Monday, 26 December 2016

Jenna in Colorado!

We've had a wonderful time with our Jenna since she returned home.  We've been trying to take it easy and let her adjust to this new life.  She was released that night and we had a good meeting with the Stake Presidency on Sunday for a mission report.  Derek and Jess were here when she got home and Kayli and Bronson came on the 22nd from Logan.  It's been a fun Christmas!  Her homecoming talk was on Christmas Day and was outstanding.  We'll head out to Provo on the 5th of January for her to start the next chapter of her life.

She had a life-changing experience in Wisconsin and we're proud of her for serving so faithfully.

Thanks everyone for your love and support!

the Kirchhoefer's













Last Email!!

Well holy cow... I can't believe this is my last time emailing! I'll just give you a quick wrap-up of the week before closing out!

We've been busy as could be! I got to go to Fond du Lac on an exchange, and it was SUPER AWESOME because we got to do service at a members' farm! I didn't do anything super farm-y, haha, but I LOVED the atmosphere and those stalwart saints we served with! I feel so much love in my heart for beautiful Wisconsin and the people here. My goodness, I can't even express it. I LOVE WISCONSIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We've been getting a TON of snow lately... this weekend was the first big snowstorm, and they cancelled church in a lot of wards. Luckily we still got to have Sacrament meeting, but all the investigators we had lined up and ready to come to church bailed :( But Nicole, who we were so sad couldn't make it, sent us a text saying that even though she wasn't able to come to church, she has been reading the Book of Mormon every morning and every night, and feels the power of the Lord so much more in her life!!!! She feels that joining the church is the right step for her to be taking right now. Our hearts were so happy when we read that! I'm so excited for her!
We also stopped by Amanda and Karina and Charlotte's house - we haven't been able to see them in a while and were getting nervous. But we had a GREAT lesson with them and were able to reset Amanda's baptism date for January. She is so excited, she just needs to overcome some personal things before being baptized. The changes she's made ALREADY in her life to accept the gospel are truly miraculous - I can't wait to hear about the rest of her journey!

Alright so... I feel like I need to say something super profound or miraculous to package this nice little mission thing up. But I honestly can't fit into words how much it's meant to me, or all the things I've learned. Serving a mission has been a lot different than I expected, but it's been a joyful adventure, and I'm so excited to apply it to the rest of my life!

I've learned that sacrifice TRULY does bring forth the blessings of Heaven! And sacrifices in behalf of the Lord's work turn out to not even be sacrifices at all!

I've learned that the Book of Mormon is the INSPIRED WORD OF GOD!!!!!!!!!!! I've said that before in my life, many times, but now I know more about what that means!!! The Book of Mormon brings us closer to God than any other book - it teaches us the Doctrine of Christ and how to apply it into our lives personally! I've learned SO MUCH about being a missionary from that book, just as much as from Preach My Gospel! And I can't wait to allow the Book of Mormon to teach me about bringing the Lord into my student life and eventually family life of my own! 

Speaking of which, I've learned that "eternal life is family life"! Heaven is all about relationships... if we think we can be happy living for OURSELVES, we're wrong!!!

I know that Joseph Smith truly is the Prophet of this dispensation! I know the Gospel NEEDED to be restored... I know it went missing! I have come to love nothing more than standing in the doorway of a strangers home with a smile on my face, bearing my testimony of Joseph Smith's first vision of God the Father and the Son! I know that event truly did happen!!!

And most importantly... I know Christ lives. I know He is who He says He is. I know that He cares about us, that He loves us, that He has done EVERYTHING in His power to bring us back to Him and our Father in Heaven, but it's up to US to accept His offering and His gift. I know the Atonement is REAL, that it lifts us, strengthens us, cleanses us from sin, and carries us, more than we will ever know or comprehend!!!! I love Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father and my heart is bursting with gratitude for Them and all They have done for me in my life. This includes bringing all of you into my life and letting me feel Their love and support through you!!!!!! THANK YOU!!!! I promise to always be "valiant in the testimony of Jesus," in the name of Jesus Christ, amen!

With Love,

Sister Jenna Lynn Kirchhoefer

Monday, 5 December 2016

First Snow!

That's right, folks! The weather has been PRIME until this past week... the snow came down on Sunday and now it looks like it will be permanently cold and dreary! But we are so thankful that we had such a wonderful and LONG fall season!

❄ This week we were able to set a baptism date with Nicole! She is an incredibly sweet young mom who we found in the area book. Our mission president has been teaching us lately that area books are living and breathing things, because the people listed in them are constantly having new life experiences that are preparing them for the gospel. Nicole is evidence of that - she is so sincere in wanting to know if the message we share is true. She's a great example of FAITH!!!

❄ We found out this week that Amanda has read ALL THE WAY TO 2 NEPHI 31!!!!! And she knows that what she's reading is TRUE!!!! :) It's amazing, the power that book brings into peoples' lives!!! 

❄ We got permission to go to a "worship night" with the V+15s at their church this week! That was interesting! I learned a lot, and you know, I was thinking... the lyrics to their worship music are all TRUE - but they don't mean as much without the knowledge of COVENANTS. Christ and His Atonement are truly phenomenal and mind-blowing, and sometimes it's hard to understand how such a broad and expansive event can apply to us personally... but we are blessed to know that it is through our COVENANTS that we are bound to Christ, and He to us... we can bring the power of the Atonement into the EVERY DAY when we are striving to fulfill our promises, because the Atonement is what enables us to TRY, and BECOME! I don't know if that makes any sense, but it was a beautiful thought that came to me as I was listening to the worship music! I will keep in contact with that family for SURE! They mean so much to me, even if their progression isn't happening right NOW. I know it will someday!!

Um, that's all I can think of to say. Each week as a missionary is pretty much the same. But each week is wonderful!!!

Next Monday is my last time emailing!! WHAAAT?!?!?! haha. CRAZY!

Enjoy the Christmas season, folks! :D

xoxo

Sister K.

P.S. sorry, forgot my camera cord... no pictures today! which is a shame because I took some good ones this week!


Thursday, 1 December 2016

Happy Thanksgiving!!

There are so many things to be grateful for I don't even know where to begin!!! This week was wonderful and I really felt the Lord consecrating our efforts! First of all, Amanda, Karina, and Charlotte all came to church yesterday - it was Amanda's first time and she LOVED it!!!! She signed up to bring a salad to our ward Christmas party! And she's planning on coming to YW in excellence on Wednesday with Karina!!! It makes me so happy to see HER so happy and wanting to be involved! I was just reflecting on how much that family has changed since Sister Killian and I first met them 4 months ago... literally night and day difference! I AM GRATEFUL FOR THE WAY THE GOSPEL CHANGES LIVES!!!!!!!!!

