Monday, October 19, 2015

The Last Email

I made it to Denver!!!!!! HUGE shoutout to Mama C and her husband in Delta Ward for taking me yesterday. They're angels :) The drive was beautiful but it was sooo insanely hard to say goodbye.

The last week was great. Sister J and I worked hard and were able to see the fruits of our labor during A's BAPTISM on Saturday!!!!!! She was the cutest thing ever and the Spirit was so strong during the baptismal service. She was confirmed yesterday in another very spiritual sacrament meeting. When they laid their hands on her head and told her "Receive the Holy Ghost" I felt this powerful wave of the Spirit. Sister J leaned over to me during the prayer and said "Did you feel that?!" It was really neat. It was a good reminder that when I was confirmed all those many years ago, I was commanded to receive the Holy Ghost, and that commandment has never been rescinded. I always need to be living in such a way that I can receive the comfort and counsel and companionship of the Spirit in my life.

Being a missionary has been the best adventure of my life. In missionary lingo, when you go home, you say that you're "dying" in the mission. I'm back with my MTC companion right now, Sister Curly S, and we keep saying that we're freaking out about dying and how awful it is to die. I truly have been feeling like I am DYING and my very soul is in mourning about it! Sometimes it's hard to feel like there is anything else in the world that is worthwhile after you have been part of the greatest work on the earth - the work of the salvation of souls. I've been so worried about going home and feeling like my life has no meaning and like everything is completely pointless. It sounds awful!
But this morning I was thinking about what it was like for us before we came to this earth, when we were in the Pre-Mortal Existence as spirits living with God. We learned and we grew and we changed and we chose to follow Christ. But then we reached our potential there, and we couldn't grow anymore. If we stayed there forever, we wouldn't be able to have eternal happiness and progression. So our loving Heavenly Father took us WAY out of our comfort zone and sent us down to this earth. It is imperfect, and we are imperfect, and we often struggle. But we grow so much and we learn and experience the most incredible joys that we think are not even possible to experience.
I've been thinking that when my mission ends, my life ends. And I've been completely wrong this entire time. My mission has been my training for life! It has been preparing me to become the person Heavenly Father wants and needs me to become in the future. I was thinking of the movie Hook when Peter Pan originally says "To die would be a grand adventure!" but then later he says, "To live... to live would be an awfully big adventure." Yes, I've survived my mission and I've put in my 18 months. But I'm not done! This is not an end, it is a beginning of a new adventure and a new chapter.
"O ye that embark in the service of God" -- I've been quoting that scripture every day for the last 18 months of my life. Every single morning at 9:10am we say D&C 4. Every transfer and every morning and every second we recommit ourselves to embark in His service. On Wednesday I will be embarking on another trip and starting another phase of this eternal journey. But it's the same boat, and the same captain. "We are on the old ship Zion. … [God] is at the helm and will stay there. … He dictates, guides and directs. If the people will have implicit confidence in their God, never forsake their covenants nor their God, He will guide us right." (President Brigham Young).

I know that this is the Lord's restored Church on the earth. I know that Heavenly Father loves His children with all his heart. There is truth, and there are answers to life's questions, and guidance IS available to us if we will pray and ask for it and follow His direction. I don't have adequate time or words to express how much I love this gospel, how much I love the Savior, and how much I love my mission. But I hope that the Spirit can testify to each of you of the love that I do have for this, because it means EVERYTHING to me. And now I am excited to embark on a new journey in the service of God. Thank you to every one of you for being a support and a strength to me throughout these last 18 months and throughout my life. May the Lord pour out special blessings and an abundance of His love upon each one of you is my prayer.

All My Love,
Sister Koenig

Final Pictures:

Goodbye beautiful Delta. Tractors, trailers, and fields. It's all right here.

My last District! We were pretty crazy.

Saying goodbye to C. I will miss him.

C looking fly, as usual.

A's baptism!!!

They called this the ward Dutchoven Cookout, but I like to think of it as my farewell party... ;)

My favorite neighbor, J!


