Monday, September 29, 2014

Passenger Perks

Dear Family and Friends,

For some reason this seemed like a really long week... I hope the next few days go by quickly because I can't wait for General Conference! I am so pumped!!!

Exchanges in Rapids:
We had exchanges this week so Sister Pearson (one of the Wausau Sister Training Leaders) came to Rapids to work with me for the day and Sister Christiansen got to go to Wausau to work with the other STL, Sister Jardine! I loved getting to know Sister Pearson and serving with her. She's from Cedar, UT and loves to run. We had an awesome morning workout together! We went on a sweet run - I loved the crisp fall air and crunch of the leaves beneath our feet. Great way to start our day! Sister Pearson and I taught some powerful lessons together. I loved learning from her and seeing different ways to do things. Our day was really full, but we ended up having some extra time before an appointment so we decided to tract for a bit. We used a family history approach and it totally worked! We gave out two copies of the Book of Mormon and met this really solid family who want to meet with us again! Such a tender mercy! I can't wait to go back and teach them again! I hope they are the answer to our prayers - we have been trying to find a family who will progress!

Passenger Perks:
While on exchanges Sister Christiansen had to drive! Apparently it went really well and her ankle didn't have any problems so she came back and wanted to drive our car as well. As the Senior Companion she now is the designated driver... aww man! Ha so now I ride in the passenger seat and get to enjoy the pretty fall leaves even more(:

It's beginning to look a lot like.. Halloween?:
I don't know what it is, but people here are HUGE into Halloween. The yards are packed full of decorations and everyone is buying candy! We joined in the festivities by putting up some Halloween stickers in our apartment window.

Less Active Love:
This week we reached out to some of our less actives just to let them know that we love them and want them to come unto Christ. We had a really cool lesson about recognizing the spirit with on of LA ladies in the ward. She has been coming to church a bit more lately and is doing so well - we have been making sure people fellowship her in Relief Society which has been helping a lot! There is another LA in the ward and have been encouraging to read the Book of Mormon and to quit smoking. He has been reading 3 chapters from the BOM every night since we taught him and he was at church on Sunday! It seems like sometimes all the less actives need is someone who loves them and genuinely cares.

I'm Not a Nun!:
While doing service at the rehabilitation center we were able to talk with one of the nurses about what we do as missionaries. She thought we were nuns... ha so typical. Everyone thinks we are nuns. We actually had a really cool conversation with her and invited her to hear some of our lessons! She didn't accept, but she didn't refuse either so we will keep trying! While at the rehab center we also visited Sister Skibba - a 90 year-old lady from the ward who recently had a stroke and was put in the rehab center. She is still kickin and was totally alert when we talked to her. She is such a sweet woman and has such a strong testimony. When one of her nurses was helping her she introduced us to her and talked with the nurse about missionary work! Sister Skibba is amazing - such a great member missionary! I want to be like that when I'm a 90 year-old woman!

Temple Trip:
Two of our not so recent 'recent converts' went to the temple to receive their endowments this week! I wish we could have gone with them, but we are too far away! The closest temple is the St. Paul Temple in Minnesota which is a little over 3 hours away. I wish Wisconsin had a temple! I love the temple and was so glad Sister Krause and Sister Wendt had the chance to go. In the General Women's Meeting broadcast the temple was brought up a ton! We truly are so blessed to be living at a time where so many beautiful temples dot the earth(: I am so grateful for the work that is done in the temple and for the peace felt there.

Follow Up Frenzy:
Alright one last thing.. on Saturday Sister Christiansen and I had a follow up frenzy! We got our list of potential investigators and those we have given a copy of the Book of Mormon to recently and went to town! We contacted a bunch of people on the list and were able to teach Sarah, a young mother, about the Restoration. It went pretty well, but we are still looking for people who are truly interested. We are working with some investigators now, but they aren't progressing at all. It is frustrating! We want them to come unto Christ and experience the fullness of joy that the gospel brings, but people have their agency and sometimes choose not to! We plan to have another 'follow up frenzy' this week to see if anyone wants to learn more!

I hope you all have a wonderful General Conference weekend - we are so blessed to be led by a living Prophet!

Sister Kelley
Exchanges with Sister Pearson!
Decorating for Halloween!
Look how cute!
We supported Dylan, one of our recent converts, by going to his football game this week!
It was fun to watch him play and enjoy the nice fall weather outside!
It has been a lot warmer this week!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Perfect Apple Pie

Dear Family and Friends,

This has definitely been a week of learning! The challenges come and go, but I rely on my Savior Jesus Christ!

