Monday, August 25, 2014

worst trainer

Family and friends,

Today is something they call a "Bank Holiday" over here. It's a day that they call a holiday for no apparent reason and then everyone gets work off and the libraries are closed. So finding a place to e-mail today was an adventure, but here we are. 

We are absolutely loving our investigators over here. I am convinced that we have the best ones in all of the UK. One of our little investigators is only 10 years old. We taught her how to pray a few weeks ago, and she's been doing it often since then. This week, she told us how she's been really bullied at school. It broke my heart to hear about some of the really sad things she's been going through. She said that every time other kids make fun of her, she says a prayer in her heart. Through doing this, she's found confidence and happiness. She kept saying, "I think it's magic!" She described the Holy Ghost to us as a "tingling" whenever she thinks of Jesus. I've been with her since the beginning. I have not given her the words to say or told her exactly what she will experience when she prays. But as she described what she feels, my testimony was once again cemented a little further. This is true. Feelings are not made up. They are not coincidence. I don't know if I'll be able to fully explain my feelings about how I feel on a daily basis over here, but I wish everyone could feel this and be inside my head for only a time. I love my life.

Chav: As we were riding through a part of town that's very heavily populated with eastern Europeans, a group of European boys were blocking the bike path. We had to slow down, and when they saw us, one boy grabbed a stick and held it up to his mouth like a microphone and started to sing something in whatever language he spoke to the tune of "Beautiful Girls" by Sean Kingston. #flattered

Worst trainer ever: We were riding our bikes home yesterday from an appointment. I was super lost in my own little world. I had been riding for about 5 minutes when I looked behind me and saw that Sister C wasn't there. I panicked and raced back to find her skirt totally tangled in her brakes and back tire. I remember those days. 

Anyway, I love you! Jesus loves you. A scripture that meant a lot to me this week - Mosiah 2:21.

Sister Kuyks

Monday, August 18, 2014

New companion and more miracles

Family and friends,
Though I'm still in Peterborough, there have been loads of changes this week. My dear Sister W has left me to Nottingham, but Sister C is now here. She's come straight from Holladay, Utah. Today is only her 5th day, but the past few days have been good. Because I don't have too much time, I'll give a few small details from the week.
Small miracle: I absolutely love the fact that Madie and I are serving at the same time. I believe wholeheartedly that we are meant to be in the places we are at this exact time to intereact with certain people. I received a letter from Madie this week telling me she's serving in Sister Grigoryan's (my previous companion's) ward. They've been able to work closely together, and it's absolutely making me trunky (homesickish) that they get to interact. I love them both.
Brakes: I secured Sister C a bike before she even got here because I absolutely refuse to take the bus. So within our first 5 minutes of riding on her first day, we have to go down this huge hill. We get down about half way, and I hear this huge scream behind me. I turn around to see Sister C with her legs off the peddles and outstreched on both sides and holding on for dear life onto the handle bars. I stop my bike and just watch helplessly as she flies by me into a curb/bush and nearly topples over. I run over to see if she's alright, and we find very quickly that the brakes decided to go out the moment a new girl, less than a day out in the field, decides to ride it. Just my luck.
Big miracle: This week, one of our investigator's mums asked if she could speak to us. We set up a time. I was afraid she would ask us not to see her daughter. Instead, she told us that because her daughter had been investigating the church, she had started to do her own research. We had shared a Book of Mormon with her a few days before. She said she was completely not interested at all, but wanted to see what her daughter was getting herself into. She explained through tears that because of us, her family would be staying together. I cannot for the life of me remember what Sister W and I said that made it possible for her family to stay together, but for some reason, she gave us the credit for it happening. We didn't even know she was having problems with her husband or family. She told us that the things she had been learning about the church had been giving her comfort. She was surprised because she hadn't gone into her research with any sort of intention to change. Now, she has desires to be baptised and has started to keep the commandments on her own without learning them from us. I feel like we should be in an Ensign article or General Conference talk! The cool thing about all of this is that we seriously did not do a thing. We were missionaries. We gave her a book, shared our feelings and testimonies, and the spirit did EVERYTHING else. Everything. I am so blessed.
Well, time to wrap up. I'm sorry about my bad grammar and spelling. I see the red lines under some of the words, but I honestly cannot be bothered to fix them. I love you! Jesus loves you. The spirit is real.
Sister Katie Kate

