Monday, May 26, 2014


Well, I'm still here in Newcastle Emlyn with Sister Allred. Because I thought I'd be leaving, I was super dramatic and started saying goodbye to members and everything. When we got the call saying I was staying yet another transfer, I was a little embarrassed, but that just meant that we had a bit more time to work this week than other companionships who were moving.
On Tuesday, we had a lesson with a man in Carmarthen. He's been taught on and off for years, and at this point in time he's going through a bit of a rough patch. He's had some custody issues with his daughter, and it just sounds unpleasant. Because of all the things that have been going on, his yard has been quite neglected. Both the front and the back yards had about 3 ft. long grass and weeds, bushes were weighing down with branches, and leaves were wet and rotting on the decks. At the end of our lessons with him, we always ask if we can do service for him. Each time he says no, he's been a bit overwhelmed, but he'll get around to it in the next couple days. Finally, we decided he really needed help with his yard, and we pretty much just informed him after this particular lesson that we would be there the next day at two to work in the yard. He sort of chuckled, and said okay. I'm pretty sure he thought we were joking, because the next day when we came with a couple in the ward, their lawn mower, gloves, and yard clipper things, he seemed quite surprised. I must admit, I had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. It was a huge job, and I was praying the whole time for Papa Doug's help and inspiration. I knew that he'd know how to deal with all the work we had ahead of us. When we finally finished, he just sat outside in awe. We hadn't done a beautiful job, but he just seemed so grateful. I think he finally realized that we actually cared about him, that we consider him our friend. And though he's a tough guy, I even saw him cry a couple tears as we finished. After this experience, I was reminded of something I was told before I left for Britain: the mission is all about LOVE. I felt at that moment that I was sorta going back to the basics. I remember in the beginning when I didn't have any skills as a missionary, and all I could offer was my love to people. That really is what it's all about. It's so easy to get caught up in nit picky things, and how to do things just right so people will listen. But really, it's just that simple. Love is the key to moving this work forward.
Though we didn't see any huge miracles this week, we saw many mini miracles which added up to a great week. We met and got to know some really neat and interesting people. The times I love my mission best are when I can talk to lots of people about something I love - the gospel - and I can learn something from them in return. Each person I meet changes me in some way. I don't know how to describe it.
Funny: I'm not sure how many of you know what LARPing is, but it's an acronym for "live action role play." Basically, it's where grown people play make believe. They pretend like they are in a film or video game, and they act out battle scenes or something. We saw a huge group of LARPers on Lampeter University campus on Saturday. They were all dressed as people and creatures from Lord of the Rings and had plastic axes and swords and were fake stabbing each other on the football field. We asked one of the orks (spelling?) for directions, and he was super friendly.
Sad: We were served lamb yesterday for dinner, and when Sister Allred found out, she cried. She thinks sheep are cute.
Birthday: I had a lovely birthday! I wasn't wanting to make it a huge deal, but we had district meeting on that day and one of the elders in the district remembered so they brought me a cake. Other than that, it was a normal yet wonderful day.
Sorry for the massive e-mail. I love my mission. I love the people. I love you.
Sister Kuykendall

Classic phone booth picture

Flora from the Phillipines

My friend, Gloria

Monday, May 19, 2014


Family and friends,
This week was a bit rough, as it seemed like everything we'd planned seemed to fall through and go the exact opposite of what we'd planned. It was really stormy a few of the days that we had finding all day, and super hot and sunny for the day we had to drive to Merthyr Tydfil for stake conference, which took up most of our day. But that's okay, because I love this area. Transfers are on Wednesday, and I sorta have a sneaky feeling I'm leaving. I've started to say goodbye to people in the ward as well, so if I don't leave I'll be a bit embarrassed. We'll find out tonight what's going on, so I'll let you know next Monday.
So. With the lessons that didn't go as planned. There is one man that we have on a baptismal date for June 7th. He's absolutely incredible, and loves the gospel. He believes it and loves it, and he always tells us how the Book of Mormon gives him peace. He's been a miracle for us; however, this last week we had the Word of Wisdom lesson with him, which went very well, until we told him it included no tea. It's common setback for the British people, and I can almost predict their reactions now. We tried to help him understand and explained that this was something he'd have to learn about through experience and testing, but he wouldn't have it. He got pretty mad and asked us to leave. At the end of our lessons, we usually leave him with a chapter in the Book of Mormon to read before next time, say a prayer with him, and set up another appointment. Because we were practically thrown out, it ended quite abruptly. As we were walking out the door, still in our shocked states, he opened the door again and almost angrily asked what chapter he was to read in the Book of Mormon this week. I could tell he was trying to keep his pride, but he still wanted to read. I smiled to myself, and felt that though the lesson was a bit sad, we still won in a way. The Book of Mormon is true without a doubt.
I've been out for almost 10 months now, and people still remind me I'm over half way every time. I think I might start lying and saying I've been out for 6 months. It would save a lot of trouble. If I only could be at 6 months. Man, I'm still super jealous of Madie. I would love to go back to the beginning.
Funny: We started talking to this guy on the street a couple days ago. He was carrying a bag of what looked like pastries. I asked if he'd brought us lunch, and he replied, "It's weed, but sure if you'd like some." One day I'll understand the ways of the world.
Sad: I've made some really good friends in this area, and if I leave I will die inside. And I don't want to leave Wales. What if they send me to England?
I love you!
Sister Kuykendall
Ward buddies

We cut firewood for service. We're hardcore.

