Elder Devin Kirk

Elder Devin Kirk
I am blessed to be the messenger that is permitted to bring this joyful message to those who are in great need. I have authorization from our Savior, Jesus Christ, to represent Him in this part of the world. I am given the ability to work miracles in the lives of the people. I am guided by His Spirit in all that I do and say. I am given power to testify boldly to all who will listen that Jesus is the Christ and that He has restored His Gospel in these days and that all can be forgiven and receive the blessings of living this Gospel. I cannot begin to express the gratitude I have to be called to this position and be blessed with this assignment.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Arizona Week 101 - The End

Hello Everyone,

This is my last email on my mission. I have made it to the end. I'm grateful to all of you who support me, and prayed for me. I could not have done it without you.

My mission has been an important part of my life. I'll admit, I left to serve a mission reluctantly. I was not excited. I knew that it was my duty as a priesthood holder to serve a full-time mission yet I wished that it could be otherwise.

That is no longer the case. As it was said in the most recent General Conference, "Twas I, but 'tis not I". I did not want to serve a mission, but I am now grateful that I did. It will always be a cherished part of my life. My patriarchal blessing had stated that it would be, and I suppose I never believed that statement. I believe it now.

I've grown to more appreciate the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Through my study of the scriptures and the words of the prophets; I've gained an understanding I never thought that I could have. I feel that I know who God is and that I have a relationship with our Savior. I have faith in them. I have faith in the Holy Ghost who testifies of truth. He has testified to me many times and testified through me even more. I have seen the effects of the Spirit on countless lives as they have come to know their Savior.

I have a greater appreciation for the commandments of God. I understand their purpose, and I am not afraid to follow His counsel. I know that they have benefited my life and will continue to do so. I'm so grateful for the knowledge of the Restoration of the Gospel that I've been blessed with. Christ's true church is on the Earth. I know it. 

I've had so many people that have influenced me for good. My grandfather, Joseph Hodgson, who spoke to me of the blessings of a mission and helped me to make the final decision to serve.

My uncle, Ken Hodgson, who before my departure told me, "Do not come home early. You have younger cousins and relatives looking to you, and they need your example. You need to finish." I never forgot those words during the entire two years. That exhortation kept me on a mission.

My sweet sister, Amanda Moore, who would be really upset if I didn't include her name in my list. She was one that I could always tell exactly what I was feeling. I didn't always hear back from her, but I knew that she would always listen.

My father, Mike Kirk, who always supported me and kept me going. I'm grateful for the many times that he helped me see things clearly.

And my dear mother, Sheryl Draper. I could not have done anything had it not been for her unending confidence in me and the strength that she exhibited. The man that I am today is evidence of her firm testimony and her Christ like love.

I thank you all for the things that you have done for me, and I hope that one day I can be as good an example to others as you all have been to me.

I love the Lord. I am grateful for the time that I have been able to serve Him. I love the truths that I have learned and the experiences that I have had. I love all of you and I look forward to thanking you in person.

Elder Devin Kirk

Monday, May 11, 2015

Arizona Week 100 - Zone Conference

Hello everyone,

It's been a great week. We had our zone conference with President Sweeney this week. He gave some great instruction about the relationship of doctrine, principles, and rules and the order that they go in. He explained that we must understand "what" we do and "why" we do it or else we risk "missing the mark". It was neat because I studied a similar topic about a year ago and shared my thoughts on the matter in District Meeting a few weeks previous. Glad to know that my thoughts were true doctrine. He also talked about the importance of Sabbath Day observance; its purpose and how that affects us spiritually. It was a great Zone Conference!

We went out with a member to help feed his cows this week and afterward he let us look around a spot on his property for Native American items left by the tribes that lived there previously. There were shards of broken pottery everywhere. Some found arrowheads and even the mouthpiece to some kind of flute. It was pretty cool.

Also this week, we taught one of our investigators who, for the first time, had her husband with her in the lesson. He had previously said that he was not interested at all. That apparently has changed because he was asking all sorts of questions and was trying to understand things, and he's been reading the Book of Mormon. At the end of our lesson he said how much he enjoyed our discussion and that he wants to have another one. It's very exciting to now see the whole family involved in learning the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. Things like that are what missionaries pray for.

Well that's all I have for this week. You only have to read one more email from me next week so just hang in there.

Take care everyone,

Elder Kirk

Monday, May 4, 2015

Arizona Week 99 - Puppy

Hello Everyone,

It's been a pretty good week. We picked up two new people to teach and they are very ready to be part of the church. One of them already accepted the invitation for baptism.

We've been getting a lot done and helping a lot of people. The weather is warming up (I say that hesitantly because it is raining at this moment). 

Yesterday was my last Fast Sunday on the mission. I bore my testimony and did not mention that I was going home soon or anything like that. But then up went the ward mission leader whose opening line was "Elder Kirk Goes home in 3 weeks". So much for that. I've been enjoying this area a lot and great things are happening here.

This week we saved the life of a puppy. We heard from some other elders that someone had a "pit bull" puppy that they were going to kill if they didn't find someone to take it that night. They didn't want to have a pit bull because of all the negative ideas they had been fed about pit bulls.

Well we found someone that would be willing to take it the next day and tried to find a permanent home for it either with him or someone he knew. So we took the puppy for the night.

