Portland, Oregon Temple

Portland, Oregon Temple
Portland, Oregon Temple

Monday, December 29, 2014

"EVERYBODY has a dog in Oregon"

There is this cool trail thing right next to our house
that is good to walk on to try to contact people.

Go OREGON DUCKS!  Rose Bowl game 2015 baby!

We tried walking our Ward Mission Leader's dog on Christmas Eve to see if more people would talk to us cuz EVERYBODY has a dog in Oregon. But it didn't really work cuz Luna didn't like other dogs. She wasn't a very good missionary.

The kids are our bishop's grandkids getting ready to act out the nativity on Christmas Eve

Christmas morning!
Thanks for all the presents everyone! 
I feel so blessed to have so much support! 

Christmas Brunch... 

...with the Bottger Family

Christmas lunch with Nelli and Mateo...yum yum tamales!

We went on a nature walk in Nobel Woods Park in Hillsboro today... 
...twas fun. 

I think Sister Magnusson is on the lookout for contacts.  

Well, Merry Post Christmas!
It was great talking to all y'alls on Christmas! 

I’m glad sisters made it safe back to Utah. Next Christmas I'll be able to join them! But not Sam. He will be Elder Magnusson. 
This is the photo Sam used for his missionary application.
We' should hear soon about where he'll be called to serve.  

So, the underlying theme and saying for the week was, "Oh sisters, we are pretty crazy busy right now, why don't you see us sometime after the holidays?…." Ugh. I guess people have lives. Well, if people didn't want to see us we tried our best to see them anyway....in the stores, on the streets, with dogs, none were too successful, but oh well, we tried. We did have some really good conversations with cashiers. One cashier was a less-active in a different area, one was a Christian woman struggling in her faith, one was a returned missionary that Sister Larsen knew from a previous area. The best conversation was with the Goodwill cashier, the Christian woman struggling in her faith. We had a good 5 minute conversation with her and were able to give her a He is the Gift card. Probably a lot more talking there than if we were tracting.

Christmas Eve we had dinner with our Bishop and his family and grandkids. On Christmas we got up and worked out at our little gym, studies, opened presents, brunch, watched the MoTab Christmas Concert where they told about the making of the Christmas Carol (I really liked it! Y'alls should see it), then talked to the family, then went over to the Lopez's and they made some really good Mexican food and I overate, then went to dinner. Holy moly Sister Larsen and I don't think we have ever been that full. Like I felt so sick I ate too much! Not because I wanted to eat a ton, but because people kept feeding us! Do some missionaries a favor and if they say they are full or don’t want anymore, don't give them any more. There is probably a good reason for it. First world missionary problems.....

As far as teaching goes, we didn't teach a whole lot. I think four lessons this week. Our only investigators,were not at their apartment when we knocked on their door for our scheduled appointment. Sighhhhhhh. There is a couple in this area that are eternagators (eternal investigators). Sister Larsen and I met with them both for the first time this week and it was the most frustrating lesson ever. She knows a lot about Mormons and has some real good friends that are Mormon. She doesn't believe you need to be baptized to enter the kingdom of heaven; you can accept Christ on your death bed and be saved, believes in the Trinity, and it really doesn't matter what religion you are because if you are a good person and accept Christ God you will go into heaven. She made it pretty clear that she is not willing to change. We read Alma 7:10-12 with her and talked about the Atonement. She said she has read parts of the Book of Mormon and she said she has found nothing in their that contradicts her beliefs but is not willing to pray to know because she is going to stick with her religion. We really didn't see our point in being there. She just likes to "Bible Study" and she is lonely and likes our company. It was just frustrating because all we could do is just sit there and hear her tell us about her beliefs and not really say anything because she wasn't open to really want we had to say anyway. It would just come across as Bible bashing.  We decided we will see her again because she really wants us to come back but when we make the appointment we are going to set the grounds and say, "Look, we want to come over and teach you The Plan of Salvation. When can we come over and teach you The Plan of Salvation?" Then she knows exactly the point of our visit.