Vehicle Inspections:
During district meeting this week we had vehicle inspections. Our district leader, Elder Williams, had to check each car so we were there for a long time! While we were waiting one of the Wisconsin Rapids Elders taught us all how to change a tire. That was fun! Our cute little Jeep Compass - a.k.a. the Panther - passed inspections and works great. It has a killer turn radius. We love it. Sister Christiansen's ankle is slowly starting to heal so she may be able to start driving again soon. We'll see.

Sports Night:
Every Thursday we have sports night at the church where members of the ward come and bring their friends to play in the gym. It is a great way for us to meet people and do missionary work! We pray and share a scripture/short lesson at the beginning then play volleyball, basketball, kickball, etc. all together. The past few weeks Crystal, one of the young women in the ward, has been bringing her friend Leah. This week we were able to share our testimonies and give Leah a copy of the Book of Mormon! We had a really cool lesson with her and some of the young women who were there bore their testimonies. It was so powerful. I am really excited to teach Leah again this week! She's awesome!

Super Saturday:
This week we helped out with the Relief Society super Saturday activity and invited a few investigators to attend as well! Sister Christiansen and I made a lattice top apple pie and a beaded model of the Salt Lake Temple! All the Sisters seemed to have a good time - I'd say the activity was a success!

Sock Miracle:
We've been doing our best to talk to everyone and this week we had a cool experience with a guy on a bike! One of our investigators had cancelled on us so we were out tracting and had just met this awesome lady who had accepted a copy of the Book or Mormon. We were heading back to the car when we saw this guy coming towards us on a bike dragging a wagon full of laundry behind him. We said hello and wanted to stop and talk with him, but he biked passed us. Then a heaven sent gust of wind knocked a sock out of his wagon so he stopped and we ran over to talk to him! He accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and agreed to meet with us a few days later! We met with him and a friend of his yesterday to talk more about the Book of Mormon and it went so well! We cleared up their concerns about Mormons having lots of wives.. and now they seem genuinely interested in learning more. I can't wait for them to start reading!

Obedience Talk:
I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting yesterday so that was fun. Ha it actually went really well and I learned a lot while preparing it. I was assigned to speak about obedience. I studied messages from the April 2014 General Conference and really liked "Spiritual Whirlwinds" by Elder Andersen, “If Ye Love Me, Keep My Commandments” by Elder Hales, and "Obedience through Our Faithfulness" by Elder Perry. I definitely recommend rereading those ones - they are awesome! I especially loved this quote from Elder Perry's talk, "Strong, proactive obedience is anything but weak or passive. It is the means by which we declare our faith in God and qualify ourselves to receive the powers of heaven. Obedience is a choice. It is a choice between our own limited knowledge and power and God’s unlimited wisdom and omnipotence." Pretty neat to think about. Obedience truly does bring blessings into our lives!

Alright I think that's about it. We've got exchanges this week and transfers coming up in a couple weeks. I'm getting stoked for General Conference! Fall is in full swing here. It's beautiful! I'll try to take pictures of the changing leaves this week(: Love you all and hope things are going well!

Sister Kelley
The Elders taught us how to change a tire during vehicle inspections.

Fall in Full Swing in Wisconsin!

Sister Christiansen and I made a lattice apple pie at Super Saturday.

Perfect Apple Pie!

Fast picture from the car.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Bringing out the tights, boots and coats!

It's starting to get cold!

Sometimes when we walk along the sidewalk to our apartment at night
we find little toads hopping around so that's exciting.

Waiting for the Silver Lining

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was a bit of a roller coaster - so many ups and downs!

A Whole Lot of Heartache:
We had a hard week as our two progressing investigators with baptismal dates, dropped us. They are no longer meeting with us and have decided to look for another church. We are heart broken. After teaching and reteaching them about the Law of Chastity I felt like a failure when they ultimately decided not to be married or baptized. I know they have their agency and that this is their choice, but it is still hard. We still have a good relationship with them and are praying they will change their minds, but for now there isn't a whole lot we can do. We are going to try to have some of their member fellow shippers reach out to them.

Zone Training in Wausau:
On Tuesday the Adams-Friendship Sisters met us at our apartment so we could drive to Wausau together. It was fun to talk with Sisters Ostler and Roper and get to know them better. They are both from Utah. Sister Ostler is from Ephraim and Sister Roper is from Taylorsville. I swear all the missionaries here are from the West! Anyway we had a great time at Zone Training and learned how to be more consecrated missionaries. Sacrifice and consecration are so important! I love how Omni 1:26 talks about offering our "whole souls as an offering unto him." As we sacrifice things that we want and consecrate ourselves to the Lord, He WILL bless us!

