Fwd: The Lawton Trio

Hey y’all!

This week was great! Well… sorta haha! I was sick for most of the week, but I’m getting over it now! I was congested and had a bad cough. I thought it was allergies at first…but nope! Transfers were this week and Sister Hirschi joined our companionship! She is from Rexburg, Idaho. She is almost exactly my age! She is very kind, kind of quiet, and solid! She’s really organized and stylish! I love her already! Sister Porter goes home next week…crazy!! We changed our phone signature to “The Lawton Trio.” David asked, “Are you a girl band?” hahaha 

The work was good this week! We were so busy! We got 14 members out with us this week to appointments. The work is so great when members are involved! We taught Sister Brennan about the Restoration and she had great questions! Sister Curts came with us! We started teaching a former investigator named Eben; he is really spiritual already. It’s kind of funny, though, because he has a lot of interesting philosophies about religion and God. He takes the sacrament by his bed every morning…..yeah we need to talk about that. haha. It’s like the “Drive-Thru Sacrament” in Oklahoma City! It’s crazy here!! Eben came to church and had a great time! Hogan and Gwen came to church, too! We are finally meeting with them on Saturday! And, Brother Bentley is proudly passing the sacrament every Sunday! All 9 of us missionaries sang a musical number on Sunday and it went…pretty well. We found out none of the Elders sing at all, so they just laughed through it, but they had such great attitudes about it! They are champs! Post went well this week, too! We’ve just been busy busy busy lately! 

I’m so grateful for Heavenly Father and how well He knows us! He gives us trials to help us grow. I have gained a testimony of that lately. He knows us individually and perfectly. He wants us to talk to Him, because that’s when He can help us the most. We are His children.

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2011-06-02-god-is-our-father?lang=eng

Love,

Sister Kenz

Short and Sweet!

IMG_0136The Post group!

Hello y’all! 

This week was wonderful! Transfers are this week and Sister Porter and I are staying together and becoming a trio with Sister Hirschi! Sister Porter will be leaving us in 2 weeks for home! She has been a great comp! More info on the new companionship this next week. This week’s highlights include:

Brother Bentley passing the sacrament this week! He did a great job! He is also going to the temple to do baptisms this Saturday with a member! He has started his family history and is already submitting his family’s names to the temple! We had a great lesson with him. He insisted to show us his stuffed vulture. Sister Bentley was over in the corner mumbling that she was going to toss it. It was so random, but funny! 

Saturday night we took the Middlewoods out teaching with us. We visited Eben (new investigator) and the Ponce’s. They were so good for them and invited them to FHE at their house. They are great member missionaries! 

Sister Brennan: we got to meet with her twice this week! She read in the Book of Mormon!!! Which was a great miracle! 

I am so grateful to be a missionary! It’s so amazing and rewarding to see people change and grow! I love it! I’ve realized that we have to find the every day miracles. I’ve been doing that and finding that I am soooo happy as I do it!

IMG_0127Bro. Shelley, Sis. Phelps & me on Post

IMG_0142Branch presidency on Post

Video for the week: 

http://www.mormonchannel.org/video/mormon-messages?v=1101413031001&cid=HPFR071114321

Sorry this is short this week! 

Sister Kenz

Sunday Miracles!

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Hello y’all,

First off, some shout outs.. Madeleine, congrats on graduating from Cosmetology school! I’m so proud of you, Sis! You are a shining example to me! Tyler, congrats on going through the temple! You’re going to be an amazing missionary! Meg and Matt- congrats on Luke’s blessing! I can’t wait to meet that little guy! He’s adorable and has amazing parents! So, this week was amazing!! We saw some really sweet miracles despite the scourging heat! I am soooo tired, but it’s worth it. The Church true! Here are some of the highlights from the week: 

The Brennans: We’ve been teaching her for about two weeks now. She is the woman who Anna Boucher was teaching in NC. Sister Brennan is praying about being baptized on August 30th! One of the miracles about it is that Brother Brennan, who is less active, came to church yesterday! He is a Drill Sargent and is rarely home, so that was cool! We taught the Plan of Salvation and both of them prayed! Sister Tucker, a member, came and totally befriended Sister Brennan, and they’re going shopping this week! We’re so excited about her! 

