Monday, May 27, 2013

May 27, 2013
Last Letter!


I know there are probably a million other things I could say or mission experiences I would love to tell you about, but the only thing coming to mind right now is my testimony, and I would love to share that with you.

On my mission, I really thought that I would come home with a very expanded testimony, finding truths I had never even thought about before, or learning things I could not even comprehend before I left.
But that hasn't been my experience.
I feel like the longer I have been out, the more I have realized how plain and simple the gospel really is. I haven't learned as many new things as I had previously imagined. Instead, the things that I have always known have become deeper and more cherished as I have shared them with others. I know Christ is MY Savior. He is the Savior to each of us individually. I feel like I know Him, and He has allowed me to serve alongside Him for these last 18 months. He has helped me discover the joy of forgetting myself and being completely caught up in the service of others. He has helped me feel a glimpse of His love that He has for all His children. He has opened my eyes to everyday miracles that can slowly and gradually change people as they recognize them. He has answered impossible prayers and carried me and those I have grown to love through insurmountable trials. I have seen the blessing of eternal families. I have seen the devastation of families broken by Satan. I can't even imagine my future without these experiences, which have shaped me and helped me to grow in ways I would never have thought possible. The Book of Mormon is God's word, a way to gain a personal relationship with our Savior. This is His church. We don't have to search and be lost in the dark. We have the way to happiness, and it is up to us to simply follow it.
I love you so much family!! I am so excited to see you all and be able to wrestle you to the ground! (you better watch out!) Wrenching my heart out of Ohio (especially Kirtland) is not going to be fun, but I am glad that I will be able to be around you again.

Love you!! ...see you Thursday? (CRAZY!!!)
Sister Mahrt

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

May 20, 2013
Kirtland, Cleveland and Toledo Zone Conferences

Happy Birthday BROOKIE!!!! I can't believe you are ten! You cute little Dr. Seuss girl :) What are you going to do for your birthday?

There were so many miracles this week! 
1) We tracted a street on Saturday that we had originally planned for Monday. We walked up to a couple who were sitting outside, and we were talking about family history. The conversation changed when the lady started talking about things, and EVERYTHING she was saying was highlighting themes and principles from the Book of Mormon! Scriptures and stories were flashing through my head like mad. I got so excited and told her how much she was in line with the Book of Mormon, shared some scriptures with her, then started explaining the introduction. Every question she asked led straight to the next paragraph!! By the end, she was SO excited to read the Book of Mormon - I don't think I have ever met anyone that was quite as enthusiastic about learning more. The amazing thing is that she didn't even live in that home- her family had been kicked out of their home and just came to live with their son's friend's mom that day, and were planning on leaving ASAP. If we had tracted that street a DAY earlier, she wouldn't have even been there! As we drove away and past where they were sitting, we saw her reading the Book of Mormon. I felt so full of gratitude that Heavenly Father has given us scripture that addresses all the problems and concerns we may have, and brings that spirit so we can receive personal revelation. It was such a neat experience!
2) Kenia's mom has been very antagonistic to the church. Yesterday at church we were talking to Kenia and she said she had had a heart to heart with her mom, and it turns out she has been acting out in jealousy since Kenia was getting so much attention, and she wants to come to church next Sunday! Tender mercy!
3) Our hermana's got their visas :( We are happy for them, but it will be so sad to have them go! We will be in a triple-up now with Sister Ahrendsen. Four companions in one transfer! This has been way too much fun! They will be leaving today, so we are a little short on time...

Love you, my little FAM FAM!! 

Sister Mahrt

May 13, 2013

This is us weekly planning in a park on the most gorgeous day in the history of Ohio. It was BEAUTIFUL! ...even if weekly planning did get extra long. The best part of this is that I was able to get a little bit of a tan. On one arm. And only a half of my forearm (see my 3/4 sleeves). It became the new hip fashion statement in Kirtland. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

May 6, 2013

I will talk to you next week!

Here are some pictures.

My three companions and the two that live with us in the Boynton home after a hard days work at the Garden Party on top of the diminished pile of mulch!

Las hermanas y yo ogranizing the area board and book!

Apr 29, 2013

Hi Family!
This has been a neat week. I feel like there has been so much to do, and it is all just beyond my grasp of getting it all done. The neat part is that I don't feel like I am in control, but because of that I can see how much He is doing. I have had 10 minutes to prepare for trainings and lessons, and they turn out so much better than if I would have had 10 hours because He is magnifying everything that is done. It is neat what the spirit has the ability to do and accomplish.

I'm still alive. Kirtand is intact. Everything's amazing.
Love you all!

Sister Mahrt

Monday, April 22, 2013

Quadruple up!!!!

