Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Monday, October 2, 2017


Here's a quick little update!  This last week has been SO good!  It was a week full of miracles, strengthening of my testimony, and some incredible training, talks, and experiences in general.

We started the week out with exchanges with the Jewel Lake sisters.  I was able to go with Sister Johnson and stay in my area.  First off, she is just one incredible missionary.  She is one of the smartest sisters I know, and she knows her stuff--seriously impressed!  We had some awesome experiences, saw many miracles, and had many people placed in our path that the Lord has prepared.  We were able to teach a few of them about the Book of Mormon and the Restoration and have return appointments this week.  One of them even said to us, "Could I have one of your books and learn more?"  It was so awesome and definitely saw those exchange miracles!

I also learned a huge lesson that day--that the Lord leads us and guides us in this work as long as we listen and act upon the promptings of the spirit.  Silly, cause I'm a missionary and you would think I would have learned this by now, but this last week I truly realized with complete confidence how the spirit works with me.  I have never quite felt I knew exactly how He worked with me, or how to tell the difference between a prompting and a thought.  Tuesday was the clearest I have ever experienced receiving those promptings, and they led us and guided us all day.  It was AMAZING.  This is the Lord's work, and we truly cannot do it without the spirit.  He is there to help us every step of the way if we are just willing to listen and realize we cannot do it without Him!

We also had an incredible lesson with our investigator, Tommy, and I am going to share a little bit of what I shared with my president in my weekly to him:
 What an incredible week it has been!  I have had some of the most amazing experiences and answers to my prayers this week, as well as seen so many tender mercies and the Lord's hand in this work.  I just want to share a few:  The Lord's hand is clearly in the work and has blessed us so much the last couple of weeks in the Bush Branch.  We have received some awesome referrals of people that are truly prepared by the Lord at this time to receive the restored Gospel.  We have had some incredible lessons and experiences where my testimony that Heavenly Father is aware of each of his children grow by leaps and bounds.  

We had three lessons this last week with our investigator, Tommy.  As we started teaching, he was very quiet and hesitant to answer questions and participate, but as we got further into the restoration something changed, and he just seemed to light up as we started talking about Jesus Christ and His earthly ministry.  Tommy bore his simple but truly sincere testimony of Jesus Christ to us, and the spirit was very strong.  This just made me realize in that moment how central our Savior Jesus Christ is to everything--how much He truly loves us, how important and possible it is to have that relationship with Him, and the peace and happiness that comes into our lives because of Him.

As we continued with the lesson, that light about him grew even more as we talked about Joseph Smith and the role he played, and the experiences he had.  Up to this point, Tommy had been reading the Book of Mormon and loved it, prayed about it and always had a good feeling as he read it, and was reading every single day.  As we asked him what he thought of the experience Joseph Smith had and his feelings as he heard the First Vision, Tommy went on to tell us Joseph Smith's life from the age of 14 until the day he received the plates.  Tommy shared with us about the times Joseph was visited by angels, and as he continued to share with us his story, he bore testimony of him and the incredible man he was.  It was amazing to hear someone who had no clue about the restored Gospel, or the Book of Mormon just a month ago, to truly loving something so much and having it become so near and dear to him.  

We invited him to be baptized, and he happily agreed.  As we had more lessons with him the following week, Tommy grew more and more excited, and the light just continued to increase.  He truly loves this Gospel and has embraced it.  It has been so amazing to see and witness, and especially to feel the spirit so strong even over the phone.  This definitely is the Lord's work, and He is involved in every aspect.   
Tommy is one of the most incredibly prepared people I have ever met, and we are so excited for his baptism, and for him to follow Christ's example and receive the blessings of the Gospel.

We also had Zone Conference on Friday and then, obviously, were able to listen to General Conference this weekend.  So, I was on a little bit of a spiritual high for three straight days!  There were many incredible talks, counsel, and advice that was given.  I couldn't help but think about how truly blessed we are to have leaders of this church, and especially our beloved prophet.   

I have so many thoughts from Conference that I am still trying to organize, but one thing I absolutely loved was how often the phrase "COME UNTO ME" or "COME FOLLOW ME" was said.  We were invited multiple times to come unto our Savior Jesus Christ and continue on our journey home.  He loves us so much!  Our Heavenly Father wants nothing more than for us to make it home to Him, and it is through our Savior Jesus Christ that we can--

"We're all just walking each other home."

