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

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Week 66: The latest and greatest!

Dearest Family, 

So to start off with sorry what I wrote about Alma last week was totally not true. Just one war chapter is after. Sometimes I jump to random conclusions. Though the chiasmus thing probably is. Anyway now that we've got that straightened out:)

Awesome week here in Vancouver! Actually kind of crazy! I hope your week was fantastic! 

This week we had an afternoon open up to us and so we prayed to know what to do and we saw this lady walking our way so we walked towards us. "Are you the missionaries?" So we said yes. " My daughter would totally love to talk to you" So she sent us to her house to visit her daughter who was baptized 2 years ago. She just moved back from school and is attending the YSA (Young Single Adult) ward now. So that was a pretty sudden answer to prayers though we don't really know why we were suppose to go and visit with her and her family. But hey God knows and sees the big picture and can guide us to accomplish His work. 

We had a really fun phone call with Jimmy this week! He was telling us about the missionaries he has been meeting with. And then suddenly exclaimed that they say they are Elders but they are only 19-20! That was just crazy for him so he says he calls them 'the boys' :) Oh Jimmy is just so great! It doesn't sound like he is quite ready to get baptized on May 2nd so we will see what happens. 

Can I just say I love Brother Kent! He does everything for us and for anyone in need! He was asking about our bikes and found out that the pink one had a flat so we were using another bike. Within the evening he had the bike and had fixed it and returned it. And not only that he also came to two lessons and had us over for dinner! I love the Kents! They are a great example of a family who is doing all they can to be disciples of Christ. 

We met with Karen this week. I wrote about her a week or two ago. She is staying with a Sister in the ward. At dinner we were inspired to ask her to take the lessons. She accepted with enthusiasm! well this week she told us that she has always wanted to learn more. Her great-grandmother was a Mormon and the last 12 years of her life she was in very poor health condition and there was someone from the church with her 24-7 until she died. TWELVE YEARS! What a miraculous show of love. So much so that this experience has stayed with her and has left a permanent impression on her mind and heart. Hearing this story makes me ask myself. Would I do that? Would I find in myself love so great as to help a dear sister for a chunk of time every week for 12 years? That is true Christ like love. I think I have within myself a deep desire to say yes I would! So then I ask myself is that opportunity already before me? There are so many people in need. All of us actually, at some point or another. So I think yes these opportunities are already before each one of us. 

We met a really awesome lady who is interested in learning! She was the first women iron welder! And the only one for about 10 years. Isn't it crazy who you find in your own neighborhood? People from all sorts of backgrounds and interests. 

We've visited with Doris a bunch this week. She is preparing to leave for several weeks for a couple needed vacations. We went over to help her get some stuff ready and done before she leaves and she let Sister Hansen help her with some sewing projects. (Sister Hansen is a seamstress! but... for reals) She was so excited to get a chance to sew! I wasn't too helpful. Doris and I talked and then when I tried to help iron I kept almost hitting the iron with my hand and Doris (who was watching me like good grandmother) grabs the iron away at one point and slaps my hand telling me to stop getting close to the iron. Oh I just love Doris! 

So.... I think I totally haven't mentioned this but we are planning a music fireside again! It's next Sunday. We are having all three wards in our building participate and contribute about 3 numbers. The fireside is themed "Come Unto Christ" after the song that was the mutual theme last year (you can find it on youth.lds.org. It's a gorgeous song!) Anyway our awesome delegation didn't happen as well as we hoped so we've been running around like crazy ladies trying to get some stuff put together. But it finally looks like it is working out! The biggest stress was organizing the youth from all three wards to sing the song. We spent all afternoon on Saturday trying to find a pianist. But we finally did and things are coming together. Sister Dansie and I are playing a violin duet of 'I Know that My Redeemer Lives' so I am super excited for that! So I will tell you all about that next week! But it should be good!

It's been amazing to see the power fellowshipping has on an investigator. An investigator who can change from being spotty with church attendance and commitment keeping to truly and honestly doing their very best when they have a friend coaching them along. I use to try and look for 'the perfect fellowshipper' commonalities and such. Well I've realized that's not the case. A 'perfect' fellowshipper is the same as a 'perfect' friend. It's someone who is willing to invest in a relationship and really care about the person. Not everyone is really willing to invest that much in a friendship. But when someone is it makes ALL the difference. 

We had the 7 ward boundary change meeting last night. It was honestly a really amazing meeting. I've never been a part of something like that and it was super cool. Our ward didn't experience too large of a change. We actually had the most anticipated one. We lost the easternmost boundary. Our ward use to have 4 school districts just because of the way boundaries aligned. Well they cut off one so now we only have 3. So now we are saying goodbye to the Johns, Aldridges, Hsus, Tingeys, and Leymasters. But we know that this is all in accordance to the Lord's will and to his counsel in D&C 84:106 "And if any man among you be strong in the Spirit, let him take with him him that is weak, that he may be edified in all meekness, that he may become strong also."

Anyway things are going wonderful here in Vancouver. I must say I sure love it here! I love the green, the rain, most especially the people, the gospel, missionary work, biking, and a whole lot more. I'm doing really well! 

I must also say that I sure love Sister Hansen. She is pretty amazing! She is doing fantastic! She is such an amazing missionary! We have a lot of fun and are both really working hard on becoming better people and better missionaries. I couldn't do anything without my dear sweet companion! 

Well I love you all SOOO much! I hope you have a fantastic week! 

Sister Kaitlyn Beard

Week 65: Sunny in Vancouver!

Dearest Family,

We've had a really good week here in Vancouver. Sorry this is sent late we just had an awesome p-day! We just went on a 6 mile hike and Sister Hansen and I ran it! It was a party! Except man am I out of shape! I'm totally going to not do so well on that triathlon!

Anyway we had a really good week. We had a zone meeting and zone conference this week so lots of spiritual uplifting! 

Zone conference was really amazing. I feel like whenever I am around President Taylor I just don't want to leave! Luckily we had lessons we had to get to which made it so we really did have to leave. The mission has been facing some huge public opposition lately which has been honestly just sad. But we know that when God is in a work you can always see a storm cloud billowing as satan tries to oppose it. So I just want to say that I know that this is the work of the Lord. I see miracles DAILY. People ask for signs well I've seen sufficient. How could I deny? This mission is operated under the direction of a president that holds the priesthood authority of God. I know for myself that he is called of God. He couldn't do the work he does on his own whim or accord. And if it was under such accord he wouldn't do it. This work is too hard to be motivated by some man made or man thought of design. This IS the WORK OF GOD. I know and have seen that he does all that he can for us as missionaries. I know that I have been called of God as a missionary. I don't have to be here. I don't have to get up and work every day. I don't have to follow the rules or be obedient. But I want to. Because when I do I feel the presence of the spirit guiding me in all that I do. How can I deny God? He is here. 

President spoke of the atonement. And with it he of course spoke of the fall of Adam and Eve which is why we have the atonement in the first place. I've realized that I have learned so much about Jesus Christ and the Atonement and why we are here. I have learned so much about the Plan of Salvation as a missionary. I've also come to realize how little I understand and how many imperfections I really do have. I have a lot to work on but that's why we have the Savior. 

We did a lot of family history this week. We got to go to the family history center with Doris this week. She's already done a lot on her own so it was just a matter of putting it in. We connected with some work someone has already done on one of her lines and it had some people she didn't know about and some spaces that she does know about. Family history is SO cool!!!! We also got to help Sister Tucker with a little bit of family history too. 

Well I got to sing in church on Sunday! It was kind of last minute because Sister P. asked if Sharra and I could sing in church sometime so we got it together and to get it in before transfers we did it on Sunday. We sang Learn of Me. It was really awesome! It was also great to see the P. family come to church since it's been a couple weeks and we have really missed them. Sharra has an amazing voice! She was so brave to get up and do a duet with me. She hasn't done a lot of solos so she was kind of nervous but she did amazing. 

We talked to Jimmy this week and it looks like he is probably going to get baptized down in Georgia May 2nd. We were at dinner one night and we were telling Sister Aldridge about Jimmy and she told us an amazing story from her mission (which happened to be in Barcelona Spain). One day she woke up and just knew they were suppose to find someone that day. She asked her companion if they could stay in and pray until they knew where to go. Finally a street came to her and she could just see it. It wasn't near any transportation route and would take 2-3 hours to walk there. They would really only have time to walk right there and come right back. So they did. When they finally got there they saw a family and got really excited but she just knew it wasn't them. So they walked past them and saw a middle aged gentleman. He was there on business from Chile for a couple weeks. They taught him and just felt he needed to wait to get baptized. They had the missionaries in Chile meet him in the airport. Years later she found out he had got baptized and his entire family as well. She said that sometimes we have to let people go elsewhere for the good of their family. I really appreciated that story because I'm sure it also applies to Jimmy. 

We got to have two lessons with a very wonderful family with a lot of questions this week but it doesn't look like they want to meet with us anymore which is really really sad. We don't know what happened.

