Tuesday, May 26, 2015


Hey y'all!! What a GREAT week! (I think I say that every week.)
Quick run-down of some of the miracles I saw and experienced:
  • Last Monday we had a wonderful family home evening with BE and FL and the Templins, a family in our ward. We talked about tithing. The Templin's 9 year old son taught about tithing and it was BEAUTIFUL! It was awesome. I love having members at lessons. It seriously makes the biggest difference.
  • Amazing amazing amazing lesson with ST! We read the Proclamation and talked about Eternal Marriage and covenants. She was so engaged during the lesson and asked a bunch of questions. Near the end of the lesson, ST asked, "Where does it talk about covenants in the Book of Mormon?" OH my goodness, it was like the perfect question! So when we see her this week we will talk about covenants in the Book of Mormon. I am so grateful when investigators ask questions or just straight out tell you what their concerns are, so you can just easily set up a lesson for the next visit.
  • Speaking of investigators just telling you what they want to know, we had another awesome experience. The spanish elders gave us a referral for a guy named MA. So we went and taught him on Tuesday. We taught the Restoration and he asked lots of honest questions about the priesthood and baptism and proper authority. We had a member with us who was able to testify and answer questions alongside us. Then he said, "I know that Christianity is the way to live. So do you. But what happens to all those people who don't know about Jesus Christ or who are raised in a different religion? Is there any hope for them? I don't believe in a mean God, so how does it work out?" Needless to say, it was a perfect "cliff-hanger" to lead into our next lesson - the Plan of Salvation!
  • We had cupcake wars with the relief society! So fun! One of our less-actives came, and we had a great time decorating with her. Also, some wonderful members gave us 2 big bags of fresh produce!! I love the produce blessings!! Oh, it's glorious.
  • Thursday we were able to go to the temple as a zone and then have our zone conference. It was so wonderful to be in the temple and see so many of my missionary friends dressed in white. I love it there! I was able to bring a family name, and it was so special. Then the meeting part was incredible as well! We talked about the Savior and the way that we can have a closer relationship with Him is to face and conquer the challenges in our life. President Taylor asked us, "Do you want a relationship with the Savior enough to go through your own small, personal Gethsemane?" We also talked about planning for the people we are working with. It's amazing how the skills I am developing truly can bless me for the rest of my life. Right now, I'm planning for my investigators and less-actives. Later, I'll plan for my visiting teaching assignments, for my calling, and eventually for my children. That was a pretty cool realization. 
  • After the meeting, our ride texted and said that she was almost there (to the meetinghouse in Richardson which is about 30 miles, and a 45 minute drive from McKinney.) We were on Meandering Way in Richardson, but she was on Meandering Way in McKinney. Oops! So we were kind of stranded. But then we worked it out due to a very kind member who was there picking up some other missionaries as well. Oh the crazy adventures. 
  • Friday was the WEDDING! Yes, yes, BE and FL got married! It was small and simple and beautiful! Bishop Nahoo just married them at the church and there were 12 total people who were there. It was wonderful! I am so grateful that they made that choice. 
  • Saturday we had dinner with the YO family! I am so proud of them. So proud. They are just doing amazing. No big updates on them, but they are just trucking along. Both SU and their 15 year old have brought non-member friends to church, so that's really cool.
  • Sunday we taught BR her first lesson at a member's home. Our lesson with her went SO well! She asked so many questions. And definitely commited to be baptized. We asked her to read 1 Nephi 1-2 before our next visit, and she said, "I'll probably read that tonight then just keep on going!" She was also telling us how warm and happy she felt inside during our lesson. This girl is as good as gold! I can't wait to see how things go with her!
It truly was another wonderful and blessed week in Texas! The weather has still been so rainy, but I'm just keeping my fingers crossed for a "well below average temperatures" summer! :)

I love y'all! I love this church. I love the gospel. In sacrament meeting yesterday, all the speakers were assigned to speak on components of the doctrine of Christ - faith, repentance, baptism, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost. It was a beautiful meeting. I am so grateful for the simplicity of the gospel and of our Heavenly Father's great plan of happiness. Sister Weichers and I had the opportunity to teach Relief Society, and we taught about the talk from General Conference, "Is It Still Wonderful to You?" by Bishop Gerald Causse. I can say with my whole heart that this gospel is wonderful to me, and that the Atonement is the cause of that wonder. I truly stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me. 
I know that we are a covenant people as we keep and live our covenants day by day.
Have a blessed day and week, and happy memorial day!
Sister Gretchen Julie Gilbert

Tuesday, May 19, 2015


Hey people! It's been a great week. :) I'm really short on time, so here are some highlights:

Tuesday we had dinner with a family who is opening up a shaved ice shack. They made fake Cafe Rio salads for dinner then we had shaved ice for dessert. I may or may not have had two.... hahaha. :) They are a great family and are definitely missionary minded in inviting their friends to activities and dinners and stuff. Love.

