Monday, January 27, 2014

Game Time!!

Hello Ya'll!

  I hope everything is going swell with all that you are up to!
This week has been great. I'm starting to feel like an actual missionary. haha For real though, I'm getting more comfortable teaching and opening my mouth to people on the streets. My bum is slowly getting used to being on a bike all day. Seriously, life is great. A word about the biking, I realized how ineffective it is. The most effective thing we can do is have members come out with us and drive us. That is our goal for this week, have more members come with us. This past week especially I have noticed that with our investigators and less actives, the thing that they need the most is fellowship. Friends from the ward. So I hope everyone back home is fellowingshipping too! It helps so much you don't even know. 

  But in our area there are a lot of less actives that we go and visit because there are technically like 700 people in our ward but probably just over 100 show up, and the majority of those people are over 50 years old haha. It's so great though, my ward is awesome! Everyone is so nice and willing to help us out. A lot of the people we go and visit have little spanish kids running around and it is SO hard for me not to just pick them up and start playing with them! And this week was my first time getting chased by dogs haha they were just little chiuauas so its was funny. And one day we were riding our bikes and we got ice thrown at us a couple times, we were like Samuel the Lamanite though and nothing could hit us. Another thing that is funny is seeing the ice cream truck ALL the time every day. I was like what the? In Oregon you see them like twice a year. haha so one day when we didn't have a dinner appointment we got ice cream. it was sweet.

  Tuesday was a super awesome day. My first district meeting was solid. it was cool because we role-played how to introduce the BOM and teach about it. (which, by the way, the Restoration lesson is split in 2 now. You teach all the way up past Joseph Smith then you stop and say that tomorrow we have a gift to bring you, then you bring the BOM. and have a lesson just about it. It's so much more powerful because the BOM, combined with the Spirit, is the most powerful tool in conversion. And if people aren't reading it everyday then they won't progress, or not nearly as fast as if they were) My testimony of the BOM has grown so much these past 2 weeks and will continue to grow as I read it, study, apply it and then help my investigators do the same. so that day we went to teach this lady that is hopefully going to get baptized soon if she can get work off on sunday's and we taught her about the BOM and she was actually excited to read it! Then that night we had a recent convert come to a lesson with us to an investigator who is working towards baptism and the recent convert was so powerful as she testified about her baptism and the change it made in her life! It was so cool. that night after dinner I had really bad acid reflex reaction from eating wendy's for lunch and pizza for dinner... it was the worst i've ever had and the next morning I threw up because of it. But it's okay, I prayed for strength, and i'm doing great now! haha

  2 things real quick: 1) we are teaching this man in his 50's who is an alcholic but is super sweet and sincere and humble. And we had 3 lessons this week and he is just progessing so much! Every lesson is so powerful, the spirit is always there, and when he prays I can tell he is literally having a conversation with Heavenly Father. It is an example to me. We commited him to be baptized February 15th! and yesterday committed him to live the Word of Wisdom! I'm so pumped. 2) we visited a referral yesterday who is golden. He is in his 30's and used to be in jail and an alcoholic and says that he is ready to make a change in his life. He is also sincere and said that everytime he has had this opportunity to change he turns it away, but he finally feels ready. We taught him the Restoration yesterday and the Spirit was defintiely there. I have complete faith in him that he will get baptized. He just needs to internally make that commitment. In our ward when we get excited about something we say "GAME TIME" our ward mission leader came up with it. So with These 2 people we are teaching, GAME TIME!

  Well Arizona is treating me well so far. We got mini ipad's the first day we got here to do our area book, teaching records, and planning in. They are so nice. There are palm trees everywhere!!! so it feels like vacation in mexico-the litter on the streets take away the vaccation feeling. haha but it was 85 on tuesday and has been pretty hot this week. I hope all is well! Keep sharing the gospel and fellowshipping!
love you all!

Sister Dewey

Monday, January 20, 2014

First Week in Tempe!

