Monday, July 28, 2014

"I'm so grateful that I get to be a missionary!!"

We made the cupcakes with the mix you sent!
Can you believe it is already P-day again?  July sure flew by I will tell you that much!

Tuesday was miserably hot and humid.  But that was the first day it has been like that the whole entire summer.  People say that the summers here can be just as bad as the winters, but for some reason this has been a super mild summer.  It's been about 75 everyday and not too humid!  It's great!  The only problem is, I am worried that means that we are going to have another record breaking cold winter.  But we will see... :)  We had district meeting and guess who I got to see there.... Sis Packer!  She is officially down here in our zone so I will get to see her a lot more now.  #tendermercy  After district meeting we were able to have a lesson with our investigator.  She is progressing nicely.  I think that there might still be a few bumps in the road, but hopefully they will be resolved by August 9 and she will be able to be baptized.  We just had to teach her a few of the commandments that were left so it was a pretty laid back lesson.  Afterward, she was able to come to the Relief Society's recipe group with us.  It was so awesome!  All of the Relief Society sisters bring a sample of some of their favorite recipes so pretty much we just get to go and eat a bunch of yummy food.  But our investigator came this time and was able to make a lot of friends!  That was so awesome because it is so important for investigators and recent converts to have friends in the ward.  We have gotten really close to her, but we aren't going to be here forever!  So now she has friends in the ward that will take good care of her.
(Amy' note- I took this picture off of the Milwaukee Mission blog.)

we did a lot of finding and we were able to talk to a lot of people.  One thing that was cool though is we went to contact this potential investigator because we really felt like we needed to see her that day.  But when we went to her house, she wasn't there.  :(  Later that day we were walking to a bus stop, and right when we passed a store she came walking out of it at the exact moment we were walking by!  Coincidence, I think NOT!  (Name that movie)  We were able to follow up with her on her Book of Mormon reading and she is not progressing very fast, but she is progressing nonetheless.  So we were grateful that we got to see her. 

Thursday was pioneer day!  And also Sis. Silva's one year mark!  But we didn't really do anything to celebrate because we were so busy.  We were able to meet with our investigator again though, which is always fun.  We went over the baptismal interview questions and it actually went pretty well.  As we were talking about her upcoming baptism I told her to be strong because I am sure that there has got to be some opposition coming her way.  I told her "Satan doesn't want you to get baptized" and she replied, "Who cares about Satan??"  haha It was also funny because our church starts at 9:00 a.m. and getting to church on time that early in the morning has always been a struggle with her.  She always gets there just after the sacrament and that is the reason that we go in the first place!  haha  So we were pretty bold with her and told her that she really needed to come to church on time especially leading up to her baptism.  She told us that on Saturday night she was going to sleep with her clothes on and just wake up and come.  haha She is sassy just like me so we get along really well.  There was a Spanish missionary meeting while we were there at the church having our lesson with her.  We got done around the same time, so we introduced her to President and Sister Cutler and she absolutely loved them!  She invited them to her baptism and everything haha.  So that was pretty cool too.
Sometimes Sister Silva lets me go to the Disney store on P-days!

Friday we had a number of appointments that fell through... but we were able to meet a less active family in the ward that hopefully we can start working with!  They are AWESOME!  They both work for the FBI!  Yeah, I know, right?  And we really hit it off and I think they like us.  So I am excited to start working with them. 

Saturday morning we were able to take our investigator to a baptism in the City Branch.  It was an amazing experience.  The Spirit was so strong and I think she really enjoyed it.  During the ordinance, she leaned over to her 6 year old daughter and said, "Look, Mom is going to be doing that soon!"  It just warmed my heart.  We spent the entire rest of the day with Sis. Stewart running around and visiting about a million less active sisters in the ward.  Needless to say, we were exhausted by the end of the day.

