Thursday, November 19, 2015

Elli's letters!


holy smokes
I have never been so exhausted in all of my life! we are working SO
hard. I love it. Ive never been happier.
I seriously have no idea how it is already monday!! AHHH!!!

the funny:
so Ive gotten to the point on my mission where I just dont really care
about how I look anymore... that being said, my hair is usually
hideous, I wear little to no makeup and I never match #thestruggle.
Well we were in a lesson with a recent convert and she grabbed my hand
for some reason and I was like, "WOW tian! your hands are so soft!"
she laughed and in her cute chinese accent was like, "yours arent!"
#thanks. well, come sunday we get to church and sit down and right as
sacrament is starting, she comes and sits by us and pulls out this
super expensive bottle of hand cream for me. and with a smirk on her
face goes, "look! for dry, cracked hands!' #thankstian #IknowImugly
hahhaha it was hilarious

Today we played kickball and for some reason I was getting really into
it... so I was POUNDIN the ball into the outfield. well on my last
kick, I demolished my ankle and its now twice its normal size and it
kills to walk on it #ItsARoughLifeBeingMVP

The Miracles:
I honestly dont think I have prayed so hard in all of my life than in
this week. we have SO many people we are working with that are SO
close to baptism and are SO close to really accessing the atonement...
and a lot of them have used their agency this week in such a way that
would not grant them those blessings. that has caused me SO much
heartache. I wish I could put into words how crushing it is to hear
that someone doesn't want to move forward in faith anymore, or when
they mock the things of God, or when the just dont think they can take
one more step. Needless to say, its been an emotional week and a week
full of God lifting me up and reminding me that this work has nothing
to do with me and everything to do with Him. I have been humbled by
the grace of God and brought back to the reality that no matter how
hard I try, I cant baptize all of Northern Virginia. and that's ok. I
have accepted that God's plan and His timing is perfect. Brothers and
Sisters if there is one thing I hope I can emulate in any of my
emails, its that I LOVE the people of Northern Virginia. I have never
felt my heart literally expand every time I see a yearning soul or
every time I feel the Spirit testify of truth until my mission.  This
place is the promised land and these people cause me to weep day after
day out of love for them and their salvation. This work is the work of
God. These souls are precious. I LOVE this work. I love these people.
And I pray that that LOVE will continue to move me forward to sing
triumphantly as we work day by day, "onward. EVER onward as we GLORY
in His name".  I know my Savior lives. He loves me. He loves you. and
He loves the people of northern virginia.

This work is a miracle.

keep it real and keep the faith

sister kennedy

 if you havent noticed yet, usually the title of my emails have nothing to do with what the email is about... I just try to write something inspiring and it usually doesnt work. hahaha

its only been a few days but its been a few days of MIRACLES

a couple weeks ago I was on an exchange and we were tracting like mad. we met this older couple, probably in their 70s, that were not interested. we did what we could, but they continued to say no and we left. we tracted for about a half hour more and the sister I was with said she had a prompting to go knock again. feeling a little uneasy but wanted to show her I trusted her, we went back. knocked again. and they answered again, a little irritated. we asked her if we could help her rake her leaves in her yard and she said we could come back in a couple of weeks. She was kind, but was a little frustrated that we went back again. anyways... we put her in our plans and forgot about it as transfers came around and we got super busy. one night while planning, I saw her name in our plans and decided to call and confirm. happily, she said we could go over the next day and help her and her husband! so we end up going and helping and she was almost in tears as she was expresssing her gratitude. we finished rather quickly and she asked us if we had time to come in for lemonade! of course we said yes. the lemonade turned into dinner, dinner into dessert, and dessert into a 30 minutes lesson about the restoration. IT WAS A MIRACLE. they are atheist but asked if we could pray with them before we left. They didnt accept a book of mormon, they didnt want us to teach them again, but they did invite us over for thanksgiving :) after years of missionaries tracting into them (since the 80s) we were the first ones they let in nonetheless the first ones they let teach them. SUCH a miracle, I am so grateful to be a seed planter :)