Wednesday we got invited to a leadership meeting. It was really nice! We talked about having vision and sharing it with the people we are working with.

Thursday we had dinner with ST, our investigator. She made tacos for us! It was just a wonderful meeting. I love her!

Friday we had dinner with BE and FL for her birthday. BIG NEW PEOPLE: they will be getting married THIS Friday! WOHOOOOO!!!!! Then we just gotta teach BE the rest of the lessons and then a baptism will be on its way. So good. I LOVE that family.

Saturday was a wonderful day! We were able to go with SU and her Mom to walk around the Dallas temple! We had a wonderful lesson about eternal marriages and patriarchal blessings and the endowment and all those good things! The Spirit was definitely felt by all. Sister YO told us that she feels the Spirit so strongly as she reads the Book of Mormon. I am so proud of her and all she is doing!!

Sunday is always great. I love having the opportunity to take the Sacrament twice every week because we cover the two wards. It's a wonderful time for reflection and thought about the Savior and His wonderful Atonement.

I love this work! I love this area! I know that Jesus Christ lives.


Sister Gilbert

Another week of the same, but oh it's glorious! - 5.11.2015

Hey y'all!

First of all I just want to start off with how grateful I am for Mother's Day!! I am so grateful for my mom, and I am so grateful that I got to talk to my beautiful family!

This week was good, as always!

We had a cool experience on Tuesday with KR. A couple of weeks ago she told us that she would write our name in Arabic. So we've tried by her house a couple times and just couldn't get a hold of her. So finally on Tuesday she was home! She wrote our names in arabic (which I forgot to take a picture of) and then we were just talking to her for a while. She tried reading the Book of Mormon in arabic (no she's not arabic, she just lived there for a while and loves the language) but said it was hard. But we talked about her job and her life for a while. She then agreed to let us share a scripture and pray with her. She said that she feels like she's almost ready to come to church and that the mormons have just been popping up in her life like daisies! So funny. But after we prayed, she said, "It's a really warm night, isn't it? Like a warm feeling." She was feeling the Holy Ghost and we talked about that with her!

I am so proud of these people that I'm working with. So many of them are making BIG and important changes in their lives! I am so so thankful that I am blessed enough to see the transformations in these people.

Wednesday, we went and taught ST again! She is such an amazing woman! We talked about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You know, I honestly don't know if she'll ever convert, due to her health, but she's wonderful. She started telling us about her friend who has been struggling knowing that God loves her. She wants to send the missionaries to her to give her hope and strength! Yes, she just like, gave us a referral without us even asking for it. ST is not afraid to share what she is learning and loving. I am so proud of her.

Also on Wednesday, we taught SU her first new member lesson. She is such an amazing girl. She said she's loved having the Holy Ghost this week. Her Mom opened up to us once again, and told us that's she's tried to be active before, but this time it feels different. She's been reading the book of mormon MANY times every day (like 3 times - on the way to work, at the gym, and on the way home) and she just knows that this is what she needs to be doing. She is amazing and such a wonderful example for her family.

BE and FL are doing well. He is healing nicely, but is getting so stir crazy. We are so excited for the good things happening in that family.

Okay, the miracles of Friday. So the youth had an activity a while ago where they gave out family history surveys. We finally got in contact with one of the ladies. This is how the conversation went.
"Hi are you SH?"
"We're the missionaries. Some youth from our church came by a while ago and gave you a survey about a family history website. Could we come and teach about it?"
"Oh, we're Christians, so we're okay. We've already found Jesus. I thought it was going to be about a website"
*This is where I roll my eyes a little and say*
"Oh we're just here to tell you about that website."
"Oh really?"

Hahaha. Anyway, we got a return appointment with her. When the day came around, we showed her how to get started on familysearch.org. She was so excited to learn and enter the information about her family. After we finished up, we asked her if we could come back and teach her family about God's plan to build strong families! She agreed, so we set up a day and time where her husband and kids will be home! Woooo!! So excited. I'll update you next week on how it goes.

Also, on Friday we were out tracting for a little while before dinner. We taught a man a 10 minute lesson and he agreed to read the Book of Mormon! I don't know where it will go with him, but I just get so excited every time people agree to read!