Second! I AM GRATEFUL FOR THE WAY THE SPIRIT GUIDES US!!!!!! There were two days this week where we were TOTALLY exactly where we needed to be at EXACTLY the right times - without  even realizing it until afterward! Here's an example: when Sister Tidwell and I were together in Kettle Moraine, we tracted into this man named Gary and shared the Book of Mormon with him! Well, this week WE MET GARY AGAIN!!!! In Neenah!!!!! Through a series of small "coincidences" that are too tiny and multitudinous to report! We were blown away. We were able to follow up with Gary's Book of Mormon reading and invite him to learn more, and even though he isn't currently interested, we both strongly feel that he's one of the elect! He just needs a little more time to be prepared!

I AM GRATEFUL FOR GOSPEL-STRONG SAINTS IN ALL PARTS OF THE WORLD! Even random small towns in Wisconsin! This Thanksgiving we were taken in by the Brickeys in the Neenah ward, who are absolutely wonderful and so kind and generous to us, and also by the Prusses, who are quite closely related to Sister Tidwell! I love feeling like I have a home away from home - what a blessing. I will never be able to adequately thank all the people who have made Wisconsin a precious sanctuary to me.

I AM GRATEFUL FOR TRADITIONS! Being raised in a family where Turkey Bowls are non-negotiable, I was SO grateful to get to play football on Thanksgiving morning - even if we WERE the only girls who showed up!

I AM GRATEFUL FOR MY COMPANIONS!!!! ALL of them!!!! I have so much joy and gratitude in my heart when I think of the lessons I learned from EACH of them that I couldn't have learned any other way! And Sister Tidwell continues to be a blessing to me! 

I AM GRATEFUL FOR UGLY SWEATERS so we could re-enact last year's Christmas photos. So much has changed, and yet nothing has changed.. all at once!!!!

And definitely not last OR least.... I AM GRATEFUL FOR MY FAMILY!!!!!!!! There is nothing I crave more than to be surrounded by the ones I love FOREVER. So I AM ALSO GRATEFUL FOR THE SEALING POWER restored in these latter days!!!! 

I love you all. Hope your Thanksgiving was wonderful!!! thank you for the prayers.

xoxo

Sister K.


Sunday, 27 November 2016

20 Nov 2016

Hey family!


I am just overflowing with gratitude right now for this mission thing. Gosh I'm not ready for it to end. I love Sister Tidwell so stinkin' much - she is the biggest tender mercy EVER. It's absolutely incredible how much she manages to build me up and help me grow and push myself and become better. We knocked our goals out of the park this week - well, the goals that were up to OUR agency. The goals that had to do with OTHER's agency, not so much... but I feel satisfied in knowing we're doing all we can to help people to come closer to Christ!!!
We had Zone Conference on Thursday, and it was amazing! Something really cool that happened was that Sister Tidwell and I were in charge of a 30 minute training on "finding," and 5 minutes of that was going to be about family mission plans, but when we got to Conference it became clear that "finding" wasn't what WE were supposed to train on. So we switched it up last minute and went up and trained for 25 minutes on family mission plans instead!!! And it went alright, but the coolest thing was that EVERY SINGLE THING we were GOING to say about "finding"... was said by somebody else! Literally, EVERY scripture reference, every planning idea, EVERYTHING! It was an evidence to me that the Spirit guided our planning (because we felt so strongly that "finding" was something the zone really needed to be trained on), and then guided the conference like CRAZY!!! I don't know if this makes any sense - but trust me, it was the coolest! And I love President and Sister Williams. They are ministering angels to us!

Amanda and Charlotte are now working towards a baptism date in December! We were so bummed, they weren't able to make it to church yesterday :( But it's important to them and they understand why it's important - next week they will be there for SURE!!!!! And we're going to do ALL we can to help them get there!!!!!!!!!!

Blitzes this week with Sheboygan - Sisters Garner and Reid. They're the cutest ever!!! A great companionship and I LOVE them!!!!

I am exhausted. I can't think of anything else to say.

Oh!!! TENDER MERCY!!!!!!!! Sister Tidwell and I saw BROTHER AND SISTER BONNER at Stake Conference yesterday!!! They are our sweet dear friends from KETTLE MORAINE!!!!! And we served there together!!! The Bonners were shocked to see that we are companions again, haha! But it was a SWEET reunion! THOSE TWO are ministering angels, too!!!! Brother Bonner is President Bonner now - he just got called to be a counselor in the Chicago temple presidency, under President Doll!

Anywho, I think that's all!!! I love you!!!!!!

xoxo

Sister K.



Monday, 14 November 2016

13 Nov 2016

Well these first few days being reunited with Sister Tidwell has felt like a dream!!! I'm going to be her companion EXACTLY a year after we were companions before... which means I'll be with her for her YEAR MARK!!!! Never ever EVER expected or dreamed that would happen!!! But it really has been wonderful reminiscing and sharing the new experiences both of us have had since being companions!!! She is so incredibly WONDERFUL and CAPABLE and it brings my heart so much PEACE to know that she'll be carrying this area when I leave! I <3 SISTER TIDWELL!!!!!!


We had an AMAZING lesson with Karina, Charlotte, and Amanda!!! We invited Amanda to prepare for baptism with Charlotte and she ACCEPTED!!!!!! The Spirit was so strong!!! She has the greatest desires to follow Christ and change her life for the better! I know the Lord is working in that family to bring them into the fold - something that they have been needing and missing for a long time! They were going to work towards November 26th, but didn't make it to church yesterday, so now they'll be working towards a date in December. (Amanda's phone died in the middle of the night on Saturday so the alarm didn't go off, so they missed church. Bahh!!!! Can I just take a moment to say that Satan works RIDICULOUSLY HARD on people who are preparing for baptism? I KNOW I'm not the only one who's experienced this... Just kinda shows how TRUE the church is though!!!)

One of my FAVORITE PEOPLE EVER, Miss Cherie, had a birthday on the same day as my Mom's birthday - Nov. 12th! We celebrated with her on Sunday and it was a tender mercy because I know my family was celebrating my mom's birthday too! Cherie requested marbled cupcakes with green frosting... haha wherever that idea came from! But we made them and they turned out great!

It gets dark at 4:30 here now! So that's cool.

It's supposed to snow this weekend. 

That's about it for the week! Sorry to not have any exciting stories... just know we're doing great and life is wonderful and I'm so grateful for all of you!!!

xoxo

Sister K.

