Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thanksgiving (ish)

Hello loved ones!
How are y'all doing? This week I had my third incident of saying y'all with no intention of doing simply just came out in a normal sentence. It kind of freaked me out but I guess I will just embrace it. Also a fun fact: I am typing this email at the computer for sight impaired. There is a huge yellow sign by me that says I am "sight impaired" and the keyboard is ginormous and bright yellow as well. Good thing I wore my glasses today or else people might question me.
I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!! Thank you for the Thanksgiving cards, the emails and the packages!! I got a few Christmas ones already and you bet we decorated our room - thank you Seegmiller and Gubler families!! I am excited for the season!!
A month from yesterday is when I will get to talk to you!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you tell I am excited?? I hope so. I promise I am still focused, but I do think about talking to you. It will be awesome :)
Oh, and I wanted to say congratulations to the future Sister Orgill! Honduras will be quite the adventure. We can be mission pen pals for sure. And thanks for the sweet Thanksgiving card Lindsey :) I am excited to have another cousin out in the field with me!!
So I guess I will highlight a few things from the week...
First off...Thanksgiving. The reason for my email subject is due to my holiday experience. It was not a bad day by any means, but it was not the same. Sister Blocker and I decided that our theme for this transfer and our companionship is awkward dinners.
So the family that we had Thanksgiving dinner with is awesome. I want you to understand that because I am not saying bad about them. They had kids in town with grandchildren so it was fun to be around family. We got there around noon and their kitchen was spotless with nothing on the counters. Sis Blocker and I looked at each other and just kinda smirked cause we knew where this could go with our past dinner history. Everyone was just relaxing and waiting around. They told us that all we had to wait on was the turkey. In my mind I was like, the rest of it is probably in the fridge or in the oven, etc. As we get ready to eat turns out that the only real Thanksgiving type of food was the turkey. We had quite the assortment of other food but it was not your traditional Thanksgiving food. It was just funny because they had other guests there too and they were like, "what about the stuffing, yams, cranberry, etc." haha. They were kind of teasing them, but I think they were also serious. It was fun nonetheless, but I will never forget it. (I just re-read this and realized it just sounds like I am picky and wasn't grateful for the meal. I guess it was a "you had to be there" experience).
We spent the rest of Thanksgiving with Kate who is in the YSA branch. She didn't have family there, so we wanted her to have company. We just chatted, made a pie, and read a bit of the Book of Mormon. It was a good way to spend the holiday.
After Kate, we really had not gotten over our Thanksgiving cravings. I was craving stuffing and yams like crazy cause I was so looking forward to it. We drove to the store but it was closed, of course. But the next day our dinner was a family's lefovers so I got the stuffing.
Anyways, sorry for the long not interesting story. This week did go well overall. It was a little slow with lessons just because everyone was out of town or they had family with them. We were able to meet with Rex before he went to Salt Lake to go to the temple. He was so excited and is so ready! Yesterday he told us that he had an amazing experience. We are excited to meet with him again and get more details about his trip.
We tried to contact a lot of referrals and less actives thsi week and weren't having a lot of success. But then we had a cool experience. The Lord always gives you something to be happy about even during a hard day :) We knocked on the door of a family who has a mormon message about them and everything. Their conversion story was put online and they area great family. Anyways, through time though they have become less active. It is super hard to get a hold of her and missionaries in the past haven't been able to work with them. But when we knocked, she was home! First miracle. She was on her way out the door so we asked if we could come back sometime and she said of course and gave us her number. Second miracle. We are so excited that they are willing to have us in their home! Hopefully this continues to go well and we can help them come back.
We did a lot of service this week. We helped the cookie lady again. We made cookies that taste like those orange chocolate covered jelly know what I am talking about? They were so good. We also were able to go to Bingo and help at the old folks home again. I LOVE going to visit them especially during the holidays. They just thrive off of our visits and it makes me so happy that by us coming, their day is better.
We had wonderful lessons with Sister Kelly this week. She is one of the main less actives we work with. We were able to meet with her twice and we had wonderful spiritual experiences. She is so so close to coming back to church. She was so on board for yesterday and then her stinking alarm didn't go off. Really Satan? I was frustrated but I have complete faith in her that she will be a full time church goer soon :)
Yesterday was wonderful. All of the meetings were amazing! We had a wonderful Relief Society lesson on testimony and conversion based on Elder Bednar's talk from this past conference. One of our investigators Sister Jones opened up in RS and shared with everyone where she is at right now in her conversion! That is like a missionary's dream haha. We didn't have to sneak it out of her, she just opened up. It was a great experience and we are excited to meet with them this week.
