Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Letters and pics from the last 6 weeks (SORRY for the delay!)

email received from the Mission regarding Christmas Packages
October 7, 2013

Dear Families of Missionaries,

Christmas is fast approaching.  We will be delivering our missionaries Christmas packages the 12th, 13th, and 14th of December.

All Christmas packages are to be mailed to the office and must arrive at the Mission Office by Friday, December 6. 2013. Meeting that deadline will assure that your missionary receives your packages at the time their zone packages are delivered.

Please mark 'Christmas' on the Christmas packages. If we don't know the packages are for Christmas they may get sent out to training meetings, visits by the Assistants, Interviews, etc. before the Christmas package delivery dates.  We don't want your missionary opening Christmas presents before Christmas.

We ask that all packages come in to the office for two reasons:  1)  We log every package that comes in.  Doing so helps us determine if there are any missionaries not getting Christmas presents (it happens).  If packages go to apartments we don't know who has received Christmas presents.  2) Sending all packages to the office does away with any confusion about transfers - whether your missionary might be transferred and gone from the apartment you usually send their mail to.  Transfers will occur on the 10th of December 2013.

Our office address is:

Pennsylvania Philadelphia Mission 721 Paxon Hollow Road St B Broomall, PA 19008

May your Christmas be extra special because you have a loved one serving the Savior as a missionary.

Thanks for your help and attention.
Sister Smuin
Mission Secretary

email from October 7, 2013
This week has had its ups and downs, but today I am perfectly content and that is good enough for me :)
So, we had some potentials named G and J. Their house address was an address of a less-active member that used to live there. They seemed interested to come to church, but never came after we had invited them. We made an appointment, but that never stuck. It seemed a bit like they were avoiding us. We tried to call about 3 times, but every time it went to voicemail... and sometimes only after 2 rings. . On Saturday night after conference, we went there for a visit. I was kind of nervous to go because I didn't want to seem too pushy, but put that feeling aside. So we went over and immediately she let us in. We talked to her as G was making her dinner. She told us of that hard time she had been going through this past week. From staying in the hospital and feeling guilt for having her husband take care of her for the past 3 weeks. So she broke down to us, tears and everything. We shared Alma 34:16 and she cried even more. She asked us to share that scripture with G. He said that he liked it. They asked us about our churches view on marriage, and we told them that we believe it to be sacred and between man and wife. They liked that. So, time was running out, so we decided to leave them with a Book of Mormon before we left. Sister Suckow said "We have a present for you" and put the Book of Mormon up, and she started crying. At first I thought it was a mistake, then I thought she was crying because of meds, but then she said "Oh my goodness... really? I can't believe it. This book saved my life when I was in the army 20 years ago. Wow." And we were so surprised! She then explained how her friend from the army had invited her to that church and how she loved it! She got baptized about a month after that. Then she married her first husband who told her that she could never go to that church again, and when they got divorced threw her Book of Mormon out. She bore her testimony to G about the Book of Mormon, and told him that he needs to read it. The Book of Mormon changes lives. It has changed mine, and I hope I allow myself to have it be able to continue to change mine. So conclusion: We found a less-active member while trying to find another... it was...perfect.
We also have a recent convert named M who is AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and I've seen recent converts that really aren't. She is so converted. She has begged us to come teaching with us. She is just amazing. She reads her scriptures, is an active member, and tells everyone about the gospel. She is preggo (about 6months) and is an artist. She came teaching with us the other day to our investigators, A and R. She bore her testimony like nobody's business. The Spirit just comes out of her mouth and my heart knows that what she is saying is true. A and Rare awesome! Don't worry about me as long as they, The Badilla family, and the Deans are out here.. They take care of us without any hesitation. Sister Dean is such an angel... she is the epitome of a perfect member missionary. She shares the gospel with EVERYONE! She has 4 girls at work that want to come to church. She called us and told us to block out our whole day from 11-5 to come out with her. She had less active members that she had been fellowshipping to go see with us. We went and visited 3 people. One a less active, one an active member that is having a hard time, and one was a girl from her work that she had already told about us to... so it wasn't creepy for us to come. I can't explain how much love I have for her in my heart. Her husband is dying of cancer. She had a really bad fall and is bruised up one side of her body. She could easily say that its too much to come out teaching with the Sister missionaries. She could easily stay in bed and watch TV all day. She could easily make an excuse as to not come teaching with us... and her excuses would be valid. But she sees the big picture of Heavenly Fathers plan. She knows that if she comes out with us, that her burdens will be light. And they are. She was able to come and do the work of the Lord, and also have a girls day to take her mind off of the bad things going on at home. So I cant explain it as well as I want to, but she is truly and angel.
The Lord is so aware of me, and I feel it. We had a really hot day this week, and I was complaining (cuz I couldn't wear my cute boots.... but then later on in the evening, I was having a really bad night. I was very sad and started crying in the car as I was in the passenger seat. I rolled down the window, and the wind was the perfect temperature. It was the temperature of cool summer nights back in Cali, and  I knew that if it had not been a hot day, that the wind wouldn't have been the perfect temperature, and I wouldn't have gotten that tender mercy from the Lord. But it was hot, and it was a beautiful night, and I felt that tender mercy from the Lord. He is so aware and mindful of me, and I could feel it that night :)
 Family- I love you. I miss you, but I am continuing to try to push that aside and continue to work with all my heart, might, mind, and strength. I can't wait to be with you all forever :)
Sister Adams

