Thursday, January 28, 2016

Cheese 12/28/2015

Dear fam and fri,

P-day once again—Hoot. Christmas was bomb, and it was so fun to see my cute little family. I'm sorry if you felt like I didn't talk to all of you. I tried, but there are a lot of you. 

Last Sunday, we had a comida with a menos activo. As I told you before, my comp loves to cook. So the first time I met this menos activo I told her about the talent of my comp, and joyfully volunteered her to cook for the two of us. 😀 So last Sunday was the third time we have gone over and cooked with her. Guess some talents can back fire. 

When we were there, she brought out this really good cheese. (Fact: I love cheese. I'm a Kelemen, we eat cheese to snack on) anyways my comp too knows I love cheese and told this lady I was a "rat and would eat all her cheese". She was fine with that, in fact she kept making me eat more. So I practically had to eat her whole block of cheese—so we could leave. That was my comps way of getting me back at me for making her cook all the time. 

We are teaching a man named Fran. About a year ago, he was meeting with the Elders and stopped, because he could never receive an answer for himself if the Book of Mormon was true or not. But we are meeting with him again and he said he will give it another shot and try to receive an answer. He is super cool. And he is doing his part, coming to church, reading he scriptures, living the word of wisdom, and praying to receive his answer. We too are going to fast for him. I really want him to receive an answer—I know he will but he has to be patient. Pray for him.

This week I have been thinking about rereading the conference talks again. And I was trying to figure out which ones to study, which ones I really felt like were meant for me . . . and then I came across this quote, 

"Revelations from the prophets of God are not like offerings at the cafeteria, some to be selected and others disregarded”.

I now want to pull something out of every talk and apply it. I normally just pick my favorite conference talks to really study and really apply. But, I'm gunna change that, because this isn't a cafeteria, and all the talks were 'meant' for me.

I love you all thanks for your prayers. 
I'm happy and blessed.
Love, Hermana Kelemen 

For p-day today we went on a hike with the other missionaries and got a little lost. They were freaking out and I was totally calm wondering why everyone was scared. That's what I get for being a Kelemen—getting lost on a hike isn't new.

Fear Not 12/21/2015

Dear Family, 

This week was bomb. The islands have been pretty fun. My companion is an amazing cook, and has been cooking a lot for me this week— tender mercies. She has been teaching me a couple things too. 😀 right now we have some really cool investigators. But for some weird reason, people don't want two Mormon girls over at their house for the holidays. "Call us after the holidays",  they all say. Makes sense. 

I had the chance to listen to the Christmas devotional—which I loved. I liked all the talks, but I liked the first one a lot. This morning as I was studying the birth of Christ, and this time as I was reading the angels messages, this is what stood out to me. 

When the angel appeared to Zacharias -
Luke 1: 13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John.

When the angel appeared to Mary - 
Luke 1: 30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.

When the angel appeared to Joseph - 
Matthew 1: 20 But while he thought on these things, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.

When the angel appeared to the shepherds - 
Luke 2: 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

Fear not. The angel repeated this message to each one of them. We as people...fear, but we don't need to because we have a savior. I like this message of "fear not" and I want to invite you all to think of something that you normally fear... And listen, and take the advice sent from God...and fear not. (Fret not😀

I know there is a God, and I know he loves me, because he sent his Son, to take my sins upon him, to make it possible for me, Kate, to return to God and enjoy all the blessings he has for me. And I know God love you too because his Son did the same for you. 

I love you all, have a Merry Christmas!! 

Love, Hermana Kelemen 

Junie B. Jones and Amelia Bedilia 12/14/15

Dear Familia,

This week was very different.
It's hard to explain why but I'll try, by telling you a couple things that are different:

1. I'm on an island.
2. My companion is 34, is from Malaga Spain, and doesn't speak English.
3. I'm no longer serving in a ward but a branch with about 35 active members.
4. It's warm.
5. We have to buy our water to drink.
6. The water I shower in, and bush my teeth with, smells like the ocean.
7. The people here are more friendly.
8. The people here are more crazy.

Let me first tell you about my comp. It's hard to explain what she's like—Amelia Bedelia. (Is that her name? Those children books. She is crazy.) But let me just remind you—I'm like Junie B Jones—so I'm crazy too. The only difference is our age. So we get along pretty well. 

