Monday, January 28, 2013

My Talk

            I have been inspired to entitle my talk “Faith to find through good works and the spirit: the art of staying focused and in-tune.” 

            Faith to find is a whole subsection of Preach My Gospel.  It reminds us we are all children of God and can be blessed by the restored gospel.  Just a few of these blessings are greater peace, direction, purpose in life and eternal families.  All can benefit from this message.  If we have faith in the Holy Ghost, he will guide us to those who need help and/or are ready for the gospel.  He will give us what to say, and when he is there, the person you are conversing with will not be offended. That is a promise given by Elder Ballard.  How can we as members help those we come across prepare to receive all the Father hath?  There is a way that was revealed in this last October General Conference.  Did you hear it?  It was very simple, not very scary, and has numerous blessings attached. 

            Just a few of the blessings that were explicitly attached to keeping this commitment include: the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost which will guide us to those who are prepared for the gospel, more joy and peace, we will become truly converted and true disciples of Christ, be an answer to someone else’s prayer, bring love and compassion to our own family and others searching, become more meek, gentle and longsuffering, have charity, virtuous thoughts, no longer have any desire to do evil and most importantly, do and become like Christ.  Besides all these personal and family blessings, there are also large-scale blessings promised which are as the church does this one simple thing daily; the world will be sweetened with faith hope and charity, and we will transform the barren desert wasteland.  Now our ward is not a “barren desert wasteland” but it is suffering a drought in investigators and we need your help. 

            My brothers and sisters, that simple instruction mentioned and expounded upon in 9 talks this conference alone is to pray each morning for an opportunity to give service, then go about the day looking for and acting on promptings.  Like Naaman, we may think it too simple, but let us have faith that the Lord really did inspire 9 different people to issue the same call including his prophet Thomas S. Monson.  He stated at the close of conference “May we pray for the inspiration to know the needs of those around us, and then may we go forward and provide assistance.”  This day to day service does not have to be gathering hurricane relief, or working in an orphanage in Zimbabwe, but small acts of kindness.  Elder Ballard made an inspired forecast that “Over time this would have a transformative effect upon all of our Heavenly Father’s children through the extension of His love to them through us.”  Notice he did not say members only, but all of Heavenly Fathers children.  People’s hearts are softened through service and seeds are planted.  These smiles, phone calls, sitting next to at lunches and shoveling of driveways have tremendous power.  They lead the way for other meaningful service including the sharing of gospel truths and our testimonies down the road.  Everyone is at a different stage in their life and may feel differently about our church, but together with this simple practice we can obtain all these promised blessings together with our neighbors and friends.  If you are too busy for this simple task given by the Lord, you are working for Satan, for he teaches a man not to pray.  Some of us may need adjusting like I did when this commitment was made, but with faith and an increased desire all can achieve this challenge. 

            Alright, now that we have accepted this challenge, how can we stay focused and remember?  The Lord says that he has engraven us upon His palms and will never fail us nor forsake us.  Have we done the same with Him?  Have we truly been converted and had the gospel planted deep in our souls?  We have covenanted at baptism to always remember Him and keep His commandments.  Are we keeping the first two great commandments?  Do we love the Lord with all our heart and soul, and do we love our neighbors?  In a talk by Elder Dallin H. Oaks called Desire he discusses this difficult task: “Readjusting our desires to give highest priority to the things of eternity is not easy. We are all tempted to desire that worldly quartet of property, prominence, pride, and power. We might desire these, but we should not fix them as our highest priorities.”  He then goes on to give a gruesome tale of a man trapped by a boulder while hiking.  While waiting to die he saw a vision of him and his future son.  This vision gave him the desire and courage to cut off his right arm and save himself and his future.  He goes on to explain that “Most of us will never face such an extreme crisis, but all of us face potential traps that will prevent progress toward our eternal destiny. If our righteous desires are sufficiently intense, they will motivate us to cut and carve ourselves free from addictions and other sinful pressures and priorities that prevent our eternal progress.”  This vision of the future we desire can be a powerful motivational tool to help us reevaluate our everyday decisions and remember our commitments to our Lord and Savior.  Joseph Smith also stated a similar thought process: “what we insistently desire, over time, is what we will eventually become and what we will receive in eternity.”  Let us daily check our priorities to see if they include family, scripture study and prayer.  Another way to daily remind ourselves could be to record what act of service you rendered that day in a journal, or make a jar of “warm fuzzys.”  Every time you serve, you add a pom-pom to a jar and over the next few months you can remember the “warm, fuzzy feeling” you got every time you acted like the Savior.  Whatever you decide, keep up with it. 

