Monday, April 27, 2015

Pied Pipers of Music in Andover

Dear Family and Friends!                                                                April 27, 2015

This week had some pretty cool parts to it! The first memorable event of the week was singing to an investigators two kids. By the end of the second song, three more kids came over to join us, another song and there were 12 kids, another song and there were15 or so! It must have been quite the sight with two white young women surrounded by 15 very black kids! It was so cool! It was the most fun I have had in a while... well up to that point of the week. They had a lot of fun and were really sad when we said we had to go, one of the girls ran after us and begged to walk around with us. Because we were going to dinner we had to turn her down. I am not sure why she thought walking around with us talking to people would be so fun, but she really did! The kids said they would look for us the next time we were on their street. 

We also got to help out with a really cool service project on Saturday. We were on exchanges, so Sister Seigfried went with me instead of Sister Williams. We were picked up by the Bohne's at 8:30 and drove out past the end of Andover. The family in the ward we were helping had just under 300 acres. The Elders and some of the ward members were helping to rebuild a barb wire fence.  We sisters, plus the Bohne's and Bro P. helped to gather up huge limbs that had fallen onto the edge of the field and pastures, load them into the back of a pickup and dump them in a large burn pile. It was a lot of fun! There really is nothing like good hard work! 

At the end of the workday (aka lunch at 12:30), we roasted some hot dogs and ate sitting on the back of the tailgates of the pick-ups. The two horses that lived in the pasture came to say hello.  So Leroy's (the members who place we where at) granddaughter put a harness on her and let the kids ride her. Sadly as missionaries, it is against our handbook to ride a horse, but Sister Seigfried has a lot of experience with handling and training horses so she actually had permission from Prez to be able to ride horses, if the opportunity ever came up. We got a pretty cool selfie with her,  Sam (the horse) and me, that was emailed home to my mother.  She can forward it on with this email. I will send more pictures next week, when I get them from Sister Seigfried.

We also went with Sister Calder to get ice cream the other night. And yesterday we played Sorry with Aide after church, it was pretty fun! It was the first time Aide had played an American Board game. 
Love you all!
Sister Blood :) 

Aide, Katie, Sister Calder
A note to me, so sweet:
 Dear Joanne,
I think your daughter,  Sister Blood is a fantastic missionary.  I had her over for dinner tonight and we were playing cards with Aide, one of her recent converts.  She started teaching Aide all about the Gospel with the cards. She was amazing!  It's my great honor to be able to work with her. What a special daughter you have sent to our mission!
Sister Calder
Katie, Sister Calder, Sister Seigfried enjoying Ice-cream

Katie, Sam the Horse and Sister Seigfried at their Service Project

Fun Easter Gift that came through the mail from Harmonie Wheeler, she loved it!
                             It took a few weeks, because it got stuck in Topeka, her last area.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Amazing Lightening and 'Thunder

Dear Family and Friends,                                                           4-20-15

So this letter will be short, I am having difficulty remembering what actually happened this week, it is a a blur, yet the week went by slow. I'm Not sure how that works but it does. 

We had some massive thunderstorms Saturday it was cool! It included a thunderclap that was right over the house we were in and was so powerful it lasted 5-8 seconds for force and then another 10 seconds at a much less forceful level. It was powerful enough you could feel and see the house shake and some things fall of things they were sitting on, it was pretty crazy! Add to it the quarter sized hail and it made for a pretty cool storm! 

I am still doing really well in Andover and am loving being here! Sister Williams is an awesome companion and I am really glad to be serving with her! She plays the ukulele so we spend a lot of time singing, including running up to people and asking if we can sing them a song! That has been fun, though you would be surprised at how many people tell us that we can't sing for them. Apparently they don't know how well we can sing! Haha The coolest of the hymns we have remixed to sing out tracting is a combo of our mission song and I hope they call me on a mission. Some members in the ward said they would record us and put it on FB or youtube, so I will keep you posted on when and if that happens. :) We also have a cool remix of Oh my Father that I really like, it is in a minor key and it sounds SO cool! 

Well singing and the rain just about sums it up. We didn't find anyone new this week but James is continuing to progress and Aide is slowly becoming more comfortable here. Please keep them in your prayers, they still have many trials ahead of them. 

Love you all!
Sister BLood :) 

Sister Blood & Sister Williams

The patriotic Fire hydrant

Added e-mail
I had asked her if she received my Easter Card, to which she replied:
" Funny thing is the longer you are out the less mail you get. It was my first and only letter I have gotten in probably 2+ months, but that is okay. At this point people are at the "I'll just talk to you when you get home" point. I've gotten used to not having mail, which makes the letters that do come all the more exciting! "

Monday, April 13, 2015

Tornadoes, Miracles, and Baptisms!

Dear Family and Friends,                                                                 4-13-15

This week was a crazy and awesome week! It feels super long because of how many things happen this week. 

To start it out we got stranded in Andover on Tuesday. We thought we could walk back to Wichita in two hours and talk to people along the way, but it was farther then we thought. Plus talking with people as missionaries does take up so much of your walking time. So come 8:45 at night we were still 5 miles or so from home. So we said a prayer and finally one the other many sisters we had tried and who had not answered their phones called us back and was able to come get us. Hooray for that!

We had STL's and extra sisters in our apartment up the wazoo this week! Sister Delos Santos and Sister Siegfried were living with us until Friday, and in addition to them we had another set stay with us on Monday night for MLC the next morning, and a set stay on Thursday night because they were going to the temple on Friday with a Family they had worked with, who was getting sealed in the Oklahoma City Temple. Our little apartment was bustling with excitement and laughter! But now it is just us since the STL's have moved into their own apartment and it is oddly quite with just two of us. I miss them a ton and wish they could live with us again!

