Monday, 25 April 2016

Hey There!

So much happens in a week, I don't even know where to begin! We had a couple lessons with new investigators that went really well. We have been using a tool called "the Book of Mormon Map" lately with a lot of people. It helps the people we teach to understand where the Book of Mormon comes from and how it is a second witness of the events of the Bible; we illustrate what was happening in both sides of the world when the star appeared, when Christ was killed and there was darkness/earthquakes/thunderings and so on, and then when Christ was resurrected and ministered to His people earthwide. Very cool! (I think there's a Book of Mormon map video online you can watch, probably on Youtube! It's simple, but it helps!)

COOLEST THING EVER!!!!!!! Sister Wise and I were invited to a Seder (Jewish passover feast) on Friday! It was SO neat!!! Sister Jackson in the Brookfield ward converted from Judaism to Mormonism when she was going to Stanford for grad school, and the Jacksons hold Seders annually as a tradition thing. Anywho, I just LOVED the cultural feel of it, and I've learned a lot about Judaism in the past couple weeks. SO interesting! Going to Jerusalem is on my bucket list, for sure!

Kayla is doing okay... we are actually quite worried about her. She is just going through a ton of peer pressure and difficult questions and confusion about what she believes... but that's a huge part of conversion, I think. Questioning things. Eventually the Spirit confirms to you what is right and true... but until that confirmation comes, the uncertainty is really rough! Cool story though; an appointment fell through a couple nights ago and we were trying to decide the best way to spend our time, and randomly we decided to bus to Kayla's apartment and leave her a couple notes about how much we love her. (Because we super, super love her. Like SO much.) Anyways, it ended up that that was a particularly rough night for her and she really needed our little notes! So even though we had NO CLUE we were following the Spirit... we were! And I think that's often how the Spirit works. If we try our best to do what we think the Lord would have us do... we'll end up doing it. He just wants a willing mind and a willing heart!

Also, another cool thing, my companion and I got priesthood blessings this week from the Elders. In my blessing, I received an answer to a question that I had for General Conference that didn't get answered! I even forgot that I ASKED the question! It was just another witness to me that the Priesthood is REAL (shout out to my little bro Alex for being ordained a Priest this week! I couldn't be more proud!) and that it is God's power on the earth. It's important to have a testimony of the Priesthood because of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon... but it's even better when you gain a testimony of the Priesthood because you've had up-close and personal experiences with it in your life. I'm so grateful for that!!!!

Love you all! Happy Spring! 


Sister K.

Friday, 22 April 2016

Sprung Spring!

So many good things are happening right now, I have no idea how to sum it all up and I have no words to explain it!! But I guess I will start by trying to relate this incredible experience I had this week!

So things really are going great, and I LOVE my area, and I LOVE my companion... but on Thursday and Friday I was really struggling. Struggling with stress, some depression, feeling 100% completely stuck and weighed down and overwhelmed. I know that I've grown and progressed - I KNOW that - but when you're a missionary and you're doing the same things every day, it's difficult to see the progression, because all you see is how far you have left to go. Not only that, but I often have the overwhelming feeling that I am carrying EVERYONE I know on my shoulders; carrying investigators and ward members, carrying people from my first area, people from my last area, and especially people in the area I'm in now. I can't shake the feeling that I am responsible for all of these souls... because I am, technically. That's what we do as missionaries; we take responsibility for our portion of the Lord's vineyard. So I think that's what was really getting to me: the responsibility of it all. 

Anyways, I don't know if any of you will remember this, but about 7 months ago I told you a story about a day when I was feeling down and depressed, and I went into a Subway in Waukesha and a nice young woman noticed me crying and gave me her handkerchief, and the kind Subway employee named Ben gave me napkins and cheered me up and whatnot. Well, on Friday - one of the days I was really struggling - Sister Wise and I went with a YSA to dinner at a different Subway...  the one in my new area - and guess who was there?!?! BEN!!!!! The Subway worker from Waukesha!!! Turns out he got fired from the Waukesha Subway and started working at the Brookfield one, where I'm serving now!!!! It doesn't sound so crazy, but it was CRAZY!!!! Because it felt like everything was coming full circle! What I learned from that experience 7 months ago was that Heavenly Father places people in our path to help us on our journey... and now, all these months later, He gives me an undeniable reminder of that same lesson, on a day when I really needed it!!! And if that isn't exciting enough, we got to teach Ben the message of the Restoration and gave him a Book of Mormon.. and HE is at a place where he's struggling right now, and we have what will help him!!!! Gah!!!! God is so good!!!!!!! I still can't get over it!!!!!!! And I am doing SO MUCH BETTER now. :) I know I'm in good hands!!!

Saturday was one of the best days ever, because SEAN AND HALEY SENKEVITCH GOT BAPTIZED!!!!! They are two of the kids I was teaching in Kettle Moraine. I love the Senkevitch family!!!! I was so grateful that I got to go back and see them!!!! And the baptism was beautiful :)

Hmm, what else? Stake Conference yesterday was WONDERFUL. President Nelson, the temple president, said something I LOVE; he said, "There ain't no rest for the wicked... and the righteous don't need any." Haha. It was a great meeting!!!!

Well, that's the gist of it! Heavenly Father knows us! Hallelujah! Hope you all have a great week :)


Sister K.
P.S. It's 70 degrees outside right now... I might die of happiness!!!!!!

Monday, 11 April 2016

I know that I know that I know!

