Monday, January 27, 2014

So...I bought a GPS last p-day...and it has been one of the greatest purchases I have ever made! We no longer get lost! And as we only have 8 or less miles a day for the next week, not getting lost is a HUGE blessing!
Story time!!! It's about my trainer...:) First off, you have to know that Sister Carlin is the most exactly obedient person I have ever met. She doesn't like to do anything that might even go against a rule. We had to skip dinner the other night for an appointment and couldn't eat until like 8pm. But, since we are normally supposed to finish dinner by 6, she was afraid we were breaking a rule. Like I said, SUPER obedient. So she was in her first area and she was about 2 weeks out and her trainer was 6 weeks out. So basically the blind was leading the blind. They were in Graham which is pretty country. They saw this guy washing his horse in his driveway and went to talk to him. He was pretty receptive to the gospel so they were both pretty excited. Then he said, "I like what you're saying. But in order for me to love something you love, you have to love something I love. I want you to ride my horse." Sister Carlin and her trainer started freaking out and they tried to explain to him that was against the rules. He was not having it. He kept saying, "Just call your big guy and let me talk to him." So they did. But President didn't answer. So what does this guy do? He picks Sister Carlin up, puts her on the horse, gets on with her, and trots around the driveway. she was frozen out of fear and so was her trainer. I was laughing so hard when she told me that story!!! Missions are the best!!!
On to this week...There is an older couple that we go see every Sunday night. They are members and we absolutely love them! She just had surgery a couple months ago and so she uses a walker to get around. Her husband calls it "The Pink Cadillac" It is so cute! She even has a bell on it! It's great! Every Sunday they feed us ice cream. Yesterday it was apple pie and ice cream yumm!! They are such an example to me and I love them so much!!!
I have met some pretty amazing people this week. People that have definitely been prepared for the gospel. It has been pretty rough this week because we aren't really seeing the fruits of our labors yet, but I know that there is a better plan for us and for the people we have met! Sometimes I get a little discouraged, but God really helps me out! I know He is there!
A HUGE miracle we saw this week: We have been trying to get a hold of a lady in our ward that has been less active for quite some time. Members have tried, missionaries have tried...nothing has worked. On Saturday, we were in her area and decided to knock on her door. SHE ANSWERED!!! And, we have a return appointment with her!!! I'm convinced that the only reason we have a return appointment is because the Spirit brought to Sister Carlin's remembrance that this sister is an amazing quilter!!! It was such a great experience!!
I absolutely love being a missionary!! I get to see miracles every day!!! and I absolutely love it! People hit the nail right on the head when they say that missions are the hardest thing you'll ever love! I can already feel that!!
So, another funny story...We have been visiting this part member family and I love them! Neither of them have been coming to church and we are slowly but surely making progress with them! Anyway, they have 2 cats and so naturally, I play with the cats every time we are there. Sometimes I think that my companion gets annoyed with me because I ALWAYS pet animals we see...and she's not a big fan of animals. :) So we were over at their house the other day and the cats were running around like crazy and they said that Bubba loves blankets and sheets. So they proceed to show us what they mean. They went and got a blanket and each of them held a side so that the blanket was at like chest height. The cat JUMPED on top of the blanket and started rolling around and attacking it's tail and all sorts of stuff. It was the funniest thing! I was crying I was laughing so hard! I really do love this family! He has not been too receptive to the gospel in the past and hasn't really let anyone inside the home. But sister carlin and I were blessed and he has been really open with us. Both of them have! We mentioned family history to him this week and his eyes just lit up! We think this might be his foot into the gospel! We are so excited!
SO, this email is getting to be pretty long so I'll end it here. Just know that I love you all! And that I know that the gospel has been restored to it's fullness in this dispensation! Miracles still happen today! And in Doctrine and Covenants 31, the Lord is talking to Thomas B. Marsh about his mission. He tells him that it will be hard to leave his family but, "Behold, verily I say unto you, go from them only for a little time, and declare my word, and I will prepare a place for them." I know that it is sometimes hard for us to be apart. But it will only be for a little time! The Lord is doing great things for all of us! And I know that I am where I should be! And I'm so thankful for that!
I love you all!
Sister Keele

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Email or Snail Mail:

Breanne enjoys receiving emails and snail mail. Please send any correspondence to the Maple Valley, WA address. 

