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







Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Brother and Sister Beckstand's Blog




Brother and Sister Beckstrand are one of a few missionary couples serving in the Mesa Arizona Temple Mission. You can see their blog at: beckstrandbeat.blogspot.com

Their pictures are really fun and they capture this mission. They posted this great picture of Sister Kranendonk and Sister Lewis.

Another Sunny Day in Arizona

Well, it's that time again.  Time for a visit to the Mesa, Arizona Temple.  As you can see it was a lovely day to visit Sister Kranendonk.  Brian and I were excited to see her.

Brian, Sister Lewis and Sister Kranendonk
Sister Kranendonk, Katherine and Brian

As you can see, Sister Kranendonk is doing well.  She is an awesome missionary.  Brian and I enjoyed meeting her new companion Sister Lewis.  She is a really cute girl.  Everyone at the Visitors' Center is getting ready for the Easter Pageant.  We even got to see Sister Kranendonk's new car.  They were given the mission president's wife's red Toyota Corolla. Sister Lewis and Sister Kranendonk have about a half an hour drive to the Visitors' Center one way.  Sister Kranendonk jokes that she will drive better cars on her mission than she will the rest of her life.  They were driving a 2010 Ford Fusion before.  She loved it and highly recommends that kind of car to everyone.

Love,

Katherine  

Letter: 2/27/2012 ~ Listening

Hey Everyone!

Thank you for all the emails, packages and letters.  It means a lot to me.  I love being able to be involved in your lives and hearing how things are going. 

Sister Beckstrand the visitor center director's wife is going to keep a blog.  Any of you are welcome to look at it.  Here is the address: beckstrandbeat.blogspot.com.

Question for mom do you remember an Elder Flag from Wisconsin that served way back when in Salt Lake City? 

Last P-day we went over to a woman's house.  She has had a lot of issues with her family.  They are struggling to make ends meet in all aspects of life.  The ward has helped them out a lot.  Sister Lewis and I washed all of her tile floors in her house.  Which was basically the whole house.  But we had a good time.  One of my favorite aspects of being a missionary is giving service.  We are always looking for more opportunities to serve. 

Sister Lewis and I have discovered how going on splits with ward members is a wonderful thing.  It has helped us in so many ways this past week.  We went out twice.  We are hoping to do that every week.  The members are wonderful to do that with us.  They add such a great spirit and plus you get to learn a lot from them.  Going on splits obviously helps us to cover more ground.  It is hard not having enough time in our area to visit people.  A third of our day is studying, another third is in our area and the other is at the visitor center.  Plus we spend a lot of time traveling in the car.  It takes a half hour to get to the visitor center from our apartment.  Members help us out a lot by driving us to the visitor center.  They are so helpful.  We as missionaries pray that the Lord's blessings may be poured out upon their homes because of the service they give.  Our roommates always tell us that the missionaries prayers are on top of the Lord's priority list and because they live with us, their prayers go up with ours. :) ha ha

We went on exchanges this week with Sister Orton.  She was so helpful in helping us improve and be better.  She is so sweet.  She is from Salem, Utah.  We had a good discussion on how we can involve the ward auxiliary members better.  I think this will help to improve the area.  We are trying to lift where we stand.  We want to have a more unified effort among all the ward auxiliary members so we can be on the same page.  If we are not then we are all going in different directions and it is not as effective and we don't get as much done. 

One thing that I have gained a stronger testimony of is when I listen with love to the people I am talking to then I will know what to say through the spirit.  The spirit will be able to speak through me to the people.  I have been learning to be a better listener.  I try to completely focus on what is being said instead of me formulating my own thoughts on what I want to say next.  When I listen with love that is when the spirit will help me to know exactly what I need to say. 

Sister Lewis and I have been able to give out more copies of the Book of Mormon.  We are trying to pass out as many as we can before transfers come.  We always make sure there is one in our hands.  We also invite ward members to have a copy of the Book of Mormon out in the open and ready to give it out to someone.  We have been challenging them to pray for experiences to give more copies out. 

We had a lesson with Chuck.  It was awesome and intense. He had a lot of questions about the Book of Mormon and how the Bible supports the Book of Mormon and prophesys of it.  When I didn't have an answer to a question Sister Lewis did.  When she didn't have an answer I did.  We definitely make a great team.  I am thankful to be working with her.  I have already learned so much.  We are learning to patient with one another as we make changes and be better.

We also had a zone blitz.  We were thankful to have the elders from our district and our zone leaders come to work our area.  It helped a lot.  I think we found some possibilities where we can start teaching.  The elders were so kind  and good to us.  They are always watching out for us sisters and making sure that we are taken care of.

Love,

Sister Kranendonk

Letter: 2/21/2012 ~ Teaching

Hey Everybody!

