Monday, February 23, 2015

Week 24 - lines, vines, and sad driving times‏

Whelp, this week was just odd. I can't even begin to put my finger on it, but was odd. Awesome, but odd. 

We were able to teach a lot, and meet some crazy people! I totally got to bible bash! Just kidding, we were really careful not to bash, but when we walked into the appointment the lady literally told us that we were not Christians and because of that we were not allowed to pray with her, and that her intentions were to save our souls! How considerate right? What a nice lady! But it was a really interesting appointment. Like I said we were really careful not to bash, but it was amazing to me, just how much the spirit guided that lesson. Yes, it should guide every lesson, no question about that. However it was more this time, and I know that any of the words I shared the scriptures I turned to were not of my own doing, or my own knowledge, that was purely the spirit. It was crazy because I was learning, as I was saying the words. It's like I would say it and then in my head I would be like "DANG! That's so cool! I want to write that down!". And you would have thought I studied the bible my whole life with the scriptures I was sharing, and it wasn't even just being able to turn to them, it was literally quoting them, and giving the reference, I cant tell you the last time I even really studied the bible, specifically revelations or John, but apparently there are some dang good gems in there I need to find out more about! It was crazy! I could only describe it as the gift of tongues. No I wasn't speaking a foreign language, or some random gibberish, but I was speaking the words of the spirit, I was taught in my Heavenly Fathers language, and it was truly amazing! It never ceases to amazing me the miracles that happen in our everyday lives, it's like my whole life I thought I was looking for them, but I never truly was looking in the right place. It's as if I've been living my whole life staring at my feet, and I missed all that was happening in the world around me. I have looked up so to say, and I dont ever plan on looking down again! 

Well transfer calls came, and dang it's a big one! Out of 11 companionships in our zone, 10 of them are changing in one way or the other, 10! That's nuts, but I will report the one companionship that will not be changing is mine! I was so nervous all week! After Austin was baptized the spirit was just like "you're done" and I was thinking that meant with the area, so I was bummed! I so do not want to leave this area yet! I love it here! On top of that our car freaked out, and I got another couple of aggressive drivings (you get 5 and your privileges are suspended for 3 months) I had/have 5 so my privileges technically were suspended which means I had to be transferred. But we called the vehicle coordinator, and he looked at my record and just laughed! I was freaking out because I thought I was dead for sure! But he just chuckled and said I think your Tiwi is broken. I see hear you were going 4 mph, 10 mph, and 7 mph, over some speed bumps and it counted you as aggressive, then speed limit in that area is 25 as it is, I am not going to suspend you! THANK GOODNESS! I have had to drive like an old person for the last week though (I know what you're thinking, I am going slower than I even do at home) I even went over the same speed bumps at 1 mph, I didn't get yelled at! But until it gets fixed this is my life, it's slow, but hey I wont complain, I get to stay in my area! So Sister Hervoyavich and I are staying together, it feels like I have been with her forever, but it'll be good. I am even more excited because Sister Hatch (my MTC companion) Is coming to the zone! As well as a couple Elders from the MTC! It'll be one big reunion for us! I am so excited! 

Well I am not sure I have much else, this week was way sad without a baptism at the end, but it was still great! We went and visited Yusixu, and they were teaching us Chinese and we celebrated new year with them! Happy year of the Sheep! The zone is set to have 35 baptism in March which will be a mission record! So pray for it! There are those souls and more who need to come unto Christ, and it's our jobs to help get them there! So keep them in your prayers, and remember there is always more to do, more to teach, and more people to help come unto Christ! Have an awesome week, and be careful not to get to hot down there! 

Sister Kaycie Sondrup

 Yesterday we went to the Moore's home, and this is what we walked into, apparently he had water stuck in his ear, so the "hippies" told him to burn it out...

​He also grows a beard for good luck for the whole wrestling season, they just had states, and though his kids are going to nationals they gave permission to shave it, so of course it had to happen while we were sitting in the living room...Remember how I said the week was odd? Yeah this was part of it for sure! 

Our Companionship, Hey I'm fred glad to meet you and an aspiring deacon 6 years early.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

week 23 Time flys even through trying times!‏

Well this week...Ok I actually have nothing to crazy, well except mission can be DRAMA dang gina.... But seriously this week, come on! It killed me!

First things first! We set another 2 baptism dates for the month of March! We have 3 right now! Which puts us over the standard of excellence! It is so amazing to me! I will admit it was hard for me to believe at first that Idaho really had that much work to have 2 baptisms every month in a companionship, but no! It is so not true! I honestly believe that there is more work here because of the preparation of the people and the number of members who have a great influence on all those around them! It is still amazing to me!

