Sister Stewart & Sister Kingston

Sister Stewart & Sister Kingston

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Fellowship of the Unashamed

The Fellowship of the Unashamed

I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed.  The dye has been cast.  I have stepped over the line.  The decision has been made. I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.

I won't look back, let up, slow down, or be still. My past is redeemed, my present makes sense and my future is secure.  I'm finished and done with low living, small planning,
smooth knees, colorless dreams, tamed visions, worldly talking, cheap giving and dwarfed goals.

I no longer need preeminence, positions, promotions, plaudits, or popularity. I don't have to be right first, recognized, praised, regarded, or rewarded. I now live by FAITH, lean on HIS presence, walk with patience, am uplifted by prayer and labor with power.

My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few, my guide is reliable, my mission is clear.  I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided or delayed.  I will not finch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of adversity, negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity, or meander in the maze of mediocrity.

I won't give up and shut up or let up until I have stayed up, stored up, and paid up for the cause of Christ.  I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till all know and work till He stops me.  And when He returns for His own He will have no problem recognizing me.  My banner will be clear.
~President Henry B. Eyring

Monday, May 9, 2011

"I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go"

So this is really strange. I dont feel like Im coming home yet. Yesterday at church was the first time it really hit me. The closing hymn was "I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go." Tears streamed down my face as I then realized I would be leaving this place that I love with all of my heart. I am excited to see all of you though, and I know coming home will be better than I think it will be (hopefully).
Im going to try to keep this e-mail short because I have a ton to get done today. But I wanted to share a couple cool experiences that happened this week. Remember when my companion and I spoke at the local college? Well, some of the YSAs who go to school there started an LDS Student Association. They invited us to come to the college to help them set up a booth and talk to students about the church. It was a great experience! Both of the girls who started the club are recent converts so it was cool to see them do missionary work! We gave out a lot of pass along cards and talked with a few who were even interested in learning more. I was thinking about how nervous I would have been before my mission about talking to my peers about the church. I now have no reservations whatsoever. I hope that I'll continue to be fearless after I come home.
Yesterday we had an awesome sacrament meeting! I told a story last week about taking a ysa, David, teaching with us. Well, he is going on a mission next week so he gave his farewell talk. It was probably the best Ive ever heard. He's 24 years old and was inactive for ten years. He talked about his Mother and how her prayers were the reason why he came back to church. It was on Mother's Day last year that his mom asked him to come to church for her Mother's Day present. He reluctantly agreed. He was going to go as he was, wearing jeans and a t-shirt. But he said he felt prompted to go up and change into a suit. He said that when he walked outside, wearing a suit, his mom and sister were cheering. From that day forward he never missed another sacrament meeting and he decided to go on a mission! Isnt that story awesome! The Atonement really is for everyone. He's going to be a great missionary.
Well, I'd better wrap up. But I'll take this one last opportunity to bear my testimony to you all as a full time missionary. My mission has been the best year and a half FOR my life. I can honestly say, with all of my heart,  that I've come to love this gospel more than anything. I understand my purpose and how I can help others reach their potential. I know now, who I can become if I continue to live righteously. I'll close with one of my favorite scriptures. (This took place here in Ohio!) Doctrine and Covenants 76:22 "And now, after the many testimonies which have been given of Him, this is the testimony, last of all, which we give of Him: That He lives!"
Love you all!
SISTER Kingston

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

This is the Christ

Hey Family!
Im glad you all had a great Easter! Thank you so much for the Easter package. 
Ive taken a few pictures and hopefully there will be more next week.
It was super busy at Sites this past week. It felt like summer again :) We had a lot of people come through on their Spring Breaks. We had so many people on Friday that my companion and I had to take tours by ourselves. I took a picture with the youth group at the end of the tour. The tour after that was a small seminary class from Michigan. The Bishop and his wife brought them here. Their little girls came too and they were the cutest! I took a picture with them also. At the end of the tour Sage (the three year old) looks at me and says, "Do you know what my favorite thing is?" I said, "No, what?!" She responds, "To hear missionaries preach the Gospel!" haha Being on tour with them got me excited to see all of the kids again!
I had my last President's interview this week. I cried. He asked me what my plans were and encouraged me to rely on what Ive learned here as I move forward. He's excited for me to attend BYU! He's excited for James and I to fly home together too! :)
Yesterday was a good day! We went to the Community of Christ sunrise service in the Temple. It was interesting, but good to be in the Temple one more time! Then we went to our ward at 9. We got a new Gospel Principles teacher. She's going to be awesome! They did something pretty cool in class yesterday. Sister Robison was sustained in sacrament meeting, and then they set her apart in class. They used it as a teaching opportunity. It was awesome! 
We had an Easter dinner with all of the Sisters and Senior Couples at the Visitors' Center. It was soooooo good to eat a home cooked meal! We havent been eating much with members lately because theyre trying to have less actives feed us, but they cant get a hold of them haha. Anyways, the program was good. I sang with two other Sisters "This is the Christ". Two new senior couples (who arrived that day) bore their testimonies. We also have a Sister from Temple Square doing her outbound here and she bore her testimony too. After that all of us Sisters sang an Easter hymn. Elder Edman (our site director) then said some closing remarks and he started by saying, "I wish I had 24 sons for all of you!" We all laughed haha. He read the story of the Resurrection and the Spirit touched my heart. I love reading about the Savior's life and ministry and the Atonement! It gives me hope and comfort to remember ALL that He has given me!
Well, I hope you all have a great week! Yes Dad there are two more e-mails to come. Weird. I love you all! Have a great week!
Love Sister Kingston


