Monday, March 30, 2015

Conference is Coming!

Dear family and friends,

Has another week seriously gone by? I'm racking my brains trying to remember what actually happened this week... Ha the bus conversations this week switched from the weather to the Badgers killin it in March Madness! Everyone is super pumped UW made it to the final four! People here have soo much spirit, everyone is decked out in red and white. Go Badgers!

Preparing for the Temple:
This week we did lots of finding, but also had some lessons with recent converts who are getting ready to go to the temple! Shaun and Janet were baptized just over a year ago and are now preparing to go to the temple to receive their Endowments in May. We had a lesson with each of them this week and they are both so ready! It has been fun to see how their testimonies have grown as they have been preparing to go through. Oh and yesterday Jada got her temple recommend so she can go on the youth temple trip next month - so excited for her!

General Women's Broadcast:
On Saturday night the Relief Society got together for a nice dinner and then to watch the Women's General Broadcast. The broadcast focused on the family a ton which was cool because we have been trying really hard to find families to teach! Elder Eyring said when the Savior is the center of each of our individual lives our families will be strengthened. I think the inverse of that is also true that as the Savior becomes the center of our families each individual family member will be strengthened. It makes me think of the part of the Family Proclamation where it says, "Happiness in family life is most likely to be achieved when founded upon the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ." I definitely saw that to be true growing up and am grateful for this chance to help the families here in Madison come to experience this as well!

Youth 5th Sunday Lesson:
Sister Schlosser and I got to teach the youth 5th Sunday lesson with Elder Harding and Elder Mac! We talked about missionary work and had fun interacting with the youth. We split them up in groups and tackled different questions turning to Preach My Gospel and the scriptures. It ended up being really fun and I think the youth learned a lot about what they can be doing now to prepare and how they can invite their friends.

Because He Lives:
If you haven't seen the 'Because He Lives' video, stop right now and go to lds.org and watch it! Ha we have been telling everyone about it and giving out cards like candy! Yay for Easter and for the glorious resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I know He lives. I know He loves us. I know it's only through Him that we can return to our Heavenly Father and live happily with our families forever!

That's all I've got for ya.Hope you all have a fantastic Easter weekend and enjoy General Conference! As we come to conference prepared to be taught and willing to act on the revelation we receive I know Heavenly Father will bless us with answers to our deepest thoughts and questions! How grateful I am for the living prophet and apostles who testify of Christ, for a loving Heavenly Father who sent His son, and for a perfect Savior who paved the way for each of us!
xoxo
Sister Kelley(:
Me with Debra and Jada!


Monday, March 23, 2015

Madison Round 4

Dear family and friends,

Well good news everyone, I'm staying in Madison!!! Sister Schlosser and I get another transfer together here and I couldn't be more excited and grateful! We've worked hard this transfer and are excited to reap the rewards and teach lots this coming transfer!

Prayer Prompting:
This week we had a cool experience with a less active named Jessie. We found his name on a list in our apartment and decided to give him a call. We had a few different numbers for him so we tried them all and finally got him. We talked for a bit and felt prompted to pray with him. We didn't think much of it until he called us a few nights later expressing that he had been struggling and that since we had prayed with him over the phone he had felt God's love for him and been more determined to resist temptation. We have an appointment set up with him tonight in a member's home which we are super excited about! Hopefully we can help him come back to church!

Future Missionary:
We have been meeting with Debra and Jada a couple times a week to teach their new member lessons and this week we asked Jada to teach us the lesson. She did a fantastic job explaining the principles of the lesson and afterward she told us she wants to be a missionary one day! Aww we about died! Jada is just the absolute cutest 12 year old girl ever and will make such an incredible missionary(:

All Mission Meeting in Milwaukee:
We drove down to Pewaukee with the Madison 4th Ward sisters on Friday night and stayed with the Sefcik family. They were so kind to host us! Sister Sefcik went above and beyond and totally spoiled us. We felt like we were staying in a hotel with all the yummy food and clean linens she had on hand! I got to sleep in a full size bed which was heavenly! Then in the morning we got up and drove the rest of the way to Milwaukee for the meeting. At the last second Elder Perry got assigned to stay in Salt Lake and help get things ready for General Conference so it was Elder Christensen who came to visit us. It was such an incredible meeting - the spirit was so strong! We all learned and grew a ton I think. He taught about the Atonement and how it was possible because of love. At the end we had a small question and answer session and Elder Stewart asked how we could develop a more personal, intimate relationship with the Savior. Elder Christensen responded by turning to D&C 67:10 ahhh soo good. Anyway the whole meeting ruled and afterward we took a picture all together as a mission. It was such a sweet experience to come together and see all my mission friends in one place! I loved catching up with Sister King and getting to see my MTC companion, Sister Escobar who I haven't seen for 9 months! Oh and Sister Christiansen and I sang in the choir together - so fun!

