Monday, September 29, 2014

The Book is always better :)

Hi family!!  
Thank you so much for your e-mails this week.  They were exactly what I needed.  Something that I have found is that the miracles on my mission are usually preceded by lots of opposition.  With our investigator's baptism coming up this week (which is nothing short of a miracle), I have really been feeling it.  But it is so worth it to get to see her enter the waters of baptism this Saturday.  Please keep her in your prayers as I am sure this week might be a tough one for her too.
Check out what is playing in Downtown Madison!

Tuesday was pretty amazing.  So we haven't really been able to meet consistently with our investigator  recently.  She is the one that had the dream and already knows that the church is true.  So that has been really frustrating.  I think that it has been the same with her- Satan really does NOT want her baptized, so he has been working really hard on keeping her from us.  While she says that she already believes the church is true, she has been having a hard time accepting the idea of modern prophets because she has had bad experiences in her past churches with their "prophets."  Because we hadn't really been able to get a hold of her, we stopped by her house to drop off a Spanish Book of Mormon because she also speaks Spanish.  Literally 10 seconds before we knocked on her door, she had found out that her step father had gotten in a crazy car accident and was rushing out to the hospital.  We were able to give her the book and also a card that we had made for her with a bunch of scriptures in the B of M that talk about trusting in God.  We handed those to her and she ran out the door yelling, "Oh by the way, I prayed about it and I know that Thomas Monson is a prophet!"  And she was off!  We went to the members home that lives next door to her, and she showed us her facebook post that said, "I really love this whole Book of Mormon thing!"  So that was a pretty big miracle.  Even though she is facing a lot of opposition and she hasn't really been able to meet with us a lot, she is still pushing through and turning to the Book of Mormon for answers, and she has been finding them!  We are going to be meeting with her this week.  So please keep our investigator in your prayers with everything that she has been going through too.

The book is always better :)

Wednesday we got to have interviews with President Cutler!  Towards the beginning of my mission, these interviews always made me really nervous.  But now I really look forward to them because they are a time when I receive so much revelation and also when I can really reflect back and see how far I have come and how much I have learned since the last interview.  I came with a couple of questions in mind that President Cutler answered without me even asking them.  He truly is inspired.  He made me feel a lot more confident in myself as a missionary.  Towards the end of my interview, we were starting to run out of time.  But President Cutler stopped and asked me if he could give me a blessing.  I was completely taken aback!  I have always wanted to ask President Cutler for a blessing, but have always been too scared.  But here he asked if he could and told me that he really wanted to and felt like he should.  It was such an amazing blessing with so many amazing promises and blessings.  Some of the things that really stuck out to me in the blessing was that I was promised that I will return home safely to you all.  So that's good to know. :)  He also talked about how I will face a lot of hard trials on my mission.  Some of them specifically will be hard companions, severe weather, and disappointments.  But I was promised that the Lord will help me through them and they will help me to learn and to grow.  There were a ton of other really cool stuff that was talked about.  In fact, as soon as President finished he turned to me and said, "Whoa.  That was a really good blessing."  So it was pretty awesome to get to have interviews this week.  We were also able to have lunch with our new investigator.  Technically she is in the campus ward so she should be taught by the campus elders and we were meeting with her to turn her over to them.  But she told us that she feels a lot more comfortable being taught by sisters, so we get to keep teaching her.  :)  She is pretty solid so I am excited for that.

Playing with the Halloween package that Sis. Brewster's family sent to her.

Thursday we had a lesson with our investigator preparing her for her baptismal interview.  And we also volunteered at a blood drive for the American Red Cross.

Friday was her baptismal interview and she passed!!!!!  So everything is official for this coming Saturday!  She is going to be baptized in between sessions of general conference.  It is going to be an awesome day!

