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







Monday, January 30, 2012

Letter: 1/30/2012 ~ Training




Hello Everyone!

Wow another week has come and gone.  Time flies so fast on the mission.  It definitely is different being a trainer.  The first day of training meetings really set in the responsibility for me.  I set an example for this new missionary to follow and it really sets the tone for the rest of their mission.  I am trying to spend lots of time on my knees in knowing how to help her.  I am here to uplift, bless, and encourage her.  Although I feel like she is training me.  I have learned so much from Sister Lewis.  She is an excellent missionary. She loves to speak her mind and is not afraid to share it.  She is inspired by the spirit.  We have had incredible experiences this past week when teaching.  I will tell you about them in a minute.  She has such a strong testimony of prayer.  She truly sees how prayer changes everything.  She is very organized and top of things.  I am trying hard to set a better example for her to follow. 

By the way getting letters from friends and family mean everything to me.  Because I am told that I am loved and that I am doing a good job.  I sometimes feel like my companions might not love me as much. Oh well... such is life. :)  Yesterday Sister Lewis and I spoke in sacrament meeting in the Thunder Mountain ward.  It was all missionary oriented.  The ward is having a ward fast for missionary experiences.  I think it will be awesome.  This ward already has a ton of missionary work going on.  The ward members here are absolutely wonderful. The first two pictures are of me and Sister Lewis together.  The other one is with a recent convert.  Her name is Alma Holcomb.  Sister Parker and I helped her move.  Alma also spoke in church with us. 

This past week we met with Chuck.  He is awesome.  He kept his commitment and read the chapters we assigned him in the Book of Mormon.  He had a few questions.  Sister Lewis is so good at asking questions and digging deep to get to know someone and know where their beliefs are.  She listens so intently when someone is speaking.  Sister Beeson is a member of the Mountain Ridge ward.  She is always willing and happy to come to our visits with us.  I love it.  Chuck committed to praying and reading about the Book of Mormon.  Sister Lewis asked him what would it mean for him to find out if the Book of Mormon was true.  He said it would change everything.  His family would be very upset with him and in some way kind of disown him.  It would cause a lot of family problems.  Plus his wife left him and all he knows is that she is on the East Coast some where.  His kids really struggle with their mom being gone obviously.  He has two neighbors that are members who are helping to take care of him.  So hopefully we can invite him to come to church with us. 

We met with the Stolp family this week.  We were able to discover a few more of the issues they are struggling with in the church.  Although I feel that if people would pray and read the Book of Mormon their struggles in a sense would be taken care of.  It would make a huge difference in their lives.  They committed to reading the Book of Mormon.  Barb has been doing well in already reading the Book of Mormon.  She is trying to help Bert to read it.  Sister Lewis asked some good questions to find out more of what they believe. 

Sister Lewis is doing fantastic considering it is her first week. She is excelling in all aspects.  I really feel like I am not training her at all.  She is so intune with the spirit.  We have good companionship unity.  We are able to pray for each other to be inspired and saying the things that need to be said.  We have spent some time with a few women this past week who are less active.  The one woman has been inactive pretty much all of her life.  She really doesn't know much about the church.  She struggles with why blacks did not have the priesthood for a time.  I didn't quite know what to say.  I told her that the world was being prepared for the fullness of the everlasting gospel to be restored.  It had to be restored line upon line.  If any of you can help me to answer this question I would greatly appreciate it.  Thank you.

We also talked with a sister this week.  She is so ashamed for having had two failed marriages.  She is ashamed to go to church because of how family oriented the church is.  We helped her to see that going to church and the temple is where she needs to be.  She thanked us for the reminders in our visit.  We shared with her Doctrine and Covenants 50:40-44. She came to church on Sunday and we sat with her.  She told us that she wanted us to come back again and visit with her. 

I love you tons.  You are all in my prayers.  I saw the pictures of the shower.  It looked like it was a lot of fun.  I really wish I could have been there.  Molly, thank you for sending me the money. I appreciate you doing that for me.  Thank you for all of your love and support. 

