Monday, December 28, 2015

Christmas Memories

Dear Family and Friends:

We had a wonderful Christmas Skype with Sister Kelly. We laughed and shared a lot of great stories. She is up-to-date on all of the Kelly Family happenings. She is working hard to the end. 

Here are a few photos we received this past week. 

Happy New Year.



Sister Kelly commented on how poorly my iPhone takes photos.  For the record, here is an example.
Sister Kelly Christmas Skyping.

The Kelly Family signing off on the Christmas Skype. Photo not-so-blurry. 

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Merriest of Christmas Greetings

Hey Everyone!

I went to Washington, DC for the last time as a missionary today:( It will be very hard to leave this city. 

The weeks are going by so fast. It's always funny how, whenever I don't want weeks to go by fast, they always do. We had a very eventful week. Many meetings, two exchanges, a whole mission Christmas conference, and we went to the temple visitors' center on Saturday night. It's really busy, but...I'm glad that it is. I only get 90 minutes to email on my Preparation Day. We had some neat experiences this week that made me feel like a missionary at Christmas time. By the way...feeling like it's Christmas is a miracle in it of itself because it has been so warm, here and there is no snow :( 

A few weeks ago, the Elders in our Ward told us to check on this girl who is less-active in Montclair (40 min south). They met her through their recent convert. Yesterday morning, I had this prompting to check in on her. I felt that she needed to be our last visit of the day. So off Sister Mooore and I went. So many miles. We started to get a little discouraged because it was already 8:15pm and we had to be home by 9pm. We got to her house and she was there with her family (she lives at home....pretty much all of the members in the Braddock Ward live with their parents.) Her family invited us inside and they were so kind. The parents immediately offered us drinks and then invited us over for Christmas Day!  Their home was BEAUTIFUL. They live on a lake. We found out that the daughter we were visiting and her other siblings left the church. But, the parents are very active and they are BYU-I Pathway Program missionaries. We sat down and shared an excerpt from Elder Christofferson's amazing article, "Be at Peace".  Her parents were so touched by the fact that we came. I could just feel this dad's sad soul being lifted for just a moment as his daughter mentioned that she liked the message and that she would love to meet with us again. 

Sister Moore and I walked away feeling that we weren't just following a prompting, but answering a mother and father's prayer. 

Then, earlier this week, I was on an exchange (worked with another sister missionary) in Old Town Alexandria and I had a promoting to check on someone who used to be interested in the church. We  knocked on the door. The girl we came to visit was in the shower but her roommate (or maybe her sister...cousin...friend?) answered the door. She wasn't too interested but I asked if we could show her a "little Christmas video" (He is the Gift) and she surprisingly let us in and we watched it. Well, long story short, we had the most amazing hour long conversation with her and her teenage son. I was near tears, the spirit was so strong. We all taught each other. It was incredible!  We read the scriptures with them and they loved it. THEN, she practically rejoiced when we asked if we could come back and teach her! But, I think my favorite part was when we were showing her "He is the Gift", her son came down the stairs to see what was going on and soon, found himself watching it...and he was smiling the whole time. Ahhh teenagers are the best! It was just the greatest.

I also got to drive down King Street at night with all the Christmas lights which was phenomenal.

It's moments like these when I don't want to leave my mission. Ever. 

I hope you have a very Merry Christmas! Love you all so much!

Sister Kelly

Monday, December 14, 2015

Be At Peace

Good Evening Everybody:

Sister Kelly did not have time to write a blog entry today. She asked that I encourage her family and friends to read Elder Christofferson's article in the December, 2015 Ensign titled, "Be At Peace." (click underlined title)

Love to all,

Sister Kelly 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Simply Teaching

Dear Family and Friends, 

I'm going through a phase where everything that I am learning is super-eye-opening.  I'm a little ticked that I'm learning this 17-months-out, instead of 17-weeks-out.

