Monday, February 24, 2014

Good morning all!! This week has been absolutely amazing! I am so happy to be here in Tiffany Park! It's amazing that I get to witness miracles every single day! I could not be happier!!
For my first miracle: we have been working with a part-member family since I got here. The are so amazing...I love them SO much! The wife is a member, but hasn't been to church in YEARS. Her husband has taken the lessons before and has pretty boldly told our mission leader that he does not want the lessons taught in his home. Well, we go over there once or twice a week and share messages with them. We had been hardcore friend-zoned for like 2 weeks though. BUT, this last week, we shared a message with them and they were so close to coming to church!!! But, we all know that Satan works hard on the people that are having their hearts softened and opened. And they had a contractor coming to their house during church to look at their kitchen because they are remodeling it. They'll come to church soon though! I have faith that they will!
Second miracle: We have been trying to get in contact with all of the sisters in our ward that are less-active. This week, we have been able to get into some of their houses and teach a lesson or share a message. It's a miracle because no one has been able to do that in a long time! God truly is preparing people!!
Third miracle: We knocked into a guy named Art and he felt the spirit so strongly as we recited the first vision. I have never felt the spirit so strongly during a door approach! It was absolutely amazing!
Fourth miracle: we are teaching an 8 year old the lessons, even though she is a child of record, and it was amazing! She was so happy about the things we taught her during the first lesson! We asked her if she would pray to know if they were true and she turned to her mom and said, "Can I do it NOW?!" It was so sweet. She loves missionaries and even though she doesn't have to take the lessons, she wanted to anyway. And it is really helping her mom because her mom is less-active. I love this family so much!
I absolutely love being a missionary! It is the hardest thing I've ever loved! It is so hard having doors slammed in your face and people saying you believe in a crook. But when you find that one person that is SO ready to hear the truth, it makes it all worth it. You forget about what everyone else said that day. You forget about how discouraged you felt before talking with them. You remember that THIS is why you came on a mission. That God has prepared people to hear the gospel specifically from you. And it makes everything worth it. I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the fullness of the restored gospel on the earth today. I know that with every piece of my heart and soul. And I know that everyone of us can know with 100% surety as well. We just need to ask our Heavenly Father!
I love you all! Have a great week!!
Sister Keele

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

February 18, 2014 Russian Mission?

Hello family!! How was your week? Mine was great! :) Missions are the greatest thing ever!! I am so happy that I am here!! Heavenly Father really knows how to make me so happy!
On to this week! So we have this apartment complex in our area that is FULL of people who are originally from Russia. Oddly, there is a member who is less-active that lives there who is NOT from Russia. We always feel weird going there because we only hear Russian. Anyway, we went there to see this member and as we were walking up to her building we hear this lady calling to us in Russian. Um, yes??? Short version of the story is that we went up to her apartment and taught her a lesson. It was a very scattered lesson, but a lesson nontheless. We were able to teach her how to say Jesus Christ in English. We taught her with pictures. It was amazing. At the end of the lesson she said she wanted to speak to missionaries that spoke Russian. We don't have Russian missionaries in our mission, but there ARE some in the Seattle mission. Actually, President Eaton's daughter is a Russian speaking missionary in the Seattle mission. Small world, right? So we were able to have the missionaries call her. I'm not sure what happened after that, but we planted a seed! :) Also, at the end of the lesson we were asking if we could say a prayer and we weren't sure if she was understanding us because she spoke and understood so little English. I realized that prayer is a universal language when she went right into a prayer in Russian. It was such a cool experience!
Also this week, we had to take our car in to be fixed. We have been smelling gas pretty strongly and we figured that probably wasn't good. lol. Since our car is still under warranty, we had to take it to the toyota dealer in Renton. It was so fancy! Sister Carlin thought it was so weird because she had never been to a car dealer before. haha...she's from a small town, what can I say? :) Anyway, we were looking for opportunities to share the gospel and when we went to pick our car up, we found that opportunity! There was a man that was wearing an "I love Jesus" hat. Sister Carlin said, "You love Jesus? We do too!" and then I asked him, "How did you come to love Jesus?" I was not expecting the answer he gave us! He said that he is a refugee from Vietnam and he came here on a ship during the war. When they were on their way here, they saw dangerous things and it was scary. They talked to God because it was what other people did. However, when he got to the refugee camp, he bunked with someone that taught him the 10 commandments. He learned the 10 commandment and recited them everyday when he would get discouraged. From that, he read the Bible and grew to love Christ. What an amazing story! We were able to teach him about the Book of Mormon right there in the middle of the service center! It was amazing! It just goes to show you that people have truly been prepared to hear the unique and amazing message of this gospel!
Exciting news of the week! One of our investigators is committed to be baptized on March 14th! We are so excited for her! The elders were teaching her daughter and she got baptized on the 9th and because of new rules, we are teaching her mother and sister now!!! It is great to see people's testimonies grow!
I know that our Heavenly Father loves us each and knows us each individually! I love Him so much! I know that as we come to know Him more, we will be happier and we will be able to live with Him once again!
Sister Keele

