Wednesday, September 13, 2017

The One With The Monks

Hey y'all! Sorry for not having an update last week. but iss okay cause here is one! 

Good News: I am an aunt again! My brother Greg and sister-in-law Kim had a baby! On August 29th, 2017! His name is Maxwell Evan Kezos and he is the best thing ever. 

Also, Hurd hit her 1-year mark! We celebrated with glow sticks and sparklers. 
And now for the title *drumroll pls* We went to a Buddhist temple! With a legit statue of Buddha, incense, candles, meditation pillows, and MONKS! I felt way out of my league. Our investigators attend and they invited us. And lemme tell y'all something. SISTER KEZOS IS THE WORST MEDITATOR IN HISTORY. I had to legit move every 5 seconds cause my legs were asleep. And the monk kept talking about our nose itching and so obvi I had to itch my nose. Then he went around with a PADDLE and was making people sit straighter. It was terrifying. For 40 MINUTES! Also, they have a little building that holds the urns of their ancestors (yes like Mulan!) and there was this one urn that had a Santa Clause hat on it. It was amazing. Then the monks throat sang for us. Yes, you heard me, they throat sang. It was so odd and I tried so hard to be respectful and not laugh. (which was nearly impossible but I did it y'all.)
*I didn't take any pictures, but we are going to go back and get some.

Then we got a flat tire. We put the jack underneath and it snapped in half! So we called the AP's to help us (it was 100 degrees out) and we were all sweating. The elders were a little more than us haha. Their jack was too high so we had to literally lift the car- by the power of angels for sure. Then we spent 3 hours getting the tire fixed. Apparently, when the elders had the car they ran over a nail and it has been stuck in it ever since.

For Pday we went to the trampoline park, Area 51. A member is the manager so he got us in for free! It was so fun and there was a trapeze and a tightrope. Let's just say it was definitely not my calling to be in the circus. Then we found out the next day that there is a new rule that missionaries can't go anymore so that was sad. And they took 200 miles from everyone. Nobody can go around all of Baton Rouge with 800 miles, so needless to say we are going to be biking and riding the bus a lot. 
We also got to hear Elder Bednar speak for the young adult devotional. Which was so cool. 

The rest of the week was filled with mapping, (we finished mapping 1011 people yay) tracting, and contacting. But this week was definitely the hardest week (or two weeks) of my mission. A mission ain't easy. But the Lord wanted me here and I'm still trying to figure out the rest. This church is true! I love y'all! 

Sunday, September 3, 2017

The One With The Skating Rink

Hey, Y'all! Two-week update:

Monday: We went to the state capitol with Csanyi, who is the girl we met at the doll museum.(creepy but cute) We got to hang out and then we went to the famous Frostop for Poboys! That night we went to a dinner appointment and we got a phone call from the other sisters in our apartment. They said President was doing transfer calls that night! Which was unheard of! One of our sisters was being transferred to Lafayette and the other was already going home. It was so intense. So we waited for our call at an appointment. But we never got one, which meant we were staying together! 

Tuesday: Today was our pday because of transfers. It was Sister Uibel's last pday and her she would be in the mission home for her birthday, so we went to her favorite Indian restaurant and got chicken tikki masala (yum!) and I bought her dinner. Then after, we went to a roller skating rink! It was so fun! It was retro night! My ankles were WRECKED! And I am not as good at skating as I used to. I biffed it and it was caught on video but y'all are never gonna see it. Srry not srry. 

Wednesday: It was transfers. It was an extra sad transfer too because almost my entire first district went home. So I got to say goodbye to all of them and see most of my MTC district. So it was super bittersweet! After, we went to Chipotle (not an advertisement) and literally ran into so many Mormons! Which is not a thing that happens in Louisiana. Then we went home and met our new roommates the Spanish sisters, Banner and Stratton! They are adorable. 

