Monday, August 24, 2015

Week 51 - If there's a will the Lord has a way

Ok so this is will be brief mainly because I am so distracted today any ounce of focus is a miracle.
But this week has been amazing!!!!!!! We saw a bunch of great miracles!!!!! 

So Eastern Idaho is on FIRE!!!! Literally and figuratively! Seriously though last time we were updated there was 4 or 5 fires burning here, and you could tell. It literally smelled like a campfire full time here all last week. It was the first thing you smelled when you woke up, and the last thing you smelt when you went to bed. The air was so gross, and visibility was crazy. like was so smoky!!!! Thankfully it's been clearing though and I can finally breathe again, I think most of the fires have been put out now, but maybe not...But this area is on fire!!!!!!! We found 7 new investigators this last week, and all of them have amazing potential!!! They are so cool!!!!! This one lady just yelled at us to come in when we knocked the door, so we did, I think she was expecting us, but she just looked and shrugged her shoulders and said alright well sit down lets talk. BOOM. Miracle, now her and he children are taking the lessons LEGIT! We knocked on another womans door and she opened and was like I've already taken the missionary lessons but I feel lost without God in my life, can you come back and teach me? Well yes, yes we can. Seriously so cool!!!!! It's seriously so insane to get to see the great miracles going on!!! Another amazing one we saw was with this sweet lady named Luna. We were walking by on our way to an appointment and saw her smoking outside, well even though we needed to go something told us to talk to her, so we did. Luna told us about her life, and the struggles shes had, and is still having. She faces alot of medical problems, and she ended up telling us she would give anything to be dead. Not in a suicidal way, but she said she would pray all the time that Heavenly Father would take her. My heart broke hearing this, no child of God should have to live that way. Our Heavenly Father has a greater plan for us than that. Thankfully Sister Hill and I understand that plan, and we shared it with her. You could not only feel the spirit there on the street but the whole situation, including Luna seemed to get brighter as we went on. It was so amazing, she welcomed us back again, and while she still has those feelings she said life seems a little brighter for her, and we know it will only continue to brighten up!!!! She still has troubles to face, but with the Lord all things are possible, and she can endure all things.  I cannot wait to keep working with her!!!! 

So this week I have really been studying Nephi and his family. I wanted to find something new, something I had never really noticed before, because really lets face it how many of us just fly through it when we start the Book of Mormon because we have read it a million times?! I know I do for sure which is ridiculous!!!!! So this week I was trying not to do that, and I grew tons in my appreciation for him, seriously he's a stud!!!!!!! What I noticed though was that Nephi was obedient. Well duh. But what really stood out to me was that Laman and Lemuel were to. Everything they were commanded they did. Nephi is always praised for his obedience, but I got to thinking of why, why did he get so recognized when his brothers did the same things? It was because Nephi did everything through faith. He wasn't obedient to be obedient like his brothers, because you could tell their true desires, they wanted nothing to do with getting the plates, or moving into the wilderness, so they whined and complained all the time! Nephi he knew and understood that the things he was commanded were important, that they were of God. He had true desires to serve him, and so he worked his hardest and had the faith that he could do anything he was commanded. My whole life I have always related to Nephi on this. The prideful part of me always said "look at how great and obedient you are", for the most part I was pretty obedient. Just think, I was never tempted to break the word of wisdom, chastity not even close to an issue, modesty? I did alright with that to, not dating until 16? Not steady dating? Check, Check. I tried to follow all the commandments given all the time and I was pretty good at it. I could have improved on honoring thy father and mother, but I have plans to improve that (sorry mom). But as I was thinking about Nephi and my own obedience I realized all this time I was not acting like Nephi. I was acting like Laman and Lemuel. I followed the rules, but did I complain on occasion? Heck yeah. There were always moments in my heart where I was just like "Cant I be done already?! This is to much work!!!!" But I always followed. It was a weird reality to recognize my pride and see how I really had been living most my life, which was without faith, without true desires to serve my Heavenly Father I just obeyed because I was told to. But now as I have been looking back on my mission especially, where I have way more rules than ever, I've realized that I have started to become Nephi. I never struggled to follow rules here, but now I not only follow because I have to, but because I want to. Because I have a testimony, just like Nephi that these things will bless me. That I can do all things. That if the Lord commands I can do anything. If I have a will to follow, he will give me the way. It's a small change, because ultimately I do the exact same things, but in my heart, in my spirit it has made a world of difference as I have been on my mission. I am still no where close to perfect, and nor will I ever be, but I am so grateful for the small things, that truly teach me and show me the way to becoming more like my Savior. I will always obey, because that's just who I am, but now I can truly say I wont obey to be obedient, but I will obey to follow my Savior. Because I have a testimony of these things and how they bless my life, I now know and understand the difference and I can guarantee you that this way is much much better!!!!!! 

