Sunday, May 17, 2015

Elder Kennington Adjusts to Office Duties

Hola familia!

This week was good. I feel like I am starting to learn a few of the ropes involved with this new assignment. There is a lot of really technical steps, jargon, and nuances that are fantastic at stressing out new secretaries. For example, if I mess up badly enough with a visa for one of the missionaries then I could wind up sending a missionary home. To go wait for his new visa to process. And that is never good. Kind of bad actually...

We spent our time focused on two major things this last week. Firstly, visas. We had a lot of missionaries whose visas were going to expire over the next little while and we had to work like madmen to get it all taken care of. I made some high-ish up friends over there in Migration and now we are getting papers through the literal labyrinth of beauracracy at a decent pace.

 The other main focus of this last week was with one of our truly wonderful investigators, named Josefina. She has been studying with the Jehovah's Witnesses for a while, but has felt like she's been missing something. And that is where we came in. We are currently working very hard on identifying how the church of Jesus Christ was established, and how we can identify it hoy un día sobre la faz de la tierra. Realmente es un mensaje muy poderoso que llevemos a las personas de México*. If all goes according to plan she would be able to get baptized over the course of the next few weeks.

With prayers, fasting, hard work, and the touch of the Master's hand all is possible. This is one of the facets of my testimony that has been honed quite a bit in the mission. 

That about wraps it up for now! I gotta dash. Hope that you have a great week. I love you all lots! 

Elder Kennington

*today a day over the face of the earth. It really is a very powerful message that we take to the people of Mexico.

Preguntas Bien Rapidito
Q:  Do you have to work in the office on P Day too?
A:  It depends on the workload. Often Monday's are when we drag missionaries up here to do fingerprints for their visas because they won't be missing appointments with investigators or any minute of proselyting time.

Q:  Have you heard how Elder Demars is doing?
A:  He is doing well. He had his surgury this past Friday, and it all went according to plan. He will be back here in the mission field working in 8 to 10 weeks.

Q:  There is only one package from me you need to track down. It made it to the office in early February.
A:  I am currently tracking it down right now. Had to get after a couple of zone leaders for being a little slow on delivering pouch. Haha. It has been in two different zone leaders houses since February, and has been bouncing around since then. It will get to me, I am sure of it. It is floating around here in the mission. Advantage to the offices? Now all my mail gets to me the instant it is signed for in the mission. :)

Q:  How long did you say Elder Goodrich has been out on his mission?
A:  He has been out for 15 months. He got here to the offices when he had 9 months as well. :)

Q:  Now that you have given your first haircut are you going to keep doing that instead of going somewhere else?
A:  Yup. I totally am going to. Getting a haircut here in the mission is like playing Russian Roulette. 

Q:  What is your new apartment like?
A:  It. Is. Big. The nicest house in the mission. We share it with the assistants. And it is designed to house a good number of missionaries (for example when people need to stay the night here because they need to do visa work early in the morning). We have something like 15 bunkbeds, four bathrooms, a kitchen, a laundry room, a main room, two bedrooms (that the assistants and the secretaries use), and sundry hallways. ... But we never are in it because we are always in the offices working and in the streets preaching. :)

Q:  What do they do for Mother’s Day in Mexico?
A:  The same thing as in the United States, except a little less. It really doesn't have a celebration here. For a few people it is another great excuse to drink themselves silly, and with that they are happy... Haha. :)

Q:  How big of a celebration is Cinco de Mayo there? Do we make a bigger deal of it here?
A:  The United States makes a MUCH bigger deal than they did here... haha. It passed just like any normal day. :)

Q:  Did you ever get your custom leather scripture covers?
A:  Yup! I am going to send photos in this email! They turned out really really well. I am very satisfied. :)

We found a little cute poisonous scorpion in the house of a recent convert that we were visiting. Their cat was about to eat him.

We went to a huge mall today for P Day and twas nice. There was a Krispy Kream's there. Heavenly. There was also a Panda Express where we had lunch. Even more heavenly. It was a lot of fun. Got a couple of soccer shoes there that I really liked, along with a couple super guapo ties. Didn't have an orange one before, and one can never have too many purple ties. :) This mall was a lot like the one that I visited out in Toluca and never was able to take photos. Only this one was bigger and nicer. O.o

The front side of his new handmade scripture covers made by a member in Chamapa.

The back of the scripture covers. Elder Kennington got to choose the pictures.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015



Pure insanity.  That was this last week.

For starters, we worked really hard preparing our two families to be baptized, alongside a couple other investigators that we have worked with.

Maria Ines and her family are doing great. They are preparing to be baptized on the 24th. They are a very strong family that have great potential, especially as they continue to put themselves in the hands of God and follow His Spirit.

