Monday, April 23, 2018

April 23,2018 Email :D

Hello everyone!
 believe it or not but this is typed on my new smartphone!! Crazy!! Golly her a lot has happened in the past week and a bit since I emailed y'all

We will start where we left off. Zone pray and Elder David A Bednar! It was so good! Karaoke was a hit, as was the barbecue and playing werewolf as a Zone! 

Friday we were able to Skype in to Vancouver where he met with all the other missionaries in the mission. It was hilarious! We were like the little outsiders looking in from afar! But it was one of the most spiritual experiences of my life! I am so grateful for what I was able to learn by the Spirit!! Elder Bednar didn't give a talk. Right from the get go it was a Q and A format for all the missionaries!! ...minus us of course. It is amazing how when he answered a question of one, it was an answer to many. Funny how the spirit works that way, Hey?:) The questions and the Spirit got to be better quality throughout the meeting. It was amazing! 

The next day, Saturday, we were able to do our little zone pday and then Elder Bednar flew up and met with us!!! The Prince George Zone!!!! Like 18 of us. With him. For 1 hour. I cried. He walked in the room and shook all our hands, skipping all musical numbers and hymns (for which I was relieved because my hands were shaking and I was pianist for all) and he got right down to business. He asked us if we could start off right where we left off Friday with the other missionaries. So we did! We talked about what we learned and asked our questions. It was amazing !! I was able to stand before an Apostle of the Lord and tell him what the spirit taught me. He directly asked me a question and I stood and answered. Amazing. 

Following our special time with him, he taught the stake for 2 hours and we were able to observe. He did the same thing. Q and A. This time, about 80% of the questions he answered were from the children. Like 10 year olds. It was amazing!! Not only were their questions inspired, but the answers. Once again, one question was posed each time, but many were answered. I learned two main things from Elder Bednar. They are tied together and what he asked us in each meeting to learn. 
1. Be an agent, not an object. An agent acts. An object is acted upon. 
2. I do not need to be with a member of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles to feel the Spirit that strongly. Each day, each prayer, each meeting can be just as strong of a spiritual experience! 

This last weekend we had zone conference and got our smartphones. We enjoyed a wonderful lunch together before with President and Sister Wong and discussed how we pronounce things. It was hilarious!!! During zone conference President Wong said "synergy. How do you pronounce that Elder Lisney?" "Bananas" says Elder Lisney. So funny!!! I learned a ton!!

One of my favorite parts about zone conference is that we get to drive President and Sister Wong around for their meetings. They took us out to dinner Thursdaynight. At dinner, they showed by example how to contact people and we were able to see so many miracles with the people just eating at the restaurant! They truly are amazing. 

Also, this is probably the most important part of the whole week. Not really. But kind of. I FINALLY SAW A MOOSE!!!!!! We went on exchanges this weekend with Quesnel and as we were on our way out there I saw a MOOSE in the the woodsen.....😉 it was one of the happiest moments of my life! So cool!!!
Here is a picture of my face right after at the bottom.

Oh it is such an amazing opportunity to be on a mission!! Heavenly Father is so amazing and in the details of the details of our lives!! Love you all!!!

Sister Van Valkenburg

Friday, April 13, 2018

April 13,2018 Email :D

Hello, hello!
This email will be short....I am so excited for Elder Bednar to come! To have one of the Lord's Apostles here...oh I am just super excited!!! At one point he will be meeting with just the missionaries (18 of us) and we are preparing as much as we can for it! 

We have seen so many miracles this week! It has only been a few days, but we have accomplished so much! It is AMAZING to see what Heavenly Father can help you do when you set goals, make plans and act in faith! He is truly amazing!!

Funny story: We were having dinner at a member's house and she had a fancy little whipped cream dispenser that she was using to put the whip on our cake. She put it on Sister Killick's cake...totally fine. Then she cam e over to me. Whipped cream went EVERYWHERE!!! And I mean everywhere. Like the walls, the cake *thank goodness* the floor, the cabinet behind me...and of course the majority went on me! Funnier story: The exact thing happened to me in Langley as well! Even funnier story? Sister Killick made whipped cream just a week ago and managed to cover herself in it as well. Whipped cream. Who'd have thought? XD

I hope you all have a miraculous week!! Share the miracles you see!
Sister Van Valkenburg

Monday, April 9, 2018

April 9,2018 Email :D

Revelation Upon Revelation 

Hello hello!
Wowza! Whenever we have P-day on Tuesday, the next Monday seems to come just so much faster! This next week will especially go by faster because I will be emailing you on Friday...will give you more details later on...:) 