Monday, February 10, 2014


Hello familia!!! It's been an interesting week here in Tiffany Park! Last Monday after I got off of the computer, 3 of us missionaries were able to teach a lesson in ASL!! This sweet woman at the library was deaf and we just started talking to her and it turned into a lesson! Her mother passed away 2 years ago and so now she is talking to God a lot more! Her life has been difficult since her mother's passing, and so she cried a lot during the lesson! I had the great opportunity to say the prayer at the end of the lesson. After I prayed, she gave me a HUGE hug and kept saying "Thank you!" to all of us! It was so tender! The Lord truly provides opportunities for us to serve His children!
Now on to explaining the Subject line of this email. On Saturday night it started snowing. So, naturally, everyone in Washington FREAKS OUT. By the time we woke up on Sunday morning, there were 2 inches of snow or less. And guess what?! THEY CANCELLED CHURCH!!!! It was so weird!! People were literally parking their cars in the middle of street and walking home. Soooooo weird!! It wasn't even that bad!! I'll send a picture of it to you guys. It was just so foreign to both Sister Carlin and I because she's from Utah and I went to school in Iceburg, Idaho. There were only 2 wards in 2 stakes that didn't cancel church so we went to one of those meetings. During the sacrament, I looked up and saw a friend with Down Syndrome passing the sacrament! It made me so happy!! And, there was a middle-school aged boy there with autism!! I felt so at home!! lol!!
Now to the rest of the week! I got sick one day this week and the nurse told me I had to stay inside. I hated that. It was soooo boring and I just wanted to go outside and get to work. I felt really badly for Sister Carlin. But there's nothing I can do about it now. And I'm better, so it's okay. :) One of the families in my ward has a son that went to BYU-I and he lived in Somerset and knows some of my friends there. It was really strange to hear about people's lives. I am just in a totally different spot than they are. Some of my friends have gotten married and engaged and it's crazy to me that not every one is out serving a mission! lol!
We have been working with a part-member family and I love them so much! She is less-active and has been for quite some time. Her husband is not a member and doesn't really have any interest in the gospel. They didn't even let missionaries into their home until Sister Carlin got here. We have been making HUGE progress with them! We were working on incorporating family history into our missionary efforts and so we did with them. When we mentioned family history his eyes LIT up and he got so excited! So now we are working with them even more!!! The Lord really has prepared people for His gospel!!
On Saturday night I learned a HUGE lesson on humility. It was the hardest lesson I've ever learned. We had an appointment with a family in our ward for an in home lesson. Sister Carlin has been trying to let me take the lead sometimes so that I know how for when I'm not the junior companion. This was one of those times. We got in there and started the lesson. I hadn't even gotten a full sentence out when the brother stopped me and started critiquing my teaching skills. I was horrified. Nothing I said was good enough for him and I felt completely shut down. I was actually angry with him. How dare he do that. He wasn't the one that was called to be a missionary. I was! I was so angry that I couldn't feel the spirit. I sat there for the rest of the time praying for strength to get through that hour. Praying that I wouldn't burst into tears in front of them! I didn't even want to speak. I wanted to sit back and let Sister Carlin take over. It was time to go home and plan after that and I couldn't even concentrate on planning because I was so upset. I went into the bedroom, closed the door, started bawling my eyes out, and praying with all of my heart. I told Heavenly Father that I was angry and that I never wanted to see that man again because he was so rude to me. I just poured my heart out. And I got the most humbling response ever. I felt like my Heavenly Father gave me a huge hug and said, "This isn't about you. This is about my children. Forgive him, and move on." I realized even more that this was never about me. It has always been about my brothers and sisters who need the gospel! I have been called to serve my Heavenly Father, not care about what other people say! It wasn't that member who stopped me from feeling the spirit, it was me who stopped myself from feeling it.
I know that this gospel is true. And that our Heavenly Father gives us the answers we NEED, not the answers we want! I am so grateful for that!!
I love you all!! Have a great week!!!
Sister Keele

