Monday, August 5, 2013

                                                                                                August 5, 2013

Hey Fam :)

This past week has been really long. haha It feels like Sister Hoyt and I dropped Sister Conant off at transfers forever ago... but it hasn't even been a full week yet! It's been interesting for Sister Hoyt and I to try and train each other and try and figure everything out on our own but we are hanging in there!

We have spent a ton of time knocking doors this past week and didn't get any appointments from it... it was quite discouraging... and then the next day at church we were depending on a member to pick up Yazay (the 12 year old who wants to get baptized) but the member got called in for work and didn't let anyone know... so Yazay couldn't get to church... THEN after church yesterday, we went over to Yirrette's home for a lesson with Sister Couch to find out that she wasn't even home for her appointment. It was slightly embarrassing but both Sister Hoyt and I both began to cry as we drove away from Yirrette's because we both were so frustrated. Sister Couch pulled over and had a good talk with her about how we had been working really hard and hadn't seen the fruits of our work, Sister Hoyt sleep walks and so we both don't sleep well at night making us tired and were just frustrated that we don't really know what we are doing! haha! It's hard being so new and not knowing if things aren't going right because we are doing something wrong or because it is just a trial of our faith. Anyway, Sister Couch was sooo sweet. She has a list of less actives and other people in the Relief Society that are struggling since she is the Relief Society President and she helped brain storm who we could go see. After we are done emailing at the library today she is actually taking us out to lunch and to get our toenails done, then go get some ice cream or something haha! It will be nice to feel slightly normal again... although I'll have to wear a skirt while I get my nails done ;) not too bad though! It's just a very different life as a missionary. It has been soooo rewarding and I really have enjoyed the hard work most of the time but it's going to be so nice to just take a small break haha!

Last night we taught a lesson to the former bishop's family. The bishop's wife drove us home and thanked us for the lesson because she had been worried about her daughter and it seemed to touch her. That was encouraging! Plus, we were out looking for potentials and former investigators later and we ran into a lady that we had met several weeks before. About 3 weeks ago we had had the prompting to go knock on a street that had only 3-4 DESERTED homes on it... what?! We were laughing at each other for going down that street but as we got to the end of the street we met this lady named Crucita. She was walking to a doctor's appointment and we walked and talked with her, sharing a short message with her. We ran into the same lady last night and she told us that she wants us to teach her teenage grandkids that live with her! Miracle! so small but so big! God really does work in mysterious ways.

Last Friday, it was POURING rain harder than I ever remember seeing rain come down. Thankfully, Sister Hoyt and I had just barely gone home for the night as it began to rain. We both watched the rain from our patio, looked at each other..., smiled, and then ran out into the rain! Hahaha! We were splashing each other, jumping around getting each other wet... although we were SOAKED within SECONDS of being in the rain! …Then we both began to play leap frog in our soaking skirts... hahahaha it must have been a hilarious sight to see... but I don't think anyone would have been able to see us. We were jumping in the largest puddles out in the parking lot. So funny! So fun! Such a good relief from the hard work of the day.

Although this week has been hard, the lessons that we have taught have been super powerful and the spirit has been so strong. I think I told you a little about Mike last week... but he was telling us about how he has had a lot of near death experiences such as being shot only a foot away but none of the bullets hit him and a lot of other crazy stories. He admitted that deep down he has always felt like there was a reason why he was still here and he is wanting to find out why. He has a real desire to learn and I'm excited to start teaching him.

We have had several lessons with Yazay this week. I love teaching her because she is so open to learning and soaks in everything we say... but it does worry me that she will be doing this all on her own as a 12 year old. Her parents have still not given her permission to be baptized but they are allowing her to still take lessons from us. It's a weird situation and quite confusing. So keep her in your prayers! Yazay is such a strong willed little girl. She has set such a great example in standing up for what she believes in. She is so young! She is Rilee's age!!  She can recognize the spirit so easily--it's amazing. I told her that we all have special gifts from God and that she truly has a gift of recognizing the Spirit and following its guidance. I promised her that if she continues to follow the spirit that blessings will open for her and she will be able to be baptized.