In our branch council we watched some of the videos for the new youth curriculum the church introduced. I was so thrilled when I read through the outlines they have planned to teach. All of it is so in connection with preach my gospel and is totally towards preparing the youth for missions. I felt like a nerd but I was so happy. It is so exciting to be in the field during this change and it makes me even more excited for the youth. Heavenly Father is so ready for them to go on missions.
Well family, I think that's about it for this week. I did have a wonderful week though and this week looks like it will be great too! We have zone conference with 3 zones on Wednesday, so I am excited to see other sisters too!
I love you and am thankful for all you do for me! Have a great week. Know that I love you and am praying for you always!
Much love,
Sister Magness
Picture explanations:
1. Me and Sister Kelly's daughter. I know I look insane in this pic but I love it because we both had no idea that we made the exact same ridiculous face. We are the same person. I love her.
2. Cutest baby in the world!!!! And the tag makes the pic even cuter. Other daughter of Sis Kelly.
3. Me and my comp with Kate and Amanda on Thanksgiving. Two recent converts who are incredible examples.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Happy Turkey Week

Hello best friends!
How are y'all doing? I hope you have had a wonderful week. Thank you for the love through emails and letters. I am so grateful for all of the support I have while serving. Definitely helps me so thank you! Are you getting excited for Thanksgiving?? I sure hope so. I am pretty excited. We are going to be taken care of on Thanksgiving so don't you worry. We have had many offers for meals and are also going to visit a few people who need a little boost on a holiday. It should be a great day. It will be weird not being with you, but it will be a Thanksgiving that I probably won't ever forget. Your job is to eat more of the yam/marshmallow creation for me since I won't be there :)
Yesterday in church, a lot of the talks were on gratitude. One of the examples they shared was the story of the ten lepers. I read it this morning, and it really hit me this time. Why did just one go back? It made me wonder what was different in that man's life that caused him to give thanks compared to the others. Anyways, I am going off on a missionary tangent, hoping that you could respond back and discuss this with me but ya can't haha. I guess some food for thought. I definitely have learned how much of a difference an attitude of gratitude can make. I started a gratitude journal at the beginning when things were rough (thanks to mom), and continue to do it every day. It is amazing to see how many blessings and things we have to be thankful for when we stop to think about it. Thanksgiving is just awesome because it reminds us of what our focus should be. It seems like everyone is focused on that, but then the very next day we are stampeding people to get stuff that's supposedly cheaper. Good times. (Mom, I still will never go on a Black Friday again after our Old Navy experience :) )
So enough rambling....on to my week. It really has been a great week! We had a lot of amazing lessons, which makes for a good week as a missionary. I guess I can highlight a few.
We set a baptismal date with Sister Burnett!! She actually set her own date which doesn't happen a lot haha. She is ready for this...I am grateful just to be a part of this final stage in her journey. Her and her husband have been investigating for three years. A long time. She has finally felt that peace that she needed to make this decision. Her husband is right there with her. If he isn't ready by December then definitely January. Sister Burnett wants to get baptized on Dec 15th! We are praying that she can continue to progress and be ready on that day.
We got a new investigator this week. His name is Jeremiah joke. But he goes by Roy just because haha. Anyways, he is great. We had our first lesson on Saturday and it was wonderful!! He was so involved in the discussion and was soaking up everything about the Restoration. The only hard thing is he has a crazy work schedule so it is hard to find times to meet, but we have faith that it will continue to work out! It is amazing to see when people first hear about the gospel. The whole time he just says things like, "this makes sense" or "why didn't I hear that before" etc. He is prepared and hopefully it will continue to go smoothly. Side note about him: He said that he is famous for his cookies. Everyone in the area supposedly says they are the best. I told him we might have to have a cookie challenge with Magness cookies. I might need the recipe :)
We were able to meet with a less active named Bev. She has been coming to church the past few weeks and we have been wanting to stop by and get to know her. It finally worked out where we were able to. She is has a traveling job and is a single mom so her schedule is a tad hectic. But thankfully, we found a time. We had an amazing visit with her!! We were able to just talk about how she joined the church and how she came to know that it was true. That is the key right there...ask less actives about something where they remember feeling the spirit. It always works haha. The spirit was so strong and she bore a beautiful testimony. I am grateful I was able to hear her story and we are looking forward to hopefully meeting with her again.
