Monday, July 27, 2015

Week 47

Mom note:  This is all we got today.  I'm seriously put out. Sorry, friends.  

It is her birthday on Friday--she'll be 20!  If you want to drop her a short birthday greeting--email her at

With a letter like this, though, I'm not sure how I'm feeling about her getting loads of mail this week.  ;)  (oh, I'm sure I'm just kidding...I hope)

Well, I really procrastinated today but it is because we went to Dekalb to play tennis with the other hermanas. Sorry! But just wanted to let you know I am alive and doing well. 
I love you all! I know the Gospel is true!
Love, Hermana DeBuck

Monday, July 20, 2015

Week 46: Your Life's Not Falling Apart, It's Falling Into Place!

5 Questions--
1) Did the package get to you from Amazon yet?  Or is your meeting this week still?  I hope that you get it at your meeting.  The tracking shows it was attempted Saturday but the office was closed.  It should be redelivered tomorrow sometime.
2) Guess who came by with a box for us to store for you?  Check out the photo...they are wonderful!!!
3) This week, Nickelle Monson got her mission call to Resistencia, Argentina (leaving Dec 2nd) and in her Facebook feedback Sister Lucas mentioned Cassidy and I replied asking her how she the course of the our "FB convo" she mentioned to tell you hi for them.  Not really a question, but you know....
4) So you work with the Spanish branch and the English branch in Rochelle?  Sister Walters said your English needed help; when you were asked to pray you wanted to do it in Spanish.  Love that!  She also said your Spanish is fantastic!  :)
5) Pam Naugle is heading to visit her kids in Bollingbrook--and will be bringing you a birthday box.  Hopefully you will get that one in time too.  Will you please let me know?

1. Not yet. Our meeting is tomorrow, so hopefully it was delivered today (I know the missionaries in the office are there today so I'd imagine they'll get it) and I'll get it tomorrow. Thanks!

2. haha cool! They're so great. President Walters said he likes my Spanish because I don't speak too fast and I speak clearly, so he can understand--he served in Brazil so he speaks Portuguese.

3. Wow, December 2nd? That seems like SO far away...but at the same time it's hardly any time! And cool. Tell Sister Lucas hi for me too.

4. In Rochelle, it's just an English branch. The branch here is a year old (we're celebrating our one year anniversary on 1 August) but we have a Spanish group (several members that speak Spanish with varying levels of English). We translate the meetings--except Sunday school because we just have a Gospel Principles class in Spanish--so it reminds me a lot of my first area (except the church  unit here is tiny compared to three wards....haha)

5. I will let you know when I get it, yes. I would imagine it'll be August 4 or 5 though because that's when the next meeting is (transfers). Tell her thanks for me!

For this week's funny story...
While walking down the street, knocking doors, there was a man outside spraying fertilizer on  someone's lawn. He was just finishing up as we got nearer so we got his attention and I asked if we could give him a card. He said "Sure" and then walked away. (We were super confused). He goes to his truck reaches in and kind of rummages around for a minute and then comes back. With a card. For the fertilizer business. (Uh, okay....haha) Then I said "here's one for you" and invited him to look at the website and he said "it's better if you call than trying to do it online", talking about his  card....okay.....haha oh man it was kind of hysterical. So now I have a card from a fertilizer business in my journal. haha so great. I love talking to everyone.

The same day, a little later, on a different street, there were three people sitting outside because they were having a garage sale and we weren't sure how to contact them (because we didn't want to appear like we were going to buy anything) so I asked if I could use their bathroom. They kind of counseled among themselves for a moment and then one lady said something but we couldn't hear so we asked her to repeat it and she said "We'd rather you didn't". .....okay. There was no response to odd. We probably should've tried harder to give them a card, but I wasn't feeling very charitable at that point and I gave in to the temptation. So...yeah. That was fun. (In order to think nicer thoughts of them, I told myself maybe their home was recently broken into or something like that. So they're just paranoid.) It's kind of crazy how many people we try to talk to that are just scared of us. But I think a lot of the time they confuse us with another religion....ah well. They're missing out on the truth.

