Thursday, January 31, 2013

MTC - Week 3 & Birthday

AAAHHH Mi Familia :) I love all of you.
This week has definitely been a good one. I really enjoy the MTC and wish that I would be here for another 12 weeks. Everyone tells me that by the time my 6 weeks is up, I'll be saying otherwise, but I would love to work on my Spanish until I feel comfortable enough to use it in another freaking country.
Yes, of course learning a new language in 6 weeks is difficult, but looking back at the last two weeks, I can truly testify that the gift of tongues is real. That's not to say I don't make my mistakes--for example-- in just one lesson with my investigator this week I said:
"Creo en Dios?" (Do I believe in God?......I was trying to ask, Do YOU believe in God?
"Jesucristo es mi amor!" (which really means Jesus Christ is my love!)
and my personal favorite,
"Jesucristo puede pardonar nuestro pescados" (Jesus Christ can take away our fish.  I was trying to say, Jesus Christ can take away our sins.)
I'd definitely say that conjugating verbs is the thing that is the hardest for me. For those of you who have learned Spanish, you know what I'm taking about when I say it's difficult to remember all the regular and irregular verbs. It's all just memorization. But it's definitely coming along.

Thank you SO much for my birthday package! I know you put a lot of time and effort into putting that together. You're great, Mama! I LOVE the necklace and all the Sisters have asked to borrow my shirt. I laughed when I opened up the straightener because of the letter I had just sent you about sending mine home. I'll decided what I'm going to do with the blow dryer before I leave. Birthday's in the MTC are great. Hermana Smith's mama sent me diet coke, Brad (from my slc singles ward) sent me diet coke, two missionaries (who are waiting for visas but go out and proselyte here in Provo) brought me back diet coke and Vickie sent me a great package filled with pretzel rollo bites :) and I got over 20 dear elders, letters and emails wishing me a happy birthday! I definitely feel loved and supported by so many wonderful people.
As you know, I need a way to keep my diet cokes cold. If you remember, I'd always put them in the freezer for a bit so they could get extra icy and delicious. So, I've made big snow banks and buried my diet cokes all over the MTC. It's hilarious to see people's reactions when they see me digging around in the snow, only to pull out a heaven sent DC.
I made my companion laugh so hard she peed her pants. It was great.

I am definitely happy here and find that it's pretty easy for me to stay motivated and work hard. I definitely have my moments where I get a bit discouraged or frustrated that things aren't coming as quickly as I want them too. But it teaches me to be humble and this is NOT my mission--but what I'm doing is 100% for the Lord and the people he wants me to come in contact with. 

"God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs. Therefore, it is vital that we serve each other." -Spencer W. Kimball

I'd say that I have the best district in the entire MTC. We are all BEST friends. They definitely get me through my day and help me keep my chin up. We are all SO different, and yet we get along so well. 

I started writing a book called '26.2 As a Missionary'. I'll probably change the name....but so far so good. I hardly have any time to write so I don't have much. It'll be my project when I get home to finish it. I think you'll really like it.
I know this is long but I have a story to share before I go...
On Tuesday, Hermana Smith and I got a new "investigator" (our teacher Hermana Thomas) who supposedly hated God, didn't want the church, doesn't love her husband-OR-her child, doesn't get the point of life, doesn't care if she sins, etc. That lesson SUCKED (it was the same lesson where I said 'God can take away all of our fish...she didn't think that was very funny). I left the lesson feeling like I couldn't speak Spanish, I didn't know how to teach the gospel, Hermana Smith and I didn't work very well together in that was just bad. 

I had a bad attitude for the rest of the night and even when I woke up Wednesday morning. We had personal study first thing that morning and I usually study my scriptures. I said a prayer and asked Heavenly Father if he would help me to pick myself back up and let the positive side of Kath come out again. Immediately after my prayer, I felt like I needed to get on (sometimes I get on there to read conference talks, listen to church music, etc.) so I did. On the homepage, it had a link to President Monson's article in this months copy of The Liahona called "Living the Abundant Life". Go and read it. It was a direct answer to my prayer. Here are a couple of my favorite quotes from the article...
"The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives." -William James

"Courage is required to make an initial thrust towards one's coveted goal, but even greater courage is called for when one stumbles and must make a second effort to achieve it."

"Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow'".

Yo se que la iglesia es verdado. I know that this church is true. I love being a missionary and the opportunity to be out here, serving The Lord and taking care of those around me. Love and serve those around you. That's what this church is about.
I'm thankful for all of you and the love that you show me! You are all beautiful people and I'm happy I get to spend the rest of eternity with you :)
All my love,

Hermana Pendleton

Monday, January 21, 2013

MTC - Week 2: Excerpts from 1/24/13 Email & Letter

Preparation-day email excerpts:

I feel like I haven't seen any of you in years. Time isn't even a thing in the MTC. All the days just blend together. It really does feel like the movie Groundhogs Day. Pretty much everything I heard, prior to entering the MTC, is true. Time doesn't feel real, "make it until Sunday!" is SO true, waking up at 6:30 is rough, etc, etc....
Honestly, I really really like it here. A sister was telling me about how much she LOVED the MTC and there is no other place she'd rather be. I laughed when she said that and thought "I'd much rather be any other place in the world right now...rock climbing....running the vita course...laying on the beach in Newport...." So I know there are many other places I'd much rather be than the MTC, but I don't think that there is anything else I'd rather be doing. 

I definitely feel content here and it's nice to have a peaceful feeling always throught the day. No homesickness, no complaints (other than not being able to run outside and no diet coke). I think a lot of that is because I have the best companion ever! Hermana Smith and I work SO WELL together. I love her with my whole heart and feel so blessed to have her by my side 24/7. I thought it would be terrible to have someone with me all the time. Sure, it took some getting used to, but I want her to be with me all the time. So things are groovy there. 

I have a great district! Oh my gosh. I love all of them so much! There are 8 Elders and 4 Hermanas. We all get along so well and have a blast every single day. I'm definitely the oldest so I feel like the mom of the group (which I like to be). Everyone in my district has had at least a year of experience with Spanish and I've had...nada. It's AMAZING how much I've learned in only a week! It makes me so excited to think about all that I'll know in 18 months.  It's so funny. I never get upset about how little I know or how difficult it is to learn this language. Ry-Guy wrote me a letter right before I came in and said, "Don't even, for one second of your entire mission, get frustrated over the language. Just pray hard, study lots and it'll come in due time." Best advice ever. So I just laugh and let people make fun of the silly questions I ask or how ridiculous I sound when trying to speak. Hermana Smith and I had to teach our first investigator our second day here in Spanish. Yeah. That was fun :/

It just makes me excited and really anxious to learn more so that I can participate more in the lessons. Right now I can pray, bear my testimony, ask the baptismal questions and say a whole bunch of dumb phrases in Spanish. I feel like I'm really starting to understand a lot of the grammar. It'll come......I'm not to nervous about it. Imma beet nurrvus (new zeleand accent) about leaving in less than FIVE WEEKS! We are the first Spanish Zone to have a 6-week MTC stay. Everyone who came in the week before us, and everyone prior to them, have to be here 9-weeks. So we'll leave before some of the Missionaries who got here before us. They hate us. I know it.
Elder Caleb Newby, our district leader went to Kenya with Monica and Jacob this last summer! And Hermana Smith knows Chandler Peck from Utah State. So many fun connections here!
I've been really doing my best to work out hard every chance I get. I run about 3-4 miles everyday. My MTC goal is to do 1,000 abs, 100 push ups and 50 squats/lunges every night. So far so good. The food here is eh...okay. I hate how much we eat. It drives me crazy.
I LOVE YOU ALL SOOOO MUCH!!! Really, I am so grateful for your love and support.

