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, July 28, 2014

Week 27

Dearest Family!

We've had a really good week this week for the most part. 

This is probably one of my favorite stories from my experiences so far. So we do weekly planning on Friday and plan the outline of our lessons and what we want to leave as a commitment. Well we were planning for the Church family (who moved into the Miles house who were members of the church. They have a daughter who is really asking a lot of questions and inspiring them to look into religion). Well we felt inspired to have them do family home evening. Which is a commitment that is listed to give those we teach but not the usual 2nd lesson commitment. Well we had a great lesson talking about God's plan for us and why we are here and where we are going and how families can be eternal. Todd really was intrigued about us saying there is a marriage available for 'time and all eternity'. Well at the end of the lesson I told them we wanted them to do a Family Home Evening. I started explaining it. That it is a time (usually Monday nights) where your family should spend time together. Where you should do some scriptural study or a lesson and then have fun together as a family. Well Lindsay said "Were you just here 2 days ago?" They goes to explain how they just decided they were going to have a day that was family day and they'd come to the conclusion that Monday evenings were a good time. We were kind of all sitting there mouth gaping open. I am amazed. The fact that we were inspired to invite them to do EXACTLY what they were already thinking is to me a witness that God wanted them to know that it was a good idea and something that he's suggested. 

When we are with the Church family there is a spirit there. I know this sounds crazy. But I am sure that it is their ancestors as angels. There is a spirit of excitement when we are there that is always there when we are and unique to their home. I am amazed that you can feel the presence of hard working angels who are wanting their descendants to find the truth and are preparing them for us! 

One of the days this week we decided to ride our bikes. Well when the day finally arrived it was POURING rain. Well Sister Major true to her work biked without complaining! Well we were soaked! We had to ride to the Thomas's to get a bike pump and they were not very happy that we were stupid enough to be biking:) and they gave us ponchos. Well I had a lot of fun tracting that day! Memories! And hey it some people were nicer to us because we were soaking wet. 

We were teaching the Scott family this week and we were talking about Joseph Smith and WOW! They've heard some SUPER bizarre things that are totally not true! That's another time where I was like mouth open gaping at them. More because of how absurd what they were saying was! Anyway. We were telling them about when Joseph Smith prays to know which church is true and God the Father and Jesus Christ appear to him. Kim interrupts us with an adamant 'no!' We stop 'god doesn't have a body'. Wow. That's never happened before. Despite how many churches claim to believe things like that people don't usually believe how their church says. (one reason why people go to all sorts of churches and not attach themselves to one). Well she really doesn't believe that and really doesn't want to even contemplate it. I think that is so weird! It doesn't demote God in any way that he has a body. It glorifies him even more. Bodies are essential to our growth. Why would we be here if they weren't? With our bodies we can feel the greatest joy and also the greatest pain and heartache. But God's goal is having the most happiness and so we NEED a body to feel the MOST happiness! Anyway... ya. We will love keeping working with the Scotts though! They are great and have AMAZING stories. And they make us lunch:) Kim only makes mac and cheese and bologna sandwiches so that's what they make for us! 

We visited the Markus's this week and they said they'd been really worried about us since it's been forever since they've seen us. Well we checked our teaching record and it had been 61 days! Wow! Where has the time gone! We felt bad about that!

Well on Saturday we went out tracting in Deer Island for the day. It's kind of a scary place to tract. It's the boonies and there's tons of 'no trespassing' signs. Everyone has mean dogs, etc. Well I guess it's because you are your own law enforcement out there. So that makes sense. Well we walked up this driveway and it was half a mile long and we get to this house and the lady answers and says 'this is a private driveway'. And so she wouldn't listen to us. So we walked back that way singing Pocahontas colors of the wind that starts "you think you own whatever land you land on". And the road isn't even labeled private. Ah well. We did find a couple super great people that we got to talk to. One lady said she chase the Jehovah's Witnesses after they ran away from her house. She's going to be a lot of fun! We met some really great people too so that was awesome! 

I'm not as scared of dogs anymore! I guess you probably didn't know I was... but since that dog bite I was kind of scared. But now I am bucking up more and sacrificing myself since Sister Major also has a fear! We're really similar. It's good for us! Sometimes I still hide behind her but... I'm working on it. 

