Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Week 28 - Don't Let the Fear of Striking Out Keep You From Playing the Game‏

Well Hello!!!!!

This week has been great! Let me just start by saying THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR MY PACKAGE!!!!!! it was great to receive, although the Zone Leaders tried holding it for ransom, and tried stealing my fruit! But it's OK, I got it all in the end, minus one grapefruit, but that's a price I was willing to pay!!!! It was so strange though! I saw the Zone Leaders that morning, and they were like "Hey, we're eating dinner with your dad tonight" It was so crazy to hear!!!! Like it just didn't makes sense coming from them! And then I don't know how but they somehow managed to get him to go out on splits with them!!!!!!!! All the while they were texting me and telling me everything that was happening, it was like I was stuck in some crazy alternate universe! Seriously it was strange! I was told they came close to setting a baptism date as well, and then you know what would have happening? I would have gotten a voice mail saying "Elders and Sisters this is Elder Wright, and Brother Sondrup, and we just set a baptismal date with....explain what happened" I don't know if my brain would have been able to take that! I seriously don't know! But hey you never know! Seems like it was a fun evening though so hey i'll take it! The Elders said if dad's ever in town again he is more then welcome to go out with them again, so keep that in mind I guess!!!!!

Well crazy miracle of the week!!!!! We have the most amazing investigator!!!!! I LOVE HER SO MUCH!!!!!! She is seriously the best, I don't know what I would do without Her in my life!!!!! She keeps all of her commitments perfectly, and then she does more! For instance this last week we left her a section in Preach My Gospel to read (she has her own copy of it!!!!) and you know what she did? She read the ENTIRE chapter, did every single practice, read all the scripture references, and took pages of notes on it! SERIOUSLY?! I don't know that most missionaries do that much work, I know I haven't! But don't worry repentance is real!!! She seriously just thirsts after knowledge and she desire with her whole soul to know that these things are true. It's people like her-the one and a million investigator-who make all the hard times disappear, she truly helps remind me as to why I came on a mission, what my purpose is, and the greater happiness that can be felt when one truly comes to know their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This Gospel truly is a Gospel of happiness, and I am so fortunate to get to go and proclaim that all day everyday! Yes, not everyone will be like her, but everyone can benefit from this message, and as we practice charity, and show others a small glimpse of what their Heavenly Father, and Savior Jesus Christ feel for them they will desire it deep in their hearts and they to will come to know that these things are true!!!!!! OK testimony tangent over! Anyway as we were teaching her this week (we were showing her how to use footnotes!!! Coincidentally, this was the night the ZL's went out with Dad) I was a little distracted, for obvious reason, but that's still no excuse!!!! Anyway, I pray everyday to have someone placed in my path to invite to be baptized (invite daily is something president has asked us to do, he has promised great blessings, and success if we do this, invite with boldness and love daily, often we invite on doorsteps, YIKES, but you know what? I have yet to have 1 person be upset with me for it, just goes to show what love and the Lord can do!!!!!Truly a miracle! ). The lesson went good, but as soon as I walked out the door I had this feeling of "you didn't do enough, why didn't you invite her?" and I truly had no answer, it wasn't fear, in fact I invite her at every lesson to be baptized, it's almost expected now, but she knows I do it out of love so she is never offended! It wasn't out of laziness, or not having the opportunity, I just didn't, and I was so shocked by it! Never have I felt more ashamed that I hadn't invited!!! The spirit truly took that moment to teach me, reprimanded me a little, and let me know that there was more to do. I really pondered this in my heart and continued with that thinking as we went to dinner. I just couldn't get it off my mind!!!!!! Why didn't I do it?! and why was I being bugged so much!!!! She always says she's not ready anyway so what difference would it have made? Well here's the thing, it doesn't matter if I thought it would make a difference or not, as much as I love her I do not know her nearly as well as the Lord, and I do not fully understand how he is preparing her, it's the Lord's timing, not mine. But it was a promise I was given from my mission president, a true servant of the Lord that if I invite everyday I will see miracles, I will see the great role of timing, and the Lord in everyone's life. So as I began to truly understand this-all the while trying to keep up casual dinner conversation, that's another thing of the Lord's timing, we never know when he'll answer prayers or we'll receive revelation-our phone began to buzz, and buzz, and buzz. It was a mixture of people who texted all at once. But sandwiched right in the middle were a few text messages from her asking if she could set her baptism date for May 2nd, she said she didn't really know if she had a clear answer, but she knows she has been so happy lately, she said she knows that if this is not the right path God will stop her, but for now she's just telling him her plans, and waiting for his response. She also said she thinks she's known for a couple weeks she wanted to be baptized, and she saw May 2nd on a calender, and she knew that was her day. She says she still wants to learn more, which just goes to show how amazing she is, but she feels like she's ready!!!! As I read this I wanted to weep!!!!!!!! I mostly jumped around, but even more than the excitement I felt in my heart I could feel just how full my soul was. I could feel the greater testimony that I was able gain in such a short amount of time. I knew why I was so bothered by not inviting, the Lord had truly prepared her, and all I needed to do was act on the counsel I had received so many times before. All I needed to do was invite, which is literally the purpose of a missionary! To invite others to come unto Christ! But I didn't, I didn't put my full trust and confidence in the Lord, and I didn't act. Here he had literally put someone right in my path-the thing I pray for everyday- and I didn't act! Thank goodness she is so amazing and has such great determination, and a testimony to act and invite herself! But I cant help but think how many people has the Lord prepared, how many people are ready and waiting, but simply are not receiving because we are to fearful to act, we are to scared to invite with love and be bold. The thought kept crossing my mind of "I am stopping others eternal progression, because of my own fears and laziness". Now I am sure you are thinking "whoa don't be to hard on yourself! You're doing a good job!" and I know I am doing good. But I know I can do better, I will never let the chance pass me by again to invite my brothers and sisters, I wont allow them to be lost because of my own fears. I do not know alot of things in this life, but I do know my Heavenly Father Loves me, I do know that Jesus is the Christ, and I do know that I have a knowledge and testimony that others need to hear. Maybe some wont be ready-it's about the Lord's timing remember?-but I know that all of them will be able to feel my love for them, and my desires for their happiness. I am so grateful for Lord giving me such a learning opportunity, showing me my weaknesses so that he can help make them strong. It's a miracle she texted us, and it's a miracle she is so ready to commit, but it's an even greater miracle and testimony to me to know that my Heavenly Father is so hyper aware of me, that he would give me such a great opportunity to learn! Our Heavenly Father is truly more amazing then we can ever comprehend!

