Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Elli's next three letters..................


where do I even start? I can NOT believe it is already Monday again, the weeks are FLYING. for goodness sakes today marks 8 months as a missionary and I AM FREAKING OUT. where did all the time go? SO CRAZY and SO SO SO HAPPY.
the funny:
we had a lesson with a crazy less-active who tricked us into thinking he was going to jail for a year? but we arent actually sure if he was joking... the doorbell rang in the middle of the lesson and he started crying and told us he was off to jail but actually the front desk man was at the door dropping off some clothes for him... so we ignore that and keep teaching him and then suddenly he starts screaming as he stands up and is literally going crazy ripping his pants off because there was a spider on him that we found out later wasnt real... SO WEIRD, SO AWKWARD, AND SO DANG FUNNY.
our chinese investigators came to english class again and after class sister davis was asking duan about his new sweatpants he was wearing... he got a little offended because he didnt understand what sweatpants were and so he thought we were telling him they were "sweaty pants" hahahahaha
We had this NASTY mold growing above our ceiling so we told the front desk and they came and literally just cut the moldy part of the ceiling off. Later that day, I was walking by the bathroom and suddenly there was a stream of water coming from the ceiling and part of the wall fell off. hahaha gotta love the Aspen...
Sister Davis locked me out on the balcony this week and proceeded to tell me that she wouldnt let me in unless I knocked on the window 22 times, danced like a monkey for 20 seconds, and sing called to serve as loud as I could. so naturally I completed this task with multiple construction workers down below pointing and laughing #thankssisterd

SO BASICALLY this week was a dream. We had a lesson with Jean and one of our ward missionaries on monday night about TRUTH. He was EATING it up. He loved it and the spirit was so strong. He is doing SO well and LIVING THE COMMANDMENTS! It is incredible. He is SO close, we dont have him on date again, but we will soon!
Nick our AWESOME invsestigator texted us and let us know that he doesnt want to meet anymore. That was REALLY really hard for us and he wouldnt get back in touch with us for a while. the good news is that he finally called us back and apologized for ignoring us and asked if we could clear up his confusion regarding what he thinks we believe. We are really really really excited to teach him again, he is the greatest.
Duan and Danny came to church this week!!! which was AWESOME! they are both from China and are students here and are SO INCREDIBLE. they LOVE coming to church and mingling with the members that are INCREDIBLE fellow shippers, we have to pass them to the elders (since they are mandarin speaking) but we still get to teach them in English class which will be so much fun. they are just the greatest.
We got a SUPER RAD new investigator Rodney (surprise surprise another male investigator) who is the coolest ever. He met with the missionaries a year ago but was dropped because he was way hard to get a hold of, we were able to meet with him and testify SUPER boldly of God's love and the incredible peace we feel when we come close to him, it was an absolute miracle.
We were able to contact on the nothern virginia community college campus this week that is out of our area but we got permission since there is a large number of Young Single Adults and it was A DREAM!!!! we got 2 new investigators and even more potentials. It was so cool, the power behind testifying is INCREDIBLE. Man I LOVE THIS WORK
This week was particularly challenging in the sense that I was feeling SO DISTRACTED. It was really getting me down and making me not want to work... which then made me anxious... which then made me mad... man the struggle was real. but yesterday it was INCREDIBLE to see the power that comes to us when we really focus on others. We had a lesson last night where we felt impressed to show the "Because He Lives" video and while we were playing it I got emotional as I realized HOW HAPPY this gospel is.  There is no place I would rather be right now! There are so many reasons why I love being here, there are so many people that truly are waiting for this message, and there are so many miracles that come FLOODING when we let the Lord take the reins. MAN this is just SO GOOD!!!! The church is so TRUE and there are SO SO SO MANY blessings that we receive that we take for granted so easily. I have so much faith that when we really put this work and our LIVES into God's hands, he will BLESS US! He wants to bless us, he wants to make us happy, but so many blessings that we receive are conditional on our asking for them and on our personal responsibility to be OBEDIENT.  There is so much perfection in this sweet work, I am so blessed to have all of you in my life and I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ that truly does change our eternities.
keep it real and keep the faith
sister kennedy

HAPPY ARE WE.... APRIL 13, 2015

The funny:
 THIS RANDOM crazy asian man came to church yesterday and he literally tried to convince our gospel essentials class that 1. our veterans also atoned for our sins so we should worship them as "mini-jesus's" 2. that Christ never actually died he was just "in a coma" 3. that God doesnt want peace, "He creates war, not us" 4. that rather than "are we not all beggars" we should say "are we not all harlots" and 5. The only reason Christ understands us is because "Pain is the greatest teacher of them all". Sister Davis was literally laughing SO HARD that tears were coming down her face. bad news is that we had 4 investigators there, 3 of which are from china and were already confused so there was ALL SORTS of commotion. #thankyoucolonial1stward


so thursday was transfers. yikes. our District Leader called and Sister Davis and I just cringed as we sat on our beds doing all we could to keep ourselves from crying... WHEN SUDDENLY HE TOLD US WE WERE BOTH STAYING AND WE LITERALLY SCREAMED FOR A SOLID 30 MINUTES. Sister Davis has been in this area for 3 transfers already and the only time our mission president keeps missionaries in one area for four is usually if their companion is going home or if they are training, BUT HERE WE ARE! HAPPY ARE WE! Because of this INCREDIBLE miracle that we are staying together we knew that the only way we could show our gratitude to our savior was through HARD WORK so we just started POUNDING THE PAVEMENT. holy smokes. SO INCRED.
So throughout the week we were seeing NOTHING, we were dropping people right and left and getting more rejections than we thought possible... so we decided that we needed to control what we could control and let God control the rest. AND THE MIRACLES WOULDNT CEASE.
So this week we had another lesson set up with nick, he texted us and told us that he didnt want to meet because he just needed to relax.  So we texted back and forth and he just kept telling us that he is just too tired and that this is "too much". That same day we had zone training and we were trained on PROMISING PEOPLE BLESSINGS. so sister davis and I prayed and felt impress to promise him that if he reads the book of mormon and PRAYS about it that he will have energy. Sounds crazy, but we send him this and he texts us back 20 minutes later with, "just prayed and started reading the book of mormon. immediately felt energized and the air smelled sweet". THE LORD blesses us with what we need to say when we are in tune with the spirit! such a miracle.
That night we were able to go to dinner with one of my mom's good friends from High School and it was SO GREAT! we had such a good time with such great people :) such a little miracle to find connections all the way out here on the east coast!
We had English class with Lucy, Duan, and their friend Danny and it was INCREDIBLE. we talked about general conference, what they liked about it, and what we can help them understand. IT WAS AWESOME. we talked about what the savior can do for us and why he is the head of our church. We ended with a prayer and invited them all to come to church on Sunday. THEY ALL DID. AND THEY ALL STAYED FOR ALL 3 HOURS. it was miraculous. They want to talk about testimonies, conversion, and Joseph Smith this week in English class. SO. COOL.

