Monday, December 29, 2014

The Savior

Family and friends,

Well, not much has happened since last I talked, but Christmas was absolutely amazing! It was yet another Christmas where everything I have was totally dedicated to the Lord. All I had this Christmas was the true meaning of Christmas. It's cool how with the Savior in mind, there is a natural peace that accompanies it. Everything seems to work out. I don't know how to describe my thoughts on the Savior. As I've born (borne?) testimony of Him throughout my mission, my beliefs have formed into a sure knowledge of Him. Whenever I speak about the Savior, learn of Him, read of Him, think of Him, the feelings and that come into my heart are unique. They are ones that are so special and specific that I cannot deny that they mean something. Some people tell me over here that the things I believe and know are all in my mind, that I just tell myself that it's true because it's nicer that way. But the thing is, this gospel is not always easy. There have been times in my life that I've found it easier to be complacent, to wave away the experiences and feelings I have had as just pure coincidence; however, I will never be able to deny the things I've learned on my mission. As long as I live, I will testify that Jesus Christ lives, that He is my Savior, that lasting peace comes through Him. I don't understand how it works, but I'm honestly happiest when He is the center of all that I do. And I've definitely tried putting many different things in the center. 

We had an amazing miracle this week with our cute little Vietnamese investigator. She's going to university here, and we've been teaching her for a while. Sister Bertha and I found her on one of my first days here. She didn't have many beliefs at all, but over the last little bit she's been coming to church and making friends. Slowly, she has been able to find that there is a God, and that he loves her. This is an extremely sharp masters student who is used to experiments and evidences and proof. We weren't sure that would even give it a chance. On Saturday, I asked her what her thoughts were on baptism. She thought about it for a few seconds, and then said, "I'm ready for it." The moment she said the words, the whole spirit in the room changed. I've never felt anything like it, even on my mission. God loves this girl. My companion and I just looked at each other wide eyed. She was so confident in her answer, and was so happy. I love her more than anything!

Anyway, life is good. I love Cov. Honestly never been happier in my life. I don't think that's a coincidence. The gospel makes me happy, and that's why I share it. Perhaps that sounds cliche, but it's true. Happy New Year! Make some goals.

Sister Kuykendall 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


I can't remember if I e-mailed this last week. I don't think I did. But this past week has been crazy busy. Sister Bertha leaves for home tomorrow, and we've had loads of stuff to do and people to see before things get super hectic. It seems so surreal watching her pack her things and get ready to go back to real life. I haven't felt like that will ever be me. Everyone keeps asking her how she feels about going home and such, and I've been enjoying the fact that no one knows when I go home. On Thursday; however, I had my last zone conference of the mission. It was a special one for Christmas, but Sister Bertha and I were asked to give departing testimonies in front of all the missionaries. I still have a whole 6 weeks, so I didn't think about it much until the day of. On that day, President Rasmussen called my name to go up. As I walked and stood at the pulpit, I felt like I couldn't even speak. I looked out at all the faces of my friends. These are the people I've loved and served with for the last year and a half. Thinking about it now even makes me want to cry. I know I'm being all #cheesy and #dramatic, but I really don't know what I'll do without these people once I go home.

Before I came on my mission, I was told that love is the most important part about serving the Lord. I heard it all the time, and I kept thinking "Yeah, yeah, whatever." As I've been here and I look back, I've been able to understand love on a new level. I loved people before: my family, my friends. But out here, it has hit me in a new way. I don't really know how to describe it. I've loved deeper and more freely than in any other time in my life. Even though my family isn't here, I've loved them more as well. With each new person I meet, I love them without understanding why. I just really love people! Sorry for my little rant. I've sort of been panicking about leaving the past days because it means I won't see many of these people ever again, and it makes me feel ill to think about.

On Tuesday, we went on our last exchange for the transfer. I stayed in Coventry with another Sister. It was freezing cold, and the winds were super bitter. We were just out talking to people, but honestly we were both quite miserable. We only had about an hour of finding, but I really wasn't sure if I could make it that long. There came a point where we both just looked at each other and just read each other's minds, "Keep finding? Or go hide in the car?" It's the same situation I'm sure every single missionary alive finds themselves in. Luckily for us, we decided to stay. Seriously 5 seconds later, we bumped into L from South Africa. He seemed cool, we gave him a Book of Mormon, and we set up a time to see him the next day. When we sat down with him in our lesson with him, he told us he'd read the chapter we'd given him, and couldn't stop after that. He kept reading and reading, and couldn't wait to return from work to continue reading. We were so so excited! He told us about all the things he'd learned, sharing insights from each verse and feelings he'd had as he read. Later in the lesson, we asked him to read something from another part of the book. He opened the page super carefully, and started reading. We realized pretty quick that he really struggles with reading. He was choppy, and he struggled to spell things out. It melted my heart just listening. I was so touched that he put so much time into reading when it's such a challenge. I guess it just meant a lot more to me that he'd read so much when I realized the sacrifice. 

Well, congratulations if you read this whole thing. I'll be honest, before my mission I just skimmed missionary e-mails. I love you! 

Sister Kuykendall

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


This is the first time I've gone a whole week without writing in my journal. Ha, and it probably wasn't a good week to choose because there was a crazy amount of ish that went down, and I really wish I'd had the chance to record it all along with my feelings. That's what pdays are for, right?

First off, district unity came with a price this week. After spending pday together last week, we were all quite ill for the rest of the week, but not sick enough to keep going. We has loads to do this week. Some highlights from the past week....

#sharethegift: On Tuesday, we went to a meeting with all the zone leaders in the mission. Our mission president told us about the Christmas initiative going on this December all over the world based on the video that the church made about the true meaning of Christmas. If you haven't seen it, that's sad and you should. The video is amazing, and we try and share it with as many people as possible on the street because it immediately brings in the spirit to any situation. I'm part of something huge. Every single missionary in the world is part of this big initiative. We're all sharing the same video and talking about the Savior it every opportunity. Coohuh? Even the missionaries who have struggles back home or out here are finding it easier to set those things aside to focus on the Savior during this month. 

Lights: We went to street contact in city centre, and were surprised to find that there was a huge party going on for the beginning of the Christmas season. They turned on loads of lights right as we got up there, and then a group called Union J came out and started singing in the middle of everyone. Apparently they're a big deal over here? It got us super pumped for the month to come. 

Thanksgiving: We ate too much food and were sick for the rest of the night. Still fun though! 

Baptism: Our investigator was baptized! Chaunli is from China, and loves Jesus and the Atonement. He's absolutely amazing. Two other investigators in the district and ward were baptized at the same time, and there was a really good turn out. It was probably the most powerful experience on my mission. These people become your best friends. Even the investigators of other missionaries become your own. We all help each other to reach the same purpose, and by the time all three were prepared for baptism, we all felt so proud of them. My heart felt so big. After the baptism, all 10 missionaries from the ward and our investigators and newly baptized converts went to eat Chinese food. 

Happy days. Love you!

Sister Kuykendall