Friday, June 23, 2017

Transfered...(: :)

Well I am now out of the Overland Park 2nd ward. I am now serving in the Fleming Park ward which is in KC, MO. My new companion is Elder Christensen. He came out a transfer before me. 
Tuesday night we got the information that I would be leaving. Wednesday I packed up and then had the opportunity to say quick good byes to Jeanie Foster and Jim Brown, the Giroux family, Bishop, and Tay and Georgette. It was really weird.... when I said good bye to Jim and Jeanie Foster we got in the car and I started to cry. I didn't even cry when I left home. I don't think I have ever cried over something like that. Elder Limon and I were laughing at myself for the rest of the day because of it. It was weird.

Wednesday we went up to Independence for transfers. Elder Write was moved to OP2 and so I know it is being left in good hands. We technically live in the city Blue Springs not too far from Independence. So far we have had a lot of good experiences!   We felt impressed to knock a door on Friday and we introduced ourselves and felt impressed to ask if we could come in. Our request was quickly granted and we were able to sit down. As we talked to the man, Terri, we learned that his son, Donny, was baptized into the church a while back and when he moved up here he wasn't able to find the church! They scheduled to meet with us three times a week! Should be fun. 

Our dinner last night was with two families. Both of those families have non-members in their home on a regular basis and we purposed that we set goals and make plans to help them enter the waters of baptism. Both families readily accepted the challenge and we will be making the plan with them this up coming Friday! We are very excited to see where this goes.

One of the members of the ward served in the Vegas mission back in 2002-03. Another family just moved from Vegas about two years ago and know President Waite's son who I think was their Bishop. I showed them a picture of you guys, mom and dad, and they said they knew you. I'll have to send pictures when we eat with them or something. 

Our apartment wasn't too bad but it was in need of some serious cleaning. Elder Christensen and I spent about 3 hours today. It was great. We also have been exercising in a member's gym each morning and it is killer. We work out with another companionship and one of the elders is super buff and he keeps putting us through crazy work outs. We did this 800 rep arm work out Saturday Morning and my arms are going to fall off. Me and the weights have never been friends before and I'm not sure how much I like it. 

Our bishop here is actually a convert from the RLDS church. 
We knocked on a door yesterday and after no one answered we walked away. We were a little ways up the street and we heard the door open so we turned around and as we were walking back he says, "So which one of you is Alma, and which one of you is Amulek!?" We proceeded to have a long conversation about all the splinter churches out here. Feels good to be back in the Independence vibe.
Love ya!

- Elder Kelly

Next Week is Transfer Week...:( Hopefully I stay

Monday night we had our weekly appointment with Jim Brown. He has been reading from the children's Book of Mormon everyday and expressed to us that the same thing happens over and over in the book. "They turn bad and then end up in jail or something and then the walls crumble and then they are good and then all starts over!" He is the best. The stories between the good and bad people are getting mixed up in his head it sounds like but he has changed a lot since his baptism. A lot more of his personality has come out it seems and it is so fun to teach him. When we taught him later in the week we taught him how to liken the scriptures unto himself using the classic "read it, find it, use it" tactic. Read the story, find the principle taught in the story, how does that apply to me? We read chapter forty in the Children's Book of Mormon about Samuel the Lamanite and we were able to help him draw 3 connections to his own life. There were many more. So grateful the scriptures help us learn how to follow Christ when we apply them.

Tuesday we had our last appointment with Mike Fremont. He is now officially moved. Thankfully Vegas is a hub of a lot of business conferences so he said he will be out there several times in the future. Fingers crossed we can link up again. He is a really awesome guy who has changed a lot over the last 4 months. All because he has listened to the Spirit that came from reading the Book of Mormon. 

Wednesday during the day was our last MLC with president and sister Vest. :(  We received some really great training on the Doctrine of Christ by the mission presidency and many other missionaries. As I have pondered about the Doctrine of Christ I had a realization about the restoration that we wrote up in our weekly ward email. It is below in italics. I will greatly miss President and Sister Vest. But I am sure President and Sister Love will be just as great.

