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

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Week 14: It was the best of weeks, it was the worst of weeks...

Dearest family,
Well first off we got transfer letters! I felt like I was getting a mission call all over again except this time the options weren't open to the whole world they are limited to a smaller geographical area! We got our letters and sat down to read them. Sister Sonderegger said to do it silently but before I could even read mine she starts laughing! She is going to the Clark YSA. Still in the zone and stake! Serving with our favorite Sister Thomas! Replacing her MTC companion who has also been in her first area for 7.5 months. Anyway I will be staying in Oakhurst and Sister Cluff will be my new companion. No idea who she is but I guess she just trained one of the Sisters in my district from the MTC. But that is why I have a bagillion pictures this week! I thought I my as well just get pictures with everyone Sister Sonderegger did while I can right? We are teaching a lot of the people we took pictures with except a couple are member families that we eat with and such.
So this week Michelle got baptized! I can't even tell you how crazy of an experience that was! I felt so much love for her and when we were all gathered for her baptism (there were tons of friends and family and tons of people from the ward!) we started singing I am a Child of God and I could just feel so much love in that room and it was so amazing! I am not doing a very good job describing my feelings. It is amazing to see someone that was in the worst of situations, in the depths of despair make a turn for the better and then get baptized. Yes baptism is just a step, but it is an important one.
We had a lot of amazing lessons this week. We are REALLY busy with lessons! We keep trying to hand people off to the Elders but then we end up with them anyway. Whatever I guess it's meant to be.
Nancy is doing so well! She is such a sweet lady! And the more we get to know her the less shy she is around us and man! She says the funniest things sometimes! Her friend Elaine is also so funny! They are such funny friends! Nancy moved in and then met Elaine and they have been best friends ever since.
We took the Blacks on a church tour. Surprisingly it went very well. There were parts where we were really guided with what to say. The spirit was really strong. Their son Xavier came to church yesterday! Although he said he wanted the full experience and then he isn't ever coming back :) hopefully he will change his mind. They are such a funny family.
Wade is a guy we have been teaching. He is big into ham radio and let me tell you it is super cool!
We've got a lot of people we are teaching. And we keep finding more and more. We will be busy this week with all of our lessons and with transfers on Wednesday.
Book of Mormon reading is going well! And I'd love to hear about your reading Mom! Thanks for joining me!  
This week has been really well but also kind of rough. (hence the revised tale of two cities title!). It's hard to not get discouraged sometimes. But I have learned a lot this week. I've really realized that The most important thing is to trust in God. Even if I never get to learn a language, even if I can't be a good missionary, even if I don't have the courage and determination that I want to. I just need to trust in God. That is the most important thing for me to learn while being a missionary. And it's amazing how it's all throughout the scriptures. I keep getting answers as I read the Book of Mormon. SO many passages stick out! Also I was able to get an amazing blessing on Monday night. I know that God is very mindful of me. I need to learn to trust in him.
This week studying preach my gospel I really love how it says that the Book of Mormon's central purpose is to bring others to Christ. We've made it a point to really testify of that this week as we talk to people and tell them about the Book of Mormon. It's had an amazing influence. I also loved the scripture in Luke 24:13-32. Christ taught from the scriptures. THE SCRIPTURES ARE IMPORTANT. They talk of Christ.
This week I will be studying how the Book of Mormon Answers Questions of the Soul on pg. 107 ch. 5. And also I will be thinking of other questions of the soul that I will be looking for additional answers to through the Book of Mormon. I'd love it if you joined me in this study! You could post about it on facebook too!
So it is time for the next hidden surprise!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This time it is in the secret drawer in Laurann's dresser in her room.
As far as mother's day goes... I am really sorry but I assume we will not be hearing about that until next week. Hopefully next week! I will let you know! I sure hope that we can work something out with Laurann as well!
I am also really sorry but I may not be able to write too many letters this week. With transfers things are CRAZY! And ward members really love Sister Sonderegger so they want to take us to all these places and such so today is really busy. Hopefully next week will be a better week for writing!
I love you all so much! Enjoy the fine weather! (it's been spring in Vancouver for like 2 months! Always blooming and springy! It's awesome and crazy!) I really REALLY REALLY just love you. I REALLY REALLY REALLY hope that you know that! Have such a good week!
Love Sister Kaitlyn Beard

The Novaks! We made salsa with them on Saturday!
The Tiatia's are hilarious! Brother Tiatia picked us up when I first came to the area.

