Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Week 8: My One Month Mark in the Field

29 August 2016

Monday (last week on August 22)…So today, after P-day, we got texts from Victor talking about how he had asked Danielle out to lunch and she "shot him down hard". Sister Foulke and I were face-palming because missionaries are NOT a dating service. All we could tell him was that it must suck and that he can still be friends with Danielle (much, MUCH more tactfully I can assure you! xD) So yeah.

We tried to contact people for a bit before going to FHE (Family Home Evening). For FHE they were cleaning out a wash (a creek without water).  So, Sister Foulke and I were climbing up rocks and things in our skirts to clean out the wash. There were some sketchy plastic bags that kinda concerned me a little. But all is well!

As we were coming home it started to rain! Lightning and thunder too!!! Sister Foulke (from Oregon) and my lovely self (from Missouri) were SO pumped to see RAIN! :D Both of us love thunderstorms so we were pretty happy!

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Tuesday (August 23rd) was really interesting xD.  After proselyting in the morning and lunch, we went over to the Barlow's house to do service. They had gotten hundreds of cucumbers to make into pickles to be distributed to the less fortunate. So we spent an hour and a half chopping onions, breathing in vinegar, washing mason jars, and the like. My eyes stung SO bad. :D The onions were really ripe and my eyes were watering so much Nevada almost became a jungle. 

While we were in the midst of this, Ellen was asking Sister Foulke and I what kind of pillow-pets we would want if we were to get one. I had no idea what a pillowpet was so she pulled up the website on her laptop and whilst cutting pickles we oo-ed and awed over the pillow pets. My FAVORITE was the mystical panda! It is so cute and fat and happy! xD Sister Foulke said that she wanted the one that was a plushy of the smiling poop emoji... I love my companion! XD

After we finished with the pickle making we had a lesson with Victor and we had to take Ellen with us because Danielle felt like Victor was crushing on her so she felt awkward. So Ellen came with and it was actually REALLY good! We talked about Lehi's vision of the Tree of Life and all of the symbolism in it. The account is in 1 Nephi chapters 8 and 11.   *thumbs up and wink*

Then Sister Foulke and I felt prompted to go over to the Villas (where the Bate's live) a little early and walk around. So we did. As we were walking, planning on visiting some other potential investigators, we saw Alice and her boyfriend outside! We walked over and it turned out that their car had broken down and she was late for work. Sister Foulke and I looked at each other and had a silent-eye-conversation about how cool it was that the Lord guided us there at the right time! We called a member of the Ward and they immediately came and picked her up and took her to work! How crazy awesome is that???

After talking to Alice about how the Lord is always aware of us and wants to help us (#thechurchisSOtrue) we went over to the Bate's to teach them a lesson in preparation of their upcoming baptism. It was wonderful! I love going over to their house.  The Spirit is always there and Sister Foulke and I always leave there feeling better than when we came.

That night my eye hurt so bad that it took me a long time to fall asleep. I tried rinsing it out with water and eye drops. Nada mucho happened.

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The Elder on the left is our
District Leader
Wednesday (August 24th) was eventful to say the least. Today we had District Council and Monday night. I was asked to give a training during District Council. I was so very nervous but I didn't show it. I was asked to train on "We Invite" because as missionaries our whole purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ and we do that by inviting people to make commitments to begin changing their lives to become more in harmony with Christ's life. Anywho…I gave this whole training on how and why we need to extend invitations... and after the whole District Council was over, I realize that I didn't extend an invitation to my district. *hardcore facepalm* So I felt like a doofus, but hopefully no one else noticed.

We were out proselyting later that afternoon and we came across a man sitting outside his apartment and so we talked to him naturally. His name was... *drumroll* KIRK! I died I was so happy! He said that all his friends call him "captain" and we were more than welcome to do so. And guess what? His favorite Star Trek series is Deep Space Nine!!!!!!!!!!! Do you all know how many people know about DS9? NOT MANY! And his favorite Star Trek couple is Jadzia Dax and Worf! I'm so happy! *nerd tears of joy* So we asked if we could visit with him again and he said yes.

Then we went over to another apartment complex looking for a potential investigator named Breesha and we came just at the right time and just barely caught her! She set  up an appointment to meet with us next week!

We then went over to a member's house from the YSA (Young Single Adult) Ward for dinner and it was just her and her mom. And guess what.... They are Shakespeare nerds!!!! XD So we were able to chat about Shakespeare and twas glorious!

After that was the YSA Ward correlation with Ephraim and it made us a little sad because he is the Ward Mission Leader and has Ward missionaries called to help him. None of them show up to any of the meetings. None of them do their calling. It's very frustrating for both Ephraim and us since Ward missionaries are actually very crucial. I must needs repent when I return. :)

Then we went out to do more street contacting and, as we did so, we knocked on the door of a woman named Bodai (bo-day) and she was super cool and asked us to come over again so we set up an appointment for next week! :D

My eye still hurt really bad all day. So that afternoon we called the mission office to see what we should do and they told us to set up an appointment with the eye doctor. Thankfully they had an appointment available for Thursday at ten in the morning.

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Thursday (August 25th)  So... We went to the eye doctor appointment and they ran a bazillion tests before the actual eye doctor came in. He came in and was looking at my eye and asked me why I had come in. I told him that my eye had been burning with the wrath of a thousand suns for two days now to which he asked what I had been doing when it started hurting. I replied that I had been cutting onions and he cut me off and he was like, "No way!" He grabbed a q-tip like instrument and he started rubbing my eyeball. Then he said... *drumroll*  that I had an ONION PEEL ON MY EYE!!!!! Yes. You read correctly. The reason my eye was burning with the wrath of a thousand suns and my vision was blurry was because I had an onion contact on my eyeball!!!! Apparently, it had somehow gotten through my glasses onto my eyeball while cutting onions for the pickles. Sister Foulke was shaking with laughter in the corner. XD #neverservingmyfellowmanagain

Yeah. Still a little bitter about that. Afterwards we had a lesson with Victor Lopez.  We brought Ellen again and on the way there I told her the onion contact saga and she cried with tears of laughter. I'm so glad to be of amusement XD

We then went to Shannon's house and she's 60 or so and struggles with her health a lot so we helped her clean up her house and just talked with her and her youngest daughter Carli who is seventeen-ish.

That evening we had a lesson with Victor Ranga and the Bishop's house. And it went SO much better! Sister Foulke told me right before we went in that I was taking the lead on this lesson and I was like "Whaaaaaaaaaaaat?" We taught him from a talk by Brad Wilcox called “His Grace Is Sufficient" Because Victor didn't understand how we viewed Christ's grace. And he understood by the end. Seriously, Sister Foulke and I walked out of that lesson and breathed a few sighs of relief.

That night the STLs (Sister Training Leaders) came and crashed our apartment and watched us daily plan and stuff. They make me laugh. They are a joy! XD

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Friday (August 26th) morning we had a lesson with Andrew Kay and it was pretty good :) He struggles with chewing tobacco but he is trying so hard. It makes my heart ache for him. But I know how much more happy his life will be when he's free from his addiction.

Afterwards, we went and tried to contact a referral named Shon. This was the second time we tried to contact him and so when he actually opened the door we were surprised yet elated. He then said that his wife had given birth so he was like, "Could you come over again later?" And Sister Foulke and I went "Of course of course!" We were not going to go, "your wife just gave birth a day ago but you should still let us in and teach the two of you." Yeah no. Newborn babies are taxing to say the least.

