4.14.2014

Earthquakes - Call to Repentence

Our lunch cita bought a bunch of baby chicks and my comp said I had to hold at least one! You probably can’t tell but I was squealing in this pic haha.

And this is my cute comp! Hermana Baten!


Well, it has been a CRAZY week here in Chinandega. I didn’t even feel it... The weeks are literally speeding up. This Friday started the "Semana Santa" here. It is supposedly what the Catholics do to Celebrate "Christ’s Resurrection" but it is really just a big party or SPRING BREAK. Nobody works the next 15 days and they all go to the beach. Everyone talks about the Semana Santa as the hottest week in the whole year and really just dread it. So I have decided if I can survive this week I can do ANYTHING! It is interesting to see all their... "Customs" I guess you could say. The Catholics all walk around in red and white robes with a bunch of crosses hanging from their necks. Several times during the day you will see a HUGE group of ppl walking in a line following two ppl that are holding a big cross with a statue of Christ hanging from it. A small band follows the group and they just walk the streets. That wouldn’t be idol worshiping at all?? Seriously the Catholics confuse me and make me really sad. The rest of the world here is just partying. Lots of beer... It is interesting see the world outside of HIGHLAND!

So this week I have basically been in divisions EVERY DAY! My comp and I were together for 2 days! Tuesday I was able to go to the other Zone of Chinandega and work with some really cute sisters. They have been having a few challenges in their area but we were able to WORK really hard and see some miracles. It is amazing how the Lord blesses us every time we do divisions. I am blown away by how merciful our Savior is. It is incredible to me that even though I am so weak and imperfect he loves me enough to look over those things and help me during the divisions. While there I was able to see that family I sent you a picture of. I met them my first week in Matagalpa.  I remember not understanding them AT ALL and this week we could have a real conversation. They are so sweet and it was great to see them.

After my divisions in Chinandega we went to Managua to do more divisions. I had to go there, get my new comp, come back and then WE SPLIT up in divisions. It was a long 6 hours in the bus and crazy with all the companionships but we finally got it all sorted out and I got to work with.... HERMANA TEICHERT here in our area. I was so nervous to do these divisions because I still don’t really know the area but let me tell you this was one of my favorite days of the mission! The Lord really was guiding us in every moment. We had some hilarious moments this day and lots of miracles. This was the day that all the earthquakes started here. We were feeling them about every hour. They weren’t too strong but definitively strong enough to scare the ppl. It became an awesome opportunity to declare repentance. The ppl here all believe in Christ and fear God. They all expressed their concern that Christ was coming. In that moment we got to ask them if they were ready and if not if they were willing to be baptized and prepare for that moment. It was a neat experience for us.

We also went to go visit our progressing investigator, Fr_____. As I have said before I love him and he is so prepared. We had planned to teach him the Word of Wisdom and commit him to living it. It ended up being a hilarious lesson for us all. After teaching the 5 things we had to avoid we asked him if he could remember them and repeat them back to us. He remembered everything except for Tea or Te en EspaƱola. So Hermana Teichert reminded him by saying "Y te" (and tea). He then looking confused said "Ce? Que es eso?" (Ce? What is that?) Hermana Teichert replied "No te". "Ce?" I piped in there and said " No Hermano Te". Once again "CE?" Haha we honestly went back and forth trying to get him to understand us for about 5 mins. He finally said, "Look sisters we are going to be going back and forth fighting over this all afternoon!" Hahaha that was it we lost it and just died laughing. We decided he probably doesn’t have problems with that and moved on. I love Fr__. He is a hoot!

This day we also were able to "find" a miracle. As we were walking around our area trying to find our next appointment (me being completely lost) we saw a family sitting inside of their house. We immediately turned around and decided to contact them. As we approached their house they were already putting chairs out in front of the house and accepted us with arms wide open.  This family is INCREDIBLE! They loved our message and accepted to be baptized and attend church. They asked us to please pass by EVERY DAY to help them prepare and learn more. They are so humble, loving and full of faith. They remind me a lot of Corina and Enrique. I already love them so much and we are going to do EVERYTHING in our hands to help them progress towards baptism. This Sunday they went to church and LOVED it. I was so awesome to have them there with us and feel the sweet spirit that resides in the church. I know they can be an eternal family and I am so grateful for the Lord and that he led us to them.

