Monday, December 28, 2015

Week 9

My life flipped upside down today...So it started off like any normal day, we went for a run, showered, got ready to go study...and then President Eaton called (mission president) We were confused because he never calls unless there is something important going on. So we answer the phone and he asks us to get the other sisters (Sisters Zavala and Heiner). He tells us about one of the sisters who has been sick for the past 2 weeks and they've decided to send her home on medical release. (BAD NEWS) He continues in ruining our day by informing us that Sister Dodson is going to be emergency transferred to be with the other sister who is losing her companion and Sister Zavala, Sister Heiner, and I are going to combine our wards and be in a trio. I guess you could say that there was a lot of shock and a lot of crying. It's pretty tramatic to lose your companion in the middle of a transfer, I knew we wouldn't stay together very long, but I definitely thought that it'd be longer than this...
But on the other hand, Sister Zavala and I are companions again :) Good thing we get along!! ;)

Besides this morning, Christmas week has been great! Nobody has really wanted to talk to us because of the Christmas season, but it's been awesome because of how great the members are. Highlight of the week was skyping my family and having Christmas Eve dinner at the Halle's house :) we had a Bethleham dinner and we ate scones and grapes on the floor by candle light. Super cute! Not to mention all of the random Christmas gifts that we've gotten. Needless to say I have lots of socks!!!

With Christmas coming to an end and the new year beginning comes the season for people to "start over" and make outrageous goals that wBut as you're making your goals for the new year, I'd urge you to consider what you could do to more fully "Come Unto Christ". As part of our contacting approach we've been sharing Moroni 10:32. Christmas celebrates the birth of our Savior, but Christ wasn't just born for us, He lived for us! My invitation is that as we set our goals, think of ways in which you can strengthen your relationship with Jesus Christ and "be perfected in him, [denying] yourself of all ungodliness...and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness and love God with all your might, mind, and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ." 

Happy New Year! I love you all ♥

PS-Shout out to Shaylee Hatt because she writes some of the best emails ;) ya'll need to be writing me back! haha ;) merry christmas shaebae
          The Halle family :)

            Sister Gillespie!
                      Christmas day :)

Week 8

Merry Christmas!! We had our ward Christmas party this week. Oh my goodness, our bishop went ALL OUT! Apparently he has connections because it was probably the coolest Christmas party I've gone to. There were crazy lights and a projector that played Christmas mormon messages, and even an ICE SCULPTRE! It was pretty awesome :) 

Sister Zavala's new companion is pretty awesome. (we live in an apartment with another set of sisters) her name is Sister Heiner and she's kinda crazy. Like no joke. She makes me laugh so much! She's decided that we're all a family: she's the dad, my comp is the mom, and Sister Zavala and I are the children. It's great because she even has us do family prayers and fhe. 

I've decided that I want to do a 'deep doctrine dive' into humility this transfer. I chose this topic because all throughout the scriptures it talks about humbling yourself before the Lord. God can't work with an unwilling heart. When I finish my mission I don't want to come home the same person. My mission president suggested that we write God's purpose on our hearts. His purpose is found in Moses 1:39 - "For behold, this is my work and my glory: to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man." The Bible Dictionary has synonyms for humility, my favorite one was 'teachable'. I pondered that for a minute, what does it mean to be teachable? Some thoughts that I had went along with the scripture Mosiah 3:19 "the natural man is an enemy to God" The natural man inside of us often makes us believe that we know it all. We don't need God's help because life seems to be going great right now. False. 2 Nephi 9:28-29 says that being learned is ONLY good if we hearken to the counsels of God. We need our Heavenly Father in everything that we do. When we are humble we are able to recognize that we can do nothing without him. I just want to leave one more scripture with you, it's Alma 26:12, "yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever." This is Ammon speaking. He's seen so much success as a missionary, but he also recognizes that it is all because of the Lord. 

This Christmas season I hope that each of us can recognize the hand of the Lord in our lives. As we humble ourselves and draw closer to Him, our hearts will be opened and he will pour out blessings that there will not be room enough to receive them.
love you all!! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Week 7

I survived my first transfer! And I love it so much. I don't have a lot of time left, but I want you all to know how much I love you and how incredible missionary work is! One of our investigators started to share the gospel with her family and now they are starting to come around. Her granddaughter even sat in on our last lesson! 

