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Monday, October 26, 2015

The First Week of Motherhood

Mi hija. :) 
Well, for those who are interested, I have a new baby! (Background information: in mission terms, somebody is born when they get into the mission field. Their first companion, or "trainer", is their parent--either a mother of father respective of gender. I am currently a trainer, and my greenie was born on Wednesday.) :) Her name is Hermana Ayala. She was born in Mexico City, but currently lives in Murray, UT! (She's only like 20 minutes away family! Go visit her family!) Anyway. She's pretty awesome. She wants to be a robotics engineer for Volkswagen, and I am so excited to be her first companion! 😅

But, here's your rundown for this past crazy week!

Monday: We saw our philosophical Hispanic investigator and invited him to be baptized. He said yes. We saw M and E too and talked about prayer. That was cool. And then we went home to work on moving two other sisters into our apartment/ get ready for transfers. Did we? Nope.

Tuesday: We started moving the other sisters in, went on exchanges with the new missionaries. I was with Hermana Pons. She's from Argentina and is wonderful. We met some pretty awesome people, but we had to take them back. :( Oh well. After that, we contacted a referral super fast, had dinner with the other sisters, went to visit a recent convert family, went home, moved some more stuff in, dyed Hermana Brighton's hair, and had a sleepover. I had the best night's sleep ever.

Wednesday: We went to transfer meeting where we got a new car (that we still share with the other sisters) and I got a brand new companion! (See above for details.) We went and did some service for a while until we had to go to dinner. We had dinner with an awesome member family who had a non-member there. We had enchiladas and tortas. Mmmm. Delish. It was a great first meal for Hermana Ayala because it reminded her of her home in Mexico. After that, we went back to the apartment to clean everything up because we had apartment inspections on Thursday and there was literally just a small walkway on the floor to the kitchen, the bathroom, and our rooms. So, we cleaned, and put things away, and cleaned some more, and then M and E texted us and asked us to go over, so we went over and when we got home, the other sisters had finished cleaning, so we called it a night and went to bed.

Thursday: We aced our apartment inspection with flying colors. (Then again, they had just come from the elder's apartment...) We went out to work for about 20 minutes where we talked to two people and then we went to do service at the Salvation Army. That was fun. After that, we did some daily contact and went to dinner. Chicken, pineapple, and rice. Yummy. We have the best members. I also learned that porpoises scare sharks away. And the word for porpoise in Spanish. That was cool. After that, we tried some people, but they all weren't home, until we saw a less active family that was sick, so we actually got to talk to all of them! They really want to come to church, but they can't because of work. So pray for them to not have work on Sundays anymore. :)

Friday: We had an awesome trainer-trainee meeting where I was reminded that we do this work because we love our Heavenly Father. Everything in this gospel revolves around love, as a matter of fact. Love. All of our set appointments that night fell through, except for the one with the philosophical Hispanic which we actually brought a member to so that we could have it inside, but we did it outside in the freezing cold instead. :( Oh well. C'est la vie.

Saturday: We did about 5 hours of service installing fire alarms for free for the Red Cross. We had a cool experience. The one house we went to was a Hispanic woman who was making tamales. While the other two people were installing, we were talking to this woman, Guadalupe. More like filling out information to take back to the Red Cross. Anyway, Guadalupe just opened up to us and told us her life story, which is pretty rough. She broke down in tears, and we didn't know what to do, so we told her what we were here to do as missionaries. We ended our visit and got her information so that we could give it to the elders because she was in their area. We gave them the referral and they went back later that night, taught her the Restoration, and put her on date to be baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! People can recognize that we are missionaries and that the message we have can change their lives. THEY CAN FEEL IT. So that was our super cool experience. After that, we did some weekly planning, got some bread and pizza for dinner, and Sister Call was kind enough to drive us to Tieton. We saw some awesome people, got some new investigators, saw our golden family, and called it a night.

