Sunday, July 28, 2013

Pioneer Day Blessings in Winter Gardens

                                                                                                22 July 2013


I’m so sorry about my last email. I had typed out a long email that took about 40 minutes long and then I lost it somehow…ugh!...really not happy about that.  I’ll try my best to write out what I had in my email.

This past week was a lot better than the week before. We saw quite a few blessings and miracles. We were out knocking on doors when it was raining a couple nights ago.  We were out on the far east side of our area near a lake. I think it is called Lake Apopka. (While we were out there we saw 5-6 peacocks.)  We met a man named Curtis. We told him who we were and that we were in the area blessing homes and families with a prayer, and asked if he needed anything in particular in a prayer. He began to cry telling us that his 14year old boy was in I.C.U. and had his colon removed. His son was still in a coma. We prayed with him, taught him about the priesthood and asked if he would feel comfortable having elders go to the hospital and give his son a blessing. He was all for it and very grateful.. That was the first time that I caught a true glimpse of what the Savior had to go through …I felt so bad for this man and I couldn’t help but be so grateful for my Savior going through what He did so He would know the pains and sickness of that family.

We also saw a lot of Less Actives come to church this week! We were only expecting about 3 to go but 4-5 showed up! I was so happy!! There are a lot of times on the mission that it’s easy to get discouraged but it doesn’t matter once you have those small moments! It’s all worth it! One lady that came hadn’t been to church for over 7 years and she stayed the whole 3 hours and loved it!

We had dinner with another L.A. named Lillian. She is the cutest, spunkiest, 60 yrs. old black lady. She told us that she desired to feel the Spirit again like she did when she was baptized but she couldn’t seem to get it. She also said it was really hard for her to get back to church. We promised her the blessings of going and it went really well. The next day we were at a ward Pioneer Day party and she came. She pulled me aside and told me that we were heaven sent and she was so grateful for us. She said that she would have never come to the party and she wanted to have and share the same light that we have. It was really sweet. Then she came to church the next day!!

The Pioneer Day party was fun! There was a man that came from the Florida Church Ranch and taught us how to rope a cow (a wooden cow). There was dancing, ice cream, homemade pie, and the bishop put a band together and played!! HAHA! He was on the drums and they were, surprisingly, really good! It was a lot of fun to see a bunch of older men having fun : D  Between when the band would play, they would play other music and I have to admit, I was freaking out when “22” by Taylor Swift came on! I wanted to just get up, sing, and dance across the gym floor. Hahaha! It was awesome though because there were a lot of members that invited nonmembers! It was a missionary’s dream come true—being stuck in a room full of members and their nonmember friends! So perfect! We are trying to organize a “laid back” get together like that once a month and emphasize the missionary work that could be done by bringing friends.

I really can’t believe that Lauren is engaged! Actually, I can but it’s still so crazy! How exciting! Will you send me or have the Allison’s send me an invitation? I want to see it! When is the date?

I feel really bad and bummed that things aren’t going to work out seeing Kim Kirkham. That would have been really cool but I don’t want to break any rules L Tell her I love her!

For District Prep Day last Monday, we went bowling at King’s Bowling. It’s the nicest bowling place I’ve ever seen! …And, I kicked trash!!!!! I got 3 strikes in a row for my last round! Ohhh Yeah!!! Funny thing is there are only 3 sisters and the rest are elders. Plus, I creamed one of my Zone leaders (Elder Norman who went to school with Jeff and Dane.) Sweet revenge!

Please keep me posted as to what is going on in our neighborhood.

It’s so weird to think that Ryan Checketts and Troy Perry are home and living normal lives. I miss them. Will you please give them big hugs for me? It kills me that I have to wait longer to see them!!! That’s so exciting that Atticus is home! Wow! That’s fun that you are having F.H.E. with the Peterson’s. Tell me how that goes :D

I hope you all know that I’m doing “fine and dandy” right now! There are challenges every day but I’ve learned that when you just focus on the work then home sickness and all of that goes away a lot faster. I love this quote from Elder Benson:

I have often said, one of the greatest secrets of missionary work is work. If a missionary works, she will get the spirit. If she gets the spirit, she will teach with the spirit, and if she teaches with the spirit, she will touch the hearts of the people and she will be happy. There will be no home sickness, no worrying about families, for all time, talents and interests are centered on the work of the ministry. Work, work, work—there is no satisfactory substitute, especially in missionary work.

