10.28.2013

Hold to the Rod





Hermana Tellez and me .... oh and my arm ha


We got stuck in a big rainstorm this week and all the streets were completely flooded! It was hard to work but fun as well..... and a little COOLER thank goodness!




We found this lake at the edge of our area this week. It is kind of cool in pics and something different from the normal dirt roads. But honestly the water is DISGUSTING!!! And there were people out fishing in it. Oh and when I say fishing, I mean they were swimming
around with wood spears trying to spear the things. So insane. 
Pretty sure those fish aren't sanitary to eat...





Me in front of a sea worthy boat!


This is one of the houses close to the lake.... and their laundry.


We had a branch activity this week with the theme " Hold to the Rod". We planned it and carried it out. This was our "rod". It was a super fun activity and we had a lot of success!


Following the rod and facing "obstacles"... oh and Elder Cipriano!


Following the straight and narrow path!


The tree of Life we made
oh and then the elders stuck some lights on it...... amateur work!


And then I just thought you might appreciate this face haha. 
It is me getting annoyed with Elder Estes!


First off, I love hearing all about the Halloween celebrations! Pumpkin walk, chairlift (mom.... haha), candy and GRANDMA'S PARTY! I LOVE THE PHOTO. Seriously everyone looks so good! I miss you guys all so much. It is weird to think that next Halloween I will probably be back with you guys (if all the changes are normal). Crazy huh!



So this week has been pretty hard. I don’t know why this month has been so difficult for me but it has been a hard one. We have been working so hard to visit recent converts this week and get them to go to church and renew their baptismal covenants. We had so many visits and lessons with them all! It is hard when I have the truth, I know all the blessings they can enjoy and I just want them to accept it all and then they don’t. UGH!! I hate the feeling I get when a recent convert or investigator decides not to live up to their commitments.  I just want to GIVE them my testimony but I know I can't and I know that isn’t the point.  They won't gain a testimony of Gospel principles until they live it!  So many ppl want to see the blessings and miracles BEFORE they commit to do anything. God doesn’t work like that. We MUST show our faith and trust in him. We are going to work even harder to help them all increase their FAITH! We did see a few miracles in church this week though. Three recent convert families that haven’t come to church for over 2 months all came this week. I can’t even explain to you how happy I was to see them in CHURCH! I squealed a little. Now we just have to work on all the OTHER families as well. 

We have had little luck in in finding new families. We always find ppl that will listen to us and accept the first lesson but after that discerning who really is interested in the church and our message is always sad... because not many really are ready. This week we have been working with a family and they are AWESOME!  They ALWAYS take care of us and love coming to all the church activities. The father loves everything about the church but is just nervous to take the plunge and be baptized. I just have to share a tiny experience to explain how awesome they are.   So Thursday we had a REALLY tough day and we were really discouraged. We showed up at their house at 7 o clock one night. All the kids came running down the street screaming " THE HERMANAS THE HERMANAS" and gave us huge hugs- I love that part! We got to their door and he was standing there with two pieces of cake for us... Ahh tender mercies! They are my favorite!

We have also been working with C-- this week. We had a lesson with him and the ZL`s this week. It was AWESOME! I was sitting there feeling the spirit so STRONGLY and thinking "wow I love being a missionary". Seriously I can’t describe how awesome it was to sit there with 3 other missionaries declaring repentance to him and sharing gospel principles with the promptings of the spirit. I just felt like I was a part of something so real and beautiful. I will NEVER forget that lesson.

This week we have had the opportunity to share lesson 1 a LOT! Lesson 1 is of the Restoration, Joseph Smiths experience and the Book of Mormon. I had so many sweet experiences with the spirit during this lesson this week. Every time I had the chance to share the first vision I felt the spirit moving through me to testify of the truthfulness of this message. I love feeling that sweet presence of the Spirit. I hope to ALWAYS live worthily of its accompany. I am so grateful for the Spirits and the Lords help in this work. We are so blessed to have their help in this work. Who else could be a better teacher! My hope is that every person we teach can feel that sweet testifying power of the Holy Ghost. We are working our hardest and trying to live worthy of the Spirits help ALWAYS so that these ppl can have these spiritual experiences.

