Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Transfer # 6!

Hello, hello! Welcome into the sixth transfer of my mission. It is a
party here in Aloha and I am still loving it! ALL of it. This transfer
brought in some change. The trio has been abandoned and we are now
down to a duo to finish out Sister Porter's training. First time in 3
months that I've been in a normal two people companionship. I feel
like a mom who lost one of her babies! There is SO much more room in
the bedroom now though, it is quite incredible.

I don't have a whole lot of time to email today and that is for very
selfish reasons...I am starving. So, onto the highlights of the week!

highlight number one. Jeni. We met with a woman today that had been
all set for baptism one year ago, but then it never went through. So
we met with her tonight for the first time and it was AWESOME! She is
so, so sweet and she has a burning testimony of the gospel of Jesus
Christ, the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith as a modern-day prophet.
She amazes me! I love hearing other people's journey through life and
seeing how much they have grown and learned. It always fascinates me!
I am so excited to continue meeting with her and and learning!

highlight number two. Ashley. Ashley is one of the members of the ward
we work with. Her husband works at a food warehouse. When we went over
this week, there was a ginormous cardboard box filled with heaven,
aka, Oreo's. She then sent us home with bundles and bundles of cakes,
breads, jerky and cookies! Haha, it is a common misconception that
missionaries are starving. And since everyone thinks that, we have
oodles of food! Hallelujah. Besides the food though, Ashley is doing
great. She is beginning to see how the Atonement of Jesus Christ can
help her personally. That is a huge thing to learn. I did not learn
what that truly meant until I was out here and was forced to learn it.
It has been the biggest blessing in my life though. I love more than
anything, knowing that I have my Savior Jesus Christ always there
beside me. I love thinking about how He is the ONLY person on earth
who understands how I feel. And He is  the only one who understands
how Ashley feels. Even though I love her so much, that can't do
anything to help her, without the Atonement! He knows each of us
perfectly, how beautiful!

highlight number three. Training meeting. We had a meeting with all of
the trainers and trainees in the mission and we talked about stress!
And how to deal with it, since stress really is healthy, IF dealt with
correctly. So, President Morby starts asking for examples of stress we
feel. My two companions start expressing their stresses to me. Sister
Lyons: "I am stressed out of my mind while trying to fall asleep
because I am terrified the top bunk is going to fall through and kill
me at night!" (this has almost happened 6 times!) Sister Porter: "I am
so afraid that I am going to kill my first companion. And then I can't
finish my mission." Me: Laughing so hard because my bed is on the
other side of the room and I sleep like an angel. I love my
companions! They are exactly who I need to be with!

highlight number four. Had a rocking impromptu lesson with a member we
have been working with. We had an entire lesson planned, then had to
change it completely to meet her needs and it was amazing. She is
going to do so well, I know it! I know that was vague, but my stomach
is eating itself!

highlight number five. WE HAD ANOTHER LESSON WITH CYNTHIA! We taught
the Restoration to her and she LOVED it. Like really loved it. She
felt the spirit so strongly and totally recognized that it was the
spirit. She kept saying, "I feel so good, I love it! I am speechless!"
It was beautifully done. I am so grateful the spirit is the teacher,
not us!

highlight number six. The unBirthday party. So after my amazing
birthday parties, put on by both Mom and the Heslop's, everyone else
was super jealous! We decided to have an unBirthday party for everyone
else's birthday that we would miss. It was the best idea ever! We had
a huge Chinese food buffet and a giant ice cream cake. Mmmmm. It was
so good and so fun! The Heslop's whole family was there and it was a

It was another beautiful week in Oregon! Sister Porter and I have some
big goals set for this transfer and we can't wait to see them be
fulfilled! We are working hard here and loving every second of it. I
love you all so much.

xoxo, Sister Kerr

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

It was a good week.

Wow! Another week has come and gone already. Time truly is flying out here in Oregon!