We also had a great lesson with Rex on the temples! It was awesome being able to talk to him about temples because he gets to do baptisms this week in SLC!! I am literally so excited for him. He has had an amazing journey with the church and continues to do so. We are meeting with him again tonight before he heads out to Salt Lake. Whenever we have a lesson on temples, I get really anxious to go, but I gotta wait a while longer. Not being close to a temple makes you realize just how lucky we are to have them so near where we live.
Well, of course there is opposition in all things. With the amazing lessons also comes some let downs. We were dropped by 2 investigators that we thought were close to baptism. Both of them were so involved and were progressing quickly. But they both texted us this week saying they no longer felt the need to learn. In both situations, we felt that it is just simply not time. They have some opposition with their family and the church so that could be a factor too. We just have to remember that agency is a part of the plan right? We continue to pray for them and hope they will come back whether it is in a month or 10 years.
What else....Oh we had a Zone Meeting this past week and interviews with President Shumway. They went well! I really am so grateful to have the mission president that we do. He is amazing. He also spoke to us about how many missionaries our mission alone is planning on getting at the beginning of the year. We are going to get an increase of 60+ missionaries. That's a lot for this area! It is really exciting though. He told us how we have to be prepared and have to be on our A game so we can show these incoming missionaries how the OTM is. I can't wait to see these 19 year old sisters come! I will probably feel really old, but it's still exciting.
We were able to help an elderly woman in our ward bake a ton of cookies for her business on Friday. She is literally "the cookie lady." All the kids in the neighborhood come over every Saturday morning for cookies. How cute is that? This past week she fell and broke her home, got bruised, etc. so she couldn't do much. So Sister Blocker and I became the cookie ladies for the day. It was reallly fun.
Yesterday got off to a weird start, but ended up great. We were heading out the house around 7:30 am so we could get to ward council. About a mile down the road, I told Sister Blocker to pull over. She just looked at me like "are you being serious or not?" haha and I just said pull over now. She pulled over and yep, I threw up about 5 times on the side of the road. It was the most random thing. I don't think I have ever done that in my life, but now I can say I have! Lots of people were just staring as they drove on by. Good times. Well, we headed back home for a bit cause I was still feeling weird. A few hours later we head down to the church and make it to RS. Everyone, and I mean everyone, asked are you okay? What happened? I was like, uhh how did everyone know I didn't feel good? Well a high councilman came to speak and asked if the missionaries would stand up during his talk. Really? The one single day we miss and it is publicly known haha. I guess that is life though. But, besides that, we had a great time at church with both the family ward and the branch.
Oh and the cutest little girl, not even in our ward, has come up to us the past two Sundays and says with a huge smile, "Hello, Sister Missionaries!!" Then she hugs us and tells us how she wants to go on a mission to China. I wish you could see it cause an email doesn't do her cuteness justice. It made my weird day a whole lot better.
The members here our amazing. A member that we don't see a ton brought soup off to us just because she heard of the incident and wanted to make sure I got better. So her and her kids made soup for us. How sweet is that? I am just so blessed to be in this area. These people are way too nice.
Well, that was a lot of rambling, but I think that's it for the week! This week should be good as well! I really do hope you have an amazing Thanksgiving. Please know that I love you so much and am so grateful for you. I will be thinking about you on Thursday, especially. Don't have too much fun at the social room without me :)
I love you!!
Love, Sister Magness
P.S. I haven't been taking too many pics lately...sorry about that. But this is the latest. We stopped at Sonic for happy hour to celebrate her year mark.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Happy Tuesday

Hello my loved ones!
Happy Tuesday. My whole week seems a little off now that I am emailing a day later than usual. I hope you have had a wonderful week! Thanks for your emails (they always make my week a little bit better). Also thanks for the packages and letters!! Mom, tell the RS thank you. They put wonderful treats in there and kind letters. Also, Ciara your primary class is the best. I miss them!! Tell them I got their letters and will write them back. They are the cutest.
Since our email days are a little different I didn't really look at my week to see what to tell ya and I forget my camera cord...again. So you will still have to imagine what Sister Blocker looks like for one more week. I will try my best to remember for next week!! I will give you a run down of my days this week to catch you up. Hope I don't bore you too much :)
We are going back all the way to last Monday. Great preparation day. Took it easy with writing a few letters and doing the usual errands. Our dinner cancelled so we had a fun leftover meal with the Sperry's. They are so great to include us if we ever don't have a dinner. I love them. Then we visited Sister Weed and daughter Audrey. It is amazing to see their progress. Each time we go, we see that they are working on coming back to church. They have that desire and it is wonderful to be able to help them. They are so funny too. We always have a good time! We are seeing them again tonight, so that should be good.
