Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Fought The Good Fight, Finished My Course, Kept the Faith

December 12th, 2017

2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.
Awesome Mission Leaders!

Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day."

Today I will go to the temple accompanied by President and Sister Reynolds. :)

Thank you for your support throughout my mission. For the kind notes, sweet comments, and love.

This week I learned about the love that God really has for me. I can't imagine not having served this mission.... It changed my life. Forever. I am, as we love to say in this mission, Forever Changed.

I don't have words to describe this experience.

But I know as it states in 3 Nephi 5:13, 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." That has been my goal. I am grateful to have brought souls unto my Savior.

Forever Changed,

Hermana Ally Voss
Some Final Pictures 
Dad pulled this off a FB post - local Relief Society Leaders wishing  Ally well as she departs from the area.


Sunday, December 10, 2017

We Seek Christ

December 4th, 2017

Happy holidays, everyone!

It was a pretty good week. Lots of knocking, lots of MyPlan. It is more than crazy to me that I have only two weeks left in the mission. It is all going by so fast!
 Well I have only gone on the A train once, but I thought it was pretty cool.

Christian and Alfredo are still consistently meeting with us and they both went to see the Christmas devotional yesterday. Let me tell you all, I have such a strong testimony of street contacting. Over half of the baptisms of people I have taught in my mission (including those baptized by other missionaries after I left the area) have been from street contacting. It works! Knocking and working with members does, too, but I am convinced that street contacting is the most Celestial form of finding. ;) Okay, not really. But I do love it!


This week's rejections:

-Random guy: "Run! It's the Jehovah's Witness."

Me: "Actually we're missionaries from the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Sai-"

Random guy: "Even worse!"

-"I don't speak English," in perfect English.

-"No tengo tiempo, Bendiciones." *firmly closes/basically slams door*


Anyone heard of Cecelia Andrews? Julie Andrew's Hispanic sister?

Well, probably not because my guess is that she doesn't exist. However, I suggested that Sister Gillespie go and talk to a lady at the bus stop and she did, naturally. We continued to speak with her as we got onto the bus. Cecelia was very religious and asked us if we wanted to hear an alabanza. I'm not sure about the English translation for that, but an alabanza is essentially a song praising God in Spanish. They have lots of them. We said yes, presuming she would pull it up on YouTube or something. Nope! She belted it on the bus. It was amazing. Her voice was so beautiful. Gorgeous. Like I said previously, it reminded me of Julie Andrews. But in a silent bus packed with people I was amazed at her courage to sing loudly and proudly. It felt like an individualized concert, and was probably one of the coolest moments I've ever had. It was a shame to have to get off the bus and stop listening! Public transportation is the best.


"She returns the onions."

Whilst going down from the train platform we noticed a nice Asian lady in need (carrying a huge heavy bag) and Sister Gillespie went to go assist her. After helping her down all of the stairs the lady said thank-you in Chinese "Shih Shih." Then, she opened the bag and handed Sister Gillespie an onion. Sister Gillespie said "thank you" and then the lady grabbed a small plastic bag out of her purse and gave it to Sister Gillespie. Sister Gillespie was pleased. Not only did she get an onion, but she now had a way to carry said onion!

However, the lady mimed for her to open the bag wider. She did so, and the lady put tens of twenties of onions into the thin plastic shopping bag. Yet, it wasn't enough! She grabbed the largest cabbage man has ever set eye upon, and placed that into the bag as well. We said many "thank-yous" and departed with our bag of onions and cabbage.

Sadly, there is no human way to use 50 onions and a cabbage before they go bad. So, come English class at 7pm we are devising ways to get rid of the onions. We created a game in class. The verb is, 'looking for' and we have them go on a hunt to find a pen. Whoever was to find it should say, "I found it!" They were to receive a prize. The prize? A bag of onions.

Thirteen-year-old Evelyn found the pen. We gave her onions as a prize, naturally. Evelyn comes to English class each week with her sister Marlee, who always would come up with the funniest things to say in English. We moved onto the next verb, 'to return'. We had each student formulate and say a sentence using the verb 'to return'. Marlee, "wise but harmless" as the scriptures would say, smartly looked at Evelyn and said, "she returns the onions." We all burst out laughing and sadly Evelyn did indeed return the onions.