So this was my first real Sunday here in Naranjo and it was different than any other Sunday I have had here in the mission. The meetings here start at 2 in the afternoon. What the!? It was so strange waking up at the normal hour, doing our studies and going out to visit and collect ppl before church. I have become accustomed to waking up really early and running around all morning to try and get ppl in church. It was actually really nice even though it didn’t feel like Sunday. The only hard part is that we are running around getting everyone for church in the Heat of day... it is all worth it though. The members here are AWESOME!!!! The most pilas I have ever worked with. They all go out Sundays as well, search for and take the ppl in their organizations to church. They even pass by for our investigators to assist with us. I LOVE this ward and feel so blessed to be able to work with them. The church is really far from our area so we always have to go in a bike taxi. Thankfully almost all our Recent Converts and Investigators own Bike taxis so they help us out. I am really excited to work hand in hand with the members here to hasten the work!


Well we are working hard here and looking forward to all this change has to offer. The time is FLYING by and we are going to give our all EVERY DAY!!!

I love you all!!!
Love,
Hermana Kendall



Odds and Ends
I got a bunch of letters from Tyler and Whitney today! THANKS GUYS!!!

We have been having a ton of Earthquakes here and apparently we are awaiting a really big one. Last night we got woken up by 3 calls.... One from our DL, one from our ZLs and one from President at about 11:30 telling us to be careful because we were going to have a big earthquake...That really freaked out my comp! Poor thing. We had a quick prayer and then I went back to bed. We had some small earthquakes during the night but nothing to big.... I guess we are still awaiting it. My poor comp didn’t sleep a wink though! From now on I will only being taking those calls haha!

Friday our power went out at night... it was a hot one.   Cold showers are now my favorite part of the day!

Tuesday I GOT ROBBED!!!!! I got off the bus and like always all the taxi drivers rushed us and started grabbing at us. They always do that to Americans so I was use to it. But there were a lot more guys than usually this time. When we finally got out of there I had the feeling that my phone was gone.... AND IT WAS!!! I couldn’t believe it. So sad.
We have a ton of mangos right now. Seriously, the streets are just FULL of them. We just pick them up off the ground, wash it and eat it. I probably eat 5 a day! WE have a mango tree at our house so it is awesome. 

LASTLY! BRANSON!!!!!!!! I am so stinking excited for your mission call. That is seriously the BEST MISSION! Besides NICARAGUA!! I know you will love it there. I loved EVERYTHING about Guatemala and HAVE TO go back someday. I love so many ppl that are from there and I am sure you will meet the families of many of my missionary friends here. The weather is heavenly there, the food is GREAT and the ppl are the best part. I can’t wait to talk to you about it all on Mothers Day. HOW BLESSED ARE WE TO BE ABLE TO SHARE THE GOSPEL! I love you BRANSON!!! CONGRATS!!!!

4.07.2014

A Running Shower!

What changes look like...

In the Nica bus to Chinandega!


Oh and the dumb, HUGE dog we lived with... ya not going to miss him haha. 

I took this after walking around on the dirt roads all day.
You can kind of see the line from my shoes. We get so dirty!
So the day arrived this Tuesday, all too early, when I had to leave my beloved home of LA 14 and travel to Chinandega! It was a long trip in a pretty sketch bus haha. Seriously we attached 20+ suitcases to the top of a beaten up bus with some string... Thankfully everything made it in one piece. My area is about 3 hours outside of Managua and we could all feel it heating up as we left. We passed several Volcanoes and the ocean. We actually have a fairly large volcano in my area. I would love to hike it one of these pdays...wait did I just say that haha.

Well we arrived and I knew after leaving La 14 I would have to adjust to "Nicaragua life" again, but seriously this area is CRAZY! I feel like I am going through culture shock all over again. This is definitively the poorest area I have EVER served in. The heat is OUT OF CONTROL! I never stop sweating and I am already pretty red. There isn’t any shade in our area so that doesn’t help much. We have a TON of cockroaches here.... NO!! But thankfully my companion is brave and kills them. It is all dirt roads out here. The houses are literally made of cardboard boxes. The ppl sleep on the dirt floor and eat when they can. They are a lot less educated here and the families are SO YOUNG! There are 12 year olds pregnant and with a husband already. It is a different world out here.

That being said, our area is VERY SPECIAL. It has such a huge potential and I know we are going to see miracles! The ppl here are SO DIFFERENT! They are very accepting and believing. I have to teach in such a different manner. Our Ward is really special and the members are willing and ready to be part of the work. I am looking forward to getting to know them all better and working with them to carry out this work. THERE IS A LOT OF WORK TO DO HERE! I am so grateful for everything I learned in Managua and the chance that I have to now apply it all here.

My comp is Hermana Baten and she is INCREDIBLE. She is unlike any comp I have had. She is so...simple. I love her! She is from a tiny little village in Guatemala. She comes from very humble circumstances and has such a pure spirit. I love listening to her talk because everything she says is so simple and easy to understand. She has tons of faith and I know I am going to learn a lot from her. We are the TLs for Chinandega and Chinandega Oeste. So we are over a lot of Hermanas. We are a little stressed about the responsibility but we know the Lord qualifies those that he calls. We know he didn’t call us to fail and he is going to help us every step of the way.