I love Arizona! I don't even know where to begin. This past week has
been crazy! I woke up 2:30 tuesday morning and got to the Phoenix
Airport around 10:30. We got to go to the mission home and office then
went to the Mesa Temple to the visitors center. It was such a
marvelous day! President Toone and his wife and the AP's are awesome!
President Toone is 7ft tall! He's great though, I can tell that
everything he does is inpsired from God. We stayed at a member's house
that night and then Wednesday was transfers! I met my trainer Sister
F who actually just barely finished getting trained herself. She
is so great. Super hardworking and motivated. I've learned a lot from
her already and can't wait to keep learning all that I can. It's funny
because she likes to be early to everything, so i'm working on getting
out of the "Dewey's are always late" tradition. haha

Our area is the Maryvale ward in the Phoenix stake. Our ward boundary
is 19 square miles and we are on bikes. BUT thankfully we split the
ward in half with the Elders and we do have a car we can use
sometimes. But only have a certain amount of miles. I personally don't
mind riding bikes, at least right now, because we get to talk to more
people on the street. The biggest thing is trying to get members to
come with us to lessons and can drive us, it sure saves time from
biking. Something about our area is it's very humbling for me, because
Maryvale is the 2nd dangerous/highest crime rate city in Arizona. And
the number 1 city is next to the border haha. So because of that most
people are very poor. It helps me realize how much the Gospel can
really help improve their lives. Maybe not temporally, but in so many
other ways. And so many are searching for direction and hope in their
life but just don't know it yet. Through the guidance of the Spirit we
can find those people and help them realize their desire to want more
in life.

There have been so many times these past couple days where I know
without a doubt the Lord has directed us and touched the hearts of
those we are teaching. Just a couple things. First, we are teaching
this alcoholic who on Thursday actually gave his beer to us and then
came to church on sunday! Second, this boy who has wanted to get
baptized for a year but his dad didn't want to, on saturday finally
said he would start preparing to be able to baptize him! Third, we
went to go visit a less active who we didn't even know if she lived
there. She let us in and found out she has always really wanted to go
to the temple. Plus her 2 cousins were there so we taught them and
invited them to be baptized. They said if they found out it was true
they would! Fourth, we were going to a lesson when this lady walking
down the street called out to us and asked if we were Jehovah
witnesses. We told her we're Mormon and she said finally! She
expressed that she felt so lost in her life and wanted something
better for her and her kids. They apparently got the lessons before
but something came up, but she said she was ready now! I know these
things are miracles and that Heavenly Father has prepared people for
us to bring into His fold or back into His fold. There have been many
lessons that fell through and people not answering the door, (partly
because they think it's the police haha) but it's totally worth the
times when the Spirit is so strong and you know the investigator is
feeling it too.

I still have so much to learn and the hardest thing is to try to have
the Spirit with you at all times. Going from the MTC where the Spirit
is the strongest i've ever felt to the slums and ghetto of Phoenix is
a challenge. But I am SO up for it. And I know that Heavenly Father is
watching over us and will protect us. More importantly, this message
we have to share can change lives. And everyone needs to hear it. I'm
grateful to be here and excited for this next week! I hope all is well
with you!
keep the faith!
Sister Dewey

Friday, January 17, 2014

Welcome to the AZ!

Sister Dewey's parents received this email on January 14th! 

Parents of Sister Annalee Dewey,

Sister Toone and I wanted to let you know that Sister Dewey arrived safely.  Attached you will find two pictures that we thought you might enjoy: one is your missionary with Sister Toone and me, and the other is the group of missionaries with whom she arrived in the Arizona Tempe Mission.

We are so pleased to have Sister Dewey serving in the Arizona Tempe Mission. Monday is Preparation Day at which time she will let you know her mailing address, the zone and district to which she is assigned and the name of her trainer.

As we met with Sister Dewey, we stressed the principles of obedience, hard work and worthiness.  This mission holds great potential for each missionary assigned.  The members are strong and love these great Elders and Sisters.  You can be assured they, and we, will do all possible to watch over your daughter.  It is a very special responsibility we feel toward our missionaries.  We want to see them enjoy a happy and successful mission.

Our missionaries have permission to Skype or telephone their families twice per year, on Mother's Day and at Christmas.  If you need to get a message to your daughter or if you have any questions, please call us directly.  We do want the missionaries to receive letters from home on a regular basis encouraging them in their proselyting efforts.

