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!

3.17.2014

Cha Ching


Well another week has come and gone! Wow, how crazy! I think the time is literally speeding up.... is that possible? This week has been full of challenges and miracles! I learned many lessons from the experiences we had during this week of work and I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for allowing me to go through these challenges so I can become the kind of missionary He desires. 


As you know the past couple months have been a little challenging for us here in La 14. We are working in all diligence trying to do all that our Heavenly Father desires of us and it has been a little discouraging because we haven’t been able to see the fruits in the form that we would like. Don’t get me wrong we see miracles everyday and are extremely grateful for all the Lord provides us but we have been feeling a little discouraged. This week we had Stake Conference but not only here in our area but all of Central America. It was a Special broadcast from Utah and we were able to hear from Elder Duncan, The Young Women’s President, Richard G. Scott and Dallin H. Oaks. It was an incredible conference and I took away so much from every talk. The speakers really were inspired in their words and I know it was just what the members here in Nicaragua needed to hear. Well, in preparation for this conference the mission and our district made several goals for how many ppl we wanted to bring to the conference. We had high faith when making our goals, anxious to give our all during the week in order to accomplish them. Well Tuesday our district started a fast and then went out to WORK! This day became a day of miracles for Hermana Gonzales and I. I will never forget this day and how excited and happy I felt to be sharing the Gospel with the people here. This day really was an answer to my prayers and I know my Heavenly Father was watching out for me. It gave me the boost I needed to keep working.

I just want to share a few of the miracles we were able to see that day.  After starting our fast we went out in search of new families. We had set an appointment with one of our investigators, that had gone to church with us last week to teach him the Book of Mormon. He really was just a contact that had showed up to church Sunday, so he didn’t have any of the lessons and we didn’t know much about him. Once we got to his house he introduced us to his WIFE! Cha ching! Familia! His wife is awesome and was so excited to hear from us. P__ had told her all about church and she was anxious to go the following week. After teaching them about the Book of Mormon we were able to put a fecha with the family and commit them to coming to church. Oh did I mention this was all in a lesson with member! Woot. That lesson was la LEY. We left feeling like we were on cloud 9. Afterwards we rushed over to our next appointment with a contact that once again we made the week previous. We showed up to find THE WHOLE FAMILY sitting outside enjoying the "cool air". They said they were waiting for us and anxious to hear our message. They had read the pamphlet we left with them and wanted to come to our church!! WHAT!?? When they said that I thought I didn’t hear them right. They fully accepted the message of the restoration, a baptismal date and the invitation to go to church! WOW!! Hermana Gonzales and I were awe struck at this point by the mercy and goodness of our God. We couldn’t stop grinning. Always late, we left running to our next appointment with Hermano L__. He also accompanied us to church the week previous and loved it. We love teaching L___ because he is LEADER MATERIAL! He is an engineer and really thinks things through. He loved church Sunday and is working towards baptism. We visited him with our Mission Leader and shared a few passages in the Book of Mormon. He told us he was anxious for his baptism and knows that the Book of Mormon is true! This lesson was GOLDEN! He also committed to going to the conference and told us that his WIFE, that has been living in Miami, would be getting home Saturday and that he would invite her as well! Miracles around every corner. 


Once again we left our lesson beaming! While running to our last lesson we were stopped in the street by a young man. He said "HERMANAS! I have been looking for you everywhere. I just stopped by the church thinking you would be there but couldn’t find you." As he was talking I really had NO IDEA who he was when all of a sudden the moment we met him came to my memory. We had contacted him about a week earlier but didn’t think he was positive at ALL. We left him with a pamphlet and the invitation to visit the church. Well he proceeded to tell us that he had read the pamphlet and was really interested in the church. He wanted to learn more and would be accompanying us to the conference. What the?? Seriously it was getting out of control by this point. All the miracles that were hitting us were too incredible. My cheeks were hurting from smiling so much all day! After this contact we headed over to our last cita with our investigator A___. We visited her with our recent converts H___ and O___. They are so PILAS and have grown so much over the past four months. My favorite part of this lesson was listening to them expresses their testimonies of how the Gospel has changed and blessed their lives. The cutest part was that after O___ would talk H___ always said, " I testify of the words of my husband". Pure Missionary she is! They committed A___ to church and to reading the Book of Mormon.

That day was a day of miracles! It really was evidence to me that this is the LORDS work and He leads it. Nothing is impossible for Him. He is preparing all of the ppl to accept His message and if we do our small part, in the way He has asked us to do it, we can see miracles. I am so grateful for the chance that I have to be His missionary here in Nicaragua. I know as we exercise our faith and do our part we have the right to all the Lords blessings. And they are more than we can imagine. There doesn’t come any greater joy than the joy of sharing the Gospel. I know this Church is true and that Christ leads it. I love him and am forever grateful for the chance to serve Him.

I love you all!!! And hope you can experience the same joy that comes from sharing the Gospel as you pray for missionary experiences. The Lord is preparing EVERYONE to accept and hear the Gospel. 


