Monday, December 26, 2016

Week 61

Murry Christmas!!

Lighting the world one act of kindess at a time.

I love the Christmas season and it was especially great to be able to talk with my family this week. They sent me this cute blanket as a gift, it has pictures on it from the past 2 years and is a perfect reminder that I am called as a missionary to unite families together eternally.

So many great things happened this week that are a constant reminder that God is at the head of this work and He loves us. His love is so personal and it's never ending. I've been reading in the Book of Mormon and Nephi is quoting the Isaiah scriptures. This one stood out to me specifically this week. 2 Ne 7:1 "...Where is the bill of your mother's divorcement? To whom have I put thee away, or to which of my creditors have I sold you? Yea, to whom have I sold you? Behold, for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves..." then in chapter 15:25 "...but [my] hand is stretched out still" It is our own weaknesses that separate us from God. He is always there reaching out to help us work through our trials, we just have to be humble enough to accept His help.

"He is the Light, the Life, and the Hope of the world. His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. God be thanked for the matchless gift of His Divine Son." - The Living Christ.

Sister Hammond ♥

exchanges with Sister Wynder!
I ♥ christmas time
caroling at an old folks home last night! (featuring Steve and Kitty) plus the Elders in the background. ♥
our zone at the old folk's home ♥

Monday, December 19, 2016

Week 60

The Tacoma Mission

Christmas coming up this week has truly brought the spirit of Christ. I am so grateful to have the privilege of serving a mission, especially at this time of year.

-Our headquarter referral became a new investigator! But he lives in Tacoma so he'll be taught by the Tacoma missionaries. (everybody lives in Tacoma. Literally everyone we talked to this week is either from Tacoma, moving to Tacoma, or is visiting Tacoma...)
-Exchanges with Sister Bowman - We met a family from Guam and they'll be teaching them later this week!
-Had our mission Christmas party and our zone memorized "The Living Christ" and sung "I Believe in Christ" The spirit was in abundance because Christ truly is the Living Son of the Living God.
-Our mission did a 'Festival of Finding' - we went out with different missionaries in different areas and just knocked on doors for 6 hours. It was one of the most amazing days on my mission because WOW. People are prepared everywhere. We just have to have the faith to find them and then the confidence to teach them our unique message. We went to an apartment complex and found these 2 guys helping their friend move. We started talking to them and they don't have religion, but they do have a strong faith in God. Sister Peterson and I shared Joseph Smith's experience and she asked the guy, David, what he thought about that. His response was, "it reminds me of footprints." He then bore his testimony about how he knows God is always there for us because He carries us through our trials and always walks with us.
-Last night we went knocking on doors again and met a man who has also never really had a part in religion. Sister Erickson and I testified that God loves us and our families and has given us this gospel to bless us. He said yes when we invited him to be baptized. ♥

I've been studying the Atonement recently. Specifically Alma 42 in the Book of Mormon.

15 And now, the plan of mercy could not be brought about except an atonement should be made; therefore God himself atoneth for the sins of the world, to bring about the plan of mercy, to appease the demands of justice, that God might be a perfect, just God, and a merciful God also.

God, our Heavenly Father, loves all of us unconditionally because we are His children. Because of His love He's created a plan for us to learn and to grow and to return to live with Him and to become like Him. But in order for this plan to happen, He gave us our agency - the ability to choose. Which introduced sin into this plan. Because of sin and death we are eternally separated from God.  God has to be just. No unclean thing can live with Him. Jesus Christ is the gift that God gave us to overcome both sin and death. He pays the price for our sins and allows God to also be perfectly merciful.

I am so grateful for my Savior and for the Love that He extends towards me.

I love you all! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Sister Hammond ♥

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 59

"Thanks Elizabeth"

Every week just keeps getting better and better. We were talking with a man named Grant, in the middle of trying to testify of the Resto he looks at Sister Erickson and says, "Where are you from?" "Utah" "Not with an accent like that, are you sure you're not from England?" HAHA, positive. Then, we met a Ukrainian man who kept thinking Sis Erickson's name was Elizabeth. (Fit's with the British theme.) as we were leaving he said, "thanks Elizabeth!" We had to hold in our laughter until we'd walked down his long driveway. 

