Monday, November 25, 2013

Week 57 - November 25, 2013

Buenas Tardes Familia!

Ok so it has finally come.  I am being transferred and I am going up north.  I have no idea where I will end up or who will be my companion, but I know that it is going to be good.  I know that the Lord has something special planned up there, but it is so hard to leave El Paso.  It has become my home for this year and I will be sad to say goodbye.  So I do know the Lord has a sense of humor - he left me in 115 degree weather on a bike in El Paso and I bet I'll end up in a bike area in the north end of the mission in -15 degree weather with 2 feet of snow!  I guess I have to wait until tomorrow and see!  Who knows what will happen?!

So I think to get me ready for the change, El Paso decided to go crazy!  It went from 75 and sunny on Thursday to 40 degrees on Friday!  Needless to say I'm freezing!  So I think you might need to send me those extra winter clothes!  With the cold, the worst part is the wind.  The wind is horrible down here!

Actually I have a really funny story about the wind.  On Friday morning we are headed out to district meeting.  My hands are full of scriptures and stuff.  I was also holding onto my Restoration DVD in the little paper package.  We were planning on showing it to one of our investigators that night.  Well, we walk down the steps and in all my life I have never had anything ripped from my hand by the wind, but just as I got down the steps the wind ripped my dvd completely from them!  So then I think ok it's just going to blow a little bit and then stop...right? Wrong!  It starts blowing away!  We of course start chasing it and then the CD busts from it's paper case and it starts spinning like a mad wheel and then disappears!  We are like where in the world did it go.  I walk around the rock wall in between the fence there are rocks and grass and I find my dvd laying there on the ground.  Sadly my dvd was busted and we both agreed that it was Satan's wind trying to stop us showing that movie because it is so powerful!  Well, we one upped him because my dad is inspired and he sent me two copies!  Haha so take that evil wind!

Let's see what else happened this week.  In trying to help my companion overcome her dislike of all animals I made her help me save a bird this week.  It was just chillin in the middle of the road and I thought maybe it was hurt.  I didn't want it to be hit, so we flipped a u turn and went back.  I brought a plan of salvation pamphlet with me to scoop it up, but wouldn't you know when we went to put the pamphlet under it he flew away!  Seriously - if you could fly all along, what were you doing in the middle of the road?!  I also tried to get her to kiss a Chihuahua, but I didn't succeed in that front.  Oh well.  There is plenty of time after the mission to help her with her love of animals!  Oh I am also including a  picture of what missionaries do when we need the young women to come out with us but they decide they want to sleep instead!  Hehe ok so this was a reenactment, but I actually did pull her out of bed a few weeks ago when she forgot that she had said she would come with us, but was sleeping when we went to pick her up!

I don't like the cold weather because everyone hides indoors and the ward activity we have been planning for a month wasn't very well attended.  It was really good.  We watched Ephraim's Rescue.  If you haven't seen it I would recommend it.  It is a good movie.  It made me want to be better and always be ready when the Lord needs me.

So when we woke up on Sunday there had been a tiny bit of snowfall the night before.  The roads weren't horrible at all, but you would have thought the blizzard of the century was going!  Hehe people who can't drive in "frost". ;-)  We were meeting on of our investigators at her house and then she was going to follow us to the church.  She is a super cute old lady and she nearly turned back on the stairs because it was a little icy.  We were determined though.  We knew the roads were fine and she needed to come to church!  So she followed us the whole way and we laughed because we had a little Lourdes tail. :)  She loved church, so it was good thing she braved the weather.

As for me it was a hard Sunday.  This ward is like my family.  I have been here for so long that it was really hard to say goodbye to all of them.  One sister gave me the scarf she was wearing as a little goodbye gift and that pushed me over the edge and I started to cry.  They are such generous people and it has been a pleasure to serve in Rio Grande.  The only upside about being transferred is there is no way I will mention that I can badly play piano top handed!  So I think my piano playing days in the mission are over!  Whew!

