Monday, July 27, 2015

Week 45 - The Adversary

Hello All!!!!!

Well this week was great! We were able to do tons of great work and invite so many to come unto Christ!!!!! Miracles happen everywhere, but especially here in this Valley! I have no doubt that Heavenly Father is looking out especially for this Valley! But with that being said I also have no doubt that the adversary is working hard here on the spirits of the most amazing people you can meet!!!!!

This week was hard for the people of the Valley, in an area that is rarely effected by tragedies, this week they saw many. We saw three beloved children of God lose their lives this week, which isn't to bad in comparison to what happens in the cities every week, but here, where everybody knows everybody there is truly a gloom hanging over the Valley. On Tuesday while doing a candy drop celebrating the 24th of July the plane had a sudden failure, sending it in an unrecoverable nose dive to the ground, both the pilot  and passenger were killed on impact, one dying at just 23 years old. The ward saw this all unfold before their eyes, and a great pain has hit the Valley for the lose of those two men, then just Saturday a car rolled while passing through the narrows, and two people were ejected from the car, one died on impact as well, and the other is in critical condition in Utah, the third passenger walked away seemingly unscathed, but internally you can tell he is shaken up, why would he survive, and his friends not? Why I am telling you this you ask? Surely there are less glum things to talk about, well yes always, how could there not be while in the service of the Lord? But the reason I mention it is because of this

This is the Star Valley temple. As you can see great progress is being made on it they have started work on the second and it is really coming along. This temple will be and is a great asset to the valley, and I have no doubt the miracles we see here are because of it, because the Lord is preparing to fill his home. But I also know that the tragedies we are seeing are partially due to agency of course but this temple. Because the adversary sees the progress, and it makes him mad!!!! Something I have learned is that the adversary is never madder then when you're obedient. He wants us all to fail, he wants us to feel worthless, and like we will never be good enough. Well there is no opinion more wrong than that. We have no need to fear. We have no need to doubt. After all aren't we promised over and over again in the scriptures that the Lord is with us where ever we go? I know that to be true, and being here, and seeing all the trials these people are facing I know that they to know it is true. Never before have I seen people so strong, who stand up for what they believe in in every situation. Despite the difficulties, despite the challenges they face they have true and everlasting faith that the Lord will truly provide, that what needs to happen does. It's hard to face any challenge, especially alone, but I think that's whats truly great about this Valley is that they never never let a single person here feel alone. They are tight and close, and bonded for life. They are truly examples of charity, and go out of their way to help someone in need. I only hope that I can be one tenth of the person that the people here are. Truly an inspiration!!!!!!!!

This week on top of the tragedy, we also saw so many miracles!!!!!! Day after day after day the Lord provides! We have been able to find so many people, and begin teaching them, and inviting them to come unto Christ!

Our investigator this week was having a hard time, and we actually ended up going to his house with the Elders to give him a blessing, it was crazy! let me paint you a picture Sister Parker and I, the Elders, our YSA fellowshipper, Joe, his dad, his dad's girlfriend, their two best friends from up the road, and two giant dogs crammed into a tiny basement with everyone yelling and 4 or 5 conversations going at once. CRAZY. It was seriously insane!!!! It was fun and we talked for awhile but it can to the point where we were just talking, and we needed to really teach, after all that's our purpose right? Well I started to talk to Joe's dad about the priesthood, and what exactly it is, well I kid you not within 10 seconds of bringing it up the room was silent. like SILENT! Even the dogs were hushed and there was nothing else to be heard except the words I was speaking. I have never been able to feel the spirit enter a room so fast as it did that night. As the lesson progressed we were able to teach a great lesson about the priesthood, and how it worked. Both Joe, and his Father received a blessing, and the spirit was so overwhelming!!!! There wasn't to much room down in that basement, but every space that wasn't filled with a body was filled with the spirit, it was so amazing!!!!!! We ended up having to move Joe's baptism date back one week so his family can be there, the bummer is it will be right after transfers, and if I get moved I wont be able to come :( but I have no doubt that he will be baptized, that he will enter the waters and truly follow the example of Jesus Christ. IT'S SO AMAZING!!!!!!!

