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