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.