Monday, April 13, 2015

A bowl of ice cream with maple syrup is like a band-aid for missionaries' hearts.

So this week had a lot of ups, a lot of downs, and a lot of "I'm in a glass box of emotions" moments. 
Last Monday was super fun. After we emailed Sister M took us to a Sap House! We were able to see how they make real maple syrup and maple candies. And then after the owner showed us around, he gave us maple candy and real maple syrup! I don't know what I've been eating my whole life, but it is a lie. Real maple syrup is where it's at. Especially on vanilla ice cream. Mmmm. :) We went tracting that night and it was so weird. We knocked on a door and they just looked out their window and made eye contact with us and held it for like 2 minutes without saying anything. I'm convinced they were a serial killer.... Okay, that's rude. But I could see it. We also had someone sick their dog on us. And we ran away really fast. Thank goodness there was a glass door in the way. The owner thought it was really funny. I didn't appreciate it. 
Tuesday was interesting. We tried to see Sister Pain-Paradis in the nursing home but she was unfortunately sick. So we went tracting around the nursing home. And lo and behold, we ran into the Kinneys out on a drive! Which is super funny, because we were tracting 30 minutes away from where they live. So that was pretty cool. A lot of our appointments fell through, so it was just a big tracting day.
Wednesday was a really hard day. I woke up freaking out because I had a dream my VISA came and that I decided to stay in the NHMM mission instead. And I was like, "Oh my lanta. Is this a sign? Am I not supposed to leave?" So my emotions were already out of wack. And then after district meeting, we tried contacting a referral. And that was the scariest experience of my life. We walked up to her door and her boyfriend met us on the porch and laid into us. He told us we were preaching a false Gospel, that we were the scorpions that the Bible refers to, and that we were Sons of Hell (umm, excuse me sir, I am a Daughter of God actually...). He laid into us for about 15 minutes and kept trying to get us to fight back, but we just sat there and took it. So after that, we decided to go see the Kinneys because they always make our hearts feel better. So we went and saw them for a little bit and then we left because we had an appointment with Brooklyn and Tyler! And then when we pulled up, Brooklyn met us at our car. And we could tell she had been crying. And she told us her parents wouldn't let her and Tyler meet with us anymore. So she cried more, I cried more, Sister Davis cried, and we hugged it out. And then Sister Davis and I went and walked the streets until our hearts calmed down. And then we went and taught Aaron R. a lesson and it was great! Us being almost somber in a way actually brought the spirit nicely and kept him on subject a lot more than normal. I love him. He has such a great heart!
Thursday was good. We had lessons with Aaron O. and his girlfriend, and then with Kathy. Both of them went well. We had a lesson with the Stewards too, a less-active brother and sister, and their cat completely destroyed the Book of Mormon that Brother Steward was reading out of. it was almost terrifying in a sense because he just tried flipping the page and the cat attacked.... One more reason to avoid cats.Then we volunteered at the soup kitchen! We showed them our mustaches and they got a roar out of it. And the dishwasher kissed my hand. So that was awkward. We had a lesson with Laurie after we had dinner with Sister M. But the lesson didn't last super long since flu-like symptoms were having their way with Sister Davis. But she is feeling much better now.
Friday was a good day, especially compared to Wednesday. Nothing really exciting happened since all of our investigators we had appointments with stood us up that day... 
Saturday was excellent. All of our investigators stood us up in the morning, but that meant that we had more time to visit with Rachel! Oh my gosh, she is so fun. We talked with her for a while and that was nice for all of us. On days that she doesn't have chemo, she is home alone all day since her sister is at work. So it was a fun visit. We had dinner with the Bishop that night and he has the cutest kids I have ever seen in all of Maine (Not my life. My niece Addilynn is my favorite, perfect tiny human.). After dinner and a lesson with them, we went to see the Dudleys. They're such an awesome family. Mainers love ice cream, we had it 3 times that day. Missionaries aren't allowed to refuse ice cream, it's a rule... ;)
Sunday was a good day. We went to church and ended up teaching Young Women's. Then we had dinner with the Blooms. We spent the whole afternoon trying to visit less active families but only one let us come in. They were very nice, and very entertaining. 
This morning (Monday), President Stoker decided to make me cry. He called me and told me that my VISA had come through and I'm flying to Australia next Monday. And what did I do? I cried. I love Maine so much. Skowhegan is such an amazing area and Sister Davis is an incredible companion. But I prayed about staying (VISA waiters get the option to pick which mission they want) and I knew that I need to go to Australia. So our morning was kind of somber, but then we fixed that! We met up with our district and played ultimate football! Which is just ultimate frisbee, but with a football since that's all we had. It was an absolute riot! Eight 20 year olds with a football and a field with three hours to kill, you do the math. By the end we were all covered in mud and ready to go home. Apparently the first day that it's over 40 degrees for more than a few hours in 6 months is a bit muddy. :) 
So, since I'll be on a plane to Australia for 20 hours, I won't be emailing you next Monday. And they can't forward my mail to me there. So if from this day forward, mail could be sent to:

Sister Danielle Laree Stott
Australia Sydney South Mission
P.O. Box 456
Mortdale, 2223, N.S.W.

