Friday, August 21, 2015

Two Letters from Elli!

The Work Never Stops... LETTER FROM AUGUST 17, 2015


last week we were at shoppers and we were about to go through a pull through parking spot but there was a cart that was right on the corner of the space so we couldnt fit. I told sister lewis to just "nudge" it with the car and we would be fine. she slowly pulled up and nudged the cart and it rolled just enough for us to pull in. excited we start yelling and then the cart just starts rolling... and rolling and WHAM. nails this guy's truck. welp. of course he was walking out of the store right as this happened and saw all of it go down. he. was. ticked.
so stinkin funny though!

we found Jane this week!!! she is a member referral that we met doing service at the members house! she is from china #holler #myfavpeople and we basically had a miraculous lesson with her about who Jesus Christ is and why he is important to us. the member NAILED it and testified so hard. then we prayed with her and after we prayed she grabbed her heart, looked at us, and said "I feel so warm!!!" it was darling and we are meeting with her wednesday :)

We also got a referral from the Oak Marr elders who we had a lesson with this morning who is SO RAD. she has been meeting with elders since 2008 and her best friend is Mormon, served a mission, and is at BYU. she had awesome questions and is really seeking to find a church that will meet her needs. the spirit was so strong and she really wants to find out if this is for her. we are SO happy and so excited to keep teaching her!!

Yesterday, before church, we got an impression to knock on a less active guy's door who has not had contact with the church in quite a while. He answered the door (which was a miracle in and of itself) and wanted to come to church with us!!! we had an awesome time talking with him and he told us that he wanted to start meeting again, unfortunately he was on-call for work and couldnt make it BUT it was great nonetheless and we get to see him again tomorrow. 

there are only 2 sets of sisters (including us) in this stake and so when people request sisters that are on YSA age, we get to teach them! one of which is this less-active couple that I LOVE dearly. we had an incredible lesson with them last night about the power of prayer and the simplicity of the gospel. The spirit was SO STRONG as we taught and testified of Christ and His LOVE. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to be set apart as a representative of Christ so that I can really FEEL the love of God working through me to bless the lives of those within our stewardship. 

We also found out that contacting in Arlington is WAY effective because it is literally RIGHT next to DC and EVERYONE there is YSA. we have had some great times meeting and teaching people on the busy streets there. God really does place prepared people in our path when we are ready to receive them. I just love it. 

I am so serious when I say that this church is so undeniably true. I am so grateful for the JOY that has come into my life as I have taught people that I will love forever and as we have bonded on a very deep spiritual level that I am eternally grateful for. I am just so stinking grateful. I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH
keep it real and keep the faith
sister kennedy

What is the Purpose of the Temple... LETTER FROM AUGUST 10,2015


I GOT TRANSFERRED. Kind of a really devastating thing actually. I was really pumped for the work in Oak Marr... But God knows best. I was only there for 6 weeks and now I am in LANGLEY YOUNG SINGLE ADULT WARD. Yep. Another singles ward #holler. I guess the lord just wants me to remember to get married soon. AND MY NEW COMPANION IS SISTER LEWIS. Literally one of the greatest humans I have ever met. She loves Miranda Sings, likes to break dance, and has a deep relationship with
Taco Bell. I guess you could say we are soul mates.

The Funny -
 WE GOT TO GO TO A NATIONALS MLB GAME! The whole mission, along with the Washington DC North mission are invited to a nationals game every year, once a year. SO. MUCH. FUN. We take the metro there and back... We were going with the zone leaders (just the 4 of us) because we live in the same complex, and on the way home we took the wrong bus to the wrong metro stop... We ended up having to turn around, get on 2 different buses, get back on the metro, and then walk home. We got home at 1:15 am. hahaha LONGEST. NIGHT. OF. MY. LIFE. and seriously so fun. like I cant even explain how fun it was. 

Sister Lewis and her old companion went to go meet up with one of their recent converts and I was on exchanges with sister jones... we street contacted outside of shoppers after buying a dozen donuts and got hit on by mobs of mexican men. such a random, hilarious night. 

we bought matching basketball jerseys and sandals from the thrift store today. my mission has changed me in a lot of ways but I will never stop loving grandma clothes and thrift stores.

so leaving oak marr was really sad. and really hard. we were saying goodbye to a less active family that we have been working with (the alien believing guy and his 2 daughters) and he very sweetly told me that after working with the sisters for over 2 years I was the most influencial to him in his life because I admitted to having doubted and questioned the gospel at times. He really expressed his love and thanks to me for being honest and vulnerable enough to relate with him on a level that no other member of the church had done before. I will miss that sweet family. 

