Elder Kennedy's Mission Scripture

Elder Kennedy's Mission Scripture:

Omni 1: 26

"And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved."

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Advice for Ian-Written mid-December

We received a letter in the mail from Eric. Here is what he wrote:

I LOVE IT HERE! I love walking around Sao Paulo on my p-days and get to check out all the stores. The humidity is a killer but hopefully I'll get used to it. Everyone says that Recife is way hotter. Everyday i'm drenched in sweat and feel sticky all the time. We can take two showers a day which is good. In Recife I heard that they can take 3 showers a day. I love Brasileros, everyone is hilarious! So friendly and loving. They really like being taught English as well. Some of the native missionaries speak pretty good english because of video games and watching American TV shows. If you don't mind sending me a mosquito net, it would be greatly appreciated. I have only been bitten a few times but I'm not looking froward to the many more that will surely come. I started using the spray and cream and it works pretty well. The bugs/mosquito's here are bad! But I can probably find a mosquito net here, so i'll email you. My teachers are pretty sweet. Irmao Nasciemento is hilarious. He makes learning Portugese fun because he is always cracking jokes. He's insane because he is from Sao Paulo, didn't speak any english and served his mission in Japan. So he had to learn English in the MTC and then learn Japanese from the English he learned. It's insane that he was able to do that. I love teaching lesson's with my two companions. Between the three of us we can drag lessons on for 30-40 mins. Elder Carroll had the flu so we were quarantined in our room for a little over a day. I got to give my 3rd blessing while on my mission. It was pretty awesome! It would be really good if you could send me my pedigree chart, and ask Bishop for the Priesthood line of Authority please. I can't wait to get out into the field! At the same time...I can't imagine being there right now because my language skills aren't quite there yet. But I'm definitely getting there! The food here is great! Lot's of juice (which you know I LOVE). Tons of fruit, rolls, rice, beans, pudding, chicken and all kinds of meat, and some kind of milky porridge. Oh and they drink a lot of Guarana (kind of like Ginger-Ale). It rains about every other day here and we had the loudest thunderstorm i've ever heard in my life. We have to be careful when we walk around the streets in Sao Paulo. We can't be alone (with our companion) in remotely sketch areas or around alley ways. Two missionaries got robbed at gun point here on their P-day because they were in front of an alley and there were only two of them. They advise us to be in groups of at least 4.
Ian..I bet you are getting the jitters waiting to leave for your mission. In provo I had the opportunity to watch an MTC devotional given by Elder Bednar and it was only for the missionaries. I loved how he talked about the Spirit of Revelation and how his favorite time of the week is when he has the opportunity to see the faces of the missionaries and get an impression as to where they need to be for the next two years. I know that it IS NOT JUST where they need us to be, but it is where we are called by revelation from God through Prophets that determine where we will serve. Being on a mission is crazy and sometimes it still doesn't feel real. For a long time I didn't think it would ever set in. I really don't have much advice for Ian yet, but I will let you know when I do. All I can think of right now is the cliche- The mission is the hardest thing I've ever done thus far in my life. I wasn't used to having to study and learn and be in classes and meetings for 15 hours a day. I wake up at 6:30 a.m. everyday and come back to my room at 9:30 p.m. The first week was the hardest, but once Ian get's the schedule down, it get's a lot better. Also Ian, Never give up, or compare yourself to other missionaries. Everyone has their own special special talents and abilities. And always remember your commitment to give your all these next two years. When you wrote your acceptance speech to the first presidency, you agreed to do that. I remember when Elder Holland came to Provo and spoke to us on Thanksgiving. He said how when missionaries get home, everyone seems to ask them how it is being back in "real life." Elder Holland intensely and powerfully told us that "The mission IS real life!" We will grow closer to the Lord and and live more Christ-like lives than we ever will again in mortality. We are second to only General Authorities in the service and life we live these next two years. I also love how he said "When you feel like giving up, when you feel like you can't stay on the mission any longer, when you won't do it for your girl-friend, or your mom, or the prophet, do it for Jesus Christ. He gave you so much and you give so little." I'm always going to remember this and I know with the Lord's help I can get through any trial or struggle. Anyway, I miss you all! I am so proud of Ian for wanting to serve a mission and dedicate these next two years to the Lord.
I love you family! And Friends! I hope everything is good. I hope the ward is doing well. Please fill me in on world events...and the reign of Obama.

