Friday, May 12, 2017

President Nelson's Scripture Challenge

Hey all! So this is actually my first time making a blog post ever in my life (my sister made this one for me to post my mission emails on).
I wanted to share something with you that I've been working on for the last monthish. Kind of a self-appointed project.
I've spent countless hours compiling lists of over 2,000 scriptures about Jesus Christ that cover the Standard Works. I did this to make it easier to complete President Nelson's challenge from his January 2017 CES Devotional for us all to study ALL of the scriptures about Christ. He refers to this challenge in his talk from this past General Conference (and shares a little bit about his own experience with completing the challenge), and Sister Rosemary Wixom actually also referred to it in her BYUI devotional from last week as well.
Here's is the challenge from President Nelson's Devotional talk:
How can you increase in your discipleship? I have an invitation for you that will help—it’s an assignment, actually—if you choose to accept it. Commence tonight to consecrate a portion of your time each week to studying everything Jesus said and did as recorded in the Old Testament, for He is the Jehovah of the Old Testament. Study His laws as recorded in the New Testament, for He is its Christ. Study His doctrine as recorded in the Book of Mormon, for there is no book of scripture in which His mission and His ministry are more clearly revealed. And study His words as recorded in the Doctrine and Covenants, for He continues to teach His people in this dispensation. 
This may seem like a large assignment, but I encourage you to accept it. If you proceed to learn all you can about Jesus Christ, I promise you that your love for Him, and for God’s laws, will grow beyond what you currently imagine. I promise you also that your ability to turn away from sin will increase. Your desire to keep the commandments will soar. You will find yourself better able to walk away from the entertainment and entanglements of those who mock the followers of Jesus Christ. To assist you, refer to the Topical Guide for references under the topic “Jesus Christ.” 
Study everything Jesus Christ is by prayerfully and vigorously seeking to understand what each of His various titles and names means personally for you. For example, He really is your Advocate with the Father. He will take your side. He will stand up for you. He will speak on your behalf, every time, as you choose to be more like Him.
So I made two lists. One list has all of the scriptures in sorted by topic (basically just copied and pasted from the Topical Guide and then sorted). The second list has all of the scriptures sorted by book (so all of the ones in Genesis and then all of the ones in Exodus, etc.)
I really started this project because I'm a lazy bum and didn't want to have to keep flipping back and forth in my scriptures. I'd much rather have a physical list that I can just keep next to me as I study and mark off as I go along. I did a Google search to see if lists like this had already been made and there was one, but it was a bajillion pages (I didn't want to print out that many) and it seemed that it didn't actually have all of the scriptures referenced in the Topical Guide. So I decided to make my own list instead that I could then share with everyone else so that no one ever has to make them ever again (it took many, many hours).
But I need your help. I'm asking you to please share this post whether you yourself are going to actually use the lists or not so that as many people as possible can benefit from my work.
*Disclaimer* I'm not perfect so there very well could be mistakes in the Book list especially. So please forgive me in advance is any of the scriptures don't seem like they apply to the challenge because it's possible that I mis-recorded it. It also may not be the most pleasing formatting because I'm not really a tech person. I tried to make it as user friendly as possible though!
Thanks for your help guys! Let's get as many people studying about Christ as we can! <3
Access the lists HERE

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Letter #59 (November 18, 2014)

Holy cow where to start? This week was crazy. First of all, we are staying at the Emperor condo (where I lived when I served in Pasadena) because our bathroom is basically being overhauled. They took out most of one wall, all of the shower wall, and most of the ceiling above the shower. In order to take the wall out, they had to remove the light, sink, and toilet. So it was time to find a place to stay. So much of this week was spent talking to the mission housing lady, the apartment owner, the manager, and the plumbers, and moving things to the other apartment. Before we moved, we would bike to the Emperor pad to shower, which had to be done after studies and everything, so took up a chunk of the day. We have no clear idea of when repairs will be finished, so we decided to move to save that precious time every day. 

However, we still struggled to get much accomplished because on Thursday I got a flat tire on the way up to the Emperor pad. There was a screw coming out of my tire! By the time we were able to find a member to take us to the store to buy a patching kit, patch my tire, find that there were too many holes to patch, and locate a new tube and put it on my bike, it was time to be back home anyway. But we got it all fixed.