One fun person that I went and saw before I left was a lady named Stella.  We started teaching her, but since her grandson doesn't speak Spanish we had to give her to the English Elders.  She is doing great.  She has a baptism date for the first part of January.  She is amazing.  We found her outside just watering her lawn.  The Lord really put people who are ready for the gospel in our paths.  I can't wait to hear more about what happens to her.

Ok well I love you all!  We have lots to do before transfers tomorrow!  I know that the Lord has a plan for me and I am excited to find out what it is!  Happy Thanksgiving!

Con Amor,
Hermana Klaus

The broken DVD

You know you want to kiss it!

Wake up and come with us!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Week 56 - November 19, 2013

¡Buenas Tardes Familia!

How is everybody doing?  Hopefully everything continues to go well.  I appreciate all the love and support and especially the prayers that I am receiving, so thank you!

So this is the last week in the transfer and I have no idea what is going to happen next week.  I actually have a fear for serving up in ALBQ now.  I am an El Paso missionary, so I'm not sure I could handle it up North (especially the cold...I wear scarves in 70 degrees now. :) )  We find out Saturday what is going to happen.  Both Hna Fallentine and I are dreading if we have to leave our area, but maybe we can stay together.  That would be awesome.  Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's and our Birthdays!  Plus I don't know how it will work emailing next week because if we are being transferred on Tuesday depending on where we go we might not have time to email.  It might be a crazy day!

I probably should stop telling you cockroach stories because I am pretty sure none of you want to live in Texas anymore, but hey why not one more.  I think I am just blessed to have such a great relationship with the little buggers and I think I have been specially trained to lock in on their locations.  In good news we haven't had any roaches in our apartment.  However, I went on an exchange with some English sisters and we were visiting someone.  When we walked in, the lights were dimmed and we all had a seat.  Then after about 5 minutes or so the lady turned the lights up (probably so we could read something) and then I saw him...and he was HUGE!!!!!!  Probably top 2 or 3 biggest roaches I have seen on my mission.  He was just lying on the floor on his back and I had to stop myself from gasping.  Then because who can't sneak glances at something like that, I watched as he would slowly move his legs up and down.  At one point he started madly kicking and I was planning my escape route if he managed if right himself up, but luckily he just stayed where he was.  So I am not sure why, but wherever I am cockroaches follow.

So we pulled up to our apartment one night and we saw this big old tumbleweed just sitting in front of our parking spot.  So naturally I had to have a picture with it.  It's like half my size!

The real reason why Hermana Fallentine and I are afraid about transfers right now is because our area is doing so good!  We have been teaching a ton of lessons these past two weeks to lots of news too!  Here are some of the highlights of our missionary week.

First off we were doing some Sister stuff and we were on the other side of the mountain, and we were hungry so we decided to stop by Conchita's bakery.  I thought that maybe Chelo would be there, but I didn't think anyone else would, but Conchita was there too.  We were able to say hi to all of them and give them big hugs.  Great news!  Chelo was baptized in Juarez about a month ago with her niece Griselda.  I was so excited to hear that because Hermana Mitchell and I had started teaching her, but because she lived in Juarez over the weekends we referred her to the Elders down there.  It was such a special little blessing to get to hear that she was baptized.  Plus they loaded us up with a ton of pan dulce, which we happily munched on the rest of the week.

Then on Saturday we were looking in the ward directory for people that we didn't recognize to go and visit and so we started trying to contact people.  None of the people that were on the list actually lived there.  We had so many strange encounters to half shut doors, to slightly rude people, to the person had passed away 5 years ago, to wait a second this is the home of one of our investigators.  Every time we got back into the car Hna Fallentine and I just laughed because we couldn't believe that the day could be any crazier, but apparently it could.  It makes everything so much better to have a companion that just looks on the bright side with you and says "well who's next?!"

