Monday, May 27, 2013

Be Still My Soul

Tuesday morning I received "the phone call".  Not only did I find out that I was leaving La Serena, I found out that I was going to be training! I can definitely see a difference in myself and know that there is a lot about Kath that is "changing." I thought quite a bit about my life during my 7-hour bus ride from La Serena to Viña. I have always said how much I don´t like change but hi....look at my life....In the past five years, I´ve visited 5 different countries, been enrolled in 5 different colleges, lived in 6 different houses and my resume is 13 pages long because of the 18 jobs I´ve had in my life.....Throughout all these "changes", I´ve dealt with many different emotions (most of them difficult to control)....But right now, being in the mission, where every hour, day, week, month is filled with thousands of changes, the only emotion I feel is simply like I am floating down Lazy River at Cherry Hill, my eyes closed, the warm sun on my face with dark side of the moon soothing my summer afternoon. I´m just goin' with the flow and all is groovy.

This change is quite the experience. I am in Villa Alemana which is about an hour inland from Viña. I feel like I am in a different country compared to La Serena. Villa Alemana has a California neighborhood feel to it. It´s weird to be in a place that has "houses" and yards and grass and gardens. Honestly, it feels like America here...only everyone speaks Spanish. Clean, clear, easy to understand Spanish. It is such a blessing and I am here to testify that the gift of tongues is REAL. Heavenly Father knows what you need to know and when you need to know it. I am not evening kidding you, it´s as if I learned Spanish overnight. I am talking like Spanish was my first language AND my first night here.....guess what happened.......MY TONGUE STARTED TO ROLL!!! I am having no problems with rolling my tongue when I talk. I can´t consistently roll my tongue like a Mexican when he yells ARRRRRIBA pero, I`m not tripping over my words or stuttering my way through the lessons. It is absolutely incredible. I cry and feel so blessed when I think about the perfect timing of it all.

And in reality, it definitely was perfect timing for my situation. I have found myself in a TRIO!!! Wahoo! And it is quite the special experience for me. I am with Hermana Beu and Hermana Etchegaray. If you have seen the movie Adam before, Hermana Beu is the actor Adam to a T!!! (if you haven´t seen the movie, go rent it this weekend. Actually, I own go look through all my movies and find it...It´s one of my favorites). She doesn´t have Aspergers, but she has Turrets. She is extremely intelligent (knows the lessons and does well with the Español) but has a nervous tic where when she is in a lesson or talking to other people, she hiccups really loud (it sounds like a sheep...don`t laugh....because it´s who she is and I love her tic) and the hiccup is followed with an extremely loud burp. She also has a stuttering problem and gets really confused when teaching the lessons. So I´ve been working with her on learning the lessons and being able to teach them really slow and simple.

This is Hermana Etchegaray first change in the mission so I´ve also been doing my best to teach her the lessons and simply how the mission works. She says she is from Argentina but I swear she is talking in Mandarin half the time. The Argentinian accent is so hard for me to understand... Hermana Beu was here before us, but doesn´t remember where anything is and has a really hard time with directions. Luckily, thanks to Daddy Scott, I have a great memory with directions and have been trying to find unique, creative ways to help Hermana Beu remember her way around. All in all, I feel like the parent of two and it´s totally awesome. I am constantly telling Hermana Beu how much I love her tic :) I have all the patience and love in the world for these two girls and know Heavenly Father is going to bless us.

As you know, in the mission when you are training, you are called "The Mom" and the person being trained is "The Daughter"...I made a joke to Hermana Beu the other day by saying "Lesbi-honest, we are the best mom´s in the world"...Either she never saw Pitch Perfect or has a pure, innocent mind because she didn´t find my lesbian joke too funny.... :/
Right now, we have two investigators with baptismal dates! Luckily, they were new when we got here so we were able to teach them from the start! We asked them to get baptized on Saturday and their fecha is for 16 Junio! Pray for them...Camila and Valeria. We are also teaching Camila English. She has an interview this week in English and if she passes, she gets to go to New Zealand! Wahoo. They are absolutely perfect. 
I love the ward. I love where I am. It really does feel like a totally different mission but the change is good. There are two things in my life that will never change and that is the love I have for my friends and family and 3 Nephi 24:6

"For I am the Lord, I change not..."

Love that. I love this gospel.

Thanks for the update! It sounds like things are normal at home. Mom and Dad, thank you SO much for your emails last week. They made for super great lessons with Ramon and Nibaldo...Continue to pray for them...I hope all went well with their family home evening. I have the best family in the world. I loved the updates! When do Jer and Tina find out about the baby?

Okay! I have to go asap.....LOVE YOU ALL! DYB!

Hermana Mama Pendleton

Monday, May 20, 2013

Nibaldo got Baptized!