We did a SUPER fun service activity this week! Talk about a service project made for missionaries! We volunteered for the Red Cross for their fire safety and earthquake awareness campaign. So we pretty much got trained (I was an educator) and went out in groups and pretty much went tracting offering to install free smoke detectors and educating about fire and earthquake safety. So that was pretty fun. For the couple hours of training beforehand we had like 20 minutes of what we were suppose to teach about and then the rest on how to be safe going door-to-door which was pretty great and hilarious. I think I've got that pretty mastered by now. So that was a party! Best service project ever!

We are getting ready to say goodbye to Doris for a month because she is going on vacation. Not sure if her vacation will work out quite as well as Jimmys as far as continual progression but we will see. 

We got news on Sunday that the ward boundaries are getting changed in 7/10 wards in the stake. So huge stuff happening next Sunday. I've never had anything like this happen on a mission so that will be exciting and sad. But change is good. If we get too comfortable we don't have to work as hard. Anyway so I will let you know how my area changes next week. We have our suspicions if it's only a small change for our ward but who knows!

Sister Hansen is such a great missionary! I am being truly humbled these days as she has amazing ideas and continually follows the spirit. She has a gift for noticing things about people and remembering what they say. She is always really aware with how they may be handling certain things so when we can continue teaching to the next lesson and when we probably shouldn't quite yet. She is an amazing missionary. I feel very privilege to be her companion and to be able to be the companion that is with her during this great time of change. I can definitely see it right now. She's amazing! 

Well one thing I learned from studying this week: The book of Alma finally makes sense to me! I have always wondered why in the middle of the Book of Alma Alma says his last words to his sons and then leaves and they suppose he dies because they never see him, yet the Book of Alma continues for another 20 chapters. Well today it just clicked that the 20 chapters that followed are actually chronologically before that part but earlier they make mention that they will give an account of the wars hereafter. Then Sister Hansen told me that about chapter 36 is the middle of a chiasmus that is part of the entire Book of Alma. It makes so much more sense now! A chiasmus is a poetry style by the way. 

Anyway I really love being a missionary! It's amazing! I am learning so much and changing a lot. I am SO grateful for this opportunity to be a missionary. I love you all so much! Have a fun and safe week especially with all your travels! I love you so much!

Sister Kaitlyn Beard

Exchanges with Jelsey! She came out with us on her bike so fun!

Everyone in the zone who came on a random log:)

volunteering for the red cross! About to embark!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Week 64: biking, random ideas, service and more:)

Dearest Family,

I hope you had a fantastic spring break! We sure did up here! Ton's seems to have happened it's been busy!

Well Monday night we had a real to-do trying to meet with Jimmy before he left. We finally were able to stop by and see him. He is such a wonderful man! He is just so sincere. He's wandered much of his life and finally feels like he knows who he is and his worth. That is an extremely rewarding thing to watch. He wants so desperately to be on the path and come closer to God. We sat with him on his daughters porch as he poured out his heart it was a very tender experience. He's in Georgia now and seems to be doing well. We've talked to him a couple times and will continue to call him and try and help him meet the missionaries down there as well.

So one day we were on a run trying to get to a family to help them clean their house before housing inspections and suddenly biking became REALLY hard and Sister Hansen told me I had a flat tire. So we just so happened to be by Bishop's house and he's just offered us another bike to borrow so we ran there and swapped bikes and drove off. It was quite a swap though! From a too small bike to a bit too big I was falling all over the place so we traded off bikes for the first couple days till I got use to it. Still haven't had time to fix that tire probably because there isn't really any rush to do so. Anyway we are so blessed here! So many people willing to help and willing to donate of their bikes and bike supplies to help us out. We have an amazing ward here! 

I got to go on exchanges with Sister Boatright again! She is just a party! We went to Salmon Creek ward. Some noteworthy experiences were we met another Beard! That was a party! He even showed us his drivers license to prove it (I was totally confused at first because I thought he was giving us a card and then it's his drivers license and I was like 'uh dude don't go handing that out' but ya nope that wasn't what was going on:). Also we met with a family who recently got sealed in the temple. The wife wasn't a member and got baptized a year ago. The husband has recently been doing his wife's family history work (that's the side that has interested him) and he is blown away. He found that 3ish generations back her family was members of the church. They even go back to having a relative who was a childhood friend of Joseph Smith and later when missionaries came to him he waited till he traveled to where Joseph was to be baptized by him. They have fantastic stories and he sat there and told us stories for near an hour. He told us he thought he'd felt like doing the family history work on their side because she had ancestors who wanted their work done but now he's realized that they just want the gap to be closed between the generations. It was a really amazing experience to say the least. One of my favorite stories was of a woman who was converted to the gospel and then missionaries finally came to her house and gave her a Book of Mormon. Her husband was an alcoholic and was angry and threw it in a blazing fire. When he finally let she went to the fire to salvage just a scrap of paper if she could. She found the book completely unmarked and in perfect condition. She had no doubt that this was true. Amazing stories. It makes me really anxious to do more family history work.

