Sunday, July 17, 2016

11 July 2016 Alexandria Bound

This was a really good week. It was mostly filled with me getting to know more people from the area! There is so much to soak in and so much to be done! We were tracting and met several really nice people, one of them was Mr. Mike. He said we could come back so we did and ended up accidentally knocking at the wrong house... haha Well anyways Sister Nelson says "Hello there, Mr. Mike!"  Then she realized it wasn't the same guy and says "Wait.... your not Mr. Mike." hahahaa it was so embarrassing and funny. Sister Nelson is so fun to serve with. We get along great and are already having some of the coolest spiritual experiences! Sadly there was a shooting in Baton Rouge which has stirred up tons of chaos. We now have to be inside before dark and avoid groups of people. Sad what the world is coming to but prophesies are being fulfilled! So on the bright side we had this really good lesson with our investigator Mr. Lewis he is in his 80's and just lost his wife. He is from NY too so we had an instant connection! We talked about the plan of salvation and invited him to read about where his wife is now in the Book of Mormon. He was really excited to hear about it.
The Richard family drove to Lafayette to see me! Shane never got to say goodbye to me:( So they came down and took us out to dinner. It was so fun and I loved every second of it. I miss them already. We talked about the Book of Mormon and they said they were still reading! They decided to pull a prank on me. Sister Langford, my old companion took my place in Prairieville and Shane kept saying what if I don't like the new sister?? So after their first appointment with Sister Hyer and Sister Langford and Sister O (they are in a trio) Leesa texted to let me know that it went terrible and that Shane cannot stand the new sisters. They offended him and made him not want anything to do with missionaries! I flipped out and called her immediately! I talked to her, Shane and Caden. I was sure they were lying but I couldn't get any of them to crack! I asked Caden to promise on my life that they hated the new Sister and then they drew the line haha Told me they were just kidding! Apparently Shane thinks sister Langford and I are just alike, and people on the phone always call her Sister Kerr. She has to tell them that I got transferred! Sister Banta called her Macey... hahaha I love those people so much! Also, I just found out that Shane has decided to pay tithing now, I am so proud and so excited for the changes that he is making :) We met the Porter family, they are super sweet and super open to the gospel. Sister Langford actually found them tracting a year ago when she served in this area. I love Lafayette, especially the members! They take such good care of us.

I studied a lot about the importance of humbling ourselves and sanctifying ourselves this week. We never know what or when God is going to ask us to do something but he asks us to be ready and prepared always! The more prepared the better God can use us! Its just like the story of the ten virgins, go read that story and then think about what it is that you can do to fill your lamps with oil. Whether it be spiritually or physically, we must always be ready. The scriptures also say that those who are prepared have NO need to fear!

Surprise of the week: I get to go to Alexandria tomorrow for a zone conference... I am in Baton rouge zone so I really dont know why or how this is happening the Assistants just called and told us to go! I did not question them. They said it was just by chance but I knew it truly is a TENDER MERCY from God!! I hope yall have a good week.