Had our classic time at Concordia. Played a game with the elderly there and also did our exercises. I really wish you could see me lead exercises with them. Good times. They are adorable though! We also tried to catch up with a few potential investigators. Heavenly Father helped us once again in finding a few homes. Bella Vista roads are so confusing. The map looks like an amusement park map. No joke. Or like a bowl of spaghetti. Whichever you'd prefer. So, we pray a lot for guidance and He always helps us out. We caught a few people in some bad situations, but they said we could come back in a few weeks so that is better than nothing! I had a good awkard moment. They happen a lot on the mission but here is just an example. So we went in to try and get a new map of Bella Vista since I ripped ours in half (woops). We went to the Arkansas Welcome Center and I just start chatting with the worker as she is trying to find a map. I said, "So how long are you here today?" She immediately says, "I'm not interested in  your church if that's what you meant. Not at all." I just said, "Uhh nope just seeing how long your shift is today." She then told me and just gave us the map. It is interesting to see how people either ask a ton of questions about us and act interested or are nervous we are going to take them straight to church haha.
This was a busy day, but a good one. We had our first district meeting with our new district leader and another new elder. Oh dad, I was excited to tell you this. So one of the elders in my district is Elder Asiata. His older brother plays on the U football team and he does too. He is going back after his mission too. I told him that my dad would be excited to hear that, so let me know if that rings a bell. Anyways, district meeting was great and then we went to lunch as a district. Then we had a few lessons back at the church. We are continuing to help a recent convert prepare for a mission by role playing the lessons. She is doing great! We had dinner with a family who are not members and who aren't even interested in learning more. They just simply have the southern hospitality and wanted to feed us dinner. It ended up being a great meal where we were able to tell them a few things about missionary life and Mormons in general. She enjoyed it so much and wants us to come back! Hopefully things can progress there.
This is supposed to be our planning day, but it turned into a day full of lessons so that is okay with us! We were able to teach Sara who is still progressing. We also taught Stephanie who is in the YSA branch. She is doing awesome! We worked with a few recent converts during the day too. It was just full of running around and teaching. We had MCM that night. Our ward mission leader is awesome. His job is crazy right now with the end of the year, and he still helps us so much. Very grateful for the members. I am sure you are the best WML though dad. Those elders are lucky!
Cool Bingo story. So, bingo went as usual...really intense old people who are determined to win and get their candy. All had gone well until about 5 minutes left when Betty (one of my faves) comes out of her room and joins us. Turns out she had slept through bingo and was very, very upset. Bingo is the thing they look forward to all week, so if they miss it, they get pretty sad. She was really sad she missed out, so we decided to do one more round. Even though we were out of time, we pretended like we weren't finished. Betty was excited about this but kept saying how she wasn't going to get candy because the chances of her winning were slim. I thought, welp there is nothing I can do about this except to pray. I prayed that Betty would win bingo. That somehow Heavenly Father could help us out by making me call the right numbers so that she could get her candy. I felt silly requesting such a trivial thing, but I knew how much this meant to her. I think you can safely assume that my prayers were answered and Betty was the one and only who called out Bingo that round. Reaffirmed to me how much God loves each of His children. He even cares about Betty having a better day by winning bingo.
Friday was also Sister Blocker's year mark! So we celebrated by treating ourselves to happy hour at Sonic.
I will not bore you with the details of getting sick...again. But all of our appts that we had planned cancelled because everyone was sick. So it worked out nicely. We were able to get some things done at home while taking a breather. That's about it for Saturday. Sorry so boring.
We had a wonderful Sabbath Day! We got to talk in Primary about what we love about being missionaries and how they can prepare to serve. I love kids. Some of their questions and comments were hilarious. One of my favorites was when I told them where I was from and asked "Do you know where Las Vegas is?" One kid raised his hand and said so seriously "Yeah I do. It is where you get lost." Uhh yep sort of haha. It was fun being in Primary. Then we had an amazing lesson with Dustin. He is 16 years old and is so prepared. Two youth from the ward came and joined our lesson. They did such an amazing job at teaching! I was seriously so impressed. Pretty cool to see these future missionaries in action. Very excited to be teaching him.
Rex got the Priesthood!! SO neat to see. I am so grateful to be a part of this whole journey for him. I love him and Julianne so much!!
President and Sister Shumway came to our stake for a fireside. They spoke to the youth about preparing for a mission and the new age. It was neat to be able to see them!
Well, I won't bore you with what I did yesterday because it wasn't too exciting. Oh wait I am kind of lying. We had an awesome lesson with the Jones family. And that is exciting :) I hope all is well and that you have a wonderful week. Know that I love you and am always praying for you!! Until next week...
