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, August 27, 2012

Sister Beckstrand's Blog: Goodbyes and Hellos

Another post, brought to you by Sister Beckstrand.

Friday morning, August 17th, we had the missionaries come to our home for a Preparation Meeting and Farewell Breakfast for Sister Solorzano, who will be returning home in just two weeks. They look amazingly fresh and alert for 7:00 am, don't you think? 

They always enjoy visiting and catching up with each other. Sister MacKenzie looks especially happy this morning - look at that smile! 

Breakfast is served! We enjoyed a hot casserole of eggs, sausage, and hash browns, served with cornbread, fruit, and juice. 

Following breakfast we returned to the Visitors' Center for a short meeting and a picture at the Christus with our departing Sister Solorzano.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Aug 21 2012 Pictures with Bardin Family and Kindt Family

The Bardin family was the best! Well I could say that about a lot of people.  I loved coming to their house for dinner. There were many times Sister Bardin went out on many visits with us. Her family was wonderful to be around. They were in the Salt River Ward. 

Sister Kranendonk, Sister Anderson, Bishop and Sister Kindt. They were in the Northpoint Ward. We absolutely loved working with this bishop. They always had great things to teach us. I learned many wonderful things from him and his wife. I felt extremely blessed to have known them. We learned to work together and helped to reach out to people. He sent a picture of us to our moms.  It was fun to have him send it to my mom. It made my mom pretty happy. 

Monday, August 20, 2012

Letter: 8/20/2012 ~ Hold the Phone

Hi Everyone!

How is everybody? How is life? Are you happy? I sure hope all of you are. So much has happened this week. I hope I can tell all of it. There are so many wonderful things happening. Heavenly Father has blessed me and my area so much. I don't deserve it but I am thankful to be a part of it. I know He does all of this because He loves me. I know God loves His children.
Transfers are happening this week. I am staying in my area. The only changes are that I am not at the visitor center this transfer. I am full field. So you can still send mail to me at the visitor center but I will only be able to pick it up once a week. So you can send it to the Val Vista address that is on the blog. My companion is Sister Mackenzie. She is from Kenya. I am super excited to be her companion. She is wonderful. I think it will be a lot of fun.

I continue to change the longer I am on a mission which is a wonderful thing. I feel like time is going by so quickly and I am not changing as fast the time is going by. I am afraid I will come home the same. I don't want that to happen. :)

HOLD THE PHONE.... So this is mine and Sister Anderson's favorite saying to say. She thinks it's funny. I told her that it came from dad. We laugh every time we say it.

Molly you would have been so proud of me. I sang a duet with Sister Anderson in sacrament meeting. I sang my own part. I have to tell you it was intense. You all know that I don't do those kinds of things. So it was a new experience. Sister Anderson and I sang If the Savior Stood Beside Me. We have been trying for a long time trying to figure out which song we would sing. We sang different hymns but nothing was coming to us. It was coming to the time that we needed to decide. We decided to sing Jesus the Very Thought of Thee. We started to practice with Sister Beckstrand. Later on that week when we were at district meeting, I decided to sit down and play the piano. I looked for a primary book in the bench but then I found the song If the Savior Stood Beside Me. I started to play it. While I played it, I had a thought come to me this is the song we need to sing in sacrament meeting. I thought it was my own thought. I thought to myself its too late to change the song, we have already been practicing. So I tossed the thought off. Later one I remembered that I had had that thought and thought to myself maybe that was a prompting. I told my companion and she said alright we can sing it. We changed the song.

Come Sunday morning we were practicing. It was early in the morning. We felt like we sounded awful. We were having a hard time warming up. It just wasn't sounding good. I thought why did I think this was a good idea to sing in sacrament meeting. Sister Anderson was nervous and was having a hard time singing her part. So we prayed. We prayed that the angels would be singing with us, that Heavenly Father's grace would attend us and that we would sing to the best of our abilities and that Heavenly Father would make up for what we lacked in. We know that we truly are representatives of Jesus Christ. We are inviting others to come unto Christ through this song. I was trying to make sure that I sang with my heart and testimony and sing with all the feelings I have in my heart. I wanted to please Heavenly Father. I knew that if we sang with the purpose of singing and praising Heavenly Father then all would be okay.

The time came and we got up and sang. Sister Anderson and I both noticed that the first few notes were different but in a good way. We immediately knew Heavenly Father was helping us to sing. It was an incredible experience. I knew it wasn't really me but Heavenly Father helping to magnify His Son Jesus Christ through us. We wanted others to feel the spirit and be touched by the song. We were able to sing without any problems.