So this week we had a couple "scares". I won’t share details and we are FINE but the Elders have decided to move us.  The Elders are dividing up our areas differently right now and we should be moved to our new house and area by the end of the week. I am SO SAD!! I do not want to leave all my recent converts or investigators. I know the Elders will take good care of them but I am still super sad. I am also sad to leave our house it has been so good to us. It will be an interesting new challenge to learn our new area and converts. Thankfully we are still in the same branch though.

Oh also this week was our mission activity. Like you saw from the photos it was "hold to the rod". We set up a rope as the rod and different obstacles or temptation through out the church. The ppl were blindfolded and could either hold to the rod and preserver or give into the challenges and temptations. However, if they endured to the end they made it to the Tree of Life and a small refreshment. Afterwards we watched the "Living Scriptures" version of Lehi’s dream. It was so fun to watch that again... but in Spanish haha. I remember watching those all the time at Nana and Papas. I will definitely be sharing those with my children. It was a real success! We all had a great time!

I love you and miss you with all my heart. I will see you soon!!

Love,
Savannah

10.21.2013

New Gringas



Sharing a bunk at Hermana Scott's House.

My new companion Hermana Tellez

Hermana Morales and Me

Hermana Morales and I out back of President's house. 
 It was so PRETTY! And man I miss that girl!

The New Hermanas of Tipitapa! They are in a trio and are the cutest!

Hermana Tellez, Me and Hermana Morales

President, his wife, Hermana Tellez and me



Okay so this week was really...interesting. Monday Hna. Morales and I left for Managua at about three o clock. We were RUNNING to catch a bus with all her luggage and of course looked ridiculous. We thankfully caught a bus and some guy on the bus immediately called us over.   As I got a little closer, I realized he was a GRINGO as well. Turns out he served his mission here 5 years ago and was back to visit. He was SHOCKED to see Hermana’s in TIPITAPA, I was proud to tell him that we were indeed the first Hermanas! It was cool to chat with him for a while and hear his AWESOME Spanish. I hope I can get to that point. Anyways, we finally got to Managua and I had a meeting with all the other Trainers and President. It was great and I learned a lot of valuable things to help my companion out. Hermana Collado was so cute and said she values all the ZL, DL and APs but for her the TRAINERS are the most special missionaries because the Lord trusts them to take care of and teach the new servants here. She is the best. We finished the meeting at about 8pm and got to chill while we waited for some of the newbies to get there.  We were all waiting in the Chapel for them and greeted them with a hymn. Then we had QUIZNOS for dinner!! What the?! I didn’t even know that existed here. It was so AWESOME! Anyways we got 6 new gringas Monday night, one of them being the girl from Travis´s ward. She is so darling! I got to talk to her a little bit and help her out. Seriously such a cutie. A ton of the new gringas came up to me and said they had been reading my blog and were so excited to meet me. It was the cutest ever. I am glad someone enjoys reading my rants. Afterwards all the Trainers and the new Hermanas went to Hermana Scotts house to sleep.

So first off Hna. Scott, the Aps and President live in the South Mission and it is seriously a DIFFERENT WORLD OVER THERE!  We crossed the line over into the south mission and I swear it was instantly cooler and it almost looked like a civilized area! I was DYING. We got to Hna. Scotts house and I kind of felt like we were in a Texas neighborhood. It wasn’t chilly but a little cooler, the houses were nice and cute. Hna. Scott's house is HUGE! When I say huge I mean there were three rooms and 2 bathrooms. So bigger than anything I have seen for 6 months. It was hilarious because I was dying over how nice it was, when in reality it was like a girl's camp cabin, if that nice. There were three rooms with 3 bunk beds each and there still wasn’t enough room to fit us all. So.... we slept two to a bed. It is a miracle nobody fell off the top bunk and died! It was so bizarre and AWESOME! I didn’t really feel like a missionary. It felt like girls camp honestly. We were all running around talking, giggling and sharing stories in Spanglish Hehe. In the morning the Ap´s brought us all Mcgridles from McDonalds. Seriously who would have thought I would be so excited about McDonalds but it was SWEET!