For example, last week two people from the Mission Department in Salt Lake City, came to our mission. We had a training meeting where we focused on the importance of 
planning and teaching simply. I heard "teach simply," "simplify your teaching," "be simple in your teaching" and "teach in a way you would teach a 9-year-old" the entire conference. WOW! It really hit me of how important it is to "teach simply".

We had an investigator who was really sick for a month and then got in a car accident. We Skyped her from her bed the entire month of November. Yesterday, she came to church! Yay!

We have been getting so many referrals this week and teaching people. I love going out and talking with people about the gospel...even though sometimes it's a little nerve wracking :(

Last night, we watched the Christmas Broadcast at the Washington DC Temple Visitors' Center. We went with a senior missionary couple, Elder and Sister Kinard and a recent convert. The temple is so beautiful this time of year. I am excited to be a sister missionary there this week.

In the Braddock Ward we have a "break the fast" party after every fast Sunday. Yesterday, the food theme was a CEREAL BAR. 


That miracle happened  about 3 minutes after I paid my fast offering. Coincidence? I think not.

Have a great week...

Happy Birthday Moo!


Monday, November 30, 2015

Thanksgiving Memories and Christmas Lights at the Temple

With the Fuller Girls
Hello Everyone!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Sister Moore and I had so much fun with the Fuller family and our Ward member. Thank you all so much for making my Thanksgiving memorable. 

This week, Sister Moore and I gave the sisters we serve with a "heart attack." It's safe to say, that it was really exhilarating sneaking into their apartments and decorating their front doors. Sister Moore and I looked quite professional as we were able to pass by all of the lockout machines and front desks. I felt like a ninja. A sister missionary ninja who decorates doors with hearts:)

Recently, Sister Moore and I have had some amazing experiences letting people know about the temple light festival. No matter who we talk to, everyone is so kind and intrigued about it.

Let me give you an example. We went to go knock on a door and behind the door...there was this huge party. It was on the sketchy end but why not add to the party with a sweet temple light festival flyer? This guy walked out and thought we were two college girls that got invited.He started chatting with us. Little did he know that we were missionaries. We started talking to him about God. It turned out to be an awesome discussion. He was sober too. Score! He got really excited about the light festival. We then ended up crashing the party and everyone was so nice. Maybe because they were a little tipsy, but nonetheless, we had a good time with them.



Sister Moore and I finally get to live our dream of working at the DC Temple Visitor Center. We get to go once a week. 
We are beyond excited! 


Sister Kelly

Monday, November 23, 2015

Another DC Adventure

Hey Everyone!

We had another adventure in DC and it took all day. So, all I have to report are photos.

This past week was wonderful and busy.  Sister Moore and I love our ward. We had a great turn-out at church yesterday. 

I love Sister Moore and all of our memories.


Sister Kelly

Sister Moore

With Sister Lewis

Monday, November 16, 2015

Believing in Christ

Sister Moore and Sister Kelly

Hey Everyone!

Oh goodness this will be a short one!

I love Sister Moore so much. She actually bought me cat socks. We laugh so hard together that I feel like I'm back at college.

Also, my toothbrush fell out of my bag (long story) and got destroyed and contaminated and it was a major First World problem. So, sweet Josi, a college student from the Braddock Singles' Ward bought me a toothbrush. See photo below of her handing me the greatest gift since Sister Moore's cat socks.

Both Sister Moore and I are so motivated to work hard. It feels really great to dedicate your whole day to the Lord. I love the Braddock Ward so much. Our Bishop is incredible and I love our Ward members.

A lot of things happened this week that kept reminding me that God will always win...even though it might not look like it. He just always wins. If we pray and ask Him questions, He will give much more clear and peaceful answers than Google...or worse, Facebook.

Sister Moore showed me this article called "Believing Christ" by Stephen E. Robinson that I really loved. Here's a little story from the article. 

