Monday, February 9, 2015

01/06/2014 New Year, New Adventures

I hope you guys all had a great New Year's Eve and a good start to your new year! I went to bed at 10:30 on New Year's and got up at 6:30. Unheard of, huh? Well, that's just missionary life!
It's been an interesting week. I feel like we're still experiencing the effects of the holidays right at the moment so we're not having as much success as I would personally like. However there's still plenty for us to do!
So our dear Joyce is still having a lot of health problems. We went to visit her yesterday and we found out that, on top of her medical mysteries that are going on right now, her boyfriend, Duane, who introduced her to the church, is moving to Texas. She was very upset about it when she first told us over the phone. She really wanted Duane to baptize her, if she made that choice. Well, he's leaving next Monday and so Joyce said to us yesterday that she would like to be baptized on Saturday! Well, we were floored because she was always saying she wasn't sure yet if it was right, but then she said yesterday that she had basically set her mind on doing it anyways, so why not now? There's just one problem - she drank coffee on Saturday, and you must be living the Word of Wisdom for 2 weeks before baptism. Sigh. Thankfully Duane will be coming back into town soon, so we tentatively scheduled her for that time. She just needs to quit drinking coffee!! Anyways.
Our recent convert, Debbie, has a roommate! Who is named Joyce! Joyce B. got here on Friday from Michigan. We helped her unpack and gave her a Book of Mormon and offered to come study with her and Debbie. We are sneaky.
Another "we are sneaky" moment. There's a ward missionary, Brother W (Whitmore), whose wife is not a member. We've become very attached to them and we really want to teach Sister W. Well, Sister Donald and Sister Keihle came up with a plan. Since Sister W really likes us, we asked if we could "practice" teaching her the lessons and she agreed. So this should be interesting.
I almost forgot! This week has been so weird and long. I went on exchanges this week! So, our poor Sister Jones, the STL over the two GJ zones, has also been training a new missionary. She basically has a ton of responsibility and I don't envy her position. Well, last Monday she and Sister Sheppard called and asked if I would come be with Sister Sheppard while Sister Jones went to mission leader council. I agreed and Sister Sheppard and I had a great time in 9th ward! She is a fantastic missionary, especially when you consider the fact that she's only been out for about 3 weeks! Also, for one day I had a companion who is taller and younger than me. Something that hadn't happened yet.
Anyways, that's the news for this week! Hopefully things will start settling back to normal now that the holidays have completely passed. I love you all and hope you're all doing well!

Love, Sister Noakes
Sunset Over the Colorado National Monument

Sister Donald and friend

Sisters Keihle, Donald, and Noakes

"Failed" jumping picture ...

12/30/2013 Christmas!

Dearest Familia,

I just got to see your faces 5 days ago! What a blessing. We had a really good Christmas but I'll get back to that.
Honestly, it's a little hard to be a missionary this time of year! People aren't home, or, if they are, they're with family and don't really want to talk to us. But we still had a good week! We saw our dear Joyce on Friday. She still isn't sure if she's getting the answer she needs, plus she's still drinking coffee. I'm still not too concerned about it because I know she has an answer, she just doesn't realize it. (Maybe next part = confidential?) I am worried about her though. She hasn't been feeling well lately. She has heart failure - water around her heart :( we asked if she needed a blessing but she said she wouldn't be able to come to the door if we knocked! So keep her in your prayers.

We also saw Teaa this week! We taught her, her husband, and her oldest daughter about the Book of Mormon and they were very interested. However, they just put their house up for rent and might be moving to Cortez! I don't want this one bit!! But we'll see what the Lord's plan is, I suppose.
Yesterday we saw a miracle! After church, in our weird gap hour before dinner, we decided to go tracting because we need new people to teach. We kind of randomly ended up in this neighborhood about a mile down the road from the church building. We offer to say prayers, as usual, and the second home we knocked on let us in! Well, the man who answered the door (his name's Sven), was like "No one's ever offered that before, but okay, sure." So we go in, and see a family sitting on the couch watching the Broncos game (what else to do in Colorado on a Sunday evening? hahaha). We say a prayer and then offer to come back and teach them about the importance of families and how families are forever. Sven says (to our shock) "Why not right now?" We're a little taken aback but we agree and he pulls in 3 chairs, they turn off the Broncos game (unheard of), and we teach most of the first discussion and they agree to let us back! The cool thing about Sven is that he's from Switzerland, and, while he was made to take religious classes in school, isn't really religious. But he told us that he had always heard that the best way to learn is to sit back and listen. It was so cool to experience that!
So, Christmas. We woke up and opened presents with the singles ward sisters, then went to IHOP for breakfast with the singles sisters and the 7th ward sisters (aka Sister Cope and Sister Hancock. hahahaha). We came back home for a bit, then went to the Guevaras' for lunch and SKYPING! Well, for me and Sister Donald. Then, home again for a little while. We stopped by the Hollys, a less active family who wanted us to come by and say hi, and then we headed to the Rasmussens' for dinner and Sister Keihle's skyping. Now, if you'll remember back to Thanksgiving when James, a 12 year old Rasmussen, told me my joke was lame... well, ever since then we've had a bit of a rivalry. He ALWAYS wears U of U ties to church (unacceptable), and he likes everything I hate. Not really, but you get the picture. Anyways, I chose to walk into their home wearing a BYU sweatshirt. James took one look at me and ran downstairs to get his U of U sweatshirt. He kept making fun of my "lame jokes", the sports teams I like... and then he tried to say he was the biggest Harry Potter fan. Ohhhh no. So I need some HP trivia questions and lame jokes so I can win this battle. Hahahaha.
I loved Christmas! I'm looking forward to 2014 and my year of missionary work! I love you and can't wait to hear from you!
Love, Sister Noakes

Sister Noakes with her Christmas stocking
(made by her mom)

Christmas Bounty

BYU versus University of Utah