E-mail Sis. Chapman

You can now e-mail Sis. Rachel Chapman at: Rachel.chapman@myldsmail.net

She'd love to hear from you.

Her physical address is: 1810 Winston Dr., St. Marys, OH 45885

Monday, July 7, 2014

7/7/14

This was a crazy week - emotions were a little high. But it was good! We got a lot done and were super busy!

Monday we just kind of hung out and got things done around the apartment that we needed to. It was nice. I got a 15 minute nap - it was great!
 
Tuesday was hilarious. There was this lady, Charlie, that we contacted last week. She has been to Kirtland a ton and was familiar with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. While we were talking to her we told her about the Utah Valley Children's Choir that was going to be performing at our building and she seemed like it was something she wanted to do. She gave us her address and so we stopped by on Tuesday. She came out of her house all in an uproar! She didn't realize that we are also called the "Mormons" and said there was no way she could ever be a Mormon. it was kind of funny to watch. We said that the reason we stopped by was to just see if she was still interested in coming to the concert that night. She calmed down a little bit but was still in a huff. She started talking about how she had this stuff that she had to get done and her son was at jury duty and she wouldn't have time to do anything. So we offered to help out. She said no because she couldn't pay us. But we told her we wouldn't accept it even if she did have money. So she softened a little bit and told we could come back when we changed into service clothes and help mow her lawn. So we came back and boy did she put us to work. She had us out there with a pair of scissors edging that lawn!!!!! She kept us working right up to the minute we had to leave. CRAZY LADY! But it was cool to see how offering to serve someone changes them and makes them more open to you. We're going to try and stop by again this week and see how things are going. We also stopped by a less active, Bro. Leathers. He owns a limo business so he was never able to go to church because he was always working on the weekends. but when we stopped by he told us that he had "received a revelation" and sold his business all in 2 days, sold all of his cars and everything. It was really crazy to hear that he had done it, never thought that was possible! So we stopped by to see if he and his nonmember mother who lives with him wanted to go to the children's choir concert that night. He said he really wanted to but it was going to be hard because he had to pick someone up at the airport at a certain time. He said he was going to try. So we went to the concert to save seats. The concert by the way was FANTASTIC! you should look them up on Youtube and hear them sing. WAY GOOD!!! Probably one of the highlights of my mission. So we get there and we're enjoying it and we don't see Bro. Leathers anywhere. We looked all around the chapel and we couldn't find him. So we get home and see that we have a text message from him saying that he was able to make it, but had to leave early and that he LOVED it! We were so happy! It was totally a miracle! It was awesome! We were really happy becuase that was the first time he's been in a church in YEARS! and the spirit was SUPER strong so it was just good all around!
 
Wednesday was interesting. I had my final interview with P. Vellinga. Let's just say it wasn't easy. We talked a lot about my plans after the mission, school, marriage, work. It was really funny, we talked about the STL arch for about 10 minutes. He's never been and wanted to know what it's like. cracked me up. another funny thing: He asked me if I knew the name of my husband. I told him no. He said, "really? you don't know yet?" and i was like, no. He said, "I do." and i was like what?!?!!?!!? you do? and he said, "yah, his name is honey!" hahaha! He totally got me, I thought he had received divine revelation about who I was supposed to marry. hahahahaha! I love P. Vellinga, he's so incredible. It was really good to get some guidance and counsel from him, he's so inspired. It was really hard though to hear him talk about my mission ending. It reminded me of Pres. Uchtdorf's talk about how we really struggle with endings because we are eternal beings who will never end. The good thing is my calling as a missionary never really ends. But somehow that doesn't seem to take away the sting of taking off my name tag.
 
Thursday we had Zone Training Meeting. That was really good! One of our zone leaders was my MTC district leader, so it's good to be around friends. There are a lot of elders in the zone that I am friends with so it was fun to get see them one last time. We won't be together as a zone again before I leave. We had some members that have already been in the ward move into our area. They are so so so fun! We love them, totally my new favorite people! The both graduated from BYUI and loved it too. It was fun to be around some fun people!
 
Friday we did some service for a member who is directing the community theatre. We painted her set pieces. It was fun! I love doing service! You can physically see the fruits of your labor, which in missionary work often isn't the case. So we were really busy with that and then we had dinner with the sweet Jambas. They want to meet you guys when you come out. So we might have to make a stop there. Grandma will love them!
 
Saturday we did a lot of yard work and more painting. we had some good lessons with some less actives too.
 
Sunday was a really good Sacrament meeting. The testimonies were great. In RS we had a lesson on the Temple. Made me SO SO SO homesick for the Temple. I can't wait to get to go soon! 
Today we are going to Cleveland to West Side Market for the last time and then we are meeting up with some other missionaries in the area to play volley ball. shoudl be a lot of fun!
i've been thinking lately about how things mean differently to me since being out here. Like the Sacrament is something TOTALLY different to me now then it was before. I will never again go another Sunday without taking the Sacrament. Another thing that has changed for me is the significance of Kirtland. I never realized how critical Kirtland is for the Church today. Without the things in Kirtland we wouldn't have half of the D&C. We wouldn't know as many details about the Plan of Salvation as we do, we wouldn't have the Word of Wisdom, we wouldn't have had the Kirtland Temple and the amazing things that happened there. Christ has been here! He has visited the saints in Kirtland. the Spirit of Kirtland is alive and you can feel it. The day we as missionaries come to Ohio before we meet our trainers, P. Vellinga takes us to Kirtland to the room of the school of the prophets (where the WofW was received and where Christ appeared) and we kneel there and dedicate the next 18-24 months of our lives to the Lord. Then the day before we leave, the 23rd, we go back to that room, kneel again and give the Lord an accounting of the past 18-24 months of our lives. That room will forever be sacred to me for more than the reasons it's sacred to everyone else. Kirtland has forever changed my life. The Lord had a scourge prepared for the people of Kirtland, but a prophet has told us it has been lifted and now it is being built up again. That is why the missionaries of the Ohio Cleveland Mission are called here is to build up Kirtland, to build up the waste places of Zion and prepare a righteous people to meet the Lord. Zion is being redeemed. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY HERE! I'm so grateful for this time I've had to serve here and to just be immersed in the spirit all the time. I'm going to come home and convince as many people as I can to serve a mission. BEST EXPERIENCE EVER OF MY LIFE SO FAR! 
 
I love and miss you all. See you soon

6/30/14

So this week was CRAZY! But lots of good stuff going on!

Monday last week was SO AWESOME!!!! When you guys come out I'm going to take you downtown and show you the courthouse and what the seniors are doing down there and then show you CLEVELAND!!! You're going to love it!
 
Okay so we have 2 new investigators! Rachael, she's the one who referred herself that wanted to learn more about the church because she's got a friend on a mission. and her friend Katie came too, she knows someone on a mission too! they're both 20 and super cute! So we went to Rachael's house and met them and then they both started firing all of these questions at us like "what do you do in your spare time? (haha! Like we have spare time) what is your favorite part about being a missionary? what do you believe?" so we got to answer a ton of questions about missionary life and then we taught them about the restoration. It was so awesome! They thought it was super interesting. They're both catholic and thought that the Prophet was really cool, they said it seemed more personal than the pope. They also really liked forever families. They loved that members of the church are truly dedicated to it, that it's our lifestyle not a religion. They wished more Catholics would do that. They overall really liked meeting with us and want to meet again. they want to come to church, they even want to hang out with us on one of our preparation days! they think we're cool or something. Those poor girls....
 
We had a very interesting experience the other night. We went down to the pier to do some contacting and we met this really awesome lady! Get this!!!!!!: Her husband was an egyptologist (he's passed away) and is the man that taught Hugh Nibly how to read hyrogliphics and he authenticated the papyrus scrolls that are now the Pearl of Great Price!!! CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?!?!!? So awesome! But then it got realllllll bad. Her sister and her sister's friend came up and starting talking to us. Her friend, Tom, is an awful man. He starting bashing us for believing that we can become like our Heavenly Father and then told us that he was praying for our souls, that we would come to know Jesus sometime in our lives. That's the short version of what happened... We handled it really well. Except for when he told us we're not Christians, i mumbled under my breath, "well that's offensive" but he didn't hear me. haha! He was an interesting individual. He mentioned this man who is meeting with missionaries and told us that he is helping that man become Christian again.... So after that awful encounter we went home and told the other sisters who serve in the other ward and the man that Tom named is the man that they are meeting with! He is an active member, just in a nursing home. Apparently Tom is banned from seeing this man, that he is a threat to his safety! Tom has been trying to convince this sweet man that the church isn't true and that he should get up in a testimony meeting and publicly declare the church is false. It was really eerie finding all of this out. It was crazy because the sisters thought that this man in the nursing home was just having a dementia moment, but it's all true! So scary! They are going to talk to some people and see what they can do to help their member. Ah! As awful as that experience was Tom was someone we needed to meet it turns out.
So we lost connection with our awesome investigator Shawn... It was really sad. his phone got shut off and we didn't know where he lives. but the member that we brought with us to teach him said that Shawn told him he lived on 219th. So decided that we were going to find him on Saturday! So we drove down to 219th and realized we had no hope of finding him. 219th is HUGE! there was no way were going to be able to tract it in one day. So we thought about it and realized we knew 2 things about Shawn: he's italian and lives with his grandmother. So we started looking for houses that looked like an Italian or an old lady lived there. no luck.... So we prayed. We decided to go to the library and ask for a phone book. we looked up all of the Triscari's we could find in the area. None of them were even close... We were so stuck! We decided to go back to where he was living about 3 weeks ago when we first met him to see if the friends he was living with knew where he moved to or knew his grandma's name so we could look her up. So we go over to the house and knock on the door. For a while no one came, but then a miracle happened. SHAWN OPENED THE DOOR!!!!!!!!!!!! I was so shocked and surprised and didn't know what was happening that I just blurted out, "Shawn! WE FOUND YOU!" It was a little embarrassing.... But we had all just witnessed a miracle! It was HUGE! So we were able to set up a time to come back and see him Tuesday! I am so excited! He's so golden.
We had a great week. Lots of good things are happening.
I love you and miss you all so much!
See you soon
Sis. Chapman

6/23/14

This week was a long one. We had what looked like was going to be a great week with appointments and lessons and new investigators all set up and then EVERYONE decided to cancel on us... So we weren't as successful as we had hoped, but it was still a good week!