So another reason this week FLEW by was because we had MLC! So off Sister Killick and I went to Vancouver on Thursday, and came back Friday. In the morning while we were packing, I started taking all the proselyting stuff out of my bag, except a few cards. We were just going down for a meeting and coming back up anyway! But I felt the impression to pack a Book of Mormon and one of each of the first pamphlets. When we got on the plane, I took my seat next to a nice gentleman named Paul and we started talking! He is amazing!! He has two kids, just a year behind me and my brother with the same age gap. He told me about his family, his job, his religious beliefs, and more! He told me that he had packed a book to read on the flight (1 hour 15 min) but that when he looked in his carry on, he couldn't find it. God works in mysterious ways, hey? :) We talked the entire flight, asking and answering questions, and by the end of the flight he had a copy of the Book of Mormon and the first few pamphlets we give to people. ALL relevant to answer the questions he had asked. Following a prompting, I said I had a challenge for him. He had mentioned that missionaries will come to his street, but had never knocked on his door. I said "The next time that you see missionaries, invite them in and ask them to share a message with you. I promise you that you will receive answers to questions you may not have even asked." He accepted the challenge, and asked if it would be a good idea to feed the missionaries as well! Who does that?!  Of course, I answered with the affirmative! ;) Paul is golden. As we spoke, the Spirit was so strong, and I was waiting for him to say "Gotcha! I'm a member of the 70!" But it never came. What made me worthy of such an amazing experience? What qualified me, a little sister missionary from St. George, the opportunity to sit next to Paul on that flight? I have pondered and prayed about this experience many times since Thursday, and I have summed it up to Heavenly Father's love. He wants ALL of us to feel of His eternal love. He wants ALL of us to experience the Spirit working in our lives. He needed Paul to know that He is there! He needed me to remember the same. And I am so incredibly grateful to be a tool in His hands that day, and forever. :) 

Another amazing experience I am SUPER excited for is this coming weekend! On Friday, Elder Bednar will be in Vancouver meeting all of the missionaries in our mission! It will be an impromptu 3 hour session with one of the Lord's chosen Apostles! Everyone in our entire mission will be there! ....except for my zone. We will be here in Prince George. BUT on Saturday, Elder Bednar is coming to Prince George! He will be in my chapel, in my Relief Society room to meet our stake and members! Us missionaries (18 of us in the Prince George stake) will get to meet him personally! I have been asked to play the piano for the hymns and a special musical number if he asks. I am so honored and excited to meet an Apostle of the Lord!! :D I KNOW that Heavenly Father has chosen and ordained him to serve as an apostolic witness of Him and our Savior Jesus Christ! What an incredible opportunity for us! This is why I will be emailing on Friday instead of next Monday. :)

One of the sweetest people in the universe, Ellen, crocheted me this sweet scripture bag!! I am so excited and so grateful! She's the best!! :D

I hope you all have an amazing week and recognize the miracles that Heavenly Father blesses you with! There are so many!! :D

Sister Van Valkenburg

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

April 3,2018 Email :D

I Promise I'm Still Alive!
Hello everyone!! Golly gee whiz it has been a while!!  We moved our last P-day because of zone p-day and zone conference..and then we had our P-day moved to today for Easter! Haha! But wow we have had such a wonderful week! Between Easter, General Conference and plenty of time to do missionary work, we had a ton of fun seeking for and teaching Heavenly Father's children! 

First things first, DID YOU JUST LOVE GENERAL CONFERENCE?!? Oh my goodness participating in the Solemn Assembly was such an uplifting, spiritual experience! I am so grateful for our living prophet today who receives SO MUCH inspiration of how to move the Lord's work forward! I can only drop so many mics in General Conference!! hahaha It is just evidence to me that Heavenly Father is truly hastening His work here! I am so grateful to be out on a MISSION at this time!! :D Here on the front lines, we are able to see so many miracles as we follow the counsel of our leaders!! I know that you can too! 

Transfers have come! Sister Killick and I are staying here together in Fraser, Prince George!! Yay!!! :D We are going to see so many miracles! Not many people in our zone family are changing as well! Woohoo!!