Sister Magness

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Time Changes

Hello there :)
Happy November!! I can't believe that October has come and gone. Today I realized that my missionary anniversary of 5 months is tomorrow. What? I feel like I just left the MTC. It is just going by fast! I am really excited for the holidays though. It will be wonderful!! I hope you liked my picture updates. I don't have a picture with the new comp, but I will work on that this week. The pictures were catch up from the past 2 weeks. Enjoy!
I hope everyone is doing well! It seems like things are going great, which makes me happy. Oh before I forget I need to make a shout out to a faithful email reader haha. Miss Megan/Future Sister Bahr. Congrats on the call!! I am totally going to find you next Christmas to get a tour okay? A few girls in the branch here served on the Square and they talk about it non-stop. You will be amazing. I will write you soon :)
I hope everyone enjoyed the wonderful blessing of sleeping in when the time changed because...I didn't. On Saturday night after planning, Sister Blocker and I were debating on whether or not the time changed so you could sleep in on Sunday mornings or Monday mornings. I was convinced that we got to sleep in for school on a Monday. She was hesitant but my completely wrong opinion made sense to her too. The Sperry's were already asleep and we had no access to the world so I thought of a genius idea to set the alarm on the phone and surely if it changes in the middle of the night we will get to sleep in. So the alarm goes off in the morning and the time was the same as our clocks so we figured it didn't change on Saturday night. We got all ready, went to church and knocked on the door of the Bishop's office to go to PEC. They open the door and it was just the bishopric. They just start cracking up and hold out their fancy iphones to show us the time. Yep, it was 6:45. I learned a few things...people think not being aware of a time change is hilarious, the time change happens on Saturday, and mission phones are outdated. I was so excited for an extra hour, but there is always next year!
Well this week was full of a lot of change. Transfers happened on Thursday! The beginning of the week was with Sister Knutson, and the rest of it with Sister Blocker. Transfers sure are crazy. The change happens so fast, but it has been good so far!
The first part of the week with Sister Knutson was great. I think we planned out a good last week for her mission. On Monday night we were able to meet with a couple who is just returning to the church. We had seen them the past few weeks at church and weren't sure if they were a new move-in or what not, so we asked if we could come by to get the story. Turns out that they were just returning to church after 18 years of inactivity. They had gone to different churches for years, but could never find the same happiness they once had. It was amazing hearing their story and being able to simply witness their faith. They were at church yesterday and we helped them find a few classes and meet some of the members. It was so neat to see them find their way back on their own, and by following the spirit.
We had almost every meal provided by members just because they all wanted to see her before she went home. No joke, one day we had breakfast, lunch, dinner, and frozen yogurt provided for during the day. I thought I was going to die. It felt like Thanksgiving times ten. But, I am grateful for amazing members here. Oh one of those food trips included Firehouse. Still can't get over the fact that they have one in AR.
The Trunk or Treat was awesome!! The chili cook off was great. We also got to be the judges for the pumpkin contest. It was so cool to see less actives and investigators come! Sister Weed and Audrey (I believe I have mentioned them in previous emails) came. Just seeing them at the church made me happy! Seeing how they have changed in these past few weeks just by reading the Book of Mormon has been amazing. We are meeting with them tonight!
The whole time members were coming up to us and pointing at people to go talk to. I love seeing how ward activities are mainly used as a missionary tool. We had a lot of fun though and I was glad Sis K could see all the ward before she left.
Transfers went smooth. It was hard saying bye to Sister Knutson, but my time with Sister Blocker so far has been great! It is really weird taking over an area though. It has been amazing to see the help that Heavenly Father has given me in these past few days. I have been able to remember things that I thought I wouldn't, especially how to get around the area. On Saturday, we visited a ton of less actives and were able to find all of the homes. With the help of prayer and a map. It has been neat to see how much help we are getting!
We had our first lesson with Rex as a new member. I just love Rex and Julianne so much! Seeing the difference this has made in his life is such a blessing. I am determined to be there when he goes through the temple :)
We were able to go to the Stake Baptisms on Saturday. We invited our investigators but between school stuff and being sick, none of them could make it. But it was still a good experience to go. I always love feeling the spirit that is at a baptism. Two of the families in our ward had a child getting baptized, so we were glad to be there.
