Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The New Spanish Holiday 10/19/2015

Dear Family and Friends,

"Once upon-a-time a young girl named Hermana Kelemen was serving with another young girl named Hermana Graff. They were serving a mission in Spain. Once day, they were doing their morning weekly planning, and they discovered that their birthdays were two days apart, and in the same week. Later on, they soon discovered that their district leader too had
his birthday in the same week, and they then decided to have a birthday week. The hermanas decided that each day of that week, they were going to do something fun. Weeks later, this small but simple idea then exploded, and the whole world found out."

Okay, like it's getting weird. We were walking with a member and she said, "So what are you guys doing on p-day for birthday week?" My comp and I looked at each other shocked. We hadn't told this member anything. Then, we were once walking with someone else, and he said, "Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, I have a really good recipe to make for birthday week..." What?!! So now...I can't figure out how, but our birthdays have become a Spain Holiday for the people in the hood. Don't ask me how this came to just did.

Also, during a lesson with a recent convert, my stomach growled and he asked if I had gas. I said no, and explained I was hungry. But, he wouldn't believe me. He told me he too once had the same problem, so now he watches what he eats. Also, another tip he gave me, was to drink water. It was really annoying because it was clearly a growl, but he wouldn't believe me. In the meantime, my comp didn't even back me up; she just laughed, and agreed with the water tip. 😑 That's no way to treat your trainer.

This week was such a good week. Lately, I have been having the same dream. In the dream, I'm in my last interview with the President to go home, and every time, I start crying, asking him if I can stay a little bit longer. And then after the interview I wake up. It scares me. Mainly, because if you didn't know, I have ten months in the mission, and only eight left. And really, I love it. The thought of it ending is scary. I just don't know why I keep having that dream.

Something I've really been thinking about, is the Sabbath day. It's the people who keep this commandment that are the strongest in the Church. Keeping it holy isn't done in three hours of church attendance. This is a day we renew our convents with God; it is a day we become clean again. With the sacredness of it, there is a reason for why we must keep it holy. How do we keep it holy? I want you to think about it.

Hand of God: this week in district meeting I felt the spirit really strong. We talked about the importance of faith, and I don't what it was, but it seemed to be an answer to my prayer. My faith is something I always need to be strengthening.

Hermana Kelemen

District photos Below:

The Baby White Face Giant 10/12/2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Today I had to do something I hate doing...sing in public.  Hermana Graff and I had to sing a song for a baptism...just the two of us.😐 We failed. If you don't believe me, ask Aaron. When he and I tried to sing, 🎶''Home, yes I am home, home is where ever I'm with you.'🎶 (hand to the face). I don't mind speaking in public or dancing in public...not one bit. But me singing = 😵.  It's because it really is just an ear bleeding experience. But that's all over, so menos mal.

This week Daniel and Dennis were supposed to be baptized but Daniel broke/fractured (I don't really know what) his foot during his soccer game and now has a cast. So, we have to wait. They are so awesome though and we are just waiting for them to get baptized now when his foot heals.

This week, also our whole building's water went out for 24 hours. That was hard. Mainly because we couldn't go to the bathroom at our piso. So after studies (which was longer than ever) we booked it to the church. That was kind of an adventure. 😁

The other day we were in a comida, and the family told me I had a baby face. Then when we were visiting a menos activo, she told me I had the perfect skin to be in the 50's because I am so white. ? That doesn't really make any sense...but whatever. I am the baby white face giant.

This week we had two really cool 'hand of God moments.' The first, we contacted a really cool guy that's from Honduras. He told us when we met him, he had been to the LDS church in Honduras two times. So we met with him, and he is so awesome. After the lesson, we
invited him to read the Book of Mormon, and he said "I am really hungry to know God better, so of course. I want to read. I want to come tomorrow to Church." These are the moments when you want to jump up and high five him, and yell. . .where have you been all my mission? But I'm sane. So I kept my cool. But he came to church, and he loved it.

The other is with an old investigator we had, and couldn't meet for like a month because he had sugary. Before we had taught him 3 times and invited him to be baptized and he said 'never'. But he is cool and has a ton of faith so we kept trying. And finally (por fin) we had a lesson with him and it was a quick 20 min. lesson because we had to go teach English class. But then that night he texted us and said, "Please I want to be baptized in your Church. I know I said 'no' before, but today's lesson really touched me." ?! ?!? I was shocked. For our lesson----we just invited him to Church and explained what went on and bore our testimonies. So in other words, thank you spirit.

I love it. Missions aren't sacrifices. I found a quote I love:
Despite all the challenges that President Brigham Young faced, for him, “there [was] no such thing” as sacrifice,  because everything belongs to God already and what we give up only blesses us and prepares us for exaltation. He viewed what we would call sacrifices as opportunities to exchange “a worse condition for a better one”. 
-President Young

Love, Hermana Kelemen

Conference & the Mad Music Conducting Skills 10/5/2015

Family and Friends,

Just like all of you, I too got to listen to conference---well, all but the last session. Well, wait, we did listen to the 4th session...but I didn't really listen myself.

Antonia, Daniel and Dennis came. And Antonia and Daniel loved it!! They were taking notes the whole time, and Antonia loved the last song, 'The Spirit of God'. (That was really powerful, no?) I on the other hand, I  attempted to write notes and listen...but it was a lost cause. I was wrestling with Dennis the whole time, the 5 year old boy. 😑😑 I learned a lot I guess from that.
1. Mothers who try to get their kids to listen to conference don't really listen themselves.
2. It's been a long time since I've worked at Adventure Time.

But it was good, because I can re-read the talks later. After the conference, we asked them all what their favorite part or speaker was. Dennis said he loved the conductor, the way he moved his arms and hands. Wait, the man who leads the music? I didn't pay too much attention to him...maybe I will have to re-watch that too.

We got to watch two sessions live, and it was really cool to think "around the world my family just finished hiking the Y, and they too are watching conference right now."

I really liked the story about Pablo and his dad in conference. How his father told him about things he might be feeling or passing through at different ages---because he once was there too. I don't know if you remember me asking you several times to tell me your mission stories, now that I am serving...this is what I was referring too. But unlike Pablo, I don't just have a dad to tell me what I might expect in the field. I have a mom, a sister, a brother, another brother, a sister, a sister, sister in law, brother in law, another sister in law, aunts, uncles, a cousin, another cousin, and times cousin by a lot. So if you trained once, or you were halfway through your mission once... What should I look out for?

Although, I would love to hear more stories, I too have heard a lot. One of the cousins wrote me a letter the other day about when he was on his mission, that really was just what I needed to hear. I have gotten letters from a bunch of the cousins, and my siblings that have helped me so much.

If Pablo was quite blessed with a good father to show him the way---then I'm down right spoiled rotten to have a huge family to show me the way.

Other really quick thing I loved from conference was in the Women's Conference. Elder Uchtorf shared a story about a positive, happy lady and her influence on an 11 year old girl. The story was good, but the ending was my favorite. He said, the little girl then went back home, but, however, she was never quite the same again. I hope, we too...walk away from this conference, never quite the same again. If not then it didn't fulfill it purpose.

I love you! This week was really good in the hood. 😃
Love, Hermana Kelemen

P.S. I guessed Ronald A Rasband! Me and Hermana Graff made guesses for
the next apostles. The others I was so off---but I was glad I got one.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Humility 9/28/2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Our lesson appointment failed us Saturday night, and I was a little...fed up. But, my goal is, when people fail, or things don't work out the way I think they ought, to "put my shoulder to the wheel, (and) push a long, (because) we all have work, let(s) not shirk, (and) put our shoulder to the wheel." We either can sit and whine or keep-a-goin'.

When I don't feel like contacting, I have to say a prayer in my heart to have the attitude to work. Because even if you fake a smile...people can see past it. It's easier to find people when you're happy. Because people like happy people.

Anyways, I said a pray like 'Heavenly Father, I know there are people who are kept from the truth only because they don't know where to find it. I know there are people ready, so please help us find them tonight.'  We then went contacting, and met a lot of cool people. But
none of them where willing to listen to our message. We then were heading home, I saw a guy with his headphones in, listening to music and reading something on his phone. Normally, it's awkward to contact someone listening to music...So good thing I'm awkward. I just shouted "hola" extra loud. He took out his head phones and we began talking. He asked a lot of questions about who we were----and then he started crying----and he told us he was just wandering tonight, not knowing what to do. He told us a lot about the past couple years
in his life, and long story short, he is lost. He said he knows God is there, and is trusting in him to help him. I then told him that we, as missionaries, are Gods servants, and we know! We have something that will bless your life! We then told him about how before, I was praying for someone who was looking for the truth. He really liked that and thanked us over and over again. We will be seeing him tomorrow. It was a really cool experience.

Really, there have been a lot, a lot, a lot of tears shed this week. Not mine. Not my companions. But everyone we have found in the street and our investigators too. It's sad, because really we have found a lot of people who are going through some really ruff stuff. But these are the people who listen.

We can either choose to be humble, or God will compel us to be humble. I have been thinking a lot about humility. It is only the humble who listen to us. And why? In order to feel the spirit, we have to be humble.

One of our zone leaders is Hermana Graf's and my favorite person in all the world. Every time he talks, or is with you, you feel the spirit. Although, you would never expect it. He is really shy and quiet. But the reason we feel the spirit so much around him is because he is so humble. It doesn't matter if you give an amazing talk with great insight if you don't have the spirit. And you can't have it unless you are humble.

Although I feel so badly for all these people and the afflictions they have...I am so grateful we found them. Because we can help them!

33 These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.

It's been a really good week. And I have learned a lot about humility. I love you so much. And I am so grateful for the gospel of Jesus Christ. So my invitation for you is to, 'put your shoulder to the wheel and push along'.

Love, Hermana Kelemen

P.S. I am growing so much everyday. And not just in the gospel. The food just never stops. I can't figure out if the members feeding us isa blessing or a curse.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

New Things Learned 9/21/2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Things I've learned this week:

1. Every ward activity in the hood, always starts 2 hours later than scheduled.

2. The meaning of '"African Time". An African, Paul, told me African time is where you come an hour late...or don't show  up at all.

3. If a Peruvian gives you a plate of rice and meat, and they are not mixed...DON'T MIX IT.

4. You know you have been teaching a lot of Africans when one of them says, "I've been shot in the head," and it doesn't even even faze you.

That's just a little of what's been going on in my week.

Today for P-day, we deep cleaned our piso, so of course, that was super fun.

We met with that really cool guy I was talking about last week. And yep, he is super cool. His name is perfect for him 'Salvador'. There are just great names here. Here are some Prince, Yours, Salvation, God's Power, Blessing. And all the rest who don't have some
out-there name, have the same couple of names. All the girls are named Paula (there's are twenty in our ward) and Rosa. Most of the men are Luis and Juan. But back to perfect Salvador, he is super cool and seems to be someone who is not a member of the Church because he has been 'kept from the truth, because he knew not where to find it.'  So vamos a ver (we shall see).

Don't worry, I get fed everyday, and am becoming a whale. So much food all the time. My favorite 'comida' we have every week is with a lady and the whole time all she talks about is how great her food is...Ha ha...The funny part is, it isn't. But she is amazing and so funny.

Also something I've been thinking about a lot---it doesn't matter what excuse you come up with, the gospel principles still apply. I love the words in Nephi when he is telling the story of Moses.

41.  And the labor which they had to perform was to look; and because of the simpleness of the way, or the easiness of it, there were many who perished.

The gospel is not hard. It's what makes life easy. His yoke is easy.

Love, Hermana Kelemen

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Wayside School...Gets a Little Stranger 8/14/2015

Dear Family and Friends, 

This week as been a really busy one. We have been running all over the hood, to and from appointments that al fin, al cancel us. 😑 I was really pooped at the end of each day but when we looked back at what we did, we realized we really had done nothing...But, it really was an amazing week!