Nancy Hollander, and Elaine her neighbor and best friend

Sister Ashbaker, her father, and Megan Ashbaker

The Grahams! Hannah obviously loves to look at the camera:)

The Clarkes

Michelle got baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Elder Tiko came back to baptize her. (Elder Tiko left when I came in. He spend his first 9 months in the Oakhurst area and is loved and a legend in the ward!)

Us and Sister Terney! (we live with her)

Sister Terney wanted a picture of us playing after the baptism so we posed :)

Jasmin Tiatia...wouldn't stand in the family picture.

The Remleys! My favorite family! Sister Remley reminds me a lot of Angie Thompson!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Week 13: Hello from the Green State!

Dearest Family,
WOW! this has been a VERY long week. We went to the temple forever ago it seems! It is such a beautiful temple! Unlike any I have ever been to! I think my jaw dropped several times when we walked around and went into rooms as well. We totally missed our alarm and woke up to a knock on the door from Bishop Davis and the Elders and we jumped out of bed like never before! It was crazy! I loved it so much! So grateful that we got the chance to go!
This week has been SO busy! We have had SO many lessons and ward activities that we haven't had any time to go tracting or find more people to teach. Which I guess is good. But when we finally had time on Sunday I was SO excited! We have an event in this area called the Life of Christ event around easter (festival of nativities around Christmas). So we went to that with the youth on Wednesday and with some investigators on Friday. It is seriously such an amazing event  I don't really know how to briefly describe it. There are different scenes from Jesus Christ's life and pictures and some actors. It's a walk around thing in the gym. There are also choir concerts and devotionals scattered through the time that the display is set up (Thurs-Sat). It was seriously such a sacred experience.
We also had a relief society activity about gardening and worked really hard to get Nancy and Michelle there. Then Nancy brought her friend Elaine who is so cute and nice! That was a really awesome and exciting night!
Then on Saturday we had an Easter Egg hunt ward activity and Easter program. We got to see a lot of people come. So it was really great to be able to check up on all the people scattered around the ward in a single room with not as much walking! I just love ward activities! Especially when we are so successful at getting people there! It's so exciting!
We had exchanges again this week. I stayed in Oakhurst with Sister Blanchard. We had a great rainy day filled with a lot of stress and calling to try and get members to lessons and rides for everyone for the relief society activity. But it ended up being good.
President Taylor has asked the mission to read the Book of Mormon in the next transfer. I am stoked! I love it! And I love being able to read it quickly. It gives a really good perspective and new things stick out. Any one is welcome to join us! Start today and read and finish up June 11. Okay? Awesome.
Before I forget. I got the wedding invitations for Courtney and Tanner and also for Adrienne and Joe! I love them! Both came in the same delivery and I was so excited! You are all such beautiful relatives and I am so excited for your weddings and sad that I can't be there!
