Portland, Oregon Temple

Portland, Oregon Temple
Portland, Oregon Temple

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

February 21: "It was a happy, happy day!"

Angelina's baptism!  It was a happy, happy day!  

The young man who baptized Angelina is a friend that is attending BYU Idaho right now.  
He drove down from Idaho for the baptism.  
 Bishop Carroll also played a big part in her journey to baptism as well.

With Sis. Carroll, the bishop's wife.  

Kelsey is the Young Single Adult Family Home Evening chairperson.  
She has been great at fellowshipping Angelina.  

Sis. Jensen has a daughter Angelina's age.  When Angelina moved to the United States from Ukraine when she was 6, she didn't know any English.  It was Sis. Jenson's daughter who was one of the first people to be her friend during that time.  This is a picture of Sis. Jensen telling that story to Angelina.  Pretty cool.  

This is all the sister missionaries who have taught her...
Sis. Magnusson, Thurber, Reyes, and Larson.  
SisterLarsen was able to come up from Utah and Sister Reyes (a visitor center sister) was able to come because she was kind of the like the first official missionary to teach her because she came to the visitor center before she contacted us.  

Angelina wrote a blog post about her journey to finding the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  You can read the story by clicking here.

Other happenings this past week.... 

We were able to go the the temple last Tuesday...

Take notice of the sun and me not having a jacket or boots.  

It's so sunny right now .  I love it!
 Someday ya'lls will come to this temple and see how beautiful it is.  

Where's Waldo Sis. Magnusson?
 Hint:  "So that shadow of a person at the base of the temple is moi."  

We went to the temple with this family to see the movie, Meet the Mormons.  It was their first time coming to the Portland Temple.  It was cool to walk around with them.  I love them so much!

Don't mind the frizz.

All these shoes are from all the missionaries at the Stake Presidency Breakfast.   
It was a good breakfast...

Hello family.

Well, first and foremost happy birthday to my favorite brother ever. My brother is 19. For my 19th birthday we went to Haleiwa and went surfing with my freshman buddies. (Sis. Magnusson was a student at BYU Hawaii)  Sam I would like to point out that the majority of your 19th year will be spent as a missionary. All of your 20 year will be spent as a missionary too. I remember for my 24th birthday thinking, man, this whooooooole time that I am 24, I will be a missionary. It was an overwhelming thought but I'm getting through it!

The highlight of this week was Angelina's baptism. I probably count it as one of the of times I have felt the spirit strongest on the mission. It was seriously such a powerful experience. Angelina is so amazing. Hopefully someday y'all's can meet her. She should hear back from the BYUs sometime soon to see if she got in. She was so happy greeting everybody for her baptism. She had lots of support which was awesome. Sister Larsen was able to come from Utah and some YSA Ward people came, and our ward people came. It was such an incredible experience. I spoke on baptism, Sister Larsen spoke on the Holy Ghost, we had a member sing, I Believe in Christ, and then our bishop and the YSA bishop said some things at the end. Then sister Thurber, Sister Larsen, Angelina, and I went to Coldstone to celebrate! She was truly radiated that day.

So we usually have preparation-days on Mondays but yesterday we had a mission wide iPad meeting so they changed our p-day to today. We are going to get updated iPads this week. Pretty crazy. The director for the Provo MTC and this 70 guy gave us this training for missionary work in the digital age. It was cool just to get s sneak peek what the prophet and the 12 Apostles have envision for missionary work. Pretty mind boggling actually. The Lord is hastening his work, that is for sure. We also got a sneak preview on the Easter video that the church is going to put out. I won't give anything away but, I'll just tell ya, it’s going to be good!

We saw the movie, Meet the Mormons, with a family from the ward. They are preparing go
back to the temple and they should be going soon - either in March or April, I bet. I love them so much! We taught them more about the Fall and Adam and Eve and how it pertains to the Plan of Salvation to help them prepare for the temple. They said that was super helpful.