5 July 2016 Lafayette Life

Well hello there. I hope everyone's 4th of July was good and happy! Ours sure was. So my life is completely different now! I am the furthest south I've ever been haha and I live in Cajun Country. The college's mascot here is the Ragin' Cajun... haha My companion is Sister Nelson, she is fantastic. She is from New Hampshire... Everyone here is so excited that we are both from the North East! She has been out for 5 months and is a stellar missionary. Lafayette is such a wonderful place and already we are seeing miracles! A couple of the main ones are we got a referral for someone who wanted a Bible, but it was 25 miles away in a small town named Rayne, LA. Sister Nelson decided we should go and deliver it so off we went. We ended up on a gravel road in the middle of crawfish ponds and fields when the GPS announced that we had arrived at our destination.... We just started laughing but then were bummed because now there is no way for us to get a hold of this guy. So we decided to look in the area book for other people in Rayne, since we had come all this way. Sister Nelson found a former investigator named Rose and I found a less active member named Ray. So we called Rose, told her we were in Rayne and that we would love to meet her and asked if we could come over! She answered "Absolutely! Come on!" I hung up the phone and just smiled huge! Dang, that was a first :) So we headed right on over there and she was waiting for us on her front porch. We chatted with her and got to know her a bit and then got to talking to her about the Book of Mormon and its significance. She had no idea what it was but once we told her she was like "You mean God spoke to more of His kids!?" She was so interested in knowing what was in the Book of Mormon! We committed her to read the introduction. We her if she would pray before we left and ask if the book was true... she hesitated and then told us that she had never prayed out loud before. We taught her how to pray and encouraged her to pray for herself! She decided she would. The feelings and emotions that came next will never ever be properly described. She opened her prayer and when she did the spirit flooded us. She began to cry as she had just for the first time in her life called out to her Heavenly Father. She then very carefully chose her next words as she asked if the Book of Mormon was true and if we were sent from Him. Then she closed her prayer and looked up. Sister Nelson and I were crying with her. I then testified to her that she had just literally been overwhelmed by the Spirit of God and that the Spirit cannot lie. She was so happy and just smiling huge, I asked her when we could come back and she said "ASAP!!" We left her a restoration pamphlet to read and before we were even driving away we could see her reading through it. She was sure to let us know that the timing was perfect! It was a miracle! I have thanked God for that experience because it was life changing!
Then we moved on to Ray the less active. We knocked on the door and his grandson Chad answered the door. We asked if Ray was there and he let us know he had passed away about a year ago. Sister Nelson and I had decided that we would share a Mormon Message with this family before we even went up to knock on the door. So Sister Nelson quickly decided that the video from this Easter would be best since it talks about being reunited with our loved ones who have passed away. So we go in and Chad's mom is there. Chad is probably 30 and Ms. Nan, his mom probably 50, we watch the video and then ask how they felt during it. Ms. Nan says "Nothing, I felt nothing." We weren't sure how to respond but the spirit told us exactly what to say. It was so amazing. She told us she wasn't a Christian. Sister Nelson and I just talked to her and you could literally see the spirit softening her heart with every word that was being said. She admitted that she does believe in a God and she does still pray to him. We talked about her difficult life and how at times it seems unmanageable. I turned to Sister Nelson and asked her what she did when life got hard. Sister Nelson bore such a powerful testimony of being able to call upon the power of the Atonement to receive strength and help. Then Sister Nelson asked "Ms. Nan, do you believe God sends signs?" Ms. Nan just stood there, thinking, you could see that that question hit home and sunk in far deeper than anything else. You could see that EVERY barrier that was between us and her fell down. She then said "Yes, I do. You are never going to believe this, earlier tonight I was standing by my bed praying hard and I asked God to just send me a sign so I could know what to do!" I then asked her if she thought we were that sign from God. She began to cry and said "Yes, I do, and I never would have guessed He would answer me so quickly." I then said "It's because He loves you!" and I gave her a big hug. She laid her head on my shoulder, I whispered in her ear a question I asked her "Will you let us and God help you?" She said in a weak tearful voice "YES!" We then sat down and had a lesson about our Savior Jesus Christ and talked about how he wants to heal us but its a journey, its a process. We have to commit to Him and if we do then all things are possible. Once again, another LIFE CHANGING event. We texted Ms. Nan to remind her of her commitment to change and to work on making Christ apart of her life. She texted back "The devil is working hard here, but I still remember what happened!" and her son Chad also texted us to thank us for helping his mom's faith! It was so sweet.
Life as a missionary is not glamorous and its not easy but man o' man is it rewarding and empowering. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I love this plan and I love His people. How lucky am I to labor among these people, sweat and cry along side them. I have come to realize that repentance is the GREATEST gift that has been given to us. Because it offers the peace and freedom Nan, Rose, me and you are all looking for. I love yall so much. God Bless and allow yourselves to be changed this week. The miracles are all around us, whether we see them or not is up to us!

Sister Kerr

28 June 2016 Your cat lost 30 pounds?!

So I think over the past year Ive established about how strange this place really is. I'm sure that any of it truly does it justice though! Sorry its been two weeks since yall have heard from me. The computer was a struggle last week and it just wouldn't let me on my email. So I've got lots of updates. I am being transferred, I am going to Lafayette, LA. Which probably means nothing to yall but I'm way excited. Ive heard nothing but marvelous things about this place. Apparently they have the best fried chicken in the country... My insides might die but its worth a try. Also, way back when in March of last year I was supposed to go to Lafayette, but then President Hansen felt the need to change me to McComb mid sentence. I know I was needed in McComb and so I'm so excited to know that I'm needed in Lafayette too, and that NOW the timing is right for me to be there.

We had the most phenomenal lesson this week with a less active! We have been praying about how we can help her and we finally thought of bringing Sister Cox with us to see her. It sounds simple but it took a lot of planning sorting and consulting with the relief society president and by the end Sister Cow was officially crowned as Sister Burnett's visiting teacher with us missionaries as her partner! So we had a stellar lesson which just happened to be on Temple covenants and ordinances... can I just say that the First Presidency is inspired! We have been focusing on the temple with her since General Conference! But Sister Cox and her got along so well and then we realized how similar their life stories were. It was so inspired by God. Sister Hyer and I were just so excited we had followed the spirit step by step with this one. It went so well that she even came to church on Sunday, it was a miracle. We also had another less active couple, Carol and Alferedo come to church too! We met them this week and had a powerful lesson with them too. We were so excited to see them walking into sacrament meeting.

