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!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

story of my life

Barev Dzez Sireliners,

This week was great. I mean it was a little rough but it was great. Missions right?

I had a specially fun time with the members of our ward this week. Visiting with them is actually the best thing ever. Hearing their conversion stories, seeing the way the Gospel has changed their lives really makes me so grateful to be here and to be a member of this church. We are so lucky!

Our 2nd counselor is hilarious. He is a Syrian Armenian so he speaks really broken Armenian. For example he said to us "չէ դուք չեք cleaning." I love it.

I love my companion. She keeps me sane. With lots of stressful things going on in the branch right now right before I go home, it's nice to know I'm leaving it all in good hands.

Also, again we found 7 investigators this week. I feel like God has this recipe and he just keeps throwing things into the mix and we don't know how it is going to taste or anything but we hope that it comes out okay! and by that I feel that we are a little stressed about it....but recently we have just begun to thank more than to worry. And I have seen a big difference because of that. I really do have a testimony that when we have faith to get things done and that faith is centered in Christ we literally can do anything, we just need to ask in faith!!

One day we were at home and one of our members called us. Her name means sweet in english and she is the sweetest. She called and said something like, "I came to the park and just sat down. They are playing spanish music and I was thinking if you haven't gone to an appointment can you come?" So we went and we sat with her in the park and we sang/danced to that spanish music. It was probably one of my favorite things. But that was not all! So it is pretty shameful to sit on the floor in Armenia. Like on a street, in a house, on a side walk....i don't know but I sat down on the ground. Sister K joined me and then A was just staring at us amazed. "what are you doing?! I cannot believe you just sat down!!!" it was hilarious. then we tried convincing her to sit down with us. she stared at us then at the ground then at people around and then at us again. FInally she looks at us and says "should I sit too?" YES YES YES YOU SHOULD. So she sat. ahhhh!!! she sat! and she was laughing so hard! Then she said to us "this is the first time in my life that I have sat on the floor." and seriously it was just so cute haha! People were just staring! ahh! she is the sweetest.

I love these chapters in Alma. President talked about them in our leadership meeting this past week. Alma 20-22. It is all about missionary work really. I would encourage you to read it! also....conversion. how converted to the gospel are we? something that I am thinking about this week.

This week we have seen so many of our members while on transport or on the street. I was so happy that I got to see so many in one week!

de lav.


Monday, July 27, 2015


We made cupcakes this week and ate all of them.

Sister K curled my hair. :) It took a lot to convince me but it turned out pretty alright.

My companion is my best friend. I love her so much. We work so well together. She's amazing.

We found a less active mom and daughter and have been visiting them a lot. We've all fallen in love and they have been coming to church every week! They brought a friend to church yesterday who is a new investigator now and are bringing some friends to FHE tonight. :) Sweet!!!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Month of miracles

This week was truly amazing to go right along with last week. We have been blessed so much in finding these past few weeks. We have found so many willing to listen to our message. We met most of our goals and surpassed a few of them. Yesterday morning as we were calling people to remind them about church we got really discouraged. Everyone that we called either said that they weren't coming or they just didn't answer. We were so sad and went to church ready to see just a few members. But we needed to have more faith in the Lord. The Lord blessed us with lots of our investigators at church. I don't know what happened really. All I know is that we had a miracle at church.

V came with us to one of the most amazing baptisms we had ever been to. She loved it. Afterwards we were talking with her and Mission President and we were all teasing her about putting her white clothes on so we could dunk her. She looked at us and said, "I actually want to be baptized on August 22". We all just kind of freaked out. We were so happy. But then she expressed the issue that she had been holding back the entire time. Which was that her step-dad might not let her be baptized. So after church yesterday V and the 2 of us went in a secluded corner and she said a little prayer asking that He soften her step-dad's heart so that she could be baptized on the 22 of August. We were really nervous but we assured her that it was in the Lord's hands and that He would take care of her. She called us that night bearing good news. :) He said yes! SO the moment we've all been waiting for.... V is getting baptized!!

We have a lot of great investigators right now. I can't tell you about all of them. But they were all put in our path and we feel so blessed to have so many willing to listen to our message. My prayers have turned from asking the Lord to put people in our path to asking that the Lord help me remember the names of all the people we are teaching. I cannot describe how blessed I feel. It's amazing to me.
Armenian sunset

Beating wool

And, Armenia has the cutest graffiti :)