After being snowed in for the weekend, we were finally cleared to use the cars again on Monday. It felt SO good to be out in the world again, sharing my testimony of the things that I know to be true. I LOVE that feeling. I got a taste of what it will be like when I return from my mission, I will still be involved in good things, I'm sure, but will just miss the opportunity I have as a missionary to constantly be sharing my testimony! I have vowed to myself to make sure that I use these things that I have learned on my mission, because I am so happy now and always want to feel the way I do now. So, I will need some people to follow up with me on that when I get home. Thanks!

Monday. We got home late after being out contacting and in our driveway we see the Heslop's next to their minivan, with a mattress tied to the top. Macey and Addey, please tell me that you are thinking of the same thing that I am! I know you will be...Cars. I chuckled, but was laughing really hard on the inside. I miss you guys! Anyways, Sister Muscles (that's me) helped carry a king size mattress covered in plastic in, while raining. No worries, the plastic didn't get slippery or anything when covered in water. And there wasn't a scooter around that they had tried rolling it on, as a major tripping hazard. Boy, I'm sure glad because that would have been terrifying. Oh ya, there also was no stinky, sloppy mud from all the melted snow. Nope, none.

Tuesday. We had a killer lesson with Shauntah! Holy cow, it was awesome. We talked about the plan of happiness that Heavenly Father has for us and how it is only possible through our Savior Jesus Christ. She has such great insight and loves reading from the Book of Mormon. I was reading in Preach my Gospel before the lesson and read this, "The Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ is designed to help all people know that 'Jesus is the Christ, … manifesting Himself unto all nations.' One of the most effective ways to teach and testify of the Savior is to read together from the Book of Mormon." Uh duh, why haven't I realized this earlier. The Book of Mormon really is just like a guide to help all people, regardless of how much they know, come to BETTER know Christ. And Shauntah is a testimony of that, I mean all who read the Book of Mormon are. Once we started the lesson, she jumped up, got her paperback copy, a notebook and a highlighter. SHE LOVES IT. And she finds so many answers to her questions. I don't know that any thing this week made me happier than seeing her come to love and appreciate the Book of Mormon. Yay!

Wednesday. Things got interesting today BECAUSE we went tracting. Tracting for any who doesn't know is when we go door to door and try and meet people to teach all on our own. So here we go. First door, some house that is decorated in Christmas style lights, but are clumps of grapes- they aren't interested and found us very strange. Second door- a very nice woman answered! We talk for a good 2-3 minutes about all sorts of things, including that she is from Idaho. So we comment and say, "oh, so your probably know Mormons!" She replies that she is Mormon and that they are a family in the ward that are pretty active, we just hadn't met them yet. Super super awkward! Why didn't she mention that when she answered? Just to give us a good story I guess. Third door- a tiny home with 12 cars in the driveway and a massive RV shielding the front door from the eyes of any outsider. They also had a guard gnome out by the road. They weren't interested. Fourth door- knock. Wait 30 seconds while a massive dog is barking at us. Then someone very politely screams, "please go away!" (It actually wasn't very polite). Fifth door- a huge tattooed man, who looks like a perfect potential teachee, answers and very abruptly says, "I am just putting my baby down for a nap! Sorry no time." Then slammed the door. Likely story, but not really! So, no one was interested. But, it was a pretty good laugh. Oh ya! Almost forgot. The one who politely screamed at us kept sticking her head out the door the rest of the time we were on the street, yelling something at us. I think she is the neighborhoods alarm system to let everyone know that we are around. It worked!

Thursday. I woke up after an awful dream. I had just gotten home from my mission and was sitting around the kitchen table with dad and Macey and Addey. It was really late and we were trying to figure out what we wanted to do the next day (mainly because I couldn't fall asleep without nightly planning sessions). It then hit me that I didn't have personal and companions study in the morning. I didn't have to wake up at 6:15. I then broke down in tears at the table and cried my eyes out to them and begged to have my study time. They said I could and that they would even join me. That made me cry even harder because I realized that I was no longer a missionary and no one needed me to study and prepare for them anymore. It was heartbreaking. I kind of laughed it off when I woke up, but throughout the day I realized how much I am going to miss feeling needed by so many people. #missionaryforlife
Also on this day. We had a great lesson with the Daley family. This is the family that the dad is a member and the wife and daughter are SO excited to join. We taught about the gospel of Jesus Christ and the steps we make in this life to return to our Heavenly Father again. In this lesson we taught about several of the commandments that God gives us. I learned how those commandments really are blessings for us. They keep us safe and allow us an opportunity to show God our love for Him! Their daughter is eight and she is the bee's knees. She is so smart and so close to heaven!

