Write Me!!!!


Sister Kaitlyn Beard "Now therefore stand
Washington Vancouver Mission and see this great thing,
2223 Northwest 99th St which the Lord will do
Vancouver WA 98665 before your eyes."
1 Samuel 12:16

Monday, December 22, 2014

Week 48: Merry Christmas Family!

Dearest Family,

Howdy everyone! Merry Christmas this upcoming week! I am super stoked to see you! Speaking of how I was chatting with Dad so Facetime at 2:30 my time so whatever that is for you. I am super excited to see you!

So I go to go on exchanges with Sister Major on Monday night! It was definitely a weird time to do exchanges especially because Sister Cluff (her companion) found out she was getting ETed (emergency transfered) the next day so it was just a weird exchange. But I sure love being companions with Sister Major! It's just so easy! She really is a kindred spirit! We had a lot of fun and I learned a lot from her she is amazing! 

So we've met some crazy people this week and had some random experiences so I will tell a couple stories. Also we have some really cool stories from this week!

We met this guy one night and asked if we could share a short Christmas video and he said yes and something like "OH. I KNOW Jesus' so we showed him He is the Gift. Afterwords he said "You know that his birth hasn't actually happened? It's just a prophecy." Then he goes off talking about all sorts of things in random thought chains like Zeus and who knows what else. Luckily we escaped that in only a couple minutes. When we left he said "I'll see you later" in a way that made we thankful we weren't returning home immediately. But... I think he's just crazy.

On Saturday night we were out knocking doors and this older gentleman answers and tells us that him and his wife are in the middle of prayer hour and says we can join. We didn't and as we were walking away we were like... "wait. Did you want to join? Me too! Let's go!" So we joined them for their last bit of their hour long rosarie prayer. Then he starts trying to explain something (still unclear what) to us and starts reading from the Virgin Guadeloupe book. We ended up talking some and we were able to share the He is the Gift video and the Family Proclamation. It was an awesome experience! 

Then we were tracting this one night and this lady flipped out! She was so mad at us for knocking on her door when she had a 'no soliciting' sign. We moved on and then she came back in and asked for a number to call from our organization to report us. We  went back and talked with her telling her we only have our number to giver her. We are from such and such church. Not selling anything. We are just trying to spread a Christmas message. Well as we were talking she said she had had a little to drink so that is why she has been so upset. And she has been through some bad stuff lately. It was a good lesson to me on not judging and on loving everyone.

So last week at church we started greeting people right before the meeting started and there was a lady I didn't know and Sister LeDoux didn't know her either. After talking a bit before and after Sacrament meeting it turns out she isn't a member! She walked into some church in Hazeldell the other week and the Bishop sent her over to her ward to talk to Bishop Butterfield. So she walked right into church looking for him. Well we set up an appointment with her. Her name is Carolyn. She is AMAZING! We got to see her on my birthday (best day ever!). She had definitely searched religions in her time. She has already raised 4 kids and now adopted 2 little kids from a bad family situation in her extended family. Now she works crazy hours trying to support them. We are really excited to work with her! She is amazing! 

We were out knocking doors (which happened a lot more this week) and we ran into this lady who said she didn't have time so we asked if we could come backFriday and she said yes but didn't seem to set on having us come back. Well we went back and not only was she actually home but she invited us right in and had been expecting us! Well she was doing some major reorganizing and her house was a whirlwind so we told her we would share a message and then help her clean for an hour. So we shared He is the Gift and then...(drum roll) build a book shelf! We're pretty pro now! Her name is Mary and she is awesome! I feel super at home being around her! Hmm... seems like she is a kindred spirit! And she somehow knew we needed a ride and gave us a ride to our next appointment. She really is great!

So I should say I had a great birthday! Sister LeDoux did some secret texting and the Fallons came and picked us up and fed us second lunch:) and a big cake. And she had Sister Fallon buy me some milk because mine got taken from the church on Monday... and then I left it there and didn't get it till today! Super sad day! Ah well. And get this! I even got lasagna for my birthday dinner without asking!

We are stoked for Christmas this week! Well actually... I am. Sister LeDoux is really dragging. She just wants to get the holidays over with and ignore them because she really will be missing her big family and lots of traditions. But I'm trying to think of lots of ideas and stuff to keep us busy with a super great holiday! We've decided to have a couple sisters in the ward help us make a bunch of ornaments on Christmas Eve that we can take to the people we are teaching. We've got a couple people in the ward who are going to go caroling with us Christmas Eve evening. On Christmas the zone is doing stuff from 10-2 is what I last heard. Then in the evening we are going to go carol at the old folks home in the area. And we want to try Lauranns singing Christmas cards as well. So hopefully we will have plenty to do to keep us busy and make this a memorable Christmas!

This week when I was studying I was reading in Preach My Gospel about my purpose as a missionary and a couple versus really stood out to me. "And thus we see the great call of diligence of men to labor in the vineyards of the Lord..." (Alma 28:14) This scripture is proceeded by a couple versus that talk about how there is a great inequality among men because of sin. And so and thus we see we need people to declare the gospel!  The next verse is talking about how Christ is the stem and we are the branch. "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he PURGETH it, that it may bring forth more fruit." (John 15:2) I loved the word purgeth. How true is that! I feel like on my mission I have tried to bring people to Christ and yet I definitely feel like he has been purging me because things sure have been hard. I really love that. 

