Wednesday, August 26, 2015

My Grandpa Died and I am Not Coming Home

This is the last picture with me and Grandpa and Nana !
I never thought I would be someone who lost a family member while on a
mission. Well, we can't have everything in life I suppose. On
Wednesday August 19th, Ron Dean passed away after almost two years
completely bedridden with a brain tumor. The funeral was held on the
22nd and I wasn't there. I chose to stay here in my mission.

Wednesday at 12 president Marston called Sister Hodge and I. We had
just finished moving and he wanted to see our new loft and how we were
getting along. Yeah right. No mission president simply wants to see
new living arrangements. We aren't stupid. I was scared at that point.
We met him at 1:30 at our loft. He came in and inspected our place
then sat down and told me to hold his hand. My stomach dropped and I
knew what was coming. He was very straightforward, and I love
straightforward people. "Sister Ginn, your grandpa passed away this
morning." I sobbed. And sobbed. And sobbed. I was shaking and sister
Marston just held me. I wasn't sobbing just for my grandpa. I was
sobbing for my aunts and uncles and my mom and dad and my nana and how
painful this was going to be for everyone and how I was not there to
help my family get through this. My companion handed me tissues and
president Marston took a tissue and dabbed my face with it. I love
this man. He is perfect and he knows everything. I am convinced he can
read minds. He knew exactly what to say to me. He was serious yet
light hearted and he made me laugh while I was blinded by tears. He
was there a good hour just consoling me. He was smiling the whole time
and the look in his eyes was that of a father. Or that of a
grandfather. He truly loves me and he was so sorry I was in pain.

I am still numb. It's like my grandpa is still at home eating whatever
my mom would make for him. I can't process him not being there right
now since he's been such a huge part of my life for almost two years.
President allowed me to call my parents, and I called my moms phone
and my dad answered. I broke down completely. I was a mess, and
hearing my dad try to soothe me calmed me down within five minutes. I
talked to my mom and I felt such a sense of love that I have not felt
in a while. I sobbed like a 2 year old because I needed that so much
at that moment. I felt so much better after talking to my family. I am
so far away and it is so comforting to know that I can still pick up a
phone and hear their voices, with presidents' permission.

On Thursday, the zone leaders were asking my companion what they could
do to cheer me up, so they decided to get me kfc since fried chicken
is the comfort food of the south. I did not suspect a thing and let me
tell you I was comforted by mashed potatoes, biscuits, and chicken. I
cried over the heavenly mana but they were tears of appreciation, I
think. I ate the entire chicken, bones and all like I normally do, and
they were rather impressed instead of grossed out. At least they knew
their money did not go to waste.

Friday I received a priesthood blessing from president Marston. I
started crying again, it was a great blessing and a great experience.
I felt kind of lost and just like a broken 19 year old who left her
family to come across the United States. Then president did something
I did not expect but was the greatest thing I have ever been given: he
gave me a hug. Two hugs, to be exact. They felt like hugs from my dad,
or my grandpa. It was a grandfather's hug and it was exactly what I

Saturday I was able to talk to my parents about the funeral. It was
great to hear them. It brings so much comfort for me to know they are
doing ok. This week I visited tons of members, but I spent a lot of
time pondering and thinking about my grandpa. I love my grandpa. That
is the conclusion I have come to. I am so emotionally spent and it is
hard for me right now to visit with a lot of people, so we take breaks
and go for walks or rest at the church where I play the piano.

I am here for a reason. I feel that the only reason I am not a total
mess is because so many people have been praying for me. I will not
lie to any of you, this is so hard. It was already hard being away
from my family. I feel such a comfort knowing how many people are
praying for me. Prayer is a real, sacred power, and I urge you all to
use it every day of your lives. God has a plan for everyone. He has a
plan for my grandpa. His time is done here, he is done suffering.

I love you all. You are all perfect in my eyes. I will personally hug
each one of you when I see you and squeeze you so hard you will stop
breathing for a few seconds.

Sister Ginn

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Finally I Get to Teach an INVESTIGATOR !!!!!

Hello to all, I hope your week has been fun and full of smiles and
laughter and things that bring you enjoyment. If not, make it happen.

This week has been one of those weeks with tons of ups and downs. Fun
right? On Tuesday we finally made contact with a human and this
human's name is Dominique. She was interested slightly in learning
more about Jesus, so we scheduled on Wednesday for an appointment.
When we got to her apartment we met her sister who lives there as
well. We told her who we were and she laughed. I'm not sure what that
means but we are persistent and gosh dang it when you tell us you want
to hear about Jesus we will teach you about Him. We will continue to
visit her every day until we see her again.

We knocked on a potential investigators door at 5 pm on Wednesday and
apparently woke up this person from a nap. He wasn't very happy with
us but I thought the whole situation was hilarious and I had to keep
from laughing. I don't think he will be super interested in us coming
back but that's okay.
School started back on Thursday here, which is weird, but we are
hoping things will get better now that everyone is home in the

I really like to scare people. Like, hide behind furniture and jump
out and scare people. Sometimes in the bathrooms I wait for the other
sister missionaries to come in and I'll hide in a stall and scream
when it gets quiet. The squeals of terror are hilarious and I've
gotten my companion to join me when I do it.

