Tuesday, May 26, 2015

24 May 2015 - Another week as Sister Kerr

It was a super fun kinda crazy week! Shout out to Mama and Daddy for your birthdays :) I hope they are super awesome. I love you both. Addey you looked so beautiful for prom. Was it fun? I am so glad your waffle party was a hoot, I knew it would be! I have the most fun family in the world!
This week was a good week for laying down some ground work around here. We have quite a few people that we are working with, but it seemed like all of them were busy or not available this week. Kinda frustrating but not terrible. We ended up tracting a bit! Always fun... So hopefully this week our appointments will go through.
          Yesterday we had some visitors at church from Texas. They were visiting their parents in Osyka, MS which is in our area. They are less actives because they are so old. So they invited us to lunch so we could meet their parents. We put it in the GPS and it was an hour away! So we headed out there and when we got there it ended it they had invited us to their family reunion type party! I couldn't believe it. It was so sweet of them to do such a thing. We got there and they were planning on feeding everyone a roast, but the oven blew a fuse and by the time it was replaced it would not have been done in time for us missionaries. So they threw together an amazing homemade soup because they knew we wouldn't have tons of time. I can't even express how thoughtful that was and how much it meant! It is so true we don't have time to just hang around and eat. It's a quick bite and go and that was the first time I had that :) Felt pretty good to have our work understood.
           We had a bonfire and outdoor family home evening with the Rayborns. They are so cute and so southern. The dad is from New Orleans and the mom from Salt Lake. Hahaha quite the family. I love them with all my heart! We played "good kitty" and oh man these kids were laughing.
            Ms. Cathy we have now nicknamed her our Mississippi Mima. Everyone down here calls their grandma their Mima. So cute. Anyways she is super sick still so no meeting with her! We made her some homemade chicken noodle soup. It actually tasted way good I was very pleased with our crafty soup!
             We got a Branch Mission Leader... Hola. We are excited to work with him.
            I have come to notice the importance of listening. Everyone is different and lives differently because of their experiences. So you need to listen to them so you can find the way that you can help them the way that God needs you to. I think that is why they say that without the spirit you cannot teach. Because you literally don't know what to teach people because you have no clue what they need. Sorry if I am rambling, it made perfect sense to me. Yall have a blessed week and email me please!! I love you and I love my mission and my people.
Love Sister Kerr

Me on our trip to Osyka killing time with the cows because we were going to be 10 minutes early to dinner so we decided to take pictures :)

Ms. Shirley from the nursing home that we always sing to :) She is so cute

The soup we made for Mississippi Mima (Ms. Cathy)

Ms. Carolyn @ the nursing home, she LOVES US!

My $1 LSU Nike sweatshirt.

Family Home Evening @ the Rayborn's!

