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 Conference...my 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.

It's Short! Sorry:(

June 8,  2015

I hardly have any time today because I needed to send some e-mails to a few people, so I apologize now for the shortness of my e-mail. 
I wanted to share a miracle that we saw this week though. Early this week, we had a member text us and saw that he had a friend that he knew that was looking into different churches and he had invited her to meet with us. She agreed. So, on Friday, we met the member and his friend at a restaurant and we were able to teach her and set up a return appointment at the member's home from next weekend! She is such a sweet lady and is truly searching for truth. It amazes me how Heavenly Father is preparing His children and it takes patience. Nothing ever coming all at once. We have done a lot of patient waiting and working here, so we know that blessings are on there way. It's just hard in the process of waiting to be patient. 
This week for Zone Conference we will be talking a lot about Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy. We have been asked to read the talk given in this past General Conference by Elder Nelson,
It is a beautiful talk given about the Sabbath Day and it's importance. What sign are you giving Heavenly Father on the Sabbath?:)
I love you all!! Thank you so much for your love and support. Stay strong. Smile and be happy!
Sister Young

P-day making cookies with a few of the Sisters. I'm the only one in comfy clothes...
MLC's. All of the Sister Training leaders and Sisters Brown.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Yay! It's June! I love June:)

Hello All!

The work continues to move forward.
One really awesome experience we had this week happened on Thursday. We received a call from the Zone Leaders in the morning saying that the Stake President had called and said, " I have 30 potential investigators for you all." There are a group of 30 guys that come and play basketball at the church every week. Most of them are not members. It has slowly grown over the years and now there are so many that come. Well, in order to follow the church handbook that state that the building must be used for church functions and edifying, President B, instead of "shutting down" the basketball time, he made a deal with them. He said that in order to keep playing that they each would have to take the lessons from the missionaries and go to church once a month. Nothing unreasonable. They agreed. So this Thursday we go to meet them all for the first time. There were 3 sets of missionaries, and each of us took a group of about 7 to 10 guys and gave them a tour of the building and introduced them to the core principles of what is taught within the church. It was so unique watching all of these big basketball guys, all filing into the room to start with prayer. We don't quite know what will come of all of this but President B is a very inspired man and felt like this was what needed to be done. We will teach them the first lesson this week:) I'll let you know how it goes.

Another neat miracle that happened this week was with a Less-active member and her boyfriend. We have been meeting with this less-active woman who is very sweet and super great, every week. Her boyfriend is not a member and has never been super open to the gospel. But the other day, this woman told us about a miracle that had happened. Her Grandma was visiting from out of town and she received a blessing. The boyfriend was there and felt an incredible spirit as the blessing was given, so much that he just couldn't contain his emotions. He went outside and she followed after him. He apologized for never being open to her religion before and said he wanted to learn more because nothing that felt like that could be bad. His heart is for sure being softened. They really want to get to the temple together. It is such a testimony to me that God is preparing hearts to receive His messages. 

We had a Stake President breakfast this week and it was probably the best Stake President breakfast I have attended my whole mission. Not just because of the food:) but because of the spirit. Along with our wonderful stake president, we also have President S, who was the mission president to the Leeds, England Mission. Him and his wife are amazing individuals and I know one reason I am in Cheyenne is so I can learn from them and Stake President B and his wife. What amazingly in-tuned individuals they are. During breakfast we each shared a "highlight" of our missions and then we discussed common principles that we saw in each of the stories. One thing that the spirit taught me/reminded me of was an important principle that I have been getting wrong lately. The Lord is the one that is the miracle worker. We are not the ones that make the miracles happen, we are merely the instruments in His hands. I think sometimes I try to make miracles happen and I take on the world thinking that I have to be the one to be the miracle worker. But it's not me! The Lord will do His work, the Lord will perform His miracles. That for some reason hit me powerfully. I need to stop taking so much on my shoulders and let the Lord do His work. We also need to focus on the successes that occur. So many times we look at all the hard parts or the struggles and by so doing, we miss the miracles, we miss the successes. We all have had successes! We need to focus on those more than our weaknesses, our struggles, or discouragements. 