I was also reading in Alma 29 and the word 'allotted' stuck out to me. He is talking about how he wishes he were an angel and could declare repentance to all people and then says that he is sinning in his wish "for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me." Within these few short verses is profound truth. I am guilty of the same thing. I have often wished my lot was different and that I could have been able to learn a language or something else. But that is not what the Lord has 'allotted' to me. The Lord has given me all that I have and this is the lot that he has decided best for me. I have to be diligent with the allotment he has given me. It doesn't matter if it is big or small. I found a really good conference talk that literally talks just about this line. "Content with the things allotted unto us" Elder Neal A Maxwell in April 2000 General Conference. In it he talks about how many situations in life are different. Some people pass through trials, some have trials they have to live with. Some are poor, some have health challenges. Each of us has our allotment. He tells us that by judgement all will be worked out. He said the only social cast that stays is ones caused by sin. Each of us must learn to find contentment working within that allotted to us. I definitely invite you all to check out this talk. It is amazing. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2000/04/content-with-the-things-allotted-unto-us?lang=eng 

Anyway things are really wonderful. I am grateful to be on a mission this holiday season. I've learned a lot from my studies this past week and a lot from observation. I won't lie and say that we are having an amazing time teaching people right now because we have like 2 lessons set up this whole week. But I am learning a lot. I am so grateful for this season to celebrate our Savior. I love you all so much! I hope that you have really safe and good travels tonight! Enjoy every moment in Honduras. I am excited to hear about it. I love you all! Merry Christmas!

Love,
Sister Kaitlyn Beard

Here's a cool poem I found.

        “The woman was old and ragged and gray
          And bent with the chill of the Winter’s day.
          The street was wet with a recent snow,
          And the woman’s feet were aged and slow.
          She stood at the crossing and waited long,
          Alone, uncared for, amid the throng
          Of human beings who passed her by
          Nor heeded the glance of her anxious eye.    
        “Down the street, with laughter and shout,
          Glad in the freedom of ‘school let out,’
          Came the boys like a flock of sheep,
          Hailing the snow piled white and deep. …
          [One] paused beside her and whispered low,
          ‘I’ll help you cross, if you wish to go? …
          ‘She’s somebody’s mother, boys, you know,
          For all she’s aged and poor and slow.     
        “‘And I hope some fellow will lend a hand
          To help my mother, you understand,
          If ever she’s poor and old and gray,
          When her own dear boy is far away.’
          And ‘somebody’s mother’ bowed low her head
          In her home that night, and the prayer she said
          Was, ‘God be kind to the noble boy,
          Who is somebody’s son, and pride and joy.’”
Lost Battalions










Monday, December 15, 2014

Week 47: New favorite Christmas memory!!!

Dearest Family,

We went on a super awesome hike today! We got to go with the VanCentral Zone and hike the Ape Caves up by Mt St Helens. It's this underground cave tunnel thing that is made of lava rock! It's sweet. There's some side caves you can sidetrack to and you have to be on your stomachs to get through those it's awesome! It's a flashlight hike! I'll try and gather some pictures to share!

So my new favorite Christmas memory. Are you ready for it? Last night was the Messiah that our stake put on with participants from the varying stakes in Vancouver mostly us (VanNorth) and VanCentral. Well it was all ready to start and the orchestra played the Overture and I'm all excited and loving it and everything and then the power in the whole city goes out! So we're all like awkwardly sitting there for a minute then a  violinist starts playing Christmas tunes and everyone sings along! Oh it was so fun! It seemed like the old stories where everyone gathers in the chapel by candlelight to sing Christmas carols. But it was cell phone and flashlights and we'd actually gathered for another cause. Flashlights started getting gathered and about 40 minutes later they were about to start again (I was stoked to be able to be the light holder for the cello section- which was only 1 stand) and of course the power went back on! So we proceeded as normal and just ended way late! And it was seriously one of my favorite Christmas moments.

So anyway. Merry Christmas! I sure love Christmas time! I hope that you are having a wonderful time and a really good week! I feel super lucky I feel like I've been able to hit up on a lot of my favorite Christmas traditions! On Monday we got to help the Philpotts decorate their Christmas tree, we got to go to the Messiah that the stake put on on Sunday! (Listen to this! It's pretty much just this stake in the region and it's only once every two years. What a blessing!!!!) And many more! So I am super grateful. 

So Sister LeDoux knows a little sign language and her boyfriend served a sign mission so we've been praying in sign and so now I can pray in sign! It's super awesome! It makes it a little weird to pray with other people not in sign! :) 

We've had a pretty good week this week. We've been able to see a lot of people and have several miracles.

On Tuesday we went to help a new family in the ward move in and ended up putting 4 dressers together from Ikea. My the end my hands were shaking after trying to screw in 4 bagillion things with a stripped screw driver! Ah well. We were really glad to help. I can't imagine trying to do all she is having to do with a bunch of kids pulling at your arms. Moms are pretty amazing. Mom you are pretty amazing! I am grateful for you!

We went tracting one day and met a Russian lady. At first she said no to the He is the Gift video but we kept talking to her and found out she is having a problem with religion because her 18 year old son died 11 years ago from leukemia and she hasn't been able to feel peace with it. She ended up letting us in and we had such a wonderful talk! Mom you would love her! She has a pen of quail in her back yard! She just loves her quail! We are really excited to meet with her again! She's teaching us some Russian!девушка means girl! (Don't worry I don't actually know the alphabet yet I just google translated it for full effect:) She really is super great! 