How are you? I hope you all are doing well. I feel its been awhile since I have heard from someone of you. How is life treating every one? I need the updates from everyone. :)

Last night Sister Lewis and I had family home evening with the Beeson family and with Chuck and his family. Chuck is one of our investigators. At first the kids were not comfortable to be there. They were quiet and kept to themselves. But as the night went on the kids opened up. Sister Beeson's family were so good and friendly. They had a short lesson on Jesus Christ being the Light of the world. Si the seven year old asked if we would be doing family home evening again next week. It was cute. The kids wanted to guess what mine and S. Lewis' names were. It was funny. Then the rest of the night turned into a guessing game. Si enjoyed it a lot. Family home evening truly is an inspired program. It is something the Lord has showed us in order for us to protect our families against Satan. This definitely serves to strengthen the family. I have also seen how Family Home Evening can be a great missionary tool. People are always concerned about their family. So doing Family Home Evening and inviting nonmembers is a great way to do missionary work. No pressure, it's fun and invites the spirit.

Trent is 7 years old. He will be baptized in March. He is excited and happy to be getting baptized. We taught him the Plan of Salvation. We drew pictures with him. His mom and sister Tara sit in on the lessons. This family always talks about how they want their dad to get baptized. The dad was not there for the last lesson but he will be there for the next lesson. Fred has had the lessons before from missionaries but ended up not getting baptized. But he has been going to church for five years. We are hoping and praying for a miracle.

We met with Sister Connelly. She has not been active for a long time. We stopped by just to say hi. She was nice and let us into their home. We spent time getting to know her. Over the course of the conversation she told us she had not gone to church in a long time and wasn't interested in coming back necessarily. We were able to share with her what our missions meant to us. Sister Lewis was able to share with Sister Connelly her experience of being less active and now coming on a mission. It was cool. Throughout the conversation you could see Sister Connelly's heart soften. I asked if I could share with her a message. I felt the impression to talk about the Love of God for her. I shared with her 2 Nephi 26:24. I testified how God truly loves her. He has provided a way for us to return to him when we have strayed from the path. There were tears in her eyes. There was a sweet spirit in her home. I love testifying and helping people to learn that the invitation to come unto Christ is always there. Heavenly Father cares about who we are becoming and where we are headed. He never gives up on any of us.

We had a lesson in a sister’s home that we are working with. We talked with her about the importance of coming to church. We taught her how going to church serves to strengthen us. We need it so we can renew our covenants with Heavenly Father. We need that nourishment. We have been working with her for over five weeks on coming to church. This past Sunday she came to church. I was so excited to see her. It was wonderful. I know one of her biggest challenges is her husband because he makes fun of her for going to church. They are both members of the church but are less active. We are setting up a time to meet with her and her husband with a member of the ward to have a lesson. This sister says that Josh her husband has questions. So hopefully we can set up a time to meet with them. We had an appointment but they canceled on us.

We also met with the Carter family. They are recent converts and the dad does not always come to church. I am not sure why. The 17 year old son is not baptized. We are trying to find out if he wants to get baptized. They have two little boys who are autistic, so needless to say this family has their hands full. There were lots of distractions during the lesson but we were still able to teach and feel the spirit. We were teaching the family from the Ensign about the article on finding answers in the Book of Mormon. I think it was a good thing. Sean the dad had lots of questions for us. We didn't have enough time to answer them but I think it has got him thinking.

Sister Lewis and I have not had the highest numbers to report. The numbers definitely do not reflect everything we are doing. We are trying to work hard. We are working to change and evaluate how we do things. We are trying to be hopeful and faithful and trust that the Lord is in charge. We are going on splits tonight. We feel this will greatly help in moving the work forward. It will help us to cover more ground. We are excited to see what will happen. I think we will begin to harvest soon. I am thankful to be working with Sister Lewis. She is a wonderful companion. I feel blessed in knowing her. She has a beautiful testimony. She knows how to stay organized and on top of things. I feel she is training me instead of me training her.

I love being able to study from the Book of Mormon and then later on that day, use it in many ways to teach people. I love being able to spend so much time studying from the Book of Mormon. It is important for us to take questions we have to the Book of Mormon. If we are diligent and search the mysteries of God will be unfolded unto us.

I love you all. I hope to hear from everyone. :)

Love,

Sister Kranendonk

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Letter: 2/14/2012 ~ Hiking

Sister Lewis and Sister Kranendonk



Hello Everyone,

Oh my.... time sure goes by so fast. I can't believe how fast time has gone. It continues to go faster. Just to let you know I won't be sending a letter this week because I went hiking today and it took longer than we thought. So I have no time to write any one any letters. So please forgive me. But I figure email is still good. :) We went and hiked Iron Flat which is a part of the Superstition mountains. It was so much fun. It was a lot of hard work. We started at 5:00 am this morning and didn't get done until 2:30pm. The elders in my district are so nice. They watched out for us sisters. They didn't want anything bad happening to us. We appreciated it. My companion taught me how to squat and go to the bathroom. It was crazy. Let's just say I am not a huge fan of it. :) ha ha Oh well but it works well enough. The elders talked a lot about girls and dating lives. It was funny. Other people think I am so serious and that I have never kissed any one. Little do they know.... ha ha

Sister Lewis and I are doing great. We are having a lot of fun together. Sister Lewis and I are always laughing. Whenever our district leader calls us and we answer we usually are laughing.

