Monday, June 22, 2015

Another week done...

wow... i have been staring at this screen for probably 15 minutes and haven't written anything yet.. 

Sister Garry and Sister Kelly


Transfer day was a lot of fun! We played basketball and volleyball. Sister Garry and I were so sore for the next few days. But it was so nice to be able to really work out again. I miss it!

That night we went and taught Mimi with her husband. That was really fun, her husband is blind and not a big fan of the church but we had a good discussion with the both of them. I think i have told you this but Mimi plays the piano for a bunch of different churches so before we left we sang a bunch of gospel music with her! It was the best. 

Lieghann is doing great! We have been teaching her about the Plan of Salvation and answering (or at least trying to) her questions. We focused on God being our loving Heavenly Father and the war in heaven. I love knowing that God has a plan for us. That we can pray and know what He would have us to do. He wants to help us, we just have to ask. It is also comforting to me to know that I choose to be here! I made the decision and i better make the best of it. It was fun to teach Leighann. She came to church on Sunday and really is doing her best to live the commandments. She is amazing! 

Sunday was a really great day! First of all it was Fathers day, and I LOVE my Father! Thanks for all you do Dad :)
Second, church was really good. Leighann really enjoyed it and felt the spirit. She felt like they were really talking to her. She is starting to see the blessings that come from living the gospel. The closing song in sacrament was "Lord I will Follow Thee". We looked over she said, "That was a really good song. It really touched me." Moments like that is what makes me love being a missionary! 

Then after church we met up with our Zone Leaders, Elder Kamya and Elder Hainsworth, and drove an hour and a half to a mini MLC in Hattiesburg. The freeway was shut down and so we were about 40 minutes late but it was still really good! The spirit was so strong. We talked about how we can help our missionaries stay focused through the mission President change. President and Sister Olsen will be here next Wednesday! But we read two instances in the scriptures. The first about Nephi and his people. They were righteous and dedicated. Nephi bares a wonderful testimony about our Savior before he dies. But the people were more focused on Nephi then on Christ and eventually fall away. (Jacob 1:10-11,15) The second was about King Benjamin and his people. They were also righteous and just like Nephi, King Benjamin bares testimony before he dies. But the people of King Benjamin stay righteous because as much as they love King Benjamin the love the Lord more and stay focused on Christ. (Mosiah 6:2,6-7) It was such a good reminder especially as the mission presidents are changing. But i know this is the Lord's work and we need to stay focused on Him. 

I love this church and I love being able to share the gospel. Hope y'all have a fabulous week. 

Love, Sister Erika Kelly 

Zone Conference

Golfing a couple of weeks ago.

Creepy sign we found.  
This area was destroyed by Hurricane Katrina and never rebuilt.

Playin' with kids from the ward.  
Makes me miss Tess.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

So Many Wonderful People

This week has been full of wonderful things! 

I am kneeling in this picture and this woman is standing next to me!  What?!

Mimi is doing really well. She really studies the chapters that we leave her to read and then applies them to her life! This past week we walked down to the beach with her and then taught her on the beach, that was really fun! We taught the restoration and she just loved it. We also talked a lot about why the proper authority is so important! At the end of the lesson she said, "Okay what do i need to do to be baptized?" We are meeting with her tonight! It was also cool, she has had a hard time finding a job. Well a few weeks earlier we were in Slidell talking to a senior sister missionary who works in the employment office. She gave us some of her cards and so i had them in my bag. I was able to give one to Mimi. Well this morning when we met at the church to send the missionaries being transferred off all of a sudden i see Mimi! She had called the lady and they were meeting in Gulfport today for a training. I love how many programs the church has! 

Transfer Point

Leighann is doing good! We love her so much. She has a lot of questions about the Plan of Salvation. We are going to teach her that this up coming week and i am really excited. The Plan brings so much peace into people's lives. She feels like she has been struggling to feel the spirit, so yesterday we taught her how to recognize it more. The spirit is testifying to her that this is true she just doesn't know if it's the spirit yet. But our meeting with her yesterday went really well! She told us that she feels like this is right. She just doesn't have a testimony of it yet.