Hector and his family are doing well. Hector is starting to struggle again with The Word of Wisdom, so a few prayers there would not be awry. His wife is doing much better, and has told off her brother-in-law for sharing silly rumors with her. They will be coming to church this Sunday. Their two kids are doing very well, though the older one doesn't really want to listen to anything right now. We are working hard to gain more of his trust.

Areli, the hermana that I met first in Utah in the Mexican Consulate, is preparing for baptism as well. She is very happy. Very ready for the blessings that the Lord has waiting for her following her baptism.

Everything was and is looking awesome.

And then came Saturday.

I got a call from President Whitehead at 1:58 in the afternoon. The following day at 6:00 I recieved my new assignment as secretary to the President and began my work. Special transfers!

Do you remember Elder Demars from my district in the MTC? A few weeks back he was hit by a car and it totalled his left leg. Completely. He worked a little in the offices, and today, about 20 minutes ago, his plane touched down in Washington with his family. He will have a surgery and a recovery of about 9 weeks, and then will be coming back to the mission. And he was the secretary.

This assignment has a LOT of responsibilities. I need to take care of all the visa work, flights, cell phones, and general questions and needs of about 230 missionaries. I also need to be ready in every moment to help President with anything that he may need. I have a companion, si. Elder Goodrich from Pleasant Grove. He is running the mission finances. He is a great guy. Really fun to be with. I now have a snazzy desktop computer that I use when I am not running all over the city. :) We rent in a really nice place by the offices. By far the nicest house yet I have been in. I will still work and proselyte, just a little less. I am in contact with President every few hours.

There is a lot that I do not know how to do. Elder Demars was able to give me about 2 hours of capacitation last night in the middle of the night, and now here I am. Eesh. I am a little nervous, not going to lie.

Elder Gavilla is going to stay in Chamapa with another Elder. If they work well and with the Spirit they will see many baptisms. I left a lot of wonderful people behind. I really did love Chamapa.

I am out of time for today, will share a little more this next week about all that is going down.

Gotta dash!
Love you all!
Elder Kennington

Preguntas Bien Rapidito
Q:  Did you ever get my package? Were the contents okay?
A:  It might take a little while longer. I got changed so suddenly it might wait a week because it was in the Zone that I just left. We will see. I, personally, am hoping and praying for it soon. :)

Mom Note:  I sent him this package in early February. It got to the mission home within a couple of days, but due to transfers and things it's been following him around ever since.

Q:  What date do you officially consider your half-way mark? Will it be August 6th, the day you went into the MTC or will it be in July since that is what you were given as your tentative release date in 2016?
A:  Ok. My official release date is July 18th, 2016. Officially and concrete.

Q:  How large is your zone?

Q:  Do you ever hear anything from your previous companions? Elder Lanza? Elder Medina?
A:  Elder Lanza, no. Elder Medina, yes! He has been in the same zone for the last six months. He is in the richest part of the mission.

Q:  What news from the whole mission on the 500 baptisms goal?
A:  Very well. I am still waiting to hear what the final number was.

Q:  How often do general authorities visit the mission?
A:  Pretty often. We are going to have a 70 (Elder Nash) come and do a mission tour this next week. Or the following. Yeah. Pretty certain it is the following. :)

Q:  Is there ever a mission-wide conference that all missionaries attend?
A:  YUP! The Gira Misional, or the mission tour I just talked about above. All together? No. Multi Zones? Yes.

Q:  Do you get to do any sight-seeing on P Day?
A:  ... NOPE... No time. ... :):P

Q:  Do you have someplace to get groceries that is bigger than your little mercado in Chamapa?
A:  Haha. Nope. We have a gas station. :):) And about the gas station, we don't really have another option... For sake of time and stuff. It really isn't grocery shopping anyway. More like buying cereal and milk and little things to keep us going throughout the day. :)

Mom:    Maybe I’d better save up some questions for next Sunday…..SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE Elder K:  ... Motion seconded. Squeeeeee indeed. :):):):):):):)):):):):)

When missionaries change areas they take lots of photos in the ward or branch they are leaving.  Here are Elder Kennington's farewell pics from Chamapa:

Fotos! The fotos whith the family of three, with the dad without a tie, are investigators. Maria Ines, Gabriel, and their little daughter Meredith. She is adorable!! The dog is named Chicharo. He belongs to the family of four pictured here, with the mom in green. Hugo, Suzanna, Nidia, y Natalie.

The guy is Hermano Jorge, our ward mission leader. He is a stud. He really helped us out a LOT. He is 25 with a wife and the most adorable 1 year old son on the face of this planet. Love 'em to bits.