Sunday, May 29, 2016

23 May 2016 Paid the Price to Serve

So... the price paid....drum roll please.... ANT BITES.... I know yall are probably thinking "Again?? you'd think she would learn." Well that is exactly what I was thinking too! But apparently God needed to humble me a bit. I am allergic to the ants so my feet always swell up and burn for days! Luckily I only got 2 bites this time but it still swelled right up. It was so funny we were in a lesson with the Richards and they saw my pathetic fat ankle and offered me a bag of frozen corn to hold on it for a bit. Ahh man I love the south. I've come to the conclusion that when the Bible talks about people burning in Hell it will be a place covered with fire ants.... I literally couldn't think of anything more Hellish than ant bites. Personal opinion though.. not doctrine ;)

So this was a really good week. There was a Tornado... again! It touched down near a cyclery store and took out some of their glass windows. Most of the damage was in a development named Shenandoah. We have oodles of members and less actives living there so we went and helped. Mainly Kathie, our recent convert and the Sister Rebstock a less active. I had to scoop tons of branches out of Kathie's pool because my arms were the only ones long enough. We were so glad we could help her because her husband was out on the riverboat where he works. Then a tree had fallen on Sister Rebstocks house and she was just giving up depressed! I told her we would figure out how to get rid of it without spending all the money she doesn't have! I called 6 different active men in the ward and only one answered and had no help to offer! I was starting to think "Man, maybe I shouldn't have offered our services so quickly.. because apparently we have no services to offer!" right then the elders pulled up and offered to help! They went and introduced themselves to Sis Rebstock and told her "Why pay to have the tree removed when we are strong and stupid?" haha they got on the roof and threw down branches while Sister Hyer and I drug them to the road. We got it ALL off the roof and most of it cut down, all with Elder Elison's leathermans pocket knife saw.

Caden is ready to be baptized this Saturday! We are so excited. Its at 2 o'Clock. We had our last lesson with him last night and one of our first lessons with his dad! It went so beautifully. They sent us home with 3 packed containers of Jambalaya leftovers.... he said that is how much he was told to cook for 5 people. He said he used 6 cups of rice! haha He wasn't kidding though that is completely normal for people to cook that much for one meal!

We watched the woman's broadcast with Bernadine at Kathie's house finally! It went great too. It was a really full week! Biggest lesson learned : Mosiah 2:17 "when ye are in the service of your fellow beings you are only in the service of your God"

These people go through SO MUCH!
We aren't earning Heaven though, we are LEARNING it!

Love Sister Kerr

 Bunkering down in the tub with our bike helmets the night of the storm!

 Cleaning up the storm mess from Kathie's house.

We served and in return, she bought us a hamburger and fries from jack in the box... the first fast food burger I've had in over a year! 

Clearing the debris with Elder Elison's leatherman pocket knife saw.

17 May 2016 Free Lemonade and Gospel

Such a great week! We visited lots of people and shared lots of testimonies! Sister Hyer is learning and growing a ton and I am too! I'm struggling to remember all that went on this past week. All I know is that I am exhausted and have fallen asleep faster than ever lately! We had a fabulous visit last night with the Richard family! They have opened up so much and we just love them with all our hearts. Caden's baptism is still on for May 28th and he is beyond excited. He asked me to speak at it :) I love baptisms! His dad Shane is doing great too, even if he isn't too interested in making the changes in his life he is INCREDIBLY supportive of his wife and son. He really is also noticing the impact of having us missionaries in his home is having on his family. I do see a bright future for this family :) I just got a call from Leesa, the mom, and she was letting us know that Caden woke up at 3:30am puking and that we may have been exposed to the horrendous virus that Shane had last week. Hahahaha I laughed so hard! She couldn't believe I was laughing. I just said "We don't care, we love yall anyways!" She said that Caden's first thought while puking in the night was "Oh no, what if I got the Sisters sick!?"

