Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Finalé

Well, this week has been full of courageous moments, since it's like, the last time I'll ever have the title of full-time missionary. I don't have much to say, but I do want to share this experience:

The past few nights have been of courage filled nights. Monday night we were tracting some, and it started to get dark, so we decided to walk back to the car. As we were walking back, a cute family was on a walk, but they were awkwardly too far to really say anything without being creepy and weird, so I decided to stop walking while I "looked" for the keys, so that they could catch up to us. They walked by, and we stopped them, but it was dark at this point, and so they were still kinda freaked out, and so we freaked out, and just gave them a family proclamation, and then sort of ran away, not asking for information or even asking if they'd be interested for us to come back.... and the minute I walked away I felt AWFUL. I KNEW we needed to ITL that family... at least give them the opportunity to hear about the restored gospel! But they were long gone at this point, and I doubted we'd see them again... well, I was wrong. We drove down the street, and there they were yet again... and all I could think was that we needed to get out and talk to them... but this time really talk to them.. not just a nonchalant "here's a pamphlet, bye!" kind of "talk". But truly talk of the restored truths I hold dear to my heart.... and so, Sister Stettler and I hurried and parked the car, walked right up to them, and stated the obvious. I said that we didn't mean to be awkward, that we felt really prompted by the Spirit to further talk to them, and that I truly feel from the bottom of my heart that our message can bless their family, and then we testified about eternal families. They were very gracious, said that they were already very active in a church, but they'd take our phone number and a copy of the Book of Mormon, and that they'd look into it. We got their names... The Hawks! and they gave us their phone number, and they said we could contact them to see how they liked the Book of Mormon..

It was the scariest thing ever! But also the most rewarding, and I know the Lord has softened their hearts, at least for that moment, and hopefully for future moments as well!

ALSO, conference was really good, and Elder Bednar's talk was my favorite.

The ripple effect is real. I love missionary work, and most of all I love the truths I've learned on my mission.. if you're worthy, and you are capable of serving a mission... don't pass the opportunity, because it's the BEST decision you could ever make...

I love my Savior. He has blessed me so much.

Love, Sister Kirkby


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Even past the last door!

Wow, what a crazy week!

Saturday was a great day as we watched Sister Carey enter the waters of baptism! She was a member 50+ years ago, fell away, and then was found by missionaries here in Martinsville about a year ago. When I got here we started working with her regularly, and she was able to work with the bishop so that she could be baptized! It was such a neat experience, and I was so happy for her! Her sister was there, and it was something that she really needed to see, because she always asks the questions that the gospel answers. Hopefully this experience will push her to make the right decisions! Sister Ray was also at the baptism, and afterwards she gave Sister Carey a hug, and she said "That's what I need to do." YES. IT IS! She just needs to get her act together! Sometimes agency is hard, and the influence of Satan is even harder! But, we do what we can do, and leave the rest up to the Lord.

Saturday night we watched the women's broadcast with Sister Louya, ate mashed potatoes, and lots of salt water taffy, and it was awesome. I loved how basic the broadcast was..... best part about it (if you didn't watch it, go watch Elder Uchtdorfs talk, because then this will make sense) is the story that President Uchtdorf told about the missionaries who found his wife, it totally happened to Sister Stettler and I, where we were tracting this apartment complex, and we were not going to give up! We were determined to find someone to teach! But when we hit the last door, the lady was super hateful and yelled at us to go away, and that we were invading her privacy... so even at the last door, sometimes things won't happen the way you want it to, so you just gotta keep going... even past the last door! (https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/fourth-floor-last-door?lang=eng)

So, today was incredible, because we got permission to go to the temple with our recent convert Brother Price, and with Sister Louya! Oh my goodness it was so good to be back in the temple again! It had been so long, and to be able to do the work for those who have passed on was incredible.... it was also incredible to witness Brother Price be baptized for his grandfather, and to see his excitement. When we left, we asked how he felt, and he said he felt content and peaceful, and that his heart was super full. I am so glad that we had the opportunity to go, especially since Satan tried really hard to keep us from going! That guy works too hard for nothing, haha!

Well, I reckon I only got one more week to fully dedicate myself to the Lord, so here we go! It's going to go by so fast, and next week will be a blur, and it probably won't even hit me until I am on the airplane, but that's alright with me, because I don't wanna dwell on it! I am focused on right here right now, because that's where the Lord wants me!

I'm encouraging all of you to watch conference this upcoming weekend! It's one of my most favorite weekends out of the whole year! I mean, people went through a lot so that we could have a prophet on the earth today! What a blessing...

Have a good week! I love y'all!






Monday, September 12, 2016

A Snake in the Tree

Hello!
This last week I got to spend a day in Roanoke, and it was so good to be back! I was so happy to see some of the people I used to teach, and it was seriously the best. I love Roanoke :)

We've had a good week in our beautiful area of Martinsville, aka the blessed land.

My testimony grew in being at the right place at the right time last week. We were in the library, and this lady started talking to Sister Stettler, and asked if we were really sisters. Sister Stettler gave a beautiful testimony of how we are all children of God, and that we are missionaries, and that's why we go by sister. This lady starts talking about how she and her fiance have been looking for a church, but they haven't felt like they've found truth yet. Sister Stettler continues to talk to her about the Book of Mormon, and this lady got really excited. We figured out that she lives right across the street from our bishop, and that they're actually really good neighbors to each other! We're really excited to start teaching her and her fiance in the members home, and I know that the Lord sent us there at the right time, because we actually weren't even going to go, originally. God sure does know more than we do! I'm also really proud with how Sister Stettler has grown. A month ago she would have freaked out if she was in that kind of situation, and would have just passed it along to me, but she owned it this time! I sure do love her, and am proud of the missionary she's becoming.

