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, November 24, 2014

Week 44: Leaving Portland!

Dearest Family,
Happy Birthday Aubrey and Kelsey! I hope that you both had a very wonderful  birthday. I have been thinking about you and singing happy birthday to you all weekend!
Well we got transfer letters this week. I can't believe it is already transfers! Anyway I am leaving. I am going to the Nehalem ward in the Vancouver North stake. So back to the Washington side! I've spent 7 months in Oregon! I guess it is about time to return. My new companion will be Sister LeDoux. Sister Stone is staying in Happy Valley and getting Sister Maughan who is awesome. I am excited for all the miracles they are going to continue seeing because there sure have been more miracles in Happy Valley than I have ever experienced elsewhere. I've heard some rumors about transfers that are making me excited! For one thing they say it is probably a walking area! AND best of all! Guess who just got newly called to be an STL in my new zone????? SISTER MAJOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so excited I can't even say! It sounds too good to be true so I am waiting for the catch. But it should be good entering a new area right before Thanksgiving! At least we aren't doubling in (which I thought we were until last night)
Tonya is totally on track for baptism! So this upcoming Saturday is beginning to fall into place! The ward is really excited! We have only had one other baptism this year in this ward and now we have two families and quite a few others coming to church and on track for baptism. It's seriously miraculous how much this area has changed in this last transfer. It's been a miraculous change there's no other way to explain or describe it. 
Tonya came with us to a baptism this weekend. She is ready and excited for her baptism! The ward is SO excited! They announced it in every meeting on Sunday and even passed around a sign up sheet for dessert for after the baptism. Brother Child is taking care of everything including filling up the font. This baptism is going to be WAY easier than the one in St. Helens where we had to work so hard that week to actually make it happen and to just find someone in the Priesthood who could come and preside! It messed up everything else we did that week. Where as here we don't have to do anything really. It's wonderful!
Tonya also told us that her parents (who are in Texas for the month) called her and asked her all these questions about church. When she asked them why they said they were going to go yesterday. And apparently they did! Ah! Wow! Miracles from them coming to Great to Be 8 with us! This is seriously SO exciting! And all the boys are on date for baptism on February 7 so it will be amazing to see how this family comes into the gospel! It's already been so amazing!
Tonya told us that usually she would shut the door in the missionaries faces. But on the night the sisters came by it was really late at night like 8:45. They knocked and she was asleep on the couch so she rolls off and answers the door half asleep and is thrown off by one of the sisters HUGE smile! (Which we think must have been Sister Duff). Wow! The Lord does miracles to be sure! They had to have been guided by the Lord or why else would they be tracting in a sketchy trailer park at 8:45 at night in January? I love it!
We visit a very sweet lady named Dolores. She just loves the missionaries! She really does have such a big heart and serves a lot. Anyway she told me to tell you Mom and Dad that you have done a really good job (with me):) So thanks Mom and Dad! That's not the first time people have said great things about you either! People say all the time that you should be proud. And I just smile and think 'ya I have the best parents ever!' So pretty much I love you a lot! 
We had a really good lesson with Sam this week and his kids. The kids just soak everything in. Sister Gage and Zach (who is 10) came with us. It added an interesting element to the lesson because the kids brought up some weird things but ah well! The kids love church and love reading! The Gages were wonderful and were willing to give them their Book of Mormon reader so Sams kids can have scriptures to read. They've pretty much memorized their Bible stories book so it will be fun to see how they like the Book of Mormon stories. 
Jeanie is doing pretty good. She's really sick and may or may not have surgery this week. We caught her again for a visit this week. It's still really hard for her to understand God though we are realizing she doesn't fully understand Jesus Christ either. She is very sincere and has many questions and is so open to learning. I really love Jeanie! 
We gave Amber a church tour this week and it was really powerful. The spirit was super strong in the chapel. Actually the spirit is always strong in the chapel. So it is a perfect place to end a church tour. 
We are starting to teach a sweet sister named Kathy. She has family who are members of the church. She's had quite a tragic background and so about a year ago she just wanted to go home. Well her parents have already passed on so she had no home to go to. Her sister-in-law directed her to church. She went to many churches- she describes going to one of the most popular churches in the area and watching them put on the same 'show' all three service times available. She said that wasn't home for her. Finally she came to church in the Happy Valley ward and she says it really feels like home. I really just love that. Church really is my home on a mission! It was kind of funny the next day Sister Stone and I were eating lunch at the church and then I fell asleep sitting there and dreamt that I was at home all the church noises and feels just felt and sounded like home and I woke up thinking 'wow Kathy has a point! The church really is like home!' 
This week was rough at parts and so on Thursday Sister Stone and I got blessings. It was probably the most amazing blessing I have ever received. It talked about my potential and worth. At the end of the blessing it was said that this blessing was a gift to me to remind me of my divine worth. I truly felt such love and every time I think about it I feel such amazing love.
Well we have had a wonderful week and it is amazing to see all the miracles that we have seen. Surprisingly, even amidst all these miracles, I feel ready to leave. I can't even tell you how nice it is to not be getting emergency transferred. I actually feel like I am called to go somewhere else instead of being taken out and thrown into another area. I already feel so much better about this transfer I can't even tell you.
I will miss the rolling hills of Portland as I move to the flat lands of Vancouver but hey it will be great! I am so glad to be in a walking area for the winter! Can't wait.
Well I hope that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving and a wonderful day picking up Laurann! I really love you all so much! I can't believe it is that time already. I am so grateful for the wonderful family I have. I am so blessed. And I am so blessed to be so supported by you. I love you all so much! Have a wonderful and safe week.
Sister Kaitlyn Beard
I love the promise that Preach My Gospel gives about following the prophet. "Those who listen to and follow the counsel of living prophets and apostles will not go astray. The teachings of living prophets provide an anchor of eternal truth in a world of shifting values and help us avoid misery and sorrow. The confusion and strife of the world will not overwhelm us, and we can enjoy the assurance of being in harmony with God’s will." (Lesson 4: The Commandments http://www.lds.org/manual/preach-my-gospel-a-guide-to-missionary-service/what-do-i-study-and-teach/lesson-4-the-commandments?lang=eng) The world is surely a place of shifting values and the prophet truly does give us the anchor of eternal truth. 

