(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, March 24, 2014

Monday, March 24, 2014 - Rocky Mount, North Carolina - LDS Sister Missionaries - Sister Amber Garvin

Sister Felt
Sister Garvin
Today is transfer #5 in Rocky Mount.  I'm so grateful that I get to finish training Sister Felt,  I have loved being her companion so much!  But I'm also pretty confident that this will be my last transfer in Rocky Mount.  We'll look back in 5 More Preparation Days and see if I am right. :)  (Also, I think that Sister Felt will stay here and train a new missionary. :)  That is my hunch.  I have no idea about me.  But I've thought that she would be a great trainer since week one. :) 

This week we went to the Urgent Care for Sister Felt's ear. She woke up and couldn't hear anything and the it started to hurt.  So they cleaned it out for her. 

I thought that was funny because I've gone to the Dr. with every one of my companions and 3 of them had their ears cleaned out.  So it's not funny that they had to go to the Dr. but is funny that I've gone with all of them for that purpose.  Did you know that you are supposed to have your ears cleaned every year (or something)  How many people actually do that?  I had no idea.  What a fun job.........…

It's bright, sunny and 40 degrees outside today.  They are forecasting a possible ice storm tonight.  So that's not too great, but we can't control the weather every day.  Only sometimes when it is in alignment with God's will.

Super excited for Becca's new job, and Mike's recent engagement.  Those are both wonderful things!  Pass on my congratulations. :)

I've recently been pondering a lot about myself, and my behaviors.  I know that I cover up a lot of the things that I am feelings with goofy-ness and humor.  I'll be frank to say that it is probably a way of bearing false witness.  Which, I didn't think I had a problem with honesty, but apparently it goes a little bit deeper than that. 

So I have a new resolve to be more honest with myself, as well as with others.  I will be tactful-- I don't mean that I'll be blunt and just say everything that would hurt someones feelings, or that I'll just be a blabber-face. 

I'm trying to not make exceptions or excuse myself from things.

Last week I wrote a talk (for emergencies) on Diligence and Faith.  And how we have to have both to be member missionaries.

There were 2 quotes from Zone Conference that I wanted to share.

"There is no idleness or indecisiveness in faith." -Assistants to the President

"Don't let your weakness dictate your actions.[What you can and cannot do]...God will compensate for your weakness." -President Baker

These are short powerful statements from which I have learned a lot.

Sister Felt, Elder Belisle, Sister Garvin

If we want to be instruments in the Lord's hands in "hastening the Work"  we must tune ourselves to the promptings of the Spirit.  Then act immediately in Faith.  We cannot afford to be idle or indecisive in the promptings that we receive.  If we do not act we miss the opportunity and we get "out of tune".  The revelation we receive is determined by our willingness to act.

Sister Felt, Brother Armstrong, Sister Garvin
Satan will try to convince us that because of our weakness we cannot be helpful in doing the Lord's work or that we are not enough to do His work.

WE ARE ENOUGH!  And it is because of our weakness that we can be made strong.  

Sister Amber Garvin

Monday, March 17, 2014

Staying in Rocky Mount - Monday March 17, 2014

Today it is with gratitude and thankfulness in my heart that I acknowledge all the other emails that I was unable to respond to this week, and also the fact that I'm not being transferred.  Yay!
I really wasn't sure if I would be.  And I'm grateful that through the knowledge that I am staying in Rocky Mount for another transfer it has been re-confirmed to me that there is still a great work to be done here, and I have a part to play in it.
It is really amazing to be able to say that I have been able to serve here for as long as I have been able to.  To this point, deep in my heart, I have the desire to stay here the rest of my mission.  That will probably not be the case, and by the time is is time for me to leave I'm sure that I may feel differently. :)  Well, actually I will just have a feeling of peace and reassurance that I am done here, and I'm needed someplace else.
Deep thought ya?
Anyway, we had a miraculous week this week.  And Zone Meeting was phenomenal.  I learned SO much and left spiritually filled.
We sang off key.  Did I mention we were going to do that?  Because we did...
And we had excellent training and practices on how we can eliminate "filler words" (like, ummm, and so, etc...) to become more powerful teachers.  I am trying to implement this more into the way that I teach, speak, and write.
Short powerful statements.  That's where it's at. (as the kid's refer to it. :) (haha... I know that I've said it before, but I really think that I'm really funny.... not in the prideful way.... just the way that when I say that to myself it makes me laugh even more.)
I don't remember what the situation was, but sometime last week I told Sister Felt that I would probably be the funniest companion that she would ever have (she said "that's sad." --- but meant it in a positive context.... "that's sad that no one is as funny as you are!")
This is the story.