So... moral of the story is that it is hard to get rid of onions. If anyone needs onions please give us a call. ;)
We found the way to the roof of the church!!
The roof!
Roof Selfie

"We Seek Christ"

I know that throughout my mission one of my goals has been to become like the Savior as much as I possibly can. I have sought Him through study, through finding and teaching and testifying, and through striving to become like Him. This is such a wonderful time of year to make the resolution to become even more like Christ and to seek Him daily. I know that we can really light the world as we strive to become more like our Savior.

'During this Christmas season and throughout the entire year, may we seek with our hearts and souls our beloved Savior, the Prince of Peace, the Holy One of Israel. For this desire, in large part, defines not only who we are as members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but even more who we really are as Christ’s disciples.' -Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Have a lovely Christmas season,

Hermana Ally Voss

P.S. I have my departing temple trip next Tuesday and will not be able to write until that day. To be honest, I probably won't even write very much that day. And I won't have any preparation days after that.... Any final questions may be asked now to avoid me awkwardly not answering important things!
Bus Selfie!

Light The World! Year Two.


How many dinners did I eat on Thanksgiving? 2.

One was supposed to be a dessert appointment, but you know Dominicans. The first dinner was just about the most delicious thing ever. The turkey was cooked to perfection. And... you can call me Hispanic. But rice with Thanksgiving dinner made it like 5x better. I can't even imagine a day without rice anymore. The second dessert appointment was just as fabulous. Kathy's brownies are legendary for a reason. And Martha's Bakery pies? They can make a full-grown man cry. The flan? To die for. In fact, I was so full when I was eating it that I actually worried about dying for a moment.
One of the many meals...

How many dinners did I eat the day following Thanksgiving? 3.

Two Mexican and an El Salvadorian. Lots of Turkey, yum. I almost felt like popping, and I am sure that I gained a few pounds, but it's okay... I wanted a rounder face anyways.

The following day? 1.

Luckily only one, but it was a breakfast appointment and they fed us lasagna, and I was still full from the night before! I am currently still full from the weekend's meals.

What did we do on Turkey day?

A turkey bowl! All of the missionaries in my zone got together for an activity and we played sports all day. From football, to soccer, and ultimate frisbee. I wasn't very good, as normal, but even though I was only a space filler it was still really fun! Especially the football!
Turkey Bowl!
We wore matching ugly Christmas sweaters.
How did a seven-year-old almost strangle me?

Well. After Thanksgiving dinner we shared a message. It was Light The World. And then the six-year-old wanted to say the prayer. And the seven-year-old was sitting next to me. The moment after the prayer began I felt a hand -BOOM- on my shoulder. It would have made me scream but it was small enough that I knew it was him. I stayed silent, not wanting to interrupt the prayer. The hand began to move into my neck towards my scarf. I tried not to laugh as he tangled his hand in my scarf for around ten seconds. I was befuddled, then amused. He then suddenly grabbed my scarf with his hand in a fist around it, and by this point I was all definitely on the brink of laughing. And with my scarf now hostage, he yanked it towards him. And naturally my head was connected to my scarf so I came along with it! The prayer ended in this awkward moment with the seven-year-old holding me hostage as the entire family opened their eyes. The reaction was hilarious. The parents scolded as the siblings laughed. Hermana Gillespie had closed her eyes late at the beginning and had seen the hand snatch my shoulder so she was on the floor dying. It was a somewhat hilarious moment.

How much food did you eat?

A dropped investigator had an uncomfortable run-in with us. Uncomfortable because he had been ignoring us (yikes). We asked questions about his Thanksgiving and he responded oddly. When asked about if he ate a lot he responded, "there was so much food at my house. Like, a ton. I think there was enough to feed two people." We followed up by talking about how fat we felt and he said, "yeah, I think I gained like a pound." All I can say is that I wish I only gained a pound! ;) I didn't even realize the oddness of his responses in the moment! I think I am so prone to be dramatic and exaggerate and hearing Hispanics be dramatic that to hear somebody not exaggerate was hilarious.

How did we #LightTheWorld?

Well, first of all, have you seen the video?? If not, go to and watch it. RIGHT NOW.

Isn't it awesome? That part when Christ comes in? It makes me tear up every time. It hits me right in the heart.

Well, we lit the world by sharing this video with over 80 people in the last four days. We brought flowers to an investigator in a rehab center. We played our instruments to practice with some singers for a musical number. And my favorite was when we had an investigator who really shared some of her hard times and challenges with us, and we were able to bring her light through the gospel.

How will you #LightTheWorld?

Merry Christmas,

Hermana Ally Voss

P.S. Christmas music has begun.

