Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Monday, July 24, 2017

Hello, hello, hello!

Today is P-day and we went shopping; however, our shopping trip was not a good one.  This guy started trying to bash with us and was disputing everything I said, including my testimony.  Anyway, there's those people that are ready and those that are not!  

On a good note, I received a text yesterday from the Ronne Family! I get to see them today and I am SO EXCITED!  I think she is flying down to move to BYU-Idaho.  How cool is that!?  She is going to meet some incredible Mormon guy and get married in the temple.  It is seriously so cool to think how different her life will be with the Gospel in it now then what it was before being baptized.  I am so excited for her and happy that I will be able to visit her in Rexburg when I return home. 

 The Ronne Family

Sister Lake and her companion on exchanges with Sister Missionaries

 Picture of Sister Lake sent by some ward member?

I also was able to see Sister Cox this week, which is always a highlight!  I feel so blessed to have found such an incredible friend on the mission.  And, I was able to see the beautiful Soldotna when we went on exchanges there.  It is on the peninsula where everybody comes up to Alaska to visit.  It is about 3.5 hours away from Anchorage and it is AMAZING. Also, ODI OUR INVESTIGATOR CAME TO CHURCH!  So exciting!!

I promise to write a long letter next Monday!

Love you all and miss you,
Sister McKenna Lake
Anchorage Alaska Mission

 Beautiful Soldotna!

Monday, July 17, 2017

Monday, July 17, 2017

Last Two Weeks!!


Okay, I'm sorry I have been slacking with the emails!  I'll try my best to update you on the last few crazy weeks.  First off, our new mission president arrived, and oh my goodness they are such incredible people.  President and Sister Toone are such spiritual giants; it has been incredible learning from them.

The first week they were here we were able to have Zone Conference, interviews, MLC, and trainer trainee with them.  They are filled with so much knowledge and love and excitement for the work.  It has been really good!

  Zone Conference with new mission president and his wife and new missionaries

We were able to take Sister Toone with us to teach that very first night.  We taught Angie, our investigator, from the Bush Branch (over the phone obviously), but the spirit was really strong--very incredible!  It was good to have Sister Toone there and to hear her powerful testimony of the Gospel, and to see how much Angie needed that.  

It has also been fun because Pres. and Sister Toone know Great Grandpa Rigby so well.  Every time I see them they have something new to tell me about him, and have nothing but incredible things to say about him.  It was a crazy first week filled with lots of meetings that were truly incredible, and we also welcomed in so many new and incredible missionaries!

That week we also had such a huge miracle happen.  As a mission we have these Standards of Excellence.  Elder Ballard made a promise to us that if we talk to 10 people per day (outside of tracting and appointments, etc.) then we would find one new elect INVESTIGATOR a week.  This might sound easy, but in a lot of areas you're lucky if you see 1 or 2 people randomly outside.  Sooo, we made that a goal and we were killing it.  The nice weather definitely helped, but we were talking to anyone and everyone we saw.  

On Monday, we received a call and the caller said, "Hi, my name is Odi.  You stopped me about five weeks ago while I was walking my dog.  I have been thinking and decided that I wanted to hear more.  When could we meet?" STRAIGHT MIRACLE!!!  We hand out cards like candy and no one EVER calls us.  Such a miracle and blessing, and the realization that as you talk to those 10 people, a new investigator will come one way or the other.  We gave him a lesson and it went pretty good.  He had absolutely never heard anything about the Book of Mormon, so it was a lot for him to take in; however, he was excited to read it and has been reading it all week.  We are meeting with him in about one hour to teach him again.  So excited!!  I'll keep you updated.

Also, we have the sweetest NEW INVESTIGATOR named Annette.  She is so awesome and prepared.  It has been cool seeing how the Lord has prepared her to hear the Gospel of Jesus Christ at this exact moment in her life, and all that has happened to her to reach this point.  We met with her a couple of times where we talked, read, and answered her questions, and then she was finally ready to hear the lessons.  We taught her about the Restoration last week, which was SO INCREDIBLE!  The Spirit was very strong, especially when we talked and testified of Joseph Smith.  My testimony was strengthened in that very moment.  I was reminded about how amazing and true this message is!  We met with her again on Saturday and had another amazing lesson!

On Saturday our investigator Angie, from the Bush Branch, was baptized.  And, oh my, was I just so happy.  I taught her one of my very first lessons in this area.  It has been incredible to see her testimony be strengthened and grow so much.  She has a pure love for this Gospel and such a strong desire to learn and continue to learn.  Her husband is a convert.  One day the Sister missionary finally asked her if she wanted to take the lessons.  She said, "Yes, why not?" and now she's here.  She is seriously the sweetest!  She flew down to Washington to get baptized because that is here she is from.  So, we weren't able to attend, but are so excited for her.  Hopefully we will finally be meeting her in person when they fly back through Anchorage.  She has been such a huge blessing in this area, and has been such an incredible example of faithfulness to me.

