Monday, February 23, 2015

8 Days a Week...8 Months Next Week - Either Way

Dear family and friends,

So yeah, this week happened. Ha each day seems long, but the week seems super short! Things are going well though, still doing lots of finding! We are trying so hard to find people who will progress, people Heavenly Father is preparing! It takes faith and hard work, but we've seen so many miracles - being a missionary is the best(:

Touring Epic
Loads of the people in the ward work for this big company called Epic - it's a huge computer company based here in Madison. Anyway last P-day the Cocke's (a family in the ward) took all the missionaries to tour it! It seems weird to go tour a bunch of office buildings, but these buildings are amazing - look them up! They are all decorated in themes - seriously so great. Wish I could've taken better pictures, but my camera died! Anyway just know it was cool. My favorite floor had fake grass and full size swings! It was wide open with big windows and space to sit and work with a laptop while imagining you were relaxing outside on a warm summer day(:

Right Place, Right Time
Gotta love those moments when you are totally in the right place at the right time! We were on our way to a dinner appointment the other night struggling to find the right apartment complex when we saw a lady coming out of her apartment. We stopped and asked her for directions and she helped us figure out where to go - then we had the opportunity to share the gospel with her! She didn't speak a ton of English and I don't speak a ton of Spanish, but we were able to communicate with her and pray with her! Thank goodness Ishmael taught Sister King and I how to pray in Spanish! We gave her info to the Spanish Elders and hope they will be able to start teaching her!

Madison Zone Conference
The Madison East and West Zones got together for Zone Conference on Tuesday - it is always so fun to see all of the other missionaries! Elders McDurmott and Baird who I came to the field with are serving in the Madison zones so it was fun to talk with both of them. I have now served around everyone I came out from the MTC with except Sister Escobar! We still write to each other and are hoping to be companions again one day(: I also got to see Sister Christiansen and Sister Ostler - they both gave a training about the importance of working with members. I love being able to see my trainer, she's such a great STL! Anyway Zone Conference was great, we talked about the Plan of Salvation and how it isn't possible without the Atonement. We practiced making the Atonement the central point when we teach as well as the principle of eternal families. President and Sister Cutler are incredible(:

Plan of (:
We are taking the lead on teaching Debra and Jada's new member lessons so this week we taught the Plan of Salvation. We implemented the training we'd received at Zone Conference and the lesson went so well! The spirit was definitely there as we testified of the centricity of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It was fun to see Jada answering questions about the Plan and looking up scriptures. Debra and Jada have come so far - love them!

Map Pro
Alright I've got to admit I have never been good with a map.... but this week I got a ton better! Ha this whole navigating Madison on the busses and on foot thing is still hard, but I'm getting the hang of it slowly. Thank goodness for kind bus drivers who help point us in the right direction and help us get off at the right stops!

Finding
More finding.... ha we spent time tracting in the cold, bus contacting on the crazy buses, and looking for opportunities to teach as we did service. While helping out at a local food pantry we met this woman named Diona who we were able to talk to and teach about eternal families - such a sweet experience. Then later while waiting at the transfer point to catch a connecting bus we ran into this kid named Darnell who we met and talked with a few weeks ago. He accepted a Book of Mormon when we talked to him this week and gave us his number! Finding is tough work, but we are seeing so many little miracles each day - I know Heavenly Father is directing this work!

Gigi's Baptism
On Saturday there were 3 baptisms in the Mad 1 building! The Spanish Elders have been teaching Gigi and Richard and the campus elders have been teaching Gong Feng. Their baptisms all turned out beautifully. Sister Schlosser and I helped a lot with Gigi's - she is such a sweet lady! Thank goodness for Senora Denny and 9th grade Spanish classes, it was such a tender mercy I was able to remember enough Spanish to communicate with her!

Book of Mormon
I thought I already had a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon, but everyday it just grows stronger and stronger! This week 3 Nephi 15:1 stood out to me about how it is important that we REMEMBER and DO the things we are taught. When we receive spiritual revelation and guidance we can't just think "oh that was nice" ha we need to remember the experience we had and then go out and do something about it! We had a cool lesson with Emily about this topic after I'd found it during my personal study. Ah how I love the scriptures!

