Sunday, April 19, 2015

My Final Report!

Hey everyone!  So this is my very last post.  I really wanted to share with you all my homecoming talk.  This is the last official thing I get to say as a missionary.  I am so grateful for the experiences I have been able to have.  My mission has truly changed my life.  Thank you for everyone that I was able to meet. You all have changed me and my heart for the better.  My mission is a decision that I will never ever regret! Thank you again for sharing this experience with me.  I love you all to the moon and back!
Love, Maddy
AWWW……it is so good to be home and to be with all of you!   I want to take a minute to express my gratitude for all of your letters, cards, and prayers that you have said on my behalf.  There were days when the strength and love sent through Heavenly communication literally carried me through.  As I look out in this room I am amazed and humbled to see so many friends and family members here to support me. J  I am especially touched to see my former young women leaders, primary teachers, Sunday school teachers, and even my former Bishops.   I want each of you to know that I have carried a small part of you and your testimonies in my heart through these past 18 months.  You may have felt like you were firmly planted in Utah soil, but you were also with me in Washington!!  In the church no calling or assignment is small, we are all being called to be part of this great work, no effort is wasted and your influence and love helped to prepare me to change and to have a great experience. 
I hope that you will be patient with me as I struggle to find the words to express what I am feeling as I report about my mission.  I apologize in advance as you will see tears flow fast and furious, but my heart is full.  I have approached this talk with great hesitation because it marks the final task associated with my mission.  My experiences as a missionary have been life changing, I have come to know that not only did my heart change, but because of pure Christlike love my very nature has changed!!  I am a completely different person than the girl who stood before you only 18 months ago.  I have to say that I love the new me, I see my own divine potential and I have learned to see myself as my Father in Heaven sees me.  I am so grateful for this vision, it changes everything.
Bishop Kotter must have been inspired to ask me to talk about my personal relationship with my Savior.    This is what my mission has been all about.  Learning to know him, trust him, and being humble enough to let him change me and mold me into the best version of myself.    I would just like to warn everyone, that I may like to talk, but I do not have very many wise words to say. There really are no words that I can find to express the sacred experiences I had out in Washington, but I am going to try really hard to express my feelings.  Everything I am, everything I have learned up until this point in my life is not of my doing, it is of my Father in Heavens doing. I first would like to bear my testimony, because everything that I have to say today all comes back to these very simple truths.   I testify that God lives.  He is in every single detail of our lives.  If we take the time to “Be still and know that he is God” we will recognize him and his blessings that he is constantly pouring down upon us.  I have come to know that Jesus Christ truly is the Savior of the World.  He was divinely foreordained for his calling as our Savior.  It was only him alone, that could be a perfect sacrifice, so that we could in return have the chance to live with our father in heaven again.  I testify of the reality of his atonement.  Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow. I also testify of the enabling power that comes from the atonement.  He has given me strength far beyond my own to accomplish my Father in Heavens righteous desires and plans he has for me.  I also know that every injustice of this life can and will be made right through the atonement.  I know that we are never lost.  Wherever we are, no matter how far gone we think we are, I know that our Saviors hand will find us.  He will lift us from whatever place we may be in.  Trust him.  He is completely aware of you. I also testify of the gospel that we belong to.  This is the lord’s kingdom once again established on the Earth, this is HIS church.  At the head of our church is Jesus Christ himself, with prophets and apostles to help lead and guide us.  I know that this church was restored through a humble and meek servant.  Our Father in heaven has, and will always work through prophets.  Joseph Smith was indeed a prophet and was an essential part in our Heavenly Fathers plan.  Even though Joseph was an imperfect human being, as all of us, I know that it was because of his sacrifices, trials, faith and obedience that we can now and forever partake of this gospel. I also testify of the priesthood power.  It truly is the power of God.  It has the ability to bless those that hold it, and those who get to be administered by it, when used worthily.  I know that the Book of Mormon is a witness to Joseph’s worthy use of that priesthood. It’s said, No wicked man could write such a book as this; and no good man would write it, unless it were true and he were commanded of God to do so. Joseph was commanded of God to translate the Book of Mormon.  I testify that if you  read the true words contained on the pages of the Book of Mormon that you will draw nearer to our Father in Heaven.  You will also come to know our Savior on a more personal level.  You will have a desire to change to become a faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.  I know these things are completely true because I have sought answers and I have found them.
In my experiences as a missionary, I have met a lot of people who taught me about my Savior Jesus Christ.  So I would love to take this time to introduce you to a few of my friends, who exemplified the attributes of our savior.
Faith/Courage-Monica Roberts-Monica is a sassy, fun loving woman living in my last area DuPont.  We met Monica by knocking on her door.  She told us that we could come back and visit with her the next day at 7.  I at first, was shocked that someone actually wanted us to come back. So the next night we went back, and taught Monica about the restoration of the gospel.  That was the first lesson of many lessons to come.  During that first lesson, Monica expressed the desire to get baptized.  So we worked with her so she could be ready for baptism. The night of Monica’s interview for baptism, she walked in and told us of something that happened to her.  She told us that she had told her husband that she would like to be baptized, and that she hadn’t talked to him since she told him.  But the words that came out of Monica’s mouth changed me for forever.  She said,” I don’t care what any man has to say, the only man that I need is my Father in Heaven.  He wants me to be a part of his church.  So that is what I am going to do.” Monica was baptized that next day. A quote that reminds me of Monica is from the video called “Courage”. It says, “You don’t ever realize how strong you are, until being strong is all you have left.” Monica exemplified complete courage.  She knew who she was, and knew what our Father in Heaven expected of her, and did it.  She is such a woman of faith.  Right now, Monica is sitting in the chapel of the DuPont ward, hopefully sitting right next to her husband.  Monica’s faith and courage reminds me of our Saviors faith and courage.  Our Savior came down and did his fathers will, even though he would be rejected and despised of men, and ended up being crucified. He never ever murmured.  He did it, because he knew the effect that it would have on the world.  He knew that he was the only way that we could live with our Father again, so he willingly sacrificed himself for us.
