(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. :)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tuesday, May 26, 2014 - Nag's Head, North Carolina

This morning I was looking through some old study notes; some quotes that I wrote down in my quote journal.  I wanted to share them with you today.  I love them. :)
"You are doing the best that you can, and that best results in good to yourself and to others. Do not nag yourself with a sense of failure. Get on your knees and ask for the blessings of the Lord; then stand on your feet and do what you are asked to do. Then leave the matter in the hands of the Lord. You will discover that you have accomplished something beyond price." -Gordon B. Hinckley (To the Women of the Church)
"...he stood upon his feet and received his strength..." (Alma 22:22)
This really hit me today because I went to bed with a terrible headache, then I woke up with a terrible headache, therefore I woke up late.  Well, I was up... I just didn't get out of bed.  Then I felt really bad about it.  And I needed to repent, and thus the story unfolds.  I read these things that uplifted my soul.
I believe that I have said before that, often, the smallest things are really big to us.  That is what this week has been full of: Small things.  Some good small things, and some less good small things that have accumulated into some big good things, and some big less good things. 
Ahhh.... a mission.
People are already talking about transfer calls again - because they are next week.  I can't even figure out how time has flown by so fast.  I want it to stop!  Whew.  It's exhausting.
I told Sister Petrie the other day that I feel like I'm living one, really long, continuous day.  I just take an 8-hour nap in the middle.  But I am so asleep at night that I don't even have dreams.  (Except last week I had a dream that Grandpa Allen decided to serve a mission, and he was in the mission office, and I didn't even know that he was there until I saw him there when we had to go do something for our car. I thought it was a funny dream. :)  Anyway... The days are long, but the weeks, and months are short.  Time is going fast/slow.  It's SO WEIRD!  One day, when I'm all knowing, and wise I will understand this time business...
So. Yeah.
Oh!!!!!!!  We did something fun this week!  We went to Manteo ( the birth place of the first English child, Virginia Dare, born on this continent) a city in our area, and we rode bikes.  I know you never thought that I'd be excited about that, but it was actually really fun.  I enjoyed the entire day!  And I have a GREAT tan-line on my arm from my watch. :)  It was really, fun!
That's basically this week.  Still pluggin along "inch by inch, row by row, [helping the Lord's vineyard] grow." (from a jingle I heard on a garden radio show one time in the car....)
I love you all,
Sister Amber Garvin

Monday, May 19, 2014

Bugs and Mice…..and very large church meeting next week…...

I have limited time left today.  But that's alright, because I feel like being brief…..

So I can't email Monday next week because of the holiday.  We are going to email Tuesday instead.  Probably at the usual time.

There isn't a ton to report on this week.  We are still working on our bug problem....and now our mouse problem.
We set out a trap with peanut butter on it.  The next morning we heard the garage open like usual-- when the owner comes to work. (we live on an attachment to a business.) we went out later and couldn't find the trap anywhere.... We asked the member later if he had moved it, and he said no.  So we went searching again.  We found the trap-- not in it's original location.  It had been set off, but there was nothing caught in it.  Also, all the peanut butter was licked off.  So we have a genius mouse... And I don't really know how to resolve that problem.  So I think that we are just going to leave it alone. 

"Everyone does what they can, and what they can't do, they leave alone."

That's that story.

We are having Sacrament in a local Middle School next week because of the holiday.  Our regular ward building cannot accommodate the people that come for Memorial Day weekend.  Because of a YSA activity they do down here we are expecting about 800 people to be at our sacrament meeting.  That's a lot.  Go deacons!!!! ;)

It might overwhelm me.  But I don't have to speak, so that's good.  I'll let you know how it goes next week.

Nags Head is warming up!  We are getting some humidity.  I might melt into a little puddle.  I'll let you know that next week too.

This might be the most boringest email I've ever sent home.... Sorry.

Oh!  I don't know it I mentioned: we are reading the Book of Mormon as a mission with an emphasis on the Atonement, and a Christlike attribute of our choice.  I'm learning so much!  It's great!  I'll expound.... next week. :)

OJ. I love you.  Bye!

Sister Garvin

Monday, May 12, 2014

Monday, May 12, 2014 - Nag's Head, North Carolina

This week we mostly cleaned.  I understand why I was sent State side on a mission now more that I ever have understood before.  I truly loathe living in uncleanliness and clutter.  I must be my mother's daughter.  :)

I feel so much better when I can just throw stuff away and everything is clean, and it has a place, and then I know exactly where I need to look if bugs get in the house.  And I can get them out.

That's the moral of that story.

We've been killing cockroaches, wasps, and spiders, (and some weird bug that looked like a land shrimp) every day this week.  The member that owns our house set off bug-bombs, and so that was great, but there are still some untouched places, as well as I think that as soon as the bombs went off the little critters tried to run for it, and they all died on our kitchen floor.... Many times.  So the good news is that they are not LIVING in our house, and the bad news is that they are still IN our house, and we continue to live an adventurous life.

We've begun to see miracles though.  Sister Petrie and I are becoming a very unified team.  I feel so honored to serve with missionaries that are still "fresh".  They have so much energy and excitement.  It gives me strength to try something new, and inspires me to continuously be bold.