We had an AWESOME lesson with our new investigator Shawn! We taught him about the restoration and Joseph Smith and asked him what he thought and he said, "It just feels right. I believe it." !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's what we like to hear!!!! So that went really well! We got him a ride set up for church and everything and were so excited for him to be there and then his phone got shut off and we lost contact and now we don't know what's going on.... So hopefully we'll be able to get back in touch with him soon. He was so solid and he definitely needs this right now. Say lots of prayers for Shawn everyone!!!!
 
Other than that our week has been kind of uneventful... Not too much is going on right now. But this next week is going to a good one! We have some good things set up with some potential investigators. Tonight we're actually seeing one that I'm really excited about! She referred herself and asked that we stop by and meet with her. So it should be good!
 
Today we are going to the Court House! I'm excited because it's where the records preservation senior couples work and we are going to go see what all they do and how they do it. Then Sis. Brumfield (one of the seniors) is going to take us on a tour of the old historical buildings in that part of Cleveland. I'm stoked! It should be a lot of fun. I think that would be something Grandma would really enjoy to see too when you guys come out! 
 
Yesterday I did receive a blessing from P. Vellinga. That was AWESOME! It was just kind of to help me as I'm freaking out about only having a month left. What I'm worried the most about is keeping the spirit that I feel as a full time missionary with me when I leave and don't have this calling anymore. It terrifies me to think about what it's going to feel like to be released. My prayer is that I won't feel any difference. P. Vellinga's blessing definitely helped. Brought a lot of peace. 

Sorry this is super short... there just hasn't been a ton going on. 
I love you all and miss you A TON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

6/16/14

Yesterday was really hard. I was doing fine, not having a hard time at all until Sis. Kawa started giving her talk in Sacrament meeting. She and her family are the ones who lived in St. Louis for a few years. They are moving this week to Utah so it was her goodbye talk coupled with Father's day. So she was talking about how she was going to miss everyone and all the memories they've made and then started talking about families and her dad and all the things they've done together yadda yadda yadda. And all of a sudden I COMPLETELY LOST IT. I have no idea what was going on yesterday. I think because it's getting so close I am missing you guys more and more and it's getting really hard to not think about seeing you in a few weeks and then I miss you EVEN MORE and it's just getting super duper hard. It definitely surprised me. Hopefully I can get it together soon. I think I'm freaking out my companion. haha!
 
Other than that things are going really well!
 
DAD IS IN THE BISHOPRIC!!!!!!!!!! So awesome! He is great! I can't wait to hear about you getting called into the relief society presidency or some stake auxiliary...  hahaha! it's totally going to happen. That's what you get for having 2 kids on a mission. :)
 
I am so glad you guys are having fun on the Lake! That will be a blast! i'm so jealous! We can see people out on lake erie all the time and it makes me miss it so much! But I have to say it is going to be THE WEIRDEST THING putting on a swimsuit again and actually getting in the water.... too weird.
 
So what kind of treatment is this that Sarah is doing? is it like some kind of radiology or a laser or is like a pill. there are some people here who's granddaughter is really struggling with something that sounds like Sarah and they would like to know what it is too!

I love you so so so so much! I hope you're having a good day!

6/10/14

Sorry!!! I forgot to tell you this week was a transfer week and that we wouldn't be emailing until today.

Wow it has been an interesting week. We were dropped by 3 investigators this week... bummer... But we have been meeting a lot of really cool people. We've been seeing a lot of miracles. It's been really exciting and totally a testimony building experience. It's been so interesting to see how the Lord works! We're walking around trying to find this investigator and then we run into other people instead who are interested. HAPPENED TWICE this week! So fun! I love being able to see how you are led by the spirit to do things or say things or go places. It's awesome. We were having a lesson with a less active, Bro. Parrino, this week. We had planned to teach the first half of the plan of salvation and the spirit totally took over. We ended up talking about the Word of Wisdom instead and committed him to stop smoking and drinking coffee. It was awesome! I love feeling like I'm an instrument in His hands. It's the best!
 
It's also been kind of a hard week for me personally. Things here are winding down and I've got so many people writing me about how they'll see me soon and it's all just starting to catch up with me. Sister Gardner lives with me and she is going home the same time that I am and we've been able to talk about what we're feeling which has been really helpful because she's going through some of the same things I am. It's hard not too feel like going home is a step down from where I am right now. I am not the same person I was when I left home and I don't really intend on going back either. Which is terrifying... I don't really know why but it is. Elder Holland said something really interesting to me when he came. He talked about how missionaries say that they're going back to "real life" when they leave the mission. (I've totally said that) and he said that that is backward. that THIS is real life, "the way the truth and the life" is the gospel, is missionary work. I'm leaving real life. Sis. Gardner siad something that hadn't quite hit me yet, "In 6 weeks we won't be missionaries anymore". PEOPLE CAN'T SAY THINGS LIKE THAT TO ME RIGHT NOW!!!! That was a really hard realization... One I'm not quite ready to accept yet. So I'm not going to. This transfer isn't my last. I'm never really released from being a missionary right?
In better news: I got a letter from Sis. Bakker in St. Marys that truly brought me to my knees in gratitude. Dane Felver baptized his daughter Heather on the 31st. She sent me the baptismal program and a picture of them all together. The Lord has been so good to that family and that branch. They had 75 people at church last week. That is DOUBLE what it was when I got there. DOUBLE!!!! I don't think I can ever love something like I love St. Marys. The Lord definitely knew what He was doing when He sent me there. Changed my life forever. I'm so excited for you guys to get to see it. Hopefully you'll be able to feel the spirit there. 
 
Also so many prayers have been answered this week when I heard that Sarah and Grandma were both doing better. HALLELUJAH!!!! Seriously though. So grateful that the Lord is aware of us. I hope that they continue to get better. How is Rex doing? He said that he was in the hospital again. Has the mission president or his wife called you guys? Is he getting better?
 
I hope that things go well for everyone this week!!! I love and miss you all so so so so much!!!!!

6/2/14

It has been another busy week here in Ohio! But a really beautiful one!

Wednesday it was Sis. Jamba's birthday so we went over and took her a card. My companion, Sis. Hawkins, got a balloon animal set thing in a package a while ago so she made Sis. Jamba a balloon hat. It looked ridiculous, we both agreed, but we didn't have much else to give her. So we went with it. She LOVED it and was so happy we came over. We took a pic, so don't worry, you'll all get to see it too! haha!

Thursday we were crazy busy with lessons. Between Thursday and Saturday we taught 14 lessons! It was awesome! For this area that was fantastic! We were pretty happy.
 
Our investigators for the most part are all doing well. Marga, the one who's German, is good. She's so adorable. She said that when ever she has a question about something she just opens the Book of Mormon and finds an answer. It was really cool! Jack Stewart is doing well. He's in this softball league that's for people 60 and older (he's 74) and his team is called "the huff n puffers"! hahahaha! So cute. He also participates in a Scottish Dance Camp every summer down in North Carolina. This guy is a hoot. haha! He used to be a investment person that did a lot of research and helped people make good choices of what to invest in before he retired. He's cool. Mirta and her daughter Angie are avoiding us and are cancelling appointments. We're not quite sure what's going on there. Hopfeully we can see them soon. We're going to try and stop by tonight to see what's going on. We're so confused. Angie was talking about wanting to get baptized and everything! We think the mom is putting a hold on things. We're not sure why though.... Hopefully we'll figure it all out tonight!
Something strange was going on last week. For some reason a lot of the old people we see decided to flash us a lot... It was so awful!!!!! I don't know what it was... I felt like at least once a day someone wanted to show us a tan line or they forgot to pull their pants up after going to the bathroom or they didn't realize their shirt was unbuttoned. IT WAS TERRIBLE!!!!! So awkward as a normal person not to mention a missionary... Hopefully this week people will be able to stay fully clothed.
Sorry this one is so short. There's not a ton of exciting stuff to report. Things are great, doing really good! Just really busy. 
 
