Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Oops...this one is out of order. I was really behind on posting letters from our sweet Missionary daughter! I am happy to know she is safe and healthy and loving her time serving! She has had some very interesting things happening in her world. Her letters recently have been about the many people she has been working with. She is serving in Baltimore (BIG city) for a little country girl from Idaho!
She said that many stories begin with
"Before I was a Mormon..."
followed by stories of living in the ghetto.
And from people who are investigating, the stories they have are just heartbreaking, they are living very hard lives!
She is getting an education that I don't think she ever counted on having.
She is so compassionate though, that she is the perfect person to be there to touch the lives of these people.
Now, on to the story of a VERY persistent individual that has fallen deeply in love with Danielle! Oh my...I am choosing to believe that her Bishop knows what he is talking about.
This week Brother ___ decided that passive notes just wouldn't be enough... sooo he stepped up his game.
When we showed up to church, the elders pulled us aside and said, "we have to warn you, Brother ___ bought you both pillows this week.
And Sister Lytle, we're supposed to put a good word in for him."
He showed up to church with a suit case, and after trying to unzip it for 5 minutes, he finally got it open and pulled out two memory foam pillows.
What the heck?!
They looked pretty nice (TBH, worst pillow I've ever used... I threw it off my bed in the middle of the night. #cantbuymylove)
But that's not all.
THEN he said, "Wait, I got somethin' special for you."
Oh great. Then he pulls out a really heavy Walmart bag and tells me,
"Wait until you somewhere where you can take yo time and look at it. It's real nice." Then he handed Sister Anderson a bag of groceries, "There's two of each, for both of y'all."
So of course, we run out to the car and rip open the bag. He had a magazine taped shut with 4 cards and a FRAMED PICTURE OF HIMSELF inside of it. We were dying of laughter. But had to get back inside before Sacrament started.
After church though, we broke open the cards... I need to take pictures of all this stuff, but for now, just know it's amazingly awkward! The cards were all addressed to "My Angel, okay?" or "Angel Sister" And they're all married person cards! GAG!
"I know you have to be a sister for a year or two ok? you mean the world to me ok? i can't get you off my mine. I go to sleep thinking about. I saw you and something happen. I have never felt this way about lady like you. This is the truth?"
"Call me it will be worth it"
"My daughters will like you"
BAHAHAHA!! HOLY AWKWARD!
During Sunday School, we were talking about how people know there's a God, or when they first found out.
One man was saying that when he stands on the beach and watches the waves roll in, he knows that there is a God.
Then Brother ___ pipes up,
"I'm taking my NEW MORMON WIFE to Hawaii for our honeymoon!"
"Brother ___, you have a new mormon wife?"
"Well, not yet. But I got my eye on her!"
*Entire class erupts into giggles, cause they all know it's me...*
The Bishop says that he's harmless and not to worry though.
(This Momma sure hope this Bishop knows what he's talking about!!! This is sounding a little scary to me!)
The poor guy has no idea whats going on around him...
Miracles have been happening though!!
We had a lesson with Sister Schneider this week, and we committed her to be baptized. We asked her if, when she knows it's true, if she'll be baptized. She had NO hesitation saying yes. It was so neat. So this week she's praying about a date, and we promised her that she'll know it's true before her date comes.
It's so neat!
She is so brave.
I really look up to her cause this is a scary step,
but she knows what she wants,
and she's not going to stop until she knows if it's true or if it's not.
After we committed her though, she says,
"Man, do you guys make a commission off this?"
"Sister Schneider, if we worked for commission, we'd be starving to death."
"Yeah, you probably would."
Anyways, life is good!
The new apartment is good too!
It smells so much better than the last one! We're so glad!
Today's letter from Danielle...
she is so happy and is doing really well!!!
I had to laugh when I asked her about the storms in Maryland.
I didn't hear from her on Monday, due to the storm, she remarked that it was a "Sissy-Storm" but everyone closes down when the storms hit...she thinks they are all just a little pathetic about snow and ice.
She must be an Idaho girl!!!
Let's get to Danielle's big news ~
she has been working with a family for quite a long time and here is the secret!!! Drum roll, please....
SISTER SCHNEIDER IS ON DATE FOR !!!
We are so freaking excited for her!
Her husband is a convert of 5 years, but until just recently, she hasn't been interested in taking the discussions.
But she's attended all three hours of church for about 6 months, and has been going to sacrament for a few years; she basically holds a calling as well.
She decided to let Sister Anderson and I start teaching her though, and it's been incredible.
She's grown so much even in just a few weeks.
