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, August 26, 2013

Arizona Week 12 - Green Ham and Eggs

Hey everyone,
This was a pretty full week. Didn't get to teach a whole lot but did some other things. First off, the work out that we redesigned and re-photographed is all done, printed, and is being assembled for distribution next transfer. President Sweeney was very happy with the way it turned out. Also, some of the photos I took while we filmed the ASL video have been posted on the mission's blog so go check them out. Come to think of it this week was a lot of knocking on empty houses so it felt like we did a lot but not much happened.
I would say that the highlight of this week was the service that we did on Saturday at 6:30 AM. That woman that we are teaching that has a hoarding problem needed help cleaning out the apartment now. One of the ward members who had become friends with her called us up to see if we could help. The next morning, we had a total of 9 missionaries there to help. Regardless of the situation, we had a blast. We found new and exciting ways to kill roaches including, but not limited to, various cleaning supplies, pet odor eliminator, foaming pet shampoo and of course standard bug spray. Just kidding on the bug spray, this was the king of bug sprays. It was called "Auto Trigger" meaning that it would produce a steady stream of poison that is accurate up to almost 15 feet (by our testing). Needless to say, everything in there was disgusting, and you felt the need to burn your skin when you left, but we all felt very accomplished and enjoyed giving this service. I would say the key moments were when we moved this bedside dresser and had a shootout with nearly 20 roaches (I should mention here that these are fairly small roaches only measuring about 1.5 inches (but then again they fly...)). We emerged victorious but many of us will never forget that day. The second key experience was......the fridge. This fridge was not readily accessible until after about half an hour of moving things. We opened the door to find a very full fridge. Some things inside were: apples from who knows when, individual restaurant sauce packets, what was lettuce at one point in history (we think), cheeses of every variety (and color), 2 cases of 5 dozen eggs, and an unopened package of bacon that was sporting a full coat of forest green color. It smelled…bad. But most of the floor was now visible and this woman was making major changes in her life, and we are all very proud of her. It's going to be hard, but we know that she will be able to overcome her challenges.
Transfers are next week so I’ll figure out my fate this Saturday. Looking forward to the future and where the Lord needs me to be. I hope you all have a great week. Love and miss you.

Elder Kirk

Monday, August 19, 2013

Arizona Week 11 - Lights...Camera...Sign

Hey everyone,

This week was very busy. We've had to put a lot of effort into the projects that the mission president gave us. We've been taking a lot of pictures and doing a lot of filming. Well I don't do the filming but I've been taking behind the scenes pictures. Today, we’re going to record the audio for the one Elder's rap and the narration for the ASL video. It's likely that yours truly will be providing the voice of Joseph Smith in this video so keep your ears open when the video goes onto the mission's blog. We've been having so much fun doing all of this though. I've built a lot of good relationships with the missionaries here, and we're having a great time working together.

We had a really good training meeting as a zone this week. Our zone leaders are such inspired missionaries. I'm so grateful to be able to work with them and learn from them.

After the meeting, one of the Sister missionaries said we should take a quick photo as a zone. We were starting to set the timers on the cameras when someone had the grand idea to have this woman that was in the building take the photo. She must have been a professional by the way she was acting (more so she thought she was a professional). This picture took at least 10 minutes to take. And I sometimes exaggerate things like that but this time I'm not. It seriously took over 10 minutes, ask anyone in the zone. It was ridiculous. And there's one missionary that just smiles so big, it totally fits his personality, but the woman said, "Wipe that dorky smile off your face; just calm down. We want this picture to look good." It was one of the worst pictures I've ever been in. But now we just have another story to joke about with each other. "Remember that zone pic?" It was an experience.

I also got to attend a baptism for the Spanish branch on Saturday (it's a long story to really explain why I was there). But I had to been asked to sing with a few other missionaries there for the baptism...the baptism that I was told would be done in English...I was shocked to hear that it was actually going to be done in Spanish...but then it was clarified that we would be singing in English. False alarm. It was really great to participate in that though. There's an interesting Spirit that one feels when a service is in a different language. I really enjoy opportunities like that.

It's been a really fun week though. I love you all and miss you all. Talk to you next week.

Elder Kirk

Elder Van Meeteren filming with his DSLR, Elder Clark filming with a GoPro, Elder Sessions holding a poster to bounce light, Elder Quiner signing the first vision

Same but with Elder Vete signing the lead in to the first vision

Brother Call taking photos of Elder Faughnan for the workout

Elder Quiner found some pants on the ground. He titled this one "O, Jerusalem"

Elder Sessions and me, behind the scenes photographers.

