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Monday, January 25, 2016

#awka-awkward

We're so tired...
WELL. There's every week and then there's that one awkward week. Or mission. Which is of course awarded to yours truly, Hermana Kennedy!!! Here's your re-cap:

Monday: Had an awesome P-day. And a pretty successful night. Saw a few part member families, and found two new investigators! We also started our exchanges with the sisters in Oroville, Sister Crofts and Hermana Streuling!

Tuesday: We ended up being in a quad pan all day because the Oroville sisters are 3 hours away... SO. We sang at an old-folks home, found some new people, taught 5 other lessons, had a member present, and talked to 23 new people! They stayed the night with us again, and it was so fun!

Wednesday: Well, we had an awesome missionary broadcast in the morning! If you want to read part of what we were taught follow the following link: https://www.lds.org/church/news/focus-on-the-doctrine-of-christ-elder-andersen-tells-missionaries-worldwide?cid=HP_TU_1-12-2016_dCN_fCNWS_xLIDyC-3_&lang=eng. It was so awesome! Details later. We had an awesome day, talked with our bishop, found a new investigator, saw a recent convert, and saw Claudius. He just needs to get baptized...

Thursday: Had another awesome day. 3 other lessons, some great Sister Training Leader Planning, an awesome dinner with the members we live with. And then there's that missionary coordination we went to (we got there a little late) and the Assistants were on exchanges with our zone leaders... #awka-awkward.

Friday: Weekly Planning! We had a lesson with Violet, the less-active that we thought was an investigator... She remembers nothing, and she was only baptized 3 years ago. #awka-awkward. We had an awesome dinner, saw Claudius and had an awesome lesson, and saw Natalya! She's finally back in town! We had our ward mission leader with us, too, that helped get us in her door. :) Yay!

Saturday: We went on exchanges with Sister Van Orden and Sister Robalin. Sister Robalin came with me to our area and it was the most #awka-awkward day! A cat jumped on our car while we were still in it; we went to dinner and the member forgot; we got stuck for 40 minutes in said members' driveway; Sister Robalin slipped and faceplanted it in the snow while we tried to push the car out; Sister Robalin had to conduct the music at a Spanish baptism; we listened to teenage drama for the last 30 minutes of the night; and a guinea pig crawled in my skirt. BUT, it was all made up by Claudius coming to the Spanish baptism!!! It was so awesome!

Sunday: We finished our weekly planning, nobody came to church, we had a good member dinner that was pretty focused, and we got to see Natalya again. We also talked a lot about the area and what we needed to do to help it grow.

RANT OF THE WEEK: Ok. Don't shoot me for being a hypocrite because I wasn't even close to being this person before my mission. BUT, member missionaries. Let me tell you, missionaries don't do anything. Sure, they talk to people and teach people and baptize people, but ultimately, our efforts don't work. The only efforts that do work are the members! BE GOOD MEMBER MISSIONARIES! YOU'LL CAUSE THE MISSIONARIES LESS PAIN AND HEARTACHE!!! That means YOU find people, YOU give referals to the missionaries, YOU go with the missionaries to the lessons, YOU follow up with them about what they're doing, and (if you're a guy) YOU baptize them. Rant over.

Also, I have the best companion ever. Even though sometimes she's a blonde and eats cookies with gluten in them. Shame on her. It's ok. I still love Hermana Harston to the moon and back.

Here's some insights from this week:

So, the missionary broadcast was titled "Teach Repentance and Baptize Converts". Some way that we can call others to repentance is to just testify of Jesus Christ. Also, we don't teach. We listen and observe and let the Spirit teach. It's so important that we're worthy to have the Spirit with us, otherwise we can't let him do the teaching. Also, we need to commit people to do things, then we NEED to promise blessings and TESTIFY! Something that Elder Oaks said that I loved was that we need to have the doctrine of Christ written on our hearts. We need to live it every day if we're going to help others live it too. The Atonement is for everyone! We're all choice servants of the Lord, so it's up to us to be the people He wants us to be.