Gwen and Hogan: Gwen is a less active sister who we’ve been trying to see for like 5 months. She finally let us come over last week and we had a return appointment. We also went over yesterday with Sister Certeza, the Relief Society President. We hoped her new husband, Hogan, who is not a member would be there, but he wasn’t. But the Lord was directing it, of course. Gwen opened up a ton and told us how Hogan wants to be baptized and learn about the Gospel. She talked about how much the Gospel means to her and how she wants an eternal marriage. She was tearing up. We’re going to start meeting with them this week!! They’re the cutest couple!

Brother Langevin: Moving onto Post…Brother Langevin was BAPTIZED yesterday! Cool thing though, it was the Branch’s first ever Branch Conference and so the WHOLE Stake Presidency came to his baptism and stood in the confirmation circle! It was so wonderful! He was so excited to be baptized and even though the water was ice cold he marched right in! I think I mentioned this before, but he told the Elders that he has really seen the Atonement work in his life and that he feels like a new man! He even brought his whole platoon to church yesterday haha! Also, cool thing on Post, we got to go to the meeting with the Branch Presidencies and talk about the missionary work there. It was a neat, unique experience. I’m having some really neat experiences working with ward councils and seeing how the Church is run. I’ve learned a lot! I’ll attach a pic of Brother Langevin and me… you could fly a plane in between us. #missionjokes 

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Ponce Family: THEY CAME TO CHURCH! This is a miracle!!! I wasn’t there, because I was at Branch Conference, but Sister Porter said it was great and you could tell they felt the Spirit! They are great and we’re hoping their desire continues to grow! 

We had two exchanges this week, with the Ardmore and Duncan areas. Both went well. Sister Young, the Ardmore sister I went with, goes home next week! Sister Phelps, the Duncan sister I went with, is training a new missionary next transfer! I’m excited for both of them. They are great missionaries and we had a lot of fun! Sister Young served in Lawton last summer, so we tried some former investigators and found some potentials there. Miracles!

I am so grateful for the Lord and His help. It’s His work and we are just His instruments. I am so eternally grateful that He led me here and that I came! This experience is truly amazing and life changing. I never thought I’d say I am grateful for my trials and I never understood why people said those kinds of things until I came on a mission. It’s truly the “hardest thing I’ve ever loved to do”. 

Hope y’all have an amazing week!

Love bunches,

Sister Kenz

Members Do The Trick

Hello Family and Friends,

WOW! This week was PACKED! But before I get into it, I just want to say thank you to those who have e-mailed and written to me on my mission. It really has meant a lot and uplifted me. I seem to always get a letter when I’m having a hard day! Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and support! 

The mission is flying by at the speed of light. I’m reaching my 14-month mark. My time is ticking! It’s crazy! Speaking of which, during our Mission Leader Conference, as we were talking about the mission and how everyone is doing, the Spirit taught me so much about what I can be doing better. It was such a heavy feeling, because I realized I still have so much I want to work on before I go home and now is the best time to re-evaluate my personal goals, align them with Heavenly Father’s and go go go! So I did that, I wrote them down and we went to work!

On Tuesday, we had an exchange with the Elgin sisters. I was with Sister Safley who just came out to the mission. She is doing well; she’s really shy, but is willing! We had a good time in Lawton. On Wednesday morning, she and I went with the rest of our District to the Food Bank for our weekly service. As we were hanging up clothes, a 14-year-old kid came up and started talking to us. I could tell he had some type of disability. He asked me how old I was, and when I told him 21, he said, “Darn it, I’m 14,” and all the sisters started giggling. Then, he walked over to the Elders and said, “Do you know that lady over there (pointing to me)?” They said yes, and he said with a sigh, “Ahhh, I wish adult/teenage relationships were approved.” haha The Elders wouldn’t let me live it down. It was pretty funny!

On Thursday, we went to visit a very less active sister named Gwen. She’s our age and has been dodging us for a while, but she finally let us come by. We met her new husband, Hogan, and he is interested in hearing our message! We are excited to go there this week! PS…I want everyone to realize how influential the members were in our work this week. Members are the KEY! That evening, we taught the Book of Mormon study class on The Heroes of the Book of Mormon, using stories from Helaman, Captain Moroni and Moroni. We made a HUGE Title of Liberty that we used and hung in the room! That night we went over to the Ponce’s and shared a short 4th of July message with them and then used the same Title of Liberty with the Tomanys.

