Sunday, December 15, 2013

what a week.

Hello hello!

This week has been a whole lot to handle, but I have LOVED it! My dear, sweet companion is going home today for medical reasons, which has been really hard. I am going to miss her so much, but am so excited for her to get feeling better. She is such an incredible missionary and so full of love for all of the people we work with. We had a good, fun, productive, last week together though!

Best parts of this week would be:
1// going to the visitor's center with a girl we are working with, Emily! She is the funniest thing ever and of course, it was a wonderful night. The visitor center sisters did a special Christmas Devotional and the temple grounds were decorated for Christmas! The spirit is always so strong there. Including a huge, marble nativity that was in the reflecting pool. It was so gorgeous and really kicked off Christmas! Emily loved it and come to find out, invited a friend and went again later that week! She is so incredible.

2// Aloha 2nd Ward knows how to throw a party! Sister Dittmar and I helped decorate for the most intense ward Christmas Party that I have ever been to. The theme was The Polar Express, complete with a life-size train, pulled by primary-children dressed up as Rudolph. It was such a fun time. The ward members were great and got a lot of people to the party. We were able to spend the night with Heidi and Noah and the Levenseller's - which just equals out to a fun time! Oh ya, Sister Dittmar, Elder Pugmire, Elder Freshour, Brother Jenson and I all sang too and I did not laugh during it! 

3// BEST THING EVER. Miriam from Oregon City was baptized on Saturday in Molalla into the Spanish Branch and I was able to go! We sang hymns in spanish, I was once again "Sister Keeer", I got to see all of the Chavez's and Sister Stone and some of the members from OC. It was just a beautiful day. Molalla is in the boonies of our mission, so we got a lovely, long drive out there. It was so so so GREAT. I love them and that place. I got butterflies when we started to get close, that drive really felt like I was going home. I love Oregon City!

This has been a good week. I am sad to be leaving Aloha after a short time and I don't know where I will be going! Hopefully somewere in the Beaverton West Stake so I can keep close with all of the wonderful people here, especially so close to Christmas! And I should be back in Aloha 2 next transfer! 

Any mail you feel inclined to send should be sent to the mission office now!

Sister Kensey Kerr
1400 NW Compton Dr. Ste. 250
Beaverton, OR
Sister Kerr

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

there goes the third.

Goodbye Transfer 3 and HELLO to Transfer 4! Sister Dittmar and I get to spend another transfer together in Aloha 2nd Ward and we are quite happy about that. This week was just lovely, between Thanksgiving and a BAPTISM, I would not have expected anything less than lovely! It was hard as usual, but everything ends up being good when you are on a mission.

One of my favorite things this week happened back on Monday. We had dinner with a family in the ward and had an amazing discussion on missionary work afterwards. I love seeing the vision of missionary work click for members. This work is seriously so exciting and so satisfying to everyone who becomes involved, and when a member catches that spirit and is ready to go and help others catch that spirit, good things are coming! They boosted our spirits a lot too by thanking us - members, do that to your missionaries. It helps more than you think! P.S. unity in the ward is key, so go be united! 

 Another highlight of this week was on Tuesday. We had a training meeting, which was so helpful and so fun. So much of the mission is young, and the majority of the missionaries are either being trained or training, President thought it would be beneficial to do a big training thing and it sure was! I learned so much about teaching and got to see a lot of missionaries that I love and miss. You really do become like a family out here! Afterwards, we got to go to President and Sister Morby's for a bit to visit. President and I looked at pictures of Oswego and ate chocolate covered blueberries, it was quite enjoyable! I showed him pictures of harborfest and the river and bridges and barge - it was just a good old time! I love the Morby's.

Thanksgiving was wonderful! We spent it with the Brennan's and the Kavanaugh's. Sister Brennan is the one with the food blog and she is the one who sent the thanksgiving pictures. Which is great, since my camera will not let me send pictures! I sat at the kid table (by choice) for part of it and enjoyed a nice discussion on Hello Kitty, kites and tiaras. They were adorable! 

Saturday was Claudia's baptism. It was splendid and the spirit was so strong. Claudia is 18, so the young women were in good representation and they sang "I Know That my Redeemer Lives." It was beautiful and I love this church! Her mother spoke on baptism and it was the most genuine and heartfelt talk on baptism that I have ever heard. They are just a great family!

Also this week, we dressed up like jail-mates and cleaned litter from the side of the road! It was so fun and disgusting. I never knew regular people did that, I just always assumed they were convicts doing community service time. The Reel Family adopted a street, so we got  to help out, then go back home for pie and whipped cream. Such a fun time!

We moved into the ward boundaries this week. We are now living with the sweetest members eva!!!!!

new address is: 
The Prettiest Sister Missionary in the World
4668 SW 191 Ave.
Aloha, OR

I'd like to end this week on a spiritual note, imagine that! In my studies this morning I was reading in 1 Nephi 8. Everybody should read that chapter this week, try and do it at some point! It is talking about the vision of the tree of life, which represents the gospel. In this story there is the tree (of God) and then there is a great and spacious building (not of God). I have read this story probably 55 times, but today something so different stood out to me. In this vision, there is an iron rod that leads, directs and supports people to the tree of life. But, it then talks about the journey to the building, how it is dark, strange, and many are lost and drown. I noticed so clearly today the distinction between the two options that we have in life. I think it was last week that I talked about our ability to choose between these same two choices, returning to live with God, or not. And with these two choices, God gives us incredible resources and support and lovingly reaches out to us. He gives us an iron rod; not a twig, or a path marked with chalk hoping it won't wash away, but an IRON rod. The other choice that leads us to worldliness and sorrow is not marked by a path, there is only darkness and strange ways and some people become so lost and drown on their journey there. Why do we even choose that path? Why do we want to go somewhere, when the person inviting us provides us with no directions, no help, no map, and doesn't even care if we get lost on the way? While the other option is to follow a clear, direct, happy path given as an invitation by someone who has provided a way and does care that we make it. Consider this choice that we have, it seems so clear! Please turn to our Heavenly Father and the support that He has for each of us. 