Elder Oaks closes with this statement: “Let us remember that desires dictate our priorities, priorities shape our choices, and choices determine our actions. In addition, it is our actions and our desires that cause us to become something, whether a true friend, a gifted teacher, or one who has qualified for eternal life.”  Let me add that we may become true disciples of Christ, and the best neighbors anyone could ask for, always abounding in good works.  The task is simple: just add asking for an opportunity to serve in your morning prayer. 

Let us all be a little more Christian, let us observe and then serve, let us be anxiously engaged in the work of our Lord like a hive of diligent honey bees and let us follow the prophet for he knows the way.  Let us pray for opportunities to serve each morning then go about doing good.  Let us all pull together and serve our fellow brethren that these blessings may be realized.  Our ward will be strengthened and transformed in Christ through His love and together we can find those prepared. 

Jan 28

I finally have a computer that works with my camera and the cord on the same day!  Miracle.  This weekend was the first time it has been above 15 degrees in 3 weeks.  It was above freezing!  Now it is snowing again after 2 days of relief.  I need the vitamin D stuff.  The inversion is killing me.  (I'll take the astaxanthin too.)  Finally had sun yesterday and I sat in the car and let it hit me for a few minutes.  So wonderful! 
I have now spoken in 2 wards the past 2 weeks and helped at a YMYW combined Wed night.  We taught door approaches.  They needed a lot of help.  I will forward my latest version of my talk.  It keeps mutating and then I add lib some or praphrase, but the jist is there.  The work with the wards is progressing but not many investigators.  Instead people are trying to remove their records.  Interesting times, but our ward mission leaders are awesome.  We have a ton of general authorities coming to talk to us on Saturday.  Our side of the mission gets Elder M. Russell Ballard and Elder D. Todd Christofferson, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, President Donald L. Hallstrom of the Presidency of the Seventy, Elder Craig A. Cardon of the Seventy and Bishop Gerald Causee, First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric.  Pretty cool eh?  Only missionaries get to go the meeting so it will be pretty awesome.  The other side get's Elder Holland.  :(  Oh well, it's still good. 
Sister Nettles
The day Sister Anderson went home

Driving on transfer day
Sister Cline - Companion #3

The kid with the crush on me.  He is one and totally likes me.  At church he will run up to me and just stand and stare.  Pretty funny.  At his house he will pat my chair so his mom will move it closer to him.  He always give me his toys during the prayer and has the best maniacal laugh I have ever heard.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Jan 21

Why am I so short?!?!  Spencer, watch out or you will shrink like Dad soon, jk.  I love you Father-dearest.  Your birthday card went in the mail last week, so hopefully you get it soon.  I picked it out myself.  You may want to be a little worried. 

Things are going really good.  My companion and I got a call Saturday morning saying that there was no high councilman called to speak and they just realized it so could we speak the next day.  So we did.  It went really well.  (Also speaking next Sunday in a different ward.)  We have been going around issuing the challenge Elder Ballard gave us in General Conference.  We are committing our wards to the challenge and doing a service month of February.  Everyone is supposed to pray each morning for an opportunity to serve and then go about your day.  The Holy Ghost will let you know when the opportunity pops up.  So cool.  I went through the 9 talks from general conference just this last October on service as well as preach my gospel writing down all the blessings that come from it.  Amazing!  Over half my talk on Sunday was just recounting all the promised blessings, almost a whole page worth.  One of the blessings is to "transform the barren desert wasteland."  That describes our area a little bit missionary work wise.  By doing this challenge we are promised to find new investigators, strengthen the ward, and prepair those who are not yet ready to hear the gospel.  Two of our wards are officially issuing the challenge and we are working with our other ones as well.  I will send you a copy of my redrafted talk.  Don't mock the sad spelling...

Trying to learn family history as well so we can teach our recent converts and take them to the temple with their own family names.  Pretty cool, eh? 
It's been in the single digits, 0 or negative this past week.  Humans are not meant to live in these conditions.  I have been buying lots of tights so I don't loose my legs to frostbite or some other ice related disease.  It's supposed to warm up to the 20s this week!  Heaven help all who choose to live here.  We have had icy roads for 3 weeks.  With no hope of fixing because if you snowmelt it, it will just freeze in place again.  Lame! 

Definitely improving in teaching.  Doing really well in that area now, even though we are mostly teaching members.  Need more investigators!!!  We only really have 3 right now.  Our other investigator fell away when she was 12 so she was already baptized but has been practicing Wicken for the past 20 years.  So many people don't answer their phones, ditch us or are out of town.  Trying to find new strategies. 

I hope you will all be healthy soon and ready to get sick on valentines candy.  Candy season just never really goes away!  People keep forcing it on us, candy, cookies, brownies, apple crisp, ice-cream, etc.  Life is so hard! 

