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was confirmed all those many years ago, I was commanded to receive the Holy Ghost, and that commandment has never been rescinded.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!



"Minion-ary!"

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 lds.org 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 car.....lol

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 car....so 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 changing....do 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 changing...it'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 Mormon.org 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

Monday, August 31, 2015

This week...

This last week Sister J and I set out to break the mission record of number of lessons taught in one week. We were off to a great start - Monday night we had tons of miracles and met some awesome people! We met this Baptist woman named C who REALLY wants a Book of Mormon! We are seeing her again tonight. We also met a nice Hispanic woman who is interested in learning more about prophets. It was great.

On Tuesday we had Sister's Conference in the morning in Grand Junction. I got to see Sister V!!! And a bunch of other Sisters I love :)  I was asked to give a training on overcoming fear through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I only had a couple days notice, but I've had PLENTY of time to prepare because I've been studying that and learning that concept a LOT the past few months. I think it went well. Trainings are always weird because you prepare in advance what you're going to say and then you always end up saying something entirely different. Well, I do anyway, I suppose I can't speak for anyone else. The other trainings were on overcoming feelings of inadequacy or discouragement. I enjoyed it!

My poor companion however was quite ill. She got the gnarly cold that I had the week before and she was suffering. When she gets sick, she goes super ditsy/crazy. It was fun. She would be laughing hysterically one second about nothing, and then suddenly crying because she was upset because she sneezed. I felt like a mom taking care of her. Good times.

She was sick for like 3 days, soooo the whole 57 lessons in a week thing went down the drain...and THEN to top it all off, I got the cold AGAIN! How does that happen? I don't know. I promise I take vitamin C! So I had that from Friday morning until last night. And today Sister J's throat is starting to feel scratchy again....hopefully we don't keep passing this back and forth!

We finally saw B this week on Tuesday. He's doing well, but could always use some prayers! He came to church on Sunday and we'll be seeing him again tomorrow. He's back on date to be baptized in September.

On Friday night we went on Exchanges! I went with Sister C to Grand Junction, my old area! Sister J stayed in Uncompahgre. I had a great time. I was really ill, so that was rough, but we worked hard. I love going there because I get to see all these familiar faces! I had a prompting to try J, an amazing older lady that I used to teach. She is an eternigator (eternal investigator....takes the lessons forever without getting baptized or really committing to anything) but I love her with all my heart and I just feel so strongly that she is ready to receive the gospel! And she needs it! Right before I left Grand Junction in Feb she got really sick and was in the hospital so I didn't get to say goodbye.

We went out there on Saturday and I'm SO GLAD we did! Her heart has softened immensely in the last few months and she knows that this is what she needs in her life. We put her on date to be baptized Oct 4th! She was so happy to see me, and the Spirit was so strong in that lesson. It was amazing. I told her I would come back to Junction for her baptism :)

I can't think of anything else major that happened. I just love my mission so much. I am getting really sad about leaving! I don't wanna! But they tell me I have to go home. Lame.

This Saturday we find out transfer news for MY LAST TRANSFER. Next Monday is Labor Day so I won't email then, and then Tuesday is transfers.... If we're getting transferred, I'm not sure when we'll be able to make it to the library. If we're not getting transferred, we'll email Tuesday morning.
I love you all! You are all amazing and I am eternally grateful for your support! Have a great week and ENJOY SEPTEMBER!!!!!!!!

Love,
Sister Koenig


Pictures:

 Sister V & me


Sister B & me

Monday, August 24, 2015

2 Months Left!

This week I passed my two months left mark...which means I have less than two months left....CRAZY!!!

We had a great week and we worked hard. Sister J is a total fireball and I work her hard! (When I'm not sick...) I love that she can keep up, and that sometimes she even pushes me a little bit! This week we went out to good ol' Pea Green, which is about the furthest part of our area. It's this tiny little place with a little community building, one store, and an old schoolhouse! Adorable.

We found a couple part-member families to teach this week so that's exciting. We also had exchanges with the Spanish Sisters in Grand Junction. I was with Hermana Y and she is awesome. She just came out this transfer and she's already a pro! We had a great time together. I don't know how it happened, but all of a sudden I found myself telling her all about my pet chicken and all these weird stories about my life! She probably thought I was a freak. But it was fun.

That evening we tried a family that recently moved into the ward. Sister J and I had gone out to the address the day before, and we were baffled because the address appeared to be an abandoned warehouse.... We drove all around this barren field trying to figure it out, with no success. We kept looking for any possible house that could be on the property, but it was just the warehouse. When I was on exchanges, I was DETERMINED to figure it out. We went to the warehouse again and went up to the door and there was a doorbell. I rang it....and heard a dog barking inside! And then a teenage girl opened the door and said hi and turned around and yelled "The missionaries are here!" We were instantly bombared by 4 young children haha. Apparently they're a super awesome Mormon family that just moved here from California. They bought the warehouse, and they're turning it into a massive house!!!! We got the tour and it was incredible. Their family room alone is 2500 square feet! They have a huge place for food storage, and even an underground tunnel that they store cold foods in. They have this long hallway that they've turned into an archery range! They have a massive room that they're turning into a schoolroom, and of course they're going to homeschool. The whole thing was amazing. I've officially decided that someday I am going to buy a warehouse and live in it with my 10 children.

I love you all and I hope you have a great week!
Sister Koenig

Here are some random pictures from Pea Green!






Monday, August 17, 2015

God works in mysterious ways

This was a fantastic week! We weren't sick, nothing too crazy happened, and we saw tons of miracles. It was awesome.

