Monday, September 30, 2013

Kindra is now serving in Bethlehem, Pa...The Christmas City!!   Don & I took Stuart there at Christmas time when he was about 6 weeks old. There is even a "Star" on the hills outside the city to welcome you.

Here are a few pictures one of the members emailed me. The transfer process and Kindra with her new companion Sister Carrigan.

SEPTEMBER 30, 2013

First, don’t send the electric blanket quite yet. The apt I am in has great heating and its just something else to haul around, in fact I might ask you not to send it at all... it depends on where I go. THANK YOU for the boxes, haven’t gotten them yet but I should soon. And I will let you know what you sent.

And just so you can keep an eye out... when Christmas rolls around and your thinking of things to send, I need some long sleeved cardigans. I have all half sleeves, which I like, but I only have two that have long sleeves. So thats one thing that I could use, and tights and socks are always welcomed as well :)

Well this week was really good. Sister Carrigan is teaching me a lot! More than I realized I didnt know, and I love when I realize those types of things.

Also we talked to this lady who didn’t speak very good english and so when we left her she said thanks, hugged us and kissed us and called us "Sister Jesus Christ" it was cute. Also we talked to this man who was standing outside of a tattoo parlor, smoking and drinking a monster. He ended up taking a book of Mormon and saying "you have another book? That’s pretty ballsy!", he was fun to talk to.

The biggest thing I realized this week was how much sarcasm cuts. I have pulled back and tried to take a step back and see how it affects other people, but I truly haven’t been able to do that until  this past week I think. It took being around people who are sarcastic like I am to realize how much it wears on you. I didn’t know how much I didn’t get that.
Which is something that Sister Carrigan and I have both expressed as qualities that we have that we have been wanting to change. And its been something I have been wanting to change for a long time, but I didnt know how  to make that change. So I just kinda jumped in head first and decided I would figure it out as I went, and that kinda happened but not fully until this week, and even this morning in my personal studies.
I was reading in the Book of Mormon in Jacob where he is talking about the allegory of the olive trees. One thing that I have been trying to do when I come across an allegory or a parable is to try and relate it to what is going on in my life at that time so I can apply it into my daily life.
As I was reading it this morning I related the branches to the different characteristics that we can have or that we do have, the allegory talked about pruning away the branches (or characteristics) that we dont want (like my cutting sarcasm, or something like our pride etc), but not only focusing on cutting them out, but focusing on what we are grafting into our lives (such as a greater love of all people).
In the allegory the Lord said to not prune away too much at once, because that leaves the roots stronger than the branches and will kill the tree. I related that to me, if I cut out everything that I dont like and that I want to improve all at once, then I have no where to send my energy. I need to focus on cutting out one thing, and then grafting in another good quality. I need to have places to send my energy.
So I need to not only focus on the things that I want to change, but also what I want to improve. I need to focus on replacing the things I want to change, and not just cutting out things.

Its been a great week. I have learned a lot! Its been a very inspirational week and I am forseeing a lot of changes in my future. Its such a blessing to be here with Sister Carrigan and to be learning from her. I am learning how much more fully I can rely on the Lord and how to put my relationship with Him above everything and anything else. I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to serve a mission. I am learning so much in such a short period of time, it astounds me.

Thank you for everything! Thanks for all of your letters, emails and support. (And the mission office is perfect to put on the program)

Love you all! Sorry my letter is not longer, not a ton of time this week. But Love you all!

Love, Sister Wilson

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sister Wilson is being transferred from her beloved Montrose, PA. I am certain she will fall in love with the people she serves in her next area as well. She will find out Wed morning where she will be serving. Here are a couple of pictures she sent this week. Elder & Sister Crump....missionary couple serving in Montrose.   Her companion Sister Oveson and a member from the Branch who served as the Branch mission leader.

September 16, 2013

Its been an amazing week. We had Elder Bowen of the area 70 come and do a mission tour. He talked to us about how we need to break out of the restrictions we place on ourselves and how we can jump higher and be a little better. He talked about being obedient and how that can help us to reach higher and become better. To set higher goals and to work a little harder.
It was weird because he was rebuking us for our failures of the easy and simple things, but in such a loving way that it was uplifting. Really good! And he called us 'weird' and 'strange' talking about how everyone else our age is out running around living the most selfish times in their lives, (which I was too up at school doing what I wanted when and how, thats the nature of school I think) but that as missionaries we are taking this time to dedicate our lives to the Lord and to serving others. It was really good to be uplifted and rebuked at the same time... also kind of odd. But good!

