Monday, February 10, 2014

Last and final letter from TJ

I will say hello to Draper Utah! Most importantly to my awesome family who is home right now, just waiting with anticipation just as I am! I am very excited to see you all and don’t get me wrong but I will miss the wonderful work of the Lord here in Iowa! It still hasn’t settled into my mind that I am coming home on Friday, but it will for sure when I step foot on the plane. I must also say Happy Birthday to Nicole since I won’t be there on time.. haha so HAPPY BIRTHDAY LITTLE SISTER!!

I can’t describe how wonderful these two years have been, but I know that I will be able to talk to you a bit more about that at the end of the week. It’s been more than just remember the past experience of my mission, but more importantly, of how it’s changed me and my view on life! I can’t express all that I wish through this email or have I been able to in the past emails. I just know that the work is absolutely true and that the Lord is watching over us.

The temple was so spiritually uplifting and was exactly what I needed to finish these two years up. The new video was so amazing and I would invite everyone that can to watch it! It’s truly was life changing in a real sense for me! Temples are the best thing ever! Serving around Nauvoo over a year ago, was such a blessing. Hopefully one day all of you will be able to see it!

I am excited to share what I’ve learned with all of you and I will be even more excited to learn from all of you. Hopefully I will be more teachable this go around! I give my thanks first to my Heavenly Father and to Christ. Following them is my family and everyone that helped me get out to the mission field. Every experience you have in this life, is there to help you in the next. I have learned to choice wisely what I do and what I say and what I watch. The influence from good or evil will play a huge role in the future. Dwelling on the bad past experiences, don’t help you prepare for the future.. just learn from them and move on! Remember, Remember That the only way is through Christ our savior! To him I owe everything!

Other exciting news is that M... G.... will be getting baptized on Wednesday, she is very excited! All she has to do is stay strong. This week will go by very fast with all of the appointments that we have planned! Be prepared because Elder Kirton is coming home! LOVE YOU ALL and I will see you on Friday:)

LOVE ELDER KIRTON From Iowa for the last time!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Only one more email left.


The Final count down...:(

Well this being my last full week as a missionary, I am not sure what to expect at the moment. All that I know how to do, is to do missionary work and to finish strong! This week is going to fly by, with the temple trip tomorrow and our Zone pday today! There is lots of stuff to do and not enough time to put it into the good old missionary planner:) Over all I am excited to move on to new things, but will always miss the wonderful experience it is to be a missionary! It’s exciting to here that Paul is going to Minnesota! Where ever you go, there is always plenty of people that need help and the gospel.

Last week is one to remember! We had so many experience and so many lessons, that I am pretty sure I forgot everything that happened.. haha but thankfully I have a planner to look back through. The most exciting news that I have to share is about M.... G.....! She is planning on getting baptized on Feb. 12th, the day before I go to transfers!!! All she has to do is live the word of wisdom and she will be set! As well she asked me to baptize her...I am excited to do so.. I just pray she makes it through the next week!

It honestly just felt like the Lord totally took over this week as we went out preaching the Gospel! I haven't ever had a week flow like this.. well maybe and I can remember.. haha. Really though I feel so blessed to be here in Osky at this time of change and hastening of the work!

Elder Younger and myself went on exchanges here in Osky, Elder Younger is serving in Centerville. So we had a day planned out that wasn't super solid but turned into a miracle day! We had a lesson and a dinner set up with the M..... family. We were hoping to teach sister M.... friend L..., that we’ve been trying to meet with for the last few weeks. We jumped into our lesson with the M..... family and hoped that L.... would show up to pick her kids up, so we could she if she wanted a lesson. She ended up showing up early and I turned and asked her if she wanted to have a lesson. She said, after a few seconds of thought, How long will it take?.. and we were like as long as you want, and she’s like, alright let’s do it! haha it was so awesome and the Lord planned that one out for sure. The lesson on the restoration went really well and we have an appointment with her today.. hopefully it goes well:)

We also taught a guy named G.... W........ he’s a hiphop rapper! Super awesome guy.. too bad he lives in Des Moines.. I might just have to buy his album.. he’s also a gospel rapper too.. which makes it just a little bit better:) haha fun times in Oskaloosa!

I just thought I would reflect for just one moment on the past 2 years! All I can really say, is WOW! The mission has changed who I am and will be forever. There is nothing more important that I could have done in my life.. really though.. at least to this point:) Faith makes sense, Repentance is real, Baptism is so essential, The Holy Ghost is our guide, And Enduring to the End is not easy, but is totally worth it! I can’t express all the words that I would like to, but I hope through time everyone may grasp the importance of these principles, because they are life changing!

