Wednesday, June 11, 2014

June 9, 2014

Surely I cannot agree with you that nothing much is going on! It sounds like EVERYTHING is going on now! haha. 

I am so glad that you were able to go to Texas and spend time with everyone there, and I am jealous, but not enough to switch places :) It just sounds like it was a PACKED house!

Im glad that the wedding went well and that so many people were able to come for it! And wow, sounds like Monica and Brittany and family are having a grand old time together haha, packed full! And sounds kinda like us at Christmas time with everyone, which its full of family time anyways so its all good. 

Well I will include Devon and Monica in my prayers as they are searching to find their family, I cant even imagine going through that. But I am glad that they have the gospel and have that testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ and know where they can lean to find that comfort and support and strength to get through this. They are pretty great! 

Sounds like Amanda is having the time of her life with all those pups! Im glad that she is doing so well with the training and her job, sounds like they found something that will work well for their family, what more could you want?! Im happy for them. And I didnt realize they were getting ready to move back to Texas!  Hope Isaac likes the heat! 

Grandpa is back in OR, and cold? Man. Its getting hot here, not as hot as it has been in the past I hear (ALLELUIA!) but it is still warming up, in already high 80's and 90's and its the beginning of June! But I guess it was high 90's & 100's last year, so Ill take it! It would be alright if there wasnt so much humidity! Its annoying, not as bad as people make it out to be.... YET! so for that I am grateful.

OH and we saw a few fireflies coming out last night :) I love fireflies, I wish they were in OR, but I am not willing to take the heat to bring them, so I will enjoy them while I have them. They are fun! And SO slow, you can catch them quite easily. Im glad they are back out now :)

Keira is a working girl now! Done with school? Man. Its just really not okay any more, alright Keira? Enough is enough! Just kidding. I am excited for you, but still, your the baby sister, you cant be out of High School! That makes me feel old... by the way today marks 5 years since I graduated... YUCK.
But anyhow, life is grand :) I love it! 

Lets see what happened this week? 

We had an intriguing discussion yesterday at dinner with a member and he was telling us the significance of the use of the word 'hasten'. He is a project manager by trader and talked about when you want to hasten something that does not mean to speed it up, that does not mean to rush to get things done, (thats how things get sloppy and forgotten). But he said, hastening something means adding more resources to pull the finish line closer. He talked about adding more resources to the mix to do the same thing but more of it, not faster or different, but simply more. Or taking things that were done serially and doing them simultaneously instead. Adding more resources allows you to move up the deadline without getting sloppy, or rushing, it allows you to get the job done well and accomplish it sooner than originally planned.

It got me thinking, you know the Lord has a deadline on us. He knows when He is coming again, and He has that deadline, but it can be affected and put into place sooner if we are ready sooner. We are being called to hasten the work, to allow Him to come sooner, if we are willing to work with all our might and with an eye single to the glory of God, we will be able to accomplish all that He has set for us to do, but now He is giving us more resources, to allow us the opportunity to use our agency to accomplish the task sooner, if we are ready and preparing for it.

Its amazing to think about and to see in action. We had a wonderful sacrament meeting this week. We had a lot of people come that we weren't expecting to see. Some less actives, some spouses, some investigators and man it just kept getting better and better! 
And we basically had a party in Relief society, they pulled the couches in from the foyers and we talked about the talk from conference in the womens meeting about 'Help needed, true disciples of Christ'. It was our visiting teaching conference and we started out with food :) Croissant sandwiches, fruit, cheese and crackers and chocolate cake :) It was delicious! They gave us a paper and asked about how we have seen people be rescuers, mentors, helpers, and disciples of Christ either through our visiting teachers or family, friends, etc. It was a very uplifting meeting, and very filling :) And nothing like I have ever seen done in RS or church before, but it was a fun 'conference' and I think it did a better job at helping people desire to be the best visiting teacher they can be, and not something that made it sound rebuking and needing us to do better and improve, it was very encouraging and well done. I like it, and the food :)

