8.30.2016

JSH 1: 15-20






SYRACUSE SISTERS!!!
This week has been an amazing week where my testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith has once again been strengthened. I have always loved applying the Joseph Smith Story to my own life. When I was a young women and watched the Mormon message ORIGIN (https://www.mormonchannel.org/watch/series/mormon-messages-for-youth/origin-1) I have always tried to liken the stories I read to myself. Well this week I came to understand this part of Joseph Smith History much clearer.
JSH 1: 20

"It seems as though the adversary was aware... that I was destined to prove a disturber and an annoyer of his kingdom; else why should the powers of darkness combine against me? Why the opposition and persecution that arose against me..?"




The adversary is aware of us as his missionaries. We are also endowed with great power that helps us withstand that temptation but this week I got a little taste of all the tactics he has.



My testimony has been strengthened of the Prophet Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon this week as Sister Dillard and I have been studying for our Specialized Zone Training. We have read numberless talks and watched the Restoration: Through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Something that stood out to me in all that we did is the opposition that Joseph faced as he tried to restore the church and within the early years of the church. I made a commitment to myself that no matter what opposition I faced I would continue to defend Joseph Smith and the gospel principles I knew to be true. As I made this commitment many things happened. My testimony increased, my desire to share the gospel increased, my conviction in my door approaches and talking with people increased. It was all looking up. :) And it still is. However, this week I received anti materials in the mail (yes.. I am the lucky one), I got sick, our plans fell through all week, Greg was sick all week. It was just one thing after another. But as the tactics became stronger so did we. We truly are the Lord's missionaries and this is truly His work. He is aware of us and all that we are doing here and I am so grateful that I got to go through such a real experience and to have been prepared by the Holy Ghost to help me fight this very real battle we all are fighting. He is real but we are stronger :)


This week was great though! We saw so many miracles. We gained the trust of a former investigator's wife. He was perfect and so prepared but his wife was a little jealous so we started to work with her first and it seems to be working! They are from Kenya :) So that was a miracle!




We also had Zone Specialized Training. We had to do an hour of teaching and workshops as the Sister Training Leaders and it was so fun! We bore such great testimonies of the Book of Mormon it was so fun! I absolutely loved it! It is weird how new I am though! I feel like I am still a super young missionary but technically I'm moving into the older missionary group!! WEIRD!! It was so fun to see all of our Sisters though :)




We didn't get a chance to see Greg this week but he got permission to leave for 4 hours on Sundays! SO CHURCH NEXT WEEK!! I am sooo excited!!!




Ariel's set on date for October 8th!! We are so excited for her and she is super excited! she is practically planning her whole baptism herself :) It is awesome!! She is so amazing!!




Well.. we are doing great here in Syracuse!! I love it here!! LOVE YOU ALL!!! HAVE A GREAT WEEK!





Sister DeVries

8.22.2016

"Sunflower Seeds"

Hey Everyone!  It has been an amazing week here in Syracuse!! and it has FLOWN by.. Sister Dillard and I were talking about it last night. We have been soo busy this week and really focused on all the work going on here! It is amazing!!




Sporting their  Syracuse gear
This week we had a really cool opportunity to go  clean a home in preparation for a refugee family from Kenya to move in the next day. WE LOVED IT! It is so fun helping out the community here! People really need it in this area. So many people are struggling and a lot of refugee's come here from other country's I am so glad that we get to help out in any way that we can. I doubt there are a lot of refugee families coming into Utah but if there are... it is amazing supporting them. They come often with so little and are so grateful for all that we have given them. Most of them are also just seeking friends. They have no friends in this country and that is all they want. The Brethren were truly inspired when they encouraged us in General Conference to help out in this great need. It is truly amazing work happening here! :) Also.. all the little refugee kids love us.. and want to give us hugs every time. It melts my heart.


