Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Too Blessed to be Stressed

wowzers folks. what a week!
I cant even begin to tell of all the miracles that have happened this week! so many great stories to tell and so much JOY to share!
This week I went on an exchange with sister Thompson :) because both our companions are leaving this transfer they got to go to the temple with president and sister riggs. so we were comps :) and we saw SO MANY MIRACLES! we taught 2 investigators and 2 less actives and all 4 lessons went so well! the spirit was so strong! because we were never companions before and we had never taught together before we HAD to rely on the spirit for what to say! we hadn't met each others investigators and less actives so that made it interesting as well. BUT because we followed the spirit everyone we taught felt of our love and most importantly, of the Savior's love. Another random miracle was that for dinner we went to a restaurant for a 9 year old girl in sister thomsons ward. the 9 year old had her friends there and we got to chat! sister Thomson talked to the moms and I chilled with the kids. That night was THERAPY for me. I MISS CHILDREN SO MUCH. AHHHH. I think that's why I LOVE teaching the members, because I get smothered with little kids jumping on me and chocking me and joking around with me. so it was just a GREAT time and I am so grateful for that exchange :)
ALSO this week we got to go to the temple with one of our recent converts and his wife who is recently coming back to church. it. was. awesome. we taught them in the waiting area of the temple and the spirit was just overwhelming. they just kept telling us how they felt of God's love. They felt like everything of the world just fell off their shoulders as they walked inside because this truly is the HOUSE OF GOD. wow. it was an incredible experience. I LOVE those two and they are trying to hard and working so much to get temple recommends, and eventually to enter into the temple to be sealed. ahhh it is SO cool.
another cool thing, we got to help out the cops this week. #rad yeah im serious. we hander out flyers with them about their food drive they are having! It was awesome! it was just like street contacting, but people actually listen to you because we were telling them about canned food! #hollahhhhh it was actually really fun and we had a lot of missionary opportunities because people saw that we were doing something positive for the community. #SORAD one of the guys I went to hand a flyer to said something back to me but I didn't hear it because his accent was so thick. and then he started laughing really hard because he thought that I was scared of him. hahaha so I just kind of laughed with him and gave him a flyer. When he came back out he had 3 big bags of things he had bought for us and he handed it to me and gave me a hug... super awkward. #missionarylyfe but he was WAY nice haha.
ALSO! a cool prayer experience, I have been feeling really really LONELY this week. which is weird because I have never really had trouble with that before... so I was saying my prayers Saturday night and I just started crying and I asked heavenly father to PLEASE bless me and my new companion to be friends and to have places to go for the holidays. the next day at church this ADORABLE lady in our ward who has a son on a mission invited us over for Christmas so we can use their computer to Skype home! and she invited us over for Christmas eve dinner :) THEN! we had an appointment with the Campbell family (top 5 FAV family in the ward. she is THIS SUPER CUTE little lady from china and he is American from Utah. im literally obsessed with them. they have two little kids, one is 9 and one is 6 and I just want to squeeze them all day) and they invited us over for thanksgiving and I thought I was going to burst into tears right then and there! I get a Chinese thanksgiving meal!!! I am SO EXCITED I COULD JUST START CRYING RIGHT NOW! heavenly father just wants to bless us so much. and HE WILL if we do what we are asked and if we ask him for specific help :) he answered my prayers in a matter of hours! GOD IS SO GOOD!!!!
I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be a missionary. It is the hardest thing I have ever done but definitely the most rewarding. I know that as we cleave to our Savior and pray with real intent and with real desire to know His will that we will find it, and thus come closer to Him. I am so grateful for the knowledge I have of eternal families and for this restored gospel that keeps me happy. This church is so true. The Savior is so real. and this work it so sweet. I truly am too blessed to be stressed :)
keep it real, and keep the faith
sistahhh kennedy

 Our beautiful temple

Happy preparation day in Pentagon City

 With all the sisters in our zone!

 with Mary and Michelle of Koinonia where we volunteer every Thursday :)

we literally got out in the middle of the highway in traffic to take this picture. it was horrifying. but so worth it.   

