Monday, August 31, 2015

It's Always the Last Door

Hello family from the most pleasant of places on the planet...Mt. Pleasant!!
This week I hit my first month mark-FREAK YEAH!! I mean literally half of that was spent in the Provo MTC, but it's all good! We celebrated by talking to random people about God, and eating a brownie:)
This week was really good! I don't realize how much I struggle with talking to people until I am put on the spot to try and change a conversation towards Christ. I was talking with a man this week about his faith in Jesus, and he was telling me about how he is already a Catholic. Long story short, I simply just didn't know what to say and ended up asking him the dumbest things. Afterwards, as we walked away, I had to stop in the middle of the street and cross my legs so I wouldn't wet my pants (skirt) I was laughing so hard at my struggle!! Ha-ha Why is this so hard!?!?!
I have met some of the most random people while here. There are people with all sorts of beliefs and customs from around the world. Why are they in Mt. Pleasant of all places? I have no idea. But while they are here, we might as well have a chitchat:)
This week, we doorknocked-a lot.  It's all good, in purpose, but I DON"T like door knocking because I am literally the MOST awkward person on this PLANET!!! The worst part is trying not to laugh my head off when I explain something incorrectly and it comes out really dumb. Then I try to compose myself, but I fail miserably.  Oh man.
*(Note from Camille's Mom... I have changed all names that Camille writes to bold initials since this is an open blog.  Since Camille can't see this blog, I send comments that are posted on to her via Email.  Thanks to all who support her!)
On Thursday morning this week, we planned to go around to some outskirt towns to visit some members in Weidman. We wanted to visit a member on Friday named J. B.  It turned out that we went to Lake Isabella instead, which is about 40 minutes away from me.  Little did we know that we were going to see rich and extremely “not humble” old people who live in their summer lake homes.  Though we talked to a lot of people at their doors Thursday afternoon, we had to continue on. We decide to knock on one more door, and this woman on the phone answers and says, "Oh come on in girls". We look at each other confused and walk inside. She tells her sister, who is on the other end of the phone, "The sisters are here, so I best be going". She then hangs up and says, "Sisters, I haven't seen you in forever! How are you?" Say what? Who is this woman? I didn't know if my comp knew her, but I played the "I'm new in the area, what is your name?" card, and she says, "I'm J.B.". SAY WHAT!?!! We were going to call her TOMORROW!?!?! The address on the ward directory was wrong, and she lives out in Lake Isabella. WHAT!??! She tells us that she is not active, but loves the sisters who taught her when she was in her young 20's. She loved church and raised her kids in the church, but fell away and has been inactive for 10 years. She told us how hard her life is, and how so many things have gone wrong.  I promised her that as she came back to Church and recommitted herself to living the Gospel of Christ, she would be able to fix that broken feeling inside and to receive strength and comfort. We were there for so long. Now we are going to be teaching her again!  And it's crazy that we, BY CHANCE, #Not, doorknocked into her when we weren't planning on it! Crazy huh? It was a MIRACLE!!! The Spirit is Real!!
S., who is 21, and is set for baptism for Sep 15., will have to have her date changed. She didn't know that you had to be living the law of chastity before you could be baptized. She really wants to be baptized, so we will need to be getting her married to her boyfriend who she has lived with for 4 years. She also has a smoking problem. She's come to church a few times, but her 2 year old son has acted up, so we're working hard with her.
M., who is 26, is supposed to be baptized on Sep 26th. He has ALEADY quit smoking! It's a miracle and he is so proud of it! He has a major drinking problem though, and we promised him that the Atonement can and will help him. He hasn't come to church yet, but is keeping every other commitment, so we may have to change his date as well.
D., Ha-ha where do I even Begin!!?! She is TOO COOL!! D is 56, a chain smoker since age 12, and is one of the craziest people I have ever met. I ADORE HER!! She is SUPER spiritual, and is able to "speak in tongues". So during every prayer, she mumbles something in "tongues". She RAMBLES! She can talk your ear off. Just say, "Do you believe in the Bible?" and she could literally talk for 12 straight months. She is Soo cool though! She is an in-home nurse. She is SO desperate to know the truth. She has been to LITERALLY every church out there that she could find.  She loves that ours is based on the two main commandments of God which she hasn’t found in other places; 1. Love God (serve him through church and pureness in heart) and 2.  Love others- (church is centered on the family). She can ramble about the craziest things, but has one of the best hearts. She is a smoker, so we are trying to help with that. She told us she wants to be baptized on September 16, but we'll probably set her date for some time in October. SO COOL!
We'll that's all I can think of. I am doing pretty well! Good luck at School everyone, especially those starting BYU this week!!
Love you all!!
Sister Ensign 