We also were walking around earlier this week, trying to find some new people to teach, and we see this couple staring up in a tree in their front yard. We asked if we could do anything for them, and the guy was like "no, it's all good. There's just a snake in the tree" and I was like.... wow cool. So then he started beating the thing with a broom, so that it would come down, and when it came down he trapped it in this garbage bag, and took it to the woods. We asked if we could come back to teach them when they're not trying to wrestle a snake, and he said that we could come back on Saturday, and we did. Come to find out, Friday night, his dad was put in his death bed, and the whole family is just waiting around for his dad to die of cancer, because there's nothing the doctors could do. We were able to offer some comfort, and we've been over a lot since then, just to make sure that they're all doing well, and to offer comfort. This man is super appreciative of it, and he keeps saying that when things calm down he'll take time to talk to us. I love how the Lord put us in His path at the right time, and I'm excited to teach him about eternal families and the Plan of Salvation. I know God has a plan!

our friend Sister Carey is still planning on getting baptized in a couple of weeks, and I am so excited! Right now Sister Stettler and I are working hard to find some new, solid people who are ready to make changes in their lives!

Quote of the week, offered by my beautiful cousin Lauren:
"Remember that one of Satan's strategies, especially with good people, is to whisper in their ears: "If you are not perfect, you are failing." This is one of his most effective deceptions but we should never be completely satisfied until we are perfect, we should recognize that God is pleased with every effort we make--no matter how faltering-- to better ourselves." 
- Elder Gerald N. Lund 

Super needed quote. Satan's working hard!

Have a good week!

Love, Sister Kirkby



Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Look Not Behind Thee

When you get down to the last few weeks of your mission, the desire to write detailed and super long emails grows less and less. I don't even really know what happened this week! Missionary work is just a lot of work, and we've been doing a lot of tracting. Sister Stettler is REALLY getting the hang of missionary work, and I am so proud of her!

Sister Carey is getting baptized on Sept 24th, and I can't wait! She is someone we've been working with for awhile now. YEARS ago she was excommunicated, and she's been trying to re-find truth ever since. A year ago the missionaries tracted into her, and they started working with her, and then for some reason they lost contact with her... then when I got here, we started working with her again, and she's been solid ever since! It's so awesome to see the process of repentance not only in my own life, but in the lives of others.

A few days ago, Sister S and I were on our morning run, and I had a cool experience as we were running. We're about 3/4ths of the way through our 2 miles, and we had to tackle this huge hill, that is basically like the last thing anyone wants to run ever. I told myself that I was going to run up the whole thing, and I wasn't going to stop. As I'm going up this hill, in my brain I'm giving myself a pep-talk: I WAS NOT going to give in! I can make it! Don't stop running! .... then I remember a squished frog I had seen on my way down the hill at the beginning of the run, and I was curious to see if it was still there. As I turned around to look for the frog... I found myself slowing down... then all of the sudden I was walking. What?! No! I wasn't going to walk up this hill? What just happened?

and then I related it to Lot's wife.
Genesis 19:
15 And when the morning arose, then the angels hastened Lot, saying, Arise, take thy wife, and thy two daughters, which are here; lest thou be consumed in the iniquity of the city.
17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.
26 But his wife looked back from behind him, and she became a pillar of salt.

In Luke 17:32 Christ warns "Remember Lot's wife."

Jeffery R Holland says: "It isn’t just that she looked back; she looked back longingly. In short, her attachment to the past outweighed her confidence in the future."

"So, as a new year starts and we try to benefit from a proper view of what has gone before, I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone, nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been. The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead, we remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives. So a more theological way to talk about Lot’s wife is to say that she did not have faith. She doubted the Lord’s ability to give her something better than she already had. Apparently she thought—fatally, as it turned out—that nothing that lay ahead could possibly be as good as those moments she was leaving behind." (https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/jeffrey-r-holland_remember-lots-wife/)

We must always be looking towards the future in faith... we need to trust in the Lord's promised blessings, and learn from the things of our past... whether good or bad. Don't look to the past... you're not going that way!

Have a good week! Love you all!
Love, Sister Kirkby


Pics: Sister Stettler and I went to the museum for Labor Day! 14 million year old sloths make good friends



Monday, August 29, 2016

time flies

SO! I'm feeling a lot better, thank goodness!

These past 5 days have been good! We've been talking to a lot of people, trying to build our teaching pool back up! we had a lot of people drop us, and it was kinda sad, but probably necessary so that we can focus on the needs of others.

Friday night we helped on of our investigators, who can't read, learn the sounds of her letters. She knows her letters, and so we're trying to help her know the sounds, so that she can read from the Book of Mormon. She is such a cute lady, and I love her so much! She's been regularly coming to church, and now we gotta help her gain that testimony from the Book of Mormon! Since we taught her the sounds, she's been practicing a lot and is even reading some from the Book of Mormon!

We had stake conference this last weekend, and it was a lot of fun! We traveled to Roanoke to sing in the choir for the Saturday night session, and I was able to see a lot of old members from the Roanoke Ward.... it was really great to see some of them.

Our recent converts are doing really well! The Scales have some family members from the Dominican Republic living with them, and they only speak Spanish, but these family members wanted to learn more about our message, so we had a lesson with them, and Sister Scales translated the whole thing from English to Spanish, and it was really cool to still feel the Spirit, even though it was in a different language.

We've smelt apartment infested weed a lot this week, and have been knocking on a lot of doors.... holy cow it's sweaty and hot and gross and I still love it..... crazy what missionary work can do for a person :)

can you believe I'll only send 5 more emails? ...... TIME FLIES BY WHEN YOU'RE HAVING FUN.

Love, Sister Kirkby





Wednesday, August 24, 2016

TWO BAPTISMS!


Brother Scales and Brother Price both entered the waters of baptism on Saturday, and received the Holy Ghost on Sunday. It was an incredible weekend, with the Spirit so strong! I still can't get over how much both of these men, but mostly how much Brother Price has changed from when Sister Sorensen and I first found him. The gospel has LITERALLY changed his life, and the happiness and glow that is found within him is incredible... the temptation he faces, and avoids and conquers is a miracle, and he's almost read the whole Book of Mormon... He's in 3 Nephi last we talked to him. Saturday night  he prayed vocally for the first time ever (he's a very nervous man) and it was such a tender mercy to see this change work within him!

Both of these brothers are hungry for more! They are constantly learning, and are wanting to learn more! Next month they'll be going to the temple, and hopefully Sister Stettler and I will be able to go with them!