Well that was long! Anyway this week was great! But to top it off, yesterday I go the most exciting surprise EVER!!!!!! We were leaving church and I was checking a voice mail and you know what it said?! "Hey it's Annie! (as in Annie McPherson my former comp. and one of my most favorite people ever!!!!!!!!!) I am coming to Idaho Falls right now, and I want to see you, and catch up! and maybe crash with you for the evening!!!!!!!! Call me back! Love you!!!!!" STOP IT RIGHT NOW!!!! I was about to have a melt down!!!!!!! Annie came and saw me!!!!! She is so amazing I just love her!!!!!! And really she was exactly what I needed right now!!!!!! She had to go take a test in Rexburg, but she's coming back for dinner tonight!!!!! So I get even more time with her!!!!!! We only stayed up until like 3 talking, and that was so not enough time!!!!!! Side note, I am not even tired!!!!! You would think so, but no!!!! I am sure it'll catch up to me tomorrow though......Anyway she is so amazing and she was the cherry on top of an amazing week here in the Ammon Foothills!!!!!! The Lord is truly here and preparing the people and me, how blessed am I to be able to be apart of this great work!!!!! I don't know what plans he has in store but I know truly marvelous work is coming forth here! One greater then I ever imagined possible! Yes I face hard times, but truly the good, outweigh the bad a trillion to one. and how could we ever truly call something bad when it is simply a gift given from our Savior for us to grow? Adversity is not to be feared but embraced and overcome! Always remember that, and if you happen to forget, talked to your Heavenly Father about it, he is truly preparing the way!!! Love you all and have an awesome week!!!!!!!

Love Always,
Sister Kaycie Sondrup


Week 27 - Here we go again

I apologize in advanced as this will be one of those insanely vague letters...

