Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Working hard and being guided by the spirit

Katelyn is still working with the Young Single Adult Branch in Red Deer.  The problem that the Branch is having now is that most of the young singles have gone back to school.  That means that there are very few members of the Branch still left in Red Deer.  Katelyn said a few weeks ago that there were only about 18-20 people at church on Sunday which makes it very hard to get much done. Katelyn said that she doesn't know if they can continue to meet as a Branch for much longer because it is so small.  They have no Relief Society presidency, no Sunday School presidency and no Elder's Quorum presidency.  Everybody in the Branch has 3-4 callings and just doing the best that they can.  In fact in Katelyn's letter a week or so ago, she told us about how she and her companion had to teach Elders Quorum.  She said that it was definitely a first and probably a last as well.  Katelyn said that the lesson went great but at the same time it also felt a little strange teaching the guys in Elders Quorum.

Katelyn is also having another problem as well.  But this one is a little different.  Katelyn told us about how nice all of the members are in the other Ward and how they just love to feed the missionaries.  She told us a story about how they went to dinner at one of the member family's home and the Elders were there also.  The family feed them all really well and of course when it came to just how much everybody could eat, the Elders always win.  But that didn't stop Katelyn and her companion from trying.  The Elders would give the Sisters such a hard time about not eating enough that Katelyn just wanted to prove them wrong (Katelyn has that competitive spirit just like her brothers).  But in the end, the Elders won and Katelyn said that she doesn't ever want to see Chinese food again.

Katelyn and her companion have been teaching a lot of lessons.  Some of the lessons are to new investigators and some of them are to members who have been less active.  She tells us over and over again just how much she loves teaching and talking to the people there.  In addition to teaching, they are also doing a lot of service as well.  They have helped decorate and work in the kitchen at a wedding reception.  Helped organize food items and other things for a member that gathers donated items and takes them to people in need. They even helped another Lady who needed help painting her kitchen.  Katelyn said that she really enjoyed painting.  She must get that from her mother.

Katelyn told us a really neat story about one of the members in Red Deer.  Katelyn and her companion were supposed to meet with one of their investigators for a lesson that night but for some reason the investigator didn't show up.  But as Katelyn put it, the Lord really knows what is going on and where they needed to be.  They ended up going with the Elders to the house of a member who was going through some tough things.  This member has had some really rough times over the years and is struggling with the Gospel a bit.  As I have mentioned before, Katelyn spent some time last year serving as a volunteer in Ecuador and it just so happened that this member also has a tie to Ecuador.  Right there Katelyn had something in common and started talking about how she learned so much about the Atonement in Ecuador and what it can do for people who are struggling.  One of the Elders then gave this member a beautiful blessing.  Katelyn said that she knew that she was supposed to be there that evening to share her experiences with this person and that it is times like that that makes everything a mission is about, worth it.

So here is a bit of a funny story.  So Katelyn likes banana's but one day one of the Elders who is from the Congo decided that he needed Katelyn's banana, so he took it and said he would pay her back.  For some reason this Elder gave Katelyn the nick name of "Big Money Nicholes" and it seems to have stuck.  So a few days later Katelyn and her companion were sitting in their car eating some food after church when the Elders texted them and told them to check the fridge in the church kitchen.  So they went to the kitchen and found a white bag that had written on it, "Sister Nicholes (Big Money)".  Inside the bag was a banana and written on the banana as well was "Big Money Nicholes".

Katelyn has been playing the piano again which has really made her Mom happy.  Katelyn took piano lessons for several years when she was little but hasn't played much since then.  But just like her Mom always said, there will be a time when you really need that talent and apparently the time has come.  Katelyn and her companion organized a talent show for the YSA Branch.  Since there really aren't that many members of the Branch, they weren't really sure how well it was going to work out.  But Katelyn told us that it actually went better than she thought it would.  During the talent show Katelyn played "God Be With You Til We Meet Again" and "Praise To The Man".  She said that somebody had taken a video of it and was going to send it to us but we haven't seen it yet.  I'm sure that she did a really good job.

So here is another little tidbit.  Apparently one of the members of the Branch is part of a battle group.  This is a group that meets one a month or so and each member of the group dresses up like a medieval warrior or something like that.  So here is a picture of Katelyn and her companion after they had borrowed some of the swords and shields from the battle group.

 Things have been going great for Katelyn in Red Deer.  She is loving what she is doing and every week she tells us great stories about the members of the Ward and Branch.  She has also told us some great stories about some of the people that they have met while they have been out tracting.  Stories about how the Lord guides them to a specific neighborhoods and how there is always one house where someone is just waiting for them to come.  Katelyn has only been out for a couple of months now but she has already had some great experiences and I'm sure that she will have many more in the months to come.

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