Tuesday, December 29, 2015

A Missionary Christmas

Wow! What a long week.

Let me just say, Christmas on the mission is the BEST. Mainly because you get to focus on Christ, and the reason for the season, and over the last month, I have learned SO much about Him, and what He's done for the world.

Sometimes you look at people, and you think of the trials and the mistakes they've gone through, and you wonder how they'll ever make it to the Celestial Kingdom, and it's because of our Savior that they will. He Atoned for them. period. end of discussion. and they can choose to accept that whether it be in this life, or the next. Ultimately we would want to choose it in this life, so that we can be happy, but some won't. But those who are supposed to make it to the Celestial Kingdom WILL make it, because of our Savior. Because I have learned this, I have been able to develop so much charity in my heart for the people here in WV who have it way worse than I do.

On Christmas Eve we went to a members house. They're the Hunters, and they are seriously so awesome! Their oldest is 7, and she's so cute! We ate lots of food, and the kids acted out the Nativity. It kinda made me miss home, but I know I'm out here for a reason. The next day, on Christmas, Sister Marsh and I woke up and opened all our presents. I got a bunch of new skirts! YAY Thanks mom! Then we did our studies that morning. After studies we went over to the Drennens, and they had breakfast for us. It was the best, because it reminded me of breakfast my dad would have made. They had Tabasco sauce and everything :) After breakfast we went and Skyped our families! Sister Marsh went first, and it was fun getting to know her family. My family was in Texas this Christmas, so I was able to talk my Grandma and Bubba this year! What a treat! I love my family so much, and I miss 'em like crazy! After we Skyped we ate dinner at a part member family's home, and then that evening we went over to some friends house, and we played some games, and ate Spaghetti.

Essentially Christmas on the mission is the best. I love my family, and most of all, I love my Savior. I'm thankful for this season I've been given to strengthen my relationship with Him, and I love all that I've learned of Him. I invite all of you to prayerfully study the Book of Mormon this year, and to learn all that you can of our Savior.

I can easily say that I'm truly converted to this gospel, and I pray that everyone can one day learn the things that I've been learning. I love this gospel, and I'm so lucky to have parents who have raised me to learn and serve my Savior.

Have a good week!
Love, Sister Kirkby




Monday, December 21, 2015

Merry Christmas!

Hello everyone! It's not been too long since I've shared an email, because last week was transfer week, but I'm so glad I get to stay with Sister Marsh for 6 more week. I've definitely learned a lot from her, and I'm glad the Lord is allowing me to continue to learn from her :)

IT'S THE CHRISTMAS SEASON! Merry Christmas! I hope all of you have had the chance to go to the website christmas.mormon.org The videos on that website are fantastic, and the church hires the very best of the best to make videos that are inspiring and that bring the Spirit so strongly. I've had a goal to testify of Christ in every lesson that we have, and it has really made this Christmas season special, as I remember Him, and focus on why He was born. I know the Savior was sent for all of us to overcome our sadness, our trials, and our weaknesses. Take time this week to focus on the presence of Christ, rather than the presents under the tree, and it will make your Christmas a lot more special.

I know my Savior lives! I know He loves me, and I know He loves you!

Merry Christmas!
Love, Sister Kirkby



Friday, December 18, 2015

Carless, Bedridden, Baptized

Hello!

Transfer news is in and Sister Marsh and I are both STAYING! YES!

This week was the longest week of my whole mission life, but it was also SO good! So, my last email, I had described the sickness that Sister Marsh and I were hit with... well, it didn't get better. On Tuesday, we were so sick that we decided to get rest and not leave the house. The next day we discovered that something was seriously wrong with our car, so we took it in. After they had checked it out, the mechanic told us that "he would not advise us driving it, because it might blow up". It was a little dramatic, but we "ain't gunna risk it". (as the West Virginians would say) so we said they could keep it, and they told us we wouldn't have it back until Monday..... ugh. 

It's a good thing Sister Marsh got super sick the rest of the week, because working without a car is impossible. ;) But seriously, poor Sister Marsh. the best way to describe her was "dead". At one point, I was in another room, and we got a phone call from our district leader. I thought she was asleep, so I didn't bother to go wake her up. I finish my conversation with him, and I hear her calling my name, so I go to her and she says "I would have gotten up to come and talk to him with you, but I'm paralyzed." bless her heart.

She was able to get feeling better for our baptism on Saturday! It was wonderful to see our friend Tommie enter into covenants. The Spirit was so strong, and I feel so blessed to be a tool in the hands of our Father at this time. This work is real. It's the most important work on this earth, and I only have 9 more months to consecrate all of my time and choices to the Lord. I know He is please, and that's all I desire is to please Him. I am so blessed.

Never forget that the Lord is in EVERY SINGLE detail of our lives. He knows what's best for us. That's what I've learned this week :) I would never trade my mission in for ANYTHING. I've learned so much, and I'm glad I get to continue to learn.

Love, Sister Kirkby


Monday, December 7, 2015

the sickness blues

It's been an awesome week, despite Sister Marsh and I being sicker than sick. We don't really know what's wrong with us, but oh boy, are we coughing up a storm. The other night I couldn't sleep AT ALL (probably until about 3:00 was when I fell asleep) and I was coughing so hard. Sister Marsh was out, but apparently I was bothering our neighbor, and she came up and rang our doorbell at about 11:30. Scared the goodness right out of us, and she was just offering cough syrup. I thanked her, and told her that we already had some, as well as apologized. It was still a nice way of her saying "shut up, I'm trying to sleep", though. :)

Every winter I get this nasty cough, and I think it might be Asthma related, but oh well, we'll push through, right? I haven't coughed this hard since i've had walking pneumonia, but we've already been to the doctor, and she said nothing was wrong with me... whatevs.

We had our friend who's ready for baptism at church yesterday, as well as a new friend! They're both really awesome! We should be seeing a baptism this Saturday! Keep her in your prayers, because Satan will be harping on her!

Well, happy December to all! It feels like yesterday that I left the MTC. Time as a missionary is a weird concept.

Love, Sister Kirkby

Monday, November 30, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy late Thanksgiving, everyone!

Holidays on the mission are literally the best. This Thanksgiving Sister Marsh and I ate three different meals... holy moly it was a lot of food, but a whole lot of fun. We first went to the Sollars home, a part-member family, and we were able to have a lot of non-member exposure. After that, we went to the Hunter's home, and they have THE cutest kids in the world... I love that family, and then that evening, we went to the Marino's home, where we ate a few more bites of deliciousness!

This morning as I was exercising, I was pondering the concept of obedience. I was asking myself if I'd still exercise when I go home, or if I'm just doing it on the mission because it's being obedient. Then I thought "well why is it a rule?" and duh, it's because it helps me take care of my body. All commandments, or guidelines are given to us for a reason, and I love that obedience has been able to really set into my heart on my mission. It is the first law of Heaven, and it's so important. I took it for granted before my mission, and grudged about being obedient sometimes, but now as I've understood the eternal doctrine behind it, I really have a testimony of it.

I'm so thankful for everything the Lord has done for me up to this point in my life. Missionary work would not be easy if it wasn't for the fact that He is in every detail of our lives. I am so thankful for my family, and for the constant support they offer me, and I am so thankful for my companion, and for the people we have to teach, so that I can continuously progress and learn.


Sunday, November 29, 2015

tracting and teaching

This week was pretty norm. We were able to pick up three new investigators, and that's always a blast! they seem pretty sincere, and are reading the Book of Mormon, so that's wonderful!

I love the Book of Mormon, and the power that it holds! It has motivating influence to change behavior, and it's a blessing to all those who read it.

