Monday, December 29, 2014

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!!!

Christmas was wonderful!!!!! The best one I've had yet. I truly came to understand and know the true meaning of Christmas, which is our Savior Jesus Christ. I love Him and I am sooo eternally grateful for what He has done for me and what He continues to do for me each day!!!

I am also grateful to be on my mission, helping others to come to know Him better as well. I am staying in this area for another transfer, and I am very excited about it. I don't know who my new companion will be, but I will find out tomorrow when I meet her!!! But I can already tell you that I know she'll be amazing because all of God's children are amazing :)

The people here truly made this Christmas special as well. All the members are so kind to us and they have done so much for us!! GJ7th will always hold a big place in my heart. My companion, Sister Keavali, is getting transferred tomorrow - she's been here for 9 months!!! How crazy is that?? That's literally half her mission in one ward, and I don't think she would change it for a thing. She and I have already planned out when we are going to be coming back here and visiting haha. We gotta come back when the G family goes through the temple, of course!! :D :D We are pretty excited.
On Tuesday night my Zone went caroling!!! It was great. We saw different companionship's investigators and drove around and sang and it was a blast. And I met a goat!!! He was super sweet. I've decided now that I want a pet goat.

Me and my goat friend!

We had dinner with the G family on Christmas Eve, and I got to Skype my family from there!!! It seemed like just a few weeks ago that I was Skyping them on Mother's Day and thinking that Christmas was an eternity away. How strange. Have I mentioned lately how much I love the G family???? Because I just love em a lot.

Christmas Skype!




On Christmas Day we got to go to one of my favorite houses - the H home!!! They feed us every Friday night. I ADORE Sister H. She is sooooo sweet to us and I don't know what I would do without her!!! I got to Skype the Mitchells from there and that was great too. It was weird not being home for Christmas, but at the same time it feels like Colorado has become my home and I can't imagine not spending the Holidays here!!!!!!

Sister Keavali tried to Skype on Christmas day buuuut it didn't work!!! Dang Fiji....so we had to try again on the 26th. It worked, and I got to meet her family and they were all speaking in Fijian and I had no idea what they were saying but it was GREAT. And we got to sing to them in Fijian which was a blast!!! And then at church yesterday, Sister Keavali and the Elders and I sang "If the Savior Stood Beside Me" and Sister Keavali and I sang a verse in Fijian. I'm basically fluent, tbh.

Thank you all for the support you've given me for the past 8 months, and for the continued support you will give me for these next 10 months!!! I can't believe I've almost hit my halfway mark, it just is unreal. Time is so short and we really can't afford to waste a second!!! This year I challenge all of you to take some time to assess how you can make the most of this short time you have on this earth. It really is so quick, but it determines how you will spend the rest of eternity. No pressure!!! Haha :D But really just decide if the things you are doing are bad, or good, or the BEST things you could be doing. Always choose the best!!!

Sister Missionary Fun

I hope you all had an amazing Christmas and that you continue to remember the Savior each day in your life. I love you all!!!!

Sister Koenig

Monday, December 22, 2014

Sorry I haven't written in so long!!!!! and MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THIS WAS AN AMAZING WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brother G got baptized. IT ACTUALLY HAPPENED. It was incredible!!! There were like 100 people there and the room was packed, plus there were probably thousands of angels present as well because the Spirit was SO STRONG. Sister Keavali and I got to bear our testimonies right before he got baptized and it was just an incredible experience. Brother G's father-in-law baptized him and got him all the way under the first try! Woot woot! And Brother G smacked his head against the wall of the font on the way down....lol. I think that was God giving him one last smack for being so stubborn all these years haha. He has been going to church for 14 years for goodness sake!!! Half the members said "Wait, he's not a member??" when we told them that he was getting baptized :P

So excited!

One of my favorite parts of the baptism though is just how much everyone talked about the temple, and how that is the ultimate goal. I just hope and pray that the G family will feel the Spirit working in their lives this next year to help them make it to the temple as a family, where they can be sealed together for time and all eternity. I am totally going to be here for that, no matter what it takes!!! And I know it will be even more amazing than his baptism.

Next Step: The Temple!

On Friday, we wanted to call Brother G and just let him know how excited and happy we were for the next day. So we decided to write a song for him. Here it is (This is to the tune of "O Christmas Tree"):

Oh Brother G, Oh Brother G, Tomorrow is your baptism!
Oh Brother G, Oh Brother G, We're so excited for your baptism!!!
It is tomorrow at 2, we will be there and so will you!
Oh Brother G, Oh Brother G, Heavenly Father's proud of you!!!!!

Haha isn't that great? We left him a voicemail. Goooood times.

Seriously the best day!

Also this week we have been able to teach about the Savior and His birth and life sooo much!!! Every time we teach members we teach about the Christmas story or watch "He is the Gift" or do a live nativity with them. And every time we talk to people on the street, we talk about the true meaning of Christmas and watch "He is the Gift" with them. It has been an incredible experience for me to truly remember and treasure the true purpose of not only this season, but of life, which is love, hope, peace, joy....all the things that the Savior made possible for us. I love Him so much and I am so eternally grateful for what He has done for us!!! This is the best Christmas I have ever had because I just feel so connected to the Savior and to all those around me. The people here are truly my family and my home away from home. I love all these people, and I love them even more when I get to share the gospel with them.

One thing that I said at the baptism during my testimony was that the true gift of Christmas is the Savior. And what better gift to give back to the Savior than yourself? That is exactly what Brother G did on Saturday - he made sacred covenants with his Heavenly Father that he would follow the Savior, keep His commandments, and always remember Him. Many of you have made those same covenants - so what are you doing this year to more fully follow the Savior and embrace the Gift??

Last night was the Stake Christmas Concert!!! It was phenomenal. A bunch of different people volunteered to perform with their different musical talents. They had a harp, and a trumpet and a violin and singers...it was cool. In between every musical number, the congregation sang hymns together. They had the missionaries all go up and sing The First Noel, which was fun. Also yesterday was the Christmas program for Sacrament meeting, and we didn't have a choir but we had a narrator and then the whole congregation sang together. So there was LOTS of Christmas singing yesterday. I loved it :)

Merry Christmas!!!

This week is Christmas!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you believe it??? I can't. I feel like I was just celebrating Easter in the MTC!!!! When I first started my mission, it seemed like Christmas was an eternity away and now it's here haha. How did that even happen.

Transfers are also coming up on the 30th!!! Sister Keavali and I have been together for almost 4 months!!! That's crazy. She is for sure being transferred and I should be staying. BUT, we are moving!!! Although I don't know where. Hopefully we find out quickly....that's not stressful at all lol.

I hope you all have the most incredible Christmas EVER!!!!!!!! Thank you for all the support and love you give me, I truly appreciate every one of you!!!!

Love,
Sister Koenig

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

It's Almost Christmas!!!

Things are good here. On Thursday we had to bring our car into the dealership because it had a bunch of issues and was ridiculous. It was there from 7:30am to 6pm!! We had to walk all day. It was pretty awful haha. I got blisters on my blisters. I understand now why God sent me state-side....I'm a big whiny baby.

We got to do some fun service this week on Saturday - we wrapped presents for the R family, and decorated the Relief Society president’s house for Christmas!! I LOVE CHRISTMAS SO MUCH. Everyone needs to watch Share The Gift and the First Presidency Christmas Devotional!

 Merry Christmas!

Last Monday after p-day was over, we went to a recent convert's house. She is getting married this week on Saturday. Anyway, we saw her on Monday and her future mother-in-law is deaf! And a member. She just moved into this ward. I was able to sign with her a bit - just conversational sign - and she was so excited. Man my sign language is awful though. I haven't signed since I was 17!!! Oy vey. It was fun though. And then she got all excited because since I sign, that would mean she could go to Relief Society. She didn't have an interpreter so she never went, but she was like "Oh you can interpret for me!" and I was like "haha no I can't!!!" buuuuuut she made me anyway..... She's this funny 76-year-old lady and she wouldn't take no for an answer.....So I had to interpret during Relief Society. I have never interpreted before and I think I did an awful job but I learned a lot from her!!! Anyway, I will be learning a lot for the next few weeks while I'm still in this area because I'm going to basically get a one-on-one tutoring session from her each Sunday!!

