30 December 2013

Christmas on a mission...

Christmas is a lot different in the mission field. I got to talk to my parents and sister, and that was AMAZING!!! I LOVE MY FAMILY SO MUCH! We ate meals with some members and got to take part in their Christmas traditions. At one house I saw a trumpet...yup. That got played. Sister Brown kept asking me to play another song, and I was like "well if you insist." Haha. I love to play the trumpet, and I'm glad that it made her happy to hear it played. She is going to miss when all of her instrument playing children have families of their own. 

Cinnamon rolls for Christmas Breakfast...just like at home:)
When we weren't with members or meeting the people we're teaching, we were caroling with our district. We did so much caroling, and it was so great! The Spanish caroling was more or less an epic fail, but the people said they appreciated it. Santa gave us candy canes to hand out to the children, and most people said they had never been caroled to before. I think it's a great Christmas tradition that's kinda dying. I wish I had a picture! I do have this awkward one of Sister Haupeakui and I next to a giant over-decorated Christmas tree though! We had a great Christmas breakfast, just the two of us with all the stuff ward members gave us! We really got to reflect on the CHRIST part of Christmas, since we had fewer distractions. When we went around teaching that whole week, we mostly taught about the importance of Christ and what Christmas is really about.

A member took us to the Gray's Lodge (a bird sanctuary) last p-day, and it was wicked cool. Some elders brought lassos. That was fun! You'd be just walking along, minding your own business and then you'd be getting pulled in the other direction! And then sometimes everyone would gang up on you and you'd just be done for. I love my district. They're pretty cool!
Triple Lasso'd 

I want to thank everyone from home who made my Christmas amazing by sending their love!

Have a fantastic week!

Sister Arthur

24 December 2013

Merry Christmas! 

Craziness this week. We just became the 14th iPad mission. Every missionary in our mission has an iPad for planning and accessing teaching materials.

I've decided that the best things happen when your original plans fall through. As missionaries, a lot of people don't keep appointments with us, so we have backups for our backups. One such backup was a minister's wife. We tracted into her last week and she politely said she wasn't interested, but asked if we would pray for her mother who is in poor health. After our plans fell through Sunday night, we decided to go caroling at her house. Her family was down from Oregon and she invited us in for cider and coco. We had a great discussion about the importance of missionary work and service. They are such nice people. It's funny, the woman told us to come in out of the "cold." In this part of California, their impression of cold is a little skewed. 

One interesting thing we've run into while tracting is that a lot of people don't know why Christmas is celebrated. The man of the family we live with said he read in the news paper that only about 41% of people know that it's when we celebrate Jesus Christ's birthday. We've been sharing Luke 2 with people who are willing to learn about it. I love that when I read the scriptures I always learn something new, even if it's something I've read a million times. In Luke 2, I noticed verse 19. It says that Mary kept in her heart all the things that the shepherds said. Mary is a great example of faith in God. She was a young woman who had a huge thing asked of her, but she never complained. She didn't always know everything, but she had faith that God would guide her in His ways. I know that Jesus Christ died for our sins, so that we can return to live with Heavenly Father after this life. He loves us so much.

I've found a few of people who speak German here, and we are all very excited. it's a rare thing in Gridely, CA to find a German speaker. Elder Allred is from Germany, so that's cool too. Also, I have people to practice Portuguese with, so basically, I've got it made right now.

I hope everyone is having an amazing Christmas season and focusing on the things that matter most! I love you all!

Sister Arthur

16 December 2013

The crazy elders who came to see Me and
Sister Byrne off when we left at 4:30am! 
 God knows where I belong...

Left the MTC and headed for California:)

Cool column in Sacramento airport
I am assigned to Gridley, California right now. I will stay here for at least a full transfer (6 weeks). If my visa comes in that time I will leave for Brazil. If not, I will stay in California. Gridley is way cool! It's an orchard town. SO MANY ORCHARDS! Have you ever had fresh picked walnuts before? They taste like butter. They're wicked greasy, but very delicious. My companion and I live in the home of some members of the church. They are so nice, and right now they have fresh walnuts, persimmons (I didn't know what this was until I came), and mandarin oranges. The locals are freezing in the 30-60 degree weather we are having. Oh, Californians. It's supposed to get up to 70 this week. What is this? Haha. It's great here. I love being out in the countryside! God knows where I belong. That's why he sent me to Gridley. Here's a little fun fact: EVERYONE has at least one dog. Most people have somewhere between 3 and 8. It's  a little crazy, but whatever floats your boat. I guess when you live in the middle of nowhere, it works. The people who don't farm usually have little dogs. The people who do farm have field/orchard guarding dogs.