Musicians Daryl Williams and Christina LesueurRecording voice-over

With the sound board 

Monday, August 12, 2013

Arizona Week 10 - Lift

Hey everyone,

Another good week here in Phoenix. Still pretty dang hot but it's not in the 120s anymore, so that's good. We've been staying pretty busy. I'm too excited about telling this story to think of anything else so I'll just get it out of the way.
So, we had just started to study for the morning and got a phone call from the Spanish Elders. They asked what appointments we had that day. We told them we didn't have anything until 3, so they asked us for a ride to one of their member's homes for some service...and if we could help them that would be great. We were told that it would be moving some boxes. That wasn't entirely accurate. We drove up and saw that this man had 2 very large trucks with roll doors in the back. One was slightly smaller and had rails lining the top of it. There was already a large assortment of things on top of the rail truck. First off, we tossed a mattress on top of that truck followed by 2 plywood slabs. The man then said a few things in Spanish that left the other Elders speechless. My companion and I shared faces of confusion and the man, realizing our confusion, pointed at a clothes dryer, then towards the top of the truck and said "alli arriba". Now we were speechless as well. One of the other Elders climbed on top of the truck by way of the 10 ft ladder. The 3 of us on the ground began to hoist it over our heads. Now, being that my companion and I are fairly tall, and the third missionary helping us was not, we found some difficulty added once we surpassed the extent of his reach. Some way, still unknown to us, the dryer was now nestled atop the mattress on the truck. Mission accomplished, or so we thought. The man then points to the washing machine...if you aren't aware, these are quite a bit heavier than dryers. I decided to join the one missionary already on the truck. On the ground, my companion says, "they should put straps or handles on these so they're easier to move." The man heard "strap" and left to return with a tow strap that was then wrapped around the washing machine. The opposite end was thrown to us on the truck...so we pulled, and they lifted, and once again we accomplished this task without realizing how. We continued to load the top of the truck until the two of us on the truck were perched on the railings having nowhere else to stand. Thankfully we did not fall.
We had interviews with the Mission President on Wednesday, and he asked me how my training was going and if I felt like I was learning and making progress. Once I told him I was he asked what I thought about me training someone...he expressed a need for missionaries that can train others because of the large number that are coming in. So, I may have to train a new missionary next transfer. It is a little frightening to think about but if I'm asked to then I know I'll be able to do it.
Overall I've had a really good week. Things have gone smooth and I'm really enjoying being here.

I love and miss you all,

Elder Kirk

Monday, August 5, 2013

Arizona Week 9 - Milk

Hi everybody,
Another week has come and gone and I'm still pressing forward. It's a little harder now with only the one ward especially because it had less investigators than the other ward. Anyway, it's a nicer area of town so people aren't so keen to listen (or be outside for that matter). The key for this ward is going to be the members but the members haven't completely grasped that yet. We're still nudging them along though and eventually they will see how important they are and things will pick up.
As for events of this week, we will start on Monday, just after we emailed. We had a member take us to Costco, and we were very excited. That is, until I realized it was the end of the month, and I had not but $17. That does not afford many purchases in a Costco. We went about, and I selected essentials that I needed. Realizing I had roughly $12 left to spend I was excited upon finding a box with a cost of $11 which contained 66 beef taquitos. This of course would have lasted me over a month. I was content with this choice until I made a new discovery a few minutes later; a 5 lb. tub of Tollhouse Cookie dough (for $3 less). A great battle ensued within my heart and mind as is to be expected.

And I've had fresh baked cookies every night since.
No regrets.
On a similar note, Elder Harris had to buy milk, but they only came in packs of 2 gallons. He alone was to drink this milk. And it is no more. Two gallons were consumed in under one week. That's just impressive. (This isn't the only reason for the title of this week’s email)
This is:
We brought a member with us to a lesson for the first time. It was with a man that had decided to be baptized on August 17th (he since has decided not to, and I'll let you know how that pans out over the future weeks). We knocked on the door and his 4 year old daughter answered. She proceeded to tell us that her dad wasn't there and neither was her mom, and she wouldn't tell them we had dropped by or ask them to call us suffixing (that's probably not a word) every answer with "you doofs". She then goes inside telling us to leave. Before I could shut the door all the way, she returned with a plastic mixing spoon with which she began to beat at my legs. This kind of behavior from her is expected from past experience but the specifics of her actions are always surprising. (Examples of past encounters: screamed at, called garbage, legs clawed at, punched in crotch, kicked, etc.) As we began to leave she called out that she would go get her dad because he was actually there "you doofs". Later, while we were inside, she was drinking milk out of an animal shaped cup with a straw. She filled her mouth with milk and walked menacingly towards me. By my actions, I somehow convinced her to pass by like the destroying angel, as did my companion. However, the actions taken by the member were not as convincing. and she spat the milk all over his suit pants...and casually strolled off. I don't think that member will be coming to a lesson with us any time soon...
As for good occurrences, we were taking a different member to a lesson with us. On the way, we were telling him who the person was and all the rest. Turns out, he knows the girl. She and his daughter had been best friends in the past. She was very excited to see him again and the lesson went really well.
I hope you all are doing well and I look forward to talking again.
Much Love,

Elder Kirk