And Sunday. Sunday was great. SU gave us roses for mother's day. It was just about the sweetest thing. And then in 7th ward we were just setting our stuff down on a bench when a 9 year old named BR came up to us. [Just some back story on BR. Her dad is not a member but her step-mom is, and she's been coming to church with her for several months. Also, BR's primary teacher told us that BR has been begging her dad for a while to allow her to get baptized. She came to SU's baptism and LOVED it and just really wants to get baptized.] Anyway, BR came up to us and said, "I'd like to get baptized. Will you teach me?" WHAT?!?!?!?!?! Oh man, I LOVE when that happens! Why yes, we'd love to teach you! Haha. So we set up an appointment with her step-mom and we'll see how it goes! I LOVE THESE KIDS!! It has been so amazing for me to get to work with so many children on my mission and help them receive the sacred ordinance of baptism!

Skyping was amazing. I LOVE MY FAMILY. I am so grateful that I get to be out here helping unite other people's families!

I love this gospel. I love this church. I love this mission that I'm serving.

A quote that I heard this week is, "I can be perfect at trying." (I think it was from Meet the Mormons.) I loved that.

I truly know that Christ's way is the way to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come!

Sister Gilbert

May the Fourth be with y'all!! - 5.4.2015

As for the title, I had to. :)

Well, this week was really great!! I learned a lot, grew even more, and had fun as well.

So on Saturday morning we received a call. Turns out it was a lady that we had met about a month ago. We were looking for her son who was a referral, but he wasn't home. We ended up teaching her the message of the Restoration. They weren't super interested, so we left them with a pamphlet and went along our way. Well, BE called us up, and told us she had somethings to say about what we taught her. She told us that we focused too much on Joseph Smith and not enough about the Savior Jesus Christ. She told us that our job as ministers of Christ is to bear testimony of Him. BE told us that if she hadn't known Christ before we talked to her, she still wouldn't have. She felt like it was her responsibility to tell us that. It really took me aback hearing this from her, but I feel like it was another pivotal point of my mission. I want the world to know that "I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life" (3 Nephi 5:13). At the end of my mission and the end of my life, I don't want there to be ANY question as to whether I was a representative of Jesus Christ in proclaiming the gospel! Yes, I will still preach the message of the Restoration, the reality of Joseph Smith's position as a prophet, the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon, but in my sharing of these things, I don't want anyone to have a doubt as to whether I believe and trust in my Savior Jesus Christ. I don't know the purpose of her phone call to us, but I do know that it changed my outlook, so I am grateful for the guidance from her.

So yesterday, one of our investigators, had a large crisis and ended up stranded about 2 hours away. Our AMAZING young women's president, Sister S, dropped everything that was going on and drove with her husband to go pick her up. Sister S had only met the investigator one time, but felt such great love and concern for her that she just left everything and picked her up. I am surrounded by such amazing people! These members that I meet here on my mission are such wonderful examples of being Christ-like and charitable. They have definitely lived up to what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. I am so blessed to be able to work with such wonderful members.

After the whole thing, we were talking to Sister S on the phone. She said she wishes so bad that everyone in the world could go through the Young Women's program and personal progress. She then explained a little epiphany she had. As we develop Faith in Heavenly Father, we come to know of our Divine Nature as one of His children. We then understand our Individual Worth and the great role we can play here on earth and in the eternities. Once we know our potential, it incites us to increase our Knowledge (spiritual and temporal) and then to make wise Choices and be Accountable for our actions. Because our testimony and beliefs are rooted deep within us, we then want to serve the people around us and do Good Works. We are then true to our beliefs and our self through Integrity and then we become Virtuous as we do these things. LOVED IT.

We helped one of our member's friends pack up her house. She was so impressed that we were so willing to just help a complete stranger. One thing that I learned from packing that HUGE HOUSE full of STUFF is that things really don't mean anything. What matters most is our relationships and our conversion.

We got to help with the youth's mutual activity this week. They were playing Where's Waldo and we were one of the stations. So basically we just hung out at the mall and helped the youth. I wore my classic red and white striped shirt and we had a blast. :)

Highlight of the week was definitely SU's baptism!! What an amazing little girl! I am so proud of her and the choice that she made to be baptized! Her primary class sang "I'm Trying to be Like Jesus" at the baptism, and it just brought the Spirit so strong. I am proud of that family and the choices they are making to become more like the Savior.

This week, we've done a bunch of "heart attacks" for people. It's been really fun. It's so amazing to hear people tell you that you were an answer to their prayers - that they were having a bad day and just needed a pick-me-up. Not that I serve for the good feelings, I serve because I love them, but the good feelings certainly are a perk!

In my studies this week, I studied about the sacrament. 3 Nephi 18:11 "If you do always remember me ye shall have my Spirit to be with you." Mosiah 2:22 "If ye would keep His commandments, ye should prosper in the land." I made the connection as I read that always remembering the Savior IS keeping the commandments. Then we shall have the Spirit to be with us AND propser in the land. What better blessings to ask for?

Focus on faith, people. Trust in God and believe in good things to come.

I am so grateful for this gospel. I know that the Savior lives.

I love y'all!!

Sister Gilbert