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Tuesday, July 23, 2013

TRANSFERS ARE TODAY!! and we found out last night that SISTER MORROW AND I ARE STAYING TOGETHER BUT WE'RE GETTING TRANSFERRED OUT OF THE ZONE!! we're going at 2 o'clock to our new area - we have no idea where yet! i have mixed emotions because i didn't know what to expect, so i was trying to prepare myself for everything ha. turns out that i found out what i wanted - i secretly wanted to stay in the area (things are just getting started, we made connections with so many people!), and train...PSYCH! but the Lord knows what He's doing, and i fully trust that this is His will. I know i have a lot more to learn from Sister Morrow, and we will still do great things together, wherever we go. 

last monday we didn't even plan to go to a less active family's house, but we did and FINALLY got ahold of them! we also went to see another family, they weren't there, so we decided to knock on the door right across from it, and we met and had a GREAT conversation with Anthony! that basically happens every day...but seriously! the same thing happened with mckayla and family - we had an appointment set up, they weren't home so we waited, and just as we got to their door they got home and let us in, even though mckayla was right in the middle of texting us not to come - *for some reason* HER  PHONE WOULDN'T SEND THE TEXT. coincidence? i think not! we had a fantastic lesson with them, and we set up a church tour! that did fall through for last night...but it was a step, and missionaries will keep working with them. like i've said, they're looking for truth and they're ready. we had another great lesson with raymond and sally - raymond's been investigating for a while and sally is less active. i was SO amazed when ray told us he refused free meth that day - he used to be an addict but he refused all on his own! man, i can't even imagine the willpower that would require...we talked with him about the Atonement and sang "I Stand All Amazed." we were all a little teary, and sally SANG ALONG! 

 also, july 17, we found about 8 BAGS of super expensive groceries on our doorstep, with an anonymous note from someone in the ward saying they appreciate us and that they thought we'd enjoy the "goodies" and they hoped it would save us some time. i wanted to find out who it was so badly! i still want to know, so i can thank them. it was seriously so kind - i can't even express my gratitude. it almost brought me to tears.

we also did exchanges tuesday, which means 2 companions switch places for 24 hours! sister mosbrucker, the sister training leader (the female leadership in the zone) came here and i was the senior companion for 24 hours! driving = so weird. but it was good to get to know her and see her different style of missionary work. 

random thoughts and quotes:
1 ne 7:17 - pray to have the strength to change your circumstances, not for your circumstances to change. kind of like Elder Bednar's talk, "In the Strength of the Lord." i need to pray to change ME. i need to stop blaming the ward for not doing their home/visiting teaching and instead look for ways i can help them do that. 

i'm very much learning that life is a balancing act! everything comes down to balancing between 2 extremes, and we're always striving to find that middle ground. 

"true conversion is more than a fleeting emotional response to a spiritual experience. it is a spiritual response even after experiences have passed and emotions have faded. it is not temporary, but permanent. it is not accidental, but intentional. it is not intermittent, but continuous. and continuous conversion is possible only through the continuous Atonement of Jesus Christ." - Brad Wilcox

little joys: eating wild blackberries, peas straight from a garden, and learning two phrases in Marshallese (quar mange ta rainin = what did you eat today? ech et am moure rainin = how are you today?) :) and crunching leaves, as always :) 

alma 32:34 - describes exactly how i'm feeling. my eyes are being opened, my mind expanded, my soul enlarged. from studying the gospel, the Atonement, and from talking to SO MANY AMAZING PEOPLE! pat, for example. she was a single mom and has lost a son, and has depression and bipolar disorder. she opened up to us and she just amazes me - she's so resilient, so strong, so anchored in the gospel (she converted at age 50, as well). i've wasted SO MUCH TIME in my life! i want to do so much more studying and living, getting to know people and interacting with them. 

haha one lunch, while sister morrow was taking a nap, i decided to make smoothies. harmless, right? apparently i just have a problem with smoothies! i made 3 different versions and tried to freeze a glass of each for smorrow. they were off balance and they fell and oozed over everything in the freezer! i just laughed cause OF COURSE this happened to me, haha. but i scrambled to clean everything up before smorrow woke up - success :) she had no idea until i told her later that day, haha! it was quite the adventure :) 

if i could tell each of you one thing, it would be to spend more time learning about and focusing on the Atonement. it is absolutely everything.

