Monday, December 29, 2014

I'm dreaming of a white Christmas

Dear Family and Friends, 

It has been a great Christmas week! I loved getting to talk to you and see your cute faces. Favorite part of Christmas! And it hit me that it has been almost a year since I have seen you all, because you all looked so grown up! Time is flying. This week was an incredible one with lots of Christmas miracles! Feeling very blessed. 
Monday: P-day! We had a white Elephant gift exchange with our zone. Funniest thing ever. I got a bowling ball and my companion got a chain. #elders. It was a good time with some awesome missionaries! After p-day ended we went to the Day's house (investigators), and had Family Home evening with them. We made gingerbread houses and shared the Christmas story. It was awesome.

Tuesday: District meeting. So on Halloween, the mission was challenged by the mission President to read the 5 Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, 3 Nephi) by Christmas. It was one of the best experiences I have had. I loved being able to read about the Savior and His life and to focus on it. I learned so much and grew so much closer to Him. At District meeting, we discussed what we learned, and it was awesome to be able to hear everyone's insights. The thing that stood out most to me was Christ's love and compassion for each of us. In 3 Nephi ch. 17, the Savior has just finished teaching the people and He tells them to go ponder what He taught. As He looks at the people, they all have tears in their eyes, and they "want Him to tarry with them longer." So He does. And He doesn't just hang out with them, He heals the sick, and teaches them more. I LOVE the way that He responded. He truly is the Gift, and I am so grateful for Him! We also had exchanges and I was with Sister Weiler. She is awesome! She is from New York and totally has the accent. We had a fun day with lots of appointments in Rupert and getting lost in the dark! #missionlife.
Wednesday: Christmas Eve! We did some service in the morning and helped some older members cut wood. It felt good to be serving and doing as Christ did. The rest of the day was spent planning for the week, since we had the holidays and exchanges. We spent the evening at the Bishops house with his family. We had an awesome dinner, complete with a nativity play and spiritual message, and gift opening. It was super sweet, they got us both really nice scarfs and we had a great time with them. It was nice to feel like part of the family! 
Thursday: "I'm dreaming of a white Christmas....." And we got one! We were like little kids again. My first white Christmas ever #caligirl. It snowed like 8 inches! We had breakfast at a members house, and then did the normal routine. We decided to study before we opened gifts because we knew we would be all distracted. We just stayed in our room and opened packages. It was super funny because it was just the two of us going, "no you go next, no you go next." Haha. It was different, but we had fun! We spent the rest of the day visiting members and investigators and sharing Christmas messages. And of course I got to Skype which was awesome! It was a great Christmas being able to focus on Christ. Missed you all!

Friday: I had exchanges with Sister Hansen in Rupert. It was super fun to be together again. Awesome experience: We were making programs for the baptism we had the next day. Heather(the one getting baptized), texted us and told us how her week was awful and how she really felt the adversary and she was ready to give up and call it quits. I was freaking out, because I just wanted so badly for her to feel okay and to be happy. I wasn't sure what to do. We were going to go visit her, but realized she was at work. I had the thought to pray, so I told Sister Hansen and she suggested we go to the church and pray in the chapel, so we did. We knelt down in the chapel and offered probably the most heartfelt prayer I have ever given. After the prayer, we sang "A Child's Prayer" together, and I had the most overwhelming feeling that Heavenly Father heard my prayer and that He was aware of Heather and that He was going to take care of her. It was amazing. So grateful for that experience. 
Saturday: This morning, we went over to Heather's house. We showed up in pants because she had been working all week, and with 4 kids under the age of 5, we knew that it would be chaos at her house. We helped her clean and get the kids ready for the baptism. It was a really neat experience to be there for her. She said that the night before when she was ready to give up, she decided to read her scriptures even though she got home at midnight from work. She said she turned to the chapter in Luke when Christ is performing the Atonement. She said that reading that gave her so much comfort and she knew that He knew how she felt. Heavenly Father hears and answers prayer, I know that with all my heart. He loves us so much and I am so grateful that He knows Heather and her struggles. Her baptism was amazing. The spirit was so strong, and afterward, she told us that it was all worth it. I am so excited for her family and this new journey. They are now working on going to the temple to be sealed as an eternal family!!! I love being a missionary. The Day family is amazing. Even in the short month that I have been here, I have become really close with them. They are one of my favorite families and I am so grateful for their example. Heather's sister joined the church not too long ago, so she introduced Heather, and now her other sister is investigating! Coolest thing ever. #miracles. 
Sunday: Church is always the best. Heather got confirmed and her blessing was amazing. She said,"He said everything I needed to hear!" So amazing. On Sunday nights, we have lessons with a member family. They have 4 teenage girls, and they just wanted us to come teach them to have the spirit more in their home. 2 of the girls are adopted and they are African American and they are hilarious. They asked us what we got for Christmas and we told them the usual, clothes, deodorant and things like that. The one girl goes, "Why did you get deodorant? You smell heavenly, you smell like berries, and Jesus." Haha. #dying. 

