Monday, February 23, 2015

I may or may not be an icicle, but I am alive!

Hey Family!

Got to meet Elder Shaum!  I remember Grandma saying that we are related or something!  :)

Sister Weaver and me.  With a classy fire hydrant in the background.

So since I am in a car area now it is my responsibility to stand behind Sister Weaver and back her up.  (It's a rule in the white handbook.)  But usually I just make faces at her in the rear view camera instead.

Yes I am still alive!  I may or may not be an icicle, but I am alive!  This week was pretty crazy cold, but we managed to survive.   Wausau has been treating me pretty nicely so far.  I definitely feel a little more settled in.  Still trying to adjust- it is completely different from the other 2 areas I have served in.  But I love it here!  There is so much potential in this area and I think our success will depend on what we choose to do with it.  Sister Weaver and I are pretty excited!

Tuesday we spent some time finding and planning our training for zone conference later in the week.  We also had a lesson with our investigator family.  We taught them the Law of Chastity.  (We ended up teaching the LOC a ton this week... haha)  One of them actually had studied to be a sex therapist so that was by far the most interesting Law of Chastity lesson I have ever taught on my mission and my life as well.  But they are progressing.  Slowly, but progression nonetheless.  They have been investigating since last summer so hopefully we will be able to get a move on things with them.

Wednesday we had a pretty neat experience.  We had a few different appointments that morning that all had fallen through.  It was the worst...  We went to our investigators house for an appointment with them and, you guessed it!  They weren't there.  But their roommate  answered the door.  He invited us in to wait for the investigators to get home.  As we were waiting, we started talking to him and getting to know him a little bit.  He told us that he has 3 beautiful children, but had been having some marriage problems which is why he had been crashing with these guys for the last little while.  Sister Weaver and I started bearing our testimonies of the Atonement and I pulled out a Book of Mormon and told him how I learned more about the Savior and the Atonement as I read from it.  He took it in his hands, looked at it for a moment, and looked up at me and said, "This book is going to help my family.  Isn't it?"  Why yes.  Yes it is!  The Spirit was so powerful in that moment.  I remember thinking as we were leaving that house how incredible our Heavenly Father is.  To me, it appeared to just be yet another appointment that had fallen through.  But the Lord used us as instruments in His hands to help this guy and his family to draw closer to each other and closer to Jesus Christ.  It also made me stop and think about how having our family founded on Jesus Christ really is what has been the biggest strength to us.  And I am so grateful for that!

Thursday was Zone Conference!!  My first zone meeting in Wausau so that was pretty fun.  Sister Weaver and I gave a training on the importance of working with the members.  We talked about some examples in the Book of Mormon of member missionary work.  There is Abish who invited everyone to come and see King Lamoni and listen to Ammon.  There are the members that fasted and prayed in behalf of Alma the Younger to help him to see the light again.  And there is my personal favorite, Amulek, who testified with Alma to the people of Ammonihah.  We got a pretty good discussion going and I don't think it was too bad for my very first training.  But we can only improve from here I guess!  :)  President Cutler trained us on the doctrine of the Plan of Salvation and how the Atonement of Jesus Christ is what makes the plan possible.  I love 2 Nephi 2:6-8 that talks about that.  One of my new favorite scriptures!

 Wherefore, redemption cometh in and through the Holy Messiah; for he is full of grace and truth. Behold, he offereth himself a sacrifice for sin, to answer the ends of the law, unto all those who have a broken heart and a contrite spirit; and unto none else can the ends of the law be answered.
 Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise.

Also, President Cutler gave us this packet of deep doctrine questions concerning the P.O.S. and the answers that he has found to them in the scriptures.  Pretty much the coolest thing ever.  President Cutler should be the next prophet.  He also told us that if our investigators ask us questions about the plan that we don't know, to read Alma 37:11 with them.
11 Now these mysteries are not yet fully made known unto me; therefore I shall forbear.
Haha needless to say he used that verse for a couple of the deep doctrine questions that we asked him as well.
And when we got back to our area, we got to go play volleyball with all of the hmong members!  Volleyball is to these Hmong members as soccer was to the Spanish members in Madison.  haha

Friday we met with our investigator.  She REALLY wants to get baptized but is having a hard time giving up smoking.  We had a powerful lesson on the power of the priesthood and then brought a member with us to give her a blessing.  So we are praying that all will go well with that so that she can get baptized in the coming weeks!