Sister Hehl!

*note: Here are some pictures of Alyssa from the MTC:

Sister  Morrison & Sister Hehl: MTC Companions

All the Sisters in the Zone
Sis. Hehl & Sis. Wolfe: Sisters from different mothers. If they're lucky enough, maybe they can be companions in Washington together!

Sis. Liedtke with Sis. Hehl- great friends from SUU days

Sharing gifts with the district

Sis. Love & Sis. Hehl doing their best "Miranda" faces

Sister Training Leaders & Zone Leaders

Monday, July 15, 2013

July 15, 2013

TRANSFERS are next monday! AHHHH! it's been hinted at that i might become a TRAINER already! oh boy, when i heard that, a battle instantly ensued between fear and faith. i'm SO inadequate but i know the Lord will help me do His will. so i'm willing to accept it, whatever His will is! we'll see next week! crazy's only a 5 week transfer because they want to stagger the transfer dates for the federal way, seattle, and tacoma missions. makes sense.

crazy story of the week: tuesday, we were leaving emily's house (a really great inactive), but we pulled over because some light was on on the dashboard - a door was open. so we were pulling over, and THUD, we jolted to a stop (the brake-check kind of stop). we looked at each other in alarm, then got out of the car as fast as we could to see what happened. my companion ran into a ROCK! it was a decorative, rather substantial-sized one but neither of us saw it! MIRACULOUSLY, the car was okay! ...until 5 hours later, when we went to that same street but a different house to hopefully talk to a potential investigator (Elijah, russian, AWESOME). we also had sister thomas, from the ward, coming out with us. as we were driving there, a different light came on the dashboard - some squiggly lines and an exclamation point. we had NO idea what that meant...until we got out of the car and heard really loud hissing from the front right tire (the one we ran into a rock with). we started FREAKING out a little, but we found a manual and all the we changed the tire right there! i must say, i'm rather (*very*) proud of the fact that we did it ourselves :) cherry on top: sister morrow and i were in SKIRTS. THAT'S what's up! haha it was quite the adventure! we got our tire replaced the next day, no worries.

random facts and thoughts: it's a law here that everyone has to wear helmets when they ride bikes. also, there are coffee stands EVERYWHERE. and crows/ravens - they're loud! and sometimes creepy. there once was an actual white river here! (my ward is the white river ward) -but they had to re-route it. 
this is an awesome, super motivating thing that sister morrow showed me and i've now memorized it cause it hits me so powerfully:

The Fellowship of the Unashamed
I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The dye has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I won't look back, let up, slow down, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure. I'm finished and done with low living, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need preeminence, positions, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right, first, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk with patience, am uplifted by prayer, and labor with power. 
My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I won't give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, and paid up for the cause of Christ. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me. And when He returns for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My banner will be clear.
-Henry B. Eyring
(your name signed here)

some things i've learned: the best way to come to know Jesus Christ, as a real, living person - learn of Him and live like Him.
at the end of the day, i sometimes think, "what am i going to write about in my journal today?" then i had the thought, "what am i going to DO about today?"
on saturday, something amazing happened. we went to visit derek, a guy we ran into tracting a while ago. he viewed the main difference between us as the Priesthood (he felt that we all have power just by believing so we didn't need to be authorized) and we had a hard time explaining it the first time we met him. but this time, we had studied up on it and explained it better. we told him all about the restoration and near the end, i bore pure testimony to him about prophets, the Book of Mormon, and joseph smith. there was a shift, and i wasn't thinking anymore - i could feel the Lord working through me. for the first time, i was purely an instrument. it was so amazing. i can't even describe it. afterwards, i was speechless cause i was so blown away, haha. what did i just say? i SO hope he reads the Book of Mormon!!
i'm learning that i really have been sheltered. getting to know people and their lives has opened my eyes to how much i really DON'T know, and i have NO idea how to help these people or what to say! these things are so much deeper and more complicated than i know...but Heavenly Father knows. Jesus Christ knows. and with this badge on my shoulder, i represent Jesus Christ. so although alyssa hehl may not know how to proceed, sister hehl can because she is being led. i hope to keep humbly doing the Lord's will and helping these marvelous people any way i can. 
i really do love you all!!
Sister Hehl

