Thursday, August 14, 2014

August 11, 2014

Well I don't know what happened to everyone, but I got only emails
from you mom thanks for forwarding Tyson's email and that pours,
hilarious! I am glad that he has been able to find the joy in the
journey, sometimes it's harder than others, and well. No it's pretty
much always hard, but it can still be fun.
My companion, sister Sagers and I were talking about how we laugh so
much, we both said something about how if we laugh at a time when it's
not funny to the other one to let us know. Because is work is hard!
There were several nights spent in long fervent prayer is week before
crawling into bed and asking God to give me the energy and motivation
to get out of bed so we can get exercising and all that jazz. And I
was very blessed. Each night I went to bed expecting to wake up and
just be dragging because we didn't get to bed at 10:30 and we had to
get up at 4:45 or 5:30 to get to some meetings multiple days in a row,
and we didn't get the exercise time because we needed to travel or
what ever it was that I thought would make the day hard, I woke up and
had the energy needed to get out of bed and moving. (I think we all
know how much I love my bed, and how much I dislike getting up early)
but I woke up and was blessed to have the mental attitude and energy
to get up and going.
A small tender mercy that has had far reaching effects.
Well it sounds like you had a busy week with the apartments and
everything going on, so I a, so glad that you were able to go with the
sisters and get with connect her a little bit. I have learned how
truly important it is for people to feel as though they have a friend
at church, to know they are welcome and that works MIRACLES so thank
you mom for going out with her and being willing to talk and to
minister to those people in our ward. I find myself wondering at times
how the missionary work is going at home, are people involved? Are
they finding people to teach? Are they being a blessing to our ward?
Have they been able to strengthen our members?
Our mission vision is to teach to convert, strengthen the members, and
get them on the road to the Temple.
I am so grateful for this and knowing that we are here to bring
peoples the Temple where they can make the covenants necessary and
gain the strength and the blessings they need.
We had a busy week here too. We had our Zone conference which was held
down in Cherry Hill New Jersey woot woot! I have now been in all of
the states of the mission! I have served in PA, MD, DE and visited NY
and NJ. How cool is that? We shall see what happens. Transfers are in
two weeks so we will find out on Friday what is happening. I think
sister Sagers and I will stay together and get two and then I will be
transferred out for my last transfer and go somewhere else. Maybe I'll
go to Jersey and serve in all the states? Or maybe I'll go down to
center city? Who knows! I'm guessing it'll be one of those two, mostly
because the idea of either was my fear up until this week. Jersey
people are harsh, and cities scare me half to death! So God could send
me to the City to get me over that, who knows! Or President could call
me as a trainer for a new missionary, or I could be released as a STL,
I don't see that being very likely but who knows! There are 5 of us
who came out together all serving as STL, anything could happen.
But back to this week and less speculation station.
We had our Zone Conference down in Jersey, so we drove through Camden
twice and survived! Aren't you glad :) and we got to drive over the
Ben Franklin Bridge which is cool. Sister Sagers took some pictures,
which is good because drivers out here are crazy so I I didn't really
get to see a whole lot of the city. But it's all good. We are actually
going to Philly today :) so it works out well that I don't have a tone
of emails to respond to.
We also had some cool miracles this week. After zone conference we
went to a buffet with a member, and as we were walking down the stairs
a woman made eye contact so Sister Sagers close to where we were
sitting and she knew we had to go back and talk to them. But how do
you make that situation un-awkward? We would have to walk back up the
stairs and march over to them and strike up conversation? That's
terrible. So we went to the restroom, said thank you to our member and
then sister Sagers told me we needed to go talk to them. And I was
like alright, who was it? I didn't even notice a family up there...
And then we weren't sure if they were still up there even. Once she
said that she said, now it doesn't feel right... So we went out to the
car to figure out the best ways spend our last hour.
But I remembered that my iPad was acting up and we needed wifi to be
able to reset a password on sis Sagers iPad so I could then fix mine.
Long complicated not important the details, but we needed wifi. I
remembered a sign inside that said free wifi, so we went back inside
and upstairs to try and use the wifi.
Well it wouldn't connect so after only a few minutes we decided we
needed a different location. As we were walking back down stairs we
passed the woman and sister Sagers simply said "you have such a cute
family" they were having a family outing and dad and their son were
down stairs getting ice cream.
Well that launched into a 20 minute minimum conversation with her
about why we were here, the area, where we were from, Mormons, Utah,
and missionaries. We were able to give her a Book of Mormon and a
Philadelphia Temple pass along card. We were able to get her phone
number and the city she lived, and we know which elders are serving
there and we can now forward her information to them. She took the
Book of Mormon and said she was excited to read it. She doesn't know
much about them but her mom always tells her 'they are the nicest
people!' So that's a good start!
Miracles happen, and The Lord work in mysterious ways. He knew we were
not going to figure out a way to un-awkwardly approach her on our own,
so he inspired us to realize we needed to go up for wifi, which gave
us direction and purpose and put us right back in their path.
Miracles are every where!

