Tuesday, February 16, 2016

A Week of Lasts

Happy 18 Months to Me!

Well it has been a long week full of: How are you feeling? Are you excited? What are you going to do when you get home? Will you bare you testimony for us, it is your last time? It is so weird when you go home. Life is just so different. But you will adjust fine. Try not to think about it. We are going to miss you. How many days now? Needless to say, it was an interesting week. But a lot of good came from it too!

Tuesday we had my last zone conference, so i bore my testimony there. And it was really good. President taught the same thing as MLC so it was a lot of review but I still learned a lot. At MLC I try to focus on everything in a leadership way. Where as zone conference I could learn for myself.
Wednesday we had exchanges. My last exchanges as a missionary!!! and I got to be with my MTC companion, that was a lot of fun! She and her companion have been struggling in their area so we went and double worked. We brainstormed a lot of new ideas and then did a few of them. 
They have been trying to find service opportunities. They had visited the nursing home but didn't have a lot of success. They wouldn't give them the information they needed and kept telling them to come back. But Wednesday Sister Garner and I went in a saw a few miracles! First: We walk in and one of the first people we see is one of their investigators. They have had a hard time getting in contact with her and had prayed to see her today! Second: As we were talking we told her why we were there at the same time that the activities director walked out of a room. She told us that he was the one we needed to talk to. She introduced us and he was more then happy to have them come by. He showed them who the shut ins were but said they could come whenever and visit with anyone. It was an answer to prayer. Third: As we were leaving there was a group of people gathered in the main area and they were singing gospel songs. I recognized one of the songs from attending a church while I was in Richland. It brought back good memories! But at the end of the song, the man leading asked if either of us played the piano. Sister Garner does and so she played while we sang another song. He then went on and preached to these older people and I LOVED being able to be there. He told us we were invited to come every Wednesday at 2! So now they have lots of things to do there! 

Exchanges in Sandhill

The remainder of the day we spent with our companions. We went and did some chalk talk, and then picked up trash along the road. It was a great day, and we got to try a lot of different finding ideas. 

Sister Thomson and I

Sunday was another great day! I love that we have the opportunity to take the sacrament every week. A sister from our ward leaves for her mission this week so it brought all kinds of different emotions. She gave a great talk and will be an awesome missionary! We sang the EFY medley with the youth during sacrament and it sounded so good! For the third hour we had the chance to teach the Plan of Salvation to the mia maids group. I absolutely  love teaching that lesson. It brings so much clarity to everything we do in this life. I have been studying about the Christlike attributes from PMG. This morning I studied about being humble. When we are humble then we accept God's will. When we have better understanding of the Plan of Salvation then it helps us be more humble because we will be more trusting of His plan! 

That evening Logan, the girl leaving on a mission, had a ton of people over. We went over and got to visit with a lot of members of the ward. It was nice to be able to relax with people that we love. 

Good bye Logan

We finished the wonderful Valentines day with Blue Bell Rocky Road ice cream in cantaloupe, while watching Meet the Mormons. We cried and loved every minute of it. haha

I am so grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are nothing without it. 
I love y'all!
Sister Kelly

Oh, and we got the Elders back! 

Monday, February 8, 2016


Driving to MLC
Elder Peck, Elder Hatch, Sis Kelly, Sis Bartsch

This past week I had my last MLC. I have been in leadership for a year of my mission. It is going to be weird not having all that responsibility. Out of all the MLC's i have attended this past one was probably my favorite. President Olson focused on the Doctrine of Christ for the beginning of the meeting. We as missionaries are here to teach about the restoration of the Gospel of Christ. Now we have the main three lessons: The Restoration, Plan of Salvation, and Gospel of Christ. Well I have always taught them as separate lessons. When in reality we should be talking about the simple lost truths of faith, repentance, and baptism in every lesson! I knew those things but we learned new ways to teach them. Sister Bartsch and I are excited to teach in a different way and see how it makes a difference. 

Sister Olson and President Olson

Elder Beckstrom

Me and Cheryl (Sister Mitchell)

In the afternoon Brother Tanner and Brother Gonzales came from Salt Lake and gave us a lot of training. They taught all about planning, which can seem boring but they made it so exciting. We "weekly plan" every week on Friday for the upcoming week. I have been weekly planning wrong my whole mission! They had a companionship talk about one of their investigators and we planned for them. Planning for the one person took almost an hour. We should be taking that time to really plan how we will help these people progress... DUH.  We set Goals, make Plans, and then Schedule it in. 
Sister Bartsch and I spent all day yesterday after church putting the things we learned to the test. It took forever but it went really well! This upcoming week is full and we are excited to see the results!

