Tuesday, March 25, 2014

"So let's get out of here, past the atmosphere‏..." -Andrew Bird

We started out this beautiful P-day with an amazing tour of the Olympic Track and Field Center in Chula Vista! We were able to get the hookups and have a "special tour" thanks to Uncle Craig. : ) We watched the Men's USA Paralympics soccer team practice and go down on the track to meet a lot of the track and field Olympic runners and long jumpers. We were able to go into the weight room and around the campus. It was really awesome to say the least. It would be so cool to be able to come back here and do an internship. Oh, and my new dream job is to be a guide runner for the blind athletes. How cool would that be?!
This week was so crazy. So many blessings. It is killing me that we're already at the end of this transfer!! Only two more transfers :( I'm really hoping that I'll be able to die here in Chula. I can't leave Socorro and Enrique :( I've got to get them married and baptized before I leave! This week, Enrique was in every lesson-participating AND praying! 

We went to the Mormon Battalion on Saturday for a ward activity and they were able to come with us! They came to church on Sunday and for the first time ever, Socorro stayed for the classes. Tonight we are having a lesson and dinner with them and are planning on inviting them to choose a date to get married. Please pray for us. Hermana Aquino and I are kind of freaking out but just really trying to trust the spirit to guide us on what we need to say.
Edwardo wasn't able to come to church with us this week. We had a wonderful lesson with him yesterday and are going to try to put together a family home evening this week with the Familia Quintero.
We put two more baptismal dates yesterday with two new investigators. Marta y Filiberto. They are both in their 50's. Brother and sister. We contacted Marta in front of her house and she told us that her brother was a mormon but died when he was 22. I'm not sure how interested Marta is but, in the word's of Hermana Garcia, Filiberto is "the chosen one". He is so humble and really has a desire to learn more. When I asked him if he wanted to be baptized all he could say was, "Wow. Yes. Wow. But please come back! I need your help to learn more!" hahaha. He's the sweetest.
This week was a bit scary. In the sense of thinking about coming home. I tried to gather all my thoughts and all the things I've learned in the last 14-15ish months. I've learned so much and am so grateful for all the experiences I've had...but a part of me doesn't feel like I've changed enough. I don't know if I'm going to be ready to come home! I keep trying to tell myself what I learned in the MTC from my teacher Hermana Thompson. When I told her I didn't feel like my Spanish was good enough or that I didn't know the lessons or scriptures. Simply put, I didn't feel ready. She would always say, "If you are trying to trust yourself on this, you'll never be ready. Trust in God and you'll always be ready." I don't feel ready to come home and start making all those "big decisions"....but I know that if I put my trust in Heavenly Father and his plan for me, all will work out the way it's supposed to. (I think I just said the word 'ready' 250 times. sorry :/ ) #ready
God is my best friend. I really am learning to put 100% of my trust in him. One of the hardest, most rewarding things I've learned is to swallow my pride and look to him in every decision. I'm still so far from perfect at doing it, but I get a little bit better everyday. With emotional problems, it's difficult to feel the spirit when we're down. So I'm learning to make decisions based on KNOWLEDGE, not on FEELINGS. There are some days where I don't feel good and I want to quit. I want to give in. Even though I feel bad or negative, I know the right thing to do, so I do it anyway. In the end, all works out and I feel the spirit more in my life. 
I know that this church is true. The atonement is real and it's never too late to apply it. I'm thankful the experiences that I'm having and I LOVE CHULA VISTA. I might just have to come back and live/work with Uncle Craig for the rest of my life here :)
Uncle Craig, the best tour guide EVER!
Have a beautiful week.
!!!!!! HAPPY BIRTHDAY CAM!!!!!! 
That is so cool you're starting to play lacrosse! I bet you'll be the best!
Love you all SOOO much :)
Love Hermana P.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Love is all you need.