Thursday: So we went to the library to get the programs done for Joey's baptism. While I was there I met a man named Charlie. Charlie is INSANE! I had to help him get onto google. Yes, google. and then I had to help him write an email about his broken head lamp. (which he broke because he wore it in his outside shower, you heard me, he showers outside!) He lives in an abandoned church on a river. Gr8. And I thought I was free from the conversation until I moved my hair and he saw my nametag. Once he saw that, it was all over. He told me about his best friend who was abducted by aliens every four years of his life. Then he recited the Lord's Prayer in Aramaic. Which I can honestly say I have never heard of. Then he tried to give me a book called, "Setting a Trap For God." Which I did not take. Then he told me all about how he knows Tai Ji and that women are better at it because of the female organs. Uh. (mind you, all while this is happening my "companion" Sister Hurd was looking the other direction while I signed H-E-L-P to her with my hands.) Then he left so I was like we gotta go! And then he caught us on the way out and gave me a paper to look up his religion. And guess what else he gave me! A layered salad recipe. A FREAKING LAYERED SALAD RECIPE. LIKE WHY?! 
And that's Louisiana, folks!

Friday- I gave an instruction in district meeting. and $5 Friday at Smoothie Kinggggg.

Saturday- JOEY GOT BAPTIZED YALL!! It was so amazing! There were so many people there that people were standing in the halls. It was so awesome I can't even!

Sunday- We spent 8 1/2 hours at the church! With all of our meetings and going to two wards. Then we visited a member in the hospital, his name is Brother Schutte if y'all can pray for him. He is the sweetest person ever and he literally makes a loaf of bread for every single person in the wards. DEDICATION.

Anyways- life is insane here in the South. Here are some pics! 
Hasta Luego! 
Sister Kez

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

The One With The Accident

Hey Y'all!
This week has been absolutely insane. Like more insane than the people of Louisiana-insane. 
This is long but worth reading, I promise. (and if it isn't then idk)
It was raining hard all day. And when I say raining I mean, straight up raining in our laundry room; pouring from the ceiling.  It was 9pm and we didn't have the managers number. We tried to get it from the front office window but they had only posted the hours they are open. So we legit had to tract for a number. We were knocking on all of the doors until someone answered and we could get help. yay

We had someone come fix the ceiling. We then went to some meetings. We were on our way back when I got a phonecall from Elder Platt (from my MTC district) like what the dump! And we went and saw him cause he was in Baton Rouge! Then afterward we had the most secret mission ever. 
We got a text to visit a recent convert in the hospital here in BR, Our Lady of the Lake. They gave us a code to find her. We had the other sisters drop us off (so we had no car) and we asked the front desk where she was. They said they didn't have her there and that we don't need a code (which they gave us one so like ????) and they told us to go down a hall and walk until we couldn't walk anymore and pick up the phone. I felt like I was on a secret CIA mission. (which means that this was the coolest thing to ever happen to me.) We picked up the phone, which didn't have a dial pad whatsoever and waited for someone to pick up. We gave them the code and they sent us to the second floor. The second floor had no record of her. So we called another number which sent us to a different building. The problem was that this building was across the street. And by street I mean a 6 lane highway. And lemme tell ya about Louisiana, there are no such things as "sidewalks" or "crosswalks." You guessed it, we ran across the street. Straight up. Which was terrifying and exhilarating all at the same time. We found her building and they made us show our id's and check in. (side-note: the clerk wants a Book of Mormon- SCORE) and we had to leave our bags, phone, bibles, everything! They had us walk down a hall, turn right down a hall, turn left down a hall, and left down another hall. Then guess what. ANOTHER phone with no dial pad that we had to pick up and give them a code. Someone had to use a key card to let us into two sets of doors. This particular recent convert was born with fetal alcohol syndrome and was bounced from foster homes and abused. She tried to commit suicide which landed her into the super secret facility. She doesn't have much and they took away all of her dolls. But she has her faith. She loves God so much and knows that he takes care of her. She is the sweetest thing ever.

I was reunited with the LOVE OF MY LIFE TODAY!! AKA Sister Adams, my MTC companion! It was so good to see her and we got to attend the temple together! I haven't been able to go through since I was with her so I was feeling some MAJOR MTC vibes. Which was super bittersweet. 

