Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Once Upon a Time...More Adventures in Oz

June 19, 2017
Dear Family and Friends 

I want to start of wishing my amazing Father a HAPPY FATHERS DAY!!!! I love you so much Dad! I thought about you all day yesterday and all the talks that were given reminded me of how I have the best Dad in the world! Thank you for being such a loving father. Thank you for being a protector, provider, and for always being there when I was afraid or upset. Words cannot express enough of how much I love you. You are my best friend! I love you with all my heart dad! 😘 

This week has been wonderful! Last week we got a text from this kid named Justin (he was a former investigator but couldn't get baptized until he was 18 because he said his parents were against. He must have been forgotten over the years). He texted us telling us that he was reading the Book of Mormon and wanted to know where he should start.... Sister Lee and I both looked at each other shocked!! We excitedly texted him back and told him to start from the beginning (introduction, testimonies, 1 Nephi 1 etc.) Then a few days later he texted us with some question he had. The questions were a little complex to reply by text so we asked if we could skype him and he said he would get back to us. Then, later the next night, he texted us at 3am saying, "I know you guys are asleep, but I wanted to share incredible news! I have been praying all night and reading the Book of Mormon, and prayed about the promise from Moroni 10:3-5 and Heavenly Father gave me overwhelming peace and told me the Book of Mormon is true! He also answered the questions I had texted to you. I know I want to be baptized, I just have to wait a few months..."  We texted him back the next morning and told him to write that experience down so that he could always go back to it. We then asked if we could meet him in person and show him around the church building. As we set up a time last Friday to show him around the church building. We had to get a member to be able to do that (we can't be there when it's just a single guy). We tried calling everyone and asking if they could come help us and it wasn't until the last second that we finally found someone to come with us. Sister Cocanouer was an amazing team up that was such a help in answering some of his questions.

Justin loved the church and really wants to be baptized. He told us that he actually has never told his parents about his interest in the church and was nervous to do so and that’s why he was waiting until he was 18 yrs.  We talked to him about it and told him to pray for inspiration so he could talk to them. We also talked to him about inviting them to listen and learn with him so that they could better understand as well and he was really for that. Later the next day, he texted again and said that he couldn't make it to church because it was Father's Day but that he had opened up to his mom for the first time about how he was searching religions and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was something he was really interested in, and he said that his mom seamed ok with it! It was so awesome!!

The Lord truly is preparing people and it is proof that if we are obedient and worthy to have the Spirit, we will see those miracles and be true instruments in the Lord’s hands. Justin is the most amazing and prepared person I have ever met. He knows more about the church than most teenage members do. He has seen tons of anti-Mormon websites and has heard a bunch of anti-Mormon comments from other people as well, but he said, "it was obvious that they didn't understand what they were talking about so I just moved on." He will be such a powerful and strong convert and member and I am so excited to help him and to be a witness of his conversion. Having a miracle like that makes all the door slamming worth it! 

Have I ever explained in detail the difference between Topeka and Wichita? Well I'm going to. So, Topeka is very, very hilly and almost looks like a forest (depending on where in Topeka you are. If you start heading to Holton then not really). It has roads that go vertical and horizontal like a grid, if that makes sense. Most of the roads down near the capital are all brick.... it's the worst! Driving on super old brick is difficult.... and so is walking on it! Man, I think I've almost tripped and died a million times on those roads. Sister Grover would trip daily and biff it.... I tried catching her but I sometimes wasn't fast enough haha. Topeka is also really, really dirty looking... again that's if your down by the capital on Topeka Blvd up to Farelawn. There were a lot of abandoned houses that only animals lived in or random people that didn't have a place to live.... it was pretty shady sometimes. Also 10 years ago, an insane asylum shut down and just opened the doors for all the people to just leave and wander the streets... true story! So, you also had to be aware of craziness as well... it was an Adventure!!!!

