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, January 26, 2015

Week 53: That awkward moment- Tuberculosis

Dearest Family,

I hope you have had a wonderful week! I've had a pretty good week! I guess first things first I'll start with the bad news. So on Thursday we had zone conference and it was somehow around that time that Elder Holt our district leader discovered that one of his investigators has tuberculosis. So after zone meeting all the missionaries who had taught him had to go get tested. So Sister LeDoux was among that crowd and ran off with that group to get tested. Well then Saturday the test was read and Elder Holt's came back positive. He's really freaking out and has been quarantined to his apartment until he can get a chest x-ray Monday. So we aren't exactly sure how this will go and who else may have to get tested or whatever. But if he has it he can't exactly go home and he can't work for 8 weeks. So we're just praying for a miracle there. 

Anyway other than that we've had a super good week.

We got to meet with Lacie! She is the girl I talked to in Oakhurst almost a year ago at her grandparents house. We had an appointment set but we are so use to people canceling and all sorts of things that when she had us come right in and sit down and was ready for whatever we had to say it totally threw us off. She's SO open and ready! It's super awesome and exciting! I definitely don't think it is coincidence that I got transferred here at this time! When we referred her the missionaries tried to contact her but she'd just gotten a job and so she was busy and now she just quit her job after Christmas. Perfect timing. God doesn't do random! 

Mary is doing super good! She does Mary Kay and asked us to come help her out and get facials so we went with Hailee and Madi and got facials! It was pretty fun! Mary is so sweet. She really wanted to have us come to thanks us and because we've been her friends, not even looking for our business. We had a lesson with her the next day and Madi and Hailee ended up coming to that. We really needed her to understand the Book of Mormon and how she can receive answers for herself. We asked her why no other church uses the Book of Mormon even though it's a testament of Jesus Christ. She was intrigued by that question. It's a question I have thought of at different times but I've learned that it's truly because it is a solid witness that Joseph Smith is a prophet (and we told Mary all this). That either it's the word of God and so the way we received it, through Joseph Smith, is real so he is a prophet and the church he helped establish is God's church. Or he made it up and none of it is real. It's really one or the other no in between. She asked another question that a lot of people ask too. Why can't she believe in both? Why aren't they all right? We told her all have truths and all good things come from God. But he is a God of order and he only has one church. And his church has his authority. And we explained the priesthood and such. Let me just say the spirit was really guiding in that lesson super directly and stuff. And at the end she said she sees why she needs to know for herself which is the greatest answer anyone can give a missionary!

I heard the super exciting news (from Happy Valley) that Tonya's mom is getting baptized!!!!! They live in another ward. Super cool story I will be brief.... I guess I only know parts. So they came with us and Tonya and the boys to great to be 8. Then they went to Texas for a month where they started attending church. They back here and continued attending and the missionaries started teaching them and now her mom is getting baptized!!!!! SO AWESOME!!!!!!

We had a super awesome zone conference. I love big missionary meetings! I could listen to President Taylor for hours! They talked a lot about faith and miracles. President 
has given us a goal that is definitely going to require both. Something I learned that really changed my perspective is he asked us (in small break out sessions) who holds the priesthood keys to missionary work. He told us it's not him. It's the stake president. He, as the mission president, holds the keys over the missionaries. His biggest calling is to help us have a positive mission experience and return home converted ourselves. This gave such a different perspective on this goal and all the others he has previously given us. It's not about any number of baptisms it's helping us see that with the Lord and our faith and obedience and work and righteousness everything is possible. A lesson we can learn and remember for our entire lives. With that perspective I will all in my power to learn this lesson and obtain this goal.

So the tuberculosis drama convened at zone conference and Sister LeDoux drove off with a group to the doctors and I was left with Sister Campbell and Corbett with no ride home at some random stake center. Luckily some Elders showed up and drove us and Hailee came and took them home and came and was my companion. That was the craziest split EVER! We then had Sister Dobberfuhl with us as well and seriously I was not thinking straight. Ah well! I'd just been abandoned by my companion! I'm just kidding I'm just being dramatic.

