Monday, June 29, 2015

Strawberry Fields Forever

Dear fam and friends,

Time seems to be flying by out here - since when is it June??? Ha I am super excited for July though, we have a lot to look forward to with MLC, exchanges, and Jamie and Lori's baptisms!

Baptism Prep:
This week we spent a lot of time with Jamie and Lori preparing them for their upcoming baptisms! We are so excited for both of them!!! It has been so fun to watch their testimonies grow. Jamie will be getting baptized in just under 2 weeks and we are working with Lori for the end of the month. Lori made it to church this week for the first time and absolutely loved it! It worked out perfectly because we had taken Sister Furhiman with us to Lori's lesson earlier in the week and then on Sunday they already knew each other and Sister Furhiman was able to sit with Lori and fellowship her! After church Lori told us how she had felt the spirit really strongly during the sacrament and that she
loved how family oriented the church is/feels. She also commented on how sincere everyone is in their testimonies. Ahhh it was such a good Sunday(:

Oneida Reservation:
We received a head quarter referral for a Barbara who lives on the Oneida Reservation so we plugged her address into the GPS and drove to THE most gorgeous area of Wisconsin, seriously we were dying it was so beautiful! When we got to our destination the address was off so we started talking with people outside and by some miracle were directed to Barbara! She happened to walk outside as we went up to her trailer and we were able to sit on her porch and teach her about the Book of Mormon! It was amazing how everything lined up for us to find her, such a miracle! Her niece is a member in the Spanish branch that meets in our building so we are looking forward to connecting with her this week too.

Sprint Celebs:
This week the touch screen on our phone blew out so we couldn't send text messages or hang up if we answered a call! Ha so that made for an interesting few days.. we spent a couple afternoons in the local Sprint store getting it all sorted out, but by the end of the week we'd taught the gospel to 3 of the employees and everybody knew us when we walked in! Ha Sprint store celebrity status right there(:
Elder Carter was great to help get us a new phone so now things are up and running. How grateful I am to have a phone to contact people!

Strawberry Pickin:
Sister Pope and I couldn't help but think of the Beatles as we drove to this HUGE strawberry field this week. It seriously looked like it went on forever! As a service opportunity we helped pick strawberries and it was a blast!

Mini Miracles:
This week we street contacted into a woman we tracted into the other day and she remembered us and loved us! Ha she really wants us to teach her son Brian, but I don't think he really wants us to teach
him... ha so we are working on that. BUT it was a sweet miracle nonetheless. We also ran into Martez, another guy we street contacted into at the gas station. So yeah what are the chances of street
contacting into people we've already talked with, that doesn't usually happen! We had a sweet miracle with this young Dad named Thaddeaus who was a member referral we taught him about the Book of Mormon and he wants to talk with his member friend (who also happens to be his next door neighbor) about it, we are excited about the potential there.

We are seeing miracles and trying to stay on top of everything! I can't believe I'll hit my year mark this week... With Sister Pope just a few weeks away from going home we've been reflecting on our mission experiences and the ways we've changed and grown closer to our Savior. I am so grateful for this past year and know it has and will continue to shape the course of my entire life. I am excited for the next 6 months of miracles!!! Hope you all have a good week, love you!!!

xoxo
Sister Kelley(:




Lori, me and Sis Pope
Hmong family - the Vang's
Huge feast Sis Pope and I made after fasting
Homemade Alfredo - we're 
pretty much Betty Crocker:)


Monday, June 22, 2015

Happy Father's Day!

Dear fam and friends,

Hope you all had a wonderful Father's Day yesterday! They had the young men speak in our ward about what they have learned from their father's about our Heavenly Father and how their relationships with their father compares to Heavenly Father's relationship with Jesus. It was a great meeting. I'm so grateful for my amazing Dad and the example he is to me! The good relationship we have helps me to better understand my relationship with my Father in Heaven and to feel of His
love. Hope you were all able to thank your father's this week for all they do!

Green Bay Peeps:
The last few weeks I've written a bunch about exchanges, but I don't think I have mentioned much about who we are consistently working with in our own area! Ha so since we didn't go on exchanges this week because of transfers I'll do my best to fill you in on a few of our solid investigators.

