Thursday, April 24, 2014

Photos of China Town in Philly, companions, Love Park, Cheese Steak.....NOT called cheese steak sandwich....just cheese steak. Kind of like in NYC you don't ask for a  "piece of pizza" you order "a slice".

Kindra sent a bunch of photos this week. There are a bunch from their trip to Philly. The construction in the background of a couple of the photos is of the Temple being built in Philly. She took a couple of the State signs when they were out for their morning run...hence the exercise attire!

April 21, 2014

So to clear up your confusion, I was in the Newark ward so that is the name of the area. We covered several cities, so our address was in Elkton MD but the ward was Newark DE. Confusing I know, but the place you live isn't always the name of the ward, hope that makes sense.

Also about some Facebook requests I have gotten, I can only be friends with immediate family members or people in the mission, I can be friends with Donna Lauer because she was in my Stake when I served in Bethlehem. I am friends with Mom and with Stuart because they are immediate family members, so sorry everyone else! Please don't be offended when I decline your request, but they are trying it out to see how we can help our families learn how to be a missionary on facebook and to try and involve our families in our teaching online. So that is why all of a sudden I am friends with Mom and Stuart.

Oh I LOVE Cheese Steaks! They are sooo good! And I made the mistake of calling it a 'Cheese steak sandwich' and the vendor laughed at me. I was confused for a while why so many pizza places were also selling steaks, but turns out they are selling cheese steaks (no one says sandwich). But they are good eating!

Gwen is 7?! No way! Im glad that they enjoyed the balloons, and that you got the big ones for them, I bet the kids loved that! haha, I realize that balloons are one of my very favorite things. I love them a whole lot. :)

Im glad that things are working out with Grandma and that she is able to stay there with you for a while. Its sad to hear about Uncle Robb but I am glad that he is making progress and that Lori was able to come out and they were able to talk to the doctors and everything. Im surprised that he remembers about us, even if it is the girl out back teaching church, and the boy in the army. That means that not all is lost, so for that we can be thankful. I will keep him and all of you in my prayers still, hopefully he keeps progressing. Where would he go if he could be on his own and not in Vernonia? Has he gotten visitors other than family this week do you know?

Well I am glad that you were able to find a few people to help you out with seminary, glad that the church is full of people who are willing to help each other. And I am sad for sis Boswell! I know she talked about this year being her last year while I was there, but she truly does love teaching and being with the kids. She does such an awesome job, I always loved her lessons and being able to learn from her. I know the kids will miss her, and as sad as it is she could probably use a break, she puts her whole heart and soul into it! I will be interested to see who they call to teach for next year. I know the next person will be great as well and will grow to love the kids and they will grow to love the new teacher. That's the neat part about callings and serving in the church, knowing that it comes from God and it all works out in the end some how.

And I did get an email from both Stuart and Lindy, Stuart sent some pictures of Janie and Clara dying eggs which were cute, and her cute Easter dress. She is so dang cute! I love her.

