Monday, July 29, 2013

Last Week In North Carolina!! (Week 5)

Wow this week has been absolutely crazy!! I have so much to talk about!

Sister Tanner's birthday was on Monday and Elder McKee's on Friday
Last Tuesday we had Zone Conference, and while Sister Craven was discussing the Dress Standards, President Craven tapped me and asked if he could meet with me for a minute. When we went into a room he told me that he had received my visa!! I honestly didn't know if I was happy or sad in that moment. I was definitely happy because I am so excited to get to France, but I don't want to leave Greensboro!! I just love it here! Luckily I got the best of both worlds. He told me that I was scheduled to leave on August 5th. (And August 3rd we are having THREE baptisms.) So I get to be here when the rest of our investigators get baptized! I just can't believe how perfectly this has all worked out for me!
We have had a lot of ups and downs this week. One of our investigators, Devon was having a serious problem with the Word of Wisdom. He got super irritated with us and told us he didn't want to meet with us anymore. The rest of that day we were so heart broken and we had no idea what to do. All we could do was pray and trust that Heavenly Father knew what was best! The next day we were visiting one of our new investigators, Roland. And as we were leaving we saw Devon walking by and drove up to him. He told us that he didn't call us because he thought we were mad at him and he told us that we could come back the next day! I think he realized how much of a difference we've made in his life once we weren't in it anymore. Even though it was only about 24 hours of separation, it was enough for him to have a change of heart! Now more than ever he's fully committed to baptism!! His baptism is August 3rd and I CAN'T WAIT. I know we're all going to be sobbing, so hopefully we aren't too embarrassing--since he invited his friends and family to all come to his baptism!

There are just too many miracles I've seen this week to write about all of them!! So on Saturday morning we went and visited with the Waldos. As I was stepping off the front porch I somehow lost my balance and twisted my ankle. I thought that it was ok and that it was just a temporary pain, so I walked around on it all day. By the time we were meeting with Devon that night I couldn't put any weight on it whatsoever. And when we got back to the apartment my foot ached without even moving it! Luckily we have the best Elders in the world in this area. Our zone leader and his companion came over and gave me a Priesthood blessing and our district leader came over and brought his crutches to us so I wouldn't have to move out of my bed. (This is a big deal because they are all out of miles and they probably added like 15 miles each to their odometers...they are just so great!) The next day my foot felt SO much better. But Sister Craven advised that I use crutches for the time being. It was highly embarrassing because whenever anyone asked me what was wrong with my foot I'd have to tell them "Oh I fell off a porch..." haha. I was so tempted to tell them that I was fighting off someone who was attacking my companions, but honestly who would believe that one!? Today my foot feels A MILLION times better! I don't even have to use crutches anymore! My foot doesn't even hurt. I'm just taking precautions so it doesn't get worse. I have SUCH a testimony of Priesthood blessings. I know for a fact that my foot wouldn't have healed this fast normally. I don't think I've ever been in so much pain as I was on Saturday night. And by Sunday night my foot felt almost completely healed. Miracles really do happen still!!!
Another miracle! Xavier Waldo just lost his job because he had been missing too much work because his newborn baby girl is having medical problems. Today at church Brother Lundrigan (who told us this story later at dinner that night), as he was talking to Xavier about the Aaronic Priesthood promised him blessings for the decisions he had been making to follow Christ. Right after they finished talking a man in the ward approached Xavier and told him that where he was working was hiring and that he met the qualifications very well. WHAT A BLESSING. When I heard this it was so hard for me not to cry! The Lord is so merciful to his children! I'm just so happy for the Waldos, they are such amazing people and they truly deserve the best!
I can't even describe how amazing my time in North Carolina has been and I know there are lessons I needed to learn here and so much faith I needed to build! My testimony has grown ten fold and it only keeps growing as my mission goes on! There is nothing better that I could be doing right now than to be sharing the message of the gospel with the people here in Greensboro! I have grown to love the people here so much, and the happiest I have ever been is being able to see how much joy the gospel is bringing to their lives. I love you all so much back home, thank you SOOO much for all the letters! I feel so loved! I'm sorry I don't have much time to respond, but just know how happy it makes me to get your letters! Keep 'em coming! :)

Beacoup d'amour!

Sister Everett

Monday, July 22, 2013

My First Baptism (Week 4)

Bonjour ma famille!!