hiding in our closet:)

Lost with the Elders coming home last week

Weekly planning by the Christmas tree at the church!

random driving photo:)


Monday, November 17, 2014

Week 43: The happiest birthdays to you two little sisters!

Dearest Family,

I hope that you all are doing well and having a happy Monday!

By the way THANKS for the blog posts! They are amazing! I love them! (beard-ourfamily.blogspot.com)

We've had a really cold week here in Portland! The beginning of the week had freezing billowing blistering wind that we could hardly concentrate in when we were outside! And then on Thursday we had freezing rain! (Yes there is such a thing where literally freezes into ice as it falls) They canceled school here for the weather which honestly is just embarrassing! They don't ever seem to go to school here especially in the winter! Anyway enough of that. We took advantage of the cold weather and had a new sense of urgency to get inside peoples houses to talk:)

This week we got the great opportunity to volunteer at the Bishops Storehouse. Which just happens to be in our area! I guess the next closest place is in Eugene. Lucky us! And who should be there besides the La Flams from Oakhurst!!!!!!!!! That was super fun. I never thought I'd be able to go and work alongside them. 

I've realized that a lot of people that we are teaching who aren't really progressing rapidly are meeting with us for the main purpose of company and along the way learning things. It makes me really sad how many lonely people there are in the world. We need to go out and rescue the lost battalions of the lonely as President Monson said! 

