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

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Jan 16, 2013
Week of Formers
Life is so good! We had a really neat lesson with a man who was baptized when he was 8, but has only stepped foot in a mormon church once in his life and has no idea what we believe. It is the craziest story! He is really neat though- he has such a strong testimony of Christ, and he has memorized the entire book of Peter! How do you go about doing that?! Impressive.
We have been tracting a lot still. I am not going to discuss it further, because that would require me to divulge how much a wimp of the cold I am, so we will just say we have met some seriously interesting people. I truly think one of the best things about a mission is how many people you get to meet! SO interesting! I love people so much. There are a ton of good people in the world. I think once you get caught up in the bad things that are happening, we forget how the majority of the people are so good.
This week has been what I dubbed as The Week of Formers. It is the coolest, yet strangest thing. We have been going about doing our little missionary business, and TWICE this week we have gotten texts from people who used to meet with the missionaries awhile ago who I have never met, that say they want to meet with us and they are ready to be baptized! I know, it almost sounds like I am making this up to make things sound exciting, but really, it has been incredible! There are so many blessings that come from diligence, and it has helped me see that He is mindful of His children and sometimes these things just take time. It is neat to be such a close part of it.
I wish you could see Sister Neslen's facial expressions- they are the best! We tracted into this home where the door was open, but the screen door was closed. Sister Neslen was standing right by the screen door when the woman came to the door. I have never seen a woman's eyes pop out as much I saw this lady's pop. Sister Neslen was slightly taken aback, and so she was staring back at her with a look that said, "Oh no, she is going to come at me any second now!" There was this prolonged moment of confused silence where Sister Neslen and her stared at each other, until I decided to break the ice by saying, "Are you OK?" Not the best door approach, but under the circumstances, I thought it was good just to get some conversation going. Long story short, she wasn't interested, but I really have come to love the awkward situations. So funny! One of my greatest fears is that I am going to be so awkward when I get back, and I won't have the senser to help me recognize that the situation is awkward. It will just be a really awkward post-missionary life where everyone feels awkward around me. Haha, watch out!
LOVE YOU Family!! Don't you forget it! And don't forget your awkward sister/daughter! :)
Sister Mahrt

Yes, I am in the Kirtland zone. I am on the most south western corner of the zone, so I am considered a 'satellite sister,' meaning that I am in my area a lot more than the other sisters who are closer to sites.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Jan. 9, 2013
The Spirit of Kirtland

Fam Fam!
There is not a whole lot to report this week. I had an interview with the President yesterday morning. It is amazing how much you feel loved when you meet with that man! It made me have a renewed love for my mission.

I can't get over how cool it is to be here in a place where both the Book of Mormon (possibly) and the organization of the church took place. One of the neatest things is the members, especially hearing their stories about why they came to Ohio. Many of them knew almost nothing about Ohio (I mean, who does?!), and then by 'random happenstance' ended up here, and they felt like this is where they were guided. Many of them were able to sell their houses during the real estate market depression almost immediately and lived out of their car until they found their home a couple of days later. Then they would do family history and find out they had an ancestor who lived here, or felt a particular draw to a specific early saint that lived here. It is so interesting! My favorite is that our bishop just so happens to be related to Newel K. Whitney, the 2nd bishop in the restored church, and 1st here in Ohio (Edward Partridge was called to go to Missouri). This really is a special place. You feel closer to Joseph Smith and the early saints who lived here.

This ward is AWESOME! There are so many strong members in this ward- especially the youth. During fast and testimony meeting, almost all the people who came up to bear their testimonies were from the primary or the YM/YW, and they were POWERFUL! They all are very good speakers, and the spirit was so strong. I think what really helped set up that meeting right was Sam. He is a down syndrome boy who was recently ordained to the priesthood, and he was so excited to pass the sacrament for the first time. He had a helper deacon to show him where to go, and he was beaming because he was so happy! The deacons passed the sacrament with such reverence, worked with each other really well, and then when they were done, they were all so excited for Sam and were complementing him on how well he did. It was the neatest thing to be there to feel that spirit that those young men brought! People should never underestimate their influence on others.

Love you so much family! Keep being awesome :)

Sister Mahrt
Jan 2, 2013
It was SO GOOD to hear from all of you! Christmas was really neat on a mission. I missed you all and the traditions we have (especially waking up at ridiculous hours in the morning to go sneak our stockings ;). But it was a neat experience to be on a mission on Christmas. You wouldn't believe how incredibly thoughtful everyone here was. There were so many people that went well out of their way to make Christmas special for us missionaries. We received so many gifts, random strangers were kind to us, many families invited us over for Christmas Eve and Christmas, and we almost went into a sugar coma with how much Christmas desserts we were given. My favorite part was feeling like I am living a part of the Savior's life out here on His birthday. Did you read the article in the Ensign by Elder Holland? He talks about how when he was on a mission during Christmas, he came to understand Christmas better rather than simply enjoy it. That explains how I felt so well. I don't think I will ever forget it.

