Tuesday, June 25, 2013


Can I just say that I am sooo grateful to be a missionary at this exciting time!!! Look at how the Lord is hastening His work! We are all in this together! - that was not meant to be a reference to High School musical. BUT, I am just so humbled!! The broadcast yesterday was AMAZING! I love all of these exciting changes and improvements :) ha funny you were looking for me- I was looking for Hermana Coffey! and no I carry a purse so no big backpack
Out with the Old and in the the New

haha. I am sooo glad that Grandma is doing well. Tell her I love her!! Have a safe trip to Texas!! That's a long drive so be careful. Awww good memories of family road trips :) I am soo glad we went on all those family adventures together. They truly are treasured memories. I can't believe you guys are all moved out!! It does make me kind of sad. We had sooo many great memories there. But really all I care about is going back to all of you- wherever you might be :) Man sounds like it was a tough job! Sorry I couldn't help! I have been praying for you all and I hope that everything continues to work out with the move.
So this is the Ellsworth's last week :( I am going to miss them soooo much!!! They have been such wonderful leaders and they worked so hard. We had a big temple excursion this week with them and a third of the mission. It was sooo good!!! I love going to the temple :) So since the Ellsworth's are leaving that means that the new mission President gets here this week!! President Jenkins! I am super excited to meet him and his wife :) 
So a cool little thing that happened this week at the visitors center. Well first of all we got this AWESOME exhibit called "Love thy Neighbor". It's a HUGE walk through thing with all of these different movies that show the humanitarian efforts done by the church. I am soo grateful for this exhibit as it reminds me that one great way to help others feel the love of the Savior is by serving them. Go out of your way to do something for others- whether is be something big or small. I know that we cam accomplish much good as we change our way of thinking. We need to observe and then serve. Don't wait for the sign up sheet to go around. Be actively engaged in a good cause! Look for those opportunities and do it without being asked. Yesterday Sister Pickett and I were working on doing that and we saw this girl outside picking weeds. The yard was in pretty bad shape so we just went over and joined her. She was so grateful and it made us feel so good to do something to help her- and then of course we offered to teach her the restored gospel and she graciously declined, but that's ok! She is going to come to the Visitors Center though to check out the new exhibit :) But I hope you see from even this little scenario that it doesn't matter what the outcome might be. Invite and serve everyone. Truly love your neighbor.
But anyways, back to the cool thing that happened at the vc. These 3 ladies came in and I took them on a tour of the exhibit. They then told me that they had all served here 4-5 years ago!!!!! CRAZY!! They are all like married and grown up now- weird. But, what I loved seeing was that they all still kept in touch and were still close :) I love that because the vc group of missionaries seriously becomes your family. I am soo grateful for all of the sweet sisters Heavenly Father has allowed me to serve with- and of course the awesome senior couples too!
So these past few weeks have really been a big trial of faith for finding people to teach. But as we kept the faith and did everything we could to strengthen the members, reach out to others, and talk to everyone, Heavenly Father blessed us this past week with soo many miracles!!! We found 5 people who have been prepared by The Lord to accept the restored gospel :) Tender mercies! It is just so amazing to see that through trials and struggles we grow closer to the Lord. I know that my trust in the Lord and in His timing has grown tremendously over the course of my mission. There is absolutely NO NEED to stress and worry. If you are living your life the way that you should and doing good things, then you can have the hope that through the Savior Jesus Christ EVERYTHING will work out. EVERYTHING will be made right. Satan tries sooo hard to get us discouraged, distracted, and confused, BUT if we remain focused on our goal then there is nothing that can stop us from accomplishing what we know we have the potential to do. What an amazing promise!! So this week I was studying a lot about faith. Mostly in Alma 32 and in other places. But what I have been thinking about a lot in relation of faith and reaching our full potential is motivation. Motives. What motivates me to do these things? I was thinking about it and came to the conclusion that the 2 main things that motivate people in this life are either faith or fear. How funny since they are complete opposites and cannot exist together. But I found myself thinking am I doing this because I am afraid of consequences, or am I not doing this because I am afraid of what might happen? Or on the other hand am I doing this because I have faith in the Lord's work, etc. I know that as we change our outlook from one motivated by fear to one motivated by faith we will see miracles. One last interesting experience. Sister Pickett and I were teaching this sweet lady named Maggie and her concern was that she didn't know everything. For some reason she was under the impression that she had to know EVERYTHING before she could get baptized. We immediately told her that was absolutely NOT necessary and explained to her what the qualifications for baptism are. We read with her in Mosiah 18:8-10. You could just see her face light up as she came to a realization that even though she did not know everything, she did know enough. She knew enough to have a sure faith in Christ and to keep His commandments. At our next lesson with Maggie she told us that she wanted to be baptized. I am so grateful for the truthfulness of this message. I am so grateful that someone as simple as myself who has no great knowledge of the gospel has been called to teach! I know that the Lord's hand is in this work. Sister Ellsworth shared a line from her daughters email home (she is serving at the vc in Kirtland!). She said that at the end of this life we will look at all that has been accomplished and then we will all say look at what the Lord has done. :)