Anyway the 2 new dates we set this week were with Sydney, and she'll be getting baptized march 20th, and Jeff (Jeff is complicated...) he'll be getting baptized march 21st! Sydney we had taught 2 times prior, and Jeff was our first visit with him, which amazes me! Just goes to show the people are ready! It was crazy because we went on splits, and when we came back together, we were talking about the lessons and nobody wanted to like show the other up so we were like well "I set a date..." and the other was like "well so did I!" Craziness! It still gets me!So amazing!

So I say Jeff is complicated, and he's part of the drama this week, he's nuts! But I love him to death! I seriously almost die of laughter whenever I am with him! To funny! Anyway, Jeff isn't technically our investigator...He lives in Fallsbrook, which is sketchtastic! No sisters are allowed to serve there, and it has to be a zone leaders area, but by shear happenstance (fellowshipper complications) I found myself there this week. SKETCH. To say I was praying for safety was an understatement! Thankfully we didn't stay more than 5 minutes and we left to the Visitor center. PHEW! So Jeff lives there which means he is meant to be taught by the zone leaders, but for legal purposes he cannot be...which puts it on us! He seriously is just nuts! Right now he is progressing super well, but in the past he practiced Wicken...Wicka? It's one of those, and he's tore between which is right...Polar opposites I know, but hey, everyone has there concerns right? Anyway he's great, but teaching him will sure be pray for us, and for him!

​So enough of that! Most exciting news! Austin finally got baptized! So RAD! It was so awesome! I was a long time in the making, but it finally happened! and it was so terrific to see! He is such an awesome guy, and he was so prepared to make this step! He has truly changed his life for the better! The light of Christ truly works miracles! I cannot wait to see the work he is able to do in his life! He has such great talents and skills,and this choice he has made is going to make a great impact in his life! So truly amazing!

So our beloved Frank is no more! Well he is no longer with us! We did companionship inventory with the Zone Leaders this week (that was so weird!) and at the end they said clean out your car, we'll be over tonight to exchange with you. So that night they came and stole our beloved Frank from us! But we did gain Moroni Henry Foothill I and he is super nice! But his Tiwi is so sensitive! Like to the extreme! I kid you not driving him from Thursday to today it has put me in the yellow driving phase...what the junk! One time I didn't put my seat belt on (I pulled forward 10ft.) he yelled at me for that! So not cool, keep it up and I am going to have a major beef with him! I just thought it was funny, I just got off the phone with the vehicle coordinator and he was laughing he was like what the heck have you been doing! I honestly have no idea, but if I keep doing it I'll lose my driving privileges...that would be no bueno! So I better figure it out soon!

Well I wish I had time for more, I sadly do not, but know there is way more to write! I seemingly never have enough time for anything! But hey, it's better to have to much than not enough right? Well transfer calls are this week, and we'll see what happens, I sadly think I am once again done in this area, I don't know what it was but as soon as Austin was baptized I felt done. So we'll see come Thursday! Hope you have an awesome week! and enjoy the weather! It is so beautiful up here! I cant believe it! Halla for 50 degrees!

Sister Kaycie Sondrup

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Do you want to be Baptized?


Well this week has been nuts! So many ups! and sadly some downs! But hey that comes with the territory right? 

So to start Monday we had 2 baptismal interviews, one for Yusixu, and one for Austin, I am so happy to say that they both passed with flying colors! They apparently did super well because when the district leader was finished he asked "what have you been teaching them?" I replied "the Gospel", and he was said "Whatever you have been doing keep it up, because I have never interviewed anyone more prepared then those two!" WHOA! crazy! but it's true they are both so prepared to be baptized! I can testify that their preparedness is not from mine or my companions efforts, but simply the Lord's and his preparation of a people, I simple get to act as his mouth piece, a calling i am so blessed to be entrusted with! It is a true honor to serve my Lord! 