We got a call this morning from Pam Howe and she got a calling yesterday as a ward missionary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We are super stoked! And she is super excited too!

When we first came into this area we were having a hard time working with some of the people in the ward. But somehow they have started trusting us lately and now it is just going awesome! I am just super excited! 

Our participants in the MMTC are waning... But they are still going really well. We went over Lesson 5 last night and had some great discussion on the laws and ordinances in Christ's gospel.

Yesterday we were out with Tiffany Naillon who just got home from her mission. And we went to visit Dina. She made us want to cry! She's totally taken a turn against us. She said she doesn't appreciate us rattling her doornob when we come by and no one answers. We have no idea what she is talking about! Accusing us of trying to rob her or something. I don't know. I know she is going through some stuff now and we just want her to turn to God and not to addictions. It makes me really sad. 

Yesterday at church Tiffany Naillon gave a powerful homecoming talk. It was about conversion. Being truly converted. A part of the kingdom of God and not just visiting. We were sitting by our friend Launi and he started bawling during her talk. We didn't know what was going on! And we couldn't exactly do anything for him. But he told us after that her talk really got to him. Launi is really a good guy. We are enjoying talking with him. 

We are really loving the work here and the area here. The ward members are beginning to really be family to us.. which can be bad because it's hard to get out of dinner in an hour. But it is really amazing. WE are really excited about how things are going. We will keep working hard. And no matter what happens, we will continue to grow ourselves. Sister Major and I are learning more and more every day that the most important thing is to trust in God. That the covenants we have made with God and the heritage of covenants we are a part of are great. I love the fact that missionary work is something that is for me as well as those I am working with. President Holland told our mission that the only convert you can guarantee is yourself. Well I sure love watching myself change!

This work is all about changing. God is all about changing too. People who are complacent are in danger of the adversary. God's work is a busy and industrious work. We should always be doing. The work of the Lord is going forward and I want to be a part of it forever. I am learning (it is a learning process) to love being always at work. It's not the normal thing these days. But it is the best and only way to find true happiness. To be engaged in the work of the Lord. And I can tell you that there is no greater joy than is found in the work of the Lord! 

I love you all! You are all so wonderful! Keep working hard! And having amazing missionary experiences! Mom I am so proud of you all for that! 

Oh and Dad I saw the new missionary list at the Thomas's and so I know what Elder Price looks like! He is the one who we visited after the Messiah right? That is SUPER awesome! Well! This is the best mission in the world so I'm glad everyone seems to be coming here! 

I love you! Be safe this week and know that I love you and pray for you every day.

Sister Kaitlyn Beard

Us with Launi... kind of a blurry picture.

Us wet after biking to the Thomas's

Poncho decked out! 

We found a frog! And of course we caught it!

Smelling the pretty flowers (oh! which reminds me that was after a long driveway to a house where we met a guy who is an underwater welder in Australia! You meet the coolest people!)

Emily Ferrin had us over for dinner and left us cute sticky notes on the door for when we got there! 

With the Markus's! We love them! They can't come to church for health issues. 
Sister Filippazzo didn't plant this lily but it grew and on a really hard day for her! Tender mercys of the Lord are real.

Eating wild blackberries as we are out tracting! They are EVERYWHERE! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Week 26

