Saturday, May 10, 2014

May 2014

May 6

Hey everyone! So I know I'm not caught up on April quite yet....but I'll get to that eventually :)) Big things have happened this past week-I'm trainnniinnnngggg!!!!! Her name is Kelsey Hansen from Waukesha, Wisconsin! Fresh from the MTC-muahaha! We are definitely a meant-to-be companionship. Knew it from the start when she introduced herself (this was before we knew we were going to be companions) and when asked the question "What weapon would you use and mode of transportation to defeat a zombie apocalypse?" Before she even answered I leaned over to the sister next to me and said "I would so use a Ducati" and then Sister Hansen got up and said "I'd use a AK-47 and a motorcycle" I about jumped out of my seat and couldn't help but basically tackle her when they called my name to be her companion! President Hiers (my mission president) was dying laughing because he remembered my very first day in the mission when he asked what gun I liked to use and I said "AK-47". Had to tell that whole story to the crowd of course and everyone got a big kick out of it. One Elder yelled "Divine revelation!! The church is true!" haha It was so funny!  So basically she's really awesome and this is going to be a great transfer.

I forgot what it was like to not know how to do missionary work so it's been interesting having me try to explain things-poor Sister Hansen. A lot of this week was showing her the ropes and introducing her to people, but we did have a few lessons. First thing we did for the evening was visit a non member named Diane Bloomquist. We had great conversation and she was really inspirational when she told her breast-cancer survival story and how she became closer to God through it. Long story short though, she didn't want to meet with us. But a really great lady! Hansen is a pro. She bore such a solid testimony and I'm so lucky to have her as my companion. She is definitely a hard-worker and has such a great testimony of Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and the restoration of His gospel through Joseph Smith. Love this girl! So we also met with the Jospehsons this week and they're a new family we will be teaching to help get everyone to the temple. They have never been sealed but have a great desire to return to church and become temple worthy. They are a wonderful family and even came to church this Sunday! Then we also met with Jill again finally and asked her sons the baptismal interview questions to help fill in the gaps on what else they need to do to prepare for baptism. It was an interesting lesson as Brock was talking to his stuffed elves the whole time, but we got through it and now have a better idea of what else they need in order to make that wonderful covenant. At Hansen's first evening here we ate at a dinner with a lady and her inactive friend named Buni. Buni asked such great questions about what the Atonement was and who was Christ and we enjoyed answering them so much and asked her if we could come back again another time. She said yes! So now we have someone else to teach. And I looove teaching her. She isn't afraid to ask questions to things she doesn't understand and we went on about the Book of Mormon with all her questions for like 45 minutes. She wants to read it though and wants to find peace and is tired of feeling sad and we promised her that we can help teach and she can find that peace through this gospel and as she gains that relationship with her Savior. I just love teaching her and hope to see her in the temple! Another day we went tracting and was invited in by this one lady who has been an inactive member for most of her life. Her name is Suzanne and she is about 55 years old and studying to be a mechanical engineer-such a stud! Anyways while talking to her we found out that she had a lot of random rumors about who God and Christ were told to her as a kid-like God coming down to kill the wicked in his "spaceship". My companion bore a strong testimony to her about how that wasn't true, but that God is merciful and he loves us and through holy ghost we can know the truth of all things and that we can find the greatest joy by coming to understand that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that he saw God and Christ and restored the gospel of Jesus Christ back to this earth. There were tears in her eyes as she thanked us and said that we were an answer to her prayers that day. I know more than anything it was because of that spirit in that room. Yeah, my comp is legit and has an incredible testimony and I loved that moment of feeling the spirit that strongly. Just reaffirms the truthfulness of what we teach-I love it!

As for the rest of the week we got two nonmember girls- Shelby and Journey- to join us for church. Being the way Sunday's are for a Utah missionary and covering 6 wards I had to run off to a meeting and left Sister Hansen on her first split-but she's a pro and had no problem flying solo. It was great to have Shelby and Journey come and they asked a bunch of questions and we hope to get to the baptism here soon! As far as other news, for the first time ever, a lady came and knocked on OUR door...We didn't know what to do haha I'm sure our faces looked a little puzzled since usually the roll is reversed. But oh was I glad that we were home. This lady (inactive member) had a kidney transplant a year ago and has been fighting infections all year and then on top of it all was going through a divorce and now had to move out of her apartment because she can't afford it and poor thing just broke down when we opened the door. We comforted her and had the Elders come over and give her a blessing and made plans to help her with moving this weekend. Bless her brave heart, I love this woman and so glad she came to us in need of help. That's what we love to do as missionaries, is to let people know that God loves them and that there is hope. If you ever have any questions, feel free to write me on facebook. Or check out! I know that this gospel is Christ's restored gospel, that it can bring the greatest joy and answer so many of life's questions. I know that it was restored through a prophet named Joseph Smith and the same line of priesthood authority that Jesus Christ held has been passed down to our current living prophet today, Thomas S. Monson. I only know these things because I've prayed about them myself and have felt the warm comfort of the spirit tell me they were true. Alright, I'll hop off my soap-box. But just wanted to let people know of my testimony! Hope ya'll have a great week!
Let go, Let God
Sister Kodi Norton
P.S. Pics 1. Love these missionaries! Beat Elder Henderson (red ball cap) at a game of pool and he now ahs to call me "Master Commander" for the next two weeks haha 2. This is Sister Hansen!!! First day in the mission!! 3. Annnnnnd Elder Berg, who went from being my Zone Leader to the Assistant to the President! Love that guy!!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

April 2014

April 15

Hey everyone!
Another great week in the greatest mission in the world! Started off the week with a zone conference where we got a pep-talk from the Assistants to the President and the office staff and from President Hiers himself on how to be...well, better missionaries. It was good though. Really enjoy how President is always so caring and helpful for each of us; we love him!  (No I was not paid to say this, he really is legit ;))

Teaching also went pretty well this week! We met with the Dobson girls and we just want to be there for them as friends and to help get the girls back to church so since they love the Personal Progress program that the church has for young women, we are helping them with theirs and teaching them about the gospel at the same time. So this past week we talked about Divine Nature and what it means and the different traits we can have and then did a bit of soul-searching on what we could improve on. So it's the goal this week to be more charitable! Then we taught Gary some more and he sees to be more hopeful :)) Didn't feel right again to invite him to be baptized, but baby steps-I think right now he just needs to believe that God loves him and that Christ is there for him and knows how he feels. Then we also went over to Shelby's this week and got ot meet all her cousins and they had me play some guitar and sing which was fun and then I got to talk to all of them about the importance of prayer. None of these kids are members so they don't know much about God or why we pray so it was a sweet experience to explain it to them and then to ask one of hem to pray at the end. She seemed petrified, but did a wonderful job and was all smiles afterwards :)) I just love kids and how they have faith so easily, such great examples. Then one day I went on exchanges with my "momma", Sister Noel!! Sooo good to see her! Love that girl! Reason for the exchange was that Gigi (polish lady from my last area) was in the hospital. Her health just tanked and her organs were shutting down and she couldn't breath and had a slight heart-attack on top of it all, so we went to see her. We both got a bit choked up everytime she'd find breath to say "I'm dying". Yeah broke my heart a bit. And then I had to be the smart one and suggest to sing a song (since we know how much she loves music) and we happened to turn to Nearer My God to Thee and wow, the spirit was so strong that I couldn't help the tears in that moment. Love that woman too much to see her in that much pain. She loved seeing us and so grateful that I had the opportunity to do so. I'll have to update you next week on how she's doing. So that evening we were still on exchanges and taught the Maurer family again using the story of Captian Moroni on how he fortified his cities (mentioned in Alma 50:1-6) and the importance of strengthening our own testimonies as a family. THey loved it so much that they kept the drawing and put it up on the fridge. I see great things happening for this family! They are awesome. They've been meeting with missionaries for 16 years and I hope that we're the last ones to make that effort to get them to the temple to be sealed forever! I'm determined.

