Elder Kennedy's Mission Scripture

Elder Kennedy's Mission Scripture

Alma 26:12

"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise his name forever."

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Glad to still be here

My Family!

Wow, that transfer flew by! The transfers didn't really affect us in the ward. The four of us, Elder Goates, Elder Perugorría, Elder Stout, and I are still here in Villa Sur. Though, there was a change with the Elder's from Buenaventura, (the elders we live with). Elder Dorcheus was changed out and replaced by Elder Martinez who is now companions with Elder Keddington. Also this week the changes meeting was the saddest one I have ever seen. It really was different. Instead of having all the "Go-Homers" give their testimony, they prepared a video with interviews, photos, and videos of all of them. Then it was followed by a special musical solo of an English/Spanish compilation of the hymn Para siempre Dios esté con vos/God be with you till we meet again. It was sung extremely well by a sister in the mission completely ac cappella. In this group of "Go-Homers" there were a lot of very good missionaries. It was a group full of leaders, among them Elder Stewart, with whom I did my very first division in my mission and who was an Assistant for a long time, five other assistants, among them Elder Lythgoe, with whom I lived in San Antonio for 6 months. There were many other leaders from the mission including all the sisters that started the mission with me. It really was an awesome group of missionaries this change.

But enough about Changes meeting... here in Villa Sur Elder Stout and I have been working very diligently and we are seeing the fruits of our labors, especially with the less active members. We bring a consistent 10-15 people to church every week. It is so cool to be a missionary and help these people remember the Covenants they have made, and also to help those who haven't made them to prepare to do so. Lately we have been focused on families. We are concentrating all of our efforts in finding complete families that can really help edify the church. We have been able to find many, but we hope to find more this week. 

I am so glad to be a missionary. I really am seeing this place turn around. We are seeing SO many miracles here in this mission. This truly is the Lord's work, and I know He is working with us. (Jacob 5: 71-73) HE has called us to work in this late hour, and He really is working with us. And in accordance with our diligence and our obedience to His commandments, we really do see the fruit that comes forth and thrives. 

I love the mission. 


Élder Ian Kennedy

 Mate station... yumm

  Transfer day with our tiki's. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

From worst to best!

Hey Family!

I am sooo glad to be here in this sector. We are doing really well here. The Lord is blessing us a lot. About four weeks ago, we found an inactive member named Juan Carlos B. He served a mission in Viña Del Mar. However, for some reasons he, his wife, and 2 kids, went inactive for a long time. Since we found him, he has attended church every week. We gave him an assignment to be the Activities Director, which has now turned into a calling. While we were at his house planning an activity we are going to do this Friday, he mentioned a few people that he wanted to be involved with organizing it. Claudio L. and Gabriel H. He brought us over to their homes, and he invited them to participate in planning the activity. They both agreed. Juan Carlos then talked to us about how he really wants to re-activate them as well because they are old friends of his. I thought it was so cool to see how much he wanted to share the gospel with his friends even after such little time of being back in the church. He told us that he really can feel the difference now that he is going back to church, and he wants his old friends to feel that same happiness.  

Presidente and Hermana Barreiros came to our ward last week and spoke. Because they say that our ward had increased a ton in attendance. What a blessing. They talked to our ward about the atonement, and the importance of the sacrament. It was soo cool to have them in our ward.

Also, we just had a huge meeting as a mission, and we were discussing the fruits of the Pilot Plan, named "EL Rescate" (the rescue) and President talked about this zone (our zone). The attached foto is the first reason he gave for why we work with El Rescate.
Translation: Why do we work with "El Rescate?"
Ochagavía is no longer the worst stake in the world in terms of percentage of less active members and potencial. 

I did not know that this was the worst stake in the world before President said that it was. I knew it was bad, but not that bad. But the Lord really has turned this place around. 

I love being here. I am seeing so many miracles, and know the Lord is constantly blessing me.

Con Much Amor,

Elder Ian Kennedy

 *Side-note: That Pathway program sounds cool. But I don't know if it's actually necessary. I live with an Elder that told me that all I have to do to go to BYU-I is go home, take the ACT and apply. He said he has a friend that did the same after his mission. He assured me that even with a low GPA in HS that it would be no problem. So it would almost be easier to go home, take the test, apply then go to school immediately instead of waiting so long.

P.S. Renee- Haha yeah I remember that painting of Clark Kelly Price of The Rescue at Sweetwater! I have that painting over my study area in my house. haha I found it in a Liahona when I was 4 months in the mission and have had it up since. 

This is Claudio- The AWESOME dog! 

Our house flooded in the rain haha...oh the joys of the mission. #Lurker neighbor in the door.

 We ran home in the rain haha "we got completely Saturated."

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hey Hey

Hey Family, 

Super sad to hear about Renee. I hope she's doing all right.