I went on exchanges with Sister Thomas. If you remember or actually read the stuff I say, then you'd remember her from the time that there was a Tropical Storm named Cindy. Which is why Sister Thomas and I aren't allowed to EVER be companions or exchange with each other ever again. This is why:
We visited an EXTREMELY racist less-active member who also loves to watch murder mysteries while we are trying to visit her. But wait...there's more! We also visited our investigator who is getting baptized, Joey! There was a conflict with the day that we set for him and they accidentally triple booked the chapel. Like a general authority is coming and there are also two other baptisms. So we had to change the date of his baptism. Let's just say his girlfriend wasn't very happy with that news. She basically said that his baptism is the most important and there should be nothing else on that day. She hasn't involved us whatsoever with the planning. And she said she would have to call everyone and tell them that the date is changed. The sad part is, the date is after exchanges. I told her that one of us might not be there. She told me that she didn't care and that he has been through other missionaries before. OUCH. 
I was driving and Sister Thomas was in the passenger seat. We were driving to get Sister Uibel more oil so that she could make dinner. I was pulling onto a highway. We both thought I was clear, but there was something that was blocking our view and there was a speeding car coming the other direction. I pulled out and almost made it and they hit the back of our car. Luckily there was a car to witness the whole thing. We pulled into a Dairy Queen parking lot and started exchanging information. At this time it was 9:30pm. I gave the cop all of the insurance information and he witnessed the whole thing and said it was an accident so he didn't issue any tickets. He came up to us and said that we weren't insured when he ran our license plate number. My heart dropped. I knew that the church insures every one of the cars. He told us that unless we have proof of insurance that they would have to tow our car. (TEARS) So I called the vehicle coordinator. He yelled at me that we did have insurance, which I was aware of, but the cop wasn't aware of. I called the insurance company which sent me to an extension which gave me an invalid number. I called another number which did nothing. I called the first number again and it sent me to a different extension and they verified the insurance. AT THE END OF THIS ALL I WAS BASICALLY JUST A PILE OF TEARS. 

We were on our way to exchange back and we were stuck in traffic next to a construction site that had an ambulance and they were loading a man in the back. It was the craziest thing. I got Sister Hurd back and we went to get an estimate on the damage of the car. Then we headed to the library so I could fill out an accident report. The insurance company called me at least 4 times to get my side of the story and I had to go into the library bathroom everytime, while I was filling out the report, and there are timers on the computers. You could say I was a little bit stressed. 

1 month with Sister Hurd! We went to the State Capitol building with the Red Cross to volunteer for people who were affected by the flood. We got really dope vests. #perks  They had an obstacle course for kids. Sister Hurd and I raced each other. I totally won and didn't cheat at all. Then afterwards we went to lunch with the President and Sister Varner. Which sounds absolutely terrifying, but they are truly our parents out here. They just wanted to know if I was physically okay (which I am) and mentally okay (which I am working on.) They really care, which is refreshing. After, we went to a less-active's house. She has a garage full of ceramic making supplies. She makes all the things that you see in hallmark stores. We got to help her paint! Which was so much fun! 
We had an appointment afterwards. We didn't end up going because we had a super awful feeling about it. 

It has been an emotional rollercoaster of a week... but D&C 121:7-8

Love, Sister Kez

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The One With The Goodbyes

Quote of the Week: (from an elder)
"I'm effing allergic to bees!" 

Hey Y'all!
I don't even know what this week was.
Turns out I am not going to be in a trio after all! 

This week we had to say a few goodbyes. Sister Ferre that I have served around my whole mission went home and a couple of elders. Also someone that has come out and taught with us a lot, Nicky, left to serve his mission in Korea. 
I did service for the Louisiana State Museum. They have all of the library from New Orleans in their basement. BOXES AND BOXES of books! All from when Hurricane Katrina hit. We went and archived books for hours. It was actually super interesting! We had to wear masks and gloves. It was very official. We found this book from the 1880's and it was basically ruined. But it was braille! It was the coolest book ever! They have archived hundreds of boxes since Katrina and they are still not done. That is 7 years worth of labor! 

