Monday, March 31, 2014

A love connection (not mine)

Dear Family and Friends! 

Whaddup?? How has everyone's week been? Mine has been good! There are some great things happening here and I am just having the time of my life! Idaho is the definitely the place to be. I am so grateful for the prophet and this inspired call just for me because Heavenly Father knew I needed to be here to touch certain people's lives. As I am here more, I see that and it is such a blessing. :)

So this week I got hit by another bug. Except this time it is worse! Being sick on a mission is the worst because you need to rest and get better because you are not useless and miserable if you don't, but then you feel so guilty for taking a second to recuperate and not be out working every second of every day. But people have been hooking me up with essential oils and medicine, and people take such good care of us! I am convinced it is from riding our bikes in the freezing cold rain everyday. It is really awesome when we show up to our appointments soaking wet from head to toe. We are just a hot mess haha. I have stopped bothering straightening and curling my hair because the helmet/rain messes it up everyday. #firstworldprobs :) Even though things like that happen and sometimes it stinks, I have learned to just keep a smile on my face and be grateful that I am healthy enough to even ride a bike! On the bright side, riding bikes doesn't make me feel guilty for eating too much dessert! #winwin 

Other than feeling crappy, we had a great week! Nothing too out of the ordinary happened, but we taught a lot and are seeing a lot of people progress! Super funny story; So Kellie, our recent convert, and Jake, the one who is getting baptized in 2 weeks are totally in love with each other! They are right next door to each other and have been best friends for awhile. Kellie introduced him to the church and to us. So basically they are head over heels and we are expecting wedding invitations to the sealing in a year! Haha. We just love them and want the best for them and their cute little someday family!:) I just love our people. The people is what makes everything worth it. We have so much fun at our appointments and are getting so close to each one of our investigators and their families. I miss you guys, but I feel like I have family here too! I feel so blessed to be working with so many incredible people who love me and take care of us. Also it will be so nice to come back and visit since I will be so close! The work here in Idaho is just moving right along and I am loving every minute of it! 

This week was also the General Women's Broadcast. And it was INCREDIBLE!!! Exactly what I needed. I loved the videos and the talks and everything about it. I was a ball baby the whole time. I love how when all the Sisters come together there is just a sense of unity and a bond of Sisterhood. It is so awesome to be a part of it! When Elder Eyring said, "I want you to look at your mom or whoever brought you and give them a smile," Sister Ramsey and I just looked at each other and said, "I miss my mommy" Haha. It really did make me miss you mom and my sisters. But I felt an overwhelming sense of peace and comfort as I was missing you guys. I also felt my Grammie right there with us in Spirit. I love the moments when my Heavenly Father knows how I am feeling, and He gives me exactly what I need. I felt all my Sisters there with me that night and it was an amazing feeling. Kellie was there and she loved it, and the Spirit was so strong! I am so excited to be able to hear from our Prophet and our leaders this weekend. It is such an amazing blessing! Conference on a mission is like Christmas morning! Seriously can't wait! 
I love you all and am so grateful for the support. wouldn't be here without you. I just want you all to know that I have a testimony and I know with all my heart and soul that this Gospel is true. I have felt it, and I have seen the miracles that can come from it. I love my Savior. Words can't express the gratitude I have for His loving sacrifice. As we approach the Easter season, it has been impressed more and more on my heart that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real and it is there for us at all times. There in nothing that we can do in this life that He won't forgive us of. We are seriously annoying and selfish creatures, yet God doesn't care. He loves us so much, if we come to His open arms, he will take us under His wing and forgive us. Think about how much love and patience that takes. If there is anything I know and have learned while I have been here, it is that God loves us so much. Without the Atonement, we as missionaries would have no message to share! I love everything about being a missionary and a member of this church. :) I love you all so much! Alma Chapter 7 is amazing and you all should read it! I love this Gospel and I love this work! Thank you again for all that you do for me. Have a fabulous week! 

xoxoxoxoxoxox Sister Bigs (That is what everyone calls me, not the greatest nickname ever haha)

Monday, March 24, 2014

Legs of Steel

Dear Family and Friends!