I love how you closed your letter talking about fulfilling our potential and running all of our 4 minutes. That is one talk from conference that people seemed to especially enjoy. And we were talking about this this morning in our companionship study.
We were talking about enjoying all of our 4 minutes, and not just going through the motions, especially on the mission. It feels like I only have a minute left of my mission, and at the same time it feels like I just got here and have 7 more to go! But I am grateful for the things I have learned and I am grateful for the joys ahead. It will be a new experience to be a leader and a sister, but I am excited to see what challenges and joys it will bring.
I hope that I do run the last minute of my mission, because there is nothing else like this! This is such an adventure that will bring stories and experiences I will treasure and share for a life time.
I used to roll my eyes when someone would start a story with 'on my mission' I would think yeah well things are moving on, why are you holding onto your mission? And being out here has helped me realize that it is not so much holding on as it is learning from and remembering these feelings.
I didn't know you could love someone so deeply, or how much more you can really get to know a person, or how diverse the world truly is. I thought I knew that from growing up in Portland area, I mean we have a lot of diversity and that is something that I did learn being there especially compared to school in Idaho, but being out here has helped me realize even more how individual and unique people are.
God is great! He gave us agency and we get to make the choices that determine our own destiny. I am learning about the principle of obedience, that is something that gets talked about a lot on a mission, and I thought why? Why is it so important to get up at 6:30 am and not 6:31? Why is it so important to be strict with the music I listen to? Or even how we speak? How we interact with people, when we write people, how long our lunch breaks are. All of it! Why is it so important?
And I realized that it is not about the importance of one hour lunch breaks and only emailing on Mondays. Its about sacrifice and obedience, its about can God trust us to do what He asks? Are we willing to follow the things He would like us to do. That is all about conversion.
If I know that God is my Heavenly Father, that should change how I do things. When I realize I can be with my family forever that should change things, it should help me want to earn that privilege of being with my family forever. It does affect every aspect of how I live my life because I love my Heavenly Father and I want to follow Him.
I want to do what He asks of me, if for no other reason than I have a testimony that obedience brings blessings.
God gives us commandments and the opportunity to use our agency or our ability to choose, and then he rewards us with blessings, like any parent does with their children. And the more I learn about obedience the more I realize how important it is.
If we are obedient not only are we showing God that we love Him, but we are showing Him that He can trust us to do what He asks us. We are showing God and I think teaching ourselves that He can trust us and that He should. And as He trusts us He gives us more to help us learn and grow and see that it truly is what we want.

I have learned a lot about obedience to Heavenly Fathers will and it is something that I will keep for the rest of eternity, and for that I am grateful.

And I guess I should tell you about my week as well!

So Easter was fun, Jennifer was baptized! She was baptized in Newark and we were not able to go because we had things that we needed to be at here, but I am so excited for her! What a great way to celebrate Easter! By making covenants to serve your Lord and Savior and to follow the example of Jesus Christ.
It truly is a neat thing when you think about it...

so what did I actually do? Oh you know, just got to celebrate with a family and feast on Greek Easter.
It was awesome! And I learned that I like Greek food! Sister Shaia got pictures Ill have to steal from her later, but it was way good! Keira will be pleased to hear that I do like lamb, so we will have to try gyros again when I get home and see if I do like them.
But this week we helped a less active sister in our ward (she is the only member in her family and they are all awesome! I love them :) They are probably my favorite people I have met thus far here), but we spent some time doing some service at their home to help her prepare for this Greek Easter feast. We did some yard work and we did a lot of baking as well. If you have ever used fillo dough you know it is a pain, but it was fun to work with and make lots of Greek treats :) And they were delicious!
We were very filled after that on Sunday, but then we had another Easter dinner to go to... holidays on the mission turn into lots of dinner appointments and lots of eating and pretty gluttonous honestly... so we went to our second dinner and ate there. Not nearly as much, but it was nice to have a ham and a green salad and green beans etc.
Then we went back to Stephanies house to help her and her daughter clean up after Greek Easter, it was a mess but between the 4 of us we got it cleaned up pretty fast. We also decided that the words 'eat' and 'work' were off limits, we both wanted to puke we were so full, or really just lay down and not move, and they had to go back to work in the morning, so they were both off limits for the night!
 Then we practically rolled ourselves home and luckily our day was planned for today so our planning session was super short and we put on our stretchy pants and laid around writing in our journals until lights out. 
So it was a very successful Easter, and one that I will not forget soon! So much fun, and so much laughter and love. Stephanie said come back here for Greek Easter, its here every year! Haha, I love her already! She is awesome. Their family is just so nice and welcoming and friendly and it was the perfect Easter dinner!

Anyhow, I should probably stop because this is long enough! But I love you! I hope you had a great Easter, did you get together with everyone? Or were you resting from all the stress of the week? I hope you were able to relax and enjoy some of it.
I love you guys! Keep on keeping on,
talk to you soon!

