Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas!



This week has been the best!  I wasn't home sick at all and it's been amazing here in Florida! Everyone's in short sleeves with the ac on!



The one bad thing about holidays is its super ineffective for missionaries... Everyone out of town or family is coming in. A good week for members just not investigators. We made cookies and letters for everyone in the ward and passed them out.


Christmas Eve we went to our ward mission leader with his family. They planned a huge party for about 30 people but by the end of the day, everyone had cancelled except us 6 missionaries. It was fun though, we
made finger bread houses, strung popcorn and cranberries, played out the nativity. Also they had about 4 dozen doughnuts, so we kind of started a doughnut eating contest!.... And I won! Okay well I tied. But that's only because we ran out of doughnuts! Me and one Elder tied at 9 doughnuts each. It was super fun and delicious!

Then on Christmas we had a district meeting. For our leaders training he had me help him play out a scene in Napoleon dynamite. Then after the meeting I skyped my family!!! And then, we headed to the Masy's
they are super fun. We had a great dinner and got to sit in his awesome car again! Also play with snakes, they make great bracelets! ;)




And then to finish off the night we went Christmas caroling at the square again! It's my favorite place to tract at. Everyone is so friendly and nice we were able to show a lot of people he is the gift cards.




We also had a huge miracle!! There's a member in the ward that organizes all the move ins and contact reports. And he randomly found a family that had moved in about a year ago. Well he gave us the address and we went over and it was a less active and his wife. They were just talking about a church that day! They have 3 kids and only the father is a member. They are golden investigators and she is super
excited to learn more about the church! We're seeing them twice this week and they're coming to church next week! So excited! I'm so thankful for the members and keeping things on tract! We would of never found this family! :)

Today for p-day we went to a paint shop!

Also will you thank everyone for me! Everyone wrote me cards and sent me stuff it was the best!! Especially the shirt the Stewart's gave me! I love all of it! And the stuff from Italy!  Sorry to say but even with skyping I'm  not home sick! I just love the mission way too much! :)  Anyway thank you for all you do for me and for everyone that has been looking out for me!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Christmas Party!

 




We are having a mini transfer again on the 30th. So we had a trade off with the sister training leaders. I stayed in my area with a new companion and we went and tried a less active that lives in the middle of no where! We drove there and saw her, then we got lost! We had another appointment but we were driving for an hour trying to get home! It was awful! So I decided it's worth it to buy a GPS for my mission!
 Then we had our mission Christmas party it was so fun!! We all met in Orange park and each zone did a skit. We did Mr. scrounge and the 3 ghost, but only missionary style! It was about missionaries and their
old mistakes they made while serving! It was way fun, some elders changed the lyrics to a frozen song so it was about missionary work, it was a hoot! After that we had dinner, then a Christmas devotional! And then.....we got lost on the way home....haha definitely buying a GPS! Hahaha.  I saw Daniel again. 

We also had a ward Christmas party! It was awesome they set up a table for us missionaries to set up pass along cards and other materials. It was great because a lot of less active families came and investigators. We ate something called grape leaf... It's gross!

Anyway this week has been slower with all the getting lost on the roads! But it has been a great week for finding new investigators! All of us missionaries went to a place called "the square" it's basically temple square outside of Utah, there's tons of lights and stores everywhere. So we all went there and sung Christmas carols! It was a great event! We ran around helping people take family pictures and then we were able to talk about "he is the gift" and the gospel! Everyone said they would watch it and we had quite a good group of people gathered around us while we sung!





I am so very excited for this week! We are planning on going caroling again this week. For Christmas we have district meeting and then we are going to some members! A member had some old dresses so my
companion and I wore them together! I am so excited for Christmas and the spirit of Jesus Christ! Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

New Companion! Marriage Proposal?




Hello everyone! Hope you all are loving the Christmas season!

This has been a super busy week! First of all I'm still sick. I feel better but I can't get rid of this cough, super annoying! Transfers was awesome though! It was hard to say goodbye to my trainer but she was called to train again, so she's off with that! My new companion is amazing though! She is super spiritual and kind! She's from Hawaii!  Her and I clicked instantly so we have been having a lot of fun together.

There was a Christmas parade and we decided to proselyte there. We handed out over 200 "he is the gift" cards! A lot of people seemed very interested! They all liked the idea someone was spreading the true meaning of Christmas!




