Called to Serve

I'm Alicia Garver, and I'm a Mormon. I'm currently serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, in the Georgia Atlanta North Mission. I love what I'm doing, and I'm excited to be sharing His message and His love with the people in Georgia.

Come for a ride with me as I share my bicycle and walking shoes!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

5/4/15 An Awesome Week

This week has been simply amazing. It has also been really hard. Unfortunately, the two usually seem to go together.

Without going into a ton of details this week we:
  • met and surpassed all of our goals
  • had 2 investigating families and 2 less active families that we were teaching at church
  • had 6 investigators total at church (us and the elders), a record
  • gave out 5 copies of the Book of Mormon
  • put 2 people on baptismal date
  • got the cops called on us
  • met President Grumpy of the HOA and got kicked out of the neighborhood (for now. We're going back Saturday anyway)
  • had a record number of people drop us
  • never had more than 2 hours a day go as planned
  • all of our investigators are going through family trials: divorce, getting kicked out of the house with the kids, custody battles for grandkids because mother does drugs, spouses cheating on them, etc
The good and the bad come at the same time. Satan never works harder than when we have great blessings in store for us. So what I'm trying to learn is that I should never get down, because the greater the trial at the moments, the greater the blessings and joy in the immediate future. It is always darkest before dawn and with the greater sorrow comes the greater joy. Joseph Smith experienced the power of the adversary before he experienced the glory of God. Christ had to suffer before He could enter into his Father's presence and open the gates for us to join them. And on a much smaller scale, we had to face weeks of little success, dropped appointments, cops and President Grumpy-face before the Lord showed His hand. And one way He did so was through the members.

If you are looking for ways to do missionary work or to be a miracle for someone else, the first and most important thing you can do is love. Love everyone. Show that charity to those around you, even if they are mean, rude, or attacking you and your faith. Love can soften the hardest heart. Serve and offer service. Invite friends to church where they can feel God's love just by walking in the door. Invite the missionaries to bring investigators or less actives when you invite them over for dinner. Look out for and befriend those the missionaries do bring to church. Get their numbers and invite them over. Smile. At everyone. You'll be surprised how much you shock people. Carry a Book of Mormon in your backpack or a mini one in your purse. Don't Bible-bash, no matter how fun it is or how wrong they are. Strengthen your family. People notice. 

I love you all. The best is yet to come. May the Lord bless you.

Sister Garver

4/27/15 Stake Conference

I LOVE Saturday session of stake conference! I mean, Sunday session is good, but the adult Saturday session was just so powerful and spirit-packed it was amazing. I'm not sure if they were just following the trend of General Conference or the Spirit really needs to drill this in, but the theme throughout the whole thing was on families, marriage, and temples. Seriously, it was powerful. Sister Gonzalez and I both had the same thought as we drove home: something big and and bad has to be coming. What in the world lies in the future for the family, if so many of the Lord's chosen revelators and seers are drilling this into us? But then I started thinking about the past two weeks, and I realized: oh, the attack has already begun. We are helping 2 less actives who are dealing with getting a divorce and watching it slowly drive them further and further away from peace and the Spirit has been really hard. I love both couples so much, the husbands and the wives, and it hurts. But through the hard times, both of the women are turning into the Lord for help. One of our investigators is considering divorce. Most of our investigators and several of our recent converts and less actives are single parents, or have only single parents. Oh, no wonder.

I loved how the focus for Sunday session was the temple. We need to have the temple as a focus in our lives. Our children need to know the temple is important to mom and dad and they need to know it is important to them as well. I need to be better at going to the temple on a regular basis when I get home. The things that it teaches and what it reminds us off is that families are forever. Families are vital for our Father's eternal plan for us. Families are the most important social unit in time and eternity. Families are a place of peace and safety and learning. Families will not be easy or always joyful or love-filled, but they are always essential for the joy that we can expect when we cross that heavenly finish line. The goal is not to win the race first, but to get everyone across. And the temple is the booster engine forward, and seat belt that holds us in, together, and safe. I am so grateful for the family I have. That my parents love each other and that we never had a doubt about it. That we are sealed together for time and eternity. That I was born in the gospel and my parents taught us that gospel daily through example; their devotion to God, each other and us. One day, I will make those same commitments to my own husband, and I will never let anything come between me and those commitments I made to him and to God. I want to live like my parents, so one day, we can be next door neighbors in the Celestial Kingdom :)

Sister Garver

                                                        Pollen Season in Georgia!!

                                     I practically live in the forest from the Hunger Games  :)

                                                                 My district, before transfers <3

4/13/15 Little Miracles

This week hasn't had anything spectacular happen. But looking back, I can see that the whole thing had been made up of little miracles.

We had more lessons with members present this week than I ever have had, yet there were so many dropped appointments, that I didn't even realize what we did have until last night. We have had surprise lessons at members homes when we went over for dinner. We had surprise lessons with recent converts that I didn't even know were recent converts until we received a list from our ward mission leader yesterday. We've gained new investigators from tracting and also got a solid referral from online (which never happens). We spent a total of around 12 hours in three days of service; helping a sweet, non-member lady pack up her entire, humongous house because her landlord was giving her a week to get out. And she didn't have anyone else to help her. It was exhausting, but afterwards she told us that she felt different around us, like we were all familiar to her, and she wanted to come to our church to see what made us so different and warm.