Hope-Ron Hayes-Was a miracle to me, and will always be.  Ron was another man, that we had met knocking doors.  My companion and I at the time, were in a hard area.  We didn’t really have very many people to teach, so on a Sunday along with our Ward Mission Leader and our Bishop we fasted and prayed for someone to teach.  We chose the perfect day to fast, because it was raining cats and dogs outside.  If any of you have ever been to Washington, you know that it rains A LOT.  But this rain wasn’t the misty rain that I have grown to love so much, it truly was a down pour. So in contemplating what we wanted to do, my companion and I decided to go ahead and tract that night.  Within the first 5 minutes, we were drenched from head to toe. So we knocked our full 5-7’s, and started heading back to our car, when we noticed a house that we had missed.  We decided that knocking on the door wouldn’t do us any harm, because we were already soaked, so we started walking up to the door.  We made it up to his front door, and knocked once.  NO answer.  Then we knocked twice.  NO answer.  We even rang the doorbell. NO answer. As we started walking away from the door, a dog came out of nowhere and started barking at us.  So being the smart girls we are, we followed the dog.  The dog led us to a man, standing in his garage in nothing but little Red boxers. J We probably scared him half to death, because we had scarves and long trench coats on.  But he agreed to learn more about the church of Jesus Christ.  So over the next few months, we helped Ron overcome his struggles and demons that he was holding on to. When I think about everything Ron had to overcome, I think of this line from Preach My Gospel, it says, “When you have hope you work through trail and difficulties with the confidence and assurance that all things will work together for you good. Hope helps you conquer discouragement.” Ron had that hope to help him get through his struggles and trials.  After Ron was baptized, he told us a story that happened to him, the day before we knocked on his door. He said that he was really struggling with his life, and the different trials that come with life.  One day he was sitting in his truck at rock bottom.  He looked up and around his rearview mirror, he say his old cross hanging there.  He said that he didn’t really know where it came from, but that he held the cross and prayed that God would save him, or send him some saving angels.  Then the next day he met us.  If you asked Ron, he would probably tell that we were his saving angels, but I truly believe that he was mine. That hope that Ron had got him through every day, and still gets him through every day.  Ron knows who he is and whose he is.  Our Savior can become and act as our anchor of hope.  Our Savior is always there for us, even when we leave him.  He will be able to help us to always find our way back.  He never moves. 
Charity/Love-Bennights-My next friend isn’t a Recent Convert or an Investigator, they are members.  In this hard area I was in, which after a while didn’t seem so hard, I had the privilege to meet a family that would change my life for forever, the Bennights.  We were lucky enough to live in their backyard! Also Brother Bennight was our Ward Mission Leader in the Adna ward.  There was one experience that really taught me how to love.  So my companion and I had the worst day of our lives. All of our appointments had fallen through, it was raining all day, and our dinner had canceled on us.  So at 8:00 at night, we went to go and have our meeting with Brother Bennight.  I bet that he could tell that we were less than happy, but my cute companion, hinted to Brother Bennight, that we were STARVING. He immediately stopped and jumped up and went into his pantry, and pulled out 2 cans of Campbell’s chicken noodle soup and went into the refrigerator and took out a loaf of bread and some cheese.  So we sat in his chicken and had grilled cheese and chicken noodle soup!  I swear it was the best meal I had on my mission, because he made it for us because he loved us.  It wasn’t because we were missionaries, and it was his calling to do it.  He just loved us.  That experience was just one time where they came to the aid of two hungry sister missionaries.  I can’t tell you how many times their family opened up their home for lessons, or would drop whatever they were doing just to give us a ride somewhere or  to just cry with us, or talk with us.  They were always there.  As members of this church, it is our duty to be there for everyone around us.  Not just because it is our job, but because we love all those around us.  The love and charity they showed was a complete example of our Saviors love for us.  I love the New Testament, because in most of the accounts written Christ is spending his time with sinners and beggars.  He wasn’t a respecter of persons.  He genuinely loved and cared for everyone.  This is an attribute that I wish I could have like this sweet family.
Grace-Jenkins-My next experience with this individual changed my mission and my life.  In my most favorite area, I had just got done spending 3 transfers with one of my best friends, then the dreaded transfer call came, and told us that she was getting transferred and that I was getting a new companion.  My new companion and I struggled for a while, because we were complete opposites in every single way.  At this time, I was feeling very lonely, because I felt like for the first time on my mission, that I felt completely alone. I literally had bruises on my knees from praying so much, because that was all I could do. I prayed for help, and ways that I could love my companion.  So after many weeks of praying, I still hadn’t gotten an answer to my pleas.  I never thought that my answer could come while I was singing.  The next Sunday, we had a missionary fireside.  During the fireside, we sang Amazing Grace. “Amazing Grace how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, I once was lost but now I’m found, was blind but now I see.   My chains are gone I’ve been set free my god my savior has ransomed me and like a flood his mercy reigns unending love amazing grace.  Unending love, amazing grace.” At the end of those words, I literally felt arms around me.  All this time up until this point of my mission, I had experiences where I got to see the attributes of the Savior, but in that moment I felt my Savior.  From that time on, I knew that I will and was never alone.  I know that he walks every step of my life with me.
In closing I want to share a few thoughts with the youth.  If you have ever had a desire or thought about serving a mission you should go!!  A mission is a way to anchor us or yoke ourselves to the Lord.  It is not coincidence that President Monsen announced the age changes for missionary service at a time when the world is more confusing and louder than ever before.  The Lord needs us to prepare earlier and be stronger as we stand as a witness.  We are the chosen generation, our future children will be raised by mothers and fathers who are returned missionaries.  They will need our strength and our faith, they will need to see us anchored to the Lord.  As challenges come and disappointments come the anchor that we plant firmly with Christ will keep us on course.  Our Father in Heaven will pull us in and give us refuge from the storms.    I want you to know that I love this gospel with all my heart.  I know I will never regret the opportunity I have had to serve with all my heart mind and strength.  I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.

