Any reason to celebrate is a good reason

Dear Family and Friends,

Well, here we are. It still feels very surreal to me. I can’t believe I am packing my bags and getting ready to come home. Time goes by so stink’n fast! I can’t even begin to say how grateful I have been to be able to be a full time representative of the Lord Jesus Christ, and even though I will be released on Wednesday, I plan on continuing to be an example of Him.

That’s beside the point right now though, so let me tell you how this week was!

First off, I wanted to say that at the beginning of the transfer, Sister Blackburn and I had made an area vision of what we wanted to accomplish this transfer, and then last week we made another vision of what we wanted to do and accomplish the last week of the transfer. Our vision was to make the last week the best week of the transfer, and by golly, we sure did that! This week was so fun!

Tuesday, we were able to pick up a new investigator named John. We have known John almost this whole transfer now, but we have never been able to set up a return appointment and make him a new investigator. Well, it had been a couple of weeks since we had seen him, so we decided to go on Tuesday and it was great! We had a good conversation with him and set up a return appointment! Also he said that he was totally going to come to church on Sunday. He had been on his way to come to church with us because he had been thinking about us and had a feeling to come to church, but then his daughter called and she needed help with the grandbaby, so he wasn’t able to come. :/ At least he was on his way though! Hopefully he will come to church in the near future.

We also had a lesson with Charlie on Tuesday. He talked a little more this day and we were a little more off track than usual, but it was still a good lesson! He also took us out to lunch on Friday. We went to a little family owned restaurant here in Pendleton called Anita’s kitchen. It was so good! We had a good time with Charlie. He also came to church yesterday! Woohoo! It was a really good Fast and Testimony meeting. He ended up staying for all of church. In Gospel Principles, we talked about the Word of Wisdom….heehee. Not really the lesson that a missionary wants taught when you have only been teaching someone for a couple of weeks, but it was okay. The only problem Charlie has with it is that he drinks coffee, and he didn’t understand why we don’t, but that’s okay. He can get taught more later when he understands. 🙂

Wednesday we did some service and stuff and we had dinner with one of my most favorite families in the ward! We always have so much fun when we go over to their house. We are constantly laughing and telling stories. It is lots of fun and we are going over there tonight to have FHE. I am excited!

Thursday we had zone meeting. It was a really good zone meeting! The spirit was very strong and we received some good revelation. It was also this day that it finally hit me that I was going home. It didn’t really hit me hard until we were singing our closing song, which was the mission song. I realized that was going to be one of the last times that I sang it, and it made me cry.

We also had exchanges on Thursday. I got to go on exchanges one more time with Sister Dunford!

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Both Sister Blackburn and I stayed here in our area.

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It was fun and between the 4 of us, we found 5 new investigators! We just talked to everyone we passed by….it’s kind of scary doing that (even after 18 months), but we did it anyway and it turned out good. 🙂

Friday and Saturday were both really good with 4th of July celebrations! We didn’t see any fireworks, except for the ones that we saw as we drove home both of those nights, but we got to have some cookouts (which I love), and we did some service and such. The weather was so nice on both of these days! It was actually kind of hot and humid, but I loved it. 🙂 While we were doing some service, I had pulled a weed that was a little prickly, and it caused my arm to get red and swell up, and it made my arm itch really bad! So, I stopped pulling those weeds and had Sister Blackburn pull them. Well, a little bit later I found some poison ivy in the midst of the other weeds! Eeeekkk! Just my luck to run into poison ivy right before I come home……we finished pulling all the weeds, including the poison ivy, and then went in and washed up super good! I have been checking my arms and legs for the past couple of days to make sure I don’t get poison Ivy again and that it doesn’t spread. So far, it looks great! *PHEW*

So that is about it for the week. We had Canada day, the 4th of July…there are a lot of celebrations which is why my email is titled the way that it is. I had texted Sister Porter and wished her a Happy Canada Day, and asked her why we celebrate it. She just told me we celebrate it because it is a great country! Ha-ha…but then she told me that any reason to celebrate is a good reason. So yeah. It was a great week and a great way to end my mission, and there is more celebration to come. We got transfer calls today and Sister Blackburn is getting transferred, which is really sad, but we both feel at peace and we know that this is what God wants and that He has something awesome planned. 🙂

I love you all so much! I will talk to you later this week. 🙂

Love,

Sister Palmer

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Coming to an end…part 2

** PREFACE: This is from a hand-written email that Kayla wrote a couple of hours after she wrote the email that was shared in the previous post. It arrived on Friday (July 3rd), and unless she writes an email on Monday (July 6th) that she wants shared, will end up being the last letter from her mission. I felt it was worthy of sharing so that you would get a feel of the emotions that she is feeling, the love that she has for her mission, and the testimony that has grown inside of her.

