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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...

Monday, March 14, 2016

Rain, Rain, Go Away

Hermana McArthur, Hermana Campbell, and I!
Bienvenidos a todos!

Well, I'm not going to lie, this week was a rough week. I've been feeling either unmotivated or scared to do the work lately. Probably scared. You know, because I have to talk to people, and let me tell you, they're scary, and I'm kind of a chicken. I've been thinking a lot about the love that our Heavenly Father has for me and whether or not I'm truly showing my love for Him. I've come to the conclusion that yes, I am showing my love for Him. But, I can always do more. If I truly love Him, I will do more, be less scared, and have the desire to do His will. So, that's something that's going to change my life this week. Here's your rundown of last week:

Monday: We found a new investigator, Earnest! Hermana Torrez and I both felt something as we prayed on his doorstep. We invited him to say the prayer, but he told me to do it instead. We asked him if he would do it the next time. He said, "Next time Hermana Torrez can pray and then I'll pray". So, we have a guaranteed 3 lessons with him.

Tuesday: Did some service at the museum, made calls for about an hour and a half to figure out our lives and our investigators lives, had dinner with some awesome members, tried by all of our investigators (who weren't home) and ended the night seeing a less active with our ward mission leader. We've been working on the word of wisdom with her, and I think she's getting it now.

Wednesday: Did some service. Tried a referral that only spoke Spanish and was definitely atheist and didn't want us to teach her... So we did some more service. Had dinner with a mostly less-active family (the mom's the seminary teacher and she's super active). Stood up by Earnest. Got dropped by an investigator, but she still invited us back next week for tamales and gave us some soup to go. And ended the night by seeing Natalya. We gave her a CTR ring to help her remember that she's always going to choose the right.

Thursday. Museum service again. More service after. We learned how to paint, and the guy we painted for was actually really happy with how we painted. Maybe I'll be a painter when i grow up... And then we had a lesson with Claudius. Let me tell you. Members that come out with us at the last minute are my favorite. We had a member set up on Wednesday, but they cancelled on us 5 minutes before our appointment. So, we were calling every woman that we knew for about 15 minutes until one of them finally agreed to come with us. She is the bomb. And the lesson was the bomb. We watched Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration with him, and he was crying the whole time. One day, he'll be baptized.

Friday: We weren't able to have any lessons today, but we saw pretty much every one we knew. At our last stop of the night, the couple had just bought 25 new baby chickens. (ADORABLE!!!) and one of them did not want to move, eat, or drink anything. I asked if I could hold him, and they let me. AND HE STARTED EATING AND DRINKING AND WALKING AND CHIRPING!!!! I lovingly named him Philip, after my favorite Disney prince.

Saturday: Well, we have about 600 contacts in our phone, and that's all we can have, so we decided to go through and get rid of some of them. We called people for about 3 hours, and now we have 3 return appointments, 2 really not interested people, and 1 loaf of homemade bread that a member gave us. And then we were able to see 3 less actives! One has been sharing the gospel at school and asked us to teach her the plan of salvation so that she could explain to one of her friends the 3 kingdoms of glory. Super cool.

Sunday: Lunch with a less active. Super yummy. Church. Food. Awesome lesson with some of our investigators. And then we saw another less active that fed us some more! It was delicious.

Now, let us talk about #Hallelujah. Isn't it awesome?! If you don't know what I'm talking about, then please go to and jump on the bandwagon! Share it with friends, family, children playing in the street! Everyone needs to hear the true message of Easter, so get on it!

Also, Hermana Torrez and I decided that we're going to work on improving our love for the language by speaking it all day everyday! Maybe not all day because we need to be lazy sometimes, but more than we are now. I've seen a difference in just the past few days. I've found that I forget words in English and can only say them in Spanish now. It's pretty great. I promised myself that I would never be that person.... Oh well. God's will, not mine.

Also, it has rained so much this week! I've become very aware of what shoes of mine have holes in them... And then yesterday, it snowed!!! Who does that? Seriously.

As for me, myself, and I, I would like to share something the Spirit taught me during my personal study today. I was studying about faith and charity--from PMG chp. 9 and Enos. As I was reading, I felt like I just didn't have any faith--particularly the faith to find. As I was pondering the 27 verse of Enos, Alma 32 came to my mind about how faith, when planted, grows into knowledge. And then I realized that I have a ton of faith--my faith is in different things, and as a part of that, those different things grow at different times. For example, my faith in Jesus Christ has been knowledge since I was a little girl. But, my faith that Joseph Smith was a prophet didn't grow into knowledge until I was almost 19 years old. My faith that we can speak by the Spirit is now knowledge. My faith that the Lord prepares people for us to teach is just growing. I think it's really cool how the Lord does things line upon line, precept upon precept, until eventually we will know all things. Anyway. Just thought that was awesome.

Well, I think that's about it for this week. Hope all is well and y'all are seeing the miracles every day! Have a miraculous week, and remember to shout "HALLELUJAH!!" I'll follow up with you next week. ;)

Con mucho amor,

Hermana Kennedy

So, I'm behind. MTC companionship reunion! 
Hermana Harston and I wore matching ties to MLC

and guess who was there? HERMANA STREULING!!! :)
You can never have too many pictures...
Hermana Torrez and I.

My creepy companion.

Us again.

And our car finally hit 33333 miles! We have proof.

Sister Torman, Sister Harston, and Sister Dunga

Sister Hopkins, Sister Torrez, and yours truly!


And Hermana Harston in a box.

Monday, March 7, 2016

Whose companion am I?

Buenos dias, hermanos y hermanas!

Well, this week has certainly been interesting. I have been with Hermana Torrez for a grand total of 3 days this week! It's a new record. Here's what went down:

Monday: P-Day. We had an awesome lesson with Jorge and Dulce. They haven't been reading the Book of Mormon, so we read Ether 12 with them. And then we went on exchanges.

So, exchanges work super weird. Hermana Harston comes with me and Hermana Torrez and Hermana Dungan stay together. Then, Hermana Harston and I exchange with some sisters. This week we exchanged with Sister Torman and Sister Hopkins. I stayed in my area with Sister Hopkins.

Tuesday: We had a great day. Studies. Service. Had an awesome less-active lesson with Alfredo about temples. She wants to go, but is confused about sealings... A member brought us dinner, and we spent our night contacting referrals. It was a great time. And then we exchanged back.

Wednesday: We had studies and then drove to Quincy for our trainer-trainee meeting. The member that drove us was super awesome and fed us dinner after. We had a super cool experience right after trainer-trainee. I realized that I wasn't listening enough to Hermana Torrez, and so I worked on that that night. We were in a trailer park contacting a referral, and we met him, set up a return appointment, and went to our backup. We talked to our backup and were walking toward our car to leave for the people we were going to try at 8. On our way to the car, Hermana Torrez looked at a house and said "she looks Hispanic" and she asked me if we should knock it. Originally my thought was "no". BUT, I wanted to listen to her and make her feel like she contributed to our companionship. So, we knocked. They opened. We were invited in, taught a lesson, set up a return appointment, and the lady gave us some Mexican bread and rice to go. Miracle!

Thursday: Well, we spent all day in Yakima for Mission Leadership Council (MLC). I was with Hermana Harston, not Hermana Torrez. We had to drive down with 4 zone leaders... It was great fun.

Friday: Well, we spent all day driving and in meetings. I was still with Hermana Harston. Until dinner. We ate super fast and then went to our set appointments that we had all night. The first house was super nice but super Catholic, but they gave us ceviche, so they're great in my book! Then we saw Jorge and Dulce again. Didn't get very far, but they're opening up a lot more, now.

Saturday: Service. Zone training meeting. STL planning (once again Hermana Harston's companion). Dinner. And we drove out to Rock Island, contacted some referrals, tried some potentials, and ended our night seeing a less-active part member family. They came to church last week, and they're doing awesome! Life is stressful, but they know they need to start coming to church hour by hour again. And it was pouring rain while we were doing all this. Thank you mom for sending me the best paraguas ever.

Sunday: Studies. Church. We had a ward break the fast after church. Best idea ever. I think we should have one every Sunday. OH WAIT! Our ward is having dinner after church every Sunday. Best idea ever. We tried by 3 people with a member, but none of them were available to listen to us. But, we got to know the member really well, and he is awesome! He's from Zamora, Nate! And then we went home and did our weekly planning because we couldn't do it during the week. And we finished it, so that's awesome!

And then there's Hermana Torrez. I could not have asked for a better companion. She is adjusting so well and is not terrified of anything (except inviting people to be baptized)! She was a champ this week. She and Hermana Dungan saw a lot of miracles. She paid me a super huge compliment during our companionship inventory when she said "I'm so excited when I see you and we get to be companions--even for a few seconds. You're not a perfect trainer, we both know that, but you're the perfect trainer for me." *cries* She is amazing. I could not have asked for a more patient and proactive companion. Man. She is awesome.

Something spiritual:  This week's spiritual slap to the face comes from 2 Chronicles 7:16. "For now have I chosen and sanctified this house, that my name may be there for ever: and mine eyes and mine heart shall be there perpetually." I was preparing a training for zone training meeting about consecration. While I was studying, I flipped to the Old Testament and started reading  about the building of Solomon's temple. I found this verse and I substituted  "this house" to my name. I realized that I, as a missionary, have been chosen and sanctified. As such, the Lord's name needs to be upon me continually--on my name tag, on my very being. I need to change my eyes to be able to see everyone and everything through his eyes. And, I need to let my heart become his heart to love everyone the way he loves them. That is my purpose as a missionary--to become like him. Elder Solis also shared this quote with me:

"You were once generals in the war in heaven and one day, when you are again in the spirit world, you will be enthralled with those whom you will associate with. You will ask someone in which time period they lived and you might hear, 'I was with Moses when he parted the Red Sea,' or 'I helped build the pyramids,' or 'I fought with Captain Moroni.' As you are standing there in amazement, someone will turn to you and ask, 'Which of the prophets' time did you live in?' When you say 'Gordon B. Hinckley's' a hush will fall over every hall and corridor in heaven and all in attendance will bow at your presence. You were held back 6000 years because you were the most talented, the most obedient, the most courageous, and the most righteous. Are you still?"

I sure am trying to be! As long as I keep sanctifying myself and becoming who Christ wants me to be, I will continue to be so.

And yeah. That's about it. Have a miraculous week! Love you all!

Hermana Kennedy