Tuesday, May 30, 2017

A Picture is Worth 1000 Words

Some of Palatka some of Middleburg.

Sister M. Leona Spangler
Florida Jacksonville Mission

Monday, May 22, 2017

Be Still My Soul

What a Week has been an absolute adventure. :D I AM IN LOVE WITH MY NEW COMPANION AND NEW AREA!!!  Sister Harris is my companion and we are so simillar. She is really sweet. Middleburg is a really pretty area. I enjoy the people. My new district is really fun! It stormed really hard today after we washed our cars. It was kind of sad but it was fun to feel  like we were playing in the rain some! :D It got really stormy though while we were in the chapel. 
Monday we went to the Castillo de la Santa Marcos. It is really pretty. Sister Killpack and Sister Perry came with us and the gouleys. I LOVE THE GOURLEYS. I miss them a lot. it was such a good day.
Tuesday was crazy. We had district meeting. one of the elders gave a really good training. It was from a talk given by President Monson in 1972 called "Finishers Wanted" Y'all should give it a listen some time. There was a mothers day dinner. LEO AND HER FAMILY CAME! IT was so nice to say goodbye to them! I love them so much. 
Wednesday We packed up and the gourleys drove us to the church building in Mandarin. I got to se Sister Studdert!!! She is doing so great. I got to meet Sister Harris there. We clicked so fast. Saying goodbye was hard but it was really exciting too. I am looking forward to my new area.
Yesterday we had an investigator named Michael come to church. It was so amazing! It is a joy to get to see people progress in the gospel. I really love the people and the work here. Sweet is the work. I wouldn't trade it for the world. We have a lot of work to do here and the ward is so enthusiastic and ready to help. We have members come out with us almost every day! The ward is such a blessing to us. I will try to send pictures next week because there are so many! 
I hope y'all have a blessed week. :D

The Lord is My Light

This last week of my transfer has been the asolutely amazing!  We were able to set a baptism date with a new investigator named Justice! It is really eciting. Justice is really prepared and eager to ender the waters of baptism! 

Friday we had an apportuniy as a mission to attend and perform at a Devotional in orange Park. Brad Wilcox was te speaker! In the opening we all come up to the front and sang called to serve with the congregaion. We also sang te 3rd missoin verse! After that we performed a song written David A. Bednar. It was so good!It is called One by One. the spirit wasso strong. Brad wilcox spoke really powerfully about Grace. It was a experience I will hold close to me for a while!Sister Studdert as tere to!!It as so fun to see her and get to catch up!She is doing so weell and loving Lake Ccity. One of their investigators even came to the devotional! it was such a special night! Before the votional the member thatdrove us took u to Panera!It was amazing!!! Sister Martin and ILOVEPANERA! We even get to go again today, so that is exciting!I learned so much at hat devotional and  I am eager to expand  on some ofthe ideas he spoke about!

Saturday We had transfer calls! I am going to b transfered out of palatka and sent to Middleburg!  It is a lot smaller than palatka and more rural according to othhherepople here. i am sad to be leaving Palatka, the peoplehere and  Sister Martin.. with that said i know it is inspired and that I will Just as much love for te Middleburg ward as ido for this one. My new companion will be Sister Harris. I am glad to get to meet her! No onehere knows who she is so It will be a fn surprise and likely an adventure!

Mothers day was the best Last sunday I could ask for! Leo and her four kids came to church!!AND  so did Justice!!!! It was incredible. Justice said she felt so at home and that she felt so good there! She really felt the spirit and is so excited to keep learning and making friends and growing in teh gospel! After church we had dinner with the Gourleys. It is so nice to have so much tim left with them before I leave. THey really are the Salt of the Earth. After dinner we time to call home!It was so amazing! I was really grateful to beable to talk to them for a while. :D I am so happpy to be able to know they are all doing well.

