Sunday, June 21, 2015


You know, sending a companion home always makes me feel like I'm going home too. It's kind of confusing. But also, being a part of someone's final week in the mission means I get to be apart of all of the final miracles that happen. This was such a week :).

I'll begin with a few pictures of some of my favorite people. This is Bishop Facer and some of his family. They have 5 sons, and 2 are currently on missions. [Ironically, Sis. Facer sent me an email out of the blue this week about Sis. Hochstrasser. I didn't know who she was until now. She wrote, "...your lovely daughter has been serving in our ward for the last several months. We're so blessed to have her! Since I'm a ward missionary I've had the chance to work pretty closely with the missionaries and I can tell you she is a great asset to our ward. She's organized, prepared, cheerful, optimistic and willing to work hard without complaint. She loves the people and she teaches with the spirit. Her smile and laugh are contagious and we've had many earnest and enjoyable conversations together. She has become a good friend. We're glad she'll be here another transfer! I just want you to know how much we appreciate your willingness to share her with the people of Tennessee and Kentucky. We love her and know she'll do great things here and in whatever her next adventure turns out to be." It was so nice to get that email.]

  This is the Bustos family. Their daughter is in a wheelchair. They just raised like 6500 on to get her a wheelchair ramp for their new house. How awesome is that?!

The waters are some of our favorite people :)
Here is sweet Mia. She's 12 and was at church last week. I mentioned her at the end of my last post :) we are having a lesson with her and Sister Brinton, who just had a baby and is going out with us. (Our members are that cool)

Speaking of cool members, the son of one of our older members just came in to town and they asked us to teach him. If you know anything about Iron Man, this kid is Tony Stark. Play-boy Billionaire Philanthropist. After teaching him in his parents home, we set another appt and he took us out to the most expensive restaurant in town and explained that he was trying to settle down a little for his 6 year old daughter. He asked us lots of questions, and was so impressed with the standards we had kept as teens. He came to church this Sunday with her, and it was probably his first time in like 15 years. It went so well, and in the end, he said he and his daughter had a great time.

Being at the end of our transfer, we of course had to take our final district picture. That included a funeral for Sister Rawlings and Elder Colver because in mission lingo, they're "dying". (Going home)

It was also Elder Ashton's birthday. In church one Sunday he noticed Sister Jensen was wearing a skirt made out of ties. He thought it was the coolest thing in the world. Later that Sunday him and Elder Sheffield were talking about how cool it was. "I wonder if we could ask the sisters to do something like that, except make a tie out of skirts!"
"You can't ask a sister that!" Was Elder Sheffields reply "Watch me" said Elder Ashton, picking up the phone to call us.
That was awhile ago, and so he completely forgot about it until we gave him one that we made with Sister Jensen for his birthday!He was so happy. It was awesome.

It's been extra hot here lately. On an especially hot humid day we thought it would be a wise idea to walk to a less actives house. On the way, I saw some workers and said hi. "Hi sisters!" Said one young man, a tone of surprise in his voice.
We stopped to talk to him, and found out that he was actually in the Murfreesboro YSA and was a returning less active. He has some things he's working out so he can get fully active,and he said he had literally just come out from praying in his truck (remembering the advice of the YSA sisters he's worked with) when we walked by. We were totally an answer to his prayers! It felt awesome knowing that sisters down in Nashville and sisters up in Murfreesboro were all being used that day to help this one lost sheep return to the fold :).

Tracting this week was extra miserable. I don't think I've ever met so many mean people as I have in upper Brentwood area... One good thing that came from it though was a sweet/crazy old man who gave us his "famous" country music album.

It got a lot better that night when we went to our little community's wine and cheese party. I know I know, that sounds awful... But it was a meet your neighbors type of event and was a great opportunity for us to find. Plus, I won a door prize! Haha

My exchange this week was with a set of sisters who were having kind of a hard time getting a long. They asked us to come be apart of their step 13 (that just means a counsel session with each other about your goals and struggles and such).
It was so awesome. We had the sisters start by determining each other's strengths and the best way to optimize those. It was cool because Sister Rawlings and I had just done this last transfer. She and I work really differently but we worked to understand each other's strengths and help each other exercise  those. The root of the whole problem with this particular companionship that I could sense was just not feeling love from each other. I can't remember if I wrote much about it but there were several weeks where I just studied out the importance of being understood and feeling loved and how that promotes change and growth. Sister Rawlings and I had a time where we weren't feeling very loved, and therefore we were kind of unhappy. But we did a step 13 and realized that we do love each other, we just weren't showing it in a way that the other could feel. Her love language was quality time, mine is words of affirmation. So I would compliment her and tell her I loved her, and when she wouldn't reply I would feel like she didn't like me. She would try to talk and share stories with me, but I wasn't a very good listener because I was trying to focus on the task at hand. I'm good at ideas and planning, she's good at listening and implementing. I may have shared this before, but we took that and came up with just an awesome formula. I will think of an idea and plan for what to do, and she'll carry it out (schedule the appointment, write it in our "to-do" list, text the person, etc).
Then, she will compliment me on the inspiration, and I won't feel stressed because it got done since she executed it. This then helps me feel like we have time to talk about non-missionary related things, and I'll listen and put my attention on whatever my companion is saying.
It's not quite as dramatic as it sounds, but sharing this with the sisters changed their whole perspective on the situation. We talked a lot about love languages and helped them see that all along they just weren't understanding each other. They've been doing much better since. It was an awesome experience for all of us.

Oh my goodness, want to know about the best experience EVER?!
Watch this video. This is the reason I've gained 25 pounds on my mission. It's called... A "doughburger"

Alright alright, just a few more miracles- bare with me!

Have I ever told you about Nancy? Well, we had the greatest lesson with her and then a few days later she invited us and her fellowshipper over to lunch at her sisters house. Her sister told us she used to meet with missionaries, and she wants to meet with them again! So that's a referral for the smith springs sisters now! :) AND Nancy and her whole family came to church on Sunday!

The old hickory Ward has never seen that many on a Sunday. Nancy's family came and adored it, she said she felt the spirit the whole time and everyone was so nice and she wants to bring her sister and that family sometime. We also had Kristen come and stay for all 3 hours!
And the Yates came too! It was a super big deal for the Yates to come because they're so involved in their church. They sat with their fellowshipper but by the end of 1st hour they had probably 5 or 6 fellowshippers because this Ward is so awesome. Remember the infamous Brother Adcox? He totally recognized Brother Yates from somewhere and invited him to their daughters baptism, invitation and all... We hadn't even walked out of the chapel yet! And Sister Clark set up a play date with Sister Yates and her kids.  Oh man you guys... Things are hopping and happening! 

This morning we went and Sister Rawlings got adjusted by Kristen for the last time. We have a lesson with her and the Fitzgeralds tonight :). This is some of the office staff at Kristens work.

Okay okay... Well, if you haven't already guessed I'm staying here in Old Hickory. Looks like I'll have been in all my areas 6 months! But I'm grateful for it, the Lord lets me clean up, build up, and then see all the fruits :). Please pray for us to have a baptism in this area.
It's been such a long time since this area has seen any and I just have so much faith in these members and the people here.

Sure love you guys!
Sister Hochstrasser
Tennessee Nashville Mission
105 West Park Dr Ste 190
Brentwood, TN 37027

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