Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Strange Things

I would say that this week was not a typical week, but the longer i'm on my mission, the more I become accustomed to strange things. This week's adventure: palm reading. We received a referral from the bishop for a woman who has recently come back to church. She has a lot of questions, so he thought it would be good for us to help her gain a basic understanding of the gospel. We went over there and she was on the phone, saying "Girl, I'mma hit you in the head with a... noodle! You go pray, then call me later and tell me i'm right." She told us that she sponsors people for Narcotics Anonymous. She is a recovering addict of 21 years. She told us all about her life and her story. It was so interesting to hear how spiritual the 12 step program is. She said that she just knew that she needed to come back to church. She told us that she had talked to the bishop and tried to get excommunicated, so that she could be rebaptized! We told her that probably wasn't the way to go. But she told us that she is a medium... as in someone who speaks to the other side. But she said she only uses it for good. Then before we left she asked us to hold up our palms, and she examined them closely, oohing and ahhing as she told us of our futures. She said that I don't fold under pressure, but I am self righteous and opinionated (hmmm probably true), that I will have five children, one long term relationship (hopefully a temple marriage), I will change my life course in my 50s, and I will gain an inheritance (hope you're working on that dad!). It was nuts! We walked out of there speechless. It was so crazy. Then the next time we visited with her, she summoned a spirit to bring us peace and give us a hug. We're not sure how things are going to move forward...

Then later in the week we revisited our youth and went to Girl's Camp! We drove up with a Bishop and his wife for the fireside and testimony meeting. It was so strange to be at camp not as a camper, and not knowing many people. It made me miss the days of pranks, singing camp songs until they are dead, smelling like a campfire, and bonding with my sisters. Those were magical days. We had the opportunity to speak for the girls. I talked about how my mission has been such a blessing, and how we should share this gospel with everyone we love. If it has blessed us so much, why would we keep it from others? They were so sweet, and so surprised to see us in pants and not our normal skirts.

The other day we were honored to have brunch with our neighbor, the less active widower who had not been to church in over 30 years. He has since come twice, and we always speak with him whenever we walk by. He has told us about his famous sourdough pancakes, and he invited us over to have some. We ate in his backyard. It was delicious! He said "I haven't cooked for someone in two years, and here I am feeding two sister missionaries!" It was so kind and thoughtful. He is such a sweet man. We invited him to attend church regularly. Although it seems like a simple commitment, it can make such an incredible difference in your life, if you let it. We have been so lucky to get to know him. 

We have started teaching a little girl who is 10, and her father is less active. Each time we meet with them, her understanding grows, and his understanding is strengthened and renewed. He said this last time "Who knows, with these girls coming around, I just might be the one taking my grandma to church." He told us how some of his fondest memories are of his grandmother taking him to church on Sundays. I LOVE meeting people who are prepared for us. The Lord has his hand in their lives far before we ever get there. It is always so miraculous to see how ready some people are to accept the gospel. 

Last night we spoke to a woman who was baptized when she was 18, was a member of the church for about 20 years, and then left the church. Things started going downhill when she moved to Utah. She experienced many different things- racism, people not welcoming her, and a lot of other things that really shook her testimony. This is the most frustrating part of my mission. She said "people should feel love, there should be no sadness, no hurt, but that's not how it is". Because there is such a large concentration of members here, the church becomes cultural, and it becomes difficult to distinguish from the gospel of Jesus Christ. It isn't fair that there are people misrepresenting the church and what it stands for. We can not pretend to be members of this church. If we are going to make that commitment, we need to take it seriously. We are disciples of Jesus Christ, and we need to be the beacon to which others can look to for guidance and help. 

There are so many things in this world that promise happiness, that seem so desirable. But when we do the things of the world, we are left empty. The gospel of Jesus Christ offers us so much more. It offers us peace, lasting happiness, and true joy. This is why I am a missionary. I have seen the difference that this gospel can make in our lives. I am so grateful to see the miracle of the Savior's love and forgiveness. We can do all things through Jesus Christ!

I love you all and hope you are smiling!


Sister Boman

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Okey Dokey

We have forgotten what it is to be normal...

And a new leaf has turned! Transfers were last week and I am working hard with my new companion Sister Gietz! She is awesome. We have so much fun together. We have been talking in accents and it has gotten to the point that I am forgetting English. Maybe we will need to do an hour of language studies... But anyways it is a lot of fun. We are trying to find more people to teach, so we went to some apartments and started talking to the kids that were hanging around outside. We talked to a girl and then to her neighbors, a brother and sister. When we met with them later, we asked if they wanted to be baptized, and the girl said "yeah, why not?" Haha it was not the best committed response, but why wouldn't you want to be free from sin? Why wouldn't you want the help of the Holy Ghost? When you think about it, the answer really is, why not?

We are still teaching the couple who met at the dump. She is down to half a pack of cigarettes a day! And now she is working on coffee. We watched a video called The Savior Wants to Forgive. Her husband got emotional as we watched it. He said that he has always know that the Savior is there for him, no matter what. It is so awesome to see that although we might feel like it is too late, that we are all alone, the Savior is always there to help us. 