On Tuesday we went out finding and we were led to a incredibly prepared man, Dave Matthews. Brother Matthews has had a really rough past, he was released from prison a few months ago, and he has had a strong desire to rekindle his faith in God and go to church. Right off the bat, he said he would come to church this Sunday. We were very happy with that :) We were able to teaching him about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and later on, about the Plan of Salvation. He is really excited about everything he has been learning, and says that he feels like we have helped save his life. I know that truly it is the power of the Atonement in his life that his helping him have these feelings of hope and light. I'm excited to help him recognize this more too. At church on Sunday, we were waiting for him to come, and getting more anxious as the time grew closer for Sacrament meeting to start. During the opening hymn he still wasn't there, but we were keeping faith that he would show. Sure enough, in the middle of the hymn he walked in with his leather jacket, his hair long clean and braided, and his best blue jeans with the chains on them on. He enjoyed church and the members did a wonderful job at introducing themselves to him and helping him feel welcome. When Brother Matthews introduced himself to bishop he told him that he is getting baptized on January 14th. Brother Matthews is evidence that the Lord's prepared people are out there, and if we open our mouth and are worthy of the guidance of the Holy Ghost, we will find them.

He also told us that if we ever need a body guard or a mechanic, he's our guy HAHA.

One other miracle. Sister Erickson had the idea to start praying to have a head quarter referral of someone who watched the Christmas video and wanted to meet with the missionaries. She has a strong testimony of headquarter referrals, and we figured with the Christmas initiative it only makes sense that it would be a good time to receive some. Well, that exact prayer was answered the very next day. Robert Bartholomew googled "how to convert to Mormon"and was led to the Christmas video where he then requested missionaries. So cool. God is so good and answers the prayers of all of His children in the way that helps them the most.


Sister Hammond ♥

Monday, December 5, 2016

Week 58

The church fairy

Being in the South Hill ward has been amazing so far. The members here are great and there are so many places to go tracting! haha Sister Arnold, there's more than just 3 neighborhood for us to go to. ;) We visited one member last week and shared the Christmas video. Her calling is, as she calls it, "the church fairy" because she restocks all of the toilet paper and paper towels that are mysteriously never empty!

On Friday I got to see Sister Zavala and Hermana Huhem, the two other sisters that came out with me :)

I'm excited for this Christmas season and to be able to share the light of the gospel with the world. Heavenly Father loves His children everywhere. Isn't that a cool thought to think about? Yesterday we had stake conference and one of the speakers was Elder Stapleton of the Seventy. He spoke about how the Savior comforts us in our afflictions. He is the way, the truth, and the light. He is the living Son of the Living God.

This Christmas season provides the perfect opportunity for us to reach out and share our testimonies of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

I love you all!

Sister Hammond ♥

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Week 57

"Thank you, Officer!"

oops! We might have accidentally been involved in a minor car accident last night. But the Lord is so good so He protected us and also the poor other car. We were maybe going like 5 mph because we were just pulling out onto the street and bumped another car. The police officer that came was driving past, he was SO nice! Blessings.

This week has been one for the record book! Where to even begin?
-Thanksgiving was a blast! Had tons of fun from our adventures with the other missionaries. We got together with half of the mission and played sports, one of the Hermanas brought Book of Mormon Charades. Best game ever btw.
-Thanksgiving dinner was amazing and now our fridge is full of left over turkey and pies. I promise that when missionaries come over to your house we are not broke and starving. Everyone, literally everyone, feeds us or sends us home with stuff. ;)
-A missionary came home from Australia and had her homecoming on Sunday. It was so amazing and the spirit was so strong. She invited us over to share a message with all of her nonmember friends. That was pretty legit.
-Said goodbye to all of my Lake Holm ward members because I'M GETTING TRANSFERRED! :( We got the call on Sunday night and I'm so sad that I'm leaving. But it's okay because God qualifies us for the work no matter where we serve. I'm going to be going to South Hill in the Puyallup South Stake - same stake where I started my mission last year. It'll be great!

The church is true so #lighttheworld with Jesus Christ this year.

Sister Hammond ♥

Monday, November 21, 2016

Week 56

"What do missionaries do for food on holidays?"

With Thanksgiving coming up we've been asking people what they are thankful for. It's so fun to see how many people talk about their families. I always agree with them, so grateful for my family ♥

This week has been full of miracles. It started off a little rocky, but Elder Robert C. Gay of the Seventy came to our mission and called us all to repentance ;) We learned so much about what it means to follow the spirit and really trying to understand God's will. Sister Arnold and I have been working hard to follow the promptings from the spirit. We've also found some people that we're really excited to work with.

