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

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