Dearest Family,
Well this week has been all over the scale!
We started off the week not too well. Nothing serious just not well. Anyway on Tuesday we went to visit this guy from the ward who use to be in the bishopric and now isn't active. Well he seemed nice enough till we asked him his story and then couldn't escape for like an hour and a half as he told us his story which turned into how he is completely on the other end of the scale and is anti-Mormon and anti-religious. When we finally managed to escape we walked away righteously angry. I think of how Jesus dealt with the people in the temple who were selling things and defiling the temple. We walked away from that at quite a brisk pace and once we were down the road our conversations rapidly developed. This isn't the first time we've met someone in this sad state. Nor will it be that last. However, I am becoming disenchanted with their reasons. They are all the same and they have each become the same type of person in a way. It is my belief that there are many men who fall away from the church who waste away. Men are suppose to be leaders and actively engaged in the community and with others. And yet there are quite a few who fall away and become weak and full of excuses. (I'm not saying women don't do this I am just focusing on the men part today because we've found a couple lately and they fit this type somehow). It makes me sad that these men sacrifice their potential for trivial matters. They truly haven't sought the companionship of the Holy Ghost as they ought to have.
Well on the other end. We were out tracting on Wednesday-which normally we have district meeting so this was pretty much a miracle! Well we came to a house of a really nice lady. She pretty much introduced us to her super nice family. The Scott family! And we had like an hour and a half visit and they invited us to stay for lunch and go swimming.... um.. I guess at some point we will have to tell them missionaries don't go swimming but right then I was just like what? well they are super awesome. They are really good friends with the Cup family in the 1st ward. The mom Kim agrees with like everything we say but then says 'no' she doesn't want to do it but yes she wants her dear sweet son who is 25 to go to church, and read the Book of Mormon, etc. She actually wants him to marry a 'Mormon girl' she told us. Anyway we are super excited about their whole family. They are SUPER awesome! And the best part of this whole thing is they aren't flakey! YYYEEEESSS!!!! Tim then 25 year old son and Sam the 11 year old daughter said they would come to church on Sunday and they came! We've taught them nothing and they come and they will come next week too! I am just stoked! And they came earlier than half the ward and have the greatest respect for church. Which I wish everyone at church had.
Sorry I will side track to church for a second. So here we are with two people at sacrament meeting which we haven't had anyone at church since Don got baptized! We are super excited. Well then the first talk the Brother starts talking about polygamy in his family. Then the second talk the Brother starts talking about pottery and NEVER relates it to the gospel! I was really praying at that point and wanting grab my face in shame! But then this distinct and natural thought came to my thoughts "What do you want them to hear?" and then just as it came it was answered "Nothing. Just feel the spirit." That taught me a valuable lesson. As missionaries we really want people to have a good experience at church. But I forget that the only thing we really want people to feel at church is the spirit. God works with us unperfect people all the time. He's got it in control. Valuable lesson.
So guess what? Sue got called to be our second ward missionary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We've been here for 3 months and two weeks ago we got our first sister ward missionary FINALLY. And then this week we got Sue! It's crazy. 3 months ago I remember when we first saw her when we were out visiting with Pam Howe. Did I even imagine she would be our long awaited ward missionary? No way. But boy am I glad she is! I can't tell you how excited we are! And how excited she is! She says "I've waited 14 years for this! I thought for sure I was never going to get a calling because I am too old." She is just totally excited. Willing to clear everything for us. (which doesn't make her husband very happy so we clarified with her our expectations so he should be good with it now:)
This week I decided I don't ever want to feel like I finished my mission. I don't want to every feel like I did enough and it can be over. I want to be a missionary forever even if I can't be a missionary full time like this forever. There is no greater happiness than in the work of the Lord.
