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Monday, February 22, 2016

Letter Week_54_Sister Karony_Selah

It's done...time to write a new song with new lyrics and familiar music, singing my way into the next chapter of my post-missionary life!!!!!!!
I can't believe this is the last email I will send you as a full-time Sister missionary of the WYM!!!!!! I am all ready to leave, and though there is the normal butterflies in my stomach about the future, overall I feel calm. There's a strange sense of peace. I talked with the member who lets us do our laundry at their home, and she said her son was the same way, and that he was worried he wasn't freaking out more about going home. She told me his mission president said it meant he had served a good mission, he'd done the work. I feel like the same is true for me. I feel like the Lord is pleased with me. I'm so grateful that He called me to serve and gave me the chance to play a small part in His work. How it has changed my life! And hopefully, through the grace of God, it has changed the lives of others as well for the better.
The work in our Ward is also in good hands and I've successfully managed to I can't believe I go into the mission home tonight after our investigator's baptism and then fly home tomorrow. I hope you have it all set up for me getting released. I am going to be so tired! I won't write much more than this today, cuz I'll be home in like 36 hours or something. I really don't know what to say.... 
Sister Smith is staying in our Ward and will be training a new missionary. I totally called it! Sister Atkinson and Sister Heffernan are getting doubled out to Yakima and Ellensburg, and Elders are getting doubled in. There are 7, including me, missionaries going home tomorrow and 24 missionaries coming in... WHOA! This mission is exploding! The work in our Ward is also in good hands and I've successfully managed to cause minimal disruption of the work. I've worked my backside off to the very end, and tonight we get to watch as someone who has become family to us enter the waters of baptism and then reiceve the Gift of the Holy Ghost. In a year he'll be able to go to the temple and be sealed to his wife in an eternal marriage! This is what the work is all about, helping families become eternal. We had at church yesterday: a less active couple, who have nonmember kids at home, a returning less active man with his nonmember wife and son, a returning less active woman in a wheelchair with her nonmember husband, also in a wheelchair, our investigator getting baptized tonight and his wife, and a less active family who's returning to full activity. So much happening! The work will continue to roll forth and hasten. I'm excited for the missionaries still serving here in the WYM.
Got to go now! Love you all and see you soon!

Sister Karony
I'm gonna miss these two and our collective four-pan craziness! 

One of the world's best companion's ever! I couldn't've asked for someone better to see me off. I'll miss this beautiful woman!​ 

We be stylin'!​

My heart is in Yakima and Selah! I'll be back to visit as soon as I can!​

Letter Week_53_Sister Karony_Selah

"Happy Valentine's Day and President's Day!" From the Selah Sisters!

Now I've had as many weeks on the mission as I've had companions! CRAZY!!!
A lot has happened this past week! I don't even know where to start! 

I can't believe I'm in the final stretch! With God's help I'm gonna finish strong! I have no intentions to finish in any other way! And besides, ending a mission with a baptism, that's every missionary's dream! We have lots to do in our area this week, so I'm not slowing down! Everything is falling into place. I'm excited to see you and Sister Lewis on Wednesday and for my exit interview on Friday. I love that I've gotten so many chances to get to know both of you better. And don't worry, we're still definitely praying for you with this crazy transfer coming up. It's so awesome to see how the mission is just exploding with growth. I am so grateful I got to play my small part in it. The Lord makes everything possible, He truly does, and He is definitely the one doing the work. I'm just grateful I got the chance to be here to witness it.

This whole "going home" thing is bitter-sweet. But I'm keeping my chin up and I'm a keepin' keepin' on! "Never surrender, unless it's to God!" That's my motto!
The future is as bright as our faith; and with the caliber and faith of the missionaries coming out here and already serving here, that future is very bright indeed!

I am so happy and so sad at the same time, but staying positive. I have no worries about going home, I'm preparing and doing my part, so there's absolutely no reason to be having anxiety about it.

We had a special broadcast Stake Conference yesterday for the North American, USA Northwest and West regions. Elder Renlund and Sister Oscarson spoke and some other GA's. Elder Renlund talked about putting the Gospel into context by referring to "the short answer" whenever asked by others about why we believe what we believe. The short answer is that in 1820 a young boy named Joseph Smith wanted to know what church to join and so he prayed and asked God, and God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, came to him and told him to join none of the churches. they called him to be the prophet thru whom They restored Their church to the earth... etc. We believe in revelation thru modern day prophets.
That is just what I can remember. But really, when you don't put our faith in the context of revelation and the plan of salvation, it's so hard to answer the question and explain our beliefs. Elder Renlund is so awesome!

