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, March 31, 2014

Week 10

Dearest Family,
So much has happened this week! We have had such a good week! With so many lessons and so many new people to teach!
So cool story number one.
We went on a TON of exchanges (members come with us) And let me tell you there are 100000000 miracles available when you go on exchanges. So we were teaching Michelle and my mind was wondering and I suddenly totally could see clearly that if we wanted two member present lessons (our goal for the day) then we had better go straight to see a lady named Nancy. Well let me tell you about Nancy. We have to try and get 10 OYMs a day (open your mouth) and she was one from last Sunday. We talk to a bagillion people who have all varieties of 'no' 'sure come back' etc. And most are forgotten. We are human, it's hard. But she came to mind. She said we could stop by when we were around. So after Michelles lesson I told Sister Sonderegger and so we had to ditch our plans and Sister Bagby and us all drove to Nancy's. She was so open and so receptive that I was in a dither! All over the place! (We've decided we need to practice what to do when people are receptive because we don't know what to do!) Anyway she came to church on sunday and it was just so amazing! I am so excited about her! (though can I say that I have never been so stressed at church! I sat there fretting about her back in the back sitting alone and that none of the members had sat with her! Ah!!!! But miracles happen with prayers and Sister Bowen took her under her wing almost as soon as sacrament meeting was over!)
Okay so with exchanges. We went on splits with the Young Women in the ward and it was awesome! They loved it and we loved it! I definitely recommend it! We got sisters from another ward to come help so that mostly we could go out with just one young women (and a leader if we needed a ride). But I went with Brie and Sister Priebee (who I love their family so much! When ever we share thoughts at dinner at their house I get so excited because I love them all so much I can't breathe.... whatever.... they remind me of our family I think!) Anyway we had an amazing lesson with them and Joanne and we talked about patriarchal blessings. Brie just got hers and it was so fun to hear from her.
We met another guy named Paul. But we have talked to EVERY member of his family on different days this last transfer. And now we talked to him. He is very open and we are going to meet with their whole family on Wednesday hopefully! He seems like he will hold through! (like Annelise said we deal with A LOT of cancelled and no show appointments)
But then Michelle our investigator gave us a referral. She is the best missionary ever! And now her friend Lily is meeting with the Elders in the neighboring ward and going to church and baptisms and all sorts of activities! It's so exciting!
Well we have been told a lot this week by our ward and stake leaders that the Oakhurst sisters are going to have a good week. Well! We sure did! And Boy do I love being known as an Oakhurst Sister!
Bishop told us that he had received distinct promptings about each of us (me and sister sonderegger) and that is why he visited our families. To let us know that God loves us and that they love us. I am so grateful to him!
We got to watch the women's meeting and it was SO amazing! We watched it at the church. And we will also be watching most likely all of general conference also at the church. I'm pretty sure we get to see all of it. When they said to look at your mothers and thank them both Sister Sonderegger and I started crying.... just kidding we were both bawling our eyes out the whole time so... we continued crying! MOM! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!
Well before I forget!!!! It's time for another monthly surprise! this one is great! It's behind the sink mirror in the downstairs bathroom on the side closest to the shower at the bottom of the mirror. Have fun! I get so excited for these so I sure hope you do to! I have been talking about this all morning to Sister Sonderegger who is probably wishing I'd just go vacuum or something :)
So We played in church this sunday. We played a duet as far as parts go but we played with three violins. Two girls Arista and Adrianna Gage who are seniors this year. It was a lot of fun! I have never played with someone else and so it wasn't nearly as nerve racking! I love music! We are preparing for the music fireside (at which I will be doing a duet I believe with Sister Sonderegger on piano) on April 13. So that is still coming up. We love music! I am so excited!
We had a lot of service/yard work planned for last week but that didn't happen since we had quite a lot a lot a lot a lot a lot of rain. But I really love rain! And honestly... this is weird to say... but I love being out in the rain and just getting wet all day long! Ah! It's out! I love it though! It's so great!
Well things are going really great this week. I've decided that being a missionary is just a roller coaster. You can't avoid it. Good is always followed by bad, and bad is always followed by good. I just hope we can get the roller coaster moving to higher ground on average so the lows that I hit aren't quite so low!
I have also been thinking a lot about Women's rights. So many people are all mad that women don't have rights! And ironically we (the women missionaries) keep running into these men who say that women have no rights and especially in our church. I just keep wanting to (and sometimes have) say "Hello! We are women! We are in the church! Talk to us! We will tell you!" But whatever no one ever wants to 'hear' the missionaries. They love to 'talk to' the missionaries. And especially tell us what we believe. Anyway that's another topic all together! BUT the proclamation the family. Please take a look at that this week.
We were talking to a sister in the ward who asked some good questions.
What is most destructive to Satan? the family
Who is the heart of the family? the mom
So please. Let's watch how far we want to take these ideas of equality. There is no such thing as perfect equality in the sense of sameness. Equality is a balance of equal roles. We see so many families in and out of the church where the husband or boyfriend is pretty much doing nothing. And the women is working, taking care of the home, taking care of the kids, etc. When we look at our families and decide who is going to take care of what we need to make sure that the ROLES are balanced. Everyone needs to be needed. Taking away the roles of the husband or man of the house and giving it all to the women helps no one. We need to watch the heart of the home. Let's do this all together. Each of us looking at our families and making sure that we are all supporting each other and striving for an equal balance of responsibility in the family so that ALL can thrive and ALL can also find peace.
I love you! Happy birthday Grammie and also Markelle! thanks for all the letters this week I have really appreciated them! And they have contributed to helping me get out of that low and have a really good and inspired week!
I love you!
Sister Kaitlyn Beard