We had a lesson with Shane and Leesa this week too. It was so fantastic! Shane opened up and shared his concerns and questions. Surprisingly the Book of Mormon was the answer to every single one of his questions! Surprised?? I wasn't... not even in the slightest... that BOOK is no ordinary book. It is the word of God and because its the word of God the SPIRIT speaks peace to our souls. So what do you know? Can you guess who is going to be reading the Book of Mormon this week?? Shane :) I am so sad to leave them, my heart is literally breaking at the thought.

We got a new investigator named Alison. She is the daughter to an active member. Se just moved from Ohio to here to get to know her dad better, she is 19 and I am super sad I am leaving so soon because we got along great!

We were at this ladies house and she let us know that her incredibly obese cat had recently just lost 30 pounds and that that was why all its skin was dragging on the ground.... What?!! Ive recently lost 30 pounds how the heck can a cat lose 30 pounds!? Oh and yes its official I am back down to my pre- mission weight!! Mississippi did me dirty!
Oh I have a funny story that I don't think Ive told yall about yet, we were at Kathie's house, a recent convert when I got a phone call from the mission office it went like this
Elder Bunn "Hello Sister Kerr!"
Me"Why hello there Elder Bunn, how can I help you?"
Elder Bunn" Well I have an officer on the other line telling me that your car has been abandoned and has been called into him as suspicious..."
Me"Oh boy.... we parked it outside a less actives house... what should we do?"
Elder Bunn"Well there should be an officer at your car right now! Go talk to him!"
haha so we ran down the road and talked to him. He was super nice and friendly and forgave us immediately. Later the less active called and told us her side of the story. She said that her nosey neighbor had called her while she was at work and told her that there was a car abandoned in front of her house and that the situation looked really suspicious! So she called the police! Our less active just kept apologizing and saying "I almost put to Mormon missionaries in jail! I would have felt so bad! Can you forgive me!?"
It was so funny!!

Well God Bless yall and Prairieville, the land I've come to love.
Sister Kerr

13 June 2016 Spiritual Juice

Super week yall! We had Elder Kapishke come and visit! It was so special! I learned so much as he just unloaded his spiritual knowledge on us! He taught so powerfully and so boldly about our roles as missionaries and the things that we must accomplish. He talked a lot about our Diving Nature and the ground work behind it. It really was like a fire hose to the face... and I went to 3 of his meetings. But in every meeting he brought up something that I had specifically prayed would be addressed or talked about. It was remarkable. One of my favorite things said was "Joy shared is joy multiplied and pain shared is pain divided." It was beautifully put :)

We were able to visit lots of families this week! God just kept reminding me about how His plan is centered on these families! They are the plan! Sister Hyer and I just keep talking about everyone's potential and it just makes us so excited to be apart of them!

Our investigator Shane came with his wife to the adult session of the stake conference, and then his son too on the Sunday morning session. It just made me realize the love and respect he has for his family and his desire to support them to the best of his ability. We have been praying about a fellowship family for the Richards and only one families name would come to mind! Cool, only problem is, is we know nothing about them! Come to find out the wives have the same job and basically same background story because the dad of this family wasn't a member of the church for the longest time.

We needed one more hour of service yesterday to reach our goal that we had set for the week, so we went to the nursing home and sang hymns! The little old ladies adored us! They were so sweet and loving, the spirit was so strong! One lady asked me where I was from like 6 times, every time I would say New York & she would gasp and say "BUSY BUSY BUSY!" haha it was funny, people have no idea that there is a small town New York.

I got to see Sister Paulo this week she has grown so much and she hits her 6 month mark in a couple of days! Also on the 16th Sister Hyer has been out 3 months. Time is so weird and so hard to keep track of!

FUNNY STORY!: My companion forgot her name tag, I noticed while she was backing the car up. She had the funniest look of panic on her face and I immediately started laughing! But we really needed to go because we were going to be late to our appointment. She ran to my window in a panic "Sister, Sister! I forgot my tag!" I told her "I see that, we don't have time to grab it, just get in and we will come back for it after the appointment." She gives me a look like I was asking her to jump off a cliff. She finally got in the car and we drove off. I think she was mad at me.... So I said "Sister, it will be ok!!" She just whispers "I hope so...." I just busted out laughing and told her "Sister, do you hear yourself? Your name tag is not what makes you a missionary! You will be just fine, I promise. What do you think is going to happen? Your name tag does not give you magical powers....!" Then she started laughing too. Oh the greenie drama just keeps me going! It was a lesson well learned for her though.

Terribly sorry if these are getting drier and drier every week. I just get so dang bored sitting at the computer. So much happens in my week that I also don't even know where to start! We are busy bees and life never ever slows down! The work is good. We got a new Stake President and he said that he had a vision of our area having 3 stakes! I can totally see it. The vision of the south is coming true!

Love Sister Kerr