Two weeks ago we left her with the commitment to pray about a date to be baptized on, and last week she told us that she'd been praying and picked M, but that she still wasn't sure that there was a God, but if she knew He were there, that she'd be baptized on that date... so she swore us to absolute secrecy so that no one, especially her husband, would find out, and set a goal to know by the 22nd.
She has such amazing faith!
Keep Krista Schneider in your prayers!
We're so excited for her!
This week Brother Kincaid passed away.
He's been in the hospital for about a month...
it's been pretty sad watching him go down hill.
Their family was just getting active again when he had the stroke and fell. So we've spent a lot of time with them.
His wife, Nicole, and son, James, asked me to sing at the funeral... it was pretty hard sitting through everyone crying and then get up to sing.
But as soon as the piano started, the chapel just felt so peaceful.
I'm so grateful to know that families can be together forever!
Their next step is being sealed together in the temple. It's so neat to see the strength they've gained from the gospel at this time.
The church is so true!
A little behind on posting for Danielle...At the bottom is her new address!
Their weather has been something!!!
This week has been crazy!!
There is so much snow on the ground!
It snowed 16 inches over night, and then a few more over the next few days.
On Wednesday night, we were driving home from Randallstown right as the snow started and it was killer slick.... and of course some one slid out of the parking lot and hit the side of our car!
It was so minor, but we had to file an accident report because it dented the side of the car a little bit :/ so that night we didn't get home until almost 10.
It was awful!
But luckily, we made it home safe and no one was hurt at all since both cars were going less than 5mph when they hit us! haha.
The next day our cars were big time grounded.
We shoveled a few driveways and had a nice walk.
We decided that, in honor of another snow day, we'd each wear one of Sister Anderson's ugly coats. Black and gold y'all.
Not to our surprise, very few people would let us shovel (like always) but at least this time when we asked people, they just laughed at us instead :P
And by the end of the day, all the roads were clear!
So we thought for sure we'd be driving the next morning.
Just about , we get a text from President Richards telling all missionaries to get outside and get the snow off the cars and driveways so that our neighbors could get to work!
So we got to it... and made it through about 20 cars.
While we were at it, we met a lady who decided to talk to us while we cleared snow away.
She told us that she'd already read the entire Book of Mormon,
was searching for happiness and purpose in life, and was interested in meeting with us.
When does that even happen?!
With all the snow and ice, I managed to slip and fall three times that day, none of them were bad though!
One of those times we were cleaning off a truck with 20ish inches of snow on it...
and Sister Anderson fell on top of me
(while I was trying to hold her up)
and we got stuck in a snow drift...
so glad no one saw that! :P
A few days later, once we had our car back, we were dropping by a former investigator, and it wound up being such a waste of time... probably one of the most awkward drop in visits of my life. So we finally left, and decided to try by a potential in the building next door. Like always, there were a zillion and a half people at home, but not one of them was the lady we were looking for.
On our way out there was a girl sitting on the stairs looking out the window, and we offered her a Mormon.org card and told her to check out the website.
After talking to her for a minute, she started opening up and asking a lot of questions, which eventually led to her telling us that all she wanted in life was to be forgiven and start over fresh, and that she thinks being baptized would help her to do that....
At that point we decided to ask her name,
proceeded to teach her about the Restoration.
It was amazing to watch the simple truths of the gospel bring so much peace to her!
Shykia is a total babe! We're way excited to be teaching her.
On Monday we were able to go to the temple!!
Oh we were so dang excited.
It was our first time going to the DC temple.
It's so pretty.
I love how different each of the temples are,
but how they all feel the same inside :) just peaceful and happy.
NEW ADDRESS!!! (we are moving in on Saturday! Weeee!!)
Sister Danielle Brieanna Lytle
3714 Brice Run Rd Apt D
Randallstown, MD 21133
I love you all! Have a super fun and happy week!
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
As the month of January closes, three thoughts come to mind that I’d like to share with you.
· Wherever you are, Be There.
· I get to!
· Let go of “that”…
Wherever you are, be there.
I have been striving to BE IN THE MOMENT, to really be where I am, in presence and in heart. There are times that we are physically present with our kids or our spouses, but our minds, our thoughts, and our attention wander elsewhere. I don’t want to miss out on the things that are right in front of me and I realize that those who are most important in my life deserve my full attention when I am with them. This is applicable in ALL situations of our lives. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, with whomever you are engaged…be there, FULLY.
I get to!