It was a wonderful week, and I thank you all for your love, support, and prayers. I hope you all have a Happy new year! I encourage you to think of a gift that you can give back to Christ in this new year. I love you all!

Love, Sister Bigelow

Monday, December 22, 2014

Spiritual High

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was AWESOME! I don't really think life could get any better. So excited for Christmas and to see all your faces! 
Monday:P-day! The normal. We played sports with our Zone, which was really fun. That night we had a Family Home evening with our investigator family, the Day's. We shared the Christmas story and had the kids act it out, it was awesome! Reminded me of our Christmas Eve traditions:)

We love our stockings!  Thanks mom!
Tuesday: We had an awesome District meeting.We talked about different ways that we can help our investigators resolve their concerns. I always love it when I am the one being taught and being spiritually nourished. It helps build my faith and my testimony and become a better missionary. I love it. Also, SO many miracles happened today. 
Unfortunately, I have been having really bad headaches this past week. So after District meeting, I asked the Elders for a blessing. I had been really scared to call the Doctor because I was afraid that if I was having this problem again, they would just send me home. Normally, just a companionship of Elders gives the blessing, but all 3 sets wanted to do it together and all stand in the circle. It was SO powerful. In the blessing, I was promised that I would be able to serve a full 18-month honorable mission, and that this sickness wouldn't hold me back. I was told that I have this illness so that in my current calling as a Sister Training Leader, I would be able to help and relate to all the Sisters. It was everything I needed to hear and I was so grateful for the worthy Priesthood holders that were so willing to help. Miracle #2: Our mission President and his wife, Sister Curtis, just happened to be in Rupert that day. So I was able to tell Sister Curtis what was going on. She told me to take my medicine and take the day off. So I did. I was able to sleep and rest, and by the end of the day I felt 150% better. I couldn't even express my gratitude to Heavenly Father for being there and strengthening me. It definitely strengthened my testimony. 

Wednesday: Exchanges with Sister Muir in Burley! I love exchanges! The Sisters in this mission are seriously awesome and I have so enjoyed being with them in their areas and getting to know them. We had a fun day with lots of walking and teaching. Sister Muir is like the most happy/positive person I have ever met. She is one of those people who never talk about themselves, but are always interested in your life. I learned a lot from her! 

Sister Muir Mac and Cheese selfie

Thursday: Weekly planning day. It was just a normal day. We had one of our ward Christmas parties and we had a ton investigators and less-actives show up! It was awesome! Also, since it is Christmas, everyone feels the need to make us Christmas goodies. I am pretty sure I have never eaten so much junk in my life. So grateful, but so tired of sugar. haha. #idahoprobs

Friday: Exchanges with Sister Patterson in Burley! Sister Patterson is a brand new missionary who has been out for 3 weeks. It was fun to get to know her, and realize just how much I have grown and changed since those first few weeks. She is awesome and so diligent, and a scriptorian, holy cow! I learned so much from her! I am so enjoying the things I am learning and the friendships I am creating. We didn't really have any appointments so we walked around all day in the pouring rain just talking to people. It was fun. And I am praying that I don't get sick! #knockonwood. 

Saturday: Isabelle's baptism! Isabelle is the niece of the Day family who we are teaching. She lives with the Day family because her mom passed away. Isabelle was able to be baptized with her 2 best friends. It was an awesome baptism! She is 15 and is just on fire about the Gospel. I have been able to create a great friendship with her and to see her make this step was the best feeling ever. I love baptisms! Her aunt Heather will be baptized this next weekend by her husband. I love being a missionary! 

Sunday: Church! We got to go to all 3 wards and see their Christmas programs. I LOVE the Christmas season, and I love the spirit that it brings. The music and talks made me ball like a baby, and I am still on such a spiritual high. I have really come to realize why we celebrate Christmas and because of that I have grown so close to my Savior and I am so much more grateful for Him and the Atonement. I am also grateful for Mary and Joseph and the qualities they possessed that we can learn from. Basically I feel so incredibly blessed that I have a knowledge of my Savior and this Gospel. 

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope your week is filled with joy and happiness! I will be thinking of you all! Can't wait to skype! I love you!
Sister Bigelow

Monday, December 15, 2014


Dear Family and Friends,

This week was absolutely crazy! But it was awesome. Is anyone else getting excited for Christmas??
Monday: We moved! We literally spent ALL morning packing up the Mama van. (Oh yeah, did I tell you that we drive a mini-van? I am sold. Those things can fit anything and everything.) We live with Sister Wayment who is a widow, so it is nice to be with her. It is a really nice house and I feel really blessed to have lived with such great members! Okay and then we spent 3 hours in Walmart. 3 hours. We wanted to make Christmas cards to send out and so we used the instant print machine at Walmart. And the machine broke so we had to wander around Walmart until they fixed the machine haha. Never again. That night we went over to our investigator Lori's house. She has a baptismal date for December 29th. But when we went over there, she told us that she couldn't wait any longer and that she was ready so she asked if she could be baptized the next day on Tuesday!!!!! So happy!!!! #missionarydream #2ndsurprisebaptism #miracles

