Monday, July 27, 2015

Lori's Baptism!

Dear fam and friends,

We checked the transfer board this morning and I'm staying in Green Bay! Sister Pope is headed home and I'll be teaching Sister Elkington the ropes of STL life. Sister Elkington has served the past 5 transfers in Wisconsin Rapids (where I was trained) so I am super excited to ask her how everyone is doing!

Sister Monroe Moment:
There was a bit of a mix up with miles for the car this month so we've been walking, getting rides with members, busing, and biking a lot this week! The ward members have been so helpful, we are so grateful! A couple of members loaned us bikes to use so we had a fun time trying to figure out how to bike in skirts. We were riding through an intersection and I had a bit of a Marilyn Monroe moment as my skirt flew up! Ha good times. It was great to be back on the buses again, but Green Bay just doesn't have the same caliber of a metro system as Madison does.

Blitzing Sheboygan:
The APs had us blitz Sheboygan instead of exchanging because we were short on miles this transfer. It was fun to spend the night with Sister Carlini and Sister Wilson in beautiful Sheboygan. Sister Wilson and I had a great day together! I was so grateful to spend time with her and learn from her Christ-like example. As we went out to contact on the pier we had lessons with this a young Hmong guy, a Muslim family from Syria, an athiest old man, and a very Christian couple who were having basically the worst day of their lives (he had lost his job and she'd lost her wallet and they had just moved to Sheboygan so they were living out of their car and yet they were sitting by the pier enjoying the beautiful view and talking about what to do) anyway we had lessons with all of these VERY different people and the gospel had perfect relevance for each of them. I love the gospel!!!

The Right Door:
We had this huge miracle this week as we went out with Sister Ross to try to track down one of the missing less active young women in the ward. We had an address for the apartment complex she was staying at, but not the right apartment number. There were hundreds of apartments, but we truly were guided by the spirit and knocked the right door and she was there! SUCH A MIRACLE!

The Burning:
To celebrate Sister Pope's mission we had a big bonfire with the Vanderhyden's where she lit an outfit of hers on fire! It was super sweet! It has been so fun to hear all her mission stories the last few months and to learn from her testimony and example. Sister Pope loves the Book of Mormon and does a great job of instilling that love in the hearts of those she teaches. I have learned a lot from her and will miss her a bunch! Going home seems to be such a bittersweet thing. There have been so many tender mercies the past transfer and to end with Lori's baptism really meant a lot to Sister Pope. I am so grateful for the chance I've had to serve with her(:

Lori's Baptism:
This week we finished up teaching Lori about the Priesthood and enduring to the end. She was so prepared for her baptism. Unfortunately her husband, who has been supportive this entire time, decided not to attend the baptismal service or her confirmation. This was hard on Lori, but she said she couldn't deny what she knew and that she knew she needed to be baptized. She has so much faith! We had an incredible lesson in the chapel the night before her baptism and that same spirit was there during the service the next day. The service was such an amazing experience - one of those moments when the spirit is so strong you don't want to move! I didn't want that moment to ever end. After she was baptized Lori was super happy and said she had butterflies in her heart because of the spirit, ha so cute! Her confirmation the next day was equally beautiful and she prayed at the end of Relief Society, it is amazing to see how much she has changed!

Book Club Murder Mystery:
We also had the best Book of Mormon book club EVER last night as we read and discussed Helaman 8 and 9 with Jamie, Angie, and the GB1 Sisters. Jamie put a ton of work into organizing it into a murder mystery where we all played different parts and had to figure out who had murdered the chief judge! The party was equip with Book of Mormon treats and disguises - we sure had a fun time(:

In other news.. we had a fun breakfast appointment with Sister Winchester where she treated us to iHop and drove us clear out to Denmark for a solid lesson with our investigator Nicole after that. Nicole is a young Mom we are trying to meet more regularly with, but she lives super far from us. We had a great lesson together though and hope to set a date with her! The Stake Picnic was also this week so we got to go to that with Jamie and then Lori and a bunch of the ward members came too! It turned out well and we had fun playing frisbee.