We have 4 investigators right now with a lot of potential.  One is a sweet older lady who has lost her purse with all her credit cards and papers, but still wants to listen and to learn about the gospel.  Then we found a less active member who has her 15 year old nephew living with her who is not a member, but really wants to learn more and is praying about being baptized.  Then last night we had a lesson with a lady and her two daughters (10 y 8)  We shared the story about Joseph Smith and then committed them to pray about Joseph Smith and ask God if this was Christ's true church.  We originally asked the mother, but then she told her daughter to pray.  This little 10 year old girl offered one of the sweetest prayers I have ever heard and just simply asked if this was true and for God to enlighten their minds.  After the prayer we asked her how she felt and she just started to cry and said she felt real good.  Then her mother started to cry too.  We had visited them two weeks ago and they said they could only meet on Monday, but after that prayer they really wanted us to come back on Thursday.  The spirit really does soften people's hearts and the Lord really does answer a sincere prayer.  Loren is doing great.  We had an excellent lesson with her last night with some members from our ward.  They all were able to share their own experiences and the spirit was testifying to each of us during that lesson.   Loren told us that about week ago she was praying about whether or not to be baptized when all of the sudden a memory of when her Grandmother was baptized into the LDS church entered her mind.  She said she had basically forgotten that memory until right at that moment.  She knows she needs to be baptized and I am pretty sure that she will  in this coming month.  She has some fears, but everyone experiences those, so she just needs to hang on to the good feelings and know that she is receiving an answer.  When she told the story of her grandmother she also told how she had passed away.  That brought to my memory the very first lesson Hermana Cruz and I had with her back in January when I was a brand new missionary.  We were teaching the plan of salvation and through that entire lesson I felt as if someone was sitting next me.  I don't know for sure, but maybe that someone was her grandmother.  This whole experience has been a real testimony builder to me that there are seen and unseen forces at work and that this is no ordinary work.  This is the work of Salvation and this is the work of our Savior.  I love y'all!  Have a great week!

Con Amor,
Hermana Klaus

Katie's tumbleweed...

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Week 55 - 12 November 13 (11-12-13)


This week was filled with lots of different service opportunities.  Our first was our greenhouse and grubs.  We are helping build a greenhouse.  It is putting all of my building skills to the test.  After about an hour we were getting really frustrated because we could not figure out how to attach the screws to the frame and they sure weren't staying up by themselves.  So in the beginning we just ignored those pieces and decided to move on.  Then all of the sudden we realized that we weren't going to get anywhere until we figured it out.  In frustration I said ok that's it we are not doing another thing until we figure out how this works.  Just then like inspiration from heaven...  We picked up the screw and slid it into the frame and figured out how it was suppose to work.  Well then we couldn't help but laugh at how easy it was and how silly it was for us not to have figured out for so long!  But now we have, and our greenhouse is coming along nicely.  Then we started dropping bolts on the ground so we needed a magnet to find them, which was provided.  However, as I held out my hand to catch the bolts the member also dropped in 2 huge grubs!  I screamed so loud I am pretty sure the people in Mexico was wondering what was going on.  Oh yeah all the other missionaries got a kick out of that one.  Nasty creepy crawly things.  Just when you think you have the cockroaches under control - grubs! 

