Monday, January 26, 2015

"The real you is the spiritual you" -Elder Ballard

Dear Family and Friends,

It was such an incredible week! Have I ever said that I love being a
missionary? :) We finally found that new investigator that we have
been searching for! Her name is Crystal and she is amazing. She is a
single mom who is going through a lot right now, and she is so open to
learning and loves the lessons. I know that Heavenly Father lead us to
her, and I am grateful that we were in tune with the Spirit to find
her. Also, this week, there was a guy who just showed up at church! We
asked him who he was, and he said that he just liked the feeling he
had when he was in this church. So now we are teaching him and he is
golden. We have also been to make contacts with some Part-member
families who are really interested! We feel like there are miracles
starting to happen, and I know it is because we have been working
really hard and showing Heavenly Father our faith!
 This week, I have been feeling a lot better! We finally figured out
that the headaches have a lot to do with the foods I eat, so we are
trying to cut foods out of my diet to see if that helps. I am grateful
that even though it has been rough, I am still able to be a missionary
and serve to the fullest most of the time. It has truly been a
blessing in disguise. I have learned to serve others despite my
illness, and I have learned to rely on my Savior and on his enabling
power to heal me.

This week I got to go on exchanges with my girl Sister Ramsey! It was
the best day ever. It was even better than when we were companions
because now I'm not new anymore, and I kind of know what I am doing!
Our lessons were POWERFUL together and it was amazing. We belted Jenny
Phillips in the car, had a lunch date, and reminisced about the good
ol' days when we were together in 16th ward. I love that girl. I am so
grateful to have her as my older Sister in the mission. She's the
bomb. I also got to go on exchanges with Sister Mac in Burley. We had
a fun day freezing our tushes off walking in 15 degrees. It was so
fun! We were trying to talk to each other, but our faces were numb,
and we could barely move our mouths, it was kind of hilarious haha.

The best part of the week was our mission conference with Elder Nash
of the Seventy, and Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Twleve. It was
incredible to receive counsel from an apostle of the Lord. Elder Nash
talked a lot about what it means to be a representative of Jesus
Christ. He said, "Keep on thinking!" He said oftentimes we are
obedient and we just do, but are we really thinking about it? Elder
Ballard talked a lot about faith, and how the only tool we can't be
give in our personal faith in Jesus Christ. He talked about increasing
our faith as members by getting on our knees and praying and asking
the heavens to open to lead you to those people that are ready for the
Gospel. He said, you can't just get on your knees and pray, but you
have to actually go and do, just as Nephi did.  Here are some of my
favorite things he said:
-"He is as close as we will allow him to be in this work..."

-"It is a miracle we baptized anyone on my mission with our felt
boards and tracks. That was before we got smart! We've tried
everything to wake people up you have preach my
gospel written by the finest missionaries in the church and reviewed
by the 1st presidency and quorum of the twelve. Now learn it and use

-"Oh, that's GREAT! We get to be persecuted all day long!:)"

-"Wake up each morning with a smile on your face, because that is how
your day will go."

-"We become fearless when we gain knowledge of our message. Then it
becomes joyful work instead of hard work."

-"Oh I love to take on the press!" lol

-Be honest with me, because there is an angel in heaven writing in
your book of life." haha

-"The real you is the spiritual you."

-"The devil doesn't like you, hate to tell ya." haha

-"Don't be obediently sleeping!"

-"It looks like Twin Falls is feeding most of you TOO well!" That's
all we have been doing since we got here is eat. I have had 3 lunches
today!" #idahoprobs

-"Is this a Laman and Lemuel thought? Or is this a Nephi thought?"

-"President Curtis, you gotta live with them, we get to go home!" lol

-"I'm the presiding authority, I can do what I want." haha

-"When you realize what a privilege it is to be a full-time
missionary, is when you will begin to know the will of the Father."