We had a really good split on Saturday when she had to get her results read. Hailee went to the doctor with Sister LeDoux and Madi came with me and we had an awesome lesson and time out talking with people! Madi and Hailee are so fun to have come out with! Having them so often is one of my favorite parts of this area. I love it! They are both already such great missionaries. I love being here and working with them!

We also had an exchange with Jelsey this week. We had a couple rejections which weren't too pleasant and were definitely not for her! She is amazing though and has a strong testimony and story to share with people.

We had two investigators come with us to stake conference Saturday night and it was all about the ward council.... not the most interesting thing for them. Except it was for Chelsea at first till about 45 minutes in she leans over and says "just a question. Are they saying war council?" Oh man we had some good laughs about that! She thought we were taking this whole last days war stuff seriously:) But she said if she converts she's totally gonna be on that war council:)

Here's to a life of a missionary! We were walking around on Saturday and saw a Uhaul and of course it was calling our name! So we went and helped them move for a bit. I love being able to just do that and find opportunities so easily!

Well we got bikes on Saturday! Sister LeDoux is finally on board! I am stoked! We have one good one and a beach cruiser. It's an exciting ride for sure! 

It's been the nicest weather EVER! Like sun all week and in the 60s at times! I love it! I could totally do this all winter long! 

So... alright I will update you on the tuberculosis news:) He's clear! He's got it but it isn't active! So no big deal. The four elders in that apartment are SUPER excited to get out of their 3 day quarantine! And we are all super relieved too! Anyway so that's the end of that drama! 

Well I have had a super good week! We've seen a lot of miracles! And I've learned a lot!

We got to go on a super good hike today! Up to triple falls! I LOVE hiking! I love the Gorge! It's SO Pretty! I wish I had pictures but I don't! Hopefully next week!

I love you all so much! Hope you have a wonderful week this week!

Sister Kaitlyn Beard 

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Week 52: A whole year old!!!!!

Dearest Family,

How have you been this week? I love you all so much I hope it has been an amazing week! 

This week has been really good for us which has been such a relief. It flew by super fast! We've even had some sunny days to be mixed in with all the rainy ones! I love the sun! 

This week we've had some really good language studies (for those not immediate family I told them this during skyping but President Taylor gave Sister LeDoux permission to do language study for half an hour every day and try it out. So Sister LeDoux studies Russian and I study Spanish. Well this week we've been working on verbs so we choose 10 and then we both work on them and practice making up sentences and then we pretty much communicate in ASL:) So we say our sentences (well try to. We're probably all wrong) and sign it at the same time so we both know. It's pretty hilarious! But hey I figure we expand our signing ability and then the other languages to match that and we'll start getting somewhere. Anyway it's just funny. 

We had zone meeting on Wednesday and wow! Missionary meetings are like a lifeline! I think not having one last week might have contributed to such a rough week for us. But it was really such an amazing meeting! We talked a lot about faith, baptising, and managing stress. 

We were meeting with a less active brother in the ward who has a really hard time with reading comprehension and memory. Well he told us that in 1 Nephi 2 they go camping and we were like shouting for joy! While with other people we might be like "not quite" with him we are like YES! That is close enough! Awesome! I've never been so excited for such a small huge improvement!

We visited Mary one night this week and she'd just gotten in town. She has some crazy stuff going on right now with her family. But she told us she has been reading the Book of Mormon (doesn't remember what she read... don't know why that is such a problem!) But she said that it's really just strengthening her faith that the Catholic faith is the one for her. Luckily she expounded on that and told us it's because it is familiar to her. It's like remembering her childhood. Which makes us feel a lot better! Of course it's not like some dramatic difference! It's helping you come closer to Christ and that is the same. The witness that there is a modern prophet and that all the truth has been restored is different but it's really just building off what you already know. Anyway we are excited to be working with her and man! She really just feels like a kindred spirit! I sure love Mary! 

One day we were out walking in a neighborhood and we see a car drive by and we both (us and the 2 girls in the car) were like kind of staring at each other and confused because we both thought we knew each other. So in this awkward state they pull over and we walk over and realize... uh... no. we don't know each other. Actually they are Jehovah's Witnesses. So that was just kind of funny. They were out looking for Thai people because they are trying to learn Thai. Anyway if that was some premortal thing where we know each other then that's cool. But anyway that was kind of funny.

