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, March 28, 2012

Letter: 3/27/2012 ~ My Birthday




Hello Everyone!

OH MAN DID I HAVE THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER!!!! It honestly is the best. I love being 24. My companion loves to remind me of how old I am and I in return remind her she is only a year younger than I am. Its not that big of a difference. But honestly I was so touched by all the cards, letters, packages. It really was awesome. For a half hour when I was looking through the photo album and reading every one's letters, I felt like I was at home. I totally forgot that I was even on a mission. I was so wrapped up in it. I absolutely loved it. You all spoiled me. I have the family picture and the picture of Christ right by my bed. I love looking at the photo album. I am thankful for all the nice things everyone did. THANK YOU!

On my birthday I had lots of people sing happy birthday to me. I went out to Golden Corral with my favorite members. Sister Robinson is the best. She always goes out on splits with me. They were so good to us. We also went to Chuck's house. He is one of our investigators. We were able to answer his questions about the Book of Mormon. It was really cool. He is really getting into the Book of Mormon now. We are inviting him to general conference. His kids wanted to give us gifts. They gave me a blue leather book mark and had cake for me. It was so thoughtful of them. I am thankful for them. I feel we are great friends with his family now.

The pictures that I sent are from the Johnson family. They live in the Las Sendas ward. They are such a cute family. They wanted to have me over for dinner. So we went on Sunday. They were cute to make me a sign.

Life is good. Tonight will be the first night of the Easter Pageant. It will be crazy I am sure. It will be fun to see people. I am not sure what it will be like. At times I feel overwhelmed about who to talk to because there are so many people around. So I am trying to focus on one person at a time. I need to find that one who is ready and prepared for the gospel. That only comes through prayer and discernment of the spirit. Learning to discern the spirit is one of the best things we could strive to obtain in our lives. This is the only way that I will know who is ready for the gospel. Miracles will be happening. It's just like the Savior as well. He always sought out the one. Everything He does is on an individual basis. He invites us all to come one by one and feel the prints of the nails in His hands and feet. What an intimate and magnificent experience that is to know the Savior on such a level.

I have been working on memorizing the Living Christ. It has been awesome because I am coming to know the Savior even more. I am beginning to understand who He really is and what He really did. Granted this journey takes a life time. It truly is a wonderful thing. If there is anything I know with certainty and assurance that is the living Christ. He lives! He is our strength and power from day to day. He is the way. He shows us how to return to our Beloved Father in Heaven. I testify of the reality of His life.

I will be spending my days for the next two weeks at the visitor center. I love being at the visitor center. I count it a blessing every day. I am thankful to be called of God to represent His Son Jesus Christ.

Again thank you everyone. I love you all so much. Thank you for helping me to feel loved. I can't do it without you.

Love,

Sister Kranendonk

Monday, March 26, 2012

Sister Kranendonk's Book of Mormon


As you know it was Emily's birthday this past week.  While I was in Vernal for Jacob's baby blessing our family loaded me up with presents to take back for our cute sister missionary.  I was excited to see the birthday girl.  Emily loved all of the presents, packages, letters and emails from everyone.  Thank you for remembering her.  Emily was taken out to lunch for her birthday.  Sister Lewis told the bishop at the "Chip and Dip" that it was her birthday and they had the entire ward sing happy birthday to her.  


At one point during our visit Emily needed to go and get a bag of stuff she wanted to send home with me.  So she handed me her Book of Mormon to hold for her.  I loved seeing all the things she had in it.  


This book was bursting with papers and all kinds of notes.  I was happy to see her patriarchal blessing kept near by.  


Towards the front of the book Emily keeps this list of people who have come to see her on her mission.  I am proud to have made this list.  I love seeing Emily.  It means so much to me that she is so close to us.  


Brian and I laughed and laughed at this list.  Each tally is for each time Emily has watched all of these church movies and gave the Christus presentation.  I particularly love the tally of brides that she has seen.


This is a list of all the different people Emily has served with.  She doesn't want to forget anyone.  


Emily keeps her family close to her always.  I loved looking through her Book of Mormon.  Emily is an amazing sister missionary.  Each time I meet other missionaries at the Visitors' Center they tell me what a great missionary Emily is.  I am so proud of her.  