 So much swag...

 out to lunch with sister stolpe and erin :)

 This is our backyard!

 temple selfiiiiiieeeeee (appreciate andys SWEET face)

man am I gonna miss this cute comp of mine :( 

with cool schools :)

the dogs just love me around here. this is Splenda. she jumps on my lap every time we go over to teach Bobbi and James :)

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Faith, Hope and CHARITY

NOTHING can express how incredible this week has been!!!!! wow. I am feeling so overwhelmed with love and blessings!!!
starting with Monday: PREPARATION DAY in DC! #holler we were able to visit the holocaust museum and the white house! while we were in the holocaust museum they had videos playing on repeat. In one of the videos there was a man speaking about his experience. he recounted a time when he saw another man praying and expressing his gratitude to God, which made him MAD. he looked at him and exclaimed "HOW could you be praying at a time like this??? God has done nothing good for us! we have nothing! we are about to die!" The man who was praying looked up at him and said "I am expressing my gratitude to God for not making me a murderer like the men who are holding us here."
That spoke to me so so so deeply. we truly can always find something to be grateful for. no matter what.
TUESDAY WAS EXCHANGES!!!  So we get a new companion for a day! I was blessed to be with sister Adair. she. is. a. champ. like literally I LOVE HER. she is this cute litte red head from Draper UT and she is literally my FAV. we saw so many miracles that day we were together. We tracted, taught members, taught some investigators, and had a TOTAL BLAST doing it. I learned so much from her and felt so blessed and watched over to have her as my companion for a day :)
We also got to go to the Temple Visitors Center again with Sister Wright and Sister Asbury! both of them are CHAMPS and I love them. sister wright grew up in Hawaii and was in the military. Then she worked as a head honcho for the department of defense for 35 years... she BLOWS my mind. WE HAD SUCH A RAD TIME WITH THEM. so much fun and so many blessings came from that trip.
MIRACLE OF THE WEEK: Carol, the woman who was going to take us to the capitol building this week wasn't able to go :( she wasn't feeling to good and had a lot to get done. While sister schooley and I were planning who we should go visit for Wednesday we both had carol's name pop in our head! so we wrote it down. the next day, right before we were going to go over, she called us saying she had done something to her back and couldn't walk! We RAN over there and she had to CRAWL on the floor to get around. Luckily we were able to bring her dinner and buy her groceries so she would be ok. THEN! on sunday, our phone was on silent but we had a missed call and voicemail from her. we listened to the voicemail and she was crying on the phone saying she had slipped and fallen and couldn't move. She needed an ambulance ASAP. we RAN OVER THERE (she is our neighbor) and got in to find that she was already gone... The ambulance had come already and taken her. so we drove over to he emergency room where we visited her and will continue visiting her until she is released. I AM SO GRATEFUL for the holy ghost that guides and directs our thoughts and actions so we can help those around us!! We MUST be in tune with the spirit to receive promptings and to increase our faith!
ANOTHER MIRACLE OF THE WEEK: the St. Lawrence Catholic church held a HUGE food drive with the boy scouts of the area in which we decided we would help out with. We got there and holy smokes we got some strange looks when thy realized we were Mormon missionaries! but we just smiled and got to work! Everyone warmed up and was SO nice to us. At the end we all got in a circle and held hands for a prayer. It was great to see the spirit that was there as people of ALL religious backgrounds got together to serve the poor and the needy.
WE HAVE A NEW INVESTIGATOR!!!!! Her name is Cynthia! The elders tracted into her and told us to TAKE OVER so we did :) she is SO cute! she has to sons, one is 17 and one is 19 and she is half Japanese, half Mexican! (so rad, I know) I LOVE HER! she loves the gospel so far and loves having us over! she is the cutest happiest lady EVER and I cant wait to teach her more!!
Yesterday at church, sister schooley and I taught relief society!!! WHOO HOOO! the lesson was on "proclaiming the gospel". IT WAS SO COOL to see how it all came together. we prayed and prayed and prayed to know what to teach them and it all worked out. there was an incredible spirit in the room. I LOVED it. man the church is so true.
This week was nothing short of miraculous and I know that it is because we are ALLOWING those miracles to happen! when we EXERCISE OUR FAITH in Christ, and we FEAST on his words we will see miracles! CONTROL THE THINGS YOU CAN CONTROL! We control if we pray or not. we control if we read scriptures or not. we control if we are happy or not. everything is a CHOICE. you can control a LOT of things in your life if you CLING to your father in heaven and let Him guide you!
This work is life changing, beautiful, and eternal.
I pray for ALL of you. EVERY DAY. the power of prayer is real, I know it. I can feel it. and I testify these things to you all in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.
keep it real and keep the faith
sister kennedy
                                                 ​on exchanges with sister adair :)

