current weather for West Bakersfield, california

Monday, August 31, 2015

August 31, 2015

August 31, 2015


I'm in shock, I cannot believe how quickly time has gone! I'll be home before I know it :( but the work must go on! Even though Elder Antunez and Elder Willyerd are being transferred! It's really tough to see them go since the High Sierra district is so close. But I know the Lord needs them somewhere else! And the new Elder coming into the Bishop ward with us is British, so our District Leader will continue to have a thick accent when speaking English!

The High Sierra District
August 2015

We had a few miracles this week as well! Sister Liebelt told me all about Claudao, an investigator who loved this gospel and wanted to be baptized, but he moved to Mexico for 8 months. Well, turns out he came back early and He called US wanting to continue to take the discussions! We're not sure why he came back early but we're so grateful he did!

Also, we were teaching a part-member family about the importance of coming to church and one of them had a question about why it's important. He said how the Scriptures said that it isn't required, and the Spirit told me to go to 3 Nephi 18, and sure enough, it says right there that it is a commandment and it lists all the blessings we receive from going and partaking of the sacrament with one another every week! The spirit is so strong out here, I feel the Lord giving me strength each and every day!

I've been in primary the third hour of church the last three weeks and I absolutely love the children of this ward! So excited to learn and sing about Christ and our Heavenly Father, their simple and sweet testimonies about how loved they are has been giving Sister Liebelt and I a lot of strength to continue to go out and serve! It breaks my heart to think that there are people who don't know what that love and happiness feels like, and it only makes us more determined to share this gospel with EVERYONE we meet!

The area feels like a wonderland a bit. There are peacocks crossing the street and the horses, dogs and cats have been particularly wild lately. Not to mention the smoke from all the fires! It started raining ash here at one point this week, it’s been pretty bad, but it only lasts for a few hours, then the wind changes direction again and it goes somewhere else. We saw it coming once, a giant brown cloud over the mountain and in 20 minutes we were surrounded by brown fog!  But the Lord still gives us tender mercies and we can look at the beautiful mountains every morning when we wake up before death rolls in!

Clouds of ash and smoke from forest fires
August 2015

Clouds of ash and smoke from forest fires
August 2015

What do we cook? Tons and tons and TONS of quesadillas. Hawaiian haystacks, tomato soup, spaghetti, veggies, chicken, stuff like that. We're not sick of anything yet! And we didn’t have a single dinner last week so we're pros now! For breakfast, cereal and peanut butter apple, sometimes toast to replace something.

Our Ward Mission Leader just returned from his mission in Colorado where he served with Tate Jenkins, and in Tate’s missionary group was Zach Waldorf, who is Elizabeth Waldorf’s cousin.  It’s madness!

The largest closest city to Bishop is Reno, Nevada, people go there a lot, they have a Walmart. There are really small towns outside of Bishop that are like 10 miles apart, with nothing but desert between them, no suburbs like in Maryland.

I'm so sorry this is rushed again! But my testimony in the power of prayer and the wonderful gift of the atonement continues to grow! We have the atonement to CHANGE so we can be more like out father in heaven! How grateful I am for the Savior and all His love for us! I love you all so much and I hope this week is amazing!

Sister King

Monday, August 24, 2015

August 24, 2015

August 24, 2015

Our miracle this week was with Emily's family! We've been teaching her grandma, Trina (she only speaks Spanish and we have a translator), and we've been stopping by their house about 3 times a week for the last 3 weeks to try and get Emily and her mom involved as well. On Saturday we felt like we should stop by (again) and they were home! Daisy is Trina's daughter and her kids, Carlos and Emily, were there and they are the cutest family ever! We were talking about Joseph Smith and how he had questions about which church to join since there were so many and they were all conflicting, and Daisy's eyes just lit up. Her husband's been telling her to pick a church to go to and she said she had the same questions as Joseph Smith! She and her kids were extremely receptive to the lesson and want us to come back! 

The senior couple had us over TWICE this week for lunch and they are just about the most positive, happy and uplifting people you can find! I really am spoiled being in a ward with 6 missionaries. It will be hard to transition when I have to leave.

We had another lesson with Steven, who is a senior in High School, and we taught him about the plan of salvation. He just ate it all up! And he said his parents are interested and they asked him to re-teach what we tell him until all of us can meet! 

We can't see the mountains that are only 20 minutes away because of all the smoke from all the forest fires, and it's now in the 100s instead of the 90s like the last month. The only news we hear out here is how well the fires are being taken care of!

