Monday, July 7, 2014

July 7, 2014

 I can't believe that this transfer is almost over. Mission goes by fast. I have met so many great people. This week has been crazy. So I have had the chance to spend lots of time with my Sister Training Leaders(STL). Friday, I helped them make T-shirts for the sister conference. The T-shirts turned out great. Then I went and helped the STL teach three lessons. It was really good for me to be able to teach. I feel like I am getting better on my teaching skills. Then all the Sister Missionaries in the area got together and watched Frozen. I was the only one that has seen it before. So before we watched it, I asked them if I could quote it or sing along and they all said NO. :( Fine since I could not do any of those things, I lip singed all the songs. I had a fun time. Saturday, all the Sister Missionaries in the mission got together and listened to all the STLs and the mission President. It was really good. I enjoyed being able to see all the sisters that came out with me and to see the few other sisters that I know.  

June 30, 2014

This week was good. The beginning of this week we challenged two girls to read the Book of Mormon. One girl is trying to read it by the 4th of July and the other is trying to finish it by the 22nd of July. It is great to see their excitement about it and they are a little scared that they are not going to have it done by their days. They are cousins and they are part of the church. The ward members here are great. The youth are so great, It is so weird to be on the outside now and not be a youth.
   We are trying our best to visit the people that Sister Tanner have taught a little but a lot of people are out of town. So we are walking around trying to find people and talk to everyone that we see. The other day, I went on exchanges. (spent a day with another sister missionary that is close by.) It was cool to see how she does things, and it was nice to see to get help from a different person.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Nevada is just as hot as I thought. Yesterday was crazy. I woke up at 3 so I could get ready and report to the travel office at 4:20. Then we drove to the airport, I fell asleep on the bus trip and the airport. I wished that I would slept long on the airport, but it is ok. I was seating for most of the day, and they excepted us to stay awake. I tried my best, there was sometimes that I would have to stand up to stay awake. It is crazy to be on the missionary side of meeting with the bishop. I am so use to be one of the kids. Another thing that is crazy, The bishop's wife is going to have a heart operation.  All I can do is remember what it felt like to be a kids and have my dad go through it. It is a different operation but it still hits home. I have a car, I am so glad. I don't know what I would do if I was riding a bike where I am.
 My comp can't have anything with peanuts in it and she can't touch anything that has peanut on it. So sadly I can't have peanut butter at all. I guess I will have to find a way to live without peanut butter. The people in the ward sound really nice. My comp is new to the area also. So we are trying are best to figure this area out. 
Love you, 
Sister Stoddard
June 3, 2014
It has gone by so fast. I have learned a lot this week. I was able to go the temple this morning. I loved it, it was so beautiful. I got to spend so much time walking around the temple today, it was great. People have sayed thaPresident Monson might be coming to give us a talk on sunday. I hope they are right it would be so great to hear him talk. It would be like a farewell from the MTC. It would be a perfect ending to an amazing experciene. The MTC has been so great. They give you a lots of chances to teach some one. Everyday we are teaching someone. It might be one of our teachers, a investigator or a person acting to be an investagtor. It doesn't matter who it is, it still feels so really everytime. Even the time that it is my companion and we are just doing roleplays, we still act and feel that it is real. The spirit is so strong here. I will be leaving this great place in 2 days. It has gone by so fast I don't like it. But if Heavenly father feels that I am ready to go sevre his people in Las vegas then I will have to excpet it and try my best. 

I know that this church is true and I am really grateful to be able to teach the people in las vegas about the church. I will try my best to bring people to Heavenly Father. I know that this church can bring happy to everyone that comes to learn of this church. I know that the scriptures are true and if you read them with a question or a need in mind then you will get so much more out of the scirpture then we would if you just read them. I know that Heavenly father loves everyone and wants them to learn of his son and Jesus' church.   
Sister Maranda Stoddard
May 30 2014

Friday, May 23, 2014

                                          Maranda just before entering the MTC in Provo, Ut.Here is her first e-mail:
 I feel like I have been here for so long. It is crazy how much I have learned already, and how fast things move along here. Everything we do here I feel the spirit and the love that god has for me. Wednesday, I went to a big meeting full of lots of missionaries and talked with different people. There was three different people that we talk to, there names are checho, sarah, and kansey. I felt the spirit so strong and I wanted them to feel it to. I know that I will feel that more and more when I am in Nevada. Yesterday, I taught my first lesson. It was a little scary but I think my companion and I did good. Today, we taught the same person. It did not go that well because we did not have a lot of time to plan what we were going to say. But I know that we tried our best and followed the spirit that is what counts. I am not sure if she is a non-member or what, but she seems really nice. Her name is Rebekah. It made me think of my sister, since it is the same spelling. She is willing to put up with all of the missionaries. There are three other sets of missionaries that are teaching her too. Yesterday, I meant my branch president, and got called to be the music coordinator. I just have to coordinate the music for next Sunday not this Sunday. Which I am so happy about. I think that I will have P-day Friday in the MTC. I saw my cousin, Joe, today and yesterday. It was great to see him. He seems really happy. 
            My companion is also from Washington, she is from Richmond.  It is funny how sometimes we get the same thing out from something that we read, I know it is the spirit showing to us what we need to know to get the most out of the lesson and what to teach people. Her name is Sister Kurtz. I think that we have the some skill level when it comes to the piano, and we are the only people in our class (district) that know how to play the piano. So we will have to find time and a place to practice.  There is Sister Holmes and Sister De Kock. They are great, they are going to Kirkland visitor center. Sister De Kock is from south Africa. It is fun to hear all the different things she says. The first day she told us that it was weird that Americans eat dessert for breakfast, like donuts. We are going to try to get her to eat one before we leave. There are Elder King, Elder Handley, they are going to the Colodor Denver south mission. Elder Cline, Elder Craydale are going to my same mission. They are great guys. Everyone is starting to come out of there shells (me too). 