Welp gotta run!!!
I love you family!! I can't believe this is the last week of June! I still keep thinking it's May! CRAZY
You are all in my prayers!
Sister Hamstead
ps- I got to go on exchanges this last week with Hermana Schwartz! Go Georgia! 

Nothing happens on Accident & Giving the Lord All I've Got! (June 17th)

Hello! Thank you all for writing me and for keeping me posted on ALL of the craziness that is going on in your 
With Sis. Cottrell
lives!! I just can't believe how much has changed and progressed since I began my mission. Crazy!!! When I get home I will have one sister married, a brother on a mission, and we will be living in a new home! I didn't think this much stuff could all happen soo quickly! How kind of the Kuck's to take you guys in! I am praying for all of you that everything will work out with the house and for Christopher as well. How funny that you guys were fasting yesterday.. for some reason in the middle of the night on Saturday I just had the thought that I need to kneel down and start a fast... I had no idea why. Well I just assumed that I needed to fast for my area- BUT, I have faith and Sister Pickett and I just continue on doing everything we can to find those prepared people. But anyways, I said a prayer and started a fast. I truly hope and pray that the blessings of my fast went to Christopher as well. How wonderful to see that Heavenly Father is so aware of us and our individual needs. I love seeing how much Heavenly Father helps us stay in tune with one another even if we are several states apart and only get to email once a week. Wow what a tender mercy.

I have been amazed by these kinds of experiences for the past few weeks. Maybe I am just finally starting to
With Sis. Castillo
listen to the spirit or something, but lately I have been receiving more of His divine counsel and loving Fatherly direction than I had before. A cool experience, the other day when I was getting ready I thought I should grab the phone because Maggie might call. I then picked it up and started walking into the other room when all of the sudden Maggie called!! We had been playing phone tag for several days and had been trying to get a hold of her. it was one of those moments where your just like, "whoa that was the spirit.". One thing I am really focusing on right now in my mission is ensuring that I am giving the Lord all I've got- truly giving Him my heart. It's hard! It's more than just being obedient, it's giving up worldly desires and truly changing your nature. That's what I want to learn to do. I want to fully give up the world and really live my mission to the fullest. It's just so crazy how the more you learn, the more you realize you don't know anything. It's like you have been getting ready in the dark. You think your outfit matches, but then once you turn on a light you realize you clash and you have to change. The brighter the light the more you see/understand. It's really humbling and motivates me to always be improving. I have been reading this talk lately that is just sooo good! It's called The Fourth Missionary. I feel bad because I was given the talk at the beginning of my mission, but I am only just now getting around to it. I think the Lord has a huge had in timing things though and I know that right now is when I really needed to read it. It's awesome because it can be applied to all people not just missionaries. It talks about how we are on an uphill climb back to our Father in Heaven. If we aren't progressing and moving forward than we are moving backwards. We all need to be progressing. But what I really like is that it's more than just developing hobbies and talents. take away all the fluff and cut it down to just you. Who are you? Who are you becoming? When you stand before God what person will you be? I was so touched by the choir at our stake conference last Sunday when they sung the song "I'm trying to be like Jesus". That's what we are all trying to do.

