Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of exceeding joy of which I taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost. ~ Alma 36:24

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Katherine, I found your sister!

Landon & Sharon Sorensen with Sister Kranendonk
This past Saturday Brian and I decided to go to a late movie.  Once we got out of the movie theater we noticed we had a few missed calls from the Sorensens.  They had been calling to find out what my maiden name is so they could find Emily.  By the time we got out of the movie, it was too late to call back and I felt bad.  The next morning while working on my lesson, Brian came in with our laptop and there on Facebook was this picture of Sharon and Landon with Emily.  I guess they asked all the sister missionaries who were the newest sisters in the mission and they eventually found her!  It is fun to have so many great Midwestern friends and ward members looking for Sister Kranendonk when they go to the temple.



Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Letter: 12/10/2011 ~ Merry Christmas!

I have watched the movie "Luke 2"  so many times I can't even count any more.  This movie is about the birth of our Savior Jesus Christ.  I know that God loves us so much that He sent His Begotten Son for us.  Jesus Christ did something for us that we cannot do for ourselves.  I think about how special the day Christ was born.  The one thing I love in the movie Luke 2 is the star.  I love what the star represents.  It was a sign that the wisemen were looking for.  They were looking for when the Christ child would come into the world. 

When the star appeared, it was  a sure sign that Christ had come into the world. What great assurance it brought to the wisemen and to us as we looked down from heaven that Christ was born into the world.  Because then we knew that Christ would make the plan of mercy and redemption possible.  I am thankful for it.  We have heard the saying "Wisemen still seek him."  We too need to seek after Jesus Christ more than we do.  We need to come to know Him better than we do.  We need to serve Him more than we do.  I know that Jesus Christ lives. I testify that is true.  I know that He is the Son of our Eternal Father in Heaven.  I testify that the power of the atonement is for every day living. It is the power in our lives that makes it so we can live.  He makes up for what we lack in.   Let's make more room in our hearts for Jesus Christ.  Let's prepare for that great day when He returns.  Merry Christmas! 


Sister Kranendonk

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Box

Time has flown by so quickly, it was time for our monthly visit to the Mesa Temple.  We had brought back tons of stuff for Emily in our last trip to Salt Lake.  We needed to take her stuff to her.  Elizabeth, Molly and I have been working on homemade cards for Emily for a couple months now.  This is our way of encouraging her to write to us as much as possible.  Finally we got most of the cards finished.  I decided it was time to also give Emily that box of cards.  I think she was pleasantly surprised.

Emily is doing great and enjoying all of the crowds visiting the temple during the Christmas season.  The Christmas lights all around the temple are beautiful, very different from Temple Square in Salt Lake City.   She said to tell all of you hi.  We enjoyed laughing and chatting for just a few minutes before she had to get back to work.  I can't wait to see her again.  The young women and young men in our ward are going to the temple for a combined activity in a few weeks.  Lucky for me Emily is going to be there at the Visitors' Center every day.

Merry Christmas!


Brian peeking into the box for Emily. 
Sister Kranendonk in action! 
"The Gucci" and Sister Kranendonk 
Sister Kranendonk and Katherine

Monday, November 28, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

This piece of artwork is on display at the Vistor's Center
Sister Parker
Sister Kranendonk & Sister Burton
Sister Stephens, Sister White, Sister Kranendonk & Elder White
Elder and Sister White are the Vistor Center Directors.

Hello Everyone!

How are all of you?  I hope you are all doing fantastic.  I hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving.  Sister Parker and I went to the Zimmerman family's home for Thanksgiving.  She is the stake relief society president. Her family was so kind and loving. 

We now spend every evening at the visitor center.  We are there from 5:00 until 10:00pm and go to bed at 11:30pm. We then wake up at 7:30am.  It has been nice. I have enjoyed being at the visitor center.  I love talking to people.   Although I am still working on being more bold and sharing the gospel with people. 

I love being able to testify about the Book of Mormon.  There is such a great power that comes from the Book of Mormon.  At the visitor center I have talked to a lot of people who have not really given the Book of Mormon a chance.  There was a woman who came in yesterday. She is from North Carolina.  She is coming to take care of her dad.  She is Protestant.  Her family started to walking away.  As they left they invited her to come to see the movie Luke 2.  She said I'll catch you later and that she liked talking to missionaries.  She said that she has had a lot of questions but can't find the answers to them in some of the religions that she has checked out. 