So I was asked to play the violin in zone meeting so for practice I went and played for Sister Clayton and for Jeanie. Sister Clayton has MS and hasn't been able to come to church in a long while. She is so great. When we called to ask if it was okay if we came over she was SO excited! That makes me excited and happy! Later she called in and requested another song for next week! Jeanie loved it as well! Music is super powerful. It softens hard hearts. It opens soft hearts even more. It brings a spirit into lessons and into people's hearts that you can work forever to try and bring and never be able to do it. I love music. I am so grateful that God has blessed me with this wonderful ability to play the violin. I am forever grateful to all those who have sacrificed to teach me and to provide that teaching. 

So on Thursday we had zone meeting and then President and Sister Thomas took us and the 4 Mt Scott sisters out to eat! (Sister Johnson-who was in St. Helens 1st when I was there- is now in Mt. Scott and they all come as a package deal for activities). Oh man! I sure do love President and Sister Thomas! I definitely miss being with them a ton! I asked them how long I'd be able to come back and visit and stay with them. President said "3 days. Unless you've lived with us then you can stay 4." Oh man! Only 4! Ah well. 

We had an amazing lesson with Sam this week. We got his three oldest kids to stay for the lesson. They are 9,8, and 6. They are really good kids! It's nice because there isn't as much of a language barrier with them. They asked us 1000 questions. I had to keep thinking to myself "don't take the bait don't take the bait!" As in don't answer every single question and let the conversation just bouncy ball. Just stay on one topic. Anyway we are really excited for them!

Tonya has been sick this week but we were able to finally meet with her on Saturday. We taught the law of tithing and the law of the fast. Tithing is going to be a struggle for her, but we definitely know that the Lord blesses those who keep the law of tithing. She is still going strong and excited for her baptism onNovember 29th! We are getting super excited! She's been here ready all along just needed someone with persistence to find her a ride to church and to come back even when she forgot about appointments. 

Friday was Sister Stone's birthday!!!! And Mom we got that package for her on Friday it was perfect! You are so nice! I didn't expect that at all! I think she had a great birthday.... besides a little detour that I will tell you about later. 

So we drove up with Sunnyside and one of the Mt. Tabor Elders to Vancouver. We had an AMAZING conference. I don't know how I'm even going to start talking about what Iearned. Wow it was amazing. It was also super fun to see Sister Depew and Sister Petersen and her trainee Jill/Sister Hughes (from MV)! And also Sister Sonderegger! Best day ever! Can't wait till we can have the whole mission together for Christmas! Anyway some things I've learned. Elder Snow talked about a lot of different subjects. He spent a lot of time talking about the spirit. He said that there are really 4 phases of how we feel the spirit. Phase 1) comforter. That's really how we all first seem to feel and recognize the spirit. When we feel that physical evidence of him like warmth etc, comforting us. Phase 2) testifier. The spirit helps us to know when we are learning things that are true. Phase 3) revelator. The spirit can reveal things to us. We can feel enlightened. Just like Nephi (in 3 Nephi) in the Book of Mormon who received revelations daily. Phase 4) sactifier. When we reach that point were the spirit is with us a lot and we just want to do good continually. I really loved this. It is so true. Having the Gift of the Holy Ghost isn't just having it or whatever. There are levels of understanding the spirit according to our listening and applying. 

Also it was cool. I guess Elder Snow is the church historian. I guess you can donate your old mission journals to the church history library. I thought that was kind of interesting and cool. So Sister Snow talked a lot about keeping a journal and records and she also talked about music and how powerful it is (love it!). It was an amazing conference. 

Well our little detour just happened when we started driving home with the Elders and the GPS got lost (as usual- it likes to pretend we are off on some off-roading adventure) and all of a sudden we know we've gone to far and we come to some huge multi bridge place and we end up in downtown Portland. So... out of the mission. Wops. So we called the mission office and Elder Gilbert tried to help us get home. We ended up just taking a huge loop around Portland to get back. It really stressed Sister Stone out. So now we have a lot less miles so we are going to have to be walking and getting rides a little more but we should be okay. Anyway so there is our little adventure!