email from 10-15-13
Hi Momma!
P-Day was changed because of Columbus Day. Don't really know why... but its ok.  Its weird how when you're on your mission, your body is programmed to start to relax on Mondays... I had to whip myself into shape about 5x yesterday! But then when I heard that Muddy died, I excused myself to the bathroom and cried for about 3 minutes, walked out, and cried a little bit more. But you wanna know what my companion said? She said that I'm sure she's playing with Christ right now, and when she came he just held out his arms for her. :) Mom- you did nothing. Did I tell you about the night the Nigel died? I had the flu, and dad put him out to potty. Dad then went to sleep before me, and then I decided to go to sleep. I walked by the sliding door and saw Nigel there looking at me, and I decided that I was "too weak" to open the door for him. Then he got out. But its ok. Muddy and him are playing together and they're pooping everywhere... Angel too. ;) I'm still pretty sad, but its ok. :) I have a letter to send to you... but its not from me! This week I went on exchanges with a Sister named Sister Oveson. She tried on the brown dansko shoes and really liked them, so I let her have them. She only had 2 pairs of shoes prior, so she was so happy. I said to thank you... and she literally did. Its such a cute letter. I'll send it as soon as I can :)
This week was good! Really good! We saw lots of miracles! We had plans to have 5 investigators at church from our area alone, and we waited at the door before Sacrament, and they didn't show. First song... didn't show. Opening prayer... no one came... we were pretty sad because we had planned for our investigators, A and R, to pick them up and bring them. So we were just like "if they forgot to pick them up... oh man.. we are going to be so sad..."  Then we went and sat down in the congregation next to the Scherers (I'll explain them more in this letter ) and I was super anxious and antsy. I was so nervous. Then when Bishop was saying the announcements, we heard some shuffling behind us, and there they were, 4 of the 5! I turned to Sister Suckow and said "It feels like Christmas morning!" because it totally did! They came and J (30) was wearing gym shorts and a puffy jacket and a red ball cap, and his mom, L(47), was wearing gym pants and a t-shirt and a jean jacket. It was sweet. We then found out that they woke up late and didn't get breakfast and were woken up by A knocking on the door. It was funny, but we were so happy that they showed! They were really engaged in Gospel Essentials (which was about honesty) and they nodded a lot and smiled a lot. We had a lot of people lined up to talk to them. It was so cool! Sister Dean is so funny. The first thing she does I hug J. Ahh, its great when people are just awesome at being friendly! So now, L and J want to come back next week for Stake Conference... and the next week.... and the next. We're planning for their date to be December 8th, so we'll see how that goes! :) We have dinner with them this Thursday. 
One of the talks in church was SUPER COOL! It was one of the Spanish speaking members, Brother Cruz. He only speaks Spanish, so it was translated by Sister Badilla. It was really cool because there were a lot of pauses and times where the Spirit could teach rather than him talking on and on. It was so cool!! His talk was about being accepted by the Lord. It was applicable to me AND to the investigators at church :)
Then, on Sunday night we had dinner with the Scherer family. They have 4 kids... and they are CRAZY!!!! CCcRAAzzyYYYy!! They have a 10yr old son named Johnny and in the middle of dinner he put on his Darth Vader costume and came and turned off the light and started whipping it around. His parents didn't do anything, it was so fun. The crazy houses are the best to go to. They also have a black lab, so I automatically liked them. Her name is Hobbs and they have a fish named Calvin. Ugh, it was so much fun!
My companion and I are getting along much better. I realize that its really hard for me to let people in. I just hate getting hurt after I do. But that's just what happens. You let people in, so that you can love them and they can love you, and that's just how life it. I mean, Christ loves everyone, and I'm sure he gets disappointed every day with how we are. But he continually lets people in. So I realized that a long time ago, but saw no problem with it. Now I see a problem with it. So I am trying to let people in. Companions, investigator's, members. Just to love them more. So we and I discussed that, and we have been talking more to each other. About things that bother us and things that are just on our mind. She listened to me talk about Muddy a lot yesterday. Its a lot better ;)
Anyways, gotta go! I love you Mom and Dad and Bubba and and Gma's and cousins and Arielle and Amanda and Uncles and Aunts and Sterd and Alora and friends and Nyle and Isabelle and Chewy and Sammy and... even Bella ;)
Sister Adams!

email from 10/21/13
Hi momma!
 I'm good! I loved the ward newsletter! It looked so good! I can't believe you have 8 missionaries! We are hoping to have the work improve so much that we need 8, too! The work is going GREAT! Our faith has increased, so our miracles have increased, its awesome! We have about 8 investigators right now, and hopefully 5 more with baptismal dates this week. We will try our darndest tro make that happen, but agency is awesome and they have to accept :P
A typical day for me is that I'm exhausted and then we work and we see miracles then we sleep. Lol, juuuuust kidding... sort of ;)
Well, we wake up at 6:30 (which sometimes its cool to picture all of the other missionaries waking up at the same times as us, it helps to picture that) then we exercise (which I am trying to do! I run the stairs in the morning and I have had so much more energy) and then we get ready and then we study for 1 hour personally, then 1 hour together. Then we work from 10-9. When it gets dark we usually come in and work on the map and area book, to keep them updated for future missionaries in that area. But during the day we are trying new finding activities, and also visiting potential investigators and less-actives (this is if we have no appointments). Our new finding activities include putting up Free Stop Smoking Program posters around the city and holding signs on a busy street (that say: Free Book of Mormon, Free KJV Bibles, Free Family History Help....  and also singing hymns in a park. We haven't tried all of them, but we are getting to it :) But yeah, that's a typical day!
I love you! Thank you for your package.. honestly. I loved it and it relaly helped me feel loved. I've missed you a lot today. Last night I was so mad because all I wanted to do was call you, but its ok, im strengthening my relationship with the Lord right now :)
<3 Sister Adams!

