Monday, December 16, 2013
Charles Angels in Bethlehem!! December 16, 2013 So for Christmas, we havent gotten any guidelines on the calling etc. Which is kinda frustrating. We are planning on calling in the afternoon, so you can go to the dinner etc, and do Christmas morning and hopefully Stuart and Lindy will be done when I do call so we can all be on. Do you want me to call or Skype? Skype would be more complicated, but it would be fun to see everyone, or it could be frustrating trying to listen, and so yeah. Im thinking I might just call, thoughts? Oh and I hope Garret can be on too! Do you have a number for him or does he have to call you? We can set a certain time this week to decide. We have been invited to a members house, I asked when we should come and they responded with, the past missionaries came at 6am in their PJs so whenever you want to get here is fine. I guess they get gifts for the missionaries and put them under the tree too so it will be fun to go over there! But then its just eating and calling all day, so we can call you whenever. If you want to talk to Stuart and Lindy and see when they will be done with Christmas morning we can schedule that. I was thinking more around noon here? Which would be 10 in OR and 11 in Idaho... if Ive done that right. What are your thoughts? We can do it later too if you want. Nor sure what the Strassers all do that day. And the white hand book says 30-45 minutes of call time, this is President Andersons first Christmas in the field so we are not sure if he will allows us more time or tell us to stick to that. So I will let you know when I find out. So hopefully noon or after works for everyone, let me know! So the Charlies Angels in Bethlehem? SURPRISE everyone, Im in a trio! Its myself, Sister Hyatt (hi at) and Sister Wiehl (wheel). Its fun. Sister W is 21 and Sister H is 20, its a hoot. I was VERY surprised when they announced it at transfers, they came over and we hugged and took a picture and they said that my face was astonished! So its been fun. We got a bed that night HUZZAH! Its taken weeks in previous transfers, but we rearranged the furniture and got everything fixed up. Now we just need to ask the ward for a desk and maybe another dresser, we shall see. Caroling and donuts will be fun! Let me know how it goes without the metronome this year! Hopefully it is fun. Are any of the BArfites coming home for Christmas? I hope so. And Tyson is waiting for Andrew huh? How does Deanna feel about that? Should we guess whose the first to steam it open and reseal it? haha. Let me know when he gets it! Maybe one of them boys will come here to Philly... how weird would that be? ... very... very werid.... but fun too. Zoo lights! I think that is a better idea than caroling with all them boys haha. Caroling is fun but when the majority of people dont want to be there well, its not as fun. And I dont think I have been to Zoo lights since then. We tried last year but it was closed on new years eve :( oh well, another time! But that would be fun to do with them every year or something like that. We havent gotten Christmas boxes yet, they didnt give them to us at transfers, which is good because Im not sure how we would have gotten them home with two sisters belongings in our car. We had to ask the spanish elders in our area to bring back two of the big suitcases for us because we couldnt fit 3 bodies and all their stuff in our little Corolla! But it was good. Also we have gotten a lot more snow! They rescheduled the ward Christmas party which was supposed to be on Saturday, and then they cancelled church as well because we got a snow/ice storm. Our district leader text us and told us to go home if we didnt have appointments on saturday night around 6. Luckily we were home because we got the majority of the storm in Bethlehem. But we went and got some soup and bread and sandwich stuff so we had food etc. We were fine. We did get cabin fever after planning for a few hours and went out and shoveled some of the side walks. The neighbors were peeking out of their windows staring at us quite obviously... which was uncomfortable. But we didnt care, we were hoping we would get to meet some of our other neighbors, but it was still snowing so they were staying in and probably thinking we were crazy! Oh well, we did it! Well other than that it was a rather slow week. Pday, packing sister Carrigan up, our appointments pretty much all bailed because of weather or sickness, then transfers, lots of stop bys, meeting active members, our weekly planning, unpacking the new sisters, a snow storm, etc etc. Its been a rather slow week but a good introductory one to get two new sisters into the area. Its good! And Ive been here for a while, so I will talk to you soon! Love you all! Hope all is well :) Thank you for the packages, letters, prayers and thoughts. I appreciate them all. Love to all! Love, sister Wilson :)
Monday, December 9, 2013
December 9, 2013 Im glad that you guys are able to be doing some fun things together, and to be able to take Clara to see new things and have new experiences. I can just imagine her watching the dancers being all mesmerized! How cute :) SOunds like you guys have been having lots of Christmas fun already! We went with some members of the ward to carol at an Alzheimers facility, and it was HUGE! It had 3 or 4 floors and lots of doors and passwords and secret tunnels (which were really stair wells) and it was quite fun to be there with all of them. Especially since Sister Carrigan is getting transferred :( Which we are both sad about. We were getting excited for our Christmas in Christmas city! as a last Hoorah today we went to the Moravian book store, which is pretty cool! I got some fun cards to send to you guys (can I get Garrets address please?!), a simple Christmas present but something that is fun and unique from Bethlehem :) We got some snow this week, but it didnt start until Sunday after church, which was nice. But that was the time that we had to drive to the most southern part of the area for caroling, and then to the most Northern part for dinner, luckily on Saturday we went in and got new tires on Teancum. We were at 2/32 tread on them tires and they were slipper just from mist so it was good that we went in on saturday or we would have been in bad shape for this week. Today has been packed with a bunch of errands before S. Carrigan leaves tomorrow so emails will be short. But know that I love you guys! Im glad that you have been able to be together and enjoy this time that you have been making memories. Thank you for all the pictures last week, I printed the one of sleepy Clara, its one of my favorite pictures! It sounds like Keria gave a great talk, way to go baby sister! Its good to hear :) We have our Christmas party this saturday (S. Carrigan just barely misses it! :( ) and this week we have all of our favorite members on our meal calendar so we are planning on it being quite good :) For me and what ever sister comes back from transfers with me! We havent gotten training calls yet so we are assuming that neither sister Carrigan or I are training this transfer, which I am just fine with. I also think they will be re-doing our districts because they seriously dont make sense up here. The areas that are put together in districts dont even touch... its quite random. So we shall see what happens. Oh and Lehighton got a senior couple in their area (Thats our district leaders area) so we are excited to have them in district meeting now! It breaks up the monotony to have some seniors around who like to participate. But the zone leaders are staying! Which I am super happy about, because they are taking a lot of my favorite missionaries away from me this transfer, which is just rude! But oh well, thats life. And my zone leaders are some of the best missionaries I have met thus far, same thing with Sister Carrigan so we like them. And now Im just kinda rambling. Its been a good week. We were able to say goodbye to most of the members already so tonight wont be a mad house running around. We watched the Christmas devotional with Cindy and Gentry, who we love! She pushed her baptismal date out until January so we shall see what happens. They are awesome! I just adore them :) Anyhow, hope all is well! Love you all! Thank you for the prayers and letters! I appreciate every stinking one of them big or small :) Love, Sister Wilson
Sunday, December 8, 2013