Tuesday:We spent the whole day getting ready for Lori's baptism! We made programs and calls and everything in between. Her baptism was AMAZING. SHe is amazing. She has has a really hard life, and has been investigating the church for 2 years and was finally able to make the step. She has the biggest heart of anyone I know and she embraced the Gospel with all her heart. Her baptism was a small and simple occasion, but it was incredible. The spirit that filled the room and the smile on her face was all that was needed. Have I mentioned that I love being a missionary? She is also another hilarious one like Kellie. She is from D.C. She goes, "Is the pool guy here yet?" (referring to the font-filler. haha).

Wednesday: District Temple day! The temple is my favorite place on earth and I feel like I appreciate it a lot more now that we don't get to go very often. We had a less-active lady who recently got her temple recommend come with us and it was awesome! The temple is like no other place. I am grateful for the spirit and peace that is there and for the revelation we receive as we go with an open mind and heart. 2 Nephi 14:5-6 :)

Thursday: Mission Christmas Conference/party! So much fun. It started out with a conference filled with inspirational talks, videos, and messages. Then we had a mission talent show! My companion is awesome and knows sign language because she has a deaf brother, so I have been making her teach me. So for the talent show, Sister James and I signed while some other Sisters sang to "Hark the Herald Angels Sing." It was awesome! And there are some really talented missionaries here, holy cow! The night ended with a devotional from our area 70, Elder Allan. It was an amazing day filled with great spiritual enlightenment and the Christmas Spirit. It was so fun to see everyone. I just love our mission!

Friday: Exchanges! I got to be back in my old area in Twin with Sister Taguba. She is a new missionary and is from the Philippines.It was so fun. I got to see a lot of my ole investigators and converts. We got to help at a Christmas thing that an anti-Mormon church was putting on. They were doing a big dinner for all the refugees here in Twin and it was amazing to be able to see everyone come together to serve these people! It was so fun being able to learn from another Sister and be able to be in a position where I can help and serve. I am so grateful!

Saturday: The normal paperwork/meetings day! 

Sunday: Church! WE had 4 investigators come to sacrament meeting and it was Lori's confirmation! The best. We spent most of the day in meetings as well. Our stake put on a Christmas concert with beautiful music and talks. It was pretty awesome and we had some investigators come to that as well! Things are so good! #success

It was an awesome week and I really feel like I am understanding even more the true reason for Christmas as I share it with other people. I am so grateful for this Gospel and for the joy and peace it brings into my life. Don't forget to serve and love others even more this Christmas season. I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week:) God bless! 
Sister Bigelow

Monday, December 8, 2014

Old people, bingo, play-dough, hooligans and Poopert

Dear Family and Friends, 

Hello!!! This week was a little crazy and a little awesome. Things are going so well and I am loving Rupert! (Or as everyone calls it; Poopert. hehe). I decided to do my emails a little different. I will go day by day and give you an update of each day so that I don't leave anything out! :)

Monday: P-day. They are always crazy and we are always running around like chickens with our heads cut off. Haha. We had a District activity and played board games and things of that sort. When P-day was over, we didn't have any appointments, so we attempted to contact and nobody was home. #missionprobs. 

Tuesday: We had a District meeting today! And it was AWESOME. The theme for this month is "The Power and Authority of your calling." We talked about ways that we can become more powerful. For example: putting everything on the altar of sacrifice, obedience, understanding our missionary purpose, becoming true disciples of Jesus Christ. It was really powerful and it again motivated me to be better and work on myself! Something that I have been really trying to focus on is the Christlike attributes and improving them in myself. It is amazing the Spirit that comes into your life when you make a conscious effort to be more like Christ. So amazing. We also had an awesome lesson with a less-active lady about the Atonement. I always love teaching about the Atonement because that is the whole reason I am here and it is the single most important thing in the Gospel. I have loved being able to study, apply, and teach that over and over again. I feel like my relationship with Christ is strengthened every time I do. We also go to help in Young Women's today! I love being with the youth. They have an incredible spirit and enthusiasm about them!

That's us pretending we are in Hawaii instead of the Frozen Tundra 

Wednesday: So, we found out that we had to move because the person we are living with sold her house, so we began the long process of packing and cleaning. And then Sister James and I both got sick.#theworst. It was a good thing we didn't really have a lot going on because we were able to rest and start feeling better. We had plans of going out and contacting all the part-member families and handing out Ward Christmas part invites, but I guess the Lord works in mysterious ways! Nothing exciting today!