She loves cooking....😉😉 so I will be fed well. We decided each week, she is going to teach me how to cook something, because I can't cook. I'm really excited to work with her. She is really patient and already has helped me so much with my Spanish. She was baptized about three years ago, and the first one in her family.

The ward here is really cool and the members, although there are few, are super strong. There is one girl I have already become great friends with; she is 16, and is always with us!!! In all our lessons, it's like we're in a trio. She is super cool. The ward is amazing with the missionary work—like so involved. It's unbelievable.

I still miss my old ward a bit, and friends, but I'm trying to just fall in love as fast as I can with the people here.

Challenge: go visit someone in your ward that you don't know or who you don't normally visit. Don't bring anything, just go visit them to visit them. Talk to them, see how they're doing, and  wish them a Merry Christmas.

Love, Hermana Kelemen

Stranded on an Island for Christmas 12/7/15

Dear Family and Friends,

 I know I often tell you that the mission is amazing, and that it's the best thing ever, but at times, to tell you the truth, it's not—it's actually, at times, the worst.
Transfers are today and I have left the hood. This part of the mission is not so fun. I am going to miss my ward so much. Leonard's baptism is this Saturday, and I won't be there to see it, but I guess I don't need to be. Saying goodbye was really hard, and I was trying not to show it, but when Isabel our 9 year old investigator started crying...I lost it. I love the people here so much. I don't even know how to explain it. The thought of not going and doing FHE at Antonia's house this Thursday makes me want to jump out this airplane. I wish you all could meet the people I have met, they are amazing and have changed my life. If you ever visit Spain, yes Segovia and Toledo are cool, but I suggest visiting the ward here in Torrejon. There's no where else like it.

I don't want to leave. Hermana Graff is the best and so is the hood. 😕
Leaving areas is the worst. 

I am now sitting on an airplane. Our new president has discovered that I am a big crazy Junie B Jones—and he is done with me, and has kicked me out of Madrid—

—and in about three hours, I will arrive at the Canary Islands. I will be serving in a little land called Telde; isolated from the rest of the mission. So, no more cold nights, or gloves, or scarves—which is a plus—but I'll have a tempting beach, and ocean that I can't swim in. 

This week was crazy and really hard...because of the goodbyes. But it was so great. 
On Tuesday we went to court—because another Hermana got her wallet stolen and then they found they guy, so she had to go and testify. (Maybe he's that same guy that stole my bag). Hermana Graff and I thought it would be really cool, but it really was a let down, because it was just a bunch of old Spaniards in a big lame room that looked like an office. 😑 

We also had Kenneth's baptism this week which was really good! He is so amazing. 

I don't know—so much happened this week. I don't really know how to explain it all. 
I love you so much. 

Love, Hermana Kelemen 

Ken Barbie Doll 11/30/15

Dear Family and Friends, 

This week after we taught Isabel, we were invited to stay and eat (shocker---more food), but this time the other four elders were invited too. So as we were waiting, we just were talking to the family, and we kept waiting and waiting and waiting. I thought, "what are the Elders doing!?'" Then Isabel's mom gets a call, and her husband, and the four Elders are stuck in the elevator in the building. It was a four person capacity; very tiny elevator. And they crammed in five men. The Elders and the father of Isabel are all pretty big boys. And just to let you know, the elevators here are tiny tiny tiny---not like the ones in the U.S. Like with four people, you are all shoulder to shoulder, smashed up against the wall. So I don't even want to know how they all got in.
Oh Elders. 

Thanksgiving was really good. The day before, we had a zone conference and we had a Thanksgiving dinner. And guess what we had there?? Costco rolls!!! Tender mercy. Oh how I've missed those guys. I may or may not have eaten 7 or 8. We then had pumpkin pie! Costco pie!! (I guess a Costco  opened up in Madrid somewhere). Man it was way sweet! Cakes and sweet things here aren't sweet like us Americans make it. Normally, it's some weird dry foamy stuff with gross frosting. So Thanksgiving----Oh, it was good. We know how to make sweet stuff right. 