December 1, 2013 But my computer is freaking out and Ive got about 20 minutes left. But its been a late Pday today. We went and got our hair cut by a sister in the ward. Its similar to how I cut it before I left, bangs, short. S. Carrigan says she likes it. I think it looks good. I might send a picture but no promises. Ive been wearing my hair scrunched recently because its easier with the winter weather, but I still like it straight more. Anyways my computer is also freaking out and pulling up music videos of Eminem... love it... not. But I did get to email Garret so thats good. Thank you for all of the pictures! I love them! I think Im going to print out the sleepy Clara picture, its just too darn cute! Well this week was Thanksgiving and we had lots of festivities. We started Wednesday night with the Tatlow family (The ones who said she wanted to be the angel of death in her sons world). So it was loud and lots of people and fun! Then Thursday we started by taking thank you notes to the ward members, which was a really great way to spend the morning actually. We were able to talk to a lot of members and to leave messages with them. We found the perfect thanksgiving scripture ... the day after! Which was sad, but go look it up its funny: D&C 59:13 Dont be surprised if I read it to people every year from now on. Then we went and had two lunches, one right after the other, and they were wonderful. The first one had 13 pies... yes 13. I didnt even see them all because they were storing them in the basement b/c they didnt have room in the kitchen. It was wonderful. Then we went and had another dinner with two families from the ward, and it was a fancy dinner. Table set with more silverware than I use, goblets etc. It was fun. And we celebrated the first day of Hannakuh. Did you know that Hannakuh and Thanksgiving wont correlate to each other for another like 56,000 years? Yeah, we said werew all guessing there wont really be Thanksgiving in that many years... we will probably all be perfect by then... But it was really neat. The brother explained the symbolism behind Hannakuh and how it is a celebration of remembering when the Lord had forgiven the people and accepted their repentance etc. It was really neat. Then we went to the Lefgren home. Hes the member who called us Angels sent from God! We went and had pie with them and were able to have a Thanksgiving discussion. I love sister Lefgren! And before we left she told us that we could come back and visit once or twice a week as long as we called first. So we will be frequenting the Lefgren home! She is such a delightful person. She was so nice I stopped myself from saying a few witty comments to her husband, because he is a loud boisterous person who appreciates witty people. But she was just so soft spoken and gentle and kind and loving that I didnt want to share all of my thoughts. (SEE I am Learning! slowly but surely) Then we went to visit the Relitz. And they offered more food to us, that was the original plan, but we were just too full to eat any more! So we shared a message with them and then we went home and passed out. It was a good thanksgiving. And we went and saw the Bittners, who we love! Shes the one who missed church to go to Comicon and she is writting a sci fi book that I actually want to read when I get home! But we went and visited them and found out that they had baked french toast for breakfast and they said you should have come! Because its a holiday tradition that they do... so I said, well we could come for Christmas, and he said (its his specialty) that they are having baked orange cranberry french toast for Christmas and if we are still here we are welcome to come. So we are planning on going to the Bittners for Christmas breakfast :) and I did get the advent box, THANK YOU! They didnt really understand what it was (brother Relitz or S. Carrigan) so we opened it and we did the first day then. Sister Relitz things you are very cool and creative to have gone to all of that work for an advent calendar! She thinks your pretty awesome, I told her you are :) So thank you :) Very creative with the Rolos! I did not guess that one at all! And the Jerkey is gone as well :) Oh and sorry I did not explain well. We are not becoming a trio, we are hoping to get three transfers together, this giving us a three-peat (like repeat but put the 3 in there). So sorry for the confusion, still just the two of us, but hoping for a three-peat. Although that means that one of us will be in Bethlehem for 6 months if that happens because someone has to stay to train the next companion on the area. I mean it doesnt have to be that way, but we are guessing it will be. I like Bethlehem! Its a lot of less active work and a lot of referrals that refuse to be contacted and a lot of slow moving. But there are miracles being planned out and waiting for someone to come and experience them, so I am hoping I get to be here to help the work along! Sorry that you werent able to Skype with Garret for Thanksgiving, hopefully we will be able to plan Christmas better so you get to talk to everyone! I wonder if we get to Skype home and if we could get everyone on... or if that would be too complicated. Thoughts? Concerns? Questions? Compliments :) It looks like you guys are having a fantastic time having everyone home. The Jeep is awesome! Good job G&J :) And Clara looks adorable as ever! I love the picture of her helping you cook, very sweet :) I love you all and miss you each dearly! I hope you get to enjoy your next week together and are able to take lots and lots of pictures :) Because we all love pictures! I need to take more here, I havent taken many in Bethlehem. Oh well, Ill work on that. I love you all! The gospel is back and we have all of it that we need to return to live with God again. How blessed we are to have that! Love you all, stay strong, you are a child of God, Love, Sister Kindra Wilson :) ps Thank you for telling me about Grandpa. Tell him I love him and miss him! I cant wait to see him again, wherever that may be :)
Wednesday, November 20, 2013
November 18, 2013 Well first of all, Im not mad that you didnt write last week. I would be lying if I said I wasnt sad, but Stuart and Lindy write every week as well so I still had emails. And truns out we needed the time to clean the apt and such, we ran out of time to do everything we need to on Pdays. but Im glad I got one this week :) So much to respond to. I think it would be fine for you to send it to the Relitz, she loves us! She is a hoot! Funniest lady ever! She said she wanted to send a letter to you, I dont know if she did or not, I know she has been really busy lately. But she is awesome! She and Bro Relitz drove us to the adult session of Stake Conference and fed us on the way home and all that jazz. Shes really awesome, so go ahead and send it there. Ill tell her what it is and that she wont get a bunch of packages so itll be fine! Im glad that you guys are all able to talk a lot. I did send Garret an email a few weeks ago and Ive heard from him twice already! I know he has a ton of stuff that he has to do so I dont expect an email every week. The first one was pretty long actually, and definitely made me cry. In the middle of the public library... not a big deal. One thing that my mission has made me is a cry baby. Its pathetic! But sister Carrigan says I have a pretty cry face so I guess its okay... Brittany got married! I had no idea! Congrats! Thats exciting :) Hope everything works out with everyone. That would bring a lot of mixed emotions for a lot of people. But Im glad that she has been able to find someone to enjoy life with and for the happiness thats able to bring to her and Dylan. I got some letters from Jocee and Laurissa (who told me that she also goes by Larry) and Bethany so that was fun! Im sending them a letter today, but Im not sure if the address is 100% right... Michaels hand writting is hard to read... so if they dont get it in the next while Ill have to get the right address for them. It was either #66 or #00 and I couldnt quite tell.. Im sending it to #66 so hopefully thats right! You might want to ask them though if they got it... Im glad that Tiff is doing good, uncomfortable but healthy! I will keep her in my prayers. And Congrats to Tammi! How exciting! I am sooo happy for her and for her girls! Im glad they found each other again :) And Junior sounds awesome! But why on earth was it at 6:30 in the morning?! Thats odd... And I will keep the Texas cousins in my prayers :( How is rufus doing? Hopefully he is doing well! And how is Grandpa? I havent heard anything about him lately... The advent calender thing sounds great! It will be fun to try and guess and open them every day :) And you are way on top of things this year! Good job mom! Thats quite impressive! Better than I ever have been... and I cant help you out with Garret, hes always hard to buy for because he is very particular about his tastes etc. But Im sure he will be fine with what you plan on sending him! And Im glad that Janelle was able to hold out and get him with the muffins! haha. Good girl J! How was her visit? Another ball right? Hope they had a good time. Did they get any pictures this time? You can email me pictures :) Glad you like the carinessa! I love them. The cotton still keeps me way warmer! Ill be sweating the days I wear them, but they will be good for winter! Stuart and Lindy are coming already? Man. Thanksgiving is coming up so fast! Time is just flying by! Which is good, and bad... But anyhow. We have already one thanksgiving dinner set up, we are going to try and get to as many dinners as we can, the ward is trying to get the less actives into actives homes for thanksgiving dinner, so if we can get to lots of dinners, first of all we will be happily fed missionaries :) and we will get to spend time with lots of our members and less actives which is good! This week we went to go contact a 'do