Today we went to Cafe Rio for lunch. There were these men in white shirts and slacks signing to this other guy. I was glancing at them and one guy with a white shirt looked at me and said "Can I help you guys with something?" (in a mostly nice way) and I said "Oh sorry, I was just zoning out." and then he was like "Wait, can you sign?" and I said "Yeah, kinda" so we started signing and talking and I found out he was a Jehovah’s Witness! Anyway, I talked to him for the next hour about their Bible and the differences between that and King James and it was kind of ridiculous. But interesting. He was the nicest Jehovah’s Witness I have ever met, and he even knew I was Mormon and a missionary and he was still super nice to me! Of course he invited me to learn more about JWs, and gave me his card, but I immediately did the same to him haha. Good times.

We have so much fun!

On Saturday night we were driving around trying names on the part-member family list. There was one name that we didn't recognize, so we decided to try them. We got to the house and realized that it was the house of an older inactive lady that we've seen before. We decided that we might as well try her anyway since we were there. She's single though and the name that was on the PMF list didn't live at that house. So we knock, and ring the door bell - twice. She didn't answer, but she usually is slow getting to the door, and I thought I heard a faint "come in" so I decided to open the door tentatively. We said "Sister D? It's the Sister Missionaries, are you home?" and she said "Yes, I'm over here!" We went in and she was sprawled out on the floor in her kitchen!!! She had fallen just before we got there!! I was TERRIFIED. She is like 86 and not healthy and oh man I was freaking out thinking that she had broken something. We helped her out and got her into bed and she swears that she is alright. She was able to stand up and walk though, and we had some members check on her the next day and she was fine, so I think she's ok... but it was scary. And definitely the Lord working in mysterious ways to get us there! The name that was on the PMF list is apparently her daughter's name, but her daughter hasn't lived there in years. Weird weird weird.

We had a photo shoot with some of the other sisters in our area :)

I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH AND I HOPE YOU HAVE THE BEST WEEK EVER!!!!!!!!!

Love,
Sister Koenig

Monday, November 24, 2014

Live in Thanksgiving Daily!!!!

Oh my goodness everyone what a week. What a mission, really. God is so wonderful.

Last night we saw the G’s. Brother G was supposed to be baptized on December 6, but yesterday at church his daughter told us that he was still drinking coffee and he had to quit at least 2 weeks before his date. We were super discouraged.

In Sacrament meeting one of the speakers from the High Council spoke about Elder Oaks' talk from conference and told this story from it:
"At a stake conference in the Midwest about 10 years ago, I met a sister who told me that her nonmember husband had been accompanying her to church for 12 years but had never joined the Church. What should she do? she asked. I counseled her to keep doing all the right things and to be patient and kind with her husband. About a month later she wrote me as follows: “Well, I thought that the 12 years was a good show of patience, but I didn’t know if I was being very kind about it. So, I practiced real hard for over a month, and he got baptized.” Kindness is powerful, especially in a family setting. Her letter continued, “I am even trying to be kinder now because we are working on a temple sealing this year!” Six years later she wrote me another letter: “My husband was [just] called and set apart as the bishop [of our ward].”

Sister Keavali and I had a view of the G’s from where we were sitting and Brother and Sister G kept whispering to each other and it was so funny. We texted Sister G and said "'Kindness is powerful!'" haha. It was perfect timing on that talk though.

That night, President L from the Stake Presidency came with us to the lesson, and it was ah-MAY-zing!!!!!!!!! Oh my goodness. I don't know what the heck happened, but angels were definitely involved. We had fasted that day, and we had asked like 5 members to fast with us as well. We were fasting for Brother G to be able to give up coffee and chewing tobacco, and also for him to pray out loud. He has never done that.

President L just started right in and started asking all these truly inspired questions. It was incredible. And Brother G was actually answering them!! He usually just says "I don't know." But he was giving good answers and really verbalizing his concerns and stuff. It was amazing!!!!!!! And then Pres L asked him about his baptism on the 6th and Bro G said it was too soon. So then Pres L asked him to pick his own date and he decided that he will give up coffee and tobacco this next Sunday, and he'll be baptized on the 20th of December!!!!!!!!!! HE PICKED HIS OWN DATE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't think you can realize how huge of a miracle that is unless you know him haha. This man has been going to church for 14 years, he's married to a super active and wonderful member, and all of his 10 kids are members. But he's never ever committed before. EVER. And now he is picking his own date, and actually admitting that he WANTS to get baptized, and he was telling us how much he appreciates everything we do, and admitting that he loves Sister Keavali and me! It was so sweet. We cried haha.

Then I asked him if he had prayed about being baptized yet. He said he had once. He has never prayed out loud before, and that one time he prayed was just in his head. So President L asked him if he would pray out loud with us. Brother G said "I don't know." and President L said "Well that's not a no! Let's do it!" and we all kneeled and went around and each of us said a prayer. Pres L said the first one. Then BROTHER G PRAYED OUT LOUD FOR THE FIRST TIME IN HIS LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!! His wife has never even heard him pray. And it was a powerful prayer. And a funny one - he said "I'm grateful for these Sisters who are as stubborn as I am and don't put up with my crap." hahaha oh man.

So keep him and his family in your prayers, please. He is so ready, and this truly is his time, and the Lord is with him. I called President Murdock (my Mission President) this morning and told him all of that and he said "Man! You could do nothing for the rest of your mission and you would still have accomplished more than enough." and I said "I know! But I'm totally not going to do that!!" haha Oh President. Oh and he's going to come out for the baptism, which is in 26 days!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!! I LOVE THE LORD AND I LOVE THE GOSPEL AND I LOVE THE G’s!

Anyway, nothing else really matters because that is just so fantastic. But yeah we did a bunch of stuff this week and taught many other wonderful people and found some new investigators and it's great. Oh we just started teaching this 82-year-old woman, W, who we have already invited to be baptized and she said yes! So that's pretty great too. We are going to see her tomorrow. We left her with a Book of Mormon yesterday and she promised to read it. :)

As much as I miss home, I wouldn't give up these experiences for anything. Being a missionary is the best thing I have ever done.

Thanksgiving is in a few days and I just want to express my sincere gratitude for all of you. I love you all so much and I truly appreciate your support. I am also thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ, and for His Atonement. I am grateful for my Heavenly Father, who is the best Father I ever could have asked for. I'm grateful for the many wonderful people I have met here in Colorado, and for all the wonderful people I have met throughout my life who have shaped me into the person I am today. I am thankful for the Book of Mormon and for the Bible, and for all the people (both prophets of old and prophets today and other honorable men and women) who made it possible for us to have these sacred texts. I am thankful for the Restored gospel on the earth today, with the proper priesthood authority to perform saving ordinances such as baptism. I am just so thankful for all the things that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ do for me, and for each of us here on this earth. I could go on and on. I love you all and I hope you have a wonderful holiday season, and that you take a moment to think about all of the wonderful blessings you have received.

Love,
Sister Koenig

Here are some scriptures I really like this week:





Monday, November 17, 2014

I'm Staying in GJ7th with Sister Keavali with the BEST MEMBERS EVER!!!!

Yeah we got transfer news on Saturday, and nothing is changing. Woot woot! That means I get to spend Thanksgiving and Christmas here :) YAY!

Staying together for the holidays!