Sister Marsh and I laugh so much... basically all the time. We are THE weirdest people when we are together, and if anyone happened to overhear us... they'd be SO confused, because we just don't even make sense. Sometimes I confuse myself... :)

We've been doing a lot of tracting, and I love the concept of teaching immediately, because you can tell who is interested when they open the door, and when they're not. You see hearts soften, and it smacks when they still reject your offer to teach more, but it's all the the Lords timing. My mission has really taught me a lot about that.

It snowed yesterday... not a whole lot.. but it was the first snow of the year. It's getting REAL cold, and I'm in the coldest part of the mission... sometimes I think the Lord has a weird sense of humor. :)

We have a fireside this weekend, all about the Savior, and His life, and we're really excited about it. Kick off to Christmas..

... CAN YOU BELIEVE IT'S THE HOLIDAY SEASON? Feels like yesterday it was March and I was getting ready to leave for West Virginia.

I feel so blessed to be here. I love these people, and I love this place. 

Love, Sister Kirkby


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

true power, not just form

Hello everyone!

This week was so good! We got to go to Charleston for a few day, and learn from Elder Kopischke, from the 70. He was a mission president in Germany, and had a lot of wonderful things he shared with us.

About agency he said that we can only teach things that we know, and we can only receive knowledge that we're ready to receive. It was really insightful, and helped us better understand why people reject our message, rather than just assuming it happens, because it happens. He talked about how we need to have power behind what we do, not just form. We can't "go through the motions" and it was a wonderful reminder. When we help people understand the how and what of what we ask them to do, we start to teach true doctrine, and true doctrine is what changes behavior. I was taught a lot about compassion, and that's one thing I want to start praying for more in my missionary work.

Our friend who's on date to be baptized is doing well! We're seeing roadblocks, but it's bound to happen! Satan sure is against us....

I saw all my past companions this last week, and it was so fun!

I love missionary work, and I love all of you! Keep making good choices!

Love, Sister Kirkby


PS all the leaves are gone... does that mean it's time for winter?! NOOO


Wednesday, November 11, 2015

the good kind of weird

New transfer! New companion! Her name is Sister Marsh, and she's incredible, and super cute and funny! She loves to laugh, and she's the good kind of weird ;) We've seen lots of miracles, and I LOVE this area. I love it so much! I feel very blessed that the Lord is having me stay here for another transfer!

Our friend who is to be baptized at the end of the month is doing INCREDIBLE, and we're hoping to still see her baptism on the 29th. She's struggling to quit smoking, but she's really trying her best, and she's down to 3 or 4 cigs a day, vs a pack and a half a day. she's also down on her coffee! We are in the middle of teaching her the Gospel of Jesus Christ lesson, and it's going well. She's so prepared, and so ready, and I know it wasn't by coincidence that we found her. The other day she texted us and told us that before we had found her she had been praying for some guidance and comfort in her life, and then we showed up. It was so cool. We really can be answers to peoples prayers!

This week we get to meet a general authority, Elder Erich W. Kopischke! We'll have a huge mission conference in Charleston! It'll be way awesome! I'll get to see all of my old companions, and I'll get to learn from a servant of the Lord.

Have a good week! Thank you to all the Veterans out there! I love you Grandpa Kirkby (aka Bubba) thanks for serving our country! (as well as my great grandfathers)
Love, Sister Kirkby

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Martianaries or Missionators?

This week was crazy long! aka TRANSFER WEEK! The verdict is in, and sad to say, but Sister Erickson will be leaving good ole' Fairmont. I'm really sad, and feel really jipped, because I only got to serve with her for one transfer, but the Lord has a plan. My new companion here in Fairmont will be Sister Marsh. I'll get to meet her tomorrow! So excited, and I've heard so many great things about her!

Halloween was great! We didn't really do anything differently... except for take pictures with these super cute masks my mom sent! It was so fun!

Funny story! Wednesday night (last Wednesday night) we were walking up to a door for an appointment with a lady we've only met once before, and Sis E knocks. After she knocks, you can see a young man, about our age, come to the door, and behind him was another young man. We're thinkin' they're friends of this girl Brittany, or something, so when they open the door, Sis E asks for Brittany. The first boy points to a third boy, who is holding a box of fruit snacks. and says "Yeah! This is Brittany". At this point, we were really confused. She just kinda looks at him (her face was priceless, I'm sure) and he says "No I'm just kidding. We thought you were trick-or-treaters. Do you want some fruit snacks?"......

Okay, number one, it's a Wednesday night. It's not even Halloween.... number two, do we look like trick-or-treaters?! Number three..... it's Wednesday!??!?! Number four.... do you know how tall we are?! do we really look like trick-or-treaters?!?!

oh man. it was hilarious. we just kinda wish them a good night, and walk away. All the way back to our car, all three of them yell down the street "Have a good night! Be safe! Come back!" over and over again. Wish we would have invited them to learn, but we both were speechless, because what are you supposed to do when that happens? We laughed really hard....

We also tracted into a professional baseball player... that was cool! :)

We're seeing a lot of awesome things happen in Fairmont! SO much stuff happened. Fairmont is booming, and we've found some awesome people to teach. One of our friends came to church on Sunday! She came with her kids, and she loved it! We taught her the Word of Wisdom on Monday, and tonight we'll be teaching her a stop-smoking workshop. She's on date to be baptized at the end of this month, and so far we are looking up!!!! :) We picked up a new friend, who just get's it. She understands the need for a restoration, and she's so willing to learn, and to pray. She doesn't have support from her family though, so that'll be a road block. Our ward mission leader has a son who is a non-member, and we started teaching him, and his family.. They're awesome! They also came to church! It was a miracle! they won't be able to come this week, because they're out of town, but next week for sure! We put them on date to be baptized on Jan 17, and I'm sure they'll make it!

I love missionary work!
Thanks for your support!
Love, Sister Kirkby

Monday, October 26, 2015

right thing, right time

Hello! and Happy Halloween! What a fun holiday? Right? I guess.... I mean, holiday season is not a good season for a missionary, because there is just SO much sugar EVERYWHERE, buuutttt who cares ;)

This last week was pretty good. We have been able to find some AWESOME people, and I love it! We also had the opportunity to participate in the communities trunk or treat, and it turned out to be really good. We themed our little station/trunk to be Fishers of Men, from the Bible, and we had the kids "fish" for their candy. We had a sheet set up, and some members behind the sheet, to stick candy to the poles, when they were thrown over the sheet. It turned out stinkin' cute, and the elders had a less active member bring his 1950's classic tow truck, and they stuck a tiny fake fish at the end of it. clever idea :) We had a lot of fun, and were able to pass out over 700 pass-along cards with the candy! It worked because now the community got to know us more. It rained on us halfway through, so we got soaked, but the kids still kept coming.... I guess it takes what it takes to get free candy!

My mom told me that the Inspirada ward split! Crazy stuff! But also exciting! The Lord sure does have a plan, and we have to be willing to heed to His plan, even when we don't want to. That's something I've been really learning lately. The agency of others is something that drives me a little crazy sometimes, because I just want people to listen, but as I better understand the Lord's timing, my heart is softened.
Elder Oaks states:
"The familiar observation that “timing is everything” surely overstates the point, but timing is vital. We read in Ecclesiastes:

“To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

“A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; …
“A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn,and a time to dance;

“… A time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; …

“… A time to keep silence, and a time to speak” (Eccl.3:1–2, 4–5, 7).

In all the important decisions in our lives, what is most important is to do the right thing. Second, and only slightly behind the first, is to do the right thing at the right time. People who do the right thing at the wrong time can be frustrated and ineffective. They can even be confused about whether they made the right choice when what was wrong was not their choice but their timing"

Elder Maxwell said:
"“The issue for us is trusting God enough to trust also His timing. If we can truly believe He has our welfare at heart, may we not let His plans unfold as He thinks best? The same is true with the second coming and with all those matters wherein our faith needs to include faith in the Lord’s timing for us personally, not just in His overall plans and purposes.”

