Saturday, February 27, 2016


So this mission thing is hard.  I know, I know, you already know, I keep whining to you.  But there's been some cool things happening too.  
I wish you were my companion out here with me for my whole mission!  Because you know how to handle all the situations.  Sheesh, why can’t I know exactly how to handle any situation like you do.  Keep giving me all the knowledge you can and tips and suggestions PLEASE!
First of all, what do YOU think is the most effective approach to when tracting/finding?  Like when you see someone out in their yard or knock on a random person’s door; what do you think is the best thing to say?  I find this so awkward.  Especially with the people that want nothing to do with you. 
Also, there’s this older couple named the Harris’s.  They are so cute.  We went over there for dinner last night.  They both have stake callings, but are in our ward.  They were super sweet, joked with us, and told us some very inspiring stories.  Oh and also, she made chicken enchiladas (with white sauce) and Mexican rice!  It was so good!  Tasted like I was at home with Mom!  I told Sister Harris that!  Anyways.  Brother Harris told us about a story he had at work years and year ago.  He worked with a guy, that was big and buff and all tattooed up.  One day he got a prompting to tell him the story of the Restoration.  He, of course, was like, no way I’m doing that.  So throughout the time he was prompted 2 more times, so he knew he had to, he was very scared.  So one day he struck up a conversation with him and told him the Restoration.  He asked him after what he thought about it, and he said something like, that’s amazing.  And he asked him if he’d like to know more and he said absolutely.  So he talked with him a lot and introduced him to the missionaries, and three weeks later he was baptized.  Two weeks after that his wife and his 2 old enough kids were baptized.  And then, his parents and his siblings, and his daughter with another mother’s aunts were baptized.
That day I was having a bit of a hard time, as usual, because nobody ever wants to hear from us, even less actives.  So I’m like, if nobody will ever even want to hear, why am I here leaving my family behind for nothing?  He reminded me that there are those 1 in 100 people that God needs me to find.  I won’t find them all at once.  Do what the Lord has asked, and you will be blessed.
So one thing that happened today, we were going to follow up with a referral they had gotten from headquarters that they had given a Book of Mormon and asked to read and pray who said they would.  We were coming to follow up and teach more.  We’d tried them twice already this week and they haven’t been homes.  So we get out at their house, and their neighbor next door was out in his driveway filling a bucket getting ready to wash his car, and what looked like his older mother was just sitting in a lawn chair next to him.  So we figured we’d stop and talk to them first.  We approach them (a clean, nice looking black man) and we say who we are and what church we’re from and ask their religious background and he says like…I don’t know what he said, something temple Christian.  So we talked a little bit and my companion told him about how we have Christ’s church back and it’s been restored and we have a prophet of God, simple stuff.  And then she bears short simple testimony about how it’s blessed her life and she asks if that’s something he’d be interested to learn more about (and people usually say no I’m good with my church and I have a good relationship with God, and all that stuff, so that’s what we were expecting, you know?).  And he simply says, “Yes.”  So she got out the Restoration pamphlet and asks if there’s another time we could come by, and he says yeah you can come by later.  So she asks if he could read it, explained it a little bit, and asks if he would read it, he says yes!  And she asks if he could pray to know if it’s true—he says yes, I always pray, yes I will!  We were like uhhh is this a joke, this never happens…so I guess we’ll go back and see what happens.  That really showed me that I gotta put my pride aside and sees and understand that God is in charge here.  He knows what he’s doing.  If I’m being a good girl, he will help me.
So, another cool thing today.  An older British guy named Chris had talked with the missionaries before, and we went to go follow up.  He actually answered but asked us to come back Tuesday.  He was really happy to see us, and really wanted to talk but he was busy.  He said he’d come to church tomorrow (which our church is at 1:00 pm) and said he’d been talking with his Mormon friend from work and really wanted to try our religion!  So cool!
Then we knocked SO MANY doors today.  All the people we planned for weren’t home (or didn’t answer) (they all have peepholes) and the people we tracted weren’t home or told us no.
Then we met with a less active member Sister Whitter.  We were there forever.  They found out her husband has bone cancer and I guess he’d been having dreams with (who he believes in—the “Indian Chief”—basically his God) the chief telling him it’s time to come home, and they’re waiting for results and they are having such a hard time.  I didn’t know what to say.  It’s so sad.  D&C 121:7-8 came to my mind as she spoke, so I shared that with her and Sister Thomason shared the story of Peter and Jesus walking on water.  I hope it helped her.  Because they’re having a hard time.
We went by a family in the ward’s house who are bordering less active.  They’ve had a bad past few months, their son (12 years old) was diagnosed with diabetes, their 18 year old daughter moved out got pregnant and ran off somewhere and then (their name is the Keserichs) Sister Keserich’s father and stepfather died. They are doing really good now.  Their 14 year old daughter reminds me a little of Haley.  She’s so sweet.  We shared a message with them as well as they told us an experience they’ve had.  There’s this boy, Cameron, from Emily’s school (which Sister Keserich also works at) who is in foster care with a drug abusing caretaker and has no adults who care for him.  Emily became his friend and Sister Keserich and Emily have helped him at school, they brought him to their house, he thought it was a mansion (it’s a regular ole house) and a lot of cool stuff. So they said they’re going to help him become a good person, help him understand morals, and maybe someday have us teach him. 
Now it’s Sunday morning, church at 1, this will be interesting.  I really hope you guys are doing good.  I pray for each of you a million times a day.  You guys are amazing.  I’m so blessed.  I love you so much!