This woman and I started talking.  She said that she had visited once with the mormon missionaries.  I asked her what she thought about it.  She said it was interesting.  I asked her more specifically what she thought.  She again said that she thought it was interesting.  I shared with her what I thought of the Book of Mormon.  I told her that I had been seriously studying it ever since I was 14 and spent a lot of time doing so.  I had come to know for myself that it was true.  I asked her what some of her questions were.  She said she had some questions about the Holy Ghost.  I told her what we believed in about the Godhead.  She thought all of this was very interesting.  I asked her if she had ever read the Book of Mormon.  She said no that she hadn't really read it.  I challenged her to read it and find out whether or not it was true.  I read Moroni's promise with her.  I emphasized that through the Holy Ghost she can know the truth of all things.  I also testified that any question she had whether it be temporal or spiritual she would find her answer in the Book of Mormon.  She asked me how she would know it is true.  We talked more about the Holy Ghost and different feelings people have experienced.  I shared with her a personal experience I had had when I knew that my Father in Heaven loved me.  I became emotional as I talked about it with her.  I said that I was sorry for getting so emotional.  She said don't worry about it.  I shared with her that more happiness would come from the Book of Mormon than she could ever imagine.

It was amazing to see the spirit soften this woman's heart.  She said she would read the Book of Mormon and pray about it.  I said would it be alright if we sent the missionaries to visit her. She said she already had their number and would call them.  I told her once you know that the Book of Mormon is true will you do something about it.  She said yes.  I know that the promises that I made to her will come to true. 

As a missionary I have been called of God to bless the lives of his children. I know that through the spirit I can call down the blessings of heaven to bless their lives.  I know through the spirit the Lord will keep the promises that I made to her last night.  I testify the Book of Mormon is the word of God.  I know that it helps us more than we could ever imagine.  We just have to spend more time reading it.  The Lord desires to bless His children, if they will just come to Him and believe.  Miracles only happen if believe they can happen.  I have seen many miracles happen so far. 


Sister Kranendonk

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Guess who I just saw?

Sister Kranendonk & Katherine
Sister Kranendonk, Katherine & Brian
Sister Parker & Sister Kranendonk
Last Saturday was our ward temple night.  We were excited to go for many obvious reasons.  On our way to the temple we decided to walk through the Visitors' Center.  I made the loop around the building and didn't see Sister Kranendonk.  I ask a sister missionary if she was there and the sister didn't know her.  So I told Brian that I was going to check the room where the local artist's paintings were on display, just to be sure.  I walked in and there was Sister Kranendonk.  We were so excited to see her and meet her companion Sister Parker.  I haven't seen Sister Kranendonk since the 4th of July weekend.  I am so excited that she is here.



In the Mission Field

Sister Kranendonk & Sister Parker
Here is my companion Sister  Parker and I making phone calls.  It is not my favorite thing to do especially when people swear at me.  Oh well.  :)  I just have to laugh about it. 

Mesa Temple Visitor's Center
This is a picture of my apartment. I lived with a wonderful family their last name was Law.  There are lots of memories in this apartment. We lived with Aubreanna and Hailey.  Two girls who were attending school to become a dental hygienist. 
Sister Kranendonk & Sister Burton

    Sister Kranendonk

Friday, November 4, 2011

Leaving on a Jet Plane

We were quite thrilled when Emily called us Tuesday morning at the airport. Chloe and I were on our way to school. Luckily Dad was home too and so we all got to talk to her. Unbeknown to us, our family friend Matt Jensen, (Luke’s brother) called Emily's mission home and found out her flight information. Matt works at the airport. He has clearance to go anywhere he wants. He went to Emily’s gate and sat down by her and he also took her a gift from their family. Emily was pretty surprised. She said that if she weren't a missionary she would hug him. He took this picture and emailed it to me. I thought that was so nice of them to do that for Emily. Here is the picture of Emily and Sister Shurtz. They are both so cute!!!!

