Wednesday, January 8, 2014

January 2014

Jan 28
Hey everyone!

Had another great week. We had a fun time writing a song about Christ with Maddie Gunter (the daughter of the man who gave me the guitar) and Noel is coming along with her guitar and ukulele skills. Not to brag, but I'm a pretty awesome teacher ;)) haha Oh, I guess Maddie's dad loves my music and wants to see what he can do to get something of mine on the radio or some sort of hookup, we'll see!

Teaching was fun as always! We taught Eliza (10 year old investigator) more of the discussions and got to play fun games with each of them to help her understand the principles. Her family finally decided on a baptism date-Feb 1st!! Super stoked. We met with Cal Jensen and told him the parable of the sower and asked our infamous "what seed are you?" and he realized that he was letting the world get to him too much and needed to make changes so he can baptize his son so we invited him to think of a date so he can prepare himself and we have our fingers crossed that it'll be soon! Met with Julie who was struggling with trying to balance everything and feeling like she wasn't doing everything "perfectly" and convieniently I read a talk out of this month's Ensign entitled Enduring Well and was able to really help her with understanding that the Lord just expects us to do our best and to "endure it well". It seemed to really help her, and I'd totally recommend it to all those reading this post, I really liked it. We got to the teach the Rawsons (husband with broken leg coming back to church for the first time in 30+ years) and it was awesome!! They've been reading the Book of Mormon and had a bunch of questions so we spent the lesson discussing and explaining it all. They had a lot of questions on Lehi's vision of the tree of life so, with my pro drawing skills, I sketched out a drawing and used it to explain the vision. Well Darren Rawson had this really neat Book of Mormon with all these pictures and Julie Woods, the member we brought with us, leaned over and was like "Oh! That's a painting of the vision" then after looking at my drawing said "yeah, that painting is the adult version..." I teased her acting totally insulted, and she felt so bad, but we all just laughed. Abstract art goes so unappreciated these days ;)) haha

I went on exchanges with Sister Calder from Plain City this week and that was the longest day ever! We knocked on doors for hours and not a single person was home. But thankfully a couple members invited us to teach them in their homes that night so we didn't have to walk and walk all night. We had a good time though singing "Pioneer children sang as they walked and walked and walked..."

Okay, greatest moment of this week...hold tight to your seat because this will blow your mind. So we haven't seen Don and Gigi Dyer in a couple of weeks because they weren't progressing much and becuase we didn't have time. Don called us up though and was like "We haven't seen you girls in forever and we miss you! Come over because I have big news". So we headed over and he sat us down and...he told us he wants to be baptized!!! I wish there was a camera to record our reactions because I'm pretty sure our jaws dropped! So we set a date for Feb 15th! He's so humble about it all and is really trying to learn now and asks a lot of really great question and has gotten his smoking/coffee down to one cig/cup a day! Man, the Lord is so good and helped us so much there!

Sunday was great! We taught the young men and young women in the 8th ward about the Godhead and then sang Come Thou Fount in sacrament, and then gave a talk and sang again in the 24th ward where Jaydyn Barker was giving his farewell talk. There are nothing but Barkers here so the chapel and even part of the gym was packed, but it was fun. I loved singing with my companion! She did tell me this past week though that she isn't going to marry a musical husband because of me haha She just won't admit that she secretly likes it.

Then to end the week we went to the temple and we saw our Zone Leaders there, I saw my MTC companion Sister Shaver, and Elder Jarmen (from Prescott) was also there! Party in the temple.

Funniest moment this week was at one of our dinners. The Olsen's were really funny and had a bunch of young kids and the Mom rolled her eyes telling us how her husband lets them watch the Hunger Games and he comes back with "I think having my kids watch kids kill kids builds character" hahaha I just about choked on my food I was laughing so hard! Too funny.

Well that about sums up the week, it was awesome! Sorry for the lack of pictures, but that's Noel and I with the Plain City sisters- Underwood and Calder, Eliza who glued gems to her face,and my super awesome Tree of Life drawing. Enjoy! Love ya'll!
Let Go, Let God
Sister Kodi Norton