But this week I wanted to focus on someone we are teaching. 
His name is Jack. He is a 29 year old man from South Africa who lost his fiancee in a car accident. Since then, he has been drinking himself to death. He is stuck in a dead end job and truly believes that there is no point in his life, or life in general. Jack is the smartest person I have ever met and cares for his dog, Maleficent (or Millie) more than he cares about anything else. My companion, Sister Hurd, met Jack in November of 2016. She got transferred out. Since then he has gotten into anti upon anti online. He knows more about our church than any other person. But for some reason he has never run away. He even gave us an 84 page booklet of anti that he ordered online. (which I have read and none of it is valid btw) But now Sister Hurd is back, with me. He stays and listens to the lessons we have to teach. Jack's job is the reason why he chooses unhealthy ways to deal with his problems. He has attended a 12 step program with us. We made a promise with Jack that if we found him a job that he would quit everything cold turkey. The next day we found him 3 job opportunities. We have yet to hear but I will keep you updated. 
The point of this biography on Jack, is I need some help. On Sunday, we shared "hard-day scriptures" or scriptures that we use to get us through our hard times. I am trying to compile a list to help give Jack some hope for his life. And I am recruiting y'all! This is your opportunity to be a missionary! (YAY)

To start things off here is mine. 
Doctrine and Covenants 45:62 "For verily I say unto you, great things await you."
❤Sister Kezos

I love y'all! Now please help me help Jack!

(This is Louis Armstrong's!)

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The One With The Dolls

Quote of the week (and new life philosophy):
*drinking root beer out of wine glasses "I don't understand why you have to drink alcohol to be able to drink out of pretty glasses."

Hey Y'all!
Super crazy week, lemma tell ya! A sister in the mission lost some family members unexpectedly and had to fly home for the services, so she came to be in a trio with the other sisters in our apartment. SO THERE ARE 5 PEOPLE LIVING IN OUR APARTMENT. But it is just for a week, then she goes back, and then Sister Ferre goes home. Then Sister Uibel, Sister Hurd, and I are going to be in a trio for 3 weeks. This is going to be an adventure! 

Anyways, after I signed off last week we went to the Baton Rouge Old State Capitol. The view was insane! 
The man who built it was actually murdered inside and they still have a bullet hole (cool fact!)

Last week we were looking at a map of Baton Rouge (to find out where some members live) and a sister found some tiny writing and it said The Enchanted Doll Museum. So obviously we were totally interested. So we went to visit it. Turns out it has been closed for over a year. And for some reason, being the missionaries that we are, we knocked on the door. Twice. And someone actually opened the door. They told us they were having an estate sale that weekend and so we offered to help. (never turn down a service opportunity) So they gave us a tour, and it is totally haunted. They had hundreds of dolls. and So many creepy ones. And we went back throughout the week to help as well. I know way too much about dolls now. I'm not going to put pictures because I don't want y'all to get haunted or something. 

Then on Sunday we got to have dinner with Elder Bluth's wife (area seventy!) She was so sweet.

Sorry this is so short, Love y'all!
Sister Kez

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The One With The Big Mess

Hey y'all! 

This has been the most crazy, wild, overwhelming couple weeks of my life! I'm sorry I haven't done anything the past couple weeks, it's because I was crying because my life is a mess. If you haven't heard, I was transferred. My trainer stayed in New Iberia and I was transferred to Baton Rouge. 
We spent the whole week telling everyone that she was leaving (because she was there for 6 months and I was there for 3) She had packed her bags and everything. They were by the door, she had said goodbye and had taken pictures with everyone... she was leaving for sure we thought. But that morning I got the call. I was leaving the next morning. I had to say goodbye to as many I could and pack my bags, because it never crossed our minds that I would leave, so I didn't even touch my stuff.
The next day we headed to the stake center an hour and a half away for transfers. Plus side, I got to see most of my MTC district! That was amazing! I met my new companion Sister Hurd! I love her so much! We found out that we were getting doubled in (they were taking both of the previous missionaries out and put us both in) so neither of us knew the area. They took out the Elders and put us in, so we got their phone, car, and their apartment. And they took the sisters out in Baton Rouge North and the sisters in the neighboring area, Prairieville. So we got doubled into 3 areas, which has never happened! To say I'm overwhelmed is an understatement. We got to the apartment and we basically cried. Elders are so disgusting y'all. We spent three days cleaning and 43 nerf guns, 2 sombreros, 15 trash bags, and 7 breakdowns later we were done. (who needs 43 nerf guns?!) And we live with two other sisters! Which is called a quadpan, so naturally we call it the squadpan. 

