Monday, June 24, 2013

Week 11 (June 24, 2013 Ephrata, WA)

Dear Family, 

Oh wow this week has been one of spiritual strength and guidance and let me just say that I am so extremely blessed to be a missionary at this time in the history of the world. I have felt the spirit of missionary work so strongly this past week and it really is amazing what is happening in the world. I can't believe how rapidly the gospel is being spread. This definitely is the work of the Lord. His truth is being proclaimed and I feel so blessed to be able to say that I am one of His missionaries at this time. I feel so privileged and blessed to be a missionary and it is such a wonderful feeling!!! To be a part of this army of missionaries at this time is the best thing that I could be doing right now and I have no doubt about that. I could not ask for anything better because this really is a dream come true for me. The meeting yesterday was so powerful and amazing and the spirit touched my heart from the very start when the choir opened singing Hark All Ye Nations. It was so powerful and incredible and the spirit that I felt there will never be forgotten. It is so hard to be a missionary but each time I think that I have to also think of what a blessing it is to be a missionary right now. I really feel so blessed to be a part of the Lord's army! There is no greater blessing!! Since being on a mission I have gained a stronger testimony of member missionary work. As a missionary, members are SO important. The spirit they bring into lessons and things is wonderful and the service they provide for us as missionaries is so appreciated! I wish now that I was a better member missionary before my mission. I didn't realize what a difference they make in missionary work but now I see that it makes a huge difference. So thank you to those that are being member missionaries and realize the importance of helping find and convert God's children! 

Well I love my new area! It is called Ephrata and is so beautiful! I actually like it better than Warden because it doesn't smell like cows and potato factories which is always really nice ha. My companion is Hermana Pendleton and she is AMAZING. Goodness she just radiates the light of Christ and she teaches by example. She knows what being a good missionary is all about and I love her so much. I will send pictures but I am not sure I will have time this week :( There are 3 wards in Ephrata and we cover the 1st and the 3rd wards. Then there is a Spanish Branch that we cover but they meet in Quincy which is about 15 miles away from Ephrata. We don't get to go to the spanish branch very often because we have two other wards to go to. That is kinda a bummer but it is nice to be with the other wards :) There is not as much spanish here as there was in Warden. I am worried that my spanish is going to get worse or just not improve because we have very few spanish investigators but we are still trying our best to learn it. 

This week as been very busy with lots of meeting and things so we have not had too many lesson or opportunities to teach but we have had some neat experiences nevertheless :) Neshia is one of our on dates and she should be getting baptized this Sunday! I actually have never met her but I have heard wonderful things about her and am excited to get to know her. She is a teenager who I believe just graduated high school and she is very prepared for this. We had a meeting on Friday and Elder Pieper of the seventy came and spoke to us. It was an incredible meeting and I wish I could have recorded it because so much was said but the neat thing is, I can remember the spirit I felt there and that is the most important thing. He talked about what a wonderful time it is to be a missionary and how we were going to cry on Sunday during the broadcast haha (which he was definitely right about!). One of things that I like so much that he talked about was that when we have a behavior that we want to change, we need to understand the doctrine behind that behavior before we can change that behavior (PMG 19). I really want to implement that with some of the behaviors I want to change. But all in all it was a wonderful meeting and once again I left feeling so blessed to be a missionary. 

Like always I have more to say but time is up and I know that exact obedience is more important than writing about my week even though sometimes I wish I could just write forever! There are many more experiences and miracles happening here that I don't have time to write about but just know that the work is going forth here in Ephrata. I am thankful to know that I have a Heavenly Father that loves us all perfectly. I always want to remember to praise him and give him the glory because that is what it is all about. I love you all you much and thank you for everything!!!!!!


