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Monday, 29 September 2014


So this week has been a tough one. Well all mainly because of transfer news. Wow. I have never been so stressed about transfers before. But I now know why. We got our call Saturday morning before the end of our personal study from the assistants. And the call went something like this:

AP: "Are you ready for your transfer call?"
Me: "No...."
AP: "Well I guess we better give it to you, Sister Hollander you are being transferred and you are going to LaVerkin with Sister Eyers." (Who is from England btw)
Me: "Yay I always wanted to go to LaVerkin!"
AP: "Good.. Well, Sister Schneider I guess this is your first transfer call."
SS: " No I this would be my second."
AP: "Oh yeah, but this time you are getting transferred."
Me: "WHATTTTTTT??????? Your kidding right?"
AP: "No, Sister Schneider You are going to Bloomington Hills and your companion will be Sister Reimer" (From French Tahiti - called French speaking on her mission in the visitors center)
SS: "WHAT????? That's my MTC companion!!!!"
AP: "Really? Well you will have to both be going down in the transfer van together and you will need to meet at Salina at 1pm." (which is about 2.5 hours away) "Please get your area book up to date for the next missionaries."
Me: "WHAT???? Huntington is being white washed!? Who is taking over the Area???"
AP: "Yes, Castle Dale is going to take over Huntington."

So I Hope I have been able to express my deviation and horror. I don't mind leaving an area but it is sad to have BOTH missionaries to leave the area. Our Leaders are sad and so are we, but there is nothing you can do about it really. The AP's also said that we don't have enough Sister missionaries in the mission to take over the area. We heard that it is probably only temporary. Shame the Elders now have a massive area to cover. They are practically going to cover the WHOLE Emery County. But they are really fantastic missionaries Elder Finnie (Who is our DL) and his companion had 10 Baptisms last month and 7 of those happened last week. They really are on top of this and are on fire I really hope they see much success in the area. I know that they will be spread thin but I am sure they will do well!

It's funny I am all worried about the area closing and Sister Schneider could not get over the shock having her MTC comp as her new comp lol.

Anyway. Well that kinda explained why we struggled so much to find inspiration on Friday when we did weekly planning.

I'm glad to finally know. But I am really sad to leave. I love this small 'ol town. I have spent a day in LaVerkin before when I was waiting for Sister Hee to come to Kaibab. It is a great area I think we cover about 13 wards and the stake goes all the way up to Zions border. So it is down south in Washington county near Huricane (said Huricin) we cover areas called Virgin and Springdale. I am real excited to go back there. Hope we won't see too much snow. But I think we will see some of it.

Well on other news. Do you remember John? Our miracle baptism with sister Phagwah. Well we went to see him this week and well He is in Pinicale (a rehab center) He went to the hospital about 4 weeks ago because he was swelling up so bad. Well I am so glad Elder and Sister Mecham were there to make sure he got the care he needed. He has lost 40 pounds and is looking way healthy!!! I am so glad they did this for him. We are going to see him later today. I have really grown to love this man. He is a son of God and I have seen God's love in his life. His mission here in this life is NOT over yet.

Womens Conference was absolutely spectacular. I think I got a bit home sick with the opening prayer by Dorah Mkhabela and just to be able to see other black people on the vidoes and another sister mentioning her dad served in SA man but it was a real powerful conference!!! I love general conference. I would encourage everyone (male and female) to watch this conference session. I would love to hear what you are able to learn from any of the conference sessions.

Well also on other news. We did not end up checking out the Rochester panel last week - we couldn't find it..... Thank you for everyone for the birthday wishes :)

All My Best,

Sister Karen Hollander
Utah, St George Mission
881 South River Road
St. George Utah, 84790
United States

Monday, 22 September 2014

P-Day + Birthday = FUN

Yup best birthday present ever is that it falls on a P-day!!! Thank you to EVERYONE for the mail and emails wishing me a happy birthday! I really felt very loved this week!!! Thank you also for all the love and support you have given me!

This has been an average week and well not all too eventful. But I am really excited for today - we have arranged to go out sorta hiking to the rochester panel (Indian writings) down in Emery, with Michelle. We are so excited! I even made us some brownies and added some cadburys choc for flavour (thanks to my package that made it on time for my bday) I
I Opened it 3am SA time - so I claim it as my birthday! My family is the best! I love them to bits! There are so many things that I miss from home. But I know there will be many things I miss from the states when I get back.

Anyway we saw quite alot of people and were able to pick up a new investigator, we have been doing alot of service for them and I guess they have had bad experiences with missionaries in the past but I think our service was able to soften their hearts alot! But they will eventually be moving to wyoming so I wont hold my breath. 