so friday night rolls around and we are NOT receiving any revelation as to where God wants us that evening, so we decide that we are going to go check on an investigator who hasnt returned our calls for a couple days, we go and we had an extremely awkward lesson with him that left us feeling frustrated that we werent where we needed to be, so we left and went to go street contact the pier but we did NOT feel that that was right either, so frustrated we started walking back to the car stopping and talking to the people on our way. While we were crossing the street, I hear Sister Davis scream, ANDREW!? and lo and behold HER COUSIN IS CROSSING THE STREET TOWARD US. He was FREAKING out as he told us that he was in town for 3 days for a work conference staying with some friends who arent members! we were able to meet their friends and have a great chat with them. later, andrew emails sister davis and tells her that this friend he was staying with he felt a very strong prompting to share the gospel with but every idea he had to bring it up or to share was NOT WORKING. We met them on their way to dinner, they changed their dinner plans 5 or 6 times until they finally decided where they wanted to go and when. Andrew was stuck in traffic for a while, finally found a parking space, was running over to the restaraunt when we ran into him. AFTER we met him and his friends, they were asking him questions about the church and about what we really believe, by the end of it he ASKED ANDREW if he could have missionaries sent to his home to teach him!! SO STINKING COOL! we will be heading their way very soon :)
SATURDAY is just as miraculous, still feeling like we are not receiving much revelation, we just start driving to a part of our area that is pretty far out and pray that God will bless us with people if we show our faith and ACT. So we get to the Washington Square apartments and decided to park and start knocking, as we are walking up to the building we want to knock, there are 3 men sitting on their porch that we stop and talk to. All of them were from Ghana (HOLLER) and one of them is a preacher in North Dakota. We sat on his porch talking with him and teaching him for close to 45 minutes and we shared the "Because He Lives" video. IT WAS INCREDIBLE. No he didnt want us to come back, and no he didnt want to learn more, but there is so much POWER is listening and testifying. We read in the Book of Mormon with him and in the Bible and we discussed why we need both records to receive a FULLNESS of the Gospel of our Savior Jesus Christ, he committed to reading the Book of Mormon and PRAYING to know if it truly is from God. so so so cool.
Then we were walking and we saw a guy parking who looked like a Young Single Adult! #holler. that does NOT happen enough... but MAN WAS HE INCREDIBLE. His name is Brian and he is just a total miracle. He has met with missionaries in the past and he wants to meet again, SO COOL.
fast forward to sunday night... STILL not really receiving revelation as to where to go so we just pick a random apt complex and GO TO TOWN. we are knockin and talkin all day and this way we found these 3 sweet south african women. one of which told us that she used to go to our church with her auntie when she was a little girl in south africa! We we totally shocked and THEN SHE STARTED SINGING I AM A CHILD OF GOD. #wut. is this real life? We showed her "Because He Lives" and then we started teaching her the restoration. it was an absolute miracle. We are going back to teach her more :)
and now for the greatest miracle of all, after the south african ladies sister davis had to go to the bathroom WAY bad so we were debating driving somewhere or walking to the gas station. we decided on the gas station so we could talk to more people on the way. as we were walking, there were 2 people walking toward us who looked super scary and were not very approachable, and when we got closer they started walking away from us to get to the other side but we lightly jogged over to them and started talking. We told them about God and His love for them and handed them Because He Lives cards. They were expressing their gratitude so deeply for us and stopping and talking to them. The woman looked at the man and said, "Kareem, I think this is the answer to your prayer". He got a little choked up as he told us that he has a wife, 2 little boys and 1 on the way and him and his wife both just lost their jobs. Because of this, they just lost their house and now they are just bouncing between friends in maryland, dc, and virginia. This woman (romaine, his cousin) and himself had just been in the store for 2 hours deciding what to buy with the few dollars they had and they were discussing what the next step is for his family. With tears in our eyes we asked if we could pray with them and right there on the corner of this busy street we all bowed our heads and asked God to bless this family. Romaine looked us in the eyes and said, "you 2 are the angels sent from heaven that I have been asking God for. I know He sent you here to us at this time today for a reason. you have something that can help us." and right then and there we bore testimony to them of the truthfulness of the gospel. We have a family home evening lesson set up with them and their families tonight and I couldnt be more grateful and excited.
I KNOW that God places us where we need to be exactly when we need to be there. I KNOW that God KNOWS and LOVES all his children so much and so fully that we cant even begin to comprehend it. I KNOW that the message of the restored gospel that we share is PERFECT, complete, and life changing. I know that Jesus Christ loves each of us so deeply that he truly did take upon himself every pain we have, are and ever will feel. I know that this church is true and I know that I am supposed to be right here, right now, for a reason. I love this sweet work and I love my sweet family that have raised me in a home with this knowledge so that I can have the opportunity to be here sharing it with everyone I see. I love you all so much. I am so incredibly blessed to be here.
keep it real and keep the faith


