Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Sister Elkington's Last Week

Dear fam and friends,

Oh man this week has been INCREDIBLE! Seriously so many good things. Oh and you're all probably wondering about transfer info so we found out on Saturday that I'll be staying here in Green Bay 2 and Sister Payne will come STL with me! Sister Elkington is headed to the mission home tomorrow and then flies back home Thursday. I sure am going to miss her, this transfer has flown by way too quick! I am excited to serve with Sister Payne though, we've been on exchanges together and get along great!

Ross Family FHE:
This week we had our investigator Mariah over at the Ross home for family home evening! We taught about keeping the Sabbath day holy and we used the ice cream sundae object lesson. It was a big hit! The Ross family has been such a huge help to us this transfer with teaching Mariah. She feels comfortable there and can recognize the spirit in their home. It's also been a huge blessing to have Gunnar (the Ross's oldest son who got back from his mission earlier this year) and Alexa (Gunnar's wife) come to lessons with us and help. They are both returned missionaries and are so missionary minded! They got married this week and everything turned out wonderfully for them(:

Green Bay ZTM:
Zone Training Meeting went super well, but we were almost late because the GPS rerouted us to this random road. We scared the Zone Leaders a little, but made it on time in the end(: As always it was fun to see the other missionaries from the zone and hear how things have been going. There are so many miracles happening throughout the mission right now and we are working toward our mission goal! It's been so neat to see the mission unite with the special Atonement quick read we're doing of the Book of Mormon. ZTM was all about the Holy Ghost and using Family Home Evening as a missionary tool. Sister Elkington and I lead the FHE training and it turned out super well! We did an FHE role play with an object lesson and a treat, everyone seemed to enjoy it(:

Exchanges with Manitowoc:
This week Sister Lyons came up to Green Bay for the day while Sister Elkington spent the day in Manitowoc with Sister Peterson. Sister Lyons has a lot of health struggles, but she's such a good teacher. We were able to teach some really solid lessons together. We also met this neat lady named Flo who we chatted with on her driveway for almost an hour. At the end of our conversation we prayed together for her son who is struggling right now and after she was in tears. It was such a tender mercy to be placed in her path this week, 'right place, right time' missionary moments like these are my favorite. Just goes to show how mindful Heavenly Father is of His children(: Another miracle from our exchange was a lesson we had with our investigator Ashley in the Stephens home. Sister Stephens dropped everything to have her over. The members here are rock stars!

Porch Scene:
One of my favorite moments of this week was when we went to Mariah's house for a lesson. She lives in very humble circumstances, and life at home isn't the easiest, but she is just so wonderful! We ended up having a lesson on her porch, with her brother and his friend and her two sisters. We were all scrunched up on the little porch together, but it was one of my favorite mission moments. Mariah just has such a desire to follow Christ, and it was so fun to see her teach her brother how to pray, and to see how much she has grown. This whole transfer, Sister Elkington and I have been praying for a baptism, and that night Mariah told us she wants to be baptized before Sister Elkington leaves. We have more to teach her yet, but for us that was truly and answer to our prayers. She won't be baptized before Sister Elkington goes, but she will very soon. We're so thankful for that answered prayer.

Randomly Recognized:
So usually people think we're nuns, but this week we had a couple random guys recognize us a missionaries! We were out tracting and we talked to this guy who wasn't really interested, but a few minutes later we were walking back to our car when suddenly this barefoot guy came running over to us saying 'hey, are you Mormon missionaries?!' Turns out his dad came in after talking to us and casually mentioned we'd stopped by, he had studied with missionaries in Milwaukee and ran out to see if we knew the Elders he had been taught by. We had a great conversation with him and he kept saying Mormons are the nicest people he knows, ha so that was fun. Then today we met a member from the Fuji islands who is here playing in a reggae band this weekend! So sweet!

Ashley's Answer:
Another highlight of the week was when our investigator Ashley told us she got an answer about the Book of Mormon! She has been reading it and praying about it since we've been meeting, then this week she had an amazing experience. She read the 'How Can I Know' section of one of the pamphlets we had given her and she asked Heavenly Father to help her recognize a sign of if what we have been teaching her is true. She felt impressed to open up her Bible and she turned to Isaiah 66:20 and read it and got her answer! She recognized the subtle promptings of the spirit and knows this is the right thing for her(: As she was telling us about her experience I couldn't help but think how she had such pure intent to know, so neat(:

Lost and Found?
The first week I was in the mission field a woman named Barb (taught by the Elders) was baptized in Wisconsin Rapids. While I was serving in Rapids the sisters began teaching her the new member lessons so Sister C and I would go over there and help her out. Sister Elkington eventually worked with her too, but Barb moved to Green Bay and she lost contact. BUT now we are all in Green Bay so Sister Elkington and I did a bit of searching and were able to find Barb! Her face when she saw us both standing on her doorstep was PRICELESS. We had such a fun time talking with her again(:

Oshkosh Road Trip:
We took an unexpected road trip to Oshkosh this week for Sister Elkington's final interview with President Cutler. I sure am going to miss her, it has been such a blessing to serve together. She is a hard working, obedient missionary. We've seen a lot of miracles together! I'm grateful for her example of finishing her mission strong, she's a wonderful example and friend!

Simple Prayers:
This week we kept meeting solid spanish families! The elders are loving all the referrals(: I am so grateful for the little bit of Spanish I know so we can talk a bit and pray with them. I can't say very much when I pray in Spanish, but the simple prayers we've said on doorsteps this week have been powerful. It is so neat that Heavenly Father hears and answers ALL of His children.

Fast Sunday Miracles:
We fasted as a mission - such a cool experience. We are so grateful for the success we are seeing here! This week Ashley came to church with her boys and a less active we've been working with for a couple months came for the first time in years! Such a wonderful day!(:

Labor Day:
Yesterday we had a prime proselyting day! Some highlights were teaching a lesson about the Sacrament to Ashley, Gabriel, and their oldest boys Gabriel and Luis. The little boys are so sincere in their desire to learn more about Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. Little Gabriel asked how Jesus's suffering covered people's sins who lived before/after He was born. We talked about how Christ's Atonement is infinite - as we explained the Atonement simply the spirit filled their living room and little Gabriel was smiling so big(: We contacted a head quarter referral who was home and expecting us, it was great to teach her about the Book of Mormon. We ate dinner at the Dodson's and got to talk with their foreign exchange student Calo who is from Italy. We invited him to church Sunday so hopefully he'll come(: Then to top off a good day when a sketchy appointment with a potential fell through we felt prompted to stop by this potential family's home and they were there! We had an incredible lesson about prayer and at the end Alejandra said she is excited to learn more and to try praying everyday! We are so grateful to have met this family and we're excited to teach them!

I am so grateful to be a missionary and so grateful to be here in Green Bay! I know this is truly Heavenly Father's work, He leads it! Hope you all have a wonderful week, LOVE YOU!!!

Sister Kelley(:

Sportin' some Packer style! #swag

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