Hello all!!! This week has been kind of a weird week!! But, we have seen so many miracles!! I'll start with telling you something kind of hard that happened to us. We have been trying to get a hold of this potential since I got here and haven't caught him at home yet. So we were knocking on his door and saw a lady across the street walking to get her mail. And the mailboxes here are all in the same place at the end of the street. So we went over to ask this lady if she knew if our potential still lived there. And that made her son EXTREMELY angry. He thought that we were trying to teach her something and started yelling at us. He was saying things like, "Can I chase YOU down the street?!" "How about I shove my religion down your throat?!" It made me so sad for him. I wanted to walk up to him and start telling him how much Heavenly Father loves him and how much happier he would be if he understood that. But, I decided that my safety was more important at the moment, so I resisted. :) I know that he just isn't ready to accept the truth yet. Also, people tell us some crazy things when we knock on their doors, but I think the most hurtful one so far has been, "I gotta go. I have bigger and better things to do." OUCH. If only they knew how important this gospel is for their ETERNAL SALVATION!!! Sometimes I wish that people didn't have their agency. BUT, then I remember whose plan that is and that if I just stay faithful and keep on trying, the Lord will bless us. Because He knows who needs the gospel right now. He knows WAY better than I do. I just need to remember that! :)
On to more positive things...I love being here in Washington. One of the senior couples told us today that "if you want to go on a foreign mission, just go to Seattle!" It's so true! I have met so many different people! To name a few I've met, Seeks, Behei's (idk how to spell it), Muslims, Lutherans, Protestants, Atheists, Fortune Tellers, Free Masons, people that believe in Taro, and so forth. And I've met people from all around the world. There is a whole development in our area that is primarily Russians. (Brooke, tell Edvardo Svdorski he needs to move there!) I love it! People are so open to the gospel! You just need to find the people that are prepared!
I did my first church tour yesterday! It was so powerful! It's nice because the pictures in our church building are all in order! So we were going around and teaching the restoration and when we got to the picture of the first vision, I recited it and the Spirit was so strong!! I know that our investigator felt it! I almost cried because it was just an AMAZING feeling!
I went on exchanges this week with the STL's! It was awesome to see how other missionaries do things! Both Sister Carlin and I learned a lot and are implementing those things in our area. I don't know if I told you guys but we were white washed into this area. Which means, we are the first sisters here so we are starting from scratch. It has been rough on days because we don't have any progressing investigators, but it has, for the most part, been really good. We always laugh because Elder Moses (one of the elders in our area) has been in this area for his whole mission. He's been out for, I think, 4 transfers. And his companion, Elder Lewis, just finished his 12 week training right before I got here. SO they know the area pretty well. And we'll knock on doors and people will say to us, "Oh yeah! Moses and Lewis were just here the other day! They come over all the time!" And they give us referrals all the time and it gets pretty hard to find referrals for them because it seems like they know everyone already. haha!
I love the ward that I'm in! The members are absolutely fantastic! The sister that sent mom the picture has a son in Sacramento and her other sons have served missions as well. She took us out for dinner last Monday and asked if she could send a picture to you because she always appreciated it when other people did that for her. I thought that was super nice of her! Our ward mission leader is great as well. He and his wife are working on their mission papers right now. I think they might have just turned them in maybe. He works at the temple and was part of our session today. It was pretty cool. He is so good to the missionaries. He is so dedicated to this work and would do anything to help it move along!
I love this work so much. I have been really trying to not focus on myself so much this past week. In one of the devotionals at the MTC the speaker said, "Is this mission about you, or is this mission about them?" And so I've realized that it is not about me AT ALL. This mission is about the people that have been prepared by the Lord to hear the gospel. Sure, I'll learn a lot in the process, but that is secondary to what I am here to do. I started out in the MTC studying for myself during personal study and I've realized that I was doing it all wrong! I should have been studying for the people the Lord has prepared all along! So this week I started studying differently. Oh what a difference it has been!! I feel way more prepared for our lessons and way more confident in what I am doing. And if I don't know why I am studying something in particular, I ask myself, "How could this help me with the people I meet today?" I love studying that way!
I have also realized that the Savior is our friend! I have known that for a long time, but it really clicked with me today! In John 15:13 it says, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." That is exactly what the Savior did for us! He suffered and died and was resurrected so that we could be saved. He took the punishment for us. He literally bled from EVERY PORE in His body. Can you imagine pain that great? I sure can't. But not only did He do that, but He did it willingly. Because He loved us. I think of how much I love Brooke and Brittany and how I love them, not only because we are sisters, but because we are friends. And we are brothers and sisters to our Savior. He feels those feelings toward us, magnified so greatly we can't even comprehend. I am so grateful for my Eternal Friend, Jesus Christ! I invite you all to learn more of Him and get to know Him so that you too, can feel of His love.
I love you all and will talk to you soon!
Sister Keele
P.S....I think I am going to buy a GPS....roads here make NO SENSE! :)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

