Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Another Transfer Finished

 Beautiful Sunset!

This week was good! For pday last week we went to Slidell and played volleyball with our zone. Then that evening we went on an exchange with the sisters who are serving in Slidell. I got to go with sister Thomson. We came out together so that was a lot of fun! We were in our area and so that was a little bit stressful. I'm still learning the area and people so i was nervous things would fall through. But we were able to have a successful day.

Wednesday we had district meeting and so afterwards we all go out to eat. We went and got more sea food! I am loving being down here on the coast. The food was really good! But i was drinking and all of a sudden something that wasn't water or ice came up my straw. I figured that one of the elders had stuck some paper in my drink. I spit it out and it was a BUG! I was so grossed out! I didn't say anything to our waitress. But the elders were nice a paid for our lunch. 

Thursday we went on another exchange with the sisters in Biloxi. That was also a lot of fun! I got to go with sister Bithell. She was in my very first zone and has been out a transfer longer then me. It was good to see her again and get to know her a little bit better. 

The rest of the week was good but nothing new to report. We did meet a nice lady who was 87and mostly blind. She had two dogs that got into a full on fight! That was kind of scary. She just had her spray bottle and would spray them. It was a good idea except half the time she wasn't hitting them because she couldn't see.

Yesterday we cleaned out our apartment. We went through all the closets and really organized everything. We are excited for the transfer to begin and can't wait to find people to teach.

I love you all, thank you for the prayers and love.
Always remember to that your Heavenly Father loves you!
LOVE, Sister Kelly 

OH! i totally forgot one of the best things that happened! Chris got baptized this past Saturday. I got to call and talk to sister Burgess and it all went really well. I am so excited for him. 
She is going to send me pictures so i will probably send them next week 

Zone Conference March 2015 

                                                          Mission Leader Conference March 2015

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Crazy Today

Hey! sorry things got a little bit crazy today. I only have about ten minutes to write you my letter so it is going to be quick.

Catfish Tacos for lunch.  So DELICIOUS

We don't have a teaching pool right now so this past week we have been doing a lot of tracting and visiting less actives. On Wednesday we met a really nice guy. It was the middle of the afternoon and he had just got home from work because he drives a truck at night. We gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and then he told us that we could come back on Saturday to teach him and his wife. So we went back Saturday and his wife answered the door. He was still at work but she let us in and we were able to teach her! Her husband had told her that we came by and she had started looking through the Book of Mormon. She had a lot of questions that were great. We were able to teach  her all about Joseph Smith and how we got the Book of Mormon and where it came from. She loved it! Right as we were ending the lesson her husband got home from work so we talked to him for a little bit too. He had friends who were Mormon growing up and one of them  had just posted something on Facebook about the Payson Temple. So he asked about those. We talked about eternal families and they loved that as well. Before we could even ask if we could come back he asked us to come back! It was great. We are meeting with them again the up coming Saturday.

On another note I am going on my first exchange tonight, pray for me.

Love y'all so much! I know this is the true gospel:)

Sister Erika Kelly 

The houses here are all on stilts

Monday, March 16, 2015

Transfers Already???

Well, this has been the most hectic week of my whole mission!

Eduardo and Estefany are good. Last monday we went over to Bishop's house with them for FHE and it went really well. Bishop let them ask any questions and so Estefany brought up the priesthood. Bishop explained it and she finally accepted it a little more. It really strengthened my testimony of working with the members. Sometimes members can say things in a way that will really touch the investigator. This past week was finals for Estefany and this week is their spring break so we won't be able to meet with them. But Estefany promised she wouldn't forget about us and we have an appointment scheduled for when the get back:) 

Eduardo & Estephany with Sis Kelly

Chris is doing great. He said the opening prayer and prayed to have the strength and dedication to be prepared for his baptism date. When we met him he didn't even know God loved him. I am so proud of him for the choices he is making. And he is soo funny! Me and sister Burgess just laugh. 

Chris, Sis Kelly, Sis Burgess

Sis Black, Sis Kelly, Chris, Bro Black

Well the craziest part of the week happened on Tuesday afternoon. President called as we were walking into a lesson. I told him we would call him back afterwards. We had this wonderful lesson with the lady who speaks Spanish. She lost a sister a few years back and was so excited when we taught her the Plan of Salvation. She wants to be baptized so bad and she has a date for the 28th of this month! 

We left the lesson, called President back and he informed us that I was being transferred to the Mississippi coast in two days. Right in the middle of the transfer. The sister I replaced went home a few weeks early so she could start a school program. It was the craziest news. We just sat in the car after talking to president and then we had a lot to do before Thursday. I didn't get to say goodbye to too many people, but I did say bye to our investigators. 

So sad to be leaving!!!

Tuesday night the ward has a few people go to the church and play indoor soccer. I am TERRIBLE at soccer but needed to go and relieve some stress. It was a lot of fun but i had a lot of bruises by the end and we were exhausted. 

After playing soccer

Wednesday was a great day! We hade set appointments for every hour of the day and all of the lessons went great. That night and Thursday morning i packed a lot of my stuff to get ready for the next day. 