This week we've had several heart wrenching experiences. One happened on Saturday night. We were tracting after dinner and we end up knocking at this house and this guy lets us in. He tells us he knows we disagree on some things. And he goes on and on about how Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are all one person. Otherwise we wouldn't be a monotheistic religion. We were talking and telling him what we know to be true and at one point Sister Stone said something about Christ and he denied it and rebuked us. The spirit left like that. And let me tell you without the spirit we CANNOT teach. Not will not. But literally cannot. The spirit left and we literally had nothing to say. Is it a good thing to silence the missionaries? No. It's not. It means you've denied the spirit abode in your conversation. I walked out of that overwhelmed with a powerful witness that we, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, will be the primary witness of the reality and divinity of Jesus Christ. So many of our Christian brothers and sisters do not understand the true divinity of our Savior. It's one thing to hear him rejected by an already previously proclaimed unbeliever. It's another to hear him rejected by one who claims to be your brother in faith. As I have come to learn and understand more about our Savior, Jesus Christ, I have come to understand the reality of the apostasy in the lives of many in this world. And so I have come to realize the truth of this marvelous Restoration that I am a part of. This Church is true. This is The Church of Jesus Christ in these days! We will have to defend and proclaim our belief and faith in Jesus Christ in loud voices. And not only that. We will need to proclaim the truths we know about the reality of Jesus Christ and his true nature. This is our role as being members of His church.

So we had a great Sunday! Tonya, Sam, Phillipo, and Sam's boys came. Plus some others. It was a great church. Sam and Phillipo left after the first hour and left the boys with us. So we got to go to Primary! It's always a good day in Primary! Sam was late coming and by the end of church they were just balls of energy so they finally convinced us to play tag with them in the gym until Sam came. So hopefully Sam and Phillipo will stay next Sunday

So we had a referral for a guy supposedly named Suad. We called him and he called us back on Saturdayto meet with us but we told him we were busy but we could come on Sunday. He had a thick accent and we couldn't really understand what he was saying it sounded something like smoking. Then he calls us again on Sunday and says 'we are ready for you'. Anyway we weren't exactly sure what we were walking into so we asked our trustee friend Sister Palmer to come with us. Well it turns out that it us a 'Russian family' Which is apparently a general term and they are actually from Azerbaijan and also have Romanian in them to varying degrees. Suad is actually Fuad and smoking is actually Shmoeky or Sister Shmoekel who originally found them in the Mt. Scott area. Apparently the friend, Edmond, is a minister and had prepared all day to talk to us (we learned this later) which makes a lot of sense. At times he would just spout off some random bible fact and tell us to find it in the scriptures as though we were competing with knowledge somehow or something. He brought up the weirdest things and told us to find the scriptural references to who was the oldest man in the bible. He told us there was no rain until the flood. He said a bunch of random irrelevant facts that had nothing to do with anything. Anyway... we'll see where that goes. But eventually we were able to leave. Once again the night we are late is Sunday night when they want our numbers asap! 

So just so you know I'm a HUGE fan of the Nashville Tribute Band now a days and they just are coming out with a new tribute to Christ and Sister Palmer got an early edition that she let us borrow.... I think this is on the Christmas wish list just so you know!  You should listen to them Mom I bet you would LOVE them! 

One really cool facebook story from this week. I got a friend request a while ago from someone I don't know so I sent a little message saying I was a missionary and asking if they were members of the church or if they wanted to learn more. Well I got a message back this week in Spanish so using my small abilities and google translate I discovered that this certain young man is from Peru. He joined the church two months ago after first being taught by Hermana Sam Garner and then finished being taught by Hermana Sarah Stringham! (Sam lived next door to us fall semester and Sarah is my roommate!) How cool is that? 

