Monday, January 27, 2014


Hello, hello! This week was SO good. It was FULL of lessons, new people to teach, birthday parties, confetti, a visit from an apostle and trips to the temple! Truly one of the best weeks of my mission thus far.
To start this past week off, we went and visited with Heidi, who was baptized back in November. SHE GOT A CALLING! Which was so exciting, she was freaking out, actually we were all freaking out. I love her SO much, she is one of my best friends! She is planning on going to the temple soon to do baptisms for her family members and she kept going on and on about how great it will be for them to feel what she has felt. I cannot express how much I have learned from this woman. She is truly amazing.

We had another lesson with Daniel! Daniel knows that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was a prophet, but he hasn't quite come to know that the church is true. He is getting there though. He amazes me as well! He loves the Book of Mormon so much! This past lesson he said, "Where has this book been all my life!? We need to get a copy to everyone!!!" Hahah, he is so funny and so awesome. He expressed to us that he doesn't feel ready to progress any further, but would like to continue sometime in the future. He thought that since he didn't want to join the church right then, we would no longer want to meet with him! How wrong he was. When we asked to see him again the following week, his face lit up and he was so thrilled that we weren't going to just drop him! We love Daniel, SO much. 

Today was our first trip to the temple for the week! We went to the visitor's center with a woman from the ward and her daughter who is 4. It was so much fun. The spirit is truly so strong at the temple. It is so easy to feel of His love while there!

I am now TWENTY. Whoot. Whoot. Whoot. I feel so much older now that I don't have to end in "teen". Thank goodness! It was a very happy day. I felt loved by so many people here and at home! We started the day off by going for a walk, WAY early in the morning for our exercise. We came home and I walked into the bedroom and found my bed covered in  balloons and confetti. I bursted into a huge smile and turned around to go thank the Heslop's and there was Sister Heslop, shoving a cupcake in my hand and bursting into the Birthday song, while showering me with more confetti! Hahah, it was so much fun! She then made us a high stack of french toast, fried eggs, bacon and sausage! And she didn't even know, but french toast is my favorite!
 {Happy B-day to me!}
{Happy B-day to me!}
{Happy B-day to me!}

 {Sister Lyons and i with all my balloons!}
{Addeys note to me with the minivan singing}
We had a really good visit with Emily too! She has committed to reading everyday on her own and we will talk about the things we learn from reading the chapters together every single day. We are super stoked. Emily always has the best insights while reading!

The wonderful Levenseller Family brought us to Red Robin for my Birthday dinner! She also baked me a cake. Golly, I sure do love so many people here in this ward!! It was a really, really fun time. I actually realized that I got a birthday sundae there last year with the family right before heading back to Provo! So much has happened since then. It is so so crazy! I have loved this past year so incredibly much. I think it is definitely my favorite thus far!

The day ended on a great note. We had a lesson with the Daley family, which was one of my favorite lessons EVER.  Their dad surprised them today after being away for 4 months! They were all beaming and just about to explode from pure JOY! Holy goodness, it was so amazing to be in their home with them! I love that about a mission. People open up to you and share their most precious, joyful and happy moments with you; even when they hardly know you! The moments that we share together though, bring a closeness unlike anything else, the love we feel is just so immediate! It's da best. They are working towards baptism and are praying as a family to pick a date that they will all be ready for! Happy, happy birthday to me!

Today was our second day at the temple this week! Our district got to do an endowment session at the temple this morning and it brought me SO much joy. Ah, I love it there! I felt the spirit so strongly and felt like i received so many answers to my prayers. I know without a doubt that God knows me. I know my Savior lives and that He loves me so so much! He was happy to look each of us in the eye before coming here and promise that He would redeem us from our sins. I know that it is because of Him that we have the opportunity to be here and to experience joy! 

Our dinner appointment was hilarious today. We walked onto the front porch and were warned that their dog was a "jumper." Immediately I think it is a really small, lap dog. No, no, no. This is a black lab and it is a JUMPER! He kept jumping up on our backs like it wanted a piggy back ride. Oh my it was so hysterical! And the owners acted like it was completely normal. Sister Porter, Lyons and I could not keep from laughing all throughout dinner!

Sister Dittmar sent me a package today! It had M&Ms of course and one of her skirts that i had loved! She is so dang thoughtful. 

