Monday, December 30, 2013

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Family!
Happy New Year and hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! It was a pleasure to talk to you all. The rest of Christmas was nice and I enjoyed it! We were even able to go caroling with a couple other companionships in our district which resulted in me seeing "P"! That was definitely one of the highlights of the day and good to see she was still learning and progressing.
We have been well-fed. We had a whole drawer in our room full of the sweets and goodies people have given us this week. We will not starve, that’s for certain!
Congratulations to Mark for winning the annual Hedelius Christmas Rumble and for all the participants!
The wish lanterns sounded cool! I think that would be a great tradition! Hopefully you were all able to stay warm!
To answer some questions: I haven’t heard any news if I’ll be helping with the Iditarod again this year, I’d imagine if I stay in the area I will. That will be just at the end of next transfer so it’s about a 50-50 chance probably. No northern light sightings L although, it is on my bucket list so I’m hoping sometime soon! And I haven’t noticed the light much, we’re so busy I hardly even notice the cold!
The work is still going well! Next week is transfers (can you believe how quick that one went??) So it would be rare for Sister Dill or I to be transferred, but it’s possible so I’ll let you know!
Well I love you all so much! Have a great week!
Love,

Sister Hedelius

Monday, December 23, 2013

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Merry Christmas!

Things are good in the great North state! We’ve had a fun week and we’re looking forward to Christmas. Christmas time is a great time to be a missionary because Christ is on people’s mind more this time of year. It’s always a great way to start a conversation!

Like I said before, we’ve had a really fun week! We’re meeting lots of people and that always makes missionaries happy. We’ve recently been challenged by our mission president to strive to talk to 10 people a day per PERSON (not companionship, but person!) So we’ve been bundling up and walking and searching more and more trying to find people to listen to us. We’ve had a couple good stories as a result that I thought you’d enjoy!

Story 1: This story actually happened last week here in the library as I was finishing up emailing! I had like 15 minutes left but the guy next to me started talking to me so I just kind of stopped paying attention to emails (sorry guys, it’s not like I won’t be seeing ya’ll in two days anyways!) and asking more questions about missionaries and the church. He mentioned he’s been going from church to church and trying to find something he liked and felt was true. Cool part to was when we asked him where he lived he’s in our ward boundaries! We exchanged numbers and we’ve been able to talk to him over the phone a couple times, he wasn’t able to make it to church yesterday, but he does want to meet with us so hopefully this story continues to be awesome! His name in "M"- so stay tuned!

Story 2: This one was kind of funny actually, I was in the post office line last week mailing the package home and so I just started talking to the lady in front of me asking her if she was excited for Christmas. She told me she feels overwhelmed and then made the comment, “YOU seem excited for Christmas though!” And so I just told her I loved Christmastime because everyone is thinking more of Christ and trying to be like Him. She just rolled her eyes and said, “I’m sure glad I’m atheist!” haha I was sure to wish her Merry Christmas one more time before she left the post office, and she smiled a little back. Hopefully she’ll think more about Jesus this week!

Story 3: So this story actually started back on Thanksgiving! We were trying to contact a less active member and we just said hi and started talking to a guy that was going into the same apartment complex and he was super friendly but told us he wasn’t interested so we just gave him our number and asked him to give us a call if he knew anyone who could use any help. So, this past week we were up in a neighborhood walking around because there are usually quite a few people out and guess who we ran into! The same guy! He waved us over and started talking to us and said, “well why didn’t you invite me to church?!” So we invited him and he called us Saturday and left a message telling us he would be there, at least that’s what we thought he said (he’s Pilipino, so it’s hard to understand him especially over the phone)- but we didn’t see him L so we’ll have to give him a call back again.
His name is "O"!

"B" is on date to be baptized January 25! She’s doing great! She’s dyslexic, so we got her the Book of Mormon reader to help her to read and she’s just loved it. She’s read up to the vision of the tree of life and she was just telling us how she just has a hunger to learn more! She went to church yesterday (in a different ward, but we were glad she went!) and we’ll be seeing her Wednesday afternoon. As for now, she’s just taken off and is doing great though!

I think we mentioned M & R before, "M" is scheduled to be baptized January 10, but we haven’t been able to see her since last Monday and have been struggling to get a hold of her… Hopefully we will be able to soon. We had an awesome lesson last Monday. The spirit was strong and "M" mentioned how she wanted to change some things, so we’ll let you know more next week!

"S.S"! Anyone remember her?? Black lady that is Pentecostal and we served food at her church event? I was teaching her in my first area, even though she lived in the Inlet View ward boundaries because all of the ladies that were fellowshipping her lived in Rabbit Creek!
So I got her number and we visited her and it like made my whole week.
Poor Sister Dill had to hear how excited I was to see her like every five minutes! We’ll be seeing her again tomorrow! I like cried when I saw her I love her so much…

"J" & "L" had us over a couple times this past week and had friends so that was a cool way to introduce more people to the gospel!
We talked to both families about what we do and gave them a Mormon.org card with our number on it. It will be interesting to see if anything comes from it! It’s difficult to know what direction to go because they’re not really progressing so hopefully we’ll be able to help them to see the importance of the invitations we leave with them. The elders were teaching them but handed them off to us to see if that would help them progress. We’ll see where things go though.

We watched the restoration with "W" this week and the spirit was strong. She kept the DVD and wanted to watch it again. I definitely felt like it was the most spiritual lesson we’ve had with her so far.
We’re trying to help her progress as well. She told us this is the first time she’s actually wanted to keep commitments, so now it’s just a matter of her actually doing it…

Kind of crazy, I was on an exchange with Sister Claspell clear back in August and we stopped by a part-member family’s home and the wife started taking the lessons after we made that first contact! Well we contacted them this week and I didn’t realize it was the same family until we got up to the door and then I was like… wait a second- I’ve been here before! So that was fun to see them again! That’s happened a couple times with people here in Inlet View that I’d met already!