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Exhausted Peace (by Sister Hehl)

Out of breath
makes the air taste sweeter

Desert throat
makes one drop an ocean

Dark shadows
make the sun shine richer

Salty tears
make the sadness sparkle

Velvet sky
makes the stars burn brighter

Exhausted peace
makes each day more than gold

Monday, July 8, 2013

July 8, 2013 We met the new Mission President

My week's been FABULOUS, as usual :)! But a mission is just a rollercoaster, ups and downs, every single day. This may sound weird, but I feel like I'm doing so much LIVING! So much goes on each and every hour, I feel like I've been here for months. Time is still just crazy. Weeks feel like days, days feel like weeks! 

We got to meet our new mission president, President Eaton, this past Wednesday at a zone conference! I LOVE HIM ALREADY!! AH he's a SPECTACULAR mission president, father, teacher...everything. He feels like a father to all of us, and I already know he and his wife love all of us. The gift of love is quite amazing that way. They already love us, we already love's only been a week!
Some insights and things that really stuck out to me that meeting:

"The work of salvation is not just a thing going on in the universe - it's the ONLY thing going on in the universe."

Instead of just using the Book of Mormon to help others know the truth of the gospel so they can be baptized, I need to teach them how to use it DAILY to answer questions and I need to do that too! It's so pathetic that I haven't done that before now...but I've studied the Book of Mormon the last couple days with questions in mind and no matter where I'm reading, MY QUESTIONS HAVE BEEN ANSWERED! Yesterday I read with the question "why is baptism by the proper authority so important?" It was answered in 1 Ne 12: 10-11 - because without baptism, we can't fully repent and be clean. It's SO ESSENTIAL. Today I read with the question: "how can I keep going when I fail every day?" (fail at keeping all the commandments, etc). I don't have my scriptures, so I can't remember the exact verse, but I think it's 1 Ne 14:14 where it talks about covenants. That's the answer - we can keep going by drawing strength from our covenants. I never really have before, but now I know I can! And like Elder Holland's quote, imperfect people is all God has ever had to work with. He knows I'm not perfect, and He knows I'll fail every day - and keep failing. But He's endowed me with power from on high. He has prepared a way for me to keep going, and I can and will.

That question and scripture lead me to study the Abrahamic covenant, and OH BOY I will NEVER get married anywhere but the temple! After reading D&C 132:19 or 32:19 (it's in the footnotes of 1 Ne 14:14, i think) and about the promises from getting sealed in the temple...oh man. Mind blowing. I can't even comprehend what all those blessings mean, but I look forward to them, and I'll settle for nothing less! 

More points from zone conference:

After 5 years of being members, only 10% of converts hold a temple recommend. 10%! I'm so grateful President Eaton and the ward are focusing more on retention and reactivation, because that is EXACTLY what we need - what people need. We bring people into the church to STAY, not just be baptized. The goal is the temple and eternal life! 

First and foremost, we need to see ourselves as disciples of Jesus Christ. We're not [occupations], we're not community members, we're not even family members first. We are disciples of Christ. THAT is who we are. THAT is who we need to be. I LOVE when President Eaton said "You don't work for me. You work for the Lord." Instead of thinking "I'm not baptizing" I need to despair because "the people I love aren't getting baptized."