Today we started teaching a new woman named Shauntah! She is awesome. The elders in our area tracted into her this last week and gave her a Book of Mormon. By the time we got there, a few days later, she had already read the first three chapters! Haha, she said to us, "I was wondering when someone was going to come and tell me where to read from!" She is so great and very interested. Yay!

Today was beautiful, it was in the 50's. Greatest weather I have ever experienced on January 24th!

My sweet companion revealed her talent today at one of our lessons! She sat down at the piano during one of our lessons and played and sang a song that she had written that bore her testimony about trials. It was SO beautiful, she made me tear up! Sister Porter is such a great missionary and is so excited and happy to be here serving. I am so happy to have her in this tri-panionship :)

I received my regular bday gift from Whitney today! My calendar full of family pictures! It is so darling, I love it so much! I have the cutest family EVER. EVER. EVER. 

We also got to go to a mission meeting where Elder D. Todd Christofferson spoke to the Oregon Portland Mission! It was so incredible. He talked about how we will come to give our whole hearts to these people and love them, EVEN when they continually break our hearts. This has happened to me so much. I just love the people I have met, in Oregon City, Aloha, and Hazeldale with ALL of my heart! He then compared this to the life off the Savior and how he loves EACH of us with that perfect love even though we have continually broken His heart - over and over again. But, He still loves us! This is so true. It was an incredible meeting and an incredible opportunity to hear from an apostle of the Lord. 

Church was great today! I realized today how much God really knows and loves ME. He has shown that love through so many ward members here in Oregon who don't know me at all, but sstill know exactly how to love and take care of me. The only way they would know, is if a loving Heavenly Father would tell them. I know He is taking care of me through them and I want to do the same. I want to be someone God can trust to take care of His children. 

Third time at the temple this week: Visitor's center with the Daley family! Eyes are set on the temple and eternal family is the goal! They are so excited and such a happy family :)

//It was such a beautiful week and I STILL feel so blessed to be here on my mission. Everyday I come to know my Savior a little more and see more and more of God's tender mercies in my life. He loves YOU. I promise that! He wants you to experience joy, so trust Him and let Him help you experience that joy. Thank you so much for being such an amazing support to me. I always know that I have so many people that I love who are right behind me and encouraging me in this work. I love it and I love you! 

I don't want to say this out loud, but yesterday marked my "one year to go." I am so not ready to even think about it, but, or course, I did last night. I realized how much I have grown and changed since I have been here on my mission. Life will never be the same after this mission and I will never be the same. I didn't think that I wanted to be any different, I was happy with who I was and my life. But, I know that I have changed and I have allowed God to change me these past 6 months and now I am so GRATEFUL that things will never be the same. I want more than anything to keep these changes. I want to be exactly who God has made me when I go home.
 {first time we all met!}
 {district temple trip!}
{family dog- paige! hahahha ;)}
 {my new minivan, it matches Addey's picture!}
{my cute companions and i, our day in the rain, walking...}
{my cute companions and i, our day in the rain, walking...}
{Our Home}
I love you all dearly. xoxox

Sister Kerr 

a joyful week: new people to teach, an excited ward council, and the denver broncos.

This week was miraculous and just so good! Sister Lyons and I have claimed Sister Porter as our miracle child, because she has brought the miracles! So many good things have happened. The work truly is hastening in the Aloha 2nd ward!
Our first full day as a companionship was Tuesday, 14 January. That day, we started teaching a new girl! Her name is Montana and she is 8. Her mom is Mandy who I have talked about before! I LOVE their family. We have spent a lot of time with them and were finally able to talk to Montana about learning more about the church since all of her siblings have been baptized, but she hasn't. I am very excited for her and hope that it affects the entire family and brings them closer to Christ. Montana is so darling! Throughout the entire lesson she was holding a bunch of deflated balloons and begging to play a game with us. Once we finished, we agreed to play! She handed us each a balloon and we had to blow it up and then each let the air out in a way that would create the most obnoxious noises! Hahah, it was so funny and LOUD.

Whenever new missionaries enter the field, President Morby gives them each a new copy of the Book of Mormon and challenges them each to pass it out before the next training meeting, which is 3 days later. Wednesday, which was the day before was pretty packed with less-active appointments and there were not many opportunities for Sister Porter to hand out that Book of Mormon. We had about 20 minutes left of tractable daylight time, so we drove to an apartment complex to do it! And it happened, S. Porter handed it to a woman named Pamela and she set up a return appointment with us for the following week! We are so excited about her, she seems very promising. Hopefully there will be good news to follow with her! We were able to use up all of the daylight very usefully. It was great!