Monday, February 3, 2014

Hello family!!! This week has been a crazy week!! I have loved it so much!!! First, I'll explain the rabies part of the subject. We were tracting this past week and there was a couple walking their dogs. Since I love animals, I ALWAYS talk to people with animals because it is a great way to start a conversation. So, we stopped to talk to this couple and I asked them if I could pet their dogs. They said, "Oh yeah! Sure!" So I bent down to pet the dog and the dog sniffed my hand and wagged his tail a little bit. So I figured it was okay to pet him. No. It most definitely was not. The darn dog BIT ME!!! and then the guy says, "Oh sorry. He's a bit testy." I'm sorry. You couldn't have told me that BEFORE I pet him? Or BEFORE he bit me? Haha. The saddest part of the story is that they walked away before we could even talk to them about the gospel. I told Sister Carlin that if I started foaming at the mouth that she knew why. I guess you can't come home from a mission without being bit by a dog. haha. :)
Now on to faith. We had a HUGE test of our faith this week. Last week, we stopped by to see one of our investigators (who is 27 by the way) and her father opened the door and very boldly told us that they were a Christian home and they didn't believe in anything "us Mormons" did and to NEVER come back again. that was a HUGE bummer. I for sure felt a little bit of Godly sorrow that night. Anyway, last Thursday we had an appointment with her and we couldn't get a hold of her. And we didn't feel that we should go see our back-up, and we were fresh OUT of miles. We were kind of lost. So we prayed. And as we prayed I got the feeling that we needed to do what we had planned. Sister Carlin got up and started walking to the car because she was going nuts because we had been inside for like 30 minutes. When we got to the car I told her what I had felt. She looked at me and said, "Are you sure?" I said yes and we went on our way. Shaking the entire car ride there. How were we going to knock on the door when he CLEARLY didn't want anything to do with us, ever? When we got there we prayed and sat scared in the car for like 5 minutes. Finally, we got out of the car, walked up to the door, took a deep breath, and knocked. It was probably the longest 15 seconds of my life. Guess what? NO ONE WAS HOME. But now we were determined to find the person on that street that we were sent there for. We knocked every house on that street and the last house on the street was who we were sent there for. A lady about 90 years old opened the door and I think she had Johnny Cash BLASTING in the background. We could barely hear what she was saying because the music was so loud. She invited us right in and started talking to us. We found out that she served in the Navy and did lots of other cool things. However, She had fallen a few months ago and hit her head on one of those parking curb things and had something like short-term memory loss. It was really sad. She kept thinking that we were boy scouts collecting clothes because it was Christmas time. But she was our miracle that day. I learned so much from that. I didn't realize how much faith I actually had until the Lord asked me to do something that I knew I couldn't do by myself. That is why our faith is tried sometimes, so that we can realize how much we actually trust in the Lord. It was an amazing experience!
Now for another funny story. I mentioned last week that every Sunday we go to this older couple's home and they feed us ice cream, right? Well, last night was SO FUNNY! It's his birthday this Thursday so Sister Powell asked us how old we thought he was going to be. I guessed 75 and Sister Carlin guessed 76. That is not how old he is turning. He is going to be 85!!! This man is amazing! He works at the temple, gardens, walks fine, and he even still works on the roof! At 85! How crazy right?! Well Sister Powell said, "I never wanted to look older than my husband, but I'm afraid I already do." This started the funniest exchange between them I have ever heard! He said, "Well your hair is certainly whiter than mine." She said, "At least I have more hair than you." His face was PRICELESS when she said that! He gasped and said, "You didn't have to go there!" It was soooo funny!!! I love them so much!! I will definitely be visiting them even after my mission! I have learned so much from them!
I love being on a mission. I have never been happier before! Doing the Lord's work is the greatest thing. I love having my faith tried and realizing that the Lord really does have control. I love realizing how much the gospel really means to myself, and to others. I hope that you all can realize that in your lives as well. The gospel isn't just about making us happy in this life. It concerns our ETERNAL SALVATION. We can't afford to mess around with something so important! If we want to be in a state of eternal happiness, we know what we need to do! That is why our Savior, Jesus Christ, came to this Earth-so that we could be saved and be escorted into the Celestial Kingdom by Him who made our Salvation possible. I know that if we rely on Him, we will be eternally happy. I know that there is never a point of no return-we can ALWAYS choose to change.
I love you all and hope that you have a great week!
Sister Keele