P.P.S. If everyone could just stop asking me how many days I have left, that would be great.

P.P.P.S. The day before Thanksgiving they lined Jamaica Avenue with Christmas decorations under the train and connected speakers to said Christmas decorations. Now, every single day after sundown they play Christmas music from the megaphone things and it is so festive and wonderful! It's like being in a movie and having background music playing every time I walk down Jamaica.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Happy Thanksgeeving🌽

November 20th

Well, it was snowing lightly when we woke up, so I was quite happy. :) Which means that the weather app, which says it is over 40°, is clearly teaching false doctrine.
We got matching Brooklyn Bridge umbrellas!

Thanksgiving lame joke:

"You know what Thanksgiving is in Spanish?" -Hermano Aguilar

"DĂ­a de acciĂłn de gracias!" -me

"Really? I thought it was just Thanksgeeving." -Kathy, the member's daughter.

*table bursts out laughing at her pretended Hispanic accent*

Transfer news:

Here in Richmond Hill still with the lovely Hermana Gillespie. Elder Carlson from back in Rego joined us! Elder Stoker is out and Elders Budge, Gover, and Sanz stayed. It's going to be a sweet transfer.

Action-movie moment:

So, you know those cool action movies where the bomb is ticking in the pipe under the major street and no one knows and then all of the sudden it goes off and the cover of the pipes/ manholes in the road shoots into the air like 15 feet and lands on a car's windshield while it is driving whilst fire and smoke are pouring out of the manhole?

That happened! Right next to our apartment. The lights were flickering in our apartment crazily, and we went outside our door to discover that some poor lady was trapped in the elevator with her dog. We went inside our apartment to continue eating dinner, and the lights continued to go crazy. So, naturally we peeked outside on our balcony. And there was hoards of firemen and people filming something that was blocked to our view and we saw a huge pillar of smoke rising far above the buildings. So, we were naturally outside viewing the event in approximately three seconds flat.
Cute Companions
Still Cute!
Book of Mormon Long Grass Picture
It was crazy. It was like there was a box of fireworks going off under the ground. There were sparks and fires and smoke emanating from this manhole and the firefighters were standing far away with absolutely nothing to do, because electrical fires are apparently quite dangerous.

After a few minutes we looked around to see a very grumpy man, we drew near and he immediately spilled all his problems at us. "Look what happened to my car! I'm so mad. It's brand new," he grumbled. The windshield got wrecked! It was literally all shattered glass. He had been driving on top of the grate the moment it exploded and the huge, probably 100-pound metal cap had landed flat on his windshield and he walked away without a cut, bruise, or broken limb. Talk about miracles! The man driving behind him only had a flat tire.

Overall, it was quite exciting and the street was flooded with people watching the holiday event. You can probably read about it on google. Type in "electrical fire in Kew Gardens, New York" and it should come up.

Sink explosion:

If the fire wasn't enough, one day early this last week I was saying my nightly prayers and I heard a strangled-sounding, "Hermana!" It came from the bathroom. I hopped up to see that our sink handle had flown off and the sink was shooting water in every direction! Luckily I had learn how to shut the water off just days earlier so I got under the sink and walked away only mildly soaked to the bone. But it was definitely an interesting experience.

Funny conversation:

"I'm going to marry Nicole." -7yo boy

"You can't marry her, Jared, she's already married." -mom

"Also, you can't marry her if I marry her first!" -6yo brother of Jared

*Jared gets a purely devastated look on his face*

"Noah! Don't do that to your brother!" -mom

*Noah maniacally laughs*

Children these days....

Okay, but the spiritual stuff. Quote of the week, "if you want a specific answer, you have to pray specifically," -Sharki (our Elders Quorum President). I swear all of our miracles happen on Sundays, but yesterday we were four new investigators short of hitting our goal, so we prayed to find a family of four. On our way to where we were planning on knocking, we came across a cute Mexican family walking home and taught them a few principles and set up a return appointment. How many were in the family? Four people. You'd best believe the Lord answers our prayers when we pray in faith!
The Elder's investigator got baptized! Yay for Gilberto!
That has happened more than once to us this week. Specific prayers are amazing. I think I have prayed specifically with less faith in the past, and that is always what makes the difference. Praying with faith is so important. Knowing that the Lord will answer me, and that I need to act on the answer is quintessential. For example, if I didn't talk to every person I saw, there's no way the Lord would have placed people into my path. But I did, so he did. I am grateful to see the blessings of obedience on my mission. :) Obedience brings blessings, exact obedience brings miracles and living the Higher Law brings spiritual power.
Far Rockaway beaches are not gorgeous, but we'll take it.
Ten things (out of thousands) that I am grateful for: The Restoration of the gospel through Joseph Smith, my nuclear family (Mom, Dad, McKinney, Nicholas, Audrey, Will, Scout), my Hispanic mission family, my mission, music, the Book of Mormon, kind and gracious people, my companion Sister Gillespie, President and Sister Reynolds, and my Savior, Jesus Christ.

