Monday, April 27, 2015

Klick One

GRANDMA ALERT: do NOT view picture at bottom (consider yourself warned)

Howdy y'all

You know how missionaries always say that the mission flies by? Well it's kinda true.... It's easy to believe I've been on the mish for a month, because it feels like I've been away from home for forever, but it also feels like the weeks have just gone by so fast... It's a weird thing.

This week was rainy and cold and tough, but by the end of the week, we were able to recognize so many tender mercies of the Lord, and we were blessed beyond compare. Thursday afternoon we set aside some "miracle time" in which we prayed to the Lord in faith that a miracle was going to happen, because we deserved it, and needed it. So out we went, in the freezing rain, knocking on peoples doors...we were able to contact people, and ask for referrals, but no one was very interested in listening to what we had to share. We did this for about an hour, and then I started to feel really sick, to the point where I wanted to throw up, and so we went back to the apartment for dinner. I took a short nap, and pondered on what our "miracle" could have been, as we were trekking in the rain. There were lots of different tender mercies that happened while we were tracting: we met some good potential investigators, every door we knocked on was answered, and everyone we talked to was friendly.. (that's pretty rare. usually when you tract you run into at least a couple of people who are just plain rude.) Sister Sorensen and I discussed it, and we just figured that the tender mercies we saw were our miracle.. UNTIL we were planning and a potential investigator, in whom when we met was GOLDEN, and in whom we've been trying to contact for awhile now, called us and said he wanted to meet with us ASAP... he's just been busy and hasn't been able to set time aside for us. It was our MIRACLE. needless to say we freaked, and we're so excited!

The Lord blesses us according to our obedience, and we are as obedience as the imperfect human being can be. We love the work we're doing, and we seriously have worked hard, and it's finally paying off. YAY

Sister Sorensen and I continue to get along, thank goodness. I was so blessed with the perfect trainer for me, and it's just the best. We talk to each other like sisters, and she sometimes hits me, and I sometimes sass her, but it's just part of the fun. The relationship we have is real, and it's none of that fake sister missionary stuff, and we're happy about it. :D I learn from her every day, and I don't know what I'd do without her.

Anyways, thanks for the support and love! I hope all is well back west, and don't forget to pray to our Heavenly Father, because once you stop, Satan has won.

Love, Sister Kirkby

ps, we taught the Plan of Salvation to a dying mouse... then he died. It was sad.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Sister Kirby & Swanson: The Holler Back Girls

Hello everybody!

Miss ya, and love ya! Being my first full week in the mission field, I've gotta say, it's been pretty great. God has already blessed me so much with learning and growing opportunity, and I couldn't be happier.
A few of the best things about West Virginia:

  • Everyone calls me Sister Kirby, and my companion (Sister Sorensen), Sister Swanson.
  • It's been cloudy and rainy all week, and I actually really love it! (It's sunny and hot today though, unfortunately :( )
  • Everyone is so genuine and humble, and always say "I don't want to offend you" when they reject the gospel.
  • Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, has a pet. This week I've met a dog who prays, a dog who counts, and cat with one eye, and he cutest baby cat in this world. We almost took the cat home with us.

In West Virginia, there's these roads called hollows (pronounced holler), that are very narrow, and surround by trees all around, and are constantly up and down. They are actually pretty dangerous, and you have to be careful when driving on one. A couple of days ago we were in one, trying to find a less-active family, and Sister Sorensen literally almost hit a dog. It ran out of no where, and I FREAKED. She didn't believe me! She didn't even see the dog, and kept laughing and laughing.... It was a good memory.

We did a lot of service this week, tore up someones flower gardens, as spring time is approaching and everyone is planting their gardens, and we also painted a shed this gray color. Sis Sorensen kept attacking me with paint.... not the business. ;)

We also planted a jalapeno plant in our apartment, and named it Stephy. We're way stoked about it!

This week We've had the opportunity to teach a progressive investigator named Mike. He's seriously the greatest. He's really taught me a lot about repentance, and has been a great example to me. He's done a lot of bad things in his life, and might even end up having to do jail time, because of the choices he's made, but over the last year, as he's been dealing with the consequences of his actions, he's been meeting with missionaries, and has been able to apply the Atonement in his life, and really change his life around. It's really incredible.

Well thanks all for the love and support I've been feeling! I love you all, and I love this gospel! The Atonement is real, and it's for EVERYONE!
Love, Sister Kirkby

Monday, April 13, 2015

My First Week in West Virginia

HELLO wonderful family and friends!

Last Tuesday I flew out to WV with my MTC district and we got here at about 5:00pm. We stayed at the mission home for a couple of days and went through some orientation, and teaching. Thursday was transfer day, so that morning we said goodbye as an MTC group, and it was kinda sad. I really grew to love those missionaries, and I learned a lot from them.

Sister Kirkby and Sister Brower
EASTER - Sister Kirkby and Sister Brower
Thursday morning I met my trainer companion for the next 12 weeks, and she is THE BEST. Her name is Sister Sorensen, and she's been out in the field for about 4 months now. We are working in an area that's pretty large called Ripley, WV. Our entire area covers all of Jackson county of WV, so there's a ton of little towns that we also travel to. Each day we pick a town to work in, and spend all day there. There is a lot of work to be done in Ripley, and we're determined to change this struggling area! We really need to start finding people to teach, so we've been talking to EVERYONE.

Sister Kirkby and Sister Sorensen

First Area - Ripley, West Virginia
There is a lot of unexpectedness here in Ripley.