I do know that it is in the Lords timing, and that we must have faith in Him in all things! Thank goodness I do know that, because man, this work would be way more hard then it needs to be if it wasn't that way!

Love, Sister Kirkby

Monday, October 19, 2015

calm faith... and SQUIRREL HUNTING?!

Hello!
Last Monday we went to a beautiful state park called Valley Falls. It was a good trip, and the leaves were beautiful! You can't even capture how beautiful everything is in a picture! You just gotta see it!

We went on exchanges twice, and I love being a sister training leader, because I can learn so much from the sisters that I serve, although I rarely see Sister Erickson! Time goes by SO fast, and I'm still trying to figure out where my week went.

We're seeing so many miracles this last few weeks of the transfer, and we're working hard! Yesterday was a cool experience, because we needed one other lesson in order to hit our goals. Typically, I'm frantically trying to figure out how we're going to teach one other person, but yesterday, I felt so calm about it. I just knew that the Lord would provide us another lesson, even though we didn't have anyone to teach. As we went throughout our day, I was striving to listen to the Spirit tell us who needed to hear a message of Jesus Christ. We knocked on a few doors, and talked to a few new people, but there was nothing coming to me. We had about an hour left in the night, and I still felt that the Lord was going to provide. Sister Erickson suggested a person we hadn't seen for awhile (a potential investigator) and as soon as Sis E said her named, I KNEW that it was the person we were supposed to teach. We showed up at her house, and were able to share a brief message about the Restoration, and it was awesome! I'm so blessed to have a companion who is worthy to receive promptings of the Spirit, and I love that the Lord provides when we act in faith.

It's gotten REAL chilly these past few days! We've broken into the boots, and the coats, and the first frost happened the other night. That means is time for SQUIRREL HUNTING. :) 

This weekend we're participating in a trunk or treat that the community is putting on, and we're (kinda) dressing up as fishermen, and have a "fishers of men" theme, with the elders in our area. It'll be fun, plus I know how to really decorate ocean themed, thanks to RFG. :) There are estimated 600-1000 kids that'll show up, so we've been stapling a lot of mormon.org cards to different pieces of candy. whew!

Keep praying for the area, and for the members! We're seeing growth, and I feel SO blessed to be a missionary!
Love, Sister Kirkby


Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Prep day at Prickett's Fort (many pics)

We went to a state park called Prickett's Fort last week! The actual fort was closed, but we had fun along the different trails and stuff.


Monday, October 12, 2015

sickness, hugs, and butt slaps (oh my!)

It's been a comical week for sure!

I was sicker than a dog for a good day and a half, and it was a real struggle, but I'm getting over it now. Lots of hand sanitizer and nasty Emergen-C. ew.

Sister E and I were simultaneously hugged by some man we had just met and were talking to, and we also met a very drunk lady in a bar... she lives in the bar. it's an old bar, but still a bar. We have an appointment with her this week. Hah. We're gunna teach a hard core Pentecostal couple, and Sister Erickson basically got chased by a dog this morning on our run. She also had her butt slapped by this old lady in our ward yesterday during church. We've had a good week. I went on exchanges to Morgantown University, and it was SO FUN serving on campus. Life as a Sister Training Leader goes by SO FAST. I feel like it was yesterday that I was emailing. 

We're seeing a lot of success in finding people to teach! No one too solid yet, but ya'll will be the first to hear about the elect that we're going to baptize! Missionary life is so rewarding, and I love it with all of my heart! I know that when we are obedient, we are blessed, and the things I've learned on my mission will bless my life, and my family, for forever.

Love, Sister Kirkby

ps Here's some good ole' West Virginia door signs.

Monday, October 5, 2015

General Conference with Real Intent

Hey everyone!
looks like October is here for multiple reasons!
#1 It's tights weather time!
#2 The leaves are changing
#3 GENERAL CONFERENCE!

I loved general conference! It always brings a new motivation and enlightenment, as long as you go in with real intent! This conference was the first time I went in with some question's I was wanting answered, and it made ALL the difference in the world! I was really able to focus, and hear the words the Lord wanted me to hear this time.

I LOVED Kim B. Clark's talk when he said "we do not need to be perfect, but we need to be good at being better" .... our Fathers purpose is to help us progress, and He really will do anything to help us succeed. WE just need to make the difference. I felt the Spirit SO strongly when our three new apostles shared their testimonies. I know that the Lord has called them personally to be a part of the greatest quorum on this earth. I pray for health for our Prophet, and I know He is doing the Lords work. I really learned that we need to do our work the Lords way, not our way, and we need to live lives so that we are in tune with the Spirit, so that He can tell us how to do it the Lords way.

I love missionary work, and I love West Virginia. There's no place I'd rather be!

Love, Sister Kirkby


Monday, September 28, 2015

hoot and holler!

New transfer, new adventures! and oh man has the beginning of this one been a hoot and a holler!

We went to Charleston where Sister Miller picked up her new companion, I hopped in a giant van to take me to Morgantown, and I said goodbye to my old sisters! I'll miss seeing them all the time, but I know the Lord has mighty work for me! It's kinda crazy, because we have all sorts of generations in the mish goin' on. Sister Erickson (my new companion) trained Sister Sorensen, and Sister Sorensen trained me. I trained Sister Miller, and now she's training a new missionary, and we kinda look at it as being moms and grandmas! It's kinda fun, so we took a "multi-generational" picture. Sister Sorensen is training again, so I have a new little sis! 

On our way up to Morgantown (my new area is in Fairmont, but Morgantown was the meeting point) about an hour and a half into the drive, our van broke down, so we had to wait for 3 hours for someone to come pick us up! Talk about miserable! It was super hot, and super boring, but I got to bond with the sisters that I'll be working with, and we made our own fun! Finally someone picked us up, and we headed back on our way to our new areas! I met Sister Erickson, and let me tell ya! This girl is wonderful, and I love her to death already!!!!  It's weird to have a friend/comp who is as tall as me, and I often find it weird that when we talk, we're actually face to face. She is the sweetest thing ever, and she LOVES ice cream... uhoh! We've been doing a lot of good work, and we've been really focusing on finding. We're over 6 sets of sisters, and so that also keeps us busy! She's a college athlete, so she's whipping me into shape. the other day we did a workout that basically killed me... ugh! But it's good for me!!

Second day in the area, we decide to go visit a less active member who lives up a hollow, for those who forgot what a hollow is, it's basically a road you never wanna go up because you'll get stuck in our little putt-putt car and won't be able to get out.... as we're driving up this giant hill, covered in lose gravel, we start to spin out at the top, and Sis. E slams on the breaks... well now we can't go forward, because she'll continue to spin out, so I decided to back her down this hill.... well, at the angle of the car, as she was backing down, she was just about 2 inches from scraping it with this tree that was in the way. In order to avoid the tree, she starts driving in the tall grass and plants, and I'm working my way through the shrub to ensure that she's not going to hit anything else. As I'm in the shrub, I notice a giant ditch that she's about the drive in if she goes backwards anymore, so I tell her to stop... now we're really in trouble. She can't go forward, or she'll continue to spin out, and she can't go backward, or she'll drive right into this ditch. We felt pretty helpless.

if you've ever seen this this mormon message you'll see that this guy tried to put sticks under his tire, and it didn't work... we'll we're here to tell you that it really doesn't work... because we trekked through the woods, looking for sticks, and it didn't help at all. :)

Basically we had to call some elders for help, and they came in their nice truck to save us. As they were driving our way, we hiked up the hill to see if anyone was home at the top to help us. There was a different less-active member who said he'd come and help. Basically these three men (two of which were really tiny elders) lifted the car over this ditch as Sis. E backed it up. The front right tire had nothing underneath. they we're literally carrying the car across this thing. It was intense, and there's no way the Lords hand wasn't involved. Moral of the story, everything is okay, and we are never driving up that road again. We'll just walk it if we have to.

