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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, July 15, 2014

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

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