Monday, November 23, 2015

Week 64 - The worth of Souls


So you know what I've decided? When I go home I am never going to email or text. Seriously though I think it's become the death of me! I hate it, so sorry my emails have been awful lately, but it takes every ounce of focus I have to offer to even get that much. That being said I will try and do better, starting with that it has taken me an hour to write this much it seems like an impossible task, but I'm stilling going to try.

OK, so I really do have alot I can talk about this week, the teaching has been going phenomenal and this week we were able to set two new baptismal dates!!!!!!! Both for the month of December #wintermiracles Tuesday we met this 8 year at activity days, shes not a member of the church and never before have I met a more uninterested child in my life, let me replay the conversation for

Us: So Abigail do you like activity days?
Abigail: Kind of
Us: why do you like it?
Abigail: Because no one tries to convert me
Us: Do you not want to be converted?
Abigail: No, I have a church and dont want another
Us: But what if you learned this church is true?
Abigail: I wont.
Us: Well could we maybe come over and meet the rest of your family and teach and then you could decide?
Abigail: No.
(now some random member piped in) Member: Lets try this again Abigail your address is...
Abigail: ### Collins
Member: That's better, now the sister will come over sometime and teach you.

I was blown away this came from an eight year old, but hey agency is real at any age right? We probably wont ever go over, but it was an interesting conversation for sure! Then that night as we were driving home we get a phone call, and our phone connects to our car so we see whos calling and it's the mission office. To say our hearts dropped was an understatement, because why else does the mission office call that late except for and emergency transfer. Sister Wooten was pushed everywhere last transfer, she ended up sending 2 companions home early and had a total of 4 companions and 3 areas in just 7 weeks, so the thought of another emergency transfer after she finally got a companion she likes and isn't crazy almost had her in tears (why she likes me and thinks I am normal is beside me, but hey I'll take it!! Haha just kidding). Thankfully though it was just Elder Rush who's one of the Assistants, we had a big mission tour with some directors over missionary work and we were invited to a special conference with them. But more on that later, thankfully there was no Emergency Transfer though. Phew, dodged that bullet.

So then Wednesday rolls around and this week because our dinner schedule went crazy we didn't have any dinner appointments, which to be honest I wasn't to sad about...I love meeting the members, but my skirts and waist don't love their food...Anyway since we now had a conference to go to in Idaho Falls all Thursday we decided for our dinner hour we would do our weekly planning, so we sat down to do so and not scarcely 5 minutes afterward we get a text from some of our sisters. Thankfully it wasn't an S.O.S text which seems to be the norm lately, but it was a referral, and they said "The family is waiting for you get there now." Nobody waits for us...So count our blessings we didn't have a dinner appointment and we were able to leave that moment and meet the most amazing person ever! Let me put it this way he is Stud. He had only been in the state of Idaho for 1 hour, he moved in with a member family and requested we come over as soon as possible. So we did. YES!!! Seriously this guy is amazing!!! We sat down with him and he said he is sick of running from God in his life and he is ready to let him back in. It was a bit of a crazy first lesson because there was crazy children EVERYWHERE, but something so amazing happened. As I sat there trying to focus and really trying to listen to the spirit as to what to say and what to do all of a sudden everything went quite and then I saw him, and it wasn't the same man I saw before, I saw him out of his ragged clothes and dressed in a suit wearing a tag that looked exactly like mine, and he was cradling so tenderly the scriptures in his arms, for whatever reason the Lord chose to show me the great potential and plan he had prepared for this young man, I saw the worth of his soul to the Lord that probably sounds ridiculous, but from that small glimpse I  was able to see exactly who he is to Lord and it was amazing. No words could put into perspective how I felt at that moment. We've been able to see him almost everyday this week, and yesterday after coming to church for the first time we were able to set a baptism date with him!!!!! He is preparing to be baptized on December 26th, and I have no doubt that at about this same time next year he will be preparing to go to the temple and to go on his mission. It truly was one of the greatest experiences of my mission and I am so grateful to have been trusted with such an experience.

Thursday we had our big conference in Idaho Falls, and basically I got told I have been being a missionary wrong for the last 14 months...awkward. Ok it wasn't that bad, but they taught alot of great ways I never thought of before so I am super stoked to put them into action. I was super sick for the whole thing so of course that's when I was sitting in the front row, and was trying not to puke the whole time. Thankfully I kept my cookies, but it was close a couple times. One time I left and came back in and they were talking about nightly follow up with the district/zone/sister training leaders and I quote "where in preach my gospel does it say to do that? It doesn't, so stop" uhhhhhhh......just rebuke the whole mission!!!!! It was a strange yet uplifting day to say the least!!!

Friday we met this legit blind lady who plays the piano like a stud!!!! Seriously she is so amazing and she does it all by ear!!!! She plays church music like a boss, and so she asked us to sing along with her, and at that point I felt bad she wasn't deaf...Sister Wooten and I may not be the best singers, but it was such a cool night!!!!!

Saturday we set a baptism date with another amazing investigator!!!! She is so great! Then we drove to Timbuktu and back (aka the Indian reservation) to get a key and it didn't even work!!!!! We were all over the place, but we taught like mad people!!! It was awesome!!!!!!