On Tuesday we had a special District Meeting with the Assistants to the Mission President and our Zone Leaders and President and Sister Murdock. President was doing interviews with each of the missionaries in a separate room, so we were pulled out one by one. Interviews always scare me a little bit, but this was the best interview I've ever had with him!! Beforehand he told us all to study repentance, and in the interview we talked all about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and what repentance is and why and how we repent. It was really good. And President was so loving and sweet!! He thought I was going home at the end of this transfer and I quickly corrected him and said I had another transfer after this and he was very relieved. And he kept thanking me for doing such a good job with Sister J and working her so hard. It was so kind. Plus the District Meeting was awesome and super motivational! The Assistants did a whole long thing about how to have inspired planning sessions. They said that when you plan for something with the Spirit, the Lord has a purpose for you there. Everywhere you go and with everything you do, you need to find that purpose. If you try an investigator and they're not home, you should figure out why the Lord has guided you to that street. We were really excited to implement that, and as we went out for the day Sister J and I were setting goals about how we can talk to more people and better fulfill the Lord's plans. And it seriously paid off.

Later that afternoon Sister J and I were driving around in Olathe. All of a sudden she pointed to some random man and said "THAT MAN NEEDS THE GOSPEL!!!!!!!!!" I found a place to pull over, but right then someone called us and we had to take the call. As we were on the phone, he walked right past where we were parked. After the call, we frantically backed out and I drove to where I thought he had walked. Then we got out and RAN!!! We saw him walking down an alley and literally chased after him haha. It was great. Then we yelled and he turned around and we asked him if he would take our survey. He did, and we found out that his name is R and he is actually from North Carolina but he walked across the country and landed in Montrose (15 minutes from Olathe). He said all he had was his sleeping bag and a backpack. Every morning he would pray that Heavenly Father would guide him, and the whole way for 2 months he would see lighthouses - in people's yards, on billboards or buildings, wherever. Just little statues and stuff. He followed those and knew that they were signs to keep going. Then he made it to Montrose and he was so tired and done walking when someone came up and offered him some food and a place to sleep. He asked where they were from and they pointed to a church and said that they were part of that church organization. He looked at the church, and it had two big lighthouses at the top and he knew it was a sign from God that he had reached his destination. He lived in Montrose for a while but recently moved to Olathe to work a custodial job for the school district. He said "God works in mysterious, small ways. For example, I saw you two parked back there and I knew there was something about you, and now we're talking!" We freaked out and said "We actually saw you and knew we needed to talk to you and share our message! We literally chased you down!!!!" and he said "See? God works in mysterious ways."
Then we taught him about the Restoration of the Gospel and it was amazing. We were just standing on the side of the road, but it was one of the best lessons ever! Then we invited him to be baptized on September 12th and he said "Yeah, what time?" WHAAAAAAAT NO ONE EVER SAYS ANYTHING LIKE THAT!!!!!!!!! It was incredible. I'm going to send pictures of the alley and videos that we took right after. We were pretty excited about it.

On Thursday we had a day full of miracles. Without even realizing it, we taught 9 lessons and found 3 new people to teach! That's like unheard of. It was a super fun day though and all of these miracles kept falling into our laps. We saw a girl walking down the street we were driving on and Sister Johnson said "Do you think that girl is ok?" and I said "I don't know any more than you know." and we kept driving to find a house of a less-active. We tried that house and they weren't home. When we turned around to go back out to the car, the girl was RIGHT THERE so we ran up to her and started talking. We taught her a little bit on the street and set up a return appointment to teach her family! She's 15 and she has two younger teenage siblings. We're pretty excited about that too.

We also met a really awesome lady named B out in Montrose. She is sooo prepared to receive the gospel. Missionaries have tried her in the past and she was too busy to learn because she was taking care of her disabled husband. I saw her name in our area book and it's been eating at me for the past couple of months. We finally were able to make it out there - she lives in the furthest outskirts of our area - and I'm SO GLAD we did. She recently moved her husband into his brother's house because she couldn't take care of him anymore. And now she has time to meet with us. Pretty amazing how these things work out.

Friday night I got to go on exchanges with Sister D in Grand Junction 7th Ward!!!!! That was my favorite area ever. I could not have been happier to go. Sister D is training a new missionary, just became a Sister Training Leader, and they are whitewashing the area, so she's been under quite a bit of stress!!! The Elders did a horrible job of keeping records, so I was able to go through the ward directory and the area book with her and tell her all about the people. We spent quite a bit of time coordinating and figuring things out so that she would have a better plan for how to approach the area. It was great. All these memories were flooding back the whole day and it made me homesick - for Grand Junction! Seriously, when I think of "home" I think of that Ward. I miss it so much.
And it was really great because we were able to see a lot of members who I know and love! It was awesome. Plus I found out this morning that I get to go back to Junction this week for another Exchange!! I can't wait.

It was also really fun being with Sister D because she's hilarious!!! I haven't laughed so hard in a long time. And she knows my family and lived in my home ward until she was like 6 and we were trying to find mutual friends. That was fun. We might have been up really late talking. Whoops.

Sunday was another fabulous day in Uncompahgre. Lots of miracles! We tried one family on the Ward list that no one knew. They have an 11 year old son, D, who we put on date for baptism! We're seeing them again on Thursday :)

I know that God is preparing people every day to come unto Christ. It's been so amazing for these past 16 months to be a part of the hastening of the work of the salvation of souls. I can't think of a better calling I could have at this time in my life!!! We're halfway through the transfer and I only have one more transfer after this before I come home. As much as I love and miss Edmonds and everyone there, I am sad that I'll have to leave this place. Colorado will always have such a special place in my heart! I've had the best times and the hardest times here. I've made sooo many memories and met some of the most incredible people. Most importantly, I've really come to know my Savior Jesus Christ as I've worked side by side with Him. It's been amazing.

Love,
Sister Koenig

We found a corn field (one of many) and pulled over. It was fun. :)






Monday, August 10, 2015

16 MONTHS!!!

Yesterday I hit my 16 month mark of being a missionary. I feel like I should have 16 months LEFT!!! But I only have two more :'(  I don't know where the time has gone. I remember how I felt exactly 16 months ago when I was in the MTC celebrating my 20th birthday. A LOT has changed since then! I've seen a lot of things - miracles, trailer parks, farm animals... I've experienced a lot of things - eating llama, getting heat stroke from knocking doors in the middle of summer, getting chased by dogs... And I've learned a LOT of things - how to cook, how to milk a goat, how to change a tire.... Haha most importantly though, I've learned that God is in all the little details, and He is hastening the work of the salvation of souls here on this earth. It's been incredible to be a part of that work, and to see immense changes in myself in the process.

