Monday, December 29, 2014

Mahonri Moriancumerry Christmas to all! And to all a good Lamanite!


The Feriante's had a CHRISTmas tree.  I thought it was super cute and a good idea.
Festival of Lights Wisconsin style!!

My district from this transfer.  They are great!

Caroling to Janet

Walking to our dinner appointment on Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve dinner with the Feriante's

Opening our presents from Grandma and Grandpa

My loot from this Christmas

Sister Kelley's family has the tradition of having lemon poppyseed muffins and orange juice on Christmas morning, so that is what we did!

Our apartment sign decorated for Christmas

Check out all this snow we got for Christmas!

Talking to the world's best family!

Christmas morning with the Gardner's

Elsa is our best friend.  Also, this is what she did when I asked for a cheesy smile.

Opening our gifts from Emily

Also- I only got 2 pictures and the lighting makes it so you either can't see me or can't see you haha.

This is the one who teaches us how to knit.  She knitted us some fingerless mittens for Christmas!

Decorating gingerbread houses

This is Aunt Sally!

All the missionaries in our ward with our amazing ward mission leader

Caroling to the Nepali family

Our Christmas Corner!

These are the cutest Christmas stockings this world has ever seen

In our apartment.  We hung up this art piece that Emily Dimond made for us.

Long time, no see!  Except not really.  It was so fun to get to see and talk to all of you.  Definitely the highlight of my entire week.  I am so grateful for you guys.

Ok first things first, we found out that I am going to be staying here in Madison for another transfer with Sister Kelley!  YAY!  #prayerworks!  I am glad because for the past couple of transfers there have been a lot of changes for me with getting new companions and a new area.  So I am glad that Sister Kelley and I get to stick together here and keep working hard.  We are seeing a lot of miracles so I am pumped to see what this coming transfer has in store. The next transfer is going to be on February 11.

Tuesday we had a special Christmas meeting with all of the missionaries in our zone.  Because it was Joseph Smith's birthday that day, we focused and talked about the different truths and doctrines that have been restored to the earth because of him.  It was a really cool meeting.  It made me realize that I take for granted having so many of these restored truths in my life.  I am also so grateful that I am a missionary because there are so many people that don't know them or don't understand them.  But I get to tell everyone about it!  It is great.  :)  After that meeting, we went with the Elders in our ward to go Christmas caroling to a Nepali family that the Elders are teaching.  It was such a cool experience!  We sang them some American Christmas carols and then they sang us some Nepali Christmas carols.  It was so neat!  It really helped me to realize that people everywhere, all around the world, celebrate the birth of their Savior in such different and special ways.  Then later that evening we got to see Kendall!  Because she was out of town all week this was the first time that we got to see her since her baptism and confirmation.  She is doing well and is still feeling so good about everything.  She told us that she has been able to feel the influence of the Spirit more in her life now that she has the gift of the Holy Ghost.  So good to be able to see Kendall again!

Wednesday was Christmas Eve!  We got together with our district and had a district lunch together and then went to do some more caroling.  We went to go see Janet who I think I have told you about a lot. She was so happy that we came to see her.  I wish you could have seen her face light up when all of us walked in to sing to her.  Later that night we got to have Christmas Eve dinner with the Feriante family.  She is an AMAZING cook and it was fun to get to be with little kids to feel the Spirit and excitement of Christmas on Christmas Eve.  I just love the Feriante's!  After that, we got to go over and spend the rest of the night with Rachel and her family!  Spending Christmas Eve with Rachel was such a cool experience.  Because she has been Jewish her whole life, this was her first Christmas!  They went all out.  They were all wearing their Christmas jammies and Santa hats when we got there.  We read some scriptures from the Book of Mormon and talked about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how that is really what we should be celebrating at Christmas time.  That is one thing that I have learned from Rachel- not to take the Atonement for granted.  The Atonement is something new to her too, so it is so exciting.  I have known about the Atonement of Jesus Christ my whole life, but this was Rachel's first time being able to celebrate it.  It was so amazing.  Rachel told us that every time she looks at her Christmas tree, she thinks of the Atonement.  That is something I will never forget.  I hope that I will think of the Atonement every time I look at our Christmas tree from now on.  We got to open some presents and eat gingerbread cookies and drink hot chocolate.  And we all played games with each other.  It was pretty much the best possible Christmas Eve you could possibly imagine.