Love,

  Sister Emily Kranendonk

Letter: 1/23/2012 ~ Changes





Hey Everyone,

I hope all yall' are doing great.  My companion says that.  Even though she is from Denver, she learned to talk in Texas.  :)  I have some exciting news.  My mission president called me and asked if I would be a trainer.  I can't believe the Lord trusts me.  I am blown away by this.  I know this will be an opportunity to trust in the Lord more.  I have only been out three and a half months, crazy.  I am thankful to have this opportunity.  It certainly is a privilege.  I feel that way about everything on the mission.  It truly is a privilege to serve and love the people.  I am thankful to have everything that I have.  Normally President Ellsworth calls during the day.  Well I thought since it was 9:30 p.m., I would not be training.  I kept telling myself that Sister Parker and I would be together for at least one more transfer.  But then the phone rang, I saw that it was the Mission Office.  I knew that phone call was for me.  I answered and said Hello this is Sister Kranendonk.  :) He said tell your companion I love her, she is being transferred.  He said I would like to ask you to accept the call as trainer. I said I would love to.  He said it is a wonderful privilege to help a missionary who is starting out on their mission.  He told me I would do a great job.  I can't believe it.  There is only one visitor center missionary that is coming in this transfer.  Her name is Sister Lewis.  She is  from Utah.  I have seen her picture and she looks familiar to me.  I can't wait to meet her on Wednesday.  I think it will be fun.  I am still blown away by it.  Everyone else isn't, but I am.  :)  A lot of people told me they knew I would be training.  Sometimes I feel like I should be more mature or know more. But the Lord calls us in our weakness and makes us strong.  I know this is meant to be.  The Lord has divinely designed a mission for each of us.  Oh and Sister Shurtz is also training this transfer.  I love that sister.

This past week we met with Chuck.  This was a  great visit with him.  He has not been reading the Book of Mormon because of how crazy work has been for him and being a single dad is not easy.  But we read from the Book of Mormon with him.  He enjoyed and had a lot of questions.  His neighbor Sister Beeson is a member and she comes to the lessons with us.  She is a single mom with four kids I think.  It is nice she is available to join us.  He tells us that he wants to come to church but would have to find a babysitter for his kids. He would have a lot of family conflict if he took the kids to church.  We are working to find people to babysit his kids for him.  He said he is not really looking to change religions, he is comfortable with his religion now.  He still wants to keep learning more.  Chuck is still looking to be informed and not converted.  He likes what he hears though.  It will be interesting to see how things turn out for him. :) 

We met with the Stolp family this past week. They are truly my favorite family.  I love being able to go over there.  They have a miniature horse and his name is Scout.  He has figured out to get in the house.  If they are not careful he nudges his way in and eats the dog food.  When we were there the other day Scout came in but we were in the other room and didn't see Scout.  Otherwise I would have loved seeing it.  I wish I could have taken a picture.  Sister Stolp is working to strengthen her family.  She read the Book of Mormon a little bit this past week which led her to a passage in the bible. She was able to share it with her kids and have a great discussion.  She wants to help her family but she struggles because she feels like she is doing it all on her own.  Br. Stolp is trying to figure out medical issues and family issues.  We committed them to have family prayer every night this week.  They said it sounded like a great idea and it was something they needed to do.  Maddie and Tristan are the kids.  I love going over there.  They are awesome.  I know they have a belief in God.  They enjoy having us come over.  We are trying to get the trust of Br. Stolp.  I think we are slowly getting it. 

Sister Parker and I do a lot of service.  This past week we helped one of the Relief Society presidents paint angels for her visiting teaching project.  It was relaxing.  It made me think of mom because of all the wood painting she use to do.  We also went over to a less active and part member family and sanded the rusty paint off of an iron fence.  That was an interesting experiencing.  We thought we would get to talk with the family while doing it but did not get to because they had all their own projects they are working on.  Right now we are working on gaining their trust. I think the husband would be interested in learning more if it were not for the wife.  She use to teach at another Christian school.  They seem to like us which is good. 

Sister Parker and I have been working with the Collins family.  We have gone over so many times to visit with them and set up appointments.  It is very rare if they will answer their phone.  It is a part member and less active family.  We want to help them come to church and baptize the boys who are old enough to baptize.  It is kind of sad in a way because the kids want to be baptized but the parents keep putting it off.  They are embarrassed for not having come to church for awhile.  We are trying to show them lots of love and help them to feel welcomed.  Sister Parker had the idea of heart attacking their house.  Which is what we did.  We left notes of encouraging words for them.  Br. Packham knows this family well.  He is trying to visit with them too.  He went over yesterday and had a great visit with them.  They told him about the heart attack and all of them absolutely loved it.  We did not tell them family that it was from us.  We put it from the Mountain Ridge ward.  Hopefully it will help them to feel loved and welcomed at church. 

