Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Hey Family!!

There is sooo much that I need to update you on since we talked on the phone last Monday! Time flies by so quickly out here. I can't believe it's been a whole week since I got out here.

Pres. Hall, his wife and some missionary couples picked us up at the airport and took us to the mission home for the night. They are the sweetest people. I'm sad that they are leaving this Friday but so excited to meet my new president! In my interview with Pres. Hall he told me that he remembers you dad and to tell you hi! ;) The next morning I found out who my trainer is!!!!.... AND I found out that I am in a TRIO! woot woot! It's been awesome! I secretly was wishing for a trio. It's been so much fun. My trainer's name is Sister Conant from Seattle. She has been out four months but they had her training after 5 weeks... scary thought... my other companion is Sister Hoyt from California. They are both darling girls and we work really well together. :) As we were leaving to our new area, President came up to us and said that we were going to be a strong that's comforting!

On the way to our apartment, we drove by both Disney World (I saw the Harry Potter castle.. Angie, be jealous,) and the temple!!! We have whitewashed an area (meaning that sisters have replaced elders,) of Winter Garden. It was a bit of a challenge at first because the elders before us weren't very organized...or clean :/ ...but things are working out :) Once we got to the apartment, we immediately starting working. We have been working nonstop. It's tiring at times but I'm hanging in there. I ended up getting a little sick for the first couple days (just a cold) so that wasn't very fun but today is the first day that it hasn't bugged. No worries :)

I just have to mention how beautiful and green it is here. There are ponds and lakes everywhere! Just so wet! and green! love it! ..but so humid. I'm not looking forward to August here. When it rains here, it POURS. I almost got caught in the rain but we found shelter just in time. It's so funny.. the moment it starts raining, it just all comes down instead of gradually starting to rain. hahaha! You have to be ready!

My first lesson is definitely an experience I'll never forget. The lady we taught had been meeting with the elders daily and is close to baptism (she needs to work on quiting smoking). We have the lessons outside her front door so we can get some air circulation. We had one of the ward missionaries with us as well. He was very patient with her. She has had a lot of loss in her life. She has friends that help her. It's been a struggle with her physical problems, but we are trying to work through it all. Through the whole lesson, we were being attacked by tons of mosquitos, flies and lizards! Everywhere! Haha! So crazy!

Sister Conant is so spunky and bubbly. She is very patient as well. I think we all work really well together. At our last district meeting we did some role plays and one of my zone leaders, Elder Norman (who knows Jeff and Dane from high school,) really didn't have much to say to correct the way we had been teaching. Obviously there is a ton of work I need to do to get better but it's awesome knowing that we already have such great unity as a companionship. We are actually teaching our district about companionship unity tomorrow at our next district meeting! By the way, my district leader, Elder Patten, is 6' 9"! You could say that he really 'stands out' in a crowd.

Last week, the missionaries from our district did yard work on the temple grounds. It was fun (and hot)! The temple is so gorgeous. I learned that we aren't allowed to go to the temple while we are here though which is a huge bummer. :(

This past week we have been meeting a lot of the members, less actives (LAs), investigators, and a little bit of finding. We are planning on tracting more this week now that we know the ward and area more. It will be hot! We have bikes every other week. This week we are on bikes ;) I've biked for two days now. It really isn't all that bad in skirts. I just don't like biking with a satchel :( They told us in the handbook to not have backpacks but my trainer got herself one... so I think I will to. It would be a lot easier to ride with for sure.

Two nights ago... I saw my first cockroach. YUCK!!!!! They are DISGUSTING! I got the heebie jeebies really quickly hahahaha Just imagine three girls freaking out ;) we killed it and I picked it up and threw it away. You should be proud of me ;) I almost cried though from laughing and freaking out all at the same time hahaha I'm not looking forward to the next one... :(

Two moments from the past week really stand out to me. The first was of a man named Gene. He had a stroke during Christmas time, has lost his job and can't do very much so he has depression. We met with him and the moment we started talking to him he just burst into tears. I had met with other people that would begin to cry... but when he cried my heart ACHED for him. I shared with him that my grandma also had a stroke during Christmas time. I told him that my grandpa has always called her 'Faith' but I had never really had a reason to see how much faith my grandma had until this past year. I told him that although it has been a huge struggle for her this past year, that she has found the strength to carry on by having faith and leaning on Christ to help her. It was a really sweet experience. The whole lesson I just felt this confirmation that this is what I'm suppose to be doing right now in my life. It is such an amazing thing to be doing. It has been super hard at times and I can get a little down at other times.. but those moments are so sweet.