The park! Flooded!

Flooded park! Love the rain! (seriously though!)
haha and me and haley also did our hair the same that day! so funny! Just saw that!

My favorite park! Haha! the only park in my area! And it's my favorite spot in our area!

Me and Sister Sonderegger thoroughly excited about the quotes Aubrey sent us! (sorry our expressions may be a little stressed since selfies are hard!)

Me and my ward twin Haley Erickson. EVERYONE says we are twins so I finally got a pic yesterday. She's in 9th grade runs and sings and plays piano yay!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Week 9

Dearest Family,
Hello! How are you all doing?? Sounds like pretty good! Kelsey what were your track times? I am so glad Les Miserables was so good! So jealous! But not because I can't even imagine how good it was so I guess that's a blessing! So treasure that forever!
I CAN'T BELIEVE BISHOP DAVIS CAME BY! He seriously is the best! I didn't even know he was in Utah! And to think I was just thinking how awesome it would be if someone from here stopped by our house since everybody seems to be going to Utah these days! Was that a funny experience for you Aubrey?
Sounds like school is going good for you Aubrey. I am so glad! And I hope everyone went to your choir concert!
So this week... Oh man!
I'll start by saying that last week I gave a talk in church and I related faith to weight lifting. And well... uh... let's just say it's probably not a good idea for a scrawny little missionary girl to do that! I swear that will never get forgotten! People keep making jokes, someone related this weeks talk to weight lifting (then gave me awesome advice on how do weight lift without weights-after church), and there is a couple in the ward who whenever I pass by after church pretend to weight lift as I walk by. It's pretty funny! Man I never guessed that would be such a hit! Anyway....
So this week we hit a hard low. Sister Sonderegger and I have both been really struggling. And our numbers show it sadly. But on Thursday Sister Sonderegger called the Sister Training Leaders and asked if we could go on an exchange. So we went on a couple hour exchange. It was a really good experience. I stayed in Oakhurst with Sister Blanchard and she really helped encourage me and give me more confidence. It was also really good to be leading out in the area. Even though we spent 45 minutes trying to find a house! Ah well.. It was a really good experience. And on it I guess President Taylor called the STL's phone and said it might be good to take us on an exchange. The Lord is mindful of us!
A lot of people we run into are just... tired of religion. There's no other way to put it. It's hard to overcome that. Why wouldn't you be tired of religion in these days? And what am I going to say that is going to make my message more appealing than any 50000000 other religions. It's hard because some of the things like 'eternal family' people already believe in. The only way to help people see this is the truth is to have them experience it. Yet that's the hard part. That's not your choice. Though just like Moses- our faith has a say. (it was Moses and his faith who parted the Red Sea even when the people were being so dumb!).
This week we were walking down this road. And we started talking to this guy named Dakota. Then all of a sudden this truck pulls over and this guy yells out "hey do you have any material?" Ah! It was so stressful! I'd just run out of Book of Mormon's and all this stuff and so all of a sudden we are on splits by ourselves and it was just crazy and we didn't do either of the guys justice. So we just prayed the Lord would help. We will see! I sure hope!
One of the nights this week we went to the Burke's house for dinner. They had us and the Elders over. (this was the night of the exchange so I was with Sister Blanchard). There was a HUGE pan of lasagna, a HUGE bowl of spaghetti and meatballs, a HUGE bowl of salad and a GIANT plate of garlic bread. And it was all delicious! Lucky us! Half our ward seems to be chefs! But I was sitting there watching in horror as the new elder in our ward ate half the lasagna by himself. And this lasagna was like no other lasagna. There was over 5 pounds of 5 different types of cheeses etc. I can't believe he ate that much! I CAN'T believe it!
