Monday, August 25, 2014

a whole new word up...NORTH

I LOVE it up here. I really never want to leave. It's possible that it's so much different then the rest of my areas that I have ever served in. Now that I know a little bit more about where I am and what not its just been great. We are super close to Canada and apparently people get frustrated with the Canadians because they come across the boarder and take everything such as all the gas, milk and clothes. anyways i just thought that would be a fun thought to throw in for you all. We are about 15 minutes away from the ocean and a island that is called Lummi. It is so cool and so beautiful. There is a reservation in our area but that is for the elders to proselyte on. They have many investigators that are from different tribes that come to church and they often have to meet with the chief in order for them to teach on the Res. its pretty cool. We took a ferry this week to Lummi Island and it a stretch of about 9 miles i think and i felt like i was up the canyon and then you look out and BAM.. hello there's the ocean. Its amazing.

 We were able to find 3 new investigators this past week. 2 were through tracting and 1 was a girl who is 16 who's mom is less active. Something that blows my mind is how many people that we talk to a day that either have a relative that's a member or they will have  a friend that's a member. It gives us a great way to continue the conversation and i love that.. BUT then i realize how KEY their friends or family members are at encouraging and inviting them to learn more and to simply just be that example to them. We should also strive to be DISCIPLES of Jesus Christ at ALL times... no matter where we are or what we are doing. This is a process.. it is not just a one time thing. I am going to work on being better at that this week:) 

We had a really cool Zone Conference with our Mission President this past week. Those are ALWAYS really good and a spiritual overload that's for sure. We talked a lot about trusting in the lord and to understand the importance behind our sacred calling that we have been called to do. I LOVE being a missionary and spreading the gospel. Some of the missionaries who would be going home soon bore their testimonies and by the end almost everyone was in tears.. the only way i can describe it is a QUIET POWER. The spirit works in many different ways for different people but i just felt it differently this past week. I know that the atonement is for everyone. and by learning the atonement and by coming to understand what it really is we will have a greater conviction to share the gospel. 

I LOVE FERNDALE. LOVE it LOVE it. LOVE it. Love the people and the small town that it is. Such a different feeling and i wouldn't want to be anywhere else doing anything else. I love you all and i am so grateful for the emails and letters that i receive of support and for the prayers. My companion and i were talking this week about how we are always prayed for EVERYDAY and what a blessing that is. CHURCH IS TRUE. 

Love Sister Norton:) 

Monday, August 18, 2014

SURPRISE!!...ferndale :)

Oh my gosh. I literally have no idea where oh where i can even begin. SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED and its week four in the transfer... i have learned to just expect the unexpected...

SO. here we go. LONG STORY SHORT. It was Thursday night and we were in an appointment when we received 2 missed calls from the Assistants and a voicemail. We were just a little bit confused and had no idea why they were calling us... so heres what happened. They ended up telling us that i would be getting transfered and that my companion would be going half spanish and half english. i was in complete shock. they told me to pack up my stuff and to meet at the mission office the following evening at 5. Then they told me the good news.. i would be going to FERNDALE... and that i would be with S. Davis who has been out fro 2 months. I wasnt so sure what to think but then i was completely at peace with it all and it just all made sense and i was excited. I packed up my things the following day and i was off with another spanish sister who was going home. we said our goodbyes and i went to another place to spend the night to meet my new companion.. and then finally the following morning we made our way up to Ferndale.. it was about a hour and half ride and it  was BEAUTIFUL. My first time up north and i NEVER want to leave. The ward i am in now is split between sisters and elders and the elders cover a part that has islands on it.. BUT this friday we are going out there to visit a less active lady in the ward and in order for us to get to her house we have to take a 7 minute boat ride.. WOOT WOOT. The feeling up here is just so different.. you can smell and feel the ocean.. or at least i think that i can. We are about 15 minutes away from the Canadian border. 

I dont think i want to leave. It so different up here and i love the small town feeling. People seem to be a lot more receptive to us and our teaching pool is so much bigger which is a TENDER MERCY for sure. I am loving it so much. My companion is so great. She is 19. her name is Sister Davis and shes from AZ. She's an amazing missionary and we get along super great. Its fun to get to know new sisters in the mission. We live in a townhouse and its so much bigger than my last 2 apartments. ITS HUGE. It was maybe just a tad bit crazy to leave Monroe so fast. I was excited for the things that we were able to be doing down there and i was getting close to the ward members and it was weird because i didnt even have any time to say goodbye.. to really anyone. But i do know that i am needed somewhere else and that my mission is not about me. I love being on the Lords time and not my own. Its a wonderful experience. I love the gospel and i know that it is so true! 

I LOVE YOU ALL! thanks for all the support and for being awesome! 


Monday, August 11, 2014

TENDER MERCIES are REAL....No matter how small

Obedience brings blessings.... and exact obedience brings forth MIRACLES!! Time to reevaluate things and to start being better. Sometimes I don't know how Heavenly Father puts up with all of us. BUT he does and I am so grateful that he does.

FIRST things FIRST. MACKENZIE and NATASHA. WOOT. HB. HB. HB. HAPPPY BIRFDAYYYY. I love you and hope you have such a splendid day! "Congratulations"!

