General E-Mail July 13 – July 20

G’day!

Hope you all are having a great summer and being hydrated! It’s getting HOT here in Washington! I keep thinking this is probably nothing compared to Australia!

Speaking of Australia, my visa is still not here! Patient is key. ๐Ÿ™‚

So one thing I find very interesting as I have been out on my mission…my last name is apparently really hard to pronounce…mostly people will call me either Sister G, Sister Rock, or Sister Rocky. It’s pretty funny. ๐Ÿ™‚

So this week was a nice busy week!

Like usual my companion and I go to the Senior Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays to do exercises. We had a pretty big group on Thursday, we had a fun time! On Friday the center had a garage sale so my companion and I stopped by it to checked it out and we also said hi to some of our participates, they were so glad to see us. This week they are having a Kangaroo Kottage, they are bringing kangaroos to the center to let the seniors pet the kangaroos! Kind of random but so cool! So my companion and I are going to stop by and pet the kangaroos! Super excited! ๐Ÿ™‚

The Relief Society (an all adult women class during the 3rd hour to help prepare women for the blessings of eternal life by helping them increase faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, friends and seek out and help any other people who are in need.) had Enrichment (activity) on Tuesday, it was called “Who’s Who?” and we all had to bring 3 things that represented us and put it into a bag, then we had to go around and look in the bags and try to guess who is who.ย  I brought a hair bow that I made, a nail stamping plate, and lastly a box of Mike and Ikes. And I brought those because I love making hair bows, I do nail designing and Mike and Ikes are one of my favorite candies. It was a lot of fun getting to know the ladies in our ward. ๐Ÿ™‚

We had a zone meeting on Wednesday and of course like all the other meetings it was about how we can become better missionaries and also the rules of being a missionary. So same ol’ same ol’. ๐Ÿ˜›

Like usual, my companion and I volunteer at the Food Bank and this time we got to be the people who say how many items you can take. I love being able to volunteer and be able to see the people there thanking us for helping them. ๐Ÿ™‚

Funny story! So every morning my companion and I exercise, I was running up and down our street while my companion was working on her bike so she could ride it while I run, well anyways, I was running back and forth and then I saw someone come out of their house (probably going to work) and all of a sudden I see two dachshunds barking viciously going down their porch steps and come running after me, it was so funny watching two weenie dogs chasing me down the street. Lets just say I’m glad it wasn’t a rottweiler or pitpull! Haha!

On Saturday my companion and I did more yard work for a member’s neighbor and we also got to help some member’s move out of their home. The lady who we did yard work for is such a sweet lady, we hope to sometime share the gospel with her but for now we are glad to just do service for her. ๐Ÿ™‚

So my companion and I have four investigators (people that are interested in the church and we teach them about the gospel), one of the investigators is brand new to my companion and I (this means that we both have never met them before, the other 3 investigators my companion has taught so she knew them before me) her name is Jamie, she is a single mom with 2 kids, she is divorced, recently lost her job but got lucky with a new one so quickly but is still struggling with helping her family but she has such a sweet spirit. I actually noticed her when my companion and I went to volunteer at the food bank. She was in line waiting to get food and I noticed she was crying and I felt so bad because I always feel bad when I see people crying because I want to make sure they are okay and also want to help them. Well anyways, I had this strong feeling that I needed to talk to her and ask her if she needed help. So she got up to my line and I asked her how she was doing and she said, “I’m okay” and then I asked her about the food and then I said to her, “Is there anything I/we can do for you? We are sister missionaries and we are here to help those who are in need.” and she looked at me and said, “I need talk.” and I asked her where she lives, asked her name and also asked if my companion and I could stop by and talk to her and she said she would love that. So the next day we stopped by her house and it was such an amazing experience, she just talked to us and my companion and we just listened and helped her. She seems to have a very strong belief in God and Jesus and also families. We are going to meet with her tomorrow and teach her more about the gospel and why it’s so amazing to have it in our life. She is so sweet. I think she’ll be baptized soon. I’m so glad I listened to the spirit when it told me to talk to her. ๐Ÿ™‚

It’s amazing what the Holy Ghost can do for you and tell you what to do in certain situations, I’m so grateful that I can always have the spirit with me to know what I need to do and also knowing the difference between wrong and right but also knowing something is true and receiving answers and good feelings and be able to share it with others. ๐Ÿ™‚

Stay cool everyone! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Sister Grawrock

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General E-Mail July 21 – July 27

G’day!