We went and saw Juana this week and this woman is literally still floating around the house since her baptism! She is SO happy and so full of gratitude for her experiences. She had to be immersed twice at her baptism because the first attempt her foot popped up out of the water. She said that night, in her sweet English, "I not baptized, I VERY baptized!" And then she laughed and laughed at her sly little comment. It was too funny! Her dog had the most adorable puppies too! They are ridiculously tiny and so fun. I love her family and her home!

We had a big day of training this week with President and Sister Morby, I love them SO much and enjoyed training immensely! I learned a lot about humility and how we can only be led by the spirit if we are humble enough to let the spirit guide. We also talked a lot about how nearly everything in missionary work depends on the agency of others. We cannot control what people choose to act on. The ONLY thing in missionary work that we have control over is how well we teach. That really is it. I know that the Holy Ghost really is the best teacher because that is how God talks to us personally. In order to be a good teacher, the one thing I can control, I need to be a good conduit of the spirit. That is what I am focusing on for the rest of my mission!

We have a family we have just started teaching. It is a mother and daughter, Holly and Jenna. They are so awesome! Their husband/dad is a member and has been away for work for about 3 months. Holly has never showed much interest in the church but, since he has been away she has received a lot of support and love from the ward and she is ready now! We LOVED the lesson we had with them. They are so receptive right now and have been prepared for so many years leading up to this time! The ward members are just ecstatic since they have seen the changes over time. This is exactly the type of miracle the ward needed to help rekindle their desire to do missionary work. 

The Aloha 2nd Ward Council is finally catching the vision of the Ward Mission Process. This is a program that was established by church leaders to help the ward council provide names for the missionaries to start teaching. This ward had not quite caught it when I first got here, it actually had never been mentioned until Thursday night. This is the specific reason that I claim Sister Porter brings miracles! I have been waiting and waiting for this day to come and it happened during her first ward council meeting. Hallelujah! I am just overjoyed with the fact that invitations will be going out for families to start being taught by the missionaries!!

We had a couple of miracle lessons this week too. We knocked on two doors two separate days when we were about to begin tracting and both houses let us in on our first try and we were able to teach them each a lesson for the whole hour we would have been knocking doors. It was really, really cool. Plus, it was really cold this week so it was a major miracle! They had a lot of really good questions and both have agreed to let us come back. I love serving here in Portland. There are so many people who have heard of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but have misconceptions and questions and concerns. So it is really neat to teach and clear up so many questions because even if they don't continue on that path, at least we have been able to inform that about what we actually believe. 

The last miracle that I will mention...DENVER BRONCOS ARE GOING TO THE SUPER BOWL. To all my family: You are welcome! I know that the sacrifices I am making now are paying off. Haha, but in all reality. They are finally back at the Super Bowl and I don't get to watch it. I guess I will hear how it goes though! My thoughts immediately went to Skyler Kerr and how happy that boy is right now. 

One of my favorite things that I learned this week : I am the sum total of so many different testimonies. I am so grateful for all those that have gone before me, who have taught me, who have bore their testimonies to me without even knowing it. I feel your spirits with me in nearly every lesson that I teach. One of my favorite experiences this week was while teaching a woman who had studied the church in great detail many years ago. I felt prompted to leave her Alma 32 (a really great chapter on faith from the Book of Mormon). So I did. As soon as I started explaining it to her, I felt Howard Hellenberg there with me testifying together how that Book can help her. Howard's life was changed because of that book. My life has changed because of that book. My parents, my grandparents, my siblings - their lives have changed from that book. I feel such a strong sense of joy every time I give someone that book because I KNOW what it can bring to them. Anyone who has a desire to come to know Christ and how He can help you, please read this book! 

Well again, I love you all! Much more than you could imagine. Thank you for your prayers and for your support, I need it and appreciate it so much! I love you, so so so much! :) 

Sister Kerr

p.s. This Wednesday is my 12 year anniversary of my baptism! Holy cow, truly the best decision I have ever made :)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Hello. Hello, family! Things are going just swell here in the Oregon Portland Mission. I am just loving every minute of my mission, it really, truly is the most wonderful experience! So many really good things happened in this week. I hope that I can convey it in words, which is so hard to do!