Things are going well out here. There are ups and downs, but I remember the ups way more than the downs and feel the lifting power of the Atonement help me through each day. Love and miss you!
Sister Kelley(:

Monday, July 20, 2015

Death Week

Dear fam and friends,

This week was absolutely exhausting. After we finished our third and final exchange Sister Pope and I high-fived each other and celebrated surviving our death week! It was so fun to spend time with the Sisters and do our best to strengthen and uplift them, but it has been hard to stay up on things in our own area because we were gone so much! We're both feeling rather behind and a bit stressed about all the planning and catching up we've got to do, but we're excited for the great week ahead of us! Lori had her baptismal interview yesterday and all things are go for her baptism on Saturday, we are thrilled(:

Exchanges in Marquette:
We spent two nights in Michigan this week blitzing with Sisters Payne and Twitchell. It was fun to get to know Sister Twitchell who is being trained and to be with Sister Payne again. Sister Payne and I practiced street contacting and saw tons of success! We taught a man named Craig outside for almost an hour and by the end of our lesson he was in tears! Then a member invited us to lunch with her non-member friends at Lake Superior so we talked with them and enjoyed beach contacting, it was soo pretty! Then we had a bit of a downer because this solid lady we'd found on our last exchange together (who the sisters have been teaching for a month or so) dropped us with a note outside the door. Ughh. All in all it was a great exchange though(: Sister Payne and I had a great comp study talking about charity and how Christ showed love to those He taught. On the 3 and a half hour drive back from Marquette Sister Pope and I took a pit stop at Seguins cheese shop where we enjoyed some yummy chocolate cheese!

Exchanges with Appleton:
We finished exchanges with Marquette, worked in our area for a couple hours then headed out to exchange with Appleton. Sister Rousseau came back to work here in Green Bay with me and Sister Pope went with Sister Trent. Sister Rousseau goes home with Sister Pope and she is such a powerful missionary! She is super bold and works hard, we had a great day together. Sister Rau, a member in the ward, drove us out to Denmark (part of our area we don't get to go to much because of our miles limitations) where we met with some less actives and a potential investigator. Later we were out tracting and we met Crystal, a cute young Mom who was very receptive. We have a return appointment set this week to meet with her and her Jewish husband. Then we were about to drive away from our dinner appointment, but we saw this guy so Sister Rousseau talked with him while directing me as I backed out (yay for missionary backing rules!) and she invited him to take a tour of the church right then and there! He agreed and we had a sweet little lesson!

Exchanges in Winnebago YSA:
After Appleton we exchanged with the Winnebago YSA Sisters. Sisters Lamprecht and Gifford are great(: I went with Sister Gifford and worked in their area. We went to the Saturday morning Farmers Market and street contacting into some really solid people! We met this cute YSA named Kylie who is actually moving to Utah in a couple weeks to finish up with her Masters at Utah State. We talked with her for a while and gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon, she'll get baptized for sure. Then we had a few other lessons throughout the day, one with a Hmong investigator they have named Alvin. He's a funny guy. Also had one of those right place right time moments when we stopped by a less active, Heavenly Father is so mindful of each of us!

In other news we got our car fixed (it had some recall issues) and our AC fixed so we are no longer sweating to death. Oh and I tried this new Hmong food called kapong (sp?) and it was super spicy, but delicious! We've got a good week ahead of us, keep Lori in your prayers! Love and miss ya!
Sister Kelley


Monday, July 13, 2015

Jamie's Baptism!