I love this mission, and I love missionary work! I can't believe I have a year left, and I wish it was longer.... AHHHH!

anyways, I love you all! My new address is

25 Murray Ave
apt 3
Fairmont, WV 26554

send me MAIL PLEASE!
Love, Sister Kirkby

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

the "red zone" (and TRANSFER!)

Good Morning! it's TRANSFERS WEEK!

This was the longest week and a half of my life! And I'm way excited today is P-day because holy moly it was needed.

Last week all the missionaries met in Charleston to have a device put on our cars called TIWI. The purpose of this device is to get bad drivers off the road. It has a GPS in it, and knows the speed limits in the areas we're driving, so when we exceed the limit, it'll say "Check Speed" and we'll have to slow down. If we don't slow down, it will send an 'bad mark' to the main computer in the mission office, and then over the period of 6 weeks, it will count all the alerts, and determine whether or not you're an awful driver. If you get in the "red zone", President will take your driving privileges away. Another way you can get dinged is if you drive aggressively, and you automatically get a bad mark if you do that. I have yet to drive with it, because Sister Miller has been driving, but that thing gives me anxiety! I'm always telling Sister Miller to drive safe so it doesn't go off..... I get a little paranoid. :)

The verdict is in! I'm being TRANSFERRED! It's really bitter-sweet. I'm going to miss the area, and Sister Miller SO much. This place is my home, and I KNOW I was needed here at the time I was. We saw it grow SO much, and I'm excited for Sister Miller to be training a new missionary here :)

as for me....... I'm going to be serving with Sister Erickson, (who was actually Sister Sorensen's trainer) and I'll be in Fairmont, West Virginia..... I was called to be a Sister Training Leader!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I AM SO EXCITED and so nervous. I am so excited that I'll be able to learn from so many sisters in the mission, and I am very excited to learn from Sister Erickson. I know she is an incredible missionary, and I feel so blessed.

The area of Ripley has seen a lot, and it continues to grow exponentially. The Lord really does have His hand in all things. I know that we are imperfect tools in His hands, and I know that He knows we're imperfect, and despite that fact, He still called us to the work, because of our desire. The love I have for this area, as well as the love I have for obedience has really blessed my life eternally. I love this work, and I love our Savior!
Make sure you send mail to the mission office at
888 Oakwood Rd STE 310
Charleston, WV
until I get my new address! Never forget that the Lord loves you! Love, Sister Kirkby

Monday, September 14, 2015

Humbly Preaching (and being preached to)


Howdy Ya'll!
 
The weather in here West Virginia is cooling down, and I don't think I'm physically ready for the winter yet.... NOOOO. I hate snow! So I'm going to embrace the current weather as much as I can before it starts to get bitter cold!
 
Wednesday night Sister Miller and I attended a sermon given by a preacher that was lead by an investigator we have. It was quite interesting on how the doctrine that people teach are similar, or almost identical to what we teach, but that we just have the fullness. I agreed with everything he was saying, and I wish people understood that us as missionaries aren't trying to take away their faith. We just want to build upon it. I mean, who wouldn't want more Jesus in their life?

Thursday night we had a fun interaction with a baptist preacher who continuously told us that we were wrong. This happens often... I wanted to give him a Book of Mormon, but that would have been contentious, and so we just nodded our heads, and let him talk. We answered his questions as best we could, and hopefully one day his heart will soften.

Saturday we helped out at an 11 year old's birthday party, and there was a watermelon eating contest. I decided to give it a try, and eating a slice of watermelon as fast as you can is a lot harder than you think! And wayyyy messy! Sister Miller did the bobbing for apples, and she did pretty good. I was proud of her ;)

Last night we went to a fireside with Lisa, and saw Sister Sorensen :) The fireside was SO GOOD. It was all about our Savior, Jesus Christ, and I am so thankful for Him. One of my ALL TIME favorite quotes is "The miracle of the Atonement makes up for our imperfections in our performance" and how right that is!

Next week is transfer week, and we will have to wait and see what happens! I hope I get to stay here in my home of Ripley. I love it here, and I love Sister Miller, but I've been here for awhile now, and so I most likely will be leaving :( But it's all up to the Lord.

Thanks for your prayers and words of encouragement! Our investigators are doing well, and we're working hard, as usual! :)

Love, Sister Kirkby

PS Sister Miller and I have a skirt that's almost identical and EVERY TIME one of us decides to wear it, the other person also decides to wear it, so by the time we come out of our rooms we realize we're wearing the same skirt... It's kind of ridiculous.



Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Mormon Night

Hello everyone!
I hope ya'll had a good labor day! For the past two prep-days, we've gotten together with some elders and played some good old fashioned Dungeons and Dragons.... basically it's a blast, and we have a lot of fun. Since Monday was Labor day, we weren't able to get to the library, so that's why my email is a little late this week!
Last Wednesday, the missionaries had a once in a (missionary) life time opportunity to go to a pro baseball game in Charleston! Someone who runs something at the ball park is a member of the church and worked it out to where we could have a "Mormon Night" at the game. They played "I'm a Mormon" videos on the big screen, and we had a little devotional before hand, for all the investigators and members that came to the game! It was a blast, and we had a lot of fun with some investigators! Sister Sorensen was also there with her companion Sister Michie, so it was fun to see them!
We had a zone meeting, which is always humbling, because we get the opportunity to learn from other missionaries. We talked about the power of prayer, and why it's important to pray in Jesus Christ's name. When we were baptized, we took upon ourselves the Saviors name. We are commanded to represent Him, and follow His example, especially during prayer. We must always say prayers that are said in a way Jesus Christ would have said them: selfless and righteous. As I've been working on this, my faith in my Savior has grown incredibly. I love the power of prayer, and how I always have the opportunity to talk to my Father whenever I need Him.
I love this work, and I love the area of Ripley! So many blessings and miracles every day!
love, Sister Kirkby

Monday, August 31, 2015

"i am the hole in the doughnut"



Hello everyone!

I really don't have much to say... Missionary work is missionary work, and we just teach a lot! I'm so blessed! before my mission, I really took the gospel for granted. I never really knew HOW important it was. I always just did the things I needed to do because I was told to do them, but now as I teach people to do these things, I understand the blessings that come from it. The mission has truly blessed and shaped my life, and I feel SO incredible. I love this work.

Sister Miller started driving this week, and I've discovered that I just would so much rather have me always do the driving, because I get SO TENSE when others drive. It's kinda funny. It's not like she's a bad driver either! It just happens!

This past week I was kinda mean to Sister Miller and pretended that I was tired of missionary work, and that I was ready to give up. I did it to see how she would react, because when my trainer did it to me, I was FURIOUS and just walked away from her (Never walk away from your companion, btw, NOT GOOD) It's basically an exercise to help the new missionary understand that we are NEVER alone, even when our companion is being difficult and we feel alone. Ultimately the person we need to rely on is Jesus Christ, and that's exactly what she did. I was so proud of her. She gave me this really awesome pep-talk about how we are representatives of our Savior, and how we are called to the work for a reason, and we should never give up, and it really truly made me teary. Basically she's amazing and I aspire to be her one day.

There are so many characteristics of Christ that I aspire to emulate and master as a person, and as a missionary. I've really been focusing on humility this past week, and I've been very inspired.

In Alma 32, Alma is teaching the people that it’s better to naturally be humble, vs compelled to be humble. Cheryl Brown, in a BYU devotional, gave four simple suggestions on how we can become naturally humbled.