Well highlight lessons of the week were with Keisean and Gaige. We went and talked with Keisean (11 year old investigator) about getting baptized and so we asked him to pray and we prayed with him about a date and we felt from the spirit the same thing -April 26th!!! So all he has to do is ask his momma and we should be set! This kid is so awesome! I went through the Baptismal Interview Questions with him and he was answering the questions so well and with so much conviction. He's smart and listens to everything being taught to him at church. My favorite was when I asked him what repentance meant and he said "It's like a mini baptism every time you repent-your sins are forgiven and you can start over with a clean slate" Loooove this kid! Then we also had a lesson with Gaige Devlin again. We talked again about the Restoration, just to clear up some questions and then went to put in the Restoration video and her comment was "You guys can put in the movie but I already believe that Joseph Smith was a prophet" yesssssssss. And then after the movie we invited her to be baptized and she so humbly said "Yes, I've been waiting for this for a long time." She's so solid! This girl has been through a lot with drugs starting all the way back when she was 13, but over the last few years has gotten clean and wants to make the right choices and just loves the spirit she feels when she talks with missionaries. So golden! We love her too!

So that i what is new for us. Looooove hangin with everyone in my zone-I've made some real great friends. We had a bonfire this past week for FHE and played football and messed around with uke's and yeah, it was a blast. We work hard and play hard here in the Utah, Ogden mission-lovin' my life right now! Well I hope everyone has a great week!
Let go, Let God
Sister Kodi Norton

P.S. Pics-went up to Logan last p-day and walked around the coolest temple ever with these gals!

Apr 8
Another fantastic week here in the awesome Utah, Ogden mission! I'm pretty sure this is the best place to serve a mission. I know every missionary says that about their area, but I'm just about 110% sure that this is the place to be. More great adventures have happened this week!

Started with our lesson with our nonmember baptist friend-Gary! He is a very sad man. It was actually really heartbreaking hearing how he just feels like he's in a hole and just wants to be loved by his wife and how much he misses his daughter who passed away a year ago. We shared a lot of scripture to just have faith and that we were there for him to rely on and to learn how to heal all his wounds through the atonement of Christ. He already has a great love for his Savior and really enjoyed having us over and invited us back! It didn't feel right to extend a baptism quite yet, but hopefully soon! But we did extend a baptism date to Brock( 9 year old) and he was so excited! The mom is going to pray herself to see if the 19th on this month will be the best for her son sooooo fingers crossed. He loves the gospel so much and has such a sweet testimony and wants the spirit as his constant companion that I pray it's not delayed any longer. Another stellar kid we are working with is Keisean! He's 11 years old and honestly this kid is the next prophet. He's been going to church for years, but his mom won't let him be baptized (yet ;)), but he has the great support of his step-mom and nonmember father. Their story is really incredible. The step-mom (Jill) and the dad (Jay) met because he was her boyfriends drug-dealer. Well they got married and she was an alcoholic and one day had this awakening while she was watching Keisean and her daughter (Breanna-yes spelled the same way as my only sista!) play that this was real life and that she needed to get hers in order. So she quit drugs and drinking cold turkey and is now a faithful endowed member!
Love that girl! And now has raised the kids in the gospel and what's incredible is how much Keisean has just absorbed. He's one of those kids that listens to everything being taught and could even repeat it back to you if you asked. Anywho, we had a Family Home Evening with them and told them about the purpose of Easter and wow the spirit was so strong that I am pretty sure even Jay felt it (who claims to be a atheist). Keisean loved it and we asked him to talk to his mom about baptism soooo fingers crossed for him too! We also shared an Easter message with Ryan and I did the lovely visual of how Christ took on our sins and infirmities by placing different spices in a cup of water and drinking the "bitter cup" (D + C 19:18-19) as a representative of Christ- I actually drank the whole thing this time! Crazy what a strong spirit in the room can make you do and the great reaction of a guy who wants to understand Christ better. For him, that visual was perfect (even if I did want to throw-up) and he was all smiles and really engaged as we talked about how the Atonement could change him into who he wanted to become, he just needed to have faith. I did the same visual for a less active family we began teaching, the Maurers, and the four little kids freaked out haha But they loved it and now have a goal to make it to the temple to be sealed as a family. One of my all time favorite moments of the week was teaching these two non members-Gaige (23 years old) and Journey (11 years old). They're sister and were curious about the church and so we taught them the Restoration and asked if baptism would ever be something they wanted. They both were all smiles as they said yes and as long as they learned enough to make that decision-we said we could do that for them and they were all smile! So we have two new people investigating the church!! Love being a missionary and feeling that spirit everyday and watching people change their lives for the better. I'm sure I say this every post, but it never gets old for me. I am so privileged and blessed and I know that this the work for the true gospel of Jesus Christ!

Well other adventures included going down to Salt Lake City where my companion and I, along with our less active friend Jacquie, got to attend conference for the first time. Hollly shoot dang, speaking of the spirit! I was skeptical that I would feel the spirit as strongly as everyone professed to feel when the prophet walked in but oh was I pleasantly surprised to have the spirit touch my soul in a way I have never felt before, literally. It felt like Christ was standing in the room and I couldn't help but smile as this added to my testimony of the fact that Thomas S. Monson is God's prophet. Words really don't do it justice; if any of you ever get the chance to go (which it is open to anyone of any faith as long as you have a free ticket) please go. You will never regret it. Jacquie loved it too and really felt the spirit strongly there. All in all it was a wonderful experience. One last great experience before your eyes fall out from reading so much because I always type mammoth-sized posts. Sister Horvath and I were asked to plan a FHE at President Hiers home this past Monday and it went really well. We played the signs game where every person in the circle picks a sign and you have to pass signs around without the person in the middle noticing where it was at. If they catch you then you got hit with a giant stuffed bunny. Lots of laughs with that one.
 To go along with the Easter theme we then had a lesson at the end on the atonement of Christ. We previously had made cupcakes for this event and it was something that Horvath had done in a previous area and I really loved the visual. So we asked the zone to pick someone to represent the group and they picked our fearless zone leader, Elder Berg! Then as I went from person to person with a cupcake Sister Horvath would ask Elder Berg to do 5 push-ups for that person to have their cupcake. Even if they didn't want the cupcake, he still had to do 5 push-ups for them. It was real rowdy at first as they were cheering him on, but with 18 people in the room, after a while the spirit really set in on how he was representing Christ who suffered the Atonement for each of us individually. And especially towards the end when he started to struggle there was a reverence in the room. We bore our testimony of his love and how the atonement wasn't performed to blanket everyone's mistakes and pains, but that He suffered for us one by one because He loves everyone that much. Even if they won't accept Him, He still went through what He did for each of us. We then let others share their testimony and wow, it was just perfect. Really strengthened mine. We then handed out plastic eggs with candy that were each individualized about the things we found special in each of them and all in all, it was an awesome evening.