The second moment that stands out to me is our first lesson with Tracy and Kelly. Kelly has been searching many different religions for a long time now and just really wants to belong somewhere. They had a lot of questions about the Bible and Book of Mormon but they seemed content with the answers that we gave them. At the end of the lesson, we asked Kelly (the wife,) if she could give the closing prayer. After she said the prayer, she told us that she felt like crying but she didn't know why... and then some tears fell from her eyes. We helped her recognize that the feeling she had was the Holy Ghost. The spirit was SO strong and SO thick. I don't think I have ever felt the spirit so strongly before. I swear I could have almost reached out and touched it.. it was so real. I had the chills really bad ;) haha It was just such an amazing experience. I can't believe that I've had an experience that powerful within the first week. If this is the way the rest of the mission is going to be like.. then BRING IT ON!!! ;) hahaha .. I know that it's going to be super hard at times.. and I'm not looking forward to being a trainer myself... like at all... that's just freaking me out... but I know this is what I'm suppose to be doing :) I LOVE YOU ALL!!!! I'll talk to you next Monday... can't believe it will be July by that time... crazy!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!!!

So I totally forgot to mention the Leadership Devotional. Wow... sooo good. It was so powerful. I'm so glad that all of you were able to see it!!!! I really didn't realize it until I was out here how important it is to have the members reaching out to people. The work really won't do much if members aren't there to support them. Just put yourself in their shoes, it would be so hard to change so many things about your life and not have anyone reaching out to you while you are there. So if you see anyone new, PLEASE go make friends with them and help them. I couldn't agree more with all that was said during the broadcast. It was all so amazing! ... I'm still really bitter that I missed being there in person and singing in the Leadership Conference choir by 6 days.... grrrrrrrrrr!!!! Fun that something that big was at BYU thought! awesome!!!

I really don't have time to be emailing all of you personally, so Angie, I just want to tell you how excited and proud I am of you for your desire to serve! If you change your mind as the time gets closer know that it is okay.. but also know that this is the BEST but HARDEST thing that you will have ever done so far in your life. I have only been here a week and I am getting a taste of how hard it is; but sooo cool!!!!! love you :) :) :) :)

There is so much more I want to say but I just don't have the time to say it all. Sorry :( Family, PLEASE send me letters. I love getting a couple of emails, but I just don't have time to read all of them and then write back... Plus, if you send letters then I have things to read throughout the whole week instead of just Mondays ;) I haven't gotten the package you said you sent but hopefully it will come soon.

How is everything going? How is Angie and her new jobs? Her wisdom teeth?

I love you all so much! Send letters to my mission home and they will forwards it on :) I LOVE YOU!! got 20 seconds! ah!!!!!! MUAH!!!!!!!


Sister Kirkham

Monday, June 17, 2013

Katie made it to Orlando! June 17, 2013



I made it to Florida and am sleeping at the mission home tonight :) It is SO gorgeous here!! So green, so much water EVERYWHERE! A thunderstorm started during a testimony meeting tonight and is gone already haha! I love it!


There was no problems at the airport. I actually talked quite a bit about what I'm doing and our church to a lady I sat next to on the plane! She was very sweet and is in awe with the MoTab and Salt Lake City. oooh ya!!!


I probably shouldn't be writing a whole lot but they gave me permission to let you know that I made it here safely and loving it. I will find out who my trainer is tomorrow! Ah! Right now I'm waiting to be interviewed by the mission president :) They seem to be very cute people. I'm even more excited to meet the new president in a couple week!! 


