Monday, January 25, 2016

25 January 2016 - Press Forward

I love this year’s youth theme of Press Forward! It is so inspiring to keep us moving in the direction we need to go! We had an incredible Stake Conference this weekend, Elder Larry Lawrence came and spoke, and he is a member of the second quorum of the seventy. He gave the talk "What lack I yet?" in General Conference. He spoke all about Less Actives and the importance to reach out to them and bearing one another's burdens. During Elder Lawrence's talk he asked if anyone who had ever been Less Active in their life would stand. Over half the room stood, we had our dear sweet Carol standing between us with tears streaming down her face because she was just so touched by his words. I leaned over and said to her "that isn’t you anymore!" She smiled huge and said, "I know!" She is so excited to get to the temple and we cant wait for her to go either! It’s amazing that the gospel's only purpose is to bless our lives. So I challenge all of y'all to let it do just that, let it bless you! Elder Lawrence's wife talked about the Plan of Salvation and it was so incredible, the way she made everything just make perfect sense was definitely inspired by the spirit. Elder Lawrence asked a question that I want to ask yall, He asked "What is your biggest desire?" Be completely honest with yourself. If you aren't proud of it change it and if you are pleased with it make it happen. Do everything you can to point your desires toward God. He will bless us more than we can imagine. I love this life I am living! The thought of coming home scares me because I can't even imagine throwing all those distractions back into my life. Part of me wants to say I'll always listen to Mo Tab and study for 2 hours every morning haha. But it’s so cool to see how much God works through us. If things didn't get harder they wouldn't be a test! Sister Langford and I had a blast together this week. We got so much done! We met this less active named Fred over the phone and he is just the sweetest thing! We have had a couple lessons with him over the phone and he is so excited to come back to church this upcoming week. We also met with Lucy, a less active and things with her went so great! I was prompted to tell her about the talk that said whenever we want to say that we don't have time to read our scriptures instead say it's not a priority. It really made her think about that. I know Im guilty of saying I don't have time to read. But of course we have time especially with the technology we have today it can read it to us! When we think of it in terms of it isn’t a priority it makes us really realize what our greatest desire really is. I know that mine is to please my Heavenly Father! So if He has asked us to study our scriptures let’s make it a priority to study our scriptures! I found the scripture 2 Nephi 26: 23, 24 and 33. I just love this scripture because it reminds us that God doesn't command us to do anything without purpose and that He doesn't do anything unless it is for our benefit. So even if that means it will be tough now it will benefit us in the end.

Haha funny story we have an investigator who works at Chili's. Her name is Temeca and she is a doll. So we go to Chili's to support her and for our chips and salsa fix weekly! Its the best, her face lights up when we walk in it is the cutest thing ever! But when we were sitting there waiting for our food one of the cooks in the back yells out "What's the ETA on dem wangs?!?" Sister Langford and I just busted out laughing. I may have to live down here yall I am going to miss the culture SO BAD!! Louisiana is the best place ever! Hope all is well with yall, keep praying and fasting, it brings miracles I promise! Its happened for me!
Love Sister Kerr

Monday, January 18, 2016

18 January 2016 - Salutations Everybody!

Salutations Everybody

Salutations everybody! Guess what! NEITHER of us were sick this week? That is only the beginning of the miracles we experienced this week. The Lord has blessed us in so many ways, I can't even count them on my little fingers! Heavenly Father just loves the people here so much, and he used us to help Him show it! HALLELUJAH FOR THAT!!!

To start, we had another lesson with the less active Carol Welch we taught last week, and it was just as spiritual. This time we were able to bring a member too! They both have lost their husbands in the past few years, so they were able to relate to each other so well. Sister Welch said that one of the reasons she struggled with coming back to church was the pain she had felt after her loss. I could feel the spirit so strong as the testified to each other of us the love they both felt from God now. It was beautiful. AND then Carol was at church on Sunday sitting by us AND she was taking notes. I just love her so much. She was so touched by the message that I reached over and put my arm around her. We could both feel the spirit so strong, we both just sat there and cried.

On Saturday, Sister Langford and I decided to go see a referral we received. Her name is Valerie, and she is just so cute. She shared so many sweet things with us, and said that she just wants to be able to share a sweet testimony of Jesus Christ with others. Valerie has visited several other churches, but she never felt like they were right for her. The reason she ordered a bible was so she could feel closer to God, and start that testimony. When we left she had agreed to be baptized in February, and we are just praying so hard that she will keep her head up and make it to her baptism. We visited Valerie yesterday too with Ms. Robin, and the spirit was so strong again. Valerie did not make it to church yesterday, but she told everyone at her church about our church, and she was sharing our message with them. How cute is she? She said our message made her sons want to come back to church too! Just pray for her y'all, she is super sweet, and we just want her to feel Heavenly Father's love with her.

People here say alright to everything. You can have a FULL conversation with the word alright. "Alright? Alright. Alright. ALRIGHT!" It just works okay? I haven’t ever really seen it before because I haven’t served near New Orleans. SOOO When we called a referral I asked if it was Ms. Alice, and she just said "Alright." Man I LOST it. I was trying so hard not to laugh, and after I got off I said "I finally understand now!" Yeah, "Alright" means a lot of different things down here.

I want y'all to know how much Heavenly Father loves you. He loves you, and so He has blessed you with temples and families. Sister Langford and I were able to go to the temple on Wednesday after MLC (yes we had permission), and the spirit was so strong. THEN yesterday we had a "East-South" broadcasted stake conference, Elder Rasband talked a lot about temples. The spirit was strong, and it just reminded me about how lucky I am to have a temple available to me. Also, how lucky I am to be worthy to visit the temple. Elder Rasband encouraged us ALL to hold a temple recommend, even if we can't visit the temple as much as we would like. The temple is such a sweet place, and I have missed visiting it so much. NEVER pass up an opportunity to visit the temple. You are meant to be there, so get there. Being a worthy temple recommend holder shows God how much we care, and it shows that we want to improve. I am so blessed to be found worthy to enter Heavenly Father's temple, and I pray that I will be able to visit again soon. Remember that the temple is Heavenly Father's house, and even seeing the temple brings peace, so get there. Receive the blessings you are worthy to receive there. You are loved, and Heavenly Father has blessed you with a temple. NEVER throw that blessing away.

I hope y'all have an amazing week, and I want you to know I'm praying for you. Keep on keeping on, and remember whose army we are fighting for. I love you, but more importantly, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you. NEVER forget that.

Sister Kerr

Monday, January 11, 2016

11 January 2016 - A Vision of the South

HELLO EVERYBODY! This has been one confusing week. Sister Langford and I kept ourselves super busy, but we kept being pulled away to do random things. At the end of the week, we went to count our numbers, and we have no idea how we managed to get as much done as we did. We were like "Uh, is this right? Should we count again? Nope, that's right!" The Lord blessed us SOOOO much for our efforts this week. You know what they always say, "God is not a God of chance, but a God of miracles." AAAAAMEN! Speaking of miracles, I've been thinking a lot about the vision President Kimball had of the South and how I really am taking part in this prophecy!

 “A Vision of the South,” a prophecy from President Spencer W. Kimball. “Make no small plans: They have no magic to stir men’s souls. This is the vision I have for the South. I believe that one day the South will baptize more people into the Church than all other English-speaking missions in the world together. There are great hosts of marvelous Baptists, members of the Church of Christ, Methodists, and Catholics who are honorable people, and have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and love him. As they see the church veering off to the right or to the left of those basic teachings, they will begin to search for the truth; and as pivotal teachers come into the church and have influence they will see the time when we will baptize hundreds and thousands, tens of thousands, in your day you will see a million members of the church in the South. There will be temples plural in the South States. What a great call you have to serve with these marvelous people. The missionaries love the South. We are making great strides and expect to continue.”

I feel so lucky to be able to assist in the work here in Louisiana! Let me just give you a couple examples to show you how true this prophecy is. This week was really good, we met this lady named Latricia. Her daughter Gabrielle had ordered a Bible online so we were stopping by to deliver it. We met her mom instead and ended up talking to her. This woman's faith was like nothing I had ever seen before. But the cool thing was is that as I stood there with her I could feel that my faith lever matched hers. By the way if you ever want to grow your faith spend some time in the south, they sure know what they are doing. Any ways we talked to her about the Bible and about how much our God loves us and how aware He is of us. It set the perfect setting for us to talk about the First Vision and then support it with the Book of Mormon. She was very skeptical because she is so solid in her beliefs and she has already been saved... in 2006 she said she fell to the ground so she knows that it’s legitimate, you can tell that the spirit really has impacted her life. It made me just yearn for her to have the gift of the Holy Ghost. Quick tangent we have a recent convert Frances who testifies how different it is to actually have the gift and to just be influenced by the Holy Ghost she says that its the greatest blessing in her life! Back to Latricia though she was very protective of the beliefs she has. I would ask her if she believed God could talk to us more or reach out to us once again and every time she would agree and just go on for 5 minutes about how we cannot even think about limiting God! But then she would turn away the thought of another book of scripture. I just look at her and think one day you will understand! I am just grateful for God's hand in the work and that it’s just my job to present it in a way people can feel the spirit, and I mean the spirit was there strong! She loved us and after some more teaching and a lovely prayer she said we could come back and talk to her and her family again. So I pray that she will recognize the need for the additional light and truth that is now in her hands.

We met Ms. Foote this week! Its Sister Neill Foote Marriot's (the second counselor int he General YW Presidency) mother. She is 92 and very Methodist, she was absolutely darling. We shared the scripture St John 14:27. It talks about peace. The peace that Jesus promised us. I love how it explains that it is not how the world gives it. But peace only comes from Him, I have felt so much peace in my life this week. I love that feeling because just like that scripture says peace doesn't come from the world so when we feel it we can know its from HIM.

Pop went and picked lemons and bought an electric lemon juicer, he asked if we could help him out and to juice the lemons for him. We had a blast! Sister Langford would squeeze while I read to her from the scriptures and then we would switch off! So much acid in the hang nails. We probably squeezed 100 lemons. I had to give up 2 of my kitties. It was so sad! Shadrach and Abed-nego headed off to Lake Charles to the Green's son, Andre's house. So no we are down to 3 cats. Its interesting how much I love these cats haha.

We met this really nice lady named Alice. The lady has 9 grandkids under the age of 10 living with her. She has a total of 40 grand kids. I just can't imagine living a life in the way that she is. It makes me realize how lucky I am to have been raised in the gospel with an understanding of the importance of families and the role of a family. If we can just keep on the path all will be well. Sister Langford and I have had some of the most spiritual studies of our lives this week. We were studying the Atonement yesterday and it just rested too heavy on us. Not a bad heavy but a heavy that lets you know it’s there. Almost like a thick Mexican blanket laying on your shoulders. Just heavy enough to let you know it is constantly there. Which reminds me we had this crazy deep and lovely lesson with our Less Active, Carol! She has really been struggling with realizing that she isn't living up to a lot of the things she knows. But it’s really cool how the new year changes peoples initiative. Our visit with her was so spiritual and uplifting that she just knew the time was right. It was really cool because I really developed a testimony in the Lord's timing. I have been seeing this lady for 4 months and nothing has really ever fully hit her at home. But we went in prayerfully and after the lesson I realized how bad she needed Sister Langford and I specifically but not just that, she needed the companionship study that we had had just 2 days prior. It was like God was placing us together and having us study and learn something and then it wasn't until she was ready but because of the placement timing and knowledge she is ready to CHANGE! Hallelujah, thank you Jesus, Praise the Lord, Amen. Brotha and Sista Church Church.  

THE GOODS: On Saturday night, Sister Langford and I were SUPER hungry, so we decided to go out to eat. We decided to eat at the "Louisiana-Esque Kitchen" place called Copelands, and it was great. I had crab ravioli, and She had Basil/tomatoes/grilled chicken/cheese/marinara stuff? I don't know, but it was good. When we got there, they told us we would have to wait 10-15 minutes UNLESS we wanted to eat in the free-lounge. So naturally, we were innocent and hungry, and we were like yeah sure, we will eat there! YEAH we found out a little late that that was the bar. We were seated at a booth far from it, but still. PLUS Sister Langford forgot her name tag that day was just awkward. The people were pretty shocked when we ordered waters, and were STILL happily chatting. NOTE TO SELF: In Louisiana, they forget to care about carding you. Once again, keep that in mind when y'all come to visit ;)

Anyways I sure love y'all!
It has been one full week without fear and let me just tell you I am living the life! Don't forget to give something up for 40 days it’s amazing the changes its made in me just in a full week. God Bless and have a nice day!

Sister Macey Kerr

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

05 January 2016 - Spiritual Sickies

So I was sick last week with a bad sinus/ head cold which was fine we worked through it but my companion caught it this week and it hit her hard! The poor thing was so ridiculously sick. It wiped her out, but all of her being sick I was able to study like crazy! It was a blessing in disguise because I was able to learn so much about the scriptures! One thing that I really learned this week was that without the Book of Mormon we wouldn't have much of an understanding of the atonement of Jesus Christ. We have a less active, Michelle, and she is incredible. She has so much holding her back right now, I feel like that is a likely story for a lot of the people in the world. We have been reading from the Book of Mormon with her daily. Yesterday we talked about the Stripling Warriors, I love the example that they set to step up and serve. That like Elder Holland said "It's not over 'til it's over." They were willing to endure to the end by casting all of their faith to their God. We explained to Michelle that that is what is needed of her. She needs to cast her doubts and fears away, she needs to find rest in the Savior and to step up and serve. I really feel like this concept or thought doesn't just apply to Michelle, it applies to all of us. Find what it is that is holding you back and get rid of it! Whether it being feelings, people, TV, negativity or your phone just move on. We are preparing for an apostle to visit the mission on January 30th, Elder Rasband. In preparation, we are doing what is called a 40 day fast. You choose something to give up or sacrifice and you give it to God for 40 days. I personally chose fear. I will not fear for 40 days. Anytime I want to fear I have to just move on, give it to God, remember who I am and remember who He is! So I challenge you to do it! Do the 40 day challenge with me and see if you can fast to get closer to God! I can’t wait to meet Elder Rasband, I love yall have a really good week,
love Sister Kerr