This week the Scott family asked us if there is pressure for us to serve missions even though it is 'voluntary'. I thought that was an interesting question. And if you want to know what I feel it is this: even if there is extra pressure to serve I think it's good! Serving a mission is the best thing I have ever done. I wish that everyone could serve! A lot of members tell us they admire us. They could never do this. Well I kindly say thanks but I don't think that is true. Maybe once in a blue moon there is someone who is just cut out to be a missionary. But in every other case normal people struggle to BECOME a missionary. This is a becoming not an already existing condition. Anyone can serve because anyone can become what is necessary to be a missionary through relying on God. It's hard. But it's possible through him.
I had a dream this last week that two elders who had previously worked in this area came and told me that this area had changed their lives. That no other area in their mission had changed them as much as this area. I know it was a dream but it's got me thinking that  actually ya. This area has changed me a lot. And maybe it's not a perfect area but it sure is a perfect area for me to learn a lot of things that are changing me forever. I am really grateful for this area. And for all that I will continue to learn!
This week we have been really trying to follow the spirit! It has helped us find some people and helped us serve some people. We are learning a lot about the spirit. We got to teach a lesson in relief society and the thing in that lesson are amazing! It talked about how there are people who aren't strong in their faith because they have never received a witness from the spirit. And so when they encounter anti things they are easily lead away. It seriously is SO true. And how important is the spirit in our everyday conversions!
Two amazing service things this week. We were driving and saw sweet Irene carrying her groceries. Having experienced carrying groceries and having it cut of your circulation at college we pulled over and ran over to rescue her that last little bit to her house!
Then another day we talked to the Comcast guy. He was super stressed. They were SERIOUSLY understaffed. Well he also through in that he hadn't had lunch. Well as we were driving home a bit later we decided to call Brother Hamblin and send him on an odd mission. Luckily he was willing to just drive around in the general location to find the Comcast guy named Ian and then go buy him a sandwich:) He called back to report that he left Ian with a huge smile on his face. Oh that made us SUPER happy! Ah I love it!
So Friday is our weekly planning day where we spend several hours planning our appointments, lessons, etc. (for more info look at Preach My Gospel chapter 9 Using Time Wisely). Well that is also the day transfer letters come. We decided to spend a longer time planning and get all our records up to date and clean up some of the stuff the Elders had left that hadn't been done. So we did and got pretty organized so we could even be doubled out if that was what the Lord wanted. Well we really felt Sister Major was leaving and I was training. But we went to the mailbox and...... EMPTY! WE HAVE ANOTHER TRANSFER TOGETHER HERE! Why the thoughts that didn't come true! Our idea (though probably not right) is that that is what would have happened if we hadn't been praying since we arrived for 6 baptisms before either of us left. Well we have more time granted for our faith to work. So we will see. But oh we are SUPER excited!
We got another surprise! The 1st ward sisters are moving in with us! The Thomas's are kind of unhappy that all of a sudden all the missionaries are out of their house for no reason. But ya. We've been trying to clean out the office room in our apartment for them. We never did get to that room when we moved in. But the Gilberts called us and we arranged for a bunk bed and have it clean and ready for them to move in.
Another cool thing. The first ward sisters hooked us up with this kid who came to their ward last sunday who is actually in Deer Island (so our area). Well we called him and he WALKED from Deer Island to church and back! I don't even know how far that is. Maybe 17 miles? I don't know. Anyway he is a recent convert of about a year. He is 22 and super stellar. He's fallen out of the habit of church and so we are going to start working with him and teaching him the new member lessons. And hopefully kick him out the door on a mission! I think he should totally go! I love missions! they are the best! His name is Launi  by the way. The one thing was... we brought our favorite sister Emily Ferrin who has been home from her mission for about 5 months. Well... then they went on a date that night... then they sat by each other at church. Man! My friend in Russian just wrote about doing the same thing and warned about that well... We won't make that mistake again hopefully! :)
It's funny. I hit my 6 months mark tomorrow. Let's see. 6 months ago I was.. packing? Wow Mom no wonder you were so stressed. Maybe I should have packed earlier :)
Well I love you all so much and I am glad that you had a good week! I love you so much! You guys are seriously the best! Well I love you!
Sister Kaitlyn Beard