Today we are going downtown to the west side market! There is a family here that used to live in St. Louis and they told us that it's a lot like Sulard but not as 3rd world. haha! That cracked me up! So true! So it should be a lot of fun. They have this incredible crepe place and a great middle eastern place. they have tons of produce and fresh meats and homemade pastas. So I'm really excited! IT should be a ton of fun! I'll make sure to take lots of pics for you!
 
The weather has been absolutely gorgeous this last week! We've been going down to the pier to do some contacting at sunset - BEAUTIFUL!!!! Perfect temperature. Until today. it's 80 and SUPER DUPER humid right on the lake. yay for humidity! It's my favorite....
 
Being a missionary is the best. I'm so grateful that I did this. I think about what I would be doing back home or at school if I wouldn't have come. I would probably be graduated by now, I would be having so much fun with Emma, I would be living up the summer in STL, I would be dancing at Wild Country with Lindsay, my life would be so fantastic! But I will never regret coming on a mission. My life may have been fantastic, but my life will be infinitely more fantastic now. The things I have learned here and the experiences I've had are priceless and I wouldn't trad them for anything, nothing. Learning what it means to be a disciple of Christ has forever changed me. My life will now be so different, so so so different. I recommend that EVERYONE serves a mission! haha! It's the most fun thing I think I've ever done. I remember when I was about to leave I had a small panic attack and asked Trevor, "Just tell me it's going to be fun! Tell me I'm going to enjoy it!" He reassured me that it would be a great experience. Then I got out here and was like, "He totally lied to me!" haha! Everyone said it would go by fast and that time would speed and I called them all liars! haha! But none of them were lying. After I got adjusted this became SO FUN! and the time started going by too quickly. I had a dream the other night about when I get released and have to take my nametag off. SOBBING ENSUED!!!! I can't even think about that happening right now. Which I'm so grateful for because I don't have to for a long time! Every moment counts and I have a lot of moments left. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!
 
Love you guys! have a great week!
-Sis. Chapman

5/27/14

MOM!!!! Thank you so much for the package! It was AWESOME!!!! Loved them! Thank you!
 
I am so sad to hear about Grandma! I hope she's doing better now. I'll be keeping her and Sarah in my prayers. Sarah sent me a pick of her Cafe Rio borrito trying to rub it in my face. I responded, "first you total my car and now this..." haha! But I told her I loved her. I hope she's having a good time in Provo with the family and at EFY.
 
It has been a crazy week! Last Monday we went out for lunch at this AWESOME place called "the Melt" it has these insane grilled chees sandwiches that are to die for! It was a lot of fun. Tuesday was Zone Conference which was so awesome! I love zone conferences, getting to see President and Sister Vellinga is always so fun! It was my last zone conference though, so that was kind of sad. Sister Olsen and Martin from the office went home this weekend so they called them up and all the other missionaries whose last zone conference it was and they sang God Be With You Till We Meet Again to us. It was awful... We were all crying. I hated it because I still have 2 months left! I'm not going home yet! We'll meet again tomorrow.... But it was a good way to say goodbye to Sis. Olsen and Martin.
 
Wednesday was ELDER HOLLAND DAY! It was SO INCREDIBLE! He walked into the room and said, "I want to shake all of your hands" and so we all filed through and got to shake Elder Holland, Elder Hallstrom (From the presidency of the 70) and Elder Seldon (area authority)'s hands. It was so fantastic. Elder Holland said, "This is a good mission. I can tell because we've just interviewed each of you individually as we shook  your hands and looked into your eyes." AHHH!!! It was awesome! They all complimented us on our spirit and our preparation. I loved that they could tell we are a good, obedient mission! Elder Holland talked a lot about our personal conversion and that we can't go home and not live up to the title of "return missionary", we don't have the right to desicrate that title he said. It was so powerful. He told us that he thinks about his mission every day of his life, that it's become the template of his life. I hope that I will be able to say that about my mission. He also told us that he prays for the 2nd coming to happen every night. He says there are too many tears, too many troubles, too much evil in the world. He wants it to stop. But he said in order for that to happen we have to get to work, we have to hasten our work so that the Lord's can  be hastened. He also talked about our teaching. He said that each of us has power and authority as a missionary, but that we don't use either as much as we need to. He told us that we often don't get return appointments because we don't use our power and authority to astonish them. So that was his instruction, "go out and astonish someone today!" It was pretty cool to be taught by an Apostle! SOOOO COOOOL!!!! I loved every minute of it. He is so powerful and so in tune with the spirit and SO FUNNY! He told us that if we came home and went inactive that "Clint Eastwood would be baby talk" compared to what he would do to us! hahaha! It was great. Very inspiring and motivating for me to make sure when I come home I never forget what I have learned and felt and been apart of here and that I never go back to who I was before. It was incredible.
 
The rest of the week was good. Nothing too exciting to report... The weather here is so beautiful! I love that it's getting nice because it's making it so much easier to go contacting. We go to the pier that's right across the street from us and are able to talk to so many people! And there's a really awesome park/beach down the road too that's great! It's so beautiful here. I can't wait for you to see it when you come out! It's going to be so fun!
 
Monday was a lot of fun. We didn't do too much, just relaxed. Because it was memorial day everything was closed. but next week we're planning on going downtown Cleveland and checking out the markets and the fun stuff to do! SO EXCITED! It will be a lot of fun!
 
Well I hope that you guys are all doing well and that everyone is healthy and happy! I can't wait to see pics of the boat ride! Because I know you took pictures, right mom?
I love you!

5/19/14

It sounds like a fun week back in O Town! I love hearing about what's going on there.
 
It has been a CRAZY week here as well. Holy Cow! It is non stop! There has been a little drama, but what else would you expect when there are 6 sisters living in an apartment together. One sister has an infection on her foot and isn't taking very hygenical steps to reduse the likelihood of spreading it to the rest of us so we had to have a little "come to Jesus meeting" over that. Things haven't really improved much... So we'll have to readdress things here in a bit. But it shouldn't be too bad.
 
Yesterday was SO CHAOTIC! Oh man! So the Cleveland Marathon was yesterday and they closed down Lake Rd. The road we live on is Lake Rd. So we had no way of getting out of our apartment building in the morning for church. And we aren't the only missionaries living in this apartment complex. How many missionaries live here you ask? 19. THERE ARE 19 MISSIONARIES HERE THAT HAD NO WAY OF GETTING TO CHURCH SUNDAY MORNING! hahahahahahaha! It was hilariously crazy. So funny! We were running around like chickens with our heads cut off trying to find rides for people to come pick us up down the street a few blocks. We got it all figured out, thank goodness. But there were a few sisters that are in the other ward that weren't able to make it to their Sacrament meeting and one of them was supposed to talk... She got out of that this week! It was so funny. I wish you all could have been there to see it. And it is Sis. Martin and Sis. Olsen, the senior sisters who work in the office, it was their last Sunday here in the mission. Boy what a way to go out. haha!  Saturday we did about 5 hours of service. We helped one of the other sisters investigators dad move out of their house. They're getting a divorce... So we packed him up, loaded up a Uhaul, followed them to downtown Cleveland, and moved him into an apartment on the 5th floor. It was quite the event. Lots of furniture and boxes. But it was fun. We got to see Cleveland, which as a Sister probably won't ever happen again. They don't send sisters downtown ever. But it feels like I'm just right back in downtown St. Louis. It's so funny. I think next week we're planning on hopping on a bus and heading downtown to do some site seeing on preparation day. I'm excited for that, should be lots of fun. We also helped a lady with her basement, it got flooded because of all the rain. So we were bleaching everything. It was an extremely long day but a lot of fun! I also kind of was attacked by a dog yesterday! We were stopping by a referral from the Akron elders and we couldn't even get up to the door. there was a big dog on a leash that wouldn't let us get past him. He was nice but wouldnt stop jumping on me. He was biting me but like play biting me so it didn't hurt very much, but I had scratches all over my arms from him jumping up. It was hilarious. Sis. Hawkins and I were both laughing so hard at the situation. We had to just get back in the car and leave. We'll have to try and stop by again another time. "mission aborted". haha! It was a good memory that's for sure.
 
We have an investigator, Angie, who is making A TON of progress! We haven't even started the lessons yet and she already wants to be baptized and said she was thinking about a mission! She loves young women's and church and is just soaking everythign up! She's been reading the Book of Mormon every day and loves it! We have another appointment with her tomorrow so I'm excited to see where she's at. We have another investigator, Sienna, who is 16 but can't get baptized till she's 18. But she goes to seminary, comes to church and mutual every week, she's basically already a member, just needs to get dunked. But she gave a talk in church yesterday about seminary and it was so awesome! She's so solid! I'm excited to see what happens. Her mom was at church so hopefully she'll give Sienna permission to get baptized sooner. We'll see...
 
Things are great. Life is great. The weather is great. the mission is great. Companion's great. I hear St. Marys is great. (65 people to church and Bro. Felver set a date to baptize his daughter on MAY 31ST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) Everything is just great!
 
Something that we've been studying this last week in preparation for Elder Holland ON WEDNESDAY! is miracles. I was reading in the Bible dictionary about them this morning and I thought it was interesting how it said that Miracles are the natural result of the Messiah’s presence among men. How cool! Miracles still happen because His presence is still here. I know that! I have seen it so much while I've been here. I know that the Savior lives and His hand is so involve in our lives constantly. I know He leads and guides this church and that we are here to do His work and to be His servants until the work is finished. Let's all go to work!
 
