11.25.2013

Screaming Like Baby Girls Too!

Well I got moved to Villa Flor, which is in Managua. It is a little cooler here and MUCH NICER! Everyone has houses and most people have cars. Our lunch cita has a microwave and a blender oh and a WASHING MACHINE.   So our clothes will get washed normally!! WOot! I have so many holes in everything right now. Hna. Miller is my comp. She is who I went on splits with.  YES TWO GRINGAS! President met with us when I got there for emergency changes and he told me we had changes because I am now TL, Sister Training Leader.

As training leaders we are over all the Girls in two areas. We have been assigned to Villa Flor  and ESTALI. I am kind of surprised about that because it is so far away from us but it will be fun to work with the girls there and get to know that part of Nicaragua. Right now the Elders can’t leave with or help the Hermanas really at ALL. So we take on all responsibility for them. We go on divisions every week; we are responsible for their progression and numbers. We also have to participate in the Leader meetings with all the ZL´s and president.  We still have our own area to tract and teach, we just leave for divisions once a week.


Usually you are a Sister Trainer for just a couple changes. I hope I get to train again, but who knows.   I learned so much during that time. I know I will learn a lot from all my callings though. It is just super crazy I have already had 3 areas and I only have 6 months in the mission. Most girls only have 3 areas in their whole mission! Sometimes only 2! It is insane Pres. is moving me all over the place. It is cool though, because he told us he does EVERYTHING by revelation and prayer. When I was talking to him this week he said he received revelation last week that I needed to be moved to this area and that I needed to be a training leader. It is so cool to know he is so close to Christ right now. So I just have to trust his lead. 

Being here has actually made me feel good because EVERYONE compliments me on how awesome my Spanish is. I do feel like Spanish just makes sense to me now.  Now I need to build my vocab!  I know I still have so much more to learn but it is nice to know that I am improving. 

This week they fumigated our house and we got visited by all SORTS OF BUGS!! The worst was a GIANT TARANTULA! I was getting ready for bed and brushing my teeth when all a sudden I saw a HUGE TARANTULA!!!! I screamed and ran for Hermana Miller. We both hid in a little corner for about 10 mins screaming while we waited for someone to come kill it. The Elders got there to kill it and as soon as they saw it, they were screaming like baby girls too! It was hilarious!!!

My house here is not the greatest. Which is surprising because we are in a nicer area but it seriously sucks. We have no option for a shower just bucket showers with FREEZING COLD WATER! Seriously so cold! I am dying every morning and our toilet doesn’t flush so we have to do it manually. However, we do have a safe place to live.

 I LOVE THE MISSION! And there are days when I stress because it is going by way too fast and I just have so much more I want to do. There is so much good to be done here in Nicaragua. I love the ppl and the life here!  This is going to be an interesting change-awesome- but interesting.


Okay I have to go now :(  I MISS YOU WITH ALL MY HEART AND CAN'T WAIT TO SEE YOU AT CHRISTMAS!!!!! I LOVE YOU!!!

LOVES!!
Savannah

11.18.2013

OF COURSE YOU HAVE TO GET BAPTIZED!



The Elders had to come kill a rat that was living in our ceiling this week! 


Enrique and Corina leave with us every night to go teach their friends! It is AWESOME! Enrique wanted our water bottles in the pic as evidence we are working hard haha. He reminds me of papa. Also do you see their hymnbook- so PILAS! 


Ready for P-Day


And this is where we play soccer every pday. UGH I HATE SPORTS! Every week I get there saying NO, I am not going to play this week. I am just going to hold my ground and say no. And every week they get me to play again! DARN IT SOCCER! I did make two goals today though Hehe. I admit, I do a lot of my awkward screaming whenever the ball comes in my direction and I still have the habit of closing my eyes when the ball is in the air and headed towards me. I am just not a sportzy girl, this we know! 



