Thursday, July 17, 2014

One Question

Monday - July 14, 2014

So, random neat piece of news I forgot to share, on September 6th we have an all mission conference and Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Craig C. Christensen of the Presidency of the Seventy, Elder David S. Baxter and Elder George F. Rhodes of the Seventy, will all be attending! Pretty exciting huh? I'm excited:) Also, an announcement has been set forward by the church saying that all missions in the US will have ipads by the beginning of next year. So now we know for sure that we will be getting them soon. I am excited to be able to use more of the media resources to share the gospel. I realize how much I took it for granted before my mission to always be able to use those resources and how much the church is using technology now. 
In other news, this week had it's typical ups and downs and goods and bads. I am getting really nervous to find out who my new companion is. I find out on Saturday.
Anyway, I better get typing. I don't have much time left.
So, we have not been able to contact Claudia this week. We don't know why she keep cancelling and not answering us. It is kind of discouraging but we move forward. People are struggling with keeping commitments! They have all of these problems and want answers but the gospel is the answer. And you need to apply the gospel not just believe it. Faith requires action in order to receive the peace we seek. It's so simple yet so difficult for people. It makes us feel stuck when they don't keep commitments. 
But we do have a new investigator this week. A women named Hazel. She is older and has been through a pretty tough life but has such a strong testimony of our Savior. She truly is striving to listen to the spirit. She has many friends who are LDS and has gone to church before but still isn't a member. Missionaries have taught her before but she has a problem with prophets. But this past time we went over she said that she had started to feel lately that maybe there was something she was missing and that maybe The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has it. We invited her to pray about prophets and if God has called a prophet now. She said she would. She is the sweetest lady and we are excited to move forward with her.
Another random story, so we had a service auction this week at the church for Relief Society. We auctioned a Family Home Evening night with the Sisters, lesson and treat provided, and 2 hours of service of any kind except babysitting:). We ended up winning an hour of dance lessons with a Young women in the ward, so that will be our P-day today:) Also, I was bidding on some homemade bread but got out bidded and then the lady who ended up winning it, gave it to us. That is the essence of a service auction. Such wonderful people here in Rawlins. I really LOVE the people here and I love Rawlins too. Who would have thought right? haha. I don't want to leave this place so I hope I end up staying this week.
Funny story, I got a bug bite on my eyelid...that was weird. But my eye was all swollen and puffy for a couple days, so that was really fun. haha. 
We did Music in the Park again this week, and with our new ward mission leader we are really involving the members more. We love it. We have been striving to find members for every appointment, and involving them in our finding. So this week at Music in the Park we had members at our booth and more signed up for the next couple weeks. It is going to be great to get them involved more.  
The work is moving forward There are times I feel stuck but then we just keep moving forward. My companion goes home this week, and I have no idea what will happen from there. I have learned lots from her We have had our ups and downs, but a neat thing is that all the members here say that there is just a neat connection between us that they feel. I can't tell you how many members tell us that we are just a really neat companionship and carry a light together. So, even though we have our rough times, we don't let them influence the work. We always strive to work through them so that we can have the spirit with us. Which is hard sometimes. We haven't even come close to solving a lot of our differences but we work with them and do the work anyway. The Atonement is real and can carry us and our relationships. 
One neat question that we have been asking to people is, "IF you could ask God one question, what would it be?" Ponder on that this week. I would love to hear some responses to this question from you all. I'll share a few of the responses that I have heard too in next week's e-mail. 
This work is real, the scriptures are true, the Lord is in charge and He is so much more powerful than Satan. We can overcome anything with His help. I love you all!!! I'll let you know about transfers in next week's e-mail. Thank you all for your emails and letters.
Sister Karissa Young

Bowling with the Greens.  They take care of us well :)

Music in the Park.  

Taylor family.  RS Pres and just an amazing family!!!

YW in the ward. Awesome :)

Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy Fourth of July!!!

Dear Everyone!

