Monday, August 26, 2013

Hello my wonderful family and friends. I am so, so, so grateful that today is Monday and p-day, Hallelujah. It has been another wonderful week in Oregon City filled with some pretty cherished memories!

Monday was a much needed, laid back, sittin-around type of p-day. Not much was going on except for a wonderful 2 1/2 hour nap, I have never been so tired in my life as I am here on my mission. It is non-stop going until 9 PM and then I am ready to pass out! 

After the few hours of sleep, cleaning and relaxing, we then joined a family for dinner. The mom is  is the 78 year old hikers daughter and they all live together now. It was a great time, the dad had his birthday party and his mother in law showered him with gifts from the thrift store. They were all wonderful, slightly odd gifts, but so heartfelt! We were all busting up laughing as she handed them to him, one after the other. My favorite was a blue and white, ceramic buddah, holding a giant fish, with his lips making a kissy face. The dad didn't exactly know how to react, neither did any of us - so I just geeked out. When we were about to leave their home, the mother gave me a hug and said, "Sister Kerr, we have been so impressed with you as a missionary and just love how you got here, ready to work. You just hit the ground running here in Oregon City." It was one of the most thoughtful things I've heard and I really cherish that comment, because sometimes, I don't feel that way about myself!

Later that evening, we had an appointment set up with a different family to have a Family Home Evening. It was a feat even to set this up with the family. They have been so friendly to us though and each of them are so sweet in their own ways. The mom is a member, but no longer attends. The dad, daughter and son are not. We brought two of the young women from the ward with us and it went so well! We shared a message about our Heavenly Father, his love for us, how He has a plan for us to be able to return to live with Him and how He is working towards that. Their daughter had attended youth conference in July and she opened up to us about how she had felt the spirit there and how she loved it and wanted to feel that way again. She said, "It felt like warm butterfiles in my stomach!" It was such a great experience and I love hearing and seeing how the spirit effects people individually. I loved having her open up to us and feel comfortable enough to share something so special with us!

Tuesday we had our weekly district meeting! We practiced the art of asking inspired questions, and that truly is an art! We did a practice where we split into groups and role-played one of our investigators. I pretended to be an older investigator that we have met with a bit and the elders were so great at helping me to see what his needs are. I hate role-playing - I feel like a complete and utter idiot, and I always complain about it, but WHY DOES IT HAVE TO WORK SO WELL? Unfortunately, it was splendid, hahah - as Mom knows, I hate it when I am wrong! So, now I am looking forward to meeting with the good old investigator again :)

We had scheduled to contact less-active members all day from a list that Bishop had given us. We tried and tried and tried all day long and nobody, I mean NOBODY was home. Notta one. Good gravy I was getting awful frustrated! We had been going around for over 2 1/2 hours. The very last door of the night was a referral from that we had tried probably 10 times since I arrived here. We go to the door, knock, basically positive that no one will answer, because no one ever does at this house. And then, miracle of all miracles - HE ANSWERS! A boy answered the door and invited us back to teach him and his parents on Thursday!!!! He shut the door and we hadn't even gotten off the front porch and I am kind of fist-pumping and doing the Kip Dynamite "yesssssss." It was wonderful and we are so excited. Never give up!

p.s. We had dinner tonight at a Relief Society Garden Party. They served broccoli salad, lettuce salad, and macaroni salad. I kept waiting for someone to carry out the main dish, alas it never came! No meat or anything? It was odd, I thought. I said something about to Sis. Stone and she laughed at me and said it wasn't that weird. Where I come from, it is wayyyyy weird!

Wednesday Sister Stone had her 6 month interview with President Morby. So, I being the luckiest girl in the world, got to sit and visit with Sister Morby for about an hour and a half. It was wonderful, I love and adore that woman! She was so funny, she is so sweet and genuine. She is just great. So, I got to enjoy me some mom/grandmother time, it was a wonderful thing!