Jamie-
First off is Jamie. She met the sisters/was given a copy of the Book of Mormon for the first time last July and has been investigating ever since. She has read the Book of Mormon cover to cover 4 times so far and absolutely loves it. I have never worked with an investigator with such a love and understanding of the BOM. Her BOM is covered in notes and she has such great insights. She will be getting baptized on July 11th - one year after receiving her first copy of the BOM, so
exciting! We meet with her a few times a week for lessons and BOM book club. Last night we had a great discussion about what it means to have a 'broken heart and a contrite spirit.' Also Jamie is hilarious and always makes us laugh(:
Lori-
Brother Sieber referred us to Lori who is his childhood best friend's Mom, basically his second mother. She grew up devote Catholic, but disagreed with some of the things the local congregation was doing. She fell away and turned from God. During that time she was unhappy and often felt depressed. She noticed how Brother Sieber was always happy and she asked what made him so happy... Ha then he shared the gospel with her and invited her to meet with the sister missionaries and BOOM now she has a baptismal date(: Lori is absolutely amazing. Her lessons are always super powerful and she has a sincere desire to know the truth. This gospel is changing her life. She loves reading from the Book of Mormon and always tells her family about what she is learning. She's nervous to meet new people and hasn't been to church yet, but this week she came to the ward Pinewood Derby activity and really seemed to have a good time. This week we taught the Word of Wisdom. When she found out she couldn't drink tea or coffee anymore she said it would be a bit hard to give those things up, but that she would be willing to do it so she could be baptized. She has so much faith!
Ashley-
I think I wrote a bit about Ashley last week. We met her the other day when trying to contact a less active. Ashley was excited to read about the Book of Mormon and since then we've been able to meet with her a few times to teach about the Restoration and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She really wants God in her life to guide her and her family. She accepted a baptismal invite, but her husband isn't super interested yet... we're going to get the Spanish Elders to help us out and hopefully he will be! She's seen miracles the last few days as she has been praying and truly feels that God has been with her. We are looking forward to continuing to help her and her family!

Community Service Opportunities:
We had a few opportunities to do service in the community this week which is always good to get out and be seen by people in Green Bay. It is crazy how many people have never seen missionaries before - back home we'd see them out and about all the time it seemed like! Anyway we helped with a family fun run and the 'Day Out with Thomas' at the National Railroad Museum. We talked with a bunch of families and gave little kids Thomas the train tattoos.

Hmong Funeral:
We've been working with this less active Hmong lady named Xee and this past week her mother passed away. She was really struggling, but we met with her a few times and were able to comfort her a bit. She asked us to come to her Mom's funeral to support her because her husband isn't super supportive so we agreed to go. The funeral was unlike anything I'd ever been to before! It was such a neat experience to learn more about Hmong culture. They rent out a funeral home place for a few days and have a big celebration with tons of food. They had animal sacrifices and there was all this raw meat in the kitchen area. They were cooking TONS of Hmong food which Xee had us try. Xee's Mom was dressed in traditional Hmong clothing and laid to rest in the middle of the room. They had big drums playing to begin to open the portal to heaven for her and they played music from these wooden instruments. Man I wish I could explain all this better. It was really such a neat experience, we were the only non-Hmong people there, but everyone was so kind to us!

Well that's all I have time for... ha when I get home I just have so many stories for you! Glad to hear you had fun celebrating Father's Day and that Dan had a good birthday as well(: It was hard to be away, but I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve. I know this is where I need to be right now and I've been so blessed to feel the Savior lifting me time and time again out here. This week we were able to have a special fast and I just have such a strong testimony that our Father in Heaven is aware of each of us! Love and miss you guys, hope you have a great week!

xoxo
Sister Kelley
Helping with the "Day Out With Thomas" at the National Railroad Museum.



Despicable Me fart gun with Jamie
Saying goodbye to Sister Larsen
Sisters Larsen, Kelley, Packer, and Pope!
Hmong food!

Hmong treat
Beautiful sunsets

Monday, June 15, 2015

Yoopers

Dear fam and friends,

This week was soo good! It was so fun to see the miracles happening in Wisconsin and in Michigan!

