Monday, February 23, 2015


Can you believe how fast this month has gone by?!?! Next week is March. What.

We had a much better week here in good ol' Paonia!!! The beginning was a little rough, but we have had a fantastic weekend.

We've done a LOT of finding this week, because we pretty much have nothing else to do. There were like 3 people in our teaching pool....that's rough guys. Really rough.

But the problem is that Sister Nielsen has been here for 8 months, and everyone in the towns of Paonia and Hotchkiss knows her. So when we go finding, we have to really really rely on the Spirit, and we mostly work out in the boonies! It's great.

Our goal this week was to stay positive and be happy, and have more faith. We didn't really know how to do that, but decided that truly the only way we could increase our faith was to keep working. And the best way to be happy is to work hard and follow the Spirit. I made a goal of acting on every spiritual prompting I received, no matter how crazy or obscure they were. On Wednesday night we were planning what to do the next day and I decided to pray in the middle of our planning to ask Heavenly Father where we needed to be. I got the impression of the name of a street that I had never heard of, Davis Rd. I didn't even know if there was a Davis Rd, but sure enough we looked at the map and found it! So we went there the next day. This is Davis Rd:

Yup, that's where the Spirit sent us haha. Everyone was either not home, or not interested. And by "everyone," I mean all 4 houses on the road lol. Then we had another prompting to go to Yeoman Rd. I don't even know how to say that. But it was the same situation. It sounds awfully depressing, right? However, it was actually so great! We knew that we were following the Spirit and trusting in the Lord, even if He was sending us to the most ridiculous places.

I learned a really important lesson this week. Sometimes the Lord wants you to learn to trust in Him. Other times He wants to see if He can trust YOU. I feel like this week we were given the opportunity to prove ourselves to the Lord. He is looking for servants like Nephi, who said, "I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them." (1 Nephi 3:7) He wants people who will do whatever He asks of them. This week we were tested, and we proved ourselves to Him.

Last night we again were following a prompting to go try a family in Crawford. It was snowing pretty hard, and they lived out in the boonies on a dirt road. Not the safest situation, I'll admit. But we went out there, and found two houses on the road. We didn't know which was the house that the family lived in, so we tried both. In the first house we found the most incredible family I've met my entire mission. There's a mom and dad and 3 adorable children. They let us in, and took our survey, and we shared the Restoration with them. They had never even heard of Joseph Smith (which is a good thing). We asked them if they felt that God hears and answers their prayers and they said "OH YEAH. He's done some pretty amazing things for us." They told us their story, and it was seriously the most incredible story I've ever heard. She had a medical problem a few years ago, and she doesn’t have any memories at all from before that point. When we were teaching them, the Spirit was so strong and they just loved everything we were saying. The wife at one point turned to her husband and said "Have we heard this before?" (because she doesn't remember anything before she got sick) and he said "No" and she said "Because it sounds SO familiar." It was really cool.

Snow and Deer - There are so many of them here!

I know that God is preparing His children - both those who need to receive the gospel, and those who need to share it. Although this transfer has been hard, and I've been stretched in ways I didn't even think possible, I have grown immensely. I can feel the Spirit working so strongly in my life, and I can feel God's loving guidance more than ever.

I love you all and I'm so grateful for the love and support and prayers you give me. Stay amazing :)

Sister Koenig

Oh ps, it snowed a ton last night. I had to drive on dirt roads like this all day. It was great.

Good thing I have 4-wheel drive!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Craziest. Week. Ever.

I got transferred to Paonia with Sister Nielsen!!!! Yes, it is a Ward, to answer all of you who asked. My area covers the tiny mountain towns of Paonia, Hotchkiss, Somerset, Lazear, and Crawford. And a whole lot of nothing in between. It's definitely a culture shock.

Panoia ("Pay-own-yuh")

Ok I don't want to get into complaining mode or anything, but this has been THE HARDEST WEEK of my ENTIRE MISSION. I got transferred to this tiny town that slightly terrifies me. There are also many windy roads with steep cliff drop-offs, which if you know anything about me, you know that that is my biggest fear. I thought I was going to have a panic attack the first day. Thankfully I'm driving now, because I have to take over the area in 5 weeks when Sister Nielsen goes home, and that makes it more bearable. Yup, I'm sending another companion home. It's great.