Love,

    Katherine

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Missing Sister Kranendonk

There are two new babies in our family.  Sister Kranendonk is a favorite aunt.  She was greatly missed at Jacob's baby blessing.  Since most us were all together, we decided that we wanted to do something for Emily so she would know that we were thinking about her.  We traced all of our hands on a dish towel and wrote little messages.  There are so many people in our family we had barley enough room for every one's hand.  I thought the two new babies' hands were especially sweet.  All the little nieces and nephew had a great time drawing pictures for Sister Kranendonk.  Emily's mission has really blessed our family.  We are so grateful that she is serving.

Mom and Dad
Abbie and Chloe
Chloe, Abbie, Amelia, Mom, Dad and Robbie

Love,

       Katherine

Monday, March 19, 2012

Letter: 3/19/2012 ~ Service

Hey Everybody!

It is so good to hear from everyone. I am so thankful to be assured of how much I am loved. Sometimes I forget it. It's a silly thing we human beings forget is how much we really are loved by our family and most of all our Heavenly Father. Although it is a good thing to be reminded of how much we love one another.

This past week we helped out the Stonebridge Relief Society. They were cutting, sanding, painting boards to hold weekly quotes. They had 96 boards to do. It was a lot of fun. It was hard work. But it was such a wonderful opportunity to see how a Relief Society presidency works. There is so much work that happens behind the scenes of each ward auxiliary. It has helped me to see what I can do in the future. I am thankful to see how many people give so much of their time, talents and interests. They are truly keeping their covenants. Like Sister Thompson said hold fast to the covenants we have made. There is not one good deed that people do that goes unnoticed. Heavenly Father and His angels keep a heavenly record of all the good that happens. He is mindful of the good things we do. I am in constant need of reminding myself of this. There is a lot that I do as a missionary that I feel I am the only one that has benefitted. I don't always see the fruit of my labors. But I know one day I will know that no effort was wasted. I'll know the fruit of my labors. :)

It is also neat to see how much effort and how many people are involved in the easter pageant. I had no idea. There are so many members that give up their lives completely for three weeks to help out at the Easter Pageant. I know the reason so many sacrifice so much of their time and effort is because they know it will help to bring many souls back to our Father in Heaven. It is incredible to see it. We had a meeting with the Easter Cast in helping to train them to be missionaries. We role played to help them feel comfortable in knowing what to say.

There was such a neat spirit. I can't wait for the Easter Pageant. I will be there every single night and sometimes I will spend my entire day at the visitor center. Any way I love you all so much. I need to get going. But don't forget how much each of you mean to me. I love you all so much. I miss you a ton. Thank you for your support and encouragement. I couldn't do it without it.


Love ya,

    Emily

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Sister Kranendonk's Birthday!


As some of you many know Sister Emily Kranendonk's birthday is March 23.  We want this to be a very special birthday for her.  We are guessing a little bit, but the thing that she will probably want more than anything is letters from friends and family.  We are hoping to get as many people as possible to write or email her for her birthday.  Emily loves to receive letters and notes in the mail and no missionary ever can receive too much mail.  Here is her contact information:

emily.kranendonk@myldsmail.net 

This address is the one you can send packages, letters and cards.  
She is able to get this mail every day that mail is delivered to the Visitors' Center.  Emily will get her mail faster if you send it to this address over the mission office address.

525 East Main Street
Mesa, AZ
85023

Thanks!

      Katherine

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Letter: 3/12/2012 ~ Time is Precious

Hey Everyone!

How is everyone and life treating you? Life is crazy as usual. But I am happy. I went hiking today. It was exactly what I needed. It is nice to get outdoors and do something else for a change. I definitely got a lot of sun. My face has not been covered in freckles like it is now. So on Sunday I spoke in the Stonebridge. I had known for a little while that I would be speaking. I had written out my talk and everything. I was super excited about it. I had a lot of my favorite scriptures to share and everything. But as I was on the stand and waiting for my turn, I started to pray. I poured out my heart that I could be used as an instrument in the hands of the Lord. I wanted to glorify Him and help bring His children closer to Christ. I prayed that at least one person would hear exactly what they needed to hear. After I sat down I realized that the talk I had just given was not anything that I had written down on my paper. It was amazing to realize that the spirit of the Lord spoke through me and I said what needed to be said. The things I had said were things that I had studied throughout the week but were brought to my rememberance. It was incredible. I love how the spirit works.