Thanks for the package. I'VE NEVER BEEN SO EXCITED FOR MINCED ONIONS AND PEPPER IN MY LIFE!!! THINGS CAN HAVE FLAVOR IT'S A MIRACLE!!  And the CDS!! We're saved! We were so sick of the music we had.  You guys are the best.   

We got up at 3:50 today to go on a 6 hour hike up in Mammoth and the surrounding area, so I'm not entirely sure if my mind is in a normal state at the moment! But here it goes!  We've agreed that when the world ends, we're coming here to die since its the greatest place on earth.

Climbing a small tree at the
edge of a cliff.

Rainbow Falls at Mammoth
Sister King and Sister Liebelt

Git R Done, with Sister King and Sister Liebelt

I don't have much time, but my testimony on the pioneers has gone through the roof this week! I've been studying them in "our heritage," this and last months Ensign and there's been some talks on it. They've increased my testimony so much, my trials seem so small in comparison. I know this church is true, I wish i could write more!

I love you all!

Monday, August 17, 2015

August 17, 2015

August 17, 2015

WOW! I just spent my whole email time looking at pictures of James, so I don't have much time! (Note: Allie's sister Amie had her second baby this week, James David Allen, cute as can be and everyone is doing well).

A quick tender mercy from the Lord: we were knocking doors in the 100 degrees and saw a peach tree. I told sister Liebelt "I really want a cold peach" since they looked warm and mushy and sad. Well, we knocked on a house and she let us in to give us some water since we looked dehydrated. Then she goes "Oh, and i have a cold peach too if you want it!" Me and Liebelt lost it, it was the same phrase and everything!

Keep our investigator Erik in your prayers, he got appendicitis and has been in the hospital all week!

We had exchanged in Ridgecrest (140 miles south), so we had to drive 2.5 hours down on Tuesday and 2.5 back up on Wednesday. It was such a cool experience, I was with Sister Jacobs and she has a very thick southern accent, she's from a farm in NC. By the end of the day I was speaking in one too! I didn't even realize it! At one point we went to visit an investigator but they weren't home. Sister Jacobs saw a group of people smoking across the street so she goes up, sits down and starts talking with them. It was probably one of the coolest experiences here, these people were SO funny and loved talking to us and were asking questions about the gospel and eventually said they wanted to learn more. One the guys there had a step dad who was a Mormon and didn't exactly do what he was supposed to be doing, so he told us that we changed his perspective on the church. Plus their lighters and matches stopped working and Sister Jacobs goes "oh sorry, those thing don't usually work around me" and we were all on the floor laughing. I've learned that the most fun I can have in Bishop is in trailer parks because everyone talks to everyone and loves everyone. I'm so grateful for this chance to meet amazing children of God and share what I love most with them!

There are now 6 missionaries in the Bishop ward! We just got a senior couple and they are just about the funniest, friendliest, coolest people you'll ever get to meet. They're from Vernal Utah and they'll be out 2 years! PLUS WE GOT A NEW WARD MISSION LEADER! His name is Jamie Greer, we're already good friends with him and he's the one who just got home from his mission in Colorado Springs! He's perfect for the job, he's dedicated and knows exactly how our minds work and what we need in a WML since he was just in our shoes!

We had a ward potluck on Saturday and it was a huge success! I absolutely love playing with the kids in primary, one of the members told Sister Liebelt that I probably had younger siblings because of the way I act with them HA. I just never grew up. I love this area, and we are seeing the ward get more and more excited about missionary work! Our ward council was all on hastening the work and strengthening the ward, I felt the spirit working in all of us as we came together to figure out what the Lord wants us to be doing!

I love this work and I love this gospel! It has brought me so much happiness and I can't begin to explain how much it has changed my life. This week we've been focusing on finding and helping families, and it has really made my appreciation for my amazing family go through the roof. That and baby James! How grateful I am to get to spend eternity with those whom I love most deeply! It makes being away for a year and a half easier! 

I love the people in this town so much, I love how everything is so connected and everyone knows everyone and is so trusting and kind. I love California.

I love you all so much and i hope you have an amazing week! (ESPECIALLY THOSE WITH JAMES!)

Found some horses in Bishop, California

Friendly horses

We have a rose bush in our front yard!

Monday, August 10, 2015

August 10, 2015

August 10, 2015

This week started out with a bang at Mammoth! IT'S THE MOST BEAUTIFUL PLACE ON EARTH! It's so rustic and full of trees and creeks and lakes, and I could stay there forever. but the work of heaven must go on!