~ Mom        
Sister Shurtz and Sister Kranendonk

Good-bye at the MTC

Emily and Mom
Here is my companion just moments before dropping her off!
I need something to keep me going for the next 18 months!
Amelia and Emily
I quickly snapped a picture with Emily before the Elders snatched her away into the mtc :)

(Can you tell we're both on the verge of tears?)
I know you'll all agree with me when I say that Emily is going to be one of the best missionaries EVER!!!


P.S.  We will be adding the video Amelia took soon :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ready for Sister Kranendonk

Emily had asked me if I would be willing to buy her bedding and drop it off at the mission home.  I was lucky and found some purple sheets for her and the rest of her bedding.  We realized yesterday that Emily is flying out today!  Brian called the mission home and talked to one of the secretaries to find out when they closed.  She told Brian that they all knew about Sister Kranendonk and said they were excited for her to come today. 

We had just enough time to drop off Emily's stuff before they closed yesterday.  The mission home is in Scottsdale, AZ and so we enjoyed a nice drive together.  The front desk was covered in packages and addressed to all the missionaries.  It was really fun to meet some of the couples serving in the mission office. 

One of the sisters went and found Sister Ellsworth and said she wanted to meet me.  Sister Ellsworth is a kind woman and is very excited to meet and serve with Emily.  All of the ladies in the office had been practicing how to say Sister Kranendonk's name.  They wanted me to pronounce Kranendonk, just to be sure they were saying it correctly and could properly welcome her.  Needless to say, they are ready for her. 

Here is some of the information I found about Emily's mission president and his wife:
R. Spence and Laurie Ellsworth
Robert Spence Ellsworth, 59, and Laurie Benson Ellsworth, seven children, Arizona Mesa Mission; Carey 2nd Ward, Carey Idaho Stake. Brother Ellsworth is a counselor in the Boise Idaho Mission presidency and a former stake president, bishop and missionary in the North Argentine Mission. Co-owner, Ellsworth and Company. Born in Globe, Ariz., to Maurice Chapman and Norma Owens Ellsworth.

Sister Ellsworth is a former stake Relief Society president, ward Young Women president, ward Relief Society and Primary teacher and institute teacher. Born in Seattle, Wash., to Ezra Taft Benson Jr. and Mary Beth Wheeler Benson.

I think they are all ready for Sister Kranendonk.  I am so excited for her to come!



Monday, October 31, 2011

Sister Kranen-dog!

Hi Everyone!

Things are going great! Sister Shurtz (my companion) and I are always laughing about some funny thing. So two days ago I was getting trained on live chatting with people on The Sister who was teaching us asked me what my name was. I said Sister Kranendonk. I think she was quite surprised by it and didn't quite hear all of the sounds of every letter. Throughout the class she called me Sister Kranen-dog!

I have never been called that before. My companions and I all tried so hard not to laugh. I don't even know what to say. I let her continue to call me that. Even now while I write this email, I am laughing so hard. But I am trying not to laugh too hard because people will think I am weird and begin to wonder who that crazy sister missionary is. I think the sister was just mumbling my last name and make it sound like what she heard.

I am thankful for the special privilege I have of serving our Father in Heaven. His work is moving forward with great power and speed. The Lord is always doing marvelous things for His children. I have come to know of the great love Heavenly Father has for each of His children.


Sister Kranendonk

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mission Pictures

A little while back Emily asked Phil if he would be willing to take her mission pictures and edit them for her. Since we got a new camera a few months earlier; Phil was more than happy to use it and try out the new settings. We drove Emily to Logan River Walk and took a ton of pictures. We had a lot of fun taking the pictures and laughing together. It had just rained a ton so things were still kind of wet and muddy, which just added to the fun. There was one spot where we had Emily sit on the board walk, and it was actually wet, but she still sat there to get the good picture.

 Emily has never been known to take serious pictures, so when we tried to get a few it just ended up being really funny. When Emily was feeling kind of weird or wasn't doing her natural, sincere smile I would yell boogers or other funny things to try and make her laugh and then actually smile. After a while boogers weren't funny anymore, so instead I would do this little.... dance around Phil to make her laugh. Phil wasn't too appreciative of my dancing. After that we went to the Logan Temple and got a few more pictures of Emily. We had a lot of fun spending sometime with Emily and we got some great pictures of her.



Monday, October 17, 2011

Emily's Farewell

Amelia, Chloe, Emily, Abbie, Elizabeth, Brianna, Molly
Emily had two farewells, one in her Single's Ward and the other in the Family Ward she grew up in.  She did a lovely job and we know that she is meant to be a missionary.  Already Emily looks like a missionary.