We went straight to work when I got here. We were tracting and talking to everyone, and EVERYONE HATED US. I have never experienced so much anti-Mormon hatred ever in my life. All the people we have talked to this week have been so hardened and they just want to bash us. That's been rough.

On Thursday night a member was driving us to a lesson out in the boonies and we were driving on one of those scary windy roads with a drop off. A car passed us going the opposite direction and flashed their brights, which is apparently a warning that there are deer ahead, so we slowed down. Sure enough, there were deer (they're EVERYWHERE!!!!) and we slowed down a bit. Right after the deer was our turn into the driveway of this less-active member's house that we were trying to see. Sister Nielsen kind of frantically said "TURN RIGHT HERE!" so the member slammed on the brakes to not miss it. Unfortunately, there was a man behind us driving too close to us....and he hit us. It was a miracle though, because instead of being hit by a massive truck with an attached trailer going the normal 60 mph in that area, we were hit by a massive truck with an attached trailer going 45 mph lol. The damage really wasn't even bad, he just dented the bumper, and the member's husband is like a vehicle fabricator or something along those lines? I'm not sure. Basically he can fix it no problem. So don't worry - we're all fine and well. No one was injured. God was definitely watching out for us.

 Scary Roads!


Then on Friday we were out tracting and a dog bit Sister Nielsen's leg. I thought it was just a love nip, so I was like "Oh ha ha he got you! You'll be fine. Keep walking." I'm so sympathetic, right?? That night, she took her tights off and showed me these MASSIVE BRUISES where he bit her. Whoops. I'm really a nice person, I promise....

Speaking of Sister Nielsen, she has been here in Paonia for about 8 months. By the end of this transfer it will be 9. This is only her 3rd area in the mission, which is crazy to me. She's really wonderful, and the hardest working and most obedient missionary I know. I'm really grateful to be her companion, because I'm learning so much from her and she motivates me to work harder each day. She thought for sure she would be transferred this past week, and she wasn't. So she doesn't understand why she's still here, and I don't understand why I'm here at all, and together we're kind of like two chickens running around with their heads cut off. It's a lovely sight.

I have never prayed so much in my life. I have never relied so heavily on the Lord. I have been soooo humbled this week, and have realized truly just how much I need Heavenly Father. I know I have a lot to learn here. It's a hard area, but the hard things help you to grow the most. The key to know God is to struggle. It's been amazing too because despite how crazy and slightly awful things have been, I feel this strange sense of peace and calm over me. I know that that is from the Spirit, helping me to know that I am doing all that I can despite that extreme difficulties being thrown at me.

I am grateful for all of the love and support you give me, and all of the prayers in my behalf. I know that it is through the power of prayer that we've made it safely through this week, and that I've made it through mentally as well. Thank you thank you thank you. I love you all, and I hope you have a fantastic week.

Sister Koenig

Monday, February 9, 2015


Sister Pearson left me this morning to head off to Denver. I am going to miss her so much! We had such a great transfer together and I learned so much from her, but it is time for her to go home! Unfortunately, I found out on Saturday night that I am getting transferred and they are taking Sisters out of GJ 7th Ward. I have never felt so heartbroken and sad on my mission :( I wasn't expecting it at all, and when the Assistants to the Mission President called and told me that, I cried for like half an hour straight! Pathetic. But I just loved this ward and this area soooo so so much that it feels like I'm leaving home again.

I have learned so much here in Grand Junction 7th. My testimony has been strengthened beyond what I could have ever imagined. My love for the Savior and the Gospel has grown exponentially. I feel like this has been my true conversion area - I have gone through some of the hardest things, but also witnessed some of the most incredible miracles, and I am coming out of it so much better than how I was when I went in.