HOLY SMOKES WHAT A GOOD WEEK! so so so many miracles! I am so blessed to be here at this time with sister Davis seeing the work progress in this little part of the vineyard :) SO so so great
the funny:
1. So people here think I'm cool because I'm a hip hop dancer... (key word, THINK). and as missionaries we have to "back" our cars out of every parking lot, so I usually throw in a couple moves here and there to keep things exciting. SO yesterday, the elders in our district caught a glimpse of this and now they insist on "doing the kennedy" as they back up their cars and it is probably top 5 funniest things to watch, EVER. #worldsbestdistrict
2. yesterday sister davis and I were running out of a dinner appointment to get to a lesson to find that our car had been towed... we call our district leader who is laughing uncontrollably as he tells us that towing tickets aren't paid by the mission #ouch. $135 later I think we learned our lesson.
3. sister davis and I have an imaginary friend named susan that we like to blame everything on (yes. crazy, but you gotta do what you gotta do) and we have convinced the elders in our district that she is a real person that we are teaching hahahahaha.
5. Sister Davis and I thought it would be really funny to cut all my hair off last night. so we did. #9incheslater #soccermom
6. We street contacted into this creepy man who kept trying to hug me and get my number because my last name is Kennedy and he thinks President Kennedy is my great grandfather. #sorrybud
7. The man on the computer next to me is watching videos on how to do witchcraft.

SO as I am sure you all remember (because you all read my emails so thoroughly I am sure) we were supposed to have a baptism on easter! well, unfortunately that didnt happen and that was somewhat of a hard pill to swallow... BUT we learned soooo much and Jean is SO MUCH closer to baptism than he was last week, it is incredible. Now when we talk about it he tells us that he really wants to be baptized and he is excited to make this covenant he just wants to have more FAITH so that is what we are working on this week with him. He is such a miracle :)
Also this week, I went on exchanges with sister funk, what a champ. That night, we taught Lucy and Duan in English class. While we taught them, they told us that they really want to come to church! So we talked to them alllll about church and how it will help them come closer to Christ! They asked TONS of incredible questions about WHY God loves us when we are so imperfect and HOW they can feel that love, wow. It was incredible. At the end, Duan told us that he wanted to learn how to pray so that he could feel close to God. He prayed the most beauitful sincere prayer and the next week they came to conference! They told us that they couldnt understand much BUT they could "feel good from God" when the choir sang. SUCH a miracle :)
A HUGE PART of this week was METRO CONTACTING!!! AS A DISTRICT OF 9 MISSIONARIES WE GAVE OUT 2500 HUNDRED "BECAUSE HE LIVES" CARDS IN 6 HOURS. yeah. IT WAS SO SO SO SO INCREDIBLE! We have elders in our district that have special permission to have cameras and laptops to make movies/videos for the church news. ok. cool kids. SO thats why the pics I sent are such high quality.SO RAD. they are sending all those pics to church headquarters to show them what DC South is made of. so so so cool.
Now let's not forget NICK :) HE IS A CHAMP. Man he is just so incredible. We had a lesson with him this week about the gospel of Jesus Christ. HE. IS. SO. GREAT. We were planning on teaching the plan of salvation and when started, the spirit was NOT there at all. He was getting frustrated, we were getting frustrated, it was just BAD... but once we asked HIM what he needed we were really able to guide our teaching to his needs, it. was. awesome.  HE LOVED it and he LOVED knowing that God has put forth a plan for us to follow to be successful in this life and to be able to return and live with him again. He also came and watched conference and after the session he looked at us and said, "Sisters! I feel the spirit! I loved the speeches!" it was such a miracle.
I am SO GRATEFUL to be a part of a living church. I am so blessed to be here in Alexandria taking care of the incredible people who never cease to amaze me. I am so blessed to be companions with sister davis and to be working SO HARD that sometimes I want to cry because I am so tired. I am so grateful for President and Sister Riggs and for all that they do for me. I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ and for the knowledge that I have that I can have TRUE JOY as I follow the teachings and prophecies in the Bible and the Book of Mormon. I am SO GRATEFUL TO BE A MISSIONARY! I am serious when I say I will never come home, I love it here. I love working hard. I love seeing miracles and I love the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. 
keep it real and keep the faith
sister kennedy

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

7 letters!!!!!!! Yes this is Mama Kennedy (as Elli's friends call me) and I have gotten waaay behind!! So here ya go!!! ENJOY!


Miracles are Real and so are Transfers....

Brothers and Sisters... I AM LEAVING KINGSTOWNE. I think my heart is
going to drop out of my chest. I can't even stand to think about
leaving these people. There is so much work to do here and so many
people that I will literally love forever. Please pray that I won't be
an emotional wreck come Thursday...

watched meet the mormons with him and he loved it! He said that all of
the misconceptions that they were talking about are exactly what he
thought... He went on to tell us that he had never felt so loved and
so welcomed by anyone, especially from a church. It was just a huge
miracle. After the movie he said that the story he related with the
most was the Costa Rican couple because it takes him back to his
roots, then I told him I was 1/8 Costa Rican... Hahahaha he didn't
believe me. #paleandproud we are hoping to get him on date this week

Another week of TONS of less active work. 8 less-actives at church!!
So awesome! We are truly bragging people back unto the fold and I'm so
grateful! We also had 5 returning members take part in the temple
baptism trip this week! It was so so so cool. Remember Kwesi and Elom
from Ghana? They were my first baptisms and they were able to go! It
was incredible. They said that the spirit they felt in the temple was
just more evidence that this is the right church for them. SO SO SO

got baptized this week and they invited 5 non-member families!!  It
was incredible! One of those families invited us over for dinner this
week!!!! We are so pumped! Also, one of bishops sons is max's age and
he loves me. Right before the baptism started, the whole family was
sitting together and then Lewis stood up on the pew, scanned the room,
found me, ran over and plopped himself right next to me. Literally the
CUTEST little boy on earth, he's like my little max away from home :)

Also, exchanges with Sister Stucki were this week. Holy awesome. She
taught me so much! We did some serious WORK. #poundingthepavement it
was so awesome.