Sis K will miss Sis Killian


It's like a reunion tour - back with Sis Tidwell

Friday, 11 November 2016

Karina got baptized!!!

That's right everyone! Karina got baptized yesterday!!!! It was a wonderful baptism - so many people from the ward came to support her, and there were great talks and beautiful music too. But the best part was definitely when Karina came up out of the water, and I heard Amanda (Karina's nonmember mom) whisper under her breath, "That was beautiful." (and then Charlotte, the nine year old, said, "That was weird." haha.) But baptism really is beautiful! I LOVE the symbolism and the power of the Priesthood that can be felt in that holy moment of redemption. It was a lot of work but a really great day! And because of the Regional Conference yesterday, Karina will receive the gift of the Holy Ghost next Sunday! So we'll keep working with her really closely up until then. Also, we were talking to Amanda before the baptism and found out that she quit smoking 2 weeks ago and is working on quitting coffee so she can "take all this more seriously." THAT is repentance!!!! And it is beautiful!!!!! We are SO excited for the spiritual progress of this wonderful family!!!!!

So yeah we had a Regional Conference yesterday! Which apparently all my Colorado people were watching too! That made me happy :) It was great - a lot of talk about temples, which is always good to hear. Our mission policy just changed so we are no longer able to attend the temple in our mission, which is really sad, BUT when I was pondering about it, I decided that when we don't have things for a season, we often appreciate them MORE when we have them back. So I'm making goals for temple attendance when I am back in temple boundaries! :)

We also had the opportunity this week to BLITZ Sheboygan! (Meaning Sister Killian and I drove down to Sheboygan and worked with the Sisters there for a day!) I was with Sister Reid - this is her first transfer! - and it was cool because she had a lot of the same questions and struggles that I had in MY first transfer forever ago!!!! But I could see so much potential for GOOD in her work ethic and attitude. It was an honor to work with her for the day and we found an AWESOME new family!!!! (and an added bonus: I can now say I've driven all the way around Lake Winnebago!)

Well transfers are coming up on Wednesday, and today we found out the transfer news.... Sister Killian is getting transferred to Wausau, and GUESS WHO IS COMING HERE TO REPLACE HER?!?!?!   SISTER TIDWELL!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's right!!!!! My little bestie from Kettle Moraine!!!!!!!!!!! I am so beyond thrilled!!!!!! These next five weeks are going to be the BEST WEEKS EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can't think of anyone I'd rather spend my last transfer with!!!!!!!! :D :D :D She is exactly what I prayed for!!!!!!!!!!

Hope ya'll have a nice week!

xoxo

Sister K.


Monday, 31 October 2016

Happy Halloween!

Fun Fact: Sister Killian was DYING to make "Dinner-in-a-Pumpkin" for us and the Appleton Sisters today, but when we got to Walmart this morning..... THERE WERE NO MORE PUMPKINS. Blows my mind that Halloween stuff has been for sale for WEEKS now, but on the actual Halloween, NO pumpkins!!!!! Haha. Anywho...
HAPPHALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!

I love this season. I love it SO MUCH!!!!!!!!!!

Update on Karina and Charlotte: They didn't make it to church yesterday, so Charlotte can't get baptized next Sunday, but Karina still can and really wants to, so we're pressing forward with the baptism! Charlotte will get baptized in a couple weeks. Their mom is so supportive, and the ward is so supportive, and we feel good about it. Both the girls came to the Trunk-or-Treat this week (which was a BLAST!) and were welcomed with open arms into the festivities. They are such cuties, and both dressed up like little ghouls haha. We didn't even recognize them when they came in! But man, I love ward parties! It's hard to believe I went to both Waukesha and Kettle Moraine's trunk-or-treats LAST YEAR. Speaking of which, I got my flight itinerary in the mail this week. 😱 THAT happened fast!

Other than that update, I have a couple tender mercies from the week to share!

🕸 We took a YW named Laura with us to a lesson with Karina and Charlotte this week - Laura is ADORABLE and can't wait to be a missionary someday! - and she noticed that my socks have holes in them. So the next day, at the trunk or treat, she gave me a cute little gift bag and a thank-you-note, and I opened it that night to find a pack of socks! THE YOUTH IN WISCONSIN GIVE ME SO MUCH HOPE FOR THE FUTURE! This little army of future missionaries, man. There's something so special about them!

🎃 One of the less-active families we've been working with came to the trunk-or-treat too, and we were surprised and thrilled to see that their 9 year old boy dressed up like a missionary! White shirt and tie, black nametag, black shoes. He told us he wants to serve someday. It was precious!

🕸President Brickey of the YSA branch and his sweet wife had us over for dinner this week; their home feels like a temple and they have the most generous hearts EVER. I guess a couple weeks ago we made some offhand comment about how much we miss Costco muffins, so what do the Brickeys do? They buy us a BUNCH of Costco muffins and send them home with us after dinner. Holy cow. They are the BEST!!!!! (the Brickeys, not the muffins.) (although the muffins are good, too!) 

🎃 We had two random investigators in the YSA come to church yesterday, one of whom bore his testimony. THAT was a tender mercy because we were so bummed about Karina and Charlotte not being able to make it!
🕸 Double exchanges this week DIDN'T kill us! In fact, they were WONDERFUL! We have incredible Sisters in the zone right now - seriously, SO good! I've noticed the Lord is EXTRA merciful in helping us meet our goals on exchange days, when we put forth the effort to meet them! So grateful for that.

The longer I sit here typing, the more tender mercies come to my mind! THEY ARE EVERYWHERE! Hope you all get to see some in your own lives this week :)

LOVE YOU!

xoxo

Sister K.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Piles of Leaves!!!!!!!!

There is NOTHING better than Wisconsin in the fall! Today Sister Killian and I went on a Pday hike in a nature preserve with Jon, a kind older man we volunteer with. It was beautiful and brisk... about half of the leaves have already fallen...and there are PILES n PILES of leaves on the streets in every neighborhood! NOTHING better. :)


I wish I was better at taking pictures of all the Sisters we go on exchanges with! This week I went with Sister Passey in Oshkosh and Sister Rosenblum in Appleton. I learn so much from them - not only about the work, but about myself. It's cool to hear different perspectives on missionary work and how the mission affects us all in so many ways. Sometimes I get a little sad feeling like I've lost myself, but then I remember... that's kind of the point! 
Karina's date has been pushed back til November 5th so that she and her sister Charlotte can get baptized together!!! It's so cute, when we were teaching both of them the Restoration, Charlotte asked when we were gonna talk about "taking the dip" (baptism). We showed her a painting of Christ being baptized and she said, "Is that what will happen to me when I'm... 'propatized'...?" baha. She's the cutest and understands the gospel so well and LOVES it! And Karina loves it and needs it too.