We had one of the most awkward dinner experiences of our life this week. I will give you all the details but let's just say it started out with being yelled at for where we parked and then coming in and being told that we needed to pick up their baby (even though we can't). Then it was just mass chaos with their children, and dinner being made, etc. Sister Blocker and I were just staring at each other and then she pulled out this Plan of Salv puzzle for the kids. Instantly, their was peace in their home and the spirit came. I know that sounds cheesy but it was a night and day difference. Once we started sharing a message with the kids, then peace in the family came. I will never forget the very clear example of the importance of the gospel, and how it really is a source of peace.
Well, I think that is the highlights from this week. We had a lot of great lessons, and the transfer went smooth so all is well. Thank you for your love and support. I am so grateful each day for the amazing family and friends in my life!!! Have a wonderful week! Happy Election Day tomorrow :)
I love you!!
Sister Magness
P.S. Next Monday the lib is closed for Veteran's Day (is that right? haha). Anyways, so you will hear from me on Tuesday. Just a heads up!

1. Picture with the Peterson family - Bishop in the BV ward
2. Kasidy's invite :)
3. Rex's baptism before the whites
4. Rex's baptism in the whites
5. A ton of the YSAs at Sis Knutson's going away partay.
6. Mario and Luigi
7. 2 of my faves that we teach. LA family.
8. The classic sorting of candy on Halloween :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Halloween!

Hello family and friends!!
How are ya? I hope you have had a great week. I sure hope you have a Happy Halloween! October just flew right by. It seems like Conference was just yesterday. I just realized today that the election is next Tuesday! That snuck up on us too. I hear bits and pieces about it, and also the crazy storm headed towards the east coast. It is weird being a missionary and just getting random snipets of what is going on. Let me know if any cities get destroyed just so I can be up to speed.
Thank you for the mail and love this week! Grandpa, I got your letter. It always makes me cry! And I will send a few shout outs...first to Miss Kasidy. I screamed when I opened your invitation! It is so cute and you look beautiful in the picture!! I will be there in spirit, girl. Also Sister Egbert, if you read this before you get set apart (probably today!!!) know that I love you, am so proud of you and can't wait to be mission pen pals. I need your mission address!!!
Alrighty, well this week has been another good one. I think I will do the day by day updates again. Here we go...
A great prep day like always. We had dinner at the bishop's home. They live right on one of the lakes in Bella Vista. It is beautiful!! We had dinner out on their deck that overlooks the water. The bishop and his family are amazing and so funny. A tradition they have is when they get a new missionary for dinner they each go around the table and ask a question. Sidenote: One of their daughter's friends was over and earlier when we were setting up for dinner it got brought up that he was a vegetarian. So, they go around, asking questions and it gets to him. He asked me what my favorite dish was. I said, "Steak. I just love all meat." Then I realized who I was saying that too haha. The whole family just started cracking up. Good times. They also asked what my most embarrassing moment was and they got to enjoy the gasoline story.
This was the day of miracle lessons. It was amazing! We visited a part member family that we have tried to work with these past few weeks. It has been really hard to get into their home, let alone share a message. But, they opened up so much on Tuesday!! We first invited them to our trunk or treat and the non-member was so excited. He said they would definitely be there and was even going to bring a pot of chili to the cook-off. Later on we saw a picture in their home of the happiest lady and they mentioned that was their mom that passed away. They then opened up so much about her, the Plan of Salvation, etc. My comp and I just stood there in shock and were so happy when we left. We freaked out in the car and couldn't believe it. I wish I could explain how much of a change this is for them, but they really are coming along. Hopefully we will see more of that!
We also had a miracle lesson with Rex. I call it a miracle lesson just because the spirit was so strong. He was able to share a few experiences with us that really helped us see his relationship with God. I am so grateful I have gotten to teach him through his journey with the gospel.
Another cool day relating to lessons. Every person we saw that day opened up in a way they never had about certain trials they are experiencing. I had an overwhelming feeling in each lesson that we met with them on this day for a reason. Very neat to see how Heavenly Father works in the little, simple ways.
We had dinner at the Jones' home. I always love eating with them! Still can't believe investigators feed us here :) They bought us muffin tins so that we can try all of the chili at the trunk or treat tomorrow. So, we will be walking around with muffin tins full of chili haha. I am pretty excited for that. Oh, random but their little boy came up to me and wanted me to read him a book. Guess which one it was? There is A Monster At the End of This Book....remember the Grover voice dad? I tried my best with the Grover voice, but I need to practice a bit.