This week Sister Pearson and I went tracting a lot, but didn't find anyone new to teach lol. It was still fun though. One time, we were walking up to a house when we noticed a cat following us. It wouldn't go away, and we were afraid to knock on the door because we thought the cat would run inside right when they opened it. So we started walking to the next house, and the cat followed us everywhere we went! I named him Mr. Pickles. He was SO CUTE. And fluffy. I loved him. He kept following us and then I started to pet him and he clearly wanted to be picked up so I picked him up. He IMMEDIATELY started purring his little head off and rubbing his head on me and it was the cutest thing EVER. I wanted to take him home with me. Sister Pearson told me I couldn't. She's an animal hater. Anyway, I got some great pictures with Mr. Pickles. Look how cute we are -

 I held him for like 20 minutes and we walked around and I sang to him and rocked him and then did the Lion King thing and raised him above my head like Rafiki did with baby Simba on Pride Rock. He didn't care at all. He just wanted love. I probably could have thrown him up in the air and caught him and he wouldn't even bat an eye. Eventually Sister Pearson made me put him down and we walked back to the car and he followed us all the way and then we drove away and I was sad. I miss him.

Yesterday was a great day too, other than the fact that I had to say goodbye to everybody :( An Elder serving in 7th Ward sang a duet with me at church for Stake Conference, which went really well. And so many of our investigators and less-active members came to church, which just filled my little heart with joy! And Brother G passed the sacrament again!!! So many happy things :D  M and R came to church, and we also got to see them after church to teach a final lesson and take some pictures. And then the rest of the night was pretty much just us running around to different houses to say bye. I hate saying goodbye, because it just doesn't seem right. I feel like we are not meant to say goodbye, because things are not meant to end!

I think President Uchtdorf put it best when he said,
"In light of what we know about our eternal destiny, is it any wonder that whenever we face the bitter endings of life, they seem unacceptable to us? There seems to be something inside of us that resists endings. 

Why is this? Because we are made of the stuff of eternity. We are eternal beings, children of the Almighty God, whose name is Endless and who promises eternal blessings without number. Endings are not our destiny. 

The more we learn about the gospel of Jesus Christ, the more we realize that endings here in mortality are not endings at all. They are merely interruptions—temporary pauses that one day will seem small compared to the eternal joy awaiting the faithful. 

How grateful I am to my Heavenly Father that in His plan there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings."

I am "made of the stuff of eternity," and as such I hate endings and goodbyes! But I am so thankful to know the eternal nature of all things, especially relationships, and knowing that I can see all these people I love again someday.

I know that God is our loving Heavenly Father. He sent us here to this earth to learn and to gain experiences and to prove ourselves so that we can return to live with Him. Jesus Christ truly is our Savior and He loves us more than we can ever imagine. He knows EVERYTHING about us, and still loves us unconditionally. Isn't that incredible??

Because they love us so much, they've given us the gospel, and the Priesthood power on the earth so that we can do the things necessary to be clean to enter into their presence again someday and to feel comfortable there. They've given us families, and Prophets, and other resources to help us learn. I know that Joseph Smith really saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ when he was 14 years old, and he spent the rest of his life being an instrument in their hands to restore the Gospel and the Priesthood on the earth. He was called to be a Prophet, just as Thomas S. Monson has been called as a Prophet today. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord's Restored Church on the earth, and the Book of Mormon is truly the word of God written by His prophets. And through the gospel and the Priesthood, families can be together forever and we can find greater happiness than by any other means.

I know that all these things are true. I hope that if you don't know those things for yourself, that you will do what is necessary to find out. There are eternal truths that are unchanging, whether we accept them or not. My prayer is that all of you will come to the knowledge of these truths for yourselves, and always be doing things to strengthen that knowledge. There is no limit to what we can learn, and there are SOOOO many resources to help us in this great search for truth. If you don't know where to start, try the Church's official website. There you can find Holy Scriptures (the Bible and Book of Mormon, etc), talks from modern-day prophets and apostles, and many many other resources to strengthen home and family.

I love you all and I am so grateful for the knowledge I have that you are all my brothers and sisters. Each of you has divine worth as sons and daughters of God, and there is no limit to your potential. Never forget how important you are, and never forget how much you are loved.

Sister Koenig    

P.S. If you want my new address, you can message me or Alannah on Facebook.  :)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

Monday, February 2, 2015

It's February!!!!!!!