Also we volunteer at a thrift shop called NOVA (Network of Victims Assistance) its part of a larger corporation and the shop just helps to fund the great programs that they have. BUT it was so much fun. We got to go to a volunteer appreciation dinner. The sister started volunteering at NOVA just a few months ago, so we are still pretty new to everything, but they are SO grateful for our work that we do each week. We get to go in twice a week and help out there. 
So they had a dinner of appreciation for the volunteers and we were debating about whether or not to go knowing it would be dinner, the event would probably be longer than an hour, and they were talking about having wine etc served. But we felt like we should go, so we did. 
And it was awesome! 
We got to meet people that worked in all aspects of NOVA in the head quarters, in the learning aids, in the support groups etc. And they were all talking about us, the table behind us was talking about our life style... but they thought we were nuns. AND WERE NOT! Trust me, I will be married to a man one day and have my own family and finish my schooling and go back to life, I am not a nun. But lots of people think we are... its okay. My life goes on.
But we were able to tell a lot of people and answer some questions and we were able to talk to a girl who is searching for the truth, and has a rough family life. But sister Shaia sat by her, and it was a good thing, because she was able to talk  to her the whole time, next to me were some ladies who were retired and just liked to chat, but not religiously. So that was fine. But it was such a cool place too! The dinner was in the loft of this old barn that has been renovated for events and things, and below you, guess what? Its live stock. Goats and sheep etc. running around. It was not like anything Ive been at before! but it was really fun. The food was fine, and they had some good lemonade, so we were glad that we went and were able to talk to lots of people and get to know the higher ups in the corporation so they understand who we are when they talk about the sisters that come in to volunteer. Its great! 

But also while we were volunteering at NOVA this week we got a few pairs of these atrocious wrap around pants... so I tried them on. And then Priscilla wanted pictures! So we had a mini photo shoot... Maria found a cheetah costume that she put on, complete with the footie PJS, tail, gloves, hat and mask. It was so funny! We love NOVA and those ladies there. On Saaturday when we were in they treated us to lunch from Tabora which is a GREAT place to eat. We love it, so we let them treat us! It was delicious and much needed by that time.

We also got to go and study the sunday school lesson with this little old lady in our ward, Sister Zander. I love her. She showed us pictures of her wedding because we saw her family pictures all over the house and asked where she was. They were cute, and she had a few funny pictures, but we loved seeing the dresses and her sisters who look just like her! Then as we were studying there was this great big spider that crawled across her ceiling and Sister Shaia pointed it out, well Sister Zander shrieked! And then yelled at it "come down here so I can kill you!"... well it didnt listen and we went on with our lesson, but sister Shaia kept looking at it and sister Zander would shriek every time she remembered it was there... so funny! So before we left we chased it down and I killed it with my shoe. We are such good spider killers.

We got to do exchanges with the Morrisville sisters this week which was fun. We had a lesson with a guy in a music store, that was interesting. We had brought a member with us and he was the only one running the store, so when the few customers would come in he would stop and help them. Then he would ask, okay what did you want to talk about? each time he came back. Not my favorite way to teach a lesson, but you know, whatever works. 

We also had Zone Training this past week which was good. Sister Shaia and I trained on how to work closely with the members and how to help gain their trust and keep it. Being out here has taught me how important it really is to have members and missionaries working together. I didnt realize how vital the members were to missionary work until I have come out here and seen the differences. 
In the wards where the members are asking us about what is going on, its on their minds more and they are looking for those opportunities more. in the wards where we have to ask them and its like pulling teeth to talk to some of them, the work doesnt move. Because yes, the Lord must trust the missionaries to teach the investigators, but the Lord also has to trust the ward to take care of the recent converts. So look around when you are at church and notice who is new, reach out to them, get to know your ward and the investigators the missionaries are working with. Pray for them by name, do what you can to reach out and welcome people who look uncomfortable. Do your part to help the Lord trust your ward to have new members come into it. It makes a world of difference with the missionary work to have the members involved, and there are so many miracles that happen for the members who are involved and the wards that are involved.