that night, we went tracting with the chinese elders. sister liu has a straight shot to the hearts of the asians and so we went looking for them! well unfortunately for the elders we didnt find any asians BUT we did find Jeff :) sisters had met him a couple years ago and tried teaching him but he wasnt sure if he wanted to learn more. we had a GREAT discussion with him about the book of mormon and why we believe it to be true. it was an INCREDIBLE lesson where we both felt the spirit completely take over. before we left, he told us he had just gotten back from Jerusalem and wanted to give us some gifts. he came back to the door with a rock from the sea of Galilee and a bottle of oil that was the same oil the disciples used to wash christ's feet; so that was sweet.

LINDSAY IS PRAYING ABOUT BAPTISM ON NOVEMBER 21st!!!!!!!!!! ahhhhh!!! we had a sweet lesson with her about the restoration and going back to basics, and when we spirit was strongest we invited her to pray about baptism on that date. we were shocked when she agreed with almost no hesitation! PLEASE keep her in your prayers this week. she is SO close

Jasmine came to church and shared an experience with us about praying for the first time. She told us that things were getting complicated and she was irritated and she got a thought in her head that said, "the sisters told you to pray, you should try". so she did and within a day all of her concerns were put to rest. she was like, Maybe it really works! hahaah yes jasmine, it really does!!

MUSTAFA IS ALIVE! he came to a ward party last night and made some GREAT relationships with some super cool guys in the ward. it was awesome. He had such a good time that he stayed for an hour more even after we left! he wants to meet on Wednesday and to talk more again about the book of mormon! what a miracle! we are so grateful!

we also have 3 less actives that have been completely MIA for the last month or so that we saw on Saturday! they were home! it was SO miraculous! what a wonderful miracle of the Lord. His timing is perfect

I am so grateful for the timing of the Lord. I am SO grateful for his incredible mercy that is CONSISTENTLY extended out toward me. I am so grateful for the truth of the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for the peace we feel when we trust in the Lord and His wisdom. that all, will work out for our good. I am reminded of a scripture in Revelations 21:4, that "...God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes..." Everything will work out in the end. The Lord knows and sees the beginning from the end, something that we never will be able to see. He has all power. He has all LOVE. He has all wisdom. and He has all truth. as we trust in Him, relying wholly upon His grace and His mercy, I know and I have faith that he will wipe the tears from our eyes. That on that day, we can fall at His feet knowing that it was all worth it. Having perfect faith and HOPE that He really was there every step of the way. He never left us. He never forgot us. He never forsook us. "his arm of mercy" (jacob 6:5) was extended toward us every day. every hour. every minute. He is here. I know He is Here. cleave unto him. I know He lives. I know He loves us. This work is true. this church is true. and I will shout that from the rooftops until the day that I die. What a miraculous work and a wonder.

I love you all. SO much

keep it real and keep the faith

sister kennedy 


 HOLY SMOKES. its been a wild ride of almost 2 weeks SO MUCH HAS HAPPENED

first off, sister lewis was transferred :( she went back to my stomping grounds in the mount vernon stake. it was SO sad to see her go, we worked so hard and saw SO many miracles together but I know shes killin it out there  in the promised land ;) 

AAAAND I got a new companion, Sister Liu :) she is from Taiwan and she came out in the same transfer as me! SHE IS INCREDIBLE. She is a convert of about 10 years - the sister missionaries knocked on her family's door and they were all baptized! so cool! she literally has every christlike attribute and I am learning SO MUCH from her. She loves the LORD and is INCREIDBLY diligent. I look up to her so much and love her SO MUCH. 

the funnies from this week:

SO sunday night after church, we run home to grab some supplies before knocking some doors. knowing we were going to be quick, we leave everything in the car and run inside. we run back outside to find that I left the keys in our now LOCKED apt. sister liu - being the perfect soul that she is - just laughs and is like, its ok! we will figure out a way! luckily she had her ipad so we got wifi and messaged the office elders on facebook. no response. then our zone leaders. no response. members. no response. then sister liu has a brilliant idea to ask someone if we can use their phone (becuase we locked ours in the car). we do, get ahold of the APs who laugh and then tell the office elders who also laugh, but say they will be there shortly. its about a 15 minute drive, so we dont go far, we just contacted for a while. we 15 minutes pass. 30 minutes. 45 minutes. an hour. and we have no idea where they are. so we ask someone else for their phone, they dont have one, so they start knocking on the neighbor's door. we finally get a phone, the office elders wont answer and the APs said the office elders left an hour ago and have no idea where they are. SO we go get wifi again and the office elders had Facebooked us back saying they were waiting for the senior couple to come and unlock the office and then they would be on their way. THEN they let us know that they got inside but the cabinet that had the keys was broken so they were using a hammer and a screw driver to open it (at this point, we had been outside for 2 hours and it was getting super cold #nojackets). then 30 minutes later they had opened the filing cabinet and they didnt have a key to our apt. SO we are told to get to another sister's apt to spend the night. WELL, no sisters will respond to us so we end up walking for another hour to where the Oakton ZLs were, who ended up driving us to some sister's apt, only then did we get a response from our ZLs saying they somehow climbed up our apt wall, hopped on our balcony and got in through the back door. hahaha we got home around 11:30. it was crazy insane. but so hilarious. 

Today at walmart I was bustin a move down the bread aisle in which I thought sister liu and I were the only one's on... then I heard some laughing and turned around to a sweet old woman with a super thick persian accent totally immitating me. hahha then she goes, "too bad you are a nun, the boys love moves like that!" hahaha # imnotaNUN #imwearingfloral

sister liu wanted to go into this chinese supermarket today and I was literally the only person above 5 feet tall. and the only one who spoke english, it rocked. 

we decorated our ZLs door with stiky notes/quotes/and pass along cards to thank them for getting us into our apt.. only to find out we decorated the wrong door. so thats uncomfortable. #sorrynotsorry


sister lewis and I posted the song we wrote on facebook this week and we have over 3000 views! the WORK OF THE LORD IS SO REAL! it has been awesome to see the amount of non members who watched it or asked about it, if you could all KEEP SHARING IT that would mean a ton to us! #thefieldiswhite

We have had some INCREDIBLE lessons with lindsay this week. THE SPIRIT HAS BEEN SO STRONG. she is so prepared and we are so so so blessed to have her in our teaching pool. she is still very hesitant about baptism but we fasted about a date for her on sunday and we are going to talk to her about it tonight in our lesson, so keep her in your prayers! She is a miracle!

we had a member call us and tell us he had a co-worker he wanted us to teach that we had an AWESOME lesson with, she is so stellar and she asked if she could meet us again AND if she could bring another one of her friends! #uh.YEAH

we went to the visitor's center with another investigator this week that we started teaching last week who is DOING SO WELL. we watched the joseph smith movie and it really touched her heart. she asked us a lot of questions about how she can know the book of mormon is true and WHY she would want to know it is true. we were able to talk to her a lot about that and why its so important. it was awesome. she is so golden. 

THEN we were able to pass bernave off to the hermanas in the spanish ward and it went so well, he is such a rockstar. 

Heather is still on FIRE - we had a sweet lesson with her and deaunte this week that was so so so cool. she is just incredible. she has such a strong testimony of the gospel and wants to share it! we have SO many less actives and recent converts that are SO excited about doing missionary work and we are SO excited to see the fruits of their efforts. 

ALSO - we got a referral from some sisters in another ward for a girl from NAMPA IDAHO. so weird. she randomly moved out here and met the sisters shortly after. she wants to learn more and is SO excited about reading the book of mormon. she had mormon friends in high school and she went to church with them and when she saw sisters she was reminded about it! so sweet, she is RAD. we are pumped to keep teaching her. 

mustafa and sai have been MIA this week but we have lessons set up coming up over the next couple of days! whooo! 