Well to wrap this up, funny moment of the week was when I had dental work done and my face was so numb that when the zone made me laugh when we were out to lunch, I definitely lost my food . haha Well love ya'll! Hope ya have a great week!
Let go, Let God
Sister Kodi Norton

 Pics: 1. Horvath and I with Jacquie! 2. Me with some Elders form my last zone-pretty much the greatest eva. 3. The Conference Center! It holds 21,000 people. Beat that Disneyland. 4. Us with Elders Stringer, Berg (ZL) and Cressman (ZL). We be swoll like that. 5. All these lovely ladies have been my comps! Pretty legit.

Apr 1

Hey everyone!!
So its been quite the week. Started it off in the hospital after breaking my femur after attempting a back flip on a trampoline- April fools! haha Couldn't help myself :) you're welcome. Anywho, life in Roy is crazy awesome; learning to love it here. The weather, not so much. The joke here is if you don't like the weather, wait 15 minutes and it'll change. And change it does! This past week started with us playing sand volleyball on Pday to now it is snowing  giant flakes and thundering and lightning. April definitely came in like a lion! (We heard this great story the other day where this little girl asked her mom is it was a "sheep day".She had heard the saying that March "comes in like a lion and out like a lamb" and just wanted to know if it was a "sheep day" haha). But we still work hard rain, shine or snow!

We had a lot of great lessons this past week. One of my favorites was this guy named Derek whom we found tracting (I think I mentioned him in the last post...). Anywho, he's an inactive member so he had us over and we shared a message with him and his 5 year old son about Easter. Had a lot of fun explaining the purpose of why it's celebrated to a little kid who didn't know much about it all. We then adopted a Bermudan cultural tradition by making kites for the Easter season! Apparently it's a tradition there to fly them the Friday before Easter to remember that "He's Risen!" It was a lot of fun. In another lesson we taught Mike and Erica-a newly wed couple just returning to church after years of inactivity. It was great because the dad is making such great changes in his life to receive his patriarchal blessing and to be worthy of the priesthood. The spirit was real strong as we talked about how much he'll bless his family and at the end of the lesson he asked if we could teach his kids in a couple weeks so they can get baptized-heck ya! Then we went over to see Brock (9 year old) to refresh his mind about the Restoration and what it means as we work with the family to figure out a baptism date. While there we met his 15 year old brother who ran away from his Dad's house this past week, lived with just the clothes on his back for 5 days, slept on a bench, drank water from a river which he would boil in an old beer can and eventually got so hungry that he smacked a robin out of a tree with a stick and ate it. Next scout master right there. haha So crazy! We teased about rabies and the bird flu and how he survived hobo-ism - it was awesome. Met a random guy named Gary while tracting who is a nonmember and wants us to come back over and talk to him so we are stoked for that one! Also met another lady who just found out she was pregnant, had just quit drugs and wants to meet with us this next week if the court doesn't send her back to jail. Really great experience talking with her though honestly. She got teary-eyed as we expressed how much God loved her and wanted her to find peace and truly be happy. I really hope we get to see her again! She said she was lost and has had it rough lately and my heart went out to her realizing that through everything she's done, God still loves her and hears her prayers. It's great being a missionary and having those unique opportunities to see people the way that God sees them and to have that desire to help them in every way. I'm so grateful that the Atonement pays the debt that we all create for ourselves-that all we need to do is to choose to change and to pray for forgiveness and God remembers our misdeeds no more.

Well other adventures included us attending a baptism of a girl that Sister Horvath actually found in our apartment complex but being of singles ward age, had to be turned over to the singles ward Elders. Her name is Mel and she's a doll! She was so excited for her baptism and when she came up out of the water her first comment was "I feel like a wet dog!" haha It was hilarious. Another adventure included the whole zone plus senior couples doing a service project at Mandy's house doing a bunch of fix-me-ups that's she's had on her list forever! We had a blast, played a bit of football and got a lot done! Then for a FHE this past week our zone got permission to watch Prince of Egypt!!! If you want to watch a bunch of missionaries freak out and sing random religious songs, play that movie. haha It was a blast! Then I also go to perform with my companion this past week at sacrament meeting! We sang a beautiful arrangement of "I Know That My Redeemer Lives" and the spirit was incredible. Even saw a few people with tears in their eyes. I received the greatest compliment of "you should be a jazz singer" from the choir director afterwards haha

Well to finish up the week we had a pretty stellar blonde moment. We were waiting for a ride and as this car pulled up we hopped in...and it was NOT our ride! haha Gave the poor lady a heart-attack! So being completely embarrassed we jumped out of her car and jumped into the next car only to smack my face on the door resulting in a split fat lip. Oh the life of being, well... myself.

Well I hope ya'll had a great week! Love ya!
Let go, Let God
Sister Kodi Norton

Pics: My companion made me a Broncos cupcake! And we said goodbye to Melissa as she headed off to her mission in Edmonton, Canada!

Saturday, March 8, 2014

March 2014

Mar 25

Sooooo my first week in Roy...hahah Its been an adventure that's for sure. Ya know those places in life that stretch ya a bit? Where you think you've explored outside your "box" and then come to find out there's a whole different box of life full of craziness that you wouldn't expect? That is Roy, Utah for this girl. Roy is very special; I tease saying it's the modern day Sodom and Gomorrah. As far as I know it though the Lord doesn't plan on destroying this city any time soon so there's good to be found and heck, lots of potential as I see it!