Always be willing to laugh at yourself when you make a mistake.
Write in your journal so that we can begin to notice the Lord’s hand in our lives more often
Show gratitude towards others as we continually learn from them.
Reexamine the fruits of following the Savior

President Kimball said this when asked how to remain humble:

“First you evaluate yourself. What am I? I am the circle. I am the hole in the doughnut. I would be nothing without the Lord. My breath, my hearing, my sight, my locomotion, my everything depends upon the Lord. That is the first step, and then we pray and pray often, and we will not get up from our knees until we have communicated. The line may be down; we may have let it fall to pieces, but I will not get up from my knees until I have established communication. If it is twenty minutes, if it is all night, like Enos… if it takes all day long, you stay on your knees until your un-humbleness has dissipated, until you feel the humble spirit and realize, ‘ I could die this minute if it were not for the Lord’s good grace. I am dependent upon Him – Totally dependent upon Him.’”

I LOVED THIS. Humility isn't something you seek for, it comes as you yield your heart to God. It may be defined as wanting what Heavenly Father wants more than any hope or dream.

Anyways, there's a glimpse of what I'm learning. It's hard to retain all this stuff I'm learning, and I'm so thankful for my study journal! :)

I love you all! Have a good week!

Love, Sister Kirkby

Monday, August 24, 2015

"teach with the power and authority of God"



Hello everyone!

Thanks to everyone who wrote me a cute little note, about what they learned at Education Week! It made my entire day!

My week was good. Nothing much happened. Two people came to church on Sunday! Lisa and a new investigator named Amanda!! I've eaten WAY too much this week, (thanks West Virginia) but it's all worth it because it's SO GOOD. We went on exchanges this week, as well as a Zone Conference, and I was able to see Sister Sorensen! YAY. She's doing well.

When you go on missionary exchanges, you stay in another area for a night, so I was in the big city of Charleston, with a sister training leader named Sister Webb. It was way fun, and good to get out of Ripley for awhile. While on exchanges, I learned about how I'm just not a very confident missionary, and Sister Miller has actually brought to my attention that I rarely look people in the eye when I'm teaching. I don't know why I get so scared. I've been praying a lot to become more confident, and to be able to look people in the eye, and now that I am consciously working towards it, I see Satan working at me. I hate that guy. I was studying in PMG earlier in the week, and came across this:

"Missionaries are to go “in the power of the ordination wherewith [they have] been ordained, proclaiming glad tidings of great joy, even the everlasting gospel” (D&C79:1). You have authority to preach the gospel. If you hold the priesthood, you have the authority to administer the ordinances thereof. As you prayerfully and worthily exercise that authority, you will receive spiritual power, which is evidence of the reality of your call. Do not be afraid or shy about fulfilling this commission. Just as the sons of Mosiah, you are to "teach with the power and authority of God (see Alma17:2–3)."

I've literally been set apart with a higher power to teach the people here in Ripley, and as long as I can remember that I represent Jesus Christ, I think I'll be okay.

Also, about a week ago, my ankle started hurting REALLY badly. I didn't do anything to it, and it's not swollen. but I can barely walk.... we bought a brace on Saturday, and if it doesn't feel better by this coming Saturday, we'll call the mission nurse. It's just really inconvenient.

anyways moral of the story is that exchanges are incredible, and I am so blessed to continuously be humbled and enlightened by people all around me! Sister Miller is the best, and I hope to be like her one day. The mission changes lives, and there's no place I'd rather be.

I hope everyone has a good week!
Love, Sister Kirkby

Monday, August 17, 2015

transfer week

Not much to report on since it's only been a few days since I've last written. Transfer week will do that to ya!

Sister Miller and I have been really focusing on faith lately, and how it can influence our work incredibly. There's a difference between hoping that something will happen, and having faith that something will happen. Having hope is wishing for something to happen, where as when you have faith, you KNOW that the task at hand will happen, and that the Lord will bless you. It's a hard concept to grasp in missionary work, because you often think to yourself "It's the Lords will" but if we have enough faith, His will will become our will.

On that note, we have a lot of faith that we'll see a lot more growth in our area within the next transfer! Keep in your prayers that the hearts of the people will soften here in Ripley, and that miracles will arise, and let's combine our faith and see the Lords hand more abundantly.

I'm so thankful for everyone's support and love, and I hope that life outside of the mission is going well for all. I pray for my friends and family back home, and I have faith that the Lord is touching your lives, as you constantly rely on the Lord.

Eliminate all self-defeating, faith destroying, Atonement denying thoughts words and actions!


Have a good week!

Love, Sister Kirkby

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

HAPPY BIRTHDAY SISTER MILLER!

This week was so good! Sister Miller turned 20, and now she's REAL old ;)

 
Also, it's transfer week, and we're both staying in my home of Ripley, West Virginia! I never want to leave here, and it'll be heartbreaking when I do have to leave. :(

We've been able to pick up a lot of new investigators, and are teaching greatly! As we work on getting our investigators progressing, Sister Miller and I are humbled daily. Preach my Gospel is such an incredible tool for anyone who wants to do missionary work, and I wish I hadn't taken it for granted before my mission, so some advice to all you youngin's who are out there preping for a mission, STUDY Preach My Gospel! and never ever overlook the Book of Mormon. It is TRULY the word of God, as if He wrote you a personal letter, so why not read it daily?

So, I got myself into trouble this week! We've recently had an investigator move away, with her family, after she broke up with her boyfriend. Well, in the process of trying to find her boyfriend, to continually teach him, we could tell that her kitten was still locked up in her apartment, and that thing was SCREECHING. You could tell it was not being taken care of, just by the sounds it was making, and I was HEART BROKEN. It's a mission rule that we're not aloud to have pets (pretty self-explanatory) but I couldn't just let that kitten die in there, so we went searching for the landlord, to see if we could take the cat, and find it a home. Long story short, worst mistake of my life. As I put upon myself the responsibility of finding a home for this cat, it turned out a lot more that what I anticipated. We eventually found a home for it, and all was well, but holy moly it was stressful and not worth it... Wish I coulda just kept the cat for myself. :) #gottalearnsomehow

Anyways, thanks for all the prayers and thoughts! The area is growing so much, and Sister Miller is incredible!

Love, Sister Kirkby

Monday, August 3, 2015

Bird Troubles

Hello!

What a busy week this week! First off, here's a picture of when I smash a bird to pieces... It literally looked like it exploded when I hit it. It was really depressing, but also hilarious.

We were able to do a lot of walking this last week, because it was the end of the month, which means we're runnin' low on miles.... walking=lots of tan lines, and more sweat than you can even imagine, but it's also great because we get to meet so many people on the street, and talk to people who might be prepared to hear our message. One man we were talking to was really excited to hear about the organization of our church, and I guess I've always taken that for granted... out here, in the bible belt, most church's are "family run" and there's a lot of bias. This man was talking about how in every church he's been to, he's not liked that, and was really impressed to hear that we an run by a modern day prophet.

There's always so much we take for granted as we grow up in the church. Things we don't even think about. How blessed I was to learn from my parents, and to learn all of this growing up.

We picked up some new investigators, one named Kelly, who has a daughter that reminds me SO MUCH of my sister Savannah (also, shout out to her, she was baptized on Saturday! Proud of that girl!) And we also picked up a young man who is on house arrest for drugs... but is very interested in learning.. we think. He might just like the company because he get's lonely... so we'll see! #benefitofthedoubt

We saw Sister Sorensen at a zone meeting this last week, and boy what a blast from the past (or month... lol) She's doing great things in her area, and I love the example she is to me.

Speaking of examples . . . You know how it's thought that the trainer is the one training the trainee? WELL it's actually basically the opposite. Sister Miller is always keeping me on my toes.... and I LOVE her for it. So much. She is training me to be the best missionary I can be, and I'm so blessed to be serving with her. She is constantly looking outward, rather than inward, and that's an attribute I wish I had more of.

