Monday, September 30, 2013

...So tell that someone that you love, the things you're thinking of, if tomorrow never comes. ~ Garth Brooks

To preface Katie's email this week, we would like to share with you 
some background that is significant in relation to Katie's letter.  
Eleven years ago, Katie's father, Scott Pendleton, tragically passed away. 

Scott was born on January 23, 1960, to Alan and Beverly Pendleton and was raised in Bountiful, Utah.  All that knew Scott enjoyed his uncanny sense of humor and quick wit.  He had many talents and excelled both at academics and sports.  Scott graduated Summa Cum Laude from Brigham Young University; where he met Dianna Woodland.  They were married in the Salt Lake Temple and were blessed with two children, Jeremy and Katie.  Scott fulfilled his dream of earning an MBA from Harvard.  However, he was the first to acknowledge that his greatest accomplishment and most valued treasures in life were his children.

Scott passed away on September 29, 2002.  He was a gifted man who loved the Savior and the gospel.  To this day, his influence continues to be an important part of his children's lives. 

September 30, 2013 letter from Hermana Katherine Pendleton:

Hello my dear friends and family,

I am wanting to share a cool experience for my email this week. It probably won't be very long because I have to go back to the doctor in just a bit...but this is something super special that happened to me this week.

For those of you who don't know, I have been consistently sick my entire mission. Stomach problems, vomiting, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, the list goes on. Just when one thing starts to get better, I am blessed with something else. I could go into detail with what I am dealing with right now, but I will save you all from unpleasant images and unwanted information. I'll just simply say, I spent three days in the hospital this week, trying to get back to a healthy state.

Luckily, I have been blessed and get to have one more change with Hermana Castleton! This girl has really helped to keep my spirits high, and has all the patience in the world to stay with me and take me to and from the doctor almost everyday. (I have another doctor's appointment today and Wednesday.)

On Friday morning, I don't know why, but I just really wished that I could sit down and talk to Daddy Scott about what was going on. It's one thing to be sick and not feel good, but when you're sick and in the mission, all you want is a parent to take care of you. This whole time, Mama, I've wished it was you. But Friday morning, I could have used a good Daddy Scott joke. As Hermana Castleton and I were walking to lunch, I told her, "I would never wish to have my dad here on earth, after all that he went through...but for some reason, I just really want to talk to him about all that is happening." We arrived at our lunch appointment without time for her to respond.

Even though I was feeling sad, I was happy we were able to have lunch with our Branch President, President Ortega, (aka, my dad here in Coquimbo). He knows about all that is going on with my health and is always calling and checking up on me to make sure everything is okay. He asked if he could give me a priesthood blessing and I gladly accepted. As he put his hands on my head, I immediately could not only feel his loving hands, but also Daddy Scott's. I know without a shadow of a doubt that Dad was there, with his hands on my head, present for this blessing. 

As President Ortega started to give me the blessing, I couldn't believe the things he was saying . Not only was he blessing my physical health, but my mental health. As if he knew all that I have been through throughout my life. He was saying things that I knew I had never shared with him before. It was all perfect and we were all in tears. Never, have I felt the spirit so strong in my entire mission.

I know I am being watched over and that blessing was just what I needed to help me pick myself back up. The power of the priesthood is real. I know that our Heavenly Father is very aware of all that we are going through and he knows exactly what we need. I love being a missionary. I don't care if I have to be sick for the rest of my mission, I love this work and will always be willing to work through my trials. 

Hermana Castleton con Maria y Guillermo!
I was so happy to receive so many wonderful emails this week! Thank you all for the update in Crazy-ville! TayHermana Castleton and I are dying over how pretty you looked for Homecoming! Becca and Cam, thanks for your letters :) Cam, so proud of you for accepting the challenge to bear your testimony. Tay and Becca, there is always next month! Dad, your message was beautiful and got me even more pumped for General Conference! Seriously, G. C. is like Christmas in the mission! 

Okay, I love you all so very much! Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. Keep strong and carry on!

Hermana Pendleton

Monday, September 23, 2013

Halfway mark! :-/

So weird. Wednesday is my halfway mark. Weird. Weird. Weird.

I have never eaten so much meat in my entire life. All week long, we ate and ate....and ate.....and ate......and ate. We ate in every single lesson, family home evening...even when we passed by to just say hello to someone, they gave us a slab of meat or 6 scoops of ice cream. Seriously. I have never eaten so much in my entire life....and they STILL continue to Celebrate. ¡Feliz 18 de Septiembre por dos semanas! They had a big fire work show over the bay and it wassooo pretty! Hermana Castleton and I sung that National Anthem and pretended it was the 4th of July.

Here in Coquimbo for September 18, there is a place called El Pompilla, where EVERYONE camps out and stays there ALL week long. It is about 10 minutes or so from our house by taxi, so literally, our area was a ghost town. 
I am pretty sure we only had about 10 lessons this week and the only investigators we saw were Ana Maria and a couple named Maria y Guillermo that the missionaries have been working with for months now. FINALLY, Maria y Guillermo kept their first commitment and are starting to progress a little bit.

