Monday, November 25, 2013

Letter #10 (November 25 2013)

I'm really sorry that a lot of my emails have been so short lately. I keep ending up with almost no time to email, it's been crazy.

But anyway. This week was kind of frustrating because my comp and I were taking turns feeling sick, so we weren't able to go out much. BUT. I think this week also included the most lessons in one week that I've ever taught, so that was good.

We are "practicing" teaching this 65-year-old man who has been going to church every Sunday since the 70's, but isn't baptized. We have a baptismal date set for him in January (he needs to move out of his house first because he's living with his girlfriend), but we'll see what happens. He does seem to be pretty serious about it, he even asked someone to baptize him already.

We're also making headway with two of our other eternal investigators. And we're finally meeting with Matt again this week (I think that I wrote about him. He's the one who broke his collarbone while mountain biking) so that's good.

We also picked up a new investigator the other night. Her name is Odelia and she has been a referral since before I got here! We went to her house so many times and she was never home. One time we heart attacked her door and left a note with our number on it. She never called. But we finally caught her! She's super sweet. She told us that she took a picture of the hearts and put it on Facebook. I thought that that was really funny/cute. We're meeting with her again on Saturday, so we'll see what happens! Unfortunately we keep contacting people who seem like they'll turn into investigators and we have appointments set and everything, but then they fall through. This has happened over and over again. I still haven't actually had a follow up lesson with anyone after the initial first contact lesson. So I'm hoping and praying that it will be different with Odelia. Wish me luck!

Before I forget. The mission office is moving. So starting December 1st, my mission address will be:

614 W Foothill Blvd
Arcadia, CA 91006

So send my mail there, not to W Duarte Rd. Thanks!

Anyway. We have no idea what we're doing for Thanksgiving yet. No one signed up to feed us. But we have been personally invited to a couple of places, so we just need to figure out where we're going. It should be an adventure.

Also, I'm getting really pumped for Christmas. I LOVE Christmas so much. I love the lights and I love Christmas hymns. I just wish that it would snow. Just once. Just enough for me to make a snowball and a snow angel. Is that too much to ask? Yes. Oh well. I'm really excited because we're going to help an old lady decorated for Christmas on Friday. I've been asking around for anyone that I can help decorate because I just love the Christmas season so much. So yeah... I'm excited. Haha

I'll be interested to see where I am for Christmas and what we end up doing.

Oh! My comp, our elders, and I are singing a song that one of the elder's brother wrote in a couple of Sundays! It's actually pretty hard, but I think that if we can get it together, it'll be really good. I'm also singing with some less active YW that same Sunday. And they want me to sing at the Relief Society Christmas party, but I probably won't be here because it's after transfers and I'm about 99.9% sure that I'll  be transferred. 

Anyway, I can't think of anything else. I just wanted to end with some Thanksgiving cheer:

I am thankful for (not necessarily in this order):

The gospel
A loving Heavenly Father
The Book of Mormon
The Bible
Preach My Gospel
My companion
The Plan of Salvation
My mission president and his wife
My family
My friends
General Conference talks
Warm blankets
The awesome elders in our ward
Joseph Smith
The Atonement of Jesus Christ
All of you that care enough about me to read my crazy emails

I love you all so much and love hearing from you! Happy Thanksgiving!

~Sister Kretchman

Letter #9 (November 19 2013)

So the past couple of weeks have been kind of crazy. But things are really starting to pick up here! Sister Chambers is awesome. Since she got here, we've been getting really close to setting baptism dates for three of our eternal investigators! I'm so excited! And I've really been able to see how the Lord has been working through me at times as well.
Here's one example:
We have an investigator named Dede (his real name is William) who has been investigating the church for over 15 years. He keeps saying "don't give up on me!" He says that he'll be baptized eventually, but that he has an issue with tithing. He feels that he is already putting his money to good use by helping his grandkids through college. He's been through so many missionaries. All of them testifying of the power of paying tithing, how much he'll be blessed for it, etc. But he still isn't getting it.
So a couple of weeks ago we were trying to find a member of the ward to come to the lesson with us. We tried a few different members and none of them could come. So I'm scrolling through the phone when I pass a Sister Pardo (she's a semi-active sister in the ward, super sweet). Then I stopped, scrolled back up, and called her. I just felt like I should. Well, she is apparently is good friends with Dede. So she comes. During the lesson, she bore her testimony about how the best way for Dede to help his family is by joining the church and receiving the Priesthood because then he can give blessings and things like that. She also shared an experience that a friend of hers had with struggling to pay tithing. Dede got really quiet.
So next time we saw him (last Thursday), he tells us that he has been seriously thinking of getting baptized soon. He said that he has been thinking a lot about what Sister Pardo said and feels like it's time for him to be baptized. Woah.
So we don't have a date set yet, but I really feel like we're closer than we've ever been. And it's all because the Lord wouldn't let me pass Sister Pardo's name. He really does know what each individual person needs. I'm just grateful that I listened to Him.
Anyway, that was a lot longer than I meant it to be, so I'll try to be quick with the rest of my email.
Funny story; we were waiting at a bus stop and started talking to this man that was waiting there as well. It was really awkward, I could tell that he didn't really want to talk to us, but we tried anyway. Well all of a sudden, this college age guy with a backpack starts walking by. And then about a second later a cop car pulls over in front of us, the guy with the backpack turns around and walks over to the cop, and is arrested. Right in front of us. I was a tad bit distracted from out conversation at this point, but Sister Chambers was totally focused and kept trying to talk to the man! It was so bizarre, but really funny to think back on. I keep having run ins with the police! Haha
I have more that I want to say, but I don't have time so...
I love/miss you all! I hope you're all having a fantastic week!
~Sister Kretchman

