Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Setbacks and Inspiring Successes

This week was good. 

 Yesterday we had a baptism scheduled. Her name is Marta, and she is this wonderful little grandmother whom we have really grown to love. We visited her Saturday night and she was really excited to get baptized and become a member of this church. And then her pastor came over that night after our visit. Convinced her that everything we had taught her was wrong, and that she was foolish for even listening to us in the first place. Just destroyed everything we had built with her. We took it really hard. But it's not over yet. We are going to see if we can save the situation this week. The Adversary really doesn't want this powerful woman in the church. But it wasn't all hard yesterday. 

We also had the confirmation of Veronica, which was really exciting! She sacrificed a lot to become a member, including her relationship with the only person she had before, her mother. Her mother tried doing the same thing that the pastor did to Marta, but Veronica resisted, and her mother just ended up completely abandoning her. Even though she is 30, she has no one else. Not a husband, kid, friend, boyfriend, or anything. ... And she chose the church. She is going to do some big things. 

And that was this week! We worked like madmen trying to find new people to bring to the church and to the fulness of the truth. President Whitehead has set a goal for the month of March and the month of April. 500 baptism as a mission in each month. We are going to have to work really hard to meet it, but we are very excited. Because if President set the goal, then it is possible to meet. 

 That is all I have time for now. I am very excited for this week and all the blessings and miracles that it holds. Elder Thompson and I are both really excited to realize them. I love you all so much. Hope that you all doing well, and having an excellent week. 

Elder Kennington 

Preguntas Mas Rapido
Q:  Do you still regularly eat with members for your midday meal? 
A:  Yes. Haha. The other day I had chicken feet... Here they eat the whole thing, not just the little pad on the bottom of the foot. :) 

Q:  Has Elder Thompson gotten you to eat oatmeal yet? 
A:  Nope!! I am still unscathed, basking in my ramen. ;) 

Q:  What do the members there do for fun/entertainment? 
A:  They watch soccer, watch movies, and talk. Pretty normal things, actually! There are a few that love shopping too. 

Q:  Bronwyn wants to know if your favorite color is still purple? 
A:  Yes!!! And white and gold. :) 

Q:  Bronwyn wants to know if you've gotten any marriage proposals or anything like that. 
A:  No, but in the last week I had three different gays flirt with me. The last one is quite the story.... We were in a lavanderia for washing our clothes and these two guys walked in, and one started flirting with me. When they left to grab some clothes Elder Thompson and I made our escape. Apparently they came back the next day trying to figure out where I live and how they could contact us. "where to that guano [handsome guy] live? He could preach the word of God to me aaaany day..." in a really seductive voice... :p 

Q:  Who are some of the members you've gotten to know well? 
A:  Hermana Hilda and her family, la familia Montoya, y el obispo. [and the bishop]

One pic to share this week, thanks to Elder Thompson who has a functioning memory card in his camera. At least he looks like he's got enough blankets for the chilly nights...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Elder Kennington Stays in Toluca

Time is super short today but there is way way way too much to say. 

First off: ELDER THOMPSON AND I ARE STAYING TOGETHER ONE MORE CHANGE HERE IN UNIVERSIDAD. Yup. This will be my third change here and we are going to blow it out of the water. We already have five more possibities for baptisms over the next few weeks. :):) 

And talking of baptisms, we had another one yesterday! Her name is Veronica. She is good, with a lot of questions. She has really struggled with family for a while because she is unmarried without kids, and her mom has basically rejected her existence. When we told them about the ward family thing that the church really has going for it, that is really what got her attention. 

 The worldwide community of the church is really truly incredible. It has, does, and will continue to change lives. 

That is all for now. Life here is fantastic. The mission is the best. Holy cow. Gotta run! I love you all so much!! 

 Elder Kennington 

Preguntas Mas Rapido 
Q:  I just read on FB from a friend who is hosting some Brazilian exchange students and discovered they were not flushing their used tp because at home in Brazil they don’t flush toilet paper due to poor sewage system. There were a huge number of comments about how common this is worldwide, including Mexico. Have you run across this yet? 
A:   Yup... It's... Different... :) I can confirm firsthand that they do it here too. 

Q:  Have you found the stickie notes we left in all of your books? 
A:  Yes. :) They make me super happy. I have stuck them all in the back of my English Preach My Gospel. :) 

Q:  Liam wants to know know if you've encountered any more drunk guys. 
A:  Encountering drunk guys is a daily occurance here... We avoid them from the most part. There is one that doesn't seem to believe us when we say that we don't have any money, because he approaches us every two days. :) 

Q:  Liam also wants to know what happened to Moses and Jesus from your first area. 
A:  GUESS WHAT?! Moses got baptized a few weeks ago and Jesus is taking the lessons. They have changed drastically. Moses is one of the most faithful members in that area now. :D

Monday, January 12, 2015

Elder Kennington and the Sunday Miracle

Well, cannot believe that this is already the last P Day in this transfer. Time flies in the mission.