Apr 22, 2013
Mom, I have stolen your name. I have now been called Momma Mahrt on a number of occasions, and it is so weird to be called by your name! We had to drive a van to church because there were so many of us (our quadruple up and the two other Shaker Heights North sisters) so we have even moved to the mini van stage of motherhood! And I am the little momma drivin' the mini van. Our little family keeps growing! 
I thought a triple up was fun- just imagine the possibilities with THREE companions! We can go on splits (two and two), we can be a triple up and leave one of us with another set of sisters (two triple-ups), or we can walk down streets with all four of us like a Mormon gang. So many options! It gets a little confusing when we try to explain who is companions with who (Sister Ellsworth and I are the Sister Training Leaders together, I am training Hermana Mowry and Sister Ellsworth is training Hermana Stone) but we all get along so well and it has been so much fun. Hermana Mowry and Hermana Stone are on their way to Argentina (Buenos Aires and Restistencia (sp?) ) so we get language study now!!! So fun! Sister Ellsworth and I were hoping to be able to learn a little bit of Espanol, but it turns out that we aren't a whole lot of help when we participate... (how do you say, "I need to go to the bathroom again?" or "Get that caffeinated beverage out of my face!") so we call a play date with the other visa waiters (Hermana Alicea and Hermana Johanson) and let them learn together. Sister Ellsworth is an angel (except for when she pranks you), Hermana Stone is a fiesty one (just kidding, she is just super good at giving the stink eye) and Hermana Mowry is our navigating pro (someone had to do it- the rest of us were challenged in the navigation skills area). They are all such good missionaries- I keep forgetting that they are straight out of the MTC! We even went tracting for four hours straight in gale force winds, and they didn't even complain! Love them. I already feel like I have been with them for a lot longer than a week.
Last night we had the Kirtland fireside. Sister Ellsworth and I are in charge of putting those together. It was Sister Ellsworth's first time conducting, and it was a little (a lot!) crazy. We had to set up the room last minute, find prayers right before it started, and then one of the recent converts we asked to bear her testimony didn't show up on time. Whew! Good thing we were in the front of the room- we had to look calm and collected, so we didn't have license to run around like mad women. Thankfully, it all worked out :) It always seems to do that somehow. Now I owe Sister Ellsworth a marshmallow for every day for this next transfer for throwing her into that mess! But she did SO well! Good thing she is a natural when it comes to conducting meetings, because she had ZERO time to practice!
Sandy set a baptisimal date! We are so excited! She has been ready to be baptized, she just hasn't wanted to be pushed to a date. But guess what? She is getting baptized on MAY 31st!!!! ONE DAY after I leave OHIO! I COULD NOT believe it! Don't get me wrong, I am so happy for her and her eternal salvation... but really?! Of all the days! ...but really, I am happy for her.
Love you little munchkins! 

Sister Mahrt

Monday, April 15, 2013

Apr 15, 2013
Stone Cut Without Hands

I remember being at the beginning of this week, looking at our to-do list, and thinking, "If we are able to pull this off, it will be a miracle"

Well folks, this must be God's work. It is amazing what can be done with His help!

This was one of those weeks where the exhaustion just hits you like a 4x4. Right between the eyes. We have been going full throttle, and I think this week it just caught up with us. It was actually pretty funny- we would muster up all our energy and act as normal and alive as possible during lessons, then once we got in the car we resumed our half dead state until we reached our next appoinment. We were so tired we couldn't evenpretend to be energetic! The fun thing is that we were still attempting to have fun and laugh even though we could barely speak properly and think straight. It feels so good to climb in your bed at the end of the night knowing you have given EVERYTHING! I am convinced that is one of the best feelings in the world.

Kenia and Ernest are BAPTIZED! I can't believe it! Have I told you about them? Kenia is a single mother (her husband left her) with 4 kids. The oldest (16 years old) is Ernest. Kenia had to be dunked 4 times because she is a fighter- she would go down and start kicking! We were really nervous that she would let that situation make her frustrated or annoyed, but she came out laughing, saying she probably had to be baptized four times to get rid of all the things she had done :) They are the most prepared people I have met so far on my mission! They bore their testimonies at their baptism on Saturday night, and they did SO well! They sound like they were born in the church. They have been going through so much opposition, more than anyone else I have ever taught, and it seems like they have miraculously channeled that opposition to help their faith sky rocket! It is neat to see that from an outsider's perspective- it really is all about perspective and attitude.

My companions are leaving me :( I am SO sad about it! Sister Crabtree came to us at a perfect time. We didn't know what President planned on doing when he left a visa waiter to be with her, but it all worked out so well, because we NEEDED her! There is no way we could have taught Kenia's family without her. Sister Hillman and Sister Crabtree are incredible, and I have learned so much from them! I don't know what President is thinking- you can't just get these amazing people to be my companions, and then decide to rip them away from you three weeks later! It isn't humane! Sister Crabtree will be going home, and Sister Hillman is being out-zone, so she will be far away. Not happy about it.