I LOVE YOU GUYS!!!! I can't tell you how much comfort it was to talk to you guys and hear your voices. ah! iloveyouiloveyouiloveyou!!! THIS CHURCH IS TRUE!!!! 


-Sister Kirkham


Last email from the MTC, June 14, 2013



oooooh my goodness! I have SO many emails and updates this week! It's so much fun but shortens email time up sooo much! I'll try to write as FAST as I can! Things have been SO awesome here at the MTC this week. I can't believe how fast this week has gone by. The first couple days here went by soooo slow. Now I can't seem to keep track of the time! I just came back from the temple for the 2nd time here. It has been amazing going to the temple with all of these missionaries. Last week when I went I had a really amazing spiritual experience. I felt the spirit super strong. I had such a warm feeling inside of me confirming to me that this is where I belong. I also began to cry we prayed for all of the missionaries. It was such an amazing moment to sit with so many kids my age that are giving up their lives for 2 years to the Lord and to realize how much we are really prayed for. I truly feel and believe that God is in my heart and that angels are round about me while I'm doing this work. It is the most amazing feeling that I have ever experienced and I don't want it to ever go away! I'm just shaking a little now typing it! I just feel the spirit so strongly here. I will miss the MTC for that reason... however I think I'll be ok leaving the food behind ;)


My companion and I have been teaching a nonmember, BYU student from Chicago. The first lesson did not go well AT ALL!!! He knew the Bible like the back of his hand and refused to even listen to us when we talked about reading from another book. While preparing for our second lesson with him, I have no doubt that we received revelation on how to prepare for it.... we felt really strongly to talk in more depth about how the Book of Mormon and Bible go hand in hand. We shared scriptures with him from both books, told him brief history of Lehi and his family coming to the Americas and how that is how the Book of Mormon came to be over time. We then read 3 Nephi when Christ came to the Americas. The spirit was so strong when reading the story. The investigator became thoughtful and said that he would study from both the Book of Mormon and Bible! YAY!!! It was such a confidence builder and my faith grew so much knowing that if I'm doing all I can that God will do the rest. I'm not sure what will happen to him, but I know that the spirit stirred something inside of him.


Singing in the choir at the Marriott Center was AWESOME!! There were so many voices! The spirit was very strong while singing 'Called to Serve'. I loved it! The message was given by Elder Arnold of the 70. What I liked the most about his message was having NO REGRETS. It motivated me so much and I am so determined to work my hardest out there.


I've become really close with my district. All the girls are coming to Orlando with me but the Elders are going to Washington :( :( I'm going to miss them! But I'm so excited to meet the new missionaries out in the field! I can't believe that I only have 2 full days left here in Utah... goodbye mountains! goodbye nasty MTC food! goodbye BYU! goodbye family! goodbye dry skin and HELLO FLORIDA STORMS! ;) hahaha


How is Angie doing with her wisdom teeth out? Does she have chipmunk cheeks?? ;) hehehe someone. PLEASE. send. me. a. picture. hahahaha! I'm going to try and send pictures... but I don't know if it's going to work! I'll try my best cause I want you to see what's been going on!!!!


I fly out Monday morning. We are to leave the MTC around 5:30 a.m. for the airport. Our flight is at 9:40 and we should land in Florida (in FL time) at 4:10. PLEASE have your phones on you!! I'll try and call the home phone. If not, I'll call Dad’s, then Mom’s, and then Angie’s but I don't want to be spending all of my call minutes trying to get in touch with you! I got a call card today and saw Haley Gardner btw!! I'm not sure when I'll be able to call... but expect it in the morning sometime. I'm so excited to talk to you! love you guys :)


So I've been really frustrated that there are NEVER any girls that get together to play soccer on the MTC fields! It's always elders... and I can't play soccer with the elders! Most frustrating things ever.... Soooo yesterday, I got a bunch of girls together (most don't play soccer...) and we played!!!! YES!!! I had been DYING watching the elders play while I had to do something lame like run around the field, play volleyball or frisbee... YUCK. So gym was 10x better yesterday! ;)