Sister Kaitlyn Beard

Here's a really good poem I found in a conference talk. It's called "the oyster"
            There once was an oyster
            Whose story I’ll tell
            Who found that some sand
            Had worked under his shell.
            Just one little grain
            But it gave him a pain,
            For oysters have feelings
            That are very plain,
            Now did he berate
            This working of fate,
            That left him in such a
            Deplorable state?
            Did he curse the government,
            Call for an election,
            And say that the sea
            Should have some protection?
            No! He said to himself,
            As he sat on the shelf,
            “Since I cannot remove it,
            I think I’ll improve it.”
            Well, years passed by,
            As years always do,
            Till he came to his destiny,
            Oyster stew!
            But the small grain of sand
            That bothered him so
            Was a beautiful pearl
            All richly aglow.
            Now this tale has a moral,
            For isn’t it grand,
            What an oyster can do
            With a small grain of sand?
            And what couldn’t we do
           If we’d only begin
            With all of the things
          That get under our skin?
Nobody Said That It Would Be Easy

Lunch with President and Sister Thomas

Monday, November 10, 2014

Week 42: It's a Sunny day! and Happy in Happy Valley as always:)

Dearest Family,

I hope that you have had a good week! I love you all very much!

We were really sad to hear that the Brother and Sister Michealson are moving very soon so we don't get any more Monday night dinners with them or any lessons (Brother Michealson is a ward missionary) with them. But we are also really glad that he was able to get a job! 

So this week we determined we needed to teach Tonya the word of wisdom because she needs two weeks to be clean (from coffee, tea, tobacco, alcohol and drugs) before baptism. Well we taught her and as it turns out she only drinks tea and mostly herbal tea at that so she's totally ready to live that! We taught the law of chastity too and of course she is married and a very good mom and has no problem with that at all! Well that was easy! It really is amazing to see that the Lord really prepares people for his gospel message. Tonya has been so ready for so long and for some reason things just never fell together but they are now! It's amazing! She is so willing to meet. She is so prepared to live and do everything we ask her. Our long lessons become short and easy because she is so willing.

Tonya and her boys and her parents all came to Great to be 8 on Sunday! It was awesome! It was really good to see the support that her parents have for her. Her parents have wanted her to join a church for years and she never has. I guess whenever she has gone to church she has gone to ours even with friends when she was younger! That's kind of cool! Anyway we are really excited! She is doing really well. She is such a good mom too! Can I just say? I have never seen 3 more well behaved boys. We see a lot of families going door to door and having random encounters and teaching etc, and I haven't seen very many moms like Tonya. She is the most amazing mom! We definitely want to learn from her!

We FINALLY got in with the Beard family!!!!!!! They are really busy so plans keep not happening. So this week we got to meet with Annie and we had one of the most amazing lessons of my life! The spirit was so strong. She is totally open and prepared to hear our message! She has a friend who is a member of the church and has been an amazing example for her. One of their kids was born with a lot of problems and while she was pregnant this friend arranged for Annie to get a blessing. She felt the spirit for sure! Years later.... around 10 I think it is, she STILL remembers perfectly how she felt and it brought tears to her eyes to talk about. We told her that really the only things we invite people to do are read the Book of Mormon, pray, come to church, and get baptized because these are the things that help us come closer to Christ. Right now she is up for it all so we will see what happens. But man! I just LOVE the Beard family! It's a good think they are so busy because I would totally be over there EVERY day! 

Sam canceled on us twice this week so we finally stopped by. Well at one point we tried to set up an appointment for the following week and he said pretty much how long do I still have to meet with you guys if I am coming to church. Well obviously we haven't emphasized our purpose enough with him! So we told him we want to meet with him so he can learn about our church and so that him and his family can get baptized. Hopefully that got him thinking. He told us we can just stop by. Well driving home after that we were talking about our talk and how stopping by just isn't going to work. For one thing we have to have another lady with us to teach him! So we called him and told him we had to set an appointment so he did and it's all good. Anyway it was a pretty enlightening experience. This ward had a HUGE problem with that. So many people come to the church on a regular basis and yet have no interest in meeting with the missionaries. The element of baptism is really missing here. And that also shows in the fact that this ward hasn't really had a baptism in a really long time! So we are really going to push that and focus on it too.