After that we stopped by Alo's house to find him again and he was there! He and his brother Tano were super nice and told us that whenever we were in the area and needed water to stop by and use the family knock. But they weren't interested in our message. :/


with Boo and Monty
Then we had dinner with Ephraim and he took us to my new favorite restaurant!!! It's called "The Habit" and the only reason it is not a habit is because I am broke XD

When he came he grinned at us and gave us two boxes. Ellen had gotten us the pillowpet/plushy that we had talked about!!!! Ellen had charged Ephraim to give it to us!!! XD SO HAPPY THAT I HAVE MY MYSTICAL PANDA. 

When we went home Victor Lopez texted us. Yeah. He now has a crush on Sister Foulke it's ridiculous.... He texted her saying things like "Why you no text me?" "Why you no send me nice messages?" And things like that. At first it was hysterically funny and then it was just plain irritating for the both of us. We didn't reply because he was ridiculous.

When we went home we tried to name our new pets. Sister FOulke Named hers "Montezuma's Revenge" to which I replied that she could call him "Monty" for short XD And I named my beautiful mystical Panda "Boo". I LOVE HIM!!!

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Saturday (August 27th) was my one month in the field mark! CRAZY!!!!

I made Snickerdoodles for Alyssa because apparently her member boyfriend broke up with her when she went to visit him in Utah. She is literally the sweetest thing so Sister Foulke and I were quite indignant on her behalf. But we made Snickerdoodles and dropped them off at her apartment to let her know that we love her. We really hope she won't stop investigating the church because of her stupid ex. There is so much joy and peace waiting for her if she would accept the gospel!

After proselyting in the morning, we went over to Ashlynn's apartment for lunch (she is Victor Ranga's girlfriend) (and yes, Sister Foulke and I do get confused by the two Victors). It was super good! She Mae us paninis along with some tomato BISQUE from a place called Smith's. We talked about her and her life and about Victor and just got to get to know her. It was really awesome!



Saturday was the day that Elijah (14) and Arquarius (11) got BAPTIZED!!! XD It was crazy stressful for Sister Foulke and I, but everything went smoothly and we were SO HAPPY!!! And afterwards we took the entire Bates family to the temple for a tour and it was amazing!!!! While we were at the temple there was an LDS family there and a little girl came up to Sister Foulke and I and asked us if we were missionaries. We said we were and she said her name was Logan (about eight years old) and she told us that she had a fake missionary tag and that she wanted to be a missionary. I started to tear up because I suddenly had a flashback to eight-year-old Moriah and I just hope that Logan makes her dream come true just like I have. :)
Bates Family at the temple.

Then we went to dinner at a YSA member's house for dinner.  She still lives with her parents and they live in a gated community where they call the residents to make sure that you are actually invited #willneverbethatrich. It was awesome because Erin is a huge “Doctor Who” nerd so we were able to talk about all of that.

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Sunday (August 28th) was long but good as always. Sister Foulke and I had to go on splits so she could go to Ward council and so I could stay and make sure that everything went smoothly for the investigators and the recent converts. It was CRAZY! Elijah and Arqaurius were confirmed in Sacrament meeting today!!! It's where they are given the Gift of the Holy Ghost by the laying on of hands and it' super cool! :D

Later at the YSA Ward a young man gave a talk about "His Grace is Sufficient" and Victor Ranga were there and Sister Foulke and I were amazed because there was NO way that was a coincidence! (See Thursday’s summary above.) In his talk, he spoke about how every day in his journal he writes an entry of "In remembrance of Him" where he talks about how he saw Christ in his life that day.

It was super cool because Nyja Bates (19) came to the YSA Ward with us and she really liked it. We're hoping that she will want to get baptized soon!

We then had dinner with the Roberts (Ward Mission Leader and family) and it was super cool. I was in charge of the spiritual thought and I had no idea what I was going to say but I was prompted to read this one scripture and after I did I was prompted to say something else, and then prompted to say something else until the whole spiritual thought was complete. The Holy Ghost honestly does reveal what we need to say when we need to say it. And it's usually not all at once but step by step.

That night we taught Victor about the Word of Wisdom and it was super cool! He really agreed with everything we taught and it was a refreshing change. XD

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Today (August 29th) Sister Foulke and I cleaned really well and then we grabbed groceries before making a batch of chocolate chip banana muffins. We had put all of the wet ingredients together before we realized that we didn't have enough flour... We didn't want to go back to the store so Sister Foulke and I got creative. XD We had two and a half cups of flour and we needed four. So we had oats so we put them in the smoothie blender and blended the oats up as much as possible and just prayed that it would work as well as normal flour. IT IS SO GOOD! XD Points for creativity!

Then we went out to Goodwill because Ellen works there and she wanted us to stop by so we did. :) After that we went to this really good restaurant called "Great Harvest" where missionaries eat for free once a week because members pay in advance for us. :D Aren't members so sweet???

Then Sister Foulke and I had extra time before emailing so we went to Petco to look at all the pets we couldn't have xD

Transfers are next Tuesday and I'm a bit terrified. But it's all good.

I love you all!!! Be good human beings, my lovelies! :)

Sister Longo

Monday, August 22, 2016

Week 7 #TheChurchIsSOTrue!!

22 August 2016

So my mother called me to repentance and said that I should be counting the weeks I was at the MTC. xD So I'm reporting on week seven...


I saw this yesterday. xD
So last Monday Ephraim came to the Stake Center while we were emailing and he was a wonderful human being because he put music on Sister Foulke and my USBs! Hallelujah! Music beside three CDs! (He put the music [I have on my SD card] on the USB drive because the car will only play music off of CDs or USBs :)

We get our packages at the Stake Center which is where we also do P-day sports and Elder Aitchison (who's from England. He lives between London and Oxford #IamanAnglophile) got a package from his family and it was full of British candy! It was extremely cool and he let all of us try the different kinds he had. One kind was called "Humbug" which is a mint with a caramel center.

We then went to see Alice at 6 but she missed our appointment. We were able to meet her father Johnny and he is deaf! He was very excited when he realized that I could speak sign language! It was super cool! I've missed being able to talk to people in sign language so it was wonderful for me. However he is a native and not a crisp signer so luckily I was able to get the gist of things, even if I didn't understand every single little thing. :)

FHE (Family Home Evening) was super cool!!!!!! A man named Bishop Larry Burns came and gave a presentation about the importance of putting on ALL the armor of God! He is a retired SWAT team leader. He got special permission to bring all of his SWAT gear (including weapons) to the church! SO AWESOME!!! He told the coolest stories that had my heart racing from anxiety and adrenaline and my hands were shaking. It was AWESOME! XD I will never look at the armor of God the same way again and it is wonderful!

What was even more wonderful is that Patrick (a recent convert who has been struggling) came! It made Sister Foulke and I so very happy because there were a lot of things that helped him!