Sister Nettles

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Jan 14

I remembered to wish you a happy anniversary until I got to the computer last week and forgot. Happy super late anniversary!!!  Congratulations on the future double ovens.  Now I can make your cupcakes twice as fast when I get home.  So proud of you and all your hard work.  Also happy early birthday Dad! 

I am not too frozen right now.  It was 1 degree last night on our way home from our last appointment. Getting used to it.  :(  My new companion is Sister Cline from Dallas TX, but she graduated from BYU and has a UT accent.  She is doing the driving on these terrible roads.  We drive pretty slow and arrive alive to our destinations.  She has been out for a year.  We workout with this program called Cross Fit.  EVIL is more like it.  10 minutes and I'm sore.  We also work pretty well together.  I'm the talkative one in the companionship now.  Strange eh?  She is really normal so I keep blowing her mind with my talk of Dr Who, Flying Circus, wasps eating taco salad, and just my normal randomness.  :)  Still living in the house in Meridian and the lady who owns it said it was too cold to come back this weekend so she is still out in Arizona till about March.

Still covering 6 wards.  They are starting to be on top of missionary work providing members for our lessons, people to visit, having us at ward council, feeding us, etc...  The packages might be in the mailbox.  We will check today.  We are having mail confusion but I know I have letters at the mission office we are picking up today.  We have one investigator who says he wants to be baptized right now but we don't have a date yet.  Teaching him, his mom and sister, the Payne family.  We had members at there house with us last night and they connected really well which is good because Sister Payne is really outgoing, talkative and blunt.  I love the mission!  And I never tire of your questions.  

I am not sick unlike you guys.  Thank goodness.  Nor am I going to a Muse concert but all is well.  (Enjoy it Emily!)

Sister Nettles

Monday, January 7, 2013

Jan 7

Pretty cold here.  8 degrees sometimes.  Don't spray with the windshield wipers.  So scary.  Poured half a water bottle on it to melt it but took to long to hit the wipers so it froze again, then had to do it really fast and we were okay.  Fun stuff!  I love the thermals!  Wear them all the time.  It's snowing a lot right now .  I'm staring at it through the library window as I type.  Looking forward to that ice-cream mother dearest! 
Transfers are today.  Sister Hamilton is going to Nampa.  Strange story:
First day in the mission and I am assigned Sister Cline (from TX) as a trainer and my MTC companion is assigned Sister Hamilton as a trainer.  10 minutes later we realize only Sister Cline and I drive so we have to switch trainers to both have cars.  Now Sister Hamilton has her drivers license again (it expired) so we are switching back to our original assignments.  Crazy eh?
No new sisters are coming in this transfer again...  Don't know what's happening.  Supposedly it's going to hit February.  We shall see. 
The work is awesome!  Got 5 new investigators this week!  Three of them are the family of a guy from the YSA ward we baptized last month.  The 2 others are wives of inactive members.   Don't ever go inactive!  It looks miserable!!!  One family is golden.  They have been going to church for over a year now.  The son believes in the Book of Mormon and wants to serve a mission, the daughter wants a Book of Mormon and has questions about Joseph Smith, the mom wants the blessings of the gospel for her family.  We are only teaching them while the dad is living in Washington.  We'll see what happens when he gets back.
The wards are finally starting to pick up on missionary work a little bit.  They are going to be fellowshipping, visiting less actives and inviting friends.  Nice eh?  Excited to see what's going to happen. 

I got to meet with the Stake President on Saturday.  The missionaries in our stake (so 4 of us) meet with him and our high councilman and go over the work in the area every month.  They feed us breakfast.  Cremebrule french toast! 
There is also a 12 year old boy who's mom is inactive and they keep going to their grandma's on the weekends.  He and his siblings (the oldest is 13) want to learn and really want to go to church.  He also wants to go to scouts so we are getting him going in that soon.  The leaders are going to drop by this week and introduce themselves.
Sister Nettles