18 May 2015 - #missionforlife

Wow you guys this was such a great week! We got a new car... literally a new one!! 2015 ford fusion :) pretty darned sweet! And the Elders here in McComb are getting a car! Yay, I dont have to feel as guilty now. The Office Elders let us in on the surprise, they dont know yet. Sometime this week though! Mom, it is getting hot here! It's hard not to sweat like crazy but here everyone is sweaty so they dont even look at it as being gross. Someone asked if I was Sister Smith's mom again.. -_- really?? We laughed, we were in dollar general I needed cash back so I went in and bought floss and when we were waitng in line Sister Smith started talking to the lady behind us. She had NO teeth so I was just nodding my head along and then I understood the quick words as she pointed at me "Dis yo ma?" UHHHH no. hahaha only in Mississippi. We were getting cash back to we could go over and support the Scouts and girls camp fund raiser. But when we got there they told us it was free. It was lunch, they were selling sausage Poboys! YUM it was divine. I wanted like 3! I could eat it everyday of my life! It was just sausage in a hoagie roll. But y'all already know that's my favorite. Mom I loved the pictures of everyone at the zoo. Best picture by far was the peacock, Rosie and Skyler in his house slippers! :)
                    We drove out to see an investigator that had gotten lost in the area book. We decided that since her record literally ended on a happy note that we should go and check in and see why missionaries stopped seeing her. She is a really tough lady. Hard around the edges but as sweet as can be! Everything she thinks is positive and upbeat and never degrading another person. She is so Christlike and that is her goal. We asked if we could meet with her and she said of course! We talked for over an hour and got a return appointment. As we were leaving she said something that pierced my heart. She said "Tell who ever sent you thanks for not forgetting about me." It was simply amazing because I knew it was God who had sent us there. Especially because we drove 40 minutes to her house and she pulled in from work behind us. If timing had been any different we would have missed her. We had nearly the same experience with a less active woman we found in the area book. We went to see her what I thought was randomly but it wasn't at all. It was when God needed us to go. We showed up on her husbands 2 year death anniversary. God loves His children. It is beyond anything I can comprehend to be His hands in His work. Sister Smith said in one of our lessons this week when we were explaining why we need/have prophets. She said "God does not need a man to proclaim His voice. He is greater than that. But it's because He loves His children enough that He wants each of us to grow to our fullest potential that He works through us humans to get His work done." This is so true. imagine how different things would be if God did everything for us. There would be nothing learned and that is the whole purpose of why we are here. It really is amazing how He plans for each of us to have the exact experiences that we need to further ourselves.
              We were tracting this week and we flat out prayed for a miracle to happen. One came. We knocked on a door and the woman said to come in. We just kind of stood there though because we were a little confused. She opened the door and said "oh I thought you were my neighbor, but come in anyways." She got us water and made us comfortable. She said that her daddy is a Baptist Preacher, and she has always been curious. She is married and they have 2 daughters. We taught her the Restoration of the Gospel and she was just soaking it up. She offered a kneeling prayer and asked for God to direct her. Then she stood up and with tears in her eyes she said "I prayed last night that God would point me in the right direction today." She went on to say "when I was praying I was thinking more like he would point towards those I could serve. But I can see that this is His answer to what I literally asked for." We set up a time so we could come back when her husband was home, he had majored in Christianity History. Kind of intimidating but we came back. We taught him the Restoration and talked about it. He then said it just makes sense that there would be a Book of Mormon and a need for Restoration. He said he loves the Bible but it just has never done anything big for him. He then said clutching his new Book of Mormon "I hope that this will." He then offered a kneeling prayer asking for the Lord to enlighten his mind with the truth. He also prayed for us missionaries and just poured out how grateful he was for us stopping by and spending time with them. He thanked us for our sacrifice and our willingness to be bold. Sister Smith quoted a talk from conference in that lesson and you could see the lasting effect on his face, she said "a church is a hospital for sinners, not a museum of saints." These people are amazing and they are prepared. God is hastening His work and He is making the prepared people be found.  
              This was such an amazing life really did blow me away! I know that this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ. I know that it is by abiding by it that you can be fully healed and be filled with peace. It is simply the most incredible thing in the universe and it changes lives. I love being a missionary!!
                Love Sister Kerr
Dude I just looked out the window and its basically black outside at noon. I forgot my raincoat in the car!

Kaitlyn Dunaways Graduation. She looked so cute.

So I have allergies this week. So the Dunaways made me eat honeycomb and raw honey. It was way good :)

We were taught by Sister Rayborn how to make homemade cinnamon rolls!!! So yes... that is me wearing a table cloth as an apron.

Ha funny story,John Rayborn, he is 10 was sitting on the couch and I went over by him and asked if I could sit next to him during dinner. He looked up and said "nothing like getting closer to Jesus."

OHHH yes. Sausage Poboy time.

11 May 2015 - Mother's Day!

So we had some miracles pop out from no where this week! How about Mother's Day! I can't even believe that it was already time to skype home! But that was so fun and rejuvenating! My family is just the BEST.

I got to sing to my Mama, we sang Mother I love you, Mother I do. Heavenly Father has sent me to you. I want to mind you, I want to find you happy and smiling because I love you. Mother I love you, I love you, I do.

This week went so fast! We saw some cool stuff too. Last week we were struggling to get our investigators to read the Book of Mormon with real intent, but this week every single one of them told us they had been reading and comprehending. I was blown away and so excited for them. One day this week when we were tracting we came across some people who were outside cleaning their car, it ended up being a bunch of teens and they ended up just scattering and then we were just awkwardly standing there haha but anyways we turned to continue up the street and this girl came out of the house that we were walking in front of and she asked what we were sharing today. I told her we had a message about Jesus Christ and she excitedly asked us to come in and share it with her and her husband. We were kind of nervous because we weren't sure what we were getting ourselves into! So we went in anyways and had an amazing lesson with them and had a prayer at the end. It really is amazing how God puts you in the right place at the right time.
          Another miracle was we were having a lesson with Ms. Cathy, the motherly old lady, and we were doing our best to help her understand that the Book of Mormon and Bible support each other and were prophesied through each other. We came across 2 Ne. 29. And I can vividly remember sitting in the Pulaski Ward building in sacrament meeting reading through this chapter. I can remember feeling impressed that I would need to use this chapter on my mission so I highlighted it and then we used one verse out of it to help Ms. Cathy understand the concept from before. Then she said "hold on, I saw the word Bible somewhere on the page and I want to read it." She skimmed and then read aloud verse 10