email from October 28, 2013
Hello Family and friends! 
Well, big news here in Wilkes-Barre... I'm staying and Sister Suckow is leaving.. and guess who's taking her place??? A Golden fresh and hot from the MTC! Yup, Im training... Its a pretty weird feeling. Im extremely excited but Im also super nervous!!  I just want to serve her as best as I can.. and not let my pride get in the way. Its definitely going to be a humbling experience and Im praying that it is. Its exciting to see who its going to be! Im going to transfer meeting tomorrow in Broomall (140 miles away...) and then going in a temporary trio for a night and then getting my golden on Wednesday! Its so exciting! In this mission they make transfers really nerve-racking and its really exciting but kind of annoying!        
Anyways, I had a pretty good week this week. We had a lesson with L's husband, R. He has NOT wanted to meet with us for like a month (the whole time we've been meeting with L). He just has heard crazy things about the church and has never wanted to join. But we saw them at Walgreens and Sister Suckow asked if he would be at the next lesson. He said no. Sister Suckow said that we were pretty persistent (I heard none of this because I was a little ways away doing something else.. but don't worry!  I was still within sight and sound!) and I came back and then asked R (without knowing that it had just been asked) if he was going to be at the next lesson. He then said "ok... alright, i'll go." And wow... it was a wonderful lesson! We watched the Restoration DVD and then we asked him questions like if he ever felt the way that Joseph did and what his relationship with God is like. He has had some negative things happen in his life and he feels like God has abandoned him. We then talked about prayer and asked him to be baptized with the rest of his family on the 8th of December.. we'll see how that goes! Hopefully it happens!
I have a weird feeling that I'm going to be here the rest of my mission. Which will be good. I need to learn how to love these people more :)
I am so grateful for the Lord giving me this opportunity. This morning I was studying conversion. In the Bible dictionary under conversion is says Alma 26. I was like ugh I don't have time to read the whole chapter, so idk if Im going to do it. But then I killed that natural man for a second and read it. IT WAS SO AWESOME!
1. And now, these are the words of Ammon to his brethren, which say thus: My brothers and my brethren, behold I say unto you, how great reason have we to rejoice; for could we have supposed when we started from the land of Zarahemla (California.... New Jersey.... BAYVIEW WEST....) that God would have granted unto us such great blessings?

 2. And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell? Gratitude

 3. Behold, I answer for you; for our brethren, the Lamanites, (everyone here in the PPM) were in darkness, yea, even in the darkest abyss, but behold, how many of them are brought to behold the marvelous light of God! And this is the blessing which hath been bestowed upon us, that we have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work.
And I was like WHOA!!! It was so amazing to read that and to relate it to ME. And how I left my land of comfort many times, and how many blessings and treasures has the Lord given me for that! I still need to work on being more grateful, as everyone does, but I can say right now with a full heart that I am grateful that the Lord has been so merciful unto ME, Sister Ellyn Adams, to send me to all of these places with all of these companions to meet all of these wonderful, weird, scary, amazing people. I have been changed, and I hope to continue to humble myself and change. I love all of you! Please don't be mad if I don't email you all every week, or as often as you'd like. I promise I will do that LOTS in about 11 months... PROMISE!
I love you!
Until next week- Sister Adams :)

email from November 1st
Hello Family!
Well, got ZERO emails from you all today...
that's ok
I'll just cry in a corner...
alone.... Just kidding. I'll cry in a corner with my companion cause we are together 24/7...
Well, I just love you all and miss you all a lot. This week was my first week training... It was really hard, but not as hard as it would have been to train someone that was like me, haha ;) I was extremely prideful and stubborn and my golden is SO NOT. She is from the Phillipines and very sweet in her intentions. BUT! Before I got my golden, I went to transfer meeting, and guess who I saw there...? The Fletchers! And all the other missionaries that were getting transferred, of course, but seeing the Fletchers was my favorite. :) I cried when I hugged Sister Fletcher, because she just reminds me of mom, but its ok. Anyways, so after transfers, since they're on Tuesday and we pick up our goldens on Wednesday, I had to go to a close area with another Sister so that we continued to do work. Well guess which area that was?! Medford, NJ.... RIGHT NEXT to Moorestown :) It was so surreal! The Medford Sisters car was parked at the Moorestown Sisters apartment, also... it was so cool! So I went to our apartment and just looked around. It made me super trunky for my first area, haha. Then we went to Medford and helped the Medford Sisters move apartments. It was cool, and kind of boring, but ok to pass the time. THEN, Wednesday came and we went to the Mission office again, and President Anderson announced some...announcements... and one of them is that we are not allowed to have ipods anymore. Sad day. BUT, instead of ipods, all missionariesa re getting a personal mini ipad and and iphone for the companionship... so its not too bad. I'll just miss the camera and my music. So within this week you will receive my ipod in the mail :) 
But then I got my golden, and I KNEW it was going to be her! She is short and Filipino and an Artist and photographer and loves clothes. Kind of perfect, ehh? Haha she is like 4'11" and super funny. We get along great! Bubba or dad, did you ever train? If so, how'd you like it? Right now its hard, and definitely a humbling experience. She is so ready to learn and to grow and to work... I was NOT like that! Haha she is all about just following the Spirit and testifying, which I am kind of hard hearted in the fact that I let numbers get in the way sometimes. But I am so glad that the Lord blessed me with her! We have had so many miracles, like the members that come out with us are PERFECT for the investigators, and one day we got 5 new investigators, and yeah, its so amazing! I love her. I miss Sister Suckow, she is one of my best friends, but missions are so short, so its ok... I think I'll survive :)
Anyways, there was this one family that we met while coming out of a lesson with A and R and she was smoking on her front porch. She had a pitbull and I asked to pet him, and she said yes. Well then he bit me and then I had to go to the emergency room and it turns out he had rabies... but Im ok now. HAHAHAHAHAHHAHHAH ok, that's what you get for not emailing me this week. Anyways, we were petting her super tame pitbull and we were just talking to her about what we do as missionaries and asked her if there was a time to come back. She said yes, and bing bang boom we came back and tried really really hard to teach her family. Her husband talked super fast and would. not. stop. SIster Baluyot couldn't understand everything. She can only understand English if its slow. So they are New Yorkers and Pennsylvanians mixed together... so you could say they were talking super duper fast! But it was hard. The guy talked about if he could see it then he would believe. Then Michelle (our ward missionary) pulled out Alma 32 and talked about faith. You could tell that he got it. Something clicked. She's awesome. This area is really teaching me how to listen, though. I sometimes don't get to say all that I want to say in a lesson, but I am trying so hard to first understand, then to be understood. I really have to put down my pride for that, though. Ugh, pride. Such a stupid thing! :)
Anyways, I am super tired. Always tired. I miss my family and friends, and its been like 7 months straight of missing people and the puppies and doing whatever I want, but I LOVE my mission. It is the best thing that I have ever done and it is SO worth all of it.. the homesickness, the music withdraw and getting up every single day at 6:30. Its hard, but SO WORTH IT. :D I am so grateful to be on a mission and the the Lord is letting me be a part of these miracles and they are changing me to be the person that I have always wanted to be and who the Lord has wanted me to be :)  But none of that would have happened if I never left home, and if I never woke up and got out of bed every morning, or opened my mouth and talked to people about the Restored Gospel. I love it!
We recite this every morning for this transfer, and every morning it gives me the chills...
"I am called of God.
My authority is above that of kings of the earth.
By revelation I have been selected as a personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.
He is my master and He has chosen me to represent Him--to stand in His place, to say and do what He Himself would say and do if He personally were ministering to the very people to whom He has sent me.
My voice is His voice, and my acts are His acts; my doctrine is His doctrine.
My Commission is to do what He wants done; To say what He wants said; to be a living modern witness in word and in deed of the divinity of his great and marvelous Latter-day work.
How great is my calling!" -Bruce R. McConkie
I LOVE that! It makes me so happy :)
Well, I love you all! I hope that everything is joyful and sunny because it is totally DARK when we wake up! Its totally NOT always sunny in Philadelphia! Except when I smile ;)
Haha, bye for now! Chow!
Paalam! ("Bye" in Tagalog) ;)
Mahal ko kayo!  ("I love you!")
-Sister Adams