We got to have interviews with President Taylor this week! It is always good to see President and Sister Taylor! 

Hailee Fallon goes out with us a bunch for huge chunks of time! Oh it is amazing! I love it! I've never had anyone do that before and it's super nice! She gets her mission call maybe this week! So we are really excited to hear about that. 

We had an awkward moment.... we tried to talk to two ladies and one lady was actually a Jehovah's Witness out trying to teach this other lady... that awkward moment and we were pretty awkward and finally walked away....

We went to a breakfast with the Bishop and the Laurel class and last minute were asked to give a spiritual thought. We gave the thought on Personal Progress! Hopefully the girls will be more motivated to do their Personal Progress because it's just so awesome! Speaking of Personal Progress I've been working on memorizing The Living Christ. That is a powerful document. I've been able to quote parts during a lesson and it's super powerful! If you haven't read it in a while I totally suggest you pull it out and read it.
The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles

So on Saturday Sister Kofoed was able to drive us back to Happy Valley for Sophie's baptism. It was right after the ward Christmas party so like half the ward came! At the end of the program Sophie had asked to be able to bare her testimony (she's 9 by the way) and so she gets up there then sees everyone and seems to forget what she was going to say so she just thanks everyone for coming to her baptism. It was really sweet. She is a smart girl and was always so determined to go to church so she could get baptized. A lot of her extended family were there and her Dad so hopefully he will start supporting her and taking her to church on the weeks that he has her. 

I also got to see Tonya and Jeanie at the baptism. Tonya looks so good! She is so full of light it is amazing. In just a couple weeks there is an even more noticeable change. The light that the Holy Ghost brings into a life is literally real and noticeable. I've been realizing that light is huge part of this gospel and of how we can know if things are good and true. The spirit has real light in a persons eye. It may sound crazy to some people but it's real.

We got a text from Dannie that she doesn't want to meet with us any more. She's dropped missionaries several times because her son gives her anti-mormon literature. Well after church last week she went to see her son... well let's just say we were really sad. Especially Sister LeDoux took it harshly. We were so upset we decided to go see her and so we walked clear across our area at a super fast speed only to find her not home. It was a pretty rough afternoon. But then God provided the miracles.

Later that day we had a lesson with a kid named Kris who is 17. He's taking a lot of the same classes I took senior year. He's super goal oriented. He's searched out a lot of religions. He's very mature for his age. (haha I know I'm not that much older but hey he really is!) We had a super good lesson with him. It was awkward because we rang the door bell and knocked and he didn't answer. So we called him and he said he was home and he'd come get the door. 5 minutes later.... we text him and finally he comes. It was super weird! But ended up super good! He is way open to religion he just hasn't found all the truth. He's super reliable and answers texts real quick and he's honest with us. It's so refreshing! Sometimes I get too excited... I just want him to go on a mission! But Sister LeDoux has to remind me that no. First we just want him to come to church. :)

We also had a lesson with a guy named Matt. We'd been going through names in our ipads on Friday during weekly planning and his stood out so we called him and said we could meet the next day. I was thinking it was kind of sketchy because he wanted to meet at a Yogurt place but it wasn't so. He just likes to get out of the house. But he did buy us and Jelsey Yogurt so that made us feel a little weird and bad! We had a super good discussion with him. We met originally to tell him about the justserve.org website because he loves service but then we talked more and he had a thousand and one questions all over the board! So we kind of answered some of his questions and after an hour we started telling him "we'll talk more about that with..." and some specific lesson. He knew we needed to leave but has so much he wants to know! But the good news of this story is he agreed to start meeting with us once a week to give our message a try. So we are super excited about him! Sister Kofoed had just accused us of only teaching women so after that lesson we texted her to tell her we had just taught a man:)

Anyway things are really going wonderful here. I'm loving this warm weather! We've even seen the sun a couple times this week! I can tell you you really learn to love the sun and blue sky over here in the northwest! 

Thanks so much for all the birthday wishes! I really appreciate it! I can't believe it's already my birthday again! Time seems to have stood still. Weird missionary time. Anyway I love you all so much! I hope you have a good week!
Love,
Sister Kaitlyn Beard

Out of the caves


Monday, December 8, 2014

Week 46: A Happy Christmas to you!

Dearest Family,

Sorry again for emailing late. We had another wonderful adventure with the Fallons! We went and did a mini sub-for-santa and then went and played soccer indoor soccer challenging the Vancouver West Zone! It was awesome!

I hope  you have had a wonderful week! We've has a wonderful week here in Nehalem!

We had our mission Christmas party on Tuesday. It was super awesome can I just say? I just LOVE being able to be reunited with all my missionary friends... I guess not all. There's a lot that have already gone home. But many of them. I love being able to be united with all the mission though! It's seriously so wonderful! It was wonderful to be able to go to the temple! I LOVE the temple so much! Anyway it was really wonderful! 

We've had a pretty good week. We've taught quite a few people and found a couple more people to start teaching. It's been really cool. Both the people we found this week to start teaching happened after we showed them the He is the Gift video. It is really awesome!