Random thing...so yesterday at the iPad training while we were on break I was standing next to some sisters and one of the greenies said something like, "You know Sister Magnusson, wanna know something kind of funny? I totally looked at your blog a lot before I came out. So when I saw you the first day I was like I know her from somewhere.” Anyway, I thought it kind of funny.

We had a lesson with one of our investigators this week. She is only kind-of-sorta an investigator because she isn't so much interested in changing her religion but she is listening to the Book of Mormon so we don't want to drop her just yet. Anyway, she is super sweet and loves us. She is 83 years old (I think). She is the one who we took to the family history center last week. Anywho she kind of talks a lot and this time she was talking a lot about her family members that have died. Like her husband died when he was 45. Her mom died when She was 29. Most of her siblings have passed away. It was pretty depressing to hear about all of it. Even though she doesn’t want to be taught, we taught he some of the Plan of Salvation anyway through our conversation. She said she hadn't ever really thought about a pre-mortal life before and hadn't really thought about getting our bodies back in the resurrection....well yeah, that's the best part man, and our resurrected bodies will be perfect!

We were able to officially meet with a less active family since the first time I've been here. They have let us drop by but never had set an appointment to actually teach them. They have two elementary school age kids that are pretty active. We catered the lesson to them but really we were talking to the parents. We gave a little lesson on the Sacrament and why it is important. Everybody was
agreeing with what everybody was saying and they said they would be at church on Sunday but they weren't there.

Our Book of Mormon reading with a member is going pretty good. Each time we meet for our little Book of Mormon study group he inputs more and seems to be understanding more. Someone from Church commented at a dinner we were at how much happier he is looking at church. When she said that I was thinking, you know what, it's true! I have seen him smile more which is awesome!

Alright, I'm going now. Sorry this took forever to get out. Lots of crazy stuff happening today. I would start this email, then have to stop, then start it again.  Good thing for iPads, eh?

Church is true and Sam is now 19! Whew-who! Love ya little bro!
This picture was taken when Sam was 12 years old.

Sister Magnusson

Thursday, February 19, 2015

There is a baptism coming up this week!

We went bowling today...
So now it's my turn to write about how mother nature is confused. Man, it is so sunny and warm right now! We are talkin' the 60s and hardly a cloud in the sky! Last February it was snowing. It's been a super mild winter compared to last winter. Like, I don't have any leggings or tights on or nothing! Not even my boots! Just the black shoes you bought me Lisa. By the way, thanks again for getting those for me. I wear them all the time.....when i'm not wearing my boots.

Well our star investigator gets baptized next Saturday! So some of you may have seen what she posted on facebook about her baptism and read on blog about her finding the gospel. (You can read her blog post by clicking here.)  I'm really proud of her for posting that because it probably took a lot of courage! We have her program pretty much all squared away and Sister Larsen is able to come down for it so that will be awesome too! It's going to be weird seeing her not as a missionary but me still a missionary. I'm still going to call her Sister Larsen. I don't know if I can ever call my companions by their real names. I'm excited to see her. Our investigator  still hasn't ever seen a baptism, so last night I message her one of the district videos that has a baptism in it so at least she has a vague idea.

We taught our other investigators this week. This time when we asked if we could bring a member they said yes. That made me happy. She still had lots of questions about the Priesthood Good questions too. A lot of which I didn't really know how to answer and a lot I don't know the answer for. I am grateful for the Holy Ghost because it is the Holy Ghost that is going to testify to her the truths of the Priesthood, not Sister Magnusson's teaching style. Thank goodness because I am sure an imperfect teacher. We started the Plan of Salvation with them too and we got to our life on earth and she had some hang ups with some things with Adam and Eve. Once again, some super good questions that I really didn't know how to answer but good thing for the Holy Ghost once again.

We are kind of "teaching" another lady. She is this super, nice 78 year old lady (maybe she is a little younger), she is legally blind but she can  kind of see. Anywho, she doesn't have any interest really in learning more about our church cuz she is super comfortable in her Catholic church but she is very interested in family history work. So we had a super nice lady from the ward drive all of us down to the Beaverton West Family History Center and the volunteers there were so helpful helping her find her father and grandfather which she was super excited about.