Hermana Katelyn Syphus

Hi Mom! You must be on right now! Thanks for organizing my emails I sure appreciate it :) I don't have much time to read emails because it takes a while to write to the people that I write to but I will read about your trip to New Mexico when i print off dads letter. I hope you had a great time :) I am sorry I never got a mother's day card sent to you like I did for dad :( I hope that didn't make you sad. I promise I wanted to and even tried to but there were no cards at the MTC and then I never had time to sit down and write a letter so I tried to email you some things if you remember. Anyway, thanks so much for the pics :) Kari sure looks good! Is she doing p90x?! Wow I am going to be the fat sister when I get home :( I had no idea Braquel was going on a mission until a few weeks ago when you mentioned it!!!! And the Philippines!! That is so crazy on my goodness I can't believe that! Last time I saw her she told me she wasn't going to serve a mission so that is awesome that she is!!! Wow so cool. I am feeling okay and I will let you know about the pills but still not sure yet. Thanks so much for all you do mom. You are amazing! I will get back to you on some other things when I think of them within the next few minutes. Love you and miss you so much! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Week 10 (June 17, 2013 Warden, WA)

Dearest Mother,
First, I love you and miss you.
Second, I haven't had a period since the first week of the MTC and I don't know what to think about that but it is kinda scary. I also have a hard time going to the bathroom if you know what I mean. I am not trying to be silly I promise. It is just kinda worrying me. I feel bloated a lot and I don't know if it's because I am actually gaining weight or what but I it's weird mom it's just weird.
Third, I am almost out of those acne pills and I am not sure what they are called but I can check next time and let you know.
Fourth, I am getting transferred!!! I will put it in the mass email but I just thought I would tell you first! I am going to Ephrata! That is so weird that I am already leaving Warden! I don't want to leave really but I will explain in the email. 

Besides rent, what is your living allowance each month and do you have enough to eat and get by with?  Usually each person gets about $170 dollars a month but since I am a visa waiter and they don't know when I am leaving, I get about $80 for a two week time period. And they just put that money on Sis. Earl's card since I don't have one. We use that money to pay fast offerings and we can even buy personal supplies with it. We just can't just can't use it to buy clothes and that type of stuff. Like I needed face wash and so I was able to use the money that we get each month :) And oh yes we get enough to eat haha. TOO much to eat I think. That is why I tell you I am gaining weight darn it! Or at least I think I am, not sure yet haha. But did that answer your question? Not sure if I made sense or not sorry. 

You have your debit card, right?  I found one in your room, but am thinking it's your old one. Ya I have my card with me :) It must be an old one like you said. 

When you have a baptism, do you just choose the elders in you area to do the baptizing? No actually the investigator gets to choose. If they have a preference then they get to choose otherwise we just usually ask someone like the Elders or the bishop or something. But since there are no Elders in Warden, probably someone else in the ward if the investigator doesn't have a preference. Good question ;) 

Will you for sure be moved to the Kennewick mission regardless of where you are in the Spokane Mission?  Meaning, are the redividing the area or just giving the Kennewick mission extra missionaries? Well we found out last night that I am being transferred to Ephrata which is part of Ephrata stake and is NOW in the Kennewick Mission. It changes from Spokane to Kennewick on July 1 so I guess it has not happened yet. It is just a boundary change. Wenatchee, Ephrata, Moses Lake, and Othello stakes have been affected by this and Warden was in the Othello stake so that got changed as well. 

Dear Family and Friends,
 This email might be short because of lack of time but I will try to get everything in that I can!
My first piece of news is that I am being transferred to Ephrata tomorrow! I can't believe it. I will now be a part of the Kennewick Mission. I felt peace when I heard the news but the news was still hard. I didn't think i was going to leave Warden because I wasn't even here for an entire transfer but when we got the call last night I was told I was leaving so I I guess I am leaving ha! I must say that I shed a few tears because of the news. The Lord has helped us find so many people who are prepared and they are so close to baptism and now I am leaving. I was quite sad when I thought about that and thought about all these people I have become so close to and that they WILL get baptized and I might not get to see that happen. That is what made me sad. But I find comfort in knowing that it doesn't matter if I am there or not, it just matters that they are baptized and are baptized for the right reasons. I just hope it will happen with them! Hna. Earl is staying in Warden again!! She has been here since the MTC and that is 9 months now! She was so funny when she found out, she just flipped out pretty much and said she was going to die because she needs a change. She even prayed specifically to be transferred hahaha. That is probably why she is staying! This means I will be trained by a second trainer. I know that this is Heavenly Father's will for me. It will be so hard to leave some of these amazing people but I know is is His will. Once I get comfortable in a place with certain people it is hard for me leave that place and those people. Change is hard for me. And Heavenly Father knows that. And so I know that this change, no matter how hard, is going to be the best thing for me right now. Heavenly Father is helping me grow and learn through this experience and many others as well! So that is that :)

