In the Washington Tacoma mission we are asked to write a final report
to sum up our mission experience so I have attached that report here
for you guys. I have loved every single second of the past 18 months
and feel so blessed that the Lord called me to represent him in this
amazing work! I know this Church is true and is led by our Savior
Jesus Christ! I am so thankful for the faith I’ve gained in my Savior
and for the person he has helped me to become! I want to thank you all
for the unending love and support I have felt from each and everyone
of you as I’ve been away and can testify that the power of prayer is
real because I have felt so much strength from the prayers that have
come my way. Can’t wait to see you all so soon! Thanks again for
I LOVE YOU!!!!
Sister Kelli Horgesheimer
Kelli’s Flight information: She arrives Wed August 5th at 1:15p.m. Delta Flight 877
Kelli’s Homecoming will be Sunday August 16th at 9:00 a.m. The church address is 4275 Bountiful Boulevard Bountiful, Utah
You are all invited to the house after the meeting and we would love to have you come visit with Kelli!! Address to Kelli’s Home is: 4148 Hidden Ridge Cir Bountiful, UT
The Final Report of
Sister Kelli Horgesheimer
Washington Tacoma Mission
January 22, 2014-August 4, 2015
If I had to sum up my mission in only one word it would be Miracle. In Moroni 7:37 it says, “It is by faith that miracles are wrought” and in the Bible Dictionary we are told that “where there is true faith there are miracles.” The miracles I’ve seen in my own life combined with the miracles I’ve seen in the lives of others have made the past 18 months the best that I’ve ever had. Faith truly is the power behind every miracle I’ve seen. Before my mission I saw the person I wanted to become and I saw the things I wanted to accomplish and as I stepped into the mission field I quickly realized that I did not have the power or ability to accomplish this task alone. I needed to put all my faith and confidence in the Lord if I wanted to become the person the Lord wanted to help me become and if I wanted to see the miracles that he had been preparing for me to see.
When I entered the MTC I had faith that being on a mission is where I needed to be. I knew this was the Lord’s work and I couldn’t wait to step into the Wa-Tac and get started. One of my favorite MTC teachers shared a scripture with me on the second day of my mission, which was also probably the hardest day of my mission. These words have stuck with me ever since that day. “Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye are little children. And ye have not as yet understood how great blessings the Father hath in his own hands prepared for you. And you cannot bear all things now nevertheless be of good cheer for I will lead you along. The kingdom is yours the blessings thereof are yours and the riches of eternity are yours.” (D&C 78:17-18) This scripture filled my heart with peace and helped me remember that I can’t understand everything that’s going on now but the Lord does and he has promised that I need not fear because he will be there to lead me along in this journey. I would like to share a few miracles that I have seen throughout my mission that have all been brought forth by faith.
Faith to give my whole Heart to the Lord
I was so blessed to begin my mission in the beautiful city of Olympia with my amazing trainer Sister Wilkins who taught me that the most important part of missionary work is of course work and obedience. She taught me that there is no time to waste and that every moment makes a huge difference in the big picture. I am so thankful for my mission because I have been taught how to find true and lasting happiness. In Mathew 10:39 it says, “He that findeth his life shall lose it, and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” The hardest times on my mission have always come from focusing too much on myself and forgetting the person I really came out here to serve. Right as soon as I’ve turned my will and my focus back to the Lord it is then that true peace begins to return to my life. I love this quote from Elder L. Tom Perry. “Those who solely rely on themselves and follow only their own desires and self-inclinations are so limited when compared to those who follow God and tap into his insight, power and gifts.”
Faith to gain and unshakable testimony
In the first 3 weeks of my mission I think I was told in about every way possible all the reasons why our church was not true. The testimony I came out with began to not be as stable as I thought as doors were being slammed in our face every single night in Olympia. Though I never doubted the things I knew, I was constantly looking to find stable ground and to be confident in my testimony. This quote got me through the first 3 months of my mission. “The size of your faith or the degree of your knowledge is not the issue. It is the integrity you demonstrate toward the faith you do have and the truth you already know.” (Elder Jeffery R. Holland) It is true that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass. We are not meant to understand everything at once because then we would have nothing left to search for. This life is about learning and progression after all. Being transferred up to the Port Angeles 1st ward with Sister Gehring was one of the biggest blessings Heavenly Father gave me. Sister Gehring was so much more than a companion, she is the best friend that everyone needs in this life. She helped me regain my confidence and helped strengthen my testimony of the enabling power of the atonement. Together we were able to see the baptism of Amy who let go of her past and used the atonement to keep her focus on the person Christ could help her become. Seeing Amy’s change of heart was the foundation that I leaned on through the coming months of my mission.