Miracle!!! 2 months ago we were taking the metro to DC and we were
confused as to where we get off, so we asked one of the workers and he
was super nice, helped us, and we gave him a mormon.org card (like
usual because that's just what we do #mishlyfe). THEN we went to DC
last week and right as we were about to get on the metro, he came over
and asked us if we needed help! We figured he didn't remember us so we
said no, but started talking and he told us he lost our card and
wanted a new one! Long story short, we got his info and we are
planning on meeting with him this week! He is PUMPED and he is just so

So many other great things happened this week but unfortunately I am
typing this on my iPad since it's Presidents' Day and the library is
closed and so that took me like an hour. Haha

ANYWAYS. Stay posted for my new adventures in my new area starting
next week. If it's his hard to leave an area after 6 months, I can't
even IMAGINE what it will be like going home in 18 months... I can't
even bear the thought. I love this place, I love this work, I am
literally 100% obsessed with being a missionary, sorry mom... I don't
think I can EVER go home.

Keep it real and keep the faith

Sister Kennedy


What's a Prayer Without Real Intent....

HOLY COW BROTHERS AND SISTERS THE WORK WILL GO FORWARD NO MATTER WHAT. so I left kingstowne this week... and it felt like i was ripping my heart out of my chest ,but I did it, and I made it . SO MANY goodbyes and SO MNAY tears but it happened. I am so EXCITED to continue to hear about the work there because it is on FIRE. i love it! and Sister Malufau got a companion who is also polynesian, I think she was pretty pumped about that. us Haole's dont know much #letsbereal haha
I AM NOW IN THE COLONIAL 1ST SINGLES WARD. so these were my exact words on the way to transfer meeting, "i just want to serve in a family ward and have a companion who has been out a long time and can teach me how to be a better missionary" well. i am in a singles ward and my companion has been out for 2 transfers (she came out with sister malufau) hahahahaha. I LOVE HER SO MUCH!  Her name is Rachel Davis and she is from Lindon Utah. She was at BYU the SAME TIME that i was and we figured out that we had Music 101 together and she sat right above me for a semester and we never met each other! we also have a friend that had a mission call opening party with maybe 15 people there and WE WERE BOTH THERE and didnt meet each other! we were freaking out about that for DAYS. hahaha She has already taught me SO MUCH she wants to POUND THE PAVEMENT and get some serious work done, and we are. We are literally in the greatest area on earth. 

So my first night was eventful to say the least, going into a singles ward is SO DIFFERENT. everyone is the same age as us. our ward mission leader is like 24... so weird. and all the people in the ward invite us to all their parties... so its like being in college again but being a missionary... but it also ROCKS because we can be SO REAL with people and SO BLUNT and they wont get offended because we are all the same age and we all "get" each other. it is AWESOME. So my first night, we go to a LUAU for a girl in the ward where she invited 3 former investigators and 1 of our investigators. well our investigator shows us with a 6 pack of beer. hahahahah sister davis and I were DYING. He kind of does whatever he wants, he is from Haiti and is SUPER rad. He is 27 and We are HOPING to get him on date this week.  That same day we have a lesson with a less active where she served us "mormon wine"... uhhh.... basically the most awkward moment of my life. but its ok.
Fast forward to Friday. we have a lesson with patrick, our other investigator who is HILARIOUS. he is SO RAD. i wish i could tell you stories about him over email and they would be just as funny. He came to church on sunday and he kept saying he was 5 minutes away but we couldnt find him, so we left sacrament meeting and go try to find him, the next thing we know, this taxi comes screeching to a stop about 100 feet in front of us and the door flies open. out jumps patrick waving his book of mormon in the air trying to get our attention and he comes with us to church! he loved it and he cant wait to come next week. HE ROCKS.
ALSO that same night we had another party to go to #singleswardlyfe and on the way there there were these 2 guys who were sprinting across the street. They were running and went to jump  onto the ICE covering the sidewalk. they fell SO hard that i was squatting and laughing on the sidewalk for a solid 3 minutes with tears running down my face. The next day there was a stake mini-MTC we went to and we were telling the elders about it when we realized that we were talking about THEM. hahhahahahaa IT WAS SO FUNNY
ALSO our area is HUGE because we cover half the stake so we have gotten lost SO MANY TIMES. neither of us have a GPS and we dont really know how to get anywhere, so thats nice. haha
This week I learned a TON about real intent. Our investigator from Haiti, Jean, has been meeting with missionaries FOREVER and so we are really trying to get him on date and SET for baptism. When we talk to him about real intent we are committing him to have FAITH to act on the answers he receives from Heavenly Father... While we were teaching him I realized that I needed to do a little self-reflection. HOW can I be teaching this when I am not living it myself? How can I testify of the truth of this if I am not willing to try it? SO I realized that I needed to WORK HARDER. I need to have enough faith to talk to EVERYONE in my path. I need to TRUST in the Lord enough to know that no matter what happens, I always have to turn to him first and put this work before anything else. There are SO many times when I pray for help and just expect the answers to come raining down from Heaven when I am not doing ANYTHING to get those answers.  I LOVE knowing that being a member of the church does NOT take away our personal responsibility to do ALL we can do. When we are working hard, pushing forward, and LOVING these people, that is when we are going to feel the merciful arms of the Savior wrapped around us READY AND WILLING to help us. I love YOU I love this WORK and I LOVE the gospel of JESUS CHRIST
keep it real and keep the faith
sister kennedy


I'd Rather be Squaredancing....

