current weather for West Bakersfield, california

Monday, August 29, 2016

August 29, 2016


First of all, I got to see Meet the Mormons again on Monday and it was Clegg’s first time watching it and she LOOOVED IIIIIT and it reminded me of how completely awesome this church is. It’s on Netflix if anyone wants to watch ;) 

So we had zone conference this week and it was so cool!! I won’t go into details but it’s safe to say that heavenly father definitely speaks through others to help us receive answers to our prayers. I just love being a missionary :D and later that day I met someone from my FIRST AREA IN BISHOP CA!! She has down syndrome and was in the ward up there at the start of my mission but moved shortly after down to Bakersfield for a better living situation and it turns out she moved about a block from where I’m living now and is in the ward :D Tender mercies, being a Mormon makes the world so dang small.

We were just chillin’ and living life when we get a call from someone in Sacramento. She said that she had given a Book of Mormon with her testimony in it to her friend right before he moved to Bakersfield and he wanted to learn more about it from the missionaries! So, of course, we are ALL over that! We taught him the restoration and plan of salvation this week and he is so excited :D and I love telling people about Joseph Smith and how he received answers to his prayer because pretty much every time without fail their eyes just light up. He said having a prophet and God’s church on the earth again would be "life changing." But, right after we taught him, he got a fridge off of craigslist that was full of bugs so we haven’t had a chance to meet with him again.... but he’s still reading so he’s a trooper!

We taught this cute old grandma who grew up on an Indian reservation in OK and she's just about the coolest person in the WORLD! She’s had a crazy life and I’ll save those stories for another day, but back in her youth he was trying to quit drugs but her dealer was awful and was keeping her and some others on lock down so she tried to BLOW HIM UP and was only in jail for 11 months!! Ha ha she's so funny, she's repented don’t worry ;) She has super cool faith and is like a crazy note taker, we were teaching the restoration and she was writing down all the scriptures we were sharing ha ha. We're also teaching her grandson, who has a tendency to go AWOL, so his mom is still looking for him... They haven’t seen him since we taught him..... Awkward.....

BUT, the highlight was EXCHANGES!! So my Sister Training Leaders right now are Sisters Wheeler and Olsen and I had the privilege of training BOTH of them so ALL MY POSTERITY WAS TOGETHER FOR THIS EXCHANGE and it was almost too fun. They are both such incredible missionaries and I always learn so much just being in the same room with them and I’m so happy that I got to go out with them again before my mission ends. We met some awesome people, but it was in their area, so I’ll be getting updates later on how their doing, ha ha.
Sister King with her three "children," the missionaries that she trained:
Sister Clegg, Sister Olsen, and Sister Wheeler.
Bakersfield, CA August 2016

We taught this great kid, he was so cool, we went over on Sunday and he said his biggest regret was not coming to church that day, he didn’t have a ride and didn’t realize he could ask us to find him one. He’s like dragging his friend along to learn more, it’s pretty funny. We made him give us his number so we can send his friend scriptures and get him to church. Friends are the best.... 

A member of the ward here is a descendant of George Sutherland, who in 1900 ran for Utah’s sole congressional seat and defeated William Henry King, my great grandfather, to serve in the House of Representatives. 

Sister King finding a document that mentions her
great grandfather, William Henry King
Bakersfield, CA, August 2016

Anyways, life is grand, this week was so fun, and continued prayers for guidance are appreciated!!! I love you all and want to quickly share one of my fav scriptures before I sign off.

Its kindda long, but its Paul talking in 2 Corinthians 12 and he’s talking about his weakness, about how on his own he can’t do much but with God he can do all things. It reads:

5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not glory, but in mine infirmities.

6 For though I would desire to glory, I shall not be a fool; for I will say the truth: but now I forbear, lest any man should think of me above that which he seeth me to be, or that he heareth of me.

7 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.