And we had to get up at 3:30 to get ready and travel to be there on time, so it was a long morning. And we ended up singing all the way down. Sister Oveson and I sang every Hymn or children's song we knew the words to since it was dark and we couldnt read the words. It was nice. I didnt want to sleep on the way down to the meeting because I figured I would not wake up enough to really hear and listen and understand. So I sang the whole time. We rode with the Crumps, to save on miles which was nice. I love the Crumps, I am going to miss them! Because Im pretty sure that wherever I go we wont have a senior missionary couple to drive with and to teach us and feed us and let us use their washer and dryer, you know, the little things like that :) They are awesome!

And we found out on saturday that I am being transferred. Which I am excited, nervous, sad, and naofoAWGF about. I am sad because I love the people in Montrose SO much! I took my little book to church and we had pot luck this week after church so I was able to get a few people to sign a note to me, and I got a few pictures with people as well. They asked me to share my testimony and a few thoughts in sacrament meeting so I did. I talked about miracles, and how if we have faith to recognize them than they will happen and we will see them. But if we dont recognize them than we think they are coincidences, and I quit believing in coincidences long ago!
I mean, we saw a miracle in our family just a week or two ago! I tell people about Garret being protected and how there are miracles all around us, we just need to have the faith to look and recognize them!
I said a few good byes, and I like doing it at church because there are so many other distractions so I dont cry. But we went on splits last night and I went with Cheryl, and so I had time to talk with her and to be able to answer more of her questions and things. And then talk as we waited for her mom and Sister Oveson to meet up with us. When we met up her mom came up and hugged me and said goodbye and thank you, and so I of course started crying. Then I had to say goodbye to Cheryl, and I cried even more.

Which was awesome because I also got a cold this week so Ive had a head ache and running nose and cough for a few days (yes I have counteract that I am taking for it, thanks) and so the head ache was just worse from that.

So I am sad because I have to say goodbye. I am nervous because I could be in a completely different state come wednesday! Surrounded by a whole bunch of more people I do not know. Or I could be in the same stake I am now, surrounded by a bunch of people I do not know. I dont think I will be training this transfer which is nice. I think I need a little bit of a break to de-stress and get my head on straight. Its been fun training, but also stressful knowing that this new missionary is copying everything I do, down to when I get in and out of the car... its like having a puppy.... just less adorable.

But I am also excited! Because this reminds me of school. After every semester I get sad because I have loved the semester so much and it has been so much fun I dont want it to end for fear that the next semester wont be as good. But then I get into that semester and its even better than the last one!

I hope thats what happens here. I have loved being in Montrose and I have learned a lot. I just hope that my next area is as great as this one and that I can continue to learn from my experiences I will have there as well.

I know that this gospel is true. Its truer than true! It just is! I want to share that knowledge with everyone, and I have my faults and my short comings, but I know that the Lord is making up for my faults and preparing my path to cross with those who need this gospel now in their lives. I am so blessed to be able to be a part of this work at this time. Because His work is going forth boldly and nobly, and it will continue to do so until everyone has had the chance to hear it!
I know that this gospel is true, I know that Joseph Smith is a Prophet who was called of God to restore the complete truth to the Earth. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and it is the most correct book out of any on the Earth. I am grateful to have that knowledge and I am grateful to have this time to share it.

I love you all! Thank you for all of your letters of encouragement, your prayers, and all of the support you give. I can feel it out here, and boy do I need it!

Thank you, thank you, thank you!

Love you guys,
Love, Sister Wilson :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Picture Info: So when I use the label tab it comes out in such a light color I don't know if anyone actually sees the labels so I thought I would do it this way:

Elder Crump & Sister Wilson  - Elder & Sister Crump are serving in Montrose too

A few of the women at the Interfaith Charity Store - where Kindra goes to serve 

                                                                                      sorting & helping
Day Lillies that grow everywhere in the area

A "Friend" they met on the drive to teach

Kindra found her sign!!

Kindra got her first ticket ever...luckily it was only $10 !!