Oh, I guess I should tell you transfer info :) I have been transferred back to Kirtland in the Twinsburgh area with Sister Neslen. Twinsburg is right next to and is in the same district as Hiram, so it almost felt like coming home! I have thoroughly grilled the Hiram sisters about former people I taught and found several months ago. It is so fun :) The senior couples that were serving at the Johnson home with me (the Riches and Jones) are now serving in Kirtland. It has been SO GOOD to see them!!! I really missed working with the senior couples out full proselyting. When I got back to the visitors center, all the nativities were on display (500+ from all over the world) and it was BEAUTIFUL! I have never been that fascinated by nativity scenes, but this Christmas it really seemed to hit me how special each person/animal/object represented in the nativity really are. 

Sister Neslen is so fun! We had someone come in to see the nativities that really loved Sister Neslen, and one of the things she said was, "You are like a life-size Barbie!" It was SO funny, and so true! She is really beautiful, and she is hilarious! I have really loved serving with her so far. She has a lot of enthusiasm and energy, which makes missionary work fun.  

So, do you all remember what one of my favorite movies is? Hitch? Christmas Eve, I was able to relive part of that movie! The Willowick sister (Sister Tok and Sister Gee) invited us up to Kirtland to come to a member dinner with them. It was SO good! The mom had prepared seafood pasta (Alfredo with shrimps and scallops), bruscetta, and to top it off, a cake with amazing pinterest frosting (have you heard of pinterest? EVERY woman I have talked to has raved about it!) After we finished eating, the other sisters were giving the lesson. About half way through Luke 2, Sister Tok's face caught my eye. She wasn't saying a whole lot, and her mouth was awkwardly lopsided. I couldn't really tell what was wrong with her face, but it just looked weird. Once we were able to get out of there (Sister Tok was trying so hard to get out of there quickly!) she was saying over and over, "What is wrong with my face?!" Half of her face was blowing up! Her lips were about double the size they normally are (and she already has big lips!) and she was saying that her top lip was starting to go numb. We ran over to the nearest gas station for some Benedryl (she was freaking out like Will Smith was in the medicine isle by this point). She got some Benedryl and we went out caroling with some other missionaries. It was SO funny! Just check out the picture. It says it all. Turns out a Hawaiian had an allergic reaction to seafood. Go figure :) I love that sister!

On Christmas morning we stayed over at the Hyrum smith home and opened presents. I had so much to open! Thank you so much for the gifts- they were so fun! And thank you for the mints for Sister Neslen- it was fun to share gifts with her. Then we did our studies and went to breakfast at a members home. They were so sweet and had SO much good food! They had pancakes with some pecan goodness syrup, and eggnog that tasted like a milkshake... everything was so good! Then we went off to the Polous' (senior couple living at the Morley farm) to get in line to Skype. It was crazy over there! So many sisters. It was fun to talk to all of you! Then we watched the end of 17 Miracles (it was a little strange watching TV...) Later we ate Christmas dinner with the senior couples and had a talent show with the Kirtland missionaries. It ended with a spiritual message and then we went and celebrated in the Hyrum home. 

We have been doing a lot of finding, and it is neat to see how the Lord puts prepared people in our path. We are excited to start teaching a lot of them. 

Last night was confirmation that I have gotten weird on my mission. We went over to a part-members home, and when we were leaving I walked out of the house without hugging the mom. (just fyi, sister missionaries hug everyone. It is an unspoken rule) Then Sister Neslen showed me up by happily hugging her, so I had to go back and repent. I walked back in the door and hugged her while I apologized for my lack of love. Then I stepped back outside the door and extended my hand to the 20 something year old son to shake it, and he said, "Oh no you don't, I get a hug too!" Then in utter horror and shock I stood there as he closed in for the awkward side-hug. I had a full view of Sister Neslen's face full of dread, knowing she was the next victim. That .5 second hug seemed to last a life-time and a half before Sister Neslen got her turn. As we walked away down the driveway we barely had enough self control to hold in our screams of terror until we got into the car. When the car doors shut, the screaming begun. We were freaking out- "Why did he hug us, doesn't he know?! Why did you let him hug you?! After you hugged him you know I couldn't say no! What was I supposed to do- he surprise attacked me!!"- for a full solid minute before we started texting our district for sympathy and solace. We are getting our clothes dry cleaned today, and we will be signing up for missionary counselling ASAP. I pity the man who goes on a date with me after my mission. No touchie. 

I love you family! It is so good to write to you again- it feels like Christmas was so long ago! Stay good! Don't hug missionaries!