" When my son Michael was six or seven, he did something I thought was wrong. He is my only son, and I want him to be better than his dad was. So when he slipped up, I sent him to his room with the instructions, 'Don’t you dare come out until I come and get you!'

And then I forgot. Some hours later, as I was watching television, I heard his door open and tentative footsteps coming down the hall. I slapped my forehead and ran to meet him. There he was, with swollen eyes and tears on his cheeks. He looked up at me--not quite sure he should have come out--and said, 'Dad, can’t we ever be friends again?' I melted and pulled him to me. He’s my boy, and I love him.

We all do things that disappoint our Father in Heaven, that separate us from his presence, his Spirit. There are times when we get sent to our rooms, spiritually though not physically. When that happens, we sometimes lift up our eyes and say, 'O Father, can’t we ever be friends again?' The answer, found in all the scriptures, is a resounding 'Yes--through the atonement of Christ.' I particularly like the way it is put in Isaiah 1:18: 'Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow.' [Isa. 1:18]"

With that, I would like to bear testimony that I know this church is true. It is. It just is. Everything that is done in this church is done through a Father in Heaven that loves ALL of His children and that we have a Savior who loves us no matter what. They both love us no matter who we are. It might be hard to feel that love...I know because sometimes I can feel a distance from it. But that does not mean that their unconditional love is not there.

Love you all, 

xoxo Sister Kelly

Monday, November 9, 2015

Sweet 16

Hello Everyone!


I reached my "Sweet 16" mark today! And in honor of this great event, I am going to list 16 things that have happened to me recently.

#1 - First and foremost, I just spent two hours with my mom's friend Tracy Fuller, her two daughters, Lauren and Emma and Lauren's baby, Grace. They are so beautiful and so much fun. I love my mom's friends. Thank you so much Fuller girls. 

With Sister Moore
#2 - I have a new companion, Sister Moore. We have wanted to be companions our whole missions. It is such a blessing to be with her. 
#3 - Sister Waldron went home and I felt numb saying goodbye to her :(
#4 - We MOVED. The day after transfers. I hate moving. It is the worst. We still don't have a couch. It's been a struggle.
#5 - We have some people we are teaching who are really progressing and changing their lives. It is amazing.
#6 - I love President Huntsman so much! He always knows what to say.
#7 - A General Authority, Elder Perkins, came to our mission last week (Monday). It was INCREDIBLE! I love him. 
#8 - Elder Perkins gave a talk in the October 2006 General Conference. EVERYONE should read it. It is titled, "A Great and Wonderful Love."
#9 - While Elder Perkins was talking to us, I shared a story about one of the times I knew the Book of Mormon was true. While we would read scriptures as a family, my dad often said, "Now how could Joseph Smith have written that?" I would always feel the spirit when my dad said that. Elder Perkins stood up and told me that my dad is awesome and that he's grateful that I have a family that reads scriptures together. Soooooo, shoutout to Mom and Dad for being awesome and diligent parents! Elder Perkins thinks you two are pretty cool ;)
#10 - Sister Moore and I helped a member on a class project. She goes to George Mason University. The project was about...The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. (Big surprise.) It was an amazing experience helping her out. She aced the speech!
#11 - Sister Moore and I already managed to get locked out of our new apartment AND get into a car wreck. (Car accident...not our fault.)
#12 - We almost ran out of gas on the freeway.
#13 - I introduced Sister Moore to Potbelly's sandwiches and she is totally converted.
#14 - I tried Whole Milk for the first time was okay.
#15 - We taught some less-actives about the concept of agency and how we cannot be acted upon. We read 2 Nephi 2 with them. The spirit was so strong. They came to church yesterday.
#16 - I love my mission and really don't want to go home :(

And so it is. My Sweet 16s.

xxoo Sister Kelly

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Saying Goodbye...