Sometimes it is hard to get out of bed in the mornings. But I push myself to get out of bed because I want to serve the Lord. This is His time and I am not about to waste it. I go running in the mornings. Sister Lewis just walks. It is amazing how just running for 15 minutes in the morning makes a huge difference in my day. I am definitely more happy. I can tell a huge difference in my day when I don't go running. I am thankful for the ability I have to run and walk and breath. I am thankful for a Heavenly Father who loves me. I am thankful that everything denotes there is a God. I am sad to find people who don't see that or think that Heavenly Father doesn't love them. I talked to someone this past week who wasn't a member. He feels like that since his wife has cancer, God no longer loves them. It is so sad when people don't know how much Heavenly Father loves them. I know we don't fully understand why there is so much pain and suffering in the world but God does. I know that He does. He loves His children. He sheds a tear when His children don't know that. But when we understand that Heavenly Father loves us and that we are His children. When we know the doctrine of the gospel, it can be applied in our lives in so many ways. I have gained a stronger testimony of how our answers are in the doctrine, in the scriptures. It truly is amazing. We gather strength and peace and love when we apply the doctrine in our lives. This is how we can get through all the pain and suffering.

The things I have been taught the most by the Lord lately is to have patience, love, charity, kindness. My favorite quote from president Monson is this "Charity that manifests itself when we are tolerant of others and lenient toward their actions, the kind of charity that forgives, the kind of charity that is patient." I have been taught this a lot, especially in my companionship. I can't just throw in the towel because things get hard. I need to be more like the Savior. As I am that way it makes it easier. I come to know him better. I know that He spent his time with those who need him. We all do, we all need him. (My heart is so full right now and I have tears in my eyes). I want and need others to be patient and understanding of me so I need to be that way with others too. I am wanting to make charity a part of who I am. I hope that I can be submissive to my Heavenly Father whatever His will maybe because I know that He knows better. I truly love Him so much. I want to do right in His eyes. Its not always easy. At times it can be pretty heart wrenching and you think you can't go on anymore. In those moments you have to turn to the Lord and ask for help and ask for His strength. To keep putting one foot in front of the other even when you don't want to. I am not perfect and I make a lot of mistakes but as I repent I come to know Him better. My focus is on Him. This helps to strengthen my faith in Him and as that happens He strengthens my abilities. I know Jesus is the Christ. He lives! I know our Father is a God of miracles. His love is ever merciful and always there. I am not sure why I am sharing all of this. I hope it makes sense. I have spent all of my time in the sun today so I am a little tired. Molly said she wanted to hear more about how I am doing. So here it is. :) I love you all so much. I am truly thankful that we are a family. That our family has been sealed in the temple. It truly is an amazing thing to have. I love you all. I can't wait to hear from you all.

Love,

Sister Kranendonk

Friday, March 9, 2012

Sister Beckstrand's Blog: Update!

This Update is brought you by Sister Beckstrand at http://beckstrandbeat.blogspot.com/

A farewell breakfast was held at the Director's home on March 2nd for our four sisters who will be released next week. Sisters Kranendonk and Falcon are enjoying the orange knots. (Sister McKee said they were the best tasting knots she's ever had in her stomach.)

Emily is the third sister from the left.
Our Visitors' Center Choir will be performing at the Mission Fireside on Sunday. This morning we took advantage of the opportunity to have a 'dress rehearsal'. This group of young women love to sing and create beautiful harmony together.

Letter: 3/5/2012 ~ Reactivating

Hello Family,

How is every one?  I hope you are all doing well.  I love being able to hear from everyone.  Letters and emails are definitely priceless on a mission. 