We have met quite a few investigators that are SOLID. The work is so awesome here in BR. And we have an investigator who is on date for baptism!
Surprise surprise we had to speak in ONE of our wards. That's right we have two wards we are over! I went from a small branch to the two biggest wards in Louisiana. Which means 6 hours of church #sos 
Then we had pday with all of the nerf guns. We had a war with the zone. (Not as cool as it sounds) 
Then we got stalked by some drunk dudes but I'm not going to get into that but the Lord protects! And I hit my 4 month mark! It's so crazy! And I sack raced Sister Uibel (of the squadpan) at the ward pioneer activity. And also our first counselor invented the Voodoo flavor of Zapps chips (if y'all know what those are) and that is the coolest thing ever. 

Missions are awesome and hard and overwhelming but WORTH IT!

Sister Kez

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

The One Where Freedom Doesn't Ring

Get it? Cause my mom is Freedom and it was Independence Day?

Anyway, here is an update:

Tuesday, June 27th
Had a "funeral" for one of our elders, Elder Floyd. He is by far the funniest human ever. He is so apathetic and he is super sarcastic. He is from Vegas so we put a Vegas skyline on the chalkboard and instead of playing amazing grace we just played slot machine noises lol. Then we all went to a jank pizza place lol. And we went to the Johnson family. They are the most adorable family ever. He served his mission in South America and she majored in Spanish and now they are both Spanish teachers. and their kids are bilingual now. Except the baby one speaks in spanglish and it is so cute. He legit sounds like a little mouse. and he just wants to be held all the time. 

Wednesday, June 28th
We went to a place called Poche's with the Chappelles and I had rice that was filled with chicken liver and gizzard and it was hecka spicy but wasn't too bad. And they told us a story of how she hustled a man in Vegas so that was cool. 

Thursday, June 29th
We had family home evening with Williams. Solange (his granddaughter) said she loves our church and wants to be taught! She is adorable. Some guy asked Sis. Manuma what her race was in the gas station and she said Samoan. and he turned to me and was like "you too?" and I was like "uh.. I'm from Utah." LOL

Friday, June 30th
Elder Hall from my mtc district went home this morning because he tore his acl and had to go home to get surgery and he won't be back for 6-9 months! 

Saturday, July 1st
New mission president got in!! Went to another baptism for the Lafayette sisters. Basically diabetes because they had so much dessert. The park next to our apartment had a soft grand opening and fourth of July kickoff so we walked there. It is the biggest park ever! They have two baseball arenas, two ponds, tons of basketball courts and tennis courts, a splash pad, a football field, a soccer field, and two playgrounds. It's legit! And right next to our house! #contactingGOLD!! They had fireworks and it was amazing! But it was so unbelievably hot. It was kind of miserable. 

Sunday, July 2nd
fast Sunday. We visited a less active who just had surgery to remove her salivary gland. Yep, her salivary gland because she had stones. Yikes.

Monday, July 3rd
We drove to Baton Rouge early to "heart attack" the new mission president's house. And then we had the most amazing zone conference ever! I am so excited for this mission president. He is amazing. He said a lot of things I really needed to hear. He is so on fire too, he memorized EVERY missionary in the mission's name and where they are from before he even got here.

(Getcha someone who looks @ you the way Smeltz does)

Tuesday, July 4th
YAY! We had two meal appointments and ate more than I ever have in my life. but so good! Didn't really get to see fireworks. But we played a haunted game and it was so fun! (I won too!) But we are having the real pday/fourth of July celebration today. With BBQ sparklers and everything with the whole district! I guess I will tell y'all about it next week.