Email/Write me! Love Elder Kennedy

Christmas Eve email-Feliz Natal

Dear Family and Friends,

Feliz Natal! Brazil is amazing! The CTM is really cool and I enjoy getting to know all the missionaries going to Brazil. Time is flying by here in Sao Paulo. I just started week 7 so I only have 3 more weeks left before I head into the field! January 14! I can't wait! Portuguese is such a beautiful language. I wish that I could make it sound beautiful right now. Portuguese is hard but I know I can handle it. As you know, I got placed in a trio companionship with Elder Frogley from Logan, Utah and Elder Carroll from Atlanta, Georgia. They are both studs and awesome missionaries. Last Sunday was pretty crazy because Corinthians (a Sao Paulo soccer team) beat Chelsea F.C. (English soccer team) in a tournament in Japan! The whole city went crazy- yelling and screaming the whole day! Brazilian's don’t require sleep, something I found out here. Fire Works and Fire Crackers, yells, horns, screams, and all kinds of noises went off to celebrate all night. I am so stoked to be in a country that appreciates soccer so much. It sounded like a war zone just outside the CTM during Sacrament meeting and Priesthood. I am super happy to be at the CTM over Christmas and reflect on the birth and life of our savior. Today is Christmas Eve. I’m super stoked for Christmas because we get to relax and enjoy the day. Everyone gets to sleep in like an hour or 2 and stay in our p-day clothes, play games, get tons of gym time, do service projects and we get to watch The Other Side of Heaven. Also, an Area or General Authority is coming to speak to us at a devotional. Christmas is going to be awesome. So what’s the weather like where Ian is serving? What are you all doing for Christmas? I think you might have mentioned in your letter but I forgot. I love walking around the streets on my P-Day, talking to people and trying to communicate with them. It is so hard but the people are patient and love to have a simple conversation with the missionaries. I still can't get over the fact that my little bro is going on a mission to Chile! I know he is going to be the best missionary..... on the west coast of South America. Last night everyone got to sing Christmas Carols outside on the streets. A bunch of people stopped to check it out. I really love talking with the missionaries that are from Recife. They all say it is beautiful and that the people there are super loving and receptive to the gospel. Ahhh I cant wait!!! Merry Christmas Everyone!!!!
    Love, Elder Kennedy 

P.S. Has my plaque come yet? Is it sweet?

Friday, December 21, 2012

Temple Pictures

We received a letter on Tuesday from The CTM President. Here is what it said: 

Dear Family,
We are pleased to be able to send you a picture of your missionary's recent visit to the São Paulo temple.  The morning they enter as a group is a very sacred experience for them, and it is an experience that is always anticipated with much excitement. We know they will treasure this remembrance. 
It is a great honor to serve with each of these fine young people and to watch their growth as they learn more about their sacred calling of a missionary.  We have a great love and respect for each one of them.
Thank you for your support for them.  They love to receive emails and letters from you, and feel of your love.  We know that your family will feel the blessings of their service.
President and Sister Degn

(Elder Frogley, Elder Kennedy, Elder Carroll)

Here is what Eric said: 