My new companion Sister Haupeikui

My companion's name is Sister Haupeikui. Her parents are from Tonga, she was born in New Zealand, and she grew up in Southern California. I didn't know you could get sent on a mission in your own state, but I guess New England states are too small for that. Anyways, she's very cool, and we get a long great. I wanted to look her up on the other day, but she wouldn't tell me how to spell her first name, so I just kept searching pacific islanders in her age group. We both got a kick out of that. 

We don't have a lot of investigators, so we've been doing a bit of tracting. It's amazing the people you can find who are looking for the truth. Just when it seems  like everyone is "all set," we knock on a door and the person who answers just happened to be searching for something more. We tracted into two of these people the other day, and we're so excited to meet with them again.

Cool story: We were looking for someone we were supposed to meet and asked some of their neighbors, who were Mexicans and most of them didn't speak English. I was like hmm....I used to speak Spanish before it got killed by Portuguese, so I guess I'll give it a go. All previous attempts to speak Spanish have been absolute failures, but I totally spoke Spanish! Maybe it doesn't sound that cool, but it's seriously so cool! There are a lot of Mexicans here, because of the orchards, so the Spanish elders and sisters have a lot of work to do!
Sister Haupeikui and I are over a ward and also the Young Single Adults branch. In YSA sacrament meeting, one of the speakers said this:
     "Don't chart your course by the nearest lost person."

I hope everyone's having a great week! 

Sister Arthur

11 December 2013

Meek, Humble and Strong! 
Written 12-09-13

Love the SNOW!
So I got my reassignment! (This is where I will be serving until my visa to Brazil is approved.) So, I will be serving in the California Roseville mission! I've never been to California, and I have two mission calls. Sweet deal! I can't wait to get out in the field! Tomorrow morning I am flying to California! I AM SO HAPPY!!! My temporary companion and I are so excited to talk to people on the way to the field! Our branch president gave us pass along cards to give to people! Oh my gosh! I cant' tell you how excited I am! The gospel of Jesus Christ has blessed my life in so many whys I couldn't possibly count them, and I can't wait to share it with others!

Sister Seal and me with our teacher Sister Dangerfield
I was reading my scriptures yesterday, and I came across these verses that I absolutely love!
"Any why should I yeild to sin, because of my flesh? Yea, why should I give way to temptations that the evil one have placed in m heart to destroy my peace and afflict my soul? Why am I angry because of mine enemy?"
     This is said by the "Book of Mormon" prophet Nephi when he becomes very discouraged by his enemy's attempts to kill him. I really like it, because we all deal with very hard things, and the adversary is just waiting for us to feel hopeless so that he can get to us and ruin our lives. Hope and faith are our greatest defenses against the adversary. If we have faith when life is hard, he will not have power over us. He tries so hard to make us miserable, but he needs our help to do it. Let's not give it to him! Nephi goes on to write this:
"Awake my Soul! No longer droop in sin. Rejoice, O my heart, and give place no more for the enemy of my soul."           --2 Nephi 4:27+28
     I am so grateful for the words of our prophets, both ancient and modern. They truly are inspired men of God.

Sister Neill L. Marriott shared the following
BRAZIL District
Far left is our teacher Brother Smith
in our Relief Society meeting (Sunday meeting for the women of the church): 
     "Meekness is great strength under perfect control." 
I love this, because we read in the Bible and Book of Mormon that we are to be meek and humble, and meek rhymes with weak... but we are not to be weak. We are exactly the opposite. We are asked to be strong! The power comes from turning our life, our thoughts, and our gifts over to our Heavenly Father. He knows how to use them with "perfect control." He loves us and will never lead us to unhappiness, if we just have the faith to follow Him.

