Monday, September 9, 2013

Transfer to New Smyrna Beach! Love the people of Winter Garden.

                                                            September 9, 2013

Hey family!!! 

So guess what?! I'm getting transferred and moving to New Smyrna Beach! It's along the East coast. One of the elders that is in my zone served there for about 5-6 months and said that he loved it there and that the beach is only 3 miles away…crazy! I'm super excited! I'm going to miss people in the Winter Garden ward, they have been such Christ-like people.They are so easy to love! I’m very excited to meet some new people, see a new area, and have a new companion :) It's kind of weird to think that I'm just a normal missionary now...I'm not a Newbie! haha! It's awesome though and I'm super excited. Sister Hoyt was convinced that we were staying together for another transfer but I had a feeling deep down that I was moving. The Holy Ghost definitely prepares you! haha Anyway, you'll probably look up pictures of the area before I even get there... but I've heard it's one of the most beautiful beaches! :) 

This past week I had my last temple service :( I love temple service because you get to spend time with other missionaries and be on the beautiful temple grounds! I'll miss that..but for my last time there I got to clean the fountains! I got to roll up my pants and walk around in the water while I cleaned.. it's probably the closest to swimming that I will get my whole mission! haha It was super fun and felt SUPER good! Sister Hoyt and I also helped clean out a recent convert's home as they were moving out...I have NEVER seen so many cockroaches and bugs in ALL my life. It was so sad to see that a family had actually been living in that situation...You would literally pick something up and about 5 thousand cockroaches would run out from underneath... ugh! So gross and so sad! The family was pretty much living in a shack. The floor was wood paneling and they had just thrown down linoleom floors on top of it... The floors were peeling off and you could see the ground between the floor boards. Pretty sad. But! The good news! We helped get her and her family into a new apartment and it is 10x better. I'm so relieved for them!! 

Sister Becky Baird, a member of the ward, asked us to put a Missionary Mutual together for the Young Women. It was awesome! We helped them role play in different situations where their friends may ask them questions about our beliefs. I think they really enjoyed it and we were able to help them pass something off in Personal Progress! Speaking of Sister Baird, Sister Hoyt are going out to lunch with her today before I head off and move tomorrow! She's such a fun lady. 

This morning we were talking with Elder Norman, our district leader and he was giving us advice on how to help our area improve. He told us that we should consider having a "drop talk" with John. John hasn't been progressing and won't commit to coming to church... and if he isn't even committing to church then he isn't going to commit to baptism or the Word of Wisdom at least right now he won't, so we should be using the Lord's time elsewhere. Dropping people is one of the hardest things as a missionary. It seems so heartless, but we have been promised that when we are doing all that we can to use the Lord's time wisely that He will guide us to those that are ready and prepared to be baptized and make promises with God. I guess I don't have to give the drop talk with John... Sister Hoyt will have to deal with that!

Something that I thought a lot about this week was the temple. I am so sad that I can't go into the temple while I'm on my mission but I have been deep in thought about the amazing blessings that are given. I have never fully comprehended what we are doing when we do work for those that are dead but as I have studied the Plan of Salvation more, the more deep of an understanding I have! When we pass on from this life, we will either go to Spirit Paradise or Spirit Prison in the Spirit World. Those that are in Spirit Prison are unhappy because they are living with the temptations and sins that they lived with when they died... those that are in Spirit Paradise are happy and at peace because they know that they have followed Christ's plan in this life. When we are doing baptisms for the dead, we are giving those people in Spirit Prison the opportunity to accept the work we have done for them in the temple and they can be relieved of those burdens and unhappiness and enter into a state of peace and joy!! I have heard before that when we pass on from this life that we will be welcomed by are family, friends and those that we did work for in the temple and accepted the work. Can you imagine being welcomed on the other side by those that we did work for and realizing WHO we did it for?? We will realize that they are people that we knew and loved in the life before this. I can't even imagine the joy that comes from doing temple work! Go to the temple whenever you can! Don't take it for granted. There are people that are waiting for you to help them and you will be so blessed for doing so. 

I probably won't get any letters from anyone until the end of the week because of transfers but I can't wait to hear more from you! I hope that school is going well for Mom and Angie. I can't wait to hear about all the adventures!! Dad, I can't wait to hear about work as well as how Mar, Seth, Declan, and baby Isla are doing! Thank you so much for sending Sister Couch pictures of Isla so I could see her :) She is so beautiful!!!!

 Sister Kirkham


P.s. If I have time today (between packing) I will send pictures home on a CD :) love you!!!! 

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