With Sisters, Finau, Gordon and Weedman
That really is what it's all about. So as I was beginning the quest for more spiritual enlightenment and trying to figure out how I can give my whole heart to the Lord I stumbled across a verse in the book of Alma which says, " their hearts had been changed: that they had no more desire to do evil". What really stuck out to me in that verse is desire. We have to want it, we have to truly desire to be more like Jesus and to live our lives for Him. I know that we can gain that desire as we increase our faith in Christ. Though we may not have the faith in ourselves that we can truly change, we can rely upon our Savior. Increase your faith in Him, love Him, and this love and hope to be more like Him is what will increase your desire to change- repent. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. It truly is the key to progression! I am so grateful that we have the hope that we can change and that we can become the people that God intended us to be and I know that this is all made possible through our Savior Jesus Christ. I love Him!

Anyways, so as I was saying earlier I have such a testimony of the Lord's timing. Nothing happens on accident. Things are put in our path to help us to grow and progress. The real test is how we react to these situations when they come about. I am so grateful to be here serving a mission in Mesa, Arizona. What an exciting time to be a
With our new ipads!
missionary!! We got our ipads this week!! And we found out a lot of really cool things that will be changing and other new methods of teaching... I would tell you more, but I am sworn to secrecy- and I know mommy can't keep a secret ;) Just kidding!!! Love you mommy!!! Actually it is killing me not to say more, but all I can say is GO TO THE BROADCAST NEXT WEEK!!!! YOU DO NOT WANT TO MISS IT!!!! I am just so grateful mom that you were in-tune with the spirit. You encouraged me and told me this was the right time for me to go otherwise I wouldn't end up going. I know that was inspired and that honestly it was probably true. I don't know if I would have gone after they lowered the age. But what I do know is that I am in the right place doing the right things at this
point in my life. It is soo exciting to be a part of such progress in the church!!! I am soooo grateful for my call!!!!! 
So some other things about this week- sorry this email is FOREVER long. 

So I know I said we have zero investigators in the YSA ward, but we are still finding people to teach... we just have to give them to the spanish elders. Darn!! Thank you high school spanish class- and of course the spirit!- for helping me to somewhat be able to communicate with these people haha we found 2 great families for them to teach! So even though we can't claim them and personally teach them, we still count them as miracles and deff see the Lord's hand in it all :)

We went on visits this week with the elders quorum presidency & the relief society presidency. It is soo nice having just one ward and actually being able to do things like that! It was Awesome!! We had 3 baptisms this week from mine and sister picketts online area book!! Yayyyy!!! I love getting to see these people progress. Whether they came in at Easter Pagent and decided they wanted to learn more or they just came in and talked to a sister. It's amazing to see the different ways that the Lord reaches out to us all. Also this week we got to do a tour here for about 50 ym/yw. It was sooo fun! Sister Pickett and I were in charge of welcoming the group, playing the Christus for them, and working the movies in the theatre. SOOO FUN! I love working here :) It just makes me sooo happy! We showed them clips from the new STANDING IN HOLY PLACES video that the church came out with. They are sooo good!! Go watch them! 

So familia, as you can see my heart is full and life is just oh so good- a little warm, but hey who can have a bad day when the sun is bright and shining! I love it down here and I am just so grateful for eveyr day that I have been given :) I am especially grateful for all of you!! I love you all so much and I pray for you every day. Papa I hope you had a wonderful Fathers day!! Sorry you didn't get my card sooner :( I was thinking about you though. Know that I love you and appreciate everything you have done for me and the rest of the family!!!
Keep up the good work familia! You all are amazing. Good job Abby you survived the trek! Now you can look back and say you did it! 

