Monday, November 28, 2016

"who is it?!" "the missionaries!" 'WHO?!"...Week 7...November 21, 2016

Hello peeps!

It is thanksgiving week! yay!! so exciting! not much happened this week, just a ton of driving!! We went to Montgomery twice! Like what?! So many miles!! ahh just hurts me to write that sentence! Only because we only get a certain amount (of miles) each month and we've already exceeded it. ouch (which means they are on bikes then when out of miles)

but we went for some good reasons! One of them was zone conference! yay! that was amazing! probably my favorite thing was said by President Sainsbury, " As missionaries we give about 90% and then keep that 10% to ourselves as our comfort zone as just one little thing that we keep for yourself. But its time to give all we have and to give up that 10%, no matter how hard it might be." And I loved that because it is so true! But I am working on that his week and I'm telling y'all so I'll be accountable for it! It reminds me of a quote by President Monson, our living prophet on the earth today. He says, "I gave up something I loved, for the God I loved more." How amazing is that it! And zone conference was also great because i GOT to see Sister GilbertaHHH so good to see her! Felt like a breath of fresh air, like someone form home! love that girl!! (that was her companion in the Missionary Training Center for 3 weeks)

The other reason was to help with the Interfaith Nativity Exhibit held at the stake center in Montgomery! Over 300 nativities are submitted from all around the state and made into this beautiful exhibit so we went with the Wetempka sisters and helped out there for a couple hours! It was so much fun to be able to help and see all the nativities that were coming in!

So its official. we're getting fat. its happened. its happening. its gonna keep happening. but i'm going to embrace it . #southernliving we went to this place called Sho'nuffs and wow. just wow. it was amazing!! that is the place to go in alex city if any of y'all are in this area! also we finally got meals from members! #blessed! All in one day too! So so so kind of them and so appreciated! But i will admit eating at KFC and Mc'ds in one day is making us #McFathahah but still so appreciative!! 

We were able to help an older lady move all of her Christmas boxes from her basement to her living room. she called and asked us to come over and we were happy to help. first 2 second of walking into her home she started bashing the church and about how women are treated and once she was done, said okay so there's the basement... and so forth like it never happened. oh i love the south!! but thats alright because we got to serve her and show her love. there's a saying , "service softens stony hearts." ill just let that be.....

We had a Relief Society (all the ladies) activity this week! Yay!!
it was of glass etching! Ill show a picture closer to Christmas!! but thank you to sister jones for helping us all out!! we love you!!

Best thing about the South! No one answers their doors without first screaming "who is it?"  about scared me half to death my first door knock. but it always follows the same, every door. "who is it?!" and we'll respond, 'the missionaries." which always gets an even louder, meaner, "who?!" with then a door being swung open at the same time. it's just the culture here and i love it. Sistah Terry and I crack up every time it happens. so we laugh a lot cause it happens all day everyday! 

Baptism is still on for Techel'le this Saturday!! YAY! So so SO excited for her! Words cannot describe the love I have for her and the desire I have for her to get baptized! Ahh just a special calling being a missionary i love it!

One last thing I want to leave y'all with. In my scripture study today I found this scripture in 2 Nephi 27:25 "Forasmuch as the people draw near unto me with their mouth, and with their lips do honor me, but have removed their hearts far from me, and their fear towards me is taught by the precepts of men." Absolutely love it! So many things we can learn from this scripture! First of all, our Savior is loving and merciful! He wants the best for us and we should never have too much fear to not be able to turn to him. But also, that are hearts turned towards Him. We know OF our Savior, but do we KNOW our Savior? It reminds me of a story that goes like this, "A man died and was resurrected and waiting in a room to be interviewed. Another man was ahead of him. The door opened, the man entered, and the door closed. The man on the outside could hear the conversation on the other side of the door. 
The interviewer began: “I want you to tell me what you know about Jesus Christ.”Well, He was born of Mary in Bethlehem; he lived thirty-three years, spending the last three organizing his church, choosing his Apostles, and giving the gospel to direct our lives.”
The interviewer stopped him and said: “Yes, yes, that’s all true, but I want you to tell me what you know about Jesus Christ.”
“Well, he suffered and died so that we could have eternal life. Three days later he was resurrected so that we might return to Heavenly Father.”
“Yes, yes, that is true, but I want you to tell me what you know about Jesus Christ.” The man, a little perplexed, again began: “Well, he restored the gospel in its fullness to the earth through Joseph Smith, reorganized his church, gave us temples so we could do work to save our dead. He gave us personal ordinances for our salvation and exaltation.”
The interviewer again stopped him and said, “All of what you have said to me is true.” The man was then invited to leave the room. After he left the door opened and the second man entered. As he approached the interviewer he fell upon his knees and cried, “My Lord, my God.”
So I just invite you to think about that story and ask ourselves, Do we know our Savior? Would we be able to recognize Him? I promise that is you search to know Him, you will find so much more than just that. I bear you my testimony that these things are true. I love yall so much and hope yall have a blessed Thanksgiving!! 

