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, February 25, 2013

Letter: 2/26/2013 ~ Hello

Sister Kranendonk and Sister Javed

It actually snowed a little bit here.  This was the most beautiful day ever.
I can't believe that I haven't seen snow in two years.
I am ready for it. :)

Hello everyone!

Oh my goodness! Life is so crazy. But I couldn't love it anymore. I feel like I am running a million miles an hour and I don't know how to slow down. I have the most bitter sweet feeling about the mission. I absolutely love serving. I feel like I am leaving the best party ever because I have a curfew. I am the only sister going home this transfer. Sister Shurtz is extending her mission. I am going home with a bunch of Elders. One of the Elders, Elder Larocco has served the whole time that I have been out. So its fun to go home with someone that I know.

The work is just booming. There is not enough time to help everyone. There is so much potential. There definitely is not enough time for everything. Thank heavens for all those missionaries who are coming out. I hope one of those will be cough cough Chloe cough cough. Sorry, did I say that out loud?  That was totally suppose to be in my head. Sigh.... nice save. :) My companion has been sick, I must have caught what she has ;) I love working with the members. Without them the work does not get done. We cannot do anything. I look forward to doing missionary work the rest of my life. :) I am going to have to learn Spanish to help our neighbors out. So far I can only say hello and how are you. Sister Javed has been teaching me Urdu. It is a hard language to learn but I love it. My mouth doesn't work too well.

We went to visit this girl who has been less active for awhile. The relief society president asked us to stop by and visit her. We went in and chatted for a little bit. We invited her to come to church. We share our experiences of coming on a mission and how it has blessed us. She cried. She has a desire to go on a mission. But the distractions of life took over. She has not said a prayer for over a year. She said for the past year she felt numb. She said nothing made her happy. She felt that life was not worth living for. She felt it was not worth it to be living. We invited her to pray. That night she didn't feel that she wanted to pray, but knew she needed to because we asked. As she did, she said she felt the most beautiful feeling bloom inside of her. Something she has not felt for awhile. It was awesome to hear about her miracle. It was amazing. She now knows she wants to work towards a mission. She really sees what the gospel does for someone. Life is so much happier when you share the gospel. She is going to be coming on visits with us this week. :)

We have been teaching Tiffany. She is absolutely incredible. It has been so fun to teach her. There has been the sweetest spirit in her lessons. She has such a great desire to learn and be a part of the church. I love that she is not a member, yet when she prays, she always prays that the gospel will be shared with everyone. She is 16 years old. She is ready to help change the world. Her and her friends were talking about serving missions. They hope to be like me and Sister Javed and have as nice of a car as we do. Although I am very thankful to be driving a brand new 2013 Toyota Corolla but real missionary work happens when you are biking or walking. Plus if I know anything what matters more is where your heart is at. Although I am amazed at the countless opportunities I have had to help prospective missionaries to go on missions. I have given so much advice. Its amazing how that is a part of missionary work. We normally don't think it is a part of missionary work.

I had a friend write me this past week about gratitude. You know gratitude is something that I am working on as well. Having a grateful heart helps us to be humble. And it makes it so you don't have to be compelled to be humble. I think therein lies the difference of being compelled. I also learned a powerful lesson when I read Doctrine and Covenants 123:17, ". . . dearly beloved Sister Kranendonk . . . cheerfully do all things that lie in your power and then may you stand still with the utmost assurance to see the salvation of God and for His arm to be revealed." I can choose to be happy with my circumstances and do all that I can. I know Heavenly Father continues to work a miracle in me. He will help to bring about my salvation as I do the best I can. He will help me to overcome the struggles that I have. I do have a desire to change. We all do. But it is not until we have faith, faith in ourselves and in God to change. Faith is taking action and relying on God to become who He wants us to become. I know He sent us to not just succeed but to gloriously succeed. Let us look to God and live.

I love you all. I miss you lots. Have a wonderful day.


Sister Kranendonk

Monday, February 18, 2013

Letter: 2/18/2013 ~ An Instrument in the Lord's Hands

Hello Friends!

Oh my goodness I can't believe there is going to be a new baby. How much fun! Wow. I am shocked. :) I can't wait. Thankfully I will be here for all the other babies that are born into our family. I am so thankful for everyone who is supporting me.