8 For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.

9 And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.

Everyday everything I CAN’T do is just thrown in my face, but that’s not what God wants us to focus on. In Ether 12 He says He gives men weakness that they may be HUMBLE and RELY on him. Our best will never be enough, but His best IS, and when we have weakness and rely on his power instead of our own, His best is what’s used. Weak things will be made strong in Him because His grace is sufficient for us to get the power and guidance we need. Although sin separates us from God, the weakness that comes from mortality can guide us TO Him and help us be better. I know that THAT’S why with God, ALL things are possible, even eternal salvation. I love it here, I love life, and I’ll talk to you all soon!!

Preparation Day Activity:
Digging for Shark Teeth, in the
deserts of Bakersfield, CA

Monday, August 22, 2016

August 22, 2016

OKAY, last week was a bit dull and God thought "Nay, not 2 weeks in a row!" So this week was insane.

We were out for 20 minutes and we decided to go to this sweet old member’s house. We're driving down the street when all of a sudden we see a guy on a bike get HIT BY A CAR! And this isn’t like the last time we saw someone get hit by a car (note that it has happened twice since we've been in the area) where they got up and were fine. This guy bashed his head into the window, then the ground, and broke ribs, and was choking on his own blood, it was pretty horrific.... The driver was helping him and we started talking to her 7 year old daughter trying to distract her and steer her attention away from all the blood, and she's a lil’ cutie. We get the number of the driver so she can let us know if she needs anything (it wasn't either parties fault, the police said, just a freak accident), and she texts us a few days later. The man is okay and is now home from the hospital and she said she wants to learn more about the gospel! Soooo yeah. That’s that.

Right after the accident we were sad, so the friendly neighborhood stray cats came around to cheer us up. And we also got out of the car later to tract and 7 PUPPIES CAME UP AND SWARMED US! And we talked to the owner, who has talked to missionaries before, who would like us to come back (not for the puppies, but for Jesus).  So, God loves us essentially.
So this puppy kept getting out of someone's back yard and we put him 
back in the fence twice. He was following us when we were 
knocking doors and posed for the pic.....
Sister King, Sister Clegg, Bakersfield, CA, August 2016
There are some stay cats living in out apartment complex so we
made them a little house outside our apt and give them water and
occasionally some food. Mama and baby named Gizbo
(looks like Gizmo) and Gary (after Spongebob). The mom hisses at us
whenever we get close, but the baby is starting to like us more!!

We were able to meet a lot of really cool people and families who want to change their life around (but who doesn’t, amirite?). This one girl was SOOO nice and told us to come back and texted us to make sure we were still coming and then RIGHT BEFORE the lesson she gets into a car crash.... She’s fine but the car got totaled and she couldn’t meet with us. Like, gosh DANG IT, SATAN, get OUTTA OUR LIVES! So we're pretty bummed, then we look at our phone and see we got a Headquarter Referral (Someone goes online and requests missionaries go over). Usually we get it and it’s for someone else’s area, or the number and address is wrong, but this time none of that applied!

We go to see her, a woman her BF who requested a free Bible, and she ACTUALLY PICKS UP! So we go over to see her but gosh dang it, the address didn’t exist. We call her up and she said she lives above a BAR! Haha they hate it there, they’re moving to Arkansas pretty soon, but we taught them the restoration and they just ate it all up :D

We also got to meet with someone we ran into about a month ago. He's super busy so we've been sending him "Godly texts" as he would put it, like a scripture or so a week, and we taught him and his GF as well! It turns out her brother is a Mormon so she already knows a ton about the church :D

AND, we met a guy SWEEPING GARBAGE!! I didn’t even realize that was a thing, but when one is in the hood and litter is out the wazoo, you gotta do what you gotta do. He's read the Book of Mormon before but just out of curiosity, not to actually seek guidance and truth. We challenged him to read just a few chapters but to do it with a sincere heart and real intent so he can come to know that this church is true, and he said that he knows it'll help him. It was kindda cute, we'd say "when you read the Book of Mormon" and he goes "again!" with a little smile. He's like 70 and his wife is 98! Bomb and still kicking!