Then I was able to spend 2 of the best transfers with another dear friend Sister Olson who taught me a lot about power and conviction that comes by the spirit. It was in Port Angeles that I gained a testimony of this line from Preach My Gospel. “You have been promised inspiration to know what to do and have been given the power to do it.”(PMG pg. 89) As missionaries we have been set apart to represent the Lord and with this setting apart comes so much added power. When we fully recognize and trust this promise then our testimonies will be carried into the hearts of the people we talk to by the spirit of the Holy Ghost and they will be able to feel the truth and power of the message we share. I know the power and authority of our calling is real. There have many occasions where I have personally felt the spirit speaking right through me and there is absolutely no greater feeling that can compare to these moments.
President Blatter threw me a curve ball at the end of this transfer when he told me I’d be staying in Port Angeles for transfer number 5 and I’d be training Sister Sasser. Sister Sasser, one of the newest missionaries in the field, taught me more in 2 transfers then I’d learned my entire previous 7 months. By this time in my mission I was confident in my testimony and I knew how to get through the motions of missionary work but together we realized that this was not enough. By diving into Preach My Gospel daily we found many ways each morning to go out and magnify our calling. One of my favorite things we learned together was how to be bold and not hold back the gift of the restoration from anyone. Through showing our faith to study PMG many miracles shortly followed as we saw Isaias and Chelcie enter the waters of baptism. Towards the end of our transfer we, along with the Elliott family were able to experience one of the coolest moments of my mission. We were always over at the Elliott’s on Sunday evenings and during the fall semester the Elliott’s were housing a member of the Peninsula College soccer team named Steven who always invited his nonmember friends from his soccer team over for Sunday dinners. We would always share a spiritual thought before we left and one night we felt that we needed to share the scripture in Alma 34:32, “For behold this life is a time for men to prepare to meet God, Yea this life is a time for men to perform their labors.” Sam was one of the friends there listening that night as we bore our testimonies about the purpose of this life. You could physically see that Sam’s heart was touched as he began to ask so many questions from the soul. As we spent another hour answering questions his heart began to soften and he felt an immediate witness from the spirit that these things we were telling him were true. Sam was baptized three weeks later by his friend Steven. How blessed we are as missionaries to be able to see these miracles first hand and to witness the reality of the spirit on so many different occasions. Throughout my time in Port Angeles I was truly changed. I learned how to submit myself more fully to the Lord and I gained so much confidence through studying, praying and teaching by the spirit. My testimony turned into so much more than just words and it became the way I lived.
Faith to overcome Fear
As many of you know I was born with an eye condition that has left me visually impaired. Throughout my life it has always been my goal to not let my limited vision interfere with anything that I have set out to accomplish and going through my life I think I could probably say I’ve been pretty successful until President Blatter called me to the long, dark, dirt roads, during a rainy winter in Elma. Limited vision plus trying to navigate through the dark was a stumbling block that I didn’t think I’d physically ever be able to overcome. I’d leave our warm car every night at 5 o clock with butterflies in my stomach for the next 2 hours that lay ahead. I just want to testify that Heavenly Father is so aware of our fears and weaknesses and he knows how to give us the specific comfort that we need during these times of trial. I know this because he led me to a scripture that I think Nephi specifically recorded for me. It says, “And I will also be your light in the wilderness: and I will prepare the way before you, if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments; wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land; and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led.” (1 Nephi 17:13) Each night after finding this scripture these words would be continually running through my mind during 5-7’s. I quickly realized that my reason for being sent to Elma in the middle of the winter was to help me learn how to yoke myself with my Savior. I know I was not alone on those nights because I truly did feel the Savior’s light leading me and guiding my every step. The roads didn’t physically get lighter but I began to receive a light within my heart that gave me the confidence and peace I needed to get through these nights. Above everything else, I learned that we never have need to fear in this life because our Savior can truly guide us through absolutely anything. What a blessing it was to learn this principal as I was in Elma. I know the Savior has the ability to make the darkest situations full of light!
I loved serving with Sister Julien and she taught me so much about getting rid of distractions and keeping myself centered on our purpose. She taught me how many blessing we are entitled to as children of our loving Heavenly Father. Together Sister Lechuga and I learned how to let the Savior turn our weaknesses into strengths.