Transfer calls came this week and I was informed that I would be training and that Sister Lyons would be coming back with me to Aloha 2nd Ward! We literally could not believe what we heard. It truly sounded way too good to be true, since we are like BFF's now. And now we get to train together! #mylifeiscomplete <---is hash-tagging still in? Hahah, who knows! Our new sister is, Sister Porter from Lindon, Utah. She is super sweet! I really am so excited to have her! She knows McKell Sampson...random. Sister Lyons and I are so thrilled to get to stay together and train Sister Porter. That scenario was what we jokingly said we wanted to happen because we thought it was obviously too good to be true. DREAMS DO COME TRUE! And we are back with the Heslop's again! :) SOSOSOSOSOSO happy!

To begin last week off right, we had an absolutely revolting dinner of menudo. For all of you out there who have no idea what that is, like myself, I will explain. Menudo is a lovely Latino soup that features the delicacy of pig stomach. As most of you know, I am fairly picky and I have a very weak stomach. The family feeding us was so sweet and told us what it was and that we only had to try it if we wanted. I went over to the pot, smelled it and asked her not to dish me any, because just the smell was making me nauseous. Then, both of my companions accepted a bowl. Hmm, there was no way that i was going to let them try it and then hold it over me and brag about trying it. NO WAY. So, I did as any mother would not want her child to do and succumbed to peer pressure. WHY, you may ask. NO good reason, just my own silly pride. I tried the soup and did 3 full-on, full-out gags. BUT, I did swallow it. The mother took a picture of us eating it and all you see is my hand, a total blur, swooping up to my mouth to keep me from vomiting. It was awful, to say the least. But, now I can say, "I, Kensey Kerr have eaten pig hoof AND pig stomach." I think some applauding is well deserved for that! After that experience, I began to study a lot about humility because that is the opposite of pride. If I gain humility, maybe I will never eat anything that revolting again :)

Juana, I believe I have talked about her before, was baptized on Saturday! It was a beautiful day for so many reasons! She has been so prepared and has been waiting for this day for ages. I am so so grateful that everything worked out for her big, special day! On Monday, we had an appointment fall through and I had the urge to go and see Juana. We arrive and the spanish elders were there as well! Apparently Juana had had an absolutely dreadful day and was having second thoughts about her upcoming baptism. She had texted the elders, but their phone was dead, so they showed up on a prompting as well. Juana needed us both there that night and God helped us to know that she needed us there. Her struggle that day was that people in the church just wanted her to get baptized to be baptized, not because they genuinely love her. She has taken a lot of grief from her family about this. Then, at the end of that very difficult day, both of her sets of missionaries showed up at the same time to check on her and let her know that they were thinking of her and LOVE her. It was a beautiful experience! God knows Juana. She asked me to pray at her baptism service, so I will be Hermana Kerr for the day :) At the service, Heidi sat next to me, and asked, "Was I glowing like that when I came out of the water?" She was! And she still is. The fire is still burning bright in that woman. Love these sisters!

On Tuesday we picked up a new investigator! His name is Daniel and he is a TRUTH-seeker. He is incredible and so sincere and just mind-blowing. He is quite literally the perfect investigator! He has already read all of 1 Nephi and he loved it. He completely agrees with it's teachings and wonders why everyone doesn't read this book. He said, "This book is exactly what it claims to be, ANOTHER Testament of Jesus Christ." Right on, Daniel! One of his questions last week was how God can be the same yesterday, today and forever, when we don't see miracles like the miracles of the Bible. When we met with him this morning he pulled out his Book of Mormon and began showing us in Moroni 7 where his question was answered! Three times in that chapter the question "have miracles ceased?" is asked. The answer is given in Moroni 7:37 "Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased, wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief." He amazes me! You may wonder how he ended up all the way in Moroni...He told us he couldn't wait any longer and wanted to see how the book ended. Haha! He is so great! We then asked him to read the climax this week - 3 Nephi - when Christ finally arrives. He was scribbling the page number down so quickly and could not wait to get started! Good things lie ahead for Daniel, he truly wants to know!