This week has been another busy one full of excitement and adventure and sweet experiences. The first one has to do with one of our awesome investigators named David Olivar Cruz. He is wonderful and our lessons with him go so well because he actually understands! ha. His date for baptism is July 20. I was mostly thinking of him when I found out about the transfer and that is what made me the most sad but as long as he gets baptized I am happy :) So anyway, we were teaching him a lesson and when we were bearing testimony at the end I told him that I was on a mission because I want people to know about the Gospel and how happy we can be because of the Gospel in our lives. I told him that I am happy because of it in my like and then I said "I am here because I know that these things are true." And then He just looked at me and Hna. Earl and said in the most sincere and sweet voice, "You know that this is true? I know that this is true too." Oh my goodness how wonderful that moment was. I was not even expecting him to say that or anything like that but when he did, my heart was filled with the spirit and the feeling I received was so beautiful and real and could have only come from the spirit. I told David that I had felt the spirit when he said that and I asked him if he felt it too. He said yes. That experience was beautiful and I felt the Savior's love so powerfully with David. He wants us to come everyday and teach him and is very excited to learn more :)
Marcelino did not come to church on Sunday because of his work and so he is not on date anymore :( Investigators have to come to church three times before they can be baptized and his date was June 22 and he has only come to church twice. That is the very hard thing about living in Warden. All of these people that we teach work in the fields and so they always have to work on Sunday and they can't come to church! It is so hard but we are praying for a miracle in that respect and hope that everything will work out with Marcelino as well.
I know that this email didn't talk about much but I hope it was okay nevertheless. I keep wanting to tell you about things that I learn in the scriptures but I never have time darn it. I need to be faster at this stuff.

We have seen many miracles here I am learning and growing each day. I am so thankful to have prayer and to be able to speak with Heavenly Father. I don't know how I would ever do this without Him and without prayer. I love Him and I know that he is here. Thank you all so much for everything! Love you all so much!
Love, Hermana Syphus 

Here is the new mission home address effective July 1:

8202 West Quinault Suite D
Kennewick, WA 99336

Monday, June 10, 2013

Week 9 (June 10, 2013 Warden, WA)

Dear Mom
Answers to your questions....
Any packages yet?
YES!! I received my greenie package from you!! Thank you so much mom! I was so excited to see all those fun treats in that box and Hna. Earl just thought that I had the best family which I told her I did :) Mom you do so much for me and I am so thankful! 
Should have 2 snail mails from me, right? (I forgot to number the last one) 
I got #1 but I am not sure about #2. I received the one from Joel and Kendyl today though if that's the one you are talking about. 
Do you eat at members homes each day?
Great question :) We can eat at members houses any day but ONLY if there is an investigator there with us. And on Saturdays and Sundays we can eat at member's homes without an investigator present. So we have been eating with members every Saturday and Sunday because they have a sign up sheet that gets passed around during church. However, when our mission boundaries change to the Kennewick mission on July 1, we will get to eat at members homes any day of the week. Oh and transfers are on the 18th of this month so I will let you know if I get transferred!  
What has been your least favorite meal from someone?
Well they have all been super good meals but yesterday was the first time someone served fish. Yuck. I hate to say that but it was hard to eat. I just can't stand the taste. It was cod and had something on the top of it to hide the fish taste a bit but I could still taste it. It wasn't my favorite. I don't know if I will  be able to eat fish too much more on my mission haha. 
Anything you're in need of?
I don't think so but once again, my head isn't all the way here right now. That always happens when I am emailing. Thank you for asking mom :) Sure appreciate all you do for me. You are truly an angel. Are you sure my email are okay? I don't know if I need to include anything else in them that I haven't been or if I put things in them that don't matter. Please let me know. I don't know how Trevor has time to make his so stinkin' long. I wish I could do that. I really don't ever have time on p-days to write letters mom and it is discouraging me! I have been wanting to write Joel and Kam and Kendyl forever and I just can't. It is so crazy and frustrating. I need to figure something out. Just tell everyone I love them so much and I am grateful for everything you do for me. I really am. I know it might not seem like it but I promise I think about you all everyday and how much I love you and appreciate all you do. I just wish I could return the favor and not be so selfish. I am praying for that though- to be more selfless. Anyway, thanks again mom :) Love you so much! 

