Exciting Week! :)

Hello everyone!
This week was excellent! The members in our ward are so incredible! They make us feel right at home. They always give us groceries and so much food! We haven't even needed to go grocery shopping in like two weeks! It is so awesome. I love them so much! I am convinced that we are in the best area!:)

We had Zone Conference this week! It was so powerful! President and Sister Cooke are phenomenal people! I am going to miss them so much when they go home next month!:( Everything President and Sister Cooke spoke to us about just hit my heart so powerfully.

Sister Ete is really good at Polynesian dancing, so we went and taught the young women in our ward a Polynesian dance! The girls loved it!! It was so fun to interact with them and talk with all of them! They are incredible girls! Sister Ete is so amazing. I have learned so much from her. She is also a Visitors Center sister on her outbound. President told me at interviews that he has never done that before because normally he puts the VC sister with a full proselyting sister on her outbound but he said he really felt that we should be together! And I can totally see why! She is so incredible.

Haha guess what!! I have a third grandma!!! Haha there is this sweet lady who we are teaching (her daughter is a member in our ward) and she tells us to call her 'grandma'! It is so sweet! We brought her flowers the other day and went on a walk with her. She was so happy! She is teaching us Spanish little by little!  She is so great!

So last week I talked about Rachel a little bit but she is doing so well! Last week we got a referral to see her brother, Ansu, and Rachel joined in on our lesson. We went over to their house this week and Ansu wasn't there, so we just taught Rachel. She is amazing. The first thing she tells us is that she needs the address to the church building so she can come to church on Sunday haha! The second thing she tells us is that "Ansu hogs the Book of Mormon you gave him, so I downloaded the gospel library app on my phone and have been reading the Book of Mormon every day." CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT!!! She is so golden! We have loved getting to teach her! She brought her two little kids with her to church on Sunday and loved it! Her kids ran up to Sister Ete and I after church and showed us their pictures they colored of Jesus Christ and told us very proudly that "they got to read from the bible.... out loud!!!" Haha it was so cute! They looked so happy and Rachel was just so full of light! It is something I will always remember!

Lots of the people in the Gaithersburg YSA branch are referring their friends to meet with us like crazy! It is so awesome! They are so missionary minded! I hope to be just like them when I get off my mission! We had a lesson with Michael who was referred to us by Josh in the YSA branch and it went so well! He asked us if he could be baptized... That never happens haha it was so great!:)

Margaret is doing all right. She kind of forgot everything we taught her.... So we are starting all over again with the lessons. She was progressing so much but now is kind of falling backwards, but she will get there! She has a strong desire and testimony that this is true. She has had a problem keeping commitments lately so we really just broke down why it was so important and how it will help her.

We met Lily at church last week. She just came all on her own. We were talking with her after last week and she said, "I finally found the church I have been looking for my whole life!" This week she came again and told us how happy she was to be here! She said "This church is where I can come for true happiness." She told us how she wants this in her life! She is from Iran and has so much faith! We have to get special permission to teach her because of her religious background being dangerous! But she is so amazing and I already love her so much!

I am so grateful to be serving a mission right now and for the relationships I have been able to make with so many amazing people.  I have loved getting to see other people's lives. It truly is preparing me for life ahead. Something to remember this week: God never ever EVER afflicts us, He only tests us! :) This life is the time to be tested and to prepare to meet God! Let's give it our best! Love you all! Have a great week!
Love, Sister Freeman :)

Our new Mission President and Mission Mom coming when the Cookes leave!
President and Sister Johnson

Our apartment!!

GRANDMA ROMERO <3 :) We had dinner at their house the other night and helped make it!:) 
It was so yummy!

WALTER! He is the cutest old man I have ever met in my life! He is one of our investigators!:)

7 Months!!

Dear Family and Friends,
You all are so great! I hope you all enjoyed this past week! Time sure is flying by so fast! This week was so crazy and I don't want to make this email too long so I will just talk about one day this week that was a special day to me. It was Thursday! We first met with Ansu. Ansu referred himself to the missionaries! He and his family are from Sierra Leon. His sister, Rachel listened in on the discussion and she wants to learn more as well. We are so excited to work with them. 