Afterwards we all went to Presidents house to meet up with all the other newbies that were in the Guatemala MTC and meet our new COMPS!! We got to Presidents house and I about DIED! It is so BEAUTIFUL! It is like a house from the STATES seriously and the VIEW... INCREDIBLE. But that’s not the best part- there was air conditioning and a real TOLIET! I thought I had died and gone to heaven. HEHE I may be a wee bit dramatic but you know me. After getting there we were all introduced to our new comps! My HIJA is Hna. Tellez. She is the cutest little thing. She is 19, from Nicaragua and is waiting for her Visa to PERU! She is seriously so darling. I hope they don’t rip her away from me too soon. After meeting all our comps we had a little devotional and activity with President and his Wife. Afterwards we had another DELICIOUS meal and then the newbies had interviews. So all us trainers got to just chill at presidents house. AHHH it was so great and strange at the same time. It was weird to not be doing anything really but so fun to get to know the other missionaries, visit and enjoy the beautiful weather/view.  I also got to visit a little more with all the new gringas. I am so glad they had a better experience than me here in Nicaragua for their first day. I will never forget how CRAZY that day was. It was so fun to talk to them and I hope I helped calm their nerves a little. I remember how stressful those first weeks can be. Well really the whole mission. But definitely the first couple weeks. It was weird to see how much I really have learned and how much I have grown. Sometimes I feel exactly the same and like I have not progressed very much but I know every day I am learning something new and becoming a little bit better. That is my biggest desire- that every day I can be a little better. I also got to translate everything for the new Gringas. What the! I still feel like I need a translator but it was cool to see that I really was understanding and could help them out.

After our little get together at presidents we went back to our areas to WORK! This week has been hard! I don’t know why it has been so challenging for me lately but we just aren’t really finding ppl to teach. Well that’s not true we are always finding ppl to teach but I am having a hard time discerning which of these ppl really are prepared to hear the Gospel at this time. We are teaching a ton of ppl but not many of them are progressing. We will continue to give our all to the Lord and I know he will put the right ppl in our path. This week we have been working hard to involve the MEMBERS! Not many want to help us but the few that do are great. We are asking for referrals from EVERYBODY! For about every 10 ppl that don’t have a referral there is one that does and usually they aren’t in our area dang it. However, I know if we keep trying to work with the members, involve them and ask them for referrals the Lord will but ppl in their lives that are ready to hear the Gospel.

 We work like crazy everyday, all day. We walk everywhere, we sweat like crazy, and we talk to everyone and their dog! It is always one of the most incredible things I have ever done. I LOVE talking with and teaching the recent converts, less actives, members and investigators. I feel so blessed to see the change that the Gospel makes in ppls lives. I love helping ppl get to know their Savior. I am so grateful that the Lord has allowed me to teach his children here and have these experiences so I can learn and grow. I am grateful for all the tender mercies he grants us everyday. The mission is so hard but I know that this is the work of the Lord and he is here with us. Whenever things get really hard I just imagine the Lord walking the streets and teaching.   The words "What would Jesus do" have a whole new meaning to me now.  I am his representative here - wow how grand is this calling- and I must do everything in my power to represent him well. I love my Savior. I love this work and I love the sweet ppl of Nicaragua. I hope they can feel my love and more importantly the love of their Savior.

Loves,

Savannah

10.14.2013

Almost like America


At the mall with Hna. Morales today...... so weird it was almost like America. 

Me with my Subway sandwich and McFlurry. I was really happy!!



This week has been LONG and STRANGE. We have been working so hard to find new families and investigators to teach. As a mission we have the goal or standard of finding 5 new families and 15 new ppl every week to teach. This week we found 20 ppl and 6 families. We were working so HARD! I was so happy to be finding ppl and adding investigators to our pool of ppl to teach. HOWEVER, we had little to no success placing baptismal dates with them. It is so hard to be teaching someone and trying to help them change but they aren’t willing to keep commitments, progress and just put their trust in God. Needless to say I have been a little discouraged this week. The past two weeks have just been long and hard. I know that it is after the trial of our faith that we will see the miracles. The Lord is just trying us to see how much Faith we have in his plan, this work and his mercy. Also how diligent and patient we are during our afflictions. I am just going to continue to try and work hard EVERY DAY, put my trust in the Lord and accept his will. 


I got some of my letters this week!!! YES! My ZL called me one day when he went to the office and was like " Hermana Kendall, you literally have 12 letters! You get more letters than anyone else in the mission. Your family must really love you." I then went on to brag about all my friends and family. SERIOUSLY THANK YOU FOR ALL THE LETTERS!! I can’t even tell you how much they mean to me. I always get so giddy reading letters. I pour over every word and soak it all up. So THANK YOU!!! I got some dearelder from you mom, a letter from nana and papa and two from Grandma, oh and of COURSE A TON FROM LAUREN!!! Hehehe she is probably the greatest friend anybody could ever ask for. Ahh why am I so blessed? 