 Hello Everyone - 

We did not hear much from Elizabeth this week. A general authority came to speak to the missionaries on Monday, so her Preparation Day was switched to Thursday. What we do know is : (1) she moved, (2) she has a new companion and (3) as exhibited in the photos below, she had to say goodbye to two former companions. Goodbyes are never easy. 

We received her travel plans today, via email. She will arrive in Milwaukee, Friday, January 22, 2016 at 12pm. She is really coming home. 


Marya, Craig and Family

Saying goodbye to Sister Tescher (she is in the middle) Sister Kelly's MTC companion on the far left.

Saying goodbye to Sister Waldron.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Taco Bell, Katie's Baptism and Phone Contacting

I am Sister Waldron. She is Sister Kelly

Hello Everyone!

Can we have a moment of silence for Sister Waldron's last week as a missionary?

*moment of silence*

I am going to miss Sister Waldron to pieces!!!!!!! 

Okay now on to our week. 

A lot has happened...

- We have 2 new solid investigators.
- One of our investigators might be getting brain surgery pretty soon.
- We have to move because our apartment is infested with mold.

Okay, but on to the real exciting news...

KATIE GOT BAPTIZED! She was my investigator in Potomac that I had to leave behind. She is amazing!

Katie has such an incredible journey of faith. She has been searching for a long time for truth. Fun fact: for 3 years she went on this "search for truth" rampage where she literally investigated every type of religion out there. She had heard of our church but only associated it with our temple. She heard that only members of the church could go inside the temple and that is the only place you could worship. Not true. 

...SO, for years, Katie thought the temple was our church (a chapel) and she couldn't go inside. It wasn't until her friend invited her to come to church with him that she realized she could go inside of our church (chapel). They pulled up to the church building and she probably thought, "Wait, where's the big white building?? I thought you worshipped there!". When we met with her the first time, she was already in the middle of the Book of Mormon. 

Her baptism was so beautiful. Her little brother that is living in the Netherlands (he's in the Marines or something) came. AND JEYBEN SPOKE AND BORE HIS TESTIMONY about becoming a member and the blessing that he has witnessed. Katie and Jeyben are close because they were both raised in a similar faith and were brought up in a very similar way. President and Sister Huntsman were at the baptism as well. 

Katie and Krew

Also, we had 4 of our investigators come to the Ward Halloween party and they had a blast. Then 3 of them came to church! 

Sister Waldron and I dressed as each other for the party. We switched outfits. Sister Waldron even rocked the classic "Sister Kelly messy bun" . We then tried to method act and be each other but we kind of failed. 

Our reaction when investigators decide to drop us. "Sister Kelly" and "Sister Waldron" style.

Apparently "Sister Kelly" is all about the peace. 
One day while Sister Waldron was packing, I decided to whip out our Areabook and make some phone calls to random people that missionaries have contacted in the past. Even though it was kind of a weird way of doing missionary work, I felt good about it; so I continued. I called about 15 people. NOBODY answered. Some had their phones disconnected. Others hung up. BUT one person called back! I started talking to him and said that missionaries had previously knocked on his door but hadn't heard from him in a while. He said he wasn't big into religion and explained why. I then started bearing my testimony of prophets and our church and started teaching him about The Restoration. He then told me concerns that he had with God and mercy. Sister Waldron and I both took turns on the phone and we were able to tell him about God's plan for us. We really taught by the spirit and were able to answer questions that had conflicted his soul for a while. We are meeting with him in person on Thursday. This typed story really isn't giving the experience any justice. It was one of the best lessons I have ever taught. He was totally planning on rejecting us, saying that he wasn't interested because "religion is screwed up" but we started to bear a simple testimony and he listened. Then listened some more. And now he wants to meet with us. 

I love being a missionary and letting people know that ALL IS NOT LOST and that there is still HOPE for us. 


Sister Kelly

Monday, October 19, 2015

Union Station, Chipotle, Hair Styles and More

Hey Everyone!