          I know that I am where the LORD  wants me to be. I know that this gospel is true and that Jesus Christ is our Savior and that he died for all of us. I feel it more and more every day. All the little things that I was scared and worried about are slowly going away the move times that I study and teach. I don't understand why I was so scared about coming to the MTC everyone here is great and so friendly. The first day a lot of people kept saying welcome to the MTC that I took my sticker off that night. (The sticker was there to let people know that you are new to the MTC.) 
I love you,
Sister Maranda Stoddard

Friday, May 16, 2014

I will be in the Mission Training Center (MTC) on May 21st through June 2nd. Then I will be in Nevada the rest of the time. Both addresses are on the left. 

Farewell talk

I am going on a mission I will enter the MTC on the 21st. I will be going to the Nevada Las Vegas west mission English speaking.
As I entered young women, I learned the young women theme just like everybody else who enters. Since the young women say it every Sunday we learn it pretty fast. The theme is
WE ARE DAUGHTERS of our Heavenly Father, who loves us, and we love Him. WE WILL “STAND as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places” (Mosiah 18:9) as we strive to live the Young Women values, which are:
Faith • Divine Nature • Individual Worth • Knowledge • Choice and Accountability • Good Works • Integrity • and Virtue
WE BELIEVE as we come to accept and act upon these values, WE WILL BE PREPARED to strengthen home and family, make and keep sacred covenants, receive the ordinances of the temple, and enjoy the blessings of exaltation.
But soon it will be just another thing that we say, we usually say it fast because we know it but sometimes we don’t think about the words. We need to take it to heart and think about the words because Heavenly father does love each and every individual. Everything in the young women’s program builds upon the theme sometimes you don’t think about how it builds upon but it does. While I was in young women I worked on my personal progress, I would work on it every once in a while. Then one day my mom came up to me and asked if I would like to finish it by my 16 birthday then have two years to work on my honor bee. I agreed and with my mom’s help all along the process I finished it at least close to my 16 birthday then by the time graduation came around I had finished all the things I need to get my honor bee. There was sometimes that I was not sure if I would finish all the things that I needed to do for my honor bee but my mom always came up with different solution to my problems. I don’t think that I would of gotten my honor bee without my mom and I probably would of pushed finishing my personal progress off till later.
The young women program has taught me how little things that we do in our lives can change how people look and think about the church. We all “have the power to bless people by our words and smiles and [our] sincere interest in them”  I have learned that you never know who is watching what you do or say. Depending on your words and action you might be bring someone closer to heavenly father or you might push them away. “we should not bow down or give in or be persuaded to do anything contrary to God’s will.” My leaders and parents have taught me to follow this. Lucky I have never been persuaded or have done anything against the commandments and the teaching of God.
Growing up I always thought that if I was not married by the time I was 21 I would go on a mission but that all changed when Pres. Thomas S. Monson changed the aged. “I am pleased to announce that effective immediately, all worthy and able young men who have graduated from high school or its equivalent, regardless of where they live, will have the option of being recommended for missionary service beginning at the age of 18, instead of age 19. . . .”
I was freaking out, and talking at the TV saying that If they change the boys age then they should change the girls age too.  
Then he kept going “As we have prayerfully pondered the age at which young men may begin their missionary service, we have also given consideration to the age at which a young woman might serve. Today I am pleased to announce that able, worthy young women who have the desire to serve may be recommended for missionary service beginning at age 19, instead of age 21”   I was not expecting the young women age to drop down so far. I was thinking maybe age 20, but I knew that I wanted to go and I did not have a long time to prepare anymore.
When I was starting to  write my letter to the First Presidency to accept my mission, I started feeling like I was not prepared to teach people about the gospel. I was beating myself up and I knew that I needed help from someone because as time went by I was getting more sad and feel inadequate, so I called my mom and talked her for awhile. My mom made me feel so much better about myself.  My mom has help me with so many things in my life but as my mission as grew close she has help me a little more then she has in the past. She always knows what to do and say to make me feel better about what I am doing or going to do
I know sometimes that the path is not easy but if we get off the path and follow our own path it is a whole lot harder then the path that the LORD has laid out for us.
I went on a hike with my dad, on our hike we thought we were on the trail but we got to a point and couldn't go any more so we left the trail and tried to find the trail again. finally we find it, on are way back down we thought that we could find where we went wrong but we never could find were we went wrong. Sometimes life is like that we think that we are on the LORD's path but we make little choose that makes us leave the path but we think that we are still on the LORD's plan until we are not and we look back and don't understand where we went wrong. But we have the atonement, so we can repent and get back on the LORD's plan.
         I have had the chance to visit different wards in different states and all the wards teach of the same thing. I have felt the spirit in all the wards, I know that the church is the same no matter where you go. I have had the opportunity to be close to a temple for close to a year now.  I have felt the spirit in the temple so strongly, I also went to the temple yesterday it was amazing. I felt so welcomed and loved in the temple. I was really glad to have so many people come to be with me when I went through the temple. I know that this church is true and I have felt the love and spirit every time I great the chances to listen to the prophet and the apostles. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen