Monday, September 28, 2015

A Week of Remembering

My new friends: Sister Waldron, Veronica and Barbara Parker

Hello Everyone!

The flu decided to pay a visit to Sister Kelly this week.

I died.

I was so out of it, that one night in my prayers...instead of saying "Dear Heavenly Father"...I said, "Dear Sister Waldron"  !!!

So I really can't remember this week BUT - 

 - I do remember the fact that Veronica is getting baptized hopefully on October 17th. She bought a baptism dress and everything. She has even invited people to attend her baptismal service. She is so so excited!

 - I also remember going to General Women's Conference this past Saturday evening. We met President Ezra Taft Benson's (a former prophet in our church) daughter, Beverly Parker. She came up to us and said, "I love those badges you're wearing!" Then we started talking. Sister Parker then talked to 
Veronica at the conference, and now, she is coming to Veronica's baptism. So pretty much...President Benson's daughter is coming to our investigator's cool is that?

 - And I remember and know for a fact that my companion, Sister Waldron, is a saint. Not only has she cooked for me this past week, she even changed my humidifier. #truelove #mamawaldron

 - I will always remember that this week, I finished the Book of Mormon again. Yippee! I recently read Mormon 8 and 9 and just loved it. 

New favorite scripture: 

"For the eternal purposes of the Lord shall roll on, until all His promises shall be fulfilled."

Don't you just love that?

May we all remember that the Lord has a deep plan for that spans out through eternity.

xoxo Sister Kelly

This pic is for Meredith. 

Sister Kelly is not feeling well.    

Lunch with our wonderful senior missionary couple. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

The Rural Area of the Mission

Jeyben's Baptism. With Sister Corey and Sister Tescher

Hey Everyone -

I got transferred to yet ANOTHER singles' ward! The Braddock Singles' Ward to be exact. The ward covers the rural area of the mission. I'm in the sticks. We drive a lot.

It was really weird leaving Potomac. I felt numb for about 48 hours and I'm still in the process of snapping out of it. But I'm excited to be in another singles' ward. #singleforever

Funny how the Potomac Ward was joking about me getting "banished" to Warrenton, VA and it turns out that Warrenton is in my area. Ha!

I love my new companion Sister Waldron. She is from a small town in Washington State.  I will officially be her last companion in the mission field because she goes home in six weeks, or "next transfer." She is awesome! Fun fact: I replaced her in Potomac.

JEYBEN GOT BAPTIZED! It was amazing. The spirit was incredibly strong. He bore his testimony at the end of the service. President and Sister Huntsman came which was a special treat. Sister Huntsman found for me a copy of the hymn "Amazing Grace" so that I could play my violin for the baptism. Thank you, Sister Huntsman.

Also, the night before I left Potomac, an old investigator texted us to hang out....we hadn't heard from him in months. We were so shocked. He talked about the changes he made in his life while he took a "break from us." The changes were brought about because of the spirit he felt as he learned the gospel.

I'm exited for this new journey. Braddock might be my last area; so I better make it a good one!

Sister Kelly

Landing in my new apartment in Springfield, VA
Please note:  Blix Thompson's famous satin blanket in the foreground.
Given to me before I was born.
The best blanket ever. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Sister Kelly Has A New Location

At the post office in my new location...
Dear Family and Friends:  

Sister Kelly has a new location. She was transferred to Springfield, VA on Thursday, September 17. She is currently serving in the Braddock Singles' Ward. Her companion is Sister Waldron from Castle Rock, WA. Elizabeth was sad to leave her former area, but loves serving in singles' wards.

From what she communicated to me via email, all of her clothes could not fit in the car. How did that happen? The above photo is Sister Kelly and Sister Waldron in the post office mailing us the big box of summer clothes back to Milwaukee. 



Monday, September 14, 2015

17 Miracles

Here is a pic of me at "Day to Serve" and LaVonne from the Franconia Ward was there.

Hey everyone!

My time in Potomac is running short. I either have one more transfer or I am leaving this week :(

I am in denial. It's fine.

But guesssss what? OUR INVESTIGATOR, JEYBEN, IS GETTING BAPTIZED THIS SATURDAY!  We started teaching him in May; when I first arrived in Potomac. He was introduced to the church through the Mitt Romney Campaign and made a lot of friends that were members of the church. One of them, was a member of our former  bishopric in the Potomac Ward. Jeyben is amazing. He now works for Senator Hatch and went to Salt Lake with him. I remember one time in July, he texted us as he was standing in front of the statue of Christ in Temple Square. It has been such an honor teaching him. He was prepared from the beginning. It has been such an edifying experience to see him grow and change. Last night, we finished teaching him the lessons. Sister Corey told him about the first time she met him and how proud of him she is and HE CRIED. 