Monday, March 30, 2015

It is with mixed emotions that we post our sweet missionaries final email:)  In almost 48 hours exactly we will finally be hugging her and overwhelming her with love!!  What a journey this has been for our family and for our beautiful Maddy!!  The constant of this journey is the overwhelming feeling of love that we have felt from our Father in Heaven, from all of the wonderful members in Washington that embraced our little missionary and helped to strengthen her and support her, and of course the love and prayers we have felt from all of our wonderful friends and family.  Because of each of you our Sister Everett is returning home a better version of herself and we can hardly wait to meet her!!!   We have a few last pictures of her "departing missionaries temple trip and lunch" last Friday!!  All of these young men and women will be returning home this week after serving an honorable mission, I am humbled by their sacrifice and dedication!!  Welcome Home!!!

That's what I am taking with me when I go............

Hello all of my loved ones! ;) So I am not going to talk about my week, because I have the rest of my life to do that, but I just want to share what I have come to know!  I know that you have heard my testimony before, but you get it again! :) Here goes nothing!
My heart and my mind have been so overwhelmed with the feelings of gratitude for the blessings my Father in Heaven has given me these last 18 months.  He has shaped me and molded me into the person he sees me as.  Because of my mission, I now know who I am and where I am going.  I am not afraid of the future, because I know that I have the greatest guide.  I have such confidence that my Father in Heaven will lead me in the direction I need go.  I now know that I can literally change and so can each of us.  Repentance is such a real thing.  We never have to burdened down by the mistakes of the past.  Our hearts can heal.  Mine has. I now know that my nature can change, not just my behavior.  I now know what true charity is, and what it feels like. I truly can say that I have strived to love everyone the way our Savior loves us all.  I now know that the book of Mormon is the word of God.  There truly is no other book on this Earth, that could draw a man closer to our Father in Heaven than this book can. There is not one mistake found in it, and I testify that the people in the book of Mormon are real.  They truly did love, and did testify of Christ. 
I now know that prayer works.  Pray is essential for us to come to know our Father in Heaven.  Sometimes they aren't answered in our way or our time, but the blessings and answers truly do come.  I now know that our Savior is real.  I know that he is the only way to have eternal life with our Father in Heaven.  I know that he truly did live a mortal life, but conquered all, even though he was tempted and tried just like us.  He gives us hope, because if he can make it unscathed in this life, so can we.  We have divine parents, so we do in fact have those divine seeds within us. I know he suffered for me.  I know that he has experienced everything that I am, have, and will yet experience.  I know that he will succor me.  I know that he died for me, because he loves me.  I also know that he lives.  I testify that he did arise again on the third day, he does live still.  So will we. 
I now know that this is our Fathers kingdom again on the Earth.  We are a part of the truth.  I think that this is the first time that I have been able to say this with absolute certainty.  I love my Father in Heaven and my Savior Jesus Christ more now than ever.  I have truly been closer to them than I have ever been before.  But now I know what it takes to be closer. 
I will forever be grateful for each one of you.  Thank you for helping me come to this assurance.  Yes my heart is breaking thinking about leaving this beautiful place, but I am sorry, because you are all stuck with me for forever! Thank you for letting me get close to you, and giving me the chance to love you!  To my family, I will literally see you in 48 hours and I can not wait!!    I love you all to the moon and back!
Love, Sister Madeline Everett