BROTHERS AND SISTERSSSSSSSSSSSS! holy miracles! wow! wow! wow! I wish I could tell you all of them right now all at once!!! I am in love with my area! as per usual, lets start with the funny
1. the title of this email has nothing to do with anything, we just saw that written on a bumper sticker right before we came in to email
2. sister davis and I made a list of "you know youre in a singles ward when..." items last night that we were laughing at for about an hour. hahahhaa SO i hope you appreciate it as much as I did...
You know you are serving in a singles ward when...
1. When one of our Ward missionaries takes it upon herself to magnify her calling by dating two of our investigators simultaneously. #FlirtToConvert
2. When we get invitations to parties weekly. Sometimes out of a desire for us to meet nonmember friends but other times because they need a morale boost and we fill the room with light. #SistersCanParty
3. When the Elders Quorum President is doing a lot of quality missionary work through Tinder. We currently stalk him to get any information on his nonmember girlfriend. #FanTheFlame
4. When the Ward Council agenda this week consisted of: if both co-chairs must attend Ward council each week, having a Chinese activity(several heated opinions on who is more in tune with the Chinese culture, the one Asian member of the ward council or the Utahns?), a member of the facilities committee trying to convince the bishop that it was irrelevant for him to come to ward council since he only works with chairs and empty rooms, and a sudden break down from one member in the middle of Ward council when he discovered that the
bishopric had been reorganized. #ShouldHaveBeenOnTime
5. When that one couple thinks that the gospel principles class of 8 people is the best time to snuggle. #BackToTheBasics
6. when every activity is based on marriage. Ex. The March Madness Activity where the girls are suppose to ask the boys in the Ward and the members strongly encourage us to come under the pretense that we could bring the elders. #CanYouFeelThe...Spirit...Tonight?
7. When the question "what can we do for you?" is interpreted as "what is your current relationship status and how can we assist you in your dating endeavors?" ("Do not counsel members or nonmembers on personal problems" -Missionary handbook pg. 34) #ToBeMarriageMindedIsLifeEternal
8. When Sunday evening prime proselyting time is filled with member drop-ins and LOTS of desserts. #FeedMySheep
9. When your worst nightmare is aging out of the ward. #RingBySpring
10. When your Ward Mission Leader texts you the stats for all the basketball games going on that week. #StillBallin'InMid-CalfSkirts
hahahahhaa IT gets me every time... NOW onto the more important matters of the week!
We had interviews with President Riggs this week and it was INCREDIBLE! He spoke in the Colonial 1st ward's ward conference earlier in the year and PROMISED the ward that they would baptize 25 people this year. #WUT. He was telling me this in my interview and my heart stopped. He went on to say, "Sister Kennedy. I hope you know that I did not put you in this ward, at this time, on accident. YOU ARE HERE TO FIND THOSE 25 PEOPLE". holy smokes. Sister Davis had a very similar interview. When we were both done we got in the car and discussed what we needed to do... Both of us felt prompted that we need to get this ward excited and we have to set some HIGH goals. SO we did just that. WE ARE WORKING LIKE CRAZY. 4 new investigators this week and EVEN MORE potentials. We have 4 progressing investigators that we hope to get on date this week and SO many more that we are going to FIND this week. The crazy thing about this area is that we are RIGHT in the city. You walk out your door and there are PEOPLE everywhere. SO cool. so different from Kingstowne, but SO good.
We were street contacting one night, and we stopped this guy who was WAY too nice to us and he told us that "he would see us at church maybe". we looked him up on LDS tools and he is in the other singles ward. #typical. hahaha
We had a lesson with our investigator Eddie this week that was INCREDIBLE. we were really working by the spirit and asking him a TON of inspired questions that helped us really figure out what we needed to do to help him. He just kept telling us, "I just want to come to church and meet with you guys more and more because of the peace I feel when I am around you". wow. It was such a miracle.
We were also asked to help with a stake activity called the "golden gala" that the singles ward put on for the older members of the stake. we went to help, and I saw TONS of my wonderful older friends from Kingstowne. It was WONDERFUL. during this time, we had an awkward 30 minute break between helping so we decided to call some former investigators. We started calling with no luck. I told sister davis that I didnt know if this was very effective. She looked me in the eyes and said, "sister kennedy, where is your faith? lets pray". She prayed... and then called the next person on the list. Alexis. She answered and was SO excited to hear from missionaries again! we set up an appointment to go see her this friday. I wish you could have seen sister davis's face when she said she wanted to meet with us again, she was about to cry she was SO HAPPY. she is such a good example to me!!!! this happened AGAIN with Neo :) another former who we are meeting with tomorrow! SO AWESOME!
We had a lesson with our investigator patrick this week at jimmy johns which was INCREDIBLE. we started talking and he goes, "oh by the way, I stumbled across one of your mormon movies... 7 miracles or something? The guy on the cover looked like brad pitt so I just started watching it..." #JAWDROP. ummmm 17 miracles!? Patrick rocks my life. IT WAS AWESOME. We tried to put him on date for march 21, he said no, BUT that he would pray about it. YAY!
ANOTHER former investigator RANDOMLY showed up at church yesterday and it was INCREDIBLE! we have an appointment set up with him for Thursday... we are SO AMPED!

ALSO, another sister davis MIRACLE, we were street contacting and she stopped this girl who was on the phone... im always hesitant, but sister davis being a ROCKSTAR and LITERALLY The most BOLD missionary I have EVER met just started talking to her. This girl hangs up the phone and goes on to tell us that she has lived here a year and still doesnt know which church is right for her. She had a really hard week and was praying for someone to help her... Sister Davis testified to her that what we talk about is true, how important church attendance is, and that The Savior put us in her path that night at that time for a reason, we are meeting with her this week :)

I KNOW that Heavenly Father has placed 25 prepared people in the Colonial 1st YSA ward for us to find. I KNOW that when we TRULY do exercise our faith and work as HARD and as DILIGENTLY as we can that we will FIND those PREPARED PEOPLE. Doctrine and Covenants 4:6 says, "I the lord am BOUND when ye do what I say, but when ye do NOT what I say, ye have no promise". I KNOW that the Lord has  promised us SO MANY BLESSINGS that are conditional on our hard work and our ASKING for them. I KNOW that the Lord and His atonement are there to help us 100% of the time whether or not we choose to use it. I KNOW that the Lord loves us so fully and so unconditionally that He has blessed us with incredible people on our RIGHT and on our LEFT to help us every step of the way, and as missionaries we PRAY that we find people that may be drifting from that support system so that we can remind that that CHRIST will always be there to BEAR THEM UP. I LOVE MY MISSION. I LOVE MY COMPANION. I LOVE THE COLONIAL 1st YSA WARD, I LOVE THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS, AND I LOVE MY SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST.
keep it real and keep the faith
sister kennedy


Charity SUFFERETH Long...

BROTHERS AND SISTERS. holy miracles. lets be real, colonial 1st ward is ROCKIN it. SO much win. I just love it here. I love the people, I love the area, I love the language (oh PS im now and hermana), and I love my companion. Life is just TOO TOO sweet.