We were able to have FHE with a family. We shared the Mormon Message Reclaimed and she really liked it. She asked us to send it to her on Facebook. She liked the part where it talked about why would anybody would want to dig up something so beautiful and useful when it has already been reclaimed. So true. Repentance and the atonement are two pretty miraculous things.
You can also see the video by clicking here

Yesterday we were able to have a stop-by-lesson with a member who is Cambodian. She stopped going to church when they got rid of the Asian Branch in Beaverton (not sure when they got rid of it). She was so nice. Probably in her late 60s/early 70s. She was telling us how she survived/escaped the genocide that happened in Cambodia in the 70s. Pretty horrific stuff went on then. I told her she needed to write a book. We asked if she had ever been through the temple and she said she went to the Portland Temple Open house in 1989 and she loved it. It felt so peaceful. We showed her the Mormon Message Temples are a Beacon and asked her if she would like to prepare herself to go to the temple. She said, "Maybe." We told her about the Temple Visitor Center and asked if she would come with us. "Maybe."  The desire wasn't there. We gotta figure out how to get that desire.

Well, I think I'm done. You'll hear from me next year folks! And remember the church is true!

Sister Mag

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Sis. Magnusson's 2nd Christmas in Oregon

a lot of being a missionary in the oregon, portland mission looks like this....

guess who was at church my first sunday in the 5 Oaks ward........

zone caroling at the retirement home.

hiking this morning at tyron creek state park near lake oswego.
oregon sure is beautiful!

so, we went to this waterfront after our hike cuz i thought it was the actual Lake Oswego, 
but it turns out it wasn't....

...but we got to see a little downtown of lake oswego which sis. larsen hadn't seen before.  

mission Christmas party!  
pres. ballard was santa and all the missionaries got a pic with him...
sis. ballard made sure of that.  

Hi all!

This is going to be a super quick one. Sorry I don't have time to reply to your guys emails personally. I loved hearing the happenings of everyone at home and such. Glad sisters made it down safe and sam with the bros.  It's been a reeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaally long day. Started with a dermatologist appointment in the morning. Then a hike. Then our mission Christmas party that took 5 hours. It was a lot of fun but it just was a wee bit too long. A lot of work was put into it.

Man, this week has been pretty slow. Transfer week either goes slow or fast. So about this area....can't remember what I said in my last email so some of it might be repeat. This area has A TON of apartments. Very transient ward. Sister Larsen said that they just had a lot of strong active families move out of the ward. The days can be slow. Nobody is home during the day and people don't necessarily want to see you at night because they are busy coming home from work and dealing with the holidays. On Saturday we seriously tried so many people. Eventually I was like, I gotta use the restroom, let's go to Fred Meyer and use the toilet. We walked into Fred Meyer and holy moly! No wonder nobody was home on that Saturday!  Everybody was at Fred Meyers! So after our potty break I'm like, "Let's do a lap around Freddies...." So we did and I was getting some nuts in the bulk section and this worker lady was refilling the bins and she was like, "Oh I see you are sister missionaries! Im not Mormon, but my ex-husband is Mormon and I have read the whole Book of Mormon to my daughter when she was growing up!" So we ended having a really good conversation with her and ended up giving her a He is the Gift card. It was the most we had done all day! Talking to people about the gospel wise....

We also do a lot of service. I had a really good experience the other day. So we live right across the street from the Food Bank and we signed up to go on Friday. Volunteers come in two hour shifts. On our shift we were packing frozen green beans. My partner was this guy, Dan.  He was  in his mid 30s, and when we got put together he's like, “hi! I'm Dan, what's your name?" So then I say, "Well, I am a Mormon Missionary so I go by Sister Magnusson. Magnusson is my last name." When you just say Sister Magnusson a lot of times people get confused cuz they are like, "Your name is sister? What is Magnusson? Is that your last name or first name?" Anywho, he said that he had some really good childhood friends that were Mormon and some who went on missions. He works with Insurance but he used to be a Youth Minister. He was asking me a bunch of questions which was awesome! He calls himself a Baptist Protestant....and I was getting the sense he was also a Born Again. Anyway, his deal was that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are one person, if you accept Jesus on your death bed you are saved, if you never accepted Jesus into your heart you are dammed to hell, additional revelation or scripture is not given. He was super nice and he truly has a strong testimony in Christ and His power to change lives and had done a lot of great things with the youth. But I was very confused with his doctrine and he seemed to be with ours. "I just can't see how you have to have works in addition to faith to be saved, " is what he told me. I didn't Bible bash with him, and didn't with me which was nice but man, I thought of a scripture for everything he said. He said he would add me on Facebook and he gave me his full name but I don't remember how to spell it and can't find him. Booger. Oh well. It was one of the best OYMs (open your mouth) I have ever had and I believe we were truly meant to package frozen green beans together.