Jan 21
So yeah, I'm getting more and more delayed every week in my writing...better ridiculously late than never right? lol Okay, so it was a pretty awesome week once again.
So our Distric Meeting went really well! Elder Doughty (zone leader) had this epiphany that he wanted to share with everyone, so we role played a scenario, and basically, what he said, was genius. He used the parable of the sower found in Matthew 13: 3-8, 18-23 which talks about the different type of people in the world who hear of this gospel and what they do with it. After reading through the versus with the "investigator" you ask them "What seed do you think you are?". We labeled it the "spiritual slap to the face" haha But it gets anyone (including yourself) thinking pretty deep about the importance of making good choices and becoming closer to Christ through this gospel. We've even used it in one of our lessons already.
We met with Evan Larsen and went through the parable of the sower with him and asked him that ultimate question (sooo nerve-racking), but it went so well and the spirit was so strong. It took him by surprise, but after 20 seconds (longest seconds ever) he admitted that he felt like the seed in the rocks. He knows the gospel is true, but just doesn't do much about it. He wants to make changes and help teach his daughter the gospel more, so awesome! Meeting with the Garrittson's went so well! Both Brother and Sister Garrittson quit coffee cold turkey! Made my day hearing that. We taught them about not giving up and putting their trust in God, went really well. Also met with a girl named Taylor Weddel and she's so awesome! She was baptized like 4 years ago, but never went to church or anything after she was stationed in Japan.We asked her about her Air force firefighting adventures and this girl, only 22 years old, has lived such a cool life so far. 
Basically we asked if she wanted to re-take the lessons, she said yes, and then we spent some time looking up some explosions videos with fires, haha it was fun. We taught Eliza Marriott (10 year old investigator) the Restoration using Jenga by building up the church (when Christ was on the Earth), then how each church took pieces after Christ left the Earth (the Great Apostasy) and basically played a game of Jenga each of us taking pieces, and then we built up the church again when Joseph Smith restored the full truth because God and Christ appeared to him! It was fun. One of the nights we were suppose to make a volcano with this nonmember family, but they had to cancel, so we headed over to the Povey's! We made a play dough volcano/city and related baking soda to different commandments as we put each scoop in, and related vinegar to the Lord's promise and how the blessings overflow when we follow his commandments (Malachi 3:10). Well I made the BYU to destroy it for kicks and giggles because this family is obsessed with BYU (especially their 9 year old, Ben) but without me looking Ben made a wall to protect it as the "blessings overflowed" haha so stinkin' funny! 
And then one of our visit was with this active family named the Gunter's. Well Brother Gunter loves playing guitar and him and his daughter write music and it's really really good! Well I picked up a guitar and started jammin with them and then Brother Gunter told me I could keep it!! I was shocked, even said that it was okay, he didn't have to give me his guitar, but reassured me he had like 10 and insisted that I take it. They all laughed saying my face looked like a little kid on Christmas morning; I was so happy!

I think the highlight of my week though was having the opportunity to go through the temple with the Cavendar's as Brother Cavendar received his endowments!! The mom was endowed years ago and has been a pretty faithful member, but it took for Sister Reyes to come into town to get him into the temple finally! And in a couple months they'll be sealed to their two daughters on their 19th wedding anniversary! Sister Noel and I only worked with them a little bit when we were combined with the Ben Lomond Stake for a couple weeks, but they're awesome and we couldn't miss out on this. This is the same family we had Thanksgiving with and it's just incredible to see the change and see them all so much happier. 
Funny moment of the week...So Ben Povey is my football bud and has been giving me updates all season. Well this past Sunday we asked him to call us to give us the updates for the Broncos/Patriots game and the 49ers/Seahawks game. Now, Sister Noel is a Patriots fan, and I'm a Broncos fan so having Ben call the first time was golden! He asked "Umm, Can Sister Noel hear?" she said "yeah?" and he's like "Well, you lost..." haha I was stoked! GO BRONCOS. Anywho, now the Povey's are big Seahawks fans so when Ben called up the second time he's like "Well Sister Norton, it's you and I in the Superbowl!" and I said "Sound like we could make a good bet out of that game..." So what did we bet? Gum. Pretty legit if you ask me (if you don't know me very well, I LOVE gum). He's such a fun kid and now whenever we see him, or he drives by or anything we have shouting wars of which team will win...I'm such a great example. haha 

Well hope ya'll are well! Love ya! 
Let go, Let God
Sister Kodi Norton

Pics: Here's our volcano of blessings with the Povey's. And then me with the new guitar! And then Sister Noel and I with the Cavendar's and Sister Reyes and Sister Tuiala.

