Monday, July 28, 2014

I love the English!

Friends and family,
Though nothing too extravagant happened this week, we're happy campers. We started teaching a deaf guy this week. When we met him, Sister W. was super pumped because she knows some sign language, but we quickly found out that it was useless because American sign language is way different that British. He taught us the BSL alphabet though, and we were able to communicate through that and talking really loud and slow. At the end of our lesson with him, we testified that God would answer his prayers. He didn't know if God was even real, so we said he could even pray and ask if he was there. Then, he looked down all sad and said, "How can God speak to me? I can't hear." My heart melted. We were both so excited as we explained he didn't have to have perfect hearing to receive answers, all he has to do is have an open heart. He's too legit.
Peterborough is insane. I love it here. Here's our list of why we like it:
1. We get fed everyday.
2. Our ward mission leader is a BOSS.
3. Our Bishop is young and fun and involved.
4. We teach investigators in members homes, no problem.
5. Everyone wants to help out.
6. People fellowship any new face that they see at church.
I don't have loads of time this week, but I just wanted to say, if anyone is even considering serving a mission, do it. This is one of the best decisions I have ever made. I have laughed harder than ever before, I've loved stronger than I knew I could, and I've met some of my best friends out here. I shudder just thinking about what my life would be like without it. I love you! I love the English.
Sister Kate

Monday, July 21, 2014

Sad week

Friends and family,
I'll be quite honest, this was a really sad week to put it simply. Ha, we had an incredible, uplifting, and motivating week last week, and beginning last Monday everything seemed to deteriorate for both of us. It was a little strange. We both had things from back home, things in our area, and things in the mission all seem to fall through and go wrong. We were trying to work past it and work hard, but with no results. For most of the week, I felt angry. I really shouldn't have been. I have lots of things to be happy for and grateful for, but for some reason, I felt that it wasn't fair that everything seemed to happen at once. At our ward coordination with the ward mission leader this week, we reported a few sad experiences that had happened with some of our solid investigators. We had a few people that we thought for sure were going to progress in some miraculous ways, and had fallen through. As we explained our situation, our ward mission leader listened intently. After we finished he sorta smiled and said, "We must be doing something right!" I was like, seriously? Didn't you listen to my sad saga? He explained that the ward was really excited about missionary work, we were finding and teaching and working hard, but with all of our hard work and unity, that also meant that the devil would be working just as hard as us. And though it's not the most comforting thing to know that as I work hard, so will the devil, it gives me a bit of motivation to continue working. We can't let him win.
By Sunday, we were still a bit discouraged. Our expectations had dropped, and we weren't sure what to expect with people coming church. As we waited in the foyer, we saw our cute little 14 year old investigator walk in with her mom. Her mom said that she wanted to support her daughter, so she'd decided to come see what the church was all about. We were excited for them both, and just hoped and prayed they'd have a good experience. And oh man, the ward was perfect. They greeted them, included them, everyone was able to feel the spirit, and at the end, the girl's mother came up to us with tears in her eyes and said, "I'm coming again next week. And not for my daughter, but for me." This is a woman who didn't seem keen on us at all in the beginning, who'd told us that she didn't want anything to do with the church. But the miracles that come from just having a desire to learn, or even curiosity, are undeniable. 
This Friday also marks one year for me. ONE YEAR. That means a full 365 days, all four seasons, a birthday, a Christmas, etc. It's felt totally unreal. At times in the past year I've definitely felt the lowest I've ever felt in my entire life and the highest as well. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything. Sometimes I wonder why decided to come on a mission was ever a hard decision at all. Sometimes I wonder why something so hard and challenging can make me so happy and feel so fulfilled and at peace. Not a day will go by after my mission and into eternity that I won't think about my mission. I have been trying to think of goals to focus on for the last 6 months. I won't go into the details, but overall I want to take each moment at a time. Not even the days or hours, but each moment and try to do my best in each. The first day of my mission, I could only see the next 18 months. I kept thinking that I had to be perfect in everything, or else. However, I need to stop worrying about the people I've past and pretended like I didn't see. I need to forget about the times I got short with my companions or was prideful and insensitive. I've found that it's okay to make mistakes and learn from them. Each moment, I want to do the best I can. If I mess up, or don't like the result of a certain thing that's happened, I'll go back and fix it then. No regrets. Okay, this was all a little clichĂ© and cheesy, but you get the gist?  
Funny: We ate nearly every single last bit of food in the flat by Saturday night. So on Sunday, we had a nice meal of wilting lettuce and only a little bit mouldy rice. I feel like I'm back in college.
Hungarians (a tale from Sister #Wills previous area): Sister W - "So how do you feel the Holy Ghost?" Hungarian investigator - "Because I am one." 
I love being here. I don't want to come home. At least for another six months. I love you! Jesus loves you.
Sister Katie K