We also found out on Saturday that the excommunicated member that we've been working with, Sister Carey, has permission to be baptized!! She'll be baptized on Sept 24th... I am so happy for her. We've started teaching her sister, and the Book of Mormon has all the answers to the questions she's had for a long time... I just love that book!

I've been sick for the past two and a half days, and it really smacks, but you do what you gotta do, I reckon. My brain is running a million miles an hour, because all I wanna do is go out and work, especially with only six weeks left, but my body says "stay in bed." ugh, it's horrible... hopefully I'll be feeling better soon.

Sister Stettler is taking good care of me, and she's such a great friend. I love her so much.

well, I hope y'all have a good week... talk to you Monday!


Love, Sister Kirkby





Monday, August 15, 2016

Vegetarian homophobes or homophobic vegetarians?

So, we have two baptisms planned for Saturday, and I am so excited! Keep our investigators in your prayers, because they need it! Satan is throwing EVERYTHING he's got at them.. Hate that guy.

This week was good... one of our investigators almost dropped us because he thought we hated gay people and didn't eat meat, but we were able to clarify, and it's all good now.

Our investigators Sister R, who is SUPER awesome, and way elect finally came to church yesterday.... with like, 8 grand kids... it was awesome. She texted us the night before and said "well, I got a bunch of kids with me, but I've put this off for far too long, so we'll all be coming tomorrow morning!" and she made it! So proud of her, and I know the Lord will bless her. She's on date for September 10, and she's doing really well with living the word of wisdom.. .we just gotta get the law of chastity down, and she'll be good. :)

Since seeing Brother P and Brother S grow and change, and prepare for baptism this Saturday, I've been thinking about the power of the Atonement, and what it can do in ones life. Both of these men come from very different backgrounds. One is already very firm in his faith, and has now strengthened his rock in the Savior, and one started at square one when we first started meeting with him... no matter where these two were in their spirituality, the gospel changed both of them tremendously, and it can do the same for us... whether we're the relief society president, the bishop, a non member, or your average member, the Atonement can work miracles in your life. There's a quote from Preach My Gospel that I came accross this morning that I love
"Repentance and change will help people conquer challenges, rid themselves of shame and guilt, and experience the peace and joy of God’s forgiveness."

We ALL deserve these promised blessings, so don't forget to repent and change!


Love, Sister Kirkby

Monday, August 8, 2016

#MartinsvilleStake

wait, it's Monday? Already? Why does the week fly by SO FAST?

It was a good week.
Our investigator Brother P has truly shown some amazing changes in his life. When we first brought him to church, our members were SUPER skeptical of him, but now, because of the physical, and even spiritual changes he's made in his life, they are so friendly and nice to him. He has changed so much, and I love that the gospel can truly improve the quality of ones life.

Brother S is also doing well. He's the one that's wife is a member. He is CRUISING through the Book of Mormon, and we were racing to see who could finish it first, me or him, but he is totally beating me. He can't get enough of the word, and he's so excited to go to the temple soon!

all of our other investigators are trekking along slowly but surely. I feel eternally blessed to be serving here in Martinsville where SO MUCH is happening.. I can't even describe in words how I feel about this area.... it has my heart, and I want to see it continue to grow, and expand. #MartinsvilleStake #MartinsvilleTemple #oneday

This week I've been thinking a lot about Idleness
Alma 38:12
"Use boldness, but not overbearance; and also see that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love; see that ye refrain from idleness."
This scripture touched my heart SO MUCH as I was reading it this last week... as we bridle all of our passions, and dedicate our time to serving the Lord, refraining from all idleness, we will know what complete joy is. I have definitely learned this on my mission.

well, I hope everyone has a great week! Stay cool, and be good!
Love, Sister Kirkby

Sunday, August 7, 2016

SUPER strong prompting

Wow, this week flew by, and I don't even know what to say.

Brother P and Brother S are both scheduled to have an interview for baptism on Aug 13th! their baptism will be on Aug 20th starting at 11am! and the ward council is already planning a temple trip for them, and all the other recent converts! What a blessing.

Last night, after traveling home from a fireside we had, I got this SUPER strong prompting to go and try this recent referral that we had been given from church headquarters. We were both STARVING, and super ready to eat some dinner..... It seriously was the last thing I wanted to do... all I wanted to do was go home, eat some food, plan, and then fall right into bed, but I knew that if I ignored that prompting, that I'd regret it later. Well, sure enough, we drive to her house, knock on her door, and she is home. We taught her the restoration, and she was asking a lot of really good questions about it. We committed her to read for the Book of Mormon, and she was really eager to... what a blessing. Thing is, we had tried her earlier in the day, and she hadn't been home, so I know it was the Lord helping us know when she would be home, and we were able to sacrifice our dinner, so that we could help her find ways to strengthen her faith in Christ.

Yesterday in gospel principles, we talked about the law of sacrifice. The Gospel Principles manual says "Sacrifice means giving to the Lord whatever He requires of our time, our earthly possessions, and our energies to further His work. The Lord commanded, “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness” (Matthew 6:33). Our willingness to sacrifice is an indication of our devotion to God. People have always been tried and tested to see if they will put the things of God first in their lives." The pioneers are the perfect example of the law of sacrifice, and we can learn a lot from their stories. In honor of pioneer day last week, don't forget those who gave everything for their faith!

What are you willing to sacrifice to help the kingdom of the Lord grow?

Have a great week!


Love, Sister Kirkby

Monday, July 25, 2016

It all takes time!

Hey y'all! 
Another week, come and gone! Can't believe how fast time flies.

Miracles are still happening! We had seven investigators at church yesterday, and it was AWESOME. Our ward members really stepped it up, and made sure that they felt very welcomed. What a blessing.

Brother S is still moving forward with his baptism on Aug 20th. His wife, who's a member, is so excited, and was telling everyone at church yesterday. :)

Brother P has been smoke free since Wednesday! What a great guy... he truly loves the Lord, and he has changed SO much since when we first starting meeting with him. He's always anxious for Sunday to roll around, and he is eager for baptism.

everyone else is doing really well... I don't really know what to report about them. They all have their struggles, and we're helping them along. It all takes time!