Did I talk about Sister Lawson before? We just love her so much. She take such good care of us. We’ll be spending most of our day today over there with her baking stuff for our investigators and people we see a lot. Sister Lawson is actually a convert herself and is returning but has been less active. She is just a sweetheart. She is a huge Seahawks fan so unfortunately their games are about the same time as church these next few weeks L lame…

Well Merry Christmas! Continue looking for those searching for the light of Christ and share His light with others this Christmas season!

Love you all so so so so much! I’ll talk to you in two days!

Love,


Sister Hedelius

Monday, December 16, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Hey all y'all!
Happy nine days till Christmas! On that note, if you all don't mind telling me the time frame (Utah time) that works for everyone as well as if skype or google chat is preferred that would be great and I'll make the arrangements after I get all your emails Monday! Thanks!
Wow so it's been a great week! We had exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders as well as Zone Meeting so several exciting happenings! I went on an exchange with Sister Platero and she came to Inlet View which was perfect because she served here previously! We were able to contact four different people that Sister Dill and I haven't been able to get in with including two investigators (R and M)! R and M had been found by Sister Burbank and Platero earlier this year and hadn't been in contact with missionaries for several months, but we stopped by their place and they let us right in. Sister Dill and I stopped by again a few days later and we had an amazing lesson. Sister Dill invited them to be baptized-M said yes, and R said maybe.. :) so that was exciting! They didn't make it to church yesterday ( :( :( :( ) but we'll be seeing them tonight and hopefully that will go well!
Another family we just started meeting with a lot this week is the L. It's been a long time since they've been to church and Sister Platero and I were literally driving to their house when we got a call from Brother L! He was in tears and asking for help and spiritual strength! We weren't able to go in because his wife wasn't home but we prayed with him on the doorstep and left a scripture and set up a time to come back that evening. That evening was incredible. The spirit in the room was so strong and it was easy to tell they were very moved. We read a chapter out of the Book of Mormon together and they committed to coming to church (and they CAME!) as well as reading the Book of Mormon together every day! Sister Dill and I went back the next day and it was like night and day. Brother L had cleaned the house and the spirit was there in their little home. We went back again the next day and the spirit was there even more so. It was like the light of Christ got a little brighter every single day as they read! I feel that in my own life too, the more I put into my personal and companionship studies the more effectively I feel like the spirit can work through me!
We were able to stop by B's again this week. She's been really sick and we can never contact her over the phone so we just dropped by. The timing couldn't have been more perfect. She was sick so she wasn't up to having to much of a lesson but she asked as to pray with her, and as we concluded the prayer she told us she just felt a burden lifted from her shoulders! I could see a brighter light in her eyes than was there before and it was such a testimony of the enabling power of the atonement.
L and J are doing well! They were having a bit of a bump with several things in their life but things are starting to smooth out which was great! At the conclusion of our lesson we invited the family to having a kneeling prayer and to have one every night! I just have such a testimony of kneeling prayers and the power that comes from them especially with families. We'll be seeing them again tomorrow night and hoping things go well! We're just struggling getting them to church so that's the next step!
Well Merry Christmas and keep going strong! The invitation we've been extending to people lately is to find someone you can help this Christmas season! Christ has truly done everything for us and I know that as we follow His example in serving our brother's and sister it is truly the greatest gift we can give Him!
I love you all very very much!
Love,
Sister Hedelius

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Watch out for the warm weather!!!

Hey family!

We got "iced in" this week! Anchorage basically shut down completely all Thursday because of WARM weather! The weather got just warm enough to melt the snow and then when it froze again it was like an ice skating rink. Even with studded tires there were lots of cars in the ditches. So school was canceled and the missionaries were instructed NO DRIVING! So what did we do?? Well, those ice cleats came in handy, and we walked instead! :) It was a lot of fun actually! We figured that we spent three hours walking which I realize isn't THAT long, but for someone that's been lying on the couch for a couple months I sure got a great full body work out in. My back was fine (I did wear my brace just to be safe) and we were able to talk to people on our way! We had some appointments we just couldn't cancel ya know?? But yes, it's been very warm here, averaging between high 20s and mid 30s according to our car thermometer!

So what else from the Inlet View ward this week? We had our ward Christmas party which was so cool! It was a "Night in Bethlehem" and the activity committee really did a great job! We are teaching a part member family (the L's) that came! The wife isn't a member, and when we met with her twice now, and the second time she told us for the first time she actually wants to read the Book of Mormon! We talked to her about it in a bit of a different light and that perspective seemed to be all it took! So I'll have to update you. :) I know she's going out of town in the near future to visit family for a few weeks.. so hopefully we'll be able to get her to start reading more before she takes off!

We were also able to get into the B family this week! The mom is a less active member, and her fiance that she lives with has talked to missionaries and taken lessons before but the missionaries have had a hard time getting in contact with them the past few months, but we were able to check up on them and they want us to come back, especially the less active mom. Her two sons aren't members yet either and they would be such a great eternal family! So we will certainly be working with them!
 
Oh! This week we also got in contact with some members in a different ward that has friends (E & A) that live within our boundaries! Eis a member and A isn't but they've been looking for a church and so they introduced us to them and we gave them a church tour on Saturday! They came to church on Sunday and said they like it so that was kind of a fun surprise for the week! Hopefully we'll start teaching them soon!

B has been reading! Yay! She hasn't come to church yet.. :/ but she says she belives the Book of Mormon is true and wants to be baptized if it will help her to be closer to the Savior! We're going to invite with a specific date in mind this week and notes will follow next week!

I love being a missionary and the joys of sharing the good news of the restored gospel especailly this time of year! There is no better gift to give others or Jesus Christ than sharing the knowledge that we have a Savior who loves us and has sacrificed everything for us!

Stay warm, have a great day, and I love you all very very much!

Love,

Sister Hedelius!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

December WAHt?!