My goal for this transfer is to "Fear No Man". I've found out that i'm actually not very good at opening my mouth. I'm so shy! So I read this talk by President Uchtdorf called "Fear Not, I Am With Thee" and it talked about having faith in the Lord. Missionary work doesn't progress until you actually have people to teach. You can't have people to teach until you've actually talked to them. Yesterday during tracting I took the lead in knocking on doors. I felt like a real life missionary because I wasn't afraid to talk to them! Seriously the power of prayer and the Atonement is real. When you put your heart and mind into something and have the Lord on your side, you cannot fail! :)  
I want you all to know that I know that this is the true church. Nothing that happens in my life will ever make me question that because the spirit has testified of it to me and I can't deny the spirit. Put your faith in the Lord. Pray and ask Him questions! If there is anything that you are questioning in your life, do what James directs and ask God (James 1:5) even if it's for another witness that the Book of Mormon is true. Moroni promises that if we ask with a sincere heart and with real intent then the spirit will testify of truth. 

Stay strong and remember Christ in Christmas!! love you all :)
Inline image 1
Sister Dodson is my companion (red sweater) Sister Zavala was my MTC comp (in the back)
Inline image 1
Inline image 2
(the flash scared me...but we got a pomegranate that was huge!)

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Week 6

Hey!! Hope everyone's having a great week! Christmas is in 18 days and I'm so excited :)

Last week we met this woman, I think I mentioned her in my last email. She's had a tough life...but we had one lesson with her and she came to church the next day. We've had about 4 lessons now and I can't believe how incredible she is. My testimony of the Atonement has been strengthened so much. She genuinely wants to change and everything that we talk to her about she wants to know for herself. Her faith is increasing and we can see it through her actions. Before we even taught her about the word of wisdom she's thrown out her smoking stuff, she just keeps saying that she wants to be "clean". She's also sharing what she's learned with her daughter and granddaughter, who live with her, coming to church, and not being ashamed of what she's learning.

My testimony of the power of change through the Atonement has grown because, after only knowing about this for a week, she has made such a dramatic change in her life. There's a talk by Elder Holland called "Missionary Work and the Atonement". He says, "...the essential message of the gospel, the starting point for all other truths, is this from the Master's own lips: 'I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.' Thus the Atonement of Christ, which makes that return to the Father possible, is rightfully seen as the central fact, the crucial foundation, and the chief doctrine of the great and eternal plan of salvation--'our Heavenly Father's plan,' which we are called to teach."

As missionaries our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the e​nd. All of this is centered on the Atonement. As we each have a desire to change and be better we can grow in our faith because of the sacrifice of our Savior Jesus Christ.

I love you all and hope you have an amazing week, I'm super excited for the Christmas season and remembering the birth of our savior :) Watch the new Christmas video if you haven't yet, it's on

((this is the neighborhood that we live in)

Monday, November 30, 2015

Week 5

Guess what. Specific prayers = specific answers. 

We are finally starting to see the fruits of our labors :) we prayed that we'd be able to find a family to teach, well we've been trying to get in contact with this one family that the Bishop wanted us to check up on. No one really knew their story, but they've been on our minds. This was our 4th time going to their house to try and catch them, as we were about to get out of the car, they pulled up and their whole family was there! We talked to them and they said that we could teach them a short lesson. It turns out that only 2 of the kids are members and they are actually the niece and nephew that the aunt has custody over. So we taught them the Restoration lesson. It went so good! we have a return appointment set up for tonight. Can't wait to see what happens. So grateful that Heavenly Father blessed us with this opportunity!

Thanksgiving was the greatest! Half of the missionaries in the mission came to our stake center and we played sports. We had a soccer game that was so awesome ;) It was pretty muddy so we were sliding all over the place. At one point I went to stop the ball and totally landed on my back. yup, I was super muddy but I couldn't stop laughing! I love being a missionary and hearing all of the cheesy missionary humor. Everyone is so great! We got 2 hours for dinner so we went to one of the member's houses. They're a cute young couple who have a 5 month old baby boy. Brother Green, the dad, said that he wouldn't tell anyone if we wanted to hold his baby...I was so tempted!! But dinner was great and sooooo yummy :) Afterwards we played Sequence. It's a board game. We were on two teams and both of us won one game. Unfortunately we had to go, so Brother Green asked when we could come back and have a tie-breaker game ;)

Saturday we helped a newly wed couple move boxes into their home. The Elders in our ward were there too. We talked and we decided to switch investigators. They had a lesson with a woman and we had a lesson with a man. Both lessons happened to be at 6 so we thought it'd be a good idea to switch. The woman we met, her name is Sister Gillespie. She is definitely a humbled woman. She's had it sooooo incredibly rough. I'm not going to go into everything, but she lives in a trailer, doesn't have a job, and is in the middle of a divorce. We talked to her about the plan of salvation and focused on how God has a plan for us and especially how the Atonement helps us over come trials. We invited her to church, but she said she was already going to a different church with her friend. So we just set up a return appointment.