We were able to teach quite a few Recent Convert/Less Active lessons this week. We are scheduled to see Meet the Mormons twice this week with two of them which I am super excited about. (You can download the video on demand by clicking here.) Three of our peoples are preparing to go back to the temple so we are starting arrangements with the member called to teach the temple prep class so that is super exciting to get that rolling. Speaking of temple, we are going tomorrow. Super excited about about that. I feel blessed to live in a mission with a temple available....and a visitor center!

On Valentines day we made some cookies and cut out some hearts and heart-attacked some peeps in the ward.   I think the people we did it for really appreciated it.
Well, love you guys! Thanks for everything! Happy Presidents Day! 

Sister Magnusson

Monday, February 9, 2015

A lot of good things happened this week

cold stone....i had a gift card from my first Christmas here and I'm finally  in an area where I have been able to use it!  Man, that was pretty good icecream.

the temple visitor! 
so we went to see meet the mormons at the visitors center with some potential investigators and guess who walks in with some members of the oregon city 4th ward?! it made my heart sing! the members were a couple in the ward and we would take the wife to his lessons. it was soooooooooo good to see them there because my sheep were being taken care off even though I wasn't there! that has always been a concern of mine when i get transferred....who is going to take care of these my sheep when i'm gone?! man, i really like him, such a great kid.  he has so much potential. 

our first temple picture together.  

Hello familia! It's been a good week. We taught a lot of lessons (for this area) which is good! Good things happened. Sister Thurber is getting more into the groove and feeling more comfortable and confident which is awesome to see! 

So lets see....

Last Monday night we taught the family that is preparing to attend the temple. We taught them the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We wrote out the different points (faith, repentance, baptism/sacrament, gift of the Holy Ghost, endure to the end) on our little white board we brought, in the form of cycle and taught it like that. Because the gospel of Jesus Christ really is a cycle! We must continue to have faith, always striving to be better and make changes in our lives (repentance), being washed clean (through baptism and then taking the sacrament each week), and being worthy to have the companionship of the Holy Ghost because he will always guide you to want you need to do, then it's just a rise, wash and repeat....or in other words, ENDURE TO THE END! Yipp-eeee! So easy right?! Well, it's not complicated but sometimes it can not be so easy....but always worth it! I love teaching them. They are such great family. They have a cutest little 2 year old that is obsessed with any kind of sport and she is pregnant with twins.

Speaking of sports, our volleyball nights are going good. This past week we had the most people we had. Some youth brought their nonmember friends....they have brought them the past few times. Hopefully we can set up a good enough relationship with them that they will want to be taught. The mom of the youth boys already ask them if they wanted to be taught and they didn't seem terribly interested but minds change you know....especially with the youth. And my volleyball skills are somewhat improving....ish......

We had a lesson with one of our invistigator families from India. So funny story, Sister Larsen use to serve in a neighboring ward here called Hazeldale for 9 months and there is this guy that ward, Tyler, that served his mission in India. So he has come to a lesson with us and it was really good to have him there because he can break down some of that language/culture barrier going on. Anywho, long story short Tyler is Sister Thurber's first cousin! He came to our lesson with them this past Saturday so lucky duck Sister Thurber got to teach and testify with her cousin! Funny connection. We didn't tell our investigators  that they were cousins till the end (partly cuz Tyler came late) but yeah, cool connections going on. The lesson I thought went good but I don't really know how to help the husband progress. Hindus believe in lots of Gods and lots of religions are good. We have committed them to pray to know (and also baptism) but they are a no for go. Whenever the husband prays at the end of the lesson he kind of mutters under his breath for a good solid minute then you can hear him talk about things he is grateful for and such. Anyway, the first time we heard him do this Tyler said that he was naming  off all the Gods he was praying too. Soooooooooo, for this lesson we went back to the basics and taught them Exodus 20:3-5, Thou shalt have no other Gods before me..... We asked his wife to share examples of prayer in her life and more specially when prayers have been answered. We testified that when we pray to just God as our loving Heavenly Father, He WILL answer you! Anyway, had a good discussion and taught him how to pray with opening with "Heavenly Father...." then thanking and then asking, then closing in the name of Jesus Christ. He said the closing prayer and he opened really well but then he still went to muttering under his breath of all the Gods he was praying to. Uhhhhh, did we miss something? After the lesson Tyler reminded us that when he makes this change it will be HUGE! This is all that he has know, this is his culture, tradition, and family life, everything. It's gunna take some time. Well, I really like them. They really are a great family. I really like the wife too. Her English isn't as good as her husband's but i always like what she asks or has to say.