                  "Wherefore, because that ye have a Bible ye need not suppose that it contains all my words; neither need ye suppose that I have not caused more to be written."
It was so cool because it just clicked in her head, oh my goodness it makes sense! I loved watching this happen! She has prayed about the Book of Mormon and has gotten the answer to keep reading, she is on Mosiah 3. Oh it is so exciting to sit back and watch the personal journey people have to go through with God. I know that the Book of Mormon is true and it contains what everyone needs, the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as does the Bible. I love them both so much. I studied a lot this week about how the stick of Judah and the stick of Ephraim/ Joseph would one day be ONE BOOK. I love it because we have that today. We are some lucky ducks. I love this work and the people involved in it. I have such a great hard working companion and together we will be able to do so much :) We have worked so hard to lay and build the ground work for this area. Now it is time to take off running! I love y'all and appreciate your support and love. Have a blessed week!
Sister Kerr

Oh ya, our car broke down! The office Elders brought us a different one, we are so stinkin grateful too! It was the biggest tender mercy ever.
This is Rufus, he is our guard dog but he smells so bad we were both kinds gagging

4 May 2015 - 2 Month Mark!!!!!

Holy cow you guys another month has passed! This was probably the longest week of my mission so far and I think it was because it was transfers week. On Wednesday, the Elders needed to take our car to Baton Rouge for transfers so we were left car less for the day. We wanted to still be productive so we decided to bike our butts off... literally. So the bike I have was free, it was left at our apartment by a missionary who was going home. She was like 5 foot. So I raised the seat but didn't have a wrench to raise my handle bars. So we biked to the Salvation Army and I was ready to check out for the day haha. Well when we got there of course they didn't have anything for us to do! I asked Diane if she had a wrench and she did she helped raise my handle bars which worked wonders! Diane is a sweet heart! An also has the thickest accent! I just laugh in my head every time she talks because I always think "how do you even teach someone to talk like that!?" So then we biked down my favorite road, its called Berthadale road and it is just so beautiful! Shaded by leafy tree tops. We have a less active on that road and we thought we would go and see her. She is 89 and has been super offended by someone in the branch. So I'm not thinking she is coming back. But we shared a spiritual thought and she told us to come back any day after 1. Then when we were leaving I asked If friday would work and she said she really didn't want us coming back because her neighbors watch her and she doesn't want to get into trouble by having Mormons over. So ended up being a wee bit weird. On the bike ride home I just so done for the hills were killing me, I noticed my front tire was getting kinds squishy and flat! So I was getting bummed then Sister Smith yells "Hey Sister Kerr, your back tire is flat!" Oh man I've been trudging up and down hills with flat tires! So we got home I was over heated so I used my lunch break for a cold shower. Pumped up my tires and was good to go. 
          We are working hard to get to know the branch. We don't have a meal calendar so we can't do it that way either. We have been calling up members and asking if we can practice teaching the restoration on them and it's been working :) Our branch really is a great bunch of people. We went to Wednesday night youth activity the other night and were able to get to know some there too! 
          There is this super awesome part member family that the elders are teaching, and we teach their girls in primary so they asked if we could come over. They really are amazing and progressing so well. You can really see when people are fully prepared they are good to go! We had a lesson with this man named Tom. He is a christian who is dating a Mormon, so he comes to the LDS church every Sunday. He believes all the basics like we do but when it comes to the extras they are holding him back, like the priesthood and the Godhead. He says its because he grew up knowing differently. I asked him that if he knew for fact that what we taught about those things were true if he would be baptized. He said of course. So next I promised him that he could know for fact about these things if he would read  and pray about the Book of Mormon. Its literally that plain and simple. The Book of Mormon is key! It can clear up any confusion. So I want to extend that invitation to anyone reading this, read the Book of Mormon. There is nothing to lose by doing so, but there is so much to gain from it. When you can truly see the Book of Mormon is true, then everything else surrounding has to be God's work as well. I love the Book of Mormon. I know that it is true, I have done just that, read it and prayed about it. It really is amazing to see the change in my own life with each confirmation I get from it.
          Something I have been really working on this week is from a letter my mama sent to me. It talked about basically being a true christian, and that is what I want to be. I want people to see me and truly recognize me as a disciple of Jesus Christ! We had some struggles this week with some people just being really rude when we were being as sweet and sincere as all get out. But that shouldn't upset me, because they obviously have experienced something that has placed them in that mindset and their feelings are as legitimate as mine! So off I go into the wild Mississippi smiling and being Christlike towards everyone! I know I can do it, and I know that when given this name badge with my families name and with Jesus Christ's name I volunteered to represent both in the best way possible!
           We had a lesson with Destiny and Amber they are the youngsters prepping for baptism, and Amber said the opening prayer, and this is what she said, "Please bless the sick, please bless those with pinkeye, please bless those with goosebumps and please bless the murderers, Amen." Hahahaha so cute.
        Well I love y'all to death! And I am doing mighty fine so don't send your worries this way :) I can't believe it is time to talk to my mama on Sunday! Yay! I love my family OIE