Monday, March 23, 2015

Well we are finally in single is so hard to wrap my head and my heart around the fact that in 9 days Maddy will be back in my arms.........I can hardly wait:) 

Maddy had the opportunity to visit the Seattle Temple this week with her area, what a blessing it was to be in the Lord's house:) 

8 days until the start to the rest of my life..........

Hello family!  Man you only get one more email after this one!
So my week has been crazy, and I hope to get everything in here!
Yesterday, we found out that President Blatter is closing down DuPont.  We aren't getting enough missionaries to fill some spots so he is combining areas now.  So this week before Thursday, Sister Liao and I have to be completely moved out of our apartment.  All of the furniture needs to be taken out.  We have a list of cleaning that needs to be done.  We both need to pack up all of our stuff.  We have to go on an exchange with our STL'S, I need to also finish my final report all before Thursday.  So please pray for us!  We are going to need it! But now lets move onto my great week!
So on Monday, we had a lesson with Adrian!  It was such a good lesson, we brought great fellowship that really connected with him!  Our member followed up with him, and called him Saturday night, and invited him to church!  So low and behold, Sunday came and in walked Adrian.  We have been trying to get him to church since I have been here!  It was so great!  He is coming this next week too! :)
Okay, and now lets talk about what made this week so great.  On Tuesday, we went to the temple.  I know why God let us go to the temple on Tuesday.  He knew that our week would be so hectic, so he needed to give us some peace.  That is exactly what I got from going to the temple.  We were supposed to come with questions, but I know that right now I am a missionary.  So the questions I need answered don't apply to me right now....I still have 9 days!  So I just went hoping for a great experience.  I wasn't seeking anything....I just wanted to go.  So we go into our session, and we sat in the chapel for a few minutes for a devotional.  The Temple president asked us to sing "I Stand All Amazed."  Yep...... from the moment the first word " I"  came out, so did Sister Everett's tears.  I lost it, because we honestly sounded like angels.  The group we went with, were so tone deaf before we walked into the temple,  I swear we had angels singing with us, because I could feel it.  After we sang, we had 10 minutes to ourselves to ponder on our questions.  I just sat there, until my gaze became fixed on the painting of the Savior.  All I could do was just stare at him.  We went through the session, and all I could think of was the Savior.  As we were sitting in the Celestial room, Sister Liao came and sat next to me, and I realized that this is exactly what heaven will be like.  I may never see Sister Liao again after I leave next week.  I will have to wait until heaven to be reunited with some of the people that I have grown to love so much.  In that moment I heard a voice as piercing as I have ever heard say, "I have taken care of you for the past 18 months, why wouldn't I continue to take care of you. Don't worry. I know them like I know you." Then a sudden feeling of peace filled me.  I can honestly say, that I have no more fears about coming home.  I know that my Heavenly Father will take care of me and will take care of all the people that I love here still in Washington.  I think I am finally ready to come home.  I don't think that my heart could feel as broken as it does now.  But hopefully with time it will mend. :) I am going to work my buns off this week, and I will see you next Wednesday at 2:22 pm, tired and worn out!  I love you all to the moon and back!
Love, Maddy Moo

Monday, March 16, 2015

2 weeks....YIKES!!