For this week's spiritual story...
We've been working on talking to anyone and everyone about The Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith (I'm happy to say it's going well) and part of our zone's focus this month is talking to everyone, but first setting a goal to contact a certain number of people the night before. So one night we set the goal to contact 12 the next day (we were still working on talking to everyone.) and we felt good about it. It would stretch us but we also felt it was achievable. The next day, we'd contacted 13 people and we still had 2 or 3 hours of finding to do. So we decided to set it ten higher; our new goal was 23  people. We were doing good all day but eventually it was about 8:30 or so (maybe 8:45) and we hadn't met our goal. But, we needed to buy gas so we went to the BP in town and decided we would talk to someone who was pumping gas and to the cashier. But there was no one else pumping gas when we pulled up so we went inside to use the bathroom. Lucky for us it was only a single so while Hermana LaBonte was in the bathroom, I talked to one worker and while I was in the bathroom, she talked to a customer. (It worked out very well.) We were still missing one person in order to meet our goal, though. As we walked back to our car, a car pulled up and the driver went inside before we  could even register he was there, but the passenger took longer so we walked up to him and waited for him to get out so we could give him a card. And we met our goal!

Now, this may not sound like a very spiritual story, but I know that if we are truly committed to a goal (and it's an inspired goal), God will provide a way for you to achieve that goal. Because He wants you to reach your goals and to reach new heights. So if we follow the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which we will do (1 Nephi 4:6-7) God will provide a way. That is one thing I'm learning day after day in the mission. For which I am so grateful.

I know the Gospel that was restored by God through Joseph Smith is true. Whether or not we accept and follow it, it continues being the truth--the only truth. I love being able to share what I know is true because I know it's the one thing I cherish the most in life--because through the Gospel, all the other good things in my life have come. Because of the Gospel, I know I will be with my family even after death. Because of the Gospel, I know that God is my Father in heaven and that He loves me. Because of the Gospel, I know that the Church of Christ is built upon prophets and apostles--always has been and always will be. Because of the Gospel, I have the hope of eternal life (Moroni 7:41). I  am so blessed to have all of this knowledge, along with the capacity to know infinitely more. And I know that each one of us, as children of God, has the capacity to know all that God knows--if we will but ask.

Con Todo Mi Amor,
Tu Hija y Amiga,
Hermana DeBuck

P.S. The best investigator in the world is finally on date! And he chose 21 August all by himself. Man I love this guy.


 1. Haircuts! And we gave our hair stylist a Book of Mormon! (:

2. The weekly corn photo, of course

Monday, July 13, 2015

Week 45: How 'Bout Them Oranges?

5 Questions:
1)  Have you met your new Mission Pres yet?  What do you think?
2)  Did you get the message about what type of iPad you have in Mahonri--exactly which model???--so we can order the right case/keyboard?  (PS--I saw a"lost" set of scriptures in the church today that was printed "Mahonri Moricanumer" on the front cover.  Made me laugh.)
3)  Did you get the first package yet? 
4)  What kind of meeting did you have on the 7th that you might get the package?  I can't remember.
5)  It is weird to you that friends you graduated with who are already coming home from missions?!? 

