Sunday, July 20, 2014

For some reason I felt the need to tell you everything I know and hold near and dear to me.

Little high, little low. Little hey, little ho. 
Sorry about not really having a post last week, I felt like my family was needing some personal emails :)

Hello, dear family! It has been another wonderful week here in Oregon. This week marks my first year as a missionary! Is that not just insane? A whole entire year! I truly cannot believe how fast it has gone by and I have loved every minute of it. I have lived a really happy life and have experienced so many good things, but I really don't think I have every been as happy in my life as I have been while serving others. I just love it! 

This week was miraculous. We found 3 new people to teach. It was so amazing and so uplifting to meet people who have thoughts and questions that can be explained and answered through a belief in God and through the things that I want to share with them. When we come to better understand where we came from (meaning that we came from God), we can also better understand who we are and where we are destined to go. I met two amazing girls this week who are both about my age, a little younger. One of them I met actually a couple of months ago and hadn't heard from or seen her in a long time. I was on an exchange with a brand new sister missionary who has been in Oregon for 2 weeks and we had a member with us who is preparing to leave on her mission, so I was the only one who knew the girl! We stopped by and for the first time since the day I met her, she was home! I asked her about the Book of Mormon and if she had been able to read from it at all. Last time, we had told her about the part in when Jesus Christ comes to the people and they have the opportunity to see Him, resurrected and perfected, and to be in His presence. She said she hadn't had the chance to read since we had last seen her. We asked if we could come in and talk about it with her right then since she was home. She said yes! We had the opportunity to teach her and her friend who was visiting for the weekend about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. As I was thinking this morning about what I wanted to share in my email, I just began to think about how incredibly blessed I feel because of the Restoration. Continued below...
Side note for anyone who wants to know what I mean by restoration: {I know that God loves His children and He gave us Jesus Christ to redeem us from the world, establish His church and teach us of the plan that God has for us, in order to RETURN to live with Him. He has always given opportunities to know the truth and know what we need to do, but we each can choose whether we want to listen or not, never forced! For a time, the fullness and completeness of the gospel was not on the earth. That required a restoration. The fullness of the truth needed to be restored to the earth.}
Because of my experiences throughout my life, I know that God is real and that He loves me. I know that is true of every person. I know it is true of those two 19 year old girls I was talking to, who had experienced a LOT of really hard things. Regardless of what type of life, or what type of experiences a person has lived through, I believe the message of the Restoration will answer their questions, or at least help them to begin the journey of having their questions answered. I love the idea of truth literally being restored to the earth, meaning it had been here before, but lost. I read in a book this morning, "...any who desire to know truth (any truth) must ask in prayer..." One of my favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon says, "And by the power of the Holy Ghost, you may know the truth of ALL things" (Moroni 10:5). I love that promise because there is absolutely no limit. We are promised a limitless amount of answers to questions through the power of the Holy Ghost. If we have the desire to know truth, "let that desire work in you, even until ye believe" (Alma 32:27). 

If you have questions, ask them! If you desire truth, do NOT push that desire aside thinking it is not possible or not available to you. Like it is promised to us, we really can know the truth of all things. Let those questions and that desire to know work continually and constantly inside of you. Let it push you to find answers! I think the biggest mistake in life would be contentment. I don't think we should ever be satisfied with the amount of knowledge we have, always pursue more! If you want to know if God really exists, you can know. 

I know God is real and He is our loving Heavenly Father. I know He is there and ever listening. I know He desires for His children to be informed and aware. What parent wants their child to be ignorant and go through life blindly, going through the motions, feeling satisfied with their limited understanding? We have the ability to know and He wants us to be fully aware of Him. I have met so many people throughout my life, both on my mission and before my mission, who believe God is not involved and believe He just wants to control His children in a manipulative and dictating way. I have come to know and love God and I know He is not that way at all. He encourages us to seek truth and knowledge and promises it to us if we seek with sincerity. 

While talking with those two girls, we shared a video that I believe I have mentioned before, called "Because of Him." I will link it at the end of the email and you can watch it! After showing it, one of the girls, the friend visiting from out of town, was just beaming. She was so in love with the video. The part that really struck her was, "Because of Him, guilt becomes peace. Regret becomes relief. Despair becomes hope. Because of him, we have second chances, clean slates, new beginnings. There is no such thing as the end." 

I know that is true! I know God loves us and wants us to experience joy and feel that relief, peace and hope. We, His children, are worth the life and death of Jesus Christ. It is Because of Him that we can experience those changes within ourselves. 

Wow, that all was weighing heavily upon my mind this morning. Sorry to spill so much all at once, but I pray you can feel of the love that I have for you and for my Savior as you read it. I really hope it will mean something to at least one of you reading this! 

Here is the link to the video!

And I am attaching some pictures from this week too! 

 I have a fun story for you! It was on Independence Day! We were
hanging out with he youngest Ballard girl, Eliza, who is ten. She is
so cute, I love her! Her mom really wants her to be in the Oak Hills
parade, but Eliza doesn't want to because she's only been here for 5
days and doesn't know anyone, blah, blah, blah. You know how it is
having mom try and force you to do something ridiculous because she
would have done it back when she was a kid. Well, I got sucked into
it, because Sister Ballard is kind of the boss. She picks us up,
drives us over to the grocery store and buys tons of candy. I'm
sitting there trying to figure out how he heck we are going to be in
the parade! There's no float we can join, no bikes we could ride,
whatever just go with the flow! We get back to he place where the
parade will start and see a bunch of little kids taking off on their
adorable, decorated bikes. It is all of our first time at this parade,
so we assume it is the start of the parade! Sister Ballard yells for
us to jump out and follow them with our candy. So we jump out and
follow! We've got tons of candy still in its big bags in three tiny,
thin grocery bags. We are chasing after the kids, Sister Berrett,
Eliza and myself, while trying to open the bags of candy. Meanwhile
the grocery bag handles are ripping off and we are dropping candy
everywhere! Haha! Now we're way behind the kids on bike, but no one is
coming behind us. Where is the rest of the parade you may wonder? The
kids on bike were a race, not the parade. So we were ditched, the
parade hadn't started yet and now it is just the three of us walking
down the street alone throwing out handfuls of candy. It was the best
4th if July parade I have participated in! It was seriously so
hilarious and very memorable. 

{This is my favorite of Sister Barrett and I}

I love you all, each and everyone of you! All the way to the moon and back. Muah, muah, muah! 

Xoxo, Sister Kensey Kerr <3 

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