I give my thanks to all of you, who have helped me get to this point, whether big or small!


We are so excited to have him come home.

Elder Thomas Jay Kirton
Returns home on Feb. 14th. Valentines Day!
His homecoming will be Sunday, the 16th at 1:00 p.m.
Draper 2nd ward
1617 E 12700 S

Please join us in welcoming him home.
Thanks to everyone for their support throughout his mission.

Monday, January 27, 2014


Osky is staying warm with all of this fire in missionary work!

It’s been a super week here in Osky, we’ve seen a lot of miracles with those that we are teaching! Being out of the area for two days straight, the Lord blessed us with lots of opportunity! It’s been windy and cold the last couple of days.. I am pretty sure Heavenly Father just likes to play games with us, one day is 45 degrees the next it’s like 0.. That’s good old Iowa weather for you though!

It looks like the boys have been staying really busy with scouts and school projects. How’s dad liking the new calling? I also got your letter today, the one with Bret making cookies or cup cakes.. now I can’t remember.. haha. O well As well I am glad that everyone else is doing well and alive!

On Wednesday and Thursday we spent our time with some other missionaries on exchanges.. The first stop was to Lenox, Elder Stock and I went out to work and taught with guy named B... Barker and I wanted to keep calling him B...Barker for some reason, it was super funny! B... is now learning about the church! Then we traveled to Chariton and I went with Elder Arrioti, who is one of the missionaries that I will be going home with.. we both couldn’t believe that our time was coming to an end.

We taught M.... G.... this week, she is a new investigator and also is preparing to be baptized on Feb. 15, but we’ll see if she’s ready before that.. hopefully.. ! :) She is an awesome lady, our first lesson with her, she basically said that she already wants to join the church.! super awesome! now we just have to teach her and help her getting ready! you don’t always find people like that.. Brother G.... was doing some home teaching and she sat in on the lessons and it sparked her interest.. thank you spirit! She says that it’s just making sense, she hasn’t really ever been involved in another church before so it’s a little different for her. Tina is also doing very well and is still preparing to get baptized on the 22 of February!

Another family will be moving into the branch this month, after I leave.. darn! The B.....! they are from Salt Lake City and we talked to them on Saturday.. Great things continue to happen in osky!

We also had a super sweet lesson using the Family Proclamation to the world! It was such a powerful lesson, everyone should read and reread it! we taught K...and C... L.... who are preparing for the temple in May, as well their friends also joined us for the lesson.. hopefully we will be able to continue teaching them about the church!

Well there has just been so much going on here and lots of thoughts going through my head as I get closer and closer to the end of the mission that I’ve been called on! So many wonderful things have occurred in my life, that it’s impossible to be able to look back on them and remember them all! All that I can say is that I’m thankful for the wonder blessings of the gospel and most importantly that it is true! The Gospel: or in other words good news! well really it’s the best news and the only news that can help us be happy, even more than happy, joyful!

I love you all and pray that you have a great week and I will most definitely talk to you soon!

ps.. I found this sign on our way to Lenox, I’ve been meaning to take a picture of it..

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

HELLO from Osky!

I can’t believe that Elder Jade Carr is home! .. super crazy to think about, I am not sure if I believe that he’s home yet, you will have to get a picture with him or something.. haha tell him hi for me.. haha! The new baby is a cute one, tell Kamie and Kevin congratulations! wow some many awesome things happening back home in Draper Utah! I can say the same here in Oskaloosa, Iowa! It’s been a great experience serving here and will be hard to leave when it gets to that point.. in like a year or so.. well I think that’s how much I have left right... haha just kidding but really things here have been wonderful:)

Right before we came to email today, we had an amazing lesson with a new investigator T....M...... She is so awesome and has a true desire to find the truth, it’s a great thing that she’s found the right place... We reviewed the restoration with her and watched the restoration video, by the way everyone needs to watch that again, just because it’s super awesome! Anyway we watched that and she had such great questions and the spirit was there. We extended a baptismal date for Feb. 22.. but she will be ready way before that:-) that was a little miracle for the day and many more just waiting for the rest of the day!

We had a good little snow storm this past week that kept us from going out and doing work. We were actually in Knoxville on exchanges when the storm hit. We had snow like Utah does.. really wet stuff! anyway we got stuck there for the rest of the night and left the following morning. It’s sad to say that I won’t be going on exchanges with any more of these elders, since it’s my last transfer... bummer..

