Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Hello my lovelies! My goodness this week has FLOWN by! I know you all miss me oooooh so much, but I wish time would slow down!
I heard DFW had a hail storm?! I hate being away during April and May. Tornado season sucks and it makes me stress. However, I have full faith that the Lord will take care of y'all.
So, let's get this show on the road. Word of the Week, yeah? Get pumped!
Greenie Mail: Greenies get 10 times as much mail as they are entitled to get. I guess that's their revenge for us calling them greenies. It dies out though before they stop getting called greenies.

The Greenie Mail has finally ceased. Oh well. I see your love for me has diminished. It's fine. I've been out for two months. It's about time. Sigh.

SO. Let me recount this past week's happenings for you.
Last P-day was fabulous. We had Winger's for dinner again and that made me ecstatic! What is in that sauce?! We joined the Brickey family for Family Home Evening and we read out of Preach My Gospel with them to help their family get into the habit of learning from it just like Elder Ballard asked us. The Brickey’s are awesome. We love them to death. So, you know the guy from Daddy Day Care? The one whose face the little girls defile with makeup? Yeah, so Brother Brickey looks and talks just like him. I'm almost convinced he just got a buzz cut and died it blonde because DANG.

Tuesday, we went and talked to the Activity Day girls. My goodness, they're too presh. One of them asked us how to deal with bullies and it broke my heart. We did, however, give her some great advice and we bore testimony of Christ. While the world goes up in flames, the only thing that will stay constant is the Savior and His infinite Atonement and love for each of us. We handed each of the girls a Book of Mormon and challenged them to give it out in a month. All of the leaders accepted the challenge too. We have lots of families to follow up with now!

So, I finally had to take defensive driving.....because I got in a wreck.....three years ago. But hey! I got a 90 on the test so I am now "legal", if you will, to drive in the Idaho Nampa Mission. Why did I only get a 90 though? Well, a T/F question asked a statistic about drunk drivers. Now, is that really pertinent to my ability to drive? I think not....so if you ask me, I aced it!

We learned this week that Kenny, Grandma's son, has checked himself into rehab in......drum roll please.......Las Vegas! Ironic, right? But on a serious note, I'm so happy that he's taking that step. He went to rehab in California before, but he wasn't in a good place at the time. Now that he's found his testimony and he truly wants to stop, the Lord will assist him in doing so. Sister Ketring and I went to the Post Office on Wednesday to ship his Book of Mormon to him. Grandma asked us to write our testimonies in the cover, so we did. That was neat. Hopefully he will appreciate that!
We had dinner with the Brickeys. Did I already say I love them? We quoted Brian Reagan and played "Left, Right, Center". The game was a bit tedious but fun at the same time. Is that a plausible combination? I'm sticking to it anyways, mind you.

We taught Naomi this week about the Word of Wisdom. She's accepted the invitation and challenge to quit smoking. She got some teeth pulled two days later, so my guess is she's keeping the commitment! Haha! Naomi is changing rapidly and that change is so evident. She's become more spiritually in tune with the Lord and His will. It's so wonderful to experience her conversion to the gospel---and to the Lord, of course.

Friday was an AWESOME day! We went to the Vallivue High School seminary barbecue and literally the entire school showed up. There are almost two thousand kids. Wow. Mariah Funk brought her friend, Anne, a young girl who moved from Vietnam with her family about eight months ago. She and Mariah were talking about Jesus Christ and who he was. She has never heard of him. Mariah wasn't at all certain how to approach the topic so she brought Anne to meet us. Needless to say, we have a new investigator! We just ordered her a Vietnamese Book of Mormon and Bible. We're teaching her on Friday--my two month mark! Woo! After the barbecue, we went around to less actives and part-member families to invite them to come to the ward Easter parties that we had on Saturday. None of them showed up, but it's fine. At least they were invited!
We watched The Best Two Years with Bishop Barclay and his family. It was fabulous! Beyond accurate.....it was definitely a good time. Sister Ketring and I were laughing so hard at the accuracy!

This week was just fabulous.We found out we can use Facebook this week and we are so excited to spread the word on social media this week!
I wish every week was as good as this one! We're quickly approaching Naomi's baptism date! Sister Ketring and I are getting excited!

