Tuesday, October 29, 2013

i feel like ammon!

What a crazy and good week. This is so hard, by this I mean being in a new area, with a new companion and starting from the BEGINNING! Hard of course is good. I swear, leaving Oregon City was as bad as leaving home all over again though. I have been homesick for that ward and area! I had no idea that would happen.
As I was kind of feeling bad for myself, this morning I was reading in Alma 17 for my personal study. In this part of the Book of Mormon Ammon, Alma and the sons of Mosiah are reunited for a brief amount of time. While together they express the joy they have found in missionary work and in serving others. I was sitting there, relating to them and thinking back to last week in Oregon City and the joy that I felt there, with Sister Stone and with the ward members and with the people we had taught and I could completely relate to their experience. With the baptisms of Yahir and Jennifer last week - I have never felt SO happy as I did then. I was feeling a little frustrated that I wasn't feeling that way about here yet, that I wasn't as excited and motivated as I had been in Oregon City. I wanted to feel the way I did before! I continued reading and it then began to tell about how each of them then went their separate ways, all alone to continue on in the work. Ammon went, all on his own to the people of King Lamoni to begin preaching to them. He didn't know a soul (neither do I), he had no idea where he was (me neither!), and he knew where to start (now I do as well). He started by LOVING THE PEOPLE. He went to the king and asked him how he could serve him. He went out and defended the people he had just barely met and put his life on the line for them. Something that REALLY stood out to me, not sure why, but Ammon referred to these people as his brethren, after he had only known them for a few days. It really put it into perspective for me. These people in Aloha are my brothers and sisters, regardless of how long I have known them. They are God's children and I am here to love and serve them. NO MORE SELF PITY, SISTER KERR. And what an answer to a pray this was! I have been praying and pleading that I will quickly adjust to this transfer and this chapter this morning was a total wake-up call.

So last monday was our first day in Aloha. I already talked about it last week I think, but I wanted to add in one thing. My first dinner was clam chowder, if that is not a good omen, I don't know what is! 
Also, we are the second set of missionaries in Aloha 2nd ward. We met the elders, they are E. Allred (been out 9 months, in Aloha 4.5 months) and E. Freshour (got here today!).

So today we took our pday and some exciting, mission drama happened! So, we did all of our regular pday stuff - nap, email, shop, write. We ended the day by meeting with our ward mission leader. His name is Brother Jenson! He is super awesome and was just called on Sunday. Woohoo, exciting stuff. He is very sweet and willing to help. We show up to this meeting and the elders were meeting us there. Elder Allred comes in on crutches. As you all are pretty well aware, elders love to go play basketball on their pdays. So, our elders were out playing and E. Allred broke his ankle. And now he has to go home for surgery...He was the only one who knew a thing about Aloha 2nd ward and the things going on here! Now there are four completely oblivious missionaries and a brand new mission leader in this ward. This is going to be incredibly interesting and a whole lot of fun!

We had our first district meeting today. We are in the Beaverton West Zone and there are a lot more sister missionaries in this zone than Oregon City! We have a good zone and I am sure they are going to be a lot of fun with time. 
Later that night we had dinner with the Levenseller's, she is the Young Women's president and I have kind of volunteered them to be my Aloha parents now that the Spravzoff's are gone! They are wonderful and a whole ton of fun. 

We had training with all of the new missionaries and trainers in Portland, with President and Sister Morby. It was so fun and I got to spend quite a bit of time with Sister Bloxham (MTC companion) and Sister Stone. I also got to spend some good quality time with President and Sister Morby. I feel so stinkin' lucky that I have had so many opportunities to spend time with them and get to know them more personally than a lot of missionaries do. They just make me so, so happy!
We received a referral from mormon.org this week and we had scheduled to go and contact her tonight. I was freaking out excited! We were so blessed to receive this referral! She has been prepared and it almost seems too good to be true! Her name is Heidi and she is just soaking up the things we were able to talk about. She has an 18yr old daughter, who has 2 daughters, and an 11yr old son. She was basically begging to come to church on Sunday, which has never happened! And she said, "I've been going to other churches, but an hour just doesn't do it for me. I need more!" Holy hannah, someone who will truly appreciate the 3 hr meetings :) 

Today we got to meet with our zone leaders and new elder. Now in our ward is Elder Pugmire, who will train Elder Freshour. We were able to coordinate together and decide how we wanted to all work in the ward together. It was extremely helpful and a bit overwhelming. 
The elders gave us one of the investigators from the area. Her name is Claudia and she is 17! She is waiting until she is 18 to be baptized because of her dad. She reminds me of miss Morgan, SO much. She LOVES learning about the church and asks so many wonderful questions. She keeps a little notebook of questions that she finds while reading the Book of Mormon and then asks them at the beginning of our lesson. She is so sweet and very excited to be baptized, besides that she will have to stand up in front of everyone at church after she is baptized to be confirmed! She doesn't want attention from everybody. I am really excited for her. 