Dear Family,

Hello! I figured I would write a letter home today, seeing that it is probably the last hand-written letter I will send home (unless I decide to write one next week and address it to myself…ha-ha!).

Man, I don’t even really know what to write…I just know I wanted to write a letter home this week.

You know that feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you get really excited or when you get really sad/upset? Yeah, it has happened a lot this week. I’m getting really excited to come home, but also really nervous and I’m sad to leave here.

There is a show on the Mormon Channel (YouTube) that I started watching this week called “Two Brothers Two”. It shows two brothers as the grow up and then as they go on missions. It is really good! It made me cry, especially when it shows video footage from their missions. The love that they have for the people they teach really shows. In dad’s email today, he talked about love for our missions, the people we teach, etc. Sister Watts and I also talked about our love for our missions and the gospel when we were on exchanges. There has been a lot of love lately! Sister Watts and I were talking about how love = pain. That’s why it is hard to say goodbye, or get transferred, etc. because you grow to love! Not just that, but if you do it right, you feel the love God has for us and these people. That’s why coming home has so many mixed emotions. You love your family and want to see them, but you love life here and you love being a representative of Christ. It’s just great!

Anyway, now I am rambling. I can’t want to share experiences of my mission with you guys! They are so much better coming straight from my mouth.

Well, I know that as soon as I put this in an envelope and seal it I will think of more to write, but oh well! Nothing that I can’t just tell you next week. 🙂

That’s it for now. I love you all! This week is going to be awesome and next week is going to be even better! Talk to you soon. 🙂

Love,
Sister Kayla Palmer

Coming to an end….

Dear Family and Friends,

Holy cow. I can’t believe we are finally at this point. The time just goes by so fast and it is weird to think that I am headed into the last week of my mission.

This week was another great week! We got a ton of rain…and it is supposed to rain like most of this next week too. There are some roads that are blocked off because they are so flooded! Can you believe that? I don’t think I have ever seen so much rain in my life.

We had a lesson with our investigator Charlie this week (also known as Boom Boom the clown). I don’t know if I have ever mentioned him before, but we have been teaching him for a couple of weeks now. We taught him the Book of Mormon lesson on Tuesday and it went really well! We gave him a reading assignment to read the first two chapters and when we went and saw him on Thursday, he had read them! He didn’t really understand anything that he read, so he was kind of upset about that, but we re-read them with him and took it a little slower so that he could understand. It went good and we left him with the assignment to read the next two chapters. 😉

The funny thing was that we took a member with us to his lesson on Tuesday (Sister Hiday), and it turns out they know each other! #smallworld #instantfellowship Apparently they used to go to the same square dancing club a few years back in their younger days. Ha-ha! It was nice that they know each other though! It helps us a lot.

Here is a really quick, nasty story…. So my whole mission I have hoped and prayed that I would never see a live bedbug. Up to this point, it has been good! I have seen bedbugs, but they were all dead and they weren’t in my apartment (thank heavens), and I have gotten one bedbug bite my whole mission. Well this week we had a lesson and I saw something out of the corner of my eye….there were bedbugs walking all over this one person’s bag! Thankfully we didn’t get them, but it was so gross! They are nasty things….

I didn’t end up having my exit interview this week like I thought I would, so I will be having it sometime later this week. I almost got to go to the Centerville chapel though! I was so excited and I was starting to think about who I would try and catch at church while I was there, but it turns out that it was a mistake in the scheduling. President forgot that I am not in Miamisburg anymore. Ha-ha! How do you forget that?! Oh well…the mail has already come today though and I got my travel itinerary. It has gotten real folks! It hasn’t hit me yet though…I feel so blank inside. EEEEEKkKKkk!

We had exchanges on Saturday! I was with sister Watts here in Anderson. It was so much fun!

