Monday, August 25, 2014

Good Bye West Allis!

Yep!  It's official.  I am leaving West Allis.  My new area is going to be....
The Madison 1st Ward.

My companion's name is Sis. Brewster.  I don't know much about her but I hear she is super sweet and I am excited to be companions with her.  So as of Wednesday I will have a new area and a new companion.
Very first time my name was on the transfer text!

Ok get this.  There are only 3 sister areas in the whole entire mission that don't have a car.  West Allis is one of them.  Madison 1st ward is another one of them. hahahahahaha Yeah,  just let that sink in for a second.  I'm still on the bus!  I really don't mind not having a car.  But that just means that I will probably be on the bus again for this coming winter which is the only thing that I am not too excited about.  It's gonna be cold!  But other than that, I feel so good about going to Madison.  I have heard so many good things about it and it is somewhere that I have always wanted to serve.  I feel so blessed and I do feel like this is where I am supposed to go for the next chapter of my mission/life.  It will be quite the adventure though!  I am excited to see what lies in store!
Anyways, back to West Allis for a second.  My last week here!
My district from this transfer



Tuesday was the last district meeting and that was sad because I have really enjoyed my district this transfer.  We have seen A LOT of miracles in our ward.  We were able to have a district testimony meeting and that was a cool experience.  I always leave district meeting spiritually uplifted and ready to take on the world.  We were able to meet with a new member afterward and that was really good.  Her life has been kind of crazy these past couple of weeks so we hadn't seen her since like July!  It was good to get back in contact with her.  We talked about how we need to be doing to small and simple things- reading our scriptures, saying our prayers, and going to church.  They are so simple but they really do make a big difference!  So was a good lesson and I think a good reminder for her.  A good reminder for me too... 


My favorite lady

And my favorite family!


Wednesday Sis. Silva and I were out contacting and this guy pulled his car over and asked us who we were and what we were doing.  I was so excited!  In my head this was going to be an Ensign story where this guy sees Sister Missionaries on the side of the road and feels like he should stop and talk to them and then gets baptized.  But no...  he actually just wanted to try and recruit us for his church and then told us if we didn't leave our church then we would go to hell.  So that was nice.  Haha.  We were able to find this SUPER COOL new investigator.  He is a 67 year old man and he has a giant train museum in his house!  Not like miniature models, but real trains and stuff!  He is a super nice guy and really talkative.  He loves how nice and kind the missionaries have always been and said that he could see a light in our eyes.  So he wants to start learning more about our church.  He is pretty staunch Catholic, but I have faith.  Miracles can happen!  He is such a good guy and I am excited to see what happens with him. 
Thursday we visited a less active member and we were able to help her to teach her kids some of the Book of Mormon and Bible stories.  That was pretty cool because it is like we are helping her and her children.  So that was pretty fun.  Then I have my very last West Allis weekly planning session :)
Friday was spent visiting some more less active members which was really good.  It was CRAZY hot and humid though.  I was sweating like a pig it was so bad haha.  But the show must go on!  To cool me off, Sis. Silva dumped a bucket of ice water on my head at the Dominguez's.  But it sounds like you all already knew that... :)  And then Sis. Stewart had us all over for dinner which was really fun.  I know you all know this too, but I love that asian lady!



Saturday the transfer text came while we were out playing soccer with the Mexicans.  So I found out that I was leaving West Allis.  So we went home and I started packing a little bit.  I sure have accumulated a lot of junk... Then our ward had a Corn Roast that afternoon!  It was so fun!  I had never had roasted corn before so that was pretty good.  Plus, the train guy came!  That was super awesome because we had only just met him a few days earlier.  But the ward was so awesome and took him right in and he made so many friends.  He wants to come to church now!  Our new member  was also able to make it and she was able to fellowship with the ward a lot more too.  This is seriously the greatest ward EVER.  Which was kind of bittersweet for me because I knew that I was going to be leaving all of these people.  But it was the biggest tender mercy that my very last weekend here, I got to spend it with everyone that I love because they were all there!  At the Corn Roast, our Bishop even did the ice bucket challenge.  Haha it was a hoot!




Sunday- my last church in West Allis!  That was really hard.  Harder than I ever even thought.  It was the mission farewell of a kid in our ward that is going to Uruguay.  All of the missionaries have gotten really close to their family as they have prepared their son to leave.  And their whole family spoke in church!  So that was really awesome.  Later that night, they had a little get together at the church for everyone to come and say goodbye before he heads off to Uruguay this week.  That was fun that I got to say bye to a lot of people there too. 
And my favorite senior missionary couple!