MLC (Missionary Leader Council)

President Vest, Elder Kelly, Sister Vest

As missionaries we share the the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is easy to teach the restoration without even touching on the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We can talk about prophets, priesthood authority, Joseph Smith, and much more without even speaking of Christ and his atonement. 

Christ taught his gospel in the Book of Mormon, "Now this is the commandment: Repent, all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me and be baptized in my name, that ye may be sanctified by the reception of the Holy Ghost, that ye may stand spotless before me at the last day. Verily, verily, I say unto you, this is my gospel; and ye know the things that ye must do in my church; for the works which ye have seen me do that shall ye also do; for that which ye have seen me do even that shall ye do;"

We must not forget that the restoration was a restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The church is a means to give others the opportunity to live His gospel properly in their lives. Much of the world was and is in confusion about salvation and how to qualify for it. But because of the restoration we know that faith in Jesus Christ leads to repentance. As we repent we qualify to be baptized and confirmed by proper priesthood authority. As we continually prepare to renew our baptismal covenants through the sacrament we are able to endure to the end and will qualify for salvation. 

Dallin H. Oaks said, "As we speak to others, we need to remember that an invitation to learn more about Jesus Christ and His gospel is preferable to an invitation to learn more about our Church. We want people to be converted to the gospel. That is the great role of the Book of Mormon. Feelings about our Church follow conversion to Jesus Christ; they do not precede it. Many who are suspicious of churches nevertheless have a love for the Savior. Put first things first." 

We testify that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the center of everything The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints does. We promise that if we are willing to live the Gospel of Jesus Christ then we will find great peace in his life because we will stand clean before God. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Wednesday night we had splits again and this time I went to teach Ivan with a member named Marcos Chavez. On the way over to the appointment he shared mission stories from when he was on his mission down in Mexico. He received an assignment from his mission president to go find the missionaries that just disappeared in the field by their choice. Once he had to go find and elder he had actually gone to high school with. He was walking down town with his companion and it was getting late and they had not been able to find him. They went over to a private spot, prayed, and felt directed to knock a house after walking a little ways. The person who opened the door was brother Chavez's old school mate with his shirt off. Apparently he had gotten married in the Catholic Church. Haha thought that was a pretty crazy story. They stayed married and now are sealed in the temple apparently. Thought that was pretty crazy. 
At the appointment Hermana Diaz brought out food and offered us some of it. I told her that I would like poqito considering I had just eaten 30 minutes earlier. Well turns out I ate a lot more than poqito by the time we were gone. My stomach was about to explode. 

Friday we went out to dinner with Tay and Georgette. They took us out to a buffet and it was a pretty good time. Georgette is dying to have work off on Sundays officially. She hasn't been able to get it 100% off yet she is getting a little frustrated and is searching for work else where. 
We were also able to meet with a new couple that moved into the ward. Jordan and his wife. I can't remember her name. They just got married in the singles ward and he was baptized in September. We get to finish up his new member lessons. He has a really sweet conversion story. His boss invited him to meet with the missionaries so he could change his life and here we are now 9 months later! I love the power of invitations coupled with a testimony. 

Today elder Limon and I along with Kaw River Elders went out to Pepperjax grill for philly cheese steak sandwiches. They were delicious.

Elder Aparicio, Elder Booth, Elder Kelly, Elder Limon

Hope you all have a great week and that it is full of scripture study and prayer. That is what actually makes a good week. I know that the power of prayer is real. When we pray God is listening because he is our Heavenly Father. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Elder Kelly :)

Here is another ward email I would like to share.
When a problem arises in these days often times the world's response is decorated with intricate solutions with ambiguous application or unrealistic expectations. As we seek to solve our problems with these answers we come to find that the desired result may only be short lived or only slightly solve the matter at hand.

The Lord teaches, "Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not." D&C 6:36. We look unto Him when we search the scriptures daily, kneel in prayer, and worthily partake of the sacrament. As we allow these simple practices of faith to form our life we will find that our ability to bear the cross we carry is increased. We truly live in the strength of the Lord.