I love you all and hope you guys have a great week and a good Family Home Evening tonight!!!!!
-Sis. Chapman

05/12/14

This has been one great week! So much has been going on and we are so crazy busy! I love it!

We made a ton of cookies to take to members and investigators for mother's day. People are always more likely to answer the door or respond to your phone calls if you have treats! (missionary tip #1)
So we had a lot of luck handing those out! It was good, we got a lot of lessons with that this week.
We have a less active that we teach Bro. Parrino, who is a little on the autistic side. He is really smart though. But he was telling us that we're protected as sister missionaries so that bad people don't hurt us and how we have a shield over us so that people can't "reallly see" us is how he put it... It got realllll awkward.... realllllll fast. haha! I love Ohio. 
 
We also have some awesome investigators! Sienna and Hailey are 16 and 14 and are the grandaughters of a member. Sienna is pretty solid, comes every week and is really active. She's just waiting on her mom's permission to get baptized which probably won't happen, so she's going to have to wait till she's 18.... But she's great! We have another investigator Angelica, who is so great! She has come to church 2 times and is coming to Young Women's on Wed and we haven't even taught her an actual lesson yet! SHE'S SO SOLID! and Sienna is awesome fellowship for her! It's really cool! 
On Thursday Ralph and Pam Hildebrand from Massillon came up and took Sis. Hawkins and I out to lunch! It was so so so fun to see them again! I have missed them a lot! It was weird to see someone from Massillon again! I am excited to go back. From what I hear things there are kind of falling apart. So that wasn't the best news, but they are doing good. 
 
Mothers day was so so so wonderful!!!! IT was so great to get to see everyone and talk to you guys! And getting to hear Rex's voice was the best. I am just so proud of that kid. He is such a stud! I love him so much! I loved hearing Hay and Mike too!!!!! That was so crazy for me! I can't believe how big they are. INSANE! I'm excited to get to spend time with them so they actually know who I am. AH!!!!! So fun! 
 
We skyped at the Jamba's. They are this sweet sweet sweet older couple who moved out here in August and are so lonely. They moved to be closer to their son and he doesn't really want them here. They don't have a car and they can't really get around on their own so they just stay in their apartment all day. So we thought skyping at their house would be good for them. They seemed to enjoy it. 
Well nothing else has really been going on. We've got a crazy busy day so it should be fun. I hope you guys all have a good week. I miss you all so much! But it was so good to see you all. now I can't wait to get to hug you all! 
 
LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sis. Chapman

05/05/14

Wow has it been one crazy week! I went from the biggest area in the mission where there was NO civilazation to Lakewood West IN CLEVELAND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It is a tiny area right on the lake! I love it here so so so so so much! It is gorgeous. Huge houses EVERYWHERE instead of the trailor parks and farms I was used to in St. Marys. It has been a VERY busy week and I'm still not even unpacked. hahaha! But it is so great! there are 6 of us living in an apartment together right down the hallway from all of the mission office Sisters. It is really crazy trying to all get ready in the morning, but we make it work. In the morning for excersize we run to the pier and then spend some time out on the rocks and dock. I LOVE IT! It reminds me of home. It so beautiful to watch the sun come up and you can see the Cleveland sky line from the pier. I love it! I absolutely love my new companion, Sis. Hawkins! She is so great! She is 6 feet tall, very quiet, so funny, from Utah, and just awesome! She is exactly what I need right now. Most of my companions in the past have been very bold, in your face, intense, which is fine! They were wonderful! But after leaving St. Marys being so hard for me it is nice to have someone who is quiet and just nice. I really like her. 
 
I am living with Sis. Gardner who I lived with in Massillon, and her companion is Sis. Gannon who was in my district in St. Marys for a while. We also live with Sis. Mitchell who I have been on exchanges with and her companion Sis. Byers who is recently new to the mission. So we have a lot of fun. I really like it here and I feel like this is where I need to be. The Lord is so aware of us and knows us so well. It is such a blessing to be here! This was Sis. Dahle's first area, so she's pretty excited to hear that I'm serving here!

The only way to describe the past week would be fun. We've just had so much fun. I've met some pretty interesting people here. There is this one less active lady that we teach that loves anything that is an animal or insect or something like that. she's got tons of plants all over her apartment and she has these HUGE ants that crawl all over everything. it was so gross.... Then we went to another less active's apartment who made me a little uncomfortable. He owns a lemozine service and so he is very friendly and touchy. I didn't like that. He shook my hand a bit too long... They fed us this awful thing called Easter Cheese. All it is is milk and egg cooked and then strained and formed into a ball. .... not pleasent. But they loved it. We also have met a few active members who are nice and welcoming. Church was interesting yesterday. I'm used to the branch where the most people we've had is 53 and then I came here and we have a huge ward where I'm pretty sure the primary is the same size as the whole branch. So it was different. And they weren't as welcoming and friendly as the branch was, so that was kind of sad. But they have a lot more to do than the branch members do.
 
Not much else to report yet. Sorry I don't have any pictures yet, we've been too busy this week. But I'll make sure and get some to you next week!!!
 
I hope everyone has a good week! Love you all!!!
Sis. Chapman 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Sister's in work boots



4/29/14

Boy oh boy what a week I've had! We have been going non stop all week! I LOVE IT! Those are the best weeks.
 
Tuesday we had district meeting which was really good. Then we had a good lesson with Tara. We brought the YW President with us which was so good! She invited Tara to come to YW on Wed. and Tara said she would! So she went and had a really good time! She liked the girls and everyone made her feel welcome. I was so so so happy to hear that!
 
Wednesday was good. I can't really remember what we did.... but we did a lot of service
Thursday we had interviews with President. It went so good! He asked me if I loved St. Marys and I told him I LOVE IT HERE! and he asked me, "If I need you to leave, can you?" and I told him that I had been feeling for a while that I had accomplished what I needed to here in St. Marys, that it would be really hard to leave, but I could do it. He told me that he was probably moving me. That was good and hard to hear all at the same time. We also talked about when I was coming home and it wasn't a big deal at all, so that was great. I am so grateful for P. Vellinga. He is such an incredible man. After our interviews we had a lesson with Jim. He is doing so great. Still progressing! He's soaking everything up. He was sad to hear I was leaving, so we set up a night to go out to dinner. He's the sweetest. We also had a lesson with the "fiancĂ©" of a less active in the branch. She is so prepared! She was feeling the spirit so strong the whole time we were teaching the restoration! She said that she would be baptized! I'm really excited for her. She's going to start progressing soon!
 
Friday we saw the Felvers! They are my favorite people! We had dinner with them and had a lesson on repentance. I love hearing Dane and Robin talk about how they are understanding  these simple principles so much more this time, that it's different. They are doing so great. They are still reading and praying every night. They have such a desire to come back this time! It's incredible. They get it.
Saturday we had a lesson with another new investigator, Amber! She was taking the lessons in Lima a while back and moved to our area and hopefully we can help her get back into it! She's great, so bubbly and cute, blaring her country music. I like her a lot!
 
We also went over to the Felvers again to help them out with stuff again. We moved their wood pile, cleaned out their garage where they've had their 50 chicks and turkeys and ducks, fed their goats, and a ton of other things. We were so exhausted at the end of that day. They fed us too! He is such a great cook. I love that family so much.
 
Sunday was so great! We had 53 people there! And we had a lot of families that were out of town too! It was really exciting! JIM PASSED THE SACRAMENT! It was such a good Sunday!
Yesterday we had district meeting and then had some really good appointments with some less actives and investigators. It was a really good day. We got transfer calls last night and I am leaving. I'm excited but really sad at the same time. Serving in St. Marys has changed me. This area was so hard and I struggled a lot here, but it needed to happen. I have never worked so hard in my life as I have here. I put everything I had into this area. This area is so special to me and I know that it is a special place to the Lord. This is a sacred place to me. Things have happened here that no one will ever understand but Sis. Bakker and I. and because of that she is going to be such a special person to me forever. I'm so sad because this next sister isn't going to have any idea of what she's coming into, no idea of what St. Marys is. That's the thing - this area has become mine! It's going to be really hard to place it in someone else's hands. I have grown more here than any other time in my life. My testimony of the Savior is stronger than ever because of St. Marys. I will forever be grateful that the Lord sent me here. He knew what I needed to become what He needs me to become and St. Marys has helped me come closer to that. I love it here. I can't wait to come back with you so you can try and understand what I've experienced here! It's going to be so special.
 
I'll be leaving early in the morning and will find out where I'm going when we get to the transfer meeting in Kirtland. So I'll let you know next week.
 
I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! I'm excited to see you guys soon on Mother's Day!

4/21/14

It has been one awesome week!!! So many great things happened. Hopefully I can remember all of them for you guys.
 