Lets start with the funny. we all know how much I love people from Ghana. Its a little bit ridiculous at times HOW MUCH I love them. Well we have a new investigator from Ghana and his name is Greg. what a champ. love the kid. hes 26 and he works in our building. We taught him last night and while we were teaching him, he just looks and me and says, "sister kennedy please come back to Africa with me". and he was dead serious. Sister Davis was about to pee herself because she was laughing so hard. please note, that last week he proposed to us. so stinking hilarious.
There is a less-active that we have been working with that has been making MIRACULOUS changes in his life. the funny thing about being in a singles ward vs a family ward is that in a family ward people stop coming to church usually because they just get lazy or they were offended. But in a singles ward its usually because they are falling into bad habits. IT IS SO EASY to fall off the path that God has set forth for you when you arent consistently surrounding yourself with good/ positive things to be doing. This less-active hasnt been to chruch since he was 9, other than a few times a couple months ago and he is now SO EXCITED to get back into it. We have been making daily contact with him and it has been absolutely miraculous. He has a really rough past and comes from a really broken family, but now that he is surrounded by the light of the Savior, he is happier than he has ever been. His mom came up to us today and Thanked Us for making him happy again. She was just lit up while she expressed her gratitude to us. It has been absolutely incredible.
We have 5 investigators progressing toward baptism and I wish I had time to write about all 5 of them and how miraculous they are! They all have incredible stories and miracles that have led them to the church.
Eddie, one of our progressing Investigators, has been an absolute miracle. We went and taught him yesterday and we talked about the importance of church. He told us that when he was on his way to church, he walked into the wrong church building. he said, "as soon as I walked in, I knew it wasnt your church. I knew it because I didnt get the same feelings that I get when I talk to you. So I left, and when I found your church building I knew I was in the right place. I felt so at peace and so relaxed knowing I was in God's church". It was So cool. He is so incredible.
This week has been so miraculous, but also SUPER hard. I was getting really frustrated with myself and really down on myself. I was pleading with God to help me look outward and focus on the needs of other people, but as the days went on, all I was doing was pitying myself. THEN. sister davis and I talked scriptures. we came across alma 31:31. Alma, is pleading with God to help him find comfort, BUT rather than asking God to deliver him from his trails, he literally asks, "Lord, wilt thou grant unto me that I may have strength, that I may SUFFER with patience..." He is actually asking God to ALLOW him to suffer, to LET him have these trials! He is SO FAITHFUL and SO HUMBLE that rather than turning to the natural man, he trusts God enough to let him struggle. WHAT AN EXAMPLE. what an INCREDIBLE testimony! How would it be if we could all do that same thing? We also read in Moroni 7:45 that CHARITY SUFFERETH LONG. Charity takes a LONG time to develop, looking outward may take a LONG time, but sometimes we just have to suffer through it. and as we SUFFER with PATIENCE, as alma did, we will become strong, charitable, and even more perfected in Christ. We recognize and FEEL the pains and sorrows of others because we have had to suffer patiently ourselves. What a beautiful thing. I never thought I would ever think that, but it is so true! suffering is such a blessing! our trials are SUCH A BLESSING! 1 peter 1:7 tells us that our trials are MORE PRECIOUS that GOLD. What an incredible promise that we have. What a BLESSING to be loved enough to be tried, tested, and to be allowed to suffer.
man, I am so blessed. This week I invite you all to pray for patience to continue in suffering, no matter how deep the sorrow, no matter how painful the grief, you will be blessed beyond any comprehension. Of this I so testify, in the name of Jesus Christ amen
keep it real and keep the faith
sister kennedy

BUT we all know, that we have to have to bitter to taste the sweet.


Grateful IN All Circumstances...

SO lets start with the funny, remember my lovely friend from Ghana that we are teaching who proposed and asked to take me back to africa with him? WELL. we had a lesson with him on saturday and he would NOT commit to do anything, so we went back to the apartment and we were really frustrated... since he works for the front desk for our apartment complex, he came down to the gym this morning while we were doing gym time to check on the machines. we talked with him and asked him what we could do to get him to read the Book of Mormon... he responded with " a martial arts kick that would show our athleticism" uhhh. greg. what? and he said, yeah! if you can do this kick, I will read the WHOLE book of mormon. So sister Davis and I get pumped and ready. now just imagine in your head a little Ghanaian man trying to show us the proper technique for this kick and me just failing. WELL in the end, sister Davis made the agreement with him that if she could do the same amount of pushups as him that he would have to read it. he smiled his little mischievous smile and he just started PUMPIN THEM OUT. luckily sister davis is BEAST and totally owned him. and GUESS WHO IS READING THE BOOK OF MORMON!? GREG!
ANOTHER MIRACLE. So we have an investigator named Jean from Haiti (mentioned him before) and he is literally incredible. Another one of the reasons why this area will be SO HARD to leave. It has been incredible to see the friendship we have built in these short 3 weeks. you REALLY dont know how wonderful your relationships will be with the people you serve until you are out there SERVING. wow. He is just incredible and literally one my best friends. So he took us to dinner this week and afterward we made a pit stop at Chick-Fil-A for some shakes :) While he was ordering, we challenged him to give a mormon.org card to the kid who rang up his order, and he did! and he told him why he loved the church! So awesome, THEN the kid came back to give us our shakes and he sat down and asked, "so what makes mormons different from other christian churches?". We told him and he just kept asking INCREDIBLE questions and we taught him the entire restoration! he agreed to come to church AND to take all of the lessons, it was a DREAM. I think the best part was that as he walked away, Jean says, "guys, I GOT MY FIRST NEW INVESTIGATOR" hahahaha. Literally the coolest.
Aaaaaand another miracle, We were checking up on a potential investigator named Jasmine and when we got to her house, her brother answered the door! We talked with him for a while about who we are, what we do, and what the Book of Mormon is about. He loved it and he agreed to let us come back and teach him again this week! we are SO SO SO excited!  Pray for JC.
One thing that I have been praying for lately is COURAGE to really, honestly, talk to everyone. It has been easy to talk to people, but not to ALL people. Last night, while we were street contacting, we were walking along and there was a very sketchy looking homeless man that I had a feeling I should stop and talk to. My heart jumped a little because it is scary! really scary! I mean, homeless old men in DC is so not safe... haha but I stopped anyways. As we talked, he told me about his incredibly HARD life and all the struggles that have beset him. He has no education, he has no job, he is illiterate, he is a dialysis patient, he is alone, and his life has been nothing like he expected. BUT he went on to tell us how GRATEFUL he is for how much he loves his life. He testified of God's love and the importance of living according to His will. He told us about how much he loves going to church and worshiping God because of the all encompassing love and power he feels from his Father in Heaven. It was so beautiful to see a man who at first glance looks like he has nothing, testify of how rich he really is. This has been a beautiful lesson to me of Gratitude and LOVE. Brothers and Sisters there is SO MUCH POWER behind love and gratitude! there is so much a need for us all to truly see each other as a child of God. We all have something to give, we all have something to gain from each other, and we ALL have SO many things to be grateful for.
I am literally brought to tears everytime I even think about leaving my mission. I am so so so blessed to be here and I WISH that everyone could have this experience to truly see people CHANGE and come closer to Christ. This is the most beautiful and unique opportunity and I am so eternally grateful for it. I love my Savior. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. and  I love being a missionary.
keep it real and keep the faith
sister kennedy



