Monday, July 27, 2015

Fender Bender, Car Towed and a Rockstar Investigator

Playing croquet with Sister Corey
Hey Everyone!

First off,  I would like to put it out there that I'm pretty sure Sister Corey is training ME. She's helped me out a lot and I'm grateful to have her as my trainee/trainer. She is amazing.

Everyday has its adventures. Let me explain. 

On Saturday, we were on our way to an appointment and we got into a fender bender! Not our fault. Our car only has a little dent but it was still kinda scary! I had some bad whiplash but nothing Advil and a rice bag can't fix. Sister Corey and I were joking that our day had been pretty boring which was odd because everyday in Potomac is an adventure. Nothing like a good 'ol fender bender to spice up the day! So grateful that everyone was okay.

In addition, let me add, that our car got towed and IT WAS NOT OUR FAULT. The concierge at the apartment complex we visited wrote down the wrong expiration date on our visitor's pass. Our car had to spend the night in a sketchy tow yard in Alexandria :( We didn't have to pay which was a total miracle since tow companies are pretty unforgiving. 

We have been making huge progress with our investigators! One of them came to church all on his own, went to a Stake Priesthood Meeting afterwards, will be going to Family Home Evening tonight, and THEN is going to institute with us! Can you say a Rockstar? ROCKSTAR. We love him. He works for Senator Hatch so he's already surrounded by members of our church on a daily basis.

I crave church, like everyday...especially the Potomac Ward. These people are so incredible and I just want to be surrounded by them ALL THE TIME. 

I officially come home in less than 6 months. It's been really eye opening evaluating myself and seeing the strengths I've developed and the weaknesses I've come across this past year. I have a lot to work on but I have come a long way. There are changes I've made in my life that I am very proud of and I am excited to test out myself when I come back to the real world.

I love you all!

Sister Kelly

Typical home in Arlington, VA

Monday, July 20, 2015


Hey Everyone - 

For the past couple weeks, I've gone through this roller coaster of really loving my mission...and then really NOT loving my mission. I got really negative towards my situation and was constantly comparing my mission experience to others' experiences. I was wishing I was either in another area or in a totally different mission. Then it hit me one morning while I was walking to the gym that the problem was not my situation--but my attitude. I think every other human being has already had this epiphany so excuse me for being late and revealing old news but WOW the gratitude thing hit me like a sack of bricks. Yeah, I'm grateful for things like: four working limbs, a roof over my head, family and friends, etc. I realized that I have gotten about a C- in being grateful for my situations...good, bad, and otherwise. 

I've seen a lot of blessings this week and I have been so much more positive. Gratitude really is the catalyst of all Christlike Attributes and even though I'm no master at it, it's been such an edifying experience in having the "genuine gratitude door" being opened. 

And, staying in the gratitude vein, I wanted to share an amazing experience we had this week. 

When I arrived in the Potomac Ward there were only a handful of ward members that had a relationship with the missionaries. Don't get me wrong, the ward members are awesome, but as things go in a singles' ward, most of them are really busy and have no time for us. This was something that we totally respected but also got sad about since we felt REALLY distant from the ward. We knew we had these incredible people in our ward and we wanted to get to know them! So, Sister Corey and I started scheming. We found our lost dinner calendar and re-vamped it. Then we were asked to speak in Sacrament Meeting, so the ward could see us up front. By the way, this idea came by inspiration from our bishop (who I adore). So many members came up to us afterwards to introduce themselves. As a result, we are teaching a member's boyfriend!!!! We had a lesson with him last Thursday and it went so well. The ward passed the dinner calendar around yesterday and we had so many dinner sign-ups that we even have double bookings. We literally have a dinner every single night for the next 2 months. THIS HAS NEVER HAPPENED TO US BEFORE! So long Taco Bell and Mr. Microwave...I've got home cooked meals to eat. 

On Saturday, we had this awesome correlation meeting with our Relief Society Presidents (yes, we do have 2 Relief Societies because our ward is HUGE) and I seriously felt like I was reuniting with kindred spirits. LOVE those women SO much. We had so much fun with them and we were at Einstein's Bagels so long correlating/planning that we had breakfast, and then lunch! Such a miracle for them to be our Relief Society presidents. We have such strong, educated and exemplary women in our ward. It's been such a blessing to get to know them. 

