Sister Stewart & Sister Kingston

Sister Stewart & Sister Kingston

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Still in Kirtland . . . Yay!

Hello Everyone!

Mom and Dad thanks soooo much for the Halloween package! It was a pleasant surprise! Are you all ready for Halloween? Is the house decorated with the usual? Remember when the kids used to call you "Scary Grandma"? haha. What's everyone gonna be this year? So we have a big dinner for Halloween and all of us Sisters are supposed to dress up...but we have to be characters from the scriptures. We're still trying to think of something creative so if you have any suggestions let me know! I saw some pics from last year and they were pretty amazing. One companionship was the Tree of Life and the Iron Rod haha. Another was Samuel the Lamanite and the Brick Wall. So we have some big shoes to fill. Send me your ideas! Tell Max and Leslie hi for me! Hope you have fun together! Tell Taizo and Hillary congrats, I didnt even know she was pregnant haha. Dad it's so weird to me that youre not off track this month. How are you liking the new schedule?
Well Im trying to remember what happened this week. Transfer week is always a big blur. We got our schedule for this transfer and it looks like we're still going to be in Kirtland three days a week!!! I thought we would move down to two days a week since it's slowing down, but the Lord must have known how much I would have missed sites so he allowed me to stay half and half :) The highlight of the week was when our investigator Lakeisha came to church. We havent been able to meet with her for three or four weeks now and she hasnt been coming to church. We fasted to be able to see a miracle in our area. Seeing her walk through those doors was the greatest feeling! To make matters better, after sacrament she came up to me and whispered in my ear, "Who do I pay my tithes to?" I just about died with excitement. Tonight we're meeting with her for the first time since then and hoping to set a baptismal date! Ill let you know how it goes!
Well I better go. Im short on time because I have to start school applications today. Time to face the reality that my mission will one day come to a close. Im applying for BYU Provo and Long Beach State so we'll see what happens. Anyways, I love you all so much and thanks for all you do! Youre all so amazing! The gospel is true! Have a great week!
Here are just a few pics Ive taken with my new camera. Ill take some more this week and send them next week.

Pic 1: Me and my District. Elders Carter and Hunt in the back are the Kirtland Zone Leaders.

In the Front: Sister Lee (my companion), Sister Schwanke, Sister Mazza, and me :)

Pics 2-3: At Pioneer school. We get to dress up like pioneers and teach elementary school kids how to make candles

Pics 4-5: Kirtland! The white building is the Newell K Whitney Store.

Pic 6: Me just outside the Visitor Center

pic 7: Mom do you recognize Sister Schwanke's outfit?! haha I went to the bathroom and came back and she was wearing it. She was just sitting and working away making phone calls like nothing was different haha. It was pretty funny!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Singing in the Temple!

Hey Family!

So I forgot to tell you that today is my p-day because transfers are tomorrow. Sorry! This just means that you'll have to write twice as much next week to fill me in on all the happenings back home. Oh and no Im not being transferred and neither is my comp. This means I will be in this area (Solon) for six months. I think Ill definitely be ready to be transferred after this next one haha. First of all David and Jaycee HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! I know it's late but I was thinking of you two on your b-days. Hey I met some people from Utica the other day who remember you two. There was a big youth group who came through and when I found out they were from Utica I told them that you served there. I cant remember the names of the family that said they knew you sorry! I think it started with an F...something like felly or falley Im not sure?? If I would have taken them on tour I would have talked to them more, but I had a different tour I had to take.
Some cool things that happened this week. We (the Sisters) got to sing in the Temple. The LDS Family Services had a meeting there (it was about adoption) and Elder Butterfield spoke. The Spirit was super strong. He spoke about Eternal Families and how those sealing keys were restored in Kirtland. At the end of the meeting we all sang The Spirit of God as the closing hymn. Almost everyone was in tears as we all imagined the saints singing this very song at the temple dedication 175 years earlier. It was awesome!
This morning we had a pretty neat experience too. All of us Sisters have training meeting every Tuesday where we hear workshops by the training sisters and Elder Butterfield. The last training meeting of the transfer is always a tear jerker because every sister who's going home bears her testimony. This meeting was especially hard because it was held in the School of the Prophets. Each Sister who is going home (there are three this transfer) recited one of three testimonies of men who were in the School of the Prophets to witness sacred things. The combination of testimonies was powerful! Also, to close the meeting we sang one verse of We Thank Thee Oh God for a Prophet and Praise to the Man. I couldnt even get through the first verse haha. One of the ways I feel the Spirit the most is through song. Add being in the School of the Prophets singing with 25 of your best friends on top of that...I was a goner. The experiences I have here are unlike anything else!
These experiences with singing hymns and feeling the Spirit remind me of a story we tell here in the Whitney home. Newell K Whitney wasn't quite sure if he wanted to be baptized. His wife Anne had already joined the church. He had actually asked her to wait for him to gain the same conviction that she had, so they could be baptized together. But Anne knew it was true and she couldnt wait...she went ahead and was baptized without him. Well, it was a few days later that he did gain that same conviction. During a meeting they held in their home, while they were singing hymns, Newell felt the Spirit so strong that he couldnt deny it. It was then that he decided to be baptized. Pretty cool huh? It reminds me of Doctrine and Covenants section 25.
One more cool thing that I got to do this past week. I gave a tour to a former Kirtland Sister. Her name was Sister Hymas (she has since been married) and she served here about a year and a half ago. She came with her husband and her parents. It was the first time she'd been back since her mission ended. I took them on tour by myself, but she gave part of it. It was really neat to see her bear testimony of Kirtland to her family. It was really special and hard to even explain. I guess youll just have to wait to come to Kirtland with me to know what I mean haha.
K well I have to go. The gospel is true and Kirtland is AMAZING! I wish I could just bottle it up and take it home with me! I love you all so much! Have a great week!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