We taught a missionary prep fireside and had a Q&A afterwards. It was so much fun! One of the boys asked, "what do missionaries do for food on holidays?" everyone laughed. Answer? we have a 2 hour dinner with a family and then we get to go proselyte with a full stomache! It's a hard life ;) 

Sister Mitchell and Kevin got married! what a great experience. The ward came together and threw a little party for them. It was a lot of fun

AND ANDREW WAS BAPTIZED!! Isn't he a handsome little fellow?

I'm so thankful for the gospel in my life and the chance that I have to be a missionary and a representative of Jesus Christ. I am thankful for His sacrifice and all that He gave so I can become the person He wants me to be. I'm thankful for Washington and all of the people here. they are so amazing and every one of them has changed my life. I especially love the Lake Holm ward ♥ blessed have been here for 8 months. I am so thankful for my friends and family and for the examples that they are to me. Most importantly, I'm thankful for a loving Heavenly Father who watches over us. 

Have a great week! Happy Thanksgiving!

Sister Hammond ♥♥

Monday, November 14, 2016

Week 55

"Careful, he's a handsome fellow. Don't get distracted."

This week Sister Arnold and I have been praying for the Lord's help in finding people who will progress. We have seen so many miracles this week as we've been praying and studying more specifically to see what we can do. Most of our success this week has come as we've taken the time to be diligent with knocking on doors and finding for at least an hour everyday. Even when it's dark and raining! Haha! In fact, last night we met this really incredible man named Bud and his wife, Angela. They have an amazing testimony of the love that God has for each of His children. They said that even when they chose not to be obedient or to listen that God was still there when they decided to come back to Him. One of my favorite scriptures is Alma 26:37 because it says, "we see that God is mindful of every people, whatsoever land they may be in. Yea, his bowels of mercy are over all the earth." I know that this is true. Heavenly Father loves us each perfectly. That means that He provides the way for us to learn and to grow and to be better. He doesn't condemn us because of our weaknesses but He sees what our potential is and He provides the way for us to be better through His Son, our Savior Jesus Christ.

Another guy we met last night was pretty funny. He was probably in his early 20's. Not too interested because he's agnostic. (those people are annoying because they believe in something but they aren't sure what it is...ugghhh. Obviously it's God.) Anyways, we asked if he knew anyone we should go talk to and he said, "probably my friend Nick. Careful, he's a handsome fellow. Don't get distracted." #lifeofamissionary

Oh man, so we met this lady named Lupa. Since I've been in this area for so long I've basically met everyone (kay probably not but it seems like it ;) so I've met Lupa before and she wasn't interested. Soooo....because I had this previous knowledge I basically word vomited the Restoration and the first vision, shared 2 Ne. 31:10 and invited her to be baptized ALL IN ONE BREATH. It twas terrible. haha!! Sister Arnold and I were laughing super hard after we left her house. It was great :)

Happy almost Thanksgiving! I love you all!

Sister Hammond ♥

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one of our members has an iguana. brought me back to my childhood ♥♥♥
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Sister Shoemaker is a jollyologist. This means that she dresses up like a doctor clown and sings to people in the hospital. She's the coolest person ever.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Week 54

"I was probably the greatest average missionary"

We went to the house of one of the stake presidency counselors for Halloween. We carved pumpkins and hung out with the other sisters in our zone. Hermana Huhem was asking him (President Wilkenson) about his mission and his response was, "I was probably the greatest average missionary." haha, he's so great ;)

Something that I'm coming to learn and understand more about is how involved God is in each of our lives. I'm studying about faith this month and the scriptures are full of examples of how people choose to show their faith. I love in the book of Mosiah when the people hear King Benjamin's words and express how their very hearts have been changed! Faith leads us to want to change our hearts as we choose to follow Christ. Alma says that "the purpose of this life is to prepare to meet God." (alma 34:32) Well, we can do that when we choose daily to put Christ first. Every act that we do on our part to put off the natural man and become more like Him will prepare us to see Him again. I love the promise in Moroni 7:48 that says, "when He appears we shall be like Him for we shall see Him as He is." That is only possible as we make a daily effort.

I have gained such a love of the gospel while I've been here. I know that God hears our prayers! We had a cool experience this week with our investigator, Andrew. We took him to the Seattle temple and the family history Discovery Center right next to it. The spirit was so strong and he bore his testimony in church yesterday about how God has helped him and answered his prayers about the prophet Joseph Smith and President Monson. It was a tender experience to hear this 15 year old boy share about the love that he has come to realize God has for him. 