This week was quite thrilling. I was sick with the stomach flu most of the time. I didn't enjoy that part very much. We had some meetings, taught some people, all that good stuff. But mostly I laid around the house and threw up.

B is doing really well. We are seeing him again tonight. He's working on quitting drinking and he'll be getting a blessing tonight to help him with that and with some other health problems he's been having. He came to church on Sunday and stayed all three hours! We didn't even stay that long...I went home to rest more. I slept a lot. The stomach flu seriously destroyed me this week.

Sunday afternoon we went out tracting on Last Chance Rd because it was our "last chance to hit standards!" (thanks for that one Sister J). We knocked on this one door and no one answered, but then suddenly this lady in a golf cart furiously drove up and started yelling at us! She said "CAN YOU NOT READ?!?!" and we were like "Uhh what?" and she stormed over to this no trespassing sign at the beginning of the driveway and pointed to it and started yelling and cussing. She was like "I'VE TOLD YOU PEOPLE NEVER TO COME HERE" and "THIS MAN IS DEAD. LET HIM REST IN PEACE." (Now imagine those sentences with lots of swear words thrown in...) We apologized and said we didn't know. She was not happy. Then she said "AND DON'T GO TO THAT HOUSE OVER THERE EITHER, WHERE THERE ARE SIGNS. OR TO THAT HOUSE. IN FACT, JUST NEVER COME BACK TO THIS AREA AT ALL!!!!!" We apologized again, wished her a happy day, walked away and went to the house of A and A, the investigator and less-active sisters we are teaching. They live right across the street from the dead guy's house. A was home and we got to teach her and her husband and her little sister. Halfway through the lesson A's dad comes in and said "The sheriff is out there and he says you have to move your car because you can't park on county roads." Yeah. The lady CALLED THE COPS ON US!!!!!!!! It was hilarious. We wrapped up our lesson and on our way out A's dad was like "That's so cool though! You got rejected for preaching Jesus! You're just like the apostles!! Man that lady is crazy...she probably killed my neighbor." We about died laughing. Some people just need a hug. And a nice dose of some lightning bolt rebuking.

I love you all! I hope you have a great week!
Sister Koenig

Here are some pictures:

How we felt when the cops were called on us...

My tired comp.

This is what Weekly Planning feels like.

My baby and me!

This is essentially what the Uncompahgre area looks like...plus corn fields.

More pictures of Sister J and me :)

Monday, August 3, 2015

New transfer, new companion!

I have a new companion, Sister J from Andover, Minnesota!!! She's fabulous. She's been out for 7 weeks now and was trained by my trainer, Sister O! Small world. We've had so much fun together so far and I know we have amazing things in store for the rest of the transfer. :)  And according to what President keeps saying to her, I'll most likely be ending my mission here with her! He told her that she's going to take over the area when I'm done. I'm totally ok with this plan.

This week was really good. The first week of the transfer is always full of lots of meetings and kinda boring stuff, but we were still able to work hard and see miracles!

On Saturday we were able to do service at the Olathe Sweet Sweet Corn Festival!!!! We picked up trash for 4 hours and ate a ton of corn and I got a sunburn. It was fabulous. Olathe sure knows how to throw a party over corn! I had a great time. There were tons of members there and they kept trying to buy us things! I'm definitely going to miss that when I'm not a missionary anymore, not gonna lie.... People are just so nice and generous to missionaries!

We were able to see R again on Saturday and set up a lesson with him on Tuesday. We haven't seen him in weeks! I think that's a sufficient break, and now he needs to pull his act together and get baptized! Yes yes yes.

On Friday night Sister J and I hosted a ward game night. It was very last minute, they only announced it once on the Sunday before, and I was really worried that no one would come. Sister N and I did a game night in Paonia that was a huge success and all the members loved it, but there was a lot more preparation that went into that one! So yeah I was a bit nervous that no one would show up. But the ward proved me wrong! It was great. A lot of people came and they brought lots of good food and a bunch of games. I had a blast and I think everyone else did too! The young men had their own table where they played Doggy doo....that was an interesting game haha. Look it up.

B also came to the game night and he had a ton of fun! He also got to know the members better and they were all so nice to him. He is amazing. We've talked to him every day since the first day we met him and he's so solid. Please keep him in your prayers!!! He stayed after the game night to help the ward do the building cleanup. He vacuumed for over an hour! He's basically a member already.

This week we have a few more meetings which will be oh so fun... Then next week I get to go on Exchanges with Sister D (who is from Seattle area and knows my family!!!!) in the GRAND JUNCTION 7TH WARD!!!! Guys, I served there for 6 months!!! That's my favorite area ever!!! I am so so so excited.

I love you all, and I hope you have a great week!
Sister Koenig

Monday, July 27, 2015

"I've got the skin tone, the gender, the religion....everything lines up for me to be a rapper!" - Me

I'm so sorry that I haven't emailed in so long!!! Things have been crazy. But I feel sufficiently reprimanded by all of you and I'm repenting and I'll try to have a good email this week. But I'm apologizing in advance - it's going to be totally disjointed.

First of all, transfers are on Tuesday. I'm staying in Uncompahgre, but Sister V is being transferred! Sad day :(   My little baby is leaving the nest and moving on to bigger and better things. Probably the city. I'll be follow-up training a new missionary, so it will be her second transfer. Whoever she is, she came out with Sister V, and we've been taking bets on who I'll get. Fun times.

A couple weeks ago I milked a goat! It was fabulous. And I got to cross it off my bucket list! We were doing service for a member, and basically everyone out here has a farm, so we went and helped on this family's farm. Mostly it was boring, like moving hay around and giving the animals water, but then I got to milk the goat!!!! She was so cute. I was nervous at first because I've never done that before, but I was totally a pro. I got it on the first try and the owner was super impressed. I filled up a whole quart jar nearly as fast as the member did! I guess I'm going to have to have a farm someday - I'm a natural :)  I didn't drink any of the milk though....that  grosses me out. Maybe a farm isn't the best idea.