On Saturday we organized.... well actually Brother Child (ward mission leader) did.... a HUGE service project for Jeanie. We helped her plant plants, move dirt, rake, etc. She's been sick for a while and can't do it by herself. The weirdest miracles happen whenever we help Jeanie! Last time this random guy off the street came and joined in. This time this random guy drives up in a tractor (we're in the middle of a very much residential neighborhood) and offers to plow this dirt pile over her driveway which would have taken us HOURs of shoveling! So... Jeanie asks us "is this what you'd call a sign?" and we're like ya! Obviously God is looking out for Jeanie by sending all these people! Anyway spiritually wise Jeanie is doing really good. She is thinking a lot more about baptism and really getting involved in the church. Health wise she is not doing that well. She is having a lot of health problems and they won't be resolved for a while. We just pray she gets better soon and doesn't have to be in so much pain!

Well so on Sunday we had stake conference and it ended up being a broadcast and when the broadcast started and Elder Robinson gets up and says that Sister Stevens, Elder Andersen, and President Monson are all going to speak to us I just sat dumbfounded in my chair! Well anyway it was amazing. The broadcast was for all the stakes in Oregon I think they said 38! That's a lot! It was fun because they talked about the rain and the local sports (which have I mentioned that people are obsessed with their sports here?) It was really amazing. Elder Andersens talk really struck me. He talked about faith, diligence, patience (said about 20 times). He told countless stories. He said that faith in Jesus Christ is decreasing "that might be the reason that this last conference the three senior apostles spoke on faith- President Monson, Elder Packer, and Elder Perry" President Monson talked about the lost battalion in the 77th division and how there are lost battalions among us: the sick, the widowed, the handicap, the less active. He read a letter from a less active man to him that pretty much said he wanted to come to church but really needed encouragement from someone. It was a really powerful talk as well. I really was deeply touched and inspired from that conference! I love these broadcasts! Makes me love the sound of "Salt Lake" Haha! Anyway

So last night we were driving and we drove past this street and Sister Stone and I had a feeling (both of us) to go there. So we turn around and go. There wasn't anything there but a side street that lead to a one street trailer park. Well... I've heard various things about trailer parks and tracting and if it's allowed or not. Also it was dark... but hey. If you get a prompting it was like that one you better just grab your mace and go tracting right? So that's what we did! And we ran into a Mexican family! They invited us right in and we taught them. The mom Lucina told us that when she goes to church she feels an emptiness inside. She is really open to listening to religious people. She just wants to help her family be really close! Well her English is pretty good. It would be better for the Hermanas to teach them probably but they live at the far end of our area and the Spanish branch is in Gresham. That would probably be 45 minutes to drive in good traffic. So she said she'd rather go closer so yay! We can teach them! and you want to know the best part of this? Well I had just been praying that morning for some better help to learn Spanish and wala! A Spanish family we actually get to teach! And Lucina likes to teach people Spanish for free. So she started right off! I learned a new phrase! Ready? Estamos aqui porque trajamos las palabras de Dios. (that's what she said we should have told her at the door:) I hope said it all right! Anyway it's great and we love miracles! Well we got out and realized it was 9:45 and our phone was full of 100 messages from the district leader and zone leaders who expect our numbers at 9 on Sunday and now didn't know if we were okay. But we were actually out on a miracle so they forgave us readily! Great night!

We haven't had almost any study time as it goes to work on Personal Progress:(. So hopefully this week will be better. We have a big mission conference this week with Elder Snow from the 70 coming to tour the mission and speak to us. We get to go in 2 groups to hear him. We get to go on Friday so that is super exciting!