Right after our time with the Morby's we met up with one of our members, Brother Turpin, and set out for our lesson withthe investigator i had to pretend to be on Tuesday. This was my first time teaching him a real lesson, rather than just visiting with him. Between it being my first time, and the role-play experience - I was so pumped! We met him down at the park near his home, which just so happened to be jam-packed with a van-load of daycare children who had clearly been cooped up for too long. They were nuts, we were kind of nervous about that ruining the lesson. But the spirit was so strong he didn't even notice! Between his old age and the spirit, he didn't hear those kids a bit :) I still cannot believe the love that I feel for this old man, with a busy beard, and long stringy white hair, who was coughing up a lung while reading from my Book of Mormon. I truly was able to see him as he is, a child of Heavenly Father, as my brother! I feel so very blessed that I was blessed to be able to see him in that way. And for the first time, he learned that he had lived with his Father before he came to earth and he loved that! I know that he felt the spirit, I know it. I think that scared him a little bit though, who isn't afraid of the unfamiliar. He is Baptist and is comfortable with that, but at least now he knows what we shared with him. He doesn't want to meet again until next week, which is killing me. But I extended a commitment to him. I said, " If you pray about the things that we have taught you and about the Book of Mormon that you been reading, to know if they are true, and you get the answer that they are, will you be baptized?" He said yes, but that was a very light commitment, who wouldn't say yes to that! I just pray that he will have a desire to know if they are true, because if he does have that desire, then he will get an answer! I love him so much and it is because I love him that I want him to know for himself.

Later on, we joined the Young Women for mutual and helped them all write their own personal creeds. It was really great, I enjoy those girls so much. One of them, was so silly and reminded me of my Addey so much! I love this ward.

p.s. this ward is pretty large. the henrici chapel is generally full and there are three wards that are in our building. the oregon city stake center is about 10 minutes away and there are two more wards in it. there is a pretty good amount of members in the area! our ward had not had any baptisms in 5 years i think, but there have been 2 in the past 3 months now!

Thursday morning we went to meet a less-active woman. There has been quite a lot of excitement around this woman! Neither Sis. Stone or I had ever met her and anytime we mentioned that we were trying to contact her, people would always say good luck or start giving us tips. Then I pulled out the ward directory to get her address and next to her name it said "do not contact." Ahhhhh, we were slightly nervous, but we felt like we needed to meet her. We were so nervous that she was a mormon-hater now and going to yell at us to get off her porch, with a yappy little dog chasing us back towards our car, which was parked at the end of the street. I was quite worked up. But, she was a doll and invited us back anytime! She is a ceramics teacher and she wants us to come play on the wheel with her sometime!

I GOT A PACKAGE FROM MOMMY AND DADDY. Best day ever, ever, EVER. Thank you.

Friday we took the adorable 78 year old investigator to the Visitor's Center, it was my first time as well! We had a wonderful time and on the way there, she infomed us that she is giving up her driver's license. At this point she was bouncing up and down between Sis. Stone and I, clapping her hands, and saying, "Now I don't have to study anymore for that blasted test." It was the funniest thing ever! The spirit was so strong at the VC and the sister's there were wonderful. They showed us a video about families and it was great! You all need to go to the nearest VC and watch it, I cried...shocker, I know. 

Then we took her to the baptismal font and showed her how it would all go and picked her out a jumper! She is so excited now :) She won't have her hearing aids in for the baptism, because of the water, and now she is a nervous wreck that she won't hear when her son in law says amen, and that she won't be ready and will just get dunked! Hahh, she is so cute, but what a legitimate worry. Before we left her daughters house, both the dad and mom asked me, "Sister Kerr, have you ever modeled for UHAUL?" Now that is a question I never expected to hear, hahahah. I guess they had seen a girl on the back of truck that looked like me.

p.s. the day after we were at the VC, Elder Jeffrey Holland (my favorite apostle ever), showed up at the Portland VC, just randomly. Just my luck, I missed him!

Saturday there was the ward picnic which was wonderful. I love our ward and we had a lot of fun with all of the members. There were not nearly enough less-actives there or investigators! But, it was still good. 
I GOT A PACKAGE FROM WHITNEY, MACEY, ADDEY, PEPPER AND KADE. Thank you so much, it meant the entire world to me.