CHRISTMAS DAY!  So fun!  We woke up in the morning and sang a few Christmas hymns and opened our presents.  We were very blessed.  There were quite a few ward members that had given us some gifts to open on so that was a lot of fun.  We made lemon poppyseed muffins and orange juice because that is Sister Kelley's family tradition on Christmas.  So that was super fun and delicious.  Then we headed over to the Gardner's for some Christmas morning festivities and lunch.  They are one of my absolute favorites.  And their daughter Elsa is my best friend.  Then we got to head over to the Dimond's to talk to you guys!  BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVER!  It was so fun to get to talk to you guys.  Glad to hear that all is well back at home and that you guys had a good Christmas.  For sure, the fastest Skype call of my life.  Emily Dimond had made us these cute little craft things with our favorite scriptures on them for Christmas.  She really helped to make this Christmas special.  I am so grateful for her.  And then we spent Christmas night with the Dimond's and a few other member families in our ward.  By the end of the night, we were EXHAUSTED and all Christmased out! 

The day after Christmas we got to visit with some less-active members.  We got to see the one that teaches us how to knit.  She made us some cute mittens for Christmas and we frosted gingerbread houses together.  We did some other contacting around the Capitol building and finished some of our weekly planning.

We got to see Aunt Sally and church on Sunday!  That was a lot of fun!  She is so sweet and we are excited to be able to see her later this week.  We got to meet Bob's sister Becky and her family. 

Overall, it was such an amazing Christmas.  There were a lot of things that I missed about being home for the holidays, but there is nothing like being a missionary and full-time servant of the Lord at Christmas time.  It was such an honor to be able to wear my Savior's name as I taught others of his birth and life this Christmas season.  I think the reason this Christmas was so special to me is because it wasn't just centered on Christ.  I feel like my Christmases in the past have been pretty Christ centered.  But this time, it was more focused on the Atonement.  After all, that is the reason that our Savior was born into the world.  I am so grateful for him and the relationship that I have with him.  He truly is my Savior.  I love Him and I know that He lives. 

I love you all!

Mahonri Moriancumerry Christmas to all!  And to all a good Lamanite!
See ya on Mother's Day!

Sister King

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas!

Thank you so much for all of the Christmas packages that I have received.  I feel so blessed.  I am excited to get to spend this Christmas as a missionary and servant of the Lord, but I sure do miss you guys.  Christmas is such a great time to be a missionary though!  People's hearts are softened at Christmas time and talking about the Savior comes so naturally.  I love it.
"Hanging our stockings"


This week was pretty crazy.

Tuesday was the last district meeting of the transfer!  Can you believe it?  That is so crazy!  I can't believe another transfer has already come and gone.  The transfer will be on December 31.  That reminds me- this week on Saturday we will find out if I am being transferred or not.  So I will be able to write you about that next week.  I am pretty sure I will stay here in Madison another transfer with Sister Kelley.  But you never know.  
This last district meeting was a really good one.  We talked a lot about the Atonement as outlined in the lessons in Preach My Gospel.  Did you know that the Atonement is a principle that is covered in all 3 of the first missionary lessons?  As I was studying it this week, I noticed that in each lesson the Atonement takes on a different role.  In the Restoration, the Atonement was part of the Savior's earthly ministry.  It was the most important thing that He did while He was on the earth.  In the Plan of Salvation, we learn that the Atonement is how we can overcome physical death.  Because of the resurrection, we can all be resurrected too!  In the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we learn that the Atonement helps us to overcome spiritual death and is how we can be cleansed from sin.  I thought it was so interesting that in all of the lessons, it all comes back to the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  Christ and His Atonement truly is central to all that we teach, all that we do, and all that we know.  I am so grateful for His Atonement in my life.  I truly feel that it empowers me.  I love being able to talk about it every single day as a missionary!  I am so grateful for the power of the Atonement in my life.  
White Elephant gift exchange with my district

