Tuesday, July 28, 2015

27 July 2015 - "The white girls are here!"

We are so the minority around here. We were following up with a girl named Ayana, we were bringing her a Book of Mormon and when we knocked we literally heard the 6 year old named Jamie yell after she peeked through the blinds, "The white girls are here!" I just laughed and laughed. Another laugh for y'all is we bought some new dish soap but for some reason when we rinse our dishes it doesn't rinse off! There is a slight residue left on them. It was on our water bottles and tasted awful! But I like said last week not drinking water ISNT an option! So we drank and drank and drank. I finally got the  flavor out of mine by buying a lemonade at wendy's and putting it in there. But I'm not kidding when I say it tasted exactly how cabbage patch doll face smells.... it was way weird. New motto for the week "Palmolive, gentle on the hands tough on the inards." It actually made Sister Lanning sick... she puked one night hahahaha. Probably shouldn't laugh but she is better now.
       Dottie, Bri and now Courtney are all doing great! Bri and Dottie have a baptismal date set for the 15th of August. I am truly so excited for them. They came to the third hour of church yesterday they were aiming for sacrament but their morning went nuts! But they made it to some and had a great time. They also made it to Pioneer day! It was so fun we had all sorts of fun games and activities. Tasha also came to the activity :) The kids had so much fun.
     Ms.Renee came to church! She said whoa that wasn't anything too crazy! I think someone might have told her something and so she was expecting church to be all wacky. Sister Lanning and I sang "Abide with me tis eventide" in sacrament meeting and it actually went very well. I was pretty dang nervous because I really don't have to much musical talent going for me. Ms.Renee said she loved it. She is doing wonderful and continues to grow every time we see her.
        It has been a really good week. I really love McComb and I can't believe it has been nearly 5 months that I have been living here. Mississippi truly has my heart.
       It really is such a privilege to be able to teach these people more about their Savior and God. And how we can serve them through caring for others and keeping the commandments. I use to get nervous when we had to teach people about the word of wisdom because I always thought it would turn people away but I see that as people learn if they are truly prepared they will use it to turn towards God more! I know that all the commandments are so inspired and it makes so much sense. I am grateful for the love that I feel from my God as well as my family. Keep up the good work family :) Love you FOREVER
Sister Kerr

Tasha and Missy with us at pioneer days

The Rayborns in their overalls!

Emari wearing my tag.

so much planning so little time!

Our investigators as pioneers

Sister Lanning and I as pioneers.

20 July 2015 - We be staying in McComb!

Well hello folks, just a brief announcement my English is gone but I be staying in McComb!! I seriously have a hard time speaking like the average person. But its ok I some how seem to manage. We are both staying here in McComb, MS which is thrilling, that means i will serve in McComb for a third of my mission. Sister Lanning and I decided that hydration is key down here, but sadly its the key to the bathroom! I have literally never sweat so much in my life. Dad knows how hot it was this past week (love that I can say that! I thought of you everyday that you were in New Orleans and I just loved drawing strength from knowing we were so close!) Anyways Im not sure I have ever seen droplets of sweat on my calves but it happened. We meet some people witht he most random names! For example: Da'Money, RoDerrick, TyDerricka, LaTaranesha, Sherika, Toya. Whenever we meet someone we have to pull out our planner and ask how they spell it haha.
        We had a lesson with Ms. Renee this week and we get there and we start off by asking how her class went, she taught a class on the disease she has to people who have just been diagnosed with the same disease. She said it went really well. She said she took her Bible, her Book of Mormon and her Restoration and Plan of Salvation pamphlets with her. She said that she was able to teach them all about that God is our loving Heavenly Father and that he isn't cursing any of them with their disease. She then taught them about the Plan of Salvation and how this life on earth is a time for us to prepare, learn and grow. She explained to a crying teenager in the back of the room who was afraid of the newly found disease that this isn't the end, we experience hard things to make us better but when the time is right we will all be resurrected as promised in the Book of Mormon and Bible. She said she was able to hush the girls fears by telling her that a relationship with God will make all the difference. As I heard her re tell this experience that she had at the hospital tears rolled down my cheeks as I thought of the statement made in Preach my Gospel, those who truly being changed by the gospel have a desire to share it with those around them. She is being a bolder missionary than most members. I am amazed at the testimony this woman has and her willingness to share it. When I asked her why she shared it with them she said "Y'all have been spending your time sharing this new information with me, so I thought i would do the same thing. It wouldn't be right if I just kept it to myself!" I think that every member of The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints should see Ms. Renee as an example to follow. We have something so precious, so life changing and so motivating. It's not right it we just keep it for ourselves. I was reading in "Our Search for Happiness" by M. Russell Ballard, killer book by the way, and he was talking about how it's and LDS persons perspective that keeps us motivated. It is knowing that this isn't it, there is so much more to it than just this, work, school, play. And once this is realized the big things in this life start to look smaller and we realize what really matters like our families. My mission president made a statement this week at zone conference, he said "We have to sacrifice what we want NOW for what we want MOST." Very profound, it's that eternal perspective!
         Yesterday was so good! Sometimes, well almost always proselyting Mondays arent very fun because your head keeps telling you its your day to relax but then your working. So it kinda plays with your head but yesterday we made a trip to Kentwood, LA and met a less active, named Kelsey. she reminds me of Morgan Sobotka, or in other words she is adorable ;) She is 20 and she has such a strong testimony. She is planning to come to our Branch pioneer day! We also met Quentera, she is a girl that received a Book of Mormon from a member when she was working in North Dakota. We were able to see her and she said she is very interested in learning more. We are really excited about them both. Only down side is its 30 miles to Kentwood one way. So we are saving on miles so we can go back soon!
         Well I've gotta go, God is great y'all and He is here in the south! I love htis gospel and I love my mission.          

