(Amber Garvin from Provo, Utah served as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (also known as 'Mormons') in the Richmond, Virginia area (Now called the "Virginia Chesapeake Mission"). 'Sister' Missionaries are able to serve at age 19 for a period of 18 months. They leave their homes, families and educational pursuits to love and serve their fellowman, and to teach about how families can be together forever. All are invited to follow her missionary experiences.)

*I have now returned home to Utah and will continue to share the experiences of being a returned missionary. :)

Monday, June 24, 2013

June 24, 2013

This week was AWESOME.  Sometimes you have to use words like that to adequately express how things really are.

The first thing I have to say is.  WOW.  The Work of Salvation broadcast last night was OUTSTANDING.  Everyone should watch it.  Every day.  I wish that I could watch it every day.  It was SOOOOOOO good!  Every member should be a missionary.  It brings me great joy to see member reaching out to their friends and the people that they love so much and share some of the light of Christ that they carry with them, with their friends.  I have lots of really strong positive and supportive opinions about this broadcast.  The things that the Apostles, and Prophets taught us will change missionary work if we only implement and take the initiative to apply the principles they taught us in our individual lives.

Again, it was SOOOOOOOO good!  I loved it, and cried with joy that I can be a part of it.  

Also, everyone should look up that new website that is being realeased.  LDS.ORG--- (the work of salvation)?  I think that is what it is called...    

Alll I can say is WOW.

Also, tracting is not normally very effective, but this week it was miraculous.
The story is this:
We found out that there was a part of our area, actually a very large chunk, that was unknown to us.  We checked with the mission, LDS.org website, our ward, our map, and all the areas around us.  And finally found out that this large chunk was ours. Then we didn't know what to do because we are limited on miles, it is the end of the month, and because my companion ripped a tendon in her foot we physically could not tract all of that area.

Then our Sister Training Leaders called about an hour later and set up an exchange.
Historic Jamestown Settlement; Flag for VA

Long story short.  We went on exchange/splits in our area and tracted for 4 hours.  
Miraculously we found 4 new investigators.  THAT IS A LOT.

We have gained a testimony of tracting.

Also, we never answer the phone in any of our appts, but we were in an appt and the phone beeped and my companion felt impressed to answer it. (which was fine in the sittuation).
This guy called us because we left our phone number and our "I'm a Mormon" pass-along card in his door with a short note that said "May you find peace and happiness".  He asked us if we could really help him find peace.  Sister Jasperson taught him the Resoration over the phone and set up a return appointment.  (He is one of the 4)
That never happens.  People don't call you if you leave a number in their door.

MIRACLES HAPPEN.  And are happening.

I love being a missionary.  This work is grand.

I love you all forever,
Sister Garvin

P.S. Mom, please spell check this for me.  I give you permission to fix the spelling and the grammar errors as well.  I cant type and spell check at the same time sometimes. :)  LOVE YOU!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday, June 17, 2013

Hi all,
We had our last Zone Conference with President, and Sister Perry (before they left) - and they posted photos on  FB about things that have happened lately, (and there might be a picture of us up there soon) which was really nice, and really sad.  I was glad to be able to be a part of that before they left though. 

Also, I was really happy to see that Sister Cornilles (from high school) got here safely. She is training with an AMAZING sister.  And I am glad to see her here.  Also again, half of the district I came out with are going to be on this side of the mission.  I am not alone, and that makes me happy.

We had an investigator come to church, and the ward was really great to reach out to her.  Also, she participated in Sunday School and Relief Society.  We loved it!!! She is truly wonderful.

There were two tornadoes here last week, and half of the city didn't have power for about 2 days.  We are really grateful that our apartment has a backup generator.  That was an amazing blessing.  Besides that, I can now claim that I have really survived a natural disaster.  You are hearing from a veteran now!  We drove through one of the tornadoes on accident.  

Hopefully that won't happen again.

I love hearing about all of my friends who are getting mission calls!  It's truly amazing to be a part of this work at this time.  The gospel has to be brought to all nations, and we are all a part of that.  I am a part of that.  What a huge deal. Wow.