So speaking of baptisms....Yusixu was baptized!!!!!!! Oh my goodness, it was the most amazing experience ever! The testimonies of that family are insane! I would have to say that they rival some of the general authorities testimony, that is how amazing they are, and how much they know of the truthfulness of this Gospel. It amazes me just how much they were able to soak in, and understand in such a short amount of time! Mom and Dad Ren bore there testimonies at the baptism, and I haven't cried much on my mission, but dang I was having to fight tears back! Mom, who speaks the least English of them all, typed out her testimony and bore it in English so that we could all understand it. IT WAS PHENOMENAL!!!! At one point she began to weep, and sob. I dont know that there was a dry eye in the room, but when she regained her composure she said "I cannot express the joy I feel from this Gospel, the happiness and peace it has brought to my family is overwhelming, while my husband and I cannot join ourselves, I know that my Heavenly Father knows me, and he knows my families situation, he is proud of us, and he loves us, and I do not know how, or when, whether it will be in this life, or the next, but we will get our day, and my family, the thing I have the most pride and joy in, will be able to be united for time and eternity, we will spend our forever in the Kingdom of our Father, the Celestial Kingdom, to dwell there forever as one with our Father, and his Son, our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ." I have no other words to add to that, but my own testimony, we are all each truly known by our Heavenly Father, and by his Son Jesus Christ. They are there for us, at all times, no matter what, they are there. I recently have been looking back on the story of Peter. Specifically as he walked on water. We all know the story, but I think there is a greater level of depth there then we realized. Peter of course begins to walk on water, out towards Christ. His eyes are focused, he is on his way. But then it says Peter saw the wind (can you imagine how strong the wind must have been blowing to see it?) he saw the waves, and he began to sink. He took his eyes off the Savoir, he let the distractions of the world pull him under and away from the Savior. He let the trials and tribulations we each face take him away from the real importance of this life. But, here's where the story gets good, he recognized he was sinking, and rather than fighting, or struggling on his own, he simply calls out "Lord save me". At this point in time we don't know how far away the Savior is, in the beginning of the story it states "he was a ways off", and I personally cannot imagine that he was to much closer. But as soon as Peter calls out for him, he is there, he runs jumps, whatever he needs to do to get there in the very second, the very instance he needed him. He helps Peter up, and they return to the boat together. How often do we allow our eyes to be pulled away from the Savior. How often do we begin to sink, and rather than calling out for help, we are stubborn and fight, and struggle to keep ourselves up. It's a lesson we must all learn, it's a lesson I am still learning but I know that just like Peter, the very second, yes that very instance I call out for my Savior he will be right there pulling me up out of the darkness, pulling me back to my feet and back on the right path. It's a testimony we must all learn, but the Ren's know it, and I know it, we each continue to learn and grow with the gospel, but if it's a lesson you do not yet know then there is only one way to find out, and that is to get on your knees and to ask, to call out "Lord save me" and wait and see what happens next, you will be amazed at how instantaneous the response will be, the Savior is truly standing by your side, waiting to help you, but he wont do anything until you ask, so what are you waiting for? 

So on top of this week, Austin passed his interview with the district leader, and president nelson, and he has now passed everything needed to be baptized this weekend! It is so amazing, and I have truly long awaited this moment for him! I can only imagine how much it means to him and his family! He is so terrific, and so ready to make this next step in his life! I am so proud and excited for him, but I know that his Heavenly Father is even more, his plan is at work at yet another one of his kids life and it is truly a blessing to get to see! 

Well I dont have to much more time, but know that life continues on here, and it's continuing at a toasty 60 degrees, is it really February? I am not to sure! Thanks for all your love and support! and tell Ryan good luck this week! He will do great! I love you all so much and I miss you tons! Stay safe, and get your fill of Taco Bell in while I am gone! 

Sister Kaycie Sondrup 

p.s. transfers aren't​for another 2 weeks, we get calls not this Thursday, but next, pray I dont leave! I am so not ready to go yet!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Week 21 - Am I on a Foreign Mission

Hey all!!!! 

OK so this week nuts! SO GREAT!  