Well this week was full of craziness and sad to say tears, so many tears! Strangely not mine though!

so I don't know even where to begin, really I don't...I will say this though despite the craziness of the week we were able to see some great miracles! One would be with our investigator Tyson, we are just waiting for him to have parental permission to be baptized. His dad is super anti, but Tyson wants to be baptized so bad! So normally when we go to teach him his Dad hides in the back room, but not this week! Even though he was sick he came out and joined the lesson, and he really REALLY enjoyed it, he even thanked us for sharing afterwards, he said he appreciated all our thoughts and that it really got him thinking, WHAT?! I have a feeling Tyson will have permission soon if things continue the way they have been going! Maybe his Dad will even get baptized...THAT WOULD BE CRAZY!

So we also got referrals out the Wazoo this week! We still have a bunch to contact, but hey new investigators are great right?!

We also had stake conference with Elder Erickson of the 70 this week! I felt so bad because someone on Sunday came up and started talking to us, and that's not uncommon here, so we were just chatting and joking around with them, and then our stake president came up and introduced him as a member of the 70! I felt awful we didn't even know who our guest speaker was!!!!!! But that's alright he forgave us! His youngest daughter actually just left for a mission in Scottsdale! Spanish speaking, but he was excited to talk to someone from Arizona!

So awkward moment...We had correlation with our stake presidency (our YSA presidency) and we told them about one of our investigators and a prayer she offered and how she told God she was mad at him, and how she felt like he never helped her...yeah awkward prayer. So you know what one of the members of the stake presidency does later? Well while talking in church he singles us out and says the sister missionaries, sister H and Sondrup told me about there investigator who is mad at God this morning, and he goes on to tell him everything we said. But you want to know what was truly awkward? That very same investigator was sitting right next us. YEAH. It was so awkward! I still cant believe he said that! But it actually worked out she wasn't paying super close attention so we don't think she caught on, if she did then she is super good at hiding it! It was still way uncomfortable though!!!!!!

While tons more miracles were experienced there was alot of sadness that was faced as well in fact we ended up having to stay home for the bulk of the week :( no bueno!!!! But hey it was needed so no complaints, I am bummed it didn't happen this week though! It's spring break, and no one, and I mean NO ONE is home! This week is going to be a whole heck of alot of finding, because we have no where to go!!!!!! But that's alright no better way to prepare to see miracles than being humbled and facing some tribulation right? RIGHT!

Well I really don't have to much more...OH! but I do have to thank my dear brother for his first, and probably only letter of my whole mission!
So thanks Ryan for writing me!!!! and the rest of the stake youth, I really do appreciate it!!!!!! I feel really spoiled because me home stake and my YSA stake send me stuff all the time, it's always great to receive something from home though!!!!! Well I hope all continues to go well at home! Keep up the hard work and know that I love and miss all of you!!!!!!!

Sister Kaycie Sondrup


Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Week 26 - The week of all weeks....Dang Gina it was rough!‏

Well this week I literally have no words for. None. I will say this though, I HATE DAYLIGHT SAVINGS! Junk, it's dumb! So dumb! 

Well to start this week let me start by saying this, I am sorry my emails have been so glum lately! I promise I really am having an amazing time, but you face alot as a missionary, and I seemingly have been facing an excessive amount lately! But it really is good, and though this week was by far the absolute hardest week of my mission, I grew more than I thought I could or even needed to, in one week than I probably have my entire mission. Why the Lord trusts me this much I don't know, and as hard as it is, I sure as heck appreciate his trust and support! 

Well to start Monday was great, we met some super cool people in Walmart and they bought all our groceries! Tender mercy of the Lord? Heck yes! that and they really were just super cool, they live in Rexburg, but they've been coming down to teach lessons with us, so that's awesome! But that evening we had a lesson (FHE with the YSA, Human hungry hungry hippos, so fun!) with Denise and as we got to talking she ended dropping her baptism date :( which was 3 weeks away at that point, which was such a bummer! Really Really sad! But hey agency is real right? We're still working with her so hopefully we get her to recognize that she is prepared for this! Keep praying for it though! 