Then, there was the baptism for the 78 year old hiker! It was so wonderful. She showed up to the baptism with her younger brother, in his bright blue mustang. She kept talking about the wind blowing through her hair on the way there. She is so great! The spirit was so strong there and I enjoyed it so much! I got to get up and bear my testimony briefly about the restoration, and I could not break eye contact with her. This woman is such an example to me and I truly have learned so much from her! 

Sunday was Sister Franzen's farewell. She leaves on her mission on Wednesday to Seattle, from Portland! Hahahah :) She is great and it was a wonderful talk. Then Bro. Cook spoke briefly and bore his testimony on missionary work and specifically about Sis. Stone and I. We are so appreciated in this ward, it is wonderful. I love it here.

p.s. the YW in this ward sent a letter to Pres. Morby about 4 months ago specifically requesting sister missionaries. they love us so much here! we are the only sisters in the whole stake too, we are kind of spoiled!!

Well I love you everyone! There is so much work to be done, so let's get to it. 

xoxoxox, Sister Kerr 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Happy p-day all! It is here again and it is much needed. This past week FLEW by and has been really great, I cannot believe that I have been gone an entire month now, everything is going so wonderfully!
Monday was so good. I don't remember what I had told you about it last week, but our district went on a hiking trip. It was beautiful and I have some fun pictures. I just remembered though, I FORGOT MY CORD AT THE APARTMENT. Woopsies. I will send them next week for sureeeee.

School is definitely about to begin again, I can feel it and see it on all of the kid's sad faces here. I hate when summer comes to an end, I totally feel their pain.  
SO, Monday we decided to stop by a ward member's home after our dinner appointment just randomly to give them an assignment and see how they were doing. We walk in and their little 4 year old daughter was SO excited to see us. She just kept saying, "missionaries, missionaries" and showing us all her toys and telling us everything that had gone on in her day. Her dad came into the room and was kind of confused looking. He goes "She kept saying that the two sister missionaries were coming over to see her tonight and we kept telling her that you weren't!" We answered her prayers, hahah! She was just the sweetest. One of the things she showed us was her pet rats. Yummm, Sister Stone was slightly scared to DEATH. Freaking out a little bit. Hahah it was so much fun and the rats were alright, besides their disgusting tails.

Tuesday I attended my first zone meeting. All of the missionaries in the Oregon City Zone attend this meeting, which consists of 2 districts. President and Sister Morby also attend this meeting. WE have been having a little friendly competition in our zone to see who can get the most new investigators in one week. The reward is this hideous stuffed monkey, dressed like Bob Marley, dreds and all. I don't know why that would be motivation, but it worked. Sister Stone and I won and now get to have sweet little Bob with us all week. I have a great portrait of us together, but yet again...I left my cord. 

After our zone meeting we had to drive all the way to Portland for Sister Stone to do some lab work for the doctor. That took up a lot of time, but we try and make the most of our doctor trips so it was a good old time!

That night we had dinner at a members family, which they are quite possibly my favorite family! They have 7 kids, I think, and live on a farm with baby goats. The kids are the best and just make me so, so, SO happy. I love being around them, they are so funny. 

After dinner we went out on ward splits and I taught my first lesson without Sister Stone. I went with a girl from the ward (she leaves for Brazil in a month to serve her mission), to teach the 72 year old adorable woman. We had so much fun and the lesson went so well! I love teaching, especially when the spirit is there. She is like a sponge too, she just absorbs EVERYTHING we teach her and loves applying it to her life. I seriously just adore her. And she kind of like us too. She had her granddaughter make us some journals of both of our home states. So, I got a journal from her with a cover from an old calendar of the New England states and Sister Stone got one of Zion's National Park. It was one of the most thoughtful gifts I have ever received. I love this woman! 

Also while there, she took us around on a tour of her thrift store findings from the past couple of days. Mom, she is worse than me! There was so much stuff. And she was thrilled with it all! Favorite find: her new cat in the hat baby doll. She is the greatest!