Jan 14
Hey everyone!
A bit delayed writing this week, but I just now finally have the time. Life of a missionary haha 
Well the week was pretty awesome. We went out on splits a ton and exchanges a couple times (splits means I go out with a temporary companion, usually a member, because we have so much work to do. Exchanges is when I go out with another missionary because my companion is in meetings) because we have so much work to do, but it's been a great learning experience for me trying to coach high schoolers how to teach like a missionary and having to take charge in the lessons and invitations and everything. I've actually had a lot of fun with it. While I was on splits one night high schooler Sam and I met a less active family and we taught them a great lesson of following Christ. Well at the end the kids had never heard of patty-cake, so of course we had to teach them, and now it's our "secret handshake" haha We've had great progress with Julie Fraga, she totally cut back on her coffee and is working towards a temple recommend! Then we finally got to meet with Evan and Kamie Larsen again and this time it was real. Like they want to make changes now, especially Evan, and start coming back to church and being a good example for his daughter. He even got a bit teary talking about it all, but it was so sincere and I look forward to them both again! We also saw Don and Gigi Dyer and showed them the Joseph Smith Resoration video and they really liked it, but are getting discouraged with their health and don't really want to progress anymore, it' really saddening. Personally I really needed that video, it just gave me goosebumps all over receiving yet another spiritual witness that Joseph Smith did see God and Christ and
restored the true, everlasting gospel back to the Earth. Pretty legit. We also met with another less active this past week named Kurt. Really great guy, never really took to the LDS religion growing up, but he just got a calling as athletic director (actually a calling here! Basically, you're in charge of sports for the youth in the ward ) and he's stoked and even came to church on Sunday!! Big changes coming with him. One of my favorite moments this past week was knocking on this less active family's door and when the Mom answered the door she started crying saying that she was praying for help because she was really missing her daughter today (who's serving a mission down in Tempe, AZ). Just love the way the Lord works and having the privilege to help others. 

In the District Meeting this past week Sister Reyes and I got to teach the lesson. We taught about conversion through prayer and personal revelation. We used the story of Enos (in the Book of Mormon) and how he used prayer and personal revelation to become converted and his actions/passion following because of his conversion and related that to how we can each become a purposeful and effective missionary if we follow Enos' example. It was cool :) And then Noel and I got to talk in one of the wards this past week on Charity. Haven't ever really studied up on that much, so I really enjoyed preparing that talk. I used the Bible Dictionary definition (it's awesome) to explain what true charity was. Then read Moroni (Book of Mormon) 7:45-47 and then read it again replacing the word "charity" with "Christ" and then the word "Christ" with "God" to illustrate my point that through Christ, we can become charitable. It was fun!
As far the rest of the week, it's just snowed and I've been writing music on my ukulele! Loooove it. I'm becoming an islander, can't help it being surrounded with Polnesians here haha Oh we had a sick Zone Conference. We took this long test that basically told us our top five strengths and then they had this whole seminar on how to apply that to our missionary work and being the best person we already are and strengthening our strengths. My top five were Positivity, Includer, Woo (aka people-pleaser), Developer and Individualization. Basically I'm a really happy person who likes to include everyone and I'm a people-pleaser in that aspect. Then I'm also good at realizing the potential in others and helping them develop their individual talents and that I'm also able to find the unique strength that each person has and make them feel special because of it. Basically, I really like people haha It was cool because according to statistics its a 1 in 33million chance that you'll have the same 5 qualities in the same order as someone else. What was waaay cool was that out of the whole room the only other person that had Positivity as #1 was President Hiers (the mission President). Not Only that, but his #2 was also Includer and then his #5 (my #3) is Woo- we had a good laugh later at how similar we were! He's an awesome man, love him! 
Let's see, a funny moment to finish this off. Well I went to make a phone call to our dinner and I said "Hi! This is Sister Elmer!...I mean Norton, you're Sister Elmer" haha Well life is good, hope ya'll are livin' and lovin' life too. Love ya'll!
Let go, Let God
Sister Kodi Norton

Pics: We had fun with the snow and this is my new ukulele! Doesn't she look gorgeous on our lovely green shag carpet?? haha

Jan. 7

Happy New Year everyone! Well it's been a great start to the New Year so far, Sister Noel and I have had a lot of success.

We started off our New Year's celebrations with the Pophams. He's the Ward Mission Leader in one of our wards and is just an all around great guy with a fantastic family! They spoiled us by taking us to this steakhouse that overlooks the airport which was cool. The whole place was dedicated to Eddie Rickenbacker (WWI pilot) and the place was covered with pictures of him and quotes and plaques and such. My favorite of his was "I am not such an egotist as to believe that God has spared me because I am I. I believe there is work for me to do and that I am spared to do it, just as you are." So true! Well they insisted that I get whatever I wanted, so I got me the tastiest Ribeye steak and had a wonderful evenign with them full of laughs. Then Noel and I went home, played some games, made some frappes (that's what they call milkshakes back East) and counted down into the new year and watched the fireworks go off all around us outside, it was fun. Hope everyone else had a great New Year's celebration as well!