A week and a half ago we had Zone Conference. Sister V and I sang a really cool mash-up of I Know That My Redeemer Lives and I Feel My Savior's Love and it went super well. People keep asking us to sing now. I also bore my testimony at the end, and I bawled the whole way through it! I've never cried over the pulpit before. It was brutal and I do not recommend it.

I learned a lot about repentance there, which was great because it's also something I've been studying and thinking about a lot lately and I feel like my knowledge of it was magnified at that meeting. I'm specifically working on the principle of daily repentance. Do you know how difficult it is to go through your whole day in prayer and repent of everything you've done wrong? It definitely doesn't allow for quick bedtime prayers, that's for sure. I'm starting to get calloused knees! It's so good though. I feel a lot more peace and strength and I can already see myself changing. And partaking of the sacrament each week is becoming a more meaningful and spiritual experience because I'm significantly more aware of my need for the Savior's Atonement and mercy. At church on Sunday one of the speakers said that when they are partaking of the sacrament they listen to all of the cups dropping into the trays and they picture each one as a drop of the Savior's blood in the Garden of Gethsemane. I thought that was a pretty powerful thought.

Repentance is real. It does change you. The Savior loves each of us and wants so badly for us to repent and to allow his Atonement to heal us. This morning I read 3 Nephi 9:13-14 which is the Savior speaking, and He says "Will ye not now return unto me, and repent of your sins, and be converted, that I may heal you? . . . If ye will come unto me ye shall have eternal life. Behold, mine arm of mercy is extended towards you, and whosoever will come, him will I receive; and blessed are those who come unto me."  I challenge each of you to think of ways that you can turn more to the Savior and rely on Him this week. And I also challenge each of you to work on daily repentance - I can promise you that it is worth it.

Last Friday was Pioneer Day and the Delta Ward asked Sister V and me to come out to their picnic celebration to sing Come, Come Ye Saints. We showed up and they were all just mingling and eating and they told us we weren't going to sing for a long time. We sat down to wait, and we totally chose the best possible place to sit! Sister V was sitting right next to this couple where the husband is a member of the church but his wife is not. They both come to church every week though. And get this - the wife was a former Jehovah's Witness, just like Sister V!!!! They totally hit it off, and that woman's heart was softened SO MUCH. Miracles! Then I sat right across from this guy who I thought was just a member of the Delta Ward, but his friend who was standing behind him turned to me and pointed at him and said "This is B. He's an investigator. Sic him!" It was really funny. And of course I totally jumped on that and within 20 minutes we had set up a church tour for the next day and I basically told him that he was going to be baptized and he agreed. It was amazing.

So we saw B on Saturday at the church! Apparently when he lived in Delta years ago he took the discussions, and he became really close friends with our Ward Mission Leader. We brought the Ward Mission Leader out to the church tour and it was an incredible lesson. We showed him around the church and the Spirit was so strong, especially in the chapel. Then we went to the baptismal font and taught him about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ as we sat in front of the font. He agreed to be baptized August 29th :) I'm SO EXCITED. He has hardly any religious background or knowledge, but he's soooo prepared to make changes and follow Christ. It's the best. He kept saying that all he wants is to be happy. Thankfully we totally know how to help make that happen!
We invited him to church, and he came! That's a huge miracle right there. He already knows so many of the members in both the Uncompahgre and Delta Wards, and they love him a ton. What's really cool is that he literally just moved back to Delta a few weeks ago and wasn't even sure why he did, it just "felt right." He said he keeps being drawn back to Delta and back to our church. I told him that was a sign from God. He agreed. We will be seeing him again tonight and I'm stoked.

I've been running more lately and it's been really fun. My goal is to be able to run 3 miles by the end of this week and I'm almost there! Have I ever mentioned how hard it is to breathe here? I'm like a mile high and my lungs do NOT like it. I figure if I can run 6 miles here by the time I go home, I could probably run a half marathon no problem when I'm back at sea level! We'll see.

I love you all so much. But more than that, I love my Savior and my Heavenly Father. I would not be here today without their infinite love and mercy and PATIENCE. They are so good to me.

I hope you all have a fabulous week. Please feed your missionaries and help them out :) It means a ton!

Love,
Sister Koenig

Monday, July 6, 2015

"You're pretty good at rapping for a white girl." - White Guy

I never know how to start these. This week marks 15 months since I entered the MTC, so that's weird. And I've accepted the fact that I'm probably going to die in Uncompahgre. Not literally - just mission-wise. Don't worry. Although I think sometimes Sister V literally thinks we could die out here. But that's only when I take her out to Peach Valley. Which I did a lot this week. Sorry Sister V!!!

We met a lot of weird/cool/crazy people this week. But my mission brain has been pretty bad lately so I can't really remember anything. Oh we met an old retired pastor yesterday. We knocked on his door, told him our names, and asked what his name was. He said "I'm Reverend R W----" and all I could think was "Oh no." However, it ended up being a VERY pleasant experience! He was the nicest pastor I've talked to my entire mission. Apparently he had a coworker at a school who was a Bishop in our church, and they had a LOT of conversations, which I think made him like Mormons. Shout out to Bishop Bishop (that's his name), whoever and wherever you are, for making our lives easier.

We had Exchanges on Thursday and Sister B and I were together again in Uncompahgre. That night our last appt fell through and we didn't know what to do so we decided to try a less-active in the ward directory. We tried this one lady and it turns out she has a non-member son and husband. We started teaching her outside when suddenly this teenage boy showed up and said "Is that your car? You're taking up both spots." Whoops. We had to awkwardly pause the lesson and I moved the car. In the process, an active member from the ward came up to me and suddenly I remembered what S had told me when I first got into the area - he lives right next door to his inactive daughter and her kids (who we were teaching). I don't know why I can't remember anything. Anyway, then he invited us all into his house and we taught his adult daughter and her 11-year-old son and another sort of "adopted" son who is 18. We invited the sons to be baptized and they both said yes! I am really excited to see them again this week.