Except that on Friday as we biked to and from the church for weekly planning I realized that something seemed to have happened to my back brakes when we removed and replaced the tire from the frame, so they weren't working. Which is a problem. So the rest of our day after planning pretty much consisted of finding a member to fix my brakes.

So basically, up to this point just about no work has gotten done. We went out as much as we could, but everything has been so hectic with plumbing, bike problems, and helping Susan get ready for the funeral, that we were only able to try by a few people all week. I could tell that Sister Walker was getting a bit down, but I just reassured her that something really really good was going to happen because of all of the opposition we have been facing. Not only this week, but because of me being sick for over a month as well. Let's just say I was very much correct in that assumption. I'll get to that in a second.

Saturday was the funeral. Sister Fjeldsted picked us up and took us to the church where we practiced singing. While we were practicing, a man came in and sat in the back of the empty chapel and listened to us sing. When we finished practicing, we went and talked to him, because we were pretty sure that he was not there for the funeral. It turns out that he thought that church was that morning and he had come to attend church! He is from China and has lived here for a couple of years. He works as a tour guide for all of the Chinese people that come to America, so he is out of town much of the time showing them some of the sights of the west coast. One of which is Temple Square! He talked to missionaries there and has been in contact with them via phone calls for the last couple of years. He has wanted to start coming to church for a while but has been unable to due to his crazy work schedule. But he finally came on Saturday!

We explained to him that church is on Sundays at 9:30 and he said that he will do all he can to come on Sundays! We also told him what we do as missionaries and he was so dang excited! You'd think that we had just told him that admission to Disneyland is now free or that Christmas is coming early. He asked for our number, gave us his, and then headed off to work with a Restoration pamphlet and Book of Mormon in hand. At around 5:30 that same night he texted us "I want to learn 1-2 hours tonight, is it possible?" Double-take WHAT?! We told him that we were unable to meet tonight (because that wouldn't give us enough time to find a female member to come with us and we had other things to do) and that we usually teach in much smaller amounts of time but that we'd love to meet with him tomorrow!

So we taught Lee the Restoration last night. When we asked him if he wanted to be baptized he said "absolutely. When can we do that?" Ummm, can we say golden investigator?! He just kept saying how happy all of this was making him feel and how when he looks into the eyes of any Mormon that he meets, their gaze just seems pure and good. So cool. I can't get over him. 

What's even cooler is that we had received him as a referral in August but was never able to contact him because every time we went over, he was out of town and the people that he lives with only speak Chinese, so we could never get much figured out. So finally we just referred him to the local Chinese elders. 

And then he just shows up at church! So we're teaching him again tonight, and will likely teach him pretty much everyday. He just wants to learn everything as quickly as possible so that he can be baptized. The only snag is that his schedule is super crazy, so getting him to church might be tough. But he really wants this. We told him that we can continue teaching him through Facebook and Skype when he is out of town and he was so happy! He leaves the area again in 18 days, so we'll see what we can do before then and then will do everything we can to teach him still even when he's gone! I'm so excited about him!

The law of compensation really is incredible. The past couple of months have been SO rough, but then Lee shows up. AND it wouldn't have happened the way it did if we weren't at the funeral.

Speaking of which, I was surprised to find that many of Janis' relatives came and talked to me and Sister Fjeldsted, and then me at church yesterday, asking about how we came to start visiting Janis. Apparently she went inactive when she was about 30, so the fact that she asked us to read the Book of Mormon to her and was so eager to come to church was amazing. She took the sacrament for the first time in decades just a few weeks before she died. It is so incredible to see the hand of the Lord in every little detail of this work. You just cannot deny that this is His work. 

I just love being a missionary so much. It is so hard, but it is the absolute best thing that I have ever done.

I love you all so much! Thanks for the cards and letters! Keep 'em coming!

~Sister Kretchman

Letter #58 (November 10, 2014)

So I don't know if you remember, but I sent a picture to you all of me wearing a scarf with pineapples on it when I was in Glendora. Well, I have that scarf now and I'll explain to you why that is significant.