We also helped a sister in our ward move.  It was a lot of lifting and carrying and we had to get creative in order to keep our copies of the Book of Mormon with us...more on that in a minute.  My personal favorite for the service this week was the Great Chihuahua rescue!  So last Monday we were driving to our next appointment when I saw this Chihuahua walking down the sidewalk.  It was wearing a collar but no one else was around.  We passed it and then I said "Hermana did you see that dog?"  Hna Fallentine paused and then said "You want to help the Chihuahua don't you?"  Of course!  So we flipped a U-turn and proceeded to park, so we could help the Chihuahua.  To my companion's credit she doesn't like dogs, but was still willing to help the little guy out.  Well the little guy turned out to be a little bugger.  The dog is walking next to this complex that has a big fence on one side and then the street on the other.  The dog is in and out of the road.  We start to walk towards him calling him and he takes one look at us and the "missionaries are enemies to all dogs" kicks in and he grabs this chicken bone and starts to run.  He runs back into the street and nearly gets hit by a truck as we are frantically waving our arms to have him stop.  The dogs runs into the complex and we follow him.  We start stalking him through the cars and he is munching on a chicken bone.  Hello?!  Dog don't you know that's bad for you?!  So we start trying to circle him and we are nearly successful until he sees us and that sends him into full panic mode and he bolts off and then you have the two sisters in skirts with bags chasing after him.  He runs back into the street and he nearly gets hit two more times before we can get him to run back inside the complex and then all of the sudden he freezes and we hear someone calling and he booked it so fast to his owner.  She had lost him and was looking everywhere for him, so at least we were able to help him find his owner.  We were a little bummed we never caught him, because it would have been a great way to start a conversation.  "Hey is this your Chihuahua?  No?  Well we're missionaries..."  So in the end we got to serve and we got a little extra exercise.

In other big news, I colored my hair for the first time.  Hna Fallentine and I decided that the El Paso sun had done a number to our hair, and we wanted to fit in more with our culture.  So now I have dark brown hair.  All of our investigators approve and say we look much more "Mexicana" now.

Since it was the first Thursday of the month we headed up to ALBQ for MLC (Mission Leadership Council).  It's always an adventure driving up.  So the Elders drive a mini van up to ALBQ because it is the only vehicle big enough to carry all 6 Elders.  At one point we were following the Elders and we sent them a text that said.  "Hey mom slow down we can't keep up...oops sorry we got confused our mom's drive mini vans!"  hehe  Well we have to entertain ourselves some how on the 4 hour drive up to ALBQ.  This time we actually stopped in New Mexico's diamond of the desert, Elephant Butte for dinner.  A member fed us and it was really yummy.  Basically the whole drive Hna Fallentine and I listened to primary songs in Spanish.  We got really good at the chorus to follow the prophet after the 12th verse!

MLC was wonderful as always.  I always feel so inspired to be a better missionary and get back to El Paso and get to work.  So for Zone training Hermana Fallentine and I gave a Book of Mormon training.  We talked about what a powerful tool the Book of Mormon is and that combined with the spirit it is the most powerful tool in conversion.  It is the evidence of the restoration and everything we teach rests on whether or not the Book of Mormon is true.  So our challenge this week is to keep the Book of Mormon within arm's reach at all times.  We can't have it in our bags either.  It has already made a difference and we are seeing lots of opportunities to talk about the Book of Mormon that we wouldn't have otherwise.  So back to the moving.  We had to be creative in carry couches and boxes and still having our books with us. :-)

Funny note.  I think it was Friday night we collapsed into bed and apparently, like the drama queen I am, I said "Hermana I have never been so tired in my entire life!" Hna Fallentine just busted up laughing because it wasn't even that long of a day, but apparently I had never been more tired. I think what happens is that every day we get home I just can't believe how tired I am.  Well the Lord always blesses us that we can carry on!

So our little miracle for the week was that we were finally able to find Lorenza at home again.  We haven't been able to meet with her for over a week and we were getting worried.  On Saturday we found her at home and we learned that she had been having a really hard time.  She lost her job and has been dealing with that and a lot of other stuff too.  Well we had a lesson and then we invited her to come to church the next day.  We were a little sad when Sacrament started because she wasn't there.  After the sacrament was over a lady came to sit by us and our phone was knocked off the bench, so I reached down to get it and I  noticed a message from Lorenza that we had missed asking for help in finding the chapel.  We immediately went outside to try calling her, and she didn't answer, but then we saw her drive up.  We were so excited that she came to church and she loved it!  The ward was so wonderful in welcoming her.  I think she especially loved Relief Society.  Working with Lorenza is extra special for me because she is one of the first people that I OYM'ed (Open your mouth) back when I couldn't speak Spanish.  I actually went back and read about it in my journal.  I can't believe that it's getting close to a year ago I hit the field.  I want to be missionary forever!  There is no place I would rather be, then here teaching the gospel.  I hope y'all have a great week!