not contact' because a member called her and asked if we could come over and she said yes she loves missionaries! So we were able to get in and meet her. And they fed us dinner (which was a blessing that night, we were definitely hungry then! ) and she invited us to thanksgiving dinner or to come for pie, and we have been told that her pie is divine! So we are planning on ending our night there :) I am excited! We have also been invited by another member, now we just need to figure out times and see who else we can visit with! Man Kjiera is still in AZ! I thought she was gone! How grateful I am that I am not a visa waiter.. which we are now calling Visa blessings in our mission. And things have changed for them. Originally they were doomed to be the junior companion the whole time they were state side, they were not allowed to hold any leadership callings but that changed. Which is a big blessing! Because they are literally waiting every day to find out if they are staying or leaving within 24 hours. And members ask constantly why they are still here, which makes it harder for them! But now they are allowed to train, and be leaders and really feel like they are giving more. Which is huge! Because we have some amazing visa blessings here who will help teach and really be a great benefit to the mission while they are here. I am not jealous of them though, just waiting to know whether or not they will stay or leave. A very hard transitory place to be :( She will be in my prayers too! And you guys got to see that Sister Lauer and I saw each other at stake conference! I felt bad because we literally only saw each other long enough to take that picture and then it was starting and we didnt find each other after the session. But it was good to see her! she snuck up behind me and said 'how are you doing sister wilson' it was great to see her again! Wish I had gotten to see the kids or talk to her more! But who knows, maybe I will go to Pottsville and get to see them all again! And meet the new little ones as well :) Well this week. what a blur. I feel like I was just here email you! We got to go on exchanges with the sister training leaders. Which is a new thing after the age change. They are like a Zone Leader.. except really different actually. They are the leaders over just the sisters in multiple zones. There are 8 sister trainers in the mission, so 4 companionships now. They split the mission into quarters and they each are leaders over one quarter of the mission. They go on exchanges with each companionship they are over every transfer. They are there to help council, (since elders and sisters dont council each other) and they are another go to between us and president if we need it. They attend Mission Leadership Council and help to train the sisters. They hold sister accountability during each exchange, which is a list of questions about obedience, stress, your family, your mental health etc. to make sure we are doing our best and to make sure that we are receiving any help we need. They are pretty helpful actually, and I was sad because when we first got here I had the same sister traininers that I had in Montrose, but they got switched and I was kinda worried about what kind of leaders they would be. Turns out they are awesome! Sister Earl is one of the most kind and sincere people I have ever met! She taught me about really focusing on strengths of me and my companion, which is helpful. Also sister Meeks is one of the funnies sisters ever! She was a hoot and a half and I only spent lunch with her so we could all do accountability together. Hopefully I get to work with her a little bit more. But next transfer is her last one, so we shall see. We had dinner at the Tatlows this week. They are hilarious! In the middle of dinner sister Tatlow said: You know, I dont think Im going to make it to the Celestial kingdom, but as long as I get to be an angel in one of my kids worlds, like I want to be the Angel of Death in ______ world! I just busted up laughing! It was soooo funny! Shes a hoot. I love it! They are having us over the day before Thanksgiving and that is when they have Thanksgiving in their family (husband works away most of the week) so we get another Thanksgiving dinner! Yahoo! Also we saw Cindy last night :) Oh how I love Cindy! She is awesome! We talked about the plan of Salvation last night, and we talked about what she had been feeling all week and how things were going. She told us that she got her answer while she was ironing this week. She said there was a very sassy voice that told her ' what are you waiting for? You know this already. Just do it!' and it surprised her because of how sassy it was. She talked with Gentry who told her yup, somtimes its sassy, and yup sometimes thats weird! But it was so good! We tried to set a baptismal date with her, and she was very hesitant. Turns out that her son is in the Navy and she wants to be able to talk to him before she gets baptized and she wants Gentry to talk to her son before they get married. I told her I get that, what ever poor soul I marry is going to have to talk to two brothers instead of one dad, poor guy... but secretly thats really funny to me :) Anyways, so we ended up setting her Baptismal date for January 5th, which gives them enough time to talk to her son and figure out what exactly they want to do. So we walked out of there on cloud 9! Just so excited for her! Cindy is awesome! We only got to Earth life in the plan of salvation, and we were there longer than we should have been... but we only got part way because its such a good conversation! She has awesome questions and we are able to really discuss and help her learn, and if she isnt quite sure she says 'Ill have to think about that' and then she does for the next week! I love her. As we were leaving, she said I love it when you girls come over, because I feel like Ive known you for longer than only a few weeks. And Gentry, and I both said to her its probably because we have! Im sure that the four of us had a conversation in the pre-earth life about coming down and finding each other here. How grateful I am that we have found each other! I cant wait to get to the other side and have a prefect memory of everything, earth life and before and to know that we were friends and we were able to find each other. Man! This gospel is SO cool! I just love it! We also unexpectedly have a really busy week ahead of us, which is awesome! I am so excited for everything that is happening now. We had a few referrals that we have been trying to contact and we were able to call this week and set it up. Turns out that Shannon is a college student and she invited us over for lunch and said that they were all excited to learn about our religion. So we have an appointment with an unknown number of people to teach about the gospel, and they are going to feed us. How cool is that? I love food. And you know what missionaries miss eating? Breakfast foods. Do breakfast for dinner! Waffles and bacon and eggs! Because lets be honest, I dont cook breakfast... and a sister had us over for breakfast before Stake conference on sunday and we had waffles and it was delicious! Also we miss fruit! Because no one serves fruit with dinner, and its expensive. So serve fruit to your missionaries! At least your sisters, you elders may not even care. But I miss fruit. And Mexican food and Chinese food! Mexican is good, and there is not a whole lot of good mexican food out here... but Sister Ortega is a good cook and she is feeding us more spanish food so its okay! I love it :) Hum, I cant think of anything else! Mostly I just love you guys a whole lot! Miss you tons! I think of you often and you are in my nightly prayers. Thank you for your love and your support, how grateful I am for that! So keep doing what your doing, your awesome! Love you buckets! Sister Kindra Wilson
Monday, November 11, 2013