Time is short, but there is always lots to do after writing to you.

Today, we are riding a free ferry in our car.  It promises quite the {safe} adventure. :)

I love you, and pray for you!

You are my favorite family!

Love always,
Sister Garvin

Monday, June 10, 2013

June 10, 2013 (2 months out)

Today is my 2nd month birthday.  I entered the MTC 2 months ago.  I thought is was 2 weeks ago!  Time has gone by more quickly than I ever imagined it could.

I just need to get this funny story out of my system this week so here is goes:

This week we were hit with torrential rains as a result of Tropical Storm Andrea. (I sent you some in the mail Ashley. :)  Also, it is important that you are aware of the fact that the fan in our bathroom connects directly to the roof.

The story is that during our morning studies we heard screaming coming from the bathroom, and one of the other sisters came out and said that the ceiling had started raining on her.  We went to investigate and found that the fan (DIRECTLY over the toilet) was steadily dripping and splashing all over the place. We found a bucket, and in about three hours it was half full. Also, it was really hard to go to the bathroom holding a half full bucket of water over our heads (I don't know why nobody thought to empty the bucket...).  But it was definitely an adventure.  And I don't know if I've ever been in so much rain in my life.  I came down in sheets for really long periods of time.

This week we were able to go to a baptism in our ward with one of our investigators.  She is really amazing, and really loved getting to see the actual ordinance of baptism performed.  We have really great hopes for her, and know that she is a truly amazing person even if she decides not to join the church right now.  Having her in our ward has really helped the members see that we are working hard, and that we are trying our best.

We also got dropped this week.  It was okay because it really needed to happen--which might sound strange, but there were lots of miracles that went into it happening.  We pray that she will be able to be found by missionaries again, and that she will find peace in her life right now. :)  She is really a wonderful person, and has a really strong faith in God.

I have to go now.  Sorry I don't have time for more.
The Gospel is true!  God loves his children, and we are never forsaken. 
P.S. Thank you for those little pictures you sent in the mail.

Your Sister Garvin

Monday, June 3, 2013

June 3, 2013

This letter is going to be short today, because I am not really in the mood to send something long.  Sorry if that is really disappointing... I had lots of people to respond to this week.  

It is easier to respond individually via paper letters, so if people want to send an added measure of sunshine into my life they can send me mail.  Then I can get nice little surprises throughout the week, and I like that. :)

I don't really have a good story for this week.  It was transfer calls.  I am staying here, and will be in the (new) Chesapeake mission effective- July 1.  President Baker is the new Mission President.

All I will say about that is that I have learned a lot more about trusting that the Lord has a greater plan for each of us then we have for ourselves, and that right now it is not about my plans, but it is about His plans.  I really am happy to be staying here, and I am grateful to be staying with my companion.  I know that this is where I am supposed to be, and I am trying my best to completely trust in the Lord throughout this finalization of the changes ahead.  I completely trust my Priesthood leaders, and their revelations on my behalf.  I know without a doubt that their prayers were fervent in my behalf as an individual, and also for all the people that are in Virginia, and meeting the needs of each area.

I think that this week I have really just questioned myself more then anything.  There have been a lot of those moments, and I am learning that in order for there to be progression there must be change.  And I don't like feeling "stuck".  I am learning to be willing to change in order to progress.  I am learning that I am willing to sacrifice things of lesser worth for things of greater worth.

That is where I am at this week.

Raining in Jamestown, Virginia
I am sure that you can tell that this letter is not like the others.  That is because today it is raining, and I am not ashamed to admit that the last few days have been far from ideal missionary days, and that sometimes (like today-- a lot) I am discouraged.  I'll just let you all know now, not everyday is perfect, and ideal.  Those days are sometimes fewer then those that are hard, but I also know that the hard days are sometime the days where I learn the most about myself, and I learn the most about how important gratitude and laughter is. 

Words of wisdom from me:  There should never ever be a day where you cant find a minute to laugh or smile about something. (I need more time to make that quote-worthy, but that's pretty much it)

I'm still pluggin' along.

I pray for you often, and, "love" more than anything else, keeps me going.

-Your Sister Garvin