Sunday came around and we had a busy day introducing my new companion to everyone! All of our investigators have been awesome! Shaun and Michelle have been staying on tract so far. They are working together to stay off drugs and be baptized! We had 2 big miracles this week! We have been trying to teach a man named Joe, we showed him he is the gift and told him something to give up to Jesus Christ....well the week after that he decided what he was giving. He's giving away all this angry and hatred from his past, and to start new and be happy. Part of starting new is he wants to come closer to Jesus Christ...by being baptized!!!!! We now have a new solid investigator who's finally ready for the gospel! Another investigator also read the Book of Mormon and wants a priesthood blessing! This is a big step for her, and we will most Likely set a baptism date with her! The work is progressing!

That's been our week, also today something super awkward happened! So we were in Walmart. And this random old man walks by us, and wishes us a Merry Christmas. We wish him the same but after we did, he then asked me if I was looking for a husband... I politely told him no, and he continued on with how I was very pretty, but I was a little too young, anyway, before he left  jokingly said "okay well next time I see you, I'll try to marry you then." ....now here I am, a little shocked and surprised and I just answered "okay sounds good." What! Haha I didn't even realize what I had said! My companion and I walked off laughing! We just needed to buy eggs then it turned into a marriage proposal! And I accepted! What! Hahaha, so I'll try to avoid him, but if I see him again, looks like I'm getting married!

Anyway I'm so excited for Christmas and I love you all!!!! :)

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Craziest week so far!


 Okay this week was full of events!

First of all we are teaching this older couple. We taught the restoration and they both have seen the movie as well. They have had a lot of bad experiences with churches in the past but they feel the spirit every time we come (even though they won't admit it). Linda, the wife, is out of town for the month. Which is sad because now we can't teach Robert unless we have another member present. We had set up to see him later this week but then he called us to cancel, while on the phone we decided to ask him to attend church. Surprisingly he accepted! He also finally read the Book of Mormon! After like 2 weeks! That was a miracle!

Shaun and Michelle. They both are trying to get clean and come unto Christ. It's going to be a very bumpy road but their testimonies are so firm! They have been coming to addiction recovery, which is by far the most spiritual session I've ever had! There is a few others who go and they share the most powerful testimonies! Shaun and Michelle have been a daily contact for us. We are helping them do all they can tokeep clean so they can be baptized!

A day in Anthony
We can't get into Anthony very often, so when we do, we make a day of it!  There's a few people we see: ----Opal, she's a recent convert who was slipping away for a little bit and actually picked up smoking again... She's very much a bible girl and was still having a hard time accepting the Book of Mormon. It has
gotten better now that she is reading it more, she has been sick lately with a horrible cough!
----Crystal, she is a solid investigator. She was taught by the elders but then they referred her to us cause her husband isn't always home.  She's almost done with the Book of Mormon she's read all the way through to Alma 30 within a month. She smokes so she is working on that.
----Cindy, she is basically the most solid member ever! She loves her missionaries and feeds us all the time.
----Brueggers. They are new converts and we try to see them every so often. Unfortunately on the way to their house, an ambulance was at Opals house! We ran over and apparently opals cough was so bad
she was throwing up and couldn't breath! She went to the hospital but luckily it wasn't anything too serious..
-----Then the Shearins! They are new converts as well and I don't think I've ever seen a new convert participate in missionary work as fast as they have! This week they gave us a third referral! He came to church last week and we taught the restoration. It was a super awkward lesson though cause he already read through it and already knew the Book of Mormon was true... So while we were teaching him he kept skipping ahead! It was super scrambled but he said he felt the spirit and that it confirmed even more to him that the Book of Mormon is true! Even when lessons are messy the spirit can testify!

We saw Lenard again, he loved church last week but couldn't come this week. We taught him the plan of salvation. And did some service for him.

Now to make matters even crazier, I got the flu! Even though the whole mission got flu shots! I think it might have been from opal, because I got a terrible cough like she did! I had a cough all day Friday but by Saturday night I had a terrible fever and aches! It was the worst timing! We had 8 investigators at church but we couldn't even go! :(   Our mission nurse had me go to the doctors on Monday to make sure it was just a flu and nothing else. We were in the office for over an hour! Then after that they wanted me to rest, so we had to cancel some of our appointments, and stay home! It's been a long weekend!

Last of all... It was transfers. So right after the doctors our president calls us... He's called my companion to train again! So dear sister Pasko is white-washing and training! While I am left in Ocala with my new companion Sister Beaver! I've meet her before, she is super cute and sweet I am excited to serve with her, I am really nervous taking the lead in the area though! President has made some
big changes! Our Ward has three sets of missionaries 2 sets of sisters and 1 set of elders. But now we are changing to 2 sets of elders instead, so basically all the sister are leaving except me!!!