Sister Kerr

Right to left Ms. Dottie Sister Lanning, Courtney, Me and Bri

Thanks for my shirt sissys!

Lil' BOM Boys Shack (parked by it and loved it :)

Rootbeer Floats with Kaitlyn


Beat by the heat!

Jimmy the man at the nursing home who made our bible holders.

The Zone

My Mississippi

My precious. haha Aiden holding up his ring! I died when I found this picture.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

13 July 2015 - It is a wild ride.

Oh man we had quite the experience with a member present....... We were at our usual FHE and they all decided to meet at the Percy Quin State park. So we went over there and one of our members brought a friend who wanted to learn more. It started with us teaching the Restoration and all was somewhat well until it came to the Book of Mormon. I asked if one of our members who was at the FHE would sit in and bear testimony of the Book of Mormon. We began explaining that the Book of Mormon was a record of the ancient inhabitants of the Americas, and he took off saying that in the Book of Mormon it promises us that if we keep the commandments we will live until we are 120 no more no less. Then he ended with a promise that if we fast and pray and read the Book of Mormon we will know that it is true. Then he says... I actually haven't read it yet. -_- Jaw dropped. I look at Sister Lanning and her expression was an open book. (What are you talking about!?) I didn't know what to say or do! Hey ya live and ya learn right? If that doesn't scare her away I don't know what would. Mental note that Sister Lanning and I have made is: arrive 30 minutes early to every member present and teach them the lesson first!! It has actually been working out quite nicely.
         Whoa, I met the first person on my mission who doesn't believe in Jesus Christ! It took me so off guard! Back in New York, common. Here I thought I miss understood him when he said he just believes that we make religion up as something to hope for. It made me realize how different this mission is than any other one. There are just different struggles here when everyone believes in Jesus Christ already. Our biggest struggle is that they feel the spirit at their church. We have several investigators who just are struggling to recognize an answer because their church isn't bad. We are really working to help people realize that there are levels, just like in the plan of salvation. There are good, better and best levels. They recieve everything we teach them and love saying that it has answered so many of their questions! But then they still feel good at their church. We try to help them realize like Moroni said, "But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, every thing which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God, and to serve him, is inspired of God."
Which is so true! Their church brings them closer to God because it is god, it is of God. But all these questions we are answering are coming from our church. It is another source of light it leads to more truth or in other words takes you a step higher in learning.
            Sister Smith and I talked to a lady Ms. Dottie, about a month and a half ago and about the Book of Mormon. She said she would start reading it, then this week Sister Lanning and I were finally able to follow up with her and she has been reading! It is a miracle. She believes its true and she actually takes it with her in her purse everywhere she goes so she can have the feelings that come with it available whenever she needs them. That was so cool. We taught her the restoration and she has a desire to be baptized! (Into the Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I double checked. Don't want to make that mistake twice!) We then taught her the plan of salvation later in the week. She just soaked it all up. It's amazing the difference between someone who is literally ready to receive the Gospel of Jesus Christ and one who isn't. We are so excited to keep working with her,
        This has been the longest fastest hardest week of my life. Literally have never been so tired. Missions are weird, but ya love anyways. Thanks for the prayers Y'all, I can feel them :)
I know that I am right where I am needed and that these people are ready. It is the best feeling ever to know that if you work with God you can't fail. I encourage everyone reading this to work on your prayers. As you do you will recognize that God plays a huge parts in our lives! Love this work!
Sister Kerr

Percy Quin State Park

A members text to us :)

Welcome to McComb!