The work is going well. We did a lot of finding this week and we found a great family that has a lot of potential. There wasn't anything too exciting this week though, sorry! Sister Keavali and I heart-attacked the G family this week. That was fun :)

On Thursday we had a really awesome last District Meeting of the transfer. Our District Leader asked everyone in advance what their favorite snack was, and then he bought it for all of us. But he didn't give it to us right away - he said we had to earn it. In order to earn mine, I had to sing everything - I wasn't allowed to talk - for 2 hours! Sister Keavali earned hers by sitting in a little kid chair in the corner, facing the wall haha. Another missionary had to speak in Spanish the whole time, and even do a training like that, and another spoke in a British accent, and another had to stand on one leg the whole time, and another had to pinch his nose every time he spoke, and another had to whisper everything she said. It was great. And then we took gangsta pics. We're the coolest district ever, I know.

Our gangsta district!

How we actually all look :)

It's been reeeeally cold lately and I'm kind of freezing all the time. It's fantastic. This morning I showered and then went outside to feed the chickens and turkeys for the people we live with. BY THE WAY, they are THE BEST PEOPLE EVER!!!!!!! I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!!!! HI MOMMA ALLISON, THIS IS YOUR SHOUTOUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D Anyway, I was wearing flip flops and a knee-length skirt and a half-sleeve light sweater. It was probably 17 degrees....yeah. Poor outfit choice, I know. I was out there for like 10 minutes and I went up to run my fingers through my hair and MY HAIR WAS FROZEN!!!!!!!!!! That's when you know it is truly cold outside. Eek.

On Friday night we went to a baptism for a lady in the neighboring ward. She is 94 years old, and she's just now getting baptized!!!!!! It was soooo cool. Her son used to be a Bishop in that ward, and she has been going for a long time, but just never got baptized. I guess she has another son in Denver who is a Baptist preacher or something...I don't know. Anyway, the Sisters in that ward went over to her house one time and said "Grandma Ruth, what do you have against being baptized?" and she said "Nothing" and they said "Well, will you be baptized then?" and she said "Sure." haha oh man I hope and pray to have experiences like that. Then they said "Grandma Ruth, how long have you known that the Church was true?" and she turned to her son (the former Bishop) and said "How long ago did you move to Denver?" and he said "26 years ago....." and she said "Yeah, since then." Hahahaha oh goodness. Anyway, now she's been baptized and confirmed, and in a year she can go through the temple, and then she can die and start her next journey!!!

Oh hey, btw, mail is always appreciated....hint hint, nudge nudge..... Here are some tips!
https://www.lds.org/new-era/1973/06/letters-clippings-candy-what-to-send-to-a-missionary?lang=eng
https://www.lds.org/new-era/2007/03/missionary-mail?lang=eng

I love you all! Have the best week of your life!

Love,
Sister Koenig

Monday, November 10, 2014

Another soul has come unto Christ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Josh got baptized on Saturday, and it was amazing!!!!!!!! The whole day was seriously wonderful.

His grandpa, Brother R, who wasn't active his whole life and knew basically nothing about the church but who is just coming back to the church, baptized him! It was actually a really amazing day for the family. Brother and Sister R got to go to the temple for the first time (the Monticello temple! It's beautiful!) and they did baptisms for the dead (if you don't know what that means, go here: http://www.mormon.org/faq/baptism-for-the-dead And don't worry - we don't baptize dead bodies. That's weird).

The Monticello temple

Brother R was baptized in behalf of his father, his grandfather, and his wife's grandfather. Sister R was baptized in behalf of her grandmother and Brother R's grandmother. It was very cool :D Sadly, Sister Keavali and I couldn't go because the Monticello temple is out of our mission.

But then that night, Brother R got to baptize his grandson, so it was quite a few generations in that family that got baptized on Saturday!!!! And the Spirit was so strong. Josh's twin sisters and I sang a song at the baptism. They are SO ADORABLE haha. I love them with all my heart!

Brother R is REALLY tall and Josh is pretty short, so the baptismal font wasn't filled up very high. Unfortunately, what ended up happening was that Josh's left hand (which was holding on to Brother R's arm) didn't go under the water. You have to be completely immersed for the baptism to be valid, soooo Josh had to be baptized again. And again, the same thing happened....poor kid! So he was baptized a third time!

Josh's Baptism - their family and Sister Keavali and me!

On Sunday, Josh was confirmed as a member of the one true church on the face of this earth!!! How incredible is that?!?! He has opened the gate that leads to the path, and now he gets to walk on it toward eternal life :) It's so cool. AH I just love the gospel, and I am so grateful for the Priesthood.

Love this kid!

OH, and on Sunday, Brother R passed the sacrament for the first time! He just got the Aaronic Priesthood a few weeks ago and he is passing the sacrament and he's already baptized somebody! I think that's pretty dang neat.

I just want to bear my testimony that the gospel is SO TRUE! I know that with all my heart. Temples really are the house of the Lord, and the Spirit can be felt so strongly there. When the R’s came back from the temple, they were soooo giddy and just truly happy. Brother R couldn't even stand still - he was bouncing around with joy. It was adorable. He said he was "Blissed out" haha. I also know that families can be, and are meant to be, together forever! And that can only happen through the proper Priesthood authority in the house of the Lord. I love this gospel and most importantly I love love love my Savior who made it possible for us to return to live with Him and with our Father if we just have faith in Him, and repent, be baptized, receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end!


I love you all! Have the best week of your life!

Love,
Sister Koenig

Monday, November 3, 2014

WE'RE HAVING A BAPTISM!!!

Josh is getting baptized on Saturday!!!!!!!!!! I CAN'T WAIT! This week we went to E's baptism. She's 8, and active but we've been teaching her just because her parents wanted us to. She knows everything though! Anyway, we went to her baptism on Saturday and Sister Keavali and I sang Savior, Redeemer of My Soul which was nice. And Josh came!

Showing the girls the font :)

AAANNDDDD Greg agreed to be baptized on December 6th! God is REAL, you guys!!! This man has been going to church every week for 9 years and has FINALLY agreed to be baptized! It's so amazing!

I really don't have time to write much today and I'm so sorry about that. But I love your individual emails and letters. You are all wonderful sons and daughters of Heavenly Parents who absolutely adore you and want the very best things for you. And I love you all so much too, as your crazy sister! AH!!! Remember how much you are loved, and how much you are cared for. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ know EVERY LITTLE DETAIL of your life, and they STILL love you! That's a miracle right there hahaha. Just kidding ;)

I love teaching these kids!

I was reading in Moroni 6 and 7 this morning (which all of you should read by the way) and I LOVED verse 8 in chapter 6. It says, "But as oft as they repented and sought forgiveness, with real intent, they were forgiven." The Savior wants to forgive you. He wants to help you to become better each day. But you have to do some work and put forth some effort. But if you're willing to put forth that effort and repent, He WILL forgive you.

I love you all and I hope you have the best week ever!!!!! BE GOOD!!!!! And please pray for Josh and Greg and all of our other investigators!! Thanks!


Love,
Sister Koenig


Monday, October 27, 2014

I'm still alive!

I haven't written a mass email in like two weeks and that is such a fail and I'm so sorry! I'm repenting though!!!

The last few weeks have been great. We are teaching some amazing families right now.
There is one in particular that I just adore. The grandpa and grandma are members, but they never really went to church growing up and knew basically nothing about the church until some Sister Missionaries came by their house 6 months ago. Now they're coming back to church and they love it and they're learning so much and embracing the gospel wholeheartedly!!! It's fantastic. And the grandpa got the Aaronic Priesthood yesterday!!!! Then they have these 3 grandkids, a 13 year old boy and twin 7 year old girls, who I love dearly. They spend the night at the grandparent's house every Saturday night so that they can come to church on Sunday! And they go there every Monday night for FHE! It's actually so adorable - The grandparents were watching general conference at the beginning of the month and one of the speakers said that you need to do four things - 1) Family scripture, 2) Family prayer, 3) Attend the temple often, and 4) Have Family Home Evening. The next time we went to their house after conference, they said "What's family home evening?" so we said "Oh! We'll show you!!!" and we've been doing it with them every Monday night since. It's fantastic.