email from November 18, 2013

Well Hello family and friends!
This week was quite an adventure... but I'm too tired to remember it, haha... but I do remember there was an  Elder that left when I first came into the field, but before he left we all had lunch with him and his parents that came to pick him up. His mom asked him if he wanted her to drive because he was tired, and he said "Mom, I've been driving tired for 2 years, I can drive tired today." Haha and that's how I feel! I am just soooo tired, every day. For 18 months I'm going to be tired, but its ok. When i'm tired it means I'm doing something right :)
I miss Muddy. Its ok though. :)
I got so many letters and love and packages this week, thank you mucho grande! Yesterday we spent the whole day with the Badillas. We had 2 lessons with Spanish people...She took us out teaching and we went to a Spanish family. We shared a message and she translated it for us. But I am just so spanished-out. I was thinking last night so fast and a bunch of Spanish phrases were going in and out of my mind... it was just too much, haha. But it was cool. Sister Badilla told us (sort of) her life story. Sister Baluyot was asleep next to me in the car... so idk if she enjoyed it as much as me, haha. (I remember how tired I was as a golden) But I've decided that I want to be Sister Badilla when I grow up. She is just amazing. I can't wait for you to meet her. There are so many wonderful people in this ward. The experiences truly are preparing me to be a mother and to be able to withstand the cRaZiNeSs in the world, haha I just know it. :) Like I've said before, all the hard times just don't outweigh the good times that I've had.
We met a guy named E. He is tall, very skinny (you could see that he was a long time smoker and used other substances) He was wearing a beanie and a big backpack and had tattoos on his neck and hands. He was a very bitter man when we first met him. He said that all that he  believes is money and living pay check to pay check. He said he would join whatever we were asking him to join (which we hadn't asked him anything, by the way...) if we could promise him money. We testified to him that faith is larger than money, and that's what we do as missionaries, we help build peoples faith. He then said that he just doesn't care about that, that God has never blessed his life as far as he can see. I said "Can we be so bold in saying that maybe God is blessing your life by meeting us?" He shook his head and was kind of offended that I had said that. But, we made a return appointment anyways, haha! We then went back a couple of days later for our return appointment. Honestly, I didn't expect him to be there... We knocked on his door and said that we could come in. We sat down and he took no time in asking "Well, go ahead... what do you want to teach me?" And so we started with a prayer, and then asked him what he expected of our visits. He said "to share with him what we believe." We then asked what he believed. He said that he didn't know, really. He talked about how he wants to know the truth for himself, truly from God. We then testified that he could know for himself, and not from anyone else, but from the source. He later said that he thought about what we had said, about how maybe we were that blessing, and he said that maybe this was the sign that he was waiting for. He talked about how he had read the Book of Mormon while he was in jail (because there is nothing to do in jail...). We asked him what he thought of it. He thought that it was mostly true, that he didn't really see anything wrong with it. We read the last two paragraphs from the intro (which btw I have this memorized... I know... I MEMORIZED SOMETHING! hahaah)
We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10:3–5.)
 Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is His revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the Second Coming of the Messiah.
 We then asked him what kind of feelings he was feeling as we've been talking. He said he is usually anxious, but that he was calm. We told him that those feelings are from God. We shared Moroni's promise and then promised him that he could know for himself. We said that it was a big promise, a HUGE promise, but that's the reason that we were on our missions at 19 years old. That's why we do this 24/7 for 18 months. He was kind of surprised at how much dedication we had, but we told him it was all because we knew this book was true. He asked us what to read, he asked us what he could do to know for himself. It was amazing!
Another cool thing about this story is that the morning of his lesson I was having a "woe is me" kind of day... and I knew that I had to apologize and tell Sister Baluyot my feelings, which I have found that I hate doing... but I just knew I had to do it or else the Spirit wouldn't have been able to be in our companionship, and therefore not in our teaching. I had to humble myself and apologize. Man, humility... what a funny thing that I just am not good at... I've been learning about it, but I actually was able to try to use what I've learned... and it worked! I was able to explain myself and she was able to listen, then the rest of the day we say miracles, including E. And I know that was not a coincidence.
Man, the Lord is so merciful unto me. He just lets me have these experiences even though I am not that great of a missionary sometimes, haha. :P
I am trying to be a better trainer. Sometimes I take over the lesson, and my companion gets like 2 words in. I am trying to fix that, because she has things that she needs to say to help them, too. :) All in time, though. :D
I love the letters, I feel your prayers and support. I have a cute Filipino companion that loves donuts (theres a place here that has really cute eclectic jewelry, and one is a scented donut necklace, haha. Im gonna get her that for Christmas. She's funny. 
I love you all, I plan to write some of you today as we do laundry. <3 See (most of) you on the 23rd on my brand new ipad mini! ;) (can you tell I'm excited for that?! :D)