We then met with Leonard. Leonard has been addicted to smoking since he was SEVEN!! So we are working with him on helping him stop smoking! His house always smells like smoke so badly!! My eyes were watering during the whole lesson because of the smell of smoke, but we love Leonard and his genuine desire to want to improve. Next week we are going to suggest teaching the lesson outside haha. 

Right after Leonard, we were walking and this girl named Amber walked up to us.
She said, "Hey I saw your name badges, and that they have Jesus Christ on them, can you help me?" She told us how she is having such a hard time finding hope right now. She said her husband is abusive. She told us she has had some addictions, but she has overcome them and is looking for hope and a good environment to raise her two kids. She has had such a rough background. We were able to testify to her that this gospel of Jesus Christ will bring the hope she is looking for into her life. We told her that through and because of Jesus Christ, she can have a fresh start. She started crying and thanked  us so sincerely it made me start to cry! It was such a tender moment and a tender mercy from God. I am so excited to see the Atonement work in Amber. I know it was no coincidence that we met her. 

Then we met with Walter!! Walter is the cutest old man I have ever met in my life! Every time we go over to visit, he waits for us outside his door and welcomes us with the biggest smile ever! He said he really wants to join this church and he enjoys coming to church! 

Then, to conclude our night, we brought Margaret (one of our investigators who is struggling with depression) to a dinner appointment with one of the members who signed up to feed us! It was so incredible! Margret laughed and smiled! That was the first time I have ever seen her laugh! It was so awesome! We had a lesson at the members house with her after dinner and it went so well! The spirit was so strong. We are loving the two areas that we have! Staying busy and working hard is what makes missions the best!:)

We went to the farm on Wednesday to do some service and we had a really neat experience. So a ton of autistic adults came and they got to help us plant pumpkin seeds. It was such a great experience to be around them and to see the light of Christ shine through their eyes. At the farm, Sister Ete and I also got to drive this REALLY old truck. It was so much fun! We made some pretty great memories!

On Sunday, Sister Ete and I had the wonderful opportunity to speak in Sacrament meeting about our conversion stories. We didn't have too much time to speak but it was still amazing. We also got to teach Primary as well to all the little kids about Joseph Smith. I LOVE teaching kids and just being able to teach so simply! I know Joseph Smith was a true prophet and that God worked through Joseph Smith to restore Jesus Christ's church back onto the earth. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the true church here upon the earth and the way to find lasting eternal happiness! I hope you all have a great week!
Sister Freeman

SARAH!! This is the cutest little girl I have ever met! She is our investigator Seth's, daughter. We were at the wards talent show! Sister Ete performed a Polynesian dance! It was so good!!

 Seth and his daughter Sarah with all the missionaries that have taught him.

Sister Ete and I with Sarah!

We saw a group of boys playing football! They taught us how to play football and then we taught them about Jesus Christ! It was great! I love kids! We made some new friends! :)

Busy Week!!:)

Hey everyone! 
This week was SO great!! We stayed so busy!:) Sorry this email is so long, we had so much happen!
So I first want to talk about the Romero family! They invited us over for dinner this week. They are a part member family, so the mom is a member and the husband is not a member. Their daughter is serving a mission in Peru right now! This family is so incredible! They made us feel right at home! The dad kept saying we were his daughters! He is so sweet! After dinner we had a lesson with Sister Romero (the mom), Brother Romero (the dad who is not a member) and Brother Romero's mom (who is also not a member). The spirit was so strong. The grandma spoke little English, but at the end she called us angels and told us that God loves us and He sent us to them! We are so excited to see what happens with this family! We both felt like we were right at home when we were at their house haha. Sister Romero told us to call her mom! They left us with a ton of food for the rest of the week!

So every week on Wednesdays, we get to go to the farm in Seneca and do service! On our way there, we got lost in the middle of no where when all the sudden this man drives up to us and directs us where to go! He was an angel! So this farm is HUGE! It is used for special needs kids to come to ride the horses! It is so nice! When we got there we had to sweep and clean out the barn! Then we got to go to the Shiloh Mansion on the farm (they rent it out for people to stay) and clean it! It was so much fun! There were so many bugs though because people haven't lived in it for a long time! Funny story: So there was this SUPER STICKY spider trap. Let me tell ya, it works so good, Sister Ete and I got stuck in it!!! It was on the ground to catch spiders and there were so many spiders in it and so Sister Ete stuck her foot in it to see how sticky it was.... Yah we look back and just laugh now haha and so when she got stuck, I came in and tried to help her and got stuck as well and then our hands got stuck because we tried to rip it off with our hands.... We literary got stuck with the spiders hah!! It was so funny! We eventually got out. We learned the lesson the hard way that's for sure. Don't ever touch spider trappers.

