Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Best Christmas Gift This Year

Elder Karges called home on Christmas morning.  It was the most anticipated and joyful present the Karges family received this year!  We really, really, really look forward to talking with him.  We all arrived in plenty of time to start the call.  The whole family was gathered around the piano bench with the phone perched on top.

Dad dialed.  It went through the very first time, Yes!  An elder answered the phone, took us a minute to decode his "english"  but he basically said Elder Karges wasn't there....hmmmm.  What?  He's out doing real missionary work?  Okay we'll cut him a break.  We said we'd call back in 10 minutes.  We actually called back in 15, and the wait was totally worth it.

A few highlights of the conversation:

  • He's still preparing for his English driver's test.  Scheduling it is crazy because the appointments are made 5 or 6 weeks out and transfers come up every 6 weeks.

  • Jenny got to say hi to her best friend growing up, Elder Greeley, because he and Elder Karges are in two different companionships sharing a flat. We are excited they are together!

  • He is sleeping in the front room of his flat ("english" word for apartment) because mold has taken over his room....gross...guess it's a continual problem there.  Sounds like the bathroom isn't any better.  Aparently they just get in and out as quickly as they can.

  • He and his companions actually leave the mission about once a week right now. Say What? Yes. They got permission to cut across a corner of the London North Mission (I think) to cut way down on their travel time driving within their zone.

  • He has had some interesting food over there in England. He likes the traditional English roast dinner…apparently they roast their potatoes and there is lots of gravy involved…or was that a different meal? He’s had lots of ethnic foods because he teaches a lot of immigrants. And he’s had Mexican food once or twice. Oh yeah, and apparently he had to go all the way to England to discover his love for pasta…I thought you went to Italy for that?

We may have spoken a little longer than we had first planned, ahem, but it was the BEST part of Christmas.  At the very end Elder Karges and Elder Greely sang us "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" - the girls were tearing up - The whole family sang it back - even the kids, even Dad! 
We Love YOU Elder Karges!  We hope you had a VERY merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

December 21, 2009

Elder B and I with Elders Carr and Bien trying to take a proper Christmas picture as we ended our exchange in Slough.

Merry Christmas!!!!

This week as been amazing!   We have had a lot of miracles and YES we got snow! Of course that means its cold, but I've never lived around snow really so it’s been exciting. The morning it snowed we ran straight outside and made a small snowman. Someone destroyed it before we left the flat again at 10, but it was worth while.

The miracles we have seen include a man named Parry who called us and asked to be baptized. Apparently he was taught once in October and received a Book of Mormon. Since then he has read it and gained a testimony that it is true. Another miracle was when we taught Craig and Balinda the word of wisdom and chastity and before we came back for the next teach, they had come up with there own goals and plans of how to keep the commandments. They are preparing to be baptized with Balinda's daughter, Mary Jane, on January 2nd. They are amazing! The other miracle I'll share today is about Tsana. I mentioned Pearly's family before (thanks for praying for William, her husband... his heart really needs to be softened) which is how we met her. She was there for just one lesson, then we taught her the plan of Salvation, ending with an explanation of temple marriages. She had been pretty against everything until she heard the last part and then said, "that makes sense".... She came to the temple on Saturday and saw the Joseph Smith film, went home not planning to go to church, but showed up in the morning, and Sunday evening she texted us sharing her testimony of Joseph Smith after doing her own historical research.

I wish I had more time to write more people and thank you for all your prayers and for all that you do. I know it is helping because that is why I have so little time! Missionary work is busy but I love it! I am excited to talk to you at Christmas and hope your week goes well. I hope everyone has an amazing Christmas. I love you!

Elder Kade Karges

Me and the snowman Elder B and i made at 6:30am (for our 1/2 hour of exercise). It only snowed for one night, but we got a couple inches :)

Monday, December 14, 2009

December 14, 2009

God Jul! (Danish for Good Christmas)

This week started out with several miracles which came in the form of 4 new baptismal dates. We found a really cool family recently, actually two! One isn't preparing for baptism yet, but the son, Wesley, is best friends with Bishop Price's son, John. We met the mother, Pearly on the street and made the connection later in the teaching process. John just turned 16 last week and has already been out teaching with us to his friend. The father of the family seems a bit apprehensive, so pray for him, William. The other family is a South African mom with a few kids and her English boyfriend. They are preparing to get baptized on January 3rd. Pray that they'll find ways to live the commandments. We have one other baptismal date right now (Paola and Shantal dropped :( ) who is trying to quit smoking. His name is Zack and he's from Nigeria. Like always we are teaching many other people right now, but these are our focus right now.

Things are going great with the ward. The new ward mission leader, Brother Knight, is amazing. He is really making things happen and has a great vision of what the ward can do. Since he just got released from the stake Presidency, he and is wife are just returning to regular attendance at their home ward. Sister Knight has made a new dinner list for us and we have quite a few members we will be going to soon. I am looking forward to that so I can get more integrated into the ward.

I do know Elder Armstrong! haha I'll try to send a picture of us together. He was My Zone Leader when I was in Portsmouth. He was an amazing missionary, I look up to him. It’s pretty cool that his uncle is in our ward. If you talk to his family, pass on to him that I said hello.

The only other thingI can think of to share is that I went on exchange this week to Aldershot. I worked with Elder Christensen's 'boy' Elder Obike. He is from Scottland. It was a really cool exchange.

