Monday, April 16, 2018


hey yall!

well my heart is breaking in half. alabama has truly become home to me and so it's been tough thinking that ill have to say goodbye in 2 days. wow. im actually crying in the library just writing that. this smelly old weird library. so lame. get it together sister kenendy.

before i get too sappy just wanted to share a fun tidbits from the week. what would a sister kennedy email be without dramatic little stories here and there.

we tracted SO much this week and who would've guessed that the only door approach that actually worked was, "hi were missionaries and normally we talk about Jesus Christ and His gospel, but we really have to pee. could we use your bathroom?" yall out of all the doors, the only one that worked. should've used it more. what have i been doing these past 18 months??

tried to have a photo shoot in front a cute freedom sign but a wasp attacked me. hence picture on the bottom. 

so we challenged a member to hand out a book of mormon to someone and so she went straight to the religious section in books a million. well no one came to the aisle and she had to get going so she started to head out but the next thing she knows she's being stopped by this worker accusing her of stealing the book. after like 20 min of trying to explain that she had actually brought the book with her, the manager was called. they werent buying it, and so finally she agreed to just pay for the book. but when they tried to ring it up so she could just pay for the thing of course it didn't come up in their system. so then they were debating if they should call the cops because she "was so back and forth" saying "fine just keep it. like have it. i dont want to buy it. its yours." yall she was kept there for an hour trying to convince these people that she wasnt stealing the book. and after all the hassle, they didnt even take it. hahah missionary work at it's finest

well here we go with all the sappy stuff

i have loved my mission. i try to think of words that describe the feelings in my heart and that's all that seems to come out. i love my mission. every aspect of it. the ups and the downs. even though the downs were pretty brutal at times, i am grateful for them. i feel as if i have learned so much these past 18 months, that to narrow it down to 3 things is difficult. but i've managed and here is what i've come up with.

this gospel is not a fleeting past time that just fills our sundays. this gospel pushes and refines us into the person Heavenly Father knows we can become. this gospel fills our souls with light and stretches them to share that light with others around us. this gospel does not confine us, but rather sets us free. free to find joy that is lasting. free to grow and to move forward. free to be as close to the Savior as we would like to be.

light chases away the dark. Christ is the "Light and the Life of the world... a Light that is endless". i have seen that Light as we have gone around sharing His gospel. it fills people's soul and i believe this is what takes place when there is a "change of heart". i have witnessed it. not only in others around me, but in myself as well. as i read the book of mormon, i feel as if light is being poured into my soul. that's the only way i can describe it. and i know that it's not the words on the pages, but what the words contain. His gospel. His Light.

Heaven is kind. so very kind. this mission has not been mine, but His. i came here to serve and in reality should not have expected anything in return. He didn't owe me anything for serving Him. this was a sacrifice for Him. not a sacrifice so in return i can receive blessings, but a sacrifice to serve the One who has given me everything. so to look back over these past 18 months and see all the wonderful and truly merciful blessings He has placed in my life, i cannot deny that Heaven is so very kind. tender and loving and merciful. i know that because i have felt it. throughout all the tender mercies that took place each and everyday. i saw them. i experienced them. and i am forever grateful for them.

Ether 6:12 And they did land upon the shore of the promised land. And when they had set their feet upon the shores of the promised land they bowed themselves down upon the face of the land, and did humble themselves before the Lord, and did shed tears of joy before the Lord, because of the multitude of his tender mercies over them.

Alabama has become my promised land. i love it here. i love the people with my whole heart. i love the family that i have here, for they really have become my family. i love the missionaries around me. i love my mission president. i love this gospel. every aspect of it. i love the book of mormon. i love my Savior. He has walked every step with me these past 18 months and i will forever remember the time i spent here. 

i feel like ammon when he says,"Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel."

well this was a long email, but that's okay. i hope yall have a blessed week! thank you for everything.

love always one last time,
sister kennedy

And here are her companions in order from beginning to end:

 Sister Terry

Sister Willardson (Willy)

Sister Winter

Sister Durbin

Trio (Kaia will update with names when she gets home!

Sister Southwick

Sister Anderson

Sister Anderson (not blurry)

 And finishing her mission with Sanfilippo in both of these pictures. 