I love you all, and I hope everything is going well down in Tejas! I miss it! I miss you all! All is well in Caldwell, Idaho!

All my love,
Sister Tyler

Monday, April 7, 2014

Just a few pics!

Conference ROCKED!

Hey y'all! I hope you all enjoyed conference as much as I did! I also hope that you all got something out of conference--specifically, M. Russell Ballard's talk on following up and being a missionary because missionaries need the help of members to find people and to keep people active!

Something Sister Ketring and I realized this week is that we won't be in this area forever, so less actives should not have to rely on the missionaries to be fellow-shipped. What happens when we're their only friends and we get transferred? They go right back to being less active. SO. Do your visiting teaching and home teaching. Don't just throw names to the missionaries and do nothing to help. Semi-rant OVER :)

First thing's first: Word of the Week! Trunky Smile: The grin that is displayed on a departing missionary's face as he day dreams of movies, girls, swimming, video games, and swimming with girls. So this definition doesn't exactly pertain to me, considering I'm: a) 16 months away from home & b) a sister missionary. BUT, our zone leader, Elder Van Cleve is going home next transfer and his trunky smile is on his face ALL the time. It's eerie.....and quite funny considering he didn't smile at all last transfer. Clue #1.

This week has been filled with ups and downs and twists and turns. Satan is working hard to disrupt the work, but we've been pressing forward with full faith and increased effort. Two of our investigators dropped us: Chris and Priscilla, and Jenna as well. Chris and Priscilla are living together and they shouldn't be. We discussed the Plan of Salvation, and that somehow got brought up, however, neither of us said anything about it. We figured we'd wait until the next lesson to discuss it further. They texted us on Wednesday and told us they didn't feel comfortable with us and they want to discontinue the discussions. Fine. Jenna, the 15 year old girl who approached us at church last Sunday, got into a fight with her mom and no longer has her approval to be baptized. Jenna is, however, still reading her copy of PMG and her scriptures and she knows the church is true. The opposition rests with her mom. Dakota, also, erased his baptism date from the white board and we were confused. He wants to wait until he can come to church before setting a date. He can't come to church until after his senior project is done. He's doing it through a church, and if the pastor finds out he's been in with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he would drop him and he'd fail the project. If he fails, he doesn't graduate SO. We're playing it safe. Rescheduling isn't the end of the world....

Good came from this week though. I extended my very first baptismal invitation to Naomi after reading 2 Nephi 31 with her for the third lesson. She accepted the commitment and we've set a goal for her to be baptized on May 3rd! I am so excited! Not to mention General conference was this weekend and that's ALWAYS good! Our district kept joking about the prophet making THE big announcement: "Pack your bags. We're going to Missouri." Hey, it'll happen sooner or later!

So, I'm sure you're wondering about the April Fool's prank on the Elders, or maybe not, but I'm going to tell you anyways. On Tuesday, Elder Short (refer to car czar) called each companionship in our district and told them they'd be getting a car and to meet him at the Linden building. E. Hatefi called us IMMEDIATELY after and screamed into the phone. That was the start of a war. The elders got to the church and Ketring and I popped out and yelled "April Fool's!" They. Were. Livid. And they biked away in the cold, frigid rain....to make it worse. It's safe to say we woke up the next day to a saran-wrapped car. No big deal. We stole their ties.....all of them. Hatefi wore the same one for three days. Then they came into our house and Sister Neal allowed them to hide all of our food and send us on a scavenger hunt. Clever. It's all over. For now. We haven't decided if we want to retaliate or just leave it alone....I think we should just quit....or else we'll end up in the white handbook....or worse.....the INM Dictionary. Dun Dun Dun.....

So, it's been a bittersweet week. I'm grateful that I can have fun every so often to keep me sane. What was your favorite part about conference? I loved President Uchtdorf's talk about having an attitude of gratitude. "Put down the bottle of bitterness and drink from the goblet of gratitude." You can try to count your blessings, but as you do so, you will find they are uncountable. ALWAYS have gratitude! I love you all! Have a fabulous week, y'all! Be an example! Be helpful to the missionaries! Love, Sister Tyler

Second Transfer: Two scheduled baptisms!