Love, Courtney

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


Dear Family,
So, I don't get P-day till Wednesday, so this next Monday I won't be on.  This is because we get to go to the Redlands Temple on Wednesday!  Since we have a temple so close each zone gets to go once a quarter.  And since we won’t do much that day they made that our P-day for this next week.
So I am in Victorville, California!  I am in the Mesa Linda Ward.  There’s 3 wards that meet at our church building.  We only cover the one ward.  Since one of the other wards is a Spanish ward, most of our members (I’ve been told) are Caucasian. 
My trainer is so good.  I’m so happy and relieved to have a trainer like her!  Her name is Sister Thomason.  She from Riverton, Utah.  She’s so so sweet!  She is a little quiet, but she’s helpful, obedient, kind, funny and encouraging.  So we are in the desert.  It’s so much different from the valley.  The valley was so gorgeous.  Our apartment is actually very nice.  My companion keeps it clean, that’s very good!  I bought some fruity dyno bytes and milk and envelopes and laundry soap and toilet paper.
Do not send packages especially at this home address, things get stolen, so send them to the mission home and our zone leaders will get it to me the next week.
We live in a big complex that has a little laundry mat, so that’s good, we can do it whenever.
A little more about my companion—no, she’s not weird!  Yay!  Haha sorry, kinda mean.  She’s very comparable to Stephanie!  Sweet as can be pretty, obedient, happy, optimistic and fun.  She even sounds like Steph!  I’m so blessed to have a companion a little bit more like me.  I’m excited.
Last night we had dinner with the Wilsons, a young couple from our ward, they’re having a baby in the next 2 or 3 weeks!  They are super cool and super member missionaries.  Dinner was great and we talked for a little bit, and I unpacked some of my stuff.  Not a whole lot yet, I’ll get more time later today.
I love you guys so much!  I won’t get to talk to Joshua before he leaves so tell him I say “good luck, you’ll be awesome, stay strong, I’m praying for you1” and tell Steven to write me.  Seriously did he totally forget about me?!  Sheesh boy.
Hunty, I love you!  Martina, I love you!  Haley, I love you! Dad, I love you! Mom, I love you!  I miss you guys so much!

Love, Court

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

I made it to California people! I won't get to send too much of a big e-mail because yesterday was P-day and our flight got delayed way late and we got in super late.                                                                    
But we arrived in California at 77 degrees!! Yes so warm!! I'm loving it! Currently in Rancho Cucamonga!
They wanted us to send a letter to let everyone know we got here safely and send a picture once we got here. Sister Hernandez and I spent the night at the mission presidents beautiful home last night, it was great! California is so beautiful!!! Oh my goodness, I love it already. Palm trees, mountains, fancy houses, fancy cars, better restaurants, etc. etc.
We will meet our trainers in a few hours and told what city we will serve in, so I won't get to let you know until next week where I am, so wish me luck! I'm so excited to be here! But I did get to call my family before my flight yesterday for a few hours so I was so happy for that I love you all so much!
I'll try to send lots of pictures next week, it's so beautiful here!!!!
I miss you all so much especially Mom, Dad, Haley, Martina, Hunter, Braden, and Steph! Love my family, love my friends! Keep me in your prayers, you're always in mine. Here's the 16 new missionaries coming to Rancho Cucamonga mission.
Love, Sister Day