On top of the many miracles we saw their was a great celebration!!!! Lemme' tell ya, small towns know how to party! Since it was the 24th this week the town was going nuts! Crazy!!!!! it shut down and the whole day was filled with marvelous activities!!!!! including the kids going fishing with their hands!!!!They brought in a huge pool and filled it with water and fish in the bank parking lot and the kids went crazy chasing them down having them slip out of their hands and eventually emerging victorious we a gleaming fish for dinner!!!!! They had a car show, and parade, and candy cannons, a rodeo, and a huge firework show!!!! It was so cool, and the echo through the valley was insane from those fireworks! So loud!!!!! But what was most exciting about the celebration was again the people. The pride they have for their small valley, and the even greater appreciation they have for saints who helped settle it. They were beaming, and even those who aren't members expressed such a great appreciation for the sacrifices of those in the past that I couldn't imagine a more joyous day, or sight for all those who lived before. Who sacrificed their all, so that we now could have everything we've ever dreamed of, and then some! I Love this valley so much, and once they get an actual pool, I'll live here for life! It's truly truly amazing!!!!!

Well I don't have to much more today, well I do, but we have tons of errands to run, and people to see!!!!!! This week was amazing! I'll leave you with some funny stories though. We rarely see the elders but because of all the events happening throughout the valley we saw them a ton this week!!!!!!! On Saturday though (when all the 24th celebrations were happening) we saw them a ton! They had a baptism and we took Joe to it so he could see what it's like (he loved it!) but he also noticed that the elders were wearing a maroon and blue tie, and then a bright red tie, and I was wearing maroon and blue, and sister Parker was wearing bright red...I made the joke that we were matching like prom, and they didn't like that so fact I think they changed...haha priceless!!!!!!  On Tuesday we had district meeting and I am always cold, ALWAYS! so I bring a blanket, but the funny thing is I got it from our old apartment, which of course was previously the Elders. So the blanket I use is says Elder Toone, and then it has the Brigham City Utah temple on it. Well I was using it and we were waiting on the Sisters from Jackson hole to get there and the Elders were staring me down, so I made up a story and freaked them out. I may have said Elder Toone was my fiance, and we were going to get married, they were about to have a melt down because they thought that it wasn't ok to be engaged on my mission! It was great! I of course started laughing and that gave it away, but it was great for the time being! To be funnier when we went to their baptism on Saturday the Elders were having a bad week like bad, they were at the party when the plane crashed, and lets just leave it at that, so to try and lift their spirits we folded it up and put it in their car with chocolate, and they were dying!!!!!! But now they took my blanket and wont give it back!!!!!!! Another story, I asked one of our investigators if we could have his beer, and he said yeah, well awkward then I just had a beer, what am I supposed to do with that? Definitely not drink it, and I am not going to give to someone else, so what was I supposed to do with it? The thought never crossed my mind to just dump it I sat awkwardly with it in my hands the whole lesson until at the end he was finally like "give me that" he went and poured the whole thing out and tossed the can, while every laughed and joked at how panicked my face was. Thanks alot. Just kidding I really was a little nervous, what was I supposed to do with beer?! Anyway last story for you, I am totally being made into a country women!!!! I totally was chopping wood yesterday, and to be a little pathetic my fingers are dying as I try to type today!!!!! Seriously the worst!!!!! But hey it was pretty fun, although I am so awful at it...20 swings later and I barley split the wood, oh well I guess you cant ever take the city out of me!

Oh one last thing, mom you'll love this, but my backyard is like the most amazing garden ever!!!!!! Right now we have Rhubarb galore, and raspberries, holy raspberries!!!!! SO amazing!!!!!!!!! Also this week a met an amazing returned missionary from Allison Farnswaroth mission. Her name would have been Hermana Thompson. She said Allie was a phenomenal missionary and that she wishes her all the best with her marriage!!!!! Tell Allie to keep up the great work!!!!!!

Anyway let me leave you with one last thing, your prayers are needed!!!!!! Our investigator Dennis, has his parole hearing today, and dependent on what happens determines whether or not he can be baptized! He truly is so ready and prepared for this step, and it's a shame to see that he has been forgiven of the Father, but the World has not yet forgiven him, so pray he gets whats truly just in the law and best for him and his family!!!!! Anyway I have to go!!! Love you all, and have a terrific week!!!!!!

Sister Kaycie Sondrup


Week 43/44 - Bad News

Alright So I am just going to get this over with because you're going to find out sooner or later...So this happened...