Speaking of He is the Gift. We've been told to share it with EVERYONE. Well ya good short christian Christmas video you would think many people we talk to would be open to watching or having a short Christmas message. Not so. It seems like people don't want to give us an inch in case we take a foot. We've met a lot of people who share our belief in Christ this week who don't want to have a short Christmas message from us no way! That just makes me SO sad! That can't possibly be a true Christ-like action. Our conversations often go like this "We have a short Christmas video we wanted to share do you have a minute to watch it?" "No, I already have a church and won't be joining yours" We walk away from that house wondering if they need their ears checked. We didn't ask them to join our church! Just watch a 2 minute Christmas video! Anyway that's the classic response here in the northwest. We try and share some spiritual thought or offer service and they say they don't want to join our church. Ah well. Some people listen so those are obviously the ones who we are looking for. 

We have a lady we are teaching named Dani. She's taken the lessons several times before but this time is definitely different. She is really open to the spirit. I love to see people open up and listen. It's like watching a flower blossom. 

We were walking to an appointment one day and we see this bird with a broken wing. So Sister LeDoux with her big heart chases it down and throws her coat on it and catches it (it's a big scary crow mind you). Well then what? Ya we have no idea so we call Hailee (she's the one we have many adventures with and who found the sad lost dog last week) well anyway we ended up doing nothing but it was a great adventure. 

We talked to this guy and his family about 4:00 on Saturday. They kindly declined our message. Then we were out in the neighborhoods for an hour and then were back in that neighborhood. We saw them again and by this time it was dark. The man snidely offers us some beer and keeps making stupid comments as we walk down the street (very quickly and with great purpose). Hmmmm.... people are a little more bold in their dirty ways at night aren't they? I wanted to offer him some mace but that would have probably been a little uncalled for. 

So we just happened upon a nice man named Bruce this week! He lives in a 5 acre plot  that is fenced, surrounded by a line of tall trees hedging his property, with barb wire all around and 2 dogs one which is more wolf like than a dog. So lucky us he was getting his garbage cans from the road and so we got to talk to him! He told us if we ever need help to yell over the fence and him or the dogs will hear us. He was really interested in the Book of Mormon. When we told him the about Joseph Smiths first vision of seeing God the Father and Jesus Christ he was astonished. He told us some amazing experiences he has had with light. Anyway it's really cool to hear peoples spiritual journeys. 

We were teaching one of our investigators with our ward mission leader and another ward missionary and it was awesome! Our ward mission leader is an engineer and he did a whole engineering math analogy with our engineer investigator and I was like 'oh man! I've missed this refreshing math stuff!' It was like a breath of fresh air. (p.s. this story is for you Dad. Love you!) Well he talked about how if each of us had a grade I might be -47 and another guy might be 0 and another guy might be 10. But Christs atonement is infinity. So it doesn't matter how our numbers add up. As long as we do our best and follow Christs teachings his infinity adds ours up to infinity. I loved that! You gotta love math! It makes sense!

We always seem to have a really good night on Sundays! Last night we were out tracting and we were running late and were about to turn into pumpkins but we saw a cute old Russian couple walking by so we started talking to them. Their English was limited and our Russian is very much only like 3 phrases but we were just laughing and talking. My favorite was we were asking their names and address so we can visit them again and the husband said "kids, grandkids!" as in 'what else do you need' haha we were asking a lot of questions:) At one point I was talking to the wife and I see the husband give Sister LeDoux a big kiss! It was on her ear but she said it probably would have been otherwise if she hadn't turned her head! Oh man that was just super funny and great. Anyway we totally are going to try and teach them. Sister LeDouxs brother served in Russia so he is sending us a bunch of phrases and stuff to get started with. And we've got videos and such! And broken English and pictures. 

Dani came to church this week! It is the first time Sister LeDoux has really ever had that experience of having an investigator come to church so I was super excited for that! 

A lot of people we are teaching and working with are really struggling with understanding when they feel the spirit. It's got me thinking and studying a lot about the spirit. I love how much there is to study to answer our questions. I love the words of the living prophets as well! The Christmas devotional was so awesome! I've been reading in Alma and oh I love Alma! I love how perfect it all is for missionary work too. I feel like the scriptures are written for missionary work! 

Anyway life is great here in Nehalem! We're stoked for the upcoming week. I'm having tons of fun and stuff so it's great. Sister LeDoux is a lot of fun and super easy for me to get along with. Anyway I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Love,
Sister Kaitlyn Beard

P.S. Washington is so fun! They decorate a lot of the evergreen trees along the roads with ornaments and things. It's super fun! I love Christmas!

An amazing talk to read is called Gifts by President Monson April 1993 I believe is when it was. It is really amazing.



Our temporary trio after the mission party! Sister Bonham.








Monday, December 1, 2014

Week 45: Welcome Home Laurann!!!! Can you believe it is already December???

Dearest Family,

Sorry to email so late! The Fallon's took us shopping (they're the ones who sent you that text last night Mom... if you got it!). Sister LeDoux didn't pack for winter! She's been slashing around in Toms in the freezing rain.... No Bueno. But the Fallon's are the best! We hang out with them a lot! Yesterday they were giving us a ride to an appointment and we found a lost dog who was starving and clearly had been hit by a car and couldn't use his back legs! So we took him home (sorry to the Fallons:) and fed him and bathed him and then they found his owner eventually and we went to an appointment. Adventures!