Well columbias baptism has been postponed :( And we get transfer calls this saturday and well its lame. But I think I will be moving on. But so is the life of a missionary.

Another thing Sister schneider has found out is how awkward mission life can get. So this is an old one but we are really starting to love this one family - but we always have the MOST awkward lessons with them. At first we met them at their house but they were on the street. You could tell they were a bit apprehensive about us talking with them. even though they are members and they have a little girl getting baptised in a few months. But it was awkward. The husband offered to feed us for dinner one day and the wife kinda said no. lol But we set up a FHE which ended up being really good and the kids loved it. The dad also opened up to us afterward. We have not been able to get them to go to church yet. So we went by again to invite them and I guess hey had company over and wow it was like pulling teeth to get people to speak. And sister Schneider is a bit shy in asking questions so I did most of the speaking... if I had not... well I have no clue how awkward it could have become. Luckily the fact that I am from SA and my Comp is from Germany can aid our conversations quite a bit. But there was a room full of poeople and yeah... I think that has been one of the most awkward times on my mission cause more poeple came into the room and yeah... And well we went back this week and it was awkward again. (It's probably all in our heads.. I know the more you act like it is NOT awkward the better it is for everyone.) But we have been making some situations even more awkward lately by asking people if we could sing for them... haha when ever we ask that it is way interesting to see their reaction. 

Sister Schneider and I have only discovered the real power of music this week. sometimes we feel like sharing a scripture - especially with less actives is not always something that can really grab their attention. but singing can sure do that and we are also able to help them feel the spirit. I have a testimony on the Power of music. We have been able to touch so many lives these past 3 weeks. One of the ladies we teach it was exceptionally funny to watch her countenance change. from the time we said can we sing to while we were singing to the end. People have also been really shocked that we have the courage to do that. But we are just sharing a talent that God has given us. If we use it we wont loose it right (D&C 60:13 "... Thou shalt not idle away thy time, neither shalt thou bury thy talent that is may not be known.)

We atended the re-dedication of the Ogden Utah temple and it was wonderful! I have only ever witnessed One other rededication - of the Navoo Temple. And Ithink this was a great opportunity to Understand a bit more about the Temple. It was also wonderful to hear more from Our Prophet and David A Bednar I love the Temple and I know there is way more to it that I understand.

But i want you all to know that I know that this is the Church of Jesus Christ. I know that President Monson IS our living day Prophet and he recieves revelation for the church today. General conference is coming up and I hope you have all made a decision to attend and watch it. Prepare yourselves for it by reading and studying this talk by Pres Utchdorf and go to this site which talks about ways you and your family can prepare to recieve personal revelation. Remember that this is a church of revelation. It is the rock upon which Christ's church is built. I would exhort you (Invite you) to take at least one question to conference. Start preparing NOW. I know you will be able to feel God's love for you as you do this.

PS Just so everyone knows I have a distinguished american/cowboy/huntington accent now... I think I am going to need alot of work when I get home. lol.

All My Best,

Sister Karen Hollander
Utah, St George Mission
881 South River Road
St. George Utah, 84790
United States

Monday, 15 September 2014

Fall time begins in Huntitngton

So the Leaves have started turning and the "fall" time has began. everyone is decorating their homes with "fall" decor and its cooling off in the mornings and its hard to catch people at 8pm cause its dark and people go to bed with the sun. 

This week was a good one though. we had one super amazing Miracle happen though. So you know that our 2 baptisms have fallen though this month well, we got a call on thursday last week from the EQP of the YSA ward in Castle dale and said that they have someone that wants to get baptised!!! She has been going to church for the past month and she has prayed about baptism and wants to get baptised. We met with her the next day. The next day she got baptized. 

Just Kidding but we did schedule a baptismal date for 27 Sept (which will probably be my last week in this area, and almost like a birthday present for me :D ) and wow she really is golden and wants to know for herself. She is a real spectacular women. she has had a bit of a hard life but wants a fresh start! I am so happy that we get to teach her. She actually lives in our area but technically its not a part of our stake. Anyway, she has had such great fellow-shippers in some return missionaries helping her understand the doctrine of baptism. she has been doing a lot of reading and she is golden. there may be a few things that will keep her from being baptised that day but I think it will all work out for the best. Hold thumbs!!

I am excited for this week we get to go to the temple re-dedication of the Ogden Temple. Well it is being broadcast I think across the state. So we have goaled for 0 Investigators at church lol. First time in my history as a missionary... But I am so excited that will be my second time at a Temple Re-dedication broadcast. Want to learn more about temples? Here is more.

