We spoke with Katelyn three times yesterday. First from the airport in Salt Lake. She was excited and as ready as she could be. She was with a group of 20 missionaries headed to Argentina (different missions – they are all going to Buenos Aires together and the will split up there). They rode Front Runner (mass transit) from Provo to the Airport. She said it was quite the adventure with that many missionaries and SO much luggage getting on the train before the doors closed. She said she was glad to be with so many missionaries because there were some pass along cards in her travel packet and it made her nervous as she isn’t ready to talk to strangers. The entire group was sitting together on the plane so she would not need to talk to anyone quite yet.
She then called from Atlanta a few hours later. The first thing she said was “I gave away a Book of Mormon on the plane”. Her and her companion sat by a nice 41 year old father of four. He asked them about their tags. They explained they were missionaries going to Argentina and that it was a voluntary choice. He was amazed that they would volunteer to go anywhere in the world for 18 months to two years. He asked if he could ask more questions. He asked if they believe in a merciful loving God (too many religions believe in an angry God according to him). They said yes and explained it. He asked why the people in Utah are so happy (he has noticed in his trips there). Katelyn explained the joy of the true gospel of Jesus Christ. He said that made absolute sense to him. After more discussion, he took a nap. While packing, Katelyn had seen an English Book of Mormon on a table. She picked it up and packed it. While he was sleeping, she took it out, wrote here testimony in it, explained how to find the church via lds.org and Mormon.org. When he woke up, he asked more questions. This time about families. Katelyn and her companion explained that God loves his children and then asked how much this man loved his children. He said “more than you can explain in words”. They said, “that is how much God loves all of us – his children” He said he agreed. Then Katelyn took out the Book of Mormon and asked if she could show him some verses. They read a few together and he said “I know and feel what that scripture says is true”. They then told him they would like to give him the book as a gift. He was very touched. He said, today is my birthday. I get to see my family and you are giving me this book. He promised them he would read it. Later in the airport, he came up to them again, expressed sincere gratitude and told them he would definitely read the Book of Mormon.
Katelyn was pretty excited about that. She is ready to serve. She has the spirit with her and a real, sincere, deep love for the Gospel and Jesus Christ. You can sense it in her voice and demeanor as she speaks. She is the same Katelyn we all love but she is a prepared missionary now too.
She called us one last time before boarding, to say goodbye. That was a bit of a hard moment for all of us but we are all excited for her.
We have not heard from her to know if she has arrived at her mission yet.
(Her letter from Saturday is below)
Wow. I can't believe the time here at the CCM has come to an end! I have loved every minute and last week a few in my zone were saying how they would love to just stay here the full 18 months. As fun as that would be, we are ready to go to Argentina!!
Business-- I bought a calling card, and sent home two packages (3 total) I am working on the weight, and will probably just have a heavy carry on. I will call you from SLC around 8 am hopefully on monday, if not I will call during my 4 hour layover in GA. If I forget to answer something, I'll just talk to you on the flip side!!! :)
This week has been one out of the ordinary! Crazy emotional feelings, but so spiritual! This week were THE GREATEST DEVOTIONALS IN THE HISTORY!!!!
Sunday night- Janice Kapp Perry and her sweet husband. They randomly kissed for us and it was hilarious. We hooped and hollared and even Pres. Nally stood up and clapped. It was so great. I loved hearing from them about the power of music. I already knew, but it was nice to be reminded again how simple music and doctrinal lyrics can be, yet have the power to invite the spirit so strong. We sang a number of primary medleys and I was in tears. I think everyone was. Then, we stayed and watched the Restoration. That is the reason I am here. BECAUSE IT IS TRUE! Watching Joseph struggle and his family see him go reminded me of uor goodbyes, but it is what is in the plan, and protection and comfort are always available. After memorizing the First Vision in Spanish, I had the opportunity to recite it in a lesson. I was so nervous, but as I opened my mouth and told that sacred moment, my teeth literally were chattering as I was holding back the tears. The spirit has tesitified to me that Joseph saw God and Jesus multiple times, (in the grove, watching restoration, or reading about him), But this was such a powerful moment. I love this work and I can't wait to continue to do it everyday!
Then, on to Tuesday night--- so uh, we had 6 apostles come HALF!!! and all 7 presidents of the 70! if you didn't already know, Missionary work is the number one priority! it was crazy to literally feel the authority that was present sitting on the stand! Here is this list of the 6 apostles - Elder Christofferson (spoke), Elder Bednar, Elder Anderson, Elder Nelson, Elder Ballard, Elder Oaks-- So cool! I also saw the Mellas, and David Russell here- going to Korea, I will look out for Dave Johnson tomorrow! I am amazed at how much love there is in this gospel. It is what makes it so powerful and perfect. At the devotional, we sang Praise to the Man. Very fitting with all of the authority and martydom date of Joseph Smith. Truly an honor. One thing that Elder Christofferson said was this- "[Christ] knows you. He likes you. He trusts you. Honor His faith in you." We have been called to the work and he trusts us with his gospel! We can be confident in ourselves and the power we have! Like Ammon, I know I am nothing, but with God, I can be an instrument in His care who works to bring miracles.
Today at the temple, I felt so much comfort in the celestial room. I thought I would be more worried and nervous than I am. It must mean that this is all right. That I am supposed to be serving, and that this is God's work. Doing sealings just helped remind me why I am doing this. Because I want others to feel the happiness that I do and the saving power of authority and ordinances on the earth today. The goal is Eternal life, and each day we can be getting closer!
There have been rough days, don't get me wrong. There will be more to come OBVI! but I am loving it here and thriving off of the spirit and the love. I am called of God. I know that. I have a purpose, as do all, and this is my time to share it with others. I know God is real and that he love us. I know Christ is my Savior. He lives, He is proud of me and I can feel him in my life. What a blessing it is to recognize his constant care. I am nervous out of my wits, but I am ready.
I love you all and I am doing God's work. There is no better place to be. Hurrah for Israel!
con mucho amor,
Sorry this letter is going to be short! But I will talk to you on MONDAY!! I loved email chatting with you each today though. I can definitely feel your love and I want you to know that I LOVE YOU MORE AND I LOVE YOU MOST!!!! I was nervous to talk to you and call you because I didn't know what to say! But after emailing with you today, I can't wait to hear you voices and tell you all about my life!!!!!!!! Monday, oh monday I love ya oh monday, youre only 2 days AWAYYYYYYYY!!! (sung in a miranda voice so I hope you appreciated that)