current weather for West Bakersfield, california

Monday, February 29, 2016

February 29, 2016. LEAP DAY.

WHAAAAT, this week was crazy! It started off with an earthquake that everyone felt BUT ME!! Figures.  But I'll be okay, I think. 

Bakersfield Loves Families!
Sister King, Sister Bryan
February, 2016
Lots of exchanges this week! A sister in our zone has been pretty sick so I went out with her companion so that some work could be done in their area. The prayers said for her are WORKING because she's been able to get out of the house and work! Miracles man, every day.

We also went on exchanges with the Oaks sisters, Sharples and Gallacher. Sister Gallacher has been on her mission a whopping 2 WEEKS, but she's a pro already! Sister Sharples is a beast at jumping in and teaching everyone, they’re so cute and fun!

We finished teaching O and F and they're set to be baptized this weekend! We've become experts at drawing and coloring because if it isn't included in lessons, there will be a mutiny. Speaking of coloring, we went to a family's house for a Family Home Evening (crayons included) and I had the most Bakersfield-esque experience. This person has a huge chicken pen, but full of cats instead. Eight of them. She does not enjoy cats, but since there are stray cats and dogs out the wazoo here, she'd rather keep them locked up and give them food than have them ruin her garden. Living in hick town here!

Sister Pesci, Sister Harmon,
Sister King

February, 2016
But the absolute most INSANE STORY of the week goes out to Mr. L. The APs call us and tell us that their recent convert's ex-husband called her up and said he wanted to be baptized into the Mormon Church and he lived in our area. Of course, we're thrilled, so they text us his name and address and it's none other than Mr. L!  We literally taught him a MONTH ago, one month! And he said he wasn't interested in changing his life. And Sister Bryan went on exchanges in this area 7 months ago and met him and it was the same story. But he's way cool, and reads the Book of Mormon every day, and is excited to turn his life around and we're both still in shock. But what a cool thing the atonement is! God prepares people in His own time, that’s for sure
Sister Missionaries waiting
for a phone call
February, 2016

We had a follow up zone conference where we watched a training video by Elder Bednar on teaching by the spirit and it was amazing! I've seen it before, but I got so much more out of it. I think he puts it best when he says that none of us are smart enough to know what questions to ask, or what exactly to say, or how to help the people we meet. But the spirit IS smart enough, so if we work hard and live worthy of it we'll know what to do to best bring souls unto Christ. Just like D&C 11:21 promises, "Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men."

God never leaves us alone to fend for ourselves, how lucky we are to have a constant friend to support us in all our righteous desires! I'm not alone in this work, none of us are; all we need to do is open our mouths!

Yes, we got a perfect score on our apartment inspection. We have housing inspectors for each part of the mission, usually just some local members. We were literally cleaning when they walked in and we were only working on it for like 45 minutes, they must have been nice or the other places must have been terrible, ha ha.

It’s been 80s, and it will stay 80s... No more rain, just smog everywhere :'(

I love you all, have an amazing week!

Monday, February 22, 2016

February 22, 2016

WHAA, this week was insane! 

My new companion, Sister Bryan from American Fork, is the ABSOLUTE BOMB!! We're pretty much twins, we've had way too much fun together this last week. We were also told by multiple high schoolers that everything we say is outdated, so my mission fog has officially taken over :(
Sister King, Sister Bryan,
Bakersfield, CA, February 2016
"A member gave us a ride. This thing is terrifying."
 Anyway, we had some amazing lessons this week! We taught O and F the 10 commandments and tithing and prophets and keeping the Sabbath day holy. We accidentally mentioned that missionaries can't go to the mall, so when we were reviewing a few days later they said "I thought there were 11 commandments. Aren’t we not supposed to go to the mall?" It took like 10 minutes to sort that part out, they absorb everything like sponges, it’s so cute

We found some really cool new investigators and my favorite was when one of them said "I've just gotta make time for God.” RIGHT?! I'm so glad someone admitted it. It's so easy to get caught up in the craziness of life that people forget what is most important and what comes first.

One of the sisters in our stewardship has been sick and can't get out. We've been going out with her companion so they aren’t both stuck inside all day. Please pray for her!

