monday we finished our day off great! we left our dinner appointment and decided to go and try contacting some of our potential investigators. we went over to an apartment complex where there were three different apartments that had potentials. we went and knocked on the first, which is a family that took a book of mormon from sis. stone and i, but we haven't been able to return and teach. once again, they were not home! the other two, we have been trying since i first arrived in Oregon City in July and have NEVER been able to contact them again since the initial time. we decided to just leave the complex and try somewhere else. right as we were about to exit the parking lot, I said, "well maybe we should just try" and sis. stone said, "i was thinking the same thing." we have learned to not question those moments anymore! so we parked the car, and walked over to their building. we knocked on the first and there was no answer. we walk back down the stairs and go over to try the other door. we knock again and no one answered, yet again. i walked away chuckling on the outside, and kind of angry on the inside. as we walked through the parking lot back to the car, this little girl on a bike starts circling around us and nonchalantly says hey to us. we stop and start to talk to her and immediately recognize her as the little girl from the apartment that we had tried last. she acts like she doesn't recognize us for a moment and then totally opens up and exclaims to us that she wants to start going to church with us! she was adorable and just the happiest thing ever. her mom pulled in just as we were talking and she begged us to come introduce ourselves. we went over and told her who we were and that we teach about our Savior, Jesus Christ. she is pregnant and has been quite sick, that's why she hadn't ever answered the door when we had knocked before, all those many, many times before! she thanked us for continuing to try and expressed that they definitely have an interest and want to learn more from us. we got back into the car and just couldn't believe the blessing that had been. no one had been home, but it still worked out the way that it needed to!
tuesday was 17 september 2013, aka, my 2 month mark!
tuesday i realized how obnoxious of a child i was around missionaries. we were over helping one of our members clean and do laundry. she is pregnant and has a house full, so we really wanted to help her out. we finished and were about to leave and three kids started climbing up me like i was some type of ladder, ripped my nametag off and started running around the house with it. then i go to follow them and get it back and a kid attaches himself to my leg. that leaves me to racing around the house like a peg-leg to try and get my nametag back. it sent me back to my childhood days and how fun i thought it was to torment the missionaries in similar ways. i don't understand why it was fun. NOT FUN. but it was funny. for a couple seconds.
there was a relief society activity that night and jennifer, our investigator with baptismal date, came! it was so fun to see her there and interacting with the ward members. it was wonderful and everyone just welcomed her in. it was a clothing exchange, so i got on my thrift store skills and searched high and low and found her some great things that are very cute. she is a pretty quiet woman, at least around us, but she opened up SO much and was just loving being around a bunch of women who were her new friends. i never realized how much of a difference ward activities make for people.
chad, the one who is transitioning over to the young single adult ward, called us tonight to let us know that he had FINALLY found a job and would be starting the next day! it was so awesome to have him call us and tell us how he knew that it was an answer to his prayers and that he recognized God playing a part in his life. it was incredible, INCREDIBLE.
p.s. i found some great things at the clothing exchange. my favorite find was a blue polka-dot dress that is so old lady. i picked it out and come to find out it belonged to one of my favorite people, Nancy (the 78 yr old woman who was baptized last month)! it was hers from when she used to teach school. holy hannah i love it so much now.
as usual, we went to visit ken this week. ken is 90 and is a widower of a year. he is working towards being sealed to his wife this month (so happy!). sis. stone and i got permission to go to the temple with him when it happens, since we have been working with him towards it. but, we keep chastising him that he needs to hurry up before one of us gets transferred! he then began to complain about transfers and how much he hates that we get moved around and that he never knows where we are being moved to. my favorite line from our visit today was, "well they don't need to be so cotton-pickin' mysterious about things. that really bugs me. why don't they just say where you're going!" i have NO idea what that means or what he is referring to, but throw in his very unique accent and it was straight up hilarious!
today, i realized that i will probably be training a new sister missionary in this area in like 4 weeks. i almost puked! it was kind of nerve-racking.