Monday night we had a great lesson with Bro. Roode and his wife who isn't a member. She is starting to warm up to us. Bro. Roode is the former chief of police. He's a really good guy, we like him  a lot!
Tuesday after district meeting we had a lesson with Tara. She's 17 and is the daughter of a less active sister in the branch. It's frustrating teaching her though because her mom isn't being supportive. Her mom wants her to get baptized but isn't willing to read the scriptures with her or pray with her or take her to church. She's expecting Tara to do this all on her own. Which she can do, it would just be more successful if her mom was more supportive. I don't think Tara's mom realizes we won't baptize Tara unless we know she's going to be able to keep her covenants, meaning she comes to church every week and actually DOES stuff... So we'll see how this goes. We're taking it slow... We also saw the Felver's Tuesday night! That went really well! We started teaching Heather the Plan of Salvation. That is going really well. Heather is really excited to get baptized. Dane is working on it!
Wednesday we did a lot of community service which is always a lot of fun! We love it! We also had an appointment with our investigator Doug. He said he was planning on being at church with his 2 granddaughters for Easter. He sounded pretty excited. we were stoked! The lesson went well and he said he wanted to find out if Joseph Smith was truly a prophet. We love hearing people say they want to know! That means they are more likely of being a solid investigator.
 
Thursday we had an incredible lesson with our investigator Patty. She has 2 sons that have been in and out of prison. One is still there... It's been really hard on her. She struggles with depression and other things. She said she prays and prays and doesn't feel like He's listening anymore. It was really sad. We talked a lot about the Savior's Atonement and watched the Because of Him video. It went really well. We also talked to her about priesthood blessings and how they can help her. She said she would like one. So that night we came back over with Bro. Roode. We had tried to get a few other men over but it wasn't working out, so we brought Bro. Roode. WHICH WAS A MIRACLE!!! He had been the one that arrested her son a few years ago, he had been to her house a few times and was pretty familiar with her situation. She couldn't believe that it was him that came with us. She said she was so grateful it was someone that she knew and felt comfortable with. She was grateful she didn't have to tell her story to a new person and have more people outside of her "circle" know what was going on. It meant a lot to her. It was a sign that the Lord was listening to her prayers, that He is aware of His children and sends them what they need when they need it. IT WAS SO COOL!!!! I love it when things "just work out". The Lord is so smart.
 
Friday we helped out the Felvers for a few hours in their vineyard. They make a lot of grape juice and jams and stuff and were needing some help to get things started. We had such a good time with them. We learned a lot about vineyards that's for sure! The weather was so beautiful and the sunset was gorgeous. We enjoyed just being able to talk casually with Dane about some of his concerns. We were also grateful we got to do some service for them after all that they have done for us. So it was great.
 
Saturday we had a good appointment with Josh, Jill's son. He's doing really good. He said he would com to church for Easter! We were pretty excited about that. He seems like he's wanting to come closer to Christ right now. We'll see. He's a punk so we're not quite sure where this is going to go. We also went back over to the Felvers to help out more around their barn and property. It was awesome!!!! He made us some racks of ribs and so much food it was insane! IT WAS ALL SO GOOD!!!! It was a lot of fun. We roasted some s'mores out back and had a good time. we had a lesson on faith for Heather and Dane and Robin talked about how their faith has been growing since we've been here and how they have such a stronger desire now. It was awesome. I loved hearing them talk about what this has been like for them. It's incredible. They are such strong and devoted people. They will be going back to the Temple with in the next 6 months, I know it.
 
Sunday was so wonderful. Easter is the best! We went to the church early to meet with Doug, give him a tour of the church so he would know what to expect for church. (no, he didn't show up......) but we're glad that we got there early because we met a new sister that just moved into the branch!!!!!! IT WAS SO EXCITING!!!!! We've been praying  for growth and the Lord has answered that prayer. Grace moved here from Indiana with her husband who's not a member. They're in their 60's and just bought this beautiful farm house that we drive by all the time and wish we could go in. She's so excited to be here and can't wait to get to work with the branch. She's exactly what we need! We're so grateful she's here! We stopped by her place after church with the Jensons to bring them some dinner, they don't have any appliances so they can't cook or store food or anything. It was a lot of fun to get a tour of their beautiful house. I love it!!! (Don't worry, I'm sending pics). It was a lot of fun. We had dinner with the Davis' and it was great! We love them. They are the best people. They do a lot for us and are really supportive and excited about what all is happening in the branch.
 
This morning was so awesome. For Sis. Bakker and I's companion study this morning we tried to list all of the miracles we've seen since we've been in St. Marys. There are A LOT. It was the coolest thing. My heart just swelled with gratitude and love and joy and so many other emotions. I love it here. At the end of Sis. Lemmon and I's companionship I was praying that I would get transferred, that I would be able to leave. This was such a hard area and I was really struggling. But now I'm so grateful He knew better and kept here. One of the miracle I listed was my growth as a missionary. This area has changed me. the people here have changed me. I struggled and worked so hard and wanted to quit. And then I started seeing the miracles, the ones that had always been there, and the ones that were coming and the changes that were happening in the branch and in me and in our investigators. I am just so overwhelmed with love for St. Marys. It's so special for me because I have poured a lot of sweat and tears into this area. I feel like I pulled my handcart over the frontier and now am walking into the Salt Lake Valley. I suffered a lot here, but it was not in vain, it wasn't for nothing. It was for EVERYTHING!!!! It was totally worth it and if I had to do it again I would.
I am so grateful for my mission. It's been so much fun! SO MUCH FUN! I love being a missionary.
I love and miss you all so much! I hope you all have a great week and enjoy the beautiful spring weather! I know we've been loving it!
 
So the pics. there are some of the bon fire with the felvers, the house that Grace bought, the boots that Dane got us to work in the barn and some other stuff...

4/7/14

WHAT AN AWESOME WEEKEND OF REVELATION!!!!! I love General Conference! I love that we have these incredible men and women who are talking to the world, giving these wonderful and divinely inspired words of council and wisdom, and yet I feel like they are talking directly and personally to me. So many prayers and questions were answered this weekend.
 
It was also rough for Sis. Bakker and I. We went to Jill's funeral Saturday morning. I was asked to sing and boy oh boy was that hard. I had been praying all day that the Lord would help me just get through the song, that I could make it actually sound like I was singing. Man does the Lord come through. He sustained me the whole time. I sang "Every Life That Touches Ours For Good" and was actually able to keep it together during the song. Then I sat down and totally lost it, but still, He answered my prayers, I made it through the song. It was really hard saying goodbye to Jill.  I loved her so much and she is and will forever be a huge part of my mission. I'm so grateful I had the opportunity to know her, teach her, and help her come closer to Christ. It was a good service. There weren't many people there, but her missionaries were there.
 
We had a TON of success with the Felvers this week!!!!!! Dane went out of town Monday and to help him keep the spirit we told him that we would send them a scripture every morning for them to read and keep in their mind all day. We also sent him with some cd's that had some great talks to listen to while he drove down to Knoxville. He read every scripture and listened to every talk. HE LOVED IT! He got home around midnight Friday morning and before he went to bed he read all of the scriptures over again, the articles of faith, and D&C 89. He said he needed to wind down after the drive before he went to bed. We went over Friday and got to hear about his week. IT WAS AWESOME! He said that he was done with the things that are keeping him from living the word of wisdom. He said he couldn't expect his daughter, Heather, to get baptized and live these things if he's not willing to do the same. He said he has that desire again to do better, to be better. He opened up to us a lot and shared some really personal things and how he's changing. It was so incredible. I loved just sitting there and hearing him talk about some of his experiences and how he's drawing closer to the spirit. He's making such fantastic progress! He went to the priesthood session Saturday night and we came over and had dinner with  Robin and Heather. It was awesome! She really opened up to us as well and we got to know her so much better. They have had a rough time as a family, they've been through a lot. But they just keep going. They are making it work and are coming back. Heather is so excited to get baptized! For an 8 year old she's really mature and understands what's happening. It's so exciting for us too! I love it! I love getting to see the gospel and how it changes lives, really really changes lives. This is a different family than when Sis. Lemmon and I first met them. It's so delightful. Being a missionary is THE BEST!
 
Friday we had a zone training meeting that was so awesome! I really like our zone leaders. They are awesome elders and really brought the spirit to the meeting. They are so prepared and so in tune with the spirit. I gained a lot of insight for myself and our area. It gave me a lot of things to apply to myself and help me become a better missionary.
 
We had a good week over all. It was a crazy busy week and we accomplished a lot and participated in a great spiritual feast! I'm so excited to start hearing about your study of Preach My Gospel like Elder Ballard said! I love that book and am thrilled that we'll all be studying it together.
 
Love you mom!!!!
-Sis. Chapman

3/31/14

Sounds like you guys have had a great week!  I'm so happy to hear that!
 
I hope things with Sarah get better soon. I hope that this summer when she's in Utah they can get things figured out! I'll be praying for it!
 
This has been one of the most memorable weeks for me in the best and worst way.
 