Hey everyone 
 
To cover everyones concern right off the bat, I did NOT starve for Thanksgiving, it was a glorious feast indeed! A family that lives on the military base here in Anchorage had us over, apparently the sisters asked several months in advance for this family to have them for Thanksgiving because of their exceptional cooking, and so we reaped the benefits.. haha :) we were not disappointed either. Possibly the most excited part of the dinner, however, was when I lit the plastic fork on fire. To clarify: just before the meal started we each had a small candle and we passed the flame around the table saying what we were grateful for, but as the meal was concluding, my fork was just in reach of the flames.. no one was killed or injured.. just my pride.. haha And it was just enough to melt the fork a little bit. :)
Whitewashing has proved to be an exciting adventure once again! We have a rather large ward (geographically) as well so we've been slowly getting the hang of where people live so we don't spend as much time (or miles) driving all over. Sister Dill is a champ with the map so that's been great. We have a GPS but I think too much time in the car has been to it's disadvanage, but hopefully we'll figure it out. :)
I'm feeling lazy so here was our week in a nutshell:
Monday we went shopping a little bit, wrote some letters and made planners. :) My planner matches Sister Dill's.. it's gold spakles.. with our name in silver sparkles.. yeah.. it's a bit over the top but ya know.. it matches my coat so...
Tuesday was transfer meeting, so much fun! It was great to see a lot of people that I haven't seen in a while! We had some time in between transfers and sisters training to start working in our area but our phone had been hauled to the temple with the previous sisters and we didn't know what our combination for the door was.. it was a whirlwind of events but we ended up finally getting our ducks in a row later that day so we could start making appointments and blowing up the phone and seeing people. :) I think I mentioned this before, but we live with the Alborn family. The Alborns actually live within the Turnagain boundaries so it's been fun seeing them.
Wednesday we started seeing some people and like got permission to go shopping etc.. we share the ward with elders and they called usWednesday morning to let us know that there was a lady that wanted to be baptized! RIGHT?! She has a future daughter-in-law that is a member and living with her but she's talked to missionaries before so they were passing her over to us. We stopped by and she is just the sweetest lady, her name is B and she's been through a lot but has the most sincere heart. Sister Dill invited her to be baptized and she said yes, so she's praying about a date! She was sick Sunday or she would have come to church :( but when we called her she mentioned she's been praying and reading the Book of Mormon and that she likes it and is feeling good about everything we've taught her so far! So that's cool!
 
We also met with Bishop Petersen Wednesday and he is just awesome. He is super missionary focused and had the area divided with lists of people in each area that he was able to give us which has been very helpful in learning where people live! We'll be going over to his home for FHE tonight to teach the new active member lessons that our mission is implementing that I've never taught since I had back surgery instead... haha so wish me luck.. :/ I might have to struggle through it a bit. ;) His wife actually served here in Alaska so that was neat! I've heard of so many people who just can't stay away from AK after their missions, I can't blame them because it is just stunning here!
We had dinner with a lady named K and oh my heck I just love her... We had MOOSE burgers. Yes you read that correctly. She has been coming back to church and making some great progress. If we have time (crossing my fingers) we might stop by and make cards with her! She has such a talent with designing the most beautiful cards and she offered to teach us, so eventually we'll make it over there!
Thursday was just crazy.. first of all because it was Thanksgiving, and second because we had no idea who lives where, so unfortunately we weren't able to see as many people as we would have liked.. :/ but we did stop by an older lady's home (L, she's less active) in the morning and her son who also lives in the ward and is less active happened to be there! The elders hadn't had the opportunity to meet him so it was perfect! As we shared our Thanksgiving message it was so apparent on his face that it was exactly what he needed to hear. The spirit just filled the room and tears were present. It was amazing.
 
I mentioned dinner as well so I won't go into to much detail! :) it was fun though and great to meet more people in the ward!
 
We also had a dessert social with the wardThursday night which was a great way to meet more people! :)
 
We were asked by President Beesley to count how many people we met and we met at least 28 people that we could remember names at the end of the day! Kind of crazy, I would have never realized!
Friday had a couple exciting happenings, we had dinner with a man who was recently baptized, Thanksgiving turkey and the works :) And they after we were introduced to a part member family that has been kind of investigating the church that the elders are passing over to us! I tried muck-tuck (spelling???) and it wasn't that bad! Everyone that has tried it before always tells me it's gross but I didn't mind it! We were able to set up an appointment to meet with the tonight, so the plan is to have dinner tonight and kind of see where they're at! :)
Saturday we were able to meet more people on the ward council as well as an appointment with an investigator in the ward that I actually started teaching a few months ago! Laura from the Turnagain ward referred us to this lady (K) and I recognized her information in the area book so were able to contact her again! She is hilarious, loves to knit and has a great testimony of the Savior, oh and a little dog named Nana! :) She's been reading her Book of Mormon and wants to come to church but was sick as well.. :( I guess it's that time of year when everyone gets sick.. :( But we'll be seeing her again this week, which should be great. :)
Sunday was CRAZY. Of course, no surprise there :) haha meetings, church, studies, oh my! We were able to continue meeting a lot of people! We have a great ward council that I'm really looking forward to working with!
So things are going swell! The Alborns made breakfast for us this morning! Eggs, toast, bacon.. the works. So good! So that was pretty great! Probably the most exciting for the day.. which is lame but it was still a great surprise...
BTW Apparently my allotment card that I had to return before going home has been lost.. so the office had to order a new one which means I haven't had one. So, mom if you notice I've been spending money, that's the story behind it.. I'm hoping the card has come in by now, but it might still be a few days.. :/
Oh and my back is doing fine. No worries there. :)
Well I love you all and you're in my prayers! Thanks for the love and support!
Love,
Sister Hedelius
 

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Don't forget to plug it in!!!

Hey everyone!!!
 
It's been great to hear from everyone! Thanks again for the love and support etc that was shown for the seven week break I was home. :) I sure am blessed to have great people. Apparently the little people are just leaving the rest of us in the dust with their indexing too! Oh my heck.. over 10000 each?! Before we know it they'll index as many people as are living in China! 
 
I was so sad to hear about Brady Simon's death. Please give the Simons my condolence and love.
 