So our only two investigator are a Hindu couple from India. There are A TON of Indians in this community. A ton. Someone was saying Intel and Nike brings them in. Everyone works for Intel or Nike in the Beaverton/Aloha/Hillsboro area. Anyway, for our lesson we had a member from the Hazeldale ward come (Sister Larsen served in Hazeldale for 9 months and it neighbors our area) cuz he served his mission in India. He is some white dude in his 30s from Arizona. It was soooooooooooo awesome to have them there. The wife has a Christian background but the husband is pretty much Hindu. We really have to simplify our teaching with them and Bro. Whiting (the India returned missionary) did such a good job. You could tell he got totally into teaching them. We mainly talked about praying to know if the Book of Mormon is true. The husband was saying he believes in a higher power but he believes in all the Gods. All the Hindu Gods, the Christian God, Muslim God, all of them. His thing is that if God is really God he would be with all the religions and cultures. Well that is true in a sense, God loves all His children no matter the race, ethnicity, or religion so I can see where he was going there but there is only one way to truly serve and follow him. The miracle of day was that the wife wanted a Book of Mormon in Telugu (her native language that they speak in Southern India). I have never even heard of that dialect. It's pronounced Tell-e-goo. I was sure we could get it for them but I didn't know how long it would take. Sometimes ordering things through the mission takes fooooooooooreveeeeeerrrr. Anyway, we go home and I'm brushing my teeth for the night and Sister Larsen was like, "Hey Sister Magnusson, guess what is on our book shelf!" It was a Book of Mormon in Telugu!!!!! We were both shocked! We have no idea how it got there. Someone must of ordered it before for someone in the area cuz there are so many Indians here or something but Sister Larsen hadn't noticed it when she de-clutterd the apartment a few days ago. After a long day of knocking on doors without people answering we defiantly saw that as a sign that Heavenly Father is aware of our needs. They came to Sacrament meeting on Sunday which was awesome! A lot of people said hi to them without being overwhelming which was good. Next time they said they will try all three hours.

K, I have more I could say but I have to go. Sorry, it's a short one. I love you all! Can't wait to talk to everybody on Christmas.

Love you! Merry Christmas! Remember because Christ was born we have the Atonement which means we can make changes in our lives!

Sister Magnusson

Friday, December 19, 2014

Farewell Oregon City. Hello Beaverton!

For a zone service project, 22 missionaries were put to the task of demolishing a bus on this guy's property out in the sticks.

 a bunch of elders went under the hood of the bus and just flipped it over...
I was honestly scared for their life.  

i think i hit it twice then i left the rest of it to the elders

 elder gull....the senior missionary in the red shirt was master of the blow torch.  

we were also in charge of demolishing a trailer.  
the elders LOVED it! 

santa made an appearance at the ward christmas party!

on saturday night we went with an investigator and a couple of her friends to the Milwaukee Stake Nativity.  I wish i got more pics of it.  It was very well done and A LOT of work.  That was the night we found out we were leaving on the way there, so we were both in kind of a haze.....

Sister Magnusson saying goodbye to her OC peeps.  

saying goodbye to the Bishop and his wife

we drove to Brother Franzen's work on the way to transfers to say one last goodbye.  

MY NEW COMP! Sista' Larsen :) 

Why hello everybody!

My oh my, what the week it has been....what the past few days have been! 