On Tuesday we had a cool experience with a YSA, Meaghan Quigley! Meaghan is preparing for her mission in Little Rock, Arkansas, and she came out with us for the whole day on Tuesday - including morning studies and everything! She was our little mini-missionary! She's a convert of 3 years and has an absolutely rock solid testimony and gospel knowledge - I love her and know she'll be an INCREDIBLE missionary! It was SO cool to have her with us and reflect on my own mini-mission more than 3 years ago... and my first couple days in the field. Sometimes missionary work becomes so much what we DO that it's hard to remember the WONDER and excitement of it! But having Meaghan spend the day with us really brought that to my remembrance. Missions, man. :)

I got to give a talk in the YSA on Sunday about "finding a testimony." I learned a lot and it was really interesting to ponder on that... the meaning of the phrase "finding a testimony," because it implies that we already HAVE testimonies, we just need to LOCATE them! And I know that to be true - we all have testimonies of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the gospel... but because of our earthly experiences, our testimonies have been clouded. When we're praying, studying scripture, and attending church meetings, we're not learning things we don't know - we're uncovering the truth that's a part of us! And I LOVE thinking about that!

Well, that's all folks! Go eat something with pumpkin spice!

xoxo

Sister K.






Monday, 17 October 2016

National Cheese Curd Day!!

This week was sick! In more ways than one! *bad pun alert* haha. Yes, I came down with a gnarly cold and now Sister Killian is now showing symptoms of it. But the good news is that we were still able to hit most of the goals we set for ourselves this week! We know that we were super blessed! I also felt especially strengthened by the Atonement this week because President Williams wants us to go on DOUBLE the exchanges with the Sisters in our zone, and I was sick for both of those this week, but alas! We made it through, and the Sisters are AWESOME, and we had two really great days! and a successful week overall!

󾓨 Karina is doing better after getting home from the hospital! We invited her little 9-year-old sister Charlotte to join us for our lesson on Saturday, and she LOVED it! And LOVED the Book of Mormon we gave her, AND came to church the next day!!! She's a sweetheart and says she can't wait to learn more about God. We were pleasantly surprised by how much she understood in the lesson, and how open she is to the Spirit. We're really hoping that Karina and Charlotte's momentum will help their mom want to progress more, too! It's cool because the Neenah ward's Young Women president felt prompted to stop by Karina's house to invite her mom to a mother-daughter activity coming up. The ward is embracing these two little girls and their family... it warms the heart. :)

󾓨 We had interviews with President Williams on Friday! He is such a wonderful man! He was able to give me a blessing for my sickness, which really helped, and has expressed so much wisdom and love in leading our mission... I am so grateful for him!

󾓨 Saturday was NATIONAL CHEESE CURD DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cheese curds were $1 wherever you went. It was heavenly. :)

󾓨 The Appleton Stake President has asked all the missionaries to set "family mission plans" with every family in our assigned wards! We've only had a few opportunities to set them so far, but the families we have been able to see have accepted the idea warmly and are eager to do missionary work! We're excited to see the fruits of the mission plans... I know a harvest is coming!

Hope you all are doing well! Thanks for the emails!

xoxo

Sister K.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Planning Pays Off

This week Sister Killian and I learned a lot about diligence and planning!!! Early in the week we were reading in the White Handbook and noticed that under "nightly planning" it tells us to plan for 30 MINUTES at the end of every day! Sometimes we do, but sometimes we get excited about going to bed so we just rush through it and don't plan very intentionally.. and sometimes we take the whole 30 minutes, but we get sidetracked or distracted from our purpose. Then, at MLC on Friday, we talked all about multi-tasking and being effective planners! So we made a goal on Friday night to plan for the whole 30 minutes, to be totally focused, and to make multi-purpose plans for the next day. And HOLY COW!!!!!!!! Saturday was one of the most miraculous, joyful, most satisfying days of my mission! I felt we accomplished EVERYTHING we needed to that day... and so many things fell into place! First of all, we were able to reach our goal to teach the First Vision four times, in the randomest places! 

Second of all, we were able to find a member to come with us to a lesson last minute... and she happened to be the PERFECT member to bear testimony! 

Third, we went to a return appointment with a high school boy that we (sadly) expected to fall through... but when we showed up, he and his mom were both waiting for us, and both committed to be baptized! 

And FOURTH!!!!! We got a surprise text from Karina's mom right before we went to bed. She informed us that Karina is BACK from the hospital and was excited to come to church the next day!!! AND SHE CAME!!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D It was so good to see her again! Sister Killian and I couldn't stop rejoicing!!!!  I still am so amazed at how the LITTLEST things make the BIGGEST differences in missionary work!!!! Karina is now back on date for October 29th... She is doing much better now and looked so much lighter and happier than we've ever seen her.


Love you all! Keep enjoying the fall - it's officially upon us! :D

xoxo

Sister K.

Monday, 3 October 2016

Happy Conference!

GENERAL CONFERENCE WAS AMAZING!!!!!!!! Such a spiritual feast. I'm always nervous that it won't live up to my expectations but it always ALWAYS exceeds them. I forgot to bring my notes with me into the library, so I can't pull any exact quotes or anything, but one of the themes that I felt the Spirit was teaching me was TRUSTING in CHRIST and letting Him be the center of my life. In missionary work it's so easy to teach about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and the Plan of Salvation without ever mentioning that JESUS CHRIST is the CENTER of it all, and the only reason any of it even matters. The Apostles and General Authorities lovingly reminded me that to be a more effective missionary, I need to TESTIFY of CHRIST at EVERY opportunity!!! I'm running out of time to do that, so I fully intend to make the most of the time I have left! (and then continue to do so FOREVER as a member missionary! haha.)


Some updates on the people:
󾓨 Karina is really in need of prayers right now - when we went to her house for a lesson on Tuesday, her grandpa told us that she was admitted to a hospital in Milwaukee for 2 weeks to help her cope with some of the trauma she's experiencing as her parents finalize their divorce. She's the sweetest girl, she was just dealt such a hard lot in life. I think it shows a lot about Heavenly Father's trust in her, and we know that as long as she lives the gospel and keeps seeking the Spirit, she'll be fine. We're anxious for her to get back. I really hope her stay in the hospital will help her. 