December 20, 2013

Anywho, the MTC is fantastic!! I have 2 companions, Sister Copen and Sister Simmons. They are both from Nevada and they are awesome!! We taught our first investigator today. Her name is Sarah. She doesn't really think that God loves her and wants to be in her life. It's pretty sad. During the lesson we invited her to pray to know that Heavenly Father does love her and she did. The Spirit was so strong!!
This morning we had Zone Teaching which is basically zone conference in the MTC and we talked about the doctrine of Christ. It was amazing. We learned that our purpose is the same as the Godhead's purpose, to help people live with Heavenly Father again (Moses 1:39). We are representatives of Jesus Christ and should BECOME like Him. Acting like a monkey and becoming a monkey are very different things. As are having Christ-like attributes and becoming like Christ. We don't just want more Mormons. We want people to be truly converted and to become like Christ so that they can live with our Heavenly Father again. 
Sister Copen, Sister Simmons and I were asked to be Sister Training Leaders for our basically we are the female version of zone leaders. I feel like I am not qualified to look after these Sisters. I have realized how much I need my Heavenly Father in EVERYTHING that I do. I am not anything without Him. Sister Copen was sharing with us what her Stake President said to her just before she left. I really liked it so I'm just going to put my name in. "The less you think about Breanne and the more you think about Sister Keele, the representative and disciple of Jesus Christ, the more successful your mission will be." I am not Breanne anymore. I am Sister Keele. I wear our Savior's name on my heart and it is my job to do, say, think, and act like He would. I don't need to worry about or focus on Breanne anymore. It is ALL about bringing people to Christ. How awesome is that?!
So, Sister Copen and I figured out that we both went to BYU-I during the winter and spring and that we both lived in Mountain Pines. If that wasn't crazy enough, she lived in 206 and I lived in 213!! Weird!! AND she knows Kella!!! So shout out to Kella the Jet!! 
I love you all and I hope you are all doing well and are all happy! I know Heavenly Father loves us and only wants for us to get back home to Him! It is never too late, or too early! Pray to Him, and He will answer your prayers and guide you in your life! 
December 27, 2013

