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, April 30, 2012

Letter: 4/30/2012 ~ Spreading Happiness

Hello!

How is everyone doing? I can't believe that I will be talking to you all soon. Well I guess it won't be everyone but hopefully it will be good. I am super excited to skype. When I do it will be sometime after four on Mother's day.

Can I just say that Sister Avila is a wonderful companion?! She is awesome. I have learned so much from her. I have learned the value of a companion to help you get through the hard times. It is nice to have her there to help me keep going when I get discouraged. We laugh a ton.

So funny story.... the other night we were teaching this man who is less active. We couldn't go inside because we didn't have another woman there with us. So we stood outside teaching him. While I was teaching him from 3 Nephi about repentance, a bird attacked me. The bird was literally attached itself to my hair. Considering I was being attacked I was pretty calm about the whole thing. But I had to pull the bird out of my hair. Then, as my companion would say, "I chucked the bird on the ground." With one swift movement was all it took to get the bird out of my hair. Afterwards I really did chucked the bird, and I went on teaching. It was pretty funny. Then once we got back to the car we started laughing. It was awesome.

Sister Avila and I have been trying to contact a lot of less actives members. It has been hard since a lot of them don't want to talk to us. But I have to keep reminding myself that this is an opportunity to not get down but to double my faith. I know that the Lord will bless us with people to teach. We are going to focus more on finding than I have ever done before. Our goal is to find six new investigators. So hopefully we can find those who are prepared and ready for the gospel.

Sister Ellsworth asked me if I would be an exchange leader this transfer. I go on exchanges and help the sisters to find new investigators and practice teaching, testifying, and inviting. I am suppose to be a leading example in these things. I never do these things because I live in area that you can't talk to everyone because of the gated communities. I just know that the Lord is trying to teach me to double my faith. I have been in my area for almost six months now and I have never found a new investigator. What I have been able to do is to reactivate a few people. I have the need to remind myself that there are people who need and want to hear the message of the gospel. So this is really going to be different for me. I will be relying on the Lord like no other time. I keep being taught this lesson about always trusting in the Lord. Just when you think you trust in the Lord, the Lord teaches you to trust in Him a little more. It definitely tries our hearts. Which is good, He is preparing us for His kingdom.

I have also been learning how important it is to be pure and worthy. We must have righteous intentions when doing the work of the Lord... well with anything we should have righteous intentions. I am learning to do things solely for others and the Lord and not for myself. It is about having no thought of reward. Being on a mission is not about me, it is about the Lord and His children.

Love you all!

Sister Kranendonk

Sister Lofgreen is someone I have been helping to teach and come to church.
She always fees us food.
Another gorgeous Arizona Sunset
Sister Avila and I.
Our cute shoes.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

A Surprise Visitor




My mom flew from Salt Lake to Phoenix to visit us.  While she was here she couldn't resist a visit to see Emily.  She borrowed our new car and we set her up with our GPS and she was on her way.  Emily was quite shocked when she saw my Mom and my Mom enjoyed surprising her.  Emily was able to show her the video on eternal families.  I think my Mom really enjoyed seeing Emily.

~Katherine

Letter: 4/23/2012 ~ New Companion

Hi Family!

It is good to hear from everyone. I hear lots of good things are happening now for everyone inspite of trials happening but those just come. I need Molly and Phil's new address. HAPPY BIRTHDAY PHIL!!!

I am so happy right now. I absolutely love my new companion. She is amazing. She is so sweet. Her name is Sister Avila. She is from Texas. She speaks Spanish and French. She has eight siblings. She loves to laugh. We have had a good time together. The work is going so well. I am super happy. I definitely feel the spirit more in my life now. I am thankful to be where I am at. The members tease me about how long I have been here. But it really hasn't been that long. I am thankful to be in the area. The work is beginning to pick up. Right now we have three families that we are teaching. I can't believe how prepared they are for the gospel of Jesus Christ. It truly is a miracle.

It still is funny how people react to my last name. Now my companion gets the same kind of thing I get. People struggle with both of our last names. I think it is funny when people ask if I am American when they see my last name. I laugh and say yes very much so. :)

Yesterday I had a neat experience with a member. Her husband is not a member but she and her kids are. When we first got there, it wasn't long before she burst into tears. She told us some of the struggles she was facing. We just sat and listened to her talk. Then we got interrupted and then we had dinner. So after dinner she asked if we would stay and read a conference talk with her family. We said yes. But before we read and while we were cleaning up, I felt prompted to share a scripture just for her. She said sure. I read Isaiah 64:4, 8 and 1 Corinthians 2:9. It was awesome because it was exactly what she needed. I shared with her some of the experiences that I have had since being on my mission. I talked about how my mission president asked us to double our faith especially when life continues to turn upside down. At times it is hard when life is not going the way we want it to or we feel that Heavenly Father did not hear our prayers or that heaven is so far away. When we feel that way we must double our faith and trust that everything is in the Lord's hands. He will take care of us. We forget all too quickly how much our Father in Heaven loves us and wants to help us. Just as I was talking to the sister, I suggested she read a talk by Elder Hales about waiting upon the Lord, thy will be done. She said yeah I will have to. So we went into the living room to sit down and start reading the talk. We were going to just read the talk that they were on. But the Lord had his hand in this experience because we opened up to the page of Elder Hales talk, waiting upon the Lord, thy will be done. What a tender mercy that I was inspired to mention the talk and then without even planning it we end up reading the talk. It truly was amazing to me.

Sister Avila and I have had neat experiences together in following the spirit. I am thankful for the guidance of the Holy Ghost in my life. I truly have been taught a lot. Yesterday in church someone gave a talk about being active in the church and active in the gospel. There is a difference between those words. We can be active in church but that does not always mean that we are active in the gospel. Being active in the gospel is exercising faith, repenting daily, turning our will over to the Lord and giving Him our heart. To be active in the gospel is changing to become more like Christ every day. It is important to be growing and becoming better all the time. This is something I think about all the time. I think about how I am growing and to what degree my commitment and conversion is at. I don't want to go home from my mission unchanged. I want to be deeply converted and have the words of eternal life written upon my heart.

I testify of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It changes lives. The power of the Atonement is there for each of us, making up for what we lack in. I have truly felt the Lord's power working through me. I am thankful to be weak because I can see even more how the Lord works through me. I testify God lives. I testify that Christ lives.

I love you all. Take care.

Sister Kranendonk

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What I've been up to!

This is Denielle and her boyfriend Will.  They are so awesome.
I like Will a lot.  So they have my stamp of approval. :)
Sister Osbourn, Sister Lewis and me with our paintings.
We painted for two and half hours.  It was so relaxing and fun.
The plant I was trying to paint. 
Brother Hikichi is one the ward mission leaders that I work with.
This is his cute family.  Reena, Kai and Boston are their kids.
Br. Hikichi always told me that I needed to make sure I marry
a humble man. He always wanted to know about the boys back home. 
Sister Lewis and I walking down the dirt paths of Arizona.
I need a picture like this because they are all over the MTC
Chuck and his family.  The are so cute.  We have loved teaching them.
I am so glad I can continue to teach them.  It will be awesome. Kayla is the
the oldest daughter, Ashlyn, and Josiah. These kids were so fun. I loved teaching
the girls how to braid their hair. 

Letter: 4/16/2012 ~ Beautiful Name

Hey Everybody!

How is every one? I hope you are doing well. I just wanted to let you know that I won't be transferred at all. I am getting a new companion. Her name is Sister Avila. She is so sweet and beautiful. I can't wait to be her companion. It will be such a blessing to be with her. She is from Texas. She speaks Spanish and French. I will be going full field this transfer which means I will only get to go to the visitor center once a week. So any mail that is sent there I can only pick up once a week. Please let people know that my mail should be sent to either of these addresses, 6265 N 82nd Street Scottsdale, AZ 85250 or 8364 East Echo Canyon Mesa AZ, 85204. Packages can be sent to my house. But not if there too big. If they are big boxes then send them to the mission home. I am thankful for a new change. It will be wonderful. Just like President Monson says change is to be welcomed. It will be interesting to be full field. I will be doing more planning than usual. I will be going to more houses than usual. But it will be good. This area really needs more attention. So it will be a nice change. I know there will be challenges ahead. But please pray that we will find those who are prepared to receive the gospel. Please? I would really appreciat it. I know that the Lord is preparing people and there are already people who are prepared to receive the gospel. We just need help finding them. :) We will be working hard.

One of my favorite things about being at the visitor center is receiving phone calls. You never know what interesting person is on the other line. This past week I received a call from this guy named Josh. Now he is from Kentucky so you need to imagine this with a Southern accent. This is how the conversation went:

Me: Thank you for calling the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This is Sister Kranendonk. How may I help you?

Josh: Say your name again?

Me: Sister Kranendonk.

Josh: Oh wow what a beautiful name! Oh wow, amazing! That is just gorgeous.