We were able to get into a woman's home this week, Lisa! She has been a member her entire life, but has stopped because of some big life events. She let us in and we began to talk with her. She opened up to us so much and was in tears by the time we left. She said she doesn't know why she let us in because she never lets missionaries in! We were her first ones and she is ready to return. I won't be meeting with her anymore due to transfers, but am excited to have played a small role in her life. I grew to love her SO quickly!

We had a really cool lesson about Holy Places this week and how our homes can become a sanctuary where the Spirit can dwell and where we can feel completely surrounded by God's love. I began to consider where my Holy Place was and realized that our bodies truly can become our "Holy Place." The spirit really can dwell IN us and keep us safe, comfortable and at peace. This really is a miracle and I feel so blessed to have realized this. Sometimes I think that I am learning more on my mission than the people I am teaching. Actually, I know that is true. It is so amazing!

A woman that we have been working with, Mandy transformed before my eyes this week! Mandy has experienced so many hard things throughout this past year. Friday afternoon, we went over to see her and she told us of the realization she came to the other night. She said, "I have NEVER believed that God only gives you what you can handle. I have always had more than I can handle, and that is part of the reason I have ended up this way. But, last night I realized, God gives us more than we can handle so that we HAVE to turn to Him for help." That made me happier than I have ever felt in my entire life. Mandy gets it. Mandy has started to do that. She has turned to him and has quit fighting against him! I truly don't know how to express how happy I feel about this. I have watched her struggle for 12 weeks, then was able to see things finally click for her OVERNIGHT. The gospel is true and WILL help you! I love her so much!!!!

Alright, I love you all so much. I know you know that, but really I LOVE YOU. You are continually in my thoughts and prayers. Follow the promptings of the Spirit, God is trying to help you help someone. It is the best feeling ever! Be safe, be happy, laugh a lot, smile even more and send a thought my way every once in awhile, because you sure are in mine! xoxo.

Sister Kerr

Loads of pictures!

{Yahir and I}

{The Heslop's and I}

{Sister Dittmar and I}

{Miriam and I}

{Alondra and I}

{Sister Stone, Alondra and I}



{Miriam, Alondra, me, and Yahir}

{Sister Dittmar and I}


{Claudia's birthday setup}

{Heidi's baptism}

{Me, Noah, Heidi, and Sister Dittmar}

{Beautiful Portland temple!}

 {Sister Dittmar and I}

{Keeping Oregon clean}

{Cleaning up the streets}

{Turkey, Turkey!}

{Mission President!}

 {Sister Dittmar and I}

{Sweet Montana}

{My Christmas packages}

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


HAPPY 2014. Woohoo, a new year! New Year's really is a great holiday and a wonderful thing to celebrate. As we went in and out of homes this week, asking about resolutions and helping people to set goals, I realized that New Year's is about change. And this whole gospel is about CHANGE. God has so much in store for us and wants to help us attain all that is available to us! He WILL help us in becoming who He needs us to be. It was one of the best weeks because I got to help people catch a glimpse of their potential, of all that God wants for them. 

This week was just so darn funny! The spirit is always SO strong and I know that we are making a difference in people's lives. Missions seriously are a blast and so hilarious and SO uplifting! 

Last week we went to a woman's house who had wanted us to help her clean out her basement and somehow ended up walking out of there obtaining half of everything we cleaned out! We were wondering what to do with all these random books, games, and misfit toys when it entered into our minds the people who had not had gifts for their children on Christmas. So what do missionaries do on New Years eve when everyone else in the world is either sleeping or out partying?? We play secret Santa but say Happy New Year and drop boxes of fun on their porches :) There is nothing better than knowing the excitement they must feel for the anticipation of what is inside the box. We had to be tactful in our delivery though because the family that we came to had their car running (as if they were going to leave) and their front door wide open! We waited a bit to see if they would actually leave - they didn't, so Sister Larsen dropped us off at the corner and Sister Lyons and I ran to the door with everything in hand. Sister Larsen begins to drive up, we drop the boxes, fly by the door, and jump into the moving vehicle! We were so sly! And the family never suspected it to be the missionaries :)  