We worked really hard this week, and ended up only bringing one of our investigators to church. To tell the truth, Elder Thompson and I were really disappointed, because we had put in a ton of effort to bringing people to the chapel, coupled with much fasting and prayer.

As we sat down a little disanimated, we started the meeting as normal. And then one of our investigators walked in a little late. We hurredly made room for her in our row. Five minutes later another walked in.

Then another. 

In total we had only brought one investigator to church. And the Lord brought six more. And what is more, of this six we are working to get baptismal dates for this Sunday for three of them.

Miracles exist, and they come only when we work hard, trust in the Lord, and then wait on His timetable for them to appear. I love what Elder Holland once said: "Sometimes the blessings come now, others don't come for a while, and others may not even come in this life. But for the faithful disciples of Jesus Christ, they come." I testify this is true, and that it is always worth waiting it out to the end.

I gotta run now because we got to the internet cafe late today, but know that I love you. And more importantly, our Father in Heaven loves you. And if we stick it out to the end we will see Him, and join him in the realms above.

You are always in my prayers.

Elder Kennington

Preguntas Mas Rapido
Q: Did the ward or city do anything special for Three Kings Day this past week? 
A: No, aside from working super hard and bringing seven of our investigators to church this week. :):):)

Q: Were you able to resolve anything with your camera and its memory card? Please get yourself a couple of backups at Walmart. Also, please consider uploading everything you can to your DropBox for safekeeping.
A: I will do so, certainly. Thank you so much for the camera. It has been great!!

Q: What do you use for keeping your part in your hair?
A: A brand of gel called EGo.... I must admit I am looking forward to getting rid of the stuff after the mission. I have always felt a little gross with hair loaded with gel. :)

Q: Any fun language gaffes for the week?
A: I slipped up and tried saying that another elder was a great guy with some members but ended up sounding really gay by saying that I liked him (en me gusta ese Elder...) :p

Q: Do you think you are getting transferred next week?
A: Yeah... The elders here have not stayed more than two changes in a long long time, and I now have almost two changes here. Kinda sad, to tell the truth. I have enjoyed my time here immensely.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Elder Kennington and the Scary New Year's Day

This. Week. Was. Crazy.
Well, as the whole world knows, this week was New Year's Eve. And here in Mexico it was crazy ridiculous. We had a Zone Conference to keep the missionaries off the streets because it was rather dangerous. Fireworks, drunk people, drug addicts, and everything in between.
The truly interesting day was the next day, the first of January, however. 

Just as far as numbers go, we had five different people start tailing us for 15 minutes at a time over the course of the day, we had 3 different guys who were high on some pretty powerful stuff try to engage us, and then saw one dead guy. It was an interesting day, but very powerful. 

We were starting to get pretty nervous, so we found a safe spot and said a quick prayer that the Lord would guide our steps so that we could continue doing His work while remaining safe. Afterwards I felt like I could see something leading us, and we followed it. It wasn't something that we could necessarily see, but it was something that Elder Thompson and I both felt. Though we saw some pretty nasty fights and some other pretty wasted people in the street, we were never in any more danger. We walked with purpose, and worked hard, and now because we had a day like this we are going to have the opportunity to set two more baptismal dates this week. 

The Lord truly blesses us when we look for it. One of the things that I love about the mission is how close the Spirit constantly is. When it goes because we are somewhere we shouldn't be, the difference is from day to night. Like being plunged in a bucket of ice water. It is crazy. 

Hope that you are all doing well, loving life, growing, and laughing.  If you're not having fun you're not doing it right. Something else I've been learning from Elder Thompson. Love you lots. 

Elder Kennington

Preguntas Mas Rapido
Q:  What is your favorite scripture and why? 
A:  Currently I have a lot of favorite scriptures in Hechos. This book is great for getting baptismal dates and getting them for the next Sunday. We are hoping to take out two more baptismal dates this week. With luck! Currently I also love DyC 122:7-8. We are going to suffer a lot in this life. But guess what? It will be for our good. And we won't regret enduring in the long run. And Christ already suffered everything for us. We aren't going to suffer unnecessarily. 

Q  What are the youth programs like down there? 
A:  Currently almost nonexistent, to tell the truth. They have Seminary, but not many attend. This ward is really struggling with less actives because people aren't magnifying their callings like they could. We need some help from the members!

Q:  What are the greatest challenges your investigators generally face? 
A:  Pornography, and not having time to come to church. Unemployment down here is crazy, and when people have work that usually takes precedent over everything. And they can't progress if they cannot come to church.

Q:  What do you like best about Toluca? Least? 
A:  I love how nice it is here, and how the people are willing to talk in the street. The least? Well, sometimes it can be a little sketchy here to tell the truth. But really, I cannot complain. This area is wonderful!!