Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Best Work is Missionary Work!!

This week in a nutshell:
 Me: "sister schooley, why is everyone in Virginia so much cooler than me"
 Sister Schooley (very rapidly responded): "because their black."


 HAHAHA ok sorry I just had to share a laugh with all you WONDERFUL people.  This week has been MORE than good. It has been absolutely TREMENDOUS! I am so completely obsessed with Kingstowne VA and the people in it that have truly changed my life! MISSIONARY WORK IS THE BEST WORK!!!

 We finally got one of our less-actives to come to church this week and it was SO RAD. She is so solid and wants to be involved in the gospel but it has been hard for her to make it a priority in her busy life.  As we meet with her we talk about the blessings of PUTTING GOD FIRST.  This week we challenged her to write down 5 things she recognized in her life as GOD's hand.  She did it and she LOVED it.  I think that is part of the reason she came to church.  She RECOGNIZED how much God has given her and HOW she can give back by praising him and sacrificing time out of her busy schedule to come to church!

 We have also been meeting with a less-active family from Ghana.  The Oko family.  Dad, you will be interested to know that Brother Oko was from Ghana but converted in URUGUAY.  He told us that and I FREAKED OUT.  I told him you served there and he was like NO WAY! WHEN DID HE SERVE WHEN DID HE SERVE!! I told him, and he said he wouldn't have met you because he met the missionaries in 1994. BUT still rad nonetheless. haha.  We do Family Home Evening with them on Monday nights.  They live in an apartment that is probably 800 square feet and there are 2 parents and 6 kids.  all the children share one room and have close to nothing.  This humble lifestyle continually reminds me for what I am grateful for.  They are the SWEETEST family with so much love for the gospel and for God.  When they pray you can FEEL their spirits as they give ALL glory to their God and their Savior.  It is an incredible feeling being in that home and coming closer to Christ as we teach them and they teach us.

 We have a new woman in our ward named Virginia from South Africa! she is SO RAD.  she was baptized 2 years ago and since then has done the temple work for her 25 closest relatives that have passed away.  #RAD.  she had this super rad accent that is so fun to listen to and her testimony of the gospel is incredible.  Before she found out about the church, she knew she needed more in her life. SHE HAD A DREAM that the church she was looking for would come from 2 young men wearing white shirts and black pants.  WHAT!? yeah.  and that's exactly how it happened. She met them and they answered her questions for 4 HOURS.  yeah. and now she is so solid. She invited her neighbor to come with us this Saturday to the temple visitors center because she wants him to be baptized. she gives ALL OF HER FRIENDS book of Mormons and IS SUCH A GOOD EXAMPLE.  I love Virginia, we ALL can learn something from this incredible woman!

 Sidenote, this SUPER cute lady in our ward that we meet with, Bobbi, works as like a molecular biologist for the government or something crazy like that, and her boss's kids go to school with the OBAMA GIRLS. and they are ALL FRIENDS. his kids go to birthday parties at the white house!!!! HOW RAD IS THAT. I just need to meet her boss and get connected to we can baptize Barrack #bishopbarracky

 WE HAVE A NEW INVESTIGATOR!!!! her name is Jen :) she is the cute 24-year-old lady from El Salvador.  She has got some serious sass and a desire to come closer to Christ.  Yesterday we taught her about how Christ set up his church and how we can all come closer to Him through the gospel. she LOVED it and committed to baptism.  #hallelu-YER  (people actually say that here, including my companion hahhaaha).

 The bishopric wants me and sister schooley to start teaching DANCE CLASSES to get more investigators, HOW RAD IS THAT!? except I teach hip hop and sister schooley teaches modern... but still! if we could figure that out, I WOULD BE SO AMPED. looks like my swag level hasn't gone down after all #holler

 We also got 11 member lessons this week!!! which is WAY good. our goal was 7, so we were so excited that we got more!!!

 On Friday, we went to go check up on a family that just had their 5th baby and they weren't home so we did some street contacting and we met the RADDEST guy named Stuart from Scotland (yeah that was his full name.  Im kidding).  His accent was SO THICK you could barely understand him but he was HYSTERICAL. He was telling us stories allllll about his life in Scotland and then about the Middle East, where he met his wife.  Then we started talking about the gospel and he told us that he has a Book of Mormon that was given to him 20 years ago! That he has kept but never read! His biggest issue with the church is that he LOVES going to the pub, and smoking, and drinking coffee... SO we talked about the Word of Wisdom and WHY we follow it, and low and behold he WANTS US TO COME BACK.  I was so so so amped.  He's GOLDEN.