Jill came home from the hospital Thursday so we went over and saw her. She was doing really good! A little groggy from the meds but was doing great. Her brother, Jerry was in town staying with her for a few days. He is the high priest group leader down south and just seemed like a great guy. He was going to work on getting her place cleaned up and tobacco free so that when she was recovered she wouldn't have to worry about that. So we left Thursday night feeling really good about everything and really happy that Jerry was there to help out. Friday morning we got a call from Jilll's son, Josh, that Jill had passed away. It was so shocking. We couldn't believe it. I still am struggling accepting it. So Friday was rough. Then Saturday morning didn't really help. We got a call from Jerry saying that he had just gotten a call from the police that Josh, Jill's son, had told a friend that he was thinking about committing suicide and that he wanted us to go over to Jill's apartment to see if he was there and if he was okay. I really didn't want to do that, I didn't feel like it was something we should do but we didn't know what else to do. (Don't worry, I'm never going to do something that stupid ever again, I'll call the cops first.) So we went over, reluctantly, and walked into to Jill's old apartment and saw Josh lying on the couch with a blanket over his head. Sis. Bakker and I both thought he was dead. I started to panic. It was a-w-f-u-l. But then we saw him breathing and woke him up, he was just asleep. (I said so many prayers of gratitude) So we went in and invited him to the baptism we were having in 30 minutes. He seemed to be alright and doing well, that he wasn't a threat to himself. He didn't want to come to the baptism because he didn't have any church clothes, so we told him we'd catch up with him later.  So then we headed to Jim's baptism. Talk about an adrenaline rush. I can't believe that we had just done that and now were going to a baptismal service.... not my ideal idea of the way I wanted Saturday to go.
 
We got to the church and started getting everything set up and together. We took lots of pics with Jim and were just glad that we were there at the church with him as he was getting baptized. It was awesome. Then President Vellinga walked in and we felt even better! It was so wonderful to have him there with us for that. The service went so well! Sis. Bakker gave the talk on baptism and Jim asked me to sing, so I sang "This is the Christ." Everything went so well. Then it came time for the actual ordinance. Jim was baptized before in a river and he said it was freezing cold and so we promised him that this one would be warm, that was the one thing he wouldn't have to worry about. He stepped into the font and it was colder than the river.... One of the water heaters in the church was broken and that water was freezing. I felt so bad for him. But he was baptized and said that it would definitely something he would never forget. haha. He was a really good sport about it. After the service we got to talk to a lot of Jim's family who aren't members. His sister and brother in law lived in Chesterfield for a long time so it was fun to talk with them about St. Louis! I loved it! Jim's great nephew joined the church when he was a senior in high school and then went on a mission to Vegas West and about a year ago was married in the Temple. So the family has been really impressed with the church and they all love it and love that Jim has joined it. We all left wondering why none of the rest of them had joined the church yet. We're all still really confused about that. But they are awesome people. They actually took us all out to lunch with them after the service! It was so fun. they are such great people, Jim is really blessed. President got to meet all of them and a lot of the branch members. He said he was really impressed with everyone and everything. He said the baptism was "perfect". PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Sis. Bakker and I almost hit the roof! We were so happy to hear that. After the 24 hours we had just been through that was definitely something we were excited to hear. We really needed something to help us get through the rest of the week.
 
Which is why I'm also so grateful for the Women's broadcast. It was WONDERFUL! I loved it. As soon as we sat down and it started I was hit so strongly with the spirit, it just hit me like a brick wall - SO STRONG. I think it was the first time this weekend that I got to sit down and kind of reflect on everything that had happened and to listen to women who were special servants of the Lord. It was so much what I needed. I felt the Lord's hand in that. I am so grateful for general conference and the opportunity we have to be ministered to by our general authorities. It helps us feel close to our Savior and feel Him close to us, something that Sis. Bakker and I needed so desperately.
 
Sunday was also a great day. Jim was confirmed and received the gift of the Holy Ghost. So special! The Felvers also were there again - 2nd Sunday in a row!!!! Heather is really getting excited to be baptized! She and Robin were at the baptism on Saturday. Robin cried the whole time, the spirit was really working on her and she felt it for sure. Heather is definitely what is driving this family to come back right now. It's so awesome! They are making some great progress. Dane is going to be out of town this week for business, so we are sending him a daily scripture text to help him stay focused and remember to stay strong.
 
We also went and saw Josh Sunday night. He seems to be doing really good. he knows that the Lord won't give him more  than he can handle, so he's staying strong. I think he's going to make it out alright.
 
So it's been a crazy week. Lots of awesome things and a few not so awesome. But that's the price we pay for loving people. We're just so grateful that we were able to help Jill start moving in the right direction, she was making a lot of progress. We're happy she's in a better place and look forward to being reunited with her soon.
 
Thanks for all you guys do. I miss you all so much!!!!
 
LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sis. Chapman

Monday, March 24, 2014

3/24/14

It has been another great week!
 
Lots of excitement for Jim's baptism this Saturday! And we think President might be coming to it too!!!! I just love what has been happening in this area. When Sis. Lemmon and I first got to our apartment here and we started figuring out where we were I was terrified. I didn't know how I was ever going to be able to make things work here and if we would ever find someone willing to listen to our message. and now 5 months later things have just exploded and we're having a BAPTISM!!!! The Lord is so good. His hand is definitely in this work and He knows His vineyard.
 
Yesterday was an awesome Sunday! We had the Felvers there and Michelle and her son Joey. That was so huge! Michelle hasn't been to church in a few years and when I first met her she didn't think that she would ever be able to come back. SHE DID! the Felvers stayed for all 3 hours again. Dane tried to leave after Sacrament meeting but we were able to get him to come to Gospel Principles. I don't know why he fights us on that. Once he gets in there he loves it and he contributes to the discussion and has such great things to add. He never regrets staying. Why do they fight something they need they're supposed to do and something that will make them happy? We're glad he stayed. and so is he. We had dinner with them last night and started teaching their 8 year old daughter the lessons. Heather said she wanted to be baptized so we started the lessons! We taught the Restoration and it went really well! Dane and Robyn both chimed in and helped teach it. That was awesome to see them being apart of teaching their daughter the gospel, something that hasn't happened for her. As I was watching this I had an overwhelming feeling of gratitude. I am so grateful that my parents raised me in the church, that we were active. Not that Dane and Robyn are bad parents, they do everything for their kids and are incredible people! They did the best they could. and now they're doing better. It's really cool to see and to be a part of. Dane and Robyn heard that we were going to Kirtland when you guys come pick me up and said that they might meet us out there. Dane is going to be out of town that weekend and so he might leave a day later and go to Kirtland first. HOW SWEET WOULD THAT BE?!?!?!?! I told them we're still working out details and that I would make sure we kept in touch so that they would know what was happening.
 
Michelle said she loved being at church. She said she was really scared to come back, but she said it felt good being there. She had to leave after Sacrament unfortunately. and next week she'll be out of town, but hopefully the next she'll be back. She's made so much progress; I really hope she doesn't take any steps back.
 
Jill is doing.... alright.... She is having her gastric bypass surgery right now. We had a really great lesson with her earlier this week about sacrifices. She has still been smoking and has to quit before her surgery. So we asked her to sacrifice her smokes. She had 6 left and she gave Sis. Bakker and I each one and said she would only have the last 4 ones before her surgery today. that was Friday night. We went over last night to say good luck before she left this morning for the surgery and she had her son go buy her another pack of cigarettes. I was so disappointed. She has made so much progress, she has come so far. and she keeps taking huge steps backwards. It's so sad when you see people who want the gospel in their lives but won't do what they know they need to to get there. I hope that the surgery goes well today and that she will be able to quit smoking. Because if she doesn't quit after her surgery it's going to cause some serious complications. So she's been a little frustrating this week. People misusing their agency, what else is new?
 
We had a really awesome lesson with this other lessactive - Janie. she's in her 70's and is the sweetest thing. She has a mental illness and is very child like. But has incredible faith. She is the best example I've seen of childlike faith in my life. She taught me so much. A lot of my prayers were answered as we met with her, things I've been struggling with and trying to understand. It's incredible the different ways that the Lord answers prayers. I love it! I love knowing that we can talk to Him and that He will answer us. I love this quote by Elder Scott:
 
"Prayer is a supernal gift of our Father in Heaven to every soul. Think of it: the absolute Supreme Being, the most all-knowing, all-seeing, all-powerful personage, encourages you and me, as insignificant as we are, to converse with Him as our Father. Actually, because He knows how desperately we need His guidance, He commands, “Thou shalt pray vocally as well as in thy heart; yea, before the world as well as in secret, in public as well as in private.” 

It matters not our circumstance, be we humble or arrogant, poor or rich, free or enslaved, learned or ignorant, loved or forsaken, we can address Him. We need no appointment. Our supplication can be brief or can occupy all the time needed. It can be an extended expression of love and gratitude or an urgent plea for help. He has created numberless cosmos and populated them with worlds, yet you and I can talk with Him personally, and He will ever answer."

Such a blessing! I love it!

We have a new district leader now, Elder Oberst. he's such a great elder and I think he's going to be able to really help Sis. Bakker and I with St. Marys. He's inspired and really cares about what we have going on down here. Such a great quality in district leaders. We also have a new zone leader - Elder Chapman! hahahaha! He was just released as one of the Assistants and is now down here in Lima. So funny. I'll take a picture with him and send it home so you can see how NOT related we look. haha! It's awesome. He's a red head. :)

Sis. Bakker's little sister just started her mission papers! It's so exciting. She also has a brother who is serving in Tennessee right now, so they could have 3 out all at the same time. Crazy! But so exciting.