Ah, fam, I wish I could just pull you out here for ONE DAY so you could feel this! Missionary work is so exciting right now! I mean, it is always exciting, but it is so neat to see what is going on with the world right now. It feels like with all these new missionaries coming out, everything is gaining momentum. There are a bunch of changes happening! Guess what? Next transfer, I will be training a new training sister (obviously, since my companions are leaving me) but on top of that, we will each be training a new visa waiter! The trick with visa waiters is that they aren't called to sites, so they need to be full time in the area. So... my new companion and I will be the sisters in charge of sites, but we will never be able to be here together, because one of us will be a triple-up in the area, while the other joins a companionship at sites! (Does that make sense? Yeah, it doesn't make sense to me either, I am still trying to figure out how to do this!) It is going to be a fun challenge, and I am really excited about next transfer! Do you know what I realized the other day? You know how it took awhile for me to decide to go on a mission? I was trying to figure out what to do with my life, and it didn't seem like I was getting an answer either way, and it was frustrating. Well, what if I had gotten my answer sooner? I would have been out on a mission and back before all of this had taken place, and I would have missed this opportunity of a LIFETIME! I am loving it out here- missionary work is the best!

Love you family! I think of you and pray for you often! Keep being amazing!

Sister Mahrt

Dearest Sisters!
Here are the pictures from this transfer! May we always remember that we have been called to stand in holy places so that we can gather His elect and he can fulfill His work through our service. Thank you all for your testimonies and your example of what it means to be tools in His hands. We love you soooo much! 

Your Favorite TSADS!
Sisters Mahrt, Crabtree, and Hillman

Monday, April 8, 2013

Apr 8, 2013

Promised Blessings

Hey family!
General Conference was amazing, wasn't it? I felt like I had so many of my questions directly answered. It is neat how that happens.
The family we were teaching was able to come to the church for conference, and it was neat to see her reaction. After the session, we asked the mom what she thought, and she just kept saying, "Wow... this really is a worldwide church, isn't it? I just didn't realize it was so big... wow!" I never realized how amazing it is that this truly is Christ's church filling the Earth. I mean, the church is in almost all the countries of the WORLD! How incredible is that? It is neat re-learning things through the people we teach.
For the Sunday afternoon session, we were called out on tour. It was neat that I was chosen for the tour, because it just so happened that they were all couples from the YSA bishopric in Queen Creek (there aren't that many people from AZ that come to Kirtland) and also, one of them was my long lost great cousin once removed!!! OK, I am actually not sure of our relation to her, but she is related to Heber C. Kimball through Alice Ann Gheen!! As soon as we made the connection, she grabbed me up in a hug and we got a bunch of pictures together. Kind of like a Disneyland celebrity! It was pretty cool. We talked a lot to them, and they gave me the info to their YSA ward, and told me to call and come to church in Queen Creek sometime. It was so fun! I love how inspired tours are- and it is amazing how many connections you can have with people once you get talking to them.
Almost out of time, but I have a cool story to share! This week we were teaching Kenia the Word of Wisdom. Before we got into the lesson, she was telling us about how her week went, and how she had experienced a ton of blessings that week. I listened to it in amazement, and then flipped open the pamphlet to where it talks about the blessings of keeping the word of Wisdom. I had studied it that morning, and EVERY SINGLE blessing she had mentioned was specifically described in that section. I had her read it line by line, and she was freaking out because she was so amazed how well all the blessings lined up with her week. It turns out that she 'just so happened' to be living the Word of Wisdom all along! She had alcohol, coffee, drugs, etc, before, but she had just felt they they weren't right and she shouldn't have them. ISN'T THAT AMAZING?! The Lord is preparing people to receive the Gospel!! It helped me have more confidence in the commandments of God and the promised blessings that come with them. It gave me a whole new perspective in having faith, trust and relying on Him.
I love you family!!
Sister Mahrt

Apr 1, 2013

Triple-ups are the BEST!

SUCH a good week! Lets see if I can get the main points in...