Wednesday we had a lesson with Z.  She is still doing well.  She is progressing, but it has been extremely slow.  So we are going to have to figure out what we are going to do about that when she gets back from Christmas break.  We just focused on Jesus Christ and why we celebrate Christmas.  That night we got together with our district before our ward's sports night and had a white elephant gift exchange.  I sure have loved this district!

Thursday was a CRAZY DAY and my favorite day this week!  We had a lesson with I. in the morning.  I think that I have told you a little bit about him.  We met him on the bus a few weeks ago.  We taught him the Plan of Salvation and he loved it!  It is always so fun to me to be able to teach people that they can be with their families forever, and that if we repent and take certain steps while we are here on earth then we will be able to live with God again.  He was so excited!  He was a little hesitant when we had talked to him about baptism before, but after this lesson we was a lot more confident.  We set a baptismal date with him for January 17!  We are so excited about it!  It is going to take a lot of work and a lot is going to have to happen before then.  But we are excited to hopefully help him enter into the waters of baptism.  
We also had a lesson with our new investigator Sally.  We got a call from our Bishop at the beginning of the week saying that there was someone who had been visiting some of their friends out in Utah and wanted a visit from the missionaries when she got back.  So Sister Kelley and I trekked out there and met Sally.  She is the sweetest woman I have ever met!  She was so kind to us and I feel that we hit if off right away.  Before too long we learned that her sister is a member of the church and that is who she had been visiting out it Utah.  She said that her sister lived in Lehi and that while she was out there she was able to go to temple square and listen to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  While she was talking, I heard the word "Sivert" pop up.  I asked her if she knew Sivert's in Utah and she said that her sister is a Sivert.  Turns out, her sister is Bob Sivert's mom!  WHAT???  I was just blown away.  I remember back before I left on my mission Bob messaged me and said that his aunt lived in Beloit Wisconsin.  But Beloit is the one and only city in southern Wisconsin that is cut out of our mission.  So I didn't think anything of it.  Turns out, she moved here to Madison the same time that I got here to Madison!  Isn't that insane?  It has been absolutely amazing to see how many little connections I have been able to make here in Wisconsin.  I know that they aren't coincidences.  The Lord's hand has been in all of this.  Sally is the absolute sweetest and I feel so grateful to have even more "family" out here.  So we have started teaching my Uncle's Aunt!  :)

Friday was fun because we were able to celebrate Christmas with the Thurston's.  They are out in Utah now to spend Christmas with their families, but wanted to be able to celebrate Christmas with us, so we had an early Christmas with them.  It was a lot of fun!  We ate good food, sang Christmas songs in Spanish, and decorated sugar cookies.  I am so grateful to be serving in a ward with such amazing members.

Early Christmas with the Thurston's before they go to Utah

Saturday was super cool!  The Madison Campus Elders (Elder Wyatt Baird!) were having a baptism at our church building.  So we wanted to bring I. to it so that he could see what a baptism was like.  The baptism was all in Chinese, but the Spirit was very strong.  And he could feel it.  He is so excited to be working toward his own baptism in January.

Ok- I am running out of time so remind me to tell you about K and her trip out to Utah when we talk on Thursday! :)

Pretty miraculous week this week!  I love you guys so much!  Can't wait to talk to you on Thursday.  I hope that you all have a very Merry Christmas and remember why it is that we have such a fun holiday at this time of year.  I am so grateful that my Savior was born into this world to make it possible for me to make it back to live with my Father in Heaven again. 

Talk to you soon!

Sister King