This week has been amazing. I want to close with a  quote from the devotional:

"Grace is not just for the righteous; It is the source of righteousness"

No matter what i going on in your life it will never be to late to use th preciou gift that our Savior has offered  us. Dont get discouraged, dont tun away. Press forward and stive to become; Become who you are-a son or daughter of God. You all have deine potential and I know that you can do it an that you can make it through whatever  you feel is weighing you down!

Yall be blessed!

Sister M. Leona Spangler
Florida Jacksonville Mis

Sweet is the Work

Well It has been a really good week! We had interviews with president and we found five new invesigaors!! I have been readin abook about church history, Our Heritage, and it is so good Something i loveabout florida are all the beautiful plants. Plants we grow every year in missouri are weeds here! I saw a mimosa tree this week for the first time!!The floweraways look  ike cotton candy!

we had a real mirracle this week. We tried one last time to see a youger girl we are teaching.jer name is Jaylani and both her parents are members but she i not baptized. It has been a month exactly since we saw her last so if we didnt see her this time were going to stop trying for a while. BUTWESAWHER!!!! It was an incredible lesson. we decided to review the restoration since it had been so long but once we were talkingit was clear that she remembered absolutly everything we had taught about the restoration!I she remembered about the priesthood and joseph smith. and all kinds of things. SHE IS SO PREPARED~!!! I am gladwe ill be able to keep meetin with her.

we also had an investigator in church! His name is Jaquez. he is younger too and his mom is a member. He just wouldnt come to church. but we taught him I am A  Child of God and sang it with him earlier in the week and he just lit up! He wanted to sing te song over and over again for like half an hour. On sunday he was finally here and he loved beign in primary!!!

I love being a missionary bcause he gospel is for families. It is my greatest joy to see familys strengthen as they grow closer to christ through the things that we teach them. As they gain their own testimonies they absolutely come alive.  I have seen such amazing thngsin the people we are teaching already. I love he Gospel.I know this church is true and thatthere is Nothgould rather be doing with my life than sharing the restored gospel. this is Gods work!

Y'all be blessed! 

Sister M. Leona Spangler
Florida Jacksonville Mission 
March 2017 - September 2018 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Fuego de Florida

This week has been so hot! One day was 96 degrees with a heat index in the hundreds! I am so grateful we have a car right now in Palatka!
Last monday we went to St. Augustine with the Sister Training Leaders. It was so fun! We spent most of our day on St. George Street! it was such a cute little place. We were right next to he St. Augustine Cathedral. All of the buildings down there are old and beautiful. We also walked around The Fort. It was really big. We could see out of the Bay to the ocean from there. It was so nice. I hope we have a chance to go back before my mission is over. 
This week we saw some real amazing things happen! on Wednesday we met a woman named Tiffany and taught her about the book of mormon. She was  so sweet and asked us back. Just a few hours after meeting her we went over to an area to find a less active member. They were not home so we tried some other contacts in the area. the last trailer seemed abandoned but we decided to knock on their neighbors door before leaving. one woman answered the door and three younger girl were standing there with her. They let us sing to them and after that they sad we could teach a lesson! The girls said they would grab their brother and everyone would meet us outside. Before long there were so many people coming up to where we were! All in all there were 9 Kids ( all piled onto a golf cart) and the older woman. It was so incredible. We taught them the gospel of Christ. They were all really engaged. It was a really tender experience. We were able to set up a return appointment and see them just a few days later. Only four of the kids lived there and it was their grandmother who was watching them. When we went back we taught the five of them the restoration. They are all so happy to meet with us. I'm so grateful we took the time to knock there. Heavenly Father is so aware of us and he always puts people in our path when we are ready!
Speaking of ready! We also  met a man named John this week! an we were able to teach him and his wife twice. He used to be Catholic and had even started the process to become a priest at one time. A long time ago he had met with Missionaries. John is full of questions and when we meet with him I always feel the spirit so strongly. I am so glad we met them!
This week the Elders, our ward mission leader and us sisters started a fun project. We made gratitude jars for the members of the ward counsel. When we gave them to each of the leaders we asked them to make two of their own and then us missionaries would deliver them. It has already been a really big success in our ward. The bowls have brought a lot of joy and sparked the missionary spirit in a lot of people. Brother Mitchell ( our ward mission leaader) is an inspired man! 
Saturday we went to the Bostwick Blueberry Festival! It was so much fun. We were able to meet some amazing people there. We even met a member from Nashville Georgia! She was running a Lula Roe Stand and told Sister Martin and I to both pick out something to take home. They were the kindest people. Two of their sons are serving Missions right now and soon another will leave. Ina year or two their last son will leave for his mission! They were just so happy to see sisters out and about! That really made our day. Later on we sang with two girls from our ward, Emma and Diamond Chanipo!! We sang Nearer My God To Thee . Sister Martin sang a solo too! It was a really good time. I am really thankful we were asked to participate!
This has been such an amazing week. I really am so grateful to be here in Palatka. There could not have been a better way to start my mission nor a better person to start it with! Hope Ya'll are doing well! Thanks so much for all of your prayers and good wishes. I feel Ya'lls love all the time!

