Thursday, April 25, 2013

2 weeks down! 4/25/13

hola familia! another week down in the grande old MTC. i cant even believe another week is gone. it's insane how fast time is going. i know its only been a couple weeks but it is the weiredest experience. i decided we are working on two time schedules: ours (the "me" from back home that are still keeping track of how long two years is) and the lord's (the time we spend focusing on learning and teaching) so when we are consumed in the lord's time table, we look back and see how much of our time table has already past. i dont know if i explained that right but it makes sense in my head. so mom i might need you to send me another inhaler. i got pretty sick this past week and i came to the realization of 'what good is a breathing machine gonna do when i am walking around and need to breathe. dont worry im still alive and all and surprisingly (miracle of being in the mtc) its only been like a week and im already starting to feel better. usually it takes like two weeks, with antibiotics and like five treatments a day. i only used my inhaler, drank tooons of water, and prayed a bunch.
oh yeah, cool experience i had that i forgot to write about but i wrote it down in my journal. so i got on the plane and walked to the back of the plane to go to my seat. i sat down in between a twenty-something year old guy deep into his book and an older guy who passed out the second we sat down. i just sat there and thought oh no this is gonna be a long, lonely flight. then i thought of Grandma and Grandpa flitton. i could feel them there and i swear i saw them, not with my eyes but with my spirit, standing right there in the isle just smiling at me. i knew i had loved ones there to comfort me at a very difficult time. not to long after we took off, the guy next to me put down hisbook. i had been looking out the window and said "this is the last view of phoenix i'll get for two years". we slowly began to talk and then literally one after the other questions abot missions and the church bagan pouring from him. i cant help but think that nanny and gaga told him to put his book down and talk to me. haha not a hundred percent sure if they're the ones who got him to talk to me the whole flight but just thought i'd share that experience.
haha so yes we have tuesday devotionals every week, no they are not always apostles. which is totally fine. we heard this week from elder david a evans of the Seventy who is also the executive director of the mission department. he and his wife spoke to us about becoming lost in the lord's work and yielding to the spirit. he told a story of a missionary who got stuck in the mtc for two months waiting for his visa. at the time, elder evans wrote to this missionary (coincidentally named Elder Brown), telling him he was sorry for his visa delay. this was part of what he said in his 'reply' letter (i changed the country name to apply it to myself): "i have promised the Lord two years of my life. i'll go to Peru when the Lord wants me to go to Peru." i got thinking alot about that and how it really is in the Lord's hands. so, i'll get my visa when the Lord wants to give it to me.  so tell president ostler, Ben Ostler sang, with the byu men's choir, in our sunday night devotional. it was pretty cool to see him up there.
but yeah, one thing i'm having a hard time learning to do is to get lost in the work. letting go of my entire old life is soooo hard for me. music, movies, friends, all of it, a part of me is resisting letting go of it. i asked one of my teachers about it and he shared with me the advice his dad gave him: "Get so lost in the work that Satan can't even find you." that hit me SO hard. i decided i want to be at the point where not only satan cant find me, but where i can't find myself. the "old me" i mean. last week on p day, we all saw each other in our civilian clothes and hermana  villalobos was like "thats the kendall i remember". i thought about that and realized, i dont want people to "remember that kendall" or even miss "the old kendall". as ive said before, the mission is a repentance process; the ultimate refiner's fire. i want to come off that plane in two years, and i want everyone to be reunited with someone they've never met before; someone who gave himself to the Lord, and the Lord, in return, gave something different, and better, back.
in other news, we found out yesterday thta our teachers wont be our teachers anymore. the district was super bummed because we love our teachers so much and its crappy to see them go, but we'll get through it. in our last lesson with "Rubi" (a progressive investigaator that was acted out by our teachers who actually taught Rubi in her mission) i experienced something ive never felt before. our two previous lessons with rubi were rough. i saw her as our teacher (who i had a rough start with to begin with) rather than seeing her as rubi. but this last time. we did everything we could to give rubi what she needed, not what we needed to give to her. before the lesson was over, i was crying. rubi opened up to us as we taught about the atonement and i felt love for someone that i barely even know, and wanted to give anything to help her. it was awesome. after we left, me and my comp went to the stairwell to pray and to think about what just happened. he looked at me and said "en serio? that was dope" haha good old elder Schagel.
so. shoutouts
Doug and Family-thanks for the package! i've been munchin on those nachos all week. you are awesome
Aunt Kris and family-thanks so much for your package as well and for the cards. that meant alot
mom- yes that one day i didnt get a dear elder i was actually pretty bummed. keep em coming, i love hearing from my mom every day. so i already mentioned the inhaler, i would also like a copy of "lamb of god". that wouldbe awesome! and for m birthday package? hmmmmmmm not sure if you already sent it but there's not really much i need. we get well fed here (and when i say that i mean in quantity. quality? never) haha but mmmm home made cookies are always bomb. i dont know what else, whatever ya want. as for district leader responsibilites? i have a few leadership/ward council meetings each week, i get the mail, i assign prayers and songs in class, and i make sure everyone's doin alright. the responsibility is almost unbearable. haha no i like it alot, but yeah there's really not too much we do. just try to set an example. which is really hard because i have like zero attention span and get distracted when the light reflects of my watch.
maci-thanks for finally writin me mace face! haha and yes my mini fridge is all yours. just dont throw away the teenage mutant ninja turtle magnets!
Jessalyn- thanks so much for the dear elder. i pray for you and hayden all the time. keep praying and trust in the lord. it'll be solid! go read 1 nephi 17: .... um i forgot which verses. but it talks about how if you do whats right, he will be the light to guide you.
mark-thanks for the letter, that story about the balloon is hillarious and just screams "Leonora Ward"
Grandma-thanks love ya!
anyone else i forgot to mention i apologize!!!
 alright well im running out of time, i'll try to send some pictures and what not. thanks mom for all those pictures you sent me!!! so good to see those familiar faces. Love you all!!
Elder Bears Brown
wait sike just kidding i just realized im in the building where you cant upload pictures. CRAP. oh well, next week!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