We have been trying to teach Jordan Polve but we have not been able to set up a time. We talked to his dad because we want to make sure the parents are involved.  When we talked to the dad he said we could come over.  So when we called he said that time is not going to work and really we are not interested in having you come over.  We have been less active for ten years and have no interest in coming to church. He said don't take it personal but we don't want to have you come over.  I wanted to clarify about Jordan.  I said so does this mean we cannot teach Jordan.  He said Jordan only said yes to being baptized because he was being nice.  He doesn't actually want to be baptized.  I said okay well thank you.  Let us know if we can do anything for you.  But I can't believe that Jordan does not want to be baptized because he comes to church every week without family.  He is 14 years old.  He comes to church which starts at 9:00 a.m.  But I think it will be okay because the ward members know Jordan very well and are looking out for him.  Even though we cannot go over the ward is helping him out. 

We had dinner with Sis. Munroe and her friend Marilyn who is not a member.  Sis. Munroe lives by herself. She has been divorced and does not have the choice to see her kids.  She does not make a lot of money.  She is going to school to get a degree.  She amazes me because of her goodness.  She is so sweet and kind to people.  She is a great example of generosity.  She has a firm testimony.  I love her dearly.  I met her a couple of months ago at the visitor center and had a wonderful conversation that was meant to be.  Sis. Munroe has a happy attitude about life and has a strong testimony.  You don't have to have all the wealth in the world to be happy. In fact that is not what makes you happy, what makes a person happy is the spirit. 

I love you all dearly. I hope you are doing well.  I miss you tons. I can't wait to hear from all of you.

Love,

   Sister Kranendonk

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pictures with Elder and Sister White, Falcon, Solorzano, Sister Parker

Elder and Sister White were the directors of the visitor's center.
I am with Sister Falcon from Mexico and Sister Solorzano from Nicaragua. 
These sisters are very sweet and happy.  I am blessed to know them.
Sister Parker and I love to pamper ourselves with face masks. :)
Love,

   Sister Kranendonk

Friday, January 20, 2012

Letter: 1/16/2012 ~ D&C 130:2


Dear Family!

How is everybody? I hope life is treating you well. Every day I am more thankful for my wonderful family. I am thankful for the relationships that we share in. They truly are special and will last for eternity. I am thankful that our family has been sealed in the temple. One of my favorite scriptures is Doctrine and Covenants 130:2. I hope you will all take the time to read it and think about it. Because I know those words are true and hold great meaning for us. I also want to check in with everyone about their profiles on Mormon.org. Let me know when you have done it because I want to be able to read it. This is something special that the Lord has given us in sharing the gospel with everyone. It is an easy way of helping people to learn where the truth is.

This week has been good. Next week is transfers. I will find out this Saturday if anything happens. I am pretty sure Sister Parker and I will stay together in the same area. I don't think there will be any changes. I love being in my area and I am learning a lot from Sister Paker. It is a wonderful place to be. I love working with all of the people.

This past week one of the families I am working with are being faced with new challenges. Bert is beginning to learn that the truth is not completely in his church. It has been very unsettling to him. He has a lot of questions about the church and different doctrines. We did have an appointment with them this past week. When we showed up they were not home. Later on we found out from Barb that they planned to be gone. Bert has a lot on his mind to think about. I know these struggles have a purpose in his life and will help him to learn more about the truth. When their family came to church they enjoyed it a lot. The Thunder Mountain ward members have been wonderful in welcoming them to church. Everyone is always reaching out. We are going over this week to help them put away their Christmas village.

We stopped by Chuck's home this past week. He was happy to see us. You can just tell when someone is reading the Book of Mormon. They're happy to see you. When people are not happy to see you, its a pretty good guess they have not been reading. He said he had been busy to return our phone call but that he would call us. Chuck is separated from his wife and is raising the kids on his own. He wants to come to church and see what it is like. We hope he can come this week. He is surrounded by neighbors who are members of the church.

