Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Farewell Sister Hammatt, Hello Sister Kelley!

Hello Family!

Man, this week has been pretty crazy with transfers and everything.  But it has been a really good week too.  The weather is really starting to get pretty cold.  We have got quite the winter ahead of us, folks! 
Sister Kelley and me

So... what you have all been waiting for.  My new companion is Sister Amanda Kelley and she is absolutely amazing.  She is from Riverton, Utah and has been out for about 4 months.  She went to BYU for a year before leaving on her mission and is studying Public Health.  She is the oldest of 4 and they are all brothers.  She served in Wisconsin Rapids before coming to Madison.  She is an amazing missionary.  There is so much that I can learn from her.  We already get along so well and we have a lot of the same goals and are both here to work hard.  So I am grateful for that.  I am grateful that she is the companion that I get to spend both Thanksgiving and Christmas with.  We are going to have a lot of fun and see a lot of miracles.  I can tell.  :)

But... Back to the beginning of the week.

Saying goodbye to Sis. Hammatt

How we really felt about saying goodbye...
The quote wall the Sis. Hammatt and I created of all the funny things that were said this transfer.

Tuesday was just full of goodbyes.  Sister Hammatt had to say goodbye to all of the people here which was rough.  So we spent the day saying goodbye to people and packing.  It was really cool to be able to have one last lesson with a newly baptized member.  The three of us have a special relationship together.  Usually investigators go through a couple different missionaries before they get baptized because of transfers and stuff like that, but this girl was just so prepared that it didn't take her long.  So Sister Hammatt and I are the only missionaries she has known.  It has been quite the journey that we had together and I will never forget the things that we learned. 

Wednesday was TRANSFERS!  Crazy.  I can't believe that another transfer has already come and gone.  That transfer sure went by fast.  We got up early in the morning to drive to the transfer point and then the moment that I had been dreading all transfer came... I had to say goodbye to Sister Hammatt.  :(  I really learned so much from her and I am so grateful for the amazing example that she is for me.  I know that she is going to have an amazing rest of her mission in Florida.  But still tough to say goodbye.  Pretty much the duration of the day was spent waiting at the church for my new companion to get here.  From the moment that I met Sister Kelley, I could tell that we were going to get along great.  Still going to miss Sister Hammat, but excited about Sister Kelley.  Also- I was thinking.  I have had 3 companions in all of my areas.  That doesn't usually happen.  But it was nice because I had already had to introduce a new companion to the area before so it was a lot easier this time.  We were able to go to Rachel's house for dinner that night so that was a lot of fun. 

Thursday most of the day was spent weekly planning to teach Sister Kelley about the area.  And then we were able to volunteer at the American Red Cross for a blood drive.  So kind of a slow day.  But still good.  Later that night we were able to meet with one of our investigators.  She is planning on telling her family over Thanksgiving that she wants to be baptized and she is super nervous about it.  We brought the Bishop's wife to the lesson with us.  She was her age and dating a member when she was baptized.  And her family is super Catholic as well.  So it was really cool to have her there to bear her testimony to this investigator and give her some tips on how to talk to her family.  We are excited and nervous to see how this Thanksgiving goes for her!

Friday we spent the day visiting a lot of less actives in the area.  We were contacting some people on our ward's "lost sheep" list and we ended up finding this 97 year old woman named June in a nursing home.  When we got there she said, "I was wondering when the church would find me." haha.  June is very active and has a strong testimony but is just too old and frail to come to church.  So we were able to help the ward set up some people to take her the Sacrament on Sundays.  And hopefully we will get to continue visiting June.  :)

Saturday we met with the newly baptized member and we were able to teach her the first new member lesson.  We were kind of nervous to see how she would react to a new missionary, but she LOVES Sister Kelley!  So she is still doing so well!  She even went to institute this week!  She pretty much just dove head first into this gospel and has loved the blessings that it has brought into her life.   On Saturday we contacted were contacting a potential and ended up finding a family!  We have a return appointment with them this week so you can keep this family on your radar.  I so badly want to find a family with the months that I have left on my mission.  I have been praying so hard for that miracle to happen and this could be it!  :)

Over all, good week this week!  Change is always hard, especially with transfers.  But I am excited about the potential that we have this transfer. 

I hope that everyone has an amazing Thanksgiving this year.  I love this quote from President Uchtdorf from his talk 2 conferences ago about gratitude. 

"We sometimes think that being grateful is what we do after our problems are solved, but how terribly shortsighted that is. How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before thanking God that there is rain?"

Thanksgiving is an amazing time for us to take a step back and recognize the blessings that God has given us.  But one goal that I have for this Thanksgiving is to work on having more of an attitude of gratitude.  God does not expect us to be less grateful during the hard times that he does during the good times.  We need to continually be thanking our Heavenly Father for the things we have.  Not just once a year on a Thursday in November.

D&C  78:19
 19 And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.

I hope that you have an amazing Thanksgiving.  Please know that I am so grateful for you and that I will be thinking of you on Thursday!  Love you!!

Sister King

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Timpview Baptisms!