Love to the End:
Something that was shared in Zone Training got me thinking a lot this week.. it was the idea that we should not just endure to the end, but we should LOVE to the end. I think sometimes we get focused on just enduring through something, but in 2 Nephi 2:25 it explains we are meant to experience joy in this life! Joy comes when we learn to live with a "come what may and love it" attitude. When we look at every experience as a good experience and focus on the positive we are naturally happier(:

Sister Christiansen's Birthday:
This week my companion turned 20!!! Whoop whoop! We spent the day eating cake and ice cream, oh and saving souls! Ha we taught some really great lessons and had a delicious dinner with a recent convert family. She loves Harry Potter so I had Trevor make her a wand on his lathe so I gave that to her and she was soo happy! Definitely a great birthday!

I've Missed My Jeans:
One of the recent convert families in the ward moved across town so we spent a lot of time helping them move this week! We were happy to wear pants and spend time with their sweet family(:

Hot Chocolate Already?:
This week Wisconsin Rapids was hit with an early cold spell! With the changing leaves and cooler weather it feels more like the end of October than the middle of September. Unfortunately our apartment complex hadn't turned on the boiler yet so we've been freezing! It has been colder inside our apartment than outside! Ha so we bundled up and have been drinking lots of hot cocoa!

Well I think that's about it! Hope school is going well and that you are all staying busy(: I love and miss you, but am grateful for the opportunity to serve as a missionary and help out with this great work! I know this is the Lord's work! Hope you have a great week!

Sister Kelley

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Familiar Face?

Dear Family and Friends,

We've had a good week here in Rapids. The weather is cooling down nicely and I'm getting excited to break out the sweaters and cardigans! We've been told the Farmer's Almanac is predicting this winter to be as bad or worse than it was last year here in Wisconsin so we'll be bundling up here pretty soon... brrrrr!

Interviews with President Cutler:
President Cutler came to our district meeting in Adams-Friendship this week to conduct interviews. Apparently we have personal interviews with the President every 3 months or so. It was nice to talk with him and receive counsel. Sister Christiansen and I were grateful we had the chance to talk with him about some of the specific concerns some of our investigators have. He helped guide and direct us and also answered some of the questions I'd been having about how to teach with the spirit. He gave us each a copy of a talk given by Elder Oaks titled, 'Teaching and Learning by the Spirit' which has helped a ton!

Community Special Needs Dance:
This week we had the opportunity to help out with an activity put on by the community for those with special needs! The community organized the event, but the ward here in Rapids supplied dinner before the dance so we got to help serve food! The Young Women came to help out as well and we had a great time providing service! It reminded me of helping set up the Kauri Sue Hamilton Prom in high school, but this time instead of Little Mermaid decorations there were Green Bay Packer decorations(: Ha it was so much fun to spend time with the Young Women and serve the community. Sister Christiansen and I were smiling the entire time! Seriously so much fun!

Who are these people?:
So apparently I have a super familiar face or something because this week two random ladies came over and struck up a conversation with me as if they knew me! I had no idea who they were, but they chatted with me as if we were long lost friends.. it was strange. I gave them cards.

The Gospel Blesses Families:
We've been trying to work with the members better and really help our investigators gain not only a spiritual conversion, but a social conversion as well. We want them to develop friendships with members of the ward so we've been setting up lots of member present lessons. This week we had one of our investigators come over to the home of one of the members she knows pretty well. We wanted to teach a lesson in an environment where the spirit could be felt. We'd planned to teach the Plan of Salvation, but the kids were really noisy so we ended up teaching the 10 Commandments where the kids could do the hand signals! Even though our investigators kids were a bit rowdy it ended up working out and the member's kids were great examples to their friends! I am grateful for how the gospel blesses families and helps parents teach their kids in love and righteousness!

Tracting Tales:
We did a lot of tracting this week. We struggled to find someone who would accept a copy of the Book of Mormon each day, but Heavenly Father always ended up leading us to where we needed to be so we could meet that goal! We talked with everyone and anyone we could find! It's funny because sometimes people open the door and look really scared of us! Ha I don't know why - I mean what's so scary about a couple of 19 year old girls in skirts knocking on your door? Ha we are doing our best to find those who are prepared!

Eating Alligator:
This week we were fed alligator at a member's home! Ha it tasted and was prepared just like a chicken nugget! Ha pretty random meal, but a fun mission experience!