So the other day (sorry I am just writing random stuff I wrote down I wanted to say... no order). So the other day I called the mission office to call in a referral for the YSA Elders. And Elder Soper answers so I say "Hi Elder Soper this is Brother Beard and.... I mean...." So that was REALLY awkward!
We have an investigator who speaks Chinese! We'd tried to get a Book of Mormon for her I her native language. But it wasn't working. So we got this other one and so on and so forth. Any way I took it with us yesterday to our appointment just to give it a try and it was the right language!!!! And she is so excited and determined to read it so that she knows more of Jesus Christ! I am SOSOSOSOSOSOSOSOSO excited! I don't know if I will get over this all week!
Last night we had an appointment fall through. And so we tracted out the apartments near by. But we ran into this sick cat. Like it was sick. So I petted it and the poor thing is so lonely and started following us around as we tracted! It made me laugh so hard. I know it probably shouldn't be funny. But it wouldn't leave us alone and at this one apartment a Russian family answered and the cat tried to run in! No this is not our cat. I don't know what's going on. Sorry. Here's a Russian pamphlet.
So we got THE MOST EXITING NEWS EEEEVVVVEEERRRR!!!!! President Taylor finally got a temple plan approved. Now three zones in the mission can go to the temple quarterly! And GUESS WHAT??????????????????????????????????????????????? I just happen to be in one of the three zones RIGHT NOW! God doesn't do random! This is SUCH a blessing! I can't even tell you! I can't EVEN TELL YOU! I miss the temple and love the temple so much!
When things get hard I have to try and think just like Jesus "Not my will but thine be done." He was faced with the hardest thing ever and he didn't give up! He submitted his will to Heavenly Father! When I think I can't go anymore I just have to look to Christ and try and think like he did. Try and love like he did. Try and find all my happiness from serving others. He is the PERFECT example! Holy Cow! I don't understand how but little by little I get it more and it is overwhelming! I am so grateful for everything he did! Living his life as an example for us and then giving the ultimate sacrifice of his life for us to be eternally happy. How undeserving we are. And how perfect he is! I know a lot of people have said these same words but how amazing they are when I can say them! And I am sure I will say them many more times through my life and each time they will have a little different feelings and convictions behind them!
Being a missionary is crazy. I am still the same person I was when I left. Still imperfect. Still awkward. Still can't always focus. But God uses me because of my calling. The spirit is brought into peoples homes simply because of my calling and my small effort to be spiritual. Wow!
Well this weekend I will be playing in church with two 18 year old twins. A duet (both of them on one part). I know that my redeemer lives. From Laurann and I's favorite green book (sorry I know that means nothing to anybody but Laurann!) Let's see.. oh I am staying here with Sister Sonderegger another transfer... We have several appointments. But we are going to get working on our tracting (there was a promise made by an apostle to this mission that if we talk to 10 people every day about the gospel that our baptisms will double. 10 doesn't sound too much but we have to walk and get to appointments and some of those 10 are like an hour and  a half and then sometimes there's just a day of door slams so we don't get any!) But ya we are going to work on that this week.
Our whole zone pretty much changed this transfer so that is crazy! But the ward before us went from three sets of elders to 1 set of elders and sisters so we now have 8 sets of sisters in our zone I think.
Well I will be done writing this massive email shortly. But thanks for all the letters! I am so grateful! Aubrey and Dad you sent the most inspired letters! Adrienne! It was so good to hear from you! And to everyone else! I love you all! Thanks for the letters I will try and respond today! And Annelise! I love your family history story! I can't believe he got back that far in that short of a time! And all your stories of service inspire us to try and serve more!
I love you all! Have a good week and enjoy the sunshine if it is there! (when the sun is out in Washington that is ALL people ever talk about! It's great! At least I fit in that way!)
Sister Kaitlyn Beard