I got a huge package from both Kristi Langford and the BYU Admissions Office! soooo cute of them! I don't have Kristi's address... does anyone have that so I can send her a thank you?! I will send the Admissions Office one. I have that address in my head forever ;) I have so much junk food though! So I have been sharing it with my district and with a big majority of the zone haha


I really can't think of anything that I need right now. I really just love hearing from you guys and staying updated on how you are doing :) Thank you SO much for all of the letters this past week. You don't know how much it means to get one out here!! It's either the highlight of your day to get one or the downer of the day to not get one.. hahaha so thank you :)


I'm so happy to hear that people are looking out for our family right now. How cute of them to leave tissue boxes on the porch! Last week was insane for sure for you guys. What are the plans for summer?


I've been staring at the mountains today soaking in their beauty. I'm going to miss them! Not only because they are gorgeous but because I know which way I'm facing!!! haha! I'm going to have to really know my directions out in Florida... ah!


I've seen Mandi TWICE! Such a fun surprise. The first time she found me while I was at the devotional. Love that girl. I'll miss her but I'm so excited to get together afterwards and share our experiences as well as hear her speak Spanish! that will be weird..!


(I'll try and send pics now in another email) I'll be on for another 20 minutes to try and do that! love you!!! :)


I'll talk to you next from the FL!!!!!




Sis. Kirkham

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Angela gets her 4 wisdom teeth pulled. Katie not around to tease her like she got from her sister a couple of years ago. Ha Ha. Pour swollen Angela. 
Katie was able to visit her grandmother Hobbs before going into the MTC

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Katie will be Orlando on Monday June 17th
Here is her mailing and mission home address:

Sister Katie S. Kirkham
Florida Orlando Mission
10502 Satellite Blvd. Suite E
Orlando FLORIDA  32837-8426

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Katie was on the 6:00 PM KSL news tonight walking with all the missionaries from the MTC to the Marriott Center. She looked happy and energetic.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Hey Family!!!!!

Katie Kirkham <>
Jun 7 (2 days ago)

to me, Angela, chrishkirkham 
Hey guys!!!!! =D 

How is everything going back home?! The days here are soooo long but I can't believe it's Friday already. haha! We have been going nonstop. We really don't waste any time here at the MTC but it's great! I've learned so much already and I have only been here for a couple days!

I have seen SO many people here that I know. I've seen Sister Langford twice, Sister Hubbard (Katrina's sister), Sister O'leary, Cowley, Elder Davis and several people from the 'Y'! I still haven't seen Mandi... I don't know if I will since she is living at Wy View :( 

Tell Angie I'm sorry that I won't be there to see her graduate today but that she is in my thoughts and prayers! So proud of you Angie! You better wear that lei I gave you ;) 

My district is AWESOME!! I LOVE them. There are 3 sets of sisters and 2 sets of elders. I'm going to be said to part with the elders when they fly out to Spokane. 

I guess I'll tell you about what I've been learning here so far:

The first night we learned the importance of learning who the people are that they are teaching, such as who their families are, what they do for a living, what is going on in their life, how they found the church, etc. When we get to actually KNOW the person than we can have a better understanding of what their needs are and how we can best apply the gospel into their lives so that it can touch them at a more personal level. It was a great night! I learned a lot! 

Thursday morning was great. I felt the spirit sooo strong in a 'People and Your Purpose' workshop. We talked about different examples of people and discussed how God probably thinks of them and the love He has for them. We then talked about our purpose as missionaries. Our purpose is to: invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. I learned that as missionaries we INVITE and HELP. The investigators are to take the responsibility and do the rest to create a relationship with God. 