 sister Call :) sister adairs companion

 the sign says radical... I couldn't pass it up

ssssshhhhelfie with the white house 

 ​hai Obama. #whitehouseswag

 the beautiful trees of VA!


with bobbi and james for din din :) 


​in front of the Washington monument :) 

 With the CUTEST senior couple, the liddiards that go home this week :(

 with sister Asbury at the visitors center :)

with sister wright :) 


​we found dumb and dumber and andy and michelle's house. #rad

Monday, November 3, 2014

Called to the Work!

hello all!
what a spectacular week full of learning and growing! We taught a lot of lessons this week and just did our normal routine :)
There are so many incredible families in the Kingstowne ward that we work with that truly have changed my life and help me gain a stronger testimony of this restored gospel.  They remind me of my incredible family back home :) I LOVE this gospel and this church with every ounce of my being.  I am obsessed with this work. The more I learn, the more I want to share it! I AM SO LUCKY to have 18 months devoted to this work and I don't want to waste a second of it :)
one miracle that happened this week... this Saturday Sister Schooley and I went out to eat before stake conference with Andy and Michelle (he just got baptized, she is coming back to church) :) we went to Uno (its way popular her in VA, I don't think they have it on the west). right before we ordered our waitress came up to us and said, "Your meal has been paid for. I cant release their name, but they took the check for you". I thought I was going to burst into tears. GOD LOVES HIS MISSIONARIES!
Here in the Washington DC South mission we are allowed to watch MOVIES on HALLOWEEN!!!!! So we got to watch Frozen and Despicable Me 2 :) most missionaries hadn't seen them before since they have been serving for so long, so it was kind of a super big deal ;) It was way fun! We also had our ward Trunk-Or-Treat party! and TONS of the members invited friends! it was a RAD event. SO MUCH FUN. The missionaries were the judges for the chili cook-off which was fun too! for our Halloween costume, sister schooley and I switched name tags with the elders in our ward hahaha. there were only like 3 people who noticed, but it was WAY funny (at least for me... haha)
This week, I learned a LOT about humility and the atonement.  As missionaries, we have to be humble in order to feel and teach by the holy spirit of God.   BUT, as most of us know, HUMILITY IS HARD. and humbling ourselves HURTS. BAD. but we know that we have to do it. We all have to learn how to "willingly accept and even SEEK correction". And holy smokes, I NEEDED to humble myself. I STILL need to humble myself. It truly is an ongoing process. As we strive to come closer to our Father in Heaven, and let Him work through us, we have to let Him in. This will only happen if we have broken hearts and contrite spirits.
As we work with the members, our numbers drop, the work slows down, and we have to have FAITH that the Lord will bless the members with friends who are PREPARED for the gospel of Jesus Christ.  This takes HUMILITY. It would be easier to tract and have more instantaneous results. BUT we want ETERNAL results, and the only way that will happen is if the members HELP US. Those relationships have to be strong for people to feel supported, not just by the missionaries that come and go, but by members who will be life-long friends.
let us all seek to be humbled by the holy spirit of God :)
I love you all deeply and fully. and I pray for each of you by name every night. Thank you for your love and support, it truly is everlasting.
Keep it real, and keep the faith
Sister "Ka$h" Kennedy

 ​having Family Home Evening with a family from Ghana :) these are the 3 youngest boys :)

 on a walk with lauren in our ward :) WE LOVE working with her :) I have a cool leave in my bag that is shaped like a cat... #meow

 ​cat pic for the weeeeeeeek.

 cutest comps #5ever

our HOMEMADE owl cupcakes for the trunk-or-treat 

 HAPPY HALLOWEEN from your friendly neighborhood teenage mutant ninja turtles (props to elder hinton and elder bateman for letting us borrow their hats for this picture).

 yep youre reading it right. DISCO SWEAT. we go this from a lady in our ward! hahahah

 after a long night of trunk or treating with elder olivo and elder grow :) they serve in the same ward as us! :)

leaves shaped like cat heads. can life get better? probably not.

Happy Day, All is Well!

HOLY SMOKES. I has been a crazy 9 days since the last time I wrote! I have so many stories to tell and so many miracles to rave about :)
Starting with last Monday. SO it was preparation day and Sister Schooley and I were trying REALLY hard to get everything done that we needed to so we would have time to go to Arlington cemetery.  Well. We were rocking in until we got to the house of the person who was taking us and we had to wait for them to get ready... when they were ready they lost their dog so we had to go look for it and it took forever (and it was unsuccessful). At this point we had about 2 1/2 precious hours left of preparation day so we were pushing them out the door.  We got going and they informed us that we had to make a "pitstop" at the cell phone store... well that store was 30 minutes from our initial destination.  But with happy hearts we agreed we would go with them to the store.  Keep in mind we were driving a VERY old truck that is wide and hard to drive down narrow roads... As we were driving there, there was a LOT of traffic.  We were stuck at a red light, and she tried to get into the turning lane.  Well she couldn't fit and the NAILED the car to our right... Sister Schooley and I didn't know what to do other than kind of scream.  Sister Schooley told her to pull over so we could talk to them but instead she just floored it and went through the red light... uhhhh what? Sister Schooley and I just looked at each other and she parked the car, got out, and pretended like nothing happened.  On top of that, we were in the cell phone store for an 1 1/2 hours and got home just before preparation day is over... Moral of the story, we have basically waited 16 days for preparation day... But now here it is and all is well!!!
Other than that this last week was just miraculous! EVERYONE here either works for the government (in law usually) or is in the military.  And by everyone, I literally mean EVERYONE. I couldn't name one person who doesn't.  With that being said, we were able to go onto 2 military bases this week! Only the Army base and the Coast Guard base! It is WAY cool to see like a little city within a city. They have everything there that they need, they never have to go off base! It's way rad.
Every Thursday we volunteer at the Methodist Thrift Store to do service :) It is GLORIOUS.  The women who work there are the sweetest things in the world and they are so gracious  toward us!  We usually help them by stocking cans of food for the homeless shelter or we organize toiletries.  It is one of the highlights of my week every week!
There is a sweet family in our ward that we have been working with that we absolutely LOVE. Their neighbors come to their house to have family home evening with us and it is just a total blast.  However, this week their little 2-year-old was diagnosed with Leukemia.  The dad was just called to be the elders quorum president, is in the middle of medical school, and the mom just got called to be in the relief society presidency.  It has been such a sad and stressful time for them but through it I have really seen the beauty of how a ward can come together to offer support and love to those in need.  Everyone has been helping them in any way they can and they have been absolutely overwhelmed at the outpour of love they have received. 
There is a new senior couple in the mission!! The Sampsons :) THEY ARE MY FAVORITE. They have totally taken me in as their granddaughter and they are just always loving on me. hugging me, kissing my cheeks, and just telling me how much they love me. It has helped me a TON knowing that I have some home away from home! They had us over for dinner with week with a less-active family in our ward and it was just delightful. I truly come to love this place more and more every day!!
