Monday, July 17, 2017

Last email from Utah!

It's bitter sweet!

I have loved every single bit of my mission! I am sad to leave this
place and the people I've grown to love so much, that have changed my
life, but they will always hold a special place in my heart! I'm so
grateful for the opportunity to serve, for the trials I've gone
through, the people by my side through them, and the lessons I've
learned! Most importantly I've come closer to my Savior and my
testimony has grown stronger!

This week was a crazy week full of every type of experience possible
haha, I'll share the good ones, and spare you the crazy πŸ˜‚

Yesterday was the best way to end my mission! Dario got his
patriarchal blessing yesterday and invited us! It was so special!!! He
has amazed me every step of the way and it was such a huge blessing to
be able to hear what the Lord has in store for his life! From the
beginning I've felt like I've know him longer than I have, that we
were best friends before this life too! I know that God has a perfect
plan and that nothing is coincidence, he is going to have a huge
impact on so many lives, he already has on mine! I am eternally
grateful for the friendships that I've made here!
Victor came to church with us Sunday too :) he is absolutely amazing
as well! He has such a good heart!! We taught him some of God's
commandments this week  and while he isn't living all of them, he
wants to! He wants to change and be better, he recognizes truth so
easily! Change is all that really matters, God knows our hearts, it
doesn't matter who we've been, it matters who we want to become, with
the Lord's help of course!
One of my favorite miracles this week happened Friday night! We went
to go talk to a group of guys that were drinking in a parking lot,
only one of them talked to us, he's here from Georgia on an internship
for the summer, he had to go because his ride came but we asked for
his number and he gave it to us as he left so he could text us his
address. We texted but didn't hear anything back, and we though we
might not, but the next morning he responded and it was such a
miracle! He said "if I give you my address, will you help me find my
way back to Jesus? I've been struggling lately and don't know where
else to turn..." WE WERE ECSTATIC!!! We had no clue when we talked to
him the night before that he felt that way, he seemed fine! When we got
that text I realized how amazing God's plan is, that he placed him in
our path, because He knew what he was going through. I feel so humbled
and blessed to have been a tool in the Lord's hand for that!

This week I learned how much more powerful it is to be motivated by
love rather than fear. Studying repentance in the New Testament, and
Christ's example of ministering to sinners, taking the opportunity to
lift them when they were down, really inspired me. At the end of my
mission, I realize I have not mastered the Christ like attributes, but
I feel silly for thinking that I would. I have grown a lot, but it's
far from over, I'm a huge work in progress, but I wouldn't have it any
other way. Recognizing my daily dependence on Jesus Christ is a good
place to be.

I'll end me last email with my favorite scriptures:

John 3:16-17

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son,
that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have
everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but
that the world through him might be saved.

My favorite scripture still hasn't changed, because that is the reason
for everything! Without Jesus Christ, and knowing that He is our
Savior and Redeemer, nothing else would matter. This week we were
teaching someone who considers himself agnostic, he's not sure if God
is there or not, and I don't remember what exactly I said, but I was
talking about Jesus and he said "that seems to be your driving force,
everything you talk about has to do with Him, I can tell you really
believe, it seems nice" I don't think he realized how much that meant
to me. I am so grateful to have a personal relationship with Jesus
Christ, and the peace and happiness that it brings! I want that for
everyone!!! ❤️

Tomorrow, Tuesday should be fun! We get to go to the 3pm session at
the Oquirrh Mountain temple! My favorite one here πŸ˜ŠπŸŽ‰

I'm excited to see everyone in West Virginia soon. I'll be flying out
Wednesday morning!

Thank you so much for you love and support on this amazing journey!

Sister Kirkpatrick

Monday, July 10, 2017

Silver Lining

To everything, there is a silver lining. 