I know I am forgetting a ton - we have had SO MANY MIRACLES over the last few weeks... but know the lord is hastening his work here in VA. this place really is sacred ground!

we had a member of the quorum of the seventy come and visit over the last couple of days and it was an incredibly spiritual experience being there. I had the opportunity to sing at the mission conference with sister lewis and the elders in my ward, what a blessing. I was reminded once again about the power of diligence and being consistent in my consecration to the LORD and His work. it really is a marvelous work that is coming forth and I am so grateful to be a part of it :) 

keep it real and keep the faith

sister kennedy


What a miraculous week it has been! I am just in awe at the bounteous
mercies that seem to consistently pour down upon us here in good ol
NOVA (northern virginia). I am so so so so incredibly blessed to see
the hand of the lord so prevalently in my life.

The funny -
We were tracting one night and met a man from Indonesia. He was very
very kind but couldn't speak much English. We gave him our card, a
pamphlet and sang to him. He was thanking us over and over and then
motioned us over to him while asking, "selfie?" Haha and we took a
sweet selfie with a little, old Indonesian man. It rocked

The longer I'm on my mission, the more Hispanic people seem of move to
Virginia. It's finally gotten to the point where they are asking us
why we can't speak Spanish... Let me tell ya buddy, I wish I could.
But seriously. sometimes I forget I'm in the US haha

We did a loooooot of tracting this week and one woman in a very fluid
motion opened and closed her door while saying "oh hello how are you
oh it's nice to oh I'm not interested thanks for coming but no I'm
good bye" - couldn't even get a word in haha

The "Sister Kennedy just needs a hug" quote has yet to die... in fact
it's now spreadIng around the mission. #thankselders


was an absolute miracle! We had an incredible time in the temple with
them. Deaunte was baptized in July and has been an incredible
fellowshipper for Heather. I am so grateful for the power of the
Lord's work that is bringing in so many souls to partake of His
atonement. Being in a temple with these 2 incredible friends was so
powerful. I am so grateful for the temple and the binding and sealing
power that is held within it.

We also found and taught an awesome new investigator, bernave who is
from Guatemala. He moved here because he felt like God told him too
and a few days later, met us. Gods timing is perfect!! He had some
wonderful questions and wants to meet again with the hermanas on
Saturday. So so so exciting!

We also had a woman refer herself on who is a minister for
United Church of Christ. We called her and talked with her for a long
time, she was a minister for 25 years and just retired and her nephew
and his wife were baptized Mormon 2 years ago and just got sealed and
now she's interested in learning more! We are teaching a minister this
week! So rad!!

Street contacting the other night in Arlington we walked up to this
sweet woman who we walked to her home and then she let us in!!! We
taught her the restoration and she told us that she has met with
missionaries 30 years ago in Haiti!!! So cool!! She wants to meet
again this week and come to church with us!! Ahhhh!!

Also, walking home from a lesson we are crossing an intersection and
see MUSTAFA in his car waving at us!!! He rolled down the window and
we set up a lesson for thursday afternoon! God is so aware of his
children and when they need the gospel! So so so rad.

Last night Heather bore her testimony at a new and returning member
fireside. I couldn't help but cry at her sweet simple testimony of
prayer and keeping the commandments. She lit up the room full of close
to 150 people and testified so boldly. Afterwards, there were a couple
other speakers and then sister huntsman got up. She thanked all the
speakers and then told us how she kept getting a very strong and
distinct impression that all the missionaries needed to know how many
people are looking for us. She said, "the spirit keeps telling me to
tell you, DONT REST, there are way too many people searching. Waiting.
Wandering. And you are the only way to get them out of that. They are
here. Don't rest. You will find them". That was the perfect message I
needed to hear as I head into the last 4 months of my mission. Don't
Rest. Keep running. Keep trying. Keep pushing. Some transfer goals we
are setting for this next transfer are to knock 100 doors a week, to
invite everyone to baptism on the first lesson, and to have finding
time and lessons planned every day. I am so grateful for Washington DC
South. I'm so grateful for inspired leaders. And I'm so grateful for
these merciful 18 months I have to serve the Lord in this precious
part of his vineyard. I love you all so so so much.