Sunday: Well, it rained, and Hermana Ayala was sick, but we went to church because it was the Primary program. It was so cute. Our philosophical Hispanic and part member family came to church. And then we finished our weekly planning, went to dinner where we had curry. Yum. And we tried referrals all night. One didn't exist. The other was busy. So, we saw Gray. She and Hermana Ayala lived in the same place! It's all who you know, ya know? We had a cool lesson with her about being examples, and Gray was all over that. She loved it. Then we picked up the other sisters (because rain) and called it a night.

As for #ldsconf, this week is the last week for it! So, here's my takeaways from the Sunday Afternoon session:

1. The church (organized religion) was made by God, not man.
2. Ponderize. Prepare spiritually for things to come.
3. Obedience is how we become converted.
4. The commandments are a manifestation of God's love.
5. Obedience is how we show God we love Him.
6. Trust God. Trust Jesus. Trust the promptings of the Holy Ghost. Trust your parents.
7. Repent and be clean! Live the doctrine of Christ!
8. We need to be good at getting better.
9. Learn to be faithful through your trials.
10. Align your will with God's will.
11. We need strong, old men to guide the church.
12. The Lord inspired the calls of everyone in the church, especially the prophets and apostles. When they speak to us, it is the same as when Christ speaks to us.

"Don't be too critical of the barrier. It's the only thing keeping you from being devoured." #ldsconf Don't be too critical of God's commandments. They're the only things keeping you from being devoured by the gaping jaws of hell.

"A powerful message of a lifetime from a man I love." #ldsconf #wewriteofChrist #share1invite1 #sharegoodness Be an example and a light!

Well, family, I love you! Have a miraculous week!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Kennedy 😵

Hermana Brighton with M and E and a member.

Hermana Brighton y yo.

Oh. And my shoes died. Here's proof. Examine carefully. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

La Vida Loca

Service at Northwest Harvest
Well this past week has been pretty crazy. Meaning that I actually wrote all of it in my journal, so I don't have to give you a detailed run down! More like I have no time, so here's what happened this week!

Monday: We had an awesome P-day at a member's house. Saw a less active, taught M and E. Called it a night.

Tuesday: We had an awesome district council and lunch. We spent our afternoon ranting to each other about the stupidity and ignorance of people. (Yes, we know we need to work on our charity.) But, we had an awesome member dinner and a miraculous member present lesson at the end of the night.

Wednesday: Did some service at Northwest Harvest. Fun as usual. I can tell a bad green bell pepper when I see one, now. We saw a less active, ate with a member (we confirmed dinner with the wrong member, though... Awkward...) And then one of our investigators who's a single dad with 4 daughters asked us to come over. We hopped on over, saw him, taught the Restoration, and agreed to come back the next day to help out a little bit with cleaning up his house. And then we walked home.

Thursday: We met some awesome people during our afternoon proselyting hours and then did some service for the rest of the afternoon at the Salvation Army and at the investigator's house from Wednesday. It was pretty fun. We went to Arby's for dinner because they have a diving pumpkin cheesecake shake. After that, one of the office missionaries, Mama Call, drove us to Tieton City to see some investigators that are so awesome! It was a great night.

Friday: Weekly planning. Dinner with a recent convert whose daughter is interested in the gospel. A lesson with Gray about the Book of Mormon. She actually understands it now! The only problem is that the ligaments in her shoulder are torn, so she has to get surgery. That's cool. Whatever. It's not like she needs those or anything.

Saturday: Well, Hermana Brighton and I got a fun call from President Lewis. He told us that Hermana Brighton would now be a sister training leader serving with Hermana Bailey literally the next area over. And then he called me to train a new missionary. And to move in together. So now, we will be living with the Sister Training Leaders. We're also still sharing a car with them. As for the rest of that day, we did some service painting over grafiti, and we saw a bunch of awesome people. Marilee, M and E, and we had dinner at the birthday party of our part-member family's daughter. Did we know it was a party? NOPE. Awkward...

Sunday: Church. We got asked to do a musical number last minute, so thankfully we were able to do that. Everyone was in tears. And then later that night, we went up to Tieton with a member, and it was amazing! We taught one family the Restoration, but they were SUPER Catholic. And then we saw our golden family and talked about the gospel of Christ. THEY READ IN THE BOOK OF MORMON! AND PRAYED! All they need to do now is come to church and learn all the lessons, and then they can get dunked. :) We're super excited for them.

So, yes. We received transfer calls. Hermana Brighton is leaving, and I'm staying and receiving a new missionary. It's kind of terrifying. But, the Lord qualifies the called, right? Speaking of, here's the things that I learned from the Sunday morning of General Conference:

1. Be an example because that's how others will see your light.
2. Have charity.
3. The Lord qualifies the called.
4. We need to focus on what we can do rather than what we can't do.
5. To serve others effectively, we have to see them through Heavenly Father's eyes.
6. We need to be seen as distinct and different in our righteousness and happiness.
7. Speak up and speak out! Testify of the truths of the gospel!
8. When we stand up courageously, we take the Lord's countenance upon us.
9. Teach your children about the gospel of Christ.
10. The Holy Ghost makes what is good more attractive.
11. We need to make it a constant quest to have the Spirit with you!
12. We need to act on the promptings of the Spirit!
13. We should choose to obey with confidence.
14. The Holy Ghost helps us make out hopes realities.

"True disciples desire to inspire the hearts of men, not just impress them." #ldsconf

If you want to see awesome pictures, you should go to Sister Lewis's blog: yakimamission.wordpress.com Do it. You won't regret it.

Well, that's all folks! Have a miraculous week!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Kennedy

Our awesome district. 

My companion is Superman.

The albinos. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

Spiritual Overload

So, Hermana Blackmer and I taught Miguel (Michael) before our area was split. We had put him on date before we left, and he was baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday! It was so amazingly spiritual! I was in tears pretty much the whole time. :) 
Well, mi familia, what can I say? Another week has come and gone, and I'm still here in Yakima overdosing on the Spirit. It's a great feeling. Probably greater than any drug man has ever created. And, it's completely healthy for you too! I recommend using the Spirit on a daily basis to keep up your physical and spiritual health.

I'll give you a brief run down of the week before I talk more about that, though.

Monday: We had an awesome lesson with M and E about Obedience/ the Word of Wisdom/ Following the Prophet. They enjoyed the one session of conference that they went to and asked if they could be baptized last weekend. Unfortunately, we had to tell them know because they have to live the Word of Wisdom for two weeks and come to church twice. So, they're still preparing to be baptized on the 24th. \

Tuesday: We had a FANTASTIC zone training meeting about becoming a full-purpose fourth missionary. A fourth missionary is a missionary who is changed by his mission because he gives his all to the Lord. It was a spiritual high point of the week. After that, we contacted some referrals, one of whom was GOLDEN, but of course he speaks English, so we had to give him up. We had a delicious dinner of soup at our house and were able to visit a less active family with the branch president. It was such a great visit, and such a testimony builder that members are truly the way that we do missionary work. :)

Wednesday: We did some service at Northwest Harvest throwing some squash and pumpkins around. It was back-breaking work, but now I know all the types of squash. We contacted another referral who had just gotten out of the shower. That was awkward. We had dinner with the part member family we're teaching. They're just waiting for a court date, a wedding date, and then he can be baptized. We are so excited for them. We also saw another kind-of less active family who is doing awesome as usual. They shared their favorite scriptures with us, so that was very cool. And then we made some impulsive decisions with the other sisters, got some McDonald's French Fries and one salted caramel shake from Jack in the Box before going home for the night. It was pretty crazy. Sister Brighton made me choke on a French fry, so I almost died, but all is well. I know the Heimlich.

Thursday: We painted some fire hydrants for a couple hours today. Pretty much all of ours had already been done, so we just cleaned them up. We had dinner with our house again and spent the night walking in circles trying to find some referrals. We never actually found them. But, we did stop at Walgreens and we bought some ice cream to make up for the lost calories that just miraculously fell off during our 7 mile circular walk... And to use the bathroom. That was also important.

Friday: We had some great weekly planning and then a member took us up to Tieton City, the outskirts of our area. We contacted some referrals and ended the night seeing a family that just moved up here from California. THEY ARE SO PREPARED FOR THE GOSPEL. They were praying to find a church to raise their kids in up here to give them a change and help them do what is right. (One of their kids got involved in gangs and drugs in California which is why they moved up here.) We were an answer to their prayers. They're super awesome.

Saturday: Well, it rained today, but we were able to see some less-actives, Gray and her family, and some other new people. We made a cake for Miguel's baptism, and then we went to the baptism only to be told that half our branch was stranded in Kennewick (they went to the temple) because of a fire, and that they probably weren't going to make it. Then Miguel showed up. And all the missionaries who taught him showed up. And miraculously his baptism only started 20 minutes late with most of the branch there. I was able to reunite with Hermanas Blackmer, Cain, and Streuling along with Hermano Perez (the branch ward mission leader from Moses Lake) and his mother who drove Hermanas Streuling and Blackmer down. I also found out that Doroteo, the most golden investigator in Chelan, got baptized!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1 I went outside to scream my happiness. That, and Miguel got baptized too, so I'm pretty sure I reached Ammon's point of fainting from joy. It was a good night.

Sunday: BUT, SUNDAY WAS EVEN BETTER! Why? BECAUSE MIGUEL GOT CONFIRMED! *enter tears of joy here* That, and I actually prepared for the sacrament this week, and let me tell you, when you prepare to take the sacrament all throughout the week, it is A SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCE. I LIVE for the sacrament now. Read General Conference talks again to get a feel for what you need to do to prepare for the sacrament. It will change your church experience. We had dinner with our branch mission leader after and then a member (from Utah!) drove us up to Tieton City again. We contacted some more referrals and ended the night seeing the family from Friday. THEY ARE SO AMAZING! They asked us some awesome questions and we got to teach them so simply and powerfully about the Godhead and prayers. They loved it and invited us back. AGAIN. So, we're going back on Tuesday.

And that's about my week. Now for you weekly #ldsconf: Here's what I learned from the Saturday Afternoon session of General Conference:

1. Avoid temptations by looking for warnings. Don't willingly fly into temptation.
2. Save more. Pay your tithing. Get an education.
3. Dating means lengthy conversations.
4. Be worthy of the person you want to marry. Meaning, if you want better, be better!
5. Pray carefully for some life-long advisers or counselors.
6. Hold personal councils with yourself often. Have a self-inventory of your life.
7. Maternal love is divine and is the love that comes closest to the love that our Heavenly Father has for us.
8. Remember Christ, but also your mother, when temptation comes or when you're about to sin.
9. Christ died of a broken heart, so don't break your mother's heart.
10. We need to help our children understand the gospel, not just know the gospel.
11. Go the second mile. Smile. Be compassionate. Be worthy to take the sacrament. Prepare for it!
12. Trust in others, but especially in the Lord.
13. You can choose light over darkness!
14. We need faith if our prayers are going to be answered.
15. Act in faith to feel your spiritual conversion.
16. The Atonement gives us all the strength we need-physically and spiritually.

Some memorable quotes:
"As you come to yourself, the Lord will come to you." #ldsconf
"I've been where you are. I know what comes next, and I will help you through it." #ldsconf
"Earth has no sorrow that heaven cannot cure." #ldsconf

Well, I hope your week has been miraculous! I know mine has. Keep on keeping on, and I'll see vosotros en 7 meses!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Kennedy


Monday, October 5, 2015

Conference Weekend!

Well. This week was a miracle week. You don't get many of those on your mission, so when they come, you are supremely exhausted. Here's how the week went!

Monday: Met an inactive whose husband died. Planned to go back and see her. Met a Hispanic that's working on his English, taught the Restoration, and set up a return appointment. Had a family home evening with some members and their neighbors, M and E, who happen to be two of our investigators. We had Mexican hot chocolate for the treat, and we played a fun game. It went REALLY well. And then we called it a night.

Tuesday: Had an amazing district council complete with chips and homemade salsa. Saw one of our on date investigators and had an awesome discussion about baptism with her. Had dinner (carne asada!) with some members. It was TO DIE for. And then, a different member picked us up and drove us to the outskirts of our area, a little town called Tieton, where about 200 people live and 199 of them are Hispanic. We have probably about 10 referrals from the English elders there. So we got there, and we contacted 2. Set up return appointments, and drove home. (I managed to leave my bag in the trunk of our car, so I didn't have it with me all night. We made do with the 1 English Restoration pamphlet and the 1 Spanish Plan of Salvation pamphlet in Hermana Brighton's bag. And it all worked out! We taught those things in those languages. God answers prayers and provides the means.)

Wednesday: We started out at 10 with some service for a part member family. Then we did some more service. Had some members out with us. The lesson we were going to have fell through, but it gave us a great chance to go see a less active family. That was fun. We skipped dinner to go to the clinic because Hermana Brighton's eye hurt. And it was RED. It's not pinkeye, but it's still RED. And then, we took a member to come see our visionary investigator. The member took the initiative and invited him to conference, and he said that he wanted to come! Then, another lady drove by and asked if we were from a church. We said yes, she gave us all her information, and asked us to stop by. Miracle! And then we had a lesson with M and E with their neighbors about prophets. They liked it and committed to come to General Conference.

Thursday: Pretty crazy day. We did some service at the Salvation Army where i got THIN MINTS AND SAMOAS! I haven't had Girl Scout cookies in forever. Yum. :) We knocked and OYMed some people until it was time to go to dinner. We picked up the other sisters and made it to dinner. And then the member we ate with took us to go see Gray. She was the Relief Society president. Gray turned out to have adopted 3 bunnies (ONE OF THEM WAS AN ALBINO!) that she was going to give to her aunt. We read a scripture and the member offered to drive Gray to her aunt's. We had to tag along because she was our ride, too. So, we dropped the bunnies off and stopped at a panaderia where Gray bought us pan. It was delicious. Once you eat Mexican bread, there's no going back... By the time we got out, it was about 9, so we had them drop us off at home. But hey! Fellowship!

Friday: Weekly planning. Finished. And we cleaned our apartment because we couldn't feel the Spirit. We took a break to clean it. We saw all of our on dates and invited them to conference. We went to see M and E and we had invited one of the neighbors to come with us. But the member had invited everyone else to come too without us knowing. So we had a party with the members at M and E's house. We talked about baptism and confirmation, and the members invited M and E over to watch conference. It was pretty cool. Those members are SO solid.

Saturday: GENERAL CONFERENCE! I can't say anything more. After, we went to Gray's house for pozole because it was her son's birthday. We kind of forgot a gift... Then we walked and saw another investigator. His pastor came over, and we had a jam session with them... #awkward. We met some other people on the way home who were very nice and let us use their bathroom. They gave us brownies too, and we answered all their questions. They like it and have decided to get married because we told them they were living in sin. Good times. We ran into a less active too and invited him and his non member friend to conference. And then we walked home.

Sunday: GENERAL CONFERENCE! We had dinner with some members. And then M and E texted us and asked us to come over in about 30 minutes because they were finishing up the reading we left them. We went to see some less actives, but they weren't home. The non-member who was living with them was, though, so we taught him and then made our way over to M and E's. We got there, they had watched conference, and M told us that she was so ready to be baptized! She just has to give up tea and then she's ready! MIRACLE!

Anyway, the hashtag for this month is #ldsconf. So, we'll start with the Saturday Morning Session. Here's what stood out to me!
1. The gospel is simple. Keep it simple.
2. Our goal is exaltation. The path is discipleship.
3. We should hold on to clear and simple eternal truths.
4. We need to focus on keeping the Sabbath Day holy.
5. We need to be centered on Christ.
6. We are the clay in the master potter's hands. He can make more out of us than we can out of ourselves.
7. It will all work out.
8. We need to give place for the Spirit to guide, teach, and direct us.
9. We need to constantly look and ask for ways to improve.
10. We need to truly repent.
11. We need to give our will to the Lord.
12. We need to be ship-shape and Bristol fashion (or worthy of a temple recommend).
13. We need to seek earnestly after righteousness.

So, if I could share a quote on social media, it would be something like this:

"We need to be ship-shape and Bristol fashion!" #ldsconf

Get on it! #wewriteofChrist

Have a miraculous week!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Kennedy