love, sister kennedy

Best BBQ in Alex City 

Southern BBQ and pulled pork stuffed baked potato!

There are some houses here that look straight out of a horror movie. 
Won't be knocking on this door at night!

Kaia and her companion Sister Terry at Zone Conference.

All the Sister Missionaries in her Zone (area) for conference.

Kaia and Sister Gilbert (from the MTC) reunited again at Zone Conference.
They are serving about an hour away from each other right now.
Keeping fingers crossed that sometime during the 18 months they
might get to serve together again as companions!

Different night...slightly different dinner! She sends these to me (April) as a joke now I think!

 "we have also decorated our house in some Christmas stuff, but since it isn't quite past thanksgiving we had to add a little bit of that. and we love it. our home sweet messy home!" - kaia

'saw this bumper sticker on teh way to emailing today. don't you just love the south? i do!" - kaia

Monday, November 21, 2016

They go back to Jesus....Week 6....November 14, 2016

Hello Outside world!!

Let's start with Techel'le!! She came to church!! Yay!! and she couldn't stop smiling the whole time!! At the end of church she said, "I just feel that it is so true. Now I know it is true and this is the place I'm suppose to be!." Like come on! Such a good moment!! Literally watching a testimony grow right before my eyes! Almost started to cry! But really helping people come closer to Christ is so special, I love it!!!! 

There seems to be a problem WITH HE BAPTISM DATE among the members. Ugh. We've picked the day of the Iron Bowl, a.k.a. Auburn plays against Bama. So everyone is dragging their feet that it better not take place during the game. Honestly only in the south!!! So we're planning on having it in the morning so hopefully people can make it! Fingers Crossed!!!

Cutest thing ever happened this week!! We were walking out of a 'gators house and these two little girls, who we've never met before, come sprinting at us and gave us the biggest hugs!! Turns out one of them was Trinity, Techel'le's niece! Her and her friend, Charity, then proceeded to show us cheers and gymnastic moves. So cute!! Trinity talked the whole time and told Charity how we talk to EVERYONE! and then when we told them we had to go, Charity asked, "Where do y'all go?" Before we could respond, Trinity jumped in and said, "They go back to Jesus" Like aww my heart melted and no joke almost started to ugly cry at how cute it was!!! WE were just like, "you're right we do go back to Jesus!!" SO cute! I will never get over that moment!!

Went tot he Smiths house for correlation meeting, and again WAS FED A 3 COURSE MEAL!  Man I will never not be surprised going to their house! I love those folks so much! they are our home and family in Bama!! Also, Brother Smith has found out that i love spicy food and now has made a plate full of homemade jalepenos poppers every correlation!! #blessed! And then he also got this hot sauce thats insane that he wanted me to try. It's called Dave's Insanity (shout out to dad) and so i tried one little drop on a cracker and I wasn't crying, there was just water in my eyes. So then Bro Smith tried some too and he had streams coming out his eyes. Weird!!! hahaha

Sistah Terry has told me how people whether they realize it or not, recognize us as representatives of Christ and will tell us things they've never told anyone before. And it happened this week. You could just tell that she (a lady) just felt instantly comfortable with us, 2 girls she just met, and told us her whole life story. Something she hasn't shared with anyone before. In that moment I truly felt like a Representative of Christ and it was a great and beautiful moment!

Funny Story Time!!