Sunday was Stake Conference and we had a visiting authority and it was legit!!! I love this stake presidency they are so bold it's amazing!!!!! It was a really great meeting, super uplifting!!! We got to eat lunch with them and they are boss!!!! And super hilarious, although I tend to be the punch line...thanks! We also got to go see an investigator who hasn't had the most fortunate life so far and today being her 18th birthday means she is getting kicked out of the system and moving to a homeless shelter :( We went to have a Birthday party with her and it was one of her first ever. It is so sad, but I know that the Lord has a plan for her, she will find her way and things will only get better from here, after all if this life was meant to be easy everyone would have come. We met a legit investigator the Elders were teaching and he is awesome!!!He wants to be baptized, but his kids don't approve, he will do anything to make them happy, even if it makes him sad. He is just such a good man, he is praying that his kids will let baptism be his Christmas gift, but only time will tell. Then we came home and played battleship until it was bedtime, and lets put it this way I stomped on Sister Wooten, battleship is not her game.

Anyway this week was amazing, I cant begin to explain what I learned, but the best I can put it is with a verse from Doctrine and Covenants 18:10 "Remember The worth of Souls is great in the sight of God". The worth of a soul is greater than we can ever imagine, and it's not just one soul, but every. Many will say that God doesn't care, but in fact it is just the opposite, no one cares more. He is there and he has given us a Savior, scriptures, and a gospel as evidence. It has been such a great experience to teach people this. I got my papers asking about my travel plans to go home today and my heart is crushed to say the least. These last 14 months have flown by, and now as it draws nearer to an end my heart cant help but ache as I think I taking my tag off and setting aside my time as a full time missionary. Thankfully I still have time though and I will help as many people as I possibly can recognize and  understand their true worth in the sight of God.

Well Sister Wooten just made me depressed and said I better make my emails good because I only have like 15 left or something...ugh that one hurt. Well now I am sad and I am going to get off, sorry no pictures this week, i hope you have a great Thanksgiving! Thanks for all the support!!!!

Sister Kaycie Sondrup

Week 63 - Whoa What Just Happened


Ok so this week was an interesting one for sure...whoa. I don't know if told you but Sister Wooten and I are white washing over 4 wards this transfer. Meaning in addition to our 3 we are now working with those 4 and neither of us have any clue what is going on the wards. To give you some idea of how lost we were this week let me paint you a picture, it's a simple one but it's a good one, here it is, we had to pull out a map and navigate that way. Like full on paper map, this thing is so old some of the streets don't even exist on it yet!!!! We both had to chuckle a little bit because maps are so old school!!!!! It has been an interesting week this week though! 

This week we drove down to work with our Sisters in American Falls and we took the back roads through Aberdeen and as we were driving I looked over and I was like "HOLY HECK THOSE POTATOES ARE GIANT!!!!!!" Lets take a picture with them!!!!! Well we got closer and had to jump a canal in our skirts to do so but we got a picture, only problem, they aren't potatoes!!! They're sugar beets. So it's not as cool but they are giant and there are millions and millions and millions of them! Then I accidentally broke Sister Wooten's camera. Great, I've been with her all of 24 hours at that point and I am breaking stuff...At least she's nice about!!!!  

So Wednesday we got the Elders area information and guess what?! They planned to have two baptism this weekend, way cool right? Well it was awesome and the family is fantastic, only problem is they planned none of it, so this week we ran everywhere trying to meet all the ward council members to try and set up a baptism, and guess what? NOBODY WAS HOME!!!!! Seriously most stressful thing ever. Some how we managed to get everything planned and then Friday night comes and the investigator drops the bomb that his daughter may or may not be showing up the next day, and if she didn't show up he wouldn't get baptized. Great. Well Saturday came and thankfully they showed up, 45 minutes late, but she came. Then some lady yelled at me in the middle of the baptism, yay for me. it was interesting to say the least, and that's just the tip of the ice burg this week!!!! But in the midst of all the crazy that has been going on, we have seen some amazing miracles and it is so great to literally be able to see the Lord working and moving in our life to help others come closer to him. One night we had a member call us saying she had someone for us to teach, we went over that night with her and never have you met someone more prepared for the Gospel. NEVER. We've had everyone just wrap around us and give us so many friends and family members to teach. Even just now I just got off the phone with a lady who requested missionaries on, she's prepared, and the Lord helped her find us. Even just having Sister Wooten is a miracle, she is such a hard worker and I cannot wait to see what we can accomplish together, we laugh, and always see the good, the Lord knew what he was doing putting us together and I cannot wait to see what he has in store for us!!!!! Sorry I don't have more time, but I hope you have a blessed week and know that things are going great here!! The work is happening and we are truly progressing and growing as much as those we teach!!!! Well, that's all for now!!!!!

Sister Kaycie Sondrup 

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Week 62 - Hello


So sorry this will be a very short email, SORRY!!!! But I'm alive, this week was good, we were able to go and teach a ton!!!!! We even able to set two more baptism dates!!!! Sister Manymules and I killed It!!!!! It also snowed this week...yay...but it hasnt accumulated so we're still good for awhile!!!! Ok maybe not awhile we are supposed to have 4-6 inces of snow this week, yeah for cold!!!!!!!