Love you!
Sister Adams!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Email and pictures from September 30, 2013

Sister Ellyn Adams' email and pics from September...
Ellyn's current address for letters and packages is:
Sister Ellyn Adams
P.O. Box 11
Lehman, PA 18627
What I do...

Ellyn writes to the Mission President every week.  This is her email to her this week...

"Its me, Sister Adams! Well, this week has been such an adventure! We found a lot of investigators just simply by walking places (out of miles...) and talking to everyone! I get TERRIFIED of talking to new people, especially since sometimes I can make it pretty awkward. But I decided to actually do it. And guess what? We are now seeing so many miracles. And not only that, but I am so much more happy with the work that I am doing. I feel as though the Lord is pleased with my work... at least more than He was before. We found people by talking to them about the temple, by a referral from the Elders, and also just by simply talking to people about their dogs! I love that I can take a step back and see the Lords hand in this work.
The people that we ran into on the street and talked about their dogs first started off by us asking if we could pet them. I LOVE DOGS, so its perfect when we already have that connection. Then we listened to them as they explained the funny things that their dogs did. We also had peanut butter cookies that we offered to them and the guy, Jay, was ecstatic! He loves peanut butter cookies. He accepted, and that also lead us to a stronger friendship with him. They said that they liked us, and that they appreciated what we were doing. That we were nice and friendly. We could feel the trust between us grow, so we told them about our church. They said that they had been looking for a new church to join, and they said they'd come. We could have simply ended it at that... but we're persistent! So we asked them if we could come and teach them sometime about what our church believes. They said yes right away and asked if we could come over later that day. We were shocked! So we set up a time for later that day and then said our goodbyes. Later when we met up with them, we decided to do how to begin teaching. We asked them a couple of questions, and one led Jay to tell us that he had been praying to be closer to God. He said that he doesn't believe in coincidences and that he knew that we met him for a reason. We said that we agreed, and that God doesn't work in coincidences, and that He works in miracles. By the end of our 15 minute lesson with them, Jay was emotional. I know that we didn't have miles for a reason, that we had peanut butter cookies for a reason and that I like dogs for a reason, and that reason was them.
Oh goodness, the Lord loves His children :)
Anyways, that was a miracle!  

Me and Sister Suckow

Sister Suckow's birthday was on the 27th and she didn't get her gifts yet :( it stinks. SO if you haven't sent my package yet, you should put a lil sumthin' sumthin' in there for her :D  I'm buying her a unicorn stuffed animal today. I will definitely be jealous of it, though. We had an AWESOME WEEK! We found 4 new investigators, and 2/4 have stuck! Last week we found 6 New, and only 0 of those have stuck. So actually, in the missionary work, 1/5 of New investigators actually sticking is a good percentage :D haha.
OH BEFORE I FORGET! could you look up a GPS for me on craigslist or something. A cheap, good one? That would be awesome considering if Sister Suckow gets transferred Im all outta luck! You could use my spending money for next month if youd like. I feel like Im asking for a lot and I hate it but I really do need one. Also, how long do flu shots last? Our president wants us all to get one, but I don't want to if mine from March has lasted. Oh, and the money ($90) that you put in my account, was that for my coat? If so, thank you! If not, thank you!!!!! 
So yeah, on Tuesday... it was a SUPER WEIRD day. We held up signs that said "We're Mormon Missionaries" and the other said "Any Questions?" and we did those across from a place called Fat Mikes that had funnel cakes. I sadly report that the most success was probably me eating my funnel cake.
Me and the funnel cake!!!!!

 At least of the success that we can see. There were lots of honking horns and people that smiled and some kind of weird looks from old men, but that's ok. It was really fun! We decided that we were going to count how many people waved back to us. There were about 2 per minute, on average, which isn't too bad! But yeah, hopefully some of them decided to go on Mormon.org or lds.org or something. So hat least we hope that we were planting seeds :)
Read it, the teachings contained within will change your life.
I realized that during Christmas Im really going to miss home! It makes me sad, but its ok... 
There are so many truckers here. They also have lots of trucking stories that I have no idea what they're talking about the whole time but I just smile and nod... 
Sister Suckow and I had studies last night and she decided to surprise me by moving the couch and having a movie night and watching the Testaments. WHICH I ACTUALLY REALLY LIKE, though it is cheesy at some parts... I really liked it. Then after we planned we had a pillow fight and then we dropped another one of our investigators. I have never dropped as many people as I have in this past transfer, and it makes me sad :( but its ok, they aren't ready right now. 
Us just being silly...

