Sunday, February 26, 2017

Still Raining in CA

Hello All! It still hasn't stopped raining! I thank my Heavenly Father every day that we are not on bikes! and also that we are not in an area that is having really bad flooding like some other parts of CA.
This week we have been contacting a lot of referrals but no one wants to learn about Jesus :( We just want one referral to want one lesson with us so the members can be more confident with their referrals. We also taught our investigators  Joan and Tanya about the plan of salvation and they both were excited about the spirit world and what God has in store for us after death. Tanya and her daughter Rylee came to sacrament meeting yesterday! 

I read a a couple of days ago General Conference talk by president Uchtdorf  "Come Join with Us"
He addressed a lot of doubts that people have about the church and answered a lot of questions people have about coming back to church after leaving. He said:
"If you expect to find perfect people here, you will be disappointed. But if you seek the pure doctrine of Christ, the word of God 'which healeth the wounded soul,' and the sanctifying influence of the Holy Ghost, then here you will find them. In this age of waning faith—in this age when so many feel distanced from heaven’s embrace—here you will find people who yearn to know and draw closer to the Savior by servinGod and fellowmen, just like you. Come, join with us!" 
No one in the church is perfect but we all try to come closer to Jesus Christ. As a missionary we often use a phrase similar to " we are not perfect teachers so please ask questions if we don't explain something clearly." I am so thankful to not be part of a church where people are not perfect because I am not perfect. As missionaries, Jesus doesn't ask us to  ask people to be perfect  immediately, He just wants them to try and try again to follow Him.

Thank you for all the prayers!

Sister Karen Duersch
San Jose CA Missionary

Monday, February 6, 2017

Building and Trust

Fun thing I learned while reading the Book of Mormon:1 Ne 18:2; Nephi was told to build a ship but he was instructed on how to build it in a "manner that was not of man" but was instructed to build it and work the timbers how the Lord told him.  He built a ship that did not look like a ship that others in their time would make because none of them could cross the ocean.  So God gave Nephi a plan for a ship that could cross the ocean to the Americas... something that was not to be made until  thousands of years later ( the historian in me got excited).  It reminded me that God will help us do things that sometimes are not possible with the knowledge or technology of man.  I know that I could not teach about the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ without the help of God!  I am so thankful for the opportunity to learn and grow as a missionary called by the living prophet of God!  I have learned a years worth of things in only one month and I am excited to keep learning!
Love you all!
Sister Karen Duersch
San Jose CA Missionary

Greetings and Meetings

I landed in San Jose, CA on Wednesday (Jan 25th). We went to the mission president's home and spent the night there.  I love the President and Sister Mella.  They are wonderful and super helpful.  Thursday (Jan 26th) I met my new companion and then watched a worldwide missionary training broadcast.  We learned some wonderful things to help us stay focused on our goals as missionaries to help others come unto Christ.  We also had some missionary schedule changes, my favorite one was that we can go to sleep between 9:30 and 10:30 so we can get more sleep!  My companion, Sister Maughan, is from Mesa, AZ. She will be one her 1 yr mark Feb 3 and I will hit my month mark the day after!  How time has flown!  She is super fun and cheerful.  We live with a widowed sister in our stake.  She keeps the front half of her house at insanely cold temps so I have to wear a parka to eat breakfast (or my sweatshirt and i'm shivering).  We are working with a YSA that covers 3 stakes and a ward in Pleasanton, CA.  The members out here are really nice!  There is a family that just moved from their ward to PA a while ago and I think they live nearby but in a different stake.  Whenever someone in the ward heard where I lived, they would say "Oh! do you know this family!" and I would reply, "no but I'm sure we have some mutual friends" :)  Our mission is not a tracting mission ( we don't go to neighborhoods and knock on every door) so we are a service mission.  Each companionship to tries to do 20 hrs of service a week.  We do about two hours of service a day and can find people to teach by walking around public spaces and talking to people about the gospel.  I've been super busy all week trying to get to know the members and the area and I'm excited to learn more! 
Sister Duersch

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Knowing Who God Is

I leave the MTC tomorrow and am so excited to meet the missionaries in San Jose, CA!

My favorite experience this past week was with an investigator who didn't know who or what God was. She knows a lot about different religions and was always confused about the concept of the trinity because why would Jesus Christ pray "the Lord's prayer" to himself? 
When we showed her the verse in the Bible that says God spoke to Moses Face to Face she realized that to have a face he needs to have a body. She said that she would be more comfortable praying to a God who has a body because if He is human, he knows what we go through as humans and can actually help us. When she realized that our bible is the King James Version she wondered why other religions didn't know that God has a body since it is in Tyndale's Bible! She started to talk about a monument in England for Tyndale that she went to. She said it felt like there was a bubble around the monument that brought peace. We explained that the Holy Ghost was what she was feeling and that as she prays to her Heavenly Father, she can feel that again and again. Sadly she was sick the next two appointments so we couldn't talk about her experiences praying with God. 
The prophets have promised that people are being prepared to be open to the Restored Gospel. She is a brilliant example of someone who is ready to hear the Gospel and I wish I could stay at the MTC just to teach her and watch her grow. 

Sister Duersch

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Testifying of the Savior

Elder Anderson, from the Twelve Apostles, came and spoke at the Tuesday night Devotional. He said that we won't know the full benefits of our mission until years later.  We need to be looking for mid-teens to mid-twenties who are spiritually seeking.  When we testify of Jesus Christ, He will confess us to the Father. With every opportunity you receive to talk to someone - testify of the Savior. So I thought I would do that now.

I know that Jesus Christ lives!  He is my Savior, older brother and best friend.  No matter where I am, He is always there for me.  I know that He did atone for our sins and that we can turn to Him for salvation.  Because He knows our pains and weaknesses, we can turn to Him for comfort. I am excited to teach everyone I meet about Him and teach them that through the Book of Mormon, they can have a personal relationship with Him. I don't know where I would be without Him and I know that with Him, we can do all things. I know that I could not go through the MTC and especially not a mission without His help. 

Sister Duersch

Sunday, January 15, 2017

A Good Name

One of the things that has stood out to me since becoming a missionary is  the power that comes from having Jesus Christ's name on my shirt and coat at all times. When we are baptized we promise to take Christ's name upon us. I have always  loved that commitment  because I reminded me that I was part of Jesus Christ's  church and I was committed to following Him. But now everyone knows that I follow Jesus Christ every single time they see me.  When  I have doubts on whether or not I can be a missionary I just look down and see that name tag and am reminded that I can look up to my Heavenly Father and my brother Jesus Christ because they have called me and I have been given the authority and responsibility to teach the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

Proverbs 22:1 "A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold."  

My name is Sister Duersch now and I am thankful  for the blessing of having Jesus Christ's  name on me at all times and his guidance as I start my Mission and do things I am sometimes scared to do.
Love you all!
Sister Duersch 

-The picture is of me and my companion Sister Ti'a