You Better Believe I straighten my hair that day. #humidityhairforthewin


Monday, August 24, 2015

Glad I "Kinda speak English".

Hola mi familia!!
Greetings once again from Mt. Pleasant!! Land of the randomly ending sidewalks, home of 'em 'ganders!!!  For starters, I forgot to tell you last week that my address is Apartment B. Thank you to those who wrote me this week!! Love you!
This week was so crazy but so good! I forgot to tell you than on my first Sunday here, I was asked to say the closing prayer in Sacrament meeting, so I’m glad that I “kinda” know English. (Serious on the kinda.  I am realizing that my accent is different than that of the ‘gander’:)).  I am learning more about the area and those around me. I don't feel as lost as I did last week, which gives me hope that I will know the area quite well by the time my training is up in 9 weeks. Life as a missionary is exactly what I expected, and exactly opposite of what I expected all at the same time. I knew I would be tired, but I am in a different way than I thought I would be.  I am now on the East coast time zone, which I feel pretty adjusted to, so I have felt so much better this week than last.
The hardest part about being a missionary? Well I guess I have come to realize that literally all of my friends have gone foreign speaking. So what I was told would be hard isn't what I have found to be the most difficult. I am very blessed that I am able to talk with all of the people around me, but that is also the struggle. I am ABLE to talk with EVERYONE!!--but I don't know what to say! Like, what the random? How random is it that two young girls come to your front door, show you a blue book, and want to talk to you about Jesus? It's fascinating how people act towards us. Most people are kind, and reject us. Which is pretty much normal I guess. Some get super offended or upset that we have asked them their personal beliefs about God. And some even ask if they can come help/give us people to go visit. Quote of the week "You have no idea what is behind that door".  And it's so true!! Could be a dog, could be a beer-belly, could be a foreigner who doesn't speak English, could be a Buddhist, could be a DEVOUT Baptist, or could be someone who has been praying to know if God loves them and hears their prayers. So it makes life interesting when so many others are involved in your day. 
The most interesting conversation this week was with a man who is retired. We knocked on his door, and when we told him that we would like to share a message of Jesus Christ, he FLEW questions at us. He asked us, "How do you know there is a prophet? How do you know God is there? If He was there? Why can't my son see him? Will my son go to hell if he doesn't believe in God? Will God punish me for not always believing in me" Pause the story: Let's, for a moment, observe the situation as if we were a third member of this party. On the left, you see a young GIRL (19 years old) who has literally been a missionary for less than a month. She does know how to speak the language, but not how to use the language efficiently. You also see another young girl, trying to help her trainee as much as possible, but who also isn't quite sure of what to do in this situation. On the right, you see a RETIRED MAN who is asking GIRLS some of the most difficult and frequently asked questions known to mankind. Ok, press play. So we are on this man's door for about 45 minutes trying to answer everything we know. It was such a crazy experience.  We are going back to teach him this week, so it was pretty cool! Freaking scary though!!
We also met this man who, when we found out we are Mormon missionaries, told us that he was almost baptized twice. We then taught him some restored truth, to which he said, "Man that sounds nice, but I don't want to hear anything more because I don't want you to persuade me". Wait, did he just say that I, someone who is probably 40 years younger than him, could persuade him into believing there is a God? This idea of people, who are quite a bit older than we are being afraid of our knowledge, astounds me. We are trying to explain that we don't have that ability, but that it would be all by the Spirit. He walked away, but still an interesting conversation.
Funniest thing that happened? You better believe I nearly fell off a porch this week. I was laughing so hard my trainer had to talk the whole time. I was out of control. But, I guess that you can laugh in these situations, or cry. Any crying gives me a headache, so I'll just chose to laugh.
I live in an apartment with my companion that has multiple rooms, a washer, kitchen, study room, bathroom, and our room.  It’s pretty nice. We have a car 3 weeks out of the 4, so we walk the other week.  My companion is so great. Life is so good! Love you all, and thanks again for all that you do!! Xoxo
Sister Ensign :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Hello from Mt. Pleasant


