Monday, January 3, 2011

Sister Ireland...sorry Dad that I'm not numbering my emails...‏

Monday, December 6, 2010

Dear Family,

This week has definitley been a transition. Family, this is my fourth transfer with my fourth sister....???? With most sisters in the mission, from what I understand, they've usually been with their companions for at least 2 to 3 transfers. After I learned that Sis. Tomlinson was getting transfered and I was going to be with Sis. Denis the question that kept on coming over and over in my mind was, why? Why can't I stay with a sister for more than one transfer? Am I crazy? :) It feels like with each transfer, thus far, the rug of 'change' is pulled out from under me and I have to keep on readjusting. For those of you that know me well, I do not care for change. It's uncomfortable, it's unfamiliar, at times it feels like I'm stepping into the 'unknown.' For example, most of you know that I love Macaroni Grill and that I always, without fail, order the spaghetti and meatball dish. It drives Mom and Dad crazy and remember one of my friends saying, "Why don't you try something different? Have a little....'change.' 'NAY!' I say, "because I love the spaghetti and meatball dish and nothing else can come close to it!" Once I'm comfortable with something I always stick with it and hardly ever branch out...because it's what's familiar. Well, I feel like Heavenly Father has something different in mind as I'm here serving my mission. This past week when I was doing my morning exercises I was asking the question to myself, "Why all of this change? Can't I have something consistent and familiar for a little bit?" Then the thought came to my mind, 'yes, you've been going through a lot of change and new things but 'I the Lord change not.' The Spirit taught me an important lesson that morning. He helped me realize that in the past I've been relying too much on people and circumstances that are familiar to help make me happy. But, people and circumstances come and go....things will ALWAYS change, but the Lord never does. I believe that I've been experiencing all of these changes so far on my mission because the Lord wants me to learn to rely on Him who is always there. Regardless of what sister I'm companions with or what new area I'm transfered to the Spirit always feels the same, and Gospel is always true no matter what circumstances or people I'm with. So, the Lord is definitely stretching me and I'm grateful for it.

Last night Sis. Denis and I went to the Christmas Devotional at the stake center. I felt a wee bit sentimental as I looked at the very familiar footage of Temple Square. As we were singing the hymns I was thinking how all of you were singing at the same time and I felt closer to you even though I felt far away. I thought about all of you during the devotional and felt so grateful that I have a family at home who is supporting me and is strong in the Gospel. The messages that were shared were inspired and came from servants of the Lord. I hope this Christmas we can all take the time to think more about our Savior and the Atonement that He performed for us individually. Perhaps our hearts won't become big by three sizes like the Grinches (ha ha I love President Uchtdorf) but they can become transformed as we place them in the hands of our Saviour this season, and for the rest of our time here on this Earth.

Love you Family!

Sister 'I'm starting to relish change' Ireland :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Lethbridge = AWESOME!!!

Monday, October 25, 2010
Hello Family!

In my last email I wasn't very specific about WHERE in Lethbridge I would be residing. I'm serving on the south side of Lethbridge and we're covering a family ward (Henderson) and a YSA ward (Parkside). I really like Lethbridge, the feel of it reminds me of home. In Tuscany the homes were very uniform.....kind of a 'stiff' feeling. BUT in Lethbridge all of the houses are different and have their own kind of personality. It feels similiar to Lindon and I love it! Now don't get me wrong about Tuscany, I really like it there, but Lethbridge feels just right :)

This past Friday night Sis. Tomlinson and I experienced a miracle! We went to a member's home to have dinner and teach a friend of their's named, Rita*. Before meeting her she's already come to church twice with her kids and has had a very positive experience with the church. While we were teaching her about the Restoration she asked us REALLY good questions and had a true desire to know if the things that we taught her were true. She expressed that she felt that something was missing in her life and wanted her kids (ages 2 and 4) to grow up in a home where they felt safe and secure even when the world outside wasn't. We committed her to read the Book of Mormon and to pray about it, and extended her the invitation to be baptized on November 6th...SHE SAID YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Wahoooooooooo!!!! She was surprised that she could be baptized that soon but was willing to take that step in her life. It was a special experience and the Spirit was really strong. This is the first time I've experienced someone saying 'yes' to baptism and I'm so grateful that the Lord let me have this experience here in Lethbridge. We're teaching her tonight about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She used to be a smoker, but decided to quit a little while ago but still drinks coffee. We'll be extending her the committment to live the Word of Wisdom tonight and think it will go well. If she's willing to give up smoking then coffee shouldn't be a big issue BUT we will be prepared nonetheless to help her with any concerns.

