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.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Arizona Week 50 - Hump Day and slow week

Hey everyone!

Thursday was my mission Hump Day! It’s one year in the field for me. We traveled up to Vernon so that my MTC buddy and I could do our ceremonial one-year shirt burning. Many missionaries do this at their one year mark. We also were able to have a little barbeque with the same MTC elder.

You may be able to see my cool BBQ apron. It was a Christmas gift from my Aunt Keri. It has my name on it missionary name tag style.

The whole rest of the week was spent at home...my companion got sick last Sunday and was sick the rest of the week. He is able to go out and work now though so things are a bit better. 

During the several days that we stayed home, I was able to clean and organize the whole apartment, sew together some curtains, finish reading 3 books (two of which I began and finished this week), and some other little projects here and there. 

For missionary work this week we were able to set a date for baptism with a man that has been looking into the church for about 18 years. His wife is a member of the church and his granddaughter got baptized in January. He is a very faithful man, and we are very excited for him. The best part for him is that he asked if the song "A Little Talk with Jesus" by Elvis Presley could be sung at his baptism and the Bishop approved it!

More will happen this week. I hope you all had a good Memorial Day.

Elder Kirk

Monday, May 19, 2014

Arizona Week 49 - A Little Worse for Wear

Hey Everyone,

This week has been a physically taxing one. We have done a lot of service. In addition to Tuesday, when we went to the Love Kitchen, they asked us to help again on Friday because a last minute, no prior notice truck was going to be delivering a surplus of food. Ten pallets of food showed up. They emptied the whole trailer. And who was there to help? That’s right…just us and one other guy (everyone else had to do the kitchen stuff). So, the Love Kitchen received 4 pallets of bread and baked good, 3 pallets of cantaloupe, 1 pallet of tomatoes, 1 pallet of massive bags of tiny onions, and 1 pallet of 50 lb. bags of potatoes. That's a lot. From 8:30, when we got there, to 2:00, when we left, I sat down a total of zero times. This took a major toll on my lower back but sacrifice does not go without blessing. We now have one of the 50 lb bags of potatoes, 2 cakes, a tray of brownies, another tray of rolls, a bunch of pop tarts, some meat in the freezer, a lasagna, some frozen yogurt, as many English muffins as you can imagine and about 27 cantaloupes. Yum.

We went to the temple again this week with the youth of our other ward. This time, the names that we did ordinances for were ones that we brought. When I counted it up, there were 143 relatives of mine that were baptized and confirmed.

On top of being in much pain my companion also became ill yesterday, so we are both a little hindered in our work. Thankfully, we have today to rest and become ready for our labors. We were going to go fishing today with a man we are trying to get back to church, but we don't have enough money for the fishing license haha. Maybe at the beginning of a month we would be able to afford it. 

Things here are going well. One of our wards has a new bishopric as of yesterday. 

This Thursday will mark 1 year that I have been on my mission. It's pretty exciting and somewhat hard to believe.

I hope you all have a great week.

Elder Kirk

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Arizona Week 48 - Lord of the Flies...or Comp up a Tree!

Hey everyone,

This past weekend we went on the father's and son's campout with one of our wards. It was fun...but cold. Fires were restricted, so we all huddled around the propane stove for warmth. One young boy was put under my supervision when he wanted to shoot a BB gun. This was not really the way I wanted to spend my time on the campout. While with this young man, I nearly got shot in the face as he whipped around with the loaded gun. Needless to say, this didn’t make me happy. But, the boy enjoyed it and that's all that matters. This same little guy, who likely has some kind of ADHD went around spanking everyone on the butt. Well, comp isn't really into getting touched…period. Let alone on the butt. So, he took off running; but this little guy was determined and began to chase my companion. Next thing you know, comp is up a tree with the kids all standing at the base throwing rocks and sticks at him. Of course, rather than save him, I got my camera. Some comments were made about the popular book "Lord of the Flies" for obvious reasons.

Transfer news came in that we will be staying in this area. That will make 6 months that I will be here. We went to The Love Kitchen yesterday and they were very excited to hear that we would be staying for another 6 weeks. They really like us there.

