Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Another Great Week

Another Great week!!
Tuesday was zone conference! We usually have an all mission conference in December but president Vest found out we aren't supposed to do that any longer. Instead we had zone conference and we went to the temple for part of it! Elder Odland and I did initiatories instead of an endowment session because neither of us had done them since our personal endowment. It was an awesome experience. We both got to do 10 names and I honestly loved it!

At part of the conference we also were able to hear from a bishop in the mission who told us what he expects from the missionaries and it was so nice to get his perspective of things. Perspective really is everything. I wish I could serve in every calling in the church at least once so I could know exactly what everyone expects of me as a missionary in the ward. I think that would alleviate a lot of stress.

Wednesday we visited one of the LA (less actives) named Korinda Bizek. She is paralyzed and so she is in an assisted living home. We have been able to develop a great relationship with her and we are enjoying figuring out where she is at with the gospel. We mostly just try to brighten her day with a short spiritual message because she is pretty lonely.  Biggest wish would be that members cared more about the people not at church. Kind of sad to watch honestly.

James and Sivita gave us the contact info for one of their friends and we went by this week and they let us right in! Their names are Frank and Stephanie. We talked about making life changes to be happier and they were all for it. It was a really short visit. They were coming to church but the roads were super bad with snow and ice so they didn't make it.

On Friday it started to do this weird mist thing where it wasn't cold enough for snow but there wasn't enough moister for rain but this weird heavy fog is the best way I can describe it.  Well that night it did get to freezing temperatures and so everything was coated in a nice layer of ice the next morning! President grounded the fleet of cars in the mission so it made for a very cold day on foot. We were on exchanges with other elders so we were unsure of how we were going to get back with our companions. Member after member was willing to help us. It was a huge blessing. Elder Reber and I were out walking for about 3 hours. We weren't really sure how cold it was that day but we were freezing.

Sunday church was almost cancelled due to the weather. Elder Odland and I had a meeting at 8 that morning we had to get to and that was when it was REALLY cold. It was -4 when we went out there. It took us about 30 minutes to clear the car of ice so that it was drivable. I've personally never been in that cold of temperatures and it was weird.  My nose hairs kept freezing and my face would get stiff when I wouldn't talk for a second.  There were only about 20 total people at church that day. We only had sacrament and then called the last two hours off.

That night we went and visited Danelle Zollar (another LA) who we hadn't seen in a long time. He happily informed us that he is done with letting Satan on his back. He said he will be in the temple the coming summer and is going to start by coming to church this week!  This was totally out of no where and we were so happy to hear the good news!! I love him and his family. We will take a picture next week!

Love you all and Merry Christmas!!
Don't forget that Christ is the reason for CHRISTmas! We love him because he first loved us. Don't forget to show your love this season!!!

Elder Kelly

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Craziest Week of the Mission

This is Hella Vigliatoro.  She is 9 years old and joined the 
church last September.

Tuesday night we visited a less active woman named Korinda Byzeck who lives in an assisted living place because she is paralyzed. We had a nice short visit with her and she had bought us some cookies and we enjoyed our visit. She can't really go very many places so she sits outside from 4 pm to 10 or 12 pm each day so she doesn't have to be inside. The only rule is that she can't be outside if it 30 or lower.

Elder Kelly is a goof

Wednesday was crazy. We had MLC and that started at 8:15 am and ended at about 5:00 pm. There were some awesome trainings given by the mission presidency that were super sweet. There was one training about the Holy Ghost that was awesome. He talked a lot about how it is vital to succeeding in missionary work. Another one was about D&C 58 which was revelation for missionaries serving here in Jackson County.