Friday was the 4th of July, and we decided it would be cool to do morning soccer at the field right by our apt. It was going really well and the game was fun, but then Elder Chavez totally ran into and took out little Sister Porter and knocked her to the ground. We found out today she has a fractured elbow. Oops…. But it was kind of funny because when he knocked her down, she screamed, “I HATE YOU, GET AWAY!” hahaha You have to know that Sister Porter is this sweet, innocent little sister missionary. We laughed about that all weekend. Elder Chavez feels soooo bad though. The rest of the day consisted of our District Meeting after which we did Whiteboard Lawton again! We held up signs saying “mormon.org” and “Honk if you love Jesus!” and “Happy 4th!” Oh people went crazy. The intersection of Gore and Sheridian was a honking fest! It was so cool! We gave out a lot of pass along cards! It was so fun! Elder Holman was dancing around and pointing at people to honk. It was sooo funny! After, we went to the house of a single member (Brother Burbanks) who had invited 3 non-member friends. I swear we taught 5 lessons to them during that time. One of his friends, Raymond, even came to church on Sunday and the Elders are teaching him now! AND, his other friends, Collin and Brandy, are being taught, too! All 5 of us missionaries went to their home after church to teach them. They are in the Elders’ area, but we connected with Brandy, so we went just for their first lesson! They have a cute little son named Matty! They are coming to church next week!!

On Saturday, we had another really cool miracle. Sister Anna Boucher (my roommate in Provo last year) is serving in North Carolina on a military base there and was teaching a sister in a part member family. This family, the Brennans, moved here to Ft. Sill! Sister Boucher sent me her info, so now we’re teaching her! She opened up so much to us, and it was such a great lesson! She expressed her feelings about her relationship with God and gave us a great intro. It was so miraculous! And, she lives right next to some other women in our ward that’ll just love her!

Sunday was the best day! On Post, I taught the 4th lesson on the commandments. The Church just came out with a new change that lesson 5, Laws and Ordinances, will be taught before baptism. It use to be taught after baptism. Lesson 5 teaches principles like family history, temples, eternal marriage, etc. So, I taught all the commandments, laws and ordinances in 50 minutes. It was crazy!! Brother Shelley (who is engaged to a member) thought eternal marriage was so romantic hahaha. It is I guess, I just don’t hear that every day here! Brother Langevin loved everything and is getting baptized next week! I’ll send pics! I’m so excited for him! He is SO prepared. Elder Chavez said that in his baptismal interview he cried when he talked of his feelings about the Atonement and this Gospel. He said Bro. Langevin is very prepared and excited! At church, two of the Ponce kids came to church, AND Brother Niupulusu in our ward brought a friend from work. We actually taught him after church too, but he lives in Dallas. So hopefully he will want to be taught down in Texas! We also had a really good lesson with the Bentleys after church and read in the Book of Mormon with them. After that, we went to the Farewell Open House for Kade Kappel the soon-to-be missionary in our ward who is going to Everett Washington. He had tons of non-member friends there that we got to talk to. They were really nice! That night I was so tired that I hit the pillow already asleep.

Ah this week was just full of miracles! The members have really caught the wave of missionary work. Today is the start of the 40-day fast in our ward. Every day, a different family is fasting for the missionary work in Lawton. And guess what… It’s WORKING! It makes me so happy! I love the Gospel and my mission. I’m so happy and exhausted. No cross country interval or run has ever compared to the exhaustion I’ve felt as a missionary! But it’s the kind that you know makes you stronger spiritually! Miracles are happening here in Oklahoma. I’m grateful again for the support I feel from home. This work is true! Faith is the POWER, the spirit is the KEY, obedience is the PRICE, love is the MOTIVE, and CHRIST IS THE REASON! 

Love y’all,

Sister Kenz

Feelin’ Patriotic!

JUNE 30, 2014

Family & Friends,

Hey y’all! This week was crazy busy because we moved into the house. It was so busy I don’t even know where to start! We had to have everything moved over by Thursday because we had an exchange with the Wichita Falls sisters scheduled for Friday! It was crazy, but our whole District helped out a ton and the Senior missionaries over the housing helped us, too! Some of the highlights of the week include Brother Bentley being ordained to the Aaronic Priesthood! Sister Bentley came and we were also able to sit in on it! He is getting some family names ready to go to the temple in July! He is doing so great! Another miracle happened when we were on our way to the house to drop some stuff off and we saw a little puppy on the side of the road. We pulled over and grabbed it before it ran out into the road. We knocked on a nearby door, and the girl came out and said it was her dog! We started talking about God and she said, “Oh Jesus and I are tight!” so we asked her if we could come over and talk with her about it, and she said yes! #miracles