So the West Allis era is coming to a close.  I am excited to go to Madison and start over there, but at the same time I can't imagine not being in West Allis anymore.  I have absolutely loved it here.  I have come to love people that have changed my life forever.  I know that the church is true and that Heavenly Father loves me because he placed me here in West Allis.  I KNOW that I was supposed to be here.  Now I just need to have faith that He needs me

in Madison too!

I love you so much!  Please be praying for me this week as I go through a lot of changes.  I think it is going to be really tough, but I know that this is what Heavenly Father wants to happen. 
Have an awesome week!!!
Goodbye family and goodbye West Allis!
Love,
Sister King

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Baptism!

So good to hear from all of you!  I am so grateful for your e-mails and letters and most importantly, your prayers.  Sounds like it was a pretty crazy week back in Utah.
Crazy week here in West Allis too!


Tuesday-  District Meeting.  This time we talked all about the Doctrine of Christ. To be put simply, the Doctrine of Christ is what we have to do in order to make it back to Heavenly Father.  4 steps: faith, repentance, baptism, and receiving the gift of the holy ghost.  And then making sure that we continue to do those things as we endure to the end.  Our purpose as missionaries which can be found in Preach My Gospel is to "invite others to come unto Christ by helping receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end."  So as we talked about the Doctrine of Christ, we talked about how as we come to understand it better, it can help us to fulfill our purpose as missionaries!  I seriously felt so pumped and motivated as I left district meeting to go out and baptize all of West Allis.  Haha.  But after district meeting, our investigator had her baptismal interview and.... she passed!  I was nervous.  Not because I didn't think she was ready, but because I knew that Satan had been working pretty hard to make sure that she wouldn't be baptized.  So it was a huge relief when she passed!  We spent the rest of the day planning and preparing for her baptismal service the coming Saturday.


Me and my district with the Wisconsin State Fair's famous creme puffs.  They are huge!
Wednesday-  We went and did service for this woman that we met.   It was actually pretty cool because clear back when Sis. Newton was here, our goal for our transfer together was to find new investigators and people to teach through service.  We offered to give service to everyone that we met.  Nothing ever really came of it, but we tried really hard anyways.  haha.  But then this lady  called us up this week and asked us for our help to help her move.  She was a lady that Sis. Newton and I had met on the street clear back in May.  So we were able to go over and help her move and got to talk with her a lot as we packed up some boxes.  We got to talk a lot about the church.  And then before we left, we shared a scripture with her from the Book of Mormon.  It really touched her and she agreed to meet with us later to learn more about the church.  We won't be able to meet for a while because she is still in the process of moving so her schedule is pretty crazy, but I thought that was so cool!  Sis. Newton and I were praying for finding opportunities back in May and it finally payed off!  That is a testimony to me that no effort is wasted.  We are planting seeds and you never know who is going to call back, even if it is months later.

Thursday we had to do a lot more planning for our investigator's baptism.  We were also able to get in with a less active family for the first time in forever.  They have 2 little girls that haven't been baptized yet, so hopefully we will be able to start working with them.

Me with my favorite person in the whole wide world- Sis. Stewart!  She got me this skirt from Hong Kong!!  Isn't she the cutest?
Friday-  So I have been reading through the New Testament trying to learn more about the life of Christ and on Friday morning, I finished John.  So I am now done with the 4 gospels.  I have loved reading about Christ's life and I have learned so much from the example that he set for us.  I feel like I have a really long way to go, but I really have come to know my Savior better than ever before.  I have always wanted to have a strong relationship with Him.  All it takes is a little effort on our part.  I will tell you this much, I know that my Redeemer lives!
We were also able to have our last lesson with our investigator on Friday.  We answered any last questions that she had about her baptism and then talked about enduring to the end.  Baptism is great and important and it is our first covenant that we make with our Heavenly Father.  But then we have got to keep doing it and keep living the gospel!  The enduring to the end is the hard part.  But it is the part that makes it all worth it too!  We were also able to bear our testimonies to hear about how much we had seen her grown since we have been working with her, and also how much we have grown as missionaries as we have learned from her example as well.  It was a very powerful lesson and the Spirit was so strong!