Thursday: Weekly Planning session. The longest days of them all. haha. Just kidding. But really, planning for every person we work with and trying to get the wards involved and things like that is a long process. But it is very much needed, so I am grateful that we have the time set aside to weekly plan! At the end of the day, we had an amazing lesson with our investigator family(The Day Family)  who is getting baptized at the end of this month. It is always amazing to me to know that Heavenly Father is always preparing people! This family is so awesome and I already love them so much. I love missionary work!!!

Friday:Every Friday we get to go help all the old people play Bingo at an Assisted Living facility.(I always think of you dad:). It is so much fun. Old people just make me laugh. We also taught a lesson to a less-active/part-member family with lots of kids, where we gave them play-doh and had them make play-doh temples while we taught about temples. Best idea ever. Until they fight over the play-doh and mess each others temples up and then it becomes dangerous haha. Gotta love those hooligans! 

Saturday: We helped some elderly folks saw wood today! That was pretty cool. Learning new skills everyday. We did progress records and correlated with all of our ward mission leaders, and the Stake High Counselor. Saturdays are mostly "get things done" days where we have to do a lot of paperwork and things like that. 

Sunday: Church! I always love Sundays. And the good news is that we had all of our investigators that have baptismal dates came to church #yesssssss. And I have no sympathy anymore for people who complain that church is long. Haha. We spend like 10 hours there every Sunday! But I love it. We also got to go help at mission prep today. I totally wish I would have known about a mission prep class because it is the coolest thing ever! Also the First Presidency Christmas Devotional was amazing. I love hearing from our inspired leaders.   

I wish there were more exciting things to report! Since we got sick and had to move, things have been kind of crazy. I am really looking forward to this week! We get to go to Twin Falls 3 times;temple trip, Mission Christmas Party, and Exchanges. Can't wait! Things are great and life is Dandy. Living it up in Christmas City! I love you all so much! Have a wonderful week! 
Sister Bigelow

Monday, December 1, 2014

Christmas City USA

Dear Family and Friends, 

So this week was awesome! I got to my new area on Wednesday and I am loving it so far! Rupert is pretty tiny. Not as tiny as Oakley though! So apparently I am living in "Christmas City USA!" Who knew? I guess Rupert has been officially named Christmas City. Every year, the day after Thanksgiving, they light up the ENTIRE town with Christmas lights and they shoot off fireworks for like 20 minutes. Seriously insane! I guess it is a good thing I will be spending Christmas here! :) They say if you address a letter to "Christmas City USA" that it will come to Rupert Idaho. Of all places? Maybe you should try it out? haha I love my mission! 

My new companion is Sister James and she is awesome! She is from New Mexico, and she likes to ride motorcycles. Pretty dang awesome. She is a wonderful missionary and I have learned so much from her already! She is also the oldest of 6 children. And whenever people find out that we are both the oldest, they always say, "Do you guys boss each other around?" Haha. #oldestchildsyndrome. 

Rupert is pretty cool. There is a lot of really great work going on right now! We cover 3 wards, so we stay pretty busy! We have 3 baptisms coming up this month which is awesome. There are definitely a lot of prepared people here. We live with a members and I love it! This week we start exchanges with the Sisters, so I am pretty excited about that! It will be awesome to get to know all the Sisters better and get to spend one-on-one time with them. I am pretty sure this is going to be the most awesome transfer ever! We have a great District, Zone, and Sisters, so I am pretty stoked! 

Thanksgiving was pretty good. I missed all you guys though! It wasn't the same not being with the family, but we had an amazing dinner and lots of pie:) We visited a lot of people and shared messages about being grateful, and we played card games with some members! It was a good day, and I definitely have a lot to be grateful for. 

Also if you have already heard, the church is doing a huge Christmas initiative called "He is the Gift." It is a 5 minute video about how Christ was the first gift of Christmas, and how this year we need to DISCOVER the gift, EMBRACE the gift, and SHARE the gift. So as missionaries, we have pass-along cards that advertise the video and we have been challenged to hand out at least 10 a day. We have to keep track of how many referrals and new investigators that we get from this initiative and report it to church headquarters each week. The church bought out YouTube advertising for the entire day on December 7th so the "He is the Gift" video will be the only thing advertised on that day. The church also rented a jumbo tron in Times Square that they will be advertising the video all of December. They are going all out! Also in the December Ensign there are 9 pass-along cards for you to hand out. You are also encouraged to share it on social media with the hashtag #SharetheGift. It is so awesome and Sister James and I are pumped about it! So if you haven't already, go look up the video, and share it with everyone! That is my challenge to all of you:) 

I seriously can't believe that it is already December and that Christmas is approaching us. I am so grateful for the gift of Jesus Christ and His atonement that changes our hearts and our lives. I encourage you all to remember and ponder the true meaning of Christmas and what Christ means to you! You all are awesome! I love you. Have a great week! God bless:) 
D&C 68:5-6
Love, Sister Bigelow
Happy thing: So yesterday, we were asked to speak in Sacrament meeting about missionary work in one of our wards that is struggling with missionary work. Sister James and I both spoke, and there was a missionary homecoming as well. It was just an awesome missionary Sacrament meeting! And after we were done, the Stake President got up and said, "You all need to buck up and help these missionaries out." Haha. They totally got chastised and it was awesome. After the meeting like 10 people came up to us and asked us what they could do to help. Best thing ever. 