Okay, love you all, and I LOVE the Gospel and the mission, and our prophet and leaders that are so truly inspired!  Have such a good week.  

Sorry, I have to run,

Sister McKenna Lake
Anchorage Alaska Mission

More pictures from September 25th:

 Visit from General Authority, Elder Brad Foster, and his wife

 Lydie Mattson's baptism

Monday, September 25, 2017

Monday, September 25, 2017

3 X the Party


Now that's out of the way--a little about the incredible week we had!  We were involved in all the new missionary meetings both Tuesday and Wednesday, which is always such a cool experience.  This is an opportunity that I look forward to at the end of each transfer to receive that reboot of energy and fire that I need that is contagious from the new missionaries.  They all come out here so excited to go and just work the hardest they have every worked, baptize all of Alaska, and just be the best missionaries they can be.  It is truly contagious, and I LOVE IT!

After all of the new missionaries received their trainers and headed to their new areas, we picked up Sister Oliver, and the long-awaited trio finally happened!  It has been a straight party ever since Wednesday at 5:30, maybe a little bit too much of a party, haha!!  We had dinner and meetings all night, and then we were able to meet with our mission president the following morning and go over our transfer calls.  First off (quick side note), President and Sister Toone might possibly be some of my favorite people ever.  They are absolutely incredible and just have so much love for us missionaries.  They know how to have fun, yet work SO hard!  Seriously, we just sat there and had such a good meeting, and then just laughed our guts out.  Such amazing people!!!  

 My Homies, Sister Oliver and Cox

Sister Cox, Sister Oliver and I are blessed to be able to travel around the mission this transfer and work with every single companionship of sisters, as well as still work double with the ones we are over.  We will be separated quite a bit but are so excited for the opportunity to do this, which means that I get the incredible opportunity to go and work for a couple of days with the sisters in my previous areas, North Pole and Memory Lake.  I am really excited to see the amazing work they are doing there, and to see some of the people that are so near and dear to my heart.  We are also very excited and looking forward to really getting to know all of the sisters, and to have the opportunity to see the amazing work they are doing all over Alaska.

We were able to attend Lydie Mattson's baptism on Friday.  She is one of my favorite little girls that I have met here.  The baptism service was one of the the sweetest baptisms I have been to, and the spirit was SO strong.  She is always looking for ways to share the Gospel with her friends and is always teaching them about it.  She decided that when she passed out her cupcakes for her birthday to her class that she would pass out invitations for her baptism as well.  The room was filled with all of her friends and classmates that just love her and were SO excited for her.  It was cool to feel of the spirit and to know that many of them there had never felt something quite like that, and to see how it impacted their lives.  She is such an incredible example to me, so kind to all around her, always looking for opportunities to share the Gospel, AND she is only eight!!  She has touched my life so much.

One of my favorite things the spirit does is testify of truth, and those moments where the spirit comes on strong out of nowhere...you just know without a doubt that it is true.  I had a cool experience like that at her baptism on Friday.  As her dad laid his hands upon her head and conferred the Gift of the Holy Ghost, I was thinking about what the many non-members there were thinking.  In that moment it all clicked and the spirit testified so strongly that the Priesthood authority, the same Priesthood authority our Savior, Jesus Christ, received is restored to this earth, and that this is the true church restored through the Prophet Joseph Smith.  I can't even begin to describe it, and I know that everyone in that room could feel of that same spirit.  IT WAS SO COOL.  All I can say is this Gospel is true! 

We also had a really cool opportunity to serve at the "Welcome to Anchorage" event on Saturday where they celebrated the many different cultures here, and it was an incredible experience.  We were able to talk with so many people and a local group of LDS children had the opportunity to sing, "I Am A Child of God" in Samoan and Tongan, and it was absolutely incredible!  The second

they started singing the song, everything became quiet, and once again the spirit was so strong.  People just stopped what they were doing and listened.  Such a powerful message to share with so many people!

 "Welcome to Anchorage" service project

Lastly, some miracles from the week:  We had an incredible lesson with our investigator, Diana.  She is AMAZING and so prepared.  It is always amazing finding and teaching someone that the Lord has prepared so well.  She is awesome and just loves everything about the Gospel!  We have another lesson with her today, and we are very excited!  

