Friday, November 15, 2013

The After Life

So I'm back and have a new blog.  It's in case you're interested in the adventurings of a RM.

The gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored and a true and living prophet guides His church.  Keep sharing the truth y'all!

Monday, September 16, 2013

"Something Big Is Happening"

This past Tuesday, we did not go to Windemere, the care center where we volunteer to help, because we went to an Interfaith Council instead!  Today they learned about how to use Facebook in their ministry. It was really awesome.  I wish we had permission to start using Facebook as missionaries. However, President is still trying to figure out a way for missionaries to use it without abusing it.  It made me excited to use it for the work of the Lord, though, when ever I get the chance!  We also made some really good connections with other churches and were set up with the Island Food Pantry when they start in mid-October.
   We then did a lot of waiting for the bus because the buses in Up Island only run every hour.  That night we had a dinner with the Browns [President Brown is the Branch President], which is always fun. They told us that they were setting up a thank-you dinner with their friends that helped them move and they would like us there. Yes!  
   Wednesday, we had a lesson with Dan!!!!  It was incredible and amazing.  We taught the Plan of Salvation because we felt like that is what he needed to be the first lesson.  And were we right!  At the very beginning he had questions about being sealed to his family and how that would work if they weren't members... (this stemmed from the theme of last Sunday being families and eternal families.) It was so awesome.  He accepted a baptismal invite but not the date we asked about.  I knew it was a little soon, the 28th, but both Sister Klecker and I were hopeful to have a baptism before I left.  The Lord is working within Dan and he told us he would like to KNOW before baptism so it wasn't just something he was doing to do. I know with my heart that if he continues to do the things that he is doing and we can continue to have amazing lessons with him he will be ready by the end of October.  He is another step closer to returning to our dear Heavenly Father.
   Thursday, we went walking around a cemetery with Sister Bilodeau to take pictures of gravestones to upload through an app to Billion Graves [].  It's a cool website for family history and actually mapping graveyards.  A really awesome thing for historians and genealogy folk.  Yes, I willing, once again, went to a graveyard.  We actually cut through one quite frequently when we are in Tisbury.  They aren't as creepy as the ones on the West coast.  haha.
   Then we helped out at the Food Pantry putting food away for when they open in mid-October. We then stopped by the home of a less active to drop off a manual because he is trying to come back. It was a good way to end the day.
   Friday we had our District meeting!  We video chatted this week, using the Brown’s computer. [Attending District Meeting in person requires a trip off Island & takes almost a full day of travel]. The Zone Leaders gave grief because we weren't there. They said something along the lines of "The Elders came every week!"  Then Sister Brown called from the other room, "That's because the Sisters are more productive!"  It was hilarious.
   After District meeting we helped Sister Brown bring up boxes from the basement so she could sort through for a tag sale.  
   On Sunday, I was part of a really awesome Sacrament meeting.  President Brown asked about 6 different members to stand and give their testimony of the Book of Mormon and he also asked me to do it.  It was incredible to hear the different testimonies.  Truly amazing.
   After Church we helped Betsy, from Windemere, move.  It was originally supposed to be on Saturday but the truck fell through so it was changed to Sunday.  It was a really good contact.
   Then we went on splits. Both of us had really good experiences.
   I cannot deny that this is the true Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Work of Salvation is hastening.  Something big is happening. Will we continue to be a part of it?  

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

The Next Six Weeks In.....?

So to get questions out of the way, I am going to be ending my mission in.......Martha's Vineyard!  
I will be companions with Sister Klecker.  She has been out for three months.  I am excited to see the Island calm down and to be able to see Fall here.  Some leaves are already changing color to vibrant orange and yellow.  Most, however, are still deep green. 

Windemere went great this week.  The two women over the Rec department are who we think have potential.  Mary wasn't there the past week because her father died and she has been off Island. We are very sad for her but also think this is a good time to bring up the plan of salvation.  She will be back next week so Sister Klecker and I will talk to her then.

Our lessons with Keila and Jr. haven't been happening but we were able to see them Monday night and establish that they will keep teaching us.  I'm excited to learn more Portuguese.