I think we will take this "no trespassing" sign seriously...

Our wonderful little reading group. Sister Major, Don Jr., James, Don Sr., Me.

We like to play music!

Volunteering at the fair. Us and President Thomas, and his sweet Hawaiian friend.

We volunteered at the fair and Sister Major was SUPER happy. Except she was sad because they have steers and there were only 5 there. Sad day!

Sister Major cooking!

We went to a dinosaur museum in Portland last p-day

Us with the Thomas. President Thomas thought it would be fun to have a picture of us in our picture... haha! :) "Be happy" as he would say.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Week 25: Joining the Ranks of the Falsely Accused

Dearest Family,
Wow are you ready for this week?
So P-day last week we had a great day playing tennis with the Elders. Dad you should be glad to know that two things I have learned to love are bike riding and tennis. So when I get home I will do those any time with you!
We got a blessing on Tuesday from the Elders. Sister Major and I were really impressed with the Elders. They dropped everything to give us a blessing. To them, their priesthood responsibilities are more important than ANYTHING else. We are so grateful and we really admire that.
We have been teaching the Ceja family (yes, eyebrow in Spanish) At first it was just JoAnn and then when we helped them move Alberto started sitting in. And then Eddie tracked us down to ask to talk to us! We are really excited about being able to teach them and see them start progressing. Although JoAnn said this week she would be at church even if she had to tie Alberto to the truck and drag him there... well they say that every week and they still didn't come. Well whatever. We'll try this again.
I played in church this week! Played Come Come Ye Saints. There was an ensemble group who sang with me and Sister Sumsion played piano. It was fun. By the way Sister Nielsen played the violin and researched how to help me and so after playing in church I spent some time during lunch icing my violin (which I had never thought of) and now it's all fixed and everything is good! So yay!
We have a new family we are teaching. They moved into a house owned by someone in the ward. We helped them move out then last week had the thought to go visit the new owners. Best idea ever! They are super looking to learn about religion. Their 6 year old daughter asks them a bagillion questions about religion that has sent them searching. They call her their angel. When we are there we feel SUPER excited! I think it's us and maybe some angels we are feeling there as well. But ya I will keep you updated.
Well so here's a interesting thing to note. We went tracting on Wednesday morning. (not unusual. Just remember that).
So Thursday morning we got a call from the District Leader that someone was accusing the sister missionaries of the robberies in town because they were being more pushy than past missionaries. Well we didn't know if that was us or the 1st ward. So we went about our day thinking that was super dumb. We went and helped the 1st ward sisters help this guy clean his HUGE pond! (that made me sore for several days). Well when we were finishing up lunch before going out tracting again we got a call from the District Leader that it was us and he named the street we had tracted the day earlier. Well that threw us off. We didn't know really what was going on. If the police were saying that or if it was just someone etc. We spent some time thinking about it and decided the worst thing that could happen was being thrust into prison and there's been plenty of missionaries and apostles who have been thrust into prison so that's not so bad.
We kept going about our day and then at night we got a call again. Things were just escalating! The District Leaders told us not to tract for the next while. So we were like okay what are we suppose to do all day? Well we called President Taylor and he said it's fine to tract and so ya this isn't as bad as we thought.
Anyway when we actually found the primary source it is just silly. It's some post on facebook on a page called "concerned citizens of Columbia county" oh dear! Concerned citizens! My goodness! Well anyway the post wasn't accusing at all. Just said we were the only unusual thing in the neighborhood at the time. Well everyone reading and commenting kind of took that on a hay day and so that's where we are getting some influenced public  opinion.
We thought we were through with all this but yesterday we heard it's all over that we are imposters. Well.... I guess we are not through with this after all. Well anyway we are safe to say that we have joined the ranks of the falsely accused. And let me tell you. It's something that is a very unique experience. But I don't have time to write all of the details.
The MMTC is still going well. Last night we taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In lesson 3 in Preach My Gospel.
Sister Major and I have been studying Jesus the Christ and I really recommend that you all read chapter 11 this week. It talks about how Jesus invited people to "come and see". It talks about miracles and how people sometimes take miracles for granted because science can explain them. But that doesn't mean anything! Miracles are still miracles whether they are explainable by science or not!
Well I love you all so much! We are teaching a lot and have a lot more people willing to help us than at first! It's great! And we are having some nice warm weather too! It's suppose to be in the 90s-100s this week! Well we will try and stay out of trouble this week though it seems pretty hard to avoid falsely accused trouble! Ah well! I love you! Glad you had so much fun at the cabin. I love the cabin! And I love you! You are the greatest family ever. I was just thinking how you are so wonderful and I am so glad that you are ALL my family. I love family! It's the best! and it can last forever! I love you so much!
Sister Kaitlyn Beard

thanks for your package Aubrey!

Cute Sister Filippazzo! Actually she is Sister Danks now.

This is Grandma Ferrill. That's what she told us her name was when we first met her and so it has stuck!

I don't know if you can tell how dirty we are but this is after cleaning that pond!

Here's a picture of the pond and the Sister Morrill and Lammi in the pond.

Sister Major as a biker!

Me as a biker:)

Haha! Us as bikers.

Some of the Portland to Coast bikers from the HuGE race this weekend! And it was SUPER hot!

We made dinner for Sister Baxter Saturday! We didn't have dinner and figured she probably didn't either and she does so much for us!

Icing my violin! It felt like it was my baby:)