Saturday the Spanish missionaries in our ward had a baptism!  It was pretty cool.  It was for a boy named Jaziel and he is a stud.  It was cool because now on my mission I have attended a Spanish funeral and a Spanish baptism.  I LOVE it because even though I have no idea what is going on or what is being said, the Spirit is still the same.  And the Spirit was super strong at the baptism.  We were also able to watch the General Women's meeting that night at our church building.  I loved it so much and it is making me so stoked for conference this coming weekend.  There is a living prophet on the earth today and he is going to talk to us guys!!!!!!  I am so stoked!
Jaziel got baptized on Saturday!  He is one of the Spanish members.

Thanks so much again for everything that you do for me!  I love you all so much and I already can't wait to hear from you again next week.  LOVE YOU!!

Sister King

Friday, September 26, 2014

He Doesn't Expect Perfection, Just Progression

So we had a pretty crazy week.  As usual.
Chillin on the bus

Tuesday we had district meeting and we talked about preparing people for baptism.  It was super awesome and made me super excited for our investigator's baptism coming up on October 4th.  She is actually going to be baptized in between sessions of conference so that is going to be a very spiritually overwhelming day but also probably the best day ever.  After district meeting we went to contact a headquarter referral that we received.  It ended up taking us to a frat house and turns out it was just a bunch of guys pulling a prank on their roommate.  So that was interesting... haha.  Gotta love UW Madison.  
We also got a really sweet phone call from President Cutler on Tuesday and he thanked us for all the hark work we have been doing in our area.  Last week we had 11 lessons taught to investigators with a member present, 20 other lessons, and 6 investigators at church.  Which are really good numbers if you don't know much about missionary work.  So that made us feel really good to know that our hard work is paying off!

Wednesday we had a lesson with a new investigator that we found on the bus .  She is the biggest sweetheart!  We started teaching her the Restoration, but only got through the first point.  We started talking about how God is our loving Heavenly Father and that really touched her.  She has never had a good relationship with her earthly father, so it really meant a lot to her that she could have the father and daughter relationship with God.  It was a super powerful lesson and she ended up coming to church yesterday!  Unfortunately, I think we are going to have to pass her off to the YSA Campus ward missionaries, but we still love her a lot! :)
We had another lesson with another investigator  and we talked a lot about prophets and how it is necessary that we have modern prophets on the earth today.  She hasn't had good experiences with the "prophets" in her past churches, so we are helping her to warm up to the idea.  How perfect is it that conference is next week though?  She will fall in love with President Monson!  In the words of Elder Christiansen on The District, "You can always put your money on the prophet."

Thursday was a miracle day.  We have been preparing our investigator for her baptismal interview which is this coming Friday.  She has been pretty nervous and so we wanted to do something to help her feel better.  President Hassler of the mission presidency is going to be doing her interview, so we had dinner with Rachel in the Hassler's home.  It was an amazing experience.  The Hassler's are an incredible family.  President Hassler was called to serve as an area seventy when he was newly married and President Hinckley is the one who set him apart.  In that blessing, he was promised that if he made missionary work the center of his home, none of his children would go astray.  He took that promise VERY seriously, and they have had over 30 non member friends baptized over the years!!!  You should listen to the CD "The Missionary Next Door" if you want to hear more about them.  They are a cool family.  Anyway, having dinner and getting to know the Hassler family really helped her to feel better about her interview.  Please keep her in your prayers this week as her baptismal interview approaches.

Friday we were able to volunteer at St. Vincent's food pantry again.  I really like volunteering there.  Sometimes missionary work can be hard because we help people in more of a long term way and don't always see the fruits of our labors.  But at St. Vincent's, I see people come and get food for their hungry families right away.  So that is really rewarding.  And everyone there LOVES the Mormon missionaries.  We had a few lessons with some recent converts the rest of the day

Saturday we had our missionary correlation meeting, and a few other lessons with investigators that aren't really progressing.  But then we were able to have dinner at the Thurston's!  Our favorites!!  :)

Over all, this was a really good week!  We are continuing to see miracles.  Thank you so much for your prayers.  I could really feel them when I needed them this week.  I love you so much!!!  Have an awesome week!!

So pretty much how we spend our time is knitting while we listen to MoTab.  I think it is safe to say that we have turned into a couple of 90 year old ladies.

