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Monday, September 28, 2015

#WeWriteofChrist

Hola Familia y Amigos!

Hoy, vamos a hablar sobre hashtages. Que es un hashtag? Porque tenemos que usar los hashtag? I still don't know what a hashtag is, but I use them all the time. Maybe somebody could send me the definition or something. ANYWAY, this week is the start of the last 8 months of awesome letters you will be receiving from yours truly. As part of them, I'm going to start including some special hashtags for the month. I would encourage all of you to use them when posting on social media and other sites. Or, you could even just send them to me. ;) This month, the month of October, the hashtag will be #ldsconf. Share your favorite messages from conference with the world! I'll finish out this letter with my example. If you want more information about this event, go to www.wewriteofchrist.org  or ask Christopher Kennedy for more information. But for now, you must suffer through another day by day breakdown of Hermana Kennedy's week. Listos?

Lunes: We walked and OYMed a lot of people until we finished the night of by contacting a referral. When we knocked on the door, the woman opened the door and invited us in because she saw the scriptures I was carrying. As we talked to them, we found out that they were friends of some members and were actually interested in our message! So we shared a little bit of it, set up a return appointment, and left. Miracles everywhere!

Martes: We were on exchanges today. I was finally in my own area with Hermana Bailey, Hermana Streuling's trainer. We had an awesome day of service where we painted fire hydrants and had to us steel wool to get the paint off our skin. Hermana Bailey also broke our phone, so... It was rough. We got some dinner and then walked. All of our appointments fell through, and we didn't have a car, so we walked and talked and walked and knocked and walked until a member invited us in for some juice. We accepted, shared a spiritual thought, and left. We met some pretty cool people walking, though. The other sisters picked us up and we exchanged back. I learned a lot from Hermana Bailey, and I'm so excited to serve in the same branch as her and her companion! We're super close since we share a car, a branch, and now dinners too! (Next thing you know, we'll share an apartment.)

Miercoles: We knocked and walked and talked until we found an English less-active! Missionaries haven't stopped by for a long time, and she was actually thinking about going back to church. It was a miracle in the middle of a rough afternoon. We stopped by a member and set up a time for her to come out with us. And then we realized that it was during Women's Conference... Needless to say, we changed it. We had dinner with Gray, and she made the best quesadillas! We also had a contest to see how many times it took to throw grapes into our mouths before we actually caught them in our mouths. I won. We then had a two hour discussion with Gray about her life story and how she has seen the gospel change her life and the life of her family since she started accepting it. She is so ready! She just needs to get married, and then she can get baptized! Her esposo is so much happier, too! He never smiles, but when we came over for dinner, he was smiling so big! After our talk, we went to the church and served some members/ set up some appointments for the rest of the week. Hermana Brighton is very good at making bowties out of napkins, so if anyone wants to use her skills, feel free. :)

Jueves: We had an AMAZING zone conference. (Guess who had to do the musical number? Which was actually the closing song...) I still haven't had a chance to wrap my mind around how awesome all the messages from zone conference were. One day, I'll get it. We had dinner with a member. She bought us American food, but gave us tortillas, so it was totally Mexican food. Then we walked to see some of our appointments. They all canceled, so we started to find some members that supposedly lived in the area. The first one we tried had moved, but we got a new investigator out of the single mother living there, so it was ok. We knocked around the apartment complex and found some pretty cool, solid people. Then, as we were walking home, we found two people outside smoking. Tom and Kimmy. They were super anti-Joseph Smith, but as we explained the Restoration, they opened up. Turns out we were the first Mormons they would let talk to them. Kimmy was pretty challenging and said that she would never change her mind about Joseph Smith, but by the end of the lesson she accepted a Restoration pamphlet and a Book of Mormon. And she prayed to know right then and there if it was true! Awesome end of the night miracle. Except that Hermana Brighton and I had to go home and shower so that we wouldn't smell like heavy smokers. Pros and cons.

