Friday, January 30, 2015

Another Good Week

This week was good! The weather here has been really nice and that makes going out and working so much better. Unless you are sick. Tuesday night my throat started to hurt, Wednesday it was terrible and it hurt to talk. Wednesday Sister Bills and I both didn't feel well, and it was rainy so instead of going out and working in the rain, we stayed in, slept and watched all the cheesy movies we could find in our apartment. It was great! 

Estefany and Eduardo are still doing great. We were only able to meet with them once because Eduardo got sick the day of our appointment. But they are really coming to know that the gospel is true. Estefany was talking to her mom about it all and ended up defending the church! She said when she hung up the phone she thought to herself.."Why do I care so much about this?" It was great! She really is learning and wanting to learn. Estefany was meeting with us before Eduardo so he still isn't sure but he is doing his best to find the truth. 

We met with Brother Bibbes twice this past week. He agrees with everything we teach and so I finally just asked him what is holding him back. If he believes it all then why won't he be baptized. He said he is still waiting for his answer from God. So please pray that he will receive and answer that he will recognize. Because I know he has received his answer but he wants something else. He is a great man!

We met with Diane only once this week because we were sick :( But It was great. We asked her if she had prayed about hearing our message and her response was, "I'm a Baptist and that is just how things are." Ahhhh I hate when people say that. So I asked her what she believed and she said very basic beliefs. That Christ is her Savior, He died for her and rose on the third day. Of course my response was that those were our same beliefs but asked her what if there was more..? She looked at us and said, "I'm not against listening to your message." So we are going to start teaching her! 

We also met with a man named Brad. He was very interesting. He had bought a copy of the Book of Mormon a few years ago. Sister Bills found him tracting before I got to Clinton. He had a lot of anti material that he thought to be true. But what I loved is that I am able to defend the church in those situations.

I know that this church is true. I know that Joseph Smith is a true prophet. I know that he saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. The Book of Mormon is the word of God and I am so grateful for the knowledge I have. Heavenly Father listens to our prayers and answers them. 

Thank you for everything you do. I love you all! Sister Erika Kelly 

 Service! we get to wear pants! 
Eating Nutella straight

i love packages! 


Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Another week gone and I can't believe it!!

Alright another week has come and gone. I can't believe it! 

I love part member families! We went to teach a less active, her name is Kalen Spell. When we got there her sister and niece were there. They just recently moved in with Kalen. We were teaching about the apostasy and Kalen's niece, Morgan, had a lot of questions. She is 12 and hasn't been baptized. We have been teaching her this past week and it is going really well! She has a hard time staying focused and so Sister Bills and I went through each principle we need to teach and figured out object lessons we can use. I am really excited! When we were there for the third lesson Morgan said, "I'll get baptized when I'm 15." And I replied, "Well we could help you learn and you could be baptized in a month!" She didn't even have time to respond when Kalen's husband (not a member and some what against the church) said no, not until she is living the gospel one hundred percent. I sat there for a little bit and said, "Sir, Christ is the only one who could live the gospel one hundred percent. We are constantly learning and making mistakes. God doesn't expect us to learn everything before we are baptized. In fact it is impossible." He agreed with me and then still said well she isn't mature enough. So we are hoping his heart will be softened. He can't keep her from being baptized because he doesn't have any legal right to her but he has an effect on what Morgan's mom says. 

We are also teaching a man that comes to church with his wife every week. His name is Brother Bibbes. He hasn't been very interested in reading the Book of Mormon or learning about it but she asked him to and so he said he would. We went over and talked about where it came from and who wrote it. We gave him a copy and challenged him to read and pray about it. He said he would read it but that God would let him know if it was true, he didn't have to pray. So of course I read him Moroni's promise and made him promise me that he would pray about it! We saw him on Sunday and he said he has been reading! 

I have told you about Diane a little bit. She is the hoarder that we help. When the missionaries first knocked on her door she wouldn't let them in so they asked her to pray about it and see what God wanted her to do. When they went back she said that she felt like she should let them in. Well  that was 5 months ago, so this week we met with her and asked her to pray to know if God wanted her to hear our message. We reassured her that we would still help if she didn't want to, but that the message we share is so important to us. And because we care about her so much we want to share it with her!