Last Monday we went to another member's house with this family for a big combined FHE. It was sooooo good. The members we went to have an 8 year old and a 5 year old and all the girls were just playing and laughing and having a wonderful time which was exactly what the twins needed. They're a little shy sometimes, but they totally hit it off with those girls. I love when that happens. :)

Great times at FHE!

Last week on Sunday we had a special Stake Conference. I LOVED IT!!! It was a broadcast from Salt Lake for like 70 Stakes in this area of the US? Something like that. I don't know. But Elder Bednar and Elder Scott and Sister Esplin and Elder Christensen spoke. The main themes were prayer and hastening the work, so of course I loved it! They spoke about how members and missionaries really need to come together, and that members are supposed to be the full-time finders and missionaries are supposed to be the full-time teachers, and how missionaries are supposed to assist the members, not members assisting the missionaries. They really just laid it all out haha. I think some of the members felt sufficiently chastised because they were all coming up to us afterward and asking us when they could come to lessons with us :P YAY! I love that.
The Stake President here has a goal to get 15 lessons with members each week per companionship. That's a big goal!!! Most missionaries in the Stake don't even get 15 total lessons a week, so everyone has to really step it up to make it happen. The first week that we were striving for that goal, we hit 9 member presents!!! It was awesome. We've never gotten that many, and we really did work hard for it.

That night after Stake Conference we went to a member's home for dinner and we asked them what they liked about conference and the wife said "Oh I don't really know, I was having trouble not falling asleep." and I was like WHAT! How?!?! It was soooo good. But then she said "They're always talking about hastening the work, hastening the work. That's all we hear about these days!" and her husband chimed in and said "Yeah, they keep talking about it, but no one is doing it!" hahaha sooo yeah maybe if everyone stepped it up a bit they would talk about it less :P Myself included! One thing Elder Bednar said was that this is the Lord's work, and He does the hastening. Are we willing to keep up with the Lord's pace, or are we going to insist on continuing as we are and doing what we've always done and staying with what is comfortable? That pierced my very soul. My Mission President's wife always says that the best missionaries are the ones who are willing to do what no other missionary has done before. I love that. And just because you have never done something before, or no one you know has done it, does not mean that you CAN'T do it. You can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth you (Philippians 4:13), and Christ hath said: If ye will have faith in me, ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me (Moroni 7:33)!!!!!!!!!! With Christ, you have the power to do anything He needs you to do. That's a pretty amazing promise. Do we truly believe it though? Or are we afraid that we might fail? Don't ever let the fear of failure keep you from trying!!

It has been sooo hot here, like in the 80s every day. Yuck! I think winter is finally coming though. Woot woot! Time to break out the winter clothes :) Poor Sister Keavali is from Fiji and if it gets below 60 she freezes. She's going to have a hard time.

This week we have Sister's Conference AND Zone Conference, so it's going to be a very spiritually uplifting week! I can't wait!

Today I want to bear my testimony on the Book of Mormon. If you don't have one, you NEED to get a copy and you NEED to read it!!! That book will change your life if you let it. Whether you are a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints or not, you need to read it!
The Book of Mormon is either true or it is not. It was either translated by Joseph Smith by the power of God or he made the book up from his own imagination. That makes Joseph Smith either a pretender or a prophet. And the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is either true or it is not. There is no in-between; no half-truths. God didn't allow for that because then people would only half-believe. But it IS true, and it IS wonderful, and I know it has changed my life and can change yours as well. The beauty of the Book of Mormon is that it is a book with a promise - that if you sincerely read and pray about it, with real intent and a willingness to act on any answer you receive, you WILL get an answer and you WILL know that it is true, by the power of the Holy Ghost!
I have been so blessed to have the Book of Mormon in my life, and to have the presence of the Spirit as a constant companion as long as I am worthy of it. And each of you can have that as well! This Gospel is so true. Jesus Christ really is your Savior and He LOVES you! You are a precious daughter or son of God and YOU ARE IMPORTANT. They wa

nt you to succeed. They don't want you to just endure this life, but to ENJOY it! So they have given us so many gifts and resources to make our lives enjoyable. Prayer, the Book of Mormon and the Bible, family, friends, church - so many things!
Yesterday is Relief Society the lesson was on gratitude and I could go on and on and on about all the things I am grateful for. Heavenly Father has done so much for me, more than I could ever deserve.

I encourage all of you to pray sincerely this week. To really take the time to have a conversation with your loving Father in Heaven. He doesn't care if your feelings are clumsily expressed - just talk to Him! Recognize that He is near and He is listening. "Prayer is your key to personal revelation. The lock is on your side of the veil." (President Boyd K. Packer, https://www.lds.org/liahona/1997/06/personal-revelation-the-gift-the-test-and-the-promise?lang=eng)

Love you!

I love you all! I hope you have a fabulous week and that you feel God's love for you and the Savior's grace and mercy in your life! Find opportunities to strengthen your own testimonies and to strengthen others'. That is how you will find the most joy in your life.

Love,
Sister Koenig

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Meet The Mormons!!!

This past week all of the missionaries in my mission got to watch Meet the Mormons! It was fantastic!!! We watched it at various Stake Centers throughout the mission. Somehow my Mission President had a copy of it....he has all sorts of connections, I swear. But YOU ALL NEED TO WATCH IT!!!!!!!!

If you go to meetthemormons.com, you can find out if it is playing near you. If it's not, you can request for it to come to your area, and then if 800 people request it in your area, it will come! And then you can watch it in the theaters with a friend!!! It's totally and completely worth it. Scout's honor. (It’s playing through Thursday at Alderwood 7, and in Redmond and Seattle.)

I hope you're all doing well. Things are great here in the field. We are working with some awesome families and we're going to baptize some fantastic children of God within the next month!!! I am so excited.

Me being excited!

We had a pretty awesome miracle last Monday night - we went to a family's house (they're an older couple, they were both born into the church but never really went, and they knew basically nothing about Mormons. But the Sisters knocked on their door 6 months ago and have been teaching them ever since and they're becoming reactivated now and they're awesome and I feel like I'm supposed to be here for their family. I love them so much!) to do an FHE. They've never done one before and they didn't even know like what it was, but they heard at conference that they're supposed to do the 4 things - family prayer, family scripture, temple, and family home evening. They're working toward going to the temple, and they wanted to do FHE, so we told them we would come and do one with them!!!! We also told them to invite their grandkids. Every Saturday night their twin granddaughters (they're 7 and adorable) spend the night so that they can come to church with them on Sunday. The twin's mom isn't a member (that’s their daughter), but she seems supportive enough, and really nice! Anyway, we told them to invite the grandkids and they were like ok! So Monday night we went over there, and the twins were there and also the twin's older brother who is 13!!! He was so nice, and they were all excited about FHE. We sang songs (well, more like stumbled through songs, since they don't know any church songs haha) and prayed and then Brother R (the grandpa) taught the lesson. He was so nervous because he has never done anything like that before. But he pulled out his gospel principles book and says "Ok, today we're going to talk about baptism." IT WAS SO AWESOME. By the end of the lesson, all 3 kids wanted to be baptized sooo badly and we put the 13 year old on date for November 1!! And we invited him to church. And guess what - HE CAME!!!! And so did his mom and his sisters!!! It was literally the best news. My heart was filled with joy.  We actually had 5 investigators to church, and our zone combined had 10 at church....so we contributed half of that. WOOT WOOT.

We had exchanges last week!

I hope you're all reading the Book of Mormon and learning from it each day and loving it. It truly is the best book.

I love you all soooooo much!!!!!!
Sister Koenig

Happy Fijian Independence Day - October 10th!

Monday, October 6, 2014

I'M STAYING IN GRAND JUNCTION!!!!!!!!!

We got transfer calls on Saturday night and Sister Keavali and I are both staying put!!! YAYY!!!! Such a relief.

This past week was tough because I was really sick from Monday until like Thursday!! All I wanted to do was cry and sleep. Poor Sister Keavali had to sit at home and be bored. Having a sick companion is kind of the worst thing because there is nothing you can do except sit at home twiddling your thumbs and reading the Book of Mormon. She's so patient though. I love that woman.

