current weather for West Bakersfield, california

Monday, November 28, 2016

November 28, 2016

HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!  This week was a bit slow because everyone was out of town. :p Legit, half the ward was in Utah, they could have had a second Stockdale sacrament meeting there. 

Thanksgiving 2016
Bakersfield, CA
I can honestly say that my Thanksgiving dinner was the tastiest meal I have ever had the privilege of consuming. The turkey was fresh, the sweet potatoes were after this steakhouse version and it was amazing, along with mashed taters and ham and cheesy potatoes and the most amazing chocolate cheesecake. GA, amazing. And one of my favorite families from a previous area came because her mom is in Stockdale! It was awesome, her sister and husband came as well. It was awesome to be able to talk about our missions and the church with everyone. The beauty of the gospel is that, even in times of darkness, we can always be reminded of the joy and peace we once felt in following the savior. Those moments of surety when we KNOW that God is there and that His gospel is restored and true can give us strength when we waiver, if we allow them to work in our lives.

Anywho, it RAINED this week, that was probably the biggest miracle. Poor Sister Hayes has been getting over a cold for 2 weeks and she was feeling pretty awful Saturday. We were just praying for success and strength, and sure enough, the first door we tried had a 15-year-old answer. His mom used to meet with the missionaries, and he said how he's been trying to come closer to Christ but wasn’t sure how. He knows a lot of Mormons at his school and his whole countenance lit up when we told him about the restoration. What a tender mercy, and we walked away from the door super wet because of the RAIN. RAIN I SAY!!

We visited a less active family named after that. We had just assumed that since her work and problematic situation has prevented her from coming to church, her testimony had wavered. We shared a scripture on prayer and she testified of how she had an illness that almost killed her. The doctors said there was no hope, but she had faith and she prayed for help and guidance and a doctor at UCLA had an opening and let her come the next day. They gave her proper treatment and she was able to recover more than she ever anticipated! It was a cool testimony builder to me to hear about that, but it strengthened her even more to share it. I LOVE being able to have these experiences with people!

We had ANOTHER awesome visit with a member! His wife is from Peru and isn’t a member, he’s less active but has a pretty strong testimony of the truth. He gave an amazing prayer at the end of the lesson and the spirit was extremely strong. I guess the biggest thing I’ve learned this week is that if we are struggling with anything, prayer is the solution. As we turn to God for help, He will guide us in all aspects of our life and will bring us safely home.

We had a lesson with this couple we found last week, taught along with an amazing member.  Apparently, he went to high school with them here in town in the 90s! They really hit it off, and even though they were a bit hesitant at first, the member we brought started teaching the restoration and it really hit home for them to hear it from him. We were able to answer some of their questions and they agreed to read the Book of Mormon, which they didn’t want to do!!

Okay, EVERYONE GO TO MORMON.ORG!! The church is coming out with a service project for December. Every day there is a way the Savior served when he was on the earth and a suggestion for what we can do in our day! It’s incredible and it’s an amazing way to remember Christ this season!! SORRY GOTTA RUN but I’ll leave you with this scripture:

Mosiah 2:17  And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.

He has asked us to serve, and whenever we feel down or stressed or sad, THAT IS THE SOLUTION!!

Love you all, love this gospel, have a great week!

Bakersfield, CA
November 2016

Bakersfield, CA
November 2016

Monday, November 21, 2016

November 21, 2016

To explain this weird pic, we all pelted each other with socks full of flour to reenact hunger games.

Anywho, we had some amazing lessons this week!! This little boy had me count all 207 of his Pokemon, so that was truly the highlight. We met with E. and he told us all about the crazy patients he had as a psychiatrist for 30 years. He convinced me that that’s a profession I NEVER want to pursue!!

The week started out a bit rough, but God is so good, He always delivers us after a trial!! For a Relief Society activity, we had a Cafe Rio-style dinner and it was AMAZING, it was pretty close to the real stuff and nothing has ever made me happier, I miss that place. And a refugee from Burma came and spoke about her journey to America and how she got established here. It was super inspirational, it really made us all appreciate what we had and where we are, this is one of the few places where you can work hard and rise up. 

We met with B., the recent convert’s daughter, and she is doing great! She accepted a baptismal date for the tenth and her mom bore the most AMAZING testimony about how the gospel has blessed her life. She said that she wants her baptized so that she can have extra strength and guidance as she goes through life and school and whatnot. She's been reading and praying and has seen a difference in her life as she's come closer to God!

We saw K. again and talked a bit about what we both learned from Elder Bednar! AND it was on Sister W.’s birthday, the person that introduced K. to the church! They’re all headed out to Utah as we speak for Thanksgiving. K. will be getting a tour of BYU, going to a game, going to Temple Square and a few other fun places, we're so excited for her!! Keep praying that her mom’s heart will soften so that she can get baptized!!