Monday, October 12, 2015

October 12

First of all, I will MOST LIKELY be emailing next week, so this is your last chance to write me a good email telling me how awesome I am and how proud you are of me. :) :) Just kidding. But I really will be emailing next Monday. I think. My ride to Denver just cancelled and now I have to find a ride again and who knows how that's going to work out.

This week was crazayyyy. Monday morning we dropped our car off at the auto body shop, as you know. We walked home after we emailed, and then that night we had to ride our bikes up these huge hills for like 30 minutes to get to our tracting destination. That was interesting. Then we biked to a member's house, and they drove us out to C's house for a lesson. The lesson went really well! We taught him about the Law of Chastity, which is always kinda awkward with kids. We watched that new video on called "What should I do when I see pornography?" and that went great. His little brother M is soooo cute and a pretty flirtatious 4-year-old who can run faster than ANYBODY!!! Haha I am going to miss that sassy kid.

Tuesday we had Zone Conference, which was amazing. But so sad because all of the goals and new plans they have won't apply to me! I'm leaving before they actually implement any of the changes :( What a crummy feeling. The B's (Senior Couple) drove us to Montrose, which was nice. They finished their mission and flew home the next morning! They came out a day before I did and I've been serving around them since February. Our ride to take us home from Montrose didn't show, and didn't answer their phone.....turns out they fell asleep. Whoops! So we hung around for a couple hours and I got to give my Mission President a hard time.

Wednesday we had a bunch of set appointments in Olathe, and no way to get out there. I refused to bike 12 miles. I know, I'm a wimp. And actually it would have been about 16 miles to get out to our first appointment! No way. We called just about EVERYBODY in the ward, and no one could take us out there. Then we got really desperate and started calling people in Delta Ward, and a sweet young mom drove us out to Olathe. We tracted for about an hour and then another member picked us up and took us to our 3 appointments. She drove us around for 3 hours, and was SUCH an asset in our lessons! I love members. At about 4:40 the car people called and said our car was ready to be picked up :) Best phone call I've ever gotten.

Thursday morning we had exchanges with the Grand Junction Spanish Sisters. I got to go to GJ with Sister Y! We did service for a member and cleaned a couple huge aquarium fish tanks. Gross! Apparently they have these suction cleaner things that you have to use all of the strength in your arms to shove it into the rocks and twist it around to get all the gunk, while your arm is up to your shoulder in dirty fish tank water....Yeah, that was my job. Sister Y took a sponge and wiped down the inside of the tanks. I've decided I will never ever have an aquarium.

Friday morning we got up way too early to end our exchange so that Sister J and I could drive back to Delta before Personal Study. We had our weekly planning and then saw M!! She's doing so well. Unfortunately we had to push her date back because she hasn't been able to make it to church enough, but she is working so hard and reading her scriptures and praying and loving everything we teach her. We saw her on Saturday too but when we got there, she wasn't home. Her little cousins who were about 8 said that she was going to be right back .Then they saw her and started yelling, "M! The Mormons are here, the Mormons are here!!!" hahahaha it was so funny. Her 13-year-old cousin was riding his bike and she was hanging on to the back of it, hurrying home for our lesson. Too cute.

Friday night we had ANOTHER exchange, with the other GJ Sisters. I got to stay in Uncompahgre this time with Sister C. She is a new missionary but she's a rockstar! We had a great exchange, full of laughs. We started off telling jokes for the entire 45 minute car ride back from GJ. What do you call a cow that just gave birth? Decaffeinated. Get it? De-calf-enated? Bahahaha.

On Saturday we went out to the outskirts of Olathe to see a less-active. His turkeys were gobbling at us, so we gobbled right back. But then the big turkey got mad as we were getting into our car, and he ATTACKED THE CAR!!!!!!!!! He literally jumped up and scratched the back of it! I was SO MAD. Stupid turkey. Hopefully this doesn't mean 3 more days with no

Yesterday was the Primary Program at church, which was adorable! We had 4 investigators at church, and like 13 less actives!!! It was incredible. The kids did a great job and were soooo cute, as usual. We taught A after church, with her friend S. S has been sitting in on almost every lesson, and she doesn't say much, but you can tell that she's listening. After A gets baptized I think S will want to do the same.