Last night we had another incredible lesson with Ana Maria. When we got to her house, she had made us crepes with Jim Croce lightly playing in the background. It was a beautiful evening to say the least :) I swear Ana Maria is Morrie from Tuesday's with Morrie. I have never met someone who understands the purpose of this life better than this girl. She is my hero and will forever be an inspiration. Every time we see her, I tell her to write a book because it would be a unreal. She makes me happy and is SO prepared for this gospel!!!!....but doesn't want to join any church. Just like you said Dad, I'll just keep bearing my testimony and hopefully one day, she'll come around.

We spent a lot of time with the members this week because there wasn't anyone to teach! The branch had a huge activity on Tuesday night that was a riot! Hermana Castleton and I helped with the games for all the little kids. We even participated in a race that they invented where two people have to try and get a piece of candy out of a bowl of water without using their hands, and then immediately after, with a very wet face, try to get a piece of candy out of a bowl of flower without using your hands. It was disgusting to say the least.....
We did a million service projects this week and painted every one's fences. I love the members here. They are becoming my family and I love them.

Yesterday, I gave a talk in church on la conversiòn personal. Aka. personal conversion. See? Spanish isn't that hard :)
I studied a talk that Elder Bednar gave last October Conference about how testimony and conversion work together. I would love to attach a copy of my talk,'s in Spanish and I don't know how much of it you would understand. I could write it out...but instead, I'll just attach a part from Elder Bednar's talk that I really liked....
An important lesson about the connection between testimony and conversion is evident in the missionary labors of the sons of Mosiah.
“As many as were brought to the knowledge of the truth, through the preaching of Ammon and his brethren, according to the spirit of revelation and of prophecy, and the power of God working miracles in them—yea, … as the Lord liveth, as many of the Lamanites as believed in their preaching, and were converted unto the Lord, never did fall away. For they became a righteous people; they did lay down the weapons of their rebellion, that they did not fight against God any more. Now, these are they who were converted unto the Lord.” Alma 23:6-8

Two major elements are described in these verses: (1) the knowledge of the truth, which may be interpreted as a testimony, and (2) converted unto the Lord, which I understand to be conversion to the Savior and His gospel. Thus, the powerful combination of both testimony and conversion unto the Lord produced firmness and steadfastness and provided spiritual protection.
They never did fall away and surrendered “the weapons of their rebellion, that they did not fight against God any more.” To set aside cherished “weapons of rebellion” such as selfishness, pride, and disobedience requires more than merely believing and knowing. Conviction, humility, repentance, and submissiveness precede the abandonment of our weapons of rebellion. Do you and I still possess weapons of rebellion that keep us from becoming converted unto the Lord? If so, then we need to repent now.

Note that the Lamanites were not converted to the missionaries who taught them or to the excellent programs of the Church. They were not converted to the personalities of their leaders or to preserving a cultural heritage or the traditions of their fathers. They were converted unto the Lord—to Him as the Savior and to His divinity and doctrine—and they never did fall away.

A testimony is spiritual knowledge of truth obtained by the power of the Holy Ghost. Continuing conversion is constant devotion to the revealed truth we have received—with a heart that is willing and for righteous reasons. Knowing that the gospel is true is the essence of a testimony. Consistently being true to the gospel is the essence of conversion. We should know the gospel is true and be true to the gospel.

Last night, I sat in bed for quite some time, thinking about how I am half way done with my mission and all that I've learned until now. There have been many important lessons, experiences and even miracles that I've seen up until now, but the coolest has been to see how much my testimony has grown and to see MY personal conversion. There are so many things that I want to add and change for when I get home. If you're wanting to have a conversion, a mission is a great place to do so. 

They say that your testimony is strengthened the more you share it....and when that's all you're doing all day, everyday, it's bound to happen. Tay, Becca, Cam...I challenge all three of you to bear your testimony the next Fast Sunday and write me about your experience. Even if you have to stand up one after the other, I know it'll bless your little bum cheeks and make you happy. I love that last quote of Elder Bednar, "We should know the gospel is true AND be true to the gospel." Sharing our testimony is a great way that we can be true to this gospel. 
We still don't know about changes. I have a good feeling my BFF Hermana Castleton is going to leave me. If she goes, I will be okay. It has been an incredible change and I have learned countless things from this girl. She is the epitome of love and humility and really has helped me change my perspective and outlook on the mission. 
Okay. I am off. 

Keep up the good work. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

So brown eyes I hold you near cause you’re the only song I want to hear‏

We just got done playing THREE HOURS OF SOCCER!!! So fun! I seriously miss playing soccer with people who actually know how to play. Hermana Castleton kills it. She has such a sweet, innocent personality....until she gets on the field. Really fun to see her competitive side come out today. 