Me: Thank you. Now how can I help you?

Josh: How do you spell that?

Me: K-r-a-n-e-n-d-o-n-k.

Josh: With a name like that you must be an angel! You are just beautiful. Your name is amazing.

Any way the purpose of his phone call was to have missionaries come to his home. I got his information. He kept telling me how amazing I was. He told me that he loved me many times on the phone. I had to laugh. I didn't know what to say. Of course I didn't laugh into the phone because that would only encourage him. But he told me that I would be put on his prayer role four times a day along with my family. So just know there is a guy in Kentucky praying for y'all. :) Ha ha gotta love it. :) Another sister at the visitor center had an old man singing MO TAB songs to her on the phone.

I picked up a new hobbie, water color painting. I have a new love. It was so much fun. There is a member in one of our wards named Sister Osborn. She is a recent convert. She is from Indianna. She helped to show us how to do it. It was a lot of fun. But it will have to wait until after the mission. I am having troubles with the computer in uploading pictures. I will email them soon. Sorry about that.

I want to hear more from everyone. I haven't heard much for two weeks. I just want to hear how things are going. 

I love you lots. I miss you tons.

Sister Kranendonk

Sister Beckstrand's Blog: More Easter Pageant Pictures

Sister Beckstrand is one of the sisters serving with her husband at the Mesa Temple.  Every now and then I steal pictures from her blog of Sister Kranendonk.  Here is another post brought to you by Sister Beckstrand.  To see her full post click on the link bellow.   Sister Kranendonk was at the Visitor's Center every day from open till close during the pageant.  This is a really busy time for the mission.  She put in a lot of hours and hard work.   


Sister Kranendonk is on the second row in the middle.


Here is a picture of Emily's new companion, Sister Avila on the far left.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Pictures of those I serve with at the visitor center.

Here I am with Sister Romerell.  She is one of the senior sisters who has served with us.
She and her husband are now done with their mission.
Sister Burton is one of the best sisters.  She is such a good friend.
I appreciate her sweetness.
This is a picture of the other senior couples who are leaving.  The Hennings, Romerells and Pecks.
These couples are gold.  We couldn't do missionary work without them.  We sure love them.
The Beckstrands who are also in this picture are the directors of the Visitor's Center.

Letter: 4/10/2012 ~ Life is Good

Hi Family!

How is everyone doing? How was Easter? How did everyone like General Conference? What was your favorite talk?

Life is good. I have spent a ton of time down at the visitor center because of the Easter Pageant. But I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. It is a wonderful place to be. I am so thankful to be serving where I am at. I have met so many amazing people. I just love helping people to feel loved and welcomed. I continue to learn how key it is to work by the spirit. I am constantly praying to know the needs of all the people that I talk to. It truly is amazing to have access to the spirit. Heavenly Father helps all of us. We can know how to help His children through the spirit because of how well our Father knows us. I read in one of the past general conference talks about working by the spirit. I can't remember who said it but he said that we need to work by the spirit, not in front or behind. When we are taking control of the teaching moment we make the spirit more of a supporting role instead of being the teacher. When we work behind the spirit we leave everything up to the spirit and which is called winging it and we have done no real preparation. This thought has come to help me a lot. I have changed the way I think and approach teaching situations.

Elder Stephen B. Allen came and spoke to us this past week. He did not want us to take notes. He wanted us to listen. His main point in talking to us was to help us to see the bigger picture of the visitor center. One of the purposes of a visitor center is to make it easier for members to share the gospel with their friends. Members come to have their faith strengthened. It is a place of peace and where the spirit is. Elder Allen said he did not want any of our tours to be the same. He taught us that it is not a good thing to become rote because otherwise we are not teaching by the spirit which is exactly what we need to be doing. It was so uplifting and a wonderful privilege to have him come teach us.

Chuck is awesome. He is one of my investigators. He came to the Easter Pageant twice this past week. I have loved working with them. His kids have come to like us a lot. Chuck invited us over for dinner tonight which will be a lot of fun.

For Easter we ate dinner at a member's home on Sunday. We had ham and cheese potatoes. They are a kind family. We went around with our roommates Hali and Aubre to sing songs to our investigators and members. We had a lot of fun. One house in particular we went to Sister Cook's house. We sang Be Still My Soul. During the song, Sister Cook's little dog came out and was licking Hali's legs. Hali started to laugh. Then I realized what was going on then I started to laugh. We tried so hard not to laugh. All together I just stopped singing, to control my laughter. Aubre tried splitting me and Hali up but it didn't work. We continued to laugh. At one point I turned my back side to her so I could stop but I was not successful. Sister Lewis ended up singing a solo. When she sang the last line we thought it fitting for the situation, thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end. Mind you Sister Cook said Oh I need to record this. So there is a video of what happened. Thankfully she already knows the church is true. :)

I hope you all are fantastic. Remember how much I love you and appreciate you. Take care!

