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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, December 15, 2014

Week 47: New favorite Christmas memory!!!

Dearest Family,

We went on a super awesome hike today! We got to go with the VanCentral Zone and hike the Ape Caves up by Mt St Helens. It's this underground cave tunnel thing that is made of lava rock! It's sweet. There's some side caves you can sidetrack to and you have to be on your stomachs to get through those it's awesome! It's a flashlight hike! I'll try and gather some pictures to share!

So my new favorite Christmas memory. Are you ready for it? Last night was the Messiah that our stake put on with participants from the varying stakes in Vancouver mostly us (VanNorth) and VanCentral. Well it was all ready to start and the orchestra played the Overture and I'm all excited and loving it and everything and then the power in the whole city goes out! So we're all like awkwardly sitting there for a minute then a  violinist starts playing Christmas tunes and everyone sings along! Oh it was so fun! It seemed like the old stories where everyone gathers in the chapel by candlelight to sing Christmas carols. But it was cell phone and flashlights and we'd actually gathered for another cause. Flashlights started getting gathered and about 40 minutes later they were about to start again (I was stoked to be able to be the light holder for the cello section- which was only 1 stand) and of course the power went back on! So we proceeded as normal and just ended way late! And it was seriously one of my favorite Christmas moments.

So anyway. Merry Christmas! I sure love Christmas time! I hope that you are having a wonderful time and a really good week! I feel super lucky I feel like I've been able to hit up on a lot of my favorite Christmas traditions! On Monday we got to help the Philpotts decorate their Christmas tree, we got to go to the Messiah that the stake put on on Sunday! (Listen to this! It's pretty much just this stake in the region and it's only once every two years. What a blessing!!!!) And many more! So I am super grateful. 

So Sister LeDoux knows a little sign language and her boyfriend served a sign mission so we've been praying in sign and so now I can pray in sign! It's super awesome! It makes it a little weird to pray with other people not in sign! :) 

We've had a pretty good week this week. We've been able to see a lot of people and have several miracles.

On Tuesday we went to help a new family in the ward move in and ended up putting 4 dressers together from Ikea. My the end my hands were shaking after trying to screw in 4 bagillion things with a stripped screw driver! Ah well. We were really glad to help. I can't imagine trying to do all she is having to do with a bunch of kids pulling at your arms. Moms are pretty amazing. Mom you are pretty amazing! I am grateful for you!

We went tracting one day and met a Russian lady. At first she said no to the He is the Gift video but we kept talking to her and found out she is having a problem with religion because her 18 year old son died 11 years ago from leukemia and she hasn't been able to feel peace with it. She ended up letting us in and we had such a wonderful talk! Mom you would love her! She has a pen of quail in her back yard! She just loves her quail! We are really excited to meet with her again! She's teaching us some Russian!девушка means girl! (Don't worry I don't actually know the alphabet yet I just google translated it for full effect:) She really is super great! 

We got to have interviews with President Taylor this week! It is always good to see President and Sister Taylor! 

Hailee Fallon goes out with us a bunch for huge chunks of time! Oh it is amazing! I love it! I've never had anyone do that before and it's super nice! She gets her mission call maybe this week! So we are really excited to hear about that. 

We had an awkward moment.... we tried to talk to two ladies and one lady was actually a Jehovah's Witness out trying to teach this other lady... that awkward moment and we were pretty awkward and finally walked away....

We went to a breakfast with the Bishop and the Laurel class and last minute were asked to give a spiritual thought. We gave the thought on Personal Progress! Hopefully the girls will be more motivated to do their Personal Progress because it's just so awesome! Speaking of Personal Progress I've been working on memorizing The Living Christ. That is a powerful document. I've been able to quote parts during a lesson and it's super powerful! If you haven't read it in a while I totally suggest you pull it out and read it.
The Living Christ: The Testimony of the Apostles

So on Saturday Sister Kofoed was able to drive us back to Happy Valley for Sophie's baptism. It was right after the ward Christmas party so like half the ward came! At the end of the program Sophie had asked to be able to bare her testimony (she's 9 by the way) and so she gets up there then sees everyone and seems to forget what she was going to say so she just thanks everyone for coming to her baptism. It was really sweet. She is a smart girl and was always so determined to go to church so she could get baptized. A lot of her extended family were there and her Dad so hopefully he will start supporting her and taking her to church on the weeks that he has her. 

I also got to see Tonya and Jeanie at the baptism. Tonya looks so good! She is so full of light it is amazing. In just a couple weeks there is an even more noticeable change. The light that the Holy Ghost brings into a life is literally real and noticeable. I've been realizing that light is huge part of this gospel and of how we can know if things are good and true. The spirit has real light in a persons eye. It may sound crazy to some people but it's real.

We got a text from Dannie that she doesn't want to meet with us any more. She's dropped missionaries several times because her son gives her anti-mormon literature. Well after church last week she went to see her son... well let's just say we were really sad. Especially Sister LeDoux took it harshly. We were so upset we decided to go see her and so we walked clear across our area at a super fast speed only to find her not home. It was a pretty rough afternoon. But then God provided the miracles.

Later that day we had a lesson with a kid named Kris who is 17. He's taking a lot of the same classes I took senior year. He's super goal oriented. He's searched out a lot of religions. He's very mature for his age. (haha I know I'm not that much older but hey he really is!) We had a super good lesson with him. It was awkward because we rang the door bell and knocked and he didn't answer. So we called him and he said he was home and he'd come get the door. 5 minutes later.... we text him and finally he comes. It was super weird! But ended up super good! He is way open to religion he just hasn't found all the truth. He's super reliable and answers texts real quick and he's honest with us. It's so refreshing! Sometimes I get too excited... I just want him to go on a mission! But Sister LeDoux has to remind me that no. First we just want him to come to church. :)

We also had a lesson with a guy named Matt. We'd been going through names in our ipads on Friday during weekly planning and his stood out so we called him and said we could meet the next day. I was thinking it was kind of sketchy because he wanted to meet at a Yogurt place but it wasn't so. He just likes to get out of the house. But he did buy us and Jelsey Yogurt so that made us feel a little weird and bad! We had a super good discussion with him. We met originally to tell him about the justserve.org website because he loves service but then we talked more and he had a thousand and one questions all over the board! So we kind of answered some of his questions and after an hour we started telling him "we'll talk more about that with..." and some specific lesson. He knew we needed to leave but has so much he wants to know! But the good news of this story is he agreed to start meeting with us once a week to give our message a try. So we are super excited about him! Sister Kofoed had just accused us of only teaching women so after that lesson we texted her to tell her we had just taught a man:)

Anyway things are really going wonderful here. I'm loving this warm weather! We've even seen the sun a couple times this week! I can tell you you really learn to love the sun and blue sky over here in the northwest! 

Thanks so much for all the birthday wishes! I really appreciate it! I can't believe it's already my birthday again! Time seems to have stood still. Weird missionary time. Anyway I love you all so much! I hope you have a good week!
Sister Kaitlyn Beard

Out of the caves

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