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