November 11, 2013 Yeah so today is Veterans day, which means that number one our libraries should be closed, but arent, and that we shouldnt have Pday today, but we do :) So heres my email! This week was BIRTHDAY WEEK :) And we all know how much I LOVE birthday week :) Its one of my favoritest weeks of the year. I got to finish opening all my presents, thank you for all of the cardigans! I love them! The black one is my favorite, it fits really well and its very warm :) And the mustardy one matches that scarf very well paired with my grey leopard print pencil skirt (my favorite one I inherited from my trainer) this might be my new favorite outfit, so thank you mommy! You did very well! We had a nice Pday last week, more relaxed and more time once we figured out the washer deal and the fact that we arent driving to the church any more. We went and got soup for lunch, because its turned into soup and salad weather, which I like. No snow yet which is preferable! Its definitely getting colder though, which is not very nice. Also the colors came out this week! Ill try and remember to send some pictures, Stuart asked me to take tons of pictures to share, and I think this week was our window. Its getting windier and stormier every day, so the leaves are falling pretty quickly now. And its ridiculous the amount of leaves everywhere! They dont bother to rake the leaves because its pretty pointless. They have leave sucker machines that come along (kinda like the street cleaners do, but they have this huge vacuum hose that one guy has to direct) and they go along the curbs downtown and in some of the suburbs to suck up the leaves. And so people will dump all the leaves in their yard along the curb to be sucked up. So we have piles of leaves like Idaho has piles of snow in the winter. Its kinda cool. I like to jump in them and kick them and all of that. AND there is this great pile in the church yard of leaves that I have wanted to jump in for several weeks now. But seeing as how I am a missionary and have a name tag and all that jazz I thought it would be better if I did not. So I havent, but Ive still wanted to! And I thought to myself, if I could get a kid to play with me I would do it, because children play in leaves all the time and that's acceptable! So after Ashley's Baptism as we were walking out her daughter Kylie ran over and jumped in the leaves.... so I did too! It was great fun, I love little kids! And oh my goodness! We have met the most stubborn little girl of my life! Maybe I am just noticing now more, because I'm sure Ive met others, but her name is Brinlee, which I think is cute, and she was having a fit in church because she wanted to run up and be with daddy, well she couldnt because daddy was up at the front and was going to be the one to confirm Ashley and member and bless her with the gift of the Holy Ghost. So she was screaming and her mom took her out, but she tried to sneak back in. So I looked over at her and got her to come and stand by me. I scooped her up, set her on the bench next to me and then wrapped my arms around her so she couldnt run in the middle of the prayer. She sat just fine, but after when I asked her if she would be good for mommy, she looked up at me and shook her head and said uhh uuhhh (no)! And she has done several things like that, you know the nice kicking her sister because she wants the book etc.We teach Ashley in their home and so we get to interact with them a lot. But she is the cutest little girl! We had a lesson with the Ortegas this week. We meet with them every monday and have Family Home Evening with them. We have started reading the Book of Mormon with them and we have been trying to get them to church since we got here. Its hard because the dad isnt a member so he doesnt really want to come, and he was on a football team that always played on sunday mornings, but they won the championship last week so that should be done! They were at sacrament meeting this week and then there was a missionary farewell yesterday night which they came to. And there were a lot of miracles at that farewell! But with the Ortegas, they have a daughter who is in Young Womens who we have been trying to get to come and has needed some fellowship. Well at the open house she walked with the YW president and some of the young women and she agreed to attend early morning seminary this morning! YAHOO! I was just walking on clouds all night after I heard that. Because guess what? Its working! We are able to be in the Ortegas home and help them learn about the gospel. Sister Ortega is now teaching her children more and catching the fire. She told us that she read the assigned reading from the Book of Mormon with her family, but then she kept going because she wanted to know what happened! The dad is there when we are teaching now, he is interacting with us more and he is reading the Book of Mormon with his family. Their daughter is going to Seminary! Which means she will hopefully make better friends in YW and want to stay on Sundays, and maybe want to come to mutual. Which means then her and her two younger sisters who are activity day aged, would get to their activities! Its been a long haul, and we are just starting to see the changes in their family, mostly because they are seeing it and telling us! Its great :) Man. This is the Lords work, and it changes lives!!!! Day by day, with a lot of time and effort, everyone can change! We were also able to meet with our less active sister Wendy this week. she was the one that I was surprised remembered our last appointment. But she was there and she was eager to hear from us! We met more of her family, her house is still crazy, but we were able to see their hearts soften from the moment they walked in (they were very not happy to see us in their home and were not afraid to make it known) to the moment we left, where she was receptive to us. We even asked Wendy to say a closing prayer and she was clearly uncomfortable with everything that was going on, but her family stopped and said you say beautiful prayers! Just say it. And helped her want to, and she did! She said it in spanish so I have no idea what she said, but it was pretty! We then organized a ride for her to get to church this week, and she came! We found out once she got there that the Spanish elders had gone to her house as well, on saturday night! At like 8:45, clearly the last person of the night. I guess Wendy had requested a spanish book of mormon online and they went to deliver it. They had no idea she was a member! They made a comment about our new investigator coming to church and we were like Wendy? No shes a member! but she speaks spanish, so we are now trying to figure out where she needs to be. Because she clearly wants sisters. She said to us in our lesson that she felt like she knew us. she felt very comfortable with us and trusted us and confided in us some of her life situation which, is kind of a big deal and needs more attention than a lot of other issues. So we dont feel like we should just pass her off to the Spanish elders, but she understands better in spanish. So we are trying to figure out what to do for Wendy and her family. Sister Carrigan said on the way home 'sounds like its going to be a turf rumble' to see if she goes to the spanish ward or stays here. And I dont really care what ward shes in, as long as she is where she needs to be. The only issue is who is teaching her, so we are praying over that and trying to figure out what the best situation should be. Sorry, apparently I dont use paragraphs any more... oh well. We also had dinner at a members house this week (we had more than one, but I want to tell you about one) the Bittners. They are such a cute little family! Three boys, one is 12 or 13, ones 7 and one is 3 or 4. And they are cute as buttons! But Sister Bittner is the best, she is just hilarious! She is an author and she is just publishing her first book, I cant remember what it is called. But she was so excited she was telling us all about it! And its a scifi book, which I dont usually do. But she was telling us about it and it actually sounds really interesting, I want to read it when I get home. And it was cute how excited she was. Oh and when I walked in, their 7 year old loves us. He gives us monkey hugs, which entails him wrapping his arms around us and then picking up his feet and wrapping them around us as well. While we were there they said okay no more monkey hugs to the sister missionaries! Which I was grateful for. But we saw sister Bittner at the open house last night and she said she was having a rough month, because she broke the sabbath a month ago. I said you know you can repent from that! And she said, I know, but I broke the Sabbath because we went to Comicon in NY.... HAHAHA I love her! Sister Carrigan and I (and sister bittner!) all laughed and we told her how much we loved her. She awesome! Wicked creative and such a great mom. I love being around her! Well yesterday was a good sunday, funny. We had Ward Council and in ward council were a few good quotes. So Elders Quorum was talking about some of the callings they extended. One of them was a calling with Family History work... and I quote... "We call him, for lack of a better title, the 'redeeming the dead guy' " Thats literally what the Elders Quorum calls it. the 'redeeming the dead guy'. Love it. They were also talking about the Danish and some comments were made: "All you have to do is stick a potato in your mouth to sound like a Dane" "And depending on what country your in is the type of potato to use" I love our ward councils, they are quite inspiring! haha. We were also talking about a recent convert how has gone inactive that cuts hair for a living. And the young mens president said "well we can take the young men to go get hair cuts"... and the bishop responded with "can we look into the budget for that?" and then we all laughed, because he was only half serious. But man, its been a good week. And I got a birthday lunch, dinner, facebook time, and then we got to teach Cindy! Cindy, how I love my dear Cindy! We talked about the Priesthood and authority and the fact that we can trace our Authority back to Christ himself and all that that entails. It was a really good lesson filled with great questions, she knows so much more than she thinks she does! At one point she was asking about when Joseph Smith received the Priesthood and asked "Yeah Joseph Smith, and who was with him?... thats right