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, October 30, 2012

Letter: 10/29/2012 ~ Listening to the Holy Ghost

Hi Everyone!

How are you? I hope you are doing well. Things are going wonderful in Arizona. I have loved being companions with Sister Carlson. We are always laughing together. Some people were asking if we had moved into the Superstition Villa apartments. We said no we just have a lot of people we are teaching there. So its kind of funny that they think we live there now. All of the people who we are teaching live there. Last night we were exploring a new apartment complex. We went to knock on this recent convert's door. She said hopefully we won't run into a no shirt incident. My companion totally called it. He answered the door without a shirt. Its funny how the spirit can warn you of such things. :) My companion and I were awkward and kept our eyes on each other for the most part. But its sunny and hot here in Arizona so of course you are going to run into guys without shirts. Sometimes I wish it was rule that we couldn't talk to guys without their shirts. Oh well no such rule.

Jackie is a woman we have been teaching. She is amazing and progressing so much in living the gospel. I am so thankful to be a part of her life. She is so happy. She has learned a lot. Her little girl Kayla knows how to throw a good tantrum. Jackie has started to pray with Kayla. It has been amazing to see how they spend so much time praying together and how it has mended their relationship. I know that prayer can strengthen relationships as you spend more time praying together. I love feeling the power of God in our lives.

I have had some awesome miracles at the visitor center this past week. Before I go into the visitor center, I pray that I will be prepared and ready to teach people there. I pray that prepared people will come into the visitor center. It makes a huge difference when you do. :)

One day I was at the back desk and there were a lot of people back there and I wasn't sure who I should talk to. I talked with this lady who was passing by. We ended up having the best conversation. She really needed someone to just listen to her. Her boyfriend fell and was killed a month ago. She is mourning his loss. She is not a member. He was but referred himself to being a jack mormon. Before he died she found out she was pregnant. She loves coming the visitor center because it reminds her of him. She loves the way that she feels when she is there. I felt she was prepared to receive the gospel. It was the neatest feeling. I know the gospel of Jesus Christ has all the answers she needs and is searching for right now in her life. Her three boys were there with her. I invited them to see a Mormon message called in His Sacred name. http://mormonchannel.org/video?v=1101417665001 After we watched it I asked them how they felt. The older boy said he felt a lot of peace when watching it. The middle boy said he knew that God sent me to show his mom this video. He said its like when you open up the bible directly to where your answer is. I know that God let me be an instrument in his hands. I loved being able to show them this. This little boy also asked if people served missions in our church because he wanted to. He also said before that he just found out that after he is baptized he can pass the bread. I have never met such an amazing little boy who has such great faith. I am extremely blessed to have helped them. I will continue to teach their family. I am going to invite them to meet with missionaries today.

We have also been teaching this guy named Harold. He is experiencing some stressful things right now in his life. He has to go to California. He said that as he was packing he had a thought to bring the mormon bible. He said no I won't but then realized something was telling him that he needed to take it. So he told us, "Don't worry I will be taking it with me." He keeps the Book of Mormon on top of his tv so he doesn't lose it and also to reminds him to read it every day. He has such hope. I know that the Book of Mormon is a book of deliverance. It is only through Christ that we can be delivered. It is through the power of the Atonement of Christ that such things happen.

Another thing that I have been pondering this past week is living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that if I am not living it, my life is not nearly as good as what it can be. The Gospel of Jesus Christ gives us the tools we need in order for us to become. But if we don't live it they don't do anything for us. It's not enough to just have it in our lives but we need to live it. We live it step by step, day by day.

I am learning lots of new things all the time. I am learning what it feels like to have deep felt heart gratitude, to have charity for others, the power of the Book of Mormon that comes when you start to feast upon the words. I am learning what kind of member I need to be when I go home. I know there are wars ahead for families and how we need to protect and safeguard our families. I see how real the power of the adversary is. He is smooth and sneaky in the way he tempts and distracts us from what really matters in life.

I love you! I miss you tons!

Love,

Sister Kranendonk

Monday, October 22, 2012

Letter: 10/22/2012 ~ Prayer

Hey Everyone!

How are you? I hope you all are awesome. It is crazy to me to see all the Halloween decorations up. I don't feel like it is time for the holidays. I feel like it should be spring. I am thankful the weather has cooled down so much. When I go out in the mornings to go jogging, I embrace the cool wind. It makes me miss the cold. I definitely have come to appreciate the cooler weather. The heat is definitely not my thing. I would rather shovel snow than have sweat dripping down me. Any way I love the cold.