"I have observed that those who are deliberate about doing the “small and simple things”--obeying in seemingly little ways--are blessed with faith and strength that go far beyond the actual acts of obedience themselves and, in fact, may seem totally unrelated to them. It may seem hard to draw a connection between the basic daily acts of obedience and solutions to the big, complicated problems we face. But they are related. In my experience, getting the little daily habits of faith right is the single best way to fortify ourselves against the troubles of life, whatever they may be. Small acts of faith, even when they seem insignificant or entirely disconnected from the specific problems that vex us, bless us in all we do."

We too testify that if we will look unto the Lord in every thought we will have the capacity to over come our doubt and fear as we live in the strength of the Lord. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017


Zone Conference

Monday! Charles committed to be baptized on July 1st! He and Sierra have been reading through the BofM together and so far are enjoying it quite a bit. They have lots and lots of questions. Some that are hard for us to answer and we have to really think about it or get back to them. Me and Elder Limon are enjoying it a lot. They were at church on Sunday and fit in pretty well in the Gospel Principles Class. Charles is pretty shy and so we are working on getting him good fellowship so that he will open up. We have a team up coming with us tonight to help teach.

Canes with Elder Limon

Tuesday we went to Brookdale to sing songs for the old folks again. While we were singing there was a particular old lady who seemed really interested in elder Limon. She apparently thought he was quite a catch. It was hilarious. The people there are so nice. 

Wednesday we were able to meet with Amber Niederhauser. We had another appointment at the same time so we went on splits. I went to the appointment with Amber and Brandon and Elder Limon went to Ivan's appointment. Me and Brother Methner were together and it was quite the experience. Brother Methner is the past president of the quorum of the 12 in the Community of Christ church. We taught again the importance of the BofM and he was dropping scriptures left and right from the Bible as we taught. He could say the chapter, verse, and quote the scripture. It was awesome. Some of it went over my head but Amber seemed to really like it because it was all scriptures in reference to the BofM in the Bible. I learned some new stuff so I enjoyed it too. She committed to baptism on the 24th of June and committed to come to church. They did not make it to church unfortunately so we will have to see about that date.

Saturday night we had an appointment with Koolaid but he wasn't there. :( we walked down the street and there was a woman named Tonya who called us over to talk. We chatted for about 30 minutes and taught about the BofM/restoration. She had talked to the missionaries about 10 years ago and watches the BYU channel ever morning. She accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and said we could meet in a month because she is going on travels and will read it as goes. Hopefully that works out!

Right after we saw a family party going on across the street. There were a ton of cars and children running and screaming everywhere. We walked up to the door which was open and waved in at the people inside. We asked if we could come in and they let us in. They were all from Kenya. Loud music was playing so we asked if they could turn it off and we began sharing the message of the restoration. We started by stating that we had been set apart as representatives of Jesus Christ and given the authority to teach the gospel. They immediately asked where this authority came from and we stated that it came from Jesus Christ through a modern day prophet. They were not too fond of that. We tried to teach the restoration and it ended up basically becoming 8 against two. We would say something and then they would question us kind of aggressively. It went down hill pretty fast but it was a really good experience and it made for a good story and we stood as witnesses of Christ and the restoration. 

I know that this is the Lord's work. I know that redemption comes only in and through the Holy Messiah because he is full of grace and truth. Cleave unto him and our lives become much more enjoyable. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Last Week of May

Alright not a lot of time because of our Memorial Day picnic and I tried to send more personal emails. 
But here we go!!!
We had our second appointment with Sierra and Charles. Their last name is Andrews so I'll start referring to them as brother and sister Andrews. They both accepted to read from the BofM daily and the very next day Sierra expressed that she already knows the book is true. When she knelt down to pray and ask she said that she already knew the answer. Charles is having a harder time understanding the old english but he will get there. Charles made a soft commitment to a specific date for baptism but seemed hesitant at making a for sure commitment.