Kaia promises she will update y'all on everything I didn't post this past year when she gets home! xoxo, April

Friday, September 29, 2017

hog-n-dogs and the all-american tilt-a-whirl (not)...September 25, 2017...week 51

hello everyone!!!

good news first! johnny and marcus are still going strong and getting excited for their baptisms coming up!! and we cant help but so excited with them! ALSO remember the 2 cute girls we taught a little while back?? well Lexi came to church this past sunday and said that she got the okay to go ahead with her baptism in November!! yayayay!!! sooo exciting! sadly i probably wont be there and i wont be able to wear the cute jewelry she made us but i will be there in spirit!!

we have been going non stop member hunting out in the boonies to try to invite anyone and everyone to the Gladys Knight performance that will be happening in october! well while doing this we came across the strangest yet cutest friendship ever. a hog and a dog. how cute is that!! they were both chasing us  along the fence and everything! just the bestest of friends.

talking about gladys knight! our friends that we help serve with at the local food bank  said they would love to come and so were all planning on going together and its just going to be the best thing ever! i can just feel it!

the fair was in town and like my grandma shari was disappointed to not see the all american tilt-a-whirl. i think sister southwick and i complained about it the whole time. dont worry grandma, were right there with you! but we still went and had a blast fair contacting! we pretty much just stayed around the pigs and talked to as many people that would come by and it just made me think of jack and kyle and the pigs they raise! hope they had a good year!!

 sadly there was a death in our ward this past week and so we stayed for the funeral after church to help serve food after wards. but it definitely started off on an interesting note when the first thing that was said was, "we're here to celebrate the birth we call death." like what?? hmmm

had a fun follow up trainers meeting at gardendale which meant that 1. we were able to see all the homies and 2. we were able to have a fun photoshoot right by the temple!

for those of you who dont know i have recently discovered that my body hates gluten and so i have now been gluten free for about 8 weeks and it's been going well. im not sick anymore and so its just great! living on cloud nine! well its been interesting telling members that im gluten free but they have just been great, making these amazing gluten free meals! well one night this past week, we went to a member meal and as we were sitting down the member goes, dont worry its all gluten free, you enjoy yourself! and i was like great! yay! well were about almost done and im eating my meat with gravy and we asked her how she made the gravy, you know gluten-free. and she responded with oh just the meat juice and flour. and in my mind i was just like "flour? in gluten?? oh no.." so that was a fun rest of the night. dont worry, my body still hates gluten. but it was so sweet and sister southwick and i just died laughing the whole way home. i should've known better.

sister southwick and i keep seeing this dude on his little moped in the middle of the highway and we finally caught a picture!! but this time he was on the sidewalk thank goodness! he just makes our day!!

the women's general broadcast was this past weekend and i absolutely LOVED it!! i cant remember it right now but i will share my favorite line with yall next week! as for now you guys should just watch it all!! hahah but if not at least listen to sister eubanks! one of my favorites!!

i hope yall have a blessed week!! this gospel is true!!
love always,
sister kennedy

"i am ready for baptism"...September 18, 2017...week 50

hey yall! when irma came and went and barely even hit us. ive seen more rain come and go in 20 min while tracting. (down here it's called a gully washer) but grateful that it wasn't too bad. praying for all the victims of the recent hurricane. 

well update on the amazing johnny! we had a lesson with him and his family yesterday and after talking about all the spiritual experiences he's had over these past couple months, we read with him 3rd Nephi 27:21, which says, " Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do." we then asked Johnny well what do you feel like you should do after having all of these experiences. he paused and through tears told us that he was ready for baptism. we set a date for October 14th and can't wait for the day to come! the Spirit was so strong in that room and ahh i just treasure every single lesson we have with this family! we just love them so much and are SO excited for johnny! he ended the lesson with a beautiful prayer in which he said, "dear Lord, thank you for all the sisters. i am ready for baptism. please keep me strong..." i love this little 12 yr old. what a blessing. what a miracle.

sister southwick and i took about an hour and a half to organize the food pantry that we work in for service one day and after all was said and done the lady walked in and said, "oh yall didnt have to do that. itll be all messed up by tomorrow. we get food shipments about 3x a week, but thank you." so were anxious to see tomorrow how bad it looks again. lol.

