Monday, July 28, 2014

We had a baptism this week!

Hey President Clark!

So this week we had so many miracles. First one being that we just baptized a girl out of no where. So that was great. I know that God really wants me to invest in Hermana Contreras because He wants her to get used to the feeling of baptizing. I can feel it. I already feel like she is a much better missionary than me. She is honestly about the most Christlike person I know. She is always serving everyone and she is so calm and she bears powerful testimony. Everyone call feel her spirit... I am just so lucky to have her. She makes me want to be so much better so that I don't let her down. 

So this week we baptized someone... we're setting high goals and I know that we can reach them. We are committed to this. It's so awesome. I feel like I don't even know what to tell you more than that. She just helps me all the time, she is so happy, never complains, and for some reason she loves me even though I am so imperfect. It's just.... it's a beautiful thing. 

We are working with several part member families and we have faith we are going to baptize several people this month.

I love you so much President. Pay special attention to Hermana Contreras. She is really going to be one of your strongest leaders by example as her mission progresses. 

Love you!

Hermana Zollinger


You may notice that we are dressed in white.... because she was embarassed by the suits.... so we told her we would wear them so she wouldn't look like a dork by herself. It was cool. The members were all really concerned at first, but then we told them why and then they thought it was cool we were supporting her. It was a straight up miracle.

My companion is great. I feel like I did when I was being trained. I think we're going to just baptize straight through her training.... it just feels so good. Because God is helping us baptize because she needs to. It's so awesome. This baptism wasn't us. Like we kept going even though the odds were slim, bu that's all you have to do. When you get an answer, you move mountains because you are willing to try and stick too it.... and then God actually lifts it through you. Not you. Just you picking up your feet and going even though it looks ridiculous or seems crazy.

I make lists of things to tell you in my head during the week and then I totally forget what they were when I get here..... but cool thought I was thinking about this week. Everyone we meet everyday is about to do something they think is impossible. Everyone. We are all facing something that we are almost certain is impossible. And the cool thing is that the Atonement of Jesus Christ helps all of us... but realizing this helps us to do things... one, to get over our impossiblity. because we realize that we're not the only ones. and two, have compassion with others because.... we aren't the only ones going through it. I'm not sure if that hits you like it hit me... but it was profound and I was thinking about that a lot lately.

I love you so much too! I'm sorry, I'm going to write down a list of important things so that this is a better experience haha... just know that I am way happy right now!  Love you!!!!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Training a new companion!

Hey President!!!

 I love my companion so much. She just is so awesome. She just is so eager to help, and she doesn't ever complain, and she is solid. She contributes to every lesson and I can just stop and look at her and she picks up without missing a beat and she says everything with such an awesome power... . And she just loves to work... if she needs something from her room while we're in the apartment, she runs. It's just awesome. And she's hungry to learn English. It's just the best of everything. And then in the end, she just comes back with telling me that she loves me and that I'm the best trainer in the mission... which I'm not even training her. She already has everything. So it's about the sweetest deal ever.... best trainer in the mission without doing anything. LOVE MY LIFE SO MUCH RIGHT NOW.

We are so close to having so much exito here!!!! We have like four people getting so close to baptism. I was getting kind of frustrated without having any dates for a while... but right now we have 0 dates (4).... so I feel like we do because we are just so close. We are going to baptize during this training. It can only go up from here. I'm just so excited about life.

Javier almost has a job so as soon as that happens he'll be ready to get married he said... then baptism! Juan really felt the Spirit and said that yes, he wants to get baptized but he wants it to be a special day... so he's praying to set a date right now. Amy is so close we finally figured out that she's just afraid to change her life, but she admitted that she knows that God wants her to get baptized. And we're finding new people all the time. The members are bringing referrals out of the walls.... like someone flipped a switch. It's so awesome. One member actually just brought a family to church without ever having met the missionaries and then handed them over to us... President, I feel so strongly that these two transfers are going to be the best of my whole mission.

Love you President!

Sister Zollinger

About Kelsie's new companion:

She is awesome. Her name is Lucy Contreras Blancas, she's 23, she's from Mexico, most recently Mexico City. It was so cool.... I just felt super nervous and then I was so excited..... and then we were all in the chapel, trainers on the side and trainees in the middle and one by one president called us up.... She said that she knew it was me when I was leading the opening song. So... yeah. Just thrilled. I don't have a picture yet, but seriously... she's so awesome. It's been a dream. She's super responslibe, she's such a peacemaker.... she just calms me and soothes me all the time. She looks like a mexican version of Michelle (Church, Kelsie's cousin.) yeah... pretty much Michelle Church is my companion. That is an accurate statement. The other day she made me breakfast and lunch. She is just all over everything, but in a very calm way, always looking for what she can do to help. She is such an amazing example of dignified humble service. I'm going to learn so much from her!!!!