We had another lesson with Heidi today and taught the restoration. She loved it and it just really stuck with her. It was a wonderful experience! We had a member there with us as well. It has been incredibly difficult to find people to go out with us, since we don't know anybody. I had a really strong feeling that we should try and bring Sister Brown with us, the bishop's wife. We called and she said she would come and they ended up connecting perfectly. Sister Brown shared her testimony in the EXACT way that Heidi needed to hear it. It was really humbling to see again that this truly is HIS work. 

The best thing about sunday was getting to put a face to the names I had heard all week! So many people came up and said, "Oh hey, we talked on the phone on this day." I completely forgot how many people I had called and talked to! This week was very strange feeling to say the least.
Favorite quote today was from Sister Levenseller : Mi bano es su bano. 
Our apartment is like legitimately 20 mins away! We don't have enough time or miles to go back during the day. So I called her and asked if I could please come use her restroom! Hahah, oh the joys of mission life! And that is what she said to me on the way back out the door. She is so funny.

All in all, I survived this week and it was a pretty good one. I am beginning to love this area and these people. And God gave me a reassuring kick in the pants this morning that I need to put more into it! So here I go, putting my ALL into it. I love each of you so very much and appreciate all the emails and notes I get from you. Please keep it up, you are ALWAYS in my prayers and thoughts. Love, love, love, love, love you. 

Sister Kerr

Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Greetings from the beautiful city of Aloha (ah-low-uh)! Transfers happened yesterday and I am now in Aloha training a wonderful new sister, Sister Dittmar. We are so excited to be here and to get to WORK.

Last week was the most wonderful way to ever leave an area! I will cherish, like really CHERISH my time in Oregon City. The people I taught there will always have a very special place in my heart and the members as well. I cannot wait to go back there again!

The last p-day of the transfer we do zone pday. so we all got together at the stake center and played sports, games and watched Ephraim's Rescue. It was a blast. Angelica, a member in 3rd ward, came to hangout with us and we had a great old time. She is so ridiculously funny, I can hardly take it! Then we went to the ward's Empty Nesters party for dinner and ate dinner out of a coffin by candlelight. The Colwell's fed us and they are WAY into Halloween, it was a lot of fun! Then we had our weekly FHE at the Conner's. Sister Conner taught about baptism, since Jennifer and Yahir's baptisms were this week. Then we made 25 invites for Yahir to handout to his friends at school. That boy is just the sweetest thing ever. I adore him and I am so excited for him to be baptized.

This morning we had another lesson with Kirsty, the woman from New Zealand. She started off by telling us that she isn't sure that she has a belief in God and that she doesn't know how there could be one true church and if there was, how she would know. As she was saying all this, my heart is racing because I just want to shout out, "pick me, pick me. THE RESTORATION!!!" So then, we taught the Restoration and about Joseph Smith and how he asked and received an answer. She felt the spirit, I know she did and she promised to pray. To really pray and to ask God for an answer. She expressed that she is afraid to pray because she is afraid she won't get an answer and she is afraid of acting on her answer, if she got it. I could relate to her! She is so wonderful and is really progressing well. She is such a sweetie, I really want her to come to church soon! 
Whenever we go to visit Ken he ends the lesson by giving whatever sister from the ward we brought with us, 3 hugs, "one for Sister Kerr, one for Sister Stone, and one for you!" I am going to miss that!

We had another lesson with the less-active family, the Greisen's. It went really well; we taught about our baptism covenants and the reason we take the sacrament. We invited them to come to church and they really seemed like they might, but they didn't! It's okay, success is measured by your invitations, not by how many people actually follow through!
We also had a lesson with Sharon tonight at Ellen's home. Ellen was one of our less-actives, who is now doing much better! I love her to death though and it has been the most incredible thing to see her progress and open up to this ward. It brings tears to my eyes even thinking about her progress! So, onto Sharon! Sharon was wonderful as usual. That woman just soaks the gospel up and is so prepared! She loves learning and is so excited about everything she is learning! Before we left, we told them transfers were this weekend. Ellen said, "You two are the BEST missionaries I have ever seen together. So in sync and loving and truly willing to work. I love your energy. You are the most Christian people I have ever met, you really act on what you teach." Ahhh, the most beautiful compliment i have ever received and I am SO grateful that I got to be apart of her journey!

Not a whole lot happened on Thursday. Yahir had his baptism interview, which was incredibly exciting! It is kind of nerve-racking because it is kind of a test on us to see how much we have taught them. But, he knew it all (not surprised, he is so smart)! 