thursday we had our zone meeting. our zone consists of 2 districts. we all met at our building and pres. and sis. morby joined us as well. it was a blast and the spirit was very strong there. our zone leaders are great and really bring the spirit in while they are teaching. and of course, pres. morby gave us some great advice. i love my mission president!
we also met for the first time with a less-active family. they are older and have members for a very long time. it breaks my heart that they were offended by something or someone in the church and have not been back yet. the wife quietly said, "i still pray that someday we will come back." my heart just aches for them and i hope and hope that someday soon they will come back and be able to forgive and forget! they are wonderful people and we will continue working with them.
tonight we taught yahir, who is ten! his mother is hispanic and and taking the lessons from the spanish elders. we walked into the home and sit down. he looks at us, then his mom, and then very seriously says, "uhm, i really want to be baptized!" it was basically the greatest feeling ever and his little face was just so full of joy. he is so excited and loves learning, and just SOAKS it up, like no other. it is incredible to me that when people truly are prepared, the gospel comes so naturally to them, just like they are remembering. we committed him and his mom to baptism on october 5th. they were kind of taken aback by the date and that it was so soon. but, we know they are ready and that we can teach them all they need to know by that time. baptism will bring their sweet family so many blessings!
sis. stone woke up very sick and couldn't even talk because of an insanely sore throat. so we stayed home for most of the day, but because of our incredible ward members, we were still able to go and do our appointments. a sister from the ward would stay with sis. stone and then another sister would go with me to our appointments.
highlight of the day was teaching alondra, who is 14. she is yahir's sister and hadn't been home the night before when we taught the restoration. so a girl from the ward who was her age, her mom, and i all went over to teach her about the restoration! it went so well. she is so wonderful at asking questions and so sincere. she loved the concept of prayer and that we have a loving heavenly father who wants to listen to us. we all knelt down and she offered the closing prayer. it made the sister from the ward cry. it was so good and the spirit was there! then we ended up staying another 45 minutes just talking and getting to know her better and laughing our heads off at each other's stories. she is a great girl!
there was a big ward service project at the oregon city high school, that we weren't able to attend since sis. stone was sick. BUT, two of the less-actives we are working with, that we had invited, went. and apparently they had a great time and really connected with people from the ward. it was so good to hear and i am so grateful that we can trust the OC 4th ward with the people we are working with. we are so blessed here!
we had dinner with the squires, our ward mission leader's family and we invited jennifer, our investigator. she came and had a blast with the family there! we then taught a lesson in their home and she could feel the spirit. it is amazing to me how much the spirit resides in member's homes. and she recognized it as well. she could really feel it!
yahir and alondra attended church with us on sunday. it was so good to have them there with us. it makes a world of difference to have investigators there with us! an assistant ward mission leader was called, brother conner, which to me means that BIG THINGS ARE COMING.
we had dinner with the conner's that night and they invited jennifer over as well. sis. conner and jennifer connected like no other! it was incredible. they just both totally understood each other and were able to talk about things that are holding her back. friends for jennifer have made all of the difference. she was so tired of meeting with just us, who talk about baptism and church stuff, she needed a close friend! and now that she has that in several people in the ward, just from this week, she is progressing!
in the book "the power of everyday missionaries" it talks about a ward in Ireland that was consistently having an insane amount of baptisms every year. when asked about it, one of the members said, "God can trust us with His children that have been prepared. He knows we will take care of them." that really struck me! i can see it happening in Oregon City 4th ward. God is trusting these saints with HIS precious children and the work is going forth.
family-look at where you are at with missionary work and make plans on how you can be someone God can trust more with His children. this mindset will make all the difference.
i love each of you so stinkin' much! thanks for all the encouragement from my family and my friends. thank you especially to people just droppin' me a note. that means so much and helps me out more than you can ever imagine. if you are thinking about writing me, please do. i would truly love to hear from you!
xoxoxox, Sister Kerr