Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Teach Repentance and Baptism

Wednesday was a great day! We had the opportunity to watch a missionary broadcast that was shown to missionaries all over the world! They haven't done something like for the past 10 years so it was great to be able to know that Harrison and I got to watch the same thing as well as all missionaries! They taught everything from Preach My Gospel, of course, and they were all really good reminders. The focus was all about teaching repentance and baptism. Those two points can help anyone move forward. Whether we are repenting to prepare for baptism, or repenting to renew our convents and take the sacrament. They are two basic principles of the gospel that bless our lives. 

Thursday we had a meeting with President Olson, the zone leaders, and district leaders. Afterwards the zone leaders had interviews and we still had extra sticky notes so of course we covered their car. Just a friendly prank, right? Well the next morning we look outside to see our car covered in something.... Instant mashed potato flakes!! But it had rained so the flakes turned to this awkward paste. Not only the potatoes but we were also hit when we opened the door only to find a handful of toothpaste under each handle. When we went to the car wash the guy didn't know what to think haha Needless to say, we will be getting them back sometime this week.

Thursday evening we were at home eating dinner to hear the tornado sirens going off. So we grabbed what we could and went to hide out at the church. I am glad we are so close. It just rained a lot. Thankfully nothing happened. 

Friday was a weird day! A lot of our appointments fell through again and we were scrambling to think of things to do. We were about to go home to make phone calls when a name popped into my head. It was the Fuch family, less active, and the elders had tracted into them. We had gone by several times before and they have never been home. Well tonight they were! And sister Fuch's mom from Utah was in town! They let us in and we had a good discussion about family prayer. I hope they make it priority. She was willing to let us in but I am not sure how willing she will be to come back to church. At that moment though, I was so grateful for the spirit in leading us in our work!

The South knows what's up!

Saturday morning we worked at the thrift store again. We had really good gospel discussions with one of the workers, Vicki! It has been great to see how they open up more and more each time we come. 

That evening we decided that we were done waiting for Russell to get in contact with us so we went and stopped by. He told us that the only thing holding him back is his cigarettes.  They have been so hard for him to quit that he doesn't know if it's something he wants to keep trying. So we, for a time, have dropped him. He said he will let us know when he is ready to meet again. Please pray for him. His life could be so much better with the gospel. 

Sunday was a slow day. At the new year church changed to 11. It is the first time my whole mission not having church at 9 and it is weird to adjust to. We went out tracting and didn't even have to knock on a door to find who we were looking for. We got out and there was a man sitting outside on his porch. He called out, "Hey sisters." Hmm.... so we go over and find out that he had met with the sisters about 8 months back. He had recognized the car. I don't think he will progress, he has some mental health problems. But that morning he said he had been thinking of us and that he really needed a pick me up. The Lord doesn't always lead us to people who are ready to be baptized. But he leads us to those who are in need of Him. When we make ourselves available to be an instrument in the Lord's hands he will use us to bless the lives of others! 

I love y'all! Have a great week.

Love sister Kelly 

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Seeing the Hand of the Lord

This past week was full of learning, hardship, and enduring. We are glad the week is over!

Wednesday started off great. We had a district meeting all about asking inspired questions. It was a good reminder to me of how important questions can be. They can either hinder your lesson, or bring the spirit even more. It was a great thing to practice and we have been excited to apply it in our teaching. 

The rest of the day however was long... The week before we went and met a potential in the area book, Ms.Kay. She loved the elders and was so sad when they never came back to see her. Well they were suppose to help her with remolding her trailer... so of course we volunteered to help her! And Wednesday was the day! We painted a wall, pulled up flooring, and laid more flooring. It was fun being able to help! But as we were working we realized that all of a sudden Ms. Kay was gone..She had left us to do it alone haha Okay! 

That evening our plans were really... not promising. So we went and spent time with the laurel class. We want to work more with the youth! Help them prepare for missions as well as help them share the gospel with their friends. 

Thursday and Friday we spent a lot of time doing our best to follow the spirit. We have had really good lessons set only to have the people cancel or not be there. It was really hard to stay focused and excited to go out to work when we didn't have set plans. But we were able to go out and teach a few lessons. Friday evening we really had no idea what to do so we called our district leader. He told us to go to a fast food place and secondhand preach, or find someone to talk to. We didn't have anything better to do so we tried it! We went to McDonalds and who was there?? Whitney! One of our investigators who we hadn't been able to see all week. It was so nice to see how Heavenly Father was mindful of us.