  • Last Monday we drove the sister who got her visa to go to Tawain to the mission home. Had dinner with President Vellinga and his family. He asked us to go on exchanges as much as possible while Sister Crabtree is still here (she leaves on April 16th). We got our new companion!
  • We made a goal to go on exchanges with all the Kirtland sisters. All. 30. of. them.
  • Tuesday- Sister Hillman on exchanges, so Sister Crabtree and I go to sites and try to do training sister stuff. It is a miracle sites didn't burn down :) Sites has been pretty crazy this week because of spring breaks. Half way through the day, we exchanged with a sick sister and her companion.
  • Wednesday- Monster planning session. Right after district meeting. Planning for upcoming firesides, training meetings, mission council... oh yeah, and our area. We stumbled out of our house looking like zombies :) It wasn't a pretty sight
  • Thursday- Sister Crabtree goes on exchanges and sites and Sister Hillman and I head out to our area. Eat lunch on the curb of a city. Not the best smelling place- I gagged down my sandwich and almost lost it a few times. Found some really nice people! When we were on one doorstep, the man thought we were policewoman and said, "Oh no, what did I do this time?!" Guess we should reconsider wearing our black coats on the same day. Crazy lesson in a library. Sister Hillman is super talented. She taught the Plan of Salvation while flipping the 2 year old over her head every 1.5 minutes (he kept climbing on her back and crawl over her head). Babysitting as a missionary = madness. My comp inventory goal = learning to master multi-tasking like The Hillman.
  • Training Meeting at the Morley Farm. President interviews. Exchanges- Sister Crabtree and Sister Hillman exchanged at sites with different sisters, and I went into Chardon's area with SISTER PALMER! (Remember her? The missionary I trained! aka my baby) It was so much fun to be with her! It helped me remember what an amazing missionary she is. We saw a ton of miracles. One of my favorites that day was going to dinner at Quiznos. We found it in the GPS, but when we got to Middlefield (amish country! They were all over the place! It was so fun!) we couldn't find Quiznos anywhere! We finally gave up and went to a nearby Subway. It just so happened that the lady behind the counter was a woman Sister Palmer had tracted into three months ago, who they hadn't been able to get a hold of! They were both excited to see each other, and Subway friend said she wanted to meet with Sister Palmer. Heavenly Father knows exactly where we need to be and when, and He can make it happen. Even if it means taking a Quiznos out of Middlefield.
  • Saturday- switched back to our companions in the morning. The first day all three of us were together! We were asked by the primary president to bring a movie to entertain the primary while the adults hid Easter eggs around the church building. Well, turns out missionaries have a pretty pathetic arsenal of children's movies, so we ended up practicing an Easter Egg presentation that focused on Christ, and brought Lamb of God as a back up. When we got there, the primary president said it would probably better to have a movie on to engage the kids, so we put in the Lamb of God, went to the back and prayed in the back of the gym that the kids wouldn't be scarred for life. That movie is brutal for kids! Then the hunt- mass chaos. Went to a park and taught Kenia and her family. Our new method- Divide and Conquer. Teaching them together is not an option, so we each end up taking a person and teaching them individually while one sister keeps the children at bay without getting too close to them (it feels like we are the monsters on Monsters Inc- when we are around them we do everything in our power to stay away from them) Every spare minute we used finding, and every time, we found people interested in learning more! Realized we hadn't packed lunch despite Sister Crabtree sending subtle hints all morning that we needed to pack more food, so we got kids meals at Wendy's. By the end of the day we were SO exhausted from running around and laughing that I almost feel asleep getting on the top bunk of the bunk bed!
  • Sunday- asked to teach Gospel Principles last minute. All our investigators came to church! One in a bright blue leather suit. ...ok, we'll take it! The seniors at sites spoil us- we pretty much ate our weight in Easter desserts. All the Kirtland Sisters are going to get diabetes. No big deal. Had some amazingly prepared people come onto chat and on the phones (I think I have come desensitized to how many amazing people come to us through the internet and the phones- they are amazing tools!) Made an Easter Egg hunt for the Kirtland sisters at sites- that was SO much fun! Who knew how competitive full grown adult woman could be? I will see if I can get Sister Hillman's pictures from that :)
And now we are at today! Sorry, this is probably TMI, but since I have been skimping you recently, I figured I would give you a more detailed explanation of missionary life :)
I love you all! Thank you so much for your emails!! I love hearing from you and glad you are all doing well! Keep me updated
Sister Mahrt

                            From the fireside, Megan's friend from EFY.  Small world!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mar  25, 2013
Hi Familia!

Ray, congratulations again!!!! I am so excited! ...and so glad you didn't think May was a good time to have a wedding ;)

I have been exhausted after sacrament meetings these past couple weeks- kids have so much energy! It is tough to interact with kids without holding them on your lap or getting close to them. Missionary work feels weird in that way :) 

Guess what? We will be getting a new companion! Sister Crabtree! She leaves in 3 weeks from the mission. Her companion that she has been training just had her visa to Taiwan come through, so she will be leaving on Tuesday morning. This will be the first time there will be a triple-up (3 companions) as training sisters in the history of Kirtland! We talked to President Vellinga about it a few times- we think it will make it more efficient to go on exchanges to have three, so we are going to try it out. She is an awesome missionary, and I am so excited to be her companion! We are driving up to the mission home tonight to conference with President to see how we can make this situation most effective. 

We took a family on tour yesterday. Families are SO FUN. They are still my favorite to take on tour. I love watching them interact, and watching how they bring personality and neat insights to the tours. Being on a mission and being in families homes has really strengthened my testimony of how the gospel blesses families. Heavenly Father knew exactly what He was doing when He put us into families! Even though you all have to put up with my wacko personality sometimes, it was meant to be, so good luck with that ;) 

LOVE YOU all so much! Have a good week! Happy Easter!

