I love you.
We've had a good week here in St. Helens!
This week someone in the ward told us they would like to buyclothes for Don, Don Jr, and James Ward! We got their sizes and the next day got to deliver. That was a precious moment! They were so excited! After our lesson we were still in the neighborhood and James came down from his apartment in his new clothes! He was so excited! None of them know how to tie ties... and sadly we didn't either so James had his boss at work tie their ties for them and then just never untie them. But someone will be teaching them soon. The bishop is excited to have someone teach them! It's so fun! And then we got to see Don Sr. and James at church in their new shirt, black pants, and tie! It was just so fun! I told them I want to take a picture once Don Jr. can come too. I just love to see them so happy!
This week we got to have a musical exchange with a sweet lady Fran Pickering. She majored in violin performance and has played her whole life! She's 85 now and such a sweet lady! We are all a little rusty as Sister Major and I haven't really been able to practice much as missionaries and Fran has bad arthritis and can't play very much any more. But it was so fun! And we are going to go back everywhile we are here. She's very strong in her faith of Jesus Christ and it is wonderful getting to talk to her. It's always makes me sad when people turn us away because we all learn from each other and when they turn us away we can't do that. And so I am so grateful that we have this shared love of music that is allowing us to be friends and interact in such a wonderful and unique way!
We visited sweet Leland Beardslee and he made us laugh in his prayer this week when he said "thanks for sending the little mormon girls to peck at me again."
We had a great day at church yesterday! Tim, Brittney, and Sam Scott came! As well as Silvia (who was coming on 4 hours of sleep). Which kind of leads me into the main thing I've been thinking about this week. I've been thinking a lot about being an example and being an ACTIVE example. Both Silvia and the Scott family have been influenced by an active example. The Scott family is really good friends with the Cupp family from the 1st ward. Arisa talks to Kim all the time about their faith. Kim always tells us how if Arisa was making such and such meal it would be perfect or whatever. She thinks Arisa is a great 'mormon' lady:). When we showed up she joked that Arisa must have sent us. And now Kim invites Arisa whenever we are coming over for lessons. It's amazing how much different it is when someone you are teaching has been influenced by a friend. Silvia Cooper made a friend with a lady and her son in a shelter she was working in years ago. The lady and her son ended up joining the church because of the influence of their adopted grandparents (a sweet couple that took them under their wing and now they have the name 'grandma' and 'grandpa' with the son) well they have been talking to Silvia a lot about the church. Actually they told her she needed to join the church so she could find another husband. And well she doesn't want another husband so she doesn't want to look into that! And when we showed up at her door she thought they had sent us. Well no. As usual it's the Lord who sends us. Well this week the son- Louise was visiting Silvia. He is 12 and he helped us to teach the lesson! It was so fun!
Could these people be listening to us without the influence of their friends? Of course. But I can tell you it makes all the difference! And I think I've heard many of these stories and thought 'oh ya just do what is right and be an example' but I don't think that's how it is. Doing what is right is a good thing and a good example. But when Christ tells us to be an example of the believers I don't think passive obedience is what he is talking about. I think he's talking about being actively engaged in being an example. Actively talking about what we believe. Actively bringing it up. Actively sharing how what we understand can bless other people! I think the work of the Lord is moving forward and it's not passive. It's active. If we REALLY want to be a part! Not just a tourist in the Lords kingdom but a member of his kingdom, then we need to be an active example.
The more that I read Jesus the Christ the more that I realize how the way people respond and the way the Lord's work is going right now is the same as in the past. Jesus Christ really did set the perfect example. When we really study and listen we will find more and more evidence that Jesus is the Christ. Those who do not know the truth of this have ceased their search. And we all know that no treasure is ever found when sleeping but when actively searching. Even the pirates knew that! They pirated for their whole lives! We have to be searching for the riches of heaven our WHOLE lives in order find this reward. The Kingdom of God is not necessarily a destination of a travel but is more a way we become. When we BECOME someone worthy of the Kingdom of God we will be able to go there. There's no checklist on what we have to learn, but there is a measurement of what we have to become. Is it a wonder that the most choice people in God's kingdom- like the prophets and Jesus Christ himself- had to pass through a furnace of affliction? No it is a refiners fire. We are becoming someone. And becoming someone worth while was never easy. And no one ever said it was going to be. It's always out of your comfort zone, doing the things the Lord sees fit for you to do. And it's all about learning to trust in the Lord.
There is a new area book app update coming! I know it's a silly think you have no idea what's in the current or the updated but I will just say it's going to be awesome and fix a lot of things! We've been looking forward to this as a mission for quite a while and are super stoked!
I'll tell one more funny story. So we are encountering a lot of reincarnation ideas out here in the country area! Well the Scappoose Elders told us the best one I've heard yet! They said they met a guy who is reading the Book of Mormon and LOVES it! But... he believes in reincarnation! He said he is King Benjamin! How does he know this? Because his name is Ben and if he was in that situation he would have done the same thing so therefore the Elders just met King Benjamin! Haha! Well that's a good story I think! I do love all the crazy stories! Though they usually sound funnier from the Elders... they seem to meet the weird people.
Well I am doing good. I am really enjoying the sunshine! Sister Major and I are loving running in the mornings! We are working with a lot of people and staying busy and always trying to do better. I love you so much family! I hope that you have such a good week. It's crazy school is coming up so soon! I can't believe summer is so short! But then again time is weird as a missionary. Well I love you so much!
Sister Kaitlyn Beard
|Brother Powell and Brother and Sister Nielsen|
|Fran Pickering! We had a musical exchange!|
|The Cluff family with their exchange students!|
|A sweet lady Susan gave us each a round carrot from her garden yesterday when we were out tracting!|