So can I just say developing humility has been one of the best things for me. It has made a lot happier. I am more able to let go of the dumb things that bother me. I feel so much more love in my heart for everyone around me. I am so thankful I have companion who is so patient with me as I am learning and changing and growing. Repentance is a beautiful thing. It is a quiet miracle that happens in our heart. I am even more thankful when the people are understanding and forgiving of me. Honestly it is such a precious gift to forgive the people who are around us. I have been trying to be quick to forgive meaning only second after something has happened. It makes the biggest difference when we are quick to forgive those who have hurt us. And more often than not we choose to be offended. Cause if we really take a step back we realize that we are in the wrong and not right. I have also realized humility is something you constantly work at. If you aren't then you digress. There is no standing still. Its a constant progression forward. Sister Schwartz a sister at the visitor center has been helping me out. We both talk about how we need to get rid of our pride and the wolves inside of us. If you have watched 17 miracles you'll know what I talk about when I say the wolves. Any way if not just ask me. :)

This week has been awesome. There is a 16 year old girl that referred herself and she wants to be baptized. She can't wait. She started to read the Book of Mormon before we started meeting with her. She is so sweet and has such sincere desires to change. I loved how in her last prayer she thanked Heavenly Father for the sisters who are helping her because she is a lost puppy. But she isn't, she has been found. The Lord is watching out for us.

I had another miracle this past week. Elder Furr my district leader asked me to play the piano for him. He asked if I would learn hymn165 Abide with Me. Let me tell you that I don't play the piano very well or learn songs very fast either. I was glad that he asked but I had to learn it fast. He kept trying to find other people to play for him but couldn't find any one. At first when I was starting to play it sounded awful. I was thinking what on earth was I thinking that I could play this song. I prayed. I said to Heavenly Father I don't know how to play this song. My time is limited in learning this song. I hardly ever practice and when people sing it throws me off. I acknowledged that I was nothing without my Heavenly Father and asked if He would make up for what I lacked in. So instead of doing my hair or relaxing at lunch I was practicing. I only had a couple of days to learn the song. I kept playing it over and over and I finally got it. Only was it through the power of God that I was able to play this song. Heavenly Father worked a miracle in me. I also realized that I needed to have faith in myself that I could actually do it. That was probably the hardest part was having faith in myself to do it. I know God can do anything and He has the power to help me. I had to rely on him for every little thing. I had to be very specific in my prayers in asking for help. I share this experience with you all because I know the power of God can work miracles in you to. Whatever it may be. The Lord can strengthen us and help us to do the impossible. As we have faith in Him, He will give us the power in which we need.

Elder Furr is a funny elder. He always tells me that I look like Julia Roberts or Jean off X-Men. I just laughed when he told me that.

I can't believe my days are numbered. I don't count months any more.

Sister Javed cracks me up. I love her so much. We were walking in an apartment complex and there was a guy passing by us. He had head phones in his ears. We said hello and got no response. Then Sister Javed yelled out, "HELLO!" It was so funny. He still ignored us. Sister Javed my Pakistani companion says, "He ignored Jesus Christ, my friend." I just love listening to her talk. Every night that we go to bed she sings me songs in Urdu. I love hearing her sing songs. She is so sweet and so kind.

I met another guy in the visitor center. He is 22 years old. He is struggling to have a relationship with God. He has been a life long member. He just feels that God is so far away and has not answered his prayers. He has thoughts of committing suicide because of the struggle that he has with wanting a relationship with God. When you read this you think, why hasn't he felt an answer. Why hasn't God revealed it to him? You think wouldn't God do more. But when we have doubt and fear it diminishes our faith. Faith and Fear/Doubt cannot coexist. If we have sins in our lives that takes away our faith too. But he is still trying. He is reading the Book of Mormon with the question in mind "God do you love me?" As I shared different scriptures with him, he began to cry. He began to feel the love of God for Him. He still isn't sure whether or not its true. But if we don't believe in God, we miss out on our answers. We look beyond the mark. He said you know the last time I saw you, you shared Alma 34:40-41. He said you quoted a scripture out of my patriarchal blessing. He thought it was a mere coincidence. But it was not. It was our loving Heavenly Father manifesting to Him through His servant that he was loved. How on earth could I have known what was in His patriarchal blessing except the spirit inspired me. Even then when I shared the scripture I felt weird sharing it because here he is having a hard time and I am sharing scripture that is telling him to be patient. I know God is aware of this guy. I am lucky to be an instrument in the hands of the Lord. The spirit works miracles inside of us each day if we will listen with our ears and most importantly with our hearts.

I love you. I miss you a lot.

Sister Kranendonk

Monday, February 11, 2013

Zone P-Day

Zone P-Day

We went minature golfing together.  We had the best time laughing and hanging out.  Afterward, we headed over to a member's house and watched The Prince of Egypt.  We all became good friends and loved hanging out with one another.

Henry Camarillo, Kevin Mudd, ?, Jensen, Danielle Brownell, Jase Van Meeteren, Edward Carrillo, Casey Conaway, ?  Nosheen Javed, Kelsey Hamstead, Sara Cottrell, Hiliary Newton, Emily Kranendonk, Jordan Furr ?

Letter: 2/11/2013 ~ Got Humility?

My friends,

How is everyone? I hope you all are great and enjoying the weather.

It is rainy today.

