Thursday, May 22, 2014

Weekly Helloooo!!


I am so sorry you feel so overwhelmed. Can I just say that I totally know how you feel? I love this quote from President Eyring about being in the Lord's service:

"There will be times when you will feel overwhelmed. One of the ways you will be attacked is with the feeling that you are inadequate. Well, you are inadequate to answer a call to represent God with only your own powers. But you have access to more than your natural capacities, and you do not work alone."
The text of the full talk can be found here. Also, I quote Ammon - 
 "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever." -Alma 26:12
You can do this Kerri! Not because YOU can, but because GOD can THROUGH you! And what a blessing to be called as such a vessel. So fabulous.
This was a great week. I got to escape from Metairie/the city/Jefferson ward drama for a few days and go to Houma on exchanges with Sister Wheeler who I freakin love with all my heart. I have been blessed to have some really awesome Sister training Leaders while I've been out, and I"m so thankful that I came out at a time when sister DO actually get to go on exchanges. The first night I was there, we went and had dinner with this active member who had just moved into the ward and had served her mission in Scotland/Ireland. Dad, I took pages of notes. She was an answer to so many prayers/questions that I had. Sister Wheeler was originally supposed to come to Metairie with me, but some crazy things happened and I ended up going to Houma, and I'm so thankful I did. I was supposed to be there. I know God hears prayers, spoken and unspoken, and it really is usually through some else that He does it.
Sister Wheeler and I just had crazy fun and worked our hearts out and learned from and taught each other and it was amazing! Instead of feeling like "Oh man, I hope I can make it 4 more months" I left feeling like "Hooray! I get to be a part of this work for 4 more months!" Exchanges are a huge blessing.
While I was gone, crazy things happened. J called the sisters in a drunken rage and demanded they come over so that she could tell them she isn't going to be Mormon any more. They spent a huge chunk of the next day with  M. And they got to have a super fun/intense discussion with R at Troy and Aly's house who I love. I was a good time to get out of Dodge haha, but now we are dealing with all the aftermath, and I am learning to focus on what I CAN control instead of what I can't, and just let God take care of all that. He has a plan for J, He has a plan for M, and if we keep praying and stay worthy of the Spirit, He will reveal what we need to know to help us help Him move the plan forward. 
Also, I wanted to tell you about our work with E and M. I'm copying and pasting what I told President about it.
We've had a cool few days this week because we've been practicing the principles of following up and helping someone else use the Atonement to overcome weaknesses.
The next day we went over armed with service clothes, cleaning supplies, and another recent convert, R (remember her? She's the best!) and we sat outside and discussed how the Lord can make weaknesses into strengths if we admit our weakness to him, ask for help, and act in faith. We committed M to have a serious talk with the Lord after we left and talk about her weakness in keeping her house clean and ask for help, because the Lord cares about stuff like that. Then we went to work for 2 and half hours cleaning, organizing, throwing stuff out and bagging stuff up that could be donated. A big part of the sanitation problem was the fact that there are 4 puppies that are not potty trained - they had taken over a whole room in their 4 room trailer and it's disgusting. After we cleaned up that whole mess, we got creative and made an enclosure for the puppies out of furniture, and we taught M how and when to clean up after the dogs so that it wouldn't get so out of hand. Again, we left her with a small project to complete after we left (in addition to praying/talking with God) and told her to just keep it up until Sunday afternoon when we would be back. 
We also encouraged her to come take the sacrament specifically in order to have the strength to get going with this change.
Sunday, they didn't come to church (that's a whole other story) but we went over to follow up and once again, M had completed the project we left and then some extra. E, who has Sundays off, sat down with us in the room that used to be full of dog urine/feces and we taught him, with M's help, about changing weaknesses into strengths. We also read D&C 29:34-35 about how nothing is temporal with the Lord - everything is spiritual to Him. And we asked inspired questions about how keeping your house clean is a spiritual thing and we listened and both E and M had really good answers. I had a past companion teach me that asking questions is a way to help those we teach get personal revelation, and I really think that instead of just telling E that he needed to be cleaner and help out more around the house, because we asked questions, he was able to figure out for himself why and how he needs to change. It was really cool. We are going back tonight and we are going to do a family home evening with them and do another project and follow up on the "Daily Chores" list we left with them, taped to their fridge. This has been a very tangible experience with helping someone develop faith unto repentance, and I can't wait for them to come take the sacrament on Sunday and feel the Spirit and know that what they are doing is good and right. This will give them the strength to continue in their growth. And it's cool, because I feel like I am really able to help because I just had to go through this process with my own weaknesses so I can press forward with the knowledge that this process really does work.
I love you so much! Thank you for being the most amazing priesthood holder/leader/father/friend that I know!