Dear wonderful family and friends,
I first want to start by saying that I know that Heavenly Father knows me and and my limits and that He is not going to give me anything I can't handle. I know that coming to Warden Washington before going to Argentina has been a tender mercy from Him. Even though I am probably not learning spanish as fast here as I would be in Argentina, I am still thankful for the opportunity that I have had to come here first. It takes me a while to learn things and I get frustrated when I don't do something exactly right because I am my mother's daughter and I try to be a perfectionist. But I have learned here on my mission that Heavenly Father can't work with perfect missionaries. He can't work with perfect people period. I realized how true this was after one of my very good friends on a mission told me the same thing. If we were perfect and did everything perfect the first time then we would have no need for Jesus Christ and His Atonement. And we all know that His is Atonement is essential. So that was a little tangent ha but yes, coming to Warden has been a tender mercy. I think that if I was sent to Argentina right out of the mission field I would have been going even crazier than I am right now haha :) Coming here first has helped me settle into things at a nice pace and has helped me to understand the things a missionary needs to be doing and how and when and why. I am so thankful to Heavenly Father for being so merciful to me and for showing me that he is aware of me.
Our week was super busy which is what I love! We had 32 lessons and are very happy to say that we currently have 6 people on date to be baptized :) The Lord is the reason that this work is going forth! We are trying our best to help the church here grow but of course it is ultimately the redeeming and enabling powers of the Atonement that are helping people to have the desire to change and be baptized. We found Marcelino again and I don't know if I have already mentioned that but oh ya he disappeared but we found him! It was another miracle from Heavenly Father! We were going to camparosa because we had an appointment with an investigator there named David. He wasn't home so we said a prayer and asked Heavenly Father to help us find someone there that needed our help. A few seconds later we see Marcelino down the way! He was waiting for someone to show him a trailer that he wanted to maybe live in. We talked to him and asked how he was doing and WHAT he was doing. He said he was trying to find a place to live again. He barley had any food or water so Hna. Earl and I dumped our water from our bottles into his. There are so many little opportunities to serve like that and I am thankful for those little opportunities Heavenly Father gives us. He told us he was keeping the WOW and the law of chastity. We were so happy to hear that. Then we went to his "new" trailer which was such a mess. The windows were broken and so was the door. It was filthy and had garbage and spider webs and all that good stuff all throughout it. We set up another appointment with him and had to leave because we had another appointment. When we got in the car we both felt bad for leaving him with almost no food and a broken down trailer to live in. We both felt impressed to go back and help him. But first we went to the store and bought him some food and water. Then we went back and helped him clean that place up! It was a lot of fun and we were able to talk to him more about the BOM as we cleaned. He told us that he would come to church and that he wanted to ask his boss if he could get Sunday off! But sadly he wasn't able to after all :( He is sure trying though. He said the prayer before we left and whenever he prays, HE PRAYS. He cries every time and always asks Heavenly Father for forgiveness. His heart is pure and he is so wonderful. He is on date for the 22 of June and we are hoping and praying for it to happen. I was so thankful for that experience with Marcelino. Heavenly Father lead us to where we were supposed to be and he lead Marcelino there as well!
We have three people that we are teaching and they are all in the same family. Their names are Rosio, Guadalupe, and Krystal Escamilla. They are on date for the 20 of July!! Whenever we teach them they seem so interested and they all want to learn more. We are excited to teach them! We also have another on date for the 6 of July. His name is Manuel. He lives here alone and his family is in Mexico. He tells us that he prays to God all the time and asks for help in his life but he never seems to receive an answer. He says that he misses his family and that he is lonely and wants the hole in his heart to be filled. When we heard that, Hna. Earl and I just looked at each other and smiled. I think we were thinking the same thing, "Well do we have a message for you!" Haha :) but really. We taught him the first lesson and he was super interested. We taught him again the other day and that was when we asked him to be baptized. He said yes but he just needs to be taken by the hand and helped because even though he knows that God is there, he still doesn't feel it. He doesn't think he is being answered still. We keep trying to tell him the Gospel of Jesus Christ IS the answer to his heartfelt prayers. We are praying for him to realize this and we know he will come around because he is prepared! Very neat man and very neat and wonderful experience with him.
We had exchanges on Friday- Saturday and I spent those days in Royal City with Hnas. Larson and Hatfield! I had a wonderful experience with them in Royal and had so much fun meeting the sweet people there. They had a baptism on Saturday night with two of their investigators. I wasn't there for it though because we changed back Saturday afternoon. But on Friday night we went to visit the two investigators that were going to be baptized the next day- a mom and her daughter. It was so much fun to meet them and see how truly prepared they are for baptism. It is in their eyes- they were so ready and so excited. It was so neat to see how close Hna. Larson and Hatfield were to them. They were like best friends and it was so great to see. I want to have that with the people in Warden! I think it will come though, but with time. I loved having exchanges with them and it was a great experience. They have been out for 11 weeks and are both wonderful missionaries.
Before I end I want to bear my testimony about a principle I have been studying. It is the principle of not only hearing the word but DOING the word. I know that in order to build upon Christ DOING His word is essential. I wish I could explain more about what I have learned about this but my time is up. Read the scriptures 3 Nephi 14: 24-27. I think that is where I am thinking of but not sure :/ I will explain more next week I hope! :) Anyway, thank you all for EVERYTHING. I continue to marvel over the fact that I really do have the best family and friends that I could ever ask for. Diamond Valley is the place to live I tell you. The spirit there is amazing and that is because the people there are amazing. i miss it but I hope to help build up Warden as much as Father wants me to. I am thankful to be on my mission. I know it is helping me in so many ways. I love it so much. I hope everyone has a great week! I love you all very much!
Hermana Katelyn Syphus :) 

