Monday, November 16, 2015

Adios Jasper

The time has finally come. After 8 1/2 months of laboring here in the
Jasper Area, the Lord sees it fit for me to do the work else where. My
heart is broken and torn in so many different directions. It kills me
to leave these people I have served and grown to love. The Members
here are my family. The strangers, my friends. The streets memorized and
 the smells familiar. The thought of being so far from my new found
home for so long, without knowing when I'll be back, makes my heart
truly ache. But I'm more than blessed to have had the opportunity to
get to know this area, and the people so well. So many missionaries
don't have that same chance in their areas.

I'm excited though! Excited to grow and learn in new ways with a new
companion! But for now, lets focus on 10 lessons that I have learned
from the one and only Jasper, Indiana :)

1. As gruesome and down trodden as things may seem, after some time, things pick back up.
2. People are not as bad as they seem...except for when they are.
3. I have seen and thus learned the corn cycle.
4.All the smells that come along with the corn cycle.
5. Indiana People and Kentucky people are on opposite ends of the spectrum
6. Indiana people rarely have accents.
7. Don't complain right away, if you just wait, you will have your ideas changed..and if you already
complained...then you just feel like an idiot.
8. after 8 months,  people consider you an official part of the ward.
9. Hispanics LOVE to  learn about God.
10. No matter where you are, people are wonderful,
and the gospel is the true.

This week in the life of Sister Wagner just a major tender mercy
miracle from God. So back in the day, my trainer, aka the missionary
that taught me to be a missionary, served her in Jasper. And so when I
got sent here, she gave me a task. "Find Jose R, he is great" Jose R
was a person that she taught and because of circumstances it didn't get
very far. So I totally forgot about this until this week.. This week
we were on exchanges and I was with Hermana Bown. We had an
appointment set with these two guys, Matt and Wayne. So we head to
their house. We get there, and it's dark. We knock, the door opens,
and 4 Hispanic men come onto the porch, one of them being Wayne. We
look past them and see multiple beers on the floor of the house. At
this point I thought I was going to die. And then they pulled up two
chairs and I REALLY thought I was going to die. This whole time they
are all just speaking Spanish and I have no idea. Then one of the men
I think saw that I was confused and started speaking English to me!
And he talks about how he knew a sister, and used to be taught, I asked
him his name...and he said "Jose R" WAIT WHAT?!?!?!!?!? nnoooo
wayyyyyy, IT WAS THE MAN THAT I WAS TOLD TO FIND! and the week before i
left.. I found him. It was a glorious day! And then we proceeded to
teach them all about the restoration of Christ's original church! :)

Hermana Magalei and I were asked to give a training this week, and we
had some time to prepare it. As we were preparing and seeking
revelation our minds were blocked! We spent more than half the time
trying to figure out what way to take the topic. and we had nothing.
So we said another prayer. Once we said another prayer the revelation
startedd flowing and we created this epic training on
R-E-A-L-ationships with the Help of the Lord. We just trained
missionaries on being real with people, keeping your personality while
being on the Lords errand. It was a fun topic! we had minimal time to
prepare because we were on exchanges, but with the help of the Lord,
we accomplished much and things went really smooth! R- relate E-
engage A- ask questions L- listen and laugh. That is how you be real
with people. And you can accomplish much with God!

I had the chance to give a talk in church about serving as Christ
would. It was a great chance to address the lovely Jasper ward.
Because of that I have really been pondering our Savior. Jesus Christ
is amazing! As I read from the scriptures I am just amazed by the
things that he does and the attitude in which he does them. No matter
the circumstance Christ serves whole
one he is serving. It is an unconditional love that he has for us, and
in turn he gives unconditional service. I just want to become a little
more like my elder brother  and with his help, I can do just that.

Thank you all for what you have done for me! And your support! You all
are fantastic. Next time you hear from me...who knows where I will
be!!!!!! Have a great week! I love and miss you all!

THIS WEEK! I LOVE YOU SYDNEY! Just my best friend and ex-companion...

-Sister Wagner

Lovely snake skin!

Adoptive Grandparents!

The Ferera Family

Jose and Hermana Bown

Mogle Family AKA my Adoptive family!

The Blands
heartedly thinking first of the

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Halloween Curse!

Satan is real. Yup, it is true. I will testify of that to all of you right now. His forces are real and seek to destroy the happiness of the children of men. 😡 Imagine everything bad that could happen the week before someone gets baptized. That is about what happened this week. haha this email will be mostly be about the last half of the week.

