Tuesday, March 29, 2016

28 March 2016 - Jesus has risen, Jesus our friend

Hey y'all. I hope everyone had a splendid Easter! I woke up Easter morning to thunder I immediately thought of 3 Nephi 8. It was prophesied for hundreds of years that when Jesus the Christ would be crucified that there would be 3 days for darkness, storms and disasters. I read from 3 Nephi and just thought about those people and how scary that would be to have the world be so dark and cold. It says they were surrounded by a thick vapor leaving it so they couldn't even burn a fire to bring light. They then hear a voice inviting them to come unto Him, repent and be converted that He may heal them! What a beautiful invitation! I then thought about the glorious day of His resurrection, the words to a primary song filled my head. I actually learned it last Easter when I was serving in the McComb Primary it says "Jesus has risen, Jesus our friend. Joy fills our hearts, He lives again!" It made for an incredibly joyful day even though it was so stormy!

Ok Louisiana experience of the week.... We went to this Less actives house and her and her friend live together. Anyways they absolutely love us! We walked in and they had a sandwich waiting for us and immediately got us kool aid to drink! Oh and grapes cant forget the grapes! Well the dog smelled my grapes rubbing his nose all over them. I just looked at the ceiling prayed for strength beyond my own and popped a couple in. The kool aid was actually crystal light so it has the aspartame fake sugar stuff. Well it was watermelon flavor which I don't really enjoy but at this point in my life you put it in front of me, sure I'll eat or drink it. Anyway she ended up mixing a 2 liter mix packet in about 6 oz of water......... ya........ I chugged it but oh my gosh that fake sugar stuff destroyed my body! I was having sharp pains for like 3 days... my wimpy digestive tract couldn't handle the super strong watermelon crystal light haha. It made for a good laugh.

So last night we were coming out of our dinner appointment, some members fed us...(I may or may not have called and invited us over on Friday because no one had signed up for Easter.) They fed us etoufee, ham and potato salad, way good and I ate way to much but when we were leaving I opened the front door and was walking towards our car, we had parked on the street. There was this car that had backed out of its driveway and nearly t-boned our car right as I was walking up to it! I just shout out to him " Did you just hit our car?" (It kinda reminded me when I asked John, "Are you in our garden?" haha I just speak my mind.) He yells back "No, but I almost did!" Me: "Oh ok, Happy Easter!" He yelled back "Thank goodness for the Resurrection!" I love Louisiana so much :)

This lady drove her car into a ditch on accident. We pulled over to check on her and she was ok just needed to call AAA to come and tow her. So I read her her license plate number so she could write it down. It was super rainy and muddy. I had my rain boots on so I just walked through the swampy ditch and then I pictured an alligator eating me. Ya I wont be doing that again haha.

We went tracting, and I am really pushing and shoving Sister Paulo out of the nest. She did the initial approach at the door introducing us as LDS missionaries and the lady wasn't too interested but we got to chatting with her and she opened up! She said she had a lot going on in her life that was really burdening her so she didn't have time for God. I bore testimony that because of that she needs God more than ever. We prayed with her and she then asked if she could say a prayer. She thanked God for sending us and told us to come back in 2 weeks :) We walked away feeling spiritually empowered! It was wonderful. Sister Paulo said to me "This is my favorite day of my whole mission because I open my mouth!" She is so cute and is learning to trust God to give her the words to say. It has been a wonderful week! I love y'all so much. Keep up the good work!

Love Sister Kerr

What is that!??? I was pumping gas and it landed next to me! You know on the Grinch when they are feeding him tons of food and one guy says, "This is not bread pudding!" and the Grinch yells out, "What is that!?" That's the voice I used! Haha!

 Mormon Helping Hands!

 Mormon Helping Hands picking up sticks!

 Easter packages!

Sister Call is going home next week.

Our lesson with Bernadine! It went really well. We took Kathie, a recent convert, with us!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

21 March 2016 - Ou te alofa ia Iesu Keriso

First, let me say that the mission has a new address, so if you write, please see the updated address on the right column of my blog page.

Now, onto my super stressful experience from last week... don't be nervous it will make y'alls whole day. It was daylight saving last Sunday right? Well I had to speak in church that morning but we had been so busy with missionary stuff I hadn't been able to write my talk yet. So I frantically wrote my talk at 6:30 on Sunday morning. After I wrote it I was feeling pretty confident and good about my talk. I treated myself to a big ole bowl of cereal and sat down thinking "Dang I've still got time to kill!" So I was reading out of the Book of Mormon when I looked up at the microwave to notice the time on it matched the time on the phone..... I knew something was wrong then haha I knew it was daylight savings but I just trusted our phone knew it too. So I called up the Elders and asked them what time it was. They informed me that it was 8:48. I could literally hear church people talking in the background. Church literally started in 12 min, I live 15 minutes away, I was in my PJ's and my companion was getting in the shower. Great, now what? Now we run! I told Sister Paulo and she literally had NO idea what I was talking about apparently Samoa doesn't do daylight saving. I just told her to get ready and church was starting haha. I was changed and ready in 4 minutes. All those years of early morning seminary, sleeping through the alarm and Dad telling me we had to leave in 4 minutes ended up being great prep! So we ran super fast and got to church at 9:15. Only 15 minutes late! And by the grace of God alone the Sacrament hadn't been passed yet. So we took the sacrament then I spoke and it went just fine. I think God just really wanted me to get an extra hour of sleep! :)
We went out to dinner with the Duncan's this week and we got lots of seafood!! I tried alligator, raw oysters, and broiled oysters. They were good. The raw one literally felt like I was swallowing a snot rocket. Not my first choice in food! But the cooked ones were fantastic! It was a fun night.
I was sick all day Wednesday I thought it was from the seafood but it wasn't I just had like a 24 hour stomach bug. I was super dizzy and nauseous. I slept it off! I hate being sick. It was not fun at all! Everyone around here has the flu so I wasn't surprised when I ended up sick. I took some pepto bismol and went to bed. When I woke up my tongue was black! I was so freaked out. I worked in a dentist office and had never seen a black tongue like mine! It brushed off though. I called a member and asked her to google it for me, she called back with "Have you taken Pepto? It turns peoples tongues black sometimes!" Phewwww ok so I'm not dying.

Ummmm. we were at a less actives house and we were chatting away talking about Easter and out of the corner of my eye I saw something scurry past me. I froze.... and panicked. I do not deal well with situations like these. I literally prayed my heart out saying "please be a cat.... please be ac cat!" As everyone who knows me well knows I'm an open book! So ya the lady automatically asks "What did you see?" I look to my left and there I see a mouse tail. I whimpered and answered "Ma'am there is a mouse right next to me!" Her response "Hold on let me get the poison....." Then she left. She left me by this rat! I wanted to cry. When we left Sister Paulo was laughing so hard. I told her I deserved something for handling it so well so we headed to Burger King to get a mint oreo shake. (Thanks mom for telling me they have them) We get to BK and I order my shake and the lady taking my order says "Shoot, I forgot to start the shake machine baby, that's my bad. Could yall come back in 15 minutes for your shake?" This made my whole day. I love these people down here.

Ok for the spiritual moments of my week I had the best sacrament meeting ever yesterday! It was so edifying and spiritual. The first speaker actually didn't speak at all. He signed his entire talk and his dear sweet wife interpreted the whole thing for him. The spirit was indescribably strong as this young deaf man stood before us all to teach us the importance of keeping the commandments. He explained to us that because of his disability growing up he never understood the church, because of the language barrier. He always followed the teachings of his loving parents and so he attended church. It wasn't until he learned American Sign Language at the MTC when he actually learned and understood the gospel. He had no idea God, Jesus Christ or Joseph Smith were  real people. He thought they were just animated fictitious movie characters. Once he could communicate and learn fully he then had an understanding of the reasons behind all the commandments. Once he learned of our Heavenly Father's love for us he then could comprehend the need for church and prophets! The spirit was so strong. But what made this experience even cooler was we had a member who just moved into the ward from Nigeria, Brother Sunday. He brought his dad who is not a member and who also does not speak very much English. We sat next to them and I listened while Brother Sunday translated the English to Nigerian. It made me realize that NO MATTER the language or barrier the Holy Spirit can literally penetrate any heart of an honest seeker of truth. So as I sat there observing the teachings of Jesus Christ being taught fist in sign language, then English and then Nigerian I realized how universal the gospel is. That it doesn't matter who you are or where you've been you can relate or better yet, He, Jesus Christ can relate to you.  Another neat experience was there is this old man in our ward who bakes bread for the sacrament every week. He bakes tons and tons of loaves of bread and then hands then out to different members on Sunday. I watched him walk up to these two strangers, the Nigerians, and introduce himself and then offered them some fresh baked bread. It truly reminded me of the Savior and what he would have done. It made me remember why it is so important to "Be as Christ" because that is how others will learn of HIM! So everyone, be kind because Christ is kind. Extend a hand, forgive others and recognize that we are all running this race together. We all want to end up in the same place and so we need to do all that we can to not leave each other behind.

Watch this video, https://www.mormon.org/easter/follow-him, and remember that it is because of Him that we are able to find new life and we are able to change.

The title of this blog post is my deepest most sincere testimony! Ou te alofa ia Iesu Keriso means "I love Jesus Christ" in Samoan. I am thrilled for Easter time because it is a day dedicated to the remembrance of our Savior who has gone to the deepest abysses to save us from our own fears, sins and regrets. He loves us, and I LOVE HIM! He has changed me in ways I never thought I would change. As one called to represent Him I want it to be known.

Love Sister Kerr

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

14 March 2016 - Oh shuga, the bayou be floodin'

Hey y'all! Wheeeew..... Im actually kind of surprised at how fast this week went. We started off with Specialized training on Tuesday it was good. I may or may not have carried my team with all the car care questions in jeopardy and then I found out we didn't win anything and I found myself being a wee bit too competitive haha... Yep its still the same me, I apparently haven't grown up that much yet... Not to worry I still have six months left. on Wednesday we tracted and tracted like crazy, my knuckles are sore y'all! We also tried showing up at a bunch of less actives houses too with no luck. But we found ourselves doing the same thing the next and the next day too. It makes Sister Paulo and I laugh at how happy we are to go out and do it every day. You would think that by now we would be ready to just drop everything and say "I QUIT!" But somehow (I specifically place all the reasoning on God's shoulders) When I look at Sister Paulo and tell her it’s time for tracting in my most happy and energetic voice she responds with a laugh then a smile then says "let’s do it!" But we met this way nice lady, Alma tracting last week and she told us we could come back..... Y'all I know my jaw dropped, too! So we went back this week and she was a little hesitant saying she was busy this time too but I really think the pouring rain and wind storm behind us and the spirit told her to let us in. It felt so good! This is the first home I’ve been invited into from tracting since I moved here a month ago. It was so good. I asked her if she had read the pamphlet we had left with her. She told she had and that she loved it and she was going to use it in her Sunday school lesson she was teaching tomorrow at her church. We taught her the Restoration and talked to her about the Book of Mormon. She told she had a Book of Mormon from a friend form 25 years ago! She was really interested once we told her what the Book of Mormon actually was. She said we could come back ;) I probably had a 6 year old cheeser smile on my face.

So it’s been RAINING here a whole ton. Roads flooding and all sorts of crazies. Not to worry the weird Sister with her garden/rubber dress shoes is holding out just fine. My poor companion is always telling me her shoes are soaking wet and asks if she can wear her flip flops haha. I just look at her giggle and tell her no ma'am, ya can’t. Sister Paulo calls me "mama Kerry" pronounced carrie. So funny.

We got to go to the Temple this week. It was incredible and such a special time. I had never been to a sealing before. The temple seemed to be prettier than ever! The Boswell's a family from the Alexandria ward were getting sealed. I sat next to Ms. Robin and held her hand and just cried because it was so beautiful! I was so thrilled to be there and was quite literally stressing at the thought of ever leaving that room. Bu then we did proxy sealings and they were just as special. I realized that temple missionary work is SIGNIFICANTLY easier. Makes sense why God has got me out here in the bayou seeking the elect. He doesn't want me doing the easy work... He needs me on the front line! I was told by several missionaries this week that I am very bold and they wish they could be bold like me. It really caught me off guard! They asked how they could be more bold and I responded with something I had read from true to the faith "You can be Humble and Fearless at the same time!" I literally tell myself that nearly every second of my day! If there is love behind your boldness people take it.
Cool story real fast this guy was standing outside the temple when we came out. He was probably in his 20's and he asked Pop what the temple was or how he could find out more. Pop turns around and points straight to me and said "That's the girl you need to talk to !" Ha we talked to him and got his number. I am excited to start teaching him. He is a college Baptist preacher..... so it may just be curiosity but the spirit does not lie so it'll get the job done!