And I'm still sick! Which is sad because I don't want to have my new companion sick too! Anyway I am loving my mission! This transfers going to bring a lot of interesting experiences. 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thanksgiving!

This has been a crazy week!!  We have been seeing an old fellow named Lenard, he's blind and we have
been helping him out and teaching him. We have been trying to get him to come to church and every week he says maybe next time. We went over with some members but he wasn't feeling well. Our members asked if
they could pick him up anything and he said yes, a few days later we called and he said he would come to church! :) it's amazing what some service can do, he really enjoyed church! I think he will be baptized
soon! :)

Our new converts the Shearins are really hitting up missionary work! They just gave us a 3rd referral this month! He has had a very hard life, he wasn't sure if God exists. But after coming to church he felt
the spirit. We are going to start teaching him!

Okay and best week ever with Shaun! We watched the restoration video and everything clicked for him! He wants to be baptized but more importantly he is working towards the temple! He is putting forth a
lot of effort! He is reading and praying everyday! He is coming to addiction recovery and he is coming to church. His friend Michelle has been coming with him. She is super interested in everything we talk
about. Shaun and Michelle practically fight over who gets to ask the next question (they are in their 30s) hahaha! Shaun received a blessing and we wrote it down for him, he wrote his testimony in the Book of
Mormon. He still needs improvement on the word of wisdom but at least he's off powerful drugs!

Thanksgiving!!!! We had district meeting and then we went to the Waters home. They are an older couple that had tons of family coming over! We had tons of food and dessert. Then we went to the Shearins and ate some more, than we went to an investigators and ate more... And then we felt sick throughout the night! So yes it was a great Thanksgiving!

I gave a talk in sacrament! I talked about Matthew 4:19 and about missionary work, and how to be a member missionary. Basically I nailed it! Haha jk but then all of us missionaries sang.

So yes good week! Also I fell off my bike! Here I am minding my own business. We had just left our home to leave, when wait I forgot my light! I quickly threw my hand in my purse to find it but despite my
pure and honest desire to receive light, I was cast into darkness. I flew headfirst over my bike onto the unwelcoming pavement (thank heavens for helmets) my bike decided to follow my bad example so it
also flew and landed on top of me. No matter how many times I play it over in my mind I will forever be confused on how my purse caught the handlebars and flew between my legs. Not only did I witness for myself the pain of a headache, and a bike attack. But the pure agony of looking awkward! I was throne into a bundle of confusion the second my purse pulled my shoulder down and my leg up (I'm also thankful for
biking shorts). After figuring how to unhook myself free from my bike and purse. And seeing that my injuries weren't intense, I got right back up and biked 30 mins to my next appointment... The lords work will go on!!!

Besides my minor bruises on my leg and back. This has been an amazing week, we have seen many miracles and we are loving our new home! Tell grandma thank you for the new sweater and pjs!!!





Monday, November 24, 2014

Mission, Facebook and Technology!!

This has been a busy week! We are trying to get a facebook movement going along! I told Kendra about it but you all should do it! We are trying to make this event go world-wide!! It is super exciting! I don't know if you have seen it yet but it's the #thankfultobeamormon event. It's a one minute video and you
talk about your life and you commit 3 others to post the video as well! We are trying to make it go world wide again...so you should all do it.  But yeah facebook is super fun on missions! We can only use it one hour a day, and it can't be during prime proselyting time. We can only add immediate family from home, and I can't like or comment on anything on your wall, but you can on mine. It is actually way effective! We contact a lot of members and ask for online referrals. A big help facebook has been is to "flood the earth with testimonies" last time we did a Book of Mormon event and it ended up in the top 10 trend worldwide!!!!

Using iPads is so great! We have every resource you could imagine! Our area book is all on our iPad so we have all our members, investigators, all their addresses and contacts, and we update their progress on it as well! It's great, except our iPads crashed so....everything is lost! Hahahahahah it's been a fun trial.