Oliver Cowdry"... and I just started laughing! She stopped and said "What?" and then sister Carrigan and Brother LaMartin both started laughing. Her concern is that she does not know enough, because Brother LaMartin (who she is dating) is a scriptorian, much like unto my companion Sister Carrigan, he can remember where he read everything. And thats intimidating to Cindy because she is like me, and we cannot find that one scripture to save our lives (thank goodness for the search function on LDS.org!) And I just looked at her and said, "you know more than you think you know! There are members who couldnt tell you that!" And she said so many other things and asked such great questions that I was comical to think her fear is that she doesnt know enough. But I get that, I have the same concern, as I think we all do at some point. But she is so ready! She told us that she knows its true, she just hasnt gotten that spiritual confirmation that she is looking for yet. Cindy is awesome! I cannot wait for her to find that answer that she is looking for. its truly amazing to see how the Lord is preparing the people as He is hastening His work. What a great time to be a missionary! I am so glad that I am here now and I am able to get to know and love these people. I am truly a blessed daughter of God to have such experiences in my life! I wish I could thank Him fully for everything my Heavenly Father has given me. What a blessing it is to be out here serving a mission. Know that I love you all! I pray for all of our family by name every night! I pray for you constantly and hope that God strengthens you in whatever you may need at this time. I love you, and miss you dearly! Keep the faith and stay strong everyone, because believe it or not, the Gospel has been restored to the Earth once again! With all my love, Sister Kindra Wilson :) © 2013 MicrosoftTermsPrivacyDevelopersEnglish (United States)
Tuesday, November 5, 2013
PS email from November 4, 2013 So in honor of my birthday being so soon, there was an announcement last week on our weekly mission wide conference calls, that to celebrate the whole mission is getting iPhones and iPads! Just kidding, its not in honor of my birthday... but we really are getting iPhones and iPads by the end of the year. Each companionships phone will be switched to an iPhone and EVERY missionary will be receiving an iPad. I know. I was also shocked! But we will be the first mission to receive them, but not the only one. I think there are 4 of us here on the east coast who will be getting such tools to help us spread the Gospel. We currently are able to have ipods and itouch's. The missionaries with the itouch ipods are able to use some apps like facebook messenger to be able to teach to people when we are not sitting in front of a computer. That will not be a function available to us on the iPads and they are asking all missionaries to send iPods home. Since we are getting iPads theres no real reason to have the itouch as well. With the iPhones we will be given the opportunity to teach people using facetime, skype, etc. And I believe (but am not 100%) that we will be able to skype home at Christmas and mothers day, but those things will be decided closer to that time. Im not sure when we will be getting these tools but we are told that everyone will have one by the end of the year and that the people in Salt Lake over the missionary department and facebook will be here in a few weeks to give training to the leaders and then to all of us on how to most effectively use these tools. On the iPads we do not have free reign over the internet. Currently on the iPods the web browsers are disabled and the games are all removed. We will have access to all the church apps. Which will be cool because we can use the study journal online, we can view the mormon.org videos, we can now use anything on LDS.org to teach, including the new Bible videos! Anything that you can use from LDS.org or Mormon.org will be available to us to use to teach. Our area books are now going to be on the iPads as well. NO MORE PAPER! Which can be good or bad... .I think that President will have access to these tools which is good because then he can see who is keeping everything up to date etc. Our weekly reports will be on the iPads, the reports that go to ward coucil and the ward mission leader will be made available to them, so they can view the reports whenever they choose. Also our planners will be on the iPads... but i have stocked up on enough planners to last the rest of my mission, because its my crutch. I like to be able to pull it out and know the schedule and talk to people on their porch and set up a time without pulling out a big ole tablet. But some people are really excited to get rid of theirs... which is weird to me. Anyways! Just thought I should drop a note to tell you all about how much the work is progressing here. Its quite amazing everything that is made available to us! And my mission is very different than what I thought it was going to be! Ill tell you that much! LOVES!
Monday, November 4, 2013
More shots of Old Town Bethlehem
Kindra is also learning just how serious parking on the East Coast really is!!! Don't mess with alternate days parking!!!
Trees that are right outside her apartment. they have not had a very colorful Fall in Penn this year. But lots of yellow!!
More shots of Old Town Bethlehem
Kindra is also learning just how serious parking on the East Coast really is!!! Don't mess with alternate days parking!!!
Trees that are right outside her apartment. they have not had a very colorful Fall in Penn this year. But lots of yellow!!
November 3, 2013
THANK YOU! For the birthday card, the box of muffins and the coat and the birthday boxes :) It was a week full of goodies! And my birthday is still 2 days away! I opened the boxes and I have been opening one birthday gift a day, because I couldnt wait a whole week to open all of them! But I still want to open some on my birthday :)
So thank you for the tights and the socks, and the beautiful scarf! Its very pretty and it is heavy so it will be warm for the snow season! (which is almost upon us...) And thank you for the white sweater! it is long sleeved :) And warm, so it will get worn for sure this winter! Thank you!
And thank you for the muffins! They were not stale at all... in fact they were the most moist muffins Ive ever had, so whatever you did worked! and I still have 2 dozen in the freezer! I might take some to district meeting on Thursday and share with everyone, but there are 14 missionaries who meet at the building and thats half of what I have left, so we shall see how charitable I am feeling on Thursday... probably pretty charitable since I dont think I could eat all of them on my own if I tried! I did leave some for the Relitz for her letting you send me a box there. She is hilarious! I love her, and brother Relitz was just released as our warm mission leader, so we know them pretty well.
What else? Well we have been CRAVING good Mexican food for a while... because white people on the east coast dont ever cook Mexican food I have found. And we had to be in and safe on Halloween early, so a member brought us dinner and they brought us some mexican food! It was glorious! and they brought ice cream as an early birthday gift, and cupcakes! So we had an early birthday party, it was great :)
Also the city of Bethlehem is weird, Im not sure if I told you this last week or not, but they trick-or-treat the Friday before Halloween.... so we also had to be in early last week and a member brought us pizza, wings and canolie's for dinner, all delivered by the same pizza man. The east coast is weird, which is why the west coast is the best coast :) haha just kidding... but not really. S. Carrigan says that a lot, shes from San Diego and already dying in the cold here. It will be a lovely winter transfer with her... shes kinda a pansy on top of that so she never takes her coat off.
Well it was kinda a slow week. Sister Carrigan has been sick off and on so random times we will be in all day. Which is kinda the worst as a missionary, because all you can do as a missionary is read your scriptures, Preach my Gospel, Jesus the Christ or write in your journal, or watch a cheesy church movie. And after a while words start to give you a headache whether your reading them or writing them... and The movies we have are like 40 minutes at the longest so its kinda long and boring to be in as a missionary. But I have written a little more in my journal, I try to write about every day, it just doesnt get written on that day.... and I have started reading Jesus the Christ but it makes me think a lot and so I have to stop after a while because I get a head ache, but its really good and I will finish it before I come home! Plus the scriptures are awesome. But Im back in Alma, and Alma is SO LONG! Its quite rude almost. All the other books fly by and then you get to Alma and your there forever! But its good stuff so Im not really complaining about it... but when S. Carrigan complains about being in Jacob back in the Isiah chapters I say suck it up, Im still in Alma. (so yeah that compassion thing, still working on it).