Saturday we started the day off at the Mardi Gras parade. It was fun to see all the floats and be with the Trussell family. They are always so nice to us. Every float throws beads and so everyone ends up with so many. Sister Bartch and I put all ours on the Christmas tree so we are decorated for Mardi Gras now! haha 

I wore tights to the parade that had this design on it. 
Well it was suppose to be cold... and was hot. 
My legs were facing the sun and I got a nice little tan. haha 

Sunday was a great day! They had an all South Eastern broadcast from Salt Lake. The talks were really good. About attending the temple, raising a righteous family, not comparing yourself to others, and living in the middle of the path instead of on the edge. They were really good talks! 

Although this week was hard we were able to see many instances of Heavenly Father looking out for us! I am so grateful for times when we turn more to Him for help and guidance. I wish I was better at doing that all the time! 

I hope y'all have a great week! Love y'all, Sister Kelly 

Our neighbors brought us sushi. 
 It was yummy!

Had fun with some sticky notes on the Sister's car

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

New Things

 It is SO Green!!!

As I looked back through the week lots of things have changed. 

We were able to meet with Russell multiple times this week. He is doing well. He back slid with the smoking but recommitted to this again. We had a lesson on forgiveness and that the Lord always loves us. We just have to be willing to get back up and try again. He doesn't expect us to be perfect. He just expects us to try. The next night we went over and had dinner and then started a fast for him so he could have the strength to stop smoking. It was great. We didn't have a girl with us so we had to meet outside. Which would usually be terrible and cold. But they had a ton of fire wood and we live in Mississippi so you can make a fire wherever and whenever. So we made a fire, cooked some burgers,Russell burned his cigarettes, and then started our fast. Russell had never fasted before so we were really nervous. But he did it!! He fasted the whole time and hasn't smoked. 

He is really shy though and is still having a hard time being motivated to come to church. He knows that he is shy and wants to be more outgoing. So we are working on helping him make new friends his age that are good influences. Institute is every week and if we have an investigator with us we can go! So we are excited to start going to that with him.

Wednesday was just an off day. We had a missionary meeting with the whole zone that we had to teach. Everyone was in a weird mood and I couldn't focus on anything all day because I knew Harrison was going in to the MTC. Sister Bartsch was really nice and patient with me all day though. She was so kind and called Dede to see if we could come over. We went and watched one of the few movies we are allowed to watch as missionaries. It was so relaxing and nice to not have to really think about anything. 

 The Zone
All the Sisters in the Zone

We also started volunteering at a thrift store by our apartment. It is run through a local church so we have to be careful but it has been a great experience so far. All the people that work there are very religious so we have been able to have really good conversations. During companion study we were talking and wanted to pick a topic that we could bring up in conversation to make sure we were using our time wisely. We didn't want it to be way weird so we thought it would be good to just share our purpose with those we were working with. The Lord is so mindful of each of us! When we got there one of the first questions one of them asked us was all about our purpose! It was wonderful! We got to share exactly what we do as missionaries and how our message can bless their lives. It lead into a great conversation about doctrine. One of the ladies was talking about how other churches have all the branch offs. For example: There are Baptist over all. But then there are Southern Baptist or Missionary Baptist, or First Baptist. She thought that Mormons were the same. Southern Mormon and Missionary Mormon haha I knew all the other churches were that way but had never thought of our church being that way. We then got to bare testimony that our church was the same no matter where we went in the world. And how much comfort that brings me! Heavenly Father doesn't want us to be confused with all these different doctrines. But there is one teaching that fits all. 

Sunday was a great day! We have been working with less actives and investigators on a regular basis. On Sunday, 8 of the people we have been working with came to church! We have been trying to meet Whitney's boyfriend, Paris, all transfer. Sunday they just all showed up to church. Joel and Dede were both there. We have been working with Brittany and Forrest. Forrest is a less active and they finally came to church! Then we visit sister Curry and sister Hunt and they both came! Sister Hunt is great. She used to smoke alllll the time! One day we went over and she told us she had decided to stop. And she did! All by herself. Just like that. Ever since she has stopped, she has been to church twice, and has been able to spend more time with her daughter and grand kids! I love this gospel so much! It really does bless lives. 

To finish the week off we deep cleaned out apartment yesterday! We got rid of clutter, did all the laundry and dishes. Mopped, dusted, and threw away so much garbage!! It will be so nice to start the transfer off like this! 