Hello all! This week has been filled with blessings and so many lessons! 
Before I delve into this past week's adventures, let's start off with the word, or in this case, phrase of the week!
Pray About It: When you ask President Cannon for permission to do something that you really know is wrong in the first place, this will be what he'll say. It means NO.
Too accurate.

So last P-day was marvelous! We drove up to Jump Creek to go "hiking." It ended up being more of a walk down to the waterfall, but we climbed up the hills so it was more of a "halk." It's beautiful up there, nonetheless. The scenery from the parking lot reminded me of the Irish countryside. Very hilly and green. Y'all. I love seeing green everywhere. It's gorgeous. Not to mention, the weather was perfect. I got to wear short sleeves! YES! After the "halk", we went to Wingers (are you really that surprised?) with Elder Hatefi and Elder Reischman. So, E. Hatefi ordered a coke and they brought him a Pepsi. He was MAD. He reminded me of Mom when she goes to McD's and orders a Diet Dr. Pepper and they give her regular....not okay! But it was fine. Sister Ketring's mom actually sent her a Wingers gift card. YES! 

We went service tracting on Tuesday with Abby. She's a ward missionary now! First, we did spring cleaning at the Neals. That was an experience. Two words. Dusting. Sucks. We went over to the Siddoways, who were getting ready for their 50th wedding anniversary on Saturday. All we did was move a box, and then Sister Ketring played As Sisters in Zion on the piano. So, since we shared a spiritual message of a sort, that can count towards our weekly numbers, right? ;) Afterwards, we went over to the Dougals and pulled some weeds. We headed over to Grandma's, but she wasn't home so we looked across the street and beheld the house where the G’s live....Sister Ketring and I looked at each other and decided that we needed to serve those kids and their mom. We did their dishes. They were stacked. Their house smelled like a gerbil's cage that hasn't been cleaned out. The kids were dirty. Trash was EVERYWHERE. But we did it with smiles on our faces. Those kids deserve better but we don't know how to help them. I walked out of there with an attitude of gratitude for the home my parents built where Christ is the foundation, where love resides, where service is rendered. So, thank you Mom and Dad for loving me the way you do and for everything you've done for me! 

On Wednesday, I went on exchanged with Sister Wright! We went to her area in Homedale. We were BUSY. But I didn't feel like I had fun. The work was great...but I feel like I didn't get to express my personality with her. Hm. Oh well. We met some interesting people. One of their investigators has two sons, and they were running around blowing snot bubbles. Big ones. Gross....another investigator, Rocky, lives more out in the country, even though you can't really get more country than Homedale anyways. He's so obsessed with guns and hunting, you'd think he was from Texas. So, not knowing that holding guns was against the mission rules (sorry Mom!) I held a sniper rifle....yikes! He has at least 60 guns of all sorts. He also shoots cats. I like him. Sister Ketring and I were playing phone tag all night....I hated that. What did she want?!

So, when we exchanged back on Thursday, I was SO excited to have my companion back! Sister Ketring told me that Dakota has accepted the gospel and wants to be baptized. She and Sister Ammodt taught Dakota and Wednesday and asked him if he'd been praying about Joseph Smith and the BOM & he said he knows it's true because of Alma 33:14. SO Sister Ketring took that opportunity to extend the baptismal invitation and he accepted! He'll be baptized April 26th--Dad's birthday! SO exciting!
On Friday, we had appointments set, but our appointment with our previously "new" investigator was a no-go. Jamie didn't answer. Hmmm. But we taught Kenny and restarted the lessons with him and he is now gaining a better understanding of prophets!

Saturday was a LONG day! Mostly because of the anxious and long wait for transfer calls. We had breakfast with our district at the stake center and amid the chaos, we all received a voicemail from P-Can. We're staying right where we are! Woohoo! We headed over to the Montana building for a combined district meeting with Elder Fuller's district. E. Hatefi and Fuller gave an excellent training. We read through John 11, the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead by the Savior. The Elders asked us to think of ourselves as Lazarus. The point of the training was, we may feel dead, and we may feel like it's over and there's no hope and there's no where to turn. We may be "dead" for four days, four months, or four years, but we are not the only one who is suffering. Jesus wept because he had to wait to raise Lazarus. The Lord has to wait to relieve us of our afflictions because if He does it right away, we will not learn and we will not grow. It kills Him to have to wait. Our Father in Heaven is so willing to bless us, but we need to have faith and we need that growth. After those four days or four years, how great will be the day when Christ says, "Arise, and come forth." Always remember why we have trials and always remember how great that day will be when we are relieved from them and rise triumphant out of adversity.