Saturday, January 5, 2013

November Harvester

Dear Elders and Sisters:
For many of you this will be a very different Christmas than the one you had last year and for the rest of you it will be your second Christmas in full-time missionary service of Our Savior and Heavenly Father.
I remember very clearly my first Christmas as a full-time missionary. It was thirty seven years ago. I was serving in Antony, France which is a suburb of Paris. I had a red Christ-mas stocking which hung above my old desk from the shelf by my missionary books. My family had sent the stocking and a few modest presents for the season. I believe the presents included a new tie and white shirt. In those days, we didn’t call home for Christ-mas. It was too expensive. Prior Christmases had always included serving and helping
others, but they were also a time of excitement as I would receive gifts from parents, family and friends. My first Christmas in France was much different and much much better. It was clearly a time of focusing more on My Savior and less on myself and the materialistic things of the world. It was a time when I increased my efforts to lose myself in the work. While I certainly missed my family, the peace, joy and happiness of the season settled much deeper in my heart and was more lasting, fulfilling and real. I was celebrating the birth of My Savior and My Redeemer in his full time service. I was celebrating his birth as his full time personal representative. What a great blessing in my life!
Our missionary Christmases in Idaho have been equally rewarding. We have been inspired by your Christ like example and service. Last year we had the spe-cial experience of having Christ-mas fall on a Sunday. We saw so many new converts receive the “gift” of the Holy Ghost on that day. How can Christmas gifts get any better? We are true representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ. We are fully devoted to Our Savior, Our Redeemer – to Jesus the Christ. Again, how can it get any better? If you let it, this Christmas will positively change your heart and life like no other you have experi-enced so far in your mortal years. You will feel a closeness to the Sav-ior, His life, His atonement and His ministry. You will be blessed as a result of your personal decision to put Him first in your life.
We are like the angel of the Lord who appeared to the shepherds in the field. “And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.” (Luke 2:9-11). You are here to bring “good tidings of great joy” to the people of the Idaho Boise Mission.
Elders and Sisters, we add our testi-mony to that of God the Father, the Holy Ghost, prophets of ancient time and modern time and to each of yours that Jesus was born in Bethle-hem, that Jesus is the Christ, He is the Son of God, the Messiah, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, the Firstborn, the Good Shepherd, the King of Kings, the Lamb of God, Our Mediator, Our Exemplar, Our Savior, and Our Redeemer. We rejoice to be with yoked with you in bearing this testimony to the world as to-gether we gather Israel.
With love and gratitude,
President and Sister Cannon

Sister Madison and I are very happy to be a part of the Idaho Boise Mission. We are both from this area of Idaho. Sister Madison was born in Boise as were her parents. I was born in Nampa. We love Idaho and particu-larly Treasure Valley. All of our 4 children were born at St. Luke’s hospi-tal in Boise. We have four children, one girl and three boys. Three of our children live in the area and one (our daughter and her family) lives in North Carolina. We have 11 grand-children. The youngest is 3 months old and the oldest is 13 years old. We met in Boise in 1967 and were married in the Salt Lake temple in June of 1968. Sister Madison graduated from Borah High School and attended Boise State University. I graduated from Nampa High School and Brigham Young Uni-versity in Provo. I have been in the furniture business since graduating from BYU. Currently I work for Ennis Fine Furniture and manage the Thom-asville store in Meridian. Sister Madi-son and I have enjoyed our opportuni-ties to serve our Heavenly Father. One of the most memorable was to serve with Elder Craig Rowe and Roger Kot-ter in the stake presidency of the Nampa South Stake. Those were times never to be forgotten. We treasure the opportunity to serve with all of you in bringing the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the wonderful people of this mission.

1111 S Cole Rd.
Boise, Idaho 83709

 Details of the new Temple in Meridian, Idaho:

Dec 31

Your pillow sounds amazing mother dear.  Slightly jealous.  I only had lined paper to make the snow flakes on.  Sorry.  I guess I shouldn't tell Spence what I did on Christmas Eve with 4 of us Sisters and 7 Elders.  Nerf Wars!!!  In the church hallways you set up tables and chalkboards as barricades and have PVC pipes as blow guns for the new bullets.  The teams take their positions with the winning team in the middle, most vulnerable position, the other teams around the hallways and one back where the buzzer for sunday school is.  They hit the buzzer to start the round and the battle commences.  You only have 5 darts and sneak attack as much as possible.  When you die you go to the gym to await the end of the battle.  So much fun!  I got a head shot in, sniped some others and had a 1 on 1 stand off during the few hours we played.  The Sisters won 3 times out of about 9 rounds.  So fun!  You can blow more than one dart at a time for a scatter shot but then you run out of ammo really fast and it's dangerous to leave cover to reclaim darts from your fallen prey.  Can you tell it's really fun? 
I have met quite a few Doctor Who fans up here.  So much fun!  There was also a Matt Smith doctor at the trunk-or-treat this Halloween.  Nice to see the joy of time and space spreading to more humans.  Keep up the parties Emily.  Proud of you. 
We get to do visiting teaching now!  And family history to take names to the temple with our recent converts.  We visit teach less actives and part member families.  We have 5 so far in one ward.  So annoying!  No one is home or has tons of family over and won't let us in.  We drive everywhere with nothing to show for it.  Oh well.  We are trying. 
About the weather, it is snowing!  And guess what? They don't have snow plows in this part of Idaho!!!  Crazy people or what?!?!?!  Someone already took out our street sign.  There were tire tracks about 2 feet up the pole and it was flat to the ground.  There have already been 8 accidents in a few hours on the freeway this last Sunday.  :O  Sister Hamilton has lived in Salt Lake though and is an excellent driver especially in the snow.  Hallelujah!  We drive super slow which annoys people but at least we get places in one piece.