We had so much garbage that this is 
how we took it to the garbage can 30 feet away. :)

I am so excited for the next 6 weeks. We have so much work to do and I can't wait to come even closer to my Savior. My ponderize verse this week is Alma 31:37-38. It is time to just go out and work! 

Love y'all! Have a great week! Sister Kelly 

 Cookies with the Tolberts
Funny Faces with the Boovers

Goodbye Elder Stanford :(

Monday, January 4, 2016

P-Day is Finally Here

It has been so long since I emailed last so I hope i can remember everything!

Christmas week was a blast. It was so fun to spend time with the ward members, other missionaries, and really being able to focus on Christ. My favorite part was being able to buy Christmas for a family the Zone Leaders are teaching. About a week before Christmas I received a letter from a friend with money in it to bless someone that I loved. I talked with Sister Bartsch about it and we couldn't think of anything that really sounded great to us. It was the day before Christmas Eve and we still hadn't used the money. We called the Zone Leaders to see if they had any ideas and that is when they told us about their family.  It is family of 8, six kids and the parents. We met up with them at the mall and decided what we were going to get for each person. We decided to get a present and then a stocking for every person. It was so fun to go around the mall for someone we knew would appreciate anything for Christmas. We got about half of the shopping done the night before Christmas Eve. Then we met back up the next morning to finish shopping. By the end of shopping we had more money from other people in the ward and we were also able to buy the family a big Christmas dinner. It was the best! We took everything to the church and wrapped it all up, stuffed stockings, and then loaded it into the car. 

At the mall before shopping

We followed the Zone Leaders over to their apartment and had the opportunity to meet this family. They are wonderful. I am so grateful for the opportunity I had to help this family and really help them feel of the love that Heavenly Father has for them. He really is mindful of every person's needs.  

Christmas was the best! I absolutely LOVE talking with the family and being able to see y'alls faces! I am so glad i got to talk with Harrison about his mission. My family is amazing. 

Christmas Eve

Christmas Morning

Pickles in my stocking...of course.

The day after Christmas is hard. It is hard to be focused and most people are still recovering from Christmas. We were glad to survive that day.  

New Years was another good day! That evening we had a great dinner appointment and then went and met up with the Elders to set goals for the zone this month. We aren't allowed to do fireworks so we bought sparklers instead and had fun with those. For the rest of the night we had to be inside. Everyone here buys their own fireworks including the church. They set them off around 10 and we were able to watch them from our bedroom window. Then we stayed up and watched Legacy. We stayed up long enough to say happy new years and then went to sleep. The next morning came too soon. 

Attempt at MJM

Happy New Year!

New Years day we had MLC and we were able to celebrate a bit in the mission home. That was a ton of fun. We played games and then had sparkling cider. We even counted down again just make it seem real haha it was fun! 


Sis Barsch and Me

On our way home from MLC

Russell is doing well! We taught him the stop smoking workshop this week and is doing well! We pushed his baptism back a week so we didn't feel so rushed. We are just about finished with his lessons. He came to church two Sunday's ago but missed this past week. Hopefully we can help him see the importance of church. We have taught it to him multiple times and it isn't really sticking.

We dropped Zac. He was just wanting to know answers to anti-questions and it wasn't a good use of our time. We gave him this website for him to look up his answers so hopefully that will give him what he is looking for: fairmormon.org

Chalk Talk

Sister Bartsch and I have been talking with each other and looking at past records. This area does not baptize investigators found while tracting. We baptize those who are member referrals. So we talked with president about it and are going to spend way more time with members and less time tracting. We are only going to tract when we are actually look for people instead of tracting just to get our 7 hours. Sunday we decided that we were going to tract but wanted to make it more effective. So we did inspired tracting. We prayed. I picked 10 streets on the map, then we each picked 5 of those streets. The ones that match we tracted. The last house on the street was a young family who let us right in. Single mom with four kids. Two boys and two girls. The girls were adorable and loved having us there. We had the opportunity to teach the entire Restoration and the spirit was so strong. She wanted to read the Book of Mormon and so we have another appointment this upcoming week. It was the best to be able to see an answer to prayer so quickly. We will never tract in Oak Grove again unless it is inspired tracting.

I am so grateful for this life and the opportunity i have to be a missionary! It is really has been the best thing i could do to prepare for the rest of my life! 
Love y'all!

Sister Kelly

Sister Garry (second from the left) finished her mission.  I will miss her!

We were all trained at the same time in the Texarkana Zone