General Conference was fabulous. I LOVED EVERY SESSION SO MUCH!!!!!! Oh my goodness I took so many notes and I just absolutely loved everything that was said. It was pretty much perfect. I don't know if it's because I'm a missionary or what, but I think that conference was especially good. I can't wait for the November Ensign to come out so I can study the talks more in depth!!!  If anyone is interested, you can watch all of the sessions online already! The written articles will be online soon too!

  At Conference: Sisters Seru, Rodriguez, Keavali, Koenig, Lara, and Turner

One of my favorite speakers was Elder Jorg Klebingat. He talked SO FAST, but man that guy is like a young Jeffrey R. Holland! One thing he said was, "Acknowledge and face your weaknesses, but don't be immobilized by them, because some of them will be your companions until you depart this earth life." I was thinking about how true that is and it reminded me of the scripture in Ether 12:27 that talks about why God gives us weaknesses, and how if we humble ourselves and have faith in Him, He will make our weak things become strong. But sometimes the actual weakness doesn't go away, we just deal with it so much better! Let me just tell you, I have SO MANY WEAKNESSES. It's kind of painful to think about. But I know that I have learned so much about myself as I have tried to conquer those weaknesses and make them my strengths. Sometimes it's easier to give up, or to be immobilized by a weakness. But does the easier path make us the best that we can be? No!

Richard G. Scott said that our purpose on this earth is to be tried and tested and STRETCHED. How are we meant to be stretched if we don't have any challenges? How are we meant to grow if we don't have any weaknesses to overcome? I kind of think of it like a weightlifter. If they lifted 5 pound weights every day, it wouldn't do much. But as they lift heavier and heavier weights, their muscles have tiny microscopic tears that eventually heal, and that is what makes the muscles bigger and stronger. We have to have those "tears" in our lives sometimes so that we can heal and be stronger! And those tears come from having weaknesses, and having challenges, and then overcoming them and never letting them stop us. Yes, those tears might make us sore, just like they do for a weightlifter, but the results are so worth it in the end. I hope this makes sense.

I'm trying to finish the Book of Mormon in a transfer (which is 6 weeks). The transfer ends tomorrow, and I'm on page 435 out of 531....awkward. I can do it! I've read SO MUCH in the last week haha. This morning I was reading probably one of the best parts of the Book of Mormon - 3 Nephi, when Christ comes to the Americas after His resurrection. I underlined each time it said baptism or any variation of the word, and it's kind of insane. Baptism and repentance - and you can't have one without the other. The Savior's atonement is just waiting for us to use it. He took upon Himself all of our sins and everything, so that if we have faith in Him and repent and are baptized, we can be clean. But the atonement doesn't work for us if we sit on our butts and do nothing! Like I said, we have to WORK and stretch and grow. We can't lift 5 pound weights every day, or less, we have to do more! The gospel of Jesus Christ is about action. He wants us to be baptized because it is an action of showing that we want to follow Him. And then after we are baptized, we have to keep acting. Repentance is a continual process - that is why we partake of the sacrament each week. And growing and learning and becoming are all necessary in this life! This life is the time to prepare to meet God. Like Elder Klebingat said on Saturday, "How would you feel if you were told you would see God in one minute?" AHHHH!!! Scary, right?? There is an 84 year old woman in the 9th Ward who was baptized on Saturday. She has known the church is true for quite some time, but fear and other things have kept her from being baptized. However, she finally chose to act on her faith and show her willingness to follow the Savior's perfect example. After she got out of the font, someone said "Well, she's ready to go Home now!" Think how proud Heavenly Father will be of her when He sees her again. Ah I just love it.

This gospel is true, and baptism by the proper Priesthood authority of God is the only way that we can access the Savior's atonement. Which, by the way, we all totally need because we are so full of weaknesses that it is ridiculous. But I love that about us. Satan, however, also loves our weaknesses because he likes to pick at them and make us very self-conscious about them. Don't let satan win. He will lie to you to stop you from reaching your potential, but the beauty of it is, you have agency and you don't have to listen. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ will never lie to you, and they will never lead you astray. And they have commanded us to do certain things, like being baptized, because they know the full picture and they understand everything so much more fully than we ever could. And they love us, so they want us to be safe and happy.

I testify to all of you that this gospel is a gospel of safety and happiness and peace. And it is a gospel of truth.  I know it is true, and I know it will fill you with joy that you have never before experienced, if you will let it. When the Savior came to the Americas, God announced Him saying "Behold my Beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." I want God to say that about me!!! And I want Him to say it about all of you. You are all His sons and daughters and HE LOVES YOU SO MUCH. I can not express that enough. But it is true. The Savior said "Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are all those who come unto me." (3 Nephi 9:14) He is always reaching out for you, and will forever reach out for you. All that He asks from you is that you will come unto Him and take His hand and walk with Him.

I love you all so much and I know sometimes I just go off on rants but that's because THIS IS SO IMPORTANT. You are all spirit sons and daughters of God, which makes you all my brothers and sisters. Heaven is not heaven without those you love, and I want to see all of you there.

Love,
Sister Koenig

Monday, September 29, 2014

More fun stuff about the House of Israel!

I got to go to Women's Conference this week, and it was FANTASTIC.  You can watch it online if you missed it! One of my favorite things was Sister Marriott's talk, how she talked about whenever there is a temple, it lessens the power of satan on the earth or something like that. And then she went on to talk about how we are temples. And it just hit me that whenever there are righteous women in the world, it lessens the powers of satan on the earth. And that we really are beacons of light for the world around us! In the Zone Conference with Elder and Sister Lawrence, they were saying that the House of Israel was scattered because those of the House of Israel would be the light that would shine throughout the nations, and if they were all concentrated in one place then it wouldn't have that effect.

I also LOVE President Uchtdorf, of course. He's fabulous. I used the raining blessings/umbrella analogy in a lesson yesterday. It was received very well.

Quote from President Uchtdorf's talk at Women's Conference

I am SO excited for General Conference. It has never been so important to me until now, on my mission. I have finally realized how amazing it is that we have a PROPHET and APOSTLES and amazing leaders of our church who receive revelation from God to help us!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THAT'S INCREDIBLE!!!!!!!! And I'm just so giddy about the whole thing and I want it to happen now and I can't wait. It's going to be amazing.

I don't really have anything too interesting to write about this week, and I don't have a ton of time, but I thought I'd share more about what we learned during the Zone Conference with the Lawrences! I can't remember anything I said last week, so I apologize in advance if I repeat stuff.

Our spirits are all made of light, and we are literally the spirit children of God. Meaning that at one point we were all "born," or formed. When we were formed, we were all equal to each other. But, even in our pre-mortal existence, we had agency, and some people used that agency to progress faster than others. We developed talents and skills in the pre-mortal existence, and we worked on those things before we were born. That's why some people seem to have a knack for certain things like music or math, etc. Because they learned it as a spirit! Some spirits distinguished themselves through those talents that they developed, and others distinguished themselves by exceeding faith and good works. So while some developed talents, others developed "spirituality" (the ability to recognize truth, and then act upon it) and some developed both.

Jehovah, or Jesus Christ, progressed the fastest out of all of the spirits, and that is why He became the Savior and Redeemer of the world. We looked up to Him because we knew Him and we knew His talents and how great He was. And we also trusted Him because he was our brother and we loved Him and knew that He loved us. That's why we trusted Him when He said He would perform the atonement, and that's why we chose to follow Him.

Another really cool thing that Sister Lawrence said is that Heavenly Father doesn't touch our agency, but He knows us so well that He knows what we will do. I've always wondered how He could know everything that was going to happen, because it didn't seem fair. It seemed like we didn't really have any control over anything. But now I understand so much better that we still totally have control over our lives, but He knows us so well that He knows what's going to happen. And it makes sense as well why He still gives people chances even when He knows they won't take it - because He's hoping that they will change! He WANTS all of His children to return to them, and He's not going to give up hope.