Sister Stettler is doing really great, and it's like she already knew how to be a missionary. She is become a better teacher day by day, and I am so proud of her!

Yesterday we sang in sacrament meeting, (very last minute planning... kinda was nerve wracking) but we sang "Lord I Would Follow Thee"

"Savior, may I love my brother
As I know thou lovest me,
Find in thee my strength, my beacon,
For thy servant I would be.
Savior, may I love my brother--
Lord, I would follow Thee"

Sister Stettler and I have been focusing a lot on charity lately, and this verse really was powerful yesterday as we were singing it..... it's a lot easier to share the gospel with people when you actually have charity for them. In Moroni 7, it talks about how we gain charity by praying for it, so I want to challenge you all to pray for charity for those around you..... and then follow the promptings that come when the Spirit says to share the gospel... it's scary at first, but it's worth it!

anyways..... God bless! Have a good week!

Love, Sister Kirkby


Monday, July 18, 2016

TRULY the Lord's work

TWO MORE TRANSFERS LEFT... and I get to train such an awesome new missionary through it all. #soblessed. Her name is Sister Stettler, and she's from Boise Idaho. She graduated in 2015, and she went to LDS Buisness College for interior design. She likes to run, and she's just so cute. She also reminds me a WHOLE lot of my old trainee, Sister Miller... like it's actually really creepy. I keep thinking to myself "wow, I feel like I've done this before.." oh man, I love it though.

The missionary work here in Martinsville is moving along swimmingly. We had six investigators at church yesterday (SIX!) and it was such a blessing.

Brother P has committed to live the word of wisdom, and we're doing our best to help him to quit smoking. Curse those addictions!

Brother S is really excited for his baptism, and him and his wife are already talking about getting sealed in the temple! I'll for sure be back in a year to enjoy that experience with them.

Sister H is driving the struggle bus. She needs to get out of her home life situation, but it's really hard for her. She knows she needs to be baptized, and I know that one day she will... she just has to find hope in such a dark world that she lives in. She probably studies the most I've ever seen someone study. She is so awesome, and I love her so much.

We are teaching a lot more people, and they are all progressing within their own timing, and I've learned a lot lately about trusting fully in the Lords promises. We do what we can, and then we HAVE to put it in the Lords hands, and we can't worry about it anymore. Once it's in his hands, we just keep going, and do our best. As I've been able to do that, I've seen the ward step it up, and I've seen our investigators progress faster than I ever have on my mission. This TRULY is the Lords work... it ain't ours, and as we turn it over to him, and humble ourselves, I see more miracles than I ever have before.

(did you like my southern "ain't"?... it's becoming a part of my everyday vocabulary.. haha)

well, I hope y'all have a good week! Don't forget to be a missionary to those around you!

Love, Sister Kirkby




Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Some days are harder than others...

Wowza! What a great way to end the transfer. I'll really really really really really really miss Sister Sorensen (She's going home in two days), but I'm really excited to be training the last two transfers of my mission... can you believe that?! TWO MORE TRANSFERS... wow.

well, anyways, this last week and a half was so so awesome! We're teaching so many people that are just on their way to being baptized.


First off, on Sunday, we had 5 investigators at church! It was so awesome, and the lessons and talks all throughout the day were just what our investigators needed!

Bro S (part member family) is on his way to baptism! He's been fasting and praying to know truth, and he knows the Book of Mormon is the Word of God. What a great individual. His wife (the member) is such a great support to him, and I'm excited to continue to work with them.

We taught Bro P the Word of Wisdom yesterday, and he took it like a champ! He has/had all problems, and right now he's struggle with cigarettes and alcohol. He's committed to live it, so that he can be worthy for baptism on Aug 20th.

Brother L told us that he was coming closer and closer to the conclusion that the Book of Mormon was the word of God.

and people are just getting their prayers answered left and right. It's such a blessing, and I love the Spirit that has been leading us in lessons.

I don't have much time to write today (aka I didn't take much time to write today.. some days are harder than others to put thoughts into words) but know that God loves you, He knows exactly what you're going through, and He will NEVER leave you alone.

Have a great week, and don't forget to read!

Love, Sister Kirkby

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Yay Martinsville!

Happy 4th! Freedom is great, ain't it?

We've had another really awesome week. We had heaps of people to teach, and it's such a good problem to have! I wish there were more hours in a day.

We committed HEAPS of people to come to church on Sunday, and only one of the heaps that we committed came. arg! So frustrating! I know the Lord has a plan, and we just gotta do a better job at helping all of our investigators make it! We have lots of people on date for baptism, and I'm excited to see how everything plays out. We have such great opportunities here in Martinsville, and I truly love it with all of my heart.

Sis Sorensen goes home next week, and it feels weird, because I swear the transfer just started! Time is so precious, and it's basically all we have. That and our choices, and the ultimate choice is what we're going to do with our time. I know that our purpose in this life is to serve God, and to repent daily. As we consecrate out time and choices to the Lord, we WILL be blessed in the eternal perspective of things, even if it's hard right now... and honestly, life isn't as hard as we make it out to be.


Well, it's a short email today, but I love y'all so much! Keep doing what you're supposed to be doing, and read the Book of Mormon today, if you haven't already! haha

Love, Sister Kirkby



Monday, June 27, 2016

The Power of Service...

Hey!
To all those wondering about the storms in West Virginia, I'm told that all the missionaries are fine, and that things are getting cleaned up pretty well. Wish I knew more, but the Lord is with my West Virginia family members. :)

MARTINSVILLE IS DOING SO GOOD. We found 15 more new investigators this week, and the Lord is seriously the main part of it all. They're just falling into our laps, and I am so grateful to the Lord for His blessings. I am the most happy I've ever felt, and I am so glad that I have learned the importance of service while on my mission.

Sis R.. the one who totally understood a need for a restoration, didn't come to church yesterday... she got sick :( But we had a really really awesome lesson with her about the Plan of Salvation, and she is totally on board. We have a scheduled baptism date with her at the end of July. I'm excited to see how it all works out.