You know the series of books 'The Wayside School', they are very similar to my mission. (Characters included)

One of my first weeks here, we contacted a guy in the street and he gave us his address---avda constitution 35. It only had one door bell so we rang it and it turned out to be someone different. We then went looking in the carpeta (area book) and we found an old investigator who lives with a member. The address turned out to be the same! We called just to make sure it had not changed and she said 'yep it's avda constitution 35 bj b'. We went, but there is only one timbre (doorbell) and we couldn't figure it out. We rang it and it wasn't her house. We called again, and she said the same thing. She then said she would come out in the street and look for us. . . . But we never did find her or the house. I didn't know what to do. 

We had this same conversation on the phone like ten times. 
Me: "Hey, we are here." 
Her: "We don't see you, ring the bell, it's bajo b."
Me: "There is no bajo b It only has one bell."
Her: "No there's more. Where are you?."
Me: "av constitution 35."
Her: "Yep we live in avda constitution 35.
Me: "Yeah. . . That's where we are. . . ." 
And then just reapeat that dialog about ten times. And that sums it up.
It was so bizzaro. 
Anyways, remember in the 'Wayside School' the 13th floor that really wasn't there. . . .but was? Yeah, same kinda deal. 

We did find a really cool guy in the street! He is from Africa but acts like an American, and loves, loves, loves basketball. He talked in the street with us for 30 min. . . .about basketball. But al fin, he wants to meet with us 😀 go that guy. We really have been finding a lot of new cool people who I'm really excited about. 

The last couple of weeks we have been doing Family Home Evenings with Antonia and her two boys. I love Family Home Evening. I want people too, to love it as much as I do. Many people think doing it is a burden . . if so . . .they don't know really how it's supposed to be done. A couple of weeks ago, we taught her about them and then we told her we would come over Monday night and show her how it's done. We taught a lesson, played a game and had a treat. When my companion said that the game part and treat part were optional.... I didn't agree. Treat? Optional? No no no. Not in the Church I know to be true. 

We played a game my family is very familiar with----where one person hides an object and everyone else goes in the other room. Then everyone comes in after it is hidden, and when you find it, you sit down and wait until others find it. (Or I guess we could have played the game where everyone takes off their shoes and you have to pick and feel a foot to guess who it belongs to....yuck...remember when Aaron, or was it Dad, that came up with that fun one?)

Anyways, it was so fun! And now, the boys want to do Family Home Evening every night. 
Goal complete; mission accomplished. 
"Home evening, home evening, that's the night we like the best!" 

Well, my goal for you is to do your family night, every Monday night! And do it right with a treat!

Love, Hermana Kelemen 
Kate at Family Home Evening (FHE).

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Kate and and Mario Bash 9/7/2015

Dear Family and Friends, 

This week was interesting. It was really good at the same time. We really have been praying and looking for more opportunities to serve the members. (Careful what you pray for). We are trying to work better through the members. In Preach My Gospel it says there is a better way to teach the gospel other than walking in the streets and contacting---it is though the members. But, in order to find new people to teach through members, you need to know them, and they need to know you, and trust you. 

So Spain being Spain of course, we had some really ruff, get your hands kinda dirty, service opportunities this week. 

First one was for a less active member and her big Mario birthday bash for her son. She owns a cake shop, and so for her living she makes cakes, and goodies for big events such as weddings and birthdays. So of course, for her 5 year old boy turning 6, she had to throw a huge huge. I doubt my wedding will be as grand as this Mario bash. We helped her set up and clean up for her party, which took way longer than I thought was possible. 

The party started at 4:30 and 20 minutes before, I get a call from this lady (the mother hosting) and she tells me she is still working on the big Mario cake and will be a little late. She tells me to wait for the party guests and keep them entertained? "Hold up. Que va chica. En su suenos." Is what I wanted to say. But we just kept setting up and waited. Then we get another call 5 min before 4:30 and it's a member in the ward, and this is what he tells us, "Hey, the party is now going to start at 5:30." 

That was okay with me, it's not like it's my party, or that we were going to stay. But when everyone showed up at 4:30 asking us what to do, or where the party hosts are, I was confused at why we were the only ones informed about the time change. We're the only ones the time change doesn't affect, because we were just there to set up and clean up? Madre Mia. It was crazy. I don't know how else to say it. We were running around frantically trying to finish set up everything (the chocolate fountain...gave me the most troubles). As we were doing this, a member in the ward laughed and kept following us around, laughed, and repeated in English. every five minutes, "ha ha welcome to Spain!" Thanks bud. 

Although afterwards, being pooped and stressed, we felt it was worth it. The member was so grateful, and our investigators came as well, which was good because it gave us the opportunity to introduce her to the bishop and ward members. Because really, this birthday party was like a big ward party. That's just how all parties roll here. 

Our second opportunity to serve was another ruff one. We went to visit another less active, and as we came, she rushed to us in her towel (just getting out of the shower #i felt weird beso-ing her) and she said, "I'm so glad you here, sorry I don't have much time to talk. Something came up, but could you please help me?" I thought. Moments later, she was sitting in a chair, and there we were blowing drying and curling her hair for a party she had to go to. As that man said before, "Welcome to Spain!" 

Although I'm not digging wells to help a small village have fresh water...I'm grateful for the opportunity to serve the members here. Small or big we're blessed to be having service opportunities. 

I'm really happy. 

The other day in Church, in fast and testimony meeting, I realized that, I really love it here, and I love the people. I feel so blessed. My companion is honestly so great and super duper funny. I don't know if I'm just getting homesick, but she really reminds me of Sara! First my sister, and now my cousin...But really, when I say someone reminds me of someone from my family, right there alone shows how cool they are. 

Lately, I've been thinking about family history work. I really want to encourage investigators, members, and everyone do do it. “I hope to see us dissolve the artificial boundary line, we so often place between missionary work and temple and genealogical work, because it is the same great redemptive work!” - Spencer W. Kimball 

So my advice is do your family history, and invite/help others to do it! That's a brilliant way of being a missionary! One of the best, because when you do, you have the other side of the veil helping you. 

