Monday, 28 December 2015

Happy New Year!

Hey Everyone!

Hope you all had a great Christmas! It was a great one here in the Kettle Moraine ward. Probably the warmest Christmas in Wisconsin history... around 55 degrees! It was a beautiful day! Today is a big snowstorm, though, and the word is that this year's "vacation from Wisconsin weather" is now officially over. From here on out we're supposed to have snow, ice storms, and (finally!) negative temperatures! I'm actually pretty excited to experience it! Well, maybe not the cold temps as much, but I love snow!

Skyping my family was the best! I miss them so much! The time went way too fast and the connection wasn't the greatest and I was kind of speechless the whole time just staring at everyone's faces but it was great :) (P.S. for anyone who doesn't know, Alex sounds a whole heck of a lot like Batman these days!)

We found out today that because the MTC time is being extended for native speakers, our mission time is being extended a week. At least I'm pretty sure that's what the email meant. So if all goes according to plan, I should still be home for Christmas in 2016, folks! :) 

Hmm, as far as actual work goes this week was interesting. We had several member appointments, but most nonmembers were unwilling to meet with us until after the holidays. So hopefully we will be teaching more lessons in the upcoming weeks! We did, however, meet a new investigator named Mr. Malone. He's a high school teacher and he's read portions of the Book of Mormon but is highly skeptical of it; he definitely doesn't believe it's divinely inspired, or written by prophets. Basically, he was looking at it from an entirely logical perspective, and only finding faults in what he was reading. The lesson was a good reminder to me that it's not enough to  have a testimony that Joseph Smith was a prophet just because he was uneducated and there's no way he could have written something like the Book of Mormon. We need to know the Book of Mormon is true, and that Joseph Smith was a prophet, because the Spirit witnesses to us that it's true. Spiritual knowledge comes spiritually, not logically. Which isn't to say the gospel shouldn't make sense logically - it should - but that it's CRITICAL that we don't rely solely on the logic of it, and instead put special emphasis on the feelings and promptings we get from the Spirit testifying of truth. Just like how it's great to believe in God because the world around us is incredible and couldn't have been created by accident... but it's even BETTER to believe in God because we have personal, CORE experiences with Him in our lives. It's good better best, I guess! (Sorry if this is all a jumbled mess, it all makes sense in my head!)

Love you all! Hope you make some good New Year's resolutions. Even better, I hope you still remember them come February! ;)

Have a great week!


Sister K. 

Monday, 21 December 2015

Merry Christmas!!!

Hey Everyone!

Hope you are all having a great Christmas season so far! In my case it hasn't really hit me yet that Christmas is THIS WEEK because the weather has been oddly warm lately, especially for Wisconsin! It got down to the 20s this week but now its back up to the 40s and 50s. God must really love me because I am just a baby about the cold!

This week we saw many miracles! One of those is the Lyons family. They were investigators about a year ago, and we re-established contact with them a couple weeks ago and started teaching them this week. On Thursday was our zone conference, and right after zone conference was our lesson with the Lyons, and EVERYTHING we learned in conference directly applied to the lesson! It was AMAZING! The Lyons' daughter Erin said the closing prayer and it was one of the happiest, sweetest moments I have ever experienced. I love that family so much!!! Sister Tidwell and I both feel a really strong and special connection to them, even though we've only known them for a short time. I think that's one of the greatest gifts we receive as missionaries; the ability to love people genuinely and intensely from the very first moment we meet them. For me, that love is something I've really prayed to have, and so many people I meet are answers to that prayer! 

We also had a lesson with Joy this week. We taught the Plan of Salvation, and along with that, I am always pondering about the premortal life and what it means. The fact that our personalities, talents, and natures are all so different from each other, even from our infancy, attests to the truth of our premortal existence and that we learned and developed skills before coming to earth.

We're still doing LOTS of finding as we try to build up the area. Even though progress is hard to see, the work is picking up because the members are getting more involved! Kettle Moraine is an amazing ward, it really is! The past couple nights we have been going out with the ward mission leader and his wife and other members to carol to investigators and families who need a boost. I love love LOVE Christmas caroling, and it's a great way to bring in the Spirit!

The Ward mission leader and his wife, Brother and Sister Bonner, gave me the greatest Christmas gift ever yesterday. Each of us missionaries got an orange (because we've been "especially good" (sis. Bonner) ) and a box of cereal!!! That's right Mom and Dad, a box of cereal just like our long-standing family tradition!!!! It totally made my day. I love you all and have been thinking a lot about you as I anticipate Christmas, but I want you to know I am so happy and the people here are really taking care of me :)

Have a great week! Merry Christmas!


Sister K.