we've just been doing a whole lot of tracting and a whole lot of less active hunting and so that leads us to knock on some fun doors! one of them was the cutest muslim family who took us right in and explained to us their religion. it was so amazing to be able to hear their basic beliefs and motives to do good in life. we then were able to talk about our religion as well and just had the most civil conversation i think ive had here in the south about religion. we gave them a Book of Mormon and invited them to read it and they invited us to order a Qu'ran and read it as well (because they didn't have an extra one on hand). just the nicest little family you ever did meet!

we also were trying to find a less active member one day and when we pulled up to her house 4 dogs RAN up to the zapper line (that owners set up so their dogs stay on their property), just barking and hollering like no other. needless to say they looked pretty vicious. and i feel like you don't truly understand that until you've been chased by one, and that has happened 1 too many times out here on the mission. so i was pretty nervous to get out of the car and walk up to the door but sister southwick said a prayer that all would be well and that we wouldn't get attacked. well we get out of the car and walk up to the invisible line that is keeping them away from killing us and sister southwick took the brave step and crossed the line. i dont know how yall but the minute we crossed the line, the dogs stopped barking and just followed us to the door and back to the line. and the minute we crossed it they started barking again. we could still hear them as we drove away but what a miracle yall! God watches over His missionaries. blessings!!

well that's all. it wasn't the most exciting week of our lives. just working hard and trying to find people to teach the gospel. no joke i have just been exhausted ALL week and looking back at it on paper (or email i guess) it doesn't even look like that much. but oh well i LOVE it!! the gospel is true! the priesthood of God has been restored upon the earth!! the book of mormon is incredibly powerful and true!

i hope yall have a blessed week!!
love always,
sister kennedy

don't hit my car or i'll knock you out...September 11, 2017...week 49

hi everyone!! first things first! irma is headed our way we should be safe but on lock down for the rest of the night and tomorrow but dont worry mom, well be good!

we had a lesson with johnny and his family yesterday. it was incredible. there are no words to describe what it was like in their home. the Spirit was so strong that no one could keep back tears. probably going to be one of my favorite memories of my mission. it was definitely a break through lesson we feel. i keep trying to think of how to describe it but all that comes to mind, is what a miracle.

we've set a bap date for cute 9 yr. old Marcus! September 23rd!! only in like a week and a half but well make it work!! so so so excited for him. we had a past lesson on the gospel of Jesus Christ and had some fun with our object lesson using oopleck! it was pretty messy and we pretty much got it ALL over the grandma's living room carpet but oh well. sacrifice brings forth the blessing of heaven! aka a bap date! (just kidding the grandma was totally fine with it and it vacuumed right up. dont worry mom, i haven't lost my manners!)

had a zone activity in BHAM today where we went hiking. and we all know how much i love to hike! yay. just kidding it was pretty fun but it rained on us the whole time so made it bearable! #irmascoming

wanna hear a joke? so 2 mormons walk into a Christian store. that's it. that's the joke. get it cause were not Christians?? or at least that what the store thinks... we went in all excited to find really cute Christian journals and stickers and what not and ended up finding all this Anti mormon junk. honestly sister southwick and i were SO sad. like no wonder everyone thinks were in a cult :( while in there i think it would be proper to say that my thoughts were of the one, the only kim kardashian when she says, "i just came here to have a good time, and im honestly feeling so attacked right now." HAHAHAHAHAH oh you just gotta love the south!

had exchanges this week with our awesome stls! i went with sister cushings and it was so much fun to spend a day with her! it was quite the adventure too! especially when we went LA hunting at 8:30 at night and walked up to the wrong house. this old man FLIES out of his door screaming and cursing at us but dont worry, he finally calmed down when he saw it was just some 2 lost missionaries. he then told us, "well thank goodness i didnt pick up my gun on the way out. normally i do...hmm that's strange but ya definitely would've come out shooting" so blessings from on high. we really are protected out here! well the man turned out to be very nice.. sort of.. and was helping me back up the car while telling me instructions of how to get to the la's home when out of now where he yells in my face (even though i was the only one backing and not even driving the car. like what?)  "DONT HIT MY CAR OR ILL KNOCK YOU OUT" so i awkwardly just laughed it off and told him thank you and ran to the car like there was no tomorrow. 

tracted a street where just an hour earlier the j-dubs had been. so those were fun doors to knock. i mean how blessed are those people?! the j-dubs and mormons all in one day?! they must've really needed to be saved. just kidding! hahaha

saw a church sign that said, "CAN YOU STAND TO BE BLESSED??" i love the south!!!

