Wednesday, November 11, 2015

home at last

  After being home for 6 months from serving my mission in Everett Washington I decided to go back for just a short trip. My mom and I were able to catch a flight early Saturday morning on November 7th. (Fun fact:I left for my mission on November 6th,2013. So it was a significant weekend for me). We flew in early Saturday morning and spent a little time in Seattle. The main reason of going this weekend was to surprise a good friend of mine who made the decision to serve a mission. Saturday was full of lots of visits to people I love who had no idea I was even stopping by. It made it that much more fun to show up at their door step and be welcomed with such much love. I was able to see my wonderful mission President and his wife for just a short moment. Oh how I miss them. They are still some of the best people I know and I will forever love them. President made time to visit and see how I was doing even though I knew he had no time at all. That is just the way he is. I admire that about him.
  We were then able to make a quick stop in lake Stevens which was my first area. I got to see The Ewings, and the Meltons. They were both Ward Mission Leaders of mine while I was there We then made our way to Everett to see Bishop Fawcett and Sister Montgomery. Sister Montgomery and i became very close while i was serving. We almost knew eachother way too well. She was so kind to let us stay at her home, and let me tell you, we had a ball.  

  Sunday couldn't have gone smoother. We went to Lynnwood to the Alderwood 2nd ward to see Ashtin Markoswki report for her mission. She will be leaving next Wednesday and has been called to serve in the Paris France mission. We walked in the chapel of couple minutes before it started and saw Brother Makowski. He looked at me. And then looked again to only realize that in fact it was me. His jaw dropped and he pointed to ASHTIN who was on the stand practicing a song she would sing during sacrament. I ran up there without her knowing and BAM. She turned at just the right moment and we hugged and laughed and cried. She first looked at me and said. "SISTER NORTON?! is it really YOU?! Are you really here?!" Shortly after she then said. "Wow! I feel all tingly" there are no words that can express this wonderful moment. I cannot even begin to explain the love that I have for the people all over Washington. They have really impacted me and I will never forget them. She gave a wonderful talk and I loved listening to how much she had grown up just over a year. After sacrament meeting I was able to mingle for just a little bit to see some more people. 

  We then quickly got in the car and rushed to the View Ridge ward which was my last area. Walking into the building brought so many flashbacks and I so wished to be a missionary again. I missed the feeling. 

President and Sister Bonham

The Ewings

The Meltons

Bishop Fawcett and his family

Sister Montgomery 

Ashtin Markowski

We were a little late,so we had to sneak into the back of the chapel. It turned out being perfect because there was so many people in the back who I wanted to sit with. They were just as shocked to see me as I was to see them. I loved the short amount of time that I was given to see the ward member in the View Ridge ward. I so wish that I could have had more time to spend with them, but I will take what I can get. I will forever cherish the 18 months that I got to spend there. Washington has truly become another home for me. I feel as if I almost have family up there just as much as I have family in Utah. 
 I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that as we are true and faithful to our covenants that we will have the opportunity to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ again. I can't wait for that day; to be welcomed in by their loving arms. They love all their children. 
Sister Alexa Norton

Monday, May 11, 2015

18 Months! Did this really just happen?

And it shall come to pass.... that the end really happens.

I am so full of every single emotion at the moment, so for starts I will just talk about the week and then go from there.

1.Exercise VIDEO.
 One time my mission Presidents wife asked me and my companion to be in the Everett Washington mission workout video. hahaha it was the best thing ever.

2. MIA investigator is FOUND.
yes yes yes. FINALLY. we were able to get in contact with Kennedy and he had been super sick, and is now hopefully getting back on track with everything.

3. VERONICA!! (picture attached)
She is one of our investigators and she has been sick for about 3 weeks. We found out that she had tuberculosis! WHAT in the WORLD. So here's what happened. we quickly called our bishop so we could get him down to Seattle, because well Seattle is out of our mission.. darn. but our bishop went and was able to give her a blessing. right after they left, she apparently got right up, started eating food, and was able to go to the bathroom. The priesthood power is real. then Sunday came and I was turning around during sacrament to look for some people and I saw her.. we smiled at each other.. and then we stared.. and then it hit me.. OH MY! VERONICA IS AT CHURCH. SHES ALIVE.. then she and I both started to laugh and I turned around and began to cry and laugh all at the same time.. it was too amazing.!:)

SO, there is so much more to write.. but here we go. I'll tell you guys everything super soon.. I guess!

There is a scripture that describes how I am feeling almost exactly.

Alma 26:16
Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel.