Sunday- Church is always AWESOME.  Our investigator barely made it in time for the sacrament...  She took it out in the hall.  So we are getting there!  haha  Then for Sunday School we had the best Gospel Principles class of my whole entire mission-- and that is saying something.  The lesson was on service.  Somehow we got on the topic of how missionaries give service for 2 years of their life, and then all of a sudden all of the investigators in the room pretty much took over the lesson.  They all bore their testimonies about how the missionaries had changed their lives and how grateful they all were for everything that we had been doing.  The Spirit was so strong.  It was exactly what I needed to hear.  I often forget that even though we don't see the fruits of our labors, we are making a difference.  I had no idea that we had actually touched all of these peoples lives so much.  It was great.  Also- a member of the bishopric announced in Sacrament meeting that the whole ward is having a fast for us (the missionaries in their ward) this coming Sunday.  It has really motivated me so much to work hard this week so that we are doing everything that we possibly can to have miracles in the next coming weeks.  The missionaries in our ward have been working really hard.  Sarah was the first baptism that this ward has seen in a couple of years.  But now, one set of Elders in our ward is having 4 baptisms this coming Saturday and our investigator is getting baptized the Saturday after that.  It is amazing to see how the missionary mentality of the ward has changed as the missionaries have been working hard and bringing people to church.  Miracles really are happening! 

Heavenly Father is so aware of us and is grateful for our efforts to move the work forward.  I am so grateful that I get to be a missionary!!

I love you guys so much!!!

Sister King

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

6 months!

Another week come and gone in West Allis.  And it sure was a busy one.

Tuesday we were able to take a new member to the family history center and help her get started.  It was super cool!  She was actually able to find a lot of information on her family.  Our goal is to help her find a few family names that she can take to the temple for the first time.  Wouldn't that be so cool?  It was really awesome because she has had a hard family life, but you could totally see the Spirit of Elijah come alive in her as she searched for her family members!  Super cool.  Also, we were able to have a lesson with an investigator.  We covered the 10 commandments and the Law of Chastity which can be a little hard sometimes, but it went over so smoothly!  The Spirit was definitely there and our new member came and you would not believe the power that her testimony added to the lesson.  It was great!  So Tuesday was pretty solid.  Tuesday was also my 6 month mark!  We weren't able to do anything too special because we were pretty busy, but we did pop those poppers that you sent me and that was super exciting.  Haha 6 months down and only 12 to go.

Wednesday was transfers but that didn't really affect us too much since we are both staying here together another transfer.  Just another day of hard work!  We were able to meet with a friend of our investigator's  that she brought to church last week.  We had invited her to read from the Book of Mormon everyday for 10 minutes and we met with her to follow up on that to see how she was doing.  She told us that she had been reading everyday which made me really excited!  But then she said that it wasn't really speaking to her and that she didn't understand and that it was confusing.  Ugh...  that always makes me so frustrated because I know that the Book of Mormon is so powerful so I hate it when that happens.  But we were able to read the first chapter of the Book of Mormon with her and go over it and kind of explain some of the events.  She said that it helped her a lot.  I think she is just going through a lot with her family right now.  She has been super closed off to us which makes me sad because if she would just open up then we could know how to help her!  haha.  But I know that the Spirit will stir inside of her as she reads from the Book of Mormon and reading that book is going to help her more than anything else.  We also got to have dinner at the new member's house which is always nice.  We are continuing to help her work on personal progress and she is really coming along!

Thursday was weekly planning and a long day of finding.  We were able to meet this ssssssssuper cool lady  at the bus stop.  She recently converted to the Muslim faith which I thought was super interesting.  We told her what we do as missionaries and started teaching her about the Book of Mormon and she was super interested!  She even asked us if we could come to her house to teach her more!  haha.  So we got her information and then asked if we could pray with her before we left.  Right in the middle of the prayer........... the bus that she had been waiting for the whole time zoomed past.  I have never felt more horrible in my whole life!  haha we made her miss her bus just because we wanted to pray with her!  Luckily, she wasn't upset and is still excited to meet with us this coming week.  haha so pray for her! 

Friday was also a day full of finding.  We were able to find this other cool lady that invited us to come back this week too.  So that should be fun.  But in my studies on Friday, I flipped open to a verse in the Book of Mormon that wasn't even close to where I was reading but it really stood out to me.  Alma is talking to his son Helaman about some of the lessons that we can learn from the Liahona and this is what he says. 

It is Alma 37:41
 41 Nevertheless, because those miracles were worked by small‍ means it did show unto them marvelous works. They were slothful, and forgot to exercise their faith and diligence and then those marvelous works ceased, and they did not progress in their journey;
Sometimes I feel like because I have been stuck in West Allis for so long,  I have kind of just been going through the motions and maybe getting a little slothful and not so diligent.  But according to this verse, hard work, diligence, and faith is what we need to see miracles!  So that was a really cool experience and a wake up call for me.  There is still so much work to be done here!