What an awesome week! Serving in Twin has its perks! The members are so great and they just never stop feeding us. They pay for our food and we are LOVING it! I feel so blessed to be here! How is everyone doing? It is great to get letters and emails! I feel the love!! Y'all are so great and so supportive, I couldn't be any happier:)

All I have to say is BIKES. They finally took the car. They gave us 2 matching beach cruisers. What the what?? Yeah beach cruisers.  Those things SUCK for long distance and speed. Plus the fact that I haven't ridden a bike in forever doesn't help at all. That first day on bikes was rough. Also, the wind here in Idaho is always blowing and always working against us.#thestruggleisreal Sister Ramsey and I just sing to get our minds off how hard it is. W just have to laugh at how funny this is. We are riding against the wind in skirts that keep blowing up, on our beach cruisers, just belting our little hearts out. Members pass by in cars and they just laugh at us haha. I have to say it is pretty hysterical. Blessing of the week: Our District leader and his companion can't ride bikes because one of them has knee problems, so they are letting us borrow their super fast mountain bikes!!! They are SO much better and faster. I am still getting into shape! By the end of my mission I will have legs of steel. I am grateful for the nice weather Twin has been having and for our bikes! Once you get past the butt soreness, it is so fun! 

We had a good week overall! Still just teaching and meeting lots of people. Our investigators are all doing so great! Kellie is doing awesome! This week, we are going to do some family history with her so we can go to the temple to do baptisms with her! We are really excited about that. Also remember how in my last letter, I was telling you about how she told her neighbor Jake about the church? Well he is incredible. We barely just started teaching him a week ago and he is changing his life. He talks about how happy he is and how he notices the difference in his life. He texts us everyday asking us for a scripture to read and asking us so many questions. He says that he is just "thirsting for the truth, and wants more, more, more." It is awesome. So on Friday we set a baptismal date for him for April 26th and he said yes. And then, last night, he was texting us asking us questions about the scriptures and telling us about how much he loved church. And out of nowhere, he just texts us and says, "So can I get baptized before April 26th? I just really need to do it cause I want these blessings and I have already repented and everything." You should have seen Sister Ramsey and I! We were screaming and jumping up and down. Those are the kind of moments that you LIVE for as a missionary. Of Course you can get baptized sooner!!! He is so awesome and so ready! It amazes me everyday how the Lord is preparing people to hear this message. I am so grateful for the miracles like that, that I see everyday. I can't explain how amazing it is, but all I know is that I love it and I am so grateful! 

Life is just good. Conference is coming up, we have a few baptisms coming up, we have a temple trip coming up, the weather is getting warmer, and there is so much work! Sister Ramsey and I have a goal to be PERFECT! We want to be exactly obedient because there are so many good things happening. We know that if we do our part, the Lord will bless us and allow peoples hearts to soften and all that good stuff. Things are just great and I am so happy. Happier than I ever have been in my life. I love this Gospel and I am so grateful to be part of the Lord's work and on his errand. Thank you all for your support and love. I feel it everyday. Have a great week, I know I will! :) Love you all to the moon and back. Sending my love. 

Love, Sista Bigs

Monday, March 17, 2014

Snackrament meeting

Dear Family and Friends,

Hello everyone! The days and weeks just seem to be flying by even faster these days. I hope everyone had a great week because I know I did! The Lord is just blessing us left and right here in Twin Falls and I am loving it! So I guess I better give you the juicy details! :)

So this week I got really sick. And I mean really sick. I haven't been that sick in a long time. I felt so terrible and everything hurt. I had a fever, aches, congestion, headaches, and everything! And then I woke up with pink eye on Tuesday morning in both eyes. #ewwwww. So I called the mission doctor and made an appointment to go see him. He told me I had the flu caused by bacteria. So much for the flu shot they made me get. haha. So he prescribed me antibiotics and some eye drops for the pink eye. He told me that if I didn't need to be anywhere, that I shouldn't because I was super contagious. So basically it sucked because I had to stay home. We had appointments at night that I didn't want to miss, but during the day I slept and Sister Ramsey did whatever. I felt so guilty for not working, I kept feeling the need to repent haha. I was driving Sister Ramsey crazy because I kept telling her how guilty I felt for sleeping all day and she was like "Dude! You have permission to sleep, take advantage of it!" It is crazy how a mission changes your mindset. But I am doing a lot better now and feeling much better! I was so ready to get out of the apartment and get back to work. Being sick on a mission sucks big time, but I am happy to be back to work:)

Other than being sick, this week was great! We had a lot of appointments and taught a lot of people. Every Sunday when we have the missionary correlation meeting, everyone is always just so impressed with all the work we are doing! At the moment we have 6 progressing investigators which is a lot! We get tons of referrals as well and are working with a lot of less actives. We (meaning the Spirit)  have already gotten one whole less active family back to church and really involved! It is so great! I just love all the people that we are working with. So let me tell you more about them. 