Zone Training Meeting:
Yay for the Green Bay South Zone! It was so fun to get together with everyone this week. Sister Pope and I worked with the Zone Leaders, Elders Crandall and Wiscombe, to prep everything for the meeting and it all came together nicely. I really liked the training we did on using the Book of Mormon more effectively as a finding tool. Sister Pope and I learned a ton preparing the training and have been focusing on testifying of the power of the Book of Mormon to everyone we talk to. We met this young mom named Ashley who accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and is eager to read from it! She is Oneida so she grew up hearing the Oneida spiritual stories, but was raised Lutheran so she has a Christian background as well. When we explained that the Book of Mormon is a record of God's dealings with the people in the Americas
she got super excited and asked if Christ ever taught the people in the Americas. AHHH we were like 'yes! it talks about it here in 3 Nephi 11...' ha it was so so great. She grew up hearing of a great prophet who had brought peace to her people and she had always thought this was Christ! She is seriously so prepared. We are excited to begin teaching her!

Lessons with Lori:
After every lesson with Lori, Sister Pope and I leave so happy(: Lori is progressing really well and is developing a strong testimony. This week we were finally able to set a solid baptismal date with her for July 25th! We still have a lot to teach her, but already she has noticed how the gospel is changing her life. She recognizes that it brings her so much peace and happiness. I have loved seeing the change in her these past few weeks. She had plans to come to church this week and we had all her fellow-shippers lined up, but she fell and hurt her back super bad and couldn't make it): We were able to talk with her on the phone last night though and she seems to be doing a bit better - keep her in your prayers!

Right Place, Right Time Miracle:
The other day we had an appointment cancel so we were heading back to the apartment to do our weekly planning, but we had the thought to stop by a less active in the area first. We've tried to stop by Stephanie's house a few times, but she works a ton and we don't find her at home very much. So anyway we stop by and knock on the door and Stephanie answers and was like, 'NO WAY!' then she started freaking out... So moments before we knocked on the door Stephanie had been on the phone with her Mom (who is active in Appleton) explaining that she was really struggling and her Mom had suggested that she reach out to the missionaries. The moment her Mom suggested that, we knocked on the door! So yeah then we were all freaking out and we had a lesson and set an appointment to come back and see them in a few days(:

Blitz in Marquette:
Instead of exchanging with the Sister Woods and Sister Payne in Marquette we went up and blitzed their area (meaning Sister Pope and I both stayed and worked in Marquette). We drove about 3.5 hours to get there then stayed for the 24 hour exchange and drove back home. It was such a gorgeous drive! Everything is SOO green and we got to drive along the lake shore so the view was incredible. We took some pictures of Lake Superieor and Lake Michigan so I will send those(: Wisconsin is beautiful, but the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is breathtaking! There are more rolling hills up there and the colors are super intense. I loved being there in the summer, but I imagine the winter is just brutal. Anyway the blitz went really well. I got to exchange with Sister Payne, she's from Montana and has been out for 6 months. She is awesome. We worked hard and saw miracles as we talked with the yoopers. Ha some of them sure do talk funny, Sister Payne and I
laughed a ton! I learned a lot about listening to the spirit while I was with her too. She's super in tune. While we were up there we had a BBQ outside with Elders Williams and Ward and a member family, it was so much fun!

We got the transfer info this week and... Sister Pope and I are staying together in Green Bay! We are SO excited we have another transfer together and that we get to work with so many amazing sisters(: This transfer things seem to be changing a lot in the mission. They've combined a couple zones and we have a bunch of sisters coming out. Of the 6 sisters we exchange with, 4 of them will be training! It is crazy to be on the 'older' end of the mission. I am really excited about the work going on here, it is so fun to exchange and see the miracles happening in other areas as well. I know this is Heavenly Father's work and I am so grateful for the chance to be a little part of it!

xoxo
Sister Kelley
Wisconsin drive(:
All the traffic lights are super precarious in Michigan.















Monday, June 8, 2015

Professional Movers

Dear fam and friends,

CONGRATS ZACH!!! So glad to hear graduation stuff went well this week(: Things up here have been pretty busy. I am really excited about our investigator Lori. She is progressing like crazy! We had this really powerful church tour lesson with her and talked about Baptism and the Sacrament. She prayed aloud with us for the first time in years, it was probably one of the most spirit filled lessons of my mission. Such a special experience.