Sister Kennedy

The funny :

Isabella, holly, Annie, Lizzie, Kara, Aelias, Jacob and Emily!
Hollerrrrr!! I was up to bat for the second time when I was running to
first, an elder was trying to tag me with an apple. Well after a
series of unfortunate events, namely both of us trying to fake out the
other one with which direction we were going, he basically hug/tackled
me and we were all uncomfortable. Then as a joke all the elders were
like, "hey sister Kennedy, need another hug?" Hahaha so awkward

We have these 2 hilarious Hispanic guys in our Ward with a Porsche and
a Camaro who wanted to show us their cars. We were looking at them
after church and they were like, "sisters after you are done with
mission, you come back and we take you for some rides!!" Hahaha so

SATURDAY we were literally having the best day ever. Everything was
rocking and we had just found 2 new investigators! We were walking
back to the car and literally counting our blessings when suddenly
something hit me in the head... I thought, that was way too hard to be
a rain drop and way too soft to be an acorn.. Yep. A BIRD POOPED ON MY
HEAD!!!!! #thestruggle

just glowing! It was incredible to see the change that was made in
her. She just kept walking around with "peace signs" and going "oh
yeah! This rocks' oh yeah!" And everyone was like, you've turned into
sister Kennedy! Hahaha it rocked. It was such a beautiful service;
everyone's eyes were wet with tears of joy, love, and thanksgiving in
her behalf. She has taught me so much over the last 7 weeks and I am
SO grateful for her. She has literally become a disciple of Christ and
it's incredible. I can't say it enough, I am so grateful for heather.
She is SUCH a miracle.

PRAYING EVERY NIGHT! She is progressing so much more than she even
knows and I'm so grateful!!!

There's a rockstar member who has been bringing her friend to church
for the last month or so who agreed to meet with us! We took her to
the visitors center last night for a fireside and a tour and she had
such good questions! She's the cutest and I'm so excited to teach her

Also - real quick - Heather got her nose pierced the day she had her
baptismal interview with president huntsman. Hahaha such impeccable

We sang at the baptism and in sacrament meeting with the elders on
Sunday. We sang "when I am baptized" and it was super awesome, music
is so so so powerful and it can touch people in a way that mere words
can't. I really felt like angels were on our right and on our left
singing praises to the hearts of those who were there.

We had an incredible zone training this week about not getting
discouraged. Our zone is in the 2nd wealthiest county in the nation
#tractingMANSIONS and over half the zone has been out for 4 months or
less. I have learned so much about faith versus knowledge from these
great missionaries. I am so grateful!!!

We had a WONDERFUL lesson with Sai as I was on exchanges with sister
dallin - the chillest of the homies - and we taught the restoration.
In the middle of the lesson, as we started talking about Joseph smith,
he got teary eyed and we asked him what he was feeling. In his sweet,
broken English he said, "God called Joseph Smith and God called Me. He
need me to follow him, and I am ready". The spirit filled the room,
and the rest of the lesson was full of testimony and invitations. He
is getting ready for baptism, hopefully by the end of November! GOD IS

I learned a LOT this week. A LOT. And of them, I learned about the
power of covenants. My studies, missionary meetings, and a fireside
kept directing my attention back to the importance of the temple. I am
SO grateful for the temple. A man at this fireside spoke about the
incredibly long, expensive, and tiring journey his family took from
Tonga to New Zealand when he was a child so they could be sealed for
time and all of eternity. As he told us these stories, I couldn't help
but cry as my heart was so full of gratitude for a father in heaven
who loves us and is so so mindful of us that he allows us the
opportunity to be bound with Him on earth and in Heaven. His love is
unfailing. As we all seek to yoke ourselves with Christ it is my
prayer that we continue to be covenant keepers rather than convenience
seekers. What mighty miracles will pour down in our lives when live a
life patterned after Christ.
I love you all. I pray for you all. And I am GRATEFUL for you all.
Thank you for all your love and prayers. You are so special to me

Sister Kennedy

 Oops wrong door!  Haha

 Sis Schooley and I

We got to go to this beautiful couple's sealing!