Whoa guys. January went by wayyyyy too fast, and next week I will have been out on my mission for 10 months! That's freaky!!! This past week was great. I am healed! I am no longer sick. That right there is a miracle, let me tell you. We also did a lot of finding and teaching which was so great. I love missionary work. Staying inside for too long is awful.

I tried so hard this week to implement the new mission goals and tools, especially teaching lessons with the pamphlets and putting people on date for baptism after the first lesson. I asked 3 people to be baptized, which was exciting. Only one said a solid yes, but the other two are promising! There is one part-member family that we are working with, and the husband is not a member, but he's letting us teach him. We taught this AMAZING lesson about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and really emphasized the Priesthood, and baptism, and how the Priesthood was taken from the earth for a time but then restored through Joseph Smith, and it was one of the greatest lessons I've ever taught. It was so clear, and simple, and we thought he was really understanding the importance of that Priesthood power. I asked him, "Do you believe that Joseph Smith received the Priesthood from Christ's apostles?" and he said "Yes." He also believes that Joseph Smith is a prophet, and that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. So then I said "Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the Priesthood authority of God?" and he said "I've already been baptized." In the Baptist church, when he was a kid. In my head I was like NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! GAH YOU DON'T GET IT" but out loud I said "Yes, but will you be baptized by the PRIESTHOOD AUTHORITY?" and he said "I don't know." So we’ll see what happens next.

We've also been teaching these young girls lately. 2 of them are sisters. We asked the N family in our ward if we could bring them for a Family Home Evening a few weeks back, and they said of course. Only one came, but she loved it, so the next week the other one came too, and their friend A came. Well, the N family told all of the girls that if they ever needed anything, they just needed to call and ask them. They gave them their number and were just soooo kind to these girls.

The friend they brought LOVES the things that were taught at Family Home Evening. At first A was sooo shy and nervous, but by the end of the night she loved it and was involved and answering questions and she even prayed! Then a few days later I guess she called the N family and they invited her to stay over for the weekend. This was a couple weeks ago.

Then she was there at the last Family Home Evening, a week ago. And then this last weekend she stayed with the family again because her mom went out of town and she needed a place to stay. The family texted us yesterday morning and said "A just asked if she can be baptized, and she asked Brother N to baptize her." Uhhhh, ok!!!!! We got the text and we were freaking out. It was so cool. That kind of thing just doesn't happen.

She came to church yesterday, and loved it, and then we went over last night and taught her about the Restoration. In order to get baptized, of course she first has to take the missionary lessons. We also have to make sure it's ok with her mom, because she has to give permission. But we don't think that will be a problem, because the mom keeps telling people "I don't care what church she goes to, it's making her a better person!" and stuff like that. There are a couple of other issues too, so please pray that everything will work out there the way it needs to!

We got a new Bishop yesterday, which was pretty exciting. There were soooooo many people at church because of that. It was intense. They were passing the sacrament and they passed around the water, but not everyone got it. So they had a couple young men come back and grab the trays and pass them to those who didn't get it. They were really afraid because they were running out of water cups really fast! The Stake President got up while they were doing that and talked about the meaning and importance of the Sacrament, and said that if they ran out of cups they would prepare more. And then he explained the Priesthood and the importance of that when blessing and passing the sacrament. It was SO COOL, because they literally had the exact right amount of cups. There was not a single extra.

Transfers are next week, and I am sad because Sister Pearson leaves me to go back to Denver on Monday :( She is headed home on the 11th!!!! Weird. So I will be companion-less for a day...and I'll have to find some other Sisters to hang out with. And then the next day I will get a new companion! I really think I'm staying in this area, so I don't need to worry about that. And I'm so grateful because I LOVE GRAND JUNCTION 7TH WARD. It is quite possibly one of the greatest places on earth. I love love love it.

I can't think of anything else that happened this week. We literally ran from house to house on Saturday while we were tracting, which was very entertaining. How many of you have seen Sister Missionaries booking it down the street? Lol.

I hope you all have a great week and a fantastic month!

Sister Koenig