Well, that's one way to start a transfer in a new area! :) As everyone well knows, Sis. Tomlinson is my new companion. She's from West Jordan Utah and is a pretty swell companion. It's been weird to have each of my companions for only one transfer. Usually you stay with them for two or possibly three. But, as for me, I've had three companions so far on my mission and have learned a lot from each one. Each have helped me grow in different ways on my mission and I will always be grateful for them and the friendships I've developed with them. Anyways, Sis. Tomlinson and I are doing well so far and I feel that it will be a great transfer.

Things on my mission here in Canada have gone well so far. I feel that my testimony and confidence in teaching the Gospel is growing more as I go along. I'm very grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. He's helped me out so much with the specific challenges I've faced personally, and it's been a wonderful experience to be able to help and reassure someone who is going through things that have been similar to mine. The trials and challenges that we have really are there for a specific reason, and one of those reasons is to help someone who might be in a hole you have been in preiviously. The Atonement is real and I'll always be grateful for what Christ has done for me.

Love you family!

Sister Ireland

What ho? An email from Canada!

Dear Family,

I'd like to share a cool story that's happened this week. In some missions tracting is definitely the way to go in trying to find new investigators, but for some missions it's very unproductive....that's how the Canada Calgary Mission is. Our main focus is try to get investigators through the members of the church and help build their faith in missionary work. In our mission (so far) there's no rule where you have to do a billion hours of tracting each week, it's not a huge priority. But, Sis. Tomlinson and I have a goal to have a new investigator this month by our own finding efforts so we've been doing our best to talk to everyone that we see on the streets and follow any promptings we have to knock on certain doors. It's hard trying to find people this way because most of the time they just say they're not interested. Well, Sis. Tomlinson and I were knocking at a door and we saw this girl on the other side of the street walking her dog who wouldn't stop barking. "If you don't stop barking we're going to turn around and go right back home!" she yelled. It was kind of entertaining seeing this girl react to her dog but eventually we lost sight of her. So, we decided to go down another street and see if any members from our ward would be home but came out unsuccessful. As we were walking back to our car the girl walking her dog was heading towards us...and was still yelling at her dog who wouldn't stop barking. We both decided to approach her and as we came closer we saw that she was around our age and her face and ears were covered with mulitiple piercings. MULTIPLE. MUCHO. A LOT. I instantly thought to myself, "There's no way this girl is going to be interested." I was judging her appearance and not looking on the heart. But, we still stopped to talk to her and it came out that she knew a few things about the church and was interested in learning more! She willingly gave us her address, phone number, and we plan to teach her about the Restoration tomorrow afternoon. I learned a huge lesson. Regardless of what a person appears to be or look like we shouldn't hold back in allowing them to have the opportunity to learn about the gospel. Again, the Lord looks in on the heart and when we receive a prompting to talk to someone we should trust in His ability to comprehend all things. When we learn to humble ourselves and obey His counsel, not ours, doors that we thought didn't exist or could never be opened are opened. "For behold, I am God; and I am a God of miracles; and I will show unto the world that I am the same yesterday, today, and forever; and I work not among the children of men save it be according to their faith." (2 Nephi 27:23) When ever the Lord directs us to say or do something...JUST DO IT!!! As we do so our faith and trust in Him increase and we become instruments. I prefer to be a banjo :)

Things are still in place for Rita's baptism for November 6th! The thing is is that she still struggles with why we don't drink tea or coffee....and she needs to give it up a week before her baptism and we're having a hard time contacting her. If she's still drinking we'll have to post pone the baptism until a later date until she's fully ready. I'd rather have her be completely ready and committed then still blury about things, if that makes sense.

Love you fam!