Lot's of service this week! We did a lot of cleaning, some painting, and decorating for birthday parties.

I LOVE how fast conference comes out! By Thursday we were able to watch some of the conference talks with almost everyone we had lessons with. We have such amazing tools and resources available to us! It's truly amazing!

One afternoon we'd planned to go to a certain part of our area for the whole afternoon. As we headed over there after lunch we kept going to leave the area we were in and twice other names in the area we were came to mind so we went to them and finally decided okay it's probably a sign to just stay here. We were able to visit with Doris when we saw her driving in so that was great. It's amazing how the spirit works. 

We had dinner with a sister in the ward and she has a friend staying with her probably through the summer. As we talked for some reason I was feeling lazy and like a bad little missionary and wasn't going to invite her to learn more. But the thought came to me 'You ALWAYS invite.' And so I said 'yes sir!' I invited her to take the missionary lessons and not only did she say yes but she said that she would LOVE that! I learned a very great lesson on inviting. Sometimes it's not always the first thing on our minds or we think it's not super important to do it at that time or whatever excuse or thought we may have. It's not true. We must always invite. The time IS now. Any way I am really excited to teach her! She is awesome! Her name is Karen by the way for future reference.

Okay so here's to the tragic moment of the week! We were rushing back one night to do training study and low and behold I don't even know what I was doing (pretty much thinking I knew how to drive this new fancy bike better than I really did) and I totally crashed! Luckily there were no cars in the road because I totally was in the middle of the road lying there like 'Are you kidding me!' But ya we laughed and came home and cleaned that one up. I'll send a gross picture:) 

So the family that came to General Conference last week came to church this week! They stayed the whole time and seemed to really like it. It was cool because they'd met Brother Bundy this week who had also invited them to church so that was super awesome! There are just so many amazing prepared people!

So for everyone who knows me (which you probably all do know this by now) but I love to come up with crazy ideas that will inspire and change the world no matter how short lived. Anyway so here's the latest and greatest:
So recently I read the talk Find the Lambs, Feed the Sheep by President Gordon B. Hinkley. We prayerfully selected two families to go and share this with. We wanted to visit two families who are doing really good at their missionary work and just need a little boost up. So this week we visited with the Kofoeds. We had them read this talk beforehand and we went and taught a lesson/training thing on it. We talked about great missionaries and this particular families missionary strengths. We then talked about the next step. 

So what we've learned from this experience. You know that book about love languages? Well no matter what one is your love language everyone needs words of affirmation occasionally. We as missionaries can often be blind and go into a home or area and think that no one is good missionaries because they aren't doing what we consider decent missionary work. But that doesn't get us anywhere. In fact most members in the great area of Vancouver are actually fantastic missionaries. But no two missionaries are alike. Like out of the two families we selected one is a great family of finders and teachers while the other is really good fellow-shippers for people we find. Both are really needed for this work. I don't know why it's taken me so long to learn this but when we thank the members for the work they are doing and when we look at what their type of missionary work is and then build from there we will see great work and then the members and the missionaries will really come together! Everyone needs to know that what they are doing is good and we as the missionaries kind of have that responsibility as far as missionary work goes. We definitely don't fully understand the influence that we have as missionaries. But I'm learning so that's always good. 

I absolutely love this work. I absolutely love this ward. I love this ward because it is here that I have changed. It is here that I have become a better missionary. It is here that I've served. It is here that I've learned to love. It is here that I spend my time and energy. It's amazing to see the joy and love you gain from being in the Lord's service. 

I hope none of you forget that missionary work isn't just for other people. It's for all of us. No one is excluded. Most members feel like they don't have non-member friends to share it with. Well first off missionary work isn't just to non-member friends it's really just inviting people closer to Christ. And second off that's why they tell us to branch out! Get involved and make new friends and ALWAYS share your beliefs. No one has missionary experiences just out of the blue without really looking for them, praying for them, or taking the opportunity. No one comes unto Christ from the example of a passive friend, but from those who are actively sharing their faith and inviting their friends to change. As Preach My Gospel rightly says no one will likely change unless invited to do so.