󾓨 Two brand new families in the ward were called as ward missionaries, and they're gonna be AWESOME!!! This week, we got a chance to have dinner with both of them and get to know them better. One of the Sisters (her family moved here from Pleasant Grove) had an awesome experience in a grocery store telling a random stranger about our church and invited him to the ward Trunk-or-Treat coming up. The whole exchange probably took 5 minutes - but it is a HUGE example to me of the POWER we can have as member-missionaries when we open our eyes to the people around us and are willing to share the things we know. I loved the talks in Conference on missionary work - not just because I'm a missionary, but because I am starting to understand how IMPORTANT this message is and how POWERFUL it is coming from full-time MEMBERS!!!!!!!! I invite everyone this week to think of the people in your life that you could INVITE to come closer to Christ - whether at a Church activity, service, or in your own home - and make a commitment, and follow through! And then email me how it went!!! :)

LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!! Happy fall!

*Aldi is officially selling pumpkins... I could DIE of happiness!*

xoxo

Sister K.


Monday, 26 September 2016

Oktoberfest in September

Good news! Sister Killian and I have survived another transfer cycle and we'll stay together for the next 6 weeks :) I'm absolutely thrilled - I love this area and I love Sister Killian! We have a lot of great things to look forward to!
󾓨 Miracle alert! A couple days ago we were praying for a chance to invite Karina's mom to take the lessons with Karina because we know how much it will BLESS their family! When we showed up to our next appointment, Karina's mom was sitting on the porch and said, "If you don't mind, I'm going to be joining you for your lesson today." We looked at each other in shock and said we didn't mind at all! She's really interested in learning more and has great faith in Christ! Sadly neither of them was able to make it to church on Sunday, and we're going to move Karina's baptism date back a bit just to make sure she's ready, but we're so excited to teach their whole family!

󾓨 We had the brilliant opportunity on Saturday to go to Appleton's Oktoberfest! The Neenah ward does a fundraiser every year at Oktoberfest selling "tiger paws" (fried bread dough with cinnamon and sugar - they're always a bestseller) to pay for youth camps and such. We were surprised when we showed up to help at how BIG of an operation it was; literally 600 pounds of oil in a hot-tub sized fryer! THAT big! And at least 20 people manning the booth at all times! I wish I could take a picture but I was up to my elbows in dough! But believe me, it was a BLAST! I love Mormons. 

󾓨 Women's conference on Saturday was unbelievably wonderful. I'm wondering if they've always been this good and I've just been too caught up in the world to notice??? Because on my mission it feels like General Conference might as well be a holiday! I LOVE it so much!!! President Uchtdorf's talk really touched me - he shared a story about missionaries who kept knocking a whole apartment complex until they hit the fourth (top) floor, last door... and THAT'S when a miracle happened. It motivated me to keep working and striving to NEVER GIVE UP!!!! 

󾓨 Another miracle alert! Through a series of incredibly small and seemingly insignificant events, we came in contact with a less active in the YSA named Mikaela. We met her at a Kwik Trip (best gas stations EVER) and she wants to come back to church! I don't have time to list all the things that brought us to that Kwik Trip, but it was a much-needed reminder to me of how TRULY involved the Lord is in the details of the work! I was blown away!

I think that's all for this week! Love you all!

xoxo

Sister K.




Friday, 23 September 2016

Happy Birthday to Sis Killian!

Today is my companion's 20th birthday! Woohoo!!!! They grow up so fast.

This week was Zone Conference! Our first with President Williams. That man. So incredibly inspired! He gave a powerful training on the Atonement. It always blows my mind thinking about how real and how expansive the power of the Atonement is... and yet, it can only influence us to the degree we allow it! I love that.

The reason we had a conference was because every single mission vehicle needed to be brought in so the Tiwi devices could be adjusted. (Tiwi is the little box that yells at us when we go too fast or drive aggressively. Our car commander has been known to say that for now, we need to abide by Tiwi's rules... but in the Millenium we'll use Tiwi for target practice!) Usually when Tiwi yells at me, I get all defensive and yell right back... but during conference I felt strongly that I should NOT do that anymore because it was driving the Spirit away! So Sister Killian and I made a new resolution. Whenever Tiwi yells, we clap and do this little chant : "Hey, Tiwi, you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind, hey Tiwi!!!" Haha. It's a silly little thing, but it totally WORKS! We've had the Spirit with us a lot more since this recent development!
That's probably the most exciting thing about the week. Haha.

󾓨 This week Karina kinda relapsed into some of her past behaviors and it's been really sad. Last time we saw her, we had a lesson planned, but we just pulled out the Book of Mormon and started reading. She left off on 1 Nephi 4 - when Nephi is commanded to kill Laban in order to get the plates. We read that chapter with her and it was SO COOL to see the impact it had! She LOVED the story and said that she felt so much happier with every verse we read. (And it was about a teenager cutting off some rich mean guy's head!!!!!) THAT'S the power of the Book of Mormon - no matter what or where we read, it can apply to us personally and we can feel the power of the Spirit the moment we open up to a page!

󾓨 The Vandenlangenbergs... well they're doing great and they still want to meet, but it seems that no matter HOW MANY times we teach the Restoration, they don't understand the concept of one true church. I guess because I was raised in it, it's so common sense to me, but for the dad especially it's SO hard to grasp. It all comes back to the Book of Mormon, which they know. It's just a matter of reading, applying, and praying about it! We've said that repeatedly but something always seems to get lost in translation.

󾓨 I got my "trunky papers" in the mail on Saturday. :( Made me want to THROW UP!!!!!!! Haha jk, it wasn't as big of a deal as I thought it would be. Kind of exciting but also a lot happens in 3 months on the mission so I'm trying not to think about it. 

I love Wisconsin! I can't wait for the Fall to hit full-blast! I can't wait to bring my family back here next summer! 
LOVE YOU! Have a great week!

xoxo

Sister K.


Monday, 12 September 2016

12 Sep 2016

Family and Friends!

Can I just say that I LOVE FALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A couple leaves are starting to turn and there's a bit of briskness in the air every now and then....... I LOVE IT SO STINKIN' MUCH!!!!!!! As much as I'm sad that this year is beginning to wane.... I just LOVE this season and all the beautiful tender mercies that come with it!!!
Life is SO great here in Menasha for several reasons!

󾓨 ALL SIX OF THE VANDENLANGENBERGS CAME TO CHURCH YESTERDAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mission MIRACLE!!!!!!!!!!!!! They only stayed for Sacrament meeting, but we were able to teach them the Plan of Salvation on Saturday and they had GREAT questions. I don't think it's really clicked for them all the things that our church claims to be - they did like the service, though, and there were some stellar talks given by ward members about scripture study and prayer. Their 17 year old daughter is probably the most interested out of all of them; she even went to the Bishop's Youth Discussion last night, and wants to meet with us extra times instead of just with her family. (she requested that we meet in a "cool" place, like a cafe or something. Haha, she's the cutest!) We are SO excited about this family, and so grateful to the Milwaukee sisters for finding them! 

