Thursday, May 30, 2013

Letter From Katherine (05/28/2013)

Hello Family!

I'm so glad that I was able to call and talk to you at the airport. It was great hearing your voices:) My first week here has been kind of tough. It has just been a really hard adjustment. A lot harder than I was expecting, but don't worry I'm happy:) 

When we first arrived in St. Louis President Clark, his wife, and the office elders were there to meet us and load all of our luggage into the trailer. We drove to the mission home, which is adorable, unloaded everything and then guess where the office elders took us? To a danish pastry shop! It was awesome! The owner is from Denmark, and were ere able to talk to him. Or should I say Sister Hall was able to talk to him. haha the pastries were great! After that we went to the temple where we met with President and Sister Clark and the other four missionaries who were called to Missouri. We took pictures, and president Clark talked to us and told us about the mission goal. This year they want to have 450 baptisms. I felt the spirit very strongly when he was speaking and it got me super excited for the work! They took us to dinner at this cool tepenyaki like restaraunt and it was delicious! Afterwards, we went back to the mission home and just kind of took it easy. President Clark interviewed us all, and then we had a testimony meeting. It was a really good day. President and Sister Clark are awesome! They are actually finished with their mission in June. Which means I will have 3 mission presidents my whole entire mission, which is kind of crazy for a sister!
Wednesday we had our transfer meeting. They had all the new missionaries sit on the stand, and then one by one we went up and they had us read who our companions were and where we would be serving. I have three companions. Sister Bierman is my trainer and she is great! I know I will be learning a lot from her. She is from Sandy Utah, and she has been in the mission field for five months. My other companion is Sister Linton.  She is from Wyoming and has been in the mission field for four months. It has been interesting seeing how things are done here in Missouri. I'm definitely not in the MTC anymore. My apartment isn't bad, but I don't know what to compare it to since it's my first one. I have been to the sister training leader's apartment though to do laundry and theirs was way nicer. I don't have a problem with mine though. They have a clubhouse where we have access to a gym, so that's nice. The apartment that the Sister training leaders are in has tennis courts, and we are planning on playing some time for p-day. I'm excited and also worried. I have played tennis in forever!

Wednesday was what President Clark calls a nesting day. We went and ran some errands and got me settled. I didn't have the money from the mission so I used my debit card to buy some clothes that would be good for the hot weather, and also some other things that i needed. So don't worry I haven't been spending like crazy. I just barely got the mission money today. 

We have a bunch of investigators and it has been a really good experience working with them. We actually have met with ##### and ##### Capone. Yeah, their great uncle is Al Capone...
I wouldn't call them investigators, because they aren't interested in the gospel at all, but they just like to talk, and talk, and talk, and talk. 

We picked up two new investigators last week, Joel and his girlfriend Annie. Annie is from Kenya, and she acted very interested in the gospel. We had a really good lesson with them. Sister Bierman calls them golden investigators. We also have another investigator named Daphney who was supposed to be getting baptized this Saturday, but she wasn't able to make it to church this Sunday. We will be visiting her tonight to see what has been going on. 

We walked to church on Sunday, and it was pretty hot. The church is four miles away from our apartment, so it was 8 miles there and back. We would have driven, but we didn't have enough miles on our car because Saturday night we had to drive to the ward mission leader's home to meet with him, and he lives pretty far away. We have a really big area.  

3 of the wards in the stake had a 5k and picnic yesterday, so that was fun. I ran the 5k woot woot! I kind of left my companions in the dust...oops.. don't worry though, the A.P. was there and he said it was fine. haha afterwards they had a picnic, and that was fun but the ward just isn't very friendly. So my advice to you is love the missionaries! make them feel good, and help them! 

So, all in all, it has been kind of rough. It's okay though i'm happy and trying my best. I love all of you so much! Thank you for everything! 