And this week we had an awesome lesson with our young woman. We taught
the restoration of the gospel and it was like re-teaching a newly
baptized member because she is so familiar with everything. It was
awesome! She is so ready for this. We talked to her about using a
study journal, a journal used specifically to write down what she is
learning, reading, if things stick out to her, any spiritual
experiences she had, etc. She told us she thought about doing that but
she thought it was probably weird and no one else does that so we
would think she was weird if she did. It was so cute because she was
excited after that to start a study journal! She is spectacular! She
told us that she wants to do all the lessons with the two of us, so we
are hoping no one gets transferred and we are able to be here for the
whole teaching experience and that we both get to see her be baptized!

Man. Life is good! Life is HARD and some days are long, other days are
way too short. We are working on getting our faces out in the
community and finding people to teach. We spend some time just walking
the streets and talking to people who are outside.

This week as we were walking around Telford we found a man who attends
the Baptist church here. Calvary, they have a huge congregation, I
think we have someone new tell us they attend there every day. But it
was a neat conversation because we were able to tell him we are the
LDS missionaries, he told us he has worked with many Mormons and that
they are great people but there are some main differences in our
church, for instance we believe Jesus was a great Prophet but not the
Son of God, and I don't remember the others but many doctrines as
I was shocked.
We both were, he talked of having many conversations with these guys
he worked with and he has been terribly misinformed.
We were able to talk with him and testify of the fact that we know
that Christ is the Son of God, that He came down, suffered, died and
rose again for us. We know that it is only in and through the
atonement of our Savior, Jesus the Christ that we are able to repent
and return to live with good again.
He told us that we could come back anytime and talk more. He was
telling us that there are people who have left the Mormon church and
are truly 'in the know' of our beliefs and that he has read everything
these people have to say on their websites. It was very apparent that
he got online and read negative and anti-Mormon literature, which
makes me sad.
Every time that happens I just think of how ridiculous that sounds. I
know your beliefs because I read online information from someone who
was mad, or felt wronged and has let your church, I know what you
really believe.
Do you? Do you really understand what I believe? How? How do you know
what I believe? Did you ask me? Nope. You sure didn't. In fact you are
telling me things that I completely disagree with and I can disprove
in the scriptures myself, that is not what I believe.
And so we ask them if they have read the Book of Mormon, and then we
point them to and ask them to visit the website and read
what we truly believe. What the people have experienced, to read the
words of faithful and diligent members from around the world. To hear
personal experiences and testimonies and to see how the Book of Mormon
has done nothing but strengthen their faith in their Savior, Jesus
Christ. Whether they were born into it or later found the church, the
experience is the same. Those who read and want to find the truth,
truly and sincerely read and pray about the Book of Mormon find their
answer. They come to know that it is the word of God, that Jesus is
our redeemer and Savior and that Joseph Smith truly is a prophet who
was called of God to restore Christ's church to the Earth in our day.