I would greatly appreciate that. :) I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to serve in the New Hampshire Manchester Mission. God knew I needed the people here, especially Sister Davis, and he made a way for that to happen and for me to still be able to serve the people of Australia. I miss you, and I love you. I feel like I'm leaving home all over again leaving Skowhegan. But just like God has blessed me tremendously in my time here, I know he will continue to do so across the ocean.

Sincerely yours (for the last time State-side),
Sister Stott

Picture: This bench magically appeared outside of our apartment this morning.

Monday, April 6, 2015

The Birds, the Bees, and Sister Missionaries (you read that right).

I'll explain the subject line in a bit.

So Monday night after P-day was over we were trying to see a less active Monday night but they weren't home, and Sister Davis felt impressed to go tracting rather than go see another less active. So we tracted for a bit and no one let us in. So we were about to turn around but I felt like we needed to go to the end of the street, and so we did and we knocked on the door and Brooklyn answered. She's fifteen. We started talking to her and she was really interested, and then her brother walked out, and I was like, oh no, he's gonna yell at us to leave his sister alone. But no! He was interested too! And he's seventeen. So we started teaching them and they invited us back for the next day! It was totally awesome!

So Tuesday we contacted a referal that Sister Stanley gave us last week and her name is Kathy. She is super awesome, she is probably in her 50's of 60's. We talked for a while, she told us that her mom had just died, and then we talked a long while more. And she said, "You two are just too cute. You brighten my day!" And we said, "Can we brighten your day again next week with another message?" And she told us we could, so we're going back to see her again. Then we went to see the Stewards, and we talked about Easter and General Conference and why they're both so important. Then we went to see Aaron R. with Sister Michaud and we shared an Easter message with him too! And then we went to see Brooklyn and Tyler! Tyler had the flu, so we weren't able to teach him. But we taught Brooklyn, and she loved the lesson! She said, "After your lesson yesterday everything just felt better, and my prayers felt better....I want to go to the true church every Sunday.... And I want to be baptized by God's priesthood authority." Yea, she's pretty much an angel and I love her so much it's a little ridiculous.

Wednesday we thought District Meeting was in Newport, not Bangor, so we drove 50 minutes in the wrong direction... So that was embarrassing. But District Meeting was great, and then we had the most awkward moment of my life. A member asked us to teach his seven year old daughter the Law of Chastity because she was kissing a boy on the bus... It was baaaaad. She was uncomfortable, I was uncomfortable, Sister Davis was uncomfortable, and the parents were treating it like it was the end of the world. It wasn't our job to be there, and I really wish we would've said no. So we went and got ice cream during our dinner hour for comfort food after an awkward day. hahaha. Then we went and saw Kaycee, and she loved the message so much she invited us to come back to teach her twelve year old daughter! Woo! I am so excited to meet Rebecca!

So Thursday morning we were supposed to teach an investigator, whom I will not name, but they ended up getting arrested. So that didn't happen. And then our other appointment fell through for the morning. So we went street contacting for four hours. haha. But the day was beautiful, so I didn't mind. Then we did service at the soup kitchen. It is always a hoot. The older people that volunteer there are so inappropriate that it's ridiculously hilarious. Then we went and had dinner with Sister Michaud, and then we taught Lori! I love Lori. After the lesson, we were leaving and she said, "Sister Stott, where is my hug? Last time you told me I'd always get a hug!" So we hugged it out for a couple minutes. It was fantastic.

Friday was pretty low key. We went and visited Rachel for a bit. She's allergic to her chemotherapy, so we wanted to see how she was doing. We went and visited Jason and Bethany and they have a cute little baby that I was so distracted with! There's so many cute tiny humans here! Leah D. made us dinner that night, and it was super fun to just chat with her. She's getting ready to head off to BYU in a few months and then a mission, so she's just crazy enthusiastic about life. I love it.

Saturday was General Conference! Woo! Every talk was so incredible! I'm just freaking out still because I loved them all so much. Especially the one about making sure you hear the music when you're dancing. Kind of obsessed. We went to lunch with Bonnie, Shyla, and Sister Michaud between sessions and it was super fun.

Sunday was amazing! Have I mentioned that I love General Conference? Well I'm mentioning it again. It was so good (that rock climbing story though... come on, I was dying)! Between sessions we had dinner with the Cooks, and I'm basically obsessed with that family. Any food that Sister Davis and I have mentioned that we like, they had it at the Easter dinner (and I love a lot of food). And the Easter bunny even brought us baskets to their house. haha. I just love them so much. They always make sure we're taken care of. I want them to come to every area I serve in. haha.

This week was great. The Lord blesses us so much, and our four new investigators are just a glimpse at it! I love the Gospel, I love being a missionary, and I love New England. I'm becoming a little obsessed with it, but not enough to be a Patriots fan... Ever. I love you tons, and I miss you too. But my heart is just too full to let that be a sad thing.

Sister Danielle Laree Stott

We "mustache" you a question... Would you like to learn more about the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ? 

The weather has been... an adventure. haha. But we stay pretty warm! The boots and tights you and mom sent really helped! :) It was in the 50s one day and Sister Davis and I took off our tights and sweaters and put on our sunglasses. It was pretty funny.