Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Daily Hope is Vital

Hello My Family :)
What a week it has been. I don't really know where to start... It's overwhelming to think about Grandpa, and all of me just wants to be there with you. :( It's hard to remember much of the week when everything is so sad. But I'm blessed to be able to teach the Plan of Salvation a few times almost every week. I don't know how people survive situations like this without knowing what we know. I am so grateful to know we'll see him again and so grateful to know that he can still be a part of our lives, even after he's gone. It's heart breaking. But when we're where the Lord wants us to be, we are blessed with His peace.
Elder Maxwell once said "Daily hope is vital, since the 'Winter Quarters' of our lives are not immediately adjacent to our promised land either. An arduous trek still awaits, but hope spurs weary disciples on." I've gathered a lot of strength from that quote.
This week has been good though. We taught 19 lessons! :) We were teaching Jobie and he told us about how he loves to share the gospel with his friends. I started pulling some pass along cards out of my backpack and he was SO excited. We gave him about 20 and like two days later he told us he needed more! haha he's so so great. We gave him more, and on our way down the elevator he handed out cards to the people in the elevator! We need to learn from him.

Sure sister, let's knock that door!! (It says Filthy, Mice on it! haha)
We were contacting on Times Square again this week and we had like 7 members come up to us and say hi! It was so exciting to see friendly faces!! One of them was from Oklahoma City and I told him my MTC companion was reassigned there. As it turns out, he is the bishop where Sister Cleveland is serving right now!!!!!! How cool is that?! He called her on the phone and before I knew what was happening, he handed it to me and Sister Cleveland and I were like blubbering on the phone to each other. haha awhhh small world.

View from a members roof
Also, we found the 3 Train this week. That thing takes you 80 blocks in 10 minutes!!!!!!! WHAT?! Not that we ever need to go 80 blocks. But we did this week. And it only took 10 minutes. In NYC. How cool is that?!
We had zone conference this week! It was a multi zone thing, and Elder Carlson (of the seventy) came and talked to us. Something I loved was that he talked about goats vs sheep. How sheep are so willing to follow the Shepherd. At night, when the wolves come out and start howling, the sheep are all scared and running around. But when the Shepherd comes out and talks to them and stands with them, they can even go back to sleep just knowing He's there. The goats, however, just run away and the Shepherd has to find them again (if they're still alive) in the morning. I thought about this a lot. In my life, on my mission, when the wolves are howling and I'm scared and going through trials, I can find comfort in just knowing that He is there watching over me. I don't have to run away or keep being scared because the Shepherd is in control. Let's all be sheep. haha really though.
Family, I love you. My heart aches for us all this week. Know that I'm there with you in spirit, and that I'm praying for you and that I'm so grateful to be blessed with the greatest family in the world. I am so so grateful for you all. Thanks for always being there for me.
I love you!!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Singing in the Rain

Hello Family!!

Epic rainstorm!
How is everyone?! It's so good to hear from you all!! Thank you so much for your emails and letters! :) This week has been good. It has been raining like CRAZY and cooling off a bit, so I feel a bit more at home. haha seriously though - we had the most INSANE rainstorm on Thursday! We were on the subway home and when we got off, we saw a ton of people waiting inside the station. We were like "psshhh... we can handle a little rain... step aside pansies!" (Don't worry, we didn't say any of that.) I stepped outside and INSTANTLY I was DRENCHED. Not even kidding, I was SOAKED (yes, those words needed to be yelled). Luckily I had my raincoat on, but it wasn't exactly zipped up until I was already well drenched. haha I had so much fun though! We started booking it home because we couldn't stand the walk of shame back into the station soaking wet, so we ran. I love running in the rain, but that was like... running in the shower! And that's just weird.

All wet from the storm
Anyways, we had a lot of fun and laughed and maybe screamed the whole way home. No, we only screamed when we had to cross the streets because it was basically a river. Not even kidding, the water went up to my ankles on the shallowest part we could find to cross. My poor shoes! haha but it was SO AWESOME. Like, puddle jumping. Only unavoidable. haha We stopped to take pictures and then ran the rest of the way home. When we got inside we had to ring out our socks, skirts... everything. And my watch STILL has water in it. I don't think that's a good thing, but it's still working. haha maybe I should have gone for waterproof. Oh well... It was crazy! haha I got some good pictures. Don't worry. That was a good day.

