Sister Stewart & Sister Kingston

Sister Stewart & Sister Kingston

Monday, February 22, 2010

Great Fireside!

                          My Companion, Sister Wilks, and Me

Hey Dad and Family,
First of all, Mom I'm sorry I didn't respond to your e-mail from last week. I saw it today for the first time, so it must have been sent after I was done e-mailing. Sorry! I don't think I'll get to see yours this week either :(
Dad it was good to hear from ya. Sounds like you had a good/busy week. I'm glad to hear Charter's concert went well! Tell Melba I said hello. I forgot to tell you guys that I saw her Sister when I was in the MTC :) We took a pic together!
Tell Mariana I said HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Im glad the party went well. Hopefully Katrina will feel better soon.
Ok I'll do my best to answer your questions. The ward boundaries are pretty large, but my companion and I only cover 1/4 of the Kirtland ward. There are 4 sets of missionaries (8 Sisters in total) who serve in the Kirtland ward. As a result the ward is split into 4 districts. Each companionship covers a different district. The only trouble we have with the district system is trying not to exhaust our member resources. We are supposed to only use members within our respective districts to go teaching with us. The same people end up volunteering. But we're coming up with a system that will hopefully change that. Plus we have the Bishop's support, he told us to let him know if anyone refuses to go teaching with us because he will take their Temple recommend away. I was like, "Whoa!" Yes, all of the people that we work with live within the Kirtland ward and within our district. And yes we do teach recent converts and less actives. We also teach a few part member familes and active families. We are given six focus families from the ward and we are supposed to have 10 lessons (total) each week. This is called the 20 lessons program, which has recently been instituted by the brethren of the church. (We only teach 10 lessons a week since we are at Sites half the time). The main point of the 20 lessons program is to build up the members and make them better member missionaries. We just started the program, but I'm hoping for great things to come from it!
The Butterfields are from Southern Utah. Elder Butterfield is the Site Director, which is basically like the "Mission President" of Sites. The call normally lasts for two years, but the First Presidency extended their call for full extra year. So lucky for me they will be here for most of my mission (until January of 2011). I love them they are AWESOME! Elder Butterfield used to be a Mission President in Southern California and he's such an inspiring man! Sister Butterfield is such a sweet lady too :)
I'll just share a brief story with you from this week. Every third Sunday we hold an investigator fireside at Sites. Missionaries from throughout the mission bring their investigators. Last night's fireside was SO GOOD!
Sister Wilks and I had three investigators there, the Abplanalps (who we tracted into) and a kid named Larry Gaillard. Larry is 13 years old and he will be getting baptized this Saturday. We teach him about three times a week. He comes from a very disfunctional family and has some learning disabilities so we try to meet with him as much as possible so that he can retain the information we teach and so that we can be a positive influence on him. Anywho, all of our investigators really loved the fireside. There were quite a few talks including one from an A.P., Elder Butterfield, the Stake President, and the Mission Presdident. They all did a great job! There was one talk, though, that stood out to me and I think to everyone there. It was given by a man named Darrin, who is a recent convert of the church. He told his conversion story, and it was POWERFULL! Darrin was baptized in August 2009. Before his baptism, he basically lived on the streets. He was a drug dealer, an alcoholic, he had been shot multiple times, he dropped out of high school, and so on. In his own words he said, "I wasn't right." He said when the missionaries found him he could feel something different. He gained a testimony fairly quickly, was baptized, and did a 180! He now holds the Melchizedek (sp?) Priesthood, has been to the Columbus Temple about five times to do Baptisms for his ancestors, has Baptized three of his friends into the church, and is preparing to serve a full time mission! He had to get special permission from the First Presidency to serve a mission because he will be turning 26 soon and the maximum age for Elders is 25. He is a great example to me about the power of The Atonement! It is for EVERYONE!
Well, I have to go now. Thanks for everything! I love all of you and pray for you daily! The gospel is true!
Sister Kingston