Friday Sis. Stone and I taught the last district meeting of the transfer. We taught it on having faith in setting goals, which was a wonderful topic for us, considering all the miracles we have witnessed that have made our goals become a reality! It went so well, and I adore that sister missionary!
We went out to eat with Sis. Turner, the Spravzoff's and the past elder who is baptizing Jennifer! It was so much fun to be with all of them, kinda big last shabang! I LOVE OUR WARD.
Then to end the night, Jennifer was baptized! It was just splendid and the spirit was so stinkin' strong. A lot of member's from the ward showed up to support her, which was exactly what she needed.

This morning we went over to a potential's home and helped her paint it before she moves in! AND WE GOT TRANSFER CALLS. We were both asked if we would be willing to train, which is exciting news for both of us! So then I was like positive they would have me stay in OC, since that is where I am familiar. I had convinced myself that Sis. Stone was going since she had been here longer, so when I heard, "Sister Kerr, you're going car", I just started crying! I was terrified.
Then we had the incredible baptism of Yahir! It was a beautiful service with his family there. I cried through most of it, both happy and sad tears. Mostly happy though to see him be baptized and make this HUGE first step. But, also sad that Alondra had decided to wait and now I am leaving! I WILL be there for her baptism though!

I got about 25 cards at church from the most wonderful members on earth all wishing me the best! I needed that. It was a beautiful day. And Serena, who is leaving on her mission next week gave her farewell talk. I am so happy I got to be there for it!
The rest of the day was spent saying goodbye to people and promising to be back!

transfer day! the Spravzoff's drove us down to transfers. We had a trainer's meeting at 11:30, then transfers at 3. I got to meet my new missionary. Her name is Sister Dittmar and she is from San Antonio (Whitney!). We are so excited to serve in Aloha together as the new, long-awaited set of sisters! 

I am missing everyone from both home and Oregon City now! It is like my home just keeps extending and I am finding people I love everywhere. The work is going to be good and I am going to love my new investigators here as much as anyone! The church will be just as true here as anywhere else, and they will need it! 

I love you all so much, keep being missionaries and being examples. I am spending the rest of the day writing back those I have not written! Sorrrrrry. Love you, xoxoxoxox

Sister Kerr

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Obi Wan Kanobi with her first Tamale.

Hi family and friends! Yet another wonderful week has come and gone. Time is flying and transfers are about here (Oct.21), which is CRAZY. I am so anxious to hear what will be going on!
Sneak peek into OC 4th ward! We are getting a second set of missionaries, we will have a set of elders to help us in the work. We (Sis. Stone, the ward and myself) are all SO excited. Big, big things are coming. Obviously big enough things that we need MORE MISSIONARIES! We are so thrilled to be apart of this wonderful time.
Monday was a wondrous p-day! I had the best time ever talking back and forth with my mom, dad AND Addey. It was basically the most wonderful thing that happened that day! I loved being able to hear from all of you and have enough time to write you back instantly. I promise, I am trying to write ALL of you back as quickly as I can, but I am so stinkin' busy! It is a work in progress though.
After p-day we had dinner with the Johnson Family. They are so fun! They have two little girls that are just the cutest things! So, we show up to dinner and we see our potential investigator's children! Slightly confused, but we start to chat with them. Then, our potential investigator, Esther, whom we have NOT been able to contact in about 2 months, shows up for dinner! Her and Sis. Johnson have become pretty good friends and do things together and help each other out quite a bit (insert testimony on fellowship, AGAIN). It was wonderful! By the end of dinner, Esther invited us over to her home for dinner and told us she is still interested in learning more. Yay!
(The Johnson's and their rat, Duke)

