Monday, December 28, 2015

28 December 2015 - Happy New Year!

I thought I would share my testimony for the last post of the year! I look back to where I was a year ago and can just see how much I have changed. I really truly am grateful for the situations my God has put me in. Though not always easy or comfortable, I have been able to learn more about myself than I ever would have. He has so much in store for me and He especially has been revealing it to me this week! But anyways, I guess I will start at the beginning! I know that my Heavenly Father loves me! I know that He has some crazy drawn out perfect plan for me... I am just now figuring out that it isn't necessarily about what I want but it about what I need. Sometimes it’s really scary to me to let God be in control especially because I am such a people pleaser! There will be times when I feel prompted to do something or say something or think something but worry about how it will make others feel or how they will think. It is really really cool to be able to feel His love and guidance moving you forward even when you have no clue where you are moving to haha. I know that God provides us with families to love us and teach us, that is exactly what mine has done for me. I am so grateful for the time I had to Skype yall on Friday. I can’t even explain how nice that was. It was crazy because once we started talking it felt like it had only been a couple days since I had been with yall! I know that when Christ was born He was perfect and He was a beacon of hope. As He grew, He led the PERFECT example and became all that he was intended to. He established His gospel and created a way for everyone to access it. But just like earlier times people turned away from their God and Savior. In doing so, many of the things Christ taught were lost. I know without a shadow of a doubt that when the time was right God and Jesus Christ called a prophet to the earth once more. I know Joseph Smith was a prophet and that he Restored the complete gospel of Jesus Christ through Jesus Christ Himself! It is just so comforting to see it all play out so perfectly. Because God loves us so much the Heavens are not sealed! The Heavens are open to each one of us to receive guidance and revelation from Him. I am so grateful for these past 9 months where I have been able to actually put these truths that I’ve known all my life to the test. I can fully say I KNOW all of this now and that makes me so excited. I love receiving answers to my prayers and learning to be more sensitive to the spirit to recognize answers. I’ve had some of the most spiritual experiences here on my mission and I will cherish them forever. It is simply amazing what God will teach one who asks. It is incredible to think that Joseph Smith was just a farm boy, Mary was just an espoused Jewish young lady, Thomas S. Monson was just a sailor and I am just a missionary in Louisiana but nothing is impossible. Prepare and become what God needs you to be, He needs us! I know Jesus will come again and we know not the hour or the minute. This is the Church of Jesus Christ of LATTER-DAY SAINTS. So share your testimonies, because we are blessed to have the fullness. I can't imagine only having bits and pieces! Sometimes I feel like a repair man down here in the south, taking the spackle and filling in the holes. I literally am amazed at how many miracles I have seen on my mission. Love yall and I hope you have a blessed year!

Love Sister Kerr

Monday, December 21, 2015

21 December 2015 - Immanuel: God with us.

Hello family, I can't believe it's been another week y'all. Time is so freaky. This week has been so good and so busy! It started a little slow because Sister Langford was still out of it because she was on lots of Benedryl but she quit using it on Monday. So to work we went, I felt so bad dragging her around because she was so out of it, we ended up going on exchanges so she could sleep and I could still work. It worked great! But then we had exchanges, we swapped with DeRidder, I had Sister Honey come here with me to Alexandria and we had a good time. We had several people request a free bible which sometimes isn't too promising. But we set out to meet them. We ended up in the ghetto of ghettos.... like the house number was written on the door with a sharpie marker! It was intense but we knocked and they would just yell "Who is it?" We would say "The Sister Missionaries!" We did this 3 times until finally Sister Honey just yells "It's the church girls!" The door opened! Oh great the smell answered every assumption I had been guessing. We handed her a Bible and a pass along card with the link to the Christmas video and ran back tot he car! When we got home I told Pop he would have to make me a map of where we shouldn't go in the dark! After exchanges we planned to exchange with another set of sisters, the Leesville ones. But crazy story, Sister Truchard got attacked by a diseased cat so ya she had to go to urgent care and get meds. We feel so bad for her! But while we were waiting for the news on whether we should leave Leesville or not we went to Diego's its kinda like a Costa Vida or Café Rio and it was so fantastic! I love huge burrtios :)
             Sister Langford got a blessing for her face rash and in it it said that her faith was sufficient to heal her but that God needed her to endure just a little longer. We couldn't figure out why! But then one night she was praying about what she needed to do for it and she got the answer of go tanning. She pushed of the impression several times thinking I cant do that. But she decided that she needed to. So we went and it helped! So we went again and when she tanned I talked to a girl named Megan who worked there and she just opened up so much automatically. She lost her dad when she was 15, she is about 21 now. But she opened up about his death and her concerns and fears. She then said after venting to me "Wow ive never told anyone these things before!" I then talked to her about the plan of salvation and she said she is open to the idea. Then Sister Langford came out and we taught her the Restoration and she agreed to read the Book of Mormon. The spirit was so strong and you could tell she was touched! As we walked out of the tanning salon Sister Langford and I looked at each other and at the same time said "That is why we needed to come!" It was so cool to realize that after all the troubles Sister Langford went through with her strange reaction that its purpose was to get us to the tanning salon we would have never set foot in unless she needed to go for her skin. That is just one example of how God was with us this week.
             We had another Bible request, her name was Dera. We called her up nad she said we could stop by Tuesday so we did but she wasn't home so we called and she said we could stop by Friday but we weren't ever able to head over to her house so finally on Saturday we knocked on her door and she was home! She let us in and let us sit down. I felt impressed to ask why she had ordered a Bible and her response was her life story! It was incredible to hear all that she has been through and experienced. But she also shared her love for the Word of God. We talked to her all about God's love to speak to us, which rolled perfectly to the Restoration... I feel like any conversation can flow directly to the Restoration. But she just cried and cried and said she had been praying God would send the truth to her. Sister Langford then invited her to read and pray and to prepare to be baptized in 1 month! She agreed. She said she knows God has more to say to us. The only down side is her husband lives in South Carolina and she will be moving there in about 2 weeks! But she told us she would love to learn with missionaries in South Carolina. Once again, God was with us.
              We really were able to focus for the first time this transfer on reaching the goals we set. So we prayed and prayed to reach at least more than we had the week before. So we got about 6 out of the 10. We were just so excited about that but then we were finding that randomly we were reaching goals with out even trying! Before we knew it we had reached 8 out of the 10. The only thing we were missing was someone baptized and we were one new investigator short! We were at the hospital visiting a less active when Sister Langford quite literally ran into this girl. So what do you do in an awkward situation like that??? You talk about Jesus... Duh! So that is what we did and come to find out she was really struggling because her fiancĂ© had just been hospitalized because of a bad car wreck. So we talked with her and she is interested in meeting with us again....BAM a new investigator. It was crazy cool. God truly will show you what he intends for you to do! Iam so grateful for the fact that God is with us, always and that we never have to go without His love.
So comforting. I am so excited for Christmas, can't wait to see yall beautiful faces. Last of all have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Be sure to watch this video!

Sister Kerr

14 December 2015 - Pixies of my Week!

Pilgrimage to Bethlehem night

There was a bug in my salad... but this is Louisiana.

The cast from Pilgrimage to Bethlehem

our Kittens are HUGE!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

7 December 2015 - The baptismal font was overflowing...literally!

My new companion is Sister Langford, she is from Alpine, Utah and has been out for 6 months. She came out with Sister Lanning. We are having lots of fun. We get along great and her family sent some count down to Christmas for us both so I feel ridiculously spoiled! She is super sweet and willing to help me grow. Its always nice when your companion wants to help you become better!
Monday: Pday! We played volleyball and dodge ball. Then in the evening had a really great lesson with Bishop and Annston and her family :)
Tuesday: District Meeting and service at the Genealogical library. I almost fell asleep at the library it is just so quiet and so many books!
Wednesday: We drove to Baton Rouge its a 3 hour drive. We went down for MLC. I'm getting kinda tired of that drive. Ive made it like once a week for 3 weeks! It was a good meeting, very spiritual and we came away with some things to teach our zone. After we got home it was about 7pm so we planned with the Zone leaders our ZTM instructions for Friday.
Thursday: Filled with planning! We got everything sorted for ZTM. We saw Belinda, she is just the sweetest thing. We talked with her about the prophesies of Christmas found in Helaman. So good! Anyways we had a really good discussion with her and on the way out she flicked on the outdoor light so we could see better... so nice of her, funny thing is it was 4:00 in the afternoon.... AKA still very sunny out :) haha it made Sister Langford and I giggle a bit. She also always yells to us to be sure to wear our seat belts.. Then we saw Lauren! She is having really bad morning sickness! And her husband works on an oil rig. So we are trying to help her as much as possible. We got invited to this Christmas party at the town library and we were so confused because we had no idea what would be going on there. But we showed up and they were doing crafts for free! So we got all excited and jumped right in. We sat across from some Christians and talked to them all about the Book of Mormon and left them with one. It was a great night!
Friday: We had our Zone Training Meeting and it went great! Then after we went on exchanges. I brought Sister Widdison back with me and Sister Langford went with the other sisters. Sister Widdison is in a trio and is actually kinda having a hard time. After lots of prayer Sister Langford and I got the feeling that this was the best idea, and it really was! Sister Widdison was able to seek advice and have a little breather. We were busy with getting ready for Drew's baptism and we also had service at the Alexandria Zoo! It was really fun we cut out ornaments and helped the kiddos setup little habitats made out of legos for the plastic animals. Then out of no where Pop and Ms. Robin walked in with their grand kids and just like we were a family again! It was really cool and special! Sister Widdison's reunion with Pop and Ms. Robin actually made me cry! It was a great day though.
Saturday: We woke up so excited for the baptism! A member called frantic he needed help. His friend was moving and he offered help but needed more so we rolled out still in our sweats haha threw on the nametag and headed. I wore my fleece jacket and man it was covered in cat hair by the end. I ended up mashing my finger between the wall and a dresser but other than that nothing too crazy happened. We cleaned up and got ready and headed tot he church. The Bishop had put the Elders over the font and apparently it started over flowing... haha the Elders still claim that everyone was being dramatic and that it didn't even reach the highest step but others say it was spilling over! Anyways everything looked so beautiful and Sister Widdison got to be there and Sister Langford because we exchanged back right at the beginning of the baptism! Sister Langford played the piano and it sounded amazing. Sister Widdison Spoke and I prayed. It just went so good, the Vaifanua's sang "Teach me to walk in the light" It was so pretty ad perfect. But when Drew got in the water with her husband the Holy Ghost filled the font. Sister Langford Sister Widdison and I stood hugging each other at the top of the steps to the font holding her towel. She smiled at us then at Tyler and then was submerged. It was so beautiful and gracious and you could just fell the realness of it. I know that baptism is essential! I am so happy to have been able to be a part of her experience! We made a baptism book for her just like we did for Bri and Dottie, so we got everyone to write their testimony on an index card and then put them in a photo book for her to have. It was a great day!
Sunday: Drew got confirmed! She cried all through it and after through the sacrament. She is so spiritual so she really was effected by her confirmation. It was so special to be able to sit next to her and have her just absorb everything. I had her write her testimony on an index card too! Then after church we had the baptism of Annaston! The 8 year old little girl. She is so sweet and was so ready, her service went beautifully. We gave her a childrens Book of Mormon and she was way excited! It was such a busy exhausting week! I hope I didn't skip anything. Love yall, Sister Kerr

Christmas presents under the tree!

Drew's baptism!

Last time seeing Sister Smith before she goes home!

I won the ugly sweater contest!!