When I went to the doctor this week, we weighed ourselves and decided it really wasn't that bad that we had only gained 10 pounds after almost half of our missions. We made ourselves feel good about ourselves and were feelin' groovy and all right. Within 20 minutes of leaving the doctors appointment, an Elder told Hermana Castleton she looked like King Kong and a random person told me I looked like Jell-o. :\ We stopped feeling good about ourselves after that. jajaja

This week really was amazing. The weather is so pretty and I just love our area. It's true when they say "time flies when you're having fun". I can not believe we already have changes next Wednesday. Pleeeease pray that Hermana Castleton and I can have one more change together. I know I will stay here but she's already been here 3 changes so the chances of her leaving are pretty good. Nooo. It's fine. I will accept whatever the Lord and President want. 
Doing service work. : )
This week I want to write about Ana Maria. Remember Leland, the super rich awesome dude from Adam West's mission? He LOVES the missionaries. He is always inviting them over, feeding them, giving them gift cards, taking them on cruises, etc...But for some reason, he just doesn't want to get baptized? Well, that is Ana Maria. She lives by herself, is 58, never has been married and seriously could be the next Mother Teresa. She loves to be outside, taking care of her 2 dogs and all of her crazy plants that she grows. The missionaries never have had a lesson with her but she has always stopped them to talk when they are walking by. She always tells us that when her neighbors or friends talk about about the mormons, she gets "the burning rage of a defensive mother's heart and explains the mormons are nothing but healthy, loving people who don't like to party with alcohol or drugs". 

"My name is Rod. And I like to party." (Hot Rod, thank you very much.)

She's just a straight up sweetheart. This last week, she invited us to her house to have once (dinner) with her. She made us homemade bread, lemon pie and sandwiches :) After living alone for so long, with not very many friends, we learned that this lady was just dying to talk--so we let her talk, telling us her entire life story of being abused, having her mom\bff die when she was 18, being forced to live with her evil step-mom who was only 5 years older than her and being abandoned by her dad after finding out that her 23 year old wife was cheating on him. Ana Maria had to figure out how to live on her own. Her dad finally came back 18 years ago because he was dying and needed someone to take care of him. She accepted with loving arms and quoted Matthew 6:14-15

"For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your Heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

I asked her if she had always been this wise and loving. She laughed and said absolutely not. I'll never forget what she said after that "I was in my own world, on my own time, selfish me until my Dad came back...That's when I learned how to be happy. All of my life I tried to be happy working to have everything...I never made it...I never knew happiness until I learned that it's not about working to have's about working to have nothing. We must learn to forgive and always give of ourselves." She has full on dedicated her lief to giving to those around her. She works to have money to help those in need and never gets caught up in buying worldly materials. She is truly just an angel. Someone that I really want to become. 

How easy it is for us to get so caught up in ourselves, the things that we don't have or what we can never become. Ever since our lesson, I just keep looking for ways that I can help someone someone carry their groceries, open the door for the person behind me, saying hello to someone who looks like they are having a bad day. It's been incredible to see all the extra smiles I've received. I just feel happier when I am thinking about others. I am really starting to feel like a representative of Jesus Christ. I wish so badly that this women would accept the gospel into her life. She is too wonderful to not have all these extra blessings. I know Heavenly Father is very aware of our situations. He will take care of her and all the good she is doing in this life. I love the gospel so much. This plan is perfect and I love being a missionary here in Chile.

Everything is great with everyone else. We had our first lesson with Javiera and her mom yesterday after they made us Almuerzo! I think she will take a while to open up a bit but I know with time, she will come around. Family Alquinta is doing great! We are still teaching Joaquin and working with family to get callings and keep up the good work with enduring to the end! 

This week, 18 Septiembre, is Independence Day here in Chile. Aka, we are not going to work at all this week. The kids have 10 days out of school and no one has work. And wanna know where everyone in Chile goes to celebrate this week? Yup, here in Coquimbo. it is CRAZY. Everyone is here. Drunk as ever. So many people sleeping in the calles (streets). We will probably just start teaching the dogs. Like I told you, they always listen. 

Looks like I will be getting a colonoscapy next Tuesday. The doctor thinks it's best because it really is a mystery of why this keeps coming back. I also have had a terrible cold the last couple of days and really just feel pretty crappy. Please keep your prayers coming--they are very much appreciated!

Mama, your email sounded like things really are crazy at home! TAY CONGRATULTIONS. You are finally going to get your driver's license....with Becca! :) So proud of you. Beggz, congrats on making, not only one spot, but TWO spots in the Nutcracker. You're killing it! Cam, tell Huggins I say hi. I don't know if she will remember me but she was always one of my favorites. Did I tell you a sent you a letter last week? If I didn't, I sent you a letter last week. Also, does Mrs.Hinckley still have lots of dandruff? I am not trying to be mean. It's just a question. 

Okay, I love you all soooooo much. "Thank you sooooo much!" (Hermana Castleton and I are always quoting Hot Rod so it's just natural for me to do it in my emails.) 
OKAY, I love you. 