In the pre-mortal existence, Heavenly Father presented the Plan of Salvation. Lucifer took one side, and Jehovah sided with the Father. There was a war in heaven over who we would follow. It wasn't a literal war, like with swords and shields, but it was a war of words and of testimonies. Satan had followers, and Jesus had followers, and the followers tried to convince the others to side with them. We know that although many people chose to follow Lucifer, the majority chose to follow the Savior. All those who followed the Savior came to earth or will come to earth in the future. So, congratulations! You followed Jesus Christ!!!! That's fantastic.

The war in heaven was won because of the "blood of the Lamb" (the atonement of Jesus Christ) and because of the testimonies that were borne. We bore our testimonies in heaven, trying to convince our friends and families to follow the Savior and come to earth! Those who helped God to win the "war" were called and elected as the House of Israel. You can read more about this in Revelations 11 and 12, I believe. Heavenly Father called and elected those who had the most potential to become like Him. It talks about that more in 1 Peter 1 and 2.

So Satan never got a body, and he never will get a body because he and his followers were cast out. His only pleasure now is making us miserable, so he focuses on those who he is most jealous of - those of the House of Israel! Those who fought against him! He HATES us and he is low enough to do anything to make us miserable. He's kind of a jerk.

In the pre-mortal existence, women were "pre-designated with the influence of motherhood" and men were "pre-ordained with the power of the Priesthood." It's kind of cool when you think how often in the scriptures it refers to "influence and power."

And here is more information on the Abrahamic Covenant:
It is the way to become more like God. Abraham promised that he would be loyal, obedient, and that he would be a witness for God. We make a similar covenant at baptism, when we promise to take His name upon us, always remember Him, and keep His commandments. Cool, right?

In return, God promised Abraham that he would have posterity, property, and priesthood (or in other words, he would give Abraham all that he has).

Abraham had Isaac, who had Jacob and Esau. Traditionally the "birthright" was given to the oldest son. The birthright is a double portion of what everyone else got, because it was supposed to be one portion for the son and then the other portion was to be used to bless the rest of the family and others. Isaac knew that Jacob was more deserving of the birthright, and would use that double portion more wisely.

Then Jacob had 12 sons, and again he chose Joseph to have the birthright, and Joseph wasn't the oldest son either. But because he had the birthright, the line of those in the House of Israel is much greater through his sons Ephraim and Manasseh. He had twice the responsibility! And his posterity was much greater. And Ephraim also had the birthright in his family, which is why the majority of people from the house of Israel are from Ephraim.


I love you all! Have a great week!  Transfers are next week (Tuesday), so if you are mailing things to my address here in Grand Junction, hold off until I know if I'm staying or going.  I'll update with any changes next week!

Love,
Sister Koenig

Monday, September 22, 2014

A BUSY WEEK!

This is going to be really long and probably out of order and confusing and I apologize in advance. But this has been an awesome week and a ton of stuff happened and it's overwhelming.

On Tuesday we had a missionary conference for all the missionaries on this side of the mountains. That's a lot of missionaries. Elder Lawrence, a member of the quorum of the seventy, came, and he and his wife spoke to us. For a really long time. And everything they said was amazing. I will try to quickly summarize it, buuuuut I forgot my notes so I'm sorry if it doesn't make much sense. I'll bring my notes next week and write a better email about it, hopefully.

So Sister Lawrence talked to us about the House of Israel. She said that Jesus Christ basically had a mission call where he was assigned to labor among the House of Israel - those who were descendants of Abraham. She showed all this proof for that, like how there was a Canaanite (aka not from the House of Israel) woman who wanted Christ to heal her son and he totally ignored her. His Apostles were like "Dude, what's up, why are you ignoring this girl" and Christ said "I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel." Crazy!!! But then she gave a totally witty response to something he said, and I think He really liked her, so in the end He did heal her son. But that was an exception.

Then He said to His Apostles the thing about "Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold, them also I must bring" etc etc. Well, those sheep are literal descendants from the House of Israel. And He could go to America because they were from the House of Israel, which is who He was assigned to teach on His mission! Then He came to the Americas and taught them, and then told them that there were yet other sheep who he had to see - those from the OTHER lost tribes of Israel!!! Pretty crazy. We don't know where He went after that, but obviously there were other people who saw Him after He was resurrected.

Anyway yeah there was so much more. I'm going to have to send another email about this next week because it seriously blew my mind.

On Friday we had interviews with President Murdock. We usually do those every other transfer, but for some reason the last one was in May. Those can be so scary! I don't know why, because he's always sooo nice, but it just feels like you're in the principal's office or something! He's the best though. And then Friday night, President and Sister Murdock came with us to see a part-member family. The dad is not a member, but the mom is really active and they have 10 kids who are all baptized and active. The dad has been coming to church for like 9 years though, and he totally knows it's true, but he is stubborn and won't admit it because he doesn't want to give up his coffee and tobacco. Lame. The lesson was amazing though. The Spirit was soooo strong, and we taught the Restoration and this guy TOTALLY knows it is true. After the lesson Sister Keavali and I went outside with the Murdocks and they said "You two are amazing! That guy doesn't stand a chance against you Sisters! He'll be baptized within the month!" haha that would be nice, huh!

Yesterday we had our invitation Sunday, where everyone was supposed to invite a friend to church. Sister Keavali and I have pretty much been inviting everyone we talk to! And it totally paid off, because we had a bunch of people come! It helped that Sister Keavali spoke and then the two of us sang "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul" because everyone came to support us haha. We probably shouldn't have done both on the same day, because then we would have had two weeks to convince our investigators and less-actives to come out and support us ;P Oh well. It was great though. Sister Keavali did an AMAZING job with her talk. It was probably one of the best missionary talks I have ever heard. I love that girl. Transfers are in two weeks and I'm so worried that I'm going to lose her! I have a terrible feeling that I'm going to be training this next transfer. Eek!

So many other things happened but this email is probably sufficiently long enough...sorry! I hope you're all doing well! Go read through the Isaiah chapters in 2 Nephi!

I LOVE YOU ALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sister Koenig

Monday, September 15, 2014

BULA VINAKA! I'M IN FIJI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Haha just kidding, I'm still in Grand Junction. But Sister Keavali and I have brought Fiji to Colorado! On Tuesday night we had a Relief Society activity that was something about traveling around the world, and they had all these people who were from different places teach everyone about the culture and stuff. It was fun. They asked Sister Keavali to do one for Fiji because she's from there (they didn't ask me to do one for Washington...I guess it was just too awesome for them to handle. Or maybe they knew they wouldn't understand the culture no matter how much I tried to explain it). We got all dressed up and I wore a Jaba (pronounced chamba) which is a traditional Fijian dress!!! It was so much fun! And she taught me their traditional "welcoming" song and we danced. It was superb. All the ladies loved it.

Me with Sister Keavali! 

Getting ready for our Fijian dance 

I love missionary life :)

Next week on Sunday, we are having a special "Come and See" Sunday where we invite as many people as we can (and the Ward does too) and then we have a special sacrament meeting and focus on the Savior and stuff. This is a mission-wide thing, which is really awesome. And Sister Keavali is speaking in our Ward! And then she and I are singing a hymn! We are so unprepared - like we don't even have a song picked yet - but we have all this ambition haha. The plan is to sing in Fijian and then English. She wants just me to sing, but I'm like "Dude I'm not going to sing a solo in Fijian while my FIJIAN COMPANION is sitting on the stand behind me. I'm not a poser. That's lame." but she's still convinced that she's not singing. Hahaha stinks for her. If you're my companion, you're going to sing.