-Sister Chausow

May 19, 2014 Highs and Lows!


Sometimes I wonder if I'm Amish because I have such a struggle with I actually adopted from the Amish community where you got those benches and your bedroom set? Hehe I kid...

SO! This week was a roller coaster of awesomeness! I will give you a summary of events and my feelings about them!

HIGH: Going to Houma on exchanges with Sister Wheeler - we have been serving around each other almost our whole missions and she has been an awesome mentor for me. Plus it was a huge blessing to get out of Metairie for a bit.

LOW: Two women in our ward had miscarriages in the last two weeks. So sad. What do you even say?

HIGH: R is having her kids come stay with her for a week and a half in June and she wants us to teach them every day! I just love her!

LOW: Sister Biver came down with a cold and then a few days later I got it. I kind of sound like a man, but I actually slept through the night last night so that was awesome!

HIGH: We did a LOT of service, especially with this girl named M. See Dad's email for the details, but I am so thankful we cleared out all the dog poop and pee! It was a huge triumph - all the creative problem solving skills from DI came in handy when we were trying to build an enclosure for the dogs so as to contain the destruction. Tell Abby Stewart that DI will make a huge difference as an adult hahah!

LOW: Brother Bush, that intense guy that made me cry, came into our Ward Missionary Coordination meeting.

HIGH: He left because Br. Blair, our super awesome ward mission leader didn't really give him a chance to talk! Lol. I am stinkin going to be friends forever with the Blairs. Br Blair always has my back and Sister Blair is so supportive and helpful with teaching our investigators or less actives. And their son Sawyer is the cutest baby ever! Wish so bad I could hold him/kidnap him!!!!!!!

HIGH: They were filming a movie down the street from Mahala's house. That's the 3 film set I've seen since I've been down here in NOLA. 

HIGH: Saturday we might do a free lemonade stand as a way to give out copies of the Book of Mormon and contact people!

HIGH: I loved hearing about Grandpa Chuck and Cheyners and John and diarrhea's since easters lol. You are the bomb dot com! And way to go Idaho on killing it in your writing class. 

Oh, so I hear you got new window treatments for Mother's Day...? Kath Teufel is super excited about it. I want to see pictures!

Can you believe it's the last week before transfers? Craziness. Three left after this one. I kind of started writing my friends off because I just want to focus. I've decided that these last 3 transfers are not mine, they are the Lord's and I'm going to do everything I can to devote my whole self to Him. I've been so blessed, and I can't NOT try to go out and share what I've been given. 

I love you forever and ever! Sending so many hugs and smaeshes!
Love you more than all the chocolate in the world!

-Sister Chausow

May 12, 2014

Hey, I know I just talked to yall yesterday but I just wanted to say that I love yall so much and thank you for spending time with me yesterday. 

Mom, I hope I didn't hurt your feelings with the package thing. I want you to know that I just love love LOVE everything you sent and I'm so deeply grateful to have a mom that would support me so thoroughly like you do. I'll email you next transfer (June!) and let you my new address if I get transferred and a few things I need. For me, it's been hard to stay focused and not count the days or weeks or months. And it's a weird internal conflict - I'm so excited to come home and be with you all but I want to stay and just do this work for ever. I guess I can't have my cake and eat it too :)

The elders that I wanted you to send a package to are Elder Steele and Elder Watkins. They are the office elders, and those poor guys are just so awesome to do all the grunt work while we get to be out doing fun stuff like studying and teaching and finding people to share the gospel with and working with members and all of that. I know they could use some loving, especially as they will be crucial in help the mission make a transition from one mission president to the next. They need some lovin, and there's nobody better at helping people feel loved than my mama! You can send it to the same address as Elder Hansen-
12025 Justice Ave
Baton Rouge, LA 70816

Thanks for being so amazing! I hope I can continue to work hard and make y'all proud! And make the Lord proud :)

Love, Sister Chausow

PS: Here is my letter to President Wall for the week. It just has some cool stuff I learned in my studies and ideas that I'm trying to internalize.