I am striving the make my prayers more meaningful. So an idea that Sister Carlson and I have been doing is taking time after planning to be in separate rooms to pray out loud. It has made a difference and I spend a lot more time on my knees too because there is so much to pray for. Heavenly Father lives. I know He is there beside me. I feel Him so near as I pray out loud. I have also come to see how important it is to kneel when you pray. I have come to appreciate it more. Yes you get calluses on your knees the more time you spend on your knees. But your whole attitude changes as you pray. To kneel before our Maker is such a sacred privilege. I am so thankful He listens and answers our prayers. I trust in Him. I know He knows best.

Sister Carlson and I have met so many people. We are teaching Latashis, Tenishaw, Harold, and Kevona. They all have awesome personalities and they want to change and be better.

I am amazed to be in an area that is poorer and people have drugs in their life. I have spent more time in homes that smell like smoke than anything else. I feel for those who are addicted and can't let go of it. My heart aches for them. I know that through the Atonement, Jesus Christ has the power to heal them. He can fully restore them. As long as they have the faith, miracles can happen. I talked to a guy on the phone the other day and he didn't believe that miracles could happen in our day. My heart ached for him. Because miracles happen when we have faith. Just as they happened when Christ was on the earth they happen in our day too. Just like it is taught in the scriptures miracles cease when men and women cease to have faith.

I am so thankful to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I have all the answers to my questions. God has given us everything we need in order to return to Him. I am thankful we aren't left in the dark. And because of feeling this way it helps me to have a stronger desire to share the gospel. How truly sad it is when people don't have the gospel in their lives. They are being denied so many blessings that they could enjoy now.

I love you all so much. I miss you like crazy.


Love,

Sister Kranendonk

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Letter: 10/16/2012 ~ Sunny Arizona

Hello!

How are you? How is school? Work? Family? Everything? I am thankful to be on a mission. I absolutely love it. I love being on bike but it sure is crazy and takes a lot of energy. Heavenly Father is helping me to see what I am made of and what I am not made of. I am learning a lot. There is a huge learning curve that you never get off of. The longer you are on a mission the more inadequate you feel because you come to understand your calling better. I definitely feel it. Especially after general conference.

I am thankful for my companion Sister Carlson. She is wonderful. She cracks me up and we have a wonderful time together. It doesn't matter what we are doing or how our day went we still are able to have a good time together. We laugh about how similar we are. I definitely have learned a lot about myself from each of my companions.

We have been working with this guy named Matt. He is progressing in the gospel. He is coming back into activity. He loves reading the Book of Mormon. He has caught the fire of the spirit of the Book of Mormon. He has lots of questions. He spends time thinking about it and loves it. It is fun to see him grow and change and become the kind of person Heavenly Father wants him to be. We sing him primary songs which is pretty funny. He even offered to sing us a song. Maybe he can popcorn popping and do the actions for us. Ha ha:) He also came to church. He said that he felt good at church. I am glad he felt that way. I hope every single person who goes to church feels that way. They leave feeling that their needs were met, taught by the spirit and thankful they went. Going to church is such a blessing. We get so caught up in distractions or other things that we sometimes forget what going to church does for our souls. I love partaking of the sacrament. I love having the time to reflect on Jesus Christ. I love being able to renew my commitment in following Jesus Christ.

This past Sunday Sister Carlson and I were asked to teach a mission prep class. We gave an example lesson. As missionaries you do a lot of role playing. You do it so you can get out all of your mistakes so when the real thing happens you don't sound completely silly. You sound like you know exactly what you are talking about. It was an awesome experience. I felt the spirit while teaching them. I also had the chance to share my gratitude of coming on a mission.

I can't believe Heavenly Father let me serve a mission and help to take care of His children. He has blessed His missionaries with such a special responsibility in loving and caring for His children. I have learned how to create a family. I know what I want in a companion. I know what I want to teach my children in the future. I don't even want to imagine what my life would be like without serving a mission. I know that I can have a happy marriage and family. But I am thankful to be the hands of the Lord here on earth to help His children. I am learning to get out of the way and allow the spirit to work and teach. I am nothing but a conduit for the light of Christ to radiate through me. I am here to glorify God and Jesus Christ. It has nothing to do with me. Even though I am greatly blessed for it. I also loved telling the prospective missionaries how the Lord would take better care of their families while on a mission than if they stayed at home to take care of their families on their own.

I love you all so much. Thank you for the letters, love, and support. I wouldn't be doing as well as I am. I know you have confidence in me.

Love,

Sister Kranendonk

Monday, October 8, 2012

Letter: 10/08/2012 ~ Biking Missionary

Sister Mackenzie and Sister Knight and Sister Kranendonk
She was one of the young women's president's that we worked with.
She is an incredible woman. I love her so much. 
Hello Everyone!