We just got back from D.C. and the weather was so beautiful! I got to go on an exchange with the one and only SISTER TESCHER to meet up with JEYBEN for a "Chipotle Fiesta" at Union Station. Ohhh and it happened to be his 1 month anniversary of being a member of our church.

One month of the Holy Ghost and eating Chipotle? Spoiled he is. 
Veronica is doing really well. We have met with her 3 times and she is not letting anything stop her. She was supposed to get baptized last Saturday and was kinda down about it but looked at us and said, "At least my baptism isn't cancelled! It's just postponed". She's a rockstar. She went to a formal convention for her major (it was on campus) and Sister Waldron did her hair. It looked so beautiful. 

Sister Waldron working her magic. 

Sister Waldron and I have had so much success in this area. Crazy that she goes home in 10 days. Ahhhhh it's gonna be hard leaving her! We have taught so much and are really working hard.

We went to the Washington D.C. Temple Visitor's Center with Jordan and watched the Joseph Smith movie. We were a mess. Ever since I was 11 years old, that movie has killed me. "Praise to the Man" on the bagpipes? Kills me.

Sister Waldron and I drive an average of 80 miles a day here. It's ridiculous. But I like driving the car, so it's been good for me. Builds character.

We've been seeing great potential here and it's exciting to see. 

My scripture this week D&C 18:10 

"Remember the worth of souls is great in the sight of God."

Love that scripture so much...I think we all forget that sometimes; I know certainly do. I think I rob myself of self-worth and I need to stop.

God loves us all. Simple statement but it's true.


Sister Kelly

Hair twins :) also, Elder Rasband's face is priceless. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

3 More Months #pressingforward

Letter from the mission president regarding my travels plans back home to Milwaukee.
Hello Everyone!

Last week I thought to myself..."Gee...I have 2 baptisms in 2 weeks! Lucky me."

Well...that changed.

Veronica's parents apparently got really angry with her when she broke the news to them about her being baptized. It was so heartbreaking seeing this girl want something so badly and knowing it was the right thing...yet having someone she loves not agree. It was really shocking. And confusing. And hard. We are pushing her baptism back 
but we realize that the situation needed to happen :) Sweet Veronica is really learning how to press forward in faith, as am I.

There is always a setback before somethings great happens.

We have some new amazing investigators though! One has a cousin serving a mission in West Virginia. Oh and sweet Jordan who got baptized in August went to the temple for the first time and we went with her. It was amazing!  

Washington DC Temple
I felt so humbled to have God bless us with amazing prepared people right as we thought the world was ending since Veronica had to push back her baptism. (She even bought a dress!) But we are pressing forward.

Speaking of pressing forward, President Huntsman gathered all the missionaries who are going home in the next 3 months and had a "Return With Honor" meeting. It was so incredible. I love that man. It made me think about what motivates us and why we are still out here. 

think my answer changes everyday. 

Last week, I had to change clothes because we got soaked and there was a short period of time where I didn't have my missionary badge on. I looked at myself in the mirror, without my badge, and sorrow creeped into my heart. 

I only have 3 more months of this. 
3 more months of telling people on an hourly basis that Christ loves them. 
3 more months of inviting people to have faith. 
3 more months of seeing people's lives change and brighten. 
Only 3 more months of MEMBER DINNERS and sharing spiritual thoughts (my fave).

Ahhhh. So sad. Oh and I got my papers to fill out for my flight info. back home to Milwaukee.  

Bahhhhh! I still have so much to learn.

Love you all,

xoxo Sister Kelly

Monday, October 5, 2015

Bronchitis, Hurricane Joaquin and General Conference - My Week As A Missionary

Hey Everyone!

I don't think I have ever been so sick in my life!

At one point I was coughing up pretty much every color of the rainbow. Gross, right? 