Happy Thanksgiving! And Welcome Home Laurann! I hope you all have had a wonderful week! It sounds like it's been a wonderful reuniting! 

This week has been full of adventures! Tuesday was my last day in Happy Valley. We ended up having the most amazing productive day either of us have ever had day before transfers! We saw everyone we are working closely with! Tonya, Jeanie, Sam, Amber, and the Beards. We worked super hard and it was awesome! I really love Happy Valley. I am definitely going to miss working there but I trust the Lord. He's done good to me thus far I know this change is also for the best.

So Nehalem is a walking area! I am really grateful to be in one for the winter! I got here and was really disappointed to see that there are not really any investigators at all. They've just been working with less active members which is awesome it just doesn't get people baptized! We're suppose to have a 50-50 balance and it's not there currently. But we've been working our tails off this week and so hopefully someday soon we will have some solid people to help teach. 

You know you've left Portland when.......... Sister LeDoux points out the 'sketchiest' part of our area and says we don't go there after dark and it's not even close to where I just came from haha! Vancouver's definitely not Portland! 

I'm actually about one ward away from Oakhurst. It feels totally like Oakhurst! Washington and Oregon have a different feel about them. And Vancouver all pretty much feels the same. It's funny because in Oregon (St. Helens and more particularly Happy Valley) events with the members in the ward took forever. In Happy Valley if we were concentrating and working really hard we could maybe get out of a dinner appointment in an hour and a half. But in Vancouver we are out in 45 minutes easy and an hour is a long dinner. Anyway enough of my random tangents. 

I've been adjusting to this new area better and faster than any area before so that's always a good sign. I guess I'm just getting better at adjusting to total change. I'm blessed to be moving around a lot and I get to know a lot of people. 

On Saturday I was able to return to Happy Valley for Tonya's baptism! Ah! It was amazing! One time when I was on exchanges with the STLs I asked Sister Ivins how she became a baptizing missionary. And she told me "I love seeing people in the water." When last transfer took a turn and Sister Stone and I were able to stay together we both felt we needed to become baptizing missionaries. I feel like I can now say I love seeing people in the water! There is no sweeter experience than seeing someone who you have worked with and watched change enter the waters of baptism! I can't wait for the day when I can also see her go to the temple! This gospel is amazing! She was just glowing after her baptism. 

Sometimes I wish I could stay with people longer in an area so I could see then keep progressing. But then I remember how I have to move on to meet more people. The Lord really is directing his work. I feel so privileged to be able to be a part of it. I feel so privileged to have been able to be one of the missionaries who was able to teach Tonya and help her prepare for baptism. What a blessing! I am so grateful! And what a privilege it will be to be united with everyone I know and have been able to interact with on a mission and in life in the Kingdom of Heaven! 

Anyway I am pretty much addicted to missionary work. Is that allowed? It's like the best thing ever! 

So some other random things. Here in Nehalem we have an awesome sister named Hailee who is turning in her mission papers soon and who goes out with us a ton. It's awesome! I am so excited! 

We met a man named Andro. He's super awesome. He's been pretty spotty with the missionaries thus far so hopefully we can get him to start being more solid so we can teach him more.

We met an awesome lady named Dani. She had a heart transplant a couple years ago. It was cool to hear how her challenges have brought her closer to God. 

A couple random facts. There's a couple asylum houses in the area... those are a little interesting. We live with a sister in the ward who owns 13 dogs.... imagine my horror as they are all yorkies. It kind of disgusts me and I don't want to look at any of them! Too many ah! Christmas decor is going up! We got away with only eating 2 Thanksgivings (it was a close one! But a good thing because there was no way I could eat any more)! It's kind of freezing here. I spoke aloud my wish for full gloves and then within an hour someone had donated a pair of gloves to me! The Lord provides! Sister LeDoux will run in the mornings! We don't eat dessert every meal here! The church is out of the stake boundaries but the stake center is in our area.... (don't ask I don't know why). Well I think that concludes our random facts for the week! 

Well it may be that I've come to this area to help get some baptisms going! Sister LeDoux is all on board for finding and getting some people to baptism. I am just LOVING this work! 

Pretty much I just love being a missionary and love this work like nothing else! And pretty much I love you all a ton and really hope that you have a wonderful week! We get to have our Mission Christmas Party which includes a trip to the temple so I am definitely going to have a good week!

As you might have seen in the Ensign this month the church has launched a new video called He is the Gift. It's AMAZING! Search it out and watch it! Then take the He is the Gift pass along cards and hand them out to the grocery store checker or whoever you please! Let's spread the true message of Christmas this year and take advantage of the wonderful things that have been provided for us. Go toChristmas.mormon.org!

I love you all!

Love,
Sister Kaitlyn Beard

Sister Stone cut my hair!


Tonyas baptism!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Week 44: Leaving Portland!

Dearest Family,
Happy Birthday Aubrey and Kelsey! I hope that you both had a very wonderful  birthday. I have been thinking about you and singing happy birthday to you all weekend!
 