Haha funniest story for the week, I went to the eye doctor trying to find a cure for my headache but it didn't help. But at the end of my appointment the lady who is Vietnamese needs my insurance info. I told her to call my mom. I immediately laugh to myself because I know my mom and I also know her ability to understand Vietnamese accents. I kid you not I laughed out loud at the thought of my mom and her on the phone. I went and sat down and was slightly nervous for this woman who was soon going to struggle to get her point across to my mom. Before I knew it she was calling me over and telling me that I just needed to talk to my mom and get it figured out haha So in the moment I thought well I could decline and this lady would forever think Mormons are insane because they don't talk to their moms in times of medical need! So I grab the phone and say "Hi, mom!" My mother responds with "Ok for the record I did not ask to talk to you....." Then we both just giggled our heads off. Tender mercy and a miracle from our Lord. He sure has compassion on us mama doesn't he?

Love yall so much. Sorry if this is incredibly choppy. Have a super splendid week a don't forget to change the world. All my love!! Sister Kerr

The Green's brought me a box of my favorite cereal!
Best day ever!!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

7 March 2016 - I believe in Christ, so come what may!

This was a great week! Tons of learning experiences. We were treated to dinner with the Lawes, the mission office couple. They are the sweetest things ever! I absolutely love being close to them. It is a good life. We met with a 75 year old Catholic woman named Bernadine. She is so lonely and cute. She is the one who said that she prayed for company! So we had a great discussion about the Book of Mormon! The spirit was the strongest I have ever had in a Book of Mormon lesson, and I pointed it out to her! She would agree, "Yes! I feel the spirit super strong right now!" Then I would testify that I know the spirit would not be there that strong testifying to us if the Book of Mormon wasn’t true. She was very touched by our testimonies but then declined the offer to receive a Book of Mormon. Her reasoning was she wants to study the Bible more! My companion was pretty distraught thinking of the whole thing as a failure but it truly was amazing! Shoot I'll go back and study the Bible with her! You have got to start somewhere with people and especially when NO ONE will open their door to ya, you’ve got to do whatever it takes! We also offered our cleaning services so we went back on Friday and cleaned her entire house top to bottom. She cried several times and offered to pay us with lunch. We shared some good scriptures with her and she just adores us! I asked her why she let us come back after the first visit. She responded with "I could see that you know God!" It was really special because as she said that tears filled her eyes and she could just see there was something special about us! It was also perfect timing because I have been doing a special study about God and Christ also and I have been praying to know if I really knew them or if I just thought that I did. I really was searching to find out the depth of my relationship with them. So, when she said that I knew it was specifically God answering my specific question! Miracles happen every day in the smallest and least expected ways!

We had a less active lesson that just so happened to be perfect timing with her crawfish boil haha so they invited us to eat on up! It was so good. I stinking love crawfish! It was really fun and a great opportunity to get to know these people! They just loved asking questions about weird New Yokers who don't ever do crawfish boils.

To top off the week we had an incredible member family feed us dinner Sunday night, the Sant's. They are so fun and so normal... they are from out west!... well that explains that one! They spoiled us like crazy and we had a very normal dinner, chicken baked not fried, rolls not biscuits, steamed veggies not green beans in pig fat. I literally felt like I had stepped out of Louisiana for a minute!
This morning we went all over with a member to see all sorts of cool plantations! Louisiana has so much HISTORY! It’s incredible!

I love this place and I love this mission! I love my God too :)

God Bless y'all.
Sister Kerr

Yes, that's a real, live Pit Bull. You can't see how nervous I am!

I told my Mom and Dad they need one of these.

What do you do when McDonalds discontinues Shamrock Shakes? Eat a gallon of mint ice cream.

My companion and me.

Crawfish boil.

Whoa! Those are some spicy crawfish!

Hello friend.

Hello world.

Mossy Oak plantation... just beautiful.