Saturday, February 20, 2016

February 20th, 2016

Dear Family,
So family, I miss you all so much!  I know you guys miss me, I feel your love.  Thank you SO MUCH!  By the time you get this letter we will have already talked on the phone, so if I repeat anything I've already told you, I apologize.
I don't think you understand JUST HOW grateful I am for all the Dear Elders you sent.  And letters.  And the package.  Oh my goodness. I literally have the best family ever.  People in my district were so jealous.  I felt a little bad, but I felt so loved it was okay :).
So you know I got about 46 Dear Elder Letters since I got here!  :)  Don't feel bad, I read them all, every one, and LOVED them SO MUCH!  It made me so happy you guys care so much about me and miss me so much!  Don't stop all the love once I leave to California, though it won't be as easy.  Please!  You guys are the only thing that keeps me goin!
So it's currently Saturday as I write this, I leave in two days.  Finally out of the MTC.  I've loved yet hated it here.  I've learned so much, but I'm ready to actually get in the field.  
So the MTC has been crazy.  We've had one real investigator (we're pretty sure) one who was acting as an investigator but someone found out she's just a member acting.  And then our teacher acting as an investigator he had on his mission.  It's been interesting.  And cool.  But our investigator who is real, she committed to be baptized!  It's been so amazing our lessons with her.  She's so much like Steven!  She's the greatest and Sister Hernandez and I have grown much in teaching her.
Campus is pretty big.  Our residence bedroom is in building 17, 3rd floor, and our classroom is in building 18, 5th we walk stairs SO MUCH.  Up and down and up and down.  I'll have buns of steel when I get home. Hahahahaha.

So when I got here, I didn't really unpack any clothes.  Just jewelry, shoes, toiletries, etc.  Because there's not much room in our room with 6 girls.  I've been living out of my suitcase.  It's easiest.  Also, I'm on the bottom bunk of Sister Hernandez and I, which I'm SO happy about.  There's no room, so I have to have one of my big luggage actually on the foot of my bed, I have to prop up my legs on it at night to stretch out one luggage right next to the bed on the floor and my little luggage in the closet I get.  They have a set of three drawers in the closet.  I keep jewelry in the top, all my bathroom stuff in the middle drawer, and hats, gloves, scarves, towels in the bottom drawer (I know you totally love hearing all these specifics :).
So I have 2 name tags right now.  A magnetic one, and a pin one, which I bought a clip attachment for the pin to make it easier.  We have to take scriptures, notepad, preach my gospel, daily planner, all that stuff everywhere we go.  My bag is chuck full.  I'm getting a strong shoulder!  Haha.  It's not that bad though.  And I won't have to carry as much in it when I'm actually in the field.
Showers aren't too bad but it's such a hassle.  It’s a lot like Girl's Camp.  We are in our classrooms a majority of the day, then back and forth from meals.  I got to do laundry twice, super easy.  
Oh, so Thursday all day we had, for all of the departing missionaries, something called in-field orientation.  Lasted all day--wasn't too bad.  It was training and workshops.  They taught us how to find people, how to work with members, and other stuff like that.  It was helpful.
Oh, let me tell you about my district!  So, Elder Huff-district leader--he's the cutest little guy, but not little.  He's from Pennsylvania, blond, tall, super hilarious but also keeps us in order, I love his personality!  Elder Hearn from Tennessee is the FUNNIEST Elder of all time he's always making jokes and is so good at telling stories he's tall- super as well.  Oh and he's engaged.  Elder Rosengren--our zone leader form Washington is super cool, he's pretty funny too, likes to have fun.  Elder Steere from Washington--also our zone leader, is super quiet but super funny as well especially because he doesn't talk much, but when he does, it's hilarious.  Sister Hernandez has a super strong personality, likes to be funny, super awkward on purpose.  And Sister Tew from New York is just simply super quiet and shy but super spiritually powerful, always know what to say.  Sister Heseldon from Washington has a strong personality as well.  She's super tall, super funny and she's like 21.  Sister Moore is more quiet but super silly and so spiritual.  Sister Johnson has a strong personality as well she's so cute, super funny, a big leader (from Utah).  I love her so much.