P.S. I tried to send me and my companion's Christmas photo, but if it didn't work, let me know! I'll try again next week! :)

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

14 Dec 2015

This week was great! I am loving being Sister Tidwell's companion. We're getting along really well and working hard together! I am also so happy to be serving in Kettle Moraine and being able to focus all my time and efforts on ONE ward and ONE area. We're not running around crazy all the time anymore and it makes it easier to keep track of the miracles!

One miracle that happened was a lady named Linda! It was about 6:00 and pitch black outside and we were tracting in a random neighborhood that I now realize we were undeniably led to. We knocked on Linda's door and it looked like no one was home... but Linda answered and immediately invited us inside and took our coats and let us sit down in the living room! She's this sweet grandma with a nice husband and three boys who are all grown up and away from home. She was wearing a cute ugly Christmas sweater and Christmas socks, which made me so happy, and honestly she reminded me of Mrs. Claus or something. But we had a great discussion and she seems to be really prepared, and she even said she would have invited us over for Christmas but she'd be out of town!! The second miracle happened when we were about to leave... she gave Sis. Tidwell and I a big Aldi pack of dark chocolate-covered cashews, which were the BEST things I've EVER tasted. #blessed! People like Linda make me realize how much better I want to be; I want to be the kind of person who invites in random strangers and makes them feel at home, because why not? Why not be so friendly and generous and kind? I am grateful every day for the people who are placed in our path who are disciples of Christ, no matter the denomination. 

We also had miracles happen as the result of fasting. Our mission is doing a collective 90 day fast where each companionship takes turns fasting for 24 hours. Our turn was last Wednesday, and we found 2 new investigators (Lori and Tammy) and contacted 2 former investigators who have since become investigators. It is so exciting to be a part of this work!!!!

Our ward is incredible and is helping us to feel at home. Also, to those of you who have sent Christmas letters and packages, THANK YOU!!!! It always, always makes my day!!!! :D

Something I've been thinking a lot about lately... the Savior really was born, all those years ago. Think about it. It changes everything!!!! I love how Christmastime points our thoughts to the Savior's life and the miracles he wrought... but I love even more picturing that tiny, innocent baby being held by his mother. It makes him more real to me somehow. I know you all are remembering the Savior as you celebrate this year, and I just want to thank you for making this time of year special!

Love you all!


Sister K.

Monday, 7 December 2015

First week of new Transfers

Hey All!

Hope you are loving the Christmas season so far! It makes me so happy to see all the Christmas lights around the neighborhoods. We have a lot of time every day to enjoy them, too, because it gets dark here before 5:00pm now. It's getting colder, too, but it's still not too bad. My Colorado upbringing has prepared me for this so BRING IT ON Wisconsin!!!! Haha. 

Well this was the first week of a new transfer! Like I said last week, I am training a new sister! I met her on Wednesday and we had some trainings by the President and his wife. The mantle of being a trainer is SO real. I felt it a little before, when I was finishing Sister Decker's training, but this week it has been an almost tangible thing. I feel extra accountable for every decision I make, and even though that's a stressful thing it's also a blessing. I know that the best way to teach is by example, and I want to be the best example possible for my trainee!!!

Her name is Sister Tidwell from Huntsville, Utah and she's super sweet and very very pretty! (Sorry folks, I forgot my camera cord so I can't send pictures!) Also she likes running and it has been FANTASTIC to be able to run in the mornings again - it's chilly but it helps me so much to de-stress.

Since we're in just Kettle Moraine now, we are going to have more time to find new investigators, something I am VERY excited about. I can't wait to see what this transfer brings as we dig in and strive to build our teaching pool! 
As we tracted around this week, we have met a couple pretty amazing individuals. One of these people was Jim, an older gentleman. He didn't want to take the survey and he didn't want to "be converted," but he let us in (don't worry folks, his wife was home) and made us some hot chocolate and let us warm up for a while. I saw that he had a nice acoustic guitar and he told me to play it for a while! So I played a couple songs for him and I think it made him really happy. It made me really happy too, so it was a win-win! Well, nothing really came of our conversation with Jim that day, BUT when I was reading in Doctrine and Covenants the next day I found a verse that says that we will be able to recognize the disciples of Christ because they will be the ones who invite us in and feed us. Well, Jim did just that, and I got the impression not to give up on him!

Speaking of which, I am realizing more and more how the Spirit speaks to me, which is awesome! I think I've been getting more promptings my whole life than I ever realized. And to a certain extent, it doesn't really matter if I know if something was a prompting or not; as long as it's a good thought or impression and I follow it, I know I'll be doing the right thing!

Have a great week!!!

Sister K.