Well that's about it for me today. We're going to be going down to this Catholic shrine thing down in Maria Stein Ohio. It should be neat. We drove by it the other day and decided to go today. It looks interesting and a little creepy... haha!

I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

3/10/14

It has been another great week! Super busy! I think this has been the craziest, busiest, fastest transfer of my mission! I can't believe next week is already transfers! I only have 3 left after next week.... that is so weird and I'm not okay with it.
 
I LOVED GETTING PICS FROM REX THIS WEEK ABOUT HIS BAPTISM!!!!!!!!!!!!! That kid is so studly! I balled looking at them! I think he is such a great example of what is possible when you live the gospel of Jesus Christ. He's such a great example to me. What an awesome family we have! We are pretty lucky...
 
this week we had some great lessons with Jim. He said he hasn't been drinking coffee since we had our word of wisdom lesson (which he wasn't too on board with) and that he hasn't had any struggles with it. He's right on track! We taught him the law of tithing and fasting/fast offerings and he took it so well!!!! He already had added up what his tithing would be for a year and divided it by 52 so he would know how much he needed to pay weekly. He's thinking about paying tithing before he gets baptized so he can see what kind of blessings he'll be getting. He said he's kind of worried, he's already so blessed and happy he doesn't know what will happen when he gets more! He's such a humble guy! I can't wait to see him get baptized! That is if President lets me stay here next transfer! Jim's baptism is the week after transfers, so I'm praying and doing a little bit of begging, that I get to stay.
 
This weekend was our stake conference and President and Sister Vellinga were there! We heard that in the priesthood leadership meeting he talked about those St. Marys sisters not having to tract all transfer because they're so busy with contacting and appointments. It was so awesome! I feel like I'm having the most success I've ever had on my mission. Sister Bakker has a huge part in that! I love her! She is so awesome. Such a hard worker and not afraid to talk to anyone. The other day we were at Wal-Mart and we passed by the desk where they'll do people's taxes and this lady was sitting there and she looked a little ticked off. So I was thinking, "if I talk to her she might get even more upset that some missionary is talking to her. She won't want what we have to offer. I'll just make it worse..." stuff like that. And she walked right up to her and was like, "You look bored. Can I show you something you can do on your computer to brighten your day?" and the lady was like sure! So we showed her some Mormon message! Sis. Bakker is so fearless. I love her. I'm so grateful l have gotten to serve with her this transfer. She's teaching me so much.
 
We had a zone training meeting this week too. It was really good! I love going to missionary meetings! They always get me pumped for this work and for what my purpose is!!!! Love it!
 
Dad thanks so much for that story about your mission! I love hearing about it. I love that our missions bordered each other! So cool! You're such a great example to me of pushing yourself and being persevering.
 
Well Today is deep clean day so we're not going to be doing anything too exciting. And I haven't been feeling very good the past couple days. I think I might have a sinus infection. I've had terrible sinus pressure/headache for a while. So We'll see what happens
 
I love you guys all so much and can't wait to hear how the zoo goes! It's supposed to be 58 here! I CAN'T WAIT FOR SPRING!!!!!
 
-Sis. Chapman

Monday, March 3, 2014

Current pictures of the Birthday Girl




3/3/14

Hey momma!
 
It sounds like another good week at the Chapman house!!! I'm so jealous you get to go to the Temple. I wish so badly it was in our mission boundaries! When you come get me I REALLY want to go to the Palmyra temple!
 
Our week was a great one! We have been so crazy busy with all of our investigators! It's been a lot of fun!
 
Jim is doing alright. We taught him the word of wisdom and he kind of freaked out a little bit... he doesn't think that because he drinks a cup of coffee every now and then he's going to hell. Which is true, it's not about the cup of coffee. The word of wisdom isn't really a principle of health as much as it is a principle of faith and obedience. Are we willing to give up that cup of coffee for the blessing of good health and wisdom? So he is supposed to be praying about that this week and we were supposed to follow up at church yesterday, but it was cancelled.... SO MAD! The roads were completely fine.... anyway.... We know that the spirit will soften his heart and he'll receive an answer.
 
Things are still awesome with Sis. Bakker! I love being companions with her. Mom, you are so right! Not training is so different and it makes it a WHOLE lot easier to just focus on the work. It's awesome! I loved training and I hope I get to do it again, but I really like being with Sis. Bakker right now. We are working so hard and are finding new investigators all the time! IT'S THE BEST!!!
Some funny stuff that happened this week:
 
Monday we went to THE BICYCLE MUSEUM OF AMERICA (that is definitely happening when you come to pick me up)! IT IS SO LEGIT!!!! So fun! I'll send pics!
 
Saturday morning there is a less active here who predicted Sis. Bakker's and I's futures. I'm gonna have 2 kids apparently... I laughed at her...
 
Saturday night we went to the Harvest Baptist church in Wapakaneta and had an awful time. We felt like we went to a Christian Rock concert.... terrible. Some of our investigators go there and invited us. After the "service" our investigators had us over for dinner and forgot to tell us they were inviting their pastor and his family over too... That was interesting... we did the best we could, but the spirit wasn't there. We've been meeting with these investigators for a while now and they still haven't read really any of the BOM and aren't praying about what we teach them, just looking for ways to prove their church is better than ours and that they don't need what we have. That experience was sad. But it solidified my testimony that we have the fullness of the gospel and that I know what I'm talking about is true. It was frustrating though....
 
I LOVED getting my birthday packages Saturday night! Mom the skirt and watch are perfect! thank you thank you thank you! Carol also sent me a package! I loved it too!!! She sent me a beautiful scarf that I wore today too!!! I'm sending a pic of that too! I have felt so loved today! I've been getting a ton of happy birthday emails. Thanks to everyone! It definitely made my day! I wish I had more time to email everyone back - we have no time! But it means a lot!
 
Sorry, this one is kind of short... But it's AWESOME here! I love being a missionary and getting to share this incredible message that we have with so many people!
 
thanks for all the support and encouragement! It's awesome and helps me keep going!

 LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Sis. Chapman 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

2/18/14

Sounds like you guys have been busy this week! I'm glad Sarah is starting to be able to get through it. Hopefully she can continue to do better! 
 
I'm excited to hear from Rex! I haven't gotten a letter yet. Looking forward to that!
 
This has been a crazy busy week for us! But such a good one! Sis. Bakker and I are doing so well! I am so grateful for her! I have always enjoyed being a missionary and doing what we do, but this transfer I truly am LOVING what we are doing together. I love it!!! We met with our investigator, Jim, on Monday last week and he set a baptismal date for March 28th! He is doing so well!!! He believes everything and is so solid so far. It kind of worries me that we don't have any concerns with him yet, I'm not used to that! We also taught him on Friday the Plan of Salvation. He really liked that! It's cool when they get it and they know that it's true, it just makes sense. He came to church too!!! He loved it! We had Branch Conference and so they talked a lot about the Temple and covenants, so we have a lot of explaining and a lot of answering questions to do. He seemed like he handled it all pretty well though. He loved our little Branch building, he said it was beautiful!
 
Tuesday we had Zone Conference which was fantastic! I love getting to see the Vellingas and all the other missionaries on this side of the mission. Being so far out away from EVERYONE else out here in St. Marys is hard, so it's nice when we get to be with everyone else. Sis. Vellinga asked me what I thought about Sis. Lemmon going to Massillon. I told her I was SO excited for her! I know that that will be such a great area for her! She agreed, she said, "we needed to get her somewhere where she could be a missionary." haha! St. Marys is a tough area, but serving here has taught me so many things about myself and about my Father in Heaven's knowledge of me. I'm grateful to still be here.
 
Wednesday we went around looking for service opportunities in the community. We got a few people to call us back, so hopefully we'll get a lot busier here soon! We also received a Headquarter Referral (meaning someone referred their friend on Mormon.org to the missionaries for a visit). So we stopped by and tried to find Brittney but she was at work. Thursday we stopped by again and finally met Brittney! She is so cute! 23 years old and is bubbly and fun! She's hardcore, lots of black makeup and loves metal, but she was interested in our message. She lost a son 2 years ago and when we told her we share a message about being together with our families after this life she wanted us to come back when she had more time. So we scheduled for Friday!
 
Jill has been having a rough week so we called her on Thursday and she told us that she had almost admitted herself to the pych ward again. She was really having a rough time! So we had a lesson with her over the phone and tried to calm her down and prayed with her. We set up a time for her to come to the church with us to clean with the Jensons. That seemed to help her a lot, just getting out of her apartment and getting her mind off of the death of her ex-husband.
 
Friday we saw Brittney. She had forgotten that it was Valentines day and had called to reschedule, but we didn't have our phone. So when we got there she had rose petals everywhere and wine out and yah, it was akward. But we went in and showed her this video:  http://www.mormonchannel.org/video/mormon-messages?v=1094400252001 She seemed to like it and we set up another appointment for us to come back at a better time. :)
 
We also stopped by Jill's Friday night. I had never seen her like that. She was so irritable and manic. I didn't really know what to do. The spirit definitely wasn't there, so we said a prayer together which kind of helped. Her son, Josh, was there too. He's 21 and less-active as well. But he seems like a good kid. He went to get Jill and him some dinner and came back and handed us a bag. We asked him what it was and he said, "it's chick food". He went and got both of us salads! hahaha! We had a good laugh about that one. I've never been called a "chick" yet on my mission. Don't worry, Sis. Bakker and I set him straight. But we talked to Jill and tried to see what we could do. She had run out of her meds and so I think that had the most to do with everything that she was struggling with. So we asked her if she wanted a blessing and we made some arrangements so that on Saturday she could get one.
 