This week we also played the Reina de TIPITAPA. This time I was mas guapa y mas tuanies. This zone is full of musos!! Hehehe. No but it was nice of them to vote for me as good things! Hmmmm this week we had dinner with Enrique and Corina. They are the sweetest. It was so fun to visit with them. 

This morning I had to go to Managua with my comp to get my cedula (I think this is her visa to stay in the country)! FINALLY I AM LEGAL! We went with two other Elders from this zone that helped us out. We got there and visited with a ton of other missionaries, including...HERMANA TEICHERT! I SCREAMED when I saw her. Seriously I think I scared some ppl but I was just so excited. AHH she is the best! I miss that stinking girl. We also got to visit with some of the Sisters I knew in the MTC that are serving in the South mission. It was cool to see them and hear how they were doing. Afterwards the Elders took us to the MALL. It was weird to be in CIVILIZATION again. I got an Oreo and strawberry Mcflurry from McDonalds and a sandwich from SUBWAY. Ya it was pretty awesome! Seriously I think the weather and the food are the two things I miss most about America besides you guys of course!! 

SO... now for the big news. Tomorrow we have changes and.......... I AM TRAINING!!! WHAT THE HECK! I am freaking seriously. It is so much responsibility and I am already struggling to just take care of myself. However, I know if I can just trust in the Lord and put everything in his hands he will make my weaknesses strengths. I am still freaking though! The APs called me last night to tell me and I about vomited. Everyone started calling me afterwards and congratulating me... news spreads fast here in the mission. I hope I can do this. All the Latinas are so sweet. They keep encouraging me and telling me how good my Spanish is. There are some pretty good liars here haha. I KNOW my Spanish isn’t good but they are sweet to encourage me. My comp Hna. Morales and I have gotten along a lot better this week. Today she told me after meeting all these sisters I am so grateful I got you as a comp! You are great. It was SO SWEET!!! She is great and I really will miss her a lot. She will be an awesome missionary in Honduras and I know she will see many miracles.

So interesting fact I found out today our mission is the second poorest mission in the entire WORLD. The poorest is in Africa. No wonder we have to buy crap food. It is because it is the cheapest and we don’t have money. Oh well I am learning really well how to work on a budget!!

So I still haven’t been able to sleep... like at ALL.   I swear the mission has added about 20 years to my life. I am going to have gray hair by the age of 30. Speaking of hair... mine is falling out like crazy and just getting fried to a crisp. I am trying to use my umbrella more often and I hope that will help. My hair literally is orange though. So weird. And I am getting a lot darker but I am getting nervous about skin cancer haha because I get burned pretty frequently. I am going to just use my umbrella every day from now on.

Well I have to go back to Managua now for a meeting that all the trainers are going to have. I am going to sleep in Managua today at the Nurses house (she has air conditioning I am so PUMPED) and then tomorrow we will have changes where I will meet my  new companion/ DAUGHTER!!! AHHH am I ready for this.... no but here we go anyways! Please pray for me that we can find families and find success here! Oh this also means I will be here in Tipitapa for at least two more changes. There are TONS of changes happening here in the mission right now though. We are going to have more Hermanas here this change, HOORAY, more in PUERTO, they are opening up more new areas and we are getting two new APs! It is so crazy and so AWESOME!!

 I love you guys so much though and miss you with all my heart!!!! I am going to work super hard here everyday, commit everything I have to the Lord for this short time and then I will see you guys soon! The Lord lives and He loves us! How amazing is that to know. I am so glad I get to share that happy message with all my Brothers and Sisters here. I pray every day they will feel the Love of their Savior and accept his atoning sacrifice so they are receive all the blessings he has in store for them. I love you guys!!!
Until next week!

Love,

Hermana Savannah KENDALL!

P.S. No one can say my name. First or Last. It is pretty hilarious. Especially since Kendall is so stinking easy. Meanwhile I get a good giggle out of it. I am sure they get a good giggle out of me trying to pronounce their names as well.




10.07.2013

I'm Not Very Dramatic, haha!

This picture doesn't do it justice, I was trying to utilize the zoom feature and I was to scared to take more than one but this was the Tarantula! Horrible!


