Tuesday, January 26, 2016

I Fear No Man

Hey friends and family!!       

Finally in the field!!!! I am serving in Parkville Missouri! Elder Katoa and I were white washed and its been fun so far. honestly it is freezing out here! today and yesterday have been in the 40's and it feels so good compared to the other days! I wear thermals all the time, ear muffs, and my coat. but hey it is definitely fun here! The ward is so great! The ward mission leader is so full of fire and the work is moving very quickly! There are ward member team ups Tuesday through Thursday and I'm so happy that that happens every week! This ward is definitely a missionary ward. Hopefully me and elder Katoa can keep up with the momentum that is already going. 

            Elder Katoa is a great trainer! He is from american fork Utah and his cousin knows Megan.   He is a football player and has a full ride to Oregon state. We get along very well and he is helping me understand what it means to "Fear no man". This is eternal salvation so there is no room for fear. So far Elder Katoa is great and understands what it means to work hard! So grateful to have an awesome companion!
            Yesterday was particularly a great day for me and Elder Katoa! We were able to find 4 new investigators who all seem really interested! One of them was named Cody and we found him while walking around an apartment complex smoking outside. He was willing to let us share what we believe in and he was interested enough that he actually asked for our number first! We have a return appointment this week with Cody and I am super pumped about it! He lost his son about 2 months ago and already has a faith in Jesus Christ and the strength Christ provides. Pretty Awesome!

            Lots and lots of miracles! Yesterday we were able to find 4 new investigators and have a total of 7 new investigators as the week total. Yesterday Elder Katoa and I were definitely being lead by the spirit because we just happened to run into two different sets of lost sheep within 40 minutes of each other! One of them was a man who was just walking around. We stopped him and asked him if he knew about the LDS church and he immediately responded and said that he had been recently baptized in salt lake but had just moved to Missouri with his wife on Thursday but didn't know where any church building was. Later as we were walking around the parking lot back to our car a truck pulled up next to us with two men in it who were also already members. They had also just moved in and didn't know where the church building was. Very cool to know we had been in the right place at the right time for both instances! Some revelation I had was that I have no reason to fear! God is on my side, I have been set apart, and the field is white! JUST HAVE FAITH AND DO!!!!

            Last night me and elder Katoa were following up on a family the bishop gave us the address for. When we got there the guy we were looking for wasn't there but his roommates were and they were super fun to teach. Their names are Nathaniel and Raymond. We taught the whole first lesson and the spirit was so strong! and it was so cool because you could tell their minds were being exploded! they were truly astonished by what we were saying. They seem to be so prepared and we teach them again on Tuesday! Honestly almost all of our investigators are that awesome! we are definitely being blessed!

President Vest and his Wife are great! all the new missionaries stayed at the mission home the first night in the basement. For dinner we had navajo tacos and they were pretty tasty!

My iPad is all ready to go!

Just some random things:
-My luggage is taking a hard beating and idk if it will make it the whole mission.
- Having an ipad is so nice for the area book and such. Everything is just right there and organized and it's technologically beautiful!
-Our apartment has a lot of random things broken and such. all the important necessity things work thankfully. 
-Pretty sure our apartment was never Vacuumed one time because the ground was gnarly.
-One of our investigators has CP and talks to us with this Key board thing that speaks when he types. His name is Jesse and is so cool. The conversations are slow but he has such a good spirit.
-The Wool sock were not over kill! I wouldn't have any toes without them!

I know Jesus Christ lives with God the Father. We are blessed to have that knowledge and we are charged with the duty to share it with everyone. Any fear of sharing is lack of faith. FEAR NO MAN.

-Elder Kelly

Friday, January 15, 2016


Family and friends!!!