Saturday was good. We met Elder and Sis. Jenson at the church with Jill and Bro. Roode, a member of the branch. We talked with her for a little bit and then they gave her a blessing. We stopped by her place that night and she seemed to be doing SO MUCH better. The power of the priesthood is incredible! I was so happy to see that she had some peace and was calm.
 
Sunday was Branch Conference. Our little chapel was full! It was awesome! We had all the stake leaders there, so it filled up pretty fast. There were some really great talks given! We have a great Stake President, he's wonderful. We went to the Felver's for lunch! We love them! They made us pizza and wings! SO GOOD!!! He's such a fantastic cook! Then we went to our dinner appointment. (I had to stuff food in my mouth and force myself to swallow it, I was so full!!!) We had met this women, she is the accountant for the food pantry we do service at, Annette. She is so sweet and was impressed with us and so she invited us over for dinner with her family! It was great! Homemade lasagna and chocolate mouse for dessert. SO GOOD! She was really sweet and invited us to come to mass with them this Saturday and we invited them to come to church with us too! So we are going to a Mass on Saturday... should be interesting. I'm excited! Then we went back to the Felvers. They made icecream for us and we needed to share a message with them still. When we left Dane set some goals for himself - start coming to church more regularly and start doing family scripture study again. He is so amazing. He has such a powerful testimony of the church. He just needs a little nudge. I told them I knew that they would be back to the temple in a year. They will! I know it. They are so ready! They just have to do a little more work and they're there! It's not out of reach for them. I'm so grateful for the blessings the temple brings into our lives. I hope they do what they know they need to to get back.
 
Yesterday was a great preparation day. We just kind of hung out and went and saw some sights in our area. Lots of fun!
 
This morning we got a text from our zone leaders, they wanted us to stay in because of the weather. Apparently it was supposed to get bad out, but it was just fine where we are. So then about 2 hours later they said we could go back out to work. Whatever... so today we are teaching Brittney and the Beougher family and then the branch president just called and invited us to dinner. So I think we're going to have a good day today.
 
I can't believe how things have just exploded here in St. Marys. Things are getting so busy and we are getting investigators popping out of the woodwork and we have a progressing investigator with a date!!! I feel like all of Sis. Lemmon and I's hard work is finally starting to pay off! I feel like every morning I get up and can't wait to see what miracles we'll witness that day. I love getting to see the hand of the Lord everyday as we diligently work and put our faith and trust in Him. It's something that I'm still working on, I have a hard time trusting Him completely, but I know it's going to be the best in the long run.
 
The cookies were so great!!!! thank you so much! The Jensons loved them too! They took a picture of the package and kept your sweet letters in their journal. They showed it to me last night. They felt so special, it definitely made their day. thanks so much mom and dad for doing that.
 
I hope you guys are all doing well this week! I love and miss each of you SO SO SO SO much!
 
Rex - I hope you are loving your first area and that you have an awesome trainer! I can't wait to hear all about it!
 
Rachel

Monday, February 10, 2014

Recent Pictures


2/10/14

I am so happy to hear about you guys!!! It sounds like the family is all doing well and that you're all happy. Hopefully Sarah can get healthy now! Steph sent me pics of Mike in the hospital - poor thing! Even when he's sick he still looks adorable. Rex didn't mention anything about his companion in my email, he seems to be doing awesome! I'll have to send you our conversation - HE IS SUCH A STUD!!!! You'll be so proud!

So this is what I said to him:
 
REX! I love you so much! I hope you're having a good week! I love that you made that Commitment to keep a journal! That is awesome!!! Study journals are the best too! I'm glad you have one of those too! I found a scripture that I wanted to share with you! IT'S ABOUT US!!!! Alma 17: 12-13 STOP AND READ IT NOW BEFORE YOU READ THE REST OF THIS!!!  That is what we are doing Rex! We are only separated from each other and the other people we love because we know that the work we are doing, this season of harvest, is GREAT. And it is only a season. This month I will have been on my mission for a year and it feels like I blinked. There are a lot of things that I still need to change about myself and there's a lot that I need to work on. Start your mission off right - become a consecrated missionary. There is a talk by Elder Callister called Becoming a Consecrated Missionary. It was a devotional talk at the Provo MTC so I don't know if you'll have access to that. But if you can get it GET IT! I will try to send you a copy of it. I also sent some talks home to mom to send to you. One of them is called "The Fourth Missionary" Which I wish I would have had when I first started my mission - it is incredible and helps you have a vision of the missionary that you want to become. So when you get them READ THEM DILLIGENTLY OVER AND OVER AGAIN.  Rex I love you so much and I am so proud of all that you have accomplished. You are incredible and I know that our Heavenly Father is so proud of you. I asked Mom to send me her patriarchal blessing to read and in it it talks about how she will have elect spirits for children. Rex I know that you are an elect Son of God and that He has called you to His work.
 
Keep up the great work Rex! Don't forget that if life was hard for our perfect Elder Brother, it's not going to be easy for us either. But He will be there to help us every step of the way.
LOVE YOU!!!!
 
And this was his reply:
 
Rachy B!!!!! You are the literal best!!! I miss you so much and you just have the best spirit!! You're totally right this is only for a season. And we will be together at the Burg again faster than I'll know it. It is so crazy to think that I've already been out for two fast Sundays. And that I gave my testimony in Portuguese this past week. And carzier still to think that you've been out for a YEAR!!!!! Oh my goodness Rachel time has seriously flown by!!! I want you to read Alma 26!!! Verses 11, 12, 14, 16, and finally 36!!! This is our work!! And this will be our joy!!! To help others to come unto Christ!! I know this is the true church and that we are supposed to be here. I forget the title to the talk but its by Elder Holland. He talks about how the mission wasn't supposed to be easy because the salvation of man was not a cheap experience. And that when our missions are difficult that we are standing shoulder to shoulder with Cristo. This is going to be amazing and I can't wait to see you again. But not before our work is done in our mission and we are released as missionaries. I don't want to wait for that time but I do at the same time!!!!! Love you Big Sis!!! You are the best!! Pray for Sarah this week. She really needs it.
 
So he sounds like he's doing good! I'm excited for him to get out into the field! I need his address for his mission. I don't know if everyone's preparation day is Monday across the world, you'll have to check, some missions do it on a different day.
 
I am so excited for Keith and the Chapman's! That is so awesome! they are the best family! I hope Emma makes it out to BYU-I with me. I have some companions that have heard all about her and they want her to be our roommate. So she needs to get on that application! Yes, there is stuff you can do to help me get set up with that. I need to get my FAFSA filled out and I can't do that so if you could that would be fantastic. and then you might have to sign me up for classes come June or something. Find out when registration is for Fall 2014 on BYUI.edu and let me know if it's June or July because if it's July I might be able to wait till I get home... We'll see....
 
This has been a really good week! So our new investigator, Jim, IS GOLDEN!!!! He is so incredible! He's about to set a baptismal date - we're super excited about it.
 
Sis. Lemmon left. GUESS WHERE SHE WENT!!!! MASSILLON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Y.E.S.!!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited for her! She gets to go to my home away from home!!! I couldn't believe it! I am so happy. She is going to love it and will be so well taken care of out there.
 
So my new companion is Sis. Bakker (pronounced bawker). At first I was a little nervous. We have met before and I didn't always get good vibes, she's kind of in your face. But I am really excited now. She is a super hard worker and knows what her purpose is. She's what the branch needs. She's great and I think this transfer is going to be great! It's already been a lot of fun and we get along pretty well. We both have pretty strong personalities, as long as we both just go with the flow I think we'll be alright. ha!
 
The weather has been terrible so the Felver's didn't come to church yesterday, but they will. It's going to happen - no doubts in my mind. They delayed church 2 hours, so we had it at noon, and they only had Sacrament meeting. So we didn't really get to do much. But it was a really good day.
We have some pretty awesome potential investigators that we have appointments with this week that I'm pretty excited about. One is this lady, Annette. she's the accountant for the food pantry we do service at every week. She seems awesome and really likes how at 21 we have our "heads on straight" is what she said. She has a 22 and 25 year old daughter and she wants to have us over for dinner to meet them both and share with them why we're like this. haha! She seems great! So we'll see what happens.
 
Tomorrow is Zone Conference and I'm pretty excited about it. I love getting to see other missionaries and Pres. and Sis. Vellinga! It's going to be great! And then we have an appointment tonight with Jim. and we have some other great appointments set up for this week. It's going to be a wonderful week!!!!
 
I love being a missionary. I love having a companion who isn't brand new and knows what's going on. Don't get me wrong - I LOVE TRAINING! But it's nice to get a break. It's already been wonderful. Sis. Bakker is such a blessing.
 
Hopefully this week is good for you guys and everyone stays healthy or gets healthy and everyone's happy!
 
I love and miss you all!!!!!