Monday, February 23, 2015

The Weather Outside Is Sort Of - Frightful

Hey Everyone!

All of Fairfax County literally freaked out this week because of the snow. This is their definition of "freaked out":  clearing out the grocery store, canceling school for 4 days and the mission advising us to walk instead of drive. Being a Wisconsin-ite, I did nothing but roll my eyes this week. I am NOT a wimp when it comes to this kind of weather.
I took this pic of Sister Wright #photographyskilz 

Another fabulous photo by Sister Kelly  

We have a sweet new investigator. She is 10 and so adorable. Her mom recently moved into the ward and also recently got baptized. She wanted her daughter to get baptized and so we're teaching her. Not gonna lie, it's kind of an adjustment teaching a 10 year old girl but she is so amazing and it was such a miracle that the Lord trusts us in teaching her. She is really special!

Realized that the Oscars happened last night and I literally have no idea what happened, what movies were nominated, or who wore what best. 

The whole mission is getting new iPads this week with NO Facebook on them. Drama! Sister Wright and I are now scrambling trying to save all our notes, videos, and priceless photos from our current iPads! The struggle is real. 

Love you all!

Sister Kelly

Is this how missionaries serving in Russia feel? 

So star struck right meow...

In honor of last year's Valentine's Day card...shout out to Elder Ahlstrom and Hermana Crawford
Happy Valentine's Day 2K15

In keeping with traditions... 

Lunch with Sister Kennedy and Sister Malufau before transfers. We went to IHOP.  

Our Zone selfie...this is the best zone ever.

Wondering why the people in Virginia are so upset about this weather. 

One of the Elders in our district had the flu and this is the text his companion texted us.We are still laughing about this.
The text gets better every time you read it. 

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

7 Month Re-cap

With Jonathan Stewart and his wife. Jonathan is a dear family friend.. His parents were at my parent's' wedding .
He is the ward mission leader in the neighboring ward. Here we are at lunch. Such a great connection.
Hey Everyone!

The other day I was thinking about my mission. What it's done for me. How I've changed. The people I've met. The amount of vinyl siding I've seen. And, I just started to laugh! Seven months ago I had a completely different perspective on life. I was so caught up in things that I rarely think about now. Do I still ask people what their favorite movie is? Yes. Do I still hum John Mayer songs in the shower? Yes. Do I still take really long showers? Yes (sorry Dad...some things never change). But my whole perspective on life has really changed. Sounds generic but it's true. 

In 7 months, I now know that no one has a perfect life. Trials make us stronger. And, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is really the only answer to the question, "How can I be truly happy?" These little realizations are constant reminders of the importance of life. Every day, something happens. Whether it be laughing at district meeting or driving around like wild bandits with my main gurl, "Sister #choosethewright" that make me realize, "Wow, I'm so grateful to be here." 

Northern Virginia may not be the most "exotic" place with the "greatest weather" but it's the perfect fit for me. I used to have a hard time with the fact that out of all the places in the world, Northern Virginia is where God wanted me to be. But being out here, I realized that I wouldn't trade my experiences here for ANYTHING. Not even a mission in London ;) I have made some life-long friends and angels have truly been surrounding me while I've served. (Shout out to all the angels in Oakton and know who you are!). 

This week was a really good week. We had some tender things happen to us. For example, I love our progressing investigators, Whitney and Andrew. As you know, Whitney's mom will not let her get baptized until she is 18. And, Andrew's dad won't let him get baptized until he is convinced Andrew "knows what he is doing." So frustrating. But the miracle is that WITHOUT FAIL, they still come to church every week. They still have lessons with us. They still grow and learn. For example, Whitney is already planning on attending BYU and reads General Conference talks in her spare time. The ward considers her a member at this point. Same with Andrew. This past week, we took Whitney to the temple visitor's center. Since she has already been there four times, we just looked around and talked and laughed. She wants to get married in the Rome temple and Sister Wright and I will be the bridesmaids. Yes! 

Another wonderful experience happened at the temple that day we went with Whitney. Sister Wright and I realized that we didn't have a ride home from the temple. We were worried because we had an appointment with Dara. She is one of our investigators who is the Olympic boxer in training. We freaked out. We called Dara, told her the situation that we would probably be really late to the appointment. We prayed and prayed to find someone to take us back to Alexandria. I felt like such a loser. I was tempted to take a taxi home! BUT DARA PICKED US UP. I REPEAT DARA DROVE 45 MIN AND PICKED US UP. AHHHH! she's so great. We had so much fun with her in the car! 

Also, last dumped buckets of snow and we couldn't drive. So we had to WALK. It was freezing but we had a blast. We got a little sidetracked with taking pics but we were able to teach a family from Ghana! 

Have a great week everyone! Love you!

xoxo Sister Kelly 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Sister Kelly Emails From the Local Target

Dear Everyone:

Because it is President's Holiday, the local library was closed. Sister Kelly and Sister Wright did errands at the local Target and they emailed family and friends from their iPad. A blog post will hopefully come tomorrow. What we do know is that Elizabeth had a busy week. She was off to Mt. Vernon, again. Because it was President's Day, Mount Vernon was free. Always more fun when you get a bargain.


Marya and Meredith

Monday, February 9, 2015

7 Things

Hey Everyone!