So there was a new girl that showed up to church the other day. She is a 28 year old single gal, and has chosen to go to a family ward rather than young single adult ward. She is doing a Teaching English as a Second Language Masters program in the area and she will be here for 5 months. Anyway, we make an appointment with her to get to know her and share a message, maybe ask for some referrals, that sort of thing.  She has a roommate classmate. Anyway, her roommate is from Japan and is super nice.  She joined in for our little message (we showed her the Hope of God's Light) and asked us questions like "Are Mormon's Christians?". It was a good! She mentioned something about her temples and I asked, "Have you ever seen our temple off the I-5 in Lake Osewgo? She said she had and it looked so pretty but never been to it!  Well, we should go to the Visitor Center and see Meet the Mormons! I told her about the guy on there from Nepal that converted to Christianity when he was raised (I can't remember what it was....Hinduism maybe...?) They both said they would love to go that weekend and they both thought of other classmates that could go! Sweet! So we went and it was great! So the YA sister and three of her nonmember friends came and they asked a lot of questions and it made the visitor center sisters oh so happy to talk to them!

So,….our other investigators that fell out of the sky. We met with them last week and the wife texted us and said she had a few questions about the priesthood that she wanted to ask us. So we spent a long time discussing a lot about the priesthood, woman and the priesthood,  priesthood power vs. priesthood authority, the difference between blessings and prayers, and some other stuff. Anywho, the next day we gave her Our Search for Happiness and the talk Elder Oaks gave a couple conferences ago about the priesthood. She texted us later and basically asked us like 4 questions on the priesthood she wanted some answers too in the next lesson. It was kind of a long winded discussion but in the end it made me excited because she is serious about her study in the church and she even said, "I have the potential to be a member someday and I want to know what I'm getting into." I like that. They came to sacrament meeting and she texted us later and said she enjoyed the meeting and felt welcomed. YAY!

Alright, a lot of other good things happened this week but i gotta go. We are going to go downtown today! Sister Thurber's first time! Keep Portland weird yo.....

This is a  picture that Sis. Magnusson took when she first arrived in Portland.  

The Church is true!

Sister Magnusson

Thursday, February 5, 2015

A Busy Week for Sisters Magnusson and Thurber

FIRST OF ALL A HUGE SHOOT OUT TO OUR VERY OWN LISA! Happy  b-day man! Lisa, I'll have you know I tracted this street for you and......nothing. But that's okay! Seeds were planted! I thought of you all day yesterday. It sounds like the celebration of your birthday was everything and more! I spent the day in ward council, church, personal study, comp study, training, sweet hour of prayer, dinner, and a few missed appointments. a lot of sitting man. but that's okay! I'm excited to see you again in a few shoot months! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!

I had to document Sis. Thurber's first teaching appointment...

Hello family! Well, what a week man. I feel like it went by pretty fast. Probably because it was transfer week and one of the days we pretty much had an all day training meeting that you go to with your greenie. Sister Thurber is a great missionary! The first few months are always hard because adjusting to missionary life is hard but she is doing good. It's been kind of crazy because nearly everyday this week our morning schedule has been thrown off somehow through service or having earlier lessons or mtgs, or whatever. We are suppose to have an extra hour of training everyday after studies but we haven't really had time to do even that! But that's a good thing, I rather be crazy busy instead of not being busy at all because let me tell you, not being busy as a missionary is the worst thing ever.