Sunday was INcredible! After fast and testimony meeting, we were approached by a young girl, around 16 or 17, named Jena, and her friend Kelsey who is a laurel. Jena asked us how long it takes for her to be a member. SHE WANTS TO BE BAPTIZED! We set a date for April 26th, same day as Dakota, so we can ensure we get all the lessons in! AH! Blessings. We also taught the youth in 5th ward the importance of Preach My Gospel and why they should study it now. Ian Brickey, a youth, came up to us and told us that was the best combined YM/YW lesson he'd been in. Tender mercies. That night, we had a zone activity. Some members from another area put together a sensory presentation and it. Was. So. Incredible. We were blindfolded and walked through the life of the Savior--his birth, earthly ministry, atonement, crucifixion, and resurrection. They would put things in our hands such as hay to represent his birth, a nail to represent the crucifixion. We were helped onto our feet and walked around the room blindfolded, and helped carry a beam. I only felt a fraction of what the Savior felt. I was in tears. It was beautiful. At the very end, we were back in our chairs, and as they talked about the Savior coming to the America's, I felt someone take my hand---he represented the Savior. More tears. It was beautiful.

This week has been magnificent. I'm so grateful to be here. I'm grateful for the gospel and I know this is the gospel of Jesus Christ and this is the same church He established. The gospel is for everyone! Share it! I love you all!
Sister Tyler

Tracting...it actually worked?

Hey y'all! Happy last full week of March! I trust y'all're getting your April Fools jokes all set, huh? I know we are! We've got one of the Mission Office Elders, Elder Short (i.e. the Car Czar) in on the prank. So the plan is to have Elder Short call both companionships of Elders in our district and tell them that he's got a car to give and he's chosen them. Now, the mission office will be closed on the 1st because the new missionaries are coming--so he's going to tell them to meet him and Sister Short at the stake center on Linden to get the car. They'll have to bike all the way over there and Sister Ketring and I will greet them with one car in the parking lot: ours. Cruel, huh? That's the beauty of the situation!

It's that time again. Word of the Week. HBH: Home But Hiding. people that are home but won't answer their door. It's usually painfully obvious they're home. May shout "We're not home!" or send their 2 year old to the door to tell you the same thing. They are too cowardly to tell us to our face that they aren't interested in Exaltation. I can one-hundred percent testify that this definition is true. We once knocked on someone's door--a member--and the dog started barking. We could hear them inside shushing their dog. No answer. So, my loyal readers, when the missionaries knock on your door, either answer it or make sure we can't hear you inside or else we will laugh at you and write home to our families about you. That is all.

Sister Ketring and I are going hiking up in Jump Creek today with our zone--on a real hike--with hills--real inclines--on actual mountains. Hopefully the weather will be good to us. It's pretty sunny right now. Exquisite. It's been in the 50s and 60s here in the afternoons which has been absolute bliss! Before we venture out of Babylon into the wilderness, I'll tell you a little bit about my week. The Lord has blessed me in so many ways. As I look back and ponder on this past week, I can truly see the Lord's hand in every situation I've come across. Blessings have been presented in so many different forms whether it be by receiving a prompting and acting on it thus leading us to an investigator, a box of letters and goodies from the Beehives back home, a golden referral, a compliment, and more. This week has been filled with blessings! Let me share my week with you! Monday-For P-day, we hung out as a district and attempted to go bowling...no luck. Bowling tournaments were going on...I though people just joked about bowling leagues...whoops. While we were walking back to the car, something caught all of our eyes--not literally though so don't worry! We saw a man riding down the street on his bike in booty shorts and a long black wig. I quickly came to a realization that there are many people in the Caldwell/Nampa area who are in desperate need of the gospel....and maybe some additional therapy.