Saturday- Her Baptism!!!  Saturday was nothing short of a miracle.  I think that she had been having a pretty rough morning before her baptism.  That, my friends, is how Satan works.  Lots of the friends and family that she invited to her baptism didn't come.  So I think she was a little sad about that.  But here is the cool thing about becoming a member of this church- You gain a ward family!  There were so many wonderful ward members there to show their love and support for her.  It really meant a lot to her.  President and Sister Cutler even came, so that was pretty cool.  I thought that I was going to be able to hold it together pretty well at the baptism, but... I am my mother's daughter.  I lost it at the opening song.  For the opening song we sang Lord, I Would Follow Thee. 
 Savior, may I learn to love thee,
Walk the path that thou hast shown,
Pause to help and lift another,
Finding strength beyond my own.
Savior, may I learn to love thee—
                                                           Lord, I would follow thee.

Aren't those lyrics absolutely beautiful?  "Savior, may I learn to love thee, walk the path that thou hast shown."  Here was our investigator getting ready to enter into the waters of baptism and follow the Savior's example.  She is beginning her walk down the path that He has shown.  "Pause to help and lift another, finding strength beyond my own."  Not gonna lie, this week had been pretty hard.  I felt a lot of opposition which I knew was Satan because of her baptism.  And I also was feeling kind of sad that I was missing Kenzie's wedding and Casey and Bryan moving and stuff.  But when I heard the words "pause to help and lift another"  I realized that I literally have put my life on pause to come here to Wisconsin to help others.  And at that moment as I was sitting by Tour investigator singing this song.  I knew that it was worth it.  She was worth it.  And this journey wasn't easy.  I definitely could not have been able to do it by myself.  I was able to "find strength beyond my own" as I turned to my Savior to help me through the difficult times.  "Savior, may I learn to love thee- Lord, I would follow thee."  Ultimately, I am trying to become more like my Savior.  I know that helping our investigator become closer to Christ has helped me to come closer to Christ as well.  What a blessing.
I don't know if any of those thoughts even make sense.  But to sum it up, that hymn was exactly what I needed to hear at that moment in time.  And I felt the Spirit probably one of the strongest times ever on my mission.

Then, she was baptized!  It was amazing and the Spirit was definitely there.  I know that she felt the Spirit.  After she was baptized and had changed, she came back out and sat by me.  I leaned over to her and whispered, "How do you feel?"  She paused for a second and looked at me and with a big smile on her face she said, "New."  Wow.  What an amazing daughter of God she is. 
I feel so blessed and humbled to have been able to teach her and help her on her journey back to our Heavenly Father.  After Saturday, I really do know without a doubt that this is right where I am supposed to be at this point in my life.  I am so grateful for my testimony of my Savior and how that has helped me through the ups and the downs in my life. 
The Church is so true!  I love you all so much!  Thank you for your love and prayers!!!
Love,
Sister King

Monday, August 4, 2014

Can You Believe It Is August??


So the sidewalks in West Allis always have these stamps on them that say the year they were constructed and the entire time I have been here I have been looking for one that said 1994 since that is the year I was born and I FINALLY found one this week!  It only took me 7 months... haha
Eli's baptism


Hello family!

 Another week has come and gone in West Allis. And can you believe it is August?? Me neither.

 Tuesday we had a really good district meeting. My district leader asked me to give a training on a conference talk that I had been studying lately. So I chose to talk about The Tender Mercies of the Lord by Elder Bednar. It's something that I have been thinking a lot about lately. I feel like the Lord blesses us with His tender mercies so much, that sometimes it can be hard to recognize them. But when we are making a conscious effort to recognize the Lord's hand in our lives, we find it there more abundantly then we ever even thought. I think especially as a missionary, there are so many miracles in my life everyday that sometimes it just becomes routine to have the Lord sending us so many blessings. If that makes sense... haha. We really need to take a step back and see how the Lord is blessing us and then thank Him for it. If we recognize those blessings and thank Him for them, I feel like He is probably more likely to keep blessing us. Also, the Lord's tender mercies are also how he can answer our prayers. So that is pretty cool too. This was totally one of those things that even though I was teaching our district about this, it was me that really needed to learn about it and study it. So I was grateful for that.

 That evening we had dinner with one of my very favorite families in the ward. They were actually inactive for about 20 years and just recently started coming back to church at the beginning of this year. It was seriously a miracle! I have felt so blessed to be a part of their journey. And they told us at dinner that he now has a calling in the Elders quorum presidency in our ward. He is so humble about it, it is amazing. It is so cool to see them so involved in the ward. The gospel truly has blessed their lives so much!