We finally had the opportunity to teach the Niederhauser family again. Amber and Brandon. Not sure if you remember but Amber is the non member and Brandon is a member. She committed to read from the BofM every day and is willing to meet twice a week. She is looking like she will get baptized on the 24th of June. In the closing prayer Amber prayed that she would be able to keep her commitment to read everyday. Not even baptized but she is already asking for strength through Jesus Christ! So great.

We met with a guy named Akolade and he told us to call him Koolaid. We are meeting with him again tonight. He committed to read from the Book of Mormon. He is going to college out here and is probably 21 or 22. 

This week Elder Limon and I decided to work on Virtue by no longer quoting movie quotes, old songs, and trying to quote scripture to each other throughout the day. Well we were definitely tested by the Lord with various situations that I never expected to happen on my mission. I won't go into details because it really was weird but I also made it a goal to memorize the Articles of Faith this week so those came in handy. So I just want you all to know that prayer is real and God will always answer you in his timing. I also testify that scriptures and hymns have real power to set the stage of your mind hundreds of times throughout the day. 

I know that this is the Lord's work. I know that he lives and loves us. I know that Christ is the only way to Jesus Christ. 

I love you all!
Elder Kelly

Happy Monday!

Some study insights:
Hmmmm I learned so much this week I am not sure what to talk about. Jacob 5: 66, "For it grieveth me that I should lose the trees of my vineyard; wherefore ye shall clear away the bad according as the good shall grow, that the root and the top may be equal in strength, until the good shall overcome the bad, and the bad be hewn down and cast into the fire, that they cumber not the ground of my vineyard; and thus will I sweep away the bad out of my vineyard." We have to be willing to more fully forsake the world and court the Spirit in our lives if we desire to prepare ourselves and the world for the second coming. If we desire to establish Zion in our homes we truly have to purge ourselves of all ungodliness. Verses like this help me remember what is truly important in life. Please the Father by doing his will. It makes our choices pretty black and white.

Let's talk about Jim for a little bit. Jim Brown is the best. We see Jim about four times a week. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday this week actually. He has been reading from the children's Book of Mormon every day and we are hoping to help him be prepared to receive the Aaronic Priesthood. We brought that up on Monday and he expressed some feelings of inadequacy and doesn't think he is qualified to hold the priesthood. We read in the Book of Mormon about the enabling power of the Atonement in the story of the Amlicites. They were able to defeat their enemies because God strengthened them. Jim was able to relate this to himself and has been focusing on morning and night prayers to prepare himself for the priesthood. 

On Wednesday we had dinner with the Bracketts. A while back when Elder Limon first got here we went over to their house and made a plan with them of how we were going to help their less active daughter and non-member daughter take the missionary discussions. The Brackett's lives were super busy so it was taking forever to happen but we were able to have dinner with all of them as planned.  At dinner we were able to tell them that we had been praying about them for almost the past 4 months in hopes of helping them because the Spirit was always bringing them to our mind during planning sessions and such. The daughter's name is Sierra and her husbands name is Charles. Sierra expressed that she has been praying for guidance and has a desire to come back to church but she does not want to force Charles or pressure him because his family is very against the LDS church. We promised that this path would bring lasting happiness and they committed to take the discussions from us. Our next appointment is tonight!

Later that night we had an appointment with Ivan Martineze. I'm not sure if I told you guys how we have been teaching these lessons but it has been quite interesting. We just make sure that we have a Spanish speaker there with us and they translate for us as we teach. Very different than a normal lesson but it is working. Ivan has been reading and praying everyday and is very prepared for the Priesthood. He was interview on Sunday by the Bishop and should be passing the sacrament in two weeks! I just hope I can hear him bless the sacrament in Spanish before I leave!

Friday night we had an appointment fall through and Brother Boekweg was out with us. (We feel bad because every time he is out with us our appointments fall through) But we went over to another part member families home, Sister Mojica. Sister Mojica was baptized just over a year ago and she has two non-member daughters that are high school age. She has three daughters total, Cassandra (11), Ericka (14), and Valerie (15). Cassandra and Ericka were there but unfortunately Valerie was not. We taught them a brief lesson and invited Ericka to take the lessons and she accepted. They attended girls camp last year and will again be attending this year in a few weeks! Apparently last year they bore their testimony at girls camp so it seems like perfect timing to help them gain a testimony of the Restored gospel!