Tuesday-A GOLDEN REFERRAL! They exist! The APS, while teaching an older lady, came across her daughter, Priscilla and her husband, Christ. They are a part-member family--Priscilla is a less-active and Chris isn't a member. We stopped by their house in Pamela's Loop the day we got the referral. Christ answered the door and their dog, Lucky, ran out into the yard. Sidenote: If you think Dakota and Annie are hyper, you should meet Lucky. Although, he is super obedient unlike the beasts that reside in the Tyler home. But anyway, Christ is SUPERB! He even told us he and Pricilla and the girls would be at church on Sunday before we even invited him. Hence the "Golden Referral." We had another lesson with Dakota and this time, practically his whole family joined us and we got to know them all a little better and became more comfortable. Dakota's parents, Dale and Lisa, are now taking the discussions with their son!

Wednesday-The four week follow-up AKA the new missionary meeting was today. It was grand. Much counsel was given that opened my eyes to the importance of the work and my purpose. I also got to see the sisters from my MTC zone! AH! I've missed my sweet Sister Gubler. She's doing pretty well and is currently serving in Cuna! Her companion, Sister "Happy Happy" doesn't speak a lot of English so that's been a struggle for her--but hey! Sister Gubler is learning Tongan...in Idaho. Who ever said Idaho wasn't or couldn't be exotic?! We met with Kenny tonight to work on overcoming his weakness--vodka. We established that his testimony will not progress until he puts the bottle down. Any advice?

Thursday-Today could have been busier and more productive, but it was fun nonetheless. We went to district meeting--that's always....interesting. Then we went to McDonald's. Really y'all. My district has a problem. I can constrain myself from the poison, but Elder Ngatuvai (Nag-too-vie) downs like five McRatchets every time we go. Then we went to Sister Saben's with Elder Hatefi and Elder Reischman to make enchiladas. So basically we ate...just to eat more #firstworldproblems.

Friday- WE TRACTED TODAY WHAT?! It's like pulling teeth to get Sister Ketring to tract but I'd been feeling strong impressions that we need to go tracting at least once a week. We chose to go today. We drove over to Bishop Stratton's neighborhood in 12th ward and parked. A prayer was said and we were on our way. We walked down Tricia St and literally every. Other. Door said, "No Soliciting." We knocked on about seven doors. Three of the seven opened their doors for us. All were receptive to the message of the gospel. First, we met Roxanne, who was a little hesitant to open her door more than a crack, but she was super sweet and as we conversed with her, the fear she had crept away and she put on a smile. She invited us back! A couple doors down is a woman named Samantha. We saw Easter decorations on the windows so we decided to share a message about Christ and the resurrection. She invited us back, too! The last house we found success at was Jaime's. Jaime opened the door and was totally receptive. We bore the good news about Christ and she smiled and said, "I know. Christ is wonderful." We have a return appointment with her so she is now an investigator. Roxanne and Samantha are potentials but I have faith that we'll get them! or at least we will help plant that seed so when the time is right they will come unto the fold. Blessings! Nothing but blessings! We met with Dakota, Dale, and Lisa again and found out that Lisa was baptized during her previous marriage! The reason she became less-active was because her ex-husband didn't wear a tie to church and some women from the ward scolded him and told him not to come back without a tie. OH NO THEY DID NOT! Offense is real and can be the reason for someone's downfall. That's why we should always act out of love and not out of spite like those women did. On the subject of Dakota's ambition to be a preacher, we found out that BYU offers a seminary program and you can be paid to be a seminary teacher. Plus BYU is dirt cheap, SO. He's now considering BYU. BAM. I love that family to PIECES. I got a package from the Beehives today! They are just the sweetest!

Saturday-DeAnne and Tiffany invited us into their home this afternoon. We discussed DeAnna's concerns about Joseph Smith and the first vision. We gave her scriptures in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon that validate and support each other so she can study and come to know of the truthfulness of the gospel for herself as we guide her through the lessons. We committed her to read the BOM and to pray about it. Hopefully she will be receptive to the spirit when He testifies of its truthfulness--that same spirit that led her to Sister Ketring and I in McDonald's just the other week.