 Love you all and hope you survive the end of the year. 
Sister Laura Nettles

Dec 24

Computers are stupid!  Having so many issues trying to attach photos.

Dec 17

I don't know what is happening to the mail but I have a package waiting for me at the mission office right now.  I will call the post office today and get the scoop.  You be healthy mother dear!!!  I am going to try to be skyping but don't know which name/ login you will be using!  Also don't know what day it will be on either.  The APs still haven't said anything on the subject...  Troublesome.  NEED INFO!!!!!
Great stuff happened last week!  There is a lady we have been talking to on her front step for 3 weeks who has not gone to church in 30 years.  She is married to a non member and has kids who are not baptized.  Last week her husband let us into their house and we are getting the ward to help them have a Christmas because they can't afford it this year.  Her daughter was also begging her mom to take them to church.  They didn't come yesterday but we won't give up on them.  The mom really wants a blessing to we are going to see what we can do there. 
Also, this widower we visited brought his whole neighbors family to church yesterday!  They asked him to take them!  They stayed all three hours and loved it.  Need to get into their house somehow.  I sound creepy but it's okay, it's for a good cause.  Also been finding a lot of potential investigators and setting up appointments with them and members at church.  So good! 
I hope you are all doing well!!!  Love you lots and hope your Christmas is awesome.  I haven't sent a package because we don't have enough miles to go shopping.  Even for groceries!!!  The members are taking care of us though so we have tons of food.  I ran out of cereal and the members we met last night gave us 3 boxes.  Score!!!  The mission is going awesome.  Had 2 exchanges in the past 2 weeks and have another one on Wednesday.  They are so much fun and we get a ton of work done.  We taught 11 lessons on the last one.  (They last 24 hours) 

Hug Rachel for me please!  I will make you cupcakes when I come home.  Love you all!
Sister Nettles

Dec 10

*hand heart*

My Dearest Family:

I love thee all.  Even the slightly annoying limey-girl.  SPAZZ ATTACK!!!  <-- That's what she just had as she read the beautiful comment!  Things are going well.  I need help!  I am going to have to learn a little Samoan.  There is a part member family we are teaching from there.  My companion knows it so she is going to have to help me out.  They want me to say the closing prayer tonight in Samoan so we shall see how it goes.  They speak English but the parents seem to prefer Samoan.  Only the dad is baptized and has gone less active.  The mom and 3 kids go to the Assembly of God.

Working more with the ward members now which is a great blessing.  Taught the Priests at a mutual night, and families have signed up for us to teach them like we teach investigators.  We have done it once so far and it was amazing.  It was 2 empty-nesters.  The husband had gone on a mission so we had them pretend to be a couple that he had taught but never converted.  (That's called Role Playing mom!)  After the lesson they gave us a referral without us even having to ask for one. 

So wierd, most of the new "investigators" we find are inactives who have not been to church in 20-40 years and have moved so we don't have their records.  Also, over half the people we try to contact are not home!  Frustrating.  Besides that things are going well. 

The non-member husband who wants a calling made us Japanese food!  Katsu, sticky rice, carrots, broccoli, and salad with a ginger dressing.  So good!!!  He lived there for 3 years. 

Guess what? My camera came with every cord except one that connects to the computer tower.  All the SD reader slots I have tried do not work.  Still trying to send you pictures...  I really am!  I even have some of the snowman we made on lunch break during our exchange.  It was the first day that snow stuck.  We woke up to white and it was Sister Tonuu's first real snow of her life.  (She is directly from Samoa.)  Fun stuff. 

I hope you enjoy having Rachel back so soon!  Good luck with food again...  I believe in your skills mother of mine!  Did you get my letters? 

Oh!  Also, we showed Johny Lingo to an inactive lady who really enjoyed it.  So fun!  I still had the intro music memorized for when the kid says "Johny Lingo" then starts running through the jungle to tell the village. 