BROTHERS AND SISTERS I HAVE LITERALLY NEVER SEEN SO MANY MIRACLES IN ALL OF MY LIFE. God is REAL. He LOVES His children and He KNOWS when they are prepared and He truly will put them into the paths of the missionaries.
1. one man we stopped on the street liked our street contacting so much that he pulled out his wallet and tried to pay us for our pass-along card. hahhahaha
2. a man screamed at me after trying to offer him a card, "HAVE FUN BELIEVING IN ALIENS!" umm ok? haha
3. Jean (our WONDERFUL investigator that we love so dearly) is a rapper... and his rapper name is the "stuttering stunner" (PS dad he is making a rap to perform for your birthday hahahaha)
4. I gave a talk in chuch this week and the microphone was broken, so they had to bring in another mic and put it on a stand behind the podium. when I got up I grabbed the mic like a singer and said, "wow... i feel like a rockstar, ladies and gentlemen thanks so much for coming out to the show tonight". hahah so not funny, but sister davis was ROLLING. hahaha
5. we had a lesson with eddie this week and when we walked in he asks, "wow, long day?" we were like "yeah kinda, why?" he goes, "I can tell by your hair" hahaha thanks eddie. thanks.
6. We had dinner with a member and she invited a non-member friend who was under the impression that we were nuns and that we were homeless and thats why we had to be fed by the church members hahahahha


SO in weekly planning, we set goals for what we are going to do that upcoming week. This last week we set a goal to find 4 new investigators. That is a HEAVY goal... We were really really praying and seeking God's guidance to know what goals we needed to set and we both felt this was going to be sufficient. We set this goal with faith and with HIGH hopes that there would be prepared people placed in our path... well fast forward to Sunday afternoon and we had 1 new investigator (this goal was to be completed by sunday evening) and we were really questioning this goal we had set. BUT nonetheless we had set this goal and the Lord had confirmed to us that these people were going to be there, so starting at 7:30 PM we started street contacting like MAD. and we met mike :)
mike was SO RAD. we just start talking to him about God and about what we believe and about the Book of Mormon. HE LOVED IT. We go to set up a return appointment with him and come to find out he is only in Virginia for the weekend on business. #what. SO SAD but a total miracle because we were now pumped to find people.
We keep walking and there is a "California Tortilla" restaurant with 2 workers and no one in there and sister davis looks at me and says, "hey go talk to them". I hesitated, stuttered and she goes, "ok, I will". so we prance on in and meet Anthony :) this RAD black man with 4 tongue rings and dreads who accepts the book of mormon and a return appointment RIGHT THERE. 2 new investigators? check. We came out BEAMING. sister davis ROCKS MY WORLD. literally.
THEN as we are walking out, there is this SUPER SKETCHY black man with dreads smoking on the side of this building and sister davis and I look at each other, smile and go talk to him. He was really stand offish at first but then we showed him the Book of Mormon and we testified of what it can do for him and why it is so important to have a relationship with Jesus Christ. He ACCEPTED everything we said, agreed to meet with us on Tuesday and said, "ladies, I have had a horrible day. I am so glad you stopped and talked to me. I feel so much better now". We smiled and then asked if we could pray with him. We prayed and he was GLOWING. It was SUCH A MIRACLE. 3 new? check.
we keep walking, and we are not having any more luck... its 8:40 and we have a fairly long walk home so we debate on what we should do next. Sister Davis was like OK. Sister Kennedy, do you have faith that we can find 1 more new investigator? HOLY SMOKES YES. at this rate, I could have jumped to the moon. So we prayed that God would place this last prepared person in our path and we took off... eventually there was a guy about 50 yards ahead of us who had a 6-pack of bud light and he looked MAD... but we promised the Lord we would talk to everyone and we did. We gave him a card and he asked, "is there anything else you have for me?" I thought I was going to die, we told him allllll about the Book of Mormon and testified of its truth and THEN he looks at the back of the card and asks, "wow. ok. I would love to learn more, can I call this number on the card and sign up for lessons?". ARE YOU KIDDING ME. We were DYING. We set up a lesson and walked away SO HAPPY. GOD IS SO GOOD.
I HAVE LITERALLY NEVER BEEN THIS HAPPY IN ALL OF MY LIFE. I am so INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL for this opportunity I have to be here serving the Lord TRULY with all of my HEART, MIGHT, MIND and STRENGTH. I LOVE this work so so so much. I am so blessed to have Sister Davis as my companion and that I am able to learn from her. I am so grateful to be under the direction of President Riggs. I am so blessed to be in the Colonial 1st Singles Ward. I am so GRATEFUL to be a minority! I LOVE IT! I love the rich culture here and the fact that EVERYONE has a different story and a different past and that EVERY person we teach/talk to is from a different country. I LOVE being able to SMILE knowing that I am a valuable instrument in the Lord's hands! I LOVE HARD WORK! I love being diligent! I love being obedient! I love LOVING people! holy smokes, I just LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE being a mission. I am never ever going to be able to come home.
Keep it REAL and keep the Faith
sister kennedy


Lord, I Believe...