Love,

Sister Kranendonk

Opening Up Birthday Gifts





Here are the pictures I promised.  This is me opening up my birthday gifts.  Thanks everyone who wrote me and sent me a package.  A missionary never can receive too much mail.  I really appreciate all of your love and support!

Love,

Sister Kranendonk

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Last Night of the Easter Pageant

Sister Lewis and Sister Kranendonk
Back: Sister Kranendonk, Katherine, Dave, Zane, Sharon, Erin, Neal and Afton
Front: Landon and Brian
The Easter pageant is a lovely way of celbrating the true meaning of Easter.  We really enjoyed watching it with our Midwestern friends.  Of course we knew that Emily would be helping with the pageant so we wanted to find her.  There are many people who come to see the pageant.  At first I didn't think that we were going to be able to find her in the crowds.  After asking about five sister missionaries I found her on the lawn.  Little Landon wanted to see this sister missionary.  He told all of us that she loved him so we had to find her.  He told Sister Lewis and Sister Kranendonk that he was going to serve a mission some day.

Emily is doing very well.  Transfers are this week, so we'll have to see if she is getting transferred.

~Katherine

Letter: 4/2/2012 ~ Bein Veinidos (Welcome)

Hey Everybody!

How are all of you? I hope you are doing well. I keep you all in my prayers every day. I have been practicing my Spanish. We had two nights of the Spanish Easter Pageant. I didn't hardly talk to any one. I thought if I started to use what little Spanish I knew they would keep talking to me and I can't keep the conversation going. So I tried to smile and be friendly. I can't imagine what it would be like to be learning a language while serving. I greatly admire those who do. It is a great skill and brings a lot of humility to who does it.

I absolutely loved watching general conference. I learned quite a bit. It was fun to watch it through missionary eyes. We watched three sessions at the stake center and the last one, we watched at a members home with our investigators. It definitely made me homesick. I miss seeing Salt Lake City. I felt the spirit testify of so many truths as I watched it. It truly is incredible. I am thankful for President Monson. Without fail I always feel the spirit with him. I know that he truly has been called of God. I was amazed that so many talks were about the family. Our world definitely needs it. We need to be protectors of our family. I am learning the value of not judging. When we are critical and judgemental the spirit cannot be with us. It hurts not to have the spirit with you and nor is it worth offending the spirit. Something I am constantly thinking about is how I can be more Christlike. I know it all begins in my thoughts. I need to think kind things to be kind. I need to be patient in my mind. I am learning that charity is being patient with one an other's weaknesses or when they error. I continue to work on this every day. It definitely takes prayer and steady, consistent effort and a determination to follow Christ.

This past week, Sister Lewis and I had someone come up to us and talk to us at the Easter Pageant. He was a total golden contact. He was asking all those questions that a missionary loves to hear. How do you know that the Book of Mormon is true? That is music to a missionary's ear. We shared our conversion stories, how we came to know the book is true. He kept asking us that question. We couldn't understand why he wasn't getting it. At the beginning of the conversation we asked him if he had read the Book of Mormon. He said that he had read parts of it. Then towards the end of our conversation when he started giving us anti material, he admitted to having had read the BOM four times. Sister Lewis totally called him out on it. He was left speechless and didn't know what to say accept feeding us his junk. His belief is that there is no error in the Bible and that is the only book we need. When he finally paused, I jumped into the conversation and immediately started testifying of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I thought there is no way that this guy is leaving without my testimony of the Book of Mormon. I was firm and not backing down from what I was saying. I am sure many of you can imagine the passion that I felt. My testimony will stand against him at the last day. He will one day know of the truth of the Book of Mormon. After I was done testifying of it, we parted on good terms. Sister Lewis and I were so annoyed that we were at first suckered by him. But honestly we could feel the spirit when we were first talking to him. Now looking back I can totally see the spirit change in the conversation. I now have a great experience and know what to do in the future next time that happens. Sister Lewis kept telling everyone how awesome I was. She said yeah that's my companion. We laugh about it now.

I love you all so much. I can't wait to hear from you. Know that you are loved and appreciated.

Love,

Sister Kranendonk