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Monday, May 23, 2016

Oh Hermanos, adios, pues adios!

"Placentero nos es trabajar
en la viña del gran Rey Jesús,
y honroso nos es predicar
a Su pueblo Su ley y Su lluz.
Por Su luz, por Su luz,
placentero nos es trabajar.
Por Su luz, por Su luz,
moriremos en El sin pesar.

La palabra de Dios escuchad
con ahínco, lealtad y fervor.
Para siempre jamás recordad
Su pureza, verdad y amor.
Con amor, con amor,
la palabra de Dios escuchad.
Con amor, con amor,
la bandera de Dios empuñad.

¡Oh hermanos, adiós, pues, adiós!
El momento de ir vino ya.
Si guardamos la fe en el gran Dios,
nos veremos aún más allá.
Más allá, más allá.
¡Oh hermanos, adiós, pues, adiós!
Más allá, más allá,
moraremos con Dios en amor."

"Placenteronos es trabajar" Himno 88

For those of you who don't know this hymn, it's a Spanish hymn. You can only find it in Spanish, but it has come to be one of my favorites. It's very fitting right now. If you don't know what it means, find a translator. ;)

This is the last email, so I just wanted to share some final thoughts:

1. That was too short. Being a sister is so unfair. Elders are so lucky to have 2 years.

2. My testimony has grown so much on my mission in many ways. But the biggest testimony I have right now is of sacrifice. My brother asked me if I wanted to come home early from my mission to be at his wedding. I told him no, and he said that would be his answer too. :) I was thinking about it today, and I realized that if I had gone home early, I could have been there for my brother's wedding, but also to say goodbye to my grandfather one last time. He passed away on Saturday night. And then I thought of all the miracles we have had in the past two weeks--the Elder Christofferson stake conference, we found two GOLDEN investigators Eva and Sophie, we had some miraculous exchanges, and we saw two of our investigators come to church. And those little miracles that we saw every day made those sacrifices worth it. God knows our lives better than we do, and when we have our hardest days, he sends us the smallest miracles that make the hard days so much brighter.

"In ancient days, sacrifice meant to make something or someone holy. It has now come to mean to give up or suffer the loss of worldly things for the Lord and his kingdom. Members of the Lord’s Church should be willing to sacrifice all things for the Lord. Joseph Smith taught that “a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has the power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.” In the eternal perspective, the blessings obtained by sacrifice are greater than anything that is given up."

Oh hermanos adios, pues adios. El momento de ir vino ya. Si guardamos la fe en el gran Dios, nos veremos aun mas alla.

Hasta luego!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Kennedy

Monday, May 16, 2016

The Last Song

​Hermana Streuling, Hermana Harston, Hermana Dee, and I. Notice that Hermana Dee and I have the same skirt
Wow. These past 18 months have been a blur! Where did they go? I feel like I'm just barely getting adjusting to missionary life, and now I have to pack up everything I own and adjust to returned missionary life. That is just not fair. It's a good thing that everything that is not fair in this life will be made right through Christ's Atonement.

Well, this past week has been really eventful! Here's what happened:

Monday: We actually kept our P-day schedule, meaning that we started our laundry at 10 instead of during our studies. And crazy things happened! Our apartment is clean, our clothes were folded before 6, we got to have fun with some other sisters, go shopping, and start proselyting at 6. Miracle! Also, 3 people came up and talked to us about the gospel, which is great! I didn't even have to go outside my comfort zone to share the gospel. Nothing really exciting happened because I was sick, but we did meet a few new people and have another lesson. And then we went on exchanges. :)

Tuesday: Well, Sister Torman came with me to our area for this exchange. It was really fun. We worked with less-actives pretty much all day. We even tracted for 5 hours, and nobody except members opened the door. Great fun. Not. We did have some fun sorting legos and building shelves at our service at the museum, though. Something I learned from Sister Torman was how to have a sense of urgency. Even if all your plans fall through and nobody answers the door for 5 hours, it's time and effort that you gave to the Lord, and He will bless you for it. :)

Wednesday: This day was a little better. (Also, it was Hermana Ayala's birthday, so Feliz Cumpleanos, hermanita!) We had a great district council where we got to roleplay teaching simply. It was great fun, except I was companions with an elder. Can you say awkward? Anyway, we taught the Restoration toward the commitment of baptism, which started with Joseph Smith and how he wanted to know which church to unite himself to. We unite ourselves to churches through baptism. That was a new way for me to introduce baptism into the Restoration, so I learned a ton. Then we had to change our oil and rotate our tires, but we talked to about 3 new people while we did that. We also saw a huge miracle! I've been trying by one former investigator in particular, E, since my first week here. I went by her last summer when I worked with Hermana Marble on transfer day once. And since I've been here in Wenatchee, I've tried by her a couple hundred times probably. So, we decided why not? Let's try her one more time. We went by, we knocked, and she opened the door. She's been in the hospital in Spokane for the past couple of months, and her husband was too scared to answer the door. Anyway, she was busy, but we set up a return appointment for the next day. Stay tuned for more on E. We also met the non-member brother of a less-active who agreed to be baptized. Too bad he doesn't live in our area. ALSO, LANDMARK!!! I bought tamales from a lady who was selling tamales on the street. They we soooooooo good. No regrets.

Thursday: E actually kept her return appointment! Miracle right there. We had an awesome first lesson with her and she is so excited to come to church and read the Book of Mormon again. WE ate dinner with our ward mission leader and then tried by a less active. We just found out where this less active lives, and so we decided to visit her around 6. We get there, we knock on the door, we ring the doorbell, and the returning less-active mother that we met on the street a couple weeks ago came out, told us there were a few problems, and told us to run away and hide. So, we ran away to a member's house who lived just down the street, they hid us as we jumped in our car, and then we skedaddled. Probably the scariest moment of my mission. Anyway, we talked to another guy on the street about God and science, which was actually a really fun conversation. And that's about it.

Friday: We had an awesome lesson with a less active family and our ward mission leader. It was so good! And then we had interviews. Well, everyone else had interviews. President Lewis decided to wait to do mine for my departing interview. But, I did get to talk with Sister Lewis who totally called me to repentance on journal writing. Did you know that it is a commandment from the Lord to keep records? Those records being our journals? And did you know that we progress more when we keep a record of our life than when we don't? Food for thought. We kind of weekly planned, had dinner with some investigators, and met 5 new people and had 3 other lessons. Pretty fun stuff.

Saturday: Well, we had our studies and did the funnest service ever. We were maids for a Downton Abbey themed tea party. We did not partake of the tea, we just served food and stuff. And OYMed like 20 people. The museum director now wants to talk to us every time we come over about religion because he's searching for the truth. Good things came, I promise. We spent the rest of our day talking to people and then we got to go to stake conference. With Elder Christofferson and Elder Schmutz (of the 70). Can I just say, Elder Christofferson is hilarious? At the beginning of his talk he read a sign posted on the podium that said: "Speak clearly. Take pauses. You are being translated." *Paused to look up at heaven* And then he said: "I can't wait!". I about died, I was laughing so hard. Anyway, it was an awesome conference where I learned that not even bullets can penetrate 2nd Nephi and that the temple is our safe haven.

Sunday: Well, we woke up at the break of dawn to go to a Spanish session of stake conference. (Did you know that Elder Christofferson is fluent in Spanish? And his accent is perfect? Only slightly jealous.) They talked a lot about making sure to pay your tithing and give what the Lord deserves to Him. Then, the Sunday morning session called me to repentance about my scripture study. I get that I need to study the scriptures now. Like, there are no excuses. That is the only way we can progress and learn God's plan for us! Anyway, cool story: A former investigator that I found in Chelan who got baptized after I left CAME TO STAKE CONFERENCE!!!!!! It was the investigator that I gave a bag of pretzels to. We'll see if anyone knows who I'm talking about. ;) Anyway, I also got to see pretty much all the members from Chelan as well, so that was fun. We tried by some referrals, but we saw a lady standing outside watering her plants, so we decided to talk to her. Her name is Rose and she asked us to come in. We had a great first lesson with her where we got to explain the Godhead. I think she got it the third time. It was just a good time to focus on teaching simply and make sure they understand what we're teaching. Our next lesson with her is on Tuesday. Miracles all over the place!

Well, I think that's about it for this week. Life continues for the next week, and after that this time of my life is over. I don't want to go. Nevertheless, not what I will, but what the Lord will have me do. I'll do that. See y'all soon!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Kennedy

Leavenworth. 


​Queen of Hearts and Jack Sparrow

​I'll build you a rainbow

The ridiculous hat store.



Washington

​Elder Call and I

​Elder Shuggart and I

​My MTC peeps! Hermana Streuling, Elder Wilson, and Elder Call

​May the 4th be with you! I give you Anakin Skywalker with his yellow back-scratcher and Hermana Leia with her deadly inhaler!

The Elders covered our car in sticky notes.

​Elder Turley, Elder Wilson, and I

I'll send the rest next week. Self-explanatory.

Monday, May 9, 2016

Mother's Day and Testimonies

Hola a todos!

This week was exciting but not at the same time... Anyway...here's what happened this week!

Monday: Well, we went up to Leavenworth for our P-Day. It was beautiful, but the best part was when we went to the chocolate store. Yes. Sweet, hand-crafted, German chocolates. And we met this guy, Nate. Our conversation started with "have you seen Vikings?" "No, but I'd like to." "Well, why haven't you seen it?" "Well, I'm a missionary." Oh. We bought the chocolates and left to buy some gingerbread. Then we saw him walking and asked him to direct us to the fudge shop. (We really wanted sugar, ok? Don't judge.) Then, he took us on a whole tour of Leavenworth, asked us what our purpose was as missionaries, and accepted a Book of Mormon. We also met with a part-member, less-active family and had an awesome lesson! The less active son said the closing prayer! Miracle!

Tuesday: Well, we attended our Mission Leadership Council in Yakima. Hermana Dee and I wore the same skirt, so that was pretty cool. We talked a lot about becoming recognizable disciples of Jesus Christ through our conduct, our language, and our appearance. I learned a lot, especially about how I do my hair. So, we'll be working on that this week. :) We also talked about changing the culture of P-Day from being a day off to being a day of preparation. It started today, and we've already seen so many miracles from being more exactly obedient!

Wednesday: Our car was in the shop, so a member drove us up to Chelan for a meeting, we had a good meeting, then a different member drove us back. Then, we walked and talked. Members were nice and gave us rides, we met a Buddhist, and then a member took us out to see her injured nephew. And then stayed with us for the rest of the night and drove us around everywhere. It was so much fun! She's so awesome!

Thursday: Meetings. We got our car back, and we went to the Food Fair as part of the Apple Blossom Festival. Members paid for our food, and we got to talk to some pretty cool people! Oh, and Hermana Harston got some gluten free crepes. :)

Friday: We drove up to Chelan to meet up with the Manson sisters to drive another hour up to Omak to their Zone Training Meeting where I learned once again that my hair has to be done well if I want to be a recognizable disciple of Jesus Christ. Then, we came home, did some weekly planning, went to a classic car show where we saw some of our investigators, and then saw a less active family and taught them the plan of salvation. They are taking it step by step to come back to church, but they'll get there!

Saturday: We had an awesome Zone Training Meeting where I got to give my departing testimony. :( And then the zone had a party just for me. A birthday party and a funeral party. Gifts included. I got the dating and eternal marriage edition of the New Era, a pair or ripped Elder's pants, and let's not forget the ice cream cake shoved in my face. Oh well. And then, remember the guy from last week, One? So, he's in California right now. So, we texted him and he actually responded. And then we called him, and we just followed up with his reading and his praying, and then he kept the conversation going for about 20 more minutes! So, we just taught him a lesson and prayed over the phone. He was so happy we found him, and he's already seeing his life change from the gospel! Anyway, it was super awesome.

Sunday: Happy Mother's Day! Well, the most exciting thing was teaching Relief Society about prophets and apostles because Elder Christofferson is coming this week. Oh, and we had steak and salmon for dinner. And it was delicious. I also got to practice the piano for an hour while Hermana Harston talked to her family, so that was fun. :)

So, I have shared my testimony a lot this week and I always take for granted the testimonies that we do share. They can have a huge impact on other people, more than we can see. Something I love about testimonies is how different they are each time you share them. The first time I shared my testimony this week, I talked about charity and how I have grown in the pure love of Christ on my mission. The second time, I shared my testimony about seasons and how there's different times for everything. The third time, I shared my testimony of the Doctrine of Christ. Ultimately, those are the basics of what I have learned on my mission, and it's been amazing.

Anyway, I love each of you and I hope you have a miraculous week! Give your mothers a kiss for Mother's Day!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Kennedy

Monday, May 2, 2016

"Weird" week

Hola Presidente!

Well, it's been a weird week, and I think I tell you that every week is a weird week, but this time it really was. I promise. Anyway, here's what happened this week!

Monday:

See? I told you this week was a weird week. On Monday, we had a great P-Day, ate dinner with some members, saw a couple potentials, and talked to 3 new people. That was about it.

Tuesday:

We went on exchanges!!!! I was with Hermana Dungan in my area. We saw so many miracles and worked super hard. At the end of the day, we had done 2 hours of service, taught 6 lessons, found 2 new investigators, and contacted 1 referral. It was a super awesome day. Some new phrases I learned "hueso de la alegria" is the funny bone, and "cascara de platano" is banana peel. Anyway. Nothing too exciting to report, just that we found a random less-active walking up the street and she turned to run away because she thought we were the Jehovah's witnesses and then she saw our nametags and came running up to us to give us hugs, tell her where she lived, give us her number, and promise she'd come to church on Sunday. So yeah. Pretty cool.

Wednesday:

​We had a great district council and enjoyed being out in the rain with all the spring roses! We met a ton of new people, 6 in fact. And we had 6 other lessons. Coincidence? Definitely not. That's right. We had a lesson with every person we talked to. Anyway, for the out of the shell moment of the day we were brave and talked to a guy sitting in a corner in the apartment complex we were in. We thought he was doing drugs or smoking or something. He was just on his phone. Anyway. We met him and he had a ton of questions. We taught him the Restoration and set up a return appointment for Thursday. His name is One. More to come on One.

Thursday:

Well, we were smart and decided that it would be a good day to walk. Bad idea. It was so windy! Thank goodness I wore a long skirt. Anyway, we got to see another less active whose 9 year old nonmember niece was there. It was awesome. Anyway, so you remember One? HE WAS THERE. They're never there when we set up return appointments. Anyway, we had a really good review of the Restoration with him and we set up another return appointment. We also saw our recent convert, S, and talked to him about faith. We also went to Olive Garden for dinner because some members gave us a gift card. And then another member from our ward just happened to work there and pay for our dinner. Yeah. Members are the best. :)

Friday:

​Wenatchee is so beautiful and green!!!! I love it. Anyway, we finished our weekly planning, saw a less active part member family, met another less active who told us where his mother lives (please not, I've been searching for her for the past 6 months.), and met a couple new people. It was great! One of the new people we met was the son of one of our members. He just recently got out of prison and is looking for God. He said he'd come to church, so that's cool.

Saturday:

Well, one of our investigators had baby kittens. And they offered one of them to me. Can I please have it, Mommy?? It's so cute!!! Anyway, we met a few new people, sweated our faces off, ate 4 dinners, and sang at a baptism. It was pretty great.

Sunday:

This is my companion. She has a licorice mustache. Anyway, we went to church and I bore my testimony in sacrament meeting. It was my last fast Sunday as a missionary, you see, so it was quite sad. But, after church, we walked and talked to a few new people and then we saw One again with a member, and at the end he said the prayer. He's going on a trip to California this week, and he might be gone for a couple 3 weeks. But, during the prayer he said "I hope that I can come back soon and talk more with the hermanas. I really like what I'm learning. I feel tranquility. I feel peace." During that lesson, he had told us that he hadn't felt peace in a really long time, so we taught him about the Spirit, and he started to recognize it RIGHT THEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyway. Rant over.

​Well, this week I have a stronger testimony of charity. Charity should always be our motive. I know that we need to have charity for others, but especially for the Lord. When we feel that pure love of Christ for the Lord, it is easier for us to forget ourselves and go to work. It's easy to submit ourselves to His will. It's easy to humble ourselves. It's easier to be patient, obedient, diligent, virtuous, hopeful, and faithful. We gain small treasures of knowledge. Charity never faileth, and without it we are nothing. Do you really want to be nothing? That's a question I've been pondering for a while, and I think I finally came up with the answer "Heck no!". So here I am trying to be more charitable. It should get better from here. I want you all to know that I know the church is true. The Book of Mormon is so simple and teaches us the great truths about charity. If you don't believe me, read Moroni 7. I know that God is our Heavenly Father. He loves us more than we can comprehend. I know Jesus Christ is our perfect example of charity, and if we follow Him, we'll find a new life where we focus more on others and not on ourselves, and I share this with you in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Well, I think that's about it for this week, y'all! Hope you have a miraculous week!