Elder Lima and Elder C. from Brazil and Mexico are SO Cool!
So, I finally found motivation to keep my shoes on! My teacher told us that while he was in Brazil, he didn't always wear flip flops in the shower. He got a black fungus...under his toenails. It stayed for three months. GROSS! It will still be hard, but I can do it! I have to.

I hope everyone is doing well. It has been great to hear from some of you,and I do my best to write back, but missionary life is so busy! I hope you all know you are in my prayers. God speed!

Sister Arthur

07 December 2013

Karynne just got her temporary reassignment (until her visa comes through.) She will be heading to Roseville, California on Tuesday, December 10th.

The mission address is:
Sister Karynne Amaris Arthur
8583 Watt Ave.
Antelope, CA

Send Christmas cards!

04 December 2013


Dear All,
     I got the boot off today! My right calf is a little smaller than the left, but I'll beef it up in no time. More excitingly, we just got a whole bunch of snow... 

Yay Snow!
...and it doesn't show
signs of stopping any
time soon. I didn't have
time to get a better
picture before email
time, so sorry. That
one's at 6:30 AM,
and it's got seven
hours of snow on
top of it!
Otimo (awesome!)!

Sweet Viviana Campbell
    So, do you want to know how Thanksgiving in the MTC is? It's amazing! Why? I'll tell you! First, the entire west campus walked up to main campus to join us. Our morning devotional was given by Elder Russel M. Nelson, one of the twelve apostles. He told us some things that will be very important to us as missionaries. He's a cool man. Second, we had a Thanksgiving fireside thing, and I expected for the musical numbers to be the usual hymns and spiritually uplifting music...well these songs were spiritually uplifting in a different way! Elder Shupe (who will be coming to serve in the Manchester, NH mission!!!) played the fiddle. That elder plays a mean fiddle. It was so cheerful and made me want to dance so bad. Another elder played an awesome rendition of "Hedwig's Theme" from Harry Potter. To top it off, our Thanksgiving hymn was "Over the River and Through the Woods..." It was awesome. I was smiling so big I'm not sure the words really came out right. Also, I'm not sure if there are four real verses to that song or if they made them up, but it was buckets of fun! 
     Probably my favorite part was the humanitarian project! We
Sister Seal is Special
made (the whole MTC together) over 350,000 soup packets for children in need in Utah. It was so much fun! And I can't think of a better Thanksgiving activity. After that, we watched a pioneer movie called "Ephraim's Rescue." It is the true story of the Martin Willy handcart company crossing the plains to get to the Salt Lake Valley. It is a very awesome story. The faith of the early saints is incredible! We watched it in the gym, which transforms into a chapel for devotionals, and they gave us Junior Mints and Milk Duds! It was like being at the movies...well...almost! Long story short..ish.. Thanksgiving was amazing!
It was great to see Melanie Morales

     Our teachers went on vacation for a week and came back yesterday. We had some amazing substitutes, but man were we glad to see our own teachers again! Sister Seal and I basically attacked Irma when we saw her!

I hope Sherry knows how radiant and happy Melanie looks every time I see her. It must be hard to have her baby gone, but she is doing a great work, and she is loving it!

     SO some people say the MTC is like a prison. When compared to the mission field, I suppose it is, because you just want to talk to people about the gospel, but maybe that's not it. Maybe that thought was procured from some of the finer details of life here....  -------> -------> ------>

     But in all honesty I love it here. It is a great place to learn and grow, but I am so ready for my reassignment on Thursday! Just to be clear, it is a temporary reassignment. I will be going to Brazil when I receive my visa.

I hope you are all well, and I will let you know what my reassignment is on my next P Day... unless I leave before Tuesday! Then it will be two days, but my parents will let you know after I email or call them!

Sister Arthur

 P.S. If anyone was wondering why "Come Thou Fount" is not in the LDS hymnal any more, it is because it was removed in the 90s following a survey of which hymns weren't very popular. Can you believe no one sang that? I guess getting kicked out of the hymnal made it really popular. Just in case you are wondering about the credibility of this statement... it came from the MTC choir director who knows the guy responsible for its banishment. He says we can be hopeful it will appear in a later addition of the hymn book.

I guess it happens as soon as Elders are set apart
...or are they Practicing for Elder's Quorum?