Saturday night we have dinner with someone from the ward and she was so awesome, she invite her less-active and non-member friend over as well and then we drove over to the Milwaukee Stake Center for this nativity program thing. As we are leaving dinner and getting into her car, we see we have a missed call from our district leader about transfers. Sister McLaughlin and I thought we were FOR SURE safe. We called him back on our drive over to the Stake Center and he said we were white washing out (meaning we were both leaving). We seriously thought he was joking with us, but he wasn't. We. Were. Shocked. And so bummed. It put such a damper on our mood that night. Then the whirlwind of activity happens. Last minute meetings, packing, saying goodbyes, updating the area book so the new sisters coming in know what to do with our peeps. Man oh man was it stressful! Plus I was pretty sick. I still am sick. I felt a scratch in my throat last monday then it developed to a full blown nasty cold. One of the worst because it has lasted such a long time. No fun being a missionary while your sick. I have gone through so many tissue boxes…  

Some other interesting news to add to the mix, the new sisters that they put in to OC 4th are both going home next transfer. At first Sister McLaughlin and I were really confused why they were doing that, to white wash the area twice in a row, then we finally realized they are probably going to close the area to sisters after this transfer. We have double sets of missionaries in that ward and we are losing a TON of sister missionaries in the next few transfers because the wave has passed so President is closing a lot of sister areas just because well....there aren't any sisters to fill them! So sad. The Oregon City 4th Ward did so well with sisters. So many people connected with us. 

So, I learned that night that I was going to go to the Five Oaks Ward in the Cedar Mill Stake, which is pretty close to my old wards of Farmington and Reedville. I'm in the same Stake as President Ballard and his family. Our ward boundaries are SUPER small. Like waaaaaaaaaaaaaay small. My new comp, Sister Larsen, told me you can basically get anywhere in the area in 5 minutes from our apartment. And so far I have seen that to be true. They use to have sisters on bikes in this area because it's so small. Man, I would LOVE to be on bike. She has told me they don't really do a lot of teaching in this area. Area is small, ward is small, it's been tracted out and the less-actives have been visited and revisited. She said for planning they have to have backup plans for the backup plans. Should be interesting. She did say they do a lot of service which is always fun. We live right across from the Food Bank so she said we do service there a lot. Service is a great way to talk to people. It's non-threatening, people see you are a real person, you can bring up the gospel pretty easily, explain what you do, yeah....it's good. I'm really excited to be with Sister Larsen. She is from Brigham City, Utah and we were in the same district for my first 4 1/2 months as a missionary so I already know her. She likes to run! YAY! My first comp that likes to run! And work-out in the mornings! AND WE HAVE A GYM AT OUR APARTMENT COMPLEX! I'm so happy! And she likes to walk places. I love that! And she is a really great missionary. Super hard worker. I only get her for one transfer though because she goes home after this transfer. 

Oh my goodness, hopefully I can remember everything that went down last week......

We had a really good lesson with our young man investigator on the Holy Ghost. We again asked him if he finds these things to be true would he be baptized. He said he would! Holy moly, that was so awesome! We had the lesson at a member's house, and I think that makes all the difference in the world. AND HE WENT TO CHURCH! I don’t know what he thought about it because we didn't get a chance a to talk to him afterward but I guess the new sisters will figure that all out.  And hopefully he will be going to mutual on Wednesday. I feel if the ward just wraps their arms around him with love he will be more receptive in make commitments and participating in church and activities. 

Man it was said to say good bye to our 11 year old investigator . We felt inspired to give her the Baptismal Record to give to her mom to sign. Usually investigators that are to be baptized aren't ever given the form, they just fill it out with the missionaries and then the missionaries take it right then and deal with it. But we need her mom’s permission for her to be baptized and so far she is the only thing holding her back. She lives with her dad and he is fine with it, it's just her mom that lives in a neighboring city that isn't. We haven't even met her. I hope she can get baptized in January. She is so ready and so wants to. And she really wants to be a sister missionary when she is older too! She is so awesome!  
We did a couple of service projects with our zone. The first one was demolishing a bus and trailer in this guy's backyard out in Molalla. I didn't do much of the demolishing because I didn't want to get in the way of a bunch of elders swinging around sledge hammers and such. I did cut some branches down from an area but other than that it was a grand show of some extremely energetic teenagers and 20 year olds destroying stuff. 

The other service project was caroling at Haggens. Haggens is a grocery store in our area. Some other sister missionaries were there earlier in the week and there was sign that caroling groups could sing in the store for Food Bank donations. So from 2:30-3:00 on Saturday we stood near the entrance of the store and sung our little hearts out. I have to admit I was a little nervous when we practiced a few days ago but it turned out all right. We had some people stop and listen to us and maybe even a couple people clapped! 