So there are two families that make up most of our ward and one of them is the Boone family. Every Sunday for lunch the whole families meets at someones house to eat. The missionaries are invited but because there are three different companionship's we only go every three weeks. This was my first week. It was great food and then we got to share a message with the family. We talked about keeping the Sabbath Day Holy and then challenged each of them to invite someone to church! They are a great family, it reminded me of being home with mine.

Happy Sunday

Eduardo and Estephany are doing great! We taught them the Plan of Salvation and it was a mess! They had so many questions because we taught it in such a confusing way. When we went back though we were able to answer a lot of their questions and they now understand it. Thank goodness for the spirit haha They came to church again this week as well. They were going to stay for all three hours but Estephany has low blood sugar and didn't eat breakfast because they were running late. They had to go home so she didn't pass out but they said they would stay next week! We will probably have to move their date back again but that is okay because they are still doing what we asked. We just need more time to teach. 

The first week in the area was rough but since then we have really been able to pick things up. I love the opportunity I have been given to serve a mission. My mind set on life has completely changed. I am more focused on my Savior and what He would have me to do. He knows best and I am learning that everyday. He is our best example. Studying Charity has been great! The more I study and pray for charity the better the work is. I am able to truly love the people I meet. 
This gospel is amazing! Don't ever forget it. 

Love you all,

 Sister Erika Kelly 

 Sister Bills, Sister Black, Sister Kelly

Having a great time at the ward activity

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

I Love the South

Mardi Gras is coming

I Love the South

What the week! 

So sister Bills sprained her ankle the first transfer here and then my first week with her she fell again and restrained it. Well she called the nurse and she had to wear a boot. Well that meant that she can't ride a bike which meant that the elders wouldn't have the car for three weeks straight. And it would be the second time. Well president called and let us know that they are going to give us a car full time until her ankle is healed. Sounds good to me! 

So Tuesday night we went out with members of the ward council to visit less actives. It is a great thing we do once a month! I am really excited to be able to visit so many people and we are able to visit more people because we split up. We weren't able to get in contact with anyone:( but i know that the Lord will bless this ward for all the effort they put in. 

We didn't have the car at the time so we had a member drop us off. When we got up to our door the member had already left and we could not find our keys. It was so cold outside and our phone was about to die. So we called the Elders and asked them to come pick us up. So they came and we drove around where we went tracting that day. We could not find them. We called the members we had been with and none of them could find them in their cars. So we called president and let him know the situation. It was almost 9:30 at this point and so he told us to call members and see if we could stay at one of their houses. We called the relief society president and she started calling people. Then one of the elders asked if any of our windows were unlocked and our kitchen was. But it was on the second floor in the back. Elder Huntsman just scaled our balcony and was able to climb through our kitchen window. He is such a life savor! Our keys were sitting on our couch... So embarrassing but so glad we were able to get in that night and not have to sleep in a skirt. 

Bowling with my District.  I used my Bob Trythal skills and won!

Elder Huntsman came in a close second.

Our whole District

Bishop Larson asked me to read the article: "The Fourth Missionary" and then at my six months I am suppose to email him and let him know that i have become the fourth missionary. I read it before my mission but decided i should read it again so i did this week. It is such a great article about giving your will to the Lord. And that your mission is the best time to establish that habit. It was such a great thing to read this past week because i was really struggling to have a positive attitude. We still hadn't found anyone to teach and the days were just really long. But that helped me have a good attitude and look at what i could learn from the situation. 

This past week was so cold. There were two days the temperature didn't go above 40 degrees... I was struggling haha
It's freezing.  Literally.

Friday night we still didn't have any new investigators and our plans had fallen through. So i had the thought we should stop by someone they had been teaching before i got here. She wasn't really interested in talking again and so i was trying to figure out where we could go next when some of her neighbors stopped us. They asked if we were missionaries and we were able to visit with them and tell them about the church. We are hoping to teach them next week, they are looking for a church!
Saturday we taught Eduardo and Estephany the plan of salvation. It was soo much information and i was nervous they would be overwhelmed. But they took it in really well and had a lot of good questions. We asked them about baptism. They had a goal of being baptized on the 24th of this month but we moved it back a week to the 31st. I asked if they had received an answer to prayer and Estephany thinks that she is. She says she is really happy when she thinks about it and reads from the Book of Mormon! I am so excited for her. Eduardo said he is still praying about it. Which is totally fine. I know if he keeps praying and reading he will get an answer. 