Running out of time, but I sure do love you guys!  We are seeing miracles everyday.  I am so grateful for you guys and all that you do for me!  Till next week!

Sister King

Monday, February 16, 2015

Hello from Wausau everybody!

This is our house!

Man what a crazy week.  Transfers are always pretty crazy and EXHAUSTING.  But we made it through. 
So to start out, here is a little update on my life.
My new companion is Sister Ashley Weaver and we came out from the MTC together.  So we have both been out just over a year.  (Actually, yesterday we both celebrated our 13 month mark.  So that was fun!)  She is from Salem, Oregon and is 24 years old.  She graduated from BYU Idaho in 2012 in Creative Writing.  She has served in Waukesha which is in Milwaukee (not too far from West Allis) and Sun Prairie (which is not too far from Madison). 
And a little more about Wausau.  So first of all, it is significantly colder here than in Madison.  And a lot more snow.  So that has taken some getting used to.  But- we do have a car!  We drive a brand new 2015 Subaru Legacy.  (I know, right??)  Wausau is ssssssuper hilly.  Like there are just hills everywhere.  And it is the funniest thing- there is one hill here that is a little taller than the others and they call it "Rib Mountain."  hahahahahahahahaha to them thinking that it is a mountain.  It was so refreshing that you guys sent me so many pictures of Timp this week.  I will have to send you a picture of what I call Rib Hill one of these days.  We don't have an apartment, we live in this cute little house.  And we live right across the street from.... you guessed it- a Cheese Factory.  Wausau is pretty much what you would imagine a town/city in Wisconsin to be like.  There is a large population of Hmong people here.  There is a set of Hmong speaking elders in our ward. And then the Zone Leaders are in our ward too.  

Sister Weaver and I doing Valentine's Day right!
Obviously I can't be 100% sure, but I would be willing to bet that this will be my last area.  So everyone can send everything to this address and don't send anything to the mission office.
So this week was pretty much just saying goodbye to everyone in Madison and then meeting a bunch of new people here in Wausau.  So not a ton to report on the week.  Sister Weaver is still pretty new to the area so we are both learning a lot together as we go along.  We have been trying to meet more of the members in the ward.  It has been cool because a few times we have gotten the wrong address and end up finding someone at that address that let's us in to teach them the first lesson.  We are working on building up the teaching pool and trying to find more people to teach.

One last picture with the T-birds in Madison before transfers

My favorite person

Dinner at the Durtschi's

Goodbyes with Rachel

Brunch with Kendall



The Thurston's



And goodbye to my best friend!

I am sorry that this letter is so short!  But I am outta time!  I love you guys so much!  Until next week!
Sister King

Monday, February 9, 2015

Goodbye Madison!

Hello Family!

Well, another transfer has come and gone.  Crazy how time flies.  As it sounds like most of you already know, I found out that I am going to be transferred this week.  I have been really sad about it, but I trust that the Lord has good things in store for me.  So I just found out that I am going to be transferred to Wausau.  And I have been called to be a Sister Training Leader.  My new companion is going to be Sister Weaver.  She came out with me so if you look back at some of my MTC pictures then you can see who she is.  She is the absolute cutest so I am way excited to get to be companions with her.  I have heard so many amazing things about the Wausau area.  Sister Kelley just came from that zone and she raves about it.  Sister Newton also served there and that is all she would talk about when we were together.  
Bowling with the district last p-day!

One of my favorite recent converts here in Madison.  He is going to the temple for the first time later this month!
Also, guess what!  The Wausau sisters area has a car!  I am still learning about Wisconsin geography, but I do know that Wausau is North of here.  Which means more snow and more cold!  Yay!  I hear that the work has really been taking off there, so I am really excited to start meeting people and getting going!  So I will leave Wednesday morning to head to Wausau. 

But back to this week...  It was a little sad because I knew that a lot of the people that I was seeing was probably going to be my last time seeing them.  But it has made me realize what an amazing blessing all of these people have been in my life. 