 This has been one of the toughest weeks of my mission. I've seen a lot of sad things happen to people I love. I've learned a lot of lessons though. It seems like every thing that could have gone wrong this week did go wrong, and it would be really easy to just throw my hands up and say well why does any of this even matter that I've done for the past year and a half, and just forget it all for the last week and have fun, but that's exactly what the adversary would want me to do. I believe that part of trusting God and His plan for our lives is continuing to do what we know is right, even and especially when we don't get the results we hope for. It's easy to keep doing something when you're seeing immediate results, but when you aren't it takes a lot more trust to keep going. I believe that is when your true character is defined. 
I've learned that agency is such an important part of God's plan, the only thing that's regally ours in this life is our choice. That's why it means so much to God when we make choices to come closer to Him, because He will never take our choice from us or force us to do anything, although He knows which choices will bring us happiness and which ones won't. We as humans tend to want people to make the choices we know will bring them happiness and keep them from the ones we know will bring them pain. While that isn't a bad desire, I don't believe it's the Savior's way. Of course He wants to help us be happy and not get hurt, but He still gives us our choice. At the end of the day all we can do is love people no matter what. I know that repentance can bring so much joy into our lives because it lifts burdens we don't need to carry, ones the Savior has already paid for. We can only change because of what He has already done for us. He never runs out of second chances when our hearts are sincere. Something I heard someone say that has stuck with me is "the worst sin is the one you think you can get away with". It's so true! The only person that really matters already knows us and our hearts better than we do! 

I know that God is so aware of each one of us, and He answers prayers! Sunday morning, when the weight of everything that happened this week was catching up to me, I just happened to be reading 2 Nephi 2 next, and it helped me to trust in God's plan even more. 
Verse 11 & 16 really helped me:

11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.
16 Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.

I don't know why so many tough things happened all at once this week, or why these people have to go through these trials, but I know God loves them and He has a plan. I believe that they will come out stronger and more converted to the Lord as a result of this opposition! 

Have a great week!! 
πŸ€— Love, 
Sister Kirkpatrick 

- 4th of July zone meeting
- almost burnt the house down, forgot about the chicken 😱
- sister McCarters zone flag! 
- Andrew got baptized! 
- trying to spell YSA πŸ˜‚


I hope everyone has a great 4th of July tomorrow! πŸŽ†πŸŽ‡πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ

I'm making the most of the time I have left! 😊 we had a great week!

We met two new people this week, Colton and Amy! Colton was so excited
to come to church and learn more and meet people, and when we gave him
a copy of the Book of Mormon, he said "No way?! πŸ˜„" he didn't come to
church Sunday though, so we went by to see if everything was alright,
and his parents told us that he had over dosed on heroine and his 14
year old brother found him dead, but the medics were able to bring him
back. It was so sad! I feel so bad for his parents, they are hoping he
will finally get some help now. We're going to go do some service for
them this week 😊
We also met Amy, we met her brother running and he told us we could
stop by. When we did he wasn't there, but Amy was and she talked to us
for awhile, she said her faith was so important to her that she had
seriously considered becoming a nun. She said now she wants to be a
nurse because she loves service so much, she's awesome! We told her
about callings and opportunities for service in our church and she
really liked it!
We had some great lessons with Victor this week! 😊 he's doing so
good! He is still reading the Book of Mormon and he understands way
more than I did the first time I read it! He has started living the
word of wisdom, he stopped drinking coffee this week! He is so excited
to get baptized July 26! I'm sad I will miss it but I'm just so happy
for him, and I know it's the Lords timing!

I got to go to the salt lake temple twice this week! Once with all of
the departing missionaries and President and Sister Lansing, and again
with Dario and Dallis! It was so much fun being in the temple with
everyone, the Lansing's are so great 😊 It was fun watching Dario see
everything there for the first time 😊 he and Dallis stayed to do
baptisms in the temple after we left!

This week I feel like I learned a lot about the importance of how
beautifully simple the gospel is. This scripture has been my favorite
this week:

1 Nephi 11:17
And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless,
I do not know the meaning of all things.

That is true for me for sure! I do not begin to have all of the
answers, but I know that God loves me. I know that because He sent His
Only Begotten Son to live and die for me. I know that what ever you
shine the light on will grow. If we choose to shine the light on our
questions or doubts, it becomes a downward spiral. But as we choose to
center our minds on our faith in Jesus Christ and the truths that the
spirit has taught us, that's when we continue to grow in our faith. I
know Jesus Christ is my Savior and He suffered for me individually
because I've felt it. I've felt peace in times where it didn't make
any sense at all to feel peace, other than knowing that Christ knew
exactly how I felt. I know that as we keep Christ at the center of our
lives, we will always have joy, no matter what else changes around us.

❤️ Sister Kirkpatrick