Tuesday we had Zone Training all day so we didn't get to go teach until 6 that evening. We had a lesson scheduled with Jeff, and Sydney at the same time so we went on splits. I went and taught Sydney, and she is a dream investigator! She keeps every commitment and then some! She reads at least 6 chapters in the Book Of Mormon every week, and when she finishes what we leave her she texts and asks for more, she comes to church, prays every night, she even gave up coffee the instant she heard about the word of wisdom. But with all she's doing to receive her answer, she hasn't, and it's to the point where she could no longer stay committed to her date for march, so our second date dropped :( so sad! I understand it, and I would never want someone to do something they weren't sure of, but it is still really sad to see and understand the happiness that would come to her life and not have her take it. Jeff's lesson was apparently crazy as well he was off the wall and nothing was really taught, which just foreshadowing for later in the week apparently...

So now we are at Wednesday, and this is the big kahuna day. BIG DAY. So we had just finished studies, and I was eating lunch and doing a puzzle, just pondering and really trying to soak in and feel the words and thoughts my Heavenly Father had prepared for me that day. When all of a sudden the spirit is just like "Stop" So I stop, then it was "Listen" I listen and heard a noise like choking, then it was like "Look" I looked up to see my companion raising her arms as if to stretch, the it was like "Go" and before I knew what was happening, I was up and running to her, I got there just in time to see her start shaking uncontrollably having a seizure. You see Sister Hervoyavich has epilepsy. (I only share this with her permission of course.) Never before have I been more grateful for working as a lifeguard, though I'm no professional I had at least some idea as to what I should do. None the less I was so scared! I cant help her with that! I said a prayer and asked for peace, and all of a sudden I was the coolest cucumber ever known to man! I somehow managed to stick a pen in her mouth so she wouldnt bite and choke on her tounge, and the moved anything out of her way that would hurt her. Then it was waiting, there was literally nothing else to be done, which was probably the scariest part, just having to wait for it stop! But eventually it did, I was able to clear her airway though she remained unconscious she was good, her brain just needed a rest. Of course I have the phone and talk with and set all appointments everyday, except today. Sister Hervoyavich had the phone, and some where in the course of it, it got lost, and I could not find the phone ANYWHERE, you know the thing with all your numbers and people to contact, specifically the elders who hold the priesthood, yeah I couldn't find that. So then I paniced a little, and by little I mean surprisingly a little. Thankfully we live with a family so I darted up the stairs (probably the most running I've done my whole mission) and went on a mad hunt for their phone. Thankfully they were upstairs, I was able to tell them what happened and they of course let me use the phone. I thankfully had all the numbers written down in my planner so I called the zone leaders first, mostly because they always answer ALWAYS. and for the first time ever, they of course didn't. Because when better a time to not answer the phone? I left a voicemail ( i can only imagine what that would be like to hear...)  and then called the district leader. Who had just sat down to eat lunch, and suddenly an unknown number started calling him, he almost declined the call and sent it to voicemail, but thank goodness for the promptings of the spirit, because right before he did it was just like "elder answer the phone". The scene I imagine next is actually rather comic-able for me to think about. Two Elders sitting eating lunch at the good ol' Chick-fil-a when a call comes, they talk for all of two seconds with the person on the phone when one gets up grabs all his chicken and takes off running out the door, with his companion tripping trying to follow behind him having no idea whats going on. I can just see it, especially with those two elders being the funniest thing known to man! I can only imagine what the other customers must have thought! So at that point I finally had some priesthood coming so I called the doctor, who was so frustrating! I literally called and he says in his slow old man voice "Oh she did...thats so bad...have her take it easy today..." Really I wasn't already planning on that?! Anyway at the same time our phone appeared out of no where, and I mean no where! but the Zone leaders were calling back, so I answered and then was attempting to talk to two people at once. Thankfully the doctor was just like I guess you can take her in to get blood tested when she's awake...Thanks Doc. so I hung up there and was able to direct the District and Zone Leaders on how to get to our house. That was weird. Elders in my apartment? SO WRONG! and of course sister Hervoyavich is unconscious the whole time this is happening, until the Elders start coming down the stairs. She opens her eyes and just begins to weep. Awkward. I am trying console her, and just have 4 elders starring the situation, one had zero idea of what to do, so he started to do my puzzle on the table...that was pretty funny to watch actually. Anyway, they had already been dealing with a situation of pure madness in the zone that morning, and they had strict orders from president to remain there until further notice, so they called him and he let them leave for just the blessing, but then they had to run back. So it was a quick visit with us, an amazing blessing was given, and just as quickly as they came they were gone. I was able to get Sister Hervoyavich to the doctor (only after we had to stop for her to throw up on the way, some lady yelled at us not to puke on her yard, first off, it was the street second off, rude.) We then went home and chilled for the day, well she slept, I read all of Alma, and had one of the greatest spiritual experiences. It's funny how the Lord uses others to answer long asked questions. Though this whole experience was crazy and I would never wish my companion to have a seizure, I received an answer to my prayers that I have been asking for almost a year now.  <----That's crazy to think about! It was a real test of my patience and just how much faith I have in the Lord's timing, what a great testimony I was able to build that time of the Lord and how he answers every prayer, what a great testimony of his timing, and an even greater testimony built on the greatness of the resurrection, when all of the ailments we have to face physically will be erased! 