Dear fam and friends,

This week was busy with baptism prep! We scrubbed out the font, finalized program plans/outline, practiced for our special musical number with the other sisters, hunted down a baptismal suit, etc. There were 3 baptisms on Saturday and everything went well pulling it all together! Jamie's baptism ran smoothly and the spirit was really strong. The two sisters who began teaching her flew in to support her which was really special. Sister Arnold and Sister Brandley are amazing and we had fun getting to know them(: After Jamie was baptized she couldn't stop smiling and kept talking about how she felt 'grounded' and that she had a clearer sense of purpose. Ahh such a great day! It has been such an amazing opportunity to work with Jamie and learn from her testimony the past couple months. I love how the gospel changes people and helps us each become better! It is so fun to see that process up close as a missionary(: Anyway Jamie's then her confirmation was yesterday and she shared her testimony in Relief Society(: After Jamie was confirmed Lori leaned over to us and said, "That was AWESOME!" ha she is looking forward to her baptism in a few weeks(:

Zone Training Meeting:
The Marquette sisters got to stay the night with us before ZTM which was a blast(: Then ZTM turned out really well. Sister Pope and I did a training on how to use the Book of Mormon more effectively by 1) Improving how we introduce the Book of Mormon 2) Improving how we use the Book of Mormon to teach gospel principles 3) Improving how we use the Book of Mormon in following up. We were pleased with how it turned out and Elder Wiscombe and Elder Teeples did a great job with their training on Christ-like attributes and becoming. We gave the zone a planner insert with the ZTM commitments on it and Peanut Butter bars so everyone seemed happy(:

Exchanges with Manitowoc:
After Zone Training Meeting we exchanged with Sister Lyons and Sister Peterson. Sister Peterson and I spent the exchange in Manitowoc and saw some pretty sweet miracles! We had a powerful lesson with the Multens, a less active family who are starting to come back and are working on getting to the temple. Brother Multen was excited to tell us about/show off his boat so we related it to the gospel and it worked like a charm! I love that everything relates back to the gospel somehow. Then we taught a lesson to a man Sister Pope and I had met a few days ago, but who actually lives just outside of Manitowoc. His name is Jorge and he has such a sincere desire to change his life and
come to Christ. He speaks a decent amount of English and Sister Peterson and I knew enough Spanish to teach a lesson. The spirit was way strong and we even set a baptismal date with him in Spanish! It was totally lead by the spirit and such a sweet miracle! Also Sister Peterson is super sweet and really has her scriptures down.

12 Days of Baptism Part 2:
Finished the baptism countdown for our investigator Jamie this week. She loved all the little surprises we left - it was a great way for us to stay in daily contact despite her crazy work schedule!
5) Glow Stick door decor - 1 Nephi 17:13 'I Will Be Your Light in the Wilderness'
4) Peanut Butter Bars - John 16:33
3) Rainbow fish/fishing net - 1 Nephi 1:12 'Caught Up in a Good Read' Jamie received her first copy of the Book of Mormon one year ago on this day!
2) Avengers Puzzle - The Gospel is MARVELous
1) Kool-Aid - 'Ohh yeah!'

Jamie has always joked that once she joined the church and was baptized she would be 'drinking the Kool-Aid' so we decorated her door with Kool-Aid packets on the last night and served Kool-Aid after her baptism for refreshments(:

Spider Hunting:
A lady in the ward called us in a panic this week needing some help killing spiders. We went over to her home and there were SO many spiders. Like hundreds would not even be an exaggeration. They were the nasty daddy long leg type and their webs covered the place! At first we were freaked out, but then we got a system down and whipped it out. I would sweep the spiders down from the wall and ceiling then Sister Pope would vacuum them up! Ha we made and epic video you'll get to see one day(:

We had interviews with President Cutler this week - he always seems to know just what we all need(: In preparation for interviews we studied about fasting and prayer. I learned a lot about fasting and feel like it has really helped me develop charity as I fast for the needs of others. We talked about Isaiah 58 and Elder Eyring's past conference talk. President gave me some really great counsel of how best to help the sisters we work with and encouraged me to keep strengthening my own hope and faith in the Savior. Then after interviews with President we got to chat with Sister Cutler and she even came out and worked with Sister Pope and I for the night. We had some good lessons and
enjoyed time with her.

Well that's all I've got time for! We have a busy week scheduled this week with 3 exchanges and prepping for Lori's baptism on the 25th! Thanks for all the prayers and support. Love and miss you!