We have seen so many miracles this week, and miracles that only the Lord could have made happen. One that truly stood out to me and showed me the power of God had to do with a lady named Jessica. We received a media referral this week, over a text message, that gave us her name and a brief description but no address or way to contact her. So we called the number of the lady who gave us the referral and she told us that she had been driving through town and met a lady at the park who just moved there from Georgia. She said she was living in a camp trailer in Rawlins and had 3 boys and a dog. She said that the best way that we could probably find her would be to go to the park and see if we saw anyone who fit that description. That was a pretty long shot, but we were determined to find her. So, we decided that we would try to go to the park every once in a while over the next week and see if we could see her. But we went about doing the work the next day. We pulled up into a trailer park  to go and teach an investigator and we were about to pray and I looked over and saw a camp trailer with a Georgia license plate and at that very moment a lady and 3 kids were walking into the trailer with their dog tied up in the front yard! We were amazed and decided we needed to go see if that was Jessica. We went over and introduced ourselves and she said that she was Jessica! The Lord had placed us in that spot at that time, out of anywhere in Rawlins. She doesn't even live close to the park that the lady met her at. We called the lady who referred her to us back and she said she had been praying all day. This story just shows the power that can happen when members and missionaries work together! There were some many people involved in this miracle and we could not have done it without the Lord. It was amazing!! 
The second miracle/3rd miracle happened on the morning of the Fourth of July. First we had a church tour with a lady that was interested in learning more. The cousin of the Archuleta family. We gave her a tour while we taught her about the Restoration, Joseph Smith and the Priesthood. She said that when the time comes, she would love to be baptized and have her 2 kids ages 8 and 10 be baptized as well. She was excited to learn more and we set up a time to come over and teach her and her family this week. She truly is searching for the truth and is really going to put forth the effort. It was so neat. The second miracle happened in part because of the first one. We decided to stay at the church to do our weekly planning, which we never stay at the church. We were about to start and then the phone at the church rang. At first I wasn't going to get it but then I felt like I should so I went down the hall and answered. On the other line there was a lady who was frantic. She said her car had broken down and her and her husband didn't know anyone and had been calling around and no one had answered but we had answered. We said we would call her back with information on who could fix her car. There are tons of men in the ward who work on cars, but it was the 4th so one one was in town! Finally we thought of a less-active who worked on cars and asked if he would help. He agreed willing and we went up to the hotel to help them. While the men were working on the car we went and got lunch for his wife and him. We then got to talking to the wife in the hotel room and she told us how much of a miracle we were. She said that that morning she had just been praying and praying for help and the words "Latter-day" kept popping into her head. So she looked in the phone book and found The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She called and knew we would answer, she said when we answered it was like a voice of an angel. We ended up teaching her about the gospel and gave her a Book of Mormon. She said she wanted missionaries to come by in her town, so we got her address and phone # and told her that we would take care of it. The ward was able to help them out by bringing them meals and supplying the hotel for them while everything got fixed. It was such a neat miracle to be a part of. Her heart is truly softened and she is looking for the truth. Miracles happen!!! Such a neat week of learning. I really do love being a part of this work. There are hard times, really hard times, but the miracles make it worth it. 
There are so many other experiences that I could write about but I am running out of time. Thank you all for your love and support!! I love each of you!! Pray for Claudia and her family this week!!
Sister Young

Edna, the sweet lady we visit at the Nursing Home

Tea Party that we had with sweet Sister Green:) from England

Fourth of July!!!

Beautiful Wyoming!

Birthday on the Mission

June 30, 2014

My birthday weekend was the best ever! Let me tell it from my side of things. So I knew I had a package coming in the mail but it hadn't shown up yet and I was getting really sad. So I prayed, I know it was kind of selfish, to be able to get my package before or on my birthday or at least be able to feel love. Wow! It was certainly a day where I felt loved. I didn't expect too much to happen on my birthday, because there are other things to focus on here, but I was not forgotten. Quite the opposite. I woke up to the Sisters singing Happy Birthday to me :)  Then I got up to go to the bathroom and there were signs and notes allllll over the house, wishing me happy birthday. Even on the toilet lid! I found notes ALL over for the rest of the day in random spots. The sisters had been busy. Then we left to go to our Zone Meeting in Laramie. We took the scenic route through the wonderful mountains! What a great present for me! The mountains! Then got to Zone Meeting right on time. It was a wonderful meeting with exactly what I needed to hear. Involving the Spirit more, and Finding ways to use my talents as a missionary. Then we all went to Pizza Hut for lunch and the Sisters had made me a cake and the whole zone sang to me. Then we ate cake and shared with some random people in Pizza Hut:) Along with a man who we ended up giving a Restoration pamphlet. Then we did some quick shopping and headed back to Rawlins. When we got back to Rawlins, I was sad to see that my package hadn't come from my family. But it was ok. Then I walked into the house and on the table was a huge German Chocolate Cake with lime green on it, flowers, ice cream, soda, lime green plates and cups. Then I went to my bedroom and it was covered with balloons and streamers and a huge happy b-day sign. With a bag of rice sitting on my bed. Haha. Sister Welch, lady in Rawlins, went all out!! Oh my goodness! Then we went about the rest of our day, teaching, and serving and I thought my surprises were over. Then we got home and had planned to party with the other sisters. Then Sister W showed up with a huge package!! That was the best thing ever! So, I asked Heavenly Father for something so simple as to get my package by my birthday and I ended up getting a whole day full of love. It just shows that even with the small little things that we ask for, the Lord can make even more than what we ever could imagine. Then, on Sunday, yesterday, Sister B, also a lady in Rawlins who traveled to St. G this week, brought me a cooler full of KOREAN FOOD from St. G!! I went crazy with joy! Holy cow, that was amazing! My family never ceases to amaze me. Thank you so much for all that you did for me this week. I just felt your love all week long. And even through all these hard times in your week, you all still made my birthday wonderful. Thank you so much! I am so blessed. 