I feel so blessed, so lucky, and so grateful. Deciding to serve a mission has not only been the best thing ever but it has been the best thing for me. I have been able to see how life really is. To think that I wouldn't have served a mission at this time in my life or been able to come to Washington to make so many new friends makes me sick. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for me. I have come to learn through experience that the Lord allows us to go through hard things only to make us that much stronger. We are meant to be refined! and I really hope that I have been able to do that. Everything we do is centered on us becoming. we are meant to become!

Throughout the past 18 months I have talked to a bazillion people (or that's the way I feel), read the book of Mormon at least 3 times, rode my bike in the pouring rain, been accepted and rejected, seen so many peoples lives change, come to understand what the word charity actually means, and PATIENCE, gained an understanding of what it actually means to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter

Day Saints, been able to laugh, and cry, learned to love the rain and really love the liquid sunshine, gained so many more family and friends that its crazy to even count, found out who I really was, rode a ferry a couple of times, walked around BOEING.. did you know Disneyland could fit inside..yeah its that big. and so much more. My heart is so full. I have loved serving the Lord FULL time. I love the purpose that I have had as a missionary. It is the best feeling in the world to know my purpose. I represent Jesus Christ. 

 There are so many things that I have learned, and I cant believe that it comes to an end. I am in love with this work. a mission for anyone is very personal and very sacred. I feel lucky.

I love this gospel. My testimony has been strengthen in so many ways. There is a common phrase that I have listened to and heard throughout my whole life.. and I have even repeated it and I know that I said it many times as a little girl. "I know the Church is true" There are so many things that follow that tiny little statement. When I say that I actually mean it. I know for myself that God is real. that I really am a child of god and that he really is my loving Heavenly Father. I know for myself that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that he has made salvation possible, he knows us and he knows what we go through. I have been able to rely on him when I felt like I couldn't go any longer. A mission is work, and it is hard but you gain a better understanding of the atonement, and although I don't understand it fully I know it is real. I know that he is the savior of the world and that when we think no one understands what we are going through.. he does. HE really does. and he will never leave us alone. The only time the atonement fails is when we fail to use it. I know for myself that the Book of Mormon is true. it really is another testament of Jesus Christ and because it is true and real scripture I believe that Joseph Smith really did see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. HE was called as a prophet of God and he was able to restore the gospel because it needed to be. MY testimony is personal but it is also real.
Lunch with Sister Bonham and my comp. Sister Dalley 
I love you all. and hey. guess what

Monday, May 4, 2015

Tracting Miracles...MAY DAY?!

MAY the Fourth... and CINO DE MAYO! ...

hello hello!:) This week was quite a week and today has been such a busy day.. hence why I am emailing so late! I am not so sure if I have said this before and if I am I may be repeating myself but truly a mission has been the best thing for me. I love to be busy but I also realize the importance of taking time to breath and be with a person and actually be present and listening to them. There were so many neat things that happened this week!

1.GIFT OF TONGUES. This is real. no but seriously. Sister Dalley and I were out and about on the streets of Washington trying to talk to as many people as we could. (something that completely terrified me as a brand new missionary) but now I love it, I find it to be so much fun to introduce myself:) "We're the SISTER MISSIONARIES" I love that. As we were trying to talk to someone they  proceeded to talk to us in Spanish.... ayeyi.. so, we tried are hardest to introduce ourselves as the missionaries from the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints... she looked a little confused, but hey we tried our best... and then about 20 minutes later we said hi to another women who turned to us and did some sort of sign. BOOM! it hit me. She was deaf, and I signed back to her then we began to have this conversation and I was signing on the street!! It was so cool to see what Heavenly Father brought to my remembrance. after our conversation was over,  tuned to my companion and realized I had no idea how I did that. WOW. it was so cool!

2. tracting miracle: the other day we were out tracting AND it was a beautiful day and we had been having no the greatest success and then we knocked on a door where we were able to have a great conversation with a man who told us he one took the lessons in Utah but was no longer interested. one thing led to the next and he then told us his wife was a member but that she hadn't been to church in a long time. WHAT! I love finding those "hidden less actives" it is the best. He invited us back.:)

3. SILLY DALLEY: one time my companion and I took one of the Laurels out from our ward to come teach with us. Lets just say it was quite the experience. We ended up having a really awesome and powerful lesson about the BOOK OF MORMON and we were able to answer so many questions that she had and committed her to come to church. Her name is Obina and she is from the Mashall Islands.... and then after our lesson her family members wanted us to eat these sour plums that had been coated in SALT, and then dipped in chili powder.. I took a small bite to just see what it tasted like and it was interesting to say the least.. and then I looked and saw this Laurel and my companion put all of it in their mouth.. their faces were pretty priceless and we quickly got them a glass of water.. and we were out of there... I would say a mission builds character;)

