Monday, August 25, 2014

This week was great,I experienced a change of heart!

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was great, not because a lot happened, because unfortunately not much did, but it was great because I experienced a change of heart. Everything feels so much different now, brighter and more hopeful; even when the weeks are not all that great number wise. 

We drove out to one of the little towns that we cover outside of Junction City. Chapman is a really cute town, but during the day practically no one is there, because they all go out of the town to work. We walked up a pretty steep hill and it was a killer! That is the first real hill I have climbed in over 6 months! Kansas is flat in some parts, but not near as flat as people think. 

Cool story, we have a potential investigator who we can only talk to if he is outside because his roommates are super anti-religion. (To the point he can't take a Book of Mormon inside because they would get super angry.) We felt like we should walk by his street even though it was getting later in the evening and it's not the greatest area to be after dark. Anyways, we walked down the street and there he was outside, almost done with the cigarette he was smoking. It really was amazing the timing. But what was even cooler was seeing how much happier he became as we talked to him. He said it had been a pretty bad week, and we told him ours hadn't been very good either. He asked what made our week bad, and when we told how most people wouldn't talk to us he got super defensive in our behalf and told us how stupid it was that people wouldn't listen to us! It was pretty funny actually. He is so prepared, and is looking for the gospel even though he doesn't know it yet! Next step is to get him to church for a lesson and a church tour. I am so excited.

Oh ya and Haley our super sweet youth investigator who comes to church with her Grandmother picked an official baptism date! She is getting baptized on September 20th. Miracles are happening in JC, ya'll!

Love ya tons!
Seester Blood :)

Great Message

Sign on a church

Monday, August 18, 2014

Went to the Beautiful Kansas City Temple

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was another kind of odd week, but it was also a week for a lot of learning and growth! 

On Wednesday we had zone training in Salina with President Bell and the AP's. The coolest and most notable experience was the incredible reenactment of Lehi's Dream. I was one of 7 missionaries who were selected to go though the course. They had the lights off and just one door open in the gym of the church. Those of us who went though were blindfolded and had to hold onto a rope that ran throughout the gym going under blackboards and tables, over chairs, and through many people who were yelling at us to give up, that it wasn't worth it, that they were disappointed in us, etc. It was so powerful for all of us, those of us that went though and those who just watched from the side. The point of the experience was to help us better related to our investigators and how they feel as they progress to baptism and even after as they continue to face the challenges and consequences that have come from being baptized. For me the hardest part was discerning who was the right voice when I first walked into the room and was surrounded by the sound of three different people trying to tell me where to go. Crawling under things in a skirt and trying to hold onto the rope at the same time also proved to be and extra challenge. It really was an eye opening experience! 

The other amazing experience from the week was going to the temple. This was one of the most spiritual experiences I have had in the temple. It really made me see why it is a commandment to go to the temple as often as you can. It really does make such a huge difference in our relationship and growth with Heavenly Father! I don't think I will ever forget turning the corner in the beautiful green state of Missouri and seeing the beautiful Kansas City Temple right there in front of us, a true beacon of light and God's love! I wish we were able to go more often, but I am just grateful that I was able to go this past week. So my challenge to you all is if you haven't been to the temple in the month of August, and are able to go... GO! It is one of the best things you can do! If you can't go quite yet, set a goal to be able to make it there as soon as possible. It is worth everything you have to go through to make it there, I promise it is! Whether it is sacrificing a bit of your time and money to go, or sacrificing some of your pride and being willing to make the changes you need to be able to go. Make it a goal to be in those sacred places as soon as you can! Words cannot explain the power and experiences that are to be had within those walls! 

Love you all so much! 
     Sister Blood
Kansas City Temple

At the Kansas City Temple

Sister McCarrick and Sister Blood

Elder Chun... master photo taker/ poser... ground style

The Elders writing a rap on the way home

Monday, August 11, 2014

Followed My Mothers Advice!

Dear Family and Friends,

I got a wonderful letter from my mother this week reminding me how important it is to put more effort into my letters... so I am writing this first so hopefully you will get more out of me this week!

This week was a bit... odd. I got sick for a few days of it, which was tragic. Being sick on a mission is an odd thing, especially because after you get better everyone in the ward seems to have know you were sick and asks if you are feeling better, well at least we know that we are loved! 

