6.27.2016

Living in the Sticks :)

I LOVE GREENWICH!! So we had a few miracles this week! :)

New companion, Sister Hayward.
First was Doug. :)
We were trying to find some investigators and we decided to try the former investigators and then knock on the neighbors doors as well. So we tried this Former who doesn't still live there and then went to knock on the door of his neighbors and we got to talk to this old man named Doug. He told us that his brother was a Mormon and lived in Salt Lake so he can just talk to his family out there if he wants to know more. We were persistent though and we kept talking for a good 10 minutes on his porch. When we finally got the memo that he was not interested we left and just went about our day. That night we had a few teaching appointments so we were not in Greenwich. Sister Patrick was over at the church though and guess who showed up. DOUG! He came to find us! he said that he had been driving around looking for us all day! He felt like his Brother sent us to him. Miriama got his number and told him that we would contact him asap! It was a MIRACLE! We were so happy!! then when we got to see him again he told us that he really didn't want to learn more but he realized after we left that we came by on his brother's death anniversary date, he felt like that was some kind of a sign. But ... not a sign to join the church? Any way.. we sat and talked and hooked him up with Family History! So he should be calling for an appointment soon! :) So glad that we could gain a friendship though that maybe later other missionaries can teach him! :) or us! I have faith!!! :)
Beautiful Greenwich, New York.

Then Belinda! :)
We met Belinda after a lesson with a Less-Active member (who came to church this Sunday by the way). Belinda lives across from the United Church in Stillwater. She was out on her porch and we got to sit and talk to her about life and about how religion has helped her in her life. As we talked to her she had struggle after struggle that she was going through and we both felt prompted to give her a Book of Mormon. She said she would keep it by her while her husband was going through surgery and she held it like it was the most precious thing ever. We had a great conversation with her and I am so glad that we have been able to find so many amazing people here in Greenwich! :) I know that we are just planting seeds everywhere :)

We are loving the area though and are finding amazing people with amazing stories. We have picked up a lot of potential investigators and we are feeling like the work will definitely pick up soon! :) We are teaching some less-active members and some recent converts and we really are planting seeds :) Sister Hayward and I are so excited to see what this area becomes!! LOVE YOU ALL! Keep Smiling :) Have a great week!!

Love: Sister DeVries





Yay!!!  Groceries from home.

Havin' Fun

Yummy! Chocolate milk.

6.20.2016

Bobby--The Flash Dancer

"I can give you a little sample of my show right here?" "Um.. how about you don't Bobby" Haha!!! Bobby was a little tender mercy of Sister Hayward and I's week! It was great! I'll talk about him a little later but ....

HELLO FROM GREENWICH EVERYONE! :)

Last acts of service before leaving Vestal!
So leaving Vestal was really hard. I am going to miss those people like crazy and also Sister Baxter. We had some really fun times before I left though and I am super excited to see her when I get back home! When Sister Hayward and I met each other at transfers we just ran up and gave each other the biggest hug! When we finally got to our area we got out of the car a little lost not  knowing where to go.. and Bro. Patrick (Our Landlord/ Branch Mission Leader/ Lives Beneath us) came running out saying "you are the funniest looking Elders I have ever seen and then was so excited he squeezed us into a giant group hug. We were not expecting that ha!ha!
 Then his wife comes out screaming "SISTERS!!!". Apparently, no one in the branch knew that Sister's we coming. They have been praying for Sister's to come for years and just have never got them, they have even asked Pres. Rogers for Sisters and he said they probably would never get them. So they were shocked! We have received the warmest welcome from this Branch! They are so excited that we are here and ready to help out with the missionary work! We love them so much already!!! :)  A few Sundays before we got here I guess a High Council man kinda slipped and said something to the affect that "the missionary work in this area is going to quickly progress." SO WE ARE READY :)

