Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A month full of miracles

There have been some big changes for Katelyn in the last month.  For starters, Katelyn has been assigned to a new area.  She is now in a city called Spruce Grove which is just west of Edmonton.  On top of that, Katelyn has been called as a new Sister Training Leader.  This is actually the second time that Katelyn has served as a Sister Training Leader.  If you recall, Katelyn was called as an STL during her short time in the Provo MTC.  If you are not familiar with what a Sister Training Leader is, it is basically the equivalent of a Zone Leader except that a Sister Training Leader has a responsibility for the Sisters in the Zone.  So this is a pretty big responsibility for Katelyn and her companion.  Her new Zone in Spruce Grove extends northwest of Edmonton up to a town called Grande Prairie which is about a 5 hour drive.  This means that at least once a month, Katelyn and her companion will be driving to Grande Prairie to meet with the Sister Missionaries there, go on exchanges and do some training.  She will also be responsible for participating with the Zone training each month as well.  Even though this is a great opportunity to serve as an STL in the mission, Katelyn will really miss all of the people that she has come to know and love in the Panoka area.  She spent basically half of her mission in this area, serving in Red Deer, Panoka and Lancomb.  It will be hard for her to leave.

In the past few weeks, Katelyn has written us about some of the most spiritual experiences that she has had on her mission.  I will try to retell the stories here and hopefully my version of her stories will come close to the impact that we could feel through her emails.  The first story starts out with Katelyn and her companion going to Edmonton for a training meeting.  While they were in Edmonton, they got permission to attend a temple session.  Since they still had a little while before their scheduled session time, they decided to go to the mall to take care of some errands that they need to do.  On their way to the temple after leaving the mall, they both noticed that somewhere along the way they had misplaced their cell phone.  They searched the car thinking that maybe it dropped out on the floor but the phone wasn't there.  Then they started to retrace their steps through the mall hoping that they would run across the phone, but no luck.  It was now getting very close to their temple session time and they knew that they had to hurry.  Finally they got the idea to check with guest services at the mall and sure enough, somebody had turned in the phone and they were able to get it back.  They raced back to the temple but unfortunately they missed their session by about 10 minutes.  So rather than actually going through a temple session, they decided to do some initiatory work.  This is where the exciting part happens.  As Katelyn was going through the initiatory session for each of the names that she had been assigned, she noticed one name on the page who was from Ecuador.  If you have read this blog for very long, you know that Katelyn has a very close tie to Ecuador after having spent several months working in the orphanages in Cuenca.  Upon reading the name, Katelyn started crying and got an over whelming feeling that the sister for whom she was about to do the work, was right there with her.  At that moment Katelyn knew why it took them so long to find their cell phone and why they ended up missing the temple session.  Katelyn knew that she needed to be doing the initiatory work for that Ecuadorian sister at that moment.

These next stories came from Katelyn's most recent email home.  This email just started out with one word: MIRACLES!.  Katelyn and her companion had made the 5 hour drive to Grande Prairie to go on exchanges with the Sister missionaries in that area.  The sisters from Grande Praire had another meeting that they needed to attend so that gave Katelyn and her companion a little bit of time to go tracting.  The way that Katelyn usually goes about tracting is that she first starts out driving until she feels like they should turn or stop and this time was no different.  After driving around for a few minutes, Katelyn finally felt impressed to pull the car over and start knocking on doors.  Since Grande Prairie isn't their normal area, they both decided to try a few different kinds of door approaches.  The first house that they went to, nobody answered.  But the second house was a different story.  Katelyn said that a nice lady answered the door and immediately called them, SISTERS.  This took them by surprise and they thought that maybe they had tracted into a member's house without knowing.  They asked the lady if she was a member of the church and she responded, no.  But she knew some people who were members of the church who had sent some of their kids on missions.  So she knew about the Elder missionaries but was surprised to see sister missionaries.  The lady invited Katelyn and her companion in and ended up listening to the whole first lesson.  What are the odds that these Sister Missionaries would park right in front of this lady's house who was willing and ready to listen to a gospel lesson, if they weren't actually being lead by the spirit?

The next story happened the very next day while Katelyn was on an exchange with one of the other Sister missionaries from the area.  It was getting kind of late in the evening and they figured that they had about 10 minutes before they needed to get back to the apartment.  So again Katelyn suggested that they just do a little bit of tracting for the last 10 minutes.  They parked the car near their apartment and then started walking down the road.  They passed the first house and knocked on the door of the second house on the street.  A man answered the door and told the Sisters that he really wasn't interested.  So the Sisters wished him a good evening and decided to knock on one more door.  This time a lady answered the door and immediately invited the Sisters in.  They talked for a while about Jesus Christ and the missionaries shared the first lesson with this lady.  They even showed a video to her using her own laptop.  The lady loved the video and they all talked a little bit more about the plan of salvation.  As they turned to leave, the lady invited them back to talk some more.  Katelyn said that it was just an amazing experience.  When they got back to the apartment, they shared their experience with the other sister missionaries.  As it turned out, the other sisters had also gone tracting down the same street.  Except they tracted the first house and then decided to go somewhere else while Katelyn and her companion tracted the second and third house not knowing that the other sisters had been on the same road.  Again, what are the odds?

Needless to say, a lot of great things have been happening with Katelyn.  She is loving her new calling, she is loving the work and she is loving the people.  What more could a missionary ask for?

Just a few pictures to enjoy!

Happy 21st Birthday

Just enjoying a little birthday cake

Hamming it up with the Sista's

Katelyn and her companion outside of the Edmonton temple

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