Hello my cute family and friends! (who am I kidding, I think of you all as my family)
 My week has been rainy but great!  Can we just say that I can't believe where the time goes?  I still feel as though I have 6 weeks left, but the time is now slipping right out of my hands! YIKES.
This week has been a very humbling week.  I have had a lot of mixed emotions, and I only had one breakdown last night! You would be so proud.  But that was only because of Sister Liao! :) I'll explain later! But this week has been a week of "lasts". I had to say goodbye to some members here in DuPont that are going to on vacation for Easter, and won't be here when I leave.  I had my exit interview on Wednesday with President Blatter.  I had my final zone meeting, where I had to bear my testimony, and make any final comments.  I also had my final fireside on Sunday.  Yep.....I have finally come to terms with the word last. 
So lets get to my break down shall we?! So yesterday was my final fireside.  Yep and everyone knows that during Amazing Grace I bawl my eyeballs out every single time.  But this always happens to me, but I never realize how much I love someone or something until I have to say goodbye.  My sweet little Sister Liao, who I love more than anything.  We stood up and started singing Amazing Grace.  I was so proud of myself because I had made through most of the song without shedding a tear.  Then we started singing the last verse, and I felt a hand that wrapped around my waist.  Which at first I thought it was the Elder next to me, and got a little freaked out, but then I realized that the hand was a lot skinnier than an Elders.  I am trying not to be too obvious, because we were singing for people.  But I look over at sweet sweet Sister Liao, and I see tears streaming down her face. Yep....she broke me!  I was balling like a big boob!  After we were done singing, she said that she realized that that was the last time we would sing Amazing Grace together, because the next time I sing it, will be right before I go home!  Isn't she the sweetest thing? I love her so so so much!
Okay I am not sure if this will be the last funny tracting experience, but here is one that will make you laugh!  I love Sister Liao!  So Sister Liao has asked me a lot about dating. She thinks I am a pro or something.  But she asked me if we are talking to a boy, how we can tell that he is interested in you.  So I am telling her that his body language and what he says will just let you know.  Then she asked me specifics.  Note that in Taiwan, they aren't really allowed to date until they are 30.  Sister Liao has only been on one date, and it was with a boy from her stake, and their parents both went.  So she doesn't really know anything about boys or relationships.  So she finds it absolutely fascinating, when she sees couples kissing and holding hands on the street.  So I was teasing her a little bit, and I told her that when a boy likes you, or thinks your good looking he will lean against something, and put his arms up to flex.  I told her that that is a sign that someone is interested.  I also told her what girls usually twist their hair or laugh really loud.  So we go tracting, and we are knocking apartments here in DuPont.  The apartment here are usually all military people.  So we weren't having any real luck.  So we go up to our last apartment, and we knock.  No answer.  We ring the doorbell.  No answer.  Then we wait 10 seconds, and we start to leave.  Then the door flies open, and there is a guy who looks about in his 20's standing in front of us in his UNDERWEAR! Hahahaha! I thought Sister Liao was going to pee her skirt!  She was so scared, she just kept looking at him up and down and up and down.  So I started talking, and just stared right in his eyes.  After I invited him to learn about the gospel, guess what happened?  His hands went up, and he started leaning against the door and started flexing his stomach and arms.  Hahahah!  He wasn't interested, but thanked me for being such a "sweet Jesus girl".  After we walked away from the door Sister Liao, just stopped walking and stood there, and started laughing.  She told me that I was right, and now she thinks I am like this big relationship guru. haha! So now she has been asking me about all of these behavior and people.  It was the funniest experience in a long time!  The best was that I was just kidding about the whole arms up thing.  But I guess I am better than I thought?! Who knew?
Well I had better close for now.  Know that I love and adore you all and can't wait to see you soon! There should be a few packages going home for ya! So look for those ones!  I love you to the moon and back! Love, Maddy Moo

Monday, March 9, 2015

"We don't dwell on the past we look towards the future"