Sister King

Monday, September 15, 2014

Another crazy week in Madison!

Another crazy week in Madison.  It has been a lot colder this week.  :(  It reminds me that winter is around the corner...haha And also I've been a little sick.  But we have still been working hard!

Tuesday was awesome.  I had my first Zone Training Meeting in Madison.  It was kind of weird because I had always been in the same zone my whole mission, so it was different to be in a new zone.  But it turned about to be an amazing training meeting.  We talked about becoming more consecrated missionaries.  It was really good and really made me reflect on my mission and what I can do to become more consecrated.  I feel like consecrating yourself to the Lord is what really changes you.  We talked about some examples of consecrated missionaries and prophets in the Book of Mormon.  I think my favorite would probably be Mormon.  He literally devoted his whole life to abridging the records so that we could have the Book of Mormon today.  How grateful I am that Mormon was consecrated to the Lord!  Also- he was doing this while his entire nation was literally being demolished.  That sounds like it would have been easy to give up and wonder if all the work he was doing was even worth it.  I am grateful for that example.  I think that consecration is important because it is a Celestial Law.  Now is the time to learn to live it!
After Zone training meeting we got to go to the Thurston's the celebrate Sam's birthday :)
Wednesday was pretty busy.  We were able to have lunch with a less-active woman in the ward.  We have really starting building a strong relationship with her and I hope that she will begin to trust us as we share the gospel with her.  She is also really good at knitting and has been teaching me how to knit, so I am working on knitting myself a scarf for the crazy winter that lies ahead.  We were also able to have a lesson with our investigator.  She goes to UW.  Her boyfriend is a member and is a starter for the Badger football team!  So it has been fun to teach her.  She is progressing, but wants to make sure that she is doing this for the right reasons.  So we have just been focusing on helping her to recognize her answers.
Thursday we had exchanges with my new sister training leaders.  I was beyond nervous because I was going to be staying in my area and having my STL, Sister Bennett, come here.  I have only been in the area for 2 weeks and still don't really know my way around or anything.  But I did manage not to get us lost. :)  We had a lesson with an investigator.  She had actually been in the hospital this past week so we haven't really been able to start teaching her very many of the lessons, but we were able to read from the Book of Mormon with her.  So that was awesome.  We also had our Relief Society activity that night which was really fun!  We had an investigator and a less active member come!  That was awesome and I was glad that my STL was there to see that.
Friday we were able to go to service at the St. Vincent's food pantry.  Even though it is a Lutheran organization, they LOVE the Mormon missionaries there.  It is always such a humbling experience to go there and help people to pick out food for themselves and their families.  Then we had a lesson with an investigator .  He is a good friend of a recent convert.  We read 3 Nephi 18 and talked about the importance of the Sacrament and coming to church.  it was a super powerful lesson.  He didn't end up coming to church this week.... but it was still a good lesson :)  then we exchanged back and I was beyond glad to have Sister Brewster back!  We really have grown to love each other and we work really well together.
Saturday morning we had a lesson with an investigator.  Her baptismal date is still looking pretty solid for October 4 so I am beyond excited for that!  We taught her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the different steps that we have to take to make it back to him.  But we got hung up on baptism for a while because she is just so excited about it!  :)  We also had another lesson with another investigator and we got to meet some of her family members.  They are not interested in learning more, but I think after meeting us they will be a lot more supportive about her decision to be baptized so I was grateful for that. 
Sunday was great.  We had 6 investigators at church!  It was awesome!  After church, our apartment complex had a little party for everyone that lives there to get to know each other better.  Sis Brewster and I decided to go to get to know our neighbors a little bit better and so that they would all know that we are missionaries for our church so that they can ask us if they have any questions.  When we got there, we were the only white people there.  EVERYONE that lives in our apartment complex is either Chinese or Indian.  Haha it was kinda fun though because we were totally the life of the party.  I ended up talking to the neighbors that live right about us.  She just moved here from China.  I told her that I was a missionary for my church and then she read the name "Jesus Christ" on my tag and got really excited.  She said that there was a little group of friends that she had at school right before she moved here and they would get together and try to study the Bible together to learn more about who Jesus Christ is.  She said that she has always felt drawn to Christ and that even though she doesn't know much about him, she has faith that he lives!  Wow that was so amazing to me!  She barely knows anything about Christ besides his name, yet she was willing to have the faith the believe in him.  I told her that what we do as missionaries is teach people more about Jesus Christ and she just couldn't give me her phone number and information fast enough.  She told me that she was super nervous to come to church and learn more because her English is not very good and she has a really hard time understanding it.  I promised her right then and there that we would work together and we would pray to our Heavenly Father for help and that she would be able to understand.
She the stopped me and said, "I think that God led us to each other to meet each other.  I had been praying that once I moved to America I would be given the opportunity to learn more about Jesus Christ." 
It was seriously an amazing experience.  I LOVE being a missionary.  I love serving here in Madison.  I am so grateful for the blessings that I have seen in my life from this gospel.  I love you all and hope that you have a great week!!!
Sister King