Eating dinner on a member's roof!
The next day, we went to our Relief Society President's house for dinner. She served in Rio, and she knows I'm a visa waiter, so she made us a Brazilian meal! Beans, rice, and pao de queijo!!!!! It was so good! Then she made me teach our lesson in Portuguese and only talked to me in Portuguese! I almost cried, I was so excited! haha It was so so good. Our Ward Mission Leader, and one of our Ward Missionaries also served in Brazil, so it's basically awesome. I make them speak to me in Portuguese, so at least I'm getting a little practice right? It's so nice.
We also got to attend an ASL Baptism this week! There are ASL Elders who serve in the deaf ward here. They had a baptism this week and... have you ever thought about how people who sign give blessings? Or say a baptismal prayer? I sure hadn't, but it was pretty cool to see. haha it's basically the same, they just put their hands on your head, sign, and then put them back on your head to close. Anyways, it was a very beautiful baptism, and also just very interesting. haha 
Jobie received the priesthood on Sunday!! He's so great. We're so excited for him! Rob has gone almost 4 days without smoking, which is pretty incredible. KJ and Aimee are so much fun to teach! They keep all their commitments and even go beyond. Last week we asked Aimee to listen to Elder Holland's talk - Safety For the Soul. She came back and had listened to like 5 general conference talks and had gone to see the CES Broadcast (which none of us where able to go to... haha)! They're so cool. 
We kept accidently matching outfits all week!  Look at these pictures ha ha!
Lets see... not much else happened this week, but it's been good. It's starting to feel a bit more normal now, so that's nice. And waking up at 6:30 is starting to get better. I'm still not a fan of having to exercise that early, but I'm getting there. haha I've still been reading my Portuguese BOM every day and I've passed where I am in my English studies! Mwahaha! I've been reading D&C during my English studies, so that helps. But anyways. D&C is really cool to read while you're on a mission. I'm pretty sure that entire book was made for me. :) jk... but really. Sister Weyandt (Why-ant) and I have fun and we work hard. It's a good combo. haha
Sometimes my companion gets bored
while I do my language studies
and she decides to do my hair.  Hahaha


Oh one more thing...our apartment complex. The smoke alarms here? THEY'RE AWFUL. Seriously, every time we cook they go off. And every time any one else cooks... theirs go off. Last night at like midnight, I was startled awake by our neighbors smoke alarm. I thought I smelled smoke so I started panicking and realizing there's no way I could ever open our fire-escape window. I was about to go start packing my bags (you know, cuz that's smart) when I realized I was being ridiculous and irrational and there was no smoke. I tried to go back to sleep, but I was scared I'd dream of fire. And I did... it took me ages to fall asleep, but I dreamed that the Manhattan temple burned down. We were in it, and I smelled smoke and had to yell at everyone to get out. I ran down to all the basement floors and people had already passed out, so me and my super human strength carried them outside. haha Apparently I'm a fire hero now. 
Twin Tower beams on September 11th

I hope you are doing well! I love you so so so so much! Thanks for being so supportive and helpful. I miss you! 
ate mais!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Jobie Baptized on Dad's birthday! :)

Oi Minha Familia!

I can't believe it's already Wednesday again! But at the exact same time it feels like it's been a century since I last wrote. haha time here is so so weird. 
Jobie's baptism day :)

We had our first baptism on Saturday!! Happy Birthday to Dad! :D haha it was such a wonderful experience. Jobie is so incredible - we've learned so much from him. There was a really good turnout from the ward there which was so good too. I feel like we learned more from Jobie than anything else. He came to us prepared, and we just sat back and watched a miracle unfold. That day was truly a blessing. 
 We found Waverly Place!!

We also learned a little more about how the online proselyting will go! Apparently we WILL keep our old accounts and are allowed to share pictures and stories on facebook! We will also be able to keep blogs and accounts. I heard that we have to 'hide' everything (pictures, posts, etc.) not mission related on our facebook timelines in order to use our old accounts. That will be interesting... BUT we may also be allowed to use skype to teach friends from home if they want to know more. I'm not sure how that will work. It's crazy. The work in the states is changing so much! All teaching records and progress reports will be on the iPad... so basically we still have no idea what it will be like. But it's gonna be incredible. I wonder if other countries are doing similar things. I'm sure Brazil won't have iPads, but I wonder if the missionaries there will be allowed to do online proselyting also. hhhmmm... so very crazy!
Favorite place along the gorgeous pier in NYC

Teaching has been going well! We teach A LOT. I miss teaching in Portuguese though! haha I've been reading the Book of Mormon every day in Portuguese and that has really been good for me. I think I'm in chapter 8 right now and it's starting to get easier to read without my English Book of Mormon. But words like "wherefore" and "nevertheless" have taken me a while to sort out. haha I miss speaking Portuguese, but I really am grateful for the opportunity I have to teach in English for a while and feel like I'm making some sense. I still don't make much sense in English, but I'm trying. haha 
The far left building with the unicorn horn is the MetLife building, then you can also see the Empire State building and the Chrysler building (far right) yayy!!  

It's pretty incredible to be in New York City on this day. I walk by the new Freedom Tower every single day and I've gotten to see the Twin Towers light the past few nights. It's actually really cool - they have this HUGE spotlight that shines where the Twin Towers used to be - kind of representing the other tower that stands by the Freedom tower now. I get chills every time I see it. This city has been through a lot the past few years. The people are so wonderful though. I'm so happy to be here. 
Cool graffiti

Happy Birthday to our sweet little nephew, Braylon!! What a cutie pie - I miss that little guy! I miss you all. But as of yesterday I've been out two months! CRAZY RIGHT?! The time is flying. And crawling. And all of the above. But even when the times are hard - which they definitely are sometimes - there is joy to be found and I'm grateful for that. And I'm so grateful for the support of my amazing family and friends to lift me up. I love you all!! Have a great week!!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Are You the Mormons? :)

Hello family!!!