Speaking of Friday... It's Sister Stone's birthday! The big 22! So I was wondering if you could all help me and send her a birthday card today so it can be here by Friday! She loves mail and so it would be awesome to just flood her with letters! I would love that! Thanks! love you all!
Well I am really learning that the Lord knows what he is doing. He really knew what he was doing to send me to this mission. He really knows what he has been doing sending me to all these different areas. Each has stretched me so much! I have really grown to love Happy Valley as I have really grown to love those I am serving. I love seeing the miracles here! I love seeing people progress! I love seeing myself progress. I can't understand how much faith it must have taken to step on that airplane and step into the Portland airport. I had NO idea what I was getting myself into! I had on idea how hard this was going to be! I had no idea how I would grow in all these ways! I had no idea how much my relationship and understanding of the gospel would grow. I just had no idea. And here I am. I still have no idea what else lies ahead but I am beginning to think that I trust God. He's done pretty well with me thus far. I should be able to be confident he will do well with me in the future. 

Well anyway I love you all so much! I seriously do! I think about you and pray about/for you daily! Please know that I love you! Have such a good and safe week!

Sister Kaitlyn Beard

The beautiful hike last week!

Our door at the Halloween party last week:)

Me and Sophie!

The sisters!

Us and the Marshalls! Brother marshal sees the picture and says "Oh look it's Buddah!" :)

It's really pretty here!

I carved a pumpkin like the one from the picture... I think Aubrey sent it to me! Thanks! Love you!

Us and Jeanie!

Picking out pumpkins a couple weeks ago.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Week 41: Happy November!

Dearest Family,

This has been a really good week here in Happy Valley. 

We had a life changing district meeting this week. Elder Petersen gave an amazing training on what we call as missionaries "How to Begin Teaching" (it's found in Preach My Gospel chapter 10). We learned and role played first talking about the commitment we are going to extend then giving an overview of the lesson and then jumping into the lesson. I'll give a real life example that happened later that day. 
So we have been trying to get Sam to say the prayer with us for weeks. This lesson we started off with "At the end of this lesson we are going to invite you to pray and to pray specifically to know if the Book of Mormon is true." We gave him a couple sentence overview of what we were going to talk about and then started into the lesson of actually talking about it. At the end of the lesson we invited Sam to pray as we all knelt down and he said a VERY sincere prayer. It is an AMAZING teaching skill! Then the person we are teaching actually knows what we want them to do and has the whole lesson to prepare for it. So yep that was the most amazing district meeting I have EVER had. Elder Petersen is a really good district leader he really teaches us stuff we can actually apply to our lessons.

They had me play piano in district meeting... you can all probably guess how that went:) I don't expect to be asked again until my skill significantly improves. But hey! Now they will believe me that I can't play! 

We went to visit with a family in the ward who the husband is a member and the wife is not. We got a chance to visit with her. She has an Insane story! She is from Prague and grew up during communist times. We had a really good talk with her. She has a sincere desire to learn and try and find out who God is but is really struggling with it especially because of family pressure from her in-laws. Last time we visited we visited with her husband and Sister Stone volunteered me up for a musical number to play their guitar (he plays guitar a lot). Anyway so I guess she had heard about it and requested that I play guitar for her. So I played and sang Amazing Grace. She said we could come back ANY time to play guitar! AHHHHH!!!! I am stoked! I am going to have to really limit our time to once a week otherwise I would want to go over every day! 

We had a lesson with our friend Zach. He is atheist but really wants to know if there is a God. We have to really turn what we say to logic as well. (I posted about one of his questions of facebook-the spiritual artifacts). We were also talking about Jesus Christ. He believes that Jesus Christ lived just like the records say but doesn't know if he believes he was more than a man-the Son of God. We told him the evidence that he is the Son of God is the influence he has had on the world. What other human being has lived has created such an influence that EVERY SINGLE person who lives has to make a conscious choice whether or not they believe in him? There is none. There are many good and bad people who have had a widespread influence but none of them even compare to the influence of Jesus Christ. He really is more than an ordinary man. He really is the Son of God.

