(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, February 24, 2014

Monday, Feb. 24, 2013 - Sister Garvin, Sister Felt

Well,  I've left only about 15 minutes to type this email, and I'm not sure how long that will get me.  I guess we'll have to find out in 15 minutes. :)

This week was really miraculous!  We have started focusing more on Revelation through Planning, and Finding.  Because of the trainings from our District and Zone meetings, as well as us being directed as to how we can implement the ideas from those meeting into the work in our respective areas, we have begun to see so much progress already.

I'm feeling for the first time that really, really... our plans each night are directed by the goals that we set weekly and daily.

Let me just put a little plug in for my companion....

Sister Felt is ~AMAZING!~

I just love, love, LOVE this girl!  She and I laugh ALL THE TIME!  And she just has great perspectives, and inspires me to "try a little harder to be a little better."

Ooop.... I got distracted reading things that people send me.  So not I have 2 minutes left.

So I learned this really great thing in the Bible Dictionary about Charity.  It says that charity is "never used to demote alms or deeds".  I think that's really interesting.  So we don't have ACTS of charity, but as we develop charity--the pure love of Christ-- I think that it drives our actions.  So charity itself is not an act, but when we have charity we act to serve, help, strengthen, bless, and uplift those who are around us. :)
I hope that little snippet of an epiphany makes a little bit of sense to you. :)

Hmm.  I'm full of inspirations quotes, and have run out of time. Sorry about that.

Oh.  We've had BEAUTIFUL weather this week, somedays in the 80's.  Now we hear it is supposed to snow this week.  I really think that the weather here is more tempermental, and unpredictable than that in Utah.

And that's all I have to say about that situation....

Have a lovely week!  No matter the weather!

Love forever,

Sister Garvin

Birthday Surprise for our little friend
Sister Felt

First day Sister Felt arrived in Mission

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tuesday, February 18, 2014, LDS Sister Missionaries, Rocky Mount, North Carolina

Hint, Hint!!!
Good morning family!

I know that you all hang off of my every word, so I'm sorry about the delay in my letter this week. ;)  Just kidding about the hanging.... not so much about the delay.

There were more snow days last week.  Everything shut down because it was an "ice storm" which is mostly just really wet snow....  School was cancelled from Tuesday-Friday, and so they had to go to school on Pres. Day as a make-up day, and they're supposedly having to shorten Spring Break because of all the snow days. SO SAD!

Good news:
Sister Felt and I get along really, really well.  I just really feel like we are equally-yoked in this companionship.  We have a lot of similarities character wise, but some really different strengths.  She is going to help me plan better since that is not one of my strengths.  So Heavenly Father did answer my prayer, because I prayed that I would get a companion that could help me improve my planning.  Yay.

We saw some truly amazing miracles this past week, and were able to contact some people that we haven't been able to before and share short messages with them.  We are trying to help strengthen the ward members by being purpose-driven missionaries, and to this point we have seen great improvement-- some within ourselves.  I love being purposeful!!!

I tell so many people this because I think that is is profound: "Purpose doesn't evolve from friendship-- friendship evolves from purpose."  That is something that the sister Training Leaders in Newport News really helped me to understand.  Our purpose is to "invite others to come unto Christ" and when we are driven by that we develop stronger and deeper relationships and friendships with people than we would if we just chit-chatted with them for 5 hours.  A purposeful 15 minute lesson is much more effective than an hour lesson where you just get to know someone. Hark!  There is wisdom in these my words.

I've just had a good week.  Also, I realize that sometimes I complain a lot-- and I don't always know that I'm doing it, and I really have no reason to-- so if that comes through my letters, I give you permission to call me out.  Help me do better, because I can't always do it myself. :)

Life is good. 

Maybe not always ideal, but there is always good to be found to combat the bad if we but look for it.

I love the scriptures.  They are a constant source of good.

I also love dessert.

And when I get a solid 8 hours of sleep.

And when people allow their testimony and faith in Jesus Christ change their lives. 