So I have spent this week in the Brayton ward! The Brayton ward is right next to the Rabbit Creek ward and due to a recent ward boundaries change the Brayton ward now includes a portion of the old Rabbit Creek Ward, so I was able to see several people I know this this week from my first area which has been really fun! I also was able to see several people from the Turnagain ward including the Wills, S's family! She gave me five great big hugs and told me about her baptism! She told me how warm she felt and how she just felt fuzzy the whole week afterwards! I also got to see L which was awesome! She told me she's been to church three times now!!! That was so exciting to hear! It's not hard to tell that Sister Platero and Clark have been working hard and doing a great job in continuing the work!
 
I've been with Sister Bullen and her companion is with Sister Frazier who came down early for doctor appointments before she ships home to Utah tomorrow. The timing of me getting here couldn't have been more perfect. Sister Bullen came out the transfer before me so we know each other pretty well! She's probably one of my best friends out here so we've had a blast this week!
 
It's been chilly, but has started to warm up a bit! We have been plugging our car in every night though (hence the subject line ;) ) but as I gaze out the window the snow does cover the ground beautifully! Sister Bullen was telling me the snow came pretty much overnight! The darkness is going to take some getting use to though... It was weird driving to ward counsel yesterday at nine when the sun hadn't even risen yet! It looked like it was time to climb back into bed! haha :)
 
So my next area will be the Inlet View ward! My new companion, Sister Dill, and I will be whitewashing Sister Claspell and her companion out, which will be nice because I know they'll do a great job leaving notes for us! I love whitewashing so I was secretly hoping I'd be able to whitewash again just because I love the fresh eyes it gives the ward since we're both new- that wish came true!!! The Inlet View ward is right next to the Turnagain ward, so we'll be in the same district as Sister Platero and Clark (both of which are staying in Turnagain again) so it will be fun to hear about the happenings of those great people! The Inlet View ward is one of two wards in Alaska with so much missionary work that they have a set of Elders and Sisters there to handle it all, I'll for sure be really busy! My old district leader will be in the Inlet View Ward as well so it will be helpful to work with him and his new companion. I'm really excited to work in the ward, I've already met some of the people and I've only heard wonderful things about the ward, bishop, ward mission leader etc. So I'm excited to jump into the work! Sister Dill is really amazing too and I'm looking forward to working with her! She turned down a basketball scholarship to serve a mission, so she's given up a lot to be here, and she's like at least six inches taller than me. haha but it should be really fun! We'll be living with A's who are a family in the Turnagain ward that I know well because he is the High Priest group leader in the Turnagain ward, so that should be great! I'm looking forward to an exciting transfer!
 
So Sister Bullen and I had a neat experience this week! When we were going though the list of people the bishop had asked the sisters to see, there was a lady in particular that we felt impressed to see. We had a hard time finding her because she lived inside of a house.. Her and her middle-aged daughter live together in a little room smaller than the bedrooms in our house with three cats and a dog. All of their earthly possessions are in this room and not to mention they each struggle with medical difficulties. As we were crammed in this little room and as I looked around, this feeling of optimism just radiated from this lady as she sat on her bed and told us about her life. She'd tell us about a struggle and follow up with "but I'm so grateful for the atonement and the healing power it has". It didn't matter if it was a death of one of her children, or realizing her husband has been unfaithful, her knowledge that the Lord loves her was unbreakable. She is inspiring, and an example to each of us that our situations doesn't stem from if we are loved or not, but that Heavenly  Father's love covers each of us.
 
So I'm emailing here at a Mac store that a member in the Brayton Ward owns and this amazing Christmas music is playing.. and no it's not approved.. but what are my ears suppose to do?? But anyways, if my email is a little difficult to follow it's probably because my brain is singing along to Michael Buble as I type this. haha :)
 
So I'm not sure what my Thanksgiving plans are, but I'm sure I will not starve. :) haha, I'll have to let ya'll know what happened next week since I won't be in the area until tomorrow. :) I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving! How fun everyone will be together! And hopefully Nano Bead will be able to get over the facial hair phobia, or it might be a interesting week.. ;) haha :) I know seeing that mustache after I jumped off the plane at the LAX sure made my day. I can't believe I'll be skyping ya'll a month from today!!! Wow! It seems like just last week that I saw you guys!.. wait.. haha :) 
 
Well here's wishing everyone a wonderful week and a tasty Thanksgiving!
 
Love, 
Sister Hedelius

Monday, October 7, 2013

Everything happens for a reason!

Hi everyone!

For those who read my blog, it seems so bare to not include a post this week to update on my life!

I fell playing basketball in April and have had pain down my right leg since then. At first I just thought it was a pulled muscle and would heal but after a few months of it not healing and only progressively getting worse, an MRI was taken to find I have a ruptured disc in my back! My mission president talked to me last Monday and said it was best for me to come home to Utah, have the surgery and recovery here, and then go back to what I love doing most-preaching the good news of the restored gospel!

Being home is strange-it's funny the little things you miss! For me, I am so use to checking to make sure that my name tag isn't upside down or backwards that when I  check and it's gone it gives me a mini heart attack every time! I also had to get use to responding to "Marissa" instead of "Sister Hedelius" but I'm getting the hang of it. :)

Sister Clark, who took my place in the Turnagain ward emailed me with a picture of S's baptism! It happened this last Saturday and I hear it was just incredible! She sure is an amazing girl and I know this step will be something she'll never forget and will bless her for the rest of her life!
From L-R: Sister Platero, S, Elder Stevenson, Sister Clark

I miss the work so much, but I'm grateful to know that everything happens for a reason! I can't wait to get back to doing what I love most and in the place I now consider my second home!

Thank you for all the prayers, thoughts, letters, and emails-I am sure blessed to have so many amazing people in my life!

Love,
Just Marissa (for now)

Monday, September 23, 2013

Christmas has hit three months early!


These Alaskan skies are amazing! :)
Hey all!

First signs of Christmas were spotted by Sister Platero on our drive across town this morning! Snow indeed! :) We even noticed some of the cars already had snow on them when we got to the parking lot!