So the theme of this week has been... WORKING WITH MEMBERS! Seriously we are doing EVERYTHING possible to work with the members cada dia.   Our most reliable and pilas resource is of course the family of Enrique and Corina! I don’t think a more pilas family exists out there in the world. Enrique goes by his friend’s houses every morning sharing a little bit about what he has learned and then invites them to hear our message. At about 4pm we pass by his house and he tells us which of his friends have accepted to hear our message and then we leave with him and Corina to visit them! I am telling you this is the way to do missionary work! It is so nice when we can spend our time teaching rather than running around trying to find somebody who will hear us. WORKING WITH THE MEMBERS is the way to go. I would encourage you ALL to give 1 referral to the missionaries. Just 1 and I know that will help them in SO MANY ways. I would also encourage you all to go with the missionaries if ever possible. Members in the lessons make all the difference! Enrique is so great in the lessons. I will never get sick of hearing him talk about how much the Gospel has changed his life. He always talks about the day we showed up at his door and how the Testigos had passed by earlier as well as the Catholics but he did not receive either of them. We got there and he knew something was different so he let us in. He talks about reading the Book of Mormon and how this book will resolve any doubt you have. He talks about what a GIFT it is to us all. He talks about how much he has changed.  The challenges and addictions he had to overcome and how happy he is now. Corina always talks about how her life has never been happier and she knows with all her heart this is what they were missing in their lives. My favorite part of the lesson those is when I invite them to be baptized and Enrique always sweeps in with OF COURSE YOU HAVE TO GET BAPTIZED! When Christ asks us to do something the answer No doesn’t exist there is only a resounding YES! I just know they are going to be leaders in this church. They are already part time missionaries for crying out loud. They always have a desire to learn more and are reading all the churches handbooks. I LOVE THEM!!!! I can’t wait for them to go to the Temple and become an eternal family! They can go the end of September but if they don’t end up going until after my mission I WILL COME back to see them get sealed. I could talk about them for DAYS and I will when I get back! I get teary-eyed thinking about saying goodbye to them. I feel like Tipitapa is my home now and they are my FAMILY. I can’t even imagine changing areas now.

I literally finished writing that and then got a call from Elder Estes saying I have emergency changes tomorrow............. I am literally bawling right now.
This mission is crazy. It is crazy how you fall in love with these ppl so quickly. It is amazing that we get to see the change the Gospel makes in them. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything. I will NEVER FORGET any one of these ppl. They have changed my life forever! I know this church is true and that is why I will do everything I can to bring it to EVERY ONE! 
Well I have to go. I will let you know how everything went next Monday. I love you!!!! I miss you all! Talk to you next week!


Loves,
Savannah

11.11.2013

Member Missionaries

Pizza with the Elders for Elder Degerings birthday!

A Special Dinner with Enrique and Corina

Hermana Miller and I



It has been an AWESOME week! Probably one of my favorite weeks I have had here in the mission. Last night I had a little cry session because I honestly couldn’t imagine leaving the mission. I can’t imagine saying goodbye to these people and not knowing when I will see them again. They have all become so dear to me. I honestly feel like they are just and extension of our family. I love them with all my heart and never want the day that I must say goodbye to come... The only thing holding me back from staying here forever is YOU GUYS -All my incredible friends and family at home. I wish so badly that you could meet these people- the missionaries, members, less actives, recent converts and INVESTIGATORS! I know you would love them all. It is almost impossible not to. We will definitely be coming back here one day all together!

