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Monday, December 28, 2015

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Yours truly!
Well. This week. It came. It went. Here's what happened.

Monday: Went on exchanges with Hermana Blackmer in Manson! Former companion. Former area. It was weird. Taught a family that I had taught when they were still investigators. Now they're members. Weird.

Tuesday: Worked some more in Manson. Found some new investigators. Served at the food bank. Came back and packed.

Wednesday: We moved. The first time. And lived on the floor of some other sisters until we could find a house to live in for the next few weeks. We also saw Claudius who's doing amazing! He's progressing really well, he just needs to make the decision to be baptized. And then we finished moving.

Thursday: Had an awesome district council. Did some baking and caroling. Christmas visits. Yummy dinner. And we saw Natalya and gave her family Christmas presents. She wanted a picture of the temple. So cute.

Friday: Christmas! Had breakfast as the zone and watched the Best Two Years. It was an interesting experience watching that movie as a missionary. Skyped home. Saw family. Ate dinner. Did some weekly planning.

Saturday: Finished weekly planning. Had dinner. Saw Claudius again, had an awesome lesson. And moved. Again. Into some really sweet member's home for the next couple of weeks. They're awesome.

Sunday: Claudius came to church. We did a special musical number. Had an awesome work day! Saw some investigators, potentials, formers, and found a new investigator! It was a good missionary day. :)

Well. This week was crazy. I'm so tired. And that's ok! Being a sister training leader is rough but, it has helped me have a stronger testimony of the Atonement. I'm really ponderizing the words "not my will, but thine be done". I have so many things that I want to do as a missionary. I want to work hard. I want to see people come unto Christ through baptism. I want to spend all day every day in my area finding and teaching. And this past transfer, I've come to realize that while that is good, it's not what God wants for me right now. If anything, I'm learning how to become a fantastic member missionary and a compassionate leader servant. Definitely not something I want, but it's something I'm excited to become. That's one thing I love about the gospel. It's a gospel of becoming and being. You don't have to live in the past.

Well, have a wonderful, miraculous week and a happy new year! See you next year!

Con carino,

Hermana Kennedy

Hermana Johnson and yours truly.
Hermana Blackmer and yours truly.
Hermanas Streuling, Campbell, y yo. :)
The coming out district.

Monday, December 21, 2015

I Wanna Wish You a Merry Christmas from the Bottom of My Heart!

De las hermanas Kennedy y Johnson. 
MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Well. Let's talk about this week:

Monday: P-day. We taught Natalya about the Book of Mormon again and helped her commit to read it everyday.

Tuesday: Christmas gatherings! We performed our zone musical number which we had never practiced, and it turned out super good.We also performed our sister musical number which we had never practiced, and that went super well too. And we got to watch Meet the Mormons. And, it was an MTC district reunion! Except for Elder Harward, Elder Young, Hermana Hawkes, and Hermana McArthur. We came back to Wenatchee, had dinner, taught 3 investigators super awesome lessons and turned in around 9:30.

Wednesday: Studies, taught a recent convert, let Hermana Johnson do some pre-RM training. (It's a thing. I'm terrified.) Chose a street by the Spirit and found a new investigator. DIned. Taught some recent convert/ less active lessons and called it a night.

Thursday: IT SNOWED. And the tread on our tires was 2/32. ... Which we found out after a cop had to stop traffic so that we could get unstuck from the side of the road and he politely told us that our tires were illegal. BUT, we still managed to have 2 very depressing lessons with our on date investigators who actually both fell off date. :( And then, we drove to the other side of the river in un-plowed roads with our horrid tires for our coordination meeting, just to find out that we didn't have one. And we were the only ones that didn't get the text... So we drive home. a 5 minute trip turned into a 45 minute trip and we miraculous made it up the steep hill to our house. Angels really do push missionary cars.

Friday: We spent the good part of our day in Les Schwab getting our tires changed, weekly planning, and talking with sisters. Went home, had a late dinner, and saw some investigators and Natalya again. And then we went on exchanges! I took Sister Van Orden with me to my area. :)

Saturday: Exchanges. They were awesome. No one was home. Talked to a lot of people. Didn't slip in the snow. Didn't die in the snow. Had a lesson with Natalya about gratitude and helped her write Thank You cards for the people that helped with her baptism! It was so cute!

Sunday: Church. An investigator came, and another recent convert/ less active came! It was cool. The rest of the day we spent trying to find a place to live. No success yet, but the Lord provides.Took a break to have dinner, perform in a Christmas devotional, and then spent the rest of the night packing and helping some sisters out. :)

Well, as you know, this week is the week of Christmas. Something that always comes to my mind around Christmas time is gratitude. I've been thinking lately about my gratitude and whether or not I'm showing enough of it. I don't think I am. To anyone. But, this week, my heart pours out in gratitude every day for Christ and what his birth truly meant for me. Yesterday in gospel principles, our lesson was on the 3 levels of Christmas. The first level is the more temporal things--gifts, Santa Claus, days off of school, etc. The second level is a little more spiritual and it's remembering Christ's birth and celebrating it. The third level is where we apply and are grateful for the Atonement, the reason why Christ was even born. I pray that I will be more grateful this holiday season. I know as I am, the Spirit of Christ will truly touch my heart and help me to be grateful always.

Also, I've been super bad at doing the monthly #wewriteofChrist spiritual message... This month, it's supposed to be "what does Christmas mean to you?" Yesterday, our investigator shared his testimony in Gospel Principles. It was so profound and heartfelt, and he just needs to commit to be baptized. Anyway, the teacher asked me to share my testimony after, and I talked about light. Christmas, to me, means light. #christmas. Think about it. There's all this symbolism of the Christmas story about light. The star was the light for the wise men. Christ is the light of the world. In the Spanish scriptures, giving birth is written as "giving light". In the Spanish version of "Silent Night", it's night of light, night of peace. Even Christmas lights make everything so much brighter! I hope that we all have the light of Christ shining within us and that others will be able to receive that light from us as well.

Feliz Navidad! Prospera ano y felicidad! Recureden la razon por este tiempo, y sonrirse. :)

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Kennedy

De las hermanas Kennedy y Johnson. (Jajaja. All the politics.)
And Sisters Van Orden and Robalin too.

Monday, December 14, 2015

Christmas Time is here...

Natalya's Baptism!
As you all are well aware, Christmas time is here. Which means that it's the craziest time of year for everyone! Here's the run-down for this crazy week:

Monday: P-day. Saw one of our on dates and found out that our Restoration DVD has the biggest scratch ever on it. Also, did some STL counseling. (Meaning that we spent our night helping out sisters in our stewardship.) Also, our on date for this Saturday, Natalya, didn't show up for her baptismal interview... And she wasn't home when we stopped by... (Insert panic attack here.)

Tuesday: Zone training meeting. Guess who had to speak? Us. Did some sister missionary couples counseling after and went on exchanges with the Chelan sisters. I brought Hermana Olguin back down to our area which I still didn't know, and we had an awesome night working with members that neither of us knew! It was great. We even saw Natalya. She was so sad because she knew she missed her baptismal interview because her dad wouldn't let her get baptized. He thought that Mormons couldn't have quinceneras, and he really wanted to buy Natalya's quincenera dress. Hermana Olguin could testify that you could be Mormon and still have a quincenera. #exchangemiracles

Wednesday: We worked our area on exchanges. Talked to a lot of people. Drove up to Chelan. (I went home! And saw people I knew!) Drove back from Chelan. It was Hermana Johnson's birthday, so I decorated our room and left her a little present. She loved it. After that, we went to Natalya's house because her family prepared a birthday dinner for Hermana Johnson. It was delicious. And much needed. And we found out Natalya could get baptized! So, we set up her baptismal interview, called our district leader, and set it up.

Thursday: Great day. Saw a recent convert, and on date, and Natalya had her baptismal interview. We had a lesson with her mom who's a less active with an active member. It was super awesome.

Friday: Weekly planning. Awesome lessons. Sleep.

Saturday: Natalya got baptized!!!!!! And we had to stay in the church building from 11 to 4.... Finished weekly planning. Had a lesson with an on date and dragged him to our ward Christmas party. Natalya and her family came along with Claudias (the on date).

Sunday: Church was awesome. Natalya got confirmed. And we went out and talked to people for the rest of the day, because we didn't have time to do good work this week. So we talked to 10 new people, found a new investigator, and had a great day!

Spiritual take-aways from this week. So, something I learned from exchanges was that if we are led by the Spirit, we'll be exactly where we need to be exactly when we need to be there. That was the case with Natalya on Tuesday. We saw her at 8:55, and it was something that needed to happen. Something I've been pondering lately is that the Spirit is called the comforter. Sure, it's because he can comfort us, but also because he gets us out of our comfort zones. When we're outside of our comfort zones, but we have the Spirit with us, we're inside the Spirit's comfort zone. His comfort zone is pretty much the entire world. It means that any situation can be comfortable if we're focused on the Spirit. It goes back to that saying, it's only awkward if you make it awkward. It's all up to you and your personal worthiness.

I also have a testimony of service. Decorating our room for Hermana Johnson's birthday was a small thing to do, but it made all the difference for her on her birthday. In return, I fell and scraped up my knee pretty bad, and while I was cleaning it up, she made me some hot chocolate. We have zero companionship problems because we take the time to serve one another. To fold each other's laundry, clean up the bathroom, make hot chocolate, or whatever. I think it's truly the way that Christ would live, and it's really made a difference these past two weeks.

Enjoy the Christmas spirit, and make sure to give. Give others the gospel. Give them Christ. Your life will be infinitely more blessed for it. I can think of no other better thing to be doing right now than being a missionary. Have a merry, miraculous Christmas!

Con MUCHO amor,

Hermana Kennedy

Hermana Johnson y yo



Monday, December 7, 2015

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!!!

My my! How this week has FLOWN! Here's the breakdown:

Monday: I said goodbye to everyone in Yakima. 😭
Tuesday: I said goodbye to everyone else in Yakima. 😭 And took a new missionary on some new missionary exchanges with Hermana Pons. We had an awesome lesson with a now-investigator! Miracles!

Wednesday: I actually got around to packing, left Yakima, drove to Wenatchee in a snowstorm, and unpacked. So eventful. Note: I am serving in East Wenatchee with Hermana Johnson. She's from Alabama. She is the 2nd oldest sister missionary in the mission. She's gluten free and a biology major. And I'm sending her home at the end of this transfer. :(

Thursday: Service making hygiene kits. Got to drive in 2 feet of snow with a car that does not have snow tires or anything like them. 😰  Did some STL planning and weekly planning. Saw our investigator who's being baptized on Saturday and then we saw our other investigator who is also being baptized this month. And they're both super solid and amazing! Even though I barely know them. Then, we had ward coordination. Which we were late to. Snow. Yup.

Friday: Mission Leadership Council. All day.

Saturday: 2 Zone Leadership Councils. 1 hour of tracting. 4 lessons. 1 new investigator. And a new person on date to be baptized in January! And a snowstorm. But that's not important.

Sunday: Fast Sunday. Man. I love fast Sundays, but I don't really enjoy them as a missionary with 9 o'clock church. Especially when your dinner is pushed back an hour because of the First Presidency Christmas Devotional. Oh well. We had an awesome day. Spiritual experiences all day at church. (A non-member got up and bore his testimony, quoting the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. It was the best testimony ever. And he still wont get baptized. 😕) Spiritual experiences at the devotional. Just a whole Spirit-filled day! It was awesome.

Anyway. This past week has been a week of spiritual experiences. I have learned so much from the Spirit and from our Heavenly Father about His plan for me in my mission. IT IS EXHAUSTING. Literally. I almost feel asleep in Relief Society and Hermana Johnson almost fell asleep during the Devotional. But, something that has stuck out to me in my studies and all the councils I have had to attend in the past 3 days is that consecrated missionaries never give up. Consecrated people never give up. We don't have white flags. We don't make compromises. We work and we keep working because we've covenanted with God to give our very best. (I am a very good example of failing miserably, so don't use me as an example.) To see the miracles God has in store for us, we have to keep working and acting in faith. It's only after we use our faith that God can give us miracles.

Something else that has been on my mind is the idea of light--especially during this Christmas season. I wonder if we are ever lights for people, the way Christ was our light? I encourage each of you to look up Elder Bednar's talk from the First Presidency Christmas Devotional. You can find it on lds.org. As you read that, I also invite you to read and study Doctrine and Covenants 50:24, included for your enjoyment.

"That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day."

How can you be a light for others? Especially apply it to this Christmas season. How can you receive light? I promise that as you study this, you'll be able to feel God's love for you and understand the true meaning of Christmas. If you wanted one more thing to think about, go to christmas.mormon.org. Explore the website. Share the gift of light and help others discover that same light in their lives.

Have a miraculous week, and may God bless us, every one!

Hermana Kennedy
🎄🌄🌅🔥💥🔥🔥🔥🔥✴✴✴🌟🌟🌟🌠🌠🌠🔅🔅🔆🔆🎄