At Mammoth Mountain

At Mammoth Mountain

Elder Willyerd (Allie's dad knew his father growing up in Rockville, MD), 
Sister King, Sister Liebelt, and Elder Vakalahi 
(whose cousin served in Derwood Ward about 5 years ago)

Tuesday was rough, everything kept falling through again, so we felt like we should go help at the care center a member owns. And as soon as we walked in all the workers told us they were just talking about how they wish we were there to help them! We did a bunch of the patients nails since there were more than the workers could handle, and Sister Liebelt got the nice friendly ones and I got the confused bitter ones. But still fun! It's nice to be led where the spirit needs us to be at the time!

We went knocking to find a street contact who lived on Dixon and we found Stephen! He's 17 and was extremely interested in the Book of Mormon and had us come the next day to teach the restoration! and on that same street we met Barbara, who is a protestant minister and loves the missionaries! She's been chatting with us for years and is just about the cutest and sweetest woman you could ever meet. Dixon was good to us that day!

We've been meeting with Alejandra and Maria more, and Maria, the younger one, is so receptive! Alejandra has an extremely short attention span though, and both looove playing with us. One of them calls me ganza, which is goose in Spanish. 

We taught Trina again, without her grandchildren. She's a friend of Angie in the ward but she only speaks Spanish, and wants women to teach her since she lives alone (her husband died 6 years ago). She said how she believes in prophets and will read the Book of Mormon and pray about it, and apparently (we didn't know this at the time) she's met with a lot of other missionaries and has NEVER committed to that before! We're excited for the progress she'll be making!

We found Ysenia my first day here because we were looking for someone on that street. We haven't had a chance to meet with her since, but we knock on her place about twice a week and her sister, Marlene, is there every time. She is the cutest, sweetest and happiest little girl I've ever seen, and her mom was home that time and said we can come back and teach them! The mom only speaks Spanish, so we're going with the elders. they're the dream family, I'm excited!

We had a girls night at Sister McLaughlin's, who is our mission mom, with Liea, the oldest Romero! We felt like she needed an extra spiritual boost since she's starting high school and they've been having a hard time getting to church. She was baptized a year ago, and really opened up that night! We had so much fun eating ice cream, talking about what high school will be like and how the gospel can help us through the hard times. she's been a lot more talkative with us and at basketball, and they were all at church on Sunday!

We went out to a restaurant THREE TIMES this week and had leftovers from all of them. it was such a glorious time to be alive. And one of them was with the Johnsons, and their son just got back from Colorado Springs. And guess what? He knows Tate Jenkins! And sister Daniels is from Maryland and Sister Steedle's (a less actives) husband is from Pittsburgh, so I just got a giant smack of home. it was amazing.

I'm rushing so I cant say everything I want to, but this week I've been continuing to read "Our search for Happiness" and have gained such a strong testimony in the beauty of the simple doctrine of Christ! Especially after I read Alma 37 and they talked about faith and the Liahona. It was the small acts that guided Lehi's family to the promised land, and it's the small acts that can guide us on the right path to out Father in Heaven. Studying complex doctrine and memorizing every fact about every prophet is great, but it will NEVER build faith the way simple and prayerful study of the Book of Mormon and Bible will. THAT should be our main source for knowledge and guidance!

The ant traps you sent are working wonders, and the socks fit perfectly! thank you so much!!

I love you all so much!

Monday, August 3, 2015

August 3, 2015, from Mammoth, California

August 3, 2015

I normally do my emails from the Bishop chapel, but today it's from a library in Mammoth, a ski resort near Yosemite, we're going hiking afterwards as a district.

Last week for pday the district played volleyball for hours at the chapel, and at one point when all hope seemed lost for my team, I bumped the ball over the net and it went into the basket. I almost cried, it was something I see on AFV! 

This week started out pretty rough. We had 5 lessons in a row drop, and another 3 later on. We went proselyting but didn't get much success, and we were feeling pretty down. It reminded me of the plagues with Moses too. One person's house had a rat infestation, one hurt his back, one had his pipes burst. But I was reading in Alma 26, and it was like every verse was for me. It talked about having faith in the Lord and His plan, and said that if we bear our afflictions with patience then He WILL bless us. So that's what we kept doing, Kept knocking and walking and visiting people. Then on Friday we got to meet with Eric, who never went to church growing up and didn't know anything about his Heavenly Father or Christ. When we told him that God is our loving father, you could tell he was coming to know that was true, and the ate up the restoration lesson. we even got him to pray out loud with others for the first time! it was short and simple but extremely powerful. it's amazing to see his testimony grow.  We also got to teach Nick! He's half Paiute half Irish, his son has bright red hair and blue eyes and looks nothing like him haha. But our lesson with him was so spot on, we talked about the gospel of Jesus Christ and we didn't have to teach him anything! He has such a strong testimony, we just had to show him this gospel and what it is, he has an amazing relationship with his savior. He's set to be baptized on Sept 19, but he still needs to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. That's also the day before Alejandra and Maria get baptized!! Have I talked about them yet? Their mom is being taught by the elders but she wanted girls to teach her daughters, so we get to do that! Maria turns 8 on that day, so it'll be such a cool celebration, I'm excited!

