Highlights from week 1 in Sachse, Texas (Week 31)

The Lewis Family- They've been with me since the beginning! I've grown so close to all these boys, they're like my brothers. This is an incredible family.
The Finlayson Family- Oh my heck I do not know what I'll do without Sister Finlayson. I love her! They were the first family I ever had dinner with on my mission. She was always there for us when we needed someone. What an incredible family. 
Sister Wilson :) I love her! She was heaven sent. She is so talented and loving. She's the medical masseuse who saved my neck, back, and jaw a few transfers ago. Love her! 
The Davis Family- it was so hard to leave them! They are truly part of my Texas family. I'll be back for Jeremy's baptism in March though!
The cutest couple in the world!! TJ and Kayce  
Sister Alleman- my first home in Texas! I will love and miss that amazing family
Kayce!! So glad I was able to be with her throughout her journey in finding Christ. She is truly amazing
The Byrne Family- one of my favorite active families. Debbie Byrne is the one on her mission whom I love and Sister Byrne is the lovely Italian who hosted us for Christmas. Love them!!
The Binghams- one of my favorite 'dinner families' in the ward. Sister Bingham is from Mexico and her husband met her very briefly on his mission there. She makes the BEST authentic Mexican food
I thought I could dedicate a whole email to John. He was by far the hardest person to leave. It was absolutely heart breaking, not going to lie. I couldn't even say anything, Sister Erickson had to speak my thoughts for me as I was saying goodbye. I had to get the pictures before they even knew I was leaving. He knew something was up because he said my eyes looked sad and asked what was wrong. I told them both and we cried together. 

Leaving John is one of the hardest things I've done. I'm not sure what it was, but our spirits developed such a strong friendship. I feel like I've known him for thousands of years. I feel so extremely grateful to know John and Shirlene Cook. To have been part of his learning in the gospel. I promised to write him every single week, and he reassured me he'd see me every day because I was in his heart forever. He also confessed to Shirlene and I that his lung x rays didn't come out very well, and I guess I knew something was wrong. I'm not sure how much longer he has on this earth, but he will always be in my heart throughout distance and time. 

We always sing 'oldies' songs together and we sang "I'll Be Seeing You" one last time- that's our favorite! It was such a hard day for me, and I must admit I am proud of myself for getting through it. He told me to "Just keep smiling. Just smile." And I will always do that. 

I love The Colony!!!! Never did I think I could be the person I am today, and the people and experiences I've had in this area have completely made that possible. I love my mission!

Transfers were so hard!

I'm pretty sure I just conquered the hardest part of my whole mission. So it can only go up! Sister Stephenson is so awesome! She's super cute and fun, so we get along really well :)

Sachse is a super challenging area! I thought The Colony was hard, but Sachse hasn't had a single baptism in 2 years. President has only sent the best of the best missionaries here like Elder Merrill and Sister Duncan. Sister Duncan was here for the same amount of time I was in The Colony and she just left to be a Sister Training Leader. So it's a lot of pressure being in this area. Being senior comp isn't really a big deal at all. It's a little more difficult when it hasn't been my area. Most of what Sis Stephenson did last transfer was tracting. They found a few people who might have potential but we all know there are more effective ways than tracting. The hard part is trying to reorganize and change the way things have always been in this area. It's hard for missionaries to accept an incomer's perspective. I don't know the ward very well, but something definitely needs to change so we start seeing some success. This is The Hastening of the work, I know we can find those who are prepared, we just have to figure out the right way to go about it.

Some of my highlights of the week:

We are working with a man who recently came back into activity, and he has an incredible story! He is taking care of his ex-wife currently because she has Lou Gehrig's disease. They were married 20 years, divorced for 14, but always promised they'd be there for the other if something were to ever happen. She called him a year ago and asked if he could come take care of her because she had been diagnosed with this awful disease. This disease is so horrible, no one in their right mind would even wish it on their worst enemy. Basically, all voluntary motion slowly diminishes to the point when you are trapped in a body that can't even swallow by itself. She is in the final stages it looks like. She can't do anything on her own, has a feeding tube, a suction tube, and the worst part is you have full brain function the whole time. He has so much love and compassion for her. Every 20 minutes or so he has to suction out her saliva since she can't swallow and he watches her 24/7. He has nurses come in every so often so he can go shopping and shower, but he is incredible. She isn't a member and he and his son want her baptized so badly. Obviously there are a lot of complications, so we are working through it. We are going to teach her the lessons and see how it goes. She can sometimes muster enough energy to communicate through blinking, but it's a challenge. It's incredible to see this act of love though.

We serve  at Salvation Army on Wednesdays and Fridays. So many great people work there. And guess what?? Elder Rowland is my zone leader now and I get to see him every time we do service! It's the best! Gotta love tender mercies.

So we are super low on miles for the rest of this month. We walked a ton last week. We tracted a super nice neighborhood full of multi million dollar homes. No joke. All of Sachse is pretty wealthy, but this neighborhood had never been tracted, and we had hours and hours of time with no miles so we tracted it! We didn't find much success if you can imagine haha. We only talked to about 12 people and half of them were the maids/workers.  It was really fun though seeing all these amazing houses. Felt like I spent a day in Beverly Hills, met a few CEO's of companies, huge real estate owners, super successful business owners- no big deal. Would have taken pictures but we'd probably get arrested or something! ;)

So I'm living in an apartment that has housed missionaries for who knows how long. It is pretty gross haha. It's quite a change!

Some other people we are working with:
One investigator is 50 and so great!! They tracted into him a while ago and he is pretty promising for baptism he just has a hard time committing to much. I'm pretty sure it's because he doesn't have a firm testimony that this is the ONLY true church. He thinks any good church is true. We'll see :)

There is this one couple-- I will definitely have to tell yall more about them later. He's from Norway, she's from Africa. She's like his 'spiritual mother'. She's a LA member and he's an investigator. She is basically a false prophetess and they are both Unitarian. So new experiences await :)

Also the mission is creating a 'would you be willing' invitation video to help with missionary work. They asked missionaries who've had experience with this invitation to be in the video. They really liked my part, so they came to our ward and recorded us with some of the members after church just interacting. So keep your eyes open for an awesome video someday!

Lots of great things ahead here in the Texas Dallas Mission.

Love and Miss yall!

My address is
6360 Murphy Rd.
Sachse, TX 75048