The Potomac Ward is awesome and I am so grateful to have Sister Corey as a companion. She is amazing. She goes running with me...Sister Kelly ain't gonna stop anytime soon. I have less than 6 months left! 

This past week, we had this huge prompting to check on a less-active sister that we had never met before. One of our Relief Society Presidents told us to check on her. When we arrived at the main doors of her apartment building, they were locked--BUT, a nice man who lived there let us in! SO, we found her apartment door, knocked and she let us in. Okay,  this girl is "the bomb." We love the same music and we totally connected. We ended up being there for almost 2 hours and there wasn't a dry eye in the room. We talked about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and how He understands ALL pain. We shared this amazing quote by Cheiko Okazaki and she started to cry...then I started to cry...and I think Sister Corey was close to crying. It was amazing and we're going back next week. 

Love you all! 

Sister Kelly

Monday, July 13, 2015

These Are A Few Of My Favorite 12+ Things

Sister Kelly, waving goodbye upon entering the MTC
July 9, 2014

Hi Everyone - 

Well, it happened.

I hit my 1-year mark. For 365 days, I have been away from home. Walking into the MTC, I never thought this day would come; but it did. They say time SPEEDS UP after a missionary has hit the year mark, which I'm not very excited for. I feel like I need another couple years to build up my "refiner's fire tan."

So if you couldn't tell already, I really like numbers and lists. And, since I've been out for 12 months...I'm just going to put everything I want to share in sets of 12.  

 12 things you wanted to know about Northern Virginia but were too afraid to ask:

1. People in NoVA love their dogs more than people. I have seen more doggie day-cares out here than child day-cares. 
2. The humidity is pretty bad, but there is amazing air conditioning everywhere; so it's really doable. 
3. Fairfax County has incredible schools and people come from all over the world (literally) so their children can attend a school here.
4. Virginians love bumper stickers and personalizing their license plates. Virginia is the only state in the US where personalizing your plate costs only $10.
5. Of all the favorite license plates, these are my favorites: "IM DIVA", "10 CW WMN" (10 Cow Woman), "PEASANT", "IM KANYE", "SHUT UP", "CAT LDYZ", "RAPNZL" (Sister Rossi and I thought it meant 'rap nizzle' in honor of our friend Snoop Dogg, but turns out it meant 'Rapunzel') and last but not least, "I AM LDS."
6. People honk at you if you go the speed limit. They'll even honk at you if you go 5 miles over!
7. The spring and fall here totally make up for the summer and winter.
8. You have to have a parking pass for everywhere you park. If you don't have a pass, you get towed (learned that the hard way). I have had to miss appointments because of the parking issues. The parking struggle is real. 
9. Despite being in the thick of things politically, people hardly talk politics with us. 
10. There are no true "inner-city" areas in our mission. There are definitely rougher areas, but that's usually categorized into apartment complexes or small neighborhoods.
11. But trust me, the really wealthy areas are scarier than the inner-city areas. 
12. About half the people I meet can't tell me what they do for a living. After being here for one year, I've realized that many people have (probably) lied to me about their profession.

12 things that have changed about me that will probably shock my parents:

1. I can eat any fruit now without wanting to gag. Oranges still make me cringe but I can deal with it.
2. I don't like skim milk fact, I only buy 1% or 2%.
3. I took a 7-min shower the other day. My dad would be so proud.
4. I get kind of bummed when I have to stop reading the scriptures.
5. I journal...sort of.
6. I can merge on the freeway like a pro and I can drive in flash floods and remain completely calm...and alive! 
7. I get so excited for General Conference that my heart accelerates when it starts.
8. I can rap Primary songs.
9. I can carry on a conversation about sports, dogs, the Civil War, cars, and obviously the gospel without making a complete fool out of myself.
10. I can't sleep in past 8:30 am! Even when I'm sick and on the verge of death! MIRACLES HAPPEN. 
11. I get so tired at around 9:30 pm. How did I go to bed at 5 am on a regular basis at BYU? I don't think (emphasis on the 'think') I'm ever doing an all-nighter again. Once again, MIRACLES HAPPEN.
12. I can get on the treadmill without wanting to curse the treadmill.