Hello family! I hope that it is as beautiful in Utah as it is here in Washington!  It has been in the 60's all week! ;) What a blessing right? So this week has been another wonderful week! I have learned some very important lessons and have had some very tender mercies. I can't wait to share them all with you!  First though, Malorie you look so cute in your dress! I am way jealous! You are going to be the hottest girl in the Riverton Prom! :) Also Mom, I didn't go to the doctor, because I am so much better.  I don't have pneumonia.  Don't worry!
Okay so this week we had lots of crazy things happen to us.  We get to do service in this really cute place called the "Rubber Room". It is a day care for children, but it helps with their brain development.  Sister Liao is teaching the kids Mandarin, and I just get to listen and play with them!  My dream of being in Pediatrics has just been confirmed.  I love little kids! They call us the "Holy Sisters" its great!
So this week, has been a week of droppings also.  Our investigators here are just not progressing.  The field is White and is ready to Harvest, is the saying, its not the field is White just chilling.  So we are going to have to do more droppings this week.  But hey, the Lord will provide.  He always does. :) I have never loved knocking doors as much as I do right now! :)
On Saturday though, we had Elder Maynes, Elder Nielsen, and Elder Bussy of the 70 come and speak to our mission.  It was so weird being together as a mission, but I was able to see all of my dear friends! It was so fun.  Except that all of my friends are Elders because all the Sisters are gone. :( But it was still fun.  Elder Maynes opened with the tittle of the email.  I loved that!  We are always looking forward in our lives.  We are never having regrets, because we can't change the past.  So move forward.  That has helped me a lot as I am coming closer to the end. :) He also talked to us about the difference between faith and fear.  You can't have both.  Just one or the other.  He also helped us recognize the point when they do a switch.  It was so interesting to see that and to actually experience it too. 
I am sorry I didn't expand on that very much. But I will tell you more about it next week.  There is an experience that I want to share with you all first.  I am not sharing this because of the members that it involved, but I am sharing this to show what I learned. 
So everyone is always telling us to act right when the Lord commands right? We all think that it is a pretty easy thing to do, until we are actually faced with doing it.  So on Saturday Sister Liao and I had a feeling to go and see our sweet Monica.  We knocked on her door, to see her barely standing in her pajamas.  She looked horrible!  She let us in, and we helped her make dinner, and clean up her kitchen, and lay down on the couch.  She had been sick all weekend, and had been sleeping all weekend.  She said that right before we came, she was going to get dressed and go the ER.  We then asked her if before she went if she would like a blessing.  She said that she would, but that she would like to get it asap, so she could leave.  So here I am frantically calling everyone who is a worthy male in our ward.  I only got a hold of 3 men.  The first one was working and couldn't do it.  The second one said, "Well I am driving right now in my Mustang, and I won't be home for about 30-40 minutes.  also tonight at 10  I have to go alone and set chairs up for stake conference tomorrow. So I am really tired, and busy.  But if you can't find anyone call me back I guess I could drop what I'm doing to come and give her a blessing."  So to me, he made it seem as if he didn't really want to do it.  Monica also needed help as soon as possible.  So I being a good missionary said that I would keep calling. So I called the third ward member.  He answered the phone, and I said, "Are you busy right now?" His response was, "What can I do for you Sister Everett?" In the background I could hear that he was clearly busy, and that people were there at his house.  But I explained to him the situation, and his response was, "I will take care of it.  There will be someone there to give her a blessing.  Thank you Sister Everett for all you do. Bye."  So I went to check on Monica, and as I was talking to her, I received a phone call back.  Guess who it was? The Second ward member.  I answered the phone, he says, "Sister Everett.  What did I tell you? I told  you to call me if you couldn't find anyone to give her a blessing.  Instead you called the third ward member? Great,  because you did that I am in trouble.  They think I am not doing my job as my position.  You just wanted to see me suffer didn't you. etc." He wouldn't even let me get a word in.  He then told me he would be there in 10 minutes to give a "stupid" blessing.  I didn't know that he would get in trouble.  It wasn't my intention to get him in trouble.  I just needed someone who held the priesthood to help Monica as soon as possible.  I just went right down the ward list, and he happened to be next on the list.  So the member came and gave her a blessing. Monica went to the ER and has pneumonia. :( So pray for her!
 I left her house feeling very angry at this member.  He had no right to yell at me.  But during the night and the next morning I realized something.  When I needed something, the second member gave me excuses, and got mad when he got caught.  But the third member regardless of what he was doing just said, I will help you.  How many times in our life are we like the second member?  Lord, I am a little busy right now to go visit that less active....I will go tomorrow.  Or Lord, I am having too much fun to follow that commandment right now, but don't worry I will in the future.  Why is it so hard for all of us just to say, Lord you need something, send me,  I will take care of it right now.  I don't know about you, but I want to be like that third member.  I want to act on whatever my Father in Heaven says instantly and not wait around.  I want to be exactly obedient, at the exact moment he calls me. 
 I am so grateful that I had this experience this week.  Yes it was hard to go through, but I realized how the Lord feels.  I am so grateful that we are always in a state of learning.  I learned something, even though I thought I was done learning lessons on my mission. haha! But just know that I love you all and more importantly I love my Father in Heaven and my Savior more than anything.  I am always reminded of how lucky I am to be serving.  Thank you for making it possible!  I love you guys to the moon and back! Love, Maddy Moo

Monday, March 2, 2015

Pictures from the Fireside in Tacoma Maddy was involved with:)