Sis. Sonderegger, me, Elder Porter, Elder Lunt. Elder Lunt is now gone.

Spring seems to be lasting forever! Maybe it's because we get to be outside so much! I love it though!

Shaun, Jennifer, and Reagan! They are an awesome family and feed us so much! Jennifer makes the best food! 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Week 8

Dearest Family,
This week has been great! There has been sunshine in the air and spring time everywhere! Oh I am a poet and didn't even know it!
We have found a lot of people! We found 4 new investigators this week! All really cool experiences.
One day during planning I was looking at our area map on the ipad and an area stood out to me. I was pretty sure it was a dumb trailer park where everyone hates us so I didn't say anything. Well we were tracting and I look around and bam! We are in that area and it's not what I thought. So we enter the apartment complex and talk to a lady waiting for her mail and it was amazing! She is totally open.
Uh... no time for the other 3 sorry.
Actually 2 are in the same family so I will share that we were at their house for a lesson (they weren't open to religious conversation when we scheduled the appointment) but we come and they have water for us and tons of religious questions. What the heck right? But after a great discussion/lesson we are about to say the closing prayer and the little girl lets the dog in... and wow was that an adventure! that dog was out of control! just jumping around, running around, scratching our legs, barking. When she finally had the dog in her arms and we were going to pray for reals this time Sister Sonderegger looks at the dog and smiles at it and it jumps at her. And it just happens all over again! Oh it was such a funny experience! Just because of how everyone was reacting and how insanely insane that dog really is!
I'm realizing that the scriptures are MADE for missionary work! And life! The whole point of it is missionary work. We've all forgotten the plan and so God is patiently up in heaven prodding us to try and remember the plan and to tell others to remember the plan! I can't believe he is so patient! 
So we went to a Chinese restarant the other day and I got a fortune "When you speak honestly and openly, and others truly listen to you." WOW stupid! I was really getting excited as I started reading 'speak' because as a missionary you want to have people listen right? Unfortunately this one doesn't make sense at all! Well I guess it's good I've never believed in fortunes.
So I sent home a picture of Sister Calvert two weeks ago. She is amazing and I want to write this story. Her husband is inactive. Just stopped going 8 years ago. We were eating dinner with them this week and I just felt impressed to bring up the gospel. I questioned him and it was really crazy but I was so patient and guided beyond my abilities. After this conversation he said "Well somebody needs to break you in..." He was going to call on me for the closing prayer but we all took it wrong. And I don't know why. Like I honestly can't even for sure tell you today why. But I started crying. And I cried for over and hour. I couldn't stop. So embarrassing. We are suppose to be strong around members. All I can say is I think I got a glimpse of Christ that day. I truly felt so much sorrow and so much love for what Sister Calvert is doing and going through. I can't explain. But I guess it wasn't fruitless because the next day Sister Calvert said that her husband said he listened to me only because I was really innocent and sincere. And she had a 1 minute conversation about spiritual matters with him which never happens. I am so grateful for that experience and to be a hand in that matter. It was seriously so amazing.

I totally forgot to tell you about my musical experiences! We got to play I'm relief society yesterday. Also I got to talk in church. But we have a musical fireside idea. Well I had an idea and we finally got it on the calendar for April 13 and EVERYONE is so excited! Everyone is wanting to participate. Even an accordion song! I am so excited and grateful for my musical interest and ability that gets to get used a lot! I lovw you all! So glad I am in this mission so I can have my violin.