Week 24: Happy 4th

Dearest Family,
Happy 4th of July! I had a great one... kind of but I hope yours was awesome!
First off some business matters. Mail is being weird and I am getting letters from a month ago so whatever you send may be a while in the coming. Just so you know! Then second off did you all ever find the thingy for June? I haven't heard about it! I hope you did cause I am still anxiously awaiting your response. Anyway for this month I hid your present in the dress up closet on the top left side.
So the mission party was the best last week! I think I kind of already wrote about it from last Monday. But ya seriously it was the best and so fun to see everyone! We had a tennis tournament... and we got out first round ah well! Lost to my MTC companion Sister Campbell and her companion Sister Pope.
This week has been like the most stressful week ever! I can't even tell you! When we reported our numbers last night I had to sit for a second and think why they were lower than usual. Well this week we have had to put in a significant amount of effort into getting Don Warde's baptism set up. We had no ward help or support. Everyone was leaving town in the bishopric and Brother Sumsion the Ward Mission leader was gone too. Finally on Wednesday we decided just to solidify the plans and move forward without the bishop's approval and hopefully get it later. So we did and then things started falling together. But it was stressful up to the last moment! We had someone make programs for us and we got them right before the baptism and they had put his name as Ronald! Ah! Oh man it was seriously so crazy! But it's all good because it happened. Sweet Don told us "I've been worried you were going to call it off!" Ya sadly we were pretty worried too. But we did all we could and it was enough some how.
This week we have taught quite a few lessons where after we teach a principle we end up just stopping and having a 'do you really want us here' discussion. So we will probably be loosing quite a few people this next week. We gave 3 people a week to think about it so we will see.
We finally had a hot day this week! It's been so cloudy we finally had a day that was 99 and felt like July!
We had a lot of time where we had to tract this week. Including on the 4th of July which just to tell you. People aren't very nice on the 4th of July. After a couple hours of being out on the street we were so discouraged that we ended up just abandoning those plans and visiting some less active sisters that we knew would boost our spirits. We stayed out normal time that day and we knew were to go so by the end of the night we were good!
We got to go out to see the fireworks! I was so excited! We went with the first ward sisters. Everyone goes down town and watches the fireworks over the river. It's a small town. I love it! Well there were a bagillion cars and Sister Lammi pulls into this space with like 30 cars then realizes she can't stay there. But had pulled in and couldn't get out. Even though we have to back our driver. We ended up having like 3 people who were in the area help back and forward her out of that! Then those sweet people found us a parking spot that was easy to park in:) The fireworks were AWESOME! We were up on this hill looking over the Columbia river. We could see dozens of firework shows all up and down the river and back and over the hills. It was super cool. Then they shot the city show from an island in the middle of the river. Some people were out on their boats and it looked like Tangled with all the lights of the river! Sister Major had a little admirer while we were out there for fireworks:) This little 2 year old boy kept scooting closer and closer to her. Us and his family were laugh and laughing.
Sue is a member who has been inactive forever! Pam Howe told us that she was a member (we often counsel with Pam Howe). Throughout this time we've talked with her. Then one day in an emergency we ran and got her and asked her to come with us to our weekly Book of Mormon reading with the Warde's (Don, Donald Jr., James) (we need another woman). Well she started coming every week. Then she started coming to church. Now she is coming to every appointment in her apartment complex (which is on fire because of the people there). We gave her a Preach My Gospel last week and she is almost half way through with it. There is a light in her eyes. A light in her face! I can't tell you what it's like to see someone change! I could tell you this story a hundred times and maybe I will but some of these stories are amazing. What's the light? It's a light that comes when we know who we are and when we know our Savior Jesus Christ and that he can make us better than we can be ourselves. Perhaps it doesn't make sense. But it is what it is. It's the truth and I cannot deny it. A belief in God changes people. It makes the bad people good and the good people better. And it's the only way that change can be everlasting.
We had an idea the other day to visit the people who moved into the house of a family we helped move out. Oh was it a good idea! There is a couple there Lindsay and Todd Church and their kids Madeline and Vivian. Madeline asks a ton of religions questions. Neither of them have been religious growing up and they are doing their best to try and find the answers for their daughter. We came at a perfect time and found them searching. They are ready to be involved and love to talk to the preacher before they go to church. Perfect! That could be us. Well anyway we are super stoked about them!