Jessica and Liam are still working towards baptism in 2 weeks and my new area (since its a singles ward) still covers oak marr so I get to go! and I am SO SO SO excited!

my last night in oak marr we got ahold of Bahar and her brother Amin!!! we had an incredible night with them discussing their life and the plan of salvation. They are 2 people that will forever be dear to my heart. the sisters might actually pass both of them to us because they are YSA age! I am so excited to hopefully keep teaching them :) They are so golden

THEN I MOVED TO LANGLEY. we have an incredible ward and miracles are already pouring.

while sister jones and I were on exchanges we were contacting in the parking lot of shoppers and stopped this YSA ages guy whose mom is a minister! He has an incredible relationship with Christ and agreed to meet with us again tomorrow and we are so amped. he is WAY cool.

then. get this. this is so cool. when I was in the Colonial 1st YSA ward, the elders quorum president was dating a non-member girl who I absolutely LOVED. BUT she was right outside of our ward boundaries so she was taught by the LANGLEY elders. well. plot twist. IM IN LANGLEY NOW. and at church she saw me and got SO EXCITED. she sat by me through all 3 meetings and asked to go to the visitors center with us to watch the Joseph Smith movie. #WUT. after church our ward mission leader was like, "sister kennedy, LINDSAY LOVES YOU. you have to start teaching her". I AM SO HAPPY. seriously so happy that I could cry. I love this girl SO MUCH. pray for lindsay!!!

AND The bishop of the oak marr ward has a daughter in this ward who has a non-member roommate that I hung out with at the bishops 4th of july barbecue that he put on. we got along SUPER well and I TOTALLY forgot to give the langley sisters the referral last month so now we are going to try to start teaching her. I AM SO EXCITED.

MIRACLES ARE JUST SO REAL. so so so real. I AM SO GRATEFUL FOR THE MIRACLE OF THE TEMPLE that really will bind families for all eternity. For the peace we can find in knowing that the temple really is the house of the Lord and that it is a BEACON of light. I am so grateful for the miracle of this ward. for the miracle of my companion. for the miracle of this work. for the miracle of repentance. for the miracle of the savior's atonement. and for the miracle of the gospel of jesus christ. I LOVE THIS WORK. I am never coming baaaaaaaackkkkkkk!!!

keep it real and keep the faith

sister kennedy

 With my new companion Sister Lewis!!!!
(thrift store shoppin with matching jerseys and shoes!!!)

 At a Nats Game with the whole mission!

 On my birthday having cupcakes!

With my fav... OREOS!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Two letters back to back!

TRUST IN THE LORD... Letter from August 3, 2015

Brothers and Sisters what a great week of learning it has been, so
many miracles :)

The Funny -

I asked a woman today if her and her twin brother were identical...
She looked at me like I was the dumbest human she'd ever met. Sorry
lady. I don't know much about twins.

Our English class Gets funnier by the week... Last week we had the
elders teach because we switched out Preparation day and when we got
to class this week all the girls were a little upset to see that we
were back. (Side note They all call Caucasians "yellow", not "white")
and they kept saying, "a www where's the cute yellow boys? We miss the
yellow boys!" Hahaha

Miracles -
smokes and so we were really nervous that that would keep her from
keeping her baptismal date... But we taught the word of wisdom and she
agreed without any hesitation!!! She just looked at us and said, "I've
been looking for a reason to quit for years now, and this is perfect
reason to quit". AHHHH HAPPY DAYS. It was so sweet.

We also had a rad lesson with Gerelee and Namin :) they are both
reading the Book of Mormon and have INCRED questions, it's been sweet
to see how much the Lord is preparing their hearts to receive this
message!! They are so solid and the YW in the ward are so excited for
them too! They want to help as much as they can and its incredible.

We have this lady that we do service for who went and saw "The Book of
Mormon" musical last week and she had TONS of questions about it. I
guess in the program for the play the church has an ad that says, "The
Book is Better" and SHES ACTUALLY READING THE BOOK!!!! She took us
hiking this morning (this lady is from Queens NY but I'm pretty sure
she was switched at birth and was supposed to live in Durango... She
doesn't have chacos and a Green Subaru Outback, but other than that,
she's as RAD as you can get, and more environmentally aware than any
other human I know.) and while we were on the hike she started asking
us about the Brass Plates, Why Laban had them, why Nephi killed him,
etc. and we were like uhhhhh how do you know all of this? She casually
let us know that she's almost done with first nephi and she started
reading last week. SHE IS SO COOL.

PREETI AND RIA CAME TO CHURCH THIS WEEK!!!!! Preeti is an investigator
that was going to be baptized last month but then decided not to
unless her family is willing to do it with her... Well her daughter
let us know that she wanted to go to our church and they came!!! As
they were leaving, Ria, the daughter, came up to us and said, "you
guys should come over again this week. I really want you to". She is
so great and so prepared, we are pumped to keep teaching her.