My love and hugs this Thansgiving season,

Hermana Ally Voss

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

NYC Can't Breathe

Monday, November 13th

I want to start out by adding my continued sympathies to my family members. 

I love you all and pray for you.
I don't support graffiti but sometimes we find really cool ones. :)

This week I begun MyPlan (the six-week program missionaries take before they go home). That was crazy. These last six weeks will probably cold, rainy, and full of Christmas spirit. NYC dropped into the twenties, which is when one knows that winter has truly begun,

I made a lovely coloring page. It was really sweet of Genesys to give it to me, and I colored every single night, so clearly it was a good gift!

We also found eight new investigators (several by knocking and being let in on the spot, others by street contacting and member work), put two more investigators on date, had three investigators to church, and worked hard.

Someone needs to tell the grocery stores to stop putting the ice cream on sale, because *of course* if they are two for five we will each get a carton. No questions asked.

Service at Forest park is easily one of my favorite parts of the week, who doesn't enjoy getting down and dirty planting tulips (last week) and (this week) chopping down flower bushes?
We saw the people when they were making this mural. Cypress Hills is an area near Brooklyn.
People go all-out for Halloween.
The primary presentation is one of my favorite days of the year! The children are hilarious.
Also, Christmas is nearing, and it is just about time to #lighttheworld in 25 ways over 25 days! Prepare yourselves by looking at the calendar when it comes out after Thanksgiving and serving in every way you can. :)

I was just reading a talk by President Monson that I love. It states:

"I recall reading some time ago the counsel a father gave to his son when he went away to school: “If you ever find yourself where you shouldn’t ought to be, get out!” I offer to each of you the same advice: “If you ever find yourself where you shouldn’t ought to be, get out!”

The call for courage comes constantly to each of us. Every day of our lives courage is needed--not just for the momentous events but more often as we make decisions or respond to circumstances around us. Said Scottish poet and novelist Robert Louis Stevenson: “Everyday courage has few witnesses. But yours is no less noble because no drum beats for you and no crowds shout your name.”

Courage comes in many forms. Wrote the Christian author Charles Swindoll: “Courage is not limited to the battlefield … or bravely catching a thief in your house. The real tests of courage are much quieter. They are inner tests, like remaining faithful when no one’s looking, … like standing alone when you’re misunderstood.” I would add that this inner courage also includes doing the right thing even though we may be afraid, defending our beliefs at the risk of being ridiculed, and maintaining those beliefs even when threatened with a loss of friends or of social status. He who stands steadfastly for that which is right must risk becoming at times disapproved and unpopular."
This precious girl got her call to Vancouver, Washington! How fun.
Zone activity in Rego! :-)
I know that courage in its many forms is often a battle, but it is so important that we are courageous.

"Courage, dear heart." -C.S. Lewis

I love you all. <3

-Hermana Ally Voss

Jehová, Sé Nuestro Guía


Happy Halloween!

I always like to keep you on your toes as to when I will email, which is why I never say which day it is. :) Elder Sitati of the Seventy actually visited us yesterday at our Zone conference which is why I didn't email. I'm not sure I mentioned anything about it, but I have actually known for about two and a half months that he was coming, so it was anticipated. It was amazing.
A ghetto pumpkin and honeydew to carve!
Moreover, this week we have seen a lot of tender mercies so I want to write a list of these moments:

-I think the Lice is gone!