󾓨 Karina also came to church! She seems to be making great friends, and the Young Women leaders have taken her under their wings to help her come to mutual activities. She's a whole different person than the first time we met her, and her mom is still supporting her baptism on October 8th. YAY!!!!!

󾓨 We had a SWEET lesson with Sadock, a YSA from the Congo who speaks French and very little English. After our Ward Misson Leader asked around a bit, he found out that the Bishop of the Appleton 2nd ward speaks French! So we brought him to the lesson with us, and it was SUPER powerful. Sister Killian and I were both blown away by the pure understanding on Sadock's face as he heard the message of the Restoration in his OWN language - a message we've tried to teach him in English 3 times now! Reminds me of the scripture 2 Nephi 31:3: "For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding." The Lord knows us and speaks to OUR understanding - sometimes He even provides a French translator!!!!!

I have SUCH a testimony of the power of daily scripture study and prayer. THOSE ARE THE CONVERTING HABITS OF THE GOSPEL. Scripture study leads us to know Christ and to repent - I KNOW that there is power in the words of Christ!

Love you all! Sorry I'm the worst, I forgot to take pictures! Hope your week is GREAT!!!!!!

xoxo

Sister K.


Thursday, 8 September 2016

September

Fam Family!

The work is really picking up here in Winnebago! We have done a TON of finding lately. Something our mission has been emphasizing - I'm not sure if I've told you about it yet - is called "First Vision Lessons"; basically, every companionship is to strive to teach Joseph Smith's First Vision at least TWO times every day. We've been promised that as we do so, the individuals who are prepared to receive the gospel will be touched in their hearts by the message, and it will ring true to them. I've TOTALLY seen that to be the case as we go out and testify of Joseph's experience; every time I recite the First Vision, my own testimony of it grows, and I've been able to see people's hearts soften and interest pique as they consider something they've NEVER considered before; that God has reached out to His children in LOVE and called a Prophet once again! It's incredible. (Both the knowledge, and sharing that knowledge. Absolutely incredible!)

Friday was MLC! I LOVE PRESIDENT WILLIAMS. What a man. He's friendly and loves to have fun, but also knows how to get to work and make results happen. The perfect balance! Something I LOVE that he said was, "If missionary work isn't fun, then you're doing it wrong." Over and over again on my mission I've needed that reminder - yes, we are here to work... but we are here to find JOY! And if we're truly obedient and working our hardest, that joy will automatically come, regardless of results! That's something else I've really found this week - even if people reject us, when I've worked my hardest I go to sleep at night feeling WONDERFUL. I'm SO GRATEFUL for this mission thing. Every day, in every prayer... SO grateful. I love this place so much I can't even describe it - I will ALWAYS be eternally grateful that I was called to serve a mission!

 Karina is progressing really well! Her baptism date is set for October 8th, enough time to get the ward members more involved. If the Young Women leaders and girls support her, I'm not worried at all for her future activity in the church. If she falls through the cracks somehow... not so much! I feel like I'm shepherding ducklings sometimes - trying to get all the ducks in a row so NOTHING can go wrong! But I know if we do our best, follow the Spirit, and teach Karina how to live the gospel, her testimony and activity in the Church will be fine. And she'll be so SO blessed for it! She's just the sweetest. 

󾓨 The Vandenlangenbergs are LEGIT. They have good questions about our church specifically and religion in general; one of those questions is HOW could there be ONE TRUE CHURCH if there are so many people and denominations who think that THEIR OWN CHURCHES are right? And the only answer I really have is my testimony of the First Vision. I KNOW it happened. Everything in the history of the world points to Christ Himself atoning for us, and to the glorious restoration of the fullness of His gospel here in these latter days so that WE, as children of God, can ACCESS that miraculous Atonement. It's true. I don't know how else to say it - all of this is TRUE.

I love you all. Fall is in the air - my favorite of all favorite seasons - Hope you enjoy it!

xoxo

Sister K.



Monday, 29 August 2016

The Worth of a Soul.....

Wow, what a week of miracles! Seriously. The tender mercies of the Lord are ALL OVER the place in this little corner of Wisconsin!

󾓨We found a the sweetest girl EVER named Karina! She was being taught by the Neenah Elders a couple months ago, but her mom asked them not to come back. Well, the Neenah Elders got doubled out this transfer, so they gave us their area book, and we decided to try Karina again, hoping that her mom is more okay with Sisters stopping by than Elders, because Karina is a 12 year old girl. We stopped by, and it turns out that Karina has been struggling a lot with depression and anxiety and darkness from a crazy childhood, and her mother was more than willing to let us teach her and see how we could help. We met with Karina four times this week, and each time we saw her, her countenance had more and more light!!! In our latest lesson, she told us that she hasn't had ANY depressed or suicidal thoughts since she started meeting with us, reading the Book of Mormon, and praying. It's totally incredible to see the reality of the POWER of the gospel firsthand! Karina also was able to come to church yesterday. She's a sweetheart and we're SO excited to keep teaching her and seeing her life change!!!

󾓨 The Milwaukee YSA Sisters (that used to be me... THAT'S weird!) Met an AWESOME family in Milwaukee this week that lives in Neenah, and gave us their address! We stopped by yesterday and they are LEGIT. Their intent is so real and their hearts are open to learning truth! Families are THE BOMB!!!!!

󾓨 We were able to contact another referral from MYSELF in Kettle Moraine 8 months ago!! Long story short... I found a slip of paper in my suitcase with the address of a man Sister Tidwell and I gave a Book of Mormon to when we were tracting - he was visiting his mom in Monteray but actually lives in Neenah, and I wrote down his address but forgot all about it. SEEING THAT SLIP OF PAPER BLEW MY MIND!!!!!! I'm putting all my doubts behind me... THIS is where I need to be!!!!!

󾓨 Yes, I'm using the German flag as a bullet point. #fatherland

󾓨 This week was also MISSION TOUR!!!!!!!!!!! Elder Ringwood and Elder Cordon of the Seventy came to tour our mission together and train the missionaries. They are both INCREDIBLY inspired men - the spirit was SO strong throughout the meeting, and my mind and heart were FILLED to the BRIM with revelation and ALL the answers I'd been seeking. One of the favorite things I'd learned was taught by Elder Cordon; he asked us, "What is the worth of a soul?" We all answered different things:"exceedingly great," "immeasurable," "priceless," and so on. One of the missionaries said, "The worth of a soul is the worth of the Savior." That just took my breath away! It is SO true - God loved us SO MUCH that He gave us His Son as our Savior. It must have been SO HARD for Him to watch Jesus Christ suffer and feel forsaken... but that's the price that had to be payed for our sins to be redeemed, so we could return to live with our Father. I'm SO grateful for that!!!!!!!