Sunday!-I made it through yet another week! Chris and Priscilla and the girls were at church today! They loved it! Everyone was so warm and welcoming to their little family. Chris looked radiant. You could just tell that he could feel the spirit. It was awesome. Priscilla asked me during Relief Society if her girls could serve missions when they're older and I did and internal fist pump! She's thinking long term...yes! I've felt so loved by the members today. Grandma pulled me aside before sacrament and said, "Sister Tyler, I was looking at you the other night and you just glow. You are so radiant and just downright gorgeous." The compliment may have been rendered by an 83 year old, skydiving granny, but it really meant a lot to me as I've struggled with self worth. That compliment was a tender mercy of the Lord. He knew that I needed that today. Mariah Funk, one of the laurels, gave a talk today and quoted me. To be quite honest, I don't even remember what I said exactly, but apparently it was profound and it stuck with her since the night of the youth fireside Sister Ketring and I taught. I wanted to burst into tears having been given the affirmation that I have already touched the life of someone here in Caldwell. Me. Sister Tyler. That was yet another tender mercy. Mariah announced from the pulpit that because of what I said and because of the example Sister Ketring and I set for her and the youth, she is now preparing to serve a mission. How can anyone deny the hand of the Lord when they can see Him working continuously in their lives? After this week, especially, I can never doubt the tender mercies the Lord has granted me. Kenny said something really funny during sacrament. Grandma's phone started ringing after the blessing on the bread, and Kenny goes, "It better be God." GOLDEN. We walked out of 5th ward this afternoon to find our car covered in Mormon.org cards. THOSE ELDERS.

All is well in Caldwell. I am working as hard as I can as a representative of Jesus Christ to bring other unto Him whether they be of another faith, less active, or active. I love being a missionary. I love having the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost and to feel of His power and influence in a way I've never experienced. My mind has been opened more than I thought possible and I am learning so much. I know with the entirety of my being that this is the gospel of Jesus Christ! Have a fantastic week everyone! Remember who you are and whose you are! My favorite little bit of wisdom from my favorite and only of course, Mom! See what I did there? I love you all to PIECES! I miss you BUNCHES!

Love, Sister Tyler

PS. If you're wondering what this so-called "McRatchet" is, it's a McDouble and a McChicken stacked on top of each other. It looks so gross....