The mother and son investigators who came to church last week asked for some time to think about the doctrine that we've been teaching them. They don't believe that God has a body of flesh and bone. They think he's a Spirit, and radiates light, and then she started talking about how it could be possible that God could have a body because of quantum mechanics, and I was really happy that my dad taught me about wave-particle duality, because I was able to understand her... and then testify boldly that God is a God of flesh and bone. haha... she might contact us, might not... I don't know. She's a really confused individual, and I hope the Lord can help her out, and that she can recognize truth as she studies.

Brother J is still making up excuses so that he won't have to stop smoking, and he didn't come to church this last week :( Pray for him please!

We met this person the other day who has schizophrenia really badly, but lives in the poverty cycle and can't afford medication or help, so she's just stuck, living with these voices in her head... the main one being Satan, who tells her lies after lies after lies and it made me so so so angry. Satan takes advantage of those who can't be helped, and he's the most pitiful thing I know. Good thing he's gunna lose in the long run, and he knows it!

Brother P is a new investigator that we found in a kind of a funny way. Our first week together, we went to this area that was obviously new to me, and kinda unfamiliar to Sister Sorensen, so we were kinda just wandering around, not really knowing where we were going, or what we were doing. We were laughing really hard about it, just kinda walking in circles, when we saw this guy pushing a stroller, and he was walkin' pretty fast. well, when people are walking super fast, they usually don't have time to talk to to us, and it's easy to just say hi, and let them on their way, but I felt prompted to stop him, and invite him to learn more. He accepted, kinda hurriedly, gave us his info, and we both went on our merry way... and then we had to turn around because we were going the complete opposite direction of where we needed to be hahahaha. Anyways, this week we went by his home, and he is SO prepared for the gospel! I'm so glad that I was given the courage to invite him to learn, that we were wondering around like chickens with our heads cut off, and that we followed through, and went to go see him, because we were just kinda putting him on the back burner. He came to church on Sunday, and he really liked it and said that he'd be back! How exciting!


The power of service has really gotten into my heart lately. Our purpose is to serve God continually, and I hope I never put myself in a place where I find service a burden... how blessed we are to be given opportunities to serve all the time! Whether it be to our children, siblings, within our callings, in the community, at work, home or visiting teaching, they are all a blessing to us, and we should always joyfully serve those in need!

Hope everyone stays safe! Have a good week!
Love, Sister Kirkby



Monday, June 20, 2016

OH MY HEART

OH MY HEART.
This has been the best week of my entire mission EVER. We have found 13 new investigators, and have taught SO many lessons. The Lord just placed them in our paths, and I feel so blessed. Sister Sorensen and I have been working so hard, and it's been so good for the both of us. I'm the most tired I have ever felt.. ever. But it's worth it.

We've picked up a pretty interesting family. It's a mom, and her adult son who is disabled, and lives with her. When we met her on the streets, she told us that she had read the entire Book of Mormon before, and we were way excited. We asked to come back, and taught them the Restoration. They are ready to get baptized, and they came to church yesterday! They are very much interesting souls, and are kind of confused with false doctrines, and are like, super hippie, but they're sweet, and we know that they can make it as we continue to teach them.

A couple (not married) that we've picked up are so tender hearted. Bro L requested a BOM online, and so we came by and taught him and his girlfriend the Restoration. They said they wanted to study a lot more before they got baptized, but he said he is looking for a home, and we all know that home is found in our church! It's baby steps with them, but they've been reading, and listening to the BOM... in fact, they are almost FINISHED with listening to the BOM... AFTER LIKE, NOT EVEN A WEEK. I WAS SO EXCITED. And they love the BOM. :)

Bro J met with missionaries in Roanoke a few months back, and requested for us to come over via the internet. He was almost ready for baptism. He just needs to learn that the Word of Wisdom is a commandment from God. He smokes, and doesn't want to give it up.

We had a really cool experience that really strengthened my testimony of being at the right place at the right time. We were at a return appointment with a referral we had received the day before. As we are teaching her the Restoration, she is totally loving it, and grasping everything we say. She completely understood the need for a restoration, and recognized apostasy around her. As Sister Sorensen was reciting the first vision, a man walks into the room, and out of the corner of my eye, I see him shaking his head as if to say no. I panic a little, because I assumed that this woman was going to be antied by this man after we left, because of his reaction to Joseph Smith seeing the Father and His Son. I'm thinking of all the things that we're going to have to say to her, to prep her for the anti that is going to come from this man. Sister S finished by bearing testimony of the Book of Mormon, and this man asks if we have an extra book that we could give him. Of course we say yes, and hand him one, and he says "My favorite scripture is Helaman 5:12 where it talks about how we have to have a firm foundation in Christ." Our jaws dropped! We start asking him questions, and we found out that he was a less active member that had been baptized in 2005, and had recently moved to Martinsville. We got his information, and have plans to visit with him, but he bore such powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon, and of Joseph Smith to this sister that we had just met. The timing was perfect, and she is so excited to be baptized! We invited her to church, but we didn't prep her as much as we had hoped, so she didn't make it yesterday, but we're seeing her tonight and will continue to help her prepare for baptism.

seriously. I just love what hard work can do for an area. This place was struggling so badly, and within a week, we were able to turn it around, and bless the lives of so many, and in return, have our lives blessed.

I've been pondering a lot about commandments, and why God expects us to keep them, and why we chose to keep them. Ponder this question throughout the week. Do you keep commandments our of obligation, or admiration?


Food for thought. Have a great week everyone!

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Temple Fever


HELLO
I love Martinsville. I love Sister Sorensen. BUT I DON'T LOVE THE HEAT OH MY GOSH. It hit 107 WITH humidity... oh my help.

But for reals, I seriously love Sister Sorensen. She is so fun. We're ready to hit the pavement hard, since it's her last transfer, and we've already seen so many miracles! She's taught me a lot, and she's not afraid to talk to everyone, which is really awesome. We found 5 new investigators last week, with only being together for 3 days, and I'm excited to find more, and hopefully see a baptism before she leaves.

also, on her last p-day we're going to the temple!!! There is only a small percentage of areas that are close enough to a temple, and Martinsville is one of them! We have a recent convert who is going to go do baptism, and we're gunna go with him, and with some other members. The members here are great, and I'm excited to work with them more.