Sister Mahrt

P.S.  I am glad I was able to talk to all of you! I was also REALLY disappointed in Skype. On both Mothers Day and Christmas having Skype not work properly has been really frustrating. I was so excited to talk to you all, but then the frustration at not being able to see you was almost unbearable! Sorry if that frustration came through in the phone call. I was really disappointed. Maybe next Mothers Day we can just call. We'll be seeing each other a few weeks later anyway ;)

Sister Poppleton left welcome to T-Burg party stuff
Sister Neslen was praying for EVER!!! I went in there, and guess what? She was TOTALLY ASLEEP! This was one of our first nights.
Tracting in our first blizzard! We were so excited!
Christmas Eve in our matching PJs that the Momma Neslen sent
Our Christmas talent show- the Sister Bell, Rasumussen, Maynard and Palmer sang to a Christmas song- it was awesome!

Dec. 18, 2012
I am getting transferred back to Kirtland!!! My new address will be:

Sister Kimber Mahrt
7800 Kirtland-Chardon Rd
Kirtland, OH 44094

It is weird how you get mixed feelings about being transferred. Kirtland feels like home, but I LOVE Bowling Green! It is going to be strange.

It has been a good week. People are generally so nice when you tract near Christmas! I appreciate that so much. But then again, they are all busy with Christmas stuff so they can't meet with missionaries. No time for Christ on Christmas :) j/k but we get to get out a lot, and the weather has been SO nice, so I am not complaining!

Sorry this is so short! There is SO much to do today and not nearly enough time! I LOVE YOU ALL! I may be emailing on Saturday... but maybe not. We were going to email on Saturday here because the libraries were going to be closed, but now I don't know if I will be using a library or not in my next area.... so til we email again, fam fam!

Sister Kimber Mahrt

Dec. 10, 2012
My Fam Fam!
Thank you for your prayers for safety and health on my behalf. For the last two months I have been surrounded by people who have been EXTREMELY sick, and I have been miraculously spared! (It was either prayers or the coveted chinese fortune cookie that promised good health. I tend to believe prayer has a little more power and influence than mysterious papers wrapped in a dessert)

And whoever decided to pray that it wouldn't snow in Ohio yet deserves some kind of reward!

We had the neatest Zone Training Meeting this week! Some top notch people (emeritus 70...? I am not sure exactly who they are) came in and had a training meeting with our leaders (zone and district) and they blew this mission out of the water with how much information they gave us! They said they had gone to 38 missions on tour, and they did not 'unload' so much information on other missions like they did ours. They said we are very obedient, and because of that, if we apply the principles they taught us, our monthly baptisms WILL double. Isn't that a neat promise?! The neatest thing is that they didn't teach us anything new- they mostly just taught us how to use the resources we have more effectively. It was a really exciting zone meeting, and we are already having a lot of success with their suggestions! Right in time for the new missionaries coming out in a couple weeks ;) 

We went out to apply the new principles we learned, and we went to go see a woman we had tracted into earlier this month. She is SO prepared! She welcomed us right in again, and we taught her the Restoration. Have any of you seen the Restoration pamphlets? One of the suggestions they had at the meeting was to teach the Restoration with the pictures in that pamphlet rather than reading all the principles and info in the paragraphs. Before I thought the pictures were kind of a hindrance (they totally throw off the page numbers!!) but using the pamphlet that way was definitely inspired. The spirit was so strong!! I think that was the most powerful Restoration lesson I had been in since the beginning of my mission! It probably helps that she is so super prepared though :) We were also counseled to SLOW DOWN, which came just in the nick of time. She was so receptive and wanting to learn that I just wanted to throw everything at her at once because I KNOW she would love it! But everything we learned is key to have the spirit be the teacher, and it is totally true! It was a really neat experience. We can't wait to meet with her again! 

Another miracle this week came when we were cleaning our car earlier today. One of the things we are supposed to do is talk to EVERYONE! Well, sometimes you don't notice everyone around you. Thankfully, my inspired companion was very alert and noticed that a man was working at the car wash. She walked up to him and started talking to him. Turns out that he is a member of the church that hasn't been coming in awhile (in fact, he was a Do Not Contact in our roster) and he really would like us to come over to do FHE with his new family of 6 kids! Obedience brings blessings! Heavenly Father points that principle out to me a lot :)

I don't really feel like telling you all that I love you really describes what I am feeling, but I don't know how else to say it. So- I LOVE you!!!!! Have a good week. Don't get hurt in the train car.

Sister Kimber Mahrt

For p-day last week, we went with some of the elders to a mansion that was decorated for Christmas. It was really neat! We even saw Santa taking a bath! There is a picture of our district (part of it at least) And the other picture is of when our heater went out, so Sister Jo was doing some personal study by the oven :)

                                            Sister V's last transfer.  She is going home!