If you want to learn more about what we believe as a "Mormon Culture" or if you want to share the Gospel but don't know how. Have a look at this website and these videos

I hope you are all having a Exceptional week! 

Sister Schneider and I decided to match yesterday at church :P

All My Best,

Sister Karen Hollander
Utah, St George Mission
881 South River Road
St. George Utah, 84790
United States

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Missionary tuesday :P

Sorry I am only e-mailing today but we had a Zone conference yesterday in Manti with Elder Clarke from the 70. It was such a good conference and what a way to start our week. We needed all the help we could get.

We had another tough week last week. Including finding a dead snake in front of our apartment. I don't know what is up with us finding dead animals by our apartment. (which is actually not an apartment it is a house....) Anyway. I think Heavenly Father is really looking out for us - looked like the snake choked on a stone. And then Sister Pene picks it up and plays with it - I don't mind snakes but I probably would never do that - we had the manti sisters sleep over at our place that night. Might not have much time. Having a thunder storm outside. (sounds like home)

Well Both our baptisms for the month have fallen through. Well I guess they have been postponed till next month but still. it was a bit disappointing. 

Sunday was the worst. Sister Schneider accidentally set the alarm for 05:55 pm instead of am :| and we had a 07:00 am meeting with all our ward mission leaders... we woke up at 06:55 am .... and that was only the beginning. :( so we got ready pretty quick and went to the meeting came home to get ready for church... then I stepped on my glasses... and I REALLY broke them this time. 

Luckily I have my red pair but yeah. Lame. Then we were late for church in cleavland (at least we got to hear Hunters testimony. After some studies we went knocking on doors and seriously no one would answer/was not home. we finally got into a door at 04:45 pm and had dinner at 5 pm at least dinner was really good! We also had both our appointments cancel on us.

But we did have a few highlights for the week:
  • I got my credit card working so I have extra money feels so good.
  • Hunter bore his testimony in church on sunday!!! what a kid!! Also paid his tithing on sunday! it is so great he really just soaks up everything that we teach him. and wants to obey immediately... we will be teaching Law of chastity next week... wish us luck :P teaching 9 year olds is always fun lol
  • Tim and Kelly did not make it to church but we had a real good lesson with them on sunday evening which was able to lift our spirits and his. Mormon messages are the best!
  • We also had a few other good lessons in the week
Biggest highlight though was the zone conference. 

It was such a spiritual experience!!! But I learned that I should really stop complaining.

We learned so many things though and I really hope to show a 10th of what I learned in this email and hope and pray that it can help someone today.

Sister Center spoke a lot about preparation. how we prepare every day for something and that we prepared in the pre-mortal world as well. All those with a patriarchal blessing please read your blessing today and find out who you were in the pre-mortal world. And also pray to know who YOU were. I know that you had so much faith. and because of that you were able to come here to earth to be tried and tested. When you read the scriptures also look out for themes of preparation. "Obedience prepares us for the blessings Heavenly Father has in store for us."

President Center spoke a lot about CONVERSION, What it is and what the steps are to conversion:
  • Knowledge
    • Faith
      • Testimony
        • Repentance
          • Baptism/Scarament
            • Holy Ghost
              • Obedience
Sorry I do not have time to explain each one but think of this. Why is knowledge the first step in conversion? How does that influence our faith? On a scale of 1-10 where are you on the process of conversion?

"True conversion is when you want to help others gain a testimony or to be converted"

Please know that the road to conversion is NOT easy. It will be hard - you WILL face trails (I saw many trails this week) But I know that it is WORTH it! Repentance is also a part of conversion.

Elder Clarke is REALLY Bold... I have alot to change. I wish everyone could have heard him. what was sad is that he prophesied that there were missionaries in that conference that would go inactive in a few years. It had better not be me. I hope I am converted enough that I will remain faithful.

Just some basics of what we spoke about:
  • Member Missionary Work
    • We watched an amazing video Please watch this and pray and see how YOU can share the gospel today. I know we can ALL do better (myself included) We have been asked to DOUBLE our baptisms. This is the HASTENING OF THE WORK. we can do this. But we as members need to gear up a bit.
  • Retention
    • Please show interest in recent converts. we as missionaries have been asked to visit recent converts for the last 2 years. There are way too many that go inactive because the members and missionaries stop going by or that they never get a responsibility. Are you involving the new members? They really have the coolest testimonies! You WANT to be their friends and feed off their excitement for the gospel
  • Activation
    • Those that are currently not attending church right now count too!! I really loved that he brought this up I feel like there are some missionaries that don't think of less actives as poeple or worth it.
  • Temple & Family History Work
    • Get the new and returning members to do work for their ancestors - get yourself involved too!! you will see miracles!!!
  • Teaching
    • Missionaries need to help investigators keep commitments. 
Well Sounds like he wants us to be perfect. but it IS doable and possible to do all of these things. we are going to work hard this week!