So our teaching pool here consists of drug-addicts, broken families, felons, abused spouses, stalkers, and the unmentionables. (Note that I say this all with a smile on my face. I do not fear and honestly, it's makes tracting and lessons really interesting) My first dinner here we ate with a family whose daughter is leaving on a mission next week to Edmonton, Canada! And while there we were visited by her stalker, twice. He's been stalking her for the past few weeks and comes to the door almost every hour on the hour....yeah. Poor thing went into tears because of how scared she was of him, but we prayed with her and encouraged her to have faith in God-and lots of hugs. It was quite the way to start off this area. We started off our teaching with the Hurst family! Grandma and grandpa are active members, father was a meth addict and the son had just gotten out of jail. As crazy as the situation is, they want a change in their life, and it was really neat to relate to them the need to daily spiritually nourish themselves. We showed the video from titled Daily Bread:Pattern (highly recommend, it will spiritual feed your soul for at least a solid 5 hours-it's that good) and basically bore our testimony on how they need to make those daily little changes if they want to grow closer to God. It went really well and the son ended up showing to church! Now just preparing them for the temple. Then we went over to another home where we are teaching a 9 year old boy who wants to be baptized named Brock! The family is less active, but believe strongly in baptism so we taught him about the restoration of Christ's gospel and it all went really well! No date set quite yet on him to be baptized, but next lesson or so we will invite him for a specific date. There's a delay because their 7 year old, Brody, will be 8 this next month and the mom figures that they could just have their baptism at the same time on the same day. It makes sense, but we want to try to see if she'd want to make those days individual and special for each of her boys and to get Brock baptized sooner since he's really prepared and wants the gift of the Holy Ghost. Work in progress. And then as we were knocking on doors we ran into this less active man named Derek who has a 5 year old son and a wife who is in jail for drug abuse. Really nice guy who wants a change in his life so he is having us come back over to teach him and his son-we're really excited! Love it when you find that "one" who is just ready to make changes to bring them closer to their Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Golden. The rest of the week was spent mainly organizing ourselves and meeting all the bishops and ward mission leaders. We cover quite a big area and have a total of 6 wards in this stake. I did get introduced to the missionary mom- Mandy Hadley! Super sweet lady with a crazy house full of kids who's a single mom and works a daycare out of her home and just absolutely loves the missionaries. Honestly helps us with anything right when we need it. We did a service project where we helped her clean up her house and it felt good to give back to a lady who has given so much to the missionaries here. Also met her gang-member friends and now feel a lot more safe here-for real though, they really like missionaries. haha

Well my new Zone is pretty awesome! We have four sisters and fourteen elders and lots of senior couples! Everyone has a pretty goofy sense of humor so our meetings are filed with lots of laughter. It's gonna be fun here! Annnnnnd they play speedball! Which will be great and feed my obsession.  Although I only cover 6 wards now, my new area is a lot bigger considering how low the Mormon populace is so we walk a lot, but the weather is warmer so that's okay. It's very much a city here-no stars at night. But plenty of airplanes to count and keep us awake all night as they almost hit our house to land at the airport right next door. haha We live in an apartment that is much nicer than my last area and I can actually stand up all the way in the shower!! Oh the little blessings of life haha My new companion is Sister Horvath from Gilbert, AZ! She loves music a lot so we have fun talking about that and singing together as I rock out on my ukulele. And we're going to tear up this place! Good things to come for sure :))

Well funny/strange thing of the week is we went to a dinner where they had this pumpkin on their counter that has been there since Halloween! And it looks brand new. No joke-proof be in the picture. So we named it Tuck Everlasting because it won't die haha Pretty cool. Well that's about all for this post! Hope everyone is doing well! Will catch you up on my new adventures next time! Love ya'll!
Let go, Let God
Sister Kodi Norton

PS: Pics- my new comp and the eternal pumpkin! 

Mar. 18
Hey everyone!
Wellllll I can't help myself to tell you the biggest news of my day-I'm getting transferred! Headed down to the Roy North Stake and I will have a new companion, Sister Horvath. Basically it's the big ghetto city part of the mission so I'm sure to have some great stories coming from my new area. My last week in North Ogden was a lot of fun though and I'm sure gonna miss it here!

So we got to see Don and Gigi a lot this week. Gigi's health is getting pretty bad and it has me a bit worried. They both still sit in the living room and listen to our messages. In one of our lessons this apst week I even invited her to be baptized again (there should be an award for baptism invitations because I'm pretty sure I'd win since I just commit this lady to it all the time) but she turned us down again. My heart broke a little on that one because of the state of health she's in and how I wish that she would get baptized before she passes away. Still praying for miracles on that one. Then we taught Julie Fraga again and finished up The Family: A Proclamation to the World.
She looooved it because it mentions in there simply how to have a successful marriage and family
 (check it out if you haven't! It's pretty legit). She wants to make crafty object to place in her home to remind her of the importance that families are to God. Love the fire that girl as back in her life to strengthen her relationship with God and Jesus Christ! Saw Evan some more this week and he's doing really well health wise! We taught him and Kaimee about the Plan of Salvation (check this out if you don't know what it is or would like a refresher- bc/content/ldsorg/ content/english/ manual/missionary/ pdf/36950_the-plan-of-salvation-eng.pdf?lang=eng) to help their understanding of where they came from, why they are here, and where they are going. It got really deep at some points about what truly was the meaning of life and I liked what Evan said on how it's "love". To love God, to love Jesus Christ, to love your family, to love your neighbor, to love yourself, etc. It really is true that to find that peace we just need to become like our Savior and love everyone.

TheOverduyns let us in their house again and committed to coming back to church! Stoked for that one. Also taught the Robertsons (non member) family this week and had a real great lesson about the Atonement. We talked about how it not only is for our sins, but for our infirmities as well (Alma 7:11-12). We described how infirmities were any time we get hurt, or when we're heartbroken, or when we feel sick, etc. because Christ suffered all so he could be there for us in every way. So I got out a cup of water and a bunch of spices and we listed off what different sins and infirmities Christ can help us with, adding different spices and such to the cup every time they listed something. Then just like Christ drank the bitter cup
(Doctrine and Covenants 19:16-19) as He performed the atonement, I tried to drink the bitter cup...haha it was a fail on my part.But I got a lot of laughs from the little kids! So I made the point that Christ was the only person who could have performed the Atonement and that we need to turn to him always because He loves us and understands us completely. It was a blast :))

Well as far as the rest of the week, I was on exchanges a lot with Sister Whitfield and Sister Tuiala which was fine with me since it was Tuiala's last week before returning home! She headed back to Samoa this past week and will be dearly missed here in Ogden! We had fun getting spoiled by members taking us out to lunch and getting us pedicures (Whitfield and I were dying laughing when they were scrubbing our feet ) and then even taught lessons together and I just love teaching with them because we think on the same level and the spirit is always so strong. Tuiala sat me down and gave me some last bit of advice before she left telling me to "work hard and run to the tape! You can rest when you get home", so run I will. :)) Before she left she gave me a lava lava (its a skirt wrap thing) and we all took 100 pics together and off she went. Going to miss that girl.