Dearest Children, God is near thee

This week has been a as! Sister Martin and I are working really hard. While we were teaching and finding this week we were asked by President Lee to sing always... So we have sang to everyone who would hear us.. And to a few doors that were closed on us.. But not many! As we have been doing this we have seen a lot of tender mercies. People have really enjoyed us caroling and it has led to a lot of good gospel conversations. It brightens their day abs it brightens ours! 
This week I had my first district meeting! It was really nice. After district meeting I went with with sister Hardy to the St John's Rush Ward for trade offs. Sister Martin stayed in Palatka with Sister Tullis. It was an incredible experience. We ended up passing out programs at a memorial for a young man who died in one of the St. Augustine wards. It was really bittersweet. Even though everyone was sad for the loss.. It was incredible how much hope and gladness filled the chapel. It was unlike and service I have been to before. I know that is only possible because of our savior. Without the knowledge that our families can be together forever and that there is more to God's plan than this life Mourning looks so different. I'm grateful for a loving savior and a God who I know is truly my father. Even though we will suffer all kinds of pains here in mortality they will be sanctified for our good so that we can see both immortality and eternal life with God and our families. 
One day we  were having a lot of trouble contacting people and it was getting late. There was a family close by, the Chanipos, and we decided to go visit them. After we sang to them they wanted to keep singing together. We sang "Master The Tempest is Raging" "We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet" and "Dearest Children, God is Near Thee." sometimes we struggle communicating with this family because they moved here from somewhere in Africa and they have strong accents. When we sang together it was a memory I hope to never forget. They have beautiful voices. We all felt the comfort of the spirit. With the lights all turned down  and the five of us together it seemed like that time lasted forever. 
The next day we met a man named John! He let us sing to him and afterwards we shared the restoration. As it happens he has met with missionaries before. Talking to him we could tell he was sad and hurt. He was somber and said he wanted to come back because he was still looking for answers. I. So grateful we met him. That night we ate with the Bishop family. I love them to death! They bought us journals with cute scriptures on them! We see them weekly and I always really look forward to it. They took us to a place down town called Hawg Wash. It was so fun! There was a huge mural nearby of wildflowers in Florida! I'll send a couple of that! :) 
Yesterday two less active recent converts were at church! Leonnesha and Alberta. I love Alberta so much. We wore matching pink dresses! I wish we had talked a picture! We also found two new investigators. One is named Olivia. We won't teach her much because she is getting ready to move to Ireland for a summer internship. The other is Taylor. She is a softball player! Oh, she is also beautiful! After singing she was really happy to hear what we had to say. She asked us to come back too! In the very beginning she shares a really personal story about God answering a prayer she had then she said "I don't know why I told you that I don't even really know you!" Taylor is so incredibly happy. At the end she prayed and said she would learn more and asked God to help her know if the things we teach are true. It was a big miracle because we were looking for someone else.. Sister Martin  had tried to go before and no one was ever there. But we decided to go anyway. 
Heavenly father loves us so much. 
Today we Re going to St. Augustin! I am really excited. I'll tell ya'll about it soon!