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, February 23, 2015

Week 57: Intro to the newest, greatest, and the latest!

Dearest Family,

Hello everybody! Hows the week been? We've had a fantastic week here in Nehalem! Feels like transfers were forever ago! So much has happened! It's been crazy!

So my new companion is Sister Hansen. She's from Cedar Hills Utah. She was going to BYU for Bio Ed imagine that! She loves to run! (except she runs like the wind and I have to focus hard to keep up) She is up for biking (and bikes like a champ). She loves chocolate so we don't have to go on any diets yay. She is willing to do the things I ask. She is excited to work and she is awesome! Wahoo! This is going to be awesome! 

I pretty much feel like all we've done all week is bike, eat, and talk to people! I think I am going to have thighs of steel by the end of this and unfortunately I am realizing that steel weighs a lot so it won't even help me go faster! Sad day!  Ah well.

We've had a crazy week! Can I just say I believe that there are a lot of angels accompanying a new missionary because I've felt the presence of a lot of angels this first week and it's been kind of exhausting. But it's a witness that God and his angels care about the adjustment of his missionaries. 

We've had a lot of crazy things happen this week and a lot of awesome things. I think the awesomest miracle ever happened one night we had a thought to go visit a girl we met last week. There had been a whole bunch of people on the street (okay so 3) and my thought was that this girl was the least likely but the spirit said otherwise so we talked to her and said who we were and she got all excited. Anyway so we got her info and had texted her asking for a time and she hadn't texted back. So we just stopped by and she let us in and we had an awesome first lesson. She is on date for baptism March 28th! She came to church! She is super awesome! I can tell you that we as missionaries don't do anything to find the people who are ready for the gospel. We are just here and if we listen to the spirit then we can be instruments in the hands of the Lord. This is his work and he gives the increase. 

We've had some awesome lessons and met some awesome people! 

We had a relief society activity making fidget blankets for Alzheimer patients. Some people brought friends and we got to talk to them about the gospel and it was awesome. It was a super awesome activity! We made 50 out of the original 150 as a goal.

We met with Chelsea and Aaron this week and had a great talk about the beginning of the Plan of Salvation. Pretty much just talking about opposition. We read 2 Nephi 2 with them. Pretty much the most straight forward chapter ever. I love how much the gospel makes sense. Though it's completely a different way of thinking than so many people we talk to are use to but once you start thinking that way it makes so much sense and many of the other questions that you can't find answers in other venues are finally answered. But it takes change. Which leads into my next tangent. Many people think that God made the good and the bad just for kicks and giggles. No such thing! God made us and the world to be inhabited (1 Nephi 17:36). He then gives us the gift of choice where we can make the choice to either choose good or bad. And thus there is good and bad. It is amazing to see how essential the gift of choice/agency is in this whole plan. It becomes even more interesting to me as I see people who say no to our message which I know is true and essential for salvation. It's not because God is denying it to them or any other reason. It is solely because they are choosing to not change. Our choice is the only thing that can make us change. We are the only ones that can change ourselves. 

I've been thinking about the most important thing to help Sister Hansen feel and have on her mission for the next three months. I've realized that the only converting source too the gospel or missionary work is the spirit. If I want Sister Hansen to learn to love it here then I need to do all I can to help her feel and listen to the spirit so we can be guided to find people to teach and people who are ready to be baptized. It's just like the spirit converts someone to the Lord it is the same principle. The most rewarding experiences from my mission have been when I have been guided by the spirit to find someone who was ready to make covenants with the Lord. So really all I can do is make sure we are doing all we can to be obedient and keep the spirit and pray that the Lord will grant her the spirit so that we can see miracles. 

Speaking of miracles I've also been thinking about how when Christ was with the Apostles they didn't always recognize all the miracles that they saw and the didn't really understand what Christ was teaching them in full. I am sure that is the same with now. I don't totally understand in full all the miracles I am seeing. But I guess that's why journal writing is so important. Anyway that's why it is so important to internalize the things you learn on a mission so they can change you now and forever. 