We are definitely being blessed and see the Lord's hand in this work.  We have seen many miracles, and it has been sweet to see.  This Gospel is incredible.  I have these moments where it just hits me like a brick wall how incredible this Gospel truly is, how much it has blessed my life, and how thankful I am for it.  

Just a quick little thought:  We have had some amazing Gospel Principle classes lately (the teacher is incredible).  Last week's lesson was on Priesthood Power, and I have never felt the Spirit stronger and understood more about the Priesthood than I did in that class.  I was sitting there and we were talking about the importance of the Priesthood, what it is, why we need it, and so forth.  We went through the different offices of the Priesthood, and he asked us how we have seen those offices bless our lives.  The discussion turned into this huge testimony meeting, and WOW, it was powerful!  

I thought back to the many times when the Priesthood has blessed my life, and was so overwhelmed by many gratitude for the Priesthood in my life, including the many father's blessings, the many blessings I received in college from my amazing Home Teachers, watching my brothers as they blessed and passed the Sacrament, hearing about how my brother Cole baptized my sweet sister Brielle as she made that important decision, to my Patriarchal Blessing.  As I thought about all of these times when the Priesthood has been such a huge blessing, I was just totally overwhelmed.  The Priesthood keys were restored to this earth.  There is no question in my mind, and am so thankful for that great gift we have.

 Sister Lake's sister, Brielle, and brother, Cole

I love you all!  Thank you for the love, support, and many prayers.  I can feel them and am so thankful for that.  This Church is true.  I love it!  And I love being a missionary!  I want to leave you with one of my favorite scriptures that I found this week, which is in Hebrews 12:2:  "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God."  Our Savior, Jesus Christ, lives and loves us so much.

Also, one of the highlights of the week!  Pam and Gerome, some of my favorite people from North Pole came and visited me in Anchorage!!!  So god to see them!  And to hear that they are continuing to learn more!  

 Pam and Gerome from North Pole

We also were able to go on exchanges, which were so good!  Sister Johnson is such an awesome missionary!  

 Sister Johnson

AND, we were able to go to the temple!  It has been a long seven months not being able to attend...it was so, so good! Okay, LOVE YOU!!!

Love, Sister McKenna Lake
Anchorage Alaska Mission 

Sister missionaries in "Alaska" hats
 Mother Moose and her babies on the loose!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Wednesday, July 12, 2017


I'm writing a little late because our p-day was moved so that we could attend the temple.  Being in the temple felt so good and was exactly what I needed!  It has been about six months since I had gone, and so it was much needed.

This week has been good.  It was weird, however, not having a p-day on Monday.  We had so many meetings but are finally done for two weeks; so, we have a good break.  President Toone is seriously incredible; meetings have been such a treat because he is such an incredible teacher.  It love it!  Also, he is like my long lost twin.  I had interviews with him, and we are like the same person.  I needed him and am so thankful for that.  

He also has the greatest things to say about Grandpa Rigby.  He just can't stop saying what an amazing men he is.  Whenever he sees me, he says, "Hey, it's my favorite family."  Haha
We are dropping Pres. and Sister Toone off at the airport tomorrow.  Seriously, just such incredible people!

So, life has been good...well, up until two days ago when I woke up at 2 AM puking and continued that for the next eight hours.  I had food poisoning, which was so awful and hurt so bad; however, I had an amazing experience.  After about the third time of throwing up, I knelt down and said a prayer.  I remember this comforting feeling come over me and hearing the words in my head, "It's okay, you're not alone."  The experience was really cool.

Yes, life is so good!  I only have a little time today, but I wanted to let you know that I love you and miss you all so much...and, that I'm still alive!

Love, Sister McKenna Lake
Anchorage Alaska Mission



Thursday, July 6, 2017

Monday, July 3, 2017

Promised pictures of beautiful Juneau!

This week was so good.  President and Sister Toone might possibly be the sweetest people I have ever met.  She just loves Ray Rigby [McKenna's grandfather.  Sister Toone's maiden  name was Rigby], and President Toone said, "Oh, wow, he is such an incredible man."  They have such respect for him.

We have seen them quite a lot the last few days, which is cool because not many other missionaries have had the opportunity to meet them, and they are the greatest!  

Sister Toone came teaching with us the night she arrived, and we just had the most incredible lesson ever.  The following day an investigator had an interview to be baptised with Pres. Toone, and she passed!!!  Pres. Toone said it was just such a spiritual experience.  Such sweet people.  I'm so excited, too, for Angie our investigator.  

We have a stressful week coming up.  We met with the APs this week, and they told us all that we have to do.  So, all four of us will be crazy busy, but it will be good.  My companion goes home in five weeks--so weird!  

The work is doing so good, and we are seeing many, many miracles!  We had the opportunity to teach another investigator this week, and it went extremely well.  I love and miss you all so much...think about you all the time!  

Love, Sister Lake
Anchorage Alaska Mission 

Pictures of Juneau
 Sister Lake with her companion, Sister Jackson

Downtown Juneau

Lush greenery
 Companion and Juneau sister missionaries with Mendenhall Glacier in background
The glacier is 13.6 miles long and 12 miles from Juneau