Sunday morning rolls around and we had a missed call from Sister Gillespie, apparently her other ride to church had to cancel so she asked if we could find her a ride to church. Obviously we said yes ;) Everything in that Sacrament meeting seemed to be especially for her. She said that she definitely needed that. I'm so excited for what's to come with her!

One last story! We invited one of our investigators to be baptized! She said that she'd been thinking about it a lot and she wanted it! she has a date for January 16th. Unfortunately she hasn't been coming to church and we don't know if she is keeping we'll have to see...

The weather is freezing but it actually doesn't snow very often in theis part of Washington!

Love you all so much!!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 4

What is this? I've been out for 4 weeks already! I love the mission and I love this work <3

We had a Zone Conference on Tuesday, it was great because there was a giant wind and rain storm, but we were inside all day long. #Blessings. The theme for the conference was "how to make prayers mighty instead of lame" I think that I really needed this right now especially, we go out everyday and we pray all of the time..But one thing that is important to remember is that we are literally talking to God each time we pray, how cool is that? My goal after conference is to make my prayers more personal, especially to ask specific questions. *specific questions get specific answers*

One thing that I thought of while we were at conference was a way that we could contact more people. I had the idea that if we go to follow up on someone and they don't answer the door or we can't get in with them then we go and knock on another door nearby. Wow. The miracle that has come of that has been so great. We were able to talk to a lot more people and more people listened. We found 22 potential people that we could go back and talk to. Which is an improvement from the 5 we found the week before. 

I have such a strong testimony that God answers prayers and that He loves us and wants the best for us. A mission is hard, but it's the most rewarding thing you could ever do. We are literally bringing people salvation.

So some funny stories from this week...We were knocking on doors and as we were on the porch of one house the car pulled up into the drive way and in the garage. We walked down to go and talk to them...and they closed the garage door on us. We turned away and started laughing. People are so funny!!! One of our approaches when we knock on doors is by asking them what they're thankful for (because it's thanksgiving and all) so we asked this one guy and he said, "I'm thankful that I have the right not to talk to random people who show up on my doorstep." He then proceeded to close the door. I was so sad and I kinda wanted to cry, but it was still the funniest contact that we've had. I don't understand people sometimes..

Anyways, I know the church is true. I love it and I wouldn't want to be any other place. Happy almost Thanksgiving to everyone. Show your thanks to God by sharing the gospel with someone this week ;)

Love you all and miss you lots!!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 3

So where to even begin...? All I can say is that missionary work is straight up the hardest thing ever.

The night before I left the MTC one of the Elders in our zone gave me a blessing. It was his first so that was really cool, but it was one of the most powerful blessings I've ever received. One thing that I remember the most is that I'll have lots of trials while on my mission, but to always remember that God is walking right beside me. I have never realized how true this is until I've come out on my mission. 

The people here are super stubborn, they don't really care what we have to say. I feel like crying every time a door is closed because I feel like we're failing and nobody wants to hear the wonderful message that we have. But I keep a smile on my face because I know that God doesn't take what we are doing lightly. He knows that this is important work and everything that we say and do will affect people in some way. Isn't that incredible to know? Doesn't that make you want to go about doing good? The most important thing to remember is that God is preparing people and we are part of their preparation, whether in the beginning stages or towards the end, no effort goes unnoticed. 

Last night we had a mission devotional and missionaries from the whole mission came and even some investigators and recent converts in the area. It was awesome because some of the recent converts came and bore their testimony of how the missionaries changed their lives. I needed to hear that SO badly. People are out there waiting to hear our message, we just have to find them.

So my challenge to you all is to be member missionaries. We can't do anything unless we have the members on our side. Find people and talk to them about how this gospel has blessed your life! Invite them to church activities, especially with Thanksgiving and Christmas devotionals coming up. My challenge is that you invite at least one person to do something this week, whether is be come to church or some other activity, or even to talk to the missionaries. They can't say "yes" unless they're invited ;) Pray for inspiration on who to talk to. I have faith in you all!

So my companion's name is Sister Dodson. She's from Georgia, she's 23 and has her teaching degree from BYU to teach Chemistry. How cool is that?! We get along great and I love her to pieces. Funny story, my MTC companion lives in the same appartment as me;) her and her companion are the other missionaries taking the ward we split off of.