Elder Limon, Elder Blake, Georgette, Elder Kelly

Saturday night was the Baptism of Georgette!! Her daughter Tay was baptized in March so now they are both working towards the temple. Georgette's mother was also able to come to the baptism so there were three generations of that family in attendance. That was kind of cool. Georgette asked me to perform the baptism and what a great experience. I have now had the opportunity to perform a baptism twice and it is a very humbling thing to do. I always kind of realize the sacredness of what is taking place and then feel so grateful to have the priesthood restored to the earth so we can help others progress towards Eternal Salvation. I know that priesthood authority and power is real. Georgette's mother is active in another church but while I was getting dressed we were able to have the restoration taught. We invited her to church after the baptism and she kindly declined but it was a good seed planted.

So last week we taught the fellow named Emmanuel but unfortunately we were not able to meet this Saturday as planned. But he did come to church!! He showed up wearing his nice clothes from Africa. It was so sweet! Very bright orange colors. It reminded me of some of the people I met in Swaziland. 
Ericka also came to church on Sunday! 

Ok last thing. Sunday night we had a great trip out to the Liberty Jail. We had planned on meeting Tay and Georgette out there and we also invited Jim. We were looking for a ride with little success. We decided to ask Mike Fremont and he accepted! So we had a less active and three recent converts at the Liberty Jail all at the same time. To say the least we were pumped about it. The same sister from last time took us through the tour and it was so good again. All the same information but the lesson taught was completely different. I don't think i have seen anybody teach that well to someone's needs. It was seriously impressive. One of the scriptures that was shared was one I had never before heard! Job 23:10 "But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." If we will turn to God at all times all things will be for our good. We truly shall come forth as gold!!!

Singing at Brookdale again

I testify that the Lord is leading and guiding The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints because it is truly His church. I know that we can receive real strength and be forgiven through Christ's atonement if we will but ask and act. God desires to know us and we need to seek after the opportunity to know Him. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

The Day After Mother's Day

The emails are always a little weird the day after a skype home but I'll do my best! I wanted to talk about two things. 
One: Exchanges
We had an exchange on Thursday night to Friday night and then another Friday night to Saturday night. The first exchange we only did during the day on Friday because the other elders were unsure on whether or not they had bed bugs or not. They had all these red spots and some of it looked like poison ivy and some of it looked like bed bugs. They were asking all these members what it was and they would look up pictures and everyone was giving them different answers. So we played it safe. Today they found out for sure that it is just poison ivy and they were able to get some shots today to make it go away. Anyways I was with elder Cox. He is from Mesquite, Nevada and we had a really good time together. Elder Cox has one of the most powerful testimonies I have heard from a missionary. Every time he bares his testimony the spirit always floods the room.

Elder Bytheway's Birthday

Our second exchange was with the Hickory Hills Elders and I was with Elder Bytheway again! We also had a really good time and had the opportunity to teach a man named Emmanuel from Cameroon, Africa. We had talked to him a week earlier and he said we could come back. Well his biggest question and desire was how can he feel God in his life and how can he know what church is true. Well we explained probably three times in depths how the Holy Ghost works and how we can pray to receive answers to our prayers. We read through Moroni 10:3-5 and started talking about what real intent was. We explained that we are to act on the knowledge we have. He quickly realized that he needed to do a better job at living the Ten Commandments if he wants to be close to God. Obedience is key to coming to know God. We set a return appointment for next week! He was a really good guy and really sincere in his desire. We are excited to see where it goes!
I know that this is the Lord's work and I would just invite all of you to share the truth with others so they can feel the joy of the Gospel in their lives too!!!
Love you all
Elder Kelly

Jim and Sister Foster

Kansas City Joe's BBQ

Kansas City Temple

The Zone singing at the Brookdale old folks home

6 Months Baby!

No I do not have 6 months left in my mission! This last week was transfers and I get to stay in Overland Park 2nd ward for a fourth transfer!!! (AKA 6 months) WOOT WOOT!