Thursday rolls around and we are all ready to go and confirm Anne's Baptismal Interview for Friday, and we go over to her house to have a lesson and talk about her baptism program. But she is acting SUPER weird. And doesn't talk to us. 😟 She ignores us, and when we tried talking to her, she just stood up and walked out of the room. WHAT THE?! So we left thinking she just had a bad day because we asked her..."well do you still want to be baptized?" and she was like "Yeah, I just don't want to talk about it right me later" We had a prayer in our hearts as we went a long the rest of our day, before ending up at the Chilo. A Peruvian family in our ward who has fellowshipped Anne. and we were there to ask Sandra who is Anne's age, if she would give a talk! so her mother calls her into the room and we don't say anything before she asks "Is Anne's still being baptized?" and we respond.. "Uh, yes, why?" then here is the kicker "Oh, well she told me today at school that she wasn't getting baptized.." WAIT UH WHAT..😳 we go have a panic attack because Anne has an interview the next day! So we tried calling her like she asked...and her sisters tell us she is asleep..GREAT.

Friday morning comes around and we call her asking her if she is still good for her scheduled interview, and she says YES! Like nothing happened! SO that night we go by her house with the interviewing Elder and she is acting a little weird, but almost normal and she does fantastic! So we just go with it. And that night, thanks to Mallory we were able to put the finishing touches on the baptismal program! ☺️

Saturday comes along! the day of the baptism! We go over and see her and she is as excited as ever! We tell her we will see her later and we leave! Everything is great! Brother Chilo will baptize her and Sofia will give the talk, Mallory is in town, people are coming! it is going to be great! So we go to with a member to pick up the Chilo family who doesnt have a car.. Well this is awkward. Where is the Chilo family!? It is 1:45 and the baptism is at 2... we have to leave, without the Chilos who are 1/2 of the baptismal program.. 😰😨😱

And that is when we get a text from the Elders asking what they can do to help..We call them up and the conversation goes like this. "Hey Elder Stewart, um.. get some extra clothes because you are going to be performing the baptism..and Elder Walker.. could you whip out a talk on the Holy Ghost for us? they say"Oh my word what happened?!" we say. 'No time to explain" and they say..."Okay we will be ready!" That is what I call a good friend. So we get to the is 2...🕑 where is ANNE?!?!... no Anne, and no Chilo family and no one is answering their phone. Hermana Magalei looks at Elder Stewart "Suit up" and then he just stares at us like he had just seen a ghost..and then I chime in.."Elder Stewart, you are acting like you have never baptized someone on your mission before!!" And Elder Stewart just goes "I HAVENT!!" WHAT?! 😐 SO he gets dressed and is practicing what to say, and Anne comes! PERFECT! 

We take some pictures and then we get a phone call....from the Chilos! telling us to have someone pick them up...and by this time it is 2:30 🕝 and people are just waiting for the baptism to start! So we go with Mallory to pick up the Chilo get there..and have to wait for them to come out..and when they do, we ask Sofia about her talk..."I didn't know what to write so I didn't do it" WHAT?! is this a joke!? 😠 nope. So we get back to the church and Andrea is just ready, and FINALLY it can get started. And in the words of Andrea, Brother Chilo was "too late" so Elder Stewart preformed the baptism, and Mallory and Bishop gave the talks. (Bishop gave it in spanish so Elder Walker didn't do it)

So..the only thing that went right...the cupcakes and cookies were great! and the font was full and warm...and Mallory gave her talk flawlessly. Everything else was totally thrown together the morning of. 🍪

Sunday was smooth sailing ⛵️ , Anne, and all her family who are investigating were able to be at church on time to be there as she received the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was amazing and things went smoothly! For once!
The rest of things

There is opposition in all things! i know that to be true! Things with Anne would have been far to easy if things didn't go wrong. But you know what, God is fair, and aware :) He has a way of working things out, and making the victories that much more satisfying! Good will always overcome as we put our trust in the Lord. Fervent prayers have true and everlasting power to bring about the righteous purposes of God. As completely insane as this week was, I'm grateful for it and the things that I have learned! :)

On a lighter note, Mallory was in town and helped us more than anyone can imagine! THANK GOODNESS FOR HER! ANDDD A SHOUT OUT to her for making me TONS of letters <3

Hermana Magalei and I had a goal to talk to a certain amount of people this week...and pretty much what happened was us driving around and then parking and jumping out...stalking them down...and then talking to them. But I don't think that they noticed haha If they only knew the effort that was put in so that we can share this amazing message with them!!!