Funny story, we were tracting the other day, and it was Sis. Millers turn to introduce us, and as she starts talking, the man who answered interrupts and says "We'll, I'm actually a baptist preacher" and she freezes. She doesn't say anything... just stares at him..... intimidated much? :) It happens all the time... these people "already have Jesus"... that's great! Just let us give you more of Him!!!!

Well, anyways, life's good here in Ripley. Thanks for the prayers and support. I love this work with all of my heart!

Love, Sister Kirkby

No Title

This week has been busy and uneventful.... so I don't have much to share.

We did get a new branch mission leader called within the past week, and we are very excited to put forth some goals, and to really see this area grow as members become more involved in our work!

I never knew how much I'd love this work, but every time I think about it, I get teary. It's hard... no doubt about it, but I feel my Heavenly Father so close to me daily, and there are times when I KNOW He's the one doing the work... not me, and Sister Miller and I are just the ones to follow through with what the Lord wants us to do.

Sister Miller and I continue to go on adventures every day, and oh boy are we busy as ever. I'm wayyy way tan, and I've never sweated so much in my entire life, but I guess the humidity does that to people (did you know that the sweat was the number one thing I was dreading when I heard I was coming out east.... it's actually not THAT bad though.. :))

One thing that's really ran through my mind all week is the scripture "By small and simple things, great things are brought to pass" - Alma 37:6

as we put in as much effort as we have, day to day, we may only see but a few changes actually taking effect, but as I've been here for 4 months (CRAZY RIGHT?!) I've been really able to witness the power of God in this work, and His hand in all things. We've seen so many blessings, and there's no place else I'd rather be but here in West Virginia.

Thanks for all of your prayers and support. Sorry this week was uneventful. We'll be more exciting in the next week ;)

Love, Sister Kirkby

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Timing

This week was SO good. We were able to see NUMEROUS blessings within the area, and I know without a doubt we wouldn't have been able to do it without the Lord. He's really providing, because we're working hard. Our members are getting an understanding of how important missionary work is, and we just got a new branch mission leader that we hope will be really good for the branch.

More people are reading the Book of Mormon every day, and we are seeing true conversion. The BOM is the ultimate conversion tool, and it's so exciting to see it being applied, and to see people reading it. I know that book is inspired, and that it is the word of God, and I wouldn't be an effective missionary without it. I've learned what it means to STUDY, really study, the scriptures, and I'm so thankful I have it in my life.

This week has been busy, but there's nothing new. Sister Miller is still way awesome, and I love her with all of my heart. She's an example of true discipleship, and she teaches me every day. As she grasps missionary work, she does it diligently, and we work hard.

I've really come to know that these 18 months of my life are the ONLY 18 months of my life I have where I can dedicate each waking moment to my Savior, Jesus Christ, and His gospel. It's a little daunting, because I've almost hit 4 months. Time flies, and I must remember to work has hard as I can, because it'll be over before I know it. I love this work with all of my heart. I know it's inspired, and that it's not my work. Our area would not be doing as much success as it is if I were in charge of it. The Lord is in charge, and I'm blessed to have the desire to be worthy of the Spirit, as well as to have a companion who is worthy of the Spirit.

The Lord has a hand in all things, and we must trust in the plan He has for us.



Love, Sister Kirkby

Monday, July 13, 2015

Blessings

This week has been a week of miracles and blessings all around. We've been blessed with people to teach, and have been kept very busy. We've been working hard, and have seen some great progression in our area. Sister Miller is an amazing missionary. I often look past the fact that she's training, because she has so much courage to speak and teach. She loves to teach, and as she grasps an understanding of the area, she helps the best she can during planning. She's adjusting well, and I'm so thankful for the things she teaches me.

We have a lot of fun, and we've been able to do a lot of service. That rain is never ending, but I kind of love it! The humidity is something else.... I could do without that. :) When we focus on the small and simple things, we can recognize the outcome our efforts produce, and I LOVE THIS WORK. I love it with all my heart, and there is no place I'd rather be. Not only have I been able to teach others, and help them come closer to the restored gospel, but I too have been blessed to have worked on my own conversion. I've never relied on the Lord so much, and I'm blessed to have a firm testimony in the Book of Mormon. It IS the word of God, and we can, and must turn to it when we are lost.

Last night we had the opportunity to go to a stake presidents fireside in Charleston, and we brought our investigator Lisa Medford. We saw Sister Sorensen and her companion, because they were the ones who put it together! The Spirit was so strong, and we were so thankful that through a lot of prayer the Lord provided a way for us to make it there.

Nothing too crazy happened this week. We taught some investigators the stop smoking workshop that the church has come out with, and guarantees to be smoke free after one week, and we're excited to see how they do. So far they're doing great! As we pray for baptisms, I have full faith that the Lord will provide, because we are working HARD. We're doing our best, and we're promised that the Lord will bless us when we strive to do our best.

Keep praying for the area, and for our investigators! Thank you all for you love and support!

Love, Sister Kirkby

Monday, July 6, 2015

Saying Goodbye to my Trainer, and Hello to my Trainee!






This week has been so good, full of roller coaster emotions, as I've said goodbye to my trainer, and have picked up my new companion. Sister Miller is INCREDIBLE. She's from Lehi, Utah, and actually knows Rick, my cousin...she did musical theater at Lehi High, and was in Prisoner of War with him (someone tell him, as I'm sure he doesn't read my emails. ;)) She went to Utah State for two years, and has an associates in English, going into Deaf Education. She clogs as a hobby, and loves to sing! As she adjusts to missionary work, I can tell that all she wants is to love the people we serve, and she is already loving them as she's getting to know them. She has a strong desire to serve the Lord, and to love the area, and it's a huge example to me.

On Thursday, I took Sister Miller to the Arts and Crafts Fair, here in Ripley, and we passed out cute little American flags to people as we talked and introduced ourselves. We didn't really find any potential investigators, but we did have a good time, and put our name tags out there, which is effective. Sister Miller was so good at talking to strangers, and I was very impressed.

On Saturday, the 4th of July, we seriously had a BLAST. Ripley is known for the "Largest Small Town 4th of July Day Celebration in the Nation." What a mouth full.... and boy was it large. It was every missionaries dream come true! People everywhere, to invite to learn, and get to know! We picked up five potential investigators, and have plans to go see them all this coming week, so please keep in your prayers that we will be able to pick up some new investigators. We just went around, once again passing out American flags, and talked to as many people as possible. Our feet were tired, from all the walking, but it was so worth it. We looked passed the rejection, and just had fun! That night we lit sparklers, and got all decked out with the fun stuff my mom sent us! (Thanks mom!)

As I grasp this whole leadership thing, I'm still learning the ropes of missionary work. I have ultimate faith that the Lord is with me, and that He won't abandon me, as I feel slightly alone in this process. I know I'll make mistakes, and through those mistakes, I have to remember to learn from them. I know that I'll learn much more about missionary work training a new missionary, rather than being a new missionary, and I'll take all the knowledge I need!

Thanks for all the prayers coming my way!
Love, Sister Kirkby

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Tornado's and Training

Oh my goodness SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED this last week and a half, and I've been so excited to write this email.... I guess we'll just start at the beginning.