Q...... and K..... are doing great, they are working on picking a day to get married. It’s a big decision that they have to make, so we are letting them pick a day and pray about it.. W..... is also doing really well, we are just waiting for him to move out of the apartment so he can get baptized.. he drove himself to church, even though his ride was supposed to come.. he’s such a great guy. you heard about T.... already.. than we are teaching another lady today, but I will let you know how it goes next week! So Osky is doing well and great things keep happening ad misted all the turmoil:)

Sorry for not sending any pictures this week or last week, I will do much better at that! I promise!

Sunday we had an awesome sacrament meeting! Two great talks really focused on missionary work! The spirit was really Strong and I learned so much! Keep sharing the gospel over there and staying strong in the gospel! The weeks are going by super fast, so there is no time to waste!



Monday, January 13, 2014

Heres a Hi from Iowa!

This has been a very interesting week for me! You will find out further into this email.. For the weather here is warmer than it has been, which is the nicest thing ever! The snow is melting, which doesn’t affect us at all here as a missionary. Conner and Bret hopefully it snows more in Utah for you.. haha

So the beginning of last week was crazy, now not crazy like before but super crazy. The weather dropped to a very low temperature Monday and Tuesday, which resulted in some of our pipes freezing in the apartment. We didn’t have any water for a few days, luckily we have awesome members that helped us out. On Monday night I got sick.. like the flu wasn’t the funniest night of my life.. the following day we had a meeting that we had to be at in Iowa City. I spent half of the meeting sleeping the sickness off.. anyway the blessing that I received the other day, helped me recover very quickly. After being sick and not having any running water, I was in a state that required me to turn to God. Even though I experience some infirmities and affliction, I know that the lord was watching over me. My mission has taught me a lot about being grateful for what I have, given the circumstances. You can decide how you feel 100% of the time and the lord wants you to turn to him 100% of the time. When you do this you have no reason or rhyme to be unhappy. When you reach low points in your life, often that is when the lord is there to lift you higher than you have ever been! Anyway that is something that I have reflected upon this past week well recovering from being sick.

We spent a lot of time out of our area, for interviews, Mission Leadership Meeting, and exchanges. I had my last interview with President Jensen on Friday, wow I can’t really even believe that I am saying that.. And it’s crazy that Jade will be home next week! wow wow wow!!

On exchanges I had the privilege to go with Elder Jackson, who is a Spanish speaking missionary. So Tod and Jade would appreciate this more.. Throughout the day we spent a lot of time talking to Hispanic people.. well I guess I can’t say that I did, but some of them do speak English.. Anyway it’s a lot of fun to sit in on the lessons. I can’t pick up everything that they are talking about, but I can understand where they are in the gospel. It was a fun experience to just feel the spirit in the lessons, even though I didn’t have any idea what they were saying most of the time.

One of the last experiences I would like to share is about an older lady we taught. We knocked on W....s door, she was a referral from a member here in Osky. We got in and started to talk about family history and what happens after we die, it’s just where the spirit kinda leads it. We read a few scriptures out of the bible, 1 peter chapter 3 and 4. it talks about where Christ went after he died and before he was resurrected. Anyway we taught her about that and she said she never knew that before. She said she’s read the bible many times before... it just goes to show how awesome the restored gospel is. We know a lot of things that people just have no idea about and that is why it is so fun to share it with everyone!

January sounds like a fun month with all of these babies getting born! Jade getting home and lots of other fun things happening! have a great week and know that I love you all!