Saturday was pretty crazy.  Our ward had a pioneer picnic to celebrate pioneer day next week.  It was so fun!  But the best part is, we got an investigator to come!  The ward has been so good to fellowship her and help her to feel more comfortable.  Her baptism date has been moved to August 9 and we are doing our best to make sure that it will happen on that day.  So please be praying for that!  After the picnic, we taught her about tithing.  Teaching this lesson always makes me nervous because I don't want people to think that we just want their money haha.  But it went sooooo incredibly well!  We told her about all the blessing that come from tithing and read Malachi 3:10 that talks about how the Lord will pour out blessing that we won't have room enough to receive them.  She was so excited and anxious to receive these blessings, that she wants to pay tithing before she even gets baptized!  Haha she is seriously so awesome.  After the ward picnic, there was a funeral at our building for a family in the Spanish Branch.  Sis. Stewart, the Relief Society president in our ward said that they needed a pianist last minute so she asked if I could play for it.  And of course I will always drop whatever I am doing to help Sis. Stewart because she is just so awesome and I love her so much and want to help her in anyway that I can.  So I was able to play the piano for this Spanish Funeral.  It actually turned out to be one of the most amazing experiences of my life.  The entire funeral was in spanish so I had absolutely no idea what was going on the whole time.  But I will tell you this much, the Spirit there was absolutely undeniable.  It was a testimony to me that even though we spoke different languages, we can all understand the Spirit and how it works with us.  I know without a doubt that that is an eternal family right there.  The Plan of Salvation is so real and we will get to be with our families for eternity.  How amazing is that?  What a blessing.  I was so humbled and I just feel so beyond grateful that we have that knowledge and also that our family has been sealed.  We are stuck together guys!

Sunday was awesome.  GUESS WHAT!!!!  Our new member got her first calling!  She is going to be the wolf den leader for the cub scouts!  She is so excited about it.  I was freaking out.  Raising my right arm to sustain her into her calling is a moment I will never forget!  Also, we had a cool experience at dinner.  So apparently there is this program in Great Britain where if you are a good soccer player then you can come over here to America and run soccer camps all around the country and stay with host families along the way.  Well they are in Milwaukee this week and a family in our ward was going to be the host family for 3 of these 19 year old British soccer coaches and they invited us to come over to have dinner with them!  It was so awesome.  It was so fun for me to be able to talk soccer with all of them.  And yeah, their accents were way cool.  We started talking to them about the church and if they had ever seen mormon missionaries before.  One of them had actually been stopped by some missionaries back in England and given a pamphlet and another had stayed with a different mormon host family while he was in Arizona running a camp.  Isn't that crazy?  We taught them a little bit about the Book of Mormon and read a scripture about prayer.  So that was way cool.

Over all things are going pretty well here.  We are staying busy which is just how I like it.
Keep up the good work family!  I love you guys!!

Sister King :)

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

5 Transfer Club!

Water Balloon fight with some elders in our zone.  And Sarah & Elizabeth of course!
Soooo....  I will be staying in West Allis with Sis. Silva for another transfer!  That means it is at least 7 1/2 months in West Allis for me.  It's funny, the missionaries here have a "5 transfer club" and it is for the select few missionaries that stay in their areas for 7 1/2 months.  Apparently this doesn't happen very often.  So I have had 2 transfers here with Sis. Tanner, 1 with Sis. Newton, and starting my 2 with Sis. Silva.  Looks like my work here isn't done yet!  I for sure thought that I would be leaving.  I was super excited about the idea of a fresh start and getting to know a new area and a new ward and new investigators and stuff.  And not gonna lie, I was excited to hopefully be going to an area that has a car!  haha But this is the Lord's will and I am beyond happy to still be here.

This was a pretty good week!
Tuesday we had a zone training meeting!  We had it down at the Spanish Branch building which was super cool.  There is a pretty good size Spanish branch that meets here in Milwaukee.  We talked a lot about being a covenant keeping mission.  I thought that was so interesting!  We had lots of different trainings from our leaders on keeping our covenants.  They talked about how as missionaries, we need all the divine power we can get.  I am so grateful for the covenants that I have made and how they have blessed my life and also how they have blessed me as a missionary.  So that was a really good meeting.  Later that night we had dinner with a family in our ward and their son brought his non-member girlfriend!  So that was fun.  We got to know her a little bit and we ended up teaching her about the Restoration at dinner.  I bore my testimony about the Book of Mormon and how it has changed my life.  The Spirit was so strong.  Afterward, she told us that she thought our faith was absolutely beautiful.  I thought that was such an amazing compliment.  Because of that, I know that she felt the Spirit that night.  I am excited to get to follow up with her later this week.  Also- one of the members that had us over for dinner told us that he likes having us over better than the Elders.... hahaha That made me feel really good too. 
Eclairs at the Farmer's market

One of my very favorite ward members took us out to dinner at the Cheesecake Factory!