Viernes: We actually finished weekly planning! On a Friday! And we had an awesome lesson with our part-member family. He's getting baptized next month! Her divorce came through, so they're going to have a wedding/ baptism/ party day! They are SO solid. And then we saw a less-active family that had come to church the week earlier. She gave us some chile reyenos which were delicious, as usual, and we had a good discussion about living the gospel. We invited her to the women's conference on Saturday too.

Sabado: Well, we had an awesome coordination meeting with our branch mission leader. Followed by about 2 hours of walking, falling through appointments, drunk Mexicans, and talking to pretty much everyone we talked to on Thursday. It was pretty fun. We took an earlier dinner. (We made Mac and Cheese with almond milk. It's not bad.) And then we went to women's conference! More to come on that. The rest of our appointments that night fell through, so we stopped by some potentials, and walked and talked with other people. It was pretty fun.

Domingo: Well, church was awesome as usual. The organ broke, so I got to play the piano again. :) And then after church, some members (the new ward missionaries, in fact) fed us some Peruvian fried rice and no bake cookies. (He's Peruvian. She's American.) Twas delicious. Then we went to contact some referrals. No luck, but we met a black lady from Arkansas, and she is so awesome! I'm so sad she speaks English. I wanted to teach her. :( Oh well. We're all on team Jesus, right? Then we saw some investigators that live next door to members, and the members invited the investigators over for family home evening tonight! So we did some service for the members and talked about what we'd do tonight. We are all super excited! We knocked and talked with some white people, and they were all kind of grumpy, so I think the Seahawks lost last night. I've never paid attention to football as much as I have on my mission. (Will, you're going to have to keep me updated on the Seahawks. My mission depends on it!)

Well, that's about it! As for your spiritual thought this week, it comes from women's conference! #ldsconf Something I loved about women's conference was Sister McConkie's talk. She talked about the cause that we are all united in, the work of salvation. The work of salvation is our entire labor here on earth--to help our Father's children return safely as sealed families. We all need to participate in this work. Here's the five steps to participating in the work of salvation.
1. Member Missionary Work. Be a member missionary! Go out with the missionaries or give the missionaries someone to teach! Pray for guidance to know how you can be a better member missionary! #share1invite1
2. Convert Retention. For the recent converts in your wards and stakes, be a friend! Help them to stay active! Give them something to participate in and nourish them with the good word of God,. #sharegoodness
3. Activation of Less-Active Members. The best way you can get less-actives active again is to be a friend. Show them that you care about them, and not just your ward roster or assignment. #sharegoodness
4. Temple and Family History work. GET ON YOUR FAMILY HISTORY! (Myself included.) And then, when you find names, take them to the temple! The temple is the most important part of the work of salvation. It's only through the ordinances of the temple that we can return to our Heavenly Father as sealed families. #findyourcousins
5. Teach the Gospel. In your homes, to others, to friends, to family. I don't care how you do it, but teach the Gospel. This can best be done through the scriptures or the words of the prophets! #wewriteofChrist
There you go! Go and do! Be an active part of the work of salvation!

I love you all so much! Make sure to take some questions to ponder during General Conference this next weekend!

Con MUCHISIMO amor,

Hermana Kennedy

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Missionaries sang as they walked... and walked... and walked....

Me with a mustache and my duck Fernando.
Bienvenidos a todos!

Well, this week was pretty crazy. SO MUCH happened. Here's the chronology of events:

Monday: P-Day! The member we do laundry with gave us a ton of pears, so now I don't know what to do with them. If I could can pears, I'd totally do that, but alas, nobody has time for that. After P-day, we knocked on a less-active's door to find out that she had moved. So we taught the guy behind the door, set up a return appointment, invited him to the branch's fiesta on Saturday, and moved on with life. We saw Gray and her novio and taught them the gospel. He's not quite ready for baptism, but at least he's willing to listen to our message for her sake! And then we saw another investigator and set up a return appointment. It was an eventful night.

Tuesday: We had an awesome district council about church. Church is so important. Sundays are a stressful day for missionaries, but I've learned that we should forget about our worries on Sunday and take the time to rejuvenate ourselves. We need some rest from our labors, and Sunday is the day to do it. What do you do to use Sunday as a day of rest? After district council, we split some apples open with our hands and left to do the work! Hermana Brighton and I walked all day. We OYMed a drunk guy that told us about every person he'd ever known who had died. We met some people that were traveling from Chelan to California. And we walked. And talked. And walked. And sang. And walked. We had dinner with a member who was kind enough to give us a ride and then we saw a recent convert/ less active family and taught them the plan of salvation. :) As we left them, we were walking and we saw a kid walking down the street, so we talked to him. It turns out he's scared of walking home in the dark, so we walked him home. And got a return appointment out of it. We tried to see some other investigators, but they weren't home. So we OYMed a lady outside, and she asked if we were walking. We said yes, and she offered us a ride home. More like demanded that she give us a ride home. We accepted and taught her the Restoration while we drove home. She was actually pretty interested, and nothing bad happened, so... #thethingsIdoasamissionary

Wednesday: We did some service at Northwest Harvest making lunches for schoolkids. And then we stopped by the mission home to get some maps from Sister Lewis. We now know our area. It's a miracle. And then we went home for dinner, saw a less-active and her two less-active daughters who were willing to listen to the gospel again. Yay! All our plans for that night fell through, so we knocked the door next door to the part-member family we were going to see because they looked Mexican. They were and they let us in and listened. They laughed during the opening prayer, so that was fun. And then when we went to say the closing prayer, we were laughing for about 15 minutes straight. It was bad. But hey! They're pretty cool and interested. The little girl already goes to Activity Days with the part-member family, so... they're pretty solid.

Thursday: We had about an hour before some service, so we picked a street and knocked it. There were so many golden people! BUT, they all spoke English. :( Oh well. The other sisters (who were on exchanges) picked us up. Hermana Bailey and Hermana Taua were together for the day, and we spent the two hours of service we did at the Salvation Army plus dinner together. And then they drove us to our area. Our appointment fell through, so they took us to another part of our area and dropped us off before they went back to their area. We knocked and talked and walked and talked and met some awesome people and then we walked the 3 miles home. And NOBODY cat-called us. Until we were about to turn onto the street that would take us home. The elders happened to drive by at that moment and scream "HEY" at us. We almost died of fright. And then literally 2 seconds later, somebody cat-called us. So close. So close.

Friday: Weekly planning. And then we had a lesson with Gray and her novio and some members. 2 hours later is was time to go home, but they promised to go to the fiesta on Saturday! Something good came from it. You can never go wrong with member present lessons.\

Saturday: We went to an awesome family history fair, so now I'm all excited about family history. If I rant about family history, blame Sister Lewis. It's all her fault. We went home, had lunch, finished weekly planning, and walked about a mile and a half to the church for the fiesta. On the way we met a guy who worked at a coffee shop and was walking home. We told him we didn't drink coffee. He asked us why. We taught him the Restoration, and he liked it. He understood everything and got our beliefs. It was pretty cool. We ended up walking him home and then we went to the fiesta, shredded some chicken, took some pictures, and talked for a little. Our investigator won the best sopes contest! She was so excited! But, as soon as we got dragged into the conga line, we knew it was time to leave. Mexicans can party. We left and walked down the street until we saw some longboarders that had some interesting questions. We answered them and taught the Restoration and invited them to church. It was pretty cool. Then, we walked back up to the church to see if the members needed help cleaning up. They didn't, so we stole our investigators who came and the branch president and had an awesome lesson in the foyer. The sisters came and picked us up so that we could actually get home on time, though.

Sunday: Church was amazing! Pretty much all the less actives in our area came! And then the 3 new sisters had to speak, and we did a musical number, so the entire branch was in tears, so, yeah. It was pretty awesome. All four of us sisters had dinner at a recent-convert's house and then we went our separate ways. Hermana Brighton and I spent the night contacting referrals. We tried by 5. We only met 1. But it's ok. We'll contact them all this week.

That's pretty much it folks! Have a miraculous week! And get on that family history! Your spiritual thought this week comes from Moroni 7:4-5: If you are truly the peaceable followers of Christ, you will walk as Jesus walked. You will do the things He did, and by your fruits others will know you. What are some of the fruits of your efforts to be a disciple of Jesus Christ?

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Kennedy

The coolest wall ever! It's the world with all the temples as little dots!

Monday, September 14, 2015

A shortcut to the mushrooms

The mushrooms
WELL. This week was super eventful! Here's the run-down:

Monday: P-day. Hermana Blackmer packed. We saw Michael one last time. We lost him in our area split. But, he committed himself to be baptized on October 3rd, so it was worth it! And then we went to say goodbye to our branch president and his family, and pretty much the entire branch was over, so we said goodbye to everyone, took some pictures, ate some cake, and went home to do what we do best: sleep.

Tuesday: Did some service at the food bank. Hermana Blackmer said goodbye to Gray, and we took some pictures. Then, we had the awesome experience to take a new missionary out for about an hour to experience mission life! We picked up Sister Christensen, and we went tracting. Surprisingly, everyone was SUPER nice and we even found a pretty solid potential that wanted to start testing the waters of other religions. It was pretty cool. We had a dinner break that consisted of sitting in our car eating hi-chews until we saw a part-member family. His divorce should be finalized within the next month or two so that they can get married and he can get baptized! He's so excited! Then, we saw Amigo for the last time. :( I'm so sad to leave him, but I guess I'll see him at church and everything. After, we saw a recent convert/ less active family that fed us cheesecake and gave us balloons. And a lot of shoes. They're so awesome. I LOVE the members here in Yakima. Then we went home and packed some more.

Wednesday: Well, I said goodbye to Hermana Blackmer. But, I got to say hello to Hermana Brighton! We went to the transfer meeting, took her stuff back to our apartment, did some service at the food bank, went food shopping at Wal-Mart, and then went to the part-member family's house for dinner. They fed us chile reyenos. They were SUPER hot, but delicious. :) Hermana Brighton and I survived. Then we saw Gray and we started teaching her husband, Jeshua! We've been trying to teach him this entire past transfer! #miracles And then we saw a less-active family that had a part-member family recently move in with them! We stopped by and taught the plan of salvation, and we're going to start teaching them now! All the transfer miracles.

Thursday: Hermana Brighton unpacked, I wrote in my journal, we did some orientation for our new area, and then we went and did some service at the Salvation Army. I love the people there. They are so amazing. After that, we walked, knocked, and OYMed people. Had some lessons with them about miracles and whatnot. We had dinner with some members who were kind enough to pick us up and drop us off at our appointment after dinner. We were dropped off in a trailer park and our set lesson canceled with us, so we walked, knocked, talked, saw some less-actives, and had some lessons. Because what else are walking missionaries going to do? Then, the members picked us up and took us home too. My legs really appreciate members now.

Friday: Weekly planning. It was super difficult. Most of the people we saw were in the other part of our area, so I had to do it all by myself with what I knew. I'm surprised it didn't take the entire day. We had pasta for dinner and we had the car, so we tried to contact some referrals, but we ended up helping people fix their cars... And then we saw a neighbor of some members that we met a couple weeks ago. They're a young couple and let us right in! We had an awesome first lesson with them, and they're preparing to be baptized on October 3rd! They're super cool. I'm excited to work with them.

Saturday: Well, we didn't have the car today. It was 90 degrees with no clouds in the sky. And we walked about 7 miles. Guess who's red? Yo. But it's ok. We talked to so many people and had so many lessons! We even found some new investigators, saw some of our other investigators, and got rides from members! One of our investigators lived at the Mexican Frat house. His name means "eagle" in Spanish, so that's what his name will be. He's an amazing guy! He's very polite and has some pretty cool vision in life. He's a very philosophical Mexican. Anyway, we had a 15 minute dinner before we had to leave for another appointment. We saw Gray and then some members stayed out with us from 7 to 8:30. They even drove us home! #mylegsaresodead

Sunday: Church. I tripped up the stairs on my way to the organ. It was pretty loud. Who's a clutz? Yo. We saw Eagle again and gave him a Book of Mormon. He's super excited to read it. Had some dinner. Pasta again. But with some salad and chicken and brownies because a member made it for us. We saw a less-active who just got back from Mexico and doesn't want to come to church. Awkward... And then we saw the couple we met on Friday, gave them a Book of Mormon, and had a lesson with the family next door since they didn't come to church. They had a good excuse. A good family friend was in a pretty serious accident, so they were at the hospital. They're cool, though, and they're coming out with us this week!

As for the subject line, yesterday while eating dinner, Hermana Brighton and I heard some pretty funky noises outside. So, we went outside to find two little girls cutting up mushrooms on our air conditioner. I still have no idea why.

Brief description about Hermana Brighton: She is from Texas. She's the 3rd of 6 children. She's good at math and science. She's a pro in Spanish. She talks to EVERYONE. She is fearless. I love it. She's pretty funny and a seriously dedicated missionary. She just came from Royal City serving with HERMANA HALL! All the connections... She's also a cousin of a good friend of mine, Michelle Dart. Didn't know that.

Hope you have a miraculous week! Keep on keeping on!

Con carino,

Hermana Kennedy

Hermana Brighton y yo.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Don't be a wall

Whelp. This week was less than eventful. Something I learned: whenever somebody starts talking to you, don't be a wall. Respond. It's helpful. Other than that, nobody got baptized, so here's the brief run-down:

Monday: We found a Mexican Frat house. Always fun when you're two blonde, white girls who can barely speak Spanish. Needless to say, I talked to the guy who was interested in the gospel while Hermana Blackmer talked to the two guys who were interested in her. Am I that horrible of a companion? You betcha.

Tuesday: Did some service at the food bank. Hot peppers really don't agree with my skin. It's a good thing I had 3 layers of gloves... We walked and knocked and talked and helped some recent converts put together some beds. (Thanks Dad for teaching me how to read instructions.)

Wednesday: Did some more service at the food bank. Saw some investigators. Got some delicious pizza for dinner. Helped Amigo get a priesthood blessing. We found out that he has colon cancer and wants to stop smoking, so... And we saw another recent convert family that gave us some sketchy pears. But they were delicious, so totally worth it.

Thursday: Had a pretty awesome Zone Training Meeting. I'm so excited to work this next transfer! We're going to see so much success! Did some service at the Salvation Army. Walked and talked and saw some less-actives and formers. Pretty exciting.

Friday: Weekly planning. We had a lesson in Gray's car because it was chilly outside. That was the most eventful thing that happened.

Saturday: Did some service. Drove to Cowiche to knock. Drove to Tieton City to go to a panaderia that wasn't even that good. And talk to 1 person. Saw a less-active who's doing so awesome. Tried to see some other peeps, but ended up seeing Gray again. She fed us dinner and sent us home with a bunch of food. We're not that poor... Hermana Blackmer and I also tried menudo for the first time. Once you get past the slimy intestine part, it's not that bad. Unless you put too much lime in it. Then it's just bad. We also got transfer calls. I'm staying here in Yakima, receiving Hermana Brighton. But, my area is being split in half, and I'm losing Amigo. :( Hermana Blackmer is being transfered to.... wait for it.... MOSES LAKE! Serving with... wait for it.... HERMANA STREULING! I think I was happier than she was when we got the call...

Sunday: Church. I was brave enough to play the organ last week, so I played the organ again this week. Until the last hymn. Then, the organ decided to break and I had to run to the other side of the stand to play the piano for the closing hymn. Only to Hermana Kennedy. Other than that, we saw some investigators and other peeps and then we went home to start Hermana Blackmer packing. :)

That's pretty much my week! Hopefully y'all had a great, miraculous week. I know I did!

Paz afuera!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Kennedy