Monday, February 15, 2010

Reflections of Christ

Hey Everyone,
Glad to hear you had a good Valentines day! Wow, I cant believe you got iphones! I'd love to see you two try and figure out how to use them haha. Thanks so much for the package Mom and Dad, it was GREAT! It was pretty low key here. Our ward didn't do anything special, but we had a missionary farewell so it was a good Sunday. Elder Jeff Moss is headed to Manchester England :) We were gonna have a little tea party at sites but two of the sisters are sick so it threw off the schedule . Sister Frisch has the chicken pox! She had them when she was a little kid but for some reason got them again. Yikes!
Even though it snows here we still get tours every now and then. We also have a new exhibit up so we're getting more busy. I love giving tours of the "Reflections" exhibit! The pictures are beautiful and I love telling the story of Christ and testifying of him.
We had a cool lesson this week with two of our investigators. On Saturday we taught the Abplanalps (pronounced Apple-naps). They are the older couple we tracted into who let us in and fed us lunch about a month ago. We meet with them every Saturday. We were frustrated last week after the lesson. They are intellectual and love learning about the Book of Mormon and our religion but they werent applying it to themselves. This week we had a break through. We taught them the Gospel of Jesus Christ (lesson 3). I talked about the Holy Ghost and explained who he is, his purpose, and how we can receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. Sister Wilks then told the story about how we tracted into the Abplanalps. She told them how we had been tracting for quite some time and had no success. The car was parked near Abplanalps' house and we almost passed them up. But we followed the spirit and knocked on their door. As she told this story Jocelynn started to cry. She felt the spirit! It was AWESOME! Then we asked them, if they came to know that the things we've taught them are true, would they be prepared to be baptized by someone holding the proper authority. They said "Sure!" It was amazing and Im excited for them. They've made the connection and know that this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ! :)
Well I have to go now. Hope everything is going well! I love all of you!
Love Sister Kingston
P.S. Just wanted to say a quick thank you to Jaycee for giving me referrals! I was able to get a hold of one of her friends and she accepted to have the dvd "Finding Faith in Christ" delivered by the missionaries! Oh and Auntie Leslie thank you too! I called your friend Kaye. She's having the dvd sent to her through the mail, so no missionary visit...yet. Youve planted the seed though! :)

Monday, February 8, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Glad the family had a good superbowl sunday! I was thinking of you guys yesterday. Thankyou to everyone who wrote me this week! I received the most mail I've ever gotten in one one week! :)I will be writing some hand written letters today and sending them your way! Dad I got all of your emails too. Thanks for sending those! Sorry they never went through Lol. Im glad You bore your testimonies! I wish I would have done that more often when I was home. But now I get to do it everyday :) We had an awesome testimony meeting yesterday! Four of the youth got up and bore their testimonies about missionary work. A 15 year old girl named Rikki, who was baptized in October, talked about how members need to get more involved in missionary work. It was AWESOME! She then told an experience she had when she went teaching with Sister Wilks and me. It brought tears to my eyes (no surprise there! haha). Before my mission I didnt realize how important it was to be a member missionary. Its crucial to the work and I am so grateful for those members who get involved, it makes all the difference!
I wanted to share a quick story with you. The other day we had it in our plans to tract for 45 minutes before we had to go to sites. Unfortunately, we had an appointment that ran long so we ended up only having 15 minutes. I thought to myself, "This is going to be pointless...we cant find anyone in 15 minutes." However, I pushed those thoughts out of my head and decided to have a postitive attitiude. We started knocking on doors and low and behold no one was answering. Our time was about up and we were about to head back to the car. We both looked at our watches and decided to try one more house. I knocked on the door and to my surprise, someone answered! Even more surprising she didnt slam the door in our face! haha Her name is Nakisha, a woman probably in her thirties, with the cutest little family! I told her who we were and that we go around sharing a message that Christ's church has been restored to the earth. Her responose was, "Yes it has!" I was grinning from ear to ear! We then told her about The Book of Mormon and asked if we could come back and bring her a copy. She said yes, so we set an appointment to go back Tuesday (tomorrow). I instantly felt a love for Nakisha and I cant wait to go back! After she shut the door we headed for the car and I started running down the street. Sister Wilks said, "Are you running because youre cold?" I said, "No Im running because Im happy about Nakisha!" lol She then started running with me and we were jumping around yelling, "We're spreading the good news!" hahahaha. I know, Im weird and we must have looked rediculous but that's what happens when youre a missionary. You should try it sometime, it's fun!!
Well, I have to go now sorry this ones a bit short. Hope you all are doing well and thanks for everything! I love you!!! Have a happy valentines day!
Love Sister Kingston
p.s. Hey mom, the Sisters want to have a tea party (herbal of course) for valentines day so I was wondering if you could send me a recipe for scones. It would have to be sent snail mail though, so you would need to send it ASAP. If you dont have time, no worries, just thought I'd ask. Love ya!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Transfer Week!