Letter #8 (November 15 2013)

Sorry this is so late everyone. This Monday they were cleaning the carpets at the church so we couldn't email here. So we were going to go email at the stake center, but they were doing the carpets there too. So THEN we were going to do it on Tuesday, but everyone else that didn't get to do it on Monday was doing it on Tuesday, so we didn't end up having time. And then we had exchanges on Wednesday so we weren't together to do our email. And yesterday was just crazy. So yeah... I'm emailing today. We were going to just not email this week since it's so late as it is, but then we remembered that we won't have P-Day until Tuesday because we have Zone Conference on Monday, so we decided to do it quickly today so that you know that we haven't died.

So.... I haven't died. There.

I'll TRY to catch up on Tuesday!

I love/miss you all! Keep the letters coming! Sorry I'm so bad at writing back, I'm working on it! 

Have a great week!

~Sister Kretchman

Ps- We had a high of 92 on Wednesday! What the?

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Letter #7 (November 4, 2013)

So last week my email was really short again because of lack of time due to transfers. I am still in the Creekside ward, but I have a new comp. Her name is Sister Chambers. She's 25 and has been out for about 7 months. She's really nice and is a really good missionary. I think that I'm going to learn a lot from her.

The transfer was really hard because I had become such good friends with Sister Mattingley and also because we had been preparing a member missionary fireside for weeks that I was being left with. Luckily though, we also got two new elders in our ward and they, and Sister Chambers, are awesome. They stepped right in to help. The fireside was last night. It went... alright. The members here like to talk A LOT. And it's hard to cut in and redirect things back to where they need to be. Hopefully they got something out of it though!

This week with my new trainer/comp has been kind of crazy. The S family (The people we live with) are out of town, so it's just us at home. So the one night, we're walking to our dinner appointment when the sister we live with calls our cell. Apparently the security alarm went off on the back door and so the police went over to check it out and everything. We think that we secure the back door properly and the wind blew it open. But that only kind of makes sense because in order to turn the alarm on, the doors have to be shut properly or else it won't set. So it should have been closed all the way. But anyway, we get home that night to find that the police re-locked the doors, including a sliding bolt at the top of the door. Which means that the key still won't open the door because you can only unlock the bolt from inside. So we tried the back door (Sister Chambers had to climb the fence into the back yard), but it required a different key. We were finally able to get in because we called the S family  again and they were able to tell us where the spare keys for the back door are.

But then the next day, apparently the alarm went off on the back door again. While we were still there. And the alarm wasn't even on. We didn't know that anything happened until Sister S called again and then the police came to the back door. I let them in and they demanded our IDs and stuff. They weren't happy that my ID wasn't a California ID. They totally thought that we were burglars! We convinced them that we weren't by turning the alarm on and then putting in the pass code to turn it off. What should have happened though is that when the alarm went off, the alarm company is supposed to speak through a speaker in the alarm box and we would give them the password to prove that we aren't burglars. But that didn't happen. No one asked us for a password, no one spoke through it at all. So instead we started out the morning by being interrogated by the police. Fun stuff. It's funny to think about now, but I was NOT a happy camper when it happened.

On a better note though, I got to go to a baptism of Sister Chambers' yesterday before the fireside in one of her old areas. We got one of our investigators to drive us (we've been trying to get her to a baptism for ages). It was really nice. A lot more put together than the one when I got here!

Oh, I forgot! Last Sunday Sister Mattingley and I sang "Come Thou Fount" in sacrament! Everyone had kept asking when I'd perform for them, and I always responded "when they ask me to." So they finally asked me to. It went really well I think and all of the members have been commenting on it to me ever since.

Anyway, I can't remember the rest of what happened in the past two weeks, so I guess that's it.

I love and miss you all! PLEASE write to me! I probably won't get back to you for a while, but I will get back to you eventually I promise! And I'm a lot more likely to write you if you write me first because I still don't have many addresses. So yeah... Write me. Haha

~Sister Kretchman

Elders in Anna's MTC district

Anna's district with their teacher
Smelling the orange-creamsicle tree at the MTC

Letter #6 (October 29, 2013)

We had transfers yesterday and so didn't have time to email, so I'm having to do another quickie today.

My comp was transferred and both of the elders in my ward were transferred. So I'M the one who knows things and I really don't know a lot since I'm new and don't know what the heck is going on most of the time. BUT. All three of the missionaries who transferred in seem really great and like they know what they're doing a bit more than I do, so it should be okay.

I'll try to catch up a bit more next week.

Love you all!

~Sister Kretchman

MTC zone with the Branch President and his wife