We went to the beach for the first time since I've been here-- we had to get out of the house for the remainder of our weekly planning.... and it was Sister Petrie's suggestion.  As we were ready to leave we ended up talking with an amazing person about our purpose, and the Restoration of the Fulness of the Gospel.  It was a testimony to me that we are all impressed upon by the Spirit in small ways each day.  We knew that was why we Sister Petrie thought to go to the beach.  We are guided in such small ways each day, but those small ways are incredible significant to the course of our eternal destinies.

That was just on of the many small, and simple things that gave me a reassurance this week that no matter where you are sent-- if you are doing what you are supposed to be doing, and relying on the enabling power of Christ you will be used for a great amount of good. :)

It was wonderful to talk with all my family too!  Happy Mother's Day!

It never seems like enough time, but I don't think that it ever would be--- even if we didn't have a time limit.  My heart with always ache to be with my family when I am away from them.  I just know that I don't have to be distracted or dwell on it.  Plus, the time limit just makes the time we have more meaningful.  I was thinking about it this morning, and the time we have to talk with our families is just the same as the time we are supposed to keep our lessons.  40 minutes (45 for lessons).  I have to continue to ponder that, but I think there is great significance there.  I know the times that lessons have gone over 45 minutes for me I start to zone out and feel anxious.  The time is not as meaningful anymore.  We have 45 minutes to teach with great power, and after that its' REALLY hard to maintain focus, and direction.

That's probably not that important to any of you.  But I'm going to try to talk about my missionary life more instead of just assuming that you all know what is going on.  Sometimes I forget that this isn't the same way everyone else in the world is living, and I forget to share details, and important things I'm learning.

Just FYI:  I do really well with a list of questions.  So if you have any burning questions of the soul to ask, you can email those to me, and I'll just send a response of Q&A/FAQ.  The blog probably needs that segment too. ;)
Missionary life is the life.  I'm grateful that I've stuck to it for so long.  It's probably taken longer for me to mentally adjust than most people, but I'm finally to the point where I am thriving.  I know that this is my life right now, and I'm not worried about things afterward anymore--as I was in the beginning.  Man alive!  Wish I'd have known that little piece of wisdom sooner.

Sister Petrie said that I was a fountain of knowledge yesterday.  It was awesome.  
Sometimes I'm a know-it-all, and I think that's okay.  I use it for the benefit and well-being of all man kind.

Kay, Peace out till next Monday.

Also, isn't it funny that missionaries favorite day is Sunday and Monday?  That's so different than high school life when Mondays were dreaded. :)  Things change so quickly.  Life is weird.  The end.


Sister Amber Garvin

P.S.  I would like to put in a little plug about this substantial letter.  Go me!  (you can send me a gold star and an ice cream cone in the mail.  Thanks.)

Monday, May 5, 2014

Nag's Head, NC, Monday, May 5, 2014

So I finally understand what Cinco de Mayo is!  It's today!  The fifth of May!  I understand this because we serve with Hermanas in Nags Head.  They are great, and I  already feel a little bit more fluent in Spanish.  :)  Maybe I'll end my mission as an Hermana.  Just kidding... Not that fluent.

This really great thing happened this week. 

Elder Bednar came and we had a combined mission meeting with the Richmond, VA mission.  It was wonderful!  I got to drive through Richmond again, for probably the last time, and I saw almost everyone from the MTC there.  Sister Vance gave me a great big smile!  She just has the most beautiful spirit!  I love her!

We were asked not to discuss Elder Bednar coming outside of missionaries, so that's why I'm telling you after it already happened.

It made me scream and cry when I found out he was coming.

It was the best. day. ever!

We were given 3 talks to diligently study
Converted Unto the Lord
Seek Learning by Faith 

We spent 2 hours discussing the things that we had learned and  and asking him questions. He was so open and frank with us, which I really appreciated, I learned so much from listening for the patterns in his teaching, and I hope to be able to apply it better in my own proselyting here in Nags Head with Sister Petrie.

He gave 2 guidelines for asking him questions. 1) Don't write down everything he said.  We don't receive revelation for copying down his talk.  He compared it to writing on small plates, and writing on large plates.  We have to write down what the spirit teaches us on small plates. 2) don't show off.
I thought those were great.  I wish I could say it the same what that he did, but I have limited time, and didn't write on large plates. ;)

I don't really know that much about how the work is in Nags Head yet.  We spent my first 3 days driving a lot.  It took 8 hours on transfer day, and we got home well, after dark.  Friday we had District Mtg. an hour away, and then we drove to New Kent to stay the night which took 3.5 hours so that we could stay the night with the Sisters and Hermanas there and carpool to Richmond Saturday.  Then we drove back home..... So I'm tired of driving a little bit. :)

All I know is that there was a spider in my purse the first night here, and I had to squish it's guts on the inside of my purse so it didn't get on my scriptures.  It was terrible.  Is there anyway that I can make sure that I sleep with my mouth closed?  I'm petrified of swallowing "...a spider who wriggled, and jiggled and tickled insider her...."  literally.....

Good news!  I've received a letter from President Baker, and he says that there is a hurricane plan in place, and that I wont have to die on Nags Head the sandbar. So that's reassuring.  I think the work here will be good after all. :)

That's all I got for today!

Sister Garvin

Rocky Mount Farewells......

Sister Garvin and Sister Felt - With Armstrongs!  Family we LOVE!

Sad farewell's but with MUCH love and joy for wonderful friends!

Beautiful Greenery!

Elders and Sister Garvin

So long, farewell......