We also received SIX solid, progressing investigators this week.  They were all referrals, and they are incredible.  They just came one right after another on Friday, and DANG, biggest blessing ever!  The work is going so well!  I love my companions, and this area, the mission in general, this amazing Gospel, our prophet and apostles, the fact that Conference is this week, and the women's session this last weekend!  I am just thankful for the blessings the Gospel brings and the peace it brings during tough times.

On that note, yesterday was Fast Sunday.  This past week I have had so many thoughts going through my head.  I literally have felt like my mind has been running a thousand miles per hour.  My emotions have been all over the place and I just couldn't seem to relax and think clearly all week.  And, so Fast Sunday came along, and the second I started my fast to the moment I ended it, my mind was completely clear.  As we were preparing a lesson that morning on fasting, the lesson talked about the blessings that come from fasting, and one of them was A CLEAR MIND!  This was such a huge blessing.  I was able to sit in church,  organize my thoughts, and receive so much guidance that I had been searching for.  I felt so much peace and was just overwhelmed with my Heavenly Father's love.  Fasting, coupled with prayer, brings so much power.  

I love this Gospel and am grateful for my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ who hear our prayers and silent pleadings.  I have such a strong testimony of fasting, and know that as we fast and exercise faith, we will receive those blessings, maybe not right away or in the way we think, but we will be blessed.  

Also, Women's Conference this weekend was incredible.  I have to share one of my favorite parts.  If you haven't listened to the broadcast yet, do so.  Something quick that I loved was Elder Uchtdorf's talk when he spoke about the Tree of Life and the path that leads to it.  He simply invited us that during tough times, or times when we are struggling, to stay on that path, to be glad and happy to look to the Tree of Life.  Just simply, look to the tree, turn to the Savior, rely on Him and his atonement in our behalf, have faith that He will lift you up and walk you along that path.  I am so grateful for such incredible prophets, apostles, and leaders in our church that are in tune with the spirit, and for the guidance and counsel they give.  

Hope you have a stellar week.  Enjoy Conference!  Thank you for all that you do.

Love, Sister Lake
Anchorage Alaska Mission

Monday, September 18, 2017

Monday, September 18, 2017


I am so sorry I have been slacking the last three weeks.  We have been trying to soak up every last ounce of this amazing Alaska summer before winter comes, which means lots of adventuring and very little time emailing.  It has been SO fun and SO BEAUTIFUL.  I really can't even begin to explain how gorgeous it is up here.  I feel so blessed to be serving in such a beautiful place, with such amazing people.  I truly have never seen/been anywhere more beautiful.  I hope you all get to come experience it for yourself one day!  

On that note, we had such an awesome P-day!  We went to this hand tram on Monday up in the mountains that goes right over this huge gorge--slightly terrifying but absolutely breathtaking!  Here are some of the pics:

On the drive there, we were right on the coast the whole time and got to see like 20 beluga whales!  I WAS SO STOKED.

A really bad pic, but it's a beluga whale!

We also received transfer calls this week.  Sister Cox and I were terrified because we just weren't ready to leave each other quite yet, and luckily we are staying together as companions.  We are about to spend 1/3 of our mission together, and we couldn't be happier...and ever better, we are getting a third companion, SISTER OLIVER!!!  We are so EXCITED.  We love her, and she's our bestie, so we cannot wait.  We will have the opportunity to work with all the sisters in the mission, including the ones we are currently over.  

We had an amazing opportunity to have a general authority and his wife come visit our mission this week.  We had an awesome meeting with them on Tuesday, and then were able to meet with them again on Friday.  They have such powerful, firm testimonies of this Gospel, and it was incredible to see and witness.  They brought a lot for our mission and focused a ton on things that we could all improve on.  It was cool to see how the spirit directed them to exactly what this mission needed.  He kept saying a phrase that I absolutely loved.  It was, "The greater the agency, the greater the growth."  So simple yet so profound.  We are all given one of the greatest gifts, the Gift of Agency.  As we use our agency and choose the right, we grow so much.  We grown closer to our Savior, Jesus Christ, and our understanding of the Gospel and the principles are strengthened so much.  Our Heavenly Father loves us and wants us to return to live with Him again.  I have a strong testimony of that.  As we use our agency and make those decisions that draw us closer to our Savior and strengthen our relationship with our Heavenly Father, we will be extremely blessed.