So this week has probably been the worst week in my mission besides the first week of course...... darn it! Looking forward to better days. This week has been ridiculously hot. I can’t even describe it. My hair is almost all blonde now, I am super dark or you could say red (I got pretty sunburned this week) and I am constantly drenched in sweat. I mean CONSTANTLY! It is a little miserable but hey I probably won’t complain about the cold any more.

This week I had a little, well let's say health issue. Thursday night I was itching like CRAZY everywhere! I thought I had fleas or something and was freaking out! My comp said I probably had fleas too and there was really nothing I could do. Well we got back to the house so I could look at myself in the mirror and I WAS COVERED in a horrible rash! My comp was like "QUE ES ESO!" WHAT IS THAT! I immediately called the nurse and without hesitating she told me it was from my SWEAT! She told me sadly it was a long process to get rid of it. So right now I am showering morning and night, I have a special cream I use and I just pray I don’t sweat too bad.......which isn’t very realistic.

This week we have been working hard to find new investigators. Seriously I don’t think I have ever been this tired. We have been working like crazies just trying to find new families. We probably walk 50 miles every day. That is definitely an exaggeration but that is what it feels like. I have been a little discouraged because we are working so hard and we are trying everything possible but we have seen little results. I don’t know what we can do better and what we need to change to find more ppl to teach. We are still teaching Francisca though, Carlos and a few other new families that will hopefully continue to progress.

This week was conference as you all know, so we were also working to get all our recent converts to attend conference. Okay I am going to try and explain things here real quickly. Tipitapa is a branch right now. Our whole district (3 companionship) works in this branch. We have a small church that we attend and it doesn’t have a projector. There is another church about 10 mins away by bus that is a little bit bigger and has a projector. So conference was shown there- just the Sunday sessions though. Anyways to get there we had a bus set up to take our branch. We worked hard all week to invite everyone! The Zone Leaders made a rule that if we didn’t bring a family of investigators we couldn’t go to conference. Well I really wanted to go and we ended up bringing one family of investigators and two other investigators. We filled the bus and left for the other church early Sunday morning.  We got to the other church and there was NO ROOM for all the branches. By some miracle we found seats for all the members, but us missionaries had to sit on the floor. So this conference I was on the floor with the ants, dying from heat, listening to the speakers in Spanish and kind of sleeping because I was so exhausted. A little different than my last conference. It was awesome though because our investigators LOVED it and so did our recent converts. The experience really helped their testimonies of the Prophet and his apostles.

Yesterday we were supposed to baptize Francisca but we didn’t have any water here in Tipitapa so we had to postpone until today! So we will baptize her tonight :) I will be sending pictures next week!


I don’t have any other news really except for 
THE MOST HORRIBLE MOMENT IN ALL MY LIFE TOOK PLACE THIS WEEK!!!!!

I’m not very dramatic haha. But seriously it was horrible!  Last night my comp and I were chatting while I was getting ready for bed. I went over to get something out of my suitcase and when I turned back around I saw a HUGE TARANTULA at my FOOT!!!!! I immediately started screaming BLOODY MURDER! Seriously I haven’t screamed that loud in a LONG time and it was out of real fear! I am pretty sure my heart stopped for a good 30 seconds. Then I started to experience a real life panic attack! I continued screaming and ran on top of my comps bed with my phone. I started calling the Elders while my comp tried to get the thing in a plastic bag with her umbrella!!! She is so much braver than me seriously! The Elders said " ARE YOU SERIOUS! Take a pic please......oh and we will be right over". Well the owner of the house heard my horrible scream and came running in with her broom. She knows now that if she hears screaming and it is coming from me, it is the result of a bug. So she was ready and armed. Thankfully she killed the thing and helped calm me down. AHHH I am telling you it was so horrible. I could hardly sleep I was so terrified the whole night. My poor comp probably thinks I am psycho! We cleaned our house super good today and hopefully we will have fewer bugs now. The trick they taught us here is to use lots of Clorox because it kills everything. I just hope it doesn’t kill us too. Last night I was seriously debating using my tent haha. If it wasn’t so hot and I wasn’t so embarrassed to use it in front of my Latina comps I would have been in that thing all night after that experience.

I know better days are coming.  I am working hard and the time is passing quickly.  

Love you all,
Savannah