This thought is a big one for me. Years ago, I watched as the health of a dear friend of mine deteriorated until the disease she had been stricken with took her life much too soon. I can still hear her voice as she answered a question I had posed to her as she sat in her wheelchair one afternoon. My question had been a simple one, inquiring of what was most difficult for her and how I could help. Her response touched me in a way I had not expected and has forever changed my heart. She had one little boy that she adored, with the progression of her disease, her days of playing with him had changed. As she pondered my question, her eyes looked upward, a smile crossed her face and then a tear welled in the corner of her eye as she told me how much she missed being able to sit on the floor and play with her little one. She still did all she could with and for him, but life had changed for her.
For the next several weeks, I rolled on the floor with my babies, I played Legos and Barbie’s every time I was asked; I was consumed with the time I had taken for granted and wished to capture every second of the time I had with my beautiful children.
I also changed my thought pattern…I get to make breakfast for my kids, I don’t have to. I get to take them here and there and everywhere, I don’t have to. I get to do math with 5 or 6 kids all at the same time while they are all at differing levels, I don’t have to…I made this choice and I get to! Having this pattern of thought helps me to be more grateful and aware of the blessings that surround me.
Let go of that…
“That” being anything you cannot control, change or fix.
Why hold onto these things any longer? Let them go…let the happiness and the peace in. We already hold so many things that we are responsible for, allowing ourselves to let the things go that just weigh us down unnecessarily is a gift we owe to ourselves.
My hope for each of you is that you focus on the things that bring joy to your lives. Wishing you a month filled with magical moments!
Monday, February 10, 2014
Sister Danielle Brieanna Lytle
Yep, I miss her.
But she is doing great!
AND I have a couple photos to share that I received from a sweet lady she is with.
I was in the middle of our co-op classes a couple weeks ago when my phone "dinged" at me that I had a message...
the kids were busy doing a writing assignment,
so I took a quick peek, then I gasped!!!
I always do that when I get a message about Danielle. :)
AND this message gave me a BIG reason to gasp!!!
WOW ~ check it out...
I LOVE IT...her hair looks so healthy now...
and check out what some lucky person is going to be blessed with.
Her hair was donated. (love!)
This week I decided to cut my hair, and I cut 11 inches off of it!
The morning before I got it cut, we were working at a soup kitchen, and some homeless man came up to me and said,
"Wow, if you let your hair keep growing, you're going to look like somebody-something-or-other. She's a singer. Her hair is so long she walks on it. You should probably cut it."
THAT'S when you know it's time to cut it.
I was so embarrassed.
We were dropping by a lady named Judith, who I've never met. She just lost her mother last month, and we were going to see how she was doing.
When we got there she was doing fine, but after a few minutes she broke down and just cried and cried. She was so stressed and overwhelmed with life, trying to get caught back up after everything the month before. We could have sat her down and talked to her, but instead, we decided to ask her what was on her chore list. We did all KINDS of chores! After a hour or two of cleaning, she just looked at us and started crying.
"I was praying so hard that you'd come, but I didn't think you would."
Man, God really does love each of us.
I'm so grateful He let us take part in that little miracle, and we had no idea what was happening.The church is so true!
AND Week #2...THIS WEEK!
So sorry, I'm just behind on posting...
This was a fun week!
We had so much going on.
We had a 24 hour exchange ice storm that night. Most of our appointments were without power and cancelled because of it. , and an
Then Sister Richards, the mission Presidents wife, studied with us , AND we had clean checks.
We decided to go to Randallstown without our car, and carpool to each appointment (that was scary!!) It's about 15 miles one way to Randallstown, so we had a member drive us out to our first two appointments, then drop us off at our dinner, who drove us to another appointment, which tried to CANCEL as we showed up on the doorstep without our car/ride! Luckily we got in, and then our member showed up, and she's the one who took us home after the lesson.
What would have been a 50+mile day was so much shorter!
It may not sound like a big deal, but for us, that was pretty huge.
Especially since it was forecasted to snow, and if it did, we'd be TRAPPED in Randallstown with no way home!
I'm not sure how people figure it out, but somehow people just sense that I know how to braid hair.
And so I've braided a few little girls on my mission who have crazy hair. The most fun have been Terri Ann's girls, Patrice and Shyann. Their dad is from Jamaica, so they have LOTS of thick, curly, black hair. A week ago I did Shyann's hair. She's two, and I had to walk around the house with her to get it in the braids 'cause she would not sit still! but it was a fairly simple task.
Then I showed up and Patrice had just washed her hair for the week.
It was HUGE!
I've never seen it down!
It was spectacular.
I have to adopt one of those.
Anyways, that took an entire hour to braid it. but it was so much fun.
Haha she is a gem :)
We also had a super funny lesson with a niece/aunt. We asked them what it would mean to them to be baptized and have all their sins washed away.
"Oh that would be amazing."
"Yeah, that WOULD be amazing, Kesha has a LOT of sins to wash away!" Hahaha.