But we had another good Sunday! Ashley was confirmed and given the gift of the Holy Ghost at church! So it was a happy day :) And we had the Ortega girls at church, they are the less active family we have been working with. We go over there every Monday after Pday and she feeds us and we teach them and have family home evening with them. Its going okay, we are trying to get the dad at church, hes not a member, and now that his football team is over we might be able to get him there! He came inside to drop the girls off this week before his game! so that was good.
We also had our investigator Cindy come to church too. I love Cindy. She is the one that we found on our way home, I think I told you that story in my last letter.... but yeah. She is the girlfriend of a less active member and she is reading the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants and they watch the mormon channel on their roku all the time. (I dont know if you guys know what roku is, if it's new since I've come out or if its a east coast thing, but its like DVR but for specialty shows and things. So like mormon channel, or different things like that. Which is probably the worst explanation ever given, but its not important to the story anyways...)
But Cindy was at church! She had a major migraine though so they left after Sunday school, but she was there and it was awesome! We are excited to go back and talk with her again. He is soaking up what we teach and it sounds like they have already discussed most of it already. Now its just connecting all the dots and explaining why it all matters.
So it was an excellent Sunday with lots of people there!
There was also a member who got up and bore his testimony thanking Elder Holland for his talk in conference. Elder Holland talked about depression, anxiety and other mental illnesses. Our member suffers from depression, anxiety, PTSD from serving in Iraq, and on top of that he had some physical ailments that were preventing him from coming to church as often as he would like. He bore his testimony about how that talk touched him and how he is grateful that words like depression and anxiety are not taboo and that we can talk about them, lean on each other and help others work through it.
It was just another testimony to me about how much the church is progressing in so many ways. I think missionary work has been a big push lately, but to see that we are progressing in many ways! That we are able to reach out to more people and to help others in ways that we did not recognize before. I am grateful for the council of our leaders and their love and support for all the members of the church.
Man I love this Gospel! I am so excited and blessed to be a part of this work of Salvation. I cannot wait to see who else I can reach out to and share this gospel with in order to help bring them closer to their Savior. How grateful I am for my testimony and the things that I am learning and how it is changing me, for the better! There are so many things that I want to learn and develop in my life and I am grateful for this time to be able to focus on the spiritual to help me understand why I want to develop more abilities and how those can help me in an eternal sense.
One of my new favorite quotes I found this week is from sister Marjorie Pay Hinckley:
"There is something about spirituality that is central to the life of a woman. Not the kind of spirituality that only takes you to church on Sunday. I am talking about the kind of spirituality that makes you behave like a child of God."
"True spirituality make you loving and grateful, and forgiving, and patient, and gentle, and long suffering. True spirituality breathes reverence into every act and deed. It compels you to get in touch with your Heavenly Father every single day of your life" Alma 37:34, 36
I love this. Especially the first part, because it has helped me to see how spirituality works in your everyday life but doesnt 'suck the fun' out of things. It becomes a part of who you are and not just what you do. It doesnt prevent you from having fun, but enhances your understanding and broadens your views to be able to have fun in more ways than you previously knew.
This is how I hope I am able to change between now and when I come home. It will probably be a life long journey, but its one that I want to start now.
Thank you for all of your loving, kind, and encouraging words. Thank you for the cards, and birthday gifts and well wishes. I love you all and pray for you all daily. Thank you for everything you do for me! I really do appreciate it all.
LOVES! Sister Wilson
Monday, October 28, 2013
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Oct 21, 2013
Sounds like you had a fun outside week at the apartments this week, and I would say leave the other cutting to Stuart, I bet he misses all of that yard work :) You know since hes working harvest and all... but he would not mind doing it at all, you know Stuart, hes awesome like that.
Im glad that seminary is going well for you! Hopefully it keeps until Christmas break... because I feel like Christmas is around the corner... but its not. Its not even my birthday yet! Thank you for sending me packages! I love them already! And Im glad that the lady in Thriftway was so helpful! I kinda hate going into the post office because I feel like they are always cranky about whatever it is they have to do for me... so Im glad that she was friendly!
Thank you for the addresses and Garrets email. This week my letter is going to be short because Im being kicked off in 4 minutes... LAME! We didnt go to the church to email today, we came to the library because we are going to go explore old downtown Bethlehem! Im excited. Sorry this email is so short!
We had a pretty good week and a few miracles happened. I will copy and paste the story I shared with President, so it wont be geared toward this audience, so if you need to change things than change them before you post it please! Like change the names perhaps?
I am learning a lot about what it means to follow the spirit exactly! We watched a documentary about President Monson and I really connected with some of his stories. They ended saying that he made the promise to never ignore a prompting again! You think duh! but its true you have to make that decision!
LOVE YOU! sorry its not loading and I have 20 seconds to send...
JUST KIDDING! Were back! We were able to get on for another session, so now I can send that story to you.
"One miracle happened yesterday actually, we got into the car to go home and I felt like there was one more person we needed to find that night. But I was wrestling with myself on how we were going to find them. I looked at my planner at the people that we didnt get to see that day and I said 'can we stop by one more person' S. Carrigan said 'sure! who?' and I wasnt quite sure. But I said LaMartin, now there were two of that lived close together, both less active individuals. We went to the first house and I was excited to see what lay in store since the spirit was constraining me so strongly to find the last person of the evening. We knocked on the door and guess what? She had moved. I was confused what we were supposed to do! I thought this was where we needed to be. I told S. Carrigan I don’t know what to do, and it might be because I get nervous 5x5ing after dark.
She then reminded me that there was another LaMartin around the corner. So we went there to try and contact him. His wife answered the door and it was dark so I couldn’t see her face. I asked if Gentry was home and she said 'I know you two! We were in the session together' and then I was really confused, session? Then Gentry walked over to the door and they invited us in. We found out that Gentry has been a member for a while but goes through phases of activity and inactivity. He is now married to Cindy and she is not a member, but they were at church last week in our Sunday school class about tithing. I had no idea she wasnt a member. Were new enough that we are still getting to know the ward and everyone seemed to know who he was so I figured they were an AM couple we hadnt met yet.
We were able to have a discussion with him on how he found the church and then his wife joined us. (she was running around putting things away and getting their 10 year old ready for bed etc. they had just got home from a picnic or something outside and she was trying to get everything ready for work and such the next morning.) but she came in long enough for S. Carrigan to share a scripture and then for us to say a prayer.
We learned that she has just lost someone in her family and she told us that Gentry loved the missionaries and makes a point to tell everyone quite often! They told us that they were reading the B of Mormon together and that they watched the Mormon channel and discussed the gospel a lot. He calls her a closet Mormon because when she learns new doctrine she says it makes sense. She also thanked us for the great lesson on tithing! That was cool!
We were able to set a RA for a night next week when they would both be home and their son would be home as well.
The spirit is always right! I am so grateful that I listened to the spirit and made a point to find the one last person that night!"
5x5 is 'tracting' but when you have a specific house to go to, like when we receive a referral and they aren’t home we try to figure out why we are there then. So we knock 5 doors to the left and 5 doors to the right until we find whoever we are there for. Its intimidating, but you get to meet lots of interesting people!
