Monday, March 31, 2014

Transfer are in! The verdict is....

I AM STAYING! WOOHOO! I am so excited and thrilled to be staying in the Winder West stake! And Sister Hughes is staying as well! The Lord still feels like I am a capable trainer, haha!

Even though I'm staying I know I'm leaving Winder West at the conclusion of this transfer.... *insert epic sad face* I am trying not to think about it to be honest.

Oh man, this week was CRAZY! CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY! The miracle of the week is one I did not see coming! We were contacting this week and we saw a lady doing yard work across the street. We stopped talk to her and spend about 90 mins with her. She is a less active, has not been to church in years. She really opened up to us about her past struggles, her life and her family. We had a great conversation and also answered a bunch of questions she had! Helped her sort through a bunch of miss-information. AND SHE CAME TO CHURCH YESTERDAY! We were so surprised when we saw her because she did not want us to pray with her or share a scripture with her. She was only comfortable with talking to us. She has her 8 month old son so she only came for two blocks (RS&Sacrament). But that was a miracle!

This transfer will be monumental one! In the next six weeks I will be celebrating my birthday, my spiritual birthday of 21 months, and my 5 & 6 month marks of my mission! WHAT!!! I am one short transfer away from 1/3 of my mission completed! Can ya'll believe that? Because I can't.

Speaking of transfers, this past transfer has been a tough one over all but very rewarding! I have felt down, discouraged, overwhelmed, frustrated, upset, unqualified but loved and cared for at the same time. Sometimes Heavenly Father gives us situations that stretch us to the limit but we can take comfort because if HF has confidence in us them why wouldn't we believe in ourselves? Please, each of you believe in yourselves and in your Father in Heaven! There is no better constant in your life! He is the only one who loves you unconditionally, forever and eternity, and has YOUR best interest at heart. He is the only one who will NEVER let you down! Never! He will always keep His promises to you! I know this because this past transfer has reminded me of His love for me. Sometimes we forget, I know I did this past transfer, but even when we forget His love is always there! Waiting for us to reach out and hold on once again!

Again, I am so sorry I don't have enough time to respond to all of your individual e-mails! =( I love you! And I think of you always!

All my love,
Sister Kent

The Infinite Power of Hope 3/24/14

"Hope in God, His goodness, and His power refreshes us with courage during difficult challenges" - President Dieter F Uchrdorf

I would recommend that everyone look up this talk NOW!

Oh man, this week.... this week. This week was a week of ups and downs, miracles and discouragement, progress and set backs.

I want to tell you about a few people I was privileged to encounter this week...

First Brother Draper. This man is miracle! He went to jail for a little while and turned that experience into major blessing for him and his entire family. While he was in jail he read the Book of Mormon every day and a man who entered with no love for the Lord left a man who was dedicated to the Lord. While he was telling us his story it brought tears to my eyes. He, himself, strengthened my testimony that the Gospel can help ANYONE if they reach out to Him.

He has been talking to his family and now his daughter wants to be baptized! And the best part? He will be able to do it!

Second, the Black family! The father & mother are not active but are letting us teach their two boys. And yesterday the ENTIRE family came to church! The mom and dad along with all 6 kids! MIRACLES! I was jumping for joy when I saw each of them walk into sacrament!

Third, Travis Loyd! This man has had a tough situation. His 12 year old son died a few years back from cancer and his marriage is crumbling. We had a great chat with him which left him in tears. He was not in church yesterday but there was NO DENYING that he felt the spirit and it touched him enough to want us to come back!

Sadly, 1 hour is never enough but before I go I want each of you to study hope. Hope is what has been keeping me going this week... this transfer. Hope for a better situation, future or whatever is weighing on your hearts. I testify to each of you, that the Atonement of Christ is for YOU! He thought of your by name and you can throw anything at His feet. Anything. And He will help you.

Isaiah 41:10, "fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."

Never forget this. Never. Not for any reason.

All my love,
Sister Kent

"And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness." 3/17/14

Hello everyone! It is that time of week again where I get to fill you in on the life of Sister Kent.

I must start out with this... The mission is cracking down on e-mail time (making sure it is only 1 hour) so if I do not respond to you for a while please forgive me. =( I promise to do my best!

Second, this week was a TOUGH week. TOUGH. Ether 12:27 totally applies for this week. It has been one of those weeks where EVERYTHING you need to work on has been brought to light. *insert frustrated face* But hey, I have been promise, "I make weak things become strong untothem." right? So I guess all I have to do not is be patient.

I wont lie to you... I feel like the worlds biggest hypocrite as I write this because I keep thinking about the "Patient, faith hope and humility" e-mail I sent in February. Maybe I really didn't get the message the first time? Maybe I should print it out and read my own words? Yeah, that is a think I am doing right now.