Developing a Closer Relationship with God and Jesus Christ

Developing a closer relationship with God and Jesus Christ
Farewell talk by Emily Kranendonk
September 25, 2011

C.S. Lewis talks about our need for God and people in our lives. “We come to something far more important. Every Christian would agree that a man’s spiritual health is exactly proportional to his love for God….Our Need-love for God is in a different position because our need of Him can never end either in this world or in any other.” C.S. Lewis (The Four Loves page 15)

“My desire for you is to have more straightforward experiences with the Savior’s life and teachings. Perhaps sometimes we come to Christ too obliquely, focusing on structure or methods or elements of Church administration. Those are important and, like the tithes of mint and anise and cumin Christ spoke of (see Matt. 23:23), should be observed—but not without attention to the weightier matters of the kingdom, first and foremost of which is a personal spiritual relationship with Deity, including the Savior, whose kingdom this is.” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, (Trusting Jesus, page 64)

Nephi and his brothers have just listened to their father Lehi speak of many great things. Nephi’s brothers had been arguing about what their father had said. Nephi made this observation about his brothers,

“…they being hard in their hearts, therefore they did not look unto the Lord as they ought.” 1 Ne. 15:3

President Howard W. Hunter said, “We must know Christ better than we know him; we must remember him more often than we remember him; we must serve him more valiantly than we serve him” (in Conference Report, April 1994, 84).

“Do whatever you have to do to come into the fold and be blessed. For some of you that is simply to live with greater faith, to believe more. For some of you it does mean to repent—right here. Today. For some of you it means to be baptized and come into the body and fellowship of Christ. For virtually all of us it means to live more by the promptings and promises of the Holy Ghost and to ‘press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.’” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, (Trusting Jesus, page 66)


If we desire to have a closer relationship with God we must get on our knees and pray to Him. We must pour out our hearts and tell Him every little thing. We need to enjoy the time that we have to pray to Him.


If we ever feel there is some distance between us and the Lord then to decrease the distance we must read our scriptures. We need to have conversations with our Father in Heaven as we read. My friend Chris shared this thought with me this past week. He said, “I just finished reading scriptures. I have a testimony of scripture study, prayer, and personal revelation. There are hours of detail I wish I could go into right now but I can’t. There’s not time. I simply say never settle for anything short of a spiritual experience as you read and pray about the scriptures, even if you read for two minutes. A two minute conversation with Heavenly Father can change a lifetime. A daily two minute conversation with Heavenly Father can change the world and many people’s eternities. Make every scripture study a conversation with God. That is my thought for the day.”

“No, God does not need us to love Him. But oh, how we need to love God! For what we love determines what we seek. What we seek determines what we think and do. What we think and do determines who we are—and who we will become.

“Though we are incomplete, God loves us completely. Though we are imperfect, He loves us perfectly. Though we may feel lost and without compass, God’s love encompasses us completely.” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf (Ensign Nov. 2009)

“He loves us because He is filled with an infinite measure of holy, pure, and indescribable love. We are important to God not because of our résumé but because we are His children. He loves every one of us, even those who are flawed, rejected, awkward, sorrowful, or broken. God’s love is so great that He loves even the proud, the selfish, the arrogant, and the wicked.

“What this means is that, regardless of our current state, there is hope for us. No matter our distress, no matter our sorrow, no matter our mistakes, our infinitely compassionate Heavenly Father desires that we draw near to Him so that He can draw near to us.” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf (Ensign Nov. 2009)

Testimony of Christ and the Atonement

Testimony of Christ and the Atonement
Farewell talk by Emily Kranendonk
September 25, 2011

Take a moment to picture yourself at the scene of the Savior visiting the people in America. Picture yourself coming unto Christ, ready to let Him carry your burdens and take the heavy weight from your shoulders. Imagine and feel your heart broken and your spirit contrite.

“And it came to pass that the Lord spake unto them saying:

“Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.