Hope all of you are still having a great summer!
This week was pretty good, not too much happened til the end of the week but it was good! ๐Ÿ™‚
We finally got some cool off days with some clouds and rain! So that was nice, but I’m ready for the sun to come back. ๐Ÿ™‚ย 
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I currently still don’t have my visa, I have 2 more weeks to find out if it comes, if it doesn’t come within these next 2 weeks, I’ll be in Washington for another 6 weeks until my visa comes. A lot of you are probably wondering why it is taking so long. Weeell, when my dad and I filled out my visa paperwork we had to send in a copy of my passport and in the section for “Birthplace” it says Russia. When we had gotten the paperwork back, it said I was a Russian citizen…I am not a Russian citizen! So I guess because it said Russia on the birthplace section on the passport they assumed that I am a Russian citizen! So my dad and I had to change everything and resend it…so maybe that is the case? Who knows but I’m still waiting patiently! ๐Ÿ™‚ย 
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Our daily Tuesday and Thursday volunteering at the Senior Center for exercises were good this week! We had a pretty big group this week! So that was a lot of fun! ๐Ÿ™‚ Sadly my companion and I weren’t able to go to the Kangaroo Kottage event though. We were volunteering at the Food Bank when they had it going on! Oh well. ๐Ÿ™‚
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Our other daily Thursday volunteering at the Food Bank went good as well! My companion and I were in the back organizing for a bit and then we got to be in the front. So it was good being able to help people in need and see their happy faces and just talk to them. ๐Ÿ™‚
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So usually my companion and I don’t do tracting (knock door to door to share the gospel/a spiritual message/and to see if the person is wanting to learn more) because we are mostly visiting current investigators (people interested in the church), less actives (people that don’t come to church often) and converts (recently baptized). But my companion and I came to a spot where none of our investigators, less actives, and converts were home. Then I had a prompting ย that we should do tracting, just a little neighborhood for 30 minutes. I didn’t say anything but then my companion pulled over on the side of the street and she said that we should say a prayer to ask Heavenly Father what we should do, after we prayed she asked me, “What should we do? Just go home and work on our assignments from our mission leader?” I looked out my window and noticed how sunny and beautiful it was and I saw we had parked by a neighborhood with 10 houses. I said to her, “Lets tract these houses, it’s beautiful outside and I feel like walking!” So we did! We didn’t have anyone interested but I can tell you that I did have my first angry person! That was kind of scary…I knocked on the door and it was a much older man that opened the door, and me being me, in my happy voice said, “Hello! We are sister missionaries from the Church of Jesus-Christ of Latter Days and-” he cut me off with a loud voice “NO! GO AWAY! NOW!” and slammed the door.ย  I just looked at my companion kind of like, ‘what just happened?’ and she said, “Oh, that’s just the beginning, you’ll get use to it.” and then told me her experiences of tracting and coming across angry people and I thought to myself, ‘I guess I better start being more brave.’ ย It’s too bad he couldn’t hear our spiritual message but oh well it is what it is, we just continued on our merry way. ๐Ÿ™‚ย 
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Sadly my companion and I decided not to go on the tour of Boeing (biggest building in the world filled with airplanes) because you can’t take pictures inside and it’s 30 minutes away and we thought it would maybe be a waste of gas. So we just hung around the house, went to Target, made brownies, and I did her nails with my cool nail design plates that I have, it was a lot of fun. ๐Ÿ™‚
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This week for service my companion and I did yard work again for this sweet lady named Yvonne. She told us that she sometimes watches the BYU channel on TV and she really enjoys it, and her next door neighbor Sister Farmer is a member in the ward we are serving in and she told us that she had a really good gospel discussion with her. So maybe tomorrow when we do more yard work for her we will share a spiritual message, she is a very sweet lady. ๐Ÿ™‚