We had a good lesson with the Binghams. We watched Finding Faith in Christ. Brother Bingham said he would like to see some of those miracles now a days. Particularly raising the dead, calming the storm, and walking on water. It's funny how some of those types of stories have risen out of the woodwork lately. Brother Child in Happy Valley has a very firm sure belief in miracles. He told us once a story of when he was 12 he saw someone raised from the dead. This week already I've heard 2 stories of a priesthood holder commanding a storm to stop and it stopping. These miracles are definitely still around. 

The Portland dog show has been going on this weekend and Sister Owen has been busy showing her dogs. I guess she's been doing really good! We have another lady we met who shows dobermans. Hopefully we will get to start teaching her after the show. 

So we have someone in our records named Lacie that was a referal to this area because I actually found her in Oakhurst at her grandparents house! Well I've thought that was cool for quite a while. Well we got ahold of her this week and will be seeing her next week! I am super excited! 
We had a good lesson with the Sisumphous. I'd had some silly 'argument' with the dad about how black rice is awesome and he kept telling me it is purple rice not black. So this time they bought us purple rice. Wow (not the same thing for the record) that stuff is good! That's like better than dessert! (though it was cooked in coconut milk with coconut on top) So man! I've got to get me some of this purple rice! Also now I've got to get them some of this black rice!

Saturday was SUPER wet. We went out. Then came home and dried our clothes at lunch. Then went out. Then came home and dried our clothes at dinner. We put plastic bags around our feet in our rain boots and still our feet got soaked! (I'm still not sure how that happened). Anyway it was warm out so that was good! Gotta love the weather here! It's pretty awesome! (but not kidding)

We invited Kris to be baptized on February 21! And he is going to work for it! He is definitely doing it as a leap of faith. Not sure if he is willing to keep his commitments to get his answer but I sure hope he does. I guess all I can do is have faith that he will and expect it of him otherwise he never will.

I've been reading in the war chapters in Alma. I've been trying some different study techniques from Preach My Gospel and really trying to apply them to my life. It's really stood out to me how much it talks about faith and obedience. (Obviously something I'm suppose to be working on right now.) But everyone in battle who finds success shows perfect faith and obedience. I've realized that 'perfect' doesn't mean you don't fail and fall back sometimes. It just means that you continually hold fast and keep trying. The stripling warriors received many wounds. There were times when their faith and obedience ended with wounds. But they never fell. They stayed alive. That's how perfect faith and obedience can be for me and others. We may falter sometimes. We may get wounded. But as long as we are always trying and always picking up and trying our best again then we will be safe from the adversary. 

I love the scriptures. They were totally written for me. I love the scriptures! Especially the Book of Mormon. Everything in there applies to me! I really know the scriptures are the word of God for US. 

And prayer. Prayer is how we feel closer to Heavenly Father. I know I've heard that a thousand times but I get it now. It's really true.

I love you all so much! Have such an amazing week! I love being a missionary! I am so grateful for this privilege! I can't believe I will be hitting my year mark this week! It's crazy! It's been a blessed year to be sure! The hardest but the best. Two thoughts in the words of scriptures. "And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron." Hebrews 5:4 "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you." John15:16. This time to serve the Lord is such a gift.

Sister Kaitlyn Beard

RAndom lizzard thing! I forget what it's called! It sat on my lap for
an entire lesson! yay!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Week 51:Despite the challenge

Dearest Family,

I hope that you have had an amazing week!

We had kind of a bad week over here. I am feeling better so that is
always good. We had almost 20 lessons cancel this week. It was really
hard to not get discouraged. By Saturday mid afternoon we realized
that literally all of our lessons that day were also canceled and so
we kind of just sat down and had a cry session. We decided to call
President Taylor because we had really hit a low. He told us that it's
not our fault. Sometimes it's the Lord trying us. He thinks it's
probably the weather (and this King Kong flu going around!) He really
helped us out so that we had the energy and motivation to keep going.