Love Katherine

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Update: No Visa . . . Hello Missouri (05/24/2013)

Katherine was able to call and let us know that her visa did not arrive and that she would be going to St. Louis, Missouri.  She will be there for 6 - 12 weeks.

Hi Family,

So i'm in good ol' Missouri, and my p-day is on monday, but since it's memorial day the library will be closed, so i will be e-mailing home on Tuesday. I just wanted to let you know that i'm safe and sound and i have some great stories to tell! I love you!

mission office: 
Missouri St. Louis Mission
1850 Craigshire Rd Ste 205
St Louis, MO 63146

My apartment address:
60 Cedar Bluff Dr apt. 7
Lake St. Louis, MO 63367

Friday, May 17, 2013

Letter From Katherine (05/14/2013)

Hi Family!!!

It's my last week here. what?!?! I can't even believe it. Time goes by so fast here it's not even funny. So we got our travel plans on Friday, I will send you a picture of them. We fly from salt like to Chicago then Chicago to London, and then London to COPENHAGEN!!!!!!!!! But.... we aren't sure if we have our visas. We checked with the travel office last week and they told us that they didn't have them. So we'll see.
Our Plans will most likely change whether we get our visas or not. If we don't have them by monday and it won't take that long for them to get here we will stay in the MTC for a couple of more weeks. Which I wouldn't mind because I LOVE the MTC. I'm not even being sarcastic. I seriously love it here. If it will take a long time for our visas to get here we will be reassigned for a transfer or two. Which could be like 12 weeks.... My district has been praying so hard that we will get them, and we fasted Sunday. We are really hopeful that we will get our visas. The group ahead of us that didn't get their visas, was supposed to come to the MTC on April 10th but then they ended up coming earlier. So the date that they needed their visas is the same as ours, so i'm hoping that that's why they didn't get their visas. We'll see though. I'm not worried about it, i'm just anxious to know where in the world i'll be going!

I watched an elder Holland talk and there a couple of things that stuck out to me.1. This is God's work and his Glory so I have to do it his way.2. This is a poem that he shared, I don't know who it's by.

Come to the edge he said
No, we'll fall
Come to the edge! he said
No, we'll fall
Come to the edge he said!!!
We came, he pushed us, and we flew.

Isn't that awesome? I loved it.

So Sunday was pretty much the coooolest day ever. Guess who came to speak to us for relief society? Janice Kap Perry! It was Amazing. She wrote a new song. Instead of As Sisters in Zion, it's The Sisters in Zion and she had us sing it. We were the first ones to ever sing it, and it was so incredibly powerful. Oh my gosh, it was so cool. I don't think there was a dry eye in the room. It was crazy though because while we were singing everyone was crying so you would think that it sounded horrible, but the music just kept building and building. The Angels were singing with us. It was one of the best experiences of my life. Was it Grandpa who said that when we have Deja vu it's when the veil is thinner? or something along those lines? Well I had some serious Deja vu and I felt so close to heaven. Just writing about it is making me tear up!

Also on Sunday the Devotional speaker was... I can't remember his name, but he talked about how miracles happen when we are exactly obedient. I thought that was really cool, because it would take a miracle for us to get our visas. Earlier in the day my district made the goal to be exactly obedient, so it was awesome to hear a whole talk about it after we had decided that that's what we are going to do. Don't get the wrong idea though, it's not like we were disobedient or anything, but there's always room for improvement.Believe that you can see miracles, believe that you can invite miracles, believe that you can cause miracles.

So Sister Bishop and I have had to interview the senior companions to see how everything is going with them and their companionships. Let's just say that I am so grateful for the girls in my district. haha but seriously, I love them! We have all worked so hard at getting along with one another and it has definitely paid off. At the beginning of last week I had a third companion for a day. She had the flu and was quarantined and missed going to Sweden with her district by a day! So she was with us, but luckily they were able to arrange for her to leave the next day. I guess the flu is going around like crazy and if you are testing positive you are put in quarantine. haha they actually have a quarantine here. Part of me wouldn't mind going there because they just let you sleep. Just kidding!!!!