Our District

There is so much that happened this week that I'm not really sure where to start or what would be the best things to share.
We were supposed to have an appointment with Socorro on Wednesday but she cancelled. She didn't seem very happy when we talked to her on the phone and wasn't sure when she would want to reschedule. It's always scary when one of your investigators says, "I'll just wait and call you". We were trying to think of a way that we could show her we loved her and that it her baptism would work out with time without bugging her and calling her everyday. I prayed for a couple days and thought of the idea that we should heart attack her door with a big sign letting her know the missionaries love her and her family. Aaaand, it worked :) She called us crying and was so happy. Socorro, Enrique and Enrique jr. all came to church on Sunday and last night, we had the BEST lesson with them. This was the first "real" lesson I've had with Enrique and it was amazing. We were watching the Joseph Smith movie and half way through, he paused it and said, "you know, I used to think that mormons worshiped Jospeh Smith, but now I know that he was just another one of God's prophets"...... :)))) YES. Good, Enrique. Good.
So. We are making progress. They invited us over for dinner and another lesson on Wednesday. Pllllleeeeeassse keep praying for them. Please. They will forever be worth it. I love them so much.
I experienced a miracle this week and know that the power of prayer works. About two weeks ago, we had a family home evening with a family in the ward (Familia Quinteros) and for the activity we taught about conference and how all of us can receive personal revelation as we watch it. We told them all that we were going to receive personal revelation that night through prayer and receive an answer on who we could invited to come and listen to conference with us. We all knelt down, everyone with a pad of paper and a pen, and said a group prayer that heavenly father would let us know who we needed to invited to listen to conference. After we prayed, everyone wrote about 4 or 5 names. Then we did it again, except this time, asking who, out of these 4 or 5 people, really needed to be invited and hear the messages that will be given at conference. We did this until they had 1 or 2 names of people they were going to invite. (Okay, pause the story).
We have been working with a man named Edwardo for about a month now. I found him with Hermana Kelemen. He was sitting outside his house, enjoying the sunshine, next to his walker. He is young--last 40's, early 50's and lives with his wife and 3 kids. He is the nicest man in the world and unfortunately had a stroke 3 years ago and is having to relearn how to walk. He has so much faith and really has made so much progress since I met him. We teach him once a week, every Monday, and last week, we invited him to be baptized. He knows that only God can answer his prayers so he told us he would pray about it. We told him we are having a church activity this Saturday and are going to the Mormon Batallion. Familia Quintero told us that if we had any investigators that we would like to bring, they would be happy to drive them for us. So, we told him that a Familia Quintero, a family in the ward, would be willing to take him and his family if they wanted to go. He smiled and said, I know Familia Quintero. They used to be my neighbors and would invite me to church. We figured out that, sure enough, it was the same family! (Okay, unpause.)
We met with Familia Quintero a couple days ago and told them that we were teaching Edwardo, their old neighbor and that they were going to take him and his family to the Mormon Batallion this Saturday! The Hermana Quintero got really quiet and started to get teary eyed. I thought she was going to tell us she wouldn't be able to take them or something...but once we asked her what was wrong, she smiled and said, "I wrote his name on the piece of paper when we prayed about who we should invited to come and listen to conference with our family. I didn't know how I was going to be able to ask him, but this is our perfect opportunity!"

Yeah. So, that was some awesome stuff that happened this week. This mission is amazing. I love it so much. I love good days. Bad days are hard, (duh) but it's true. I'm thankful there is so much sunshine here and I love my companion, Hermana Aquino. She is a superstar and really working hard. She has her struggles but she's making 'em strengths. I'm proud of her for trying her best.
Okay, I love you all so much! Have the best week ever! The church is true and I love you!
Love, KTPyo