This week, as you all know, was General Conference. Oh boy.... General Conference is ALWAYS crazy in the mission. We were running around ALL DAY to find ppl to bring to every session. I don’t think I took a breath all day long. It was so stressful trying to bring ppl I really couldn’t pay much attention to the talks.... sadly. However, I am looking forward to reading and studying them.

Our area is HUGE and we are working with several ppl right now. We are really grateful for all the Lord has already blessed us with and we are going to be praying and working hard to find all the ppl that he has prepared in this area. We want to do our absolute best here. It is a little stressful but we are putting our trust in the Lord and I know we are going to see miracles here in Chinandega this change...if we survive the heat haha.

The time is flying by and I know it will continue to do so. I love the mission, as you all know, and feel blessed to be here. I love you all!!!

Love,

Hermana Kendall

PS Our house is pretty normal. We have a running shower so that is nice.

3.31.2014

Here I Come Chinandega! Goodbye Army of Giant Flies!


Hermana Teichert and I after our divisions this week! She is the best.
Us with Hermana Kenia.
 She was a mini missionary here and served a full time mission in Ecuador. Pilas!


Hermanas of La 14

Me trying to juice all the oranges. Martita couldn't believe I had never
hand squeezed orange juice before... what an embarrassment! haha

When Savannah said where she is going, I looked up the temperatures for this week. Ugh! #noairconditioners

3/31/14

It is has been an incredible week.  As you know Hermana Gonzales and I have been working SO HARD.   We have been a little discouraged because we have seen ourselves grow and learn but we haven’t really been able to see the fruits of our work reflected in baptisms.  However,  all the fruits of our labor were accumulated up into this one-week. We have seen miracle after miracle and Sunday was one day I will never forget. 

As a mission our vision is to baptize and establish the Church. Everything we do is focused on these two things. This Sunday we were able to see miracles in these two aspects of the work. Sacrament meeting was one of the most incredible experiences for us. We were blessed with 4 incredible investigators at church, almost all of our Recent Converts, an all time high in the asistencia de la iglesia and we were able to reactivate a family of recent converts. The Lord is so merciful and I am so grateful that he blessed us with such incredible miracles. He is guiding this work in every moment. He knows exactly what we need to learn, when we need to learn it and how. I am so grateful for the challenges we have had over these past 6 weeks and how much we have been able to grow. I am eternally grateful for the chances we have had to become closer with our Savior and strengthen our faith in him. 

Well, Hermana Gonzales and I have been working with SEVERAL investigators and we have shared moments that I will never forget. We have been working really hard with P__ over this past month. He is someone that has had a very dark and challenging past. He is someone that really NEEDS the Gospel in his life. This month of working with him has changed my life and my appreciation for the atonement. It is real. That is all I can say. Jesus Christ suffered for our sins, all of them. He died for us and because of that great sacrifice we can be healed and we can be clean. All of us. He can heal the big and the small wounds. He wants to heal us and he loves us all. I have seen a complete change in the life of P__ and his family. He is not the same person I met 1 month ago. This Sunday he was able to enter into the waters if baptism. He has made covenants with his Heavenly Father and now he has the chance to enter into his kingdom. It has been an amazing journey working with the members and he will always have their support. I love him and I know Our Heavenly Father is so happy that he could take this step in his life. 
(Oh did I mention he cut all his hair off for his baptism :) He looks like a new man!) 

We are excited to continue working and bring ppl to general conference this next week. What an amazing way to introduce the church to someone, BY HEARING THE PROPHET! We have baptisms set up for the next 3 weeks and I can't wait to see the progress of them all. 

Well, I have changes tomorrow. I honestly can’t believe it. I have had a good cry and now I am looking forward to the new experiences I will be having in my new area. I love La 14 with all my heart. The ppl here have changed my life and I will NEVER forget them. I have a family here now and it is going to be so hard to leave them. I just feel so eternally grateful with my Heavenly Father for allowing me to work here for this time. He is so perfect and merciful. I love being a missionary and I can’t believe I get to share the Gospel here in Nicaragua. This is a blessed land I know there are many miracles ahead of us as a mission. I am going to miss Hermana Gonzales with all my heart. She has become one of my besties! I love her and couldn’t be more grateful for all she has done. Tomorrow I leave for Chinandega and if I haven’t melted by Monday I will be writing you again ;) I love you all!!!! 

Love, 
Hermana Kendall 

P.S. This morning we woke up to an ARMY of GIANT FLIES that had invaded our house over night. I have no idea how but we had a TON! I had a good scream and then we basically went to war trying to kill all the gross things. It was out of hand.... NO MORE BUGS!!! 