We had a really awesome lesson with Mitchell yesterday. We talked about the Word of Wisdom, and he said that he had been thinking more about the body and caring for it recently, so our timing was really perfect. This perfect timing seems to have happened with virtually every lesson we've had with him. When he had pondered about life and death, we showed up ready to talk about the Plan of Salvation, when he had wondered about truth, we were there to talk about the Restoration and about praying to know the truth for ourselves. It has been kind of fun the way it has worked out.

So, on Monday night, we went to visit a less active man that we have been trying to see for a while. We usually catch him about to get in the shower or just getting out of it and ready for bed. Well, on Monday he had just gotten out of the shower but figured that we had earned a few minutes of his time to come into the house, so we wouldn't think he was a jerk. He showed us his hobby of collecting rocks and minerals that glow under a black light. It was pretty cool. He then told us that he had been cleaning out some of his step-daughter’s things and had gotten really creeped out. Why, you ask? Well, he pulled out a book of "White Witchcraft". He then explained his dilemma…how should he get rid of it? He didn't have a place to burn it, and he didn't want to just place it in the trash where it could easily be recovered. This was very sensible of him. 
"We'll get rid of it for you" What…? Who…? What fool said that?...oh yeah,…I did.
In my mind I figured we could just burn it the next day in our fire pit. No big deal. Well then he showed us this doll of hers. It has long black hair, a black dress, gothic style make-up, a fang-filled smile and devil horns. Now I'm really creeped out, and I told him that we wouldn’t be able to get rid of that for him to which he said that he didn't blame us.

We left his home and went to Brother Pico's house. We are really good friends with Brother Pico and have been going to his home for Family Home Evening. Well this night, his wife was already asleep and his daughter was out of town so it was just him. We start telling him about our day and had just come to the part about the witchcraft book. We were starting to realize that we really don't want to wait until morning to burn the book because we didn’t want it in or near our apartment. That would just be asking for trouble. So Brother Pico took us to a place to dump it into one of about 20 dumpsters (At this point, we really just wanted to get rid of the thing not even caring if we burned it or not). So we tossed it in and went to Wendy's to get some food and everyone lived happily ever after. As a side note, the new Tuscan chicken sandwich at Wendy's is really, really good.

And that's what we've been up to. Hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day. 


Elder Kirk

Monday, May 5, 2014

Arizona Week 47 - Many Souls

Hey everyone,

Well I baptized 20 people in the temple this week. We were able to go to the temple with the youth from one of our wards and perform baptisms and confirmations for those that have passed. It was a wonderful experience, one that I have not had before. It truly is a joy to be able to serve our ancestors in such an eternal way. Serving in the temple is one of the most blessed experiences I can think of.

We were privileged to have interviews with President Sweeney and have our vehicles inspected (yeah, we still have the golden plates). My interview with President Sweeney went very well. He had a lot of good counsel for me. He gave me some assignments to prepare my current companion to be a leader when I leave, and described me as "Zone Leader material". It seems that his plan is to have us stay together one more transfer so that I can prepare him to replace me and then I will be leaving.

Also this week, I interviewed an elderly lady to be baptized. It was such a good experience. I felt bad for her at first because she hadn’t realized that it was going to be a private interview and requested that it be in her home. Their home is very quaint; it basically consists of the living space and the sleeping space. Her husband suggested the bedroom for the interview, but she refused, she was obviously not comfortable with that, which pleased me because I wasn't comfortable with it either. We finally decided on the enclosed porch. We had a great interview, the details of which I am not at liberty to share with you but suffice it to say that she was truly ready for baptism, and she will become a wonderful member of the church.

It seems like the week went very fast and yet the earlier days of the week seem like an eternity ago. That's the pattern that seems to be setting in to my perception of time. For right now, time doesn't matter much to me. I'm getting to the point where all that matters is the people and what I need to do for them. It's kind of nice to not worry about one's self. 

We ate dinner with a family yesterday, and they brought out a guitar and let me play around a little bit. It's been over a year since I have even touched a guitar. Although I'm a little upset about having forgotten so much; I am also surprised that I retained as much as I did. I have decided that the entire time of one of my first weeks home will be dedicated to teaching myself the guitar again.

Things are going very well. There are ups and downs but when viewing it all, I have to say that things are well. It is frustrating and hurtful when others revile and mock you (which happened to me this week). It helps me when I think that the Savior suffered much for all of us. I am no better than He, so I am pleased that in this small way, I can be like Him and stand beside Him.

I love you all,

Elder Kirk