We did a HOURS of studying yesterday in the same room... ah! I better get use it soon. haha I loved studying though! I felt like I received a lot of insight while studying PMG, scriptures and applying it to what we had been learning the past couple days. I read in Alma about Ammon and the sons of Mosiah going to teach the Lamanite people. I didn't realize how PERFECT of a missionary Ammon was until yesterday while studying!! Everything that I have learned within the past couple days was applied perfectly by Ammon when he was teaching King Lamoni. 1st, Ammon shoed the king that he CARED for the people (Alma 17: 22-23). 2nd, Ammon SERVED them to show that he cares and to gain trust with the people  (vs. 25 & 29). 3rd, He asks questions to the King to get to know the King and his thoughts and intents of his heart so he knew how to teach him (Alma 18: 26 & 28). 4th, he teaches the doctrine which INVITES the king to receive the gospel and Ammon HELPS him understand the doctrine. 5th, After Ammon INVTED and HELPD (the missionary purpose!!) the king, the king created a relationship with God which converted Him through the Spirit and he received personal revelation. (Alma 18: 40-42) (Alma 19: 12-13 on conversion). Anyways... I really enjoyed studying that yesterday and it touched me deeply. 

We also worked on the the cycle of daily planning. First we choose topics according to the investigators needs and by following the spirit. 2nd personal study to gain insight on the topics, receive reveliation and prepare to teach. 3rd, companion study to gain companionship unity, focus on progress of those that we are teaching and to prepare fo rspecific appointments and then write out of lesson plan. 4th, we teach by the spirit and immediatly plan what topics we feel we should study to prepare to teach them next. 

Last night I met my Branch Presidency and one of the counselors is my Book of Mormon professor from Freshman year: Brother Merrill! It was fun to see him and kind of a surprise! 

Surprisingly I'm not the oldest one here... hahaha Most girls here seem to be 19. However, there is a sister in my district that is 21. Her name is Sister Peterson from Sandy. She is so darling! She is very spunky and I love her!! My companion is the bomb. We get along really well. She is very sweet and has a cute smile. I feel like we don't have any problem with having the spirit with us when we are preparing, studying and teaching. 

My confidence is definitely growing. I have so much more to learn and I have so much to improve on but I just get more and more excited everyday to get out into the mission field! As great as the MTC is... I am already WAY ready to get out of here.... haha! 

So I have a confession... I forgot to write down Jeff's mailing address... and I should really get that... oops!!! :/ You think I would have it memorized by now but to be quite honest my mind has seemed to forget everything since entering the MTC. I was talking about a cousin and totally spaced her name for like a whole minute! IT WAS SO EMBARRASSING!!!! I swear it's nothing personal... I think I'm just learning so much here and learning so many names that I've shoved all the other names and stuff to the back of my head. hahaha 

Wow... time goes by sooo fast here! It's amazing how fast the time is FINALLY flying by here! ;) hahaha I'm going to the temple today with my district! That should be pretty cool. I guess you already assumed this.. but my P-days are on Fridays here at the MTC. I'm not sure what they will be when I'm out in the field. That's all I know for know! 

Well, I love you guys so much! Thank you for your support and I'm so excited to hear how Angie's graduation goes! So, so proud of her! I want to know what you guys have been up to this past week as well! Tell me everything! 

This Church is true and I'm so blessed and excited to be a missionary!!!! love you! :D xoxoxoxo


Sister Kirkham

Katie Kirkham entered MTC on June 5th, 2013

Sister Katie Kirkham dropped off at the Provo MTC, June 5th 2013

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Visiting the Hawaii Temple

Visiting the Hawaii Temple was awesome! Angela, my younger sister, and I are enjoying the most gorgeous view on the island :)

Our family met the temple president and his kind wife. He told us the following miraculous story about his temple.

The lumber for the original temple came by a miracle. At the end of WWII, the Saints in Hawaii fasted and prayed for a temple. It was approved. However, lumber was hard to get which meant, no lumber = no temple. Then a barge floated up a bay close to the temple and ran up on the shore. It was unusual for any ships to come into that bay. The tide started going out and the captain was concerned that his ship would be grounded. He was desperate to get the weight of his cargo off his ship so he could get ship moving in the water again. He put a call out to the local people asking for help. He told the locals that they could keep anything they took off his ship. It just so happened that his cargo was lumber. The Saints responded immediately to his plea. That lumber was used in building the temple. This story was told by President Monson at the re-dedication of the Hawaii Temple 2 years ago.