We weren't able to see Jamie while Sister Spears was here.  However while at Windemere today singing hymns with Sister Brown (she goes and plays there sometimes) Sister Spears stuck her head in the door while she was waiting for her daughter!   So we finally got to meet Jamie and invite her to the Branch activity on Monday!  Another miracle of the week.

I can't believe that time is winding down here.  But I'm doing my best to stay focused.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Sister K. is experiencing a little bit of anxiety this week. Saturday is when the texts arrive informing the missionaries where the new assignments will be. This will be the second to last T-text of her mission. The next one will be no surprise in that she will be finishing and leaving the MBM.

She has her "druthers" of where she would like to serve the last 6 weeks of her mission. She has loved her time serving on Martha's Vineyard. There are some great members of the Church living there. She has loved the families there. Where she would like to serve would be like "going home" before she actually goes home. There are currently no Sisters serving in this area so it would be "shotgunning." However, no matter what, she has always expressed that whatever and wherever the Lord decides is where she will willingly serve. To date, she has had the opportunity to serve in some pretty amazing places with some very wonderful people. A lot of those people will be friends for a long, long time.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The Work on Martha's Vineyard

During the summer, the population on Martha’s Vineyard can be well over 100,000 people. Only about 15,000 are permanent residents. The island is about 100 square miles. This can make missionary work somewhat challenging. 
  “...since the Elder's here were having such a hard time teaching people, President has been wanting us to take the Ammon approach. Serve ‘em to convert ‘em.  Sister H. & I think that we can work with the members and have them start bringing their friends to the Gospel.  We already have 10 potentials through members.  We just need to get them to the teaching point.   We are praying the work starts to boom here soon.  Even if it doesn't boom a nice pop would be nice haha.”
   Twice a week, Sister Kanani and her companion serve at a hospital. “We are in the wing called Windemere.  Half of it is assisted living, the people are still very capable they just can't be living alone.  The other half is up an elevator and are older people who need special care, especially unit 4, as it is the dementia unit. We wheel the people from upstairs to downstairs, help out with the activity that is going on and wheel them back upstairs.  One day, we were running patients up and downstairs for the hair salonist. We help out with the art class they have every Tuesday. They have live music on Wednesdays and for the first two Wednesdays of the month Sister Brown, the Branch President’s wife, plays piano for the hour.  However she called and said her daughter had a fever and if we could fill in.  So Sister H. went between playing the piano to the Ukulele and singing.  The residents loved it.”
   This past week: “Wednesday we worked over time at the hospital.  They were having a talent show.  It was so much fun.  Some of the residents did the funniest acts.  One woman even did the cha-cha!  She might have mostly been using her walker but it was awesome. “ 
We continue to have lunch with the people who work there because we see a lot of potential in them.  They ask really good questions and even though say they are all set, we know that by associating with them we're bringing light into their lives.  
   The two Sisters also work with the Habitat for Humanity building homes on Saturdays. They have “helped put some trimming on a house and nailing shingles to the outside walls” and “putting insulation around the inside of the walls,” and putting the frame of a porch roof together. They talk with others on the projects about the Church while they work.  
   The Sisters volunteer at the Edgartown library. “It's something the Elders were doing that had a potential.”     
   While neither of the Sisters speak Portuguese, they are teaching English to a couple of families that speak only Portuguese. “Thankfully Sister H. can kind of communicate with them because she speaks Spanish, which is kind of like Portuguese, but it's still a struggle sometimes.”
   They also serve in the Family History Center “to work with the people who work there!!!” This week they worked the Island’s genealogical society on ideas for the booth for the Ag. fair. 
   A lot of the work in the Branch is with less actives, not only visiting and teaching, but finding them. “We went hunting some less actives. Previously, they weren't able to find them because their roads weren't on the map but because I have a handy dandy GPS we were able to scout them out.  One was a house that they rent out for the summer so that was a dead end but the other is a daughter of a sister from the Westerly [RI]  Branch!! So we trekked, and trekked, and trekked. But we had great fun doing it. The GPS took us through someones backyard, through a clearing in a hedge, through someone else’s backyard, and then led us to a road. We didn't believe it at first, but as we followed we ended up in the right place.”
   Here are excerpts from Sister Kanani’s emails from the month of July:
   “My first trip off island!  It was Zone meeting so we went to the Cape Cod chapel.  The Zone leaders showed us the websites that the Mission is creating for us to coordinate with our auxiliaries and what it will be like when we have iPads.”  
   “We went and helped a less active weed her garden.  She is older and not really able to do it herself anymore. We weeded the whole thing in an hour and a half.  She was supper impressed with that.  We think it really softened her heart towards us.  We then, by direction of the branch president, invited her to speak in church this Sunday.  And she said she will!   It's exciting because no one can remember the last time she spoke/was there.”  
   “Then we went on visits with the Branch council members.  The RS president and I went to visit a less-active who everyone has a super hard time getting in contact with. And guess what?  She was home!  It was wonderful to visit with her for a few minutes and show her how much we miss her. A great visit all around.”
   “This week was great!  We had 12 member visits, which is awesome when there are only about 7 or 8 active families in the branch!  We were able to meet with several less actives and even go on splits.” 
   “Tuesday we were blessed with a new investigator!  He is from Brazil and we had an amazing short lesson with him.”
   “It's been a great week.  God is very merciful and tender in the miracles he sends.  Not only towards me but this area.  We have been praying that the hearts will be softened here and that we will be able to plant many seeds.  Every day we have had multiple conversations with people on the bus as we go around.  Most we don't even start.  It truly is amazing how the Lord works.”
   “The Lord’s tender mercies have been all around and I am so very grateful for them.  Have a wonderful week!  2 Nephi 33”