     I am so sorry but i don't have a lot of time to email so I'm sorry if I don't write you back this week because I have lots to tell all of you! So Saturday night has a lot of study time at the end of the day and you are supposed to study in your class rooms. Well because of that the whole district is there and it can be hard to stay focused sometimes. President Branch asked us to make sure we stayed on task and focused so it was spiritually productive. Elder Barlow and Elder Corpuz both had oil they needed to consecrate so that night when it became hard to focus we had them both consecrate their oil with the whole district present! The spirit immediately came rushing into the room and you could feel it so strong! We told the sisters that if any of them needed a blessing that we would love to be of assistance in that area! Sister Nielsen hadn't been sleeping at all so she asked for one and sister Mechum asked for one as well! I had the opportunity to anoint one of their heads before the blessing so that was sweet! After both blessings we decided to go around the room and to basically share some personal experiences with The Book of Mormon or things that came from getting ready for a mission. There was a lot of crying by the sisters (and elders) and lots of very strong testimonies. One of the STLs, sister Parke, said that she could feel the presence of her grandfather, who she was very close with, as we all bore testimony. People always say that stuff but I never really had felt that myself. I didn't think they were lying but I had just never felt it. Well at the end of the discussion/testimony meeting Elder Larson asked me to say the closing prayer. We all knelt down and the moment I started the spirit hit us so hard! It was directing me to pray using certain phrases and such which I never had had happen before. Everyone was crying. while I was praying I suddenly felt what sister Parke was talking about! You could feel the presence of others in the room. It was so tangible I don't know how to really describe it. I wanted to open my eyes so bad but felt like I shouldn't. I finished the prayer and hugs and handshakes were exchanged all around. Our district has been so close since day one and I love it! 

     Sunday was yet another great day full of the spirit. Sacrament meeting was fantastic and very nice to take the sacrament. Sunday night there is an opportunity to go watch video devotionals from general authorities. Elder Barlow and I went to "Character of Christ" which has been highly recommended by many other missionaries. All I am going to say is here is your next personal study or FHE activity. Ask yourself what does it mean to have character. Now ask yourself... what was Christ's Character? Define the Character of Christ. You will find your answers in the scriptures all over the place. A good place to start is in the accounts of his suffering in Gethsemane, and when Satan tempts him the three times. Pay attention to JS translations! The bottom line is that The Atonement is impossible without the character of Christ. I expect a full report.

     Throughout this whole time we have had investigators that the MTC provides for us and it has been a very good learning experience for our whole district. It takes a lot of effort to focus on what the spirit would have you say. 
     Here is my next assignment. Go sit and ponder. "What do I believe? What do I know? What am I willing to testify of?" Then go confirm it with God through fervent prayer.  That comes from an apostle of the Lord just in case you were wondering! To be specific it is from Neil L. Anderson! He came and spoke to us on the 12th! It was a half birthday celebration gift to me! "I'm so happy". Any ways it was a really good Devotional! A few things I learned. 
  1. Repentance should bring good thoughts to your mind not bad ones. If they are bad feelings then you have some work to do. We cannot testify of the "beauty of repentance" if we have negative feelings towards it.
  2. Always have Christ on your lips! It is powerful to testify of Christ! Especially by memorizing his own words we have recorded in scripture. 
  3. The Book of Mormon is the best recourse for learning of Christ and his Atonement. Bottom line.
  4. We have our witness of Jesus Christ and the gospel through His apostles special witness. All we must do is "Look" (1 Nephi: 11-14)
     Another thing I have learned while here at the mtc. HYMNS ARE AMAZING!!! I kept having the same songs come in my head and I wanted to get some variety so I went and purchased a small hymn book at the book store. This might really surprise you mom but I was SO EXCITED!!! I felt like I was buying a book of scripture that I had totally been ignoring for 18 years. Now you might find me and Elder Barlow proudly singing hymns at the top  of our voices as we walk from building to building. Just some of my favorites...
  • Battle Hymn of the Republic
  • Choose the Right
  • Do what is Right
  • Reverently and Meekly Now
  • Ye Elders of Israel
  • Be Still my Soul
And lots more but that is just off the top of my head.

     Wednesday we had a skype lesson with members from our actual missions It was so cool. Elder Barlow and I were not looking forward to it at all. We had nothing to plan for because we didn't know anything about the member. We talked with Sister Beers from Liberty, MO and she was very kind. She is in her 30's probably and has two or three kids. We just started talking and me and Elder Barlow did our best to follow the spirit. We talked about making church attendance a bigger deal by making the sacrament more special. She talked about how its hard some times to stay focused because she has young kids. We shared Alma 6: 6 and talked about how she was going to church for others, her kids, just as it said in the verse. We got her to commit to maybe say a prayer with her kids while the sacrament is being passed so that they can be focused on what's most important and for her to read the lessons before attending church.  Towards the end we bore testimony of church attendance and told brief experiences we both have from making the sacrament more important. I felt like the whole time our thoughts were extremely scattered and I was disappointed. Then right before we hung up she asked us if we had been given a topic of discussion. We told her how we didn't have anything prepared prior to talking to her. She explained that her and her husband had been trying to figure out how to make church a better experience for the past couple weeks. Elder Barlow and I were so happy! Very cool experience! I hope I can meet her in person eventually!

