Wednesday, May 28, 2014

[be of good cheer]

Hello, sweet family!
It has been another good, enjoyable, learning week for your sister missionary out here in Oregon. I am absolutely flabbergasted that this is the last week of May. Uhm, can we please slow time down, maybe pause for a week of so? I just need a quick breather to be able to actually understand that next week is June and the kids are getting out of school. That is super bizarre. I was here for their summer vacations last year, when they started the school year and now I'm watching them finish up school. It is so weird! And it was over a year ago that I was in college, that's slightly bizarre too. I'm coming home extra smart though, no worries!

President and Sister Morby came to our ward again and spoke in Sacrament Meeting yesterday. The spirit was so strong and I greatly appreciated the words they spoke. They have helped me to see growth in myself and changes that I wasn't fully aware had taken place. My parents are the most loving people I know and are so wonderful at making sure that I know that I am loved, needed, enjoyed, and important. They also are perfect at helping me to see the growth I have experienced and the ways I have changed. The Morby's have most definitely helped fill in on that position since being here in the mission. I am so grateful for the joy they have brought to my life and for the help they have provided me with; the things I have learned on my mission have really changed my outlook on my life. I am so grateful for President's worthiness and his willingness to be obedient to the promptings he receives. I know my mission has been a success this far because I have changed and grown, I also know that the places I have served and those I have served with are a huge factor in that growth. I am thankful that he has been in tune with the spirit enough to put me where I would be stretched and transformed into who I am now. And I am grateful God put me in he Oregon Portland Mission where I could grow from my relationship with President and Sister Morby. I really am grateful that I have another 8 months to keep changing though! It is funny that we think we know what we need to be the happiest, but in all reality, we have no idea. I am so grateful that God has not given me everything that I thought I needed throughout my life, because in retrospect, I sure would be unhappy with all of that! He truly is in control.

The work has been going good. We had some really great things roll out this week, but we did have a couple of really hard days. I started to get a bit overwhelmed with all that is going on in the world. It dawned on me one day how much wickedness there is all around us. Every single way we turn, it appears that Satan is in control. I know this isn't true, but I could not shake the feeling of despair that was all around. I began to be fearful and anxious about the future, which I KNOW is the opposite of faith. I know without a doubt that I had no reason to feel that way because the gospel of Jesus Christ offers us hope to be free from the chains of the world. I knew it didn't make sense, but I could not help that I did feel that way. The world is a terrifying place filled with so much evil and as I thought about all of that, the scripture in John thankfully came to my mind. "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33) That is exactly how it felt too. All the world had to offer me was tribulation, fear, and doubt; they had no condolences to offer, nothing to heal that pain and fear. I am so grateful that Christ has overcome the world though because I could not handle feeling that way any longer. Much of the world does not know this. That is what we are here to offer them, the healing that can come through Christ. I cannot imagine feeling the way I did for those couple of days, all the time. Life would be absolutely awful. I know that those hard days were a blessing though, because I now better understand how the world does feel and how desperately they do need this message.

We went on an exchange this past week. I went with a sister into their area. It went really well and was a successful day. This area has been especially hard for her,  it was her first time being transferred so this is her first new area. It was really perfect because a lot of her feelings were feelings I had been experiencing within myself just the transfer before when first getting into Oak Hills. It has been a hard transition for her, but she is doing so well, I just want her to see and understand how great of a missionary she is. She told me about midway through the exchange that she felt more like herself than she had in a long time. I am so grateful that Heavenly Father allowed me the opportunity to help this sweet sister that I love. I know that somehow this is the type of work I want to go into. I love helping people feel adequate and important, because we all are! We are children of God and he sees divine potential within each one of us. She couldn't pinpoint where the change had come from, but I asked her to keep thinking about it and apply whatever it was that she had changed in herself that day that had made her feel better. I am so thankful I get to serve in this way now.

Something small that I loved from this week came from a woman we are teaching, Florita. She struggles with depression and has some really hard days. We stopped by to see her and bring her a large print Book of Mormon at the end of this week. When we sat down and started visiting she told she had almost called us the day before. She told us she had one of her worst days and was feeling pretty low and hopeless. We scolded her for not calling when she had thought of it and told her she better call next time. She then said, "Sisters, just knowing I could call you was such a strength to me. That helped me in itself." I really feel like an angel sometimes to these strangers that we fall in love with out here. I just can't comprehend the love that I feel for these people we have recently met. God's love and His work really is amazing! 

{Here is a cute random pic from downtown the other day! It is so
beautiful. I love the bridges here :)}

Well I love you tons. Muah, muah, muah! 

Xoxo, love ya to the moon and back.

Sister Kerr <3

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