Tuesday, January 27, 2015

This is not the end.

(Sorry this is late. I wrote it yesterday and forgot to send! Love you.)

18 months. 
79 weeks. 
556 days. 
5 areas. 
10 companions. 
2 mission presidents. 
2278 miles from good old Orwell. 
1 very changed girl! 

Hey, family. This week was really good! As always we saw a lot of miracles and I really feel so blessed for the experiences I've had this past week. And for all the experiences I've had over the past 18 months. Miracles have not ceased! My life has been changed and I really do feel like a different person. I love the person Christ has helped me to become. It is so amazing to look back at those experiences and see how typical and slow they were, but the doing everyday is what changed me. I'm so grateful the Lord is patient with our progress. And I'm so grateful He allows and helps us to progress! I have found a sense of confidence that I was missing before and I know that has come from these simple experiences adding up to show me that Heavenly Father is there and he knows me and loves me. I have found myself while being away and giving myself to others! It actually works. 

We had some cool experiences this week that I will remember forever.The first of which, has a whole lot to do with food. It all started as we began the day and trying to set up our dinner appointment. For some reason two people had signed up, so we canceled on one and called the other. And then they had to end up canceling on us because of school activity. So, we called the other family and set up with them. About halfway through the day he called us back and canceled because they suddenly were very sick. Right off the bat, a member from West Linn came to my mind to invite to go out to dinner with us. I contacted her set it up and we were planning to go. 15 minutes before we were going to go she let us know that it was no longer going to work because of traffic. As you can see, several things continue to come up to keep us from going to dinner with the family. Finally, Sister Peterson and I decided to just go to dinner ourselves. Picking the place was quite difficult. I had my heart set on a Hawaiian place in town, but she didn't want that one. Haha, we were both very set on our ways. Both the places we wanted were in the same plaza, so we decided to head that way and each get our own dinner. Once we got to the plaza, I saw Panda Express and that suddenly sounded really good! I suggested it and we both wanted it out of the blue. Mmm, I love panda. Do we have one in New York? Halfway through dinner we realized that they forgot to give us our fortune cookies - lame. That wasn't going to work out. So, Sister Petersen marched up there to get those cookies asap. Shortly after she skips back over to grab a Mormon.org pass along card, I figure she is just going to give it to the cashier when she grabs the cookies. I heard her start talking to someone over at the fountain drinks, offering them a card and telling them about the really cool website. And then I hear the voice of the person say, "Oh, I'm LDS." I turn around and look who it is! It is a girl that Sister Stone and I knew from 18 months ago! We freaked out and had this crazy little reunion. She didn't live in our Ward, but she was friends with some of our members and that's how we had met her. She loved Sister Stone and that's how I got close with her. She looked extremely different from the last time I had seen her though. If my companion hadn't gone up and talked to her, I wouldn't have even recognized her. She has completely quit coming to church and is unsure about God even. Sister Petersen said she had never felt the spirit prompting her to do something so strongly in her whole life. I'm so glad she listened and that we were able to see the spirit guiding us SO clearly to this young girl. She needed to know that Heavenly Father loved her and was aware of her. He used us to do that! I loved it. I thought it was so amazing to see him guide us to be there to show her that. Canceling dinners right and left to get us to Panda Express to see this girl :) Then the punch line. I open my fortune cookie and read, "An acquaintance from the past will come back into your life." Haha! Crazy and best experience. 

Well, I love you! Just getting home from the mountain! Ellen took us to Mt. Hood for our last pday. The most beautiful place on earth! Love it here so much. 

See you soon! Xoxo! 

Sister Kerr <3

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


Dearest family,

Things are getting close and it really is bringing me to shed some
tears of both joy and sadness. I am so happy and excited to know you
are all excited to see me, it feels so good to be wanted! I think that
is something we are all always looking for. A place we fit in, feel
comfortable, feel needed and loved. I can honestly say that I have
loved my mission so much because this is where I was wanted by
Heavenly Father for this time in my life. He needed me here and wanted
me here! It brings me so much joy to know you're excited to have me.
And it brings me even more joy to know that Heavenly Father has been
excited to have me here learning and becoming all that I have. I know
we can always be where he wants and needs us and I know that is where
we will learn the most. It appears that place will soon be changing
for me from my mission here in Oregon, to home again. And for Macey it
is from home, onto her mission in Louisiana. And for Addey it is from
high school, onto college. And for Skyler and Whitney, it is the
growth of their family, finishing school, choosing careers, moving.
For Mom and Dad, it is their family stage changing to all adults from
their big, young family. Change is hard because we get comfortable and
love the person our hard work has made us and the environment we come
to be in. And it sometimes becomes difficult to believe that we could
love what he has prepared for us more than where we are at right now.
I know you all know this, but please be patient with me though as I am
still learning to trust that being home will help me continue to
progress, Heavenly Father has it all planned out, thank goodness! And
I'm EXCITED to see how he is going to help me grow! I really am. And
I'm so blessed to have you all as my family. All of you wonderful
people who deal with change so well. Heavenly Father knew I needed an
intense support system and you guys are seriously the best. I LOVE YOU
SO MUCH. Can't wait to see you!