     Just real quick because I'm running out of time! But Wednesday the new missionaries also showed up and since Elder Barlow and I are Zone Leaders we did a quick orientation with those new in our zone. It was a lot of fun and I'm so excited for them because I have already learned so much! 

    Yesterday was infield orientation all day and it was a LONG day! lots of great stuff to learn just long. There is lots of work to do in areas where there has not been a large amount of success. They trained us on that most of the day.

I set a goal that I want to carry with me my whole time I serve. I was reading out of the missionary handbook and it talks about when you are supposed to wake up and go to bed. The words it uses are "Retire to bed by 10:30". So my goal is to want to "retire" to bed. I want to work hard enough every day that I feel like I'm retiring to bed.

Well Y'all I love  Heavenly Father and his son Jesus Christ. They are our strength. John 14:6 " I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me."

-Elder Kelly

P.S. pictures won't upload? can't figure it out


Monday, January 11, 2016

Word Up!!

Hey Family!
  It's day two for me in the MTC right now and its pretty good! The plane ride to SLC was enjoyable. There was a girl about my age at the terminal before we boarded that were LDS and they came up and talked to me! Just the Girl, Kaylee, Was flying though. She graduated from Shadow ridge and is in the same ward as the Eliason's. She said she is planning on serving a mission come this spring! Very exciting! The plane was only half booked and so I actually was able to get a front row seat which was very convenient for catching the shuttle in SLC. When I landed it was 10:20 and so I took to a brisk pace. When I made it to the baggage claim I saw the shuttle check in desk right behind me! Then my bags were the 2nd or 3rd bags to start coming out! The Lord is obviously on my side! I actually ended up going and sitting down in some chairs for 10 minutes waiting for the shuttle. I rode down with three other missionaries and one BYU student. They were all pretty quiet but I kept asking questions and trying to start conversation but it would die every time! I don't know how they could just sit there and stare like David Putty when they were driving to the MTC!? 

     Well all I ate at the airport was this egg sandwich from some weird place that was pretty good but I was starving before we even landed. So by the time we got to the mtc I was hoping we would eat lunch but we got there right as lunch ended and so I was stuck waiting till dinner. I had a headache and was starving so I was having to try really hard to stay happy. But once dinner came I was a very happy camper. I CHOWED!! I love buffet style cafeterias!! My companions name is Elder Barlow! He is from a really big family and he is the 14th kid of 17! Pretty impressive! He is from just out of salt lake and has lived there his whole life! We haven't really had a chance to take pictures but we are going to the temple today so you can see him next week! He loves the scriptures and marks them up like a mad man! We get along pretty well! Definitely different personalities but it's fun talking with him about the gospel and learning more about him. He also can rip a very nice belch so that immediately meant he would be awesome! He is here to work as hard as I want to and wants to be obedient with exactness as well!! So very happy about that because missionaries who just don't understand the importance of following the rules let alone knowing them is very much apparent here in the MTC.

     Our branch has 9 missionaries! 5 Sisters and 4 Elders.  Only one of those sisters is going to independence the others are going to mesa Arizona and Hawaii. The sister going to Independence is Sister Jackson. She can be so quiet sometimes it reminds me of the Asain girl off of Pitch perfect. It is especially hard to hear her when the AC kicks on and I'm under the vent. sometimes I really can't hear anything! We met our Branch president last night, President Brown, and he is a great dude! We got organized and I'm so very excited to move forward with the assignments we all received. There is one other set of elders in our district (Elder Larson and Elder Corpuz) and Elder Larson was made district leader and elder Corpuz was made sacrament coordinator. The sisters were assigned as sister trainer leaders, music coordinators, and computer something. Elder Barlow and I were made Zone Leaders and we are both pretty happy about that! We are are going to study the leadership handbook for part of today. It should be fun getting to work with the Branch president and serving the district and zone which is actually called a branch here.

Provo Temple trip

So far I have been so busy and occupied I haven't really thought about home yet but I do miss you guys! This work is so awesome and exciting to be a part of and I know the Lord is blessing the families of those serving missions! I know the Savior lives. I know Heavenly Father lives and that they are our friends. There is no time for us to doubt and be fearful only to have faith and DO! In a sense #DES if you remember what that means! (Do Epic Stuff)

Love Elder Kelly :)