Four Weeks Down!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day, y'all!
The wind is FIERCE today. My hair is not agreeing with me, but it's fine<--definite sarcasm. How was spring break? Only two and a half months until summer, right?!
First thing's first, word of the week! Backer: The missionary who stands behind the car while the driver reverses to "guide them out of parking spaces." They often get hit because no one cares or pays actual attention. 
     No worries y'all. I may be the one backing, but my companion actually pays attention...sometimes.
     This week has been QUITE a roller coaster, but it's been very spiritually uplifting. 
My companion and I have made a goal to put forth nothing but our best effort starting tomorrow. Playing has become dominant over work and it's caused us much grief and embarrassment when we reflect on our week and find that we've only taught...I don't even want to tell you how many lessons.
I've prayed so much for a change to occur in our companionship that would allow the desire to work to increase. Let me tell you, I've been praying for the same thing since the first week. It got worse and worse. But then Zone Conference happened and P-Can (President Cannon) passed out a talk by Jeffrey R. Holland entitled, "Teach the Atonement" and he laid down the law---as always. Elder Holland emphasized the importance of the white handbook and work. He said, "When we send you home, we'll say, 'If you want to play, play." That really struck me. I am not here to play. I'm here to work. In addition, one of the missionary recitations came to mine. "Teaching of Ezra Taft Benson." President Benson says, "I have often said one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work. If a missionary works, [she] will get the spirit. If she gets the spirit, she will teach by the spirit, and if she teaches by the spirit, she will touch the hearts of the people, and she will be happy..." Sister Ketring and I have both been struggling to feel the spirit and I know it's because we haven't been giving our best efforts to the Lord and to our wards. Following Zone Conference, we had a really great talk with each other, and my companion realized that she needs to work. That was such a blessing. 
     So, given my intro to this email, this week hasn't been very productive. We tried to visit less actives and got through to some. In fact, we were sitting at McDonald's one day, and this lady comes up to us and starts talking to us about how she left the church and wants to come back and her daughter was walking her dog and found two sister missionaries.....come to find, it was her daughter Tiffany who we had met two weeks ago, and we tried to visit but no one was home and we didn't have a phone number. So we made an appointment for Sunday to go to her home and talk to her about the gospel. Well, during our 4th hour of church (2 wards, remember?), we get a voicemail from Diana. She had changed her mind about wanting to come to church and called to cancel. Nope. We still went over. She opened the door and talked to us despite the voicemail. She told us her concerns. She used to be a Jehovah's Witness so she has heard MANY things about our church. Her main concern was that if Satan can disguise himself as an angel, that Joseph Smith might now have actually seen God, the Father, and Jesus Christ and that the Book of Mormon is really of the devil. However, I bore witness that the Book of Mormon is good and there is nothing good save it come from God. The Book of Mormon talks about Christ as does the Bible. The Book of Mormon teaches all to come unto Christ. Then, Sister Ketring asked Diana, "What drew you to us in McDonald's the other day?" That question caused Diana to think---to really think. She responded, "I don't know. Something did." And that's when my awesome companion testified that it was the spirit that had lead her to talk to us on Wednesday. Diana realized that she is, and I quote, "in the midst of a spiritual war." It's so true. We are ALL in the midst of a spiritual war. The adversary will NOT claim a ceasefire. He wants to win more than anything, and he will not quit until he does. We always have to be on our guard. We always need to remain close to the Lord. I was so grateful that she acknowledged that. She also agreed to meet with us on Wednesday and to come to church with us next Sunday! Never give up!
     Also, on Saturday, we met a man outside some Elders' house (we were giving them a ride to lunch with the district) smoking, who turned out to be a less active. While we were waiting for the Elders, we approached the man and talked to him a little bit and then invited him to attend church. All it took was an invitation. Elder Fuller and Riley texted us and told us he was at church with them on Sunday. He may not have been a less active in our area and it may not have counted as anything for our companionship, but we still fulfilled our purpose by bringing SOMEONE unto Christ.
     It's amazing what can happen when we are in tune with the spirit. SO many blessings. 
     I miss you all! Have a fantastic week! 
Sister Tyler

PS. I'm sorry Texas doesn't have a Winger's Bar & Grill. It's heaven on Earth. That's all.

Idaho ROCKS!

'Ello loves!