Love you all,
Sister Nettles

Dec 3

Things are going well and so am I.
I have 2 pairs of gloves!  But none of them are dragon hide. *sniff sniff*  They would not cut my hands to pieces.  They are made from the hide under the scales.  (Or so I think...)  I am alas, not a Dragon expert yet.  I would give them a try, and they could double as oven mits!  Handy, eh? 
Glad to hear church was good, so was mine!  All 8.5 hours of it!  Ward council then 3 wards.  (We cover 6 wards, so we still look like slackers because half of our area thinks we don't go to church.) 
I told Dad about the people I have been teaching so I will be lazy and just cut and paste that paragraph there:
"I am teaching a couple of people.  One girl got baptized so we don't teach her anymore. :(  Ironic isn't it?  One guy is about 26 and has been going to church for a year.  Told us he already know he is going to get baptized.  Yay!  He told Sister Hamilton at the Temple Open House he was an investigator but didn't have missionaries.  So here we are!  Also teaching another lady who knows the gospel is true but just doesn't want to move out of her boyfriend's house.  Also got another investigator who has been through a really rough life, her grandma took her to church and then she submitted herself on for missionaries.  Told us that she already knows she is getting baptized and then married in the temple.  So cool!  We had to give her up after two lessons thought because apparently she is not in our area, but the AP's area.  So now the Elders have her.  Sad day.  Another lady we met has three adopted kids.  Helped them decorate for Christmas!  Also got another Brother.  His wife is a member and he wears a suit for camouflage when he goes to church with her.  He even wants a calling!  Just have to get him baptized first.  Crazy though, he lived in Japan for three years and loves anime.  Making a list of anime/gospel parallels.  Sweet, eh?  Have 3 so far.  He is going to make us real Japanese food on Sunday.  There is another non-member dad.  His wife and son are totally active and the son has the Aaronic priesthood so technically he could baptize his dad eventually.  Have to go really slow with him and teach principles not lessons or else he runs off upstairs.  He has had many missionaries before so we're just going slow. Going to take our blind, formerly less-active friend with us for our member present.  So excited for this lesson.  We were role playing it this morning and I know it is going to go well.  Also have a young girl.  She is a 13 year old ray of sunshine.  Her mom has been inactive for over 20 years but lets her do whatever she wants so she gets to go to church!  A member family around the corner are going to be taking her.  She knows two of them from the bus stop for school.  Don't know if she is baptized yet, but she says she was "blessed into the church."  Probably just a baby's blessing, but we will find out.  A few others too but those are the main ones."
Yay for copy and paste! 
I still love my area (Meridian South).  We had the transfer calls last week or so (can't remember) and I am staying here again with my trainer.  Going to be here for Christmas! 
There are some of the weirdest street names in Idaho!!!  Ex: S Broken Limb Ave, Frozen Dog, Falling Branch, Standing Timber, Black Cat, Floating Feather, Mona Lisa (not the ballad of, sorry), Genoard, Zaldia, Pioria, Time Zone, China Rapids, etc.  What the heck?!  Some are more normal than others, but Broken Limb?!  Who says I want to live on Broken Limb avenue?  No one sane?!  All the subdivisions have themes for their names.  One is famous composers (Bach, Strauss, Shubert, etc.), another is bears (bear claw, bear paw, cub, hibernation, ice bear way etc.), another is Italy (Mona Lisa, Starry Night, Tuscany, etc.), or hunting dogs (Doberman, Mastiff, etc.).  Strangeness abounds! 
Well, I love you!!!
Sister Laura Nettles

Nov 26

Emily takes after my own heart.  <3  I love you guys!  Did Rachel show you the pictures I mailed her?  I am trying to attach photos  right now but it does not seem to be having any luck and this is the fourth place I have tried to do this!  Annoying!  Why are computers lame!?  At least I can type.  Did you like what the stickers were saying in the letters?  Which ones would you want?  My Little Pony, Disney Princess, or Sponge Bob?  I have an Ariel sticker with your name on it! 
We ate one Thanksgiving dinner that was really good!  Then we went to another house for dessert and to meet some non-member guests they had over.  We just "happened to pop by."  It was great.  They were wondering why they had never had missionaries over at their house!  Pretty slick eh?  Well now they will, even though they are not in our area.  Their son is in our area though so we will be over there soon.  After that we went to an inactive widow's house and talked for a bit.  She is going to start coming to church next week!!!  Crazy!  She drove us to the double baptism this last Saturday.  They were two girls the sister missionaries before me had taught.  They just couldn't get baptized till this week. The widow, Sister Hamilton and I got frozen yogurt after.  Your favorite!  The thin mint flavor is REALLY good.  As is the strawberry.  (Missionaries get 50% off)  Finally made some progress with her.  Hurray!

Glad to hear you food turned out great.  Unless you lied to me to make me not feel sorry for you... What was the dessert?  Rachel said she almost got a chocolate over-dose while she was there.  You have done your job well. 

Teaching a guy today we are going to try to have baptized for Christmas.  We were told to have a white Christmas (ie. a person dressed in white to be baptized).  Also got 2/ hopefully 3 new investigators.  Nice eh?  Working crazy hard.  Got my first small headache today in a while so that's doing well.  We also got a lady re-activated.  Hallelujah. 