Since Sister Tuiala and Elder Walz were both going home we all went to Toads on P-Day (it's a arcade/lazer tag/go-cart place) and we all had a blast running around in laser tag and and causing wrecks while 10 of us raced at the same time with the go-carts - it was awesome! Love the friends I'm making here :)) Of course missing the ones back home and my family as well though! But all is good. Just gotta let go, let God and keep pushing forward. Serving a mission has brought me such great joy and if anyone ever reading this has questions about anything just let me know on facebook! Hope ya'll have a great week!
Sister Kodi Norton
  P.S. Pics: Yeah, lots of them this week since I'm leaving the area! 1. Pedicure's! With Whitfield (blue) and Tuiala (pink).Felt really girly, but it was a lot of fun. 2. Me and my homies Elder Phillips and Elder Clarke! We were in the MTC together! And since the MTC Phillips and I have never been separated and now he's headed up to Milad, ID as I head south to Roy. 3. Love this Tennessee girl! 4. haha Our fearless zone leaders, Elder Destories and Elder Morales. 5. Elder Reis (from Brazil)! Loved those sunglasses and would steal them all the time. 6. Me and my companion :)) 7. My North Ogden Mom and Dad Peterson! Loved them. Took care of me a lot and even bought me my favorite juice as a farewell gift. 8.My first distric leader, Elder Hainsworth! Props to Clark for the awesome photo bomb.
 9. The Povey's! Gonna miss this family. As a farewell Ben (the baldy-kept complaining baout his hair so his mom shaved it off lol) and I argued about who was better, Seahawks or Broncos...pretty sure I won ;)) 10. Me and Sister Tuiala! Gonna miss this girl! Definitely going to visit her homeland one day to go see her! 11. The Packers! Spent Christmas with them and Brother Packer even shot me with a nerf gun as a farewell. 12. Us just being awesome...Love being a missionary :))

Mar. 11
Many adventures happened within the past week. Many more appointments cancelled like crazy, but we know that as long as we keep doing our best we will be blessed so we are working super hard!

The week started off really great with a district meeting on the Atonement. Elder West did this really cool thing where he had a bunch of random things written on the board from sharks, ukulele's, dogs, cats more important things like the holy ghost, the priesthood, scriptures, etc. Each of us went around and erased an item off the board that we could live without in this world (my first one was "cats" Eventually the last things on the board were the important things in life and we all were asked to be silent and really consider life without each of these items as we still each erased and item at a time. Ultimately the last thing on the board was "Jesus Christ" and Elder West got up and slowly erased it. It was actually really neat to sit there and reflect for a moment what life would be like without Him.
And wow, I couldn't imagine it. I hope none of us could considering how through His atonement we can obtain peace in this life, and how much He truly loves each of us. Really great visual. We also got to teach Memphis this past week and long story short, his mom isn't letting him get baptized any time soon :( He was really down, and I hated seeing him like that, so my wheels started turning in my mind and I came up with a super random game on the spot! I knew Sister Watts had sticky hands because she bough them a long time ago to play a family Christmas tradition of mine using the sticky hands to pick paper off the floor which eventually just turns into a war. So I snuck out of the room, got the sticky hands, took pieces of lined paper and tore them up and then wrote "GOSPEL" on one of the pieces of paper. I went back in and threw the paper all over the floor, handed everyone a sticky hand and asked "How much do you love the gospel?" "A lot" "How much are you willing to fight for it??" "A lot!" and the war as on! you wanted to collect as many pieces and the "GOSPEL" paper was an extra 10 points. It was a fun game with a simple point that no matter what, we have to be continuously striving and fighting to have Christ more in our lives and to understand His gospel-to never give up!
And to never give up on a bunch of children attacking you with sticky hands haha Then also this past week we got to meet with this nonmember family-the Robertsons-and we made a "blessings volcano!" where we made play dough and then added "commandments" (baking soda) and then "God's love" (vinegar) and the blessings overflowed! haha The little girls loved it and htey want us to come back weekly now :) Then the final miracle of the week was finally getting through the threshold of the less-active family, the Overduyns! Since I've first been here we've been trying to get in there and finally they let us in! Super chill family who love their tattoos and piercings and are just way down to earth and hilarious. They're snowboarders, surfers, hurricane-survivors, and hard workers. What was the coolest thing to hear was how much the Mom loves to read her scriptures. this lady works about 12-16 hours a day and still reads her scriptures for 2 hours before she goes to bed. She said "Take everything away from me except my family and my scriptures and I'll still be happy"-pretty legit. WE shared a message with them and they really liked us so we will be coming back weekly now! Life is moving right along.

Another highlight was getting asked to sing in sacrament meeting at church this past Sunday. So I drug my companion into doing a duet with me and it went really well! A slideshow video is soon to follow so keep your eyes out for that on facebook. Another cool things is we heard rumor that the writer for the beloved children's primary song "I Am a Child of God" was buried in the North Ogden cemetery and yup-rumor has it right! Naomi Randall in the flesh-sorta...Daylight Savings was this past week! Yeah, I know "She's such an Arizonan". Losing a precious hour of sleep for us missionaries was a bit interesting; it was like waking up the living dead haha I need like a "I survived daylight savings" tshirt or something. And then final bragging moment of this post, we played football and speedball this past pday aaaaaaaaand I made a touchdown and a couple baskets!! Kind of a big deal. haha

Funny moment of the week was explaining what the slang "in a pickle" meant to my Japanese companion-how it's an old American tradition where we climb inside a giant pickle when we need a break from the rest of the world. I think i was received quite well haha

Well that's all for this week! Hope all is well. Love y'all!
Let go, Let God
Sister Kodi Norton

P.S. pics: 1.jammin on the uke in the gorgeous sunshine! 2. All of us celebrating Elder Dean's birthday and Zhangs! (closet Elder to the camera) 3. Went on an adventure, found a gorgeous spot right at sunset. 4. Catchin a ride from the Elders lol 5. Me and my Ben...who completely shaved his head-classic.

Mar. 4

Happy March everyone!
Oh Spring is coming and I can hardly wait! All the snow is gone now-hallelujah! Now we just run around in the rain :)) I have no complaints though; rain is much warmer, and for any Arizona missionary here, it's a beautiful sight to see water falling in its best form! I did lose my umbrella though in someones car, but thanks to the great sympathy that our senior missionary couple, the Longhursts, have I won't be melting this Spring (contrary to all the anti-mormons beliefs). haha

Well this past week had its ups and downs. Getting the worse out of the way, we knocked on doors like crazy and I now am well accustomed to having doors closed in my face. I know what you're probably thinking, "It's Utah.. how hard can that mission be?" but since it is Utah, everyone already knows what you are when you knock on their door, and they don't even give you a second to say your name. I'm considering buying a plastic arm and putting it in the door as they close it to stop them for a second so they will take a minute to hear what we have to say, but alas, plastic arms aren't abundantly stocked at Walmart these days. So I'm left with just grinning and bearing it until we find people to teach. The work will come though, I know it, we can only be blessed after the trial of our faith and so try we will until we find someone to teach!

