Monday, December 26, 2016

Week 22


MOM NOTE: Sorry letter this week, but she did send pictures.  I asked her to take some picture for our Christmas letter. Here's the result (followed by pictures from this last week).

Transfer breakfast at the Stake President's house :)
Me, Sister Kaufusi wearing Scotty's glasses and Scotty

Week 21

Sister Gardner with the Gratitude Chain
Holy Mack, what a week! Let me start from the very beginning. So for this week there has been a challenge where we missionaries go around and street contact using a gratitude chain. So we go around and ask every person we see if we can put down something that they are grateful for on a strip of paper and then we add it as a link to this chain. Well the district with the most links win. The districts who lose: girls can't shave their legs for a month and the guys have to keep their legs clean-shaven for a month. Needless to say, the competition got fierce. xD

So on Wednesday we went to our dinner appointment at 5pm like usual, but when we arrived they told us that they had asked us to come an hour and a half later. We did not remember them saying that, but being a missionary you just play along so we said "oh my goodness we are so sorry we forgot to put that down. We will be back in an hour and a half. We have some people that we can go visit so this is perfect!" We then left and we went to visit some of the referrals we had received that day. But, of course NO one was home. So we decided to go see a potential we had tried to see the week before and had only seen his son when we were there. When we got there the front door was open and they were all there decorating the Christmas tree. So we poked our heads, just being nosy missionaries that we are. 😇 And said, "Hey how are you guys!?" At first they were a little startled and didn't know how to handle the situation, but then they realized who we were and started to relax a little. John, the potential investigator, and father, was sitting on the couch with a can of beer in his hand… We just asked how their family was and asked if there's anything we could do for them. John, told us that he was not interested right now and apologized. However we kept talking because, firstly we are missionaries, and sixth and lastly the gratitude chain. So we asked this family and they responded and told us what they were grateful for. It was time for us to go because we had a dinner appointment and we are about to turn in leave and John was standing at the door. He looks at Sister Gardner and looked down at her stomach, realize that she was wearing a skirt that was tighter on her stomach and so made it stick out weird. And he asks, holding his third can of beer we had seen in his hand, "Is that a baby bump?"
........Dear friends and family, I am not writing to you from beyond the grave because I DIED!!! 😂😂😂 And that moment I nearly spewed out the water that I had been drinking right before he asked the fatal question. From the corner of the house you could hear his wife go, "JOHN!" with a tone of completely shocked horror.  My companion's jaw dropped and looked like she had just been hit by a stun ray before she exclaimed, not rude but with emphasis, "NO! I am not!" He immediately apologized but, then proceeded to POKE HER STOMACH… Meanwhile I, in complete and total shock, am standing in the corner just dying of laughter, on the floor rolling, spitting my water out, peeing, all of the above! And my companion is standing there with her jaw on the floor with a drunk man poking her stomach asking her if she is pregnant. What a night!!! (Just so you all know I have complete permission to share this story. #ThismessagehasbeenapprovedbySisterGardner)

The next day by a lesson we had with Erica Rincon. This was an amazing lesson! Erica, is an investigator that we have not been able to get in contact with her for a while. She was busy with school and with her little daughter. But we finally got in. This was such a spiritual lesson! She was so awesome! The member we had with us said that was the most spiritual lesson she has ever had with her! Wowza guys, this woman is amazing! She said the last sister kind of scared her because they set her with a date and didn't answer her questions and they didn't help her understand what they were teaching her! She was soooo excited about this lesson because she truly started to understand. She is SOOOOO GOLDEN! But sadly Sister Gardner will not be able to go back and have another lesson with her, she is being transferred out tomorrow. She is excited it'll be a fun area, and she's going into a trio. But I will miss her. While my companion is getting transferred, I am staying and leading the area. My new companion will be Sister Kaufusi who is from Tonga! She's already been out 14 months (my oldest companion thus far) and I'm excited to see how this next transfer come to be!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Wow, I just love Thanksgiving it is so awesome! I love how people are more willing to talk about the things they are great before and the people there grateful for around this time of year! They recognize the importance of gratitude, the Savior, their family, and so much more! Members here are so awesome they're so concerned about making sure that we are taken care of! We had an amazing dinner with an amazing family on Thanksgiving I am so very grateful for their hospitality and the willingness to serve us! I hope all of you had an amazing Thanksgiving this year! And I hope that you can remember the things we truly need to be grateful for! We have a loving Heavenly Father and a Savior who was willing to suffer and die and live again for us so that we could be forgiven of all of our sins and to be able to return home to live with them again someday! Being able to share this message with people this time of year has been such a blessing and it has helped people realize that there's more to life than just living! Another blessing I'm grateful for this time of year was the opportunity Sister Gardner and I had to give talks on gratitude and missionary work in the sunset ward on Sunday! We were thinking we would be giving our talks the week before but the bishop then asked us to speak this past Sunday. Sister Gardner decided to focus her talk on being grateful for the Atonement and the Savior and what he did for us! So Sister Gardner and I went through the four Gospels, the harmony of the Gospels in the back of the Bible, and we took the accounts of the Atonement from each of the four Gospels and we combined them into one so that we could have the most beautiful story of the Savior's Atonement! Doing this has been so cool! I have learned so much about how the Savior truly does love us and about what He did for us and how I can take it and apply into my life more! I encourage all of you to read through the life of Christ this Holiday Season with your Families! There is so much to be learned!

Sister Longo

(MOM NOTE:  No captions were provided for these pictures.)