Thursday we had zone conference, which was great! But not to much teaching was able to happen...:( 

Friday, doozy day numbero 2. Well mostly just night, anyway we had another lesson (consequently the one who made last week no bueno) and it was the worst lesson I have ever had to experience. I wish I could go into detail, but I cannot. vague right? But lets say the spirit was not present in that lesson, and I was asked to pray at the end of it, and I couldnt even get that out. My prayer was literally, Please help....that they will have...safety?...and they can feel...the spirit...as...it is....much needed....in their life, Name of Jesus Christ, Amen. I couldn't feel the spirit, and it was freaking me out! Not that I had done anything to not live worthy of that spirit, but it was not a situation where it was present. I left that lesson feeling empty. Oh! and I forgot to mention in that lesson our 3rd and final baptism date for march dropped! We now have none :( That feeling is something I never hope to experience again, it makes me fearful and sad to think of all those in this world who do not constantly have the companionship of the spirit, how they live I dont know, but it must be a rather scary at times! Anyway, we left the lesson and I was kind of a mess. So the next day I asked the Elders for a blessing, which was super comforting (How blessed we are to have the priesthood so readily available!) I am now glad to report that I am back to my normal happy, holy ghost filled self! It was scary for awhile, but at the same time I am glad I had to face that. What I learned was empathy for those who dont have the spirit. What I learned was just how great this Gospel blesses our lives, and how much I truly desire for all to have this spirit, and this happiness in their own life. 

Sunday brought more disappointment as no one came to church, and daylight savings, did I mention I hate it? Because I do!  It was our fast sunday though so one last hour to fast! UPSIDE! and fast and testimony meetings were amazing! Exactly what I needed to hear! Fast Sundays here really make me wonder if we just have a crazy ward at home...really they're just amazing! So spiritual, and not that they're not at home, we just have some funny people mixed in with it....

Anyway, the week is done, and it was sad to follow up on how little we taught last night, but like I said earlier it was probably the best and worst week of my mission, if not my life. Being in a position to be so humbled to truly have to rely on the Lord for my strength I was able to learn alot. I was able to grow past the point I thought possible. Though I know the hard times are not passed, and we have a lot of rebuilding to do this week, I know that with the help of the Lord I can do all things. This is truly Christ restored church to the earth today. Anyone who truly seeks help from their Father with receive it. All that must be done is simply to ask. This Gospel can and will bless your life, not only now, but forever, your family, and all for eternity. We truly do receive revelation and guidance from a latter day prophet, Thomas S. Monson. We are blessed to know of God's higher laws, and to have to opportunity to enter the house of the Lord, to grow spiritually, but also to help our Brothers and Sisters come unto Christ themselves. I'm sure this email sounds rather depressing, and after last weeks might cause some alarm. But I can promise you that you have no need to fear, for I am servant of God, a true disciple of Jesus Christ. Just as he had to face opposition, so must I, and I am grateful for what I face. The things I learn and the testimony I can truly bear that Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer, he suffered for all my sins, but my sorrows as well. He truly is the light and life of the world, and we will forever be blessed if we follow his example, and simply live the way we should. I can promise from my own experiences that if we continually keep our eyes focused towards the Savior we can in no way fail. For he is there, and he will truly make our weaknesses become strengths, he will teach, and in times when we are to weak to carry on ourselves. He will pick us up and carry us. Never Forgot that. And please never forgot just how much I love you, and how much I truly love this experience. I never want to stop being a missionary, I never want to stop putting on my tag and going forth to proclaim this great gospel to all the world. I know that at some point my tag wearing days will come to an end. But know that my time as a full time missionary, a disciple of Jesus Christ will never end. For I know him, and I love him, and just like the Sons of Mosiah, I desire all to know him as well. This is my testimony, and this is what I leave with you, thank you for your constant support and love, and for your great examples. Keep up the good work, and know that all is well  with me! I love you! 

