Monday, April 28, 2014

Growing up!

I'm growing up!  My trainer is gone!  But so far, so good!
First day out with Sis. Newton.  She is seriously the greatest.
This week was really crazy with transfers and everything, but also really exciting.  Good things are happening in West Allis!
A three generation photo!  My mom and my mom's mom, who is also my new companion!
One last selfie with Sis. Tanner for old time's sake

Tuesday was seriously a blur.  It was my last day with Sister Tanner :(  We spent most of the day packing and getting ready for Sister Tanner to leave and Sister Newton to come.  It really was a bittersweet day.  I was so sad to see Sister Tanner go, but I am so excited to see what else lies ahead of me in my mission.  Change is hard, but it is good.  And I know that the Lord is in charge.  I felt pretty confident about Sister Tanner leaving and getting a new companion here that didn't know anything about West Allis.  I feel like I know the area well and I know the buses pretty well and I also know most of the members.  The thing I was most worried for though is not knowing what to go and do once my new companion got here!  However, the Lord is so mindful of us!  I was praying so hard that I would know what to do and where to go.  On Tuesday night I got a call from some Sister Training Leaders who had 3 miracle referrals for us!  The day that the new missionaries got here they took them out street contacting and tracting in our area, and they came across 3 people who were interested and they got their information and gave it to us.  I could not even believe it!  My first day that I arrived here was one of the coldest days of the year so we didn't have to go out and do any contacting, but these new missionaries did.  And boy am I glad that they did!  We got to reap all the rewards from it haha.  So we had at least 3 people that we could go visit when my new companion got here.  Seriously the biggest tender mercy in the whole wide world.

 
Last transfer with my fellow T-bird in West Allis
Wednesday was transfers and it was crazy!  We woke up and went to our stake center which is the "transfer point" for our zone.  We meet up there and then everyone disperses from there to where they need to go and the missionaries that are waiting for their new companion to come here just sit and chill at the church together.  Sister Newton was coming clear from Wausau which is about as far from here as you can get so I was waiting at the church for a while.  While all of the missionaries were there waiting we had a devotional which was actually really cool.  We all shared something that we had learned from the transfer.  One thing that I learned this transfer is that Heavenly Father know us better than we know ourselves.  He is mindful of us.  I know that He is.  And I am so grateful that I have come to learn that so early in my mission.  That is something that I will need to remember!  While at transfer point I got to see Sister Packer because she is training.  It was such a tender mercy to get to see her and talk to her!  It is crazy to see how far we have both come since the day we stepped into the MTC together.  After a long time of waiting at the church, Sister Newton finally arrived in West Allis!

 
Got to wish Sis. Packer good luck with training her new missionary this transfer.

The Carter's, one of our favorite senior couples in the mission office!
My new companion is Anna Newton and she is from Mountain Green, Utah which is kind of by Morgan.  This is her very last transfer of her mission!  So she is basically a pro.  She has 10 siblings, 9 of which are sisters! Haha.  I think she is number 7.  Her little sister is also on a mission in Kentucky right now.  Before coming on her mission she was a nanny for a family in Luxembourg for a year.  And she also went to one semester of college at Utah State.  When she goes home she wants to study to be a personal trainer which is pretty cool!  One thing I love about Sister Newton is that she loves to go running every morning.  That has been so good for me!  It is a serious stress reliever.  She is full of energy and has a positive attitude about everything which is exactly the kind of companion I need.  We already get along great and are becoming good friends!  I am so stoked to get to have this transfer with her. I don't know why Heavenly Father has blessed me with the 3 best companions in the whole mission so far, but I ain't complaining! 

The only problem is that since this is her very last transfer before she goes home, it kind of makes me feel like I am going home too.  But I'm not.  Not even close.  Haha so that is something that has been weird and kind of hard for me.  But I will survive! 

Thursday we headed out to contact some of those referrals that we got!  Not many of them were home, but we did run into this really cool girl named K along the way.  She was walking home from work and I had a really strong spiritual prompting that I should stop and talk to her.  Her ear phones were in as she walked so it was so awkward to stop her to talk to her, but hey!  I'm a missionary!  I signed up to be awkward!  Haha.  She opened up to us about how she has been depressed lately and right before I stopped to talk to her she was talking to her friend on the phone about how she was looking for what the purpose was in life.  I bore my testimony to her of the Plan of Salvation.  The Spirit was so strong!  So we will be meeting with her this week.  I am so excited for that!