Week 20

Well, well, well. Another email has arrived! How is everyone? I miss all of you too much! It's still going a wee bit slow around here but I do have a story for all of you! So Sister Gardner and I were out tracting one evening down on Galena Crossing. It was a fun night! We just made our way down the street, knocking on doors, and talking to people. We knocked on one door and no one was answering. So, this mission is a "three knock mission": once for your companionship, once for your mission president, and once for the Lord! So of course we keep knocking. Well it's really nice when you're standing on someone's front porch and you're knocking on the door and then they drive up and pull into the garage. Just kidding. It's not nice it's SO awkward! Well as they were pulling into the garage Sister Gardner turned to me and said  "This is awkward let's run!" So…… We ran! We ran all the way down the street and around the corner! We looked crazy! LOL! So we just kept walking to get around to the top of the street again because we were going to attract another street nearby. As we are walking down the street there was a guy sitting on his porch. This was September 14! September 14 was the super moon! Huge moon! I like the moon in a little bit… That's a lie. I LOVE the moon!!! Anywho, we decided to talk to him and at first we thought he was just sitting there staring at the moon. But as we got closer and started talking to him we realize that he was painting. How cool is that?! So we talked to him for I don't know how long, and it was cool! He was really nice and we asked to him about what his belief in Christ was, he told us that he did not think you need to be a part of an organize religion. So we asked him what his specific beliefs were so that we could just kind of see where Ground Zero was with him. Crazy though, he has a lot of the same beliefs that we do! Which was cool for us but then also cool for him because he was shocked that we believe a lot of the same things he does! We are super excited to go see him again this week and just kind of see if we can relate to him more about his beliefs and helping to come to Christ! 

Who all is excited for Thanksgiving?! I know I am! I'm excited for the thankfulness part but especially for the getting fat part! I love food! One crazy good thing about serving here in Vegas though is that it is warm. We get to walk a lot because it is not snowy which is good because I am able to lose the weight that I'm gaining from all the stinking food! Lol, I was told that the Lord protects his sisters by making them fat! Isn't that great???? XD

So today I was reading in Mark 16 and in it Mark talks about how first angels appeared to the women at the tomb and tell them that Christ is risen, then the resurrected Lord comes to Mary Magdalene and then he visits two apostles traveling on the road. And yet the other 11 Apostles still refuse to believe! And my first reaction was one that was not so flattering towards the apostles. But then I read this:

President James E. Faust (1920–2007) of the First Presidency explained why it may have been so difficult initially for the disciples to believe that Jesus Christ had risen from the dead:
"Perhaps the Apostles should not be unduly criticized for not believing that Jesus, having been crucified and buried in a tomb, had come back to earth as a glorified being. In all human experience, this had never happened before. It was completely unprecedented. This was a different experience than the raising of Jairus’ daughter (see Mark 5:22, 24, 35–43), the young man of Nain (see Luke 7:11–15), or Lazarus (see John 11:1–44). They all died again. Jesus, however, became a resurrected being. He would never die again. …
“Said President David O. McKay of this experience: ‘The world would never have been stirred by men with such wavering, doubting, despairing minds as the apostles possessed on the day of the crucifixion.
“‘What was it that suddenly changed these disciples to confident, fearless, heroic preachers of the gospel of Jesus Christ? It was the revelation that Christ had risen from the grave. His promises had been kept, his Messianic mission fulfilled. … On the evidence of these unprejudiced, unexpectant, incredulous witnesses, faith in the resurrection has its impregnable foundation.’ (Treasures of Life, comp. Clare Middlemiss, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1962, pp. 15–16.)
Like the Apostles of old, this knowledge and belief should transform all of us to be confident, settled, unafraid, and at peace in our lives as followers of the divine Christ. It should help us carry all burdens, bear any sorrows, and also fully savor all joys and happiness that can be found in this life” (“The Supernal Gift of the Atonement,” Ensign, Nov. 1988, 13–14).

Please let us all be like the apostles of old and the living prophets! Let us all be fearless in our efforts to spread the good news that Christ IS Risen! And that because of him, everything that the Father has is within our reach!
I love you all and have faith that you can overcome all weaknesses with the Holy One of Israel!

Sister Longo
Isn't this the coolest door????! Me want!!!!
This is Suzy, a recent convert that we visit every week. She pulled out her French crystal champagne glasses and treated us to alchohol free Chardonnay! Lol, it was SO much fun! It tasted nasty. Which I guess is why normal people have to have the alcohol in it. But she was so sweet and cute, telling us that no one else besides us would appreciate her fine crystal glasses.

So we went out to get Boba drinks one night and they make it so in order
 to get your straw in it you have to stab it. Well Sister Gardner had done it with a lot
 of force so I teased her that she went all "she-hulk" and then,
 in a hulk voice exclaimed "GARDNER SMASH!"
 She laughed so hard and then demanded a photo shoot of 
her hulking out. Isn't she the best???? XD

Hahaha, so... the rule with iPads is that when we are using them we have
 to be within sight and hearing of our companion. We can't use it when they are
 in the bathroom or when we are in different rooms of our apartment.
Sister Gardner and I have been forgetting this rule and will continue to
 be on our iPads if the other is in a different room of our apartment. So.
I made this picture of my companion with 3 pointed questions and
 made it my lock screen. LOL! As you can imagine I've been
doing pretty good at keeping this rule now. xD

I cut my hair! Well...technically, Sister Gardner cut my hair. xD