Tuesday we had some more crazy snow storms.  I didn't think that there was even anymore snow in the atmosphere because all of it must have fallen on Sunday when church was cancelled.  But nope, we had even more on Tuesday.  We had district meeting and then when we went to catch the bus afterward, we ended up getting stuck at the bus station for an hour because all of the buses were running way behind because of the crazy amounts of snow.  And then once we got on our bus we were stuck on that bus for another hour because everything was moving so slowly and there were so many car accidents.  It was an adventure to say the least.  
But while we were stuck on the bus for so long, we were able to meet this kid who is studying to become a pastor for his Unitarian church.  We were able to talk about the differences between our churches and he was very impressed with us for giving up a year and a half of our lives to teach people about Christ.  He wasn't extremely interested, but I know that we were supposed to run into him on the bus that day.

Wednesday we had a couple of appointments fall through.  It was kind of a bummer because they were people that we met on the bus that we thought were super solid.  But that is ok.  What is meant to happen will happen.  We got to have a lesson with an investigator though and we invited her boyfriend Vince to come so that we could teach both of them together!  So that was a fun.

Thursday we had a lesson with a recent convert who is going to be going to the temple at the end of this month so we had a little temple prep lesson with him.  We also had a huge miracle on the bus!  So last week we ran into this woman on the bus.  She had investigated the church back in 1999 and was going to be baptized, but then moved here to Madison and lost contact with the church.  So when we saw her we were able to get a little bit of her contact information.  But I think that maybe she hadn't paid the phone bill or something like that so we were not able to get in contact with her and we were so sad about it.  But on Thursday, we ran into her AGAIN but on a different bus!  It was seriously the biggest miracle.  She recognized us and told us that she was so sad that we hadn't been able to get ahold of her.  She also had been reading from the Book of Mormon that we gave her and she had lots of questions.  It was so incredible to see how the timing worked out perfectly to be able to get back in contact with her.  So now we will be able to start teaching her!

Friday we finally got to see Kendall again.  Her life has been kind of crazy lately and we haven't been able to see her for a long time.  Luckily things are going a lot better with her family.  Things have mellowed out a little bit and Kendall said that she has really been able to feel the companionship of the Holy Ghost is her life.  Also- Kendall got a calling this past Sunday to teach the 10 year old primary class!  So we are super excited about that!

Saturday the transfer text came and my name was on it...  I was super sad.  But it was also nice to know for sure so that I could start saying goodbye to people.

Sunday I actually spoke in church!  Brother Durtschi texted me on Friday night to ask if I would.  It was pretty stressful to be able to find time to put a couple of thoughts together, but we made it work.  I was actually grateful for the opportunity because I was able to tell everyone in the ward just how much I love and appreciate them.  I really have learned so much from this ward.  They are absolutely incredible. 

And pretty much have spent the rest of the time starting to pack and saying goodbye to people!

I love Madison with all my heart and it kills me to have to go.  But I think the thing that I am going to miss the very most is Sister Kelley.  She is one of the most Christlike people I have every met and she is an incredible missionary.  I prayed so hard to be able to have a good companion for the Christmas transfer, and boy was my prayer answered.  I learned a lot from Sister Kelley, but I think the biggest thing I learned from her was selflessness.  She is just so selfless!  She just has a way of making you feel loved and important and I hope that I can be more like her in that way. 

Geez.  I think one of the reasons that missions are so hard is because they are just one huge goodbye.  First to your family, then to all the people you know and love here.  It is so hard.  But it is absolutely incredible.

I miss Madison already!

Sister King

Monday, February 2, 2015

Yes, I Am Alive!

Hi Family!!
This is me out in the crazy snow storm yesterday right after we found out that church was cancelled.
This guy is just casually skiing down the street... haha.  That is how much snow there was!
Yes, I am alive. You thought I would be buried in the massive amounts of snow that we got this weekend. But we managed to make it out here to the library. Kind of a weird week this week. We have been doing a lot of finding this week. All of the investigators that we have had lately are either not progressing or have gotten baptized. Haha so we have been trying really hard to find some new people to teach.

We gave away quite a few copies of the Book of Mormon this week so that was pretty exciting. We are still following up with all of those people and hoping that something comes of it. I know that the Book of Mormon has to ability and power to change hearts! So hopefully we will be able to start reaping some of those seeds. Tuesday we had a couple of lessons. One with an investigator who just recently got back in town. School here and UW didn't start back up again until last week. So we finally got to see her again for the first time since the end of November. She is doing well and has been reading a lot from the Book of Mormon. We are planning to have a lesson this week with her boyfriend that plays on the football team. So that should be good and we are excited about that.