It's about time to tell a story of a dog. This particular dog is a pug and found lurking around the trailer park. So there we were, trying to visit an old blind woman named Geri and who comes out of the trees walking up the street?? This little pug. Cute right? Wrong. This dog begins to run toward us, half blind, limping, growling, and rabies infested! (See photo for evidence) We naturally start running to Geri's in fear of getting bitten and are up on her porch knocking in hopes she'll let us in. Her granddaughter answers as the pug arrives at the bottom of the steps only to discover it can't get it's pugish body up them, he paces back and forth at the bottom. The granddaughter didn't let us in because Geri was not there but she sat and talked to us on the porch for a bit (clearly not noticing the dog still pacing at the bottom). I couldn't help but be distracted by it's raspy harsh breathing. After the granddaughter says goodbye, all 3 of us turn around and consider our next step. As if we were in an old western film stepping out into the dirt road to have a duel but instead of us grabbing our weapons we chose to just RUN. We jump off the other side of the porch hear it start running and frantically get into our car as it chases us down the road and then fades off into the distance. 

Oh my goodness! I have a gross animal story for this week. More fascinating than the dog I'm sure and advice I hope I never have to give my kids. It is about the Wilcox family. Sister Wilcox was telling us about how her son was given a tarantella by her son's friend and she wasn't too fond of it, but the boys liked it and so the story goes... Child #1 comes up to Sister Wilcox, "WATCH THIS!" Child #2 opens his mouth and out walks the tarantella!!! He was holding it in his mouth! Sister Wilcox "Sweetheart, we probably shouldn't put tarantellas in our mouths." I thought I was going to vomit. I hope I never have to tell my child to get a tarantella out of his/her mouth!! Gross. Solution: never letting my kids have a tarantella.
We went to the Visitor's Center with a family this week. Their family is so unique. There is a mom, Teri, and 2 daughters, Valerie and Emily. Teri is a kick in the pants. She is so darn inquisitive about everything that you could possibly imagine. And it's not like she cares about the answers even in the slightest, she just enjoys asking. She is like a little 4 year old who asks about everything in sight, keep in mind that this woman is 50+ years old. During lessons it is quite common for her to start venting to us about her 14 year old (who is sitting right with us) and stating, "I really just don't know what to do about her. Do all teenagers go through phases like this? Will you tell her to stop yelling at me! Will you make her come to church, tell her, tell her now or else she won't listen later!" This is the same family that we gave a snow globe-I think I told that story! It is just beyond me why she is asking 3 twenty year old girls to parent her children, but it is quite funny and hard not to laugh. We met with them a second time this week and finally are breaking through to Miss Valerie! HALLELUJAH. She is so confused and does not know where to find answers. She is feeling so frustrated and lost, it is a major step that we even know any of this, she is the most shelled person I have ever met! She builds herself up and tries to protect her vulnerability by talking about how confident she is, it is so heartbreaking to see someone so lost! She is trying to decide if she wants to stay a member of the church, or just move on. During this lesson, Valerie made the comment, "Well, it's not even like you guys would be that different if you weren't Mormon," in defense of her own decisions. This comment struck me more deeply than ever before. I pondered what would be different about me if I was not a member of the church. In those few moments, while pondering that comment in the lesson, in an overwhelming way I realized that I would not be OK. I would not be OK at all! I began to cry while sitting there in the their humble, messy, apartment and realized that even if no one loves, cares or knows about me at all, even if I don't mean a thing to anyone in the world, I know that I do to God. That is what I would be missing if I was not a Mormon. That's how I would be different. I would not be confident in who I am, because I would not know who I am. How can we be confident in something we do not know? I know Valerie felt something during that lesson and realized that she is missing something. I hope with all my heart she will act on it!

I feel such a deep connection with all of the people I am serving here on my mission. I love them all so very much and will never truly be able to describe the way that I feel about these people. I will never be able to express the joy that I feel with these people that I now cherish and hold so dear. It is so hard for me to understand that no one will ever understand how I feel about my mission and this area and these people, except my companions who are here experiencing it with me! My mission has been full of so much joy that I have come to know that this has to be God's work. I know He really does know me and all of us, and that He has magnificent things in store for us! Ask Him what those things are, I promise He will help you to accomplish them.

I love you so very much! 

xoxox, Sister Kerr

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The week of never-ending miracles.

What a beautiful week it has been! Christmas in the mission field was marvelous, for several reasons! 
. I got to talk to THE BEST FAMILY ON EARTH, that I get to live with for eternity! 
. I got to serve breakfast at a homeless shelter.
. I had my first selfless Christmas and really got to think about others and their needs rather than my own! And the reason we celebrate Christmas!
I, of course, was missing home, but am so happy with the wonderful, sacred holiday that it was this year!