Yesterday we saw a ton of Easter miracles. Maybe it was because it was Easter, maybe we were just in the right mood. But we had the spirit with us all day and just so strong! We found a lot of people who are really open to our message! In particular we met a guy named Armine and his son Rashid. They are originally from Croatia. But they fled from Communism and other such horrors. Moving from country to country and right as it seemed that they learned the language they were kicked out. They have seem some pretty horrible things. Armine was talking to us and then Rashid came and started interpreting for us. You wouldn't think that English needs interpreting:) haha but actually it does! Sometimes he was saying things that were different than what we thought he was saying! So that helped! But we shared with Rashid that life has a purpose. We shared Alma 34:32. And also some of the Alma chapters for him to read. He told us that he felt a lot of peace talking to him. He's never felt this way before. He's never heard these things before. He's just seen a lot of awful things. And now he is searching for the truth. It was really amazing. I've never had that type of experience before.
Easter really was a day of miracles! It was amazing!
One funny story. We had dinner with the Elders at the Ericksons (haley is the one who is my 'twin') Well Sister Erickson told Elder McCuen that she had bought him a Reeses egg. He was so excited he almost started crying! I was like in horrified shock! But hey! I guess he really does love those Reeses easter eggs.
Well transfers are coming up next week! Crazy!
Michelle is getting baptized on Saturday! I am so excited! She has changed so much and it is just so amazing to see! I can't wait! And she has got her x-husband to support her enough that he is going to be there! (even if he says he is going to dress up like the pope... hmmm... not sure what to do about that). But we will be doing a musical number at her baptism too so that will be nice. But I can't wait! Michelle is so amazing! It's just so crazy to see how much she has changed! She is just shining with light! It's been a long and wonderful journey to be a part of.
So this week Preach My Gospel. Thanks for everyone who shared. I love the restoration! We've really been trying to share what it says is 'our message' at the bottom of that page. And then we have been asking what it would mean to YOU if you came to know that Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God. It's been really cool what responses we've gotten EVEN when people totally turn us away. I love that fact that we do have a prophet and that we have a loving Heavenly Father!  I also love how it says that the Book of Mormon is a powerful witness to this message. Oh it is so true! I love using scriptures when talking about the Restoration. Like with Rashid yesterday. He was so touched by those scriptures.
And so this week I will be studying The Book of Mormon Testifies of Christ pg. 105 in Ch. 5  and the scriptures in the scripture study box on pg. 98 under the heading "Which scriptures should I use and how should I use them?" I'd love it if you would all join me in this study and try and think of how we can share scriptures more with our family friends and those we teach and interact with.
I love you all so much! I hope that your week has been amazing! Congrats to Aubrey for her drivers license! And for Kelsey for being a beastly fast runner! I hope that you are doing well and having a happy day!
Sister Kaitlyn Beard

