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,

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.

Sister Koenig

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