Sister Kindra Wilson

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday April 14, 2014

Yup that’s right, I’m getting transferred again already! Its CRAZY! When they called us on Friday to tell us I thought my District leader was kidding, but he was not. I am being transferred from Newark already!
we found out that the Mission is getting 6 new sisters and 1 new Elder. We have one sister going home and I think 3 or 4 elders went home this morning. So I figured that either Sister Lewis or I would be either training or called as a sister training leader, since they will need both of those things.
And President called this morning and asked me if I would accept the calling to be a Sister Training Leader here in the mission! Which is also crazy...

I guess I should explain a little bit about sister training leaders since this is a newer thing world wide. They are similar to the zone leaders, but as a STL you are over only sisters in multiple zones, whereas the zone leaders are a set of elders who are over the elders and sisters in one zone.
We go on exchanges with the sisters, and we do accountability with them to learn how they are doing, if there are obedience issues that need to be fixed, to give the sisters someone to talk to when they need that, since the elders are not supposed to council the sisters (that can lead to one liking the other, and that is not what we are here to find). So they are calling more sister training leaders to cover smaller areas, since there are more sisters, to help them feel more connected and to allow us to develop relationships with the leaders and missionaries so that when you need your sister trainer you want to call them, instead of feeling like you are forced to call them instead of the zone leader etc.
Its exciting! Im not sure how many will be in the mission after this transfer, but there are I think 4 maybe 5 sets of sister trainers in the mission. So there are limited places that I could go, and so far I have heard that 2 of them are not changing. We shall see what they do, if they are creating more companionships than one or more will have to double in and take over an area. Which I wouldnt mind, I like doubling in. I am nervous that I am going to be sent to center city Philly! That would be intense, and I am NOT a city girl, so theres that whole issue.

Anyhow, its been a great week. We got to go to Philly last week on P-day. We saw Love park, game piece park, Reading Terminal market, we stopped and got a picture in front of Constitution hall, and then we went to the old city Tee shirt shop which is a shop that makes tee shirts and they have one for the PPM so I got a mission tee shirt with constitution hall on the back, because Im cool like that :) And my zone leader totally gave me the idea....

Anyhow. It was fun. Luckily sis Lewis really wanted to go and did all of the navigation for the trains and what not, because I probably would have gotten us very lost (another fear of being in center city Philly) anyhow, it was fun! And humid oh my heavens, I will not be straightening my hair again for the summer I guess because oh yeah, it was 78 and 85 this week YAHOO! It was nice, but we went and had this Rakie therapist in our ward work on our backs this morning and she told us it is supposed to snow tomorrow... WHAT THE HECK! Super ridiculous Newark! Its supposed to be between 30-70 with a chance of snow or rain... what kind of a weather report is that? Useless!

So the rest of this week,.... we went on exchanges which was fun. The sister trainers came and doubled into our area which was fun. Our sisters are Sister Taylor who I came out with, and Im going to room with her when we get back in January at Mt Pines :) and then Sister Argueta who trained sister Lewis so we were excited for them to come in and spend the day with us. It was really fun :)

Anyhow, we had some lessons with Jennifer and she is doing AWESOME! But Im sad I am getting transferred because she is getting baptized on Sunday! And I leave tomorrow... so we shall see where I end up and hopefully I will be able to come back for the baptism. We shall see what happens, I could be just about anywhere tomorrow, Im guessing either Jersey or Center city, the Delaware sisters aren’t changing, and neither are the Reading sisters, so unless they are putting some up north in Scranton, it will probably be the center city sisters or Jersey... so that will be lovely.
Jersey scares me, mostly the people. They are yeah just way more fast paced than I like to live. Anyhow. well with having to be at transfers tomorrow morning I have to pack tonight, so sorry this one doesn’t have a whole lot of meat to it, but I hope you enjoy it. I will try to send some pictures, thanks for the pictures of the tulip fields! I love them :) Ill save some to my iPad,... if I can get the email to work right... anyhow. I love you all! Hope your week is going better.
Grandma and the Wilsons and Andersons and Uncle Robb will be in my prayers. All of you will be. How is grandpa doing? I was thinking of him this morning.