-Luis and Leo got baptized. I will include pictures even though I wasn't there for either. :)

-Last night we talked about baptism to a part-member family and, emotional after reading 2 Nephi 31, the non-member wife said to her husband, "you know I feel something when the missionaries come over. I always have. I've prayed sincerely about baptism before and I've wanted to do it." She proceeded to mention how it was very hard for her because she saw her husband, and he didn't go to church ever so she didn't feel like it would be her family making the step together if she got baptized. The husband got emotional and it was a moment of true repentance, I think, on part of the whole family. The spirit was so tangible. So, so tangible.
Today at the pupuserĂ­a we got this note in place of our check, "check is paid by the Lord Jesus Christ, thank you for your service". ❤️ It made me want to cry. Good people are out there!
The pupuserĂ­a. It's called Nurias for anyone who is visiting New
York and wants to try it. Get the revuelta pupusas.
-On Sunday it rained all day. So what did we do? Why, we knocked, of course! But, this wasn't just rain. This was drenching rain. And I don't quite have a raincoat. So, I was just soaking as I talked to people on their doorsteps and pulled cards out of my bag as my fingers were dripping water (umbrellas are for the weak). Then, we met a lady who suspiciously said, "are you the Jehovah's Witness?"

"No, we're the Mormons!" We replied.

"Well then, come in!" (This conversation was in Spanish). I apologized many times for my dripping wet everything and she just kept saying, "well, that's why I have a mop." We taught Rosa most of the Restoration and are planning on teaching her the rest on our next visit on Friday!

-We met a deaf man on the subway who just lit up my life. He was so sweet! I did my best to move my hands in a game of charades in which I pulled out a couple of my ASL skills and called up the ASL sisters to communicate for me, and he is way interested! He was so sweet and I had a smile plastered over my face the rest of the night. We got McDonalds ice cream to celebrate.

-We sang every Spanish hymn that isn't in English during language study and it was so awesome. There are so many good hymns out there!

-We (kinda) got Cristian on date! It's complicated, but it doesn't have to be. Some investigators just feel like they have to know everything before they get baptized and they don't believe us when we say they don't! It's so irritating!
Pumpkin-headed picture!
Oh no! Lady liberty is falling.
She survived it! Whew.
NYC and the Statue of Liberty
-Elder Sitati Mission Tour/ Zone Conference (mega-mega-Zone since it was zones 1-5):

Question President Reynolds asked: what is your favorite BOM scripture on missionary work?

Answers: Alma 12, Mosiah 28:3, Jacob 5:71-72, Alma 30:33-34, Alma 27:17, Alma 31:35, Alma 29, WOM 1:7, Alma 26:22, Alma 37:33-34, 2 Nephi 26:27-28, Alma 26:11-13, Alma 13:24, 3 Nephi 5:13, Alma 26:27.

Mine: 3 Nephi 5:13. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Alma 37:7. Small and simple means.

President's: Helaman and the stripling warriors. Obedience with exactness.

When we shared these I felt joy. Excited. Comforted. Psyched. I felt the spirit. "It's not two years it's your whole life."

Of course it is hard ("Some people struggle with just air some days." -PR), but isn't is great? Isn't the work of Salvation awesome?
Conference companion picture at the Elder Sitate conference
Everyone already knows that I love and admire President and Sister Reynolds, but Elder Sitati started talking about how very carefully Mission Presidents are chosen and narrowed down from over 5,000 names to about 130 each year and how very good of men they are. And their wives, as well. He talked about how their interest in their missionaries isn't just for the mission but extends long after. And, naturally, proceeded with, "President, are you a sealer yet?" (Someone who marries people in temples). *shakes head* "well, by the time all of you get married he will probably be a sealer and there will be nothing that makes him happier than seeing your eternal happiness." Mission Presidents are so great, aren't they? I'm so grateful to have the Reynolds.

Some other great things Elder Sitati said:

"We will have challenges. It is better for us to have those challenges when we have all our feet inside the gospel." (Talking about families raised inside the gospel).

"When they have expressed the deep feelings of their heart, the spirit will prompt you to say what will be helpful to them." Elder Sitati encouraged us to stay as long in the appointment as we need to have them open up and share the desires of their heart.

"No, you don't have to trust yourself, you only have to trust the Lord."

Have the determination to do whatever the Lord will tell you in prayer, even if it is hard.

Forget yourself and focus on the work. Stop thinking "am I able to do this?" "Of course you are not! But with him you are."

It was a blessing to meet Elder Sitati and his wife. Like I said earlier, being on a mission is just the best!

Love you all,

Hermana Ally Voss

Thursday, November 9, 2017

A Tribute to Grandpa

November 6th, 2017

About a year ago at this time, I received a call at about 9:30pm at night from President Reynolds informing me that my grandmother had passed away.
G'pa's interment - full military honors

At 9:41pm this last Friday night (November 3rd) , I received yet another call from President Reynolds. He informed me that my Grandpa Wright had passed away. I have no other words to describe how I felt than heartbroken. It was hard enough to lose my Grandma last year, though at least my family had informed me it might happen. The unexpected death of my Grandpa was very hard for me.

