Monday, May 28, 2018

May 28th, 2018 Email :D

Hello everyone!
I am terribly sorry I literally left like 2 minutes to write this week...but I am so grateful for the opportunities I have had this week to share the gospel! We have seen so many miracles!!

We were at the park and met a sweet lady who is searching for a church for her daughter, we were backing out of a parking stall at the mall and a guy walked up and commented on our Tiwi...and then came to church on Sunday from that conversation! He is a bull rider from Oklahoma, and the Elders are now teaching him. :) So cool! He even came to church with the boots, hat, name it!

I know that time is so precious. I was privileged to play the prelude music for a funeral this week of a young man that passed away. I am in my last month of my mission...and time is of the essence! We had a training in District meeting where we condensed a transfer into one hour. Each week was just 10 minutes and we needed to find, teach, and baptize God's children! It was so intense! It really put things into perspective! I love serving a mission! I am so truly grateful for the knowledge I have that I am a child of God!! 

I love you all!!
LYBL!! *Live your Best Life*
Sister Van Valkenburg
My plants :) 
Our jar herb gardens :)
Car selfies....photobombed by a tree
our herb jars again
More car selfies
My other plant........
LOOK AT ALL THE COTTON!!!!! ...I promise that is not snow

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

May 22nd,2018 Email :D

OH my STINKIN goodness!!!! 
Before I even start on my week I would love to give a shoutout to my brother, Jayden! He got his mission call and has been called to serve in the India Bengaluru mission!!! I am so proud of him and know that he is going to be an amazing missionary!! He already is! <3 

As for my week, we have seen so many miracles! We started the crazy transfer week with saying goodbye to friends with Sister Killick, sending her on her way to Victoria YSA (She is killin it!) And picking up my new companion, Sister Buur!! For anyone who remembers my past areas, Sister Buur was one of my STL's and I lived with her in the same basement suite in Langley!!! <3 We have already spent Christmas and New Years together and since she will be going home to Denmark just one transfer after me, we will be spending the ends of our missions together! I love her dearly and can't wait to see what Heavenly Father has in store for us!! 

Last Sunday, Sister Killick and I met some East Indian guys walking down the street and invited them to come play volleyball with us. They readily accepted! Come Wednesday, we had a volleyball game going at the church with 80% nonmembers and about the same percentage all East Indian!! It was awesome!! We were able to play and make friends, and some even came again on Friday to play basketball! It was such a miracle!!

We enjoyed crashing 3 Family Home Evenings this week (by invitation) and contacting in new places! On Thursday we were blessed to find 5 new investigators! 2 of our friends came to church on Sunday!

Yesterday, we went to play beach volleyball with some ward members and their friends and thoroughly enjoyed it! The members we were playing with have a little boy that just turned 1! As we were leaving, we met a sweet single mom with a 1 year old daughter! We were able to testify of how the gospel blesses families and were able to set up an appointment to see her with the ward member for a playdate/lesson on Friday! Super excited!!! 

My testimony has been so strengthened this week as I have acted in faith and prayed diligently for the miracles that I know Heavenly Father can bless us with! They have come every time!

I love this gospel, I love being a missionary, and I love each and every one of you!!
Sister Van Valkenburg
Beautiful lake on the hike Sister Killick and I went on last week!
PG man! Drive by this dude about every day!
Outside a member's home we had dinner with :) Love them!
Selfies with Sister Buur!

Monday, May 7, 2018

May 7,2018 Email :D

Thy Will Be Done

Hello everyone!!!! 
Today will be a bit sorry! I am spending more time on individual emails..have a lot on my mind! But this week has been amazing! The weather has been getting nicer every day, and we had the chance to go to MLC again in Vancouver! It is such an amazing experience every time and the Spirit is so incredibly strong!

If you have ever heard the mutual theme song for I believe it was 2017...Thy Will Be will have heard the song I have sung or played the piano for many musical numbers throughout my mission. It is beautiful. For MLC I was able to accompany a couple Elders who sang it for the musical number. They were asked to sing it 3 times throughout the 8 hour meeting and the whole theme centered around our commitment to Heavenly Father and aligning our will with His. Think about it. Who else knows you perfectly and can help you get to where you need to be? If we want to help a child of God enter the waters of baptism, He will help us because it is HIS will!!! So why don't we ask Him how to do it and just do it His way? It's an amazing thought. We were asked to study the scripture D&C 58:31-33 in preparation. It's amazing. Read it, love it, live it! 