Friday was an awesome day!  We met this really cool lady.  She referred herself on mormon.org.  She had been researching religion for a long time and she felt like we have what she is looking for.  We taught her the Restoration and she loved it.  We invited her to be baptized and she accepted whole-heartedly.   A lot more cool stuff happened during the lesson, but I can't even remember because she ended up calling us this morning right before I got here to e-mail and she told us that she wasn't interested in meeting with us anymore.  My heart completely sank.  She had been doing more research about our church and came across a lot of anti material.  You could tell from her voice on the phone that her countenance had completely changed.  I am still so sad about it.  I was so excited to get here and tell you guys all about this way cool investigator, but now I am just so bummed about it.  I am still really sad, but that is missionary work for ya.  I think/hope I will get over it eventually. 

We also had dinner with Sarah on Friday and that was so fun!  She is doing great and her testimony is as strong as ever!  Her faith never ceases to amaze me.  Thank you so much for your prayers in her behalf. 

Saturday we did a lot of walking!  15.88 miles to be exact!  Haha YES my legs felt like they were going to fall off at the end of the day.  The buses don't run very often on Saturdays do we had to walk everywhere we went.  As we were walking around trying to contact some more referrals, we made our way to the closest bus stop that was going to take us to our next referral.  As soon as we got to the intersection, I saw the bus drive right by us.  We had literally missed the bus by about 10 seconds.  Normally I would have been pretty frustrated about it, but for some reason this time I felt really calm about it.  As soon as I watched that bus zoom by I knew it was because there was someone that we needed to meet and we weren't going to meet them if we took that bus.  We started walking towards our next referrals house as we waited for the next bus to come.  As we got off of the later bus, we got to an intersection at the exact same time as this other lady named K.  We started walking with her and just making small talk about the weather or something like that and it came out that I was from Utah.  As soon as she heard that she yelled, "I LOVE DONNY OSMOND!!!!!"  hahahahaha that was a first on my mission.  She told us that when she was little she always wanted to be a Mormon because of Donny.  When we told her that we were missionaries for the Mormon church she started freaking out even more.  She told us that she wasn't really interested anymore, but we just continued to talk to her anyway.  She really opened up to us about some hard things that are going on with her family right now.  Her daughter is into drugs and got her grand daughter taken away because of it.  She is trying really hard right now to get her grand daughter back.  We asked if we could say a prayer with her and Sister Newton offered one of the most inspired prayers I have ever heard in my entire life.  The spirit was undeniably strong.  As soon as we said Amen I looked up to see tears streaming down K's face.  I will never forget the words that came out of K's mouth after that, "You girls ARE making a difference."  That really hit me and has stuck with me even now.  Sometimes I wonder if I am making a difference.  We go out and work hard every day but never really get to see if it even matters or not.  After that experience with her, I KNOW that we are.  There is no doubt in my mind that we were supposed to run into her that day.  As soon as we said goodbye and turned the corner, I turned to Sister Newton and said, "That is why we missed the bus."  Experiences like that are what make missions worth it.

Overall, miracles will happen this transfer!  Some not so good things happened this week, but some really good things happened too!
This week I have been thinking a lot about the concept of mercy.  And that is actually what the theme of our sacrament meeting was yesterday too!  I noticed something kind of cool in my studies of the Book of Mormon this week. 

In the very first chapter of the Book of Mormon, Nephi says this:
20 And when the Jews heard these things they were angry with him; yea, even as with the prophets of old, whom they had cast out, and stoned, and slain; and they also sought his life, that they might take it away. But behold, I, Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance.

Then in the very last chapter of the Book of Mormon, Moroni says this:
3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in you hearts.

The Book of Mormon teaches us all about how merciful our Father in Heaven is!  I love that.  Not only is God our God, but he is our Father!  And he is looking out for us.  Through Jesus Christ, He can show us mercy in all things.  What a blessing.  That is definitely something that I need to remember. 

I love this gospel and I know that it changes lives!  I have a testimony and I am so grateful that I get to share it with the people of West Allis everyday. 

Love you!
Sister King

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