Okay so we started off this week with DIVISIONS! Hna. Miller is the Sister Training leader in charge of our area. She came here to work with me and our comps (the two newbies Hehe) were off working in her area - Managua. Hna. Miller is AWESOME! I didn't think I ever wanted a Gringa comp because I really want to work on my Spanish but I would LOVE to be her comp. She is about to complete 1 year in the mission and is the sweetest girl you could ever meet. She is 26 and the first missionary in her family. She is also a hairstylist so she gave me a quick trim YES! Anyways we had such an awesome day together. Neither of us have great Spanish but we both have time in the mission. It is so fun to work with someone else that has been here for a while and knows how the work is. I felt like I was in a Preach My Gospel video haha. Seriously we just taught together exactly how it should be. I felt such an incredible spirit the whole day. It was so awesome to see that even though we can’t speak the language perfectly the spirit was able to testify to these ppl that we taught with SUCH POWER! Every lesson was a spiritual experience for me. We taught a ton of investigators and put fechas (baptismal dates) with almost ALL OF THEM! We had a lesson with Freddy that day and he was super sad because his daughter from Costa Rica had called him and said that she was coming to visit this SUNDAY. So he had to go to the airport Sunday morning and wait for her all day. Meaning he wouldn’t be able to be baptized until the NEXT week because he still needed to attend church one more time. Well we were pretty sad too, but we just started teaching how the Lord always provides a way. Mid lesson Freddy got a call from his DAUGHTER! She said that something had come up and she wouldn’t be able to make it here until DECEMBER! What a miracle! Seriously the Lord couldn’t have been more obvious and generous in that moment. Freddy had been saying how much he wanted to be baptized he said "Can't we just do it tomorrow? I want to be baptized in the LORDS CHURCH!” The Lord always provides a way!  So this Sunday Freddy was baptized. It was such a beautiful service and he is so excited to now be a member. He is already talking about going to the temple and serving a mission! Look at all these future leaders!

This week we have been working a TON with members! Seriously some of the members here are so PILAS (Awesome)! When I say some of the members I am referring to my AWESOME converts Enrique and Corina. They have left with us EVERY NIGHT this past week to introduce us to their friends, share messages and visit other investigators. Enrique’s testimony is SO POWERFUL! Seriously this guy just blows my mind. He gets so excited every time he can talk about the Gospel and the incredible changes he made in his life thanks to this Gospel. He is one of my favorite ppl of all time. Corina is amazing as well. She is always saying how grateful she is for the missionaries. She always talks about the day we showed up on her doorstep and how everything changed that day. And now she can’t imagine her life without the Gospel. They are both so excited to go to the Temple and are doing everything to prepare themselves. Oh and also Enrique is getting the Melchizedek Priesthood in two weeks! PILAS!

Anyways thanks to Enrique we have found a TON of new investigators. It is awesome to always have SO MANY ppl to teach. I have really been trying to focus on putting the FECHA in the first lesson this week as well. I am trying to master the perfect way to put the fecha (baptismal date) so that the ppl feel the spirit, feel the urge to act on it and then accept the invitation to follow Jesus Christ and change their lives. We have seen so many miracles in this aspect as well this week. I have decided the key is just to FOCUS on Jesus Christ and the ATONEMENT. If these ppl really understand that Christ can CHANGE their lives and He will if they just follow him then they will almost ALWAYS accept the fecha. I have also been trying to perfect teaching PEOPLE and not lessons. I am really trying to listen to ppl, their needs and then teach them how the Gospel of Jesus Christ can help them with ANY challenge they have.

Anyways, last night we were teaching a friend of Enriques.  He has a lot of problems with drinking and smoking. He feels a void in his life and WANTS to change. While listening to him and his problems as well as his desires to change I just kept thinking. Jesus can help you change. He wants you to be happy. He is waiting with his arms open to receive thee. After listening to his needs we started teaching the Word of Wisdom. At the end of the lesson we testified that through the atonement he could be CLEAN. He can feel this weight lifted from his shoulders and then... I put the fecha. And you know what? He accepted! It was insane. We almost always teach the Restoration for the first lesson and it is a lot easier to lead into baptism when teaching it. However last night I learned that if we really listen to the ppls needs, teach accordingly and show them how Jesus Christ and the Atonement can change their lives then THEY WILL FEEL THE SPIRIT. And with this sweet spirit they can more easily make the decision to change their lives and be baptized. It was such a learning experience for me and so INCREDIBLE!

So needless to say we have seen a ton of miracles this week. We accomplished ALL OF OUR GOALS! We have a ton of ppl with fechas and we are having an amazing time working with them. One family I just love lives in front of Freddy. P.s. He is super pilas (awesome) as well and is inviting EVERYONE to church. We had and extra family of investigators in church this week thanks to him.  This family is so fun to work with and watch change. We have only been teaching them for two weeks but I have already seen such a change in them both. Ahh that is my favorite part of being a missionary, watching the Gospel change these people’s lives. Not just spiritual but in EVERY aspect of their lives. How could this Gospel not be true?