Long story, but needless to say I am alive and well!!!!! I am also 200% kidding, I hope I got you a little though! I couldn't help but try!!!!! Especially as you didn't hear anything from me last week, it was to precious an opportunity to pass up! Don't worry though, the lady we live with is a paramedic, and she let us take a picture, quality right?

Well this week was great!!!!! There was so many amazing miracles!!!!!! But first, re-cap of last, last week!!!!!

Well Yellowstone was great!!!!!! Check it out!!!!!!

It was way cool actually!!!!! Probably my favorite part of the trip was this guy we met!!!! So I cant remember his was Asian and hard! But we've been calling him Ty, because he's from Taiwan...Anyway, while we were walking the park everyone kept looking at us, apparently they hadn't seen someone with a Skirt and a name tag before! Just kidding it was great, tons of teachings opportunities! So Ty stops us as we are walking by, and he says "Sisters, why are you sisters?" so we were like SWEET!!!! Gospel time! But then he stops us and is like "wait, what I mean is, why are you sisters here?" We tell him and he's like that's cool, but then he tells us his conversion story!!!!! Turns out he joined the church 4 years ago in Taiwan, he still lives there, but he came to Idaho/Wyoming to visit his missionary, the one he says was instrumental in him joining the church!!!!! He talked to us about the church in Taiwan, and he says it's strong, and doing great!!!! He loves the Gospel and was so excited to see us!!!! It was way cool to get to talk to him!!!! Just goes to show the Church is true no mater where you go, and people are flocking to the truth everywhere!!!!! The coolest part of the experience came as we walked away though, Ty sat down, and he was with friends who weren't members, they inquired who we were, and Ty began to share and teach his friends about the Gospel and missionaries!!!!! It was amazing to see this young member express his testimony, and teach others just how Glorious this Gospel is!!!!! The park was beautiful, but that one experience easily made the trip for me, it was better than any sight I saw all day. Just think  the seeds Ty was planting, things of the lives changing all over the world because people aren't afraid to open there mouths and share what they know to be true! Sure it was a small example, but it meant the world for me to see! Because when I see that, I see and truly understand that all my brothers and sisters near and far, are getting the chance to learn, and are truly coming unto Christ!!!!! It's so cool!!!!!!!

Funny Story at Yellowstone...So I needed to bad! Great start right?! Well we get to the bathroom, and I am finally thinking I'll have relief, well then I walk in and see this OH THE TORTURE!!!!!! OH THE PAIN!!!!!!

But I did find some humor, in the fact that the toilet was made in china, and consequently so was the pee!!!!! Now why would I take a picture, well I thought it was funny enough to suffer a little longer, but then I started laughing and that didn't help the situation...but thankfully I got it cleaned up in time before I burst!!!!!! It was gross, but you got to admit, it was a little funny!!!!!

Another highlight of this last week was actually a concert that came to town (I promise we do missionary work, I feel like most the stories today look like we're lazy, but really we do work! No need to fear!!!!!). So this concert is called Nashville Tribute Band, maybe you've heard of them, maybe you haven't...If you haven't I would invite you to repent and listen! Truly Amazing, might I suggest their Redeemer CD, it's so phenomenal!!!!! Well Nashville Tribute came into town, and we were given permission to go, assuming we had an investigator! Well DUH!!!! As great as it was it would have been a waste of time if we weren't inviting someone to come unto Christ!!!!!!! But something really needs to be said about the spirit that was felt there. It was truly amazing!!!!! It really just goes to show and shows the truth of that scripture in D&C 25:12 how it talks about how the song of the righteous is a prayer, well this concert was a definite testimony of that!!!! I was all devoted to the Savior, his life and ministry. The beginning of the concert even started with a prayer after they were having tons of technical difficulties, they stopped and bore testimony of how they pray and ask their Heavenly Father for help when they struggle, so that's exactly what they did! Truly amazing!!!! As the concert continued on the man man Jason, bore a direct testimony of who his Savior is to him, and as he did this our investigator Joe (the one in the Orange) turned to us and said, that's who my Savior is to, we believe in the same Christ!!!!! Well Yes Joe you do, and now Joe is preparing to be baptized. Did the concert have everything to do with that? No, definitely not, but the spirit that was there definitely helped, I am so grateful for great examples, and disciples of Jesus Christ who truly bear witness of him everywhere they go! Those guys truly are a light in the world, and are making a great difference, I cant wait to see what they do next!!!!!