The Fourth of July was weird. We didn't know who to see and everyone was either not home or they didn't want to listen. We did get to see one of our new investigators, P. He solidly committed to go to church and we had his ride set up and everything, but he didn't show :( The member who was going to drive him said he knocked on the door for a good 5 minutes before giving up. Sad life. Anyway, that night we saw an inactive couple and that was really nice. They made us cupcakes today and they're feeding us dinner on Friday! And another inactive lady asked if she could take us out to lunch tomorrow! We're getting spoiled.

Saturday evening when we came home, our AC was totally and completely NOT WORKING. It was blowing warm air out even though it was set to 68. It wsa at least 87 degrees in our room but probably way hotter. I thought I was going to die. I tried turning it off and back on, I turned off the breaker to the furnace for a bit, I did EVERYTHING I COULD THINK OF and nothing worked. Finally around midnight I gave up and turned it all off and opened a couple windows to hopefully at least get a little breeze. I did not sleep well at all. But then the next morning it worked!!! I have no idea what the problem was.

Yesterday we had a lot of things that we had to do to hit standards for the week. We had to teach 7 lessons, do 10 surveys, and put two more people on date for baptism. I kind of thought there was no way, but I was SO DETERMINED.

Then came the trials and the test of my faith: After church Sister V had a horrible headache from fasting so she ate and laid down for a bit. Then I really thought there was no way. But once she was feeling better we persevered (somewhat frantically), and WE DID IT. Man I have no idea how, but we did it. The Lord blessed us soooo much, and did so right at the last second to keep us on our toes haha. We had a lesson with members at 8 and we only had from 6-8 to do everything we needed to. At 7:30, our last ditch effort, this HUGE storm rolled in and it was pouring. I cannot even explain to you how hard the rain was coming down. The clouds looked tornado-y. It was intense. After the initial crazy wave of rain (it was seriously more like a tsunami washing over us) when it was safe to drive I went to this random road that I've never even seen before. We ran in the rain from house to house tracting. It was so fun. Sister V said "Good thing I brought my umbrella today!" and I said "NO UMBRELLAS!!! The people need to pity us if they're ever going to let us in!!!!" Just so you know - it totally worked. She might have hated me for a minute, buuuuut in the end she realized it was a brilliant idea. :)

Yeah that was our week and I'm really tired now so we're probably going to go shopping and then nap. Hallelujah.

Love,
Sister Koenig

Monday, June 29, 2015

This week went by so fast!

This week went by so fast! I can't even remember what we did! But I do remember one thing - it has been SO HOT. We've been tracting every day in 100+ degree weather and man oh man it is so blazing hot and we just sweat and if we had more liquid to spare we would probably cry. It's intense. Us white girls from Washington are really struggling haha.

Sad news - R called us on Tuesday and said that he was going to go to another church. NOOOOO!!!! So we went by the next day and we were on Exchanges so Sister B and I saw him with our Ward Mission Leader and his wife. The lesson went really well and R explained that his whole family just goes to this one church and he feels like he should go with them occasionally to be supportive. But he still wants to get baptized into "our church" (his words!) and he wants to meet with us and stuff. We were very very relieved about how well that went.

But THEN the next day he called us again and said that he actually just wants to postpone everything and doesn't want to learn right now. He said he wanted to wait at least until after his online classes are done before he starts up again with the lessons. So like in 10 weeks! ARE YOU KIDDING ME. We were so upset and I'm still upset about it! Our Ward Mission Leader told us he has "a plan" so we're banking on that, although we have no idea what the plan is. We think R's family is influencing him and not wanting him to meet with us and that they're telling him what to do, which is really frustrating. Please keep him in your prayers!

The guy who punched a llama, B, just had surgery on his rotator cuff. I guess he punched the llama too hard..... just kidding, he's been long due for surgery. We saw him like 2 days after and taught him and he was definitely medicated. That was a fun lesson.

We met some really cool people this week and found quite a few new investigators, buuuuut nobody wants to get baptized! It's really discouraging. I mean this is the greatest message ever and being baptized by the Priesthood authority is pretty much the most fantastic gift/blessing you could have but I guess people just aren't seeing that right now.

This Saturday is the 4th of July and we have NOTHING planned. I have a feeling it's going to be a really long day. Holidays on the mission are so weird because you still have to go out and work, but literally no one wants to talk to you! They're too busy barbequing :P Mmm that sounds so good right now. Oh Sister V is kind of a vegetarian so I probably won't be getting much red meat for the next couple of transfers! Definitely not going to have llama again. Sad life.

One of our new investigators apparently has a crush on my companion....he randomly texted us yesterday while we were at church and said "V is cute." I about died. I think we might have to pass him off to the Elders....

I can't think of anything else that happened. Oh shout out to my momma - today is her birthday! Woohoo! She's two years older than she was when I left. How strange.

Have a great last couple days of June, be good, and remember who you are and what you stand for!

Love,
Sister Koenig

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A day late - Sorry!

Sorry I didn't email yesterday! The stinkin library was closed. Of course. I was so excited to have a perfect first p-day with my greenie, Sister V, and pretty much everything that could have gone wrong did! It was not great. But she's a good sport.

Sister V is awesome. She came pre-trained. Like literally, she used to be a Jehovah's Witness, so she already knows how to knock doors!!! Haha it's wonderful. She's a convert of about 4 years, and she has a testimony that burns brightly within her. She can't even contain it. She's already leading lessons and has no fears and I am so proud of her! I think she's actually training me and President just forgot to mention that.

She's from Sequim, WA, so not very far from Edmonds!!! She's certainly making it easier for me to check off my bucket list item of visiting all of my mission companions. She's the only member of the Church in her family but she has a great ward family who are so supportive. She loves music and theater and was going to be an Opera major at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle but now she's not sure what she wants to do. A mission will do that to ya :P

We had a really great first week and we worked so hard. Every night I came home sweaty and exhausted and ready to hit my pillow. It's been over 100 degrees every day and basically all we've done is go tracting! We found 8 new people to teach and we had some really great lessons with investigators and members. The members are really stepping up their missionary efforts and we got 5 solid referrals this week! That was really exciting.