The temple is GORGEOUS!


Sister Sonderegger got me some easter gifts!

Easter Picnic

hiking today!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Week 12: So this is why

Dearest family,
So this is why I'm here. Besides the other bagillion reasons that I am in this mission I found 2 more this week!
So apartment checks happened this week. And in walk Elder and Sister Rippon. Elder Rippon shakes my hand. "Sister Beard. Do you have relatives in Coalville?" Well. Guess what? His relatives also came from that area. Can't remember the name but it was just 3 miles away so they were always in the same area as the Beards. I guess our family and his family are pretty close! He told me that he lived in Great Grandpa Beards house in Salt Lake City. I believe it was Victor Beard. But ya he knew he worked on nuclear stuff and worked at the U and went fishing and stuff all the time. And Elder and Sister Rippon lived in his house for four years. Super cool! The random experiences. I don't think he knows Grandpa though. Do you know him Grandpa?
The other thing. So at the music fireside (more on that later). We were walking around before it started meeting the unfamiliar faces and we come to this guy. Which preface. So a couple weeks ago I just had a thought cross my mind. And I thought of Jon Martinez from Florida (played the piano, played Settlers with us) and I just started wondering when I'd see him. I know it seems super weird but I knew I was going to be seeing him soon, but I didn't think anything of it till after it actually happened and now it's kind of crazy weird! Anyway we come to this guy and he was familiar. But I was thinking "there's no way!" He says his name is Jon so I was like "What's your last name?" "How long have you lived here?" "Did you live in Florida?" hardly allowing response time. "Okay I know you" But then the fireside started so I said we'd talk later. By the end of the fireside he remembered me and our family and we spend some time catching up. (Not like I can really fill him in on the ward in Florida. But I told him what I knew and how our family is doing). He's not in our ward I have no idea why he was there. But he is in a ward in our building. He's in school, quit the military, doing wind mill stuff. Any way. Weird right? Life is just weird. But I guess these things are suppose to happen.
So the music fireside! Ah! It was so amazing! We had a huge turnout! It didn't seem like very many people would come but the chapel was pretty full! There were 9 performances and testimonies scattered throughout. It was in no way seamless but that is what made it what it was. People in the ward were so sincere in their performance. No matter their talent level their hearts were really in it. And one family brought a non-member family! That was so exciting! (of course we could see more of that...) I loved walking into the church about 15 minutes before it started and hearing every room full of members nervously practicing for their song. Oh it was such a sweet experience! I will treasure that forever! Sister Sonderegger and I got to play we did a medly of He is Risen/Jesus Once of Humble Birth. My favorite part was when Sister Sonderegger suddenly stops playing from a faulty page turn and I just had to keep playing and wonder what the heck was going on back there at the piano! It was seriously so amazing and the ward loved it so much they want to do it every year! Ah it was the happiest night! Like that is literally just the overall feeling! Not insanely spiritual just super happy! I LOVE IT!
Guess what???????????????????????????? We get to go to the temple tomorrow!!!!!!!!!! Can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So the best experience ever! This week we were out tracting and we came to an apartment and the lady who answered didn't speak English. She spoke Spanish. I got so excited I don't even know what I was doing. I've been studying Spanish over breakfast. So I introduced us in Spanish and said a couple other things. Well... That was dumb! Then she thought I knew a lot more Spanish than I do and so she'd look at me for more or translation or something and I'd just smile. Haha... wops. But it was actually my favorite experience OYMing! (open your mouth...ing) because it was another just happy experience as we speak broken Spanish to her and she speaks Spanish to us and we try and understand. And we speak English. But overall we were all just smiling and laugh and it was such a fun conversation even though we didn't speak the same language!
So for Preach My Gospel. I loved studying how to use scriptures! I loved how it says that when we study scriptures with people it helps them want to do it on their own. Family scripture study definitely did that for me! I loved Alma 31:5. We tried to use our scriptures with the lessons that we did teach this week. And also using them when we are out on the streets talking with people. People trust the scriptures. Even if they don't know them very well. People tell us "well in the scriptures it says..." and so us using scriptures is a really powerful witness. Use them in family night, visiting and home teaching, and any time that you can!
This week I will be studying The Message of the Restoration: The Foundation of Faith on pg. 6. Although it talks about those 'we teach' apply it to family, friends, visiting and home teaches. I would really like you all to study this and write to me about what you have learned. Just one sentence would be really fun.
Well. I love you all so much! I am so glad you have had a good spring break! And now are back and ready for the good times of school and such! Thanks for all the pictures you sent Kelsey! And thanks for all your letters! You are the best family! I love you very much! Things are great in Washington! Or as Dad would sometimes say... Vashington. OR as Washington people sometimes say. Warshington.
Sister Kaitlyn Beard

Someone gave me a rose outside the library just as a nice thing to do! So nice!

The Rippons are old family friends I guess and now I am in this mission!

We met Jon Martinez again! haha!

late night pizza snack!