Straight from dinner we went to the Conner's home for FHE again. They have allowed us to use their home to do a FHE for our investigators every week. It is so wonderful and envelops Jennifer, Yahir and Alondra SO nicely! Kerr Families, (Sky and Whitney too!), offer this to your missionaries. They will love you forever and ever and you will provide instant fellowship to those they are teaching! Do it, please! And tell me how it goes. At this FHE, I was talking to Yahir and I said, "Hey, Yahir, say 'Kerr'" and I sounded it out for him. He repeated it back perfectly! Then I said, "ok, that's my last name!" He says ok and continues on doing what he was. 2 minutes later I hear him yell, "Sister Keeeer." I love it too much to ever correct him again :)
Tuesday we had a lesson with our investigator Sharon. It went so well and Bro and Sis Carlson are getting a lot more comfortable with sitting in on lessons with us! We talked to her about baptism and were able to hear her experiences with prayer. She had a dream about the church right after she had prayed about whether she should be baptized, and she said she knows that is her answer! She then asked us, "Can I just read more of the Book of Mormon before I get baptized?" OF COURSE YOU CAN. It is so amazing to have an investigator who has that true desire to read, ask and then know! Just like Moroni's promise in the BoM, Sharon is a wonderful example of following through on his promise.
Later, we went over and had another game night with the little boy who thinks I am a Jedi. This time he was able to pin it down to what Jedi's I am. Apparently I look just like Obi Wan Kanobi and Manny combined! Hahah, it was so funny and we were able to figure out that it is because I wear my hair in a ponytail. Silly kid.
We went over to Alondra and Yahir's to talk about baptism and see where they are standing with that. Originally, the goal was to have them all baptized together, but Miriam (the mom) is still struggling with smoking, so we had the intentions of going in and telling her that it is the best for her children to continually be held back from baptism. We go in and sit down, and before we say anything, Miriam basically repeats to us what we had planned to say to her. It was really incredible and Yahir is so excited for his baptism, which will be on the 19th! Alondra still doesn't feel like she is ready. I know that she is, but I think she is nervous about leaving her mom behind. They have a really close bond and I can see myself doing the same thing in her situation. I know they will ALL be baptized, it is just a matter of time!
Wednesday we had a lesson with Bro. Bruce again! Ken came with us, which was a hilarious combination! It was a pretty good time, at least for me. AND, he said yes to church on Sunday!!!! Yay, it has been a month in the making so we are very excited!
Then, we met with the Shrives! They are the ones from my first week, with the fancy old cars! He is a Less active member and his wife is not a member. It was supposed to be with both of them, but she was super busy, so it ended up with just him. Which was surprisingly good! It never ceases to amaze me how perfectly things end up, especially when they go nowhere near how they were planned to! He quit coming when he was about 18 and he is probably in his 60's now. He shared some really cool experiences that he has had over the years that have helped him to still have a strong faith in Christ. He asked what he can do to make sure that neither of us get transferred and said to make sure to come back before we leave! Haha, that is definitely the question of the month!
Thursday we had our zone meeting! And I had my 3 month interview with president. I love President Morby and the interview was wonderful and so helpful. He asked me if I feel like I am ready to train...I said of course I'm ready if that is what he needs me to do! He said I have been on his mind for a trainer for quite some time. Nerve-racking! Either way it goes, I will be SO okay with. We'll see though!
Jennifer had her baptismal interview with Pres. that day too! So, while we waited we picked hymns for her baptism, which is the 18th! It was wonderful :) She is SO ready for this day.
Then, we had dinner with Esther and her family. Woohoo! It was so great. We all click so well and had just a great, fun time! She invited us back next week and we are going to teach the plan of salvation. Esther is so prepared for the gospel, (i think)! We shared a message at the end of dinner and she just shared her outlook on life and her questions and it was incredible! Ahhhh, I am excited! And her kids are a hoot! They are 10 and 7 and are just hilarious. I let them play with my hair and it was just lovely, I should've taken a picture!
On Friday we have time to go to the library and do "mormon.org" time. It is so great and really rejuvenates you for the week! I was watching some of the mormon messages and had the most wonderful idea pop into my head! I am going to invite Alondra to go to seminary. She keeps saying that she knows she needs to be baptized, but she wants to learn more. We have gone through all of the lessons with her already and were kind of stumped on where to go next. So, if she is willing, this will help her a lot!
Later, we went to the Chavez's to make tamales! It was so much fun and I had never had one before, let alone make them. We also did makeovers, Alondra is in love with makeup (like Addey), and is really good at it. She has SO much and does all these fun colors. It was a blast. Their family is just so wonderful and so loving to us. We got on the topic of transfers and were all nearly in tears! It is going to be so hard to leave them, whenever that will be! Yahir's baptism day will be the day we find out what is going to happen. I invited her to seminary and she said yes! All around, it was a great visit with this fabulous family!
We went to contact a former investigator after dinner with Sis. Spravzoff. Her name is Crystal, and she was home when we stopped by! She said that they (her and her husband) are still interested, but have just been so busy! We asked her if we could help with anything. She said no, then we explained that when we ask that, we truly mean ANYTHING. We asked if there was any help she needed with laundry or dishes! Now, we are meeting her at the laundromat on Tuesday to help her with that and I am so excited. She is the sweetest thing ever!
 (let us make tortillas!)