So on Friday, I got to go to my first zone meeting in Manhattan, which was cool, but it was kind of strange too, because it was noticeably smaller in number than the Derby zone meetings. We had an AMAZING training on depression and discouragement and how it is important to recognize when you are actually struggling from a lack of conversion and when you are actually just struggling with depression. I took some amazing notes that I really wanted to share but... I forgot them at the apartment. So I will try to just paraphrase a few of the key things that I remember. The member who gave the training pointed out that even prophets struggle with depression sometimes. In 2 Nephi 4 :17, 26 &27 you can feel how Nephi struggled with feeling  worthless, more than he really was. We may struggle with being down and hard on ourselves, but it doesn't mean we aren't converted. 

One of the biggest things I have come to realize this week is how much I have grown as a person. I don't feel like I am even close to the person I was when I came out 6 months ago, or who I was a year ago. It really is amazing how much a mission and different experiences can cause you to really grow up. We had exchanges with the STL's this week which was sweet! I got to go to Salina with Sister Roqumore, who is a totally awesome missionary! We had some really cool street contacts and lessons. After talking to a guy on a corner for a few minutes we were walking back to our car and someone opened their third story window and yelled down at us "No one like Baptists!" "Were not Baptist" Sister Roqumore said back but he had already slammed the window. A few moments later he opened it again and yelled "I believe in Jesus Christ; my Jesus Christ isn't the same as your Jesus Christ!" and slammed the window again. People are funny, and this statement always makes me smile since we know more about Jesus Christ and who he is than any other group of people. We really are very lucky and blessed to have this knowledge in our lives! 

Oh and my other crazy awesome moment from yesterday was glancing thought a Feb 2014 New Era and seeing a group of people in a situation I recognized well.  Scroll down to the "Big-Band Alternatives" section and you will see what go me so excited. I was so excited I told the members by me, "I know these kids! This is my High School, I know this story!" I remember when the girl who submitted the story talked about the fact it got submitted and I happened to come across it randomly yesterday. It was a fun moment. 

The really exciting part about the upcoming week is that WE GET TO GO TO THE KANSAS CITY TEMPLE ON FRIDAY!!! I can't believe the week is already here that I get to go to the temple. This is better than Christmas in my missionary temple deprived opinion. Moral of the story, if you have a temple close to you, use it; because there are lots of missionaries who wish they could go to the temple and can't. 

     Sister Blood

The chalk wall of names is in the STL's apartment, I got to sign, it was totally legit! 

Sister Blood, Up Close

Sister McCerrick & Sister Blood

Last week we  got pedicures with Sister Medina as at attempt to relax. I didn't find it all that enjoyable. But hey   at least now I can say I have tried it! 

Monday, August 4, 2014

Sorry this is going to be super, super short!

Dear Family and Friends,

Sorry this is going to be super super short. This week was great, we found a lot of new people, seven to be exact. None came to church which was a bummer, but we won't give up quite yet! I am loving being in Junction City, and I love having Sister McCerrick for a companion. That's all for this week, sorry!

Sister Blood
Sister Blood & Sister McCerrick

Thought you might enjoy, We found Noah's Ark in Mitford Kansas. 
"I love parks, they have the coolest things like teeter totters, and the 'spinning metal platforms'".Sister Blood
"you mean merry-go-rounds?" Sister Fider
"Ya!" Sister Blood
(Laughing) "Sister Blood you are too smart for your own good... Your like Sheldon!" Sister Fider
(Big Bang Theory reference for any of you who are non-geeks :) )

 (Note:  Since Katelyn's letter was super,super short, I thought I would add this experience our family had at the Ogden Temple open house.  
Our family were directed to a room  showing us an introductory message about temples and why  temples are important to our church.   A sister missionary stood up and said, "I am Sister Katich", a light bulb went off inside my brain remembering that Katelyn said, while at the Ogden Open house to keep an eye out for a Sister Katich. She was in her district while at the Provo MTC. She reminded her of her niece,  Tess in looks and mannerisms.  After the short film I went up to Sister Katich while everyone was filing at out and ask her if she remembered Sister Blood from the MTC. She excitedly said, as her face lit up with a big smile, "she was in my district, and I loved her."   She was so excited to meet me.  After going through the temple we were taking pictures, Sister Katich was outside the temple taking a break, so I was able to talk to her a bit longer.  She mentioned that she was serving in Syracuse and is loving her mission. She told me how Katelyn was so smart in the MTC and seemed to know all the answers. It was fun talking to her. She said that they cover two stakes,  which includes 21 wards,  how different than where Katelyn is serving  two wards.  I felt like it was a tender mercy to have this experience.

Sister Katich & Sister Haws