I hope all the Christmas preparations are going well. I love you all and look forward to talking to you!

Elder Kade Karges

Sunday, December 13, 2009

December 7, 2009

Feliz Navidad!

It’s been a full week since my last email, but it doesn't feel like it. I am starting to get to know things around our area. The members are really good to us and the ward functions well. We just got a new ward mission leader actually. The old one moved out on my first Saturday here, but the new one just got released from the stake presidency so he should be great.

Investigator wise, we are doing pretty well. When I first got here we had two preparing for baptism, but since then we found out Shantal is probably moving back to Leeds on Tuesday and Paola hasn't been to church since I came. Paola could still be baptized this Sunday, but it might be the next to give her another opportunity to attend. (The ward here has asked us to have baptisms on Sundays, after church. I'm not sure how long that will last because that means they have to wait until the next Sunday to be confirmed in a sacrament meeting.) Although they are struggling a bit we have seen some miracles with new families and other investigators. We have met two separate South African mothers that have a couple kids each. One of them has a son that is actually best friends with our bishop's son. We are excited for both families and for a guy named Courtney. He is actually Shantal's brother-in-law and just came to church for the first time. When any of them progress a little more I'll fill you in on what’s happening.

I have to get off the computer for a while, but I might be able to get back on later. I love you!

Elder Kade Karges

Sorry we have had a good, but busy P Day. I thought I would be able to get back on for longer, but we only got to just pop by the library. I met Elder Bang’s mother  this week. She came to bring him his Christmas package. She works for Scandinavian Airlines and could bring it over as luggage cheaper than sending it. Elder Greeley and I were on exchange when it happened so we were able to pick it up for him without him seeing his mum. She is really cool and it was cool to work with Elder Greeley for a whole day. He is a good Missionary. Oh and we (the four of us) have sang twice in the past week for different occasions. Once at Zone Conference for our Christmas Program and once at a baptism. I feel the spirit really strongly when I sing so I really enjoyed it.

I still love you!

Elder Kade Karges

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

November 30, 2009

Hello again,

It’s only been a few days, so not a whole lot has changed. I am excited to be hear in Staines, but like going to any new area for the first time, it takes time to get used to. I think things are going well. Staines is a bigger zone than Crawley was and we have some really great missionaries.

Before I forget, yes I got both packages and I will begin opening them tomorrow! And I apologize for forgetting my new address last week, but thank you for updating it.

The flat I am in now is... ok.  The last flat actually got a lot better when we got some portable space heaters. This flat is warm and really is quite good, but we found some mold when we moved some furniture today. Apparently it’s been a problem in the flat for a long time, we just need to stay on top of it and clean!

I heard from Elder Christensen that Valerijus got baptized over the weekend! I was really excited to hear that. He is going to grow quickly in the gospel. We have two baptismal dates here named Paula and Shantal. Paula is really cool and is from Portugal I believe, and Shantal is from Jamaica.

Serving in London is a lot different than anywhere else in the mission. The people are different and the wards are still true, but different ha-ha. I am excited to get to know things better so I can be more effective.

I’m sure I'll have more to share with you next week, but I love you and will continue to pray for you.

Elder Kade Karges

November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

The call came yesterday morning that I was leaving Crawley :/ so last night I packed, this morning I went to the mission office, and now I am emailing you from my new area :) Staines! Staines is on the South west of London and is actually in Surrey, but we live in a place called Hounslow which is IN London. I haven’t been here long, but it is cool to be back in London. Technically we actually live north of the Thames River because it dips south a bit.

I was sad to find out that I was leaving Crawley. I really liked it there and looked forward to serving with Elder Christensen another moves. As the mission rules go we aren't supposed to call around or stop by anyone, but I was able to say goodbye to quite a few people in appointments and just doing our daily things.

I think I am more excited to see how things go in my new area than I was sad to leave my last. My new companion is Elder "Bong" (it’s actually spelled Bang with a little circle over the 'a'). He is from Denmark and has been out a little bit shorter than me. He has been to the states a lot and speaks great English. My first time meeting him, a few months ago, I actually thought he was British or American.

Our area has two companionships and we live in the same flat, so it’s a lot like Catford! And guess who is in the other companionship... Elder Greeley!!! He is actually one of our district leaders so we'll be accounting with him in person instead of over the phone. His companion is Elder Fielder who is from Wales and he came out at the same time as Elder Carlson, the missionary I trained. I am excited to serve around both of them.

That’s about all I know about my area right now, except that the missionaries consider it India. Just walking down the street I have noticed that about 80% of the people aren’t English. Most of them are either Hindu, Muslim, or Sikh.

In Crawley we had a lot of investigators preparing for baptism. I will try to keep you posted when they happen.

>Valerijus (from Lithuania) for this Saturday, Nov. 28th
>Raul, Leticia, and Neptune (11) Boongaling (a Philipino
family) for Dec. 12th
>Joanna "Asha" (from Poland) for Dec. 12th
>Serge, Dorella, and Chelsea Permal (from Mauritius) for
Dec. 19th

There are a few other people really close, but we have to wait for other things to clear up before we can give them a date.

I don't know the investigators here, in Staines, very well, but I know we have two preparing for baptism and will tell you more about them on Monday!

I Love you all and hope you have a great week!

Elder Kade Karges