So off to the 'Gators ;)


Greg is AMAZING!! We brought Bro. Bond out to the lesson with us this week and Bro. Bond was so impressed with Greg. We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ and we were talking about the principle of Enduring to the End and all the sudden Greg chimes in and says "yeah.. it's a lot like Nephi." Then he proceeds to give a parallel of how Nephi constantly has to keep overcoming new obstacles or responsibilities that the Lord gives him. Doesn't mean he doesn't question (like Nephi and building the boat) But he always does it. He keeps moving forward because he has faith that he will see blessings! LIKE WHAT!? Who gave you the Book of Mormon! :) Greg is AMAZING!! He just gets it! He is understanding the scriptures better than anyone I know! He just eats it up! We have only known Greg for 2 1/2 weeks now and he has already got to 2 Nephi and is progressing so quickly! He really is amazing!!! I want to grow up to be just like Greg. :) Near the end of the lesson Greg says "But I have developed a new serious addiction while I have been in the hospital." Sister Dillard, Brother Bond and I were just waiting to here something serious.. then Greg with the most serious face and tone of voice he can muster says "Sunflower seeds". We all just laugh and I say "Well.. I guess we will just have to talk about that one next time." haha!! Greg is the best! We taught him the Word of Wisdom the next lesson and he completely agreed. He said yup.. I have done them all and I know that it distanced myself from  God and I am done with that life. I need this. He then committed to live the Word of Wisdom. Greg is progressing so quickly! He is so prepared. I just get teared up in all of the lessons I have with him and he bares testimony of how this gospel is changing him and how grateful he is for it. I know that I was meant to meet Greg. He has came into my mission at a time where I truly needed it! He has made a bigger impact on my life in the last 2 weeks then anyone else. I am so privileged to be one of the first missionaries to teach him.



Ariel she is ALSO amazing!! Ariel is ON DATE!! finally! her mom said it is okay if she is baptized! She did it! She waited the year! I am so excited for Ariel! She is already such an amazing member! She is going to be even better!! She is so great! LOVE HER!!! :)




Everyone else is doing about the same. We did find a new investigator named Justin! He seems to be pretty prepared and sweet! What is the best part is he contacted us! So he really does have a desire to learn more! :) He is awesome! :)




Sister DeVries and Sister Carruth
We had exchanges this week with Oswego!!! Which means I was with SISTER CARRUTH!!! IT was soooooooo much fun!!! We worked so hard and saw so many miracles! We went tracting together and we found 6 people in an hour. Only 3 of them spoke English! But we have a lot of Spanish and Arabic materials now that we need to get! :)  She is such an amazing missionary and I am so glad that I am able to have so many best friends in the mission!  This mission is full of amazing missionaries!! Which.. btw!! I found Elder Nipko! His area kiddie corners ours.. so he is in our zone and at our building playing basket-ball with the Elders all the time!! :) So we finally got a picture today for all of you!! :)
Sister DeVries (Fremont Silverwolf)  Elder Nipko (Weber Warrior)




Well I hope you all have a great week!! :) LOVE YOU GUYS!!





8.15.2016

 He Hears Me (2)

The District









First I will do a little follow up on the progress of everyone! :) 








Carveion: is on date for baptism on Sept 24. :) He is such a sincere guy! He really wants to learn and he is starting to really read the Book of Mormon know and is finding peace and comfort in reading it! It is sooo amazing! He is is pretty cool! 
THE SYRACUSE SISTERS!
Stephanie: left... she is no where to be found.. so its just all up to the Lord. I love her so much and I know that it was best that she left the situation she was in but it is hard to let her go and have no way of contacting her. She will definitely find the missionaries again though! She loves the Book of Mormon and church too much not to!!

The man in his 60's... we might have to drop him.. he isn't reading and he doesn't want to live the Word of Wisdom. He might need a break for a while...

Greg: had lots of chemo this week so we didn't get to see him as much but we taught him the Plan of Salvation and HE LOVED IT! He has started reading the Book of Mormon and was likening it to himself and the situation he is in, it was so cool! Then we were teaching the Plan of Salvation and it pretty much was just a group discussion. We started to talk about why we need the atonement and he said "Cause everyone has a Personal Apostasy" ... like "Are you sure you weren't already baptized?" Greg is amazing! he loves the idea of the 3 kingdoms. He knows that it is true! He is amazing! I really love teaching him!! He makes my day! 


SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY!


Ariel: Ariel has been investigating the church for a while, she had to take the lessons for a year before her parents would let her get baptized and guess where we are at.. THE YEAR MARK!!! So the weekend after conference :) It is amazing! She is such an amazing girl! She is 20 and EVERYONE in the ward thinks that she is a member! It is so funny! she has even given a talk and she takes Less-Active members to church! She is a better member then anyone else I know! We had a really amazing lesson with her where we just bore each of our testimonies about the Restoration. She knows it is true! I love her to pieces. I am convinced we are going to be best friends :) 

These are the top progressing investigators for you! But we are finding new people constantly! This area is really booming!! We have had a really busy week but also a lot of cleaning of the slate! It is amazing though! The Lord is just preparing us for miracles.


I had a really cool experience this week. I was struggling. Yes I know Mom. Don't get worried. Missionaries struggle.. And I knew that I needed some extra help. I prayed so hard and I made a promise with the Lord that if I did all I could to work as hard as I could that day that he would help me with the areas that I was struggling in. It was the best day of our week! We were DRENCHED! We worked in 3 different heavy rainstorms, but it was worth it! I was truly happy! I know that the promise in Preach My Gospel is real that "More happiness awaits you than you have ever experiences as you labor among His children." I know that the Lord truly blesses us as we strive to be obedient to him. (D&C 130:21) He knows what we are going through and he knows that we need help. I have loved strengthening my relationship with the Lord I know that as I am willingly to submit to His will and make promises with him, he will always bless me. I know that this is true for all of us, sometimes sacrifice brings the best blessings.


Love you all!! Have a great week! :) 


One of Bailey's best friends is getting married.


8.08.2016

"Do you need to go to jail? No? Sweet! Wanna get baptized?"



THE 'CUSE!!!!!

Syracuse is the bomb!! Such  a great place to find people! I practically travel the whole world in one day! It is such a melting pot! It is so fun!! Keeps things interesting and for the most part everyone loves Jesus! So that is a plus for the Jesus People (a.k.a us) :)


So we had some really cool experiences this week I will tell you about one and then I will get into the investigators. We had dinner at the Stanton's house.  Sister Stanton's husband is not a member and he came to eat dinner with us and told Sister Dillard to pray for rain because we weren't having any and they own a huge Horse Ranch. So she prays for Rain. 15 minutes later. IT'S A DOWN POUR!!!! So cool!!! He comes back into the kitchen and says "YOU CAN COME AND PRAY ANYTIME!!" It was so cool!! Then when we were about to leave I prayed again for the rain and it came down harder. I think her husband likes us now! haha!!! :

MISSION LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE

We also had Mission Leadership Conference this week, my very first one. It was so great! I know that the Lord is really leading and guiding this mission and we are just his tools. It is amazing to be apart of such a great think tank to get this mission growing and improving!! I love the NYUM so much!! :)

PEOPLE WE TEACH!!! :)

SISTER DEVRIES AND SISTER DILLARD
Carvien : Carvien is sweet! He is probably 18 and he is such a nice kid! We knocked on his door one day and taught him right there. He is really struggling in life and wants to find answers to all his questions and he wants to be more religious. He is just an 18 year old boy with agency who keeps forgetting to read the Book of Mormon but he really likes what we teach. He is awesome!!

Rutagrama's: The Rutagrama's are from the Congo! They are the sweetest family ever! The two girls were baptized right before I got here. There is one more girl who needs to be baptized. She doesn't want to be though because she has no friends in the ward. She says that the Missionaries are here only friends in America. How sad is that!!! I LOVE HER SO MUCH though and I am so grateful that we get to be considered her friends. She always gives us the biggest hugs. We just need young women in the ward so she can feel welcome. But we are working on it! The Recent Converts are so cute! They are my favorite little kids ever!!!! I absolutely love them all!!! :)

Stephanie: Stephanie is amazing! She really loves the Gospel. She knows that it is making her a better person in the short time that I have been her she has been coming to church for 2 weeks in a row and wearing more modest clothes around us. She is also quitting smoking and is doing everything she can to prepare for baptism. Stephanie has some road blocks in the way though. She  is a young mom and has 3 kids. Two of which are living with her and her boyfriend right now. She is so great! She is changing!!! She is amazing! I love her so much and I know that she is going to be ready soon. We just have to get rid of these road blocks!!