Monday, July 14, 2014

We love Peterborough

This has been one of the best weeks ever! This place is booming, and it's been so fun having the ward on board. We taught a referral from our bishop on Friday, and he is golden. Seriously so prepared. He came to church, wants to be baptised, has almost finished 1 Nephi, and is wanting to make changes. It feels like I haven't done a single thing. We taught him the first lesson, and he just listened and nodded and said he'd ride his bike to church. We're so lucky. I love being apart of this process. We're also teaching a girl that is extremely excited to be baptised. As we told her and her mom of the things that baptism entailed and the life as a member of the gospel of Jesus Christ, her mom said to her, "This is quite the sacrifice, are you sure this is what you want?" We all turned to look at her and silently waited for a response. She said, "Well it's true isn't it? I'm willing to make sacrifices if it brings me closer to God." I almost died. 
Funny: On Saturday, Sister W and I walked outside to unlock our bikes. Two six year old chavs (what they call gangster like people over here) were playing with our bike lock combination. They ran off when we came, but stood about ten feet away behind a fence. We sorta just ignored that they had been trying to nick our bikes. I leaned my bike against the side of the fence as I put on my helmet. Right then, one of the kids ran up, jumped on my bike, and tried to bike away. I grabbed the seat and he ended up just staying in the same spot. He got off sheepishly, called me a few naughty things, and walked off. Here are the leaders of the future, everyone.
New best friend: We met a man on Monday that quite frankly was a little scary looking. He's a HUGE guy, on a skateboard, had a Budweiser shirt, a gnarly beard, and tattoos. My first thought was, "He is going to pummel you. Stay clear." And to my horror, I found myself walking in the middle of the sidewalk where he was riding and saying, "Hi! Do you believe in God?" Despite my lack of tact, we got into a way cool conversation. He believes in Oden and Thor and classifies himself as a heathen religiously. He loves beer, his daughter, and airsoft gunning. His nickname is 'Murica. I have honestly never met a more interesting person in my entire life. My dad told me to look for interesting people before I left, and he is the one. We set up an appointment to teach him. The lesson was great, and we all became really good friends, and he was very open and willing to learn and experiment. He gets it! At the end of our lesson we asked him who he'd like to say the prayer. His response, "I don't care, you're both dan* awesome." Legit.
Happy girl: We had zone meeting on Wednesday. I got to see all my old friends from the MTC. I'll send pictures of the groupies. #reunitedatlast
We love Peterborough! I love the English. And the Latvians. And the Africans. Etc.
Sister Kuykendall (they call me Sister Dolly over here since Kuykendall is too hard)

Monday, July 7, 2014


Family and friends,
I am now in England. I'm serving here. This is for real. After a year in Wales, I'm in an incredible place called Peterborough England which is on the exact opposite end of the mission. This week was full of travelling. On transfer day, I drove from Newcastle Emlyn to Swansea and dropped of the car (you have no idea what a relief that was). Then I took a bus to Cardiff (I was seriously tempted to just walk off there), then from there I bussed to the mission home in Birmingham where I got to see all my favourite people. Then I took a bus from there to Coventry to Leicester and finally met my companion and trained out to Peterborough. Altogether, about 9 hours of travelling. Maybe you didn't want to know all that, but it was quite the day. But I felt so good about the call, and I know that this is where I'm supposed to be. I love the ward, I love our investigators, and people actually attempt to say my name over here.
My new companion is Sister W, and she's the cutest person on the planet and isn't 19. And we like to talk about CafĂ© Rio and Smash Burger. We are totally going to kill it this transfer. We both have our minds set on high goals, the ward is on board, and the people here are ready. To give you an idea of what Peterborough is like, most of our area are people from either Lithuania, Latvia, or Africa. I can't remember the last time I saw a white person (slight exaggeration). Anyway, I absolutely love this area. Though it's not as beautiful as Wales, I'm so happy here. 
England: This place is incredible.
Sad: Leaving my friends in Newcastle Emlyn was heart-breaking. I was nearly in tears all of Tuesday as I said goodbye.
Bike: I'M BACK ON A BIKE. And to put it simply, I'm out of shape.
I love you! Jesus loves you.
Sister Kuykendall
Saying goodbye to some of my favorites

Sister Allred and I leaving each other at transfers