In other news I will be getting Sister Wooten as my new companion she is a cute little Sister from Georga with the southern accent and everything, although right now she "sounds like a yankee" I am super stoked to serve with her though!!!! In addition to getting Sister Wooten we are actually going to take over the whole stake so we'll be adding 4 more wards and 4x the fun!!!!!!!!

Sorry I really dont have to much more time today we have 2 apartments to clean, and 2 missionaries to complete pack, it will be good though, I dopped Sister Manymules off in Pocatello and it was so sad to see her go but she is going to do great things at home!!!! Keep an eye out for her in Phoenix alright? Hope you have a great week and you arent to hot down there!!!!!

Sister Sondrup


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Week 61 - The will of God


Well I really have no words for this was was one of the hardest weeks so far... and it was memorable, no one word can describe it, and I doubt I can even scratch the surface of it  here in this email, I'll try, but nothing can come close to the feelings I felt this week. 

First things first though! We went to the Idaho Museum!!! We drive by it like everyday seeing as it's smack dab in the middle of our area, but hey we take the easily accessible things for granted right? Anyway it was pretty fun what I basically learned though is that Idaho Produces WAY more potatoes than we think!!!! 

we aslo got to party on Halloween!!! I dressed up as a missionary again this year...and we got to build a giant fort and watch the Cokeville Miracle!!!!!! Finally!!!! That movie is all I ever heard about in Star Valley and it was amazing!!!! 

Fall just barely came last week and now this week brings winter!!! Supposedly we are supposed to be getting our first snow this week, either tomorrow or Wednesday, we'll see what comes though!! I'm not ready for the cold yet!!! But hey it's worth it!!!! 

Well like I said this week was hard teaching people seemed impossible!!! And we found ourselves wandering just praying for someone to teach more often than not!! It also came with so many missionaries going home early. The mission has been so reduced in the last week it is sad!!!! Today brought another piece of sad news, yet another missionary, our fearless zone leader Elder Tidwell will also be going home, tonight in fact. This is actually his second go around on the mission the first time he went home was for prior things, but this one is for medical. He worked for over 8 months to be able to come back out on his mission, and despite the opinions of others telling him it wouldn't be possible he came, and he was made a Zone Leader almost immediately when he returned to the field, and he has easily been one of my best!!!! Now with only 3 months to go on his mission he has to return home for medical reasons. To say my heart is broken is an understatement, but it's not for just this one friend but for so many other missionaries who have also had to go home early for reasons entirely out of their control. I think of my dear friends from the MTC Sisters Hatch and Brimley, Elders Schuelke, and Bergin, then come all the amazing missionaries I have met here in the field Sister Duncan, Sister Hansen, Sister Kremer, Sister Richins, and many others, the list could go forever, especially after this last week, but it continually makes me wonder, why? Is it not God's will to have us here and serving missions? Is it not His plan to use us as instruments in helping all of His children learn of the Savior and the plan he has prepared for them to live again with him? I had a really hard time understanding that this week why is it these things are happening to some of the most amazing people ever? Now don't worry you wont be getting your daughter home early because she lost her testimony, in fact I really think there is nothing in this world that could persuade me to leave this glorious gospel, but there are some things that take more pondering and prayer before we receive our answers. It's a very simple answers to say "Well this is God's plan to face trials" which is 2000% true. We teach that everyday, in order to truly grow and progress in this life we have to face trials. Though I understand that it still is hard to see others struggle. At MLC this week though President Hancock taught something that really stuck to my soul, not only as a missionary, but as an everyday member,

 an everyday disciple of Jesus Christ.

Now let me paint you a picture.  

 That was easy. Hehehe Sorry I have atrocious hand writing. Anyway this is what president drew on the board. So often in the church, or in life in general puts leaders above the everyday persons, but that is not the case. We are all here to build one another up there is always someone to look up to, and someone to rely upon. We have the greatest support system that there can possibly be and that system is made possible because of the Savior, because he has already descended below all things, and it is only because of that that we can continue to reach higher until we are once again living with him, and all those who matter most to us.  Maybe it only makes sense in my head, but for some reason this whole concept gave me all the comfort I needed. I still don't know why it was in all those missionaries plans to go home early, and I do know they are sorely missed, but I know even more than that this is the Lord plans, and he will support them through all of it.
Things get hard and sometimes we fear we cannot reach high enough to overcome our challenges, but that's when we need to realize that there is more than one someone pushing us higher and cheering us on. We do not have to do this life on our own, we have been offered everything we need to overcome all things we face. I am so grateful for that knowledge!! And I am so grateful I get to be here!!! Unexpected things happen and I am grateful that those haven't happened to me, I never realized just how blessed I am to be a missionary day in a day out! I cannot believe how fast the time is flying, and it's scary to think how close the end is coming but I know that this is only a part of my plan, and there is much much more to come! Well I hope you all had a great week!!! And you are staying safe and warm (cant imagine that's hard!!!)!!!

Sister Kaycie Sondrup