My perspective on life and my goals of accomplishment have gradually shifted throughout my mission. It's amazing to look back and see the meaning behind my goals then, and the meaning behind them now. There is a depth that can only be added by Heavenly Father. I am striving continually to align my will to His. Only then will I be successful in becoming who I need to be!

I love you all! Have an amazing week!!! Happy Mother's Day!
Sister Van Valkenburg

garden update!
Another picture from Elvis's baptism!

Monday, April 30, 2018

April 30,2018 Email :D

I Planted A Garden!!!!!

The title of this email is something that makes me probably a little bit more happy than it probably should...but I am a happy, happy camper because I planted an herb and flower garden last Monday and it is sprouting and I am so proud. ❤
This week has flown by!!! But it has been good! Keeping it short and simple, we have been using the smartphones a lot and have seen some cool miracles sharing Mormon messages with people on the street and being able to use group chats to coordinate!! So cool! I am so grateful for this tool!!!
We had our first District meeting of the transfer FINALLY on Wednesday, and for part of it, we were each given a physical goal to reach. I said I could do about a minute plank, so I was challenged to make a plan of how to do a 2 min and 15 second plank by May 16th. Likewise, each member of our district was given a physically challenge to complete by May 16th. There is a 5K time, one armed pushup, wall sit, number of pushups and then my plank. Ridiculous, right? But the principle behind it is AMAZING!! It is a concept I have known for a long time, but I realized this week, haven't truly applied. We planned out each day how to work to achieve our goals and put it on a chalkboard in our apartment. Each day my plank time goes up 6 seconds. So far, I am doing good! I've gone from being able to do a minute, to a minute and 24 seconds! It inspired me to plan better for each day of my mission. I have made so many maps, plans, goals, and diagrams for the rest of my mission now! And Heavenly Father is blessing us with miracles! We have been able to hit standards this week because of it, and we are getting happier and more physically fit at the same time!! So good!! :D
A fun story, we were at the Bishop's house this week for dinner, and were asked to scoot our chairs over to add someone to the table. So we did the little hands-on-chair-scoot-while-still-in-the-chair thing. As I scooted to my left, Sister Killick scooted her chair into my chair from the right and the collision got my fingers! Thanks to my trusty ring I wear every day, my fingers didn't get too damaged...but my poor ring went flat!! Bishop Hatch had to go get pliers to get it off my finger, and then did his best to round it out using a piping tip...holy cow! Hahaha it is a memory for the books! But it got me thinking. My ring protected my fingers. Even though I still felt some pressure on my other fingers, I didn't get hit as hard because I had made a choice to put that ring on. That ring is a ring my dad gave me on my 16th birthday to always remember to be pure and loyal to my future husband. It is important to me, and I have worn it every day since on my right ring finger. Because of the decision, I made then, I have been able to make choices consequently to protect myself from the colliding chairs coming my way through life. I have still felt the impact it could make, but I haven't been crushed because the choice I made then, has protected me. In Stake conference yesterday, President Marks told of how he bought a boat for his family. Consequently, he bought a truck to pull the boat. But that decision, he tied back to choosing to have a family in the first place because it is for his family. Every choice we make affects the future. There is no random decision! It is a bit of a jumble of thoughts, but my ring being squished and that thought yesterday clicked something in my brain. It is all tied together. I am more conscious of the decisions I make every day. Because someday, they will protect me. I may not see it coming, and I will still experience some pressure from them, but it will be less because of the choice I make now. Cool, hey?
Another parable for the week, when I started my garden, I started growing some sprouts in a jar as well. They are floated in water, and I am to change the water 2 times a day to prevent gross stuff growing in there and to stimulate their growth. *According to my understanding* This to me is like repentance. EVERY DAY we need to Atonement of Jesus Christ. We need to repent, even if the water seems crystal clear and everything is hunky dory! We won't be able to grow or progress without it. We won't be able to protect ourselves from the things that may invade our lives and cause problems in the future!
If I have learned one thing on my mission thus far, it is that everything ties to the gospel. It has to! God created everything for US!! In Alma 30:44 it says:
"But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of aall these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the bearth, and call things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its dmotion, yea, and also all the eplanets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator."
Look around this week, and see what connects to the gospel for you! I'm sure you'll find something!! :D
Love you all! Have an amazetastic week!!!
Sister Van Valkenburg

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