We went to Brother Sperry's seminary class. Man, I forgot how early seminary is. Those kids are troopers...still can't believe we went so early. Anyways, it was so fun to go to his class and be there for their lesson! After seminary we had a kid come up to us who said he had a friend who is interested in learning the gospel. We were excited obviously and said we would keep in touch with him about it. Just 3 hours later we got a call from his friend!! He had had walked to the church, looking for the missionaries. So the employment specialist who was in the building, called us and said someone is wanting to learn from you! It turned out to be him. This area is magic! So we had a wonderful lesson with him on Saturday (sorry I am jumping ahead). It was amazing! He is so prepared and has a lot of faith. After the lesson he asked for a triple combination haha. How does he know what that is?! Very excited to get to teach him.
Thursday we also had an awesome Relief Society activity. I won't bore you with details on that one, but just know I love the Bella Vista Ward.
Another classic Bingo experience. Gotta love the elderly there. They are so cute!
We had another amazing lesson with a new investigator. She is the most active non-member I know! She goes to FHE, institute, all meetings of church, etc. We met with her for the first time and she had the gospel principles manual. I was like, oh did you read some. She said, not a lot, just 12 chapters! Haha she is very interested and willing to continue to meet. The branch is great at inviting their friends to church, so we just get to be a part of it!
Long, busy day! We had 3 meal appointments. People are just trying to say bye to Sister Knutson so our schedule has been a tad crazy. It was all good though! The highlight of Saturday was Rex's baptism. The spirit was so strong and it was so cool to see someone I taught the whole time take this step. His parents came to be a part of it too. They are non-members but are so supportive of him. I am so grateful I got to see the change in him throughout the lessons. He is wonderful, and I look forward to being his bud for a long time.
We also got transfer calls on Saturday night!! Those are a tad nerve-racking. Our Zone Leaders didn't call us until 10:00pm. They waited to call us last...not so smart for sisters! Anyways, I am staying in Bella Vista, and my new companion's name is Sister Blocker. All I know about her is that she has been out for 9 months. No one in my district has served with her, so we don't know much about her. But, I am sure she will be wonderful! I am nervous to teach her everything about the area, but it will be a good experience. So, she comes on Thursday! I will miss Sister Knutson. She has been a wonderful companion. We have had some good times in these short 6 weeks. BUT, she gets to see her family, so it will be a good transfer for her.
Longest one yet. So long in fact that we didn't even have time to eat lunch! But, I had a good dinner that made up for it. The ward threw a little get together so that everyone could say bye to Sister Knutson. Their whole motive behind it was to fellowship our investigators! Our ward is so missionary minded it's crazy. It was so cool seeing everyone we teach, in the same place, just getting to know each other. I love all of them so much. We were exhausted after it, but it was a wonderful day.
Wow, that was a lot huh? Congrats to those who made it through. I know I usually have a plethora (is that a word?) of pictures for you, but one of the kids in our ward has my camera in her play purse right now :) She snuck it in there for safe keeping at the party last night. So, I am going by to get it today so pictures will be back next week!
I hope you know how much I love all of you! I am so grateful to be a missionary. One of the main things I have realized so far is how important it is to cling to the gospel. As I read the Ensign and the Book of Mormon, I can feel of the safety that comes from following our Savior. I know that it is and will be the only way we have to safety. It is so much fun to be able to share that with others and help them see the same. There is my little missionary moment for you :)
I love you!!! Have a wonderful week. Get lots of candy.
Sister Magness

Sisters' Conference and Head Colds

Hello, hello!! :)
Once again, thanks for the love this week via emails and letters and packages. I say this all the time, but I am a spoiled missionary. I am grateful each day for the support I receive so thank you, thank you!
How was your week? It sounds like all is well. Thanks for the BYU update. Luckily I am surrounded by enough BYU fans, so they can sneak in an update every once in a while. At least they didn't flounder. I don't hear much about the Utes and Rebels out here. Should I just not ask how they are doing with football? Maybe I will just ask you once basketball season comes around... :)
Anyways, I hope you are loving fall. It is BEAUTIFUL here (once again, caps lock necessary). The fall colors are amazing. We really miss out on that being in the desert. I still need to get a picture for you, but I don't think I can capture it. Just google fall leaves and then that is probably what it looks like. It really is so nice here. The weather has been up and down. One day it is freezing, then it is warm, then tornado warnings, then sunshine. It always changes. Kind of exciting, but kind of not. I hope you are getting excited for Halloween! Any plans? Our trunk or treat is next week and I am excited. I don't have plans except being a missionary. Maybe my companion and I can switch name tags so I can be her for Halloween.