Sunday was the best day of the week. Sunday is great as it is because we get to partake of the sacrament. But it was also Ward conference. One of the speakers was talking about how we are suppose to manage our time with family and work and callings in the church. He had a member of the 70 tell him that all you need to do is ask God what you need to do at that exact moment. That was so good to hear. As a missionary there are so many things that pull at our attention and i always hope that i choose the right thing. The activity that will help us fulfill our purpose best. That is something i am working on focusing on! What does Heavenly Father want me to do right now?

After church we had to go tracing for another 2.5 hours and i was not looking forward to it. I was hoping it would go by fast but the first door we knocked on was not happy with us so i was upset and really didn't want to keep going but we had to. We ended up teaching 4 lessons, getting 2 new investigators and placing 2 copies of the Book of Mormon and our lessons were so great we ended up tracting for 3 hours! It was such a good day and was such a blessing! 
Tracting, waiting for the train

The first two weeks of the transfer i was able to reflect on what Heavenly Father wanted me to do. What I should study and how I should improve. It was so nice to have the humbling time and then see the blessing that came. 

I am so grateful for the gospel and know that is for everyone. If you have any doubts just study and pray about it. You will receive an answer if you are sincere. God is your Father and he is not going to let you be alone if you asking for help. He loves you always. He's just waiting to hear from you.
I love you all and am thankful for everything you do. Never forget how much your Father in Heaven loves you. 

Love, Sister Erika Kelly 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Pickled Pig Lips anyone?

Well what to say about this past week... It has definitely been different then what I am use to but I am excited for this next experience of my mission.
Sister Bills is my companion:) She is from Idaho Falls, Idaho. We came out at the same time and so this transfer will be interesting. But I know president knows what he is doing. We are in a car share area but the elders let us keep it for two weeks at a time and we only have to bike for a week. This first week has been a bike week. I am still learning the area and so biking around has been helpful. The weather has been crazy. It has been rainy and cold. On Friday it was a little warmer and then we found out why. There were tornado warnings though out Clinton.. I had no idea what to do. So we went out and worked while it was nice weather and then when it started raining we went home. 

Waiting for the possible tornado

The ward is great. It is a lot different then New Boston just because of size. But the members are great. I said the opening prayer in sacrament meeting and then had the opportunity to bare my testimony. A lot of the members remember Sister Brog (This was her first area) and so it gives me a little bit of an up. I love our ward mission leader. He is huge on getting members to lessons and so that is what we are really focusing on. I am excited.

We are teaching/ helping a lady named Diane. The missionaries met her tracting and she is hoarder. She was sick for a really long time and let her house get really bad. So we go over, share a scripture, and then help her clean up. It is amazing the work we have done just this past week, but i am so glad I wasn't there at the beginning. Even still i leave and my skirt is covered in dust. She is completely open to our message but she will get there.

We are also teaching a couple, Estephany and Eduardo. They are a young couple who are from Costa Rica and Venezuela. She is doing schooling here for psychologist and he is working. They came to church and i am excited to start teaching them!
I don't have very much to say, but I know that I love the Lord and this gospel. Yesterday while we were tacting we talked to two different people back to back and they just wanted to bash. One of the guys said stuff that really upset me and I had to take a step back and think about what I was doing. But I love experiences like because it strengthens my testimony even more. I know that this is the true church of Jesus Christ. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that Joseph Smith was able to restore it through God's power. I am so grateful to be a missionary!  
Love you all and hope you have a great week.

Sister Erika Kelly 

  Pickled Pig Lips anyone? I didn't think so.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

I'm back in Mississippi!

Well i just emailed y'all a few days ago so this wont be very long. But the rest of the week in New Boston was great. I was transferred to Clinton Mississippi and got here this morning. I was able to say goodbye to everyone and it was hard to leave the area. But I know the Lord will continue to bless those in the area and Sister Brog and her new companion will do great. 
My new companion is sister Bills and we came out together! She is from Idaho and I am so excited for this transfer to start. It will be a good change. 
I love you all and are so thankful for all the love you send. Remember your Heavenly Father loves you!

Sister Erika Kelly 

Stack of Christmas Packages! Spoiled

Sister Hash is the RS President in New Boston

Sister Robison reminds me of Grandma Rose