funny things:
1. we were street contacting and there was a woman on the phone sitting on a bench across the street and we ran over there to talk to her, I smiled, started talking and handed her a "Because He Lives" card, she stared blankly at me, motioned me to stay, kept speaking on the phone in her native tongue and then handed me the phone. uhhh. wut. so I put the phone to my ear, start talking adn the woman on the phone starts yelling, "WHO ARE YOU! WHAT ARE YOU TRYING TO SELL, MY POOR MOTHER DOESNT SPEAK ENGLISH! WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU ARE TRYING TO DO!?" I was so shocked that I just told her that I was a missionary, told her our purpose, and she calmed down, but man it was funny hahaha
2. One of the cute ladies on our English class called Sister Davis fat, and we laughed for 3 days about it hahahahhaaha
3. Jean (our rad investigator) refuses to call me anything but "Ka$h" because of my rapping abilities and my hip hop skills... #stillpimpin #noteven
4. Jean went street contacting with us and the first people he street contacted into were members. #seriously.
5. We volunteer at this food assistance center in Arlington where we are the only white females and the man who owns it is probably one of the most Swagtacular people I have ever seen. He has dreads to his knees, hes from Haiti, and he wants me to teach him how to dance. #okchamp
6. We went running with Jean Saturday morning for exercise time... he is a marine and sister davis is a cross country runner so you can imagine how cool I looked next to them. thats  a joke, I think I was about to puke the whole time.

SO in English class this week, Sister Davis and I decided to teach about Easter and why we celebrate it. We started with a fun little easter egg hunt and we talked about culturally what we do on Easter. Then we began teaching about why Easter is important to Christianity... IT WAS INCREDIBLE. Lucy is a woman in the class who came here from China a few months ago and she has no comprehension of GOD or any sort of higher being. As we testified of Jesus Christ and His life she kept saying that she felt happy and good. She just kept lighting up and smiling although she couldnt understand why. Eventually we had her pray. Now let me tell you, this was the first time she had ever prayed in her life and I wish I could express how SWEET of an experience it was. She was so sincere and loving while she was speaking to God and she kept thanking Him for giving her what she has in this life. WHAT A MIRACLE. She committed to pray every morning and night this week so that she can feel God's love and so she can more fully understand who he is to her. such an incredible thing to be a part of :)
THEN we taught Nick again. HE. IS. SUCH. A. CHAMP. He has SO much real intent that it BLOWS MY MIND. He really, sincerely wants to know and understand what God wants him to do. When we started the lesson he had so many questions that were allllll over the place and we told him that we were going to start with a prayer and we were going to "lay the foundation" for him (aka teach the restoration). He agreed and as we taught, there was an incredible light in his eyes as all of his cares and concerns were put to rest. He was SO HAPPY and he just kept saying that he wanted to share what he now knew with his friends! He kept smiling and asking us if he could buy Book of Mormons from us to give to his friends and his family! It was such a miracle. He is SO EXCITED to learn more because "he wanted to understand how he can be as happy as we are" and he kept telling us, I know it is because you guys have the Book of Mormon! and you LOVE it! the lesson ended with him saying, "Ok, so do we get to keep meeting until I get baptized?" yes nick, yes we do :) :) :)
so I have told you all a lot about our incredible RAD investigator Jean. HE. IS. A. CHAMP. He has been meeting with missionaries for 2.5 years and has (obvioiusly) never been baptized. Well this week in weekly planning (a time we get to set goals for the week, ex. how many lessons we teach, who is progressing, how many people we will have at church, etc). and while we were praying I had this overwhelming feeling that we needed to set a goal to baptize 2 people this week. #wut. I kind of jumped and blew off the idea, until it came again... and I just kept thinking, there is NO WAY! we have NO ONE on date, and no one who is ready to be put on date... Sister Davis said amen and I told her what I felt. She looked at me blankly, and then asked me to pray again. SO I did, and then when I said amen she said, "sister kennedy, youre right, we need to baptize 2 people this week". a bit baffled and overwhelmed we decided to put our faith in God.
We called Jean and set up a lesson for the next day. We prayed and prayed and prayed to know what to say and what to do to get him ready for this and we decided to teach the plan of salvation, which he has been taught plenty of times. We started off by telling him that we wanted the spirit to teach him and for him to be prepared to act on the feelings and promptings he receives. So he said the opening prayer and we started. We were teaching all about the plan of salvation, something that has been really hard for him to accept, and suddenly he was agreeing with everything we said, he was SO open to the spirit and the feeling of the spirit was OVERWHELMING. We were all feeling it, and Sister Davis and I just started testifying to him. I broke down into uncontrollable tears as I was expressing to him how much God loved him, I dont think I have felt God's love for another person so strongly in all my life. I felt like my spirit was growing so big that it was trying to leap out of my body. It was then that we invited him to baptized on April 5th. He was hesitant and then we started to pray with him. He prayed and was choked up as he was expressing his love and gratitude to God for all that he had and for all that the church has done for him. After 3 hours of teaching and testifying Jean accepted to invitation to be baptized next Sunday.
Last night, we were able to take him to a new and returning member fireside that was BEAUTIFUL. he told us afterwards that he felt that he RELATED to every single person who spoke and that he was excited to take this step. President Riggs gave him a HUGE hug and told him he would be at his baptism, and he chatted with him for a while. It was just all together a miraculous experience. PLEASE PRAY FOR JEAN. He is so ready for this step, and we are praying, fasting, and pleading that his doubt doesn't get in the way.
I have so much Faith in Faith itself. I know that when we truly do put our trust in God, our Savior and Redeemer Jesus Christ makes up for what we lack. He loves us. He wants to bless us. He was us to BE HAPPY. I have learned so much this week about the power of FAITH and how much it can bless us. I dont think I have been spiritually exhausted like I am now in all of my life. I have never prayed more fervently for others and their joy. I have never truly put my faith in my SAVIOR Jesus Christ to help people come unto Him like I have now, and I am SO GRATEFUL that I have this incredibly beautiful and unique experience to help God's children come unto Christ.
I love you all SO MUCH its a little ridiculous. Thank you for all of your unwavering support and love
keep it real and keep the faith
sister kennedy