I love you!!!

Love,
Hermana Kendall

3.10.2014

Haircut

Today I got my long awaited haircut. I have been so nervous to do it! I don’t trust ANYONE here with my hair. However, today we went to the mall and there was probably the nicest salon you can find here. So I took the plunge. I told her just the ends, which obviously means 4-5 inches so that was interesting. She also gave me some nice bangs and layer type things.........Oh well I have 8 more months to grow it out again. And at least it is healthy now! Oh it was also the quickest haircut I have EVER had literally 10 mins. I walked in, sat down, got it cut and left... Nica style

** note from Savannah's mom - She didn't send us a picture of the actual haircut, which kind of makes me nervous - and if that is the nicest salon she could find, I wonder what the others look like.  We are so spoiled.


Oh how the time flies! I know I say that every week but every week seems to go by a little bit faster. I can hardly believe it! So this week has been.... HOT! Seriously, I can’t even explain the heat here. I go into the shower sweating and come out sweating. That cold bucket shower every morning has become one of my favorite moments every day. I put on sunscreen constantly but ppl still always call me rojita! Little red... Thanks haha. All us gringas are getting burnt to pieces out here. We have become experts in finding the shade ha. I just can’t wait for June to roll around. That is when the rain starts supposedly.

Anyways, apart from the heat this week has been pretty GREAT! We are working with some really special ppl but my favorite investigator is Jefferson. He is 16 years old and so pilas! I honestly love him so much. He is different than all the other Nica boys we know. He is so respectful, smart, happy and friendly. His family life is pretty crummy so he loves when we come to visit. He is reading the Book of Mormon and loves all the stories. When we first gave him the Book of Mormon he took it to school to showed all his friends and said "Did you guys know that there was another book of scripture written here in America by prophets? It compliments the Bible and speaks more clearly of the Doctrine de Cristo." So PILAS! All his friends were so interested and started asking him all types of questions, which he then brought to us and now he is an expert on the book! He came to church with us this week and LOVED it. He knew a bunch of the youth, which was great, and he LOVED the soccer court. He has already talked with the Young’s Men president about bringing his friends to come play with them all Saturday! I love Jefferson and I can’t wait for him to be baptized in the TRUE CHURCH! He is going to be a LEADER and is going to be able to build his own family with the Gospel.

We are also working with a man named Larry. He is RICH! Well for a Nica haha. No but seriously he is really smart and has a lot of drive in life. His wife is living in Miami right now so we haven’t been able to meet her but he is awesome. He really thinks things through and understands the message. He has accepted a baptismal fecha and is reading the Book of Mormon but is still waiting for his answer that this is the true church. This Sunday we called him in the morning to wake him up... so he could come to church with us. He told us he was going to get ready and then we could pass by to pick him up. After picking him up he told us that he was laying in bed when we called trying to decide if he was going to go with us or not. When we called it was an affirmation that he needed to go. HE LOVED CHURCH!! He felt like he learned so much and that there was something different about the church- THE SPIRIT! He is going to continue to read his Book of Mormon and we can’t wait to keep working with him this week!

We really have been seeing a lot of miracles here in La 14! We are working really hard to involve the members in every aspect of the work and animate them to work with us. We are so excited about all the ppl we are working with and know the Lord has many blessing prepared for this area. Next week is Stake conference for all of Nicaragua so we will be traveling to the Stake center with Recent converts, less active and Investigators. It should be interesting!

This week I have learned a lot about la fe and putting more trust in the Lord. This work really is His. Every lesson, contact and baptism we have is because of his infinite grace. I know I am weak and have many things to improve but I also know that as I exercise my faith in Christ and turn to him in all things we can see miracles. I love you all and encourage you to pray earnestly for missionary experiences every day and then share your testimony. I know the Lord is preparing people in all corners of the Earth and we can be instruments in his hands if we are willing to search for the opportunities, listen to the spirits promptings and then follow them.

I love you all!!!


Love,

Hermana Kendall

OH P.S. We had an earthquake here last week. It was a pretty strong one as well. It hit at about 3:30 in the morning. I was pretty out of it, when all of a sudden my bed was shaking all over the place. I was pretty confused at first but it lasted long enough for me to recognize that it was an earthquake. Hermana Gonzales got pretty freaked out but our tiredness won over and we both fell back asleep pretty quickly haha.

3.03.2014

A Special "Treat"

Multi Zone Conference with President this week. My cute comp and I.     Love her!
With the Sisters of La Catorce!!
I realized this morning that I haven’t sent you pics of my house here.
 So I took a few for you!  My desk
Our shower- don’t be fooled by the shower head -it doesn’t work haha.
We take water from the giant trash can in the shower.
And our washing area!
This is a special "treat" they make here in Nica. Our Recent Convert Carlos wanted to teach us how to make it. It is basically mashed up potatoes and a weird cheese all fried up. Then they put a ton of sugar and honey on top of it. I think it is their take on scones. 
The finished product and yes I had to eat all those!
So I just have to share with you what we ate for lunch today...FISH-Nica style.
 When they brought it to me, I audibly said Ugh! And then they all started laughing.

