Sister Missionaries

image from kalestakesparis.blogspot.com

It’s no surprise if you’ve already heard of “The 5 Love Languages” by Gary Chapman; his book has sold millions of copies and changed the way many people relate with their spouse and children. I’d known the general concept for years when I left on my mission because my parents were big fans of the book, but it was as a sister missionary that I applied the principles more than any time in my life up to that point. I had to live and work with complete strangers 24/7, and speaking my companions’ love languages helped us become friends faster and have more meaningful and beneficial relationships in the short time we were together.

Whether you’re familiar with the five love languages already or this is a brand-new concept, here’s a brief explanation of each love language and how you can better relate to each mission companion by following the basic principles.

Words of Affirmation

When someone’s love language is words of affirmation, they feel most loved when they are complimented. Praise and verbal confirmation of hard work is the most rewarding thing you can do for a companion with this love language. Make a conscious effort to point out their positive characteristics and strengths, such as working hard on the difficult mission language or always getting up on time. It may not come naturally to you, but your companion will appreciate how you notice and comment on their efforts. Saying “I love you!” out loud is important in strengthening your relationship, and writing kind notes also conveys in words your love for a companion.

A general principle is that a person’s love language has the potential to do the most harm as well as good. For example, if your companion’s love language is words of affirmation, your praise will mean the world to her, but your criticism will be the most devastating thing for her to hear. Be cautious of your words and tone when you give feedback. If another person’s words have a negative effect on your companion, understand how much she is hurting and pay special attention to your reassuring words.

Gifts

A person whose love language is gifts will feel the most loved by you when she receives a physical token of your affection. However, a “gift” doesn’t need to be expensive or cost money at all; it truly is the thought that counts. You could print out a picture for your companion of a fun memory, treat her to a small dessert on P-day, or ask someone at home to send her some extra mail. You might even plan ahead and bring a few small items from your hometown or home country in your suitcase to give companions. A sister whose love language is gifts will be thrilled any time you go out of your way to give her a special memento of your hard work together.

READ FULL ARTICLE AT SHE TRAVELED

Missionary Name tag - Sister Anna Parker - Honest Truth about a misison
image credit sandandsunshine2.blogspot.com/

When I received my mission call on December 26, 2009, I was instantly overwhelmed by the reality of a mission. It really hit me, for the first time, that I would be leaving home for 18 months and that I would be preaching the gospel every day as a servant of the Lord. Humbled by my calling, I tried my best to pick the brains of returned missionaries I knew, trying to glean from them as much information as I could. My question for each of them was the same: “If you could serve your mission all over again, what would you have done differently?” I was blessed and inspired by the counsel I received, and I tried my best to take their advice to heart.

Now, as a returned missionary myself, I can’t help but look back at my mission and consider what I would do differently, if given the chance. Every great missionary tries to serve with no regrets, but with age and experience comes knowledge and wisdom that we wish we could have imparted to our younger selves. It is with that idea in mind that I would like to share some of the insights from some fellow returned sister missionaries. I hope that as you serve or get ready to serve, you can avoid common mistakes and be saved from some of the heartache and struggle experienced by those who served before you. It is with love in my heart that I share this advice so that you can serve without regrets and have the best possible experience on your mission.

“The thing I would change is how much effort I would put into personal study in the mornings. I’ve never been a morning person, so it was always a struggle, but I’ve always felt since then like I really lost an opportunity to grow in understanding there.” – Sister Cindy Cluff, Arizona Tucson Mission, 2010

Read more at She Traveled.

As I contemplated serving a mission, I made a mental list of all the fears that could possibly plight me and my fears nearly buried my desire to serve. The list included having to be with another sister 24/7, never having alone time, never taking a nap, and finding myself stuck in a place or situation that made me sad. I had this strange vision and expectation of tear-stained pillows and prayers every day—the picture of hardship. What I didn’t expect was how much joy I would find in the midst of great challenge.

My Mission President once said about missions, “If it is not trying, it is not complete.” That one line got me through my initial fears and helped me overcome the number one fear we all have—rejection.

Rejection is one thing you can absolutely count on when you serve a mission. But the secret is that rejection is not a bad thing, it’s just part of the experience that actually ends up blessing you in numerous ways. Here are some ways you can turn rejection into refinement:

1.Say a prayer with your companion for the person that rejected you. The natural man’s reaction to rejection is to get angry or annoyed at someone who has just treated you rudely, but pausing to pray for that person is a reminder that they are not just an obstacle disguised as an investigator but they are a child of God and they are loved, no matter how rudely they turned you and your message away. “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you,” (Matthew 5:44).