It's amazing to see the changes that people make as we come to
understand who they are as a loved daughter or Son of God. I have
realized that that knowledge is one of the most precious things I
possess. I know I am a daughter of God, that Jesus Christ was sent to
Earth to show us e way, to organize His church how God wanted it to
be, and then to Atone for the sins of the very people who crucified
Him. I know with every fiber of my being that this is Christ's church,
once again established on the earth through His Priesthood power. That
is what makes our church different than any other church on he face of
the Earth. That is a big difference.

I am so grateful that I have been blessed to have found the truth so
early in my life. It's truly amazing, and has shaped the person I have
become and continue to strive to be.

God loves you, and so do I.
Thank you for everything! Sorry for any terrible typos, we are on the
iPads today to try to cut down time and get to Philly :)


Sister Kindra Wilson
Thanks mom, another tear jerker in the library! But It was so good and what I needed to hear this week. Thank you mom! You are amazing and always know just what to say. And thank you for telling me the names of our missionaries, Elder Johnson and Elder Critchfield. I want to write them a letter when I get home and thank them for their service so they know how far reaching their missions were. Its amazing the blessings that we have in our lives! How did we get so lucky?
Also I wanted to ask, I am familiar with the story of how your family found the church but not as familiar with how dads family found the church. Do you know? And do you happen to know the names of those missionaries? Or I guess I could ask Lori, not sure how old she was when they found the church and if she would know or not. But I thought I would ask you first and see what you knew. Dont know why I havent asked more sooner, I guess I just always tell the story of how Grandpa told the missionaries they had to finish the football game first and then he would listen. 

I am so glad that Garret was able to come home and see so many people and that he really does have some great friends. I love that boy so much, I dont think he even knows how much I respect and admire him and the choices that he is making. He is a great example to me, and I agree with you. I am excited to know that the next time he comes home I will be able to see him! And I wont have to just hear about it through email haha. But I am glad that they were able to enjoy so much time together. That he was able to go to the wedding and hang out with the guys, and TP people haha. And that he was able to spend some time with David and Deanna. Weird to think that they are empty nesters now! I didnt even connect that until now... WEIRD! 

Well thank you for telling me that you got the letter, and yes flying home to PDX :) It will be weird, coming out with 30 missionaries and then flying home MAYBE with my MTC companion, I think she is flying home to Alaska through PDX, it all depends on how the office staff books it. But it would be really neat to be able to at least fly home with the two of us since everyone else will be going to Utah. Hopefully we can all fly the first leg together. Who knows. Did they give you the date? And the beach sounds wonderful, and we shall leave it at that :) Excpet of course salt water taffy and cannon beach gotta be in there. Okay requests over.
And yes, PLEASE keep me updated on Stuart and Lindy, thats kinda a big deal! 

Anyhow. Well the life of Sister Wilson this week. It was honestly kind of a rough one. But we got through it and the miracles make it all worth it!

We were BUSY! And lots of travel. We went on two exchanges this week with sisters, one of which was our farthest sisters, about an hour and a half one way down to Westchester. But it was good because we linked the exchange back to our Zone Training meeting, so we only drove to the chapel and not all the way back down to their apartment. Then we did a portion of the training at the zone training meeting. It was a zone filled with sisters! 5 sets of sisters and 3 sets of elders. The Zone Leaders did most of the trianing but they asked us to do a portion since we are the sister training leaders for 4/5 of their sisters. It was fun, we talked about how to work better with members and how to build relationships with them while still being representatives of our Savior Jesus Christ. It was good to get the input from all the missionaries we were there with, but they were not super participative. 
This week was the first week that I got a little taste of kick back for being a sister trianing leader. It was interesting, since Ive been serving for 4 months now and not had a negative reaction from anyone. But this zone was a little bit older and some of the sisters that we came out with. And I think because this calling is so new missionaries still dont know how to react to us, use us and work with us, so we get a little bit of kick back some times. But I think it also helped that I served in the zone where I was first called to be a STL, so I knew and had worked with and been around many of the sisters that we covered. And now I am over no one I have worked with before, so there is more awkwardness working here. Anyhow, it was an interesting experience to have some of the sisters I came out with kinda avoid us at the training because we were STL and apparently we cant be friends any more. I tried to be friendly and kind and reach out but I still gave them some space so it wasnt over whelming. That experience was probably the time on my mission that I have felt the most inadequate for my calling as a missionary, and then on top of that as a STL. I was grateful for Sister Sagers since we came out together we were treated similarly and had similar frustrations. So we talked together and I read a talk about leadership and the sacrifices that others have made that are greater than the rebuff that I received and decided my life is still pretty great all things considered. So I let that one go.