Also, Let me tell you, Spring season is spider season.  And on the way to zone conference we unrolled the window a little ways and a spider that was hanging on for dear life on the outside of the car zipped right in the unrolled window.  Do you know how hard it is to drive straight when you and your companion are screaming?  Really hard!  (I did it though.)  It was on Sister Felt's side, so every time she screamed I screamed, (and it was on my Birthday so we all screamed for ice cream) And it was a frightening experience.  Good news though.  We were almost there, it climbed into the place between the door and window, and then it had the opportunity to escape while we were spiritually fed inside the church building.  I reminded Sister Felt last night that we hadn't ever found it, so it must not be in the car anymore.

That's the story. :)
We had a wonderful experience on Saturday with inspired planning and the power of prayer. 
We prayed fervantly that none of our plans would fall though, and that we would be able to teach the people we had planned to see according to the direction of the Spirit.  We were able to find opportunities to serve, teach the principles that we had studied, and extend commitments to each person that we came in contact with.  We felt so incredibly blessed to be able to have such a wonderful day.  Especially since the next day was really gloomy, and awful. 
Opposition in all things.
So now I'm out of time because I was emailing nice things to my friend named Sister Newbold.
Missions are awesome.  I will love the people that I have served with FOREVER!.
I love you.
Talk to you TTYL. 
Told you I'm funny. :)
Love to the moon and back!  (or farther.  Like infinity, google, trillion, zillion, eternity.)
Sister Amber Garvin

Monday, March 10, 2014

Monday, March 10., 2014 - Rocky Mount, North Carolina - Sister Amber Garvin

'Zone Meeting'

How incredible is it that it is already March?  We've already had Daylight Savings? It's been 11 months today that I've been a missionary?  That time flies so, so fast!
It's amazing.
Well, here's the status update for this week:
We had Zone Meeting on Friday with just our zone, and set a goal to have 25 baptisms in the month of April.  It's a really high goal, but we are SOOOOOO wanting to see the miracles that come from working towards a high objective. :)  Sister Felt, and I have really been praying fervently that we'd be able to contribute to God's Kingdom by inviting someone to be baptized in April.
I just want to SEE someone that I teach get baptized SO much! 
It's not my golden ticket or anything..... I know that I've done good here, but sometimes I just want to ya' know.... do something that is everyone knows that misisonaries do-- help someone accept the invitation to be baptized.
I'm trying to continue to maintain the faith and hope that it will happen.  But sometimes I think "Ahhh!!!  Only 7 months left!!!  There isn't enough time left for someone to be baptized!"
But there is.  Because those who are ready have been prepared before I even got to talk to them.  So.....I just keep praying, and trying to be active in following the Spirit to put me in the place that I need to be in order to be a helpful servant of the Master of this lovely, and ripe vineyard. (Poetic right?)
Just in case I don't get to the emails that people have sent me to say about my birthday, I just wanted to send out a generalized 'Thank you!' I'll try to send out a more personalized one next week.
I know that sometimes I ramble on, and on about things in these emails, but I think that I'll like to look back at them someday, and see the progress that I made, and the changes in me.  And that will make me happy when I have some of the "woe is me" syndrome that seems to be infiltrating the minds of many these days.  If I'm ever in that mode and don't catch or correct myself (which I do fairly well at) please help me.  Permission granted. :)
The sun is finally shining regularly, and this summer promises to be really hot, because it's already 70 degrees in March.  I hope that I don't die, because then it would be "woe is you" syndrome, and I really wouldn't want to cause that big of a problem. :)
So yeah, that's the status update.
I'm out of things to say today.  I'm going to try to catch up on some letter that I need to write. 
And laundry.
And clipping my toenails.  Although, you probably didn't really need to know that really interesting fact....
I was going to get my haircut by someone in the ward, but we had to reschedule.... there is a nasty bug/virus that is hitting all the people here. (And I love everyone, but I do not love being sick, and I'd like to avoid that if at all possible.)
Oh!  Sister Felt and I are singing at Zone Conference this week.  So I'll let you know how that goes.  I'll probably be sharp, or flat, or something since we only found out Saturday. :) 
Okay, Bye!
I love you forever!
-Sister Amber