But on Thanksgiving day guess what I did in the morning?? I took the good old Thanksgiving quiz. I had a copy of that guy with me. Let's just say, it was way easier doing it with Sara by my side telling me all the answers. But, it was really good. At the top before all the quotes, it invites us to think about what is being said in the quotes, and this year I took more time to really think about what was being said. 

I love Thanksgiving and I loved it this year. 

Also in the renfe (train) today, this weirdo German guy who was like a walking ken Barbie doll, kept trying to escort me and Hermana Graff around. He spoke English and he kept following us around with his little leather gloves and big scarf and brief case. Ugh. These kind of things always happen to me and Hermana Graff. I know he was just so excited to practice his English. So of course, we talked about why we were here, and in the end gave him the website to look up. 

It's kind-of a funny story now, but at the time, Hermana Graff and I didn't want the ken guy following us. 

I told you to read Mormon 9:14. I will tell you what I learned from it.
I love what Elder Orson F. Whitney said: “The spirit of the gospel is optimistic; it trusts in God and looks on the bright side of things. The opposite or pessimistic spirit drags men down and away from God, looks on the dark side, murmurs, complains, and is slow to yield obedience.” We should honor the Savior’s declaration to “be of good cheer.” (Indeed, it seems to me we may be more guilty of breaking that commandment than almost any other!) Speak hopefully. Speak encouragingly, including about yourself. Try not to complain and moan incessantly. As someone once said, “Even in the golden age of civilization someone undoubtedly grumbled that everything looked too yellow." 

"Those who are happy shall be happy still, and those who are unhappy shall be unhappy still." - Mormon 9:14 

John 16:33
Matthew 9:2
Matthew 14:27
Mark 6:50
Acts 23:11
Acts 27:22,25
2 Corinthians 9:7
3 nephi 1:13
D&c 61: 36
D&c 68: 6
D&c 59: 15
D&c 112:4 
D&c 78: 19 

Yikes that's a lot. 
But if you want, read these verses and think about it. 
I think at times we think... "In the end of it all, at last we will be happy!" But if this scripture is true, if we aren't happy now, what makes us think we will all of a sudden be happy then? Happiness is now. We don't need to wait to be happy. Yes, at times things are hard, but I believe it's possible to have 'celestial' happy moments in this life. 

I think-----really, we are here to figure out happiness. We are here to learn to be happy in all circumstances. That is the test. Not just to fake a smile and have deeply sorrow, but to learn to truly be happy. And that's where faith and hope in Christ make it possible. Yes, it is possible. 
 "Men are that they might have joy." 
"He wants to give us everything we need to be happy now and to return to Him after we die" - in the restoration pamphlet. 

I know I sound like Tom when he gets excited about the scriptures, or mom when it comes to the gospel. . . 
But, it's just the thoughts I have been having. It may be common sense to all of you----but to Junie B Jones, she has been having this thought process. 

So let us realize that if we want to be happy in the end,  we need to be happy now. 

Love Hermana Kelemen 

The Cold Here Goes Straight to Your Bones 11/23/2015

Dear Family and Friends, 

Here in Spain its colder than Utah, because here, there is something called "dry cold". Everyone tells Hermana Graff and me that we don't understand how dangerous the cold is here. (Most here have never seen snow.😑 Oh wait, some have, I think it was 2002 the last time a few flakes fell). Anyways, our investigator and members are constantly telling us we don't understand the cold in Spain. Because here, "you don't feel the cold outside on your skin---- it goes straight to your bones". I don't really understand what that means? But when talking about the cold here, you don't argue. So I just nod. 
So---I need to be careful because the cold is going to my bones. 😐

Our investigators are doing great. Hermana Graff and I are so blessed with many people to teach. We are constantly sprinting, and when I say sprinting, I mean----Hermana Graff gets shin splints like everyday, because we are always running between lessons. 

Leonard is one of our investigators who is 45, and loves doing cartwheels.Yeah, it's weird. I haven't told you much about him, but he is amazing. It's so fun to teach him because he loves learning and he is so prepared. He is the one who is working on smoking, and he is doing really great and hasn't smoked in a week. 

Isabel is also a little girl we teach, her mom's a member. She is so cute and fun to teach and is so excited to be baptized. The other time we taught her she offered to teach us Spanish class, because she said we talk funny... 😐 
Also the member Mike that told me I was fat, we are teaching his twin brother. They are soooo funny together. They always make me laugh. They found me on Facebook and told me here in Spain I must be stressed a lot because I don't look the same here----aka, I never do my hair. They are very honest people, but they are a ton of fun. 