Then we had more exchanges, lots of travel and it felt like we were a giant circus act juggling our area, the ward members, the investigators, the less actives we are working with, the recent converts we are working with, the sisters we are over, the goals we had together, the planning that needed to happen and all of the travel in between that can feel like a waste of time while being our saving grace allowing us a few minutes of down time. And guess what? A few of those balls got thrown up in the air and a few of them fell on the ground this week. And I learned a lot. 
I realized that there are many aspects to the calling of a missionary, and there are many more aspects added upon when you are called as a sister training leader, and then realizing just how stressful it was to be opening an area on top of that. There are a lot of things required. And I felt like we were trying to keep them all afloat, and I realized this week that I am not called to keep them all afloat. I am called to do my best and to learn what I need to hand over to the Lord and have Him watch over for it until I am able to swap with Him. It was a very stretching week for me! But it was so good!
We kinda failed at our zone focus, we were tracking the number of new people we talked to each day, and because we had SO much travel time our numbers were quite low and making us realize how bad our finding has been, which is why we do not have investigators which is adding to our stress. But we decided Saturday night as we were going to bed feeling pretty miserable about the week in general, that we would try our best tomorrow and see what happens. 
And Sunday was awesome! 

Oh it started out as an adventure, we had a woman show up to church, told us her crazy life story, was trying to give us money and begging us to baptize her. We told her we didnt want her money and got her information so we could set up an appointment to teach her after the church services. Well it was kind of a shocker just because, I guessI have learned many times that I should not expect everyone to have people skills.... but I still do. So lets just say there was a lot of talking during the Sacrament meeting, a lot of pointing, a lot of body language to communicate sincere listening and a lot of explaining this is quiet time. Then she left and decided to come back for the ward after us... I think she lives in that ward anyways so yeah.. that was an adventure. 

Then after church we went to choir, its tiny! We make up a third of the women in the choir my companion and I so they are very grateful that we come and participate. Then we decided to go walk around and just talk to people. And this was the miracle part! It was a Sunday afternoon/evening and EVERYONE was out with a dog or a lawn mower so we talked to triple the people we had been able to all week. It was awesome! So we were feeling a lot better about our week. 
Then we had dinner with a part member family and one of their daughters who has been coming to church for a few months and who just got back from girls camp asked us if we could start the baptism lessons for her like her step siblings did. She told us that she wants to be baptized and was asking us questions about how school and missions and everything worked. It was a tender mercy for us to know that the Lord works in mysterious ways. 
The ward has been asking us to go over and get to know them and try to teach this daughter, but with summer and everything it was just not working out. Well this past week was girls camp and she had some great experiences that helped her realize how much she does want this. We are so excited to teach her! And so excited for her and her family. They are pretty amazing people! And all three of the women are going to do personal progress together! They are fantastic. 

Anyhow. A mission? Its a blast. Its hard, and makes you work. Stretches you in ways you didnt think you could be stretched and then builds you in ways you didnt know you needed. Its such a blessing, and after the miracles I see what I have learned or was supposed to learn, I know that this is where I need to be and what I need to be doing. 

Man. Life is good. Hard, long, stressful and man there is a lot of juggling out here, but I am grateful to learn that the Savior is helping me keep all the balls in the air. What a blesisng that is! (I cant single handedly ruin something!)

Well that is all for this week. Miracles, abound! And blessings make it worth it. The gospel is true! And we know all about it :) How lucky are we!

Love you all! Thank you for your love and support, and thanks for the boxes mom, I didnt realize I asked for that much stuff... and candy is good :) SO thank you, we definitely did a hi-five in the library after reading that :) haha. 


Sister Wilson