Friday was my first ever zone conference and I spoke. I was actually
the first speaker and I wasn't even nervous about it. This speaking in
front of people thing isn't scary anymore. It's easy now. Everyone
told me I did a good job but I don't even remember what I said. I did
have a talk prepared but I used none of it. Everything I said was
straight from my heart and straight from the spirit. I also played the
piano and made everyone cry so that's also a plus. It was a really
good zone conference. President Marston came up to me and told me I
was a miracle and that I was sent here to perform miracles. I had no
idea what to say to that so I just said "I love you President." And I
do. Friday night sister Hodge and I were walking to our dinner
appointment and we talked to someone who was out on the street. We
find out she was Methodist and she was super nice to us and was amazed
that we had chosen to leave our homes for 18 months to serve the lord.
She wasn't interested in us coming to her house but who cares I
actually talked to someone, just like in the church videos, heck yes.

Saturday was interesting, we found out that we are moving to a loft
that a member owns. The other sisters are staying here in the
apartment. I'm not sure when we are moving, probably sometime next
Saturday afternoon was also interesting. Around 2 pm, my foot and
ankle started to throb. I thought it would go away so I didn't say
anything about it to sister Hodge. She was dealing with the stress of
moving because she does not want to move, so I didn't want to bring up
another issue. It didn't go away and it was getting worse. By 5 pm I
mention something to her and she immediately brought me to the church
and I asked to zone leaders to give me a blessing of healing. The pain
didn't leave, but the throbbing stopped and eventually throughout the
day it felt a lot better. I don't know why it was hurting so bad, but
my testimony of the priesthood grew a lot. I am grateful to all young
men who are worthy to hold such a sacred power.

I have a hard time making friends my age. I always have struggled with
this. Yeah I can talk to people, but making friendships is hard for
me. When you are thrown into an area where you don't know anyone from
Adam and Eve, it's hard. Teaching, talking to people about the gospel,
loving total strangers, that's easy for me. Making friends? That's a
completely different story. I make better friends with people three
times my age. Talking to 19-20 year old all the time is just
difficult to me. Honestly, the elders and sisters who were in my
district were some of the fastest friends I've ever made. I think
about my experience at the mtc a lot. It was not my favorite place in
the world, but I made some great friendships there. I'm trying to make
friendships here and it is so hard for me. It's something the lord
needs me to work on, I believe. So I'm working on it.

That's it for this week, I will talk to you all soon. I love each and
everyone of you and if anyone ever tells you that you are not good
enough, ride into battle and stab them through the throat with your
lance of confidence.

Peace out cub scouts.

Sister Ginn

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

One Month Down and 17 to Go, I Got This!!

Did I even mention we have a car? Probably not. Yes we have a car which is great because it is SO HOT. Everything is brown and ugly since there's no rain and it's all dead. Also, my companion forgot to tell me that my address had a box number included in it, so if you sent me a letter in the past two weeks, I have not gotten it, and I don't know where the mail went. Sorry. The address is 7923 Sunrise blvd #2-108, Citrus Heights CA, 95610. It might also be easier to send things to the mission office because then it for sure gets to me. The mission office address is 8583 Watt Avenue, Antelope, CA 95746.

Okay so this week has been hot and droughty. As usual. There is never a single cloud in the sky and it's always blue. Everything is dead except for trees. My kind of town. My ward mission leader, Brother Castillo (who has only been a member for 20 months) said that there is a drought,  but there is also a drought in investigators which is so true right now. We have 3 investigators that we haven't been able to see at all because they are all on vacation. I have taught some lessons, but it's been to members. It's been nice though because they understand what I am saying, and it's so nice to practice before I talk to an investigator.

I played my musical number on Sunday. I played the Restoration Medley by Paul Cardall and it was amazing, the spirit was so strong there. I can't even tell you how many people came up to me in tears telling me how beautiful it was. Bishop Martel is eager for me to play again soon. I also have started playing prelude every Sunday and everyone really likes it. I am so glad I have this talent to share, and that I can touch so many hearts with it. It is one of the biggest ways I share my testimony. I want to play the piano for the rest of my life.

This week I attended another pair of sisters missionaries baptism. It was so nice. The person being baptized was Rolly, and he is from the Philippines. It felt so good to be there as a missionary, because I know that I can feel like that later when I do find someone to teach.

Something I have learned this week is that having faith in Christ is something that never stops growing. It's always going. We must always exercise our faith, or it will diminish. I have faith that the Holy Ghost will tell me what I need to say every week when I talk to people. I feel such a peace every day that I can't describe. I am trying my best, and I feel like the lord is pleased with who I am becoming.

I love my family so much. I love all of you so much. I am so grateful for all you do. The support you give me is why I am still here. I would have gone home so long ago without all of you. I hit my month mark on Saturday the 8th. 17 more to go. Talk to you all soon! You have my eternal love.

Sister Caroline Ginn

This was the baptism and this is most of my zone. Rolly is the one holding the bag. I look like a little child.

Monday, August 10, 2015

Churros and Piano

 New missionaries fresh off of the plane from the MTC with President and Sister Marston.
     First experience with Churros. She loved them!
Caroline's week was a good one. She has lots of members feed her and her companion in this particular area. She is in the Orangevale area of this mission. It is still very hot there but also extremely dry. Temperature can reach up to 112 degrees. She is complaining about itchy dry skin something she did not have to worry about back in hot and humid NC. She will figure it out!
This week she was able to play a special musical number in sacrament in her ward. There was a missionary leaving and also one coming home. That was very special that she was asked to play.
She plays the piano any chance she gets and people love to hear her talent. She is working hard to be able to find someone to teach. They knock on doors but either no one is home or no one wants to listen. I know they will tract into someone who will want to hear about Jesus Christ. She says it is hard but she is loving the people there and has really connected with several families in the ward. I am so grateful for those families who have welcomed her and loved her.