Hi family!
First snow fall of the year.  And so it begins....

I don't have a lot of time to write this week because there are so many crazy things happening with transfers coming up so I will just have to cram as much information in as I can in a small amount of time.  So bear with me!  
Timpview represent!  Elder Baird and me with our investigators as they are about the be baptized!

Okay, so first of all, I just found out that my new companion's name is Sister Kelley.  I  know hardly anything about her, so it will be interesting to meet her this week.  Transfers are on Wednesday so that is when she will officially become my new companion.  She looks really cute though!  And I feel really good about it so I am really excited.  NOT excited to say goodbye to Sister Hammatt.  But change is a big part of a mission is something that I have come to learn.  And I am excited to see what this new transfer has in store.

Tuesday was pretty cool.  In order to prepare for District meeting our DL asked us to use the proclamation to the family in our finding.  We were so busy with our appointments that we hadn't really had an opportunity to do it.  So we went out right before district meeting to try to find some new investigators using the Proclamation.  We prayed so hard that we would be able to find someone.  The first person that we talked to on the street  LOVED the proclamation.  She ate it right up!  The thing is, it is so easy to just talk to people about their families.  And this gospel blesses families!  Because of it, we get to be with our families forever!  So relating it back to the Restoration of the gospel is usually pretty smooth.  So that was pretty successful and we found a cool new investigator out of it.  So then we went to district meeting and got to talk all about families.  It was really cool.  Of course, it made me miss you guys a lot.  But I am just so grateful that we are an eternal family.  We will have plenty of time to hang out in the eternities.  Then we had a district testimony meeting that was really powerful.  In some ways, we are like a family too.  So it was cool to hear their testimonies.  They have been my favorite district on my mission so far.  

This has been my favorite district so far on my mission!

Then later that night, we got to have a lesson with the girl getting baptized.  We just went over a few last things before she had her baptismal interview and she PASSED WITH FLYING COLORS!  It was so awesome.  Afterward when we were praying with her and this is what she said in her prayer that really touched me.  She said, "Thank you so much for giving me what I have been looking for my entire life."  She is such a miracle and she never ceases to amaze me.
Found a mural of people protesting in Madison, so naturally had to take a picture in front of it :)

Say hello to Elim!

Wednesday was exchange day!  I got to go back with Sister Brewster which was really fun!  It is always fun to reminisce with old companions.  We got to go work in the Madison 2 area.  We worked with a lot of recent converts and less actives.  It was really fun to be able to teach with her again.  And it was fun to be in a car too :)  But I was super excited to get back to my area to finish getting ready for our investigator's baptism.  And to see Sis. Hammatt again. 
Exchanges with Sis. Brewster!  Check it out- we are both in a car!  haha

Thursday was the first day of snow!  And also the day that Sis Hammatt and I created our Christmas corner.  We met with an investigator and taught her the Plan of Salvation.  We extended a baptismal date in January.  We had prayed about it and felt really good about the date that we were going to extend.  But then she said no... haha.  We were really scared that we maybe had scared her off.  But she texted us yesterday and said that after a few days of letting it sink it, she feels good about working towards January for baptism.  So that was a huge miracle.  We also met with the girl who will be getting baptized on Thursday and taught her all about the temple.  She loved it and is excited to be able to go do baptisms for the dead.  And Sis Hammatt might even be able to take her in the 2 weeks that she has at home before she heads out on the rest of her mission.
We went back with Shay and took a picture in front of the bus stop where we met her!  ps- that is hot chocolate that she is drinking, not coffee haha

Love this girl!

Saturday was one of the most amazing days of my entire life.  HER BAPTISM!!!  Everything ran so smoothly.  It was perfect.  Elder Baird had a baptism that day too, so we combined them into one.  How cool is that?  She bore such a powerful testimony after she was baptized about how her whole life she felt like something was missing and that she knows that she has found it!  It was so amazing.  I know that I specifically was supposed to be here in Madison to find this person!  I have seen the Lord's hand so much in my life the past transfer.  I know that He knows me and loves me and is looking out for me.  And I know that He knows our newly baptized member and that He knew that she was prepared to hear the gospel.  That is why He placed her at the bus stop with us that day.

We are now taking donations to help decorate our Christmas corner!!!!!!

Casually enjoying our Christmas corner.

I am so grateful for this gospel and the chance that I have to share it.  Thank you for your love and support!  Can't wait to hear from you next week!

Sister King

Monday, November 10, 2014

It's not every day your companion gets a mission call! :)

Hello Family!!!  

