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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 22, 2014

Week 48: Merry Christmas Family!

Dearest Family,

Howdy everyone! Merry Christmas this upcoming week! I am super stoked to see you! Speaking of how I was chatting with Dad so Facetime at 2:30 my time so whatever that is for you. I am super excited to see you!

So I go to go on exchanges with Sister Major on Monday night! It was definitely a weird time to do exchanges especially because Sister Cluff (her companion) found out she was getting ETed (emergency transfered) the next day so it was just a weird exchange. But I sure love being companions with Sister Major! It's just so easy! She really is a kindred spirit! We had a lot of fun and I learned a lot from her she is amazing! 

So we've met some crazy people this week and had some random experiences so I will tell a couple stories. Also we have some really cool stories from this week!

We met this guy one night and asked if we could share a short Christmas video and he said yes and something like "OH. I KNOW Jesus' so we showed him He is the Gift. Afterwords he said "You know that his birth hasn't actually happened? It's just a prophecy." Then he goes off talking about all sorts of things in random thought chains like Zeus and who knows what else. Luckily we escaped that in only a couple minutes. When we left he said "I'll see you later" in a way that made we thankful we weren't returning home immediately. But... I think he's just crazy.

On Saturday night we were out knocking doors and this older gentleman answers and tells us that him and his wife are in the middle of prayer hour and says we can join. We didn't and as we were walking away we were like... "wait. Did you want to join? Me too! Let's go!" So we joined them for their last bit of their hour long rosarie prayer. Then he starts trying to explain something (still unclear what) to us and starts reading from the Virgin Guadeloupe book. We ended up talking some and we were able to share the He is the Gift video and the Family Proclamation. It was an awesome experience! 

Then we were tracting this one night and this lady flipped out! She was so mad at us for knocking on her door when she had a 'no soliciting' sign. We moved on and then she came back in and asked for a number to call from our organization to report us. We  went back and talked with her telling her we only have our number to giver her. We are from such and such church. Not selling anything. We are just trying to spread a Christmas message. Well as we were talking she said she had had a little to drink so that is why she has been so upset. And she has been through some bad stuff lately. It was a good lesson to me on not judging and on loving everyone.

So last week at church we started greeting people right before the meeting started and there was a lady I didn't know and Sister LeDoux didn't know her either. After talking a bit before and after Sacrament meeting it turns out she isn't a member! She walked into some church in Hazeldell the other week and the Bishop sent her over to her ward to talk to Bishop Butterfield. So she walked right into church looking for him. Well we set up an appointment with her. Her name is Carolyn. She is AMAZING! We got to see her on my birthday (best day ever!). She had definitely searched religions in her time. She has already raised 4 kids and now adopted 2 little kids from a bad family situation in her extended family. Now she works crazy hours trying to support them. We are really excited to work with her! She is amazing! 

We were out knocking doors (which happened a lot more this week) and we ran into this lady who said she didn't have time so we asked if we could come backFriday and she said yes but didn't seem to set on having us come back. Well we went back and not only was she actually home but she invited us right in and had been expecting us! Well she was doing some major reorganizing and her house was a whirlwind so we told her we would share a message and then help her clean for an hour. So we shared He is the Gift and then...(drum roll) build a book shelf! We're pretty pro now! Her name is Mary and she is awesome! I feel super at home being around her! Hmm... seems like she is a kindred spirit! And she somehow knew we needed a ride and gave us a ride to our next appointment. She really is great!

So I should say I had a great birthday! Sister LeDoux did some secret texting and the Fallons came and picked us up and fed us second lunch:) and a big cake. And she had Sister Fallon buy me some milk because mine got taken from the church on Monday... and then I left it there and didn't get it till today! Super sad day! Ah well. And get this! I even got lasagna for my birthday dinner without asking!