Well I don't have an attention span anymore and really need to go shopping, sorry no pictures this week, but I will try and take a million this week to make up for it!!! I hope all is well and that you are continuing to see the amazing miracles that happen in your daily life!!!!! 

Love you lots!
Sister Kaycie Sondrup 

Week 50 - The Shepard


Alright well let me start by saying this week was a little hard. Mainly because I said goodbye to my home. I never thought I would have so hard a time leaving an area, but leaving Star Valley, and all the glorious amazing people there truly broke my heart. Don't get me wrong I am excited to be in Blackfoot, the people here are amazing, and I know there is a great work to do here, but it's not truly home like Star Valley, not yet at least!!!!!! Well here's some pictures of the most Christ like people you'll ever meet, I hope you love and enjoy them as much as I do!!!!!

 ​Alright well that is enough of that, I love Star Valley, but I have been called to Blackfoot, and that's what I am going to talk about!!!!!!!!

Alright so Wednesday we transferred, let me tell you, it was a long day, we left the Valley at 7 and got to Rexburg at like 9:30, we stopped a few places along the way... Hey Mom you remember that one time we went to the Dam? Haha anyway...

When we pulled into Rexburg we were early!!! So we got to go take some pictures at this beautiful place!!!!!!

which was way fun, if only I got to go inside!!!! Oh well, hopefully soon though (one upside of being in the city is I am actually close enough to go to the temple again!) Then we went and transferred, it was super weird to be at the Northern site because nobody was there!!!!!! Awkward moment I saw someone I never met before and thought they were a greenie...they go home in 6 weeks...been isolated a little to long I guess. Anyway we went down to Idaho Falls stopped and traded people, and then onward to Blackfoot. Stressful moment pulled up at the site unloaded and had a zone meeting, where we were supposed to get to know the sisters...I had no idea what was going on, let alone who I was talking to...STRESSFUL! But it turned out great! The sisters are amazing, and they are so filled with compassion and love, seriously they are great! So dedicated to the work it's amazing!!!!! After that we went home and I got food, thank goodness I thought I was about to wither away!!!!!!!! Anyway the day was a blur, well the whole week really. I still have no idea what is going on most the time, and it still feels so overwhelming to be around so many people....I liked this better...I don't know how I will go home to Arizona...

But amazing news!!!!! WE HAD A BAPTISM ON SATURDAY!!!!!! It was a little weird because I only met him the day before, but it was super fun! His name is Mikey and he is amazing!!!! Such a great kid!!!!!! I may not have been here to work with before his baptism, but I am so pumped to work with him and his family now!!!! They are so legit and I cannot wait to get to know them more!!!!!!!!