Sister Hayward and I are alive and well. Let me tell ya about Sister Hayward! She is from Provo, she is 19, and she came out a transfer before me. We are getting along great! Sister Hayward is so funny and positive and great at talking with people so we are just living it up here in Greenwich. :) We weren't left with a lot of leads of things to go off and we were left with no investigators, so we are FINDING! We have been trying to get to know all the ward members this week and receive referrals from them. It is working and we are slowing finding people who we could potentially teach. We have had really cool experiences as we have been tracting and OYMing (talking to people on the street "Open Your Mouth".. I know its weird haha..) There are two that I think have been super cool :) One was Deena. Sister Hayward and I were out walking in Cambridge another small town just 10 mi outside of Greenwich, I was headed one direction turned to see where Sister Hayward was and she was half way down the street headed to talk to a lady outside. haha! As I caught up with her we sat and talked with this lady, Deena, at first it was just causal conversation and then she out of no where mentioned that she lost her husband and that it has been super hard on her. I know that her spirit recognized us as servants of the Lord and that it opened up the window for us to testify to her. I felt the strongest prompting to give her the Book of Mormon and tell her to read Alma 40 and I talked to her about how hard it was for me to go through the death of Aaron and how this gospel was what helped our family through it and we know that we are going to be able to be with him again. As we both sat there crying together she said "I know we were meant to run into each other today." I definitely know that too, Sister Hayward and I loved her so much in that little time we had with her I am so glad I have a companion that followed the prompting to walk the opposite way and that Deena's spirit allowed her to recognize us as servants of the Lord so that we could teach and testify of His restored gospel. I know this church is true!! Next is the Bobby story I know you have ALL been waiting for! :) so we were walking down the street and we turned the corner and I saw this man with a "I ❤ MY KIDS" shirt on and I said "Hey how are you?" and with his old man swag he just started up a conversation with us. Bobby was singing up a storm and telling us about his flash dancing business. He was hilarious!!! :) It was so fun to sit and chat with him and we were able to talk about the gospel with him a little bit as well. He has seen the Hill Comorrah Pageant and he knew that we were Mormon's so we were able to sit and chat more about what we believed. Only problem was half way through us talking... Bobby told us he was deaf! He really had no clue what we were saying half of the time. He was just reading our lips!! He was really good at it too! But it was soooo funny!! He just kept singing and dancing and offered to walk us to our car and told us that if he could go back in time he would date both of us! He was just hilarious!!! :)

Everyone is so friendly here and we really are loving the work and this area. We are just going to keep working hard and we know we will have people to teach :)

LOVE YOU ALL!! :) HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT WEEK! :)

Bubbles with Sister Baxter

6.16.2016

TRANSFERS...WHITEWASHING ROUND 2

This was a week of miracles! Lesson to everyone who is setting long term goals! Be careful how you word them. :) .... haha! Heavenly Father has quite a sense of humor! We set goals at the beginning of this transfer that said "by the end of this transfer we will have... 1 baptism.. 2 on date... be teaching 1 family... and have 3 member present lessons a week" Didn't know we were going to find all those people who could be prepared and help us meet those goals at the END :) So grateful I was here to see all the miracles though!!!

So I am getting transferred to Greenwich! It is an Elder's area right now so me and Sister Hayward are being whitewashed in! So President obviously has a lot of faith in my whitewashing abilities. I am so excited though! When I heard the news I just had this feeling that it was exactly where I needed to be! So I am excited!!! Sister Baxter will be staying here and training again so that will be fun! I am definitely going to miss Vestal and the people here but I know that I need to go to Greenwich! And I am soooo pumped to do work!!! switching an Elder's area to a Sisters. I am pumped! I am going to make the area the best its ever been! :)