Dear President-

I would like to redefine failure. The world defines failure as "something that falls short of what is required or expected." I would like to tweak this a little bit - I believe that failure is "something that falls short of what is required or expected RIGHT NOW but works towards the success of the Lord's work in the future." As a missionary, I realized that I need to change by paradigm. I've been studying the lives of the prophets in the Bible and the Book of Mormon and I've found some patterns that were not clear or apparent to me before. None of these men had perfect lives. They struggled, they got discouraged, they faced opposition, just like us. But what sets them apart and helped them qualify for exaltation is their exceeding faith, diligence, obedience, and endurance despite their circumstances. I think we underestimate the power of persevering with a good attitude. That is how the war against Satan is won. Sure, he may win a few battles here and there, but the war will be won in each of our lives and for the kingdom of God as a whole when we learn to just keep going, not give up, smile, and maintain our faith in God. This goes a long with one of my favorite poems:
"It's easy enough to be pleasant,
When life flows by like a song, 
But the man worthwhile is 
    one whole will smile,
When everything goes dead wrong." -Ella Wheeler Wilcox
This is true success. It is not when life DOESN'T meet expectations. It is when a person maintains their faith despite the lack of met expectations. Here are some examples of prophets whose lives weren't so perfect, and yet their maintained their faith and just kept going.

1 Nephi 3-4
Nephi has to try 3 times to get the plates (he is robbed and beaten in the process) and he still maintains his testimony and keeps the Spirit with him.

1 Nephi 16:14-32
Nephi's bow breaks, and yet he doesn't murmur once. How do I respond when I run out of alotment money and "can't obtain food"? Hopefully like Nephi :)

2 Nephi 4 (specifically verses 1-5)
Nephi's prayers are not answered in the way he hopes, but he is obedient and builds up a new society as best as he knows how.

Mosiah 23 and 24
Alma and his people (all newly baptized converts) are betrayed and taken captive. Yet their faith and conversion is strengthened through this experience.

Alma 14:7-10
Alma and Amulek's converts are stoned, cast out, and burned with the scriptures and they are forced to watch. Satan was probably like "Haha you failed!" and they probably felt that a little bit themselves. But then they go to the land Sidom, heal Zeezrom, gain a new missionary companion and are able to do much good ministering to the aching hearts of their converts/rescued members. 

Alma 26:27-30
Ammon and his brother have a rough 14 year mission and yet it is so worth it.

Alma 31: 3-7, 35:10-11
Alma and his brethren are unsuccessful in their objective to reclaim the most apostate Zoramites and and fail to prevent discension/collaboration with the Lamanites. This brought war to the Nephites, but it also brought a ton of converts (Alma 62:17 and 27, 41, 45, 49). It's interesting because Helaman tried to preach the gospel before the war but people just weren't listening (Alma 45:21-24, 46:6) but after the war, we see a great outpouring of the Spirit. 

That's as far as I've gotten in my study. Today I was reading in the New Testament and found some awesome examples of "failure"/triumph in the disciples of Christ's ancient church. I am coming to truly understand the definitions of true success and true failure. Our ward council has really been pushing us for numbers and baptisms, and it's cause me to have a warped sense of success and failure. But the Lord has taught me the true eternal nature of these two concepts through the Spirit and through the scriptures, and it's changing me. I've changed the way I pray - instead of asking just to find those who are prepared to receive the gospel NOW I pray that we can be instruments in the hands of the Lord to nurture and cultivate and plant and harvest in whatever manner His children need. I am a utility player for the Lord - I can help prepare the hearts of the people to receive the gospel later - we can knock on doors and get rejected and still feel happy because we can know that no effort is wasted. We can be turned down, dropped, or accepted and it will all be good. I'm here to do whatever the Lord needs. I recognize that everyone is at a different place in their spiritual journey home to God, and I recognize that if I don't help baptize anyone else while I'm here, I am not a failure, because I will be working hard, warring a good warfare, obediently and faithfully enduring until the last day of my mission and the last day of my mortal life. This is a good and comforting knowledge/conviction to have.

-Sister Chausow

Cinco de Mayo May 5, 2014

Dearest Mom and Dad-

Thank you for your emails! So glad to hear all is well, except for Jack...poor guy. And the Bulls getting eliminated....also lame sauce. I hope the Bad Boy is going to be okay. Hopefully he can make it 5 more months...? !