Every time, before we go see someone, we will pray in the car (because we pray like 10 million times a day! I love it! And im not even being sarcastic!) but ya so we were praying in the car in Brenda's driveway, and towards the end, I just felt like someone was watching me and we end the prayer and little did we know Brenda had pulled up beside us in her car, leaning out of her window, just inches away from mine with this huge grin on her face! Scared us half to death! Sistah Terry and I have agreed that there was definitely scary music playing in the background. You just could barely hear it due to my screaming hahahah Good times!

Saw a chopped off braided weave on the side of the road, while hearing gunshots. #onlyinalexcity.

Was getting ice cream from sonic and pulled in the spot right outside of the bathroom when the door opened and for some people to go in the 1 person bathroom, a girl sitting ON THE TOILET leaned out to stick her head and look outside and made eye contact with both myself and sistah terry. like what?! ahahah still can't believe that happened. #wouldyouliketolearnaboutthegospel???

This week I have really relied on faith and prayer and how they work hand in hand. i've noticed how differently i pray when im going through something than when I'm not and it reminded me of Luke 22:44 when it talks about the Savior praying in the Garden of Gethsemane. It says, "And being in an agony, he prayed more earnestly," Even Jesus Christ himself, prayed more earnestly when he found himself in agony. How often do we do that? Pray earnestly when we are going through a hard time? And that is okay! But I invite you to, alongside myself, pray more earnestly all the time. Because prayer is such a simple way to show our faith, and to remind us how simple yet amazing faith can be. I remembered this quote Sister Gilbert and I found while at the MTC. It says, " Jesus answered, “If ye have faith as grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove” (Matthew 17:20). have never witnessed the removal of an actual mountain. But because of faith have seen mountain of doubt and despair removed and replaced with hope and optimism.Because of faith have personally witnessed mountain of sin replaced with repentance and forgiveness. And because of faith have personally witnessed mountain of pain replaced with peace, hope, and gratitude. Yes,have seen mountains removed." How amazing is this quote by Richard C. Edgley?? So good! I love it! So I just invite y'all to pray a little more earnestly, to show that faith, and I promise you will see blessings in your life come left and right!! Our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you and want the best for you. They have their hands reaching down to you, all you have to do is reach up and they will be there.

I love and miss y'all so much and hope y'all have a blessed week!!

love always,
sister kennedy

the word "church" is used slang in our family for "true" 
so if someone says something we agree with or believe in we just respond with "church!" 
so funny she found this sign!

same dinner....different night! life of a missionary on a tight budget.

three course dinner at the Smith's home

dessert and hot sauce!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

The Dead Possum Says Hi...Week 5...November 7, 2016

hello everyone!!

what.a.week! I guess I'll just start with the best news ever! Techel'le has a Baptism Date!!!!!!! AHHHH!!!! November 26th! So excited for her! Sister Terry had me extend (invite) the Baptism Date, which is super nerve wracking because normally they respond with 10 million things about how their not ready, but she responded with, "I'm glad y'all picked a day! Okay one second! Im gonna put that in my calendar." Sistah terry and I were like *jaws dropped* did that just happen?!? Honestly, so prepared to receive the message of the restored gospel! My favorite thing she said was, "You know, I don't want to just go to another church but I'm ready to just Be a better person, and I feel like that's what this gospel can give me." Like hello perfect Mormon in the making! Only thing we're nervous about is when we do we tell her, that we don't e necessarily clap during our prayers... lol i love it though! And I love her!! Ahhh i know she is going to be filled with so much joy!!

Probably the thing that got Sistah Terry and myself down a little was that for 3 days straight every single appt. was cancelled on us, either in the morning or 5 min before. Ahh only frustrating because then we didn't get to teach these wonderful truths that have been restored to this earth. instead we're driving around from one place to another, just to get cancelled on or no one to be home. We are even doing this one door rule where we knock on a door until someone answers, so that at least we've talked to one house, but like whole neighborhoods wouldn't be home.  a little frustrating but's all good, because all those doors that weren't answered were made up for the one that was on Saturday! Didn't want to hear a word we had to said but in the end, accepted a BoM and wanted to read it and pray about it and we have a appt. next week to teach her about Jesus Christ's church here on the Earth today. Yay! 

Tuesday was Sister Terry's birthday!! the big 20! We had a good day! Started with pancakes and going door to door and then her getting taken to the ground by a very playful dog to hearing our first gunshot. So yup! It was quite the day! Actually I got a video of sister terry and the dog and it was hilarious!!! hahaah so funny!