Have a great week everyone and don't forget to share the gospel ;)

Love you all <3

Sister Hammond

Monday, November 9, 2015

Week 2

I love the MTC!! It is most definitely the hardest thing that I've ever done, but I have gained such a strong testimony that Heavenly Father is aware of me and knows exactly what I need. I've noticed this as I've heard people's testimonies, read scriptures, and even just what the teachers have taught. Whenever I'm in a spiritual drought, there is always a tender mercy from Heavenly Father that gets me right back up there! 
We taught one of our "investigators" for the last time today. It was so cool to see how far we had come from teaching the first lesson to teaching our last lesson. We helped him experience the gospel of Jesus Christ and when he started keeping his commitments, it was such a thrill! I can't believe how much I've grown in just 10 days, and I know it is only because of my Savior's Atonement that allows me to try harder and get better.
I especially know that because my faith and knowledge are increasing, the bar the Lord has set is raising. I cannot look back, let up, or slow down. The more I gain, the more I have to give. Like Alma 29:9 says, "I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it; I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me. And this is my glory, that I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance. And this is my Joy."
I can't wait to get into the field and apply what I've learned while I've been here. I'm also very grateful for everything that my teachers have done to help me experience my purpose.
PS I love hearing from everyone, please keep emailing me! I only have so much time on the computer every week, but I'll try to respond to as many emails as I can. I love you all so much and thank you so much for your support!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Week 1!

Wow. I'm actually here. The MTC is definitely different than anything that I've ever experienced before. I am on a spiritual high. I think we pray at least 20 times a day and everything is focused on our purpose: Inviting others to come to Christ by helping them understand repentance, baptism, the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.

My companion is Sister Zavala, funny story, we are actually friends on instragram :) I saw her on the misisonariescomingsoon page, and now we're companions! She is so awesome and we get along great!

I'm so excited to be here, but this is by far the hardest thing that I have EVER done. What makes it so hard is, I know this gospel, but trying to simplify it and make it easy for someone to understand is where I struggle. Sister Zavala and I are teaching two "investigators", our teachers role-playing, and we feel like we are trying to follow where the spirit is guiding us, but we kinda over load them with information. One of our investigators is a girl named Miranda. In our first lesson we really tried to get to know her. We found out that she's had some trouble in the past and she doesn't feel like God is there for her. I was inspired to share Micah 7:7-8 with her. This scripture has really helped me in the past. When I shared that the spirit was so strong! But then Sister Zavala and I tried to get back into the lesson that we'd initially planned and we lost that spirit. We realized that if we would have followed the spirit more than that lesson would have been great instead of good.

In our second lesson with her we tried to focus on the Plan of Salvation, more specifically, the Atonement. But the Atonement is such a hard concept to grasp, so I don't feel like we really got across to her what we were trying to say. We invited her to come to church with us towards the end of the lesson. She initially said no, but I just bore my testimony to her that she could learn so much from church and to really think about coming. I don't remember everything that I said, but she considered it more and eventually agreed to come! It was a little success and Sister Zavala and I were super excited. We decided that for our next lesson we would talk to her about what she had learned in our previous discussions and then we were going to try and focus on the story of Enos. We chose this because we really think that this story could connect with her in the fact that we think she needs to forgive herself for her past mistakes.

The hardest thing about these lessons is the fact that our purpose is to help people draw closer to Christ. Sister Zavala and I just don't feel like we are accomplishing this very well. 

My testimony has definitely grown in the 6 days that I've been here. I have seen evidence of the Savior's love every single day. The spirit is so strong in everything that we do! I think that the one thing I've really learned from this so far, Heavenly Father knows His children personally. He really is aware of my needs. When I am at a spiritual low and I feel like I've failed after a lesson or after a discussion. Or when I feel like I really don't know anything. Something is always there that let's me know "I can do this!" One scripture in particular that has really helped me is Ether 12:27. I am weak as to the things of the gospel, but I know that as I continue to press forward and rely on my Savior, then He will make my weaknesses into my strengths.

Last night we had the opportunity to watch a talk that Elder Bednar gave called "Characters of Christ". This was something that I really needed. It was about an hour and a half talk, but what I really learned from it is, it's not all about me! Nobody cares that I'm sad, who cares if my day has been a struggle. The important thing to remember is that it is all about somebody else. All throughout the New Testament Jesus was always reaching out to others. He'd had a long day but he still insisted that the children come to him so they could be blessed. He'd been tempted by the devil but he insisted that angels go and minister to John the Baptist in prison. He was betrayed by his apostle but he still healed the guard's ear. My purpose as a missionary is to represent Jesus Christ. I wear his name on my chest. That being said, my purpose is to do as Christ would do. Constantly putting other's before myself.