while tracting saw a piece of paper stuck in the door that said, "gone to watch football" football season is in full force yall!

love love love this video! yall should watch for fhe or somethin!!!

i love yall so much and hope you have a blessed week! God and Jesus Christ lives! miracles happen! prayers can be answered! how grateful i am for this knowledge and i hope that i never forget it!!!
love always,
sister kennedy

"sorry, talking to the baby momma"...September 5, 2017...week 48

this week was a fun one!

we are still working with johnny (12 yr. old) and Marcus (9 yr. old) and teaching them every week more and more about the Savior and i just love it! missionary work is truly the best!

both sister southwick and i were pretty dang sick this week and so it was kind of a slow week in the sense of we were just trying to get through it! we were able to still have fun times becasue lets be real, a mission can always have fun moments if you let it!

we went on 4 team ups this week with members from our ward! blessed to have such an amazing ward that will drive us around so that we dont have to use miles. on one of them we were able to find the smallest tunnel in the state of alabama that people use on a regular basis. yall people use this on a daily basis to be able to get from their homes to the town. i love alabama!!

had another first friday in gadsden and it was so much fun!! got to show sister southwick how fun it was and literally we just get to talk to people all night long! its like a missionaries dream.

sister southwick's mom sent us the cutest little zen garden of a beach. it's like having california on our kitchen counter

we tract all the time trying to just meet more people to teach and one day after an hour of tracting with no one answering, we saw a man walking down the street, so we thought FINALLY someone to talk to! but no right as we were heading his way and saying hi! he replied with, "soorry to talking to the baby mamma." and walked right past us. sister southwick and i were just dying laughing and trying not to show it. i mean if that's not the best reason to be busy, i don't know what is!

we decided to make crepes on night and i think that was our best decision this far in the transfer

college football started this past saturday and so sister southwick and i went store contacting at walmart because everyone and their dog was there picking up food for game day. and i kid you not when i say that we were the only ones not decked out in football gear. i swear it was like we had entered into a parallel universe. gotta love the south!!

stopped at a sonic to get some half price sodas and couldn't decide on what flavors to get, so i got them all. what can i say rather than treat yo' self. don't worry mom i couldn't finish any of them.

so sunday night we were making dinner and we hear our toilet bubbling?? so we go look at it and came to the mutual agreement to not use it until someone comes to look at it. anyway, it gets worse. so the next morning (yesterday) while we are studying, we hear our toilet dripping? OUR TOILET WAS OVERFLOWING AND WE COULD NOT STOP IT. We called the office managers and they sent over the plumber, come to find out, the whole floor had flooded and we were just one of many victims. so our carpet reeks and it's sopping wet with nasty toilet water. so that's where we are at with our toilet. good week, I'd say. why does this seem all too familiar?!? ughhh hahah

this week i've spent a lot of time studying chapter 31 of 2nd Nephi, which talks all about the doctrine of Christ. and while doing so i found this quote by Elder Holland that says, "Indeed, it is in the clarity and simplicity of 'the doctrine of Christ'  that it's impact is found... The doctrine of Christ is not complicated. it is profoundly, beautifully, single-mindedly clear and complete." and i just love that! this gospel is not suppose to be complicated but to be simple to understand so that we might know what our Father in Heaven would have us to do. I love this gospel. I love it's simplicity and I'm grateful everyday for it!

i hope you guys have a blessed week!
love always,
sister kennedy

i brake for sisters...august 28, 2017...week 47

hey yall!!

this week was a good one! we sadly have had to push johnny's baptism again :( BUT we are still going strong. we know that true conversion takes time and we can see it in him, here a little and there a little. we had a lesson yesterday and brought our ward mission leader and his son, Luke to join us. It was perfect because Luke and Johnny are homies from scouts. Well after we had the lesson we had planned we asked Luke beforehand to just bare his testimony to Johnny, and y'all this 12 year old blew it out of the park! He just brought the Spirit in a WHOLE new way and told Johnny about how he was nervous to be baptized but had a peace come over him as he prayed about it. He then told Johnny that he was prepared for baptism and wanted Johnny to be as well so that if he gets nervous before his baptism, he has something to fall back on. Like how sweet is that? It was one of the most powerful experiences of my mission so far. These lessons with Johnny are something special and I treasure every one of them. It was incredible how it ended though with his non member mom saying the closing prayer and getting emotional as she prayed to the Lord to help her son in this moment come to the truth. Like do you know this is true?? The Spirit was SO strong you could not deny it. i love this family!!