Almost 10 months in....

July 14, 2014

Dear Mom,

I am being released as a Sister Training Leader so that I can be a new trainer. They don't have to release you, but it's super hard to do both. So when he called me Saturday to ask me to train, he just said that they were temporarily releasing me so that I could focus on training, but that they were going to call me again soon. So I'm guessing next transfer I'll do both. But I'm grateful, because training is a 24/7 job, and I've never done it before... so I'm a bit nervous. And I'll probably find out Thursday who it is. At least that's how they did it with President Gelwix... I don't know with President Clark. But I go down to Fresno Wednesday, I get to go to the temple, and then they'll give us some trainings, and then probably Thursday is when I'll meet her and then I'll take her home at some point on Thursday. Friday it all begins. I was fine for a few days, but now I'm starting to get scared... being a trainer is the most important calling in the mission, because they will compare everything in their mission back to your example and their experience with you. You set the tone. I'm investing 3 solid months in a person... it's like the closest thing to having a child you can experience on the mission haha.... it's scary!  But I'm going to love her with everything I've got and we are going to baptize!

So yeah.... life is  super awesome. New companion who hopefully will be super cool, Elder Garcia is staying, Elder Cook is staying and training a new zone leader, Elder Boswel, who came out with me from the Mexico MTC... he's so cool. So pretty much I'm in heaven. 

hey also I ate cow stomach (menudo) and almost died this week.

love you so much!!!!! give hugs to everyone!

Sister Zollinger

Monday, July 7, 2014

4th of July!

Hey Momma!
Yeah... this week has been so crazy. Awesome, but crazy. As usual.
So last week I went to my first ever MLC. That's just zone leaders and STL's (sister training leaders) with the coordianting sisters and assitants. There are nine of us STL's. It was an awesome meeting. I felt so blessed to be able to be in that room with some of the best missionaries in the mission and just counsel together, especially because it was where President was asking us what the mission was like, what do we need to focus on, stuff like that because he doesn't know just yet. Although he's hitting the field hard, he was meeting  the mission this whole week but every night was going out teaching with missionaries. His wife is going out with us as well! I love them both so much. They are VERY different from the Gelwixes, but they are so awesome. President Clark is a very wealthy man, he just sold two very successful buisnesses... but he is so humble and so tender. He is just a big teddy bear. Doesn't teach like Coach Gelwix, but he is an AMAZING example. Very smart. He writes EVERYTHING down. He's all about creating a family culture, and so he LOVES that we already have such a strong family culture in the mission, he doesn't really want to change anything. Sister Clark is super awesome too. She's really pretty and cute, and she is a strong professional teacher. She loves being a mom and wants to mom all of us. They are all taking time to try and get to know us and it just feels good. At MLC I got to be with just her and the other STL's for a meeting, she's just so awesome. I get to be with them again this coming Thursday at Leadership Training.
As for other life things... let's see, let's see. OH! Fourth of July. Haha..... so Thursday night I realized we didn't have plans and it's not like we could just tag along with our ward cuz their all Mexicans. So. I called Elder Garcia and he and his companion just wanted to stay home and the zone leaders had seperate plans so I was like What the HECK?! We had to have our cars parked by 6 and had to be at home unless we were with members.... so I was bumming out Thursday night. Well Sister De la Cruz is so sweet and was determined to find someone to take me to see fireworks. So she started calling everyone on Friday. Still nothing. Well we parked at 6 and were home and I just went to bed cuz we woke up at 5 to get to Fresno in time for MLC and I'd been driving for 4 hours with meetings and things... and then we got plans! We went to the Montuy family hahaha it was so funny. Elder Garcia and Elder Arroyo came too!!!! And they had a ton of hay ready in their yard... and they set it on FIRE haha and it was windy and started just blazing and we panicked and they were trying to put it out and I just can't really explain but it felt like home. Except missionaries aren't allowed to light things so I wasn't as involved as I'd usually have been. And then they set off fireworks in their yard and all around other people were setting bigger illegal ones off and it was super fun. Good night.
Yeah it was pretty funny. They knew I was a firefighter's daughter, and when the fire started to get out of control and I just stepped back and yelled for someone to get the hose they're all like "What the heck?! Everything is burning and the firefighter's daughter just stands there?!" and I was just like "hey, I told you that this all was a bad idea in the first place, cuz I've seen this go down a million times. We all knew that everything was going to go up. Not my responsiblity. Plus, I'm in a skirt." hahaha

Transfer calls this Saturday! Very likely Sister De la Cruz is getting transfered, I hope she goes to a 1/2 and 1/2 area so she can really take off on her English. That's just the little push she needs, she's getting so good but she needs more of an opportunity to practice!

