Monday, September 29, 2014

Back on the bike

Dear Family and Friends, 

 Best week ever! I am back to work full-time and back on the bike this week! Just in time for all the rain storms! :) Haha. It was a wonderful week filled with visits, appointments, and miracles. I will never ever take being a missionary for granted again. I realized how much I love it and how much I want to serve God and His children and how much I want to be here. I have such a strong testimony that God is so aware of us and He is always there even if we may not feel like He is. He was ALWAYS there for me in my time of need and I will be forever grateful for the chance I have to be a missionary.

Highlight of the week: So we are just awesome and so special, we got to watch the full-length movie "Meet the Mormons" 2 weeks before it even hit the theaters. And it was the best movie ever! I would tell all of you to go see it as soon as possible and invite all your friends to come too! It was such an inspiring movie. I laughed and cried and felt the Spirit. It talked about the basic doctrines of the Mormon faith and put to bed any misconceptions about the church. IT showed the stories of these incredible individuals who have done a mazing things in their lives, but they are also just normal people with normal family lives. It was amazing and I am grateful that we got to watch it as a mission. I felt like a normal person for a minute:) But really, go see it!

We also got to do a ton of service this week and meet a lot of new people! It was awesome. Also this weekend was the General Women's broadcast. The best. As a missionary it is so nice to be spiritually edified and uplifted yourself, because you are always doing that for other people. I love the counsel we receive from our inspired church leaders. 5 days till conference! Not that I am counting or anything:) Can't wait. My favorite part was when President Uchtdorf talked about how Heavenly Father is ALWAYS raining blessings upon us, but it is our own doubt, fear, and sin that are the umbrella the block the blessings out. The simple message of God's love is so powerful and one that has meant the most to be on my mission. I am so grateful to have that knowledge and to be able to see God's children as He sees them. 

Other than that, it was a normal missionary week. I am just loving life and loving all the people I get to meet. I love who I am becoming and how close I am to my Savior Jesus Christ. I love the Gospel so much and I can't express my gratitude to all of you for your prayers and support. I hope you all have a wonderful week with lots of happy things! Sending my love...

Love, Sister Bigelow

Happy thing of the day: I can finally exercise again! My whole body is so sore I can hardly move, but it feels so good! Just grateful for my healthy body! :) 

Prayer list of investigators: Bud, Lucas, Dillon, Hassani Family, Babes, Tim, Karen, Colton, Teala. Thanks so much! Your prayers are heard and felt:)

Monday, September 22, 2014

And we have a rib cartilage infection

Dear Friends and Family,

So this week didn't turn out exactly the way I thought it would. But that's life right?:) I got sick again, but definitely not as bad as the first time. It's been going around, so I have been sick and resting most of the week again. The doctor said I had an infection in my rib cartilage so I am on antibiotics.   But I am just grateful to still be here and to have so many wonderful people to take care of me. I am grateful for modern medicine and to be serving in the states where I can get help. Heavenly Father is definitely testing my patience. It has been really easy to be discouraged or just want to go home, but I know that there is a greater work for me to do here. I was able to get another Priesthood blessing from our Bishop in the 1st ward and it was everything I needed to hear. I was promised that I would be healed and that this is just a temporary setback. He said the reason for these illnesses is so I can learn how to be compassionate and learn how to still put others first even when I am not feeling my best. Obviously there was a lesson that I needed to learn and I know that I will be okay and that I will be taken care of! I am so grateful for the Priesthood and for those beautiful promises I recieved from my Heavenly Father. So I have decided to not complain or be mad about it, but instead be happy and patient, and be thankful for the trials in my life:)

Other than being sick our week was great! our investigators are doing amazing. We are teaching a whole lot and finding a ton of people to teach. It has been amazing. We have so much work to do here and I would be happy staying in this area my entire mission! This week as I have reflected on experiences I have had on my mission, I have just been overwhelmed with gratitude for the relationships that I have made here. These are people that have touched my life for good and I know that I will be blessed by their friendships for the rest of my life. I can testify that this is the greatest work I will ever do in this life. This is work of salvation, the work of saving Heavenly Father's precious souls. And how lucky are we to have that knowledge and to have the great gift of the Gospel. So go out there and shout it from the rooftops! Don't be afraid to tell everyone about it. Because everyone needs the Gospel and everyone deserves to know. Being a missionary has blessed my life in ways that I can't even explain. Not only do I have stronger testimony, but this is preparing me for the rest of my life. It is teaching me how to love people, and not just some people, but everyone, no matter what they look like on the outside. It is teaching me patience, and humility. I am learning to trust in God's plan and I am learning that He has a very specific plan for all of our lives. The Gospel is truly incredible and I am so blessed to be able to be here as a representative of Jesus Christ and to tell people about this incredible message everyday.

