Adventures of Kali in Cali: January 2016

Monday, January 18, 2016

Welcome Home Hermana McMinn

Sometimes life gives you challenges that you never thought you would have to fight! Sometimes there are challenges that you just can not fight alone. You need to be in the loving arms of family to help you through them. It is hard when your life does not look exactly like you thought that it would but you learn to trust the Lord through both the good times and the bad. Our true character is displayed in how we react to those challenges, what we learn from them and how we become better through them.

Los Angeles Temple
For the past couple of months now, Kali has been battling some anxiety and depression. This is new to all of us as this has never been something that she has battled up to this point. She worked hard as a missionary and did everything that she could to overcome but she just could not fight it alone. She did not want to come home but the mission president and medical staff all knew that the only way for her to heal was to come home and get better.

We got the call on Friday and met her in Los Angeles on Saturday. As she struggled, it was so hard for me to be so far away when all that I wanted to do was put my arms around her and tell her that everything was going to be okay and that I loved her more than she could ever imagine. When I finally got the opportunity to see her face and give her that long awaited hug that she so desperately needed, it just felt right. Lots of tears were shed mostly because we loved her and were so proud of how hard she had worked as a missionary but also because now we knew the healing could start. Kali loved her mission. She loved the Latino people in Los Angeles and speaking the Spanish language. Even though her mission looked different than other missionary experiences, in the 5 months that she served she did everything she could to be the best missionary she could be. Her mission president told us that she worked hard, taught with the Spirit and was a very effective missionary. He also told us that in his eyes she was a hero to so many. (I completely agree...I know that she is my hero!) 

Her mission president shared this scripture with us:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, that when I give a commandment to any of the sons of men to do a work unto my name, and those sons of men go with all their might and with all they have to perform that work, and cease not their diligence, and their enemies come upon them and hinder them from perfoming that work, behold, it behooveth me to require that work no more at the hands of those sons of men, but to accept of their offerings.
Doctrine & Covenants 124:49

We could not have asked her to do more. She did all that she was asked to do. She did her best and that was enough!

It has now been a week since she has been home and we are so glad to have her back with us. She has come a long way in a week. We are slowly getting our Kali back. The smile is there more often than not. She has really enjoyed spending time with her brother and sisters. Taryn keeps her laughing most of the time. I think we all missed her more than we knew we did! She spoke in church yesterday and gave an amazing talk on faith. I was so proud of her for fighting through the anxiety and sharing her testimony with the ward. I know that it was not easy for her but it was very healing. It is funny how life teaches you lessons you really didn't know that you needed to learn at the time but you look back and are so grateful for the blessings that the Lord places in your life. We have seen many tender mercies through the hard times and know that our Heavenly Father is very aware of Kali and what she is going through right now. She is loved and will be a better person because of this challenge.

We are so grateful to all of you who have reached out, prayed, given hugs and supported her (and us) through this experience. Many of you were counted as those tender mercies! So thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We have no doubt in our minds that Kali will come through this trial on top because she is strong, courageous, brave and she wants to get better more than anything. She knows that she will not be alone through this challenge but that our Savior will be with her every step of the way!

Though we will face trials, adversities, disabilities, heartaches, and all manner of afflictions, our caring, loving Savior will always be there for us. He has promised:
"I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you...
~Ronald A. Rasband

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Home Sweet Home

Dear Friends and Family,

Update on Kali: For the last few months she has been struggling with depression and anxiety and had been figuring out ways to try and cope with it on the mission.  After a while, she and her mission president (with the help of the medical staff) decided that it would be best for her to come home and to get her healthy with the help of her family and friends.  Friday Rob and I drove to Los Angeles to pick her up and it was a tear-filled reunion.  We slowly made our way home after that with a pit stop in St. George to get a little bit more sun before we headed back home to the snow. We finally arrived home where she was released as a full-time missionary last night.

So far it has been really good for her to be home with her siblings but it has also been really hard for her as well.  She definitely misses her mission but knows that it is best for her to be home and healthy and that is our main goal right now.  It is going to be quite the journey but we know that she can do it :)

Thank you for all of the love and support. She has felt a lot of love from all those around her!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Week 22: Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Hello everyone!

First... Happy Birthday to my lovely Mom who turned 30 years old! ;)
Merry Christmas
Next.... So sorry I did not send a group email last week.  We have had some crazy P-days and not much has happened other than Christmas.  It was a lot of fun talking to my family and seeing their faces.  I hope you all had a great Christmas as well.  On Christmas day we talked to our families and then went and visited a lot of our less active members.  It was a lot of fun to go and visit them because they loved that we thought about them and brought them a message about the true meaning of Christmas!  The spirit was really strong all throughout the day.

Happy New Year!
My companion is slowly getting better from her sickness but I got sick again this week.  It is all from this freezing California weather ;) really though.. the whole mission is sick because this year the weather is alot colder than usual and there has been some rain as well.

Look Mom...we found a cat!
The work in our area is going really slow. We always have a lot of potential investigators and we go and talk to them but they aren't quite ready to make the changes that they need to make.  We have been working with the Preciado family still and we are hoping that everything works out with Illusion and her baptism :)

Oh Christmas Tree!
In YSA we got a new branch president and he is so awesome.  He wants to do alot of work and wants to have the missionaries involved with it all so we are super excited to see a lot of progress with the YSA branch.  I love working with them and being with people who are my own... ish age and also speak English haha
Pumpkin Muffins with Sister Otte
Hope you all have a great week and enjoyed the beginning of 2016!  I love you all :)
Sister McMinn

California has possums too!

Please mom...can I keep it?