Love, Hermana Kelemen 

Around Europe in One P-Day 8/31/2015

Dear Family and Friends,

This week I had a very interesting comida with a family. Rice with fried little baby fish plied on top. The whole fish skin and all. For some reason, seeing the little eyeballs on the fish staring up at you, with its mouth hanging open, as if it's last words spoken were "help me," gives me the shivers. Let's just say, I said a prayer in my heart, and ate as fast as I could---ignoring all the little baby fish eyes starting at me. Often, as I would stab a fish, it's little black eye balls would pop out. Can I just say yum yum yum? Was not a fish lover before...but now...I think you get it. My companion and I, at the smell of fish, weep a bit now.

This week, we found a lot of 'news', which was good, because our 'olds' were not catching the vision we have for them.

To start off the week, we had a lesson with a guy named Kelvin, from Nigeria. At the end of the lesson, this is what he said, "Thank you so much. I know you are representatives of God here to tell us of the truth." After a week of everyone failing, and not wanting to listen, we just let our jaws drop, and let the angles come down from heaven, and listened to them sing hallelujah. He reminds me a lot of Daniel, the way he talks and acts. So I have high hopes.

We also found a really cool Spaniard in the street the other day. He's about 20, and has never believed in God. He has studied with other religions, but has never really felt anything. I wanted to say, 'Yeah you never felt anything boy because that ain't the truth!' He was super cool and wants to meet with us, and wants to read the Book of Mormon. We had a really good conversation with him, and for some reason we brought up Thomas S. Monson. He was really interested in that and shocked to hear we have 12 apostles. However, he kept forgetting Thomas S. Monson's name and kept calling him Isaac. ? So
randomly he would ask, so where does Isaac live? Or what does Isaac say about this or that. And each time I asked 'Isaac, who's Isaac?' I don't know how he kept getting Thomas and Isaac mixed up. Gosh dang my heavy American accent.

Really, the fact that anyone in the street stops and listens, is the hand of God. Because, why else would people stop and listen to two random American 19 year old girls trying to spit out some Spanish phrases, and then give them their name, number and address?

Over all this week was super duper good. 😀 here in the hood. Oh yes, and today for p-day we went to this park. Where it has all these mini famous things from all over Europe. So really look at the pics, we pretty much visited all of Europe in a p-day.

Be cool, relax (said my mother from her 20's)
Love, Hermana Kelemen

Batman, Superman, Spiderman, Hulk...and Junie B. Jones & Living the Dream 8/24/2015

Dear Family and Friends,

It's been an interesting week. I really don't know how to explain it, but I'll give it a shot. On Tuesday, we had a meeting with all the other trainers. There were three other girls and five or so Elders. Let's just say it was like siting in the meeting with the Justice League. All the other missionaries that are training are amazing. Great spanish, really spiritual, have great insight and advice, funny, outgoing, everyone loves them, successful. So that's why I really was trying to figure out why the heck I was there. I'm the exact opposite of everything just listed above. I felt so out of place; the awkwardness was unreal. It's like the first day of school and your looking for geometry class, so you think you find it and then during the lesson you are so lost and everyone else seems to be getting it, and then you realize your in the wrong class and your in AP stats. I'm just waiting for that phone call from President saying, "Oops, I meant Hermana Clement, not Hermana Kelemen." (There is an Hermana
Clement, who is the ideal missionary, so this really is the only explanation I can think of, because he's a new president and I think he got us mixed up.) Here's the thing, I'm not trying to beat myself up, the fact that I'm training shocked everyone. Ward members, missionaries...and myself included. I just hope my companion realizes, I'm far from the perfect example, and so not to look up to me...too much.

I also went to a BYU basketball game on Wednesday night.

My companions name is Hermana Graff and she is from Orem! (And no she is not related to Dr. Graff the orthodontist in Orem, already asked it.) She is super duper cool. She pretty much knows the same amount of Spanish as me. She knows a lot, a lot. To be honest, I think she speaks better than me. The only difference is I'm better at pretending to understand people. So my idea is just to translate what they are saying in English and have her respond, because she is better with her grammar.

But the investigators we do have are doing really well. We are so blessed to get to work with Antonia and Daniel. Daniel, the other night, told us he wanted to go on a mission. So to close the lesson, we sang 'I Hope the Call me on a Mission', he loved that song. He sang it
again after we had finished. It was a neat experience. As he sang it, there was enthusiasm in his voice, and he seemed so excited. It made me think of when I too used to sing that song hoping to be where I am. And I had the thought come to me 'I am living my dream.' And sometimes I forget that. Sometimes I forget how blessed I am to be out here. I don't want to take it for granted. I think a lot of times in life we work so hard to get to one dream/goal to the next. And sometimes when we we reach our goal or dream we brush it aside looking for the next. Which I think it always good to keep having goals and to be improving, but at the same time I think there is a time to make the best of a goal when reached. If that makes any sense. To recognize how far you have come, and never forget how blessed you were to reach it, and to make your goal you reached worth it. I don't know if I'm making any sense, probably not. But in my brain its makes total sense. So think of the goals you have reached and give thanks for it and don't brush it aside, but celebrate the accomplishment. (Sorry if no one followed that) For example, if your dream/goal was to go to school and now you're in school...You're living the dream. If your dream/goal was to be a mom and now you're a mom, you're living your dream. Sometimes we forget the beauty in our dreams once reached it and push it aside like its nothing. Don't do that.

Oh yeah, sorry, I didn't tell you, BYU won. So no worries there. Killed um by 20 points or so.

Notice the Book of Mormon-missionary-gap between me and this guy? In my head I am thinking... "No touchy touchy."
Okay, so BYU was in Madrid so President okayed it that we could go. So we brought some recent converts and members. It was really weird. I haven't watched or thought basketball in a long time. And I seemed to be the only one who actually wanted to watch the game. If it were soccer, then I know people would have payed attention. Ha ha.

Love Hermana Kelemen

One of These is Not Like the Other 8/17/2015

Dear Family and Friends,

So remembering my hinting to the president? Looks like he wasn't catching my drift. Let's just say I was very shocked with this new transfer change. Hermana Baxter is leaving. 😓right there alone is the worst thing I THOUGHT could happen...But little did I know.
Right now, I'm in a trio... Not in my area but with another companionship. Because I don't have my companion right now. She comes tomorrow... because she is still in the MTC right now. I'm training.