This is my last week in the field! I can't believe how fast the time has flown. My mission means EVERYTHING to me and I'm going to miss it so incredibly much. I don't think it has fully sunk in that I'm actually leaving in 9 days. "At one time or another we’ve all heard some form of the familiar adage: 'Nothing is as constant as change.' . . . Time never stands still; it must steadily march on, and with the marching come the changes. . . . Let us relish life as we live it, find joy in the journey, and share our love with friends and family." (President Monson) I know that I have changed so much in the past 18 months, and so have each of you. I know that when I come home, more things will change. But those changes shape us and form us into the people that we need to be - strong, worthy sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father, prepared for all of life's challenges and ultimately prepared to return to His presence someday. It will all work out.

I love you all. Be good.
Sister Koenig

Monday, October 5, 2015

Happy October!

B came to General Conference Saturday morning and got an amazing Priesthood blessing afterward! He also told us that his drinking has been slowing way down since we started teaching him, especially recently. Sister J and I brought bread and pb&j and we made sandwiches for him and for the two men who gave him a blessing. It was fun.
M wasn't able to make it to conference, so we will have to push her baptismal date back a week and I'll miss it. :( She's SO prepared though! We taught her the Plan of Salvation and the Word of Wisdom this week and she is completely embracing everything. She loves the Book of Mormon and is so excited to be baptized.
Miracle: We went out and tried this less active woman in good ol Peach Valley. Turns out it was a part member family, and she has two kids ages 12 and 24 who know nothing about the church. We taught the mom and kids the Restoration and committed the kids to be baptized! They're really excited about it. They especially loved Joseph Smith's First Vision and the Spirit was very powerful as we talked about that and the Book of Mormon.
Conference was SO GOOD. It was such a delight to be enlightened by our amazing spiritual leaders. It was wonderful to be able to sustain the Prophet and Apostles, and especially to sustain 3 new apostles! The Lord is truly showing His love for us by giving us a prophet and allowing His restored gospel to be on the earth today. I know that the Priesthood power is back on the earth, and that through it we can come closer to Jesus Christ and be prepared to return to our Heavenly Father's presence. And I know that through it families can be together forever and can be HAPPY both in this life and in the next.

For the next 3 days we will not have a that will be fun! We're trying to arrange to have as many members as possible driving us around. Sister J took a picture of me as we were walking away from the auto body shop and leaving the Subaru behind. It was a sad moment.

Have a great week! I love you all lots!
Sister Koenig

Monday, September 28, 2015

September 28

My back is healed! I don't really know how that happened... I told Sister J one night that I was so sick of laying around doing nothing and I couldn't stand it anymore and that the next day I would be healed and we would work. She laughed. Then the next morning I woke up and I literally was better! And my huge bruises that were on my back were gone! Pretty amazing. I thought Sister J was going to have a heart attack because she was so shocked. 
M and B came to church, which was awesome. M loved it! She's still on date to be baptized on the 17th of October. We also had like 9 less-actives come to church. And we started teaching a man who was ex-communicated but wants to be baptized again and he's really excited about it. He was at church too :) 
A's date got changed to the 17th. We're seeing her tonight and teaching about the Plan of Salvation. She's such a cutie. I'll work harder this week at getting pictures to send home! We had exchanges on Friday to Saturday and I was with Sister D. I LOVE HER. We have way too much fun together. We met this lady named L who is totally the elect but doesn't know it. Our interaction with her actually started out with her saying "Yeah I'll take your survey but I already have my own church and I don't plan on you still want to talk?" And then we taught her all 5 lessons in one lesson....that was a first. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she committed to reading it. She had the most amazing questions, and I was learning so much from the Spirit as we were talking with her. I was telling Sister D later that I can always tell if a lesson is truly being guided by the Spirit if I learn something new while we're teaching. It's amazing. Anyway, L loved everything we were saying, but she is afraid to change. But at the same time she's totally open to's hard to explain. She's totally going to get baptized someday. Then Sister D and I ate a whole pizza together. Wow we're cool. 
Sister J and I have been working hard and seeing lots of cool miracles. I only have 3 weeks left on my mission and I want to go strong every minute of every day until the end. Please keep us in your prayers :) 

I love you all! 
Sister Koenig

Monday, September 21, 2015

One month left!!!