Monday, July 8, 2013

"Serving in the Vineyard..."

From the end of April to the first week of June, Sister Kanani and her companion have traveled throughout the mission from New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, to Rhode Island putting on musical firesides. Besides traveling, they have made some good contacts and been able to teach people in their Boston area. Sundays still consisted of 10 to 12 hours of Church meetings with the four Wards and then firesides in the evening.

“Monday night we were able to have a lesson with a wonderful young woman who has been investigating the church for about 3 years now.  She hasn't met with missionaries for quite some time but she came up to Sister Jordan on Sunday and asked to meet with us.  So we did.  She is really just working on coming to know that there is a God and what that means.  So far she's gone from no God to there's a source of light and love but not so sure
that's God.  So we are working with her to help her learn that there is a God.”

“We had another meeting with Audrey.  She opened up to us about some fears she had with joining the church and we thing we laid them to rest.  But we asked her to pray to know if God is really there and we will see where that leads us.”

We then helped a member move one of his buddies move out of the graduate dorms.  After that we taught another one of his friends.  Well mostly just talked with her.  She is Muslim and has been reading the Book of Mormon.  She couldn't understand why we need a Savior or advocate with God.  And a few other points.  It was so much fun to talk with her and show her how similar our religions are.  Her face just lit up  as I talked about the similarities between the 5 Pillars of Islam and our beliefs.  She went back to Africa but hopefully it gave her some things to think about.”

In May, Sister Kanani and her new companion, Sister Johnson (from Orem, UT) were assigned to two of the four Single Adult Wards, the Longfellow Park Wards. These Wards had the least activity as far as missionary work so there was a lot of potential for teaching.

“There is a member of LP1 that is convince that we are going to set the Ward on fire.  Which is good, but the funny thing is that he talks us up to everyone. He is convinced we're the best missionaries they've had for a while. We'll see.”

With less travel and a less hectic Sunday schedule, the Sisters began to look for areas for service. The work is beginning to pick up as they meet with members and seek out less actives.

“We had dinner up in Somerville with some members who brought a non-member friend and then we had to rush down to Brighton to have dinner with another member and a non-member friend.  It was crazy and hectic but it was what a night in the mission should be. On Saturday we went to a memorial for a member of Charles River Ward who had passed from cancer.  It was sad but also very beautiful.  Then we went down to Quincy to teach a less active and then all the way up to Somerville to try to contact a less active.  We basically went from one end of Boston to the other.” 

“Friday we had our meeting with Lyndsi and Sharon.  And Sharon became our new investigator!  It was such a good lesson.  Sharon is from China and doesn't know much about Christianity, however she knows she feels a peace and wants to learn more. We taught the Plan of Salvation.  Afterwards we were talking to Lyndsi and she said that while she expected the Restoration, she thinks the Plan of Salvation was exactly what Sharon needed. Thank you Spirit!”