SIster Mahrt

Mar 18, 2013
We are missionaries...
This has been a good week! We have a Jewish neighborhood in our area, so we went tracting there this week. That was... interesting :) We kept trying different approaches- "Hey, this a book about prophets!" Slam. "...families can be together forever!" "We know!!" Slam. "We are missionaries..." <---- That was actually a funny one- complete melt down at the door. The slam came after the tantrum. Needless to say, we didn't use that approach after that :)

Sorry, this is super lame. Gotta go. Love you family! The church is so true!

Sister Mahrt

Our stake is really pushing missionary work too! We just heard that in the Solon ward (my last ward) the Stake President got up at 4:15a Sunday morning, and knew that he had to redo his talk to focus specifically on missionary work. Then he called the ward members to repentance! Mind-blowing! That ward is so solid, and I am excited to see how things change once they focus on missionary work. There are going to be miracles in Twinsburg for sure! 

We had our Kirtland fireside last night. The training sisters are in charge of getting that all together by asking for recent converts from the stake/mission to come and bear their testimonies, then find keynote speakers, musical number, etc. We had everything set up, when two days before Sunday our recent converts let us know they weren't going to be able to make it. We scrambled through all the recent converts to find someone, and everything got thrown together last minute. I was conducting, and we were making a bunch of last minute changes. Freaked. Me. Out. But you know what was so cool? Everything came together so perfectly! The recent convert who spoke had prepared quite a lengthy testimony, which was perfect for the investigators who came, and Elder and Sister Sorensen (Kirtland site directors) shortened their talks to a perfect length- they were short and powerful. The spirit was so strong, and afterwards everyone lingered for hours (much to the senior couples dismay- they are the ones who had to stay and lock up for the night :) It is amazing how well He knows what needs to happen, and how little stressing about things really does other than give us ulcers. He is so in charge.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mar 11, 2013
Shake N Bake
Hi Fam Fam!

I have p-day on Mondays now! 

So- Transfer Info. I am now serving in the Shaker Heights ward (Shake n' Bake ward). It has been so fun so far. It is a totally different ward from any other ward I have been in, and I love it already. I am now the training sister in Kirtland, which just means I am in charge of serving the Kirtland sisters and the site director. One of our responsibilities is to make the schedule for the sites. Wow. ...just wow. That is something else! We had two new areas open up, and we don't have enough cars, so we have been trying to make the schedule work around sharing cars and ward activities. I am SO glad Sister Hillman knows what she is doing! She is so awesome- an amazing leader and such a good people person. She actually reminds me a lot of you, Lexy. We have been taking care of things at sites, and on Saturday I was able to go to our area. It was the funniest day- our plans were completely messed up, changed around, and by the end of the day we accomplished everything we had planned on doing, it was just in a completely different order. We even took a church tour in a church without carpet! (The carpet was being ripped up and replaced) We even had a family we are teaching come to church on Sunday! Mom and Dad, I have NO idea how you were able to keep us preoccupied and focused during church! It was insanity :) But they are the cutest little family, and we are so excited to be teaching them.

Since I have been at sites so much more, I feel like I have already gained so much more of a testimony of Kirtland. Yesterday we took a tour, and the entire time we were struggling to find out if he was an active member or not- it was hard to tell with what he was saying and the questions he was asking. It was a neat tour, and I felt like we were really directed by the spirit to share certain stories and facts we do not normally share. At the end of the tour, we were walking him back to his car, and he asked how many of the people who come are members of the church. We told him it is about 80% members, 20% people of other faiths. He paused, then shared with us how much he had needed the tour today. He told us his life in a nutshell- how he had gone on a mission, but then fallen away. After years and years, he had been able to come back, and had made a lot of progress in the several months. You could tell by his sincerity how much the church meant to him now, and Kirtland had really touched him. When people who come help share their testimony with us, it reaffirms once again how true the gospel is and how much of a difference faith in Jesus Christ can have in our lives. Faith makes all the difference in the world.

I love you all so much! Be good. Go to heaven. Don't get translated.

Sister Mahrt
Mar 5, 2013


This week has been the slowest whirlwind.  Time is so strange.

This transfer is going to be crazy. There are 29 new missionaries (I came in with about 13 missionaries and we were considered a big group. Back in those old days), 10 of them are new sisters. Six are Kirtland sisters. Which means there are a ton of areas training, being opened up, and it sounds like EVERY companionship will be affected this transfer. That is really saying something, because President Vellinga normally tries to make minimal changes. Next transfer is going to be a huge influx of missionaries again, and the one after that too. I don't know where he is going to find all the trainers he needs to train these missionaries! Good thing he is going by inspiration. He is going to need it!

We have been setting up Twinsburg for a new missionary. They are going to love Twinsburg, especially Sister Neslen and the ward. I am sad I am not staying here until the end of my mission, like I was thinking would happen, but it will be really good wherever I go, I am sure.