Got my package!

Monday, July 6, 2015

06 July 2015 - Happy Birthday America!!!

So this week was good, another one come and GONE! We taught the Plan of Salvation to Ms. Renee and she took it so well. I remember one of Kensey's emails home when she said that she is helping people remember not teaching them new things, well I experienced that with Ms. Renee. We were talking about Heaven and Hell and what she believes. She said to us "Well I really don't think I believe in just a Heaven or a Hell. I think there is some sort of middle ground!" My mouth dropped open because people down here are so so strict when it comes to their belief in Heaven and Hell. People believe that all you have to do is accept Jesus in your heart and then your going to Heaven and if you don't to Hell you go even if you weren't a terrible person. She told us that she had always struggled with that because she really truly believed that God knows our hearts. It was an amazing opportunity to be able to bear my testimony to her and just share how much I really truly know that the Plan of Salvation is literally God's plan for our happiness, and nothing else. He has a plan only to help us progress. It's like my favorite Brad Wilcox talk, "We are not earning heaven, we are learning heaven!" We also got to teach Mr. Joe the Plan of Salvation too, and we were able to take our Branch President with us. It went really well and I am so excited to keep teaching him too.
      I have crazy sad news. We have been preparing Tasha for baptism into her church!!! She said that she will never leave her church, but she still feels the need to be baptized. We talked to her about the importance of the priesthood and she felt like we were discrediting her church and saying that it's wrong. Thank goodness for the spirit because any feelings of defensiveness coming from her were washed away as we testified that her church was not false but it wasn't complete either. We talked to her about the Book of Mormon and the Plan of Salvation and talked to her about how she believes them to be true. We talked to her about the importance of doing what God wants us to do and not for a social experience every Sunday. I was able to use my life growing up in Upstate New York as an example of we don't always do what is fun or what is around us. We do what God wants! So we left her with the commitment of praying about it, because if anyone can answer her it is God. We are going to help her quit smoking tonight, we have a certain workshop to follow which will help her quit smoking and it lasts a week, I hope all goes well.
       Sister Heath is the member with the ice cream, we challenged her to read Alma 22 and to come to church. She did both and she bore her testimony during Fast and Testimony meeting about how she knows God is listening and that she can ask Him anything because of Alma 22. It was really neat to see how the Book of Mormon works differently with everyone. I love the teaching and the feelings that come with it.
        We were tracting one evening this week and we met a super awesome lady named Jackie. When we spoke with her she would call God her God. She would never refer to Him just as the God but hers. I loved it I want to challenge each and everyone who is reading this to claim God as yours. He hears you and He loves you. Show Him you love Him just as John says "If ye love me keep my commandments."  Do the things He asks and then proclaim His good works to all the world. That is one thing that the South has taught me, DO NOT EVER HOLD BACK YOUR FEELINGS WHEN THEY ARE ABOUT GOD OR JESUS. They deserve to be shared. I love Mississippi and the people. It is so easy to talk about Jesus but it is also so hard to help people to be open to His gospel. For a lot of people it is a new concept, because they believe all you need to do is accept Him in your heart. We believe you need to accept Him and act upon it!
      Here is a laugh for the road. I was taking the trash out this morning, rolling the bin to the road and Sister Lanning being from California is paranoid for our safety so she grabbed the keys and shut the back door behind us. Then I remembered that the front door was dead bolted and we don't have a key for that and we don't have a key to the back door. So we were locked out. No phone either and I had my greasy hair glasses and sweats tucked into my rubber boots. We went next door borrowed a phone and called the land lord they said they would be an hour, so we did our personal study in the car haha Thanks to the stash of Book of Mormon's in the car! :)
     Love y'all, looks and sounds like y'all enjoyed your Fourth of July! Everyone was so cute and decked out in the colors of the flag, I did too! The weather was so bad the the severe thunderstorm sirens were going off so we ended using it as time to clean instead of celebrate!
  HAve a blessed week, love Sister Kerr

I found an awesome onsie while cleaning our apartment!

We got wendy's because we got stranded in the thunder storm so we had to wait it out and were starving! The lady gave us free frosties.

The storm!