So YES! We get to skype on Sunday! Hooray! Is it ok if we plan for 3pm? Not sure where we are going yet, but let's plan for 3 and trust that the Lord will let everything work out :)

So thank you so much for the Star Wars package! It was so fun to receive it! We are making the popsicles today for district meeting tomorrow. Sister Biver is excited to make a planner cover our of the stickers you sent! You are just the best package maker ever mom!

Also, that sounds waaaay intense with D. That poor man. Hopefully he will have enough faith to just open his heart a little and see if the Book of Mormon is the real deal. I've been there before, and I take comfort in something one of my best friends in the mission, Sister Tiller, told me - "You can't say the right thing to the wrong person, and you can't say the wrong thing to the right person. You just have to open your mouth." I know that's true - if you speak in faith, the Lord will make it all right. Thank goodness! I will be praying for yall!

Dad, I am safe and sound. Not too much bad weather down here, we are all good. We just got our hurricane water and food supply from the mission office so we are all officially ready for hurricane season haha. We will see what happens. 

SO! Big news.

R got baptized, and it was amazing. She didn't pass her interview with our district leader on Monday night because of a past transgression she hadn't told us about. She was so upset, she ran out of the church crying and it felt like I got kicked in the stomach by a horse. Man, it was awful. I didn't even care about numbers or baptism or anything at that point - I was just worried about my friend. We went to her apartment and knocked on her door, we called, but she wouldn't answer. Then Tuesday morning she texted us and asked us to set up the 2nd interview with President Wall. Thankfully, President was coming to Metairie for Zone Conference on Wednesday (which was AMAZING, I'll tell you more about it on Sunday) so we set up the interview for after Zone Conference. President did such a great job - he is so kind and loving. He let me and Sister Biver sit in with R for the first part of the interview to help her feel comfortable. And then afterwards when President said she had passed we were all so excited we cried and hugged each other and went to Sonic for dinner to celebrate. It was amazing. The service was Friday night and it went off without a hitch, it was so wonderful. The Spirit helped me to speak the thoughts and feelings of my heart, and me and Sister Biver sang "Lord I would Follow Thee" and it was hard to sing and keep my emotions under control at the same time. Such a beautiful night.

J's kids got baptized, and it was also amazing. Again, this didn't happen without an epic struggle. Monday night J texted us and told us she didn't know what to do because her parents were telling her that she is a bad parent and doing the wrong thing letting her kids get baptized. We went over after the R fiasco (Monday was probably the hardest day of my mission) and J was a little drunk and so we read scriptures with them and prayed together and the Spirit was strong. Little 10-year-old R prayed that angels would be with them that week and it was amazing. We tried to contact J each day that week and then Saturday morning comes and we get a text that says she isn't going through with it. Again, felt like I got kicked in the stomach. So we run over there and just listen to J's concerns. She was sober, so we had to believe what she was saying about not feeling good about the decision. And then Bishop Brown and his family showed up with doughnuts and orange juice. And Brother Bush, J's other home teacher, showed up with his family, and we all just packed her house and prayed with them and J and her kids each got a priesthood blessing, and when Bishop gave R his blessing he said that R would have angels protecting him his whole life, and he didn't even know what had been prayed for on Monday. It was amazing. We stayed at J's all day, cleaning and hanging out. We went and got pizza and ate together until Sister Brown came back to pick them all up for the service. The service was beautiful and as R and Veach went under the water, I was just overcome with emotion. Yesterday they were all confirmed and R and V bore their testimonies in sacrament meeting and it was the most beautiful expression of child-like faith I've ever heard. Those kids are a huge blessing to their mom, and hopefully we can all help J towards deepening her faith, getting over her word of wisdom problem, and towards lasting happiness.

When I got to church yesterday, I was totally drained. I felt like I had really been asked to live up to my baptismal covenants - to mourn with those who mourned, comfort those who stood in need of comfort, and it totally took everything I had and then some. I felt drained in every way. But something amazing happened - as I took the sacrament in faith, I felt my burden lifted. I felt healed. I felt strengthened. I knew and I know now that the Atonement is very real, and it is especially felt in our lives as we participate in priesthood ordinances. I will never underestimate the power of the Sacrament again, and I'm so thankful that the Savior would give us a chance to be renewed, strengthened, and cleansed every 7 days. What evidence of grace and mercy!

