Monday, April 27, 2015

Whitney Gets Baptized And Some Memorable Breakthroughs

The One and Only...Whitney

Hey Everyone!

Whitney's baptism was amazing! She got there an hour early so we just hung out with her. Her mom came and seemed to really enjoy it. There were a bunch of people there, which was awesome. Her best friend, Kira and I played a violin duet to "Nearer My God to Thee" which was a special experience for me. President Riggs came and all the missionaries that taught Whitney. Which means, I got to see Sister Wright. I miss that girl so much!

With our mission president, President Riggs.

The Youth that made this glorious day possible. Being a good example is a powerful tool.

Homegirls reunited!!!!!

Breakthrough #1

We had some major breakthroughs with the people that we teach. This has been so amazing. I have been trying hard to concentrate on moving everyone to the "next step" and things are really turning out for some people...which is awesome because these people deserve the happiness that our Heavenly Father wants them to have. 

Breakthrough #2

We watched "His Grace Is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox twice this week with people. That talk makes everything sink in and if you haven't watched it, you should. 

I even did the dirty work for you. So, here you go....

Breakthrough #3

Yesterday (Sunday), we had a Regional Broadcast for the North America North East Region. Sister Reeves, Elder Kacher, Elder Andersen, and Elder Hales all spoke and IT WAS INCREDIBLE. The guy sitting next to me probably thought I was psycho because I was taking notes like a mad woman. But, whatever, it was such an incredible experience. 

Breakthrough #4

I got proposed to by a 4-year-old boy named John. He came up to me when we had dinner at his house and said, "Hey I like you, you're gonna be my wife."

Then he continued to call me his wife during dinner and whispered to his mom, "MOM! THAT'S MY WIFE!"

Apparently he's going through an "older woman" phase ;)

Star Crossed Lovers:  John and Sister Kelly

I really love being a missionary! This transfer is going by quickly. The gospel is true and transforming. Everyone deserves to be exposed to it!


Sister Kelly

Mrs. Baxter aka my 4th grandma (Sister Rothermel is my 3rd) and me. We now read the Book of Mormon with her and she gave me a White House ornament in return. 

A 10 yr. old girl in our ward drew this! #childprodigy

Monday, April 20, 2015

This Week's Life-Changing Events: Bingo, Avery & A Whole Lot of Love and Patience

Me and Avery and our photo-bomber friend in Old Town Alexandria

Hey Everyone! 

This week was life-changing for a few reasons. 

Life-Changing Event #1:

I am an official BINGO CALLER for the Sunrise Living Senior Center. Yep, you read that right. I called out Bingo a couple days ago and by the end of the night, I could barely talk. My loud voice was finally put to work. We did about 12 rounds of Bingo and I had to literally yell each time I called a number so that they could hear the correct number. We also gave some of the residents manicures. I did my first French manicure! 

Life- Changing Event #2:

I had such a fabulous Preparation-Day (P-day) today because my dear friend AVERY from high school met up with me in Old Town! I love that girl so much and it was such a blessing to see her! We walked down King Street and caught up and I told her all about my life as a missionary: the good, the bad and the embarrassing ;) 

Here is the picture Avery sent to my mom's phone.  

Life-Changing Event #3: 

Last but not is what made me cry tears of joy this week. 

Whitney is our investigator who has been taught the missionary discussions since November. She is amazing. This girl comes to church every Sunday, goes to Young Women's activities every week, bears her testimony at stake activities, is applying to BYU, wants to go on a mission, wants to get married in the temple, and gives us celeb updates every week. I literally count the hours until we get to go to her house every Thursday to teach her. I consider her one of my dearest friends. There is something so special about her. 

Whitney's mom would NOT let her get baptized. President Riggs made an effort to talk to the mom in person. Our Bishop and Ward Mission Leader have tried multiple times to talk her mom, and believe me....we as missionaries have tried multiple times. Nothing has worked. Her mom looked me straight in the eye last month and said, "There is nothing you can do or say that will make me change my mind. Not even your big boss (President Riggs) can persuade me." 

I was so distraught. But something told me to never give up. Whitney deserves everything and I would never give up hope. 

When my new companion, Sister Maw arrived in our area, I made it clear not to push Whitney's mom. I encouraged Sister Maw to NOT GIVE UP HOPE.  

On Sunday, I fasted for her mom that her heart would soften, especially because our Ward Mission Leader's son, who happens to be Whitney's best friend, is leaving on a mission in May and wanted to be able to baptize Whitney before he went. Our ward mission leader wrote Whitney's mom a letter. After reading the letter, her mom said, regarding Whitney's baptism, that she would "think about it."

This was HUGE. But not huge enough. 

So on Thursday, we planned to talk to Whitney about only the most recent General Conference. You know, something light and non-threatening. Her mom sits in on our lessons and observes. When all of a sudden her mom starts talking about the letter she received from our Ward Mission Leader. 

Soon one thing led to another. It turned into a debate between me and Whitney's mom. I pleaded with tears in my eyes for her mom to allow her daughter to get baptized. Whitney then burst into tears and told her mom how much she wanted this, of how she would never leave the church, and that what she knows is true. 