Now I want to talk about Margaret! She is doing SO WELL! This last lesson with her, she really opened up to us and told us how she suffers really badly with depression. She said that she can't remember the last time she was happy. Wow the spirit was so strong during this lesson, I remember thinking that this was not something that she was going to struggle with her whole life and right as I was thinking this, sister Ete says, "Margaret I know that as you rely heavily on Heavenly Father and do everything you can on your part, that this is a trial you will overcome!" It was such a beautiful promise! We then called the Zone Leaders to come over and give her a blessing. My testimony on priesthood blessings grew imensly from this. The Zone Leaders have never met Margaret. They have no idea who she is or what she is struggling with, but the blessing was so perfect and so personal to Margaret! They told her that she would have strength to overcome any trial out in her path. It was such a beautiful blessing. I know that it was from God and that they were the mouthpieces of God.
After the blessing we asked her about it. I wish I could explain the happiness in her eyes. I have never seen her happy before but after the blessing she glowed with such a special spirit. She said she felt happier and more at peace.  She is so excited for her baptism!

Last night we had the monthly 'Why I Believe' fireside at the Washington DC Temple Visitors' Center! This is such a special event where recent converts come and share their testimony about why they believe. We always have a main speaker as well! Sandra Turley came and spoke last night. She played Cosette on Broadway for Le Mis and is so talented! I spent the night at her house the first night in my mission before transfers... And had no idea she was famous haha! She gave a beautiful talk and testimony! One of our investigators, Paul came! He really enjoyed it and after the program, we walked around the temple. We were able to feel the spirit so strongly. We had a short lesson on the temple grounds and it was so powerful! We closed with a prayer offered by Paul. He said he could feel the spirit so strongly and that he really enjoys this church. He is so amazing! I have such a strong testimony that it is the spirit that teaches, not us. The spirit is what makes people have the change of heart. Aw I love you all! I hope you have a great week!
Love, Sister Freeman

 These kids are from El Salvador! They are investigating the church.

They are one of our recent converts kids! They are so sweet. We love them to pieces!

Took some companion pictures!

We found this super pretty pond and bridge!

"Why I Believe" Fireside!!!

Paul had such a great time.

Happy Mothers Day!:)

Hi everyone! This week was so busy!
So transfers were on Wednesday annnndddddd I am in the Montgomery Village area with Sister Ete as my new companion! Sister Ete is so amazing! She is Polynesian and is from AUSTRALIA! She is so fun! I LOVE family wards! We have been so busy lately! We don't even have time to eat most days! It is so awesome! We have such a great ward mission leader! He is so on top of everything!

During our companionship studies one day this week, this sweet Hispanic lady (Sister Serga) frantically called us and said she needed help and for us to come over right away... So we did and we get there and she has 6 babies and toddlers everywhere! Me and Sister Ete just looked at each other... haha as missionaries, we aren't allowed to hold babies or watch kids so it was an awkward situation... haha we just ended up making lunch and doing things that she needed while she watched the kids! She is the sweetest lady ever! As we were leaving she sent us with a bag full of food... Haha I've learned not to say no to Hispanics haha! They just keep giving more and more food! It is
awesome!:) The babies and toddlers were all so cute!

We met a potential investigator on Wednesday! Her name is Margaret!
She is so sweet! We knocked on her door and introduced ourselves and she gladly let us in and we shared a message with her! The spirit was so strong during the lesson! We set a baptismal date for May 29th! We are so excited for her! She loved coming to church yesterday!:)

We met Evona. She is this sweet evangelical lady that converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! She said praise the Lord every 5 seconds and everything that she did she would end by saying in the name of Jesus HALLELUJAH!! Haha it was so funny! She has the biggest heart ever! It was so neat getting to meet her. She received a priesthood blessing because she is going in for surgery and she exclaimed hallelujah during it haha! She is so funny!