Well, I love you all to pieces! Can't wait to see what this week brings. A is supposed to be baptized on Saturday, but I don't know how that will work out. We also are going to meet with N, this awesome new investigator who has been diligently searching the Book of Mormon and said "God has been so good to me...if this is where the Spirit takes me, I will go." He kind of almost committed himself to baptism! So crazy!

I love you all! Can't wait to see you in 7 days!

-Sister Chausow

I love this woman! She is amazing! This is R, Sister Biver, and I at her baptism on Friday. 

Baptism #2
J, R, and Vi with me and Sister Biver and with Brother Bush, an awesome member of the bishopric that really helped to fellowship this family. 

What it says in D&C 18:15-16 is true!

To: Daddy April 28, 2014

Hey daddy!

First of all, yes! I did get the stuff from Angermeier/Rogers like 2 weeks ago and I signed it and put it in the mail the next day. It should've made it to yall by now....

Freakin Hawks, they are so great! Are Kaner and Toews still out? 

That is so cool about John and Kira! I will pray for her and I'm always praying for him of course. The Lord always comes through in the way that the investigator/potential investigator needs the most. Like one time, we had this less active lady come to Relief Society, and the lesson started out about Joseph Smith (and I was like, oh no! This is just going to confirm to her that we are brainwashed or something!) and it ended up being a really spiritual lesson about the Savior, and she told us later that she felt the spirit so strong during the meeting and she loved the teacher and wanted to meet her and get to know her. It was a miracle! I have learned to trust the Lord when people come to church - he brings people when they need to be there and they hear what they are supposed to hear, which takes a lot of pressure off of us :)

Love those quotes from Preach My Gospel. So true - I just need to remember them more. Thank you for reminding me!
I studied chapter 8 , about setting goals and planning and accountability. The quote from Pres. Monson really struck me - "Where performance is measured, effectiveness improves. Where performance is measured and report, the rate of effectiveness increases." Or something like that. And it's so true - last transfer I was writing down when and to who I gave a Book of Mormon away. And i gave out a bunch! More than I've given out my whole mission! This transfer, I haven't been doing that, and I've noticed that my effectiveness at giving away copies of the BoM has decreased - I have really given out as many. So I think if I start writing it down, I will be more accountable to myself and my performance will increase. Also, I want to start giving the Lord an accounting of my day in my nightly prayers. I think that if I know that I will be accountable to the Lord daily, I will do better at achieving some of the goals that I've set for myself.

R is doing awesome. She asked me to speak at her baptism, and I feel super humbled. J parents disowned her because she is "brainwashing" her kids. It's a mess, but it's ok, we are going to help her and the Lord will help her and protect those kids. Please pray for them. 

I love you so much! Thank you for all your love and support!

Sister C.

April 28, 2014


Oh man, thanks for your email. And for the card and the money. And for just being awesome. I freakin love your guts!

Thank you for all the news! The music sounds perfect, I am so excited for it! 

So happy to here about jack and the sibs.

K, so I just talked to J on the phone for 30 minutes and now I have to go, dang it. So sorry.
I will put a letter in the mail today. Please understand.
Love you more than all the missionaries in the world:)


Ok, thankfully I got a few more minutes on a computer. 

So, highlights of the week-
-R took us out to eat on Saturday and she went out teaching with us and then we had a study session with just her at her house. It was so amazing! She is just so awesome! She asked me to speak at her baptism on Friday and that was a really humbling request. I don't feel worthy/like I should do it but that's what she wants. Hopefully I can say something that brings the Spirit :)
-Finally saw A again and he is back on track to get baptized. Not sure how committed he is to the restored gospel but he's definitely committed to being baptized so we will see how that all shakes out. 
-J and her kids are having a tough time with J parents. They think the Mormons are brainwashing her kids and she is a bad parent to let them be baptized. It's rough. We are going to go over every day this week to strengthen J and provide support. Please pray for them!
-Today we spent the day with the Spanish Sisters - there are seriously no sisters down here, and it was so fun to just have a girls day. We emailed, went to Walmart, and washed and waxed our cars by hand together. It was so fun! I love them! Also, weird coincidence- Sister Roberts was in the same MTC district at Nathan VandeGraaff. How crazy is that? Mind blown...