We're teaching this man named Brother Morales, and he is really prepared. He's bi-lingual (wish I spoke Spanish!!!!!) and so we had some members who speak Spanish come to a lesson we had yesterday to translate anything he didn't understand, and it was really cool to feel the Spirit even when we couldn't understand what they were saying. He agreed to be baptized when he knew it was true, and so it'll be excited to see how he progresses.

well, I'm seriously on the downward scale, and with my trainer being home now, and my trainee hitting her year mark, it makes it a little more real.... wish I could be a missionary forever.
Love, Sister Kirkby


ps. I'll miss the color green when I go back to Las Vegas... someone told me it has been repeatedly 120 this past week back home. HAH that smacks.


Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Charity never faileth...

So, transfer week, and I'm leaving Roanoke.

But, I'm only going about an hour away to Martinsville VA with Sister Sorensen from Hawaii (not my trainer... even though that'd be legit!) Sister Sorensen has one more transfer left, so we'll get to power house it up down in the most southern part of the mission! Another great thing about me only going about an hour away is that we'll be able to come up for the baptism that are going to be happening soon, and I'll get to go on exchanges with Sister Ward, and see all of the people that I love here! It'll be so awesome! President said I'll probably be ending my mission in Martinsville, so I'm glad I got to put in one more area before I come home.

The reason as to why we are here on earth is so that we can repent and serve God. We've been focusing a lot on calling repentance to those we teach, and I feel blessed to have the charity for our investigators to be able to call them to repentance.

How do we gain charity for others?
"But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen." (Moroni 7)

As we pray for charity, it will come. The Lord promises us that and "There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love."

I challenge all of you to pray for that charity for your neighbors, friends, and family, so that you have no fears of sharing the gospel. Sharing the gospel is what brings ultimate joy. I know this to be true!

Have a great week!

Love, Sister Kirkby
888 Oakwood Rd
STE 310
Charleston, WV

25314




Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Roanoke blooms!

HELLOOOOO
So much has happened I don't even know what to talk about. That's what happens when you don't email for a week and a half.

Last Monday we toured a Catholic Cathedral, and it was beautiful! I hit my 14 month mark last week, and that feels weird.... 

Sister Peoples is the one who lives in the kind of scary, abandoned house, and she is SO PREPARED! And don't fret too much over her living conditions, because she's planning on moving soon! She has a brother who is a member, and who has been dripping on her for awhile now. We walked into one of her appointments the other day, and the first thing she says to us is "I need to come to church to partake of the sacrament and change".... like who says that?! It was awesome. She's on date for July 9th, and she is seriously so excited! She is mostly excited to do her work for her family that's passed on. She doesn't know if her brother has already done it, but they'll work it out. She came to church on Sunday, and LOVED it. yay!

We also had two other investigators at church. Feels nice when people are there.

No baptisms happening this weekend. Agency sure does get in the way of things sometimes... but it's a good thing we all cherish it so much :)

Hope everyone had a good memorial day! We did this really awesome hike with the elders in our district. It was really fun, and super beautiful. I will truly miss the color green when I go home.

well, life just keeps getting better as a missionary. Time flies by, and I know this is the most important work we could be doing. Sharing the gospel is a duty, and a privileged. It brings me so much happiness. The city of Roanoke blooming, and I love that we have so many people to teach. We're constantly on the go, and I love the Lord's hand in my life, and I love the change that has been made within me.

I KNOW God loves all of you. He knows exactly what you're going through. He wants to bless you. As you are obedient, he WILL bless you! (https://www.mormonchannel.org/watch/series/mormon-messages/shower-of-heavenly-blessings)

The Book of Mormon is true, and it's the source of my happiness.

Thanks for all the support!

Love, Sister Kirkby









Monday, May 23, 2016

we are MEANT to have joy!

I think it's been awhile since I've written a group email.. that's awkward. Sorry!

this week was good... we saw SO many miracles. We picked up 8 new investigators, and are teaching a lot of families!

Our most progressing investigator came to church again, and I truly believe that she'll be baptized on June 4th! She tried to leave after sacrament meeting to go to her own church, and we ran after her and asked her where she was going. We ended up convincing her to say for the other two hours, and I'm so glad she did! We fasted with her this last week that she would get her answers from God, so we'll see what happens! She knows everything is true, she's just waiting for the peace she needs to leave her church that she's been going to for the last 20 years.

Tuesday we picked up two new investigators, who were really Bible bashy, but we felt like we shouldn't give up on them right away. They go to this Jewish messianic church, and the things they believe are kinda strange. We had an appointment with them yesterday, and it was really weird. You could tell that the Spirit wasn't there at all, and they had actually gotten rid of the BOM we left them... we told them that if they weren't willing to read the BOM that we wouldn't be able to visit with them anymore. Really strengthened my testimony that we teach those who will receive us.

 On Wednesday we picked up this really elect family who truly understand the need for a Restoration, because they see the corruption in all the other churches. They have an 8 year old daughter who is so cute, and I'm excited to continue to teach them... just worried that they'll be "too busy."

We have this investigator who's 21 and has three kids. A two year old boy, and 10 mo old twins. We've started teaching her, and she is so sincere. She doesn't lead a very Christlike life, but she has a desire to change, so I'm happy that we have ran into her, and are teaching her about repentance.

We had a family history class on Saturday here at the public library, and it went really well. The Spirit of Elijah is SO STRONG.

The Crosse's are struggling a bit, but I love them so much. We had a really powerful lesson with them, and now we know that we truly need to strengthen their faith in the Savior!! Gotta love the Spirit of Discernment.

We decided to follow up with this old investigator who's info was in our area book. The reason as to why missionaries stopped teaching her in the past is because "The house looks deserted..." well, we felt prompted to go see her anyways, because she seemed really cool, and super interested. We had trouble finding the driveway, because sure enough, it looked deserted. The trees had overgrown on the road, and it looked like you could bail hay in her front yard. Trees were growing over her house, and through windows, and sure looked like no one lived there... well, as we drove up this half a mile long driveway, we see a brand new car, definitely not deserted, in her driveway. We knock on the door, and she actually did live there! It was crazy! This lady needs a new house to live in.. but she's elect. We're excited to start teaching her more often.