I remember seeing him just last April in my skype call home. He did his little smile every time someone said something funny, and he told me to keep working hard. In the call I made on October 11th last year after the passing of grandma he said, "we... love you. We appreciate the work you do. She... still... loves... you." I know that even though he may not be here right now that his love and legacy lives on.

President Reynolds tried to help me remember to think of the Plan of Happiness that I all-so-frequently teach. I've been scared to teach it the last few days because of my tender feelings, but we are going to share it with a family tonight. I am scared, but I know that my Heavenly Father is always helping me to stay strong through such times as these.

I am so grateful for the influence of my Grandpa in my life. If not for him, I would not probably have been able to play cello - he provided the funds for my lessons. And as you all know, just thinking of a cello brings tears to my eyes. It is such a huge part of my life. Without Grandpa I wouldn't have been able to come on a mission - I didn't have the funds at my disposal to do so, and I wouldn't have wanted to be such a burden on my family or the church. And my mission has 100% changed my life. Without my Grandpa, I never would have seen so many beautiful places in Oregon and Washington. I wouldn't have visited Alaska with my beautiful extended family. And without Grandpa and Grandma having raised my mother to be a faithful member of the church, I wouldn't have an eternal family. The influence of these two angels in my life is incredible. I only hope that I am working hard enough in my life, in my mission, on my testimony, that it will in some way pay back a small part of what they have done for me.

It reminds me of a primary song, "I have a family here on earth, they are so good to me. I want to share my life with them through all eternity. Families can be together forever, through Heavenly Father's plan. I always want to be with my own family, and the Lord has shown me how I can. The Lord has shown me how I can."

I am heartbroken and grieved at my Grandpapa's passing, but I look forward to getting to see my Grandpa and Grandma together one day in celestial courts on high. I love them, I cherish them, I am beyond grateful for all they have done for me. ❤️

Preparing the flag

Sometimes, everything seems to go downhill, or to not be looking up. One thing that Elder Sinclair said to us at Stake Conference on Sunday was, "I got an email from my daughter the other day who loves natural remedies. We call her a bit crunchy. Her scalp was apparently flaking so the Internet solutions told her to make a sugar and olive oil scrub. It sounded delightful to her, so she did it. Then she tried to figure out how to get the oil out. Apparently it is almost impossible to get olive oil out of one's hair. One of the Internet suggestions was to use dry shampoo. So she used her normal baking powder dry shampoo. It didn't soak up enough, so she used an egg wash with cocoa powder to try to soak up more oil. After more tries with powdered baking ingredients, Nothing was working! So she thought about it and listed off everything she had used, 'sugar, oil, baking powder, eggs, cocoa.... dad,' she said, 'I figured it out! I made brownies in my hair!'" His point was to tell us that when everything goes crazily wrong sometimes we need to look outside the box (or brownie box jaja) and find the joy in life.

Some joyful moments for me were seeing all of my beloved Rego Park friends in Stake Conference. The Grandma of Leo, a boy who got baptized, saw me and burst into tears and thanked me for doing my little part in helping him towards the waters of baptism. I thought Leo was already pretty great, but she shared how much he has changed for the better since baptism! Sitting next to her was an investigator who began to cry as well for the story she was relating. It was a tender moment for all of us.

Also, a daughter of a beloved Rego family, let's call her Ariel (she's probably four or five), went into the aisle during Stake Conference for some reason and tried to go back to find her family but kept walking right past the aisle. I could see her, but to get past the six people on my left would have been very awkward. I watched her wander into the next aisle, confused and searching for her seres queridos (loved ones). A member from Rego Park saw her wandering and guided her back to her family. I saw the reunion as she saw her family, then burst into tears as her family consoled her. Her sister, mom, and dad were all hugging her. And I thought of the member who guided her back, and imagined her as the Good Shepherd. Always out searching for his lost sheep to bring them back to the fold. May we ever follow the example of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Exchanges are fun!

Last joyful comment from a youth speaker in Stake Conference: "If the Book of Mormon had never been written, Joseph Smith probably never would have translated it." Probably not! ;)

I love you all and my heart goes out to my mourning family. May each of you feel of God's love in this difficult time.


Hermana Ally Voss

"But there is a resurrection, therefore the grave hath no victory, and the sting of death is swallowed up in Christ." Mosiah 16:8