Anyways, Mom, I'm so glad that you started a study journal! That's always been hard for me on my mission, but I just started a couple of weeks ago, and it makes a difference! This week I am going to study patience. You should look in Preach My Gospel in the chapter "How can I develop Christ-like Attributes" it helps to use that as you study.
I love you I love you I love you and I miss you all!
 Sister Adams

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Sister Ellyn Adams' new addess, email and pics from August 12th

New address:
Sister Ellyn Adams
PO box 11
Lehman, PA 18627
Companion: Sister Suckow (Sue-coe)
im right next to scranton, PA! woot woot!
love you!
Sister Adams

HI momma!
Ok, so I'm in Scranton now and my companion is Sister Suckow :D  She's awesome! very obedient, funny and kind of ridiculous :) We get along really well. I think it may be because she's 19 too. she's been out for 3 months and I've been out for 4, so we're extremely even in our knowledge... we sometimes walk around aimlessly... kind of not knowing what to do, haha. We have 2 baptismal dates and I'm super excited! I hope they work out. They're names are Colleen and Samantha and they just need to come to church and they'd be GOLDEN, PRAY FOR A MIRACLE!  :) So, hows home? It seems that time is going by so quick. Alora is turning 3, Dads turning skinny and so is Arielle! Take LOTS of pics at the Alorapalooza III for me, OK??  I have a present for her.  I am seeing so many small miracles, but especially the ones in myself. I'm not sure if that's bad that those are usually the ones that I notice... maybe I need to notice more of the ones in other people, but I feel myself more and more each day going through a change and becoming more converted to the gospel. I am learning how to be a better mother and wife.... hopefully. I have seen good and bad examples, so I am figuring out who I want to be. The area is beautiful, 

My apartment is super SUPER retro... like one step away from shag carpets, and my companion is beautiful. We have elders in this ward also.  Sister Suckow told me before I met the ward...it was a ward full of characters. Totally saw that on Sunday. Everyone is unique... and I like it. haha. One couple, the Deans, are AWESOME! When she met me she squealed and walked really fast to hug me. it was nice to feel wanted, haha. But she is super involved in missionary work. She has an awesome story! She grew up in the church but wasn't super active, became a truck driver and met her husband who was another truck driver... who was a Mormon too! Then they got married and he always said that he would have it so they would get sealed in the temple. they finally did this last July! After that, he got cancer, but he's finally home and getting better. I think that after her husband got cancer she REALLY became involved in missionary work because she saw the blessings from it. :) She is NICE to everyone, and I just felt so welcomed from her. Be that way for the missionaries that come into our ward, OK? The missionaries need it, they really do. Let them do laundry at our house, let them raid our cupboards, give them rides. They need it. And you need the blessings :) Its hard coming from a ward that was so missionary minded to one that isn't so much so. Like, they don't even pass around meal calenders because its a distraction... I'm going to be sweetly bold and change that. I just don't think that's acceptable. Members think (righteously, I might add) that we are the finders and teachers. Nope. members are the finders. I never knew that until I came on a mission! :) Instead of praying for us to find people, they need to pray to find people. The Lord has PROMISED miracles when that happens.  Its hard when the ward doesn't get that. Have you watched the missionary fireside put on at the Marriott next to the MTC? It pretty much just talks about that, and its WAY awesome! Anyways, I love you. Keep being awesome ward members. dad- you're an awesome leader for those young men and I admire that :) mom- you keep being an awesome ward missionary... they need people like you who are willing to do anything for them :) I love you a lot and miss you a little bit less this week! Love you, and you can send packages to my P.O. Box! I'm sure I'll be staying in this area for a while. Its awesome though... 3 areas in 4 months! anyways, I have to write president. LOVE YOU!!!
<3 Sister Adams 

Sister Adams' email and pics from August 5th

Hello All, 
News: I got an iPod!!!! Ope, and I'm being transferred. I'm really really really mad. I'm finally in an area where I love the people, love my companion and its beautiful. We're surrounded by water and its gorgeous. Sometimes for "exercises" we go for morning strolls at North East park which looks out towards the Chesapeake bay and its so beautiful.  I'm mad because my companion and I got along so well, but sometimes I feel like I'm on a vacation trip rather than a mission trip, so it might be for the better. We just get along so well... Ugh this sucks. I can't even explain how much I'll miss the Fletchers. They have become my home Away from home and its just hard knowing that I'll go into another area and probably not have  a family like them. Like, who else would take the time to email and CALL my family? I cried a lot last night after we got home from the farm with them (some of the pictures are from the farm and MOST of the pictures involved the Fletcher's)... I'm just going to miss them a lot. Can we visit them when we come back here after my mission? :) anyways, so yeah. They bought us an iPod after they found out that I was being transferred! That's what I'm writing this  email from :) we have wifi in our apartment and its awesome.   They invited us over for dinner then told us we were eating dinner at the mall in Newark, Delaware, but then bro Fletcher lead us into an apple store. It was awesome!!! THEY are AWESOME!!!!

I have a Facebook now too! It's SisterEllyn Adams. Here' the link:


We use it to post things to the people we meet on our missions and to spread the gospel in that way and to also show them that we're real people :)  But, sadly, you guys can't add me on it :/ but you can stalk me!!!!  So, this week we found out that we are going to be the mission to test run iPads. It's really cool to be in a trendsetting mission :D ahh, it's amazing. I can type so much faster from this thing. It's a pink iPod too :) I have been pretty trunky this week, it kind of sucks. It's funny though because I have complete control over it, so when I feel myself getting trunky I know the remedy is just to work. I just need to work hard today, that's all :) well, be prepared for my address to change once again... This sucks. 
Can you and Dad read:
"His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox 
"Beware of Pride" by Ezra Taft Benson
They are awesome talks! I'm sure that these talks can give you another perspective on our family. There's this girl in our ward, she and I were texting one day and she was having a really bad teenage day saying that she can't stand her family and that she does all she can to help them but no one cares. I asked if she really was doing all she could, like serving them. She went around the question, but I know her well enough that she wasn't. I know that pride, in whatever form it takes shape, blocks us from seeing the big picture and essentially blocks our happiness. That talk, when read with a humble heart, can change people.
So excited for Gavin!  This one girl at byui told me that "even if I help convert one person, I've done enough"  
Tell mom I love her too! I think about you often, too often, and I'm trying not to. I will try to type out a little August newsletter for the ward today, but no promises because I'm going to Newark today to go shopping at h&m and urban outfitters :))))))))) so excited!!! I love love love you.
Good vibes and love from North East Maryland for the last time
~Sister Adams :)