 Wednesday we had interviews with President Cutler! Interviews are always a great experience. I know that President Cutler is inspired of God to lead this mission. In preparation for interviews, President Cutler asked us to study Elder Christofferson's talk from this last conference called "Free Forever, to Act for Themselves." He has really been pushing this idea to "act, and not be acted upon." I love the quote from this talk that says something about how we need to go out and get to work so that God has something to help us with. The enabling power of the Atonement can help us as we are out doing our best and working hard. Something that I learned and really want to start working on, is doing things more out of intention and not habit. Or doing things for the right reason. Do I go out and work everyday because I am supposed to? Or do I go out and work because I love the Lord and truly want to help bless his children. Are we reading our scriptures to cross it off of our to-do list? Or are we reading our scriptures to change our hearts and learn more about the Atonement of Jesus Christ?

 Sometimes it can be hard to figure out which reason it really is, but I think that is where the Atonement can come in and help us out a little bit. It was so good to be talking to President about these things and I learn so much from him. He said that things are going well back in West Allis!  So that made my day. He also said that an apostle is coming to visit the mission on March 21st! So that is exciting! Who do you think it will be?? I told President Cutler that I have really loved serving here in Madison. So hopefully he will let me stay here another transfer with Sister Kelley! But we will see. :)

 Thursday we got to see Ishmael which was really good. He has been having a little bit of a hard time since his baptism. But we taught him all about the power of the Atonement and I think that helped him to feel better. He even ended up going out with the Elders over the weekend to help them teach some lessons! So that was awesome! He is pretty solid. We also got to see Shay. ( We have been trying to focus a lot on our recent converts lately to make sure that they are all still going strong.) Shay is doing well! We talked to her about fasting and the power that comes behind it. I love Omni 1:26:

  And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved. 

We talked about the role that fasting plays in this. So then it was really cool to be able to fast with her this past Sunday. :) Friday we met with a few of our other investigators that haven't been progressing as much so not a lot to report on those. We did meet a few cool people on the bus though. One who said that she had met with missionaries back in 1999 in Chicago and was interested in started to meet with them again. So that was a cool miracle to be able to run into her on the bus.

Saturday we got to go to Sister Durtschi's card class. This was great because we were able to reconnect with her friend  that has been reading from the Book of Mormon, and we scheduled a time to teach her this week! So we hope that all goes well with that too.

 Sunday was CRAZY. We woke up in the morning to probably around 5 new inches of snow or so. Church ended up being cancelled which we were pretty bummed about. Because no church on superbowl Sunday?? A missionaries' worst nightmare! Haha we didn't know what we were going to do all day. But we made it work and there were actually a lot of miracles.

President Cutler gave the missionaries permission to administer the sacrament. So we got together with the Elders in our district and had our own mini sacrament meeting. It actually turned out to be one of the most special experiences of my mission and something that I will never forget.

While the Elders were preparing the sacrament, I was reading in 3 Nephi 18 when Christ institutes the sacrament to the Nephites and he says this:

And when the disciples had done this, Jesus said unto them: Blessed are ye for this thing which ye have done, for this is fulfilling my commandments, and this doth witness unto the Father that ye are willing to do that which I have commanded you.

 I was thinking about how Sister Kelley and I had trudged through the mounds of snow everywhere to be able to partake of the sacrament. This was us "acting" and not being "acted upon." Christ says, "Blessed are ye for this thing which ye have done." We have to DO something! And by partaking of the sacrament, we were keeping the commandments and doing what Christ had asked us to do. I just felt to blessed and grateful that we had the opportunity to do that.

We spent the rest of the day trying to visit people but that wasn't very successful. We tried to ride the bus a little but no one was on the bus because of the snow and the super bowl so that was hard too.

But there was a sweet family that had us over for dinner so that was a huge tender mercy. I was feeling a little homesick because I wished so badly that I could have been out of the cold and wet snow and watching the super bowl with you guys. But this family that we had dinner with had just returned from a family vacation to Disney World!!! So I got to talk to them all about their trip and see all of their pictures. Seriously the BIGGEST tender mercy. We all know how much I love Disney and to be able to have that at the end of this hard and dreary day was exactly what I needed. I know that there is someone up there looking out for me. So we had a good week this week and I am excited to see what his coming week has in store! Thank you for all that you do and for being the best family ever!

 Love, Sister King