We did a lot of walking and a lot of walking in the rain this week! On
Wednesday we had a day were all our lessons canceled and all our rides
canceled so we ended up traversing our area over three times pretty
much! By the end of the day we were pretty ready to just go in. But
the Lord always provides a miracle. Our dinner didn't cancel!!!!! Haha
that's only he start of the miracle. We then were able to go out with
Sister Kofoed and she gave us a referal last minute to a lady. When
she was describing the location he house of a guy we met a month or
two earlier came to mind. We'd actually had the thought earlier that
we should go and see him. So we bucked up our courage and marched
across our area again just for the chance that they were home. We
knocked and Ron answered and said "come in!" Once we entered he said
"I read your pamphlet and I'm really interested. I have a lot of
questions." Talk about a miracle! I really hope he continues and feels
the spirit. But either way I am so grateful for that experience. I
know that the Lord will always give us a miracle. On the easy days
it's not so evident but on the hard days it's golden sunshine and
vitamin D! Something you long for and can't miss!

This week I've been thinking a lot about charity. President Taylor
pointed us to a talk once hat talked about reasons why we serve in the
church and they all apply completely to missionaries who are serving
full time. Well I think we all end up serving for all of the reasons
but the highest and the reason we should serve is for charity. I think
there comes points like this last week when it's super hard that you
can't serve for any of the other reasons besides charity. It's just
too hard. Nothing else is worth it. But it is amazing to see how love
plays into this work and how when we can learn to serve out of love
there won't be anything to stand in our way. No bad days will ever be
too hard.

I was reading in the ensign this week about the story of when Jesus
was suffering in the garden of Gethsemane and he asked his apostles to
watch with him. But they couldn't stay awake. He came back three times
and asked why could they not watch with him one hour? It reminded my
of a song from the Nashville Tribute Bands CD Redeemer. It comes from
Peters perspective wishing he had stayed awake and promising that from
now on he will be wide awake. It made me really thing of the remorse
that would come from that. You can imagine how it struck me that this
time of falling asleep, this time where we could be wide awake was
likened unto the time we spend taking the sacrament. Do we hear the
Savior asking US to stay awake and watch with him for just an hour?
Will we, like Peter, also now commit to be wide awake and watch with
the Savior? The sacrament is something that I am really trying to

This week we ran into a Muslim family. They invited us in and it was
soon apparent he wanted bible bash... well quaran bash or whatever!
But it ended up turning into a super good and respectful lesson after
a while. I really love meeting all sorts of faiths and cultures! It's
super awesome!

Hailee Fallon got her mission call to North Carolina this week! We are
super stoked for her! There she was wondering when her call would come
and they hadn't checked the mail in a week! That makes me laugh! It
did get me thinking though. I wish I would have understood what a
privilege it is to serve in the states when I opened my mission call.
There's such a stigma with that. I wish there wasn't. I wish I would
have understood and been able to see what a blessing this is. But
unfortunately understanding comes slowly it seems. Anyway I am super
grateful to be serving here. This is an amazing place and there are so
many blessings I know I will be able to enjoy from serving here in the
Washington Vancouver Mission!

Things here with Sister Owen have become amazing lately! Doing
breakfast with her has transformed our relationship and now things are
very positive! I've definitely learned a really good lesson on the
importance of service in the home. It's somethings you know but have
to continually apply.

We had an awesome p-day playing indoor soccer vs. Van West! We still
won but last time we wopped them so I guess this transfer we are a
little better matched :) It's a once a transfer activity and seriously
the best!

We kidnapped the puppy this week and brought him upstairs while we
planned. And now he always expects such special treatment. What a
demanding little guy! haha! it's great.

The ward mission plan was presented this Sunday and can I just say I
am stoked? This is seriously such an amazing plan and an awesome ward
council! For the most part I have been blessed to work with awesome
leaders on my mission. I am really excited to see how the ward
progresses with these goals! One of them is quarterly talks on home
and visiting teaching from the bishopbric which is going to help a
ton! Home and visiting teaching is so important and when that is down
so is a ton of other things in the ward! and the missionary work is a
lot more difficult because we end up doing a lot of work trying to
help people come back to church.