So as you all know, I've been sick for most of last transfer, first with bronchitis and then just recuperating from that. Amidst being sick I've been trying to train Sister Baker as well as deal with a nasty moldy wall. Pat the beginning. Of this week I was still feeling sick. Physically and emotionally at that point. No missionary should have to be cooped up for so long and I definitely pity the elders and sisters who have been similarly sick or injured. I had been struggling a lot because I felt sick and I was mentally just tired of being inside, tired of not being able to train Sister Baker, tired of feeling like a burden and a hindrance to everyone. 

Well. One morning Sister Baker and I discussed the whole situation. She was concerned that she wasn't being able to role play or go out and work much. She was having a hard time continuing to stay in all the time. And I was concerned about her for the same reasons. So we talked a lot and pretty much decided that it might be best for her to be transferred. We both love each other SO much and did want to split, but she really needed to be working. But then I was worried about doing the same thing to my next companion as with her. I didn't want anyone to be held back by me and I certainly didn't want to hold back the work. I didn't seem to be getting better and was starting to wonder if it would be better for the other sisters, the area, etc if I went home. I absolutely did not want to come home. I had never, ever let it be an option in my mind. I didn't want to go home, but I did want to do what God wanted me to do. And if God needed me to leave so that e work could go forward, then that is what I would do.

That night I prayed and basically just told Heavenly Father "I don't want to go home. I want to finish my mission. I want to go out and work and help people. But. If you have other plans for me; if you need me to leave for some reason, then I will. I don't want to, but I will." 

I didn't get any kind of clear answer as to whether He wanted me to stay or leave. Whether I would get better quickly or ever more slowly. But the next day I was able to get up at 6:30 and exercise. The first time I had been able to do so in about 5 weeks. I felt fine all day, and the next, and so on. It made me think of the CES devotional by Elder Bednar "That We Might 'Not... Shrink'" where Elder Bednar asks the man is he has the faith not to be healed. To accept the Lord's will, even if that meant that he was going to die of cancer. I feel like when I really gave my will, my desires over to His, then I was able to be healed of my sickness. Of course, I have always wanted to do what God wants me to. I think I've just had a hard time admitting to myself that part of His plan for me could include not finished my mission. Thankfully, that seems to still be the case. God just wanted to see if I would be willing to leave if that was what He wanted.

Anyway, back to the scarf. I've been struggling a lot with feeling like I was a disappointment to God. Logically I knew that He knew that I was doing all that I could to get better so that I could work again, but my heart didn't feel that way. "I should be trying harder. I should be stronger. Why am I so pathetic?" etc. It's hard to feel good about yourself when you are unable to fulfill your purpose in life; mine being to "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the Restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end." Being physically sick and being so down on myself just escalated each other and I didn't know what to do. So Sister Child (the mission nurse/one of my past companions) came to just talk to me and see what we could figure out about my sickness and everything. Before she left she gave me the pineapple scarf. That Monday she had happened to see it at the mall and it was on clearance. So she bought it for me. She told me that she feels that that was God's way of telling me that He loves me and at He is pleased with my efforts. That He knows my heart and knows that if it was up to me, I'd be out working my tail off. So that scarf will always be special to me. 

Anyway, how that I've thoroughly bored you with my scarf story, I should probably tell you what ended up happening with transfers. Sister Baker had us talk to President Villanueva about how she's feels that she needs to be transferred. But then I got feeling better and we really, really wanted to stay together! But we knew at she was likely to be transferred. Which she was. To Pasadena. But to get this, the sister being transferred away from Pasadena came here! So they just switched places! Crazy, no? So now Sister Walker is my companion! She's the only other sister that came out when I did! So now we are reunited from the MTC as companions. So crazy. 

I'm really sad to see Sister Baker go, but I know that he new companion is wonderful and will take good care of her. And I think that I might be able to help Sister Walker through some things that she has been struggling with, so it will be good.

So anyway, I'm feeling better now, I have a new companion, and we currently have most of the ceiling and one wall of the shower missing at this point. We finally got fed up and called the housing people for the mission and they talked to the apartment owner. So they handyman came and ripped the bad walls out, but now we have to wait another few days until they come and put the new walls in. So we've been having to find places to shower. Oh well. Hopefully it will all be fixed by the end of the week.

Well, there's more that I could say, but this is already really long, so I won't today.