I'm so grateful to be on a mission and to have the opportunity to teach of these precious truths that bring us so much happiness. I love you all! Have a great week!

Sister Hammond <3

​We are family history detectives
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Andrew's on the other side of me. We dressed up as people from different time periods, they took all of the cool costumes so I tied the thing in my hair and decided I was from the 1920's.
Andrew got a new suit and a new set of scriptures. He was pretty excited when he walked into church :)

Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 53

Happy Halloween!

Sister Arnold and I went to a pumpkin patch and carved pumpkins last week. We had tons of fun, and Sister Arnold impersonated a scare crow.Inline image 1

Exchanges were also this week. Heavenly Father is funny because Sister Zavala is my STL so we went on exchanges together, and they just so happened to be on our year mark. BLESSED! We were reminiscing about our time so far and everything that we've learned. It's been a whole year since the MTC (oh, and I just found out that my MTC teacher is engaged. Congratulations Gretchen Brock!) Since then I can see that I've grown and changed a lot. The best way I can 
describe it is Mosiah 5:2-3 "...because of the Spirit of the Lord Omnipotent, which has wrought a mighty change in us, or in our hearts, that we have no more disposition to do evil, but to do good continually.
 And we, ourselves, also, through the infinite goodnessof God, and the manifestations of his Spirit, have great views of that which is to come..."
I've loved every minute of being able to serve here and I can't wait to see the Lord's hand in the work that we have to do for the next 6 months. Happy Halloween! I love you all!
Sister Hammond ♥
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the rain is coming down in Washington again! Say hello to winter time ♥ and goodbye to the sun ☼
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Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 52

"to resist the temptation to be physically violent with my siblings"

Last night we were in a member lesson and we asked the family how they have seen the Lord's help in their lives. Well, their daughter answered "He helps me to resist the temptation to be physically violent with my siblings." I think she wins the best answer award. That was priceless, plus the look on her parent's faces!

My new companion is Sister Arnold. She's been out for 3 months and I'm only her second companion. She's my 8th...haha! We've had such a great week together though! We've worked really hard with throwing our whole selves into the work. God has been blessing us. We were out one night this week and we still had an hour of knocking on doors, but then it started raining and it was dark and we just were really not excited for it. So, we prayed for God's help and went to work. About the 3rd or 4th door a lady answers and we start talking with her. As she's answering our question she pauses and asks, "would you like to come in?" That is the question that every missionary longs to hear! Sister Arnold and I were so excited. Her name is Michelle Baxter and we taught her and her husband and her daughter. We will be seeing them again tonight! 

Another miracle and tender mercy and AMAZING experience from this week, Elder Rasband of the Quorum of the 12 Apostles, Elder L Whitney Clayton of the Presidency of the Seventy, and Bishop W Christopher Waddell of the Presiding Bishopric (all leaders of our church) visited our mission this weekend. We had a special devotional for the missionaries and had the sacred opportunity of shaking their hands and hearing them speak. I know that they are called of God and special witnesses of Jesus Christ.The spirit taught me an abundance of truth as we were able to hear from so many key holders! First, that the Lord trusts me. That is incredible in and of itself. To know that Heavenly Father trust me, an insignificant and imperfect person with flaws and weaknesses. Second, we are called specifically to our areas where we serve through revelation. God needs us here. He needs Sister Arnold and I in Lake Holm! Third, diligently studying the scriptures and the life and teachings of Jesus Christ will change our very natures so we can align our will with God's. Fourth, the Book of Mormon is the evidence that what we teach is true. 

I finished the Book of Mormon this past week as well. I had the opportunity to pray again, to ask God if it truly is scripture. I know it is. I add my witness to that of the prophet Joseph Smith and Moroni and President Monson, and all who know for themselves. This book is true. There is no if's, and's, or but's about it. It can't be half true, or partly true. Either it's real or it is not. And I know that it is. It has changed my life and as I apply it's teachings it's shaping me into the person that God wants me to be. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I love you all.

Sister Hammond ♥

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our excitement the night before we met Elder Rasband!
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(I'm the one with the orangeish shirt on the front row, sister arnold is in white right next to me, Elder Rasband is the one with the blue tie in the middle.)


We found some lamas. like 6 of them.