Life is good.

But let me tell you... I have been praying for humility. I also prayed that I can understand the depths of humility. I don't want to say it was a bad idea because it wasn't but let's just say its been a humbling week. I know that God hears and answers our prayers. I know He loves us because we are His children. Heavenly Father is helping me to learn how to develop humility. It has been crazy. I definitely have been learning a lot. I continue to pray to understand humility better. I am thankful to have the companion I have. She is very sweet and patient with me. I feel like I am the worst missionary ever. Which I know is not true but when you feel like you are being chastised almost every day, you begin to feel like that. I know that Satan is trying to get to me. His purpose is to make me feel like I am nothing and he wants to creep in and discourage me. He wants to weaken me. But I know that through Christ I can be strengthened. True humility is recognizing God's power and wisdom in my life. I know that I am nothing on my own but with God I can be everything.

My companion and I have both been out the same amount of time. We are both strong independent women. We have set ways that we like to do things. We are learning how to cooperate with one another and talk about things. Humility is being willing to adapt and be flexible. You don't have to have it be your way. So often we only see what we see and not what others see. You learn very quickly how selfish you can be. You realize the little things don't matter. You learn what is most important. What matters most in life are our relationships with people. Is it worth hurting someone's feelings just to feel gratified in our pride for having been right? If its going to hurt a relationship then its not worth the battle. People are what matter. That is why we do what we do in the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are all working towards the same thing. There is no race in getting there. What matters is that we help each other to get there. The celestial kingdom is not going to be any fun if you are there by yourself.

Humility helps you to prioritize your life. You realize what is most important. Humility is not having to be right. You aren't out to win the argument. In fact you are the first to end the argument. You begin to see the other person's perspective. Humility needs repentance. We repent of the pride we have in our hearts. We ask God's forgiveness when we put our will before His. Sometimes when I think I am doing important things but there still might be something that God would rather me do at certain times. I don't know if this is making any sense. Humility is admitting that you are wrong when you are wrong and you don't do it grudgingly either. I have learned that I need help in overcoming my weaknesses and asking for help. Which it is really hard for me to do that. My family certainly knows that for sure. :) I am acknowledging that I need Him every hour. He is the only one who can change me. Humility is also accepting correction without a grudge. I have learned that if I cannot accept correction in my life then I am not fit for God's kingdom. It doesn't hurt for me to open up and talk about my weaknesses but its nice to open up and share with someone you can trust. Sister Javed is someone I can open up to because I trust her with my feelings. I know she will still love me. I know she is there to help me. Those things are so important. We truly must love someone first in order to correct them. I have learned that I must think before I talk. I need to be aware of feelings of other people. Even though I have not been the most fun person to be around Sister Javed is quick to forgive me. She shared with me why. She has been blessed with the gift to forgive and forget quickly. She shared me with me these verses.

Therefore I say unto you, Go; and whosoever transgresseth against me, him shall ye judge according to the sins which he has committed; and if he confess his sins before thee and me, and repenteth in the sincerity of his heart, him shall ye forgive, and I will forgive him also.Yea, and as often as my people repent will I forgive them their trespasses against me. And ye shall also forgive one another your trespasses; for verily I say unto you, he that forgiveth not his neighbor’s trespasses when he says that he repents, the same hath brought himself under condemnation. Mosiah 26: 29-31.

She said I condemn myself when I do not forgive. She said that when someone hurts her, she wants to immediately forgive them. She said especially when it is hard, I forgive them. She loves me in spite of my weaknesses. And knowing that she loves me and is willing to help me change and not be judgmental then I know I can do it. I feel so vulnerable opening up to her the way that I have. I am trusting her with things that are so dear and precious to me. But I can't keep them to myself. I have tried and it doesn't work. I need help. I know change does not come easy, or over night or quickly. But I know with her support I can change. All things are possible through Christ. I know its important for me to believe that I can change. Or otherwise I can't change, I am stuck in a pit that I can't get out of. But with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, I can get out. Heavenly Father has placed people in my life for a reason. I am surrounded by people who love me. We all need people in our lives that will help support us and be patient as we fall and get back up. We can't do it on our own. None of us can.

Sister Javed said that a strength of mine is to be honest and open about my weaknesses. I pour out my heart to Heavenly Father and plead for forgiveness of the hurt and the pain that I have caused and especially ask for forgiveness of putting my will before God's will. I have cried more this transfer than I have my whole mission. I am not use to it. I have gratitude for my Father in Heaven. I love Him dearly. I thank for these experiences. It is not easy. But I want to have humility be a part of my character so bad. Humility is having a grateful heart for all the blessings that God gives.

Know that I am happy. I am thankful for what has happened. I know all is well. Don't worry about me. All my trials are self-inflicted. This is what you get when you pray for humility. I will keep sharing my experiences of learning humility. I don't have enough time to share everything as to what has happened. I love you. I miss you.