I love you all so much!

~Sister Kretchman

Ps- You should look up the talk "Swallowed Up in the Will of the Father" by Neal A. Maxwell. I allowed my will to be swallowed by His, and I felt better the next day. He knows what is best.

Letter #57 (November 3, 2014)

So, not much has happened this week because I've gone from bronchitis
to something else it seems. We think that it has to do with the
disgusting amount of mold in our shower. We've been trying to get the
apartment manager to get a handyman to fix it for a couple of weeks
now. We tried cleaning it, but when we did, the wall started calling
apart, so we stopped. Anyhow, I've still been feel really sick most of
the time.

I did get to go out and work a teensy bit the other day though! A
member that just moved into the ward drove us around on Thursday, so I
was actually able to do some contacting! And we (well, Sister Baker
and another sister) picked up a new investigator yesterday! And we
were able to set an appointment with another referral for Wednesday!
So things are looking up!

The funeral will be November 15, so hopefully I don't get transferred.
I always figured that I would be after this transfer, but I'm hoping
that I'll be able to stay for Susan's sake. Plus, I haven't actually
gotten to work with Sister Baker much since I've  been sick for most
of the transfer. Anyway, we'll see I guess!

I think that's pretty much it.

I love you all!

~Sister Kretchman

Letter #56 (October 27, 2014)

The good news is that I'm better! I finished my second round of
antibiotics as well as the steroid and the bronchitis seems to
officially be gone! (Knock on wood!) I spent most of the week totally
exhausted though and everyone made me keep resting. So on Tuesday I
convalesced at a member's house and she made me some yummy soup and
gave me more vitamin C. I also had my follow up appointment that day.
In the meantime, Sister Baker went to work in Pasadena with both
Pasadena sisters. So Sister Salisbury was my companion and the Sister
Lund was my companion because she's the one that picked me up and
brought me to the hospital in Glendale. The rest of the week I rested
and then started doing planning type things and making calls and what

On Wednesday we were on exchanges again so that I could rest, this
time with the South Pas sisters. And I got a surprise visitor! We hear
a knock on the door (which has been happening frequently with people
bringing me food as well as the apartment manager coming to look at
our poor shower wall). So I open the door and Sister Fjeldsted is
standing there! I just about died with happiness. Haha. She is moving
in with her aunt in San Clemente which is only about an hour and a
half away from here. So she dropped in to pick up some stuff she left.
It was so nice to see her, especially since I've been so down lately
because of being so sick and so weak. So that was wonderful.

I actually went out somewhere on Saturday though.

Which is where the bad news comes in. I think I wrote before about the
lady that we are helping to reactivate who has a mom with Parkinson's
that was able to come to the primary program with her nurse. Well
Saturday morning we got got a text from the bishop's wife telling us
that Janice died on Thursday. At first I was just kind of in shock.
And I didn't want to make a fuss or anything, so we kept going with
companion study. But then I started to say something about whatever we
had just read I Preach My Gospel, and I just started bawling. I cried
for 5/10 minutes, re-composed myself and then started calling people
to drive us over to see how Susan was doing.

I haven't seen Susan since Sister Fjeldsted's last week because of me
being sick and everything. Last Thursday we stopped by and it was just
Janice and her nurse home, so we said hello to Janice and asked her if
she wanted us to read to her (usually when we go over and Susan wasn't
there, we would read a chapter or two in the Book of Mormon to Janice,
sing her a song and say a prayer and then go. We started doing that
because Janice asked us to read to her one night when we went over.)
she said no. Which was a first. So I just gave her a hug, said "I love
you and I'll see you later" and we left. That's the last time I saw
Janice. It was a huge blessing though 1. because I got to see her once
more before she passed, and 2. because the bishops wife was with us
that night, which meant that she knew to tell us about her passing
away. Otherwise we may not have found out until much later and we
needed to know first.

So we got dropped off over there (because no one is letting me bike
yet, which is probably smart, but I miss it!). Susan was on the porch.
We walked up and I just gave her a huge hug. She kind of whispered "do
you know?" So I told her yes and explained that Janice's active
brother called Bishop to let him know and so I found out through
Sister Christensen. It was perfect because honestly guys, me and
Sister Fjeldsted are pretty much all she's got I'm realizing. Her
daughter and grandson (who has been meeting with missionaries in
Carpinteria) were there and her non member boyfriend was there, but
we're pretty much Susan's only friends as well as the only people that
had even seen Janice recently, let alone went to visit her
specifically and spend time with her.

