told us that he almost wants us to convice him that there's a God. That really reminded me of what it says in Alma 32:27.  "But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than adesire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words." We talked about his faith being a seed and the things he needs to do to help it to grow. He's a great guy with tons of potential!!!!
We had a really great Thanksgiving at the Akers, very more traditional than the Thanksgiving we had last year.
Yesterday we were teaching a lesson to a less active woman and her kids. The little 5 year old girl said this, "If you be nice to God and Jesus, they'll give you stuff that's really expensive." We talking about Nephi getting the brass plates and we said, we don't have to go get brass plates though right? And she said "No, but we get paper plates or plates from the kitchen."
Well, until next week,

Monday, November 7, 2011

We were able to teach Diana's (less active) daughter, Becka, this week. It was good, we talked about the Tree of Life.
We don't have very many investigators now because we had to drop them. It's sad when that happens, but when they're not keeping their committments you have to. That's what's starting to happen with the Mangolds. :(
He says he wants to know if what we're teaching is true or not, but his actions don't really match that. They used to be really good at keeping the committments we left them but now they're starting to stop doing that and they're not coming to church as much.
It's also been hard to talk to people on the street because they're all inside because it's cold now and it's getting darker later. But through it all we are keeping a positive attitude. I love talking to people about the gospel!!!
We were teaching a less active member, Sister Frank, and her 8 year old daughter Kassie who just recently got baptized. We asked them if they would think about the baptismal covenants they made at baptism during the Sacrament and Sister Frank said yes but Kassie said, I don't know. Her mom said, "What do you mean you don't know." Kassie: "It's not like I know the future."
We had interviews with President Jergensen this week and something really funny happened during the interviews. We were all just talking and I said "Hey, you should put on a skit or something." So they actually did! They started acting out Pres and Sis Jergensen dating and their proposal. And then they started acting out Book of Mormon stories. Nephi and his brothers going to get the brass plates from Laban. It was so funny, I played Lehi and the Elder that played Nephi started singing, I guess he wanted to turn it into a musical. I wish I would've recorded it and then you all would be rolling around laughing!!!
Well...I must go now, love you!

Hermana Jilyn Hepworth
8515 Douglas Avenue #19
Urbandale, Iowa, 50322

Living Without Jesus

"Living without Jesus is like dribbling a football." ~This was on a church marquee.
Since it hasn't been too long since my last pday not too much has happened, here are the highlights:
So, this week I cut a woman named Debbie's hair. It's funny how we met her, she's the mother-in-law of an inactive woman. Her daughter, Krista, has no idea that we're teaching her mom, so it's pretty funny. She saw us walking on the street a couple of months ago and told us to come over for dinner and she's been feeding us every other week since then. She's also going to make us hats and scarves...she's an awesome lady full of lots of energy!
We also met this less active, Wade, who has never been to church before. We met him a couple of weeks ago and invited him to church and guess what? He came!
I read Pres Monson's talk from Nov 2010 General Conference, I believe. "The Divide Gift of Gratitude", here is an except that I loved,
"Who was this “man of sorrows, … acquainted with grief”? “Who is this King of glory,” this Lord of lords? He is our Master. He is our Savior. He is the Son of God. He is the Author of Our Salvation. He beckons, “Follow me.” He instructs, “Go, and do thou likewise." He pleads, “Keep my commandments.” Let us follow Him. Let us emulate His example. Let us obey His words. By so doing, we give to Him the divine gift of gratitude."
Love you all!