(can i hear a "HOT TAMALE!" (we made over 100))

(extreme makeover: Sister Kerr edition)

Then, we went with Sis. Spravzoff to the grocery store and stocked up on snacks for our weekly snack marathon at their house! We got a nice foot long sub, taquitos, ice cream and chips and salsa, and Dr. Pepper! They are the greatest, love them to death, cannot wait for you all to come and meet my ward family here!
We had our SPC meeting again for the month. Waffles and eggs and sausage and fruit! It was a blast, as usual! Our stake is so helpful and SO missionary focused right now. Right after we went and did a service project. We were raking leaves on this nice trail they have. And I am a pro-raker! One of the girls from our ward asked me, "did you grow up around lots of trees?" Hahah, oh yes I did! Thank you for teaching me to work, mom and dad. So many of the missionaries just didn't have a clue.
(rake, rake, rake, senoras!)

We took Alondra, Yahir and Miriam on a tour of the Stake Center where they will be baptized! It was so fun and Yahir is even more excited! Then we planned his whole big day and got him a jumpsuit. The first one we had him try on was too small. Haha, it was so tight! He went back to the bathroom to change and he was stuck in it! He started yelling for his mom. It was adorable. As we were leaving, I put my arm around Alondra and told her how much I loved her family and we started to cry again thinking about leaving! I love the people here so much, it is crazy!
(me in my bed!)
Happy Birthday Skyler!  Today it was announced to our ward that we are getting a second set of missionaries! Everyone is so excited, with good reason too.
We had a lesson with Jennifer and everything is looking good for her baptism on Friday. One of the elders who had taught her is coming to baptize her. He is home already, so it is really special that he is coming back for her. She is secretly excited! Jennifer doesn't show her emotions all too much, that's why I say secretly!
Then we went and had a game night with the Chavez Family. They are a hoot!
 (Game night take: one)

 (Game night take: two)

 (Yahir and I at game night)

(WORD. sis. stone is w. alondra is o. yahir is r. i am d. with our best punk faces!)

(This is Suzy!)
President gave me a scripture to read after our interview. John 16:33. It helped me a lot! Read it. I have the line of a song stuck in my head the past couple days, from How Firm a Foundation. it says, "For I am thy God and will still give thee aid." I know that my Heavenly Father is with me. He asks what at times may feel like a lot, but He will still give us the help that we need to accomplish the things He asks of us. Our burdens and trial can and will become light through Him! I KNOW this is true. I love each of you so much! Go be a fellowshipper :)
xoxoxox, Sister K

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

playing chicken foot.

Hello from the beautiful oregon city! what a week it has been, this one has been a roller coaster for me and i am SO incredibly grateful for the prayers and support that i have from you, i have needed it! you are always in my thoughts and my prayers! one thing i have learned out here is that emotions are just so much more extreme - the good is SO good and the bad is SO blehhhhhhh, and add in there that I am a girl and it can kind of get a little bit crazy, but i am loving every minute of being here, even the bleh moments. because the good moments make everything so worth it!

first off.
//HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO SKYLER AND AMELIA KERR! i love you two so much and hope that you have a splendid week and eat lots of cake and send me a picture of little rosie eating some of it too :) and a letter would be nice!
//sorry to whitney and macey for scolding you for not writing me, two of your letters were lost in the mail and i got them this past week! love you. macey wrote in there, "we just got this letter returned to us, you probably think we don't love you." you can be darn sure that's what i thought! but, i got them now, so that is all that matters.
//mom, once again you continue to send me talks like an inspired, spiritual genius, right when i need them! thank you :)
//addey, i'm sorry my letter took so long to get to you, I DO LOVE YOU. and i loved your letter <3 you are in my prayers little seester, wish i could be there to take care of you like you took care of me when i was broken! are you letting people sign your cast?
//daddy, i loved your email this past week. i ALWAYS look forward to your letters and hearing about what is going on! they make me SO happy.
//gma and gpa! i heard you are moving, wish i was there to help out in the move, but then again, i would probably drive gma insane with my complaints of it being too hot. and who knows? i would probably assume we were there when in reality we would be just stopping at a dump station ;) please tell me you remember that, or else that sounds SO bad!
//KYLE COPELAND. you are home and are my hero! i love you so much and am so happpy that you and your sweet little family (that i love a ton) are all back together. xoxoxooxxooxoxox (share that with the whole copeland crew)

okay, let's see how much of this week i can sum up!

so for p-day last week we went over to a sister in the ward's home. she is from brazil and has been wanting us to come over and make food with her! it was so much fun and we made a whole ton of delicious food! i can totally make it when i get home. i am getting a variety of stuff even if i am in oregon! she has a 4 year old son who is so stinkin' funny! he kept dragging me around by the hand to show me everything, EVERYTHING. he took me into the backyard and said, "come see where the cat poop is." hahaha, so literally everything, no thanks, bud. 