So we just talked to Susan and her daughter for a while. Susan wants
me and Sister Fjeldsted to sit at the funeral and I'm quite positive
that Sister Baker and I will be very involved in the funeral
arrangement process. We are pretty much Susan's only connection to the
ward besides her very faithful home teacher, so we are her connection
point to the ward members who will be vital in arranging everything
for the funeral. It will be held out the ward building; that's what
Janice wanted. So much of my time in he coming weeks will probably be
helping Susan and trying to find time to practice singing with Sister
Fjeldsted (who I obviously am still refusing to call by her first
name, haha). Which works out because I'm still having to kind of take
things easy as much as possible because my body is so weakened. We're
going to bike to and from the library later though, so we'll see how
that goes! I'm so excited! I just want to be out and working again!

But yeah, the whole thing with Janice had been kind of hard on me. I
absolutely loved her and will miss her sweet spirit. But I am happy
for her. She must be much happier now. She was so aware of the
horrible condition that she was in and it just broke my heart. So she
is in a much better place now and having a blast I'm sure.

Anyway, I love you all so much! Thank you so much for all of the
prayers on my behalf!

~Sister Kretchman

Letter #55 (October 15, 2014)

So this week was miserable. So why the subject line? You'll see.

This week was been miserable because I got bronchitis. I haven't been out to work since last Friday (not this past Friday, the one before that). The only times I left the apartment was to watch conference (and even then we ended up watching the last session at the apartment), Peope for People (food pantry, and then we left earlier because I was dying), pick up Sister Baker's bike, the doctor and then CVS to get antibiotics, and church (I was exhausted before church even started). The rest of the time I was at home trying to sleep, reading talks or the Book of Mormon, or watching pretty much everything there is to watch on Gospel Library including pretty much every feature film on Basically I've been going insane not being able to work.

But here are the many, many blessings:
-Brother and Sister Bell calling frequently to check up on me.
-And she brought us lunch.
-The South Pas and Pasadena sisters being willing to go on exchanges with us pretty much every other day so that Sister Baker could go out and work.
-Sister Baker herself being so patient and amazing. She got up on time by herself and studied all day everyday before we started doing exchanges.
-Sister Ford brought me homemade chicken noodle soup (so good. I hate chicken noodle soup because all we ever had was the nasty Campbell's stuff. Gross.)
-The South Pas and Pasadena sisters brought me Gatorade, Dayquil, soup, etc.
-Sister Lewis brought me and one of the Pasadena sisters dinner since we didn't get to go to the dinner appointment with Sister Baker and the other Pasadena Sister.
-Sister Selck brought us some super delicious carrot and ginger soup with homemade biscuits.
-Sister Cramer brought me some vitamin C and oregano to drink (don't ask, I don't really know) along with eggs, bread, and butter.
-Sister Ho bought us some groceries that we were running out of since P-Day was late this week.
-She also brought us dinner a different night.
-The Startfords brought us a super yummy pizza and salads.
-And our upstairs neighbor ordered us a pizza the same day.
-The zone leaders drove out to give me a blessing.
-Two elders got up before district meeting and carried the couch from the foyer for me to lay on duringn District Meeting. (Now THAT was super awkward and funny. But it would have been really really bad if I had to sit up for that long)
-We got to watch "Meet the Mormons" at zone meeting
-Sister Villanueva (the mission president's wife) sent home some soup and a note for me.
-Sister King brought some food over for us.
-The APs stopped by yesterday to give me a giant bag of M&Ms. Funny story behind that. Disclaimer, it's about to get real up in here. I started my period yesterday (which I'm only telling the world because of the next blessing), which after being sick for over a week seemed a little excessive to me. So it was funny that the elders brought me, not soup, but chocolate. Inspiration right there. It was really funny/embarrassing because I was sleeping when they showed up, so when I heard a knock on the door I kind of rolled out of bed to go and get it (because Sister Riches from Pasadena was with me, so wasn't likely to know anyone that might come to our door). I stumble up to the door and get totally dizzy, so I probably had a really peculiar expression on my no-makeup face, with my hobo hair from sleeping. And then it's elders with candy. I was still half asleep and so probably sounded slightly crazy as I thanked them so much for being so thoughtful and what not. Then after they leave Sister Riches noticed what shirt I was wearing. I was wearing my "I Love Mormon Boys" t-shirt from my first volleyball tournament. Yup, that was quite the sight for the APs I'm sure. Yikes. I just laughed so hard. That was so so sweet of them! And inspired since I ended up really needs chocolate that day... 
-We got to go to the temple today! So the reason into,d you about being on my period was not to be awkward (which obviously it is) but because I am really grateful to be on my period for this reason: the last few times we went to the temple, I was always really sleepy towards the end of the session, and so didn't really get anything out of the last bit. But his time I had really bad cramps, so I was able to stay awake through the whole thing! Probably he only time in my life I've been thankful for cramps, but there you go.
-The sister that drove us (Sister Iverson) bot only drove us to LA at 5: 30 in the morning, but she also bought us lunch afterward AND paid for our groceries.