Monday, November 24, 2014

Living it up in 16th ward!

Dear Family and Friends, 

Holy cow. It was like the best week ever!!! Living it up in 16th ward! It has been so much fun to see everyone that I used to teach/work with. It is amazing to see the progress of the area! Like 3 people I taught got baptized within this last year and it just made me so happy to know that my work here wasn't for nothing. And Sister McCallum is the BEST. Her and I have become best friends in this last week. We basically know everything about each others lives and have had a blast together. She is also going back to BYU-I so we are totally going to be roommates. I love having so many friends that I have made on the mission. It is a different kind of friendship and a different kind of bond that you have when you are companions, or have worked together as missionaries. It is awesome. It's like a spiritual bond that can never be broken. Can't wait for mission reunions! :)

This week we had a baptism! Her name is Sandy and she is amazing.  I was really nervous about coming in and being the "new missionary." I knew that there was going to be a baptism and I didn't want her to be mad that the other missionary wasn't there and I didn't want it to be awkward. But Heavenly Father blessed us so much because it wasn't at all! Even though I only knew her for a week, she has become like family. The first time I met her, I literally felt like we had known each other before and it was an instant connection for both of us. Sandy is a single mom of 4 boys, one of them having sever autism. She is going through a divorce right now, and she is just in remission for breast cancer. If that doesn't tell you how strong she is, I don't know what does. I have learned so much from her over this past week. Satan was really working on her before her baptism, and there were times, where she just wanted to give up, but I am so grateful for the strength that Heavenly Father gave us to be able to help her and give her strength. As a 20 year-old girl, I have NO idea how to handle these real life problems that people have because I have never been through it. But I have been able to feel Heavenly Father working through me by the Spirit to help these people,  and all I know is that the Gospel is always the answer. Sandy and her boys have become like family to me. Her baptism was incredible. You could instantly see that change in her and the peace that filled her life as she covenanted to follow Jesus Christ. I am so grateful to have met her, and I know there was a reason I did. I was able to touch her family's life and they were able to touch mine. That is what missions are all about! 

                                                                    So the bad/good news is that I am getting transferred again! I will be joining Sister James in Rupert, Idaho(where the heck is that? haha) as a Sister Training Leader! I am really excited, but really nervous at the same time. "Sister Training Leaders" are a new calling for Sister missionaries within this last year. Because there are so many Sisters now, the missionary department decided that they needed some Sisters as leaders that could go on exchanges with the Sisters and deal with issues or problems that Sisters are having. It is basically like being a Zone Leader, but you are only over the Sisters.  It is a lot of responsibility, but I am excited that I get an even greater opportunity to serve and reach out and get to know some more Sisters. It will be a great learning experience and a new adventure. I feel humbled to know that Heavenly Father and President Curtis trust me with this sacred responsibility. I can't wait to get to know more of the Sisters and to serve!

That was the big news of the week! I am pretty sure I have gotten moved more times on my mission than any other missionary in the mission haha. But that is okay! I am grateful for all the great experiences I have had in different areas with different companions. Thank you so much for all your love and support! I hope y'all have a wonderful Thanksgiving week and remember to count your blessings. There is so much to be grateful for! I love you all. God bless! 

Sister Bigelow

From a note to mom:
I am still drinking lots of water and feeling really great. I had one really bad headache this week, and I took a nap and slept it off and I was good. The bad news is, I got bit by a cat bad on my finger. And as a missionary, if you are bit by a cat, you have to call the doctor within the hour and be put on an antibiotic ASAP because I guess cats have some weird organism in their mouth and if they bite you, it can get transferred to you. So that was fun! But I have been on the antibiotic, so it was nothing serious. #missionlife. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

#sad #moresad

Dear Family and Friends, 

Seriously a crazy week! I have decided that missions are absolutely crazy and unexpected and awesome and hard. Haha. I am no longer serving in Oakly #sad #heartbroken #moresad. I was transferred back to Twin Falls to take the place of a Sister who had to return home for health reasons. My time in Oakley was short, but I loved every minute of it. I met the greatest people, and had some amazing spiritual experiences. We worked so hard and had so much fun. But I know that the Lord needed me in other places and I am grateful for His plan. I will miss Oakley dearly, but I am moving forward with and open mind and a willing heart, and with my trust in the Lord:)

The good news is, is that I am back in my first area, the 16th ward! WHooooo!!!!! So happy about that. My companion is Sister McCallum and she is amazing. We were actually in the MTC together, but in different Districts. We have already had so much fun together this past 24 hours. So I will be serving here for a week and a half, and then next week at transfers, I will get a completely new assignment. A lot of craziness, but I am ready for the journey! I seriously feel like I am having flashbacks, and it feels so weird to be back in the same area. The Sisters were working with like everyone I ever worked with and so I will get to see them all this week and I can't wait! I loved this ward and the people here so much! Your first area always seems to hold a special place in your heart. Sister McCallum said that everyone here still talks about Sister Ramsey and I the "dynamic duo" Haha. I am happy to know I was loved here and I am happy to be back.

