Wednesday, July 29, 2015

True Happiness

Dear Everyone! 

The reason that my e-mail is late this week is because I was able to go on my departing temple trip today! Usually we go as a big group with President Brown and all the departing missionaries, but there was a mix up on our end and my companion is hitting her year mark soon and wanted to go to the temple, so we ended up just going with the E family in the ward. They are so great! I am so grateful for them and their selflessness. They truly take care of us and love us like we are adopted daughters. It was so great being able to take a family name to the temple today. I felt the spirit strongly and I also just felt a readiness enter my heart. A readiness to take on the next stage of life. I know that I just need to trust in the Lord. As I sat in the temple, I opened to the perfect chapter.(That never happens to me. haha.) It was Alma 38. 
There were so many verses that just spoke to me and I know Heavenly Father is aware of me and my service and is preparing me for the next stage of life.
I am still going strong! This past week was pretty good:) We started off the week having a dinner with the M Family(Terry Lake Ward) and the M family(Wellington Ward). Both Part member/Recent Convert families that I have worked with. I just feel so blessed to have been a part of their lives and I am so excited to continue to see their families grow in the gospel together and be sealed in the temple someday. This work really does bring such joy! At the end of my mission call letter and in the last line of the First Presidency Message in Preach My Gospel, it says, "The Lord will reward and richly bless you as you humbly and prayerfully serve Him. More happiness awaits you than you have ever experienced as you labor among His children." 

At times on my mission I have wondered, is this promise really true? There have been some very challenging times being a full-time servant of the Lord and I have not always felt happiness. But now, as I reflect on my experience as a whole and the many wonderful moments I've experienced and the closeness of the spirit, seeing people change before my very eyes, witnessing miracles, learning every day, seeing individuals make or renew covenants, seeing families grow together in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and so so so many other experiences. That is what TRUE happiness and joy really is! We don't need the fluff of the worldly things to make us happy. The way to be truly happy is to focus on those things that matter most. I have experienced this promise first hand. I have felt so much joy and happiness as I have labored among our Heavenly Father's children, even in the midst of the trials. That is proof to me that even in the midst of hard times, we can still find joy. How great is my calling!

We've been struggling to help investigator's progress here in Wellington. It's been a bit difficult to even meet with them as of late. We are still working to find as well. We did a lot of service this week, which was great! We struggle to find service in this area. We have been feeling strongly lately that we need to develop a better relationship with the bishop. We barely meet with him and never eat dinner with him and his wife, and we just don't really know him, and missionaries in the past haven't really known him either. So, he and his wife live out in the country and own a bunch of goats. We asked if we could come out this past week and help out for a bit. They gladly said yes! We spent some time clearing out all of the goat pens, raking, shoveling, gathering hay, all kinds of fun things:)Then we taught them a lesson and they took us out to lunch. They are such great people! It was great to finally get to know them and build some trust with them. 

Well, I don't really know what else to say for now! I am finishing strong! Making the most of every moment that I have and preparing for the next step. My learning will continue. It doesn't stop after I am released. One things that I have been praying for a lot is to be able to keep what I have learned and to continue to make it a part of who I am and what I do and then to continue to grow. Thanks for all of your love and support. It truly is so wonderful that I have such amazing family members and friends that help me to keep pressing forward and stay steadfast. I don't know if I could have done this without you all. I love you all so much! 
Sister Young

Temple with Sister Helsing
Our District
Dinner with the M and M families

Monday, July 20, 2015

Searching for Truth

Hello All! 
I had a moment this week on about Friday I my mind I had just been thinking that I had 3 weeks left still and then all of a sudden, Sister Helsing and I were talking and it hit me, I don't have 3 weeks...I have 2 weeks. It was a weird moment. 2 seems like a lot less time than 3 weeks does. Weird! But I am excited, and nervous, and sad, and happy. I work hard during the day and then prepare myself mentally during my breakfast, lunch and after nightly planning time. But there is not much time to even think about it. We can barely get everything done that we need to here! But it will be so nice for my whole family to be back together! What a good day that is going to be:) A joyful reunion! 

It's kind of tough. In this area, I am teaching the least amount of lessons every week, that I have taught on my whole mission. But it is not for lack of trying, and I hope people don't think that I am slacking since it is my last transfer, because I am not. haha. But people are just really hard to catch home here and they don't keep their appointments and they are even pretty hard to set appointments with, But we made some plans during Weekly Planning that should help us to teach more this week. We have a lot of set appointments this week and some good plans. 

But despite the low number of teaching appointments, we have seen some neat miracles. We received a referral when we contacted another referral who wasn't interested. But he told us about his friend named P. P is 98 years old. He will be 99 next month. He goes on a walk around the block every day and he loves the Bible. When I first heard about him, I thought that he might just be one that we would go and visit to help him not be lonely, but our visit was quite an amazing experience. As we started talking to P he told us about losing his wife a few years ago and how heartbroken he had been. He wants to believe that he will see her again, but the way he talked we could tell he felt it might be final. He talked about how he didn't believe in churches. But the only reason why is because he was searching for the true church his whole life and never found it. As he talked we felt strongly that we needed to teach him the lessons. He seems to be all there, he just struggles to hear and see. We felt strongly that he was still around so that he can hear the message of the Restoration of Jesus Christ's fullness upon the earth. He has so many similar beliefs and views and he has been searching his whole life to find the true church. It was a very spiritual experience meeting with him and feeling the spirit testify that he is ready to accept the gospel. It might be a bit tricky to teach him but with the spirit, we know he will understand and be taught. 

The gospel is so true and the only way to find true peace in this life and the life to come. I know that! I love you all! Have a wonderful week. Find someone to lift and bless, sharing the love of Christ each day. It's so needed in our world!
Sister Young

 Exchanges in Laramie
Our travel buddies that a Recent Convert gave us. haha
Beautiful Sunset in the mountains.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

This Week Flew By!

July 13, 2015
Dear Everyone,

T'was a great week here in Wellington! Many wonderful miracles occurred even though we have done more traveling this week than I think ever on my mission. The sisters that we are Sister Training Leaders over live in 4 different Zones. Greeley, Loveland, Cheyenne, and Laramie. Which makes for a lot of traveling for exchanges. We did 2 exchanges this week with our sisters. I love exchanges. It is truly amazing to see how we can help the sisters and how the Holy Ghost helps us to know what we need to say or do to help them. For the past few transfers being a STL, I have felt that this is one of my main purposes at this time. While I have also seen miracles in our areas, I have felt that a large part of my mission right now is to help these sisters. I love each of them!
One of my exchanges was with Sister Jenks in Berthoud, CO! My very first area. It was crazy going back to where I started my mission and seeing what has happened there. It was great to see some of the ward members and to visit some of the former investigators that we worked with or Less-actives. There have been some really neat things that have happened since I was last there and then there have also been people who have just still not progressed or stopped going to church again. Joys and sorrows as I went back.

MM was baptized and confirmed this weekend! It was a neat baptism. His wife gave an amazing talk on Baptism and the spirit was strong as we heard more about their journey to get to where they are now. The ward has been so great already with retention. He already received the priesthood, a calling, has a date set to go to the temple to do baptisms, his home teachers are prepared to begin teaching him the temple prep lessons preparing him to be ready to go to the temple in a year with his family, the new member lessons are starting tonight. It is so great to see the ward just jump right on board with helping to keep him and his family as active members of the church. I was able to see the wonderful M family this week at the baptism and the BBQ that a member threw for the MM family the night before the baptism. It was so good to see them. I just love their family so much!

We also were able to find a new investigator this week. His name is S and we found him when we were walking around a neighborhood in Wellington. He said we could come back on Friday, so we did. We got there and he had been drinking...but we didn't feel nervous about it. We just met in his open garage, since we couldn't go inside, and we taught him an introduction. We didn't jump right into the Restoration all the way because we figured he was not in the best state of mind to take it all in. But we taught about Prophets, the Book of Mormon, and the importance of the Spirit in helping us know the truth of all things. Then he asked us why we don't drink, and we explained that when we drink it blocks us from being able to feel the spirit and that is not something that our Heavenly Father wants and it is a commandment that He has given us. He said, "That makes a lot of sense." We set up a time to come teach him next week with a Sister in the ward. We feel that he has a lot of potential.

We received and contacted a lot of referrals this week. One is a girl who is just about to be a freshman in high school. We have an appointment with her this week. Lots of really good things happening here. I may not get to see the results of all of this but that is ok:), I am here at this time to do what the Lord wants me to do! 
 I love you all!! Have a wonderful week! Remember how much Heavenly Father loves you. 

“Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God’s love encompasses us completely. …

“What this means is that, regardless of our current state, there is hope for us. No matter our distress, no matter our sorrow, no matter our mistakes, our infinitely compassionate Heavenly Father desires that we draw near to Him so that He can draw near to us [see D&C 88:63].”

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, “The Love of God,” Ensign, Nov. 2009, 22, 23.

Sister Young

Pictures-Me in front of FOCO Cafe- Look it up on Facebook. Did service while I was serving in Terry Lake ward. Best food ever, organic/healthy and it is pay what you can. Non-profit. Such a great place.
Me with the food from FOCO cafe.
Baptism of Matt Marquez
Sisters in the Loveland Zone.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Otter Pops and Following the Spirit

Hello Everyone!

Happy Late 4th of July!! On our 4th of July, Sister Helsing and I came up with this brilliant plan that ended up not working out according to our plan but I'm sure it worked out the way Heavenly Father wanted it to. 
Here in Wellington they have a HUGE 4th of July celebration where the whole town is at the park all day with different vendors, a car show, live entertainment, bounce houses, and all kinds of fun things. So, we knew it would be hard to catch anyone at home, but we came up with a plan. It would have been brilliant if we had more time and had known more about it in advance. But we made a plan to buy some Otter Pops, and go around handing out free Otter Pops to people at the event and talk to everyone, starting off the conversation with a question of, "What freedoms are you grateful for?" We took the Otter Pops to a member's freezer and left them overnight, expecting them to be frozen...but we got there and none of them were frozen yet. (We left them in the boxes...bad idea.) So we spread them out and then decided to go try some referrals and attempt to visit a few other people while we waited. They finally ended up freezing but right as we got to the park , it was getting stormy and everyone was cleaning up...Fail!!! haha, but we made the most of it. We changed our approach and went around talking to the different vendors seeing if they wanted Otter Pops and help cleaning up their booths. We ended up talking to quite a few people in the process and got some potential investigators out of it! We also ran into a missionary couple that is in charge of overseeing the temple being built and they said that they had a referral for us. They wrote their testimonies a copy of the Book of Mormon and they asked us to go and visit them. This man has been working on the temple and they say that they have felt prompted many times to share the gospel with him. We are excited to go and give him the Book of Mormon. He has a large family and very strong values. Miracle! So our epic failure on the 4th, resulted in many good things:) But we laughed pretty hard about it all day. It was such a hot day! Then we came home at our usual time and since we are in the country, we went into our backyard and climbed on the hay bails to get a better view of the fireworks:) We had a nice 360 view of about 8 or 9 different firework shows. T'was a great day! So grateful for the freedoms we enjoy. It's because of our freedoms that I can be a missionary right now!

M M will be getting baptized this upcoming weekend! Yay! We are excited for his baptism. We also had some really neat lessons with some less-actives this week. One thing that I am grateful for with Sister Helsing is her desire to follow the spirit. It is helping me to remember to listen:)  One lesson I have been learning my whole mission is how the spirit works. I believe that the spirit works with both your heart and your mind. We need to study it out, use our brain to think what would be best, and then ask Heavenly Father. The spirit will help us. But Heavenly Father will not command you in all things. There is a quote in Preach My Gospel that says,

 “[A person may have] a strong desire to be led by the Spirit of the Lord but … unwisely extends that desire to the point of wanting to be led in all things. A desire to be led by the Lord is a strength, but it needs to be accompanied by an understanding that our Heavenly Father leaves many decisions for our personal choices. Personal decision making is one of the sources of the growth we are meant to experience in mortality. Persons who try to shift all decision making to the Lord and plead for revelation in every choice will soon find circumstances in which they pray for guidance and don’t receive it. For example, this is likely to occur in those numerous circumstances in which the choices are trivial or either choice is acceptable.

“We should study things out in our minds, using the reasoning powers our Creator has placed within us. Then we should pray for guidance and act upon it if we receive it. If we do not receive guidance, we should act upon our best judgment. Persons who persist in seeking revelatory guidance on subjects on which the Lord has not chosen to direct us may concoct an answer out of their own fantasy or bias, or they may even receive an answer through the medium of false revelation” (“Our Strengths Can Become Our Downfall,” Ensign, Oct. 1994, 13–14).