Everyone gets so pumped for training...I guess I'm not like the rest of the crowd. Yesterday when I heard the news, I first laughed thinking, "haha good one",  and then it turned out to be true and I stopped laughing very quickly. Today as I was talking to the other missionaries who are training this transfer, they were talking about how excited and pumped they were. So I left that crowed quickly, because they all gave me funny faces when I said, "I would rather not train".

Here's the thing, believe it or not, I still have a struggle understanding these people. And I don't really feel like I know how to train.

But hey! This is going to be another fun adventure. I'm going to need to laugh even harder and just do my best and be willing to forgive myself when I mess up. Everyone keeps saying, "oh you're will learn A LOT." Or "oh you're training, get ready to get humble!" Or "oh you're training, looks like your getting cocky with the language" or
"oh you're training... It's going to be rough." Or "oh you're training...learn to hit your knees!"
Thank you. I should put all there advice in a motivational book for new trainers.

This week was really good. Antonia and Daniel and Dennis are doing so good! They were really sad Hermana Baxter was leaving, they gave her little plastic animals they got free at a Catholic Church, as a going away gift. Watching Hermana Baxter receive these little friends made my week.

Really, everyone was sad to see Hermana Baxter leave... but I think the thing that was the hardest for all of them was watching us get separated. Everyone kept saying, "but you two work so well together,"but you two are such good pals." I guess it wasn't hard for the gente (people) to see we had a blast together.

This week we also had to finnish up our intercambios. I loved my last intercambios; the hermana was super funny and really taught me a lot! I guess, at last, I had a change of heart about it all.

Well although everyone this week seemed to tell me my Spanish was bad, I guess that didn't humble me enough. I often think of the scripture in ether that says, he gives us weaknesses to make us strong. Looks like he wants me to be superman or something because man it seems I've got quite the load of weaknesses.

But don't worry, I will enjoy it, because it's my choice. The mission is speeding by and I don't have enough time not to. So I'm just going to, "put my trust in the Lord, do my best, then leave the rest to him." -Joseph B. Worthlin.

I love Trorajon---my area. This is going to be quite the transfer...12 weeks!! Can't wait to
watch the district 😄

Love Hermana Kelemen

Saturday, August 15, 2015

The Crazy Magnet 8/10/2015

Dear Family and Friends,

We did a lot more character building this week. Our investigator 'contacting' is very needy. Ja ja ja😂 I kill my self.

We did another two exchanges this week. 😑 exchanges are called intercambios. It's where you switch companions for 24 hours. You go to their area or they come to yours. And I guess it's a great time to learn things from each other. If I had to explain it in two words, it
would be 'small talk' --- just kidding. I really did learn a lot from the other Hermanas. It's cool to see how each person works. We have another two coming up this next week...Hip hip hooray...if your about that kinda life.

I have decided that the craziness follows me. Every time I'm on exchanges we seem to come in contact with some very strange people. Every time my companion says, "Wow, how strange, that normally doesn't happen." And I want to say, "No? They are everywhere. I always find them." But I hold that in, hoping maybe it's not me that is the one causing the crazies to pop out.

I wish a had a lot of stories to tell you about the ward members and our investigators, but I've been out of my area so much...I really don't know how they're doing. Our African friends keep sharing their food with us. So, more fire rice and weird meat that comes from...I don't even know what animal or what part of the body. Yum.

I honestly love my companion. This is the last week of this transfer, and I really don't want her to leave me. I really would be totally fine finishing the mission with her as my companion for the next 10 months. I'm going to try to do some hint hinting in my letter to president this week about how great we work together😉. So next week I'll tell you how well my hinting goes.

What I learned this week: 'To!' Often times we look down on ourselves when we see all that we are lacking. Maybe you're not as funny as Robert, or maybe you're not as
talented as Jane, or maybe so and so is awesome at being a mom or coach, or what ever it might be. And yes, maybe to be honest, you aren't like them. But that's okay. Because...a wise close friend of mine once said, "Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one on earth that is you er than you."  --Dr Seuss

You are the best you out there, so don't try to be someone else, because if you do, who's gonna be you? So really just try to be the best you. Yikes, I'm sounding like Dr Seuss, which means you just had to read that part ten times, and you still are trying to figure out what I'm saying. So this week be the best you; and no one else.

Love, Hermana Kelemen

P.S. Top reason why President should keep me and Hermana Baxter together:  We walk 35 miles per hour with our long legs. We get places. The ward like to joke about that when they see us 'sprinting' in the street. For them it's sprinting, but for us, it's a slow stroll.

Monday, August 3, 2015

The Prince 8/3/2015

Dear Family and Friends,

So good new, I didn't have to eat fu fu---but----we had another eating appointment with a lady in the ward. When we came in she asked, "I hope you like spaghetti." What she should have said: "I hope you like to eat fire."

She told us she didn't put as much spice in her spaghetti this time because she knew African and American taste buds are a little different. I really never want to try her normal recipe for spaghetti with all the spice. Because man it felt like I was eating fire. The whole time my nose was running and my eyes were crying. I don't know if you have ever seen the Scooby Doo episode where Scooby and Shaggy eat hot peppers and then their tears are like fountains...Yeah I'm positive Hermana Baxter and I looked like that. Let's just say we went through a lot of water and napkins. After, I think the spices were burning my insides...I still feel a little funky.

We actually have had a ton of eating appointments this week. I love eating appointments. Peruvian food... it's bomb. But when people feed you...They feed you everything. Honestly every eating appointment they bring out the missionaries plates...And on them is enough food to solve world hunger. And then their plates of food are normal portions. I really eat my self sick every time. I am forgetting what it feels like to eat and not be sick afterwards. But the food is super good...So it all evens out I guess.