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Greetings from MADTOWN!

Hi family!

So I am officially in Madison, Wisconsin and I have absolutely LOVED every second of it so far!  Let me start off by telling you a little bit about this area.  It is very similar to West Allis in some ways, and very different in other ways.

First of all, there is a TON going on here.  We have been crazy busy and I absolutely love it.  We have a lot of pretty neat investigators that we are working with.  The ward is so super awesome.  So many of them are missionary minded and drop what they are doing to help us out so it is the biggest blessing.  Sounds like you know that the Durtshi's are in this ward!  They are so awesome!  He is in the bishopric and she is the Relief Society president.  I am super excited to get to work with them some more.

There is also a Thurston family in this ward!  It is one of Norm Thurston's sons that just moved out here with his wife to go to graduate school at UW.  So I've got family here which is pretty cool.  Plus Sis. Thurston is the coolest.  She is a return missionary and she drives us around pretty much everyday and comes to lessons and stuff.  So that has been AWESOME.  The ward here is actually half Spanish.  So at church on Sunday they say one of the sacrament prayers in English and the other in Spanish.  And there are four sets of missionaries in the ward.  FOUR!  2 sets of Spanish missionaries and a set of English elders and then us.  So that is pretty crazy.  But the ward takes very good care of us.

Sis. Brewster and me with the Thurston's!
We are pretty much in the heart of Madison.  So we are on the University of Wisconsin campus a lot.  Like right now I am e-mailing from a library on campus.  Everyone here is super duper liberal.  Even more so than West Allis.  So that has been a little different too.  The buses here are WAY better than Milwaukee.  They get us pretty much every where you need to go and they have these transfer points where lots of buses meet at so that you can switch buses there if you need to.  So the buses here really aren't that bad.

My new companion's name is Sister McKenzie Brewster and she is the  She is seriously the cutest.  She is 20 years old, from Phoenix, Arizona and has been on her mission for about 15 months so she is winding down.  In fact we think that I might even be her last companion.  She goes home in December.  I just asked her what else I should tell you guys about her and she said to tell you that she is smoking hot.  So yeah, we get along pretty well.  :)
As for the week- it has been crazy!

Tuesday was full of a lot of goodbyes and it was really hard.  In the morning I got to see Sarah and we ate lunch together and watched the Testaments.  It was hard to say bye to her because I am going to miss her, but I do feel so confident that she is going to stay active in the gospel.  So that made it a little easier.  I spent the rest of the day finishing packing up and saying goodbye to some of my favorite families.  At the end of the night, Sis. Stewart drove us home and saying bye to her was pretty rough too.

I am really going to miss being so close to the senior office missionaries.

