Monday, March 7, 2016

This is the End


Well this is my last letter as a full time missionary. That stinks. It had to happen at some point right? I feel like something profound is expected but I don't really have much to say. I've done my best and this year and a half has meant more than I could ever imagine. We each go on our missions with some idea of what will happen, but you can truly never know what a mission is until your here. For instance this weekend we got to baptize Mary, she never expected to want to be a member. She said she felt God abandoned her, but in coming here (from Ukraine) she realized that God never left that he has been guiding her her whole life. The power that came from Mary as she spoke and bore her testimony cannot be explained, and for that reason I am so grateful I got to be apart of it! As sad as it is to go home I know my mission has been the perfect spring board for the rest of my life, though it's scary I know the Lord still has true and great things prepared for me and I am so excited to see what they are!!!!

Well I'll leave you with the classic 
2 Timothy 4:7 "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith
 I guess I'll see you tomorrow (although I am praying for a snow storm....). Peace out girl scout.

Sister Kaycie Sondrup

Monday, February 29, 2016

It's the end of the world as I know it


This week was a good week! We started out on exchanges with the sisters who are in Sugar City and that was fun, I lost my shoe in the mud and then the rest of the evening I walked around with dirt off over me!!! Dang the struggle!!! Just kidding if that's the worst of my problems then I'm doing pretty good. Although that day I did get more doors slammed in face then I have my entire mission, it was a strange experience, I am so grateful Idahoans are nice 99% of the time!!!!

Friday we had MLC and that was awesome! I love MLC!!! Except Sister Moreland, Elder Flynn, and I became the punch line of my jokes! President would be like "what do you think, oh wait you're going home..." Then he would ask someone else!!!! This joke and many others went on all day and while it was pretty funny it still was sad!!!! Dang it I never thought I'd be the punch line of those jokes!!!!

This week we also got permission to start piloting a new program for missionaries by skyping lessons. Skype has been used as an effective tool for years, but now we get to take it one step further and all the students on campus are encouraged to find a non member friend or family member who we will teach the first two lesson to over skype. This helps break the ice, and show them that missionaries are normal people we invite the spirit and then they are passed to the missionaries in their area. It is so cool because now it means so many more people have the opportunity to be found!!! For instance we taught a boy yesterday who goes to Notre Dame and is very catholic, missionaries aren't allowed on their campus so he had no chance of running into them there, but his friend asked if he'd be willing to listen and sure enough he was! The lesson went awesome and we are going to teach him again this week, but just think if we couldn't get to him in the way how would he ever be found?! Also with our Chinese investigator we are now able to help teach their families!!! (most of them are from Hong Kong so missionary work is ok) They've never heard of Jesus Christ and in a city of a couple million people it's pretty hard to be found by missionaries, but now we've found them!!! It is so cool to see the work rolling and moving forward! Just goes to show Heavenly Father has truly prepared a plan and a way for each of his children to receive the gospel!!!!

Speaking of Chinese investigators...we set a date this week with one!!! She is so awesome!!! Seriously I just love her!!!! And she is ready for the gospel it is amazing!!!! She says she never had any idea of God, but now that she does she cant imagine living without him!! She is seriously to cute! And I am so excited to see her continue to grow! But I did promise I would be back here for her baptism so it looks like I am going to be visiting Rexburg March 26th!!!! YES!!!!!!

This week i also started stalking all the other missionaries siblings on campus, ok not stalking that sounds creepy but whenever we pass there house I take a picture, is that creepy? Anyway this is one of the sisters brothers apartment.....

We had an extra companionship of sisters spend the night with us so when we went into the spare room we found this blanket...what better protection then to sleep next to the Savior. The sisters got to have two members of the Godhead with them that night the Savior and the "comforter" hehe just kidding. Well that's all I have time for this week! Hope you have an awesome week!!!!!