It has been quite the week! Let me tell you. Things are CRAZY!! haha 

Straw glasses Jen sent me!  Ha ha I LOVE them! :)

Jobie is still on track to be baptized on Dad's Birthday Saturday! I can't remember what I told you about him, but he is seriously incredible. He found us. Well, he found the sisters here like 2 days before I got here. But he came up to them and said "Are you the Mormons?" Then asked them to come teach him. On his first lesson, HE ASKED to be baptized. haha Every lesson we've taught him, he's ended up teaching us. Seriously, he has taught us every lesson. He just knows. On Sunday, he was the very first one up to bear his testimony. Last week, he went around after sacrament meeting and introduced himself to like everyone in the ward. So cool. haha We're excited for him. We are still teaching SO many lessons. This week we have over 16 lessons planned, which is pretty good. We don't have time to go contacting or tracting because we're always teaching! I love it. People keep just falling into our laps and we have been so blessed. Yesterday we had an appointment fall through and we -did- finally get to go contacting on TIMES SQUARE!!! hahaha!!! How cool is that?! I was super nervous at first and when people wouldn't take my card I would freak out a little, but then I started handing out the family search cards and everyone takes those! Seriously, I had so many people asking about family search - we ran out of cards in like 20 minutes. haha It's an amazing missionary tool because they always ask about our tags and why we're there, etc. so... it's a win win. Promoting my brothers work AND sharing the gospel. haha anyway... Contacting actually got fun after a while. Even when no one wanted to take the card, it wasn't as terrifying after being ignored like 80 times. And when you can keep a smile on your face, people always want your card. That's what I learned.
View from my house!! :)

Our refrigerator broke this week!! And all our food went bad. That was sad. But we also got to eat pizza every day for dinner because we didn't have any food and we're not supposed to go grocery shopping except on P-Day. haha ooooh the things we sacrifice. :P Just kidding - I'm sure we could have bought food... but it was a great excuse for pizza. Jen, have you heard of Gotham Pizza? That's my favorite so far. haha Seriously though - it was crazy. But our fridge is fixed and we went shopping this morning! WOOT!
In the kitchen

Some of my favorite things about New York: The pizza. Definitely the pizza. Also, the people. Seriously, people here just don't care what other people think. Sometimes that's not so great. But other times it is the coolest thing ever! People sit on the subway with their headphones in and sing at the top of their lungs! I think Katelyn and I would fit in well. haha Yesterday we were walking and I heard someone singing behind us. He had such a ... soul-full voice and was just singing as he walked down the road! I turned around and he was in some sort of official uniform, but he was waving at people and smiling. It was just so happy! Also, people come and perform on the subways. ALL the time. So far, I've only heard "My Girl" and "Build me up Buttercup" but yesterday while they were singing, the guy said "Uh-oh! Sisters, don't tell your mission president you heard music on the train!" hahaha! We laughed. It was great. Another thing I love is the moment about 30 seconds before the train comes. You know it's coming because the wind picks up and it is SO HOT in the subway stations that everyone stands up and completely embraces the wind. It's so cool (literally). And because then you know you only have to wait 30 more seconds before the train comes. haha It's such a weird phenomenon. But I love it.
On the subway

The subway was COMPLETELY EMPTY which was a little terrifying cuz it's never empty. So we took pictures cuz we couldn't look like tourists if no one was around! Turns out the AC was broken so no one would use that car. haha

Anyway... there have been some good times here in NYC. I can't believe I'm LIVING in Manhattan! haha it still blows my mind sometimes. Something cool that I'm not sure I told you about yet is that our mission president has really been pushing the idea of consecration as missionaries. Giving everything (our fears, thoughts, feelings... anything that can hold us back) to the Lord. Doing everything in our power to be worthy of his trust. President set a mission goal of every companionship baptizing in September. Now, mission average per month is 14 baptisms. Already, there are over 80 planned for this month. It's insane. The Lord is surely preparing His people. Most of the stories here have been "they found us" stories just like with Jobie. We just have to do our part and show the Lord our faith to see the miracles. It's amazing. Another crazy thing is that our mission will be receiving iPads next month!!!!!!!!! AHHH. It's insane. EVERY missionary gets an iPad, and every companionship gets an iPhone. I may or may not get one since I'm a visa waiter... but it's still cool to see the changes happening in missionary work. 

I love you all so much!!! Thank you so much for your support and for reading my silly rambling letters. I love being a missionary, and I love being in New York. I read this morning in D&C 6:33-37 and I think you should all read it. "Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sow good ye shall also reap good for your reward. Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail. Behold I do not condemn you; go your ways and sin no more; perform with soberness the work which I have commanded you. Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not. Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. Amen." 

I just love the comfort those verses bring. Fear not, little flock; do good. (: Now is the time. Let's do it. haha I love you all!! You are the greatest. I miss you. I'm so grateful to have such an amazing family. 

Sister King