Wednesday we went out to lunch with one of our new investigators. She is 22 and so cool! I love spending time with her, she is always so fascinated with what we are doing here as missionaries and wants to know everything about everything we do! Then we went and did some service at a member's home. She is about to have her 2nd baby this month. The first is almost 18 months. She needed a lot of help getting the bedroom all prepped for the new baby! Her baby is so cute and legitimately the happiest baby I have ever met. 

Later, I got to meet an inactive family, finally. I have heard so much about this family and was finally able to meet them. They were awesome too! The mother is a member, but the rest of the family is not. They have 2 kids. They were SO funny and friendly and I loved visiting with them. 

Thursday our district likes to do district sports at 6:00 AM. We went the first week I was here and missed the next couple, so I really wanted to go today. I told Sister Stone to make sure and set the alarm and we could totally go. We didn't go again. Apparently, I slept through 4 alarms. I have never slept through alarms before in my life. I guess I was really tired. Sister Stone said that I didn't even move, just was out hard. This life is exhausting!!

Thursdays we do our weekly planning which takes about 3 hours! I had never really liked it much, but this week it was incredible! We started out by setting our goals for the upcoming week and Sister Stone and I feel so, SO great about what Heavenly Father has in store for our area. It was such an inspiring time, where we really just tried to decide what it was the Lord needs us to do, and then what we can do to accomplish it. 

I felt impressed that we should schedule an appointment with the family we met with on Wednesday on Monday to do a Family Home Evening with them. I guess that this had been tried time and time again and that they were not open to it. I gave them a call and asked the mother (the member) and she said, "Yes, that sounds like a great idea!" Sister Stone's mouth dropped. Hahah, we are so excited to meet with them. They have been prepared and are really ready!

Friday we had a Sister's Conference with all of the Sister missionaries in the mission. There are 40 of us now, when President first got here, there were only 12! SISTER POWER! It was a really great meeting and we learned a lot from both President and Sister Morby. I love them both so much they are the most loving people I have ever met!

The rest of the day, my companion went to the doctor, so I went on exchanges with the girl from my ward who is leaving to Brazil soon again! We went searching for someone's home to visit (couldn't find it anywhere) and then had a dinner appointment. It was a lot of fun! It is cool to switch up companions and get a little bit of a change every so often. She went to BYU too, lived just like two buildings away from me!

The second Saturday of every month we have SPC (I do not know what that stands fore), but it is a big meeting with our zone and stake presidency. They made us a big old delicious breakfast of waffles and then we discuss our wards and what the stake can do to help us. Our stake president, President Lundgreen is so incredible. I adore him and he is so into missionary work. He is great. 

A lady in one of the wards in our zone has a Hawaiian Shaved Ice business. She brought it to the meeting to give to all of the missionaries! She loved, loved Sister Stone and I . We are the only sisters in the zone, so we do get quite a bit of attention from everyone. We kind of love it! I have really cute pictures of this as well, SAD!!!! Oh ya, she also attacked our car with bags of cotton candy. As you know, I am kind of a cotton candy FREAK, so I was totally okay with this!

I need to go though! I love you allllll :) Keep up the good work. 

Sister Kerr

Monday, August 12, 2013

The time is now.

Hello world. Greetings from the OC (Oregon City).

Just a brief note, I love it here. I love my mission, my companion, my district, my ward - everyone here, I LOVE. They are just so incredible and inspiring and just a great time. This is the only place for me right now!

It has been yet another busy, busy week. So much work to be done and that is just great. Today marks my 2 weeks in the field - P A R T Y. I feel like I have been here way longer than that, but in a really good way. 

Monday is my Preparation Day (p-day), where I get to email, clean, do laundry, and do anything fun that I want to (within pretty strict guidelines). Last Monday I went thrifting, which is basically the world's greatest hobby. There is a shop here called, Red White and Blue, and it had some marvelous, MARVELOUS deals. I did control myself and only bought 3 things. Boy, that was hard! They were all wonderful assests to my wardrobe! Bonus: I got to hear some real-life music while I was in the store and it was on a really good oldies station. So it was horrible because the songs were then stuck in my head, but so great!