Alright so this letter seems to be be very all over, but my brain is scattered today!!!!! But I do have a cool thought, or maybe it's not cool, but I like it so you get to hear about it! Yesterday we taught a lesson to a less active all about the Atonement, which are the best if you ask me. Anyway the member we were with brought up an interesting point I never really thought about. In ancient times when a sheep would continually wander from the herd to teach it the Shepard would break it's legs. Which sounds gruesome, but because the Sheep could no longer walk  it had to be carried, it had to stay with the Shepard. The same principle goes for us in our life. People wonder way they have to face hard times? Well simple, those hard times, those broken legs always draw us nearer to our Shepard, to our Savior. Sometimes we need to be humbled, and sometimes we don't realize how much we stray until a trial is thrown at us and we see we are to far to find our way back, but we are never to far. Our loving Shepard will always come in search of us, and he will always bring us back, sometimes he has to do it the hard way, and because we are stubborn he has to allow us to get hurt, but he never lets go, not for one moment, he carries us until we are strong again and can walk alone, then he guides us, and if we get lost again he will find us. He truly is everything for us. He truly is always there for us, and he truly loves us beyond imaginable. Just think of what he's done for you, we may have to face difficulty and pain in this life, but nothing could ever compare to what he's faced. He truly is our loving Shepard and Master, and how fortunate we are to know about him. How great is our joy because of our relationship with him. My mission has not been easy, and to be honest I feel like I am at the point where he is having to carry me, but I know he doesn't mind it one bit, I know he is beyond willing to help me now, and forever. The same thing applies to each of us, I love getting to be here and to learn of my Savior, to build my relationship with him. But even more than that I love to teach others of him. The Church is true. This is Christ true and restored church no if's and's or but's about it. I know, and I know everyone will get the chance to know it! So keep finding those prepared, and realize you are never alone!!!!!!

Well that's all I have time for today!!!!!! But I'll leave you with one last picture! This is how far the Star Valley temple was when I left, I cant wait to see it when it's finished!!!!!!! Thanks for the constant love and support!!!!!!!

Sister Kaycie Sondrup

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Message from the President

Dear Sister Sondrup ,

We are pleased to extend to you the calling to serve as a Sister Training Leader in the Idaho Pocatello Mission.

You will have the opportunity to attend and participate in our monthly Missionary Leadership Council.  Your role as a Sister Training Leader will also include training, encouraging, and watching over the sister missionaries assigned to you.  Every six weeks you will conduct a 24-hour exchange with each companionship of these sisters.

Heavenly Father will bless and guide you as you pray to Him in faith.  We know the Lord qualifies those whom He calls

Thank you for your example and service in our mission.  Your leadership will bless the lives of many sisters and help the work move forward as we invite others to come unto Christ.


Gene E. HancockMission President

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Week 49 - Blackfeet...Blackfoot!‏

Hello All!!!!!

OK so this week was great, but definitely filled with a little heart break...

Well first things first, after a long day of feeling nauseated and super sick to my stomach on Thursday I got a call from President Hancock around 4, to say my heart is broken right now is an understatement!!!!! I am being transferred from my beloved and precious Star Valley to Blackfoot Idaho. I am so excited to learn, and experience even more great and amazing things in Blackfoot, but I can't say I wont miss being here in the Valley. This truly is a place of miracles, the Lord is aware of this Valley, and I have been so blessed to get to be here! I truly will miss this place, but I am excited to go to Blackfoot, and see the great miracles that are happening there!!!!!

On a different note though Joe got a hair cut!!!! Dang he's so cool!!!! I am really bummed I wont be here to see him get baptized, but hey as long as he enters the waters of baptism it doesn't matter whether I am here or not! I am so excited for him, and to see how he will continue to learn and grow, he is so ready, and I know he is going to make one great member of Christ's true and restored church!!!!!