Sister Adams' email and pics from July 29th

Hey mom-
well, this week my mouth decided to develop a canker sore... its times like these that i really REALLY want to go on google and research home remedies.  Its taking over my whole mouth! jk, its like the size of a sunflower kernel. I numbed it with hydrogen peroxide, so thats helping a bit. it was cool to see it fizz up like things do with hydrogen peroxide. I would send you a picture of it so you could put it on my blog, but another sad thing is that my camera is GHETTO.
Amanda looks super pretty in that picture that you sent! I cant wait to meet sweet Isabelle.
I think about the babies a lot and I miss them lots. Give them hugs for me :) Hows dad? How are you, mom?
I cant believe its almost August!! its super weird to think that coming up on September 30th its my 6 month mark, then only a year to go! Mission life moves WAY too quick. Of course I miss everyone at home and sometimes wonder what every ones doing, but I am NOT looking forward to the day that I have to take this name tag off. I am realizing what kind of missionary I want to be. Last transfer was really hard, as you know. Honestly, it was the time where i really had to decide if i was going to keep being a missionary or not. It was not necessarily because I didn't want to be a missionary and teach people about the gospel, but it was because I didn't realize what exactly I was getting myself into and that I was giving up late summer nights, sleeping in, music, friends and Netflix and all that good stuff that seemed to be important. But now I want to be here because i feel so blessed to be so involved in the gospel and I'm finally realizing myself more and who Heavenly Father wants me to be, but  keeping in mind who I want to be, and aligning the two. There are more good days than bad days, but the bad days definitely are the days where I am learning things, and having to make the decision to change or not. This week I realized how blessed I am to realize I am a daughter of God. I also realized what kind of missionary I want to be. It came to the point where my companion and I had to discuss our use of time. We didn't agree, but one thing that she brought up is that she respects me and my decision to know what kind of missionary I want to be and I wont back down. Its pretty cool :) Dad wrote me a letter and said that one of the most important person converted on my mission will be me, and I am feeling that. I am feeling myself getting converted and its way cool. :)

I have been praying to find people that are wanting to learn about the gospel, and one day we walk into the library, and a journalist for the Herald Newspaper said "Hey, you have name tags, you would be a cool story." so he got to know us, and asked us some questions, but it was a cool experience to see my prayers answered. someone might need our smiles, you never know :)
Transfers are coming up, and everyone thinks I'm getting a golden and I say DON'T PUT THAT EVIL ON MY RICKY BOBBY and then I think it would be pretty cool, but super hard.
One thing that I would like to share in attempt to make up for the lack of fun stories is verse 4 in Ether chapter 3, which I have seen in a different light these past couple of days. It talks about missionary work, and how the Lord is preparing all of us. :)
"4. And I know, O Lord, that thou hast all power, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man; therefore touch these stones, O Lord, with thy finger, and prepare them that they may shine forth in the darkness; and they shall shine forth unto us in the vessels which we have prepared, that we may have light while we shall cross the sea."
Now what does this have to do with missionary work?
"4. And I know, O Lord, that thou hast all power, and can do whatsoever thou wilt for the benefit of man; therefore touch these stones (us) , O Lord, with thy finger, and prepare them that they may shine forth in the darkness; and they (US) shall shine forth unto us in the vessels which we have prepared, that we may have lightwhile we shall cross the sea.
5. Behold, O Lord, thou canst do this. We know that thou art able to show forth great power, which looks small unto the understanding of men."
Since every member is a missionary, the Lord is talking to all of us in this verse. We are prepared and are continuing to be prepared to go into the darkness. And who is in the darkness? Everyone who needs the Gospel, whether that be active members, or random people we meet, we need to be that light, and the Lord has promised that as we do what He has commanded us, that Angels will be on our right hand and our left, to bear us up. (D&C 84:88) I know that with my heart. I know that you can help build the kingdom of God. Ask for help, ask for guidance, and he will give it to you.

I love you a lot and miss you a lot, but its getting bearable. Hugs and Kisses and good vibes from the East coast~
Sister Adams

Saturday, July 20, 2013

email and pics 7-8-13 from Sister Adams

Me at the Susquehanna River
email from July 8th
So you know whats funny? I talk about you a lot. I share lots of stories with my companion and random people about you, and its just weird. I can feel our relationship growing, even though I'm all the way across the country. Its pretty cool and it gets me emotional (in a good way). I love you dad :)  
So I'm sitting here in the library and I really need to go pee, but I cant because our computers are timed and my companion is writing too so I'm going to wait... but the letter might be a little scatter-brained, so bear with me :)
Me and Sister Carringon

So the one girl that lives with the Cain family is named Alisha. She is 1/2 black and 1/2 white. She has freckles and a brown fro. She is a little taller than me (shocker) and kind of chubby and has braces.  She moved out of her dads house and lives with her friend Reinell ("Rain-ell") Cain. When I first met her she couldn't believe that I was the same age as her. She calls me her "best friend," its really cute :)  She asks a lot of questions about our church, and one night we were there for dinner.  We had gravy, biscuits, and fried chicken... it didn't do too well with my stomach a day later, but in the moment it was delicious...
For our lesson we talked about the Book of Mormon. In our ward, the Bishop has asked us to invite people to give out a Book of Mormon with 12 witnesses (they put their testimony in the front cover) and give it to someone.  So that's what we asked them to do.  They accepted, and Alisha was sitting next to me, and she asked what the Book of Mormon was. I told her about it and she asked if she could have one before I could ask her to even read it. She wanted to give one to her dad. I invited her to read the 1st chapter for the next time we saw her (we're over there a lot) and she accepted.  Its about a week later and she has yet to read it, but she went to church.  She came and sat next to me pretty much the whole time and it was really nice :)  She kept on asking us questions in gospel essentials, the teacher felt prompted to talk about the Gadianton robbers. I was like oh man, where is this going..?  Alisha leaned over and asked Sister Carrigan if THAT story was in the book of Mormon, and she said it was. Alisha then said that she wanted to read it even more, that she would go home, shower and then read.  We're going to ask her soon if she's read it.  I can tell that she has such a desire to know if God really is there and if He really knows her personally.  I have come to know of the converting power of the Book of Mormon. I am really hoping that she reads it.  I have a lot of love for her already and just want her to be happy because she's gone through a lot in her life.  At church she saw my ring and asked what CTR meant.  I told her and she said "Oh, I like that," and smiled.  so I was thinking of getting her a CTR ring, except now i just have find out how. :)
Our apartment
The rainy summer weather
The balcony at our apartment

