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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

Monday, October 27, 2014

Week 40: Approaching my hump day.....

Dearest Family,
This week I am passing my 1/2 way mark on the 29th. Wow it is crazy how time flies. I definitely don't feel like I am really 1/2 way. It feels like I just came out. I am really grateful to be serving here in the Washington Vancouver Mission. As Elder Tauteoli says "Many are called but few are chosen to serve in the Washington Vancouver Mission." :) It's definitely a great blessing to be here. 
We are definitely really setting into the rainy season here. We've had some blistery rainy days this week. 
We are definitely well taken care of in Happy Valley! The ward members feed us really well! We get a lot of dinner and dessert and frozen meals. So we are staying pretty spoiled! It is kind of funny because whenever we are on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders we always seem to get even more food than usual. We were on exchanges and I was in Happy Valley with Sister Ivins and we got delicious food and 1/4 pan of pumpkin bread each! Pretty much we are extremely spoiled here in Happy Valley! 
I was thinking how I think a mission shapes what your food likes are for the rest of your life! Like Dad will eat anything. This kid from St. Helens served his mission in a rich part of California and now only likes the most delicate steaks done a certain way. Ya.... Hmmm... I think I'm liking more high quality home cooked meals these days....
So this week was... kind of interesting. Almost all of our appointments canceled which I guess is just bound to happen at the same time... So we spent a lot of time just mozying around knocking doors. I think the most historic day was on Wednesday. (my 9 month mark) we were walking all day to save miles (we have limited miles in the car and we use a lot more since we moved) and we were knocking all afternoon and maybe MAYBE talked to 10 people! Nobody was home! It was pouring rain and an empty neighborhood. It was crazy!
Sunday was the best day. We have been praying really hard for Jeanie, Sam, and Tonya. We really feel like they are progressing really well and have so much potential in the gospel! Well by Sunday we had it lined up to have all of them at church! We were super excited. Of course church starts and none of them are there and we were really sad. Right off the start we see Tonya's ride walk in alone and then Tonya texts us that no one showed up. I guess she got lost. Anyway we were really disappointed and sad. But a little into the meeting Jeanie showed up! Then when we got up to sing we saw Sam and his kiddos and Phillipo in the back! Ah! Ya that was the best!
OOH ya. So on last Sunday Sister Saunders called us and said "Hey you told me you could help me with anything!" And so she asked us to sing in church. :) So we sang Learn of Me by Janice Kapp Perry. So we told all of the people we are working with and teaching that we were singing. So Jeanie came to support us. It was really cool because we were singing and about the beginning of the second verse I felt that angels had joined us in singing. We were singing a lot smoother and clearer and louder. Later Sister Stone and I talked about it and we'd both felt the same thing at the same time. That was really cool. 
Exchanges this week were super fun! Sister Ivins is hilarious and also an amazing missionary. We do a lot of crazy weird things when we are companions for the day. Which lucky me has happened 3 times! Haha so we spent the first night in the apartment doing headstands and wrestling! It was great. We laughed pretty hard that day. I also learned a lot from her. She is an amazing teacher and very bold.