Another miracle was that the BISHOP CAME TEACHING WITH US! He came to Brother Bentley’s lesson and then took us to two of his friends’ houses. One is his neighbor, a woman named Walterene. We’re going to start teaching her this week. She owns a daycare, is 70 years old and is from Louisiana. She is SOOO COOL! We are excited! We also got to go to the hospital on Post and see Jamie Richards (one of the recent converts in the ward) and her new baby girl! Of course we couldn’t hold the baby, but it was so fun to visit and pray with them. The baby was 6 pounds, and sooo tiny! She is adorable! Jamie was telling us all about labor and everything she loved about being a mom! It made me excited about being a mom someday!

We also had an exchange with the Wichita Falls South sisters, Sisters Rigby and Swensen, like I said, on Friday. Sister Swensen and I got to go together! She’s doing good and it was a fun reunion! We had a blast!

Post was also really good yesterday! I was teaching the Plan of Salvation and since Elder Holman didn’t have a class, he sat in on mine and helped me teach. We had a good size class of about 9 with 5 being investigators. When we got to the 3 Kingdoms, Brothers Shelley and Langevin, two non-members, started asking, “Wait, where is this in the Bible?” Elder Holman showed them 1 Cor 15 and I showed them 2 Cor 12:2. Their jaws literally dropped. Brother Shelley even said, “I never knew this was in here! How come no one ever talks about this!?” hahaha It was so great! We had a really good chat with them and everyone asked a lot of questions! They are both getting baptized on the 13th of July! Both of them are SO prepared! I felt really good about how the lesson went because I felt the Spirit giving me the words to say! It was SO COOL! I feel very blessed to be able to serve on an army base during the 4th of JULY! Serving with soliders that serve our country and do so much so we can be free has really made me appreciate the country we live in and their service. I am grateful that Heavenly Father provided this country so that we could have religious freedom to preach the Gospel and that the Restoration could even take place! 

We have some fun plans/ideas for finding on the 4th, but I’ll wait to tell all about it next week. 🙂

The Gospel is true and I love it with all my heart! 

Have a great week! Happy 4th!

Love,
Sister Kenz

How Sweet Is The Work!

JUNE 23, 2014

Hey y’all! 

What a crazy week! To answer some of your questions, Mom, about us moving… the apartment we were in is really old, prob has mold (we were feeling sick a lot and getting headaches a ton), is in a sketchy part of town and has been a missionary apartment for about 10 years. So, it was time to make a change! One of the members in our ward has a rental house she was really wanting missionaries to move into, so we said, “Sure thing!” It’s an old house, but nice and clean. It’s really cute and we’re going to rock it! I will send pictures next week! Like I said, the address is 17 NW 28th St. Lawton, OK 73501. Oh and mom… thanks for the card, it was great and MADE my day! Congrats to Max and his track stuff! I’m so proud 🙂 Sounds like a wonderful trip yall are on in Israel! I am so jealous, like Lauren said, too, I feel that I have a greater appreciation and knowledge of the New Testament and Christ’s life.. so take tons of pictures! 🙂 I’m looking forward to hearing all about it! Kara Smack got home from her mission in CA this week, by the way…I can’t believe how fast time is going! One of the soldiers asked how long I have left on the mission and I had to say only about 4 months…. AH! It’s crazy, but I’m so so so grateful for the experience I’ve been having! It’s changed my life! I wish I could put into words how I feel about the growth I’ve seen in myself and others, but I can’t perfectly! It’s truly a miracle. 