Take care,

Sister Kranendonk

Saturday, February 9, 2013

More Facebook Photos

I found more pictures of Sister Kranendonk on Facebook.  Thanks to Elder Samuels and Sister Holladay.  I think it is so fun that as missionaries come home they post their mission pictures.  I can't believe that Sister Kranendonk has less than a month left of her mission.  Before we know it, she'll be home posting her own mission pictures.


Sister Marrott, Sister Holladay, Elder Smith and Sister Kranendonk

Sister Holladay, Sister Shurtz and Sister Kranendonk

Visitor Center Missionaries

Monday, February 4, 2013

Home Away From Home

Here is the place Sister Kranendonk calls her home away from home.  This is the life of luxury that a missionary lives.  Sister Kranendonk has lived with many kind families throughout the course of her mission and appreciates their kindness.  

Letter: 2/4/2013 ~ An Heir of Eternity

Hello Everyone!

It definitely has been a much better week. Thank you for all the letters I receive from family and friends. I know I have lots of love and support backing me up. I am thankful for these hard times to keep moving forward and to keep growing. I know these experiences are for my benefit and help me to become the kind of person I am meant to become. Life is better when you keep in mind the eternal perspective. :) It makes things easier to deal with. Although sometimes I feel more weight in the responsibilities that I have. I realize how precious time is. I think a lot about what I should do with my time. I realize that missionary work is the best thing I can be doing. I am laying up treasures in heaven that will last forever. Nothing else matters much. There are so many different ways of doing missionary work. It's not always about giving a copy of the Book of Mormon or inviting people to church. Yes those things are vital but missionary work happens any time someone is brought closer to Christ. This definitely happens when taking care of family. We live the plan of salvation every day.

I called this guy the other day and he was excited to hear from me because he is getting baptized. This guy had come into the visitor center the one day with his friend seeking to learn more. I took him and his friend on a tour and it was so special. He has made some great changes in his life. It is wonderful to not only hear about it but see it and hear it. He is thankful for the changes that have come into his life because of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It reminds me of a quote by Elder Holland that I love.

I testify that God lives, that He is our Eternal Father, that He loves each of us with a love divine. I testify that Jesus Christ is His Only Begotten Son in the flesh and, having triumphed in this world, is an heir of eternity, a joint-heir with God, and now stands on the right hand of His Father. I testify that this is Their true Church and that They sustain us in our hour of need—and always will, even if we cannot recognize that intervention. Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come. Of that I personally attest. I thank my Father in Heaven for His goodness past, present, and future, and I do so in the name of His Beloved Son and most generous high priest, even the Lord Jesus Christ, amen.

I testify this is true. These blessings will always come, we don't always know when. But part of the gospel of Jesus Christ is repenting and then we can fully enjoy these blessings. They knew we would stray, we would make mistakes and sin. Which is why God gave us His Only Begotten Son Jesus Christ. I testify of the reality of God and Jesus Christ.

Transfer news came. Sister Smith and I are no longer together. I am sad to not be with Sister Smith but we accomplished all that we needed to together. I am getting Sister Javed. She is from Pakistan. She is super cute. It is awesome because she and I both started out our missions together and will finish our missions together. It is a great privilege of mine to serve with her. I love her prayers. When you hear her pray, you know that she is talking to God. I have never seen or heard someone speak with such love, respect, humility, and reverence for God. I can't wait. I still can't believe I come home on the 12th of March. It is coming crazy fast. I am trying to make the most of it every day. Also they took away two of my wards and gave me one. So now I cover two wards. Which will be nice. It will open the door for lots of opportunities.

I am still shocked that Uncle Gene passed away but as I listened to Katherine share with me a little bit of the experiences I felt the spirit. The spirit has confirmed to me that he is meant to be on the other side and that he can do more to bless his family from the other side. How thankful I am for the plan of salvation. I know the plan is real.

Another thing that I have been learning lately is how powerful a witness of the spirit really is. It is more powerful than having a visitation from a heavenly being. We don't all get to see a heavenly being but we all get to feel the spirit. The spirit is more powerful. The Lord has already provided for us a powerful witness of the truth and it is through the Holy Ghost. We only have access to the Holy Ghost after we are baptized by someone holding the proper priesthood authority. I see time and time again how important these things are to each individual person. We know that Laman and Lemuel didn't get it even after seeing heavenly messengers. I know we can all feel the spirit and receive the witnesses of the truth. Any thing we want to know we can ask God and he will give.

Sister Smith and I have been knocking on a lot of doors lately and no answer. We still laugh ourselves silly. Really being a missionary is so funny sometimes. But it sure is a great life to live. I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Sister Kranendonk

I think I have the best family ever....I love you all.  I miss you like crazy. :)