1. Yes. haha he's so funny! So President Griffin is originally from South Carolina (if I'm not mistaken) and so he has a southern accent. Basically the first thing he told us is that we can be obedient AND have fun. Nowhere in the scriptures does it say we have to have long faces while we're enduring to the end. So the obedience in this mission isn't going to decrease (it should increase in all honesty) but we are going to try to have more fun, I suppose is what he basically said. President and Sister Griffin are definitely different from President and Sister Fenn, but I wouldn't say one is better than the other. I love them all so much and I know I needed to have both presidents for my mission president.
2. I did get the message; Mahonri is an iPad mini 2 (with retinal display, if that matters). And I'm glad you finally heard more information about the whole iPad thing. I was beginning to wonder if you ever would...but so my understanding (just wanna make sure we're on the same page) is that since I'm going home after 31 August 2015 I get to/have to buy Mahonri and will keep him after I'm released. Is that what you were told?
3. I did. Thank you! I really enjoyed the Johnny Lingo bit--did you write that or did you find it online somewhere?--and as far as the garments go, the bottoms were a little too tight (I could fit but it wasn't particularly comfortable) so I would ask you get a size bigger, and that should be fine. And with the tops, that is the smallest size right? I can't remember... Also, thank you for the CD and the journals. I just wrote the last day in the one I had so it was right on time! And I haven't opened whatever is wrapped yet; I'm gonna wait until my actual birthday. (Speaking of, so we're having a branch party/activity on 1 August, to celebrate the birthday of the branch, and Hna LaBonte volunteered to make tres leches cake so we're going to have tres leches cake for my birthday and for the branch birthday. haha) (:
4. On the 7th we just met President and Sister Griffin. We did get a little bit more training, from the both of them and from the assistants, but that's it. It was really great though! Elders Higley and Hansen taught about the three degrees of motivation (which I'd learned from Elder Higley while he was my zone leader in Peoria) but man, it's so good. I can't remember if I've written about it before or not, but anyway, the idea is that we want to be obedient (of course) but for the right reason--because we love God.
5. It is super weird! I can't believe we've been graduated for two whole years....who said that was okay...? So I guess the next thing to happen is all those young return missionary men get engaged....eek. I'd rather not contemplate life after the mission....but cool. This last week I got an email from a friend from high school entitled "My last email as a missionary....." Oof. It kind of gave me chills. I've always thought, every time there are departing testimonies at zone conference, and they all say "I never thought this day would come", I always thought that was silly. But now I feel like I understand better. I mean, mentally and logically I know the end will come, eventually, but it doesn't really feel real. Because you literally do the same thing all day every day beginning from day one. And then suddenly it's supposed to just stop? Excuse me? But yeah, that's how it works I suppose. Until 3 March 2016 comes around, I'm going too keep working hard and smart, as though that day will never come. Because that is how you're supposed to serve a mission.

I don't even know where to begin, this week was so amazing! But I suppose it would be good to start at the beginning, no? I will try to keep this somewhat short, and only talk about the highlights, but there were so many! Buckle up, peeps....
Monday: after our dinner appointment with our recent convert, due to an unplanned lesson that set our schedule back, we had about 20 minutes before 9:00. And we were about 10 or so minutes from our house, so we had about 10 minutes to work. We didn't know what to do with those ten precious minutes so we prayed, and we both received the same confirming revelation of the plans that we had made last night--to visit the family of an investigator with a lot of potential who is currently in Mexico. So we went and ended up finding the daughter of that investigator. Her name is Brenda. We found out she'd heard a bit about what her mom was learning but wasn't interested, but now she is! So we taught a really quick lesson and set up a time to come back, on Wednesday. 
Lesson learned: seek revelation and you will receive it (James 1:5; 3 Nephi 14:7-8)
Tuesday: In the evening, we had plans to knock doors. Usually, this is effective until about 8 but we had plans to do so from about 6-9. A somewhat grim prospect perhaps, but I was excited. I love knocking doors. We went to 7th Avenue and began knocking. At one door, we met a young man named Ivan (he's either 21 or 28, we couldn't ever hear the last digit...) and he was really cool! We had a great spiritual doorstep lesson, but then at the end, he basically told us that he wasn't ready for this right now, so we testified that one day he will be and it will help him answer his questions. Then, it was about 8:45, so we were walking back to our car and we see a man sitting on the porch of an apartment building. Of course we had to talk to him! We ended up showing him the video Because He Lives and as soon as it's over he stands up, walks over to us (I was thinking "Is he gonna punch us or something?") And then he awkwardly embraces the both of us, one in each arm, while he's standing on the step above us....if that's not one of the most awkward things you've ever heard, I don't know what is. Anyway, one thing led to another and we sort of taught him the restoration, specifically about the Book of Mormon. And when we asked if he would be baptized by someone holding God's authority when he knows these things are true, he said, "Absolutely". Cool! Also, two times after the first he embraced us just as he had at the beginning. Triply awkward....ah well. And then of course we didn't have an English Book of Mormon so we ran to the car, drove back, gave it to him with an "assignment" to read Alma 32 (he was really into faith in Jesus Christ) and then we basically handed him off to the elders. (Anytime I serve in English church units, I feel like we do a lot of finding for the English it just me or is that a normal Spanish missionary thing? haha)
Lesson learned: talk to everyone, because you never know when you'll be an answer to someone's prayer--or when someone will be the answer to your prayer (Alma 8:18-20)
Wednesday: don't be afraid to ask if we can come in and share more--some people do say yes! (Alma 22:1-3)

