Monday, June 29, 2015

Can't believe June is over!

Days are weeks and weeks are days! We are all done with our trade offs so that should slow things down a bit! Except we have MLC and transfers coming up, yikes! Sister Dixon and I hope we stay, guess we'll find out on Tuesday!

This week we had a wonderful lesson with Sarah and Dalton West. Two of the kids are members of the church and now their mother is starting to learn and investigate. We went to the Roberts home and had dinner and then family home evening and talked about the plan of salvation. Her kids have the brightest testimonies and Sarah agreed to be baptized!!

Tuesday we drove up to Lake City for district meeting. It was weird to be back in my old district but it was so fun! We gave a training on being obedient and finding more rules to follow! Afterwards we went to lunch with the sisters! I miss Lake City!

Then we did service for Christ Central. We helped unpack and organize food for a food drive that feeds over 400 families! There was so many boxes and things to go through! Everyone here is so accepting of us
missionaries. The whole time we were there people were asking us about our missionary service!

That night we met with the Holder family again. Jimmy and James actually read the Book of Mormon together! We talked more about the scriptures and church. They still have a few concerns and
misunderstandings but they feel the spirit each time we come! :)

One of the members here spoiled us and bought us cake and groceries!

Wednesday was interviews!! We headed up to Starke and got ready for our meeting. Sister Winter, the mission nurse, gave a whole presentation about bugs and rashes! Including lots of pictures of bug bites yuk! Then her husband Elder Winter gave a training about our cars and how to better use and take care of them! That one included treats! :) yum! Afterwards Sister Craig gave an amazing training about how we missionaries can do a lot of good, or a lot of bad with our actions. We also talked about what we want "to be" we read through a conference talk in 2011 called, What Manner of Men and Women Ought Ye
to Be? It was so good! There's a lot of things we can do, but that only changes our behavior. Becoming who we want to be, changes our nature! We all wrote down a vision for ourselves of who we want to be!
Interviews were really great, President Craig taught me a lot about what he expects from a sister training leader, and how I can be an extension of his arm!
This huge spider is no big deal here in Florida...

After the meeting we went to lunch with the Macclenny Sisters! After lunch we had district meeting! The transfer is almost over but it was my first time being in our own district! Haha So after the meeting Sister Merchant came with me to Lake Butler! We got in some jeans and did some service for Sister Jenny! She's getting ready to move so we packed lots of boxes. Sister Merchant has been in the Manti pageant and she knew someone sister Jenny did so they got a long very well!  After service we went to bishops for dinner. There is a couple that the missionaries used to teach and they came to dinner as well! They aren't ready to join the church just yet, but they know it is true! :) It was great to be with them and they are going to start attending church!

Then we had the Book of Mormon class! The members here are such great supporters we always have a big group! Our recent convert Olivia is back in town so it was greats see her! The next morning we did even more service! The local library has weekly events for the kids. We went and helped them with their
activity and got to meet a lot of people! A lot of members brought their kids so it was so fun to see all of them! We drove back to Macclenny to trade back. Funny story though, Sister Dixon left her I Pad! Haha so these next few days we get to share! Haha

The one bad part about Florida is there is a lot of pollen here... Therefore I have allergies! This week they have been really bad, and I felt like I have the flu! The mission nurse had me go to the doctors,
which was back up in Lake City, to make sure I didn't have a sinus
infection! Luckily I didn't! But she gave me lots of over the counter
medicine to use! It was really neat because she is a member so when
she saw us she was really excited! :)

Other than all the meetings and getting "almost sick" the week was
really great! We are all done with our trade offs for this transfer so
that's a blessing! This week we have MLC and transfers is next week so
my pday will be on Tuesday instead!

I love you all so much have a great week!!!

Monday, June 22, 2015

God answers Prayers!

What a great week!

On Tuesday we headed up to Kingsland Georgia for a district meeting and trade off! On the way out we stopped to pick up some water, and we ran into an old investigator who lost his phone! He actually came to
church on Sunday and we didn't even know! Turns out we had 12 investigators at church! Wow! We set a return appointment with him and headed to the meeting! One of the Kingsland sisters has been sick for a few days but we ended up having our trade off anyway! I was with Sister Trusty who is from Saratoga springs! We had a great time together despite her migraine and staying in all day!

After trade offs we did service for a member that is getting ready to move soon! That night we had the Book of Mormon class and mutual. We decided to spend our night with both. We played blind volleyball with
the youth and then headed to the Book of Mormon class! A lot of less actives have been coming!! Yes!