     So just like that, reality hit. Nearly like a brick wall to the face. The honeymoon phase is now over, and it is time to "Labor in the Michigan Lansing Mission". Uh...wait what? So I didn't get much sleep this week, which most definitely doesn't help anything. But I've been pretty good all things considering!! So I made it here!! I'm in Michigan!! I am serving in the Mt. Pleasant area with my trainer Sister M.  She hails from the great state of Arizona. She will be done in November, so I am extremely blessed to have her as a trainer who knows what she is doing. I am in a college town, to Central Michigan University. No one is here, because well, school has not started yet. I am assuming that everything will pick back up once school starts in a few weeks. We have walked down many streets this week "door knocking" as they call it here AKA tracting. Yup, just what you think. People have actually been kinder to us than I expected, though some people have sure given me a run for their money. I think in general, people have a hard time yelling at two blonde 20 year olds who have a message about Jesus. Lots have thanked us, and have wondered if there is anything they can do for us. There honestly are some sweet people, and the old mean ones make me laugh.

    Is it humid? Not as much as I was expecting. I am literally in the smack dab center of the state, so I am quite a bit away from any water. It is definitely a different kind of heat though and there sure is humidity. The scenery? Uh...none? There are a ton of trees, and it will be gorgeous here come fall. It is100% flat here, so no hills, no water really, just a lot of really old-run down houses. But I do love looking at all of the trees.


     I was assigned to my 2nd companion (who is way cute) and we head out to Mt. Pleasant Michigan for our first dinner appointment. And where do we go? Oh you better believe we go to a TRAILER PARK!!! WHAT!?! The man, Bro. Bassett is an excommunicated member who is probably 350 lbs., has a long white beard, has a beer belly, and NO TEETH!!! WHAT!?! He has his house sitter over, named Denise, who is a HEAVY SMOKER and LONG, I mean LONG grey/brown hair. They were really nice and everything, but it OPENED MY EYES. They went off about how they are trying to find God and how they hate themselves. WHAT!?! Denise believes she can speak with the gift of tongues, so she rambles something underneath her breath. Yeah, that one shook me up pretty nicely.

    Everyone, I MEAN everyone, had a cat or a dog. These people are lonely. We are in the middle of  nowhere, but it may seem busier when school starts up again. I didn’t know bras and teeth were an optional thing, but I guess that is true. I've met so many people, in which most people rambled on about nothing. We call those "gander rants" because they are Michiganders who rant about who knows what. We did meet a lot of really nice people, and I can see how I could Love the ward.  Michigan only has 4 stakes, and I am in one of the biggest wards in the state. The stake president is in the ward. It rains a ton and is super interesting. I am praying every day that we will be guided to those who are ready to hear the truth.

Ok, I have no idea what this letter makes you think of how I am, but here is the summary: I have no idea where I am, what I am doing, or how to do things. I am trying my hardest to learn as much as I can-as fast as I can so that I will be able to be a good missionary-quicker. I simply remember that Trevor loves his mission, and that keeps me hopeful that I will love it too, one day. I am doing well, and am finding the little things to make me laugh everyday. It was an interesting few days, and I know I have SO much to learn, but I am anxiously trying my best to do all that I can be the Best beginner servant I can be!! 