We have seen SO many miracles this week as well.  Bush branch is poppin!  We got FOUR new referrals this week, and we are REALLY excited to start teaching them.  They are all solid!  And, most of them have been phoning into church the last couple of weeks and want to start meeting with the missionaries now!  We have a lesson with one of them tonight, so I will keep you updated!  It has just been really cool to see the Lord's hand in this work, especially here in Bush Branch.  We have no way of really finding, and the members are spread out literally all over Alaska, but the Lord is so aware of this branch and is blessing us so much.  It has been such a testimony builder that He hears and answers our prayers.  This is His work, and I am extremely thankful to be an instrument in His hands.

Oh, also!  We put Nanette on date for baptism on October 14tth!  She had expressed that she was at a crossroads and needed to make a decision at our last visit.  We were kind of blunt with her and told her that she just needed to make a commitment to a date and act on it.  She agreed to work towards the 14th, which is HUGE for her.  She's been meeting with missionaries off and on for years and has never committed to a date.  You can tell that the Holy Ghost has been working on her, and that she has finally allowed herself to listen and act upon those promptings!  

ALSO, we saw the biggest tender mercy on Saturday, THE NORTH POLE WARD WAS AT THE TEMPLE!!!  And, we got to see some of them.  It made us so happy, and they were confused as to why we were back together; they were really happy to see that we are back!

Okay, I'm going to end with my favorite scripture this week--3 Nephi 11:14-15:

14 Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world.   
15 And it came to pass that the multitude went forth, and thrust their hands into His side, and did feel the prints of the nails in His hands and in His feet; and this they did do, going forth one by one until they had all gone forth, and did see with their eyes and did feel with their hands, and did know of a surety and did bear record, that it was He, of whom it was written by the prophets, that should come.   

I absolutely LOVE this scripture!  It is such a powerful witness of our Savior Jesus Christ and His atonement in our behalf.   It is another witness that the Book of Mormon truly is another testament of Christ and the love that He has for each of us.  Christ invited each person to come unto Him, and ONE BY ONE they went.  He loves us and knows us so personally, invites us all to come unto Him individually, and to have a personal relationship with Him.  Developing that relationship has been one of the greatest blessings and has helped me each and every day.  Take that invitation and come unto Him.  He loves us so much.

Love you all; thank you for all that you do!  Have such a good week!

Sister McKenna Lake
 Anchorage Alaska Mission

Monday, September 4, 2017

Monday, September 4, 2017

I promise I'll write my weekly tonight for this last week, and then send two emails next week.  I'll at least send these eight pictures for this week's email.

Love, Sister McKenna Lake
Alaska Anchorage Mission

 Sister Cox and Sister Lake traveling to Juneau
 Mendenhall Lake
 Mendenhall Glacier on the left, with Nugget Falls on the right
 Beautiful Nugget Falls, east of the glacier

Sister missionaries on P-day with a group of elders
 Sister missionaries at the Anchorage Temple

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Monday, August 28, 2017

Heyyyy from Juneau!

Dang, it has been such a good week!  Sister Cox and I flew to Juneau early this morning for P-day and exchanges with sisters!  The weather was so beautiful and sunny...Alaska is amazing!  We had such a good week, though, and I am just going to send bits and pieces from Sister Cox's email combined with mine cause she's the best!

 Boarding pass and flight to Juneau
Last Monday, it was pouring rain.  We ran and played soccer outside all afternoon, and it was so much fun.  Everyone kept biffing it because the field was slippery.  Too funny.  Within the first couple of minutes, I tripped Sister Cox so bad (on accident of course), and it was game on after that--no mercy from her.   

We trained in our district meeting on Tuesday.  We talked about the potential of those that we speak and work with, and how Christ sees them, and us.  He sees us all as divine sons and daughters of God with eternal potential, the potential to become perfected through his atonement and to be able to dwell in the presence of our Heavenly Father.  We need to see that potential in everyone we come in contact with.  One of my favorite quotes is:  "We're all just walking each other home."  And, we do that by helping others and inviting them to receive the restored gospel, and by loving them and seeing them for the potential they have to become.  It was one of my favorite trainings to present!

