Every moment of life is a great opportunity to create an analogy for a church talk.


district of columbia


Kind people bring us treats...

and socks...

frozen potomac

exchanges on exchanges

Remember when my missionary emails actually consisted of days of the week? I thought I would go back to the basics for old times sake. 

I woke up on the bathroom floor from a night that consisted of one hour of sleep because the previous night... I had gotten food poisoning. Yum. It was really quite an eventful night. I made myself a nice little bed on our beautifully disgusting bathroom floor. Sister Eddy walked in, in the middle of the night, and thought she saw a dead body. Pretty hilarious, almost made me throw up on her. What can I say. 

The next morning we got ready and had to jump on the metro to meet one of our investigators in DC for lunch for our Preparation day. I guess that's another first.  I have never popped out of bed after throwing up all night to ride a shaking metro for thirty minutes into a city full of people. Talk about claustrophobia. I did not throw up on anyone though so I figure I am a successful human for having control of my bodily functions.

On a brighter note, our investigator took us to her work which is "World Bank" on the Mall. Forget all your preconceived notions on how lame this job would be.  This place is a party. You go in... get cool ID badges, and the artwork is insane. They have a huge gym, a cafeteria, restaurant, and a gift shop. Awesome. Like idk where they even work because it all just looks like fun and games to me. She said for her lunch break she will grab a bite to eat, go to the gym and then back to work. PAH. Too bad my work didn't have a gym. It was super sweet. It's like a thing.

We also taught this awesome family from Nepal. It was really good.  We taught The Restoration. But background story...  we were practice teaching earlier that morning. Sister Eddy was asking me to practice teach knocking on someones door and how to begin teaching, them letting me in, and going into the restoration. I told her that was unrealistic. So she yelled at me and said,  "I'll show you unrealistic!" 

She climbed underneath her chair and made me teach her there. Blah she's such a drama queen. BUT the hook is... in meetings earlier this week people were talking about whenever they practice teach they meet somebody exactly like how they practice taught. 

So we go tracking and the first door we knock on we teach this guy how to begin teaching, he invites us in, and we start teaching the restoration. As soon as we go in his house he pulls out this moon chair thing kind of like the chairs we have in our apartment.
I looked at Sister Eddy in complete dismay because our practice teaching was coming to life...

We knocked on his door
We taught him how to begin teaching 
He let us in
We started teaching the restoration
He pulls out a chair

I was like omgosh, the church is true.

But he didn't climb under his chair. He just sat on it. Anyhow. I think my favorite part other then their crazy food and music playing and cool decorations that I'm going to apply to my future home, was the fact that every time we greet them (whether it be hello, goodbye, good evening, blah blah blah) we get to bow and say NAMASTE! Also they make me feel like such a peaceful hippie person. I love Hindus. I think in my next life I'll look more into Hinduism:)

I started my hundred day (100) countdown of Reasons Why I love My Mission 

(dont worry, i added the extra 's' to mission. i havent forgotten everythin i learned in highschool. yet.)

It is a great way to have a countdown but not look like I'm trunky on exchanges ;) it was also St. Patrick's Day, my Dads birthday (happy 25th birthday) and our 'special training' with President Riggs about the Book of Mormon and Etc. Well I was super stoked about this because we had a sweet Book of Mormon experience on Sunday, and the other day. Basically the majority of the training was about the importance of the Book of Mormon, why we use it, why we need to use it more, type of thing.

If you don't you should probably find out ASAP.

Basically the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ, pointing us towards him, but with additional knowledge that was forgotten, left out or destroyed throughout many translations of the bible. Because the Book of Mormon was written by people on another continent, on the American continent, whereas the bible was scribed and translated many times in the holy land. 

Yes, ma'am!

I think the best part of the Book of Mormon, or really any scripture is that it answers questions, of our soul. We can receive answers to prayer through reading Gods word, scripture. There are so many cool things about the Book of Mormon but I'm just going to cut to the chase and tell you 3 stories instead. 
Ah, three, that's a lot, I know, too bad, their all so good.

#1 Josh 
Josh had a lesson with us last week. We had read Alma 36 with him. and Alma 40. He decided to read the chapters in between and found a verse he really loved that spoke to him at the end of Alma 37. He read it to us and we talked about it for a long time. It was about being sober, and not being slothful because of the easiness of the way, to have faith God will guide us.

He came to church for the first time on Sunday. The speakers used lots of Book of Mormon stories that he did not know. I was kind of worried what he was thinking or if he was confused. The very last speaker, at the very end of his talk, was ending it with a scripture that he really loved. He started reading...

"O my son, do not let us be slothful because of the easiness of the way; 
for so was it with our fathers; for so was it prepared for them, 
that if they would look they might live; even so it is with us. 
The way is prepared, and if we will look we may live forever.