We had a lesson with one of our investigators this week. We wanted to repass the restoration. So we thought it would be a good idea to share the Joseph Smith video. In the middle of it Hermana Baxter started kicking me. As I looked at her, she motioned to Prince (that is the name of the investigator) and he was out cold, snoozing away. We didn't really know what to do...shake him awake?, or wait for him to wake up? Luckily as we were trying to hold our laughs in, his phone rang and woke him up. We ended up just explaining everything and focused on The Book of Mormon. He was really excited to read The Book of Mormon. After the lesson he said, "I love it when you guys come. I love the spirit you bring. I love learning the word of God."  ?  I wanted to say, "If you love it so much why are you sleeping?" Sometimes it surprises me when people tell us they love when we come. (Prince is Luis...the one we accidentally found and he first thought we were Jehovah Witnesses, and then came to our church. Turns out his real name is Prince).

Yesterday in Sacrament Meeting, we had some really good talks. The first speaker was a lady and she talked about reverence. She talked about how important it is to be reverent in church. She then said that the way to really teach reverence in the church is to teach reverence in the home. I liked that. She talked about how children need to be reverent in times such as family home evening. If they are texting, answering calls during FHE, then they will at church. I liked that. So my goal for you is to turn your phone off in FHE or don't bring it at all. True reverence starts in the home.

The second talk (I know mom would love). It was given by a guy named Salvation, and in his talk he said "the privilege to work is a blessing." He talked about how us, as a people, need to work. And working is a blessing from God. He said too, "when we learn to love to
work that is when we get success." So learn to love to work. And remember to work is a great blessing.

Love, Hermana Kelemen

Friday, July 31, 2015

Gizzard Guts 7/20/2015

Dear Family and Friends,

First, something I hope people can learn, there are blessings, yes, that come from the Sabbath, but don't forget the biggest one...the Sabbath itself. The Sabbath its self is a blessing, not a burden. Don't get tricked.

This week we had a big mission conference and met our new president. He has two kids and wow I just felt so bad for them. They looked so, so...scared. I don't feel bad for them. It's scary at first. It was really good though and they are an amazing family.

This week we taught this lady named Juliet. She is from Ghana and is so great. But she now always wants to feed us Ghana food.... Not so great. I don't think my American body can handle that kind of stuff. Boy. When they left the room, I quickly wrapped the gizzard guts in
napkins and shoved them in my comps bag. Don't worry she still loves me. 😀 We made it out alive, but next time she wants to make us fu pray for me. After we ran out of napkins...I may or may not have thrown the last gizzard gut out the window. But all is well. She has a fecha and is amazing. 😀

We are also teaching this super cute family. It's a mom and her two boys. The one little boys name is Daniel and although he is only 10, he is amazing. He has amazing questions and really wants to be prepared for his baptism. They are just amazing. The moms name is Antonia and then there's Daniel and Dennis. And they already have so many friends in the ward, and make my day every time we see them.

This week I re-read one of my favorite conference talks. It's one most of you know called Come What May and Love It, by Joseph B Worthlin. Often I think...maybe I am laughing too hard in the mission. But whenever I think of that, I think of this quote... "The next time you’re tempted to groan, you might try to laugh instead. It will extend your life and make the lives of all those around you more enjoyable." Often when things go wrong in the mission, I have to just laugh. My comps really good with that. And man it makes the mission so much better. So here's my goal for you. Laugh more. Learn to laugh and enjoy the journey. People don't laugh enough. Yours a guy in our ward, yes, his name is Yours....anyways he told me and my comp he liked us because we are always happy. Although it's not true about us, I know his statement is true. People like happy people.
So re-read this talk, and laugh more when you want to groan.

Love, Hermana Kelemen

The Body Guard 7/13/2015

Dear family.....and friends

First, thank you grandma for letting me know about Jared's mission call--Africa, Ghana. That is by far the second best mission in the world. This week I have been thinking a lot about the missionaries in Africa, they are so lucky. Why? Because Africans are really my favorite kind of people. My new area and new ward has a bunch. I love them because they love people so easily and they are just so nice to everyone. For example....

Aunt Katharine sent me a talk awhile ago, which really has changed my mission. (Ask her if you want the whole story.) Anyways long story short, the talk is about when a lesson fails, look for someone else. Because if that person can't meet, that means someone else is waiting for you. So all my companions think I'm a little crazy when the lesson fails and I say, "keep your eyes out someone's close and ready...Ready or not here we come..."

This week we met this guy in the street and had an amazing lesson. He didn't have a phone but gave us an address, he wanted a Book of Mormon and everything. So we were so excited to pass by. The first time no one was home. The second time...We learned it was false. A different, guy named Luis lived there, and really kindly explained that the person we were looking for, did not live there. As he was about to close the gate, I suddenly yelled out, "wait this is for you!!" He then turned around and I awkwardly forced our card in his hand. I said something a long the lines of "well although we are looking for someone else, we're the missionaries, here's our card. We have Church, Wanna come?" 30 seconds later we were walking a way with his number and a time to go pick him up.  After we were both a little shocked and thought maybe he gave us a false number just to get rid of us. But when we called to confirm, he sounded so happy and excited and said of course.

Still we were not sure. We kept asking each other the whole way morning, "why on earth is he going with strangers (he has talked to for only less than a minute) to a Church he knows nothing about. As we got there, we rang his timbre and he came down, and we stared walking and talking and then suddenly moments later he stops and says, "wait you're Mormons?" As we said yes he stopped and said, "sorry I can't go with you. I can't go to the Mormons. I'm sorry but I believe in Jesus Christ." We pointed to our name tags that in bold reads CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST, and explained that actually we do believe in Jesus Christ. He told us he was planning to go to the Jehovah's Witnesses church. He thought we were them...not the first time this has happened. But somehow he agreed to just come. And he loved it. Turned out he knows half the ward, because he is
African, and so is half the ward...And they all know their 'country men'...Like really, it blows my mind...but they ALL know each other. (It makes me wonder why they don't share the gospel with each other?)

He made a lot of jokes all during Church (which I kept telling him to save his jokes for the Jehovah Witness church), but he REALLY liked it. After he told me... "Kelemen, I am really going to miss you when you go back to America... How long is your mission, cuz man I'm going to miss you." I wanted to say...." Miss me? We have known each other for three hours and not too long ago you thought I was a Jehovah Witness." He kept calling me his body guard at the church. I told him he was not allowed to call me that, so then he changed it to
'personal assistant'. I then had to tell him that was not cool either. He also told me my Spanish was really good.... Ha ha ha ha ha, so you how little he knows.