this week we got HARD CORED BASHED over the phone. like come on have a little class. say it to ma face. we had just met him the day prior and had this amazing conversation about Christ and how he can help us. we had given him a book of mormon and he had accepted it, so excited to read it, but also said he wanted to do his own research as well. and that my friends is when we should've realized what he was about to do. we told him to only go onto, but rookie mistake because obviously we didnt emphasize that enough. well long story short this guy finds all this anti-junk online and proceeds to call us. he started off by telling us that he wanted to meet again to talk about the book of mormon and that he was really interested in it but just had a couple of questions. but then he starts to get really serious and goes, "sister kennedy, are you okay?? have you been brainwashed by your parents?? some things just do not add up in this religion and i think you are in a cult..." he then starts to convince himself that im stuck in this cult and starts to yell, " SISTER KENNEDY. YOU. ARE. IN A. CULT. *whispers* do you need help? *yelling again* DO YOU NEED SOMEONE TO GET YOU OUT? SISTER KENNEDY! GET OUT OF THE CULT! CULT CULT CULT! GET OUT NOW! I AM CONCERNED FOR YOUR SAFETY. GET OUT NOW" so then i interrupt him to let him know that i am not i a cult in which he just started throwing all this nasty junk at us through the phone and then ended it 10 min later with the lovely words of, "yall are crazy, you're brainwashed, you're days are numbered (that on is my personal fav). dont ever come to my house again or ill have you arrested. good day. *click* just even writing this stuff cracks me up. like what the actual heck? well sir i hope you have a blessed day and i thank you for your kindness in being concerned for my salvation. i would say see you later but i dont feel being arrested so.....anyways...

well now for the fun stuff:

had a car fast, so we rode our bikes one day. didnt realize how much i missed it! we had such a fun time and our cute little old neighbor Bob was pulling into the driveway while we were going out and stopped so that we could pass by. as we passed by him he said out his window, "dont worry, i brake for sisters!" how cute is that!

had such a fun 20th birthday!! sister southwick and i had a party all day!! ended it with some fun cake that was ordered by the one the only momma kennedy. thanks mom!!

met a man who owned 15 rabbits and they were the cutest things ever

had a sonic run right before we went in for the night and as i was getting out to back sister southwick (mission wide rule) a white van drove by and this man leaned his head out the window and said "oooo ahh hey little girl" eww gross. so got back in and waited for the creepy man to drive away.

the lady we work with at the place we give service at just about everyday told me this when i told her it was my birthday, "ooo girl, you go get yourself one of those bubble blowing things and you go crazy? okay? okay!" hahah i love her!

elder christensen from the presidency of the general authorities came for our zone conference and it was incredible!! i loved every second of it! which meant that we got to see half of the mission and sister winter was there!! got to celebrate our bdays together! tender mercy!!

we have done a lot of tracting these past couple weeks and i love it because you get fun surprises every door you knock on! this week it was the cutest little puppy you ever did see! tender mercy from the Lord!

today is 11 months folks. im getting up there. sad to think about so we just dont think about.

well yall i hope you have a blessed week! Jesus is the Living Christ! I will declare and defend His name! 
love always,
sister kennedy

the pug...August 21, 2017...week 46

hey yall! so not much has happened since i emailed yall 3 days ago BUT we did see this pug in the middle of the street, just laying on it's back for literally a solid 5 minutes. sister southwick and I were a little concerned because we thought it was dead, but then it started going back and forth on it's back. so then we were concerned that maybe it needed help rolling over. but then after 2 min of doing that it hopped right up and trotted away. so all in all the most exciting thing these past 3 days was watching a dog scratch it's back in the middle of the street.

it was going to be the eclipse, which we've been waiting for ALL day but we just realized we missed the big moment. lame.

well i hope yall have a blessed week! hopefully it's more exciting then my past 3 days!
love always,
sister kennedy

ps my bday is on friyay. just sayin. peace out teenage years. it's been real. it's been fun. but it hasn't been real fun. just kidding. okay bye!