We also taught Greg the Plan of Salvation. He is interesting.. He always does the reading, in fact he asks for it. But whenever we ask him a question he gives us a really general answer. We had a member come with us to the lesson yesterday and it went really well! She brought her little girl and testified of how her little girl is a motivator to do what is right. Greg has a little girl himself and I think it made him think. He just needs to pray about it. 

Prayer is such a big deal! That is something that i have really noticed this past week. All of the people we are teaching are wanting to know the truth but for some reason they all have trouble praying about it. It is so important to search the scriptures and pray for yourself and then ask "man". Because mans answer won't be a lasting satisfaction.  Matthew 16:13-17

Zone Conference was this past week as well. I LOVE zone conference! it is so fun to be around all the missionaries and see President and sister McDonough. We talked about how we can help our investigators progress. We have to help them understand the basics and have them search for their answers by themselves. When we give them all the answers then they won't gain a lasting testimony. 
It was President and Sister McDonough's last zone conference, that was really sad. The new President gets here July 2. We all got to take pictures with them and got to give both of them a hug. It was the best! Felt like i was hugging my dad. (So that made me miss my dad.. haha but it was good)

Zone Conference

Good bye McDonough's  :(

I am so grateful for this gospel and the peace that it brings into my life. I wish everyone would listen to it. I know the Book of Mormon is true and i know that without out it we are missing parts of the puzzle. I hope y'all know how much your Father in Heaven loves you. He will always be there for your, His hand is always there. He is just waiting for us to allow Him to help. 

Love y'all, and thank your for the love and prayers. Sister Erika Kelly 

My long lost cousin? Elder Hatch!

Good bye Elder Boehme

Monday, June 8, 2015

What a Great Week!

What a great week! 

District Meeting

On Monday we taught Mimi for the second time. She had studied the chapter we had given her (3 Nephi 11) and was really prepared. We had a great discussion about how the spirit talks with us and that we need to be prepared. She committed to work to be baptized on the 11 of July.

We have been working with Leighann every day this past week. She is the less active that the ward asked us to go see. She is amazing. She is really doing what she can to receive an answer about the truth. She has a lot of great questions and i LOVE answering people's questions.  
Leighann is dating a guy who is Catholic and he was home on Wednesday. we taught them the Restoration. He was very kind and listened but he wouldn't read from the Book of Mormon or pray. And we respected that. But then we were talking to Leighann and he had read the introduction because he was interested. We are going golfing with them today, so he is opening up more and more! 

When we first met Leighann she had told us that we could teach her but that she didn't want to come to church until she felt ready. Well we had talked about inviting her to church but were nervous because of what she said. But when we were teaching her on Friday she invited herself! She came to church with her younger sister and stayed the full three hours! It was so great to have someone in church. 

Leighann & her sister, Sister Garry, Sister Kelly at church

Wednesday we were able to meet with Greg. We met him and his mom the week before. When we first got there he handed us the Book of Mormon back like he didn't want to really talk. Well we kept talking to him and eventually he let us teach him a lesson. By the end he was interested, especially about eternal families. He has a little girl! He committed to read and pray about another chapter in the Book of Mormon and is going to try to come to church this upcoming Sunday.

This is Brooke, she is the daughter of one of the members.

TVs while tracting

Last thing i want to talk about it how Heavenly Father know us all individually. We have been trying to work really hard with the members. We had a lesson all set up and a member to come with us. It was finally working, and then that morning our appointment cancelled. I was so frustrated. I felt like we were doing all that we could and things still weren't working out. As we were sitting in the car thinking of what to do the thought came to my head, "You can't do this by yourself. You need my help. Just trust me." It was a good reminder that this is God's work, not mine. We still went out with that member and got to teach a lesson while we were teaching less actives. 

I know that this is the truth. I know that Christ is the head of this church! He loves us individually. Thank you for everything y'all do for me! 