Then in the closing prayer they said,
"And please bless all the Mormons."
Well, this week has been great.
Well, this week has been great.
Life is good!
Love you all so much!
Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Had a super happy moment this past Sunday afternoon when a sweet boy, that I miss like crazy, from Middleton sent me a Facebook message with these two pictures of our missionary daughter, Danielle. Just so happens, that the other girl in the photo (dark haired one) ;) is friends with this boy, Colten...
She and my Danielle met each other and made an instant connection and the rest is history.
Below is Danielle's letter to all of us for the week ~ Enjoy!
The pictures from Colten Miller were taken with his friend Regan Smith, who grew up in Middleton! I was on exchanges in the Singles Branch and walked into Relief Society and the girls all asked where we were from, and I said Boise, Idaho, and they asked where (usually when I tell people where, they have no idea where Kuna is) and I told them and Regan goes,
"NO WAY! I grew up in Middleton!"
And so I said,
"NO WAY! I grew up in Middleton too!!!"
And then we took some pictures and sent them to Colten while she facebook stalked me. We had 40 mutual friends, hahaha. She's a doll.
Tuesday was the coldest day in either 20 or 30 years.
I'm not really sure which though because people kept telling us a different number, but it was in that range. It was only single digits while I was outside, which doesn't sound too bad, but it was really bad. It's amazing what humidity does.
Breathing was a trip!
And I kind of felt like I was doing a polar plunge, or something along those lines.
We kept our day booked with appointments though so we wouldn't be outside for more than a few minutes at a time.
Funny enough, in Maryland they will CANCEL school due to cold weather.
How crazy is that???
That would never happen at home!
They cancelled it, but then wound up only delaying it for a few hours, so it was a late start instead. So funny.
And so they decided, out of the goodness of their hearts, to give her new coats.
She is now the proud owner of two of the UGLIEST coats I've seen in my entire life.
One looks like the Michelin Tire guy, only gold with a tiger sewn to the hood.
And the other is a brown detective style coat that's about double her size and just terrible looking.
I learned the value of not complaining this week because of it! hahaha
We died laughing over them.
One of the neat things we've been doing in our mission is practice teaching the missionary lessons to active members of the ward we live in.
We've been asked to teach at least one active-member lesson a day.
And it's been so neat!
We've had a lot of really cool experiences doing it.
This week we were teaching a lady the Law of Tithing, and she said,
"One of the blessings I've always believed comes from paying an honest 10% is that all my daughters have husbands. And so I thought, 'Great! Now I can stop paying it!' and then I realized, 'No, I really want their marriages to last and for my granddaughters to get married.'"
And then she proceeded to tell us that Sisters who have boyfriends at home obviously have parents that pay 11%, or else maybe the ones who are single have parents who need to get on the ball with paying tithing. HA!!! So funny.
The rest of the week was just wonderful, and we're seeing all kinds of miracles.
But now for quotes of the week! this week was packed full of stuff.
The zone leaders were talking about how the one companion was BEGGING to go to the horse track , and Elder Green says,
"But Elder Hitchcock, there won't even be any horses there..."
"I don't even care. I just need to see it."
Yep... he's from Idaho.
Oh the phone trying to set an appointment with a couple in the ward,
"Well, we have an old dog whose back legs collapse and a lot of cats so we have cat hair all over the house and so I don't invite missionaries because sometimes they think it's too gross. Should we call it dinner?"
"Umm.... no. How about ?"
And my favorite.
*Making a phone call* *ring.ring*
"Man, I need to change that ringtone."
"Why, what is it?"
"It's that one that goes Du du du- and then has the rushing noises."
"Huh. why is it on there?" (Special ring tone for the sisters???)
"I just haven't gotten around to changing it is all"
"Okay, well, this is the Sister missionaries and..."
"OH MY GOSH. I THOUGHT YOU WERE MY WIFE."
Nope. For sure not. For sure not.
Anyhow, have a wonderful week!!! Lots of love!
Monday, January 6, 2014
It's Monday...News from Danielle!
This week has been crazy!
The weather is so nuts...
some days we are allowed to drive,
others we get grounded.
And we also had a few no-pros days with the holiday, so it was a slower week for us.
But it was still good.
We saw several miracles!We began teaching a few families this week that are super awesome and I'm so excited for them.
"I told you I'd leave a snowflake or two."
Nope, he didn't.
No one ever lets us shovel snow.
One day we went out and just begged people to let us... and everyone told us no!But that's okay :)
2nd Quote of the week, "So what have you heard about Mormons?"
"All's I know is y'all have a lot of wives and a lot of husbands"
Yep, that's all they've ever heard haha.