Yesterday we set up our Christmas trees. We have two. One is on the floor with little lights, and the other's on our table. They are both little trees and super cute because they are mini. We just found them in the piso and got really excited and couldn't wait to put them up.  So maybe that's not a we, maybe it was just me, putting up our baby Christmas trees. 
Although, I love Christmas, my all time favorite holiday is coming up----Thanksgiving!!!! It's kind of a shame because it's just an American holiday, but it's okay, we are going to teach our recent convert how to have a Thanksgiving. 
I love Thanksgiving. I love it. I love it. I love it. 
So make sure you all eat a lot----doubt any of you will eat as much as I do every day, but try to eat as much as you can. And also give thanks. 

"My point is to urge you to find ways to recognize and remember God’s kindness. It will build your testimonies. You may not keep a journal. You may not share whatever record you keep with those you love and serve. But you and they will be blessed as you remember what the Lord has done. You remember that song we sometimes sing: “Count your many blessings; name them one by one, And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.”

I love this talk. It's one of my all time favorites. Because I know God is pouring down blessings everyday to everyone of his children, and all we need to do is look up and notice it. The key to being happy is realizing you have reasons to be happy. 
The thankful people are the happy people. 

Love ,Hermana Kelemen

"If you look like Michel Jackson everyone will run away and be scared" 11/16/2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Remember how a couple of months ago I was sweating small children as I slept and I would wake up in the middle of the night sweating bullets? Those days have come to an end. I now study in the morning with my big winter coat, and sleep in sweats, and a hoodie. Our piso doesn't have heating. (But don't worry, both the Elders pisos have heating.) It's been chilly. All my tights have huge holes, and all my toes pop out of the holes. It kind of looks like I dropped them in a running blender. But being a missionary, I haven't thrown any of them away. But I'll be fine for a while, I don't wake up in the night from the cold if I keep my head under the blankets all night. 
With Thanksgiving around the corner,  don't worry about me. I have a Thanksgiving meal about three times a day. And that's not a joke. Not even kind of. At the end of the week we fasted, and wow, it felt so good. I think I will fast for Thanksgiving to do something different.
Like, I think I gained 7 pounds this week. Every lesson we have had this week they have popped out this surprise feast, and you can't say no when they bought half the store for you. But it's helped me learn the power of prayer is real. I often ask for help each hour as a new
feast comes out, to have the power to eat---and I've done it. They keep saying I'm tall and I eat a lot. I only eat a lot because they keep it coming.

I told someone I was gaining weight and getting tubby. And they told me if I get any skinnier I'll look like Michel Jackson and everyone will run away from me and be scared. I don't know.

This week has been good Leonard, Kenneth, Marco Polo, and Isabel, our four amazing investigators are progressing a ton.

I'm happy.

Love, Hermana Kelemen

Heavenly Father Doesn't Pop His Knuckles 11/9/2015

Dear Family and Friends, 

Many missionaries say "birthdays in the mission are the worst." 
I don't know whether or not that statement is true, and never will I know. So you are just going to have to trust their judgment. 

But birthday weeks in the mission, oh let me tell you, they have to be one of the best things, not just in the mission, but in any time of your life. 

Monday We went to Segovia you know. I couldn't write a ton, because we were writing on the bus and I was super car sick. But that was really fun and Hermana Graff and I had a good time on her birthday. 

Tuesday was our district leader's birthday, and for a comida a family in the ward threw him a surprise party. They made this magic BBQ sauce and put it on chicken that is pretty much life changing. Like I wrote down the recipe to make it when we get home, so I can change your lives too. They then had a cake, sang to all three of us, and shoved me and Hermana Graffs face in the cake. I told them I didn't appreciate that----- and put cake in their faces to make it even. 

Wednesday we got to go to the temple. I think I learned the most that time then I ever have.
Thursday we did a noche de hogar with Antonia and Daniel. They are so nice. They gave me a big pink hair clip bow and a jar of olives. (So random, but honestly, it was one of the best gifts I have ever gotten, because I knew they were so excited to give it to me).