Ephraim came up to us after it was down and said that Marcus had texted him saying that he was outside. So Sister Foulke and I rushed outside with Ephraim to see Marcus shuffling his feet. We asked him why he hadn't come in and he said that he didn't feel like he could. We talked with him and helped him to understand that he is always welcome to come to church! He seemed to relax a bit after that. :)

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Tuesday we had an appointment with Amanda. I LOVE Amanda!!! XD She is one of my people! We were talking about the Plan of Salvation and temples and we got the prompting to ask her what her beliefs were (we had asked her the first time we had a lesson with her but her answer had been very vague). Amanda looked at us nervously and then took a deep breath and said that she trusted us because any other time she has told someone what she believes in they freak out. Sister Foulke and I are understandably on edge wondering what on earth Amanda is going to throw at us... And then Amanda said that she believes in magic. My eyes widen and I grin! I was on cloud 9... Not going to lie. I knew how to relate this to the gospel. B) So I asked her if she had seen the movie "Thor" (she's a huge nerd so I was 99% sure that she had) she said she had and I told her that my favorite part is when he talks about how magic and science are one and the same, magic is just simply science we don't understand yet. Her eyes widened and she grinned and said that was her favorite quote too! Sister Foulke and I then told her that we do believe in things we don't understand yet. God is the master scientist and His science is so far beyond our understanding at this time that it is "magic" to us. We do believe in forces that we can't see with these mortal eyes. We just use different terms than "magic". She was ecstatic that we essentially believed the same thing, we just had a more correct understanding. And that blew her away. She is SO awesome! I'm so excited to watch her progression! XD

Later that day we went to the Barlow's house to do service. They were peeling a wheelbarrow full of oranges to made dried orange slices for those in need of food. So for the next hour we were peeling oranges. Which (I am such an odd child) I really enjoyed! xD

We then had an appointment with a woman named Jolene, which was interesting. We talked and it was clear she was kind of set in what she wanted to do right now and when we talked to her about it (more tactfully I assure you) she said the same of herself and asked if the missionaries would drop in once a month to see if she was at a point in her life where she was willing to change. And we said sure. :) It was refreshingly honest.

Sister Foulke and I have been SO happy to have a repository of music that consists of more than three CDs!!! xD Plus we have NASHVILLE TRIBUTE BAND NOW!!!! SO pumped! We have the new CD by them called "Redeemer" check it out. It is glorious!!!

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Wednesday was fun because while we were finding some potential investigators we knocked on an apartment of a man named Mikey... He was a strange child :) we were talking to him and he just kept teasing us (in a flirty way) and Sister Foulke and I were like "sir, stop being a punk" :P We didn't say that, it was just what we were thinking. And then he made me double over in laughter, he asked Sister Foulke what she was on because she looked "stoned". I couldn't help it. The look on Sister Foulke's face killed me! That plus the fact that out of all of us the person who looked the most stoned was Mikey. XD Oh heavens above... It was great!

Later we had a convert lesson with Rachel about the Plan of Salvation, Ephraim was teaching her since he's the Ward Mission Leader and we were mostly there for support. It was good. :) Rachel is so sweet.

We went and taught the Bates after that and that was good. Then we went to have a meeting with the YSA Ward missionaries.  We hadn't had time for dinner and we had a meeting right afterwards so Ephraim bought us pizza which was awesome! I haven't had pizza since before my mission, so over a month.

Later that night we went to Institute with one of our investigators and the teacher said something that really struck me, "Don't just believe in Christ, but also BELIEVE CHRIST!"  I mulled over that for a bit and realized that the only changing power is when we not only believe that Christ is capable of changing us, but believing that Christ WILL change us if we allow Him to do so. So many times we feel like, even though Christ has the ability, we don't feel like we are worthy of His changing Grace. We need to remember to trust that Christ WILL do as He promises and our lives can and WILL be changed for the best!

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Thursday was loooong but a good long. :) We had interviews today which meant that half of our zone got together to be individually interviewed by our mission president, President Snow. That was super cool because, as these interviews were going on, the rest of us participated and gave training to those who weren't in interviews and that was super cool. :)

We had a lesson with Luis later that day. Sister Foulke and I love Luis, he's really earnest in his desire to come closer to the Savior and take the steps necessary to join Christ's true church. So awesome!

We also taught the Bates family and at the end of the lesson we asked if Nyla would give the prayer and Aquarius (who is eleven) his pestered to her to say no so he could say the prayer! XD Isn't that precious?!?!?!?! Heavens above, I love that family!

We then taught Victor Ranga who is the boyfriend of Ashlyn the member... That was interesting, as always. He is always so focused on the negative or the concerns he has about the church and he won't focus on the Book of Mormon. It's really discouraging to Sister Foulke and I and especially Ashlyn.

Something that is super cool about Sister Foulke and I is that when I came to the mission field she was nine months along in her mission and I am her "child" (mission vernacular for trainee). 9 months... Her child... We have a field day with that! XD And because I was "born" (started my mission) in the summer she introduces me to other missionaries as her "sweet summer child"!  XD  I adore Sister Foulke!

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Friday was super cool! Okay, this is going to sound odd to the return missionaries among you, but I LOVE weekly planning! I love it! I really enjoy praying over each investigator and pondering and receiving inspiration as to what the vision, goal, and plans should be for each individual. I just love it. :D


Sister Foulke, Sister Longo at Tiana's Baptism (Tiana's in white)

Later that day we went to my first baptism in the mission! Tiana got baptized on Friday!!!! WHOOOO! So much excitement! And, since Sister Foulke and I had taught her, we were able to go. Also, they asked if I could be the pianist for the program so that also happened. I don't enjoy playing in front of people, I get really anxious. But they had no other person that was coming that could play the piano so I said that I would. It wasn't too bad. My hands were shaking the entire time that I wasn't playing the piano. xD
You can see me sitting at the piano on the left. :)

 We had a lesson with Luis and Sister Foulke and I were so excited because Luis' baptismal date was the 26th and we were hoping to talk to him about getting a baptismal interview the next day. But after we got through the last few commandments and talked to him about it, he said that his mother refused to give him permission to be baptized. And because he's a minor (17) he can't get baptized unless he has her consent. All of us at the lesson were devastated because Luis has been looking forward to his baptism ever since we set the date! Sister Foulke and Luis' friends in the church are praying that his mother's heart will be softened so that he can get baptized!

That night we had a lesson with Alyssa, who is the friend of Danielle's who came to church on Sunday.  So we and Danielle went to her apartment to discuss the Restoration. Alyssa is a
Sister Foulke, Alyssa and Me
young single mom of a year old daughter named Juliette... And oh my heavens!! Juliette is SO RIDICULOUSLY CUTE!!! Sister Foulke and I were dying because the cuteness level was dangerously high! Oh my goodness! XD Anywho, we were talking with Alyssa who is THE sweetest creature on the planet and we were filled with so much love for her. She is a beloved daughter of Heavenly Father and we are so excited to help her realize who she is and what she can become!


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Saturday did not go as planned, it was crazy! (In a good way though xD) Sadly, Amanda had to cancel her appointment because her daughter Phoebe had a doctor's appointment that she had forgotten about. That made Sister Foulke and I a little sad because meeting with Amanda always makes our day (she is the best). But we went in search of new investigators in the apartment complex who we hadn't been able to get in touch with. We were able to meet with a woman named Debbie who is grandma-age and is really struggling with her health. :( It was wonderful though to see her spirits lift as we talked to her about the gospel. :) The gospel is such a blessing!