There are a couple analogies I would love to share..but have such short time!! I will type as fast as I can and see what we can share. :) 

The first is a thought from Zone Conference. :) We talked about the Brother of Jared and the barges that he was to build to cross the ocean. Many times we talk about the light and how Christ is the light that keeps us going through the wind and the waves. But this time we talked about how once we are completely in the boat, they literally were at the mercy of the wind and the waves. No ability to see at all. But completely in the hands of the Lord. President Wong asked us if we were the last person to get in, our job would be to push off the barge into the water. Would we stay on the shore and wave goodbye, or would we run and jump in as it floats away, trusting completely in the Lord? I want to run and jump in. I know that He will lead me to the promised land!! Provers 3:5-6 

This last week I went to Triple O's and had my first Triple O's burger. They're a big deal up here in BC. I didn't know what I wanted to order, though, and since the person I was ordering from is a potential investigator, friends with one of our nechako investigators, I asked him to surprise me. Order for me. He brought out a delicious chicken burger that I thoroughly enjoyed, and explained that it was on the secret menu! It got me thinking. Many restaurants have secret menus, but the ingredients they use are no secret to us! They use the same ingredients they use for other menu items, but just in a different order. It's like that with the gospel. We know all the ingredients that will make us happy and help us to learn. But when we go through the Spirit, we can receive revelation especially for us. We receive a different combo specifically for us, we just need to ask!

I am out of time!! I love you all!!! Have an amazing week applying General Conference!!
Sister Van Valkenburg

I didn't I made it work!!

My mission mom (Sister Thurber whom I love dearly) sent this to me!! SO FUN

Monday, April 2, 2018

March 23,2018 Email :D

Family Feud?

Oh my goodness gracious!! It feels like just yesterday that I was emailing y'all!! was only 3 day that might be why! This short proselyting week has really built my testimony on urgency. We only had 3 days (today is pday, tomorrow zone conference, and then Sunday) to really work in our areas and find people to teach. 3 days less than we are used to and each moment suddenly became so precious to us to find these children of God! In Prince George, it is hard to find people to teach. Last transfer we found (sadly) 2. In 6 weeks. In the last three days, because of our focus, urgency and faith....we were blessed to find 4 new people to teach!! :D In many ways I am so so grateful for this experience. It really pointed out to me that every moment is so precious and that God will place people in our paths when we are diligently seeking and prepared!! Isn't He so good?!

Today we had our zone p-day for the transfer!! Oh golly gee whiz it was so fun! Another testimony to me of prioritizing time and getting things done was planning it! I spent every spare minute the past week planning this activity with Sister Killick! Every moment was precious!! We started the activity with a huge pancake breakfast with "all the fixin's" and played a couple games of werewolf. (it's an interactive role play game similar to mafia) IT WAS SO FUN to play as a zone!!! Then we got down to business for family feud! We split everyone up into 3 teams (made a cute scrabble board of our names to tell them who was on each team), got name tags, and proceeded to go through a series of competitions representing our teams!! It was a blast! We had a plank challenge, 3 legged race, riddles, balloons, moving M&M's with a straw, most jump ropes in a minute, hellfire sauce, coke chugging, yoyo tricks, getting fruit snacks out of a bowl of flour, an easter egg hunt in the church, egg/spoon race, trust falls, fluffy bunny, juggling, toilet paper mummies, charades/pictionary speed it was so fun!! Everyone was out of breath and smiling! :D Best part? We spent $10 on everything...minus breakfast. Who says you can't have fun on a budget? ;) 

Oh my goodness I just CAN'T WAIT for GENERAL CONFERENCE and EASTER SUNDAY!!! Oh wait!! It's the same day!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! :D :D :D Is anyone else as pumped?! I know that Heavenly Father blesses His Apostles to speak through the Spirit. Any questions you have, whether you know you have them or not, can and will be answered as you prepare yourself spiritually and watch General Conference. :) 

I love you all!! Have an absolutely amazing week and a half! Talk to you in April!! :*
Sister Van Valkenburg