Those were just some of my favorites! We got to meet him and shake his
hand, it was an amazing experience. I am so excited to take what he
taught us and apply it into my life so that I can become an even
better disciple of Christ. I am so grateful for the Gospel in my life
and how it blesses me everyday. I am thankful for a prophet and his
apostles that lead us and help us. I am grateful for all of you!
Remember to get on your knees and pray, and then go and do! I know
Heavenly Father will bless you with those opportunities to share the
gospel. Have a wonderful week! I love you!
Love, Sister Bigelow

Monday, January 19, 2015

"The world and Taylor Swift's album is not that great, so enjoy serving the Lord now"

Dear Family and Friends,
Quote of the week, "The world and Taylor Swift's album is not that
great, so enjoy serving the Lord now." E. Hancock, recently returned
missionary. I guess I better live it up while I can! I'm grateful for
this chance that I have to serve the Lord with all my heart and leave
behind the world:)

Is it seriously the end of January? Where does the time go? I have
been gone for a whole year. 1 year. It is crazy! But I have loved
every minute of it! I have really realized how precious time is,
because when you blink it is gone. I have realized what is important
in this life, and i am grateful that my mission has taught me that!
There is no time to waste!

This week was good. We did a lot of contacting! Trying to meet new
people and find those that are being prepared. We got to work with
Day's a lot this week. I just love them. They have become family to
me. Isabelle went to the temple this week! And the Day's are getting
ready to go this weekend. They are seriously amazing. They help me
more than I think I help them. There is nothing more rewarding than
seeing the fruits of your labors.

We basically just taught all week long and it was wonderful. I love
that in this mission, we get the opportunity to teach lots everyday. I
know in a lot of missions, you are mostly trying to find, but I love
that we get to teach everyday! It helps me so much, and I love it. I
have learned that the simple doctrines of the church and of the
Restoration are what strengthen our testimonies. The church is so
We had exchanges this week! I got to stay in Rupert with Sister Graff.
She is from Utah, and she is awesome! I love getting to know all the
Sisters better. It is pretty much the best thing ever. I love the
friendships I have with each of them. They are all amazing and have
all helped me so much.

I have so enjoyed reading the Book of Mormon as a mission, and I have
learned so much reading it for the 3rd time. In 2 Nephi chapter 4,
right after Lehi dies, Nephi is very sorrowful and he is crying out
saying, "O wretched man am I", "my soul grieveth because of mine
iniquities," and thing like that. And then he remembers "the goodness
and mercy of God." Then he realizes that he shouldn't feel that way.
He says, "Why am I angry?, Why should I yield to sin, and to the
adversary?" I love his change of attitude and heart. It just reminds
me that we get to CHOOSE to be happy. We get to choose if we feel sad
or not and if we let the adversary in and make us feel that way. It
was a great reminder to me, that even though, I'm not perfect, I have
so much reason to rejoice because God is good and he will help me,
even if I make mistakes. There's my new motto: Choose happiness:)

Looking forward to a new, busy week! Can't wait for Elder Ballard to
come and to hear his insights. So grateful for prophets and apostles
that lead the way! THe good news is, that I am feeling so much better!
I have been going to the chiropractor, and the wards are taking great
care of me. So grateful for the ways that I have been blessed. I love
and miss you all. Have a great week! And don't forget to take time to
serve others this week:) Thank you for all your love.
Love, Sister Bigelow

Monday, January 12, 2015

You can do hard things

Dear Family and Friends,
This week was just....weird, and full of surprises! But it was awesome! First of all, it was freezing cold all week. I feel like such a wimp haha. I have totally worn down my boots and so there are holes in them, so my feet are just kind of wet all the time. But it makes me tougher right? #missionlife

So we had transfers this week! Luckily nothing happened with Sister James and I, but since we have the mama van, we had to drive all the Sisters who were getting transferred to the mission home with all their luggage. That was pretty fun! And this transfer I get to drive! Whooo! #mamaBigs. That's what all the Sisters call me haha. And I just love Sister James. Soooooooo happy we get another glorious transfer together. 

This week was just a whole lot of contacting and meeting new people! It was awesome. Unfortunately, we didn't get any new investigators this week, but our success was in actually having lessons with the investigators/less-actives/recent converts that we have. The holidays just messed everything up, but now we are back in business. We just taught a whole bunch this week and it was wonderful. I love Rupert so much! I am continuing to discover the country girl inside of me haha. #everyoneownsguns #andatruck #andacowboyhatIt. It always takes awhile to get used to a new area, and to learn to love it, because sometimes you miss your old areas, but I am grateful for this area and the people here. There is so much work to be done! I love being a missionary.