We met with some other investigators like Paul and Herbert! They are both so incredible! Paul is so intelligent and very educated about the Bible! He is so incredible! Herbert is from Ghana and is very humble! I am so excited to keep meeting with all these wonderful investigators!  Sister Ete and I have been trying to use all the time we have and working really hard! It is so amazing the happiness that working hard brings into your life.

So yesterday we received exciting news.... Sister Ete and I get to open a new area!! There is a new area, the Gaithersburg YSA (Young Single Adult) Branch. So we will have two areas (the Montgomery Village area and the Gaithersburg YSA Branch! Both wards are great!! Church was so incredible!:) The Members are all so great and are so missionary minded! It is awesome!
SUNDAY WAS ALSO MOTHERS DAY!! I love my Mom so much!:) It was so amazing getting to Skype my family!  It was the best thing ever! I am so grateful for my Mom! Everything I know and everything I am, I attribute to my Mom! She is the perfect example for me to follow and the person who I want to be when I grow up!:)  I love you all and I hope you have an incredible week! Don't forget to pray always!
Sister Freeman

Transfer day!!

Sister Ete!!!!!!

We got lots of goodies for Mother's Day!:)

 SKYPEING!! So grateful for my Mom and Grandma and for their wonderful examples in my life!:)

Mother's Day Skype Call with Megan!! Oh Happiness!!!!!

This was the best Mother's Day present EVER!  It was so fun to see Megan and hear her voice!  She looks older--more mature I guess.  I haven't seen her since December.  We had such a great visit with her and we weren't in a hurry this time, because it was Mother's Day and they didn't have any appointments, so Pres. Cooke said that they could talk as long as they wanted to, but to be reasonable. So we could just talk and not worry about the time.  We probably talked for a little over an hour and a half!  It took us a bit to get the call to come through without crackling and coming in and out, but as soon as we fixed that it was so enjoyable!  She looks so good!  We talked about everything...mostly her new area (Montgomery Village) and her new companion, Sister Ete, from Australia!  Her family knows Ashley Freeman from when she served in the Brisbane mission where Sis. Ete is from. (Pronounced "Etay")  She is originally from Samoa but has an Australian accent, so has lived there probably for most of her life, I'm assuming.  We got to meet her briefly.  Megan is serving in the Seneca Zone and the Montgomery Village District.  She has 2 wards, a regular family ward in Montgomery Village, and a newly formed YSA ward in the Seneca Stake.  She just can't get enough of those YSA wards. She is so excited to be in a family ward too, though, and says they feed them much better than the YSA's did back in DC.  (I was glad to hear that!)  Megan talked to all of the girls separately and counseled them to all go on a mission.  It was so cute...she had them get right up to the screen and talked to them so seriously about going on a mission.  Then she had me come up to the screen and told me how much she loves me and how grateful she is for me.  It was so touching because she was so sincere and meant every word she said.  It made me feel so good.  Then she did the same thing with Dad and had him get up to the screen and told him how thankful she was for such a great dad and priesthood holder.  I had asked her if we could say a family prayer at the end of the call.  I thought that was a really good idea of how to end the call a little less awkwardly and she loved the idea and also asked if we could sing a hymn and her give a spiritual thought.  We sang "I Stand All Amazed", which Megan chose, and there wasn't a dry eye in the room or Megan's room!  Then she gave a spiritual thought about the Book of Mormon and how it is the only thing that can nourish the ills of this world.  She gave a quote by President Boyd K. Packer that I need to get from her. Then she challenged each of us to give away a copy of the Book of Mormon.  She said that instead of thinking of someone to give it to, to set a date to give it away by.  I thought that was such a great idea!  I really want to do this!  Wow!  We felt such a missionary zeal talking to her.  She has such a beautiful and bright spirit about her and teaches with such power and sweetness!  Who could resist at least listening to her teach the gospel!?!  Mom, Robin, Shelby, Allison and Joshua all walked in at the end of the call so Megan got to see all of them too. (They came over for a Mother's Day dinner that Bill made for all of us!)  Megan wrote a sweet letter to Joshua, and he took some time to talk to her and share his appreciation for it.  It was a sweet, tender moment.  They are such good friends.  Megan expressed her love to all of us, and then it was time to go...just like that!  It was so hard to say goodbye!  But it was a sweet phone call.  I needed to see and hear from her.  She is doing so well and LOVES missionary work!  Her countenance is beautiful!  We love you Megan!!!!!  And we miss you so much!!!!!!!