Yep...Sister Waldron spent her 21st birthday in her pajamas...coughing and sleeping...and coughing...and eating popsicles...and feeling miserable. It was at the end of the month and we had no money left on our card so I found random cash in my purse and ordered a pizza because that is all she wanted despite her sore throat. So there we were...2 missionaries...2 pizzas...and 2 tired to function. 

We found out we had BRONCHITIS. Holla for the Braddock Bronchitis Babes...chillin' in our Bronchitis Burrow! We were SO sick. It was honestly depressing. At one point, I said: "That's it! We're going outside and doing SOMETHING." And looking like death...we went  to the church to watch...wait for it...Mormon Messages. 

Yeah our lives are pretty spectacular. CHURCH TRIP WOOOOOOOOO!!!!!

Do you even know how pathetic we looked to the Elders? So pathetic.

I looked like I was on drugs...actually because I was on drugs. #amoxicillin4ever

I would like to raise a toast to the Sister Training Leaders who gave Sister Waldron ice cream and both of us DoTerra Oil (that Lime stuff is pretty great) and our amazing Bishop who gave us:  fresh apples, a humidifier, and a very generous gift card to the local grocery store. 

Which leads us to our next adventure.....HURRICANE JOAQUIN. 

We didn't even know there was a hurricane until we got a text from one of our investigators. Then the APs told us to go to the grocery store to prepare for a power outage. So, Sister Waldron and I dragged ourselves to the store with the Bishop's gift card to prepare for this "dangerous" hurricane. We were so delusional that we bought all this food that needs to be cooked with an oven and refrigerated. Hurricane Joaquin:1  Braddock Bronchitis Babes:0

But it turns out that Hurricane Joaquin didn't even hit Virginia (I think).  So, really, Hurricane Joaquin lost and WE WON. 

But enough about our struggles...LET'S TALK ABOUT CONFERENCE.

General Conference was this weekend and it was so incredible. 

We watched it with Veronica (who is planning on being baptized on October 17) in her dorm room. We actually took a video of our reaction when the new apostles got called. It was epic. I have still pictures below from the video. 

I really needed conference, for a lot of reasons. Missions are hard. These past couple of months, at times, I have found myself at a breaking point. I feel like the words of our inspired leaders really mended me. Conference is such healing balm I tell you! Conference and amoxicillin...what more could you want? 

I love our Prophet and I love our apostles. I love the women leaders of our church. 

After 2 incredibly discouraging weeks...I felt so uplifted. 

I took about 24 pages of notes (yeah kind of excessive). So, to summarize everything....I would like to remind everyone that God will take us whatever condition we are in and it doesn't matter what we have done. He will take us as we are and work with us to help us become the people we were always intended to be. I needed to be reminded of that. Sometimes I feel like I am impossible to work with, that I have failed too often and continue to fall short. But, in our Heavenly Father's eyes, it doesn't matter. 

I also really want to take the sacrament more seriously. I learned a lot about the sacrament and what it means and how I can make that time more meaningful. 

I loved being reminded of how the spirit can speak to us specifically and how we all go through trials and tests of our faith...but through Christ, everything will work out. It really will. 

I loved being reminded of how much I matter as a daughter, sister, friend, companion, and a faithful woman in this church. 

Okay, before I just go on a major roll on everything I loved and learned and cried about, 
you can just witness first hand at what I am talking about at:

This week was a crazy one. But we made it. 

I love this gospel and I love my mission. I really do. 

But I don't love Bronchitis. Or Hurricane Joaquin.


Sister Kelly

Sister Waldron and I watched General Conference in Veronica's dorm room.
Here are still photos from the video we took of us when they announced the new apostles.
We all held hands as they started to announce the apostles.
Poor Veronica, she thought we were at a Super Bowl Party or something. 

The tension started to rise.

We're getting closer!

Yay for Elder Rasband, Stevensen and Renlund! We already love you!

Other General Conference reactions.

And more reactions.

This Instagram photo was sent to Sister Kelly thanks to a senior missionary .