Jun 26, 2012

It's super rainy and delightful!!

I love you family! I have really enjoyed taking my time to reply to almost all of my emails today. I am so lucky to have such a supportive family and good friends. I've received a lot of exciting news from many places which just makes me really happy inside that such good things are going on.

I have had a super super great week that was ended with a really special baptism. Ezekiel was baptized yesterday :) Yay! Some stuff came up with Maritza this last week and so she didn't get baptized but just really wants to prepare more and be even more ready for her baptism. I was so glad she came to church yesterday still! It made me super duper happy! Anyway, about half of the branch turned out for the baptism and though the service wasn't as smooth as possible, it wasn't too bad and one of our investigators was able to come - Gabby. She's still working toward her own baptism later this month and seems eager to continue learning. She thought the service yesterday was really neat and had a good experience.

To me, there really is nothing more special than a child making the conscious decision to follow Jesus Christ and be baptized. It marks the beginning of a life long journey toward the most important blessing we can ever hope to receive - eternal life. To be there and witness Ezekiel's baptism was such a tender mercy. The spirit just enveloped the room as he went down into the water and came up clean. He gets confirmed next Sunday in church :)

Speaking of baptisms, I heard one of my crazy cousins is getting baptized this week. I'm so excited for you Bennion!

Apart from that, I am just finding a lot of happiness in working really hard.

I just feel so happy today! Life is really good! There is so much I would love to write, but we've been for almost two hours and should probably get going.

my session's getting cut short. Love you!!

-Sister Kate

So, to finish up the email that got very abruptly interrupted, I wanted to tell you about Saturday. Saturday I had possibly THE busiest day EVER in my whole life! We had to leave early to go to an appointment before lunch with a member, and the day was just on fire. So many opportunities opened up and we were able to go on splits for a few hours too. In total, we had 9 lessons!! We had 4 investigator lessons with a member present! It was absolutely incredible! Bianca came with us (she's about to turn 20 and is preparing for a mission in a year - she loves to come out with us) and we had a really productive day.

Probably my favorite part was a lesson we had with this 16 year old girl named Jenny. We taught her the Restoration once a couple weeks ago but it didn't sink in and she hasn't read in the Book of Mormon at all. So, we did a review and about half way through, she really started to get it! It was so exciting! She was asking, "well, why are all these churches, like Catholic, and Adventist, and Evangelist, so different? Shouldn't there be one religion that's right for all people? They all worship the same God, right?" She could really identify with Joseph Smith.

I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be here.

I love and miss you all! Mucho amor y oracion!

Sister Katie

Jun 20, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

So, sorry. This is going to be super short. I'm sure it will be a welcomed break from all my novel-length emails though, right?
HAPPY FATHER'S DAY YESTERDAY!! I'm glad Dad got his letter in time :) I sure do love you Daddy! I also love all my uncles and grandparents and those other great examples of fathers out there - thanks for all you do for your families!
It seems as though summer is in full swing and that we are going to enjoy some sweet warm weather. It hasn't been too muggy here the last week - it's been a little chilly in the mornings which is awesome because we can open the window and let in some cool air before it gets hot during the rest of the day. Sadly, we haven't been able to go running outside, but we're learning to be creative inside and we're using some gallons jugs of water, stretchy bands, and whatever else we can find to try and get some strength and flexibility in. We can't do much for cardio because our downstairs neighbors don't like our jumping around and running in place too much :)
Last week for p-day we ended up going to Boston and just hanging around. We went to a cool sports store that had a shoe outlet downstairs. I almost bought some sweet nikes but decided against it. We got to walk through a bit of the Boston Common and I got to go to Al Capone's for the first time (pizza and sub place kind of close to Macy's that used to be a super big missionary hang-out place apparently). We also saw a cool music group performing. You should look them up if you can - Tall Heights. We didn't stay too long to listen because we kind of felt guilty, but they were super good :) Today we were going to go to the Aquarium, but none of the 6 libraries that are in our vicinity have passes still. Bummer! So, we're just going to go bum around in Boston. Maybe go to H&M and whatnot.
This transfer is turning out to be a school in communication for me. I am trying really hard to learn how to communicate how I feel in a constructive way while keeping in mind other people's points of views. I may have thought, at one point, that I was okay with that, but it turns out I have a lot to learn still.
So, we've got a baptism scheduled for this Sunday. Woot! 2 children (one who we've had to teach because he's 9) and our investigator Maritza. We're going to talk to her tonight to make sure she's done with coffee so she can be ready, but we're super excited for her. She came to the activity on Saturday (Father's Day Dinner - it was sweet!) and to church on Sunday and is really excited. She was telling a bunch of people on Sunday after church about her baptism.
So, we had a father's day dinner on Saturday - the relief society went totally overboard and decked out the whole chapel and had TONS of delicious food - carne asada and marinaded chicken with rice, salads, tortillas, fruit, and cake/ice cream. I think that we had a huge success because we just about had more less active and nonmembers come than members :) We had a busy night of introducing people to one another and trying to help people mingle and have a good time, but it turned out really fun. Yay!
Sister Hildenbrand's birthday is tomorrow! Woot! Now we're both going to be 22! We're so old :)
Hugs, Kisses, and many Thanks!
-Sister Katie

Jun 12, 2012

Us with the Roslindale hermanas - Us, Sister Rivera, Sister Figuredo, Sister Lopez
I love you family!! Reading your emails just made me very happy. Even Dad with your sneaky (but not lame) email made me very happy.