In the Las Sendas ward, a new ward mission leader was called. His name is Br. Morrison. He is absolutely wonderful to work with. He is awesome and on top of things. He wants to work closely with us and get things happening in their ward. Which is exactly what this ward needs. I am sure I will get to learn a lot from him. This is his third time being a ward mission leader. He has been in stake presidency before.

We are finally getting into homes where we have been trying to get into for awhile now. We are hoping to see more miracles in their lives. I know they will come if we just believe. Sometimes I struggle when people say they are too busy and have no time even to talk. I understand that we all have tons of worries and lots of things happening but there is something that matters even more. And that is the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am thankful for what the gospel of Jesus Christ does in our lives.

There is a less active family that we have been working with. The mom wants to come to church so badly but her husband has made fun of her for wanting to go. She is trying to pull her family along on her own. Her parents live with them and they are not members. Their children are old enough to be baptized but are not. We are going to ask this week if we can start teaching their kids. We invite Sheree to come to church. She always says that she will come. We call to remind her and even go to her house before church to help her out. But she still does not come. I am not sure what else we can do. Sister Parker said we need to teach her more about the importance of coming to church and renewing our covenants with Heavenly Father each week. I am definitely learning that Christ and Heavenly Father know their children perfectly and knows exactly how to help them. What I need to do as a missionary is pray and search and seek what Heavenly Father would have me teach them. I want to help them. I love the people so much. I am learning how important it is to speak with convincing power and bear testimony. These things help people to feel the power of the spirit. I know that I need to seek revelation because this is the Lord's work and it needs to be done His way. Whether the work is up or down it is still the Lord's work. I am here to be His instrument in bringing His children closer to Christ.

I met the visitor center directors. Elder and Sister Beckstrand. They are wonderful. Elder Beckstrand served his mission in Holland. He is going to be teaching me how to correctly say my last name. He told me I didn't know how to say it. :) ha ha He said that he served his mission with a Donald Kranendonk. Dad, isn't that Grandpa's brother? I thought I remembered he had a brother named Don. If you know anything about it I want to learn more. Also if you can search more about our last name that would be great.

I love all of you. I am thankful for my family. I love being able to serve the Lord. It truly has blessed me. I can't believe I am here.

Love,

Sister Kranendonk


P.S.

Hey mom I wanted to let you know about Elder and Sister White's homecoming talk. They will be speaking on the 9th of February @ 9:00am in the morning. The address is 2500 South Bluff Road. I hope you can go and tell me all about it. Elder and Sister White were the directors of the visitor center.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Letter: 1/9/2011 ~ Happy Day!

Howdy!

How is every one doing? I sure love hearing from everybody. It makes me so happy. I am not as homesick anymore. I am definitely feeling the spirit of missionary work. I love doing what I do. It sure is a privilege to be serving. I am also beginning to like the call center. I love being able to call people and inviting them to learn more. Its funny when people hang up on me. Although I really don't like it but it does make me laugh. I have talked to people who appreciated the phone call but were still not interested. I am thankful for nice people in this world. :)

Last night Sister Parker and I went over to a former investigator's home. This sister is married and has children who are baptized. I asked her what she thought about the mormon beliefs. She said it is interesting, but she has issues with Joseph Smith. We weren't able to teach her more truth to open up her opinion of Joseph Smith. She felt that since the Book of Mormon is not used by all religions then it couldn't possibly be true. It was hard to teach her and I don't feel like she felt the spirit and she may have been offended. Although I didnt' get the outcome I hoped for, I feel like this experience was teaching me how to be more bold but not overbearing. Sister Parker and I felt like we were battling for her soul, trying to help her to see that the Book of Mormon is truly from God and testifies of Jesus Christ. I felt so strongly prompted to say I know that this book comes from God and Jesus Christ. I told her that we care about her and were not trying to tear down her faith but adding to it. We want her to see what Heavenly Father truly has to offer for all of His children. I felt like this was our chance to truly testify to her.