then we went to our assistant ward mission leaders' home for a family home evening night with alondra and yahir! it was so, so good. sis. conner taught a lesson on grace that was just perfect. alondra and yahir are SO smart when it comes to the gospel. i know that i have said this before, but it truly is like these things are just coming back as a remembrance to them! yahir cannot say my name, he calls me Seester Keer, i try not to laugh anymore, but it is just so cute! i don't know if i told you this last time, but at church last week, yahir threw his leg over the bench in front of us and rolled on over so that he could get to primary quicker. and right before that, he had come back from the bathroom and crawled under the bench to sit by us again. this kid just makes my day, every time we are with him! at the end of the night, i had them pull up whitney's video so that they could all see, EVERYone was bawling. you have a special family, whitney copeland, that pulls at a lot of people's heartstrings!

tuesday morning we had a lesson with a gal named, kirsty. she is from new zealand! {S/O TO SISTER FREEMAN! ya, so her mother lives back in NZ on the river that they shoot on for one of the scenes in LOTR. holy cow, i was freaking! and sis. stone has never seen LOTR?! p.s. i don't know if i have expressed this enough, but so you all know, I LOVE SISTER STONE. we are so afraid of being split up, but we already have a bucket list to complete together after the mission!!}  ok, back to kirsty! so she had a best friend who served a mission, and would do church things with her, then she moved here and has never really pursued the church. she was in our area book as a potential so we set up an appointment to go and meet with her. we went and taught about the book of mormon and really got to know her. she is so sweet and a lot of fun! we go back again tomorrow! she said she is not interested in joining the church, but is interested in learning more! BINGO.

for lunch we went to taco del mar because we had a gift card from one of our members. i ordered and then noticed this lady standing right near us. sis. stone asked her if we had cut her and began to apologize. the lady said, "no! i just want to pay for your lunch." so sweet, she was related to one of the members in our ward and said she doesn't ever get to feed the missionaries where she lives and really wanted to pay for our food. it was so thoughtful! people love missionaries, which is good, because i NEED to feel loved sometimes!

we had dinner with one of our members named melissa and her family. afterwards i taught the wonderful game of CHICKEN FOOT. her kids are so funny and i of course won, because i am a pro at that game. it made me excited to play with the whole family again!

we went over to alondra's to have a lesson and sat down to the table to do some chattin! then the topic of homework came up, from her mother, of course! she hadn't done it yet, so i was assigned as the math tutor for the night. good thing i know how to use a textbook, because i could not remember that stinkin' freshman math! it was so fun to be with their family, sittin' around the table doing homework, listening to sis. stone try and learn spanish. hahah, so funny!

our less active, bro bruce accepted an invitation to conference and then to church the following week - FINALLY! it was so fulfilling!

then, we had a lesson with a new investigator, sharon! she is wonderful and very excited to learn more about the gospel! we meet with her at our bishop's parents' home. they are so stinkin' hilarious and kind of remind me of gma and gpa pence! last time we met there, they set us up in the living room and left, then we couldn't find them after! this time, we asked them to stay and the man, was complaining that it felt like relief society with all these women. we told him he could leave if he wanted, his wife glared at us and said, "no he can't he is staying right here!"

thursday we got to go to the portland temple and do a sesssion! it was gorgeous and so nice to be there. it was so strange to go without anyone of my family! the spirit is always strong though. the temple really reemphasized to me this time the importance of family! 

we went and played games with a less-active and her family tonight. the 4 year old son was playing a star wars video game and he asked me to come help. i told him i am terrible at video games and said, "do i look like i would be good at star wars?!" he very seriously said, "yes, sister kerr, you look like a jedi!"  iilove that compliment!

i cant remember! and i am almost out of time!

we watched conference with the spravzoff's today and had a blast! i love their family so much and just feel so at home over with them!
(This was conference weekend)

then we had a lesson with jennifer and sis. conner came with us. it was really good and we were able to plan for her baptism which is on the 18th! we are so excited. she opened up a lot to us and is really excited for this next step in her life. 

conference was so good! we watched it with the conner's and alondra and yahir came too! it was so fun and as always, very uplifting! :)

Friday, October 4, 2013

welcome home kyle.

fall has come with a vengeance! it has been storming like crazy this past week. realllllllly windy and tons of water. but, i LOVE it. my rain coat never leaves my side now and i have learned that umbrellas are for weenies! people recognize me as a true "oregonian" because i do not use one, SCORE, i am getting great rapport (thanks for that vocab word Mr. Lanious) with these people! but yeah, i am loving the fall weather and all of the leaves that are blowing into our entryway and the crispness of the air. it always has been and always will be my favorite season!
even though sis. stone was sick, she pushed through it so that we could go shopping. a girl can do a lot, if it means shopping! we went with one of the members in the ward, sis. johnson. she is skyler's age and is the best! she is so stinkin' funny and is just a riot. we went and i got some boots, because, like i said, it is windy and cold now! so by the end of the day, sis. stone had lost her voice completely, which is SO bad for missionary work. so we stayed in another night, but it is ok, we made the most of it and had a blast. the blast consisted mostly of me talking her head off because she couldn't say anything. hahah, we have really learned to love each other and have a lot of fun together, even when the circumstances aren't that great!