Anyways, I love you guys so much!  Let me know what's going on!  Can't wait to talk to you and then see you on Mother's Day!  Yay!
Sundays here at the MTC are the easiest.  There are a few big buildings that have "chapel rooms' in them, that's where we have sacrament meeting.  Our branch is just our zone and our branch presidency and Relief Society presidency are older couples called as our leaders.
Then on Sundays we always go on a temple walk, have a fireside and watch devotionals by Elder Bednar and Holland only given at the MTC, they are amazing!

Days here at the MTC go by so slow, but the weeks go by so fast.  I feel like I’ve known my district forever and we can never keep the days straight, but his week has been so fast, I can't believe I leave Monday for California.  Our flight is only an hour and a half.

Haselden, Tew and Hearn are going to Nevada Las Vegas West.  Rosengren, Steere and Huff are going to Arizona Phoenix.  And then myself, Hernandez, Johnson and Moore are going to Rancho Cucamonga.
I love hearing from you guys!
Love you,


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

First Week (MTC)

February 16, 2016:
First Week!
Hello everyone!! So I've been here at the Missionary Training Center (MTC) for 7 days now!!! Its finally my preparation day (P-Day) so I can finally e-mail!
Wow has it been a very crazy week.. It's been one of the hardest of my life, but also one of the most spiritual of my life. I'll try to remember everything that happened this week but there's been lots... I feel like I've been here forever.. So bear with me
Wednesday: So Wednesday morning my family and I got up at 2:30 in the morning there in Missouri and I got all ready to head off to the MTC. It was a hard morning. Leaving my family at the airport that morning literally broke my heart, and to be honest I wasn't really able to handle it. It still hurts so so bad. But then mom flew with me to Utah and we stopped by and said goodbye to a few family members on the way and then I said goodbye to Mom at the MTC. It was so so so hard, Mom I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! But I had a Host Sister Missionary helping me with my bags as I walked away from my Mom... I was in tears. But the Sister started talking to me and telling me what a great experience the MTC was. I just wanted to go hop back in the car with Mom. I hurt so bad. But as I started walking in and they gave me tons of materials and I put my bags in my room and met my companion I suddenly starting feeling an overwhelming peace. Nothing like I've ever felt before. My companion Sister Hernandez is the most amazing!! I really do love her so much! I am so lucky, she's actually FROM MISSOURI TOO! She's from St. Joe!!! Can you believe that, and we're going to the same mission! She's 20, so amazing, super sweet, very caring and loves me too! We had a very spiritual and amazing welcome to the MTC and I felt very comforted, I was still hurting and missing my family, but let me tell you, the spirit here at the MTC is real, that spirit is the only thing that kept me here. We then met our District which is a group of 10 missionaries and got our assigned classroom. I love my district SO MUCH!!! There's 4 Elders and 6 Sisters. Our District leader Elder Huff and Elder Hearn-- they are HILARIOUS and our upcoming zone leaders Elder Rosengren and Elder Steere. Sister Hernandez and I are the Sister Training Leaders! (equivalent to the district leaders) and then we have Sister Johnson and Sister Moore -- funnest!! And Sister Haselden and Sister Tew. I love them all so much! 4 of us are going to Rancho Cucamonga, 3 to Las Vegas West, and 3 to Phoenix. We have had such a great time together. We also met our zone, our zone leaders and the leading district are so amazing!!! I'm so grateful for them. Then we got settled in our Residence and had a very VERY hard night of sleep for me... and there are 6 of us sisters to a room!!! SO CROWDED.

Thursday: We met our teachers for class times, and they are so great, Brother Rogers, Brother Smith, and Sister Neilson, they trade off days. We had lots of study time this day, which we study a lot! Always in our classroom, so we are always with our district. People always say how close you and your district get in the MTC which I thought was impossible, we aren't even here for two weeks... but we are together ALL the TIME, and we have all gotten SO CLOSE it's like we've known each other for years, it's so great!!! Then we met our branch presidency (which our branch is just our zone) and they are super super cool, that's when Sister Hernandez and I got the calling of Sister Training Leaders.
Friday: This day we had a lot of study time as well, lots of bonding with our district, but this was also one of the hardest days for all of us. We were all getting stressed and I've been by far the most homesick.

