A missionary leaves her family for a short time, so that those she teaches may be with their families forever!”

Monday, November 28, 2016

πŸ¦ƒπŸ‚Merry Thanksgiving!πŸπŸ¦ƒ

Christmas Spirit

This week has been so fun. So much has happened. And we did soooo much service, it was great. Monday we started decorating the tree of  a sister in the ward. It the big ten foot tall tree I think I mentioned last week. It's so big. We've been back several times this week to continue decorating. 

On Tuesday we helped another sister in the ward set up two of her trees, and we decorated them and the house with everything she had! It was so fun. She was having her Thanksgiving diner a day early, so we helped her prepare for that. And one of my favorite people in the Ward, Sister Renno, was there to help us. Then we went up to the very outskirts of our area and had an incredible day up in Covington. I love that town, we get so much done every time we go up there. We always have so many lessons when we go up there. So then on Wednesday we had a great lesson with an investigator that really wants to get baptized, she just doesn't feel ready yet. We went over the baptismal interview questions with her, and I thin it helped her realize what she needs to get baptized. Hopefully she'll be able to make the changes needed soon. She does want it, so someday it'll happen. Then we went and did service for another lady she we helped lady week, the one who is moving. (May or may not have mentioned her.) and this time instead of moving super heavy furniture, we packed up porcelain dolls for her. She has a million, and some of them were really creepy. We are going back again sometime this week to get more of them packaged. It was fun.

Then it was Thanksgiving. Oh, it was so fun. We had two Thanksgiving dinners. One was a lunch, a new (members?) the other an actual dinner. I'm telling you, it was so much food!!!! So our lunch was with a members family out in Bartlett. In a Catholic Church. Her brother is a Catholic priest. So we ate dinner with all of her family, in the lobby of a Catholic Church. It was really fun. And we got to talk to him about what things in the chapel meant. It was really interesting. Then we came home and had a couple of hours before our next Thanksgiving dinner, so we put up our leftovers and then went to the store to grab a couple birthday gifts for two people who's birthday it was that day. One was for the investigator who we taught about the baptismal interview questions. We brought it over to her, and she loved it. Then we tried a couple people before we went to our final Thanksgiving dinner. It was with the Renno's. The best people. Ever. And it was Sister Renno's birthday, so we gave her her gift, and she loved it too. It was a good idea to do birthday presents. And we had a great meal with them. It was so fun. We had a great talk with  Brother and Sister Renno, and with two of their sons that aren't members and one of the son's friends who also isn't a member. The friend had a couple questions that we were able to answer, and mostly we were just having fun with them and building a relationship with the kids. I love that family. Then we went and did some more work on the ten foot tall Christmas tree. 
So then it was Friday, we switched up how we do weekly planning. We are 
trying to do better at following the outline given in Preach My Gospel, and it's a rough process, but it's starting to work. Then we went back up to Covington. Ran around trying to contact people, then meandered our way back down to Atoka (which is where our apartment is). Story from that evening: One time, we went to contact a referral, but we didn't have an exact address, just a description. It was Friday night, and really dark outside. We drove around, and after a bit we saw a house and car that matched the description. So we got out, went and knocked on the door. No answer. Ok, well, we got the address and moved on to the next person we needed to see. All four miles down this long windy road there is a big truck following us right on our tail. We turn into the neighborhood of a less active we want to meet, and the truck turns too. Then we park next to a random house to let them pass. They park behind us. So we move forward, maybe that is their house and we're in their usual parking spot. They move forward too. We keep going a bit, kind of inching along, now we're in the middle of the intersection between houses. Then someone gets out of the giant truck that was following us, and we start to panic as they walk towards us. I practically yell to drive away, but for some reason Sister Ellis stayed put. And then rolled down her window!! Then the person walked up to us and asked who we were. "The sister missionaries?" we answer. Then I remember the name of the lady we were just trying to contact, "Are you Alana...?" She replied that yes she was, and I quickly tell her how we got her name and why we were at her house in the first place. She said that she had had an issue with stalkers before, and that she was glad to meet us. We invited her to church, and she said that she had been looking for a church and would come sometime. And that we could come back anytime during the day. It was really funny, and totally a gift from God that we were able to contact that referral. We were so freaked out for a minute there. That was our Friday. Quite intense there for minute.  

Then came Saturday. Oh, what a day. We went and helped a lady clean up her front yard. It's a very fun and disorganized pile of things, and we helped get a couple walkways cleared and things out into piles. The difference was huge even though we only touched a corner of the yard. It was really fun. Then we finally went to Millington his week. And continued to run around doing missionary things all day. Then we had dinner at the Renno's again. After we ate we helped Sister Renno draw animal heads and stick them onto sticks for her sunbeams on Sunday. It was a lot of fun. A so much service we were pushing our limit. Loved it. 