So the woman that we set the baptism date with, her name is Kellie and she is seriously so funny!!!! So we set her baptism date for March 15th!!! We are so excited and she is even more excited and I can't wait for my first baptism! This week we were teaching her and the Sacrament got brought up. And she was like, "Oh the bread and water mean something? I just thought that was a snack? Isn't that why they call it the snackrament?" Hahaha it was so funny. So on Sunday we were sitting with her and her little boy was being loud and she goes, "Shhhh, it's time for the snackrament." I guess whatever floats her boat haha. But she is awesome. And what is even more awesome is that we are the first missionaries to ever teach her! So we didn't just come in and pick up where other missionaries left off, but we were the first! I know she has been prepared for so long and her excitement and enthusiasm for the Gospel inspires me. I cannot wait for her baptism day! It is going to the pretty special and something I will remember for the rest of my life. 

The other people we are teaching are making progress, just slowly. Nancy was all set to come to church this week and she didn't and it was heartbreaking! I feel like I got stood up by a date or something. See again, missions change the way you think. But Nancy is making progress! She is so nervous to pray, so she has started writing her prayers down everyday in her journal which is huge! But anyways, we invited Amanda to be baptized and she wants to, but she is just uncomfortable with the idea and doesn't feel ready yet, so we will continue teaching her. Rene is working on his smoking and we are working toward marriage for him and his girlfriend so that he can get baptized. We started teaching a 10 year old girl named Ryanne whos parents are less actives, and she is wanting to get baptized so that is exciting! Cody has been to church the last few weeks and loves it! He made a comment to someone in the ward about getting baptized so we are excited to see where that goes! Jolene, the less active woman who I just adore, tore up her knee so we are going over there in a little bit with some Priesthood to give her a blessing. We visit so many people I wouldn't have time to talk about them all, but that is basically what happened this week as far as investigators go. We tracted a lot on Friday because we didn't have any appointments and that was fun! We met this really crazy lady who was all, "I'd rather listen to Jehovah's Witnesses than you crazy people." Haha. People are funny sometimes. But it was a good experience! This mission is not a tracting mission, but we do it every once in awhile if things are slow.  

So anyways, I am definitely adjusting and things are becoming easier. I have officially been out for a month! I really do feel like I just left, it's crazy! Transfers are already halfway over!!!! We have a meeting this week with all of us new missionaries this week to see how everyone is doing so that should be fun to see everyone again. We also have interviews with President this week as well as a Zone meeting so that should be fun! Sister Ramsey and I saw President Curtis earlier today and we begged him not to transfer us or take us apart. He just laughed at us and said, "That's not up to me, that's up to the Lord." We hope we get to stay longer because we are doing so many good things here! Plus we like each other so that doesn't hurt. President told us that he is proud of us and that we will most likely stay here in Twin with each other! He said that there hasn't been a baptism here in months so he said, "If you have been here 3 weeks and are already baptizing, you must be doing something right." So we will pray for it! It is crazy how similar Sister Ramsey and I are, especially in our past experiences. It is so nice to have someone to relate to and to learn from each other. Sister Ramsey is awesome and I am so happy I was blessed with such an amazing trainer. We have started doing this new thing where if someone isn't answering their door, we sing primary songs really really loud. #weareweirdos. But at least we have fun! Everyday is an adventure with Sister Ramsey and I. I love it!

The weather is so nice here! It has been in the 50s all week and so sunny, we are loving it! We haven't even been wearing jackets and it is so nice! We almost wish we could be on bikes now because it is just so nice. I am getting to know my District better and other missionaries. We had to have a little chat with our District this week though about taking things more seriously. District meetings just haven't been very spiritual or uplifting. And this week when I was really sick, I thought maybe a blessing would help, but I honestly didn't know who to ask. And that is super sad if I can't even ask Elders from my own District! So we just told them how we were feeling, and they really stepped up! That is our job as a District is to encourage and to help one another so I am glad that we are all on the same page now! There are some pretty amazing missionaries here and I am grateful that I have the chance to learn from them.

My love for the Book of Mormon has grown so much! I love personal study time! I was kind of worried about that when I first came on my mission because an hour seemed like a really long time to study the scriptures, but it goes by way too fast! I have a 50 day challenge to read the Book of Mormon, so that means 10 pages a day, and I always read more. I love marking them up and writing my thoughts down. When you read it fast, the stories make more sense and everything comes together. Every morning when I read it, it is confirmed that it is true. I know it is without a doubt. Reading it everyday makes teaching about it so much more powerful because I can testify to people that it is the truth. I have never really had a something amazing happen to me that told me the church is true. But as I have come to gain a testimony on my own, it is confirmed to me over and over again very quietly. All I have to do is look around. I am so blessed. If ever there is a doubt, Heavenly Father makes it go away. There is no way I could ever deny this Gospel. I know it is true. The Spirit that I feel when I read the Book of Mormon or when I testify to my investigators of these wonderful truths is incredible. I can't really even put it into words how amazing it is to know without a doubt. I love that my calling is to bear testimony of Jesus Christ and His Gospel. Like it is confirmed to me in my blessing, "The Gospel will bless your life, but it will be an even greater blessing as you share it with those around you. As you let the light of the Gospel shine in your life, you will have the opportunity to bear testimony to those who have not received this wonderful blessing. As you share this testimony and others have the opportunity to receive this testimony, your own life will be enriched and your testimony will grow."