My back is still hurt, so we weren't able to work much this week. That was a huge bummer. But every lesson that we did have was INCREDIBLE!!!

I went on exchanges to Grand Junction on Wednesday and got to hang out with members all day while Sister D worked. That was a partayyy.

So on Friday I finally met M! She is AWESOME!!! She's 17, a senior in high school, and sooo sweet. We taught her about the Restoration and she is now on date to be baptized on October 17th, my last Saturday in the mission field! The lesson was incredible; one of the most spiritual lessons I've ever had. She said at the end, "How old do you have to be to do what you guys do?" (as in, to be a missionary). We told her you have to be 19, and she said "Aww darn, that's a long time away. Well, I still have a lot to learn though, so that's probably good." She also wants us to bring her study guides to help her with reading the Book of Mormon. She is so excited to go to church, and we have a church tour with her tomorrow! I LOVE HER.

B is also doing amazingly well. We had a couple lessons with him this week at a member's home and they were incredible. On Thursday our lesson was completely guided by the Spirit. I don't even really remember what we talked about, but it was GREAT. At the end he told us that he found his favorite scripture, D&C 18:10. Apparently he was watching prank videos on youtube one night, and then randomly clicked on a different video. He couldn't even remember what it was abohut, but at the end it showed that scripture, and he knew it was God trying to tell him something. Pretty cool.

A turned 9 yesterday, and she is getting baptized on October 3rd. She was supposed to be baptized this weekend, but they weren't able to make it to church yesterday and her date was pushed back. We're really excited for her baptism! It's gonna be great.

I only have a month left on my mission, which is freaking me out. I still have to figure out how I'm going to get myself to Denver, but I'm sure it'll work out! And then I'll come home and be a regular, boring person. No offense to all of you, but that's lame! Haha :)

I love you all and I hope you have a fantastic week! Be good!
-Sister Koenig

Monday, September 14, 2015

People, places and things.

This week was crazy! I hurt my back. That was the bad part. And we found some awesome people to teach!! That was the good part.

The first was M. She is a girl that Sister P taught on exchanges back in May or June. She was AWESOME and so solid - she had found and loved everything she read and wanted to be baptized and stuff. But then she went to Denver for the entire summer :(  Well Sister J found her again on exchanges a week and a half ago! She is finally back from Denver and really wants to meet and come to church. We haven't been able to teach her yet because she had a crazy schedule last week, but we will be seeing her tomorrow! And she texted us yesterday and said that she is going to buy clothes to wear to church next week. Super awesome.

B is doing great. He committed to living the Word of Wisdom starting on Saturday so that he can be baptized on the 26th! Keep him in your prayers!!! We are seeing him again tonight.

C is this cute 9 year old boy that we've been teaching for a while. He is getting baptized in November with his brother K. They have 5 boys in their family between the ages of 2 and 9, and it's a little crazy sometimes. It reminds me of my brothers a little bit.... Hi brothers! I love you!

We just started teaching A who is a sweet girl who turns 9 next Sunday and she is hoping to be baptized a week later! It's been hard to get into their home because of their crazy schedule/life, but we are seeing them tomorrow as well and only have to teach her a few more times before her baptism. The family came to church the last couple weeks which is great. They also brought a nonmember friend who is living with them named S who wants to start taking the lessons!

We got a referral from a member in Montrose for his friend in our area. His name is D and he's a cute little old man! He totally reminds me of the old man from the movie Up. He even has a dopey dog that looks just like the dog from the movie! And his wife passed away a couple years ago and he is still mourning over that. We asked him if he had ever read the Book of Mormon and he said no. I said "Why not?!" and he said "No one has ever offered me one!" Sister J said "We'd LOVE to give you a Book of Mormon!" and he said "That would be amazing. Thank you so much." We're going to see him tonight. :)

Despite my back being in bad shape, we ended up doing a lot of service this week. We had already committed to a couple projects and I felt bad backing out (lol see what I did there?) so I just toughened up. We helped set up for a wedding for a few hours on Thursday, we helped clean a shed on Friday, and I swept and dusted and vacuumed an entire house on Saturday. It was killer. But fun!