First off, I must make mention of the exquisite sunsets that take place here in Caldwell. I've been missing the big ol' Texas skies that I love so dearly & being able to witness such beauty is very comforting to me because God knows exactly what I needed this week. A good sunset always calms me down. But really, Idaho is absolutely beautiful. I see the mountains in the distance everywhere I go. There are trees EVERYWHERE. Guys....the grass is actually green and not artificial....whoa! Idaho is stunning.
Well, I just passed one month as a mission five days ago! I'm starting to get into the swing of things. I'm getting more and more comfortable talking to people and teaching. I still have learning and growing to do seeing as I am still a greenie, but hey everyone says they can't tell I've been out for only a month. Now, I can't seem to discern if they're just saying that to be nice. It may be the same as, "She has such a sweet spirit," with an underlying meaning of "She ain't pretty." Take it how you want it? But anyways, I'm halfway through my first transfer in the field!
How is Tejas? Mom told me about the ice storm...yikes! That's Texas for ya. If there's one thing I DON'T miss about the Lonestar state, it's its bipolarness/bipolarity/whatever the right term is. Mission brain has already taken over. Sorry 'bout it...Idaho has had a mix of sunshine and rain this past week. On Thursday, it was raining off and on ALL day. The rain would literally come out of nowhere! And I forgot my umbrella while we were out contacting members....oh well!
I absolutely LOVE my district. Elders Hatefi, Reischman, Ngatuvai, and Stradling are just awesome and downright hilarious. I guess Sister Ketring is cool too...just kidding, she's UH-MAY-ZING. We are all really close. Sister Ketring and I are constantly giving these Elders rides and doing things for them because we just love them. They're like the brothers I never had....oh wait....KIDDING!
We have named our district #District6. It is in no way related to that of The Hunger Games trilogy. Speaking of which, I saw Catching Fire on the shelves at Walmart and about died. I had to turn around and walk away before I went crazy. But hey, it's quite alright! It'll be way, WAY discounted when I get home. Now back to my district and missionary life and what we do for fun. We have decided that we will allow pranks. Oh yes. Sister Ketring and I were sitting at McD's (I hate it even more now because we are there ALL the TIME #brokeuntilnextmonthbutnotreally) & we saw Elders Stadling and Ngatuvai riding their bikes across the road. We took a picture of each individual then proceeded to Walmart to print copies. For three days, we got our stalking fix. It was great. We'd tape pictures to their door, send the picture to them with the return address "I C U" and made a sign that read, "Have you seen me because I see you!" We pinned the actions taken on the Zone Leaders, or as we like to call them, the Zone Lords. But we finally called it. Last night, we had to give Stradling and Ngatuvai a ride to Mission Prep so we taped each of their pictures to the back of our headrests. This. Is. What. Missionaries. Do. For. Fun. Don't even worry about it.
Basically, this week has been such a struggle. It's been a struggle because mission brain has become dominant over my own brain. It's like someone parked the Strug Bus (short for struggle bus), I got on and now we're traveling down an ENDLESS road called U B STRUGGLIN. I rest my case.
However, many good things have come out of this week. For example: our companionship got a hold of The Idaho Boise Mission Dictionary & The Idaho Nampa Mission Dictionary. Yes, these exist and they have been revised over the years. They are HIGH-larious. I'll share one a week. The word this week is Car Czar: The office Elder who coordinates all things having to do with the INM vehicles. On occasion, will relate going over miles to the Atonement unless you are a bike Elder in which he will remind you that you have unlimited mileage.
Now, on a serious note, we taught lessons to our two investigators and Kenny G, the less active man we've been teaching. On Friday, we met with Naomi. I think I forgot to mention her in my last email--sorry! Naomi is an older woman who lives with her son, Bruce (oh hey!). Brice is less active, but about 9 months ago, he gave his mom a Book of Mormon but no one followed up with her! She was a bit hesitant to let us in the first time we knocked on her door but she did and we got to know her a little bit and she is one awesome lady. We saw her again and taught her about the Restoration. We invited her to read the scriptures because she didn't follow through with her commitment to do so the first time we met. She responded to the invitation with, "Well...I've been thinking," and immediately my mind goes 'oh crap.' But she continued by saying she wants to and will read the Book of Mormon every morning when she wakes up!
Following the lesson with Naomi, we went over to Dakota's to teach him about the Plan of Salvation. Sister Ketring asked him what his thoughts were about our first parents leaving the Garden of Eden. His initial response was, "Adam really screwed up." Following that remark, we discussed why it was good for Adam and Eve to leave and how it was, in fact, a part of Heavenly Father's plan for us. We read with him in 2 Nephi 2 about the fall and why it was essential. We talked about how Satan was really just played at his own game when he got Eve to partake of the fruit and then Adam. Every time we would read and stop to see if Dakota has any questions, he would say, "I did but this just answered it." It was just an awesome lesson! The scriptures answer all questions.
Now, Kenny G wants to receive the priesthood. He wants to go to the temple. He wants his patriarchal blessing. He's been trying to get his life in closer harmony with Christ's teachings. On Saturday when we met, he asked us to talk about the commandments. So we did and we invited him to live all of them included the Word of Wisdom and the Law of Chastity. He said, "I'll try." Normally I would be completely fine with that phrase because it's good. However, he needs to DO it. He needs to tell himself that he WILL keep the commandments. That way, he will have a greater motivation to do so. Next time we meet, I will bring up 1 Nephi 3:7. "I will go and DO the things which the Lord hath commanded....." 
We all need to be like Nephi. We need to go and do what we need to do. We need to endure. Enduring to the End is a HUGE principle of the gospel. It doesn't stop at faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentence, baptism, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. What good are those things if we won't ENDURE?
Be obedient. Choose the right. You will be blessed for it. The Lord is BOUND when we do what He says! We have his PROMISE as long as we keep our lives in harmony with His gospel. 
I love you all! Have a FAN-tastic week! Don't be afraid to open your mouths!
Until next week,
Sister Tyler