Wednesday: was exchanges. For the second time in my ten months, I left my area. This time I went to Wheaton, and I was with Hermana Montanares. It was quite a lot of fun. She and I are pretty similar and I felt like we worked well together. We had a member with us at one point to visit a referral from another member, but then they didn't answer. So we did some knocking in a neighborhood that didn't look Latino hardly at all....but eventually we found one that housed some Latinos! The man we talked to, turns out he had read the Book of Mormon before, when he was 14, because it was easier to understand than the Bible. We got to teach him about what the Book of Mormon is and why its necessary, and he seemed pretty open. However, he told us at one point that he doesn't believe in churches, because they're made by man. I asked him, "You know that Jesus Christ established a church when he was on the earth, right?" He said, "Yes" so I asked "So we should be a part of church, right?" And he said "Yes, but only if was Christ's church." *smile* "Well, that is the message that we share; that the church Christ established has been brought back to the earth through a modern prophet." Anyway, I was pretty complacida with myself because in situation like that, I tend to get frustrated and end up saying something that kind of drives the spirit away, but that time I kept it together! So happy. (:
Lesson learned: don't be afraid to ask if we can come in and share more--some people do say yes! (Alma 22:1-3)

Thursday: basically did almost nothing today, because we had so much driving and then weekly planning. However, planning was a revelatory experience for us! We came to the realization that we need to focus on just one of our investigators. Because while we do want to set and achieve higher goals, we need to start with the basics, and just focus on one person: Jose. So, that is exactly what we will do.
Lesson learned: even though we want to set and achieve high goals, we need to start with the basics--in our area, we need to focus on our investigator Jose, otherwise he's more likely to fall through the cracks (Alma 26:30)

Friday: We had an appointment with one of our really promising new investigators and she wasn't there; granted, we were a bit early so we decided to wait around for a bit. In order to be productive still, we tried calling the investigators we had numbers for that we hadn't had contact with for a while. One of them is Stefani. She's a YSA (young single adult) who seemed interested in knowing for herself in what we said was true, but we hadn't been able to meet with her again hace algunos semanas (for some weeks). We called her and she picked up! She was still super nice and sincere and wants to learn more--the problem is that she's so busy because she's in the military (I have no more details on that, sorry) and is working and going to school. But we were able to set up an appointment for next week before she goes out of town, which made her a new investigator! Then, our appointment never did show up so we decided to go by another new investigator nearby, named Gloria. And she was home and answered! We ended up teaching her and her 8, almost 9, year old son. She'd actually read from the Book of Mormon since our first visit and was in 1 Nephi 3, so we kind of recapped the beginning and read the rest with her and her son, Humberto. And for all of you who aren't familiar with the story of that chapter, it's when Nephi and his brothers go to get the plates (scriptures) from Laban, back in Jerusalem. Long story short, quite fitting for an 8-turninng-9 year old, wouldn't you say? He was pretty attentive and Gloria really understood it well, plus the doctrines that go along with the story. It was an awesome lesson that we totally hadn't planned for but I know because we were in the right place at the right time following the Spirit, Heavenly Father blessed us.
Lesson learned: You can't give up on someone just because they haven't answered their phone--we ended up with a new investigator (by giving her a call and setting up an appointment) and an other lesson (because we went by and she was finally home, and we taught her and her 8-almost-9-year-old son about Nefi, Laman and Lemuel) (Mosiah 27:8-20)