But on a happier note, bringing the spirit back, L TOM PERRY IS SO FUNNY!!!! OH MAN, HE IS AMAAAZZZIIINNNNGGGG!!!!! He is SUPER tall too! Like... CRAZY tall!

Oh, and everyone living in Virginia, he sends his love. We had a nice chat about how the East Coast is getting CRAZY COLD weather. Does that make it any easier? Hope it does!

He has the greatest sense of humor! Oh man, no words! When we walked into the church it was UNREAL! He talked about about companions and how when we get home we need to start looking quickly for our eternal companion. Even on a mission I guess we can't get away from that topic. Hahaha But really, the devotional was amazing! To say the spirit was strong would be an offensive understatement. It was just the pump up I needed to get myself on track again.

I LOVE ALL YA'LL SO MUCH! Can you believe it has been over 4 months? I wont lie, the thought that I am less than 2 short months away from my 1/3 mark makes me ill. This mission is the second greatest thing that has happened to me, second only to my decision to be baptized =)

Sister Kent

4 Months tomorrow! march 10

Can you believe it? 4 months tomorrow. It does not seem real! Not at all! Honestly, I feel like I was dropped off at the MTC this last week!

I can now officially said I have given a talk in front of about 1,000 people! WOOHOO! And I think it went well. A bunch of people said they LOVED IT =) So I am a happy missionary.

I do have to apologize now, I have like NO TIME to e-mail so this will be short.

TODAY WAS SO AMAAAAZZZIIINNNGGG!! Our mission went to the temple this morning!!!! YEEESSS! Tomorrow is zone conference but this is the best part. Guess who I get to have dinner with on Friday? L TOM PERRY!!! WHHHAAAAATTTTTT?????? WHAT???? WHAAAAT?!!!! I am so excited. This is going to be the best week ever!

Yes there will be pictures, and yes I will send them to you. =)

There is a baptism this coming Saturday for Greg Pappas! I am so excited for that as well!

This past week was kinda slow =( Only taught 12 lessons but we did get 8 referrals!

Again, I am sorry this is so short. The temple took up most of the morning =)

I love you!
Sister Kent

"Miracles are a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ" march 3

Hello everyone!

It's p-day again! Can you believe it? Man, sometimes I honestly feel like I blink my eyes and a week has gone by!

I chose "Miracles are a part of the gospel of Jesus Christ" as the subject of this e-mail because this week I have truly seen miracles. Kristy Fugate is a less active I have been teaching since I entered the field, and let me tell you something.... she is the perfect example of someone accepting the Atonement of Jesus Christ and becoming healed. We met with her on Tuesday and when we left there was no dry eye in the home. I am pretty sure that we through an entire box of tissues.

To sum up everything, Kristy has had a tough time with trying to forgive herself and past choices she has made. But she told us that she has finally felt everything lifted from her. EVERYTHING! Guilt, sadness, shame, everything! As members of the church we have experienced this to some degree in our life. But to see someone who is trying their hardest to come back and move forward from their past finally feel the indescribable feeling of forgiveness.... Oh man, I will never be the same person again.

I immediately thought of 3 Nephi 17: 6 & 7 "And he said (Jesus Christ) unto them: Behold, my bowels are filled with compassion towards you. Have ye any that are sick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind or halt, or maimed, or leprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will heal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy."

Bring them hither and I will heal them. Even thought we do not have Jesus Christ standing in front of us, telling us Himself to come unto him, we can still feel that same compassion. Each and every one of us will experience tough times, by our own hands or by the hands of others, but NOTHING is bigger than the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Nothing. All we have to do is reach out to Him and accept Him to be healed. 

The other notable miracle would be that I am getting the hang of this training thing! Last week we were trying to find the church building where district meeting will be held and yes, I got lost. With a GPS. Yes Sister Okano, I am sorry. I did pull out the GPS =( Please forgive me! But this story has a happy ending. After being lost for about 15 mins, with a very unhelpful GPS, I somehow figured out the grid system enough to get us there in time! I have SO MANY moments like this where I would momentarily know or understand something that I shouldn't. Like the grid system. 

Even better! We will be in lesson and I will quote scripture without having read them or really knowing them. WHAT??! So many tender mercies of the Lord! I have left countless lessons over the past 2 weeks where I HAD NO IDEA that I knew a scripture I shared. Or being able to find a specific scripture in a lesson. I will remember a scripture I read months ago, having no earthly idea where it could possible be, and find it.