Faith to Rely on the Spirit
My 3 transfers in Soundview were probably the best of my entire mission. The reason being because I learned what it truly meant to let the Spirit guide this work and I was able to recognize what it feels like to live in a celestial culture. Right after transfer meeting we immediately went to knock doors, (in a lighted apartment complex I’d like to add J) then we were off to meet our investigator Jeremy at the library. Little did I know at the time how much of an influence he would forever have on my life. The AP’s knocked on Jeremy’s door and left him a restoration pamphlet. Exactly a week later the sisters felt prompted to knock this same apartment complex and when they met Jeremy they invited him to pray. On that same night Jeremy offered his first prayer and he was able to receive a witness of his Heavenly Fathers love and had felt something unlike he’d ever felt before. Since that day he has never looked back but has taken every step possible to align his life with Jesus Christ’s gospel. Jeremy taught me what it really means to let the spirit be the teacher. The insight Jeremy received from his gospel study continues to amaze me as he has truly learned what it means to let the spirit teach him. Nothing we do as missionaries can convert those we teach. It is 100% up to the spirit to allow people’s hearts to change. The converts in the Soundview ward are probably the strongest converts the church has ever seen because “when the spirit touches the heart, hearts are changed” (PMG pg. 93)
Sister Heaton taught me one of the most powerful lessons that I would ever learn in this life. One night we were up talking about how we could improve and find more success. We had both finished our prayers and we were laying there rattling off different things we needed to apply to our work when Sister Heaton suddenly stopped and said, “You know, the Lord has never asked us to do this work alone, we need to take a step back and let him in.” From then on we focused our every effort on making sure we were where the spirit wanted us to be, saying what the spirit wanted us to say and doing what the spirit wanted us to do.
Sister Lomu and I were able to apply this lesson into our next transfer together as we found so many situations where we were perfectly placed in the path of so many people who just needed to know of God’s love. One night as we were sadly walking away from an appointment that had fallen through we saw a lady struggling to get some groceries out of her car. We called to her and asked if we could help out and she gladly said yes. She then went on to say. “Oh are you the people I slammed the door at last week?” Haha we awkwardly said yes but moved passed that quickly and helped her up to her apartment with her bags. When we got done putting her groceries away she was sitting on the couch completely out of air and told us that she has been going through chemo for the last 4 months and had just gotten the news that she didn’t have much longer on this earth. She expressed so many feelings of fear about the unknown. Sister Lomu and I couldn’t help but be moved to tears as we listened and thanked God for the perfect opportunity to teach the Plan of Salvation. We were never able to get in contact with this lady again but I know that the Lord placed us in her path to let her know of his love. There were countless situations in this transfer that were very similar and taught me what it really means to minister Christ’s love to everyone we meet.
Faith to Live by our Purpose
“Our purpose is to INVITE others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of Holy Ghost and enduring to the end.” Reciting our purpose every week is one thing but living by it is a complete other thing. In all honestly I could probably be classified as one of those missionaries who only recited my purpose for the first 16 months of my mission. I was given such a gift as I was called back to the city that I love so much for the last six weeks of my mission, PORT ANGELES!!! My final transfer Sister Flanigan and I gave it all we had by pushing any fear aside and putting baptism as our first and only priority. We invited everyone to be baptized as the spirit directed. As we did so we were so richly blessed with miracles that I know came from showing the Lord that we had faith to truly live by our purpose. I know the Lord has prepared specific people for each of us to love in our areas and bringing the restored gospel into their lives is the way that we are able to show forth our love and our Savior’s love the most. “We invite all to come unto Christ by repentance, baptism and confirmation in order to open the doors of the celestial kingdom to the sons and daughters of God.” (PMG pg. 9) This work is so much bigger then we can comprehend and I know the service we render daily has eternal and everlasting consequences.
Faith to see a Bright Future
I LOVE this work so very much and feel so incredibly blessed that the Lord gave me these 18 months in the beautiful Washington Tacoma mission to lead and guide others to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know this gospel is the true and it is the only way to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come. I will carry the lessons I’ve learned on my mission in my heart for the rest of my life. It is here in the Wa-Tac that I have learned every secret to be able to find everlasting and enduring happiness. I see such a bright future ahead as I now know who it is that I am to put all of my faith and confidence in. I know my Savior is the one who will lead and guide me through my life and with him lighting the way I have no need to ever fear. I love you all so much Wa-Tac and want to thank each of you who have been a part of this amazing journey. I leave these things with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.