So the next couple of pictures are from a tour that we took in Downtown Milwaukee today!  The Lenhard's took us!  :)

This is the Wisconsin River that runs right through the middle of Downtown Milwaukee

Sis. Silva and I at the Milwaukee art museum! 

And my favorite people in the whole wide world- The Lenhard's!

Wednesday we had an awesome lesson with an investigator.  We taught her about following and sustaining the prophet.  I was kind of nervous and didn't know how she would take this lesson either, but the Spirit was strong so it was a great lesson!  You can always put your money on the Spirit ;)  She was like, "I always knew there should be a prophet on the earth, now I just know his name!"  haha So that was great.  We also had a lesson with a new member.  We got her started on personal progress!  She is so excited to start it and earn her medallion.  We did faith #1 with her and talked about how her faith has grown since she has been baptized.  Seriously, every time I meet with her it is a big reminder to me of how big of a miracle she was.  It's amazing.  Also- on Wednesday I got a package from the best family in the whole wide world!  Can you believe I have been out 6 months????  That is so crazy!  Thank you so much!  It totally made my day and came right when I needed it.  You guys are so great.
Sis. Silva cut out the note that you wrote her and put it in her journal :)

soooo... I couldn't wait until the 15th haha
Thursday... you guessed it.  Weekly planning day.  But we were able to meet some cool people out contacting.  I met this one lady on the bus.  We were down in a part of town where the Elders hang out a lot.  So when I started talking to her, she asked if I was from the same church as those guys with white shirts and ties.  I said yes!  Then she said, "They are always trying to give me some book, but I'm not interested and I don't want to read it."  That made me kind of sad.  But I continued talking to her and got to know her a little bit better.  We were really able to connect on some things and I was able to bear her my testimony of how this gospel has helped me in my life with some similar things that she is going through.  After I really got to know her and explained why this gospel would bless her life specifically, she asked me for a Book of Mormon and a pamphlet!  WHAT!  I know!  And she gave us her information and wants us to come teach her more.  It was seriously the coolest thing ever.  It was a really good reminder to me that the people that we meet everyday are real people, not robots.  They are not just walking baptismal statistics.  We teach people, not lessons.  So I was really grateful that I was able to really get through to her when other missionaries hadn't been able to.  That is one thing that I really wanted to do when I came on my mission.  Get to know the people and then show them how this gospel can really help them!  So that was a cool experience.

Sister Cope and I celebrating our 6 month mark!
Friday we went out to lunch with Sis. Pope and her companion Sis. Vance to celebrate mine and Sis. Pope's 6 month mark!  So that was fun.  Later that day we were finally able to get back in contact with a former investigator.  She is the one whose family are refugees from Liberia.  She is super faithful and we gave her a Book of Mormon and we are super excited to start working with her again.

futbol with the Mexicans
Saturday was way fun!  The Spanish Elders in our zone had seen my sweeeeeeet soccer skills on p-day, and they invited us to come play soccer with all of their Hispanic non member friends!  It was so fun!  And I could totally hold my own against them.  So that was way fun.  And there were a ton of non members there!  It was a great missionary opportunity.  Then Sis. Stewart came out with us for a while and went to some lessons with us.  And then she took us and all of the other missionaries in our ward out to Sushi!  I had never had Sushi before and I was super scared but I tried it anyway!  And it wasn't bad.  Not my favorite but still pretty good.  We also had a lesson with another investigator.  Her aunt has been in the hospital with cancer, so we really bore testimony of the plan of salvation and eternal families and I think that really helped her.
 I tried sushi for the first time!
Sunday was really good because there were lots of members that came up to me and said that they were so happy that I would be staying another transfer.  That made me feel really good.  I know that this is where the Lord still wants me, even after all this time.
Over all, it was a great week!  And I will have at least 6 more weeks here in West Allis.  And as of tomorrow, I am a third of the way through my mission!  Can you believe it?  Me neither.  Thanks for being the best family ever.  I love you guys!!
Sister King

Monday, July 7, 2014

So I lost my planner this week....