Stay alive down there! 

Sister Nettles

Nov 19

Hey my peeps!
I love you guys! 
Spencer: Good job being an awesome person and staying with the lonely kid.  <3  Keep up the good work.  Have you read any of the Book of Mormon in Spanish yet?  Are you studying Spanish anymore?  Still playing football?  I am playing Volleyball today again.  I am getting decent at it!  I really love you!  Please stop growing taller while I'm over here in Idaho.  Please!!!!!  Stay up on you clarinet practicing.  So proud of you!  Please hug Rachel for me!
Emily: I love you as well!!!  How is your running?  Are you going to be helping mom cook for thanksgiving?  You better be...  How is school?  What color is the sky over there?  Miss you!  Not really hehehe... But I do love you!  Is Spencer behaving at home?  Behave yourself a little bit over there! <3  You get to kiss Rachel for me!  Onegi? (That's please if my brain has not died.)
The older folks: JK... The Most Beloved Parents
Congratulations on a new calling father-dear.  Whip those kids into shape!  Or their leaders.  Which ever.  I bore my testimony last fast Sunday so it was your turn now Mother-of-mine!  Hehehe.  I'm sure it was great.  Did you cry?  Because I always do... Such an annoying curse!  Anyways.  I love you both!  Sleeping great.  Hopefully you sent me a package like you said you would and the sister missionaries who live by the mission office can pick up the package and bring it to volleyball this afternoon.  :)  Haven't gotten the mail in over a week now.  We used to go to the mission office everyday because the Temple Open House was in the same building, but now it's over...  Only went to two of the dedication sessions.  We missed the first one because we made breakfast at a members house that some RMs were staying at to visit their old mission.  I met my other "grandma," my trainers trainer.  Good stuff.  Apparently President Monson is a match maker.  He got 2 kids to kiss after the youth cultural celebration.  (They were at least seniors in High School.)  He is so funny!  Things are going well.  Did you finally succeed at a gluten/dairy/sugar free dessert?  Does it look appetising?  I hope so.  Take care of Rachel for me!
Love you all!
Sister Nettles of Awesomeness

Nov 12

So cold... */*/*/*/*/*/  <-- that's snow...   I think I'm just going to get a coat up here today.  Really need one.  <3  <-- my love for you!  Did you know that sushi is good?   Had my first ones today.  So good!!!  This Samoan dude goes through the temple open house and my companion attacks him because she attacks anyone who looks Polynesian.  Turns out he's a member and owns a sushi restaurant and we got to eat there for FREE!!!   The elders all had to pay their own way but the four sisters that were there (including me) were on the house!  Ate a few plates.  Only Rachel knows how many...  hehe...  Dad I need to take you there when I get off my mission.  And the rest of you people as well.  (The cake is really good.)  This computer is stupid throwing errors every time it tries to read my SD card so I'm mailing you some pictures of the baptism.  It was so amazing!  Natasha is my age and so excited.  She kept bouncing when she was in the font waiting to be dunked.  <3 her!  Also got a new investigator yesterday.  He has already been going to church for a year!  Crazy eh?  He went to the temple open house and introduced himself to my companion as an investigator!  We taught him before Sacrament meeting yesterday.  

The temple dedication is next Sunday.  They need to replace some of the carpet (we found a hole).  There is a dedication at 9am, noon and 3pm.  We get to go to all three!  Strange eh?  A relief society supplied all the sister missionaries with white handkerchiefs so we don't need to buy one today!  

We have two dinner appointments so far on Thanksgiving.  An American one and a Polynesian one.  My companion is so excited.  There are 22 sisters in our mission and by about February will are supposed to have 60 more.  I may end up training here in a few months with a 19 year old companion.  So exciting!!!  We are hoping our areas will be cut down to 3-5 wards instead of 6-10 per companionship.  That would be nice.  We shall see how this pans out.  

I love you all!
Sister Laura Michelle Nettles

Nov 5

Later this week the high is supposed to be the 40s.  Not too cold yet.  Acclimated back to these harsher conditions already.  Surprise!  And guess what? Miracle!!!  MY NAVIGATIONAL SKILLS ARE AWAKENING!!!!!!!  AAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! Who am I!?!?  Going to get my hair cut soon.  The straight pieces are bugging me.  Going to try and send pictures...  You are awesome!
Good luck with Thanksgiving.  Are you feeding the missionaries A TON lately?  Because we have been getting two dinners a night sometimes and a member took 16 of us missionaries out to Toccanos.  It was our lunch and it held me through our canceled dinner because we were working the Temple Open House instead.  He dropped $400 on us.  WHAT IS WITH THESE CRAZY AWESOME PEOPLE?!?!  Anyways...
Your Number One Daughter