Lets begin. This week was a little crazy and I was able to experience the spirit working more through me which is something that just cannot be matched. Its pretty amazing. We had exchanges this past week and I was in a different area.. back to Lynnwood with my sister training leaders just for the day.. but this time I was serving in the YSA ward for the day! WOAH. it was so cool and different. We had a bunch of cool things happen but the one that stands out to me the most would be the fact that I was blessed to be able to teach my past investigators son. Which meant that I would be able to see Eric and Kathy again. I was so excited to see them and to see their progress! It was as if Heavenly Father blessed me with that opportunity when I so desperately needed it. As we pulled up to the house I got so excited and knocked on the door... when Eric answered! His face was in SHOCK and he wondered why I was there. We explained and chatted for a bit then sat down for a lesson.... with their son who's in his 20s... after the lesson they caught me up and then Eric turned to me and said.. "wait SISTER NORTON... before you leave I have to show you something..." It was a wedding ring for KATHY! I was so thrilled for the both of them. They have completely changed and are going to be getting married soon. SO COOL!

Heather. THE MIRACLE STORY. WOW. Spirit. amazing. SO STRONG. so PREPARED. and so READY. Those are just a few words to explain what happened this past Thursday night. We finally had set up a time to meet with Heather and have a lesson with her. Her friend was planning on coming with us and we were all a little anxious. I got nervous thinking... okay.. we cant mess up.. this all has to go perfectly and i want her to understand and to just feel something. We got into her house and chatted for a bit and i began thinking to myself.. WHAT if we never have a lesson! what if... this what if that.. anyways as i continued to have these thoughts we finally said that we had to be home soon because we have a curfew! We finally sat down for the lesson and it turned into one of the best discussions i have ever had and in the middle of the lesson i no longer had any of those thoughts and i soon realized that i wasn't teaching.. it was the spirit and it was a neat experience. We asked her to say the closing prayer and she agreed.. there's something about it when people prayer for the first time out loud and they are truly seeking for answers. its incredible. she looked up at us after the prayer and said... ":WOAH. i feel GOOD!" then she told us that she wants to continue this journey!.

I have a strong testimony that Heavenly Father is aware of us in whatever situation that we might be in and he is there to help us.. or simply to just comfort us.

Funny story..this week we were told by a couple older men that we just looked MORMON!

We got stuck in traffic way late one night and it took us about a hour to get home instead of 10 minutes and we got home way to late.. but it was really funny because we rolled down our windows and just started listening to The Forgotton Carols.. maybe we got some weird looks..

oh and i realized that texting investigators gives me more anxiety than anything else..

I just want to end by thanking everyone for all the support that you give me. I am so grateful for the people in my life! love you all! oh and p.s i am so glad the wedding went super well! sorry i couldn't be there! maybe for the next one;)

Sometimes we become the lightning rod, and we must “take the heat” for holding fast to God’s standards and doing His work. I testify that we need not be afraid if we are grounded in His doctrine. We may experience misunderstanding, criticism, and even false accusation, but we are never alone. Our Savior was “despised and rejected of men.”9 It is our sacred privilege to stand with Him

LOVE sister Norton.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

God's beautiful creations


 Maltby..... Hmm how do I explain what it is like to you all... We are doing a ton of finding and having a tiny bit of success but the main thing that we are trying to do is to get the members more and more involved in missionary work:)

Week in review. this Tuesday the Ewings from my first ward someone got a hold of me and wanted to take me and Sister Loose out to lunch. It was a very fun time and it was really fun to hear about all the good things that are happening in my past area. I love that family very much!

miracles of the week! YAY. Heather. We saw her this past week and the conversation was going really well and we started to discuss about the Book of Mormon and she began to tell us she wanted to learn more and see what it was really about and then we set her up to take the discussions and she agreed! MIRACLE. We are hopefully going to be meeting with her this week and she has so much awesome amazing potential! The cool thing about her is the reason we were introduced to her was because of one of her friends gave her a Book of Mormon and introduced us to her. I am so grateful for members that are so bold! love it! one more miracle that happened was we were out walking and then out of no where this guy named Alex who we had set up to meet with the elders showed up and told us he was sorry because he didn't make it to church and then we had a really neat conversation with him and it was a total answer to our prayers because Heavenly Father placed him in our path!

I have a testimony about gods love for each of his children. The past couple weeks I have been able to care and love so many random people and I am so grateful for the ability that I have to be able to do that. I have just a tiny glimpse at how much Heavenly Father loves each and everyone of his children. one of my favorite things is when we will be talking to someone or in a lesson and the spirit in the room is so strong and this individual is able to communicate with heaven for possibly the first time in their lives or to feel something different at a time that they really needed it gods love is for everyone. no matter what.

oh and we had dinner with a member this week and Seattle elders were there and that was quite interesting. okay.. it was just strange. it was a 3 pack and they were ASL. they cover 3 missions.. CRAZY!!!

"there is JOY guaranteed for the FAITHFUL" joy.. and happiness are 2 different things.. and we can each have both. I know that god is always always there for us. and I am so grateful fort eh strength that he gives me.

I hope that we can have a GOOD week and find people searching for something this week!thanks for all the prayers. Love you all!

Sister Norton