I will definitely miss my companions too. It seems that we were just getting to know each other really well and having a lot of fun. But hey, "There is no growth in the comfort zone, and no comfort in the growth zone." So true. I feel like my faith has been tested a lot on my mission in many different ways, but I am just so grateful for those tests. That truly is what helps us to grow and it is awesome! Without tests and trials, we wouldn't learn anything and that is what life is all about! We are here to learn, grow, and progress so that we can return back to our Heavenly Father. In these situations instead of asking "why me?" we should ask, "Lord, how can I do this?" I keep thinking about the song, "I'll go where you want me to go dear Lord, over mountain or plain, or sea. I'll say what you want me to say dear Lord! I'll be what you want me to be." I have truly learned humility and to trust in the Lord's plan. Sometimes it is hard because we don't always understand, but Heavenly Father does and He will lead us to where we need to go, and we need to be willing to submit to His divine will. 

So that was the big news of the week! I am so excited about life and missionary work! Who knew that being a missionary could make me this happy! Haha. Also this week was stinkin' cold. It was below 20 degrees everyday and it snowed ALL week. I decided that I am a California girl, and I love Idaho, but I absolutely hate the cold. Grateful for a nice warm car this week!  Thank you all so much for your love and support. I am grateful for all of you. Have a great week everyone! God bless....
Sister Bigelow

P.S. I realized that you accumulate so much crap on your mission. Everytime I move, I can never seem to fit my stuff in my suitcases haha. And they weigh like 125 pounds when I do get them zipped haha. Love it!

Happy thing: Being back in my old area in my old apartment:) It almost feels like a dream, but it is awesome! I love Twin Falls! And my mission! And my nice apartment! :)

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Three Amigos/Powder-puff girls

Dear Family and Friends, 

I know I say it every week, but this week was amazing!!! So much happened and we have been able to witness miracles. The best part of the week was out baptism! Our investigator has been meeting with missionaries for 4 years, but due to outside forces and addictions, she wasn't able to be baptized until now. It was such an amazing baptism. Even for the 4 weeks that I have been in this area, I have witnessed a change in her countenance and there is a glow about her now. She is happy because she is following Christ! It hit me this week that it really is so simple. When we are keeping the commandments and following Christ, we are so much happier! And the best part is, is that her husband was able to baptize her because he recently came back into the church. It is so amazing! So, that is what creates this amazing change in people. When they finally give up the things of the world and are ready to sacrifice and become a true disciple of Jesus Christ, that is when the blessings and happiness come. Her confirmation was amazing as well. I am so grateful to be a part of her life and of this new journey she is on. I love being a missionary! 

It was also a crazy busy week! We had a jam-packed schedule and we were able to teach a lot and do a ton of service. One of our investigators Ryan, was able to receive a confirmation that the Book of Mormon is true! So his baptism will be next:) The sad news is that some of our investigator's, the Garza family moved this weekend:( We were able to help them pack and say goodbye. It was horrible and we all cried. It is amazing how close you get to these people and how much you love them. We will miss them, and we will definitely make sure their new missionaries find them:)

We also learned how to make and can apples/apple juice! I feel like I am learning all sorts of awesome skills on my mission that will help me in my future family! I have learned how to garden, can all types of food, build a fence, bake all sorts of cool things...and the list goes on and on. I am grateful for those skills I have learned. Not only will I gain so much spiritual knowledge and a stronger testimony, but I am also learning temporal things! It is awesome! Missions are just the best. Have I said that enough times?:)

Favorite quote of the week: "As we give, we find that sacrifices bring forth the blessings of heaven, and in the end, we learn it was no sacrifice at all." I have definitely seen that on my mission. At the beginning, it was remembering all the things I "gave up" to be here. But now, I don't even think about those things, and it doesn't seem like a sacrifice at all for the blessings and happiness that I have recieved. I love this work so much. I have a testimony that Heavenly Father is truly hastening it in these last days. And that is why we need to share the Gospel with everyone. We are here to prepare the world for the Second Coming of our Savior! The Gospel is true and I am so happy. Thank you so much for your love and support. I feel it everyday. Have a great week:)
Sister Bigelow 

Happy thing: We were discussing how cool it was to be in a threesome or a trio. And we were comparing ourselves to famous threesome. We said we could be the Three Amigos, the Powder-puff Girls, Sons of Provo etc... and Sister Hansen goes, "We are like the three Nephites....with less immortality."" Hahahaha #dying. I love my companions so much! They are the best! 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Maybe it really is Zion

Dear Family and Friends,

So this week was pretty much awesome. It was a week filled with Halloween fun, lots of teaching, and miracles!