 This week was truly nothing less than spectacular.  and to finish it off we had an incredible Sunday that was based on judging others.  President Uchtdorf gave a talk called "lord, is it I" that was given in the priesthood session of conference and BOY was it incredible. it was focused on rather than us thinking, "wow my friend john really needs to hear this" or "you know sally could improve on this" it tells us that instead we should ask, "Lord is it I?" we need to have the COURAGE and HUMILITY to be able to ask this question so we can further improve ourselves to become more like Christ. LET Christ mold and shape you into who HE WANTS YOU TO BE. I want to invite ALL OF YOU, Mormon or not, to watch the Mormon message entitled "THE WILL OF GOD". It. Will. Change. Your. Life.

 Let God be in charge, get EXCITED about the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the desire to SHARE it with all who come into your path will COME.

 I love each of you DEARLY, I love the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how it has molded and shaped me, and I am absolutely 100% OBSESSED with being a missionary.

 Keep it real and keep the faith,
 Sistah "swag" Kennedy
​being artsy outside sister field's house... haha

​taking in the BEAUTY of Virginia. This is what EVERY street looks like. you cant even see the houses because the trees are SO thick.

this is Money cat.  EVERYONE here has a cat. LITERALLY I can count on one hand the amount of people I know without a cat. but this one is my favorite because it literally weighs 17 pounds.  #rad

​these members in our ward have 20 Halloween blowups in their yard! and this is their son who puts them ALL up every year! 

 guess who just taught their 11th member lesson of the week, WE DID!

Carwassshhhhhh... don't mind my ALWAYS greasy hair...

 on the pier of the Potomac river :)

 ​yay for Oldtowne and the Potomac :)

 swaggin out with maiii gurl

hanging out in Anj's (one of our investigators) beauty parlor while she finishes up with a customer...

.​when it rains here it POURS. There was a flash flood... so we were saving ourselves!

Monday, October 13, 2014

The Hardest Thing I Have Ever Loved To Do!

One of the lines of my favorite missionary songs is "The hardest thing I've ever loved to do, is letting go of everything I ever knew."  THOSE are the words of the week.  man its been a week full of MOUNTAINS TO CLIMB!!! So much growth is coming, but we have to be PATIENT! Patience is KEY!
Last Monday, after emailing we went to Dairy Queen. WHile we were in line this woman got in line behind us and asked us who we were and what we did. Sister Schooley started to order and so I talked to her and she looked at me and started to cry as she told me that both of her parents were dying and seeing us gave her hope in God. She knew there was a plan for her parents and she wants us to teach her more about the gospel of Jesus Christ! HOW RAD. such a perfect answer to my prayers

MIRACLES HAPPEN WHEN WE ARE OBEDIENT!!!! We also had transfers this week! and we got to watch MEET THE MORMONS!!! you all need to GO SEE IT!!!! it was so rad! I also saw sistah SWAGGIE Kelly, SIster Williams and ELDER RISENHOOVER!!! For those of you who don't know, I met him when I went through the temple! We went through the same session and found out we were going to the same mission a month and a half apart! so Thursday I saw him for the first time since may! AHHH SO COOL!! He is doing way good!

Also at tranfers, my zone leader got transferred into MY ward!!! yay! he is SO RAD and he is going to help the work progress so much!!! So great!

Not a ton happened this week... we are still being pushed to work with members, so its been a lot of that.  We also pulled weeds this week for a lady in our ward who has dialysis.  and pulling weeds here ROCKS compared to home because it is SO wet! It was literally like the easiest job in the world.  #holler
I also built a shelf yesterday for this older lady in our ward... and it only took 45 minutes.  It was way rad. definitely put that on my resume! hahahha

Anj and Harry came to church yesterday!!! IT WAS SO GOOD! they really liked it! it was anju's first time coming and she seemed to enjoy it! we are going back this week and are going to talk to them more about baptism! I just love this work and the gospel of Jesus Christ, sorry this letter is short this week, we are trying to get to the Arlington Cemetery today :)

I love you all and I am praying for you DAILY!
Roman 5:5-6

I love this work, I love this gospel, I love my savior, and I LOVE being a missionary.

keep it real and keep the faith,

sistahhh kennedy

With Elder Risenhoover and Sister Kelly
 So much Sass!

He can't handle our swag!

 We kept getting made of and we couldn't stop laughing!

 Our last pic with Sister Taylor

 Just call me the navigator!

 I've still got the swaggggg

Us with The Nashville Tribute Band... we are famous!!  ;)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Blessings, Blessings, Blessings!

SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED THIS WEEK!!! I don't even know where to start... we have seen SO many miracles and felt so much love from our father in heaven.  SOOOOOO lets start with last Monday.  We had preparation day which was low key, not a ton happened but it was good to relax.  Then that night we checked up on some less actives and it was WAY fun.  although, a lot of our less actives live over by Huntley Meadows Park which is SUPAH sketch... its like the Hyde park of northern VA (isn't that right Isabella? ;) ). So sometimes you really do feel like you are being followed and someone is going to jump out and hurt you, but other times its rad and we teach a lot of people!  There are TONS of people from Ghana in that area, and they are always wanting to talk to us, so that is a plus!Tuesday we had district meetings which were SO GOOD. my district is the greatest on earth. we learn SO much together.  We talked all about charity and love! and with that in mind, we practice taught street contacting and how to approach people LOVINGLY. it was awesome. I was paired up with our zone leader and it was a blast. I learned a TON from him, he Is such a rad guy.  THEN we went to help out this couple that was moving... the elders in our ward (elder shields and elder grow) told us that we should come because the wife doesn't like men... so we went and were unaware of the fact that they were both mentally disabled and needed a LOT of help. So we stayed there most of the day.  They are not members of the church, nor do they want to be, but they love missionaries haha.  so that was good! we learned a lot from them and were able to clean clean clean their house and throw a TON away.  then we tracted that night and got 3 return appointments! 2 of which we went to go meet again and they wouldn't come to the door... and we saw them inside pretending not to hear us knock hahaha #missionarylyfe
The rest of the week was a lot of MEETINGS! we had return and report, which is a meeting for new missionaries and their trainers, so we learned a lot there and it was a good time! and ANDY WAS INTERVIEWED FOR BAPTISM!!!! ahhh we was SO excited and it went so well!! yay!!! Him and Michelle can not wait to be sealed in the temple for time and all eternity and they talk about it constantly.  SO GREAT! 
as many of you know, I AM NOW A FACEBOOK MISSIONARY!!!! WHOOOO!!! with that in mind, I have this account strictly for missionary work.  I can not be chatting online or watching youtube videos or any of that jazz. It is so we can allow the kingdom of God to GROW.  It is a tool that has recently been implemented by the church to help the gospel reach everyone everywhere!
We teach this CUTE woman in our ward, sister Dorey who is from Georgia and recently converted to our church. She has an 18-year-old son that we are trying to work with but he has ZERO interest in the gospel.  we are doing service for her tomorrow with him, so hopefully we can teach him some gospel principles ;)
ANDY WAS BAPTIZED THIS WEEK!!! AHHH IT WAS SO COOL!!! Brother Burner baptized him and it was such an incredible day.  He was baptized in between conference sessions :) He was so ready and so excited to be following God's plan for him.  The more we go back, the more we can see how God truly is working in his, and his wife's life! They have expressed to us that although life is still hard, with the gospel of Jesus Christ, they feel SO MUCH HAPPIER than they have ever felt! They are so great!
Harry came to both sessions of Sunday conference with us!!! he is progressing so well and really being taught by the spirit! he loves coming to church and the members have loved having him! He is such a great kid.  We met with him yesterday night and he wants to be baptized!!! YAY! he wants to enter into the kingdom of God and he preparing himself to do so! we are SO excited for that! and hopefully the rest of his family will come around soon :)
GENERAL CONFERENCE WAS THIS WEEKEND!!!! HOLY SMOKES. it was so so so rad! I just love the power that you can feel when the prophet and the apostles of God speak!!! MAN! I JUST LOVE IT! I learned so much about the importance of consistently looking to the prophet! He truly is God's mouthpiece and he knows all! how Rad is that!? So rad.  I also LOVED the stress of MEMBERS WORKING WITH THE MISSIONARIES!!! My mission president has recently received revelation that we need to work with the members more than anyone else.  No more tracting for sistahhh kennedy! With this in mind, we have a goal of getting 120 baptisms from now until the end of the year! THAT IS A TON. but I know that with the Lord's help we can achieve that! MEMBERS. ARE. THE. KEY!!!  with that in mind, I challenge ALL OF YOU to pray for missionary opportunities again!!! THEY WILL COME! we can NOT aid the kingdom of God in it's growth if we don't do this! we need to rescue these souls together!
Never forget that Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost WANT to help us, and their capacity to do so is UNLIMITED. 
How sweet this work truly is.  I have never been happier in all my life and I know it is because I am doing the work of the Lord. 
I love this gospel, I love all of you, and I am forever 100% in love with being a missionary.
keep it real and keep the faith,
sister kennedy
 last week it was a cat, this week its a snake! see how he curled his tail around my wrist? gross.

 and a chinchilla...

 Another amazing baptism!

 watching conference with the other missionaries :)

 Waiting for the Bishop... :)

 Comp love...

 helping some potential investigators take out their trash! haha

chugging ergen-C because EVERYONE is sick in our mission haha PS check out our RAD couch and orange chair ;) hahaha SO nasty!

​this sweet woman in our stake took us out to lunch after Saturday conference :)