Hermana Jilyn Hepworth
8515 Douglas Avenue #19
Urbandale, Iowa, 50322


Well, much has happened since I last wrote. We've been able to teach Mat (investigator) and Tami (less active) a couple of times. It's amazing to see how much growth Mat has made since we've started teaching him. When we first met him he only believed in God when things were going good in his life. He never prayed or read in the scriptures. But now he is praying everyday and he says that he feels better after he prays and he knows that there is a God. The scriptures in Alma 30:44 is perfect evidence that there is a God. "All things denote there is a God; yea, even the bearth, and call things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its dmotion, yea, and also all the eplanets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator." So now that his faith is growing the next step is repentence and so we invited him to repent in preparation for baptism and he said he would. :)
We had a lesson with Diana (less active) and Becka (investigator). We talked about the people of Ammon and how they repented (much like we did with Kami and Seth.) But instead of making big sword we just made little paper swords and wrote things we wanted to repent of on them and then tore them up in little pieces and "buried" them in the garbage. When we first told Becka about it she acted aprehensive about it and for a while she just sat there and didn't do anything so I was thinking in my mind that she just wasn't going to do it. But then she started writing things down and she was really getting into it and taking it seriously.
We went over an article in the October Ensign "How to study the Book of Mormon" by Elder Christofferson with some people this week and this is a part that I really liked in it.
"The Book of Mormon authors wrote with future generations in mind, specifically the latter days. In abridging the Nephite records, Mormon said he could not include “even a hundredth part” (see 3 Nephi 5:8; see also Words of Mormon 1:5). Moroni commented, “I speak unto you as if ye were present, and yet ye are not. But behold, Jesus Christ hath shown you unto me, and I know your doing” (Mormon 8:35). These two authors and others, acting under inspiration, wrote what would be of greatest benefit to us in these latter days.
We should therefore study with these questions in mind: “Why was this included? How does this apply today and to me?” President Benson observed, for example, that in the Book of Mormon we find a pattern for preparing for the Savior’s Second Coming. We learn how disciples of Christ live in times of war, deal with persecution and apostasy, do missionary work, and respond to the dangers of materialism.2 As Nephi did, when we study, we should “liken” the scriptures to ourselves—that is, try to discover how to apply what we find in the Book of Mormon (see 1 Nephi 19:23)."
We had a branch Halloween activity and I put on my haircutting apron and went as a hairstylist and Sister Hancock didn't dress up as anything but I told everyone that she was a teacher. (Which she actually is in real life :D) On Halloween we had to come in at 6 and so we carved a pumpkin and played speed scrabble, it was super duper fun. :D.
Hermana Jilyn Hepworth
8515 Douglas Avenue #19
Urbandale, Iowa, 50322

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

October 17, 2011
Wow, the weeks seem to just be flying by! We've been teaching this cool woman from Guatemala, Marina. We haven't been teaching much in Spanish here so I can definitely see that I am forgetting it as I've been trying to teach Marina...it's SOOOOO sad! :( But I'm so happy that we've been finding more hispanics to teach so that I can get it back!
I've talked about a less active, Stacy, in the past. (She's the one who was drinking to numb the pain) We got in contact with her again and she's so super busy we were having a hard time coming up with a time we could come visit her until I was blessed with the amazing idea to make her dinner. So we did, we made her tacos and she's on her way to the right path again. She was telling us about her friend that was really religious and really happy and she just wanted to be really happy like that. Then wham, it hit me, The Tree of Life. The fruit "was desirable to make one chappy...., most sweet, above all...and white, to exceed all the bwhiteness....And the fruit thereof it filled [Lehi's] soul with exceedingly great ajoy." 1 Nephi 8: 10-11. The fruit is what she's after in order to obtain that happiness.  Later on in the lesson Sister Hancock was telling Stacy how she didn't want to go on a mission and was resisting what God wanted for her and Stacy was like "Whoa whoa whoa, I just had an epiphany! I've been resisting what God wants me to do because you girls keep coming over here wanting me to come to church but I just keep thinking, no not yet, I'm not ready. But I need to do what God wants me to do. Whoa" It was a definate break through. :)
We drove up to Cedar Falls  (2 1/2 hour drive) to do exchanges with the Sisters up there. I had a lot of fun I really like the sisters up there, Sisters Whitaker and Cuny. On Friday night I was walking around the college campus with Sister Whitaker talking to people and there was nobody and Sister Whitaker almost started quoting Little Mermaid on accident "I want to be where the people are..." We were also talking about finding joy in the work. An Elder said in a meeting, "If you're not having fun doing missionary work then you're doing it wrong." I liked that so much. Since I know that all of you reading this are not full time missionaries you could apply it to yourselves by saying: If I'm not having fun in life then I'm doing it wrong.
I must go, love you!