Just when we thought it was spring... it totally rained/snowed/sleeted every day this week! Crazy! BUT that just means we will appreciate spring all the more when it comes. (and then when it comes again the next week, and the next week and the next... we get multiple springs here in temperamental WI! haha.)
So... I GOT TO GO TO SANDY'S BAPTISM THIS WEEK!!!!!! AHHH!!!!!!!!! Sandy is a sweet older lady I taught when I was in Waukesha. It was the coolest thing ever because she totally dropped Sis. Hunter, Sis. Casas and me when we were teaching her in the summer... and if I had stayed in Waukesha, I never would have thought to go back and contact her again. BUT! God knows! So I DIDN'T stay in Waukesha, I moved to Kettle Moraine... and the new Waukesha sisters re-contacted Sandy almost first thing! And this time she was ready to progress and accept the gospel! She is incredible!!! I also got to see Sister Tidwell and Sister Decker - both my old companions - at the baptism, and so many of the people I love from my first area. There's nothing quite like that feeling of being surrounded by people you served and who served you. Kind of feels like a slice of heaven! :)

I don't know if I've ever talked about Shannon before, but we've been seeing a lot of her lately! She's a YSA and she's learned from Sisters in the past, but because of some tough situations she closed off and cut the church out of her life. BUT! We reached out to her a couple weeks ago, and she is letting us in again! The more I learn about her and the more I understand about her, the more I love her! She has had a ROUGH upbringing and ROUGH life in general, but is sweet and gentle and has an innate goodness and sensitivity to the Spirit. We have been reading the Book of Mormon with her and it's cool to see how much she gains from it, and how she can apply it to her life. I'm telling you, folks! What a book! :)

We met a girl named Sabrina this week (a referral from a member) who has a STUNNING testimony of Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. She couldn't talk about herself and her life WITHOUT talking about God in almost every sentence... and it just made me realize. I want to be someone like that; someone who can't talk about herself without also talking about God. He TRULY has given me everything I have, and made me everything I am, and I am nothing without Him. I need to praise Him more!!! "Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel" (Alma 26:16). I love being here, and I love the gospel. I know it's true!!! "I know that I know that I know!" (that's something Sandy always says!) 

Love you all! Have a great week! I have pictures this week, hallelujah!!! :D


Sister K.

A Lake Michigan lighthouse

Sandy's baptism

Squid masquerading as Orange Chicken.....

Monday, 4 April 2016

Happy Conference!!

Man oh man, General Conference was AMAZING!!!!! With every single speaker, I just kept feeling in my heart how TRUE it all is. And how wonderful it all is! I loved when Sister Oscarson was talking about all the things our church claims... because we do claim some very bold things!!! But we know it's true! And that's why we invite EVERYONE to see for himself if it is true or not. Also, I loved how she said that the church really isn't just "a church." It's not a social club, or a nice Christian community... it is literally God's kingdom on the earth!!!! That's how I have always felt about it, I just didn't know how to put it in words!! I also loved President Uchtdorf's message about being rebuilt through the Atonement... and I may or may not have teared up a bit when I saw the photos of beautiful Germany... oh how I miss the Fatherland!!!!

Kayla is back from spring break, FINALLY!!!!!! We got to watch the first session of conference with her. She is just AMAZING. We talked with her member friend about her after, and he just kept saying that Kayla is such a strong, powerful Christian woman with a HUGE sphere of influence. She's like the first of a jillion dominoes, and if she were to be converted to the restored Gospel and join the church, her decision would influence GENERATIONS before and after her... as well as her family and friends on earth right now. I can truly say that Kayla is a Kingdom Builder; she is the literal fulfillment of Spencer W. Kimball's prophecy about the righteous women in the latter days who are being drawn to the church. I am so hopeful for Kayla, and so anxious all at once... but the coolest thing is the relationship that we have with her. She knows we will love her no matter what we chooses, and we're here for her all the way. I LOVE HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We had a lesson this week with sweet Jeanette, a 91 year old woman who lives in Brookfield! She's adorable!!! She accepted a baptism date for April 23rd, but of course she is nervous about the logistics of the baptism. She knows she needs to be baptized, though, and she believes President Monson is a prophet, and she believes the Book of Mormon is true... so we hope and pray that she receives a sure witness from Heavenly Father that baptism is the right step for her at this time of her life!!!!

Well I have a MIRACLE to share with you! A true Easter miracle!!!!! Well, it really has nothing to do with Easter but the timing was convenient! Last Monday my district leader gave me a letter and a little box from Sister Tidwell, my last companion in Kettle Moraine. Inside the box was a beautiful cross necklace from Jim Florence, a man we tracted into in Oconomowoc when we were together! The first time we met Jim, it was FREEZING cold and it was late at night and we were knocking on doors. When we knocked on his door, he immediately said "not interested" but allowed us to come inside and warm up for a minute. When we stepped inside, I saw that he had a nice guitar in his office and of course asked if I could play!!!! I played a couple of my songs... the Ugly Sweater song and the Nazarene song I think. Well, when we left Jim still wasn't interested, but he told us to stop by again the next time we were out in the cold. A month or so later, we dropped by to visit, warm up, and play guitar again. We got to know Jim pretty well.. and he is FANTASTIC. Such a sweet, warm, genuine older gentleman... but still not interested! Well, when I found out I was getting transferred out of Kettle Moraine, I wanted to go see Jim and say goodbye, but when we stopped by he wasn't home! So I wrote my testimony and a little note and our phone number in a Book of Mormon and left it on the porch. Jim got our "gift" days after I left, and he was actually really touched!! He called the Kettle Moraine sisters and told them he wanted to know more. He bought me that nice necklace and gave it to Sister Tidwell to give to me in my new area. And now they are teaching him!!!!! Ahhh!!!!! It's AWESOME!!!!!!!! Totally a miracle! I love Jim!!! I can't wait to hear more about how he is doing!

Sorry for the super long email! I guess I had a lot to say! Love you all:) Have a nice week!


Sister K.