I really like being in a trio and getting to know my companions. It is hard sometimes waiting for two others to leave for stuff but hey, it helps me be more patient. I really like it when we teach lessons and study together. Mom-I received the gift card thank you so much! I'll ask if it can be used to send pictures. If not, I won't send pics until im out in the field. I'll be here in the CTM until January 8 or 9. They dont change it for missionaries that go on the mission in the MTC before January 1st. Ian should be super stoked he won't have to be in the MTC that long. I have another phone card that i havent used yet from Provo so I should be ok with phone cards. Plus the one I used to call from before still has some minutes I think. That is awesome about the Dyer's serving as Mission Presidents in Columbia! This is their second Mission! And its crazy our ward has the stake Patriarch! Brother Harris is awesome. Is he still a sealer in the temple? Christmas should be really fun. They let everyone email home and since its our p-day as well, we might get some time to walk around outside still and have a little more time to email. There's going to be awesome speakers and games. Anyway I hope I answered everything. Merry Christmas family. I hope you have a great one. Love you and if u have anymore questions I didn't answer email me back.
Love Elder Kennedy

#6 New Companions

Merry Christmas next week family!

Thanks for the emails. I wouldnt have been too devastated if Christian Bale had died but its cool he is alive. I saw something on LDS.org about the first presidency addressing the shooting. That is crazy! Did he commit suicide after or is he in custody awaiting trial. I would add a question mark but the keyboards here are different and I cant find them hahha. On a serious note im so sad that happened and I will definitely pray for the Parents. Mom says the Crickmore's and Dyer's are serving as Mission Presidents and Brother Harris is gonna be the new Stake Patriarch. Insane!!! I will send you my mission address asap. Mom might have it and it gets sent to my mission office which is the address I think I have. You can send stuff anytime because they hold packages for me if im not in the field yet. So we still have Tarzan soundtrack? If so, add that. Also Renee, talk to dad and add some of his music he wrote. The weather this week has been super nice and by nice I mean windy and rainy, every brazilian I talk to from Recife says its super hot, so farmer tan here I come! Im looking forward to it though, im so ready to blow this taco stand and get out into the field. I got to go to the Sao Paulo temple last week and do confirmations for the dead! We did 500 names between my companions and myself!!! Today we just got back from Sao Paulo temple and I did an endowment session. I'm stoked for Ian getting his Temple recommend, and taking out his endowment. Renee- you and Joe will be there for that right? Anyway yeah Ian going to Chile is pretty much the sickest thing in the world. I'm so happy we are both going to be in South America and serving missions the same time. Im still loving it down here in Sao Paulo and trying to enjoy every minute of my CTM experience. Merry Christmas Family! have a great one! The best presents I can get is letters and emails from the fam!!
Love Elder Kennedy

P.S. Thats sick Renee and Joe saw the Charger's play the Panthers. Being so close to the players. I'm so jealous. Are both teams seasons going pretty bad? Joe was probably wild at the game. 

P.S.S. I am now in a three-pack. My old companion left. Here are my two companions.

(Elder Kennedy, Elder Frogley, Elder Carroll)

#5 Music please

Yo family! Brazil is so tight, it's hot but im diggin the vibe down here. Sao Paulo is crazy huge. There are buildings and apartments all over the place. I have a sick view from my room; I really want to send pics but i'll prob wait until im in Recife. I just wanted to write a quick email and ask Renee to make sure to put on Prince of Egypt music soundtrack!!!!!!I must have have it. I'm so stoked on Ian's call! I cant get over how awesome it is that he is going to chile and gonna be a boss at spanish. 
Renee- Thats way sick you and Joe are in SD for the holiday's. Tell Joe to email me. 
What's going on in the US? Did Christian Bale die!!! Someone told me that down here but im not sure if it's true. Use missionties and write me. I need mail!! I probably wont send pics until im out in the field, im sure you all are dying for some. I hope Ian will be able to see some before he heads to the MTC. Anyway love you all and miss you. Paz e amor!

P.S. Send some classical music too. Anything soulful and acoustic. I need music! Send soon because it takes packages a month to get here. Thanks!!!!!! Muito Importante! I'm Dying. Also, I want some pics of the SD temple with me in it. The one's we took the day before I left. Hope you're enjoying the weather in SD. The weather totally cooled down here finally and its raining a lot.