This quote has helped me to understand the Holy Ghost more fully and my role in receiving revelation. 
There were many times this week that I felt very guided by the Holy Ghost. I am more confident now in being able to recognize what is from the Holy Ghost. I still have a ways to go but I am grateful for how far I have come and what I have learned. 

I have more I could share, but I am running short on time.  I have many good things that are helping me stay excited and focused. This is such a great work! I am so grateful to be a part of it. I will do with this time, the best that I can. I love you all! 

Sister Young

P.S-Thank you all for your birthday cards, and wishes! I appreciated them sooooo much:) 

Pictures: 4th of July Fun!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

First Week in Wellington

Dear Everyone,

What a great week! I am so excited to be here in Wellington with Sister Helsing. It was such a great week. The people here are wonderful. I already feel super welcomed and like I am meant to be here. I think my struggle here might be not wanting to come home because I am enjoying missionary life so much;). We have 2 main progressing investigators, both with dates to be baptized. Guess who one of them is? Do you remember the M family from Fort Collins with their daughter who got baptized? Well, one of our investigators here is the husband of Sister M's Sister! So still part of that very same family! He has been going to church for years and years and at one point had a baptismal date set but then decided against it. But now, the Sisters have been teaching him here and he is moving forward and making some changes and is going to be baptized in a couple weeks! I am so glad I get to be here for it and to be a part of their lives for a bit. I was so excited when I found out!

First week in any new area is a bit of a blur but I feel pretty well adjusted already, in a good way. Sister Helsing is super great and we get along really well. She is an amazing missionary and super loving. I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father knows what we need. We are going to be a powerful companionship for sure.  It's a bit of a bummer meeting all of these people and then having to leave them so soon, but because of that, Heavenly Father has helped me to connect quickly with the people that I have met already. There are some amazing people here and I've already learned so much from other's examples.

My birthday this week was almost like any other day, which actually helped me have a neat realization. It was totally fine to me that I spent my whole birthday, (that is usually all about me)...focused on others, it was great:) I realized how I have let go of a lot of selfishness that I had prior to my mission. I still have a ways to go before I become self-less, but it was nice to see progress. I love being able to focus on others and serve them. But Heavenly Father still blessed me with tender mercies that day. Our dinner that night was with a member in the ward and it just happened to be that Sister's birthday too!!  So we just had a double birthday dinner. They even had Chinese food that night, rice and orange chicken, which I love! Tender mercy. Then I got home and had an amazing package from my lovely family waiting for me:) It was filled with great things. My favorite being a cute layered Testimony Cake with the testimonies of each of my family members on paper shaped like a cake. We had lots of fun with the pinata! We had to be kind of quiet so we didn't wake up the sister that we live with but it was fun trying to find something to use to bust it open. I ended up using my mousse bottle, after breaking Sister Helsing's umbrella...opps. Haha. I have a video:)

One thing that we are going to focus on here in Wellington is trying new things. This area has been in a rut at times with tending to stick to things that have always been done, or contacting the same people over and over with no results. So we are excited to try new less-active members and new Part Member Families as well as giving copies of the Book of Mormon to everyone! We are Sister Training Leaders over 5 sets of sisters, so a couple more than I had last transfer. It will be so good to get to know all the sisters and learn from them. 
Time is flying by ever so fast. We live with a member in the middle of the country. It is so peaceful and quiet. I just love it. We do not have air conditioner and so at nights it gets reaaaally hot...but we are asking around for a fan. We just pulled our beds over by the windows though and  get a little cool air every night. I am happy. I am grateful. I am excited about life. And ready to work my hardest this transfer.  Have a great week! I love you all soooo much! 
Sister Young

Pictures: Saying goodbye to Sister Heintz
A member who collects Minnie Mouse EVERYTHING!
My b-day with Sister Helsing and my package:)
Alpaca Farm that a member owns. He gave me some Alpaca wool.

Change is in the Air :)

Monday - June 22, 2015

Dear Everyone!
We found out about transfers this past Saturday, and everything is about to change! Haha. 
I am getting transferred to Wellington, Colorado to be Sister Training Leaders with Sister Helsing! I am so excited and so at peace about this last transfer. This is exactly what the Lord wants me to do this transfer. Wellington is right by Fort Collins and meets in the exact same building as my last ward, Terry Lake Ward. I will get to see everyone:) But Wellington is out of the busy city of Fort Collins and is a smaller, country type town, which is perfect! I actually have always wanted to serve there and Sister Helsing just seems really great too. If you look at my picture from a couple weeks ago, with all of the Sister Training Leaders, she is the one in the back with the headband on her head and the red shirt. So I will be back in my old district I think. Funny that I am excited to go back to Colorado. ha. It was just time for change. Elders will be swept in to this area and take our spots.

