Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Greetings from West Allis, Wisconsin!

Hello!!! Boy do I miss you guys!!!  Reading everyone's e-mails really has brightened my day and is going to make this week that much easier.  I got some e-mails from a lot of family friends and I just feel so blessed that there are people that are thinking about me and praying for me while I am here.  We really do need all the prayers we can get and I really do appreciate all of the support from family and friends back home.  I am so blessed!!! 

Matching with my homies: Sister Wilson and Sister Weaver

Well from your e-mails it sounds like everyone is dying to know about where I am and what I am doing haha.  Yes I am alive!  The last couple of days in the MTC was amazing.  My advice to anyone going into the MTC is to take advantage of every single moment you are there.  The MTC is a great place.  We left the MTC at 2:00 am on Tuesday morning, had a layover in Denver where I got to talk to my AMAZING family, and then headed into Milwaukee!  

In field orientation. 

Our other teacher, Brother Ferrin-- he is awesome! 

Sister Packer and I matching as usual... haha
My first memory of Wisconsin was flying over Lake Michigan.  I tried to get some pictures but they just don't do it justice.  It is so BIG and it is absolutely stunning.  Right now it's almost like the water was in the middle of a wave and then it froze.  It is absolutely breathtaking!  

Riding the bus to the airport at 2 AM! 

Flying to Wisconsin! 

Lake Michigan-- my first view of Wisconsin.

Our flight was delayed a while because it was so cold, so we ended up getting there around 2 pm.  As we walked through security, there was President and Sister Cutler, their daughter Megan, and the AP's.  It seriously all happened in slow motion.  I had dreamed about this moment for what seems like forever!  I will never forget the smile on president Cutler's face and the firm handshake he gave me.  He is an AMAZING man.  Usually when new missionaries get off the plane, they hand them a Book of Mormon and don't let them come back until they have placed it.  But they said it was way too cold to do it that day.  So turns out the deathly cold here was a blessing in disguise.  

We love each other! 

Everyone was seriously so jealous that I got to see my brother-in-law every day!
Thanks for visiting all the time Bryan, it was so fun!

Sister Packer and I with the investigator we taught, she is really just a teacher in the MTC.
We learned so much from her, she is great. 

We all loaded into a van and headed for the mission home!  We had lunch and then we started orientation with one of the senior couples here in the mission.  We were given debit cards. After orientation, the Cutler's looked down on us in mercy and allowed us to take a nap.  BEST NAP I'VE EVER HAD. We woke up, had dinner, and then took turns having our first interviews with President Cutler.  I loved every second of my interview.  I wasn't nervous at all.  He made me feel so welcome and I feel like he is my friend.  There were a lot of things that I was nervous about and that I had been praying about and when I sat down in his office he said, "Sister King, before we get started, I feel like there are a few things I should tell you."  

He proceeded to directly answer some of the questions and concerns I had been praying about.  Of course, being Mom's daughter, I started bawling.  It was amazing.  Such a testimony to me that President Cutler really is called of God and that he receives direct revelation for his missionaries.  He told me that he knows Wisconsin is exactly where I need to be, and I know that it is where I need to be too.  After interviews, we had a testimony meeting with all of the missionaries, and then headed off to bed early. 

The other Sister King in the MTC. 

Our room at the MTC.

Sister Packer and I with our Branch President, President Mosher.
Because we were the Sister Training Leaders, we got to work very closely with him-- he is such a great man. 

The next morning we woke up and got ready to go meet our trainers.  This is where I got nervous.  We went to the stake center and unloaded our luggage.  We lined up in the foyer of the chapel and the APs opened the door and as we walked inside there were all of the trainers singing called to serve as we filed into the chapel.  It was a really special moment. (ps the shift key doesn't work very well on this computer so sorry if not everything is capitalized correctly haha. Casey, maybe you can fix it for me so I don't look like a fool on the blog haha) it was also cool because when I walked in, there was one trainer that caught my eye.  I don't know how or why but I knew she was going to be my trainer.  

After we sat down, President Cutler would announce a trainer and then who they would be training.  Not gonna like, it was a lot like a reaping in the hunger games.  Anyways, my trainer is Sister Karlie Tanner!  She is AMAZING!  She actually keeps a mission blog and I had looked at it a couple of times before coming out here.  If I remember correctly, it is teamsistertanner.blogspot.com so you can check that out if you want to!  I hope she says nice things about me........ haha.  

What the MTC does to you. 

Love this Sister! 

