Thursday, March 27, 2014

Much has been learned.

Hey, family and anyone else reading this week! Here we are, another
week into the Portland Adventure and it is going oh so good! I really
loved this week and have come to love the Aloha 2nd Ward and my
companion and teaching and the people we are teaching and Oregon and
the weather and WORKING HARD. There is nothing that feels better than
working my very hardest in the service of my God. I love that I have
the opportunity to do that! This week I am most grateful that Heavenly
Father chooses to work through imperfect people to accomplish His work
here on earth. By allowing us to be involved in His work, we learn
more than we would any other way! I never ever saw myself on a mission
(not that I was opposed to it, just never even imagined it), but now I
cannot even picture my life without THESE experiences. I know Heavenly
Father helped me to get out here because there was a lot He needed me
to learn out here. One of those "things" is the deep love He has for
me. I don't think I ever will fully grasp the depth of the love He has
for me, but I really never EVER would have understood it even in the
slightest without the experiences I've had here in Oregon. I get to be
His hands and bear witness to so many that they are loved and
important to the Most High being in the universe. That HE knows their
name and their life. In so doing, I have come to know that is true of
me as well. I know it with all my heart and nothing brings me more joy
than bringing a fellow person to that knowledge as well! Here is one
of my favorite passages from the Book of Mormon that I want to share!

Alma 26:12-13

12 Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak;
therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for
in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles
we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name

13 Behold, how many thousands of our brethren has he loosed from the
pains of hell; and they are brought to sing redeeming love, and this
because of the power of his word which is in us, therefore have we not
great reason to rejoice?

Is their anything more desirable than "singing redeeming love"? I
really don't think so. Christ has released us from that pain and
brought us to a place where we can sing that redeeming love. He has
given us His word. "Have we not great reason to rejoice?" We do, we
do! We can rejoice eternally through living His teachings that are
found in the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. So do it! Strive to live
His teachings, come to know HIM as He has come to know us, pray, read
His teachings in the scriptures, and heed the counsel of His
latter-day prophets. We have so much to do and so little time to
accomplish it all!

Now somehow apply all that, I hope it made sense. Onto this week.

We had zone conference this week. It was the Beaverton West zone
(mine) and all of the Spanish speaking missionaries! That was a bit of
a twist on the regular meeting. It was SO good though. I love zone
conference, probably because I am in love with my mission president
and his wife. They are the most wonderful parents in all of Oregon!
The spirit was so strong there and Sister Porter and I both gained
great new insight to help with those that we are teaching. Have I
mentioned I have the sweetest companion ever? Somehow I seem to get
all the amazing sisters in the mission! She's a music guru and writes
her own lyrics and music. She wrote a new song to perform at this
conference and it was beautiful! I wish I could send a recording of
it. I would love to claim some piece of it, but my only claim is that
I did get to help critique it a bit. Oh, I did help pick her outfit
before the conference, that's always a big deal! After the meeting,
Sister Morby, the mission president's wife, came out on a lesson with
us, which was so fun! We brought her to Holly's lesson where we had an
awesome discussion on eternal families and modern day prophets. Holly
is so excited to be baptized, mostly because she CANNOT wait to be
sealed to her family in the temple for time and all eternity. Their
family is beyond sweet, I am so grateful that I've been able to spend
so much time with them :)

This week we went tracting for the first time in quite awhile and it
was so good! We went for about an hour and talked with two people for
basically the entire time. The theme of this tracting experience was
that people remember how you treat them!! Both of these people we
talked with for so long, had old friends and acquaintances who were
members of the church. They both had had great interactions with them
and were therefore curious and willing to talk with us for nearly a
half hour each! It was so sweet. I now have a much stronger testimony
about planting seeds. Even when you try over and over to bring the
gospel to someone, it is still their choice if they want to accept it.
However, the impression you leave on them will determine if they are
willing to listen to two girls on their doorstep. I don't know if this
will go anywhere, but I do know that the Spirit was there with us and
they could feel it. The impact their friends of the past made opened
up an opportunity for them to feel the Spirit again! Keep being a
positive influence, they WILL remember it!

One of the women we are working with returned from her three week
vacation this week. She left RIGHT after we committed her to some
pretty big changes, so when we saw her this week, it was pretty nerve
racking to see how she was feeling about it all. The outcome was
picture perfect though! She couldn't wait to see us, and when we saw
her she informed us that she "is all in!" Hallelujah! She said she is
no longer being a member half-heartedly, but she is ready to be
completely active again because she recognizes the difference in her
life! I am so proud of her and so excited for the blessings she will

We have been teaching a lot about the word of wisdom lately, as you
have probably noticed from my emails. At times it seems like so much
to ask of people, but even thinking that is mocking what the Savior
has done for us. I know that through Him, we can obey any commandment,
regardless of how insanely hard it may seem. He has felt those
addictions and has felt our pains. And guess what. He overcame them.
He offers His divine help to assist us through our trials too! Since
We have been teaching this so much, I came to the realization that I
have never really had to give anything up before. I decided I'm going
to do it because I want to know how it feels to give up something you
really want. Every member of my family...brace yourselves. I gave up
sugar. GASP. I know, can you believe that? And anytime I want something
delicious and sweet (always), I imagine this woman we're working with
and how badly she wants to go out and smoke! And now I have to put up
with people offering it to me ALL the time, just as she does, and I
have to painfully decline. Remember, I live with a cooking genius who
caters and I swear specials in desserts! I'm doing it for forty days!
Woohoo, then I can finally understand what it feels like to have to go
without on something I REALLY want to have. I dare you to try it too!
It's really cool to think about how when we are spiritually driven to
do something, we can accomplish it. I am proving to my body and brain
that my spirit is stronger!

Well, I love y'all tons and tons! You mean so much to me and I love
the closeness that I feel to you as I am out here serving away. I know
that our Father lives and loves us and wants us to experience joy.
Seek after the joy He wants for us and your life will improve! I can't
wait to live with my family for all eternity and with our Heavenly
Father too. What a bright and happy future we have to look forward to.
I have the lyrics to a song stuck in my head, it says, "If we are
faithful we are promised all the Father has." What a beautiful
promise, let us live up to it and be FAITHFUL.

Love you! Xoxoxo,
Sister Kensey Kerr

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