An email from Megan!! On Thursday??

Megan was transferred on Tuesday (May 3rd) and since it is Mothers' Day this Sunday, President Cooke gave all the missionaries who were transferred permission to email home and let parents know when they would be doing their Skype call.  I was so glad to get this information, because I hadn't been able to set anything up because Megan didn't know on Monday what would be going on in her new area.  So this email was GOOD NEWS!!

She ended up sending ANOTHER email on Sunday saying that she
wouldn't be calling until 2/2:30 our time, but joked about not being able
to Skype for Mother's Day at the beginning of the email.  My heart 
sank for a split second there... that little STINKER!!  I love that cute girl!


Hi everyone!
This week was SO GREAT with lots of great opportunities!!

Tuesday: We had exchanges! So I went to the Rockville area with Sister Minguito, and my companion, Sister Wilson, stayed in our area and the other Sister Wilson came to her. Exchanges were so great! I learned so much! It was so nice being in a family ward! We had back to back appointments! All of the people we met with really impacted me and I learned so much!

Thursday: The Sisters that serve in the Visitors Center had the wonderful opportunity to receive training from Mark Lusvardi (the person in charge of ALL the Visitors Centers). This was seriously one of the neatest experiences I have had on my mission! He taught a lot about interacting to edify and to build the foundation of people who come into the Visitors Center! The spirit was so strong! He said he was using our Visitors Center to experiment with some things! He was so inspiring! Later Thursday night, was the National Cherry Blossom Festival Reception! President Cooke chose 2 missionaries from each zone to go! So I got to go and Sister Liou got to go from our zone! It was so fun being companions with her for the night! The reception was such a great opportunity! We got to talk with so many people about the gospel! To end this lovely night, we were all going down the elevator... AND IT GOT STUCK!!! We had to use the call button in the elevator and they said the fire department was coming and that they would be there in 45 minutes.... It was getting so hot in there!!!
After about 15 minutes we ended up just prying the doors open...
Luckily we were on a floor! But ya super crazy but memorable experience.

Friday: We had a really awesome lesson with Sam!!! She is doing so great! She said she has had a lot of transforming moments that have really strengthened her testimony of this gospel! She is going to be such a great member when she gets baptized! She is so close!

Saturday: So we had transfer call outs on Saturday!!!! We found out that....... IM LEAVING DC 2nd SINGLES WARD!:( I will be going to a new area with a new companion on Wednesday! I find out which area and companion tonight when President Cooke calls us!!! Can't wait! It will be a great opportunity!

Sunday: Church was so great but so sad saying goodbye to all the ward members! I love love love DC 2nd!! It was such a great area to start my mission! I am excited to see where I go next! I really liked our lesson in Relief Society. She talked about coming closer to God and she shared two quotes that I really liked! The first one says, "When you face the sun (or son) the shadows of discouragement fall behind you" (John Bytheway). And the other quote is, “The greater the distance between the giver and the receiver (from God), the more the receiver develops a sense of entitlement” (Elder Hallstrom). I love these quotes and the truthfulness behind them.

President and Sister Cooke spoke to all the Sisters! I really enjoyed what he said! "You are on the Lords mission but on Satan's playing ground. This is a battle. Keep fighting" (President Cooke).  "You are called for this day, time, and mission to fight and bring souls on to Gods winning team" (Sister Cooke). I love the advice they give! I hope you all have a great week!
Sister Freeman

All of the VC Sisters, the VC Director and his wife on the far left, 
Mark Lusvardi in the middle, and President and Sister Cooke on far right 

 End of the transfer Zone picture!

(Mom loves the beautiful Tulips in the foreground!)

National Cherry Blossom Festival Reception!
 All of the sisters that got to go! 
L to R: Sister Buhler, Sister Baird, Sister Martinez, Sister Liou, Sister Plaizer, 
Sister Griffin, me, Sister Nolte

Sister Liou (my companion for the night). We got pink gift bags with fun stuff in it!

SISTER GRIFFIN (my trainer)

 All of the missionaries that got to go (minus Sister Buhler, Sister Plaizer, and Sister Nolte) 

 Whole group of everyone.

Who we traveled with.

When we got stuck in the elevator!