Our investigator who is getting baptized on the 22nd met President Lewis yesterday too! That happened because President and Sister Lewis are in the same stake as me, so they were there with us yesterday. I got my recommendation and verification of service hours from him then too. Also, he shared with Sister Smith and I and our investigator and his wife that all the missionaries going home this transfer will be going to his baptism! I don;t have to go into the mission home until after the baptism! So, YES, still email me on Monday! Or I will be peeved! :P, lol, but really... So, with that happening I get to have a full p-day and to help with the baptism! Even cooler is that it worked out that this investigator is getting confirmed at the same time as well! So, I get to still be companions with Sister Smith and see the whole thing! Also, the 22nd is the 2 years since baptism mark for 2 of my other investigators from Hermiston. It's a big day!

Invite all my friends in the area to my talk, will you? I'd love to see as many of them there as possible! I miss everyone so much, but don't worry, still not trunky! Though I will be needed some more money to send home packages so my suitcases aren't over weight. Also, DO NOT open the box with the cow horn in it! It REEKS!!!!! I've got to air it out and finish drying it out once I'm home. Thanks for the laugh by the way! When I read how it startled you when you opened my box, I lost it! I needed that!

I am out of time, but I love you all! PEACE!!!
Sister Karony

​Best Four-pan ​Ever! Selah Sisters, GO! This was at my 2 months to "22" dinner at our Ward Mission Leader's house this last Friday. Can't believe I'll be 22 soon!


Sunday, February 14, 2016

Letter Week_52_Sister Karony_Selah

I can't believe that in 2 days I've been gone a year!??!!!! Cool, but bittersweet. By the way, Happy ALMOST-50th Birthday, Popsicle! And congratulations Braden! Have fun jumping out of airplanes now! Make sure you grab the "good" parachute! ;P
Take a non blurry picture of Ducky in her devil wings, if you can? After all, she moves so much! Also, could you take a picture of the missionary plaque case so I can see where my plaque is? I'll be praying for Tenille, give her my love! also tell the little'ins that I saw HI and give them big hugs for me. I'm so glad they remember me!

Below is this week's email from President and Sister Lewis:

"Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is not something ethereal, floating loosely in the air. Faith does not fall upon us by chance or stay with us by birthright. It is, as the scriptures say, “substance … , the evidence of things not seen.” Faith emits a spiritual light, and that light is discernible. Faith in Jesus Christ is a gift from heaven that comes as we choose to believe and as we seek it and hold on to it. Your faith is either growing stronger or becoming weaker. Faith is a principle of power, important not only in this life but also in our progression beyond the veil. By the grace of Christ, we will one day be saved through faith on His name. The future of your faith is not by chance, but by choice.
--Elder Neil L. Andersen, Oct 2015 General Conference


We love you,
Pres. & Sis. Lewis"

I love them so much! Choose faith! That's my motto for these last weeks.

This week we worked hard, but encountered a lot of opposition. All but one of our planned member presents fell through, (I'm so grateful we had one!) and most of the people were less than receptive. But that's OK, because we still met some amazing people! One of them was an older gentleman we met while he was out walking, and he told us to stop by another time to share more of our message with him. If we hadn't been out tracting and following the Spirit about where to go, we never would've run into him at all. I'm grateful we were listening! He was super open from the get go and even asked where church was. The moment we met him both Sister Smith and I felt strongly impressed that he had the potential to be golden. We're really excited for the future!

I myself have been struggling a bit with going home. I'm not trunky, more panicky than anything actually. However, doing "My Plan" has helped me lower my stress and anxiety levels about it. I am also blessed to have a companion who is super good at "finishing off" missionaries "painlessly". Sister Smith is helping me figure this all out and staying focused and not getting overwhelmed. I'm taking it one day at a time. I'll probably be asking for a blessing here again soon to help as well. Overall we had a good week and we've learned a lot about being the instruments of the Holy Ghost and how to be more patient.

I will never give up, EVER!

My ponderizer for this week is Mormon 7:4. Yesterday I asked God what I needed to focus on right now to become a better servant, and He led me to the topic of becoming a peacemaker. I'm studying that topic now and luckily Sister Smith's family has been all about peacemaking her entire life, so I've got her as a resource as well. God answers when you ask Him what to work on next. Though until I acted on this answer it was super random to me. Makes sense now though!

