Monday, March 17, 2014

Happy St. Patrick's Day, Pinch me...another miracle! At the end of the rainbow today is a soccer game!



I hope that you remembered to wear green today!!! I don't have much green... but I think I'll pass the test ;) plus, Sister missionaries are invisible and no one can pinch us anyway ;) hahahaha! 

This past week was super busy. We went on two exchanges with sisters in our zone and one of the exchanges was a two-day exchange! When I first got called as a Sister Training Leader, STL, I was nervous about going on exchanges all the time and even chuckled a little at Heavenly Father’s sense of humor for giving me this calling because I was never a big fan of exchanges! Hahaha!...BUT! God is good, and I am really loving it! I love working with other sisters and learning from them. One thing that I've really wanted to emphasize as an STL is that ALL of us are imperfect and we are ALL learning. I know that there are a lot of sisters that are intimidated about exchanges because they feel like they are being evaluated or something but it's far from it!!! I feel like I need to learn so much from the other sisters! It's been really neat just being open with them and telling them that I'm there to HELP them as well as to LEARN from each of them!! Exchanges are hard because you feel like half the companionship is never fully up to speed on how our own area is going. One of us seems to always be gone but Heavenly Father is helping us! 

Sister Cather and I are working super hard. This past week we saw a lot of progress in the area. We had an investigator named, Julio, come to church! It was the first time that this area has had some at church in a long time.

I don't have much more time... but I want to share one small miracle that happened this week: 

I was on exchanges here in our area with Sister Godfrey (a sister that was in my MTC district.) We were trying to find a less active member's home and asked a woman in passing if she could give us some direction. She helped us out and about 5 minutes after we had started our lesson outside, this same woman walked by and started laughing when she realized that she was really good friends with this less active! We invited her to join us and she said that she didn't want to sit outside in the scorching 85 degree Florida weather (awww ya!) but that we could all go to her home and have a lesson!! We taught the Restoration (which is what we were planning on teaching with the less active anyway!)  This woman (named 'Z') was in awe with the story of the first vision. She just stared at the picture that we had of the first vision and said, "... That is... soooo … POWERFUL." The spirit definitely touched her. I love seeing the spirit touch people. I love to see their reaction when they first hear about the Restoration! She agreed to read the Book of Mormon and we hope to see her again soon :) 

I wish I had more time! FYI.... I'm playing SOCCER today for the first time since JULY!!!!!! =D I'm super excited... as well as a little nervous to see how rusty and out of shape I am... but it's going to be great!!!! =D 

Please keep the Goldenrod area in your prayers and that the people we are seeing will progress.

I love you so much! Happy St. Patrick's Day!!! Love you!!!! Pinch Pinch!!! Haha!


Sister Kirkham

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Suntan, Moving, New Investigators, and New Life as a STL!

Hey family :)

This past week went by so quickly! We had so many things jammed
In to our days that I feel like I'm trying to update you on least two weeks instead of one! Haha!

I went on my first exchange as an Sister Training Leader, ( S.T.L.,) this past week. It went so well! I went to the Waterford Lakes Ward Area for the day and witnessed a few miracles!

The Waterford Lakes Area area has had a lot of challenges with finding people to teach and they had not been able to find even ONE new investigator for over 2
transfers (3 months)! That morning, a Sister from Waterford Lakes
and I went to an appointment with a potential investigator. No one was home and so we started driving away when a car drove past us going the other way. For some
reason the thought came to my mind, “Maybe that's the ‘potential’!” That was a really weird thought because there were plenty of cars going by, but we followed the impression that we had and went back to the home only to see that same car pulling into the driveway of the “potential’s” home!! We got out of our car and met two college-aged girls. It was the potential investigator’s daughter and her friend. We talked with them for a few minutes and then they invited inside to teach them about the Book of Mormon! We were also able to get in touch with the “potential” while we were there. She had totally “spaced” the appointment. She raced home. As a result of our visit, we were able to commit all of them to read the Book of Mormon. They asked us to come back! The “potential” had previously met with other missionaries a couple times and had a basic understanding of the restoration already! We were able to find 3 new investigators within 30 minutes!! It was such a big miracle for that area. Never question thoughts and impressions that come to your mind, even if the thought seems a little strange ;) Our Heavenly Father knows all and His plan is perfect so never be afraid to follow Him :) His way brings better understanding, blessings, and makes our journey in life so much easier and so much richer!  This is true even when we still face challenges :)

Sister Cather and I move into a new apartment this past week. I have been literally living out of my very full suitcases for a week and a half, (since the transfer,) …hahaha…but all is well because we are moved into our new place now and love it! We took the senior couple’s apartment. It was a crazy day of moving them out and into another apartment and moving us out and into their old apartment!