This last Friday we were sitting in Lisa's home, in a town called Silverton, about 10 miles away from Ripley, and the rain was incredible. Sister Sorensen and I were sitting on the couch with Lisa and her husband Charley when all of us got weather warning's on our phones that a tornado was coming into the area of Ripley. Sister Sorensen immediately freaks out (she's really into emergency preparedness, and went all boy scout on me), and I ensure her we'll be okay, and that we'll just wait about 30 minutes before we go home. As we were talking, a cute old man from the branch called us to make sure we were home and safe. We told him we weren't home yet, and he told us to be careful when we drive, because there were trees covering the roads in our town of Ripley. The rain let's up in Silverton, and Sister Sorensen start on our way home. The old man was right. Trees were EVERYWHERE, uprooted, and blocking roads. The main roads were clear, thank goodness, but the power was out in the town, and it was still raining pretty hard. We get to our apartment, and find that we still have power, so we were blessed, but the next morning the whole town was working to clean up the place from a tornado. Yes. A tornado hit Ripley, and I MISSED IT. I was a little bummed out, but rather be safe than sorry, right? (we can just pretend I'm a survivor) We were told that one person saw a cow floating down the river outside of his house, and we saw a trailer in the middle of the river, just sitting there. Pretty scary. Luckily no one was hurt, and clean up was fairly simple. Our little town was blessed.

Every Sunday we go eat lunch at a members house, but the last several weeks she's been gone, because it's summertime, and she's been on vacation. Her husband is very country side, and when I first met him, he talked about how he hunts and eats squirrel all the time. Well, over and over again, I've been half teasing, half being serious, asking if he'll feed us some... we'll guess what? This past Sunday he did! It actually wasn't that bad. Taste a lot like pork. It's was kinda sad eating something so cute though.

Monday morning we were doing some yard work for this old lady that is in our branch, and afterwards she took us out to eat at this pizza place. As we were there, a giant group of people walk in, dressed very nicely. There's only two reason why large groups of people dress nicely in West Virginia. 1) Wedding 2) Funeral.... well this group was for the later. One women comes up to the old lady in our branch, and asks her if she's going to the funeral (I guess the old lady knew the man who had died). The branch member says she'll think about it, and the woman leaves... a couple minuets later, the branch member asks if we'll go to the funeral with her, and we could hardly say no, because Sister Sorensen and I have such blue personalities. Keep this in mind that Sis S and I are in our muddy jeans and t-shirts, and probably smell, because we just did a bunch of yard work for this lady. We show up to the funeral, and Sis. S and I try our hardest to just wait in the lobby of the funeral home, and just as we're about to leave, because the old lady has talked to who she wanted to see, the wife of the man that died catches us and invites (or rather demands) that we come see her husband because "he looks so beautiful". Sis S and I try our hardest to get out of it, but she grabs our arms, and drags us into the room with the casket, while explaining to everyone to not mind us and that we're just some dirty people who have just done some yard work, here to see her beautiful husband. Can anyone say awkward?! We felt so out of place, and could hardly contain our laughter.

This week is transfer week, and the verdict is in!! Who's excited to hear what's happening? I know I was! Sad to say, but Sister Sorensen is leaving. :( I'll miss her a lot, and I've already cried about it, but I know she'll bless many lives in her new area... good news is that she's staying in my zone, so I'll see her at zone meetings and conferences!!

.... oh yeah, I forgot to mention.... I'M TRAINING! ;) Can you believe it!? I'll be in charge of teaching a brand new missionary everything she needs to know about missionary work.. WHAT?! I feel like I just finished with my training! (oh wait... I did..) I'll be here in Ripley, serving with a brand new missionary straight from the MTC, and I can't wait to meet her.

I hope everyone has a good, and safe 4th of July. Apparently Ripley is known for the "Biggest Small Town 4th of July Celebration" in the nation, so this place will be poppin' on Saturday. The carnival is already set up, and it'll be impossible to drive anywhere, so we'll be walking around during the parade, passing out little American flags, and talking to as many people as we can. Perfect activity for a new missionary!

Thanks for all the prayers and support!
Love, Sister Kirkby


Monday, June 22, 2015

Obedience

Hello!

SO many miracles this week! and it's all because of obedience!

Obedience is the key to receiving any blessings, whether it be on a mission, or back home. In Mosiah 2:41 King Benjamin taught about this principle. “I would desire that ye should consider on the blessed and happy state of those that keep the commandments of God,” he counseled. “For behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual; and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness. O remember, remember that these things are true; for the Lord God hath spoken it".

We are promised blessings according to our obedience here on earth, and in heaven. What a comforting thing to know! We were able to teach 26 lessons this week, and we couldn't be more content. We've met a lot more people, and have really been effective, because we're being obedient. I'm so thankful for a trainer who has taught me the importance of this principle!

We had a specialized training this past Wednesday with our mission president, and it was well needed. We were asked to study 2 Nephi 9, and if you ever have any time, take it to study that chapter, because there are some incredible things to take from it. The Atonement is real, and you will gain a huge testimony of it as you read the chapter. Our president emphasized the fact that as missionaries, we are entitled to the Atonement just as much as our investigators, so we should never take it for granted. We are not perfect, nor will we ever be, nor expected to be, and we must be willing to forgive ourselves just as much as our Father has forgiven us, when we make a mistake.

Our investigators are doing well, and please take the time in your prayers to think of them and pray for them! Lisa is as great as ever, as well as the Hodge family, and the Johnson family! We're hoping to meet with all of them soon, and see a baptism in the near future. We have faith that it will happen when the Lord wants it to happen -- we work on His time, not ours.

Transfers is in a week and a half, and Sister Sorensen and I will most likely depart from each other -- I can't believe I'm almost done with training.... so weird!

Thanks for all your prayers! I love you!


Love, Sister Kirkby

Monday, June 15, 2015

Good morning everyone!

This week has been really great. Sister Sorensen has me taking the lead in the majority of teaching, and it's been a really big blessing on my part, so that I can be prepared for when transfers come up. We're working hard, and seeing the blessings come from our hard work. At the beginning of the transfer, our mission president challenged us to imagine the possibilities of having 20 lessons in one week, and so far, each week this transfer, my companion and I have been able to hit that goal. In doing so, we've been SO BLESSED. The effectiveness of our teaching has increased, and we're bringing more and more people closer to our Savior.

We're teaching so many great people, and we're hoping that we can baptize soon. Lisa's baptism had to be moved, but it's okay, because she's still stellar, and we still love her so much, and teach her weekly. We always go to DQ, and I'm pretty sure I'm going to reach death by ice cream ;) We're teaching two recently married couples, who are so fun to be around, and are progressing, and loving the gospel daily. We're also teaching a young mom of 4 kids, who has a low-income, but still so positive. The humility we see in the people here in West Virginia is an example to me of how I need to master that Christ-like attribute.
Each day get's more beautiful, and I love it here with all my heart. Growing up, I always thought that lightning bugs were some kind of myth, but I'm here to tell you, that they are NOT. We went to dinner at a members home early in the week, and as we were leaving, driving through the woods, we saw so many fireflies, lighting up the horizon. It was so beautiful, and if there's anything I've learning from Sister S this week, it's that we NEED to enjoy the simple things in life, because those are the tender mercies of the Lord.

I love you all! Don't forget: The Lord is always by your side, and we should never take the Atonement for granted.

Love, Sister Kirkby



Monday, June 8, 2015

A BREEZY Gal

Hello everyone!

Life's good here in good ol' Ripley, West Virginia! We've really seen a lot of miracles in our area, and I'm so blessed to be here with Sister Sorensen. I learn so much from her every day, and I'm sad that training is almost over. 3 more weeks! Can you believe it? Then I'll be on my own in this big scary missionary world. ;) I'm so glad Sis. S is preparing me for that though. She's really taught me that simplicity is key, that we don't have to know everything, as long as we use our resources, and that becoming a consecrated missionary is what our ultimate goal is. We must lay everything out on the table, and really look outward instead of inward when it comes to the work. As President Hinkley said "Forget yourself and go to work" and that's what I try to do everyday, so that we can be successful. As we forget ourselves, we become naturally obedient, and obedience brings miracles, which we all need as missionaries. 