We can truly be uplifted in ways that we could not even imagine when we have faith in Jesus Christ. I can not even find the proper words to describe this past week! I know, understand and are able to teach things I feel like I should not even know. I think I have also started to understand the magnitude of this calling. We are often told that we have the spirit stronger and more abundantly as a missionary, but until the missionary experiences it it is hard to believe. The gift of discernment is a real thing.

This coming Saturday I will be giving my talk in Stake Conference, and I am almost looking forward to it. I would be lying to you if I said I was not scared (and that's the truth Tyler =P). But I had my Stake President read my first draft last night and he loved it. So that gave me more confidence.

Everyone, please please please remember Jesus Christ ALWAYS! Every day, every morning and night, and constantly throughout your day. NO ONE is above this. No one. 

I love each of you!
Sister Kent

Cry unto the Lord

Hello everyone!

This p-day has been a bit different, but fun! My new zone leaders are actually pretty cool guys and scheduled a zone activity for us! And that is where I was during my normal e-mailing time!

Seeing as p-day is officially over in like 5 mins this must be short!

The past week has been a dozy! Being senior companion / taking over the area / training is some what draining but I love it =) This week I went to bed exhausted but confident that Sister Hughes and I did everything we could!

Oh... and Sister Hughes! She is from York England! She is pretty much a rock star! I thank Heavenly Father every moment for her because she is just a pleasure to be around!

To try and sum up everything that I learned this week would be difficult. But this is something close to it...

36 Yea, and acry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thybdoings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy cthoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever.
 37 aCounsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for bgood; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the cmorning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.
Prayer has been something that had truly helped me get through this week! Since Sister Okano is gone at first I felt like my safety net was gone, but I realized that I did still have a safety net! Heavenly Father! There were many times through out this week that miracles happened and not by my hands! Visiting people at the perfect moment, being able to understand their concerns but most of all knowing that I can do all things that I have been called to do with my Heavenly Father!

These next few weeks will be scary. They will stretch me. They will test me. But I am looking forward to the growth!

Sorry this was so short! I will make sure to send an extra long e-mail next week! I love you all!

Sister Kent

Transfers are in! 2/14/14

Hello everyone!

It is that time again! =) Time for me to share the past week experiences with you! And I have some awesome news that will be included! So stay with me and enjoy the ride!

Charity has been the theme of this past week! Since I new that transfers were coming up and there was a 50 50 chance of me leaving, my understand of Heavenly Fathers love for each of us has just EXPLODED! The thought of leaving this area just made me cry. I LOVE THIS AREA! LOVE LOVE LOVE! I did not want to leave. Both Sister Okano and I started to pack things we know we wouldn't need which was just heart breaking. This might seem silly, but I have truly grown to love everyone I teach, everyone I work with, and the Stake Presidency over the past 3 months.

Anyway, back to the important stuff.... Charity! After only 3 months I have grown to love so much more than I ever thought possible. Now think of that for you! Think about a level off love you believe is beyond you capability. Now multiply that by an infinite number.  calculable by the human mind. Blow away yet? THAT is the love Heavenly Father has for you! He LOVES YOU! YOU! YOU! YOU! Yes YOU! He created you! He knows you better than you know your self! And He loves you! =D

 Charity is the basis of everything we do! The pure love of Christ! Because we love our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ we desire to obey ALL of His commandments! And that leads us to serve others. It is so true that faith and charity are similar! Faith leads you to act and charity leads you to act! A perfect example is to serve others! Share the Pure Love of Christ with everyone you come in contact with! EVERYONE! And I mean EVERYONE! You never know how a simple act of love and kindness can change a person for ETERNITY! 

Now, I bet you all are wondering what happened with transfers! Well, here it is! Drum roll please... I am staying, taking over the area and TRAINING! I AM TRAINING! 3 TRANSFER TRAINING! WOO! I can not put into words HOW EXCITED I AM! I know this might be a selfish reason to be excited but I am looking forward to the challenges that I will be faced with! There is no better way to learn than to teach! I just know there will be even more significant personal growth to look forward too!

Last night, ever since I got the training class, I have been reflecting on a lot about the past 18 months. 18 months! 18 short months! Baptized in July only to be faces with the toughest 6 months I have ever experienced. First thought about going on a mission in  March after only 8 months. Opened my call on my 1 year. Entered the MTC at 15 months. And now training new missionaries at 18 months. 

Of all things I want to leave you with is this... Heavenly Father LOVES you and is taking care of you! And you never know what He has in store for you! But whatever it is, it will be the best thing for you! Hold onto what you know to be true. Heavenly Fathers loves for you is always there. No matter what! And with that knowledge you can accomplish anything! I know this to be true because I have seen it in my own life and in the life of others.

You can not fail with Heavenly father. You just can't!

All my love,
Sister Kent