Thank you for raising a missionary who has a desire to serve the Lord.

Sincerely yours,
President James L. Toone

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Headin' to Tempe

This morning Sister Dewey left the MTC and is headed to Arizona! She called her parents early this morning from the airport, and will be in Tempe later this afternoon!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Letter 2

Hello Ya'll!
How is everyone doing? I hope that all is going well now that school started again! And mom I hope you had a wonderful birthday! I sent you a letter... hopefully you got it... haha also you might be thinking why I am emailing today, on Sunday our schedule's got changed. so we have P-Day today and the next P-Day I will have will be in Tempe Arizona! So exciting! I can't believe I have less than a week before I go to Arizona! Although after this week I feel a little tiny bit more prepared, but I still have so much to learn.

This past week has been amazing though. It feels like I've been here for 3 weeks! haha They have this thing at the MTC called "magic sunday". Pretty much that if you can make it from wednesday to sunday, then you will be good. And last Sunday was truly wonderful, totally magical like they say. Plus it was fast sunday! I fasted for 2 different things and I was so blessed to have those things answered during the day. The Lord truly watches over us and cares about the details of our lives. That night we watched a talk by Elder Bednar called the "Character of Christ" and that changed me so much. It helped me realize how selfish and self-absorbed I am. I love how he said "the mission is not about you so get over yourself" haha I love when the General Authorities are straight up with you. During fast and testimony meeting that day we all got to bear our testimonies and the spirit was SO strong holy cow, it was amazing. I just wanted to never leave. We also got to go walk around the temple and take pictures. It is so peaceful there and I can't wait to actually go inside later today!

The past 2 days of classes have been so great. I literally feel like i'm learning something new all day erry day, which is probably why i'm here to begin with, but it still is just mind blowing. We have been teaching PI's which are Progressing Investigators and it has definitely been a learning experience. One of the guys we are teaching actually prayed at the end of the lesson for the first time in like 5 years! The Spirit was so strong and it is so cool to see his faith growing. Through planning, preparing, studying and teaching them I have truly felt the influence of the Spirit in my thinking. Through the plan study teach cycle I have really felt a unity with my companion Sister A. At first I was pretty lost and just let her do all the teaching, but i'm starting to understand how to be more comfortable and confident with what the Spirit is guiding me to say and how to teach with her more. It was cool because during one of the lessons we asked if we could share a scripture with Him and then we both turned to the same chapter without even knowing it until afterwards. And then yesterday when we were teaching a different investigator we were feeding off each other really well and helping each other out. It is so sweet to be sitting in a lesson and have the Spirit prompt you to say something.

Speaking of yesterday, it was probably one of my most favorite days here at the MTC. Although everyday is my favorite because it just get's better and better. The day started out really well because we had this guest teacher come in and help us study better and she was so passionate about it that I instantly felt the same passion. She said that she believe "Spiritual Violence is always the answer" meaning that anytime you have a chance to roundhouse kick Satan in the face, do it. haha she was awesome. And then our lesson with R* went really well and next lesson we are going to invite him to be baptized. But then we went to teach our TRC investigator and things did not go so well... and I was feeling really down afterwards, but my companion gave the most powerful prayer when we got back to our classroom and the Spirit comforted me in a way I have never felt before. Like tingling through my whole body. It was sweet and my demeanor changed. From then on last night, everything was just awesome and at 9:30 before we went home I read a poem to my district that the last district had left us. The poem is about missionary work and Jesus Christ. The Spirit was so strong while I read it and not only that but we could all feel the Savior's love for us at that moment and it brought us as a district so much closer. I am going to miss the Elders when we leave for Arizona next Tuesday morning.

The biggest thing I've learned so far is to recognize and work with the Spirit because we can't do the Lord's work without it. And the 2nd thing is to rely on the Lord for strength, comfort, knowledge, pretty much everything. I have learned a lot so far, but it has only just begun and I have SSOOO much more to learn! I am excited to be here though. Today the new missionaries come in and tonight we get to meet the new district in our zone! I totally remember how nervous I was a week ago. it's crazy, it feels like so long ago. The food is also getting really old here, haha I feel bad for those who have been here for 7 weeks! But I love it here, the church is true, keep being the awesome people that I know you all are! love you lots!
Sister Dewey

Friday, January 3, 2014

Letter 1 - MTC Baby!