Our wonderful Relief Society president had the idea to take us Sisters and Sister Banta out to lunch for Sister Banta's birthday. It went so great! It was the first time we had been able to really see Sister Banta since she told us she was no longer interested 2 weeks ago. She loved the attention and company! We shared a scripture about being able to know that we can rely on Christ! The discussion became so spiritual that everyone was touched. I just had the biggest feeling of my bones on fire as we all spoke and it made me realize that maybe this whole discussion was for me! It's funny how God will do that sometimes, turn it to effect what feels like just you! But I needed that reminder that Jesus Christ is here to help me! Once the conversation died down Sister Banta looked at me and said "We are on the same page again!"  I was thrilled to hear that, we have another appointment set up with her for tomorrow.

We had interviews with President this week and it was a super positive experience! We had a great visit with them. They are so sweet. I had my interview with president first and then my interview with Sister Hansen second. President said "Let get the interview no one wants to do done so you can get to the one that you look forward to!" haha I laughed so hard.

We had a great study with Bernadine this week and she fed us lunch. We had scrambled eggs and lots of 'em! Her husband has a friend who works at a chicken farm and he gave him all the eggs that wouldn't pass inspection. Most of them were just oddly shaped. As I started cracking them I found 6 out of the 8 eggs we used had double yolks! It was way cool. We just giggled after every egg. She is literally the sweetest thing in the south.

We had a lemonade stand this week! We did it at Kathie and Bill's house! We gave out FREE lemonade and pamphlets. It was so fun, we had nearly every person want to give us a donation so we just asked for people to be willing to meet with us instead of paying us! We got 4 people to sign up! So far only one will meet with us but hey, that is success right there! Also we had a less active family stop for lemonade and they asked if they could help with the stand! Of course! The more the merrier. This led to us setting up an appointment with this family! I've been trying to see them for 3 months now! So lemonade stand was definitely a huge success. We ran out of lemonade just as 3 sheriff's  pulled up wanting some free lemonade! We gave them pamphlets haha they weren't too interested though. But they let Jacoby, Kathie's 4 year old grandson get in the cop car to get his picture taken! It was really cool. Then Kathie and Bill took us to a Japanese buffet for dinner! We stuffed ourselves. Then I called to confirm our evening appointment with a less active elderly couple we've been dying to see and she was so excited to tell us she was surprising us with dinner! Oh boy... to say we were stuffed is an understatement. It was like twice as bad as thanksgiving! All in all is was a great and satisfying week. Apparently over half my family is in Texas now! Well that's cool :)

Love Sister Kerr

Monday, May 9, 2016

09 May 2016 One Step at a Time

We taught Caden the 10 commandments and it was the funniest thing ever because we played charades with them after we taught them. Him, his parents and us got so into it! It was so fun, that is my favorite way to teach the commandments. He is doing awesome and so is his dad, Shane. We ran around a ton this week! We tracted quite a bit and we got wiped out from the heat, we came home for our dinner break and I passed out on my bed. When you find a chance to nap as a missionary you crash hard!  We had a really good lesson with a part member family. It was such a spiritual lesson, I felt so impressed to call them to repentance but I didn't know how well that would go... But I followed the prompting and they were so touched by the spirit. They really were impacted by the Book of Mormon and we committed them to read it. We had a super lesson with Kathie and her grandson. Sister Hyer taught the lesson while her grandson Jaeden and I put together a picnic table. She was so grateful for the physical and spiritual labor we put in. It was so special! She is one of the greatest people I've met on my mission! She is truly incredible! We made peanut butter cookies for a bunch of mama's around here and then delivered them! We took some to Ms. Klemm, who is a catholic lady but she loves to take care of us, Sister Banta, Sister Cox, Sister Hansen and Ms. Bernadine. They loved and appreciated it so much. I love being able to make people day special.
We got a new ward mission leader! He is fantastic, his name is Brother Smith and so far he has been super helpful. We plan to meet every Saturday morning. It will be a great boost for the ward and us missionaries :)
Funny story of the week!: I almost got knocked down by two ginormous yellow labs who nearly pulled their owner over. They loved me and were so excited to see me! By the end of our little awkward fiasco (since we were just walking past each other on the side walk) I found large gobs of droll dripping down my calf. Yep I gagged... hard!

I don't have much else to tell because I talked to yall last night! That was the best, it didn't even feel like we had been apart that long! I felt so loved. I have the best family in the entire world. I love you all! One last time, Happy Mothers Day to you mama and to any other mama's reading this :) Yall do more for us babies than you will ever know! Love you, Sister Kerr

 Read Mo' books! HaHa I love southern libraries!