This week was really exciting because we had a tornado warning, well actually a tornado too, but it was small and at least 20 miles away so the only thing we really saw happen was some epic lightning. Apparently   the tornado sirens also went off in a few parts of the city, but we didn't actually hear them. Every one was freaking out because there was about two days of warning that this storm was heading our way, but over all it was kind of disappointing because not much actually happened. But I can now say I have seen what people do when a tornado is coming this way. 

Best part of this week... AIDE GOT BAPTIZED! It was so neat to be able to see how it all worked out together. It has been so cool to see how she has grown and changed even just in the two weeks I have been here. I love this ward and it warms my heart to see how they have reached out to this sweet but VERY quite 17 year old and shown her a lot of care and love, and it has been neat to see her warm up and brighten with their love and the love she is feeling from her Father in Heaven! A huge miracle of it was that the Sister who found her and worked with her was able to be at her baptism because she was there that weekend for the sealing of a family she worked with, it was cool how Heavenly Father worked that together. 

We also were asked to help out with the 10 year old cub scouts outdoors-man day. So we got to spend from 3:30 to 9:30 in pants, it was fun. Plus 10 year old boys are pretty funny. We taught the "What to take on a camp out" class with the Elders and Helped them cook the hamburger meat for dinner. It was a lot of fun! Sadly I didn't take any pictures. 

After on our way home we stopped by to see Aide at the Regional Youth Dance. We were amazed she went, and even more amazed to hear that she actually got up and danced with some of the YM/YW after we left! It's crazy how much she has changed! The leaders teased us and said we were undercover because we were still in pants since we had just come from scouts. I felt like a normal person... it was weird. Oh ya and I was also told at the baptism I could actually pull off Girl dread locks. Haha. 

We had two crazy powerful lessons with a cool Older Man Named James. When were where there yesterday following up the Plan of Salvation lesson from earlier that week. We were talking about Joseph Smith and how he was different from other "prophets" who have come along through the ages and how we knew he saw God the Father and not just Satan as an Angle of Light. We read the full account of the first vision from JS-H. And then I started testifying, and I had the spirit tell me to be very bold and so I opened my mouth and said, " I knew Joseph Smith was a prophet and that he was called by God, and That he did in actuality see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. It was the most power I have ever felt behind my testimony before. I cannot explain exactly how it felt but I felt like my words had actually power and weight to them in a way that cannot be denied. The Spirit was SO strong! And after a minute of silence James began to talk. Shortly after we invited him to be baptized and he accepted to work towards May 10! It was such a cool experience! I was so giddy after it was awesome! 

Love you all!
Sister Blood :) 

Aide's baptism, all the Andover Crew. Elder Rose (tall) Elder Smith (black hair) Us. Elder Limb (red hari) and Bro Bohne WML
The lightning was from the tornado :)

Aide's Baptism

Andover Crew
Elder Rose (tall one) Elder Limb (red hair) ?,  Sister Williams,  Aide,  Sister Blood,
 Bro. Bohne WML, 
Elder Smith (black Hair)

Lightening from Tornado

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Welcome Back to Wichita!

Dear Family and Friends,                                                            4-6-15

On Monday we did a mini jam fest. Elder Bean on the Piano and Me on the Viola! Sister Seymour also played a little bit on the organ too. We came up with some pretty fun arrangements of hymns, it was a great way to end in Topeka! 

For those of you that didn't hear, I am back in Wichita in the Derby Stake, Andover Ward... And I am loving it! I Feel so strongly this is where I am supposed to be. I haven't got to meet most of the ward members ye,t due to yesterday being General Conference, but from those who I have met I can tell that this ward is super awesome and I am going to love being here!

There isn't much to tell about the week other then the sad fact our 2 hour trip to Wichita turned into a 3.5 hour trip due to the fact that I didn't double check the apartment in Topeka very carefully... We got 40 minutes down the turnpike and with dread I realized I had forgotten my viola! We turned around at the next exit and went back to get my instrument.  Luckily we ended up heading out an hour early so we were only 30 minutes late to the transfer devotional. Then when we went to leave the mission office to go to the Andover apartment I almost left my viola again... I'm hopeless! Oh well, it made for a great story today! 

We live a quarter of a mile down the street from the mission office which is pretty weird actually. It's odd being back in Wichita and even stranger having the mission office be the  church building where we meet for church, it's fun too though, the office staff is the best! (And I'm not just saying that because my cousin is the assistant car czar in the office). So if you want to send me any mail just send it to the mission office address and I will get it easier then if you send it to the apartment. Mission address is 7011 E 13th St N. Wichita KS 67206.

The other fun adventure of the week is that the STL's are in between apartments so they are living with us for 10 days. I was worried about it at first because it's kind of a small apartment, with only one bathroom, but it has been a ton of fun. I love the STL's,  Sister Seigfried and Sister Delos Santos, and it has been cool having them here. (Don't worry we still go to bed on time, we need all the sleep we can get!) 

I Love General Conference and have been honestly counting down to it since December! All of the talks were so good! I think my favorite one was Elder Nelson about our Sabbath Day worship, my eyes have been opened so much being a missionary to the importance of things like personal Prayer and scripture study, as well as how we act on Sunday. The entire conference was SO inspiring and I learned a lot, I am so grateful for Modern Day prophets and Apostles who live and guide us today! 

Love you all!
Sister Blood :) 

Sister Delos Santos fell asleep playing the uke,

the next day my companion Sister Williams did the same thing!

Sister Williams and Sister Blood at Easter Dinner eating "empty tomb" rolls :)