I love being a missionary! I love being a part of the work and seeing myself change. I am so grateful for this opportunity. 

Well the latest and greatest news is the mission is loosing Facebook of Wednesday for a period of time unannounced and we will be getting new ipads on Wednesday. There is a big mission technology conference on Wednesday that's going to be bringing some big stuff obviously. So more on that next week when I actually know what is going on! Anyway we have a big week ahead! Tonight Sister Hansen actually gets to meet President and Sister Taylor since they were in Utah. So I will be hanging out with the East Zone then tomorrow is training trainee meeting then Wednesday is the Mission Ipad meeting then Thursday we get to go to the temple!!!!! So an awesome and yet crazy week ahead! So I'll tell you all about it next week!

I hope you all have a fantastic week! I love you all so much! More than I can say! I love you so much!

Sister Kaitlyn Beard

Rudis favorite past time of looking out her window all day long. I
thought ow would join him for a sec:)

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Week 56: A Crazy week!

Dearest Family,

We've had a SUPER stressful week here! Homeless two days in a row, moving, a baptism and just everything else that that involves. 

Sister Owen had grandsons over two nights in a row so we got kicked out and had to go party with the YSA sisters in Mountain View area. So that was exciting especially when it wasn't working out at first on the second night. I can't imagine actually being homeless. That would be awful. 

So best story ever. I think we are the only missionaries who start packing before we find out about transfers. We just kind of assumed that Sister LeDoux was leaving and that we were moving. So we started packing then we found out our new housing had an issue and wasn't kosher and had to get checked out again. Then we didn't get letters on Friday. So we were super stoked about that whole thing and getting another transfer together! But then transfer letters came Saturday and we found out our housing was approved after it was too late to move on Saturday. Ah well! It was exciting! So we spent a super stressful morning and half of our p-day moving and cleaning. Sister Owen is really scared to be home alone again after 2 years of missionaries at her house. 

We love biking! It's super bad though because it works up an appetite! We have an hour for lunch and dinner and lately we've been eating the ENTIRE hour! Super great! 

In zone meeting the zone leaders said they just got news that bikes now have unlimited miles! Haha! Super great. Our whole district cheers (biking district!). So hilarious! The things you don't have to worry about without a car!

So Glen's baptism went really well! It was stressful as baptisms always are. And when half the people who were suppose to be in the baptism program still weren't there and it was 11:03 and starting we just said a prayer and reminded ourselves that the most important thing is that Glen gets baptized. It went well and he was SO excited! When he came out of the water with his excited exclamation it made everyone laugh and smile! He had asked to bare his testimony and it was so great! My favorite part was when he said "and now I'm mormon!" He has just been so excited from the very beginning! His family all came to his baptism to support him and it was awesome! I really love seeing people in the water. It's more than just a baptism. It's a covenant with God. It's watching someone prepare them self to live a life more in line with God's teachings and that takes change with brings light into people's eyes and joy into their life! Although our message may sound crazy to some of the people we talk to I know it is true. I can feel the power of the Lord's spirit. How else would so many people believe that a 14 year old boy really saw God the Father and Jesus Christ and was called as a prophet? Let me tell you they wouldn't. This is in no way my work but the Lord's. If it was mine we would see nothing happen all day long. We would see no miracles. No one would listen and no one would change. But there are miracles. People do listen. People do change and it makes them happy. I know that this is God's truth! 

Sorry if this email is super scattered! Packing this morning and moving was crazy and stressful and taking up a lot of our p-day which stressed us out so ya I'm not super focused. 

So super cool miracle. Chandler brought his friend Adam to Glen's baptism. He is in a tight spot right now and staying with Chandler. Anyway he loved the baptism. Luckily the Elders came and they were able to talk to him while we were running around like crazy. Anyway he said he isn't a super smiley or happy person but he couldn't stop himself from smiling that whole time. He came to church on Sunday and seems to be loving it. We are super excited to talk to him on Tuesday!