I miss the rain more than you can imagine, and when it rains here, the smog leaves, so it’s just positives all around :p

I'm so sorry I don’t have much time or much to report, but the work is going great! Some days it's hard to "feel like missionaries," it can be hard going up to talk with every person we meet, but EVERY TIME we suck it up and go out anyway, miracles happen! We find someone new;  we meet a pastor and his wife who shared with us the most incredible conversion story and all about their humanitarian work in Haiti; we get to play with adorable Australian Sheppard puppies;  it’s wonderful! I've learned that God really does reward out efforts!! He is a God of miracles!!


Sister King, Sister Bryan,
Bakersfield, CA, February 2016
"Dewars Ice Cream."

Monday, February 15, 2016

February 15, 2016

WOW WOW WOW! The week of transfers is always ridiculous.

The news has come in and I’m STAYING!!  Hallelujah!  Unfortunately, I cannot say the same about Sister Larsen. She’s getting transferred to Ridgecrest, my first zone!! In the middle of nowhere, ha ha, she'll have a blast. And I’m getting Sister Kelly Bryan as my new companion, who was my sister training leader for 2 transfers when I was in Bishop!! It's madness.  ALSO, since work in the shire is going so well, they’re bringing in a THIRD SET of missionaries!

This week was interesting to say the least. The most out of the ordinary was the fact that we got news that a few sisters were in the ER so we went there to keep them company and help calm them down (turns out to be a crazy case of kidney stones). So we left the hospital around 1:30 am, but as we know, missionary work does not end! So we got up at 6:15 as usual, and the Lord blessed us with energy because I didn't feel like I was going to die :D  Those sisters are the bomb, though; they were laughing and having a good time despite the fact that they spend 20+ hours in the hospital that week... Turns out Bakersfield has the, wait for it, NUMBER ONE HIGHEST MEDICAL BILL FOR ALL US AND CANADA MISSIONS!! And its number 3 in the world!! A true accomplishment!
Teaching a 13 year old, walking down the street
Bakersfield, CA, February 2016
We had a lesson with a man named V, one of the sweetest human beings on the planet. He and his wife just love missionaries even though they’re not LDS. They baked bread and waited at the door and asked us to help with their garden. And we brought our ward mission leader along with us, who used to belong to their faith until he was 26, and he just went all preacher on us. He literally talked for 30 minutes straight about the bible and restoration and Book of Mormon and I thought my brain was melting by the end it was so intense. But they seemed to like it! So not all lessons go by the book, ha ha.        

The B family is doing well!! We had a few lessons with them this week and they kept complaining because they want to be baptized today and not in March. They’re the sweetest, and they baked us cupcakes! They have a really good understanding of the gospel, it’s been so fun teaching them and watching them just take it all in. Seeing their Mom and extended family get more involved is just as incredible. This gospel really does bless families so we can be together forever!!

We had some fun experiences knocking this week. At one point a Mexican woman danced and told us how her grandson has Jesus in his heart but doesn’t go to church. She spun around a lot. She’s like 70 and was in a night gown. Also we had a 4 year old slam the door in our face, it'd be sad if it wasn't so funny!!

This next transfer is now 7 weeks (instead of the normal six) so we're PUMPED to get out there and get to work! I love it here and all the cool experiences I’m getting, I love you all and hope this week brings miracles!!

Monday, February 8, 2016

February 8, 2016

Just in case anyone was wondering, knocking doors is NOT FUN during the Super Bowl... but thankfully I got updates all through the afternoon!! 

This week was one of the few that seemed pretty long. We had Mission Leadership Conference on Wednesday, and it was absolutely amazing! Our mission found over many new investigators these past 4 weeks! Now we're focusing on how to encourage them to be baptized, because THAT'S what changes lives. We also focused on continuing teaching as long as possible, This gospel is too important, and we've seen so many blessings from sharing the message! Often times, people are seeking the truth but don't know where to find it, so if we don't TELL THEM what they're missing, they'll never know. 

Then our Zone Training Meeting was epic, as usual. We're just pumped to get out and work! 

We found some pretty great people this week to teach, one of them was V, who is a sweet 60 year old man who has such amazing faith you just FEEL it when you're near him. We're talking to him outside and his wife comes and goes "Sweetie, I'm on the phone with the bank, they think someone stole your credit card" and he goes "In a minute, I'm talking to these Sisters about Jesus." It was so great, THERE'S someone who has their priorities straight ;)

Sister King
Bakersfield, CA, February 2016
One of the coolest lessons was with the 12  and 8 year olds we're teaching, and we took a newly baptized member with us, whose situation is very similar.  They connected really well and we taught the Plan of Salvation (our personal favorite) and the spirit was so strong. Their aunt was there and bore HER testimony about how the gospel strengthened her family and we were all just a pile of tears by the end. They're set to be baptized March 5th and they can't wait! The faith of a child is so much stronger than an adults, I love teaching kids.