I love you all a whole ton. Please be safe and have a fun week. Happy Christmas Season! Talk to you soon.

xoxoxo, Sister Kerr 

count those blessings!

Well aloha family! HAPPY THANKSGIVING from the wild, wild west!

This morning was wicked interesting in the worst way (I may be a little dramatic). Sister Dittmar and I left to come to the Family History Center to email. We are the only ones in the zone with a key, so we tend to go right at ten so anyone else who wants to come can get in. We unlock the door, come in, turn all of the computers on, take our coats off, and lay everything we possess, EVERYTHING down. Then I decide to use the restroom while everything is loading, so we head to the bathroom. We come back from the bathroom and we are locked out. I am going to cry even thinking back on it, it is not quite funny yet! All of everything is in there, our phone, the keys - to both the FHC and our car - and we are alone, with no phone numbers. Worst morning of my mission so far! So we sit down, having not a stinkin' clue what to do. A few minutes later the elders in our ward showed up, hallelujah! We used their phone and tried calling people. No one answered except some other missionaries who then called around to find a key in the stake. An hour later, after being stranded by our own stupidity, we were saved by a saint, a sweet old lady with a key showed up. I am never letting go of our keys again. EVER.

mom- i about died reading the story of you and the drill at the elementary school. that is the funniest/sweetest/most heroic/julie-est thing ever. i just LOVE you.
dad- i love your email, please don't leave me hanging for so long this week! keep me busy with your news from home! i keep seeing piles of wood and thinking, "that sure is some nice firewood. we should hurry and stack that up!"
whitney- i am alive and got your letter! thank you pretty girl. i love the pictures!
grandma- i am definitely more motivated to plant those seeds. THANK YOU!

Like I previously mentioned, we were over an hour late to email. So now there are several missionaries waiting for a computer and since this is all kind of my fault (embarassing), this will probably be short. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I'll just list my blessings this week!

1// Sister Acosta (my mission version of Whitney) took us shopping and I found a great deal on a winter coat. It is so cold here now <---- that is a blessing now though, because i have a cute coat!
2// Our dinner appointment sent us home with a container full of cream puffs.
3// Alex read from the scriptures for us and totally remembered what faith and repentance mean and how they can help us. 
4// Olivia leaned over right after and asked me if she could read one! We did the cute little primary program version where I whisper to her and she says it out loud. Then she told us about her prayers. She is too cute.
5// exchanges!! my first experience with exchanges and I loved it so much. Sister Pauga came to Aloha with me for the night. This was really, incredibly helpful and came at a time that I really needed it. Sister Pauga is from Australia and only has one week left on her mission, so obviously she knows a lot about being a missionary and her perspective was exactly what I needed! She helped me to realize the blessing that my mission is being to my family and friends at home. Even if I don't see a lot of fruits from my labor here, I know it is effecting you all at home. I know that now, thanks to my sister training leader. I am excited for another exchange.
6// We helped the youth make angel dolls for a children's hospital!
7// Heidi had a really rough day, and we followed a prompting and showed up when she needed us to! Two days after being baptized, she realized all on her own that she could call a priesthood holder and ask for a blessing. This lady blows my mind, I am so happy for her!
8// Mandy made us cinnamon rolls and hot cocoa and we had a premature Christmas party! Set up the tree and all and we each have our own stocking :)
9// Joined the enrichment dinner and three people we are working with came! woooohooooooo.
10// we did family history work with Heidi and are finding names for her to take to the temple! I also got to do some of my own and found a name that needs work at the temple, so super exciting! Go do it dad!
11// We contacted a referral from one of our members and she let us in and let us teach the restoration! i love teaching. we just need more people to teach!
12// We visited on the phone with Janelle again and I was so nervous, but it went so well. She accepted to read the Book of Mormon, if we would answer any questions she has. DONE! I am excited for her, she really is a very sweet girl!
13// got a letter from my dear, sweet grandmother on the very day that it was needed. Thanks for following that prompting Grandma!
14// Claudia was interviewed for baptism and is all ready to go on Saturday the 30th at 11am! Or 2pm for you eastcoasters :)
15// Fulfilled our goal to go the visitor's center again this week! With the Kavanaugh Family. They are great!
16// I impressed a 4 year old with my skills of remembering the powder puff girls. We both like Bubbles!

It was a great week! The holidays are hard, but it is a darn good thing I love being a missionary so much, because it is worth it! Please keep Sister Dittmar and I in your prayers this week. I love you all! I think you said the elders in Pulaski are coming for Thanksgiving, super jealous! Tell them to enjoy it, Thanksgiving is my favorite! Love, love, love you.

xoxoxo, Sister Kerr