We were trying to figure out what to do to be where we needed to be. There are people all around us who are searching for the gospel and just don’t know where to find it, and Sister Hayes and I decided to pray and pick a street on a map of our area. We started walking around and talking to people and we met this nice couple. They had a strange experience with missionaries in the past and they thought we didn’t read from the Bible or believe in Christ. We were able to resolve some of their concerned and introduced the Book of Mormon. They were totally turned off at first, but once we kept talking they opened up about how confusing it is to have all the churches and how they just want to come closer to Christ. We were able to testify of the Book of Mormon and how it was given to us for just that!! They accepted a copy and are excited to read! They said they felt like God sent us, and when we told them that we were only on their doorstep because a prayer led us there, they said they felt like God was watching out for them.

I love being a missionary and being able to be and instrument in God’s hands!!

Aaand my FAVORITE FAMILY FROM A PAST MISSION AREA, AND MY BEST FRIEND FROM HIGH SCHOOL, BOTH CAME AND SAW ME AT CHURCH and words cannot truly express my joy. Both were surprises, it’s as though God knew I needed an extra boost and He delivers! I am so grateful for all the people and experiences in my life.  Juliana is a best friend from high school in Maryland, and is now a student at Stanford, and an activity fell through, so at the last minute she and some friends decided to drive down to Death Valley, which takes them straight through Bakersfield. After a few frantic texts between Juliana, her mother, my parents, and a contact in my ward here, a plan was hatched, and after Sacrament Meeting I found Juliana in the church foyer, waiting for me. We only visited for a couple of minutes, we both had places to be, but at parting I was able to say “See you next month!” We were only together for a few minutes but it was glorious.
Sister King and Juliana Perl
Bakersfield, CA
November 20, 2016
We had a zone conference and talked about the Savior and His sacrifice. The thing that struck me the most was a few scriptures in the Doctrine and Covenants. The first is the incredible promise made possible through Jesus Christ. It’s in section 58:42-43 and says, "Behold, he who has repented of his sins, the same is forgiven, and I, the Lord, remember them no more. By this ye may know if a man repenteth of his sins—behold, he will confess them and forsake them." God promises us complete restoration to a pure and innocent state as we fully follow Him. Not a patched-up job, not mostly removing a stain, but a perfect fix. And how that is possible is explained a bit in section 45:3-4, "Listen to him who is the advocate with the Father, who is pleading your cause before him— Saying: Father, behold the sufferings and death of him who did no sin, in whom thou wast well pleased; behold the blood of thy Son which was shed, the blood of him whom thou gavest that thyself might be glorified." We don’t do anything on our own. We don’t even plea our case before God on our own. Heavenly Father is satisfied to look on Christ and pardon us and our trespasses. He looks on one who is perfect and who paid the price for our sins and then forgives us. No strings attached, we just need to follow in His footsteps. What was cool when we were teaching B. is we asked how she would feel if every mistake she’s ever made would weigh on her forever. Through the Savior, those burdens are lifted. I know this is just kind of a strange ramble, but I’ve been pondering a lot of how sweet Jesus Christ is and how perfect God’s plan is. I am excited for the miracles that will continue to come!!

For Thanksgiving, we will have some weekly planning in the morning, then eating dinner at a member’s house.

p.s. We DID pray for food again and God DID deliver, about 10 members gave us something substantial in 2 days, life is grand.

Monday, November 14, 2016

November 14, 2016

OKAY, so I’m emailing at Cal State University at Bakersfield right now since we could not do it at the family history center, so I am on a time crunch!! I’ll tell you what you all want to know... how ELDER BEDNAR WAS!! 

Sister Missionaries at
Elder Bednar's Conference
November, 2016
Elder David Bednar was in Bakersfield for a few days and it was just incredible. He met with all the missionaries for 3 hours. He gave us 4 talks to read and study beforehand, and then our first hour together he just had us stand up and share what we learned. The biggest things that I learned are: 1) the importance of praying with the intention of acting on our promptings, not just waiting for things to happen; 2) how important it is we take the sacrament seriously and strive to have faith and repent before we go to church; 3) how AWESOME it is the study the scriptures with a question and with the Spirit so that God can speak to us; and 4) the importance of continued obedience to allow continued conversion.

I was expecting Elder Bednar to just lecture us and fill our brains with knowledge, so this approach caught us all off guard. Then we spent a while talking about what we gained from that form of teaching. We didn’t realize it, but hearing from our peers, and then listening to Elder Bednar’s comments and insights on what was said, was WAY more effective than his just sharing what he learned. He’s also stinking hilarious, I wish I could convey all the jokes he made; he said that what’s the point of having the gospel in our life if we aren’t having fun. TRUD DAT!