The people we did get to teach went really well though! We got to teach Memphis some more :)) I learned that I'm not very skilled at teaching the law of chastity (sexual purity) to a 12 year old boy. Kind of got a glimpse at how parents feel when trying to explain this haha Oh dear. Pretty much was a fail because by the end of it he thought I was talking about swearing the whole time so thanks to Sister Watts, I was saved with a video that explained it a lot better than I did. I made up for it though by buying them (Britton [Deacons President] and Memphis) Milka chocolate (my favorite!!). I then had a chance to redeem myself the next day by getting to teach him again, but after high-fving his sprained arm and finding out that he choked on the chocolate that I gave him, Brother Watts concluded that I was trying to kill him haha  The greatest quote from him that night was while we were teaching him about how to pay tithing Memphis asked "If I hunt my own food, do I still pay tithing?" Oh I love this kid. I did have super spiritual awesome lessons though, don't worry! We started teaching this less active, Eric, who hasn't been to church in 25 years who is now dating this girl and wants to get back in the swing of things. He was so sincere and wants the priesthood so badly and while we were teaching him he got choked up every time he went to speak saying how loved he felt coming back to church and how he's now found purpose in his life and doesn't want to lose it. Then Sister Thorpe (ward mission leaders wife who came with us) bore a sweet testimony that it's because of this gospel she's also found purpose and knows of Heavenly Fathers love, which is a huge comfort to her as she's battling stage 4 cancer. Wow the spirit was so strong. One of my favorite lessons this week was talking to Cal who felt like a "worthless piece of junk" since he suffers from major depression. We had a great discussion about the Atonement and how it literally heals those who are searching for help. Since Christ suffered everything, He knows everyone perfectly. I then had an overwhelming impression to tell him that if he diligently studied his scriptures daily that he'd be healed of his depression. Really neat experience. And then of course, one of my favorites, Evan Larsen! I went way overboard on  preparing for his lesson, but I wanted it to be one to stand out and really speak to him personally. So we started by going through Alma 14:8-11 (Book of Mormon) and the story of how the righteous were being being burned and how Amulek wanted Alma to stop them from burning because he knew he had the power of God through the priesthood, but Alma responds with "The Spirit constraineth me that I must not stretch forth mine hand"   and talked about how sometimes we don't understand why certain things happen, but we just have to trust in the Lords plan and I related it to his situation with his heart-attack how he's limited to do things now. We then spoke about how he was fortunate to live and how the priesthood blessed him to live since that was the Lord's will. Then we went into how the Lord is not only their to help him with his sins, but also his infirmities (Alma 7:12) and then finished with the Mormon Message of "Mountain to Climb" to really emphasize that the Atonement is real, that it can heal and help us, and that things are gonna happen that don't make sense in our lives, but that we just need to trust in the Lord. It was so fantastic :))

One of my other favorite moments this week was Sunday during the fast and testimony meeting. Brother Watts got up (he's Memphis' scout leader who has been there at almost every lesson we've taught Memphis to be a support to him) to bear his testimony in church and was talking about how much he's enjoyed helping us. He never mentioned Memphis' name, but after he sat down almost every deacon got up there and bore their testimony of how much they loved Memphis and are praying that he gets baptized and they even told stories of how Brother Watts has done the same thing. Brother Watts turned 50 shades of red, but the sweetest moment happened next as Memphis bravely walked up there and said "I know this church is true. I can't remember what else I was going to say, Amen" That spoke volumes to me. His testimony is simple, but I add mine to his that this gospel is Christ's true gospel restored on the Earth. I know it through the witness I've receieved over and over from the Holy Ghost. I hope you all will come to find it as well. It bring such joy to my life and it can bring joy to everyone. Pray for that witness and I promise you will find the same testimony as my bud, Memphis. If anyone reading this ever has questions, please feel free to ask. Also if you would like a Book of Mormon:Another Testament of Jesus Christ also let me know and I can get that for you. I love you all very much.

Let go, Let God
Sister Kodi Norton

P.S. pics: Nothing slows us down, not even the all-manner-of-water-falling-from-the-sky type rain! And the Thorpe's (mentioned previously) went to Hollywood and got to hang out with some famous people so Kirt's (a local staple-kind of like a Sonic) greeted them back with this sign, love this town!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

February 2014

Feb. 25
Sup everyone!
So we've had a crazy week. We've been working so hard that we're on splits teaching people everyday...its been a while since I've taught with my comp! Kinda crazy, but we're loving it :) Lets see, where to start with this whole week.

Well last P-day we went to the temple and that was a lot of fun. We did an endowment session and Sister Kuwahara and I went through for sisters which was a really neat experience. Made me really realize the importance of eternal families and to do everything in my power to make it a priority to focus my attention on my immediate family and future family to do my best to help each person find peace and happiness in this life. After the temple we played volleyball for a couple hours and ran around on our errands!

As far as teaching this past week, well my favorite one was our 12 year old named Memphis! I taught him about the gospel of Christ and the importance of having faith, repenting, baptism and the blessing of receiving the gift of the holy ghost. He smiled real big and said "That's what I'm looking forward to the most. Having the holy ghost always there for me when I need him", it was so sweet. Then later that week we had a movie night with him to watch the "Other Side of Heaven" because he really wants to serve a mission. The scary thing was that his mom found out we were teaching him and wasn't very happy about it. (Mis-communication, we thought she knew). I felt like Daniel walking into a lion's den at that moment because the mom told Memphis that he wasn't allowed to meet with us anymore after the movie night. I was praying all day for a miracle and that his mom's heart would be softened. We walked in, talked about missionary work and why we do it and then showed the movie and wow was the spirit there. That isn't the most spiritual movie, but it was there for a great purpose and when we went to talk to her after the movie her heart was completely softened and was totally okay with us meeting with him. The Lord is SO good! I know his hand was in that moment because there was no way it was all going to work without him. So I get to keep my duck-dynasty, snowboarding, adopted lil bro buddy! Love that kid! We taught Evan and Kaimee about The Family Proclamation to the World ( to explain the importance of focusing on their family and making it a priority in their lives. It went really well and they have some great goals set to strengthen their daughter-father relationship. I personally have gained so much from reading that document and have used it a lot in my teaching and would encourage all to follow the link above (even if you've read it before) and read over it and really consider what the prophet and apostles warn and guide us to do with and for our families because families are so fundamental to our Heavenly Father's plan. His greatest creation was each of us, and how he first established us was in a family unit. Even if every dynamic isn't perfect in your family, take those you can and build them up and help them find joy and peace in this life. Don't get discouraged and sincerely pray to God for strength and guidance. It'll bring your family closer to each other as you strive to understand and teach about Him and our Savior to others. Okay, I'm done preaching haha It's just really important to me and I hope it can become very important to everyone reading this. Well one of the coolest teaching opportunities we had this past week was teaching a neighborhood around a campfire-way fun!! I plan on teaching this way all Summer haha My coat still smells like smoke, I love it!

Well the rest of the week was spent knocking a ton of doors. And getting a lot of "no thank you"'s and door slams. It gets a little rough sometimes, but I'm never discouraged because I still have my faith, I still have my Heavenly Father and Savior on my side and I know that what I have to teach is true. The scariest thing that happened this past week was getting a phone call from Don Dyer saying that Gigi had a heart-attack and was in the hospital. She's okay now and is back home, but I guess her health isn't too great. Her heart isn't pumping fluid out correctly so all prayers for her (and Evan who is still struggling) are greatly appreciated.