Love Sister Ireland

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Dear Ireland Clan,

Well, transfer day is tomorrow....and....I'!!!! My companion is, Sister Tomlinson, who will be the most 'seasoned' sister in the mission because Sis. Green is going home tomorrow, therefore making Sister Tomlinson the oldest. The ward I'll be serving in will be a YSA ward (Young Single Adult). I'm VERY excited yet sad at the same time because I'll be leaving Sis. Hill in Tuscany to train a new sister missionary who will be arriving tonight. Sis. Hill is simply the best and I'll miss serving with her. We have had many 'Excellent Adventures' in the land of Tuscany and perhaps we'll experience more if we serve together once again.......someday...... :)

Sis. Hill and I experienced an awesome miracle this past Sunday. Like I said before we had the goal of baptizing someone in October and the final Sunday for someone to come came but to no avail. So, when we came home from church we decided to drop by a potential investigators home. We were expecting that he would say that we wasn't interested but when he opened the door allowed us inside and let us teach the Restoration! His name is Tali* who is from Africa and he's Muslim. His wife, Anita*, is from India and is Hindu/Sheik. Yeah, pretty cool, eh? Anyways he was really receptive to our message and asked us a lot of questions because he's not very familiar with Christianity. He said that what we taught him made sense and seemed to have a desire to read the Book of Mormon. He wants us to come back this next Sunday, and sadly, I won't be there so Sis. Hill will have to update me. So, perhaps we won't get a baptism in October BUT the Lord has opened many doors for Sis. Hill and I because of our faith in Him. This transfer has been awesome. At the beginning things were slow but we've both worked really hard and have seen MANY miracles along the way. My faith has definitely increased as I've learned to rely on the Lord and do and say those things that He desires me to do. I've seen the blessings of learning to rely on the spirit. Throughout this transfer I've learned to rely on the spirit's promptings and have learned that it's for an important purpose, whether I've seen the results immediately or not. "...Faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." (Ether 12:6) I love this scripture. I know that as I continue to rely on the Spirit that I'll never be taken down a 'wrong path', but rather when I choose to follow those promptings my pathway becomes clearer and I realize that the Saviour is walking with me every step of the way. Whenever you receive a prompting...JUST DO IT!!! You'll never regret it and the Lord will help you receive more revelation for yourself and for those around you.

Love you family!

Sister Ireland
*Names have been changed

Monday, October 18, 2010

Sister Canada

Ahoy family!

Well, I'm going to dispel the controversy of why I didn't write yesterday since I'm pretty sure that everyone is worried and are at the edge of their seats this very moment. We had Thanksgiving yesterday! Yes, October 11 is the official day in Canada where they make merry with their family, friends, and a slaughtered turkey. Since it was on Monday Sis. Hill and I were able to have a fabulous P-day with a thanksgiving dinner to tie it off with a member in our ward. Plus to make things more interesting and fun the Prime Minister of Canada came to his abode for the holiday. So, our street was monitered by his undercover people and it was the BEST. We were practically living on the safest street in Tuscany for the past few days. And to make things even cooler Sis. Hill and I were doing a morning jog by a huge ravine that is behind our house AND the Prime Minister's...I made the prediction that we were probably being watched by undercover people who were hiding in the ravine...and it turns out that I was right! We learned from someone in our ward that they really do place people in the were not alone that early morning......

This past week and up to this point has been very challenging but rewarding. As a mission we have the goal of every companionship getting one baptism for this month of October. In our zone Sis. Hill and I and two other companionships do not have a baptismal date for this month so far. So here's the deal, we have to find someone to teach THIS WEEK in order for them to be baptized this month, because if they say 'yes' to being baptized they need to at least attend church twice. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! So this past week we've been working hard at trying to find people to teach with not much success. This past Saturday we went to Valley Ridge to see if we could find anyone and also teach some members in that area. To me it felt like Valley Ridge chewed us and spit us out. No one was interested in talking to us and hardly any of the members were home. I remember coming home at the end of the day feeling pretty low and my faith was weak. While saying my personal prayers I just poured out to Heavenly Father that I felt that my faith was very weak and I needed his help to make it strong. I noticed throughout the next day that my faith in Him felt more secure and strong as I did those things I needed to do to be closer to Him. I didn't feel discouraged and felt more hopeful about the future and that He would provide a way for Sis. Hill and I to find someone to teach. I know that when I sincerely poured out my soul to Him in prayer that it made all the difference in my attitude and perception. It helps build my testimony that He does hear my prayers and desires to answer them, I just need to humble myself and come to Him first. I notice in the scriptures when the Saviour says, "Come unto me," we need to make the choice of whether we'll come to him or not. He is there and is ready to receive us, but we ourselves need to make the steps towards Him.