I just want to bare my testimony that this church is true. God really does know us personally, and if you struggle with that knowledge, then go right to the source, read the Book of Mormon. There is so much love in every story, every chapter in there. I also know that Jesus Christ is my Savior, he suffered for me so that he could know how to help me through my trials (Alma 7:11-12) and that has been shown to me as I've been here. He has truly helped me through every struggle I've had. He knows me! but more importantly, He knows you!

I've just started reading the Book of Mormon again, I invite all of you to read it with me. I'll just be reading it in my spare time. So I'll set a goal for a chapter a day. I really hope that you accept this challenge. I know that you'll grow closer to the Savior and to your Heavenly Father. If possible, read it with your family! This gospel is centered around families :) strengthen your relationships by reading it!

This email has been all over the place! sorry about that ;) I won't be able to send long emails like this every week, and I also won't be able to answer everyone's personal emails, just because of lack of time. But I love you all! This Church is true!

Sister Hammond

Ps I'll try and send pictures next week :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Is it the 27th already?

So's already the 27th, which means that tomorrow is the 28th, which means that I report to the MTC in less than 18 hours. I am so beyond excited that it is here. I am grateful for the opportunity that I have to serve on my mission and I know that it is going to be an incredible experience. Thanks so everyone who came to my farewell! It was great to see people and to be surprised by old faces that I haven't seen in years. :) It's been bitter sweet these last couple of days because I've said goodbye to so many people...I love you all and I'm grateful for the friendships I've made and the awesome influences of my soon to be missionary friends.

I'm not really sure what else to say because I've basically been just waiting around for the past 3 months waiting for this day to come. Now it's almost here and I can hardly believe it!

I get set apart in exactly 1 hour and 15 minutes. I just wanted to bare my testimony that I know this church is true. I wouldn't be leaving everyone and everything behind for 18 months if I didn't know without a doubt that this is the true church. I know that Joseph Smith restored the gospel with divine help and that he translated the Book of Mormon. I know that we can grow closer to our Savior by studying this book and praying about it's truthfulness. I'm so grateful for a living prophet who counsels us in these latter days and seems to know exactly what it is that I need to here. I know that the Lord will provide for me and my family while I'm on my mission. I love this gospel and I love the Lord. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Mission Pictures :)

So about two weeks ago my awesome cousins took my missionary pictures outside of the Ogden temple. I had so much fun walking around and taking pictures in front of this beautiful temple! While we were there a lady came up to me and said she was from Washington and asked where I was going. I told her that I'd been called to the Federal Way mission and she said that I was going to love it there. I'm so excited for all of the green and the rain <3

 In other news...My momma got married! She is now Mrs. Nicole Marie Drage. I'm so excited for her and Chad. I love them both and I know that they'll be awesome together.

Today is one of my best friend's farewell! She's going to be serving in the Orlando, Florida mission leaving November 4th. I can't wait to hear her speak and I know that she's going to kick butt out there.

It seems crazy but I opened my mission call 76 days ago...I report to the MTC in 10 days!! My farewell is next week, and I get set apart as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in 9 days. I can't wait to serve the Lord and the people of Federal Way. These next 18 months are going to be the hardest yet most fulfilling time of my life.



Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Conference and My Bday :)

Well, I started to pack up all of my stuff. I started going through my things and throwing out everything that I've been hording had since junior high school that's taking up way too much space in my room. Also, to the pleasure of my younger sisters, I went through my clothes and gave them everything that I didn't want when I come home in 18 months.

On Friday I got my missionary pictures done by my incredible cousins, I can't wait to see how they turn out. We did them at the Ogden temple and it was so much fun <3
The first week of April and October are my favorite weekends in the whole entire world. Why, you may ask? Because it's General Conference!! I love sitting in front of the TV with a notebook in my hand and ready to write down thoughts that the speakers have been inspired to teach. There were many incredible talks, especially hearing the testimonies of our 3 new apostles in the Sunday morning session.

Speaking of that session...Please pray for our beloved prophet. He gave an incredible talk about being a light to the world. He also spoke of one of my favorite scriptures, Matt. 5:16. "Therefore, let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your father which art in heaven."
But, nearing the end of his talk, President Monson could barely stand at the pulpit. It brought tears to my eyes as I watched him struggle through the last few words.

One girl who was there posted on Facebook that President Uchtdorf was sitting on the edge of his seat, waiting to rush to the prophet's aid should he need it. Then, as soon as he finished his talk, Uchtdorf was right there, leading him back to his seat. I know that it's almost our prophet's time to return home to our Heavenly Father and to see his sweet wife again. But I'm going to miss him... He's been the prophet that I've grown up with. Courtney and I had the opportunity to run into him in the baptistery of the Salt Lake temple on a ward temple trip. He signed my mission call. This man has been an incredible servant of the Lord and I know that He is proud of him. I only hope that Monson can go quickly, because seeing him speak nearly broke my heart...