tuesday we had our weekly district meeting. our district leader, has each companionship prepare a lesson for the training and practice, and then he picks a pair to teach it. then, each of us are going into the meeting already exposed to the topic, it is quite helpful. but, he keeps picking the zone leaders to teach the lessons, which cracks me up! i think he is mad at them or something, because without fail, they have taught like four times this transfer, it is so funny to me. but, they are wonderful teachers and we can always feel the spirit when they are teaching! they prepare so well together and really portray their message well. after, we practiced extending baptismal invitations and talked about why they are so important. it was a wonderful practice and applied really well to this week. baptism is such an important part of this gospel and if we truly understand why it is important, there is nothing that would keep us from it. 

today was ken day again. he is so funny and he hates rules and being told what to do, so sometimes the commandments are a bit difficult! he has a date set for his sealing, it is on november 7th! i am so happy for him, and i hope that i am still here!

we had another lesson with yahir and alondra and of course it went beautifully. those two are just the perfect investigators and so darn happy! we taught the plan of salvation and when we talked about the premortal existence and living with our Father before, yahir said, "i wish i could remember when i was with Him." holy cow that got me and has really stuck with me. Pres. Uchtdorf said in one of his talks, "though they do not remember, they too at one time yearned to return to their Father again." that is one of my favorite quotes now, and yahir illustrated it perfectly to me. he can't remember, but he wants to, and i get to help him on the path so that he can live with Him again. after the lesson their aunt that lives with them and speaks zero english, made us hot chocolate and laid out graham crackers for us in their tiny little apartment. we had so much fun just chattin' with them and enjoying each other's company. they make me so happy and we make them happy too, they are always so excited to meet with us! i love them. 

today was our first FULL day back since sis. stone has been sick and it was exhausting! 

first, we met with bro. bruce again. after we left the lesson, we were reminiscing on our first visit there and totally cracking up! it had been so awkward and it is miraculous how much he has opened up to us and how much we love meeting with him and he loves meeting with us. he is just a crack up. he has wild, wild hair (like einstein) and electric blue eyes and he always looks like he is just going to pass out from exhaustion during our lessons.

we got to go over and help out nancy some more, by going through more of her boxes. we came across a box of old pictures, which are my favorite! i got to see her on her wedding day when she was 16 years old. she was darling. then she came across an album of her husband when he was a child. she said, "oh now isn't he darling? now you understand why i was so head over heels for him!" basically the most adorable thing ever. i hope i find someone i love enough to talk about him like that for over 60 years! that is a darn long time. 

we received a referral back on monday for someone named steven. we decided to go and contact him today! we type the address into the gps and end up at the jail. i laugh and retype it into the gps thinking i must have messed it up, nope i was right! into the jail we trotted. i had never been in a jail and had no idea that we could just walk in there and set up an appointment with someone! it kind of scared me and i was pretty nervous, but it was wicked exciting. what better time in your life to want to hear the gospel of Jesus Christ!

i wrote in my journal, "i really need a letter from one of my sisters, i miss them so bad today!"

i got a letter from  my mom and addey today! answer to my prayers, literally!

this morning we went and helped ken with his lawn. we mowed and fertilized it before winter gets here. i love doing service for people, for a couple of reasons. 1// of course i love helping people and it makes me feel good. 2// i feel like a normal human being while mowing the lawn again. 3// i get to wear my pants. ken was a hoot as usual. he hates that we come and help him, well he loves it too. he is so embarrassed to have us do HIS yardwork. he is a bit of a stubborn old man!

we had another lesson with yahir today. at the end we had his mom, miriam, and alondra come in so that we could talk to them about baptism all together. alondra helped by translating into spanish for her mom. they're still kind of hesitant, just because they all want to be sure and ALL want to be ready together. it is kind of difficult because we can't teach them all together, so they are at different levels. yahir asked his mom to say the closing prayer, she said, "no only spanish." yahir said, "that's ok!" we all knelt down and miriam offered a prayer in spanish, i have no idea what she said, but the spirit was so strong! i loved seeing their family kneeling down together praying about baptism and the things we have been teaching them. i made my heart so warm. 

we invited alondra to mutual and a girl named kayla, who's mom is a less-active member. it was the best mutual ever! they did a beauty pageant, which was hilarious and they felt so welcomed and just warmed up to the girls so much! it was a perfect segway to bringing them into the ward. it could not have gone any better! like i said last week, the Lord is trusting our ward with His precious children.