Monday, June 3, 2013

Week 8 (June 3, 2013 Warden, WA)

Hello again Mom :)
Here are my answers to these questions: 

Would you like mail sent to your address or mission home?
Probably the mission home because of the same concern you had about transfers and such. But guess what? You know that Dear elder that you sent me with Kam and Kendyls letters on it as well? Well it just got to me today! And I don't know if that is how it usually is but I think that took a while...
Have you received letters or package?
I have received letters but not packages yet :) 
How is your anxiety in the mornings?
It is getting better. I do tell Heavenly Father about everything and I can feel His strength helping me though it. Mornings are still sometimes hard but not as bad. Thank you for all your advice and help mom. I love you so much.
So some other things that I was wanting to tell/ask you:
Thank you so much for the dear elder and tell the girls and joel thanks as well! I love hearing the news and it brings me so much joy! All of those connections with Sis. Earl's family are crazy! Very cool though!
So as you know, lots of things got sent home from the MTC. I might need some of those things later on so I will let you know when. Nathanial's jump rope was in there and I felt really bad sending it home because he gave it to me to use but I just didn't have room. So I can give it back to him when I get home .
 I was wondering if you could send my dads email again as well as the other members in our family. I don't now how hard that will be so if it is too much trouble then no worries but I just want to put them all in my email so I can have them just in case.
Oh and thank you so much for sending me those pics! Especially the one of Kortnie! I wanted to know her address and email so thank you! You just think of everything mom, how in the world do you do it?! 
And thank you for the ss number! You are wonderful mom and I love you so much! I will write my mass email now :) 

Dear Family and Friends,
This week in my mission has been a little less crazy than last week but still very good. I can't remember if I said this in my last email but we had 15 new investigators last week and 26 lessons!!! That is a blessing from Heavenly Father and is proof that He is with us as we are serving in His vineyard. 