So that was one big miracle. Especially since we wanted to baptize him October 24th and he said, "Uhhhh can we do September 19th?" ;) 

Jeyben teased me once about how he has seen the pioneer movie, "17 Miracles" and I haven't. So here are my favorite "17 miracles" that have happened these past 12 weeks training Sister Corey in the Potomac Ward.

#1 Surviving I-395 traffic in a rainstorm. With 1 windshield wiper. For 6 miles. 

#2 I might as well get this scary incidence over with now. One time Sister Corey and I were walking home from an appointment at about 8:45 p.m. It wasn't too late, but it was getting dark. We had to park our car at the church, a few blocks away. It was the only free place to park (welcome to Virginia). As were were walking, this car started to follow us and we realized that it was full of some pretty creepy guys. We started walking faster and we realized that they started to follow us into the parking lot, thinking we were the only ones that would be there. OUT OF NOWHERE, this guy comes walking out in the parking lot and scared off the creepy car. The car slowly back out of the lot. We never saw this guy again...we have no idea who he is...hence, Miracle #2. 

#3 Out of all the times we were lost at the Reagan Airport (we have become very familiar with the Delta Terminal), Pentagon parking lot (most intense 3 minutes of my life), Arlington National Cemetery (yes, that actually happened once....) and Rosslyn (worst experience ever), we only managed to get lost in DC one time...and it wasn't even the Mall, it was Georgetown.

#4 One time Sister Corey and I felt strongly to go to this apartment complex to check on some potential investigators. We ended up finding all these new people to teach and found one of my old investigators in the park (turns out he lives in that complex) and taught him too! It was an overall great weekend of just teaching the WHOLE day and introducing so many of Heavenly Father's children about his love. I loved that afternoon.

#5 About 2 weeks ago we had this lesson at the church and literally 3 min after the lesson, another lady tried to get into the building. We let her in and asked if she needed help. She began to explain how she was looking for a new religion and prayed for an answer. She then decided to go on a walk, and saw our church building. We ended up talking to her for an hour and taught her about the Restoration of our gospel. She had tears in her eyes and asked us why she had never heard these things before. It was amazing. She came to church and everything but she is unfortunately moving out of the country :( 

#6 We are teaching this man who used to only want to have intellectual discussions with us and really wanted "healthy debates." Sister Corey and I got so burned out. Talking with a former corporate lawyer about "the concepts of faith" and numerous religious theories was fun and all, but we new he had more potential. We told him we wanted to start giving him the lessons. He agreed and every lesson since, he has brought a friend! 

#7 One evening we decided to check on some less-actives but, we had a feeling to check on a potential investigator instead. We felt that we needed to go to the McLean area and no joke..."Madison Ln." popped into my head and sure enough, Madison Ln. is in the McLean area. We found out that indeed a lady interested in our church lived there and we knocked on her door....and she was kinda rude! We were so disappointed but I thought...NO. WE ARE HERE FOR A REASON. So I told her we wanted to show her something and she let us in. We showed her "Because He Lives." We ended up staying for an hour and a half. She was so grateful. We are now teaching her! She also has a really cute dog which is a miracle in it of itself because I hate 99% of all dogs.

#8 We were out and about checking on people and knocking on doors and we talked to this man who was so nice. We also showed him "Because He Lives" and he said, "WAIT! My kids need to see this!" And we showed it to the entire family and they loved it! 

#9 We helped a member talk about religion with her boyfriend. It was wonderful being able to help her feel more comfortable doing something that can be so challenging at times.  The conversation went really well. We just felt so good helping her out.

#10 One Sunday, Sister Corey and I gave talks in church (sacrament meeting)....afterwards, and a member in our Ward came up to us and said, "Hi. Here is my boyfriend, Tom and he wants to take the lessons. He also wants a Book of Mormon".....uh, hi Tom. We were so shocked but felt so grateful since we had been praying for someone new to teach! We have been teaching Tom since June. (He is the one that gave us the blender and protein powder. Ha!)

#11 We found a less active and she happily let us in! We talked about the Atonement. It was so incredible being with her. I love those moments when the spirit totally leads you in the right direction and you teach something that the person really needed to hear.  

