Monday, June 29, 2015

Hudson Falls #12 "Jimmer/Baptism/PARTY!!!!"


Life is just too good. Doesn't mean my mission is easy, but it is SO wonderful when I step back and look at it. Sooooo much happened this week that I just don't know how to fit it all in this short amount of time! Overwhelmed! Oh well.

There's this great story about our new investo named Robert (22 years old) who just turned to me at the library while we were online and asked me if he could join our church. Well, I mean, of course, my friend!!! Our entire conversation was incredible as we whispered in the library/ talked over facebook with him sitting right next to me (we got in trouble for talking). I'll tell you all about it someday, but basically, he's going to be baptized except in South Carolina! He moved right after that conversation, but we've been teaching him over facebook. He's so prepared.

Another great story: I got my blood tests done. We'll find out the results today but I know I'm fine! Anyways, I almost passed out because I keep forgetting to eat. There's no time and I always feel so sick. It was the weirdest feeling. The nurses were freaking me out so bad and they took me to some underwater painted room and laid me down in this bed. I can't remember most of it but we were in there forever! Time we just don't have.

Another cool story: There's this eternigator named Maria that owns a hotel on the famous Lake George (look it up- I'm living the dream here. It's like a resort). We started seeing her once a week a couple months ago. There's absolutely no reason she's not baptized. We've realized that it's basically because she's too big to fit in the font. Dude! You could totally get baptized in Lake George! So she's going to. September 7th as of right now. But she'll probably move it sooner so I can be there and hopefully Sister North too!

We get transfer calls on Saturday. Sister North's been here for 7 and a half months. I don't know if they'll keep her for nine. I HOPE SO! We're so in love. and working hard. We'll see.

Anyways, then Jim got baptized on Friday. Dr. King was AMAZING!!!! We became best friends right off. We wore our matching dresses. It felt like we were at a wedding. The whole thing was planned for us by Jim and TONS of his friends and family showed up. It was a little disappointing that not a lot of members came but I guess because he got baptized so fast, not a lot of people know him well yet. Most of his family was crying the whole time they were so happy. When he came up out of the water he was SO excited. They closed the curtains and his brother said "Wow. He could be on a red bull commercial!" It was like a dream.

From the Facebook Page: The Baptism of Jim Willig
Inline image 2

Then, Sunday came......... and Brother Fredette walks in with his wife as usual. Then a whole clan of Fredettes come walking in! Just as beautiful as ever!!!! They sat down right next to us. Jimmer came right to us and introduced himself! He sat down next to us, bore his testimony and then Brother Fredette gave a talk for the rest of sacrament meeting. He even talked about Jim and Jim thought he had died and gone to heaven :) "Jimmer showed up for my confirmation!!!!" Haha! Jimmer and his wife were so sweet and we played with his nephew the whole time :) It was fun! He's so humble. He wouldn't take pictures or talk with us inside the church at all, but we went out and talked for a bit and took pictures.

Breck Naylor and some more Jimmer time! She brought us our hump day package from our moms!

​Right now we're going to head to Saratoga to see MoTab perform with Alex Boye. I just can't sleep anymore I'm so excited about life. Last night Sister North said to me "You're like a 5 year old on Christmas Eve.... except every single night." She's right :)

Anyways, life's not too bad here. Pray that we will stay together and that elders will be brought back so we're not forgetting their people and we can go back to having meal hours! Haha!
Love all of you so much! I'm so happy to hear that Dad's recovering and that you had a party for Manda's birthday but most of all that ELDER KELLY came over Sunday night!!!!!!!! You've all now been blessed by his adorable-ness. Keep making him feel awkward for me. That was always too fun :) I'm so so grateful for my amazing family!!!

Sister Brynnie Hallstud


Riding back with the zone leaders. They've become our best friends.

Families are forever photos! First attempts :) Sister N is part of our family... she's accidentally holding up our family for her practice shots :)

The first picture's like my favorite right now. She's hilarious. Our model shots :)

Drew this picture of Sister Gochnour! Finished!
I'm still in the process of Sister North as a little girl hugging Jesus :) I loooove the notepad paper you sent me- seriously love it! We used it a lot this week.

Made a flower crown for Sister North during "morning exercise". Elder Sanders wore it for District meeting. Then this is Elder Sanders and Moss and then us fitting in a giant pair of pants they gave us to give Jim for his baptism! I'll show you the video when I get home!

and me with our RC's adorable little sister, Ryan. I dressed her up like this at the church :)

Me with Bishop Lucido and his cute little wife!

We just went wild our last night sewing these dresses with grandma nicholson :)

cleaning/ filling the font. Takes like 6 hours. This font is dumb.

Dr. King's testimony to Jim in this super old quad from like twenty years ago.

My house of dreams in GF

With the zone leaders before and after Bennington sisters left.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Hudson Falls #11 "PARTAYYYYYYYY!"