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Monday, March 3, 2014, Rocky Mount, NC, LDS Sister Missionaries

Good morning!

A few minutes to e-mail home...
This week seemed to fly by!  Just as fast as the first 2 months of this year.

Does time seem to go faster when you get older, or is it just a mission thing?  I don't know.  But I seem to be going on a really fast train, and I feel like when it's finally time for me to get off I'll have to take a jump, and the fall will be a little rough.  That scares me, but I think that it's the right feeling to have because it means that I'm finally becoming aligned with a greater understanding of my purpose here.

I caught myself thinking for a small moment this week about how totally devastated I would be if I had to leave this area in a few weeks.  I would be thrilled if I could spend the rest of my mission here.  Rocky Mount has become such an amazing miraculous chapter in my life, and I literally cannot see myself in any other place or in any other calling.  So I guess that's another way of Heavenly Father reminding me that I'm in the right place.
I think that I forgot to share the cool news!  Sister Jasperson is serving in an area that borders mine.  :)  She's in the boundaries of the other stake, but it's good to know that we'll at least see each other again. :)

I've definitely gained a new appreciation for her, and for the experiences that we had in Jamestown together.  At the time some of it seemed difficult, but I look back at it now and think (This is how my brain speaks...) "Man!  That was like the easiest time in my whole mission!" 

But I don't really want to go back and do it again, because then I think that it would be the hardest time.  

The point is:  I think that this has turned into a joyous experience becasue I have the reassurance from the Spirit that I will remember the fulfillment, and the joy, and the good things that happened.  So that makes me happy!!!!

This is a good email.  Not a bad one.  :)

We had a miraculous week, and I've learned that members of the church are awesome.  A small testimony can open a door, and soften a heart.  Christ can change a heart. And "the church is still true contrary to popular belief". :)

Also.  I'm definitely going to cry when I come home.  Definitely..... 
Because I don't want to leave SOOOO bad!!  But I want to be with all of you SOOOOOO bad!  But I love the people SOOOOO much! And I will not know how to be a regular person probably.
This is a really extreme slew of things that I know are going to happen.  I'm not going to dwell on it, but I thought it a little.

Let me just say this!

I add my word to the testimony of Elder Uchtdorf "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith."
And when you say you "can't" do something that is a choice.... And it makes it harder on you when you actually CAN do it, and you are fighting the whole way because you are telling yourself that you can't.
Yeah.  I've grown in wisdom.  That's what's up.

I recognize that sometimes I cover up deep stuff with humor, and irony.  I've had extensive talks with my companion(s) about it.  But just know that from the depth of my soul I know that this is Christ's church restored to the earth.  I know that the Book of Mormon contains the fulness of the gospel as does the Bible.  And I love this church.  I love my Savior.  I know that I am loved by both He, and Heavenly Father.  And I love you.

From the depth of my soul I love you all!  And it doesn't get better than family. :) 
(Except for when we are all a glorified, and exalted family.  Then it might be a little better.)
Sending love from North Carolina! 

(I love it here!  And SPRING IS COMING!  Along with an Easter Egg hunt I hope!)

Sister Amber in NC.

Had to send this '5,555' miles.  :)
and this…..'big tractor'
Gabby did our hair like hers!  :)
Sister Felt in 'Conetoe'
Also...my favorite City.....pronounced Koe-Nee-Tah.  :)