I just love it here in North Carolina! I have seen countless tender mercies since being here, and the blessings just keep on coming! I first of all feel so blessed to be here at this time. I know without a doubt that this is where I need to be and that the companions that the Lord has blessed me with have truly help me to see what I can become! I am so grateful for the wonderful investigators that I have as well and for the opportunity to teach them and help them grow in their love for the gospel! I have so much to write about, hopefully I can get out what I want to say in a somewhat organized way...haha.

On Saturday I had MY FIRST BAPTISM!!! His name is Xavier Waldo. I'll tell you a little bit about him and his family. About 3 months ago (I believe) the Waldo family moved from New York to North Carolina pretty much out of nowhere. They had no real idea why they were moving here, they just felt like they needed to. About a week after they got here the sister missionaries first knocked on their door. The wife, Melissa, thinking that her aunt had sent them to talk to her, let them in. Later when she talked to her aunt, her aunt told her that she hadn't sent them. Melissa told us that if she wouldn't have thought that they were sent from her aunt, she wouldn't have let them in! As they progressed in learning about the gospel, Melissa told us that this was exactly what she had always wanted in her life, but didn't know she was missing it! How wonderful to hear! Our whole purpose as missionaries is to find those who are "kept from the truth only because they know not where to find it." Xavier was not always open to the gospel in the beginning, but as soon as he decided that he wanted to pursue this course, nothing was stopping him! When he found out that he couldn't smoke anymore he broke his cigarettes in half right then, when he found out he couldn't watch pornography, he cut up everything he had that was pornographic on the spot. From the moment we teach him anything, he fully and whole-heartedly commits to living the commandments of God perfectly!! They are just so prepared! He was baptized on Saturday and he will be able to have the opportunity to baptize his wife this Saturday because he received the Priesthood on Sunday!! I could not be happier for them and their decision to follow Jesus Christ! The Spirit was so strong at the baptism! During the musical number (a solo by me thanks to Sister Tanner volunteering me the day before), Melissa was in tears. She knew this was the right path for her and her family, and I could not be more blessed to be a part of their journey!

I just want to talk a little bit about Devon! Devon is the GREATEST. He is 17 and he is noticeably different from all of his friends. He truly loves God and wants to keep all of his commandments. Satan is tempting him so much, but he is so strong! His baptismal date is August 3rd and I just keep praying that I will be here to see that through! (But I've learned that Heavenly Father always knows whats best for me, so I just need to trust Him!) Devon has the most sincere prayers. When he prays he really is communicating with his Heavenly Father. He loves this gospel so much, and he always thanks God in his prayers for sending the missionaries into his life because we truly have changed him--isn't he great!? Keep praying for him to stay strong amidst all the temptation! I know Heavenly Father will bless him for his decision and so does he, but prayers never hurt! :)

It's truly incredible how well the Lord knows what I need. Since being here my French has improved SO MUCH. First of all, I have a native French-speaking companion and we have many French-speaking people in our ward! I get to have conversations in French all the time and I even get to teach lessons in French! North Carolina honestly could not be more perfect for me!

One last thing to talk about...MY COMPANIONS. My companions are the biggest blessing in my life! They are truly incredible. I couldn't imagine hand-picking better companions for myself. They are so good at teaching by the spirit and even when we are just talking amongst ourselves I feel the spirit constantly when I am around them. They have already become some of my best friends and we have only known each other for such a short time! I thank Heavenly Father every time I pray for my wonderful companionship. I am just SO BLESSED here in North Carolina! I know when I leave its going to be so hard, but I'll also know that the Lord has amazing things for me to do in France as well!

I love you all so much! Please write me handwritten letters! I hardly have any time to email so I can't really respond to anyones emails (unless its like 2 sentences haha). But if they're handwritten I can read it over carefully!

The Gospel is true! I love it with all my heart, and I encourage all of you to share it with everyone you know! It truly make lives happier and more blessed than you could ever imagine! 

Avec beaucoup d'amour,

Sister Everett

P.S. Read the Book of Enos! I just love Enos, he's amazing!

Monday, July 15, 2013


I honestly think that not getting my visa is the absolute best thing that has ever happened to me (aside from being a member of the church of course). I absolutely LOVE it here!! When I found out I was being sent here instead of directly to France, I admit that I was devastated, but the Lord definitely knows what I need and I have had unbelievable experiences here so far!! I can hardly wait to write it all down right now!