We had Zone Conference on Friday. It was a super good one but I was pretty much dying so I couldn't enjoy it as much as I probably could if I was healthy. We had an excellent iPad training and we talked a lot about striving for a celestial mission culture. We also had a training on getting referrals from members.  President and Sister Ballard are great mission presidents. Very different from the Morby's but that's the way it's supposed to be cuz its like what Pres. Ballard said, if he and President Morby were the same there wouldn't be a reason for one of them to be there. 

Well folks, I'm gunna go. If you want to pray for any specifics I would always appreciate a prayer for good health....especially that I can get rid of this cold and it doesn't turn into anything nasty. Good news though, we live right below Elder and Sister Joy. They are a senior couple missionary and Sister Joy is the mission nurse. So I don't have to go far if anything arises. They ware way nice too. I really like them. 

Okay dokes, happy holidays and MEEEEEERRRRRRRY CHRISTMAS! It's coming up! Christmas is awesome. The church is true. 

Sister Magnusson 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Remember, He is the Gift

Thanksgiving morning...

...and Sis. McLaughlin's birthday

Thanksgiving at the Conners!  

This couple took us to Yogurt Shack for Sis. M's birthday.  

Bandit:  the one-eyed roommate cat

Sis Baker sang at the Temple Visitors Center.
We were companions for a whole 3 days, you know:)

We went to the temple with our investigator...

...and her grandkids.  

We took a walk through downtown Oregon City today.  It was fun.  

All the factory stuff by Wallamette Falls are paper mills.

 Most of them are abandoned.  
Too bad because the falls could look really pretty, 
but it's totally ugly with all the factories there.  


Well, another week has come and gone. Hard to believe that next week is transfers. Pray that I don't get transferred y'all. I do not want to leave here right before Christmas! That would be the worst! And to leave the Franzen Clan right before Christmas, that also would be horrible. They are our family!

So, what happened this week? I have no idea. Sometimes everything turns into such a blur. I'll start backwards. That way I can probably jog my memory a little bit.

So Sunday was church day. After church we went to the Relief Society President's house to pick her brain about the people we don't know in the ward. The other day Sister McLaughlin and I made a list of every person we don't know in the ward and then we took copious notes on what she had to say about them.

Then that night we meet one of our investigators. She was kind of at a low point at the moment but we were able to talk things through with her, read some D&C 121 and introduced her to lds.org and mormon.org on her laptop. She loved everything she saw on the websites! She loved the I'm a Mormon videos. She said she is so excited to explore the website and watch the videos during her free time at home. Those websites really are cool. She said she felt much better as we left. Satan is really working hard on her. He always does that with the people with the greatest potential. Her tentative baptism date is the end of February. She asked me to speak at it, I felt so honored!

Saturday was kind of random. In the morning we had zone sports. We played rusketball in the culture hall. It's ultimate frisbee with a rugby ball and to sore you have to make a shot through the basketball hoop. I like it. Then right afterwards we did some service. We found a service project through the Just Serve website. Do you guys know about that? It's really good. They church made a website that anyone in the community can put a service project they need done. Of course it has to be approved before it is put up but once it's there anyone can see it sign up! So on Saturday morning there was a need to help set up a Farmer's Market in downtown Oregon City so us and the 3rd ward sisters signed up. They person in charge was so grateful for our help! We told her we found out about it through the Just Serve website and she seemed impressed that it actually worked to get people to come. She wasn't a member. She was probably in her 50s and had a cute English accent.

Later in the afternoon we went tracting. Haven't been tracting in awhile. Man, I really don't like tracting. It gives me anxiety I feel like. We did talk to this nice lady who had relatives that were Mormon and she was wearing a Guam t-shirt and I asked if she ever lived in Guam and she said "yes, for 22 years!" I was like, "I lived in Saipan for like a month! And Rota!" (they are right next to Guam) She was pretty impressed. So that was a great connection. I have a lot of conversation starters or conversation go-ers with my connection with the islands. It's been so great because anything you get to connect with strangers to have a conversation, gospel related or not, is a good thing. Then people also realize that Mormon Missionaries are normal too.

