Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I loved this week.

Hey, fam!

How on earth are all of you? Goodness this week was so marvelous and a big reason why was because of the General Conference that went on this weekend. I know each of us had that in common as well. So I am guessing that made your week just splendid too! I really loved every minute of it and was so sad when the closing prayer was said because it was now all done! But, there were so many remarkable messages taught there and I learned so much that I needed to learn about right at this moment in my life. Heavenly Father really does know me and He knows the things that have been concerning my heart lately. It was very calming and peaceful to listen to His words through His servants. I wrote down a list of "invitations" that were given throughout the meetings, whether directly spoken or things I felt the Spirit prompting me to act on. That was the neatest experience. Now, I have a big long list of actions I need to take and try, test them out. I would really encourage each of you to try that out! It's been a pretty neat experience already, and it's only been a day after. Try it!
 We had a couple of really cool experiences with conference this week and the people we were watching it with. First one was so funny! We were watching Sunday morning with a less active woman. The entire theme, as you know, was about sustaining the dear prophet. She was convinced something big was coming. Eva, runs out of the room to go grab something after about three talks. She comes back in, arms full of candy (probably looked like we used to!), shouting "Breakfast time!" Sister Jensen and I start laughing and she says, "I need to eat all my candy before the prophet speaks and says we can't eat sugar anymore." Hah! It was super hilarious. She is so crazy, but I love her. Luckily, there was no such revelation. The other cool one came from a recent convert family! They are so brave. They come from the very least Mormon-like background you can imagine and have been members for about four years now. They have changed so much, I wish you could hear their stories. I love them! It's so cool to see people change so stinkin much! Anyways, they were super brave and invited their close family friend, with similar background to theirs, and no religious beliefs at all, to come and listen to a session of conference! They are so amazing! They came and watched. The husband is super closed right now, but the wife loved it. Especially President Uchtdorf's from the women's conference last week. She needs the gospel in her life, she is really struggling.It was so wonderful to see the Thomsen family try to offer their friends the healing that they had needed and experienced in their own lives just a few years earlier. I loved it! Try and think in that mindset yourself. 

The whole week was a good one. One of the first highlights was on Wednesday! I was on an exchange with a pretty new sister missionary. She has been in Oregon for about 7 weeks and she is THE sweetest. Guess where she's from! Lima, Peru. YAY! I was so excited, I had my little connection to Skyler! She was taught by missionaries and was baptized four years ago. No one else in her family has considered it and they were quite angry with her decision to join the church. She is so solid! Her testimony was the sweetest in her very broken english, I know it touched the hearts of those we were teaching. People really recognized the sacrifice she made to be here in West Linn, Oregon and they loved it. Skyler, people must have just loved listening to you, even though your spanish was probably not the smoothest to start off with, they knew without a doubt, you were giving up a lot to come live in their country for two years. It was really sweet to experience a day with her! She normally serves in the Visitor's Center, so her day with me was her first full day out being in a full-proselyting English area. She did great and I learned a ton from her! 

Our mission's focus has broadened a lot lately, I don't want to say "shifted" because we are still focused on other things too. We're just having to learn how to multi-focus on lots of different facets of new tools for missionary work. The broadening has now encompassed service. When I first came on my mission and for the first year, we were encouraged to do 4 hours of service a week. We are now expected to have at least 10 hours of community service every week! That's a big jump, but they really want us out in communities, serving the people we live around and serving alongside the people in the area. I love the idea of it! Especially in areas with more affluent people. These people are not just hanging out at home, they are successful people because they are involved and busy with good work ethics. Going door to door trying to meet them is just not effective, we need to go where the people are in order to meet them and develop relationships with them. In a lot of our meetings lately, we've been talking about this topic: "If we are wanting to accomplish more than we have ever accomplished before, we are going to need to go places we have never gone before. If we keep doing things the way they have always been done, we will continue to get to the same place we have always gotten." I love this! God needs us to do things differently sometimes, the same purpose - loving and serving His children - but different tactics are needed. Are we humble enough and willing enough to do it HOWEVER he is asking us to? Or are we stuck on traditions of the past and believe it's the only way it can get done? I don't know, I think that's been one of my favorite lessons of the past month. This is definitely God's work! That took longer than anticipated, sorry! I get off on it too easily. But, I would like to encourage you to think about your day to day habits. Do you do them because they are helping you become better? Or are you doing them because that's just the way it's always been done? It's just the way I've always reacted to this situation? Just the thing I've always said? I realized how full my life was of that! It completely defeats the message of the gospel. Change! The gospel is there for us to change, become better. Do it because you want to be better, not just because. 

...Back to service. We do service at the food pantry every week which is so much fun! One of the old people we volunteer with has invited us to dinner with he and his wife soon! I am so excited. And if you had told me this would happen when we first started, I would never have believed you! We are so excited. We started volunteering at a park this week too. We served alongside volunteers who have been working to restore this park for years! It was such hard work, we pulled ivy for 3 hours! It was so fun though and we got to talk to the funniest, coolest man that we would never have met without serving there. I love it, definitely a big fan!

Well, I am out of time. I think I said everything I wanted to! Haha, I really should start planning these out a bit more, so I don't miss anything! Please have me tell you stories about the Thomsen Family when I get home. They're the best, but writing out the stories is ridiculous! I love you all!

Xoxoxoxoxox <3 Sister Kerr

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