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My companion and I went to the Family History center on Friday because we had some time to watch some videos, which by the way, if you have time and want to know more about Mormons or just want to hear a spiritual life message, go to mormonchannel.org and watch the videos! There’s some really good ones! ๐Ÿ™‚ Anyways! We got some time to go on mormon.org, mormonchannel.org, relativefinder.org and lds.org and while we were there a lady who is in charge of the family history center showed us on relative finder a group we could join to see who we were realated to in our stake. Well! Because my companion and I joined the group we both found out that we are 11th cousins 1 times removed! Pretty neat I must say! ๐Ÿ™‚ย 
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So we have 4 investigators so far! We were only able to teach one this week because it’s been bit of a crazy week due to it being the summer time and Lake Stevens (the town I’m in) had a festival called Aquafest, there were booths of arts and crafts that people made that they were trying to sell, and there was food and carnival rides. My companion and I volunteered at the Food Bank booth just sharing information about the Food Bank, but anyways it was fun people watching. ๐Ÿ™‚ But we will be meeting with them this week and hopefully it will continue to go well. ๐Ÿ™‚ One of our investigators actually came to a Fireside last night and she said she really enjoyed it and realized she needs to read the Book of Mormon so we are excited to teach her more about it. ๐Ÿ™‚
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We also MAY have a new investigator! Her name is E, she is about 16 years old, she walked into the church building asking to see the bishop and one of our members took her to the bishop and then she asked him if she could be baptized and receive the gift of the Holy Ghost and he then handed her to us and now we are going to meet up with her on Wednesday! Hopefully she is in our boundaries of where we are serving! I’m way excited! She seems like a very sweet girl! ๐Ÿ™‚
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I also gave a talk in the ward I’m serving in yesterday at church. It went pretty well! I actually had a little girl 4 years old come up to me and tell me she was crying, I asked her why was she crying, and she said because of my talk, and that she felt the spirit. It was adorable! It’s amazing even little kids can feel the spirit. ๐Ÿ™‚ My topic was on “How has the scriptures and preach my gospel brought me closer to God and Jesus Christ?” My favorite thing about the Bible and Book of Mormon is that a lot of the verses can be compared into my life, such as;
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Have Faith (this is a good one for those of you who are having a trail in your life that is hard to overcome):ย 
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Doctrine and Covenants 121: 7-9: My son, peace be unto thy soul; thineย adversityย and thine afflictionsย shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes. Thy friends do stand by thee, and they shall hail thee again with warm hearts and friendly hands.ย 
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Have Strength/Courage (this is good for those who are afraid or feeling discomfort):ย 
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Joshua 1:9 Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.
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I have sooo many more and could go on and on about them, I love that about the scriptures though, that I can turn to those verses and be reminded that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love me, and they know what my weaknesses are but because of them I know they can guide me and help me to happiness. ๐Ÿ™‚
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Joshua 1:9 is actually my favorite scripture and is on my missionary plaque at my home ward’sย bulletin board and I choose thatย scripture because I was nervous going on my mission and I was worried that I wasn’t going to be good enough, but because of that scripture it hasย strengthenย me and Iย haven’t had one time where I had the worry if I’m being good enough. I know I am good enough. ๐Ÿ™‚
Hope you all have aย splendidย week! Be safe! ๐Ÿ™‚
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Sister Grawrock