We've had some pretty awesome things happen this week. On Thursday, Sister Keavali wanted to try a former investigator who she hadn't seen in a while. We stopped by her house and she was sooo nice! But she hasn't been reading the Book of Mormon at all or anything like that. We asked her if she believed it to be a true book, and she said yes. She also believes that Joseph Smith was a prophet. So I said "Why aren't you a Mormon?!" and she said "Because I'm a Baptist!" and I said "Well that's dumb." ............why did God let me come out on a mission. I do not understand. But actually she received that really well! Surprisingly. Maybe God made her hear me differently haha. But we talked about why she wasn't a member, and how if she KNOWS it's true, it doesn't matter what church she grew up in. She needs to be a member of the Lord's true church. She was still stubborn though. We asked her if she would commit to going to church on the 21st, for the Come and See Sunday, and she said maybe. She wouldn't fully commit though.

We asked her if we could come back in a couple days and read the Book of Mormon with her, and she said of course. So we did, and we brought a member with us. They hit it off really well! And we listened to 2 Nephi 29. Great chapter. At the end, we asked her if she would come to church on the 21st and she gave a solid yes! She even promised us! And then again we asked her if she thought the Book of Mormon was true, and she said she thought it was. Sister Keavali looked at her and said "When you come to KNOW that these things are true, and really know, will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized?" and she said YES!!!!!!!!!!!! It was fantastic. Apparently they had asked her a bunch of times in the past, and she always said no. She is so prepared!

Another really cool thing happened yesterday. We had our Ward Coordination mtg. after church, and the Ward Mission Leader gave us a referral to a part-member family that he home teaches. We went over there last night, just dropped by, and they totally opened their home and their hearts to us! The mom was baptized a long time ago, but only to please her grandpa who was a member and who was dying. She didn't really know anything about the church, and never really went. She married a Catholic (he wasn't there last night) who is really nice, but doesn't like the LDS church. They have two boys; one is 14 and the other is 7, and they were both there last night. We just started chatting and really enjoying each other's company and it was awesome. We were able to answer some of the mom's questions, like "What is the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price?" and I realized that I don't think anyone has asked me that before. I struggled to describe the Pearl of Great Price haha. Good thing I have a companion!

They are awesome people though, and they are dying to have us come back! They said that it has been a long time since missionaries have stopped by, and that we were the coolest missionaries they had ever met. I felt honored haha. When we were leaving we asked if there was anything we could do for them and the mom joked that we could clean her house and we were like "Ok! When do you want us?" and she was like "wait what" and we said "We would love to clean your house." They are just about to do foster care, and they have to have a housing inspection tomorrow, so we're going to go in the morning and help clean :) The house isn't even dirty though, sooo I'm guessing there will just be a lot of chatting lol. And then the mom said "When can we have you guys over for dinner?" It was so cute. I am so excited to teach them. The 14 year old isn't baptized, and obviously neither is the 7 year old. But there is so much potential there! They are really genuinely good people.

Oh my gosh I almost forgot the funniest thing that happened this week. One day we saw a less-active, and she absolutely adores Sister Keavali, so she always gives her little presents. It's cute. This week she gave her some fuzzy slippers! They're beautiful. And fluffy. Later that night we came home for a minute to grab something and Sister Keavali said "I have a headache. I need to lay down for just a minute." She got all cuddled up in her bed and she was cold so she put her new slippers on. We left like 10 minutes later to go teach one of our investigators. After we had been at her house for a while, she reached down to Sister Keavali's feet and said "Wow, I love your slippers, where did you get them? Haha." Sister Keavali looked down in horror at her feet - she had forgotten to switch back to her normal shoes before we left the house!!!! It was really ridiculously funny. I couldn't stop laughing, and Sister Keavali was blushing so badly and didn't say anything for like 15 minutes after that because she was so embarrassed. Gooooooood times. Man I love her so much.

Sister Keavali (no slippers though)

And I love Grand Junction. Have I mentioned that? I mean it's not Fiji, but we make it work. The people here are just so awesome, and even though everyone is a little gun crazy, I love them! :P Being a missionary is literally the best thing I have ever done with my life, and I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father pushed me to do this and made it possible. He's the best.

I love you all. Stay fantastic. Share the gospel with everyone you meet. It's the best thing you could do for them. :)

Love,
Sister Koenig


This one's for Jonah :)


Monday, September 8, 2014

BULA!!!

I LOVE IT HERE!!!!!!!!! It's amazing. I was so scared on my way here, and I was heartbroken about leaving my Greenie area. But I truly love it so much and I am so happy that I am here!

Sister Keavali is my new companion, and she is fantastic. She's from Fiji, and she is teaching me Fijian. I'm pretty bad at it haha. I think I accidentally swore a few times....but she's patient.

My first full day, Wednesday, we had soooo many set appointments, with members who came to every single one! I've never had that many set appointments before! It blew my mind. We are working SO HARD and I love it. I almost didn't want a p-day today, because there is just so much to do, but then I was like 'nahhhh, that's crazy talk.' Hence why I'm on the computer right now :)

Driving to GJ with Sister Murdock was awesome too. I love that woman!!!! I feel like it was a 5 hour personalized training with her, and she just helped me realize so many ways that I can improve and be a better missionary! I needed it, too...struggles haha. And she has the Spirit so strongly and I think it rubbed off a little bit on me :P  I feel like I have been so much bolder since coming here. Probably in the last week I asked about 10 people why they weren't Mormon haha. Because it really is just the cool thing to be, ya know?! Ok well maybe it's not always cool, but it is RIGHT, and the gospel is completely true. Who doesn't want the truth? There is so much confusion in the world today, and the gospel is just so simple and it brings so much peace when you truly understand it and apply it to your life. AND IT IS TRUE!!!!!!!!! Am I the only one that cares about having the truth?!?!?

We are teaching quite a few part-member families, where one spouse isn't a member but is totally involved in the church and comes every week. And all of the nonmember spouses in those families who I have talked to totally have testimonies, but something is holding them back. But like it says in Alma 34:33 - "Do not procrastinate the day of your repentance until the end!!!!!" I read that to one of the part-member families last night (I told you I'm getting bolder haha) and the dad who isn't a member just looked at me, totally defeated. He had nothing to say to that, because literally that is all he is doing - procrastinating! Yes, it's hard, but it is so worth it!!!!!! Then he asked us why we cared if he was baptized. Especially me, because I had just met him. Well, we care because it is the most important thing!!! We want his family to be together forever, and that just cannot happen without the sealing powers of the Priesthood. It just can't. Whether you want it to or not. Even Heavenly Father is bound by laws, so why wouldn't we be? And, if we are doing the things that Heavenly Father has commanded us to do, we can have a little piece of heaven on earth with our families. And that is a gift. And I care because he is my brother, and I believe that I knew him before coming to this earth, and that I will know him again. And I want to see him in the Celestial Kingdom, with the rest of my brothers and sisters! And that's all of you!

Speaking of gifts, I told this man that Heavenly Father has given an amazing gift to all of us. It's wrapped in blue leather, with a little bit of gold. Any guesses? Yup, it's the Book of Mormon haha. And just like any gift, it's USELESS until we open it! It is THE BEST GIFT that I could give to anyone, but it won't benefit them at all if they never open it and use it!! But I have seen what happens when people put forth that effort, and have opened it and read it and applied it, and I can promise that it can change anyone's life if they let it. People are so stubborn though, I swear.

We have a couple people on date, which is awesome. The work here is progressing, and it's all because of the amazing members! They are fantastic. So many people are willing to come out to lessons with us, and it's as if they're begging to go! Some people have actually literally begged! It's hilarious and so different and I kind of don't understand it but I am soooo not complaining. It's fantastic.

Yesterday was my first day in the Ward and everyone was really confused because Sister Keavali had a different companion the week before...but I just smiled and said "Yup! I'm new!" and the dimples got em every time. ;D I sang really loud in sacrament meeting, because that's what I do, and I find it funny, and I had about 8 people come up to me later and tell me that they could hear my "lovely soprano voice" haha. They've already asked me to do a musical number. I said I'd get back to them.