I LOVE this gospel and my mission!

Hey Family!
Mom thanks for all the pictures! I still haven't gotten a camera yet :( My MSF card still hasn't arrived so I've had to use my own money to buy groceries. I'll reimburse (sp?) myself once my card gets here, but it's taking FOREVER! I'm sure by next week I'll have it though. Oh and Mom that check from Barnes and Noble should be coming sometime soon, if you could deposit that for me that would be great! The weather here has been quite drab lately. The leaves are beautiful, but it's been raining and cold the past few days :( It's too early to be this cold! So do you remember in the summer when our AC in our apartment didn't work? Well now that it's cold our heat doesn't work haha. We're getting it fixed SOON! We won't be in our apartment for very much longer though. We're moving in with members on November 1st. I'm not sure if I'll be in the area still, since transfers are one week from today and I've been in the area for 3 transfers. If I do stay it will be my last transfer in Solon for sure, because they usually don't keep us in areas for longer than 4 transfers. It's the longest I've ever been in one area. If I stay for another I will have been here for 6 months. I'm ready for a change...which is why I think I'll be here for another transfer haha. What the Lord wants and what I want can sometimes differ lol.
The highlight of this past week, for sure, was conference! Watching conference on your mission is like hitting the jack pot. I cant even put it into words. We literally count down the hours haha. We got so mad when members came to Sites on Saturday, because we're like, "What are you doing??? You NEED to be watching conference!" Before coming on my mission I didn't understand the importance of watching ALL sessions. I used to think that Saturday was just an extra, but now I realize it's just as important as Sunday! On Saturday they showed conference in the theatre at the visitor center. I missed most of it though due to tours :( I did get to see Elder Holland though (he's my favorite) so I wasn't too mad. I'll just have to read the others in next month's Ensign. One of the tours that we took during conference was pretty cool actually. We took a group of men who are members of the Remnants of the RLDS Church. They broke off from the RLDS church , now Community of Christ, when the COC started giving women the priesthood. They were in Kirtland for some priesthood meeting that they held in the Temple. I was really nervous for the tour but it was AWESOME! They told us they loved how we bore testimony of what we believe. One of the men said that he hears a lot of members in his church talk about how we don't focus on Christ. He then said, "Next time I hear someone say that I'm going to tell them...that's not true! They took me on a tour in Kirtland and it was centered on the Savior." That made me feel good because I knew we had done our job. Our main objective here in Kirtland is to testify of the Savior and His gospel!
On Sunday we watched the first session of conference at the church. For the second session we went to a members' home. The Rust family had us over to watch conference and then we had dinner after. My companion actually prepared the meal too! Sister Lee is from Froglevel, Louisiana and she's Cajun... so she decided to make Gumbo! She cooked as she listened to conference, (they had it playing in the kitchen on the computer because they don't have TV). The Rusts are my favorite family in the Solon ward! They just understand member missionary work. The reason why Brother Rust wanted Sister Lee to make Gumbo was so that he could invite non-member friends to have dinner with us! He invited 50 people! Unfortunately those who said they could come originally, changed their minds :( I know he'll be blessed for his efforts to share the gospel.
Well I'd better go but thanks for your e-mails and letters they mean a lot to me! Just know that I LOVE this gospel and my mission! Have a great week!
Sister Kingston