So to answer some question that left you all hanging:

Talofa is "Hello!" in Samoan! I don't know if I mentioned this before but this is a large Polynesian population in Alaska! Kind of interesting when you consider the weather is so cold compared to the Polynesian islands! There are two Samoan wards in Anchorage and at least one Tongan ward that I know of. The family that has us over for dinner every Monday is Hawaiian! I've been learning a few greetings in different languages throughout my stay here in Alaska. :)

"J" is still looking forward to her baptism this Thursday! She is excited to take this step and mentioned how much happier she is and how much learning about the gospel has changed her attitude. What an incredible difference this will make in her life, it's exciting! Pictures will be coming next Monday!

"S" is also looking forward to her baptism October 5! It's unfortunate she'll have to wait a week to be confirmed, but this allows for her dad to for sure be to her baptism which is preferable. I don't think I've ever met anyone more excited to be baptized!

"N" is continuing to do well! We'll be spending some time at her place this afternoon! (She was the one baptized a few weeks ago) She's still looking foward to being sealed to her family next year! They are truly a wonderful future eternal family! :)

The move was a quick decision so that's why I didn't mention it the week before! Haha we found out we'd be moving Saturday night and packed up and were straight out. I feel like a pauper coming to a palace compared to the difference in the two places. My personal favorite quality of the new place is the washer and dryer! :)

The moose picture was taken from the safety of a car, and using the zoom feature on my nifty camera. Don't worry, I was not as close as the picture makes it seem. :) I've lived in Alaska long enough now to know to not get too close to the wildlife! In fact the very first day we landed in Alaska they sat all of us new missionaries down and we had a special training on how to deal with wildlife and the safety steps to take to prevent us from getting injured. I'm guessing that's a training unique to the Alaska Anchorage Mission! The main message I got from the training was just like Dad says, "Safety first!"
 
It's great to hear things are going well! Things here are great and I am happy! :)

I hope you're all doing well and happy. :) I love you all!

Love,

Sister Hedelius

Monday, September 16, 2013

Talofa!

WE SAW THE MOON YESTERDAY! I was so happy I cried! I didn't realize how much I've missed it!


Hi everyone!
 
Sheesh can't believe it's Monday again, seems like I just blink and the week is over! We had a great week! Yesterday was the primary program which was quite excellent! "S" (our investigator) was part of it :) she did a great job, as did all the other children, and it's fun to look up and see her smiling and beaming while sharing her testimony with the congregation!
 
Speaking of "S", she'll be getting baptized next month! I don't know if I told you the situation with her, but her mother is a member, her dad is not. Her dad was pressured into being baptized, and then because he realized he wasn't doing it for the right decision, he was not confirmed, so you can imagine why he has been apprehensive about "S" getting baptized.  "S" is golden though and she knows the lessons before we even teach her, she 10. She's on fire and we can't wait for her baptism! When her dad said she could get baptized she started tearing up because she was so excited. You could tell how much she wanted it, made me realize how blessed I was to be baptized when I was 8!
 
"J" is continuing to do well! :) She has been bring nonmember friends to young women activities!! (RIGHT?!) Thursday actually worked better for her baptism so she'll be getting baptized the 26th! It's been awesome to see how she's just gotten more amazing everytime we see her!
 
So cool story! There is a lady with some physical disability that we visit regularly and share messages and do service for her. Sister Platero was super inspired to share a missionary message with her and really encourage her to find someone to share the gospel with! So when we were by this week, she told us she wants us to meet her neighbor! We went right over and had a great chat with the neighbor and her daughter and they want to learn more! We'll be stopping by tonight! Their names are April and the daughter is "T"! Pretty exciting!! :)  How cool when the Lord puts people in your path like that!
 
We move places today which was adventurous! We had a couple problems with the place we were at so we moved over! So grateful for a bunch of the missionaries taking their P-Day to help us out!
 
Thanks always for the emails and prayers! So bless to have all of you in my life :)
 
Love,
Sister Hedelius
Moose we saw the other day!
Sunset yesterday.


These people are prepared!


Monday, September 9, 2013

Happy 9/9 everyone!


Howdy!

Someone poisoned the waterhole?! Oh no! I do hope you all get "cleared" to start drinking water again! And in case you're wondering, yes. Alaskan water is delicious. haha :)

Things are still going great! We had Stake Conference  yesterday which was awesome! It was a broadcast out of SLC for Washington and Alaskan saints! Elder Hales and Elder Perry both spoke at it! Also, "N" was telling us that she invited a friend to it so that's pretty cool! We'll be going over there this afternoon, she's teaching us how to do our nails cool (since her's always look cool!) and we'll have to see if she was able to come! But she's doing great! We were talking about going to the temple to do baptisms for the dead and she's wanting to find names to take!

"J" is scheduled to be baptized on the 27th! Hopefully everything "legally" will work out. She's a foster daughter so we'll need consent in writing for her to be baptized since she's a minor, but she's on fire (spiritually, not literally) ! We did a little review on the Plan of Salvation before we taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ yesterday and she remember almost every detail!

We were able to stop by and see "J2"again, we shared some of our favorite Book of Mormon scriptures with her and she liked them! Hopefully she'll continue warming up to reading it!

"S" is still doing great! She would get baptized tomorrow if she could, her dad is just a little apprehensive. Her dad got baptized previously but not confirmed because he felt like he was doing it for the wrong reason. But he's fine with us coming over and invited us over for dinner this weekend! Hopefully things will work out so she can take this step soon!

We didn't get to meet with "P" this week :( she's been working two jobs and is really busy! But we texted her yesterday and she said that she'll only be working one now so she's a lot more open! Miracle! We'll be hopefully seeing her tomorrow!!

We saw "C" a couple times this week and met one of his dogs! He's doing okay.. hopefully he's not losing hope :( but I know he can do it. Relying on the Savior and Heavenly Father is key! They are much stronger than we are by ourselves.

The weather has been so nice! It's been in the 50s so a little on the cool side but much perferable to the hot weather! It's also been really raining so my trusty BOGS have been serving me well :) I keep expecting it to snow soon but "the locals" tell us that you know it will snow soon when there is snow on the mountains, and the mountains are still completely bare so my snow boots will stay in my suitcase for at least a couple more days :)

Well I love you all so much! Thanks for the emails and love!