I'm seeing a doctor this week, so don't worry too much about me. I'm also going to Grand Junction for an exchange on Wednesday! Sister D is arranging for me to basically hang out with members all day while she goes out on splits with other members. Nice. I think I'm going to be hanging out with Sister R, one of my favorite people ever, for like 5 hours. I'm excited about that.

I love you all! Have a great week! I'll be home in 37 days!!!!

Sister Koenig

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

I'm Staying in Uncompahgre!!!

This is the last transfer of my mission. CRAZY!!! On Saturday night we got transfer calls and I found out that I am staying and will finish my mission, or "die," here in Uncompahgre. I'm pretty excited about it. This ward has become my home and my family and it will be really hard to say goodbye in 6 weeks!!

Last week we saw B. He's doing really well and is getting happier and happier every day. He told us that he had made it to being 3 days sober before he drank again. We were really proud of him, and committed him to go 5 days sober. As far as we know, he has done it! What a boss. We're seeing him tonight. He's still on track to be baptized on the 26th of this month :)

On Friday night we went on Exchanges and I went to the Grand Junction Spanish area with Hermana E. We had an amazing day full of miracles! I love when you just know that you were exactly where the Lord needed you, talking to the exact people who needed your help. It's a good feeling. It was also fun attempting to teach in Spanish! I'm definitely not a pro, but I enjoy it. We read the Book of Mormon with a less-active lady and I read in Spanish and I don't think I accidentally said any swear words or anything too crazy....hopefully! We also got to go to a hispanic wedding reception at the church which was super fun. Lots of good food, and some amazing karaoke lol.

Last night we were tracting on "Pleasant Valley Rd." It's right by "Friendship Rd" and "Peaceful Ln" haha. I love this weird place. We were walking and crossed paths with a mom and dad and their little daughter on a trike. We asked if they would take our survey, and they said they would as long as we walked with them. So we started walking, and found out that the husband is a Seventh Day Adventist Pastor. That's a new one! He was sooooo nice. And apparently he has studied our religion A LOT because he had all these questions and things that he brought up. It was really interesting. Apparently they believe in annihilationism, meaning that when they die they are just gone and don't exist until the Lord breathes the breath of life into them again and they are resurrected. And if you're wicked, you'll be resurrected but then burned right after that and you will cease to exist. That was a really sad thought to me. I know that my spirit existed before, and that it will continue to live on after my body is buried in the earth. I know that someday all of us will be resurrected and then judged according to our works and the desires of our heart, and we will be placed in a state in which we are most comfortable in to live for the rest of eternity. I know that all people have the chance to live with our loving Heavenly Father again, if we do the necessary things. And that gives me a lot of hope.

As we were walking with and talking to them, I started being attacked by mosquitoes. Have you ever seen Lilo and Stitch? You know the part where the alien is obsessed with mosquitoes and then one lands on him and he's excited but then suddenly they swarm him and completely cover his body and you can only see his eyes???? That's how I felt yesterday. After our weird little half hour walk, Sister J and I quickly went back to the car and I wanted to scream because of how itchy my legs were!! It was dark and I turned the car light on and looked and ohhh my goodness I looked diseased! There were over 50 bug bites on my ankles and lower calf. I have no idea why they loved that spot, but they really did! And of course, because I'm me, the bug bites started swelling and it was awful. I was afraid I was going to look like I had Elephantitis or something crazy! We went to a ward member's house and they gave me some calamine lotion. I love them :)

Also this week while we were on Exchanges, Sister J accidentally locked the keys in our car and there was some damage done to it while she tried to get back in. So this week we are going to get it fixed, and we will possibly be without a car for like 4 or 5 days. Oh dear. I'm glad we have bikes......

Since yesterday was Labor Day we're emailing today. That was my last holiday on my mission. I'm starting to have a lot of "lasts" and it's freaking me out! But I'm excited to work really really hard here for the next 6 weeks and to see amazing miracles.

I love you all! Have a great week!
Sister Koenig