So this has been a good week with ups and downs as usual. On Tuesday we left for Sisters' Conference in Tulsa. President Shumway picked up all the sisters in Arkansas. So there were 6 of us with him on our little road trip. It was so fun to see Sister Hanshew again and get to know the other sisters. When we got there we ate a delicious lunch and then went to a service project at the food bank. We all got mormon helping hands shirts...I have always wanted one. My dream came true! I even get to keep it haha. Anyways, we packaged pasta. Sounds boring but it was actually pretty interesting. They said Oklahoma is ranked the 4th state in the country with the most that go hungry. Did that make sense? You get what I am trying to say. But yeah, it was cool to help out. The director was really interested in what we do and she asked us a lot of questions. I got to wear a sweet hair net too.
After that we went back to the mission home and had dinner/prepared for the fireside. Sister Shumway and I practiced the song she wanted me to sing too. I saw the song once before I actually sang it haha. Her schedule was a tad busy, but it turned out! I sang "Come Unto Jesus." We had all the sisters sing a few verses with me too, so that was nice for me. Then we just had instruction from President and Sister Shumway which was amazing as always. These kind of meetings are necessary on the mission. They help you stay motivated and help you recognize that you can keep going!
He talked a lot about the Book of Mormon. He emphasized Mormon chapter 8 and how he mentions multiple times that his father had died, and that he remained alone. He was very hopeless, but did not quit because he knew what his mission was. I gained a greater appreciation for Moroni. For the sacrifice he gave and the grief he must have felt, but he just kept going. President Shumway focuses on the Book of Mormon in all of his instruction and challenges us to use it in every single lesson whether with investigators, members, less actives, etc.
He also said how much he loves us. He explained how we will never know the soft spot a dad has in his heart for his daughters. He said we are all his daughters now. I thought of my Heavenly Father and you too dad. It was a really cool evening.
The next morning we had more great instruction from the Shumway's, stake leaders, and some elders. Then we came back for a nice meal and had to part ways. It was really fun being with all of the sisters because we don't see each other that often. Transfer calls are this Saturday so while we were there I was scoping out who my next companion could be haha. I am pretty sure I will stay in Bella Vista. Sister Knutson leaves for home next Thursday!! So crazy. Anyways, after the conference Sister Shumway drove all of us back to Arkansas. It was fun to be able to just chat with her. We stopped at a gas station and witnessed her awesome missionary schools. She was just sharing the gospel all over the place...such a good example.
Well, the rest of the week has been a little rough. I have been really sick and unfortunately spread it to my poor companion. But we have wonderful members and a lot of Vitamin C so we are on the mend. It is definitely hard finding a balance of resting but still getting work done. We still managed to get quite a few lessons in with the conference and being sick. I think the highlight of the week would be our lessons with Rex and Julianne. They are just the best!! He is set for baptism this Saturday and we are so excited. He is ready and it is evident. It is neat because Sister Knutson and I have been the ones to teach him the whole time. That doesn't happen a whole lot because of transfers and everything. I am glad this is happening before she leaves.
This morning one of our progressing investigators dropped us. It was a bummer, like always, but then right after that happened this guy just came up to us and started asking us all these questions. We were at Chick Fil A with our whole district and he talked with all of us for about an hour about the gospel. He is young single adult age and so we told him about the branch and everything. We got his number and were able to give him a Book of Mormon. It is amazing to see the miracles God gives us. Right after we were bummed about being dropped, then we see someone who is interested. Very blessed.
So random but before I go I have to tell you a cool thing we did with our ward mission leader's family! The mom ordered lanterns on ebay just like in Tangled. We lit them on Saturday night over one of the lakes here in Bella Vista. We got to let them fly off and watch them in the sky. It was so cool. Totally doing that when I get home, so put it on your calendar in a year :)
Well, that is my week in a nutshell. This week will be great like always, hopefully with a few less tissues and medicine involved. I am really trying to learn as much as I can about the area before Sister K leaves, so hopefully that goes well. I can't belive another transfer is almost up!
I love you all so much. Have a wonderful week and know that I love you and am praying for you always!!
Love from AR,
Sister Magness
P.S. For those who have written me and haven't gotten a letter in a few weeks...know that I love you and have you on a list ready to write :) my pdays have just been very busy, but I haven't forgotten about you!!! Thanks for the love! 

Pictures :)
The first one is of me and the Evans family. They are just amazing.
The rest are from Sisters' Conference in Tulsa. A few with Sister Hanshew...others with Sister Meredith who was my companion in the MTC! Also with Sister Pulu, Sister Cook.
Then I have a picture of just a freaky face, but I thought it was fun.
Then a picture with the Shumway's daughter whom I love!!
Then last but not least, a picture with Sister Shumway.