Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Let the spirit guide.

Little high, little low. Little hey, little ho. (I really enjoyed starting off like Stuart Little last week, so I may make this a regular, at least for a bit!)

This week was absolutely marvelous, for so many reasons that I really cannot even begin to articulate why.It is impossible to describe and explain all that has effected me and helped me to have this spiritual breakthrough, but there were a few specific experiences that really changed me this week that I have pinpointed. I'll share those! I feel like I have been in the refiner's fire for a time and am now finally seeing some growth and change within myself. Thank gosh, it has all been worth it!

On Friday this week we had our monthly Mission Leadership Council with about 40 of the missionaries and President and Sister Morby. This was only my second time attending, but I really look forward to these meetings. The spirit is unbelievable there and I just feel so close to my Heavenly home while there. This one was extra special because it was the last one that President and Sister Morby would preside at. When endings begin to be insight, it always seems that you really get to see, feel and appreciate a person's passion for their work. That was so true at this meeting; true of the Morby's, but also true of every single missionary there. The end of the Morby's time has brought a lot of thought and emotions and we really were able to recommit, I absolutely loved it! The words that were spoken throughout that day were an answer to so many of my silent prayers and pleas to my Father in Heaven. I am always hesitant to tell you, but I was really having a rough couple of weeks (I am so good now though, so you cannot worry!). That is kind of weird for me. I have always been very on top of things, in control, calm and generally, able to handle everything that I encounter with a good amount of ease. As my dear family knows, I enjoy being in control. That explains why I have always had such an intense fear of falling. Haha, yes, I remember those days at Darien Lake when I was wrapped around the railing of any ride that involved a falling motion, where my stomach would fly up. Yes, you all remember me hating those and making an absolute scene. Well, I have realized that I have that same problem spiritually. I hate feeling out of control and I dislike feeling that I have to rely on someone else to keep me safe. I think throughout my mission so far, I have been peeled off "my railing" and am now experiencing the roller-coaster fall feeling. But, this is SO good for me. For the first time in my life, I am really having to rely on my Savior, Jesus Christ. I was thinking about Peter from the New Testament a lot this week and the faith he had to walk on water to Christ. What powerful faith! I began to doubt my own faith and felt like I lacked so much strength. I thought of Peter and that first unnerving step he took off the ship towards Christ. Logically, his ship was a lot safer of a place than the ocean. What motivated him to leave that? I thought of the comforts of my life before and how safe and comfortable and familiar it was. It was a place where I could be in total control, but I wasn't growing the way I needed to, I wasn't coming to Christ as much as I could, now that I have left that God helped me to understand that I took that step similar to Peter's, when coming on my mission - I have faith! Fear is what made Peter falter and it is the same for me. I am so eternally grateful for my mission and for the opportunity it has given me to experience the fall. Now I understand Christ's role in my life, he can bring me more stability and peace than I ever brought myself. I need Him!

sidenote: things significantly improved in my life once I learned this lesson. Hah, I know I alluded to something similar last week, but I still did not get it. I get it now! 

...how my life improved.

I had the spirit with me so much more. I have never felt so guided in my life as much as I did after the meeting Friday and  on Saturday. We went out to meet and contact people Friday night and we "ran into" the most amazing people. God totally sent us there. Saturday was amazing! We went by to go see Florita since we had told her we would still help her with service even though she is not interested in learning anymore. I really do not have the words (or the time) to try and describe what happened there, but I know it was the handiwork of God. I had read a random, super old talk that morning in my study time and it was the perfect answer to her questions and problems. Finding that specific talk was so guided, haha, it is so amazing to know who is in control. Thank goodness it isn't me anymore! Anyways, I just want you to know that you, my family, prepared me for that lesson too, in such an incredible and personal way. Florita's struggles are things that we have dealt with and have brought us closer. She and I cried throughout the whole lesson, because it was a topic that was so close to my heart. It was such a special experience. 

Second experience on Saturday that really changed me! We parked our car at the church and were walking down the street to a member's friends home where they were having a graduation party. We didn't have anywhere to go for dinner, so they told to stop by and grab some food. It was after 7, so we were pretty hungry and ready to eat when we parked. We were walking along, got to the driveway, but both continued to walk, like it was the most logical thing we had done all day. It was so bizarre. So, we just walked past and decided we would eat later or not eat...in retrospect it made no sense, since that was the purpose of us being there. We then start talking about tracting and how it seems perfectly logical to do that right now, especially since we had nothing with us. Every thought that kept coming into our head felt so natural and just like, of course we would do that. Haha! Of course we would walk right past our dinner appointment, of course we would walk towards no end goal, of course we would then run across the street and climb through a ditch of rocks to go into this development. Of course. Long story short, we met Mark. He is from Germany and is absolutely amazing. He had just been talking to his LDS friend about Mormon Missionaries the day before, which was random, because he had never met any  before. So, when he answered the door, he looked at us funny, almost like, "Is this a joke, since I was just talking about you yesterday?" We had the most amazing and open conversation that I have ever had on my mission. He asked us what we believe faith is.We asked him what he believes the purpose of life to be. He very humbly responded that he did not know. He knows we have this desire to improve and do to good, he feels that is the purpose. We asked him what motivates us to do that, why do we have those desires within us. He was unsure and was totally open that he was unsure. He is one of the most humble people I have ever met becasue he was willing to admit he did not know, but (this is key!) he expressed a desire to know. We explained and shared scriptures from the Book of Mormon with him on his doorstep and offered him one (which we didn't even have a spare with us). He said yes and really wants to read it. We promised him that he could discover the purpose of life by reading that book and by praying to God. It was absolutely amazing. So, we dashed the long walk back to the car, grabbed a Book of Mormon and dashed back to his house to deliver it to him. He is so sincere and genuine and a sincere and genuine seeker of truth and so humble! I know, without a doubt, he will receive answers. 

Story that branches off that one, which is super cool because it shows we were destined to meet Mark (at least I see it that way)! >>> On Wednesday, Sister Benson and I felt so strongly that we need to somehow involve the members more and help change the ward in that way. We prayed and asked God what members we should specifically begin to work with. Several people came to my mind and I wrote them all down, most of them were leaders in the ward that I felt would make a good example to everyone. Brother Daines came to my mind, and it just seemed really random, so I wrote him down at the very end. We were at our dinner appointment on Sunday with the Daines. They were asking us about people we are teaching. We told them the amazing story of Mark, with all the details and bore our testimonies of how amazing and spiritual it was. Come to find out, Brother Daines served his mission in Germany and he works at the same place as Mark over in Portland. Coincidence? Definitely not. The Holy Ghost is guiding, I am finally letting him and look how incredible the results are! 

{Just a couple of bunnies}
Sorry it took so long for me to send an Easter picture!
I love being a missionary. Know that I have spent all of my time writing stories, I have no time left. I hope you can feel of my testimony in the stories I shared, I hope they make sense! I know that God lives, loves us and will do anything for us. I know that Christ has redeemed us and now, I really know we can have a personal relationship with Him. I know the Holy Ghost is given to us as a gift to guide and direct our lives and lead us, literally, to wherever will bring us the most joy. I really have a testimony of that too now! 

My loves, carry on! You all motivate and encourage me in ways you do not know! 

xoxo, Sister Kerr

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