Love,

Sister Hedelius

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Turnagain! (again)

Hey family!
The baptism went great!!! :) I just love "N"! I just about cried, I'm so excited to see her as my sister make this step and to know that she's one step closer to the temple and her eternal family!
And as my subject line states, Sister Platero and I are staying in Turnagain again!! I'm pretty thrilled and I'm humbled to be able to continue serving in such a great ward and teach amazing people.
We started teaching a new girl on Sunday! Her name is "J', she's 14 and a Native Alaskan. She's so prepared for the gospel and it's so fun to teach her! She's adorable and you can just see how much she's craving for truth. She's being fostered by family in the ward and they invited her to take the lessons! She's come to church the past few Sundays and she says she really loves it!
"P" came to church which was awesome since "N" was getting confirmed!! She wasn't able to stay all three hours but we got a text from her on Saturday and it said, "I've been reading this week and I definitely want to talk to you more about this." WHAT?! So she's doing great :) She's got a great desire to know truth and keep commitments.
We also got to see "S" again this week. :) She's so ready to be baptized. She's just about the smartest 10-year-old I know!! Hopefully the necessary softening can take place so she can make this step she wants to make!
We also met a lady named "J". She's investigated the church on and off, and we felt impressed to talk about the Book of Mormon. She mentioned how she's nervous to read it, but as we bore testimony of it's divinity the spirit in that room was incredible, and tears were present. She told us she'll read the Book of Mormon and pray!
Last night we took the brand new sisters on a "First Harvest", basically their first missionary experience! We were able to teach "I" and do some tracting! It's so much fun to see the brand new sisters and the fire they bring. It seems like it was just last week that I was going tracting for my first time! I believe this transfer we'll be up to 19 sisters total! We'll be blessed to be able all attend the temple together this afternoon!
Well I love you all so so much! Thanks for the emails, prayers, and love :) You're the best!!
Love,
Sister Hedelius
Picture: We live right next to a place that has private plane rides so there are a ton of these little planes on the water! We hear them flying around all day as we work!!




Monday, August 26, 2013

Another awesome August Alaskan day!


Hello! 

We certainly have been enjoying the sunshine here in Anchorage this past week. I think that I mentally prepared myself so much for the snow and cold that I never anticipated the beautiful sunshine! It always catches me by surprise, but I’m not complaining. J

It’s been another great week in the life of a typical Alaskan sister missionary! Our investigators are doing well and the Turnagain ward is catching the missionary fire!! "N" is getting excited for her baptism on Friday and we’ll be seeing her and "E" a lot this week to make sure that things are continuing to go well. J

"C" is doing well too! We were happy to see him at church again this week and we’ve had a couple really awesome lessons! The ward already loves him and he’s continuing to do well. I’m always so impressed every time to see him and the huge life changes he’s making.

"I" was at church this week too!! "I" is a less active member (Sister "M" 's son-in-law) and he is so awesome! He’s wanted to come back to church, he is a convert and stopped coming to church after his baptism. He also wants to make big changes. He’s got an adorable little boy, and wants his son to be able to serve a mission and grow up in the church and he realizes how important his example is. It was great to see him at church!

COOL STORY: So every Tuesday night we go and visit the "Good" family. Monday night when we were planning on what we were going to teach them, the thought of teaching the restoration came to mind, so we were like-okay sounds great! So we got to the "Good"s and there was a lady named "P" there. We introduced ourselves and went into the lesson. We felt really impressed to direct the lesson to her and when we were finish teaching the lesson we asked her if she’d like to know more. She said yes and then saw her again on Friday! When we were talking to her she mentioned how she’s had some negative experiences in the past but she feels like within the last week “God’s been trying to talk” to her. So she prayed and asked that whatever He wants her to do, she’ll be able to figure out. She then made the comment, “who would have thought that within a week I’d be at the "Good"’s and you’d come over too.” It’s moments like that, that I realize how much Heavenly Father loves His children and He’s in the details of our lives. He knows "P" and loves her so much, and put us in her path to help her in her life. Pretty neat!! She’s doing great!

We also had a neat experience at a couple dinners this week. The first was at the dinner Wednesday, the couple that invited us over to dinner also invited a part-member couple over too, and after dinner we got into a really awesome gospel discussion. The husband of the couple that wasn’t a member had some questions about really knowing for sure if the church is true, and how to find answers.  At the end of the discussion we invited him to take the lessons and he said yes!

Dinner on Thursday was a similar experience. It was a part member family with a daughter that isn’t baptized. We mentioned the possibilities of teaching the lessons and they said that’d be great! So we’ll start teaching her this week as well as the dad who isn’t a member yet!  

Life is so good! Can’t believe it is once again the last week of the transfers (who knew six weeks could fly so quickly?!) We’ll see where the Lord needs me for the next six weeks, stay tuned till next week! Life is good and I am happy! It’s been the best transfer ever!!
Love you always!!

Sister Hedelius
J Have a great week!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Can you hear the water running?

Hi :)

Man, so this week is the opposite of last week-I don't know even were to begin! It's been the most incredible week ever and I hope I can share a small fraction of all the incredible experiences of the week!!! :)

So we are teaching three new people this week, all super solid and wanting to learn and be better!

1. We started teaching "N" on Wednesday! Before we got started I asked her if she had any questions. Her question was what it took to be baptized and what the fastest that she could get baptized! WHAT! She is incredible and very smart, she has the most incredible questions and I have learned so much from teaching her. She and her husband (her husband is a member) actually graduated the same year as me so it's been fun teaching them since we're very similar in a lot of ways, and seeing her make the connections to truths she already knows has been incredible. So she is getting baptized next Friday (the 30th)! Pretty neat yesterday we were talking about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and when we were talking about Enduring to the End, we brought up the temple and she told us that it was the temple that made her decide she wanted to be baptized, couldn't ask for a more perfect perspective. The temple is the goal and baptism is the gate to get there! She gets it! :) Apparently getting married in a castle and living happily ever after sounded like a good deal. ;)

2. "C" was being taught by some elders in a different ward because he had a friend in that ward. He noticed that there was something different about his friend and the friend told him that it was because of the church, and invited him to go! He is such a self motivated person, he feels the difference reading the Book of Mormon make and praying. He came to church at our ward for the first time and he mentioned how much he loved it! So glad! He's making some major changes in his life and even in the short time I've known him, it's very apparent that the gospel has already been blessing his life!

