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
Monday, October 14, 2013
I have new friends in Maryland! They helped Kindra transfer to Bethlehem and have sent me several photos and notes. I received this email from her last week with a couple of pictures of the Star on the hill outside Bethlehem. I wanted to share....
I wanted to let you know we had another opportunity to see your daughter and had the chance to take her and her companion out to dinner last weekend after conference. She was trying to get a picture of the Bethlehem Star for you on her camera, but it didn't take, I got a couple on the cell phone that were a little better, but they are still a bit dark. Also, they sent a picture to me today of the fuzzy Halloween Pajama pants I had found for them - I figured it was getting cold!
I hope this finds you well and I am happy to report she is doing very well. I have enjoyed getting to know her a little more and all I can say is Wow! You have one sweet, special daughter. She is super neat and they have been doing incredible work in their area. We are hearing many compliments about them.
Take care and have a wonderful week!
October 7, 2013
Conference was great wasn’t it?! We were so excited all week. Sister Carrigan kept saying, "Conference is like Christmas for missionaries" and so when the alarm went off Saturday morning I said 'Merry Christmas', it was a great start to our conference weekend :) Followed by a ridiculous breakfast before conference.
We had some members take us out to breakfast which was delicious! But while we were there he was teaching his kids this deep doctrine (that may or may not be true) in a not so quite voice in the restaurant. Sister Carrigan did a good job at trying to segue it into the Gospel of Christ and make it an uplifting conversation, but he took it and went even deeper. It was an interesting morning. But it was good and we got breakfast which is fun. Breakfast is one of those things you dont get very often as missionaries ( I mean having people feed you breakfast isnt common, we do eat every day! ) So that was fun. It also involved the wife saying: "Even Christ knew when people didn’t want to listen to Him" as a way to get him to stop, but it didn’t work. SO that was fun!
We got to watch one session at a members house with our investigator Ashley who is getting baptized in the next few weeks. It was a little distracting to be there, not because of the 5 children under the age of 10 running around and making noise, because thats just happy noise. I love being around kids. But they also had a baby that was being passed around who was adorable and who we couldnt hold :( But what was even more distracting was watching the two couples we were watching with interact. It was uplifting to see how much they loved each other and cared for each other, but it was distracting because thats what I want to have someday too! And thats what we teach! We teach about happy families and how we can be sealed in the Temple for time and all eternity, we teach how to prepare for that and we help others further their relationships with Christ. Which are all good things and things that I am still preparing for, but in a different way now as a missionary. So it is distracting to see what I want right in my face so bluntly, but It is also uplifting to be there with them. Its really weird to be honest, and I dont know if I did a good job of explaining that. But yeah....
We were able to watch the other sessions being broadcast at the church which was better than I thought it would be. I dont think we've ever gone to the church to watch a session, and Im not saying that I am going to after my mission because lets face it, I hate skirts. But it was nice to be there. There were one or two couples there watching and a few less actives that decided to come. Im not sure how they knew it was then, but they were there and told us how he hadnt been active for a few years. So that was cool. Then the rest of the people who were there were other missionaries. We have a bunch of missionaries who attend church in our building who we get to spend P days with and who were there with us. There are two sets of Spanish speaking elders, then two sets of English speaking elders and another set of sisters who all attend our building. One of the Spanish sets dont come but other than that the rest of us get to see each other for a chunk of time every week.
We all just got back from lunch at Wendy's. And we were supposed to have Zone Unity day but it started raining so they all chickened out of playing soccer in the rain. The Zone Leaders said it was because it was less fun for the sisters to play in the rain. I would have done it, but it would have taken more time to get ready and looking presentable by 6 so we could go out and proselyte. But thats okay, it was pouring down rain. So we shall try for next week and just play basket ball this week I guess.
Playing basket ball as a missionary is way less fun. Sisters have to guard sisters and elders have to guard elders, but S. Carrigan doesnt enjoy sports so there are 3 sisters on the court at a time. 2 on 1 is fun for a while, but then it gets boring and I then get to pretend to block the elders or head towards them and it scares them and they pass the ball right quick. Its fun, and Im terrible. But thats me :)
Im glad you found that out about the stove! I am also grateful that in the 8 years of it being in there that nothing happened! Man, does Heavenly Father love us or what?! Yeah, He's pretty great!
So we have some fun members in our ward. This week I met a sister and we always ask people how they found/joined the church. So Sister Kitty told us about how she was reading the Bible and started finding truths that her church was teaching wrong. She went to the minister/pastor and talked with him and was told dont ask those questions and no thats not right. The biggest principle was that the Bible says we are made in the image of God, we are made like He is. So she asked if God had a body and was told no stop asking questions. Well she is more stubborn than I and she was the childrens Sunday school teacher. So she started teaching the kids about how God has a body, just like we have a body. And other doctrine like that that she found in the Bible.
Well the missionaries knocked on her door one day and she was excited because, she could teach them a thing or two about God, because shes read the Bible, and Sister Kitty knows. Well she found out quickly that the missionaries agreed with the things that she had found to be true, which excited her! She thought 'Im gonna get me some missionaries and send them all over the world to teach the truth! And look, I've already got two!'
Well as she continued to meet with them, she figured out that it wasnt just the two of them but it was the whole church who believed the same as she did. When she heard of Joseph Smiths first vision of God the Father and Jesus Christ in which he was called to restore the truth to the world, she was so mad! Because "Joseph Smith stole my thunder!" I love sister Kitty! She is awesome!
THANK YOU! For the packages! I got both of them and I think it was just in time for some of that warm stuff. The only thing I would ask you to send is my brown, warm wool coat. I do need that in order to survive the winter out here! I think I left it in the closet in the boys room. Thank you for the scarf and for the tights! I love them! I wore the scarf to Saturday conference with my black skirt and a white shirt and everyone loved it, so good pick girls! And thanks for fixing my necklace aunt Patty!
Other than that its been a really uplifting week. I have learned more about how to rely on the spirit and how to communicate with my Heavenly Father. I have realized how many different ways I get answers to my questions and how to ask my questions in a different way to get an answer to my questions. I am learning how to invite the spirit to be in my life on a more consistent basis. Which I am loving. Its a lot easier than I thought in some ways, and way harder in others. A mission is such an awesome experience, and I know that this is exactly where I need to be at this time. I am learning a lot, about who I am, who I want to be, how to change to be the person that I want to be. I am grateful for this time that I have to be able to learn how to live closer to the spirit and the Lord. I know that I am a completely different person now than I was when I came out, and I am excited to see what all I will learn before I go home.
I love you all! Thank you for everything :) Keep doing what your doing, but try a little harder to be a little better.
Love, Sister Kindra Wilson