Monday, April 18, 2011

Community College/Stacey Miles

Hi everyone!
Cos and Angela's road trip sounds fun! I'll be excited to go to some of Kingston and Kai's games when i get home :)
Mom, I would love to help you decorate. Lindsey is coming home from Idaho that weekend to visit me, so I dont know how much help I'll be able to give. I'll do my best though. Tell Uncle Max and Aunt Leslie hi for me!
This week was great! On Saturday, we had a really cool experience at the local community college. A less active member in our ward, takes a comparative religion course there. He asked his professor if we could come and speak to the class. The professor said yes! We were super nervous! We planned on telling them a little bit about ourselves and what we do as missionaries, talking about the history of the church, and then opening it up to questions. It was the open questions portion that gave us anxiety. We role played how we would best respond to controversial questions (i.e. polygamy, gay marriage, etc). Well, none of those questions even came up! The class asked really sincere questions. We answered questions about persecution, heaven and hell, our mission experiences,the nature of God, etc. They were all receptive to what we had to say! We prayed beforehand that we wouldnt be confounded. Our prayer was truly answered. We didnt feel any type of nervousness once we stepped into the class room. We were confident and spoke with authority. It was AWESOME!
One student asked, "What's been the hardest thing about your mission?" I told her rejection, not being able to find people ready to listen to our message. She responded, "Ive never seen a Mormon knock on my door. If I did I would let them in." My rebuttal, "Where do you live?!" The class laughed, even though I was kind of serious haha.
I gave her a card after class and hope that she'll want to learn more.
Last night was another high light of the week. Every third Sunday we have an investigator fireside in the theatre at the Visitors' Center. We asked a man named Stacey Miles to speak on the Atonement. Dad do you know who Stacey Miles is?! He used to play pro tennis and football. He joined the church a few years back, and he's dying of cancer. The church has actually made a Mormon message on him and his story. However, theyre making another one because apparently Elder Bednar didnt like the way the first one turned out! Anyways, brother Miles' talk was amazing and the Spirit was so strong. We had an investigator there and everything he said was perfect for her! A great way to end the week.
Well, Im glad all is well back home. I love you all and hope you have an awesome week! The gospel is true!
Love Sister Kingston

Monday, April 11, 2011

Happy Birthday Malia!

Happy Birthday Malia! I cant believe she's a year old! Mom and Dad, thanks for your encouraging words! It's a strange feeling coming to the end of my mission. It still doesnt seem like the end, the work never stops. However, I was sitting in ward council yesterday hearing everyone talk about Memorial Day and it hit me that I wont be here. To come home will be bitter sweet for sure.
This past week was super busy. We had some awesome lessons and we're excited for what this next week has in-store. We've been meeting a lot with the members and role playing with them to invite their friends to meet with us (in the member's home). We've done this under the direct instructions from our mission president, and it's been a few months. We havent really had any success...until now! We met with the Hydes a couple months ago. They are a young married couple that have been in the ward for about 9 months. When we went to their home we role played with Sister Hyde to invite one of her friends to a relief society activity. We committed her and she agreed. That week she invited her friend, but her friend was unable to come. We then just encouraged her to continue looking for missionary opportunities. Fast forward,  yesterday, Sister Hyde grabs my arm in the hall and says, "I have to talk to you." She then proceeds to tell me that she talked with one of her friends about the church. Theyve been friends for about a year and a half but have never talked about the church.  This friend now has tons of questions, and she even asked to borrow Sister Hydes Preach My Gospel, and she's read half way through it! Cool, right?! Sister Hydes excitement was my favorite part! She said, "I didnt know it could be so easy!" It was a testament to me that member missionary work is vital! Our mission president has vision. He wants us to work with the members because they are the finders. We should be meeting with Jessica, Sister Hydes friend, this week. We're super excited!
We also had some awesome tours at sites! It's getting busier and we've been able to take more tours. There were two tours this week, where the people told us that the things we said were answers to prayers. Thats the best feeling ever! To know that the Lord is using me to help His children, is almost indescribable. Plus, the Spirit in Kirtland is amazing so I probably wouldnt have to say anything on tour and the people would leave with stronger testimonies!
Well, thats about it for now. I hope you all have a fantastic week! Oh, and Im attaching "The Currant Bush" by Hugh B Brown. Elder Christofferson mentioned it in his conference talk. We're reading it with all the Sisters Tuesday morning for training meeting. A lot of the Sisters are having a hard time finding new investigators and reaching their weekly goals. We want them to have more of an eternal perspective and hopefully reading this will help them. It sure has helped me!
I love you all!
Sister Kingston