3. "D" was a media referral that we met on Tuesday! I felt an immediate connection to her because of her name, and she was so excited when we came by, she invited us right in. She already had a Book of Mormon and was telling us about how much she enjoys studying it. She also had a picture of the first vision and it was framed and sitting on her table! We taught her the restoration and we asked her what it meant to her and her comment was, "I feel like this means that Heavenly Father  is giving us one last chance before the Savior comes," pretty neat! Loved that she made the connection! Excited to continue meeting with her.

Elder Bednar came to Alaska this weekend too and we had a meeting with the missionaries and him on Saturday morning. There were also two member of the seventy and a member of the presiding bishopric. I don't know how else to describe it than, it was an experience. It was amazing to see him teaching exactly how I know the Savior would. I was asked to accompany a musical number too so that was pretty special. We were able to just take a hymn out of the hymnbook and arrange it, I felt like it went well and really brought the spirit. We had the opportunity to ask Elder Bednar questions and so I took the opportunity, in his response he gave me a specific assignment with permission to write him and tell him what I learned! Pretty cool, for sure taking that opportunity!

Glad to hear things are going so well for everyone!! Thanks for keeping in touch, your emails always brighten my day and keep me going!

Love,

Sister Hedelius

P.s. I have a short leg.

P.s.s. My district leader had a cool New Era article written about him you all might enjoy! It's worth looking for in my opinion, his name is Elder Nathan Free.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Polor Bears in Anchorage?!

Hi family!!

So I went to the zoo this morning! That was pretty fun!!! Unfortunately no pictures will be coming from that fun-my camera of six years has ran her last course (may she R.I.P.) but no worries-Sister Platero got some on her camera that I should be able to copy over at some point in the next few weeks! I'll have to figure out the camera situation at some point, but in the meantime-sit tight! (And yes-there was a polar bear that I was pretty excited about XD)

Missionary work has been booming in the Turnagain ward!! Unfortunately I don't have any super awesome stories or news to report YET-but we have a few lessons set up this week that should be incredible and some pretty golden referrals from some of the ward members that sound like they have some great potential!!! The elders in a few wards over have been teaching a guy that lives in our ward boundaries named Corbin that sounds pretty great and they'll be handing him over to us tonight! :) Brother Rigg has already been fellowshipping him so the handoff should be great and more news will be coming. :)

Zone Conference was a blast! Talk about a full-body workout!!! At one point they had the "mormon battalion" march off which consisted of a good majority of the elders and all the elders of our district, made me especially grateful to have four sisters in our district! Most of it was pulling handcarts through sand which is a little more difficult than the grass on the temple hill.. haha but I was a lot of fun and the spirit was strong. :)

We also went on exchanges on Tuesday! It was fun to be back with Sister Claspell and to catch up on the past few weeks! :)

Well-I guess I'm signing off! Know that I'm happy and I love being a missionary!!! Hope you all are doing great!

Love you lots!

Love,

Sister Hedelius

Monday, August 5, 2013

Happy August!


Hey all!

Thanks always for the emails this week! It's fun to hear how things are going down south and I appreciate your encouragement!!

So it's been a good week! Unfortunately Sister Platero has been sick so we didn't get to work very much on Saturday, but I was able to clean the apartment which was much needed!!!

I just love this ward so much! We are so blessed that there is a lady (Sister Mahi) who washes our clothes and has us over for dinner every Monday! Isn't she so sweet? She's a Hawaiian lady and has such a big heart. Also we have an incredible ward mission leader. He and his wife came out with us yesterday and we were able to teach a guy named (name withheld-I)! (name withheld-I)  has been investigating for a while, and his kids and wife are baptized but he hasn't made that step yet. We're not exactly sure why yet, but he's got a great heart and it was good to get to know him.

Apparently this was hang-out-with-the-missionaries-on-your-birthday week! Haha we were invited over three times by different people and then we found out it was their birthday!!! Made me feel like my birthday kept lasting all week!

Fun news for the week is.. it's Zone Conference!! This transfer we're doing a trek for Zone Conference and talking about modern day pioneers. :) It should be really fun! Each district gets a handcart, and it will be extra fun because Sister Claspell and Peterson are in my district! (it's been kind of weird having another set of sisters in the district!) But I'm excited! Also having exchanges this week so this week is full of all sorts of excitement!

Well hope you all have a great week. :) Thanks so much for all you do!

Love,

Sister Hedelius

Monday, July 29, 2013

Turnagain and again and again and again...

Hi family!!

So I am now TWENTY. Yep. Only two more obnoxious teenagers left I guess.. ;) I had a great birthday in case you were wondering!!! We had four lessons and did some service out in the sun- I got sunburnt which is almost unheard of in Alaska! :) I was pretty thrilled in case you were wondering :) Glad you had a good day as well! Sounds like everyone had a great time hanging out together! :)

So I absolutely love my new ward already. I still really miss Sitka, and there will always be a special place in my heart there, but there is a ton of work to do in my new area so we have been really really really busy!!! :) I think I told you this last week, but we're opening the ward to sisters (i.e. we're both brand new to this ward) so it's good to have a fresh start! I have just been blown away with how missionary minded they are and how there are so many people with great potential! We might be having a couple baptisms this transfer, but don't quote me on that. :)

It's weird being back in Anchorage, it feels like Sitka is almost a dream, a faraway land, haha but I love being in the "big city". It's been a little hard to adjust to going faster than 40 MPH, Sister Platero keeps teasing me because I'm still in island mindset but she's helping me out. ;) haha

Sister Platero is great btw! She is Navajo and from New Mexico, she's a great missionary and such a hard worker, it's going to be a great transfer together! We get a long great and have lots of fun together. :) She's great at reading maps too so that's a blessing. :)

Well I love you all tons! Thanks for the letters, you know how I just love them!

