A common hymn sung in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go. We often sing it when celebrating a young man or woman going on a mission. It has been in our hearts constantly of late.
In February we visited the Gilbert Arizona Temple Open House. Being from Southern California, with 4 temples within a 100-mile radius of home, we figured it would be one of the last opportunities for our children to enter a temple until they turned 12. (The age when children can go to the temple and participate in a limited amount of service.) It was a wonderful experience. Hundreds of Thousands of visitors were able to tour the temple grounds and interior before it was dedicated. It was much more than expected so the kind ushers tried to nudge us along the tour. After 6 hours in a car with four kids under the age of nine, we were going to take our sweet time.
It truly was sweet. We exited the line to have special moments with our kids to talk about the temple rooms and the things that happen there. We talked about times we felt the spirit whisper to us, and that if they were reverent he would whisper to them as well. If there is an open house coming up in your neck of the woods, I would encourage you to take your family. You never know how it could bless you, we sure didn’t!
We were able to stay with some very kind friends while there, and part of our conversation during the long weekend was the cost of living compared to California. It was all very interesting, but not really much more than that. We went home and went back to normal life. Fast Forward two months and we find out our landlord wants to raise our rent by $300! My wife and I were looking for another place to rent here, preferably in our same ward. One morning I asked Kristie, “What do you think of Arizona?” She quickly replied, “No.” With that, I went to work for the day.
I returned home to a much different opinion. Kristie had spent the day pondering it and all the ways it could benefit our family. We talked about being able to set aside money each month to serve a mission together some day, being close enough to visit California often, a home with room to grow, and a strong Mormon community. It was the Thursday before General Conference and I going out of town for the weekend. I suggested we watch Conference and look for answers from the talks that would be given by the Prophet and Apostles. “There is no way you are leaving me home alone with the matter unsettled, I want an answer.”
We held hands in prayer together and I poured out my heart to God of all the things we were thinking and feeling; our situation, our challenges, our hopes for the future. I asked Him if our idea to move to Arizona was His will and if it would help us accomplish our goals. The prayer was hardly ended and I could feel a swelling in my heart and an excitement for the adventure to come. I looked to my wife who had a confirmation of the same. So here we are 15 days until we have to be out of our place and still a lot to do. Half our home is in boxes, my business is just about ready to be run without me, and we have spilled the beans to our parents. (Who live here and will miss us dearly). We are still looking at places to rent there, but there is a lot of inventory. Our priority obstacle is that I am still looking for work there.
When I called the container place to ship our belongings to Arizona he asked for our new address I told him we didn’t have one. He asked for my work address, I don’t him I didn’t have a job yet. He seems a bit frustrated. “You know you have to pay for storage if we don’t have a place to deliver these too within 30 day right!?” I told him we prayed about it and we know the Lord will provide a way. With that he scheduled the container drop off.
So, we are saying goodbye to a community we love to follow the inspiration of the Lord. I love it here. The Huntington Beach Stake has been my home all my life, I have an awesome calling in Stake Public Affairs, my parents and all my siblings live here, and I just made a bunch of new community friends dancing in a Beauty Pageant in my swim suit! But we look forward to what the Lord has in store for us as we look Eastward in hope and faith.
It has been nearly three years since this blog post. We rented for a bit in Gilbert, then we bought a home about a year ago in Queen Creek. I got a job for a wonderful company called Infusionsoft and have grown a ton professionally. What is more meaningful is the spiritual growth we have seen. Being without our extended family has caused us to grow closer as a family and closer to the Lord. We have seen His hand in this process and still see it almost every day.
I know that the Heavenly Father needed the Kerr Family to become more than it could be in California and that there were people here that we could bless and other who have blessed us. Most importantly we have gained an ironclad testimony of prayer. God hears us and if we listen, he answers.