Monday, January 27, 2014

Happy February!

Dearest family and friends,
This transfer is going by way too quickly!! I can´t believe it is already halfway done. So serving in Palmas is awesome despite the muddy roads in the rain and the heat that comes after the rain. I know I said I would be better about writing about more gospel related things, but let me explain why I normally don´t. Every morning we have personal study and so I write what I learn in my study journal. I then share what I learned with my companion during comp study and normally write it in my personal journal at night. Monday morning we send an email to President Gaertner in which I have a tendency to relate, yet again, what I learned during the week. By the time it gets to writing this email I feel like I have already shared it a million times and like everybody has already heard it. I forget that I haven´t shared it with any of you haha.

This past week I was fortunate to go to Miracema to go on exchanges with Sister P Gonçalves and Sister Bojorquez. They are so funny; I loved being with them. Miracema is the farthest part of the mission and is pretty rural. During the 2 hour busride there I couldn´t help but be astonished by the beautiful sights that were surrounding us. There was a river on one side and these gorgeous mountains on the other that were covered in thick, dense forest. The whole time I kept singing "How Great Thou Art" in my head because there is no way Heavenly Father would give us such a beautiful earth if He didn´t love us. I have been lucky enough to see a lot of beautiful places in my lifetime but being surrounded by it on a daily basis has given me a whole new appreciation for it.

On Wednesday I studied the talk by Jeffrey R Holland title Laborers in the Vineyard. If you haven´t read it or if it´s been a while since the last time, I highly recommend that you read it. It is one of my all time favorite talks because there is always something that applies to my life in that very moment.

Aside from the great things I learned in my studies, we had so many miracles happen in the work this week! Sister Timario and I couldn´t believe how blessed we were and how special it was to see how the Lord has His hand in our life daily. Friday was a day of miracles. It was crazy!

Anyway, hope you are all happy and healthy! Here is a quote from the talk by Elder Holland.

"I do not know who in this vast audience today may need to hear the message of forgiveness inherent in this parable, but however late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines."

Have a great week! The next time I write it will already be February!!
Sister Kerr

This is how the streets get in the rain. The roads don´t exist!

Sister P Gonçalves, Sister Timario, me and Sister Bojorquez

Miracema - so pretty!!

Monday, January 20, 2014

Sooo tired but happy

Dear family,

I don´t know why, but this last week I was dying. My feet were killing me and I felt like my body was shutting down. Oh the joys of missionary work! The best part is that even though Sister Timario and I were both dying we had the biggest smiles on our faces and were laughing pretty much the whole week. I never thought I could be in so much physical pain yet be so happy and whole in every other aspect. Just to tell a little bit more about Sister Timario, she is from Northern California (the first and only time in the mission we have been able to respond to the question "Where are you both from?" with the answer "We´re from California") and she will be going home in May. We have a feeling we will be companions until she goes home, but we´ll see.

I made a huge list of things to say but didn´t leave much time to write. So let me sum up the week quickly. Loved mission council last week. We have the best elders and sisters in this mission! It is so great to see how much they truly care about each one of the missionaries and how we can all become better missionaries and make the most of this precious time. Yesterday I completed 1 year and 1 month in the mission. Sister P. Gonçalves and Sister Bojorquez are here with us for the day and tomorrow we will be going to Miracema to go on exchanges with them and get to know their area.

Life is good. It rains a TON here and then gets super hot. I have learned so much in my personal study and realize I should be better about writing gospel related things instead of just the superficial stuff about the mission. I will be better about this next email!

Hope you are all happy and healthy! Have a great week :)
Sister Kerr

Monday, January 13, 2014

Back in DF!