We had Stake Conference this weekend and it was the best! Our Stake President seriously knows everything and is probably one of the best people I have ever met. It was all about missionary work and sharing the Gospel. They talked about the internet and social media. They talked about service and loving each other and not being judgmental. They talked about the sacredness of life and the Plan of Salvation. I don't ever remember learning so much from stake conference! Haha. It was amazing. Something that really stood out to me was that "in times of hardship and trial, we often feel that our Savior has left us and has run away from us because we feel so alone, but we are the ones who run away from Him. He is always there and will never leave our side and will carry us when we are too weak to walk." Such an amazing message and one that I really needed. So amazing, and looking forward to this week, it's gonna be a great one! Thank you for all your love, prayers, and support! Have an amazing week! I love you!
Love, Sister Bigelow

Monday, September 15, 2014

It is a miracle!

Dear Family and Friends,

It is a miracle. I feel SO MUCH BETTER. I am so grateful. I still am taking it easy and not working full-time. (Doctor's orders). I can't ride my bike still and I am still taking medication, but I feel so lucky to still be here and to be feeling so much better. And I know it is from all your prayers, fasting, and faith. I went to the Doctor and all lab work was negative, so I will just keep resting and get better with time! I realized that Heavenly Father doesn't always put us through trials to become stronger, but so we can rely on Him and grow closer to Him. :) This week was amazing! So many wonderful things happened and I think my email might turn out to be a novel today haha. I just love being a missionary. 

So first of all, this week we got to go to the temple! My favorite. I am so thankful we have a temple so close and that we get to attend on my mission. It is truly a blessing. Also, we found out this week that a member of the Seventy, Elder Golden will be coming to our mission in October and we will have double zone conferences! #thebest. Our zone decided to take on the responsibility of putting together a musical number for him and so we are doing the coolest arrangement of "Hark all ye Nations" and  "I Hope they Call me on a Mission." So excited. When you get a group of missionaries together to sing it is always powerful and the Spirit kind of slaps you in the face. Can't wait.

Also this week we had an area wide "Invite your friend to church day" Coolest idea ever right? So all the Sacrament meeting were centered on Jesus Christ and the Atonement. There were musical numbers and amazing speakers. And people actually brought friends! There were so many nonmembers, and less active members there and it was so exciting. And we got 3 new investigators from it! #whatup #membermissionaries #waytogo. It was wonderful. I cried like the whole time because the program was so beautiful and it kind of just hit me that the Atonement is so incredible and I felt Heavenly Father's love for me specifically and for His many children that came to church that day. So amazing. We got to teach Gospel Principles, and we taught the Restoration. Such a simple, yet powerful message. I have always had a testimony of the Restoration, but it really hit me while I was teaching about it. The Gospel is amazing. Know it. Live it. Love it.

Great news of the week: We heard from Karen (our Recent Convert that moved to Colorado for school) and she is doing amazing. She got her patriarchal blessing, gave her first talk, got called to be a ward missionary, and is doing so well! It made my heart so happy. When you teach someone and love them so much, all you want for them is to embrace the Gospel and be happy. But so often, the adversary comes in and they fall away or start to doubt. But Karen is so strong and I am so proud of her! Also we are going to the temple next week to do baptisms with our Recent Convert Ashlee. She is doing well and her family is becoming stronger in the Gospel and they are working toward next August to be sealed as a family. Also, we have been working with a less-active lady named Sandra for the whole 6 months I have been in this area and she came to church yesterday. It has been 40 years since she came to church, and it was a really hard step for her, but she came and she loved it and we are so happy for her! And investigators are kind of falling out of the sky. We met a guy this week who sought us out (that NEVER happens). He just got out of prison and wants to change his life and turn things around and wants to be taught and join the church. He came to church yesterday and loved it. #miracles. We have seen so many incredible things happen this week. We are a lot busier, with appointments scheduled all day everyday. We are teaching so much and having wonderful experiences and meeting the most amazing people. I think this is definitely the best time on my mission so far. I have realized that I am about halfway done and that thought scares me. I know time will only go faster, and I am just loving every minute of this. I am so incredibly happy and I owe it all to our wonderful Heavenly Father:)