This chruch is true. I love this gospel. I am so happy :)

All my love,
Hermana Pendleton


Excerpts from letter written later the same day:


Hey, I love you.

I hate writing emails here.  Thirty minutes just isn't enough time.  They literally time you - once 30 minutes is up, you're logged off.  Aargh!

...I absolutely love being a missionary.  All of the girls seem to be having a really hard time...and I'm over here just loving it.  My nurturing side is really coming in handy.  I don't think I've given so many hugs and pep talks in my life.  It makes me feel good to help.

I know Heavenly Father is really looking out for me.  NO Homesickness?  No stress? Loving being away?  Yeah, he definitely is close to me.  My motivation to work so hard is this...
If Jesus can come to this earth, teach his entire life (and not only teach, but be 100% selfless,) atone for EVERY SINGLE PERSON'S SINS, & be hung on a cross, I can serve a mission for 18 months.  Easy.

...I watched all the new missionaries get dropped off yesterday and it was cool to see it from a real-life perspective.  It made me think about all of you at home, running around to all your different activities and I smiled. : )

I love you all so much,
Hermana Pendleton

Katie, on her birthday- Jan. 23rd, with several of the sweet sisters from her Branch at the MTC.
(Text picture sent to me by Sister Day, the wife of the second counselor in the Branch Presidency.)

Thursday, January 17, 2013

MTC - Week 1

Excerpts from first day in the MTC letter
17 January 2013

Hola familia!

Como esta?  ...yeah, that's about all the Spanish I know. : /
It's okay tough!  I'm not down about it.  I definitely don't LOVE the MTC, but I definitely don't HATE it.  I do love my companion.  Heavenly Father really blessed me on that one.  She is amazing!  Her name is Hermana Smith.  She's from Highland, Utah.  I feel like her big sister.  I call her Hermana Niño Chica. - Sister baby girl. : )  This is like high school for her.  She's 19, so everyone's her age here in the MTC.  She is always happy, smiling and she's a total babe!  I love her.

I can't imagine being in the MTC with a terrible companion.  It's sometimes weird always having to be with someone - but it's not too bad.  We have lots and lots and lots and lots of study/classroom time.  Not that strange considering that we came here to learn the gospel and Spanish; but it was a lot more than I was expecting.

Photo explanation:
Elder Bloxum got his middle finger cut off in high school.You know how we always play dinosaurs with our hands? 
Yeah, I always make him play it with me because it's soooo funny with his little stub. 
I always shake his half finger instead of his hand :)  He loves me.
Don't worry, he doesn't feel bad that he doesn't have a finger.

With Elder Sheffield (on right), a friend of Hermana Smith's from Highland, UT

...Everyone in my district is serving in Chile Santiago except Hermana Smith and I.  There are eight boys and four girls.  We get along great!  They taught everything in Spanish from the second I walked in.  I could understand most of it, but could never have responded or answered questions. : /  eh.

With Steven McGrath from Kaysville, UT

With Elder Christensen from Kaysville, UT

...I'm doing really well.  The busier I am, the less I think about home, friends, family and diet coke (I miss diet coke.) This morning Hermana Smith and I went to power yoga at 6am.  Oh boy - MTC power yoga - not a pretty sight of sisters, so I kind of did my own thing.  I'll get to start running tomorrow.  I can't wait to get a good run in!

...Okay, I need to go back to class. I love you all!  Miss you lots - but, yeah, don't worry, I'm happy
and groovy. : )

Con amor,
Hermana Pendleton

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Entering the MTC

mis-sion-ary, {noun}
a person who leaves their family for a while,
so others can be with their FAMILIES FOREVER

On Our Way to the MTC

January 16, 2013

In the car, on our way to drop Katie off at the MTC.
Just another reason why we're going to miss our Katie! : /
Her really bad Australian/New Zealand accent (that Grandma thinks is Irish) is just one of the things that made us laugh.  It's easier not to cry when you're laughing and in "character." There's never a dull moment with Miss Katie around.

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