That is how they do it here. Stick it in a pan of oil and fry it all UP!
I attempted to eat mine but Hermana Gonzales finished off hers pretty well :)

Savannah's Letter this week:

This week I completed 10 MONTHS!!! What the? The time really does pass by way too fast. I can’t believe ten months has already come and gone since the last moment I saw you all in the airport. Seems like a moment ago! Seriously. These past 10 months have been some of the most amazing of all my life. I wouldn’t trade the experiences I have had and am having for anything. I have seen miracles here! I have fallen in love with Nicaragua and the ppl here. But most importantly I have gotten to know my Savior better and I am so grateful for that. The mission is amazing and I love knowing that it never ends. How blessed are we to have the truth and the chance to share it with the entire world?

This week was a little bittersweet for Hermana Gonzales and I. As you know we have been working with a really special family.  We have seen a huge change in their lives since learning more about the Gospel and reading the Book of Mormon. They say their prayers and know the church is true. I LOVE THAT MOMENT. When someone follows through with a commitment and receives the answer that THIS IS THE TRUE CHURCH. They had decided to be baptized and married. I LOVE THIS FAMILY! Every time they went to church they loved looking at the baptismal font and knowing that they would be baptized there with the authority of God. Well this Saturday we all got hit by a truck.....not literally but it sure felt like it. Saturday night we had planned a lesson with them and our Mission leader. We showed up to their house but nobody was home. As we were walking back we saw them practically running to the house with a TON of huge bags in their hands. They told us to run into the house quickly and quietly. Once we all got in, they told us that they were having problems with their neighbors and the owner of the house and they had to move THAT NIGHT. Someone with a truck was on the way and we had to pack up EVERYTHING. We literally packed up all their life in about 20 minutes. Their cousins showed up and started doing drugs while watching us. We quickly packed everything in silence and loaded them up. As we were about to leave the Owner showed up and wanted to "talk with Juan". It got heated and we had to leave. I have never felt so......sick. My spirit literally felt heavy, sad and sick. They left that night and we are not sure where they went. I know the Lord has a plan and purpose to everything. I KNOW we were supposed to find and teach this family. I know they had to face this trial and that they will learn something very important from it. For right now though, I miss them and am very sad I wasn’t able to see them enter into the waters of baptism. Like I said, everything happens for a reason. We had to learn from this experience just as much as they did, and I know it will help me either in the mission or in life.

Even though we had this unfortunate experience we were able to end off the week with some really sweet simple experiences. I just want to tell you guys about a lady we found last week named, R__. She is a young single mom basically. Her husband works in Panama and returns every year for a week or two. She is raising a family by herself and is doing it beautifully. Last week we contacted her and put a cita to visit her later on in the week. When we returned she wasn’t there. Well Saturday night, after this horrible experience, we had the impression to go visit her. We found her painting her house while all her kids were sleeping and had the chance to share the Plan of Salvation with her. There was a beautiful spirit during the lesson and we knew she could feel it. At the end of the lesson we invited her to pray and ask her Heavenly Father if these things were true. She said " I already did. The day you girls passed by my house I was passing through a big trial. I had been praying for somebody to come and show me the way. When you two showed up at my door my prayer was answered. That night I prayed and asked my Heavenly father if you were His angels and I know that you are." She has accepted baptism and is ready to change her life. I can’t wait to continue teaching her and helping her feel the Saviors love in her life more abundantly. You never know when you are the answer to somebodies prayer.

Well this week as I said earlier we had a Multi-zone conference. It was LA LEY! Seriously, I received so much revelation during the conference and I feel so energized to continue in this work....even though it is outrageously HOT! We learned A LOT about working with the members. It is just so clear to me that this work is the LORDS and he desires that we can all play a part in it, not just the missionaries and not just the members. The Area presidency made a couple of videos that we were able to watch that contained several promises but one that I LOVED was "If the members and missionaries worked together more frequently the number of baptisms would double." DOUBLE! The ppl are prepared we just have to teach them. Today I was thinking about the fact that we have been put here in this area and we don’t know anyone. So we start talking with everybody and try to get to know them. This is GREAT! However, the members have been living here for years. They know the area, they know the ppl and they have the friends! If they can help us find the ppl we can help them teach the truth. It is so simple. The Lord is accelerating His work and He wants us all to be a part of it. Let’s carry this Gospel into the homes of all the families and help the Lord prepare His kingdom. I challenge you ALL to pray for Missionary experiences EVERY DAY. I know the Lord with bless you with the chance to share this Gospel with someone that is awaiting it.

I love this work and I know it true! How lucky am I to be a missionary at this time!

I love you all so much! Thank you for your support!

Loves!

Hermana Kendall