This past week we had a zone activity with the elders.  It was a lot of fun.  We played kickball.  I haven't played that since I was in 3rd grade.  It was a lot of fun.  I thought I might have to have one of the elders kick my ball for me.  But I was able to kick it all on my own.  But somehow I always managed to get all the outs for my team.  I don't know if they appreciated it all that much.  The elders also made Sister Lewis and I be team captains.  I didn't want to pick which elders I wanted on my team.  All of the elders lined up and one of the elders who likes me yelled out "Hey Sister Kranendonk, I want to be on your team."  Everyone knows that this elder likes me.  I was kind of embarrassed.  Oh well... it was funny.  This elder who likes me thinks I look like Taylor Swift.  We all laughed at that. :)

We had a really good lesson with the Stolp family.  Br. Spencer one of the members in the ward was absolutely amazing.  I am so thankful for him.  He asked the most amazing and inspired questions.  It helped us to get to know the needs of the investigators so well.  Now that we know what they are, we can teach towards them.  Br. Spencer was amazing in how he communicated.  You could tell that he was listening with love and completely focused on what was being said.  Then he would say, "So this is what I am hearing..."  then he would communicate back to her what he understood.  It was incredible.  She was glowing and so happy to finally have someone understand her.  One of the main reasons why they won't join is because of the rich Lutheran family tradition.  It would completely disrupt the family and they already don't have good relationships with their family.  They also said they feel that now is the time but they know they will switch religions and they would join the mormon religion.  They told us they do want us to still stop by and teach them.  They want to learn more.  They also know there would be a lot that they would have to give up joining the church.  They don't want to join half heartedly, if they are going to join they will go all the way.  Barb also said we would join if we had a spiritual impression that we should join now.  She said but I keep getting the feeling that I need to be patient. 

We are working with lots of people who are less active.  We had a chance to sit down with one of our bishops and go over the ward list and talk about the needs of each member.  Sister Lewis and I plan to do this with each of the Bishops.  We already have 100 names of people that could use a visit.  We are going to get the ward missionaries involved in each of the wards.  We surely cannot do it on our own and nor should we.  The ward members are the ones who will be here forever. 

Sister Darner is one of my favorite women to go visit.  She is such a sweet lady.  She is less active. She has a lot going on.  She said that she always appreciates our visits and that we always come at a time when she needs us.  This is truly by the spirit.  I am thankful for the guidance of the spirit.  That same night that I was on splits and Sister Abplanalp was with me I learned a valuable lesson about the Savior.  Sis. Abplanalp said Jesus Christ spent His time with the people who need him most.  I absolutely loved realizing that.  Some of those people who need us the most may live in houses that don't have the nicest smell or its not the nicest house.  But that is where Jesus Christ would spend his time. 

Sister Lewis and I were waiting at a park to meet up with someone to go on splits.  But the girl never came.  We saw a woman sitting on a bench with her dogs.  We walked over and started talking to her.  Her name is Nancy and she is visiting from Virginia.  She talked about how much she loved Jesus Christ and what He meant to her.  I agreed with her.  I testified of Jesus Christ and about the Book of Mormon.  I said if you want to come to know Jesus Christ better then read the Book of Mormon.  I promised her that she would come to know Him better.  She said then I will have to read it.  She took a copy of the book from us.  It was awesome.  We continued to talk to her.  She opened up more and talked about how she is not on speaking terms with her son.  Her son is mad at her for having been married to an alcoholic. He felt deeply hurt by her.  She said I am sad that I don't have a relationship with him and even more sad that he does not have a relationship with Jesus Christ.  I then referred back to the Book of Mormon and said that if she read the book with questions in mind about her son then she would know what steps to take to help her son and to develop a relationship with him.  She said I will definitely have to read this book then.  I pray that the Lord will continue to lead and guide her and help her discover her answers. I know that he will.  This is something I have come to know better is that the Book of Mormon is a book of answers.  It will help to answer any question.  The Lord can only speak to us if we are reading the Book of Mormon. 

We are working with the Bastian Family.  The mom really wants to go to church but is made fun of for wanting to go.  Her husband has a lot of questions about the Book of Mormon and the validity of it.  But he is not willing to meet with us.  We are trying to help the husband get on a board to help get their family involved.  They have two children that have not been baptized yet. 

I love you all dearly.  I am thankful to have been blessed with my family.  I appreciate all the years people put up with me.  It's a good thing I am on a mission.  :) I love you all.

Love,

Sister Kranendonk