Hermana Jilyn Hepworth
8515 Douglas Avenue #19
Urbandale, Iowa, 50322

Sunday, October 16, 2011

October 10, 2011

Some of our members are starting to get excited about sharing the Gospel...it's exciting!!! Full-time missionaries and member-missionaries working hand in hand! Some new potential people are coming out of the wood work. We've tried the last 6 months to teach a less active's (Diana) daughter, her name is Becka. But Becka has been super busy and has never been home when we come over. But this week we went to see Diana after being there 5 min she got a phone call from Becka saying that she ran out of gas at Walmart...so we told Diana we could come back in a couple of hours. As sad as it sounds it actually turned out being a blessing that Becka ran out of gas and that we came back later because that made it so that Becka was there for our appointment. Her adoptive grandparents were members and so she knows quite a bit about the church. She told us that she's actually afraid to recieve an answer about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon because if it's not she'll be disappointed. She looked up to her grandparents so much and that will mean that everything they stood for and believed in was false and she doesn't want that to happen. It's funny, I've never had somebody be afraid to get an answer before. But she's so awesome and she's got lots of potential, we'll keep teaching her.
A sad thing happened. Ian told us that he doesn't want to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it to know if it's true. He read the chapters we gave him to read last time and he feels like it's just saying the same thing that the Bible says and he even thinks that the Bible says it better. :( (I knew at that moment how committed I was to the Book of Mormon because I felt very defensive about it.) I used the example that was given in General Conference, if there's one dot (the Bible) and infinate number of lines can be drawn through it. But when there are 2 (the Bible and the Book of Mormon) How many can be drawn through them both? Only one. He didn't want to accept that. He just wants somebody to talk about religion with and that's not our purpose. It's to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored Gospel. So I was pretty sad about that because we found him in a super cool way. (see past emails)
We've been able to find a lot more Hispanics which makes me super happy because I'm so afraid I'm going to forget my Spanish. Plus I just love the Hispanics people so much. They are so loving and welcoming! We found this lady Marina and I said "Somos Las Misioneras de la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias" and she said "pasale" which means Come in! We talked to this guy from guatemala. "Do you believe in Jesus Christ?" "Yes, see I have a tattoo of Him." :) In Spanish naturally.
Something cool happened on Sunday! We haven't been able to teach Santos for a long long time, about 3 months. She was progressing really well, she was coming to church a lot and the Arguetas (members) even took her to Nauvoo and Carthage and she said she knew that Joseph Smith was a prophet. But then....Satan got her and all of these trials started coming her way all at once and so she stopped coming and got super busy. We had tried to see Santos on Sun afternoon but she wasn't home. Flash foreward to that night, we were going to see Stacy but then I started thinking about Santos. I said something about her and Sis Hancock said, should we see her now or later. Now. I know it was an impression from the Lord because she was home and we had a really great lesson with her. I had the distinct impression to ask her if she was happy. And she said no, I was definately directed by the Spirit in that lesson because I felt like I was on a mission, I knew exactly what I needed to say and I knew I needed to say it. We talked about how Jesus Christ knows exactly how she feels because He's felt it before. And Sis Hancock was inspired to share Helaman 5:12 with her. I feel so sad for her.
Although I don't like feeling sad for these people, especially when they don't want to accept the gospel. I'm glad that I do because it shows me that I really care about them. I'm so grateful for the chance to come and love these people and to see them as God sees them, and to feel the LOVE that he has for them.

Hermana Jilyn Hepworth
8515 Douglas Avenue #19
Urbandale, Iowa, 50322