Well it looks like I am almost out of time. I love this. I am going to be honest in saying that some days I have to pray to love this because it is really hard. But I know that Heavenly Father is helping me through every step of this journey. It is so easy to doubt myself and to feel inadequate, but I know by working hard and relying on the Spirit and my Father in Heaven, everything will be okay. I am so grateful to be here. Thank you for all of your support. It means so much to me. Remember that your example is so important and others look up to you. Let the light of the Gospel shine in your life. Be an example and pray for missionary opportunities and I promise that Heavenly Father will bless you with them. I love you all so much! Have a great week. I miss you and I pray for you. Sending my love.

Love, Sister Bigelow 

Monday, March 10, 2014


Dear Family and Friends,
I can't believe the transfer is already over! 6 weeks just FLEW!!!!! The good news is that Sister Ramsey and I are staying together in this area for the next transfer. We are really happy because there is so much work to be done and we have met so many amazing people! I am definitely so blessed and so grateful to be where the Lord needs me. 

So this week was pretty much the best. MY FIRST BAPTISM. It was incredible. I can't even put into word that Spirit that I felt. Kellie is just an amazing lady with an even more incredible story. She came from the worst of circumstances and has just completely changed her life. The love that I have for not only her, but for these people is nothing like I have ever felt. It is a Christlike love that comes purely from wanting the best kind of happiness for someone. Our Bishop, Bishop Kear baptized her and he was super emotional. We were waiting for Kellie with her towel in the bathroom and the first thing she did was grabbed me and just hugged me and was crying and she was so happy. I cried and we all cried and it was the most wonderful feeling. I ended up being soaking wet for the rest of the night though. :) #worthit. There were also 9 nonmembers at her baptism and they all loved it! AHHHH!!! It was so amazing. It just reminded me of why I am here and all the bad things, frustrations, and hard days didn't seem to matter. It is something I will never forget. I am so grateful for Kellie and for her example to me. She embraces every part of the Gospel and is just so excited about it. Because of her example, we are now teaching Kellie's neighbor!!! He is a single dad of 2 girls and is so great! He wanted to meet with us because of "the amazing things it has done for Kellie." So awesome! #yougogirl

Kellie Quote: "Wait....Did he just say this was a stake center? There's beef in here??" #dying

We also had some other awesome things happen. We invited 3 of our investigators, Amanda, Cody, and Ryanne to be baptized and they all said yes! Whooo!!! So hopefully we will have some more baptisms soon. We met some amazing people and got 4 new investigators this week from just talking to people on the street. One of them is Reba. She is a 50 year old lady with so much Spirit and energy. She is a hoot and so hilarious. We just adore her and are so excited to be teaching her. Nancy was at church again and is progressing so well! All of our investigators are just doing amazing. There are miracles happening here and I am honored to be a part of it all. 

This week we ran into yogurt lady again. Haha. She invited us in for more yogurt. We got some more door slams. But I just love meeting new people and it is so cool to hear peoples stories. It is true what they say. The amazing experiences you have and the people that you meet just block out all the door slams, and slow days, and everything else. Okay and people are starting to find out that I play the piano and I get asked A LOT to play. It is a good thing, because it is only making me better. #shouldhavelistenedtomomandpracticed. :) I am grateful for that opportunity that I get to share my talents and to become better. The weather here has been so nice. Yesterday it was 70 degrees and sunny! Us girls from the coast were loving it. But today it is miserable. The winds are at 60mph. Semi trucks are literally being blown over. Power outages are happening everywhere and everything is getting blown away. It is crazy! #thankgoodnesswestillhavethecar :) People are still feeding us so well and they are so good to us. People just pay for our meals if we ever go out. This week after District meeting, the 8 of us went to Sushi to celebrate. And someone paid for ALL of us!! That had to be like 200 dollars worth of Sushi.#fatties As cool as it would have been to go to another country and experience another culture, I am just so blessed to be here. This is where the Lord need me and we are so spoiled here. Definitely can't ever complain:) 