So, to show Heavenly Father that we needed His help to fulfull this goal we fasted for his special blessing this past Sunday. This Monday we received a referral from the mission office that there is a woman in Tuscany who would like to meet with the missionaries! In Tuscany we hardly ever get referalls...until yesterday! The woman who called in the referal said that she had a conversation with her friend who is trying to find a religion.... :) We'll be stopping by her home later on today. Heavely Father definitely blessed Sis. Hill and I as we did our best in trying to find people and has rewarded our faith by giving us an opportunity to teach someone who is searching. Perhaps this lady maybe baptized this month or maybe not, regardless this has definitely been a faith building experience for me and has made me stronger. And to add to that Sis. Hill and I were able to come into a less active man's home and taught he and his wife. Throughout the lesson we would ask them questions and he would always turn to his wife and have her give the answer. Well, near the end of the message we asked another question and this time she turned to him and waited for him to give an answer. The answer that he gave was amazing and the spirit was strong in the room. Afterwards he invited us to come over to dinner next Monday at their home and we're really excited! Also, we stopped by a less active members home and had the opportunity to talk with her for a while. She's very open and doesn't mind us coming over again when we have time to do so. HAZZAR!!!!!!!! The Lord has provided miracles for Sis. Hill and I these past few days and it's built my faith in seeing his hand working in our area of Tuscany.

Love you!

Sister Ireland aka Debbie can you turn a movie on for us? :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Episode III: Return of the Sister‏

Dear Family,

FIRST of all I must say that General Conference was A.W.E.S.O.M.E.!!!! The talks that were given were definitely inspired and spiritually uplifting....someone slay the spiritual fatted calf and bring out the best remote! General Conference has returned once again! Whenever I listen to General Conference there is always a specific message that I'm able to receive, and when the Lord gives me that message through one of his servants I know that it's important to follow through on that personal counsel I've received. I hope that all of you were able to be spiritually fed personally and I know the Lord will help and support you as you're willing to obey his counsel (please see Nephi 17:3:)

Well, things have been going good in the land of Tuscany. Sis. Hill and I tracted into this young man (Ryan*) who didn't believe that there was a God BUT he was interested in hearing our message. So, on Thursday we were able to teach him and his little sister, Rachel*. Ryan is the kind of guy that likes to prove things scientifically and basically wants to prove, scientifically, that there is a God. While teaching him Sis. Hill and I said that he first needed to have faith in order to receive his personal answer....he and Rachel seemed pretty shady about that concept. They worry that if you go by 'feeling' rather than 'seeing' you might be fooling yourself. So, the lesson in and of itself didn't go anywhere because he kept finding loop holes about the things we were trying to teach him. The cool thing though is that he's willing to read the Book of Mormon so we committed him to read and pray about it. We even asked him to pray after the lesson and he did! He didn't receive any answer when praying but that's definitely one of the first steps for him to receive his answer. If he's not willing to pray with us, then most likely who won't pray by himself. He and Rachel accepted a return appointment this Tuesday and we hope that we can ask those questions to build their faith and to help them know that their Father really exists.

I can't believe how fast this transfer has flown by! Transfers are on Oct 20 and I have a feeling that I won't be with Sis. Hill for another transfer. Ha ha ha ha when we first became companions we didn't understand each other at all. Sis. Hill is the type of sister that is very logical in her thinking while I am the type of sister that thinks illogically. Not saying that I'm a crazy sister that forgot her pills at home but we have a different way of viewing things let's just say. So, the beginning of the transfer was quite interesting, but as time has gone on we both understand each other better and have become good friends. Ha ha Sis. Hill is the best! Anyways, I'll be a wee bit sad if I don't stay with her for another transfer but I've learned a lot from her and she's helped me become more confident in the work. I'm so grateful that the Lord has blessed me with two great companions so far as I'm learning to become a better instrument in his service.