I love it here. I know that it is getting close for me to leave the beautiful NorthWest. I love being a missionary. It has been the best thing. I know that God lives and that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. I know that the gospel is the way to happiness and it is our destination but it can also be our path. I have learned the true meaning of what it means to be a disciple. A mission is a very personal and sacred experience.

p.s I will talk to you next week:) hahahahah
Love, Sister Norton

Monday, April 27, 2015


hello hello!:) Another week has come and gone. WHAT!? weird. okay so lets go through the week.
1. Zone Conference: WOW. It is always a really good thing to see President and Sister Bonham and the mission family. I love the bond that we have as missionaries. Its just like we all understand each other even though we all come from very different backgrounds. I wish we could all be more like that. Just see each other how Heavenly Father sees us.:) It was great to receive instruction and to find out ways on how you can improve. That's another thing i love about being a missionary. I feel like i am constantly wanting to improve and be better. We talked a lot about obedience. and how it should be our quest and when it is it will no longer be irritation. I have come to know through personal experience that when i am exactly obedient God does bless me. Oh and then the missionaries who are going home get to bear their testimony. They pulled up the list of a couple of the names of some missionaries and my name was one of them. It was interesting to be the one up there bearing my testimony. It causes to reflect on all of your experiences and the ways you have grown, it was sad to say goodbye to some of the people that i love so much.

2. LYNNWOOD. exchanges. I feel so lucky. I was able to go on my last exchange in my second area. WOW. It was so interesting to be back there and to be working. I LOVED IT. I was there just one year ago and i feel so different and so much the same. I got to see Eric and Kathy for one last time. That was so neat, to be in there home one last time to teach the. Eric has now received the priesthood and has passed the sacrament. He's GLOWING.
3. Wedding. One time someone who is taking the lessons and trying to come back to church got married and we were invited to the wedding last minute. Its always a good thing when your bishop calls you and says.. "sisters, how close are you?!" haha We were able to get to the wedding right on time. We have been working with her and trying to help her get back to church. After the wedding she came up to us and said....SISTERS! I GET TO TAKE THE SACRAMENT! WOW. I think that is something we should all think about. are we like this women on Sunday morning? Do we think.. YES! today is the day i get to renew and remember the covenants i have made with God?!:) if not.. we should think of some ways we can improve. Because of what she said it has allowed me to really ponder what the sacrament means for me.
4. MIA: we were teaching Kennedy who was doing so awesome and loving everything and these past two weeks he has been MIA. We hope that we will be able to see him soon.
The Church is true. I know that we may hear that a lot in this church but i do know that it entails a lot. I love the gospel. I know that i have weakness but i know that through them i will be made strong. LOVE LOVE LOVE YOU ALL!
Love, Sister Norton:) 

Monday, April 20, 2015

Can ye feel so now?

WOW. My thoughts are just EVERYWHERE. I am really thinking about all the wonderful things that I have been able to study this past week. I really hope that everyone will get at least something out of a this little missionary email.

First things first. Can you all believe it?! It happened. Yesterday I truly reached my 17th month mark? UH? I feel ummmmmmmmm weird. BUT SO GREAT. I love that I sort of finally understand what I am doing now. The feeling never ever gets old to walk up to a complete stranger and introduce myself as "Sister Norton" and explain to them my purpose and what I do. I feel so so happy! I think that a mission has been one of the best things for me for many reasons, I love having something to do and to always be busy, sharing the gospel, working with so many people, learning to love the gospel more than I ever thought that I could, studying the scriptures and conference talks etc. The list of reasons that I love a mission could really go on and on and on. The main reason I love it so much is because I have been just a simple tool or vessel for my Heavenly Father. I know a little bit more what Jesus Christ actually did for me and for all of us, and that is why I love being on a mission so much.

if you have not read Alma chapter 5. go read it:) BUT There is a great question that Alma asks each one of us...
 26 And now behold, I say unto you, my brethren, if ye have experienced a change of heart, and if ye have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now?

Conversion is what comes to mind when I read this particular verse. He is asking us after we have experienced that change of heart, can we actually feel it?
The gospel allows us to change. Its allows us to BECOME and to continue to BECOME who are Father in Heaven intends us to be. That is why I love being on mission. We teach so many people and it is so interesting to see them change even when they don't notice at all. Slowly but surely they begin to repent, and a light will come on in their heads and you just see it. I had such a hard time with PATIENCE. at first i just wanted them to take in everything that i had so that all their problems would be solved. Then i soon realized that i still had set backs, and trials and hardships and i had the gospel in my life. When i saw these people as God sees them things would always go better. I know that because i have the gospel in my life i can see the "BIG PICTURE" i see the eternal perspective and i have the end in mind, and i now have the end in mind for those that we teach and it is to make a promise with their father in heaven.
When asked the question... CAN YE FEEL SO NOW we should want to say YES:)

I have been loving everything that i have studied this week. I read another great talk by Jeffery Holland. He never disappoints. He gave a talk in October of 2012 called. The First and Great Commandment. as i was reading it I had to ask myself this question.. Do i Love the Lord and do i love the lord with all my heart and would i be willing to do ANYTHING for him. I would like to SAY YES! That is the challenge. Think about what you would do for the Lord.. and then DO IT. even if it is hard.