Sunday, April 10, 2011

My new companion is Sister Golightly

Hi Everyone!
Mom I didnt get to take President Treadway's friend on tour because I didnt get the e-mail until today. Im not at Sites on Thursdays. If I had known earlier, I could've arranged something, but hopefully she still had a good experience! I'm glad you all had a good conference weekend! I LOVE general conference! I took it for granted before my mission. I dont think I can go back to watching it at home. There's something about wearing your Sunday best and being in a church setting, that makes it more meaningful. Two of our investigators came and I know they both felt the Spirit. It was AWESOME! Our investigator Khadijah, who's Muslim, noticed specific things said by the Apostles that she had just been thinking about. It was cool.
All of the talks were great but my favorites came from President Uchdorft, Elder Bednar, Elder Scott, and President Monson. It was a neat experience to watch conference in the Visitors Center theatre as President Monson mentioned Kirtland! The closing hymn was the icing on the cake! I feel like I'll cry every time I hear the Spirit of God after my mission.
My new companion is Sister Golightly. She's from the DC area and she's awesome! We're going to tear it up this transfer! We have a lot of ideas for finding new investigators that we're stoked about! Sorry Mom no pictures of the two of us. Actually, you probably wont be getting any pictures for the rest of my mission. My camera is really poor quality so I never take pictures. I have my companions take pics and then I put them on a disc for myself. Yeah it's a pain, but it does the trick.
Sorry this e-mail's kind of lame! I'll try to include something more exciting next week. I have a strong testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Listening to God's chosen servants these past few days has strengthened my testimony ten fold. I hope it was the same for all of you! Have a great week!
Love Sister Kingston
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Monday, March 28, 2011

175th Anniversary of the Kirtland Temple Dedication

Hey Everyone!
Happy Spring! It's been so bright and cheery here for the past five days! However, the high has been 30 degrees, so it still feels like winter. Mom, Im glad to hear that camp is going well! Dad, thanks for filling me in on who is planning to go on missions! It's gonna be fun for me to give them some RM advice :) Jacosa congrats on "Once on This Island" I'm sure it's a great show! I would LOVE to take President Treadway's friend on tour! 
Well, this week is kind of strange. Sister Stewart is going home and I'm heading into my last transfer. It still doesnt seem real. Ive been companions with Sister Stewart for 3 transfers (4 1/2 months) and it's been the best companionship ever! Im going to miss her a lot! However, I know this next transfer will still be great. I know who my companion will be and she's an awesome missionary. I'm determined to work super hard my last transfer and to see miracles happen. Im excited!
Yesterday we had an amazing experience. We celebrated the 175th anniversary of the dedication of the Kirtland Temple. The Kirtland Stake and the Cleveland Stake put together a special program in the Temple. There were two sessions one at 7am and the other at 6pm. We were able to receive tickets for the 7am session. It was so cool to be in the temple as the sun was rising. We were privileged to hear from five speakers. Patriarch Anderson (who gave me my patriarchal blessing) spoke on the events of the dedication. My mission president, the Kirtland Stake president, and the Columbus temple president spoke on the keys that were restored by Moses, Elias, and Elijah. (Those who hold keys spoke on the keys restored!) It was so cool! Then Elder Seldon (the area Seventy) concluded and shared with us some pretty awesome closing remarks about a variety of things. 
The best part of the whole thing was the closing hymn, The Spirit of God. The choir was made up of members of the Kirtland and Cleveland Stakes who participated in Handel's Messiah this past Christmas season. So you can imagine how good they were! There was also a live orchestra! It's hard to describe the feeling that was present as they sang. Ive never heard a choir sound like that! There wasnt a dry eye in the room. The congregation was supposed to join in the last verse, but there werent many of us who could sing at that point. It's something I will always remember.
One cool story that Elder Seldon shared with us. In 2006 President Boyd K Packer decided to come to the Kirtland Stake Conference. Elder Seldon picked him up from the airport and as they were driving asked, "President Packer, you could assign yourself to ANY stake conference. Why Kirtland?" 
"I needed a renewal", came the response.  
When Elder Seldon shared this it reminded me of the dedication of the Historic Sites here. President Gordon B. Hinckley, in the dedicatory prayer in 2003, said that this would be a place of "spiritual refreshment". I wish everyone could come to Kirtland and feel what I feel here every day. I thank Heavenly Father every day for allowing me to serve in such a sacred place!
I'm super excited for General Conference! Im curious to see if Kirtland will be mentioned? It was on a Sunday 175 years ago to the day (April 3) that Jesus Christ appeared in the Kirtland Temple. On that same day the Priesthood keys were restored by Moses, Elias, and Elijah. Read Doctrine and Covenants section 110!
Well, I love you all! I hope you have a great week! Try not to miss me too much haha!
The gospel is true!
Love Sister Kingston