So another way cool miracle we saw this week was with a girl named Mayzie. But first, back story. The zone set a crazy goal for baptism dates. We all saw the great potential of our areas and decided there was more to do. So we set a goal and started working towards it. After all you can never have enough baptism dates, you can never have to many people progressing and coming unto Christ. So Wednesday we had zone training down in Soda Springs and we looked at our numbers. They weren't enough. We still needed more to reach our goal, we had one more day and 13 dates to set. Ultimately we didn't reach our goal, but we saw some amazing miracles happen in our areas and after the zone was realigned we ended up only falling short by 1 date. Mayzie was one of those great miracles we saw though. Sister Parker and I were sitting at 2 baptism dates, which is good, but in comparison to how many people leave this earth without the Gospel it wasn't enough. We  prayed, and sought inspiration, as we were driving by the house both of us were just like MAYZIE! Well we went in, and awkward...she wasn't there!!!!!! So we talked for a minute and we were trying to leave, then all of a sudden here she comes!!!!! YES!!!!! Anyway, we got to a talking with her (and neither of us had really met her) and she brings up getting baptized. Well Ok. We talk and discuss some of the problems she has, and then the spirit was like "set a date with her" Well if you say so. We extended a date, and she accepted!!!!!!! Her sister is also working towards it as well which is way to cool!!!!!! It is so great to get to see all of these great moments, to get to see others as they progress towards Christ!!!!!

Alright well sadly I have tons of packing to do...YIKES. Anyway let me leave you with one last story, because I feel like this email is ridiculously short...I also slacked a ton on pictures this week so this is the only one I have...I think it's pretty funny though. Enjoy!

So the fair was of course going on all this week, which was cool but so funny to see!!!! Everyone walking around in cowboy boots, with giant belt buckles, and even bigger hats!!!!! The really funny thing was that one of the most popular spots to be was at the tractor booths...imagine it, lets go to the county fair and buy a tractor...Ok that's random. Anyway, we were down by what the world outside of Wyoming would consider entertaining...Haha just kidding they thought it was cool to. Anyway we were down by the tractors, Tigers, and Lady Houdini the escape artist. Well when the shows (which were like 5 minutes long) were happening, nobody really was talking with us. So we were sitting under our booth, and had to find ways to entertain ourselves...well I knitted, Sister Parker watched, and the Elders made the most ridiculous commentary every. Imagine the tone of the voices when they commentate on golf tournaments, so boring. And then imagine ridiculous and sarcastic comments. That's what we had. It was pretty dang funny. The only comment I remember goes with this picture
So imagine the build up to this, this buff guy (not that I was looking, but that detail needs to be included to make it funny) was Lady Houdini's assistant, he talks about stuff, and does a few tricks up to the Grand Finale, which is what's in the above picture. Well the Elders get sick of watching the lame parlor tricks and Elder Schaerr says in that ridiculous golf voice "Stop Flexing your muscles, and put this women in danger!"  Well I wasn't paying to much attention, but I all I heard was that, and I was about to pee my pants! Seriously I don't know why it was so funny, but dang it was good!!!!! Anyway, I cant help but laugh at the little things!!!! Well I got to go pack, and probably cry...just kidding, but really I have alot to do!!!!! Sorry it's not the most exciting email this week!!!! But I hope all is well!!!!! Thanks for always writing!!!!

Sister Kaycie Sondrup

Monday, August 3, 2015

Week 46 - Another Testament of Christ

​Hello Family!!!!!!

Ok well I don't have to much time today because I am in Idaho Falls and we have to get's like it's important or something...Anyway this week was amazing!!!! So many miracles it's nuts!!!!!!! But first things first, it's the county fair this week, and because we are in a small town, that happens to be highly Mormon populated we get a booth!!!!!!! So we made this!

Pretty legit huh? Well it's so cool because the missionaries are like the coolest thing in Star Valley and everyone always wants to talk to us! SAAAAAHHHHWEEEEEETTTT! Literally I don't know how you could do missionary work in Star Valley without the members they are seriously the best!