2nd Letter
I am awesome!  I finally sleep fine by myself!!!!!!  Amazing eh?  Get along great with my companion.  She's the most loving person in existence.  Have a baptism this Saturday.  She is going to the singles ward and is my age.  So excited, been teaching her the lessons at her newly wed friend's house with another buddy who are all members.  She is so ready.  It's her fault we have been getting two dinners some nights.  We go to our schedueled dinner appointment, have an hour or so, then show up to teach our investigator and they have made us a dinner at 8:00 at night.  And it's so good!  Just eating a little and taking leftovers home for lunches.  My skirts still fit.  Yay!  Life is good.

Oct 29

Your version of slugging people is awesome.  So much more Harry Potter-esque.  Love the deffinition, but it may not be "slightly" stupid, but pressured into something usually good but stupid in this situation.  Love you!  Spencer is Twirly-Man for Halloween?  Where did this come from???  Are you going to get the Limey-man t-shirt for your costume?  I saw a kid dressed up as Doctor Who at the trunk-or-treat we took an inactive lady too. There was also a 17ish year old dressed like Thor.  I wanted to yell "Doth mother know you weareth her drapes?"  Oh, and plastic pumpkins are carniverous.  My finger has the scars to prove it.  Fingers go in, but don't come out whole... 
Anyways, how is life?  Are you jelous of Spencers shirt?  I know you are!  Can you read the Book of Mormon I sent you yet?  I hope you can read 1 Nephi 1:1 by the time I get back!  That is your challenge.  Do you dare accept?  Is it even possible?!?!  Has Spencer even cracked opened his Spanish one yet?  It's supposed to help you learn the language faster. 
Watched any Halloween movies yet?  Freaked Shannon out with them yet?  Freaked yourself out yet?  Shouldn't be that hard.  Hehehe...  I love you!  There are these freaky Korean comics online that are cool.  We found them in class last semester.  You should google them and read one.  They are slightly animated...  Just to warn you.  Perfect for halloween. 
Love you!

Oct 22

Dear bestest family ever,
Life is good.  I finally caught the cold I staved off for 3 weeks.  My MTC companion has been sick since day 2 of the MTC and I ran out of occillicoxinum.  (whatevs on the spelling)  My companion is the nicest person in the world.  She is half Tongan and half Samoan, so the best of everything.  Got four new investigators yesterday!  Its a family so I'm excited.  They came to the temple open house and filled out a comment card and there we were! They were all very nice and had tons of questions.  We brought a member with us so he could help with the questions.  The daughter really wants to do baptisms for the dead.  So cool!  Going back the 4th. 
We cover 5 wards up here.  Got to go to three of them yesterday.  Basically learned about Charity and Chastity.  Such a fun day.  I know you guys are jealous.  There are so many people we want to visit but with the open house there is not much time to do it in.  The open house is over the 10th and the re-dedication is the 18th.  Yay!  We just have to keep inviting people to it while it's available.  It's so beautiful in there!  There is stained glass all over the place including the baptistery.  Down there is a depiction of the sacred grove.  In the celestial room the ceiling is stained glass as well of the tops of trees.  So cool, but I love the San Diego temple.  It's still the best. 
I got to play volleyball this morning with my companion and some ladies from Meridian North (even though we're Meridian South) and one of them is a non-member.  Cool beans.  Halloween stuff everywhere and there are scary movies to check out in the front of the library.  Must resist!  What are you all going to be for Halloween?  I think I'm going to dress up as a missionary.  We are going to set up a car with a less active member for a trunk-or-treat so that is probably going to be my fix for this year. 
I love you all!!!  I have only gotten a letter from the two St. George visitors center Sister missionaries we left behind from our district at the MTC.  Sister Cotterall and Sister Davila.  (Australia and Peru)  They wrote 12 hours after we left.  So awesome.  Did you know that I'm pretty good in groups of people?  I just attack them with kindness when they come to the reception hall after going through the temple open house.  I tell them to take extra invitations to bring back anybody and everybody: the people on the street, the people in their attic, wherever.  It works!  We had 13,000 come through this Saturday when we pulled a double shift.  We were there from 1-9:30pm.  So tiring! 
Did you guys get my package yet?!?!  It can't have disappeared!  Oh well, if it did I hope they enjoy the mormon paraphernalia.  I love you all!!!  I should have brought my camera to the library with me!  I should see if I can upload pictures here.  That would be awesome.   You guys stay alive!  And healthy!  And vote!!!  And maybe read your scriptures...
Sister Laura Nettles of Awesomness