       I live in Hyrum Smith's house!
Wow it sounds like you had a busy week! Im glad Maile had a successful birthday! Hope you took some pics!
Hey, when you mentioned Ronnie Hallam I remembered that I forgot to tell you to tell her that her Grandson taught my Large Group Meetings at the MTC. He was a really good teacher!
Well, it's a bit crazy here in Kirtland! It's transfer week. We're getting five new Sisters and the only Sister leaving is Sister Zirker (one of the training sisters). There will be a lot of changes, but we dont know exactly what until Wednesday. We were told who's getting transferred but we dont know where to. My comp and I are staying, so at least I dont have to worry about packing! Im a bit sad though because one of the sisters that Ive grown closest with, we think she's going full proselyting. Which means that we wont see her for at least a few months maybe even longer :( Oh well, we know that the Lord knows best and she will be needed where ever she goes!
I wanted to share a quick story with all of you. I think of it as a small miracle. Every Tuesday, all 20 Kirtland sisters, have a training meeting. The training sisters and the Butterfields (the site director and his wife) give workshops and lessons on things they feel we need. This past Tuesday we had a combined meeting with the Senior couples because we were discussing the new exhibit, which will open up here in the next couple weeks. The exhibit will be "Reflections" the photographs by Mark Mabury (go to to see the pics). Anywho, towards the end of the meeting Elder Butterfield was talking about referral cards and how our main goal with every exhibit is to get referrals. He then told a story about a referral that was received from the Nativity exhibit. He said he received an email from a member of a local ward here in the Cleveland area. The member said that last Sunday she was sitting in sacrament meeting and was surprised to see a woman she had known almost all her life, who she knew was a non member, sitting a few rows ahead of her. She went on to say that she felt ashamed that she never opened her mouth and shared the gospel with her, but she was grateful that her friend went to the exhibit and self referred. (To self refer means that the woman who visited the exhibit marked the box on the comment card to have the missionaries visit). Elder Butterfield went on to bear testimony of referral cards. As he did so, I felt a tap on my shoulder and someone behind me hands me a small piece of paper that was folded in half. The outside said "SISTER KINGSTON!" I opened it and read, "The woman who Elder Butterfield is talking about, the one who self referred is Aggie. It all started with you!" My heart was full and my eyes were instantly filled with tears. Aggie came to the Nativity exhibit. I visited with her and instantly felt a strong love for her. She's an older woman, in her 60's and is the sweetest thing! I talked with her for a bit and then gave her a comment card (referral card) right before she went in to watch the six minute nativity movie. When she came out of the theatre she gave me her card, said thankyou for visiting, and headed for the door. I looked at the card and read her comments but I was bummed because I noticed that she didnt mark the box to have the missionaries visit. At that moment I felt prompted to try and catch her before she left the visitor center. I found her in the lobby and talked with her for a bit longer and she accepted to have the missionaries over! About a week later Sisters Barker and Shoemann (who serve in her area) told me that they were meeting with her and that she is solid. They said when they first met her that she asked for me :) This experience taught me a lot. Dont ignore the promptings of the spirit! You never know what can happen! Just open your mouths!
Well, I have to go now but I love all of you and hope you have a great week! Thanks for all your support, youre the BEST! I miss you tons! Talk to ya next week!
Sister Kingston