Monday, June 25, 2018

June 25th, 2018 Email :D

See you soon!!
Hello everyone!
I am so sorry that I have been so poor at emailing the last few weeks! Things are crazy up here in the North! We had transfer calls on Saturday, and I am being transferred! I will be serving in the St. George, Utah mission! It's crazy to think that I will be home in just a few short days. I feel as though I just came out into the field! But as I sit and ponder the things the Lord has helped me to learn and experience over the last year and a half of my! A lot has happened and I wouldn't trade any of it for the world! :)

I will write a bit of a testimony at the end here, but first I'll slide in some details about the last week. :) We have truly experienced some miracles! 
The first is the lovely Sam. :) She is from the Philippines and 15 years old. She has only been here with her mom and brother for about 9 months! We started teaching her a few weeks ago, but haven't been able to see her for a week and a bit because of school. We finally saw her this week. We had taught her the Plan of Salvation and given her a Book of Mormon previously and asked her about it. She had prayed about the Plan and felt peace. She recognized it as Heavenly Father telling her it is true! The Book of Mormon, she had a read a little bit of and showed us a passage of King Benjamin she enjoyed. She recognized the paintings and what they meant. She had given her copy to her cousin to read because she wanted to read as well. <3 I love her dearly. She is such a sweet spirit!

This week we also had a big stake-wide event where some visitors came to speak to all women in the stake ages 8 and up about the value of being a Sister in Zion. We had sisters traveling from even Terrace to be here. :) The spirit of unity in the room was so strong and the feeling of love for each other and from Heavenly Father was so clear. I was blessed to play the piano for a two different renditions of As Sisters in Zion. The first time we sang all 10 verses of the poem, the 2nd time was the EFY medley. It was an honor to be a part of! 

I am so grateful to be finishing my mission in the Celestial North! It has been a blessing to be here for 6 months, and I look forward to staying in contact with many friends from here and every area I have served in! (you can find me on Facebook or email me at

As for my overall mission...

You learn a lot about God's love for His children on your mission. Especially when you are called to such a culturally diverse place as British Colombia! ;) So many different languages, races, cultures, and beliefs surround me...even up here in Prince George! It has been such a blessing to recognize how perfectly He knows and loves the individual, regardless of the details of their lives. He truly is the perfect Father! 
 I know without a doubt that I was meant to serve here in the Canada Vancouver Mission. I know that Heavenly loves all of His children perfectly and knows exactly what they need. A day hasn't gone by that I haven't needed to be here. I know that every person on this earth has a purpose in their life. I know that Heavenly Father guides us exactly where we need to be if we humble ourselves to be led. The meaning of being led has changed for me over my mission. I had blind faith before. Being led meant having a blindfold on and allowing Heavenly Father to guide me by the hand. It has changed now. Being led by Heavenly Father now means to me that my eyes are open. I seek to understand the world around me and where He needs me to go. My arms are outstretched, reaching for Him, and I am still allowing Him to guide me. But I eagerly take the steps ahead. No matter where He may lead me, I keep my focus on Him and I will end up where I need to be. I still don't know the meaning of all things, but I know more than I did. 
I know that through prayer, our loving Heavenly Father speaks to us. He know my thoughts, needs and desires long before I vocalize them, but still wants to hear from little ol me. He loves me. He is always there for me. My mission started with a prayer, and that prayer has continued throughout my mission. My Heavenly Father is my best friend. I know He hears me and keeps me safe. He loves me and guides me. As I heed His counsel, I am able to touch more lives than I can even imagine to be possible. 
I know that because of Heavenly Father's love for us, He has given us prophets on the earth today. I love and sustain President Russell M Nelson. I know that he has the authority to lead and direct he church in these latter days. As I follow him, I am following my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. I finished it again this morning, having read it cover to cover with a prayer in my heart to learn something new every day. I was not disappointed. I know that it is true and the best guide to my life that I could have! The words bring me joy, peace and direction in my life. I know that as people seek the truth in the Book of Mormon, they will find it. They will catch a glimpse of the Lord's infinite love for them. They will know that Joseph Smith truly was a prophet of God and called for a few very specific purposes. Oh how I am grateful for the devotion and service of Joseph Smith! The Book of Mormon is full of the messages Heavenly Father needed to tell me. So many days I have had a question and found the answer in the scriptures. I know that opportunity isn't unique to me, but for all. However, I know that the experiences He has blessed me with through the Book of Mormon are very unique for me. 
I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ. He is my rock. Without Him I would not be here, I would not have the joy that I do in my life...heck! I would have no life at all! The Atonement of Jesus Christ never became so real to me until my mission. A day without the Atonement of Jesus Christ is no day at all. It is a night. I know that Jesus Christ is the son of God. I know He lived, died, and lived again for each and every single one of us. No sin is so off the straight and narrow path that He will do EVERYTHING in His power to bring us back. He can and He will. He has done it for me many, many times for which I am eternally grateful. I know that He loves me and each of us individually and perfectly. I am so grateful for the ability to be cleansed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, my Savior.
I know that my family can be together forever. I know it without a shadow of a doubt. My family is mine forever. It motivates me each day to be worthy of the Celestial Kingdom. It motivates me each day to become worthy of my future husband and my future children, to guide them in the ways of truth and light. I know that Heavenly Father wants all of His children to return home to His presence and to be TOGETHER FOREVER. It is possible, and it is worth it to just be our best selves every day.
I am grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost. The light, guidance, and comfort that comes into my life through the power of the Holy Ghost is something that I wouldn't trade for anything in this world. It's something I need every day. The miracles I have been able to participate in throughout my mission are only possible to be fulfilled and recognized through the Holy Ghost. I know that as I seek to be obey the promptings of the Holy Ghost, I will be on the Lord's errand. That will always be my top priority. Only then will I be successful in accomplishing the work He needs me to! 
 I am incredibly grateful for the opportunity to have served a full time mission in the Canada Vancouver Mission. The call to serve, though extended to all, is one of my greatest treasures and very personal to me. I am so grateful for the knowledge of these things, and the many more that I have to learn. I love my Heavenly Father. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. And say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I love you all! See you soon!!! <3
Sister Van Valkenburg

Happy Aboriginal Day!
My cute comp!
We found the leftover treats after the big regrets!
The District

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