Well for the first time in this area in at least the last 6 months we have so many appointments for the coming week we literally have no time to schedule anyone else. I'm sure some will cancel or fall through but we don't have any open time that's apparent. Well then I found out I am training! So the Lord has something awesome planned for this incoming Sister because I have never seen this before! I am super excited for a transfer full of miracles!

Sister Hardy came up and told us on Sunday that we are one of the strongest companionship's she's seen in the ward. Well we kind of laughed because it certainly hasn't been easy! We've had some super rough spots! But I am grateful for them because they literally have made this such an awesome companionship! I've never had so much fun with a companion that by the end of the day I try and think about what work we did and can't think of any but then we get a lot of lessons and such so apparently we are working but it just seems like play. It's super awesome! We've had to learn a lot about communication in this companionship and we've both improved a lot (we think). 

Well I am loving being a missionary and loving everything! I am really needing just some play time so I'm going to be done writing! We are teaching awesome people and having just a ball riding around Vancouver and laughing super hard! Transfers are tomorrow at 2 so I will tell you more next week! I love you all so much! Hope you all had an awesome Valentines day! Mine was great! I love you! Have an amazing week!

Sister Kaitlyn Beard

That awkward moment when we decide to bike to church with a bunch of
stuff we've borrowed from people and need to DI and then the DI
trailer isn't there! Sister Fallon saw us in her car and yelled out
"YOu look like hobo missionaries!" her favorite thing to tell us!:)

THis is Sampson (named by Sister LeDoux) Isn't he cute?

Waiting for transfer letters during weekly planning:)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Week 55

Dearest Family,

I hope you have had a good week! We've had a good week here in Vancouver! We've had some rain this week which makes all the rain lovers happy.

We had a really cool experience teaching a lady named Elaine. We'd met her on the other side of our area last week and set up a time to come see her at her house this week. We went to the lesson and we were actually super nervous because we new the situation she is in so we said a prayer before we went it. We started with what we call 'how to begin teaching' which is pretty much setting up expectations and such. And explained that we will only ask her to do four things: read the Book of Mormon, pray, come to church with us, and be baptized. She told us she won't do any of those things. She actually doesn't know why she invited us over because she's not interested in switching churches or really looking into ours. So we asked if we could share our message anyway and she said yes. We then taught the Restoration. The spirit was SUPER strong. The words we were to speak were literally given to us. We taught more thoroughly and also less thoroughly than we usually do. She didn't say a lot during the lesson but seemed to be on the verge of tears. At the end when we asked her if she would read the Book of Mormon she said yes without hesitation. It was a really amazing experience and really taught me that the Lord's invitation is for everyone who will listen and obey. That experience has taught me a lot about what the spirit and love can do. When we truly try to love the people we teach and serve what we are doing takes on a whole new meaning.

This week has involved a lot of teaching and preparation for Glen's baptism. He is SOOOO excited! He keeps posting on facebook how excited he is and much he's read in the Book of Mormon. He came to a baptism with us on Saturday and is super excited. His baptismal interview was yesterday and after the interview Elder Holt practiced with him for being baptized and he was so excited it was so fun to see! It is seriously such a miracle! I love how the Lord really does prepare people and denies no one. We are super excited to see him get baptized this Saturday! Best Valentines day activity every right?!

We have a little old Russian man who strolls around our neighborhood and we talked to him this week (Sister LeDoux has some Russian words to communicate with now and is doing pretty good!) Well we start talking to him about Mormons and he says "Mormons? Mormons are dirty." We didn't know what to say! "What! Why do you say that?" "Oh I don't know. They don't have any soap?" We really couldn't help it then and laughed! Oh that was the funniest conversation and that was only a part of it!

So a week ago we discovered we have a whole new part to our area that we had no idea was ours! It's a whole section of country complete with cows and sheep and such! So we went on ride out to the country and man I love the country area! It's super pretty! Anyways that's all on that matter! I just love the country!