Well we got transfer letters this week. I can't believe it is already transfers! Anyway I am leaving. I am going to the Nehalem ward in the Vancouver North stake. So back to the Washington side! I've spent 7 months in Oregon! I guess it is about time to return. My new companion will be Sister LeDoux. Sister Stone is staying in Happy Valley and getting Sister Maughan who is awesome. I am excited for all the miracles they are going to continue seeing because there sure have been more miracles in Happy Valley than I have ever experienced elsewhere. I've heard some rumors about transfers that are making me excited! For one thing they say it is probably a walking area! AND best of all! Guess who just got newly called to be an STL in my new zone????? SISTER MAJOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited I can't even say! It sounds too good to be true so I am waiting for the catch. But it should be good entering a new area right before Thanksgiving! At least we aren't doubling in (which I thought we were until last night)
 
Tonya is totally on track for baptism! So this upcoming Saturday is beginning to fall into place! The ward is really excited! We have only had one other baptism this year in this ward and now we have two families and quite a few others coming to church and on track for baptism. It's seriously miraculous how much this area has changed in this last transfer. It's been a miraculous change there's no other way to explain or describe it. 
Tonya came with us to a baptism this weekend. She is ready and excited for her baptism! The ward is SO excited! They announced it in every meeting on Sunday and even passed around a sign up sheet for dessert for after the baptism. Brother Child is taking care of everything including filling up the font. This baptism is going to be WAY easier than the one in St. Helens where we had to work so hard that week to actually make it happen and to just find someone in the Priesthood who could come and preside! It messed up everything else we did that week. Where as here we don't have to do anything really. It's wonderful!
 
Tonya also told us that her parents (who are in Texas for the month) called her and asked her all these questions about church. When she asked them why they said they were going to go yesterday. And apparently they did! Ah! Wow! Miracles from them coming to Great to Be 8 with us! This is seriously SO exciting! And all the boys are on date for baptism on February 7 so it will be amazing to see how this family comes into the gospel! It's already been so amazing!
 
Tonya told us that usually she would shut the door in the missionaries faces. But on the night the sisters came by it was really late at night like 8:45. They knocked and she was asleep on the couch so she rolls off and answers the door half asleep and is thrown off by one of the sisters HUGE smile! (Which we think must have been Sister Duff). Wow! The Lord does miracles to be sure! They had to have been guided by the Lord or why else would they be tracting in a sketchy trailer park at 8:45 at night in January? I love it!
We visit a very sweet lady named Dolores. She just loves the missionaries! She really does have such a big heart and serves a lot. Anyway she told me to tell you Mom and Dad that you have done a really good job (with me):) So thanks Mom and Dad! That's not the first time people have said great things about you either! People say all the time that you should be proud. And I just smile and think 'ya I have the best parents ever!' So pretty much I love you a lot! 
 
We had a really good lesson with Sam this week and his kids. The kids just soak everything in. Sister Gage and Zach (who is 10) came with us. It added an interesting element to the lesson because the kids brought up some weird things but ah well! The kids love church and love reading! The Gages were wonderful and were willing to give them their Book of Mormon reader so Sams kids can have scriptures to read. They've pretty much memorized their Bible stories book so it will be fun to see how they like the Book of Mormon stories. 
 
Jeanie is doing pretty good. She's really sick and may or may not have surgery this week. We caught her again for a visit this week. It's still really hard for her to understand God though we are realizing she doesn't fully understand Jesus Christ either. She is very sincere and has many questions and is so open to learning. I really love Jeanie! 
 
We gave Amber a church tour this week and it was really powerful. The spirit was super strong in the chapel. Actually the spirit is always strong in the chapel. So it is a perfect place to end a church tour. 
We are starting to teach a sweet sister named Kathy. She has family who are members of the church. She's had quite a tragic background and so about a year ago she just wanted to go home. Well her parents have already passed on so she had no home to go to. Her sister-in-law directed her to church. She went to many churches- she describes going to one of the most popular churches in the area and watching them put on the same 'show' all three service times available. She said that wasn't home for her. Finally she came to church in the Happy Valley ward and she says it really feels like home. I really just love that. Church really is my home on a mission! It was kind of funny the next day Sister Stone and I were eating lunch at the church and then I fell asleep sitting there and dreamt that I was at home all the church noises and feels just felt and sounded like home and I woke up thinking 'wow Kathy has a point! The church really is like home!' 
This week was rough at parts and so on Thursday Sister Stone and I got blessings. It was probably the most amazing blessing I have ever received. It talked about my potential and worth. At the end of the blessing it was said that this blessing was a gift to me to remind me of my divine worth. I truly felt such love and every time I think about it I feel such amazing love.
 
Well we have had a wonderful week and it is amazing to see all the miracles that we have seen. Surprisingly, even amidst all these miracles, I feel ready to leave. I can't even tell you how nice it is to not be getting emergency transferred. I actually feel like I am called to go somewhere else instead of being taken out and thrown into another area. I already feel so much better about this transfer I can't even tell you.
 
I will miss the rolling hills of Portland as I move to the flat lands of Vancouver but hey it will be great! I am so glad to be in a walking area for the winter! Can't wait.
 
Well I hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a wonderful day picking up Laurann! I really love you all so much! I can't believe it is that time already. I am so grateful for the wonderful family I have. I am so blessed. And I am so blessed to be so supported by you. I love you all so much! Have a wonderful and safe week.
 