In happier news, I'm 19! I am officially the age required for girls to be recommended for missionary service. Which means I am old enough to serve my mission in Washington! When it came to birthday gifts, my family was clueless as to what to get me, so my mom gave me some money that I used to get some cute boots for Washington's winter months ;) I also got an umbrella from Courtney! <3 My friends got me a necklace and a scarf that said, "a missionary leaves her family for a year and a half so that other families and be together for eternity." They also got me a couple of books full of scriptures and other uplifting quotes that I can use in lessons and discussions. Another friend got me a cute little package for writing letters! And McKenna got me an awesome picture collage full of our adventures over the years. I love my friends and family and I'm so grateful for the blessing and strength that they've been in my life and the support that I have from them to serve my mission.

It's getting close! 22 days. For those who don't know. I am having my farewell on the 25th at 1:30 at the Mountain Green Stake Center. I would love for everyone and anyone to come. We'll also be having lunch afterwards at my house.

#22daystogo #washingtonfederalwaymission #SisterHammond

Friday, September 25, 2015

USU with my bestie

This week my coworker's father died. He has been sick for a long time and they knew this was coming. I had to cover her shifts, basically I had four 10 hour shifts... so I got lots of overtime! :) I am just so grateful for the knowledge of life after death. God has a plan for all of us and that doesn't end when we leave this frail existence. That's one thing I'm excited to teach about on my mission, the fact that death doesn't mean the end. There are so many people who don't know this truth and it makes me sad to think that they believe they'll never see their loved ones again.

On Wednesday after work I went to Logan and stayed with my bestest friend in the whole world, can you guess who it is? MCKENNA! I was able to get work off on Thursday so I took a trip to USU to spend time with her before I leave...which is in 33 days by the way! Her dorm is so cute, and her roommates are awesome. There was a dance on Thursday night, but me and Kenna are homebodies so we stayed at the dorm and watched Netflix and also went to dinner with Aspyn, Capris, and Jaycee since they are at USU too. It was a lot of fun and made me really desirous to be there...If I wasn't going on a mission then I'd be at school with Kenna and we'd be roommates like we'd been planning since like 8th grade. Satan has a funny way of getting into my head. He's trying to persuade me to not go on a mission by showing me what I'm missing out on. However, I know that which the Lord has commanded me and I glory in it! (Alma 29:9) I've been blessed with my testimony so that I can go out and share it. I'm also very grateful for a God who is so patient with me while I struggle to find the path that He's laid out for me.

Since McKenna had class on Thursday, I took the opportunity to go to the Logan Temple. It's funny how I am always surprised with the spirit that resides within the temple! As soon as I walked in I could already feel the spirit:) When I go to the temple I can feel God's power and I know that I'm exactly where I should be. The temple is a place that offers spiritual protection and relief from the confusing and loud world. When I'm there I can put all of my worries aside and just feel the spirit. It reminds me that I'm never alone, I am loved, and ultimately reminds me how true this church is.

I feel like I should write a bit concerning Joseph Smith. He was 14 years old when he learned that none of the churches were true and that God had a plan to reorganize His church. Yes, Joseph Smith was a man; in fact, he was pretty much a child, and just like every other person in this world, he made mistakes. But look at everything that has come of the choice that he made to pray and ASK God. There is absolutely no way that he could have imagined up any part of this church. How could a simple, uneducated farm boy have created a church which evolved to include millions of members around the world? God orchestrated the restoration and He is at the head of it. Everything denotes to His omnipotent power, especially in the temple. I can testify with my whole heart that this church is true. And to anyone who may be struggling, get down on your knees and ASK God. He is not far from each and every one of us and He is waiting to answer any questions that are asked in faith.