Her first convert!! Cheryl

Getting the font ready for Cheryl's baptism

A member of the Montrose Branch - Kindra - investigator Kevin


Mom you are the best :) Thank you for everything you do for me! The GPS will be awesome to have and help a lot. It doesn't have to be anything fancy at all, its just gotta work and last! :) Your the bestest :) And I am very excited to get Melaleuca, I didnt realize how much I love it and use it until I am across the country!
Im glad that the party was a hit! And I am sad because I completely forgot to email a note to you. Can I get his address and I will send him a belated birthday card next week? That would be awesome!
I am glad Garret is doing well. I have shared that miracle with a few people to help them see that God is watching over our families at home and that he is helping you guys in ways that we cannot. I am so blessed to be a part of this family! And to be able to be serving a mission at this time. The Lord is hastening his work, the time is now! So spread the word! Tell your friends, tell everyone, because this is the truth, this is what God wants his world to hear! And as hard as it is to be here at times, it is so worth it, especially when I hear about miracles like that. Thank you for sharing that with me. I am so grateful, I cant even express it fully!
So this week. Well we had dinner with a family in our branch, the Zingher's and they are so smart! We have some intellectual conversations with them, I always come away learning something new. Like Samonila dies at 140 degrees. Bet you didnt know that! One of my favorite quotes from the night was sister Zingher talking about a paper she write about the Bible and she said "The Bible is a series of cosmologcal do - overs" they try something and it doesnt work so they get wiped out and then the next people try something different and they get wiped out.
We had an awesome unexpected lesson this week too! We knocked on a door and asked if they wanted to learn about how to do their family history work, and they let us in. We ended up teaching them the first lesson, all about the restoration and how it can change their lives! We taught them about the Book of Mormon, where it came from and how we got it. Then we left them with a Book of Mormon and we will go back later and see what they thought of it. She said she was really open minded and had studied many religions so we shall see what she thinks!
One of our investigators, Vicki, I dont know if I have told you about her yet. She is very open, and wants to learn, but she has problems with her comprehension. She said she always has, and so we try to teach as simply as we can. We tried to explain faith to her, we used Alma and talked about how faith is like a seed, read from the childrens Book of Mormon, but nothing really helped. We talked with her more and she told us that she has been scared to go and do things ever since they lost their son. He only lived for 5 weeks, and ever since she is scared about what could happen. How quickly someone can be here and then be gone. She doesnt drive because of what could happen, and she would rather stay home than go anywhere because 'what if...' Which made me so sad, and so grateful. So sad that she is living in fear every day of her life! Sad that she doesnt have the knowledge that I do, and sad that I cannot teach it to her in a way that makes sense to her.
It made me grateful for my testimony, and for my knowledge of life. I am so grateful to know that this life is NOT the end! This life is just a blink in our existence! I know that there is life after death, I know what happens after I die and I know that I will be able to see dad again.
I am grateful to know that I do not have to live my life in fear everyday. While yes I know what it is like to wake up and not have someone there that should be and how sad and scary it is to know that people I love have passed on, I know there is a plan. I know that yes I could wake up tomorrow and it could be my last day or the last day of someone that I love, but I know that it is only a seperation for a little time. I know that I will get to see Dad again and that there is life after death.
Its frustrating because we dont get to know the plan. Do I know why my friends have died? No. Do I know why my family members have died? No. But I know that they are waiting for me on the other side and that I can live with them again, and that I will see them.
I am grateful for the strength that this gospel brings to me and everything that I have because of it. And that is why I am out here on a mission, that is why I can leave my house and not live in fear. Do I get scared or worried about how much longer I have with people? Yes. But that does not dictate my life. That is not what controls my actions or my relationships with people. It has made me realize how precious this time is, and I am grateful that I have been able to realize that. And I hope to help others realize how precious life is and how much we are blessed.
I just love this gospel! I would not be where I am today or who I am today without it, because I would be living in fear of death every day. But I do not have to.
Basically, its been a great week. But my comp is having problems with her computer so I am going to switch her so she can email. Love you all!

Love, Sister Wilson

Friday, September 6, 2013

Sept 3, 2013

Well yesterday was Labor day, as you well know, and on holidays we proselyte since that's a day people tend to be home. So President Anderson switched p-day to Tuesday instead. Which you can expect anytime a holiday falls on Monday, Tuesday will be our p-day that week.

Lets see what happened this week? Well I learned that I will never say I can live with anyone. I always thought that when missionaries complained about their companions that they just were complaining to complain. I now realize that it can be hard to get along with people when you are together 24/7.
I came out thinking, everyone says missions are hard, but it wont be as hard as other missionaries say it is. Ive done hard things, Ive moved out of the house, Ive lived on my own, Ive had less than desirable roommates, I can deal with challenging companions and with whatever else they think is hard.

Basically I came out super prideful.... dumb me.