Pretty tree lined street in Wales

After a sad day

Monday, May 12, 2014

More miracles

Family and friends,
I've had a sneaky feeling that I'm leaving this area at the end of the transfer (May 21st) so we've been trying to live it up over here in Newcastle Emlyn. I absolutely love my area - though not as much as my first - but I'm really ready for new things. And I really wanna be out of this car and back on my bike!
I'm pretty sure that I start way too many of my e-mails with the line "This has been a week of miracles." And sorry to be unoriginal, but most weeks on a mission are like that. And this week honestly has been. To begin, there's a super cute family we've been teaching for some time now. They've been struggling to progress, though they love learning and feel that they have found what they've been looking for. We decided for our lesson this week we wanted to create an environment where the Spirit could really dwell and we could help them to come to understand the importance of reading the scriptures and praying. They have a one year-old daughter, and when we come, they sorta use the teli as a babysitter. It's usually pretty quiet, but it still distracts from the message and the Spirit. We decided that we would just pray really really hard that somehow the teli would be off, and we could have a nice environment for the lesson. When we got there, we saw the baby fast asleep on the couch. The mom was super confused, saying that she is never asleep at that time, but all I could do was smile to myself. I knew why she was asleep. It's so nice to have Someone so reliable to trust and rely on. Though this may not seem all that exciting or big as I'm explaining it to you, I just want you all to know what a big deal this is for me. I do not doubt that there is a God who knows me. And boy, what a humbling feeling I receive when I can see His hand in my life. I know He's real. 
Funny: While driving on a highway, we came to a herd of about 20 cows in the middle of the road. They seriously just sat there, and we couldn't back up or go to either side, so we ended up waiting on this tiny back road for these cows to move for like 45 minutes.
Sad: Some friends and family sent me pictures from about 4 different weddings. I think all the boys will be taken by the time I get home.
Family: I loved Skyping with my family! 

Confusing: My family got a new dog. I hope the dog doesn't touch me when I get back, or else I won't be living at home. 
Anyway, I love you! Jesus loves you. I love my mission. I love Wales.
Special K

Random bench we found in our travels

My cute Welsh friend

Mother's Day Skype with the fam

Cow friends

Merthyr Tydfil zone after football

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Madie madie it!

Family and friends, 

This whole week I was super nervous about Madie leaving for Armenia for some reason. Right after I got done e-mailing last week, I kept feeling like something might not be right with her leaving.  Sister Allred was probably super annoyed with me this whole week because every day I was like, "What if something goes wrong with her traveling arrangements? I feel like something isn't right. Maybe we should pull over and pray for her right now?" I had no idea that she had been delayed because of a possible health issue (that turned out to be just fine) and had to travel alone from SL to Paris with a layover and then on to Armenia. Holy cow. I'm grateful for all the people that helped her and were aware of her along the way. She was constantly on my mind and in my prayers. She's so great. 

My week went by super fast for some reason, but we again had some really neat miracles. As we were trying to contact someone in a place called Llandysul, we met a man sitting outside his home in one of those computer rolling chairs. He wasn't doing much,  just rolling back and forth in his chair. We decided to talk to him. He said that he's super interested in religions and loves talking with missionaries. We said sweet, we are missionaries! And he said okay so we taught him the first lesson right there. He was really genuine and seemed super grateful for the Book of Mormon. It really was a tender mercy. However, when we came back to teach him at the time we'd scheduled, there was a note on the door that said "I really love Jesus with all my heart, but I think I'm going to read all of the Book of Mormon and let you know what I believe when I'm done." We were a bit bummed, but perhaps we'll just send the next sisters there to see what he thinks. Anyway, little things like that get me really excited about talking to people. It's especially exciting when there is someone that actually has a belief in God over here. It seems quite rare.

Funny: A man we spoke to told my companion that I had brainwashed her. She didn't say anything back, so he probably really thinks I did.

Sad: One of our favourite investigators is struggling with some family issues and has been ignoring us, so we're bummed. But we'll keep trying and praying for them.

Goat: A goat tried to eat my hand this week. I was just standing outside this farming development, and all of a sudden the thing just bit my hand. 

Anyway, I love you! I love Wales.

Sister Kuykendall