So this week will be full of tracting, last minute visiting teaching (we are assigned to 5 sisters and of course we put it off til the end, dang it), baptism prep, and singing in the car. Also, hopefully I can keep my eating under control, the Spirit with me, and stay focused on my purpose. It's weird because I have 5 months left - it feels like an eternity and it feels like a really short time at the same time. I'm trying not to think about what I want to do when I get home, who I want to hang out with, how it will be to see yall again at the airport. Oh man, that sounds totally trunky, sorry. I really am staying focused, I need to really work to continue to control my thoughts and just throw myself into this work for the last precious weeks that I have hear. I love this work and I really wouldn't mind doing it forever. It brings so much joy and you learn so much - I'm a little scared to come home because I don't want to go back to being the same person I used to be. I just want to keep moving forward for the rest of my life. 

Sorry about that rant. I love you so much and just want you to know all my thoughts and feelings. Hopefully that's not weird :)

Love you so much! Give John, Cheyenne, and Caitlyn hugs for me! What is Caitlyn's address? I got her package, just loved it, and wrote down my thoughts and feelings from some of the talks that were in that binder. I want to make copies and mail it to her. I'll just send it to the house for now but in the future I want to be able to mail stuff straight to her. 
Hug Dad and Jack for me too!

April 21 2014

Dear President Chausow (woah, weirdness)-

Haha I just had to try that out and see how it sounded. It seems like you have an amazing spiritual experience with your new calling and setting apart. I wish I could've been there to hear you speak. Mom sent me your Christmas talk, and I got verklempt while reading it! I will be using those stories - your story about service and the lower lights story - which happens to be the name of a really great band - a lot as we work with members. I love the idea of Christ being the lighthouse and us being the lower lights. It's an awesome analogy and it's inspired me to shine as brightly as I can.

So I am now with Sister Biver (bee-VAIR) from France. She is so awesome - she helps me to stay positive and not take things too seriously. I didn't realize how burdened/down/intense I was getting until she got here and we started singing together and smiling and planning with faith. It's been awesome. She's helped me to lighten up already and this week I'm going to try to help her get over her fear of tracting. I have come to know that tracting brings miracles - maybe not through the actual door knocking, but when the Lord sees your willingness to do hard things, he blesses you in other ways to find those who are prepared. 

Speaking of miracles, here are a few we saw this week:
-Sister Biver and I clicked instantly. I am so excited to work with her. She is a lot of things that I am not, and we really compliment each other and love and respect each other. We have been blessed with an instant unity that I am not worthy of but I am oh so grateful for.

-J, the inactive mom of our two investigator friends, Robert and Vivian, came to church. Missionaries have been working with this woman for years, and she hasn't been to church in at least 3 years. When she did come, she would come drunk because she was so nervous and scared to be in a spiritual environment. But miraculously, because of the love of members and the constant efforts of missionaries and because of the grace of God, J miraculously showed up to Relief Society yesterday. And she said afterwords "I felt like I knew everybody. I felt so at home. I don't know why I was so scared to come back." My heart swelled with joy to see this lady who I love so much in the chapel. I got to sit by her and we were taught together and the Spirit was just poured out in the lesson. J loved the lesson and the teacher and said that she felt the Spirit so strongly. Her kids are getting baptized on May 3, and I have faith that as they progress in the gospel, J will come with them. 

-R, an amazing investigator that came out of nowhere (tracting brings blessings!) got consent from her husband to be baptized. The man who had previously mocked her decision to be baptized into other churches and who has no belief in God gave his willing consent, and he had good things to say about the Mormon church. Apparently, two sister missionaries had tracted him out previously, and although he didn't let them in, he later told R "If anyone has the truth, those girls have it." I wish I could contact those sisters in Texas and tell them that their tracting wasn't time wasted, and I want to tell them not to give up - their efforts bring fruit even though they won't see it. And the same is true for all of us. We may get a no at the door, but we don't know what is said or done behind those doors we knock on. 

-The Lord have poured understanding and charity for Elder Smith into my heart. I was so scared when I found out he was my district leader - I was like "Oh no, not again. I don't want to have to be angry and annoyed and repenting all the time again." This is my natural man response to Elder Smith. But thankfully, Heavenly Father has enable the divine within me and has helped me to have a love and understanding for this Elder that is no my own. Through the grace of God I am coming to find peace. Careful study and application of Elder Zwick's talk from conference has helped a lot too, and it's a miracle that that talk came when it did. 

