Monday, September 28, 2015

EITHER IT'S TRUE OR IT ISN'T


Hello again!! Happy Birthday Taylor and Michelle!! I hope you both have amazing birthdays and know how much I love you!!!

This has been a crazy week! Our new Sister arrived! Her name is Sister R. from Jacksonville Florida! She has been called to the Melbourne Australia Mission, Mandarin (Spelling?) speaking. It is so crazy! This week has definitely been a challenge trying to figure out my role as a training trainer, but it has definitely been a learning experience! Sister R. is so sweet and I love her positive attitude. I think she is a huge blessing and I am excited for the opportunity to be able to learn alongside of her.

We went to Lansing this week and met with the Mission President as we were preparing to start the training process. It was SO weird being in a room full of trainers-and then me, a baby trainer. So I am trying to learn everything I can as quickly as I can to quicken up the time of me being a beginner. I once heard that it takes 30,000 mistakes to become a champion, so I am trying to make those 30,000 mistakes ASAP to be a champ:) Like the Irish Dance World Champion Brogan McCay once said after being told that she could not dance with her broken foot, "I can, I can-watch me" :)


We had some good lessons and some great lessons. I am slowly but surely improving in my door approach and in introducing myself to people. While we were talking with a man this week, he turned to me and said, "You're not from Michigan, are you?" When I told him "no", he said, "I can tell by the way you pronounce your words-by your accent". I have been told so many times that I have an accent! It cracks me up! Maybe I should speak in a British accent and really throw them for a loop...

I was reading in D&C this week and came across the name John Murdock in 52:8. It also says Detroit! (This may be a "duh" question, but how am I related to him? And what is the significance with Detroit in our family history? Is there any that we are aware of?)

This week, I also had a serious "DUH CAMILLE" moment. I was reading my name tag and the thought came to me, "Wow, this really is a bold claim that MY church is the EXACT one that Christ established while He was here on earth". Then I realized that this is exactly what I have been telling people on their door step for the last 8 weeks. But it’s crazy how bold of a statement that really is. I was teaching a man last night and said, "You know, this could all be false. I could be making a fool of myself trying to tell you to read some scripture that is made up. I could be wasting my time and yours, as I attempt to convert you to something false.

I am constantly told how silly am I, how I can't really know this for myself, and that this church is not all that is claims to be. I am away from my family, school, and dance. I am putting scholarships and "normal" life on hold for 18 months. And it could all be done in vain. OR, it's all true: The Book of Mormon, the Prophet Joseph Smith, everything.  It could all be real, all be possible, and you could know it FOR YOURSELF if you simply got on your knees and asked God Himself who knows the truth of all things." It was such a neat experience. He initially said he didn't want to pray, and then after explaining that God loves him, and that he can't mess up a prayer, he said an AMAZING prayer. It was such a great night.
The funniest moment of the week? Definitely trying to explain the Law of Chastity... to a man.... without me LAUGHING!! WHY AM I SUCH A 3RD GRADE BOY!!?!?! I am seriously the most awkward person I know, and I just laugh my face off when I don't know what to say. Oh please send the prayers my way to help me to NOT LAUGH because it is seriously the most awkward situation ever!! Ha-ha  It makes me laugh just thinking about it!
 This week was full of changes, and I am unfortunately learning the truth that the only constant thing is change. I am praying harder than I ever have, and am praying to love the work!!
Thank you to all who send letters and prayers. It means the world to me. I watched the women's conference at the church, and it was an amazing meeting, but honestly quite hard to be away from home. It was weird how hard it was to see the conference center and see HOME! But I also looked around the room full of women from the ward who have been nothing but sweet and loving to me, and I have again realized how blessed I am. Thank you to all who have made me feel so loved.
 Have a fabulous week!! Love you all!!
Xoxo
Sister Ensign




Monday, September 21, 2015

THE DYNAMIC DUO BECOMES A TRIO.