Friday. Happy Valentine's Day! I sure could feel the love this week from all over the place. Thank you for thinking of me, I am such a happy girl! You all are the bomb-diggity. Also, I opened my Dove chocolates from Mom today and the first one I eat says,"Be your own Valentine." Aye aye, captain. I surely will be this year. And I got the cutest picture in the entire world from Skyler and Amelia this week of their baby, Rosie. I died. And then when I came back around, went through the house showing EVERYBODY. I am a proud aunt. I also got a letter from my sweet Great Grandmother in Missouri! Super sweet. I got a package from the one and only Sister Dittmar! She really is one of the most thoughtful people I know. I also got a ginormous card from the "Everything's bigger in Texas" crew. It was filled with so much goodness! And sweet little Kassey Pappa sent me a letter too, decked out in 5000 stickers. It was a happy, happy day!

Saturday. It was a service filled Saturday! We helped Claudia, who was baptized in November, pack up her entire house. They are moving which is really sad! We also helped Ashley, a less active, clean and prep everything so she would be ready to Come to church on Sunday morning!   Sister Lyons and I had a reality check while there when her son tried to talk to us hahaha. so we are at Ashley's and are helping her go through her bills and whatnot and her son (18) came in and was trying to talk to us. He is a bit of a thug, and not all that all, and had his hand up his shirt. We are in la la land listening to music, intentionally ignoring his existence and awkward presence until he smoothly tries to strike up a conversation to which we look at each other dumbfounded and just begin to laugh. I don't even know if we answered the question because we were to busy giggling about how incredibly awkward the whole encounter was. We are there to hang out with his MOTHER and he and all his friends were going in and out commenting to us until he finally sat down. Anyway, it was quite historical and a large reality check that I don't know how to have normal structured conversations anymore (apparently). However, while there, his mother did recognize that we have been sent here for her! She said that, she knows she has come in contact with us now and is ready to change because now is Heavenly Father had prepared her! So excited to be a part of this with her!!

Sunday. So church was awesome today. Too bad no one showed up to enjoy it. I hate when this happens! Seriously all the talks were great and the lessons as well, but everyone that was supposed to be there, ended up somewhere other than the Beaverton West Stake Center. Lame sauce. However, after church was great! We went and contacted a girl we'd tracted into a couple weeks ago. And she let us in right away! And she quickly requested another Book of Mormon because she has been sharing with hew sister and is sick of doing that because they both love it so much that they each want their own. Hallelujah! It was just a beautiful 15 minutes with her. Then we set a return appointment and are heading back her way next week! Since we were having good luck thus far, we decided to try another we had been trying for quite some time. We knock on her door, fully anticipating her typical response, that she had forgotten  and that now was a terrible time. Instead she opened the door, smiled and said, "Come on in!" What? We had no idea how to react. Alas, we went in and set a return appointment! Wow, it was pretty sweet and totally unexpected. 

My favorite theme from both studying and teaching this week was repentance. Sounds interesting, this would never have been my first choice of a topic to study and really enjoy in the past. But it is awesome. Read this quote. "When prophets come crying repentance, it “throws cold water on the party.” But in reality the prophetic call should be received with joy. Without repentance, there is no real progress or improvement in life. Pretending there is no sin does not lessen its burden and pain. Suffering for sin does not by itself change anything for the better. Only repentance leads to the sunlit uplands of a better life. And, of course, only through repentance do we gain access to the atoning grace of Jesus Christ and salvation. Repentance is a divine gift, and there should be a smile on our faces when we speak of it. It points us to freedom, confidence, and peace. Rather than interrupting the celebration, the gift of repentance is the cause for true celebration.Repentance exists as an option only because of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is His infinite sacrifice that “bringeth about means unto men that they may have faith unto repentance” (Alma 34:15). Repentance is the necessary condition, and the grace of Christ is the power by which “mercy can satisfy the demands of justice” (Alma 34:16)."
I hope you took the time to read that whole thing, because it is amazing! Repentance truly is a reason to celebrate. Without it, there would be no purpose to life, no way to escape the tragedies and mistakes of this life. Because we have a Father in Heaven who loves us, He allows us the opportunity to change through repentance. Let us take advantage of that! 