A "Glorious Church" in a run down building, but its for
REALZ!! We walked by on a Sunday and the broken doors
were open and people were singing praises to
Jesus! Hhhaallelujah!
I've been listening to "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" on repeat this last week. It's always been one of my favorites, but the last line has been standing out to me a lot. It says:

"O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee
Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above"

It’s been hitting home for me because the more I serve the Lord, the more I realize how badly I need him in my life, how badly he wants to help me and guide me and how badly I fail every day. But God is always right there picking me up and helping me to continue to move forward.  I can never repay Christ for his sacrifice, but I CAN do my best to bind myself to them, to let His grace influence all my decisions and all aspects of my life. He is there to bring joy, and THIS is true joy. I love this gospel, I love being a missionary, and I've decided I’m never coming home :D

Have a great week.  I LOVE YOU!

Met an American League Umpire just as he returned from umping a
Yankees series. This is an old signed ball from the Nats.

The umpire has a Baseball Hall of  Fame ring.

Pickled Cows Tongues,
Bakersfield, CA
August 2016

Typical August day in Bakersfield.

Sister King, Sister Clegg, and the cutest boy in the ward.
August, 2016, Bakersfield, CA
Smog / Haze from the San Bernadino Wildfires.
Bakersfield, CA, August 2016
Sister Kelly Bryan, Allie's former missionary companion,
and Pam Warren, a former member of Gaithersburg Ward
who last saw Allie when she was a baby

Monday, August 15, 2016

August 15, 2016

Okay, this week wasn’t the MOST eventful, BUT, since this is the Lord's work there are always miracles!!

We had this woman come up to us and ask us to teach her about church. So when we  were doing that, a less active member we were working with came up to join us, and then a homeless woman we had talked to a week before did as well, so it was like a little party! Seeds were planted and SOMEDAY she may accept the gospel :D 

 We visited a lot of Less Active members this week, and one of them recently got baptized in the 2nd ward and she moved in with her sister. We were talking to her when her sister, who we've been trying to visit for weeks, comes  up and started asking questions, and it turns out their dad was a member! We then get a call from a less active member who just got out of jail but wanted to go to church because he wants to change his life again! So we gave him the numbers of the local church leaders and he ACTUALLY CAME! EVERYONE should come to church, and he was so happy and loved it so much. If only everyone realized that GOING TO CHURCH BRINGS BLESSINGS!! Where's my soapbox? 

We were able to see S. again, he is an investigator from a month ago who's trying so hard to quit smoking and get to church, but life got crazy. We taught him the restoration again and the spirit was so strong and it was such a cool testimony to me to know that this gospel isn’t complicated, as we focus on Christ and the truths that bring us closer to him, we'll have the strength that we need to push through. He said that he's SEEN a difference in his battle to overcome his addiction since he stopped studying the scriptures and going to church. I'm so grateful that God has given us these resources to strengthen our faith and help us be happy. I know that as we do what God asks, He'll bless us with exactly what we need.

We taught the grandpa of a family who were all former investigators, he's great! It was one of the few times we made someone an investigator actually sitting IN their home instead of talking to them standing up on the doorstep. It was a really cool lesson, and Sister Clegg and I have been setting goals to improve our teaching skills and everything we had been working on came out in the lesson. Our ability to teach clearly and simply has improved; I stopped rambling as much; we both spoke normally instead of having quiet, and we just felt so good afterwards. It's awesome to see how God helps us become better missionaries and better people; I know it wouldn’t be possible without him

The talks in church were amazing. One was on Elder Hollands talk "Lord I Believe," talking about the scripture in Mark 9:23-24, when a man takes his son to Christ to be healed.  