There is also an old recent convert Spaniard who also has become my friend.... Well, we're getting there. He won't call me Hermana Kelemen. He told me I am Mary Carmen, and will refuse to call me by my name. They're calling me all kinds of things here in Spain. This ward is so funny. I love this area already so much. And my companion, we get a long so well. We are always laughing, I don't know if it's because my companion is so funny or because after five hours in blazing sun you start to get a little loopy. Both, a little both. Really me and my companion get a long so well... At times she reminds me of Julia and then it makes me sad. But really I couldn't find another companion that is so much like me. Tall, lanky and likes to
laugh and enjoy the little things in life. I am just praying I will be with her for another transfer.

But back to the story, the moral is you never know. Even if you are two tall, lanky awkward American girls, who knows what can happen. There is a power with faith. A lot of time we underestimate this simple truth. It's something I think really everyone needs more of. No matter how much you have I think there is always room for more. So my challenge for you is to pick something you have a hard time having faith in, and work on that. God doesn't expect us to have perfect faith as we know from the scriptures, but with the faith we do have he expects us to nourish it. And with his help it will grow. Also this week a lot of our recent converts and less actives are worried that they will lose faith one day. People. You can't if you do the three primary answers. Study daily the scriptures. Pray morning and night. And prepare yourself for Church and attend every week. I know it's impossible to lose the faith if we do our part, because we have God helping us.

Mary Carmen, The Body Guard, Hermana Kelemen

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Small World 7/6/2015

Dear family, and others,

I'm now in Trorajon. New area. So really right now I just am...Okay, let's be honest I'm really
sad. After six long months in B8 I have left. I feel like B8 is my home. I didn't realize how much I love the weirdos. We had a Noche De Hogar at a members house last night And after Edison (the one that gave that prayer about how women are the hardest to get) started
crying. And oh Daniel. I asked him how he was yesterday and he told me "my heart is very troubled. If it was my wish I would have you stay in B8 for the rest of your mission. I have to keep reminding myself that God knows best. 😕 A lot of people kept saying too, "Oh Hermana Kelemen, our crazy girl, what are we going to do without her." Like I can't even tell you how many people said that. I guess I was a weirdo to them. But they kept telling me a good way. Don't know what to think. It blew my mind that people even cared I was leaving. The cave man talk touched their hearts I guess. Don't really know how...

In my last week we found an amazing guy. He saw us talking to another guy and after he called us over, in English. At first we were weirded out, he asked us, "hey did that guy listen to your message?" (Creepily watching us from across the street.) When we said no, he said,
"Spain people have hard hearts and are close minded, so don't get down." He is a Spaniard, let me add this. Anyways I then asked him how he knows English, and he then asked where I was from. I said Utah. And he said, "oh I lived in Utah for a year. I lived in Provo." 😮😮😮😮😮 My jaw dropped. I was so happy and we began talking about good old Provo Utah. He wants to meet again and hear more, he said he has questions. Man. So bummed I can't teach him. Provo, I like people who have lived there. Small world. Well actually the world is getting smaller. My new companion is Hermana Baxter. Loran Baxter. Ring a bell...Dad?? She had you as a teacher. She is 6'1" and she said that you always told her she reminded you of Julia. She thinks she has talked to Julia before. Because she ran track and went to Timpview. Anyways weird. This is going to be a new adventure. Two big white giants in the streets of Spain. If I were the people of Spain, I would give my number out of fear of two big monsters talking to me. Ha ha ha.

Well I don't know. I now only live with my companion. I liked living with other Hermanas. But we will see how it goes. Here, things are a lot slower and smaller. I've heard there are a lot more Africans. More Daniels, Kassis, and Josephs. Boy oh boy.

We'll pray for my companion, she's gunna need it. Enjoy Tahoe for me. I often think about jumping in the ice cold water as I wake up in the middle of the night with my hair soaked because I'm sweating so much. In the night I have to go soak my t-shirt in ice water and wear it wet or I can't fall asleep. So enjoy it.

Love, Hermana Kelemen 😀

Mary Carmen 6/29/2015

Dear family and friends,

This week was bomb. I love barrio ocho. I love it here. I could live this forever. We had the activity I talked about last time, "the cena international". Boy oh boy. It was a hit and a half. So many people came and we had food from many different countries. Our investigator from New York came! Miracle. And he loved it. He keeps telling me he is home sick and all he wants to do is go back to the USA. So seeing all us Americans decked out in red white and blue made him happy. We also made American apple pie, rice crispy treats, brownies, and peanut butter cookies. The pie made him so happy. Go Merica. We also did a talent show. People sang songs and danced dances from their country. So of course because it was our activity we shared some American talent. Cotton Eye Joe. The ward loved our talent a little too much, and afterwards, everyone wanted to share talents. So it turned into karaoke party. Karaoke in Spain is a thousand times better, because everyone here is tone deaf. Oh this
ward.... No ward like it. This was on Saturday and on Sunday the whole ward kept talking about it. It really was so good because we had a lot of non members there! It's good for them to see that we are normal people. 😀

(Sad thing. My legs are dead. I am soooo sore from Cotton Eye Joe. And we did it for what? 2 minutes? Man I haven't moved like that in a long time.)

Also everyone after the activity kept telling me I had the longest legs they had ever seen. Also they told me when I cheered for the other talents I scream like a pig. 😐 I don't know what to think of that. After, they explained that it was in a good way. But, is there a good way to scream like a pig? The first counselor told me I was a great dancer, because my legs are so long and I make funny faces. ? .......

We also found an amazing guy to teach this week! He is so prepared. During the lesson his phone kept ringing and every time he would look at us and say, "Sorry, Satan is trying to stop me from hearing the word of God." Also before we began the lesson, he asked if we could make a following appointment, and right as we sat down to talk, he asked if we could first start with a prayer. In my head I was like "hold up, are you sure the haven't seen missionaries before?" Man he is so been prepared. I'm super excited to meet with him again. He also told us 40 different ways people have tried to kill him, but God keeps preserving his life. That was beyond interesting.

