Monday, August 18, 2014

Spiritually Stuffed

Dear Family and Friends,

I hope you've all had a good week and that you're enjoying the last little bit of summer! Here the weather is starting to get lots cooler and a few of the leaves are starting to change... winter is coming and man am I scared! Everyone says it's going to be super cold in WI this winter! Brrr!

Exchanges in Wausau:
This week started off with Exchanges in Wausau with the Sister Training Leaders (STL's)! I went to Wausau with Sister Jardine and Sister Christiansen stayed in WI Rapids (because of her ankle) with Sister Pearson. Usually they make the new missionary stay in their new area, but Sister Christiansen's ankle is still in a big boot (though she is off her crutches!) so they kept her here to make things easier. That was fine by me because it meant I got to see another part of Wisconsin! Wausau is really hilly so driving (yes I was the designated driver again) was fun, but I can't imagine driving there in the winter when the roads are icy! Yikes! I got to drive the STL's car and must admit I've been spoiled with our Jeep! Ha but exchanges were really fun and I learned a bunch. Sister Jardine is from Canada and has been serving for just over 12 months. She is a great listener and very bold. We had a lesson with one of their investigators, a Hmong girl named PaDay, which went really well. PaDay has two albino Hmong sisters who are SO cute! They look Hmong, but have strawberry blonde hair and really fair skin - they are so adorable! PaDay is so prepared, but her parents won't let her get baptized. I only knew her for a day, but felt SO much love for her! It's crazy how much you learn to love the people you serve out here!

Weird Food of the Week:
Sorry I talk about food so much.. Ha but this week I had to share the meal we had on Tuesday night! We went over to a member's home for dinner and ate RABBIT! But get this, it was a rabbit that had been eating the vegetables in their garden so they caught it and cooked it up for dinner! Ha surprisingly it wasn't bad and I was adventurous enough to try it so I count it as a success.

Madison Mission Tour:
Elder Martino (a member of the Seventy) and his wife came to our mission to do the yearly Mission Tour training this week. Sister Christiansen and I drove 2 hours to Madison on Tuesday night and stayed with the Madison 4th Ward Sisters (Sisters Arnold and Askerland - who knows the Hogue Family in our ward!) before attending the Mission Tour the next day. Our zone and two other zones met in Madison for the final day of the tour. It was great to see some of my MTC friends - Elder Merrill and Sister Kunz - as well as the missionaries in my District and Zone. It was fun to have such a big group of missionaries together and to get to know some new people! The Mission Tour itself was incredible. We were definitely spiritually fed, ha in fact I felt spiritually stuffed!!! Elder Martino really motivated us to work harder and more effectively. He counseled us to 1) open our mouths, 2) increase our faith, 3) become one with God, 4) work smarter and 5) work with members better. He talked about working with members a lot so we are going to try to be better about that this week! Also I loved what he said about becoming one with God. I think this happens as that "mighty change of heart" takes place within each of us and as we more fully align our will with God's. I know God has a plan for each of us and that His plan is always far better than ours. In the Bible Dictionary we learn that through prayer we can align our will more fully with Heavenly Father's - it's so cool that we can talk directly with our Father in Heaven. I know He loves each of us so much and wants to hear from us!

Working Towards a September Baptism:
After the Mission Tour Sister Christiansen and I were pumped to go out and get to work! We've been setting high goals for ourselves and working diligently to meet them. We do a bit of tracting each day to try to find people who will accept a copy of the Book of Mormon and agree to read a specific part of it. We taught a couple of ladies who were out selling vegetables which turned out to be a pretty cool experience. We have a lot of investigators that we are teaching too, but don't have any baptismal dates set right now. There is a mission goal for one baptism in every area before the October General Conference so we are praying to set a baptismal date soon because the WI Rapids area hasn't had a baptism for the goal yet! We are teaching an awesome couple who will hopefully accept a baptismal date this week!

Thanks for all the support and encouragement! I love and miss you all a real lot(:
Sister Kelley
Sister Askerland and I together at Mission Tour. I guess Jennica Hogue is dating her little brother! 

Pics by the WI river

Me and Sister C on the bank of the WI river.
View of Wisconsin River and me making a "W" for Wisconsin

Me just chillin by the WI River - we taught a recent convert a lesson by the river which was sweet!

This is a water tower in our city - how cute.

Playing Ninja attack with Ben (a recent convert's son)

Wishing I was in London... Ha at least they have red telephone booths in WI too!

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