We have been doing service for an incredible lady we found. She just so happens to be a cook, and she made food for us the other day. Homemade lasagna. Woof. (Sister Neslen's exclamatory word) It was so good! Then we had angel food cake. It made me think of how we March birthdays would have angel food cake with strawberries for our birthday. Good memories :) She is so cool- she tried to invite her friend from work to meet with us because he is going through a hard time. That floored us! People are normally so scared to invite people over when we come over for dinner, but here, someone who is not even a member of the church, recognized that we could help and did all she could to get him there to help him. It made me see how much I need to improve when I get back home. Before my mission I would have never thought of having one of my friends come over for dinner so they could meet the missionaries! I think people go on missions so they can learn how to do missionary work :)

We have a bunch of stuff to go do to set up the apartment and area, so we don't have a whole lot of time to email today. Sorry! Just know that I love you all, and I could use your prayers right now.

Sister Mahrt

                      Love this District!  I served over half of my mission in the Solon District.
Feb 27, 2013
Drama and Faith

Zone Conference

Back AWAY from those boys! ;)

How's my little fam fam doing? Aw, I love my cute little family.

I had my II (Individual Interview) with Elder Sorenson (the new
Kirtland site director) the other day. It is amazing to me how regular
people get so good at following the spirit and knowing scripture!
Every time he has given a thought or a comment during meetings or with
me personally, it has been something I had needed to hear at that
moment. It is neat that the more we focus on improving ourselves, the
more Christ's light can shine through us to be a positive influence on
those around us. The Sorensen's are awesome!

Today I would like to share a little excerpt from my companion's email
that will give you a little glimpse into our last week and the soap
opera we sometimes term 'a mission:'
Hello everyone! I would attempt to go through and describe all of last
week but it kind of turned into a blur on Saturday night. I was
worried about my talk on Sunday that wasn't very well put together,
and we were just exhausted so I was on my bed half asleep. All the
sudden Sister Mahrt starts freaking out and said "PRESIDENT VELLINGA
IS CALLING!" She jumped on my bed and answered the phone and President
asked to talk to me. I answered the phone and then the bomb was
dropped. President Vellinga asked if I would train one of the new
missionaries coming out on March 7. Here is how the conversation went:

Me :(long uncomfortable pause) "President, are you sure?" (pretty sure
I started crying at this point.)
President: "Yes, I'm sure."
Me: "President, I don't know if I can."
President: "Well, you're a Mormon, aren't you?"
Me: "I think so."
President: "I know you can train and God knows you can train. So will
you do it?"
President: "Are you still there?"
President: "Are you breathing?"

Immediately after the phone call I ran into the bathroom sat in the
shower and cried my eyes out. There was some hyperventilating and lots
of praying. The rest of the night was spent in fetal position crying.

The next day we were driving to church and I was a hot mess. Poor poor
Sister Mahrt. I'm pretty sure the tears were freely flowing the whole
15 minutes to the ward building. I had just found out I was going to
be training, I had a talk to give that I wasn't ready for, and we had
to give the gospel principles class without any time to plan. To say I
was stressed is a gross understatement.

P.S. I am fully aware that this is the most dramatic email I have ever
sent. Just love it."

Isn't my companion the greatest? :) She is so right- last week was so
dramatic. Honestly, it may be included in the category of 'most
stressful weeks of my mission.' Stressy Stress Stress. But it is good
stress! It is good that we have the ability to change and improve
because of the Atonement. What I have been most amazed by is the power
of faith. I mean, I have always heard that faith is a power, but it is
neat to FEEL it. It is neat to be in a situation where there is no
where else to turn but to Him, and to see that He is right there, and
has been there the entire time. I have been learning a lot about faith
recently, and I absolutely love it. It has been interesting to learn
not only WHAT faith is, but HOW to apply it. Missions are the best!

Love you Fam!