Was not the best day. But that was the first time we got to go to the gym!! I played volleyball which was super fun, and our zone all played knockout together and they have a track, my companion and I ran on that for a while... and we also taught our first lesson to an "investigator" (who was our teacher Brother Rogers acting as an investigator) Daniel. It didn't go very well.. he tripped us up a lot and we were nervous and we didn't say everything right.. ugh.. wasn't very good.
Saturday: We had to get up super earlier than usual because us Sisters were assigned a service project, we just cleaned bathrooms and such, yucky. Then we had lots of study time and actually were assigned 2 real investigators that we will be teaching this next week. Catherine and Jessy. We got exercise time again and Sis. H and I did a super good running work out and our legs were jello after that but we felt good. We had to do some MTC training that day and then more studying and class time. This day our district had an AMAZING spiritual day, we all felt it and couldn't believe it, we had had so many spiritual talks, and we had our second lesson with Daniel and it went much better than the first, and everyone elses lessons had gone so well too. We had a district Book of Mormon study as well and all had such amazing revelation, it was an amazing day. Because that was the best day thus far we all decided to do a fast as a district for Sunday morning to keep up this spirit and help each other have comfort and strength. It really brought us together.

Sunday: Sunday was busy, we had sacrament which was good. Every missionary is supposed to prepare a talk because they will just call on you and give you no time, so I prepared one but I did not get called up, good! We had a New Sister Orientation, then Sunday School and Relief Society. Our district then all wanted to be in the MTC choir and it was so amazing our first practice, our director is SO GOOD and he made it so spiritual, it was beautiful! We then went on a temple walk with our zone. We walked across the street to the Provo temple, and took so many pictures! I don't know if I can send them, but I'll try. It was such a fun experience and it was so sweet, and COLD. Then we had an amazing devotional that night by a guy who visits and trains lots of missions, and he called up some missionaries who were converts, it was so great, I don't remember his name.. sorry.
Monday: We didn't get to really teach Daniel today but he said he'd like to get baptized if he can know things are true and he told us he read the Introduction to the Book of Mormon and had prayed about it and felt really good, so our next lesson should go great! We exercised again and our whole zone had an amazing few games of knockout... for the record I was totally always in the last 3, even though I suck. So much fun. We had lots of class time and study time and then we went to go teach our first real lesson with an investigator, Catherine. It went really well, we got to know her and she was really interested and we did our lesson pretty well, but we couldn't find a Book of Mormon to give her and she kinda seemed... skeptical... but it definitely went well.
Tuesday: We were all so excited it's P-Day!!! I'm so happy!!! We ate, got some mail, took a nap, and came to wash clothes and e-mail!!! We have Ronald Rasband coming to speak to us tonight, and we get to go to a session with our district in the Provo Temple! Can't wait!!!
Thank you all so much for all the dear elders, they make my day, and make me cry so much. Thanks grandma and grandpa for the Valentines box!!! I loved it and hung the monkey from my bed, my district sisters enjoy all the candy with me wink emoticon Haley and Dad I got your package as well!!!!! Wow thank you so so much you did great without mom there! You spoil me! I can never say I'm not loved. I cried and cried. I miss you all so so much.

Fun facts:
At the MTC right now there are 51% Sisters and 49% Elders!!
It's SO COLD and most days it's so overcast and there's so much inversion you can barely ever see the mountains
We leave for California on Monday the 22nd and can call my family right before the flight!
The food isn't too great... It's not terrible, just not the best quality.. I usually eat too much, but I work out a lot too wink emoticon
The bathrooms are always so full, especially the showers. They have one main bathroom for each floor, which has like probably ten showers and twelve stalls, but there's SO MANY SISTERS
Our zone leaders left yesterday, so sad. The Sisters were going to Bakersfield California and the Elders to Tampa Florida!
I can't remember much else to tell you... So ask lots of questions!
I'm doing alright but definitely missing my family and friends so much.
Love you all, Sister Day
wink emoticon