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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, 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.

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