                         Sister Kerr

28 April 2015 - Rain or Shine, the work must go forth!

We are staying here in McComb! I cant even believe how crazy I have been just hoping I would get to be with Sister Smith at least one more transfer. We have so many big plans for this next transfer. Some really funny stuff happened this past week as well as some really spiritual amazing things. Nearly half the time things happen and I think did that really just happen? Mississippi is kinda random! For example we went to see our investigator Tasha. Her niece (10) was outside and told us to go in. She did not tell us that Tasha wasn't home. Haha so we went in and sat on the couch and talked to a man named Blue who is some how related to Tasha. Probably 5 people were in and out of the house in the time that we were sitting waiting for Tasha. Then Brianna came out and we chatted with her. We asked if she would get Tasha so we could talk to her and she told us Tasha wasn't home! That she had to go and pick her up from work. Oh my gosh we laughed so hard because nothing like that would have ever happened in New York!
       We went biking! Yay for bikes. We chose the hottest day of course, about 85. I was so sweaty, I think it might make people pity us so they always pull over and ask if we are the Mormons. I always reply "Yes we are!" They usually say "Cool! Then drive off" ha. We were tracting and we stopped at this house got off our bikes had crazy helmet hair and went and knocked on the door. This old woman came to the glass door, but she wouldn't open it. She just yelled through it. She said she had seen boys on bikes with suits on in town. We told her we were missionaries and her response was " I am really tired, I hate turning away the word but I'm really tired." So she invited us to come back another time. She then held up the pink taser gun she had been holding behind her back and said " I brought dis to da door just in case.... Ya neva know who gon come knockin at yo door." She was cute.
       We met a former investigator, her name is Trischell. She is so sweet and genuine. She wants so badly to find peace in her life but can't find it anywhere. She came to church! and she said she could see everyone else had that peace she was looking for. We listened to everything she had to say and absorbed it so that we could best respond to her needs. But we promised her that she could feel that peace if she is willing to work to find it. We told her that we could help her and you could tell that when she heard those words it was the biggest feeling of help was on its way. We love her so much already.
       We have learned a lot about different religions this week. We have been asking members who were previously a different religion and others as well about what other people believe. It has been really cool to get a better understanding about what is actually going on down here. Sister Shelia, (really weird but everyone in the branch goes by sister/brother and their first name.) gave a talk on Sunday about member missionary work it was so good and I am hoping it started the fire! We have been doing our best to meeting all the members, we teach in primary so it makes it hard because we cant even hang around after sacrament to meet people. We are making it work though. We met a lady named Joyce Farmer, she is a Methodist and just LOVES missionaries. She is so sweet and so easy to talk to. She told us all about her religion and we shared a spiritual thought with her. She fed us a salad which I previously would have hated but I loved it! You really appreciate a light salad when you get fed such heavy stuff!
        We had a craw fish boil!! It was crazy you guys... blew my mind. They had a trashcan hooked up to a burner and propane tank and just boiled 37 pounds of craw fish! It was at the Rayborns house. It was really good :) And quite the experience. One of the biggest differences that I am struggling adjusting to is they don't use tables!!!! Every meal is eaten on the couch, even peeling craw fish and dipping it in a bowl of butter. Needless to say I think that gray skirt with the grease stains already on it from Kensey's mission have a couple more. I am seriously the messiest!
        Sister Smith and I when we volunteered at the salvation army, bought tickets for the shrimp boil they were having which ended up being the morning of the severe thunderstorms. We got a text telling us to stay inside until they told us we could leave. We were going to be devastated if we missed out on our shrimp! But it ended up they texted us right as we finished up with all of our extra 12 week studies we were doing. And it ended up being so yummy! It came with corn and 2 red potatoes which tasted a lot like salt potatoes. I told sister Smith all about them and she wants to try them! Oh dad!, I need your Pico recipe please I want to make some so bad!
         When we were contacting this lady we were telling her we were missionaries and that we were here to do service for her and to share a message about Christ! She said looking at me pointing to Sister Smith "Cool,is this your daughter?" Hahahahahaha I am sending a picture to show how much taller I am than Sister Smith.
         We have this amazing partially active couple in our Branch that just opened up an Ice Cream Parlor!! They named it Aunt Mel's Ice Cream Emporium. They offer us free ice cream and there is a room with tables set up for missionaries to have discussions! They are so sweet! We can't believe they are doing that for us. We hope we can repay them :)
        As you can see there is so much going on here. The days are forever long, but the weeks fly! I can't possibly wrap my mind around the fact that I've been here for 6 weeks! I love the people and I love talking to them and feeling what they feel. Sister Smith and I decided that we talk way to much. We need to be quiet and just listen. I love the experiences that I am having. I can feel them making me into a different person! My testimony of the Book of Mormon has grown a ton! It is amazing that one little book can be capable of solving everyones problems. But it is because it contains the FULLNESS of Jesus Christ Gospel, which applies to everyone. It is really amazing to witness. We are reading the Book of Mormon with a girl named Kaitlyn in our ward. She is going to start coming out with us and I hope we can help strengthen her testimony. She is a recent convert.
         Well I love y'all have a blessed week and pray for missionary experiences because every member is a missionary. If you will just open your mouth the Lord will fill it!
                            Love Sister Kerr