We are stoked for Christmas this week! Well actually... I am. Sister LeDoux is really dragging. She just wants to get the holidays over with and ignore them because she really will be missing her big family and lots of traditions. But I'm trying to think of lots of ideas and stuff to keep us busy with a super great holiday! We've decided to have a couple sisters in the ward help us make a bunch of ornaments on Christmas Eve that we can take to the people we are teaching. We've got a couple people in the ward who are going to go caroling with us Christmas Eve evening. On Christmas the zone is doing stuff from 10-2 is what I last heard. Then in the evening we are going to go carol at the old folks home in the area. And we want to try Lauranns singing Christmas cards as well. So hopefully we will have plenty to do to keep us busy and make this a memorable Christmas!

This week when I was studying I was reading in Preach My Gospel about my purpose as a missionary and a couple versus really stood out to me. "And thus we see the great call of diligence of men to labor in the vineyards of the Lord..." (Alma 28:14) This scripture is proceeded by a couple versus that talk about how there is a great inequality among men because of sin. And so and thus we see we need people to declare the gospel!  The next verse is talking about how Christ is the stem and we are the branch. "Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he PURGETH it, that it may bring forth more fruit." (John 15:2) I loved the word purgeth. How true is that! I feel like on my mission I have tried to bring people to Christ and yet I definitely feel like he has been purging me because things sure have been hard. I really love that. 

I was also reading in Alma 29 and the word 'allotted' stuck out to me. He is talking about how he wishes he were an angel and could declare repentance to all people and then says that he is sinning in his wish "for I ought to be content with the things which the Lord hath allotted unto me." Within these few short verses is profound truth. I am guilty of the same thing. I have often wished my lot was different and that I could have been able to learn a language or something else. But that is not what the Lord has 'allotted' to me. The Lord has given me all that I have and this is the lot that he has decided best for me. I have to be diligent with the allotment he has given me. It doesn't matter if it is big or small. I found a really good conference talk that literally talks just about this line. "Content with the things allotted unto us" Elder Neal A Maxwell in April 2000 General Conference. In it he talks about how many situations in life are different. Some people pass through trials, some have trials they have to live with. Some are poor, some have health challenges. Each of us has our allotment. He tells us that by judgement all will be worked out. He said the only social cast that stays is ones caused by sin. Each of us must learn to find contentment working within that allotted to us. I definitely invite you all to check out this talk. It is amazing. https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2000/04/content-with-the-things-allotted-unto-us?lang=eng 

Anyway things are really wonderful. I am grateful to be on a mission this holiday season. I've learned a lot from my studies this past week and a lot from observation. I won't lie and say that we are having an amazing time teaching people right now because we have like 2 lessons set up this whole week. But I am learning a lot. I am so grateful for this season to celebrate our Savior. I love you all so much! I hope that you have really safe and good travels tonight! Enjoy every moment in Honduras. I am excited to hear about it. I love you all! Merry Christmas!

Sister Kaitlyn Beard

Here's a cool poem I found.

        “The woman was old and ragged and gray
          And bent with the chill of the Winter’s day.
          The street was wet with a recent snow,
          And the woman’s feet were aged and slow.
          She stood at the crossing and waited long,
          Alone, uncared for, amid the throng
          Of human beings who passed her by
          Nor heeded the glance of her anxious eye.    
        “Down the street, with laughter and shout,
          Glad in the freedom of ‘school let out,’
          Came the boys like a flock of sheep,
          Hailing the snow piled white and deep. …
          [One] paused beside her and whispered low,
          ‘I’ll help you cross, if you wish to go? …
          ‘She’s somebody’s mother, boys, you know,
          For all she’s aged and poor and slow.     
        “‘And I hope some fellow will lend a hand
          To help my mother, you understand,
          If ever she’s poor and old and gray,
          When her own dear boy is far away.’
          And ‘somebody’s mother’ bowed low her head
          In her home that night, and the prayer she said
          Was, ‘God be kind to the noble boy,
          Who is somebody’s son, and pride and joy.’”
Lost Battalions

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