As you got closer to the church which was down 21st Street past Wanamaker on Kingsrow Road, you got the more well-off kind of people. But, that area was in Sherwood—the  ward right next to Kaw Valley, so we couldn't work there. As you drove more down 21s Street past Urish Road to Southwest Indian Hills Road you got the Big Homes! Like mansions!! And those where in our area... Sister Grover and I called it the “richhood 😂.”  We would try to tract there but no one would listen. The first day we tried three castle sized doors. The first door we tried a man answered and said, " Oh, it's the Mormons." we continued to try to talk to him and he just continued to say, "Man, I wish I had time right now to talk to about how you're an absolute cult and how the Book of Mormon is a fraud, and to help you get out but I'm busy right now so come back later," and then he closed the door... Sister Grover and I were like, "Ya, nope, not coming back to that house!" The second door we tried, the guy told is that he really like the family part of our message but was atheist so he'd pass. The third door was a lady who just very politely said she wasn't interested. It was an interesting experience.

Ok, now I'll explain my area in Wichita. So, Maize and Wichita are incredibly flat and have lots of wheat and corn fields.
Wichita has some trees but they are different looking than Topeka’s. The roads are windy which is sooo annoying!!! You get lost so easily. It is also so much cleaner and well kept (other than the dirt roads) than Topeka. The area I am serving in, there is only two kinds of homes—big, Bigger, and GIGANTIC! We once saw these teenagers riding a golf cart on their lawn it was so big... true story. There is only one small, tiny, tiiiiinny, little neighborhood with normal sized humble homes... those are on dirt roads. Since the time Sister Grover and I knocked on those big homes in Topeka I now have experience in talking to wealthier people and it has been... an adventure as well. Hmm let's see Wichita is kind of like the Roseville, Rocklin, and Folsom areas to me not so much Sacramento. But I love it here! Every area is unique and a different kind of adventure hahah! Wichita people are very different than Topeka people or Abilene people and I love it! Topekans are crazy and funny, Abileneians are more redneck and friendly, Wichitaians are more educated and religious and family oriented (in our area that is). 

That's all I can think of on how to describe the difference 😂

Ok so Here is another once upon a time story... you ready for this one?.... 

Once upon a time it was a beautiful hot... muggy...sweaty... smelly... Kansas day. These two sisters were just finishing planning their day in the nice air conditioning apartment and walked outside and...melted. One sister (me) said, "Man it is too flipping hot outside! I wish it would rain so it would cool us off a little." Little did she know that her wish would soon come true. So, they soon went on their way knocking doors and visiting with all that would listen when in the clear blue sky they saw ONE cloud.That same sister (me) said, "Come on little cloud, make some more friends." Oooh was she about to meet the rest of that clouds friends! After they had dinner at one of the member’s home, the man of the home told them to be careful that there was going to be a BIG storm tonight. The sister missionaries (one of them being me) left and that sister (me) was excited! But, she then said, "Ooooh Kansas storms are nothing. It will probably rain for 10 minutes and then sprinkle. I doubt it will be a big storm"... oh was she about to get it.

It was approximately 7pm when they started to hear thunder and see some grey clouds on one side and bright blue on the other. They thought nothing of it and continued on their way knocking on doors down a dirt road (since Kansas are full of dirt roads). Every person they met said that it was going to get windy and storm and to go home. So, after no one would listen, these sisters (yes, one of them was me) ventured to a different part of town. They were driving down Hoover Road singing to the song, "I'm gonna go on a mission" as loud as they could (well just me actually) not noticing what was going on outside when finally, one of the sisters (Sister Lee) said, "Hey look at those clouds, they're really dark... but it looks like they're going away." HA! Ya, that’s what SHE thought.

They pulled up to a neighborhood stopped the car and got out. When they got out of the car they looked behind them and froze.... the clouds were completely black with a greenish tint to them and all they could see was a THICK wall of DIRT like it was so high it looked like a part of the clouds. Both sisters gulped and looked at each other... they checked their phones looking for updates on weather from the AP's but there was nothing... so they continued on, knowing they couldn't go home unless they were told by the Zone leaders or AP's. As one of the sisters (me) was taking a picture... in the middle of the road... like a numpty... she almost was hit by a car (not really). Then, another car stopped and this really sweet man was telling us to be careful and that we shouldn't be out too long because it was going to get really stormy in about 10min.... Well, it only took 5min. When as we were talking to someone on their driveway (who wasn't very interested) the wall of dirt hit them FULL FORCE! It started to pour a thick wall of dirt rain.
The lady they were talking to told them to leave and get safely into their car... one sister (me) thought to herself, "Really... you're not going to let us in when its storming outside...?" So, the sisters ventured back to their car which was around the corner. As they were running, it became so windy that it was picking up trash cans and blowing the trees so hard that you could almost see the top of them at eye level. They got into the car and drove to the nearest shelter as it was starting to thunder and lightning was striking everywhere the eye could see with only seconds apart.