Facetime might be a possibility, we might be allowed to use our iPads and if not I can probably find a member who has a device. But you should definitely practice that before calls if we do that. But it is an option, I believe we can facetime, skype, or call. So if you want to try facetime we can do that.  Guess what? One month until I call home, and thats the last call home of my mission! Ill be home for Christmas... so thats cool.

Anyways I gotta go lots of errands. Also I am going to send a box home of stuff I want to keep but cant use out here. So look for that this week. Ill send it today so hopefully it gets there.

LOVES!  Sister Kindra Wilson
April 6, 2014

Well we are on the train on the way to Philly and it's pretty bumpy so be grateful I'm not writing, and forgive misspellings please!
I didn't get an email from Stuart, well you and then my two friends from Rexburg are the only emails I got, which is perfect for a p-day celebration in Philly!

Conference was great as always, and I have be honest, I also just learns that all 12 speak every conference and that the first presidency always speaks in the Priesthood session. I hear that elder Packers talk from Priesthood was a good one. I have seen some quotes on Facebook and the elders have said that it talked a lot about women and the Priesthood and that it was their favorite talk from that session, so I am excited to read it once it is out.

This week was good. ASL was fun. We started praying in sign language! And sister Lewis and I try to say one prayer a day I. Sign language in order to practice, it's fun! I'm glad that we have been able to learn together, I'm not sure how missionaries and transfers are going to work with the sign language class, so we shall see if they keep going. I guess they have a few courses, for like 3 years I believe so it will get harder and harder as it goes on for missionaries to jump in without have the introductory portion of it.

We did enjoy the Easter egg hunt. The YW were putting it on for the primary, but they didn't exactly all come, it was quite WINDY that day, so they asked us and the elders to hide the eggs. Turns out it's hard to hide Easter eggs on a flat field... Luckily the kids were pretty little so we just kinda walked around and scattered them. We hid some in low branches of these trees but the wind would knock them down so we have up on that. And they had over 300 eggs, and maybe over a dozen kids... So they invited the other kids playing at the park to join in, it was neat to watch them, some would help the younger kids find eggs, others were so shocked they would run fast and fill their shirts as much as they could, and they started to drop eggs. It was cute and neat to see the difference between the nursery kids, all showing each other their eggs and handing them to each other, compared to some of the older park kids. It makes me grateful to know while yes it takes a good village to raise a child, that we picked a good village! Haha. I am grateful for our ward families and being surrounded by good people. The elders investigator did end up coming, so that was good. And a few less actives came as well.
OH too funny, so there are these two little girls who LOVED the elders! They were dragging them all over the park and talking to them as we were playing catch. Well one girl drug an elder over to the swings and wanted him to help her up and push her on the swing, well that's against mission rules. So he was asking the member mom next to them to help, and the little girl was not going to accept that! She wanted to play with the elder, she is 2. So the elder said well if you run away excited ply then they follow. So he did, and she followed and the swing was forgotten. well when we had to leave he couldn't pick her up so he walked over to her mom and mom picked her up and the elder said goodbye, and oh my gosh, that girl started SCREAMING! Page wanted to keep playing, so we all waved and walked away and the rest of the ward was watching like what on earth?! Her mom was laughing and so was her dad, it was more just embarrassing for him to walk away.. Not that he was. As we walked away he exclaimed "and still breaking hearts....." So he got a kick out of it.