Sorry this letter is a bit long... ha just know I'm having a good time out here and doing my best to be an instrument in God's hands! Oh I forgot to mention that Ishmael received the Aaronic Priesthood this week! He is doing so well! Anyway hope you all have a good week. Love and miss you! Hope you get the Beatles reference in the subject line - Sister Schlosser loves the Beatles and sings Blackbird all the time! I prefer 'Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey' ha but anything Beatles is good(:

xoxo
Sister Kelley(:
Gigi's Baptism
Me & Dr. Suess at Epic

More fun at Epic

Swingin' at Epic


Monday, February 16, 2015

Livin' on Prayer

Dear family and friends,

Taking over Madison has seriously been such a 'baptism by fire' type of experience. These last few days have been absolutely insane. Possibly some of the most trying and most rewarding moments of my mission thus far. I've definitely felt tried and stretched, but by turning to Heavenly Father in prayer I have been given the strength to keep moving forward. My faith and testimony of the Savior and the power of the Atonement have been strengthened ten fold this week! I truly have felt strengthened and sustained through prayer. We're only 4 days into this new transfer and I've already grown a ton! Can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for us here in Madison these next few weeks!

Goodbye Sister King:
Aww man saying goodbye to Sister King was rough! We spent her last full day in Madison teaching lessons to Rachel, Janet, Sarah, and Emily. Kendall took us out for breakfast that morning at the Basset Brunch Club - aw man it was incredible! Then the Thurston's had us and the English Elders over for dinner. It's crazy to think Elder Harmon is home now! We had a powerful lesson with them talking about why we are grateful for the Savior. The spirit was so strong. In every lesson Sister King bore her testimony of Christ and coming to know Him through the Book of Mormon. She's an incredible missionary and has taught me so much these last two transfers! I'm grateful for the opportunity I had to serve with her(:

Transfer Point:
Wednesday I spent all day at the Madison Stake Center waiting with other missionaries in the Madison Zones for our new companions to make the trip from the central transfer point in Oshkosh! We all went out to lunch at Subway after doing studies and having a little devotional. Sister Cosgrove and I stuck together - she's amazing! Then finally the new missionaries arrived and I got to meet Sister Schlosser! She just finished her training in Green Bay so she's been out for 3 months. She's 21, from Oregon, and is a pre-animation major at BYU! She's got the cutest curly red hair and is a really hard worker! Getting a new companion is always a transition and it took a few days to figure things out, but we are excited to see miracles happen in this area as we work together!

The Daily Grind:
This week has been such an adventure navigating the busses! We've only missed one bus which I am pretty proud of. Ha so it is going decently well I would say! Sister Schlosser has been so patient with me! We've spent a lot of time out contacting and finding. We just really need new investigators who will progress! We got a couple new investigators after lots of prayer and hard work! We made passing out copies of the Book of Mormon a big focus this week and saw so many miracles from it!

Valentine's Day:
Hope you all had a lovely Valentine's day - ha I know we sure did! We passed out a few copies of the Book of Mormon and ate KFC with a Janet, this cute old lady recent convert in the ward(: Remember last Valentine's day when I opened my mission call?! Crazy to think it's been a year and now here I am in Wisconsin absolutely loving it! Ha I've learned and grown a lot since then for sure!

Thanks for the Valentines and the homemade granola! I may or may not have eaten most of it already...(: I love and miss you - you're always in my prayers! Have a good week and enjoy President's day today! Go on an extra snowmobile loop at the cabin for me!

xoxo
Sister Kelley(:
Last sports with Sister King! I sure miss her! 
Goodbye Sister King :(

Goodbyes are so hard! Sister King transfers and Elder Harmon goes home! 

Hello Sister Schlosser!
(pronunciation is  
SH-LAW-SIR)


Monday, February 9, 2015

Sunset on Segoe

Dear family and friends,

Seems like the longest - shortest week of my life. I swear we live in some kind of time warp. We did a lot of finding and had success getting a few new investigators, but then none of them showed up for their return appointments so that was rough. Ha we are still plugging along though. Hopefully we can find some solid people soon!

Snow Storm:
I can't believe it's been like 60 degrees back at home... ha it's been so cold here this week! On Monday it was particularly bad. We were on the bus and got caught in this crazy snow storm. The bus route was supposed to go up this big hill, but we were stuck at the bottom of it for almost an hour! We taught this cool kid named Darnell while we waited though so it wasn't a complete waste of time. I am just grateful we didn't have to drive in it ourselves! I would've been freaking out! Thank goodness for the bus(:

Ping Pong:
A few times a week after our morning run we played ping pong ha it was way fun! What I wouldn't give to throw down on ya up at the cabin(; Also with all this snow I must admit I have missed snowmobiling a TON! Good thing I get home during the winter so we can go straight up to the cabin and hit up the loop!