Madison Stake Conference:
We had Stake Conference again in Madison which was weird since we barely had Stake Conference 3 weeks ago, but with the area seventy in town they decided to have another one! Our investigator Choley was kind enough to drive us and our investigator Jianguo made it too! It was his first time at church so we introduced him to some of the YSA Mandarin speaking members and his face just lit up! They talked a ton. We were so grateful Annie and Dan learned to speak Mandarin while on missions and were so willing to fellowship Jianguo and invite him to the FHE and institute activities this week - ahh so awesome! The meeting was super good too - they talked about accepting and magnifying your callings.

Other than that we are just staying busy teaching people and trying to help them progress. We talk with all kinds of different people everyday which is something I love about Madison - so much diversity! Everyone is at a different spot on the journey back to Heavenly Father, but He loves each one of His children and patiently works with each of us! I am so grateful for the privilege I have to represent His son and help His children in Madison, I love being a missionary! Hope you all have a good week and look for opportunities to testify of Christ - love you!

xoxo
Sister Kelley(:

P.S. Thanks for the granola, it definitely made my day(: Also the weather was nice all week and then we woke up to 5 inches of snow this morning - crazy!
Got to see Sister Escobar after 9 months!!!!!!!! AWWW love this girl!
Got to see Sister King again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are going to be life long friends - seriously love this girl!


Monday, March 16, 2015

Sandy's a girl???

Dear family and friends,

There were a couple days this week I actually went outside without a coat on! I haven't walked around outside with just a cardigan on in MONTHS! In fact, I don't think I ever have in Madison! Ha so yay for the warm weather we had this week(: It got up into the 60's which was fantastic. I guess it will be back in the low 40's this week though, but at least it isn't snowing! Sorry I always talk about the weather... haha probably 90% of the conversations I start with people on the bus have to do with the weather and then I try to casually transition into the gospel so maybe that's what I do with my letters too...(:

Zone Training Meeting
This week we had Zone Training Meeting. It's always so fun to get together with the zone! We talked about the Priesthood and they emphasized doing things to find families! I love that President and Sister Cutler are all about families - Wisconsin needs more eternal families and we are sure trying hard to help with that! After the meeting we went to lunch at Chipotle to celebrate Elder Borgelthous' birthday and then to the Mad 2 building for a choir practice. There are 10 or so of us who are going to be singing on Saturday when Elder Perry comes. I am SOOO excited!(:

Getting Pumped for the 'All Mission Meeting'
I just realized I haven't really talked much about this upcoming 'All Mission Meeting'. So basically what's going on is that we are gathering the entire mission together in Milwaukee on Saturday and Elder Perry is going to address us! I seriously cannot wait! For part of the program a few of us from the Madison West Zone are singing this super powerful arrangement of 'I Know That My Redeemer Lives' so that's the choir number I've been talking about. Anyway it is all super exciting(: We've been preparing as a mission by living what we call the F.A.S.T.
F.east on the Book of Mormon daily
A.ct in obedience
S.anctify yourselves through the sacrament
T.estify with your feet by teaching at least two sit down lessons a day
It has been such a neat experience to unite as a mission and prepare for the coming of an apostle of the Lord! I have learned a lot as I have been making the F.A.S.T. a priority for the last month and now we just have one last push this week! Can't wait till Saturday!(:

Relief SocieTy Tea ParTy
The Relief Society activity this month was a tea party and Sister Feriante went above and beyond with the decorations! I just want her to do my wedding one day - she's the absolute cutest! Ha we helped her set things up on our P-day last week and then the RS dinner was Tuesday night. It turned out perfectly and was well attended, we even had some investigators there!

Exchanges
This week we also had exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders! I love being able to see my trainer for exchanges(: This time around I stayed in Madison and Sister Ostler came with me. I had fun showing her how to bus contact since she has been in car areas her whole mission. We had so much fun and saw soo many miralces - met this super solid guy named Jijean we hope to start teaching. Sister Ostler finishes her mission this week - I sure will miss her! I have loved serving around her and have learned a lot from her example of genuine kindness.