 Look at the back window of the white car. That's a lot of kids!

 The Alexandria sisters were in town for MLC, so we met up for dinner.

 Putting together a picnic table with Jaeden.

Kathie and her grandson.

Ahh. The finished project.

Louisiana in the sidewalk. We found it while tracting.

 Peanut butter cookies for Mother's Day.

Sister Burnett at church.

02 May 2016 Dare to Stand Alone

Well me might as well get the embarrassing stuff out of the way! So we were at a members house for dinner and they had this beautiful hand made lazy susan in the middle of the table that had all of dinner on it. Well we dish up and all is well until I go for seconds, spinning the lazy susan and knocking an entire glass of ice water into the moms lap.... oopsy! I was sitting next to there 3 year old son and I said "Oh my gosh I am so sorry!" He looked at me and asked "Was it and accident?" I answered "Yes!" He said "THEN ITS OK! ACCIDENTS HAPPEN!" I literally felt like I was 5... It was so funny and I just thought dang I will never grow out of my clumsiness!

We had dinner at the Relief Society Presidents house on Monday and we had Sister Banta come too! She had a blast over there and just talked their ears off! Sister Banta was telling some story and then pauses to ask (because apparently it was vital to her story) "What television show were yall over watching with me the other day?"..... Oh shoot... the Relief Society Pres shoots me a look of disgust like yall are sitting at her house watching tv...? I was literally racking my brain and was thinking what in the world is she talking about we haven't watched TV over there.... Then I remembered we watched General Conference so I finally answered Sister Banta after about a 20 second pause.. "Are you thinking General Conference?" She gets all excited and says "That's the one!!" and then continued on with her story. It was so funny.
So on the topic of Sister Banta... It was super stormy this weekend so we were put on lock down for most of Saturday and Sunday but we didn't hear from her for like 2 days which was really strange and uncommon. So we went to see her and she answered the door and let us in. I could definitely feel something was up! So I asked her what was wrong and she said she had sent us a text explaining everything. But for some reason, I personally think it was the grace of God knowing that my tender heart would not be able to stand the news the text carried, it didn't send. So I read it off her phone it it said some thing like "I love you girls but I have come tot he decision to remain with my catholic roots. Quitting smoking is so hard and my family is so against me going to church with yall."
My immediate thoughts" NOOOOOOOOOOO, Satan I'm going to KILL you! I am so sick of this crap you do, this is not the end... you will get a piece of my mind later!"
Obviously I kept myself together I said a prayer and told Heavenly Father that I knew that He knew what she was feeling and where she was at spiritually I asked Him to use me and my companion. I dont have much specific memory after that, I know we sang her a song, we shared some scriptures, shed some tears and at the end she decided she would continue to meet with us! She made a comment about how it would be so easy for her to jump right in to the teachings and change her life style if she had support from people in her family. I then thought about this personally, God could easily tell her whole family its all real and true but where would her faith be? Where would her growth be? She is traveling against the current! And aren't we all? It reminded me of President Monson's talk in conference where he said "May we ever choose the harder right than the easier wrong. Just know that if you have chosen Christ, you have made the right choice!" My challenge for yall this week is to DARE TO STAND ALONE! If you know what is true and what is right, even if you don't understand, GO FORWARD!

We had a super awesome lesson with Caden and committed him to be baptized on May 28th! I hope I am here for it, he asked me to give the talk on the Holy Ghost! Transfers are on May 18th. He is so fun to teach and is learning super fast. This week we taught the plan of salvation and when we got there we first reviewed the restoration and he had the whole thing spot on! He is 10 and has a killer memory!

We had a ward day of service this week and we went to a handicap school and did yard work. It was way fun! The elders manned the bush trimmers and us sister raked up under the bushes! We went HAM on that place it looked so great when we were done! It was super cloudy out which was the greatest miracle ever because it would have been so hot! It was pretty warm out, my companion was literally dying... i was dying laughing. Half way through she told me she was sure she was suffering from mild dehydration. I told her to chug two bottles of water and she would be alright we had only been outside an hour at this point! I have a right to laugh because yall laugh at me when I am a drama queen! She survived with only one unidentified bug bite on her stomach.. which also very much so concerned her... My only advice "don't itch it." It started pouring minutes after we finished! 