One of the neat lessons that we had this week was with the basketball players. This week we had a member meet us at the church to be a part of the lesson. He is a convert and has such a neat story. He comes from a pretty rough past, he was a cage fighter for a while, and we felt that he would really connect with the b-ball players. It was amazing. He just said it how it was and connected so well with them. The 2 that hadn't really gotten involved last week and the one that didn't take a Book of Mormon last week was asking so many questions. It was amazing. They are truly having the spirit touch their hearts. The Elders will continue to teach them. 

We weren't able to meet with J and JF this week, which was a real bummer. But I am anxious to see what happens with them in the future. We also just got a call from Temple Square with a really great referral. So the Elders will have great things to come to. This area will continue to grow I am sure. I am still not 100% positive as to why I have been here, but I have met some wonderful people and I am sure I will continue to see that no effort has been wasted as I have served my best here in this ward. It is better than when I found it, and that is what matters. 
I love each of you! Thanks for your love and support!

Sister Young

Here is my address for the rest of the mission:

Sister Karissa Young
7123 Reu Ranch Road
Fort Collins, CO 80524

District Picture
A youth in the ward that I love!
Our Ward Mission Leader and his great family

Monday, June 15, 2015


Hello All!

Well, I have one more week of this transfer. This transfer has flown by. It's been a hard one, but we are finally seeing the fruits of our labors, I guess you could say. This is Sister Heintz's last week on her mission. But this week it gonna be great! Then I find out on Saturday if I will be staying here or leaving for my last transfer and who my last mission companion ever will be! haha.  This past week was Zone very last one. That was weird. That is one thing I will miss so much. Meeting together with other missionaries and learning from each other through the spirit. When else will I be with a room full of young adults my own age all set apart as full-time representatives of the Lord, Jesus Christ? It is such an amazing feeling. I was able to bear a "departing testimony". I've been watching missionaries give these testimonies from the very beginning and I always would think, "That is a long ways away." But guess what? It goes fast and this time it was me. It was a neat experience to feel how much my testimony has solidified. I had a testimony before I came out, that was why I came out, but my conviction and my understanding has increased and I have continually been refined and converted more fully. I've come closer to my Savior than ever before. It was a good time to reflect. 

This week we were able to teach J again. The woman we met with at the restaurant last time. This time we met at the member's home and had lunch and taught the first lesson. Oh my goodness! It was such a neat lesson. She was like a sponge just soaking it all up. She has a very fresh perspective on life and is starting from square one in a lot of ways. She accepted the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith's experience and said she would pray about it. But after we were done, she said, "Can we do this again next week!?" Then she went on to say how familiar all of this was to her and that it was the most correct religion that she has experienced yet an felt the best. She is such a neat lady and that experience was good to have. It has been a long time since we have found someone that excited about learning the gospel. Those are the moments that make it all worth it. 

We also taught the basketball players this week. We had 4 of them in our group. It was really neat as well. We got them involved with questions and taught the whole first lesson to them. All of them accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon except one and afterwards, 2 of them went up to President Stocks and said," We really enjoyed that!" Those are the 2 that we feel might be truly interested in learning more. They were great though to teach and all had Christian backgrounds and a faith in Christ. 

Another individual that we were able to teach this week was a man that we found while looking for a less-active member. The member had moved but we met JF. He accepted a Book of Mormon and then we set a time to come back and teach him, and we did. He listened and learned but he kept saying, "This is great and all but guys, I'm already saved!" He told us we could come back though and we will continue to work with him:). 

It was just a blessing that we were able to teach so many investigators this week. That is what I love. That is what we are called to do. To teach. So, it was a good week. 

A few articles that I have been studying this week that have really helped me to understand weakness and the Savior more have been these two:

These have been huge in helping me understand our learning process here on earth and that we do have our weaknesses and faults but as we rely on the Savior, He can help us. 

I love you all! Have a wonderful week!!!:)
Sister Young

Picture: Here are all of our lovely sisters that we get to serve as Sister Training Leaders.