P.S. Aren't the children in the first picture angels? Love these girls!  I want to come back and adopt them. Right after we took this picture, we walked in to their kitchen and the mom was snorting crack. Their mom is 23, single, 3's the saddest. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

You and your sister live in a lemon world...

Ensenado Joaquin Alquinto afueta su casa.

This week was a good, nice, simple week. I don't feel like I have that much to talk about....

Right now we have a lot of investigators but have only taught all of them two or three times so it's difficult to see who is progressing and who really wants to change their lives. Family Alquintais receiving so many blessings. Hermana Alquinta and her oldest son Martin both found work this week. It's so cool to promise our investigators that if they keep the commandments, they will be blessed.....and then to see those blessings come into their lives is such a testimony builder to me. 

Last week, we told Hermana Alquinta that if she keeps doing everything that she possibly can for her family, that she would be able to see Joaquin be baptized. She found out on Saturday that, starting in December, she will have 100% custody of Joaquin and he will be able to get baptized right before Christmas! He is the last of her kids to get baptized. Their goal is to start saving to go to the temple for next December. SOOO Cool. I love our Heavenly Father and how he is always blessing his children. The Gospel really does bless and strengthen families.

Hermana Hemorrhoid is back. Lots of diarrhea and lots of feelin' sick this week. I go to the doctor tomorrow. The missionary nurse thinks I'mma need a colonoscopy.....I would rather die. Everyone here is really forward and just says it how it is. I can't remember if this is too much information to share with people? :/ It's just who I am. Love me.

Although this week was a bit boring, we had a killer ending with a beautiful baptism yesterday. Javíera was SO happy and looked so beautiful. Almost the entire Branch came to support her and (another incredible blessing) her mom was able to make it! All of the members were so welcoming and afterward, she had a thousand questions. Javíera and her mom invited us to have Almuerzo with them this Sunday. Javí told us that she thinks that we will be able to start teaching her mom :) That would be a miracle in and of itself.  It's a wonderful time to be a missionary here in Coquimbo

Becca, I am excited to hear if you made the Nutcracker!
I don't doubt for a second that you are going to make it....
my guess is, you'll be Snow this year. Don't sweat it.

Tay Tay, hi. :) Keep being cute.

Cam, you darling little railroad track braces boy :)))) So cute! I sent you a letter this morning in the mail. Look for that.

Dad, Don't worry about not emailing this week.  Keep doing a great job at being awesome!

MAMA, I LOVE YOU. Thanks for all your love and support. 

Hermana KTPYO

Monday, July 15, 2013

The rain is falling, it's after dark, the streets are swimming with the sharks.

It is difficult to put into words the feelings of a mission. 
It´s hard to explain how I felt this past week. 
Happy, yet humbled, I think. 

I am definitely being humbled every day as I remember that this is not my work. "And now, because ye are compelled to be humble blessed are ye; for a man somtimes, if he is compelled to be humble, seeketh repentance; and now surely, whosoever repenteth shall find mercy, and he that findeth mercy and endureth to the end the same shall be saved." 

Sometimes it is difficult to work your very hardest, with exact obedience - "Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them." -and not see all of your investigators choose to accept the gospel. 

It is even more difficult when you know your investigators have been progressing or receiving answers to their prayers. "Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man...". I would say the thing I am learning most in the mission is patience. I know I have said that many times before, but it is so true. I am trying to be patient with myself, with my investigators, with the plan of our Heavenly Father..."Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their partience and their faith". 

But, I am learning that if I do my part, am diligent with this work, my investigators will progress according to what the Lord sees best. "But if ye will turn to the Lord with full purpose of heart, and put your trust in him, and serve him with all diligence of mind, if ye do this, he will, according to his own will and pleasure, deliver you out of bondage (or help your investigators progress.)"

I am gaining a strong testimony of this gospel and the plan of salvation. It is an honor to say I am a representative of Jesus Christ and to help love and serve the people here in Chile. This week we saw great progression with Daniel and Mauricio (both papa and hijo).

Daniel has been looking for work the last two months and finally found a job this weekend. His schedule is every Saturday and Sunday, 10-9. He asked us if he could change his baptism date from this Saturday to Friday but obviously, we had to explain el día de reposo and that if he wasn't able to come to church after his baptism, he wouldn't be able to be confirmed nor tompoco partake of the sacrament every week. He was very aware and of the situation and said that he would talk to his job and see if they could change the dates. He was able to change his schedule so that for the first month, he would work Sundays 1-9 so that he could come to Sacrament meeting, and after the first month, he would change to a Friday/Saturday schedule. WAHOO. Because of some family drama, he is going to be baptized next Friday.