“And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into his side, and did feel the prints of the nails in his hands and in his feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record that it was he, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.” 3 Nephi 11: 13-15

“Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I am the same that came unto mine own, and mine own received me not. I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not.” D&C 6: 21

“Come unto Him and lay down your burden. Let Him lift the load. Let Him give peace to your soul. Nothing in this world is more burdensome than sin—it is the heaviest cross men and women ever bear. …God has a ‘forgiving disposition.’ You can change. You can be helped. You can be made whole—whatever the problem. All He asks is that you walk away from the darkness and come into the light, His light, with meekness and lowliness of heart. That is at the heart of the gospel. That is the very center of our message. That is the beauty of redemption. Christ has ‘borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows.’ Isaiah declare, ‘and with his stripes we are healed’—if we want to be (Isaiah 53: 4-5).” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, Trusting Jesus, page 65

“Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me.” Isaiah 49: 16

“Behold, I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life”. 3 Ne. 5:13

I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed. The die has been cast. I have stepped over the line. The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. I won’t look back, let up, slow down, or be still. My past is redeemed; my present makes sense and my future is secure. I’m finished and done with low living, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams, tainted visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals. I no longer need preeminence, positions, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don’t have to be right, first, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by faith, lean on His presence, walk with patience, am uplifted by prayer, and labor with power. My face is set, my gait is fast, my goal is heaven. My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear. I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided or delayed. I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity. I won’t give up, shut up, or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, and paid up for the cause of Christ. I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know, and work till He stops me. And when He returns for His own, He will have no problem recognizing me. My banner will be clear.

“There is much to ponder about the greatness of God, His condescension, and what it might mean to us as recipients of His great gift.

…His condescension is an integral, necessary, and inseparable part of the Atonement. The Atonement itself was predicated upon His willingness to descend and suffer. His condescension, as part of the Atonement, is probably as essential to the redemption of mankind as was His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane or on the cross. His Atonement was a free gift to all mankind – a gift that could be obtained no other way. It resulted from His willingness to descend. He descended not because of obligation, nor for glory, but only for love. His condescension to redeem us through the Atonement was the price He paid to provide salvation and exaltation.”

~ Bishop Richard C. Edgley, First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric

Ensign, Dec. 2001, “The Condescension of God”

"It matters so very much how we regard and view Jesus Christ." Elder Maxwell.

"I testify that in eloquent example he partook voluntarily of the bitter cup in the awful, but for him avoidable, atonement; we must, therefore, drink from our tiny cups. I thank him for likewise not interceding on our behalf, even when we pray in faith and reasonable righteousness, for that which would not be right for us. Our glimpse of Gethsemane should teach us that all prayers are petitions!

"I testify that, though he never needed it, he gave to us what we desperately needed—that program of progress—repentance, which beckons us to betterness. I thank him for helping me, even forgiving me, when I fall short, when I testify of things known but which are beyond the border of my behavior, and for helping me to advance that border, bit by bit. His relentless redemptiveness exceeds my recurring wrongs."

Elder Neal A. Maxwell "Jesus of Nazareth, Savior and King," New Era, Dec 1976, 9

The Atonement from a female perspective (Alma 7:11)
“Well, my dear sisters, the gospel is the good news that can free us from guilt. We know that Jesus experienced the totality of mortal existence in Gethsemane. It’s our faith that he experienced everything-absolutely everything. Sometimes we don’t think through the implications of that belief. We talk in great generalities about the sins of all humankind, about the suffering of the entire human family. But we don’t experience pain in generalities. We experience it individually. That means he knows what it felt like when your mother died of cancer- how it was for your mother, how it still is for you. He knows what it felt like to lose the student body election. He knows the moments the brakes locked and the car started to skid.

He experienced the slave ship sailing from Ghana toward Virginia. He experienced gas chambers at Dachau. He experienced napalm in Vietnam. He knows about drug addiction and alcoholism.

Let me go further. There is nothing you have experienced as a woman that he does not also know and recognize. On a profound level he understands about the hunger to hold your baby that sustains you through pregnancy. He understands both the physical pain of giving birth and the immense joy. He knows about PMS and cramps and menopause. He understands about rape and infertility and abortion. His last recorded words to his disciples were, “And lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” (Matthew 28:30) He understands your mother-pain when your five-year-old leaves for kindergarten, when a bully picks on your fifth-grader, when your daughter calls to say that the new baby has Down’s Syndrome. He knows your mother-rage when a trusted babysitter sexually abuses your two year-old, when someone gives your thirteen-year-old drugs, when someone seduces your seventeen-year-old. He knows the pain you live with when you come home to a quiet apartment where the only children are visitors, when you hear that your former husband and his new wife were sealed in the temple last week, when your fiftieth wedding anniversary rolls around and your husband has been dead for two years. He knows all that. He’s been there. He’s been lower than all that…”

I beg you to…give him your whole heart, all the pieces, and let him heal you. He promises us, “And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.”