Mission life is good. I am happy and the work is great. I am still adjusting and learning how everything works. I will get into my groove one of these days. :) We also had a really awesome women's conference this weekend about having a Christ Centered Home. There were a ton of workshops and speakers and it was SO GOOD. You would have loved it mom. I was thinking about you the whole time! I am STOKED for conference coming up. It will be amazing. I have been here for 2 months and I am amazed everyday at how much I have learned and grown and how much the Lord is playing a role in my life. The Gospel is true you guys. And there is no greater knowledge or happiness you can have. One thing that has brought me a lot of comfort is that in my patriarchal blessing when it is talking about missionary work, my favorite line is, "You can be His angel to bless those around you." That is amazing. The Lord has so much in store for me and He knows my potential and I just have to keep trusting and 
having faith in that:)

I hope everyone is doing well! Thank you for all the support and the love. I feel so blessed to be here and I am learning everyday that it is a privilege. I love you all so much! Also if you have time read Alma Chapter 26. So much good stuff in there. I love the scriptures. I love this Gospel. I love the Lord. And I love you all. Keep being awesome! Wouldn't be here without all your love and support. Have a great week. Much love. 

xoxoxoxo Sister Bigs

Monday, March 3, 2014

Chobani overdose and a door slam

Dear Family and Friends,

I am just so happy! Mission life is the good life. How is everyone? I miss y'all! And it is time you guys send me some mail cause I haven't gotten any for the last two weeks....and the only person who emailed me was my mom. #needsomelovin #sisterramseygetsmaileveryday #loveyoumom. Haha. I know you all have busy lives, so I totally understand! Just guilt tripping you all. :)

 So we had a really good week! We were super busy and we are enjoying every minute of it. Out investigators are doing so well and they are all progressing. And guess what? Nancy finally came to church!!! We are so proud of her. She is doing so well and she expressed her love for the Book of Mormon and that she knows this Gospel is true. #bestfeelingever. Also we are getting ready for our girl Kellie's baptism coming up on SATURDAY!!! She is stoked and gets emotional every time we talk about it. It is incredible. In my mission call it says, "More happiness awaits you than you have ever experienced as you labor among His children." This could not be more true. The joy that you feel when someone excepts the Gospel of Jesus Christ is like no other. I am definitely starting to fall in love with Idaho, with its people, and with my mission. 

Another Kellie quote:  At church "Damien(her son), stop killing deer in the house of God!!!" (referring to an iPhone game). Hehe #dying. That girl is a hoot.

We had exchanges this week. I stayed here in Twin and Sister Ramsey went over to Rupert. I was with Sister Buckhoff for the day. She has been out 14 months and is a super awesome missionary! It was weird for me to be the one in charge for the day. But it was cool! I missed my companion though. We have never been separated and it was different but it was fun to learn from someone different. Transfers are coming up this week and we haven't heard anything yet about us being moved so keep that in your prayers because there is so much more work to do here! 

Also this week in District meeting, our District leader challenged us to knock 10 doors a day. I have come to love tracting. When I first got here, I dreaded the slow afternoons because I knew we would have to knock doors, but it really is so much fun! This week we had A LOT of interesting experiences with that. The first door we knocked on let us in. She was a woman that just moved here from Iran. She barely spoke a work of English but we could communicate through a few different words. Then she went into her kitchen and brought out a CRAP ton of Chobani yogurt. She said "Eat. Eat!!!" So we ate the yogurt. And she kept telling us to eat more and more. Holy cow. I have never been so full in my life. And then we had dinner right after. I was dying. Seriously I was like what is my life? I am sitting on a strangers couch who barely speaks any English eating tons of yogurt. #missionlife. 

I also had my first door slam! Some members that we had dinner with told us that their neighbors were really old and dying and that they might be interested. So we knocked on their door. An old woman answers it and she is ANGRY. She was yelling hysterically and cussing at us and just so mad. I have never seen anyone EVER be so angry at nothing. I was kind of in shock at first. Haha. It is just so sad that she was just so angry! So we pray for her.But we also got a new investigator from tracting this week! There is goos and bad that comes from it. And you just have to laugh at the bad:)

Anyways, I am just loving it here. I am reminded everyday that the Lord's hand is in every detail. It is so amazing with all the experiences I have had because it just shows me that I am supposed to be here and that the Lord needs me here. I love this Gospel with all my heart. I love my mission. And I love you all. Have an amazing week I love being here. Thank you for all your love and support. God is good. The Gospel is so true. Sending my love. 

xoxo, Sista Bigs