Keep me posted on all that goes on this week!
Sister Hamstead

Dry heat is much better than heat with humidity and so much more... (June 3)

Making booklets for the Book of Mormon Challenge at Sis. Tyler's house

With Rachel Tyler
So I have come to the conclusion that dry heat is much better than heat with humidity. Yesterday was super hot, like our car was saying 114 for most of the day, but I wasn't dying! I just felt like I was constantly getting a sunburn, but I survived! Man you guys are just living in insanity right now hahaha! I keep praying that Heavenly Father will lead you to the place you are supposed to be in. I don't believe you all would have felt so prompted to sell the house for no reason and then to find a perfect family to sell it to... things like that don't just happen on accident. I know Heavenly Father is preparing a safe haven for all of you :) How fun Abby and David got to go to camp! And that Papa got to go with David for a day! And awwww I loved hearing about your little get away with papa :) that makes me happy :D It makes me feel at peace knowing that even though there are quite a few stressful things going on right now, you guys are still happy. That is the most important thing to me. All of you! I will for sure be keeping Grandma Lynne in my prayers!!!! I know this surgery will be so good for her. Oh how cool for Christopher!! I hope he gets the job! I think that would be good for him. Let me know when you find out! And tell Christopher to email me back!! And also tell him I am in Alma :) haha

Anyways so this week.... it has been absolutely crazy!! family time is just flying by!!! today we spent a few hours finishing getting all of Sister Avila's stuff packed. It definitely inspired me to get rid of stuff haha She goes into the mission home today at 3 :( I am going to miss her!! We had soo much fun together! But I will see her again soon enough :) So we got transfer news on Saturday night and I am training again! Yay! I love training :) But this time I am training a VC sister so I am super excited to get to show her what the VC is all about and how to do presentations and just tell her everything that is amazing about the visitors center!! yayyyy!! I will find out Wednesday which sister it is so I will tell you next week. I am staying in my area, but guess what.. I will only have ONE ward!!!! Just YSA! Can you even believe it?! In the past 9 months I have NEVER only had one ward before. CRAZY. Family I just want to tell you for one sec how much I absolutely LOVE being a missionary. I just can't even describe it. There is just so much purpose and meaning in everything you do. Nothing is ever about yourself- it's so refreshing!! It breaks my heart to see people go home and I can't even imagine how heart broken I will be when that day comes. I know I said I will go home in February, but I want to try to extend to April. I just love this work! I love the visitors center and I love what I get to be a part of each and every day. I LOVE the sisters I serve with sooo much!! I love our leaders, everything. Love it. President and Sister Ellsworth go home in just like 3 weeks! I can't believe it! I will miss them, but I am excited to meet President Jenkins :)

So anyways onto the good stuff. Let me tell you some stories...

Numero uno: Jesus Avila. So we were walking down this big main road trying to contact a referral we received when this guy on a bike rides past us. We ended up turning around cus we discovered that the address didn't exist :( when all the sudden the guy on the bike comes back up to us and stops us. He goes, "hey you guys go to church right?" We told him yes we do and that we are missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He told us he has been struggling with things in his life and he wants to find God. You can imagine our excitement. We testified of the Savior and His ability to heal us and help to overcome our trials. We then took down his information and we are excited to start teaching him. yay miracle!!
So this is just a cool little story about God hearing and answering our prayers- even the little ones. So one night this past week week we were eating with this sweet girl in the ysa ward named keiko (she is full navajo! so cool!). She is working on her mission papers, but with the navajo health insurance thing that they have it could take months to actually get in and see a doctor/dentist. She has already been waiting for a few months and she was starting to become a bit discouraged. Well we shared a thought with her before we left and then said a prayer asking that Heavenly Father would help Keiko get in to see the doctor soon so she could finish her papers. Well the next time we saw Keiko was yesterday at fast and testimony meeting. Keiko got up and bore her testimony about prayers being answered and we were surprised when she brought up the night that we had eaten at her house. She shared with the congregation how just an hour after we left she got a call from her mom saying that a doctor said they could take her in. She was worried though because with the navajo insurance it would be free so she asked her mom how much it would cost and her mom told her the doctor was a friend and that he would see her free of charge. MIRACLE!! Keiko then went on to say that even though we may not have known that our prayer for her would have been answered that instantaneously, but she went on to say that when we pray with faith on behalf of ourselves or others God will answer us. Such a sweet experience! I was just crying like the whole time she was talking! I was so humbled in once again recognizing that Heavenly Father truly does answer our prayers. As missionaries we pray for everyone and their dog 100+ times a day and sometimes it feels like a lot of those prayers don't get answered. But I know that all things are according to God's will and timing. We just have to show our faith and trust in God. Nothing but good will come into our lives as we are striving to follow the Saviors righteous pattern of living. I truly have gained such a strong testimony of prayer. I was reading earlier this week in the book of Mosiah towards the end when the angel appears to him. It is in behalf of the faithful prayers of his father. Prayer is real! It is a gift and power that Heavenly Father has given to all of us.