There are so many other things I want to say... but I don't have time! Just know that this work is AMAZING!!!!! Wisconsin is MY FAVORITE!!!!!!!! I love it here!!!!!!

Love you all :) Have a great week!!!!!

xoxo

Sister K.




Monday, 22 August 2016

Hello from Winnebago!!!!

Well, "Winnebago" is actually the name of the lake, not a city... and seeing as I am NOT emailing you from a lake... Hello from Menasha! ;) Haha it is truly BEAUTIFUL up in these here parts! So green and lovely and a small-town feel but lots of new faces to see. It's like if Kettle Moraine ward and the Milwaukee YSA ward had a baby... it would also be Winnebago YSA's baby. (To steal a phrase from Sis. Gifford.) My new companion is Sister Killian and she is WONDERFUL. So sweet and kind and a hard worker and a stellar missionary and example... everything I was hoping/praying for! I feel so lucky to spend the next 6 weeks with her... hopefully more! :)

Well, I don't even know how to describe the transition to this area. After being in the Milwaukee zones my whole mission, the Appleton zone seems like a different PLANET. There are so many areas, cities, members, and missionaries I don't know! Luckily, though, there are several missionaries here that I DO know - namely, Sister Wise (serving in Appleton) and Sister Decker (serving in Sheboygan). I'm a lucky duck! And I'll get to go on exchanges with both of them in the next couple months - tender mercies up the wazoo!

I've met several AWESOME people here already - including lots and lots of recent converts! I LOVE meeting them and listening to their testimonies and their experiences with the missionaries and the Church. Every now and then I try to look at the restored gospel through a recent convert's eyes... pretty incredible, the things we do as a Church that are so NORMAL to us but NEW and DIFFERENT to everyone else. It reminds me of Bishop Gerald Causse's talk in General Conference a couple years back called "Is it Still Wonderful to You?" I hope we all take a little bit of time every day to reflect on our gratitude for the fullness of the gospel and ALLOW it to be WONDERFUL!!!!!!!!! Because it really, REALLY is!!!!

Cool experience: the night before I left Milwaukee, Sister Gifford and I had a lesson with the Petersens. The Stake President (President Elbert) came with us and bore such powerful testimony about the role of the Spirit in his life and in his conversion. The Petersens opened up and shared how there is always a TANGIBLE difference in their home when us missionaries enter it, and they want to have that feeling all the time. Arron Petersen said that after meeting with us for this past month, he can honestly say for the first time in his life that he believes Christ is the Son of God and our Savior!!! I couldn't stop myself from BEAMING ear to ear when he said that... because THAT is why we missionary work!!!! Hearing him say his testimony of Christ has grown makes EVERYTHING worth it!!! I'm so sad to leave the Petersens behind, but I know they're in good hands :) (God's hands!) (Plus the missionaries' too. Haha.) 

Anyways, it was an incredible experience! It's been a LOOOONG week... but a good one! I can't wait to report on how this next week goes!

Love you!

xoxo

Sister K.

P.S. I left my camera at the apartment... so sorry... next week for sure!! :)

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Breaking News!!!

Hey Folks!
Transfers are happening on Wednesday, and our predictions were correct.... I'm leaving the Milwaukee YSA ward!!! I am sad to go - it has been WONDERFUL here, and I've met so many great eternal friends - but I'm also excited for the future :) BECAUSE!!!! I'm transferring to the WINNEBAGO YSA area!!!!!! All I wanted was to go "up north"... and technically I am! Woot woot! It covers the Neenah family ward as well, if you want to find that on a map. Kind of in the Oshkosh/Appleton area. Mixed emotions but it will be great!!!! :)
MY NEW ADDRESS IS: 1340 Geneva Rd. #2 Menasha, WI 54952
As a tribute to Milwaukee, here are a couple things I've learned from the city/ward/people/area!
1) Prayers WORK. If you want tangible evidence of this, try writing down the things you pray for every night. Weeks later you'll see that God granted you strength, patience, charity, determination, desires, etc. etc. EXACTLY when you needed it - you probably just forgot you prayed for those things in the first place! (shoutout to Sister Wise for the prayer journaling idea.)
2) "Too much kindness" is not actually a thing. We can NEVER be too kind or show too much love!!!
3) When in doubt as to what the Lord wants you to do for His people... WORK. It's easier to direct a moving object than one that is standing still.
4) Promptings are usually unidentifiable until hours, days, or weeks later. We don't need to know that the Spirit is PROMPTING us before we ACT.
5) Some of the COOLEST PEOPLE I've EVER met are 27+ years old and still single. It doesn't mean they did anything wrong - God has a plan for ALL of us and as Spencer W. Kimball (I think) said, "None of us is predestined to receive less than ALL the blessings Father has in store for us." (Or something along those lines.) (This snippet probably seems super random, but that's like the BIGGEST thing I learned from the active members of the YSA ward!)
6) I LOVE MILWAUKEE. I LOVE WISCONSIN. I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT IT!!!!!!!!!!

This week. This week was a blur. We had a zone training meeting, which was good, and a miraculous amount of dinner appointments, which was lucky. There are so many solid families here - I love them!!!! We got to take out Sherry Huang, who just returned from her Mandarin-speaking mission in Arcadia, California, and that was a BLAST! So cool to talk about missions and how they change us and the lessons we learn from our mission presidents that we can only learn from THOSE SPECIFIC MEN and their wives.
We taught the Petersens on Friday - they have gotten into anti-material pretty heavily and said they almost asked us not to come back, but something always keeps them from shutting us out. WE know that's the Spirit - that they have felt something as they learn more about the gospel and eternal families - but THEY don't know that. It's hard to feel them slipping away - they are potentially the most PREPARED people I have ever met. From the Petersens I have learned how incredibly IMPORTANT it is to safeguard our testimonies - to build them CONSTANTLY and NEVER allow any room for doubt. It's not because we're brainwashed or indoctrinated - it's because we literally NEED every ounce of faith we can get!!!! EVERY chink of spiritual armor MATTERS!!!!!!!
Love you all. Hope your week is great!
With Love,
Sister K.

P.S. For anyone worried about the Milwaukee violence, we were told to let you know that all the missionaries are safe and well :) 





Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Umm....August?!?!

Hello!