I love you all. You are in my thoughts and prayers! Keep being you and showing those around you that you love and care for them. Be an example of the faith that is in you! I love you very much. 
Sister Kerr

Monday, February 10, 2014

Just want to be sure you all are actually reading these.

Guess what I'm emailing you from?? My iPad!! We got iPads this week,
each one of us. We were all so excited and with good reason. It is
sooooo nice to not have to fumble through piles of paper and try and
read some past Elder's hand writing... Tragedy. We did however have to
take ALL of the records and type them into our area books which are
now on our iPads, so the bad hand writing wasn't completely avoided...
That was tedious. We finally finished though!! It probably doesn't
seem like that difficult a task when we just got our iPads this last
Tuesday and we had it done last night... No no, it was definitely a
mountain to climb. We were just snowed into our house for 3 days so
from 9:30am-9pm each day we read and typed and read and typed, with a
break here and there to run out in the snow and shovel some driveways
and of course the exception on Sunday when we watched a couple hours
of devotionals because church was cancelled.
It was quite humorous being home bound when there was only 4 inches on
the ground! There were sirens everywhere though because of all the
accidents on the road... Apparently Oregonians don't like the snow...
School has been cancelled since noon on Wednesday! I do have to say
though, for being trapped in a small house for 4 days, I was trapped
with the BEST PEOPLE EVER. I wouldn't have picked anyone else in the
whole state of Oregon to be trapped with. The Heslops are hilarious
and Sister Heslop is a gourmet chef so that definitely kept us
entertained and full, Sister Lyons is definitely my best friend out
here and Sister Porter is becoming another one of my favorite
people ever. We all went to bed with stomach aches last night and I
don't know if it was from the amount of Chinese food that Sister
Heslop prepared or because we were all laughing so hard while eating -
probably a combination of the two.

So here are some miracles for this week, because those are my favorite
things to talk about :)
After a fantastic p-day we get a call from a less active member
needing the missionaries number for his friend who lives down town and
wanted a priesthood blessing! This friend has been out of activity for
agessss but called him to see if he knew any mormon's numbers that
could get her the missionaries to give him a blessing. He called us.
After two hours of searching for a number, we FINALLY found it, called
the missionaries, sent them over, and now that woman is going to be
taught! Maybe that doesn't sound too cool but when you are dedicated
enough to be searching and calling all amounts of numbers over the
course of two hours, you feel pretty attached and now this woman will
be able to recognize and access the atoning power of Christ :)

Tuesday: we got iPads!! I think that is a miracle within itself.
Missionaries carrying around iPads... Madness. It is an amazing tool
though. We are able to teach from them, with them, and access so much
more information than ever before. There is a program on here that
blocks iTunes and the App Store and only allows us access to,, and other missionary websites and tools, so for all of you
that are like, "how is this possible?!" That's how :) the church is a
very intelligently run organization. As one of the piloting programs
for the iPads, the church leadership is going to test it until April
and see how well it is going then make a decision on whether or not
other missions will have iPads or if this is an idea they're going to
abandon and come back to down the road.

Wednesday: we got our car back, but then they gave it to the other
sisters and gave us back the van.... Apparently they want to prepare
us for motherhood ;) Our zone leaders are convinced that I am going to be a mega soccer mom and that I need the practice!