THE MOST INCREDIBLE MIRACLE EVER HAPPENED THIS WEEK and his name is John. Everything about this story is miraculous, so buckle up!
The woman we live with, Sister Weitz has a niece who lives in Georgia. This sweet little niece is 8 and wanted to baptized in the Hazeldale ward since all of her relatives live here. So, Sister Weitz arranges this all and invites us to come since she will be inviting some potential investigators to it! Oh ya, and it starts at 7 pm. Halfway through the service, during the talk on the gift of the Holy Ghost, we hear 3 loud knocks on the door of the room, we see the door pull slowly open and watch as this unknown man walks in, sits down and totally becomes enveloped in the talk. This man is listening so intently throughout the rest of the baptism, we kind of shrug it off and think, "one of the members must have invited him," and make a mental note to go meet him once this is over. The service ends, we start picking up coloring books and cheerio's that the kids next to us spilled all over, we look up and HE IS GONE. Oh no, we lost our chance! Sister Lyons and I start speed walking, towards the door, then start running down the hall, then realize we are missing our third, Sister Larsen, put on the brakes and sprint back to find her so that we can go find this guy! We get down to the end of the hall and run into Bishop. He starts talking to us about church and the meeting that had gone on earlier, and all I am thinking about is, "where the heck did that guy go?!" As we are half-listening to bishop, we hear 2 people coming down the hall! It's him! Being escorted by a member saying, "Here they are, these are the people you will want to talk to!" This is John. We sit down on the couches with him and our bishop and begin to chat. Turns out, he had gotten into an argument with his girlfriend and angrily got into his car and started to drive around, just thinking. The thought then came to him that he wanted to look for a church, granted, it is now close to 8pm! He saw our church building, which is 1// set back off the road, 2// has little lighting, 3// no cars in the parking lot on the side he came in on, but decides to pull in and try going in! The door on that side of the building was unlocked for some strange reason, so he let himself in. He finds his way through the maze of the dark church building to the clear other side where the baptism is going on. He knocks, comes in, watches the confirmation and then starts asking around where he can learn more about what we believe!

Who goes driving around at 8 o'clock at night looking for a church! How often does an 8 year old girl from Georgia get baptized on a Sunday night, that late in the day, so that the church would actually be open? 

We chatted with him and the bishop for a half an hour and taught him about the Book of Mormon and his loving Heavenly Father. It was truly, the most incredible experience thus far! In his own words, he said, "I have always been taken care of physically, mentally, emotionally. But, I know that I am missing something spiritually and I need something." In typical Kensey-style, my eyes filled up with tears, because I can only imagine what it would feel like to feel that something that huge was missing from your life! Sister Larsen placed a Book of Mormon into his hands and I was overwhelmed by the spirit in that room, and my heart about jumped from my chest. My heart was racing and when I saw him hold that book; I saw him receiving answers to his questions, I saw him changing, I saw him finding happiness, I saw him finding and knowing who he was, I saw his family sitting in church, I saw him as God saw him. I wish I could feel that way forever and ever and ever. He admitted to feeling the spirit too! As he went to leave, he said, "My girlfriend is never going to believe this!" I could hardly believe it and I was there. I woke up the next morning and wondered if it really had happened! I am so excited for what the future holds for John.

Super quick funny story!
Christmas eve we enjoyed breakfast with a wicked fun, young family in the Hazeldale ward! Their daughters are 14 and 12. We are up to the counter dishing our plates and S. Lyons did some funny quote from A Cinderella Story. We both then start quoting it and the girls are looking at us like we are nuts. Girls aren't ever supposed to look at you like you are nuts while quoting that movie, because EVERY girl LOVES that movie. We begin throwing more quotes out there for them to bite onto, but nothing. So then we sadly begin to explain ourselves, which always kills a funny moment. They are still staring at us with blank expressions. THESE KIDS HAVE NEVER SEEN THAT MOVIE AND DON'T EVEN KNOW WHO HILARY DUFF IS. I was truly flabbergasted. Now I understand how it feels when my parents would start singing a song, expecting us all to know it, tell us the artist thinking it would help and then saying, "You don't know who that is?!", looking completely heartbroken. Been there. Done that now. And it was devastating. Good gravy, I'm only 20 that shouldn't be happening! Hilary Duff will always live on in my home though!