Saturday: Well, we followed the Spirit all morning and reaped the fruits of our labors, so to speak, and then we both felt we had finished all that we needed to do in a part of our area, so we decided to go somewhere else--which wasn't in our plans--and we ended up finding three men outside of the house where we were looking for our potential investigator. Normally, I'm not a fan of talking to more than two men at a time, but this time we did and we ended up having a lesson! And man, this hermano, Arturo, is very sincere in his desire to change his life. It was a really cool "coincidence" (the notion of coincidences is a heresy, so I'm told) and we made a return appointment for the next day--with his whole family!
Lesson learned: unless the Spirit explicitly tells you not to talk to that slightly scary-looking group of men, talk to them! You literally never know who is being prepared to receive the Gospel. (Alma 32:4-6)

Sunday: We had an appointment with someone we'd met and taught yesterday (not Arturo) and then no one answered when we went by, so we went to our back up plan: to knock doors. Wooh! To be quite honest though, I wasn't thrilled at this point to be knocking. It was blazing hot and I thought I was going to die. (I could never live in Illinois....) we finally get to the next number we have and we find out its an apartment building. And we have no apartment number. There are four options and so we finally just pick one and knock. And we meet Julian, who asked us questions pertaining to the Plan of Salvation. Then his wife came to the door and they kind of switched places (he recently had surgery so the heat was kind of giving him trouble I think) and we ended up teaching her the restoration! Once again, doing some finding for the English elders. haha but yeah, they were pretty cool and they even gave us cold water bottles! So thoughtful.
Lesson learned: You stay in an area until you find out why you're there, and then you begin to harvest! (Alma 18:12-23)
(Also, as a side note, we got to teach an Englishman today--a legitimate, born and raised, English accent, Englishman. Granted, he was maybe 16 years old, but it definitely still counts. Plus, I'm pretty sure he is totally ready to learn about the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, which we just happened to have prepared to teach for our finding lesson at the Walters--he was staying with them. So that's an added bonus.)

So all in all, this week was really super awesome. The Gospel is true no matter what anyone says about it. Joseph Smith is a prophet of God, called to receive revelation for our days. But it is up to us if we will listen to God's counsel given through him or if we will ignore it and continue to wander in the mists of darkness (1 Nephi 8). I know the Book of Mormon changes lives because it has changed mine and it has changed the lives of many people I've come in contact with. I know God answers prayers no matter what, just sometimes it takes a little more time than we think it will. And above all else, the question He wants YOU to ask is if there is more truth out there, if there's even the slightest chance that what I share, daily, as a missionary is true--if it has the potential to change your life. When was the last time you asked?

Todo Mi Amor,
Tu Hija y Amiga,
Hermana DeBuck

Sent from my iPad

The corn is still we found the tallest corn near the edge that we could find, and we also took a photo by our regular spot. But hey, at least they're growing!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Week 44: If Life Were Fair, We'd All Be Burning In Hell

5 Questions: 
1) Would you have time if Shannon & Tony got permission to take you and your comp to lunch when they were out there?  I gave Shannon Sister Hall's number in the office so they could call before they left for their Indiana trip next week.
2) Did I mention that I was called into the new YW presidency in the ward last week?  I thought I did, but you didn't react at all to the news.  I figured you, more than anyone, could understand how much better that is for me than Primary. ;)
3) Did you hear from your brother (finally)?  He said he wrote to you last week or so.
4) Will you please let me know when you get the little package I send on the 1st?
5) Any new investigators?  I feel badly that you only have two to work with at the moment.

1. We would have time but I am not sure that we'll get permission for that. But if we get permission, sure! We would just have to stay in our area is all....and there aren't a ton of options here. But I'm sure we could figure something out.

2. Yes you did mention it. Sorry I didn't say anything in response. I meant to do so and then forgot...but that's really cool! haha of course, right after you've come to terms with Primary... I feel like that happens to a lot of people...did to one of my companions at least.

3. I did. haha it made my day

4. I will let you know, but I imagine I will get it either tomorrow at zone training or on the 21st (?) because that's the next zone meeting we'll have. We only get packages at meetings like that or transfers.