Thursday: there is a woman named Jeni who we have been trying to
contact since November... We have seen her once and got her number but
haven't had contact since then. The reason we have been trying to
contact her is because we got a call saying that she has been cleared
to be baptized!!! (Based on certain situations, some people need to
have more clearance to be baptized. It's rare, but it does happen) So
here we are trying to get this information to her and we can't. Plus,
we've never met the woman so we thought that would be a weird first
introduction. Since we have had iPads we have had to write in every
lesson's progress into them. She had been waiting
for so long, there were A LOT of lessons to put in. As you read and
type up all these records it feels like characters in a book and you
just become attached. Jeni had an incredible testimony and so badly
wanted to be baptized! We couldn't handle the wait anymore, so what did
we do?? We called her. She didn't answer (we didn't really expect her
to), so we leave a message telling her we have exciting news. She
called back!!! (Which happens, never). And we tell her she has been
cleared and what does she do?? She gasps, with a smile in her voice
and says, "really?!?!?" Yep. "Well can we get together and talk about
it sometime?!" Duhhh! So we set up an appointment for Tuesday and
invited her to church on Sunday (it got cancelled... Lame!) and we are
all so excited!! I can't imagine having to wait for something so long
(it's been 7 months), especially something like baptism. It makes you
really reflect on the importance of the covenants you made when you
are baptized and how often we take them for granted.

Friday: snowed in = time to finish the area book which was a huge
blessing because we had to have it done by the 23rd and no one thought
that would be possible. It is when you're snowed it :)
The better miracle:
On Wednesday we went over to the Marrs' home to try and teach him and
his wife (he's less active she isn't a member) this is the same home
where Sister Lyons got locked in the smallest bathroom ever with a vicious cat
that was clawing and hissing at me, but I don't know if I ever told
you that story... Anyway, we went over on Wednesday for a lesson with
Sister Marrs, but a nurse answered the door, the whole family was
there and Brother Marrs was laid out on a gurney... Brother Marrs
passed away that night. We called the Relief Society to, well, provide
relief... They were going to wait until the snow cleared up.... If you
know me at all, you know I wouldn't take that for an answer, and
neither would Sister Lyons or Sister Porter. So we were working on our
iPads and Sister Heslop was sitting with us and we started asking each
other, what is there to do? Sister Heslop was like, "what are you
talking about?" So we tell her and she starts to cry. The Marrs had
only been married a month (together about 7 years) and were in their
50s. Sister Heslop couldn't stand the thought about loosing her
husband and having no support so she gets up, say, "Rod! We need the
chains put on the van!" And goes into the kitchen to prepare ham,
potatoes, a salad, dessert, and anything else that she would want if
she was in this position. So what's the miracle? We made it to the
Marrs home safely, Sister Marrs welcomed us in, and Sister Heslop's
example made other women buck up and make their way over to see her :)
Saturday: have you ever played telestrations, with the Heslops?? Most
hilarious game, especially with them. When else are you going to be
best friends with 50 year olds?? Only when you're on a mission... Or 50.

Sunday: we finished the area book! AND redid all the contacts in our
phone so that we could know who all these people were and if we
actually knew them! I doubt you will understand how annoying and
tedious that was, but trust me, it was a miracle.

If anything else noteworthy comes into my mind I'll be sure to let you
know. I love you all and I'm grateful for your love and support.
One of my favorite scriptures of the week is found in the Doctrine and
Covenants 100:12, "Therefore, continue your journey and let your hearts REJOICE; for behold, and lo, I am with you even unto the end."

Let us rejoice in our God :)

I love you, xoxoxoxox!
Sister Kensey Pence Kerr

Monday, February 3, 2014

#missionmomstatus - minivan and all!

Hello, hello! It was a dang, stinkin' good week. My goodness, I love my mission so much! I don't want it to end!!!

This week we started teaching 3 new people about the gospel! It has been simply incredible. I have never experienced such amazing things on my mission as I have here, this transfer. Goodness, I love this area, my companions, the people we are working with and all the miracles! This companionship is just great and I sure am loving it!