Hi family,
So this past week was kind of crazy because I didn´t end up going to Palmas until Wednesday night because Sister Jackson had to stay in DF and take care of some visa stuff so I stayed with her. We left Wednesday night after waiting at the bus station for over 5 hours and then got in to Palmas on Thursday morning. Believe it or not I am already back in DF because we will have Mission Counciltomorrow morning. So I can´t make too many comments about my new area because I don´t know it that well! haha. From what I have seen, I can see why so many missionaries want to go there. The ward is super willing to help us out! Our ward has two sets of missionaries, one of elders and one of sisters. The two elders with us are Elder Alves & Elder Swallow, they are also the zone leaders so we came down to DF with them last night/this morning. We will be going back to Palmas tomorrow night and get inWednesday morning. It is normally a 12 hour trip but for some reason it took us 14 hours from last night til this morning to get here. Oh and Palmas is also 1 hour behind DF because they don´t do daylight savings time there. So within one week I will have traveled almost 40 hours by bus and changed time zones three times. Surprisingly I am not that exhausted :)

I am nervous for mission council tomorrow because Elder Alves and Elder Swallow told us normally when it is somebody´s first time at the council President will call on them a lot to answer questions, make comments, or do role plays! I have a hope they were kidding but for now I am nervous haha. I know I am forgetting to mention a lot of things, but I am pressed for time. 

I hope everybody is happy and healthy!!

Sister Kerr

Our last Sunday in Ceilândia

View of DF as we left for Palmas - I love the sky!!

Elder Alves, Elder Swallow, Sister Timario and I this morning at the bus station when we got in

Monday, January 6, 2014


Olá família,

So, I was transferred after only 1 transfer in Ceilândia. To be honest we kind of knew it was coming. Last week when I wrote about transfers I had a feeling we would all be leaving because the assistants had called the zone leaders to tell us four to leave our area books really organized. Ceilândia is one of the most dangerous areas for sisters and we had some incidents there that made President reconsider keeping it as an area for sisters. It is now officially an elders´ area again.

The funny thing is during the testimony meeting yesterday a ton of members bore their testimony about missionary work and having sisters in the ward. It was a tender mercy to hear their sweet words. We found out yesterday early evening that we would be leaving for sure so we got all of our stuff together last night. I could barely sleep because I was so anxious to know where I would be going and who would be my companion. Transfers are always like this. Sister Barbosa, Sister Bojorquez, and I found out which sisters had been transferred in DF (Distrito Federal) and were trying to figure out where we would go.

And now for the big new area. Before I say it, let me explain what happened today during the transfer meeting. President and Sister Gaertner always walk in and greet the missionaries who are close to the aisle where they enter. Today President Gaertner shook my hand and asked, "Do you know where you´ll be going, Sister Kerr?" I responded, "No, President, I don´t" to which he replied, "You´re going far away" and then he passed by to greet the next person. By that point I already knew where I would be going.

I am going to Palmas! It is a different state in Brasil; I am finally leaving DF! The sad part is Zona Palmas is so isolated from the rest of the mission. Like most missionaries just forget the Palmas missionaries exist haha. I have a feeling I will most likely end my mission there. Even though there are still four transfers for me (only 4! can you believe it?), President normally likes to leave missionaries out there for four so there is a good chance I will finish there.

Palmas is 12 hours away from Brasília by bus and we will be making the long trip tonight to get there tomorrow morning. There are 3 duplas of sisters in Palmas: Sister Timario & me, Sister Hoopes & Sister Jackson, and Sister P. Gonçalves & Sister Bojorquez.  I am so happy to have Sister P. Gonçalves close to me! :) In case you didn´t realize, three of us four from Ceilândia will be in the same zone. Sister Barbosa went to Formosa. Palmas is the hottest part of the mission...the sun is scorching there. I can´t wait to see the terrible tanlines I will have :( haha.

Anyway, that´s all for now. Our New Year´s Eve was good. At midnight we went to our front yard to watch all of the fireworks that people were shooting off. I was sad when it turned 2014 because I realized I will be home this year! There was always a little bit of safety in saying, "I go home next year"; it didn´t seem so real. Now I will be home in just 5 months. Crazy.

Hope all of you had a great start to your 2014!! Pray for me on this long journey tonight. 12 hours by bus...ninguém merece. Love and miss all of you!

Sister Kerr

PS We are emailing from the Biblioteca Nacional so I can´t send pics because I don´t have a way to connect my camera.