After District Meeting, we went on exchanges with the sisters serving in the Jewel Lake Ward.  I was able to go with Sister Wilden.  She has been out for two weeks and, honestly, I felt like I was with a sister that had been out for 18 months and was about to go home!  She is such an INCREDIBLE missionary.  She has such a strong testimony of the Gospel, constantly looking for ways to serve everyone, and truly loves the work.  We had some incredible lessons as well!  It was such a good exchange.  We had a great lesson with Annette and set up a chapel tour because she really wanted to come to church but was so nervous!  We then stopped by a less active's family that we have tried so hard to get in with but have never been able, and we had such an amazing lesson with them.  Such a good day!

Wednesday, we hit an all time low with exhaustion, and got so desperate that we bought sodas to stay awake.  I can't even remember the last time I had soda, and it didn't even taste good, but, boy, did that caffeine help.  We ended up having two bomb dot.com lessons with an investigator in Bush--Arthur--and our recent convert--Angie.  We set a date for baptism for Arthur!  We are working with him to get him ready for his date; it has been good!

We met with our other investigator, Nanette, on Thursday.  We're still trying to discern her needs as she knows the Church is true and the Book of Mormon, but she says she's Catholic and that's just how she is.  We invited her to pray from her heart, read, and come to church.  AND, she came!!!

That afternoon, we were searching for potential investigators, and we came across one that Sister Cox and I had found while tracting when we were on exchanges a few months back.  We tried him and he let us in, and he started asking a bunch of questions about the Book of Mormon and the Prophet Joseph Smith.  We were able to teach him a scattered version of the Restoration.  He said he had seen us walking earlier and his wife had said, "Look, those are the girls," and he said, "Just give them 30 minutes," and there we were 30 minutes later.  That was such a cool experience and a definite testimony builder for me that Heavenly Father will lead us and guide us where we need to go!

We trained in the trainer Trainee Meeting on Friday.  The topic we were given was the white handbook and "seizing the opportunity."  For those of you who don't know, the white Missionary Handbook is a little book of guidelines for missionaries to follow.  We talked about all of the opportunities and blessings that are presented to us as we follow the standards.  It's divinely inspired for our safety and protection, and is promised to help us magnify our calling.  I have such a strong testimony of that.  I have seen so many blessings from following the guidelines. 

Saturday, we tracted all morning, gave Annette a chapel tour, visited our investigator John, and had correlation with our Ward Mission Leader.  We run into a lot of people who have a hard time with addiction, and our Ward Mission Leader has struggled in the past.  But, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, he has overcome his addiction.  Now, he is married in the temple and has three beautiful kids.  He has a video on the Addiction Recovery Page on lds.org, "Meet McKay."  Check it out at: 


He shared with us a funny quote as well, "Satan is a spiritual retard."  We giggled, but it's true!!!

We had so many miracles and blessings.  We hit all of our goals for the week--Six new investigators, four who attended church, and one on date for baptism!  The Lord's hand is in everything in this work.  It is the best to be able to teach others about the restored Gospel and help them come closer to Christ.  I love being a missionary.  I love the Gospel and the happiness it brings.  God is real.  He lives and he loves us.  He is in all of our lives every day.  Look for Him, pray to Him.  Read His words and listen to His prophets.

"And moreover, I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God.  For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness.  O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it."  (Mosiah 2:41)

Love you and thank you for all that you do!  Have such a good week and enjoy school!  

Sister McKenna Lake
Anchorage Alaska Mission 

Sister Jewel, Sister Cox, and Sister Lake were reunited for a quick reunion--surely do love my MTC homies.

 Sister Jewel and I FINALLY took the picture we have been trying to take our whole mission!!!  We're still praying we will get to serve in the Jewel Lake Ward together--anything's possible, right!?



Monday, August 21, 2017

Monday, August 21, 2017

There ain't no rest for the weary!

One (1) year down...something I never thought would happen and never thought would be so sad about!  It really hit me this week how fast time is flying, and let me just tell you, I am so thankful for the six months I do have left.  