Which actually brings me to one great miracle of the week! So the fair officially kicked off Saturday with the Derby, so we were there and had our booth and this random guy just came up and started talking to us, we asked him about himself, and we came to find out that he is a former investigator and he knows that the church is true, and that he wants to be baptized! WHA? So we keep talking to him, and while this is going on, some members come up and want to have a casual conversation well they say hello, and start talking so I was thinking "oh no we need to keep teaching this lesson, it cant be distracted by regular conversation...". But then, and this is how amazing all the people are out here, they heard the conversation about the gospel, and jumped, bearing amazing testimonies, and giving just amazing witnesses at all the right moments, they weren't overbearing and they really added an amazing spirit to the lesson! It was so cool!!!! As the lesson progressed we ended up setting a baptism date right there! In the middle of the fair! Next to the tigers and some fruffy healthy soap stuff!!!!!   SO COOL!!!!!! Just goes to show though that the spirit has to do with the environment (thank you giant Book of Mormon) but even more with the people and the testimonies and attitudes they carry! it was so cool, and it was a great testimony to me that you never know what will happen, when the Lord's timing will be right for someone, it's really cool!!! and I am so excited to keep working with him, and helping him progress towards Christ!!!! WAY COOL!!!!!!!!!!

OK, so another cool story for the week, do you remember this guy

jis name is Joe, and he is a STUD!!!!! So cool, we actually met him while trying to talk to another investigator, well turns out that guy didnt want to have to much else to do with us (that day at least) but Joe was hanging out so we took the opportunity and started talking to him, we invited him to take the lessons, and he accepted! Well on the second lesson he accepted a baptismal date and he has been so excited about it ever since! Last week he called us and he was like "GUESS WHAT?!" we of course asked him what, and he said his dad had gone to Idaho Falls and bought him church clothes!!! (he normally came in pretty much the same outfit as above just a button down shirt instead) He was so excited, in fact all week he walked in his church shoes around the house to break them in, he was just so excited!!!!! He even showed us them at one our lessons this week, and I am not sure I have seen a bigger grin on someones face then I did at that moment, it was so cool!!!!!! He came to church yesterday and it was the greatest thing ever!!!!! He was so excited, the ward was so excited, and looking at them talking and joking I couldn't help but see how this is going to effect his eternity. It was so cool, I have no doubt that this Gospel it true, I can see all the blessings that come from it, and now he can as well, he might still be new, and learning, but seeing him yesterday I saw the great potential he has to truly make a difference in this world, to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ, and to be the light in the world that he truly is needed to be. I am so excited to see him continue to progress!!!!! I cannot wait to see what plans the Lord has for this terrific young man!!!!!! (I forgot to mention as well, he is cutting his hair and shaving his beard this week!!!!! The Gospel has not only changes us spiritual, but it changes our whole countenance, and how we act!!! It is so cool!!!!!)

So I don't have to much more time, but I have one more miracle to share, and coincidentally it has to do with Joe. Well Joe lives in Thayne, which is the Elders area, but because he is YSA aged, he is ours to teach, which is great! But here's the thing, Joe's whole family aren't members. So I told you last week about the lesson we had where Joe got a blessing, and so did his Father. Well apparently I wasn't the only one who felt the spirit that strong in that lesson, because it's all Joe talks about...but even cooler, on Saturday when we were at the fair Joe's and his fathers best friend (the one who was at the lesson) came up and started talking to us. She said that Jim couldn't get to sleep that night after he received that blessing, that something was keeping him up, well he thought and thought and thought about it, and he realized the thing that was keeping him up, was that he had declined when the Elders asked if they could start teaching him the lessons. He knew that he needed to take them, he knew it's what God would have him do, so after his experience that evening, he decided to listen to the missionaries!!!! WAY COOL!!!!! Now not only is the son coming unto Christ, but the family!!!!!! Miracles truly are happening!!!!!!! Well I don't have more time, but thanks for being so great and for all the prayers!!! I am so grateful to be here and inviting everyone to come unto Christ!!!! This truly is the Lord's work and I am so blessed to get to be apart of it!!!!!!!!! Have a great week!!!!!!!

Love always,
Sister Kaycie Sondrup

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