Saying goodbye to Sarah and Elizabeth :(

Oh and this is a mammoth tooth... haha

Wednesday was transfer day!  We got up in the morning and headed over to the church around 9.  We met with a bunch of other missionaries there who were either being transferred or waiting for their new companions to come.  What they do is have everyone meet together in Osh Kosh, Wisconsin, and they disperse back out to the different zones that they need to go to.  It was fun because on the ride of up Oshkosh, I got to sit with Sister Osmond!  #tendermercy  I got to Madison probably around 2 and met Sister Brewster!  We hit it off pretty fast.  I absolutely love that girl.  It's been a pretty smooth companion-wise transitioning so I am very grateful for that.  Especially because it was so hard to leave West Allis.  So I am grateful for Sister Brewster.

When I got here, I didn't even have time to unpack!  We got right to work!  It was great!  We had some appointments with less active members.  But I was grateful for that because immediately I got to get to know some of the people that we are working with.  Then on Wednesday nights we help the Spanish elders teach an English class so that was pretty fun.  And then a bunch of the Spanish members and less actives stay afterward to play indoor soccer.  I really wish I had paid a little more attention in Spanish class in high school.  If you know me, you know that the only thing that I remember is "Yo tengo queso en mi pantelones" and that doesn't get me very far.  But hopefully I will be able to learn some more Spanish while I am here!

Thursday we had a really long weekly planning so that Sis. Brewster could tell me all about all the people that we are working with.  Like I said before, we are working with a lot of people!  So I was glad to get to know them a little bit better.  Then we got to go over to the Durtshi's house and take one of our investigators to a card-making class that Sis. Durtshi teaches.  It was really awesome and you will probably be getting some really cute cards in the mail sometime soon.

On Friday's here in Madison, we go to a food pantry called St. Vincent's to volunteer in the morning.  It is super fun!  I am excited to get to start doing that some more.  Later we had a lesson with an investigator.  We got to teach him the Restoration and it was mine and Sis. Brewster's first time teaching the Restoration together.  I thought it went pretty well!  I will let you know more about how he is doing next week.  We also got to go and visit a recent convert that lives in an assisted living center.  She was having a really bad day so we took her down to the activity room and I played the piano for her and we sang some songs.  She loved it and lots of the other residents there came and joined in!  It was awesome and the Spirit was really strong.  Hopefully we will be able to start teaching some of those people soon.

Saturday morning we had our missionary correlation meeting with our brand new ward mission leader.  His name is Brother Delorey and he is so awesome!  I can tell that is going to do a lot for us so I am excited for that.  Then we had a ward soccer tournament!  It was awesome.  Because the ward is half Spanish, there are a lot of people that like to play soccer.  I actually played really well at the tournament and scored 2 goals- one off of a header.  So now all the little Spanish children think I am pretty cool.  haha.  We had a few other appointments that day and on the way home at the end of the night we were walking through this park and met this guy.  He has a really cute little family that he loves so much so we taught him a little bit about the plan of salvation and he got really excited!  So we will be meeting with him and his family this week.  

Sister Osmond

Sister Packer

Sunday was awesome.  I got to meet a lot more of the members in the ward!  This ward is pretty much a young married couples ward.  Lots of the members are recently married and going to school at UW.  So that has been fun.  They are all really cool.  After church, we got to have a lesson with our investigator. We taught her about the Plan of Salvation and how we can be sealed as families forever.  She loved it!
Monday we had a crazy cool lesson with another  investigator.  She is going to school at UW right now.  We had a really awesome lesson with her about Alma 32 and how faith leads to action.  And then we commited her to be baptized on October 4!  It was one of the coolest lessons that I have had on my mission so far! The night before we were planning on teaching her the Plan of Salvation, but when we were praying about it in the morning we really felt like we needed to just talk to her about baptism.  That lesson was totally 100% by the Spirit.  And now she has a baptismal date that she is working towards.  It is so awesome!

So basically we have been crazy busy!  We are usually frantically running around from appointment to appointment and trying to catch buses.  I have been completely and utterly exhausted everyday since I have been here and I LOVE IT!  I wouldn't have it any other way.  I miss West Allis everyday, but I am so grateful to be in Madison and I know that this is where the Lord needs me right now.  I love this gospel and I love being a missionary.  Hope you all have a great week!!  Love you!

Sister King