And this is how someone spelled my name!
The weather right now is really windy and rainy, it's a tornado watch day! It's crazy I didn't know that was a thing! I definitely don't feel as safe not in Utah but I seriously do love it here! :)

We had a huge miracle, Shaun came to addiction recovery and he loved it! He was super against it but he is really trying! After class he asked for a priesthood blessing! One of the Elders gave him one and it was the
most powerful blessings I've ever heard! It answered a lot of his concerns and some of his questions of the soul! It was great!
Service

It was also Sister Paskos birthday! So here's what I did. Without her knowing I had the other sister help buy gifts for her. We secretly got them into the apartment and so on Sunday morning when sister Pasko was in the shower, I blew up balloons, put up streamers, covered her desk in chocolate kisses and wrote her a note. When she got out she was so shocked! She had no idea I had anything planned for her! Now before we sat down for studies she pulled out her chair and I had a necklace for her! She was so excited! Plus our Ward here loves us so we have plenty of food and desserts from everyone! We are also going out with
a family tonight for dinner! :)

We are super excited to move! We move this Wednesday! I will send you the new address next week! For now just use the mission home address if you have anything! I am absolutely loving my mission! I can't wait
to skype all of you next month! :) I love that Kendra is home and having so much fun! Also that is awesome about Jordan and Brandon! That's seems like a great experience! If any of the family asks I can
only add my immediate family on facebook!

                                                             I love you all so much!!!



Monday, November 17, 2014

Service and tracking!

Hello! This week has still been super crazy!   Our area book is still off so we have still been "starting from
scratch" at first they were trying to fix it here, then they sent the issue to Salt Lake, and now the engineers are working on it! Our new couple missionaries said if that still doesn't work they will send it to the prophet! Hahahah they are funny! But yeah so that's been really hard.

We have A TON of less actives here! Half of our teaching pool has been with less actives! We are trying to get them recommitted! We had a lot of tracking this week! We aren't finding a lot of people who are truly
ready, we found 3 people who were interested but turns out they are in an other missionaries area, so we found them but we won't be teaching them! Haha at least they will be taught by someone though, that's all the
matters! :) One of the members is Hugo, he's the one that always talks in Sweden to me! Anyway he found a huge service project that we can do for a less active, so now we can go back and reteach her!

We tracked and met a blind man, he is 60 and black, he used to go to a church but his driver passed away. He has herd a lot about our church (false things) but he loves our company and he has been asking a lot
of question! He has a "book reader" so he is going to put the Book of Mormon on it and listen to it!

We saw Linda and Robert again! They are the best! They are investigating the church, but at the same time they are my adopted family... They are incredibly skeptic of the church... Linda has a really hard time grasping that angels ministered to Joseph Smith. We watched the restoration video with them last night and our bishop actually came with us! It was an incredible lesson! This was the first time that Robert actually asked questions! Robert is a Massan (I don't know if that's how it's spelled but it's a very private religion) Some religions don't allow him to come to their services, so he asked bishop if that was the case with our church, right off the bat the bishop told him we have a few members who are Massan! I think that appealed
to him especially! Apparently they have a very similar service like the endowment session in the temple! He even asked where the church was! I think their issue is they don't want to admit our church is true! But deep down I think they already know it! :) they are just being stubborn! Hahahahahah I found out Linda gave one of the members names to take to the temple! Obviously she believes in work for the dead! Next time we see them we are going to set a baptism date!! Hahahahahah

Yes I am alive....

Hello!!! Yes I am alive, I wrote you last week but for some reason is sent to drafts instead of sending! Haha here was last week's: 

This week was super fun, but long. Our teaching pool keeps changing, it's been hard to find people who are actually dedicated. I love the south cause everyone is soooo religious.. But everyone likes their own church too much to even consider another. There's a church here called Meadow Brook. I don't understand a lot about it but what I have heard is that it is huge, it has a coffee shop inside it, and a band plays and everyone gets up and dances.. NO! Don't go there! Come to the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints! Haha! Anyway we found a family this week! We met the father before and finally met the rest of them. (They go to Meadow Brook) anyway they have a daughter who's 9 but she knows her bible better than me! She has tons and tons of questions! She defiantly ponders a lot of stuff about all these different churches! We are very excited to go back and answer her questions. 

Shaun is still on for his baptism, but it got pushed back. Bishop wants him to take the addiction recovery class. He's still going strong though, he's trying hard to quit smoking, and other commandments. 

We had a ton of tracting this week! We went around and we actually taught like 6 lessons to people we found! We also saw the ice cream man again, who gave us FREE ice cream, again! Man life is good! Also while tracting we saw a tiny lizard, I couldn't help but catch it! I guess not all missionaries grow up.... :) 



Our iPads are down so we have been using the "old fashioned" paper area books! This wouldn't be a problem if all our information wasn't on our iPads! We lost all our investigators addresses and contact information, we have been able to find some of them from memory, but that's about it. It's neat to use the paper area books but I sure do miss all our information! Hopefully Salt Lake will be able to figure out the mistake and fix it for us! 



Love your all!   Kelsey