Another great event!!!!! One of our investigators who dropped, let us come back and teach him!!!!! It was so amazing!!!!!! My heart was breaking at first because he asked us to come over and we set an appointment, but then we almost had to cancel it!!!! See we have trail parks in our area that don't have the best people (according to the worlds standards) so for us to go in there as a safety precaution we have to have a priesthood holder go with us. Well it's not usually a problem, but it was in the middle of the day, and we couldn't find anyone to come with us!!!!! My heart was breaking!!!! I love this investigator so much, and I was overjoyed at the fact that we could meet with him again!!!!!! Well I started to get a little upset, are we going to keep this man from learning about Christ because of a rule? Chances are nothing bad would happen, but I knew we needed to be obedient and listen to what our priesthood holders had asked, after all they were just trying to keep us safe. So I stopped and said a prayer, and just asked Heavenly Father I love this person so much, I know they need help, and I really want to see them, if it be thy will, please make it possible. Well I stand up and we wait just a little longer, then one awesome RM texts us and says "I am work, but I know this is more important, I'll come right now!" HALLELUJAH!!!! What a miracle!!!!! I am so grateful for even small things like that, small examples that show us the Lord is truly aware, and he answers each of our prayers. Would it really have made a difference if we hadn't gone that day? Or even the minute? Probably not, he said we could come, but it meant alot to me, and the Lord knew that, and he helped! Truly amazing!!!!!!!

Well this week was highlighted with tons of great stuff, but you see I have a problem with this thing called distraction...I am working on it though...Anyway, now I am kind of out of time...but I am going to go fast, are you ready for speed experiences?

Alright so we taught the WOW to one of our investigators and he this week he starts drinking a beer in one of our lessons...awkward...well as he is drinking he is like this is gross, like super disgusting! So we of course responded "it's because Heavenly Father doesn't want you drinking it" a little sassy maybe but he stops and is like "you know, you're right" so he walks to the sink and dumps it down the drain!!!! Crazy!!!!! Even cooler later that night another investigator is smoking a cigarette and it gets blown out, and he is like dang why does that keep happening, so we tried our new found power out and said it was because Heavenly Father didn't want him to smoke, and he said I know!!!! WHAT?! so now two of our investigators are truly truly striving to give everything up because they know God wants them to!!!! So cool!!!!!!

We also taught a first discussion to these two drunk guys (we didn't know they were at first) I don't know why but this week dealt with a ton of drinking...never any on our part of course!!!!! and they were so amazing!!! So cool!!! So ready for the Gospel even in their drunk state you could tell the only reason they relied on it was because they had nothing else, but they were so excited at the prospect of relying on God instead!!!! Truly amazing!!!!!!

We also had interviews with our mission president this week, which were so different!!! But so cool!!!!!! He is amazing!! and I am so excited to work with him and his wife!!!! He came up to Afton yesterday for church and then he had lunch with us which was great!!!! He really cracks me up!!!!! I can tell alot is going to change, but truly he is inspired for this mission at this time!!!!

So this week we also got to teach a first discussion in Spanish!!!!! Dang the gift of Tongues is real!!!!! We shared the first vision and prayed in all Spanish and didn't have to many fumbles!!!!! It is truly amazing how the spirit works!!!!! And this week that same investigator is making us Mexican food!!! HALLA!!!! So excited!!!!!

So this week I was watching the funeral service for President Packer, guess who I saw?!

Also I thought this was funny!!!!!

Anyway I have no more time! Thanks for being so great!!!!! Have an amazing week!!!!!!

Sister Kaycie Sondrup

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Monday, July 13, 2015

Week 42 - Sorry, I am in a committed relationship with God‏

Ok so you know what I realized this weekend? This is the first time in I don't know how many years that I actually spent the fourth of July in America. CRAZY!!!!!! It's really weird to think about but it was good!!!! 