Funny story? So my first door, I am super nervous because I don't really know what to say even though my companion and I practiced a ton. What do I say? "Hi, I'm Camille, how are you?" The lady looks at my nametag way confused that I said my name, and says "Hi Camille", to which I look at her way confused that she knew my name-clearly too focused on my message to pay attention to what I was saying. I was so confused and then started LAUGHING SO HARD I almost wet my pant on her driveway. SO FUNNY!!! 

 Know I love the Lord and can see Him protecting me every day! (Not that this is that sketchy of an area, but some are freaking creepy.) I COULDN’T do this without Him, is so many ways. 


The book is blue, and the church is true- I promise!


Sister Ensign

Friday, August 7, 2015

Hola mi familia!!!!

Hola mi familia!! How are all of you doing?? I hope you all had a wonderful week! I would like to start off by first saying THANK YOU to all who wrote me!! You letters were so appreciated!! Love you!! 

Ok, lets begin:) 

Is it possible that I have only been at the MTC for 8 days? I definitely feel like its been months. I do not believe there have been longer days known to man. The days are super crazy long. But they are some of the most amazing 8 days I have every had! I guess that every missionary in here either went to Brighton High or BYU because it seems like I am completely surrounded by my friends! It's really weird to see some of the teachers who were my friends at BYU, and now they call  me Sister, But it is so much fun!!! 

     My district is filled with some of the most fun people!! We are going to Lansing and Baltimore. The Boston mission is also with us, and they are in our Zone, but not our district. The girls in my room are so much fun and i loved meeting new people. My companion is from Meridian Idaho. She loves everything outdoors including trek and camping. I don't think we could be more opposite, but it's sure a good time. We laugh so hard together.   

I think I just sent that...sorry!!! Anyway, my district is so fun and I am honestly loving my time here. It is so unique being a missionary. I have never taught the gospel to someone before, and I was way nervous to try for the first time. I mean, I've only been here one week, and last night they
had us teach lessons that we weren't supposed to plan ahead. I have never taught purely by the Spirit, but it was an amazing experience. This week was a Mormon fiesta! Sheri Dew came and spoke with us, and on Wednesday, President Nelson (is there an 'i' in there?) came. Wait, did i just write
that THE NEXT PROPHET CAME?!? Yes, yes I did. it was so cool! It reminded me of when he came to setting apart of Daddy when I was 9. President Nelson called Huntie Baby and me up to bear out testimony's. After the meeting, he called me up again and held my 9- year-old arms and said, "Camille, I love you. Don't you ever forget that". And I never have. It's so cool to see literally thousands of missionaries standing as the next prophet comes in. And Singing Called to Serve? Yeah, that awesome too. Honestly I love it here, and am grateful for my time. But I am more than thrilled to be leaving next week!!

This week has been filled with Spiritual experience and some of the funniest times. Haha I know that RM's are awkward, but I didn't realize that missionaries are Awkward. Oh my gosh I have been laughing all week at some of the funniest things!

    I have a name tag, isn't that crazy?! I am going to the temple later today and I love being a missionary. I know that the reality of a mission has yet to hit, but what I have experienced, I have loved! I feel more than honored to be numbered among those called to literally represent the Lord
Jesus Christ. How can I be more blessed? Yes, it's been tiring, and I have felt every emotion of mankind in a single day, but at the end of the day, I honestly feel happy! I have SO much to learn, and so many experiences to come, but the first 8 days of my mission have been nothing but an exciting
adventure along with the Spirit. I am so grateful for the Gospel, and am
especially grateful that I was born into it. I don't know what I did right in the preexistence, but I am more than grateful for it because I know I am surrounded by a wonderful family and friends. I love you all!! Have a fabulous week!! The book is blue, and the church is true!

Love you!!!

Sister Ensign :)
I have a name tag.  Isn't that crazy?!