Also, we went full missionary and rode our bikes all day wednesday! it was awesome! it was even more awesome because that was the day we biked like for about an hour for not one person in the whole neighborhood to answer their door! lol! and the whole time we would see anyone they would just point and follow us with their finger and say MOrmons! like the bikes made it so much more obvious than every other day with the name tag i guess! hahah and then again, sister terry got chased by a dog on her bike hahah sadly didn't get a video of that one but it sure was funny!

Funny things that have happened:

1. I was backing Sister Terry up one the side of the road and look down and my foot wearing the shoe with holes in it was right up against a dead possum on the side of the road! thankfully i didn't step on it #blessed. but i did scream and jump into the car. It was so funny! (mission rules is when backing up in a car, the person not driving has to stand outside to back them up so they don't hit anything! also she was wearing sandal type shoes that are braided...not holey!)

2. An old lady and her grandson opened the door. she tried to close it on us, but the young boy fought her the whole time saying no i wanna talk with them. while she was telling us about how she doesn't want to hear about jehovahs witnesses she was trying to prop herself up enough to grab the door handle, her grandson just kept pulling it out of reach long enough for us to share a quick scripture. #blessed

3. Sister terry and I made Fried Chicken on Saturday!!! Wondered why the oil wouldn't boil on its own and then it started smoking so badly we had to fan the house and specifically the smoke alarm for the next 15 min. our eyes burned for the rest of the night, but the chicken tasted great, and our house didn't catch on fire! #blessed

Kaia was afraid of getting oil splattered on her so she bundled up!
They were so lucky they didn't have a grease fire.

We chatted via email that they really fell short of the famous Smoke Open Fire fried chicken!

4. We were given the following food items from just stopping by 2 houses : a plastic walmart bag full of candy, a big mason jar full of minestrone soup, a jar of homemade jam, 2 boxes of velvetta mac n cheese, a tomato, 2 packets of cheese crackers, a loaf of homemade pumpkin bread, leftover pumpkin pie, a tub of cool whip, 4 hard boiled eggs, 2 bags of popcorn balls, 2 reuban sandwiches, and a whole lotta love! Man i love the south! #blessed

Same dinner....different night! 

5. When Sister Terry asked Auburn fans where they got their cute Auburn shirts, so she could try to find it but with Bama instead and we weren't killed! #blessed

6. The lovely family, The Hills, had us over for dinner and I had my first hushpuppy and fried catfish! Soo good! Love that family! 

This week my scripture was Ether 12:4 found in the BoM. 

 Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.

It talks about hope anchoring the soul. really kept me going this week! I invite y'all to read all of Ether Chapter 12 and tell me what stood out to you!!

Her study space is getting decorated slowly but surely!

love y'all so much and hope y'all have a blessed week!
coming atchya live from alex city, it's been real!

love always,
sister kennedy


Tuesday, November 1, 2016

"now let me tell you about MY Jesus"...Week 4...October 31, 2016

*sorry for all the grammatical errors ahead of time* 

hello hello hello!!!

Probs going to be shorter email cause not as much time! sorry missionary life...but it's cool!

Let's get right into it! We have this one investigator who is so prepared for the gospel its INSANE! last monday we had a lesson at her house and she was all like "are y'all mormon?" and we were like...."uh ya?" hoping she didn't flip out on us (cause that's what happens a lot) and she was all like "how do you become a mormon? i think i want to be a mormon." Sistah Terry (that's what i call her companion) and i were like freaking out on the inside cause you know, gotta keep our cool in front of the 'gators. and we were like "ya totally um so all you have to is be baptized and a couple of other stuff and she was super accepting and last night she committed to baptism YAYAYAYAYA! sistah terry and i really started to freak out at that one! Man such a  highlight of the week. knowing that someone is coming closer to Jesus Christ. Just wow. Such an adrenaline rush. not even kidding. But so so so awesome i am so excited for her because i KNOW that this gospel can bring so much happiness and joy into one's life! man the gospel is so good! 

that whole experience kind of made up for the rest of the week. we had 2 families, yes that's right i said families, that were about to turn into a progressive investigators, which is like a baptism date and instead we had a 'drop talk' with them, which essentially means they said stuff and won't agree to follow up on the commitments we've asked them to do. also a lot of thought goes into it, so don't think we just drop them randomly, but so so so heartbreaking to see them so close to accepting the gospel and reject it at the last minute. it honestly breaks your heart seeing them turn away from it. ugh still sad to this day but then I think of Techel'le, the one getting baptized, and it makes it all worth it!!