2.Take a moment to invite the Spirit again. Christ said, “he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me,” (3 Nephi 11:29). Contention puts a pit in your stomach that makes it hard to teach any other person with the Spirit. It’s ok to take a moment of silence to read a few verses of the scriptures, pray, or share thoughts with your companion. Sticking to a schedule is important, but having the Spirit is more important than anything else.

Read the full article at She Traveled.

lost 40 pounds with word of wisdom
image from ldsliving.com

Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jenny. And I’m a choco-holic. I come from a very long line of Mormon choco-holics. What can I say? It’s in my blood. Ever since I was about 12 years old, I was overweight. Fatty food was always a vice for me. And I never really enjoyed exercise. Put those two facts together, and you’ve got a recipe for bad health.

I embarked on my mission as a fairly heavy-set sister missionary. And my three weeks in the MTC only made matters worse (thanks, MTC cafeteria!). But when I arrived on the tiny island of La Réunion, 400 miles off the coast of Madagascar, I quickly found that it would be all too easy to stay overweight. This beautiful French island is inundated with amazing French cuisine and chocolate, Indian food, and all sorts of other fatty goodness.

I’d been there for about 6 months when I was studying the Word of Wisdom to teach to an investigator. And it dawned on me: I didn’t live the Word of Wisdom very well. It was like a lightning bolt had hit me. I didn’t eat the healthiest food, I detested the half-hour between 6:30 and 7 a.m. when I was supposed to be exercising, and simply put—I felt weak.

I honestly felt like I didn’t have the Lord’s blessing to “run and not be weary, and walk and not faint” (which I actually did once—passed right out).

But luckily I had a companion who was completely different from me…

Read the rest at LDS Living.

image from Fox 2 News.

Two sister missionaries in Southfield, Michigan, Sister Adams and Sister Rambert, were woken early Sunday morning when their carbon monoxide alarm went off. Deadly gas began filling their apartment, coming from a faulty water heater, according to Fox 2 News.

As they called 911 and started to leave the building, the sisters quickly realized they were the only ones with a carbon monoxide detector in the Cambridge Square apartments.

So these missionaries did what they do best: they went door to door. But instead of sharing the gospel, they were saving lives.

Read LDS Living’s report here and see the full story at Fox 2 News.

 

Image from KSL.com

Little more than two months after Sister Fanny Clain was injured in the terrorist attack at the Brussels Airport, she’s ready to begin her LDS mission in Ohio. She said experience, and the miracles that followed, can only make her a better missionary.

Clain was all smiles during a meeting at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ Missionary Training Center in Provo. After three weeks of study, she said she’s anxious to begin her service at the LDS Church’s visitors center in Kirtland, Ohio, with English as her second language.

“It’s an adventure, and I like adventures,” she said.

But as a 20-year-old Latter-day Saint from Reunion Island, France, answering her call to serve in America hasn’t come easy.

“God is the answer to everything so we cannot keep Him for ourselves because He is just too wonderful,” Sister Fanny Clain shares as she prepares to begin her mission in the U.S. after being injured in the terrorist attacks in Belgium.

Full story available at KSL.com.

Kourtney Kardashian Ariel Costume LDS
RM Teresa Jack featured on Kourtney Kardashian's Instagram in a modest Ariel costume

Like most young girls, Teresa Jack, dreamed of being a Disney princess and specifically, Ariel. But not all girls grow up to take the Disney princess with them on their full-time LDS mission. When Teresa was a full time missionary, she brought Ariel with her. Not only that, but in our interaction with her, she said that Ariel helped her bring one family into the gospel.

“She got baptized because I knew Ariel. We connected talking about Ariel and she asked if she could come to church with the ‘princess missionary’. Her entire family followed her and were baptized.”

Teresa Jack Ariel featured Kardashian
Image used by permission from Teresa Jack

Ultimately, people choose to get baptized because of their faith in Christ, but we can use our common unique interests (like Disney princesses) to open doors and break down the social barriers.

Now that Teresa is back from her mission, she is using her love for Ariel to spread the gospel once again. A little more than twenty-four hours ago, reality TV star Kourtney Kardashian took a picture of Teresa dressed up in a modest Ariel costume at the Hollywood Bowl’s showing of The Little Mermaid. Teresa was sitting just a few rows in front of the Kourtney and Kourtney wanted to show her kids Teresa’s adorable costume. The picture taken was then shared with Kourtney’s 41 million Instagram followers in this post:

How cute is this girl in her Ariel costume?! #TheLittleMermaid

A photo posted by Kourtney Kardashian (@kourtneykardash) on

 This photo has now been liked by over 300,000 of her fans. Teresa reacted to this post on her personal Facebook saying:

“Modest Mermaids ?
I went to sleep last night a happy little mermaid and I woke up famous. You have all seen now that I got the blessing of meeting the lovely Kourtney Kardashian last night and she honored me in allowing me to portray Ariel to her children and posting me on her Instagram.
Thousands of people now know me as Ariel and I have wanted that title forever, but anyone who truly knows me knows that the title I wore the proudest was “Sister Jack” When I served as a full time missionary for the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. When I was a young girl, Modesty wasn’t very important to me. It was when I served a mission that I decided to honor my body that Heavenly Father granted me by revealing it less. I found my comfort zone and I believe everyone has a different one. That’s ok! I don’t know where everyone else’s comfort zone is, but I know where mine is. And getting to be a mermaid in a bikini top is a far cry from my comfort zone…

The Kardashians have a different comfort zone when it comes to modesty than I do, and Kourtney agreed that my costume was still beautiful enough to share on her Instagram. I’m not here to shame anyone with a different modesty standard, but I do want to inspire and uplift girls who are seeking to be modest. Modest isn’t always the hottest, but I don’t care about being “hot.” I think modest is beautiful and I do hope that I can be seen as being beautiful. Beauty starts within! We live in a society that encourages immodesty, and while that may be fine for some it makes life difficult for others who choose not to dress that way.

I want to argue that class is always in fashion. There were literally hundreds of girls dressed as Ariel at this concert, but mine was of the few which covered the midriff and shoulders. Kourtney liked mine and agreed that it was beautiful. When she honored me on her Instagram she honored a modest choice. I want younger girls to know that you don’t need to let society dictate your fashion choices! You don’t need to be your moms age to appreciate the quiet dignity that comes from serving yourself and the Lord in how you dress.”

Teresa told us that she just wants to use this platform while it’s relevant to discuss standards and uplift others who are striving to protect modesty. She also wants to keep this conversation about modesty going. Reach out to her on her TravelTeresa Instagram.

Sister Heeji Nada Kang Missing
Cover image credit: Fox13now.com

KSL reports:

Update: Police have located Sister Heeji Nada Kang Wednesday afternoon and she is “unharmed and well” in the Ogden area, according to officials at the Ogden Police Department.

This story will be updated when more information becomes available.

_____________________________________________________________________

We posted the below earlier today and the update is above:

DESERET NEWS: The LDS Church asked for the public’s help Tuesday in finding a 20-year-old sister missionary missing since Monday night.

Fellow missionaries and local police are looking for Sister Heeji Nada Kang, 20, of The Woodlands, Texas, who left her Ogden apartment between 9:30 and 10 p.m., Ogden Police Lt. Danielle Croyle said.

Kang was serving full time in the Utah Ogden Mission, according Eric Hawkins, spokesman for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Sister Heeji Nada Kang Missing
image via deseretnews.com

“Sister Kang was last seen on Monday evening when she left on foot from her apartment in Ogden,” he said in a statement. “No foul play is suspected, but Sister Kang was emotionally distressed when she was last seen. The Ogden police were notified Monday evening. We pray she is safe and will be found quickly.”

Read more details at The Deseret News.

Lately I’ve been hearing this phrase from LDS boys— “I’ll only marry a return missionary.”

After the missionary age change this seemed like a reasonable enough mandate. Young Men and Young Women could serve at virtually the same time, and at a young enough age that it doesn’t interfere with a college education too much; virtually everyone could plan to go. Plus, if girls could say they wanted an “RM” couldn’t boys too?

I had no problem with this stipulation when I planned to serve a mission.

For three years I’ve been actively preparing for my mission. And I’ve told anyone who was interested that I’m going, I’m planning on it, and I’m as capable as any boy.

Read full article at RubyGirl.org

Between the miles of walking in the heat or cold, the bugs, the lack of water or electricity, the cancellations, and the homesickness, having a difficult companion on top of that can be the toughest part of a mission. No matter how much you both love the gospel and the Lord, some companions will still be challenging to get along with, purely because you have different backgrounds and different ideas of how the work should be done. You cannot escape being with them 24/7, so here are 6 suggestions to help you learn to love your companion more fully:

Spend time with them. There is nothing that puts a wedge in between you more than separating yourself from your companion. You may live with other missionaries that you are close to but make it a point to spend most of your time with your assigned companion, no matter how little you get along. Without even talking, merely being in the same room together will keep you united.

Help each other reach your goals. You both came on a mission to achieve something. You may have had a desire to bless other people’s lives but you also knew that you would have the opportunity to change, too. One companion of mine, whenever we had our companionship inventory, always repeated, “I cannot change alone,” as she would ask for constructive correction. This created an environment where we could openly express our concerns and desires and help each other stretch. Even as you write down your daily and weekly goals, write down your companion’s as well and help them remember to work on them. This will bring a spirit of progression and love into the companionship.

Read the full article at She Traveled.