We had another awesome lesson with our investigators from Iraq. I learned that while there are many similarities, there are also many differences with their beliefs. 
They believe that God loved Christ so much that God did not let him suffer and actually feel all the pains of the world. But that when Judas, who is named Joshua, betrayed Christ, he did so at the last supper, but when Joshua went to open the doors to let the guards in to capture Christ, God took Christ up to Heaven with him and that Joshua's appearance was changed to look like Christ so the guards actually took Joshua and crucified him.
So major differences there, that belief completely cuts out the Garden of Eden experience, which is HUGE. We know that Christ suffered every weakness, affliction, hurt, trial, despair and pain that has ever been experienced here on Earth by everyone who has come, is here now and has yet to be born. We know that Christ did feel those pains because someone has to make that restitution for our mistakes and down falls. Without Christ feeling those pains and burdens, how could we rely on Him? Sure he was a perfect leader so we could try to emulate him, but that places Him so far away from us to know that He never suffered? How could he ever relate to us? How could he ever truly comfort us if He didnt know what it was like?

I think it brings a whole new meaning to me to know that He suffered and felt EVERY pain that we have felt. Its amazing to know that He is truly our advocate with the Father, and that He can be because He has felt what we have felt and He truly understands each of us. I am so grateful for my Redeemer and my Father in Heaven and everything that has been given to us and for us. How much our Father loves us! We cannot even comprehend. I am so grateful to know what little I do know, because that perspective affects my life, every day. That perspective shifts my focus from immediate gratification, to looking at eternity and what the future holds and what I need to do now to prepare for the future. 
Isn’t life wonderful?   I sure do love it :)

Anyhow, those are some hi-lights from the week and a few insights that have come along the way.
I love you all! Thank you for the letters, prayers, thoughts, everything! I truly do appreciate each and every one.

p.s. mom, I still haven't sent your birthday box... hopefully this week! Im packing some clothes around the gifts to protect them in transit. Hopefully Ill get it out this week! I love you and I think of you every day that I walk past that box!!! (and every other day too)

Your in my daily prayers! Love you lots!     Love, Sister Kindra Wilson :)

June 2, 2014

I dont know why but I am feeling on top of the world right now! I read everyone emails and responded and it was all just so uplifting to hear and to read and to know that God is watching out for us, and that so many good things are happening. Lots of changes and lessons learned and people loved and man. It is so good to be alive! 

I was talking with Lindy and Stuart a little bit about how happy I am to be a missionary. Which was not always the case. 
Honestly, when I came out on my mission it was not because I had this burning desire to serve a mission, in fact it was the last thing I wanted to do! I wanted to go back to school, I had finally figured out my life! After 3 years of praying to try and figure out what I should study, what I wanted to do and who I wanted to become I had finally received my answers and things were lining up. I could see the stars pointing me where I needed to be and I was so excited to finally have some direction in my life after everything that I was praying about and after losing dad and trying to figure out my life. I had answers and I was ready to act on them.
But then God said, yes, this is your answer, but put that on hold and go serve a mission first.

Are you kidding me?
Right now?
Right in the middle of finding my degree, finding something that was such a stress relief, something so encouraging, something I wanted to do, something that brought me more direction than I had ever had! And I wanted to start! I was part way through and I still dont know what the program will look like when I get back to it.
But God told me to put that on hold and come on a mission.
So I did.
But only because I knew I would be unhappy if I didnt follow Gods will. And that was the attitude I have had for a good portion of my mission. I am here and I am happy because this is where I needed to be. This is where God wanted me to be and therefore it is where I wanted to be.
Which was fine, but I am so glad that that has changed.

The longer I have been out on my mission the more I realize how it will impact all of my life in the future. This time is going to give me everything I need to be able to continue to serve, follow and focus on my Heavenly Fathers plan for me and for my future and for my family and everyone I come in contact with. 
It is going to be such a blessing in my life, and it helps me to realize how blessed I have been. 