THURSDAY!!! Guess what! I got to go to the Orlando temple!!! It was so so so good! We headed out early Thursday morning and I got to see with Mann again! We got to the temple an hour early so we took some pics. Slowly all my MTC companions came, as well as my trainer! It was so
good to see all the sister again! The temple was amazing! It was so beautiful! After the session we got to talk with the mission president and ask him questions! It was wonderful.

This week has seriously flown by! But we meet with the holder family again. They liked church but they aren't used to the "reverent"services. They have been a reading a little bit of the Book of Mormon
and are liking it so far. We were sad to hear that kelly, the wife
refuses to read the Book of Mormon:( at least her husband and son are really interested! They want to come back and stay all three hours of church! We are meeting with them 2 more times this week!

So this week we had a goal to get 4 people at church. However all of our investigators either worked or were busy for Father's Day! But to our surprise 2 old investigators and their friends decided to attend
church yesterday! We were so excited! They have meet with past missionaries but due to work and life couldn't keep learning! However now they are ready to commit! We are seeing them later this week!
This week has been a big testimony to me that God answers prayers! We have tried hard to achieve our goals this week and we keep seeing miracles happen and they were achieved!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Watermelon beats Florida's heat!

Pday was super fun! We played kickball and our mission president and wife joined us! It was really fun to have them out in the field with us!!! Monday night we had our Ward mission leader and wife take us out to a lesson with the holder family. By far this has been the greatest lesson ever taught! So when we first get there, the holder family is ready to come at us with lots and lots of anti-material they found online!!! They start throwing out all these lies and rumors, so we all just sit there listening to them. We warned them that the Internet has a lot of false info and gave them the church website. We then reassured them that all their questions about our church they can ask God! They both were silent... So, we went a head and taught the gospel of Jesus Christ! They both listened really intently! Every now and then they would argue about a principle, but as we kept teaching they stopped and started asking sincere questions! By the end of the lesson they both committed to baptism and to come to church!!!! The spirit was so strong you could see that their beliefs was changing and they were agreeing with our gospel!!! Yes!!!!
Zone meeting in Kingsland Georgia! We had to wake up early to drive the 2 hours to the church! It was a long drive but it was amazing! I gave another training to the zone about keeping commitments! And we got a zone picture with all of us! After the meeting all of us sisters went out for lunch together! After lunch was our first trade off of three! Sister Egbert came to Lake Butler with me for the day! We had a nice 2 hr. Drive to get to know each other! Then we did surprise service for a member! Then had dinner with a less active that is starting to read the Book of Mormon again! Woo! It was so nice to be with Sister Egbert! She served in my same last area in Deep Creek! She is an incredible missionary and is getting ready to return home, she has done great work here! 
Once again we had a 2 hour drive to Georgia, where we dropped off sister Egbert and picked up the Brunswick sisters! I stayed in Georgia with sister Greer! She has been out for 6 months and is so bubbly! We used to be in the same zone in St. John's. We had a wonderful day contacting lots of different people and that night we even taught the Book of Mormon class! Our investigators came as well so that was amazing! We had a lot of fun together, she is currently serving with my MTC companion sister Taylor! 

Luckily we didn't have a 2 hour drive this day! Haha anyway we switched back from sister Greear and my next trade off was...(drum roll please) my trainer Sister Pasko!! Who would of guessed that I'd be my trainers sister training leader! It was so much fun! We talked a lot about the good ole times in Ocala when I was in training! She came to Lake Butler with me for the day. We tried to find some potential investigators and less active members... We got lost on dirt roads every so often but we were able to find some new investigators! We had dinner with Sister Wiggins and Sister Sharon. They are 2 peas in a pod! It was so fun to be with them, they served us up a big helping of watermelon! It was a wonderful night!! 
We had our last drive to Brunswick on the way out we took some pics at Lake Butlers famous blue wall! Haha we had a fun ride back to Brunswick! Finally sister Dixon and I was reunited! We had a lot to catch up on especially with weekly planning! Haha we had a huge miracle! We went to visit the Holder family and make sure they are still set to come to church, only their son was home and he told us that he KNOWS THE BOOK OF MORMON IS TRUE! We gave him it 2 weeks ago and he's already in Ether! He has read it every single night!! We were amazed! We invited him to church and taught him the gospel of Jesus Christ! He said his whole family in planning on coming to church this week! 
So many miracles today! We had a random call from our investigator Leslie, and she wanted a tour of the church! We met with her and she brought her daughter we walked around the chapel and showed her the classrooms and talked about the different callings in the church. We brought them to the baptismal font and talked about baptism and the priesthood. Right away she asked if she can be baptized! We invited her to pray about a date that she can be ready by! Her and her daughter loved the church and said they will be coming tomorrow! That night we were able to be with a less  active who is going through a hard time! We gave her the relief society declaration to read through, it's beautiful! Every Saturday night we have volleyball at the church and 2 of our investigators came! It was such a great turn out!!