Bakersfield South Zone
Bakersfield, CA, February 2016
We also ended up teaching the second AND third hour of church and then proceeded to walk around outside for 5 hours straight during the Super Bowl while fasting, so if that didn't build character, I don't know WHAT will.

Sister King, Sister Larsen
Bakersfield, CA, 
February 2016

We also taught a young sister about the Gospel of Jesus Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, holy ghost, endure to the end) and it just felt so peaceful. Then she said how when she reads the Book of Mormon she feels peace. I never really realized that this gospel is there to bring us PEACE! Especially in today's world. God promises us relief when we rely on him,He'll make our burdens light! I continue to see that as I work, when I just get up and do something instead of sitting around being sad, or when I turn to the scriptures for relief, I just feel better, plain and simple. This gospel isn't complicated; the biggest thing it teaches is that if we do what we're supposed to right now and rely on Christ, we can have peace and joy NOW, and eternal life in the life to come. I love it here, I love this work and  I am so grateful to have the knowledge that i do!!

Monday, February 1, 2016

February 1, 2016

Zone Conference, South Bakersfield
January 19, 2016
I’m not even sure how to describe this week...

We went on exchanges with the Wilson sisters and it was really cool!

A few of the highlights included teaching Kendrick, a 15 year old boy, again. He said he read a "chapter" in the BoM but he couldn’t remember what it was called. Turns out he meant "book." He read ALL of 1 Nephi! And when we went back 2 days later he had read to Mosiah! It was crazy, we only met him a week ago!

Also, "Ensign" is the name of the official Church magazineAnd we were walking to an appointment when this guy comes out and asks us about what we were holding. We told him how the prophet and 12 apostles give us guidance and whatnot, the whole schpeel. Then he comes out after our lessons with a HUGE bag and goes "This hat is for your prophet, and these 12 pairs of gloves are for your 12 apostles." They all had the word "Ensign" on them. Turns out it’s the name of the drilling company he works for!! We got swag for our prophet! Huzzah!

 Sister Larsen, Sister King, and others,
Wearing their "Ensign" gloves swag
Bakersfield, CA, January 2016

We found a lot of people to teach, and ACTUALLY got return appointments this week!! One of my favorite lessons was with the Zepeda family, a part member family whose kids, O and F, will be getting baptized next month. We taught the restoration and the important of prophets and O starts crying and says "I know that they’re real, I know God loves me, and I know I’ll see my grandma again someday." She's 12... it was so amazing, and her Mormon cousins were there to help testify of this gospel and the spirit was so strong and it was SO COOL! She’s like 6 inches taller than me though...

Unfortunately, yesterday was quite rough... It's raining really hard, which I appreciated at first. Until our phone fell into a mini river on the side of the road. And then our car broke down an hour later. So after running around like chickens with our heads cut off, we eventually made it back to our apartment at 5:30, unable to leave because we had no car and no phone. That’s the first time since I was 13 that I haven’t had at least a phone to contact someone, and we were stuck and ugh. I'm on my 6th rental car since December; we've gone to the dealership 10 times. They keep saying it's "fixed" when it’s just not actually fixed. Our phone is currently sitting in rice so pray that it gets the water out, we'll find out tonight!

I totally forgot, we went out tracting with Sister Wilson, the Mission President’s wife! She’s such a great missionary; it was so much fun spending time with her!

Sister King, Sister Wilson (Mission President's Wife)
and Sister Larsen, with 
Ensign gloves for the apostles!

I’ve been making salmon for lunch this week, so that’s fun!!

There is literally nothing to do in Bakes. We hang out with the other sisters in my district on preparation day though, so it feels kind of like high school.

Anyway, I’m sorry I have no time to write about anything but I love you all and hope you have an amazing week! Hope it’s as great as mine ;)

"Your daughter asked me to send you this picture. 
She is now serving in our ward, and stopped by to give me 
a message. My four year old grandson was here, and is 
now in love with her! She is an absolutely amazing 
missionary, and we (Laurence family) love her! "