Monday, March 19, 2018

March 20,2018 Email :D


You read that right!! We were told previously that we were getting smartphones in I was like....solid. That's when I go home. I might miss the smartphone craze!!! BUT we were told that we will all be receiving smartphones in this next transfer. So that will be next month! I will have 2 transfers on my mission with a smartphone!!! Hooray! The days of getting random boxes and unreadable messages from emojis and pictures are soon to be over!! :D
Fun event of the week? We were vacuuming our apartment building for the building manager, and we managed to blow the all the lights in the hallways went was super awkward! XD We didn't run into this problem last time we did it...and we did it the same who knows why they went out, but the next hour was spent figuring out how to get all the lights back on! In the process, we found the log of when all the fire alarms went off in the building and firetrucks had to come, etc. We found the log of when one of the Elders was making french toast and set off the whole building!! haha!!
I got to go on exchanges this week in my last area with Sister Muir!! It was hilarious!! Throughout the exchange, we kept forgetting that we had ever been apart, and the poor ward members were so confused!! "You're back?!?!" Hahaha! So funny!! :) We saw so many miracles!! I absolutely love exchanges!!
We celebrated pi day on the 14th = I was a happy, happy camper! (For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, I am referring to pi=3.14 used in math to find the circumference&area of a circle. March 14th is pi day because it is 3/14 = 3/14) We bought a pie for District Meeting and enjoyed pie and pancakes together as a district. Both round. So good! Then we brought a pie to and investigator and her family. :)
Quote of the week was in Relief Society: "Please grant me patience, but please hurry!" referenced by an older lady as we had a discussion on Christlike attributes! XD So funny! I am absolutely loving these counseling sessions we are able to have as a Relief Society!! There are so many experiences and insights that each sister is able to offer! Communication is key for growing!!
During Gospel Principles yesterday, the teacher wasn't there, and we decided to have an open discussion lesson to learn from each other. We chose the topic of sacrifice, and talked about what it means to sacrifice. It was one of the most enlightening lessons of my mission! SO GOOD!!! :D I was able to learn so much from the YSA members around me and from the Spirit! It was brought to my remembrance an experience I had while I was in YSA in St. George. :) The missionaries came to our Gospel Doctrine class and talked of the story of Alma 24 when the Anti-Lehi-Nephi's bury their weapons of war. They encouraged us to write down a weapon of rebellion that we need to bury, we wrote it on a piece of paper, and buried it in the volleyball pit.
What are things that we have been asked to give up? What are our weapons of rebellion that we need to bury? As we talked in Gospel Principles this week, we brought up many temporal things (money, time, food) that we may have to sacrifice during this life to help others or come closer to God. But my mind reflected on what truly might be keeping me from coming closer to my Savior. Are there personality traits, hobbies, or little habits I have that may be keeping me just a bit further from Christ? What little pieces of the world have I allowed to become a part of me that I need to bury? The missionaries that day in YSA gave us each a picture of Jesus Christ with a paper on it that says "Have you buried your weapons of rebellion yet?" I took it with me, and have it hanging above my study desk. It's a good reminder for me each day to bury my weapons of rebellion!! :D
Just a heads up: I will be emailing AGAIN this Friday! Our Pday for next Monday is moved to this Friday because we are having Zone Conference and coming together from the 4 corners of our zone to have a pday together! So I will talk to y'all on Friday, then the next Monday! (April 2)
I love you all!! Thank you so much for being such amazing examples to me!!
Sister Van Valkenburg

We took a bubble tea and bubble waffle break for our dinner the other day!! (Happy 14 months to me!)
Sister Killick got upset and tried to run out of the car...but she forgot that her seatbelt was on...XD

Monday, March 12, 2018

March 12,2018 Email :D

Chicken Hellfire
Hey y'all! :D
This week has been quite the adventure! :) In case you were wondering about the title of this email...we were on exchange this week, and Sister Ferrin came to spend a day with me! As we were trying to figure out dinner, we grabbed some chicken from the fridge and decided to marinate it in BBQ sauce in the oven. Pretty chill. Now here is the thing with missionary apartments. You NEVER know what you are going to find in the cupboard from past missionaries. We had quite the assortment of BBQ sauces to choose from...but here is the one we decided on: Hell Fire. It's hot. How hot? Apparently you have to special order has ghost peppers in it, along with California Reapers.... 
​So, being the crazy sisters we are...we dumped half the bottle on our poor chicken, put it in the oven, threw it together with some rice, and packed it away to the church with some ranch! SO GRATEFUL I remembered the ranch! We sat together in the YW room waiting for people to show up for basketball and just about died!! Hahaha such a sweet memory!
Another fun food thing: I discovered, thanks to Sister Killick, the best hot chocolate ever! You either make vanilla bean hot chocolate or normal, add in a peppermint tea pack, throw in some vanilla ice cream, and you're good to go!! :D SO GOOD!!!
We had ward conference yesterday, and President Ryan had some words of wisdom to share. He talked about the new Star Wars movie, and how excited he was to see it with his family! He sat there and at a point in the movie, was distracted by the sound of people around him eating popcorn and rattling their candy wrappers. It caused him to be so irritated for "7 minutes" that he lost complete focus of the movie and missed what he had waited so anxiously to experience! He related it to our life on earth and when we allow things to distract us from the happiness we are here to experience! :D Wow! So good!
I have so much more to share...but have so little time! Just know that I love all of you and love being a missionary! There truly is no better calling!!! 
Sister Van Valkenburg
​We went to a member's house this week that used to be a pro arm wrestler! SO COOL!! SO MANY MEDALS!!! (Kaylea, one of the best people ever is in the pic with Sister Killick.)