Let see where to start!

Monday was a weird day. Sorry my email was so lame. All I sent were those two pictures and a few paragraphs. But it will be better this week. Nothing really happened Monday night after Preparation Day.

Tuesday we had the opportunity to visit with Carole Kay. We see her once a week and is the lady that Elder Childress found in Parkville and then finished teaching her here. Anyways, her health condition has gotten so bad lately. She is barely able to prepare her own food and things like that. Members of the ward are helping her function by shopping for her and cleaning for her. We used to try and teach her each time we visited but that doesn't happen anymore. She isn't really in a condition to learn. She is almost constantly in level 7-10 pain. She even stepped on a nail that embedded itself into her foot and she didn't know it because her body would not recognize the pain there because the pain is so high elsewhere. She told the nurse that it just felt like an itch in her foot. Please pray for her she is really struggling and we are not really sure how much longer she will last out.

Wednesday we had a lesson with a referral named Dawn who we had talked to once before in person. When we went to the appointment she unfortunately was not there but her 21 year old son Carrdyn was there. You pronounce his name cardon. Well he let us teach him and as we visited he told us he had lost some friends and family over the last few years and it has caused him to question a little bit his faith in God. We shared the plan of salvation with him and he was really excited at the end of the lesson. When we asked what he would do to qualify for the Celestial Kingdom he told us he would start from scratch and be baptized again. Well we set two return appointments over the next four days,. Both of them fell through and we have not been able to have any contact with him at all. Elder Limon and I felt like he was pretty sincere so we don't think he is avoiding us. Hopefully everything is OK.

Wednesday night we had a quick visit with the Autrey family. They are a family that committed have someone in there home to be taught by April 29th. Well on the 22nd we had dinner with them and asked how it had been going inviting those around them. They explained that their efforts had been small and inconsistent. We challenged them to extend one invitation to someone each day until the 29th. Well this little meeting was a follow up on that challenge. They were so excited. Sister Autrey is pregnant and she said that her emotions had been all over the place trying to extend the invitations because it was out of her comfort zone. But as we visited they talked about the things they learned and were super grateful that they had tried to accomplish it. They also expressed that they were happier over that week and had a fun time talking about with each other each day. They are now setting a new date and making plans to hit it. They are the best.

Thursday was Transfers. Well neither of us got moved but we still had to go to transfers to turn in our laptop and printer. We are no longer doing stake reports!!!!! Hallelujah!!!!! Almost half the companionships in the zone got new missionaries. Elder Limón and I are pumped for this transfer. 

Sunday afternoon we had a great lesson with a woman named Susan. Her friend who is the young women's president invited her over to hear our message. Well the Spirit was really strong and she committed to read the Book of Mormon. Unfortunately because of her tight schedule with work she doesn't know when she can next meet but we are excited to see where this goes because she seems very prepared.

We also had a lesson with the Niederhauser family again but they forgot about our lesson because they got married that day!! Yay for living the law of chastity!

I know that this is the Lords work. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord's kingdom again established on the earth preparatory to the second coming of the Messiah. I invite all of you to reach out and share this gospel with another so they too can experience the Joy that it brings into their life. I promise that you will be happier as you do!! I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Elder Kelly


Monday night we were able to go to Liberty Jail with Micheal Fremont and it was a really good trip. He took us out to Texas Road House for dinner before and we had some steaks. It was fun. At the Jail the sisters who took us through did a really good job. They were very bold in their invitations and teaching. Well Sunday came and Mike was at church! Thankfully it was a really good sacrament meeting with a Cello musical number and a powerful talk on the Holy Ghost.

We had a lesson with Kelsey on Friday and she read the Book Of Mormon between lessons.  She read to 1 Nephi chapter 8.  Right after we ran into these people who were walking on the side of the road.  They were going to walk to downtown KC which is a really long walk.  They are investigating the church out in Phoenix, AZ.  We helped them get a ride downtown.  Hopefully they make it back out to AZ.  They were really nice.