5. A few more investigators, yes. haha I'll tell you more in a moment.

So I have a maybe bad habit of getting somewhat passionate when someone starts telling me that what I believe (and know to be true) is codswallop. Which may be a problem, but may not be a problem, I don't know exaclty. But so this week we had the opportunity to speak with an 88 year old retired Lutheran (?) pastor. Wow. That was quite the experience. I gave him a card of the painting depicting when Christ visited the Americas and as I explained the story, he told me that I was sadly confused and that I must be getting my information from a bad source because that didn't happen. I told him that I got my information from God so I'm pretty sure it's sound. To be honest, I hadn't completely realized that there are people who believe that the heavens ARE sealed and that God doesn't speak to us--that personal revelation does not actually exist. I was somewhat dumbfounded by that notion as I thought about it after the fact. But in the conversation, my companion and I testified of the Prophet Joseph and of the Book of Mormon. So I know we did everything we could've, even if I did get a little passionate about it.

The next day we talked to a Jehovah's Witness lady. She was super nice! I asked her how she knows the Bible is the word of God and she never gave me a straight answer, unless you count asking me how I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. But, exactly in the moment where it was on the verge of contentious, my brilliant companion asked if she could use their bathroom--we were standing on their porch--so that eased some of the tension. Then when she came out, we said we had to go and asked if we could say a prayer. So at least the seed has been planted. All in all, it was an overall good experience. I do honestly appreciate her dedication to prayer, and she was very knowledgeable about Bible scriptures. I do know for myself that the Bible is the word of God, but I wish I was more familiar with it. It just confuses me and kind of makes my brain hurt, so I don't study it as in depth as I would like to. I will though, after my mission.

Anyway, this week was amazing! We met so many prepared, elect people. Monday night we met a young man named Alandis who is very interested in turning his life over to God. Later in the week, we had a member with us and we went to Alandis to try to set up an appointment with the Elders since we were in his area (he's English speaking only so we have to hand him over) and we ended up having a lesson and he accepted a baptismal date for 1 August! SAY WHAT?!! Oh man, he is so so golden.  Possibly the most prepared person I've ever met. So that was super cool. Unfortunately, we wrote his number down wrong (we're a little dyslexic) so the elders can't call actually him....but he committed to come to church this coming Sunday (he was going to be in Chicago this past weekend for the 4th) so that'll be cool. The elders didn't seem quite thrilled enough when we told them though....but I guess that's the difference between the two genders.

Also, we met a young lady named Jessica--actually, we met her mother a couple weeks ago and then last week she gave us her daughter as a referral--and we taught her and put her on date! We had faith that she could be baptized in three weeks (she's so ready) but she didn't come to church this Sunday so now she's off date. [Sometimes I kind of wish we didn't have agency--then the Spirit prods me and reminds me of the councils of heavens in the premortal life when Satan tried to take away our agency and then got thrown out of heaven...] But we'll see her this week and hopefully figure out when she needs to be on date for. She's so awesome though. I'm excited.

That's basically it. We saw a lot of miracles this week, but I don't want to wear your eyes out from reading too much. Also, my neck is killing me and I still need to write to other people. Suffice it to
say the work is hard, but the work is true. Satan really doesn't want us to succeed and he knows how to get to us--one of the biggest things I'm learning is to overcome my tendencies to give in to Satan's whisperings. But it's a process and I'm relying on my Savior to help me do so. I love this Gospel and I can't imagine doing anything else than building up Zion here in Rochelle.

Love, Hermana DeBuck

How did you prayers go about Joseph Smith?

Hermana LaBonte told me this morning during exercise that I was talking in my sleep last  night--about the plan of salvation. Basically it's been my dream to know the doctrine well enough to teach it in my sleep--mission accomplished!

P.P.P.S. (Fotos)
We took pictures with the corn again, except we realized that the spot we picked wasn't really  growing at all, so we also took a picture in a different spot where the corn has actually grown. Isn't it so lovely? (Also, isn't my hair fantastic...)

 [Finally, I think my eyes ARE actually the tall corn picture....maybe]


That's a picture of my neck--in about three hours I got seven mosquito bites on my neck alone (12 in total)....

We got out of an appointment late so we weren't going to be home until after 9:30 so we had to let President (Griffin) know and this was his response.

I think the branch knows my name, but it's questionable now...