This week has been a wild ride! Having Sister Rivera is really helping us get going with the work here in Lynn - we have had 10 lessons with a member present which is a HUGE change from our normal 3 or 4 a week. She really has a strong testimony of how getting the members involved is the only way to do missionary work and so far it has proven to be pretty much completely true. I'm excited to see Lynn grow.

So update on Rosa - we talked to her on the phone yesterday for the first time in 3 weeks. She's kind of frozen over. It happens. It's just a little heart-wrenching to know that she was SO close to baptism and that she seemed so committed to come to her new church and to get baptized with her nephew...and now she's too busy and said she'll call us (which is usually code for I'm going to take a break from missionaries for a long time). But we won't give up.

Good story (I don't remember if I already told it), but a week and a half ago we were trying to stop by to visit Rosa (we were making it a daily habit in hopes of catching her at home), and we decided to stop and help this girl named Esther with her MANY grocery bags. She had taken a load to the house and was coming back for more and was having to leave her two little kids in the car so we grabbed a couple loads and brought them into the house and that was that. We started talking to her about the church and she seemed very interested and loved the idea of missionaries being able to come visit her in her home and the fact that we weren't going to judge her because she doesn't have very much. We had a short lesson and introduced the Book of Mormon and taught her how to pray and got her information to forward on to the elders (she speaks English). The elders then had a lesson this last Wednesday and they said it was absolutely AMAZING! They said that when she prayed at the end she said she felt incredible - like she was "on caffine" or something. She is just so ready for the gospel right now. Right after they had called us to tell us how it went, we were driving to the same culdesac where she and Rosa both live to try and visit Rosa again - we saw her and she was taking her 3 year old daughter with her to the park and had her Book of Mormon in hand. We rolled down the windows to say hi and she just kept saying "Thank you! Thank you SO much for this book and for everything you have done for me and my family!" It was pretty tender. I feel like even though Rosa didn't work out, that our heartache was totally worth it so that we could at least find this amazing woman who was just waiting for something to fill her life with.

Well, my time is short, so I'll finish this out list style
  • I got a letter from Andrew! We apparently had the same teacher - Hermano VanVleet! Cool!
  • Sister Rivera gets very excited and loves to talk scriptures with people - we had a 40 minute door contact with this guy that didn't even want to make an appointment or even take a Book of Mormon...go figure
  • I've gotten to go on a couple splits with members this week - which is really weird (not to be with my other two companions) but really fun and new
  • There are a lot of rats here...Sister Hildenbrand is definitely not a fan and I can't say that I much care for them either.
  • Gabby is still moving along - she's gotten at least the Sunday's for the rest of this month off so she should come next week.
  • Carolina came to church for the first time since I've been here! She's a less-active 17 year old and we started teaching her mom and her grandma. 
  • On Friday we had SO much food - ice cream for breakfast, Kelly's Roastbeef on the beach for lunch, Primo's pizza for dinner (from an investigator), cookies, and more ice cream (a member's husband bought us ice cream from an ice cream truck! Cool!). We were SO full!
  • I really am enjoying the thunder storms - I hadn't heard the thunder here until last weeks and it's very rolly
  • I (well, Sister Rivera) finally painted my toenails for the first time in 10 months :)

That is pretty much all. I love you all!!! Thanks for being so cool!

-Sister Kate

Jun 4, 2012


So, it's only been a few days since we have talked. Not too much time, but plenty has happened. I am very excited to announce that we actually have 5 baptismal dates scheduled! now, whether or not they will go through, only the spirit can say, but I really am excited to maybe see some serious progress here in Lynn. Our fairly recently found investigator, Gabby, even came to institute with us on Friday and is working fearlessly to get her work schedule changed so she can come to church every week.

Our new companion, Sister Rivera, is quite the shining star - she has SO many clothes and SO much perfume and makeup and whatnot - she did drive here though because she came from New York so she had a lot more luggage than we were allowed to come with. She even left all her winter clothes at a member's house in boston :) I really do love her though - she is going to be just what Lynn needs. We need someone to help liven up the place and she does that with ease. Having three of us to please and look after is kind of tricky sometimes, but we're learning and having fun. having three of us makes it super easy to go on splits so we are goign to have lots of member-present lessons.

Well, I am going to have to get going - we're late for basketball! I LOVE YOU!!!

Sister Palmer

p.s. I seriously had the best birthday EVER!! Sister Payano and Maria Rudas found out (via facebook) that my birthday was on Wednesday so the surprised me with pizza and a cake! it was AWESOME!! We also had some amazing Lynn adventures - I'll have to try to update you later. LOVES!