So my companion, Sister Stone, has commented on how much I whistle and bust out in random song. It brings a great spirit into the apartment, hahah. I really do not think that I will ever, EVER break that habit. 

After shopping we went over to the church building to play games with the elders in our zone because it was someone's birthday. So I kicked some booty in phase 10, like alwayyyyyys. It was really fun and I love the elders in our zone. They are such a good comic relief!

Later that night we had a lesson a 78 year old woman who is getting baptized on August 24. She is amazing and I adore every minute spent with her! We helped her prepare the agenda for her baptismal service this night and got to hear lots of stories about her childhood  <---- that was my favorite part. I STILL love hearing people tell stories. Probably because I am horrible at telling stories and just feed off of other's skills for it. Anyways, she is the mother in-law of our ward mission leader. I love their family, they are so cool! Oh, and she just returned from a backpacking trip up in the mountains, SHE'S 78. Once again, she is awesome.

Tuesday is district meeting day. We practiced tracting and door approaches. These intimidate me, but who wouldn't they intimidate?! Our district really is wonderful and the meetings are so well planned out and everyone participates. At the end of every meeting there is time to bear testimonies. I wasn't going to get up and then I realized, how many times will I get to get up, as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and bear my testimony? Answer, not enough times! I figured, what the heck, might as well. I talked about how when we first come in contact with someone, missionary or not, that person can feel our spirit. And how their spirit recognizes it and is excited for us to talk to them about the church. Everyone we come in contact with at some point in time, yearned to return to our Heavenly Father. And when we open our mouths and talk to others, their spirit recognizes what it will lead to and has been waiting for us to do so. This may not make much sense, but it makes a LOT of sense in my head, hahah. I love the opportunity I have to help bring others to a remembrance of who they are, why they are here and how important they are to their Father in Heaven. LOVE IT.

Then the whole district went out to eat, McDonald's. Don't judge, we are all poor missionaries and will sink to that level! But, while there, a woman with bright purple hair, came and sat down next to us. She started talking to me and another elder about her crazy, sad life. Then just broke down crying. She didn't have any food or money. The elder went and bought her some lunch and she brightened up - as all people do when there is food in front of you. She then started telling me about her dream to open up a thrift shop, I could connect with that! Then she started showing me things she had found that would be great in her thrift shop. There were some pretty neat things. Then she got really excited and realized she hadn't shown me her best find yet...THEN she proceeded to pull out of her backpack a bright blue bong. Better yet, she looked at me and the elder and said, "I know this isn't the time, or the people (tossed a glance around at the group of 12 mormon missionaries), but I just needed to show this to you (holds it high in the air, so all can see). It took everything in me, EVERYTHING to not just die laughing. I love real people and she was so REAL. I gave the elder my Book of Mormon that I always have  in my bag and he gave it to her later on and she started bawling, just really excited. She is in their area, so I will probably never see her again, but she was a JOY.

Then we went and had our first lesson with a woman from Kenya. She is so, so, nice. She has 2 kids, a son that is 10 and a daughter that is 7. Her son has a lawn mowing business, flyers and everything. Real artwork on the flyers as well. He told us all about the interviews he held in the neighborhood to replace a recently fired employee. And how one of his employees cannot save up any of his money because he can't help but spend it all on LEGOS. I love their family and being with them. The mom is so open to the gospel and kept telling us how she just really wants to know how to build her faith. She is so ready and we cannot wait to continue teaching her. 

Wednesday nothing really happened. My companion was really sick and we had to go to the doctor ALL the day long. 

That night, my companion stayed home and rested and I went on splits with a girl from the ward and did some contacting. It was great, weird to be without my trainer!

Thursday we had another lesson with the 78 year old woman about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It went so well and she is so receptive. It truly is like she already knows all of this, we are just reminding her. I love being with her and I can always feel the spirit so strongly while there.