Yellow!!! This week has been great! Elder Bednar came and spoke to us on Christmas!! It was wonderful being in the presence of an apostle of the Lord. The spirit became so much stronger by him just walking into the room. He did something really cool with us! He passed out around 200 cell phones and gave us the opportunity to ask him any questions we wanted. Of course, he didn't have time to answer all of them because there were so many of us and the international MTC's were emailing in questions. 
The first question he answered was, "Why do I feel so inadequate?" His answer was along the lines of, "Because you have at least some idea of what you have been called to do." It really made an impact on how I see this work. I am a representative of Jesus Christ. The Saviour of the world. I feel inadequate, because I am. Elder Bednar went on to say, "I know that I do not have what it takes to be one of the 12 apostles of Jesus Christ. But, with His help, I can." We are not able to this work by ourselves. And that is where the atonement comes in. The atonement not only has the power to cleanse us, but it has the power to strengthen us. I have learned this week that Christ died for all of us, but if it was just me He needed to die for, He would have. And I know that He would do the same for each of you and I promise that if you seek His divine help, you will find it and you will be blessed. 
I hear so many languages here at the MTC! The floor that my classroom is on (where I spend all of my time) is all Portuguese....go figure. So I hear people speak it ALL the time. The elders and sisters speak to us in whatever language they are learning. I have heard some pretty cool languages.
I got my travel itinerary for when we fly to Seattle. It made it a little more real that in a week and a half, I LEAVE THE MTC. What am I supposed to do without Sister Simmons and Sister Copen? lol. They are so great. I learn so much from them everyday. Their testimonies are so strong and they help me to be a better disciple of Christ. We have gotten a lot closer this past week. It is so great. One day we were walking to class after eating and Sister Simmons said, "I'm unusually large right now." to which I replied, "I'm usually large." and we all just started cracking up. I know it's not funny to you guys, but it was hilarious in the moment. 
January 8, 2014

I'm finally in Washington!!! It is SOOO pretty here! I got here and it was cloudy and favorite weather!! My mission president and his wife are fantastic! My first area is in Renton and I'm in the Tiffany Park Ward. It is so great! I can't believe that I'm here! It is so amazing to see the hand of God in everything I do. My trainer's name is Sister Carlin. She is absolutely amazing. She always has something nice to say to me and she knows so much. She isn't afraid to just talk to anyone she sees. I know that I'm going to learn so much from her. Last night we went to see a part member family and the Spirit there was so strong! We also went knocking for a little bit and met a really wonderful lady named Victoria. I can't wait to continue to do this EVERY DAY for the next 18 months!!!!! I love you all! Keep being the amazing people that you are!!! And always remember that our Heavenly Father loves us more than we can comprehend!!

January 13, 2014

Hello family!!
First off, being a missionary is absolutely fantastic. I love it!!! Second, I see so many miracles EVERY DAY and every minute. I absolutely love it!!! I feel like I have so much to tell you guys, but not nearly enough time! So one day this week, Sister Carlin and I were having a rough day. All of our appointments fell through and none of our backups were home. So we decided to go see a former investigator that the elders a few transfers ago met. On the way to his house we saw a car with the trunk wide open and so we went and knocked on the door. A lady opened the door and yelled for her son to go take care of it. Come to find out, She was a preacher but her son was SUPER interested in reading the Book of Mormon and there would have been no other way to talk to him without his mom there. It was such a miracle. THEN, we were on our way somewhere else and what do you know?! THERE WAS ANOTHER TRUNK OPEN!!! Sister Carlin and I were shocked...God definitely has a sense of humor! We were able to talk to that man too! And he actually has family that is LDS! So crazy!! It made our day.
Then, a few days ago we met a girl and set up a return appointment with her. We were super excited because she seemed to have a lot of potential. But, we went to her apartment yesterday and she wasn't there. Bummer. So we started knocking on doors around her. We met Murphy, who practically bore his testimony to us about Joseph Smith. It was fantastic!! The sad part is, we can't teach him because he's a male. So we have to give him to the elders :( sad day!!!
I don't have much time to write but just know that I love all of you! and that I pray for your safety and happiness every day!! I know that Heavenly Father loves each of you and that He looks out for us, no matter what choices we have made in our lives! Even if we're not sure that He even exists!! He loves us more than we can imagine!!!
I love you all!
Sister Keele
January 16, 2014
Breanne is doing very well in Washington. She arrived on January 7, 2014 and reports that she loves the rainy weather and the work she is engaged in. She has a lovely two bedroom apartment with a fireplace, large living room and a washer and dryer. Lucky girl!
Unlike most areas, the ward members only feed the missionaries on Sunday and Mondays. They cook in the rest of the week.
I will post her latest email soon.