Best excuses of the week:

we normally start it with "hi we're the sister missionaries, would you like to hear a scripture about Jesus Christ" And here are their responses:

- I've already been saved but thank you very much. door closed.
- okay and i'll share a scripture from my bible as well afterwards. smiles. 
- okay but then I'll tell you about MY Jesus. (cause you know they're different...not)
- No not right now, I'm busy *eating a bag of chips just sitting on the porch* haha that was a good one.
- nah I don't feel too well right now. "oh okay could we come back when you feel better??" nah I never feel good. *sitting on the porch and just avoids eye contact until we leave* haha

so that is what it looks like tracting (walking around neighborhoods contacting people and teaching about Jesus) the new area we been tracting. really fun! but nah i really do love it soooooo much!!! wasn't able to do as much service as we like this week due to exchanges and so that means that we exchanged companions for the night and i spent the night in Millbrook with one of the STL's (a training sister) and that was so much fun!! I was really excited because i knew we would go to a member's house for dinner (yay! real food! real dinner!) and got there and we had 1 grilled cheese for dinner lol! but's it all good because it was made with love! (that's what i call it when it's burnt on one side!) just made me love Alex City so much more!!! but that was really fun!

Funny Thing that happened yesterday! We got locked out of our house! I locked the door from the inside turned to sistah terry and asked if she had the keys and she went uhh no i thought you had them. and we both just kind of hung our heads like oh no what did we just do. so for the next 20 mins. instead of praying, our mistake, we broke into our house (which was a little too easy if i do say so myself) I ended up crawling through a window, in a church dress too, and unlocked the door from the inside. (kind of broke the lock on the window so it's even easier to break into our house now buts its all good, cause we got a picture of Jesus on the front door, so we protected) and sistah terry comes into the house and goes, did you just hand me the keys and i was all like no. and she was all like, " cause i just found them ion my pocket" hahaahahah she had them the WHOLE time! But it's all good got us laughing!

Also had our halloween branch party (church group in the area) last night and we had a great turnout! i think we had 10 kids!!! yay! sistah terry and i did a cake walk for them and it took about 5 min for everyone to win. it was so cute i loved it and love them!! just the whole party was different but it was so cute and so Alex City!! We had like 10 homemade pies to choose from and wow, just wow, sooooo good!!! oh and by the way HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!! so exciting! the only reason it feels like the holiday is because we don't go tracting today so that's different. actually we're advised to stay at a member's house for the evening, which I'm glad about because there has been all this talk through the town about clowns and people recreating the Purge. idk but everyone is warning us. even little girls in walmart came up to us today to warn us about it and tell us thats why they're not going trick or treating. Y'all pray for us! and Alex City! but its cool its cool!

i had a real personal moment this week after one of the drop talks and thought of how inadequate i am to be a missionary, but sisah terry has my back and totally took care of me. love her and all the things she does for me. and don't worry all good now because We are Steadfast in Christ! and can do all things through HIM.

well thats all the time i have, i invite y'all to read mosiah 24:13-14. 

 13 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.
 14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.

helped me through this week and im sure it can help you in yours!!

love love love you all so much and hope you have a safe and happy halloween!!

sister kennedy

April here...I'm posting notes on pictures she sent for y'all!

there's our cute girl!! 

Their typical dinner they cook for themselves most nights!

Branch (church) halloween party below. 

I think they have about 30 people in their Church branch. In Napa we have about 175 that attend our 10:00 meeting each week. We feed the missionaries in our area every night at a different member's house. It makes sense now why Kaia and her companion are feeding themselves most nights. Only 30 members can't even begin to try to feed them every night! In my next box to her...I'm sending canned food to make easy dinners. haha. 

Sister Terry's birthday was last week. 
So was Kaia's one month anniversary in the mission field.
They went out for sushi.
Looks super good!
I'm impressed....Alex City.