These are the big miracles from the week, but there was also the beautiful weather, we got a new car, I'm learning my way around Metairie better, Sister Monk got to go to Covington which she was super excited and happy about, we parted on good terms, Sister Biver is helping me smile more, we have developed a better relationship with the Kenner sisters, I have been able to get up on time more often, my mom sent a cd that really uplifts me, Easter was yesterday, the "Because of Him" video has been an amazing finding tool and it helps me feel closer to the Savior every time I watch it, and I could go on and on. We are surrounded by miracles, we just need the eyes of faith to see them. 

Also, thank you for sharing what you learned from PMG this week! I've studied Chapter 12 a lot to know how to prepare the S's and R
for baptism. I haven't really actually prepared anyone to actually be baptized, so I needed a refresher...Also, do you remember that article you sent a while ago abou how to be a successful missionary? A quote from that, which is a modified quote from PMG, has become my battle cry -

"As I worked on strengthening my faith, I found the positive form of the statement from Preach My Gospel to be true: if you raise your expectations, your effectiveness will increase, your desire will grow, and you will be able to follow the Spirit better. Additionally, I was more optimistic about missionary work and my missionary service when I could recognize and appreciate the miracles that happened daily."

I know that as we have eyes and faith to see miracles, we will see the Lord carrying us. And that is the glorious message of the Restoration!

I love you so much and I know that you, with the Lord's help, will do amazingly well in your new calling! Have a great week!


Sister Chausow

April 7th 2014

Sorry, that randomly sent on me and I wasn't even done. Technology is such......a

Anyways, we challenged Mahala and Eric to teach us a lesson about families instead of the other way around .  It was hilarious - they read the Family proclamation and acted it out with stuffed animals. It wasn't the most well-prepared or spiritual lesson, but we had fun and it helped me to chill out a little bit.

-We met with Ruth for the first time and she is awesome! She asked us what she needed to do to be baptized, it was amazing! She is so prepared! She is praying about being baptized on May 3rd, and she is already in 2nd nephi in the book of mormon. We will see her again on Wednesday with some members. I am so excited for her. In this experience as well the Lord is teaching me humility - we literarlly did nothing to find or prepare her, we were just trying to be obedient and diligent missionaries and Heavenly Father is using us to help on of His children to gain eternal life and live with Him forever, and hopefully bring her whole family with her. It's so exciting to be a part of this work!

-We went tracting again this last week, the first time we met two really awesome potential investigators who we plan to follow up with this week. It's crazy - tracting actually does work :) The second time we went we ended up talking to a southern baptist lady for 45 minutes - she seems to kind of be the neighborhood mom and so she came up to us while we were knocking doors on her street and asked if we had accepted Jesus Christ as our personal savior. At first she was kind of scary, but once we said that we do accept Jesus as our personal Savior, her whole demeanor changed and we had a nice chat and she took us over to her house and showed us her chickens and her garden and her congregation's "ward directory" which was really spiffy and invited us to her church's breakfast the next day. Unfortunately we couldn't go because of Conference (maybe we should've gone...?) but she is awesome and she accepted a pamphlet and said we could come back and she is going to share her beliefs with us and we are going to share ours with her. So cool!

-Finally, of course, there was conference. Oh my goodness, every talk touched on something I had been praying about. I just felt so much that God is aware of me and was sending me what I needed. One talk in particular, the talk by Elder Teh, hit me hard. It wasn't really the words he said - I think I got something totally different than what he was trying to express. But the Spirit was teaching me throughout the whole message and it was amazing. I continued to ponder on what I had learned this morning during personal study, and through this talk came a lot of the correction and guidance I needed desperately to help me move forward. 

Man, I just love the gospel. And I love you guys! I loved Elder Ballard's suggestion about families sharing with their missionaries what they've been learning from Preach My Gospel. We should totally do that! Next week I'll include something that I learned and hopefully if yall have time you can do the same. :)

Love you more than all the seashells in the sea!

-Sister Chausow


Haha loved the title of your email. It made me laugh!