Okay biggest miracle of all time.... WE HAD 11 INVESTIGATORS AT CHURCH!!!!! 11!! We couldn't believe it! The Holder family came! Leslie brought all of her kids, and 2 of our part member families came! It was spectacular!!! The holders asked a few questions throughout the meeting but they had to leave early so we don't know what they thought about it! We think they thought the songs were boring....haha Leslie however loved it!!!! They stayed all 3 hours and in each class Leslie had full attention on the teacher and what was being taught! We are meeting with her later this week to see how her prayer about baptism went!! So exciting!!
Well this week has been so crazy and so great! This week things will calm down a bit more which is great, exciting news though!!!! I go to the temple this week!!!! I am so excited! I've officially hit my half way mark!!! It has gone by so fast! :( I can't believe it's already summer, it's getting really really hot here! It's been in the high 90s this whole week with a humidity index of 105!!! I'm going to die!!! Anyway I love you all! 

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Strolling down Alma Avenue!

The weeks are getting shorter and busier!!!
This week was my first trade off! It was with my sister training leaders Sister Sanberg and sister McCook! After pday I went to White House with Sister Sanberg it was so much fun! During the day we made a plan of salvation chart out of chalk and talked to everyone on the street about it! It ended up raining that day :( but it was great while it lasted! Sister Sanberg is amazing! She trained me more on being a leader and helping the other sisters! I found some new goals I want to work on, charity, and helping others keep their commitments! 
Which was a miracle because at MLC (missionary leadership council) our whole meeting was about charity and helping people keep their commitments and resolve their concerns! Wow! God really answers prayers! MLC was amazing! It was so great to be with all the leaders of the mission and receive that counsel to help our missionaries! 

Zone meeting!
So at zone meetings the zone leaders and sister training leaders take what we learned from MLC and reteach it to our zones! We had a solid hour to prepare for our trainings! Haha lets just say I'm grateful that the spirit lead our trainings! It turned out very well though! All the sisters in Lake City zone had a musical number, we sang holding hands around the world! It was beautiful! There was testimonies and 4 trainings, I was really nervous to give my first training, especially because I had to demonstrate a role play! But it turned out very well! :) I love being a STL! 

After zone meeting we had tons of miracles! We met with a potential named Glendy. She thinks a lot of churches are corrupted and just sticks with her bible. We taught the restoration and when we got to the first vision she got really excited and asked all kinds of questions! We weren't able to finish the lesson but we gave her a Book of Mormon and gave her our number! Not even an hour later she texted us and thanked us for everything we shared!!! That night we had a member take us with them to a few investigators, we met with the Holder family again. They had read a little of the Book of Mormon but had some big concerns about it. We were able to help them understand that they need to ask God to find the truth! We recommitted them to read, and pray, and to come to church, they said they would keep reading and praying, but that they weren't sure about church, so we suggested a church swap! We would come to their church, and next week they can come to ours! They accepted! 
This weekend was my first trade off! It was so great!!! I got to go with sister Gilman back to my old area in Deep Creek! I got to see some of the members and investigators that I used to work with! It was wonderful to be back in my old area. We met a lot of new people as well! Turns out there's a street named Alma! So of course we had to knock on doors on that street! There was lots and lots of people in the streets listening to loud music! Sister Gillman wasn't even phased by it, she ran up to the group and told them she had a message from God for them! We quickly found those that were interested in listening! We talked to this lady a lot about baptism and gave her a Book of Mormon! We saw so many miracles in this trade off! We had a investigator who forgot about our lesson, but we ended up teaching their neighbor! It worked out perfectly! He even committed to be baptized! Yes! 

Trade offs are amazing but it's always nice to be back in your own area again! Sister Dixon and I have been trying to get our investigators at church! For fast Sunday we fasted that we could get some investigators at church! Brothers and Sisters--God answers prayers! We had 2 old investigators randomly show up yesterday! It was a miracle! We were so excited they came! We were sad to leave for the 3rd hour of church, but we had a great time with the holder family at their church! They go to a little nondenominational church on the side of the road. It was....interesting.