I have truly had a blessed life, not a easy one, but the one I needed to live and one that was carefully planned for me. And through finding that individual plan for me, I have found the greatest happiness I could. By following the call to me to serve a mission I have been able to understand what happiness truly is, and to see first hand how obedience brings blessings.

We have been teaching a man named Emilio, and he is so prepared to hear and find this gospel. He is reading, praying about, studying and truly searching for the answers we all want in life. What is my calling? What is my path? What do I need to do? Why am I here? 
Watching him learn about and then acting on the answers he receives and the happiness that he is gaining, is truly inspiring. Emilio has many road blocks that keep being put into his path! He is being pushed back time and time again, but he is not letting it stop him. He is continuing to act in faith on the answers he receives and is seeing blessings in his life. 

I finished the Book of Mormon a few weeks ago and I wanted to start it over, but I needed a new subject to study. I was looking for names, titles and the words that Christ spoke scattered through out the Book of Mormon, it was neat to see how much He is truly testified of within that Book. It truly is a testament of Him. But I needed a new topi to study for, so I chose obedience brings blessings. As I am studying and looking for instances of people being obedient to the call of God and then receiving blessings, its amazing to recognize all the instances and ways that the Lord truly blesses us, simply for obeying his commands, whether or not we understand them.

This has been the greatest blessing of my mission. I have been able to see the transformation in myself as I have followed the promptings and feelings of needing to serve a mission, and coming for that reason. I am the happiest I have ever been in my life! Because I know I am where God wants me to be. Because I am able to bring the truth to people and answer their questions and help them come to find the truth for themselves, whether they feel it is in the Book of Mormon or not! I am able to help them learn to hear the promptings of the spirit and to find answers they are searching for themselves. 
It is truly a blessing to see people light up as they understand who they are as a daughter of God, or to see someone light up as he understand the scriptures on his own for the first time.
These are spiritual things that cannot be replicated by any one or anything, and it is something that brings lasting happiness to people. 
Maybe that is why I enjoy being a missionary so much, because I am able to bring people lasting happiness. Something so much more than the year of your life spent at school, or being on the winning team for years in a row, or graduating from high school. Something more than watching your family grow together, because we know that as our families grow together and are sealed together by the power of the Priesthood which has been restored to the Earth, we know that this happiness will last forever. Into eternity! 
We know why we are growing together, why it matters that we put effort into our relationships and what we need to do to have that happiness last eternally. 
We know that we dont die, go to heaven and automatically get to live with God and our families, but that as we progress and learn and understand the things that God does want us to do, we can start now to build our eternal families.

That has brought a lot of comfort and peace and strength to me and to many who we teach. I think the saddest moment on my mission was when a member of the church realized that her marriage was not sealed through the power of the priesthood and that right now, they are not eternally married. It was so sad to see her realize that, but it was so rewarding to know that she was working on learning and progressing to be able to go to the Temple so that she could be sealed to her husband for not just time as we are married on Earth, but for all eternity.

We have lasting happiness, and there is nothing that can replicate that joy and peace. I am grateful for it, and I have truly come to love my mission as I have been able to prepare people to make and keep the sacred covenants of the Temple. 
This is the time we have to prepare to meet God, but we need help to know how to prepare! I have not done anything so fulfilling as teaching people how they can prepare to meet God. 

Sounds corny but its true. 

And that is part of how I realized that I am not just here because God wants me here, but I am here because I want to be here! I want to be a missionary and to bring this to people! And I want to live every minute to the fullest because I will not be a missionary forever.

President gave me permission to fill out my housing contract for school, so I did that today and I am so excited to be able to go home and go back to school and to know that I do get to go back and continue on that path that I finally found. But I dont have to start back on that path today, I still have 6 months to find those whom I am supposed to find, to help answer their questions and to show that I truly am here to work. 

Man, isnt it good to be alive? Life is grand! And we are so blessed! 

I love you all, thank you for your updates, letters, notes, prayers, love and encouragement. It truly does mean a lot to me, and I can feel your support all the way over here! Keep it coming, I've still got 6 months over here!

Love you all more than you know, 
Sister Kindra Wilson

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