General email July 6- July 13

G’day!

This week was a pretty good mellow week!

Sadly still no visa so I’m still here in Washington for 4 more weeks!

So every Tuesday and Thursday my companion Sister Solosko and I go to a retirement center and we do fun little exercises with them. We get a pretty big group, about 10 or so seniors. Sometimes even senior couples will be there, but that’s only because the wifes drag their husbands along. At least that what Andy tells me, he is one of the seniors that comes to the exercises, but his wife drags him to the exercises and he pretends he is asleep during it, it’s pretty funny watching him pretending to snore haha. But anyways! My favorite part about the exercises is at the end. We all sit in chairs in a circle and we take a beach ball and we all kick it back and forth but we can also use our arms, hands, and heads. It’s really funny because the senior men will get really into it and kick the ball as hard as they can and sometimes it’ll hit people in the face or head, it’s pretty funny, I try not to laugh cause I feel bad that they get hit but they all laugh so I guess it’s okay. ๐Ÿ™‚

This week we had a Mission Conference Meeting (all the districts (groups) in the Washington, Everett Mission together) and a New Missionary Training Meeting (all the new missionaries from the Washington, Everett Mission together) it was mostly about how to become a better missionary, the rules as a missionary and we even got a new device for our car! Lucky me I don’t have to use a bike! At least not yet…but anyways! We got a new safety device for our car called a “Tiwi”. It’s a little box that sticks onto your windshield and if you go to fast, don’t buckle in, don’t log in, or you’re an aggressive driver it’ll yell at you. Luckily because I’m a visa waiter I don’t get to drive so I won’t be yelled at, but besides that, I wouldn’t be yelled at anyways. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Haha just kidding. ๐Ÿ™‚

Every Thursday Sister Solosko and I volunteer at the Food Bank. Last time we were volunteering there we would tell people the amount of items they could have, and they would also point out which food they would like. Well this time we were in the back sorting out the food into different bins so it could be more organized, it was a lot of fun and the people in charge even awarded us with free ice cream cones at a local ice cream parlor! It was actually pretty yummy! ๐Ÿ™‚

On Saturday Sister Solosko and I went to a woman’s house who isn’t a member of the church and we did service for her. We weeded her yard and help her set up her sprinkler system! The weather was perfect and we got a lot done! It’s kind of funny, most people don’t like weeding but I actually love weeding, it reminds me of when I use to do weeding when I was a kid. Don’t get any ideas when I get home! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Just kidding. ๐Ÿ™‚

Next Monday on my day off some members in our ward are taking Sister Solosko and I to Boeing! Apparently it’s the biggest building in the world with a bunch of airplanes inside! So I’m pretty excited about that! ๐Ÿ™‚

That’s pretty much my week! It was a good relaxing week! ๐Ÿ™‚ I almost forgot to mention that I had dinner with a member of the church who looks like Gorge Clooney! It was pretty funny! He said he gets it a lot. And also, my bishop looks like Mr. Incredible! Haha!

Hope you all have a great week! Remember to always smile! ๐Ÿ™‚

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Sister Grawrock

General E-Mail June 23-July 6

G’day!

Hope your 4th of July was amazing! ๐Ÿ™‚

Alright, bear with me, for this is going to be quiet a long email…hope you enjoy!

So last time I wasn’t able to say much in my general email because of the short time I had! So let me just follow up on some things, and if I repeat myself from my last emails, I am terribly sorry but hey I guess to you it’s just a reminder. ๐Ÿ™‚

At the MTC (missionary training center) I had a district (group) of 11 Elders and Sisters. 2 Elders are going to Jamaica, 3 Elders are going to Arizona, 1 Elder is going to Australia, 2 Sisters are going to Arizona and my 2 companions and I are going to Australia!

All the Sisters in my district were in the same dorm room as me, so we had 5 girls in a room!

The dorm I was at during the MTC was just recently built so everything was brand new so it was pretty awesome but guess what? We had a meeting with all the Sisters and everyone thought maybe the prophet or some one from the high council or just someone super important from the church was going to speak to us. Nope. It was just a meeting for all the Sisters that there was a bat found in the dorm. So lucky for my companions and the 2 other Sisters and I got to move everything out of our dorm into a really old dorm. It was really gross and lucky me I got to sleep next to boogers on the wall, yeah you read it right, obviously guys were living in this dorm before us because come on, what girl would do that? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Oh well, positive to that dorm was the bed was super comfy. ๐Ÿ™‚

The cafeteria food at the MTC was eh, okay…I didn’t die did I? ๐Ÿ™‚ But guess what! One day they served us Taco Bell! Best. Day. EVER! ๐Ÿ™‚

Besides all the meetings, classes and studying we did get to have gym time! During gym time I just ran on the track and then went on the ab bench!

We also got to do service, we just cleaned around the classes, cleaned windows and vacuumed.