Sister Wene, Sister Everett, Sister Tanner in Greensboro, NC
First of all, I have the best companions on the face of the earth!!!!!! I'm in a trio with Sister Wene and Sister Tanner - both are training me. Sister Wene is from the Congo and is fluent in French! She came to America about 7 years ago and then joined the church. She is the most amazing sister. Truly inspiring. Sister Tanner is AMAZING as well!!! She has so much faith in Jesus Christ and when she bears testimony to our investigators she does it with so much power. I honestly could not be more blessed to have both of them in my life right now. We have soooo much fun together!! We laugh constantly (don't worry, we study hard too).

So my area that I'm in right now, I am using French CONSTANTLY! Shocking, huh? So since I have a companion who speaks French, we get to have an hour of language study every day. We also have a lot of fluent French speakers in our ward! I think it was on Thursday that Sister Wene and I taught an entire lesson in French! It was amazing and the spirit helped us so much! There was also a baptism for a young man named Ange - most of the service was spoken in French, and I said the closing prayer IN FRENCH (it was terrifying to say a prayer in front of a bunch of fluent French speakers!!!!) I never imagined how much I would be able to use my French, but the Lord knew just what I needed!

So on Friday both of my companions had to go to a leadership training meeting in Charlotte. That left me and one other new sister in the area next to us ALL ALONE. So the entire day it was just us two. I am definitely the more talkative of the both of us, and since I was the one who knew the investigators personally, I was the one to do most of the talking during our lessons. But wow, did the Spirit guide me! There is absolutely no possible way I could've taught how I did without the help of the Holy Ghost. The next day when we came back to teach one of the investigators, he told me I was the best missionary that ever taught him (sorry Sister Tanner and Sister Wene haha).

Sorry this email is going to be all over the place, but I just don't have a lot of time to email and I have so much to say!!!

So when I was with the other new sister on Friday she told me about this talk given by Elder Bednar. His idea was to take a missionary copy of the Book of Mormon (one of those flimsy, cheaper ones) and write a question on the first page (mine is "How can I help others come unto Christ?") and you read the entire Book of Mormon and find answers to that particular question! I think this is the best thing I've ever done! It's amazing how EVERYTHING in the Book of Mormon can apply to any question you have! And how you can relate stories in ways you never have before!! I challenge all of you to try this!!

Also...not a big deal or anything, but we have FOUR BAPTISMS IN THE NEXT THREE WEEKS!! Whoohoooo! I didn't have much to do with one of the sisters being baptized, but I feel like I contributed to the other three! Especially a 17 year-old named Devon! He is incredible. He has such a strong testimony and he KNOWS the church is true with all his heart. He is struggling with committing to baptism because he knows how important it is to be baptized and he doesn't want to mess up after he finally gets baptized! Last night, we went over to his house and he was super quiet. After awhile of talking with him he finally told us that earlier in the day he was going to call us and tell us that he never wanted to meet with us again. Our meeting with him last night was extremely emotional. Literally all of us were crying, but the Spirit was SO STRONG. The Holy Ghost led us to know exactly what he needed to hear, and before we left, he said the most sincere prayer I have ever heard and committed to continue working toward his baptism date on the 27th! If you all could pray for him to give him strength, he really needs it!
I really love it here, part of me never wants to leave! I just feel so blessed to have this wonderful companionship and amazing investigators who are so appreciative of everything we do as missionaries! I have never been happier in my whole entire life. I love this gospel with my whole heart and I know without a doubt that it is true. The Atonement of Jesus Christ is the most powerful and beautiful blessing and I have seen it work in my life and in the lives of our investigators. I can't express enough how much I love this gospel and I am so glad I have this wonderful opportunity to share it with others!! I feel like I've been on my mission for months! It's crazy that I've only been here for 6 days!!
I love you all, keep me in your prayers!
Beaucoup d'amour,
Sister Everett

Friday, July 5, 2013

Week 2 at the Missionary Training Center!