Love,

Sister Hedelius

Sunday, July 21, 2013

I'll be back again someday....

Liquid gold!


(Yes, I have permission to be emailing ya'll ;P)

Hi family,

Yep. I've been voted off the island. Back to the concrete jungle of Anchorage! It's been an incredible three months here in Sitka, I've met people I'll always remember and made memories I'll never forget. There is a completely new feel here in the Sitka Ward and I'm looking forward to hearing about the changes that will continue to be made. The faith of two sister missionaries can work miracles. I'll miss my young women, and I'll miss the small town feel and looking out to the water, and I know I wouldn't change these past three months for anything. 

So I'm back to Anchorage. I'll be in the North Anchorage Stake this round serving in the Turnagain ward with Sister Platero. I'll be whitewashing again and they haven't had sisters in that ward for a few  years so I'm excited to see how sisters can help the good people of the Turnagain Ward. Sister Frazier is staying here and Sister Hewitt taking my place. I'm so excited for them and to know the work here is in good hands.

News for me this week: I'm changing my major to agriculture. Haha (just kidding mom) Although I am a pro goat shearer now. I'll make sure to send pictures so you can judge my shearing job. Shout out all my brothers that have let me practice shearing their hair so I could develop those necessary skills I'm currently using on my mission. ;) It was super fun-dad you now have permission to get goats so I can shear them. :)

We also got permission to go hiking twice this week!!! We went hiking with the young women on Thursday to get them all certified for girls camp. It's so green!! Like even the trunks of the trees are just covered in green! I love it :) We also went on a hike with the Relief Society yesterday and two nonmembers and two less actives came! Such a success! Glad I can now say I've been hiking in Sitka. :)

In main flight at the raptors center
Well I love ya'll lots! Stay safe and enjoy my birthday for me. ;) Ya'll can still celebrate and send me pictures. :)

Cool eagles!
Love,
Sister Hedelius

P.s. Next week I won't be a 19-year-old sister missionary anymore. :( It's bittersweet.

P.p.s. I'll still be getting on emails tomorrow probably late afternoon time.

Monday, July 15, 2013

AND>> back again. :)

HEY!

So my week "vacation" to Juneau was pretty good, always good to be back! A week is a long time to be away from your area, and I'm glad to be able to get back to work!!!

So church yesterday was really good! The Stake President and "Stake Pilot" were in town! Also, a senior couple missionaries ferried in because they called a new seminary teacher here in Sitka, so lots of great people in town. It was certainly a huge answer to prayers. The Stake President mentioned that he will be back soon and do everything he can to continue to strengthen the ward here. The faith of a few sister missionaries can work wonders-my testimony of fasting has really be strengthened here!

Sunset from Sitka apartment
ALSO as my picture shows, Stacey from Anchorage was in town yesterday!!! So fun to see her, she's moving down south so it was probably the last chance I had to see her. Fun to catch up with her and see how things have been the past few months.

So Saturday, Elder and Sister Waldron (the senior couple) took us out to dinner which was really nice of them, and when we were leaving we saw Adam and Jen! (a couple we met on the ferry when Sister Frazier and I first got to town!) We had been wanting to run into them, and sure enough we did! So we got their information and will be able to contact them! Also, when we were leaving to go back to the car, two men from down south that were fishing for the weekend, stopped us on the street and started asking us a ton of questions. (Do you believe Jesus Christ to be your Lord and Savior? Do you really???) It seemed to be more of an attack at first, but Elder Waldron was near by and came and started talking to them with us. It turned out to be a really positive experience!!! The men ended up being really complimentary to us about the church and one even said something like, "if the whole world could just pattern themselves after the church we would be a lot better off!" Haha yep, the church is inspired of God, I'll agree with that!! Hahah!! :)

It's week six! (Can you believe I've been in Sitka for 11 weeks now??) So I'll letcha know what's happening to me next week, but if I don't email till a little later, it's probably a sign that I'm headed out.. :( I sure love this place. I know a place of my heart will forever be in Sitka. I just love it so much and am so grateful for the blessing I have a had to serve here. I was thinking about the timing of life this week. Before my mission, I briefly considered waiting to not leave for a mission until sometime this summer, but I felt very strongly that I needed to put my papers in asap and get going. Being in Sitka, I've realized why I needed to be here at this time. I know I wouldn't have been sent here if I would have put my papers in later, and I would have missed out on meeting several families that are moving next month. I'm so grateful for the Lord's timing in my life and the blessing I've had to serve!!
Well I love you all so much, Thanks for all you do for me!
Love, 
Sister Hedelius




Sitka's swan lake! :)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

It's been a "killer whale" week!

 On the ferry!
Hi!
I just saw two wild killer whales and a humpback (I think) whale!!! Woot woot! :) I almost jumped in to ride them around like they do at SeaWorld, but I remembered that missionaries shouldn't swim, so I refrained.. ;) Wouldn't that have been a great picture though?! Oh well.. :)
 
How we take district pictures in Alaska :)
So hello from Juneau! I'll be here till Friday or Saturday and then I'll be back to Sitka for at least a week (it's transfers calls time again). It's a little overwhelming every time coming off the island, but it was great to see the Juneau sisters again! I'll be staying here with them while Sister Frazier goes to Missionary Leadership Council! It's been fun because there are several people from Sitka that want us to visit people here in Juneau so we'll be able to meet friends and families of the Sitkans! 
So this week was good! P and J are both doing really well! It's hard leaving them this week to be here in Juneau but we were able to talk to them both yesterday and we'll be able to text them and check up on them so I'm grateful for that! Glad to have a cell phone! Don't know what missionaries did before them.. :) 
Well I love ya'll!! Thanks so much for what you all do for me!
Love,
Sister Hedelius
Picture I took on the Fourth of July! We had a picnic
and it was so pretty we just had to take a picture! :)

 Sariah and I at young women this week
The thermometer on our car is broken.. haha but
 I thought this was funny that it said it was this hot.. ;)