Sister Karony-ism for the week: There's a missionary saying "Go big and go home bigger", but I am failing at the "go home bigger" part... So I've been trying to gain weight by eating carb0-tastically cheep with some veggies still of course. I feel ripped off! I think I might be getting some pounds, but then, whenever I see her, Sister Lewis is constantly asking if I've lost weight and feels my ribs.... ;P hope this gets you to laugh!

I love being a missionary!

Sister Karony

"You see us rollin'!... White and nerdy!" We got bikes! Wahoo! 

Punctuation is important, cuz otherwise it sounds like your trying to support children voting... funny! Just think of the resulting chaos that would happen!

Every missionary's internal facial expression when people don't keep their commitments and/or appointments

We got more cows than people out here!!!!!  And horses!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Letter Week_51_Sister Karony_Selah

This week was full of miracles! This Sunday though, we had an investigator tell us that we'd be having a baptism... This investigator was ready to be baptized weeks ago, but he was told by the Holy Ghost that his brother-in-law needed to do it, and he was supposed to be in Chile until June... But he came home early, two days ago, as a surprise! Now his baptism is going to be on Feb. 22nd!!! It's the same day I go into the mission home. What a way to end my mission! With a miracle baptism! However, every baptism is a miracle. We are on cloud nine over here! WAHOO! We are also working really hard on making sure everything gets done properly and we're working closely with our investigator. This has really boosted my faith and strengthened my testimony that God does answer our prayers. We had stopped praying that this investigator would be able to be baptized sooner and be OK with it not being his brother-in-law, and had started praying instead that his brother-in-law would come home sooner. Talk about a prayer answered!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We just had to ask for the right thing. And, once that got thru to us, we did it, and look at where we are now! He's the only one in his family not baptized, so everyone is super excited! We get to be a part of uniting a family! And next year on Feb 22 they can go to the temple and be sealed as a family! THIS is what a mission is all about: being an instrument in the Lord's hands to unite families for eternity. We are so blessed!
Also, I had my last Zone Conference this week and got to give my departing testimony. That was a bitter sweet day. I don't want this to be over, but I'm definitely coming more to terms with it and it's becoming less scary to me. I am not the same person I was when I came out here, and even if I tried, which I WON'T, things could never be the same again. It can only get better or worse. So, I'm going for better.

We were sick as dogs on Friday and had to stay in, but we went out in the evening and got some work done still. But it didn't get better until Sunday. Sister Smith and I were so out of it! We slept until 3pm! If I hadn't been unconscious, I would've gone crazy! Luckily we got well enough to go out at all, or I really would have lost it anyway. Good times...
I will give 'til I have nothing left, and then give some more.

I am tired and don't have much else to say. It was a long week of hard work. We found a golden family that we've started to teach, and we have a lesson with a golden sounding potential investigator. There's just too much that happened this week for me to write about it. I'll be sure to audio record all about it though!

Glad to hear you went and saw the D'Andrea's. Give them my love!

Attached is the recording of me singing at the Zone conference. I'm a bit iffy sounding because we only got to practice twice, and I was trying not to cry, but it's still pretty. Thought you'd like to hear it.
Sister Karony-ism for the week: We were talking about which Disney villians we'd be. The other Sisters decided that if I were evil I would be a mix of Ysma (Emperor's New Groove) and Shawn Yu (Mulan) and the Evil Queen (Snow White). So funny!
I'm enjoying every minuet out here!

Sister Karony

Letter Week_50_Sister Karony_Selah

This week was epic!