The mission is so awesome! I love this area. It's super ghetto but we are having a lot of success. Elder Stout and I just had the first baptism that this ward has seen in 2 years. Sebastián A. He is the son of an inactive family that we found my second day here in this sector. His dad died about a year ago, so he lives with his mom, his older sister, and younger brother. They are such an awesome family. Marcia (the mom) always tells us how grateful she is for us, and how good she feels for coming back to church. Camila, the daughter, is 19, and we are helping her decide to go on a mission. She says she is seriously thinking about it. I love the mission. It is such a huge blessing to see how the gospel really helps better the lives of those who live it. Since Marcia, Camila, Sebastián, and Martín have been going to church, we have seen a huge difference in their lives; they just glow with the Light of Christ. I love that about the mission, when we see that change that people make, it really helps our testimony grow. "And now behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; Then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that He hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember His merciful arm which He has extended towards me." (Alma 29:10). 

I love being a missionary. I Love to see the people that truly repent and come to the Lord. I believe it is the biggest joy you can feel in this Life.

Con mucho amor y cariño,

Elder Ian Kennedy

P.S. Ouch Sister! I love you, and you are always in my prayers. Get better soon!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy late 4th of July!

Hey family!

Well, this week went well. A few crazy things happened. Claudio (one of the dogs that always follows us) got in a huge fight with a German Shepard in the street. Claudio saw the bigger dog messing with some other little dog in the street and charged. Just so you know Claudio is some kinda mix we think Pitbull and weenie dog (Dachshund). Either way, he was way smaller than a German Shepard but he flipped the German Shepard over, and bit it between the arm and the belly. We heard the craziest whimper of defeat from the German Shepard. When Claudio finally let go the German Shepard ran away with its tail between its legs. 

The fourth of July went well. It was a normal day haha all we did was sing the American Hymns in the hymn book and made pancakes jaja. Everything else was normal. That’s awesome that you guys did some cool stuff. I miss Benjammin’s BBQs.

Ja you asked about the weirdest foods I’ve eaten? Jaja well to be honest, nothing super weird just La guatita (cow stomach) haha. It’s super chewy and it’s pretty gross too. But it depends on the person who makes it as well. Either way, I’m not a huge fan. Jaja another is La Prieta (Blood sausage) that one is more popular for Chilean Independence Day (Sept 18) but its pretty gross haha. It’s a sausage that is filled with a dark jelly like liquid; yea you can guess what that is. I also have had ceviche, which is a Peruvian dish with Pulpo (Octopus) it’s kind of like a salad. It wasn’t bad, but I don’t really like seafood so the Octopus part was weird. That’s pretty much it haha like I said, nothing too weird. 

Anyway, we also had a successful week. We found a few new investigators and we are looking forward to helping them progress. Other cool news, Elder Stout and I went to a Consejo de Guerra (War Council), it’s a council every two weeks with President, the Assistants and all the Zone leaders. We were there to give a class about the pilot plan, because we led the mission the week before by having the most less actives with and assignment in the church. Elder Stout and I brought 22. It was really cool. President talked to everyone there about the Zone Ochagavía, and how a year ago it was known to be the worst zone in the mission. As far as attendance to church it was the 2nd worst stake in the whole South America south area. In fact I remember that people used to think Ochagavía was a punishment, like you only got sent there if you did something wrong. But President talked about all the miracles that this zone has seen and now this zone is leading the mission.

I testify that the Lord really can make weak things become strong. If we try our best to do what He asks He will always help with the rest. I know I am in the Lord´s work. I love Him, and I love my calling that He has given me. 

Love you,

Elder Ian Kennedy

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Movin on up

Hello Family!

I seriously love being here in Ochagavía. We are really starting to see so many miracles in this Zone. It's so awesome. All the missionaries here have so much faith and ánimo. It's so cool to hear all their stories and miracles that the missionaries have seen. 

This week was the first measuring point of the pilot plan here in the mission. The goal was to have church attendance up by at least 20%. Here in Villa Sur our goal was to have attendance up to 75 people. Well, we achieved it and surpassed it! We had an attendance of 90!!!! As a zone, Ochagavía raised the attendance an average of 28% since we started the plan piloto. We are super exited to continue working with this plan. We truly are seeing the fruits of our labor. I know that the Lord truly blesses those who seek diligently to do His will. Thats what I've been learning here in the mission. If we exercise our faith and work to do what the Lord desires of us, He will always bless us. 

I am so blessed to be here in the mission. I truly have learned and grown in a lot of ways. And I still have a whole bunch more to learn. But the more I work, the more I can feel my testimony growing within me. I have seen many people change and grow closer to their Savior. That is seriously the coolest part of being out here, seeing those changes in peoples lives. The more people I see gain a testimony, it really helps strengthen mine. Also, I know that the Book of Mormon is the greatest, most powerful tool the Lord has given us to find true and lasting happiness. READ IT! LIVE IT! It really will bring the blessings. I have seen this book work miracles it the lives of many. But more importantly, I have seen the miracles it has worked in my life.

I love you all. 

Elder Ian Kennedy

P.S. Bummer about Chile. Jaja but it was a way close match!!!