So this week was amazing!!! :)
Miracle #1:
It first starts with the miracle of Kirkwood! We headed out there to work, it is the farthest out our area goes and is almost 10 miles from our house so we planned a day out there and we went to have lunch at a park and we met Clarence. He has met Elder's before in Greene they helped his buddy build his house and he just lost his wife. We testified to him of Eternal families and he said he eats lunch at the park every day so we could come back and see him! He is amazing!
Miracle #2:
Then we went to tract on apartments and we knocked on this door and a guy named Logan opened it. After we asked him if he was religious or not, he immediately opened up and said "I actually just lost my grandma and I am trying to be more religious because of it. So we set up an appointment to see him next week! Like WHAT? People are prepared here!   But wait.. there is so much more! :)
Miracle #3:
We had to get our car's oil changed and so while they were doing that, we went for a walk on the rail trail to try and find more people to teach. We handed out a few cards about the Hill Cummorah Pageant and then we got to this one guy named Ruddy, we stopped and talked to him for a good 15 minutes! We did a quick restoration and he agreed with all that we were saying! He knew we were Mormon's but he was still willing to listen! He accepted the pamphlet and when we walked away he was reading it! Also, we went to subway to use the Bathroom and I decided I wanted a drink and it was free cookie Friday! Dang.. Subway is the best!!!
Miracle #4:
Then we taught Lentz. He is from Haiti and we tracted into him last week and he told us we could come back! We taught him the restoration and we kept having distractions it wasn't going well at all, and we both really felt like we just needed to get to the Book of Mormon. So we testify of the Book of Mormon and he grabs it and says! "Oh, yes. I Know this!" He then told us that while he was in Haiti he had a friend who was teaching him about the gospel and he was reading this book with him and that he was about to go to church but then he got his papers to come here. LIKE WHAT??? He is so excited to learn more and then to tell his friend in Haiti!! :) We are going to baptize him! :) I know the Lord is aware of his children! He has the 99 but he is still looking for the 1!! AHHHHHH!!! MIRACLES.... but wait there is even more!!!!!!
Miracle #5:
We went tracting again and we ran into a family from India. We testified of how Jesus Christ can help our families be closer to this lady and she let us right in! She told us we could tell her more! We taught her some of the How to Begin Teaching points and invited her to come to church. She said that she has seen a difference in her life and the lives of those she knows who believe in Jesus Christ and said that she would come to church and bring her kids! (unfortunately, they didn't come! but... they are still a golden potential)
Miracle #6: This is just a serious of Miracles because the whole day was amazing!!!
New York's Amazing
This is the most miracle of all miracles. When we started our prime time last night we didn't have any set plans but tracting. We decided to really involve the Lord in our finding efforts and as we got to the place that we had previously decided to go and prayed to know where we needed to go. I had a subtle prompting to just get out of the car and walk around the block. Sister Baxter felt like we needed to go to the Anthos Apartments. So we decided to just follow both. First we walked around the block, we ran into a couple who was out walking. We asked if they had ever talked with missionaries before and they said that they have friend back in Arkansas who are members of the church and the man asked if we were out doing our 2 years of service so we talked to him about missions for a while and then invited them to go to the pageant. I know that the Lord placed us in their path for a reason. Even if we are not supposed to teach them at this time, we really left a good impression of missionaries and what their friends kids are doing. Then we went to Anthos, we knocked on a few doors and then we knocked on this one. It was my turn to do the door approach and I decided to use the Hill Cummorah Pageant invitation, I knocked and a little girl answered she was super scared to see me but I just asked her to go get her mom and her mom come up and I just said "Hey, we are missionaries for our church and we are just out inviting people to see a play about Jesus Christ. I know that when I saw it as an 11 year old girl that it really changed my life and made me into the person that I am today." She then sat and talked to us for a good 10 minutes about how nice it was that we were coming out to invite her and how it gives her hope for the world. She said that if he daughter could grow up to become like us she would be so happy. We then told her that the things that we teach are how we were able to be this happy in life and asked her if we could come share more about it and she said "Of Course, you got a paper and pen and immediately gave us her number! The lord is leading us to people who are so prepared! :)  Then when we were done tracting there we turned to the Lord again to know where we needed to go. It was 8:15 at night, we didn't have a lot of time and I had the thought to go to the trailor park. I was not excited about this thought... I was thinking "Heavenly Father, It is late and creepy there. That is a really unsafe prompting." then I had the thought "You're doing my work. Don't you think I know, I am going to protect you." I told Sister Baxter and we agreed to follow it. When we got there we said another prayer to know which street we needed to go down and I had a prompting of the street and 4 trailers that we needed to knock on. As we knocked on the trailers, no one was answering then our 3rd trailer this lady let us right in. As I walked in I looked at the wall and what did I see... OUR JESUS PICTURE!!!! The LDS Christ picture was up on her wall. LIKE WHAT!!!!!  We told them that we were just out inviting people to come see a play about Jesus Christ and his gospel and a man named Jacob got up and said "Really, Cool where at?" Then we just testified of Jesus Christ and I asked them about the picture, Junie Mae said that someone gave it to her while she was in the hospital. It was amazing!!! They are willing to learn more about the gospel as well! Miracles happen when you work hard people! :)