Other funny story... I think I already told you Sister De la Cruz says I have Puss in Boots eyes when I'm happy with what I'm eating? well it's spreading, Elder Garcia and Elder Arroyo say I have "Precious Moments" eyes when I eat now too hahaha

I love you so much!!!!!


New Mission President Clark!

Sister Zollinger
Your ability to love is profound! I feel it so strongly and am touched by your greatness.
I will love serving with you.
President Clark

It is a wonderful day to be a Mormon Missionary!

Well President Clark, this past week has been great! Hard, but great! I'm at a really bizzare point in my mission... at different points in my mission I have related with different companionships from The District. Right now I relate with the missionaries from The District 2 who say they feel like they're experienced, their whole mission baptizing has been easy, and now their the best missionaries they've ever been and they just can't seem to baptize. My first three transfers my trainer and I baptized all the time. Since then, I have continued to grow and I know that now I am the best missionary and teacher by the Spirit I have ever been... but we just can't seem to find the right people to get baptized! It's a bit frustrating. But I am learning patience, and I am excited to go out and find a ton of new people this week! My leaders are the best really. Elder Garcia is my district leader and he is so invested in the success of each of the companionships in his district. He calls us all the time and doesn't just say "Well, try harder" or the classic "Sisters, you are working so hard, just don't worry about it"... he walks us through Game Plans and helps us think about all our options. It's so helpful. Our zone leaders are Elder Cook and Elder McClung and they are also awesome. They are such great examples of faithful leadership. They are already putting into action plans to make our zone more of a family, based on our MLC trainings. So even though it's just a weird point in my mission, I have been given some of the best leadership I could ever ask for, in an amazing area, with a very loving companion. God is merciful.

This week we're mostly just finding new people. We are focusing on bringing people to church right now, just trying to find those who are willing to come. We have a full night tonight. I'm particularly excited about our appointment with Javier. We knocked into him a few weeks ago and by chance his girlfriend is a less active convert. We started talking to them and she wants to reactivate and he asks amazing questions. So we're hoping to get them married and back into church, with him baptized soon! It's awesome. I'm super excited.

Love you so much President! Talk to you on Thursday at Leadership Training!

Sister Zollinger

Goodbye to President and Sister Gelwix

June 23, 2014

President Gelwix,
I am very sad to know that this is my last letter I will write to you as my mission president. But very happy that I will be able to be in contact with you for the rest of my life :) This letter I guess I just want to tell you what I have learned thus far from my mission.
My mission already has extremely changed my life and more importantly has changed me. When I came, I was fairly confident that I could do it, but I felt a huge weight. I was scared. Now, I feel like I am the worthiest I have ever been in my whole life. Jesus Christ has become my friend. I have learned to understand the will of the Father, and to only ask for the strength to do what He asks me. I've stopped asking Him to change what it is that He wants of me. I have gained confidence that as long as I am doing my best, He really will do the rest. I have learned to be obedient without questions. I have learned to take direction from leadership humbly. I actively search for people to multiply and to try to help them see themselves as God sees them. While I still have a lot of work to do, I feel happy in knowing that I am worthy and that God knows me and loves me and that He is proud of me.
I have baptized 3 families on my mission. Each of them is very precious to me. I have yet to get into contact with one, they've moved out of state and I don't have their email, but the other two are still progressing! Brother Nunez is now a counselor on the Spanish Group Presidency in Kerman, and he and his wife both serve as ward missionaries. Lupe now has a job, is going to school, and is working on getting an apartment. Her daughters love church. The Elders in Kerman are now working with her twin brother and his children. I could not be happier with these families, and the ability I have had to touch their lives. I will never be able to thank God enough for this opportunity to be here and to serve.
My companion and I have worked out a lot of things this week.  She is serving me so much and telling me how much she appreciates me, and it's amazing how just hearing and seeing the little things like that changes my mood and gives me so much more patience! She's so great.
We are working with the Diaz family very closely. They came to church during second hour yesterday, so they didn't count for sacrament but the 100% counted for overcoming obstacles and committing to find a way to church, even if very late. They will be baptized, I know it. We are also working with Javier, so is dating a less-active. He is progressing a lot and is showing a lot of interest! We are hopefully going to be planning some weddings here shortly, because both Javier and Sis. Diaz are not married to their significant others.... so that's exciting!
President, I know that God lives and that He loves me. There is not one tiny part of me that doubts that. I know that Jesus is the Christ and that because of Him, all that is unfair in the world will be made right in the eternities. I know that The Book of Mormon is true. I know that we will all stand accountable in front of God at the last day, and there we will tell Him where we made our stand. I know that He will be very proud of me. And of you. I love you. See you tomorrow.
Sister Zollinger