So we are at Don's baptism and stressing out running around and in walks Don's sons Donald and James (who set the example for Don and got him looking into the church!) And also his neighbor Dina! We've talked with Dina around and she was really not interested. Then she was more interested, then she comes to Don's baptism! Now she loves us and apparently called Don early EARLY Sunday morning to say that she loves us and whatever. But she works Sundays but said she will see what she can do about that so she can start this church thing. I seriously can't believe she came! It was a blessing for us because we were super stressed and haven't had a lot of support or success. Well I can't believe she came! I am just stoked! She is seriously the best. We will see when we can see her again.
So Sunday was our 4th of July Celebration! Man that was another thing that was pretty stressful this week. Well anyway. No one we invited came and no one else invited anyone who came. But we've spent all week trying to get members to come so we ended up getting a pretty big turn out. I'm seeing that there isn't a lot of confidence in this ward with being in front of crowds, and its taking quite a lot of personal invitations and commitments from us to get people there. But whatever. It's a growing experience. The program was awesome. It was actually super awful starting and I put my head down I was super embarrassed. But it ended up good. Effort counts right? You have to start somewhere. Anyway we had a couple veterans speak and a bunch of music. I played the violin with Brother Hayes as he say Tell My Father. And then I played a violin solo of Danny Boy. Marie Waite accompanied me. She's super good! Anyway that was super fun! We tried to plan a choir number but it ended up that only 6 people came so that became an ensemble. All together it was great.
Sister Major and I have been counseling together. We've decided that tracting here is not effective. It's a small town. We aren't getting anywhere these days. So we are going to try and go through the members. We've got a couple families committed to have us someone to teach by a certain day. Then we have a couple people that live near someone we are teaching that we are telling them to go and make friends with their neighbor. We already found them and know they are interested. That should be easy enough right? Hopefully. We are going to start tracting around members homes, then turning someone over to the members and then having them turn them over to us with their help. Hopefully this hands on training will help us boost their confidence and commitment.
Ever since Sister Lierley passed away I have made sure that I take every opportunity presented to share my testimony. In every district meeting, in every zone meeting, in every fast and testimony meeting. Life is too short to wait. The more we share the more understand. It's so important to just do it. No excuse or exceptions. I've found it's easier to share your testimony whether in a meeting or in a personal conversation if you know you are going to do it EVERY time. Not just if you feel like it.
We've been reading in Jesus The Christ this week. And it really stood out to me that people look for factual evidence. We run into a lot of people say there are facts for the bible or there are facts of no god or whatever. No facts for our message though. Sorry they don't want to listen unless their are facts. Well apparently there were no facts for the star that came when Jesus was born. No facts to know exactly when he was born. No facts blah blah blah. I love in the Book of Mormon where it says that the fact that the world is here and is in it's perfect rotation. That is fact enough. People believe all sorts of written accounts of things having fact or no fact. Yet they don't take any written account as fact. The bible was written by prophets okay? The Book of Mormon is an account of the people in the Americas and how God dealt with them okay? Are not these records fact enough? And isn't the fact that God has promised an answer to any earnest seeker fact enough? Feelings are more fact than actual objects. Records, words, people, actions. These are things that go with us when we leave this world. When all worldly facts are gone then we will only have the things that most people deny to guide us in our search for truth. God's facts are ETERNAL. Mans facts are earthly. We need to be careful what we count as fact. And always recognize that we don't know everything. And there will never be a time while we are here when we know enough to stop learning or listening.
Well anyway. Things are going great. We are enjoying learning and growing and studying and such. Transfers are coming up in a couple weeks and we are pretty sure we will be having some sort of change! Super sad! But we will just enjoy every minute left the best that we can!
My violin is having some issues. I can't move any of the tuning pegs. They are like jam packed into their! My a string is stripping and I have an extra but if I can't move the peg I don't know what I am going to do! I don't know if you can ask someone for advice or google something. I would love some help with that!
I love you all so much! I hope that you are enjoying the summer! I love getting your emails and letters! Thank you so much for the letters! I am so grateful! I will try and be better about writing you back!
I love you all so much! You are the most amazing family!
Sister Kaitlyn Beard

Us and Donna Baxter. Who loves to tell us that she is Donna Baxter Baxter. And married a Baxter

Us with Leland Beardslee

Our district at lunch (they love to eat out for lunch.)

Me, Pam Howe, Emma Jean McCarter, Sue Hansen. After our lesson with Emma Jean

Our fourth of July lunch:)

Driving to fireworks!

Sister Lammi, Morrill, Major, me going to fireworks.

Don's baptism! Brother Weitzel baptized him

Fred from Vancouver drove the Elders that first taught Don to the baptism and brought his usual bucket of Voodoo donuts! And then ditched them with us! So we gave them to the Elders here:) They were sure anxious to get them! They even planned their fast around them!

The beautiful farm lands!

Us with Sister Cottrell who helped us plan the 4th activity