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

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