Okay quick last story I want to share. Corina and Enrique are struggling right now financially. He has been looking for work for 4 months now and just is not having much luck. Every once and awhile he will find a one day thing but nothing solid. I know some days they go with out food and they never know when the next little odd job will come along. That being said they are the most generous and loving ppl I have every met.
We got to their house one night and Enrique started telling us how he had a little work for the day. He didn’t make much but he made enough to be able to buy food for dinner. Right as he is explaining this Corina comes walking out with two HUGE PLATES full of food for us and Frescos. He said that as soon as he got home from work he told Corina "I have money today. Lets make something special for the Hermanas"! AHH how incredible are they. I was holding back tears while eating. The ppl here have nothing yet they are the most giving ppl I have ever met. I am definitely learning a lot from them and hope I can possess this attribute. I am so grateful that I get this chance to visit these ppl and get to know them better EVERY DAY! I wouldn’t trade this opportunity for anything. I love Nicaragua, I love the ppl, I love the MISSION and I love the Lord!
Well I have to go! As always I miss you with all my heart and can't wait to see you again soon. I keep you all in my prayers EVERY DAY!!! I LOVE YOU!  UNTIL NEXT WEEK!!

Loves!

Savannah



11.04.2013

Mission Family




Hermana Justavino with her other daughter, me and my daughter Hermana Tellez. 
 What a cute fam we are.

Hna. Justavino and me.    AHH I MISS THAT GIRL!

This is our family in the mission. Hermana Justavino, her Daughter, Me, my daughter, My great grandma (Justavino's Gma) and her daughter!



I got my Christmas package from you guys! THANKS SO MUCH! I seriously died over the protein bars. DIED! SO tasty and HEALTHY. I almost forgot what it felt like to eat something HEALTHY. I got all my letters and this package at our leaders meeting after a super hard day. IT was AWESOME. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! 
I cant wait for Christmas now haha

IN the taxi to Mission South! We had to go this morning so Hermana Tellez 
could a sign a paper for her visa!

Hermana Justavino's Mission Mom

Sister Rodgers from Texas! Soo Cute!




First off it was fun to read your little email this week and hear about Halloween. I thought about you guys that day and what you might be doing. I was a little sad to miss it but all in due time! They don’t really celebrate Halloween here. However, we had a meeting with all the trainers this week in Managua and Hermana Collado bought all us gringas candy because she knew it was Halloween for us. It was really sweet of her.

So we started out the week with out trip to Managua for the Trainers meeting. IT WAS AWESOME! Seriously probably the best meeting I have been to thus far in the mission. I LOVED IT and learned so much. I just was able to feel the spirit so strongly and the Lords love for his missionaries. I received a lot of AWESOME revelation for this work and our area. It really rejuvenated me to get out there and work. I also got to see all the cute newbies and there SWEET trainers. Seriously there are some INCREDIBLE missionaries here. I always love seeing them and visiting. 
 At the meeting we watched an awesome video about the Atonement and missionary work with talks from Jeffrey R. Holland and Henry B. Eyring. Incredible! I am going to try and find the talks today to print off and study. Anyways after the meeting we headed back to our area and got right to work. This week I was still feeling pretty stressed out so my district leader gave me a blessing and a few talks to study. It has been helping me out a little and I can at least sleep now for more than four hours. I really was making myself sick from all the stress but I am feeling a little better this week. 

This week we have been working with a great family.  They are all really special ppl and I am so lucky we get to work with them and teach them. The father had his baptismal date for THIS SUNDAY. We had been preparing him all week and working really hard to help him feel the spirit. He was interviewed Saturday and was all set. Sunday we went by his house in the Morning to help him get ready for church and he was so excited to go and had even invited all his family to his baptism after church. He had to take his Granddaughter to her dad’s house so he told us he would meet us at church. Well we got to church and were waiting and waiting and calling him and calling and he never showed... I was SO SAD. We went over to his house afterwards and he wasn’t there either. His daughter told us he left to go to church and then he got an emergency call from one of his nephews and had to go to MANAGUA! UGH SATAN! Seriously it was one of the hardest, saddest days but we have an appointment with him today and we are going to put the date for this Sunday instead. He will be baptized though that is a sure THING!