(Jeremiah 29:13.) “with all [our] hearts.” That means we don’t have pieces of our hearts that he doesn’t touch or that aren’t relevant to him. That means we must live our lives as Savior-focused individuals.”

(Chieko N. Okazaki; Lighten Up! Pages 6&7)

God has infinite attention to spare for each one of us. He does not have to deal with us in the mass. You are as much alone with Him as if you were the only being He had ever created. When Christ died he died for you Individually just as much as if you had been the only man in the world." C.S. Lewis Mere Christianity pg. 168

“The Atonement was an intimate, personal experience in which Jesus came to know how to help each of us.” Robert Millet “What Happened on the cross.” P. 91

“For many years I thought of the Savior’s experience in the Garden and on the cross as places where a large mass of sin was heaped upon Him. Through the words of Alma, Abinadai, Isaiah, and other prophets, however, my view has changed. Instead of an impersonal mass of sin, there was a long line of people, as Jesus felt ‘our infirmities’ (Heb. 4:15), bore our griefs,…Carried our sorrows… And was bruised for our iniquities. Isa, 53:4-5 Elder Merrill J. Batemen CR October 2005, 77

As a young missionary, Elder Orson F. Whitney (1855–1931), who later served in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, had a dream so powerful that it changed his life forever. He later wrote:

“One night I dreamed … that I was in the Garden of Gethsemane, a witness of the Savior’s agony. … I stood behind a tree in the foreground. … Jesus, with Peter, James, and John, came through a little wicket gate at my right. Leaving the three Apostles there, after telling them to kneel and pray, He passed over to the other side, where He also knelt and prayed … : ‘Oh my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will but as Thou wilt.’

“As He prayed the tears streamed down His face, which was [turned] toward me. I was so moved at the sight that I wept also, out of pure sympathy with His great sorrow. My whole heart went out to Him. I loved Him with all my soul and longed to be with Him as I longed for nothing else.

“Presently He arose and walked to where those Apostles were kneeling—fast asleep! He shook them gently, awoke them, and in a tone of tender reproach, untinctured by the least show of anger or scolding, asked them if they could not watch with Him one hour…

“Returning to His place, He prayed again and then went back and found them again sleeping. Again He awoke them, admonished them, and returned and prayed as before. Three times this happened, until I was perfectly familiar with His appearance—face, form, and movements. He was of noble stature and of majestic mien … the very God that He was and is, yet as meek and lowly as a little child.

“All at once the circumstance seemed to change. … Instead of before, it was after the Crucifixion, and the Savior, with those three Apostles, now stood together in a group at my left. They were about to depart and ascend into heaven. I could endure it no longer. I ran from behind the tree, fell at His feet, clasped Him around the knees, and begged Him to take me with Him.

“I shall never forget the kind and gentle manner in which He stooped and raised me up and embraced me. It was so vivid, so real that I felt the very warmth of His bosom against which I rested. Then He said: ‘No, my son; these have finished their work, and they may go with me; but you must stay and finish yours.’ Still I clung to Him. Gazing up into His face—for He was taller than I—I besought Him most earnestly: ‘Well, promise me that I will come to You at the last.’ He smiled sweetly and tenderly and replied: ‘That will depend entirely upon yourself.’ I awoke with a sob in my throat, and it was morning.” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland The Atonement of Jesus Christ, Ensign March 2008

“Jesus himself is the gatekeeper and … ‘He employeth no servant there.’ … I will tell you out of the conviction of my soul… ‘He waits for … you with open arms.’ That imagery is too powerful to brush aside …It is imagery that should work itself into the very center core of one’s mind—a rendezvous impending, a moment in time and space, the likes of which there is none other. And that rendezvous is a reality. I certify that to you. He does wait for us with open arms, because His love for us is perfect.” But a few days, p. 7