Beautiful skies after the storm broke.

 Tashas kids and niece and nephew! I love these ones, they are the sweetest things in the whole wide world. They have cool names, Derrick, Zymerica and Tye

Destiny is preparing for baptism! and these are the rest of her siblings.

Our shadows :) 

Mississippi Street! Had to take a picture with it! Notice the huge ant hill at the bottom of the picture.  They are everywhere down here. Fire Ants. Havent been bit yet!

I am a foot taller than my comp!

Mama I had to take a pic with your shoes so you could see me holding them :) Thinks of me!

Ms. Cathy Spencer I love her! She is the sweetest thing and is always thinking of us. This week she gave us A huge vacuum space bag for each of us :) 

Shrimp boil!

Sister Smith, Killian And I at the Craw fish boil! He is in our primary class!

Sister Smith and Bro. Rayborn with the crazy cooking machine!

Me with the crawfish!

20 April 2015 - Temple Trip!!

So we got to go to the temple on tuesday it was super nice! I felt so close to my family :) it is the same design as the Palmyra temple so it felt great and like i was in new york. This week was kinda crazy though. Wednesday was kinda rough because my companion was still sick so we took it easy but still went out. Nothing too crazy happened, we did turn in early so she could rest up though. Thursday we went to our zone conference and that was good, i learned quite a bit and am able to apply it :) Sister Monk came home with me for exchanges and she goes home next week! She is actually Nicole Leiters last companion... crazy right? Super sweet though and it was a little scary taking over the area for the day. But we never got lost and we filled the day with 6 decent lessons. I really realized through this how much I love Sister Smith and how much I missed her! She really is the best. I have been getting to know her so much! She plays the Ukulele and has been teaching me :) I can play amazing grace. It is such a cool instrument! The Cullota's the branch president got released :( So his family isnt in our branch any more. When he got called there were 13 members and now there are about 60. So Sister Smith and I decided since they wont be here any more we will be the glue! We are going to make this Branch a ward!! So we have our work cut out for us. Our new Branch President is President Nevels. He is great and will also do great things. We met a super lady this week her name is Anita and she wants her son to have some religious influence. She of course has already been saved (thats what they all say down here which is really cool. People are so great and so sincere to what they know) But we were able to teach her and her son the restoration. We cant wait to give them a copy of the Book of Mormon. It is amazing to think that I am able to walk into complete strangers homes and pray for them. This wont ever happen again after my mission. It is such a special time. These people are so willing to have me... most of the time and I love them. I only have a short time this week. The library is so packed I only get half an hour. So have a great week I love y'all. God loves you too and He is changing my life! Allow Him to change yours! 

Sister Kerr

The wardrobe - where the styling magic takes place.

Our entryway.

My desk with pictures of my family!

Sister Monk, Nicole Leiter's last companion!