We then went to the church because two of the Bates children (Elijah and Aquarius) were having their baptismal interview!!! I'M SO PUMPED!!! So the district leader came and interviewed the two of them to make sure that Sister Foulke and I had taught them all they needed to know before getting baptized and we passed! Cynthia (their mom who is a recent convert), the boys, Sister Foulke, and I were all super ecstatic! :D Their baptism is going to be the 27th! :D

We then had a lesson with Victor Lopez and that went pretty well. :) We then went to contact a referral and Ephraim came with us since it was a referral for the YSA Ward. We set him with a baptismal date!!! :D It was awesome! He is having some struggles with the Word of Wisdom but with God's help I know he can conquer it and anything else that Satan throws his way! :)

We then went street contacting and trying to find potential investigators, the entire time Sister Foulke and I were doubled over in laughter. Ephraim is one funny guy. xD

After that we parted ways and Sister Foulke and I went to this apartment complex to find some new investigators and as we were walking we bumped into this man in his sixties. He was standing at the bottom of the staircase and he looked as though he was searching for something. We asked if we could help him and he said, "It's a fly. It's the first fly I've seen here. There are too many chemicals here." Sister Foulke and I were kinda speechless because we have seen MANY a fly. Before we had to struggle to find something to say for too long a woman came out of the apartment where he was going into and invited us in. She was about sixty as well and she was super nice and the way she was talking to us made it seem like she was a member but then some things she said indicated the opposite so we were a little confused. Then she asked us if we would like lemonade and (as missionaries you never refuse water/lemonade) we said we would love some...... We do not know what she gave us. But we do know it was not lemonade. It. Was. Nasty. Oh my goodness I thought that I was going to throw up it tasted so nasty! Sister Foulke later told me that after her first sip she waited a few minutes to drink anymore to make sure that it wasn't lethal (she wasn't joking, folks). We could tell that we weren't going to be allowed to leave by this kind, grandma lady until we drank all of our "lemonade". Heavenly Father blesses His missionaries. Why do I say that? Because I was able to gulp down the huge glass of "lemonade" that I was given. Even then she kept talking and she literally talked to us for an hour. Not talked with us, talked TO us for an hour. Her name is Celeste Celestial and she is a geneticist who worships the tetrahedron and how there are 9 spirit helpers, us, and the trinity (tetrahedron) and... It was just strange. Cool. But strange. I'm going to have to read her book when I get home because it was just so fascinating (I do not believe her, but now I'm curious because it is rather strange xD).

We then got Cafe Rio!!!!! After which we went to the Saturday session of Stake Conference which was really cool, one of the Seventy came and spoke.

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Stake conference was super good, Elder Arnold of the Seventy spoke again today and so did my mission president and his wife!!! :D It was so much fun! What was awesome is that Marcus came!!!! Without any prompting he then stayed and sat in a lesson that we had with a recent convert, Christian, who received the Melchizedek priesthood after Stake Conference.

We then had a meeting with Victor Ranga... It was really hard He doesn't want to believe and so he is not believing. Sister Foulke and I left the meeting with him feeling really yucky. Something is not right. Neither of us feel good about continuing to meet with him. But what can we do with the Bishop and his wife and Ashlyn pressuring us to keep meeting with him? Oh dear me...

Sister Foulke and I volunteered to sing a duet for a fireside called "Why I Believe" here recent converts are asked to share their conversion story. It was REALLY cool! Sister Foulke and I sang "Be Still, My Soul". I LOVE Sister Foulke's Alto Voice!!!!!! It's so beautiful (she has a hard time believing so) and the two of us blend really well together! I love singing with my Sister! :D Especially when we're rocking out in the car and she's making up some crazy good harmony!

At the fireside I saw Sister Bradley who is Marcelle's (my roommate this last semester) best friend! It was awesome! I then met a girl who is going to my home mission in six weeks... I forgot to ask for her name though. *sheepish grin*

MISC:
Wearing skirts all day everyday has not been that much of an adjustment oddly. Other than I hate sitting ladylike and I kinda have to in a skirt. #rardlife

Shoutout to the best coworkers in the world!!!! I just got a card today in the mail and all of my coworkers wrote a note in it! You guys are the best!!! XD ❤️❤️❤️

Shoutout to my bro, Ethan! Lol, you know me so well. Of course flag football was my favorite unit in P.E. Though it was more contact than flag than it should have been.... XD

My allergies are sososo bad here, and I've gotten two sinus migraines so far. But I've found things to help me deal. And we use cars so that helps a LOT! :)

Lol, apparently people here in Las Vegas suffer from Vitamin D deficiency. Sister Foulke was confused by that, but I laughed. Of course they do! It's so ridiculously hot that people stay inside as much as they can and therefore don't get the sunlight they need. Isn't that hysterical? xD

Everyone needs to read this talk!!!!!!!!!!!! "Notwithstanding My Weakness" is the bomb! I wish I could send you my notes and stuff for it!

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1976/10/notwithstanding-my-weakness?lang=eng

Sister Longo

Brother Gardner sent this of our last day together as a district in the MTC.
(to the left of Moriah are her teachers Sister Gregerson and Brother Gardner)

So missionaries here in the mission send one another these kind of mission memes and I LOVE THEM XD
















This may not be humorous if you haven't been a missionary. :)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Week 6 #TheChurchIsSoTrue!!!

So after emailing Monday I came home and learned that Sister Foulke and I were going on exchanges with our STLs (Sister Training Leaders) and that I would be spending the night at a different place. I then baked   muffins to keep myself calm. The STLs arrived and I was packed up and off with Sister Wilde.

So *drum roll* Sister Wilde has legitimate gypsies in her area that she teaches!!! SERIOUS REAL LIFE GYPSIES!!!!!!! CAN LIFE GET MORE AWESOME THAN THIS????? It was so cool to talk to them because gypsies live a very different lifestyle than most people! Anywho, I was in nerd heaven talking to real-life gypsies, but the ones that we were talking to (their whole family, extended, all live in the same house) were super cool and it was so amazing to be able to testify that God is real and that he is our literal Father in heaven!

So after a few hours I finally managed to come off the nerd high from talking to gypsies. :P It was about eight at night and earlier when we were switching we had given our companions goals to work on while we were on exchanges, Sister Wilde was given the goal of talking to everyone she saw, even if they had already met them before and that if it was someone she had already talked to before she had to make it "funny" (Sister Souba's words). So it's eight at night, right? We're walking on this street and we see Mike (someone who Sister Wilde and Souba had already met) drinking beer sitting in his garage. So Sister Wilde stays true to her goal and goes up and talks to Mike..... And then gestures to me and says, "This is Sister Longo, she's British." Heavens above, I have never been so panicked in my life! I managed to feebly nod and he looks at me with a look of awe on his face and asks me if it was true... I couldn't say no to that awe-filled, drunk face. He looked at me with more skepticism and said that I didn't "look British". Is that even a thing??? No. Anywho I whipped out my best British accent and taught him about the Restoration. *sheepish grin* I'm sure that the only reason that Mike believed my horrendous British accent was because he was drunk. After we left and were in the car Sister Wilde busted up laughing until she cried. All I could do was shake my head with an embarrassed yet amused grin. Apparently, I am her "favorite" now xD.

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Tuesday Personal study was so cool again! Holy cow! I'm going through the Old Testament and it's crazy to see how even the tiniest of changes completely transforms the concept! I did that for the first half. Then I went through the first three lessons and linked scriptures and quotes I like to the lessons. I need to really study them again because they are SO good!

Companion study was weird with it being Sister Wilde instead of Sister Foulke. But it was still good. The rest of the day was long with no apparent success but Sister Wilde and I continued to work hard and keep up good spirits which I think is what was, truly, the success. :)

We went and we had lunch at a restaurant called "The Habit" which is a burger place and we ate for free because some organization that works in the area wanted to thank the missionaries for everything they do for the valley area! How cool is that?? It was SOOO good too... I got a BBQ Bacon Burger with avocado. And yes. It was as heavenly as it sounds.


Moriah and Sister Wilde at Sister Mauss's house for dinner
We then went out again and later had dinner with a member of Sister Wilde's area named Sister Mauss and her children. Sister Mauss has a daughter on her mission right now and she had us take a picture and make a video for her to send to our moms. I started crying because of how thoughtful that was. But she simply said that it was because that's what she wishes a member would do for her daughter.
We switched back and I was SO happy! Being with Sister Wilde was fun but I missed Sister Foulke. We went and we paused Marcus (basically told him that when he was ready to keep the commitments to call us). And then we went to talk to Cynthia... which was hard because we had to tell her that Brother Brandt died. Cynthia took it hard because Brother Brandt and his family were the family that really welcomed them into the Ward and Brother Brandt had given her some blessings and gave her and her family a "Proclamation to the World" framed beautifully as a gift which was very sweet. So yeah. 
And then we got a text from Tiana saying that she wanted to be baptized in a different Ward and that she wanted to be taught by the other Sisters. So Sister Foulke and I felt a bit hurt and very disappointed. But we were grateful that she's still getting baptized at least. That's what's really important.