I loved the mothers day pictures:) they were so fun to see. I will try and attach pictures today, but i might run out of time. Christina, I love you and am praying for you. Also the picture of Benson in the sandbox with everyone was so dang cute.   Okay so would you mind sending me actual photos? like in a little photo book? I think it would be fun to show the people I teach my family. I have some, but if it's not too much to ask I would love more:)

If my travel plans change I get to call you for like 5 minutes. I find out Thursday what's going on. So keep your phones with you! :) I'm running out of time! I will write letters.   Well family I love you, I love you, I LOVE YOU!!!

Have a great week!

Love Katherine

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Letter From Katherine (5/7/2013)

Well guess what? I only have one more p-day after today. Where does the time go????? I feel like I just barely got here. It's crazy. It has been a good week.
So we went to the TRC and guess who I taught? Dane (Katherine's Danish Teacher at BYU)! haha it was great. I'm not going to lie though, I was nervous. It was fun though. He gave everyone a danish flag sticker to put on our name tags. Today an elder walking past us thought it was a dork dot and he welcomed us to the MTC. pshhh, who does he think he is? Just kidding. We went to the TRC on Monday too, and sister Bishop and I were able to skype with a member in Denmark. We had a really hard time understanding her, but when she told us about her conversion story the spirit was really strong. Later we talked to our teacher and he told us that her family didn't support her being baptized at all. She became a member when she was 16 and she's probably 20 now. Our discussion was on the Book of Mormon and we asked her about the revelation she has received through the Book of Mormon. Once again, when she answered it was really hard to understand her, but the spirit was really strong. It was a good experience.
I don't know if i have told you this before, but our teachers pretend to be investigators and we teach them. The lessons we had with one of our "investigators" yesterday was awesome. We talked about the book of mormon, prophets, and the holy ghost. I felt like we were truly guided on what we should say. The spirit was so strong, I wish you all could have been there. I'm really excited for when I will be teaching real investigators.  
There are a bunch of missionaries here from Denmark, and most of them are going to Germany. We have been able to talk to them, so that has been fun. Their English is awesome.
Sister Bishop's parents sent her a pinata for cinco de maya so our district had a little celebration, it was fun. The swedes left this morning so now the Danes are the oldest ones in the zone! how crazy is that?
Our new schedule is rough, and we don't ever get to use the field anymore :( and to answer your question Dad, when I hit the kid in the back I laughed pretty hard. I apologized of course though.
The language is hard. I feel like everyone is at my same level, and I took a semester at BYU. Our district tried to only speak danish on saturday and we did really good...until the end of the day. It was extremely helpful, but mentaly exhausting. I'm pretty sure that I won't be moving into wyview, but I think that the next danish group will. Actually, I think that all of the scandanavian missionaries will be moving into wyview eventually.
So sunday was fast sunday, and I could barely keep my eyes open. It was sooo hard! Guess who came to speak to us? Chad Lewis! Adam, you know who I'm talking about right? His talk was so inspirational. I'm pretty sure everyone felt so pumped afterwards, and ready to get into the field! he said when you feel tired, pray like crazy. So the next time i think I can't keep my eyes open I will just pray like crazy:)  
I didn't do a good job of keeping track of what I want to write home about, and I always feel scatter brained because i'm being timed and it stresses me out. So Sorry!
I'm still loving the MTC.
I love you!
Love Katherine

Letter From Katherine (05/07/2013) Re her sister Christina's Cancer

I'm very happy to hear the news about Christina! I had no idea that her losing her hair was an option, or that her cancer was a mutation.  It's been so weird not being home while this is going down. I've had to rely completely on the Lord, and he has helped me so much.

I learned a lot this week. I will write you a letter, because I feel like I can explain more when I write letters.