 Elder Tanner, Sis Kelly, Elder Huntsman  

The Best Zone Leaders ever

Sis Kelly, Bro and Sis Bibbes

Last full day with Sis Burgess

Final Zone Conference with these guys

Lunch after Zone Conference

Sis Burgess & Sis Kelly

Thursday was crazy! I got a blessing from Elder Huntsman (one of my zone leaders) and that really helped. We had to be at the mission home at 1:30 so me and sister Burgess could meet with president. That was a lot of help to be able to just talk about things. And then President gave me another blessing. I love the priesthood! At 2 all the sister training leaders meet at the mission home for lunch and then a sisters meeting. We talk about the sisters we are over and ways we can help the mission move forward. (With this transfer, Erika has become a STL or sister training leader)

At 6 all the zone leaders show up to the mission home and we discuss topics that the mission has been struggling with. Any policies we need to change and the benefits/hindrances of other policies. That was also a good meeting but it didn't end till 9. We stayed in Clinton that night which was nice. i was able to talk with sister Burgess and help her feel more confident about the area. She is freaking out taking over the area at just 3 weeks. I would have been too! But she is already a great missionary.
Friday we had to be up early and at the Brandon Mississippi building at 8:30 for the rest of MLC (missionary leadership conference). That meeting was long. We talked about more policies and what our missionaries need. We are really focusing on working with members. We got a lot of really good ideas and the spirit was really strong. 

Sis Burgess, Sis White, Sis Garner (companion from MTC), Sis Kelly

By the time the meeting was over, we took pictures, and ate lunch it was 5ish so we packed up our car and the drove three hours to Bay St. Louis. We got back around 8 and stopped by the church. They had a ward activity and we were there for the very end of it. I was able to meet some of the members, i was really grateful for that. 

This sunset greeted us as we drove into Bay St. Louis. 
 It was very comforting to me.  Heavenly Father is aware of us always.  

The coast is soo much different from the rest of the mission. I am use to teaching/ talking to those who are Baptist but everyone down here is Catholic and everyone talks about Hurricane Katrina. The people here were directly affected by it. Many of our members lost their homes, some members we killed, and a lot of our members left and never came back. I never thought I would be around those who were here but I am now and it is amazing. I am so mesmerized by everything. 

There used to be a house here.

These were in a member's home

There used to be a house on those stilts

This road was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina but someone put the sign back up.

Saturday we went out tracting and saw so many animals i had never seen before! One guy we talked to had a fly squirrel as a pet. Then we saw a crane, otter, frogs, a donkey, a chicken, some turkeys, and horses. It was so crazy! 

We don't have anyone we are solidly teaching right now but have a few potentials and I am excited to get started.

Yesterday was Zone Conference and we talked a lot about being obedient. Most of it we talked about in MLC. But I was able to meet everyone in the Gulfport stake! As STL's we help the sisters in the Gulfport and Slidel zones. They were both there and I was able to talk to each of them. We are over 5 companionship's. 

It has been a crazy week but through it all I have been able to learn how to more fully rely on my Heavenly Father and my Savior. They are always there for us and they know each of us individually. I'm so grateful for my mission and the opportunities I have to grow.

I love y'all so much!

Sister Erika Kelly 

Sis Hartley (newest companion...she's taller than me!), Sis Kelly

This woman didn't want to talk to us but she gave us warm peach cobbler.  Mmmm

Monday, March 9, 2015

A Bipolar Week

Messing Around

This guy decided to join us during scripture study.  Ew!

Tuesday was crazy cold! I got to go on exchanges with sister Garner (my mtc companion). We woke up and all of the trees were completely frozen! But we had the car thank goodness so we were able to get lots done.

Wednesday we had district meeting in Vicksburg and it was terrible weather! When we got back it was raining all day. We were on bikes and sister Burgess doesn't have anything water proof so we stayed inside for the rest of the day and watched videos. It wasn't a very fun day. BUT it was my 6 month mark.. What the?! 

We have been trying to think of how to involve Eduardo more in the lessons and so we had them teach us the Restoration. It was a great lesson. We were able to answer a lot of questions and clarify things. Tonight we are meeting with them at the Bishop's house for family home evening. It should be great. They reset the baptism date for the 28th of this month. 

Chris is progressing so much. We taught him twice last week. The first time we reviewed the rest of the restoration and then taught the word of wisdom. He drank tea, coffee, and alcohol and was having a hard time being willing to give it all up right then. Sister Burgess promised him that she would give up Diet Coke if he gave everything up. He COMMITTED! He has been doing great. Chris works at the prison and Sunday we got a text from him telling us that he wouldn't be able to come to church today because he got hurt at work and was in the hospital... We told him to tell us if there was anything we could do. Then we were on our way to relief society and he was there! He came from the hospital! He is awesome. He had got in a fight with one of the inmates and messed up his knee but he still came! After church some of the elders gave him a blessing and he liked that. Then we taught him about the importance of church, prayer. and scripture study. Then we gave him a calendar with when we are going to meet with him and what we are going to teach in order for him to be ready for his baptism on the 21st. 

We taught Diane about Joseph Smith this past week! She accepted it pretty well and promised that she would pray about it and read the intro to the Book of Mormon. The spirit was really there and I really hope she acts on the answer she receives. 

Saturday the weather was so nice! We were riding bikes and we didn't even need a coat ha Sister Moffett got to spend the day with us because her companion had to go do something else. It was a lot of fun being a trio for the day. 

This must be where you can get the best view of the lake.

Well I love you all. I love this gospel and love sharing it with all those in this area. Don't ever forget how much your Father in Heaven loves you. As long as you never forget that and follow his commandments everything will work out in the end! Have a good week. LOVE y'all!! 

Sister Erika Kelly