We parked our car to go visit someone but they weren't home. When we came back to the car there was a police officer waiting for us. We both had a mini heart attack and were going through our brains figuring out if we parked illegally. Turns out he's Mormon and has a son on a mission in Argentina! He gave us his number so he can buy us dinner at some point. He's from Idaho but commutes here. Madness. 

We've been visiting a lot of people from the ward, and they're all so great! we get so much ice cream here, it's heaven. One lady we visited, Sister Landdaker, is less active. she doesn't come to church because her sister needs 24/7 care and can't be alone. but she is so spunky! she makes a bunch of quilts for orphanages in mexico, built a shed by herself, and tends to this huge garden. She listens to devotionals Sundays since she cant go to church and knows everything about all the modern day prophets. She let us raid her pantry and I almost cried, we got so much food! We didn't have a dinner appointment that night and were pretty much out of food when this happened. I was reading more Alma after dinner and it talked about how when we serve the lord and help hasten his work, we don't need to worry about food or clothing because somehow, He will provide. and he did!! He blesses us so much.

Our little pastime this week was CUPCAKES!! (I sang that song from MLP so many times). We gave  them out to some of our investigators and members who are really good to us, like sister Mclaughlin and sister Wilson and Bob. They loved them and said it was just what they needed. Sister Wilson is downsizing soon but she didn't pack up 3 cups so that when we come over all of us can have water. 

Sister King and Sister Liebelt enjoying their cupcakes.

And Sister Daniels is from Maryland!! She grew up in Glen Burnie outside of Baltimore!! We sat on her porch during one of the rare rainfalls looking out at the mountains talking about crabs.

We have basketball/volleyball Tuesdays and Saturdays for people to come. There are rafters below the air vents in the gym and we lost all of our balls and one of Elder Vakalahi's shoes to them. We're awaiting a tall ladder at the moment.  

We went out with Angie, a super cool member who's from Mexico, to go teach the girls since she can actually communicate with their mom. They forgot about the lesson and weren't there, so Angie took us to see her friend Trina and her grandkids and it's the same situation. The adult only speaks Spanish, the kids speak both, and want English sisters. So we had a lesson with them and they want us to come back! They also wanted to set me and Sister Liebelt up with their brother.  Ha ha.  8 year olds.

There are so many kids here and they all love attacking me. So do dogs. I'm not sure what it is about me that makes them want to jump on me and smack my face but it's really endearing actually. There's one young boy who is a mixture of Brandon and Jordan, he held my hand and said "excuse me, will you sit by me at dinner?" and led me to the table. But he's also nuts. It makes me miss Lily.

We had and FHE with the Romero's last night, a family who got baptized a year ago, and it was such a cool experience. Calie and Raymond are four and six, so we got to teach them about Christ and His love for us, and Liea and Jr. are 13 and 14, so we had more in depth ones with them. We all wrote our testimony down without our names and switched them around and read them, it was so cool! I had to help Calie and Raymond write theirs since they can't spell well. They wanted to write "I love Jesus and heavenly father" and drew their family. Children really are the purest and cutest things. Of course right after that they ransacked my bag and jumped on my feet. I love them though!

The mountains are a lot prettier here than in Provo. They're wider, I think taller, and there's more of them. 

We have a  washer and dryer in the house. 

Mrs. Guttman loves reading my letters?  She is so sweet omg!! Jews are the best!!

I'm giving a talk on the 30th on the third article of faith!  

I hope you have a great week! I love you all so much!!

AHHH I got your package, I love it, especially the ant traps, they are so  needed. Thank you soso much. I deff need to get more of those socks, I can at Kmart or something WITH MY GIFTCARD! I flipped when i saw it, thanks so much!! And for the ant killer! The one we have doesn't work, our house has been overtaken.

Mule Days, over Memorial Day weekend, is like a cult here, they looooove their mules.