Our 4th of July was really fun!  We had 2 parties planned to go to, and the first one was the Ward party.  It was really fun and we met a lot of members and Sister Carrigan said that there is no dieting on holidays so I ate like a pig.  There was homemade cobbler and it was delicious :)  Sister Carrigan and I color coordinated out clothes. I was the stars and she was the stripes, we are the cutest Sister Missionaries in our ward ;)  We later had a party with an investigator named Jeanine ( i think she might have emailed you already, but she said she was going to send you guys pictures) and her family. She has 2 adopted daughters from China and 2 dogs and 2 cats. I cuddled with a boxer, it was wonderful :)  We stayed there for way too long, but we got a ride with the Elders so we couldn't leave.  It felt really weird because we're supposed to be urgent missionaries, but I literally couldn't.  I know I was sent to this area to learn how to relax, while still being urgent, but have fun.  I feel a lot more comfortable here :) but anywhooooo, the party was really fun.  They wouldn't let us help, so we were forced to relax.  It was weird. (ok, I only have 15 minutes left  ) so that was out 4th.  We didn't get to see fireworks until the 6th. The Fletchers were driving us home (the guy that called you) and he saw the fireworks over in Baltimore/Havre de Grace and decided to take us to the VA (Veterans Association) and we watched the fireworks. It felt so nice and it made me miss home, but I was just so happy. It was a perfect ending to a boring day :) The Fletchers have been such a blessing in this area. They have given us so much love, words cant even explain.
Oh, Sister Carrigan chipped her tooth trying to open a honey stick with her teeth. her name is now Sister Snaggletooth :P
Sister Bell Adams :)  


Monday, June 10, 2013

Sister Ellyn Adams' emails from 6-3-13 and 6-10-13

Site and depiction of the new Philadelphia Temple!!!

Ellyn's email from 6-3-13
Hello to everyone from Philly,
So funny story. We got locked out of our apartment this Friday! haha. So we went out for morning exercises at about 6:45 and we came back up without our phone and keys and our door was locked. So we kind of just sat around shocked and didn't know what to do.  I had the idea to climb on top of the back porch to go through our bedroom window.  It isn't that hard of a climb but we felt it wasn't too safe. We walked to our neighbor Paula who is out and about every morning and we asked if she had a credit card that she doesn't use much so that we could open our door with it.  We tried using it but our door was like sealed to the edge of the door frame. Sister Seely then said "now we know that we are really safe at night!"...  We then had an idea to walk to the police station which is maybe .7 miles away from our house.  It was a SUPER hot day already and it was only 8am. So we got to the police station and NO ONE WAS THERE.  So we walked back and Paula got our other neighbor Tom and we came to the conclusion that we should get a ladder and climb from the back porch to go through our window. He got the ladder and I climbed on top to our window. I feel like I got a lot of practice climbing on roofs by how much i used to climb on top of the shed in the back yard. it was such a tender mercy from the Lord because our work and our days were getting so boring to me and I feel like I lack adventure A LOT! We also all kept a really good attitude the whole time and i feel like we got a lot closer from that experience.   It was probably the best day though! 
Um so this week was just weird and we all agreed.  We've had a lot of lessons and we've been doing a lot of splits.  I go on splits with a girl named Marlee who just got back from her mission in Madagascar. She is out "fourth companion" and we just love her.  She is really open and makes me not feel as lonely.  I'm realizing a lot about how the mission is the best thing and the hardest thing in life.  I feel like my mission is also preparing me so much to be a mother and a companion.   I'm learning and still trying to learn how to be a better missionary and companion.  Sometimes I feel like it would be easier to do it by myself, but I know that i will learn my lesson for saying that, haha.  I know I didn't write that long of an email this week, and I'm sorry!  Love you all so much!!!!!
<3 Sister Adams

Ellyn's email from 6-10-13
Hello to all,
I  am not going to be able to write a letter because I FOUND A NEW INVESTIGATOR!!! at the library and I was talking to him for like 30 minutes. And used up all of my computer time.  We talked about families, it was awesome. ( I won't be able to write anyone today because its zone unity day so tell everyone I'm sorry... I was planning on writing Ruth and Sam and Kate back this week. )    :(
We had a conference with Elder Rasband and it was AMAZING!  He talked about living the purpose of a missionary  "We invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end."  And he talked about earning members trust.
I haven't cried 3 days in a row now!  Its great when  i realize that  I haven't been unhappy at the end of a long day :)  Sister Meeks and I went street contacting the other day and it was really nice.  it was raining and we found a new investigator.  We're really starting to be new missionaries.  Elder Rasband said that "Today is a new day" and so that really changed my perspective.  Its a new day to be better and to use the Atonement and find the elect!  Ahh, I'm so excited to be a missionary!  The conference had about 120 missionaries in the chapel, it was so cool.   I was totally refueled for missionary work at the conference and i NEEDED it to be able to be happy.  I love you and everyone back home!   I'll write a longer email next week, sorry about this week...again!
<3 Sister Adams

But we did get a lot of pictures from her!!!!

Philadelphia mean "fraternal affection" or "brotherly love" in Greek.  And is now referred to as "The City of Brotherly Love"

Me and the Sisters in my apartment.

I am so loving all the art and sculpture in Philly.

My favorite sculpture in Philly. No, really! It is!

Philadelphia City Hall And Clock Tower With Its Statue Of William Penn

One of the many ghetto cars.