We visited a lot of random people this week, but one of my favorites was this older couple named the Chantrey's. The husband has served 97 months of missions! And his wife was with him on most of those trips. She actually was a newly wed of only one month and a new convert of only two when she got called on her first mission with her husband, but she loved every minute of it. They were actually a huge part in the building of the Nauvoo temple and told us of their meetings with President Hinckley and all of what they did to help with construction, so cool! We ran into Kevin Flores a couple times, but he isn't making much progress and keeps brushing us off every time we try to set up an appointment. But we won't give up, life has just been hard for him lately. Then we met with the Dyers a couple of times and our first meeting was fantastic! The spirit was so strong and and each of us may have had a couple of tears in our eyes and they were so excited to read the Book of Mormon and at the end Gigi even said a prayer! (It took only 20 minutes of convincing that stubborn woman haha) But then the second time we met Gigi told us that she gives up and feels like she's going to go to hell if she converts because she loves her Catholic religion so much and never wants to read or come to church anymore, but at least Don still likes church, but he doesn't want to give up smoking, drinking or coffee. Broke my heart a bit, but I'm not giving up on them either, every seed counts. My favorite story of the week was the Rawsons. They're a 50 year old couple that we knew was inactive so we stopped by real quick. Met the husband (wife was at work) and he's on crutches from an accident he had back in October where a deer hit him when he was riding his motorcycle. He told us we could come back again sometime in the evening when his wife would be home, so we did a couple days later. We chatted for a long time (they are so much fun to talk to) and left them with a spiritual message. The spirit was incredible and they both had tears in their eyes as we shared with them how this gospel can bring so much peace and happiness in their life. We set up to meet with them a few days later. See the thing is with them that they both haven't been to church since they were teenagers, but after his accident and how hard it's been with him out of a job (since he was working in construction) and such, they've been searching for God and peace and decided to come back. In between our visits we found out that her parents are our neighbors and her brother works in the mission office! The day before we went to see them again, Sister Noel saw Elder Graves (the brother) and told him how we were going to meet with him and he had tears in his eyes saying how him and his wife had been praying about this for years. That they didn't want to send the missionaries to them on purpose, but trusted that in the Lord's time, all would work out. So we met with them again and went over the Book of Mormon because they didn't know much about it. Basically we went paragraph by paragraph in the introduction and explained what they didn't understand and wow, the spirit was incredible. I felt prompted to share with them my story of my surgeries of when I was 16 and had a really hard time feeling lost and alone, but it was the greatest year of my life because I became so close to my family and to God. I related my experience to him and bore my testimony of how the this gospel is true, that God and Christ love them both, and that the Book of Mormon is God's words and that they can bring so much peace into his life. I got choked up, they were crying, the spirit just filled the room and I have to say, that was probably one of my most favorite experiences. They are so excited to have us come over every week and teach them more. I love being a missionary.

Well as for the rest of  the week, President Hiers (my mission president) and his wife joined us for church on Sunday which was fun! I finished the Book of Mormon and wow, I love it. I'd definitely recommend that to anyone ;)) haha But honestly, the stories are incredible and I learned so much about God's mercy and miracles and just how to be a better person overall. I got a Kala ukulele today and plan to rock out with the Polynesians. And as far as a funny story for the week, Sister Noel and I were going to knock on a nonmembers door, but we could see through the window that she as sleeping in her chair. So I turned around and started to walk away and I'm about halfway down the driveway when I hear from my companion "Her eyelids just moved! Hey, she might be waking up!" I turned around laughing because she was totally creepin' on this old lady. I pulled her away and we left the lady to her sleep. It was just funny though, oh the efforts of missionaries.

Well that was the week, I hope everyone else had a great one too!
Let go, Let God
Sister Kodi Norton

Pics: 1. The Pophams and our New Years steak dinner! 2. Drinking frappes into the New Year 3. You might be a BYU fan if.... haha

1 comment:

  1. Jared said we made your blog so I checked it out! So fun to read from beginning to end. You two are such great girls. Thanks so much for helping me with my house. I really appreciate it. Baahhhhaaa!!! You had to go to the bathroom?? Whatever, you know the Lord led you to my house so that the 5 children stayed alive :) Thanks for being "in tune." Sister PoVey