Brynn claims she is working. I think she just knows how to turn work into play! I hesitate to let future missionaries read these because her mission seems so great all the time! It's definitely not easy but she knows how to make the best of any situation.   ~Julie

She has a great baptism story this week! To see posts and video about Jim's baptism and Brynn singing hymns to him, and having PDay at Six Flags Great Escape, check out Jim Willig on Facebook and The Baptism of Jim Willig on Facebook. He has cancer and is going through chemo but is still a devoted father, and loves his family and knows how to have a good time. He planned his baptism, refreshments, invited everyone, and Dr. King who he hadn't seen for 20 years, but who had given him the Book of Mormon, flew out from Colorado to baptize him. Dr. King texted me photos afterwards.

Dear Mom,

We really are working :) I promise!!! Work wise... this week was a little rough. We didn't get to see the Rougies (but Josh did agree to do FB lessons too), we've officially turned Jackson over to the New Jersey Sisters and Jace dropped us! I don't know if he was quite ready yet anyways. We'll see him all the time still cuz he's the elder's next door neighbor so we'll say hi when we're going to the elder's apartment to use the bathroom. But lots of our usually solid people didn't follow through with the times we set up with them. We made a bigger focus on being exactly obedient this week and we had an awesome miracle on Tuesday... but then the rest of the week kind of sucked. But I guess it was a reminder that we shouldn't be exactly obedient for the blessings, but because we love the Lord and always want to do what He wants us to do. We trust that as long as we're doing His will, it will all work out. It always does work out so the lack of awesomeness about this week doesn't worry me. It was just one of those weeks.

It would be impossible to tell you about each and every investigator in our areas, but one of them died. She had cancer so it was a good thing. Sharlotte. We went to her funeral with our other investo Maria. Super sad and awkward to be there as missionaries.

Wednesday, we had district meeting. It was amazing. Our district leader, Elder Moss, is amazing. He and Elder Lin came with us to Glens Falls after so they could interview Jim. We went to Angelina's pizza first of course and then the interiew was at Jim's house cuz he was starting chemo, like, as we arrived. Which was weird. I hate seeing him on that :( Me, Sister N and Elder Lin tanned with our feet in the pool while they had the interview and Jim's ma came out and joined us too! Haha! I don't know if that's allowed but it was amazing. Had to have a photo shoot of course. Jim passed the interview. Duh. He's a rock star. This week was way more of a party than I realized!!! SOOOO fun!!! Shirley, Jim's mom, is on the end :)

That night we dyed my hair darker brownish red, the same color you dye yours mom, whilst fulfilling our STL duties and calling our sisters and then we read the Book of Mormon out loud :) We're trying to read it out loud whenever we can because I'm obsessed with it! I loooove it. Woot Woot! 

Friday, we drove way super far for dinner with the Droddys. They're so cool! I was sick on the whole ride so that was miserable and they just talked to Sister North the whole time about softball and the only time I spoke was giving the spiritual thought, but I kind of enjoyed just watching everyone talk. It was one of the best member lessons I've ever had and I think I really needed that right then cuz I've kind of been a bum about members my whole mission and I've never liked dinner appointments.

Saturday we helped Sister McCormick move. We couldn't stay very long cuz I had to go to urgent care right after cuz we couldn't find any other time that day. But I got put in this super cool underwater room!

Tick problems.... I talked to Dr. Braithwaite a few times this week. He sent me to Urgent Care on Saturday, they sent me to the hospital to do some blood tests but I guess the lab was closed on the weekends, then we were at Great Escape all day Monday so we're going right after this. I really don't want to go, but it's just to make sure nothing else is wrong and to know if/what antibiotics I need to be on next. I can feel that all is fine though and I think everyone's over reacting. I'm mostly just sick/annoyed of being sick!

Monday..... WE WENT TO THE GREAT ESCAPE (SIX FLAGS)!!!! All who went: Me, Sister North, Bennington sisters: Sister Blahd and Yancey, Dylan and DANIELLE Behunin!!!!, Barrett boys, Brianna (who get baptized like a few days after I left Benn!), Jim, zone leaders Elder Sanders and Holt, district leader Elder Moss and Elder Lin, Greenwich branch prez and his wife and like tons of other people from Greenwich that I don't know. I rode everything and everyone was shocked :) Danielle and I got left behind at one point and got to ride alone and it was just the greatest thing ever. We can't believe that I've gotten to see her twice since leaving Bennington! I miss her a lot. Look up Jim Willig on Facebook to see videos and pictures of us! I just looked and he put TONS on of us at the Great Escape! It was too much fun.

Hey! This is us talking to Sarah the librarian! She was sooo excited to see us! See how gorgeous she is. She made this dress. We're like twins. She says we're going to have a costume party soon and count that as our library "service" :)

It basically was like being at Lagoon with all of your favorite people ever. We couldn't go on any of the rides where you get wet of course and Pres. Wirthlin didn't come. We called the assistants while we were on a roller coaster like we promised. Just to make them jealous. 

This Friday is Jim's baptism!!! 

And Next Monday we're going to the SPAC (Saratoga Performing Arts Center) to see Motab!!! We just found out that Albany zone is coming too. It's going to be way too much fun. Then we have MLC that Friday. Meet Prez Rogers and his wife. Then drive to Albany stake center for both zones to meet him. Party. 

