Monday, July 28, 2014



Transfers: Oh my heck. Such an uncomfortable thing. I have been transfered to a tiny town called Charanstavan. My new companion and I are white washing the area so it's been a stressful past few days. We're starting to get things figured out though. The aren't many members here but the few that are here are great. I've never felt so loved in my life. They LOVE the missionaries. Also we are supposed to moving into a new apartment today but from the looks of it we might be living out of our suitcases a little bit longer.

Waterday: So Armenia has a national, annual holiday called Water Day (Vardavar). It is an ancient holiday and legend goes that the Godess Asthgik spread love on Armenian earth by pouring water from roses. But after adopting Christianity the holiday has had changes and now it is in celebration of the event of Christ's transfiguration on Mt. Tabor when He appeared to His disciples in his brightened appearance. (Vardavar means transfiguration or brilliance). But some people also say the holiday is to celebrate Noah's Ark settling on Mt. Ararat (here in Armenia) after the Flood. He orders his sons to pour water on each other in remembrance of the Flood. Anyway, this holiday is exactly what it sounds like! It's a day where everyone runs around throwing buckets of water at everyone. NO ONE is spared. You can't walk out of your apartment door with out a bunch of people waiting to get you. So we walked around all day soaked from head to toe. Hopefully I can send some pictures. We lived the whole day in constant fear. They take this holiday very seriously and will not show mercy to ANYONE. I think we should start this in the states.

I'm lame: Sorry that this email is lame but we are SO busy right now with whitewashing. It is beautiful here. We have been finding lots of contacts on the streets and everyone is very kind here. It is about an 1/6 of the size of Vanadzor. You can walk from one end to the other in like 20 minutes. We would know. :)

Reading assignment: my new companion and I have been going and getting to know all of the members here in "Char" (translates into 'evil'). The verses that we have been sharing with them is Alma 31: 34-35.

I love missionary work. It is SO hard. But it is soooooo worth it. I can't believe I have already been here for almost 6 months. I hope the time slows down a little bit. I'm so sorry that my emails are all over the place but we're a little busy with converting people to the gospel and stuff :). I love you all.
Love, Sister Madison Kuykendall
Candy cane dress from our recent convert
A flower from the Haglunds, one of our senior couples.
Stop sign in Armenia??
First five minutes out on Water Day!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Alma 17-23

My week has been goodish. I love Vanadzor. Transfers are this week. I've been having some stess and struggling a bit. It will be okay though. I'm just learning so slowly. It's so discouraging.

So we've been lucky to find lots of new investigators this past little bit of time. But for some reason this week every one disappeared. We had an AWESOME family that we were teaching. Golden, golden family but they just all of a sudden stopped answering and we haven't seent them forever. Definitely a result of gossip. Same thing happened with another investigator of ours. She used to gush over us everyday about how dear we are to her and then she just...stopped. She glares at us now everytime she sees us. Our other investigator is thinking about marrying this man but he wont let her go to church or meet with us anymore. We also started teaching this adorable little girl who is 11. She was so excited about the gospel. So eager to follow Christ. But when we went back over there her dad forced her to give us her BOM back. I bawled the whole way home. We went from having 7 investigators to having none in 1 week.

This past 2 days we have had so many street contacts though. So many people ASKED for our number. They WANT to meet. So we have a few potential investigators!!!! That is a miracle.

Reading assignment to get everyone excited about missionary work: Alma 17-23. Read it. You wont regret it.

love, Sister Kuykendall

Monday, July 14, 2014

Ping Pong, Pizza and Packages


About pictures: So I am not allowed to send any pictures home at all that are of anyone other than just me. Or else you would be getting so many more pictures every week.

About the language: It's a really difficult language. Nothing really can translate over into English. You have to have a completely different mind set. But I'm getting there. I have come SO far since I've been here with the Lord's help. His hand in my life is so apparent.