Thank you sooooo much for the Easter Package! It was adorable! Sister Monk got transferred so I crossed out her name on the tag and put Sister Biver's name (bee-VAIR) and we hid each other's baskets on Easter morning and then we found them and opened them! So fun! Thank you for making our day happy! We are excited to go to Target today :)
Thank you also for the purse and the snacks - two things that I've been needing. You always seem to know exactly what I need! My old purse was indeed looking a little haggard so thank you for helping me out. You are a spirit-led missionary mama - I swear the Spirit tells you exactly what I need exactly when I need it!
Also, thank you for the CD! We've been listening to it non-stop, and we sing loud in the car and harmonize and it's just the best. Thank you!
While you're in Utah, if you find any more lower lights or Brandon Heath or Casting Crowns music feel free to send it my way. Also, XL skirts that are bright and happy would be awesome! I'm so excited for you to be able to spend time with your parents and get a break and help them feel the love. You are so good at that.
And thank you for sending that package to Elder Hansen! He is going to love it - he got called to be a zone leader and the whole new area thing PLUS the new responsibilities was making him a little nauseous at transfers lol, so I know he will really appreciate it. Plus, we took their super nice 2014 Toyota Corolla and they have to drive our lame chevy malibu that is kind of falling apart, so that wasn't super awesome. I felt bad, but the Office Elders told us to do it, and now we don't have to worry about parts falling off so that's a relief :)
I BCC'd you into my email to Kath Teufel because I wanted you to hear about some fun things that have been happening around here. I'm attaching a picture of me and Elder Hansen doing the hot sauce challenge...I can' believe I let him persuade me to do that. So dumb. Good memory, but so dumb lol. 

SO! Stuff has been happening around here! I have a new companion! Sister Biver is from France (my second french companion haha) and she has been out for 6 months. I knew her a little bit because we were in the Denham Springs Zone together, but when we went on exchanges with the Albany sisters I went with Sister Lyons and Sister Recksiek went with Sister Biver so I didn't get to know her as well. But I am soooooo happy she is here! She is very girly but she is happy and fun and insists that we smile as much as possible. I really need that because I didn't do a lot of smiling last I'm glad she is here to bring some light back into my life! And we sing together a lot - we are both pretty good at harmonizing, so that's fun, and we are planning a musical fireside as a finding opportunity at he end of the transfer. I am just happy and filled with excitement for a fresh start. Elder Hansen told me that my motto for the transfer should be "Baptize Metairie" and so that is what we are going to do haha.  

Another thing, I am recommitting (again) to being more healthy. I know I've done this a gazillion times but hopefully one of these times it'll stick and I'll actually be able to change. I'm just telling you so that I can be accountable. Hopefully I can do it this time!

Good luck with your English Class and your religion class! Of course you are going  do oh so great! Also, I will be praying for you and dad as you adjust to your new responsibilities and roles. It always helps to have that Spiritual confirmation to back you up and to let you know that the Lord is in charge and He is the on who made all this happen, and He will be the one to help you serve and love and lift. You guys are two of the most amazing people I know, and I know that you will be a huge blessing to the people in that part of the Lord's vineyard!

Love you more than all the birdsong in the world!

-Sister Chausow 

Letter for Dallas

Hey Dallas!
Hope you had a great Easter! Easter time as a missionary is so awesome because it gives you even more chances to share the good news of the gospel. 
I got a new companion last week - her name is Sister Biver (Bee-VAIR) and she is from France. She is awesome - she is helping me to be more happy and have more fun with the work instead of being serious and intense and anxious all the time. It's just too hard to live that way. :)

Is it warming up in Wisconsin? It will be in the 70's and 80's down here in New Orleans and the sunshine makes me so happy.

So something fun that we did on Easter was we "egged" the bishop's family's door. We cut out and colored easter eggs and made cookies, and then we taped the eggs on the door and left the cookies on the doorstep. Then we knocked and ran away haha! It was so fun. I'm attaching a picture of our work :)

Also, last week for Preparation Day we went to downtown New Orleans and we went to this place called Pepper Palace. Its a little store where they sell all sorts of hot sauce and spicy jams and jellies and stuff. They rate the spiciness of everything on a scale of 1-10 and they have a challenge where you eat just a teeny bit of the hottest hot sauce in the world - it is rated 10+++! You have to sign a waiver to do it and you have to be over 18 haha. So my district leader persuaded me to do it and then our whole district ended up doing it and we were all crying and red in the face for about 30 minutes, it was awful. I'm never doing that again...but they took our picture and put it on their website - I think. You should check it out and see if you can see me! :)

Hope you all have a great week! I got the packages with the magazines and the checks - thank you so much! I didn't realize yall were moving away from Wisconsin. When is that happening? And do you know where you're going? 

Love yall lots! 

-Sister Chausow