today we met again with brother bruce. i mentioned last time that he always looks like he is going to fall asleep and today he DID. funniest thing ever and one of the hardest times i've had with holding in my laughter. he was a total chatterbox when we first got there and were visiting, just wanted to tell us everything that was going on. then we had an opening prayer and started into the lesson. sis. stone started to read a scripture to him and i looked up and he was actually asleep. i try not to bust up, but then sis. stone and i made eye contact - bad idea! so then i say something loud to wake him up, he looks at me and i think, "well maybe reading is a bad idea, let's just try and talk about it and get him talking again." so i start talking about the scripture in easier terms and bearing my testimony, while we are making eye contact he passes out! hahaha, i am boring!

that evening we had another lesson with alondra. we taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ and talked a lot about why we need baptism. we also talked a ton about the holy ghost and the blessing that can be to each of us. she told us that she knows that she needs to be baptized and she will be, she just doesn't know if she wants to right now. she has had experiences with feeling the holy ghost in the past, but she said, "i just want to know, i want a sign from heavenly father that this is what he wants me to do." we talked a little more, then she went to say something and couldn't, because she had started to cry. she looked shocked and said, "i have never felt like this before, why am i crying, it feels good." by the end alondra had committed to baptism and said, "before, i was praying because you guys were asking me to, now i am going to pray because i want to feel that again." what a rewarding thing to hear! she is doing this because she knows that is what He wants her to do, not us. their family is working towards oct. 19, that is when they will all be ready together. i am so, so, SO happy to be a part of their lives, i just love them so much.

today we went to the church and helped sister coy. sister coy is a less-active and her husband and children are not members. she was putting on a baby shower for her visiting teacher, sister arendes, and asked for our help in set-up and prep. it was so fun to help her out and she has opened up to us an incredible amount. she told us that her daughter has expressed a desire to be baptized and said it would be okay for us to talk to her about it! we have been trying to see where things would go with their family, and having the mother tell us that was huge! the baby shower was a blast too. and we got sent home with ALL of the leftover treats, which a lot of them sis. stone cannot eat because she is gluten free. i have a LOT to eat. 

p.s. sister arendes introduced me at the baby shower like this. "this is sis. kerr, she is serving in our ward from upstate NY. she LOVES dairy." i died laughing, hahah! this is the sister that brings me milk and cheese every week. haha, it was so funny :)

oh yeah! we also went over to alondra's sisters' bday party! miriam made sure to invite us. we showed up and they served us some really yummy, spicy soup that you top with lettuce and radishes. it was delicious. then, the side dish was pig's feet, if you wanted! hahaha, of course i tried it. alondra, having grown up around that her whole life had never tried it, which surprised me. so i begged her to try it with me and she did! i couldnt believe it. it was not that bad, but not good. it was really slimy! i am such a big girl. sis. stone wouldn't try it haha!

and of course, there was the General Relief Society meeting which was just wonderful. i cannot believe how perfect it was. jennifer came and literally every talk was written for her. if you want to get to know her better, listen to that session and you will know her! it was incredible, INCREDIBLE!

i cannot wait for general conference this weekend. it is going to be magnificent! invite people over for it. what a great introduction into the gospel, where you can really feel the spirit, but not an intimidating environment. DO IT.

it was the fifth sunday, so during the third hour of meetings, everyone met back in the chapel. our bishop and ward mission leader planned a time on missionary work, where they used the work of salvation broadcast to really get people in on the loop of how missionary work is supposed to be working in the ward. bishop asked me to be the first to speak after they showed the videos and to share something that would excite the members and help them to see of the miracles that are going on in our ward and how we need them for the work to progress. i was so stinkin' nervous! i usually don't get nervous when public speaking, but i was SO nervous. i know it's because this is something that is so important to me and i wanted it to be perfect. i don't really remember all too well what i said, but i was crying, which is a good sign, because i am always crying when i feel the spirit. several people came up after and thanked me and expressed their readiness to work! we are so excited. i pray i do not leave this area at transfers, i love it and the people we are teaching too much to leave!

challenge of the week. pray about inviting someone over for general conference in your home, just one of the sessions! pay attention after you pray and invite the first person you think of, don't ignore those promptings. heavenly father can only help us if we let Him, so follow your promptings. i expect to hear a report back from each of you (my family) and anyone else who does it! i love you ALL so much. xoxooxoxoxoxoxoooxoxoxo.

Sista Kensey Kerr

highlight of this week: just watching my sister, Whitney and her family reunited after her husband's deployment. sweetest thing i have ever seen! thank you Kyle Copeland for your service and Whitney, Pepper and Kade for your sacrifices. You are ALWAYS in my thoughts and prayers. <3

watch it here!

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