We have ward council at 7 on Sundays and so yesterday we were all ready waiting for our ride till 6:55 we called her and apparently we had forgotten to ask her for a ride. Great. It's an hour and a half walk so we usually get a ride. But we hopped on our bikes and made it in 20 minutes! It was awesome! So yep now we can be independent and not have to get rides all the time which is AWESOME! I can't even tell you. I love bikes! 

I got to play my violin in church on Sunday! Brother Swanson (Ward mission leader) accompanied me. It was super cool because I was trying to invite everyone so that maybe some of the people we've been working so hard to get to church would actually come (none of them did) but Saturday night we had dinner with the Mitchells and I had a feeling to invite Sister Mitchells Mom who has Parkinsons and isn't a member and won't come to church. Well I just invited and she came to support me! I am so grateful for her! That seriously meant so much! It really was a miracle. 

We went on splits yesterday I went with Madi and Sister LeDoux went with Hailee. We had some awesome miracles! Madi had a prompting to go and see her friends family and so we went and caught them at the right time and had an awesome visit with them. I love being able to go out with both Madi and Hailee! They are both really amazing. They are both preparing for missions and they are going to be totally prepared and ready to be fantastic full-time missionaries because they are already fantastic missionaries!

With the family we met with on splits I felt words given to me as I opened my mouth. We talked about how when Christ visited the Nephites he let them all come and feel the prints in his hands and his feet and his side ONE by ONE. When we get baptized we get baptized ONE by ONE. When missionaries teach we teach people ONE by ONE. The sacrament is administered ONE by ONE. Everything in the Lord's kingdom and his Church is done ONE by ONE. I think that really shows us how important we are individually to him. I love the scripture in 1 Nephi 21:15-16 "For can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. O house of Israel. Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me." I love this scripture. I love how he describes how he literally will not forget us. We are graven upon the palms of his hands. The nail prints that were driven in as he atoned for MY sins are always before him and he cannot forget ME. That is how he feels for each of us: for me and for you. We are on the palms of his hands. Our walls and battles are continually before him and he knows how we feel and what we are going through. He's overcome it already and if we turn to him he can help us know how to best overcome the walls that are ever before each of us. Our relationship with the Savior is personal and individual it is ONE on ONE.  

Anyway sorry again for the late emailing. This zone is super fun and always does awesome things for p-day which I love! We went ice skating today and it was awesome! 

Anyway I love you all! Have a wonderful week! I love you so much! ANd have a fantastic Valentines day!

Sister Kaitlyn Beard

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Week 54: Miracles!

Dearest family,

How has your week been? Can you believe it is already February??? It's crazy!!!! 

So we had an awesome miracle this week! We went on exchanges with the STLs who are now in the YSA ward. And so for the first time since my very first exchange I left my area! I went with Sister Herpich and Sister LeDoux stayed with Sister Major. Sister Herpich served in Oakhurst for 6 months and also really loved it. We talked about Oakhurst moments and people. We decided to visit one of the people in the Oakhurst ward area who might be interested. She wasn't there and so as we were leaving to go contact another girl I just kept feeling like we needed to contact another girl I'd met a year ago. I told Sister Herpich to wait and that I thought we needed to contact this girl. I didn't remember her name or where she lives. So we decided to go by the spirit just like Nephi! We drove to one street and sat there looking at the map trying find another street it could be on because I thought that one wasn't it. Well we drove and passed a hedge and I realized it was the street! Though I couldn't quite say which house. We had three houses as possibilities. We decided to park and tract and so as we started walking towards the first house she walked out. Her name is Derian. She remembers me and yes now she is YSA a year later. We talked and she is still interested. She has two friends who are members of the church one who referred her to us last year. They took her to the Life of Christ event and we'd talked with her a couple times and then we got doubled out.... so now things are perfect! AMAZING miracle! 