My life is SO good :)

Sister Hallsted

Monday, June 15, 2015

Hudson Falls # 10 "Party Transfer"

Hi Mom!

Today may or may not be my 9 month mark. We're too stupid over here to figure it out :) Regardless, I'm still a missionary and LOVING it!!! We're so freaking busy. It's unreal. But this week was quite eventful!

We had zone conference, exchanges and we helped Jim plan the greatest baptism of the century!!! I'll start with that since I've not been able to even finish my emails lately. So, ya know how Jim was introduced to the church 20 years ago by his fellow doctor friend Dr. King? Well, we've been telling him he needs to get a hold of Dr. Vernon King and tell him he's being baptized but this guy seemed to be missing from off the face of the earth! Well, he finally got in contact with him! Jim said it was the greatest phone call of his life. They were both crying. But the greatest news ever... Jim asked Bro. King if he could fly from Colorado to baptize him.... HE CAN!!!! We're telling Jim's story to all of the members we can because we want them to see that sometimes they may feel like they're not making a big difference in anyone's life by sharing what they believe. Sometimes as missionaries we get discouraged because it may not seem like we're making a difference. But Jim's story shows that you never realize the impact you have on a person. He hadn't seen Dr. King for 20 years but he had such an impact on Jim that Jim can remember the things he told him about what we believe like it was yesterday. It is amazing! Jim wasn't ready at all 20 years ago to be baptized. He was still an alcoholic, partying and doing drugs, but he gave it all up by going to AA meetings all these years and reading the D&C, Pearl of Great Price and parts of the Book of Mormon. Finding out he had cancer really humbled him. Finally, after 20 years, we found him and he was ready!!! It was so cute, Bishop Lucido pulled us and Jim into his office at church yesterday and as Jim explained to him his story and all about Dr. King, Bishop's like "Where have you been all this time?!" Haha! I guess they have to make sure that Dr. King actually holds the priesthood and get in contact with his bishop and such. But it sounds like he may be the bishop in his ward. Anyways, we're just super excited! Lots of other missionaries are coming and President Wirthlin even says he'll try to make it :)

That leads us to zone conference.... It was really sad saying goodbye to President Wirthlin. He was so cute. He said he had to make jokes the whole time so he didn't just bawl his eyes out. But I'm praying that he'll start getting excited to go home. He hasn't been home for 8 years! They are incredible. I'm super excited for the changes our mission is going through though. Especially with Elder Broekhuejisen (?) Holy cow. He's amazing and real! He's made this thing called Brovis that basically makes the AP's job a thousand times easier. We text Brovis and it records all of our weekly totals and miles reimbursed, tells us the weather forecast and can give us any other missionary's address and lots of other stuff. I don't know how it works but it's amazing! He's all about changing things in the mission and my goodness we need it. Anyways, zone conference was sad, but exciting. I sang before testimony meeting at the end. SO fun to pretend to be confident! Everyone was really nice and told me it went well. Some people were crying so I assume that means it was a success :) Thank Sister Alger for letting me use her song for me. I may sing it for Jim's baptism.

At the end of zone conference, President announced that the Saratoga zone will be going to the MoTab's concert in SPAC on June 29th. AHHHHHH!!! Also, I keep forgetting to tell you, but you will NOT believe what we're doing for our District Activity next Monday. So, we have a 6 Flags here in G.F. but the missionaries have never been brave enough to ask Pres. if we could go. Well we asked... and we're going to SIX FLAGS!!!! And President and Sister Wirthlin may even come! The zone leaders are coming and so many of my friends from Bennington. Dylan and Danielle! I'm too excited. I can't sleep at night :)

We exchanged after taking a bazillion pics with the Wirthlins. The exchange was SO GOOD!!! I was super sick, just with a cold and a smoker voice and my dumb tick bite of course has been extra awful this week, but other than that, this week has been incredible for me! I've grown so much with zone conference and exchanges. I was nervous for exchanges because we're not super close with the Saratoga sisters but I found a lot in common with them. Especially Sister Hansen who everyone really misunderstands. I was able to help them a lot because of things that I've gotten through in the past. The Spirit led the whole exchange and I'm so grateful that I got to go with them for those three days. Leaving my area and Sister North was all worth it! Now we have a lot of catching up to do! 
I love these weeks when I really feel I need to rely on the Savior to make it through because I just don't feel strong enough to do it on my own. It builds my faith and reminds me that I should rely on Him more.

Thank you for your prayers! I sure love you all!

Sister Hawtsutff
(I love my Glenns Falls nickname ;) It's really starting to spread)

Could be the last time seeing the Wirthlins if they don't come to Jim's baptism!

Car ride back. Miley Cyrus hairdo :) SO happy to be back together. Supa hyper :)

Saratoga Sisters that I went with. Sister Maxwell and Sister Hansen :)

Most beautiful mission in the world!

Exchanging back! I LOVE these sisters!