And now, my son, see that ye take care of these sacred things, 
yea, see that ye look to God and live. 
Go unto this people and declare the word, and be sober. 
My son, farewell."
Alma 37:46-47


he was so excited, like hey! Hey! I know this story! I found this story! This is my story! It was so sick you have no idea. Our whole row (we were all at the previous lesson with him) was cupping our hands over our mouths and were like 

"Ohhhhhhhhhhh! What up."

Such a cool experience for us, him, his fellow shippers. We walked up to the brother (he was a stake council member in a different ward) after the meeting and explained the story to him. His eyes welled up with tears and he was so grateful we let him know. I'm sure he was grateful that he followed the spirit in sharing that specific scripture to help so many people, especially Josh. He loved church.

God is soooo stinkin good.

#2 Teresa
When I first got out on my mission I met Teresa. She was sweet. She was my neighbor. She had many health issues do to alcoholism and drug abuse. She got pregnant and her baby was almost due but he died, she gave birth to a still born baby. She spent her whole life wondering where he was, and felt like it was her fault that he was lost because of her unhealthy habits and addictions. 

When I met Teresa she told us this story in great length and detail and was so upset. It reminded me of when my mom lost her baby. My mom has a great big picture in her room of Jesus Christ holding a little infant baby, the painting referenced a Book of Mormon Chapter, Moroni 8. I told Teresa about this and shared this scripture with her..

"And I am filled with charity... All children are alike unto me; wherefore,
I love little children with a perfect love; and they are all alike and partakers of salvation... For behold that all little children are alive in Christ."

It changed her world to know that her baby was okay, that he was happy and safe, that he was not "lost." I remember we gave her that same picture of Jesus Christ holding a little baby and it was framed on her coffee table with a Book of Mormon next to it the entire time I served in Manassas. How much POWER the Book of Mormon has. To bring a person that kind of renewal of hope, and peace and joy.

#3 ME
I was thinking about it the other day and I have a pretty terrible memory. I wish I could remember every spiritual experience I've ever had but it's super hard. So easy to forget. With this whole Book of Mormon training however, fresh on my mind was the importance of it all. I remember saying my nightly prayers one evening and that night my prayers were incredibly longer than usual. I think I was just ranting to God about life as it is ya know? Towards the end I asked just to know that he was there, to remind me that I'm really not alone out here. 
Simple right?
I think we all need that at one time or another.

I didn't really get "an answer"


"A sign"

People always talk about that. I've heard so many stories about people and their signs and what not but nothing really changed for me that night so I went to bed. But as I was laying in bed a scripture popped into my head, it was the same chapter I was reading that morning in my personal study. It was in first Nephi so I didn't really get the whole significance because I usually plow right through first Nephi and don't think about anything. But I reread that specific scripture and it was powerful. 

It said
"Zion hath said, "The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me."
but he will show that he hath not.
For can a woman forget her sucking child, 
that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? 

Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee, O house of Israel.

Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; 
thy walls are continually before me."
1 Nephi 21:14-16

I have often skipped over that verse until this week. What powerful words. 

I will not forget thee

I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands

God answers prayers.
And the scriptures are so profoundly inspired by God.
For us.
Any day.
Any time.

The symbolism and poetry that verse is made up of is beautiful.
I felt silly for thinking "Hey, uh, God, are you there? Because I feel forgotten about down here!"

And to read that.

"I couldn't forget you, your graven into my hands. 
When I hung on the cross. For you."

This work, this gospel, GOD, 
Never ceases to amaze me.

We went to the temple visitor center with J. & K.  Her car smelt like it was going to blowup so we rode with Josh who claims he's half blind and drove over a median :/ 
It was an adventure. We made it there and back alive. We watched the restoration with them and it was really cool. It has been a while since I've watched that movie and I always forget how much I love it. 

It was Sister Eddy's eighteen month mark.  Officially.  Woohoo. We did service, had district meeting, visited a few people we are working with... the usual.

We went to this ladies house who lives out in the boooons. She has this sweet property with a house built in the forties (a huge house) and it's all decorated like old school too. It's sweet. She had a "servant" home on her property too. It's just super cool. I should have taken more pictures. I will next time we go out there. We had a fancy little lunch / tea. Whatever you call it. Except we didn't drink tea we drank hot chocolate and ate cucumber sandwiches. 

We went to the visitor center again with B. a recent convert and watched Meet the Mormons and showed him the temple model. Currently there is this big huge model of the temple that shows what the inside looks like in the visitor center. It's pretty sweet and lots of people love to come look at it. 

Hey did you ever see Meet the Mormons? Did you realize Obama is in it? Lolol. 
I bought an Obama shirt in DC on Monday. New fave. Ya like?

This is for Eli :)

We also went to an Alcoholic Anonymous meeting with someone. He goes all the time and so he took us with him.  It was exactly like I imagined, except more inspiring actually. I think everybody should go to one for the experience. There was actually quite a few young professionals there for exposure. But there was a big turnout of people (they have one every hour at this particular place) and it was interesting. I think you should take the kids each to a separate AA meeting. Seriously. Not that I was planning on it, but I'll never lay my hands on an alcoholic beverage after that. It's crazy how it has messed up so many people's lives.  soooo bad. And it all started with one drink.