We also got to eat dinner at a members house this week that was really fun. They have two teenage boys who are only a year or two apart and so they pick at each other and such, it was funny to sit and watch them interact because it was so a Sunday night dinner at our home growing up! You know the asking 5 times and then it turns into yelling 5 times to do anything including come to the table! Its funny because I see how utterly ridiculous we were! Dont worry mom, I finally figured it out! It only took 22 years! well.. almost 23 but thats not the point!
Anyways, thank you mom and dad for putting up with all of us all these years! And dont worry, pay back is coming... sooner than I know it.
Also exciting this week Ashley had her interview for her Baptism that is taking place this coming Sunday! We are really excited for her! As are the Elders in Easton. They actually started teaching her and so they are able to come and be at the Baptism to support Ashley :) So it will be good to have them there as well.
We also had our car die on us. AWESOME. We went out one morning to start the car and it just wouldn’t. No there were no lights left on over night... yes we waited for an hour for a member to come and jump our car, and NO it didn’t work. So then we had to call the vehicle coordinator, wait for his approval to be able to call Pep Boys and then they had us call a towing service. So it was a lot of hurry up and waits that day! Turns out the battery died, so it went into the shop and Teancum came out with a beautiful new battery :) (Yes, we named our corolla Teancum :)
But in the events of this day we were calling one of our ward members, and some of the quotes of the call include but are not limited too: Im making soup (at 10 am), see what I did is I got AAA because I cant do anything with cars, if you need anything holla at me, and he said good bye with: take care my friend. You would never guess that this was a grown man with adult children, but it was. And we love calling and talking to him now! Hes awesome and super funny!
We also got to teach primary this week. We talked about being thankful and recognizing our blessings, because we first have to recognize that they are blessings in order to be able to share that with others! So in order to do missionary work first we have to list all our blessings. We passed out papers and told them to list 10 things they are grateful for and bring them back next week. We also colored Todd the Turkey, who has no tail feathers. He has to earn his tail feathers through the primary before thanksgiving! We challenged them to come up with 1000 things they are thankful for by thanksgiving. Theres about 40 of them so we shall see if they rise to the challenge! Senior primary even did the math and it will take them a few weeks to get all 1000 things. So it should be good. Plus we get to go to primary for a few minutes every week now! So thats fun. Also we handed out Jolly Ranchers and we had a huge bad so after church I was walking through the halls passing out candy and so the kids loved me :) It was great fun. Plus you learn who also has a sweet tooth, I know Im not the only one! Even if I do have a sandwich bag of Jolly Ranchers in my purse right now... :)
OH and we went into the family history center this week, and shout out to Aunt Duana, we were clicking through our family trees to see how far back we could go. Sister Carrigan was really excited because she got all the way back to 400 BC... and then I kept going and going and going. Did you know that Duana researched a direct line all the way back to Adam? Yeah, now you know! "cause its mikes super short show!" (anyone get the reference?)
But how cool is that?! We go all the way back to 'Adam, Father of Man kind' also Adam and Eve have a 30 year age difference according to their records.... but thats so cool! I wish I knew more about family history work.
Mom and Keira, how is that coming? I found out that since dad did all his work on PAF we will have to transfer the records over, but there are church record numbers on every person, so once we get enough of them put into the other line it should pull up everyone since they are linked together and all. So it wont take as much effort as I thought it would to link everything over to familysearch.com So maybe see what Stuart and Keira can do about that come thanksgiving while everyone is there? Cause I know that Stuart was wanting to get into family history work, not sure what line he is working on.
anyhow, I should go read Stuart and Lindys letters. Thanks for everything! Love you all! The gospel is true, and it heals people and families everyday. I’ve seen it and you can too.
LOVES sister Wilson :)
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
October 15, 2013
Well what a great email! Thank you for sending the pictures, you look awesome! 138lbs, thats amazing mom. It really is!
As for the apts taking packages, I still don’t know. But transfers are the week before my birthday so I will probably get the packages as long as they are in the office by oct 25... so you’ve got some time. I dont know why I haven’t found out yet about that, but its just easier to have them sent to the mission office and not worry about it.
That story about getting the stove insert, wow, yeah. Funny! Im glad that no one got hurt but man! I cant even imagine trying to get that thing up the stairs! And then into a truck bed... yeah stinking right. So good job everyone! Glad that everyone was good about it, that could have been a very unpleasant experience for all.
Your crafts sound like a lot of fun, and very cute! Sounds like a good idea for the crayons and the advent calendar, spice jars, genius I say! I dont know who comes up with all of the RS crafts but they are always cute and fun. Im glad that they were able to do it at the lodge, its much more homey to go there than to be stuck in the church buildings. I can only imagine how gorgeous it is about now.
You would think that I would be all Falled out being in PA in the Fall, but hardly any leave’s have changed color. It seems they get to yellow and then fall to the ground and turn red and then brown there. Which is still pretty but its not what I was expecting. There are still a LOT of green trees around which is surprising me. But its been fairly warm out still for being mid October! I cant believe its already October! I have officially been out for 5 and a half months... thats not okay. Why does my life fly by so fast?! Its weird because we are pretty close to a college campus where we email home at the library and such so I get the college campus vibe sometimes and I feel like I am back in Idaho, especially because I would be back at school right now. Super weird! But I am glad I am here now! I know this is where I need to be. And I am excited to be able to come home and still have a year of school left before I get kicked out into the real world :)
I have not seen Dawna Lauer or the Shea's. I had dinner at a members house who said he is doing Pathways with her and she said to tell me hi. So we are in the same building and interacting with the same people, but my ward meets in the morning and then the Spanish branch and then her ward, so unless I linger and she shows up early we wont cross paths on Sunday, which is too bad. It would be fun to see her! We are in the same stake I know that much. So close, yet so far. :( Maybe one day Sister Lauer!
Can I get Garrets email? He moves around too much any more to try to ask for his physical address and to write to him that way. But I havent talked to him in 6 months! And I do want to talk to my brother sometimes (hint hint! Garret) But I am glad that he is doing well. Too bad they had to get rid of their car, that sucks! But I dont feel too bad for you since your in freaking Hawaii! Hope your living it up and enjoying all you can in between all your work stuff.
I cant believe Samantha is gone! Man, sometimes I feel so old knowing who else is on a mission from our ward. All the little kids, but then I know that there isnt a huge age difference between us, it just seemed like that because I was a laurel and they were not! But I am excited to say that I was able to serve at this time. Its a testimony to me of the importance of the work seeing everyone who is preparing to go and who is going. What an awesome experience for us all.
Sorry I need some better descriptive words... don’t judge. I’m interacting with a bunch of teenagers, it wears off.
That’s awesome that Stuart and Lindy get to come home for Thanksgiving! How exciting to have them there for more than a day. That will be fun. And I am glad Keira is looking forward to gingerbread houses! Don’t worry, next year I will be home and eating all the candy as we construct them, so it might take a little longer... :D But Im glad that you are doing that again this year, thats something that I do enjoy doing at the holidays, eating all the goodies you guys bake :) Feel free to send any over here to the East Coast, maybe not to the mission office first, but you know, I like to eat :) Sister Carrigan and I tell our members, we eat like the elders, but we just eat in shifts. So we take a lot of things to go instead of stuffing our faces, they get a kick out of that and they send us home with leftovers so we dont go hungry. And you know what! Its a miracle and not a complaint, but they have been sending us home with so many left overs that our fridge is full. And so is our meal calendar! We have a dinner every night for the rest of the transfer. Its awesome. Our members do love us. We saw our bishop at his daughters baptism this week and we had previously talked about having dinner with his family and our investigator at his house in ward council. But we didn’t put it on the calendar and now its booked through! So we had to say sorry bishop, unless if you want us over on a Monday night it’s going to have to wait. Kinda weird huh! But a good problem to have non the less.
