current weather for West Bakersfield, california

Monday, May 30, 2016

This week was interesting, to say the least...

The Berksire Sisters and the Oaks Sisters
May 2016
Bakersfield, CA
We went on exchanges with the Oaks Sisters and it was awesome! Sister Faamoe is from Samoa and has only been on her mission 2 months! So, because of that, her English skills aren't the best (yet!). She has such an excitement for the work though, it's impossible to not get pumped up when you’re around her!!! 

The Berksire Sisters and
the Oaks Sisters

May 2016
Bakersfield, CA
We were able to visit with several less actives this week that we hadn't really seen before! This one texted US and asked to feed us dinner. She has a son in the Army and she is just about the funniest person ever! And her dog is up there with my favorite animals on the planet. She went through a hard time and shut out the church and others for a while, but she has a really strong desire to come back.

Not only her, but we met with the N. family as well! We were able to talk with the dad about his conversion to the gospel. His wife at the time said it's either her or the gospel, so she left him on June 4th and he got baptized on June 6th. He said he's never looked back, he was able to baptize his new wife and they've been happy ever since! We shared Helaman 5:12 with them and testified of how when we build our foundation on CHRIST, the rest falls into place. It was one of the most spiritual experiences ever! One thing I love about this church is that everyone is family here, and even if you've only met them for an hour, you KNOW you’re all children of our Father. And I get to serve them all FULL TIME as a representative of Jesus Christ!

     Helaman 5:12  And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon 
     the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must 
     build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty 
     winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his 
     mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to 
     drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the 
     rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation 
     whereon if men build they cannot fall.

O. and F., the cute kids that got baptized a few months ago, got to see their FATHER get baptized as well! He only speaks Spanish but they're now working towards getting sealed in the temple in a year!  MY HEART IS SO FULL ITS CRAZY!! We taught them about temples and Family History work and the same excitement from when they got baptized came back! BAPTISM IS JUST THE BEGINNING, JUST THE START!!! Wow, this church is so true. I can never be the same after seeing their lives change

Also, I got a call on Friday at 4 pm telling me I’ll be giving a 20 MINUTE TALK on Sunday. So that was crazy, but it was on missionary work, so it all worked out ;)  Also, we had to go the west side of town 3 times...

The FIRST time was because our brakes needed to be fixed. We were able to go on a mini exchange with my TRAINER in my OLD AREA because they were near each other! IT WAS SO FUN! But strange. I feel like I never left good ole' Snow (my last area).... But we accidentally took their phone with us all the way back to the 'shire. So we had to drive BACK to return it. Then we had to get our oil changed today so we WENT BACK AGAIN. I think I’m cursed with cars. Actually, I KNOW I am.... maybe someday...

Anyways, this gospel is true, the book is blue, read it too! I think. I can’t remember how that rhyme goes, but I LOVE YOUUU!  

Monday, May 23, 2016

This week has had the most changes of any in my whole mission! And it started off with the coolest story in the world!

Since my last companion Sister Bryan (today is her birthday btw) left on a Monday, but transfers are on Tuesday, I stayed with the Laurel Glenn Sisters for the night, which is around 7 miles northwest of Berkshire, where I am serving. We were having dinner with a member of the Laurel Glen ward who was talking about his mission. I asked him where he served and our conversation went as followed...


"Oh awesome, my grandparents live there and my mom grew up there! Have you heard of California PA?"

"I sure have, I served half my mission there"

"REALLY, have you heard of roscoe PA?"

"Have YOU heard of the Monongahela branch?"

"Ummm, my GRANDPARENTS are in that ward and he was a branch president there!"

"What's his name?"

"George Scott, married to May Lou, father of Tracy and Terry (my mother)."


So, this world is insanely small. His name is Scott Hemingway, served from ‘75-‘77, born and raised in Bakersfield!!  
On the left: Scott Hemingway in the mid 1970's. He spent a year of his mission
serving in the Monongahela Branch, where he knew the George & Mary Lou Scott,
who are Sister King's grandparents.  On the right: Brother Hemingway and Sister King
at his home in the Laurel Glenn area of Bakersfield, California.
We've been working with the M. family and they now know ALL the hand signs for the 10 commandments :D . They also fed us tacos again. I got called on an English speaking mission for a reason, I can't say no to Mexican food.... I only ate 11 tacos this time though, #hallelujah.

We also met with S. again, the wife of a less active member in the area here. We actually found them knocking on doors, and she had a really strong desire to learn more about the church. Our Bishop and Stake President went to visit her and it turns out our SP is the CEO of the company she works for!!  They had a really awesome visit and committed her husband to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood in a year! 