01 December 2015 - Remembering the reason for the season.

Holy cow yall I feel like its been a bit since Ive actually sent out an action packed email haha. I will do my best to fill you in on everything Ive been skipping! I promise life in Louisiana has not died down at all though. Life has been busy and the last thing I want to do is sit in front of a computer. But I will fill yall  in on a couple funnies! So a couple weeks ago I got pulled over! I know scariest thing of my life. So I was driving through Pineville, LA and I was going 33 in what I thought was a 35 but it was a 15 during school hours. Yall know how stinking dramatic I am. Anyways he pulls me over, he is on a motorcycle so picture the cop from Dumb and Dumber, he asks for my license so I handed it to him. He then "says youre from New Work" (just like Pepper says it). I replied "yes sir!" He asked if I was renting the car I was driving. I told him "No sir, its a mission owned vehicle... you see Im a missionary." Im sure yall can just hear my quivering voice. He asked if I knew that speeding tickets were over $500 in school zones. Once again my reply was "No sir." By now Im just picturing my two parents sitting down in their cozy recliners opening up a letter addressed to me and reading that I had a ginormous fine to pay. That is when my stomach flipped the most because I thought aww man they gon kill me! But then he just turned to me handed me back my license and told me to be careful. Dang biggest humbling tender mercy ever.
We had a big Sisters Specialized Training Meeting in Baton Rouge and it was so fun! All the sisters in the mission met in Baton Rouge, LA. I got to see Sister Smith and Sister Lanning. We learned all about the important role of a woman and how it just gets magnified as a sister missionary. After the conference we went on exchanges. We had car pooled up with the Natchitoches sisters... {Im laughing at the idea of how yall just pronounced that.} I was with a trio just for the exchange so their were 5 of us. It was so stormy out! I was getting anxiety at the idea of riding home with 4 other girls laughing and someone else driving. So one of the sisters asked if I wanted to split the 2 1/2 hour drive but I just told her I would drive the whole way! It was dark and super rainy with lightening. We made it home fine and Pop had a big pot of crawfish creole stuff on the stove. But one of the sisters that I was exchanged with is now my new companion, Sister Langford. Crazy fun fact, her sister served in the Utica mission and Kensey met her at school a while ago and they figured out that we, their sisters, were serving in the same mission and now we are companions.
Thanksgiving was really fun! Sister Langford and I got some sort of stomach bug but we still made our appointments! We had dinner with the Vaifanua's, they are a Polynesian family in the ward and I love them to pieces. They are the ones we play volleyball with. We ate a ton and played volleyball! It was exhausting because I was sick but so worth it! It was a fabulous Thanksgiving!
Drew's baptism is coming up! Its December the 5th at 3pm. She is so phenomenal! One of her friends started pounding her with harsh words about the church's announcement about LGBT's, Drew responded by saying "That's not what the prophet said!" She pulled out her smart  phone, pulled up the announcement and explained the whole thing to her friend. She is so incredible and she is so ready! Tyler, her husband will be baptizing her :)
We went to visit a less active woman at a mental hospital. It literally looked like a scary movie. It was all run down and brick with vines grown all over it. We got inside and met with Celeste a 70 year old lady. She began talking to us and just telling us about herself. She has been through a ton in her life! The poor thing hears voices in her head. I cant even imagine how horrifying that would be. We talked with her and the more we did I just felt overwhelmed with love for this stranger I had just met. I could see her potential and I could see her disability. I was truly able to see and promise her that this was just a test, that God has something brilliantly beautiful prepared for her when she endures through this. It really made me realize the reason behind experiences. Then this moved my thoughts towards the true reason for things. Anything we go through has reason, to prepare us, to stretch us, to help others, to bring peace, to teach us.. etc. And thinking on that note about the reason for this season we are in. There is so much reason behind all of it including everything that was just listed. A Savior was born! He was born to save us! That has incredible reason behind it so don't just brush that off! I am so grateful for the love and reason that lies ahead of us this month. I wish for all of yall to put reason behind everything you do this month. I love yall so much. Have a blessed week! Sister Kerr