This past week has been good but not a whole lot has happened. We received a referral from mormon.org. It's always a happy thing when you receive a referral from the site. It is a man wanting a copy of the Book of Mormon but does not want missionaries. We'll see how it goes. It took me awhile to find his house. But we haven't contacted him yet because it was close to nine and we didn't want to be creepy. But we will see him tomorrow for sure.

We had lessons set up to meet with our investigators but all of them fell through for us. But we know there is a reason why they didn't work out. We have been working with a lot of less actives in our wards. The Darner family is so wonderful. They have faced some real struggles for awhile now. It is heart wrenching to see them go through it all. But we try to be a ray of sunshine in their lives and help them to be happy.

Sister Lewis and I have seen a lot of miracles in the visitor center. I met a man named Ed. He is not a member of the church. He came inside to wait for his fiancee who was in the temple. He told me that he had taken the missionary discussions before but stopped. He did not like all of the attention that he was getting from everyone. He didn't understand what the big deal was. He told me that he was in a motorcycle accident and was hit. The car was going 75 miles an hour. He didn't have a helmet or anything like that. The only thing that was messed up was his back. But other than that he did not have a single scratch. He can't figure out why he would be saved and survive such an accident. He doesn't understand why God would let him live. I also feel like he doesn't feel he is of any worth. We talked about baptism. He said I really just need to go out in the middle of the night at some lake and be baptized. He said that he didn't want any one there. I said that can definitely happen. I said I have a commitment for you. I asked will you call your bishop and schedule a day to be baptized. He said that he would try. I said okay and then asked for his phone number so I could call him and follow up with him.

Sister Lewis invited some one to read the Book of Mormon and gave him a copy of it and invited him to be baptized. She is on fire and doing really well. She is not afraid to speak up and say what she thinks. We work well together. She is always turning to the Lord for help. We have definitely had some good times when we pray together and times where we know Heavenly Father is laughing with us. We are truly thankful to the Lord and what He has done for us. We are thankful to be a part of this work. I told Sister Lewis that my goal for me is to make her the best missionary ever. She appreciated knowing that when she found out. As a trainer I have been trying to do everything I can in helping her to be the very best. I want her to be ready and prepared if she is called upon to train after the two transfers. We are trying to work closely with the ward councils. It is interesting going to all of these meetings. I sure have learned a lot about how the Lord runs His church. I am thankful for the way that it is. We are trying to get all the wards to fast for missionary experiences. To kick start it off we will be speaking in all of the wards and trying to get them excited for missionary work. Sister Lewis is getting use to being at church for seven hours. She is not use to it. Sunday is my favorite day of the week. I love being surrounded by all of the members.

I love the challenge we received in always carrying a copy of the Book of Mormon around with us as missionaries. I act so much differently I feel when I have a copy of it in my hands. I am more aware of the people around me and look for more opportunities to pass it out to people. Sister Lewis and I want to pass out as many copies of the Book of Mormon as we can. We want to help flood the earth with that book. I truly have gained a stronger testimony of the Book of Mormon. It does not matter what is going on in life, the whole world could be crashing down around me and reading the Book of Mormon makes it all better. I love that book so much. I have come to appreciate it more every day. Elder Henager my district leader has challenged us to read the whole book within six weeks. I have some catching up to do. It has been wonderful spending so much time reading the Book of Mormon. I am always working on how I can better teach from the Book of Mormon.

I am absolutely exhausted from that hike today but I am so glad that I went. It was awesome. On the hike we talked about what we want to be when we grow up, Elder Scott's response was from when he was little. He said I am going to be awesome. I love that.

I hope all of you are doing well. Chloe I absolutely loved your letter. I loved your pictures. Some of the Elders asked if I had any sisters. I said yes. I showed them Chloe's picture. They couldn't believe how beautiful she was. They asked if they could write her. I said no she is 17. One of them said you gotta get 'em while they're young. He said she would be perfect. She will be 19 when I get home. He is 19 now. Any way I just laughed. They do want to write to Amelia as well. :) I haven't ever had a picture of Amelia on me to show her off. I need to get one. :) ha ha ha. Molly and Phil I can't tell you how often I think about Layla. I wish I could be there. :)

I love you all so much. I miss you a ton.