This week has been good and I am grateful for the sun. We are both staying this transfer. I love you all! Sorry I am out of time
Sister Kaitlyn Beard

Me and Joanne FraserPeople we are teaching
Us and Michelle Marston

And this sign reminds me of the scare crow in the wizard of oz... I know it's dumb but ya!

Spring is beautiful!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Week 7

Dearest Family,
This week has been good!
GUESS WHAT? I found an jicama in the grocery story! ('grocery store' said like the guy says it in best two years). I am so excited! I don't have to wait 2 years to eat another one! Yay!
So here goes the stories. (sorry I am really short on time today I've been slow reading emails). We tracted into this lady who was SO rude to us! But then a couple days later we were back in her neighborhood and she was out gardening and so we complimented her flowers and such and she apologized to us for being rude. I can't even tell you how much that meant to us! So grateful!
This girl the other day asked where I was from. "Utah..."
"Oh" She said
"You have a New Zealand accent!"
Well... man! Awesome! Didn't have to go very far for me to be foreign! So whatever!
So this week we had a really good district meeting (district or zone meeting every Wednesday ps). For part of it we split off to role play and Elder Porter (district leader) assigned me to Elder Hallows who is an AP on the last weeks of his mission. He realizes it's just us two role playing (still in the room with everyone else but one on one interaction) and he says "What! Is that even allowed???
We were doing transfer predictions (next week is transfers) We did predictions for Elder Hallows but how soon he will be married instead of where he is going. In order to gage how soon that could be one Elder asks "Okay so on a scale of 1-10 how much do you like girls?" "After a mission? 2." That made all the elders freak out. Anyway. That was a funny district meeting. (Don't worry it was also really spiritual  but that element is too long to write right now- we talked about the battle of Little Bighorn and the Battle of Ia drang and how they relate to now).
We went on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders on Saturday. I went to Sister Cox's area. It was pretty good. I'm pretty use to eating in strangers homes, talking to strangers, and being with strangers. Sorry Mom and Dad! the no stranger thing kind of failed now a days! :)
Elder Porter and Elder Lunt (in our area with us) told a funny story that we have been laughing about all week! So I will share. They tracted into this guy who was a talker (did you know pretty much most people like to talk a lot?) Anyway he was a really big talker and it took them an hour and a half to say hello and introduce and then leave. They tried to give him a card as they left. Just a pass along card with a picture of Jesus on it. In his accent he said "This isn't Jesus! This is Joseph!" But Joseph pronounced as yoseph! Some people are so slow! YES we are Christian! We believe in JESUS! He is the center of our message! Anyway. Some people are crazy sometimes.
I was reading in Alma 23 and learned some cool things! There are 7 lands of Lamanites that are converted when Ammon and his brothers go preach the gospel to them. One of the lands is Ishmael where Ammon originally goes. Then also Middoni which is the land that had put Aaron and his brothers in prison for a very long time! Also Shilom which is the lad that was involved in the Nephites in Mosiah that come to live by the Lamanites and then the Lamanites go back on their word and all this crazy stuff happens. It's really cool looking at that because everyone comes to Christ at different times.
I want to thank everyone who is writing me! And also everyone who comments, likes, and responds to my messages on facebook! I really appreciate it!
Guess what? I got in contact with Natalie Cox from Florida! I was talking to her on Facebook on Saturday and she is still super involved in the Lutheran church and just started a women's bible study class! She is so cool! I look forward to talking to her more.
Hey Mom could you keep me updated on the current events in Russian and Ukraine. That affects a lot of people here so I would like to know a little more.
I think I've figured out that Heather lives on the other side of town from me. So that is sad. But I guess I still have a year and a half to get transferred closer.
I love you all so much! I hope you all have a wonderful week! I pray for you every day. Do something awesome today okay? and take Sadie on a run for me!
Sister Kaitlyn Beard

They save the trees here!

Beautiful places in Vancouver! It's so pretty here!

Sister Cox, me, Sister Sonderegger, Sister Blanchard. After exchanges!