In other news, Sister James and I both got sick this week! Puking and stuff like that. It was horrible. Most of the week was spent trying to recover and get back on our feet and try not to get everyone else sick #handsanitizertotherescue. I also was having some bad headaches this week, but with another blessing, some comfort from Sister Curtis, and lots of water, I feel a lot better! I just have a testimony that Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers and is so aware of us. He has been there for me through this whole thing and I am so grateful for that. He has given me the strength to endure even when I feel like giving up. I know he sent me here for a reason, and I'm not going down without a fight! I am so thankful for the Gospel and for the comfort and peace it brings to me. My new favorite scripture, Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me." It's just like mom always said, "You can do hard things." :)

Since our missions focus for this month is on the Book of Mormon, we were challenged as a mission to read the Book of Mormon by the end of April, and to keep a study journal, and write at least one new thing you learned from each chapter. It has been amazing! There is so much god stuff in there! I know that the Book of Mormon is truly the word of God. I know that if we read it everyday, a new spirit will come into our lives, and we will be better able to face and resist temptations. The Book of Mormon will help us to be strong and face trials. I am so grateful for that wonderful Book. It truly testifies of our Savior Jesus Christ. He is the Gift.

On January 24th, M. Russell Ballard is coming to our mission!!!! I am so excited. I just love the Gospel and I love being a missionary. Need I say more? I am happy and enjoying every minute of my mission. Thank you all for your love and support. I couldn't do it without you! Have a wonderful week, and remember that you can do hard things! I love you! 
Love, Sister Bigelow

Monday, January 5, 2015

Pretty sure my toes needed to be amputated

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was great! So many wonderful things happened. The New Year is staring out right!
Monday: Nothing exciting. We played in the snow with our District for our activity. It was fun except for the fact that it was like 8 degrees outside. I was pretty sure my toes needed to be amputated after that haha. 
Tuesday: We had MLC (Mission Leadership Council). This is where all the Zone Leaders and Sister-training leaders get together with the AP's and the mission President to discuss the next months focus, and things that are going on in the mission. We had a Sisters meeting at 8:15, and it was snowing, so we got up at like 5 to leave our house. MLC went until 3:30, so it was a pretty long day! But I enjoyed learning from other leaders, and being able to counsel together. After that we exchanged with some Sisters in Burley. I got to be with Sister Owsley! Remember when we were companions for like 2 weeks when Sister Bly got burned? We had so much fun being back together! I will continue to complain about the cold. It was -3 degrees today. #rexburg? 

Wednesday: New Year's Eve! We exchanged back and made some visits. We had to be in by 6pm, so our District got together and played games until 9. Most hilarious thing that has ever happened. We played this game called "Curses" where we all draw cards that have silly things we all have to do for the entire game. It consisted of Elder Nillson having to strum an air-guitar anytime he talked, and he had to talk like Scooby-doo. Elder Hancock had to talk like a girl while making bunny ears, and any time any player drew a card he had to be a wrestler and threaten to crush them. So you can see that we had a lot of good laughs haha. It was a good way to celebrate the New Year!
Thursday: Happy New Year! It was our planning day, so it wasn't very exciting. We set some goals for this new year, and I am super excited! I am kind of glad the holiday's are over, so we can just get back to teaching the Gospel all the time!:)
Friday: We had a Zone Training today! As Sister Training Leaders, we get to teach the other missionaries and do a training! Whoo! Our focus for this month is,"Using the Book of Mormon for lasting conversion." Sister James and I are super excited about it! We have been reading the Book of Mormon with everyone and it makes a huge difference in the depth of their conversion, especially if they are able to understand it and gain a testimony of it. The Book of Mormon is awesome. President Benson said, "The Book of Mormon is our guide book to show disciples of Christ how to live in times of war." It was literally written for our day! I am so grateful to have that guide, and for the peace that it can bring in these last days.
Also, our recent converts, the Day family, are getting their patriarchal blessings and going to the temple to do baptisms this month!!! :)
Saturday:Lots and lots of teaching! It was a wonderful missionary day. 
Sunday: The Sabbath. We spent most of our day at church, and the rest of the day making visits. Great day!

We are trying to focus more on finding this next month. Most of our investigators got baptized and we want to continue to fin those people that the Lord is preparing! Alma 13:27. This week is transfers, but luckily, Sister James and I get to stay another one together! And the best part is the Sister Pohahau and Ramsey are coming to Burley, so I will get to exchange with them! I am so grateful for the Gospel and for this new year that we all have to reevaluate and set goals. Thank you for all the love and support! Have a great week! (especially those of you on a Cruise Ship)
Love, Sister Bigelow