Melvin J. Ballard…

I want to conclude with a story about the Savior that comes from a special witness of the Lord Jesus Christ. Elder Melvin J. Ballard was an apostle and the grandfather of Elder M. Russell Ballard, currently a member of the Quorum of the Twelve. He had administrative problems to solve as part of his calling that were very troubling to him personally. There were no precedents or guidelines. In other words, this was a situation that the handbook didn't cover! He sought the Lord repeatedly for inspiration and help. Then he wrote:
(Chieko N. Okazaki, Disciples , p.12-13)

Melvin J. Ballard
That night I received a wonderful manifestation and impression which has never left me. I was carried . . . into a room where I was informed I was to meet someone. As I entered the room I saw, seated on a raised platform, the most glorious being I have ever conceived of, and was taken forward to be introduced to Him. As I approached He smiled, called my name, and stretched out His hands toward me. If I live to be a million years old I shall never forget that smile.

(Melvin J. Ballard—Crusader for Righteousness, Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966, p. 65-66.)

He put his arms around me and kissed me, as He took me into His bosom, and He blessed me until my whole being was thrilled. As He finished I fell at His feet, and there saw the marks of the nails; and as I kissed them, with deep joy swelling through my whole being, I felt that I was in heaven indeed. The feeling that came to my heart then was: Oh! if I could live worthy, though it would require four-score years, so that in the end when I have finished I could go into His presence and receive the feeling that I then had in His presence, I would give everything that I am and ever hope to be!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Emily's Endowment

Abbie, Robbie, Brianna
Rob, Elizabeth, Emily
Grandma Kranendonk, Dad
Brianna, Katherine, Brian
Phil, Molly, Mom
Emily took out her endowment in the Salt Lake Temple on July 2, 2012.  Afterwards we all went to the Spaghetti Factory for lunch.  Thank you to all of you who were able to attend and be there that day for Emily.  I have more pictures that I am trying to track down for this post and will add them soon.  Everyone will miss Emily so much, but we are all excited for her.



February 18, 2016

The day I went through the temple for my own endowment was a very special day.  As soon as I stepped inside the temple, I immediately felt the spirit. It was such a beautiful experience to me. The only words that I could use to describe my experience is clarity, familiarity and reality.  The temple felt very familiar to me.  It was not unusual to me in any way.  Through prayer and scripture study and attending the temple for baptisms, truly helped me be prepared for my experience in the temple.


Friday, October 7, 2011

Opening Up Her Mission Call

Amelia, Adam, Brian
Mom and Little Robbie
Brian, Amelia, Chloe, Emily
Phil, Molly, Chloe, Dad, Joey

Once Emily submitted her mission papers friends and family placed bets on where she would go.  Emily's mission call came in July 2011.  Everyone gathered to hear Emily's good news.  Since Elizabeth and I don't live in Salt Lake everyone had out their cell phones so we could hear Emily open her call.  Elizabeth and I were the winners, we both guessed Arizona.  We are excited for Emily to go to the Mesa Temple Visitors' Center mission.



1st Time at the Mesa Arizona Temple

The beginning of this blog truly started back in January of this year, 2011. Emily had the opportunity to travel with a friend to Phoenix for a long weekend. We all decided that one of the fun things we could do was to visit the Mesa Temple; Emily had never been there before. We enjoyed walking around the temple grounds and going into the Visitors' Center.  I wish I could say something magical happened or Emily had an epiphany, but she didn't. We had a lovely time and enjoyed the warm sun shine. Little did we know that Emily would be serving here in less than a year.



February 18, 2016

When I went to this temple and visitor center, I thought it was pretty cool.  I remember we walked in the visitor center where the Christus statue was.  We sat there and admired the statue.  There was a sister missionary who came over and asked us if we would like for her to share the narration with us.  We said no that we were about to leave.  I remember thinking wow what a boring mission. That sister missionary looked tired and didn't look happy.  Little did I know what this mission was really all about. I didn't remember this experience until I was in the mission field and started serving in the visitor center.  I am sure I looked exactly like that sister missionary.  At that point I thought you only served at the visitor center all day every day. But that is not the case.  I love this little spot of land with all my heart. It was somewhere where I came to know God in such a way that I couldn't have.  It was my sacred grove where I came to know God, some of his children and myself.