So first things first,let me tell you about the Ren's! They just moved from China for dad  to work for an engineering company here in town for a year. Mom and dad (I will leave out there names for legal purposes...just kidding I just cant spell them) are both members of the communist party in China and they therefore are forbidden from joining ANY religion. Which is pretty much the WORST because they have amazing testimonies, and they know and WANT so badly to be baptized, to be members of the church, and to one day enter the temple and to be sealed together for all time and eternity. Sadly they cannot. So the missionaries were teaching them, but when the news came that they couldn't be baptized they and the Ren's decided it was OK to stop with the lessons. The Ren's continued to come to church every week and to follow all church standards, including paying tithing, and fast offerings! They worked to do the best that they could, and to learn all they can while they are permitted to. Last Sunday Sister Hervoyavich and I decided that instead of going to a ward we had an investigator in, we would go to 29th ward, the ones the Ren's are in. We didn't know them yet, and we had no idea why we were going to that ward, but we went. The bishop saw us walk in to sacrament, and he announced our presence over the pulpit, so awkward, but at least he didn't make us stand up! But it turned out to be an amazing miracle! No one would have known we were there if he hadn't, and then this even greater miracle wouldn't be happening! So after sacrament everyone and there mom was talking to us. like EVERYONE. Finally this quiet man comes up and in broken English he introduces himself and says he's Brother Ren (he said his first name but I so couldn't understand it). He tells us a short story about how he had returned from a business trip in china the day before and how they wanted to have a lesson with us. We of course said yes and set one up for the next day. I may have told you about this last week, but I cant remember. So Monday comes, and we go to the appointment. Sister Hervoyavich and I felt very prompted to invite them to be baptized, even though we knew they legally couldn't be, so we prayed about it, planned a date, and went in to teach a lesson. The start of the lesson we just asked about there religious beliefs and past way through Brother Ren stopped us and said I just returned from China, and in that trip I asked again about being baptized, they said that my wife and I could not, but our daughter Yusixu (you-sue-shoe) can be, and because she is a minor, my wife and I will be permitted to attend church with her when we return to China. WHAT?! Yusixu then goes on to say that she wants to be baptized on her mothers birthday. Which is February 7th. So from the time we met them, to the time Yusixu will be baptized will be 13 days, yes just under 2 weeks! MIRACLE? I SAY YES! It is terrific to see the Lord at work in there lives! The Ren's make my second investigator who speaks mandarin Chinese, and I previously had one that spoke Russian, it makes me wonder was I really meant to be called as an English speaking missionary...Just kidding I of course was, but more than that I was called to speak the Language of the spirit. Something I have really been realizing, especially with needing translators for most my lessons, is that no matter the language you speak the spirit testifies in the exact same way. While the Ren's speak very little English they can always understand when a testimony is born, the spirit speaks the same language even when you do not. It's just a greater testimony to me that the spirit is the real teacher, and that no matter the situation if you have the spirit with you, you will touch the hearts of those whom you are teaching. I am so blessed to get to carry that spirit and share it with others, it really freaks me out to go home, I feel like I'll have no real purpose. I was thinking about it yesterday and I've been out for almost 6 months now, to say the time has flown by in an understatement. I don't know where it's gone and it's freaky me out! If the rest of my mission goes this fast it feels like I'd be going home tomorrow, I am not, and I don't know what I would do! I am addicted to the work and I am petrified to leave it! I can only give it my all now, and do my best while I am here, so that I can be the most successful missionary when I return home! 

So on top of setting a date with the Ren's this week we also got 6 new investigators! CRAZY! we/I (we were on splits) taught 2 lessons with the Elders...that was really confusing, and they kind of pop out of nowhere,SURPRISE teach a lesson! It was a great testimony and example though of how Elders and Sisters teach differently though, it was really interesting when I looked at though. We also saw meet the Mormons like 10 trillion times, OK only 3, but that was a crazy amount for one week! We found so much success last week it was nuts! LIKE NUTS! 

Not only as a companionship, but as a Zone we have been on fire! I didn't realize but our zone is just going crazy! When Elder Martino came he layed out 4 phases that we should hit, Phase 3 was as a zone we hit the standard of excellence, so 2 baptisms a companionship. In phase 3 the zone baptismal number just has to reach the standard, so not all companionship's baptize 2, some more, some less. So our zone has 11 companionship's so in order to hit phase 3 the zone as a whole has to get 22 baptisms, check! We totally have done that twice now! BOOM BAM! The Lord is preparing the way. We are the first and only zone to hit it, and that's nuts to me! I know we aren't doing anything differently, but for whatever reason the Lord has just prepared this area! What even crazier is zone is now on track to hit phase 4 in February! So every companionship baptize's 2, for a total of 22 again! Well the zone currently has 33 dates for the month of February. 33! That's crazy! Now some companionship's have more than 2, and some have 0, so we aren't quite there yet, but it is so close that it just amazes me! The zone leaders themselves are set to have 11 baptism's in the month which would set the mission record! That is seriously insane to me! Whoever has said that there is no work to do in Idaho I would implore them to look at those numbers, and tell me there is none! The Lord has prepared a great work! we just have to find it! 

Well the only thing I have left is that we once again got hit by a car. That's twice now! Frank is looking way sad!!! Don'​t worry I wasn't driving, we were parked and got backed into, yet again...What's with Idaho drivers?! Oh well, ultimately we're all safe and that's all that really matters right? Well that's all I have for this week, I hope you all had an awesome week, and stayed safe! 

Also we went out to bone again! dont worry we didnt get stuck in the snow this time, but it was super pretty! Also have you met Abby? HAHA I crack myself up! Have a great week! 

Sister Kaycie Sondrup! 
My Mission President when he was called.