23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.
24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

It made me think of the scripture in Alma 32:27, talking about if we just have a DESIRE to believe, let that desire work in us until it becomes a knowledge. God KNOWS that we won’t have perfect faith, that we'll have doubts and trials, but He promised us that if we just focus on that desire to come closer to him, He'll make up the difference. He'll give us the strength we need until we can get through our problems easier. He'll give us the knowledge we need right when we need it. He gave the dad a miracle, even though he just had that desire to believe. I've seen in my life and on my mission that, even when my faith isn’t all the way there, God IS. And He'll lift us up until we can stand on our own. I know that this church is true, that Christ came to this earth to make it possible for our eternal happiness, and I KNOW that the most joy that can come to us in this life comes through him. I love the chance I have to represent him and help others come closer to Christ, and I can’t believe I've been out over 13 MONTHS! Life is wild and crazy, I love it and all of you!

Estrella The Cat, Sister King, and Sister Clegg
Bakersfield, CA August 2016

So we had to go back to South Bakes to get some coolant for the car and
I got to go to my OLD APARTMENT to drop off some keys I accidentally stole,
so this is us THERE! I let myself in and left notes all over the place
for the Sisters, apparently it freaked them out. Mission accomplished

The Zone, East Bakersfield, CA
August 2016

Monday, August 8, 2016

August 8, 2016

This week flew by, my mind is still in a fog, BUT, transfer calls came in and..... WE'RE BOTH STAYING!!! I finally get to finish training a trainee :D and my first 2 trainees are now companions AND my Sister Training leaders!  AND one of my old companions is training a new missionary in my district! So, essentially, my whole mission is just coming together this transfer, what a time to be alive!!

All I have time for is a quick sum up of the week. FIRST, M., probably the most enthusiastic person on the PLANET!, we finally got to meet with her again and teach her son and they both just ate up the restoration. When we shared Amos 8 and talked about how God’s full church was lost for a while and there was an apostasy, she SCREAMED, like she got punched, and started going "NO, that’s AWFUL, oh NO!! Say it isn’t so!" It felt like something you’d see in an old Mormon movie, but she was serious. So, thankfully, the next thing we taught her was about Joseph Smith and how he restored that church again, and she says "WOW, God is so great he let the earth repent and restored a prophet, He's so good at forgiving!" I never even thought of it like that before, she just blew my mind. And made me feel like a calm and laid back individual.

Later that week we stopped by again with a 15 year old young woman from the ward. We walked around the area, met 2 less active members who wanted to go to church again, and talked to another one of our investigators, before we stopped by. The lesson with them was great, then we visited another less active family who said they’d come to church on Sunday. We dropped the young woman off and are thinking "wow, what a productive evening, God is so good, I’m so glad she got to experience that!" THEN, on Sunday, she gets up and bears her testimony on how she went out with the missionaries. We're thinking "yes, she loves missionary work and the gospel!" and the first thing she says is "I didn’t want to go, but my mom made me, but I’m glad she did!" HA, I felt kindda bad about dragging her out but the WORK OF THE LORD MUST GO ON!! 

We also got to teach the youth all about missions and what they’re like, and all the young women got super pumped to go on them someday, it was just a youth filled week. It made me kindda homesick but SUPER GRATEFUL that this church has such a good youth program. It really helped me when I was growing up, and I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.

Anywho, our district made it an action plan to go talk to people at the park, and whenever I’ve done that before I’ve had little to no success. But, we did it anyway, since we committed to it, and I was humbled quite fast. We met a senior named T. who starting tearing up when we told him about the Book of Mormon and how it'll help him have the relationship with Jesus Christ that he's been looking for. Just goes to show that God knows better than I do

We had Zone Training Meeting and it was just lovely. The President asked us to start having a pen and paper with us when we pray, so we can write down our impressions, forcing us to have a 2 way communication with God instead of just us talking at Him then going to bed. And oh man, it CHANGED MY LIFE!! I invite all of you to try it, I received some of the best revelation of my life by doing that this week. And what I learned from Heavenly Father is reflected perfectly in a talk from the ensign this month!