As the sister (me) drove to the nearest gas station to protect the car, she felt as though it was going to be lifted off the ground! But they made it to the gas station... alive. About that time a ward member called and ask if they were at their apartment. They said, “No,’ and told her where they were. She said that they should go INSIDE the gas station because there were winds that were clocking at about 80 MILES AN HOUR!!!! They went inside and waited for the storm to pass. They watched as tree branches blew by and all sorts of weird things... one sister (me) thought they saw a COW FLYING by....but it was just a really large black plastic garbage bag. They decided to call the zone leaders and ask if they should still be out... the zone leaders said that it was just windy but to be safe and continue to work... the sisters looked at each other and said "WHAT?!" But they decided to go visit a member that was at the church and to wait the storm out there. And so, they ventured back out into the storm and drove to the church slipping and sliding but made it there safely. It was about 8:30 pm when it finally became just rain and lighting and they were able to finish the night with talking to a few more people and dodging lightning as they walked. The one sister (me) said to her companion, "maybe I shouldn't wish for rain out loud next time..." Those sisters slept well that night. 

I know you were probably waiting for a tornado story but there wasn't one at all that day which surprised me because the clouds were like a freaky green color... I was bummed haha. 

Well that’s pretty much it for this week!! 😘

Love sister Magda 

Monday, June 26, 2017

Olympic Challenges

June 5, 2017
Dear Family and Friends

Let's see hmmm... This week our zone did a week-long challenge called “The Wichita Zone Olympics.” There were three teams, which are the Wellington team, the Valley Center team, and then the Zone leaders. There were two districts to a team... except for the zone leaders. They were a one companionship team. Each day the zone leader texted out the challenge for the day. Wednesday was “how many people can you talk to”, Thursday was “how many times can you share the first vision”, Friday was “how many people can you commit to coming to church”, Saturday was “how many missionary materials can you pass out (pass along cards, Book of Mormon, pamphlets etc)”, and Sunday was “how many people can you teach about sacrament.” It was all really fun! 

For the first challenge, Sister Lee and I went for it super hard talking to everyone we saw. By the end of the day we had talked to 21 new people! That was even after we had spent 3 hours of our day doing weekly planning and we didn't go out until about 3pm! But it was also a really challenging day for us as well because out of the 21 people we talked to, we had only found 1 potential investigator. Everyone rejected us and most in a very mean way, but we kept going and doing our best to stay positive and uplifted. The Lord was definitely giving us tender mercies throughout the day though and lifting our spirits with all kinds of things which helped.

This one door contact made me laugh so hard! I had felt like we needed to knock on this door so we did. This guy opens the door and the first thing he says was "Mormons!" My first thought was "oh no.." he went on to just spew all this anti Mormon information for like 10 minutes and Sister Lee was starting to fight back a little and that’s when I politely said that it was nice to meet him and then we left.
The reason it was so funny was because as he was talking about all this anti stuff he was like acting it all out like he was on stage or something...it took a lot not to laugh out loud because it was hilarious.

After that night was over we both were pretty exhausted and felt really down that no one would listen to us. I remember feeling so hurt and couldn't understand what we could have done wrong that no one would let us in or even let us talk, but then a remembered a talk that was given by Elder Holland where he expressed that it was never easy for Jesus Christ so it’s not going to be easy for us. 

Thursday, we shared The First Vision with three people. Sister Lee and I would role play in the car how we were going to share it in our door contacts so that we weren't going in blind because the Lord can only help if we are prepared. So, the first door Sister Lee was going to share and then the next one I was going to share it. We get to the door and Sister Lee was like, "nope can't do it" and before I could say anything the door opened. We talked to this lady and her daughter for about 8 min before I found a way to tie what she was talking about to The First Vision. I thought that it went sloppy but the lady and her daughter listened and then afterwards said that we could come back and continue to teach her and her family. I was shocked and excited at the same time it was pretty awesome! We set up an appointment for that Saturday.

For Friday, Saturday, and Sunday we had mostly a difficult time being able to accomplish the rest of the challenges but our team got second place! We almost got first but the Wellington district won the last challenge (“How many people can you teach about the sacrament”).  