Sister Bishop and I are the sister training leaders now. I almost pulled a Robert and didn't tell you, but then I better not :)

I love this gospel, and I am so grateful to a part of this work. I am so humbled to know that the savior trusts me to be a representative of him. His name is on my name tag! How cool is that?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Letter From Katherine (4/30/2013)

Hi Family!
Katherine and Sister Bishop
I still love the MTC. Thanks for the e-mails dear elders, and packages! they are the best. Mom-the shoes that you sent are awesome, I love them! thanks! Our schedule change is crazy. We have gym in the mornings at 6:25!!!! and the we don't even get to go on the field now. Sad huh?? I was getting super good at softball... haha I totally nailed this kid, i mean elder, in the back when I threw the ball to second base:) the next day he said he had a good bruise. oops... Softball has been way fun though and i'm sad that we won't be able to play it anymore.
Friday my district went to the TRC for the first time and it was a really good experience. You probably already know this, but the TRC is where members come to be taught a message by the missionaries. It's kind of like home/visiting teaching, but in the language you're learning. It was really cool though because Sister Bishop and I were able to teach a non-member from Denmark. She's a foreign exchange student and she's a junior in high school. We had a member there with us and she was so helpful! It was crazy because we ended up not following our lesson at all and we talked about the atonement. We also taught a lady and her son, and they too were from Denmark. Afterwords, she gave us a big hug and told us that she loves sister missionaries. I loved the TRC! I also saw Dane's dad so that was fun. He was excited about how many missionaries are going to Denmark.
My teachers here are awesome. I have been learning a ton! Learning the language has been very humbling. I thought that since I took the Danish class at BYU I would be way far ahead of everyone, but everyone is picking it up so quickly. The gift of tongues is so real! A lot of them are stressing about the language, but they have no idea how much they know and how the gift of tongues is already working.
I loved the pictures! I'm not sure if I can watch videos, I will have to check on that, but I will let you know.
I got packages from the Kylie and Stacie, aunt Jan, and the Loosli family, so If I could get their addresses in a Dear Elder that would be great. Also I still need addresses for the Gibson's and Grandma and Grandpa.
Dad- Stephanie told me about her sneaking into the MTC at my fairwell. I thought it was hilarious. It really would be so easy for someone to just walk in. Don't get any ideas... :)    
Katherine's MTC Zone
Mom- the picture with the BIG group is my zone. The dutch group left on monday, and the two icelandic elders left on Monday as well so we decided to get a big picture with everyone. The Icelandic elders were hilarious and I will miss having them here. They were so ready to get out of here though. They've been here 9 weeks. I haven't picked up my tan skirt yet, but I will let you know how it looks when I get it.
I can't believe that I've hit the halfway mark here at the MTC. I don't feel even close to being ready to leave, and I have a hard time seeing myself being ready by the end of the next three weeks. It will be interesting to see if my visa came. I guess we don't find out until like the day before we actually leave. I was thinking about it though, and if I get reassigned for a while it would be way cool to have some experience teaching in English before I go to Denmark. But then I worry about not speaking danish and forgetting it all before I get out there. Whatever happens though I know it's what is supposed to happen and i'm not worried.
Well Family, thanks for everything. I love you so much, and you are always in my prayers!
Love Katherine

Katherine & Elder Erekson (Family Friend)

Iceland Elders!

Letter From Katherine (4/25/2013)

Hi Family!

Care Package Before . . . 
You're going to think that i'm crazy, but I woke up at 4:30 again. crazy huh?! I don't even feel tired right now though, which is weird because these past few days I have been so exhausted. My body doesn't like not taking naps. So we woke up at 4:30 and did our laundry and sent pictures home, and then we went to the temple. We did initiatory and it was awesome. We were going to eat at the temple again for breakfast but it wasn't open yet. sad day. The temple food is a lot better than the MTC food. det er okay. 

So this week I kept a list of things to write home about. Here it is:
Danish is coming along, but I feel like the way they teach us is not organized at all. I'm learning a ton, but it's like I don't even know what to start with when i'm studying because there is so much. One thing that was cool though, was that I finally realized how bouncy and rhythmic Danish is. who knew?!

