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!!!!!!!!

Sister Koenig


 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.

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 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