Monday, March 3, 2014

...and at once I knew I was not magnificent‏

I don't really know how to start out this email. Especially after having received so many "wow you're so wonderful!" replies from last week.
maybe I'm not so wonderful as you all thought. Well.  no. that was dumb to say. But I'm just reeeeeeeaaaallly confused.
I probably should have given it more than 24 hours for thought, prayer and fasting on the August decision before writing an "I'M INVINCIBLE" email to the world. When president called me into his office last Monday, logically, the thought of staying until August made sense. I didn't have school, work or anything to come home to. I LOVE being here in California and this mission is a dream. What an opportunity to stay a bit longer. I thought that by the President asking me, that was the Lord's way of asking me as well. After I sent that email last week, I felt so sick. I didn't know why because I felt so okay about staying. I decided that it would definitely need to become a matter of MORE prayer and that fasting was necessary. All week, I kept praying to see if I should stay until August but never did I feel good about it. It kept me up real late and because the thought never really left my mind, I'd wake up at about 5 and just feel sick. What a frustrating situation, to be willing to stay, but to not feel good about it. This Sunday, for my fast, I decided to ask the other question. "Heavenly Father, should I stick to the original plan and go home in June?" All day, I felt so much peace. I continued to pray throughout my fast and just felt good.
So. Now what? I don't know what to do. What I said in my email last week still stands true. "Not as I will, but as thou wilt" ....I am more than willing to stay until August. Like I said, logically, it felt good because it made sense. I just want to do what Heavenly Father needs me to do. I'm just going to continue fasting and praying about it. Whatever I decide to do, I want to make sure it's His plan. Not mine. 
This week was LONG though. I think we are all getting back on our feet though. My companion seems to be getting the hang of everything a little bit better. She seems happier and has more of a desire to work hard and go out everyday. We were able to get her into a counselor this week and I think that really boost up her energy. I'm so proud of her and love making sure she's okay. She is going to become the best missionary! I'm proud of my baby girl :)

I want to make a shout out to Hermana Barnes this week. I am so happy this girl stayed another change and is still in our district. We are becoming veddy veddy close and love each other dearly. If I ever decide to move to Provo for a third time, I'll definitely be living with this hottie. We got to do exchanges this last week and we were killing it. It felt good to just get out and work hard again. She shared her life story with me and what got her here in the mission. She is invincible. Love that little lady (really though. she is barely 5 feet)
Last week, we were able to put a date for Socorro's baptism...April 12. Her brother is LDS and lives in Arizona. He comes to California every three months for work and she thought that was about the time he'd be here next. We told her that she really needed to talk to him ASAP so that we could start planning her big day out. She was really wanting to make it a surprise for him but she realized it was necessary to call him and get an exact date. She wasn't able to make it to church on Sunday so I called her that evening to make sure everything was okay. She was SO excited to talk to us. She was really sick and hadn't been able to get herself out of bed for church BUT she had just gotten off the phone with her brother. When she explained that she was finally planning on getting baptized and wanted him there all he could say was "WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! I'll fly out any day to come to your baptism!" So, she wants to be baptized March 15th!!! Wahoo! We are so excited for her! After 5 years of listening to the missionaries, she is so ready!!! I feel so blessed that I get to be here for her big day!
We are also working a lot with Lisa (35, single, half Latina). She lives with Ofilia, her mama, who the missionaries originally started teaching. Lisa moved back home with her mom about a month ago and we've been teaching her ever since. We weren't sure if she was ever going to progress but we finally got her to commit to church this next Sunday. She has had some pretty bad experiences with other churches in the past and doesn't feel she needs to go to church to have a relationship with God. Please, please pray for her. She is ready!
We are still without a car so we are doing lots and lots of walking. It was pretty crazy this weekend. It rained....and rained.....and rained....we were soaked. But, I loved it :) The sun is now shining again and we love the beautiful weather here!
Alrighty. I love you all. I'm not sure what's up about when I'm coming home. But, for now, I'm happy to be here. Chula Vista really is the promised land.
Mama. you are the hottest mom Cancun has ever seen!....and dad, I bet you were the hottest bishop down there as well! Thanks for the pictures! I love you all!
Love, Hermana Pendleton