Fasting and Prayer:
I had such a neat experience while fasting yesterday - I totally received an answer to my prayer while reading the scriptures! When we read about fasting in the scriptures it is always talked about with prayer. Prayer is an essential part of fasting. Check out Alma 5:45-46 and Alma 17:2-3, 9. I know Heavenly Father is mindful of each of us individually!

I love you guys and hope you all have a fantastic week!

Sister Kelley
Saying goodbye to Julia (a member of the ward who's husband is coming
back from Afghanistan and they are moving to Texas)
with our investigators June and Katelyn.

Helping serve food at the community special needs dance.

Trying alligator!


Alligator! Tastes like chicken (nuggets)!

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Pulling Teeth

Dear Family and Friends,

Well this week is just a blur... we've been so busy I'm honestly having a hard time remembering what happened! Ha but I'll do my best so here goes..

Dental Floss and Door Knobs:
We had a busy week teaching investigators, recent converts, and less actives, but one of the highlights was an object lesson we taught on Friday night. We were visiting a less active lady in the ward and her 11 year old daughter Sophia. While we were there Sophia was complaining about a loose tooth that was bothering her. I had her show it to me and saw that her back molar was literally hanging on by a single root. She was really nervous she might swallow it, but was too scared to pull it out so I offered to help. What started as a joke turned into a fun object lesson and Sister Christiansen and I got to play dentist for a bit! I tied some dental floss around her tooth and Sister C tied the other end of the floss to a door knob and we shut the door and pulled out the tooth very gently(: Sophia was happy her tooth came out and we were happy to tie it into the blessings that come after enduring trials. It seemed to hit home to her Mom and we left feeling quite accomplished.

Tracting in the Rain:
We do a bit of tracting everyday because we have a mission-wide goal of passing out one copy of the Book of Mormon with a specific reading assignment each day to someone who will read it. Going door to door is a bit rough sometimes, but occasionally you find a 'diamond in the rough' which makes tracting worthwhile. This week we didn't find any 'diamonds' per say, but we sure had some fun times! We were out tracting on Saturday afternoon, but were having a hard time finding people who would listen to us. We walked for a long time and still hadn't found anyone. Randomly it starting raining, but it wasn't raining very hard so we kept going. It starting pouring, but by that time we were so far from the car we couldn't really do anything about it. We laughed and thankfully the rain let up after a couple of minutes. Our once straight hair was crazy curly from the humidity and our clothes were damp, but we still had to find someone who would accept a copy of the Book of Mormon so we kept going! The sun came out and we dried out a bit and FINALLY we were able to give a copy of the Book of Mormon to a nice guy named Vince. We went a bit further and met another man who also accepted a BOM - so sweet!

YW Activity:
A few weeks ago we were asked to teach the Young Women about how to care for their bodies. For Young Women's this week we planned a beauty night activity where we taught the girls that our bodies are gifts from God and that we should take care of them. We went over some personal hygiene tips - showering, make up, and hair - then talked about modesty. The activity turned out really well and we all had a good time. We did their make up and hair then had some hand scrub stuff at the end that they all really liked. There aren't very many youth in the ward. I think there are less than 10 young women total! We are trying to find good families to teach to help strengthen the ward, but we are having a hard time finding people who will progress!

Answers to Prayer:
My testimony of prayer was strengthened SO much this week! Sister Christiansen and I saw a couple huge miracles after asking Heavenly Father for help with specific things through prayer. Adrian and Megan, our investigating couple with a baptismal date, aren't married so we have been praying their hearts will be softened towards marriage. We have been praying that they'll get married before the end of the month so they can be baptized on the date we've set with them (September 27th). When we first started talking to them about marriage they weren't planning on getting married until the end of 2016 and just yesterday they said they want to get married within the next 40 days! Ahhh! Such an answer to our prayers! Now we just need to pray that they will get married in the next 20 days or so... We are really working to get a baptism in our area before the October General Conference! I'm so grateful for the power of prayer and know that God hears and answers each of us!

Hope you all had a relaxing labor day and are getting used to the back to school schedule(: I love and miss you dearly! Have a great week!

Sister Kelley
Before we pulled out Sophia's tooth.

The process of tying the floss to her tooth.

After we pulled out the tooth! Remember after trials, come blessings!

Caught in the rain!
My straightened hair turned curly today.
My hair gets so curly here with all these crazy little ringlets everywhere!

Us with Ginny - she's SO full of life, just the cutest!
I love her brother too, we played tic tac toe for 30 min. the other day.