We talked a lot about the gift of the Holy Ghost and how it can be a comfort to us and a guide and a constant companion. I began to cry during the lesson as I spoke about this gift from our Father in Heaven and realized what a blessing it has been in my life. It is available to all of us, all that our Heavenly Father asks of us to believe in and come unto Him. He loves us so much, I KNOW this, and I KNOW that he never leaves us alone. He can  and will be there for us always, if only we ask. 

Friday we went and visited a less active member and her non-member husband and step-daughter. Her step-daughter is 22. I love her already, Sister Stone and I totally hit it off with her and she really is looking for something in her life. She flat out told us that. She wants to start coming to church with us and hanging out with us as much as possible. We are excited, she is going to be an amazing friend! They are having a wedding at their home on Saturday, so we are going over to help them set up sometime this week. They are awesome, really loved being with them too!

Saturday we helped a member from the ward move. ALL DAY. It was so much fun to do and her kids were hilarious. One of them pretended to be a dog the whole time. They were a blast! Lots of harddddd work. 

That night we had stake conference, the adult session. OH, embarrassing/funny story. The elders come up to us after to tell us that they had tons of leftover food in the kitchen packed up for all the missionaries to take home. They look at me and say, "Sister Kerr, they are talking about you in there. Talking about how much you can eat and that they better pack you some extra." I was so embarrassed! At least I will be remembered though!

Sunday was Stake Conference. There whole theme was missionary work and the restoration. It was so incredible, loved it! 

Then we had dinner at a members house. It was their grandpa's birthday and he was there to celebrate! They were so, SO much fun. I loved being there and I could not stop talking to the grandparents. I love talking to older people. They are so smart and so easy to talk to, with the best stories!

Well, the stories started to get shorter at the end, as usual because I am out of time! Thank you so much everyone for your emails and notes. They mean a lot to me! I love hearing from you and receiving encouragement from so many back home. KEEP IT UP. 

To anyone that is struggling, I bear my testimony to you, that I know that you and I both have a loving Heavenly Father who cares. HE knows us, and He loves us. Even though we may not be all too familiar with His voice and His hand in our lives; I promise you this: He knows and recognizes your voice personally. He loves to be involved in your life and has so many blessings in store for you, all that He asks of us, is that we turn to Him and ask for them. He is there, I know that. 

I love you all SO much, you are in my prayers! Open your mouth and talk to people, it isn't as scary as you think, and you truly will make a difference in someone's life! The time is now to step up and be all that you can, all that your Heavenly Father has planned for you to be.

xoxoxoxo, Sister K

Monday, August 5, 2013

Tuesday was my first full in-field day as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Our ward has splits on Tuesdays. In each ward in the church there is a ward mission leader and then several ward missionaries. Splits is when the ward missionaries go out with the full-time missionaries to do visits to less-active members and investigators of the church. Generally a companionship of missionaries will "split-up" and go out with the ward ones. I was not forced to do so since it was my first day and I did not know anyone. THANK YOU. My companion and I and a young woman preparing to leave on her mission, all went to visit a woman in the ward who is inactive. We had a blast. Her kids were home, her son who is about 6 was absolutely hilarious and was making me so, so, so happy. He got dressed up in his Spiderman costume at dinnertime, but would NOT eat. His mom was getting so frustrated. He wouldn't eat his pizzas because "The peppayonies are too dawk." Hahaha he was SO very upset. We shared a message with her and we could feel the spirit very strong, she's going through a very rough time, but we are contacting her next week when she returns from her vaca. Right when the spirit was the strongest, her son started talking about the gold plates and how you read 'em, not eat on 'em. Nice little comic relief. Hahah and he knew all about the angel Moroni. I loved being there and can't wait to go back.