So yeah! That’s my MTC experience! It was amazing and I learned so much! ๐Ÿ™‚

I am still here in Washington! The airplane ride was short but good! I’ll hopefully only be here for 5 more weeks IF my visa comes within that time, but I have enjoyed being here in Washington so far, it reminds me so much of home, I mean I am only 4 hours away. ๐Ÿ™‚

Since I’ve been here in Washington let me just tell you what has been going on so far…

I have a new companion, her name is Sister Solosko, she is 20, and is from Texas, she goes home next month! She said your mission may start of slow at first but it’ll go by SO quickly! So I’m enjoying it while it lasts. ๐Ÿ™‚

Apparently we live in the nicest apartment because it’s the storage house where they keep extra beds and other things. It’s 2 stories and we get our own bathrooms which is way nice! And the bed is SO comfy! I love it. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m in the Lake Stevens Ward and it’s a pretty big ward! Very friendly members! ๐Ÿ™‚

So far while being here I have went to meetings, visited recent converts, tracting, been having dinners with members from the ward, went to a retirement center, volunteered at the food bank, had a free lemonade stand at the park, went to a 4th of July BBQ and that’s about it! Here’s what my daily schedule looks like!

6:30AM Wake up/Exercise

7:00AM-8:00AM Get ready

8:00AM-9:00AM Personal study

9:00AM-10:00AM Companion study

11:00-12:00PM Lunch

12:00-5:00 Teach/visit/tracting

5:00-6:00 Dinner

6:00-8:30 Teach/visit/tracting

8:30-10:30 Daily planning for next day/relax/bed

Super busy but super fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

Let me tell you though, I haven’t even been on my mission for a month yet but while being here on a mission it has really opened my eyes. I have already met all kinds of people and hearing their life stories makes me think to myself how grateful I am for the life I live in. I never knew that the things you hear from others really do happen. Some of the people I have met have really hard struggles, are lonely, or have kids that are not in the right crowd. Such as dealing drugs or doing drugs, smoking, just starting at the age of 14. It breaks my heart seeing those parents having to go through that, or even adults going through addictions and they are doing everything they can to stop but they just don’t, or they just have no faith in themselves. Yesterday my companion and I went to a not so good neighborhood that have lots of problems. After I heard some of the people’s stories we went back into the car and I sat there and just cried, even though I had met some of these people for just 5 minutes, hearing their stories made me feel so bad for them and made me want to help them in any way possible and I just care so much about them and how just want them to be happy. That’s exactly why I am here on a mission, to reach out to those who do need that help, I’m not just here to preach to them, I’m simply here to guide them and to find happiness and be able to strive to become like Jesus Christ but also overcome their weakness. We all make mistakes and we all have weaknesses but because of faith, repentance, baptism and listening to the Holy Ghost, we can endure to the end, never give up, keep on trying and be able to live with him again. I promise you, whatever struggles you may have, you CAN over come them, all you need is faith in yourself, the gospel, Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ and listening to the Holy Ghost.

I hope you all have a great week! Stay safe! ๐Ÿ™‚

Sincerely,

Sister Grawrock

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P.S. I’ll try to be more detailed in the next general email of how my days are going. ๐Ÿ™‚

Quick General email June 23- June 29

G’day!

Wowow what a busy and crazy week!

So they allowed the missionaries to use e-mail during laundry time today since it’s my district’s (group) last day at the MTC (missionary training center)! BUT! I don’t have a lot of time, so don’t worry, in my next general e-mail I will let you know the lay down of how everything is going, but I wanted to send out a quick e-mail to let you all know that sadly my visa to Australia didn’t come in on time and I will be on a temporary reassignment to…Everett, Washington! HAHA, feels like I’m going back home! Sadly I am bummed about it since my 2 other companions got to leave this morning to Australia BUT HEY lets think about the positives!

  1. I’ll get to celebrate 4th of July!
  1. I’ll be able to receive packages from my mom (thanks momma! I love you!)!

Things happen for a reason, I may not know the reason but Heavenly Father does and he believes that I need to be in Washington. It’s about the people, not me. Always think positive, I know I will be in Australia soon. ๐Ÿ™‚

Remember, always go to church on Sundays!

Sincerely,

Sister Grawrock

PS From dad (No text from her but the Mission President picked her up at the Seattle airport and they sent a picture! )

Sister Grawrockย Airport pic