Sister Kimber Mahrt

Feb 20, 2013


I am sitting in the library and looking outside- it is a complete Snow-rnado out there! It is really pretty! watch from inside. This week we were tracting in it, and I LOVE that we are from Arizona. When people ask where we are from, Sister Neslen turns to me and I say, "Arizona..." and have the most pathetic look on my face. We are hoping that compassion will be on our side :) It hasn't worked yet, but we are working on it. Yesterday while we were tracting, a man we were talking to told Sister Neslen that she was being too pushy (which she really wasn't. Believe me, she KNOWS how to be pushy, and she was totally toning it down for this guy) and he called the cops on us! First time for me. And I have been out for over a year. Not too shabby.
Have you ever heard the quote that goes something like, 'the quality of your life is directly a result of the quality of the questions you ask?' I have really gained a testimony of that this last week. I have been reviewing my journal to find when I have had the most people to teach, and I was surprised to find that the times on my mission that the most was going on missionary work wise was not with my most obedient companions. You hear a lot about the importance of being obedient as a missionary, that being obedient brings blessings, and being exactly obedient brings miracles, so wouldn't it make sense that the more obedient you are, the more the Lord will trust you and lead you to those who are prepared?
I had thought and prayed a lot about this recently. I eventually asked my mission president what his thoughts were. He told me to continue to look for the answer myself for this last week, and I said I would. It seems like since he turned the question back on me, the windows of heaven have been opened, and I have been hit by an avalanche of answers to my questions. I was asked to give a talk in sacrament on Alma 32 (Faith applies to EVERYTHING!! So simple, yet complex), I was asked to give spiritual thoughts and little testmonies during lessons, and all of them brought new answers and new insights. The revelation has been coming in so fast and so frequently that I can hardly keep up with it! It is amazing how aware He is of each of us, and how much He is willing to help us with our concerns when we turn to Him. It really is true that the more we participate (including asking questions) the more we are inviting the Holy Ghost to come into our lives to teach us.
We had zone conference on Valentines day. Guess what? The theme of this conference was chastity and virtue. OK, strangest, yet most memorable valentines yet :) President Vellinga is so amazing! I hope you get to meet him one day. He is really good at story-telling and just making the gospel LIVE! He said that people without the gospel are eating at a lousy restaurant, and we are offering a place at one of the most succulent restaurants. Do we realize what we have?! It was neat to see the gospel in terms of food. Who doesn't like food? And who wouldn't suggest a good restaurtant to someone else? Why is the gospel so much different?
I love you, my little family! Be good! Ask questions- it is a really neat experience to receive direct answers from Heavenly Father
Sister Mahrt
Sister Neslen was sick. The joy of nasal spray
Angry Eyes
Feb 13, 2013
...and then you two showed up!
Hi Fam!
This has been a neat week. We were tracting awhile ago, and met this woman who said she already had her religion, so she was politely disinterested (the reaction of many Ohians) then when we shared part of the restoration and asked how she would come to know that it was true or not. She was quiet for a minute, and then slowly said, "...I guess I would have to listen to you." Inspired questions are the best! Thank you Sister Neslen! We went back that Friday, and in the middle of the lesson, she said, "You know, it is so interesting that you ladies came when you did, because I have always had a good relationship with Christ, but recently I have felt more distant, and I have been questioning my church. I have been praying for Him to show me the way... and that is when you two showed up." So neat! She is an incredible lady, and we are excited to teach her again this Friday.

We have been finding a lot of people recently, which has been a lot of fun :) Teaching is the best. We have also had our testimonies strengthened about chat too. So many prepared people come to chat on Mormon. org, and it is neat to be able to talk to people openly. I think online people are a lot more open to talking about religion, since they are not face to face with someone. Interesting how that seems to make people more honest!

Sister Neslen says I have to tell you our tracting story. So, it is a running joke that I am about 40 because out in BG there were multiple people who thought I was either married with kids, or 40 years old. Anyway, we tracted into this guy named Roy about a week ago, and he is talking with us, but mostly with Sister Neslen. At one point he randomly stops the conversation and asks Sister Neslen, "How old are you?" Sister Neslen was surprised, but said that she is 21. Then this guy goes off on how she doesn't look a day over 17, and how young she looks, yada yada yada. The ENTIRE TIME that he is fawning over Sister Neslen, he is TOTALLY and pointedly ignoring me. So I kept interrupting his compliments with comments about the Book of Mormon, and he wasn't having it. When we finally got off the doorstep, he said to Sister Neslen, "It is so good to know that there are YOUNG women out there who have such dedication and faith to do this!" Then he said, "Bye" to me. He totally thought I was an old woman! SO rude! Sister Neslen has been very good at telling everyone at sites that story :) It is pretty funny. So now some of the Kirtland sister say that Sister Neslen is like the Kirtland highschooler and I am her mom :)

Sister Mahrt

Feb 6, 2013
Priesthood Power
Sorry about last week's letter. A little lame. But this week was SO good! I think last week was there to humble me and get me ready for the things I learned this week. SO good!
After transfer meeting on Wednesday, we went to the senior couples to ask for a blessing. Elder Polous (he is so cool!) said he would be able to give us blessings. We had been wanting one for weeks, but with the craziness with the Edman's leaving, we hadn't found a good opportunity. Last week I had hardly been getting any sleep because my mind was insane. It would be going 100 miles/min 24/7, and I couldn't seem to shut it off. I was going throughout the day with little to no sleep, and my mind was being hyper. It was the weirdest feeling, and I wasn't sure what to do about it. When we went to get our blessings, we simply asked for a blessing of comfort and counsel. As soon as he laid his hands on my head, he almost immediately said (after the precessory stuff) 'let your mind be at ease!,' and instantly my brain quieted and I was finally able to feel peaceful and calm (something I have been looking for, for a couple weeks now.) It was so powerful. It was just what I needed. The priesthood is incredible. I am always amazed at how surprised I am when I rediscover how much Heavenly Father knows and loves me. He knows us so well. How do we forget that so easily? 
We had to take pictures of our companionships and send them to the APs for President's birthday (or anniversary? I don't remember). So here are the pictures we took, since I haven't sent pictures home recently
THEN, as if my testimony of priesthood hadn't grown enough at this point, I had the opportunity to see more blessings yesterday. Sister Neslen hasn't been feeling well, so our ward mission leader was able to give her a blessing, and then he received a blessing from Elder Pontius (district leader) because he had messed up his back pretty badly shovelling snow the previous night. He was shuffling around and could barely get up and stand up straight. Sister Neslen's blessing was beautiful and so personal, and his blessing was very powerful. As soon as the blessing was over, he jumped out of the chair, looked surprised and said, 'that is the first time that I have been able to get up without wincing all day.' He then proceeded to leave our meeting like a normal, non-hunchback person. Powerful.
We studied light, gifts of the spirit, and about the Kirtland temple dedication this morning in studies. Whoa. This church is so true.
Love you little munchkins!
Sister Mahrt
                                                                This is our district.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Jan 29, 2013
Hi Fam,

