Thursday, April 17, 2014

I love it here!

 My dear, sweet FAMILY!

This week has been really, really good. Time is so warped out here on
the mission, but especially so the first week of a transfer in a new
area! Oak Hills ward is wonderful, there are so many great people and
I am excited for you to come to love them, just as you have the people
in my last areas. It is so special that our whole family gets to be
involved in my mission - you all helped make me the way that I am, so
everyone I meet has you all to thank! Description of the ward. It is
higher class than Aloha, by far, there of course are some lower income
places too! There is just a lot more variety than there was in my last
ward. There had not been any baptisms in this area for YEARS, until
this past December and there have been 3 more since that! Our work is
definitely cut out for us, we have LOTS to do, but we are so excited
to do it. Everyone in the ward that I talk to raves about how amazing
the past sisters are who have served here (there have only been
sisters in the area for about 9 months), I definitely have big shoes
to fill, but am so grateful that the ward already trusts us! I feel
like I really am going to be stretched in this area and forced to
become a better missionary. Stretching is hard, but it will be so
worth it!

We are working with some really incredible people here in Oak Hills.
First and foremost, Kyle! Kyle is 20 years old and has very little
religious background. His friend from work, a woman in the ward,
invited him to come to church with her and he accepted! He then
decided that he wanted to learn more, Sister Benson and her past
companion started to teach him and he was not catching onto things
very quickly. I went into the lesson expecting that! We sit down and
we ask him about the Book of Mormon and how reading it has been going.
He starts rattling off about Nephi and his three brothers, Laman,
Lemuel and Sam. He tells their whole story about leaving Jerusalem
because of the wickedness of the people and wandering in the
wilderness. Our jaws dropped! It was so incredible, the spirit was
really working on him this week and helping him to keep the things
he's reading and really remember them! He kept texting us throughout
the week and telling us how HAPPY praying and reading is making him.
It was seriously incredible. Every single text he sent us, we looked
up at each other and just about died because they were just way too
good to be true! But, they just kept coming. We invited him to the
fireside that was in Beaverton by Nela Otuafi, a Samoan songwriter and
he texted us back later that day asking if he could invite his
friend...of course! Then he texted us again telling us about how much
joy he feels when he is telling his friend about the gospel. It really
was so incredible. Each of you, follow Kyle's example and DO
missionary work. It really makes you so happy!!

We are teaching a man who was excommunicated and desperately wants to
return to the church. It is one of the most amazing and powerful
experiences that I have ever been able to be involved in, I feel so
blessed! We taught him over at the Morby's home this week, which was a
really cool and special experience. He shared his testimony of our
Savior, Jesus Christ with us and it seriously was one of the most
powerful, spiritual things that I have ever listened to. He is amazing
and is so excited to do every commitment that we invite him to do. We
asked him to pray about the restoration and the Book of Mormon. His
response: "Oh my gosh! I can't wait to go home and pray about it!
Thank you so much for inviting me to do that." It is so cool to teach
someone from this perspective, he knows so much and is loving this
repentance process. It has really helped me to see how repentance
truly IS a gift.

My district is called the Five Oaks District and yes, that picture
shows that I am reunited with my MTC companion, Sister Bloxham! She is
in the ward right next to mine. It is so fun to be with her again :)

Favorite family thus far, the Rueppel's! They are so awesome. Renee
has been a member her whole life, but not active. Her husband, Barry
just was baptized about 5 years ago. Neither of them are super active
right now, but are working towards it. They are the sweetest couple
and make us feel so loved! We went and did service with them on
Saturday and planted their garden. They did it very differently than
at home, it was the most tedious garden experience ever! But, we of
course enjoyed it! Then, I helped Barry put up fence. I yet again
proved that "growing up in New York" most definitely does not mean
what everybody thinks it does. They are so amazing, and SO fun! I love
them. We committed them to praying and asking Heavenly Father what the
purpose of their trials. I really, really hope that they do that. I
know that it will bring them guidance and comfort! They have been
through SO much and I want them to gain testimonies that it really was
for their benefit. I know that Heavenly Father loves them and each of
us and puts us in difficult situations so that we can learn things.

This weekend I got to go back to Aloha for the baptism of Holly and
Jenna! It was such a spiritual and special experience. Marc was able
to perform the baptism for his wife and daughter, which was incredible
to experience the special spirit that was there! Their sights are set
on the temple, to be sealed in one year! I love them and am so
grateful to have come to know and love their sweet family so much.

There is much to do here in Oak Hills and I am so excited to be here
to do the work of my Heavenly Father! Please know that I think about
you often and love you to pieces. You mean the world to me! Learning
more about the gospel has helped me to understand better the purpose
of families. I KNOW that the family is central to God's plan for His
children. I know that families can be eternal through sacred covenants
and promises we can make in the temples, the House of God. Thank you,
Mom and Dad for loving us enough, to go to that sacred, special place
and seal our family together. Our's truly is eternal. What a happy,
happy message! I am missing you all so much, but that's OK because I
know that if we are faithful we are promised eternity together! Keep
being faithful to those covenants you have made and prepare yourself
for the covenants you will be making!

Read the talk, "Your Four Minutes," again! It is so uplifting and heed
the counsel he gives.

{sweet little Jenna Marie} 

{Nela Otuafi Fireside in Beaverton!} 

 {Sisters in the Five Oaks District!}

 {the baptism of Holly and Jenna}

{the Daley Family!}

I love you. Xoxoxo.

Sister Kerr

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