There is a man in his 60's and he is super cool. He really likes learning about Christ and he is starting to take steps of repentance without us really even having to tell him. He is in trouble with the law too though so we have more roadblocks we have to pass before he can be baptized. But he is doing great and progressing nicely.

**Hence the title... a lot of our investigators have to go to jail before they can get baptized.. haha Syracuse problems**

Greg: Greg is my favorite. Greg is a Headquarter Referral. Which means that he requested a visit from the missionaries himself. Greg is really sick. He has cancer and has been given a time limit on his life. He has investigated the church in the past and has a lot of Family and Friends that are members and he decided now is time to try it out. To see if it is what he needs. We taught him the first lesson about the Restoration of the Gospel and the Book of Mormon and we were about to leave him with a commitment to read and pray when he says. I am glad you gave me this Book of Mormon because I need to read and find out for myself. He is awesome! He is so prepared to hear the gospel! He was definitely a tender mercy!  I just started to cry during his lesson. This is the moment I have been waiting for in my mission. I knew that there had to be someone out there who was just searching to find this and Greg was. I know that my hard work to get to this point was worth it! I am so grateful that I have been given the opportunity to serve here!!! I LOVE SYRACUSE!!!


Well I love you all!! I hope you have a great week!!! BYE!!!!!



IT'S A JUNGLE OUT THERE!
















8.01.2016

 S Y R A C U S E --- Talking with people my own age.... weird.





SISTER ANNIE HAYWARD AND SISTER BAILEY DEVRIES


So this week has been pretty eventful!!! Leaving Greenwich was so weird. I didn't feel like I had been there long enough to leave, it was sad. It was really hard to say bye to the people there but I made some life long friendships there and I can't wait to see all of them again!!

GREENWICH BRANCH


LOVE MY SISTER HAYWARD





SO... I DYED MY HAIR... that is new! I don't particularly love it... but it is growing on me. It was a last minute "I need a change" act. It is a change alright! Funny the things we do as missionaries to feel like we are switching it up when we are wearing the same clothes EVERYDAY! haha!!! :) I love it though!! Missionary life is the best life!!! :)
LOVE THIS BRANCH


Now... Syracuse!! Syracuse is so much fun! There are so many different types of people here! We are teaching SOOO many people. I have had more lessons in a day here then I have had in some weeks on my mission. It is definitely a good change! I absolutely love it!! Sister Dillard is such a great missionary too!! She is 20 and she is from Las Vegas. She is really good and talking about ANYTHING with EVERYONE! It is super cool we have conversations with everyone on the street! It is great! she is super bold and doesn't back down from an opportunity to talk about the gospel either.. Which is something I need to be better at! So this is a great learning experience.


SISTER DEVRIES AND SISTER DILLARD

I love the Sister's in the Zone too. We made phone calls this week to make sure everyone was doing okay and all is well in each area and it was so good. I got to talk to Sister Carruth!!! I miss her so much and can't wait to go on an exchange with her. She is such an amazing missionary and is just killing it up in Oswego!!! It is crazy! She hasn't moved yet and I have moved 3 times already!! SO crazy how each mission is sooo different even if your called to the same place!



"YOU'RE HEADED IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION"

WE are teaching a lot of people. I love them all!! I have only taught them each once though so I can't really tell you guys tooo much about them but I will next week!!! Mission life is great though!!! I am so grateful that I have been given this opportunity to learn and to grow again. Something that I have learned on my mission so far is that the Lord has provided us with exactly what we need to make it back and that is the Gospel. He wants each of us to return and it is not that hard. I have loved seeing the progress of those around me and also myself as I have really realized that truth! Thank you all for supporting me!!!




LOVE YOU GUYSSSSS!!!!! :)


SISTER DEVRIES


GOLDEN INVESTIGATOR
FIRST BIG CITY



LOVIN' IT IN SYRACUSE!