"Love your mother, yeah she´s a good one. 
She´ll build you armor, keep you warm as a hen. 
The stars may fall and the rains may pour, but I will love you evermore." 
-Cloud Cult

I´ve been on my mission for 4 months and 4 days....I swear I´ve only been here 2 weeks.
AAAh. This week. Holy crap. Dad, every week I realize more and more how tiring being the bishop can be. Thank you for your example.
This week was definitely a trial of my faith. It was good though--I need it. I swear, every single one of our appointments fell through. We had the hardest time contacting and I felt like everyday was full of walking and Spanish I couldn´t understand. On Tuesday, we had a lesson with Ramon about his baptism date, preparations, etc. After we had been talking for a good 20 minutes about everything, I realized we hadn´t given him any chance to talk or share how he was feeling. I asked him, "How has your experience been with the gospel so far?" He looked up at my and we just stared at each other for a good 20 seconds. He finally said, "Sincerely, Hermana Pendleton. I don´t feel anything when I read The Book of Mormon. I don´t have the same experiences as Nibaldo. I want to and that´s why I read and pray everyday. But sincerely, I feel nothing.....and I don´t want to get baptized anymore....."
GAHHHHH, NOOOOOOO! My heart was crushed. I wanted to help him more than ANYTHING. I felt like a parent with a troubled teenager. I tried many different ways to explain things he could to help him feel the spirit, but he was set that he didn´t want the gospel anymore. It broke my heart. As we helped Nibaldo throughout the week prepare for his baptism, Ramon would come down and say hello to us, but nothing more. Nibaldo said he wasn´t reading with him anymore and didn´t know what to do. I prayed and prayed and fasted and fasted. Things continued to go really well with Nibaldo, which is good. (Preparing for his baptism was CRAZY. It´s difficult to figure these things out without a trainer that's done this before.)  But in the end, I just had to put my faith in the Lord and his timing. I had a dream about Ramon on Saturday. I don´t remember much, but I remember he was happy with his family. Sunday morning, Nibaldo, Nicolas AND Ramon all showed up for church :)
Later that day, THEIR ENTIRE FAMILY CAME TO NIABLDO`S BAPTISM!!! Complete with food, drinks and treats. It was SO incredible. Best Feeling EVER.....jk.....the best feeling ever was when Nibaldo´s Dad thanked us for everything after the baptism and
AHHHHHH. Seriously. Wow. We are having a Family Home Evening in their house Wednesday night. You should have seen Nibaldo´s face when we told him that his dad wants us to teach him. It was perfect. I got to speak at the baptism about the gift of the Holy Ghost and it was all just really special.
I KNOW that Heavenly Father has a plan for all of us. We just have to trust him. Even though this week was tough, we pushed through it with all the faith in the world and whaddyaknow, Sunday was beautiful. I LOVE this gospel. I know that this church is true and I am so glad I have the opportunity to be "Nibaldo´s Missionary" :)

We still don`t know about changes this week. We will find out either tonight or tomorrow morning.
I got your package this week! Finally!! Music and chocolate :) Thank you so much, Mama. It was perfect. Becca, your letter was hilarious. I died laughing. and I died laughing at your fish joke that you said during family prayers. Hahahaha. You are 2 good 2 B true.

Mom, I LOVED your email this week. It was so happy and exactly what I needed to hear. I have the best family in the whole entire world. I think that it´ll be good for you to not be teaching and be home this fall, Mama. You and dad are so good at balancing out everything for the family. When is the last day of school? I am proud of all you for your sports, AP tests, smiles, happy spirits, everything.
I hope you all have the best week ever! I´ll be letting you know about changes next week! Pray that I get to spend (at least) one more change here in paradise! 
All my love,

Monday, May 13, 2013

And I miss you, even when you're around...

Our District in La Serena
I think we are connected. This morning during personal study, I read from D&C 11 and I loved how in verse 9 it says, "Say nothing but repentance unto this generation. Keep my commandments, and assist to bring forth my work, according to my commandments, and you shall be blessed". I loved this scripture because it´s the gospel in a nutshell. The plan is simple but at times, the things that we need to accomplish can be very difficult.
I had a friend write me in the MTC and she asked, "Why does God let such terrible things happen in this life? Especially to people who don´t deserve to go through these hard things?" Everyday I am able to find another answer to this question. It´s all part of the plan. We all must go through hard things in this life...After reading in the D&C, I read from 1 Nephi 16 when Nephi breaks his bow...I LOVE THE BOOK OF 1 NEPHI... AND I LOVE NEPHI. His faith and courage never cease to amaze me. But anyway, I can´t remember the specific number, but I am pretty sure the word "humble" is used about 4 times in this particular chapter. The wicked take the truth to be hard, but when they humble themselves, they can see the truth. Laman and Lemuel murmur, but receive forgiveness when they humble themsleves. Nephi humbles himself when he is given yet another difficult task to accomplish. 
In your email, Mama, you said, "I have learned that humility is essential to acquiring this knowledge."   I loved that you shared that with me and I, too, am learning that, without humility, there is no way I could do this mission, learn this language, or ever face difficult challenges without humility, faith and obedience. THAT is how we make it through those hard times when we find ourselves asking the question, "Why does God give us trials and challenges?"