Mauricio papa and Mauricio hijo are progressing very well! Both came to church yesterday and had a positive experience. Mauricio hijo told us he prayed about the Book of Mormon and said that immediately after, he had no doubt that it was true. He accepted to be baptized this Saturday with Daniel, but yesterday in church, he explained that he wanted to wait a bit longer. Tomorrow we are going to see if he wants to be baptized with Daniel for the following week. I don't want to rush him and think that it is best for him to spend more time with the lessons and getting to know the members in the ward. He has a blast with the youth and loves coming to church. He is a great example to his dad and other family members. His mom is VERY catholic and I think may be playing a part in why he is holding back a bit, but luckily the papa is very supportive! 

Great email this week, Dad! It tied in perfectly with a family in our ward. Familia Roman. Hermana Roman has been a faithful member her entire life...but her husband, Carlos Roman, simply isn't ready to accept the invitation to be baptized. He knows the missionaries and the lessons better than I do. He believes that the church is true but doesn´t want to make a covenant with God. The joke he always makes with the missionaries is "I'm simply planning on being baptized with spirit world. I think it'll be a lot more stress-free to plan my baptism there than it would be even says so in Alma 40:12!" We still continue to pass by his house once or twice throughout the week. 

Yesterday, in between Gospel Doctrine and Relief Society, I saw Hermano Roman outside, standing in the street, in front of the church. I grabbed Hermana Martinez and ran out to invite him inside. He refused to come in and simply wanted to wait for his wife to walk home with her. We sat there and stared at each other for a good while, I smiled and said, "Hermano, Priesthood is about to start, and I think it's your time." I then took him by the arm and escorted him to Priesthood! After church, he found me, smiled and said "Thank you. I better see you at my house this Wednesday for pizza." :)))) Let's hope we can see a miracle with this guy.

We had an amazing Family Home Evening with Familia Navarro! They accepted to come to church....and of course, didn't show up. It is so frustrating!!!! Aaahhh. It is the same every week. We have an amazing lesson, the spirit is so strong and they are all about "We want to be family forever and make the temple our goal, blah blah blah...." and then they never show up to church. Please say 10 prayers for them this week. Thank you.

The mission is freaking hard. I'll just say that. Every night I am extremely exhausted; physically, emotionally, mentally....but it is all worth it when you can see the miracles of your investigators changing, progressing and gaining a testimony of this gospel. "I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy. And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me."

Love you all! I am so happy to hear you had a nice, easy, laid back week. Tay Tay, keep up the good work! Becca, I hope you enjoy your last week and dance camp! Mom and Cam, enjoy the sun for me and Dad, keep being the boss! Jer, Tina and Scotty Boy, love you 3!  :)

Thanks for everything you do! 
Love, Hermana Pendleton

Monday, July 8, 2013

Purify the colours, purify my mind, and spread the ashes of the colours over this heart of mine!‏

What an incredible week! I am here to testify that obedience brings blessings. I was extremely humbled this week and saw miracles. 

Monday was a great last P-day with Hermana Martinez! We spent the day running around Valparaìso, exploring all sorts of crazy streets and eating every kind of new food we could find. Sofia, one of the ward missionaries who loves to come out with us, was our tour guide and we had an absolute blast! Hermana Martinez is going to be a life long friend. There is no doubt about that. Even though we were only together for four weeks, we became the best of friends and seriously kicked some butt with the missionary work! It was so nice to work with someone who put everything they had into working their hardest every single day. It prepared me to become a better TRAINER.

What did I tell you? I told you I would be one of the lucky ones who would have the opportunity to train one of those new seven hermanas! My new companion is HermanaMartinez (otra vez)! She is 19 years old, from Argentina and is ready to work! Once again, I will say, it is SO NICE to work with someone who knows their purpose as a missionary. It drives me crazy to see some of these Hermanas sleeping in until 9 in the morning, staying in the house because the hills are too hard to climb or they are too scared to talk to people. Hermana Martinez has an incredible testimony and we were able to have some incredible lessons this weekend. 

Right now we are working really close with Daniel and Mauricio. We were schedule to have a Noche de Hoger with both of them on Friday. Mauricio at 6 and Daniel at 8. We planning on watching The Joseph Smith Movie with both of them but when we got to Mauricios house, he couldn´t find the remote to his TV to chance the language to Spanish. He was really looking forward to watching this movie so I had the idea, maybe we could invite Mauricio to Daniel´s house and we could have a combined lesson. At first I thought that might be weird to invite an investigator to another investigators house...especially because Daniel already had a fecha for baptism and we were planning on asking Mauricio to be baptized after we watched the movie. I felt really strongly that I needed to invite him, so we did and ended up having a KILLER NDH. We watched the movie and after Daniel asked if he could share his experience about receiving an answer to his prayer about the Book of Mormon. It was incredible to have Mauricio, an investigator, hear the testimony of another investigator preparing for baptism, bear his testimony and share his conversion process. 