Con Amor,
Hermana Klaus

Darker Hair...

Monday, November 4, 2013

Week 54 Pictures

Fumigating the kitchen
Had to remove all of the dishes
And the food.
Socks from Hali (with an addition by Katie)
Nothing like a birthday pizza...
Elder Rosales entered the MTC on Oct 31 as well, so I guess that makes them twins? :-)

Week 54 - November 4, 2013

Buenas Tardes Familia!

Yep I'm old!  I think I do need a walker now dad, so please send one in my next package.  Right now I have to use a cactus branch as a cane because of the lack of trees in El Paso and let me tell you it hurts my hand to use!  ;-)  Wow as I look back at the past year I can't believe everything that has happened.  It doesn't feel like it's been a year...not even close!  It's weird knowing that a year ago I was in the MTC and had proudly "made it to Sunday"  That's what every missionary tells the new missionaries just make it to Sunday.  Interesting enough it's kind of true.  You make it to Sunday and then things just really pick up and you're in full missionary mode.  I've been reading my MTC journal and it's pretty entertaining.  Oh how young I was back then.  It's amazing how I have loved every stage of being a missionary, but I wouldn't want to go back to the MTC again.  I have learned so much and have grown so much in the past year.  A mission is truly a life changing experience.  I have learned more about life and the gospel then I ever would have thought possible.   What a huge blessing to serve the Lord at this time in my life.

So Halloween was a good day.  We even found a new investigator, so that was a bonus.  All of the other missionaries at dinner thought I was ridiculous because I was super excited to have trick or treaters come to the door so that I could pass out candy.  Hey I'm from the country and we don't get trick or treaters!  So we ate dinner and nobody came and nobody came.  Finally, just as we were heading out the door, trick or treaters came down the path and all the other missionaries were up ahead of me, but the family told me to come back and hand out the candy!  So I got to hold out the bowl of candy and the kids took handfuls, but apparently one little kid just took one and when he was walking out he said "No mas uno":(   The other missionaries kept laughing at me and telling me that I was a mean candy giver, but I told them that I just held out the bucket and they took what they wanted.  hehe  Fun times.

I hope everyone enjoyed daylight savings.  I don't think you ever treasure an extra hour of sleep quite like the missionaries do.  Although my body is so programmed to wake up at the same time each day, so I keep waking up at 5:32 in a panic that I am still in bed before I realize that it's only 5:32 and I can sleep another 58 minutes!  All I know is that last night, that last hour of work felt so late to me.  I kept thinking I am going to pass out right here and fall asleep.  You can't be serious it's only 8:15?  We made it through the night just fine and had the special privilege of being there when one of our investigator families who is having a baby today wanted a blessing.  Knowing that we have that priesthood power once again upon the earth is a comfort to me.  I know that the spirit of Lord was in that room last night as one of his worthy priesthood holders laid his hands upon her head and gave her a special blessing right from her Heavenly Father.  I know that it is the same priesthood power that the apostles of old used to heal people in the New Testament and the same Priesthood power that Christ used in his earthly ministry.  The power and authority to act in God's name is vital to salvation and is a testament to God's love for each of his children.  When I think of the blessings I have received as a missionary (and before as well) I know that those words were given directly to me and in some cases the person giving the blessing didn't even know me, but the words that were spoken and the comfort that was given so personal that it could only have come from someone who knows me better than I know myself.  I know that someone is my Heavenly Father and I am so blessed to be one of his missionaries.  I know that work is going to continue to move along and miracles will occur.  Have a wonderful week!

Con Amor,
Hermana Klaus