Sister Kaycie Sondrup

Monday, February 22, 2016

Home in 2 weeks


This week was great!!!! I am sorry I dont have to much time to write today, but hey what's new? This week we were able to accomplish such great work!!!! We taught our baptism dates and sadly one says she's not sure she's ready, she's supposed to get baptized this weekend but I am not to sure it'll happen. Which is so sad!!!!! Because she is so great!!!! I know that she is so ready for this step and that it is going to start something truly beautiful and happy for her in her life I just hope she can see that....We also met with our other date who is from the Ukraine (Robby you have to go teach her family!!! I'll get there address and get you your first referral!!!) and she is so cute!!!! She is getting baptized on the 5th and she is so excited!!!!!! It's going to be in Russian which is so weird, but so cool!!!! The nice thing is we are in the best place to find people who speak Russian!!! We can literally just yell in a hallway and be like "WHO SPEAKS RUSSIAN AND WANTS TO TEACH THE GOSPEL!!!!!!" 50 hands go up every time! So great!!!! It really goes to show though that the Lord is aware of everyone, he knew she needed help, that the Gospel could offer it, and that BYU-I would provide everything she needs to learn and progress. Way cool..

We also got to visit our Chinese investigators. They are the best!!!! I seriously just die!! They are amazing!!!!! We went over on Sunday and she was like "I've been talking about baptism with one of my friends and I know that it's what I am meant to do. I just need to learn a little more about Jesus, but I'll probably get baptized next month". WHAT?! Oh she is just amazing!!!!!! It is so cool to see how they have progressed over these last few weeks!!!!! It is amazing what the knowledge of the gospel can do, and how quickly it can change someone life. Just amazing!!!

Look at what happened to my car!!!! I wasn't even in it!!! It was so sad!!! We were in teaching a lesson when the daughter of the family and her boyfriend come in and are like "we hit your car..." Why are missionary cars magnets for everyone to hit?! everyone in our zone has been hit now!!! In reality it really isn't that bad, like it's just a car, but what was really irritating it that it had to happen on the night it did. We were getting ready to leave the lesson to be perfectly on time to our next one when this happened.  We had to fill out a report which of course made us late. We just got a new phone and don't have any numbers so we couldn't text our investigator. So we ended up getting there a half hour late. He wasn't very happy to say the least.And it was so sad!!! We had a beautiful lesson planned and by the time we got there we were flustered and he was grumpy, which is not the best environment for the spirit. The lesson still went ok, but it could have been better. I was thinking about afterward and how Satan will do anything in our life to stop us. To slow us down and  halt our progression. He likes to throw us challenges and to make us not want ot do good anymore. But we don't have to let him stop us, that night we let Satan win, he got the better of us and it hurt our teaching. But when we truly work and do all we can Satan wont get the better. That's not to say we wont struggle, but we will be able to endure, I am grateful for that knowledge, especially as I draw near to the end of my mission. I'll be stepping back into the world, which is really scary, but I know that I will be able to over come all things as I truly have the Lord on my side. Sorry I don't have more time this week, but I pray all is well!!!! Have a great week!!!!

Sister Kaycie Sondrup


Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Week 77 - Sister Where is the snow duh it's everywhere


Well I am  sorry you didn't get my email last week, but I sent it I promise!!!! Hopefully you got it this week! I am tempted every week to just take a nap rather than email but I decided a long time ago that'd be rude, so I'll always send one. Anyway enough about last week, lets talk about this week! 

So we had a way awesome week!! Let me tell you though, the world is trying to make me trunky and it's dumb. We went to devotional on Tuesday, you know what it was about? Marriage. Church on Sunday? Marriage. Stake Conference on Sunday? Marriage. Don't they know boys have cooties? SICK. Anyway that's my rant for the week, I guess it's not called BYU-I DO for nothing!!!!! 

Tuesday at district meeting one of the Elders dropped a bomb and said he was going home early because he said he just couldn't handle it anymore. The rest of the district of course starts doing the missionary thing and pulling out scriptures and quotes to help and try and convince him to stay. Long story short the whole district (it's all sisters besides him and his companion) ended up crying and convincing him to stay, when at the end him and his companion start laughing. LAUGHING. We are all in tears why are you laughing? Turns out he just wanted to see us "at our best" desperate to help someone. Evil I say EVIL!!!!! Cant say I saw that one coming but kudos to him for blindsiding us all!!!! After district meeting I went on exchanges with Sister Naitoko from Tonga, she is so awesome!! Seriously she's been out on her mission for like 3 weeks and is just a stud!!! She is going to do such great work here, I cannot wait to see how she progresses!!! As we were out on exchanges though we set a baptism date!!!!! It felt so good and she is so prepared to take the next step, I cannot wait! CANT WAIT!!!!!! Be looking out for it February 27th!!! 