So I lost my planner this week.... :( (for those of you who don't know, a missionaries LIFE is in their planner)  I left it on the bus so I am going to have to tell you what I was up to this week off of memory!  So sorry if I don't remember everything!  haha

Tuesday- We had our last district meeting this transfer.  Can you believe it??  This transfer is almost over!  So weird!  We had a really fun district this transfer though and we forgot to take pictures, so sorry about that too.  But we had a training that day about the Area book... haha.  Afterward, Sis. Silva and I went out contacting some people.  We met a few interesting people.  We met this one guy on the street that thought he knew everything about Mormons because he had seen South Park and the Book of Mormon play..... bahahahaha Boy,  was he surprised when we told him what we were really about.  We met another guy that came up to us at the bus stop and said "I see those boys in the white shirts and ties everywhere and I want to know what you guys are all about.  Give me your pitch."  Haha A missionaries dream come true!  We sat with him at the bus stop for almost an hour and taught him the whole Restoration and where the Book of Mormon came from and how it works with the Bible and everything.  It was AWESOME.  Then he asked if he could have a copy of the Book of Mormon!  We gave him one and he said, "Thank you very much" and walked off before we could say anything else.  I was super sad because we weren't able to get any of his information but I know that he will start reading that book and that book has so much power and can work miracles, so we will see if we get a call from him sometime soon.  I will let you know :)

Wednesday-  was kind of a bummer day because a lot of people cancelled appointments and we got stuck down in the ghetto for a while waiting for some buses.  That was kind of scary.  But then at the end of the day we got to go to the West Allis parade with the Dominguez's!  So that was fun.

Thursday was a miracle day!  We had a lesson planned with our investigator and I was sssssssssuper nervous about it because we were planning to teach her the word of wisdom.  We knew that she loves coffee so we were kind of procrastinating teaching this lesson, but we knew that we couldn't wait anymore.  When we walking into her apartment there was a huge iced coffee on the table and more coffee mixing in her coffee maker.  And get this- the table cloth that she had out had coffee mugs all over it with "coffee" written in the steam coming out of the coffee.  Hahaha Sis. Silva and I got there and saw all that and just looked at each other wide-eyed.  But we had prayed about it and we knew that we needed to teach her the word of wisdom.  We handed her a word of wisdom pamphlet and I will never forget the look on her face when she opened it up and read all of the things that we abstain from- with coffee being one of them.  We talked about how our bodies are temples and they are incredible gifts from our Heavenly Father and that we need to take good care of them.  Then she looked up at us and said, "Ya know, I like that.  It totally makes sense."  WHAT?? haha I thought she was going to freak out!  But the Spirit was totally there in that lesson and she committed to live the word of wisdom!  So we are one step closer to her baptism now!  It was super cool!  Then later that day we had a lesson with a new investigator.  The Elders in Oak Creek (which is just south east of our area) have an investigator with a baptismal date that just moved into our area by a couple of blocks.  So we get to teach her now!  So we kind of had a "pass off" lesson with them.  It was awesome!  I am super excited to get to start working with her .

Friday was the 4th of July!!!!  It was weird to be a missionary on the 4th of July.  Every single person here in Wisconsin was drunk that day.  So that was a new experience but we tried to make it a fun day.  We had a BBQ with new member so that was fun!  And then we got to watch the Joseph Smith movie with her which is as close to a movie night as you can get as a missionary.  So that was way fun.  And then afterward, we went to the Dominguez's for s'mores and fireworks!  It was way fun!  It was such a tender mercy to be able to spend this day with Sarah and the Dominguez's because I was feeling pretty homesick.  I just love the 4th of July back home so much!  It is such a fun family day and I knew that you guys were probably having a blast, so I just really missed you guys.  That is why it was so amazing to be able to spend the evening with Sarah and the Dominguez's.  I didn't feel homesick anymore when I was with them.  I really have come to love this ward here in West Allis so much!

Saturday we got to go out to lunch with Sis. Stewart after she came to a few lessons with us.  So that was way fun.  And then we had another pass off lesson with the Oak Creek elders and our new investigator.  She committed to pay tithing once she is baptized, so she is well on her way to baptism!
It really was a great week!!

So on Saturday I will find out if I am getting transferred out of West Allis, or staying here for 7 1/2 months.  It should be interesting.  While it is possible that I could stay, I think that I will probably be leaving.  So next time I e-mail you I will get to tell you what is going on with transfers!  Be praying for me because I am really nervous about it. 
Have an awesome week!!!
Love you so much!!
Sister King