This was a very rewarding and hard week. So many emotions were felt. It was exhausting!
Congrats to Josh and Kensey Cordon on your wedding! I am so happy for yall :)
Love sister Kerr
 Caden, our investigator. He is a tall 10 year old!

 I got to stand outside the temple on Kensey's sealing day.

 Sister Hyer and I at a Ward Service Day. Yes! That is a machete.

 One of our rainy lock down days.
More rain.

Sister Laurie Bohall and I.

25 April 2016 Thank Goodness for Soap!

This was a great week! It was incredibly long but fast at the same time haha. We got a ton done.
1) I told Sari, a girl who left this week for her mission she could have my phone card that I bought in the MTC. But then I called and found out my card expired so we stopped at the nearest Albertsons and I grabbed her a new one. The girl who checked us out Shaquail, was so intrigued by our name tags... she just kept starring at them. I asked her what she thought about them and she told me that she had seen them before! She said she used to talk to some people like us. Haha it's almost like we are our own nationality. I asked if she would be interested in meeting with us and she said yes! So we met her at Burger King and taught her all about the Restoration! She loved it and was just beaming the whole time. I pointed out to her how happy she was and that made her smile more. She is 21 and about to start cosmetology school. We invited her to church and she wanted to come. We took down her address and sadly realized she doesn't live in our area... :( slightly died a little. This is the SECOND time in like a week that we have found stellar investigators and have handed them off to other sister missionaries.
2) My companion can and will fall asleep ANYWHERE! haha Lessons, planning, studying, meetings etc. It makes me laugh so hard. She is hilarious :) We get along great, she is a highlight.
3) We had a great lesson with Caden, our 10 year old investigator. He came to church last week and learned all about baptism and now he is so excited to get baptized!
4) We went to a Catholic Festival and got crawfish stew and good laws it was mo betta than anything I've ever had! It made me real happy :) We also were invited to a crawfish boil at a members house. She is active but all her kids are less active. The Elders texted us to tell us to go and this was the conversation Eld:"Hey the Maiers said for yall to come for crawfish there is tons!"
Me:"We are in service clothes and are covered in drywall dust..." Eld:"It's ok! You'll fit right in!" haha We got there and we really did fit right in! It was so funny. The yard was so muddy and it was dark outside. At one point I turned around and there were a bunch of crawfish that were crawling across the back porch.. they had somehow escaped the pot. haha It was so southern!
5) Do yall remember way back when I told yall about how people down here have full conversations with the word alright? Well we were on exchanges and we knocked on a ladies door and all we hear is "ALLLright!" aka "Come on in girls!" It was so funny we had a very interesting experience there with Tanya, she has a very unique outlook on God and Christ and I thought my companion was going to hide under the couch. I was just dying laughing on the inside. We got everything rallied back together enough to relate a scripture from the Book of Mormon to her and she was just so excited :)
6) We went biking on exchanges and we biked all around this apartment complex looking for a less active and we ended up meeting this lady who makes soap! It was quite random but so cool! She ended up giving us a free bar of soap! She was so funny and she was really happy to see us! That doesn't happen that often! It made for a great night!
7) Sister Banta quit smoking! It was so exciting! She decided she needed to. But when we followed up with her to see how she was doing she said she wasn't sure why she felt like no smoking is a man made commandment! But it was the perfect setup to commit her to read the Book of Mormon to find out if it is real or not. She was excited to find out that the way to find out was as simple as reading and praying with real intent. She also agreed to continue with her no smoking! So its been 5 days since she has smoked!!!! Yay for Barbara ;)
I am so grateful for the gospel in my life!!

Congrats to Kensey and Josh, I am so happy for yall and wish you the best! I love yall!
Love Sister Kerr

Ms. Tanya, the HILARIOUS investigator I met while on exchanges with Sister Jackson.

 I saw this painting and thought it was beautiful. It is how I feel!

 Ms. Judy, the lady that gave us free soap. She makes the soap in her living room!

 Sister Jackson and I biking on exchanges.

 Magnolia tree.

Alligator Bayou Road.

Crawfish boil!