Hello everyone!
It is my 3rd day at the MTC and my first P-Day! Being here these past few days has been great! I love it here, the Spirit is so strong. I have an amazing companion, her name is Sister A. She is from Layton, Utah and we stay in a room with another companionship.(Sister K and Sister R) Us 4 are all going to Tempe, Arizona! Sister A is really special because she has already served a 3 month "trail mission" in South Salt Lake. So she already knows the lessons and how to teach by the Spirit. I am really grateful for her because she has taught me so much. It is hard sometimes because I feel like I'm way behind and slowing us down, but that's how I grow! My district is awesome too. It consists of us 4 sisters and then 4 elders.(Elder P, Elder A, Elder A, and Elder L) All the elders are going to Oakland California.Yesterday we got to go around and tell eachother why, how, and when we decided to go on missions. Through that we have really bonded, So much so that sometimes when we are supposed to be studying we just talk haha but it's all good.

The first day here was a little overwhelming but that night really made it sink in that I was missionary. After dinner we had a "teaching experience" where all the new missionaries got split up into 3 groups. Then we rotated 3 times and as a group tried to teach 3 different "investigators" and bring them closer to Christ. It was very eye opening and humbling. I realized how much I don't know. It was crazy. I realized how important it is to be simple in your language and doctrine with those who don't know anything about the church. I realized how important it is to be unified, in this case, as a group but normally as a companionship. And the biggest thing was that we are teaching people, not lessons. It was so vital to relate to the people and follow their needs. That experience was very real and cemented the fact that I am a full time missionary now, there is no going back haha. Another cool thing about Wednesday was that it was New Years Day. Probably the coolest day to come into the MTC. The MTC presidency talked to us and pointed out that it is quite symbolic. We have the chance to leave our 2013 selves at home and become a new person for 2014. A Completely different person and to commit ourselves to the Lord.

Yesterday was my first full day at the MTC. And let me tell you I am tired, haha but it is totally worth it. We pretty much get to eat, go to class, eat, go to class, eat, go to class then go to bed! It's great. haha but actually, it is. Yesterday morning we learned about our purpose as missionaries, which is to "invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end." The lesson was really cool and changed my perspective on the purpose of missionaries. Then after lunch we had our first class with our district and we learned about the Plan, Study, Teach cycle. That was really amazing to learn and then practice. I did my first role play with Sister A. I was very nervous but because I had prepared and asked for the Spirit, I was able to be calm, speak slowly and feel the spirit guiding me. Then that night we met with the Branch President and he trained us some more and gave us rules of the MTC. The biggest thing that they stress here is Obedience. That's the number 1 way to be an extraordinary missionary. I totally believe it too, because when you do what the Lord asks, you are entitled to His Spirit and Power. Also last night I got called to be the "Sister Training Leader" for my Zone. This is kind of the equivalent of the Zone Leaders. I focus on the Sisters and help them with anything they need. Then I go to leadership meetings with the DL and ZL and the Branch Presidency. It is a little overwhelming because next week it our job to meet with a new district of missionaries that are coming in next Wednesday and help orient them to the MTC. I feel like I don't know anything right now, but luckily that's a few days away. I am so excited to be here and to learn and grow as much as I can!

here is my MTC address, I leave on January 14th!
Sister Annalee Dewey
2007 N 900 E Unit 50
Provo UT 84602

Well I hope all is well at home and at school! I miss all of you and am still adjusting to missionary life. I have so much to learn and I am excited for this next week! And being able to feel the spirit all day every day is the best! Love you all, thanks for everything! and Happy Birthday on Tuesday Mom!
Sister Dewey

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Bon Voyage!

Sister Dewey was set apart last night as a missionary, and then flew to Salt Lake City, Utah, this morning. She entered the MTC (Missionary Training Center) this afternoon!