This week we went to young women, because Myrissa Robinson(our BFF) was teaching the lesson. Myrissa is 17 and she drives us around all the time, and we have gotten so close to her. She gave the most beautiful lesson about happiness. For her Senior Project, she created a "happiness blog" where everyday she writes about something small that day that made her happy. She said as she did this, it became easier to be happy and to enjoy the little things in life. She inspired me to be more happy, so I have started writing down little things in my journal each day that make me smile or laugh. I realized that most of what makes me happy has to do with serving other people and being with the people I love. I encourage you to try it! It has made a huge difference in my attitude and Heavenly Father wants all of us to be happy:)

So here's my happy thing for today: The fact that Sister Pohahau LOVES to clean the bathroom every week and won't let me help her. Because I hate scrubbing toilets. Haha. Love that girl.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and take the time to stop and be grateful for the little things in life that make you smile! I love you all so much! Sending my love....
Love, Sister Bigelow

Monday, September 8, 2014

Restoration movie times 97

Dear Family and Friends,

So this week has been okay! I have been in bed all week, so not much to update on. Although, miracles have happened in our area and with our investigators even though I haven't been there to witness them. Our investigators are doing awesome and are progressing and we got 2 more new ones this week! The other Sisters in our District have been coming over and we have been doing exchanges with them since Sister Bly needs to take it easy too. The wards have been amazing and they just stop by with cookies or homemade bread. I feel so loved and so taken care of. It has been hard to be away from my family at this time, but I have great people here to take care of me, and that is a little comforting. :)
(Pictures from a previous week, she said she looked like death)

I just want to say thank you to everyone for all your prayers and fasting. I have truly felt the strength from that this week. And I am so grateful that Heavenly Father allowed me to feel of your love and your prayers. It is so hard to just lay in bed all day with nothing to do, when all I want to do is work, but I have been comforted through you. I received a Priesthood blessing this weekend from my Zone leaders, and in my blessing He told me that I would be healed if I listened and obeyed everything the Doctors told me and if I had faith. It was so beautiful and so comforting to know that most importantly my Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ are right there beside me. I have gained such a strong testimony of prayer, of fasting, and of the Priesthood. I have realized that during all times in our lives, we are either going through a faith-building time, or a faith-perfecting time. I know that this for me is a faith-building time and I am grateful that Heavenly Father gives us the trials that He does so that we can learn and grow and so that our faith can be strengthened. There is a scripture I love in Ether chapter 6 when the Jaredites are crossing the sea in their barges, where it says, "And the wind never ceased to blow them toward the promised land." So even though we have trials and challenges (the wind) they always help us and blow us toward our promised land (back to Heavenly Father.) 

Thank you all so much again. Sorry that my email is so short and so boring. I could sit here and tell you all about the Restoration movie that I have watched 97 times:) haha. Anyways, my new motto is: "Pray more, worry less." I know everything will be okay and that Heavenly Father will heal me so that I can get back to His precious work. I love you all so much and am so grateful for each and every one of you in my life. I am a lucky Sister, that is all I have to say:) Have a great week!
Love, Sister Bigelow

Monday, September 1, 2014

Keep Pushing the Handcart

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was absolutely crazy but it was awesome! We were still in the trio and we had so many appointments this week. The awesome news is that we got 3 new investigators! We have been praying and fasting for a long time and now our ward members are praying and fasting and we have just seen miracles happen. We are so blessed! In other great news, Sister Pohahau and I are staying together another transfer! Whooo!!! We are both so happy and excited to be staying together. #it'sarecord #polylove. We also has exchanges this week which was a lot of fun! Sister Wright came to our area and we had a blast. This week was just a great missionary week and it was amazing!

In other not so great news, I have been sick and have been down and out over the weekend into this next week. I have been put on bed rest for the headaches I have been experiencing. It has been really hard to not be able to do anything. I can't really watch church movies, or study, or read, or write letters, because it makes it so much worse. It has definitely been a trial and not being able to get up and go work has been so hard. It has really made me realize how much I love being a missionary and doing missionary work. It has been tough ,but I know that everything happens for a reason, and I know Heavenly Father is so aware of me and He has given me so much strength. I am so grateful for the wonderful members here who have taken such great care of me and that have made me feel like part of a family and are always there for me. I feel so blessed even a midst the trials and my circumstances. I will be on bed rest for another week, so keep me in your prayers. I have so much faith and I know that everything is going to be okay. I have learned so much about the Atonement and about Heavenly Father's plan for me and have really tried to stay positive and upbeat through it all. God is so good and the Gospel is amazing:)

Other than that, nothing else is really new, I am just going to keep pushing my handcart and endure to the end! Thank you so much for all your love and support. I feel your prayers everyday and I am so thankful. Hope everyone has a great week! I love you all. :)
Love, Sister Bigelow