Well we have high hopes for this upcoming week. If anything we are
learning a lot and having a good time for the most part (except for
when we cry our eyes out but that only happened like 2x this week so
the other 2032390419084x were happy!)

Anyway I love you all so much! I hope that you have a wonderful week
and look forward to hearing about it!

Sister Kaitlyn Beard

The puppy!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Week 49

Dearest Family,

Merry Christmas!!!!! It was so good to see you on Christmas! Highlight of the week to be sure! I hope the Honduras trip is going well! I love what a wonderful family I have! 

So really this Christmas was wonderful! Not one I will remember for excellent missionary work and success but one I will remember for a really wonderful experience and just happy!

So on Christmas Eve we went to Sister Tuckers house and she helped us make ornaments for everyone that we are teaching. It took a lot longer than we expected but turned out good. We ate a delicious seafood dinner at the Mitchells! I was a little horrified when they pulled out a whole half a GINORMOUS crab and put it on my plate. That filled me up and left no room for Salmon...sad day... but delicious! 
We had invited the ward to go caroling with us and so we bought hot chocolate and cups and had a huge jug of water (which was really hard trying to figure out how to arrange that) well then... only 4 other people showed up: Us and Jelsey and Kobe and Brother Peirson and his daughter. But it was really fun and hopefully we brought the Christmas spirit to a couple people. So it was super awesome! (side note: no one wanted hot chocolate).

On Christmas we made scones for Sister Owen which she loved! She was in such a good mood! She loves scones! Then the Trumbulls from the Brush Prairie ward invited the zone over for breakfast. This was probably the best day of my life because they have a ton of animals and my life was overwhelmingly happy when they had a BABY LLAMA!!!!! Only 8 days old and OH she was SOOO cute! So yep. I think I will be getting a baby llama one day. They are just super great. And apparently they will defend your sheep and goats from coyotes. Maybe we needed a llama in Florida! I guess Harry survived but it might have been a good idea:)

We went caroling at an old folks home on Christmas night. Sister Major and Sister Herpich came with us. We sang to the group that is losing their memory. I took my violin and played the intro and melody while they sang. We did all the Christmas songs and all the versus in the hymn book which takes about 45 minutes for future reference! It was really fun! They loved it and the workers especially loved it! I think they really appreciated some Christmas spirit while at work. 

So it really was one of the best Christmas's! And Sister LeDoux and I walked home in the rain singing Christmas carols the whole way! It was wonderful!

We've been in post Christmas missionary shock. We go to talk to people and keep saying "Hey we're the missionaries... we are out sharing a   (pause as we almost say Christmas)   message about Jesus Christ." Then we have to think about what we are actually going to share. We've been sharing a Christmas message for a month now and all of a sudden that's not oh so relevant so it's throwing us off a little. 

I learned that one of the brothers in my ward Brother Greener was missionary companions with Monte Belnap! The head of the violin department at BYU. I guess he trained Brother Greener. Small world! 

We've had some good experiences the last couple days. We were able to meet with Luda again finally! There's quite a language barrier so we spent like 15 minutes doing all sorts of activities to explain what a prophet is. Luckily we have some fail proof activities I picked up from Brother Klein in Happy Valley.  

Matt keeps trying to drop us whenever we go over. He tells us he doesn't know about the mormons he is happy with his church except for all these things that drive him crazy so he's really not happy. So we tell him 'well Matt we haven't even told you anything about our message!' So he realizes he needs to actually give this message a chance. Ah well. 

We've heard that there is going to be sun three day this week! It makes me SO happy!

Anyway I hope you all have a wonderful week. I found a really good scripture I really like in D&C 111:2 I believe. It talks about being instruments in the Lord's hands in helping people find the gospel. That's how it's done! God doesn't work by some magical means. His miracles are small and simple and as far as the spreading the gospel goes they go through us! 

I love you all MUCHO! 

Sister Kaitlyn Beard

Week 50: Happy New Years!

Dearest Family,

Happy New Years everybody! Can you believe it's already 2015? 