The owners came to drop it off that night. It wasn't a pit bull...I would bet money on that. It looked to us to be predominantly Border Collie perhaps mixed with something else. His name was Shanay Nay (or however that awful name would be spelled).

This is Titan (For that was his name at the time)

It's a male dog. Well we kept him that night, renamed him Titan and took him to the guy the next morning. He found a home for him with a lady that had lost her dog a few months previous and needed a new friend.

Now this poor dog is named Bokumbe. Oh well. At least he has a home now. J

I think that was the big event of the week. 

Here's a picture of us in cave that we found hiking 2 weeks ago

 hope you all have a great Mother's Day.

Elder Kirk

Monday, April 27, 2015

Arizona Week 98 - Baptism

Added by Elder Kirk’s Mom:

Elder Kirk has been made a District leader, which he won’t tell you because he is modest. In essence,district leaders have many responsibilities such as supervising, teaching and inspiring the missionaries in his district, planning and conducting weekly meetings, interviewing baptismal candidates and generally looking after the well being of the missionaries of his stewardship.” [http://mormonmission.blogspot.com/2008/12/district-leaders-and-sister-leaders-on.html]

Hello Everyone,

I was able to spend a day with the Elders in Concho this past week. I thought that St. Johns was a small town....Concho definitely is. The Elders there are doing really well. The members of their branch love them and are always excited to see them. That is pleasing for me to see. This week I'll be spending the day with the other elders in St. Johns. They seem to be having some difficulties, so I hope that I can learn more about their situation.

There was a baptism on Saturday in one of our wards. The woman that was baptized was taught by the senior couple serving here. The senior couple was so excited and happy about their first baptism on their mission! The woman that they baptized is a wonderful lady. Her daughter had joined the church some 30 years ago and served a mission for the church. The daughter's husband is in the bishopric, and they have been raising their children in the church. The joy that this sister felt to witness the baptism of her own mother was apparent in her face and in the words that she spoke the following day in Sacrament meeting.

That was pretty much my week. The weeks are getting shorter and shorter. On the 19th they'll be training us on ipads. Just in time for me to go home haha.

Have a great week everyone,

Elder Kirk

Monday, April 20, 2015

Arizona Week 97 - Cows

Hey everyone,

This week went well. We taught some good lessons and there is a lady that is going to be baptized this Saturday.

This week had a lot of service though. It seems that in Saint Johns everyone owns cows, which is great for us because people always need help with their cows.

This week we helped one of our bishops feed his cows. His property is really cool. Some of the rocks had carvings on them from the native tribes that used to inhabit the area.

On another day, we got a call pretty early asking for help to get some calves out of an irrigation ditch. There were 4 of them that had been stuck there for a day or so. The first two we got on either side of and they ran right out. The other two we had to push and lift to get them out. They were smaller and weaker. It was pretty fun.

In the near future we will be helping with branding another person’s cows.

We helped a member clean out his storage units last week. When we found where he kept his bullet proof vests he let us each take one. So now I have a bulletproof vest. 

Also this week, we had the opportunity to give a woman a blessing. She was going down to the valley and checking into a rehab. She's a real sweet lady and the blessing we gave her brought her to tears. She has so much support from her family. It always nice to see that kind of love.

Elder Kirk included a couple of pictures holding horned lizards and a snake...you can tell that he is my son, love it!  J 

I hope you all have a great week.

Elder Kirk

Monday, April 13, 2015

Arizona Week 96 - Exotic Birds

Hey everyone,

This week went really well. We have been doing a lot of service for people.

I would have never thought that I would have been cleaning out cages of exotic birds in a small ranching town like St. Johns. But that's what we did. 

It's been pretty fun meeting everyone and having them kind-of poke fun at how close I am to the end of my mission.

This is going to be a great place to finish though. The people here love the missionaries and the ward has had quite a few missionaries finish their missions here.

 This week, we will be branding cattle for our bishop. That will be fun.

Then later this month or next, we will be helping one of the councilors in the mission presidency with branding his cattle. 

There are a lot of people preparing for baptism. We should have about 5 this month and next. I'm having a great time, and my companion is early enough in his mission that he keeps me pretty focused, and we work hard. 

Here are some pictures from our week.

I ran out of time or I would write more.

Love you all,

Elder Kirk

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Arizona Week 95 - An Unexpected Journey

Hello Everyone,

If you're a fan of The Hobbit then you should understand the title of my email. I wouldn't necessarily say that I'm a fan of The Hobbit, but I thought it was an appropriate title for the email and a fun connection to pop culture. It might not be as funny now that I spent a paragraph explaining it though. Oh well.

Anyway, as the title suggests, I have taken an unexpected journey. I fully expected to finish my mission in Payson but the Lord has different plans. I have been transferred to St. Johns Arizona a little bit farther up the mountain to spend my last transfer. I already love it!

My companion, Elder Peters, has been filling me in on the area and it sounds great.  Elder Peters is from Minnesota. There are a lot of people preparing for baptism and the members here are just wonderful. I think that we will get a lot of work done and have a great time.

Apparently we get to do a ton of service, not the standard moving or yard work, but like things with cattle and ranch stuff. I’m excited to get started.

We live in a house (yes an actual house) with two other elders that serve in town. The next closest missionaries are in the neighboring town of Concho. It is very laid back, which I like, and the members love missionaries. 

I'm hoping to have some fun stories to share over the next few weeks. For now, I send my love and my best wishes to all of you.


Elder Kirk