And shoe shopping.  But I don't do that very often because I don't need more shoes right now.  I sometimes just like the way my feet look in shoes.  Oh!  I found out that I can fit in little girls sizes 5/6 shoes.  My horizons have been expanded.

Oh again!  I LOVE letters, and when I come home and see letters on my bed from people that I love.  It makes
my day. 


Sister Amber

Valentine's Cookies -- "Thanks Mom!"

Monday, February 10, 2014

Monday, February 10, 2014, Rocky Mount, North Carolina, LDS Sister Missionaries

In all seriousness I haven't felt as much contentment, and joy from just being a missionary as I do sitting here right now, in a very long time. 
I just am really content, and happy.  So that's good.  In fact, it's great!
Our experience getting to transfer meeting was a little bit crazy.  We had to wake up at 4:30 am to get ready to go, and meet some other sisters so that we could be in Portsmouth by 8:30 in preparation for the trainer's meeting. 
I was so glad that I got to go to transfer meeting though!  So many people got moved!  President Baker said that this transfer meeting was the largest.  The first largest was when we had transfers like a week after the mission opened. 
Anyway.  We welcomed 18 new missionaries, and I saw, Sisters: Barnes, Newbold, Adamson, and Sister Jasperson (This is her fifth time training-- which is incredible!!!)  Also I saw my old zone leaders, and Elder Snow, and Elder Noble who were in the group that I came out with.
I was so glad to see some of my mission friends!!! Things seem to be going well with all of them. 
Another sister, Sister Hurley, whom I came out with, was called to be a Sister Training Leader in the Kinston Stake.  She is so great!  She is the first person that I was with when I shared the gospel with someone in the airportthe day we lef tthe MTC.  I just LOVE her!
Also, our cousin--who I think may have forgotten is related to me because sometimes I forget to say hello..... is now a zone leader!  That is great! 
Sister Felt is my new companion.  She is from Southern California, and is 22.  I don't know if I'm just supposed to be taught maturity or what, but every single one of my companions has been older than me....... And taller.... except for sister Watt.... She was shorter.
Okay, so that is a really long-winded bout of information that is probably completely irrelevant to anyone outside of this mission, but it's stuff that I like to know, and now I'm sharing it.
I have been really full of inspiring revelatory information the last week or so too.  Being able to talk with Sister Felt has sort of brought it out of me, but I've run out of it today, also time..... Almost out of that.
So in the most dignified way possible I'm going to peace out.
10 months.  Today.  Right now.  In this very moment.  (Isn't that incredible?!  Who would have thought I would have made it this far in such a short amount of time.  I'm still going to be 20 years old when I get home, and I feel like I'm 79.  So that's weird. Spiritually I mean.  

Love y'all!
-Sister Amber Garvin
Me with my 'Thumbs Up'  :)

New Companion: Sister Felt and I eating the BEST Cheesecake in the World!

Monday, February 3, 2014

'Transfers' - Rocky Mount, North Carolina, LDS Sister Missionaries

I think that I will keep this week brief.
We received our transfer call a day earlier than expected.  Saturday!  So I've known for a little while longer than usual, but the good news is that Transfer calls are inspired, and I can trust that the Lord knows what's best. Plus, I keep praying almost daily that we will be led by the Spirit to know where to go, what to do, and what to say.
So I will be staying in Rocky Mount, and training another missionary.  In all sincerity I am excited, and I feel good about it, but I'm trying really hard to maintain commitment to serving with all my" heart, might, mind and strength" because I am tired!!!!!  I guess it will be good though because new missionaries always have a lot of energy, and drive.  I know that will help me keep going.  I just hope I don't get dragged along! :)
Sad to be losing Sister Watt, and so are many of the members of the ward.  She has left a big impression here. :)  Funny though because her next area is like 20 minutes south of here, in Wilson.  They have a wonderful ward there, and the Sister who will be her new companion is basically me. :)  She and I came out at the same time-- she was called to the Raleigh Mission though and I was Richmond.  She and I also have basically the same sense of humor, and personality.  I love her, and hope that Sister Watt will as well.
So that the status update.
I just love all of you!
keep in Touch --- Kay!  :)
Sister Garvin