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We were able to have a few lessons and find a couple of new investigators. What I loved the most though were the conversations that I had with Sister Watts throughout the day. Sister Watts goes home the transfer after I get home (so the end of next transfer), and she was just asking me questions all day about what she needs to do to stay focused and involve herself in the work, and stuff like that. She doesn’t want to get trunky or think a lot about home, so she wanted some advice. That’s beside the point though because we started talking about our missions and the people that we have taught and become such good friends with. I can’t even tell you how much I LOVE my mission! It was so nice to reminisce with her. Serving a mission has been one of the greatest decisions I have made and I have learned and grown so much. I am excited to see my friends and family, but at the same time, this is my life! I have established a temporary family out here and have made so many friends that I don’t want to leave! Coming home is definitely going to be a bitter sweet experience.

Well, that’s about all for this week! Only one more week to go. This one is going to be the best one yet. 🙂 I love you all! Have a great week and I will see you soon!

Love,

Sister Palmer

Interviews and Exchanges

Wow. I don’t know what to title my email now a days, so that is the majority of what happened, so that is what I titled my email.

Hello family and friends!

This week was a great week! Yeah…a lot better than last week, so here we go.

Obviously we had interviews with President and Sister Porter this week. I really needed that! Both of them re-assured me that this is where God needs me to be. They also helped me see why God sent me here. I found it interesting that a couple of reasons were because of something that I need to learn/do. I don’t feel like I have spent too much time thinking about what I am supposed to learn. I feel like I have been thinking more about what others are supposed to learn from me or how I can help someone progress, etc. It was a humbling experience for sure. We always need to remember that we are never going to be done growing and progressing until Christ comes again. There is still a lot that I need to learn! President also pointed out to me that it is all about the doctrine of Christ. I need to start working on that again.

Sister Porter pointed out to me that I have a choice. I can choose how I want the rest of my mission to be. That really stood out to me. I don’t have to let it be such a rollercoaster of emotions. I can just choose to be happy and work hard and have fun! Then life will be great.

At the end of my interview with President he looked at me and said “I am going to be back up here next week. We will talk again for about an hour about home and getting adjusted and stuff…” My eyes got really big and he told me not to freak out. #exitinterviews #whattheheck! #thisjustgotreal

We had a lesson with our investigator (M) this week. We taught him the Word of Wisdom. He took it better than what I thought he would, but he still just couldn’t understand why we can’t have coffee. We brought it back to whether Joseph Smith was a prophet or not. He believes that Joseph Smith was a prophet. Later that week while we were on exchanges, Sister Blackburn and Watts went and visited him again. He wanted them to show him in the Bible where it says that we can’t have coffee. Sister Blackburn kind of pulled a smart one with him and said “it doesn’t say anything in the Bible about heroin, so does that mean I can just go out and do heroin since it ‘isn’t against Gods word’? No! We know that heroin is bad for us” Haha! I thought it was funny. They brought everything back to the restoration of the gospel and modern prophets and the priesthood. It apparently was a really good lesson. (M) said he would pray about the Word of Wisdom.

Sister Dunford and I were in Muncie for exchanges. We had a pretty good time together!

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We got poured on twice. It rained really bad, so pretty much we were wet all day. I also got the experience of riding a bus (we tried to do some bus contacting as we were heading to appointments, but there actually weren’t very many people on the bus). It was a different experience that’s for sure! It made me think about when I was with Sister Yoakum. She really wanted to ride the bus but I was very much against it, so we never did. Haha! Sorry Sister Yoakum….

We had a block of faith activity this weekend here in Anderson. There were a lot of churches that set up booths and laid out some of their materials and stuff. It was also kind of like a fair because there were some activities and some food vendors, but it was for people to check out the churches in the area and find out more about them.

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We had a booth set up with the elders and our ward mission leader. It was a lot of fun! We didn’t talk to as many people as I thought we would, but we were able to hand out some cards and tell people about the temple open house that starts next month!

We also did some family history with our recent convert (L) this week. It was cool because there was one point in time where she plugged in just a tiny bit of information, and a whole line of family came up. Someone has been doing here family’s family history! We were able to go back to at least the 900’s and we weren’t even done! It was cool and it was exciting to see the spirit of Elijah work through her. It got her really excited to do more family history.

So those are the big highlights for the week. I love you all! Have a great week. 🙂

Love,

Sister Palmer

HIYAA!!!!