Guess what else happened at church yesterday? We got done with church and were waiting to start our meeting in the foyer. Then someone said, "Guess who just got done with Sacrament meeting and is in the chapel? Lindsey Stirling!" Crazy! Haha. She is on tour right now and Cheyenne happened to be the place that they were stopped on the Sabbath so she came to church with one of her dancers. We waited in the foyer and she saw we were missionaries and she came right up and started talking to us. It was great! Then we got a picture with her. She is super sweet in person too. It's so great how she makes time for the most important things each week, even on tour. The sacrament is key. To those of you who who don't know who Lindsey Stirling is, here is her "I'm a mormon" video 
She's a great example of standing true to the gospel at all time and in all things and in all places, and helping other realize their true worth while being unique. Plus she's super talented and uses her talents for good:) Check it out!
I love you all! Thanks so much for your prayers, your love, and support! Keep smiling:)
Sister Young

Group picture

Exchange with Sister Martin

Us with Lindsey Stirling

Exchange with Sister Caserta

I-Pads to Hasten the Work

May 25, 2015

We had an amazing All Mission Conference the other day. We had Elder Nielson, the member of the Seventy who gave the Prodigal Son talk at conference, come and give us the training on how to use ipads in the work. I thought it was going to be merely a logistical meeting, but it actually turned out to be an amazing spiritual experience. I truly was taught by the spirit and my eyes were opened. Technology truly is the way that the Lord has always anticipated to hasten His work! We received training on how the Lord will truly use technology now and in the future to help… "the truth of God go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear."
We are also learning the principles now to govern us after our missions to continue to use media to further the work. We are also learning now, how to protect ourselves and our loved ones from the dangers of media as well. We received multiple booklets on how to safeguard ourselves against the "dark side" of media. This truly is a training ground for life. 

So far it has been so amazing to have so many resources at our fingertips to share the gospel. We have videos to access in moments at doorsteps, we have interactive pamphlets, (Check out the app, LDS Pamphlets) we have LDS Tools, we have Gospel Library to study with and mark and use, we will in a few weeks, have the area book and our planners on a single app, we will be able to use facebook in about a month, to communicate with members, investigators, leaders, and to share the gospel, we can email our leaders and investigators on a daily basis to remind them of commitments we left them, share videos, we will be able to skype or facetime leaders to meet with them, or have "member present" lessons by having someone facetime into the lessons, the list keeps going on and on! It is truly amazing! I was in awe the whole time. My companion sadly did not get an ipad since she is going home at the end of this transfer, but I got to have a loaner one for now. I am good at sharing though:) haha. It took a while to convince her to use it though. She has never had an ipad/ipod so she was a bit hesitant. But I've helped her get excited for it. It has been a bit of a weird adjustment. Going from not being allowed to have technology like this for 16 months to being encouraged to use the iPads as tools in your work. I've had to force myself a bit. It's been weird, but I truly love the opportunity to use them to hasten the work.
 I am so excited to be able to use media to share the gospel when I go home too, this is really good preparation for me. I am grateful for this transition at this time in my mission. 
We are still struggling to find people to teach. This has been one of the lowest "number" areas on my whole mission. It is so weird. We really are trying everything. I know numbers don't matter, but it's just sad not to have individuals to teach.

This week we also had some miracles happen. We feel like there are good things to come. First, we received a referral from some other missionaries who called and told us that a member was moving into our ward and her husband is not a member but recently his heart has truly been softened and she feels like he would be ready to learn about the gospel! We have dinner set up with them this week!Another miracle that happened, we knocked on a door of a Part Member family that we were trying to find and we found out that they had moved but the man who answered said that he had had 3 encounters with missionaries in the past year and he felt like God was trying to tell him something. We asked if we could come back and he said he wanted us to but he was going to talk to his wife. He has been to church a couple times and says he is searching for truth right now. That was another great miracle. We will see where that goes. 

Well,I feel like there is more to say, but that must be it for now. Keep pushing forward! This is a great time in the world to be alive. Scary, yes, but a good time nonetheless. It is the time for us to stand firm for what we know to be true. In all else, stand firm for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. That is what will remain constant through every change in the world. I love you all!
Sister Young