Monday, May 19, 2014

#we will all keep pressing forward

Dearest Family,
Today I just want to start off by expressing to you each how much I
love and adore you. I sure do miss you all a whole lot, but am so
eternally grateful for the family I do have. I am so thankful that I
know how it feels to belong, to be loved, to be missed, to be enjoyed
- I just LOVE this family of mine. I started today by reading an email
from my mom saying, "Ok, I just made sure that Dad told you first, so
it's ok for me to talk about it..." What is she talking about? Keep
reading/skimming, see the word "Patriarch"...Hmm, maybe I should read
Dad's first. Haha! I am so excited for my dear father who has been
called as the Syracuse Stake Patriarch, what a blessing that is. I was
a little surprised to hear it (mainly because my Dad is still so young
to me!) but, knew immediately that it is a perfect call for him. He
will get to serve others in such a unique and pivotal way. He has
ALWAYS been so close to the Spirit and will get to have that in his
life even more. I am so thrilled for the growth that is happening
within my family, our purpose here on earth is to progress
spiritually, no better way to do that than to serve in whatever
capacity our Father in Heaven asks us to.

It was a great week here in Portland! We had one of our most
successful weeks as for lessons, we were able to teach a lot, which
was a major blessing! God definitely has been preparing people for us
here in the Oak Hills ward, it is just the matter of finding them. In
the process of "finding them," we have met some really incredible
people from all over the world. I LOVE that part, the meeting and
hearing people's stories. It is my favorite! We met an awesome man,
Shadad with a crazy last name that starts out Gi-, so we call him
Gigi. He is from Iran/Persia and has the sweetest family ever. They
invited us back for a Persian family night and to discuss the Book of
Mormon, he has read it! Another is a woman, Janice, married to a man
from Japan. We were tracting and they invited us in right off the bat.
We discussed the Book of Mormon with them and they taught us about
their beliefs. They are members of the Unification church which
originated in Korea. They believe in modern-day revelation and have
some very interesting philosophies. It was SO relaxed though, the
Spirit was most definitely there with us because there was no tension
as we both shared our beliefs with one another. I know that is how God
intends for His children to treat each other when they disagree on
things, it was such a great experience! Anyways, we left her a chapter
in th Book of Mormon to read (2 Nephi 2), she was very intrigued by
the Plan of Salvation, especially about pre-mortal life and the role
of Adam and Eve. She said she would read it and invited us to come
back and talk about it with her next week! Another couple we met, one
was from the foreign land of NEW YORK. Yep, he went to University of
Rochester! His wife was from China. He is atheist and his wife is
Buddhist, but they have had great relationships with members
throughout the years, especially pertaining to their high school
children (yet again, your example totally makes an impact!). They
remembered great things and were willing to chat because of it. We
offered the woman a Book of Mormon in Mandarin since she cannot read
English very well and she said yes! Another man was from Iran as well,
his name was Mohsen. He started off really kind of rude and snappy
towards us about religion, but we ended up laughing together and
enjoying a great conversation about Jesus Christ. He ended up really
loving us and offering the sweet sister I had with me on exchanges and
myself a beer, haha, no worries we declined! This is the type of work
we have been about. LOTS of meeting and planting good, solid seeds.
Everyone we meet is so great, just not interested in moving or
changing anything quickly. Which is OK! Slow growth creates deep
roots, God is still a part of these people's lives, I have no doubt.
He is giving them experiences that will continue to prepare them to
accept His gospel at some point in their lives.

Today is the start of another transfer. We found out on Saturday that
Sister Benson and I will be staying together until she goes home! I'll
be with her until the day she dies, in mission language, which I am so
happy about. I love her so much and am so excited/thankful that we get
another 5 weeks together to work our hearts out here in Oak Hills.
Everyone that we see in the ward always ends the visit by saying, "I
just love you two together. We love that we can see you don't just get
along fine, but that you are friends doing an amazing work together."
It really is that way! We love each other so much and have so much fun
together as we serve our God.

I love you. I love all 10 months that I have been in Oregon. I love
Oak Hills. I love the people we have met. I love the missionaries of
the Oregon Portland Mission. I love our Cedar Mill Stake leaders. I
love the Bible and the Book of Mormon (my studies have been the BEST).
I love our prophet, Thomas S. Monson. I love receiving personal
revelation and answers to my questions. I love the gift of the Holy
Ghost, my constant companion, comforter, guide and friend. I love my
Savior, Jesus Christ and all that is possible Because of Him. I love
my Father in Heaven. And most of all, I love the relationship that I
can have with both Him and my Savior.

Have a happy week, everyone. Know that you are in my every prayer and
that I think of you often, the type of thinking about you that gets me
to work! You motivate and inspire me. I love you and feel your
blessings each and everyday.

xoxox, Sister Kerr

random facts.
1/ The family that opened the Syracuse Stake for the first time ever
back a long time ago is living in my ward, The Weight's. They are one
of my favorites. My eyes filled up with tears several times as we
spoke with them and I saw how they have consecrated their lives to the
Lord and did His work in my home stake. I was happy to share with them
the growth and changes that have happened because of what they
started. President Weight, who was the Stake President there, is now
suffering from severe dementia. They have lived a beautiful life and I
am so grateful for them!
2/ I ate sushi. Real sushi. At a restaurant. Yes, you guessed it, I
did gag. I have an overactive gag reflex.
3/ I still know how to write/edit a college essay. Hallelujah! With
Sister B as my companion I get the interesting dynamic of someone who
will be home in 5 weeks. She applied for BYU months ago and was
accepted. So this week, she had to write an essay to apply for a
program she wants to be involved in. It was a beautiful little baby we
worked up! We both walked away in absolute shock that we know how to
format a paper still.
4/ Trish texted us yesterday! First time she has talked to us since
the big, sad day. My heart was so full of joy to see that she had
thought of us! All she said was, "Hey ladies. Just was thinking about
you and wanted to say Hi!" Sister Benson and I just beamed, she was
thinking about us!
5/ Got an email from Elder Kelly! Haha, glad you got to meet him, he's
a sweetheart isn't he!

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