This week was such a good one! It has become super clear that Heavenly
Father is watching out for the people we are teaching. Since we both
will be leaving this transfer I have been pretty stressed about the
people we are teaching. It has been so awesome to see things fall into
place this last week where we have been able to connect them with more
missionaries and members so we can be assured they will be taken care
of! Seeing this the past week is part of the reason I have a testimony
and know Heavenly Father will take care of me when I finish my

I got to see the Levenseller's from Aloha this week! Best day ever!
They came to see me and say goodbye. You'll have to check out the
souvenir they made for me. I ALMOST died from excitement!

{Oh yeah, and I met the Johnson's! So much fun. It was the best thing of
my life to talk about how awesome my parents and sisters are and to
have someone ACTUALLY understand how true of a statement that was.
They love and adore you guys! Thanks for sending them my way!}

Christmas Joys.

Hello, everyone! What a beautiful week it was here. The weather sure
has cooled off this week, it has been so clear and gorgeous the past
couple days!

There is a woman here in this area that has been spending time with
the missionaries since June. She is in her forties and has pretty bad
autism, but she looks completely normal and seems like she has no
learning disabilities until you spend some time with her. So, she isn't
really able to be taught, but we can't just leave her. So we spend
time as service! She is so funny!!! I seriously love her to pieces. We
took her to the temple and visitor's center this week for a Christmas
performance since she will be home alone on Christmas. It was probably
one of the most fun nights I've had on my mission and definitely
memorable! She is like an adorable little four year old in a forty
year olds body. She sat and braided my hair the entire performance.
Then, once it was done she talked to everyone about everything. She
carried around two giant canvases with her of paintings she had
done of two of her Native American friends, they're her security
blankets. Then, she wanted to go for a walk around the temple, which
we didn't have time for. We tried to explain and told her we would
drive her to the other side to see it all. So. She booked it as soon
as we said no, yelling while looking over her shoulder, "I'll be so
fast!" Haha! You cannot talk her out of things. It was so funny! She
would run as fast as she could, pause and gaze up to the top of the
Portland temple, check to see how close we were, then sprint ahead
again. She repeated that several times! I loved this night. Then we
got stuck in the most terrible traffic for almost forty minutes, so
she talked our ears off and braided Sister Petersen's hair until she
got carsick. Then Jeanne was worried she was going to get barfed on.
It was a good night! Jeanne has a very special spirit about her and I
have definitely learned more about patience and our individual worth
to God. Jeanne is a daughter of God and even though she doesn't always
feel that way, I know God loves her and we are in her life to help her
learn that.

Christmas Eve was so much fun! Favorite part of the day was going
caroling for an hour and a half in the pouring rain! It was so
special! Our zone got together and went through a neighborhood,
knocking and singing. I love serving and I love serving alongside so
many missionaries. It was really cool to see us all come together that
night, to remember the reason we came on missions. It was a lovely
night! Then, I show up at home and sitting on the couch of the home we
live in is my bishop from West Linn and his family, the Chandler's.
Surprise! They came to carol to me on Christmas Eve! But, I wasn't
home when they came, so the Franzen's (who I live with now) just
invited them in. They all tried to convince me that the Chandler's
were their old friends and were there randomly. Lies! They came just
for me :)

Our investigators are all doing so well! I adore them. We have four
that are really progressing. Rachael is probably the most exciting
right now! We taught her for the second time this week. She showed up
to the lesson with her brand new Book of Mormon she had had for only a
week, loaded with hot pink sticky notes and dozens of questions! She
said her home feels different now that she has been reading and
praying. Miracles! I adore this woman! She sent us the cutest picture
this week to show us her little baby boy, holding her Book of Mormon
with a huge smile on his face. It brings my heart so much joy and
literally makes it feel like it may explode as I consider the
difference that book can make in her family's life. I am so excited
for Rachael. Love her!

I have such a strong testimony of the gospel and the joy it can bring.
It brings peace and stability into our lives. That is why our
investigators are excited about it, they know what is being offered to
them. The world is coming to a point where there really is no longer
and in-between. It is becoming very clear that you are either on the
Lord's side or you are not. We truly must choose, and the people we
are teaching are feeling that drive and draw towards good. It makes me
so happy!

I love you all! So much! You're each in my prayers. I hope you all
stay happy in all you're doing and stay healthy!

Xoxo, Sister Kerr

 {Finally found the sign I've been looking for}

{The coolest amphitheater on EARTH! I can't wait to bring you all here!}