Transfers are tomorrow! Sister Neslen and I are both staying, and so are the Hiram sisters. The only person leaving our district is Elder Lundholm. Sister Tokunaga leaves tomorrow :( We have eaten lunch and dinner with them at sites and staying at their place every chance we get so we can see her before she goes. I will really miss her.

Honestly, this has been a rough transfer. It is pretty difficult to lose yourself in the work when there is no work to lose yourself in. We just had all of our new investigators drop us last week, and even the person that has been taught for six years on and off dropped us. We have been very focused on finding. I am going to be very good at tracting by the time I leave Twinsburg :) 

The Sorensens (new Kirtland site directors) came last week. They are really neat. He talked about being a temple sealer, and having the opportunity to see beyond the veil when a couple is sealed, and see that as soon as that happens, there are angels assigned to that couple to watch over and protect them. He said there are so many angels around us to help us that we have no idea about. That was a neat idea. He also talked about a time when he was a little boy on a farm, and his dad told him to go home because a snow storm was coming. When his dad got home an hour later, his mom said that he hadn't come into the house yet. His dad was a simple, but faithful and righteous man, and when he knelt down outside to find his boy, the howling wind in his ears went silent and he was able to hear his boy's wimpers. He was able to find him, blue and almost frozen, and they were able to revive him. He told us that we should never underestimate the power of calm righteousness. 

I love you family! I hope all is going well back home! 

Sister Mahrt
Jan 23, 2013
Fam Fam!
For some reason, I have been obsessed with learning alto recently. Probably because Sister Neslen has the most beautiful alto voice I have ever heard, and I love it! When we are travelling in the car, we turn up the Indy style hymns and I have her sing the alto part loudly so I can try to follow along. I think it is working! In sacrament, I think I hit about 5 of the alto notes. The other attempted notes hit somewhere in the bass and tenor range. I really really love music. It seems that I find that out about myself, and then I forget so that I can rediscover it again. Do you think that is part of our eternal natures? That heaven has music playing constantly? The Hiram sisters and Sister Neslen said that we are probably all singing, and the tone deaf people won't make it into the celestial kingdom. Rude!

I've been reflecting a lot on my mission lately. Can you believe that this time last year (Jan 18) I came to Ohio and got my trainer? That is so weird to me. I have been thinking about the companions I have had since then (7 companions! That is relatively quite a few! I need more refinement than most) and what areas I have served in, and every time I am hit with this feeling of awe that He knows EXACTLY who I am, and He knows EXACTLY what I need. He is so much closer to us that we realize. 

The Edmans (Kirtland site directors) are leaving tomorrow :( It is amazing how close you get to them in Kirtland. Some crazy person decided to sing God Be With You Til We Meet Again to them A Capella  without warning, so lots of us didn't have on waterproof mascara. Good thing looks aren't everything. The Sorensens (isn't that funny? That is the name of our last mission president) will be here tomorrow, so we will be serving in Kirtland alongside them for the first time! I am anxious to meet them.

We have a big P-day ahead of us! We were going to go to Middlefield (Amish country) with the Jones (the senior couple I LOVE!) but it is going to be in the negatives today with windchill, so we decided to reschedule and go to Bahama Breeze instead! Sister Neslen raves about their coconut shrimp. Oh, I can't wait :)

I hope you are all doing well! I love you so much! Stay warm (I heard it has been pretty cold over there- weird) and stay safe!

Sister Mahrt


 We had to go home early from Kirtland on Monday because of a snow storm. We ate dinner with the Hiram sisters. Just ignore the open tub of cookie dough in the middle
Sister Tokunaga is leaving this transfer :( I will REALLY miss her! I love her so much

 Sister Tokunaga and the Edmans

MTC companions! We are finally all back in Kirtland! We have traded off being full-pros since we got to Ohio