Preface from Camille’s Mom.  Last Saturday Camille’s parents received a congratulations letter from her mission president, telling us that Camille had been called to be a trainer.  Apparently she had not heard anything about it, so she has explained the situation in her letter.
Hello once again! What a week it has been! We unfortunately had a lot of appointments cancel on us, but met some AMAZING people!! Even in some of the hardest times, God will allow JUST enough good to help you make it through the day.
Just to make things clear...I'm NOT a trainer..fully...yet. Ha!  We got our transfer calls this week.   Sister Morrison and I are going to be in a trio!  There are so many Sisters coming out this week, and so few going home, that President is having most sisters be in a trio. Then, in December when a lot of sisters go home, the numbers will even back out again and no areas will need to be opened. Our Sister is actually a Visa-waiter as she has been called to serve in Australia. (Not sure which mission yet, but I'll let you know ASAP daddy!) Because she is waiting on a visa, she may not actually even make it here before her visa comes. We are planning on her staying for the full 6 weeks, though she may leave earlier than that. So, in a sense, I will be training her as Sister Morrison and I will both be training her, but I am also still being trained.  If she is here longer than 6 weeks, I will become the main trainer as Sister Morrison will be heading home. So it's all kind of up in the air! A little confusing? Definitely. But whatever floats President's boat, I guess!
Congratulations to those who have received their mission calls this last week! I am so excited for all of you! It is a wonderful opportunity to learn and become more like the Savior.
This week was good!  President Anderson from the 70 came and he spoke with us on Tuesday.  I honestly learned how grateful I am to be from SLC and to have had the opportunities I have had.  It was a great conference and fun to see so many people from the mission office. President and Sister Jacobsen were both nice and it was really good for me to see them again. We are going to the church for transfers today and are going to Lansing to pick up our new companion, so I am meeting a lot of missionaries from all over the mission.
This week also marks the annual Skydiving event---more like, "I went skydiving this time last year and I really want to go again!" so I decided that that needs to become a thing:)
THANK YOU!!!! To all of those who sent a package or letter. They make my DAY!! It is literally the happiest thing. So thank you to all of those who helped make my week brighter. I appreciate it more than you know!
An old man thought I was breaking into his home and had a bit of a freak out this week. Yeah, that was a good time! So I ran this gentleman's doorbell, and when he didn't come, I opened his screen door to knock on his front door. He had a bit of a panic attack. I laughed hard afterwards, but we had to reassure him that we were not breaking and entering. Haha!
Taylor, yesterday morning I was talking with my companion while we were listening to music.  I wasn't really paying attention, until I heard “Pirates” (Disneyland Ride) start to play. I laughed SO hard! Thank you for that fun surprise!  (Note from Mom:  Camille’s brother, Taylor, put together Hymns and other appropriate music for Camille to listen to.  She took the music with her, with the comment from Taylor that he had put a "little something" in there for her.)
This week we met a woman who told us she has repeatedly been to prison. Then we talked to her more about how God can bless her life, and she told us how the bible and God are the only things that have helped her, and how she wants to get baptized. Sweet! Sometimes, when I am walking down the street, I realize that I would NEVER even drive in some of these neighborhoods if I wasn't a missionary. But I guess when I slap on a nametag, pull on a skirt, and have the protection of God; I am walking into some of the most potentially dangerous-yet more spiritual experiences I've ever had. Of course there are some areas that we wouldn't DARE go in, and there are lots of streets we don't walk down, but I am living in a whole new world here. What an experience!
We also met a woman who is among the coolest people I've ever met! Her name is Rose Trains and she is a famous metal sculptor. She is Jewish, and we were in her home last night for quite some time as she showed us her sculptures! It was actually way fun!  She has a SUPER witty personality, so it was so fun.  To top it off, she is 87, and how I pray I can act and look like her at 87!
Overall, it was a great week. Thank you again to all of those who have written me and who have kept me updated! I am grateful for this chance to be a missionary and I am learning TONS about myself.
Thanks again! Love you all!!
Xoxo
Sister Ensign


 

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sometimes a trailer park can change you.


    
 
Hello once again from the most pleasant of places...MOUNT PLEASANT!
 
 
  This week was good! I was having a bit of a hard day this week, and as we approached a door, I saw a doormat that said "Mind the Gap" and I nearly cried. It was among the most beautiful things I could have seen! LONDON!!! We also door-knocked and a woman said, "Wow that was really fast! Oh...... I thought you were my Pizza". Ha!
 
(Side note:  Do you ever have those days where all you want to do is go to Disneyland?  Okay, so that is pretty much an everyday occurrence for me, but I had a real craving for some of those overpriced water bottles and germ covered handlebars this week.)
 
  This week we had a lot of appointments and people to see.  It  is crazy how many different kinds of people there are in the world. And it's also crazy to see how many of those personalities all live in the same section of the world-the dead center of Michigan.  I have met some of the wealthiest and poorest people this county has to offer.  It has been quite humbling to see both.
 
  This week we also door-knocked in a trailer park neighborhood. Different than a regular trailer park, this neighborhood had some homes, but most were trailers.  As I was walking through, it made me think about my home life and all of the things I have been so richly blessed by. I thought about my education, my traveling, but mostly my family.  I have been so blessed. I don't know what I did right in the pre-earth life to attain a permanent spot in the Ensign family, but I thank my Heavenly Father for it daily.  It is crazy how many people are addicted to things. I have never really met anyone, before my mission, who was addicted to a substance, whatever that may be, but I have seen how it completely destroys lives.  It also surprises me to see how many people treat their families so poorly.  I clearly have taken the gospel for granted my entire life.  Being in a setting that doesn't have the teachings of the church is not only scary, but truly humbling. I am so grateful for all that I have and for the good things that have filled my life. It is challenging for me to see others who have so much less, but it is also is a great reminder that God loves all of His children.  I am praying to love it here!!!
 
