Monday, March 24, 2014

Lupe got baptized!

On Thursday, March 6, Kelsie’s Uncle Phil Zollinger died suddenly of a heart attack in Minnesota.  Her mother notified the mission home, and Kelsie’s mission President Gelwix called Kelsie to tell her the news.

MARCH 10, 2014

KELSIE’s Letter to the Mission President:

Well, this week was certainly an interesting week. The last few days have been very hard for me. Receiving your phone call about the death of my uncle and trying to deal with that is pretty close to impossible. It's so hard to sort through those feelings anyways, but even more so being away from my family and trying to work at the same time. Saturday night we took it easy. Elder Cook gave me a blessing that was really helpful. God always knows what you need. Sunday was Lupe's baptism, and that was exactly what I needed. We'd been planning for this day my entire mission. It was so easy for me to be distracted and happy beyond belief. But then Sunday night was really hard again. I'm looking forward to my email with my family. 

We actually were at Lupe's house when you called. I couldn't have chosen a place I'd rather be. Lupe was such an amazing support to me. She cried with me and hugged me and she kept saying "Just be strong Sister Zollinger. Isn't that what you're always telling me? You have to be positive. God knows what he is doing even if it doesn't make sense. That's always been what you've taught me. I'm so grateful for you girls in my life and what you are giving up for Jesus." And many other things. It just helped me so much to hear those things in the first place, and two because it just showed that the things we've been teaching her are really sticking. It means that we're making a difference. And it's because of that I know that I cannot go home or quit until I am done and have done every thing I can. Lupe was my 10th baptism since I started my mission 5 months ago. That's 10 people who have entered the gate. Even though this has been so hard for me, being sick in the MTC, the car accident, and now my uncle's death, I would go through it all over again without thinking if it meant that those same people got baptized. As much sorrow and pain I've been through these past few months, the joy of seeing my new friends (family really) getting baptized and seeing their quality of life skyrocket is far beyond anything I've gone through. 

Although I am starting to feel a little wary. In every blessing I've had from the accident and also from my uncle's death, they have all said something about God giving me these trials so that I can be an example to others. I'm just a little nervous, because I'm starting to get the feeling that these sort of bigger trials are just starting. But if God is giving me these trials because he knows I will never quit and he needs someone to be an example of that, then so be it. I'll do it. 

Lupe's baptism was so special. She was so happy. We had a wonderful program. Our Relief Society President spoke and so did the Bishop's wife. And Sister Nehring. Each just spoke with tears. Our ward has surrounded Lupe and never given up as we've tried to help her through all of her trials. She is a completely different woman now, and she will continue to grow. My greatest wish since I've met her was for her to be baptized, more than any other thing in life really. And it has finally happened. 

I'm really sad to see Sister Organista go, and I'm kind of stressed out about leading the area, but I have a lot of support from my district, my zone, and from my family and friends back home. I know that this is God's mission, not mine, and I am ready to throw all of my trust in him and work until he tells me I'm done. 

 Kelsie's letter to her mom:

So this has been a very hard couple days out here, I'm sure it has been at home as well. I really really really want to be home right now. Just to be there with every one and go through this together. It's really hard to think about all of this and the family getting together and being stuck out here. But I know this is where I have to be, and I'm trying so hard to not let it affect my work. I really miss and love all of you. Every one is taking good care of me out here. It was a very tender time with Lupe. She told me when I left, all of her girls started praying for me and Josie was crying for me. They are so sweet and I love them dearly. After dinner Saturday (when I found out) Sister Organista called Elder Cook (my district leader) and Elder Benites and we all met up at the Kerman chapel. They brought some chairs outside and we just talked every thing over for like an hour and a half and then Elder Cook gave me a fantastic blessing. He said that "God has carefully placed these trials in your life"... in a way that's comforting (this applies to every one by the way, not just me) because it mean's God has a purpose for everything he does and he knows what the greater cause is... but at the same time it's just so hard.  Please tell the whole family and especially Sue how much I love them and that I'm praying for them.

Well, this is kind of hilarious. Lupe got a new puppy that the girls love, and it's not potty trained  yet. So it's pooping and peeing everywhere. Cruz (the boyfriend) said either the puppy goes or he does. So... the puppy didn't go. And he moved into the trailer next door. And we baptized her promptly. On Sister Organista's last Sunday. It's cool because we (us and Elders Cook and Benites) went over for dinner last Wednesday and Elder Benites gave her a blessing because she'd been really sick. He said in the blessing "you will be baptized soon" and we were excited... little did we know that meant that Sunday!

Lupe's baptisim!!!! It was so special. Elder Goettman is the one who found her and he got transferred way done south to be a zone leader, but he got permission and came back up to baptize her!!!! Such a special day!

I have a new companion coming on Wednesday. I think it's Sister VanWees, but I'm not sure... I'll let you know once I've read the name tag a few times. Love you all so much.

I really love you and I miss you all!

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