There are a lot of Sikh's in our area (there are 3 Sikh temples in a 15 square mile radius) and they're always crazy nice to us. But THIS week, one family invited us into their home, fed us, gave us water and 7 Up, told us how much they appreciated us and went on their way. They also started doing yoga when I said I was majoring in Exercise Science. Only one of the 3 people there spoke English, and only a little, so they thought I meant yoga!

Sister Pincock, my new companion, is from Rexburg Idaho, not sure if she has family in the Washington area. She’s been out 6 months and she’s a way good teacher and a very hard worker!! We are the same age and she was trained by my friend Sister Pesci,  and used to be in this district before I got here!!

I haven’t cooked too much lately. I started making spaghetti with tomato soup instead of red sauce since I don’t really like red sauce. 

And there are the Aussie cookies at Costco that are to DIE for, basically just seeds and raisins. See them HERE

This week was full of sweat and long hours on our feet but I’ve felt the Lord's hand guiding the work continually! I keep singing one of my favorite Hymns, "How Firm a Foundation," and the 5th and 7th verses stand out to me:

5. When through fiery trials thy pathway shall lie,a
My grace, all sufficient, shall be thy supply.
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume, thy dross to consume,
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

7. The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, I'll never, no never,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake!

God WILL put us through hard times in this life, and often times we'll ask and wonder why it had to be that way, what we did to deserve what we're going through, what can we do to "push through" it. But God gives us trials to help us grow. I've always known that but I continue to see the BLESSINGS that come through our tribulations. His goal is to make us better and He'll never leave us through this process of refinement. I love this gospel and I love the chance I have to be a full time representative of Jesus Christ!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Monday, May 16, 2016

Well, here comes the sad news for all.... transfers came in and I’m staying and Sister Bryan is LEAVING!! She’s going back to Ridgecrest where she just came from, but she will be training a new missionary and will be opening up a different ward there. It stinks saying goodbye to a great friend, but for some reason God has another plan..... Most missionaries in the zone are leaving too, I’m like the last man standing so here goes nothing!!

We've been teaching the M. family and had a crazy miracle. Their dad got sick and was in the hospital when we went over for a lesson. We got our ward mission leader to go to the hospital and give him a blessing. The doctors said that he was supposed to be in there a week, but he left 2 days after the blessing!! And A. has like the firmest understanding of the Gospel of Jesus Christ out of ANYONE I know, even adults. She's so cool, they had a blast at church. We had a blast teaching them. Saying goodbye was awful for Sister Bryan. We keep crying, but that’s beside the point!

We found some awesome new investigators! It’s always my favorite when the spirit is so strong that they just accept a baptismal date right then and there. Even if right then and there is standing on their doorstep in 105 degrees. And that’s cool, It’ll be getting worse here, extra prayers please....

Not many bugs here, except cockroaches. There are some squirrels, lots of birds, some lizards. SO MANY CATS AND DOGS, like it’s an epidemic, they’re everywhere , and are mostly strays. Most birds are just pigeons and crows.
The daughter of a less active member I got to work with a few months back was baptized yesterday!! Sister Bryan and I gave the "missionary moment," so we taught everyone the restoration. Seriously, the spirit was SO FREAKING STRONG!! I started crying, the Mission President’s wife started crying, half the audience started crying. Including M., she was so dang prepared for baptism. 

I can’t think of too much else to say because we were just crying the whole time.... but this next transfer will bring miracles. 

I love this place, here’s to another month! 


Love you all, wish I was at the Nats game, have a great week!

Asian Fish Market
Berkshire, Bakersfield, CA
May 2016

The District
Berkshire, Bakersfield, CA
May 2016

The Z. Family
Berkshire, Bakersfield, CA
May 2016

The G. Family
Berkshire, Bakersfield, CA
May 2016

The M. Family
Berkshire, Bakersfield, CA
May 2016

Monday, May 9, 2016

Monday May 9, 2016

I would like to begin by pointing out how awful it is to clean up litter in the desert. We did that for service and I found 5 seat belts, pill bottles, a Mexican ID, a car door and a ton of mops and buckets, in addition to a plethora of Bakersfield's top choice of food: Jack in the Box. All covered in dirt and all in painful sagebrush bushes. And at one point we put it all in this magnificent pile only to have the wind blow it all back into the wilderness. I'm still getting thorns out of my clothes, and still brushing off the dirt.

Buuuut, we had Mission Leadership Council in Tehachapi again! It was such a good meeting, we focused on the importance of Agency and how other people have the choice whether to accept or reject this gospel. As a mission, we are becoming successful in bringing people to Christ.  Best mission? YES!!  