Love,
Sister Kaitlyn Beard
I love the promise that Preach My Gospel gives about following the prophet. "Those who listen to and follow the counsel of living prophets and apostles will not go astray. The teachings of living prophets provide an anchor of eternal truth in a world of shifting values and help us avoid misery and sorrow. The confusion and strife of the world will not overwhelm us, and we can enjoy the assurance of being in harmony with God’s will." (Lesson 4: The Commandments http://www.lds.org/manual/preach-my-gospel-a-guide-to-missionary-service/what-do-i-study-and-teach/lesson-4-the-commandments?lang=eng) The world is surely a place of shifting values and the prophet truly does give us the anchor of eternal truth. 





hiding in our closet:)

Lost with the Elders coming home last week

Weekly planning by the Christmas tree at the church!

random driving photo:)

Tracting!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 43: The happiest birthdays to you two little sisters!

Dearest Family,

I hope that you all are doing well and having a happy Monday!

By the way THANKS for the blog posts! They are amazing! I love them! (beard-ourfamily.blogspot.com)

We've had a really cold week here in Portland! The beginning of the week had freezing billowing blistering wind that we could hardly concentrate in when we were outside! And then on Thursday we had freezing rain! (Yes there is such a thing where literally freezes into ice as it falls) They canceled school here for the weather which honestly is just embarrassing! They don't ever seem to go to school here especially in the winter! Anyway enough of that. We took advantage of the cold weather and had a new sense of urgency to get inside peoples houses to talk:)

This week we got the great opportunity to volunteer at the Bishops Storehouse. Which just happens to be in our area! I guess the next closest place is in Eugene. Lucky us! And who should be there besides the La Flams from Oakhurst!!!!!!!!! That was super fun. I never thought I'd be able to go and work alongside them. 

I've realized that a lot of people that we are teaching who aren't really progressing rapidly are meeting with us for the main purpose of company and along the way learning things. It makes me really sad how many lonely people there are in the world. We need to go out and rescue the lost battalions of the lonely as President Monson said! 

So I was asked to play the violin in zone meeting so for practice I went and played for Sister Clayton and for Jeanie. Sister Clayton has MS and hasn't been able to come to church in a long while. She is so great. When we called to ask if it was okay if we came over she was SO excited! That makes me excited and happy! Later she called in and requested another song for next week! Jeanie loved it as well! Music is super powerful. It softens hard hearts. It opens soft hearts even more. It brings a spirit into lessons and into people's hearts that you can work forever to try and bring and never be able to do it. I love music. I am so grateful that God has blessed me with this wonderful ability to play the violin. I am forever grateful to all those who have sacrificed to teach me and to provide that teaching. 

So on Thursday we had zone meeting and then President and Sister Thomas took us and the 4 Mt Scott sisters out to eat! (Sister Johnson-who was in St. Helens 1st when I was there- is now in Mt. Scott and they all come as a package deal for activities). Oh man! I sure do love President and Sister Thomas! I definitely miss being with them a ton! I asked them how long I'd be able to come back and visit and stay with them. President said "3 days. Unless you've lived with us then you can stay 4." Oh man! Only 4! Ah well. 

We had an amazing lesson with Sam this week. We got his three oldest kids to stay for the lesson. They are 9,8, and 6. They are really good kids! It's nice because there isn't as much of a language barrier with them. They asked us 1000 questions. I had to keep thinking to myself "don't take the bait don't take the bait!" As in don't answer every single question and let the conversation just bouncy ball. Just stay on one topic. Anyway we are really excited for them!

Tonya has been sick this week but we were able to finally meet with her on Saturday. We taught the law of tithing and the law of the fast. Tithing is going to be a struggle for her, but we definitely know that the Lord blesses those who keep the law of tithing. She is still going strong and excited for her baptism onNovember 29th! We are getting super excited! She's been here ready all along just needed someone with persistence to find her a ride to church and to come back even when she forgot about appointments. 

Friday was Sister Stone's birthday!!!! And Mom we got that package for her on Friday it was perfect! You are so nice! I didn't expect that at all! I think she had a great birthday.... besides a little detour that I will tell you about later. 

So we drove up with Sunnyside and one of the Mt. Tabor Elders to Vancouver. We had an AMAZING conference. I don't know how I'm even going to start talking about what Iearned. Wow it was amazing. It was also super fun to see Sister Depew and Sister Petersen and her trainee Jill/Sister Hughes (from MV)! And also Sister Sonderegger! Best day ever! Can't wait till we can have the whole mission together for Christmas! Anyway some things I've learned. Elder Snow talked about a lot of different subjects. He spent a lot of time talking about the spirit. He said that there are really 4 phases of how we feel the spirit. Phase 1) comforter. That's really how we all first seem to feel and recognize the spirit. When we feel that physical evidence of him like warmth etc, comforting us. Phase 2) testifier. The spirit helps us to know when we are learning things that are true. Phase 3) revelator. The spirit can reveal things to us. We can feel enlightened. Just like Nephi (in 3 Nephi) in the Book of Mormon who received revelations daily. Phase 4) sactifier. When we reach that point were the spirit is with us a lot and we just want to do good continually. I really loved this. It is so true. Having the Gift of the Holy Ghost isn't just having it or whatever. There are levels of understanding the spirit according to our listening and applying. 

Also it was cool. I guess Elder Snow is the church historian. I guess you can donate your old mission journals to the church history library. I thought that was kind of interesting and cool. So Sister Snow talked a lot about keeping a journal and records and she also talked about music and how powerful it is (love it!). It was an amazing conference. 