On exchanges we saw Tonya. She told us of a dream she had had. She said someone came and told her a scripture. She doesn't know the scriptures very well and assures us she didn't know there was an Isaiah. But she woke up and looked it up and found it was a real scripture. It talked about peace and strength and that is what she needs right now! It's kind of weird because a lot of people have been telling us about how they have been having dreams. I feel like Joseph in Egypt who had to interpret all these dreams. All these people are telling us their dreams. I need to start praying to be guided so I can help all these people understand their dreams! It's funny because it has got me thinking how many scripture people have had dreams. Like Lehi, Nephi, pretty much all the prophets tell about dreams they had that taught them what they then teach the next day. It's kind of crazy!
This week I have been thinking a lot about the resurrection. It has become apparent to me that if God didn't have a body and if us getting a body wasn't central to his plan than there really would be no point in being here. There would have been no point in Jesus Christ atoning for our sins either. If we didn't get a body and so get to return to God's presence, sinning in a body and then being stuck in a spirit would have completely condemned us. There would be no way we could return to God's presence ever. We HAVE to be able to be resurrected for us to return to God's presence to be judged. It makes it so apparent that so many people in the world are like completely missing the whole purpose of life. Which is just crazy. So many people don't understand who God is and so they really don't understand the purpose of anything. One of my favorite talks on this subject was from last conference called something like The Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It's an amazing talk. We've been trying to help our dear friend Jeanie learn who God is by first understanding that God has a body. Which speaking of Jeanie! Jeanie loves to ask people who they see God is. She is coming from a Buddhist background and has always struggled with that. I would love it if anyone and everyone would respond to this email and give me something I can share with Jeanie of who God is.
So Personal Progress is moving on amazingly! One of the experiences we are working on is in the faith value and we are focusing on the sacrament. At church this Sunday I really tried to focus on the sacrament and make it a renewing and rejuvenating experience. By the end when they were finishing up I felt the same sadness I feel when I have to leave the temple. It had really been a small part of the temple for me. It was a sacred and renewing experience. I hope that I can continue to learn to see the sacrament in the same light as this last Sunday. Because that truly was an amazing experience!
Also we were studying about the Atonement. It's amazing how much Jesus Christ has done for us! For me! I don't think I will ever fully understand what he has actually done for me. I loved reading Romans 5 and D&C 19 especially. Romans talks about how a righteous man would have a hard time sacrificing his life for a good man, yet Jesus sacrificed himself for sinners. What love he has! And D&C 19 talks about how hard it was for Jesus to go through what he went through. You never really think about that. Aubrey was writing me saying how that is the only place you read how hard that was for him to go through and it is so true! It is amazing what he has gone through for each of us.
I love personal progress! It really is more than just a checklist! It's something we can do again and that we can and should make part of our lives. It is teaching me how to study and how to have faith and how to live and more fully love my Savior!
Well a crazy Portland story. (Yes there are weirdos here). We were driving the other day and there was this guy pulled over on a busy road who was up on the top of his car dancing and jumping around with small balloons tied to his shoes. Oh the poor people of this world really need some help sometimes. Portland really is a weird place sometimes.
Well we are really having just a wonderful time here in Happy Valley! I love being with Sister Stone! She is becoming an awesome runner by the way. We are seeing miracles and we are going to become baptizing missionaries! I love being able to serve the Lord and to have the sacred experience of seeing people change and come closer to Christ. There is nothing like it. Everyone should serve missions!
I love you all! I hope you have a good and really safe and wonderful week!
Sister Kaitlyn Beard
P.S. I don't know if you got a chance to read this on lds.org but there was a super awesome article on happy people. I thought I'd just include the....
"Ten things that supremely happy people do:
1.       Happy people surround themselves with other happy people. Joy is contagious. People are four times more likely to be happy in the future with happy people around them.
2.       Happy people try to be happy. When happy people don’t feel happy, they cultivate a happy thought and smile about it.
3.       Happy people spend money more on others than they spend on themselves. Givers experience what scientists call the “helper’s high.”
4.       Happy people have deep in-person conversations. Sitting down to talk about what makes a person tick is a good practice for feeling good about life.
5.       Happy people use laughter as a medicine. A good old-fashioned chuckle releases lots of good neurotransmitters. A study showed that children on average laugh 300 times a day versus adults who laugh 15 times a day.
6.       Happy people use the power of music. Researchers found that music can match the anxiety-reducing effects of massage therapy.
7.       Happy people exercise and eat a healthful diet. Eating a poor diet can contribute to depression.
8.       Happy people take the time to unplug and go outside. Uninterrupted screen time brings on depression and anxiety.
9.       Happy people get enough sleep. When people run low on sleep, they are prone to feel a lack of clarity, bad moods, and poor judgment.
10.   Happy people are spiritual."

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