Friday was amazing. We had English class----which always is the best.

Saturday was transfer day. Everyone told me I was going to leave. Everyone. People even started to say good bye. But guess who got super blessed---this chica!!! This next transfer is only four weeks. I am so shocked, but super duper happy!!! On Sunday I was talking to Veo (a friend in the ward, who is really is like the coolest member ever) and she said she prayed and prayed I would stay longer; she said God answered her prayer. :) he answered mine too. I love the hood. 

Birthday week was so good. In Relief Society they sang to us, and on my birthday the ward members called me, and wished me a happy birthday. Still am a little creeped out how everyone found out----but that's beside the point.  

I am so excited for the next four weeks; we have amazing investigators! We found a new guy named Marco Polo who came to Church this week, and then after the service we saw him talking to a member in the bishopric and...they are family!!??? What the, what the, what just happened here! The family was so happy we found him, and shocked we just street contacted him. It was really crazy, and he really is 'a droplet of heaven', as Hermana Graff and I say when we love people. 

Our other investigator, Leonard, is working on the word of wisdom. We call him every morning to do the 'pot calls' as we call them; to make sure he has not been smoking in the morning. He went a whole week without smoking, so we made him cookies. So he is progressing a ton.

This morning I read the conference talk 'what lack I yet'. It is so good. I love how it tells us the Holy Ghost will tell us how to improve, if we ask for it. So I did, and I did receive an answer that, to be honest, I wasn't expecting. 

I'm on the road to perfection, the way to become like my Heavenly Father, so I figure if the spirit tells me do something, or to stop doing something, it's to become like Him. 
Heavenly Father doesn't pop his knuckles. A life long habit of mine I've been trying to stop...but it's time. 

I also read a scripture I really liked this week, and I have been thinking about it a lot. 
Mormon 9:14 I want you to read it and tell me what you get out of it. 

I love you. Thanks for the birthday wishes.
Love, Hermana Kelemen 

P.S In a lesson with an investigator, a member told me I had gotten fatter. He said he sees in in my cheeks. 😐 same guy that told me I had gas, when really I was just hungry.

"Don't Think About It. Just Do It" 11/2/2015

Dear Family and Friends,

Today is Hermana Graffs birthday, so we went to Segovia. It was a ton of fun. The birthday week has begun. Next week I will have to let you know how it goes.

This past week I did another intercambio, you know how much I love them. But this time, really was so much fun, and I loved it!! I got to do an intercambio with Hermana Toone!!! It was so much fun being with her again, and it felt just like old times, but this time I could actually help her teach the lessons. It was so much fun, and it brought back so many good memories. It really actually made me really miss my old area. It's crazy too because it feels like yesterday we were companions. Anyways, it was really good and in the morning we made French toast just to celebrate. And guess what, we had with our French toast? Mrs. Buttersworths syrup. It's almost been a year since the last time I had syrup. Oh man, do I miss that Mrs. Buttersworth. Don't ever take that sweet lady for granted.

Something I've realized this week-----
In the mission, as many of you know, we contact. We go up to people in the street and try to share the gospel with as many people as we can. For most people, this is a very uncomfortable and wired thing to do. I know I've told you a little bit about this before, and maybe I have already shared this with you, but I was thinking about it a lot this week---so I'll share it again. When I was younger, as you know, we always went to Lake Tahoe---every
summer. With the water being super cold, it is often hard to get in. When I was younger, I would first have to get 'used' to the water before I got in. First, I would put just my feet, then my ankles, then calves, then knees, get it. Slowly, little by little I would get in. This
was a long processes and would take me forever to actually get in the water.

Mark and Tom seemed to have no problem getting in, and for a long time, I didn't understand why. Then I remember one summer as I was doing my 30 minute 'getting in the water' process, I remember Mark saying, "Don't think about; just do it." He went on to explain that the more I thought about it----how cold it would be, the harder it would be to get in. He said the best best way is to just run and jump. Yes it is cold, but it's faster and less 'painful' that way. I have always remembered that phrase. "Don't think about it; just do it."
Contacting has never been too hard for me because I think of that phrase. The more I think about how awkward or weird it could be the harder it is. You just have to run and jump. You just have to give it your all and go.

