Monday, June 30, 2014


Hello Momma!

Baptism: Our investigator finally got baptized! It was amazing. The spirit was so strong despite her loud personality. I have to admit (and I probably already have) when we first started teaching her I had the hardest time having charity. She was always interrupting, very loud etc.... But as time went on I started to love her. She still drives me crazy...But now I love her despite her craziness. She will be an awesome contribution to our ward.

Where did the time go??: So is it only weird to me that I have already been out for 4 months?

Spiritual: So this past week I've been a little down because I didn't feel very fulfilled. I felt like I wasn't making a difference. I read a talk on giving yourself up to the Lord. It was incredible. I realized that that is what I am missing. I thought I was doing that but I wasn't all the way. I have decided to actually completely consciously give myself up to the Lord. It's hard. I'll let you know how it goes.

Testimony: I love my Savior and I know he loves me. I encourage every young person who is reading this to go on a mission. Period. Just. Go.

Love, Sister Kuykendall
Is this real life??
And they say this is the Telestial kingdom...

Fairy tale picture

Shh. One of the kitties outside of our shank. Cuter in person - both of us.

This is how much my companion loves me :). Breakfast=Success

Monday, June 23, 2014

kittens and Russian milk lady

Hi momma.

So here's my week in a nutshell:

Yay: So our investigator gets baptized this Saturday (28th). She is quite the character. She is very loud and might have a small case of ADHD x100 but she is ready to enter the waters of baptism. We are very excited.

Kittens: So I think I mentioned before, but there are wild cats and dogs everywhere. So ouside of our shank (building) that we live in there is like a little pile of hay and this little family of kittens lives there with their momma. I have a video that I am going to try to send. Too cute for words. Like I die a little everytime I see them because my companion won't let me steal them. She's the worst. But not really, she's actually the best.

Russian Milk Lady: I don't remember if I talked about this last week or not. So every morning we go running down Tigran Metts and we always see this russian lady probably no less than 78 years old carrying these milk pales somewhere. We don't speak russian and she only knows russian so everytime we try to help she just protests in russian. But this morning she finally let us!! It was so great!!! We soon discovered why she wouldn't let us help her the previous times. It wasn't that she didn't want the help, it was more that she knew that we wouldn't be able to carry it. She would carry 1 in each hand. But she motioned for us to share the weight of just one while she carried the other. (we take what we can get as missionaries) IT WAS SO HEAVY!!!!! Each of those pails that she was carrying in each hand weighed at least 50-60 lbs each. The people here are so strong its ridiculous.

Fat: So I'm getting fat. The Armenians don't know what the word no is when it comes to food. Sometimes when I actually think I might just puke on their table I have to tell them aggressively that I don't want it. They get really sad when you don't eat their whole 5 gallon pot of cilantro/mushroom/mystery soup. I've never been fatter. The Armenians tell me so.

Spiritual: We had our first lesson the other day with a lady that we met at the park. She is a super nice lady so we were really excited to start teaching her. I started to teach a first and before I even finished saying, "We are His children" She started telling us about how no one has seen Jesus. It was so random because 1.I hadn't even mentioned Jesus yet and 2. She had invited us over to learn more about our church. Or so we thought. As politely as I could I told her that if she wanted to learn from us that she would need to listen patiently and try not argue with everything we say. She agreed and I proceded on with the lesson. I told her that God loves her and she immediately cut in again saying how wrong I was because of how hard her life is. At this point I was about to jump out the window behind me. But I took a breath. I then said a quick prayer in my head, looked at her and bore my testimony. I told her that even though life is hard God knows her and loves her very much. I bore testimony of everything I believed to be true. She didn't interupt me one time. I remembered every vocab word I wanted. She watched me intently and when I was done she didn't say anything. We then asked her to read the BOM and pray about it. I gave her a BOM and told her to call us if she wanted to learn more. I don't know when or if she will call us. I don't know what she felt if she did feel anything. But I do know that the Lord loosed my tongue and inspired me to say the things that I said.

I'm out of time to email. But I love you!!!!!!!!

Love, Sister Kuykendall

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Kamats kamats


You are right about people here sounding so different than people in America. The culture couldn't be more different. But I love it.

Spiritual: So Saturday night I was informed that I would be giving a talk in church on Sunday (my birthday). I tried not to cry, I promise. But sister J told me that my testimony would be more appropriate. So I didn't sleep at all that night because I am so terrified of public speaking, especially in Armenian. I was shaking all through out the first two meetings and trying to work out an escape plan. When it came time for sacrament meeting I was calm. I was nervous but not a wreck. I walked up to the stand and bore simple testimony of the things that I know are true that are most important to me. Those things are: This gospel is true. Christ lives. I love my family. I know that I can live with them with God forever. And the Book of Mormon is the word of God. And that was it. That was my whole testimony in silly, broken Armenian. I felt a little silly, I'll admit, because the other missionaries always give such profound talks. But as I looked out over the congregation while bearing my testimony I could feel the spirit touch so many people. Tears filled so many of the members eyes and I no longer felt silly.

Before church I prayed that I would say everything right (because Armenians are ruthless and very honest and will tell you if you speak terribly and I didn't want my birthday present to be unwrapped insults). After Church a girl that speaks english very well came up to me and said, "Sister, you said everything perfectly." Even though it was a silly request, God didn't want me to be humiliated on my birthday.