I finally read the talk my mom had sent me (thanks mom!) called Becoming a Consecrated MissionaryI read it with my companion during companionship study, and after literally every paragraph, we looked at each other and went "oh dang!" (Art's voice). This time I am spending on my mission is a precious time. When I go home, I will probably be preoccupied with school and relationships. But this time, these eighteen months, are when I can truly consecrate my time to the Lord, and become like my Savior Jesus Christ. That means that it is up to me to lay everything on the altar of sacrifice. I must spend all of my passion, my energy, talents, and time dedicating myself to this work. It is not something I can be excused from. When I was baptized, I took upon myself the Lord's name, and as a representative of Him I am called to do His work on the earth. I am so grateful for that privilege and honor. 

I love you all and hope you know that the Lord loves you as well. Keep smiling!


Sister Boman

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Eyes Of A Missionary

Charlie's Angels/God's Angels/Fearsome Threesome
Sister Hansen and I 

We found out about transfers this morning! I'm staying, Sister Bartnik is leaving, and Sister Hansen is going back to her stake. So it will be back to one stake for me and my new companion, Sister Gietz! 

This week was full of growth. In our companionship we have helped each other to become better teachers, better missionaries, and better people. When things are hard, we must always take a step back, realize how much we have, and ask Him for strength to continue forward. I am so grateful to have this opportunity to serve the Lord, to share His gospel with the world, and improve myself. It is such a privilege. I want to make every moment of this time count. 

Elder Flores, a missionary that was in my zone these past two transfers, wrote this poem and shared it at a musical fireside a while back. I love how he describes our purpose as missionaries. 

I wish to wish, I love to love
I've dedicated two years of my life to talk about two specific people who live above
I want them to know them, I want them to know that they care
And just like the wind I want them to have faith that it's there
We can't force it on 'em, we can only lead them
And I know Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father is looking down on us to see how we treat them
We're not here to teach lessons, we're here to teach people
And we're also here to let you know that because of this name tag we're the true defenders against evil
We call you ten times a day and knock your door twenty times a week,
We're not here to be annoying, we're here to try and be like Jesus Christ and herd his sheep
Just know that we love you, just know that we care
Just know that when you need help Heavenly Father will always be there
We know that this is true, we know what blessings this gospel has to give 
And we know that Jesus Christ just hasn't come and gone
We know that he lives
He lives in our hearts, he's by our side day by day 
He's right next to the Holy Ghost while the Holy Ghost is whispering in our ears something sweet to say
We know that this gospel is true, we know that this gospel is for you,
So just let us in your door and you'll see what this gospel can do.

Sister Minarchik, Sister Bartnik, Me, Elder Lewington, Elder Henderson, Sister Hansen, and Sister Horvath

Hope y'all are having a great week! I'll update more next week :)

Keep smiling! 


Sister Boman

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

How Come You Have Not Been Baptized?

"I'm a little concerned about your salvation and stuff..." If you know what movie that quote is from, high five.

We had the awesome opportunity to have two baptisms this last week!!! Both were for nine year old girls from less active families. It has been an incredible journey to teach them both. To see their knowledge and faith in the gospel grow each time we met with them, to see them come to church, to pray, to read their scriptures, and then to make the commitment to Heavenly Father to follow the example of Jesus Christ through baptism, it was an amazing experience! Their testimonies strengthen my own, as I see the power that the Lord has in our lives, to help us to recognize the truth, and to help us live happier lives. Both families were so grateful that we had come into their lives. The timing was right-  and we know that was by the hand of the Lord. These young girls are such incredible examples to their families and peers, and I feel so lucky to have taught them.

We met again with the couple that met at the dump. They are the sweetest people. She calls us "Charlie's Angels" but then her husband corrected her and she changed it to "God's Angels". When she learned that after baptism she could be married for time and all eternity in the temple, her excitement and commitment increased exponentially! It is so awesome what the power of love can do. We challenged them both to stop smoking, and when we checked in with her the next day, she said whenever she feels the urge to smoke, she reads the book (the Book of Mormon) and prays with it in her hands. She went from two packs to one in just 24 hours! It is so incredible to see the miracles that the Lord makes possible in our lives.

Sometimes things get pretty funny here on the mission. We wave to everyone we see, just to put a smile on their face. The other day we waved at a group of people and one of the guys yelled out "Hey you wanna come to a party?" Of course we said yes! Haha but he ran over to our car and gave us a flier for a summer kickoff party at a club. Not exactly mission approved! But it was nice of him to invite us. We were talking to a younger guy and he asked us "So, is this like a nine to five kinda thing?" HAHA! Yeah we are just missionaries for part of the day. NOT. I'm a little concerned about his intentions! But we told him what our purpose is and that we are dedicating our lives for 18 months- this is a 24/7 kinda thing! We were talking to another man who has had a pretty intense past- he gave us a mini education of the drug world (don't worry, I didn't take notes). But he has met with missionaries before. He was talking about how he believes that we are not the only people in the universe- not like there are aliens or anything, I believe that there is life out there as well- and he described it like this: "It's like you got a bowl of milk and one cheerio- whaddaya need the whole damn bowl of milk for?!" We were cracking up! It is so fun to meet people and learn about their understanding of the world and of God. It helps me to be curious and always work to strengthen my own understanding.

So often we meet people who are so confused and conflicted. They try so hard to understand things and research and find out what the truth is, but we need to go to the source of all truth, and that is our Father in Heaven. It says in Preach My Gospel that "No one can know of spiritual truths without prayer." I know that this gospel is true because I asked God. I put in the time and the effort, and then went to Him for a confirmation. There are still plenty of things that I don't understand, but I know that this gospel is true, and I can not deny it.

I love you all and hope you are smiling!!!


Sister Boman