Sister Kaycie Sondrup 


Ok so the best way I can really describe this week would be this 

Holy Junk! I am flippin' tired!!!!! This week was filled with madness, MADNESS I say!!!!! 
You would think this would be crazy with teaching, FALSE. Ok we taught and the week was actually way good, but it definitely had some spots that made me want to yank all my hair out! 

One said spot, I spent 5 hours, yes 5 hours on the phone one day, talking to bishops, President Nelson (in the mission presidency), Zone leaders, District Leaders, stake presidents, the whole shabang trying to figure out this dang crazy drama mama llama situation with one of our investigators, and after those 5 fun hours, nothing is solved. I literally laid on the floor wanting to cry because my brain felt like oatmeal mush. Not a happy feeling. On top of that Sister Hervoyavich found out some rough news in her life this week as well, and it was not pleasant. In fact our district leader came to give her a blessing, I was on the floor with my face down, she was crying, and they were freaking out, it would have actually been rather comicable from the outside looking in, from the inside, not so much. But that was a rough day, rough day, and sadly it's still not done, but don't worry the mission mom (sister Child) totally hooked us with some cookie dough! That was a highlight for sure! It's funny because I know more about the situation, I deal with everything concerning it, and every time I hang up I cant help but ask, "is this real life?" Literally if you only knew you'd just be like 'WHAT THE JUNK? THAT HAPPENS OUTSIDE OF A SOAP OPERA?" yes, yes it does, but hey lets count my blessings, this week has been a major learning/growing experience for me. Great life lessons have been learned, and I know once I get through this point I will be able to look back with great admiration and happiness at the lessons I was able to learn and continue to apply throughout my whole life from this experience. It's truly one of those growing experiences you hate to have, but appreciate when you do, I am of course still working on the appreciating part, but hey i'll get there. But I will admit it scares me to death to think of what Heavenly Father must be preparing me to do having to deal with this, he may have a little to must trust in my abilities with this one, but then again he knows better than I so we'll just have to wait and see what happens! 

Cool thing of this week, we didn't set a baptism date, but we did set a marriage date! Which is another added stressor as it'll be 3 weeks from now, junk. But it'll be so good! and I am way excited to help this family come together! It is truly needed and I know it will bring great blessings to their life! How amazing an opportunity for Sister Hervoyavich and I! 

This week also brought an amazing regional conference with Elder Perry, and Elder Nielson, as well as Sister Marriott from the young women general presidency, way cool! We also had one of our wards split! We totally saw this coming though, as they recently (2 weeks ago) took our YSA out of the Foothills stake, and put it in the Ammon stake. We originally had 12 wards in the stake then we went to 11, and now we're back at 12. If they hadn't moved our YSA they would have had to split the stake (no stake can have more than 12 wards). But now we get the added bonus of a ward (that's 13 for us!) as well as a whole new ward council, and 3 new ward mission leaders to work with! It's madness! But it'll be good, and I really think it will do amazing things for the work, but we'll have to see! 

Well this week we ran into tons of puppies! Puppies out the WAZOOO! So cute! It's so nice especially when you cant hold babies, it fills a void, but one totally peed on me...there's your funny thought for the week! I then had to go all day with puppy pee all over me! Yuck! but I would say it was worth it! Anyway that's all I have, sorry it was rather glum sounding...I promise the week wasnt that bad, how could it ever be when you are in the service of the Lord? Anyway lots of love, have fun at home and stay safe!!!!!!! 


Sister Kaycie Sondrup