Bonjour ma famille!!!
I am absolutely LOVING my time here at the MTC. I am a little bit sad that I only get to be here for 2 weeks, since I will have a shorter MTC experience and because I love my district!!! At first when I found out that I was in an English speaking district and that I was the only American I felt SO out of place, but the Lord knows exactly what I needed and I couldn't be more blessed to be in the district that I'm in.
To clarify a couple of things, yes I am getting all of your letters! All of them! It's just an MTC rule that you can only write letters on P-day, so that is the only day you can be able to hear from me. I got your packages too! To everyone who has written me THANK YOU! I really do love hearing from you even if I never have time to respond... Also my district thinks I'm the most popular person in the world. One day my district leader Elder Gledhill came in with a stack of letters and Sister Oliveira said "Let me guess, they're all for Sister Everett." Elder Gledhill then said no and proceeded to give one to Sister Oliveira and then the rest of the stack to me. Also, we got to go to the temple last week, but it is not closed for like 2 months, so good thing we got there just in time!

Yes the rumors are true, my departure date is set for Monday! But I'm not quite sure if my visa is going to go through on time, so I may have to get transferred to a new district. We'll see!! I'm not sure if I can even let you know when I find out but maybe I could get back on and email later today when I double check with the travel office! Also, I haven't heard anything about a phone call, but possibly? And I'm pretty sure I will be travelling alone since there aren't any other French missionaries set for my departure date, but we'll see!
Elder Gledhill (left) and Elder Huhane (right)
So as a Sister Training Leader one of my responsibilities was to pick up the new foreign missionaries and take them with me and my temporary companion (Sister Perkins) to the devotional. As we were walking back from the devotional, one of the sisters said to me "Sister Everett is your foot ok?" I look back and realize that my foot is GUSHING blood. One of my more embarrassing moments since I've been here since I couldn't walk barefoot so I just had to leave my foot bleeding everywhere until I got back to the room. Then I had to ask EVERYONE for a Band-Aid and when I finally found one I had about a 20 person audience as I a sister attended my "wound" and gave me a Band-Aid. Moral of the story, never wearing those shoes again...
Ok so let me talk about my trip to San Francisco! On Monday I had to get up at 2 am and meet my temporary French district! [Photo Above] I thought there was no way in the world that any district could be better than mine, and then I realized that some can be just as good! This district is INCREDIBLE. They're all going to my same mission except for one Elder, so it was great to be able to meet them all and get close to them! On the way to the airport I sat by Sister Bragg (Sister Hodges I think this is the sister you were telling me to look out for?). She is the sweetest girl EVER!!! I'm so glad that I had such a fun district to be with all day because we were travelling a ton and it would have been miserable without them. When we finally got into the city we decided to stop for breakfast since none of us had eaten all day. We went to this little bakery on the corner (don't remember what it was called) but we thought we were so adorable for going to a French bakery when we're going to France... And me and Elder Pettingill both got the "Paris" breakfast sandwich. Hilarious, I know. But this part of the day was probably the highlight because the food was soooo good!! After eating breakfast we all headed over to the French Consulate. As we waited in line to get our visas, Elder Pettingill set the example and started handing out pass-along cards!! We were all just staring in awe as he connected with every single person he talked to. So he handed me a pass along card and told me to give it to the lady helping me with my visa. I was actually a little surprised when she took it! But it also seemed like she got pass-along cards all the time from French missionaries coming through. But hey, as a district we passed out 7 pass-along cards and 1 Book of Mormon while we were on our trip! I'd say that's pretty good! We were all so tired and delirious by the time we got back to the MTC campus that the rest of that day is still a complete blur. The Elders made sure to remind us that staying awake for 18 hours straight is the equivalent of being drunk. Drunk missionaries--super ironic.
Anyway, that was super exciting/encouraging that I was able to connect so quickly with the French district and something tells me that I will be with them soon because I'm pretty sure my visa isn't going to go through by Monday
Oh another cool thing, I met a CELEBRITY while in the MTC. Remember Elder Christensen from "The District" ? Yep, he was my teacher during our In-field Orientation workshop. Be jealous!
I also wanted to give a shout out to the best MTC teacher of all time, Brother Matthews! We could not be more blessed to have him! He is so inspiring and my companions and I are pretty sure that he is so close to being translated and just not quite there. But really, he is AWESOME. He always knows just how to inspire us and get us excited about going on our missions and finding success! He says success is all about attitude. Anyone can find people to baptize anywhere, if you have faith, your investigators with have faith (reciprocity). Another thing he always talks about is exact obedience. I know how important it is to be exactly obedient! When we are exactly obedient we WILL see miracles! So as a district we are working on this. Check out Alma 57:21, its awesome.
Sorry if I'm missing any questions that you had. I assure you that I'm doing SO WELL. Literally never better. I'm just so happy to be here serving the Lord!
Avec amour,
Sister Everett