Independence Zone

All set up for the missionary dinner

We left MLC and went straight to the stake center. There is a dinner that President Cato (stake president) puts on for the missionaries every Christmas and there is music and food and it was so good. Part of it as well is left up to the Raytown elders to put something together. In the past it has always been competitions between President Vest and President Cato. They are really close friends and are very competitive. There has been family feud in the past and other things like that. Elder Odland had been racking our brains of what to do and we decided we should make both of them go through "The Life Of A Missionary" and compete doing different events. First off it felt like I was back in student council and it was a ton of fun planning too. Second it turned out so much better than we expected. Some of the events included:

- Making your bed.
- Working out
- Shooting on the classic missionary apartment Nerf hoop
- Reciting scripture
- Proselyting (handing out pass along cards)
- Being asked 100s of questions at dinner (How well do you know your wife?)
- And getting to bed on time.

Ready for the competition

We had the crowd screaming for their side and it was so funny. I'll be sure to include lots of pictures.

Pres Cato and Pres Vest with the trophey

Pres Vest getting the crowd going

We weren't able to leave until around 9:45 that night with all our stuff.

Thursday we weekly planned and then got in the car and drove to Olathe for the baptism of Claudia. Elder Odland was teaching her right before he left and so we were able to get permission to go see! We had to get a member ride so we went with Josh Thieme (The Vegas Missionary) and also met up with Johnathan Castillo who is the missionary I met in the MTC. We had dinner at 5 guys and then went straight to the baptism.  Claudia was a fire ball and she was so excited for her baptism. That is also the area that elder Taylor went to so elder Odland and I really enjoyed getting to see out old companions.

Cute Claudia

Friday was Zone Training and so we had two three hour meetings. Those went great! At the end of the second one it was 6:30 at night and we were at the Visitors Center for the meetings. Thankfully some of the sisters had a ton of left over pizza so we pounded a few pieces and had to split. Unfortunately nothing went through that evening. We also went on an exchange with the Riverview Elders. Elder Shawgo came with me to Raytown. We had lots of service all day Saturday. We helped a man named Barry clean up his apartment and he was a super awesome guy.
Elder Shawgo and I have served around each other for about 3 transfers now but I had never really clicked with him. We didn't like not like each other just very different personalities but the exchange was a ton of fun and we got to know each other a lot better.

We exchanged back around 5 and then headed to our ward Christmas party. There was a talent show and our bishop is an Elvis impersonator and so there was a special appearance.

Bishop is the Best!

Sunday we had a lesson with a woman named Kat Jeffs who we had done service for a few months earlier. It was the first time I taught the Plan of Salvation to someone in a few months. It was really nice.  Afterwards we had dinner with the Sagebins.

To finish off the week we went to a woman named Connie who we had met and help put up some Christmas decorations when I was on exchanges with E. Staheli. We had met last Sunday and showed her the light the world video. Well this week we followed up on the invitation of reading the Bible every day and she let us right in. She committed to read a chapter out of the BofM and the Bible on Faith. Connie is so nice and so funny to teach.

Well this is probably the best email I've written in a long. Love you all!

Elder Kelly

Anxiously Engaged

The weeks are so much better when it is busy busy busy. We went on three exchanges this past week and Elder Odland and I are pooped. But hey it is ok because this next week will be even crazier!

Our first exchange was Tuesday evening. Elder Gill, the new assistant, came with me to Raytown. He actually served here in this ward last year during the holidays. I believe he was here when I first came out on my mission. He is full of energy and is super funny. That evening we just so happened to have dinner with the Tapasoa family who are a less active, part member family that started feeding the missionaries back when E. Gill served here. We had some delicious wings they made and then shared a lesson. The spirit was very strong and they committed to attend church each week.