Wednesday we went to do some contacting of referrals we had received quite awhile ago. No one was home, so we just started driving around. My companion saw one of their past investigators sitting outside in his garage. We pulled over and went over and started chatting with him. I met my first Oregon Lumberjack today! He was awesome, I really loved him. He is very interested in scriptures and loves reading them. He is a Baptist, but really enjoys talking with us about doctrine. He was asking a lot about the trinity and was confused on how they could be three separate beings like we believe. When we finished discussing that he was so relieved and then started asking about where people go when they die, especially people who did not believe in God. Perfect set up for a lovely lesson on the Plan of Salvation! We set a return appointment for Friday to go and teach him about that. It was so exciting. It is very sweet and has been through SO much.

So far, my favorite part of the mission is meeting people and hearing their stories. There are so many people in this world and every single one of them has been through different things and has experienced drastically different situations. I love hearing their stories. LOVE IT.

Then we went and met a less-active member, his wife passed away about a year ago and he is super lonely, he is 90 years old. The bishop asked us to meet with him weekly just to keep him company and get him back to church, he is trying to go to the temple to be sealed to his wife. He is incredible and just kept going on and on about how much he loves us sister missionaries and appreciates us. And he could not stop commenting on how much my smile brightened his day. I loved him.

Once we left his home, his neighbor approached us. I wanted to give him my first Book of Mormon. So we went over to his front yard and talked for quite some time. He gave us a tour of his garden (everyone here has incredible gardens), fed us some of his vegetables and fruits (I ate a baby tomato for this guy, just so I could keep talking to him, that is incredible for me), and then began to express to us why he does not believe in God. I asked him if we could give him a Book of Mormon and come by again to discuss our beliefs with him. He said he had plenty of other books to read and he didn't need one. First shut down. Totally fine. Then I asked if we could come over and work on his garden with him instead. He said yes to that one, yay! We'll get him with kindness.

Thursday was training, ALL THE DAY LONG. We went back up to Portland and had a new missionary training day. It was actually quite wonderful because I got to see all of my MTC district. I miss them so much already, they quite literally became like family.

Oh, they fed us Tilamook ice cream, it's kind of a big deal out here. It was pretty dang good too.

Tonight, we had dinner at a members house. Oh my goodness, this was so much fun! They have like 6 kids, all under 10. 2 are adopted, they were such a blast and their parents are amazing. They were so laid back and let kids be kids. It was a great atmosphere. They were climbing all around the table, getting me pictures of when they were babies, showing me their eyeglasses and telling me all about why they don't like them, eating off of my plate. I loved it, they truly made me so happy.

Friday started off pretty crummy. We had a full day of appointments scheduled and all of them fell through. Including going to the 90 year old's neighbors house to work on his garden. I was so bummed. No one was home, or they had just forgotten about us.

We went to contact a referral for the third try that day, they weren't home again. As we were walking away there was a cute little boy sitting on the stairs with his Grandma. I started talking to them about just normal everyday things, then my companion came over too. We introduced ourselves and the church, asked if she had heard of us at all, and she had! She had actually attended a ward once down in Colorado. I asked her if she had a copy of the Book of Mormon and she said she didn't. I asked if she would like one, and she said YES. I gave her a copy of it, explained it to her and asked her if she would like to learn more. She said YES. And, she kept saying, "I can't wait to start reading this." We have a return appointment to begin teaching her. I was putting everything I have into not hyperventilating.

She is incredible. She was so prepared and so excited. Just think of all the people out there who are waiting, who have been waiting who just want someone to tell them about this gospel. They are there, I promise you! Our spirits are prepared, they are waiting and when we find those prepared spirits its like, "Where have you been, I've been waiting for you. I'm so excited to finally see you." At one point, we all were on the same page, we all yearned to return to our Father in Heaven. We just need to help others remember that.

We went back to the 90 year old's on Saturday to do some service for him with the elders. And when we got there, he gave us a note from his neighbor. He explained to us why he wasn't home when we went to help with his garden, apologized, and invited us back whenever we can. Yahooooooo, I felt a lot better!

Sister Kerr

 Big brother dropping me off at the MTC
 Sister Stone and I
My district in Portland!
 My companion in the MTC, Sister Bloxham
 My district in the MTC