Then the best part of the day was we had a great lesson with one of our investigators ! We were going to have it earlier in the day and we brought a member along but something came up for him and he said to come back in an hour. Phooey. Our schedule permitted to come back in an hour but not the member that took the time out of his day to come at the scheduled time. Ah well. We tried. But our lesson went really well later. He hasn't been reading his Book of Mormon, so we were like let's read the Book of Mormon with him this lesson. We decided to read 2 Nephi 31:5-12 and Matthew 3:13-17. The scripture in Matthew talks about when Jesus was baptized by John. It says he did it to fulfill all righteousness. The scriptures in 2 Nephi talks about why Jesus was baptized and what it means when it says "to fulfill all righteousness". So we felt like we were killing three birds with one stone. One, it was getting him to open the Book of Mormon to read it to feel the power it has and to feel the spirit when he does read it and two, it was showing him how the Bible and Book of Mormon support each other, and three it shows the importance of baptism. Anyway, he is so knowledgeable able the gospel. Not necessarily mormon doctrine but just the plain and simple truths found in Christianity, which is actually in our doctrine so as a matter of fact, yes! He already knows a lot about the mormon church and he doesn't even know it!  He understood the principal of baptism very well and understood how it washed always your sins and it was symbolic of the resurrection. He also understood how the sacrament was a renewal of those covenants you make at baptism. He understands the Atonement. He did say that he was open to the idea of getting baptized if he found the Book of Mormon to be true. He just needs to get the time to read the thing! Yeah he does. He gave the coolest closing prayer. He thanked God for putting us into his life and he knows it wasn't a coincidence that we found him.

Friday we went to the temple with our investigator and she took her grandkids and she also brought a non-member friend. There is a little musical fireside every night at 7:00 from Dec.1st-25th. Sister Baker, my hermana companion for like three days was singing. She has an amazing voice. Very talented. I can't wait to see Sister Branchini there in a few months!

Thursday was exchanges. Sister McLauglin went to the Mount Hood area and Sister Barrett came to Oregon City and was my companion for the day. It wasn't a very exciting day. It was raining all day and are only set appointment was at 4:20 pm so we had our whole to fill. Our service that we planned to do in the morning fell through and noooooooooooobody was home who we tried to see. Either that or we woke them up (come on people, it's 2 in the afternoon), or they were mad we didn't call first before we came by (well you never answer our calls anyway). Yeesh. We did go to contact this less-active couple in an apartment complex and their family right next to them was just standing in his doorway looking at us. Not sure if he saw us coming or he was on his way out or what. So I said hi and asked if he had a good Thanksgiving (he's probably late 60s). He was pretty rude and said, "Well I hope you aren't coming to see me because you guys have already knocked on my door!" Nope, we are going to see your neighbor. "Why don't you give him a break and don't knock on his door because he just got home from work." Oh we didn't know that. We will definitely respect that and give him some time then. "Are you guys Mormons or Jehovah Witnesses?" We are Mormons....and then we just kept making conversation and eventually he warmed up to us and wasn't so rude anymore. He was a little weird and I didn't believe half the stories he said. As we were leaving he asked, "So is CJ a good prospect for you guys?" Well actually, he and his family are members of our church. Then the dude looked totally taken aback and a little embarrassed. Random story.

But then our appointment  at 4:20 went really well. We actually had an appointment with her the day before too, but when she learned that a new sister was spending the day with me she was like, "Eoooooooooo, I want to meet her!" She loves sister missionaries. She wants to serve a mission. She would make a great missionary. Anywho, the day before Sister McLaughlin and I went over the baptismal interview questions with her. She rocked them. So Sister Barrett and I decided to review prophets with her. We showed her the Mormon Message "Dare to Stand Alone" and she loved it. She liked Pres. Monson's example of standing up for what you believe in.

Tuesday is split day and miracle of miracle we actually had two set appointments that didn't cancel. I went to see a less active member, with Sister Harlon. We taught him the Plan of Salvation and he actually knew it pretty well. He works in construction and has a hard time not talking offensively and he doesn't really have a desire to try to stop. I told him straight up that when he has a foul mouth and is always making dirty jokes he can't have the Spirit with him and won't receive answers to his prayers not because Heavenly Father doesn't want to answer him, but because he won't even recognize a prompting even if he gets one. I like him, he has a really good heart.

Okay, this email has gone on far too long. I got to go. See y'all laters! Merry Christmas! Remember,  He is the Gift!


Sis Magnusson