2nd Coming?: So this week we had lots of suspicious things happen here in Armenia that maybe you've heard about already. First is that we have had a few earthquakes this week. Second is that we had a huge hail storm. I'm not sure I can really explain the craziness of this hail storm we had. They were literally the size of golf balls. Sister and I weren't complaining though because we were in a not very interested investigator's house when the storm started and so she was forced to let us stay :) and we ended up having a really good discussion and now she likes us again. And then the hail storm resulted in floods. Yep. It was awesome. But you know those really cute flats that I brought with the big bows on them? Yeah, I think it's their time. The weather got the best of them.

Belated Birthday: So after emailing last Monday, someone from the office came up and brought the mail when he came. I had all sorts of fun birthday mail and packages! Our district all got together in the church and played pingpong ate pizza and opened mine and Sister's packages that we got for our birthday's! Momma, I loved the package you sent! The food didn't last through the end of the day but that's just because it's always more fun to share. The whole package was just so exciting. Thank you thank you thank you to everyone who helped put it together. I have the best family.

Testimony: I have a testimony of families. I know that they can live together for eternity. I love my family more than any words can explain. I want to do everything I can to make sure that we all make it to the highest kingdom one day. I can't wait for that day. I love this church. I am so grateful to have been blessed with a testimony. I will never be able to deny the things that I have felt here. The Church is true. I know it.

love, Sister K

Monday, July 7, 2014

Independence Day and the stalker

Dear momma,

This week was the 4th of July. My favorite holiday (next to Easter). I am sad that I missed all sorts of fun celebrations in both Utah and California. As you could probably guess, Armenians do not celebrate the 4th (though they seem to celebrate every other day of the year. For example, they have a Kid's Day) but Sister and I made sure to have our own little celebration. We went and played soccer with the ward and some investigators and then tracked down some hotdogs (tough, grainy links of mystery meat. Yikes). We went home for a meal break and made our hotdogs and sang patriotic songs from the back of the hymn book. All day Sister was telling everyone we ran into that it was our country's birthday. For some reason not many people seemed to interested haha!

I hope everyone had a fabulous fourth and really thought about why we celebrate it. I am so grateful to live (not currently) in a free country. Especially now. I have many hero's in my life, one of who's presence I've felt with me all week this week.

Damsels in distress: So Sister and I have had to be really careful lately of who we say hi to in the streets lately. There's always going to be those annoying teenage boys that cat call or whatever. But lately we've had some interesting encounters. We were teaching in the streets the other day when I made the mistake of barev dzez-ing a man (greeting - saying hello). As we kept walking he started to follow a little ways behind. We started to kind of zig-zag from one side of the street to the other to kind of shake him off but he would not get lost. We happened to run into the elders after about 15 minutes of trying to dodge him. They pointed out that the guy had been following us for a while (like we hadn't noticed) and that they would keep an eye on him. The man disappeared for a while so the elders left and we continued to make our way home only to look back and see him following us again. We went into a little shop and called the elders. They said they were going to come get us and walk us home. As we waited inside the store we saw the man just waiting outside, pacing the doorway. The Elders came and we kind of hurried and skipped out. We got home safely. :) We saw him again yesterday. And he followed us again. We're not really sure what he wants because if he wanted to learn more about Jesus you'd think he'd just ask us and not be weird about it. Oh well. I'm sure he'll find something better to do soon. But until then, we have the elders on speed dial.

Fast: I hope everyone had a great fast sunday yesterday. I love the opportunity to fast. The Lord promises great blessings to those who fast. One of the many promises He gives us is that we will be more receptive to the spirit and for me that's what I need right now. I always fast for my family and friends. I pray that you're prayers will be answered.

Sister and I fasted to find new investigators a long with other things. We've got a few potentials now so I can't wait to tell you the result next week!

I love you so much momma!
                         You have no idea how excited we were about these hotdogs.
                                             Armenian missionary style fourth of July.