Care Package After . . . nough said!
So Sister Peterson left for West Virginia, and i'm back to having one companion.  I have a really cool story to tell you all about her, but I probably won't have time to e-mail it, so I will send a letter. I have been able to get to know and enjoy the girls more. Like i said before we are all so different and it's crazy, but fun.  

Katherine's other Companion going to West Virginia
So the Elders in my district are a hoot. One of the companionships was having a debate over choir and football. The debate ended by one of the elders saying, "God didn't send down a foot football team of angels when Christ was born, he sent down a choir of angels." HAHA we all laughed so hard! you probably had to be there, but it was WAY funny.

One of the elders in my district lost his uncle to suicide. He has been super strong about it, and a good example to us all.

Guess who came to the Sunday night devotional?! BYU Men's chorus. It was so good! and you better believe that the elder who loves choir LOVED the fireside haha

So this last week wasn't the best with my migraines. I think I've had four since I've been here. the first 3 weren't bad. I took the medicine right away and I didn't really feel any pain, I just get way tired. the fourth migraine was in the middle of the night, so by the time i took the medicine I was in pretty bad pain. Once I did take the medicine though the pain didn't last as long as it usually does. Over all though my migraines haven't been bad. I have been blessed!

Thanks for the packages and the dear elders! they are the best, I love getting them. Mom, your cookies were like mana from heaven. Seriously, they tasted so good.

Kathine's MTC District
Dad- guess what? Guess who has been playing kickball? ME! and guess what else? I rock at kickball. Just kidding, haaha but it's fun. and guess what I learned. No matter how bad you are at something, there is always someone out there who is worse at it than you:) haha

The Great Danes!!
I got a dear elder from my Danish teacher Dane this week, and he wrote it all in Danish, and I surprisingly understood pretty much all of it! He knows every single one of my teachers at the MTC, so he had me say some funny things to them. It was great.

Our whole district is doing choir. You can thank the elder who loves choir for that:) it's fun though, and it saves us a seat for the Tuesday night devotional.

One of the sisters in my district plays the piano, so when ever we have like 30 minutes to spare, which isn't very often, we go find a piano and play. I'm glad I brought my music! Mom- will you be on the lookout for any duets? don't go searching for them, but if you come across one I would love a copy.

Sister Bishop and I have two new investigators (our teachers). We had to go contact them and everything. Our lesson with Bror Pullan went really well. We had our whole lesson planned out, but he knew exactly what to do to get us away from our script. I was so surprised at how much Danish we could actually speak. 

So last night after my district finished planning we played a game. You know those jelly beans that have nasty flavors? like dog food? well one of the elders mom sent him some, and we went around eating a pack until they were all gone. Some of the flavors are good, and some are bad so you don't know what you're going to get. Well guess what ones I got stuck with? Vomit, Centipede, and pencil shavings. Oh my heck the vomit one was so nasty! I dare you all to try it.
Nightgowns Rule!
Last week I e-mailed by branch president letting him know about Christina, and I came to find out that he is a lung specialist. He told me that if I ever have any question I can feel free to call him and he will try and explain anything. I thought that was pretty cool.
I have been really happy here, and I can't believe how fast time is flying! It's crazy! I love you all! you're in my thoughts and prayers.
Oh one last thing. The girl in my danish class at BYU who really wanted to go to Denmark is goinng to Houston Texas. She leaves the same day as peter and james, and she'll be in the Mexico MTC. The mission presidents are actually one of her best friend's parents and she stayed at the mission home for a few days over the summer. crazy huh?
Keep writing me! I love you all!
Love Katherine
all of you should give Benson a hug and kiss from me.
Letter From Katherine (4/18/2013) (Her First e-mail!)