Sister Missionaries at 
Elder Bednar's Conference
November, 2016
Then the last bit was a Q&A, which was just stellar, holy cow. The biggest thing I gained from the Q&A was the importance of conforming our will to Gods. Following Him requires a lot of hard work and is often challenging, but He takes our agency and expands it and helps us become new creatures. And the spirit was just SO STRONG! We were praying and pondering before he came in, and suddenly I felt such a peace and excitement and joy. I look up just as Elder Bednar WALKED BY!! It figures I’d feel the spirit when he was right there. He is such a dedicated servant of the Lord it’s hard to not feel closer to God around him!! My faith has been even more strengthened that this really is the Lord’s church on the earth again today, that He really has restored His power and has called men to represent Him and speak for Him, just as in times of old. And most importantly, I know that He sent His son, Jesus Christ, to pave the path and allow us to feel peace and joy and love and determination in an ever-changing world. I do not know where I would be without Him, and I know that He is only in our life to the degree that we allow him. So, it’s my continuing goal to strive to emulate Him in all I do, to learn of His life and what He has done, to come closer to Him and to know Him as a person and friend. What a blessing it is the have the gospel in my life!!

Sister King, Sister Hayes,
Bakersfield, CA
November 2016
Okay, updates. K., our investigator, went to this meeting with the youth and young single adults. She said it was simply life changing and that she wishes her family could meet them, THEN they wouldn’t have any trouble letting her get baptized!! The dream.

B., a recent convert’s daughter, is doing great! Sadly, we were all hoping her step-dad would want to baptize her and would work towards reactivation, but he requested that it would be better to find someone else to do it :(  We will keep praying for them!!

ALSO, we went on exchanges, which are always a blast!

I love you all, I love being a missionary and I hope you have a great week :D

Sad Allie.
I think she's sad because all the gumballs are pastel colors,
and she got a red one. Tragedy.
Sister Allie King, Bakersfield, California, and
The Land of Sad Gumballs

Monday, November 7, 2016

November 7, 2016

SO SORRY! I lost track of time but here it goes!!
 This week was kind of rough, not a lot of finding after a lot of searching. BUT, God’s work doesn’t cease! Every time I got in a funk the Lord did SOMETHING to cheer me up! It’s crazy how as soon as I stop focusing on myself and what I’ doing, even if it has to do with missionary work, I immediately feel better and the Spirit comes in full force. The day after Halloween we were out knocking doors and everyone left their bowls of candy from the night before out in front of their house, so we ended up being able to go trick or treating!!
We met this woman knocking on doors who was telling us how she’s essentially Mormon because she has tons of Mormon family members. We kept talking to her and it turns out that she’s the grandmother of one of our investigators, B.! AND, she told us how her cousin has moved into this part of town, and it turned out that it’s a family in our ward! We told B. and she had no idea how many connections to the church she has!
We had a lesson with a recent convert and her daughter who is investigating the church! She’s been paying tithing since she’s been baptized and recently she got a job promotion, pay raise AND insurance! Her husband, who had been less active for years and his heart of softening towards the church now, had to talk to his boss about a miscommunication over his paycheck. He told his boss that he knew everything would work out because the Lord is blessing his family for their obedience. That is HUGE that he is starting to see God working in his life! And their daughter is continuing to come to church and they have just been so blessed because of their savior. 
We had another lesson with K. She was supposed to get baptized this Saturday but her family is still against the church and won’t allow her :/ We shared the story in Mark 5 about the woman who had faith that if she just touched the Savior’s clothes, she would be healed. Sister White, the member whose family introduced Kayla to the gospel, talked about her experience with illness. To make a long story short, her body started rejecting her lungs and after years of seeing doctors and treatments and having to be home bound on oxygen, she was finally able to receive a transplant. And the year after THAT, she was finally able to be well enough to go back to normal life! She spoke of patience and trust in the Lord’s timing, and K. confessed that she's been going through even more persecution than before; she now has lifelong friends from school in addition to her family who are telling her that she’s making a bad decision. For some reason, right after K. gained a testimony of the Gospel, the Lord started putting her through the fire. But because of that, she’s become converted! It’s funny, as soon as people started coming out against her and her choices, she’s become even stronger. She’s acting on the faith in God she’s received and because of that she’s a better person. She’s such an incredible example to me of diligent gospel living, and how even though the world is against us, God is always with us.
Also, a member of the Seventy, Elder Costa, came to our stake conference! His wife screamed when she saw us because she thought they were letting "primary kids go on missions." BUT, she had me go talk to Elder Costa about his mission because it turns out HE SERVED IN WASHINGTON DC NORTH! He served in my home stake back when there was only a Spanish group, and now there are 2 wards!! What a small world :D
Anyways, gotta skip out, I love you all so much!!