This area is amazing! I am going to miss it! But, I am so glad I was able to see so many miracles. I know that the Lord listens to our prayers. He is aware of each of us! No matter how hard it gets, there are always miracles awaiting you at the end :) I am so glad I was able to  see that this week! :)
Zone


Having a silly moment!


Amazing New York

6.09.2016

TEMPLE ROAD TRIP!!! :)



 It was such a blessing to have the opportunity to go to the Temple this week. The Talley's are the best and they took such great care of us. I really felt like I was going to the temple with family :) I love them so much! I had an amazing experience inside the temple and it really has helped me receive strength to continue to fine people  to teach. This gospel is true and everyone needs to partake of the fruits of it. I can not wait to take a convert to the temple! I AM SO EXCITED TO GO BACK!!! We also got the chance to go to the sacred grove! As I walked into that sacred place I felt the spirit so strongly. Every doubt left my mind. I know that this is true! This gospel is true! Joseph Smith is a true prophet! God and Jesus Christ appeared to Joseph there. God reveals his plan of happiness through prophets! If you doubt any of this, READ THE BOOK OF MORMON, pray to know it's truth! I know that the Book of Mormon is true! It can bring such a spirit into our lives and it is the convincing evidence that all of this is true! Never entertain your doubts, when you have all the evidence of the truth in front of you. We then had the chance to go to the Hill Cummorah. It is so beautiful and it is true! I know that all of this is true! I know that my mission is sacred ground that I am walking where some of the Book of Mormon prophets walked as well as the First prophets and apostles of this dispensation. Everyone promise me that before you entertain any doubt that you will pray and read the Book of Mormon, they have the power to cast out Satan. I love the temple and I know that this gospel is true! I am so grateful I was able to strengthen my testimony this week.

So this has been quite the week. We have had sets of ups and downs, but in the end we are fulfilling our purpose and that is really what matters.  I have felt the truthfulness of the promise in Doctrine and Covenants 1:38 this week. That as the Lord's servants we are speaking by the power of His voice. That the things we promise people will come to pass as long as we are speaking by the power of the spirit. I remember one of our first lessons with Karen, we promised her that "as you live and apply the Gospel of Jesus Christ you will improve your quality of life". We just had faith that it would. Karen has made crazy progress, she is preparing for baptism and she is "improving her quality of life", she has moved into a better living situation and miracle after miracle has happened with her. When we first met her she wouldn't even talk of look in our eyes. Now, we laugh and joke together and smile as we talk about the gospel. This is changing her life, and she is changing mine. I know that I am on a mission for a reason and I know that a Lord has a purpose for each of us in his work! He is placing people in all of our paths and he wants us to help them. Reach out to those who are lost, we are all running the same race. Why not help someone along the way! It makes me super sad when I see people who have become less active because they were never fellow shipped. Don't let that happen! No effort goes unrecognized by the Lord :) Just keep trying! He will lead and guide you in what you need to do! D&C 4:3

Alright!! Now... this week has been a fun one as well.. so I know the best part of the email! :) the funny stories! I hope I can do them all justice!

This week we ate dinner at the Magleby's they are just the cutest family ever and I love being with them! We were playing with Teddy before dinner and we started to read a book of Letters. We got to "T" and he said, T is for Tree, Teddy and Texas. In the cutest little voice ever! Ahh it just melted my heart! Then we were teaching the "tea bag" object lesson to their family. Sister Izatt told Teddy to come listen and he runs and sits on the couch and says "I am ready to wisten to the missionaries." Ah.. Then we started and he said.. "hey where are the noodle lights". In our last lesson we used glow stick and He apparently slept with the glow sticks that night! He is the best! I love him and I am so glad that I have had the opportunity to meet this family! They have made a huge impact on my life. I have wrote down so much advice that I have received from them and stuff to remember later in life. I just hope I can have a family like there's one day! :)

When we were driving back from the temple, I got the worst case of hiccups ever! I was hiccuping and laughing and there was not a dry eye in the car. They were so loud too! Sister Baxter now just wants me to always have the hiccups, because they make her laugh! :)

Well, LIFE IS GREAT! MISSIONARY WORK IS GREAT! :) Stay strong everyone! Keep smiling! :) Love you all!!