We had call some elders to take some of the food that people had given us because we had too much to fit in our fridge or our bellies.

There has just been such an incredible outpouring of Christlike love this past week. I'm so overwhelmed with gratitude. This week frankly stunk for the most part. I finally broke down and cried Sunday night because I just knew that I shouldn't go to the new missionary meeting the next day and I was just so done with being sick. So done with not working. I HATE not working. Absolutely hate it. I don't like being cooped up for so long. But I have just seen so many blessings and just such great love and care. My district leader texted a few times to check up on me. Sister Villanueva called a few times to check up on me. I know that I have been in many prayers. All the food. So much food. It has been truly amazing. When I got really sick when I was in Pasadena, no one really cared. So to have had this experience this time has been incredible.

I'm happy to say that the bronchitis is gone. I'm still a bit sniffy, but not too bad. I still feel nasty for other reasons, but 1- I'm used to that and 2- I have a giant bag of M&Ms to help with that.

I wish I could fully express the love in my heart for the people here. And for the temple. This was my third and last temple trip as a missionary (fourth if you count the MTC) and it was amazing. And it is truly a miracle that I was healed from my sickness just in time to be able to go. I love the temple. 

When I go to the temple I always try to think of a word of something that I need help or improvement with, and then once we get to the celestial room, I grab one of the Book of Mormons off of a table and look up that word in the index. I've done his the past five or six times at I've gone to the temple and each time I've been able to find something to help me. This time I looked up "change" because I really want to change. I want to be better. I have a huge desire to help others, but I let my fears and experiences of constant rejection get to me and so I am not as efficient in my work as I want to be. I've been out so long and seen so much rejection that it has become difficult to have faith that one of the hundreds of people that I talk to will be ready to accept the gospel of Jesus Christ into their lives. I've become so worn down. But that is so selfish of me! I need to have more faith. Like, I know that it's possible to baptize monthly because that's what we have been promised if we do some certain things like talk to at least ten people a day and ask everyone for referrals. I know that it's possible, but I haven't been able to achieve that. I've felt like such a failure and gotten so down on myself. So I really just want to change. I want to have more faith. I want to have more charity so that it will be easier to "talk to everyone." I want these people to have the gospel, but if I had more faith that they would, and more love for them, than the Spirit would be with me more and I'd be able to help them. (I really hope that you all don't think that I'm a lazy bum and don't work hard, because I do. I try my hardest. But it's just not good enough. I need to be better.)

Anyway, his time all of the Book of Mormons were taken, so I grabbed a Bible instead and found 2 Corinthians 3:18 and it just really touched me. It didn't give me a magic solution to my obstacles, but for some reason it just hit me. I want so badly to be able to look in the mirror and see the light of Christ shining through. I am trying to change my will so that it is in accordance with God's will. Because that will make all of the difference.

Anyway. Today has pretty much been the best day ever. I'm not sick anymore (with bronchitis anyway), I just ride me bike for the first time in over a week, the weather is GLORIOUS (that's for your Sister Fjeldsted), I went to the temple today, I have M&Ms at home, and we're having dinner with one of my absolute favorite families ever today.