 On Monday for P-day, one of the members who owns a straw-maze let our whole zone come and do the maze and all the other activities for free. So much fun. We got lost in there for like 2 hours so we made a video with our last words since we were pretty sure we weren't going to make it out haha. On Wednesday, we got to carve pumpkins with the Garza's, one of my favorite families! We are also teaching the daughters who aren't members and they are the best. We went to 3 trunk-or-treat parties and it was fun to see all the costumes. We dressed up as each other. I was Sister Hansen, Sister Gass was me, and Sister Hansen was Sister Gass. We wore each others clothes and acted like each other all day. It was pretty hilarious! We had a District Halloween party as well! On Halloween we have to be in by 6 for safety reasons. So we got to watch "17 Miracles" and "Mobsters and Mormons" and play lots of games, and eat lots of candy. It was pretty fun! And our District is awesome! They are all Spanish speaking missionaries, so we are trying to learn Spanish so we know what they are saying. It was a great Halloween weekend and I hope everyone had a good one! 

So, big news! We have a baptism coming up on Saturday!!! WHOOO!!!! Her name is Selina and she is amazing. She grew up in New York and has had a really rough life. But she found the Gospel and she changed and quit her bad habits and is finally able to be baptized! She is married to a member who is going to be able to baptize her, which is even better! So exciting! I already love their family so so much. They have 7 brand new puppies and we have fun with them:) I love being able to see the change in people's lives that come from living the Gospel. I love seeing the Atonement work in myself and in others and that happiness and renewal it brings. AHhh! I just love it. We also have some other solid investigators that are super close to baptism. Oakley is golden! I didn't think there would be that much work here since it is such a small town, and most people are members, but the people here are so prepared! Maybe it really is Zion:)

We also got to have a Zone Training this week. The focus of the month is, "Trusting in the Lord." It was such a great training and I learned a lot. Trusting in the Lord is so important as a missionary. You have to trust and have faith that He will lead you and guide you and put words in your mouth. You have to trust that he is really preparing people and that He will help you find them. Without that trust and faith, there is no hope, and life would be miserable. There is a quote from Sister Hinckley that I love, "First obey, then understand." We have to trust in God that he will help us and lead us on the right path, even if we don't always understand right now. There is a talk that I love called, "Believing Christ; a practical approach to the Atonement." by Stephen E. Robinson. If you haven't read it, you need to because it is amazing! Something he says in the talk that I loves is, "We often ask ourselves these questions, am I good enough? Am I going to make it? Why is so-and-so better than I am? When we ask ourselves these questions, we become so terrified, and so paranoid that we can not make any progress. So it is at these times when the Savior grabs us and throws His arms abound us and says, "I've got you. I love you. I am not going to let you get hurt. Now relax and trust me." That is powerful. He loves us so much and I have truly gained a testimony of that. Isaiah 12:2 "Behold, God is my Salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid:for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation." 

We got to go to church in Grouse Creek Utah this Sunday! It is about an hour and a half drive from Oakley, which is a 30 minute drive from where we live. It was snowing like crazy! Grouse Creek is the tiniest town I have ever seen. I thought Oakley was small! Haha. But Grouse Creek has a population of about 100 people. They have a tiny gas station and a school with 10 kids enrolled. Can you imagine? That is all. The branch there only has about 30 members, so it was so different from anything I have ever experienced in my life. We don't do a whole lot of work there since it is so far and so small, but we would like to, so we are going to try to make it over there more often! It was fun and definitely a new adventure:) 

I am so grateful to be a missionary. I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who reaches out in times of need. I love this Gospel with all my heart and I know it is true with all my heart. I know our Savior lives and there is a reason he is called our Savior. I have a testimony of Christ's love and Atonement for each of us. He is our advocate with the Father. If we will come unto Him and come to know Him, I know that he will bless us so much and show us His love and answer our prayers. I love all of you and am grateful for your example and support. I hope you all have a great week! I love you!

Love, Sister Bigelow 

Happy thing of today: So our washer flooded and caught on fire this morning. Haha. Our entire apartment was flooded and there was smoke everywhere. Luckily, it didn't ruin anything and we were able to air out the carpet and the washer is getting fixed as we speak. But it just made me grateful for modern appliances. Because we had to wash our clothes by hand in the bathtub. It almost felt like I was serving in a 3rd world country haha! I am grateful to be in America and for the conveniences that we have:)

Also, the members that we live with have a ping-pong table and an art wall downstairs in their basement. So at lunch time, we get to work on our ping-pong skills and paint on the walls. It is awesome and I am just discovering more and more my love for art! It makes me happy!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Back to my roots

Dear Family and Friends,

What a wonderful week! I am just loving Oakley and having a blast. This week was amazing! We taught so much and saw tiny miracles in investigators and less actives. This week I have gained a stronger testimony of the Lord's tender mercies and how he answers our prayers. The members here are awesome and they are always giving us new people to teach. I have fallen in love with Oakley and I am so grateful for this great opportunity!