Now dont think that I am having this miserable time with my companion and that its super hard and all that jazz. Because its not that bad! Its challenging and forces me to let go of some of my pride and look at the situation and think about what I did wrong in the situation.
I am learning that I need to step back and figure out what I could have done to make someone react to me a certain way.
I have been frustrated lately by a few experiences and feeling like things should have gone better, and so then I get frustrated with the companionship not being as good as it can be. Which is true, we made mistakes and we needed to be better in certain instances. But we are doing really well despite all of this!
Lets just say the Lord is blessing us! I dont know what it is about Montrose, but it is ready to grow! We were talking to our district leader this week as we were giving our weekly report and he told us that the zone leaders have been very impressed with the work that we are doing.
I had no idea.
At the end of the night when we review everything we did I often think, wow. Thats it? Thats all I did all day?! But then I step back and realize that yeah, it might seem like we didnt do a lot, but we did. We did everything we were asked to do and more. We talked to more people than I thought we did and we had more spiritual lessons than we have had in the past.
Even when I feel like there is so much more I can do, and when I feel like I might be holding back the work because I am working on my pride and still learning so many things, I realize that the Lord is blessing Montrose and my faults are not holding back these people from being with their families for eternity.

Sometimes I feel like my efforts fall short, and I pick myself up and keep going. And then I realize that the Lord is allowing me to work through my short comings as He is working through me to bring happiness and the truth to these people.

I am so blessed to be here, and I am learning so much!

Sorry this letter is short, we are heading down to Scranton today to do a zone activity so we gotta go.

Thank you for all of your prayers and support! I love you all and I know your prayers are being answered. Thank you, Love you and stuff! Love, Sister Wilson
August 26, 2013

Sounds like you have had a busy week! Chickens at Jefferson Square? Luckily we have a chicken farmer friend haha, never thought I would say that about Aloha! Im glad Janelle gets to go and be with Garret and that you guys will get updates all day, please pass the word along! I have been praying for him and for the surgeons since I found out. So keep me updated! I hate not being able to know how things are going as they are happening. SO I guess I will wait a week.

Im glad that you got to go to the Temple for so long on Saturday! And Im glad that you didnt miss Samantha going through. I hope you tell everyone how much I love them when they ask about me. And I really am doing excellent! I love it out here! Im sad knowing that I will probably be transferred in another two weeks from Montrose :( Its such an great place to be, and we sisters are spoiled here! But I love the people!

So this week we had dinner at the Zenefski's home. I love the Zenefski's! And they have a daughter a year or so younger than me who is pregnant. Well Sunday night at dinner we were talking about how her due date is the day I will most likely be in Broomall leaving! So I told her I would be sad that I couldn't meet her baby. She said, well she could come early, just as long as my husband gets back before she is born! (Her husband is in the reserves and in Guam for two weeks, getting home just before I leave). Well we get a phone call from Brother Zenefski asking us to go be with his kids because he is taking his pregnant daughter to the hopsital, and if she has the baby this early he will forever blame me! Well guess what? She had the baby. Early just for me :) They got a hold of her husband and his unit is sending him home, actually he is already home and with his wife and met his daughter, all of this happened earlier this week.
So when I saw Brother Zenefski at church yesterday all I could do was give  him the 'sorry!' smile, and he would laugh and tell someone else about how his grand daughter coming early was all my fault!

Which would have been just fine, but Sister Oveson and I were speaking so we were on the stand and I looked over at him and smiled and then he started laughing so I started laughing... but only one person said anything to me about laughing on the stand any how! So its all good....

Oh and did I tell you that the branch choir director had us sing last week? Apparently its time to get the sisters in the face of the branch and help motivate them to keep up the member missionary work! Plus we had a farewell talk for Elder Cooper who is reporting to the MTC this Wednesday, so it was a good sacrament meeting I presume.

The other exciting thing that happened this week was that we got another new Branch Mission Leader! We are excited for him! Brother Ungaro will be excellent! He is a newer member and this is the first real calling he has had. Which no big deal we will just put you in charge of the missionary work! It will be great for him and a huge learning opportunity!
Our first correlation meeting was a little frustrating however... we met with our old BML who is now in the branch presidency so we will still be working with him which I am ecstatic about! Brother Massamini is awesome and has some great things planned to move the work along.
Back to correlation... it was three hours long. And basically we taught Bro. Ungaro about the exchange/dinner program we have ... and a few other basics. But I didnt realize that a meal calendar was something you had to learn about... it seems so simple to me, because we have had other such systems before. I need to have more patience to help him learn. Because he has learned a LOT already and is doing awesome with what he knows. Its just giving him a little more at a time to help him be as successful as possible! I love the Ungaro's! Plus they make really good food. Like they made this excellent tomato/onion salad stuff, I need to get the recipe for it, so good!
Anyways, I just love food, sorry for the side track, I guess its getting to be lunch time so Im a little hungry, good thing were going grocery shopping next! (not)

Our branch also got to go to the Temple this weekend, and we did not get to go because its out of the mission boundaries, even though our Cheryl (our recent convert) was going to do baptisms for the dead for the first time, and her father (who we have been helping teach) went through the Temple for himself, and the whole branch was there! Nope. We didnt get to go :( Which was sad. But they told us they got to see the new Temple video and got me excited to go see it in... 14 months! So yeah I am excited for that.