Great quote!

By the way, I’m not having a problem with my wet shoes! They just take a couple of days to dry, if I get caught in a bad rainstorm, (which is quite fun)!

The family that had a baptism date on July 20th dropped all contact with us. We have tried every possible way to get a hold of them but haven’t been able to. It’s so sad. We find that out here a lot. Someone seems to have potential and next thing you know, you will never see them again. It’s difficult and frustrating but we have to remind ourselves that it’s all in the Lord’s hands.

The members have been quite good with keeping us fed. They like to feed the sisters more than the elders. Poor elders.

My bike is holding up well! Haven’t had any problems. Thank you so much! I’ve really enjoyed riding my bike. It’s nice to be outside and the day seems more rewarding after a day on bikes  :D   Plus, you get to stop and talk to a lot more people on bikes than in cars.

So transfers are next Tuesday. AH! I have no idea what is going to happen! Haha! Transfers happen every 6 weeks but it’s up to the revelation that the President and other missionary leaders receive to decide if you are going to stay where you are at with the same companion or get moved. It’s crazy. I’ll find out in an email next Monday and maybe I’ll have to pack and move out with a new companion by Tuesday. I don’t think we’ve had any new missionaries come since I got here. I would think that some may come in next week though at transfers.

It’s really sad, but we sat down as a companionship in prayer and decided to reprioritize the people we are visiting. We dropped quite a few from our L.A. list. Pretty sad, but we feel at peace about it and we have seen blessings come from it because we have had more time to focus on those that are more interested and could be ready. Dropping people is one of the hardest things about the work.

I feel like there is so much to tell you but it’s impossible to write it all out…even in my journal. I’m doing pretty good at writing in my journal though, no worries :D

I honestly don’t know when I will find the time to play the piano on P-days, but could you possible send me classics and church stuff to sing and play? It would be fun to just have on hand. I’m sorry that I keep asking for things….haha! Thank you so much though! I got the hymn book just barely and am so grateful for it! I can’t believe I didn’t think to grab that! Thanks!

How are things going with work? School? Home? Etc.? It’s funny…one day I will feel like I have more energy and that I’m finally getting use to 10:30 p.m.-6:30 a.m. for sleep every night, but then the next day I just want to pass out! You can get pretty tired out here but it helps on bike week. Biking really wakes you up but your super tired, sweaty, dirty, and wet from the rain by night. It makes for a good feeling at the end of the day knowing we worked hard. There have been a couple of times that I’ve had to be the one to get the other two sisters moving…it gets a little frustrating sometimes, but all is well! I don’t mean this in a rude way, but my trainer likes to sit…haha…so I feel like I’m always trying to keep us focused on everything we are doing for the benefit of the work. It’s hard for me at times too but not too bad. The days fly by when you just focus on the work and not think about anything else. They days are so long but weeks so short! How is it that we are in our last full week of July ? I was just celebrating the 4th of July ! Which by the way, I got that 4th of July/Eaglewood Cove  t-shirt! Cutest surprise ever !! Thank you!!! I’ve been wearing it to bed :D haha! Who wrote “FOM” next to my name? Who knows what this is?! That stands for Florida Orlando Mission! HAHA! By the way, Sister Berry has started a blog of the mission and I’m on it a couple times already! The website is   :D    So go look at that !!!!!

I hope you are okay with this but I want to send some keepsakes, scrapbook things back home instead of carrying it around with me. Is that okay to just put in my room or whatever? Thanks.

Wow…my arm is building muscle from writing so much. Oh yeah! I don’t have much more time before it’s 6 p.m. and my P-day ends and work begins again! Oh great…I just heard the rain start and I’m on a bike. Woohoo! Wish me good luck! Haha!

I love you guys so much. I’m so sorry that my email was so lame. I’m so sad I lost all of my good work. Thanks for all of your letters. As always, it means a lot.

I love you!!

Sister Kirkham

P.S. Uncle Mark sent me a card with $50 in it. Tell him thank you. I’m sending him a thank you as well. So nice of him!!!  

P.S.S. Will you give me Jane’s address? I NEED TO HEAR ABOUT ALEX! Ok, thanks, love you, bye!!!

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