Okay sorry I seem to always tell you the crazy side of my mission, but it's quite a big side. The truth of it all is...I love the mission. I know that God has a timing for everything. I
know I needed to serve a mission not a week sooner or later. I needed to come here and meet and these people from all over the world to become the person God wants me to become. They never will ever quite understand the influence they have in my life. Before my mission, as many as you know, I struggled with the question with whether to go to a semester of college first or a mission. Both good things. But sometimes there are a good, better, and best. I know although I didn't feel quite ready at the time, I know that I needed to come at the time I did. I wish I could explain the things I have, learned, heard and seen. Serving a mission is not a sacrifice. You aren't giving up two years, or a year and a half of your life. People seem to say that all the time. But it's a lie. You ain't giving up anything...but rather gaining so much. Serving a mission is joy.

Love, Hermana Kelemen

P.S. Oh yes, why Mary Carmen in the title of this letter. Whenever I introduce myself to anyone and say, "Hola, soy Hermana Kelemen." They look at me and say, "Oh! Mary Carmen, mucho gusto!" Like everyone thinks I am Mary Carmen. No...people read my tag! Sorry my accent must be hard to understand.

It's hard to sleep at night when your sweating bullets. Madrid is getting roasty toasty. Like really, really hot. And AC is not a thing.Only cheap little plastic hand fans.

Monday, June 15, 2015

"Women are the best creation, but the hardest to get" 6/15/2015

Dear family and friends,

For those of you who didn't (cough my family) realized last week I didn't have time to write. I know my mother is off at girls camp or some church camp, and Aaron and Claire are traveling all over the USA and Olivia and dad...I would be shocked if they got on by them selves to check to see if I wrote. But that's cool. My name is Kate Kelemen and I am the 6th of nine children. Yes I'm on a mission in Spain for those of you who still haven't figured out.

Quick story I need to let out: Yesterday was stake conference and Edison (new convert from our ward...Man I haven't told you much about this guy....boy) anyways he gave the closing prayer. Side note, he is single and 35 and really wants to get married. In his prayer (remember this is in stake conference) he said, " we know the best creation you ever made was the women...the most beautiful, kind, amazing and honestly the best creation. But we also know they are the hardest to get." I felt weird saying amen to that. Here's the thing. After all the missionaries were like 'what the?' But all the members were commenting on how beautiful the prayer was...These are the moments I feel like I do not belong here. After I ran into Edison and thanked him for the prayer and he looked at me and said, "it wasn't me. I was just the messenger for God to give that prayer. He just spoke through me, so thank Him." To be honest I don't think that came from above. That definitely came from him.

Yes, right now I am writing you people on my iPad. We got them. For those of you who didn't serve a mission with an iPad...Well then you will never quite understand how different it is. It's weird. At the end of my mission I am going to sound like an old geezer. 
Me (next year) -"when I started my mission we didn't have iPads we carried our books, bible and all."
The greenies- "Stop! You're old! Man what was it like? That must have been so heavy to carry all the hard copy books! Tell me your joking."
Me - "I aint lying folks. When we wanted to write back home we had to go and rent a computer for an hour or so."
The greenies - *silent, and jaws dropped
Me - "we also had paper planners to plan for the those were the good old days. Feels like yesterday."

Story: the lessons of the REAL danger of the iPads. So before we got the iPads we were warned of many dangers of the iPad. Pornography was a huge concern. I think to they were worried of us goofing around on the iPad or waisting time on them. Real concerns, yes. But I think there is a greater one. (this is my opinion) They day before we got them Hermana Irgoyen and I planned to show a Mormon message in everyone of our lessons for the next day. But Hermana Irgoyens iPad got locked and she couldn't open it and I didn't have time to download the videos. Frustrated that our plans were ruined we decided just pick a chapter out of the Book of Mormon to meet the needs of the investigators. In every lesson instead of showing a video we read a whole chapter together. All of our lessons turned out AMAZING. The spirit was so strong and needs they were struggling with were met. How was it done? After Hermana Irgoyen and I were talking and we agreed that was a very humbling experience for us both. We learned the lesson. We got the hint. Don't ever underestimate the power of the Book of Mormon. For it is still the greatest tool we have. Later that week we watched the Joseph Smith full movie with an investigator and when it shows the missionaries in England it got me thinking. They had no preach my gospel, general conference magazines, pamphlets, videos, iPads, even church buildings, yet they converted many. How? They had really all they needed, the Book of Mormon. There is a power in the book. The real danger I see is the missionaries forgetting that. Yes the Mormon messages are great, I'm a huge fan. But we can't forget Moroni's promise. He didn't say the "watch the Mormon messages, the videos, and pray to know if the church is true, and God will answer." It's clear, he told us to read the Book of Mormon. 

Another cool story about the power of the Book of Mormon, Remember Franscio, the deaf guy? I don't know if I told you, but at the end of this month he is getting baptized. We dropped him two months ago, but one day, out of the blue, after we had dropped him he sent us a text that said, "I read that chapter you left me, I prayed, and I believe you. I know it's true! Can we meet sometime?" When we met him later that week he said he told his friends about the Book of Mormon and they were all making fun of him and this is what he said, " they don't believe me, but I know and I told them all they have to do is read it and pray. Because it's true." Challenge. Next time you have to give a lesson in sunday school, or
share a thought in FHE and you want to share a video...Find a scripture in the Book of Mormon instead. :)

Life's good for Hermana Kelemen, everyday is a new adventure. The other day we contacted this guy and as I was introducing ourselves and I begin to laugh...And then my companion started to laugh and then the guy we were contacting started to laugh. So there we were three random people laughing at nothing. I don't know why I laughed, but I'm just
glad the guy laughed with us and he gave us him number. :) "Laugh and the world laughs with you." Right?

Love, Hermana Kelemen

P.S. I told Daniel the other day that I write home to you guys about him, he did his Sponge Bob laugh and felt so honored. He says hi.

P.P.S. No. we are not using Facebook until our new president comes. So in a couple weeks I think.