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 cute...at all, and had his hand up his shirt. We are in la la land listening to LDS.org 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

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