S_ and P_ are friends of Enrique and Corina so we have been visiting with them a LOT. They are such a special family and they love everything we are teaching them. P_ has cancer and is in a wheelchair right now. He is always really sick and that presents a little of a challenge for us but he and his wife are so receptive to the Gospel, especially during this time in their lives. He can't go to church right now and that is the only thing stopping him from being baptized but we have something AWESOME planned for next week and I am pretty sure he will make it to CHURCH!

D_ and I_ are a new family we found this week. They are both pretty shy but very receptive to the Gospel. Our first lesson D_ prayed to finish the lesson and asked right then and there if Joseph Smith was a prophet. It was so incredible. Most ppl are too nervous to even try praying in the first lesson but he went right ahead and even asked God if our message was true. It was a really unique and beautiful moment for me. The next lesson he said he had been praying all week and is waiting for God to answer. He said he knows God will answer in his own time in his own way but right now he feels really good during our lessons and wants to come to church. We put baptismal dates with them both and hopefully they will be joining us in church this week.

B_ is a guy we found one day contacting. After talking with him for a few minutes he told us he actually was a member! He hasn’t gone to church for the past 7 years but is willing to go again and give it a try. His wife isn’t a member but is super sweet and loves talking with us. This family is GOLDEN! We are going to reactive B_ and baptize his wife I tell ya!

So I just wanted to share one other funny experience. 
Thursday night we were at an Investigators house when he asked if we wanted something for dinner. Not wanting to be rude or offend him we said YES! So he comes out with a HUGE plate of rice, a tortilla and 2 FISH!! Fish here are completely different than in the states though. The WHOLE fish was literally on my plate... head, bones, eyes, skin...EVERYTHING. It had been deep-fried and plopped on my plate. I seriously didn’t know what to do or how to EAT it. They all started laughing at me try to eat it. I am sure I had a freaked out look on my face the whole time. I was trying to keep my cool but it was pretty hard as I watched the little kids eat the eyeballs and my comp rip off the head to eat the meat inside! I did my best to eat it but I mostly just did a lot of moving it around my plate haha. It was pretty funny. I did get sick that night though... I wont be eating fish again. 


So other news this week. ENRIQUE got the priesthood! So awesome. He had been so nervous all week. He was studying all the sections in Doctrine and Covenants about the priesthood and working hard to memorize the sacrament prayers. He is so PILAS! Seriously, I think they are going to end up being my two most PILAS converts. He is always leaving with us to go teach ppl and just this week alone he has given us 3 referrals. He talks about the Gospel and the change he experienced in his life with EVERYONE! It is so awesome to see how the Gospel has completely changed his life and his wife’s life. I remember the night we contacted them so vividly. Corina barely said a word and he was so lost. They lost their daughter to cancer and ever since felt a huge void in their lives. The gospel changed everything! Now they know where their daughter is, they know they can be together again forever and they know what they must do in this life to receive these blessings. Now Corina visits with everyone and is always getting all ready for the day. I remember she used to only walk around in pjs. And Enrique is going to be made the branch’s mission leader this upcoming week! YES I baptized the MISSION LEADER! So legit. Anyways, I am just so grateful I have been able to see this incredible change in their lives. I feel so lucky to know them and share in these sweet spiritual experiences. I will NEVER forget them. P.S. we decided on their temple date last night! WOOT!

In short this week has been bitter sweet...like every week. However, I wouldn’t change this experience for anything in the world. I feel incredibly blessed to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with my brothers and Sisters here. It is hard, scary and exhausting but it is also the most amazing thing I have ever done. I will never forget these moments. 6 months baby!

Love you all!

Hna. Kendall