We've had a pretty good week here. There's been a flu epidemic around the area so half the houses if not more are sick and unavailable. And I've been sick the second half of the week so it's been a little slower as I've taken like 5 naps. One day it was like get up. go running. nap. study. nap. go to a lesson. nap. go to a couple more lessons. nap. nap again. go to bed. :) 

New Years Eve was a normal day for us. We just went out as usual. We had a fun dinner with the Serra family and talked a lot about missionary work with their boys. So that was fun! They have fireworks like all night here! It's illegal in Oregon so everyone crosses the river and shoots off fireworks like all night long. We could see a couple of them from our window. 

We met some French guys on New Years over here from Portland but... one was from Paris and one from somewhere else (probs over here for the fireworks and other such adventures) and I was racking my brains for any of my french but... alas. It has all been forgotten in the attempts to learn Spanish! But that was pretty sweet! First french people I've met here. 

We're still trying to gather up some people to teach. We've done a lot of door to door activity and we've found a couple people to potentially teach so we will see.

It's been a long shot recently trying to help the ward work more with the less active members in the ward. Sister LeDoux was once less active herself and so she really doesn't trust the ward and just wants to help all the less active members. But recently we've come up with a game plan so that the ward can take more care of the less actives and we can have more time and energy to look for people to teach. We selected 3 families out of our teaching pool and are giving them to the ward. I am really excited to see how this is beginning to work out. The ward council got the message and it's in the works and already we've been blessed to find several more people to hopefully teach. It's been amazing. I will keep you updated on how this all works out but I feel that this is going to be something amazing and I am really excited. 

We met a lady from Ukraine this week. She told us that her mother spent 15 years in jail because she was Christian. She told us in school they would give her class candy and such but not her because she was Christian. She wanted to come here to have the freedom of religion. When she went to the embassy to get her visa and such they asked her why she wanted to come and she told them and they made it super easy and sent her on her way over here. It's amazing to see that this land is really a land blessed by God for religious freedom. The Book of Mormon helps us recognize that because it tells us of the promises of God that this land is to be a land where we can worship God. 

Sister LeDoux loves to do role plays of 'calling up the ladder'. Whenever we need to ask President Taylor something we have to call our district leader then the zone leaders then the assistants to the president so we don't bother President Taylor with triffles and such. So whenever something happens like we meet some crazy dude Sister LeDoux and I now role play calling up the ladder for some stupid thing. It's great! So that's what we do for fun while tracting! :)

We have a bunch of Young Women in this ward who are preparing to serve missions and who are wanting to come out with us. It's super great! This week we had Madi come out with us when we went to a lesson and tracting. She taught me so much! I really wish I could remember what it was like to be new at this sometimes. It was so amazing to see how much she loves the gospel and these people at the door. She wants them to hear this message SO bad. But because of her love we had a lot longer conversations with people than it would have been with just us who are not as energetic anymore in the face of rejection. I am so glad we have so many people willing to come out with us. They teach me a lot! 

Oh Ps transfer letters came/ didn't come so we are staying together for another transfer! Should be fun! Sister LeDoux will have lived with Sister Owen for half of her mission at the end of this next transfer! Though she's served in two areas. 

We've decided to adopt President Thomas's tradition of Saturday morning breakfast. We made scones for Sister Owen on Christmas and this morning and it was super awesome so we are going to start making her breakfast every Saturday or maybe Friday. Anyway we are excited and she is super excited as well!

We finally had a good district meeting this week! We talked about President Taylors email he sent about that talked a lot about Christlike attributes. I love learning about Christ. I love learning about his attributes I feel like I stand more and more in awe the more that I learn. 

Well I hope that you are all excited for school (since it started today and all you know!) I hope that you have such a wonderful week! We've got a good week ahead of us so we are excited!

Oh I forgot! we got to talk to a deaf lady this week! Well... Sister LeDoux did! But I understood most of the conversation (though it was super simple) but hey I'm learning! It's great!

Well I love you and hope you have a good week!

Sister Kaitlyn Beard

PS I sent you something that should come this week (let me know). Also the surprise for this month is SUPER great! It's in the corner cabinet in the living room upstairs. It's in the bottom in a box perched precariously on something fragile so careful! Hope you love it and respond back about it por favor! I saved it for when Laurann would come home and now you moved:( but you'll have to visit Laurann!