Another great thought: THEREFORE, WHAT? What are you going to do with this knowledge, what does it really mean in your life, and what are you going to do about it? Let's just say tears were shed at this meeting, and it affected me deeply. I FELT my heart being changed! Tracting that day was rough - I bet it's because we had such a spiritual experience and Satan was hitting us all the harder. But we pushed past and found and talked to Vince! he's this awesome dad, bald, white moustache that went down to his chin :) southern drawl - told us all about the cool stuff to do in Washington, and we taught him about the restoration! I'm excited to go back and teach him soon. Also that night, we had an awesome lesson with Frank about the Restoration and committed him TO BAPTISM! We helped him get into the Book of Mormon by reading a chapter with him. Unfortunately, (we think he talked to his Lutheran pastor) he dropped us on Friday, (said he didn't want to meet with us anymore, that he was happy where he's at). I knew we did all we could - that we did nothing wrong - but I still cried. I was (and still am) just SO sad because I know what he's missing out on! Maybe someday he'll be more ready.

So...I may have exaggerated the "getting hit with a car" story...sorry to get your hopes up ;). Since the senior companion drives, I get out to help Sister Morrow every time she needs to back up (mission rule). So I was doing that one day as we were leaving for the day, but there was a car coming, so I put my hands up to tell her to stop. But she was looking in a different mirror and didn't see me! I got a little worried when she didn't slow down, and when she was too close I had to slam my hands on the back of the car so she would stop! So she didn't actually run into me/over me...but I like to pretend she did. So there's the story.

Songs that have deeply affected me/made me cry: "leave better" by Benton Paul. A lyric, 'Leave better off than you find,' is basically my new motto. "The hardest thing I ever loved to do" by Jason Deere. "I am his daughter" by...? on the EFY CD. 

We did companionship inventory last Thursday (the fourth of July) and Sister Morrow and I got really real with each other - hard but necessary. And I felt a fraction of what Ithink Jesus feels towards her - I just love her SO MUCH! I want her to see her own strengths, her own potential, her own goodness! It was (and is) so amazing to feel that.

We found the secret to missionary work! The secret: get people to talk about themselves - because people LOVE talking about themselves! We tried a different approach tracting and it worked miracles: we started out by asking what THEY believed. Through that approach, we had great conversations with Derek, Tyler, and Karina. It's always so cool to hear about others, their beliefs, and their experiences. That leads to a huge point of this week for me: I am SO INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL for this 18 months (now less than 17...WEIRD). I have to be allowed to be a part of these people's lives! To get to be in their lives. Even just for a split second when we make eye contact and smile. I feel so privileged to be a part of their lives.  From an article about prayer I read in the June Ensign (everyone READ IT!), I came to understand that saying "in the name of Jesus Christ" with anything means to do His will. as I've tried to do that, it gets a little easier to keep going. My days feel consecrated.

I just can't even express how grateful I am to be here. I love the person the Lord is making me into. And I love seeing the light in others. This is the work of salvation, and every single person is a part of it, whether they know it or not! Do all you can to further it. I promise, if you open your mouth, THE LORD WILL FILL IT! But He can't steer a parked car - you have to act FIRST, before He can guide you. But He will guide you! He has not given us the spirit of fear, but of love, and of power. Trust Him.


~Sister Hehl

July 1, 2013 In a new mission - Federal Way!

HEEEEEYYYYYYY from Auburn, Washington!~ 

First things first: I'm in a COMPLETELY new mission! The Federal Way mission! It came into existence Saturday (6/29), when our new president, President Eaton, arrived! We haven't seen changes yet, but just knowing that we're in a new mission feels a little different.

So uh, Washington = rain, right? NOPE! It's been crazy hot and humid here with a freak heatwave! All I have to say: bless our little car's air conditioning :) Our new best friend? Yup. 
Auburn has basically all walks of life, and I've definitely burst the "Utah bubble" - I think I burst it on the first day tracting. But there are SO many wonderful people here (and everywhere, no doubt)! I'm just blown away by how nice people innately are - so many people invite us to sit in their chairs, offer us food and water. Of course, tons don't want to even talk to us...but usually they say no very politely! Definitely a plus. I just feel so incredibly blessed to have this gift of a mission - to be able to come out and spend 18 months completely focused on others, able to meet them, talk to them, connect with them, and become even a small part of their lives. Some people have gone through SO MUCH, and I just hope to make their lives at least a little better.