 Huuummmppp Day Celebration (chicken Thai and amazing apricot pizza at the one and only Moose's Tooth)

It has been such a GOOD week.  Sister Cox and I got together last week and just hit the ground running.  We haven't had a second to relax, and it has been so awesome!  I don't think I have laughed as much as I have in the last week than I have my whole mission.  We saw so many miracles, found some awesome new people to teach, and had so many good times!  

 Sister Cox and McKenna

We had another amazing lesson with Annette, and she is doing good.  It has been really sad to see how many challenges have been thrown her way and how much the adversary is working on her; BUT, each time she gets back up and keeps going, and it is all because she is trying to do what's right.  We are still working with her and making some progress.  

We were also able to go on exchanges this week, and I went with Sister Bentley.  She is a new missionary and has only been out for two weeks.  Let me tell you, she is such an awesome missionary!  We were talking about the negativity that a lot of people have against our church, and how even though our investigators are doing everything right they are thrown trials and hard things left and right...how hard it is sometimes, but how truly amazing it is.  It just shows how incredibly true the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is because if it wasn't, Satan wouldn't have to try so hard.

We also went through our former investigators list a little, and even received some referrals from members.  Wow, so many miracles!  The first one was a referral from a member.  We stopped by the referral's house and started talking with her.   She has met with the missionaries before, has read the entire Book of Mormon, knows the church is true, knows that Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God, and so forth.  After Sister Cox and I asked all these questions, we looked at each other and then she opened up to us a lot.  She has some family things standing in the way, but we had such a good discussion and talked about the importance of prayer, and her attitude changed.  She said, "You're right!  I need to really pray to Him and let all other things go away, and really just pray to know if baptism is the right choice."  It was so good.  And, even better, she came to church on Sunday!  The talks were absolutely perfect and just incredible.  They were all about the Book of Mormon and praying to know if it's true or not.  She was really focused in.  We are meeting with her again this week!

We also met another former investigator and was able to talk with him quite a bit.  He is such a stellar guy and so sincere.  He just returned from deployment and happened to move into his old address, and so we were able to find him.  We are meeting with him again in two weeks to start teaching him more!

We met another former investigator from the Bush Branch and had an awesome lesson with him.  He has a desire to be baptized and said he wants to start taking the steps to get there.  We will begin to teach him this week.  Seriously, so many miracles!

Sorry for the big long rant, but we had such a good week.  To top it off, we had Zone Conference and that was incredible!  Sister Cox and I had the privilege of training at the meeting on the power of prayer in missionary work.  Studying for it was probably one of the greatest and most powerful experiences, AND, exactly what I needed.  We found this incredible talk called "Pray Always," by Elder Bednar.  Go and read it; it's worth your time, I promise!  


Zone Conference

As I studied his talk, my testimony of prayer grew so much.  A lot of times when in the moment something is tough, I don't always realize how aware Heavenly Father is of me, but when I look back and realize how many prayers he answered and how much prayer helped me though, I am sooo thankful!  I also had the opportunity to reflect a lot on the power prayer has played a large part in my mission.  I was just overwhelmed with gratitude for a living, loving Father in Heaven who truly does hear and answer our prayers, and for the opportunity we have to communicate with him, our very best friend, each and every day.  One thing that really stood out to me, and definitely something I need to improve on, is being grateful and expressing that gratitude to Him every day.  Elder Bednar said, "Expressing gratitude more often in our prayers enlarges the conduit for revelation."  So cool, and so true.  

One of the Sister Cox's favorite scriptures, and one that I have come to love, is Alma 37:36-37:  

36: Yea, and cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.  

37: Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

And, wow, is that so true!!  I have seen time after time as I have counseled with the Lord in all things--the day ahead, the people we are working with, how to help companions, investigators, or other missionaries--he has directed me for good, and I know that is true.  I love you all!  Thanks for the love, support, and great examples.  This church is so true, and the Gospel is just too good, and the mission is amazing!

Love, Sister Lake
Alaska Anchorage Mission

 Three pictures of our hike to Flattop Mountain last week, which over looks all of Anchorage, the Alaska Range, and Cook Inlet.  I know I have said this 1000 times, but Alaska is BEAUTIFUL, AND I FEEL SO BLESSED TO SERVE IN SUCH A TRULY INCREDIBLE PLACE.


Monday, August 14, 2017

Monday, August 14, 2017

The Girls Are Back in Town!