 The whole first hour of church was them singing country style hymns. It consisted of 3 women and a guy on guitar. Everyone claps along and will randomly shout out "Praise God" "Thank you Jesus" "Hallelujah" the singers would tell joke in between the songs and gets everyone laughing! They also took song requests so people would just shout out what they wanted to hear! It was very different. After all the singing the preacher stood up and gave a Sermon... He read a few chapters from the bible, said a prayer, and then went on for the next hour talking about how the lord molds us like clay, that we all can be changed into our full potential. It wasn't too bad except for the fact that he was yelling his sermon into the microphone like a sports announcer! There was multiple times in his talk, he got really intense and would start shaking and yelling into the microphone, and everyone would scream and stand up and yell out "Amen" "Hallelujah" "Praise God" new experience for sure! Haha

We are excited for the holder family to come to our church next week! This week is going to be busy! I have another zone meeting in the Georgia zone, I have to give another training! Then...we have 3 trade offs in this one week!! Woo!!! I love being a missionary!!! :) :) 

Also I found my first cockroach in our house!! Ew!

Monday, June 1, 2015

Sister Knudsen in Lake Butler!

Wow wow wow so much to update!!! I don't even know where to start!!

Okay so first off Lake Butler! It's amazing here! We live in a trailer! And my last trade off was here so I have met a couple of the members already! Everyone is having the hardest time pronouncing my name! A lot of them say sister KuNUTEsen or they just call me sister K. Hahaha it's so funny! Lake Butler is very country! Everyone has thick southern accents and there is maybe 3 stores here! We live by a peacock farm! I don't know what the purpose of peacock farms is but there's peacocks everywhere! Haha

My companion sister Dixon is amazing! She made me chocolate cake today! We went to Elementary and Jr. High together growing up so we already knew each other when we got assigned! It's so fun though! We
know a lot of the same people from home! Being a sister training leader has been very busy! There is usually a sister training leader for each zone, but this transfer we are the training leaders for 2 zones! We have 13 sisters that we cover, and it keeps us busy! Every transfer we do a "trade off" with each companionship, which just means we switch companions for a day. And work together and help the sister out with anything they need!  Because we have so many sister, we have 9 trade offs to go on this month! I am so happy though because my last area is in my zone! So I can go on a trade off and see my old area!
Also, turns out my trainer Sister Pasko is now in our zone! I get to go on trade offs with my trainer!!! So exciting!  My first trade off is tonight! So we'll see how it goes! :)

This has been a very busy couple of days. First of all, when I got into the area, they had 7 miles left on the we have been biking straight for the last 4 days! It's has been great though we have been talking to everyone on our bikes and have gotten lots of return appointments! Lake Butler is so perfect for missionary work! Everyone is so friendly and takes us in as their daughters! Especially the members!! Even if people aren't interested in our church, they are so nice to us and talk a lot about the gospel with us!

I can't believe I have hit my halfway mark! Time has truly been flying by! I have learned so much about the gospel and from the examples that the members are! I truly love being a missionary and I especially love
being a sister training leader! I am so excited for all the experiences I have and for the chance I have to go to the temple this month! The gospel is truly amazing and my testimony grows every time I share it! I'm so excited for my first trade off today, and this weekend I get to go on a trade off to my old area deep creek! :)

I love you all so much!!!

From my personal letter from Kelsey: 
 Haha I didn't think yall would like my brown hair!!! Hahaha but it has been fun to try new things, especially on the mission. A lot of sisters experiment with their hair, I promise I will not get too crazy with it though! And I will be blonde before I come home!! :) it's starting to get long again!

Well I am so excited for all the changes that have been happening!  Jordan's heading to college, your going back to school! Where will you take classes at? Are you going to be a photographer? 

I am doing fantastic!!!!!! I have never been happier, more spiritual, or more busy!!! Being a sister training leader is very very hard, but so much fun! And yes it's kind of like a district leader, we switch companions with other missionaries for 24 hours and train them and make sure they are doing good and see if there is anything they need, spiritually, emotionally, missionary wise, everything! We also report the sisters to the zone leaders, and have lots of meetings and phone conferences! It's very busy! This transfer especially is very very crazy! There is 1 set of sister training leaders for each zone, however they are having us cover 2 zones!!! We have 5 sisters in the lake city zone, and 8 in the Kingsland/Georgia zone!!! So... We have 13 sister that we have to take care of! It's insane! So since this is new sister Dixons and I are figuring it all out together! We have to go on 9 trade offs and we had to recalculate all of our miles cause now we have to drive to Brunswick Georgia! So lots of crazy stuff! But it's fantastic!!!