It’s by Elder Bednar and it’s called “Accepting the Lord’s Will and Timing,” talking about how we go through trials to prove to Heavenly Father that we "won't shrink" when times get hard. In Luke 22:42 it talks about Christ suffering for the sins of the world, and he says "Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done." Prayer is not a way to change GOD's will, but a way to change OUR will to align with Heavenly Father's. Elder Bednar talked about how various people were going through trials that they felt they couldn’t handle, and asked God to heal them. The question that was posed to them, and is posed to all of us, is "do you have the faith to NOT be healed?" It got me thinking, do I have the faith to not be healed? Do I have the faith to be okay with God putting me through hard times as a way to grow and get better? Can I have the faith to believe He CAN remove the bitter cup from me, but also the faith to accept that sometimes I need to drink from it so I can learn? Just as Christ always submitted to the will of the Father, we must also be willing to endure all the heartaches that life has in store for us. But, unlike Christ, WE don’t have to go through them alone.

My mission has definitely turned out differently than I expected. And my life in general has taken similar unexpected turns and ups and downs. I was reflecting on what Elder Bednar said and realized that all that I have been through is exactly what God needed me to experience. He never left me, He's there to support and comfort me, but as I rely on Him as a way to get THROUGH the hard times instead of a way to ESCAPE them,  we give ourselves a chance to be better

Monday, August 1, 2016

August 1, 2016

AY, I got NO TIME and this week was SO WEIRD! 

"Let me 'splain. no, let me sum up," is that the quote from Princess Bride? Mission fog has clouded my memory...

This week is summed up in one sentence: we found out on Wednesday that the investigator that was supposed to be baptized on Saturday was already a member. I won’t go into all the details of how we found out, but it suffices me to say that it was probably the funniest thing to happen to me my whole mission, but her sons now want to take the lessons, so we'll be teaching them this week!! God works in mysterious ways!

We also went to a Basque restaurant and had pickled cow tongue (in honor of my father and his mission to Southern France). We also stuffed our face with ice cream and had a ward activity. So those were our food adventures!!

We found a young man this week who wants to know the truth and loves to read the Book of Mormon, when we went to teach him his mom said she wanted to listen in next time but was busy at that moment. So we were teaching him about the Restoration and about every 10 minutes she'd bring something in for us to eat since she doesn’t want people to leave her house hungry. He was super cool, he said that he's never met anyone like us or the members we brought and got excited when we explained to him how it’s the restored gospel that helps us to be happy! He's one of the most sincere people I've ever met, we're excited to work with him!!

It was really hot and miserable this week..... 110 and the sun is so intense I feel like my skin is melting.... but for some reason the heat isn’t bothering me as much as it seems like it would. It was what we call a "seed planting" week, not a "harvest," but alas, this next week shall be better!! 

Service Station at Niles and Mt. Vernon
The gauge on our car is off, it told us the wrong tires were low on air and we were filling up some of them too much and it was so stressful. The Zone Leaders had to drop something off at our place and we said we wouldn’t be home for a bit because our tires were acting up. They called us and were all "what station are you at?" "Elders, don’t worry about it we're fine." "Is it the one by your apartment?" "No its on Niles, but I think we're fine." "Niles and Mt. Vernon?" "Yeah but we should be good!" "Okay sisters, we're on our way!" Hahahaha That’s the second time in the last 2 weeks that the Elders got all proud at being able to fix out tires. Anyways, I need to learn more about cars from daddy when I get back.

I DID really like church on Sunday. The young women had girls camp this last week and so they talked about their experience there. The theme was holding on to the iron rod, meaning staying close to God even through dark times when we're not sure where it's leading us. One of the leaders talked about how they went on a 2 day hike. The first day was the easier day, but all the girls were sad and complaining and were having a hard time. The second day was worse, and she was expecting all the girls to be more upset, but for some reason they were cheerful and didn’t say a negative thing the whole time. She realized that it’s because they knew that they were going back to camp, back "home," while the day before they were just wandering. She related that to the gospel and how life becomes easier when we focus on how it’s a path that takes us home. Home to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, home to our families and those we love the most. If we don't have that goal in mind, then life is just wandering and we won't find that joy. I've really seen that perspective change my life, and the story made me miss camping and home!! I’m so grateful that I got to be raised in this amazing church with amazing people and most of all, with a knowledge of my amazing Savior.