Week 11

Dearest Family,
Thank you for the letters everyone! And thanks for the package mom! Sister Sonderegger was SO EXCITED about the CD! It is still so funny! I am saving the other surprises for easter! Haha! I want to have a full out easter egg hunt with the candy so thank you! (hopefully I don't eat it before then)
I am glad you all made it safe to St. George! But Dad! I hope you are doing okay! That is no fun at all! I hope that you rest enough. I am sorry that you crashed so soon into vacation down by all the awesome trails! That is so sad! I'm glad it wasn't a super super bad crash that would be awful!
So this week our zone had interviews with President Taylor! Oh! I love President and Sister Taylor! I think interviews are suppose to be more interactive comparing with what Sister Sonderegger said she talked about but that didn't happen. President Taylor gave me a lot of counsel. And the spirit was really strong. He really spoke from the Lord to ME. I can't even tell you. I have never had an experience like that before. He told me that they need me in this mission. And I felt that it was true. He also told me that he often fears just like me that he will fail. He's been a business owner, he's been broke, and yet this is the most pressure he has ever felt. But he has come to understand that if we do our best-even if our best is just getting up- God WILL NOT LET US FAIL. I am so grateful for President Taylor. He is the most amazing inspired man and I know that he is called of God. I know that he has a huge mantel on his shoulders to be the President of this mission and that the Lord strengthens those he calls. No it isn't easy. It is beyond hard. But we can do it because of Jesus Christ.
This week we were out for an hour or so on the streets before a lesson then going home so of course the blue sky was not calling for rain! but then it just dumped rain! We did a quick member visit and the sweet Spruill family was horrified by how wet we were and posted on the ward facebook page with a desperate call for umbrellas for us. So needless to say the whole ward has called or stopped by trying to give us all their umbrellas. Holy Cow! It's crazy!
So a couple weeks ago we got a call from a guy who is in a care home. And he said he found our card on the street and it changed his life. It was kind of a weird phone call and experience so we weren't really quite on top of figuring out how to meet with him. But we finally figured it out this week and we went over. We walked into the care come and there was Bobby. My first thought was "It's you". Weird right? But I know him perfectly. Whether from this life, a dream, or the past life I couldn't tell you. But I know him perfectly. I guess he actually got our card from Sister Sonderegger and Sister Duncan a couple months ago. But still! He called! He had a stroke many years ago and doesn't read and is still physically and a little mentally struggling. But he needs church and hope and faith. We sung I am a child of God to him and had a little simplified lesson as we got to know him. I think we will be keeping him as our investigator and not passing him over to the Elders because I feel like since I know him I am probably here to teach him.
Nancy! Our new investigator who came to church last sunday is on date for baptism May 11! And she came to all of Saturday conference with us at the church. She watched sunday conference with a member! How awesome! We are so excited! She is so sweet and just so open to everything.
Michelle our investigator told us earlier this week "Someone said that General Conference is like Christmas to the missionaries!" She gave us a look like 'that's not right right?' and we just laughed because it is! But anyway Michelle's boyfriend moved out this week and she is really struggling and lonely. But we are hoping she will keep having faith as she gets ready for baptism probably around May 14th.
General Conference was amazing! We watched it same time as you! Well it was earlier for us! I love general conference and it was so amazing to me! So many totally amazing things were said! And President Eyrings was perfect for Nancy sitting right besides us!
So as far as Preach My Gospel goes. I am going to be studying Use The Scriptures on page 180 this week. Please join me in this study! I was thinking this would be a really great thing because scripture study is really the only way that you can increase faith. Yet SO many people in and out of the church aren't reading. When we are visiting teaching, home teaching, talking with friends and family scriptures should be used in our conversations and efforts. They are the most powerful tool. Don't be afraid to use them We NEED them more in our lives. Learning how to apply scriptures study to every day is a really important thing to do. So study this section. When it talks about investigators instead think of friends, people you visit or home teach, neighbors, and family members. I am open to hearing from anyone what you have learned. However, if you aren't direct immediate family please keep it brief :) But you are welcome to join in this!
So just a fare warning. I am a facebook missionary. And as such we are invited to have our families back home help us in our missionary efforts. I have told a couple investigators that my family will be friending them for specific purposes. Please fulfill these assignments and do whatever you can to help them. It will mostly be in the messaging area. If you don't know how to do that ask Kelsey (hopefully you do Kelsey!) Anyway but that's another reason to study using the scriptures because I need you to always direct them back to the basics which is in the scriptures. Thanks!
(P.s. Preach my gospel is online as well. And it is in Chapter 10 teaching skills- the part for this week)
I love you all so much! I hope that you are having such a good spring break! We will see if any one is home during spring break here! (it is also Vancouver spring break) Have a good safe vacation. I love you! And I am so grateful for all your awesome letters!
Sister Kaitlyn Beard

OUr favorite sisters! We finally have sisters in our district! Well.. as well as us :)

cooking noodles in a frying pan after district meeting!

How OTHER missionaries park at district meeting:)

Michelle gave us each a huge bag of stuff for Easter! She is so cute!