Hermana Kennedy

Monday, April 25, 2016

Temples and YSS

Well, dearest friends and family, this week was probably just as interesting as last week! It all started last Saturday when we found out that we were going to the temple this Friday, so we didn't actually have our P-day on Monday. It was on Friday. It was the longest i have ever had to wait for a P-day, and I am still exhausted for going for 1 week and 4 days without a break. But, we're catching up now. Here's what happened last week:

Monday:

​On Monday, we didn't know what to do because it wasn't P-day, so we tracted for 3 hours in the heat. Nothing except some flirty 20 year old kids that asked us if we did blaze. Haha. Heck no. Then, when we had 15 minutes left before our dinner appointment, we tried by a referral who was home, let us in, gave us water, and invited us to come back the next day. Miracle! They are a super cute family! I'm so excited to teach them! Also, the picture is of Hermana Harston, Hermana Dungan, Hermana Baird, and I with a certain special family. They're investigators, and their daughter was baptized on Saturday! They invited us over for some carne asada, so we went and had a great time with them. We also sang in sacrament meeting with the daughter, B, yesterday, so we practiced a little with her.

Tuesday:


Isn't Wenatchee just beautiful? That would be the Columbia River with part of the Cascade mountains in the background. If you look closely, you can see some of the orchards from up here. The Apple Blossom festival is this weekend and for the next two weeks and the cherries will start ripening the end of May. I am so excited! Anyway, Tuesday, we met a new investigator, O, and had an awesome first lesson with her! We also saw the woman we met on Monday, N, and had our second lesson with her. She is so amazing! She even gave us cold water this time. We contacted a referral, and to end the night, we saved one of our members from the Jehovah Witness missionaries. Who then followed us around for the rest of the night. Kind of. Hermana Kennedy went a little crazy on the driving and lost them somewhere in the neighborhoods of East Wenatchee. Phew. It was pretty close. Oh, I also hit my 17 month mark, but that's not important.

Wednesday:

You can see that my selfie skills have improved tenfold on my mission. On Wednesday, we had an awesome district council where the Restoration was likened to cars. (There's a reason we don't use analogies while we teach. I'm clueless when it comes to cars except when it comes to checking the oil or changing a tire. Thanks Daddy.) We did some STL planning and then had a homecourt with a member referral, A. He's a super nice guy and has a ton of questions about the gospel! And the member was being an awesome fellowshipper too, so that helped a lot. We had dinner at a Chinese place and then went on exchanges with these fabulous ladies, Sister Holmes and Sister Adamson. For those that have been following my life story, you'll know that I've gone on exchanges with Sister Holmes twice, so this made a third time! I went to her area and we had a blast! We talked to so many people and set up a couple return appointments. We also visited with a part-member family. The non-member in his work told somebody that he was LDS and that it save his marriage. Too cute. 😭

Thursday:

These are the members with whom Sister Adamson and Sister Holmes live. They're the cutest thing ever, and he has the best stories ever. Sister Holmes and I got to go out and work at 10. I didn't have language study, so it worked out that we could go out and work. We met a few people and met a super nice lady that took the discussions and wants them again! We ate dinner at this one place, San Francisco Sourdough, which has AMAZING sourdough sandwiches. I can't eat them with Hermana Harston, though. :( Oh well. Then, we went and did some service for one of their investigators. we pulled some weeds, and I pulled a tree out. Thanks Dad for teaching me how to do yardwork and Mom for teaching me how to properly pull weeds. It came in handy. After, we taught their investigator the plan of salvation. He is so prepared! He just accepted it and said it made sense. Super cool. We then left and saw some of their other investigators who were picking up rocks from their yard. So, we helped them pick up rocks and had a lesson with them. We had dinner with some members that speak Spanish, so they spoke to me only in Spanish. It was awesome. And then we exchanges back and went to our coordination meeting which we actually missed because the other sisters had B's baptism interview, so we were late. But, that's ok! We went home and got ready to go to the temple. And then we checked the mail. I got my brother Nate's wedding announcement. I was doing good the first 5 minutes I was holding it trying to motivate myself to actually open it. And then I just started bawling. He's my best friend, and he's getting married!!!!!!! It was pretty bad. I was a blubering mess. I felt so bad for Hermana Harston. She didn't know what to do with my emotions. I didn't know what to do with my emotions. It was really weird. I was laughing and crying and inconsolable. But, that's ok. I moved on. I've let him go. I don't need him in my life anyway. 😭😭😭

Friday:

​Hermana Harston and I at the temple. :)Temple Day!!!!!!! We had an awesome drive to the temple, an awesome session, and an awesome drive back. We bought some chocolate and some Reese's oreos, and went about the rest of our day. We saw Y, one of our part member families, and actually had a lesson with her! It was awesome. And then we tried to see one of our recent converts, S, but he wasn't home. His brother was, though, and talked to us for like 30 minutes! It was a super awesome miracle, but by the end I was falling asleep.

Saturday:

This is us with B and her family after her baptism with all the missionaries who went! And I was squatting for about 3 minutes. My legs are pretty buff now. Well, we met most of our goals in one hour, did two hours of service for a hoarder again, and had a lesson with A again. And we found out that he doesn't live in our area. :( So, we passed him off to the Elders, ate dinner, and went to B's baptism! It was so spiritual. Her non-member dad bore his testimony and can't wait to be baptized! 😪 And then we did an hour of weekly planning.

Sunday:

So, Hermana Harston and I unintentionally matched today. Her skirt matched me shirt. It was great fun. You know you're companions when you wear the same thing like everyday. We had some studies, did some weekly planning, and went to church. For our musical number, I had to transpose the song in my head because it was too high and I did not have time nor the resources to transpose it some other way. So, we made it through the whole song, and it was pretty darn good. Until the very last chord which turned into a minor something or other which left me shaking my head in disgust. At least the other sisters and B sounded good. :) Hermana Harston also gave an awesome talk and left everybody wanting to be a bit more charitable. We also had a lesson with I, the lady we met last Sunday who totally whipped out the whole Virgin Mary is a idol thing. She's awesome and determined to learn more and understand what we teach her.

Well, this week I have a solid testimony that each of us is super unique and it's supposed to be that way. I was reading 1 Samuel 16, specifically, when I was in the celestial room of the temple on Friday. I didn't even realize that I needed to read that chapter! It's when Samuel comes to Jesse to anoint one of his sons to be king. The son happens to be David, the youngest. It has the famous scripture mastery: "7 But the Lord said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart." I have some Gospel Doctrine study guides with me, and one of the questions that I have been pondering from that study guide is "What does the Lord look for in our hearts?". Well, for me, the Lord looks for a song in my heart. "12 For my soul delighteth in the song of the heart; yea, the song of the righteous is a prayer unto me, and it shall be answered with a blessing upon their heads." I discovered that as I finished the chapter. The part of the chapter that nobody reads is after David is anointed, Saul calls him to play music for him because he's been afflicted with an evil spirit and is throwing some temper tantrums. As soon as David played some worthy harp music, the evil spirit left Saul; and Saul cared for David and made him his armor bearer. That's the power of music, so it's something I'm going to try to do this week--to always have worthy music in my heart and sing to all our investigators! Then all their evil spirits will leave them and they'll be baptized! It's a brilliant inspired plan, don't you think?

Also, I realized that I have something called YSS--Youngest Sibling Syndrome. Let's be real. The youngest children are always the best most of the time. Nephi, David, Joseph in Egypt (at least until Benjamin was born), and let's not forget Moses. Anyway. Proud to be the youngest!

Also, Elder Christopherson is coming to our stake next month and he's doing a special session for the Spanish members!!! And I can go because I speak Spanish!!! How cool is that?

Well, I think that's about it for this week. Hopefully your coming week will be as miraculous as mine! Love you all to the moon and back!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Kennedy

Monday, April 18, 2016

La lucha es real

Hermana Torrez and I
Hola a todos!

Well, this past week was absolutely stellar. Here's what happened!

Monday: Met a couple new people, Hermana Torrez said goodbye to a couple people, and we saw one of our investigators, Y, who was so happy we came! She had a rough week last week.

Tuesday: We woke up extra early to teach seminary. It was about Isaiah, so that was fun. (If you don't believe me, it really was! I love Isaiah!) I learned so much. We had our studies, did some service, saw a few less actives, said goodbye to a couple people, and saw O and D and talked about baptismal covenants with them. It was cool.

Wednesday: Had lunch with a less active, and then I said goodbye to Hermana Torrez and hung out with Hermana Dungan and Hermana Harston for the next couple of hours. We moved Hermana Harston's stuff and visited a less active and found a super awesome golden lady too! Then, Hermana Dungan got her new companion, and Hermana Harston and I went out to work! We met a couple new people, had a few other lessons, and set up some return appointments. We also did some family history work with our recent convert, S. WE FOUND HIS GRANDPA! (Thank you, Hermana Johnson for teaching me how to search records.) And yeah. It was fun.

Thursday: Had a ton of meetings, but we got our STL planning done! We planned our all our exchanges for this transfer with the sisters, and I am stoked! We had dinner with an awesome member who came our with us to our lesson with O and D. We taught them about tithing and the member had a super solid testimony of tithing! It was perfect. O decided that she needed to pay her tithing.O and D got kind of anti-ed this week by their Christian boss. We're thinking we might move their baptism back because they still aren't keeping the Sabbath Day holy either. We'll keep working with them, though. They said they'll still be baptized because we have been the only ones that have cared about them enough to visit them and invite them to change, to stop drinking, and to get married. So, extending commitments is a huge part of my testimony right now.

Friday: Cleaned out a hoarder's house. I never want to let dishes sit in the sink again. (Just remind me of the hoarder's house, mom. I'll do the dishes immediately.) And we finished our weekly planning. We saw Claudius and talked about Elder Ballard's General Conference talk with him because he's having a little trouble with his daughters. He loved it and was totally willing to do it. He even invited his sister who's visiting from Seattle to come to church on Sunday! We had dinner and taught 3 other lessons.

Saturday: We did some finding and found some great new people to teach. One is Italian. I could tell by his mustache. I told him about Brother Ugolini and how he wanted me to serve my mission in Italy. The investigator told me I should have. So, you've got an Italian brother on your side, Brother Ugolini! After that, we drove down to Yakima for a baptism of a couple that Hermana Harston taught. IT WAS SO DANG SPIRITUAL!!! I didn't even know the people, and I wanted to cry! And then we drove back.

Sunday: Studies. Church. Dinner. And then, this happened: We went to see some of our investigators, the Telephone family, that we met a couple months ago. We've been feeling like we needed to drop them, but not yet. So, when we went over last night, they had some friends over, R and Y. As we had a gospel conversation, Hermano Telephone asked us why other churches don't mention the Virgin Mary more. (They're Catholic and believe in la Virgin de Gaudalupe. All those from Mexico know my pain.) We explained why and he still didn't understand. Then, Y jumped in and said "it's because you see her as an idol and the 2nd commandment tells us not to worship idols." Talk about bold. Then, he told us about this one experience he had where he prayed to the Virgin Mary and his prayer was answered. I wanted to say something, but somehow I knew Y would answer better than I could, and she did not disappoint. She talked about how we are all Heavenly Father's children and he wants us to be happy, so he'll still do things for us that we need even if we don't ask him directly as long as we're asking in faith. Or something like that. It was awesome. So, we got her number and address, and she lives in our area so #golden. We're excited to visit them this week.

This week my testimony has been strengthened in receiving personal revelation. Lately, I have been wondering if I should go back to school this coming fall semester or spring semester next year. When I first made my decision, it didn't feel right. So I made another decision and it didn't feel right. I read and studied and prayed and fasted and I got nothing. So, this week for My Plan, I had to study my patriarchal blessing. I had been studying it for about 5 days, and there's a paragraph that specifically talks about continuing my education. I had read it a billion times! And as I was pondering, my answer came to my mind and my heart. I think it's so cool how we receive revelation, but only if we put time, effort, study, and sincere prayer into it. The Lord is definitely awesome. :)

Well, I think that's about it for this week! Pictures to come! (I'm taking a picture every day so that y'all can have pictures. Be grateful.) I love you!

Hermana Kennedy

Yes we have matching pajamas and socks.

Missionaries at the baptism. I know all of them!

Hermana Harston and yours truly

One of our favorite members and her daughter. 

Hermana Harston, Sister Torman, Sister Hopkins and I at service

Monday, April 11, 2016

Transfers? What are transfers?

Hola a todos!

Well, this week brought a lot of happiness and a lot of sadness too. Hermana Torrez is leaving me. :( It's so sad! My babies always get taken away from me... Oh well. I am pleased to announce that I get to spend my very last transfer as a missionary with... *drumroll* HERMANA HARSTON! Fancy that, right? She just keeps hopping over the river. We are going to kill it.

Well, East Wenatchee is doing wonderful! I feel like I haven't been in my area this week, but I feel like that every week. Here's the big things that happened this week:

We had a huge miracle on Monday! We met almost all of our goals (except our OYM goal) and saw so many miracles! We saw O and D, our on dates, and had an awesome lesson/ dinner with them! Now, you have to understand that D has never prayed in our lessons. And, at the end of our lesson, we invited D to pray AND HE PRAYED!!!!!!!!!!!! He prayed thanking God for sending us and telling Him that they really want to be baptized. ISN'T THAT JUST THE CUTEST????? Then, after that, we had an amazing lesson with a less active member. She had some friends over, and when we got there, she invited us in and said: "Sisters! I'm so glad you're here! You need to teach them (her friends) the plan of salvation!". Well, if you insist, Hermana. We ended up with a referral for the Sage Castle sisters, so that was super cool.
Tuesday, we had a miracle lesson with a part member family that's working on going to the temple! We watched President Monson's talk from General Conference with them and they really liked the idea of having an end destination. That end destination is, of course, the temple! So, they'll get there eventually.
Thursday, we went on exchanges. I went to the Sage Castle area serving with Hermana Dungan, Hermana Harston's greenie. It was a really good day. We were walking, and I might have gotten a little sunburnt, but that's ok. The 12 people we talked to on the street made up for it! Also, we had an awesome member dinner with a member who really opened up about her concerns. It was so awesome to be there to help her. :)
Also, our recent convert S came to church on Sunday! We had an awesome lesson about keeping the Sabbath Day holy, and he kept the Sabbath Day holy. :) Also, Claudius, who we've been teaching on and off for the past couple weeks, came to church as well! MIRACLE!!!!

Well, I love Hermana Torrez so much. These past few weeks have been a learning process for her. She's one where she learns from making mistakes. It pains me to let her make them, but I think it's worth it in the end. Now she understands that even a little disobedience drives the Spirit away, and that we cannot work without the Spirit. It's been good for her. I will miss her so much.

Sorry my emails keep getting shorter and shorter. The days and weeks keep getting shorter and shorter. I'm pretty sure I'm getting shorter. The hours I sleep get shorter, but it's all worth it in the end.

As for my spiritual thought this week: it has been a rough week for me. My mind has been the most dysfunctional, wandering thing. I have never had a problem trying to focus in my life, and this past week, I just could not focus to save my life. So, I asked for a priesthood blessing. The elders asked me what I wanted the blessing for, and we eventually settled on the fact that I needed a direction to help me focus. During the blessing, the elder giving it focused a lot on finding. So, now I have a focus for my last transfer and it's something that I'm absolutely excited to do! As I read my patriarchal blessing this morning, it was interesting how there were similar points from the blessing I received and my patriarchal blessing. Something that stuck out to me was that I need to have courage. I'm kind of a scaredy-cat, especially when it comes to talking to people, so I don't particularly like finding people, but I know that the Lord will grant me the courage I need to to do His will and not mine. Besides that, I keep forgetting my meetings journal, so I can't send you all of my take-aways from General Conference. But, I loved Elder Uchtdorf's talk. I know the Lord can make more of the broken pieces that we give Him than we can of ourselves. We just have to humble ourselves, repent, and ask the Lord to help us along the way. I know as we do that, we submit our will to the Lord's will and show Him that we truly want to follow Him.

I think that's about it. Have a miraculous week, everybody! Don't get any gray hairs this week.

Hermana Kennedy

Monday, April 4, 2016

A useless, productive couch potato

Sister Don and I.
Hola a todos!

Well, this week the quote comes from yours truly! I think it's a fairly accurate description of me. I'm pretty useless and lazy, but I can get things done if I put my mind to it.

This week was amazing! There are a ridiculous amount of miracles happening in the WYM! Here's the rundown for this week:

Monday: Moved out. Again. Tried to visit a less active. She wasn't home, so we knocked around and got to help this really sweet old lady who's going through a rough patch. :)

Tuesday: We went on exchanges with Sister Van Orden and Sister Don. I worked with Sister Don in Eastmont, and we had a great day, even though we walked and it was 80 degrees outside. We accomplished so much good, and I learned a lot about diligence and humility from her. She wanted to work on stepping up her responsibility level, so what better way than to leave here in her area? She was astounding. She just radiates love. I finally got to meet their recent convert who has the most sincere questions ever.

Wednesday: We were able to see one of our recent converts and he is so excited to go to the temple! He's going to work on his family history this week. :) We also saw the 11 year old son of a less active, Jerem, and we were able to teach him about God. It was a super good lesson. We also saw our on dates, O and D, and talked about prophets and General Conference. They committed to come!

Thursday: We did a lot of finding and knocking, and we found this one family who are all really fair and dark haired and spoke with a thick accent. I thought they were Russian. And then they said "quien es" and I realized they were Hispanic. They're from Guadalajara and invited us to come back. We saw O and D again with a member and taught them about the Book of Mormon. They committed to read it.

Friday: We had a great MLC. President played a great April Fools joke on us. He came out with these draft booklets of "missionary work in the digital age" and told us that the church thought we were ready to have iPads and that they wanted the Sister Training Leaders and Zone Leaders to try them out for a little while before they gave iPads to the rest of the mission. So, they sent a shipment of iPads. Not. April Fools. He got out hopes up so much. Also, a random drunk guy bought our dinner for us, so that was fun.

Saturday: GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! O and D came too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And then after, we saw Claudius, knocked and found a couple people to have lessons with, and visited Alfredo.

Sunday: GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Claudius came this time!!!!!!!!!! And then we tried to finish weekly planning, contacted our referrals, and tried again to finish weekly planning. We finished it this morning for comp study.

In other news, we get transfer calls this week, so we'll see where I end up for my last transfer. I'm not excited. I don't want to go. But, I'm kind of committed, so...

Something spiritual: Well, this comes from General Conference, because what else am I going to talk about? I get really frustrated when people oppose the Lord's servants because they're not opposing the people, they are ultimately opposing God. So, I loved Elder Oak's talk about opposition. Something I remember that he said was that in politics, there is such a thing as a loyal opposition. In the church, there cannot be such a thing as a "loyal opposition". We can question and ask and receive answers in faith, but we cannot oppose. I assume for the same reason as my frustration--because when we oppose, we are counseling God and not letting Him counsel us. Anyway. That's my thought. What were your favorite take aways?

Have a miraculous week, y'all I love, support, and sustain you!

Hermana Kennedy


Our quad-pan.

Sister Harston and I at MLC.

Hermana Cain and I at MLC.

All the missionaries with the drunk guy who bought us dinner.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Feliz Pascua!

Hola a todos!

Well, this week came and went, and I'm a lot more exhausted than usual. Here's what happened in the life of Hermana Kennedy:

Monday: Hiked Saddlerock as a zone. Drove 3 hours to Oroville to have exchanges with the sisters up there. Died.

Tuesday: Had exchanges with the sisters. We all stayed up there and worked. I was with Sister Carroll, and we had a great day! SHE IS SO AMAZING!!! She has so many health problems and struggles, but she's always so happy! My focus was on learning how to use the Atonement in every day missionary work, and she taught me how to enjoy to the end while using the Atonement. She wanted to work on the same thing, so we had a fun day together. :) We had a few other lessons, talked to a lot of new people, I helped her out with Spanish work (she's an English missionary), and we did about 3 hours of yardwork! Great fun.

Wednesday: Took the 3 hour drive back to Wenatchee at 5 am and had an awesome zone conference! I had to give my departing testimony, which for those of you who don't know, is the worst 5 minutes of your life. I shared what I have learned throughout my mission from D&C 121:45-46 about how charity never faileth, how virtue makes us clean, how we become confident as we obey God's commandments, and how we have the Spirit to be with us always. And then we sang my favorite hymn, and I was inconsolable. I have loved my mission. I've loved learning and growing and changing to become more like my Savior Jesus Christ. I don't want to go, but I know it's necessary. :( After that, we had a couple awesome lessons and put two of our investigators, O and D on date for April 30th! I'm so excited for them!

Thursday: We had another great day and found out that one of our less-active members came to church on Sunday, but she went to the Eastmont ward. The Eastmont sisters told us, and we went by to try her. (Please note, we already try her at least 3-4 times every week, and she's never home.) So we tried her on Thursday and met her son, had a lesson with him and set up a time to come back. We then went to see O and D and had an awesome lesson but only with O. We brought a member, and they talked for a long time. I learned how to interrupt people this week, and Hispanics don't get offended! Yay!

Friday: The less active wasn't home. :( But, we got to see one of our recent converts, S and have an awesome lesson with him. Then our ward mission leader drove us out to the far reaches of our area to help us teach a family. He had been the interpreter for one of their daughters in school last year. Not going to lie, it was kind of awkward, especially because the rest of her family was partying for Good Friday... Then we went to see Alfredo and invited her to Women's Conference. We also taught her adorable grandchildren. :)

Saturday: We tried our less active, and we got in the house and she started asking us a ton of questions about the plan of salvation. Her son came and joined in our lesson, and he really wants to be baptized. We have an FHE with them tonight at 7. She really wants to come back to church because she realized that she doesn't really know anything, and she fights constantly for the church, but she doesn't know enough to fight well, so that was a miracle! And, Alfredo came to women's conference!!!!!! Miracle!

Sunday: Feliz Pascua! I realized the reason why I hate cilantro today. I was brave and ate some with my tacos at our lunch with some less actives. And then we went home to study and I spent my study time by the toilet. I got so sick, but I made it through all of church and the rest of the night without throwing up! I got a testimony of staying in the area when plans fall through. We tried to contact a referral, and the guy opened the door and talked to us for a little bit, we had another lesson, we set up a return appointment, and we went to get back in the car. Then, Hermana Torrez looked at me and said, "should we knock some doors before we leave"? And so we knocked one more door. And we talked to them for about 30 minutes, held their newborn German Shepherd puppies, and set up a return appointment. So, that's cool! We also saw Natalya and had a great lesson about following Christ. :)

Something that the Spirit has taught me this week is that our desires come from others. When we focus on ourselves and wanting to make ourselves better, the desire isn't really there. When we focus on the expectations of others and really turn outward, we find that desire and fire to do better and be better. It's then that we are able to use the Atonement to change and become the person that others, specifically our Heavenly Father, know we can be. I'm so very thankful for the Atonement and for the changes that I can make in myself because of it. It's hard, but it's worth it in the end. Feliz Pascua de la Resurreccion!

Also, I loved the focus of women's conference. Love others as Christ has loved us. I think that's so key. We, as women, need to be more loving, so that's definitely something I'm going to work on this week.

I think that's about it for this week. Have a miraculous week!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Kennedy




Monday, March 21, 2016

St. Patrick's Day!!!!!!!

Well. This week was the longest, but also the shortest week of my mission. Where does time go?! Anyway, here's what happened this week in the life of Hermana Kennedy:

Monday; Had dinner with Natalya's family and got to watch Aleluya with them. :) Drove up to Chelan for exchanges and drove back. Random fact: It takes a body 1 month to rise to the top of the Columbia River because it is that deep.

Tuesday: I had a great exchange with Hermana Faulk. We got to do some service at the museum and eat dinner with some awesome members. AND, we got to teach an Activity Days group of girls about missionary work for St. Patrick's Day. (Did you know St. Patrick was a missionary?! No wonder it's my favorite holiday!) All the girls said that they would share the gospel by going on a mission. We gave them each a Hallelujah card to pass out to a friend. One of them came up after and asked if she could have a second one to give to another one of her friends. For cute! We also got to see some investigators that we haven't been able to see for the past 2 weeks and teach them about the Atonement! Miracles!

Wednesday: We've been working with our Relief Society President a lot this week. She lives in our area and will be a member for 2 years this year! We stopped by for a quick member visit when we were in the area a week ago and we asked her for some advice she had for the missionaries. She said that she would suggest that we learn how to relate the Bible to the Book of Mormon and teach our message from the Bible. So, we started to do a "Bible Study" to practice with her and bounce ideas off of her. It was so awesome! We also saw one of our recent converts and shared Aleluya with him. He loved it and said he'd come to church on Sunday. :)

Thursday: EL DIA DE SAN PATRICIO! Definitely wore green. Dyed our milk green for Hermana Torrez's cereal. She dyed my eggs green. Had a great district council, did some service, saw Claudius, had dinner, had a 2nd dinner, and went to coordination.

Friday: WE FINISHED WEEKLY PLANNING IN 2 HOURS AND 45 MINUTES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's a big accomplishment. It doesn't get done that fast. And then we went on exchanges. I was with Sister Adamson and we talked to a lot of new people. We ended the night visiting Natalya and teaching her about the Atonement. She had a ton of good questions. We watched the new Bible videos with her, and she was so excited to actually know what Easter was about. :) She's my absolute favorite. :)

Saturday: So, let me tell you how awesome Sister Holmes and Sister Adamson are. We told them their exchanges would be Friday and Saturday, and they said they had a baptism on Saturday at 4. BUT, they said we could start our exchanges at 3:30 on Friday and we could all be together for the baptism at 4 on Saturday. So, we finished weekly planning in 2 hours and 45 minutes, exchanged, had a wonderful time, and it ended with their investigator entering the waters of baptism. :) Sister Adamson and I had a couple great lessons and talked to a ton of new people! And then Hermana Torrez and I saw another investigator that we haven't been able to see for a couple weeks. And then we got to have Argentine food at our ward activity! Yum. :)

Sunday: Had lunch with some awesome less actives. We asked them what they could do this week to be more Christlike and they said find us a new investigator!!!!!!! Had dinner. And got to meet the husband of one of our investigators who plays the guitar and sings. He sang us "How Great Thou Art" and they invited us back for tamales tonight. No complaints here!

Also, can I rant about my companion for a few minutes? I'm definitely grateful to be with Hermana Torrez right now. She knows exactly what to do to boost my spirits when I'm feeling blue, and she encourages me to recommit myself everyday to the work and to what I have said I will do. It's something I really appreciate--more than she realizes I think. She is so good at doing the little things to brighten my day and to brighten everyone's day for that matter! She might be crazy, but it's the good kind of crazy. She is so awesome.

Also, it's so weird that I get to go on all of these new sister's first exchanges! I think it's so awesome that I get to be the first experience they have with an exchange. It's the best thing ever! :)

As for me, I have a strong testimony this week that my Heavenly Father loves me. Most of the lessons I have been able to teach this week have been about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Teaching that just helps me to feel the love of my Savior and my Heavenly Father. I know without a doubt that they know me personally. Evidence of that is that my favorite hymn has come up a lot this week. Monday was a little bit of a stressful day, but when we first got into the car on Tuesday, the song that was playing was "I Believe in Christ", my favorite hymn. Sunday morning, it came to my mind as something to write on a foam Easter egg to give to Sister Torman and Sister Hopkins. It was our opening hymn in sacrament meeting. And during the sacrament, it was the hymn the book opened to so that I could read the lyrics and think of Christ. I'm so grateful for this Easter season and for my Savior, Jesus Christ. "I believe in Christ; he stands supreme. From him, I'll gain my fondest dream. And while I strive through grief and pain, his voice is heard "ye shall obtain". I believe in Christ, so come what may! With him I'll stand in the great day when on this earth he comes again to rule among the sons of men." And I leave that in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Love you all! Have a fantastic week, and remember the reason for the season! Hallelujah!

Hermana Kennedy

Our district...

Our district...