We also have new teaching materials for Lesson 5, “Temples and Families” and “Learning and Serving in the Church.” GO LOOK THEM UP, THEY’RE BEAUTIFUL!! (Read the news report about that HERE). Sister Bryan and I gave the training on them at Zone Conference and I had no idea how to train someone on pamphlet use other than to use it? But if anything my testimony was strengthened in the importance of member retention. It doesn't profit anyone if a convert is baptized and falls away. If we focus on all the wonderful blessings that can come after baptism, they're more likely to stay active. Anyway, done with THAT ramble. 
The South Bakersfield Zone
May 2016

Speaking of Bakes, it actually rained here. A lot. And we played. But it's so hot and the sun is so intense we had smog for a bit and it was all dried as if it never happened. Story of my life.... But it was fun while it lasted. Trying to enjoy the weather until it becomes a mini Lake of Fire and Brimstone.
Rain! Sister Bryan, Sister King
Bakersfield, CA  May 2016

Bakersfield has really nice and interesting people, its full of hippies and hicks, and the members are crazy strong here. They are working hard here to qualify for their own temple.  It seems like most of the LA temple workers are from Bakersfield.

We've been teaching A. again, and they taught me how to say "happy Mother's day" in Spanish. I've learned I stink at saying "happy mother's day" in Spanish. But she is 10 and has a crazy good understanding of the Plan of Salvation. They've been having daily family scripture study and prayer every morning at 6 and it's been so cool to see how much happier they've been since they've started it!! Plus she sang with the Primary on Sunday for mother's day! May or may not have cried. 

For like the second time in my mission I was invite to actually go into someone’s house to teach them on the first contact. We met this woman named P. and shared 2 sentences about the gospel with her and she said "please come in and teach me more!!" Wasn't sketchy I promise, it only appears to be that when I type it out.... She has 2 young kids, she's in her like 20s, we'll be seeing her tonight so fingers crossed it goes well!


 Video Chatting with Sister Allie King
Mothers Day  May 2016

Sister King, Sister Bryan
May 2016

Monday, May 2, 2016

May 2, 2016


Anyway, this week was the bomb!! Like a month ago we taught someone outside who told us it wasn’t his house BUT that we should try the owner of it later. Turns out the owner is already a member but his family isn’t! We've been teaching his wife and she is so cool and absolutely loves learning. Her sons are even involved in scouting so they're basically halfway there!

We had exchanges with the Stockdale sisters and it was COMPLETELY AMAZING!! LIFE CHANGING! SO GOOD!! Legit, I went with Sister Bigler and Sister Bryan went with Sister Harmon and together we found 10 new people to teach!! Including a few awesome families! PLUS WE DANCED ALL NIGHT! When other people are as crazy as me we tend to get a bit out of hand.... but on a spiritual side, we were all so pumped to go out and to get things done! And they went back to their area and were able to find as well!! God is good!!
Sisters King, Bryan, Bigler and Harmon
From Stockdale
Berkshire, Bakersfield, CA
April 2016

We had an investigator who explained the apostasy perfectly, one who told us all about her "niece’s cousin’s" conversion to the church, one who agreed to a baptismal date and immediately told his friend in Lake Isabella about it and one who has a swear word tattooed across his neck and he can’t figure out why he can’t get a job... poor guy.

We had fast and testimony meeting on Sunday and it hit home a little harder than usual. I am so grateful to be a part of a church where we can not only enjoy the presence of the Spirit, but a church where we can have the constant companionship of it. A couple who is working towards getting sealed in the temple talked about how happy they are that they can be with their family forever. Sometimes it’s crazy hard being out here, far from my amazing family and friends, but I’m so grateful for the knowledge that I have that this will be just a small moment in the grand scheme of the eternities. I am grateful for a loving Father in Heaven who is so mindful of each of his children and how not one is forgotten. I love how He never leaves us, even when we drift away. I love this gospel and I love my Savior. 

So I really like zucchini now... don’t know how THAT happened!! I’m in a food rut now though, like I’ve had so much rice and sandwiches and salads and I don’t know what to make anymore.

HOPE THIS WEEK ROCKS, Y'ALL ARE DA BEST. Also, it makes me sad because I meet a lot of people who know Mormons but they never shared anything with them about our beliefs. EVERYONE, GO TO MORMON.ORG!! I apologize for my lack of information exchange pre-mission, but this is the best work to be involved with!

Sorry this was a jumpy letter but my minds been in a jumble for quite some time. Can’t wait to see you when I get home in 8 months (!!?!!?!!?) (Actually I can; I don’t want to go home).