I was sick one day this week and have not woken up late once. I don't fall back asleep either!
I've definitely had my voice every day.
I am getting over my fear of talking with everyone! We spent last Monday night tracting and OYMed 12 people in only 3 hours! And that was only Monday! We found 3 new investigators and at ward council had a record of progress for the week 1 two sided sheet completely filled and one side of another filled to share with everyone. Our Bishop's face was priceless! He's awesome! By the way, I've not mentioned this in any of my emails thus far, but our Ward Mission Leader and His wife are also amazing! You don't have to worry about me mom, I've got some parents up here too! The Portera's (that's them) are wonderful and so supportive of us and the work. In fact, the entire ward is the same way! We are so spoiled here in Selah! They make it easy for us to work hard. So, to sum it all up= "It was somewhat frighting, but exhilarating!" I have been working so hard on overcoming my fear and this week has marked the beginning of a crazy change. My fear is disappearing, and I am acting in spite of it with more confidence in the Lord and my companion. We've doubled our OYM's now and this week we're gonna keep reaching higher!
I'VE NEVER FELT SO ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I am NOT counting down, but I am aware of the time passing and I'm pushing to give my all. I got a blessing this past week that talked about how the Lord still has a lot for me to do and that I will be given the strength to give my all. He also said that my talents and I are still needed. I have been so worried about not being needed or of use to God. But this blessing reassured me. I had also been agonizing over whether or not I have done anything for him, and He told me I have and will continue to. I am not here for me. I am here because I love God. He sent out the call for more missionaries and I heard Him. And here I am, over 2 years later and finishing my mission. After this I'll be answering the call to be a missionary for forever; because, to quote Elder Holland "I hope that it's never ever over for me"!
We also had a world wide missionary training broadcast this week! We found out that there are currently there are about 75,000 full-time missionaries serving world wide! Crazy! It was so cool! Some things I learned:
-We are the instruments to be used by the Holy ghost, He's NOT the instrument for us.
-We must be worthy and prepared vessels to bring the Holy Ghost unto the heart of the investigator, but only the Holy Ghost can enter into their hearts, and only if He's invited in by them. We are responsible for being worthy and prepared and creating the environment where that can happen. We just need to get out of the way and let the Holy Ghost do His thing!
-We must be prepared! As the African saying goes "You can't draw water from an empty well." So it is with us. The Holy Ghost can't draw on anything in your head when nothing's there :P.
This is just a couple points of what I got from it. I'm so grateful I got to be apart of this, something they haven't done in over a decade. My mission is truly going out with an awesome bang! And that kinetic energy is going to send me forward into the rest of my life with a new pep in my step to take on the world! Let's go!
Also, just got asked to sing in Zone Conference this week yesterday. I am pickling the song right now and finding an accompanist. I'm so happy I get to sing at my last Zone Conference! I love bearing my testimony thru song. There's truly nothing else like it!
Your Sister Karony-ism for this week: I ate a Carolina Reeper pepper last night at dinner! This pepper is hotter than a ghost pepper. SO GOOD! It has a buttery chocolate taste and warms you up nicely. Like you're cuddled up in front of the fireplace on a cold winter's night. Needless to say, Sister Smith thinks I'm funny...
My scripture Ponderizer for this week is Alma 26:11-12. I am not anything, and if I am, it's only because of God, because He is with me.

Sister Karony

This dog loks like a smaller albino Ducky!​
​ Her name's Cracker!​


Sister Smith

We're so cute! The Dynamic Dynamo trio here! We're the Holy Ghost's back up! He be headin' this fine crew!​

Wanted to throw a rock thru the ice! Notice that there's a cactus in the background! You can almost forget you're in a desert with all this snow!

Letter Week_49_Sister Karony_Selah

Happy 20th birthday Braden!!!

So, this week has been BUSY!!! So busy that we all fell asleep in our apartment with the bedroom lights on two nights in a row. Sister Heffernan woke up at 2:21 am and turned it off. Then Sister Smith woke up and turned it off at 11:45 pm. I was so tired this week it made me sick! So yes, I was sick Saturday thru yesterday and into today. But last night I got a blessing and was told I'd have a speedy recovery.

I am SO TIRED!!!!!!!! It's AWESOME!!!!! And I'm SO HAPPY!!!!!!!!!!! It's weirding me out!!!

I got busted at the local burger place by a member who works there that I was an opera singer. It was funny!

I'm working on the essay for the scholarship that dad sent me and have emailed President Lewis for help with the community service hours verification and recommendation stuff. He'll be emailing you dad if he has questions :). 

So, I'm getting over being sick. My back is hurting bad though, but we're getting new mattresses soon, so that'll help a ton!

Nothing is stopping us!

We worked so hard this past week. We got 8 referrals this week! We've contacted 5 so far. This was an answer to prayers because we've been asking everyone and before this past week we'd only gotten one referral out of it. Now it's finally bearing fruit! I'm definitely still working on having the patience to endure the Lord's timing. It's hard to be patient when you're constantly shaking off the feeling that time is running out... oh well! Life is life! And mission life is awesome!