We tracted into this one old man who is a Mennonite (there are tons of Mennonites here) and he was telling us about his experience going to a Mennonite church in another state. He said that at the end of the service all the men were going around and embracing and kissing each other (like big man hugs with a kiss on the cheek? I think??) and he thought to himself "Whoooaaa they better not kiss me!" So I said, "You're not much of a kisser?" and he looked at me and said "You wanna try me??" IT WAS SO FUNNY. And his wife was in the other room haha. Awkward!

I started the Book of Mormon over this week and I'm marking all the references to Christ and keeping track of how many different names I find for him. I'm almost done with 2 Nephi and I've got about 60 names of Christ so far! Most importantly, my testimony has been strengthened so much already of His infinite goodness and divinity. I know that He is my Savior and Redeemer, my Comforter and my Counselor. With Him all things are possible, and through Him I have found so much joy and peace in my life. I know that the Book of Mormon truly is another testament of Christ and anyone who reads it will come closer to Him. I'm so grateful that the Lord has once again reached out in love and revealed more of His word through the scriptures and through a modern day prophet!

I love this work and I love my Savior. I also love all of you and I'm so grateful for the immense support you all give me. I couldn't do it without you!

Love,
Sister Koenig

Monday, June 15, 2015

I'm having a baby girl!

I'm staying in good ol' Uncompahgre and training a new missionary! Woohoo!! My first daughter :) I won't find out who she is or anything until transfer meeting tomorrow, but I'm really excited. There are 8 Sisters coming to our mission this transfer, and only 3 Elders! That's very very very unusual but much needed. We've been running low on estrogen out here and it's problematic.

I'm super bummed that Sister Patera left me (she's going to read this now so I can't say anything mean about her....just kidding Sister PAT), but I'm excited for the miracles and fun times to be had in the upcoming transfers.

This week was great. We saw R and his mom S on Tuesday and they are on date to be baptized in July!!! They totally remember me and think it's the most clear sign from Heavenly Father that this is where they need to be, and this is the path they need to be taking. Sooooo cool. We taught them about the Restoration and they loved everything we taught and the Spirit was really strong. Then a couple days later we taught more about the Book of Mormon and they ate it right up! R has already been devouring the Doctrine and Covenants (apparently someone gave him all the Standard Works at church, along with a Gospel Principles book that he's been reading!!!) and now he's even more excited to read the Book of Mormon. And he came to church again on Sunday. AMAZING.

We also started teaching this former investigator in the Delta Ward named A. Sister Patera taught her a few months back, but then she started having some hard times with family and basically disappeared off the face of the earth. Sister P could never reach her, so they dropped her. Last week the Elders were tracting her street and she said "Where's my Sisters?! Send me my Sistahhhs!!!" So we're teaching her again haha.

She told us that she would come to church and wanted us to call her Sunday morning at 7:30 to remind her. We called and all she said was "HEY!! I'M UP AND WE'RE GETTIN READY!!!!" and then we said "OK! See you soon, bye!" We went to Delta Ward which we aren't really supposed to, but we had an investigator coming and it was Sister Patera's last Sunday and she's served there for 6 months. Soooo we went. We waited and waited for A....and she didn't show. We even had a member save a row for A and her kids and we put our bags in the pew and waited in the foyer and she never came!!! We were so bummed, and then it was really awkward because we didn't know what to do. At that point church had been going for about 20 minutes and we didn't want to interrupt the service by grabbing our bags, but we also didn't want to sit in the foyer the entire 70 minutes. We kept praying that A would show and she didn't! :( The Bishop had even asked Sister Patera to bear her testimony at the end of Sacrament meeting but she texted him about halfway through and said "Our investigator isn't here so we'll probably leave. Sorry." Oh and we were really sad because the sacrament meeting was PERFECT for A - it addressed all of her concerns and talked about family so much and it was just perfect. We kept thinking "AHHH you need to hear this!!!!!!!" It was really frustrating.

Then after it was over we ran into the chapel to grab our bags and book it out of there. It was a little embarrassing because we had told all these members that we we had someone coming, and she didn't come... BUT THEN, this member came up to me and said "Oh your investigator said she was so sorry she missed you but she had to leave." We were like "WHAAAAAAAT?!?!?!?" Apparently she had been there THE WHOLE TIME sitting in the back with a member who Sister Patera brought to some lessons months ago. She had to leave right when it was over to bring her kids to her mom's house. We were so bummed that we didn't see her and we felt like the biggest idiots, but she was there!!!!!!! That was a miracle. A very weird and emotional rollercoaster-y miracle, but a good one.

Yesterday Sister Patera drove to Denver right after sacrament meeting and I hung out with S, a member my age in the Ward who comes out with us all the time. We were going to see this less-active and were walking up to her house when I got distracted by a bug that was flying around my feet. I was watching it, and walking, when all of a sudden there was this huge "DING" and a shooting pain in my forehead. Well, I'm an idiot and wasn't watching where I was going, and I totally walked into this huge metal bell and wowzaa it hurt. I still have a mark on my forehead. Embarrassing.

Then last night S and her family brought me to Montrose to stay with the Spanish Sisters. They are sooo great and I love them! We went on a Coldstone date today and we're making dinner tonight. Good times.

Transfer meeting is tomorrow afternoon in Junction and the greenie and I are going to get to work! Please pray for us to have a good first week. :)

I love you all!
Sister Koenig

Monday, June 8, 2015

"CHECK YOUR SPEED"

On Tuesday morning we drove to Grand Junction for a meeting with a bunch of missionaries out West. It was a really good meeting and the Spirit was so strong and wonderful. Except for one part.....the installation of the BLACK BOX. I hate it. It's this horrible little device that is stuck to our front window and is plugged in under the steering wheel. It keeps track of everything we do and it talks to us when we do something wrong. If it talks to us too much, we could get our driving privileges revoked.....scary!

