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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, 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

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