I hope you had a splendid Christmas! Write and tell me about it, I would love that! Things are going so well here. That miracle story was just a taste of the good things going on here, I wish I could write you about all the miracles that happened this week, but my legs are asleep and I can't sit here much longer! I love my mission so much and am having the most wonderful, spiritual, happy time ever. I feel so blessed to be given this time in my life. My testimony has grown so much and I am so grateful for the gift of the Holy Ghost that God has given me, so that my testimony can keep on growing! Great news: that gift is available to us all! Ask the missionaries about it! Read your scriptures and say your prayers, I promise it makes a difference. God really does want to talk to you! It may seem that we have to put a lot of effort into getting answers, but when you think about it, it truly is so that we value those answers! Don't feel discouraged, seek and you will find. 

I love you. x's and o's.

Sister Kerr


Hey! Hey! Hey!

Happy nine days to Christmas! Things have become so very festive and cold and snowy and blustery and just wonderful. Starting where I left off last week, I have two new companions; Sister Larsen and Sister Lyons. Hence the "more the merrier" title! We are having a blast together and are convinced that trios should be the norm now, because it is so much more fun, effective and easy-going. I just feel like I am riding around with a bunch of my friends doing the most important work in the world and having a grand old time while doing it! Sister Larsen is from Brigham City, Utah and Sister Lyons is from Denver, Colorado. Sister Larsen has the longest, blondest, most beautiful hair ever! Sister Lyons has the same sense of humor as me, I haven't laughed this much since I was home, I think! They are just great and are rockin' missionaries. 

Also playing into "the more the merrier" theme is that we are now covering 2 wards! We are in Hazeldale and Aloha 2, which is fun as well. We are so busy, it is insane. We don't have enough time for all of the appointments we need to get to, which is the GREATEST thing ever on a mission. I love it!

The people that I have met in the Hazeldale ward have been so fantastic! They are working with so many less-actives and it is so enjoyable getting to know them. I LOVE meeting people so much! One of them is a native upstate New Yorker, which was so exciting! She grew up in the Owego Stake - I felt so represented! She also pronounced kindergarten like your average New Yorker, which was quite nice :) 

My favorite theme of this week would be finding our way through confusing times. We taught two lessons where this was the theme, or at least it is what I came away feeling like I understood more. My testimony has been strengthened so much as a missionary. Everyday I know more and more firmly that God is my loving Father and that this church is His true church here on the earth today. Our discussion with several less-actives and a NEW investigator centered on the question, "Why would a loving God confuse His children with so many churches?" I have thought about that SO much throughout my life. If we are all God's literal children and we are trying so hard to return to live with Him again and HE WANTS US TO MAKE IT BACK; why would there be so many different answers, when we all have the same goal? I have decided that there cannot be! God has one over-arching plan for us all, there is only one answer for His children to make it back to Him. That is what is unique about the message I am out sharing with people all day. He has RESTORED what had already been established on the earth by Jesus Christ himself. And it is the answer for us all. It is through His RESTORED gospel that He can bring us home to Him. I know this may sound very biased, but if you really think about it, why would God give each of His children a different set of directions to get to the same place? He wouldn't. I have come to know my Father so much in these past few months and I know without a doubt that He would not do that to His most prized and treasured creations, His children. 

As this Christmas season continues to approach, try to come to truly know Jesus Christ, our Savior and very best friend. He knows you infinitely more than you know yourself. He loves you more than you love yourself. Your concerns are His concerns. Trust Him to help you, that is why He is here. That is why He came to earth, He truly was a gift to us from our Heavenly Father, THAT'S WHY WE HAVE CHRISTMAS. Come to KNOW him, really know him. Pray and ask for help with coming to know Christ, our best and heavenly FRIEND. 

I love you all so much and am so grateful for you! I am so excited to be here in Oregon for Christmas this year and for the next 13 months, time is going by way too fast. I LOVE the experiences I am having here and the people I am meeting, the friendships that will last forever. I only have 2 Christmas' away from home. I get to experience 2 Christmas' where strangers will invite me into their home and share everything they have with me, share the celebration of the most important birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. I AM SO BLESSED. 

Love you forever! 

xo, Sister Kerr 

p.s. travel safely wherever you are headed! 

p.s.s. Read your scriptures and say your prayers, God wants to talk to you! You just gotta talk to Him first!