This man came from Salt Lake who is in charge of the cars for the church. He's the " Mission Fleet Coordinator"....so fancy. He did this whole powerpoint demonstration to teach us about the black boxes and stuff. Anyway, it keeps talking to Sister Patera and me. We've had to go on a few really long drives this week for Doctors appointments and the roads we take are in the middle of NOWHERE and everyone goes like 80 even though the speed limit is 60 and we accidentally speed a little....but then it says "CHECK YOUR SPEED" and we freak out and slam on the brakes. Then we freak out even more because it also can get mad at you if you slam on the brakes too hard, so we panic a little bit. So safe! Also it told Sister Patera that she was an "aggressive driver" when she pulled out of our driveway because we have to go over this big curb haha. Whoops.

There was a lot of drama and confusion with Sister Patera's medical treatment this week. We thought she was supposed to get an xray on Tuesday, but she actually got a CT scan on Thursday. I'm not going to go too much into the drama of that, but it was really intense. On Thursday afternoon the spinal surgeon read her CT scan and said that the only problem is that bulged disc and he doesn't know why it hasn't gotten better. He suggested that she do cardiovascular exercise, but not running or jumping. And as a missionary she can't swim, so....WE GOT BIKES!!!! Remember last year when I was on a bike? Haha that ended well. Don't worry, we wear helmets and don't go down any big hills so it's all good!

Sister Patera officially decided that she's going home at the end of this transfer, so I'll be getting a new companion next Tuesday. I'm glad that she's going to be able to go home and get better, but I'm kinda bummed because she's awesome and we've had a lot of fun together these past couple months doing nothing! Really though she's an amazing missionary and person and such a trooper. I wouldn't have lasted nearly this long. She will be missed :/

On Thursday we got a call from the Spanish Elders and they said they had a referral for us for this man and his mom. They just moved to Olathe from Denver and the man, R, really wants to learn more about the church. They set up a time for a church tour on Saturday and told us to call him. Well we called him Saturday morning and unfortunately they weren't able to meet that afternoon, but R came to church on Sunday!!! A member picked him up and they were a few minutes late, but when he walked in he looked SO FAMILIAR. The whole time in sacrament meeting I was staring at him and trying to figure out how I know him. I leaned over to Sister Patera and said "I think I taught him in Denver last year. I remember a man that we met who was walking his dog and we taught him about the Restoration and then set up a time to see him. Every time we went by his mom answered and said he was busy with his online classes." Sure enough, after church we introduce ourselves and I asked where he moved from. He said "I just came from Lakewood" and I said "Yeah I think I met you last year..." and he said "Yeah, you and your friend Sister O, I remember that." SO WEIRD.
We're seeing him tomorrow and it just gets even weirder - LAST YEAR when I met him, he kept looking at me weirdly and kept saying that he thought he had met me before. I said "I really don't think so..." and he said "Yeah, you helped me move into my house a year ago." and I said "No that wasn't me, I wasn't here a year ago" and he said "Oh I guess you just look exactly like this other girl." So that was all A YEAR AGO. Well, now he just moved into his house here in Olathe and WE MIGHT BE HELPING HIM MOVE IN THIS WEEK. A year AFTER I met him. How freaky, right?! It's so weird. But he loved church, and plans on coming again next week! We'll invite him to be baptized tomorrow when we see him. So strange.

Well we have to go to Physical Therapy now. Thank you all for your support and encouragement! It means so much to me!!!

Love,
Sister Koenig

Monday, June 1, 2015

Happy June!

C got baptized on Saturday!!!!!!! It was the most incredible experience ever. Our Ward Mission Leader, Brother Christensen, is his bestie for life and they're so funny together. He made the whole thing happen, honestly. I really want there to be a Mormon message about them, or at least an Ensign article. It would be so inspirational. So, for now I'll just give a shout-out to Brother Christensen, in Pea Green CO, for being the best member missionary and FRIEND ever.

Because C is a paraplegic, there were of course a few complications that needed to be worked out. They decided that they would put him on a shower chair for old people and carry him into the font. Brother Christensen baptized him, and J (another awesome member who always drives C to church) was also in the font to help. When they dunked him the first time, it didn't go super well and his foot stuck out of the water... :( So they had to baptize him again. He was such a good sport (like he is with everything) and everyone was all worried for him but C was just making jokes about it. Once he was baptized they carried him out of the font and took him into the bathroom where Brother Christensen had this whole setup, including a bed to change C on. Wowza. It took like a good 20 minutes, so in the meantime we played Finding Faith in Christ. It was the perfect movie for the occasion. Near the end C came in and then it showed all these amazing miracles that Christ performed and everyone was crying. All of the talks and everything was centered on eternal families, and on the resurrection. C even shed a couple tears when our Bishop was talking about the Christ-like love Brother Christensen has for him. He said that watching Brother Christensen in the font was the closest thing he had ever seen to watching the Savior help someone. The Spirit was so strong.





Then C was confirmed on Sunday and again it was an amazing blessing and there was an amazing Spirit in the chapel. I got to speak yesterday and I talked all about the Atonement and the Savior's love for us and how His Atonement enables us to share the gospel fearlessly. Then this girl Keanna who leaves for her mission in 9 days to Texas spoke all about following Lord's plan for our lives. It was great.

Besides the baptism, this week was a little crazy. We came home on Friday and our water pressure was really weak, and then our kitchen sink started spraying from the handle and leaking like crazy. We turned the hot water off which helped a bit but it was still leaking and the water pressure was weird. Finally after like three hours (and lots of soaking towels) there was a weird noise in the pipes. We tried the other sinks in the house and they worked perfectly. Apparently there was a pipe in the park next to our house that broke and started flooding everywhere and it messed up everyone's water on our block. Unfortunately for us, it also broke the already weak seal on our kitchen faucet......So I had to go under the sink, digging through about 5000 grocery bags, to figure out how to turn off the dang water. Finally I got it. I told Sister Patera that I should have paid more attention when my dad showed me how to do that....but hey, in the end it all worked out! Our water to the sink is still off. Hopefully our landlord arranges for a guy to come fix it soon...

I can't remember anything else that happened but it was just crazy.