Holy cow,

Hello family and friends. I feel like this transfer has been the biggest roller coaster of my life. There have been a lot of downs, and then we have a lot of ups, and then we have more downs. By the time Sunday hit this week, I really just needed some spiritual rejuvenation. I don’t know what the deal has been! I don’t know why I am struggling so much right now. I think part of it is the fact that I am coming home soon.  I am trying so hard not to get trunky again and to stay focused on the work! I have a lot of mixed feelings right now.

So this week was fun though because we had our mini missionary (Sister Risch) with us!

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Having fun eating watermelon with our mini missionary, Sister Risch.

We had to take her back on Saturday and it seriously was so sad! We had so much fun with her and we did not want her to leave!

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The picture that Sister Blackburn drew in her journal when we had to give Sister Risch back to her parents.

She is going to be an awesome missionary someday if she decides to go. She said that after the week she had with us, she is leaning more towards going on a mission than she was before she came with us, so that is a good thing! That’s what we hope to accomplish right?

WE got a miracle voicemail this week from the Miamisburg elders saying that they had gone to see (G) and one of the first things she asked them was ‘When can I get baptized?” I cried so hard inside. I am so happy that (G) is still going to get baptized! I am sad though because it might be another baptism that I miss because of being too far away. 😦 We have interviews with President and Sister Porter tomorrow though, so I am going to beg them and see if the let me go. haha! 😉

So we met a guy this week that told us that he was Jesus Christ re-incarnated as well as a bunch of other people like Hercules, Thomas Edison, Leonardo Da Vinci and many others…..WOW!  You don’t hear that very much do ya? Haha! It was a great experience for our mini missionary. He talked a lot and we barely got two words in! We finally handed him a Plan of Salvation pamphlet (hopefully he reads it and feels the spirit or something) and we were out of there before he could say anything more. I wanted to try and teach him something, but yeah….it wasn’t going to happen. He did end up coming to church yesterday though! I was so scared for my life because I didn’t know if he was going to make a scene or not. Thankfully he didn’t and he ended up leaving before sacrament meeting was over, so we didn’t even get to talk to him to see how his experience was. We will probably never see him again, but who knows! Haha! That was our adventure for the week.

It has rained a lot this week and the humidity is so bad and it is so hot! There were multiple days this week where it got over 90 degrees. Bleh!

So anyway, we have interviews tomorrow and I can hardly wait! And no, it isn’t my exit interview so that is not why I am so excited. It will just be nice to see President and Sister Porter. 🙂

I love you all! Have a great week!

Love,

Sister Palmer

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Zone fun day last week…always one of the ups in life.

Mini Missions

Holy cow!!!!!!!

Hello my dearest family and friends! I am freaking out a little bit inside right now because of all the awesome things that are going on here in the mission and back at home. I am just loving life right now! I realize that my email last week was probably a little negative and depressing (obviously because I was a little down last week), but let me tell you….this week has been so much better! Let me tell you of some awesome things that have been happening.

Okay, so last week we had Stake Conference. Since it was Stake Conference, President and Sister Porter were there and so I got to say hi and talk to them for a second. Sister Porter gave me a hug and had mentioned to me about (M’s) baptism that had happened that day and how excited she was for me. I told her how sad I was because I couldn’t go and because I was missing Miamisburg so much. She told me to find 1 reason everyday why God decided to put me here in Anderson for the last 6 weeks of my mission. I haven’t been perfect, but there were a few awesome things that happened this week, and I am slowly finding reasons why I am here. I love it here!

Okay so earlier this week we had a lesson with one of our recent converts (K). She has been a little down on herself and had some depression and we had a super awesome lesson with her where I was able to talk about (G) a little bit (a recent convert from Miamisburg who had some depression problems). I told her that (G) was always the most depressed when she wasn’t reading, praying, AND coming to church. Notice all three of those things had to be done. I don’t know what all I said, but she thought it was interesting and wrote down a few things that I said so that she could remember them. This was on Tuesday and I finally felt like there was a reason why I am here. I have to be here for (K)… (and many others) because I might have just the right story or experience to share that might help them continue to increase their faith in Christ.

We had another walking day on Wednesday. Good grief! We just had one last Friday. Too many car accidents. Hopefully people start being more careful on the road. One of the members took us to Dairy Queen for dinner that night though. Yummy!

