Contact information

18 months is a long time for any missionary to be away from friends and family. Sierra - and any other missionary in YOUR life - would love to hear from you from time to time. Letters, packages, or whatever else intended for Sierra may be sent to the Florida Jacksonville Mission office which will get the parcels safely into her hands

Sister Sierra Heller

Florida Jacksonville Mission

8663 Baypine Rd # 102

Jacksonville, FL 32256

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Still catching up on some VERY overdue pictures and such. May recap...

Sierra was greeted in her first week or two with a small tornado that touched down near Waycross.  She was some distance away and in no danger. The tornado itself did very little damage, but it was a vivid reminder that the FJM is subject to weather that we don't get in Utah.  We suggested that a little food and water storage might be prudent in the mission field.

Q: Water Storage?
A: We do have some in the house.

Q: So what happened this week
A: Sister Hansen and Grissom found a dead lizard that was stuck in an investigator's door for YEARS.

The following is from Sierra.  I've changed all member and investigator names to initials only.  It does make it harder to follow Sierra's narrative, but I want to leave their lives private. (Sierra's Dad)
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Dinner with the W's! The cutest old couple took us to Ryan's (which is like of like Chuck-a-Rama). It as like being with a grandma and grandpa. They signed on our dinner calendar saying we could have dinner with them whenever and we took them up in it!

We had a FULL (practically The District version) lesson of the restoration with some former investigators, N and M. They both became new investigators! We got to teach about the reformation, about dispensations, prophets today, and several verses of the Book of Mormon. It was such a good feeling having used time so well and enjoy it all!

We then had a return appointment with R where we taught the whole restoration again with different parts standing out. Such a productive after p-day!
Ms S with Sister B. She still does not understand the restoration. Has many of the same questions as last time. Such as: why is this truly Christ's church when all other churches say that? What distinguishes your church from others? Why are there so many churches?  Had not read the restoration pamphlet, so we recommitted her to read it. (Because she has SO many questions that could be answered if she would just understand the restoration!) Sister B loved sharing her testimony but took it in many directions, she committed her to Corinthians. She had many questions about heaven with so many different churches. Wow,
understanding makes such a difference.
Here's cute Sister B after Sister Heller's first lesson with her!
Did some unique service by coloring Sister F pictures that she said she would put on her wall as decoration.
Just on Monday we found out that in addition to zone p-day, zone meeting, and our trade off in Florida, we also have a zone conference in Dunn Ave and so we are VERY tight with miles. About 5 miles a day for proselyting/p-day/non-meeting purposes. Members can't drive us to missionary meetings but they sure are doing everything else! But we also are doing our part and so we're biking quite a bit!
So.. we biked to A's who lives right by us and we saw a man picking up pinecones! And he said we could help! (You'd be surprised how hard it is to find people who will let you serve them) We got practically a full yard's worth of pinecones quickly and then got to introduce the Book of Mormon and then teach the full restoration. He was very appreciative and was saying the whole time how excited he was. He's open especially to the Book of Mormon and will want to read it next time. Wants to get to church especially with his son. He has a great "I will" attitude and seems very dedicated.
We then got to A's and had a quick lesson with her where we read from the Book of Mormon. Was excited to read from it and sees how it goes right along with the Bible! (She does keep calling it the Book of Norman though ha-ha) She has noticed that the more things she tries to do better and the more spiritual she is trying to be, the more Satan tries to pull her down. She I s going through some hard times but is still relying on God and trusting in him.
We then biked to try and see J but got to talk to D there and had a great contact. D said "It's good you caught me on a day I wanted to talk. I enjoyed this" she doesn't usually join in so it was a good experience
Dinner with M's and Brother N at Pizza Hut!
Brother N had read Mosiah 12-15 we had asked him to read last time. He loved getting into the story and kept trying to ask us what happened to Abinadi and the people! He was so excited and stick on the cliff hanger! He committed to read more from the Book of Mormon every day - he has been reading but now we wants to read even more so he can get to know the stories and understand more doctrine. The M's are such great fellowship for him! They have Brother N for dinner every time they have either the elders or the sisters for dinner (twice a month!) it's great to see bonds that last.
C family at the H's!!!
H' s were great fellowship in how they already had connections and Brother H jumped right in and was comfortable with however the C family took the lesson. They had not fasted since Jimmy had gotten sick on Sunday. The C family had read all together (J and J listening) 1 Nephi 17 and J was able to clearly talk about the events that happened. They enjoyed reading the scriptures all together. We taught them how to pay tithes and offerings and they committed to pay tithing when they were baptized. They loved how it is a lay ministry and how the tithes are private. They keep saying how otherwise the 10% is usual. We taught about confirmation using John 3:15 and invited them to be confirmed June 5th. J and J said yes but then J hesitantly said how they don't want to rush into things. She is having a hard time adjusting (such as with how they don't preach sermons from the bible on Sunday) but is going to keep trying to get an answer.
Tuesday night we laid on the floor at home processing so much because we just care about the C family beyond words!
After getting food at the "Mexican Trailer", We got to rake leaves, wheelbarrow, and do other yard work for Sister Stewart! We did 6 wheelbarrows full! It was quite a tiring but also accomplishing day. After Laura Beth asked us to come and help her clean out her room and her old mission memorabilia! (I can already tell i'm going to have a lot of stuff from my mission too...)
Laura Beth then drove us to area 1 and we got to have Dinner with Brother and Sister Miles! We had been seeing them regularly but they then had trips so we hadn't seen them in a while. But happily they had called us the day before asking if we could have dinner with them! Yay!!! They always cook healthily and make the dinners big deal. And we get to teach a full lesson after. They time in line with Sister Heller's weekly application of commandments! We taught the Word of a Wisdom which they themselves had brought up several lessons earlier. It was exciting seeing Sister Heller teach with such boldness but definitely such LOVINGness. It was a perfect balance especially since after they still have some concerns. It's hard seeing worldly desires and justifications overtake what we spiritually know is true.
So after that we were stranded for about an hour and a half so we street contacted in Spurgeoj which always has some excitement. A great time for golden hour complete with two other lessons, a new investigator, and a bathroom.
After we sat on a curb and waited for then Laura Beth to come and pick us up (her brother had a seminary graduation so she couldn't have just