Love you all. Thanks for all the emails and letters!

All My Best,

Sister Karen Hollander
Utah, St George Mission
881 South River Road
St. George Utah, 84790
United States

Monday, 1 September 2014

What a week!

Wow What a week for sure!


Also sorry for the late mail. We went out to the desert this morning with one of our ward mission leaders and his wife and daughter who just got off her mission in London England.
So we went out to the "wedge" aka "lone and dreary world" aka "little grand canyon"

Dinosaur footprint:

We had a  great lesson with Hunter on Monday and he will for sure get baptized this month. Depending on his adoption date. But they are also planning to get sealed ASAP. I am really excited. I am sure I will be able to go! (Whether I will be in the area or not is another story... transfer calls at the end of the month)

Well Tuesday we had Exchanges! It was so good!!! I think even more so for Sister Schneider! She got to stay in our area and I was able to go to Manti. So I drove Huntington Canyon and wow it was so gorgeous!!! I loved it! 
I was with Sister Pene again she is a fun Samaon (that was why I had to drive - cause she does not have a licence) It was a great exchange and I learned a lot from them. Manti seems to be a bit of a tough area though. And made me realized how much I really love Huntington. But who knows I might serve there one day. It was so great we went bike riding in the morning around the farms in the area and it was just so great to do! I am soooo unfit though!!! Sister Schneider and I have STRUGGLED to exercise in the mornings. But we have made a record this week we have gotten up every day and ran around two blocks :) - which does not seem like a lot but we are working toward going around 3 this week :) It feels soooo good to get up and exercise and watch the sunrise... 
We really have decided to do this a bit late it is getting darker each morning. But it helps me feel accomplished. I hope we can keep this up.

Well after exchanges we had to leave early so we could make it to our district meeting on time in price - and I really was considering going down through a place called scofield and down price canyon... But then we realized that is outside of our mission :O So we went back to Huntington and then off to price... That was the longest I have ever driven at one time on my mission. And I may have gone a bit fast.... at least there were no cops. But we had a fantastic district meeting about setting realistic goals and we watched some mormon messages!!! I love mormon messages!!!

Quote from church yesterday: "God wants us to work hard - then he blesses us"

So everyone seems to be giving the missionaries there extra produce. like we got A LOT of CORN just this week. So friday we decided that would be a great weekly planning meal. So I decide to clean them and cook them. but there were some worms in them... so I cut off the part where the worms were. Then chuck them in the bin. Sister Schneider then decides to SAVE the worms. lol. Thats all well and good. But then. . . . We found a SCORPIAN in the apartment!!! ahhhhhhhh!!! But it was dead Sjoe!!! 
But who killed it...??? Wasn't me! But if there is one there are more right? But was funny cause during our time I watched this video
Still does not top Sister Eppels Bat experience.... (for those on her mailing list)

Well we have seen many miracles this week. We were able to put a young girl on date for baptism - previously she would hide her face when we mentioned it so that is big progress!!!
We also found a new investigator! Michelle and she is Golden! Her mom is inactive and said that she wanted to wait for her to be older so she could decide for herself and well she is older now and living on her own and from what we talked about it all sounds positive!!! We also exceeded our goals of Member Present Lessons It is sooo exciting when things like that happen!

Tim & Kelly are still doing great! Only found out that they also drink coffee... Wow Almost marked everything in the word of wisdom... But They are getting the stop smoking program from the Mechams (Snr Couple) this week and we are really hoping things go well for them. They didn't make it to church so I really hope they are OK. John - our miracle baptism, is not doing too good either I hope he can overcome whatever this sickness is - he won't tell us.

We have also been able to do a lot of service here. we have helped this one family move and they are NOT even CLOSE to be ready to move out and feels like we never get anywhere - I think she got shocked when on Saturday I said something to really get down to business. Well it didn't help too much. We are still a LONG ways from being done. We help when we can.

But I know we have seen a lot of these miracles because of our obedience to the schedule - exercising and all the service we have been able to do.

Thank you sooo much for all the emails!!! Sorry I am not able to reply to them all.

All My Best,

Sister Karen Hollander
Utah, St George Mission
881 South River Road
St. George Utah, 84790
United States