And Sunday was just great. We went to Ward council that morning. Now 
it has steadily been getting colder and colder all week, and when we walked outside yesterday morning, everything was covered in a thick frost. We ended up being a little late due to the sheet of frost on our windshield. Sunday is such a wonderful day. We had a great time at church, one of our investigators we haven been able to see for a couple weeks was there, he comes pretty much every Sunday, and his wife (who is the member) was able to come today too, (she has been sick lately but knew that she needed to come because she had missed the past two weeks and recognized her need to come)! It was great. Then after church we did studies and contacting and everything else we needed to do, then some members picked us up for dinner, they live on base, so we had to catch a ride from them. It was really fun to have dinner with them. They are cool people. Then we took a young woman out with us for the rest of the evening. 

It was a fun week. We got a lot done, and so much service! Thanksgiving was great, and I am totally in the Christmas spirit now with all that Christmas tree decorating. It was so fun. We also have been trying to improve our obedience to the things we are supposed to be doing. It has already blessed us. And we  have been studying Preach My Gospel and are working to apply the things we are learning. It's so incredible how many things we find as we carefully read and re-read that book. It truly is inspired. This whole week we have been improving and changing to be more aligned with the way Preach My Gospel describes how to do things, and I can see and feel the difference. That is the coolest thing. I've noticed especially this past week that as we study the scriptures (and Preach My Gospel) and apply the things we learn there, we feel more at peace with ourselves.  I didn't even realize I was stressed about some things until I read something and fixed how I do it. It's a testament to studying the scriptures and applying them to your life. The difference is immeasurable and so spiritually freeing. There is peace from that which can be found nowhere else. I love it.

Love Kimber
Sister Beckstrand

I'm so short!!

We had so much fun with Sister Renno.

That's my companion!

The Catholic Church where we had Thanksgiving Dinner # 1

We dipped our toes in the Mississippi River

Monday, November 21, 2016

Serving the Lord

This week was busy, and exhausting. We were just so tired all week. And this week went by incredibly fast. We were so surprised to realize it was Friday when we planed Thursday night. Also, this is transfer week, and we are both safe and staying here in Millington. But, I have to say that Sister Hirschi and Sister Havran are companions again, STLs in Sercy!! I'm so excited for them. That will be a great transfer.

This week we did a lot of service. We helped a lady move, and it was funny because we were dressed in our proselyting clothes and we were moving heavy furniture. We ended up calling the elders because it was too heavy for us.

Then we helped a member set up her 10 foot Christmas tree. It was so tall. And tonight we are going over and decorating it. I'm really excited. We also helped another member clean/organize her pantry. That was really fun. And we got a toaster oven! 

A sister in our Ward and her husband got their mission call this week and they are so excited for that. We were able to be there when they opened it. She is such an amazing person. She and her husband are going to be an office couple in the Des Moines Iowa mission, and she is so excited. She is always asking us questions about it and what it's like and the rules and anything that she wants to know. It's so fun to see how excited she is. It was a great week. And all of it was a blur. 

I'm so grateful for the opportunity to serve a mission. I was thinking at church how much I love it here. Even when we are giving talks in church (which we did on Sunday) I am so beyond grateful that I made the decision to go, and I am grateful for all who have made it possible for me to be here now. (Thank you Grandma and Grandpa!!) I would not trade this experience for the world. Uncle Karl send me a list of things he's done and learned in his life and a list of things he did and learned on his mission, and he said that his mission was by far the more important of them all, and I totally see it. It's so true. The people skills, the gospel knowledge, the many things I'm learning about life in general, and the love that I feel from my Heavenly Father, and for those I come in contact with and teach. It is an incredible life on a mission. And 100% worth it.

Love Kimber
Sister Beckstrand

One of my favorite people, Sister Havran!! Love that Sister! 

The earth is a beautiful place to be
'Tis the season y'all!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

FYI - Christmas packages...

The mission office is requesting that we ask our families to send our Christmas packages by December 1st so that we can get them at the Christmas zone conference (if you didn't know, all packages are supposed go through the mission office to us)

Sister Beckstrand

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Memphis Zoo!πŸΌπŸ―πŸ¦πŸ΅πŸ§πŸ—πŸΊπŸ…πŸ†πŸ˜πŸ•πŸΏπŸ πŸ

Looks like a Zone Conference gathering!
It was a long walk week. So much walking. It was really hard to get rides all week, so we just walked a ton. But we had a many miracles. We met a lot of cool people, and some great new potentials. We had an incredible zone conference this week that was just amazing. Then we had interviews with President. 

And our Ward had the Primary Program yesterday, and it was incredible. The Spirit was so strong as those little kids sang. It was beautiful. We had a miracle ride home from Covington. We were able to get an investigator and her mom a blessing from the Ward members that was so good. 

And today some members took us to the Memphis zoo! It was so fun, and took all day, so I have very little time to email, but I love you lots, thanks for all you do and mostly for who you are. ❤️

Love Kimber
Sister Beckstrand

(This email arrived around 5 pm our time, a lot later than usual for her. She had a busy day!)

Sister Ellis & Sister Beckstrand

At the Memphis Zoo

I love how they have their scriptures even at the Zoo!

Kimberly's favorite birds - the Flamingos!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Tender Mercies