My bike and I, we are pretty good friends now. I look like one of those dorky missionaries.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

29 June 2015 - Mississippi is a foreign country.

The people here blow my mind haha. So funny! So lets start off with congrats Addey baby girl for graduating! Im so proud of you :) Next we will move on to the funnies of this week. Hmmm lets see I am unsure where to start. We helped a lady pack because she is moving and we literally spent an hour picking up dog poop off of her floors while her kids packed the toys... AN HOUR!! And it was only two 12X12 rooms! It was so much poop! There was so much filth we were struggling to feel the spirit so we literally sang primary songs the whole time. We came home and I literally meditated to instrumental music while my Crocs soaked in a bucket of bleach water. By the way the Crocs are the best thing I have EVER invested in! Next, we were teaching the Plan of Salvation to a lady in the nursing home, she received everything super well and her only question was if ugly people would still be ugly after the Resurrection. Bwhahaha Oh my gosh I just answered with I really don't think that will matter, or will even be something that concerns us. We were teaching at one of our investigators apartments and I looked down at the floor and there were little white maggots crawling around on the tile floor. I squished some with my shoes because I didnt want them on me but I was so surprised to see them. On Thursday we were diving home from a movie night potluck, we watched Meet the Mormons (non of our investigators came :{ ) We advertised like crazy but anyways it was a good Branch activity. We were driving home and I told Sister Lanning there was something on my neck, like a bug. She looked and told me it was just a hair tickling me. So then I said no!, its on my back now! So she looks and doesnt see anything. Then we get home and once I am inside I feel it in my hair! I scream and pat my hair and out falls a big bug! It was so nasty! Then last but not least, Sister Lanning and I were cleaning the apartment this morning and I asked her if she would grab me the comet from underneath her sink. She then screamed bloody murder. I seriously thought someone was in our apartment! But it was a spider. Not just a spider though. I had never seen one so big in my life! It was sitting on top of the comet can!!! And took up the entire top. I was so afraid. I ran to get my rain boots to put on so it wouldnt get me and I tripped and fell and bruised my knee. Then I got my boots rubber gloves and the broom. We go back to the spider and it is still there so I get on the toilet seat in case it ends up on the ground and the toilet seat busts because its just a chintzy plastic one, not a ceramic one. (Mom Im gonna need some money in my account to fix that......) But long story short we killed the spider and have arranged for our apartment to be sprayed for creepy crawling stuff! I hope that these stories have made you smile. I am not kidding when I say Mississippi is a FOREIGN COUNTRY!
     Onto the bigger and brighter things, we taught Tasha the Word of Wisdom, and she committed herself to live it! We are so excited. She is so ready and has been prepared for us. She prayed for strength to quit smoking and we sang her I need thee every hour. It was such a beautiful night. She really is receiving the answer that it's all true. I love this work! That was the first time Sister Lanning and I have taught the Word of Wisdom (other than Destiny and Amber but they are 10 and 8 so we taught it completely different.) The spirit totally did the work for us.
      We taught Mr Joe at Mel's Ice Cream Emporium and we had him watch the Restoration movie. It went so well he has such an amazing desire to read the Book of Mormon. He just got to the part where Nephi starts talking like Isaiah and its really confusing him but he said he has been reading the chapters twice! He is so great and Such a seeker for truth.
      We went and saw Joyce who is an eternagator (an investigator that will be an investigator for eternity) She has been taught all the lessons 3 times. But we went and we challenged her to read the entire BOM to find whether or not it is true. We shared with her Moroni 10:3-5 and she said she had never been told that before but it makes sense that she would have to read the book to get the answer. We got to the car and I was so confused like no way are we the first missionaries in 3 years who have told her to read and pray about the BOM. Sister Lanning responded with "the spirit touched and softened her heart today. She is actually ready now!" Its so cool how God truly knows all of His children and what they need and when they need it.
     We instructed at Specialized Zone Conference on the Area Book and it went so well! Everyone told us we did awesome and changed the way they look at the Area Book. So that was pretty exciting.
     We have been biking a bit and it is HOT!!! Its a good way to sweat of this excess of weight Ive gained! Hardest part is staying hydrated but we make it :) We talked to Ms. Cathy who has been super sick! She is doing better but she after a long visit she told us she doesn't want to become a Mormon. My heart literally broke. I just sat there and starred at her. Then she said she still wants to study the Book of Mormon with us though, and I then felt a million times better because I have a strong enough testimony in the Book of Mormon that any one who reads it will have a desire to follow Jesus Christ! I love that book and look forward to reading and studying it with her still.
  God's hand is in all of this. I know that it's not me, no matter how hard I try. I tend to get in the way, I need to further HIS work not MINE.
Love y'all to the moon and back. Love Sister Kerr

Bruised knee after tripping to get away from the spider!

Us dressed to kill.

The battle zone and the broken toilet seat.

The SPIDER -_-

Tasha and I 

Back roads remind me of home! Back road of Mississippi.