We are assigned to West Allis.  West Allis is just southwest of Milwaukee.  In fact, part of west Milwaukee is in our area.  There are about 3 or 4 companionships of sisters in the WHOLE mission that don't have a car, and we are one of them!  Lucky us! haha I actually really don't mind that much.  The bus system here is okay.  The only problem is that it gets pretty darn cold waiting at the bus stop and walking places.  But that's ok!  I actually really think my testimony may be keeping me warm sometimes.  

West Allis is a pretty big city.  The ward here is awesome!  I have already met a lot of people and they are all so nice.  The ward feeds us every night just about.  So that's good.  There are 2 other sets of elders in our area and ward.  Our district leader is Elder Skylar Harmon and he went to Timpview!  He graduated the year before me.  I never knew him super well, but I do remember hearing a lot of good things about him around the halls of Timpview, so that is good. Also, I think he played basketball with Ryan freshman and sophmore year or something.  He is a really good missionary out here.  It is so fun to have someone from back home! We talk about provo stuff sometimes so that is fun. 

First thing I saw when I got off the plane-- I am definitely in Packer country.

We slept in these bunk-beds at the mission home. 

In front of the mission home! 

The rest of the day was spent unpacking and buying a couple of groceries.  We had an appointment that ended up falling through.  We had a relief society activity my first night here, so I got to know some of the ward members right off the bat! So that was good.  Then we went home and I tried to sleep! haha 
Last selfie with Sister Packer! I am going to miss this cute girl! 

My bedroom in our apartment in West Allis. 

Our living room, isn't Sister Tanner so cute?!

My first morning in Wisconsin.  We woke up and we are given an hour during the winter months for exercise in the morning.  So we did that and then got ready for the day.  Then we have a bunch of hours of studying, and your first 12 weeks in the field you are given an extra hour of companion study which is when most of the "training' happens.  So pretty much our whole entire morning is studying.  

Getting bundled up to hit the roads of West Allis. 

Waiting for an appointment that never showed up. 

A lot of what we do here in our mission is visit less actives.  Our ward actually has over 400 members, but probably more than half don't come.  So that is a lot of work for us missionaries to do!  In fact, that is what we mostly did this week- visited a bunch of less actives. Every single lesson we have had planned to teach this week, the person didn't show up.  Hahaha joys of missionary work!  But we stay positive and we do what we can! It is kind of hard though because the buses only come like every half hour, so we can't really get much done in a day.  If we go to an appointment and they don't show, it usually wastes about an hour and a half of our time AT LEAST. But we make do with what we have!  haha 

Our matching PJ's! 

I love Sister Tanner! 

Saturday was my favorite day here in the mission field so far.  Ok I know I only have like 4 days to choose from, but it was really good haha.  There was a baptism for a little girl that morning, so we invited one of our investigators to it!  Her name is L.  We took her on a church tour and showed her around the building.  The whole time she was like "I love the spirit, I feel here" and "this building has an amazing feeling." and then we took her to the baptism and she LOVED IT. " She was crying the whole time and was like "I feel so good!" haha it was so cute.  The tour could not have gone better.  I absolutely love L!  

After the baptism, Sister Tanner and I went to Kopp's.  Kopp's is a super famous frozen custard place here in Wisconsin and it was so good!  We went because Saturday was Sister Tanner's half way mark so we had to celebrate!  So sister tanner has been out 9 months. It is weird to think that when she goes home, I will be at my half way mark! It is going to go by fast!  After that we went to an appointment at the library that didn't show up... haha anyways, that night a family in our ward invited us over to play marshmallow wars!  They are the Boston family and they are AWESOME! Sister Boston is like the Aunt Jenni of West Allis.  They had marshmallow guns and we played in their basement.  It was like capture the flag but with shooting marshmallows at each other.  It was great!  (don't worry, my team won)  One time I went to shoot a marshmallow at Sister Tanner and she shot one right into my mouth hahahahaha.   I think it is really important to build relationships and trust with the members here because we want them to trust us to teach their friends the gospel. Anyways, it has been really hard, but I am loving it here in Wisconsin!  Sister Tanner is a great trainer and I think she is the perfect trainer specifically for me.  She is so kind and positive and she is so patient with me.  She is here to work hard, but she is here to have fun too.  It's great.  Plus she is a really good missionary, so I can learn a lot from her.  Please keep praying for us!  We really do need your prayers!  I would love to hear from all of you, so shoot me an e-mail or a letter in the mail!  Oh and send pictures!  I love to see what you guys are doing just as much as you probably want to see what I am doing!  Love you!  Sister King

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