Our awesome part member family we are working with are coming along
slowly but surely... They are working on reading scriptures together
and we know that when they can start that steady, consistent habit of
doing it that they will all want to come to church together.'SCRIPTURE

This week I really felt more than ever before on my mission that Satan
really is real. And he really is trying to keep this work from moving
forward, it felt like EVERYTHING we wanted to do and everyone we
wanted to see was falling through. I was feeling really really down
one night and while I was praying I got a very distinct impression
that God is here. He really is. And when He is really for his children
to accept this message, they will. That may seem really obvious but it
was a slight "ah-ha" moment for me as I realized that each and every
week I am reminded to just TRUST IN THE LORD. He knows all, He sees
all, and He LOVES all. He will guide us every step of the way. I am so
grateful for that knowledge. I LOVE THIS CHURCH. I love being a
missionary. I love my eternal family! I love living in VIRGINIA! I
love these people! And I love my Savior Jesus Christ.
All my love, prayers and hope

Sister Kennedy
Keep it real and keep the faith

HAPPY DAYS.ALL IS WELL  letter from July 29, 2015

Brothers and Sisters. The tender mercies of the Lord continue to rain down upon us as we strive to consistently bring others closer to Christ. I am so grateful for the blessings that fall so heavily when we put the Lord first.

the funny:
I hit a guys car this week backing out of our parking lot... and he was an angry hispanic man. hahaha just picture it in your head and then multiply it by 10, thats how funny it was. 

This Thursday we were at the chiropractor for my back. While we were waiting for the doctor we were talking with a sweet older woman who was waiting for her husband to get out of his appointment. They were super behind in the office so we talked for 20+ minutes about her life and about her favorite parts of living in DC. We had a lovely chat and then I got called back into the doctor and said goodbye. When Sister Wheeler and I got into the car after I was done she looked at me and said, "you're not gonna believe what just happened..." I listened as she told me that I got called back, the woman and her husband left, and the receptionist looked at sister wheeler and just started crying as she just kept thanking her and I for talking with this woman.  she told Sister Wheeler about what horrific things this older woman has been going through and said, "your short talk with her brightened not only her life, but our entire office, and I felt it". Sister Wheeler (being the awesome greenies she is) used this to her advantage to invite the woman to take the discussions and to learn more about what we do, she agreed and we are so so so excited. The tender mercies of the Lord are REAL!

NAMIN AND GERELEE ARE A MIRACLE!!!! Last week I told you about a sweet Mongolian teenage girl we were working with. This week we went back for a lesson and her sister told us that there is another Mongolian girl her age whose mother heard about what we do and she wants her
daughter to meet with us!!! (Funny side note: her mom is meeting with the Jehovah's Witnesses but would rather her daughter learn from us hahaha) excited we told her we would love to meet with her and she invited the girl over right then! She came and LOVED what we talked about. Both of them came to English class twice this week and we have had 3 lessons with them! Gerelee (one of the teenage Mongolian girls) after our last lesson asked, "can I please say the prayer? I have been waiting!" It was so sweet, we taught both of them how to pray this week and it was incredible. They keep expressing how they are read to believe in Jesus and they are ready to have peace in their life. So so SO cool. We are hoping to get them on date next week!

Bahar has been in Raleigh NC for some doctors appointments but we are hoping to meet with her his next week, she is still SO SOLID and so so so ready.

JESSICA IS ON DATE FOR BAPTISM FOR AUGUST 22nd!!!! AHHHHHH!!! We had the most miraculous lesson with her about the plan of salvation and before the lesson even started we asked her how she felt about baptism and she told us she feels she finally found where she needs to be. We used that to our advantage and asked her right there if she would prepare herself to be baptized on August 22nd and with tears in her eyes she smiled and nodded "yes". She went on to say, "I have felt so happy knowing that everything I have ever dealt with and every sin I've committed, every sorrow I've felt can be taken away with Jesus Christ". As we taught the plan of salvation she just kept smiling and saying, "I get it. It just makes so much sense!" She didn't grow up with any Christian background and knew very little about Christ until about a week ago when we started meeting with her... She is seriously an absolute miracle. And to think, we just stopped and talked to her on her porch 2 1/2 weeks ago, and before then she hadn't even heard of our church before... GOD IS SO GOOD.

We had an awesome lesson with Brother Mercer a couple weeks ago where we talked about gaining faith. (he's a less active who doesn't believe in God, has 1 less active daughter and 1 non-member daughter) we had a great lesson and I had felt impressed to share experiences I had had where I felt my faith was wavering. When we got out of the lesson I kept thinking to myself, "why the heck did I share that? That had nothing to do with anything...." But I brushed it off and forgot about it. Well this week at church he came up to me and thanked me for sharing those experiences with him. He was getting a little emotional as he expressed that the stories I shared have been on his mind every day for the last 2 weeks and they have brought him a lot of peace to know that he doesnt have to have it all together now or ever. He said, "sister kennedy, those words comforted me more than I can tell you, and I hope you know that". It was sweet.

yesterday we had dinner with the Delhoyo family :) (Mckenzie's grandparents) and one thing sister Delhoyo said really stuck with me. she said, "When you meet the Lord on your mission, that is when you come home a changed missionary". how true those words are brothers and sisters. I am so grateful for this week work and for the miracles that so frequently come to those who wait and are faithful through all. all my LOVE, prayers, and hope

sister kennedy
(keep it real and keep the faith)
 Just me and Sis. Wheeler

 Here we all are!!!  The entire DC South Mission!

 With my previous Mission Pres and his wife... Brother and Sister Riggs!

 With McKenzie's grandparents!!