From District Council: If we aren't learning by the Spirit, we aren't learning anything at all. Obedience allows us to be worthy to have the Spirit always. We need to ponder what we study so that we know how to act.

Cool story about Claudius: He's been taught pretty much every lesson except parts of lesson 5, and he just won't commit to baptism. He had no problem with it in December, but since then all these concerns have come up. So, we had a lesson with him on Wednesday after the broadcast, and we really focused on asking inspired questions and listening. It turned out that he didn't understand the priesthood, so we were able to teach that clearly and simply. We also had some members with us to bear their testimonies of their father having the priesthood. For our commitment, we invited him to pray to see what he needed to change before baptism. We did it the way we were taught, and he committed. Then, we followed up on Friday. He told us about this super cool experience he had while praying. He heard a voice tell him that he needed to forgive others. And so we talked about repentance and forgiveness and used that same commitment orientation to get him to come to a baptism the next night. AND HE CAME!!! We were on exchanges, too, and that was our miracle of the day! We're going to follow up with that tonight and see if he's prayed for a baptismal date. He's so close! He just needs to accept the fact that he needs to be baptized by somebody with the priesthood in order to enter into the church of God. Algun dia. Muy pronto.

So, after the missionary broadcast, I was thinking about the Spirit and being guided by it. There's a promise in my patriarchal blessing that if I follow the guidance of the Spirit and act in faith, the Lord will light up my paths and let me know if I'm making the right decisions. Something I realized is that coming on a mission for me was an act of faith. I never wanted to serve a mission, and I don't know why I chose to serve a mission. The Spirit just told me that it was what I needed to do at that time. But, I know that my answer has come. That act of faith turned into me making it 14 months through my mission! And now I know why I'm here. I'm here to help specific people and to bring them to the gospel. I'm also here to help my future children and be that great member missionary example for them. I'm so excited for the rest of my life and the preparation I've had for it from being on my mission.

Oh, and Elder Kiser says "hi".

That's about it. Have a miraculous week everyone!

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Kennedy

P.S. We taught a random guy about prayer, and this was his response: "You know how you pray? It's the same as when you milk cows -- you gotta milk cow titties to work to get the milk just like the Lord wants us to work to get the answer to our prayers!" #awka-awkward

We're so tired...

The ducks...

And that's our companionship for you.

Monday, January 18, 2016

New Year New You

Hermana Johnson y yo.
Hola! Bienvenidos a todos!

Quote of the Week: "New Year, new you. Get baptized."

This week the e-mail will be a little different. Here's what happened this week:

First, I said goodbye to Hermana Johnson and I received Hermana Blackmer again for a few days! My real companion is Hermana Harston. She's from San Antonio, Texas and loves to work out. I've come to realize just how out of shape I am....

Second, we had adventures with food this week. A member gave us some chicken to cook. It was in the oven for about 3 hours, and it was still pink on the inside... It's ok. We just ate leftovers because we had no food in our house... It's ok. We have food now. :)

Third, I'm sorry I haven't talked about this month's #wewriteofchrist! This month's hashtag is #newyear. So, my goal for this month is to be more obedient. For me, that means going to bed on time. #newyear. We'll see how well that goes...

Fourth, I started writing a miracle a day on my calendar for this year. It's amazing to see all the miracles the Lord gives us every day. We also have been having a million lessons with Claudius. He's so hesitant to be baptized and he hasn't been coming to church lately either. We had such an amazing lesson with him on Saturday, though! His daughters were there and sat in on the lesson. We talked about baptism and how important it is. They all learned something new about the gospel, and the Spirit was so strong! I think we all learned something. :)

Fifth, We had some awkward moments this week. Here's your list:
One of our investigators, Violet, told us she was a member... And still wants us to come back and teach her.
I wore a time turner to church, and a member looked at it and asked me if it was the Liahona. We'll keep letting him think that.
We also knocked on this guy's door at 8:45, and he said, "well, you're a little late, so I won't invite you in." Ok. We couldn't come in if there wasn't another woman anyway.
We visited an investigator yesterday and were hit on by some very borrachos. One of them hugged me. I felt like I broke the law of chastity, it was so awkward.
Those same borrachos asked Hermana Harston if she was a mother. And then told her she was "very pretty". We got outta there as fast as we could.
Now, for the spiritual part!
Something that built my testimony this week was sacrament meeting. IT WAS SO AMAZING! It started during the sacrament. I heard a cup clink into the tray and I thought of a coin clinking into a deposit box. I thought of all the chances I've had to take the sacrament and how much Christ has paid for me. It's a lot. I'll never be able to pay it back. Then, the speakers just killed it! The first one talked about how the Lord chastises us because he loves us. I thought of my call to be a leader and how it's necessary for us to chastise the sisters we work with (and ourselves) because we love them and we feel the Lord's love for them. Then, the next speaker talked about how we need to see every moment of ever day as an opportunity to serve. I thought of how we can better serve the sisters and show them that we are true disciples of Christ. It's something I'm going to work on this week.
I also had a pretty cool future family thought. For FHE each week, I'll teach my children the 42 principles in the lessons in Preach My Gospel! With 10 weeks for movie nights and barbecues. It's a genius plan.
I've also been thinking a lot about our examples and how many words we speak with just our actions. It's a lot! We have to be so careful around people and truly show them that we are disciples of Jesus Christ.

Well. That's about it. Have a miraculous week and we'll talk to y'all later! Have a stellar regular person day!

Hermana Kennedy

Monday, January 11, 2016

(no subject)

Sister Skousen, Sister Danger, y yo. Sister Danger went home. :(
Well. This week was full of unexpected life changes. Here's your brief rundown:

Monday: Had P-day. Didn't get to do anything too fun. We ran around a lot. But, we were able to see Claudius and find out his hesitation about being baptized! Now we can address it! Yay!

Tuesday: Well, we were supposed to have a leadership training down in Yakima, but it got canceled last minute due to snow. And moved to Thursday. Which was the only day we could have exchanged with the Sisters in Oroville, because they live 3 hours away from civilization. So, after a million phone calls, we had to cancel our exchange. :( But, we had an awesome day and were able to find and teach 2 golden investigators! Seriously. I have never had somebody ask me so many questions. It was beautiful. :)

Wednesday: Had some more last minute changes as meetings got moved around due to the other meeting being moved. Just one thing after another. And we went out and worked for about 5 hours. And nobody opened a door. Nobody was even out on the street. We talked to 1 person all day. #hardknocklife

Thursday: We had our leadership training which took up all day. Insights at the bottom of the email.

Friday: Weekly planning. I planned by myself as Hermana Johnson packed. And another night where we worked for 3 hours and nobody answered their door... #hardknocklife

Saturday: Had a great zone training meeting! Insights at the bottom as well. Worked. Saw Claudius. It was pretty fun. We also got transfer calls. I'm staying here in Wenatchee receiving a new STL companion, Hermana Harston. We were in the same district in Yakima, and I'm super excited to serve with her! She'll whip my butt into shape in more ways than one...

Sunday: Got a less active to come to church! And 2 of our investigators miraculously showed up at church too! And liked it! Woohoo! We had a great ward conference. Insights also at the bottom. And we got out of church at 5:30... We had dinner and spent the night saying goodbye, writing thank you cards, and packing.

And I sent Hermana Johnson to the funeral home today. She ends her mission life tomorrow. :( Pobrecita.

Spiritual insights:

Leadership Training: I think in the grand scheme of things, the main insight I got from our training was that we need to be able to see others through God's eyes. The training was based off of Elder Dale G. Renlund's talk this past general conference entitled "Through God's eyes". I wish I could find the video they showed with it, but it was super motivating! I'll find it for you next week. Look up Elder Renlund's talk and see what you can do to see others through God's eyes.

Zone Training Meeting: We talked a lot about charity and how it's important to have charity for everyone. It is our motive for everything we do, and we need to pray for it every day. When we develop that charity, we can see through God's eyes and know the things He wants us to do.

Ward Conference: The stake presidency talked about believing in the impossible--how with God everything is possible and we just need to rely on Him. He can make more of us than we can ever make of ourselves.

Well, have a great week. Talk to y'all later! (And Hermana Harston's from Texas, so that y'all's gonna rub off on me...)

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Kennedy
Hermana Johnson y yo


Monday, January 4, 2016

A Happy New Year!

And us on new years. Because, why not?
Whew. This week just flew by! Here's your brief update:

Monday: P-day. I went on exchanges to Castlerock and YSA with Sister Holmes. It was awesome. We went to YSA FHE and I remembered why I didn't go to YSA before I left on my mission.

Tuesday: Had an awesome exchange. Taught Hermana Johnson's childhood best friend. He's really cool and said he'd read the Book of Mormon. Left on another exchange.

Wednesday: Was on exchanges in Mission Ridge with Sister Danger. It was so much fun! Took a brief detour to meet President Lewis's family in the evening... Finished up the awesome exchange and got home around 10:15. (Don't you love 30 minute stories about suicide?)

Thursday: We finished up Hermana Johnson's trunky training. It only took about 3 hours, but I got some family history work done! (Kind of. No breakthroughs or anything, but I now know how to do family history.) We had dinner and then had to go home at 6 for New Years. We did a puzzle, listened to some music, drank some Martinelli's and slept. Because we're exhausted.

Friday: Did some weekly planning. Made some cookies and cupcakes. Couldn't proselyte, but we still managed to get 3 other lessons in. Cookies open the door for everything.

Saturday: Had an awesome day. Had Zone Leadership Council (ZLC) up in Chelan. All of the members happened to be at the church building, so I got to say hi. :) Came down, sang at a baptism, went out and worked, had an awesome day. A member gave us a gift card to eat out, so we ate out, and Hermana Johnson accidentally ate wheat. It was bad. Really bad. She was out for the rest of the night. So, I updated the area book, cleaned our house, ate some Swedish Fish, planned, and went to bed.

Sunday: Well, our schedule changed, so we now have church at 2:15. Weird. We did our studies, finished updating our area book, called some people to come to church, went to ward coordination, and finally had church. Which ended at 5:15. We got to our dinner around 6 because it was on the other side of the river and it was snowing. It snowed about 6 inches during the day and another 6 inches at night. Yuck. Finished dinner, did some member visits, got lost trying to contact a referral, but managed to talk to a few people and have a less active lesson. It was pretty cool.

Well, this month, the "we write of Christ" theme is share how you intend to make the most of this new year. #newyear

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Ok, so I'm really bad at making new years resolutions. I'm really bad at setting goals in general. it doesn't help that I won't be a missionary for this entire new year. That one year is up. I only have 5 months left as a missionary! But, if there's one thing I've learned from this past week, it's that Christlike attributes never fail you! Obedience always brings blessings. Charity and love always bring happiness. Hope gives you something to live for. Small things like that. I've noticed on my mission that when we're doing our best to be as Christlike as we can be, that's when all the miracles come. So, one of my new years resolutions is to strive to become more Christlike. Now, if you know Preach my Gospel chapter 6, there are 9 Christlike attributes. That's 1 Christlike attribute a month with a 3 month flex period where you can find your own Christlike attributes and develop them. This month, I'm striving to develop the trait of obedience. I encourage each of you to join me in the quest to become more Christlike. For those of you who don't have Preach My Gospel, the Christlike attributes are:
Faith
Hope
Charity and Love
Virtue
Knowledge
Patience
Humility
Diligence
Obedience
Have fun with your #newyear resolution! #wewriteofchrist

Well, I hope y'all have a miraculous week! Hasta luego!

Hermana Kennedy
And us on new years. Because, why not?
Hermana Johnson with our cupcakes. 
Hermana Johnson doing our puzzle.