  Tomorrow we have Elder Anderson from the Seventy coming. We will have a half-mission conference and do...church stuff?? Ha-ha.  I have no idea what is going on in general, but especially tomorrow.  Everyone keeps talking about tomorrow as a HUGE deal! So I'll have more information on that next week! 
 
So that pretty much sums up my week!! This is a humbling experience and I am grateful for it! 
Love you tons!!! Thank you to all who send and write me! I appreciate it more than you know!!
 
Xoxo
Sister Ensign

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A DOOR KNOCKING WEEK WITH A LARGE PUPPY


 Hello, Hello, Hello!!! I hope you are all having a great day!

Update: S. is MIA!!!!! WHAT!?!? We taught her the law of chastity...which she wasn't too thrilled about. Now she has avoided us all week and we haven't heard from her...:(

M. came to church on Sunday!!! FINALLY!!! It was such a beautiful day!! Ah, I was so excited! He only came to Sacrament Meeting, but still it was so great to finally have him come when he has been promising us he'd come for a while. 

Things haven't really happened much with J. B. since our first visit. We are planning on seeing her today, so hopefully she doesn't reschedule on us again!!!


Then there is Miss D.! She bore her testimony is church and I nearly bawled. She is infamous for her “gander rant”, and due to her attendance at other churches throughout her life, she is also prone to preaching some pretty false doctrine. It was fast Sunday, and she says, "Can a nonmember do it too?" A shot of pure fear runs through me as I Freak out!!! We talk to her about the amount of time a testimony should be, and tell her to talk about her love of Christ.  She was perfect!! Up and down in three minutes.   D. thanked those who had fellowshipped her, talked about how she will be a member once she can quit smoking, and how she loves how she feels in the church. AHH!!! It was like it was my own kid up there, and I couldn't have been more proud of her!

This week was crazy! We had 13 appointments cancel on us. Lame, right? So that resulted in DOOR KNOCKING. (Once again I would be fully lying if I said I liked door knocking for even one minute. This is where I have to have faith that President truly knows what's best, and I have to believe he does). We door knocked for so many hours, and now have 22 people who are interested in learning more. So that was pretty cool! We knocked on a female Methodist pastor’s door, who talked to us about religion for a while. As we were talking, a hospital helicopter flew over our heads. She asked if we could say a prayer, so she held our hands and we prayed for those in the helicopter. That was a new experience! 

Funniest thing that happened to me this week?... First of all, WHY AM I SOOOOO AWKWARD!?! Haha Oh my gosh!!! Pre-note: I was wearing a longer skirt, which comes to mid-calf.  So, we door knocked into a kid (16) who is pretty interested in learning more about the gospel. We ask if we could get his information, and as we did, he leaves to go find something. He leaves us at the door standing in front of his BIG puppy. (It's one of those police dogs who are brown and black?) This puppy is super excited to see us, and he starts to weave around us. As he weaves around me, his face GETS STUCK IN MY SKIRT!!! OH MY GOSH I LAUGHED SO HARD!!! But wait, there's more!! So the kid comes back and his puppy is in my skirt (I am shaking as I type this because I am laughing so hard. A guy next to me just asked if I was ok, and then we just had a discussion about the gospel for the win!) Anyway, the kid comes back, and then the puppy BITES MY SKIRT AND STARTS PLAYING TUG OF WAR WITH MY SKIRT!!! AHAHAH!!!! Oh my gosh, I was fighting a puppy in the name of humanity!! It was SOO FUNNY!!! But we got a return appointment, so…. Missionaries- 1,  Stella the Puppy- 5. 

We  met a little kid this week named Owen who reminds me EXACTLY of Graham!! He is so cute!!! We were on the outside of town by the Indian reservation, and in a somewhat sketchy area. So many little kids were playing outside. They were afraid of us at first, but by the end, they were bringing out their bikes and showing us all of their cool tricks. It was so fun to be with little kids again!

The weather here changes only about once every...hour. You never know! Some days can be FREEZING, and the next day will be HUMID and SO Hot. Overall, I like it because I can wear every season of my clothes :) 

We are all doing pretty well! I am learning so much, and am praying to LOVE the work! Thank you for the letters and the package this week! They are all very appreciated and loved! I hope you have a wonderful week!!!

Xoxox

Sister Ensign
Apartment Bedroom
Apartment Office

Humidity is the worst thing for my hair!!!