We started meeting with this less-active Young Single Adult from the YSA ward because the YSA ward just has elders and it's just better for her to meet with sisters. Anyway, her biggest thing is she needs more scripture reading in her life because she pretty much goes to church but there are some things going on in her life that she needs the scriptures very badly. Anywho, this last lesson was good because she started highlighting scriptures that stood out to her and made more commentary. She is going to two of our lessons this week which will be good.

Our scripture reading lesson with a recent convert was probably the best one we had. Probably because I think this time he is getting the swing of how to look for things in the scriptures that stand out to him and stuff so he also gave more commentary which was good. His lesson was Sister Thurber's first lesson as a missionary. I remember my first lesson as a missionary. It was with this 20 some year old, girl who we tracted into. Man, I sure was nervous for that lesson.

Every week we volunteer at this Alzheimer's center and do chair exercises with them and visit with them and such. Anyway, they have a piano in the front room and I was like, eoooooooo, Sister Thurber can sing and I can play the piano (kind of). So I played some simple hymns and she sang. The residents loved it! Man, I wish I learned how to play the piano better. That's a goal I have when I get off the mish, learn how to play better.

So another miracle this week. So we were volunteering at the Foodbank doing a shift when I get a call from a random guy saying that he and his wife want to be taught. Errrrrrrr, that never happens. Got his address and it was in our apartment complex. We made an appointment for the following day. We looked in our records and he was no where to be found. We asked bishop if he knew him and he didn't but asked if he could go to our lesson. YES PLEASE!  Anyway, we go and its this nice young looking couple. He is 29 and she is 26 He has active members of the church in his family and they have decided as a couple they want to be more unified as a family and they want a central religion in their life. It was so good to have bishop there and it turns out he knew of the guy from work (they both work in construction type stuff). They really hit it off with bishop which was great. Our bishop has a great talent for connecting with people. He is super down to earth. They were so open to everything and willing to learn, it was just so refreshing to teach someone like that!!!!! I feel like in this mission a lot of times you have to yank them by the hair and say, "You WILL have the desire to learn and sit and listen because I am going to force it in you!" Just kidding, that's not how it goes, but sometimes that how I feel. She asked some good questions and they are willing to come to church! But not this past Sunday cuz of the superbowl. I'm telling that darn superbowl is of the devil....keeping our peeps from coming to church! Anyway, but they will probably come this week. I'm so excited for them. I know she will get baptized and he will too. I keep telling Sister Thurber it doesn't usually happen like this......

So our other investigator....oh how I love her. We taught her the 10 Commandments, Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy, and Word of Wisdom this past week with the Relief Society President and her counselor. I was a little worried because she works on Sunday and I didn't know if she had a coffee issue or not. But nope, when we committed her to live the Word of Wisdom she was like, "yeah, I'll do it, no problem." Sometimes I want to pinch myself and say, woman, are you for real?! Then on Sunday at church she was all smiles and was like, "Guess what?! Starting in March I get every Sunday off!" Holy smokers! She is seriously the most prepared person I have met. Yes JMAG if she goes to BYUI I will definitely give her your contact info and you guys should hang out! She is all done with her BYU applications too. She applied to both Provo and Idaho. I hope she goes to Idaho. I think the smaller campus would be better for her. And when she gets her Sundays off in march she can start going to the YSA ward. That will be good.I have also told Sister Thurber, it doesn't usually happen like this....

Alright, I think I'm done. I appreciate and love you guys so much! I'm trying not to sound trunky but I am really looking forward to seeing you guys in 3 more months! In my heart I'm glad I"m training, it's keeping me more focused. Sister Thurber is great and with some experience under her belt she is going to be a dynamite missionary!

K, love ya! Church is true!

Sis Magnusson