Monday, August 11, 2014

Laid up

Fam and friends,

It's so weird to hear about the first batch of sisters coming home already. Time has flown, but I'm so grateful for the time I have left; however, this week was a bit different than others. Last Sunday after church, our Latvian investigator invited us over for a meal. We had some cool Latvian salad thing with a special sauce and some really good meat stuff. Lastly, we had an absolutely heavenly kiwi cake thing. All was well as we biked home and slept for the night. Monday, we woke up feeling great. We e-mailed, played sports at the chapel, etc. As we got into the evening, Sister W started feeling funny. We went out to work anyway. After about 20 minutes of being outside she looked absolutely dreadful, so we got her home and she promptly began puking her guts out. A few hours later, I began to be sick as well and thus began our night of absolutely no sleep. Being sick on a mission is the worst. There is no Facebook, Insta, The Notebook, anything to keep you entertained. Sister and I took turns staring at each other, the wall, and the toilet seat.  Okay, the point of my graphic story starts now. We were really nervous that being sick from Monday evening to Thursday afternoon would really slow down all the exciting things happening here. We had been working hard to keep everything up, and we didn't want it all to fall apart just because of some food poisoning or virus or whatever it was. We had people we needed to see and teach and we had meetings we needed to attend. As our health slowly went up at the end of the week, we began working as normal. We had done nothing up until then, and we determined to try out hardest to teach just as much as we have the other weeks. And you wanna hear something great? We miraculously were still able to see all the people we needed and wanted and even a few more. We were able to attend all the meetings we needed to. We worked hard and had a good time. We actually accomplished more in those few days we had to work than we usually do in other weeks where we have all seven days. 

All this helped me remember that this isn't my work at all. I think for a while, I thought that all the exciting things happening were because of us, that we were the reason for all the success in the area. But at the end of this week, we found that we didn't really do anything. The Lord has carried our area and will continue to do so in the future. 

Church was the crowning event of the week with six of our friends showing up to church. I love the people here. One of our investigators from Zimbabwe came. He'd told us a few days before that he wouldn't be able to come. We were really bummed, but got over it and forgot about it. When we walked into church we see him sitting in the middle of the chapel in a nice suit waiting for the service. I go and sit with him and try to hold in all my excitement as I ask why he decided to come. He said that he'd wanted to surprise us. I smiled the whole meeting. Life is gooood. 

Sorry for the lack of details (and pictures) but I'll be better next week. Do I say that every week? I'm sorry if I do. But oh man, this is all so true. It's so simple. Even those people who attack my beliefs and testimony help to cement it further into my heart. It crazy to think my time is running out. People remind me all the time. I think from now on I'm going to lie and say I've only been out for a few months. Also, by next Monday I'll have a new companion! The adventures of Sister W and Sister Kuykendall have come to a close. I'm going to miss her loads, and to be quite honest I'm super nervous. But all is well. Happy day. Talk to you next time. 

Sister Kuykendall

Monday, August 4, 2014

Miraculous week (another one :))

Fam and friends,
We had a miraculous week. Seriously, it was amazing. Also, I feel like e-mail time gets shorter and shorter ever week, but I'll try to give as much detail as possible.
This week I was feeling a bit homesick as Jilly was baptised on Saturday. I wanted to see her and hug her and see the change in her and I wanted to be with my family. With all the people that I love and that love me (I hope). I just prayed the whole day that everything would be okay, that Jill would feel the spirit, and that she'd remember the day and know that I love her. After reading my e-mails today about the experience, I realised that I have the best family in the world.
Yesterday was easily one of the top 10 days of my life. We had some amazing people at church, and oh my goodness I love this ward. The love I feel from the people here is unreal. They all love each other so much, and you can feel it emanate from them. I don't know how to describe it without sounding super cheesy.
Because I'm really bad at e-mail time management, I'll just tell the tale of one miracle that happened yesterday at church. We are teaching a Latvian family, and the mom comes to church every week. She's sorta become an eternal investigator, as she doesn't really keep big commitments and isn't really changing, but still comes to church because she loves it. We were struggling this week knowing how to help her progress. We've taught her everything. In Sunday school yesterday, I sat in a chair across from her. The class began as usual. The teacher got up and began talking about conversion and what true conversion entails. A short clip was put on about someone's testimony or conversion or something, but I can't remember. I can only remember looking at this woman's face and seeing a slow but obvious change come about her countenance. I could tell she was feeling the Spirit. That's one of my favourite things to watch. I love when I know that my investigator has recognised the Spirit. After class, she said she knew that she needed to act on all the answers she has received. Though I don't know how or exactly when she'll act, the rest of the day I was totally stoked. I love my life.
I love you guys! I'll be better next week with writing. Forgive me.
Sister Kuykendall