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 (https://www.lds.org/topics/family-proclamation) 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 time...it'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.
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!
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!
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.
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 "noo....it'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!
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