John Ferris is doing well also! We had not been able to teach him a lesson since he got really offended about proper authority and that his baptism as a kid did not work.... but we taught him the Plan this past week and the spirit was SUPER strong. He understood everything really well and kept saying, "This makes so much sense," or other comments showing that the Spirit was teaching him so much. It was awesome to see him feel the spirit and understand. We also taught him a little about the temple and that he could be sealed to his family forever. He was very, very excited and interested about that and said, "So... I can do that also if I get baptized?" So cool! His wife, Debbie, who joined us,  hasn't been to church in 7 years until this past month. She is doing really well also. She made a comment at the end of the lesson that she wishes she, "Hadn't wasted so much time". Yay!! The next lesson we had with John we talked to him more about the importance of the Book of Mormon and read a chapter with him. He got SUPER excited when he understood more of the background of the Book of Mormon and the stories in it. He has been more diligent in keeping his commitment to read and his whole attitude has changed.

A really weird thing happened.... we stopped by a home of a blind lady's home who we had met the week before... we knocked on the door and a larger man opened the door that didn't have a shirt on and told us that his mom, (the blind women,) was asleep. As he was talking with us, all of a sudden his face went really relaxed, he dropped to the ground limp, and the door slammed shut!!! Sister Hoyt and I both thought we just saw someone die... It scared us sooo bad! I opened up the door to see if he was okay and he was sitting dazed on the floor really embarrassed and shocked that he had just passed out. We asked if we could help him and he said he was okay and just sat on the ground dazed... after many attempts to ask if we could help him up or anything we left in shock. Craziest thing ever! It scared me SO bad! Their home is pretty much just rickety old boards as well, so when he fell the whole home shook. Frightening!

The same day as transfers, Sister Hoyt had to go to the doctors to get her blood drawn for some testing due to her sleep walking. When we were waiting in the doctor’s office we noticed a very young couple waiting there as well. The man was having a really hard time with something and the lady was trying to comfort him. We went over, told them that we didn't want to intrude but wondered if they would like us to say a prayer with them. As we were asking and through the prayer, this guy had tears just streaming down his face because he had a huge phobia of needles :( poor guy. They seemed very touched by it and they both were interested in learning more about our beliefs. Since we weren't in our area, we sent their info onto other missionaries but it was great! One of the new senior missionaries, Sister Nielson was with us at the doctor’s office and saw that.  A couple nights after, she called us and told us that she had been inspired to be more bold with people because of our example and she was able to share a short message with someone in Walmart.

I have a lot of hope for this next week and that it will be better. There were a lot of good things that have happened but it was also a physically and emotionally tough week as well. I feel a lot more positive this morning though and there are a lot more people that we will hopefully be able to teach this week! Sister Hoyt and I have realized that we don't have as many investigators as we used to because we prayerfully dropped quite a few of them before Sister Conant left. It was hard to do but we realized that we weren't using the Lord's time the best we could by continuing to try and teach them when they weren't progressing. That's the hard part about missionary work.

Thank you so much for the shoes and letters! I LOVE that picture that you sent of mom and I at the MTC! So cute :) :) I also began to cry when I read that Angela has found a job at BYU thanks to Trav ... Wow! I love my Admissions family!! I feel so blessed knowing that Heavenly Father is watching over my family while I'm gone :) So is Angie moved down to Provo or what is going on there? That is sooo crazy! Such an exciting time ahead for all of us :)

Thank you so much for continuing to send me letters, for your encouraging words and testimonies. I love you all soooo much. It feels like it has been forever and a half since I have seen you and that it will be forever and a half until I see you again... but… at the same time I feel like time is flying by! Haha! Thank you for your love and examples! Say your prayers, keep reading and be good!!! I LOVE YOU!!!!


Sister Kirkham

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