Sorry this week was pretty uneventful, and I wish I had a fun story to tell. We saw a bunch of goats this week, that followed us everywhere. It was pretty adorable. We've met a less-active member of the church who LOVES animals. She raises squirrels, and has two baby ones right now, that she found after a tree had fallen, killing the momma squirrel. She's also taking care of four baby bunnies, three little kittens, on top of the three grown squirrels she owns, her three cats, one dog, a domestic bunny, and apparently she used to own a possum. Needless to say we love going over there, because we always have an animal to play with. The weather has been hotter than ever, and people keep telling us to "wait until August, because that's when you can cut the air with a knife it's so thick." Humidity is not my favorite thing.

We also came across a street sign that will probably be the closest one we'll find to my actually name, so I made Sis. S take a picture of me, and she told me she'd only do it if I was holding a BOM... can anyone say cheesy? :)

Thanks for all the support and prayers! I love you all!

Love, Sister Kirkby

Monday, June 1, 2015

Teach those that are Prepared!

This past week we've come in contact with a newly married couple who are so prepared from the Lord. This doesn't happen often, where they're outright willing to do everything you commit them to do, and are so enthusiastic about the message we share. Usually we have to really encourage people to listen to our message, so we we're ecstatic when we met them. When we last met with them, it came time to say the closing prayer, and the couple was fighting over who was going to say it. That never happens.... needless to say, we're going to run with the miracle the Lord has provided!

I've learned a lot while being on my mission, and my testimony has grown so much in just basic doctrine. Nephi promises: “Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the words of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.” What is eternal life? It is where we will one day inherit a place for us and our families in the highest degree of glory. We will dwell with God, and become perfected in Him. Our families will be together forever, but only if we “press forward with a steadfastness in Christ.” and continue to do so, until our time on earth is over. We must have faith in Jesus Christ, learn of His life through diligent scripture study, and pray to our Father in Heaven often. As we do this, we will have desire to follow our savior, and become less distracted. If we do let Satan enter our lives, we can always apply the Atonement. We must repent, change, and become better. This basic doctrine really gives us an eternal perspective, which is something Sister Sorensen and I are focusing a lot on with our investigators. If we apply these things, we will see blessings!

I love you all, and I hope you have a great week!
Love, Sister Kirkby


P.S. Here's our jalapeno we planted when I first got to Ripley. It's getting HUGE.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Lost Dog

Hello west coast! (and anyone else around the world who's reading),

The mission is GREAT! Last week, we were feeling a little (more like a lot) discouraged, but by the end of the week, we had witnessed SO many miracles, it didn't even matter. Sister S always says that the good outweighs the hard, and it's very true. The Lord is very aware of us, and He loves us so much, and WANTS us to succeed.

Last Saturday we had quite the experience, and it was terrifying, but hilarious wrapped into one. We had just approached the door of a less active members house, for a dinner appointment when the very old man who lives there yells at us to "come in! But DON'T LET THE DOGS OUT... DON'T LET THEM OUT" He continues to yell at us about not letting his dogs out as we open the door. Sister S is immediately attacked by four little dogs, and she shoots to the floor in attempt to keep them all contained. In the process, I'm shoving her into the house, so that I can close the door, to avoid the unspeakable. This quick, 10 second ordeal happens, and I walk up the stairs to introduce myself to this man, because I've never met him before. As we're talking, Sister S comes to me, looking a little flustered, and tells me that we should probably take off our shoes by the door, and so I ask the man if he'd like us to take our shoes off. He exclaims that the floor has been peed and vomited on so often by his dogs, that he wouldn't imagine for us to take off our shoes, and Sister S looks like she's about to freak. I give her a look, as if to say "What's you're problem", and she leans in and whispers to me "We let one of the dogs out!".

I'm sure the look on my face was just pure terror.... A million things run through my mind in an instant. I'm trying to think of how we're supposed to tell this man we let one of his dogs out, or a way to create an excuse to go outside, while I simultaneously ask her what in the craycray she wants me to do about it?? We sit down at the table, because this man is ushering us towards our seats, and we're both in a panic. Sister S looks like a stone statue, and I'm still trying to figure out how to get outside to find this poor puppy. Suddenly I remember that we left the phone out in the car, so I apologize to the brother, and explain that we "left our phone outside, and we're expecting a call, so we're going to go grab it real quick". Sister S and I leap from our seats, and bolt out the door. We step outside and this dog is NO WHERE TO BE SEEN, and I thought Sister S was going to punch a wall. As we walk around the corner, we see it, just hanging out by a bush, and Sister S runs to catch that little dog. As she picks it up, (it's maybe 40lbs), she struggles towards me, and thrusts it into my arms, claiming it's "too heavy". We run inside the home, and I throw the dog inside, hoping that the man won't see that I've just come inside with his dog in my arms.

We walk back up the stairs, a little winded, and SO RELIEVED we found this mans dog alive, and not squished on the side of the road. Throughout the rest of dinner, we were trying so so hard not to bust out laughing at the whole situation, and as soon as the doors to our car closed, we laughed so hard... for a good 10 minutes.

Thank goodness we found that mans dog, because this story would end up much less funny if we hadn't. MIRACLES ARE REAL

Thanks for all of your support, and keep sharing the gospel with those around you! I love you!
Love, Sister Kirkby

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

First Transfer Period DOWN!




Can you believe that I've already been on the mish for one transfer? Yeah, I can't either!
The Ripley area is doing GREAT. We're working hard, and feeling our Heavenly Fathers love every day. Without the Spirit we are nothing, and we must rely on His guidance to help us become effective missionaries. This past Sunday was stake conference, and I really loved what one of the speakers had said. "If we apply basic doctrine (prayer, scripture reading, going to church) our Savior will fill in our weaknesses." I've been also studying my copy of the general conference edition of the Ensign like crazy. Last night I was reading Elder Bednar's talk about fear, and I found what he had said about the Atonement to be really applicable to my companion and me. "The power of the Atonement makes repentance possible and quells the despair caused by sin; it also strengthens us to see, do, and become good in ways we could NEVER recognize or accomplish with our limited mortal capacity." We are limited without the Atonement, and as we apply it in our lives, we will be one small step closer to become like our Savior. We will be able to recognize our weaknesses, and repent and change to become as perfect as we can be.

Someone told Sister Sorensen and I a really funny Mormon joke this past week:
How many Mormons does it take to change a light bulb?
Six. One to change it, and five others to bring refreshments.
We laughed really hard.

Thanks for all of your support and love! I miss you all, and I hope you're all able to recognize the tender mercies in your everyday lives! The Lord loves you!
Love, Sister Kirkby

Monday, May 11, 2015

Happy Mothers Day!

Hello y'all!

Sorry I don't have anything too exciting to report on for this week. It was just kind of a normal, every day missionary kind of week with teaching and finding and learning. Sister Sorensen is still just the greatest ever, and I love her more and more every day.

A few fun facts about my trainer:
1. She is a vegetarian
2. She has an adopted little brother
3. She loves cats, and wants to take them all home with us.
4.She likes to be the big sister, which makes me a little crazy ;)
5. She is the PERFECT trainer for me

Yesterday was Mothers Day, so HAPPY MOTHERS DAY to all you amazing moms out there. Being a mom isn't easy, and so you get the gold star for doing what you do. I got to talk to my family last night, and it was so great to see them all! Jainna and Vannah are already growing up too fast (okay maybe not... it's been a month) and I miss my best friend (aka Hannah) like crazy. I loved talking with my mom, and answering all her questions, and after we got off the Skype call, all I could do is think about how I could just sit there and talk to all of them for hours. Oh how I miss them!
God gave us families to help us become what he wants us to be.

I love you all!
Love, Sister Kirkby

P.S. oh yeah, this morning we had quite the adventure. Sister S found a tick in her hair, really holding tight to her head, and I had to tear it out with some tweezers. Pray for me that I wont get one...UCK