Love you, Sister Kelly 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Slow but Great

Hello everyone :)

I love this girl!  Sis Kelly & Sis Garry

The past week has been great! The beginning of the week was slow and we were struggling to find people.  We were going through formers about a week ago and came across this lady we thought was solid! We gave her a call but her number didn't work anymore. We put it on the table and didn't think anything else about it. Later that week we found a new street in our area we hadn't tracted. Well that is where that lady lived! We are starting to teach her again. We are going to see her tonight with a member!

We have been meeting with a less active. Her name is India, she was baptized about a year ago. She has a lot of medical challenges and that kept her coming to church. Sister Hartley and I had tried to contact her but she was just really bitter. But she reached out to the missionaries and we have met with her twice. She is great! Really wants to know the truth and it willing to work for it.

On Saturday we were working in Diamondhead and felt like we should try a less active. She lived out in the middle of nowhere but we finally found her house. Well we go up to the house and it was who we were looking for, kind of. We had the right name, and house but she claims to of never been baptized or even met with missionaries before. So we are working on figuring out the background story to that. 

My favorite story of the week happened yesterday. We were out tracting and we were walking up to these two houses. They were all outside hanging out. I just generally asked if we could talk to them and one lady was very against us. She kept saying things and told us to leave. Her niece was sitting next to her and told her to stop! She came down and talked to us. She wanted a Book of Mormon and we are meeting with her next week! It was great. 

Well,  i love you! Don't forget who loves you most, Heavenly Father! He knows best. 

Sister Erika Kelly 

Erika's favorite cake!  The Elders made this for her half way mark and for Sis Garry's birthday.

Hump Day May 25th

A great week has again passed. 

Just hit the half way mark!!! 

My favorite experience this past week happened when we were able to reach out to a less active. Every week our ward mission leader gives us some names of less actives that he would like us to visit. The first week that Sister Garry and I were together he asked us to go visit a younger sister in our area. Her name is Leighann. Her first reaction to us wasn't the best. She actually told us that she didn't want to be Mormon any more and was studying to become Catholic. Well we kept talking to her and eventually she let us in her house. We talked for a good 30 minutes and then she said that she would love to have us teach her the lessons. She said she isn't ready for church but that she doesn't know a whole lot and so she wants to be taught. She said, "something keeps pulling me back to the Mormon church." Well yesterday we had the impression to just call and see how she was doing. She was fine and we had a good conversation with her. We confirmed our next appointment, gave her some scriptures to read, and that was the end of the conversation. About 30 minutes later she called us back and asked if we could meet up and talk. We were on our way home to eat dinner and so we asked if she had eaten yet. She hadn't so we met up at Popeyes and had dinner and talked. Her and her brother had just got into a fight and she said the first thought she had was to call the missionaries. She also said that she has been singing primary songs ever since we had come by. It was really good to visit with her and I know that we were able to establish a good relationship with her. She has a lot of really good questions and we are both excited to help her to understand the wonderful truths of this gospel.

We also had our interviews with President McDonough. It was the last interview that I will have with him as my mission president and that was really sad. But he kept a folder with what talked about every interview and he gave that to me. It was really cool to go through and see the changes i have made since the beginning of the mission. 

To finish my email i want to share a cool experience that Sister Garry and I had at the end of the week. We have really been struggling to find solid people to teach. We decided that we would fast this past Sunday. Our very last door we knocked on that day we found a lady who let us in and let us teach her. She was so excited to here our message and said, "I can tell that y'all aren't alone. You have someone else with you. This has to be true." We left her with a Book of Mormon and she said she would be at church. I know that the power of the fast works. And even if things with that lady don't work out. I know that it was God letting us know that he is looking out for us. 

We also are going to start asking families to pray about a date that they can have a less active or non member in their home to listen to the missionary discussions. We are really hoping this works.

I love you all. Hope you have a great memorial day!! Dont forget that Heavenly Father always loves.