Anyways fam that's all for this week! I love you all soooo much and you are all in my prayers!!

Sister Hamstead

So story, and there is a moral... so listen up. (May 27)

So I don't have too much time this week, but I just want to tell you a lesson I have learned this week- and of course a few stories to go along with it! :D

So where to start... oh something cool!! So when one of the sisters was leaving last transfer she was throwing out some scripture mastery cd's. So I grabbed them and thought "what the heck, better late than never!" haha so Sister Avila and I listen to them nonstop and guess what?! We have almost finished memorizing all of the Book of Mormon scripture masteries!!! Then we are on to the New Testament. I feel so dumb for not having memorized them in seminary. So, word of advice go and buy the scripture mastery cd's (they have to be put to song!). But of course I still had 2 Nephi 2:27 memorized from the time that Eugenie and I memorized it together! hahaha! But I have noticed that as I have learned these scriptures that I am thinking about them so much more! Scriptures actually come to my mind!! It is sooo cool! But one of the scriptures Sister Avila and I memorized first was Moroni7:45. I will now type from memory, "And charity suffereth long and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil. And rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth. Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things". (Pause for applause)  Thank you, thank you. Anyways, so I never realized how much there is in charity!! And then I realized I have a lot of work to do. Holy cow am I easliy provoked and sometimes I do envy and get puffed up- and these qualities are NOT charitable. Sister Avila and I have decided to break it down and to focus on the aspects of charity that we need to individually work on. I want to invite you guys to do the same. Especially as our family is going through a lot of changes right now I know that as we work on having charity that we will be filled with the love of Christ. What better thing could we ask for?? :)

So story, and there is a moral to this story so listen up.
This month was titled by President Ellsworth as miracle May. Well we have been working as hard as we could to find these miracles and we were doing everything in our power to try to facilitate these miracles. Well, I am not going to say that we didn't have any miracles or see anything life changing- because we did, but still I wanted more! I know, I know never satisfied haha. Anyways, well on Saturday we went by this referral from the Bishop. We were hoping to meet and teach them, but when we got there it wasn't a good time and they closed the door before we could get a return appointment- ughhhh. So anyways, onto Sunday. We were kinda bummed because once again we weren't going to have any investigators at church- oh and also there is another factor to this story. Whenever we get a week of finding 6 or more investigators, our zone leaders buy us jamba juice. Well since sister Avilas time in the mission is coming very rapidly to  an end we made it a goal to get free jamba for the last 2 weeks she is here aka find at least 6 new investigators each week. We had already found 4 this week and now it was Sunday. We needed to get 2 more investigators by the end of the night.---- So anyways, the morning was crazy with soo many meetings and correlations and when we finally got to the ward we were onto the last speaker. Ok I am almost out of time. So guess who walks into sacrament meeting? The couple that we had tried to contact just the day before!! They came to church!! Moral of the story we need to trust God. We are now teaching them and they are super awesome! Other moral to the story, God needs to be able to trust us. He needs to know that He can rely on us to do His work. So in the end what you really need is trust. In the words of the Beatles, "All you need is trust"- ok so they didn't say it like that, but hey it works! haha

Love you all and I hope you have a great week! You are all in my prayers especially with the move!! 

Love eternally,
Sister Hamstead