I think this can apply to a lot of things in life. I think sometimes there are good things we want to do but fear of 'the cold', or fear of  'thinking it will be hard' causes us to want to slowly ease our way into things. But sometimes that's not really an option, and we have to be ready to run and jump. Ready to adapt and change. Ready to be willing to work and give our best----not just half an effort for the first '30 minutes' and then 'jump' all the way in.

This is something I've been thinking about a lot. I know I can do better. Not to over think things, or wait to give my best. So my advice for you is the advice Mark gave me: "Don't think about it, just do it"

Love Hermana Kelemen

Other thing:
The other day in church, I had to lead the music because the lady that normally leads the music wasn't there. Afterwards, a recent convert, we are teaching, told me, "Nice try leading the music Hermana Kelemen." I was confused at his comment, because I know how to lead music, and I nailed it. So I questioned him, asking what he meant, and he said "she has
just had more time than you in the calling." Guess I'll work on that...

P.S. For Halloween we decorated people's doors---menos activos. I felt like I was asking to a dance. Also just if you don't know Halloween really isn't that big of a Holliday here. So when I was saying Happy Halloween to everyone in the streets, and on the phone, people laughed real hard. Guess saying that is really gringo.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Squirrel Mane 10/26/2015

Dear Family, 

I forgot to tell you about my squirrel hair. It's gotten beyond wild. Like, it's nuts. I haven't cut it once...well, except for once. When I first got in the field, I met an Hermana who had just got her hair cut. It was super uneven and very odd. So after seeing that, I never wanted to go anywhere to get my hair cut. 

During the summer, my hair started to get a little wild. Several people told me it is super easy to cut your own hair. Me, being Kate Kelemen, not only believed it, but tried it. Let's just say one chunk was super uneven then the rest. (Junie B. Jones moment----remember when she tries to cut her own bangs.) This was about three months ago, and I just haven't found the time to fix it. So today, was the day, I finally gave-in and attempted to tame the squirrel mane. 

This week was super duper good. Antonia and Daniel finally were baptized!! Can I get a hoot, hoot? It was such a good baptism, and they were so happy, so of course we were so happy. During the baptism, I felt so spoiled again. The mission is such an incredible experience, and I honestly feel like a lucky duck that I have this opportunity to be here in Spain. 

We also had an international dinner with the ward (like we did in my other area in Barrio 8). These things are big in Spain. So of course, we  were asked to dance. This time, to shake things up, we did Cotten Eye Joe with a mix of Frozens, Let It Go. It was kind of a missionary skit/dance. It's hard to explain but it was super funny. Again the members made fun of my dancing. One of them told me, "you really know how to jump like a frog with your long legs." 😑 But our investigators came, and got to know the ward better, and really enjoyed the activity----which was a plus. 

This week has been so good. I love it here in the hood. Everyone keeps telling me I am going to leave this area in two weeks...and when they do, I just want to cry. I don't want to leave, not one bit. Things are so good. We have four amazing investigators right now who, I'll be shocked if they aren't baptized. The ward members are just the best; manifest by all the food they feed us. 😀 

I wish I could express how fun and amazing missionary work is. I wish you all could come spend a day in my shoes. I wish you could meet the people I have met, and seen the things I have seen. But it's you're just going to have to take my word for it when I say, "I love it."

I also love life. Aren't you glad you chose to come to earth and experience life? 

Something I've learned that might sound a bit harsh--there are people out there who love to "brag" (it's a term my companion and I made up) about their trials and hard things they have in their lives. Don't be a bragger. I really don't understand why everyone likes to talk about their hard things, because they act like they are singled out. NO, you are not the only one. Welcome to planet earth. Believe it or not, everyone else in the world has trials just like you. I know that sounds harsh, but to really express what I'm feeling, read the poem Solitude in 101 famous poems:

"Laugh and the world laughs with you, 
Weep and you weep alone...
Sing and the hills will answer, 
Sigh and it's lost in the air…" 

I'm not saying you have to be someone who constantly puts on a fake smile and pretends nothing's wrong. But there is always a million and five good things to talk why just moan and "brag" about all the trials and bad things that are going on in your life? 

Don't 'brag', rather, speak of uplifting things. 

Love Hermana Kelemen 

P.S. Birthday week is getting bigger and bigger----I don't understand---?