Well my comp has language study everyday so I'm now learning Japanese! My homework is awesome haha Apparently I draw the characters wrong all the's fun though! This picture is only ssome of the characters that I'm studying, I have pages more. I'm gonna be a pro in no time!..right? haha

We had a zone FHE this past week (my first one!) and it was a blast! We played a game where we had to say "If you love missionary work, will you please smile??" and then without smiling the other person had to say back with a straight face "I love missionary work, but I just can't smile." Well anyone who knows me knows that I totally rocked that game haha yeah. It was a blast full of lots of laughs!

Well that about sums up the week. Funny moments of this past week mainly consist of laughing and my comp's English. My favorite was when we were talking about how I would love to work in radiology and she said "I could never work with buns" and I said "bones??" "yeah that" haha I had to laugh at that one. Well it's been real, it's been fun, ya'll have an awesome week!! Take care :))
Let go, Let God
Sister Kodi Norton

P.S. pics: here we are hanging at the temple! Sister Tuilala from Samoa jumped with us haha Then we had our campfire lesson which was so freakin awesome! And then our Zone FHE and my crazy Japanese homework...and this is only one page. 

Heyo everybody!
So another great week up here. Last Pday (preparation day where we get to have some fun and go to the store and such) was awesome. Elder Hainsworth and I were playing around on our ukulele's and decided to record a cover of a song that he likes. He took the audio of that recording and put it to a slideshow which can now be viewed on my facebook :))

We got to teach quite a bit more this week! I don't think I mentioned out new investigator in my last post! :)) His name is Memphis, he's 12 years old, come from kind of a broken family, lives with his grandparents and is so prepared to receive this gospel. When we first met with him he told us how he's wanted to be baptized for a really long time and is looking forward to going to the temple and serving a mission one day! We commited him to baptism for March 1st and wow, he's just flying through the lessons. I go to teach him the Restoration and he thought the stories of all that Christ did and what Joseph Smith was really incredible. He was so focused and engaged the whole time (Love this kid!!) I asked him to read the Book of Mormon everyday and to pray to know if what we told him was true (so much more meaningful to receive a personal witness) and he said he would. So the next time when we met with him was probably one of my favorite moments on my mission so far. I asked him is he read everyday and he said "Yes, but I forgot on Valentines Day!" and I couldn't help but chuckle a bit at his concerned tone, but I told him not to worry about it. But then I asked him if he had prayed about it all and this big, sincere smile came across his face as he said "yes" and I asked "Did you get an answer?" and he said "It felt good." So simple, but so sweet. We then went into teaching him the Plan of Salvation and this boy basically taught us as he picked up our visuals and explained each part-he knows so much! I'm gonna adopt this kid. haha I also go to go teach Evan again this week and we read through Matt 14: 24-33 when Christ walks on water and Peter steps out of the boat to walk on water with him and how we could apply that to our life. Basically just like Peter had the courage to step out of the boat, we need to have the courage to step away from our old habits and follow our Savior. And then to continuously work on trusting Him so when the storms come, we can anchor ourselves with our faith in Him. The we met with the Dyers everyday to prepare Don for his baptism!! We go through all the lessons and it was so great because everything we asked him to do as far as keeping the Sabbath day holy and paying tihting and fasting he would just keep saying "yes, I'll do whatever, I want this so badly". It was a sweet experience how humble he was about it all. The sweetest of all being his actual baptism!

So Don was baptized this past Saturday!! There were so many people there that some had to stand in the room in order to see the baptism. We planned a special "surprise" and had a few primary kids sing "I Am a Child of God" as the special musical number and him and his wife, Gigi, were all tears. It was so sweet. The Spirit was so strong the entire time. Honestly one of the strongest I've ever felt in my life. I considered jumping up to add my testimony to the talks because they were that good (my "momma" here, Janet Peterson, was one of them and she was so great!). While Don was changing from his wet clothes into dry ones Sister Kuwahara and I told the account of the Restoration and all that occurred tears were in many peoples eyes. One that caught my eye was Gigi's daughter, Ava, who doesn't really care for Mormons. But her eyes were glued on us as we told the story and tears were rolling down her face. The Spirit is such a sweet feeling. Tons of people brought treats to eat afterwards too! Then he was confirmed and received the gift of the Holy Ghost the next day and all in all, it made for a fantastic weekend!

Valentines was this past week and we had a romantic dinner with the flowers we got from my parents haha and then made tons of Valentines and went to ding-dong-ditch them on peoples doorsteps. I was running from this one door with this high school girl who joined us and she fell off the curb and there was this huge "pop" sound and she broke into tears and well, long story short, she tore her ligament in her ankle.I felt so bad! Last time she'll probably ever hang out with the missionaries haha

Then this past Sunday we got to teach Sharing Time for the Primary kids and we taught about how we were created in the image of God and had few of them put on blindfolds and try to draw a person as we instructed them to draw certain parts like the eyes and ears and such. It was full of lots of giggles and we explained how God didn't make us randomly with his eyes closed, but made us to look like him which shows heo much he loves it. It was fun. And then that evening I got to participate in the quarterly musical fireside as I got to sing next to my lovely trainer, Sister Noel, in the choir!! It was fun :))

So this week has been so great full of lots of fun adventures! One of the funniest moments this week was when we were at dinner with this mexican family the sister was calling the brother a "white-kid" and he said "How can I be white?? Don't you see my skin! I blend in with the table!" hahah I died laughing. (It was a wooden table).    

Well I hope everyone is doing well! Love ya'll!
Don't forget
Let go, Let God
Sister Kodi Norton

P.S. Pics: Some Valentines love and out romantic chinese dinner! Candlelight and everything haha Then it's Don, Gigi and Ava and us for Don's baptism! And then us with the Twitchell family! Love them so much :)) Jerica (in the yellow) comes out with me on splits to help teach all the time; she's gonna be one awesome missionary!

Hey everyone!
Wow, so much has happened this past week! Well the first and biggest thing was getting my new companion, Sister Kuwahara! Transfer day started with me hanging Povey family while I waited for my companion to show and I was so warmly greeted with a sign illustrated by 9 year old Ben Povey. For those who are deeply concerned, I did uphold my end of the Superbowl bet and bought him gum haha Such a funny kid, had to take a picture of that sign. Then later that afternoon my new companion came, got a good laugh out of the basement and the "character" it has, and we spent most of the day unpacking her stuff. She's got great ideas for the area and is a really hard worker so expect great things happening this next transfer!