It still blows my mind how much can happen in a week - how many people we meet and talk to, how close Sister Morrow and I already are (we're already close enough to do big deal :)), how many miles we've driven on our car, how many doors we've knocked on, how much I've changed. Each day is a rollercoaster - lowlights and highlights. But really, just like missionaries always say - the highlights make it worth it. I'm coming to find out that all the missionary cliches and the things you always hear are TRUE! Who would've known?

One HUGE highlight: Makayla! She's been taught a little before, but it's been really hard for the missionaries to keep in contact with her because he mom won't give out her we can only really teach her at her friend Emelia’s house (a family in our ward). We thought Makayla wasn't interested anymore, but we were going to visit the family anyway on Friday night. When we got there, we realized we didn't actually have a reason for going there! We almost didn't go to their door...but we did, and guess who pulled up RIGHT as we got there? EMELIA AND MAKAYLA!!! OH what a miracle! Coincidence? I think NOT! So we taught her a lesson right then and there and got her back on date to be baptized 7-27! Then we came back the next morning (she slept over at her friend’s) and taught her the restoration. When we told her about the Holy Ghost, her eyes went wide in amazement. She was feeling the Spirit SO strongly! Probably the most visible influence of the Spirit I've seen. She kept getting the chills and she couldn't stop smiling! AH it made me SO happy! So we're just trying to keep teaching her as often as possible - she's the closest to being baptized.

I'm sorry if hearing about other people isn't as interesting to you as it is to me...It's funny - all you (maybe) want to hear about is my experience, but all i want to talk about is other people! ...welcome to missionary work! :)

Anyways, next we have Stephanie. She's very talkative, and probably the most driven person I know (even though we've only seen her once so far). She's DETERMINED to finish her Bachelor's degree and she's already turned her life around- it's amazing! But she's golden basically! We have her on date for September 21!

Ah I'm out of time...but I'll tell you about Frank next time! He's so great. EVERYONE IS SO GREAT! Also, some cliffhangers to look forward to ;) :
-I got hit with a car!
-Our washing machine flooded (actually, it's still flooded as I'm typing...)
-We thought we were being followed by a surburban (don't worry, we weren't)...
  to be continued!

~Sister Hehl

June 24, 2013 The adventure begins... Again

My mission is FANTASTIC! SUPERB! MARVELOUS! And every other great word you can think of! Seriously though :) yeah today's my p-day! They're always on Mondays. I really do love where I live! We live in a SUPER nice little apartment, with more space than we could ever use (last week we thought we bought a lot of groceries - HA! didn't even begin to fill up the cabinets!) and all the conveniences (microwave, oven, dishwasher, washer and dryer, EVERYTHING). So nice and I can't even explain how much I love walking outside and breathing in the smell of rain EVERY TIME! There is a reason rain was my favorite smell before the mish :D we haven't done too much teaching - we've mostly been driving around, trying to find houses, sharing short spiritual messages with recent converts who are less active, or just listening to them. There are so many great people! I feel so privileged to have 18 months to forget about myself and just become a part of people's lives. It's all about them, and I love it!

All the locals never use umbrellas! I haven't even used mine yet! they know you're from out of town/state if you have an umbrella, cause they just wear raincoats with hoods and that's it, because it rains lightly so on and off all day that an umbrella isn't worth it. Last night we heard the first real downpour outside, which is when they would use umbrellas, but it doesn't even happen that often. We have a car and a phone (real weird to text...but not text. to text for official reasons, I guess. haha)

We hear trains and planes in our apartment all the time! But no worries about them ever waking me up - when my head hits the pillow, I'm OUT! They have no "rush hour" here - traffic hits any time! Super random! Everyone has dogs! EVERYONE. Some not so nice...but some real nice :) 

My new mission office address (where everything should be sent, even packages) is:

23175 224th PL SE Suite E
Maple Valley, WA 98038

I haven't met my new mission president yet, and I don't know when I will! The weather has been quite the adventure! It's been in the upper 80's, but it feels so much hotter (cause of the humidity)! Luckily we only tract after 5, but it's still blazing, and...our house (apartment) doesn't have a/c!!