I can't wait for those 33 days to be done so that I can go to Washington and show people how awesome this gospel is!!! <3

Monday, September 14, 2015

Mission Prep Class

Last week Kathy asked me if I would help her give a Preach My Gospel lesson in our MTM (Mountain Top Mission) class. While trying to come up with a subject to teach about, I was reading in my scriptures and I remembered some lessons I had in my other mission prep class. One lesson was based on how to simplify the gospel so as to teach it to families who knew little to nothing about God and His church. I brought this idea up to Kathy and we decided that it would be a fun topic :)

We found a page in the Preach My Gospel manual right after the first lesson that has a list of difficult words, such as apostasy and dispensation, with their definitions. Kathy and I found scriptures that could also be used to help explain these words. I felt confident and prepared when we went on Sunday morning to teach our lesson. One thing that I was really worried about was how much participation we'd be able to get. Normally people aren't too keen to make comments in this class. Our lesson was based on the amount of participation that we'd be able to get because we had a lot of scriptures for people to look up and we also wanted to have them come up with new words or phrases that we could use to replace the ones that were difficult to understand. But I think that our lesson went really well! It was fun to be up there teaching because this is what I'm going to be doing for the next 18 months of my life:D

After the class was over a girl came up to us and said that we looked like the cutest sister missionaries as we were up there teaching. I'm so excited to go on my mission!!!!I'm also very grateful for the chance to teach this topic, it was interesting to see how many scripture mastery verses that we used to help us define the key terms. It makes me have a greater appreciation for how important scripture mastery is and how often I'll be using it in the mission field.

This last week I also had the opportunity to go to the Brigham City temple. It was really pretty and I absolutely love the feeling of being in the Celestial Room. There was actually a kid who was going through for the first time. When I had walked out he and his family were out front talking. I don't know where I got the courage, but I walked up and asked him if he had gone through because of a mission. He said yes, so I then asked where he was going...Yeah, he's going to Washington!!! I was kinda shocked, what were the chances that he was going to the same state as me?! He's going to the Yakima mission and reporting October 7th. It was just a cool experience to be able to meet someone at the temple going almost exactly where I'm going. God Lives!!
44 days left until my work begins :D

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Trip to Payson

I have a new favorite temple :) Well, I can't really say that because I love different things about every temple I've been to. The Bountiful Temple's Celestial Room is so white and bright and perfect. In the Salt Lake Temple I loved going from room to room and progressively climbing higher and higher with each stage of the endowment. When I went to the Saint George Temple I could feel the spirit so strongly! And the Ogden Temple will always be a favorite because I received my endowment there. It really is a gorgeous place. But the Payson Temple is so elegant.

I took a little temple trip with Jennifer and Kathy. It was Kathy's second time, so it was cool to be able to be there with her! We arrived in Payson around 6, so we had a chance to take pictures before we went in for our session.

 Kathy and I had the idea to bring the flags of the states where we are going to serve. Since I'm going to Washington, I get George Washington's face on mine, no bid deal. And Kathy is going to Florida, if you look closely at Kathy's flag then you'll see some pretty...interesting things!
this picture is probably my favorite

Going to the temple is such an amazing experience, I learn something new every time I go! In the beginning of the session it talks about the covenants you make and that when you strive to live and obey these covenants then you'll recognize blessings that come from them. 

I don't know how to word this properly... I know the covenants that I've made, but it's confusing in the fact that there is so much! But when I heard this, it made me realize that it doesn't matter how perfect my knowledge is, but if I strive every day to keep those covenants then I'll begin to see the blessings of it in my life. 

I love my nursery calling!!! I'm in love with the nursery kids, there's this little girl, her name is Kendall, and she LOVES me! It's so cute :) her mom brought her in and she was crying, she saw me and I opened my arms to pick her up and she literally ran into my arms. She is so stinking funny though, she'll grab my pinky and pull me around the room to play with different toys. But my overall favorite thing about nursery is the innocence that those kids have. They are so little, but they know who Jesus is. They know how to say simple prayers, and they are just so loving! I read a scripture today in Matt. 18. I think it was verse 3 or 4, but Jesus is teaching about the kingdom of Heaven and he said that it will be filled with people who are humble like little children. 

I'm down to 50 many, but seriously, its been almost 40 since I opened my mission call, I can do this! I already have all of my mission clothes :) I just need the random little things now. My mom keeps laughing at me because every time I get something for my mission I start to pack everything up. Yesterday I tried on all of my clothes...then I folded them all and packed them into my giant suit case...finally, after I realized that they'd get all wrinkled if they spent 50 days packed away, I hung them up in my closet. I'm just so stinking excited to leave!

By the way, the church is true!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Missionary Moment

Sunday I woke up and went to a mission prep class with Kathy. It was pretty good, they mostly talked about preparing for a mission. One thing that they brought up a lot was being prepared for hard work. I've been working since I turned 16, I've given up time to hang out with friends, go to football games, basically have a social life at times, just to work. I know I'm not fully prepared, but I'm grateful for the jobs that I've had that have taught me the value of hard work. I know it will bless me out in the field.