And now I will tell you all about Ashley! She is our investigator who we got from the Elders. She met someone in a neighboring ward at a single parenting group. She was introduced to the Elders over there and then after she decided to seriously look into it she was transferred over to the elders here and then they were transferred. Which they were sad about because it would be their first baptism in 3 transfers but they left... sorry guys!
Ashley is awesome though. She is 25 and has an adorable 5 year old daughter Kylie! She said the cutest prayer for us after a lesson one night it went like this:
"Drive safe, don’t crash, don’t hit a tree, say your prayers, amen!"
It was so cute, Ashley and Sister Carrigan laughed at how cute it was. But its been a really great time teaching Ashley. She lives with her grandma who doesn’t like company over so we have been teaching her in members homes. Which is great because the spirit is there already and then she is building relationships with them and not just us! Also we have gone to families who have girls Kylies age so she is making friends as well.
The ward is really great about doing what we ask them to do. If we tell them we need something, like a place to teach Ashley, they invite her over to be taught by us, and then invite her and us over for dinner as well! Its inspired that we came now because we have been able to get the sisters more involved especially with a female investigator.
This area is hard however. The ward has a high turnover rate, lots of med students doing their residency, and so we have a lot of moms at home with small kids. We had an awesome lesson on missionary work too on Sunday and we had a good discussion about how we can go from having example-itus to the next step. it’s hard to know what to say to people, or how to respond to the question "what do Mormons believe?" so I talked about how we go back to the basics. Use the articles of faith and what we learned in primary. We believe firstly, that we are all children of God. That he is our Heavenly Father and we are all brothers and sisters, His children. And then you can go from there. But it really is just sharing the simple truths that we know and love. Being a missionary is not about bearing a 10 minute powerful testimony and sharing the account of Joseph Smiths First Vision, that is for the full time missionaries. And I think, at least I know I did, but before I came out on my mission, I was intimidated by being a member missionary because I felt like it had to be a huge big spiritual experience. But it doesnt have to be that! Its about sharing simple gospel truths. We are brothers and sisters and so we love everyone. We believe in faith, which involves action! We believe in sacrifice, because thats how we learn and grow to become more like our Savior. We believe in a lot of things, but we dont have to be a gospel scholar in order to share the gospel. One of my favorite quotes from Sunday was in the lesson manual for President Lorenzo Snow "There is a way to reach every human heart, and it is your business to find the way to the hearts of those to whom you are called".
That is not just for missionaries, that is for every baptized member of the church. We have the truth, we have the light and the way. We covenanted to share the gospel and we have been called to bring it to different people, near or far. We need to figure out who we have been called to share this joy with and then figure out how to help it sink into their hearts. Which is why this work is so dictated by the spirit. How blessed are we to have that spirit with us! What a great work to be a part of. I am so blessed to be here at this time.
We are also teaching a young adult from Rwanda. She is studying civil engineering at the university here and her family back home in Rwanda are members. Her uncle is over the church in Rwanda so she decided to meet with missionaries and figure out what the church is all about. We had our first lesson with her and we meet at her friends dorm building. We were in the common area and her friend at one point walked by. Sheilla introduced us to her friend Denyse and we invited Denyse to come in as well. She was timid at first, they were both very quiet and listened quite intently. At the end of the lesson we asked if they had any questions and Denyse said she wanted to know more about 'that book' being the Book of Mormon. So we gave them both one. She didn’t commit to coming to the next lesson but said she would see if it would work to meet with Sheilla and us next week. It was such a miracle to see how willing they both were to learn about the gospel, even though Denyse had no intent that day or really any idea of who we were and why we were there. The Lord is preparing the hearts of people all around us. its such a testimony to me of the importance of this work.
We also finished labeling our map this week! AH! We doubled into the area and the Elders that were here previously were good about keeping information in their heads... NOT helpful Elders Thank You. They also had 3 maps on the walls, all with different boundaries. So we scrapped them, bought an atlas and have spent a lot of time putting together a map, labeling different zones within our area, and then labeling the map with all of the members on our 22 page ward list. Yes 22 pages... and about 4 per page are active member families. So it took some time but we FINALLY got the map labeled and finished! Doubling in is a lot of administrative work, but we got most of it done!
And I will leave you with one funny... and slightly embarrassing story. So one day this week we didn’t eat very well, our fault just being stupid, but by the time we got to dinner we were STARVING! And we were at this sweet members home, just a nice older empty nester couple who loves having the missionaries over. She had chicken, mashed potatoes, broccoli, fruit salad, home made pretzel rolls, salad etc. It was quite the spread, so I took a little of all of it, because we all know my eyes are bigger than my stomach. Well we ate and ate and ate, and I ate everything except for my salad, I just couldnt do it, There was too much there that I did like, to waste room on salad! Well I also got full and I was not about to barf up that dinner over a salad. Luckily, I thought to myself, I haven’t put any dressing on it... so we finished and we offered to help clear the table but they refused us. So I thought, perfect! They will take some stuff into the kitchen and then I will be able to put my salad back in the bowl and then I dont have to worry about wasting food or making them feel bad since I havent touched it at all.
BUT what does he take into the kitchen? The butter and the salad bowl... that was the only thing he grabbed! So now Im stuck. I look over at s
Sister Carrigan and I say now what do I do?! She said jokingly 'put it in your purse!' and I said 'NO!' I have some dignity... she said 'do it! It’ll make a good story!' and I am a sucker for a good story, and I didnt want them to feel bad! So I said 'take my scriptures' they are too precious to have salad thrown on them. So she took my scriptures and I proceeded to put my salad into my purse, one handful at a time. At one point he came back into the room and my hand was over my plate of salad ready to grab more, but hes a little bit older so I dont think he saw me retract my hand at lightning speed. I got the salad in my purse, not clearing the plate because that looks unrealistic. And I decided to stuff a few pieces if lettuce down (I used my fork!) While they were in the room so they thought that I had eaten it... and then I had to find the car keys in my bag without dropping or revealing the lettuce it contained inside.
And I walked away astonished at myself for doing such a thing, and then it hit. The smell of onions. Yes, there was no dressing or drippy tomatoes or anything wet in my salad, but there were now onions in my purse. And I knew it because the keys smelt of onions. My heart dropped. My purse, was ruined. (dont worry not the one we bought before I came out, but one I bought at interfaith for a buck). So we got home and I cleared the salad and assessed the damage. but it was too late, the purse was a goner.
And I have now learned my lesson. When you put food in your purse first wrap it in a napkin!
And I share that with you so that you dont make my mistakes.
Love you all! Sorry its so long! Also yesterday was Columbus day so we proselyted because we do that on holidays, even the ones that no one celebrates like Columbus day. Huzzah!
Love, Sister Wilson