None the less, Good experience. 

It snowed :l 
I know right. So much for it being the FIRST DAY OF SPRING. It'll come. It'll come. 
I'm planning on beginning to pack up all my winter clothes next week. Like my snow coat, leggings, scarves and etc. And sending them home. I'll probably do it while Sister Eddy is packing her stuff to go home. Also I officially have fourteen weeks left. Weird, eh?

We had Zone leadership meeting in the morning. Weekly planning. Then visited with some less active members of the ward. It was wet and rainy all day. During weekly planning you do this thing called "companion inventory" where you basically, talk about your problems and "communicate." It's actually quite revelatory with Sister Eddy because I actually respect her as a human, and her opinion as a person. So we literally made a list of all my problems (that I claim are problems) and decided whether or not they were things worth changing, and how to change them. It was quite interesting. Another blog post for another day or maybe never. But I got a good list of things to work on, and learned a lot about myself actually.

I also realized that those cliche quotes people post on social media and Pinterest are so irrelevant to life. We think they are so awe inspiring but seriously if you read a quote on Pinterest that says, for example, 

"(Insert cheesy quote)"

That's great. That's inspiring. That sounds like what I need to do with my life. But how? Pinterest is real great at making you realize what you need to change but it is so off point with HOW TO CHANGE. sorry, new paradigm here. It's just.... Man. These quotes. They give no guidance. All my life I've read up on the wrong sources. I've come to realize real life experience, is the best knowledge you can gain. 

the scriptures are just that.
And modern day revelation.
And acting for yourself.
And asking your ancestors and family.

Who knew real world social interaction was actually more beneficial than Pinterest and Twitter.


Woke up really early, drove out into a forest, created a eco friendly nature loving hiking path connector between two common trails in Lorton, Virginia. We uh, helped this older person group chop down trees and rake and dig and etc etc to make some hiking trails. Also, there are creeks (river) intertwined between the paths so Sister Eddy and I really just played in the mud and carried boulders *ripped* around to make a crossing path for people across the creek (river). 

It was awesome. We're probably going to go back today for preparation day and take pictures because I didn't have my camera last time. AND it was stinking beautiful. And #pants. Either that or were going to do something crazy for Sister Eddy's almost last Pday/18 month mark. Like pierce her ears or something Lolol.

We had a sweet lesson with J. It was at the S. home they are a new family in the ward. They moved here from Utah and are super stinking awesome. It was funny because it was supposed to be at seven but we got a call at six saying he was there so we just decided to do it at six because it got mixed up. We talked about baptism and the Holy Ghost and the blessings and promises that come from both. J. was funny. We talked about how as missionaries we are here to help people prepare for baptism. He said he's ready for it, that he's been searching for the next step. That he has made so much progress and change. And he is now preparing to be baptized on April twenty fifth. *excitement*

Brother S. ran up and got him a white shirt and tie and was so excited. It was cool. We're all excited for J. He's awesome. Also he said he will bring us deer jerky..... He's super into hunting and fishing. Every time he talks about it I think about how proud Dylan and Ethan would be that I participate in these conversations. //undecided feelings

That night we celebrated by kick boxing outside our car and giving up on counting calories by eating pizza rolls and Ben and Jerry's. What a day. What a night.

My favorite quote from sacrament meeting was by Bishop Blake after expressing his disappointment in not meeting President Obama "My mom raised me well enough to know that everything that happens in your life is a good opportunity to create a good analogy for a church talk."

Also, here's a view from my seat in relief society right now.
It's the Potomac, FYI


Anyway. This week was grand. I can't believe this is Sister Eddy's last full week in the mission field. It won't be the same old Fort Belvoir without her. I'll miss her dumb jokes and cool facts. I also can't believe that I've come down to this..... 

Three months left in the mission field. I feel like I've been a missionary my entire life. It's bizarre that in thirteen weeks there will be no such thing as metros, escalators, skyscrapers, toll roads, five o clock traffic, African foo foo, Buddhist temples, district meetings, emailing president Riggs, knocking on doors of unknown humans, kickboxing after a baptism invite, watching people you've grown to love change their lives, getting excited about new pass along cards, being called a Mormon nun, people signing up to feed me dinner, getting called Sister Sticky, Snooki, Stuck, Sooki, Stupi, Stoopy. 

There's so much bitter sweet.

I'm excited to see how much you've changed
And how much I've changed
And how much things have changed. 

I hope serving a mission wasn't just an eighteen month event
But something that left a lasting influence and impression
Especially for myself, and my future family,
But other people as well.

I hope you can see and understand a speck of how much I've learned
And how much it's meant to me, so you will have the desire to do the same.

I sure love you guys!
Sister Madison Stucki

Love you guys bye!!!
Sent from my iPad
March 23, 2015

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