I started crying in the car about it so, in a successful effort to cheer me up, Sister Foulke told me the only two jokes that she knows. XD

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All the Missionaries At Our Zone Conference Council 
Wednesday was my first Zone Conference Council! That's where all the districts in the zone get together to train and learn from one another. One of the things that we talked a lot about was the rules. And not what the rules are, but what we can change so that we want to keep the rules. And the consensus was that in order to want to be exactly obedient, we have to want to follow the Savior with all our heart, might, mind, and strength. Because Christ was exactly obedient, if we want to follow him with everything we are, we will want to be exactly obedient.

Wethen talked about whether or not we are being sheep herders or whether we are being shepherds. That was super cool, here is a picture of the discussion board:


That's Sister Souba, one of our Sister Training Leaders
Then the Zone Leaders gave the last training of the council on "Become a Hopeful Servant of the Lord". In Preach My Gospel pg. 117, (the guide for missionary work) this is what it says about hope:
"Hope is an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises to you. It is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance. It is believing and expecting that something will occur."
We then talked about each of the four sub-attributes of hope and these are my notes:

Confidence
Definition: "The knowledge that one can rely on the Lord"
Application: Making goals shows our confidence in the Lord.

Optimism
Definition: "Hopefulness and confidence in the future/successful outcome"
Application: EXPECT MIRACLES.

Enthusiasm
Definition: "Religious fervor resulting directly from divine inspiration."
Synonyms: Dedication; Commitment; Consecration; Diligence; Obedience; Steadfastness


Candid shot of President Snow at Zone Conference
Patient Perseverance
Definition: "Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success." Ephesians 6:18-19

I invite all of you to study this and see how you can become more "hopeful servants of the Lord" because this is what a prophet of God has said about the importance of hope:
“Hope is the anchor of our souls. …
“Hope is trust in God’s promises, faith that if we act now, the desired blessings will be fulfilled in the future. …
“The unfailing source of our hope is that we are sons and daughters of God and that His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, saved us from death” (President James E. Faust “Hope, an Anchor of the Soul,” Ensign, Nov. 1999, 59–60).


Later that night I got a bad migraine so Sister Foulke took me home and took care of me. I couldn't fall asleep because the pain was so bad and the pain medicine hadn't kicked in yet so she laid my head on her lap and played with my hair and told me stories until I fell asleep because I had told her that Mom would read to me to help me take my mind off the pain so I could fall asleep when I got migraines. It was so awesome of her. :)

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Thursday was crazy cool! That morning we had a lesson with Amanda (LOVE HER) and we talked about the Plan of Salvation and the other questions and thoughts she had as she read the pamphlets and it was SO cool because we could see that her pamphlet was totally all marked up, underlined, highlighted, questions and comments written in the margins, it was so cool to see her genuine interest! So we were talking about the Pre-mortal life, about how we believe that before we came here on this earth we lived with Heavenly Father as His literal spirit sons and daughters. I was prompted to share that sometimes people seem so familiar, even though we have never met them in this life before, we have met them in the Spirit World. And I talked about how whenever one of us kids were born Mom felt like she had been missing us all her life but hadn't realized it. Amanda's eyes lit up! She started talking about how she knew that she had met people before this life because she had had similar experiences with her husband, Patrick, and her one-year-old, Phoebe. She was so excited that we weren't telling her that she was crazy, but that we believed her! We then talked about eternal families and she got super quiet and super focused and I asked her if that was something that she wished for her family and she stated that it was. AAAAAAAAAHHHHH SO COOL! We left her with a pamphlet about Families and Temples and we're going to talk to her about it next time! SO pumped!


Sister Foulke, Rachel, and Sister Longo at the temple
That evening we were able to go to the temple (Nevada Las Vegas Temple) to do baptisms for the dead which was awesome! (Baptisms for the dead are where we go to the temple and are baptized on the behalf of deceased ancestors so that they have the opportunity to accept [or reject] that saving ordinance in the next life) We were able to go because Rachel, a recent convert of 1 month, got her temporary temple recommend and wanted us to go with her for her first time at the temple! It was SO AWESOME! It was incredible to be with her as she experienced what it is like to be inside the temple for the first time! She's so awesome! :D


Ephraim Barlow (our YSA Ward mission leader) and his younger sister Ellen 
 Afterwards Sister Foulke and I were feeling a wee bit discouraged about investigators because this week we lost Tiana (to other Sisters but it was a blow to us personally) and we had to return Marcus to the Lord because he wasn't progressing and then another investigator dropped from the face of the earth. So we were understandably a bit sad about all of this and we prayed for investigators who really wanted their lives to be changed by Christ. It was eight o'clock (only one more hour to proselyting until we had to go home) and we got out of the car to check up on some potential investigators. And the Lord placed two new investigators in our path, Robert and Stella! It was amazing! We were even able to have a short lesson with Robert! It was awesome! :D The Lord works miracles, and if we are faithful we will recognize them as such.

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Missionaries that were together in the same MTC district.
Friday was pretty darn cool! :D Today was the New Missionary Temple Trip which meant that all the missionaries that came in this transfer (and their companions of course) were able to go and do a session in the temple! It was incredible! And it was gorgeous! It was wonderful to be in the temple twice in a row! The spirit that is in the temple always renews me and kind of reboots me in a way. :)

At the temple with her awesome companion!
Sister Foulke, Moriah and President Snow


Cute, happy missionaries!!
Afterwards we went to our lesson appointment with Alice but she was called into work and so she had to leave. But after we left and were going to see someone else we were able to street contact a woman named Vanessa who is super cool!

We then picked up Ellen Barlow (Ephraim's younger sister) and went to see the Hildenbrands. It was really good! Shanen and Carli agreed to read from the Book of Mormon and Shanen said that she would like to start coming to church again! So we'll see but we're hopeful! :)

So ever since the MTC I have had this thing with hard-boiled eggs. I LOVE eggs hard-boiled! So Sister Foulke has been teasing me because I have at least two hard-boiled eggs a day, for no other reason other than I like them. xD Anywho We had dinner at home tonight and I was so touched because a day or two ago I had off-handedly mentioned to Sister Foulke that I like it when we pray over meals together because it makes me feel more connected with her. And so we had dinner at home and Sister Foulke remembered that I like to pray together over food and she smiled and asked if she could say the prayer! :)

Afterwards we went over to visit a woman named Melinda who's mom is an inactive member and who had gone to church while growing up. We talked with her and she's a SUPER NERD TOO!!!!!! XD I'M SO HAPPY!  But as we were talking my heart broke and I became irate. Apparently she and her brother had been bullied by their Ward, and not just by other kids but the adults including the Bishop. I was ready to go find and kick some behind. It makes me SO angry that simply because people are different or struggling with something different or anything else that people feel the need to bully and make afraid. She can't come to church because the memories give her so much anxiety. My friends, PLEASE BE KIND. I love you all and you have to much more power than you realize. If you are ever rude or hurtful to someone, make sure that's the last time and sincerely apologize. Our actions (including what we say) have a far greater impact than we realize. PLEASE be careful with our brothers and sisters!

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Saturday we went to a lesson with Robert and is was AWESOME! Holy cow, his desire to learn is awesome! We taught him the first half of the Restoration lesson and committed (asked) him to pray. He said he would with his family because they are super religious. Kinda makes me a little worried because they might have heard untrue things about the church and tell him to stop meeting with us. I hope he doesn't because it could change his life in so many wonderful ways!