Unfortunately she isn't ready right now. Hopefully a few seeds were still planted. We told them that if they changed their minds they could call us and we could come over and teach them. We also offered to help with anything around the house. This sister an her husband have several health problems and we would love to keep serving them. I know that her husband would be interested in learning more but is waiting for his wife to be more comfortable. We had said that since the Bible has been translated so many times many plain and precious truths were lost but this is where the Book of Mormon comes in. The Book of Mormon has only been translated once through the power of God. The Book of Mormon adds to the Bible helps us to understand it better and to fill in the gaps where the Bible can't. This brother said then this book must be true if it's only been translated once. We will continue to pray for them. I know they are still being prepared and that the Lord never ever gives up on any of His children. He truly is kind and merciful.

I know that it is the word of God. I know that it is another witness of Jesus Christ. It is full of God's power. I love reading the Book of Mormon. 2 Nephi 29 is becoming one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon. It truly testifies of a living God today. I know that God is the same yesterday today and forever. I know that God still speaks to us today in many different ways, a prophet, modern day revelation and so on. I know this is God's work. I am thankful to be a part of it. I am definitely in the work of saving souls. It definitely feels like a battle when people are not as receptive and don't see how it can bless their lives. Which is why I am trying to be more worthy of the spirit, so that spirit can work through me to help bring Heavenly Father's children to Jesus Christ.

We also been visiting with a mom. She is married and has two little kids. She is less active and really doesn't know much about the church. Her husband is Catholic. He really does not like the LDS church. We have slowly become friends with her. One evening I saw her at the visitor center and it truly was a miracle to see her there. We visited with her a few days after. She said that while she was there her daughter pointed at the Christus statue and asked who that was. This mom felt bad to realize that her daughter did not know who Jesus Christ was and even more she didn't even know how to explain it to her daughter. We asked her if we could come over and teach her more about Jesus Christ. She said let me talk to my husband because we need to decide what we want to teach our children and what religion we want them to grow up in. Dad always says that when people get married and start thinking about how they want to raise their children they always go back to their roots, back to what they were taught. This woman's family was not super active but they are now. She is hesitant to raise them Catholic and likes the idea of the LDS religion but her husband said they are going to go to a Catholic church. She said we could still come by and visit with her. I know she will come around some day.

I love all of you. I miss you tons. I hope to hear from you soon.

Sister Kranendonk

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year with Sister Parker & Sister Kranendonk!
Hi Everyone!

It is so good to hear from all of you. How are things going for everyone? I am sure it is all crazy busy. I am thankful for the pictures that are sent! It is fun to see how everyone is changing. Thanks for always keeping me updated.

This week has been a good. There are always crazy things happening. I love being able to see miracles happen. It is amazing how many miracles are happening around us all the time.

This past week at the visitor center I saw a woman holding her hand in a cupping shape. I couldn't figure out what she was doing. But as I got closer I saw that she was stealing one of the lambs from the nativity set. It was funny trying to get it back from her. She is a full grown woman and I think she is about 40 years old. When I asked for it back, she just shook her head no. I sweetly asked for it back. Again she told me no. Again I sweetly said that is not your lamb, you need to give it back as I held out my hand. She finally gave in and gave it to me. We really do get lots of interesting people that come into the center.

Sorry this is so short but I will write more later. I love you all tons and I hope you have a wonderful New Year!

Love,

Sister Kranendonk

Christmas 2011

Sister Kranendonk opening gifts from home.
A quilt homemade by Mom
Sister Kranendonk & Sister Parker
Elder Vigil and Sister Kranendonk
Elder Vigil's older brother Aaron served in the Salt Lake City Mission.  Aaron is also a missionary that our family knew very well years ago and we haven't forgotten about.  We can all see a family resemblance.  

Everyone in our family enjoyed the Christmas call with Sister Kranendonk.  She is doing very well and loving her mission.  Of course everyone wished that she had more time to talk since there are so many of us.  

Love,

Katherine

More Visitors!

Sister Kranendonk had two more visitors, Eric and Cassie Nelson!  They were visiting family in Scottsdale for Christmas.  The Nelson's were able to tracked down Sister Kranendonk at the Visitors' Center.  Eric served his mission in Salt Lake City while we were little kids.  He is a great family friend.  My Mom was thrilled to see this picture on Facebook.

Eric & Sister Kranendonk


I started the family presentation for this girl. She saw my last name and asked me if I was related to a Nathaniel Kranendonk. I said I sure am. He is my coursin.  She is related to his wife Tricia.  I can't remember the relation. But I loved it when people had a connection just because of my last name. I loved being able to connect with people.