Also Spiritual: The members from Alaverdi were all bussed down to go to church. These people are so poor that they can't afford transportation to church. So every so often the church pays for a marshootni to go get them. So there were sooooo many people at church!! it was so amazing!!! best birthday present ever. There was not a seat empty in the whole chapel. Such a miracle

Dog: Sister and I went and sat on a bench under a cute little arch of roses and flowers to rest after walking a mile or so to visit a less active.(she was clearly home but did not answer the door. what a stinker :) We were just sitting there talking to the member that we had brought with us having a nice time. I kind of looked over to the left a little to see a dog lying in the grass. (there are thousands of wild dogs here) I kind of studied it for a minute wondering why it looked a little funny. As a looked a little closer i could see that most of it's neck was kind of.....eaten away i guess you could say. so the dog was just dead. So we got up and went somewhere else.

Sad: We saw one of our members on the street the other day smoking. (not the first time)

Birthday: I had such a good birthday! Some of the members bought me cute little presents. Bless their hearts, they have NO money. So it was so sweet. I went home a cried.

Investigators: We have so many investigators right now!!! Yep, believe it!!! 3 of them are moving to Georgia (the country) and we are soooo sad because they are incredible. but there are missionaries where they are moving to so they'll be in good hands. Another one of our investigators was showing signs of creeperism. So we gave him to the elders to teach and then he was miraculously not interested in the church any more.. weird.

Not new: language is still killer but i'm learning. kamats kamats (little by little)

I'm sure there is much more but I always come to internet time remembering nothing.

I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
xoxoxoxo Sister kuykendall

Monday, June 2, 2014

Gru and little miracles

Thank you momma for your sweet email. I hope you had a great week! Katie and I have been writing a lot and I just love her a lot. I miss her so much. I know England loves her so much. She's incredible. This past week was hard but I learned so much. SO MUCH.
Okay, so here we go:

What's up: So our investigator's baptismal date got moved to this week but she's kind of stuck and we might move it again. Our other investigator with a baptismal date dropped of the face of the earth apparently. But then we have this AWESOME investigator that hasn't accepted a baptismal date yet but she will. Her husband left her and her son died in the banak (army) 3 years ago so she's in great need of the gospel. And she realizes it too! Oh man, I just love her and I am so excited for her to get baptized. We also picked up two new investigators at church yesterday. So we're rockin the mission right now :)

What's funny: So yesterday we went street "teaching" (because we're not allowed to proselite). Oh. My. Heck. It was such an interesting night. So we were walking up to the church when this man sort of just ran up to us and was like, "Jesus loves you. Right? And He loves me too. God is our Father which means that we are brothers and sisters." So he pretty much just taught us the beginning of a 1st. And then as he walked away he said, "God is with you." And we both just kind of stood there not really sure what just happened and if it was even real life. Then I was just like, "We can't just let him go!" So we started to walk in the direction we saw him go but we never found him. But we deciede to keep walking. We then saw a man that we had taught a lesson to before but stopped teaching because he was….interesting. He walked up to us and just kept saying Kuy-ken-dall over and over again. Going on about how the 3 syllables of my name meant that I had to travel around Armenia in a Mercedes. He then opened my BOM and pointed to the first number he saw and said, "Oh this is so good. She'll be back by the 16th." He kept going on about it but long story short, he was dead set on giving us a tour around Armenia. After we told him we couldn't a few times he just skipped off. But THEN just about 2 minutes later a guy in his mid 20's asked us in English, "Excuse me, What the time is?" We then told him what the time was and he thanked us politely and walked off. At this point we were just waiting for our next encounter. But it wasn't until we were on our way home that we had our last and final encounter. We were walking past a flower shop past a group of boys when one of them said in English and in a Gru voice (you know, off of Despicable Me), "You know, you are very wonderful." We kind of just chuckled and said thank you as we walked past. Then, as I looked back he pointed at us with his finger and said, "I am in love with you." Still in his Gru accent. And that concluded our night as we tried very hard to contain our laughter until we got home. It was quite a night.

What's amazing: The restored gospel of Jesus Christ is the true church on the earth today. Wow.

What's weird: So on Saturday night I was informed that I would be singing in church and giving a talk the next day. So that was scary. Sacrament Meetings here are a little less organized than in the states. But we ended up going 15 minutes over so I sang but I didn't end up giving a talk. Phew!!! I sang a duet with Elder Sarafian of A Child's Prayer in Armenian. It actually turned out really great!

So church was just all around amazing yesterday. So many of our district's investigators came to church. And our closing hymn was so beautiful and it touched so many of the members that people were in tears. And I think the 2nd councelor in the bishopric just panicked when he saw people crying, because after the hymn was done he got up and told a super lame joke. UGH. I could just feel my investigator shifting in his seat next to me. So lame. But he still wanted to meet after church so I guess he wasn't too turned off. Yay!

Man, the Lord really is hastening His work. We are seeing so many little miracles each week. It's incredible.

Side thought (something that I've discovered since being here): I have never missed my family less but loved them more since I've been here. I love my family more than words can express. And family, after all, is at the very center of this beautiful Plan. And all we have to do is keep the commandments and repent when needed and He'll work out the rest. So simple. Not always easy. But always so simple.

I love you so much!!

Love, Sister Kuykendall