Today is my seventh month mark. SO, in honor of this glorious day and to honor my favorite Miley Cyrus song, here is a list of  "7 things":

My favorite 7 things that happened this week:

1. You already know that I really loved serving in the Oakton Ward. One of the many reasons why I loved the Oakton Ward was the Sonntag family. From playing "Apples to Apples" on Thanksgiving Day to numerous inside jokes...Sister Rossi and I made so many memories with that family. Well God knew that not having the Sonntags in my life would be rather difficult when I got transferred to the Franconia Ward. He blessed me to be in the same area where Sister Sonntag's parents, Elder and Sister Rothermel, are serving a senior couple's mission. I knew the Rothermels because they would often be at the Sonntag's home when Sister Rossi and I visited. It was such a treat to have the Rothermels in my new area.  Well, last week, the Rothermel's received permission for Sister Wright and I to have dinner with them and THE SONNTAGS SURPRISED ME AT THE ROTHERMEL'S HOME! Such a tender mercy. It was so good to see them again. Ahhh, Sonntag Family, I love you so much! So does Admiral (ha!)

Me and Samara.
Beckham Sonntag and me. Buddies 4 life. 

2. Going to the Arlington National Cemetery on Monday with a beloved member.

The faces of two missionaries who walked around the Arlington Cemetery in 20 degree weather.
So rough but so worth it. 

3. Teaching the gospel to our investigators who are teenagers and are such a blessing.
4. Shout out to my amazing San Francisco grandma (Moo), for giving me the sweetest letter and a really beautiful poem she copied for me. It talked about leadership and how sometimes true leaders are the ones backstage, with no glory to their name. I love you, Moo.  
5. Shout out to Grandma Kay, my other amazing (Provo) grandma, for shipping out COOKIES FROM SWIG!!!!!  Grandmas always know the keys to their grandchildren's hearts. 

My Swig cookie. 
6. Conquered indexing a family tree in Ipswich, England from the early 1880s. They had the coolest handwriting. But the handwriting was very hard to read. But, I did it. 
7. My companion, Sister Wright and I discovered 1 Peter 1:7. Our trials, especially the ones of our faith, are rough sometimes. But in the end, they are so valuable to our progression. 

My not so favorite 7 things that happened this week:

1. A family from Cameroon dropped us. Via text. 
2. One of our investigator's dad said, "No" to his baptism. So, no Valentine's Day baptism :(
3. The other investigator's mom said she can't get baptized for another year and a half :(
4. Our apartment reeks of marijuana sometimes.  
5. I thought something was stuck at the top of my eye. I had to go to Urgent Care because it was THAT BAD and found out it wasn't a mote in my eye but a CUT 1 cm long inside my upper eyelid. 
6. The doctor at Urgent Care "flushed out my eye" for 10 whole min. Top 5 most physically uncomfortable things to ever happen to me. 
7. I look like The Exorcist in the pics Sister Wright took at Urgent Care.

Gold stars for anyone who can figure out where my eye is in this pic. 

Straight-up Exorcist.
I love this work. Thank you for your love, prayers and support...especially the poem and the cookies from Swig. I love my grandmas.  

Have a great week!

Sister Kelly

My district. The one and only.

Called to Serve in Style.

Sunrise outside of our apartment window. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Elder Styles, a Renaissance Fair Wedding and The Love of God

Hey Everyone!

Another week of miracles and interesting experiences. 

First off, I LOVE Virginia. The drivers and roads are crazy and the weather is awful but I really LOVE it out here. I have made some life long friends and have had so many learning experiences out here. Also, my companion, Sister Wright is wonderful.  She's so chill and yet such a hard worker! We get along so well and have already made many memories. The work here is on fire.....ANDREW IS PLANNING ON GETTING BAPTIZED ON VALENTINE'S DAY! This will be the best Valentine's Day ever! I just hope and pray his dad consents and lets him get baptized. As I shared last week, Andrew is the young man who at age 15 wears a suit to church and regularly reads The Book of Mormon.  

This past week, we found two people who once upon a time had investigated our church. We have developed really good relationships with them and are teaching them this week. One of them is a Japanese lady named Misako.  She is super sweet and her husband Will, is a historian and has read the entire Book of Mormon! 

Also ELDER STYLES WAS A SUCCESS! Teya came to church and has offered to say the closing prayer both times we have taught her. Gosh, I love that girl. She is so sassy and is a total mix of me and my sister, Meredith. Her mom, a recent convert, is so amazing. I love her a lot. 

We made this cake...
We have formed a really amazing relationship with this less active. We have family history indexing parties with her and then she takes us out to lunch! I love her so much. She and her husband are really into Renaissance Fairs. They had a Renaissance themed wedding at the Maryland Renaissance Fair. The wedding ceremony took place on stage and people thought it was a show! The wedding photos are priceless.  She told us that she doesn't like a lot of the members who reach out to her but she loves us. She and I bond over the TV show, "Grey's Anatomy." 

It was such a great experience seeing Tian again and being with her in the Washington DC Temple this past Saturday. She did temple work for her Chinese ancestors. She was glowing and was so happy! 

With Tian.

At the Temple's Visitor Center with Tian.

This week, I discovered Dieter. F. Uchtdorf's talk,"The Love of God" from the October 2009 Ensign. It answered a lot of my prayers and everyone needs to read it! 

Love you all!

Sister Kelly