This week was... well it was a roller coaster. There are ups and there are downs. I am grateful for the companion that i have the people i am serving and the area i am in. Some things don't go as planned but i know that this is Gods work and that if we continue onward and work hard it will be great! FAITH FAITH FAITH!

Washington is great! it has been sunny for a solid 3 days now. LOVE IT!

love love love you all!
Sister Norton

Monday, April 13, 2015

What a day.....

long story.. I had my whole email typed up to you all and then sadly my Internet connection failed... yikes! I am pretty much out of time and yeah. I am SO SORRY! The worst part is that it was a pretty good email too! SO I will hurry and try to parapharse it. here we goooooo

We had such a week. Things are going great here in EVERETT.  We were able to go to the tulip festival today! It is up in MT. Vernon, and there are fields and fields of tulips EVERYWHERE. Sadly once we got up there they had all been cut off:( then to our surprise we were able to find a couple of tulip fields that had been hidden and they were BEAUTIFUL! Yellow:) it just makes ya happy. I love it here. Then we just rushed all over the place today. One thing that I love is to be busy. SO I really thing that the mission has been the best thing for me. I hate when we have down time... I really don't know what to do with myself.

Moving on. This past week I was able to finish the Book of Mormon again. It feels like such an accomplishment when you are able to read the entire Book of Mormon from cover to cover. I love that feeling!:) It has been so cool to read it over and over again and to always get something out of it. We are teaching someone at the moment that has been reading it but hasn't really gotten everything out of it they way that we would like him to, then it hit him like a ton of bricks he said, during our lesson he said. I know understand that if I am going to read the book of Mormon it will be a lot better for me to read it and to believe that it could be true.! YES! Now that he is doing that he is getting so much more out of it. I know that if we do that that we will as well. Not only are the stories in the Book of Mormon awesome but they are real and true.
I love love love this gospel! I love you all. I promise NEXT week will be better:)
Love, Sister Norton

Monday, April 6, 2015

Everett! #13

WOW!  What a week that we have had, with new investigators that have been found, service projects that have been done and to end it all off with Conference:) Every talk was so inspiring and so amazing. Oh I sound so missionary, but I cant help it!:) I love the GOSPEL! There is so much to say and so much to do I just don't know where I can or where I should even begin.

I feel so spiritually fed and so great! We have been so busy here in Everett and I feel so lucky to be here. I keep telling my mission President.. President Bonham, thank you so much!

SO it is happening. Today was my very last transfer call. CAN YOU believe it. My last transfer is already here. HUH? I am staying with Sister Dalley in Everett. I am really happy that I will be finishing my mission here. I love everything about it. We have even started to bike more which is always great! I feel such a connection with each of our investigators and with all of the ward members. OH I love it. We were able to find a couple new investigators this week. One of them was just a miracle! Her husband is a less active member and he is wanting to come back to the church. When we knocked on the door he was in shock and said... "Well I guess this is the time for me to come back" Then he looked at us and told us that his wife was really interested. WE were able to have a great lesson with them and she is wanting to become a member! WHAT!? I have truly seen that as we have been OBEDIENT and worked as hard as we could even when times get hard the Lord blesses us. He is so aware of us and I know it.

Conference: WOW! AMAZING. There were so many great talks and so many neat and powerful things that were said. I loved the talk that was about the gospel and if it was still wonderful to us.
KEVIN W PEARSON gave a talk and told us that there is no one at any age that is immune to Satan's influence. It is always always there but there are always going to be things that we can do to win. They are simple and easy steps. Go to church, read your scriptures and say our prayers. These things are vital and we should be doing them. HOLD on to the TREE is what he stated and do NOT get lost. I loved when he said this. " Once you enter into covenants with God there is no going back" TRUE.
Conference made me want to be a better missionary but not only that a better daughter of God. There is a sweet peace that the gospel brings and when you have a firm testimony of it, it will not take away everything that we have to go through in this life but it will make it bearable.

I know I am a little all over the place. I hope you all will be able to understand what I am trying to say. There is work to be done and things to do and goals to be set. I love my purpose and I love who I have become. The refined me.

Love Sister Norton:)