Patience and Faith
So I've mentioned all the fun exciting things from this week, but in all honesty this week was hard. Soo hard. We set a baptismal date with our investigator Tiffany on Monday and on Saturday she dropped us! Moments like this are so heart breaking. We had a few other really promising investigators drop us and cancel appointments this week too so it's been super hard. I've been feeling pretty down about it and wondering why this is happening after all our hard work. Then this morning I read in chapter 6 of Preach My Gospel about the Christ-like attribute of patience. Sister Schlosser and I have been working really hard all transfer to see miracles happen and help people progress, but it seemed like things came crashing down this week. In Preach My Gospel it talked about how patience is related to faith and hope. Reading that seemed like such a wake-up call to me! I know Heavenly Father is preparing families here in Madison to accept the gospel - I just need to be patient, have faith, and keep working. I'm excited for one last push with the F.A.S.T. this week and for the all mission meeting on Saturday. I know this is the Lord's work and He truly is directing it. I am so grateful for the chance to be an instrument in His hands!

Jianguos a Man?
One last story... since it has been warmer outside there have been LOADS of people out and about and they all seem to be in better moods so we've had lots of success talking with people! We handed out tons of #BecauseHeLives cards with our number and address for the church on the back and randomly Jianguo texted us after we had met on the bus. Turns out we also met a woman with a similar name on the bus that day so we got them mixed up and thought she had texted us... We ended up inviting him to the Relief Society Activity and setting a return appointment. Ha thank goodness he didn't show up to the RS tea party, but on Thursday we went over for a lesson with him and realized he's a guy! Ha so then we had to get a member to come and it was crazy, but all worked out! We've met with him twice now and he has a baptismal date for April 18th! If you could keep him in your prayers that would be great!!!

Well there ya have it. I hope you all had a fun week and for all you math nerds out there - that you enjoyed pi day(: We ate at the Cocke's that night - they are both mathematicians so they were all excited that it was 3.1415 this year ha so yay for that. This week we also had homemade pot stickers with the Thurstons! They were good, but it made me miss your pot stickers Mom! Haha love and miss you guys! And happy birthday this week Trev!

xoxo
Sister Kelley(:

P.S. Hope you enjoyed the subject line boys - with the Jianguo situation I couldn't resist! Haha(:
The sisters serving in the Madison East and West Zones!
Sister Ostler and I on her LAST exchange! She goes home Wednesday!
Yummy potstickers!
Happy Pie (3.14) Day!

Monday, March 9, 2015

Blue Skies and Sunshine - FINALLY!

Dear Family and Friends,

Good news, the sun is shining and it's a balmy 40 degrees here in Madison! The past few days have been absolutely WONDERFUL! I may have prematurely packed away my giant coat, but for now my thinner one is great so maybe the packing was an act of faith? Ha we are really hoping the weather stays nice! Warmer weather = more people outside = more people to talk to and teach = happy missionaries(: It seems like everyone is in a better mood now that spring is in the air. The snow is melting like crazy and there are huge mud puddles everywhere! Yay for March!

Choosing to Act:
Before the weather warmed up and things started looking up there were a few hard days this week when I just felt really down and inadequate. Our appointments were all falling through and no one wanted to talk with us. I was in a bit of a rut until I read Elder Christofferson's talk from this past General Conference, "Free Forever, to Act for Themselves." Now I know I've raved about this talk in the past, but seriously, it's SO good! Ha I realized I needed to get over myself or as Elder Christofferson challenged, 'take responsibility and go to work so that thereis something for God to help us with.' I changed my attitude and went to work and BAM miracles happened! Sister Schlosser and I taught a killer Word of Wisdom lesson, tracted into and set a return appointment with this awesome mother and daughter, and met this solid woman named Jianguo at the bus top who is now coming to the Relief Society activity tomorrow night! That experience just helped me realize how important it is to act in faith because, 'God will not act to make us something we do not choose by our actions to become.' Trust God - He will help us, but we have to help ourselves too!

Dirty Dishes:
This week we probably spent a solid three hours doing dishes. That being said, I would like to make it clear that we aren't slobs - ha they weren't our dishes! We were helping out a less active and serving the members. But yeah, three hours. My fingers were sooo pruney afterwards. It was awesome.