Love,

Sister Kranendonk

Letter: 2/7/2012 ~ Shoes

Hi Everyone!

I am super excited for Layla Dye.  How cute?! I can't wait to meet her.  It will be so awesome.  I love that name.  I am excited for this baby.  I am sure everyone feels the same way I do.  :)

So the picture attached is of me with all the shoes this member gave us.  Sister Lofgreen is in the Stonebridge ward.  She is a recent convert.  She loves, loves to shop.  She needed help in cleaning out her closet.  Since she has fibromyalgia she can't wear heels any more.  She gave us all of her shoes.  It was funny helping her to clean out her closet.  When we were in her closet some how I ended up buried in the shoes.  The picture is a reenactment of what happened in the closet.  We are sharing the shoes with the sisters at the visitor center.  A lot of them we can't wear but it was nice of her to share with us. 

This past week has been good.  Sister Lewis and I have figured out how to be companions and get a long great.  We love being companions and enjoy being around one another.  We love to laugh.  I sure miss waking up in the mornings and hearing everyone laugh when I was at home.  We are learning a lot from one another.  We have been practicing to teach the lessons in 5-7 minutes.  It is not an easy thing.  I say too much and not simple enough.  But I am working on it. 

Last night we ate at Bishop Johnson's home.  There are five girls in their family. One of the girls name is Emma.  Emma loves to talk.  She talked the entire time at dinner.  Every time she started to talk she would take a huge breath and take off and talk a million miles an hour.  Reminds me of our house.  It was so funny to be there last night.  The whole family kept telling her to stop talking.  Josie the five year old said With her I never get a word in.  It was so funny. I loved it. 

Yesterday when Sister Lewis and I were in the car, S. Lewis called S. Cook who has been less active.  She wanted to see how S. Cook was doing.  S.  Cook was crying because her ex-husband has been back in the picture and has said some hurtful things to her.  She was wondering if we could come over. S. Cook thought it was our p-day so she didn't call us.  We went over and shared with her scriptures from 3 Nephi 9 and Alma 32: 27, 43.  They were scriptures she needed.  We have been helping her to turn to the Lord in hard times and trusting in him that everything will be okay.  We don't want her to become too attached to us but help the members get more involved because they will always be around. She appreciates the spirit that she feels with us.  She said she always feels peace with us when we are around.  She is reminded of all the things she needs to be doing.  She has been turning to the Lord in prayer.  She reads her scriptures and writes in her journal.  S. Lewis has had some hard life experiences but was able to teach S. Cook some valuable things from her experiences.  I love being there in the moment when someone needs help.  I love helping people to come and know Christ better and recognize His voice.  For without Christ we can do nothing.  But in the strength of the Lord we can do all things. :)

We also are teaching Trent Ruhland.  He will be turning 8 this month.  His dad is not a member.  When we taught the lesson the dad was there.  His arms were folded across his chest.  He didn't seem too happy to have us there.  But he listened.  We had fun teaching Trent.  It was such a fun experience.  We had to practice how to teach it simply that morning in companion study.  His mom told us that he prayed that our lesson would be a quick one before we came over.  S. Lewis wants to teach 2nd grade.  She has such a talent for teaching children.  I know she will be a great teacher someday.  Right now I am trying to soak in all of her goodness.  :) 

We taught Sian one of our investigators.  We talked about what she wants out of life.  She loves how family oriented the church is.  She wants to have a better relationship with her 14 year old son.  Her son lives with her ex-husband.  We also wanted to find out more about the beliefs that she has.  We had Br. Tawser there, who is her neighbor.  He is a great member of the ward.  Sian said that she would read all of 1 Nephi.  We haven't been able to get a hold of her to find out if she has read any.  We invited her to church and she said she would come.  But she didn't come on Sunday.  I feel bad because of how busy she lets her life become.  She lives with Victor who was her high school sweet heart.  We will be teaching him as well but since their schedules are so busy we can't teach them together.  It has to be seperate. 

On Sunday S. Lewis and I fasted. We both are trying to figure out how to help people come to church and help them become converted. I keep thinking what else can we do.  We both felt the impression that we need to keep doing what we are doing to help our area.  We need to be faithful, patient and diligent and in the Lord's time things will work out and fall into place.  I know the Lord is good and is very aware of his children.  He never gives up on them. 

This last week we went over to Jessica's house.  She is less active but occasionly goes to church with her mom.  When we went over there, her house was crazy.  Her grandma had just fallen.  Her two year old daughter is wanting help to get dressed and in the process of it Jessica stepped on a toothpick that went half way into her foot.  She immediately took it but part of it broke off and was still stuck in her foot.  I got the toothpick out of her foot while Sister Lewis entertained the grandma and the little girl. 

I have to go. I love you all.

Sister Kranendonk