Let's see? Well we are on our ways Philly. This day is going to be a roller coaster.
I saw the email last week after p-day, but it simply showed "were having a rough time up here. Not sure if you...." And right then I thought 'okay, who died this time?' But I didn't get to read it until today.
That was probably for the better so that I wasn't blind sided by it, but it's still hard to process. I was not super close to Trevor, in fact he is the one I knew the least. But it is still hard to lose a friend, someone that you knew and loved, someone who has helped you, laughed with you, and someone that you haven't talked to in a while.
I know Trevor is in a happy place, but it's still hard to think that last week, while I was sitting in Applebee's eating lunch, Trevor was killed in a car accident. His father walked away which is a blessing for their family, but it's still hard.
I wish I could have been in Rexburg when it happened, to run up and hug each of those boys and tell them it's going to be okay. But I know they have the gospel, and that is the only thing making any of this okay, the fact that they know they will see Trevor again, the fact that I know I will see Trevor again and hug him and say I'm sorry and laugh with him again. Life goes on, after earth, and that's the beauty of it all. Knowing that we will be together again, that his life is not over. But that I have another guardian angel out there.
I think that's my favorite thing to tell people after someone passes to point out that Trevor can now help. That the other car crash, The one that Caleb and everyone were safe through, maybe Trevor was one of the angels there protecting them.

I am grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. For the knowledge of the plan of Salvation and that all have the opportunity to hear of Christ's Atoning sacrifice for THEM, for the chance that we all have to live with our Father in Heaven. It's truly a blessing, and one I am so grateful for.

Life is hard. I loved in general conference this weekend when they talked about mortals not being comfortable with endings, and I thought to myself yeah! I hate saying goodbye and wondering if this would be the last time I saw them?! But they said we are uncomfortable with it because it's not in our nature. We are eternal beings which means without end. We are uncomfortable with it because it's not something our spirits are used to.
We do exist after this life, we are a spirit who has a body, we are not a body who has a spirit. We are spiritual beings, and for that knowledge I am grateful. I would not be able to keep going every time another person I love is taken without this knowledge. It is my most treasured gift.

I love you all and I hope your having a fantastic week. This one for me? We shall see what it brings. I will be okay. I am learning how to rely on Jesus Christ and His Atoning sacrifice and how it heals us.

Love you,
Sister Kindra Wilson

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Monday March 31,  2014

Well a miracle happened this week, we finished inputting our area book! YAHOO! It was a few days late from the dead line, but with how much we had to do I am glad it was done that soon after, and the area books still got to the mission office with all the other area books from those that did finish on time, so it was not a big deal at all. So thats good.

Oh on Sunday we had a sweet experience. The elders got a phone call from a woman they gave a card to who asked when and where church was. She came with her 4 year old daughter and ended up sitting next to the primary president. (interesting... coincidence? I think not! That right there was the spirit!) She didn’t know it was 3 hours long, but she stayed the whole time and her daughter I think had a great time in primary. She only checked on her once and she was doing well.
Then Kelly came to Sunday school with us. The class was small, the ward mission leader, his assistant, us, the elders, our investigator Jennifer, an investigator the elders are working with and then 4 recent converts. I love being in this class, because we are able to have conversations and really talk about people’s concerns. It’s great! I love gospel principles.

But Kelly had several great questions, that everyone asks, about why bad things happen to us and why we have to deal the consequences of other people choices. We were able to have a great discussion with the people there and some of the recent converts talked more in that class than I have ever heard them. It was very special to see them testifying to Kelly that she was going to be okay, that it would still hurt and take time, but that she would be okay with the help of her Savior, Jesus Christ. 
After the lesson the recent convert hugged Kelly, and then Kelly hugged her again. She really needed that testimony to her. And then she came with us to the third hour, we talked all about family history work, more so of the 'how to' with the website. (Something I want to work on more when I get home). And I stay by her and was able to answer questions and invite her to the ward Easter egg hunt on Saturday in between sessions.
It was a sweet experience because you could see that she was hurting and can use the gospel right now! She even got up in sacrament meeting and bore her testimony, talking about how she has had a hard life, and that she was struggling but she is trying her best and she feels like this is a good place to start.

Kelly it is! It so is! I am so happy that she came, and pretty much on her own. She is going to be blessed more than she can see right now. So I am excited for her!