Later in the week we met this less active guy and he is so cool!!! He has stomach cancer, which is sad, but he is getting one of the first replacement stomachs made from a 3D printer! THAT'S A THING?!?!?!?! Anyway, besides that he hasn't prayed in over two years and he prayed!!! He said he felt like there was nothing else to do anymore! Seriously it was awesome! He said he could just feel God's love for him, and he asked what he needed to do to take the sacrament again, we referred him to the bishop for that, but it was awesome!!!!! 

We also went over and taught our investigator from Ukraine, and she just loves the gospel, and she accepted a baptismal date for March 5th!!!!! She seriously is so cool, and she is like so prepared. Though she doesn't understand everything perfectly but she loves how she feels, and she truly understands the principle of faith and how she must act. She knows God loves her and she can feel this is the step she needs to take so she's doing it!!! She is so awesome! 

Random story of the week we were out knocking doors and some guy opened one, and it took me a second to realize who it was but then I was like ELDER MACHEN?!?! It's so strange how many RM's from this mission we run into. Sister Poulson made the comment that she knows more returned missionaries from the mission then she knows current missionaries in the mission. It's so true!!!!!!! Anyway I thought it was funny!!!!! 

Well I don't have to much more for the week, life is going to, and I am so grateful to be here!!! Hope you have a fantastic week!!!!!!! 

Sister Kaycie Sondrup

check out how giant this igloo is!!!!! 

Week 76 - The Power of Prayer


This week was really cool, and I had some really touching experiences, I just love the Gospel!!!! 

For starters we went over to teach our Chinese investigators and what happened was so cool!!!!!! We taught one and we asked her how her week went and she said it was bad, yet one of the most amazing weeks ever. Sounds weird right? Well as she explained she said that one of her most beloved professors found out he had cancer this week, and it's not appearing to hopeful for him. She said she just didn't understand why God would allow that to happen to such a great man she couldn't wrap her mind around the thought of why evil and trials exist in the world. So you know what she did? Well as she thought she said God isn't truly in my mind he's in my heart, so first time in her life she said she truly thought and felt with her heart, and what she was lead to do was pray. We'd talked to her about it, and asked her many times, but she always said she wasn't comfortable with it yet. So that day she thought with her heart she came to the conclusion she needed to pray. Not exactly sure how to do it she thought back to all the examples she had from class, church, and us, and then she decided to just do it.  What happened was amazing, she said she didn't figure out why bad things happen, but what she felt was simply the love of God. It was unlike anything she had felt before, but it was something she wants to feel always.  She prayed everyday this week, and loves it, she said she feels her great worth, and though things are so hard they are worth it. It truly was amazing to hear this girl who is my age talk of her Heavenly Father and the relationship she has started to build with Him. Another Chinese investigator had a similar experience in just knowing that God is there. He said I feel Him, and I know that He is what has been missing from my life from the very beginning, and He will not let Him go missing ever again.  It is truly so amazing to see the difference that is being made in their lives. It makes me think of Joseph Smith, the first pray he ever uttered aloud was in the sacred grove, he knew God loved Him, but he needed to know what He wanted, he needed to know how to follow Him. The same is happening here. Just as Joseph had a question so do they. It may not be which church, but it's are you even there? Just as the young Joseph received an answer that day to his first uttered prayer, so have they. In comparison it might not be as grand as his answer, but to them it is even greater. Their whole world has changed and will forever remain changed because of prayer and the knowledge that they truly do have a loving Heavenly Father who is there to listen and help with everything. There's a quote I love by President Uchtdorf he says "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now". Some of our trees of faith are larger and greater than others, but it truly is never to late to plant our seed and grow ourselves, or help others grow. It is truly a great blessing that we have, and I am so excited to help others continue to do so. 

Speaking of teaching of God, we taught a Ukrainian this week!!! And she is so amazing!!!! Unlike the Chinese she's knows of God, but the questions she has are so amazing! She says she feels like her whole life she has been sitting in a room full of fog, and now everything is clear, now she can see the great path that is extended before her leading back to God, it is seriously to cool!!!!!! I am really excited to keep teaching her!!!! 