Such a wonderful week!  We started out by going fishing, and let me tell you, I could totally be an Alaskan and fish every day all day because it's so awesome.  It's not like the pond fishing where you just sit there and wait for something to bite.  You're standing in water mid thigh and throwing your fly over and over again, and you are surrounded by TONS of other fishermen.  Seriously, such a blast!  I was fishing next to a less-active member the whole time, and he was such a champ and gave me all the good tips.  

Tuesday, we were able to witness one of the biggest group of missionaries the mission has had in a long time, as 24 of them came walking through the small gate all at once.  Coolest sight ever!

I feel so blessed every time transfers come because of the new missionaries love for the work, desire to go out and share the Gospel and the message we have, and their desire to be exactly obedient is contagious.  We spent all day Tuesday with them, and then took the two sisters back home with us to spend the night.  Such incredible sisters!  Seriously love them.  It was so fun to get to know them, and they are both being trained here in Anchorage, so I'm stoked!

 Sister Jackson, Sister Lake and two new sister missionaries!

 We woke up the next morning and headed back to the mission home.  We spent another whole day with them listening to them bear their testimonies, and watching them as they received their trainers and all that fun stuff.  The spirit was just so strong, and boy are they going to do some incredible things here!

After all of the craziness, I dropped off my incredible companion, Sister Jackson, that I love and miss, who is now happily and safely home in the beautiful state of Utah.  I then picked up my "Day 1-mission-home" Sister Cox!!!  Seriously, so good to be back together!  We picked up right where we left off in North Pole and got right to work.  I freaking love her.  You are probably already annoyed, but we only have six weeks to be together again before transfers.  

We had the craziest week...I don't know where to begin.  We tried lots of referrals, met with lots of members (and they gave us lots of referrals), knocked on lots of doors, talked to lots of people, laughed lots, and had a total blast doing it all.  

We both spoke yesterday in both Bush Branch and Oceanview, and that was so good.  We met with Annette, and, of my, she is the greatest.  She just has so much faith and patience, and is truly incredible.  I love the people in the mission field that I have been blessed to meet!  

A couple of weeks ago when I was able to see the Ronne family...Wow, that was probably one of the best moments on my mission.  Memory Lake will always have a special place in my heart, and being able to see the Ronne family and spend time with them was such a sweet experience.  They are doing so good and seriously have the strongest testimonies.  We went to lunch, and when we had all sat down, they asked if we were going to say a prayer on the food.  I don't know why, but that was seriously one of the sweetest experiences watching them all say a prayer in a public restaurant.  I love them so much!  

 Repost picture of the Ronne Family

And, I also got to see Bobby D. and the Henson's this week, too!  Boy, I surely do love those people! 

Bobby D and McKenna

Anyway, it was such a good week.  I clearly can't remember everything, but it has been so good, so busy, and amazing being back with Sister Cox.  Get ready for some high quality video updates coming up!

On a more serious note, though, my talk in the Bush Branch was on the spiritual gift found in D&C 46:13, the gift of believing in Christ.  As I thought about it and studied it, I came to realize and really think about my belief and testimony in Jesus Christ and the role that this has played in my life.  My belief in Christ is something that continues to grow stronger and stronger each and every day, something that has truly blessed me in my life and helped me in the hardest of times.  I know that our Savior, Jesus Christ, lives.  I know that He loves us.  I know that He came into the world to atone for the sins of all mankind.  I know that He knows every trial, pain, affliction, hardship, and suffering we have personally experienced.  He knows what we are going through, and He is there for us every single step of the way. He is just waiting for us to call out and reach up and grab His hand to lift us up out of the pain, heartache, and trial we are in.  I know that my Savior knows me individually, and I know that He has been there for me, and through the Atonement of Jesus Christ I have received that strength to get back up and keep going in the hardest of times.  I love Him and am so grateful for the knowledge of Him.  I am extremely grateful for the opportunity I have had to go out and share my testimony with the people of Alaska.  I just feel so blessed, and am thankful for the testimonies of others that have blessed my life.  

Thank you all for the love and support, many prayers, and incredible examples you are to me!  I love you all, I love Alaska, I love the mission, AND I love Sister Cox!  Have a stellar week!

Sister McKenna Lake
Alaska Anchorage Mission