The Book of Mormon Answers Questions:
This week we had a couple really cool lessons where we taught about how the Book of Mormon answers questions. We asked our investigators to write down a question they had and we both did the same then we read a random Book of Mormon chapter together, discussing it as we read, looking for the answer! We read a different chapter each time we taught the lesson and each time we all found answers to the questions we had in mind. Such a powerful experience! After that experience I decided to try to ask more questions during personal study. So before studies I write down a question then start reading from the scriptures looking for my answer. As I study I take note of any thoughts or impressions in a study journal. Asking questions and then underlining, highlighting, and writing down the answers I receive has helped me be more in tune with the spirit and receive direct personal revelation.

Transfers:
It's transfer time again and unfortunately it's Sister King's time to move on. I sure am going to miss her. I have learned SO much from Sister King and we've become such good friends over the last few months! She has definitely internalized her purpose as a missionary and is such a powerful representative of Jesus Christ. She's been serving here in Madison for 6 months and now she is headed to Wausau to be a Sister Training Leader! I am staying here in Madison and will serve with Sister Schlosser. I don't know anything about her other than she has been out for 2 transfers so she just finished her training. I'm excited to meet her! I am nervous to take over the area - especially navigating the busses! It will be a really good opportunity for me to rely on the spirit though and grow a ton! As Sister King and I were walking along Segoe road when the sun was setting I just felt at peace about transfers and about the work we had done together. Can't wait to continue helping the work move forward here in Madison!

Hope you have a great week - love and miss you!
xoxo
Sister Kelley(:
Sunset on Segoe
Vince - UW football player - go Badgers!!!
Bowling!
Check out how awesome we look!
Such a fun time!



Monday, February 2, 2015

Cancelled Church and Snow Angels

Dear Family and Friends,

Hope you all had a good week. Things here have been as busy as always!

Finding:
So the thing about baptizing all of your progressing investigators is then you don't have any progressing investigators... ugh. Ha what a wonderful problem to have though(: We have a small teaching pool, but the investigators we are working with right now are progressing very slowly so we've been doing a whole lot of finding this week! We bus contacted quite a bit and had success in giving out copies of the Book of Mormon. We met this super cute girl named Tasia and set up an appointment to meet with her later this week!

Learning to Knit:
The ward has a knitting group that meets together once a month and this week we went with a couple of our investigators! Thankfully Deserae, a less active we have been working with, has been teaching us to knit so we had a project to work on while we were there. Ha it was a lot of fun to chat with the ladies in the ward and knit scarves! Our investigators really liked it as well and got to meet some of the Relief Society ladies.

Stampin Up Card Class:
This week we were super crafty! Not only did we knit, but we also attended Sister Durschi's Stampin' Up card class with our investigator Jeanie. The last few weeks Jeanie has been super busy with school and cancelled our appointments, but we were able to reconnect at this card class and set up a time to meet this week! Huge tender mercy! We also used it as a finding activity and chatted with all the non-members there - it was awesome! Plus stamping cards is always fun(:

Interviews:
This week we had interviews with President Cutler! Interviews are always such a cool learning experience. We prepared for interviews by studying Elder Christofferson's talk from General Conference, "Free Forever, to Act for Themselves". Ahh it is soo good. During interviews I asked President what I could do to have a better study journal and he showed me his which was super intense! This week I have been trying to be better at recording the thoughts and impressions I have as I study. It's only been a few days, but I already feel like my studies are more meaningful and that the spirit is teaching me what I need to know. I am so grateful for President and Sister Cutler and all they do!

Snow and the Sacrament:
Church was cancelled throughout the Madsion Stake yesterday after we got like 6 inches of new powder. It continued to snow all day and by the time Sister King and I were walking back home for the night we were trudging through snow up to the top of our tall boots! It was crazy - so much snow in such a short amount of time! When we found out church was cancelled we were super bummed, we never plan a back up for church! Ha but then President Cutler gave the District Leaders permission to administer the sacrament to their district so we met as a district at church and had a mini Sacrament meeting. I was so grateful we still got to partake of the sacrament, it has become something I truly look forward to each week. I am grateful we had the chance to renew our covenants then have a testimony meeting together. Such a special experience. Then we went back out into the snow! Behind our apartment complex there is this big field I really wanted to snowmobile in! Ha I settled for making a snow angel though(:

Love and miss you, thanks for the prayers and support! Transfers are next week so we will see what happens - really hoping Sister King and I get another one together here in Madison!

xoxo,
Sister Kelley(:

Me in a Wisconsin Blizzard!
Catching snowflakes on my tongue!
Ha - I'm makin' a snow angel!
My snow angel - hopefully you can see it:)
I love the snow!