Missionary work is the best thing ever, and I'm seriously so happy. The Book of Mormon says that "Adam fell that men might be, and men are that they might have joy." we are MEANT to have joy! In Alma, we're taught how to have joy: "And thus we see, that there was a time granted unto man to repent, yea, a probationary time, a time to repent and serve God." Kind Benjamin said that when we are in the "service of our fellow being, we are only in the service of our God". As we serve God's children, we are truly happy... and daily we need to repent, because we are NOT perfect! How wonderful the Atonement of Christ is! I sure do love Him.

Have a great week!
Love, Sister Kirkby

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother's Day 2016

Happy Mothers Day to all of the amazing moms out there! My mom is the best mom in the whole world - bias not included.
started off with a trip to WV for a leadership meeting, where I got to see some of my most favorite missionaries in the whole world! (Minus Sister Marsh) What a big, happy family reunion! :)

We had a lot of good teaching opportunities this week, and I love being a missionary. We're teaching a woman who know's the Book of Mormon is true, who desires to be baptized, but who is so socially converted to her own church. She also has a lot of family members who don't understand who we are as members of the church, and have heard lots of anti, and it doesn't help the situation. She came to our Cinco de Mayo ward party, and the ward really reached out to fellowship her. What a blessing!

One of my favorite members in the Roanoke 1st Ward gave us a referral for her neighbor, and when we went to go teach her, she had already known another member, and was really good friends with him! We taught her the Restoration, and she really loved it! I love when the Lord prepares people in ways you didn't know!

Our 15 year old investigator is getting anti-ed a lot, and so we're worried about that, but we'll keep working with him!

We still don't have anyone coming to church, but we're doing our best to get them there! Why is that such a hard commitment to make??? Church is good for you, people!

Last night we taught these people who are from India, and they don't know a lot about Christianity, but they are really open. We taught them the Restoration, and it was really cool, because the Spirit was SO strong, and they were totally understanding, despite the language barrier. They also fed us some Indian fast food. it's called Samosa... it was SO SO SO good. I love eating. haha It was a dough, and on the inside was potatoes, peas, and Indian spices, and then she fried it, and on the outside was this cilantro sauce, and this other hot sauce, and it was just really good. Anything with Cilantro is good.

Well, missionary work is the best work ever. Last night in my Skype call, when I said that, my dad goes "Yeah, so is motherhood" and I totally agree. Plus, motherhood is missionary work! We have a member who also says that she's teaching her own little investigators, meaning her kids... what a great work to be a part of!

anyways... don't really have much more to say. Have a great week!
Love, Sister Kirkby





Friday, May 6, 2016

#worthit

This week was really good! 
We had an awesome lesson with our most promising investigator. He's 15, and super intelligent and prepared. We taught him the Plan of Salvation, and invited him to be baptized with someone who holds authority, and he says "Sign me up! Where's the closest person with authority?" and we point at the member we were with and say "that guy." it was funny, haha. He's on date for May 28th. He came to church yesterday, and he loved it. He's also been to mutual a few times, and is loving that as well. I'm excited to see how he does.

We also taught the Word of Wisdom to another investigator. He's been learning for awhile now, and recently has been progressing. He's kept his reading assignments, and he was on date for baptism. He has a smoking problem, and he loves his coffee, so we knew we needed to teach it to him soon, so that he can start overcoming those weaknesses. He took the lesson really well, and the member we brought with us was perfect for him, because she had the same problems, and we didn't even know it! It was Spirit led!

One man we're teaching is a friend of a member that we are teaching, and he has cancer,  but is not letting it get in the way of him learning about the gospel. It's his 3rd time out of remission, and his faith is incredible! I'm glad we have the opportunity to teach him

And one of my favorite investigators loves her church, but knows the Book of Mormon is true, and so we're trying to get her to socially convert to the ward, because she already loves the doctrine. We had a REALLY powerful lesson with her, and the Spirit was so strong. We put her on date for May 28th, and we know the Lord will ensure she's ready if she takes those steps and comes to church.

Sometimes as a missionary, you wonder why you do what you do, because it doesn't feel like it means anything, but then you get told otherwise. Yesterday we stopped by at a less actives house, and she let us right in, and we started to teach her the Restoration. We had only met with this lady a few times, and we didn't really know how she truly felt about us coming over, nor did we know why she had stopped coming to church, because she had been really active in years previous. Well at the end of the lesson, we committed her to start reading in her scriptures, and she got really teary and said "you know, the Lord really has sent you to me. If there's one reason as to why you're here in this area now, it's because I really needed you. You may not know it, but I'm that reason"

to hear someone tell you that brings so much validity to your work. #worthit


I love missionary work, and I love the Lord!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

"shut up!"

This week was a long one, but a good one! Sister Ward and I are both staying in Roanoke for another transfer! Yay!

Starting last Monday, right after we had emailed, we went and hiked a part of the Appalachian trail. It was so beautiful, and a really good hike. 

Earlier in the week we were working in an apartment complex, and we started talking to this older southern black lady who was in her motorized wheel chair, and we go right into the Restoration. She loved all of it! She kept saying "shut up!" like she didn't believe us, and it was so funny. She was really excited to read from the Book of Mormon, and as we were setting up a return appointment, we asked for her last name. She takes a pause... looks at us really funny, and says "it's Mormon." We all busted up laughing! It was the coolest thing... So now we're teaching someone by the name of Sister Moorman. :D

We also had a really awesome church tour with one of our investigators named Ben Martin. Brother Martin is so sincere, and I love teaching him. He has been having a hard time with coming to church, because he has been going to his church for so long now, and it's hard to break habits, so we had a tour so that we could at least get him inside the building to feel the Spirit within. It went really well. He still didn't come to church, but we'll get there!