Afterwards there was another speaker who got up and emotionally said We have a loving Heavenly Father. Who loves us very much. He said, "I have been inspired to tell this young lady on the front row who much Heavenly Father loves you. You truly are His daughter. Remember that the Savior is beside you." I love that Heavenly Father was so mindful of Daycy who is a recent convert that he would an inspire a speaker to tell her how much Heavenly Father loves her. Heavenly Father is truly like that with all of us. It is amazing. I absolutely love that. I also loved that Heavenly Father helped us to be prompted.

There were so many people who felt the spirit that day. People told us how beautiful it sounded and that our voices blended well together. They appreciated us singing. Sister Knight said she could hear more than our voices singing with us. I know she truly heard angels singing with us. I have no doubt about that. Molly, just think you are going to have these experiences all the time. I am super excited for your callings. I know that God truly glorified His Son Jesus Christ through music yesterday.

I love you all. xoxoxoxoxo Miss you tons. :)


Sister Kranendonk

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Letter: 8/13/2012 ~ Bird Killer

Hello Everyone,

How is everyone? Another week has come and gone. I can't believe how the time flies. I only have five transfers until I come home. Absolutely crazy. :)

We had mission tour today. Meaning we had a general authority come visit. Elder Aidukaitis came to speak to us today. This link is a picture of him and a little about him. He was so awesome to listen to speak. It truly was a special privilege to hear him speak. He truly is a man of God. I am so thankful we had him come visit. He was so friendly, loving, funny and kind. And he so lovingly, invited us to repent. It was like a personal interview with him. We all saw areas in which we needed to improve on. I thought man what have I been doing all my mission. I am thankful for the atonement because I can repent and change today and make the rest of my mission and life better because of it. We talked a lot about setting goals. He said we must set goals. He also said that zero is not a goal. If our numbers are zero than what are we working towards? He said that our goals must be backed up with a plan. A goal without a plan is only a dream. He said don't leave fulfilling your potential only to chance. Take control and do something about it now.

I also learned that Heavenly Father must be involved in absolutely everything. I need to be more prayerful than what I am. I must go to Him with my questions. He also shared with us the scripture Ether 12:6 in helping us to catch a vision and not just any but the Lord's. He asked us have we seen what we hope for? The things that I hope to happen can. Miracles will come to us. Don't complain if they don't come on your time table. Realize that a trial of your faith has to be paid first in order to get a miracle. Miracles require our faith. It is only through faith that the Lord works. I must show my faith by doing. I know that God grants according to our desires. I loved being able to hear him speak. It was absolutely wonderful.

We are teaching this girl named Sadee. She is super cute. She is 19. We asked her how she felt about everything she was learning and she said, "I'm a fan." She absolutely loves going to church. She started to read the Book of Mormon this past week. She said she didn't read it every day but read 30 pages. She said she could tell a difference in her day when she had read and when she hadn't. She found that she was more patient with her siblings as she babysat them. It was awesome to see her talk about it. She was glowing in the second lesson. I am super excited to keep teaching her in being able to see her progress and how she will radiate the light of Christ.

I also have to say that missions change a person in more ways than one and more ways than just spiritual too. Mom, you aren't going to believe this.... but guess what? I have eaten potatoe salad like four times on my mission. It's not as bad as what I use to think but I don't know if it is my absolute favorite. I know I can't believe this either. I also have come to like eating yogurt. I have never been a fan of yogurt. But I eat it with granola in the mornings. There are a few other foods that I use to not like but do now. I can't think of them off the top of my head but my appetite is changing. And I am not as skinny any more. Here everybody at home is loosing weight and out here I am gaining it. :) Ha ha granted I have only gained seven pounds. It makes my skirts a little tighter. ha ha ha :)

I love you all so much. I hope you have a great week. :) Take care. Miss you like crazy.


Sister Kranendonk

Sister Livingston is awesome. I love her and her husband so much. They have helped me so much. They are like family. I always kept asking Sister Livingston when could I push her around in a wheel chair she said when I have hip surgery you can. I always said no how about today. She continually said no. So finally one day I just grabbed the wheel chair and said Sister Livingston no one is here get in. So she finally gave in and let me push her around the visitor center. Let me say it made my day. It was a lot of fun. She is my favorite.