Also, on Thursday, at like 7 pm, we were walking and suddenly “Kansas” thought it would be a good idea to start storming out of nowhere! The sun was out on one side and then SUPER dark clouds on the other side. The wind was crazy and it started pouring down rain like someone had turned on a shower full blast! Sister lee and I didn't have jackets and we had one small umbrella that broke after we opened it from the wind... then it started to hail pebble sized hail on us! we looked at each other and started laughing because it was just so random.
We continue to walk to where we were going. When we got to the house we were headed to, before we could even knock, the door swung open and this guy was like, "hurry come inside!" We did and he handed us a towel and told us that we were crazy. He said that we could stay until the storm passed and asked if it was ok if it was just him and his son at home because his wife was in Kansas City. We told him that we couldn't stay there without his wife present but thanked him for offering. He then got out this huge umbrella and said, "well at least take this. It will last better in the wind". We thanked him for the umbrella and ventured back out into the storm. It was a eventful half hour that’s for sure!

We also got “parked” on Saturday for three days because we went 72 miles over our 800 ... that sucked! (Missionaries can drive only so many miles per month. If they go over that, they must park their car and walk or find rides for the rest of that month). So, we rode our bikes all day in the rain on Saturday. I kept track of how many miles we went and it was about 20 miles total... let’s just say we couldn't walk when we got home... or the next day really.
That night Sister Lee found an Ice pack that was made for your muscles and could wrap around your back and legs and stuff. I wanted one too, so I went to the freezer to look for one but sadly I could only find ONE frozen water bottle... but I still used that and tied it to me leg with a towel... it worked a little.

Well that’s pretty much my whole week. Minus all the tiny details haha. Today we are going to the zoo with the whole zone! This will be my first time to the Sedgwick county zoo and I have heard its beautiful. I’ll take lots of pictures.

Love you!
Sister Magda 

Hello from the Maize Ward

May 22, 2017
Dear friends and family,

This week was crazy! We met some pretty cool people, and some really mean people. But that’s missionary life. We moved into the elders’ old apartment and it smells like B.O, and it looked like they had never cleaned it. Because of that, this morning we cleaned, and made it smell nice. Then, we went shopping at Walmart because we were out of chicken nuggets... that’s pretty much all we eat now hahah! Chicken nuggets and lemonade—it’s pretty good. That’s all we did for our P-day. We might try to go see my recent convert, Kala who lives in the Rolling Hills Ward. (My very first area!) I haven’t seen her in a year so I’m excited!
Sister Magda got to see her friend after all!

Last Monday I got to see the Maxwell family! They are like my Kansas grandparents! I love them soo much !! We visited for about an hour and it was so nice. They are moving June 10th to Derby then I won’t be able to see them till I come back to Kansas after my mission. But, Sister Maxwell gave me her new address and insisted I come back to see them after the mission. I promised I would.

This week nothing that eventful happened. We had to huge storms and a tornado that was 45 min away but we kept working though it except a member updated us like every second on what the weather was doing
. When the tornado was 45 min away she called us and said to come to the shelter... the sirens weren't even going off but she insisted we come.
When we told her that we can't go in until the sirens go off she said that we needed to come over and share a spiritual message with their family so that we could come... it was funny because the storm wasn't even bad it was like partly sunny and not even raining but she was scared that the tornado would change directions quickly.

We also knocked on a lot of doors this week and we had this lady answer and she said she was a pastor at another church. We told her our purpose is not to take away from her faith but to help build it and asked if we could share our message with her family. She was really sweet at first then she asked what church we represent and when we told her that we were from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saint she said, “Oh!” and slammed the door.  What do you say to that?  We had to laugh.  And walk away.

We also met a guy that just moved from Boston but he wasn't too interested. He did have a cool accent though! Hmmm any pet stories...... oh I got to pet a calico kitty that was sitting on a fence and then it decided to follow me around for like 20 min. When it was storming, someone’s pet bunnies got loose and so we tried to catch them but they weren't having it haha! 
They ran every which way and then into someone’s yard... hope they didn't have a dog because then they would be dog food haha!

Well that’s all I can think of for this week sorry if it’s a little dull. Next week will be an email full of miracles because the Lord has so much in store for the Maize Ward and all we as missionaries must do is get out of the way and do and be what He needs us to be!!


Sister Magda