30 days.....YIKES!
HELLO! Just so you all know, I am doing so much better.  I still have this disgusting cough, but I have been able to go out and do work.  I have been saying a lot of prayers, and Heavenly Father has let me work all day, then when I come home I am still sick, but oh well! I will get better right? ;) So thank you for all of the prayers you have been sending my way!
So this may be a short email,  I have to start my final report. So I am so sorry! Just know that I am sending out letters this week.  Oh and family.....are you coming to get me or am I flying home? I have to know so I can tell the mission office.  I assume probably flying right? Dad doesn't believe in picking missionaries up right? ;) I still remember that conversation. Haha!
So I am going to just skip to the miracles okay? So on Saturday we did some major service.  I will write the details in a letter home.  But in the evening we had just got done with our 5-7's.  We didn't really have anything to do. So we decided to visit our sweet investigator Adrian.  We showed up at his house, and because he is single we can't go inside.  So we just stood in the doorway with him.  We started asking if he read the Book of Mormon, and he said No.  Then he just starts going off on us.  He starts saying that the Book of Mormon isn't true, and that Joseph Smith isn't a prophet and just starts freaking out.  So sweet Sister Liao starts testifying, and you can tell that he isn't really paying attention at all. But on that door step, I had one of the most spiritual experiences on my mission.  I didn't testify.  Instead I asked him how his week was.  It came out of nowhere.  He said it was good with a mad expression on his face.  Then I asked him how his prayers were.  He said they were good.  Yep. I hate one word answers.  Then I asked him again.  Adrian, how are you really doing? He then started freaking out at me, and started asking me questions like why wouldn't I be good? etc. So words were put in my mouth, and I said Because I can feel it.  So don't fake it. Yep....I said that.  I wouldn't ever have said that.  But instantly his presence changed.  I saw a tough 29 year old guy, look like he was going to fall apart any moment. I felt inspired to share with him my experience last week being sick, then I showed him a verse in Luke chapter 22.  It is talking about the Savior preforming the Atonement.  It says that an angel was sent to him to bear him up.  I then testified to him that we are truly never alone.  I think I said some other things, but I don't remember them.  They were not my words.  It was the spirit.  I invited Adrian to church on Sunday, and I also invited him to fast.  Then he asked if I could say a prayer for him.  So I said a prayer.  I think that was the first prayer that I had ever said for someone where I meant every single word that I said, and I felt every word deep in my heart and soul.    I honestly yearned and desired for him to have comfort.  After the prayer I lifted my head and opened my eyes to see this man crying tears that were streaming down his face.  I realized then, the love, the genuine love that our Heavenly Father and Savior have for each of us.  Because I was standing there feeling the same thing for Adrian.  I love that kid.  So I bet you think that he came to church on Sunday and that he had a revelation and wanted to get baptized......nope that didn't happen sorry to disappoint.  But I did fast for him.  I don't know if he will join the church, and frankly I don't care.  That was my moment to truly live up to my nametag and to be a representative of my Savior.  These simple and perfect moments are what have made my mission.  I mean don't get me wrong, because I love baptisms.  There is not a more sacred ordinance out there than baptism.  But I love helping people come closer to my Savior.  I have the most sacred calling!  I love it!
God has just been pouring out the tender mercies to me! Sheesh!  Yesterday during testimony meeting my sweet Monica got up and bore her testimony.  With tears running from her eyes, and from mine.....she told the story of opening the door to find these two beautiful rays of smiling sunshine standing at her door.  She said that when she saw us, that she was overcome with love.  Ever since then we have just blessed and enhanced the quality of her life.  I love being that ray of sunshine!  I am not sure how beautiful I was.....I had been knocking doors for 2 hours in the pouring rain! Haha! I love that we can be that for others.  I have realized that I can do that with or without a nametag.  I became a missionary the moment I was baptized.  Yes I am not always going to be a missionary full time, but I hope that I will be able to help others even at home come closer to Christ.
Then last night I was able to participate in a fireside in good old Tacoma.  How I love that place.  It was really funny because that is where this all started.  I remember sitting on the pew, wondering if I could really be a missionary, if I had the heart and strength to really do it!!  Now, Here I am with 30 days left.  I have been a missionary for the past 18 months.  I have served with all my heart, mind, might and strength every day for 18 months!!  The only way I have been able to accomplish this is with my Savior Jesus Christ.  Also with you, with your prayers and support.  Thank you for letting me get a little bit closer to my true potential.  Thank you for letting me find my Savior and to become closer to him.  I don't want this journey to end, because this is the closest that I have ever been before.  But I now have to tools to continue to develop and strengthen my relationship with him. 
I hope that you all had a blessed week.  I hope that this week we will all be able to look around at the miracles our Father sends us every day!  I love you all to the moon and back!  Love, Maddy Moo

Monday, February 23, 2015

                                     Monica's Baptism!!  I love her so much!!!

                                          Sis. Liao is teaching me to cook Taiwan food, I am really good at it:)

                                    I had to pray really really hard that I could make it through dinner...FISH!!
                                   This is my sickie picture...hope it gets better!!!

Sunshine, sickness, and sleep..........