The jicama! I love it! Not quite as juicy but still delicious

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Week 6

Dearest Family,
This week has been a roller coaster like none other. Our mission has been hit hard with sorrow for Sister Parrish. I can't even explain.
We had zone conference on Tuesday-the day she flew home. President Taylor got up and told us a lot of amazing things that I could never write fully. He is a very powerful speaker. All of us are asking why. Why did this happen? Why do any of these types of things happen? How do we trust in the lord? Life changes in a second and it is never the same again. He told us that "You CAN'T do this work without the Lord. It is too hard."
He told us a story of the only time he ever had to learn the importance of temple marriage. It was after the tragic death of his grandmother. His grandfather leaned over her casket and said "I'm so grateful for our temple marriage..." We cannot console people when things like this happen. We shouldn't tell them "at least we have the gospel". But individually when each of us go through these things and we have to refind our faith we at least know where to turn to look.
President Taylor told us "Know this if you know nothing else about me. I know that God lives..."
I want you all to know that I know that God lives. In tragedies and many other times we will loose our faith and have to refind it. But the ONLY way and the ONLY answer is Jesus Christ. Those who forget will soon have to remember. We will all stand before the judgment bar of God and we will all know the truth of the gospel. We need to have the courage and determination to open our mouths TODAY! People NEED to know where to look. Where to turn to. These 'why' questions don't have answers but there is peace and joy found through Christ. Who knows if we will ever find answers. But Christ. He is the ONLY way. I really do testify of this. And you should know that I believe it with all of my heart. No matter how many times I have to refind Christ when I doubt, I will always come back to him. He is the way. The only way.
We've found a better focus this week because of the things we have learned from this experience. We pray and read scriptures with the people we talk to.
One of my favorite experiences was after talking to a 14 year old boy about Joseph Smith and how he even at 14 could get answers we gave him a Book of Mormon. Several minutes down the street I looked back and he was reading it!
In a lesson with a less active family. The mother's Dad was miraculously present by a miracle of a broken car. He is also less active but bore a powerful testimony about church attendance. Which I am sure was the sole reason they came to church yesterday! It's been years.
Bishop gives us names every so often to go and visit. One time a name really stuck out to me. We've been visiting but not getting in contact with her. Yesterday we stopped by and she answered! "I've been thinking about you". She wants to learn and come back to church. She really wants the blessings the gospel offers her family. AMAZING!
I have realized. There are many days that we are VERY discouraged. But EVERY SINGLE DAY without fail, we see a miracle. One person opens up to us or one person takes the time to talk. Or one person is home. It is in no part anything that either Sis. Sonderegger or I am doing. It is the prayers for the missionaries. I am not making this up. I know it's true. Your prayers count. Every pray for us is counted to God and he grants us at least one miracle a day because of it. Thank you. Your prayers matter.
In fast and testimony meeting Sis. Priebe shared a thought. When running on the sand at the beach with some young women she noticed that some make deep prints and others make soft prints. She talked about how each of us has an influence. We don't know if it is big or small but all of us are making footprints in the sand. And you never know who will follow them.
We got ipads this week! They are an AMAZING tool! The area book app is insanely amazing! totally is a blessing to the work. It makes us very accountable for the numbers. And it is really awesome! Can't even tell you!
I've been thinking. There's no other way that we could be missionaries except for being full time missionaries. We have to be separate from the normal everyday life or we wouldn't be able to have the spirit in the way we do. We talk to people and stop in and visit. An usual thing for us. But something that brings every one we visit tears. It's amazing to be a missionary.
We played a fun game at Zone powwow! you write a if then statement and then pass the then part to the next person. And then everyone reads it. So I could write "if I go roller skating. Then you will eat a hot dog." or something random and then when they get passed it's HILARIOUS!
I'm super grateful for a couple in our ward who on Saturday took us in and fed us an amazing lunch and talked to us! And gave us a referral! We were starving and Sis. Sonderegger was really tired and wet (she needs new boots but is kind of stubborn).
Anyway. I am going to stop here. I love you all so much! I hope everything is well! I haven't read any emails yet I will read them later! I am sending some letters home as I am able to.
I love you!
Sister Kaitlyn Beard 

The Lawlers

The La Flams! (they are seriously so fun!)
This was the funniest ward missionary meeting ever so I took advantage of the good humor!

Some of my favorite ward missionaries!
The Lewis

Sis. Calvert

baby tree hugging