Tomorrow we have this big specialized training in Junction and they're going to install these horrible black boxes in our car that will monitor our driving. Eek! If we brake too hard, or speed, or do ANYTHING WRONG, it will report us to the Mission Office and ultimately we can get our driving privileges revoked. So instead of getting Ipads, we get this. Cool.


It's pretty here

Our mission's water fast ended June 1st, so we've been drinking plenty of non-H2O liquid already today. We're about to go get some Diet Coke and I am practically shaking with excitement.

Well, I hope you all have a fantastic week. Letters are always appreciated :)

Love,

Sister Koenig

P.S. The llama was DELICIOUS. I seriously would have eaten it again, any day. Yum yum yum. It tasted kind of like lamb in a gyro. Mmmmmm :) We brought some to Sister Patera's PT appointment on Thursday and it was a huge hit. Everyone ate a piece haha.

Mmmmmm... llama!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

MIRACLES!! And snakes!

C is getting baptized on Saturday! He had his baptismal interview last night and passed it like a champ :) We are soooooo excited and I seriously can't wait. Please keep him in your prayers! He is such a special soul and I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to know him and help him to make covenants with Heavenly Father! It's pretty much the best thing ever. He texted us after the lesson and said "Thank You for all the lessons and help you've all given me in preparation for my baptism on Saturday!!!! I feel truly blessed to have had you both as my teachers!!!! You are both extremely special ladies to me." Awwww :D :D It was precious.

When we went to his house yesterday it was about 95 degrees in there. He has like no body fat and is always cold, so he had his heater on and was wearing two shirts and a sweatshirt and a thick beanie, while the rest of us were DYING. Oh man it was so hot. We brought this girl from the ward with us to the lesson. She's going on her mission to Texas in a couple weeks! She was dying from the heat just as much as we were and we told her she's gonna have a rough time in the South haha. But she'll do great.

Lately we've seen this garter snake around our house that goes under our porch. It creeps us out a lot. On Sunday I almost stepped on it after church!!! AHHH. Then an hour or so later our neighbor who shares the townhouse with us saw ANOTHER snake by her door. So we freaked out and called the Elders to come kill the snakes (which didn't go well and caused some drama. Whoops! Let's just say they didn't come...and now our neighbor hates them) and then called a member to come. He came prepared with gloves and thick boots and a bucket. We walked around and looked for movement and tried to find the snakes, and he would snatch em and put them in the bucket. We found 5 snakes total and they were soooo gross. The member brought his two year old daughter who kept calling the snakes her friends and wanted to pet them haha. We're wimps.

Ew

Then yesterday I opened our front door and left the room for just a minute. When I came back to the room there was this horrible noise that sounded like a massive bee buzzing around and hitting something. I was freaked out.....but it was just a hummingbird! He was so cute and was stuck inside our house, hitting against the window over and over! Poor thing. Sister Patera and I formed a rescue party and got him out safely :) And of course we got a video, because duh. I have to preserve these kinds of things for my posterity so they know how COOL my life is.

On Friday the Spanish Elders texted us and told us they had a referral for us. They were tracting and met this woman who said she wasn't interested but her granddaughter M has been looking for missionaries for months now. They told us that and said the granddaughter would be home all day Saturday. We went on exchanges Friday night so I wasn't there, but Sister Patera and Hermana Bendorf went and tried this girl. She's 17, and SO AMAZING. Apparently a while back she was searching online to learn more about God and she came across mormon.org. She said that she loved everything she read and knew it was true! They taught her lesson one and she totally recognized the Spirit. She accepted the baptismal date of June 23rd and is really excited about it. At the end they asked her if she had any questions and she said "Yeah I just have one....where can I get one of those books that it talks about on the website?" As in the Book of Mormon. Yeah she's so solid.

While I was on exchanges I was totally blessed with the gift of tongues and I knew nearly everything that everyone was saying the whole day. I even taught part of the Restoration in Spanish! It was really cool. The Spanish Elders gave the Spanish Sisters a referral that day too. They told us they had just been tracting in these trailers and had just met a woman and done the survey with her and gave her a pamphlet and told us to try her the next week on Saturday. Well Sister Allison decided to try her right then, so we did, and it was incredible! Her name is B and she has the cutest little boys. We taught them the Restoration and the Spirit was so strong in there. She also accepted a baptismal date of June 1 and so did her son who is 8. They are really excited about it.

Last week at the library some weirdo in a pink shirt dropped a piece of paper on Sister Patera's keyboard as he walked by. It had his name and phone number on it hahahaha. Sister Patera freaked out and gave it to the Elders and told them it was a referral :P Then they guy came back in the library and kept staring at her!! Finally he left and about 20 minutes later we left too. Sister Patera jokingly peeked outside to make sure he wasn't waiting for her, but then when we went outside he TOTALLY WAS WAITING under this tree!!!!! Thankfully he was on his phone and we rushed out to the car while he stared.

Two days after that we had District Meeting and the Elders said "Sister Patera, we talked to your secret admirer. Although I guess he's not so secret." They had actually called him and told him that they were the missionaries and asked if he wanted to learn more. He freaked out and then said "Wait. Did a tall girl or a short girl give you my number?" I'm the short girl. Then he said he was Baptist and wasn't interested lol.

To update you all on Sister Patera, she is doing ok. We're working more, but still not full days. She's such a champ though, I probably would have given up way long ago. I'm so blessed to have her as a companion, serving in this area with these special people.



Next week I'll only have 20 weeks left on my mission and that is so crazy to me. I've been reflecting quite a bit lately on the Lord's hand in my life, leading me up to this point. I am so grateful to know that He really is in charge and that He has the best plan that will lead to ultimate happiness. This upcoming Sunday I'm speaking at church about the Atonement and how it has helped me with my missionary work. Well if it wasn't for the Atonement of Jesus Christ, I definitely would not be here today and I certainly would not be as happy and blessed as I am.

I hope you all have a wonderful week and that you can see the Lord's hand in your life, leading and guiding you to where He knows you need to be.


Love,

Sister Koenig