And then there were two. . . 
Hi I am Emily. I am from Salt Lake City, Utah. I am a missionary. I love to dance. I am a bird killer and I am a mormon. This is my new profile. So since I have been living at the Bawden's house, I have seen four dead animals. Two of which are hens in which I was suppose to be taking care of. But really the heat killed them. Needless to say don't ask me to chicken watch:)

So I don't know if any of you heard about the Meda wedding that happened here in Mesa where five siblings were all married on the same day. The Waldie family is in our ward. Sister Anderson and I did some service for them by helping out with the reception. It was defnitely MEGA. So much went into it. I can't believe. I think Good Morning America was here for it. So you'll have to watch for it.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Letter : 8/7/2012 ~ I know in whom I trust

Hey family,

How is everyone? I hope you are all doing well. I miss you all so much. You mean everything to me. It amazes how that love grows each and every day for you all. As I hear about the hard challenges everyone is going through it makes my heart ache. But I know in God in whom I trust. I know more than anything Heavenly Father is taking care of my family. I wish I was able to be there more for you all. It is hard not to be. At times I feel selfish because I am not giving my family enough attention, but I have to remind myself I am on a mission serving Heavenly Father and this is where I need to be. This causes me to put even more trust in Heavenly Father knowing that He will take care of my family. I am learning more to trust in the Lord every day. I just know that is all I can do in my life at this point. :) But I do love and appreciate you all and what a supportive family you are.

This past week at the visitor center, Sister Anderson told me that I needed to go talk to this guy and his daughter who were sitting on the couch in the front area. I went over and said hello to him. I asked him how he was. He asked me do you really want to know. I said sure if you want to tell me I am here to listen. So he proceeded to tell me that the previous day his mom had passed away. She had pneumonia. Then that night his wife told him that she fasted and prayed and felt that they should not be married any more and served him divorce papers the next day. Then that day there was a mix up on his account and all his employees checks bounced, 80,000 dollars worth. He had tears in his eyes. I am amazed he had the strength to hold them back. I asked his daughter how she was. She was okay, she had a half a smile on her face. My heart went out to them. It ached for them. The amazing thing is that this man continues to put his trust in God. He knows that things will be okay. He plans on finding another woman to marry and have more children. He knows that the only way to get through it all is to rely on Christ.

Just like in Helaman 5:12 when we are built on the rock of Jesus Christ we will never fall. I know this to be true. We must be built on that firm foundation, if not we will fall. I see it so much in so many lives. I took them to see God's Plan For His Family. By the way if you haven't seen it, it's must. Go to the nearest visitor center and watch it. But as I took them through my heart went out to them. I didn't know what God wanted me to tell them. But in the last moment I felt the spirit so strong and I knew that I needed to testify of the Love of God. He needed to be reassured that God loves him. I know that God is so aware of his children. "Be Still My Soul" has always been a favorite hymn of mine. The longer I am on the mission the more I love this song and find great comfort in it.

"Be still, my soul: The Lord is on thy side;
With patience bear thy cross of grief or pain.
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In ev'ry change he faithful will remain.
Be still, my soul: Thy best, thy heav'nly Friend
Thru thorny ways leads to a joyful end."

I know these words are true. I love them so much. I hum this song every time my heart hurts. Every time I don't feel at peace. I just trust that God will provide and order my life the way it needs to be. I know in whom I trust.

I love you all so much. Take care.


Sister Kranendonk

Have I mentioned how much I love to eat pzookies?
Cookies with ice cream!  It is my favorite!  Time to relax.

Every body wants kung fu fighting :) Sister Anderson and I are playing in clothes that an old lady gave us. I don't know why I am wearing that awful purple dress. I look like a little school girl except I out grew my dress. :) 

More ugly clothes... I think I need more bling. :) 

We love to dance to show tunes . . . at IHOP.
We have to relax some how . . . 
I am tackling my companion in the bounce house. 

So we live with members have chickens. They call us their girls along with their chickens. Sister Anderson and I don't know how we feel about being grouped with Chickens. One died awhile back under our watch. Needless to say the family tradition of trying to keep animals alive still lives on in our family. I can't keep chickens alive either. Clyde and Jayme who I live with ask us to chicken watch. The chicken we are holding flops over dead when you hold it. It is still a live. This morning Sister Anderson got a shovel and scooped a dead rat out of the pool. We have all sorts of adventures this past week. It is never boring as a missionary. :) 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Sister Solorazno was the sweetest. She and I always made each other laugh. She brought rays of sunshine into my life. I was so grateful for her. She always told me that I had wisdom beyond my years. 

Sister Slater from Oklahoma, Sister Aquino from Mexico, and Sister Jenkins from Vernal, Utah. Sister Jenkins knows how to cook. She was awesome to teach us how. Her jam made me homesick. I very much enjoyed eating it any chance that I had. Sister Jenkins always helped things to feel like home. She loved us no matter what.