So I have this friend who really wants Kathy and me to practice our discussions on her. After mission prep Kathy and I went into a classroom and talked about what we should teach. We knelt in prayer and asked that our minds would be opened so that we'd be able to know what should be discussed, and....nothing. We talked a little bit about what she was going through at the moment and tried to decided upon a lesson that could maybe help a current trial. Somehow we came across a talk from last Conference by Elder L. Whitney Clayton who told the story of a girl in a plane accident and went in search of help. She saw a light in the distance and struggled on until she reached it, where she found a kind man who quickly rushed to her rescue. 

When we shared this story with our friend, Kathy explained it in an incredible way that brought the spirit so powerfully. She said that we all have trials in life, we are all hiking through rough terrain that sometimes seems impossible to maneuver, but when we catch a glimpse of the light ahead of us we have to press on because when we reach that light, all of our burdens will be eased. Jesus Christ is my light and I shared a scripture that is Micah 7:7-8. The adversary has so much power to drag us down, to discourage us, and to make us feel the crushing weight of stress and hopelessness. But our Savior knows exactly how much we can handle and He is waiting for us to see His light and make our way towards Him so that He can deliver us from our sorrows and struggles. I loved the opportunity we had to teach today, it really helped me to see that missionary work is really about assessing people's needs and helping them to overcome certain situations in their lives. 

Another cool thing about Sunday, I got called and set apart as a nursery worker. I'm so excited for this calling! I love those little kids who are so innocent and have a perfect love for Jesus Christ. 

Only 57 more days! Washington, here I come:D

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Holiness to the Lord, House of the Lord

Tonight was the 6th time that I've been to the temple. So far I've been to the Ogden, Bountiful, St. George, and Salt Lake temples. The spirit that resides within the temple is so unique. My Patriarchal Blessing tells me to go to the temple regularly and often, and that "the Son of Man does manifest himself to His sons and daughters." I'm starting to see a little bit of what this sentence means, I've never felt anything more powerful than what I've felt in the temple.

My friend Kathy received her endowment tonight and I was able to go through with her. It's the first own endowment session that I've been in since I went through and it was such an exciting experience to be able to witness my friend make those sacred covenants. She leaves on her mission a week after me, so hopefully we'll see each other in the MTC!

I love going to the temple because I learn something new every time I go (which shouldn't be a surprise since I've only gone 6 times). But tonight I wasn't really looking, I was a little distracted by my thoughts and the fact that my friend was there for the first time. There is SO much that can be learned in each session, but I don't know what I should be looking for. When I got to the Celestial room I had the thought that I needed to start going to the temple with questions. That way I could be anxiously engaged in prayer and in the scriptures to find answers to my questions, with the Lord's help, in the Holy Temple. 

Unfortunately I don't have a temple in my mission. Hopefully we'll be able to go to a temple close by on occasion. I'm not sure how that works? But I know that I'll gain a testimony of how important the temple is since I won't have it 20 minutes away anymore. I'm grateful that Heavenly Father is sending me to this mission that seems to get better and better every day. I've heard such great things about my mission president and his wife and I'm so excited to get out there and spread the word of the Living Christ. Only 62 more days!...well, since it's 11:30 it's basically down to 61 days! :) Also, tomorrow is exactly 2 months until I leave!! But seriously though, who's counting?

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Dear Sister Hammond

Dear Sister Hammond:

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the Washington Federal Way Mission. It is anticipated that you will serve for a period of 18 months.

You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, October 28, 2015. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the English language.

I am so excited about this call, as soon as I opened it I could feel the spirit testify to me that this is where the Lord needs me to serve. One awesome fact about the day that I report, October 28th is my cousin Livvy's birthday. I feel so honored to be able to celebrate the memory of her by leaving on my 18 month mission on her birthday.

Before I enter the MTC, there is some training that I'm asked to do. I've watched the District; a short series about missionaries out in the field and their experiences. But lately I've been studying in Preach My Gospel. The first lesson is about Heavenly Father's love for us and the ministry of prophets up until the Restoration, including Christ's time on the earth and the Great Apostasy. There is so much to cover just in that first lesson, sometimes it's a little overwhelming. I mentioned this to a friend who is currently serving in Cleveland, Ohio. He told me not to worry, be myself and put my trust in God. He just gave me the best advice and let me know that I'll feel as if I know nothing, but if I keep studying and put my trust in Him, then I'll know what to say in the moment.

I can't wait to give my life to the Lord. I'm going on a mission because when it feels like my life's in the middle of a hurricane, my faith is built on the rock of my Redeemer. I want people to know that they're not alone, death is not the end, and they can do all things through Christ. I love this gospel and I know how true it is.

My missionary scripture is Alma 29:9 - "I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy."

God lives, this church is true, and I report in 63 days.