#12 Another less-active miracle... Sister Corey wanted to check on a less-active but I wanted to street contact. But then eventually I realized that it would be a good idea to check on at least one of the less-actives. Sister Corey mentioned the name of someone and so off we went. She lived sort of far from where we were.  By the time we got there, we actually needed to go to another appointment. But we rang the doorbell anyway. She was super nice. Then, we had to break the news to her that we had to go, but we wanted to see her again. She said, "Come by tomorrow." We were so thrilled! When we visited her the next day, she told us that she had been praying for love and guidance. Then, hours later, we showed up on her doorstep and rang the doorbell. We have become such good friends. We see her almost every week. She even came to church. She also took us to some fine dining in Old Town which...was really incredible. 

#13 The next miracle didn't happen when I was serving in the Potomac Ward. It was while I was in one of my previous areas. But, it happened when I just happened to be in Potomac on day.  A less-active couple Sister Wright and I found got sealed in the temple and are doing so well! The first time we met them, we would only visit the wife at work since she didn't feel comfortable having us come over. Then, as time went by....she and her husband (both!) started to let us stop by. We visited them about 4 times a week. We got so close to them. I literally freaked out when I found out that they were going to the temple. I was able to call them before they went. A serious highlight of my life.

#14 Recently, we went on exchanges with the Alexandria 2nd Ward sisters. We street contacted all day and we met the most amazing people. One lady made me cry! She was so kind and so wonderful. I love that feeling of meeting the right people, at the right time, in the right place.

#15 That fact that we had about 5 dinners in almost 2 months when I first came here and now we get fed basically every night (sometimes we have double dinners) is a miracle for us, at least. We have become so close with the ward because of these dinner sign ups. We made some friends for life I tell you. Friends for life!!!

#16 We have a new investigator who challenged herself to learn more and is already at the end of Alma in the Book of Mormon. She's incredible. She wants to meet with us multiple times a week and is so willing to find the truth and knowledge that we bring. We are meeting with her tonight.  

-#17 Okay this is a crazy one. In a previous post, I shared how about 3 months ago, Sister Tescher and I had the thought to go to COSTCO for lunch. We ended up sitting next to this family. The wife was Mormon and he was not. They moved here in February and didn't have a great experience at church in the last place they lived. They sort of put church on hold. But interestingly enough, the husband had been wishing that they would run into missionaries so that he could invite them over and hopefully...his wife would go to church again. Long story short, we met with them, almost every week and we have become so close to them. When we would visit, the dad would go in the other room. But as time passed by, he started to sit behind us on the computer with his headphones on.....them the next week he took one headphone out to listen in.....then he started to chime in occasionally....then this last time he participated the entire time! They went to their family Ward Sunday and the daughters went to Young Women's and Primary and they loved it!!!  I cherish my missionary Costco Connections. So incredible that we went to Costco that one day :) 

Love you all!

Sister Elizabeth Kelly 


Potomac Ward Service Project

Monday, September 7, 2015

One of the Hardest Weeks, Yet One of the Best Weeks - Funny How That Works

Camille Funk and Sister Kelly
Another BYU Connection.

Hello Everyone!

This week was really incredible. Probably one of the hardest, yet probably one of the best. Funny how that works. I might only have one more Sunday in Potomac and that thought literally makes me sick. I love these people so much...more than anything. Some incredible things have happened lately. We have had some miraculous experiences with finding new many people and so little time to tell the stories! But I will say that the Lord has put so many prepared people in our path. We have so many incredible Ward members anxious to help out and extend their love towards them.

We have been out on the streets talking to a lot of people and it's been such an incredible experience. I feel like I've met people that have helped me and have been such an incredible motivation...whether or not they accept our message. On Saturday, we went on exchanges and street contacted for 7 hours and, even though my legs almost died, I was so excited to be out and about reminding people of God's love for them.

We may be having a baptism soon. Our investigator that we have been teaching for 4 months wants to get baptized really soon. We asked what he thought about October 24 and he said, "Uhhh, can I do it earlier?" UH, YEAH. YOU CAN DO EARLIER! Sister Corey and I were so excited! Potomac Ward hasn't had a baptism in almost 18 months.

We also have had so many people walk into church saying they want to be taught. I thought that was a total myth, but it happens.

Our days have been consisting of teaching, finding, teaching, being in the grand company of our Potomac peeps, some more finding and some more teaching. Safe to say that I'm exhausted.

Oh, and we took a tour of the White House and then went to the National Zoo to stalk the pandas. I took all the photos on my camera....only to find out that our lobby computer won't download pictures from a those pics won't come for a while :( But, we saw pandas. I almost died; I was so excited!

Love you all - 

Sister Kelly