We exchanged back on Wednesday night but the Independence 1st elders also met us there and at the same time of closing out our exchange with E. Gill and Katoa we started another with E. Staheli and Moorehouse. E. Staheli came with me to Raytown! We served together when I was in my first area and I love being around him again. We have a lot of fun together and he is such a hard worker. For lunch we made these huge fish salads I took a picture of. We were finally able to meet back up with Brother Perkins and taught him again at about 3 that afternoon.  We didn't have a dinner set for that night but it ended out working perfect because we had another lesson with James, Sivita, and J-Breanna at the Visitors Center that went for a very long time. We weren't able to actually start teaching until 4:45. We went through God's plan for the family and they had a lot of questions that we were able to talk about and address. By the time our lesson was over it was around 6:30 and we had  a scripture study class in the theater down stairs starting at 7 and it was my turn to teach. I hadn't had time to prepare so we went and set up the room and I made quick lesson plan about a change of heart. We discussed Alma the Younger's experience and it actually ended up not being to shabby.  We were able to set some really awesome goals at the end of the exchange. That is definitely my favorite part of Exchanges.

Fish Salad with Elder Staheli, Mmmm

Friday was a blur with a lot of administrative stuff that had to happen concerning mile usage throughout the zone.  That evening we exchanged again with E. Roberts and Daniels. Elder Roberts came to Raytown with me. We were up till about 2 in the morning talking about life. We had exchanged before back in Olathe and the same exact thing had happened. I honestly hadn't "pillow talked" since then. We had a good time together. We were able to teach Brother Perkins at the VC. We focused on God is our Loving Heavenly Father and he seemed to really enjoy it.

Brother and Sister Field, Elder Kelly, Brother Perkins, Elder Odland

Sunday nobody was able to make it to church unfortunately. Brother Perkins will be coming starting this up coming week and Charlie Fish will becoming too. Charlie expressed that he doesn't want to be baptized quite yet but that is ok. He will come around.

Love you all
E. Kelly

Johnathan Castillo took us out to eat at Red Lobster.
He works there and gets a discount. 
I was so full that night!

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving

Back Row:Elder Anderson (knows Megan hatch),Elder Shawgo, Me, Elder Fowlks, Elder Odland, Elder Kirham
Front: Sister Farnsworth, Sister Rowley, Sister Jones, Sister G.C., Sister Soto, Sister Bench

It was a great week!
Elder Odland had a goal to have a member out with us every day and we were able to have a member out with us 5 of the 7 days! This week we should be able to reach that goal for sure. It has been awesome to hear and have their testimonies in our lessons! People sometimes trust them more than us too because they don't have tags and ties on.

Monday night we went and contacted a bible referral named Betty. She was so nice and her husband, Arthur, joined us for our lesson. We talked and testified about the Book of Mormon and they committed to read it.  We haven't been able to re connect with them so we will see if that goes anywhere.

When your scheduled appointment never shows up.

We had an appointment that night with a guy named Kemar who never showed up to the lesson. We were never able to reconnect with him either and just now as I'm writing this he texted us and said that he was sorry we had never connected but wants to move forward now so that will be exciting.

We were able to meet with Brother Fish this week at the VC on Wednesday and it was a great lesson! Downstairs in one of the rooms there are these pictures that an LDS painter did of Christ and the pioneers. Sister Soto and Sister Bench helped us teach him the Gospel of Jesus Christ using the paintings and it was awesome to see him begin to understand the atonement. He listens very well and is really fun to teach. We invited him to be baptized on the 11 and we are moving forward with that day! We are excited. The two sisters did a great job too! They are awesome teachers and I think Brother Fish really enjoyed getting to know other missionaries.  He came to church this Sunday as well! He really enjoys the talks.

The Jordan Family.  They're great.  She was baptized back in August 
and her husband became active again at that time.  

James, Sivita, J-Breanna came to church this week too! Not sure that James and Sivita liked it but I think J-Breanna really enjoyed young women's.

SUPER CRAZY! There is a kid named Johnathan Castillo in my ward who I met in the MTC! We sat next to each other when Elder Anderson came and spoke to us. It was exciting when we realized we already knew each other.

Twice this week we had things fall through and we said a prayer and were led to people who were brought to tears from the things we shared. It is so wonderful being led by the spirit each day!

Love you guys!
Elder Kelly