On to the week…On Monday, we did the P-day routine and played games at the church with the District. Monday night was full of miracles. The Tomany’s (the Ft. Sill senior couple) came teaching with us and everything was falling through. We were getting a little worried because Elder Tomany is a hard military guy and gets impatient fast. 🙂 Sister Porter thought of visiting David and Bria. We were both a little hesitant, because the Tomanys are so much older than they are, but we decided to trust the Spirit. We called David, and he said we could come over. He told us that it was perfect because he was having a rough night because his mom had just been diagnosed with breast cancer. We went over there and it was miraculous. He and Elder Tomany clicked like no other! We started off watching a couple Mormon messages about trials, and when we got to the one by Elder Holland called “Good Things To Come” David was tearing up (and David doesn’t cry, like ever!). He opened up a lot about how he feels like he has a lot of baggage and that he doesn’t deserve the Atonement. Elder Tomany nearly jumped on him saying, “No, that is not true!” He asked David some inspired questions about his life and the conversation was so Spirit-guided. We were able to explain that the Atonement is for everyone even if you don’t want it. But when we do use it, it is “sweet above all that is sweet.” By the end of our visit, David’s face was brighter, and he and Elder Tomany were best friends. Elder Tomany even gave him his card and told him, “You call me anytime you feel down again!” It was a miracle. The night didn’t end there. The Tomanys insisted on taking us to Braums for shakes. The lady who was checking us out had a Spanish accent, so I nudged Sister Porter to talk with her, and she did and got an appointment set up to teach her in Spanish. MIRACLES! 

Tuesday was Zone Conference. It was all about developing relationships with members. It was really, really good, and Sister Porter and I received a lot of revelation for our area. Sister Porter also gave her departing testimony! She only has one MONTH left! She did well. I realized that at the next Zone Conference I would be up there giving mine. Time flies when you’re preaching the Gospel! After Zone Conf, I went to Texas on exchanges with Hermana Best. We taught a lesson to a lesbian couple on the Law of Chastity. Yeah… that was a first! They have 6 children from previous relationships/family. We read The Family: A Proclamation to the World. It was really interesting. The Spirit was there, and I felt Heavenly Father’s love for all of them. I was sad though that they don’t want to change right now. 

Wednesday (still in TX), we helped a woman move out of her apt. It was really gross. She use to be addicted to Meth, so her house smelled bad and it was really cluttered and hoarded. Afterwards, we went to visit one of their recent converts named Keith who is paralyzed from the waist down. When we got there an ambulance was on its way because his huge wheelchair had fallen on him and all the bones in his legs were broken. It was so sad. He is a neat guy though! I’ve visited him on exchanges before. He is really faithful. It took 3 or 4 Elders holding him to baptize him because of his disability. We then went to visit a sweet lady named Sally. She lives in a really wealthy part of Wichita Falls. That lesson went really well. She is really open! After a very eventful 24 hours, we re-exchanged and went back to Lawton. 

Thursday was full of a lot of planning. We met with the Zone Leaders to plan our Specialized Training Meeting. Sis Porter and I will be giving training on setting goals as a missionary! We also had a RS Activity that evening. Carla Molster (recent convert) came and LOVED it! It was a Pinterest night and she is so crafty! 

On Friday, we moved a lot of things over to our house between appointments! Moving is so tiring! Saturday was spent moving, too! We are excited to have it all over! 

Sunday was miraculous! We went to Post and I taught the Restoration (1st lesson) and we set 5 baptismal dates! Two of them are really solid. One of them came up to me and told me that he’d already read 10 chapters of 1 Nephi. He said he knows it’s true. I asked if he had a baptismal date and he said no. I asked him if he would like to be baptized, and he lit up and said, “Yes ma’am!” “How about July 13th?” I asked. “That sounds great!” he answered. He was so excited! He explained that his dad is a preacher, but he always felt that there was something missing and he was always drawn to the Mormon church but never went. He said when he walked into the church for the first time, he knew it was true. He was home. #prepared It was really touching. Another Sister, Sister Wann said she really liked what she heard. It was great! I am SO EXCITED! Ft. Sill is the greatest! Our ward, the Lawton 1st ward, will also be doing a 40-day fast for missionary work in the ward. One family will take a day and fast, and we’ll do that for 40 days. Then we’re ending it with a fireside. It’s going to be great!! The work is hastening!! This is huge, because it’s been like pulling teeth to talk about missionary work in this ward and they’re catching the wave now 🙂 MIRACLES! 

I love this work. I am so grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It’s miraculous, beautiful and sweet above all that is sweet. The feelings of love, hope and peace that come from the Atonement are indescribable, but each of us can feel it! And, like in Lehi’s vision, after we have tasted of the fruit we should share it and help others come to it! In Preach My Gospel it says, “As your understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ grows, your desire to share the gospel will increase. You will feel, as Lehi did, the “great … importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth” (2 Nephi 2:8). It’s true, and I am grateful for the blessings and miracles the Lord has allowed me to witness and be a part of. 

I love y’all! 

Sister Kenz