A lot of the week was spent with us running around so she could meet the auxiliaries in the area. We did have some lessons though. We met with Don and Gigi and Gigi absolutely loved her right off the bat. They talked a lot about how difficult English is and what it was like being away from the home country and strange things that Americans do.It was fun to listen to. Just in general it's really funny to listen to her accent. Her English is really good considering that she's only been speaking it for a couple years, but it's still pretty broken. And wow, I had no idea how much slang I used...but I'm teaching her well haha Anywho we even visited them another time that week and I gave Don some Pero (coffee replacement-it's technically a barley drink) and he actually really likes it and quit drinking coffee! And then Gigi told us how much she loves the Book of Mormon and bought markers to mark up her favorite scriptures and she wants to read the entire book-so great to hear that! And then we saw Don again and he had quit smoking! Just miracles are happening with the Dyers. Another individual we visited was our landlord at an assisted living home down the road. She was the sweetest lady and got all dressed up to see us, it was adorable! Then the greatest person I got to see this week was Evan Larsen who is out of the hospital! Thank you for all those who prayed for him. He ended up being in the hospital for a week, but they released him with strict orders to take it easy. I guess he had a heart-attack that's called a widow-maker, but they saved him! His heart is now 85% damaged though so he can't move to fast, but all in all, he is okay. I loved just seeing him; it's crazy how attached you get to people as a missionary. And what was also neat was when I walked into his home it was the first time that I actually felt the Spirit just there in his home. And then one of the first things out of his mouth was "I'm so grateful that I had this heart-attack.I feel like it's God's way of telling me to get my act together". I feel like great changes are coming soon!

Also this past week we participated in and Acievement Day activity for just the 11 year old girls. We had a blast teaching them about strengthening and using their talents with a demo with cornstarch and water (which stays solid when it's "strengthened" [moved around] but falls through the fingers when it's not) and then showed the video "Extraordinary Gifts" from the Mormon Channel (I'd totally recommend it!). Then we had a good time playing games and doing partner yoga. I stole Leah Povey and we had a great time.

We also had interviews with President Hiers and he gave a great lesson using The Family: A Proclamation to the World (totally recommend that one as well for those who haven't read it!).Basically we just went through each paragraph and talked about why that would be important for a family to know and understand in these days and how that document should really be apart of everything we teach.

As far as everything else, it has just been raining non-stop here in North Ogden, but I'm not complaining!! It's at least not snowing anymore-hallelujah! Another cool thing is that there's a family here, the Bedwell's,  who has a son serving in Japan and we found out that Sister Kuwahara's brother trained him! Small world! It was fun watching videos and seeing pictures of the two of them together.

 One of my favorite moments of this past week was at the end of us teaching the youth, Brother Povey had them all give me an Arizona thank you of a "yeehaw!!" haha It was awesome. And funniest moment of the week was when we were at a dinner Sister Kuwahara was trying to remember the name of an animal and she said "It goes quack" and I said "a duck?" and she said "'s green...a frog!" We died laughing because, well, frogs don't go quack.

Let go, Let God ya'll!
Sister Kodi Norton

P.S. Pics: Our landlord, Sister Hansen. Partner Yoga! The Lovely sign Ben Povey greeted me with haha and my name in Japanese!

Feb. 4

Hey everyone!
 Wow, already a solid month into the year. Only 11 months until Christmas! ;)) haha Well this past week was full of great adventures up here in the great white north.

Don and Gigi Dyer have been a lot of fun to teach! Gigi asks plenty of questions and Don listens real well and they both are reading from the Book of Mormon (which is crazy awesome considering Don's reading level and the fact that English is Gigi's second language) and he's working really hard on quitting smoking and I bought him some Pero (a barley drink) to help him quit drinking coffee! He's really excited to get baptized and even asked the bishop to baptize him. Greatest thing this week was on Sunday Sister Noel and I got up to bear our testimony in church and as we were walking back to our seats, we looked over and saw Don walking up to the front! Oh my word, this man is full of surprises; we were stoked! haha He got up, thanked everyone for always being so nice, told how grateful he was to find this church and to feel like he has direction in his life for the first time in a long time, and then told everyone that if they ever needed anything, that he was there for him and then "didn't want to waste anymore time" so he closed and sat down.
 I looked over and Gigi was crying and she leaned over and said "everyone needs to know about my husband's baptism, everyone needs to be there", it was just a great spiritual experience for everyone. We've invited her to be baptized with him like 3 or 4 times this past week, every time she would just say "not yet", but we're not giving up! I got to take Jerica Twichell (18 year old preparing for a mission) with me one night and we taught the youth how to teach other about the Restoration of the church, it was so much fun! I asked them why they wanted to be there and I got a few "I just wanna learn" and I was hoping for something deeper so I teased saying "No one here feels 'I just love Joseph Smith and I just want to learn more about him??'" And this one girl rose her hand and said "I just love Joseph Smith and I want to learn more about him" haha I was laughing so hard at her sarcasm, we had a great time. And afterward I had like 10 girls come up to me asking for advice and I just loved feeling like a big sister again, the youth here are so great!
The great highlight this week was the baptism of Eliza Mariott!! A pretty great group of people came (including Don and Gigi) and all her family was there and she was full of energy like always and was just so excited to be baptized. We gave her a "Happy Baptism Box" full of random stuff-we're so creative haha She had to be dunked a couple times because she is kinda scared of the water and he knees came up the first time, but she was so brave and did so well overall! Loved the spirit that was there. It really is such a privileged to be a missionary and get to experience the joy of helping others come closer to Christ over and over again. And to just see them change their lives to following the ways that Heavenly Father set up for us to be happy and watching them come to an understanding that He's there for them; there's nothing else like missionary work. And there's nothing better than this gospel and knowing that the same organization, priesthoods and teachings that Christ administered and taught are here on the Earth again. It brings great peace to my life that I'm doing what I'm suppose to be doing with my life by following the teachings that Christ gave for us to follow and learn from. This gospel is true; I can't deny the spirit that I feel daily and the joy I see that it brings to others lives! I am so excited for Eliza and the choices that she's made and I can't wait to help even more people!

The craziest thing that happened this past week was Evan Larsen (a gentleman that's working on coming back to church) came to church all 3 hours (we were so excited!), but left before we could even say hi. Well the next thing that we knew we got a phone call from his dad that he had a severe heart attack and even died on the way to the hospital, but they brought him back to life. They put him in a drug-induced coma for a couple days for concerns of brain damage. The last I heard was he was awake, but really slow to talk or function much, but I know God hears prayers so please pray for him. He's a wonderful man making such great changes in his life who has a 14 year old daughter who is his best friend and are honestly some of the greatest people I've met here. Please include him in your prayers.

The other big change this past week is that Sister Noel is getting transferred out of here and I'll be getting a new companion. Sister Noel will be training again and will be down in Syracuse (most Southern part of the mission) and I will be getting a companion named Sister Kuwahara (pronounced Coo-wa-hall-a) from Japan! I actually met her the very first day in the mission when she took me out tracting for my first time. Although I'm really going to miss Sister Noel, I'm excited for a new adventure!

Well that's about all for this week. Hope everyone is doing well and has a great week!
Let go, Let God

Sister Kodi Norton
P.s. These are pics with Eliza at her baptism, and her family-she's so silly! And the "Happy baptism Box" we made for her haha We got matching shirts that say "Welcome to the gun show"-pretty legit. And there's grass!! Hope for sunnier days :D