Our entire week has been made up of little miracles that God placed in our path. We didn't really get done anything that we planned to, but Father made everything work out. (For those of you who have never been on missions, weekly planning never really means we are going to do much of anything that we plan to. We plan as best we can, and then Father laughs, and corrects us the rest of the week.) we just learn to trust Him.

Love you all! 
Sister Garver

4/6/15 Mixed Feelings

1 Behold, my beloved brethren and sisters, at once my soul rejoices in the greatest of joys and weeps in the deepest of sorrows.
2 For behold, it came to pass that in the beginning of the seventh month (for it had been seven months since the coming of Alicia, and such was the reckoning of the sister), that many ears were opened and hearts softened as the prophets of the Lord did speak unto us concerning the state of our souls. The spirit of the Lord shone round about us and we did sing songs of praise unto his name. For behold, the voice of the Lord God did pierce our hearts and we were taught the ways of heaven, for which we rejoice and will give thanks unto him forever. I was taught in the ways of the Lord concerning family, endurance, and love. For if we cleave unto the eternal perspective of family and life, and depart from the evils of titles and electronic devices, than shall our joy be full.
3 But, alas, for the power of the evil one! For it was not long past that this humble servant of the Lord did stumble into the greatest of temptation! My eye was diverted from the strait and narrow path to the checkout line and beheld, to my utmost horror and great astonishment, that the Battle of the Five Armies is already on DVD! Great is my wo, for behold, I did hold in my hands that which is most sweet, yet my soul grieves, for behold, mine eyes shall not behold that which is within for a great many months. It cuts me to the very core, and I weep bitterly.
4 But I shall press on in the work of the Lord, for when this time is over I shall have my reward, and great shall be my joy therein.

-Sister Garver

3/30/15 Happy Easter!

Nothing too exciting this week. Let's see...noteworthy events...

Well, we're now going to start teaching an ESL class at the church. We have enough Indian, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, Haitian,Vietnamese, Bulgarian, and Russian speakers in the area. I'm not sure how well it will work with all those languages and with us, purely English-speakers, as teachers, but we'll try. Any tips from ESL teachers or teachers in general, or even those who speak another language, would be greatly appreciated. 

General Women's Broadcast was on Saturday. And anyone who knows me, knows I find Women's Broadcast a little dull. And that family video they showed at first was more than slightly hilarious and fake. However, since being on my mission, I've found that no matter what the subject or the speaker, in church or even in the Women's Broadcast, if you listen, there will be something that is meant for you. It might be one line, or even a prompting you get that's completely off subject, but the Spirit will always be present, and he is the real teacher.

Oh! And remember the Christmas initiative I was so excited about in December? We're doing something similar for Easter. It's called Because He Lives, at, and they're doing the YouTube takeover again and everything. It's a super cool video and I love it! So does everyone who watches it, member or not. You've probably already heard about it from your friendly neighborhood missionaries, but I wanted to share it anyway :)

Love you all! Happy spring!

Sister Garver

P.S. So I'm not sure if this is at all weird or not, but I would appreciate some help. My companion, Sister Tuitea, is new here from Samoa, and is starting to dislike Mondays, I think. I don't think anyone from home writes her. So, this is a bit unorthodox, but do you think, if it's not too weird, you could email her? I want her to feel loved and important and to feel like we're all her family. The church is one big family. So if you could write to her like you write to me, maybe not weekly, if that's too much, but every once in a while. Her email is Thanks a ton!

3/23/15 Elder Zwick

This week has been soooo cool! 

For one thing, Elder Zwick of the Quorum of the Seventy, come for the week. That meant we had a week full of meetings. This is both a good thing and a bad thing; we didn't get as much work done, but we learned so much and just got pumped full of the Spirit. And, of course, no general authority can talk without giving at least one throw-down. Apparently the first presidency has been putting a lot of focus on ward councils working with the missionaries. He held a 2 hour meeting with the ward councils and missionaries of two stakes, and just ripped into the ward councils. It was fun :) Well, for us at least. We watched part of a world wide broadcast made a few years ago that displayed how a ward council was supposed to go. It was rather hard for us missionaries to not giggle. Of course, it helped that Sister Bennion, our President's wife, was in the video. And sitting up on the stand.

He also talked to us in another meeting about how we need to simplify and intensify our teaching. Meaning we had about four minutes to introduce a principle, share an example, bear testimony, share a doctrine (a scripture) that supported that principle, and bear testimony again. We had 15 minutes at the end to bear testimonies, and we managed to get about 20 testimonies, because he wanted each to be 35-40 seconds long. It was tough. But we learned sooo much in that 6 hour intense training. I wish you could see all my notes.

Also....wait for it....we're getting ipads!!!! I know, right! I People have been talking about getting one for years here, but I thought it would never happen! May 30th. That's right. Yaaaayyyyyy!!!!

Until next week!
Sister Garver