“Saturday we went to a dinner appointment. It was a really good one. There is a member who is working through a lot from her childhood and wants to take the lessons so she can learn the Gospel for herself.  And she also happens to be friends with a less active that we are working with so she was there too.  It was such a good lesson as we talked, once again, about the Plan of Salvation and what the Atonement really covers and helps us with.

“We had another meeting with Sharon. She is picking up things so fast. At the end of our lesson she asked if she could pray to God in Chinese and if He would understand. How cute is that?  We told her of course she could.  ‘Next time, I will pray in Chinese at the end of the lesson.’ I can see her with a baptismal date at the end of this month, with a baptism next month.”

Monday brought a surprise. Sister Kanani’s email came in the evening, much later than usual. We found out why as she began her email with: “Serving in the vineyard... literally!” 

“Friday, President Packard called while we were on the bus ride home. I let it go to voicemail and we ran the 100 feet to our apartment.  The voicemail:  ‘Sister Kanani!  This is President, I have some good news for you.  Call me when you get the chance.’ So we called him back. After answering him that I was fine, President said, ‘And it's about to get finer. You're getting moved to Martha's Vineyard.’” 

Basically a Sister was waiting for her visa and her visa came through. There was a need for someone to fill her spot so they would not have to close it down because Sisters just got there 3 weeks ago after Elders being there forever.”

On Sunday, “President talked to me for a bit and told me he was really excited to have me go there and he thinks that I will do awesome things with Sister Hileman." 

Side note: Sister Hileman is more accurately Hermana Hileman. She is called a Spanish-speaking Sister. So now, Sister K. is serving with a Spanish speaking companion in an area filled with Portuguese speaking people.

"There is a lot of service out here in the Vineyard. We'll see what happens, the Lord has His plans and we can only follow and know what we can do to help further them.”

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Highlights of a Not-So-Typical Missionary Week

After helping a member move one of his buddies out of the graduate dorms, Sister Kanani and Sister Jordan were able to talk with another one of his friends.  
“She is Muslim and has been reading the Book of Mormon.  She couldn't understand why we need a Savior or advocate with God, and a few other points.  It was so much fun to talk with her and show her how similar our religions are.  Her face just lit up as I talked about the similarities between the 5 Pillars of Islam and our beliefs.  She since has gone back to Africa but hopefully it gave her some things to think about.”

Thursday night Sister Kanani had the opportunity to have dinner with the Johnson family in Belmont. Because the Sisters are in their son’s Ward and he is trying to make a decision about a serving a mission, it was thought to be a good idea for the missionaries to come over and talk with him.  It was awesome. Sister Johnson is the former Jane Clayson, an Emmy winning journalist and author who began her career with KSL-TV in SLC, Utah. She has worked as a correspondent for ABC and CBS news organizations covering and reporting events all over the world. She authored the book, “I Am a Mother!” which chronicles her decision to leave the network news business to have a family.

Over the weekend, the Sisters hosted a young woman for a mini missionary experience. Not much was a truly typical missionary experience, however, the young woman seemed to really enjoy it.

Sister Kanani got to talk in CRW. “It was on hope.  I talked about finding out about my Dad's cancer and how I didn't really have a Godly sense of hope, but my Mom did. Then I explained how we could gain a Godly sense of hope.  I also shared about the night before receiving my mission call.  And then tied all of it into sharing the gospel as everyday members. Apparently it was good.  I don't remember a lot of it but almost everyone came up afterwards and told me thank you for the talk.”

“Monday, Memorial Day was so much fun!!  We had invited all the Sisters in the Mission to come over and just have a relaxing day with the MBM family.  We had about 6 companions stay throughout the whole day and then 3 stop by after going to the Temple.  I got to see Sister Christensen, Brother W., and Sister Caldwell. We didn't realize it but the local parade route went right in front of our apartment.  So we sat on the garage roof and watched.  It was awesome.  It was just a nice relaxed day.”  

“This coming weekend will be different and crazy.  With a fireside in Marlborough on Saturday, and T-texts,  and another fireside on Sunday in Groton, there will be a lot of driving and running around. Yet being in Marlborough and Groton again... one of the best b-day presents the Lord could give me.”