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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

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Week 80: The Final Hurrah!

Dearest Family,

Well my time is really short! It's kind of crazy! I honestly never
thought this day would come.

Well let me tell you some of my thoughts. I am so grateful for this
chance that I've had to be a missionary. I have learned more than I
could ever put into words.

I use to think it really mattered where you served. When that didn't
seem so important anymore I use to think it was for the people you
served that you got called somewhere. Then when that didn't really
seem to matter super much I have begun to think and realize that yes
all those things are important but the most influential people in who
you become is your mission president and wife and your companions.
President and Sister Taylor and all of my companions have changed my
life and shaped who I am today. The other missionaries and people I
have met and the place of Washington have also been impactful. I
honestly think that we knew and organized ourselves into missions
before the world began and that this was always where I was suppose to
come.

I am so grateful for this time with Sister Morrill and to be a Sister
Training Leader. This last transfer has been especially impactful. I
am going home a different person and missionary because of these last
two transfers and all that they entail.

I have been so blessed.

I was reading a blessing I received a while before my mission and and
it promised me that on my mission my testimony of the Gospel of Jesus
Christ, the temple, and the Restoration would grow. Well I have
definitely seen that happen! Particularly in those areas. I am
especially amazed for the way my testimony of the temple has grown. I
have been greatly blessed to be able to attend the temple frequently
as a missionary and have seen the unique fulfillment of that blessing.
I am so grateful for the opportunities and blessings that I have
received as a missionary.

I just want to thank you all for your support as I have been away. I
am so blessed to have such a supportive group of friends and family!
You have offered perfect support that has been such a bless into me.

I am way nervous but excited to come home.

I know the things I have been teaching for the last year and a half
are true. God does live and He loves us. He sent His son. Joseph Smith
is truly Gods prophet and the church and priesthood have been restored
in its fulness. The Book of Mormon is a witness of Christ and the
Restoration. And he Lord has called us to share His gospel with the
world! I am so grateful for this wonderful opportunity I have had and
the countless little blessings that have added up to a miracle.

I love you all! See you tomorrow!

Love,
Sister Kaitlyn Beard

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Week 79

Dearest family,

I am definitely so amazed and grateful to hear of the wonderful
support and that you have felt and experienced this week. I know the
Lord is ever mindful and that the ministry of angels is real. I am so
grateful for the faith of our fathers that has led to such a blessed
understanding and perspective.

Truly the Lord has a much larger vision and plan than we do. I don't
understand the Lords plan in its entirety but I do know that as Adam
and Eve learned that it is better for us to pass through sorrow that
we can find joy in redemption. There is pain because there must be. It
comes for many reasons and sometimes just because it does. But I know
that the Lord knows the pain we feel. He doesn't ever call us to pass
through pain or sorrow that he hasn't experienced himself. And he, the
master healer, will one day heal us.

One of my favorite scriptures is in Isaiah. "For my thoughts are not
your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as
the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your
ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts."

My dear family I hope you know how much I love you. I was able to
attend the temple this week and the peace that is in the temples of
the Lord I know comes from God and from the understanding that
although we do not know all things, He does. He knows us so perfectly.
He is the perfect leader and teacher and father.

I had my departing interview with President Taylor this week and among
other things he talked about trust in the Lord. He told me that I have
learned to trust in the Lord and that as I move on in life I don't
need to fear because I know the Lord has fulfilled his promises thus
far and so I can trust that he will fulfill all his promises in the
future. I think that is one of the most useful things I can learn and
the most important thing the Lord wants to teach us.

I have been very blessed this past week so don't worry about me. We
have kept very busy going on exchanges and helping the sisters. I am
learning so much and am so grateful for this opportunity. I know that
the Lord called me at the time he did for a reason and the release
from this calling was put at this time for a reason... Probably many
reasons. There is still a weeks worth of work to do and then I will
come home thankful for the time I have had to serve the Lord and
represent Jesus Christ. This had definitely been a life changing
experience for which I will be forever thankful.

I love you all.

Love,
Sister Kaitlyn Beard

Week 78

Dearest family,

I honestly don't know what to say and so I hope you will forgive me. 

On Thursday I received a call from President Taylor asking is I could meet him at the mission office. Such a request always gets your heart beating really fast. When we arrived the solemn look seemed to confirm that this wasn't a trivial matter. President and Sister Taylor, Sister Morrill and I all walked in and sat around a table in his office where he proceeded to tell me that Uncle Jeff and cousin Cameron had been killed earlier that week. I can't really tell you how I feel or how I felt as I don't really know how that can be described. The Lord only knows what these things feel like. I was grateful for the tender moment when President Taylor laid his hands on my head and gave me a priesthood blessing that filled me with comfort and when I think of it now it brings back similar feelings.

In a talk I was reading this week I read this quote about the Savior "One of the attributes of the Savior we most appreciate is His infinite compassion." Struck by this sentence I decided to dictionary define the word compassion. The definition was trivial and had no connecting meaning to me, upon further searching I found that the word compassion comes from a root word 'compati' meaning 'to suffer with'. What great truth this sentence holds with such a definition. The Savior has infinite compassion because he suffered infinitely for all of us. And because of his suffering he has complete and total ability for compassion. After the death of Sister Parrish's family she had sent a gift to the mission from her aunt. A painting of the savior that was titled 'The Compassionate Christ'. In our times of deepest sorrow and suffering we can know that we have a compassionate Christ who in a very real yet not understandable way knows how we feel and how to succor us. 

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We all know the plan we learn in church called The Plan of Salvation. It has many names. I think we all have cause to wonder how this plan really comes into play and why things happen the way they do. Many of the people we happen upon who do not believe in God or who will not commit to any religion do so because of deep pain caused by death or misfortune. I don't think any of us fully understand the plan of salvation. Life is very short and yet somehow its consequences are larger and higher than anything we can imagine. In the sequence of eternity this life is very short. Just think. Because of the choices we make in this life our entire eternity hangs in the balance. Also thinking from the other end. We prepared the entire eternal time before this life for this exact time. Some of us are here just a short couple of years, others stay many decades, yet none of us stay forever. I think in the Lords terms "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9). His plan is greater than we can understand and his perspective larger than we can see. 

We know the Lord values families. Sister Julie B. Beck taught: “In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we have a theology of the family that is based on the Creation, the Fall, and the Atonement. The Creation of the earth provided a place where families could live. … The Fall provided a way for the family to grow. … The Atonement allows for the family to be sealed together eternally.” His plan for our families is not just for right now but for eternity where we can dwell as glorified and perfected beings with our families forever. Someday our trials will have perfected us and refined is in a way that will allow us to live with our Father again. As I've reflected on the trials I have faced in my life and in particular this last 18 months which has been a time of immense personal shaping, I have realized that the Lord doesn't care so much about who we meet, or where we go, or what we do. All those things are important but don't really matter. What the Lord really cares about is who we become. He and he alone knows who he wants us to be. He and he alone knows what the depth of sorrow that must happen to get us to that point. He and he alone has felt every part of that sorrow. And he and he alone will be with us every step of the way. He and he alone will be there when we stand alone before the throne with nothing but who we are: no trophies, no scholarships, no popularity, no worldly or selfish things. He will be the one walked with us. He will be the one who will grateful and joyfully welcome us back to the presence of God. The journey is long, and the end not in our sight. But it is in His. 

I greatly wish I could be with you in Colorado. And my prayers and fasting are with you. I love you all so much. 

Love,
Sister Kaitlyn Beard