On Friday, it was 8:00pm, and all of our plans had fallen through. We had no idea where we needed to be, when Sister Ward got the impression to go try this less active, part member family. I had never met them, because every time we knock on the door, it's apparent that they're ignoring us. Sister Ward had said that the husband was really nice, but that she had never met the wife. (wife's the member, husbands not). Well, we follow her spiritual prompting, and it was PERFECT. Right when we pull up, they're getting out of their car from being out and about. We run up to them and they invite us right in! It was the coolest thing, and they are so open, and ready to come back to church, and go through the discussions. What a tender mercy! Best part about this family? They have 22 cats. YES. 22... and their house doesn't even smell like it!! You would have never even known! As we were getting to know them, there were cats everywhere! It's a good thing neither one of us are allergic. :D

We sang in sacrament meeting with the elders, and it went really well. I love the Spirit that music can bring.

Satan has really been working  hard on me lately, and I'm thankful for the things I've been able to learn. I cling to the promise in D&C 84:88:

"And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up."

I know the Lord is with us in the vineyard, whether we be full-time missionaries, or member missionaries, the Lord is with us as we do His work! What a great thing to know. We MUST be patient, because if we're not patient, then we obviously don't trust the Lord, and trust, or faith, is all we have.



Have a great week everyone!

Monday, April 18, 2016

"oh! Mormons!"

We've had an eventful week. Sister Ward's birthday was yesterday, and we saw lot's of miracles! We're teaching this man and his 15 year old son, and we had the coolest lesson with them yesterday. We're trying to help them understand authority and the Priesthood, and the 15 year old is so open and soft hearted. His dad will need a little bit more help.

On Friday we had a baptism! Zuleica, the 9 year old daughter of a semi-active family we've been working with for awhile got baptized. It was awesome to feel the Spirit, and to see how much it meant to her parents for her to get baptized. They're from Mexico, and they make THE BEST Mexican food I have EVER had. They had a party on Saturday for her baptism, and we went and celebrated. I love that family so much. When they were in Mexico, they went through a lot of scary stuff, and saw people killed all the time, and so they decided it was time to come to the United States.

On Thursday we met the coolest guy ever. We were tracting, and knocked on his door. He answered and said "Oh! Latter-Day Saints!" When people say that, they either mean "oh... Mormons... I'm going to tell them every reason as to why they're wrong" or "oh! Mormons! I know a lot of Mormons and they are really nice, and really awesome!" Good thing with this man, it was the later. :D We had a good conversation with him, and learned that he was Methodist, but that when he was in the military, he knew a lot of Mormons, and had gone to church with them for awhile. He also owns his own large print BOM, which is cool. We invited him to learn more, and to restart on the spiritual journey that we help people through, and he declined, and said he could never leave his church. "They're family". The Spirit told us to push... usually we don't push, because we want people to have positive experiences with Mormon missionaries, but we felt like we really needed to push, and testified again what this could do for him. He then went into how he truly believed (contrary to the Methodist faith) that everyone will be given the opportunity to get into heaven, since heaven will be organized into three different levels, rather than heaven and hell, and inside our hearts and minds Sister Ward and I were like "WHAT THAT'S WHAT WE BELIEVE". We were so excited! We asked what he knew about the Mormon faith, and our beliefs of the afterlife, and he said he didn't know a whole lot. We told him that that's what we believe, and we asked him why he believes it. He told us that God told him it was that way in a dream. WOW. it was so cool. We taught a little bit of doctrine about what the three kingdoms of heaven are, and then we gave his some things to read from the BOM, and made a return appointment. It was so cool to see how the Lord works, and to be lead to our new friend. I know it wasn't a coincidence. 

Friday night Sister Ward and I found ourselves back in West Virginia as we sat on someone's front porch in this beautiful 80 degree weather we've been having, teaching the Restoration to a couple who is defined as "West Virginian" It was good to be "home" ;)

Saturday morning we had a cool opportunity to teach a family history class to 8 people here at the library. It was so neat to feel the Spirit of Elijah, and I can't wait until I'm home and can work more effectively on my family history!

I hope everyone is doing well! My cousin Amanda sent something in her latest email that really hit home for me. She said "I relearned the value of desperation. Sometimes the Lord pushes us to the point of desperation before we can see the fruit of our labors. That desperation made the success we found even sweeter. So if you're currently feeling desperate, keep trying, keep going. It's when you feel like giving up, but keep going that the sweetest joys are found!" SO TRUE. The Lord has seriously humbled me lately, and I love that he has a sense of humor about it by constantly proving me wrong.... haha!

I know Christ is my redeemer, and that he makes up for my imperfections. What a blessing.


(also, no pictures because I can't find my camera cord :( )

Monday, April 11, 2016

Our purpose in life is to be happy. (I hate bowling)

Hah, so we thought spring had come, and then on Saturday it snowed as we studied, was sunny as we left the house, and then started snowing AS it was sunny when we were driving to our appointment. I can definitely say that there's a first for everything, especially for it to snow on a beautiful sunny spring day.... #weird

It's warmed up again though, and I feel so blessed to be a tool in the Lords hands. Last week we found five new investigators, and we weren't able to see a lot of our solid investigators, but this week we'll hopefully get in with them.

I've learned a lot about commitment keeping while on my mission, and I love what my mission president says often. "If you want to astonish someone, keep your commitments". This is SO true! Commitment keeping can be as simple as waking up at 6:30, or doing everything I can to teach, find and baptized! We make commitments and covenants with the Lord continuously in this life, and He always promises us blessings in return! One way I've really been blessed while being a missionary is the knowledge I've gained about how important choices are, and how time is of the essence! We are only given a very short amount of time in a day to do the Lords work, so we better keep our commitment, and do our best, if we are to see miracles in our life.

Our purpose in this life is to be happy. (2 Nephi 2:25) The formula for that is repentance, and serving the Lord (Alma 42:4). I know that the reason as to why missionaries are so happy is because they spend all their time repenting, and serving God! This is our ultimate commitment as we've made covenants to serve the Lord! Also remember that He WILL bless you, and that He loves you, and that knowledge will help you get to where you need to be.

I love my Savior. I know He lives! I know He directs His work through a modern day prophet, and I know that the evidence of this is the Book of Mormon!

Have a great week! I love you all!
Love, Sister Kirkby

pics:
went bowling with some missionaries last week. I hate bowling, but oh well. :D

Sister Kirkby and Sister Brower, MTC comps reunited!