Onto recounting the miraculous week in Willamette!
Two of the people we are teaching have baptism dates now. It is so exciting to teach people about the restored gospel. But then to teach them how in the world that applies to their life is even better! And that is where we are this week. I love teaching with Sister Olsen, we really are doing so well together. The feeling in the room when we taught was so powerful, several times this week. One of them is as 10 year old girl, she recently moved in with her grandparents who are members. She is so sweet. We taught her several times this week in preparation for her baptism on ! We went with her to the visitor's center yesterday and had a fun day talking about eternal families (all day! That was the topic of the entirety of church as well! Makes me miss you, but I am grateful I get to share it with other families). They're such a cute and sweet family! Oh, funny, crazy story! She wanted to wear her jeans to church and her grandma told her no, she needed to wear one of her dresses to church. She kept refusing and grandma put her foot down and told her she was leaving without her then. She didn't think her grandma would actually leave her (we all know better than that in the Kerr Family!!!!), so she WALKED to church! I need you to understand the area I live in. I basically live on a mountain, at least a mountainous hill! And the church building is at the very, tippy, top! Haha, she walked the whole way there! I was so proud of her for doing that! She lives far too, it was well over a mile straight up. She really wanted to come! Definitely made me think of what I would be willing to do to get to church! Someone offered her a ride when she was about 3 blocks away and she told us, "God told me this was a nice lady and I should ride with her the rest of the way to church." Well, that's great! Slightly frightening, but I know Heavenly Father was helping her to get to church and be safe. It was cool because we have taught her about prayer a few times and receiving answers. So, it was a great little answer to her prayers that helped her to see how God talks to her. She is so sweet and adorable! And she looks so much like Taylor Bowman when we were that age...it's weird!
The other woman we are teaching is in her forties. She also lives with a member of the ward, just friends! The elders who were here before had taught her twice and hadn't seen her for awhile. We went to introduce ourselves to her this week and she is so ready to be taught the restored gospel! We taught her twice this week, starting the lessons over and invited her to be baptized. She was so overjoyed and excited! She said. "Ohhh, I would really like that." She loved church when she came yesterday and is finding a lot of great fellowship in the ward. I love this ward already! They are so wonderful!
We contacted a lot of people that the elders had taught throughout the past and made good contact and will potentially get to teach several of them as well! But, we had so many awesome finding experiences this week all on our own! Finding our own people! That is what is so fun about white-washing, you spread your very own roots in the area, not just depend on the past missionaries experiences. I love all the people we have met, they are so awesome! Last night we went to a member's home to give them some referrals. Hahah! Did a bit of a reverse role there. Our ward is heading up a food drive for the local pantry, so they are supposed to be going around to their neighbors and inviting them to donate. We tracted this one street down by the river, the whole street and found some amazing families who are newer to the area and don't know many people yet! So, we went to a member's home who lives close by and referred these families to them to invite to the food drive. It was great and I really feel like connections in the ward is the only thing that is going to get the work moving here! Mom mentioned that someone said this is a wealthy area. It really is! Everybody is pretty set and good to go, super nice, generally not searching for something though. But, they really are the friendliest wealthy people I've met on my mission. West Linn is great! I know member relationships will help so much with these amazingly nice people we have met!
My companion has been kicking my butt into shape with running every morning. Goodness, you never realize you are that out of shape until you try and run. I have felt like death every single morning, but I keep telling myself, "This too shall pass" the entire time I am running. I can't really say I am grateful for it yet because I still kind of hate my life while I am doing it, but when I get home and am in better shape than I was when I left, I'm sure I will be grateful for it then!
We are expecting more miracles this week! I cannot wait to tell you more about them . I know this week will be good, especially since we scrubbed the car this morning. Elders' cars are D.I.S.G.U.S.T.I.N.G. I know that alone will make this week a good one! Oh! Something cool. Since I am so close to Oregon City again, I will be meeting up for lunch with some of the people I taught there! I CANNOT wait!! The Chavez Family may be coming to see me today! Also! One of the families I was working with to prepare for the temple back in OC moved to this ward last year, while I was still in OC. I got to see them this week now that they have been sealed! It was a happy reunion!
I have got to get going! Much, much, much love.
Xoxox, Sister Kerr <3