Well I don't have to much more time, but let me sum up the rest of the week. I had to eat three meals in a row, one being a Tongan meal so we ate alot...I don't know how that worked out but everyone wanted to feed us, and I gained 6 lbs in 3 1/2 hours. Sick. I also slipped on the ice twice this week...once I fell on a driveway and my dress ended up being by my head...thank goodness for leggings right??? The second time I fell getting into the car and ended up underneath it...that one hurt really bad. But thanks again to leggings and they saved me from tons of scratches and I just ended up with some gnarly bum does not feel good at this point to say the least...Anyway! That's the bulk of my week! I hope all is well at home!!!! Have a great week!!!!

Sister Kaycie Sondrup 

P.S. I am going to go build and Igloo...I never thought I would be able to say that. strange things are happening, strange indeed. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Week 74 - "Syka what you smokin'?" "I'm not smokin' man I'm breathin'!!!"‏

Hey Family!!! This week has been super awesome!!! We have got the opportunity to do so much!!! The work is really progressing forward and I am so grateful to be here!! We had some amazing lessons and our investigators are truly the best!!! Sadly with transfers came change and we lost one of our family stakes :( It's really hard to be in the same area and live right up the road from those you love and not get to see them :( but that's how it has to be, for now at least, thankfully I'll get to go on exchanges and be back there for a whole day!!! YAY!!! 

So Elder Bednar came this week to devotional which was so awesome!!!! I have never seen an apostle in person so it was so cool!!! What was even cooler is that one of our investigators has some questions about modern day prophets and apostles he's not sure he believes they are true. Well Elder Bednar couldn't have come at a better time, he answered all his questions in the address, and while it is still hard for him to understand he now knows that we do have modern apostles and prophets!!! AWESOME!!! If you cant count on an apostle who can you cant on?! It was really good though! I will say I am glad I am not a student here though. Elder Bednar rebuked them...It was a little sad, but after talking to most the students they feel it was a little necessary. It's been cool to see the change on campus in just this last week. The very spirit that is here is just different.

This week has been stupid cold, and snowy. The roads were finally clearing and it felt like a foreign experience being able to drive on asphalt instead of ice again. Alas, that has ended though and it snowed a bunch this weekend, we're back to ice and slush again. It's fun to have so much snow though so I'll let it slide this time!! One night Sister Poulson and I were driving around and we drove past this!!! An actual Snow Man!!! I just had to take picture of it so I got out of the car and jumped over the snow bank snapped the picture and then when I was headed back you know what happened? The very same snow bank I climbed over two second earlier broke through and I fell crashing down into it!!! I was up  to my waist in snow and I was freezing!!! Not to mention snow banks aren't soft and fluffy so I was being attacked by sharp pokey ice!!!!! Thankfully I made it out alive (just barely though) but I climbed out I had some crazy cuts on my knees so I spent the evening trying to keep my tights from sticking to drying blood. Sick I know, but as I thought about this experiences I thought about life. Sometimes we cross a line, in this case I crossed a snow bank, everyone thinks that it's the other side of the line we really need to worry about, which is completely true if we cross the line to the world we are not safe we are making choices in our life that aren't in harmony with what God would have us do. But as I tried to cross back to where is was safe (with my companion, on God's side) I fell through, and I had to face a few trials because of it. As I thought about this though I realized how unsafe it truly is to even walk the line between God's will and the will of the World. Truly we are much safer and better off as we stay as far away from the line as possible. Though I was safe the first time I crossed the second time did not end as well. If we dance the line, though sometimes we'll be fine, more often then not we will find ourselves hurt and wishing we never even put ourselves in that situation. This actual reminds me of Elder Bednar's devotional this week, he warned the students of the path of destruction they are taking but he gave an awesome promise he said 
“I promise the Holy Ghost will help you to see yourself as you ‘really are’ and to identify both the things you presently are doing well and the course corrections you need to make in your life.” —Elder David A. 
The Holy Ghost is here to help us in our life, he is there to help us know what we do well, and what we can do better, he is truly there to keep us as far from the line as possible, and to keep us safe so that we will be able to live again with our Father in Heaven for ever. It thought it was really cool, and don't worry I wont be climbing over anymore snow banks anytime soon! 

There is alot of ice in this place...

On Friday we had MLC with President and Sister Hancock, I love those two they really are the best! Anyway, at MLC we learned some really amazing things, but what really stood out to me was the principle of the Lord's will. Duh. But it was so good, it was just one of those things that really touched me that day. As a missionary we have the opportunity and responsibility to serve according to the will of the Lord. We are truly his hands, and though I have always known that I grew in appreciation for the opportunity I have to do this. Why the Lord ever trusted me with this calling I still wonder, but I am so grateful for his trust, and  for the work I have been able to help him accomplish. It is truly one of the greatest gift he has given me, and I will cherish it forever. 