So I've rambled a lot and probably publicly humiliated myself to everyone that I hold near and dear, but there you go. I'll blame it on the fact that I'm still recovering from being sick and that I wore up at four o'clock his morning. Oh well.

I love you all so much!

~Sister Kretchman

PS- I got a letter from one of the elders in New Bloomfield ward because, according to him, the ward was challenged to write me. Well now. He's the only letter I've gotten from anyone in he ward and he's a busy elder. Come on! Haha, I know I know, your all busy having normal people lives. And I'll admit, I'm not very good about writing back right away (although I always do write back eventually when I have time). But please please please! If you have any time at all, please write me! Or if you don't have time, draw me a picture. Or have your kid draw me a picture. Or your dog. I'm not picky. Love you all!

So another blessing this week is that Sister Baker took one look at the sad condition of my white undershirt and had her mom send me a new one. She sent me three. I wish this picture even kind of did justice to the difference. The armpits give you an idea. It's about twice the size of the new one because it's so stretched out and it matched my cream colored lacy shirt very well. I am wearing said lacy shirt right now and the white undershirt looks bizarre because I'm used the the undershirt matching the lacy one. Sick:

Letter #54 (October 6, 2014)

So I picked up my trainee on Tuesday! Her name is Sister Baker and she
is wonderful. She is so sweet and practically pre-trained. She's not
afraid of pretty much anything and she is already willing to jump in
when we're teaching. She is from Ogden, UT and went to Weber state for
a semester as a vocal performance major. So the few members that she
had met so far are looking forward to some duets. She has only met
members that have given us rides or fed us dinner since we didn't have
normal church this Sunday.

Speaking of which... CONFERENCE. I LOVE conference! I had a sad
thought though. This is my last General Conference as a missionary.
It's funny, Sister Baker came out almost exactly a year after I did.
She went into the MTC on September 17. Which is the day, a year ago,
that I came into the field. Crazy, no? So I had conference my first
transfer, and so does she. It's so bizarre because I can remember
being where she is now. Weird.

I loved Elder Holland's talk and how he talked about doing what you
can. That is something that I have a hard time with. I always feel
like I'm not doing a very good job, but Heavenly Father just asks us
to do what we can. Perfection comes later.

We watched each session of conference somewhere different. We watched
the first session with an active family in the ward (who also fed us
breakfast! Yum.) we watched the second with a sweet less active lady
in the ward. We were going to watch the third session with our ward
mission leader's family, but unfortunately Sister Baker brought a
nasty cold with her from the MTC, which I started to catch on Saturday
and had in full force on Saturday. So Sister Bell drive us to the
stake center instead so that we wouldn't get anyone in her family
sick. For the last session, we were going to go to a different less
active's house, but we had to cancel with them because I didn't want
to put her frail mom at risk of catching what I had. (Plus, Sister
Bell picked us up from the stake center after the first session and
then told me "okay, you are going to go home. You are going to cancel
your afternoon appt and you are going to sleep".... yes mom...) We
still bikes to our 7:30 teaching appt though. I thought that I was
going to die, by we made it okay. We had the bishop and his wife come
pick us and our bikes up afterward though to take us home and Sister
Christensen basically gave the mom act again "now then, you will get
to bed early, and sleep all day tomorrow and the next day. Are we
clear?" Yes. Except that we have to do our grocery shopping and
laundry and we need to go to the library so that my trainee, who
doesn't have an iPad, can email her family who is probably dying to
hear from her. So I haven't really been able to sleep much today. We
might take it easy tonight though and have me go to bed early. We'll
see. I hate being sick. Especially as a missionary.

Anyway, we also had another lesson with Dennis. He was the seemingly
golden referral that will either be a great member or a nasty anti
someday. The lesson went about as well as it could have. We held our
own quite well, but the thing is that it's not just about defending
our faith. The Spirit is what teaches, and when the whole lesson is a
crazy Q&A, the Spirit isn't really there, despite our best efforts to
testify with the Spirit at every possible opportunity. We'll see what
happens I suppose. We just keep hoping and praying for the best and
we'll have to see where reading the Book of Mormon takes him.

I love you all so much! What was your favorite conference talk and why?

~Sister Kretchman