Good morning family!
Man.....I hope that you all had a better week than I have been having. I had some struggles this week, but I don't want you to worry about me or feel bad.  God always takes care of his servants! :)
Here is the start of my week and how it went.....I mentioned that last week I was sick.....that was an understatement.  I am ill.  I have this nasty head cold/chest cough, that makes me feel like I am going to die.  Monday, I tried to brave through it, and that only brought pain and suffering on Tuesday.  All week I have been sleeping and coughing.  I honestly cannot get better.  By the time Wednesday rolled around, I decided to ask for a blessing.  Well actually I am prideful, and Sister Liao made me ask for a blessing.  The blessing was not what I wanted to hear.  It started off with God telling me to focus more on the work and not my family or friends.  It also told me that I will be sick for a while, but that God will strengthen me to bear this sickness well.  Yeah.  I was frustrated, because I was trying to focus on the work, and then I get sick.  Its kind of hard to focus on something as you are dying.....literally.  I so much just wanted to be at home, eating your chicken noodle soup.
So after our missionary meeting on Wednesday, I went to the bathroom only to start puking my guts out.  Yep.  So after that, we decided that I just needed to go home and sleep.  After sleeping all afternoon and evening, I woke up and went into the living room and started crying.  Poor Sister Liao didn't know what was going on.  But she sat and listened to me.  I started ranting and raving about how sick I was, and how I hate being home not working, because I only have 5 weeks to show God what I am truly made of.  After my emotional basket case rampage, Sister Liao told me one thing. Pray.  Then she walked out of the room.  So I did.  I poured my heart out and told God all of my frustrations, and trials.  I told him everything.  Sometimes not very nicely, but I told him.  After my prayer I didn't get an answer. So I went to bed feeling alone and abandoned.
Thursday, I didn't get an answer either. But what I did get was strength.  I was able to get up on time, and to do half of my studies.  Then I was able to weekly plan, and go out in the afternoon.  Then I was able to go and do my 5-7's. Then I found enough energy to go to an appointment with Monica.  It wasn't until Friday that I realized I was enabled by some divine power to be able to actually do some type of work on Thursday.  Then my energy continued through the whole weekend.  Then here comes my answer.  Today while studying, I was prompted to read Mosiah 24.  I have probably already talked about this before, but I needed to reread it.  Here Alma and his people are under great persecution.  Amulon is using them as slaves.  The people start to cry out to God in verbal prayer, but Amulon puts a stop to it.  But the people never stopped praying.  Instead of voicing their prayers they prayed in their hearts.  God heard their cries.  He didn't deliver them instantly from their burdens.  He strengthened them.  He strengthened them, so the could push through their trials.  What did God do with me? It wasn't his fault that I am sick.  I bet it kills him having to look upon me struggling.  I bet it broke his heart knowing that I was blaming him for what was happening to me.  But instead of turning away from me mad and disappointed, he actually came and stood right next to me.  He gave me strength to do a little bit more every single day.  I am still not fully there, but I have all the confidence in the world that by the end of the week I will be.  Lets just say that I did and still have some major repenting to do.  I feel stupid to think that in my moment of weakness that I broke.  Even after witnessing first hand all of the blessings that God gives me on a daily basis.  I think I truly needed that experience to humble me, enough to realize that this is his world. He is in control. But I do have agency, and due to that agency sometimes my decisions have poor consequences.  I am still sick, but I am most definitely better than I was. Don't worry Mom.....Bishop Pace brought me some Nyquill and some Mucinex, and some cough syrup.  I am doing good. :)
So lets talk about the baptism!  IT WAS BEAUTIFUL.  The spirit was so strong, and she is incredible.  The day before her baptism, (Monica's husband is deployed in Arkansas) her husband stopped talking to her, because she told him she was getting baptized.  This was her response, "I am so done with my husband.  He thinks that he can just quit on me whenever he wants too.  But the only man that I need and I want to please is my Heavenly Father. He is the only man I will EVER need." Then she showed up on Saturday and was baptized.  After she was baptized she shouted for joy in the bathroom, as I was helping her get dressed.  I LOVE BAPTISMS. They honestly are the best spiritual boosts you could ever get.  In church she got the gift of the holy ghost, and during sacrament meeting she started crying for no reason.  she said that she just feels so good.  So we are really excited for her!  We are planning a temple day together on March 14th.  So I am so excited to get the chance to go with her there!  It will be so much fun! :)
Also this week, I will attach some pictures......I celebrated Chinese new year with Sister Liao!  I had a bunch of yummy Taiwan dishes, and I had so much fun helping her cook it all!  I hope that you all are doing well.  I am excited to start this week with a new determination to be better every moment.  Also to not forget then one who makes this all possible!  I love you all, and miss you! I love you to the moon and back a million times!
Love, MaddyMoo