I am not going to lie. It is SUPER cool that all these Oakhurst days and people are coming back a year later. It is really amazing. I love the feeling of being guided by the spirit! It's seriously so amazing! 

Another miracle was I decided that this exchange might be the only time I have access to all of Vancouver and so can go see Heather. So Sister Herpich was totally for it and we went and visited Heather! It was super awesome to see her! So that was another amazing miracle! 

So ya that was a super awesome exchange! 

So I've been realizing why we learn about wheels in history and how they changed the world! Man these bikes have changed our world here!!!!! I love it!!!! we can get places so much easier. We don't have to call for a ride every time we go to the stake center. We are a lot more independent. It is super nice.  Everything is just better! We did learn pretty quick to signal stopping to each other and to not follow too closely when I stopped at a yellow light and Sister LeDoux rear ended me! 

We have a really amazing investigator right now. She was being taught a year ago but the time was not right and a bunch of stuff was going on. Well now she's really doing good and has a lot of desire to learn. We went to have a lesson with them this week and she said "so do you have something you want to talk about?" in a way that you could tell that SHE had something she wanted us to talk about. So we asked and she wanted to know more about Joseph Smith and the silver plates:) (we told her they were gold don't worry) So we had an amazing lesson on the Restoration. After she told us when Sister LeDoux told about the vision Joseph Smith had seeing God the Father and Jesus Christ in Joseph Smith's own words she got the chills. We then were able to point out to her that that was the spirit witnessing to her that this is true. Ah that was awesome! I've never had anyone point out the spirit! That was really amazing! 

Glen is still progressing to baptism on February 14th. We are really excited for that! 

So as part of the ward mission plan Bishop Butterfield has asked everyone to read the book called The Power of Everyday Missionaries. So I have been reading that lately and WOW that is an AWESOME book! This week I was really struck by the chapter that talks about sharing the gospel at work. Clayton Christensen states that he believes that the reason we feel it's not allowed to share the gospel in a work setting is because of Satan. I just want to share this one paragraph that struck me.
"If the prohibition against talking about religion at work were a preference of executives,, then different companies would have different views on it. And if the injunction against religious discussions were based in a worry that they would hurt employees' productivity, then discussions about other beliefs--like politics, ethnic differences, sports, and so on--would also be viewed as detracting from productivity in the workplace. The fact that the prohibition applies only to religion, and that the ban on religious discussions seems to be in force at nearly every workplace, leads me to believe that this particular cultural belief is the work of Satan. I see no other plausible explanation."
He then talks about how we spend the majority of our time at work when we aren't with our family or doing church activities. So if we don't share the gospel or our religious belief at work then we aren't sharing the gospel Satan is winning on that matter. 

I hope you all know how much I love you! You have all made me the person that I am today! I am so grateful for all the people who have helped shape me a little here and a little there so that I can be able to help the work of the Lord.

I am so grateful to be able to serve a mission. It hasn't been easy. There are easy days and hard days. But it's been so worth it. I've learned more in the last year than in a lot of years. I am so grateful that the Lord calls missionaries and that he lets us come when we are young. I want to be a better person. I want to be part of the Lord's work forever. I want to be able to become the person he wants me to be. I know that he has a great plan. He knows us individually and wants us to have everything he has. We can't even understand the slightest bit of what that means. It is amazing to be able to be called by the Savior to be a missionary to those who will listen. I know that this is the work of the Lord! 

I love you all so much! I hope that you know that! 

Sister Kaitlyn Beard

"Our decision to serve or not to serve affects the salvation of other
people...When the lord chooses a missionary he does doesn't say,
well the north Caroline Charlotte mission needs missionaries or the
Salt lake south mission needs missionaries, and the Iowa Demois
mission, he matches your personality your talents your gifts with people
that reside in that mission so that there lives can be touched... It
is not happenstance its inspiration."

Look at this cute little fairy house we found while out tracting!
(it's a thing here.. is it elsewhere too???)

Dannie gave me her bike! She's so nice!!!!