So last week I mentioned teaching alot of Chinese people, and now we are teaching even more!!! Which is so cool because really where else are they going to get the opportunity to learn of their Heavenly Father, and Jesus Christ. I feel so bad though because I feel like I just don't succeed in teaching them!!! IT IS SO HARD!!!!!! I have never had to help build a complete and total foundation before and I really struggle with it. I have always been comfortable teaching, and now I find myself so excited, but so scared!!!!! But what has been happening with this is really cool, though we always rely upon the spirit in our teaching for me it has gone to an even greater level. I know my skills are not good enough to truly help them, but the Spirit is prepared for all things, and he is truly helping make this possible for me. Every lesson we leave I just wonder "how did we even do that?" "What just happened?" and it always comes back to the spirit, all things are truly possible through the Lord, and these last few lessons have truly made that apparent to me. I am really grateful for this opportunity and I cannot wait to see what the Lord has in store for this next week!!!! 

Well I'am out of time, but I hope you have a great week!!!! 

Sister Kaycie Sondrup 

Monday, January 25, 2016

Week 73 - So Much Snow

The real reason the dinosaurs went extinct is because they moved to Rexburg and froze to death.

We made a snow man at lunch one day and it was fun, until we realized we built it right in front of our bedroom window and now every time we look out we see a creepy snow man staring at us!!!!!

I might be short, but this is a little excessively deep.


This week was awesome! We had an awesome world wide missionary fireside and it was so good!!! Sorry no major changes to missionary work on the horizon, but we did get to learn about alot of really cool things! The meeting was specifically about teaching repentance and baptizing converts and it was so good!!! Something I love that was focused on was teaching with the spirit. Elder Bednar said something I thought was so cool, he said we can bring the Gospel unto others, but they have to allow it to come enter into them. HOW TRUE!!!!!! All we can do is bring and invite others to draw nearer to the Lord, they themselves have to true accept it and and come into the the fold.

Speaking of Elder Bednar he is coming to BYU-I tomorrow for devotional!!! I AM SO STOKED!!!!!

Once upon a time we have an investigator who needed to meet with the mission president to have an interview, we told him to go to a specific church, but guess what?! There's a million churches in Rexburg and he got lost!!!!! OH NO!!!!! So you know what Sister Poulson and I ended up doing? We told him to meet at worlds gym (he knew where that was) well we didn't have our car that day, so we ended up running about a mile through the ice and snow in our skirts to find our investigator and get him to this interview. It was super important that he met with President Hancock and we had to do what we had to do, but he got there!!!! I can only imagine what people thought as they saw the missionaries trying not to slip and die as they were sprinting to some unknown location. I only can wonder how many snap chats we ended up on...

Yesterday I went out and taught a first lesson to this legit Chinese guy. But what was even cooler was that good ol' Kendyl Hollingsworth was with me!!! WHAT?! It was pretty cool to say the least. Weird though, my two worlds totally collided and it was crazy!!! But It was super fun none the less!!!!! Not to mention this guy is so cool!!! It's been really hard for me lately because we've been teaching alot of foreigners lately and they don't have Christian backgrounds. I am so used to teaching people who at least have some knowledge of Jesus Christ but our investigators right now don't. It's cool how it's helping me become another type of missionary I guess Heavenly Father doesn't want me to be a one trick pony. It's a really rewarding feeling to help someone learn from ground zero who Christ is and what is not only can do, but is doing for them. Seriously it's legit!!!!

Well I have to go, but I have some transfer news for you...I am going to be in Spanish work!!!!!! Just kidding, but Elder Rush called Saturday with transfer info and that's what he told me, he literally was like "have fun trying to learn a language in 6 weeks!" What the heck Elder!! But really nothing is happening for this transfer, Sister Poulson and I will be staying together, but I am going to be a sister training leader again. So we are a split STL companionship so Sister Kolo (not my old companion Sister Kolo) will be my STL companion, and Sister Poulson will be my regular companion. It'll be interesting, but it'll be good! Hope you have a great week!!!!

Sister Kaycie Sondrup