Another big highlight this week was on Friday. We had a zone meeting on Friday, and it was AWEOME! The spirit was so strong and there were a lot of things that stood out to me. I had been asked to share my testimony at the beginning of the meeting, but we had a testimony meeting at the end so that anyone else could share their testimonies. I had a really strong feeling that I needed to get up again even though I had already given my testimony already. I stood up though and as I stood up, all the thoughts that were going through my head left me. I had to sit there for a minute and give the spirit a chance to speak so that I would know what to say. I don’t even remember what all I said, but I do remember getting a feeling of comfort as I bore my testimony that God was with me, he knew what I was going through, and He has a purpose for me here in Anderson. It was really nice to get that feeling.

We also went on a little mini exchange that afternoon with the STLs. I was with Sister Dunford, and can I just say…..I was so happy to be with her! She is so awesome.

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We were in the same district in Miamisburg when elder McDade was our District Leader. Now Elder McDade is my Zone Leader and Sister Dunford is one of my STLs. So, it was an awesome exchange with her. We found 3 new investigators in like 45 minutes. It was great! Sister Dunford and I talked a lot about what I had been struggling with and that I was trying so hard to find my purpose. I told her that I want to work so hard this last transfer and have so much fun, but I was struggling trying to accomplish that. We had a really good conversation and she helped me feel so much better. She also told me that one of the reasons she knew God loved her was because He had sent me here at this time to be with her again. It might sound kinda cheesy, but it was just what I needed to hear to find another reason why I am here at this time. I am here for the other missionaries!

This weekend we got our mini missionary. Her name is Sister Risch and she is really cool.

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We got her on Saturday morning, so she hasn’t been here extremely long, but we are having a lot of fun with her, and hopefully teaching her a lot!

So that is a quick update on the week. Like I said, it was so much better than last week. I am happy, I am having fun, and most importantly, I am working my hardest. 🙂 I will be home in exactly one month from today (don’t worry folks, I am not getting trunky this time). There is too much going on to get trunky and I am going to finish my mission strong! I love you all! Have a great week!

Love,

Sister Palmer

#satangotdesperate

Hello my wonderful family and friends!

This week’s email isn’t going to be as long. Sorry about that. There isn’t as much to tell though. Most of our week revolved around (M). We did have a couple of extra adventures that I will mention though.

So (M) is doing freak’n awesome! We saw her a few different times this week. All of our lessons with her were in a member’s home. We had a lesson with her on Saturday in our Stake Presidents house. It went really well! We taught her the Word of Wisdom that day. She had already researched some of it and knew what we believed. She doesn’t have a problem with anything, and she committed to live it! Booyah (M). #sheisgolden

She also came to church yesterday and had another great experience! We had a lesson with her after church. We are going to be having Family Home Evening with her tonight in a members home and she is bringing at least one of her sisters (hopefully more) and probably one of her friends. We are looking forward to it! She has a baptism [date on the] calendar and she is still on track to be baptized on May 30th! That is right after the transfer, so pray that we are still here!

Oh yeah, so this is the last week of the transfer! Craziness. It is also Sister Witherspoon’s last week of training. It has gone by so fast!

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So we had a car fast on Friday, so we were all out walking. It ended up being a pretty good exchange for the most part! I had a great time in Springboro. Sister Witherspoon got to stay in our area and lead. #proudmommamoment The only bummer part was that sister Witherspoon was in the hospital by the end of the day…..CRAZY! Don’t worry folks, she is okay. She just got a little sick. I never thought anything like that would happen on my mission, but it did! We are very thankful for members who watch out for us and we are especially thankful for the members who took care of her while I was away for a little bit.

So that is why my email is titled the way it is. We are having a lot of awesome success right now, especially with (M) about to get baptized, so he got after us. Oh well, we continue to fight back! Sister Witherspoon was such a trooper. 🙂

We also got to talk to (G) this week! It was so stink’n nice to hear from her. She is doing good. She has been bombarded with questions since she has been in Arizona, so that caused a bit of contention and doubt, but she has such a strong testimony and she knew where to turn to help her overcome it. She isn’t going to be home until the beginning of June, but she is going to work towards baptism again when she gets back. She knows she needs to do it! Keep her in your prayers please.

So that is about it for the week! I love you all. Thanks for your love and support. Have a fantastic week!

Love,

Sister Palmer