But it was probably good that we didnt go because I ended up being sick that day. The night before we were at a members house for dinner and I started getting a headache and my back started hurting really badly as well. It got to the point where I could not contribute to the conversation because I could not focus on what was being said. It was really frustrating. And when we got home that night I went to bed right after planning (which is not normal, Im usually using every spare minute I get to catch up in my journal, Im only like 10 days behind now! Im catching up!!! :) When I woke up it felt better so I got up and exercised and everything, well by the time we got to companion study again it was hurting so bad and I couldnt concentrate so my golden sent me back to bed. Which is probably good, because I was thinking I should sleep more but I didnt want her to think I was being disobedient, so when she told me to go back to bed I did. And I didnt wake up for 3 hours. Apparently I am more stressed than I think I am because sleep and back aches are how my body tells me I am stressed.
But after that I woke up and I was fine! I dont know why it started or anything but I know it was all I needed and now I am feeling much better! So I am grateful for tender mercies, like naps when you are sick.

Other than that its been a good week! We watched 17 miracles for district training because our district leader was sick and couldnt concentrate enough to prepare much more. It was fun, we brought popcorn and the other sisters hadnt seen it but since I had I tried to count all the miracles. I counted 27, so it was good. And then we had a testimony meeting and shared a lot of experiences with each other. It was a good meeting and reminded me why I am here, how grateful I am for the gospel! And for everything that the saints went through during that time.  I know that Joseph Smith was called of God to bring the gospel back to the Earth at this time. I know that through the revelations that he received we know how we can return to live with God again and how we can live with our families eternally through the sealing power of the Temple. How grateful I am to have Temples, and to have lived so close to one my whole life. I hope that the members never neglect the power of the Temple and serving our ancestors. How grateful I am to them for their sacrifices so I could know what I do today.
The Gospel is true, Christ is my Savior and Redeemer. It is through his Atoning sacrifice that I can return to live with God and it is through the priesthood power and the Temples that I can live with my family eternally. I love this Gospel!

And I love learning about it. One of my favorite things is study time! And learning from the other missionaries. Especially Elder Crump, he and I think a lot alike, however Sister Oveson thinks a lot of what we talk about is speculation and then she tries to end the conversation. But my question isnt answered so I try to talk to Elder Crump while we are at their house and she can write letters or bake cookies instead of talking with us. (The Crumps are our senior missionary couple who feed us all the time!)

In fact yesterday we had lunch with our Relief Society President and she sent us home with a TON of frozen pork.They had a pig slaughtered but she is not a fan of this butcher so she is trying to clear it out so they can butcher another one. It was awesome! But sister Oveson and I realized neither of us have ever cooked half of what she gave us. So we called the Crumps and we went up there and took our new pork chops and S. Crump taught us how to make pork chops, they were sooo good! I love our members, and the Crumps :) I am such a spoiled little missionary! I wonder what my next area will bring... Itll be an adventure thats for sure!

Well Im glad that Lori and Rissa were able to come out and stay! Eat some extra Tillamook ice cream for me :) And Tillamook cheese, that is one thing I definitely miss out here! And good ice cream... its just not the same. But awesome that you guys get to go have a girls weekend at the beach! (Thats the first place I wanna go when I get home). I probably wont ever serve by the shore in Jersey for that reason... but only time will tell!
I cant believe Keira is a senior now. Your going to be in college when I get home! Thats CRAZY talk! And Rissa is already there!
Rissa- You will LOVE BYU-I! I do :) Just get involved, do things with your friends, go to activities on campus, stay up late and eat nachos at 2 am! (Ive done that countless times...) but go to devotional! Do your religion homework first, it will help you understand the rest of your home work and do it faster! One thing I made a goal of was to not do homework on Sundays, and I saw how much the Lord blessed me in the rest of my week. And go to the Temple as often as you can! I went once a week, Friday mornings are super busy in the baptistery! But its a wonderful place to start your weekend. I know that I was blessed for making the Temple a priority with every aspect of my life.

I love you all! I hope you are enjoying all of your adventures at home! Even if they are catching, chickens and everything else! I love you all, the gospel is true, what else matters?!