So to start this week I have a short story...I may have played a prank on the Elders, it was accidental, and I don't know how funny it would be coming over email, but in short while doing nightly follow up (just texting to make sure we are alive, and to see how the day went) I told the district leader one of our investigators who was supposed to be baptized in 2 days was being deported to Poland (I know that doesn't sound funny at all, and it sounds a little mean, but trust me, they were dying when they realized I was joking!), and so the District Leader ended up calling the Zone Leaders, who called the Ap's, who thankfully didn't answer. But it worked it's way all the way up the chain, and while it was super funny after the fact the Elders felt they needed to get back at me, so the next day after a baptism interview the Elders wrote "Just Married" All over the car, rude!!!! But it was deserved. Anyway, we were waiting to get back to them, and they came into Afton to email last week, so we took advantage of the opportunity, and we wrecked their truck!!!!!! It was great!!!!! We put "Let Virtue Garnish thy Thoughts" Pamphlets, or in other words pamphlets about overcoming pornography all over the car, and tons of pass along cards, and everything girly we had

and then we put hearts everywhere!!!! It was so great!!!! To say the elders were shocked would be a little bit of understatement! 

We also went to the library and they have a sign that looks like a super hero, and the kids all write who their hero is, leave it to Wyoming kids not only once, but three times is Moroni put as their hero!!!!! HALLA!!!!!!! It's so cool!!!!!! 

Well this week was great! We saw tons of miracles, and even got asked on a date...awkward! But it was funny!!!! We got tons of new investigators, and we met our new mission president. HE IS SO DIFFERENT! It's really strange to see the difference between the two but it's also really cool! He is super funny, and is just so excited to be here! I am really excited to get to work with him, and to just see how much this mission will grow!!!!!!! 

One cool story of the week, so I said earlier we got asked out, that was interesting to say the least...but as I am thinking about it, it was literally the Lord's doing!!!!! Alright now let me explain. So we were out tracking, and it was almost curfew so we were getting in the car to head home when all of a sudden this guy just calls out "what are you fine women doing dressed up so fancy" ok that's an awkward start to any conversation, but we are called to teach and talk to everyone, not just the normal and not creepy ones. So we seize the opportunity, and we go over and start talking, we told him what we were doing, and why we were dressed up, and he thought it was interesting. Well then his cousin joined us, and we started talking to him, and he was way more interested in the Gospel, and only a little less interested in us, but he was really loving the message we were sharing. Well now we really needed to get back, so we asked, can we come back and see you? And from across the yard the first man yells "Yay we would love to date you, come back!" Alright awkward. Anyway, his cousin, says yes and he points to his house, well apparently we get the wrong house, because we went back a couple of days later, and he wasn't there, but this is where the Lord hand comes in. We knocked on what we thought was their apartment, but it wasnt but all we did was introduce ourselves, and he's just like, well come inside. WHAT?! OK I may not knock doors to often, but I am pretty sure that is super uncommon! Anyway it was great! and we got to talk to him a bunch!!!!! And he became a new investigator!!!! With so much potential it is crazy!!!!! He's never been in a Mormon church so we are taking him on a tour this week, which will be great!!! I am so excited to keep working with him!  But just think, what if the Lord hadn't lead us to talk to those guys a few days earlier? What if we had just got in the car, would we ever have met Christian? Would we ever have found this man who has just been waiting for the Gospel? Maybe, maybe not, but I do know the Lord works in mysterious ways, this may be the most mysterious I have seen yet, but he knew what needed to happen in order for us to find one of his Sheep who is lost, and ready to be found, and he provided us the way to find him! Amazing! I think yes!!!!! I love the Lord, and I really love getting to see how he works and functions in our everyday lives, it's so insane!!!!!!! He is so great! And most of all he is so loving!!!! 

We also celebrated the fourth of July down in Soda Springs this weekend!!! It was fun! And we even got to watch a movie!!!! Remember the Titans of all things!!!!! It was awesome though!!!!! It felt a little ironic to watch a movie about integration and how mistreated people were and are on our countries Independence day, but hey I loved it so whatever!!!!! Later that evening we hung out with the people we live with and played badminton of all was super great!!!!! 

Check out my cows!!!! They live in my yard, by the time I leave we will be best friends!!!!!! 

Well we are in Idaho Falls for shopping today, and it's weird as always to be in such a "big" city!!! But it is great to be back in my old stomping grounds! It's also great to see all my old buddies!!! Well I hope you all have had a great week, and are enjoying the summer!!!! Thanks for always writing!!!! Love and miss you lots!!! 

Sister Kaycie Sondrup