Well our little detour just happened when we started driving home with the Elders and the GPS got lost (as usual- it likes to pretend we are off on some off-roading adventure) and all of a sudden we know we've gone to far and we come to some huge multi bridge place and we end up in downtown Portland. So... out of the mission. Wops. So we called the mission office and Elder Gilbert tried to help us get home. We ended up just taking a huge loop around Portland to get back. It really stressed Sister Stone out. So now we have a lot less miles so we are going to have to be walking and getting rides a little more but we should be okay. Anyway so there is our little adventure!

This week we've had several heart wrenching experiences. One happened on Saturday night. We were tracting after dinner and we end up knocking at this house and this guy lets us in. He tells us he knows we disagree on some things. And he goes on and on about how Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are all one person. Otherwise we wouldn't be a monotheistic religion. We were talking and telling him what we know to be true and at one point Sister Stone said something about Christ and he denied it and rebuked us. The spirit left like that. And let me tell you without the spirit we CANNOT teach. Not will not. But literally cannot. The spirit left and we literally had nothing to say. Is it a good thing to silence the missionaries? No. It's not. It means you've denied the spirit abode in your conversation. I walked out of that overwhelmed with a powerful witness that we, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will be the primary witness of the reality and divinity of Jesus Christ. So many of our Christian brothers and sisters do not understand the true divinity of our Savior. It's one thing to hear him rejected by an already previously proclaimed unbeliever. It's another to hear him rejected by one who claims to be your brother in faith. As I have come to learn and understand more about our Savior, Jesus Christ, I have come to understand the reality of the apostasy in the lives of many in this world. And so I have come to realize the truth of this marvelous Restoration that I am a part of. This Church is true. This is The Church of Jesus Christ in these days! We will have to defend and proclaim our belief and faith in Jesus Christ in loud voices. And not only that. We will need to proclaim the truths we know about the reality of Jesus Christ and his true nature. This is our role as being members of His church.

So we had a great Sunday! Tonya, Sam, Phillipo, and Sam's boys came. Plus some others. It was a great church. Sam and Phillipo left after the first hour and left the boys with us. So we got to go to Primary! It's always a good day in Primary! Sam was late coming and by the end of church they were just balls of energy so they finally convinced us to play tag with them in the gym until Sam came. So hopefully Sam and Phillipo will stay next Sunday

So we had a referral for a guy supposedly named Suad. We called him and he called us back on Saturdayto meet with us but we told him we were busy but we could come on Sunday. He had a thick accent and we couldn't really understand what he was saying it sounded something like smoking. Then he calls us again on Sunday and says 'we are ready for you'. Anyway we weren't exactly sure what we were walking into so we asked our trustee friend Sister Palmer to come with us. Well it turns out that it us a 'Russian family' Which is apparently a general term and they are actually from Azerbaijan and also have Romanian in them to varying degrees. Suad is actually Fuad and smoking is actually Shmoeky or Sister Shmoekel who originally found them in the Mt. Scott area. Apparently the friend, Edmond, is a minister and had prepared all day to talk to us (we learned this later) which makes a lot of sense. At times he would just spout off some random bible fact and tell us to find it in the scriptures as though we were competing with knowledge somehow or something. He brought up the weirdest things and told us to find the scriptural references to who was the oldest man in the bible. He told us there was no rain until the flood. He said a bunch of random irrelevant facts that had nothing to do with anything. Anyway... we'll see where that goes. But eventually we were able to leave. Once again the night we are late is Sunday night when they want our numbers asap! 

So just so you know I'm a HUGE fan of the Nashville Tribute Band now a days and they just are coming out with a new tribute to Christ and Sister Palmer got an early edition that she let us borrow.... I think this is on the Christmas wish list just so you know!  You should listen to them Mom I bet you would LOVE them! 

One really cool facebook story from this week. I got a friend request a while ago from someone I don't know so I sent a little message saying I was a missionary and asking if they were members of the church or if they wanted to learn more. Well I got a message back this week in Spanish so using my small abilities and google translate I discovered that this certain young man is from Peru. He joined the church two months ago after first being taught by Hermana Sam Garner and then finished being taught by Hermana Sarah Stringham! (Sam lived next door to us fall semester and Sarah is my roommate!) How cool is that? 

Love, 
Sister Kaitlyn Beard

Here's a really good poem I found in a conference talk. It's called "the oyster"
            There once was an oyster
            Whose story I’ll tell
            Who found that some sand
            Had worked under his shell.
            Just one little grain
            But it gave him a pain,
            For oysters have feelings
            That are very plain,
            Now did he berate
            This working of fate,
            That left him in such a
            Deplorable state?
            Did he curse the government,
            Call for an election,
            And say that the sea
            Should have some protection?
            No! He said to himself,
            As he sat on the shelf,
            “Since I cannot remove it,
            I think I’ll improve it.”
            Well, years passed by,
            As years always do,
            Till he came to his destiny,
            Oyster stew!
            But the small grain of sand
            That bothered him so
            Was a beautiful pearl
            All richly aglow.
            Now this tale has a moral,
            For isn’t it grand,
            What an oyster can do
            With a small grain of sand?
            And what couldn’t we do
           If we’d only begin
            With all of the things
          That get under our skin?
Nobody Said That It Would Be Easy


















Lunch with President and Sister Thomas