Transfer calls are this week! Saturday we will know my fate! Will I stay in Jasper for another 6 weeks!? Or will I be moved...finally.... after 8 1/2 months.. Only time will tell! Not going to lie...a new area sounds just about right if you ask me!!

I hope that you all had a safe Halloween and eat tons of candy!! We had the joy of spending Halloween at the Mogle's house :) My favorite members of all time! And we played volleyball in the dark rain. It got a bit out of hand, but it was a blast! Definitely a good way to spend the 31st of October! fact! There is a curfew on trick or treating... around these are only allowed to trick or treat from 6-8pm..Odd right? Anyways :)

I hope that you all are doing well! I'm so grateful for you all! if there is anything I can do for you, let me know! You all are such great examples to me and have influenced me greatly! honest. love and miss you all! have a FAN-TASTIC week!!!

-Sister Wagner

Big dog. we were nearly attacked!

Classic Font pic

For Halloween, we were missionaries, from the district videos,
Sister Myers and Sister Payne. AKA sister missionaries from another

Mallory! She gave me tons of "open when" letters because we wont see each other for awhile... </3 I love that girl!

Rainy day selfies!

I love this life!

I am going to be straight with you all. I am the WORST at biking.
Actually..truth be told I'm not that bad. I just am not the biggest
fan. After scaring events from the beginning of my mission, I had the
chance to spend Wednesday on a bike. The poor sisters serving in the
city of Evansville. They are without a car... and they live outside
their assigned area to work in. We just had to bike 10ish+ miles.. and
on top of that biking down the busiest road you have ever seen...being
passed by semi trucks and dodging pot holes and biking down a road
comparable to a highway. Then add me having to puke because i made the
poor decision to stuff my face just before the decision to bike my
heart out. I think I have asthma..or I'm just out of shape... it is
probably the latter of the two... but either way I have problems.  I'm
a survivor. 🚴🏽😓

There is nothing more satisfying being a missionary, then showing
others the love that God has for us. This week we taught a lesson to
this girl who feels as though God is distant. And her brother that
just feels completely confused about what to believe. It is such a
tender opportunity to share your testimony, what you KNOW to be true
and how it can bless their lives more than anything else. When other
time in my life, would I be able to do that? I love my mission because
of those opportunities that I have to bear sincere testimony of my
savior to those who don't know.

This happened again as we were able to sit with a young, 13 year old
girl. Who spent the time expressing the hardship of things that i
couldn't even imagine what it would be like to go through, abuse,
neglect, and it was so sad to see and feel the pain to some degree
that she had gone through, and be able to feel that compassion for
her. I'm so blessed to be where I am and doing what I am doing.

We are teaching this woman, Pam. We love this woman, she is
fantastic! Besides the fact...she might not be all there? maybe crazy?
So this lovely week we had the chance to meet with her as we do so
often. But this week was different because she was going on about
every negative thing in the world, in the most negative way. It is so
heartbreaking to hear someone who is just so hopeless because they
wont do what you are sure will help them. Negativity chases the spirit
right out the door...and then some breaking down all sense of peace
and comfort that comes from God's gift of the spirit. So we told
Pam, hey, we want you to come to church. and she finally breaks out
of her depressing tangent and say "Im going on sunday, get me up out
of bed and get me out the door" YES MAM. and when we ask her how we
should get in the house..? "The doors unlocked just walk in..." OKAY!
So Sunday morning we did just that...and she gets up and goes.
alllllllrighty then.

Anne is getting baptized on Saturday! We are SOOO excited to help
her get there this week! She is the sweetest girl and the change in
her has been remarkable. AT the beginning, when we started teaching
her family, she wasn't interested! And we hardly saw her at all. But
with the help of Heavenly Father we figured out how to help her be
interested and come closer to him.

This work is REAL.

That moment when...
...your investigator flips a lid are always exhausted spend a day on a bike have a baptism coming up!

Thanks MUM! For the bag of candy and the note<3 you are the best!

I love you all! And I'm so grateful for how much time you all have
spent supporting and praying in my behalf! Have a great week! Be
strong and rely on God! :)

-Sister Wagner

(**Names have been changed for the protection of those involved**)

on the 25th of every is Christmas and you celebrate..

 Sister Achee and I after our exchange, she is such a sweet sister

Sister Bush and Sister Magalei, Myself and Sister Achee!

#YOLO is that still a thing?