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Sunday a miracle happened. We went to our YSA (Young Single Adult) Ward and Danielle, a member, came up to us and said that she had a coworker who came up to her out of the blue and asked if she was Mormon, when Danielle answered affirmatively the coworker asked if she could attend church with her today and take the lessons from the missionaries. Sister Foulke and I were astonished, our jaws literally dropped. The coworker came to church, her name is Alyssa and she's super sweet! Apparently, her boyfriend is a member and he just went back to Utah for college so she's investigating while he's away! We set up a time to meet with her but I'm really excited!

Church was really cool at the YSA today one person talked about the difference between knowing and learning, which I am still pondering on because he was saying that a lot of times we go "we know, we know!" But then we have to learn it. So I'm still thinking about that.

Then in Relief Society the teacher shared a quote about faith, "Faith is not knowing what the future holds, but knowing Who holds the future." Mind = Blown.

We then talked about what being a daughter of God means and these are some of the things that were mentioned: being a disciple of Christ; creates time for personal/family scripture study; patient; Nurturing; observant & attentive; teacher; selfless; full of charity

That night we met with Victor and talked to him about receiving answers from the Spirit and invited him to set aside his concerns for a moment and search for the good. Because he is only trying to find ways to disprove right now and so, of course, he won't get confirmation from the Spirit that it's true because his mind isn't opened to what is true about the gospel. So we'll see what happens.

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I love you all!!!! I love the very few of you who actually write me the most though :P

Sister Longo

Monday, August 8, 2016

Week 5: #ILoveBeingAMissionary

Hello lovelies! A Lot happened today!

Something that's a lot of fun is that we only drive because of how much area we have to cover and, because Sister Foulke doesn't have a driver’s license, I get to drive all the time... Oh yeah B)

Tuesday was really cool! We went that morning to talk to Reggie and we set up an appointment! It was fun talking to him. However he hadn't read the Plan of Salvation pamphlet. :( Then we went to visit Alice who is one of our investigators with a baptismal date who also lives in the Villas apartments that Reggie lives in. She was incredibly sweet. She is a single mom who is taking care of her ten year old daughter and her father who is a drunkard. So she is working two jobs to try and support all of them. She also has two dogs, one is a pit bull named Lexi (the sweetest thing!), and the other is a teeny dog (not a Chihuahua but something that actually looks like a dog) who is completely black and is named Egypt! I LOVE that name for a dog!!!! *squeals with the enthusiasm of an ancient Egypt nerd* Alice was so tired and I felt so bad for her because it's obvious that she's going through a lot right now. But we assigned her a scripture to read and set up an actual appointment to come teach her.

Afterwards it was lunch time and for daaaaaaays I had been craving a chocolate frosty from Wendy's! So we quickly scooped one up and a fry (because how can you eat a frosty without some fries? You can't.) And then we went home for me to bask in the glory that is a Frosty.

After lunch we went over to Ephraim's family's house to do service for his family (Ephraim is the YSA Ward Missionary Leader). The Barlow family is HUGE! The Barlow's have 15 kids! And 12 still live with their parents! So they need help with a lot of stuff. This week we were put to work doing folding laundry. Holy cow. When there are 14 people doing laundry, there are a LOT of socks! But it was super cool. As I was folding socks, I was talking to Ellen (near my age) and Daniel (return missionary) and Peter (12?) about Star Wars and how Star Wars can be a parable for the gospel! These are my kind of people! B) After discussing that at length we began to sing hymns. So we were singing and folding socks and I loved every second of it! It is incredible that when we serve we are filled with such love from God for the people we are serving. If I have learned anything so far it is that God loves each and every one of us!

Later in the day we had a pass-off lesson which means that another set of missionaries found this investigator but they weren't in that missionary’s area, so we are all meeting together so we (the missionaries who belong to the area that the investigator does) can begin teaching the investigator from then on. The investigator's name is Tiana, she's Hawaiian and in her early twenties. Her best friend Sierra has been a member for eight months and both of them are super cool! We were teaching about the Atonement and we got to the part where we talk about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and we really discussed it and her questions and comments were so sweet and so spiritual. The room was filled the presence of the Holy Ghost! We were nearing the end of the time that we had with her and I invited her to be baptized on the 20th and she looked at me a little nervously and she said she wasn't sure. We got to the bottom of why, and it was because she didn't feel prepared enough. When we explained that we would meet with her several times a week to help her become prepared and that we would be with her every step of the face her face lit up! She then quietly told us that she had been thinking about getting baptized before this lesson and she had been feeling like the 20th would be the day she needed to get baptized. Sister Foulke and I just looked at each other in astonishment. We know that it was through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost that both we and Tiana knew that the 20th was when she needed to be baptized. So cool!!!

Friends and certain family members will be proud to know that for dinner that day I finally went to "Five Guys" for the first time in my life. :P It was pretty good.

That evening we had a lesson with Cynthia and she had a lot of questions for us regarding her kids. She was really worried because her three oldest are 14 and up. She was worried for them and ashamed of herself that she hadn't been able to raise them in the gospel. And all her worries made me count my many blessing and the wonderful opportunity I had to be raised in the gospel by two parents who love and cherish us and the gospel. As she asked us about some of her specific worries in regards to teaching her children about the gospel, several memories of my own sweet mama came to my mind and all of the wonderful examples she has given me throughout my life. I shared a few of these memories with Cynthia and I could see some of her anxiety melt away as she listened to examples of principles that my mama had shown me. I am so grateful for my wonderful parents and I am most thankful for our Perfect Father in Heaven! It is His love and His Son and His example that makes returning to live with both Father and Christ possible.

The lesson with Cynthia went a little late so we rushed to our appointment with Khrystal but when we knocked no one answered. I was worried that it was because we were late, but we were only five or so minutes late. I was disappointed because I had been looking forward to meeting with her again.

We then went to our appointment with Marcus. And he hadn't done what we had asked him to do because of basketball. Sister Foulke and I were so disappointed. But we helped him to understand that in order to gain true and lasting happiness he needs to put God first, before anything else. We helped him understand that one way we can do so is by setting and keeping schedules and goals. So we invited him to write a schedule for each day the night before (and include scripture reading and prayer and then whatever else that was good) and then to stick to it. He promised that he would and we were really hopeful.

Wednesday we saw many miracles! :D It was awesome!

That morning during my personal study I studied a talk given by Elder Maxwell title, "Willing to Submit". Holy bananas! It is SO cool! It talks about how, in order to truly change and follow God, we need to FULLY submit our will to His. One of my favorite lines from that talk is, "Yielding one’s heart to God signals the last stage in our spiritual development. Only then are we beginning to be fully useful to God! How can we sincerely pray to be an instrument in His hands if the instrument seeks to do the instructing?" Doesn't that make your mind blow up into a gazillion pieces??? How can we honestly say that we want to serve God when we are trying to tell Him what WE want or what WE think is best?? Goodness gracious. I read that talk and realized that I have some rethinking to do about the way I try to be an instrument of God.

That day we were on our way to our teaching appointment with Amanda (<3) and we were a little bummed because we really needed some new people to teach and that's what we had been praying for. As we were on our way, there was a gentleman putting some things into his car and we asked if we could help. We started chatting with him and then he told us that his name was Adrian Lopez. He then asked us what we do we told him we are missionaries. His eyes lit up and he pointed to his apartment and began to tell us about how his son (Chris, early twenties) was really lost and needed guidance in his life. We were stunned but then Adrian proceeded to give us his number and also his son's email and then told us that he was a limo driver and that if we ever needed a ride that we could contact him. He had to leave to go to work and we said goodbye before starting off to Amanda's. Sister Foulke and I just looked at each other in astonishment. It was such a cool experience!