On Thursday night our Zone did a Zone Tracting for 2 hours. All of the missionaries in the Zone had to set aside that time just for tracting, and then we were supposed to text everybody when we got a new investigator or when we had a miracle. Sister Keavali and I were late leaving our dinner, and we had to run home really fast to grab something before we started. As we were driving down our street, we saw a teenage girl sitting on the corner. Sister Keavali said "Let's stop and talk to her!" I kinda thought Sis Keavali was crazy, because we normally don't pull over to talk to people on the streets, buuuut we did it anyway! Cuz we're cool! And we ended up having an AWESOME lesson with her, and she said we could teach her more tomorrow. Yay! She's searching, and she loved everything that we said to her. She had been sitting on the sidewalk, so when we came up and talked to her, Sister Keavali sat on the sidewalk next to her and then I just sat on the street in front of her. In a skirt. It was awesome. At the end of our chat I got up and asked if there was dirt all over me and she said "Nah, you're fine. When you sat down on the street I was like 'DANG! This girl is legit!'" So yeah, I'm legit guys. Don't forget it ;) And pray for her please!

We are teaching this woman named T and she is a kick. She always says she'll read the "Mormon Bible" (Book of Mormon) but then she never does. Or she'll read a page and then come up with some excuse to not read more. She LOVES the church though! We asked her on Sunday what she wants, and she said "I want the Mormon church without Joseph Smith!" Welllllll that's not gonna happen.... So we're working on her haha. But she just called and said that she found out how to listen to the Book of Mormon on LDS.org and she listened to 9 chapters and really enjoyed it! And she said that she's excited to read more! I'm telling you, the Book of Mormon is key to conversion. For everyone! Investigators and members alike!

Today has been a super awesome p-day, except I might have broken my toe. Awkward. We had our zone p-day and played broom hockey and then ultimate frisbee! And we had a BBQ. It was a blast. All the missionaries in my zone are amazing and I love them dearly. And everyone is so nice! People are just better on this side of the mountain haha. It's a magical place.

I love you all! Sorry if this email was crazy, but I'm a little crazy sooo it happens! I hope all of you are well and I would love to hear from you! Tomorrow I hit my 5 month mark. Craziness.

Oh by the way, have I mentioned that missionaries get FREE SONIC here???? Yeah. Remember what I said about this being a "magical place??" I was being serious.

Have a great week! Read the Book of Mormon!
Au lomani iko!
Sister Koenig

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

AHHH BIG NEWS!

Ohhhhh my goodness everyone what is life.

Umm so last night (Monday) at about 7:30, my Mission President called us. Sister Duprey and I were tracting and we were set on finding 3 new investigators by the end of the day. We had already taught one family and had another planned and we had taught a random guy on the street who really wanted the Spanish missionaries to come teach him more, so we just thought it would be an AWESOME Monday night. Right? Well.....yeah we didn't find 3 new investigators. Because President told me to pack my stuff and be at the mission home this morning (Tuesday) at 7 am so I could GO TO GRAND JUNCTION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I moved half-way across the state! I'm in Grand Junction now!

So I was up alllllll night last night packing and going crazy and being sad and saying bye to people and it was just awful. And then this morning we got up before 5 (ew) and got ready and drove to the mission office, and then took like a 5 hour drive to Grand Junction. Fun day! And Sister Murdock only eats Subway so we went there for breakfast and lunch haha. I love her.

I got here at about 2 and we went straight to a lesson with an investigator! Craziness. My new companion is Sister Keavali, she is from Fiji, and I JUST LOVE HER!!!! She's fantastic. She was actually companions with my last companion! Pretty crazy. And she was companions with Sister Lara, from the Shoreline Stake, who I saw today!!! I love that woman. She is amazing. And she is serving right next to us, soooo I think I will see her a lot! YAY :D I also got to see another Sister who I served really close to in Lakewood - she was in a neighboring branch, and Sister O and I spent a lot of time with her my first transfer :)

I'm excited to be here but it is definitely a shock! You're probably wondering why this happened and to put it simply a Sister was having some problems (not me, don't worry!) and things needed to be switched around, so after all the shuffling now I'm here. I miss Sister Duprey soooo much already, and the Lakewood area, and everyone over there!!!! My heart is broken. But this is mission life I guess, right? I am so excited to be in Grand Junction though. It is a fantastic area and I can tell already that the ward is awesome! My first lesson here there was a member present, which is fantastic!

I hope all of you are well, and I love you all a ton, and AH! My life is crazy haha. I love being a missionary.

Love,
Sister Koenig

P.S. - As usual, if you want my mailing address please message me or Alannah directly and she will get it to you.  If you send mail to the mission home it's supposed to get here, but apparently things often don't and you just get them returned to you... if you're lucky!

Monday, September 1, 2014

The work is hastening!

Hello people :)

It has been quite a week! Tuesday morning was transfer meeting, so we had to get up reeeeeeally early to get to the mission office. All of the missionaries going home bear their testimonies, and then they show a slideshow telling us where all of the missionaries are serving and who their companions are. There were SO MANY missionaries leaving! And I knew most of them, so it was really sad.

My companion Sister Duprey is a Sister Training Leader now, which is like a Zone Leader except for Sisters only. There is another Sister Training Leader (STL) in our zone, and the two of them have to work together a lot which means that the other STL's companion and I end up together a lot. This week we start doing Exchanges, and I'll be staying in my area with the other STLs companion. My companion is going to a different area with another Sister for 24 hours. We will have one or two exchanges a week this transfer, soooo I'll be doing this a lot haha.

On Wednesday Sister Duprey and I were able to see L, one of our investigators. She is 12, and she is amazing. We have been doing personal progress with her, but we decided that we were going to start teaching her the actual lessons to prepare her for baptism. We taught the Restoration and then put her on date for September 20th!!!!! She wants to be baptized so badly, and if everything goes ok with her family she will be this month! We are so excited. She is such a smart cookie - seriously, she knows more about the gospel than most members her age. Or even a lot of members my age!

We also saw S, our investigator from China. Sadly this was the last time we could have our Chinese interpreter there because he went back to school the next day. But the lesson went SO WELL!!! We taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ, which is faith, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. She said that she has just decided that she is going to believe in God, even though she hasn't felt it yet. But she wants to believe so badly! She also told us that she and her 7 year old son have started praying together before meals and they take turns. We didn't even teach her to do that, she just started to on her own!!!! AND she said that she is having trouble focusing at work because she is always thinking about God and the Book of Mormon and everything! Which is probably not good that she can't focus, but I just think it's the most adorable and fantastic thing ever. :)

Yesterday at church, Sister Duprey and I were sitting in our combined Relief Society/Priesthood meeting for 5th Sunday. Our ward has RS/Priesthood first, then Sunday School, and then sacrament meeting. It's backwards, I know. I was kind of zoning out, to be honest, when someone pulled up a chair next to me. I glanced over and then had to do a double-take, because S WAS SITTING NEXT TO ME!!!!!!!!! She has never been to the first two hours of church before, just sacrament meeting, and we didn't expect her to come. I was so happy! We found out later that she came but didn't know where to go, and she and her son were wandering the halls. They were about to give up and go home when a member snagged them and brought her son to Primary and S to our class. Yay! And they stayed all three hours and they really liked it :)

I asked the Primary President after church how L did and she said "Oh he was great! You know how it is with new kids though, they can be really quiet and shy. He didn't say much." And I said "Yeah, it doesn't help that he doesn't know English!" haha it was funny. She had no idea :P

This past week we tracted a LOT. Like 2 or 3 hours a day. It was great. Most missionaries really do not like tracting, but I love it! I think it helps me knowing that my parents are tracting converts, so I have a lot of faith in tracting. We are just doing our best to find those people that are prepared, and to bring them back to the fold! I love this work and I love this area, and I love the gospel so much. There is nothing I would rather be doing with my time than serving my God.

One of my current favorite scriptures is D&C 84:88 "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."

I love you all! Find opportunities to share the gospel with all those you come in contact with. It's the best work you can do :)

Love,
Sister Koenig