Family I love you very much and appreciate the emails and letters that you write me. They make me so happy and comforted knowing that things are going well in the land of Utah. While watching the footage of General Conference it was weird to see my old abode and I thought about you a lot during this session of conference.

I love you!

Love, Sister Ireland

aka Deberella
*Names have been changed to preserve privacy

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Salutations from Canada :)

Ahoy Family,

This past week has been a challenge....a good challenge I must say. Sister Macias (from Ecuador) and I are still considered the 'new sisters' in our mission and this week we went on an exchange. Sis. Hill and Sis. Macias's companion, Sis. Chase had to go to training meetings in downtown Calgary, which left two jr. companions to fend for themselves for four days. Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!! :) When I realized that Sis. Macias and I were going to be working together I felt very nervous and was wondering how things were going to go because we were still relatively new. But, while I was thinking about it I felt this feeling of peace come into my mind and heart telling me it was going to be okay...and it was! Actually, it was great! Sis. Macias has such a strong, powerful testimony of the Gospel and I was able to learn a lot of things from her this past week. The Lord watched over and guided us as we worked together and it was a neat experience. Every other day we would switch out on areas, so one day we would be in my area, Tuscany, and the other day, Airdrie. It was different but good to learn to be the senior companion for both of us in our areas and I felt that we taught with the Spirit with the people we taught.

Sis. Hill and I have experienced a couple of miracles this past week. We were going to visit a member who was on a street that we previously thought we should tract. So, while walking to the member's house we decided to knock on the first door we came to. A man in his twenties answered the door and while we talked with him he was very interested about the church. Usually when we talk to people we ask them questions, but this time he was asking us questions! He wanted to take our materials that we had about the restoration and Joseph Smith and asked when our church service was because he really wanted to come. He did ask one question that if he joined our church if he could still drink....dun dun dun!!!! So, Sis. Hill told him that we didn't drink and explained that when we put those things in our body we can't be receptive to the spirit. That basically made sense to him and he told us that he would try to come. On Sunday we waited outside for him before church started and he didn't show. We're going tonight to follow up with him and see if he would be interested in learning more. To be honest, he seemed really sincere when we were talking with him so we hope and pray that he will be able to accept the message we want to share.

Also, on the same day we went to an investigator's house, Vance*, to see if he happened to be home. We saw that his car was there and it's REALLY hard to catch him because he works 7 days of the week. Vance wasn't home but the man's name who answered the door was Maribeau (Mare-a-bo:) who is also from Cameroon like Vance. While talking with him he said that he was in a bible study group and they're trying to find the church that is closest to the primitive church back in Christ's time......:) We gave him a Book of Mormon with a restoration pamphlet that he was willing to read and we're following up with him this week. Ha ha! The field is white in Tuscany! Heavenly Father has been blessing us according to our faith.

Yesterday we met with, Iris*, the woman that we tracted into this past Sunday who's husband died this past January. We asked her if she would want to hear our message and she's being a wee bit resistant. She feels that she needs to find inner peace within herself and get her 'ducks in a row' before she can go to church. Little does she realize right now that you can't find inner peace all by yourself. True, you can decide if you want to be happy but when Christ is not in the picture in achieveing that happiness and peace you will not be entirely fulfilled, you're still thirsty. In the the New Testament when Christ is speaking to the woman at the well he testifies that she would never thirst. "Wha?!" she says, "Where can I find this water?" He tells her that He is the well of living water and that through Him she would never thirst (thanks dad for that letter). Satan does everything to convince us that before we need to make changes in our lives we need to do this, and we need to do that.....oh and DON'T forget to do that other thing before you make this major change! When we listen to him we are procrastinating the peace and healing we could receive if we just ran to the Saviour and the well where he stands. If we need to make changes in ourselves we need to take the Saviour by the hand and let him lead us and to not depend on our own strength. "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things." (Alma 26:12) Turn to Him and let Him help you.

I love you family and I hope things are going well in the land of 70 degree weather in September! Jealous. :) It's getting pretty cold here. Burrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Love, Sister Ireland

aka Debalee
*Names have been changed to preserve privacy