So we found Marcelino! That was a wonderful miracle from Heavenly Father this week. We were late for an appointment and so we were trying to hurry and went down the wrong street. So then we had to turn around and go down the right street. When we were almost to the house for our appointment, we saw the back of Marcelino walking down another street. We all looked at each other and started freaking out really. It was so funny. We stopped the car suddenly and rolled down the windows and yelled his name. He turned around and came over to us and we asked him lots of questions. Poor guy haha. He said he moved to a different house and he tried to describe it to us but when we looked for it the next day we couldn't find him. But we saw him again a few days ago and asked him where his house was again and so hopefully we will find it this time! But isn't that just great?! If all those things wouldn't have happened, then we wouldn't have seen him walking down the street at that time. Heavenly Father want His work done and so He puts us where we need to be when we need to be there if we are trying to do His will. And then miracles happen! That experience was definitely an answer to our prayers.
So another big thing that happened this week was an emergency transfer. Hna. Smith got emergency transferred to Ephrata :( I know that it was Heavenly Father's will for it to happen but I it was so hard to see her go! She taught me so much and was just such a diligent missionary and I am going to miss her lots. She was transferred because another sister got her visa and had to leave so Hna. Smith took her place. She left on Saturday and has already been greatly missed!

On Tuesday I ate breakfast in the Celestial Kingdom :) That was pretty much what it was anyway. We were asked to do service by helping out with the seminary breakfast. The student's received either a telestial, terrestrial, or celestial breakfast depending on their scripture study, attendance, etc. throughout the year. We helped with the breakfasts and then taught each group a lesson. It was so much fun! Then at the end us hermanas got to eat the celestial breakfast and boy was it delicious. There was bacon, sausage, eggs, hash browns, biscuits and gravy, fruit, muffins, fruit, juice, donuts, more fruit, pancakes, waffles, and any breakfast food you can think of pretty much. I think I gained about 10 pounds but it was worth it I would say ha :) Very fun service opportunity.
There is a less active lady named Aurelia and she has a boyfriend named Jose. They live together. We visited with them the other day and taught them about the plan of salvation. They both seemed to enjoy the message and feel the spirit. Especially Aurelia. We told them that they can live with their families together forever but only through the Gospel of Jesus Christ and only through a proper temple marriage. Well a few days later we called Aurelia because we wanted to meet with her again and she said she couldn't meet with her that day because...her FIANCE was talking her out to dinner!! We all lit up when we heard her say this and got so excited! Another miracle! She must have really taken to heart the eternal truth that families can be together forever because they want to get married in the temple as soon as they can! I am so happy for them. We will continue to teach them and help them prepare for this. Her fiance isn't a member so we are trying to teach him and get him ready to be baptized. Very neat though! :)
Something that I have noticed that is really ironic here is that we will go into a house that it pretty run down and such and there will be this humongous television in the house. It is really quite funny. And I see it ALL the time. These people would rather have big tv's than a nice home I guess haha :) Just a funny little thing I have noticed.

Sis. Smith didn't like running so we couldn't go running in the mornings which was just fine because there are many other ways to exercise :) But this morning we were able to go running and it was SO nice!! I loved it and I don't know how much we can do it but I was happy to be able to this morning. It was fun to run past the vineyards and other farm land. The country is very beautiful here and I also enjoy the sunsets. I keep thinking I am in Utah still ha :) Heavenly Father has indeed created a beautiful world.
I am so thankful for this time that I have to give my entire life to the Lord and His work. I just hope I can do that. I am thankful for family and friends who learn and live the Gospel. My life is so blessed and I don't know how I got so blessed but I just hope that because I am, I can give all that I have to Him. I love you all so much! Hope all is well with everyone :)
Hermana Katelyn Syphus