Hej! Hvordan gar det???
Okay so today as you know is my p-day, and we got up at 4:30 to do laundry and send pictures. We went to the temple and did the 7:00am session and had breakfast at the temple. When we were finished there we came back got cleaned up and had to do a few things with my one companion who is leaving tuesday. Anyways, long story short I agreed to wake up at 4:30 as long as we could take a nap later today, so if that doesn't happen then I'm not doing 4:30 again. Also, if this e-mail doesn't make much sense it's because i'm tired:)
Sister Bishop & Sister Murray
So i made it through my first week! It has been awesome. The first night I didn't sleep at all because of the snorer, but I haven't heard whoever it was since, so that's good. 
Missionaries to Denmark
After you guys dropped me off I took my things to my room and then went to get my books and then I went to my classroom to meet my teacher and my district. There are 5 girl plus sister Peterson who is the one that had mono. she Just barely got reassigned to West Virginia and will be leaving tuesday. There are 6 boys and they are pretty much super funny. My teacher was roommates with Dane (danish teacher) so that was kind of fun, and our pretend investigator actually subbed my danish class at BYU and he recognized me so that was fun too. I don't know if they did this when Robert was here, but we starting teaching an investigator in danish our second day here. It's crazy because it feels so real, and I even know the investigator. I am definitely so happy that I took the danish class. If i hadn't i would totally be freaking out right now. Thursday we met the other danish district, and they have 6 girls and 5 boys I think... I have no idea how they're going to train all the girls when we get out to Denmark because there were only 3 girls in the group that left before us. Sunday here was awesome. The relief society speaker was amazing! her name is sister Edmunds, I don't know if you have ever heard of her, but she was great.
Guess who came to speak to us on Tuesday? Richard G. Scott!! How cool is that?!?! he spoke on prayer, and it was so powerful. Do you guys remember when we were having dinner and I think we were talking about Bruce R. McKonkey? and Mom said something about how his testimony of Christ was so powerful? Well at the end of Richard G. Scott's talk he said, "I know Jesus Christ lives, because I know him." Talk about powerful!! It reminided me of what mom was saying. At the end he gave us an apostalic blessing, and the things he promised were pretty neat. After hearing him speak, I have no doubt that I will learn the language. He also mentioned multiple times that our families will be blessed because of our service and that was pretty comforting. It was so cool you guys, I wish you could have heard it. The spirit is so strong here, I love it! I went to the temple this morning and it was really nice. The inside of the provo temple is gorgeous!
Gym time is heaven sent. I never though i would appreciate running so much! haha so yeah basically I just run because I stink at basketball and volleyball. I have been tempted to try four square though haha Time really is going by pretty fast. I know i've only been here one week but it seems like yesterday i just barely got here.  I have loved getting dear elders from all of you! Keep them coming! I was super excited to hear about Peter and James! are they excited?? I was also excited to hear about Kurtis. So far I have only had one migraine, and it was right before I went to bed so I was able to sleep it off. Things here have been going great and I have been really happy here. I realize that this isn't the greatest letter because it's super random and all over the place. In the future I'm going to write down the things that I want to tell you, so that way I will know exactly what I want to say and I wont waste any time. I have an hour on the computer, so yeah. Could you send me an e-mail with everybodies e-mail on it?
I hope everything is going well. Keep me updated on what is going on with Christina. She's in my prayers. I read your e-mail about her results this morning, and after I went to the temple and it was a huge comfort. I love all of you sooo much! I'm sorry if my e-mail didn't live up to your expectations, but it will be better next week i promise. Thanks for all your love and support! I love you and I will talk to you next week!
love Katherine
Could you please send me my danish books and maybe my pink notebook? they should be in my backpack. If you can't send them that's fine, but I think they would be good to have for when I have free time. okay so here's kind of a list of things I could use. If you can't send them don't worry about it.
Danish books
dry shampoo
tan skirt- if it's not hemmed they have alterations here for way cheap.
brown shoes.
lots of band aids- my shoes have been giving me blisters.