Okay, that is my spiritual thought for the day. Thank you so much for your short emails family :) Yesterday was absolutely incredible! I loved every second of it and wish I could see your beautiful faces more often. It was so weird....five minutes after we hung up, our skype conversation felt like a it never happened. The mission is weird, I tell ya. I wish I could have spent time with each of you individually...I hope all of you know that I love and care about you dearly. I am so grateful to have such an amazing family with loves and cares about me. Mom and Dad, THANK YOU for all that you have done for me and continue to do. Your example is beyond amazing and I hope to be as incredible as you two are someday when I have my own kids.
Hahaha. I keep laughing to myself every time I think about how hard it was for me to talk in English. My head hurt so bad after we hung up. It was hard to go back to talking in Español with Hermana Calderon. I've got to get back at it though, because this week we will be really focusing on Nibaldo and trying to get him ready for baptism! I can´t believe this is the last week of my second transfer. Time is flyyying. We need to find new investigators ASAP and really work hard on teaching the family of Nibaldo. 
Nibaldo and me after he passed his baptism interview!!

It was so fun to see Grandma Pendleton, Uncle Bob, Nanny, Jerry and my new nephew. ;)
Becca, I am SO PROUD OF YOU FOR MAKING DANCE COMPANY AND DOING WELL ON YOUR AP TESTS!!! Tay Tay, I truly have missed your smile. Cam, THANK YOU for making me laugh. Hahaha. I miss your sense of humor and just laughing with you. Jer, you advice was perfect. I wish I could have spent an hour talking about your mission with you.  Tina, we didn´t get to talk much but you looked so beautiful. Keep being healthy for you and the baybay!!
Love you all!

Skyping with the family on Mother's Day!
Jerry, I forgot to tell you...
but last week we had a pool tournament for P-day. 
I totally killed it thanks to you and your teaching skillz.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Love and Some Verses...

Holy Family,

I love you so much. I am so happy to hear that dad's surgery was successful and he now has perfect eyes. Cam!!! I loved hearing about your rockets (and you are so freaking cute in the picture mom sent me. I have the hottest little brother evah - heartbreaker.) I remember when Daddy Scott used to take Jer and I to launch of rockets after church. Great memories. Always a good time. Becca, you are 100% in my prayers for your AP Tests. While I was praying for you and your AP tests the other night, I started laughing because I thought about the time I was helping you study for one of your tests. I was trying to figure out ways to help you memorize your vocabulary words and I couldn't pronounce ANY of the words right. Hahahaha. Good times. You are way smarter than me. DON'T STRESS. It's just a test. It's just a piece of paper. Do your best and carry on with life. TAY TAY. How we doin, little lady? I am always thinking about you and your sweet smile. Did you get my letter? JEREMY HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I am happy to hear my package got to you in time. I hope you have a beautiful day. Kiss Tina's tummy for me.
I was stoked to hear that Cub and Ashtyn came to visit! They are sweethearts. Tomorrow is Caleb's birthday....I am going to attach a picture of me with a birthday sign for Caleb, Gentrie, Jeremy, Sarah Hoer and Mckenna Peck...and Ali Malan.  Because I forgot her birthday in April :/ I have forgotten so many people's birthdays it's not even funny. You know me and how I love to celebrate and make birthday's special. It's difficult for me to not be able to make people feel special on their birthday's....and I feel even worse when I FORGET about birthday's. So...Forgive me everyone. I love you no matter what age you are.

This email is going to be a shorty because we have a zone activity in just a bit. I get to talk to you all in less than a week so I'll be able to give you the FULL update then.
We spent a lot of time with the obispo (bishop) this week. He is such a freaking stud. He has been the bishop for Y-E-A-R-S because he does such a great job with the members and are ALWAYS wanting to work closely with the missionaries. We had a couple amazing lessons with him and our investigators and on Saturday, we had a really fun Noche de Hogar (FHE) in his house with Nibaldo, Ramon and Nicolas. We watched a movie on the Salt Lake Temple and Hernmana Calderon taught us all how to make a whole bunch of different foods from Columbia. Working with the bishop lots makes me realize how much you do for our family dad. It's not easy being the bishop, but you do a great job at balancing being a dad, a bishop and supporting the family with work. THANK YOU! I love you.
We are teaching a couple, Mario and Elsa, and they are simply amazing. Elsa doesn't understand anything we teach and doesn't want to stop drinking she simply listens and gives us chocolate. They have two sons, Fernando (18) and Jonathan (20) who aren't interested in the church but we thoroughly enjoy their friendship. They are amazing boys and are so respectful to their parents. Yesterday, Mario came to church for the first time AND bore his testimony!!! Hahah, It was incredible...The only thing keeping him from baptism is, he's not married to Elsa :/ 
Bahhh, it's so frustrating!!! So, we are working on that.
Other than that, this week was full of emotion, bad lessons, good lessons, lots of walking and trying to learn this freaking language. I feel like I am progressing. Little by little.
Hermana Calderon is amazing. I love her and we are becoming good friends. We definitely have our differences but we are good at communicating. 
Thank you for your love and support! I am looking forward to Sunday! This church is true! I love the Book of Mormon. I want Nephi to be single in the next life.
All my love,
Hermana Pendleton