We then drove back from Kingsland and just a mile or two away from our house we were blocked by a stopped train! Noo! But have no fear we could just spend our hour of training in the car waiting! But then... It still hadn't moved! So... We took matters into our own hands and walked through it! We left our problems behind and just walked through. Sister D was then planning to pick us up from the other side but someone we had seen before gave us a ride to the D's.

So here's a picture of where we parked our car and left our troubles behind! And then came back and got it after dinner.

Here's a day in the life of a low miles missionary:
Crocheting with Sister D and a lesson with T!
Dinner with the K's at a Mexican buffet and then they dropped us back off at our car
We then got to talk to a former, Mr R, who is still not interested but said we can come back and help with his garden!
We hen had such a powerful lesson with Angel with Sister Fussell!
She is really loving reading the BOM. We read some from Mosiah 2 as she hadn't been able to read. We promised her specific blessings as she read s from it everyday. She is excited to be baptized on May 28 and has an I will attitude about attending church. Will be trying to bring another family member to church with her. Was able to notice how the BOM applied to her life as we were reading.
Noticed a fly. Yes, this is important.

Massacre #1
Killed 48 or so flies. They're drawn to both our front and back windows. We first saw seven and killed them all but throughout weekly planning we got to keep taking breaks to kill flies!

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(Sorry - blog guy is having trouble rotating some pics)

Zone meeting!  Mission focuses: Four pillars of missionary work:
 obedience, work ethic, gospel knowledge, attitude
 (Sorry - blog guy is having trouble rotating some pics)

... Back from vacation

In early April, Sierra's emails were directed toward our family rather than to everybody as usual. After her whirlwind three weeks in the MTC and all the adjustments of flying to Florida and then heading to Waycross, Georgia, everything started to catch up to her and she really began to feel down and homesick.  We were able to exchange a few words of encouragement, she received a real nice blessing (parts of which she shared with her family), and she spent some time talking to the Mission President's wife, Sister Craig.  When we heard from her again, she sounded a bit more upbeat and was more emotionally involved in the mission field.

Waiting for adventure and sunshine

A ward member was able to put together her bike after having it shipped from Utah. So far the bike has sat unused and clean in their apartment, but that's due to change. Sierra's mission is considered to be a "car mission", but they're still limited to 1000 miles per month.  If a 1000 miles doesn't cover their needs, they're supposed to bike the difference.  That will take some trip planning on their part, and some awareness of upcoming weather.    

Ready to go forth.

Sierra continues to meet, teach and serve non-members, investigators and members in

the Waycross area

The Blog-Keeper has been asleep for a while..... April 2016 recap

APRIL 2016

Sierra was still settling into being a new missionary in her first assigned area, Waycross, Georgia.  By early April she'd been in Waycross just a short time and was still adjusting to the newness of it all and trying to get her feel for Waycross.

From Sierra:

It was so nice to hear from all of you in the emails today and it was so fun to be able to email all of you last week and now today! 

I had my first little homesickness moment this morning when I was able to read a letter from G'ma that arrived a couple of days ago (I actually can't open anything until Mondays until I've been here either 3 or 6 weeks). But I think I can handle it! 

Conference truly was amazing! We watched a few sessions at the church which had an entirely different feel than watching in member's homes though that was good too. The home where she sent you the picture was at the Bennett's (one of the many). L B was the one who sent the picture to you. She actually served her mission in Utah from Bountiful to Tooele. They also gave us dinner which was belgian waffles! 

We had our first tornado watch(and it sounds like you already knew about it!) We had so many people calling/texting us about it so we were able to go to a member's home where we were going to be having dinner with anyway and provided service. Then later that night President Craig actually called and just told us that things would probably be good but gave us some good suggestions as to where to be in the house if things did get rough. Sister Hansen was super excited, she wanted more than a watch--she wanted a warning! She also wants to experience a hurricane so keep in mind she may be praying for that to occur. 

I saw my first dead run over snake! Eeek!!! And apparently with so much rain filling some of the "gutters" here, there are lots of snakes that camp out near or in them and we've already been warned away from some of the collections of water.  

I also got a crochet hook today and we are going to be doing service with Sister D (she's a less active member). She is older and enjoys talking and her son Brother D has some kind of disability so we'll be doing some yard work, talking to her, and learning to crochet! Sister Hansen is already beginning to crochet but wants to improve her skill set! It'll be so much fun hopefully! 

I also got to see K B in the (Mormon Tabernacle) choir which means you probably did too!!! How neat!!!! I didn't get a picture soon enough though! 



another cool wall we wanted to take a picture at

another cool wall we wanted to take a picture at

Last pday we just kind of went places and took
 pictures at cool places. This street has over
 13 attorney offices all down it. We thought it
was so funny so we took a picture at one of them.

waffles at the Bennett's 
Love to hear from y'all!!

My companion (Sister Hansen) and I with one of the many trains of Waycross

My model pic (on accident, because I didn't know she was taking the pic)
from last Monday from the coolest wall in Georgia

One of the men we just met just had all these chairs he
makes just for fun outside on his lawn, he had even more outside of the picture!!

Welcome to Waycross