We had an awesome lesson with Jennifer this week. Not sure if I have told you about her yet, but she is Awesome! The sister asked Jennifer if she knew what was different about our church than any other church, when Jennifer asked what the sister bore a beautiful testimony of the Prophet and the Priesthood power which has been brought back to the Earth. Which was an awesome segue into conference, which is what we wanted to talk to Jennifer about. We talked about a living prophet and what a blessing it is to have a Prophet and that we get to listen to Him speak, along with the other disciples and apostles which the Lord has called to guide us today! It was great to have the member support in a lesson, and to have 4 people who were able to testify of why the Prophet matters to them.

The gospel is true! It is so true, these nothing else to it!

Also this week we got to go to American Sign Language class :) Which I LOVE! One of the less active sisters in the ward teaches it, and so we get to go to develop a relationship with her, to learn the ASL song we will be singing in sacrament meeting for her, and then to teach to one of the sisters who wants to be involved in the class but is having a hard time with her pregnancy and being sick :( She is new to the area so we are trying to fellowship her and help her get to know some of the sisters around here as a support group since her husband is active duty military.
But I love it, the class has many people from the stake coming and learning, so we get to know them and we see them in the same building on Sundays and for meetings and what not.

Also Sundays are now CRAZY! We now have 5 different units meeting in our building. Bayviews building is being added on. so they were kicked out last week until the end of the year. So they came to our building and we are now running at full capacity with 5 services going on all day. The ward we serve in is 1st at 8:30am, and then we have the Young Single Adults branch at 2:30, so we are at the church all day and there is always someone in sacrament meeting I swear!

But the YSA was sent to one corner of the building. Since the young womens rooms seperate into 3 sections they gave us those rooms to meet in. For all three hours. Until December. Oh joy. Its a long time to be in the same room! But its fun and quite cozy. This week was the first week we tried it out, we had to rummage through the building for linens to use for the sacrament, and then we did not have a podium for the speaker. We are thinking we might steal the one in the RS room and get Bayview to bring one of their podiums from their building... since it will be sitting there not being used for almost a year! Anyhow, the adventures of the singles ward. Its great! And lots of giggly girls... my least favorite thing. But I am learning how much I love them all. They are a great group of girls who are good at fellowshipping, its just helping them recognize how much good they could do, that potential they don’t see right now. So its exciting to work with them.
And tonight for Family Home Evening we are playing ultimate Disney princess gator ball. (Gator ball with the Disney princess ball to get the girls to play) so that will be fun.

But I also loved this week being able to watch the Women’s Broadcast knowing that you and Keira were sitting in a chapel back home watching it with all of the women that I love and adore. It was quite the experience to have all of those little girls stand up and sing, they got the song before I did! And then to be able to sing with the rest of the women. I love how they talked about being unified with all of the women throughout the world! It was an incredible feeling I can tell you that much. I cant wait to be able to go to one with you or Keira or Lindy! How special will that be? :) and Clara one day! Man I miss you guys.

Its funny that conference weekend is the week that I think about home the most. Not Christmas, because it didn’t really feel like Christmas this year, and not Thanksgiving because I knew I got to call home soon, but conference weekend. When we are talking about families and strengthening them, and how much they mean to all of us, and then watching it with families, and knowing that you guys are watching too, well at least the afternoon ones at the same time. Here we watch at noon and 4... the womens broadcast went from 8-9:20 here... crazy late. We did an ice cream social before hand... which was kind of a fail. The ice cream showed up like 30 minutes late... and yeah. There was very few people at the building which surprised me. I love watching those with all the women. But anyhow, this is quite long enough for the week!
I love you guys! I am excited for spring in Maryland and Delaware! And yeah. Thats pretty much a week in the life of a missionary.

Also this week I have decided that the most commonly said phrase as a missionary is "well that was awkward" so much awkward over here its ridiculous!

Anyhow, love you guys! Keep the faith, the Gospel is restored, and we know all about it :) How blessed are we?