One tender mercy that we saw happened on Sunday. We drove to Oakley and realized that we were low on gas, and couldn't fill up because it was Sunday. Totally our fault for not being prepared. So we went to church and we weren't sure what we were going to do. We had four appointments that night all 15 miles away from each other. We were trying to find rides, but nobody was answering. So we decided to start walking and we prayed that someone would pick us up on the way. And sure enough someone did. So we told her our situation and she said, "Oh we have TONS of extra gas over on our farm that we probably won't use, just follow me to my house and we will fill you up." So we did and she gave us a FULL tank of gas. Oh my goodness. The kindest lady I have ever met. And then, she told us that she had invited her non-member nephew to take the lessons and he was really interested! So we have someone new to teach. We were so grateful and we knew that Heavenly Father was watching out for us. He really is so aware of our needs, and if we are obedient and willing, He will bless us so much! 

We have also seen Him bless us as we have made progress with investigators who were not progressing. We have a few people that have baptismal dates and it is awesome! We also got to speak in the Oakley wards Sacrament meeting! I have a love for speaking in Sacrament meeting now. I love being able to share stories and talk about things that will help these people. It is really a privilege and I don't even get nervous anymore! When I mentioned that I was from Visalia California, like 50 people came up to me after and said that they had family there. I didn't really recognize any of the names but I was only there for a year. We are also teaching a girl that is in Foster Care here that is from Visalia. Small world. Also, EVERYONE knows the Martindale and the Crane name around here. It is awesome, and I love being in the place where my roots are. It has given me a new motivation to do family history work when I return home:)

Also, this week we got to do art with a less- active lady! It was awesome! I have never really liked art, but I have discovered a new love for it! One of my companions Sister Hansen is an artist/musician and I have been so inspired by it! She is really very talented and it has been awesome to learn new things and discover my creative side. I have really learned that there is beauty in imperfection. And we owe all this beauty to our Heavenly Father and I am so grateful for the beauty all around us. 

It has been an amazing week. I love working hard and coming home at night completely exhausted with nothing left to give, and knowing that I gave it my all. I am thankful for this opportunity to serve and to strengthen my testimony and help others come unto Christ. It is the best calling ever. Thank you for all the love and support. Have an amazing week! I love you all! 
Sister Bigelow 

Happy thing of the day: I am so pumped up about the Restoration! When we have companionship study, we get super excited and fired up about the Gospel and it is amazing because then we want to go share it with everyone! I love the Gospel! We are so lucky to be members of Christ's church! Be excited about it! :)

Monday, October 20, 2014

They say it's my birthday!!!

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was wonderful! It was transfer week and I got to my new area on Wednesday. We cover a whole stake so our area includes the East side of Burley, Oakley, and Grouse Creek Utah. It is a HUGE area especially since it is all out in the country and the homes are spread super far apart. And I love it! My companions are Sister Hansen and Sister Gass. They are amazing and we are having the time of our lives. We live in an apartment attached to a members house so it is the best of both worlds! 

The members here are amazing. Now I know why they call this place Zion haha. And we actually have A LOT of work happening. Most of our investigators are in Oakley. We spend different days in each ward so we don't have to drive so much. Our favorite days are spent in Oakley:) It is the best, and I fell in love with it the first day. We got to spend my birthday in Oakley and it was great. I love it here. It is soooooooo different than Twin Falls. Everyone is so kind, even the nonmembers and they will just do anything for you. We drive so much which is also something I am not used to. #bikelife. haha. Since we cover a whole stake we really don't know a whole lot of members so that is something that we are trying to do is get to know more of the members! 

I never imagined a mission could be so fun. We have a blast together and I have laughed more in these last 5 days than in my whole life! We work with the most amazing people. I have a wonderful District. They are ALL Spanish missionaries, so we are trying to learn Spanish so that we can all have conversations in Spanish! Haha. My District Leader is from Monterrey Mexico and he actually played for the Real Salt Lake soccer team before his mission. So cool! It has been a wonderful few days and I am so incredibly happy. I absolutely love being a missionary and I am so grateful for this opportunity that I have to be in a new area and grow and meet new people. I am so excited for this new adventure. I definitely miss my last area and companion, but I know this is exactly where I  need to be:)

Thank you so much for all the birthday wishes and love. I really felt the love and I am so grateful! This has been my favorite birthday because I am doing what I love. I am so grateful and proud for all that I have accomplished in 20 years and I am just so grateful for Heavenly Father's plan and to be where I am now. I miss you all and I love you. You are all in my prayers!
Sister Bigelow