Tampa Florida for this girl!!!
As always, it is so good to hear from all of you.  It has definitely been cooling down here in Wisconsin and winter is right around the corner, but the work here is still going strong!
We had a pretty busy week this week which is just how I like it.
All the sisters in the Madison zones

Reunion with Sis Brewster

Tuesday we got to meet with a few recent converts in the ward and then we also got to meet with a girl who will be baptized soon!  This week was pretty much centered around her because we have so much to teach her before her baptism THIS SATURDAY.  We taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It was cool because when we got to talking about baptism, I asked her what helped her make the decision to be baptized.  She talked about how she had always felt that something was missing in her life.  But ever since she met us that day at the bus stop, that hole that she has felt is starting to be filled.  And every time she meets with us she feels a little less empty.  She just has such amazing faith.  Everyday I just can't believe what an amazing miracle she is.  I just remember that I was so grateful for the amazing experiences I had teaching Sarah while I was being trained.  More than anything I wanted Sis. Hammatt to be able to have those same experiences.  We prayed so hard the first day that we were together to be able to have a baptism this transfer.  And the thing is- it is not anything that we did!  It has just all been miracle after miracle and tender mercy after tender mercy.  It was the Lord, and Sis. Hammatt and I have just been instruments in his hands in helping Shay to come to the fold.  We are so excited for this Saturday

Wednesday we met with a few of our investigators in the singles ward.  We taught another investigator and she is still going strong.  Instead of setting a baptismal date with her, we set a "tell your parents you are getting baptized" date with her.  So we are really hoping that goes well.  We talked about obedience and how important it is that we are obedient to the commandments of the Lord.  There are 3 reasons that we are obedient.  The first is fear.  We are scared of the consequences that will come if we aren't obedient.  The second is desire for blessings.  We are obedient because we desire the blessings that come from it.  (I think that the second category is where most of us fall).  And the last reason- and the one we are all striving for- is love for the Lord.  We should be obedient because we love the Lord and want to do what He asks of us no matter what it is.  I think that we are obedient for all of these reasons throughout our lives.  But being obedient out of love for the Lord is something that we all need to learn to do in this life.  We will never be perfect, but I am so grateful for my mission and the opportunity that I have had to begin learning how to do that.
The missionaries in the Madison 1st ward

The Madison 1 ward building

Thursday we had zone conference.  I LOVE ZONE CONFERENCE.  I think that is one of the things that I will miss most about my mission.  In fact, I might look up where the Provo mission zone conferences are and sneak in a couple of times later on in life... haha.  But this time we talked all about the Book of Mormon and how important it is.  Lots of people try to become "Preach My Gospel missionaries" and that is great.  But President Cutler wants us to become "Book of Mormon missionaries."  It is amazing because I can feel that more and more everyday of my life.  Zone conference was great and I always leave them feeling so motivated to be a better missionary. 

But the highlight this week was Thursday night because Sis. Hammatt got to open her mission call!  She will be serving in the Florida Tampa mission!!  I am beyond stoked for her.  Abby- you were spot on my friend!  Good work.  She is super excited and I am super excited for her.  Not excited that she is going to be leaving me... :(  But excited nonetheless.  It was cool because our investigator got to come and watch Sis Hammatt open her call.  It was a very spiritual experience for all of us.
The Hammatt family

Sis. Hammatt and me with our investigator

Friday we met with the girl who is getting baptized on Saturday again because we have a lot to teach her.  We talked about the Law of Chastity and also Tithing.  Both went over very well and she is excited to start following these commandments.  We also met a couple of cool people on the bus this past week and set up church tours with them on Friday.  None of them showed... haha.  But that's cool. The girl who is getting baptized next Saturday made Friday worth it.

Saturday we got to see Rachel.  She is still doing so well.  She has seen so many blessings in her life since her decision to be baptized.  We got to teach her all about patriarchal blessings and she is so excited to get hers.

Sunday was a cool day because I realized that it was my one year anniversary for going through the temple!  Isn't that crazy?  I am so beyond grateful for the covenants that I have made in the House of the Lord.  How cool is it that we can make promises with our Heavenly Father and he promises us so many amazing blessings in return.  I love this scripture in the Book of Mormon about covenants:

1 Nephi 14:14

 14 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory.

Our covenants really do empower us.  I have literally FELT that on my mission.  It is crazy because in the past 9 months I have only gone to the temple 1 time, yet my testimony of temples has increased ten fold as I have studied this gospel and taught it to others.  I am so grateful for temples and the blessings that they are in our lives.  And you should all go to the temple!  There are about a bajillion temples so close by.  GO!  It's the best place in the world.

So this week has been pretty awesome in case you haven't been able to tell.  I just wanted to share one more thing from this week.  In our lesson with Rachel, we were discussing  some of the talks that were given in Stake Conference last week.  The stake president talked about doubt and what we can do to have faith rather than fear.  So we kind of got on the topic of doubt.  And Rachel said something that I will never forget.  She said, "If we make it to the end and it turns out all of this isn't true.... Then it should be!"  Haha I just love that.  This gospel should be true!  Look at everything that has come from it.  I look at my life and everything that I love and all of the blessings that I have and they have come directly from living the principles of this gospel.  I LOVE THIS GOSPEL.  It makes me so happy.  It should be true!  And it is true.  I know that it is.  I love the opportunity that I have to tell everyone about it everyday.  I love the fact that it is all that I ever talk about.  I love being a missionary. 
It's not every day your companion gets a mission call!  :)

Thanks so much for being the best family ever.  And if you could keep the girl who is getting baptized on Saturday  in your prayers this week, that would be very much appreciated!!!

I love you!!

Sister King