Both Daniel and Mauricio came to church yesterday and are becoming friends! They were laughing and joking and being goofs in Gospel Doctrine class. So great. Last night, we stopped by Mauricio´s house to talk to him about church and what he thought. His dad, Mauricio Papa, was there and we were able to teach him Lesson 1 about the Restoration. It was INCREDIBLE because Mauricio hijo was helping us teach the lesson. When we were done, we asked the papa if he would pray to see if it was true and he simply said, "I don´t need to pray. I already know it´s true." WAHOO. So what did I do? You bet I asked both of them if they would Seguràn el ejemplo de Jesucristo! We invited Mauricio to be baptized on 20 Julio with Daniel and the papa to pray about a baptism date for Agosoto. They both said they wanted to pray about it but that they wanted to invited their mom to listen first! Ah, we have a whole family here. It is so amazing. I know they are all going to get baptized. Mauricio called us right after to tell us he did said that he wanted to come to church this Sunday! 

Ah, flip. We have to leave right now to go pick up my visa! There is so much more I want to write about. Just know that I had amazing experiences this week and am super content. I know that the family fast worked. I have been 100% healthy since Friday night and continue to feel great. I even ate a giant ice cream cone and had positive results :) Thank you so much for thinking of me. Please tell the family I love them and am truly blessed to have their love and support. I, too, include the extended family in my prayers and constantly feel their love here in Chile.

This church is true. There is no doubt in my mind that Joseph Smith saw our Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ. I know that every single word in The Book of Mormon is true. I can feel it´s truth every time I read it. I think the thing that I love most about this mission is the opportunity I have to bear my testimony about Jesus Christ. I always had a testimony about our Savior Jesus Christ but now, I feel the spirit of the atonement in my life all the time. I am so thankful for His sacrifice and all that he went through so that I can live with all of you and our Heavenly Father forever. Don´t worry mom. Imma gonna make sure that all of our family chooses to get married in the temple. We will be a family forever. 

Mom and Dad. I read both of your emails and just bawled through both of them. I am so blessed to receive such incredible messages from both of you every week. They are always inspired and exactly the thing that I need to read. Dad, your testimony is unreal. Thank you for your example of diligence and unconditional love for all those around you. Our ward is extremely blessed to have such an amazing bishop.
I love all of you and hope you have an incredible week! Thank you so much for being so cool and the best family EVER.

All my love,
Hermana Pendleton

Monday, July 1, 2013

O be wise, what more can I say?

Our District

Deciding to serve a mission is like cliff diving without looking over the edge first to make sure you know where you are, all conditions are clear and you´re sure to have a positive experience.  Once you decide to serve and submit your papers, or jump off the cliff without looking, you must accept whatever comes your turning back.

"Therefore, O ye that dive in the water of the unknown, see that ye hope to endure whatever is at the bottom with all your heart, might, mind and strengeth, that ye may land clearly into the water successfuly in hopes that it´s not your last day..."

In the mission, you can´t choose where you serve, your conditions; the weather, your copmanion, the dcidions of your investigators...sometimes there are branches you´ll hit, rocks at the bottom, a feeling of "Why the crap did I ever think it was a good idea to jump?"...sometimes things will be clear and positive, a feeling of "I could do this jump over and over again..."

Wether your experience is rocky or must deal with all conditions and do your best to come up out of the water alive. There are days in the mission where I feel like I jumped into a lake of fire and brimstone with endless tourment (...okay, maybe that´s a bit over exaggerated...) but also I have days where I feel like I could serve for the rest of my life.  This week was a bit of both- regardless of the day, I went to bed every night having to read 1 Nephi 3:7 and during the day, considering Nephi´s later advice, "...and I was lead by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do..."

I am just trying to simply learn to listen to the Spirit about which cliff I should jump off.

We had to a lot of work this week in the freezing, windy, rainy weather while trying to hike up these blasted steep hills. I felt like I was trying to walk upstream with all the water rushing down on us... I tell you, Valapraiso will be the death of me. My back hurts, my legs hurt, my butt hurts, everything hurts....But I think I am losing some weight, so I won´t complain too much about the pain :)

Mauricio is perfect! He is another Nibaldo. In our last lesson, he begged that we stay and read "just one more chapter!" with him. He is killing it with the English as well! What I don´t understand is how we will have AMAZING lessons the night before Sunday, and then all the sudden, they don´t show up to church. Ughh..Chileans are great at making commitments....keeping them is a whole other story.
Luckily (and Unfortunantly), Daniel, showed up for church on Sunday!....with a terrible hangover :/ He told us he had gone to Viña the night before for a fiesta and didn´t get home until 7:30 in the morning. He had to get up and go to the bathroom three times during Sacrament Meeting so he could puke. Ughhh.....I am telling you....Chileans.....yeah.
Yesterday, Alejandro was confirmed and is seriously a different person! He is glowing and smiling all the time! So cool to see the conversion in someone. It makes the mission totally worth it to help someone come unto Christ and really see them change their lives for the better.