Love Sister Burgess

My Companion

Sister Huffacker

They church wants us to get away from tracting being our main way to find.... That is what we have been doing for the past transfer! They want us to be using the ward members more... We have been doing that too!! My favorite part was when they said that if you are planning right, three progressing investigators will keep you so busy you won't have time for anyone else. I have been so focused on getting all these investigators and being frustrated. But really I should just focus on who I have. 
I also had to bare my final MLC testimony. That was really strange. I have seen missionary after missionary do that and this time it was me. I realized then how much I have changed and how thankful I am for the things I have learned. I really do and have loved my mission!

Miracle: Sunday we showed up to church and Russell was there!!! He decided to come to church and we are teaching him tonight in a member's home. We don't know if he wants to keep taking the lessons but please keep praying for him. We think the spirit has really been working with him! 

I have been studying a lot about grace this past week. All will live again because of the sacrifice of Christ. And as soon as we decided that we want to be like him we can be strengthen by His grace. I am so grateful for the atonement all the miracles that come because of His sacrifice. 

Love y'all! Sister Kelly 

Downtown Jackson

Giant Gorilla

Giant Obama Head

Gas station run!  Sometimes you just need some chocolate!

Rolling coins at the thrift store.

Monday, February 1, 2016

The Dirtiest of Houses and the Cleanest of People

Sister Bartsch and Sister Kelly 

We started the week off with an exchange. I was in Hattiesburg with one of the sisters and we got to do service! They have a lady in their ward that lives in a really gross house. She had been put in the hospital because she fell and broke her arm and then it got infected. It has been a long process so the sisters and relief society president have been going in and cleaning while she is out of the house. I had the opportunity (if that is what you want to call it..) to help out. Sister Abril and I cleaned out the pantry... Before even entering the house we put on gloves and Walmart bags over our shoes. She has rats and so there are little droppings on everything. The pantry was right next to the door so we got a large city garbage can and used it to hold the door. Then we would just grab and throw. Everything had to be thrown away. Well, because it had all sat there so long things were different colors, mayo looked like mustard, cans were rusting. A few weeks ago they had emptied all the food out of the actual kitchen. Well that upset the rats and so they had found their way to the pantry. They had chewed through the cans, the cans drain, and then they eat whatever comes out. So you can just imagine how nasty this place was. We would pick up cans that had never been opened but were empty.. There were plastic bottles of salad dressing. The bottle would have a large hole in it and would be licked completely clean. You would have thought someone had washed it out with water! At one point sister Abril had picked up a bottle that didn't look like it had any holes and it did so the nasty salad dressing went all over the floor... IT WAS SO GROSS. At one point I was grabbing some cans and HEARD something moving. Then i SAW something moving. To realize there was a rat in there the entire time! We ran outside and the brave relief society president started spraying it with wasp spray haha it ran away and we didn't see it again. Thank goodness. After cleaning we went back home to shower and wash all our service clothes. It was a very interesting experience. We might be going back this week to help them with the final touches. I will take pictures if we do!

Saturday was filled with two different baptisms! That was a great day! The family that we had the opportunity to buy Christmas for got baptized. The mom was already a member, and their 5 kids were all baptized. It was so great to see how happy they were. (The elders and kids) They have another daughter who is 7 and will be baptized in a few months. The boyfriend is now taking the lessons and has opened up a lot since the elders started coming. They are hoping he will be ready for baptism when the youngest turns 8. 

After we were able to attend a baptism for the Petal sister's investigator. When we got there some of the past missionaries who had taught her got to come, as well as their companions. So I got to see sister Elliot. I was her STL when I was serving in Richland. Treyden served in her home ward. She is so fun and it was a great surprise to see her! The spirit was so strong through both baptisms and I am grateful for my mission that allows me to participate in this great work so heavily! 

I cleaned out my STL binder

Sunday evening was a great way to end the week. We have been wanting to reach out to the youth and work with them more. Especially the priest and laurels that could be preparing for missions. So Brother Tolbert organized an activity for just them. Last night we all came together at the Tolbert's home and talked about missionary work. We invited the zone leaders so we had elders and sisters. The youth got to ask us different questions about missions. It went really well! It was fun, spiritual, and we were able to strengthen relationships. I hope some of the youth who were debating about missions were touched by the spirit. And I also hope they will be more willing to invite their friends to hear the gospel. 

This has been a really great week. I have had many spiritual promptings and impressions that have helped me grow so much. I am loving my mission and working hard. I love watching the gospel bless other's lives! We have received 14 referrals so pray we can contact them all this week :)
Love y'all! 

Sister Kelly