Sister Hehl

June 19, 2013 First day in Washington

I get to email you today because yesterday was the p-day here, but they didn't get to email because of transfers :)

I'M IN THE FIELD! And biggest news: I'LL BE IN THE FEDERAL WAY MISSION IN TWO WEEKS! I'm still in the Seattle mission right now, but I'll be part of the change effective July 1, where the federal way mission is created. So I get to say I served in two missions, ha. So exciting! My feelings about it: it's just grand! No problem at all with it, because the Lord sent me right here, right now, so I know it's His will that I'll be moved into the Federal Way mission. I'll just have to explain where it is to people for the rest of my life (instead of everyone knowing exactly where Seattle is). I won't really ever see the city of Seattle while I'm on my mission, even on p-days, because it won't be in my mission anymore. But I'm fine with that - I can see it someday no problem! So I'm in the city of Auburn, in the White River ward. I love it already! We've already met and talked with Bishop Smith, his counselors, the zone leaders, and our district leader, and they are all so great and hard-working.

We're starting fresh with everything - blank area book (where records of past/current investigators and everyone are kept), new apartment! The biggest difference that I noticed from the MTC from yesterday: it was weird to be in an apartment, just me and sister morrow, accountable basically to our district leader (through the phone), each other, and the Lord. It felt like college compared to living at home! But it's great - I'M IN THE FIELD! If you can't already tell, I'm used to it already ;)

My new companion is from Farmington (Utah, yes by Lagoon haha) and she's only been out one transfer (6 weeks). The training program lasts 12 weeks, but she's training after she's only done half the training. So we're learning together! Oh I love her already - we get along marvelously :) and we have a similar work ethic! We'll see how we work and teach together later today, when we go visit recent converts and try to find new investigators. I'm just so excited that these are REAL PEOPLE I'm working with now!! Real lives, real problems, real miracles. I love this work with all my heart.

with all my love,
Sister A. Hehl

June 17, 2013 News from the MTC

Well HELLO!!

BIGGEST THING: I LEAVE TOMORROW FOR SEATTLE!!! Oh man, I REALLY can't believe it! Haha just when I was getting used to MTC...time to leave! Just when it starts to feel like my safe little home - NOPE, thrown back into uncertainty! Luckily, somehow, I'm not really nervous though! At least the excitement overrides the's just more of the unknown, a new adventure! Scary but exciting. It's INSANE to think I'LL BE IN SEATTLE (or on my way) THIS TIME TOMORROW!

Like pretty much my whole mission experience so far, it feels unreal. But I feel okay and excited about it because I feel that I really have learned so so much from being here, even in 12 days! Once again, the biggest things I've learned: the investigator is the focus. This is about THEM changing THEIR life, not me. Me being changed will just come as a bi-product, and it won't come at all if that's what I'm working towards. One thing that was driven home to me this week: focus outward. That is what Jesus Christ did, every second of His life! Even when He had just fasted for 40 days - He sent angels to minister to John. When He had just experienced Gethsemane, He healed the guard's ear. So I want to work on that and think of my investigator(s) CONSTANTLY. The Spirit is the real teacher, so my job is just to create an environment He can be in, help others feel His influence, and help them recognize it. On my own, I can't really do anything! Lessons won't be what that person needs, we won't be able to find people...I HAVE to rely on Him.

I absolutely LOVE how often I pray now. I pray when I wake up, before every meal, before every lesson, before every meeting/devotional, before every study session...SO GREAT. Challenge for everyone: pray in the middle of your day, for no particular occasion, every day this week. See what changes. 

BLESSING: I've transitioned (not cold turkey, but it's progress) from movie quotes and songs to having scripture one-liners and hymns stuck in my head! Such a blessing! I'm on the main campus, by the way. It's crazy at combined devotionals etc that the people there are only half the missionaries right now! It's already so crowded! 

Sister Hehl