Sister Kelley(:
After Jamie was baptized she couldn't stop smiling 
and kept talking about how she felt 'grounded' 
and that she had a clearer sense of purpose. 
Ahh such a great day! 
Me and Sister Pope with Sisters Arnold and Brandley

'I Will Be Your Light in the Wilderness'
Sister Peterson and Sister Kelley
The Multen's and their 58 boat! 
The view out my window. 

Monday, July 6, 2015

Happy 4th(:

Hey fam and friends,

Hope all is well and that you had a wonderful 4th of July! How lucky are we to live in this country?! I am so grateful for the freedoms we enjoy, especially the freedom of religion and that we can worship how we please. It is incredible how much went into preparing the way for the Restoration. On Saturday we taught a few lessons using 1 Nephi 13 to explain how God prepared for the coming forth of the Book of Mormon. Mama B had us and the GB1 Sisters over for BBQ ribs and strawberry shortcake and later that night Jamie made us dinner! We were spoiled! We had some fun lessons as we were out and about, even met a cute family. On the drive home over the bridge we got to see the
sky light up with fireworks and then our neighbors had a firework show we enjoyed from our apartment window.

12 Days of Baptism:
This past week we started a baptism countdown for our investigator Jamie. Each day for the 12 days leading up to her baptism we've been dropping off little gifts and scripture jokes to help her feel loved(: Sister Pope and I think we're hilarious so hopefully some of these make sense, I'll share the ones we have left so far...
12) Minion door decor 'You're one in a MINION' (:
11) Hand Clapper - Mosiah 18:6-11 'they clapped their hands for joy and exclaimed [baptism] is the desire of our hearts!' (when everybody wants to get baptized at the waters of Mormon)
10) M&Ms - Malachi 3:10 'Blessings of heaven POURED out'
9) Mustache/glasses Disguise - Mosiah 12:1 'Abinadi came among them in disguise'... but gives away his identity!
8) Pretzel Rods - 1 Nephi 8:30 Iron Rod
7) Salt Grinder - 3 Nephi 12:13 covenant keepers are compared to salt, keep your covenants #staysalty
6) Air Freshener - Alma 19:6 'to me he doth not stink' (Lamoni's wife)

So yeah we have more to come and Saturday is Jamie's big day! Keep her in your prayers this week(: We got her baptismal interview done so now we're just finalizing stuff with the program, should be good!

Exchanges with Green Bay 1:
I got to go on exchanges with Sister Wright and Sister Pope went with Sister Packer. I absolutely love these sisters and was grateful for the chance to get to know Sister Wright. She is being trained right
now, so she's just starting out as a missionary. I was really impressed by how strong the spirit was when she testified. We got a couple solid new investigators as we taught and testified of the Book of Mormon. We also met a few crazies, but the quote of the day was when we invited this man to church and he replied 'I don't do church, I do speed.' Poor guy!

Mission Leadership Council:
Drove to Oshkosh for MLC and got to see Sister King! It was the last time I will see her until after the mish because she goes home this month. Aww it was bitter sweet as we talked and reminisced, I sure love her! It was also great to see everyone and President and Sister Cutler(: They presented a really powerful Christlike attribute training and invited us to read Elder Oak's talk 'The Challenge to
Become.' It is such a good talk, I highly recommend it. I also really liked that they shared Mark 1:16-18 where Christ invites, 'come and I will make you to BECOME fishers of men' it truly is a becoming
process. A process of progression and true progression is true repentance. I am looking forward to presenting these trainings at Zone Training Meting this week.

Yesterday we had the chance to fast as a mission for 'the souls of those who knew not God.' (Alma 6:6) It was powerful to join together as a mission, we are working hard to meet our goals! I am so grateful for the year I've been able to serve so far and am excited for the next 6 months. The time is flying by, crazy to think last 4th of July I was in the MTC! I love being able to testify of a loving Heavenly Father and of the Living Christ! Love and miss you guys!
Sister Kelley(:
 'You're one in a MINION'
Sister Wright, Sister Packer, me and Sister Pope
I absolutely love these sisters! 
Salt Grinder (3 Nephi 12:13) covenant keepers are compared to salt - keep your covenants #staysalty
Air freshener
Blood red moon - oooohhhhh!