I was frustrated this week when we still didn't find the child of god who's ready to be baptized this month, but then we both realized it's all in the Lord's timing. Yes, His vision IS that each companionship helps one of His children receive baptism and confirmation monthly, but there is their agency and stuff to go with it. But God's in control and He did tell me thru my blessing yesterday that I needed to be patient in enduring His timing... Right on the nose, as per usual, of course! So, I'm giving it to Christ and just keeping moving forward.

I've started the "My Plan" program from the Church that's for helping missionaries transition into "civilian" life post-mission. It's promoting a lot of reflection on my mission and I'm so grateful for that, because it's helping me keep from getting trunky! Don't worry! Funny story: I thought that I was getting trunky earlier this week though, because I was thinking about how I was going to make my last weeks most effective. Then sister Smith told me that was the opposite of trunky. Aren't companions just awesome! They help you get much needed reality checks! It's perfect!
My Ponderizer this week is... I don't remember this second.... hahahaha, funny! Will update you next week!
Something I forgot to tell you about sister Smith is that she trains guide dogs for the blind when she's home! Cool!

I love you all! Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day!!!


Sister Karony

Pday magic!

Bag of fries!

Our neighbor got a car upgrade! Our car is the white one! we camouflage better in this weather though!

Letter Week_48_Sister Karony_Selah

We survived the transfer calls this week, so none of the 4 Sisters in our apartment are moving on Wednesday. I'm so grateful the Lord has chosen to let me stay here to finish out my mission. I couldn't have asked for a more amazing ward or companion!

So a lot has happened this transfer, this week! Amongst all of this, I have learned so much about being kind, charitable, and listening from Sister Smith.

We resolved the situation with one of our investigators this week and teaching them is back on track! It's awesome not being able to runaway from your problems and challenges!

Something else really amazing happened though over the course of this past week. I have been thinking about Sister.  A few days ago I had felt like something was off.  Shortly after that, we got the transfer call. I heard that Sister Danger was going home because of her mom, it all clicked into place. The witness of the Holy Ghost is stronger than anything, after all. I have peace about it and I'm praying for Sister Danger and her mom every day. I'm so grateful for all that she taught me. If anything, she'll be back out some time.

Crazy cool stuff isn't it? Heavenly Father truly is in every detail of our lives.  Also, had apartment inspections this past Friday by Elder and Sister McBean, and gave Elder McBean Papa Charlie's address so he can write him. He was so excited. He said if Omie didn't already have it, he would give me Margie's number so I could give it to her, so they could reconnect. The world is so small!

We both feel so strongly that we're going to have a baptism this month and I received the prompting that doing this will help us achieve that goal. When we are obedient, the Lord immediately blesses us (in His timing and way of course though). Sister Smith and I have been so bone tired and spiritually, emotionally, physically, and mentally exhausted the past 3 days... it stinks, but it's not stopping us at all. We are so happy despite it all, and it's kinda scary and awesome!

I sang for an investigator last night impromptu. It was fun! It's the last stretch. I'm using every second and making every single one effective. It's a glorious feeling! I have no regrets. But what makes it all truly worth it, is seeing my brothers and sisters come unto Christ and the joy that they experience from it. That is the ultimate reward for all that's happened.

The stories above tell it all.

My Ponderizer this week is Alma 31:5, and this quote goes along with it: "True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior." –President Boyd K. Packer
This quote is from Preach My Gospel. It is so true! That is what has happened to me over the past 2 years. Thru Jesus Christ we are cleansed from sin, we are healed spiritually. And, as we increase in our understanding of the Atonement, we will increase in our desire to share the gospel, because we want others to know the joy which comes from it as well.

Sister Karony-ism for this week is I came up with a new word by accident: Horrocious. Horrific+Atrocious= Horrocious. I was so tired and I mixed the words together when I went to say horrific, but changed it to atrocious half way through saying it.


This letter has been a whopper! I've also loved the emails I've gotten today! Thank you!


Sister Karony

My Christmas/New Years card​. Sister Smith looks so tired!

My snowman-sea monster! He's beautiful!

The waves and snowman-sea monster are going to capsize and destroy the vessel. No one will survive! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!!!!!!​

Made neclace. Snowflake was from one I got from a member for Christmas, the beads were from a broken necklace and I had some leather cord. Viola! I can wear this!

Weekly planning kills your brain cells!​

My brain is tired!

I looked super cute! By accident too!

My District this past transfer! Only Elder Flamm is being transferred away from this group. He's the red head Elder.