I love working in this district and zone! Sister (Kara) Allred, who I worked with at B.Y.U., is in my district! I see here all the time and I'll be able to go on exchanges with her, and other sisters such as an old companion, and several others that I already know and love. I am even with some sisters that I spent time with  in the M.T.C.! :D

Sister Cather and I were outside of an apartment complex last week and this man came up to us asking a ton of questions about the Book of Mormon and wanting to learn more! We set up another time to talk with him. When we arrived for the appointment, he was all dressed up in a suit to talk with us... So cute! He spoke fairly good English but it was just questionable enough that we invited the Spanish sister missionaries (Sister Allred!) to come join us in the lesson so we could hand him
off to them to continue teaching. It was such a neat opportunity to teach along side Sister Allred! Who would have ever thought that we would be teaching and working together?  It was also super inspiring to me as I listened to her bear her testimony in Spanish. What a miracle it is for these 18+ year old missionaries to learn another language so quickly and be able to speak so fluently! It really is a gift of the Spirit. I felt the Spirit very strongly during that lesson and the man was super excited to be baptized into our church! He is wonderful and God has helped him prepare.

We also were able to find 3 other couples that want to learn! Such miracles! It's so amazing to see when couples can learn and find the truth together so that they can receive the blessings of eternal marriage and family. A lot of other things have happened but I have run out of time!

The weather is awesome right now. It's been in the 80s most of the past two weeks and I'm getting my tan back! Woot woot!

I love you guys so much! Thank you for all of your prayers in my behalf
 and in behalf of those that are here in Florida. Prayers are being answered!

I love you!


Sister Kirkham

Sunday, March 9, 2014

New Assignment as Sister Training Leader with transfer to Orlando (Goldenrod Ward)

                                                               March 3, 2014

I seriously cannot believe that it's been a whole week since I said goodbye to the people of Port Orange and New Smyrna Beach... wow! I have to tell you that we are doing transfers differently now than we use to and so we don't find out who we are with and where we are going until you are there at the transfer meeting and they announce each person one by one! Let's just say that it makes you a little anxious...hahaha…AND…I was seriously like one of the last people to be called! Ahhhh! It was not fun waiting that to the end....hahahaha! BUT, I'm sooo happy about this next transfer! I am  now companions with Sister Cather, serving in the Goldenrod ward that covers parts of Winter Park and Orlando! I’m back in the city! I was so excited when I found out I was with Sister Cather. She was my Sister Training Leader (STL,) and was part of my District for a transfer while I was in Port Orange. She is the cutest! She is actually going home at the end of this transfer so that is going to be interesting to “kill off” a companion. We are working our tails off though! It's been super hard work but we are seeing a lot of good things happening and are really excited for this transfer. We are over the largest set of Sisters in the mission so we will be working hard and traveling a lot with exchanges. I'm sure I will have many miracles and stories to tell from different parts of the Orlando stake.

We saw several miracles this past week. This area has had a struggle with finding more than one investigator a week for a long time...but we were able to find 5 new investigators! Two of those investigators are parents that have families!! woot woot! We are being very blessed here right now. There has only been one baptism in this area since last July... so the work is a little dead here, but we are very determined to work hard and help the work progress.

I had my first Mission Leadership Conference, (M.L.C.,) this past week. The President, A.P.'s, Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders meet once a month and talk about the progression of the work and talk about how to improve. It was so exciting to see the progress that our mission has had over the month of February. In January the mission had 33 baptisms and in February we had 58!! We all discussed WHY we had that success and it all simply came down to MEMBERS. Members are SOOO key and important to the hastening of the work. When members are involved, the investigators grow so much more rapidly.

We had a special M.L.C. meeting on Sunday with Elder Munns from the Quorum of the Seventy and discussed the hastening of the work. He discussed that the Florida missions are going to be taking the lead for the southeastern missions in missionary work. It is so cool to be apart of this work... as well as to know that we are working hard!! Elder Munns shared a cool story that Elder Perry told him when he was visiting Florida. Elder Perry said that he had a discussion with the #1 ranked Cardinal from the Catholic church and the cardinal said, "Tom, the Mormons are going to have to save the world." Elder Perry chuckled a little and asked, "There are 1.5 billion (?) Catholics in the world and only 15 million Mormons, and you say the Mormons will be the ones to save it?".... hahaha was kind of a cool and funny story. This truly is the LORD's work and His church. Not mans. The work is truly HASTENING and it's up to us as missionaries and us as MEMBERS of this blessed church to share it!!! I could keep rambling on and on about makes me so excited!

I'll end with a quick miracle story that happened this past week:

Sister Cather and I went to a recent convert's (of about 5 months) home to teach her a lesson and she invited her 19-year daughter to join in on the lesson. We started the lesson directed to the recent convert... but her daughter had SO many questions and was soaking in everything that we had to say. The daughter ended up crying and thanking us for the lesson. She had been reluctant at first to sit in on the lesson but was SO grateful that she had and wants to meet with us again! She is super cool and I love her! Oh, and her name is Krystal :) Another Krystal! Gotta love it :D haha!

Well, I better get going... but I'm super excited for this transfer! I'm nervous about the discomfort I'm going to experience as I try and help the other sisters in my zone... but I already feel so much love and excitement to get to know, serve and love them. Please keep the sisters in my zone in your prayers, as well as that the Goldenrod ward area. I LOVE YOU TO PIECES!!!!!!!!


Sister Kirkham