12 General Conference talks I love that have really impacted me on my mission:

1. Choose Wisely - Quentin L. Cook
2. Being Accepted Of the Lord - Erich W. Kopishke
3. Lord, I Believe - Jeffrey R. Holland
4. The Love of God - Dieter F. Uchtdorf
5. Approaching the Throne of God With Confidence - Jorg Klebingat
6. Truly Good And Without Guile - Michael T. Ringwood
7. Living the Gospel Joyfully - Dieter F. Uchtdorf 
8. As Many As I Love, I Rebuke And Chasten - D. Todd  Christofferson
9. Come What May, And Love It - Joseph B. Wirthlin
10. On Being Worthy - Marvin J. Ashton
11. Sharing Your Light - Neill F. Marriott
12. Like A Broken Vessel - Jeffrey R. Holland 

12 Scriptures I Love:

1. Ether 12:27
2. 2 Nephi 2:25
3. Romans 5:3-5
4. Alma 5:14
5. John 14:26-27
6. Mosiah 7:33
7. Alma 38:11-12
8. Helaman 5:12
9. Moroni 8:16
10. James 1:5
11. Colossians 3:13-15
12. 3 Nephi 13:28-34

So, there you have it. My first 12 monthes as a missionary in a nutshell. My mission has been the hardest thing I've ever done and yet, there is nowhere else I'd rather be. Grateful that I was called to serve in the Washington D.C. South mission. It's crazy that I only have 6 months left! 


Sister Kelly

12 of my iPad's favorite photos:

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

A Snapped Windshield Wiper, Ramadan and Fireworks At the Pentagon

Fireworks at the Pentagon

Hey Everyone!

So much craziness this week.

....let's start with the scary part first.

Sister Corey and I were casually driving on I-395 to teach a lesson, when all of a sudden it started to POUR DOWN RAIN. Like a safe driver, I turned on my windshield wipers and then the unthinkable happened....the windshield wiper on the driver's side SNAPPED. It literally snapped right as the rain started to get heavier. I couldn't see anything and we still had 5 miles to go on the freeway! So, we said a bunch of prayers and there were obviously angels involved, since we got to the lesson in one piece despite not being able to see for 15 min. It was really scary but I totally remained calm and so did Sister Corey. She was such a champ. 

On another night, a lot of things (appointments) fell through and then, we got lost and THEN we got all these mixed promptings as to where to go and who to see.  So at the end of the night, we found ourselves at this apartment complex. I was disappointed and felt kinda numb towards my surroundings...a feeling I totally hate. But then, these three ladies walked out of the apartment and I started talking to them. We ended up showing them "Because He Lives" and they loved it and I loved that they loved it! It was a sweet tender mercy. Then at the same complex, we ran into a former investigator who wants to take the lessons again. Such a blessing! 

Our new mission, PRESIDENT HUNTSMAN is in town! He is really different from President Riggs, but I love him! When we met him for the first time, I had this overwhelming feeling that he is going to be great. We had interviews with him today and that feeling was confirmed even more. I'm really excited for this. 

Fourth of July was amazing! We saw the fireworks at the Pentagon. I felt so patriotic! It was really awesome that everyone around us was speaking in different languages and there were so many different cultures. The fireworks were awesome. It rained all day so with a mix of the smoke from the fireworks and the humidity, we almost sweat ourselves to death. 

We went to a Ramadan party on Sunday. We had a "break the fast" party with some Ward members and their Muslim friends. It was our fast Sunday and their month of fasting,  because of Ramadan. It was really great! 

I've started to do "Lights Out" with my amazing trainee/companion, Sister Cory. Lights Out is what our family does every Sunday night...we pretty much gather around with all the lights off and share our favorite thing about church that day. Sooo, Sister Corey and I went really in depth and didn't go to bed until late (oops). But, it was worth it.

A lot of other crazy things happened but AHHHH I never have enough time to write or remember everything! 


Sister Kelly 

Mother and daughter. Wearing matching scarves.
Introducing my trainee, Sister Cory.
Fireworks at the Pentagon. 

This is what happens when someone steals your umbrella.