First Official Email 4/18/13

hola Familia!!!! como estan ustedes??? man it feels soooo good to be writing you guys. first, thanks for the cinnamon rolls mark, they were dang good and the boys in my zone devoured them. mother, i am alive and well. haha a dear elder every single day isnt necessary. i keep getting my hopes up thinking its like a female of my age range and, ope, mom. haha no im so grateful for the daily dear elders. glad im missed. so anyways this week has been insane. i know its only been like barely over a week but sooo much has changed. its unbelievable what happens here. we've already had five lessons with "Progressive investigators" completely in spanish and they taught us a bunch about how to listen to the spirit and just open our mouths.
so yesterday, i was acting as an investigator for a couple elders to practice teaching. they had me pray to know if the book of mormon was true right there in the lesson (which i can now do in spanish). but anyways, even though i was acting as an investigator, i still recieved an answer for myself. it was the first time like ever that i have recieved an immediate confirmation of the spirit. such an awesome experence.
so my district. i am blessed to have been placed in a district with elder CORWIN mcallister, and we sleep in the same room so we see each other all the time. im also with hermana (Xan) villalobos, a friend from byu last summer, and hermana (rachel) ray, who is a year older thna me but she was a diver at mountain view. so awesome. my comp was definitely in a shell at first but he is absolutely hillarious. his name is elder Schagel (pronounced like schedule). he's a total goob. he is 20 years old and he's from good old tucson arizona. good stuff. ill attempt to attach some pics of my district and what not if i can figure it out.
BIGGEST STORY OF THE WEEK: Elder Richard G Scott came and spoke at our tuesday night devotional. like what? i saw an apostle. it was up. as soon as the choir finished (which i was apart of), he got up and teary-eyed, said "i almost feel as if i've died and gone to heaven; being surrounded by so many missionaries" he proceeded to talk about how his mission is what has led to most of the blessings he has experienced in his life. he talked to us about praying and how we need to talk to our heavenly father as if we are talking to another person; have a conversation with him; tell exactly what you are feeling. he is our father who loves us perfectly. he finished his talk with an apastolic blessing on all of us there. he told us that those who are learning languages would MASTER (not just learn or get good at) our languages. he blessed us to have peace and that heavenly father wont ever put something on us that we can't handle. haha after the closing song he got up and walked right in front of the girl who walked up to give the prayer  and was like i want to share one last thing. he shared with us that "god called you to succeed.not to fail. it was awesome.
hahaha ryan couch is currently stroaking my hair and massaging me and told me to tell you and mark hi. so hey from elder couch.
so one of the hardest things is waking up here. it is unreal. an elder on our floor (elder vanderwerken) wakes up everyday and greets every single missionary and yells "Its a beautiful day!" im tryin to learn from him about 'Choosing to be happy". his comp told me to "fake it till you make it". act happy and you'll be happy. even though i reallllyyyy wanna punch something every day when i wake up. i realized we only have 730 days to make a difference. all the while the lord will  be making the differences that he needs to in us. gotta make the most of it ya know??
so ya the food here really does wreak havoc like they say it does. im adjusting though. and yes mom i am taking my vitamins every day. and my fiber gummies when im feelin it. this place is a healing center on its own. my first day here, my wart-wounds were like bleeding and crappy and like the next day they were healed up a bunch.
oh em gee drew is here right now massaging me! hahaha what a surprise
so shout outs
grandma connie- thanks for the advice and for the letter! loved it
maci-there were a bunch of crazy polynesian elders on my floor screaming. i went to see what they were doing and there were two elders doing hand stands and fighting with their feet. it was soo cool haha keep workin on them hand stands. never know when you'll have to use them.
alright well one week down, many to go. LOVE YOU
Elder bears brown

Kendall's First Week

Kendall did not receive his Visa in time and therefore was reassigned to the Provo MTC.
We are grateful because his siblings were able to drop him off which made it easier on all of us!
Here are a few pictures from the day. We are anxiously awaiting his first email home which should be any time today. I will update once we receive his email.
My son in-law Drew works at the MTC and has seen him twice now and says he is alive and well!
We are so proud of Bears and know he will be an incredible missionary.

This gets me every time I look at this one.....