The highlight of my week was a Noche de Hogar (FHE) we had with two Hermanas in the ward. We made brownies and pancakes and had an american night! They are one of my favorites in the ward. The message that they prepared for us was in English and I felt right at home :)

We find out about changes Wednesday morning! I am guessing I will stay here in Valpraiso and be training. There are 71 Hermanas right now in the mission and we are receiving 7 more this week. With my luck thus far in the mission, I will probably be one of the lucky ones and get put with one of those 7.....I am okay to train, all I ask is that they are latina, por favor! I will die if I get a brand new grina who knows nooo español :/ (..."I will go I will do....I will go I will do.....") 

I can´t believe how hot it is at home! This week was freezing but we woke up this morning and the sun was shining and it feel like a nice summer day! The weather in Valparaiso is the best weather in all of our mission. It has it´s rainy, freezing moments where I seriously want to die, but it´s way better than being inland where it´s feezing for 3 or 4 months straight. I am praying I can stay here at least one more change to enjoy the sunny days during the winter. This morning, when I wrote 1 Julio 2013, I about died at how fast time is flying. I am doing my best to not think about all the fun 4th of July activities going on at home. With the changes that they made in the MTC, Spanish speaking missionaries are only 6 weeks and not 9 weeks, I think I´ll be coming home about 4 weeks early....which means I will be home for 4th of July next year! Wahoo! Enjoy my favorite holiday for me this year!

Okay, I think that´s about it for this week. I am doing okay and feeling a bit better health-wise. Tay tay, I am happy you are liking your new job! I would kill for some Zupas!  Eat a berry salad and tortilla soup for me :)

You are all beautiful and I love you! 

All my love,
Katherine Pendleton

Finally, some subway! WAHOO #healthyfoodrocksbutthissubwaystillkindasuckedbutohwell

Monday, June 24, 2013

"All I need is the air that I breathe and to love you‏..." - The Hollies

First of all, Dad, I owe you a huge apology. I was waiting until June to send your birthday package for your birthday on JULY 14...Yeah, I´m an idiot. J-U-N-E 14th.....I´ll have to remember that for the next year :/ 

Just know I sent a little something off to you last week for your birthday that should get to you in about 2 or 3 weeks...I died when I read mom´s email when she said you celebrated Father´s Day AND your birthday. Sorry...

"Don´t you know I´ve had diarrhea's since Easters?"....I am pretty sure I have been sick since day one. Four months in Chile and I am still suffering. I was up all night throwing up...I have an appointment with a doctor in Viña on Wednesday. Pray that we can find a solution.

This week was an absolute blessing. Hermana Martinez and I are working like crazy! It is amazing how much you can accomplish in one day. The ward we are in is extremely difficult to work with.  Like I expressed last week, they are really lazy at helping with the missionary work. A lot of it has to do with the past missionaries that have been in this ward. 

When we met with the Branch President, Juan Carlos, to talk about Alejandro´s baptism, he told us 2 or 3 of the worst disobedient missionary stories I´ve ever heard.  Nothing pisses me off more than a disobedient missionary! 
But, then again, these missionaries were more than disobedient. Their stories were freaking apostasy - taking random people down to the beach to be baptized in the ocean without teaching one lesson, an Elder babysitting one of the Sister´s babies so the other elder could spend the afternoon locked in a bedroom with who knows who, etc.  Terrible experiences that obviously put a burden on the future missionaries....kill me. 

After much work with the Branch President and Alejandro, we were able to have a baptism for him yesterday! All went well and he was happy as could be.  He has the sweetest spirit and is incredible with reading and understanding the Book of Mormon. Watching someone convert to the Gospel makes all the stressful, discouraging moments not seem like such a big deal.
we were able to have a baptism for him.

We have been spending a lot of time working with Familia Nivarro Hidalgo and teaching them the law of chastity and eternal marriage.  Finally, after 12 years of living together, they finally accepted our invitation to help them get married and went and bought a fecha to get married on August 14! We are praying all goes well and that we´ll be able to baptize Cecilia, Emilio and their oldest daughter the following weekend :)

Our new technique to finding and teaching is offering to teach people English for free. We already have two new investigators: Daniel and Mauricio. Daniel is a 19-year old student here at the university in Valparaiso.  He lives with his brother and their family. Their mom is a member and so all of them are familiar with the church. We taught Daniel The Restoration last night and he accepted to get baptized July 14! His brother and their family are perfect...we just need to spend time with all them together. Wahoo!

We are waiting to receive Books of Mormon in English to help them learn. It´s a great way to share the gospel, teach and help them learn English!
Mauricio is 15.  His family (mom, dad and older brother) invited us for once (their version of dinner) on Saturday. We spent a lot of time with the alphabet, pronunciation and taught about the Book of Mormon. Mauricio showed up at church yesterday and loved it! He is stoked on the idea of Young Men's. So awesome!

I was stoked when I read that you were able to see the worldwide missionary conference yesterday! It was sooo GOOD and so perfect and I am so ready for all the new changes and counsel! 70,274 missionaries! 405 missions! Can you believe it! What a great time to be a missionary! This church is TRUE. 