Service:
We had a whole bunch of service opportunities this week with ward members and a few potentials! Ha we spent most of our P-day last week helping the Pyper family get settled into their new place and then we helped the Bishop family move in the following day. They are both super solid families. We are looking forward to getting to know them and involving them in the work! We also had the chance to help some of Bishop Millet's friends clean their windows! We also helped the YW with a rummage sale service project and helped Sister Wozniak pack things up for her move. Oh and we did yard work for Sister Robertson's neighbor Leslie and were able to talk with her about the church afterwards! So solid.

Exchange in Sheboygan:
Got to go on exchanges with Sister Carlini in Sheboygan! She has been out for 5 weeks now and is already such a powerful teacher and really loves the people. We had a great time together and met this cute Mom and son... new investigators! Also we ran out to this beautiful lighthouse for our work out in the morning and took tons of pictures. Sheboygan is gorgeous!

Mission Leadership Council:
The highlight of MLC was getting to see Sister King! Oh how I love that girl!!! We were able to talk a ton and catch up(: Then President and Sister Cutler presented these super good trainings about faith, using the Book of Mormon app, and working with the members. I LOVED Sister Cutler's faith training - it was just what I needed. Helped me understand that faith has two parts, action (what we do) and power (what God does). We will present a training on it next week - I'm excited to study this idea out more to prepare!

This week we've got Zone Training Meeting which we're in charge of with the Zone Leaders and then a blitz with the Marquette Sisters - should be a lot of fun! Hope Uncle Allen's wedding and Nate's Homecoming go well, can't wait to hear about them(: Love you!

xoxo
Sister Kelley






Monday, June 1, 2015

Older and Wiser Too?

Dear fam and friends,

Things are good. And insane. I don't think I have ever been so exhausted in my whole life or so happy!

Double Exchanges:
It seemed like I was hardly with Sister Pope at all this week because we had double exchanges with Green Bay 1st Ward (Sisters Packer and Larsen) and Manitowoc (Sisters Lyons and Kealer)! I loved spending time with Sister Packer - she is absolutely wonderful! We were in the same YSA ward in Provo during fall semester so we knew each other before the mission, but we hadn't served near each other until I got transferred up here to Green Bay. Now we get to see each other all the time which is a blast! She is such a hard worker and full of charity. We saw success as we contacted this headquarter referral together and tracted out this quite neighborhood. Also we just talked and talked and talked which was just fun - love her(: Then I got to go on exchanges with Sister Lyons in Manitowoc! It was a beautiful drive out there. It is SOOO green here and there are all these rolling hills and red barnyards every few miles. It is gorgeous. But yeah the exchange was good. Sister Lyons and I went to a Relief Society activity in their ward and learned to make Spring Rolls! Then the next day we had this super huge miracle happen as we were out tracting - we found this solid mother and taught her for an hour outside and committed her to take the lessons! Her little girl was adorable, she kept picking flowers for us as we talked(:

Zone Conference:
The Marquette Sisters (Sisters Woods and Payne) stayed the night with us Wednesday so we could all drive to Zone Conference together on Thursday. Sister Woods and I were both celebrating our birthdays Thursday so it was fun to be together(: Zone Conference was great - it is always so fun to see everyone and catch up! Everyone sang 'happy birthday' to Sister Woods and I during lunch and we got to take pictures. Sister Pope, Elder Crandal, Elder Wiscombe and I gave our training on Jacob 5 and it went really well. The Stake President and his wife both spoke about the importance of loving those we serve and remembering to listen. Then President and Sister Cutler presented training on the importance of keeping the Sabbath Day holy and helping families to progress in the gospel. It was such a good meeting, made me excited to change the way I teach investigators about observing the
Sabbath. Oh and at Zone Conferences Brother Barley always inspects the mission cars and rewards the companionship who has the cleanest car with a gift card. Sister Pope and I totally won. #success

I don't have enough time to really explain anything else, but we are doing good and seeing good things happen. Elder Perry's passing is sad, but we had a chance to reread his last conference talk and are grateful for his service. Brother Mills was released as ward mission leader and we are all crushed - he is amazing, we are so grateful for his service. We are excited for the new guy though. Should be good. Oh and my birthday was a blast!

Thanks for the thoughtful gifts and birthday wishes this week! I sure do love you guys!

xoxo
Sister Kelley(: