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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.