P.P.S. Chinandega is one of the hottest places on the planet and I am literally going at the hottest time of the year...April! Count your many blessings! Just kidding with sacrifice comes blessings...it will be great!

3.24.2014

I'm Melting

My comp and I went to Pizza Hut today to celebrate her 7 months mark!

My comp and I back together again after a long 4 days of divisions!

My hair trim! Haha you can't really tell in this picture BUT it isn't quite straight.... 
they gave it their best shot though ha

This is my district!  6 Hermanas and 2 Elders -  The Elders look terrified. Haha



Part of our zone today! We played ultimate frisbee at the church! And when I say we played I mean that they played and I cheered them on!

Hermana Gamboa and I during Divisions! She is AWESOME!

Hermana Teichert and I today at the church! LOVE HER!



So this week was CRAZY! It was also really special for me and I will never forget it.

So last Monday night we got a call from the 2 main Sister Training Leaders saying that this week we would be doing divisions, however not just the normal 24 hour division,  but divisions for 5 days!  I would be going with Hermana Raymond to her area and Hermana Cruz would be arriving at the 14 to work with Hermana Gonzales. What the!? I quickly started packing up a little suitcase and we prepared everything for the week. We were both a little nervous and didn’t really know what to expect but we were ready to learn, work and grow. Tuesday morning I headed out with Hermana Raymond and my sweet comp stayed in our beloved area. Hermana Raymond is an incredible missionary. I am so grateful I got to work with her for a day. I learned so much from her- how to teach with power and authority, how to follow the spirit in the moment and how to love everyone with whom we serve. What I loved about working with her was that she didn’t have to say much to get her point across, invite the spirit and teach a principle. Sometimes we get caught up in a lot of fluff and we waste time. She has a great way of teaching with clarity, love and power. It was such a blast teaching with her and spending the day together.

After my 24 hours with her, Hermana Raymond and I did divisions with some of the other Hermanas in her zone. I left with Hermana Mendez to her area and Hermana Raymond stayed in her area with Hermana Virula. Okay Hermana Mendez is the BEST! I only worked with her for 24 hours but I honestly love her. She is the sweetest, kindest, most loving missionary. She is a recent convert of 2 years. She left for the mission after being a member for 1 year and is the only member in her whole family. She is so valiant! She radiants with the light of Christ and has such a sincere sweet testimony. I LOVED teaching with her because I truly believed the words she was saying. Every time she bore her simple testimony I could feel such a sweet spirit and I know the ppl could as well. It was such a good reminder to me that we don’t need big extravagant words or profound teaching concepts. The spirit and a simple testimony can be one of the most powerful methods of helping someone become converted to the Gospel. We had a really special day together and I will never forget it.

After my 24 hours with Hermana Mendez, I met with Hermana Raymond for a couple hours and then we headed to divisions with two other sisters. I left with Hermana Gamboa to her area where we threw FIRE! Hermana Gamboa is AWESOME! Seriously I loved working with this girl. She has so much energy and excitement.  She is from Mexico and has such a fun way of teaching and contacting the ppl. She is constantly teasing and when she talks it almost comes out as a rap haha. It was so much fun teaching with her because she LOVES the message of the Restoration and teaches it very well. She is so friendly with everyone but also makes sure they understand that this is the Truth and there is no other baptism that will allow them to enter into Gods kingdom. We had a great time laughing and joking together. She is eager to learn and improve and soaks up all the advice she can get. She is a fantastic missionary and is going to grow a TON through out her mission!

I am so grateful I was able to participate in these divisions and learn from every one of the Hermanas. The Hermanas in this mission are so Special. I truly love them with all my heart and know they are going to see miracles over the rest of their missions. It is such a privilege to be able to work with them on a daily basis and feel the spirit together. I think I always learn more from them than I think they do from me. I am convinced I was given this calling so I could learn from all the incredible missionaries that are serving here in my beloved NICARAGUA!

So I didn’t have much time here in my area...just Saturday and Sunday. Oh and let me tell you it felt so good to come back. I missed my comp., La 14,  the members and investigators SO MUCH! It truly felt like coming home. Despite not being in my area this week we were able to see lots of miracles this Sunday. J__, P___ and A___ all accompanied us to church and LOVED IT! We are planning on baptizing all 3 of them this WEEK! I know if we give our all the Lord will help us to know what we must do to help them progress and be baptized.

It was truly a week of miracles and I can’t wait to see what this week has in store for us!

I love you all!!!

Love,
Hermana Kendall

P.S. It is almost General CONFERENCE!!! WOOHOO

P.S.S.  It is SO HOT! I always feel like I am melting!