Sister DeVries







6.05.2016

Reality check.....

This week was much needed. I had a lot of reality checks this week. I am done being trained in 3 weeks and transfers will be then. I realized... you only have a little time to make a difference in each area that you are assigned so you might as well give it your all and make it the best experience. I am so glad that I realized this early in my mission. After this realization though, I started to wonder if I have given Vestal my all, if I have been a good enough missionary for the Lord. I started to have feelings of inadequacy and discouragement. Then we had a day where our plans fell through and then the back-up plan fell through and nothing was working out. We had a lesson with one of our investigators and realized she hasn't been comprehending a lot of what we have been teaching her and I started to get really discouraged. I thought, I must be doing something wrong. I prayed pretty long and hard that night. I had a thought come to my mind "Bailey, you are doing enough..." It was exactly what I needed to keep pushing through and make the best of this week. I committed from that night forward to give it my all. I wasn't going to serve a mission forever. I was going to have the chance to serve the Lord and the people of New York as a missionary for 18 months. That is it! I just need to make the most of it! Coolest part of this new realization though was as I tried my hardest to make the best of the rest of the week, I was sitting in Sacrament on Sunday and was overwhelmed as I looked around and realized. Not only do I know these people but some of them have come back to church because of our efforts. We are sitting next to a recent covert and a new investigator of ours and on a bench full of people I consider my family now. I love this area and I know that even if we don't always see our success immediately it will come. Don't ever give up serving as hard as you can and leaving it all in the field, one day you will realize you've  done more help then  you ever thought you did. Forget yourself and go to the work. I really needed to learn that this week and I am so grateful that I did!Alright, Now to the business of the week. We have a new investigator. The Endicott Elders helped her with some moving work and she said she would meet with us. She is so sweet and as we taught her the restoration you could see light bulbs going off. Mary has a Catholic background but seemed to soak in and relish in everything we were telling her. We see her this week to see if she read the Book of Mormon and prayed to know if the message is true. She really sounds pretty golden! :)
Tender Mercies, a Puppy!!!
Then Karen is progressing so much! :) She came to church on Sunday and opened up. I love teaching her and watching the progress that happens as she accepts that God does love her and that he wants her to return back to live with Him again. AH... I just love this gospel!! :) We also went to teach a less-active member, Sister Button. She wasn't coming to church because her liberal views didn't work with what the church was saying. So she said she didn't want it anymore. Then as we let her talk out her problems and concerns, she resolved it and had an "ahah" moment. She realized none of this matters, It will all be over soon and what really matters in the end. She realized that her heart really needs this gospel and that she knows it is true! It really was such an amazing change, as we retaught her the Restoration it was amazing to see her light up as she realized She KNEW IT!! :) She knows it is true and wants to come back!!! GUYS THIS GOSPEL IS TRUE!! NEVER DOUBT IT!!!!!  
Dog gone tired!
Keep the eternal perspective in mind that we all sometimes lack. I love Sister Button's example to me. Just a few funny stories: So every set of missionaries in this ward has a car mascot and the Endicott Elders started off by stealing them. Then we stole them back, then Binghamton stole them... and Now .. The ward is involved. We are creating this big game and it is really hilarious. Haha! :)  We have created alliances and everything! It is pretty great! Moral of the story! No matter what your circumstance or age..don't forget to stop and have some fun! :) 
Hangin' with the Elders.



Well that's it for me! I love you all!! I hope it is a great week for everyone!! :) Sister DeVries 
Gotta love the Sister Missionaries



following the Straight an Narrow!
Intense planning meeting!