One of the new people we started teaching is the wife of a less-active member. We have been trying and trying to start teaching her, but her husband always has some type of excuse. So, while in the area that day, we needed to find a bathroom to use, they were a perfect candidate! Sister Lyons went into this tiny little bathroom, where the cat was cooped up. She is allergic to cats. Haha, it was so funny, she came out just dying! BUT, the woman agreed to letting us come back and teach her about the Book of Mormon. We offered her a copy and she was very excited and said she had a copy in the past, but looks forward to reading it now that she is an adult. YAY! Going to the source is always the best choice!

Oh ya! The Aloha 2nd ward just got a senior couple to serve in our ward, the Bushman's! They are so sweet and it is going to be so fun to have a 3rd set in the ward. Can you believe that? 7 missionaries in the Aloha 2nd ward. Madness, but so amazing! They are from Montana and this is their first area, they are very thrilled to be here. Mom and Dad, you NEED to serve a mission, you would be so awesome at it!

This week we taught so many people about the importance of church attendance and the reasons we join the church to begin with. Man, I always learn so much while we are in lessons. After all of these lessons, the people we were teaching came away so much more committed to coming to church. It was INCREDIBLE. It truly was the most exciting feeling. Of course, they didn't all come, but they understand it a whole lot better and we are working with them in the right direction though. I learned how important and what a beautiful blessing the Sabbath day is. God has given us EVERYTHING. And once a week, we get to give him 24 hours. It is so cool to me, how did I ever dread Sundays? It is one of the very few things that we can give Heavenly Father. Right now of course, I am able to give Him 18 months straight, but it is so comforting to know that even when I go home, I will still have the opportunity to give Him one whole day a week. It is really exciting, because the more valuable things we give up on that day, the greater sacrifice we are giving to our Father in Heaven. I read this cool scripture in Alma 25. It said, "Now they did not suppose that salvation came by the law of Moses; but the law of Moses did serve to strengthen their faith in Christ; and thus they did retain a hope through faith, unto eternal salvation, relying upon the spirit of prophecy, which spake of those things to come."   I thought this was so cool. The law of Moses teaches sacrifice and this chapter explains that sacrifice serves to strengthen our faith! Our weekly sacrifice of time to our Heavenly Father WILL strengthen our faith! Like one of our hymns says, "sacrifice brings forth the blessings of heaven," it is true!

Our car was having some ISSUES this week, so we took it in early on Thursday morning to be fixed. We were expecting to pick it up that evening after dinner. Come to find out, Ford had called the elder in charge of the cars, rather than us and told him the update on it. It was going to need to be in for a week to be fixed. I don't know why neither of them felt the need to tell US this, but as far as we knew, we were car-less for a week. Greatttt. I love to hear that. So we had a full walking proselyting day, which was actually really fun, it just took very careful planning! Then, we talked to President Morby and he said he would bring by bikes in the morning. WE WERE GOING ON BIKE. Holy goodness, you would not believe how excited we were! Haha, all three of us, in skirts, biking in a row in the city of Aloha! It was going to be a blast. So we went to bed that night, dreaming of biking and preparing for it. Then in the morning, President called and said he had arranged for us to have a car. We were pretty bummed, but it actually is a miracle, because it has been raining ever since we dropped the car off! Our zone leaders (who laughed obnoxiously at us when they heard we were going on bike) dropped off their car for us. They are now driving the only available car in the mission - a 12 seater, white van. I am fairly certain they look pretty darn creepy! Haha, and I forgot to mention that we are now the proud drivers of a MINIVAN. Woot woot. It is a party over here in Aloha :)
I got my wonderful, long-awaited birthday package from home today! It was the best thing ever at the best time ever! I love you all so much, thank you for all the time you put into it and the love that I feel from it. I just love you so much! Everyone, please know that I am being SO blessed out here on my mission, and I know that it is because of the prayers and support from you all. I love you so much. I love being a missionary SO much. I love the people I am working with SO much. And I love my Heavenly Father sososososo much! 

xoxoxo, Sister Kerr <3

p.s. I know these get more and more scattered every week! Hahah, it is SO hard to sit down and focus on this, I am trying though! I hope you still enjoy it :D