I love being a missionary! I wouldn't want to be anywhere else doing anything else at this time! I am so blessed to have been given this marvelous opportunity to be a missionary! I am so blessed to be able to see miracles every day! 

I love you all! Have a wonderful and safe week!

Sister Kaitlyn Beard

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Week 63: I love General Conference!

Dearest family,

I hope you have had a fantastic week and really enjoyed General Conference! I surely did love it!

This week we had a very special experience as we were able to attend the temple with Sister Tucker for her first time through. It was such a wonderful experience. She's had quite a fight getting to the temple but she finally made it. When we were all in the celestial room and able talk with her she was just crying and so happy. There is such a special feeling in the temple. There's nothing like going to the temple with those you have taught. I am so grateful that President Taylor and the geographical size of our mission so easily allow it! It is a wonderful experience. The work in the temple is what missionary work is all about.

This week we bought a bunch of gerber daisies on Monday and through out the week we delivered them to the sisters that we teach and to some others we felt inspired to deliver to. It was so fun! I love being able to go out and serve and bring a ray of sunshine to some people. Something I've learned is that if you set aside some time or if you have something to deliver you can pray and ask the Lord who needs it most. Just like how Mom would always make two lasagnas and so she could be inspired to deliver the other to someone else and did every time! Just so if we have flowers or some time to go visit or sing a song to someone the Lord will provide names and faces of people who are struggling and just need a little uplifting! I want to invite you all to try this week to have either a little extra time or something like flowers or cookies and pray to know how to cheer up someone else. I know the Lord will provide as he always does.

Well we got the news this week that Jimmy's father is really sick and not doing well so he can no longer put off his trip to see him. So he will be leaving tomorrow for an unknown amount of time but at least for a month. We are pretty sure that for at least one of us this will be goodbye from teaching our dear brother. He is so grateful for us. He says that from this gospel and the things we have taught him he doesn't feel worthless anymore. This is what this gospel is all about! We are sons and daughters of God created in his image with a divine potential. I am so grateful for the chance I have been blessed with to meet and teach Jimmy. Don't worry we will be contacting the ward he is going to be in and the missionaries down there. And we will be calling him at least weekly so it's not the end. It's only the beginning.

I loved General Conference. We are so blessed to be able to have a living Prophet and Apostles. I am so grateful for the counsel and words they delivered. I loved how much it was spoken about the family, eternal perspectives, and the plan of Salvation. I loved the talks on religious freedom, Sabbath day observance, and fasting. I can tell you I have come away from this conference with a greater desire to be grateful to our Lord and Savior. I know this may sound silly but I seem to excuse myself from the masses. When people said 'all' I knew that meant me but I didn't really get it. Every since the conference on Discipleship in the Digital Age I've realized that ALL includes me and the perfect dude down the road. It means ALL. ALL have come short of the glory of God. ALL need a Savior. These things have taken a new understanding to me. I think to really understand what we are doing here and this gospel we really need to understand the fall and how we are fallen. WE need a Savior who is Jesus Christ. I am so excited to be able to study conference for the next couple months. I love the words of the living prophets! I know that they are called of God. This is God's church once again established on the earth!

I love being companions with Sister Hansen! It's so fun! I am so grateful for how open she is. We can truly strengthen each other. This week she was so good to me. I was really tired on Friday and running at monster speed then biking to and from the stake center for a meeting we had just sounded overwhelming. But she switched bikes with me for the ride back and so it became super possible. She's so great! She's a wonderful missionary. She really is learning to teach with power and authority. I love this wonderful chance I have to be her

General Conference miracle! After the last session on Sunday the Elders from Hockinson came over to us and said that the family they were sitting by (which I had thought were their investigators) had just showed up to conference. They live in our area! The loved it and want to come to church next week. So we called him afterwords (they hadn't stayed the whole time) and so we will keep you updated on them! The Lord provides many miracles!

So Chelsea and Aaron are awesome. I don't know how much I've written on them. But they are people of their word. They said they'd come to conference Sunday morning and they did. They left 30 minutes into it to go home and throw up... we visited them later and yes. They are VERY sick. But just look at that! Some people who value their word as law. We trust them fully. When they absolutely can they will. What an
exercise of faith!

I love this gospel and I love being a missionary! It's the best! Well this week is looking kind of slow with spring break but we know it's the Lord's work not our so we will surely see many miracles!

I love you all so much! Have a fantastic week! And Spring Break for all those who have it!

Sister Kaitlyn Beard