Oh my goodness! I have been on a spiritual high all weekend. I have felt the spirit so strong. I was overwhelmed with excitement and happiness. I know the changes that the Lord is making are there to hasten His work. I know the Lord is always doing top of the line and the best of the best kind of work. I know His work is changing. He knows exactly what He is doing. He is interested in the lives of His children. What do you all think of the change in ages for missionaries? Chloe what do you think about it?

I learned so much this weekend. I have been studying and making new goals so as to not let conference be for nothing. I love that one of the major themes of conference is conversion. Conversion is action. It is living what you know. It is absolutely crucial that we are converted. It makes all the difference. I feel I was also taught a lot about my purpose as a missionary. I felt like everything had to do with missionary work. But I love how conference is that personal for everyone. The spirit works in mysterious ways. I am so thankful for it. I want to change and make a difference. I know that my very nature needs to be changed. I am constantly learning about how my life will be forever different after having served a mission. I have made that commitment to change my life. I can't go back to the old me. That doesn't mean I can't laugh or have fun but its just a different way of living.

I love being on bikes. It is a ton of fun. Although my patootie is a little tender. Not use to sitting on a bike seat. But it's all good. I definitely feel like a missionary. :) I love getting out and talking to people. My legs have grease on them from the bike. Members honk at us all the time. I had a dog chase after me on a bike last night. The dog was so small so there was nothing to worry about. It made me laugh. There was one night I tried to pass up Sister Carlson, only to tell her to eat my dirt. Chloe and Amelia do you remember those days. We go about seven miles a day on our bike.

Sister Carlson and I had a lesson with a guy named Matt last night. He is 28 years old. He is trying to come back to church. We help to remind him of what he remembers from church. We ended up singing a primary song to him. Which he absolutely loved. There is power in the primary songs. There was another guy who stopped to talk to us. He told us how nice we looked and that we had nice smiles. He has had some real struggles in His life but his mentor is Bishop Hatch. He is so thankful for him. We asked if we could come teach him and help him. He said yes. I feel he is being prepared to receive the gospel.

I feel the presence of the Holy Ghost and the influence so much more in my life. My life is so good. I love it even more when I can feel the spirit. But that is not to say that everything is absolutely perfect for me. I just know that I am doing the right thing and headed in the right direction.

I absolutely love my companion. She is one of my favorites. We get a long so well. We want to give our all to the Lord. We don't want to go home with any regrets. We are trying to change and be better. We are striving to be more fervent and sincere in our prayers and seeking the guidance of the spirit.

I know Christ lives. I know the Lord is hastening the work. I know in whom we trust. I know God knows exactly what He is doing in calling 19 year olds and 18 year olds. It is incredible. I know Thomas S. Monson is God's authorized servant on the earth. He speaks for our eternal gain.

I love you all! Take care. :)

Sister Kranendonk

Monday, October 1, 2012

Letter: 10/1/0/2012 ~ Transfer News!

Sister Mackenzie and Sister Kranendonk
District Picture:
Elder Glass, Sister Kranendonk, Sister Aranda,
Sister Schwartz, Elder Paschoalini, Elder Miller,
Elder Tomlinson.
Elder Davis is on the ground.
Dear Family,

Guess what?! I am being transferred. So don't send any mail to the Val Vista address. Please send it to the Main street address. Thank you. I am super excited to be transferred. I will be on bike which I think will be exciting and open for new adventures. So hopefully I will have funny stories to share with all of you. I will be with Sister Carlson. She is an answer to my prayer. I have always wanted to be her companion. She is absolutely amazing and incredible in so many ways. I can't wait to work with her. I love her to death. She is from Colorado. I am extremely blessed to have all my companions. Heavenly Father places all of us around those who will help us to grow the most if we will allow them. I will be back in the visitor center. I am sad to leave this area because I love the people so much. But I am excited to meet new people. I will finally be in an area that is not as wealthy. The area I am going to is a more humble area I feel.

I am so thankful to be a part of so many lives in which miracles happen. It is absolutely incredible how happy you are when you share the gospel with people. There isn't anything like it. You can never know until you do share the gospel with people.

I watched the Relief Society Broadcast at the Stake center. It was fun to be there with a lot of women who I have worked with but at the same time I was wishing I was with my family. It brought tears to my eyes thinking my sisters and mom were watching it together. I loved what the spirit had to teach through these amazing women who have truly been called of God. I know God has chosen the Relief Society Presidency. They have what us women need. I loved how much the Atonement was emphasized. We all need it in our lives. I know the Atonement is a power that comes into our lives. I love you all lots. I miss you like crazy.

Love,

Sister Kranendonk