Monday, January 6, 2014


Pretty darn cold!
2014!!! IT’S going to be the best year!
Well I am glad that everything is starting to get better with grandma Bonnie! The prayers and blessings really help a lot and I am so grateful to be a part of the true church, so we can have blessings when we are in need :) I hope everyone continues to stay healthy and strong until February 14th!! and ... well a long time after that too.. haha I have been really lucky so far, not to get sick very bad. Everyone around us seems to be getting sick pretty good, but we are dodging it so far:) So yesterday we were informed of some really nasty cold weather coming in. Well they were most definitely right! This morning we woke up and Elder Mattoon went to take a shower... well no water came out.. Our pipes froze last night, so we had to go to our good friend J....'s to eat breakfast and shower.. it was kinda of depressing haha.. but we get a taste of what it’s like without running water.. and let me tell you it’s not super fun! The temp. was negative 16 this morning and with the wind chill it’s close to negative 30 probably! It’s only supposed to last for a little bit and go away.. hopefully!
This past week was a great opportunity for me to reflect upon the last year and think of things that I can work on this year. This last year was one of the best years that I've had, a full year of serving the Lord. And wow it went by super fast! As a mission we were able to see 517 people baptized!! Which is so wonderful to be a part of! There are many things in this world that are fun and exciting, but nothing at this time for me can compare to the salvation of Gods children. The times may get hard and a lot of the time we may want to quit, but the Lord teaches us never to look back! We can only learn from our mistakes and continue looking forward. Press forward to the prize! (Eternal life)
I am super excited to be home and see all of your faces, but until my time is up I have to keep working hard for the Lord! Thank you motivating me to keep working hard until the end, it really means a lot to hear that!
We have been working really hard to get S..... and her daughter E.....ready to be baptized this month. There are just a few last things that have to get worked out and hopefully when all is said and done they will be ready. W..... is also super close, we are just waiting for him to move out of the apartment he is in and then whenever that happens he’s ready to get baptized! It’s been wonderful to see their progression so far. In today's world it’s really hard to see the truth sometimes, there are lots of blinders that the adversary places around us.
The fast and testimony meeting was really good this week, there were lots of missionary moments that went on. It’s so great to see fruit from the labors that you do as a missionary:) There are many great things in store for the Oskaloosa branch! We had dinner with members that have been here when the branch was first started, it was really cool to hear all of the stories of how it came to be and how much work and sacrifice that it really takes.
What are some of the New Year goals you guys have? Going to the temple is definitely more often is definitely one of mine:) Anyway hope you have a great week! love you all!

Monday, December 30, 2013

He got to do some sledding on Pday.

Christmas away from home.


Happy New Year! 2014
This week was awesome to see all of you and to talk to you again, it will be crazy to think that next time I will be able to talk to you face to face :) Everyone is looking good and looks like they are having fun. We had a great Christmas here as well, and the rest of the week was awesome!
The next day we went on exchanges to Lenox which is the longest distance away from our area, we spent a day there helping them out in their area. I went with a newer missionary, named Elder Shumate, from North Carolina. We had a great time and taught some great lessons. We meet with this one guy named D... and his wife. I have never seen a guy so prepared for the gospel as he was. The spirit was really strong throughout the whole lesson. That was a really fun experience for us that day and was a high light for the exchange. The next morning we went to Chariton an hour away, for our next exchange. ya back to back.. We again worked in their area doing our best to help them out with anything that they needed. It was a colder day and not as many people were willing to talk, but none the less we had a great time. I have been able to learn a lot from the new missionaries in the zone! It is such a blessing to be able to serve in a position that allows me to learn from so many missionaries. Right after Christmas we are right back to work sharing the Gospel and helping people out. Everything just seems to run smoother when that is what we are doing:)
This week is transfers again! We got our call this morning about transfers and the good news is.. I will be staying is Osky!! I am excited to finish here and for the last transfer that I start this week. There is so much to do and so little time. This New Year I would invite everyone to think of something they can give up or change to help you or someone else get closer to the Savior Jesus Christ. Remember the gospel is the only thing that will unite families forever! Never give up, Never give up!
I love you all and am grateful for all that I received this year! Have a great week!

Monday, December 23, 2013

This is in the church parking lot.

Merry Christmas! This week! I will see you really soon!

Wow, It’s been the craziest, awesome and fun week ever! There is so much that has happened this week and so much to be grateful for. It looks like the snow hit you really good as well. We got about 4 to 5 inches on Sunday, which ended up canceling church here in Osky and as well throughout most of the mission. It’s kinda funny how easily the weather can affect everyone that is not use to the snow. Luckily we have a truck with 4x4! We are so grateful for that! I also got the package and the Christmas card for you guys! Thanks! And thank you to everyone else that has sent stuff this way:)

This week we had the most epic baptism ever! The baptism that was scheduled for N....... was to take place on Sunday after church. Well as you now know that church was canceled.. so we were super worried that it wasn’t going to happen. N..... has been waiting for this day for a while now, since last week we had to postpone it and all. The weather slowed down and the sun was out, so we called a few people up and got things prepared for the baptism. A little bit of shoveling and anticipation, N..... got baptized!!!! We were so excited for him. it was probably the smallest amount of people that I have seen at a baptism, but it was just enough to see it go through.

We are still working on getting the couple married so they can get baptized, it will be the last thing I do, before they have to ship me off back home! They are very close but just need a little more time and some nudging from the spirit and they will get there!

There is not much for me to tell you then, I WILL SEE YOU ON CHRISTMAS! the time will be at 4 your time and 5 my time! hopefully that will work, but if not we can most likely work something out:) You all have a great week and I will see you on the 25th!! love you all!