We have a recent convert in the ward that we have been working with named Carol :) she is 76 and literally the most accomplished woman I know.  She was the second woman in the united states to get a P.h.D (I cant even spell that right, how pathetic is that) in Cardiovascular Physiology  and also has degrees in nursing, science and law.  She has worked aside President Obama numerous times and has more connections than any person I have ever met in my life.  We are helping her put a project together to present the "no child left behind act" to the king of Saudi Arabi  #WHAT yeah.  That's real. and she is so impressed with how much sister schooley and I have helped that she wants us to help her present it!!! of course we cant because we are missionaries, but it was a cool idea! haha She also keeps telling us that if we ever need a letter of recommendation that she will write one for us.  #HOLLER.  AND she scheduled a PRIVATE TOUR of the capitol building for her, sister schooley and I next Monday! MY LIFE ROCKS. yeah its so rad. 
For those of you who watched conference, there was a talk given by an Elder Kacher of the 70 in the Sunday afternoon session that was absolutely incredible!! His son is in our ward and we have dinner with their family all the time! how cool is that?
sidenote: the high school that "remember the titans" is based off of is in our area! we drove past it last week, hopefully next time we can stop to get a pic ;)
We had the opportunity to go the visitors center this Saturday and it was WONDERFUL. We learned about the importance of the temple and how we TRULY can be together with our families forever. IT WAS AWESOME! I love the temple and all of the incredible work we can accomplish inside of it!
A family in our ward that we have been working with has been good about praying for missionary opportunities! This week while they were on a walk, they stopped and talked to this woman on the street who told them she was looking for a religion.  They invited her to church and testified of the truthfulness of the gospel and she CAME! How rad is that?! Praying for missionary opportunities WORKS! so keep doing it :)
We also had ZONE CONFERENCE THIS WEEK! It was SO RAD.  Every time President Riggs speaks you can feel of his love for the Savior and for this work.  He is an inspired man! We learned about the atonement and the fall of adam and eve.  It was INCREDIBLE.  He spoke about the beauty of the atonement and how it makes every negative thing about the fall, a POSITIVE thing.  HOW TRUE THAT IS. We have so much to be joyful about because of the atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ.  He has given us so much HOPE in this life and in the life to come because of his infinite and atoning sacrifice.  Just the thought of that gives me chills.  We are all children of a LOVING Heavenly Father! He is so merciful and willing to help us if we strive to become one with Him so he can better help us understand who we are and what we are capable of. 
We also had a mission conference with Elder Kopischke of the seventy. Him and his wife are from Germany and they shared an amazing message with us.  We spoke all about how the Holy Ghost works through us and how he can answer every question we have.  With that in mind, Elder K told us all to write down EVERY question we had about the gospel that has been troubling us or that has been on our mind. So we did. And he PROMISED us that every question we had would be answered by the Holy Ghost.  And it was TRUE. Some of my questions were not even brought up during the conference but they were answered as the spirit spoke and testified to me of the truthfulness of this everlasting gospel. 
Each and Every day I am striving to become more and better through my Savior Jesus Christ. I invite all of you do the same and your blessings will be everlasting.
I love my Savior and his atoning sacrifice, I love the Holy Ghost and how it bears witness to us, I love President Riggs and Washington DC South, and I LOVE being a missionary
Keep it Real and Keep the Faith,
Sister Kennedy

 ​Sisters in my MTC zone that are in the DC North mission as Temple Visitors Center sisters!

 At the Visitors Center with Bobbi and James in our ward :)

 The GORGEOUS DC temple

 In OldTowne Last preparation day :)

 Roaming the streets...

 Hanging out with Erin in our ward :)

 ​Teaching the Restoration to Andy and Michelle (and Jax, the dog)

 enjoy the beauty

 ​The beautiful Viginia sunset!

 selfie with the templeeee

 my cute comp and I :) who only has 3 weeks left in the mission field!!!

 The CREW at the visitors center

 the temple from the beltway!

 taking our less active to the singles ward this week!!

 ​first time I have done my hair on my mission.  #hallelu-yer

​being crazzzyyyy 

 The bread of life :)  bread from home!

 Here we are! In all our glory! The one with the bangs is sister
schooleys recent convert :)

 This is elder moreno... He is my fav missionary in the district movies
that we watch as new missionaries :)

 This is sister duncan. We are the SAME person. She is sister schooleys
old comp. I love her!!!