To be real not much happened this week. Well, the Wisconsin State Fair happened, so missionary work was kind of a bust - both Marquette and UWM were both totally DEAD when we went contacting there... hardly any YSAs to be found in Milwaukee! We are entirely entrenched in a FINDING phase, too, so we were out of luck! I'm sure this week will be much better though, especially as we hone our campus-contacting skills!

MLC was Friday! That was GREAT. The meetings just seem to get better and better the more I know and the more prepared I am to follow President Williams's counsel. 

We got our oil changed!

The Senkevitchs (who I taught in Kettle Moraine) took us out to dinner at Mitchell's Fish Market on Monday!
We had a great lesson with the Petersens at the church - we took them on a tour and they really enjoyed it! Now we just need to figure out a way to get them to church on Sundays... Arron always has to work. 

We saw the PRETTIEST sunset OF MY LIFE on the lake walk the other night. BEAUTIFUL pinks and blues! It didn't show up too well on my camera but I'll send what I got. I LOVE MILWAUKEE!!!!!!

Transfers are next week so I'll probably be out of here in a week and a half. It's bittersweet!

That's everything I can think of. Haha, hopefully next week is more eventful!

xoxo

Sister K.


Monday, 1 August 2016

Tender Mercies all Around!

So... Kayla did not get baptized on Saturday :( The worst part is that, due to a dramatic and head-banging series of events on Thursday, we'll no longer be teaching her either. My heart is absolutely 100% broken. I've been pouring my heart and soul into this girl for almost 6 months now, and I NEVER anticipated that it would end this badly. I won't go into the details - honestly it's too much to type out and it exhausts me to think about it anyways. But let's just say that there were several bridges burned, and it's been a heck of a week!!!!!

Friday, Sister Gifford and I were still really struggling with the aftershock of the Kayla situation, so we asked the Brookfield ward mission leader for Priesthood blessings. That helped a ton! Brother Germanis is this big tall redheaded law enforcement manly man with the SOFTEST, KINDEST, MOST LOVING heart in the world, and it comforted me so much to know that I could turn to him for guidance and a blessing. Also he lives next to the only Chick-fil-A in the mission so we treated ourselves to some lemonade. #tendermercy! Haha really, though, there have been SO many tender mercies in the last couple days! One of those was Alison Senkevitch's baptism, in Kettle Moraine! I taught her family for 7 months, and you may remember that her two kids got baptized in April. We got to go out for Alison's baptism on Saturday, and now their family is right on track to be sealed together for time and eternity in one short year :) I got to see many of the people I LOVE, and I was able to see in myself how much I have learned, grown, and changed since leaving Kettle Moraine! What a blessing!

Another tender mercy: GERMAN FEST!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's right folks!!!!!!! We got to volunteer at the Milwaukee Genealogical Society's booth again, and it was SO wonderful. The perfect distraction! We were able to help even MORE people find their ancestors than the last time we volunteered, and had a wonderful time! I wasn't able to take many pictures, but I'll send what I have!

I guess besides that I don't have much to report. In the last week we've given away a couple of our investigators to other missionaries based on their locations, so we are back to square 1 and on the lookout for more people to teach. We're trying to work smarter with the resources we have, especially the members, and I'm developing such a GREAT love for the members of the Brookfield ward (another tender mercy!). All in all, I just want to say that my testimony and love of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ have just shot through the roof this week. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is REAL. Christ is REAL. The Atonement is REAL. There are many words to describe the Atonement, but this week, that's the conclusion I kept coming to. The Atonement is REAL, it's not just some made-up feel-good psychology trick. There is REAL power and REAL comfort that come from Jesus Christ! This week has been the week I've been most submissive to the Lord's will and timing and ways... and it's been the week I've been FILLED the most. Sometimes I'm swallowed by my calling and responsibility, but this week I'm at peace. And I'm SO BEYOND GRATEFUL for that!!!!!!!

Hope you all are doing fantastic! Look for those tender mercies -- they are THERE!!!!!!!!!

xoxo

Sister K.



Tender Mercies all Around!

So... Kayla did not get baptized on Saturday :( The worst part is that, due to a dramatic and head-banging series of events on Thursday, we'll no longer be teaching her either. My heart is absolutely 100% broken. I've been pouring my heart and soul into this girl for almost 6 months now, and I NEVER anticipated that it would end this badly. I won't go into the details - honestly it's too much to type out and it exhausts me to think about it anyways. But let's just say that there were several bridges burned, and it's been a heck of a week!!!!!

Friday, Sister Gifford and I were still really struggling with the aftershock of the Kayla situation, so we asked the Brookfield ward mission leader for Priesthood blessings. That helped a ton! Brother Germanis is this big tall redheaded law enforcement manly man with the SOFTEST, KINDEST, MOST LOVING heart in the world, and it comforted me so much to know that I could turn to him for guidance and a blessing. Also he lives next to the only Chick-fil-A in the mission so we treated ourselves to some lemonade. #tendermercy! Haha really, though, there have been SO many tender mercies in the last couple days! One of those was Alison Senkevitch's baptism, in Kettle Moraine! I taught her family for 7 months, and you may remember that her two kids got baptized in April. We got to go out for Alison's baptism on Saturday, and now their family is right on track to be sealed together for time and eternity in one short year :) I got to see many of the people I LOVE, and I was able to see in myself how much I have learned, grown, and changed since leaving Kettle Moraine! What a blessing!

Another tender mercy: GERMAN FEST!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's right folks!!!!!!! We got to volunteer at the Milwaukee Genealogical Society's booth again, and it was SO wonderful. The perfect distraction! We were able to help even MORE people find their ancestors than the last time we volunteered, and had a wonderful time! I wasn't able to take many pictures, but I'll send what I have!

I guess besides that I don't have much to report. In the last week we've given away a couple of our investigators to other missionaries based on their locations, so we are back to square 1 and on the lookout for more people to teach. We're trying to work smarter with the resources we have, especially the members, and I'm developing such a GREAT love for the members of the Brookfield ward (another tender mercy!). All in all, I just want to say that my testimony and love of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ have just shot through the roof this week. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is REAL. Christ is REAL. The Atonement is REAL. There are many words to describe the Atonement, but this week, that's the conclusion I kept coming to. The Atonement is REAL, it's not just some made-up feel-good psychology trick. There is REAL power and REAL comfort that come from Jesus Christ! This week has been the week I've been most submissive to the Lord's will and timing and ways... and it's been the week I've been FILLED the most. Sometimes I'm swallowed by my calling and responsibility, but this week I'm at peace. And I'm SO BEYOND GRATEFUL for that!!!!!!!

Hope you all are doing fantastic! Look for those tender mercies -- they are THERE!!!!!!!!!

xoxo

Sister K.