I love giving people evidence of God and who he is. There is plenty of obvious evidence. People just tend to look only single-mindedly at certain things and not others. I kind of feel like Nephi in the Book of Mormon "4 Behold, my soul delighteth in proving unto my people the truth of the coming of Christ; for, for this end hath the law of Moses been given; and all things which have been given of God from the beginning of the world, unto man, are the typifying of him."
2 Nephi 11:4 

So this week when we were meeting with Tonya we invited her to be baptized and is really excited! We have her on date for November 29th. We've been struggling getting her a ride to church with her three boys. The poorer area of our ward has a carpool system set up but all the cars are full! They have maybe 1 extra seat and we need 4. Finally on Saturday we had a thought to call Rebecca who is a sister who hasn't come to church regularly in a long time and really just needs motivation to come. She's been trying to get her neighbor Pok to come with her so she knows she has to go. Anyway she has 4 seats exactly! And we called her and she is totally willing! We really just wanted to start crying it was such amazing news! 

Ssssoooooo How was Halloween for everyone! We had a great celebration! Thursday we did a trunk or treat but did it inside since it was raining (who would have guessed) and so we all decorated a door. I'll send a picture. Our door was pretty great:) But I will have to send it next week sorry.

On Halloween we weren't suppose to knock doors but hey Dad! I got your letter later that night and that was a GENIUS idea! But anyway we ended up helping a sister in our ward pack instead. Then Saturday she was moving. We'd blocked out a couple hours to go and help her clean. Well we get there and there was a TON still to do. A lot of it still wasn't packed. We started cleaning and packing as the crew moved stuff out then took loads to her mini storage and to her apartment. As the time went on we really kept feeling like we needed to stay and help. Everyone was exhausted and there was still so much to do. Well we didn't have a dinner appointment so we just worked through that. We had two other appointments but as we drove away to them they both cancelled so we went back and stayed. By the end we ended up being the ones who cleaned the entire house. She definitely needed us there! And we definitely had God's help somehow because I can't believe we got all that done in the time we did. Hard to explain but it was a miracle! 

Last night I found out that Leland Beardslee in St. Helens passed away this week. It was a pretty rough night after that. Leland is amazing and I am really sad I won't get to visit him again. He always called us 'Honey' and he promised me he would read the Book of Mormon even though it was slow it was steady. My life has definitely been touched by dear sweet Leland. 

This week for Personal Progress we have been studying Divine Nature. Which honestly I never use to be able to understand why it was all about crafts, etc. But hey! Now I get it! It's about homemaking! Well We read an AWESOME talk this week that pretty much changed our lives. It was: The Honored Place of Woman by Ezra Taft Bensen. I really love Personal Progress. It is a pattern of study. It has really helped our companion study and unified us even more. (Here's a side note and personal opinion but I think Personal Progress is like meant to do with our mamas. It's so much fun doing this with Sister Stone!) We have started memorizing the Living Christ for our faith project.

We got to go hiking today for p-day! We hadn't found a ride and last night Elder Peterson called us and said he had one for them, us, and Mt Tabor! Best district leader ever! Beacon Rock! Beautiful hike! 

I love you all! I hope that you have a fantastic week! And enjoy the starting weather of winter too! 

By the way. This month's surprise is also for Aubrey and Kelsey's birthdays so you can get it when you like. It's in the play house. But take a picture out there and send it to me! I've been stoked for this one! Sorry if you already found it! 

I love you! 

Sister Kaitlyn Beard

Here's the zone on our hike this morning at the top of Beacon Rock.

Us and Sister Pancio who we helped move like all weekend. She's the best!