Monday, September 14, 2015

Bitter sweet

Friends and Fam,
Well as you all know, this is my last email from Armenia. To be quite honest, I'm not really sure what to write. I feel overwhelmed. Both in a good and bad way. When older missionaries would talk about going home, they'd say that it was "bitter sweet". I've now learned how that feels. When I left for my mission I was so worried about missing my family and how hard it would be to say goodbye to them for a year and a half. Little did I know that a year and half later it would be much harder saying goodbye for who knows how long to the family I've made here. The things that I've learned, the person I've become while here in Armenia...It's all a little difficult to put on paper.
To put it in short: I've found myself. Obviously I still have insecurities and I have a lot to learn but I've found what makes me happy. I've found what makes everyone happy. And that is the living the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I know I've said it a million times in my emails throughout my mission but there's only one way to true happiness and that is through this Gospel. Christ showed us the way. It's so simple but you have to have an open mind, a softened heart to understand it.
I'm starting to babble on so I'll stop trying to explain it. But I want that you all know that I know with all my heart that Jesus is the Christ. That he died for each and every one of us. I know that when we follow in His footsteps in every way (not just when it's convenient) that we are blessed tremendously. I know that after Christ's death, His priesthood was lost and along with it, His church which left a great need for a restoration. Because of the faith of Joseph Smith we have Christ's restored church/priesthood on the earth today. What a blessing that is. I know that by merely reading the Book of Mormon and sincerely praying about it we find for ourselves that it really is the true word of God.
I'm sad I can't express myself like I want to.....
I love this gospel. I've never been happier.
I'm sorry this is short and not full of fun stories but for now, this testimony is all I have to send. I can't really make my mind think past those basic truths right now.
I love you all so much and am so grateful for all of your support to me and my family as I've been away.
Sister Kuykendall

One more week

Monday, September 7, 2015

V was baptized!!!

Armenians use bags for EVERYTHING. You cannot leave the house carrying something unless it's in a bag of some sort. And it's super cute because they always try and find cute grocery bags to put them in because no one can afford an actual cute bag. So Armenians are just always seen carrying plastic grocery bags.
We have an adorable neighbor tatik. She loves us so much. She always knocks on our door to ask why we got in so late or to remind us that there won't be water that day or just because she's lonely. We visit her once a week. I wish I could explain her. It's adorable.
Now for the real story: So remember in the last package you sent me, you sent one of those really cute whole foods bags? Well to be quite honest I wasn't really sure what I was going to do with it. It just sat on my desk all cute for a little bit. But one day I had this great idea of giving it to tatik so that she wouldn't have to use a plastic bag anymore! Brilliant right? Well she literally uses it for everything now. She LOVES it. :)

Last week V was baptized!!! I can't even begin to describe it. She planned the baptism herself because she wanted it to be perfect. She was so cute. She showed up in a modest dress and was squeezing my hand the entire time. The spirit there was absolutely incredible. After she came out of the water and we went in the dressing room to help her change, she kept hugging us and saying, "Girls, am I baptized??" "I don't believe it!" "I'm going on a mission now right?" The whole service was full of tears. It was incredible. Also mom, don't be mad but I gave her all of my clothes pretty much. She just really needed them. She was SO excited though. I think you'd be really happy. I'll show you pictures when I get home. :)

So we hiked Mt. Aragats last week. It's the tallest mountain in Armenia. Cool right? And we hiked it to the top. And I hiked it easier than I thought I would! Climbing our 5 flights of stairs to our apartment is way harder still. Why is that? Well, it was a super cool experience. I have pictures for you to see when I get home. I can't send them because they all have other people in them. :(

I love you so much!
love, Mads

Armenian housework :)

Flower gift

No Problem!