We then had a lesson with Amanda. I LOVE her! Okay, now that's out of the way I can talk about the lesson. :D We talked about the Restoration and it was incredible! Amanda really connected to Joseph Smith because she has been asking questions all her life and no one answers them or they are angry with her for asking. We were able to honestly tell her that we love questions and that we wanted her to write down the questions that she had and if we couldn't answer them that we knew how to help her find answers for herself. And that really impacted Amanda. I'm really excited to meet with her again!
Later that day we had an appointment with a recent convert named Tefanie. It was a lot of fun because she is a huge nerd too! We took a little time to talk about nerdy things but then she tried to talk about politics and Sister Foulke and I told her that as missionaries we are not allowed to discuss our political opinions. She chuckled and said she could see why that was a rule (contention and all) and the rest of the time we discussed God's love and how we have been commanded to love our neighbors as ourselves.

Then we had an appointment with another recent convert named Rachel who is a really sweet person. We talked about Mosiah 4 which talks a lot about how Salvation comes because of and through Christ. I love talking about the gospel! Which is good considering. :P

We then went to the appointment that we had set up with Reggie... And he wasn't home. I was SO disappointed! I was really looking forward to meeting with him and helping him to learn that he could be with his mom again! I was bummed out to say the least. But as we were walking away we ran into a man and we talked with him and he was super cool And really polite! His name is Malcolm and he said that he was really interested in what we had to say! We gave him a Restoration pamphlet and then set up an appointment with him!

Mini miracle time! :D Both Sister Folke and I had to use the restroom badly but we couldn't go anywhere because we had an appointment with Cynthia in fifteen minutes. We couldn't hold it for that long. But then out of one of the apartment building came a member! Her name is Mariah Jex and she's in our family Ward. She invited us in, let us use her restroom, gave us cold water and snacks before we had to go on our way to Cynthia's! It was SUCH a blessing. I know that no matter how small or insignificant our needs are that the Lord is always watching out for us and He sends us little miracles, or tender mercies, when we need them and are on the lookout for miracles in our path.

We then went to Cynthia's for our appointment. Her husband's grandmother (who raised him) had just passed away and he was grief stricken. They are really poor and so they didn't have money for a plane ticket to where the funeral will be. The only money they have has to go to the electric bill... But she hadn't paid tithing on the money yet. We talked to her about the law of tithing and that no matter what our circumstances we need to pay tithing before we use money for anything else, we have to put God before anything else. And that if she would, the Lord would provide a way for every other needful thing to happen. I have a firm testimony in the law of tithing. Even when I couldn't afford to buy a 75 cent donut my first year in college I have always paid my tithing before anything else. And I KNOW that blessings come from paying tithing, from putting God before any other concern.

That evening we went to the YSA Ward correlation which was where Sister Foulke and I had the opportunity to talk to the Ward missionaries and discuss the missionary work that was happening in the ward. That was really helpful.

We then went to institute where another miracle happened, Marcus came! It was wonderful!

Thursday was awesome! :D I finished transferring all of my notes in the Book of Mormon to my iPad. Alleluia!!! It will be SO helpful to have all of them written down and tagged so I can find them more easily. So for the rest of my personal study I moved onward to the Doctrine & Covenants so hopefully I can get through all of my scripture notes by the end of next week!

I LOVE companionship study with Sister Foulke! She always makes me feel like I've said something really deep and inspirational, and even though I'm sure that's true half the time :P it's just nice that she makes me feel so important to her! We talked about Helaman 10:4-5 and how we should all be starving to become a person that is so in tune with the Spirit and is Christlike enough for God to know that we would never ask for something contrary to his will! WOW! We also talked about how God is eternal, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. And so, if He wrought miracles in the past then, as an eternal being, He will be bringing miracles to pass today and forever! If we believe that God is not a God of miracles than we are not worshipping the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob. We are worshipping a God of our own creation and not the one in reality (Mormon 9:7-11). I have seen SO many miracles here on the mission already and I have only been on it for a month! I feel ashamed that I haven't noticed the hand of God more in my life because I know that all my life there have been miracles, but I haven't been faithful enough to recognize them as such. But I will do better and life will be grand! :D

Today was my first District Council. A district is a group of 3 or 4 companionships that are nearest together, district council is where they come together to talk about the area that they, as a district, cover. It was.... interesting. I was mildly frustrated with everyone because they were being Johnny rain clouds and were only talking about how we had to improve. While that is certainly important, we should also focus on the progress we HAVE made, because progress and success inspires us where as the looooong road ahead is discouraging. There needs to be a balance, otherwise one group is optimistic and the other is pessimistic, and we need to be realistic.

Later in the day we had a lesson with Tiana again! Jjdhisdgjsdgkjs! She is SUCH a sweet spirit! She is incredible! We taught her the second half of the Plan of Salvation and it was awesome! I love her and her member friend, Sierra, to pieces!

We taught Marcus again today and it was…Good. He hadn't gone to bed that night, he pulled an all-nighter which wasn't a good idea so we had to remind him of his goals and what he needed to do. I admit that I was a little frustrated. But I didn't let it show! It's just hard because he knows, and we know that he knows, what he's supposed to be doing and he has a testimony that doing those things brings him happiness... He just doesn't remember to do them! This experience brought Helaman 5 to mind where Helaman is pleading with his sons to "remember" and he says "remember" fifty bajillion times in that chapter and before now I had thought that it was kinda excessive. But remembering is the first step in doing. And we need to remember.

We then met with another investigator named Victor Lopez (Which is different from Victor Ranga). I hadn't met him before, but Sister Foulke had been teaching him with her previous companion. We taught him the Gospel of Christ (Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost, & Enduring to the End) and it was wonderful because he really connected with what we were teaching and he had such wonderful insights! We were talking about repentance and how we erroneously associate repentance with something bad. And the thought came to me clear as day and I had never thought of this before.
Sin is like cancer of the soul. The more you don't treat it, the worse it gets and the more it spreads throughout your soul. Repentance is where Christ, the surgeon, tells us that there is 100% guarantee that He can remove all of the cancer tissue if we let Him operate. We should be OVERJOYED at the prospect of being completely healed and free of the cancer through this surgery! Yes, Christ will have to open us up and dig deep to remove all of the cancerous growth and yes, the recovery may take a while, but it is guaranteed that we will survive and overcome our cancer with this surgery! So many times people view repentance as something to be dreaded, and that's such a mistaken view! Christ's surgery is the only thing keeping our souls from dying! And yet so often we refuse to let Him operate! How ridiculously insane are we???

I know that analogy was not something I came up with. That was revelation that I needed. In the scriptures in Doctrine & Covenants 84:85, it says that if we simply have the courage to open our mouths that the Spirit will fill it with the words of God. God keeps His promises, I opened my mouth and He filled it through the Holy Ghost.

Today I had my first dinner at a member's house. It was so weird and yet it felt so natural at the same time! I felt so bad because we were late... And it made me think of all the times that I've been cranky at the missionaries being late and I am thoroughly chastened. xD We were late because of the lesson with Victor. I will never be too upset at the missionaries for being late to dinner. Now that I think back on it though, we should've texted saying we would be late. I'm mildly appalled by our lack of manners. *sheepish grin* It was a lot of fun though and the Miller family were so gracious! It was so weird to be the missionary at the dinner table instead of looking across to see them.