 I learned a neat lesson this week while watching a Mormon Message with President Monson. "Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved." Always remember to love.
The work in Rawlins has been slow during the summer because people don't stick around. But this week we tried a new finding activity. Every week here they have what they call Music in the Park, where they have a musician and booths set up all over a park. We signed up for a booth spot and the members helped us get a canopy, a table, and everything we needed. We couldn't approach anyone but we sat at our booth and talked to people about the gospel. We ended up giving away 6 copies of the Book of Mormon, a restoration DVD, some pamphlets, getting contact information for a few people, and talking to all kinds of people. It was very successful!! There was one guy who came up to us and started saying how he didn't believe in Joseph Smith but he wanted a copy of the Bible. So we gave him one and started talking. We tried to give him a card and he wouldn't take it. Then he came back a bit later and got the pamphlet on Joseph Smith for his wife. Then he came back and said that he wanted a card with our number because he might be interested. It is just neat to see hearts soften. It was an interesting experience because at events like this, in Wyoming, there is always drinking and smoking. We joked that we were the light in the middle of  Sodom and Gomorrah:). We were tempted to put up a CTR sign. haha. But we also saw many members there and told them to invite their friends to the booth. We might try it again every other week because it was so successful. We love just getting out in the community and seeing the people. It is such a small place that it is good to have people see our faces and see the church's name. 

Another story I want to share from this week is about a lady who we met while searching for less-actives. We knocked on her door and she invited us in. She is this 68 year old lady and is super sweet. A bit standoffish at first, so she appears, haha, but really the sweetest lady. But her story is one of the saddest stories I have heard on my mission so far. It really hit me hard and taught me an important lesson. When this lady was 17, she had been super active in the church and made some mistakes and she got pregnant. She got married shortly after to the dad. But after she was married, she had her Young Women President come over and tell her to never come back to church because she was a bad influence on the other girls. This girl really took that to heart and did not come back. Even to this day, at age 68 she remembers that experience and has not been active since. While I know it is our responsibility to choose not to be offended, it is also our responsibility to be aware of the things that we say and how they can affect other people, even for decades and generations to come. I felt the pain that this women felt and still feels from that experience and it makes me hurt for her. All that pain could have, and still can, be taken away by understanding the atonement Instead of telling someone that they have failed we need to be showing Christlike love to those who are struggling and let them know about the power that the atonement can bring into their lives. It is vital that people know that they can change and they don't have to be weighed down by their mistakes. If that Young Women leader would have understood the atonement, this women might be active now in the church and not have had so many awful struggles through the years. That pain would be lifted from her heart. I realized the importance of watching what I say to others, it can affect generations. 

An interesting experience I am having here in Rawlins is working with so many women of difference cultures and who speak very little English. There is a women we are teaching who speaks Farsi and a women who speaks Chinese, and people who speak Spanish. It is a challenge at times to be able to communicate simply. But this gospel is so simple! So it is good practice for me to be able to make things as simple as possible. 
Well. as always, my letter is a novel. But that's ok. This week we are striving to find more people to teach who are ready for this gospel. We want to have things speed up more but we need to trust in the Lord. 
Thank you again for a wonderful week! Thanks for all the Birthday e-mails and letters. I really am soooo blessed! I love you all!
Sister Young

One of my birthday cakes

This is a neat family in the ward, the parents are converts as of a couple years. They were sealed in the temple, and now their little girl just turned 8. We got to go over to just help her feel ready for baptism. They are such a neat family!! 

Birthday notes from Sisters!

Happy Birthday!!