Monday, October 4, 2010

Conference Weekend

Hey Family!
Ok so it took me forever to upload those pics cuz this computer is really slow! So I don't have much time left. Mom, I'm glad you had a fun trip to Idaho! I'm looking forward to those pics. Dad, wow I can't believe it's that hot there! It is most definitely fall here in Ohio. The high has been in the 60s the past couple days. A lot of the trees are still green but I'm sure in another couple weeks they'll all turn over. I'll make sure to take pics. I still haven't gotten a new camera, but I plan to today so you will hopefully get more pictures soon :) I'm super excited for conference this weekend! There's nothing more exciting when you're a missionary haha! On Saturday we're scheduled to be at sites all day so we'll watch it there. Unfortunately if a tour comes we have to take it so we might miss some of it. On Sunday we'll watch the morning session at the church building and then we're watching the afternnon session (which is more like evening here) at a members home. I can't wait!
Big things that happened this week. One of my Best friends Sister Wirig came back to Kirtland! Just to visit of course. She finished her mission in July and came back to see her former investigators (The Fortes in the first picture... Sister Wirig is the one making the peace sign) get sealed in the Columbus Temple. Sister Wirig's Mom and Dad came with her and we got special permission (Sister Wirig and I) from Elder Butterfield to take them on tour together! It was a really cool experience.
Also, we had interviews with our Mission President (President Sorensen) the other day. The number of interviews that we have has changed (church wide) from once every transfer to 4 times a year. Since I knew I wouldn't have many more interviews with him I decided to ask him if there was any way that I could coordinate my flight with James' so that we could arrive to Sacramento on the same day. I was a bit nervous asking him because I didn't want him to think that I was already thinking about going home. Fortunately, he had the opposite reaction. He was all about it! He said they could try to work it out with church travel to arrange it. He said James and I might even be able to meet on a connector flight like in Texas and then fly into Sacramento together. After we talked about it for a minute President started to get choked up. He said, "Thinking about the experience you two will have makes me cry. What a sweet reunion." I then was in tears and we both had to reach for the kleenex box. I think my companion was worried when she saw me come out of my interview because she could tell that I had been crying haha. Anyways, nothing is set in stone but it's a possibilty! Isn't that cool!?
Well I have to go. Hope you all have a great week! I love you all tons and tons!
Sister Kingston

Here are a few pics:

Me and some of the other Sisters with the Fortes (Faith Leroi and Lee Jr) with their grandkids Dalon and Deon who just got baptized earlier this month!
 Me giving a comment to Abe. One of the buses from the Boy Scouts
 Playing Simon Says with Scouts
 Sister Park and me outside the Temple
           Sister Decker in the middle had to go home early because of health reasons :(
                                                                 In the Newel K Whitney Store
                               Elders Robison and Erckinbrack...this is when my camera broke :(
 At zoned out on labor day. This isnt the Kirtland zone. They split up our zone since we're pretty much all Sisters. So we joined the Findlay zone. Don't they look like you sense the sarcasm? Lol

Some of us Sisters got to go to a steak dinner because we helped out at a community event called the Strawberry Festival. The steak was HUGE and soooooo good! The first time Ive had steak on my mission...and possibly the last.
Sometimes you just don't have time to use the ironing board haha.

Letter from week of September 22:
Hey Mom and Dad and family!

Mom tell Grandma and Aunt Leslie and Sabrina I said Hi! Hope you all have fun. You'll have to tell me all about it! Thanks for sending my card! I haven't gotten a new camera yet because I've had to use my money from home to buy food haha. When I get my mission fund card I'll reimburse myself and buy a camera. So you'll have to wait just a little longer for pics. Wow, you might be moving? Thats exciting! Just make sure you dont throw any of my stuff away when you move haha.
Yup, James e-mailed me and told me he was training. We almost trained at the same time. I was only with my greenie for one transfer though. And Dad thanks for the congrats on hitting my year mark...but I haven't yet Lol. It's coming up pretty soon though in November! Crazy!
Well, this weeks letter is gonna be really short because I waisted a bunch of time trying to figure out how to load pics on a card reader. I was unsuccessful so now I only have a few minutes to write.
Main news is that we set a baptismal date with our investigator Michelle for October! We're super excited! Also, one of our investigators Lakeisha invited two friends to church on Sunday! It was a miracle that they came but another cool thing is that we had contacted one of them on the Street just 2 days prior. When he saw us he was like, "Didnt you give me a card the other day?" We were like,"YEAH!" haha. We're hoping to teach them both as new investigators.
Well I have to go, sorry so short! I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Sister Kingston ;)