Then on Tuesday evening, it was time for our exchange for the transfer. Guess who got to go on another exchange with Sis. Tanner!! I was beyond excited. But this time, we got to go down to Kenosha together. Wednesday morning we woke up and got right to work in Kenosha. There is so much going on down there! We were able to visit many less active families and also some recent converts. (It was amazing how much work we could get done when we had a car... haha) We were also able to have a lesson with their investigator that just got baptized this past Saturday. We taught her about enduring to the end. It is so important that people understand that before they get baptized. Because they get baptized and that's great everything, but then you have to keep going! And that is the part that we are all at in life right now-- the keep going part. haha So it was really cool to be able to bear my testimony to her about that. It was also really fun to be able to just catch up with Sister Tanner. It was cool to see how far we had both come the last time we went on an exchange together, but it really amazed me to see how we had both learned and grown so much just since the last exchange that we went on. She is a great example to me.

 I got back to West Allis that evening just in time to be able to make it to our Relief Society's ice cream social! That was way fun. I just love all of the women in this ward so much! Our investigator came to the activity and really got to know a lot of the sisters in the ward which was AWESOME. They did this fun game where you bring 3 items in a paper bag that describe who you are and then everyone else has to guess who it is. With my limited supplies as a missionary, I put in a mini basketball, a candy bar, and a picture of Jesus. The whole ward could guess who I was right off the bat. Haha so that was really fun.

Thursday was an intense weekly planning session because we had a lot to plan for with our investigator's baptism coming up this week. But with the time that we did have, we spent it contacting people at the state fair! The state fair is HUGE in Wisconsin and is about a half a mile from our house. I love it because it brings out all of the normal people onto the streets... haha. So we have been able to teach a lot of people about the gospel as we walk and talk! We were able to meet this really cool lady that was working at a parking lot. We told her a little bit about our church and how the gospel of Jesus Christ blesses families. She really opened up to us about how her dad is an alcoholic and it is tearing their family apart. She asked how on earth Jesus Christ could help her family in this situation. I whipped out a Book of Mormon and read to her these verses from Alma chapter 7:
11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people. 12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.
In a nutshell, I explained to her that Christ has experienced all of the hard things that we have experienced and he gets it. And like it said in the end of verse 12, he did this so that he could know HOW to help us. He knows how because he has felt it. Because Jesus Christ overcame these things, with His help we can overcome them too. She was so touched that she asked if she could have a copy of the book I was reading from. Of course I told her yes! :) We then prayed with her and prayed for a special blessing on her father and her family. It moved her to tears. I know that the Spirit was there and I was glad that it was helping us teach.

 Friday we had a really good lesson with our investigator in the home of a family in our ward. They are an AWESOME family. Their son is leaving to go on his mission to Uruguay at the end of this month and he is going to be great. So we invited her over to their home for the lesson. It was cool because the mom and two of the kids stayed for the lesson and they were all able to bear their testimonies of the message that we shared. It was awesome and it really helped to make the lesson more powerful. So our investigator is getting ready for her baptism on Saturday! A lot can happen in a week and we have a lot that we need to do to make sure that she is 100% ready and to make sure that everything is ready for that day. So if you could plllllease keep her in your prayers. And also Sis. Silva and I. We can use all the help that we can get too. :)

 Later that night, a huge rainstorm rolled in while Sis. Silva and I were out and about. We had forgotten our umbrellas and our apartment was 2 buses away to run back to grab them. We felt that we really needed to contact one of our investigators anyway. So we endured through the crazy rain waiting at bus stops and such. We were praying so hard that Heavenly Father would bless us with a miracle for our diligence. However, the investigator that we went to see wasn't home. And we didn't meet anybody else either. I was really sad about that and I had so much faith that Heavenly Father was going to bless us. All I can think of is that those blessings are going to come later. :) So we got home SOPPING wet that night haha.

 Saturday was a miracle day in the West Allis ward! There was one primary baptism and 4 investigator baptisms! One of the sets of elders in our ward has been working really hard and they were able to help 4 of their investigator enter the waters of baptism that day. It was amazing to be able to witness that. The missionary spirit sure is alive in this ward! I am so excited to watch Our investigator be baptized this Saturday! I love you all so much! Please keep us in your prayers!

 Love, Sister King