#1, most people live in trailer homes, and it's really humbling to see how these people live. Most of them get by, and are pretty happy with their situations, and it's a blessing to see these people thrive as best they can when times are hard.

#2, Welcome to the bible belt. Every time we meet someone nice, I get super excited, thinking they'll want to hear our message, but in reality they've "already found Jesus, and aren't looking for conversion." .... This happens EVERY SINGLE TIME, and it gets a little frustrating, because what are you supposed to tell them? It's said that the average person needs 7 interactions with the missionaries in order to be willing to invite us into their home, so I keep telling myself that we're just building interactions, and one day we'll meet someone who's been prepared.

#3, there's a lot of drug use here in WV, that I was not expecting at ALL. It's actually really sad, and I just want to help all of these people, but how can you?

#4, our branch is so tiny. basically there were about 12 people in church yesterday... but they all have HUGE testimonies, which is a blessing!

I haven't had anything unique to eat, in fact we just kinda grab and go. We went to a members house to eat yesterday, and all they veggies were fresh from their garden, and it was SO GOOD. The brother (Brother Walters) said he'd prepared some squirrel for next week..... I kinda want to try it just to say I have! :)

We brought an investigator to church yesterday, but he kept leaving the building to tend to his tobacco addiction.... We'll have to work on that (basically we'll have to work on that with every investigator we have.) He said he enjoyed church, but he didn't have any specifics to share. We'll just keep working with him.

We have another investigator on date to be baptized, and we feel really great about her. Her name is Lisa, and she is amazing! She loves to learn, and you can tell she really feels the spirit. She's so nice, and way happy. We have a meeting with her today, and we really hope we can just prep her to be ready by May!

Well, that's about it. Just a lot of work to be done, and we are working hard!

Send me mail!! The best way to do it is through the mission office. Address is 
Sister Kirkby
888 Oakwood Dr Suit 310
Charleston WV 25314

also, EMAILS! I would love to hear how everyone is doing!

I love you all, and thanks for your prayers and support!
Love, Sister Kirkby

Thursday, April 2, 2015

MTC (Made to Change)

Hello Everyone!

Here I am, April 2nd, at the Provo MTC where it's snowing. yes. snowing. It's actually very annoying and I don't like it at all, but the MTC experience is seriously so life changing.

It's crazy I've been here a week. The most actuate thing someone has said about the MTC is that the days feel like weeks, and the weeks feel like days. You seriously can't ever remember what we did on specific days, because they all just smash together into one really long day.

Basically your day starts off by waking up at 6:00am, breakfast, classroom study time, then teaching (Yes, we actually teach investigators in the MTC!). Then we eat lunch, head back to the classroom where we meet with our teacher. She'll teach us for about three hours, we'll teach again, and the we have gym time. I thought I'd hate gym time, but my companion is a champ at volleyball, and has totally taken it upon her to teach me how to play better, so as a district we totally "ball it up". [Moms Note: Anyone else noticing the irony of the 4'7" companion teaching the 6' companion how to play VOLLYBALL!!!] After gym we eat dinner (it feels like we're always eating, and the food at the MTC actually isn't that great....) Then after dinner we teach again. (depending on the days is how often we teach. We don't teach three investigators every day.) After teaching we go back to class and have a different teacher tell us all about how to become amazing missionaries, and then we head back to the residence hall at 9:30, where we prep for bed, and the finally sleep at 10:30.

Day's are pretty similar, and I seriously love it. You know how missionaries always say they learn so much at the MTC? Well, they really do.

Some things I've really learned about while being here.
1. Always make the lessons your teaching personal to the investigator. Don't just teach them as if your checking off a to-do list.
2. Our purpose as missionaries is to bring investigators closer to Christ, and to help them develop a relationship with God. This mission isn't about us. one. single. bit. (I already knew this, but it's definitely been reiterated while being here.
3. Repentance isn't just about going through the process when you do something bad, but it's about changing your life every single day, to become a better person. Every day we're repenting... This is something I've never thought about, and it was humbling to learn.
4. The Book of Mormon is applied everywhere you go.

My district is really fun, and so is my companion. I don't know if my mom told you all, by my companion is literally 4 feet, 7 inches. We look pretty great walking around the MTC. Her name is Sister Brower, and she is from Layton, UT. There are two other sisters in the district. We all get along pretty well, and we pray and cry with each other daily. We have three elders in our district, and they're in a "tripanionship" Everyone in my district is headed to West Virginia, except for one Elder, who is headed to Mesa, AZ. We definitely all feel like family during this time where we are away from our own.

This Sunday is Easter, and also general conference, and I've heard that experiencing both of those events in the MTC is really a great thing, so I'm excited.

I head to West Virginia next tuesday, April 7, at 3:30 in the morning.. great. :) Honestly I am really excited to be out in the mission, and I'm ready for my time at the MTC to be done. I feel bad for the elders and sisters who have to stay here for months, because of a new language they have to learn.

I've really had some life changing moments here in the MTC, and I am so glad that I'm here. It's exactly where I need to be.

I can't figure out how to load pictures, and it's really sad, because my companion and I are adorable, but maybe when I'm in West Virginia i'll be able to figure it out.

I've seen lots of people that I know here at the MTC, which include Ashely Linton (EFY), Baylor Bateman (Westlake), Ashtyn Heninger (Westlake), and the one and only Sarah Adams, one of my best friends from Snow. It's really great to run into people you know. :)

Thanks for all your prayers and support!
...also, I WANT EMAILS! :) please :)

Love, Sister Kirkby!