Saturday, March 19, 2016

Happy Day, All is Well!! pt. 2


Hello Hello blogger world 

It's me

elli.




Surprise! 

The last 18 months my sweet momma has been updating my blog with my testimony, pictures, and experiences from my time serving as a full-time missionary in the Washington DC South mission. 
What a miracle that time was for me! Time that I will forever hold sacred and dear to my heart. If you read any of my previous posts, you would know how heartwrenching it was to leave Northern Virginia. A special place filled with special people. An a year and a half long adventure that has shaped and molded me more than any other experience I've ever had in my life. 

And now I'm back.



Everyone warns you about going home. The ups and downs. The fears. The defeat. The anxiety. But yet - you have no idea what you are getting yourself into. 

The transition home has been the strangest thing. Ever. Lots of good, and lots of sad. 

Nothing can compare to the feelings of joy that rush through you when you step off that airplane and run into the arms of those that you adore and hold so dear to your heart. You feel so safe. So excited. And so grateful. 













But just like most emotions you feel in this mortal life, those feelings fade, and suddenly feelings of despair, confusion, and sorrow settle in. 

Something that has engulfed your life and who you are is no longer there. Your purpose seems to have faded and your ability to aid in the work of salvation seems to be dwindling. 

And yet, in the midst of it all, the one thing I have learned to cling to, is the simple knowledge that God is our loving Heavenly Father. His entire work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man (Moses 1:39) We are still His children. We are still of worth. Our purpose here is the same and He will help is every step of the way as we strive to live our lives in Harmony of His will. 

Although we are not expected to live by the standards in the missionary handbook, many of those truths in that book we should continue to honor. What better way to stay in tune with the spirit than by filling our minds and hearts with music that invites and entices us to do good, to see good, and to be good. 

I can think of no better way to start the day than how we did as full-time missionaries - excercise, prayer, breakfast, and study in the word of God. 

What better way to honor our Lord and Savior than by using refined, dignified language that sets you apart from the world and clearly identifies you as a servant of Jesus Christ.

Brothers and Sisters. I want to testify to you that God still speaks. He LOVES His children. He cares about what we care about and He wants us to find Joy. Every day. "I know that He loveth His children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things" - 1 Nephi 11:17. 

He blesses us as we do His will and His work. He did not intend for our missions to be the most joyful and fruitful times of our lives. He wants us to continue to progress. And to prepare to live with Him again. Which comes with it's share of trials, but also comes with it's abundance of JOY. 

God is good. 

His work is sweet.

His love is Real.

HALLELUJAH. 

What a glorious time to be alive and a member of His true and living church.

happy day, all is well.

Thanks for reading :) 

elli





































Tuesday, March 1, 2016

God Be With You Til We Meet Again!

Brothers and Sisters! What a perfect week to has been! WOW! I can not
begin to convey my feelings of love and gratitude for the miracles we
have witnessed this week!

John was baptized on Saturday. There were over 50 people there, 10 of
which were his non-member friends that he invited. I LOVE John. Oh my
goodness. It brings tears to my eyes just to think about what a
miracle it has been to teach him. He was taught and baptized in 21
days. And has the most solid testimony of truth. Ever. His faith is
astounding. His role in the church and in bringing souls to Christ
will be HUGE. He is one of the most remarkable men I know and I will
forever cherish the time I had to teach him, and for the friendship
that has been kindled. The light he carries and the love of the Lord
that he radiates can not compare to anything or anyone else. I am so
so grateful.

We get to go to the temple tomorrow with 4 recent converts I have been
blessed to teach to be baptized for their deceased immediate family
members. What a sacred experience that will be and I am SO excited.
The ordinances of the temple are SO miraculous.

I was able to see an investigator, 3 recent converts, and tons of
members from Langley this week that came out to Ashburn for lunch and
who came to a new and returning member fireside last night. I am SO
grateful for those people who will be imprinted in my heart now and
forever. Their love and testimonies will forever be dear to me. I love
those people so so much.

At that same fireside, Peter who just got baptized in Leesburg spoke
and Laura who got baptized in January from Langley spoke. I couldn't
help but cry at the fact that God entrusted me with such sacred and
special people that I LOVE so deeply. At the end of the meeting, the
assistants asked sister Liu and I to come up and bear a departing
testimony. About 1/2-3/4 of the mission comes to this fireside
bringing less actives, recent converts, and investigators. It's such a
tender and special place to be. I stood up there and as I looked out
and saw so so so many people that I love - missionaries I've served
with, companions I've had, people I taught, members I love, and
leaders I cherish - I just wept. I wept for joy and gratitude that God
sent me to northern Virginia. I wept because of the love of the lord
in my heart that I just wanted to radiate to everyone in that
audience. And I wept with a broken heart that I will have to leave
this beautiful place this week.

I have no idea how this is real. It's been 18 months already and there
are no words to describe the depth of my gratitude for this sacred and
holy experience.

I don't have the words to tell you how much my mission means to me,
but I am certain that my mission has been the most life changing
experience of my mortal life. I have never seen so much change in
myself, in those I've taught, and in those I've been blessed to come
in contact with. God is at the head of this church. Christ is at the
core of all that we do and of who we are. And through His love and His
atonement we come to understand who we are and why we are here. I know
that through His love, we are able to stand as His witnesses at all
times and in all places. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God
and that he did translate the Book of Mormon through the power of God.
I know that the Book of Mormon is the convincing evidence of the
restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. That book will be the tool
used to gather Israel. There is more power and truth in that book than
in any other book.  I know that God is our is our loving Heavenly
Father.  He knows us perfectly, deeply, and everlastingly. In the
words of one of my favorite hymns "Fear not, I am with thee; oh be not
dismayed. For I am thy God and will still give thee aid... I'll never,
no never. I'll never, no never, I'll never, no never, no never
forsake." He will never fail us. He will never forsake us.  He is
forever. He is eternal. And nothing that we do will ever change that
love that He has for us.

I love the Lord. I love His work. I love His children.

And I love Northern Virginia. God Be With You 'Til We Meet Again

Keep it real and keep the faith

Sister Kennedy

 At the mission office for the last time


 With my favorite senior missionaries!


 John's baptism!


 With Coleman and Caitlin his main fellowshippers!



 With some Cambodian members we are reactivating!


 Lesson with Jake in Shenandoah :)

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Happy Day, All is Well...

So! We got lost in DC today. And lost sister Liu on the metro. And
didn't get home until late. And have not had wifi hahaha - so here's
to the shortest email of forever! And sorry I didn't respond to like
anyone :/

God is at the head! John's getting baptized this weekend. Holy smokes
he is SO PREPARED. I am so excited for His baptism! He is the
greatest!!

We are teaching some RAD part member families in Leesburg that are SO
ROCKIN! And are totally on the road to baptism. It nearly rips my
heart out to think that I won't be here to watch them all progress,
but then I remember that this work is not about me and never has been.
That God knows best. And that His purposes will always always be
fulfilled!

And we got 8 referrals this week! Asking from everyone WORKS. It's remarkable.

We had stake conference this week and it was SO REVELATORY. Wow. I was
in tears like the whole time. This really is Christ's church and He is
at the head of it. I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love His Work.
I love His children. I am so so grateful for the time that I have to
serve here in this part of the vineyard!!

This is super short, but a picture is worth a thousand words, right?
:) enjoy! Love you all!
Keep it real and keep the faith!
Sister Kennedy