Best Pday EVER w/ my new shirt & fav sandwich in Chile.
It's crazy to think that changes are already next week! Where does the time go? Seriously. I´m about 1/3 done. This mission is literally the hardest thing I´ve ever had to do. Trying to balance out every plan, investigator, emotion, goal, language, bleh, everything is so bloody hard at times...but it´s all worth it in the end :) The conference last night made me excited to come home and work as a missionary member.

I am happy you all had a beautiful summer week! It sounds like McKenna is adjusting well and having amazing experiences. She looks so happy in the picture with Tay Tay and Becca :) They are such amazing examples. I always use Tay and Becca as examples of how the youth should be when I am teaching the youth here. I have the best family in the world!

Thank you so much for your emails and love this week! You are all amazing. Be happy and remember how much I love you!


Hermana Pendleton

Monday, June 17, 2013

I put the right foot in front of the leg and beyond that is anybody's guess‏. -M. Ward, Epistemology lyrics

The view from my bedroom.

Where everyone accepts the invitation to get baptized 
and then becomes inactive the following Sunday.

It is incredible to me how many less active members there are in just my area alone. To give you an idea of what I am talking about, there was a good 40-45 people at church yesterday. During the week, our goals is to contact and talk to at least 20 people everyday. That is 140 contacts every week. This week I decided to keep tract of how many contacts said they were less active or had family members who were baptized but had left the church....I lost tract at almost 50. I feel like my mind-set is more focused on retention than it is on baptizing. It´s difficult to find a balance between the two. Ever since I got to Chile, I´ve always felt that less actives are just as important as finding those to teach and invite to be baptized. It doesn´t help that the Ward is extremely small and unmotivated to help the missionaries with the work.

Luckily, I was asked to speak in Sacrament yesterday - for 20 minutes because no one else in the Ward wanted to talk this week besides the Branch President and me. (People in Chile can be SO LAZY!) Before I started to write my talk, I thought a lot about how I could write a message that would be beneficial for our investigators, less active members and the members in our Ward to have more faith in Christ and continue to strengthen their relationship with him. The only thing I could think of was "Help them feel loved...teach them how to serve with faith". That made perfect sense to me. All anyone wants is to feel that they are loved and accepted. I was reminded of a quote from this past General Conference from President Eyring:

"Many of you have loved ones who are wondering off the path to eternal life. You wonder what more you can do to bring them back. You can depend on the Lord to draw closer to them as you serve Him in faith.... My promise to you who pray and serve the Lord cannot be that you will have every blessing you may wish for yourself and your family. But I can promise you that the Savior will draw close to you and bless you and your family with what is best. You will have the comfort of His love and feel the answer of His drawing arms in giving you service to others. As you bind up the wounds of those in need and offer the cleansing of His Atonement to those who sorrow in sin, the Lord´s power will sustain you. His arms are outstretched with yours to succor and bless the children of our Heavenly Father, including those in your family."

Together with this quote, I did my best to write a talk letting all of them know how loved they are...but how their lack of service to the Lord kind of sucks right now.  I talked a lot about missionary work and ways they could help. Immediately after sacrament meeting, 5 different people came up to me and asked how they could help us this week, 2 gave us references and the sweetest sister offered to do our laundry this week. The message was a success! Thanks,Eyring.

Oh, by the way, I am also the Ward pianist and Choir director. We have Stake Conference next week and I´ve been in charge or the choir practices and getting our musical number ready for the beautiful 8 people that our in our choir. It´s great and really funny and I can hardly remember how to play the piano. But it´s a good experience :)
Hermana Martinez, Silvia and Me at a RS Activity.
Alejandro had a lot of trouble this week but we were able to put another baptism date for this Saturday!

We are working really hard with a perfect family. Familia Navarro Hidalgo. They have been together for over 12 years and have two sweet daughters ages 12 and 5. They know that the church is true and they want to become members. Only problema is...they aren´t married :/  Ugh. why is no one freaking married here? We are meeting with them tonight to talk about the law of chastity more and our options for them. PRAY FOR THEM PLEASE.

We are really working hard and doing our best to contact everyone! This week was really humbling and I am happy to be here. I feel like the more time I spend in the mission (5 months yesterday - Wahoo!the harder it gets. But the harder it gets, the more rewarding it is. I am grateful for all of my trials and everything I am learning right now. There are times when I fall, but I am relying on the Lord and every time, he helps me get back up. The Atonement is real.

Being goofs at Zone Conference

Hermana Martínez is heaven sent. I truly am so grateful for her. We have become the best of friends and are experiencing really incredible things together. I love her dearly. She will be an eternal friend fo sho. 

Okay, family. I love you all so very much! I hope you had a great week and a beautiful Father´s Day! 
Dad, thanks for your sweet message! Love you!!!!!
All my love,
Hermana Pendleton
Sushi to celebrate Hermana Martinez's 11 month mark in the mission.