After dinner we went to see Cynthia. Poor thing, Satan is working really hard on her right now and she said as much. :/ We told her to read Mosiah 24 because that is one of our favorite chapters to read when we're having trials because it talks about how, if we turn to the Lord, He can make our burdens so light that we won't even feel them. He won't take them away, if you took away a child's chore they would never learn from it, but He does help us with them so we can be happy while doing the "chore". :) Isn't that a powerful blessing??? :D

After we met with Cynthia we met with Shawn and Luis again. Shawn hadn't read his scriptures so in order to help him develop a love for the scriptures we had all of us read the first 24 verses of Mosiah 2 and oh my goodness! I gained new insight into that chapter that I had never thought of before! We are supposed to learn from one another, that is an important reason as to why Christ established an organized church. So we could all benefit from one another's wisdom and insight! #TheChurchIsSOTrue!

Friday morning we went buy to see if Reggie was home, he was and he set up another appointment for Tuesday. So hopefully he will make it to that one. Then we went to our appointment with Alice. Poor thing, her back was in a lot of pain and so we talked to her about priesthood blessings and how the grace of Christ can get us through things as long as we ask for it and use it.

We then went over to see Carli Hildenbrand again, just to make sure she had been able to see her mom, Shanen, and if everything was okay. We knocked on the door and it was actually Shanen (who the missionaries have been trying to reactivate for the last month) who opened the door! We were relieved to see that she was doing well considering and she told us that the Relief Society president had taken Carli to see her mom! We set up an appointment to come over and help her with anything she needed. Carli was gone somewhere so we didn't get to see her that day.

We tried to contact a referral named Conner, but only his dad, Tom, was there. Tom was getting ready to go into a surgery on his back and so he kindly asked if we would remember him in our prayers, and we told him that of course we would.

Since it was Friday that meant that we were able to escape the heat of the day and do Weekly Planning. That was a wonderful blessing because it was really hot that day!

We then met with Cythia and that was awesome. Afterwards we went to find some potential investigators, one of them was named Greg. We had a member with us for this, his name was Matt. We walked to the apartment door and on the window screen, written in chalk, was a quote about kindness towards everyone by our prophet Thomas S. Monson. The three of us looked at each other and wondered if we were at the wrong apartment because who would have a quote by the prophet on their window screen if they weren't members. We knocked and Greg answered the door and he said that one of their neighbors is a "Mormon" and that the neighbor is so rude to them that they decided to put that quote up to show their neighbor that they weren't living their religion. I was so ashamed. And so embarrassed. I know that there are "Mormons" in name only. But it disgusted me that someone had covenanted to take upon themselves the name of Christ and then treat someone so atrociously! I'm still a bit irrate. We apologized for their appalling behavior and tried to remind him that there are butt-faces in every religion, and unfortunately ours wasn't an exception right now. But we also explained that the stupidity of some of our members did not negate the truthfulness of our message (I'm paraphrasing obviously). Greg seemed to relax a little and took a copy of the Book of Mormon and said that we could stop by again.

After we left Greg's place we street contacted a woman named Ty, she is a Jehovah's Witness. But we had a really wonderful discussion with her about the need for having faith in Christ and how He is the only way that we can be saved. It was really cool and she gave us her information so we could contact her again.

Saturday was SUPER COOL!

So in personal study I've been transferring all the markings and notes I have in my paper scriptures to my iPad scriptures and I finished all of the Doctrine and Covenants as well as the Pearl of Great Price and Joseph Smith History! On a role. I'm a little chagrined to admit that I've never had any sort of an appreciation for the Doctrine and Covenants as a whole... But as I was going through it I realized just how beautiful and how inspiring it is! It is especially inspiring for missionaries because it talks about missionary work SO much in it!

So what made Saturday so cool is that we got a little mini missionary with us today! So a stake here in Las Vegas does a really cool thing where they have what they call a "Preach My Gospel Camp". So all of the youth in the stake 16-18 were each paired with a missionary companionship for the day. They became a third companion essentially. ‘Twas super cool! Her name was Madi and it was really interesting to do missionary work with her. I was 16 only three years ago! And yet I felt so much older.
We had lunch at the Stake Center with the entire Preach My Gospel Camp and the secretary to the mission president spoke to us. He said one thing that really struck me. He said that we "have given up our names in order to serve God." It just hit me like a lightning bolt. I am now Sister Longo a representative of Christ. I gave up my name so that I can help others take upon themselves the name of Christ. That just blew my mind. And I was so awestruck by that understanding. I have given up my very identity to serve my God. And I love every minute of it! :D

That night we had a lesson with Marcus where he told us that he hadn't been doing any of the things that he had promised we would. Sister Foulke and I were really disappointed. But then we taught him about the Plan of Salvation again and said that where we end up is based on whether or not we choose to put God first or our own desires first. And he seemed to understand and he told us that he truly wanted to choose God more than anything. We invited him to stick to the plan that he had made and schedule his days so he could put God first.

Sunday was a looooooong day.

We had Ward council that morning before our family Ward so we had to get up at 6 to get ready to leave at 6:30 in order to make it to Ward council by 7. We were in church from 7 to 4 because of our two wards.

After Sacrament meeting at the YSA Ward we talked to Victor Ranga who did come! He has the girlfriend who is a member, Ashlynn. Then we saw Marcus who had been in Sacrament meeting (the first meeting) and we went to talk to him. He told us that he was leaving and not staying for the rest of church because he wanted to go play basketball. Sister Foulke and I reminded him that he had said that he wanted to put God first, and skipping church in order to play basketball was the opposite of that. He continue to talk about how he wanted to play basketball and that he didn't see the big deal and Sister Foulke and I were devastated. We knew that he knew that it was a big deal. He just didn't want to feel guilty about making the wrong choice. He asked us if we could meet with him that evening after basketball instead of going to class and we were stunned. We told him that we love him but that we had been called to teach those that have a desire to put God first like we do so we couldn't meet with him that night. But we said we would meet with him later this week. He left to go play basketball and Sister Foulke and I were heartbroken. Here is someone who has SO much potential but is choosing to throw it away for basketball instead.

We then had a lesson in Relief Society that really boosted my spirits and it was about our relationship with Christ and there was this amazing story!

"Two men died and went to be interviewed before being judged. The first man went into the room and the interviewer asked him, "Who is Christ?" The man confidently told the interviewer that Christ was the Son of God who was born to Mary in Bethlehem. The interviewer nodded and said, "That is true, but who is Christ." The man was puzzled but he shrugged and then said that Christ had called twelve apostles and that he preached the word of God and healed those who were afflicted. The interviewer nodded but replied, "That is true, but who is Christ?" The man was a little confused now and he continued to talk about how Christ suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane and died on the cross so that mankind might have Eternal life. The interviewer nodded once again but replied, "This is all true, you may leave." The man left and was rather bewildered. The second man had heard this entire exchange and when he went into the room and looked upon the interviewer's face he fell to his knees and exclaimed joyfully, "My God and my King!""

How powerful! Do we truly know Christ? Or do we simply know OF Him? Would we recognize Christ if we met him like the second man? Or would we be blind like the first man? I hope and am striving to be like the second man who is a person that has a strong, unbreakable relationship with my Savior. I hope and pray that all of us are striving to be that kind of person. Only then will we be those who will sit on the right hand of Father in the Kingdom of Heaven.

I love you all, be the best you can be and ask Christ for His grace to help with that! 
*hugs!!!!*

Sister Longo

(MOM NOTE:  These are pictures Moriah sent of fun things she's seen around her mission)
Annie Oakley Drive (Moriah dressed up as Annie Oakley for Halloween when she was five.)


One of our favorite musicals is "Man of La Mancha"



This is a younger picture of her Mission President, President Snow.