Her mom wouldn't have it. But between me and Whitney, the spirit was so strong. 

It was then that sweet Sister Maw asked her mom a question. Sister Maw was speaking with such a powerfully strong spirit, that we don't even remember what she said. 

But all we know is, at that moment, everything clicked with Whitney's mom. 

It just clicked. 

And her mom agreed. It's going to be Whitney's 17th birthday gift. She is getting baptized this Saturday

All of us cried. The spirit was strong and we know it was the Lord's timing. Miracles happen and fasting is such a power. This baptism is such a miracle. PRESIDENT RIGGS is coming. He FREAKED OUT when we told him. 

Saturday is going to be such a special day. 

I am so grateful for Whitney. I am so grateful for her mom. I am so grateful for our Savior Jesus Christ who lets these life-changing things happen. 

So get ready BYU. In two years you will have an amazing Cougar coming your way. She's a great one.  

Love always,

Sister Kelly

Sunrise in Alexandria

Monday, April 13, 2015

Choose To Believe

Hello Everyone!

Transfers happened! I stayed in Franconia and Sister Wright went to Warrenton...which is the far edge of our mission, out in horse country. My new companion is Sister Maw. She is 23 yrs. old and has been out for about 5 months.

But the craziest thing of all that happened this week is that I HIT MY HALFWAY MARK on APRIL 9TH!!!!!!!!!

What the heck...I have been out for 9 months. 

We had a huge answer to our prayers this week. It was Sister Wright's last night in Franconia and we went to say goodbye to someone we teach. She had been struggling with some of our doctrine so our lessons always had to be really "light and fragile." Well, that night she told us that she watched General Conference and had a complete life-changing moment when she watched Elder L. Whitney Clayton's talk, "Choose to Believe." She added that everything she had been struggling with, and everything Sister Wright and I had been praying for her to understand...clicked. It just clicked. She now has a full testimony of the gospel. In fact, she bore her testimony yesterday about it in church. I wish I could go more into detail about how amazing it was to see her conversion. But, let's just say that our Mission President found out about it all and told us to write a letter to Elder Clayton himself. Sister Wright took the job since she's MUCH better at explaining things! :)

We went to see the Cherry Blossoms today and it was a MISSIONARY TAKEOVER. No joke--we saw about 100-120 missionaries. About every couple minutes we either saw a missionary or a member who came up to us and said...SISTERS, I'M A MORMON. HI! I saw people from Oakton which was super awesome. It was like seeing family.

Love you all!

Sister Kelly

Ran into some amazing Oakton Ward members. Talk about a trip down memory lane.

Me and my favorite senior missionaries. Ran into them, too!

Me and my new companion, Sister Maw.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Finding Joy In All

Private...Senators Only
Hello Everybody - 

Last Monday we went to D.C and got a private tour of the capitol with a ward member who interns there.  I love D.C. so much especially because Sister Wright and I found....wait for it...A JAMBA JUICE! 

Me about to cry because you know...Jamba Juice!

Just me and Brigham Young, catching up.

The foundation of the Capitol Building

The place were we received our "official business visitor" pass. 

Also, THE SONNTAGS SURPRISED ME AGAIN!!! I love that family so much and it was so good to see them again. Oakton memories still hold such a big place in my heart. 

So much love for this family right here

We have a new "roommate."

A mouse. 

Our apartment has been invaded by MICE! Well, we think it's just one mouse, but who knows--our new roommate probably invited friends. Sister Wright and I discovered the mouse last night and we were terrified. We called our District Leader and he totally laughed at us because we told him "We are in a life or death situation." It then hit us that missionaries in third-world countries deal with much worse on a DAILY basis so we calmed down a bit. But we still bought 4 mouse traps. HELP!

Sister Wright and I hid in our bedroom all last night and this morning because of the mouse.
"I HATE that mouse," said my brother Adam at Chuck E. Cheese 12 yrs. ago.
The other day I had a really strong prompting to go visit a girl we teach who is less-active. She's so awesome and we love teaching her but we can NEVER catch her. Between her job and being a full time student, she's a busy gal. Well anyway, I told Sister Wright that we should stop by even though we knew she had to go to work. Sister Wright said, "Let's go now!" and off we went. 

Well, we went over and she was miraculously home. We were over there for about two hours catching up, laughing about celebrities, discussing the tragedy of ZAYN LEAVING ONE DIRECTION, and of course watching the video "Because He Lives." It was a great missionary experience. I am so glad we followed the prompting to see her. Such a great reminder that the Lord knows who is home and He will tell us if we are ready to listen.

General Conference was so great. Nick (from the library) came with the Colonial 1st Ward sister missionaries to watch Conference at the Stake Center. Sister Wright and I were able to see him. It made us so happy that he was there to see Conference. A lot of people we teach texted us and shared that they watched AND enjoyed Conference. Such a huge blessing. One of our investigators told us they wish Conference was everyday. Amen, sister!

Easter was great and we had a fabulous Easter roast with some members. It's getting so warm here. I am not used to 70 degree weather in April!.

Have a great week...


Sister Kelly

Glamour Shot with the Target Dog. The only dog I like in Virginia.

Funny bumper sticker I saw the other day.