Daylight Savings Time:
Dang daylight savings totally messed with us this week. We were almost late to ward council and a couple of our investigators didn't set their alarms early enough to get to church. We were super bummed because we had worked really hard to get them rides to church and set up fellowshippers and all that. Ughh. Ha at least it will be brighter later now - that definitely makes evening missionary work a lot easier! Hope you were all able to set your clocks correctly and didn't struggle like us!

So I have to apologize because I didn't take ANY pictures this week! Super lame, I know. I will try to take more pictures this week of us out enjoying the sunshine(: Well I think that's pretty much it - we're doing well and the work is coming along. We had fun this week contacting around the Capitol - it was a lot easier to get people to stop and chat with us in the warmer weather. We should be setting a solid baptismal date with Tiffany and her fiancé tonight so we're super excited. Hope you all have a great week - thanks for all the love, support, and encouragement! I love and miss ya, but wouldn't want to be anywhere else!

xoxo
Sister Kelley(:

Monday, March 2, 2015

March Already?

Dear family and friends,

Sister Schlosser and I feel so blessed to have been so busy this week! We've just been praying to be instruments in God's hand and to have lots of work to do. It's taken time, but things are starting to pick up again! We are excited for those we are working with to progress in this amazing gospel!(:

Temple and Family History Work:
It's been forever since I have been to the temple... oh how I wish there was one here in Wisconsin! The temple in Chicago is the closest to us here in Madison, but that is a good 3 hour drive or so. I hope you all appreciate how blessed you are to live so close to so many temples! Go regularly! This week we taught one of Kendall's new member lessons about the Plan of Salvation, but we tied in temples and family history too. We helped her get an account set up on Family Search and begin entering in the names of her family members. What a neat opportunity and sacred responsibility we have to do the work for our own ancestors! I love the temple and am so grateful for the things we can learn there about the Plan of Salvation!

Activity Days:
The Activity Day Girls fed us dinner this week! It was so fun to join them for an activity. They are the cutest! I remember being in Activity Days and loving my amazing leaders and friends. Aww such good times(: The girls had to plan and prepare a nutritious dinner for one of their Faith in God requirements so we had fun talking about eating healthy and staying active. We talked with them about how they could share the gospel with their friends and neighbors. Sister Schlosser and I reminded the girls that they need to prepare themselves and work on developing their own testimonies so they can be ready to share and help others learn more about the Savior. Really fun activity - now I just want to be an activity days leader(:

Tiffany:
Wow where to even begin. Teaching Tiffany has been the biggest miracle! We just feel so grateful to have been able to meet her and begin working with her. She is our most promising investigator right now and she has such a genuine desire to know the truth. She has two little kids, a 6 year-old little girl and a 6 month old little boy. She has a strong testimony of God, but doesn't have much religious background at all. As we shared the Plan of Salvation with her the spirit was so strong! She committed to be baptized and we are working with her to set solid wedding and baptism dates. Her fiancé is willing to listen to us as well so we will get to meet him later this week! We are SO excited to teach a family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(:

Stake Conference:
We had Stake Conference this weekend - always such an uplifting experience. I am learning how to receive revelation during meetings - I think it is all about asking questions beforehand and recording the promptings and thoughts that come while you listen. Anyway great meeting and we got to see lots of the other missionaries and President and Sister Cutler!

Choir Practice:
In March the entire mission is gathering together to be taught by an Apostle. We don't know who is coming yet, but we are all preparing and looking forward to March 21st! I am part of a small missionary choir that will sing "I Know that My Redeemer Lives" that day. We practiced after Stake Conference for a while - the arrangement is beautiful!

St. David's Day:
We celebrated St. David's Day with the Feriante family last night! Sister Feriante is from Wales and she made a traditional Welsh dinner of lamb with mint jelly, steamed vegetables, parsnips, mashed potatoes and gravy, the works! Mmm it was soo tasty! Plus she made Welsh cakes for dessert - mmm(: The members here take such good care of us! I hope you invite the missionaries over and watch out for them too! Go to lessons with them, feed them dinner, invite your friends to be taught by them! Haha there is my missionary plug for the week(:

Well I think that is about all! We were just busy talking with people and teaching lessons all week - ha same as usual(: Sounds like you are all doing well - keep reading your scriptures and saying your prayers and all that. It truly makes all the difference! As we make the effort to communicate with our Father in Heaven, He in turn will speak to us and our relationship will be made stronger. Love and miss you!

xoxo
Sister Kelley(:
Welsh dinner!