Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tomorrow is the Day!!!! June 28, 2011

Elder Kuykendall will return home tomorrow, Wednesday June 29th.
Thank you to all of our family and friends that have supported Eric with your thoughts and prayers during this time.
His service has certainly been a blessing to not only to the people of Chile but to our family as well.
I feel as though these last few days have been longer than the previous 24 months.
Sherri Kuykendall

"The Time is Far Spent, There is Little Remaining. . . " and Eric is and Uncle June 20, 2011

Well Family,
I am happy to hear little Elizabeth is doing well and went great I feel a week behind in the news but oh well that is life here haha. Well I am stoked to be an old uncle haha. I feel like I have passed to a new level in life. I just hope the Grandparents, especially the Gma doesn’t spoil her too much.
Well this week was full of rain but it let up today and I am happy about that. Left Tomé at 6am and got here to Chillan about 8:20 ish. Travel kills me but I got to sleep. This week was full of 3 baptisms in my district and so Friday went out to Coelemu to support the Elders and Presidente and Hermana Humphrey went too, and then on Saturday an investigator of the other Tomé Elders was baptized too. Juan is caught up on Joseph Smith.........we have done everything possible to help him believe and he is praying and fasting but says he still isn’t sure.....this week we are going to talk about faith and I hope he gets baptized on Saturday!!!!!!!! It would be awesome!
I went and did shopping at the feria but didn’t buy much I am concerned about weight but I think I should be good. Haha plus I am super fruggle here on the mission. I went to get a Chile jersey but I think I will buy it in Conce my last day....I just don’t know what too buy as arecuerdos.
Well don’t have much too say I hope you all don’t forget about me at the airport haha just kidding, I know you won’t. Tell you the truth I am more nervous than excited to come home.....it just seems so surreal for me right now..like I cannot believe it. It is weird to explain but here it is. Well I guess I will see you all next week.....have a great week and hope you have great weeks. Happy anniversary mom and dad!!!!!!!!!!
love you all take carelove Eric

Friday, June 17, 2011

I am an Uncle Yet??? June 13, 2011

Hey family what is up with you all this week? Well seems like the baby wants to come out and play today and the best chance is that she is already here. I am doing good and feel like the time is passing by super fast too fast for me. Wow I cannot believe Lisa is going to be a mom haha Just Kidding!
Nothing exciting this week happened. I think the best part was I finally got to kick a dog, now you are all thinking it is bad to do that but it was personal defense! We were going up to lunch on Friday and this dog was in the street and got close to us and started to bark, and almost bit Elder Bastow twice and then as we went further the dog got closer to me and almost bit me. I moved away but when it came back for the second try I kicked it. ......the dog was dazed and we were able to run into the house of the member. Then when we left the dog started to chase after us again, but this time we were armed with rocks to scare it away. I tell you I hate Chilean dogs, they are so vicious and bite so many people and yet nobody does anything about it. I am sorry I had to kick it but, he got what he deserved...like I said it was self defense!!!!!
Juan is progressing well and he has a fecha for this coming Saturday. If it doesn’t happen this week I am sure he will be baptized before I leave....He is ready but he said he wants a 100% answer.....so just a lot of prayer I think will do the trick. I don’t have much else to tell you just the same old stuff.
I cannot wait to hear about the baby my first sobrina!!!!!!!! oh yeah I will be flying into SFO with 3 other Elders. 2 go to Washington and 1 to Sacramento, not to bad. Well don’t got much else to say to you all, I hope you have a great week and we will be talking next week.
I am going to Chillan next week to say my last goodbye, But I will still shoot an email to you all.

Happy Father’s Day Dad and Tyler now! haha.
I love you all so much and miss you bunch, have a great week and take care love you all
Love Eric
ps. Enjoy the fotos Elder Brown wanted to try out the rain jacket he bought so I told him I would help him, it was fun!

Getting Prepared to Return Home &The Backstreet Boys are coming to Tome'? June 6, 2011

Well I apologize for the whole mix up with my letter last week. I had a lot on my mind and stuff and I thought I hit send but it got saved and now you all got it opps!! I am doing good and well I am don’t know what else to say.
This morning we went to conce because last Monday my cell phone died and I was without a phone all week....wow haha it was tough getting a hold of inv de hecho, but went and I got it fixed. Chilled in the office and Elder Keller, AP, was hassling me because I am almost dead haha and he took the “cancelado” stamp and said I was done haha He is chill from San Diego. Went to Doggies a hot dog place and I ate 4 hot dogs, so good with barbeque sauce and fried onions, so good.
This week went well except Elder Haws was in the bathroom 90% of the time...he has a delicate stomach this week, I love him so much he cracks,me up we are so alike but I am taller and obviously cool cause I am from CA just kidding, no we get along good, I don’t know if he is sarcastic with me because he loves me or if he really hates me haha no I think it is the first lol. He is cool.
We had a good week, Juan is progressing well he has doubts is about Jose smith and living Profeta but he is reading the Book of Mormon and praying specifically about it. This week we are going to watch “Special Witnesses” with him and talk about the living Profeta. It will be good, he can be baptized before I leave. Katia also is progressing, she didn’t go to church because her dad was in town, but we shared about baptism and she really felt the need to forgive and to repent of past actions. We are finding people and it is not easy but it is moving along.
We have a big activity for the 24th. It is a Karioke night. We had arts and crafts time this week and as you can see we made a poster to put in the church. I was punished for eating the paste....it is so good though!!!!! haha I remember 1st grade paste mint flavor haha. Just hope the members get involved
We will be doing a special musical number oh yeah, you know who The Backstreet Boys are coming to Tomé!! lol
It will be most fun activity of the year, yep!!!!
As you can tell my leg got jacked-up, I fell into a hole yesterday opening the pipe to let out the water from the baptism of the other elders, I slipped into the hole and nailed my leg on the cement ledge it hurt so bad but oh well, just got to keep going haha
I have been going through papers and stuff and trying to decide what to take and what to leave, some of my books and stuff in English will have to stay behind, I just have acquired so many books and stuff. I have studied out of Spanish so I didn’t use my English stuff but hope I can take it all. I was talking to Elder Thomas and Carlstrom and the Elders going to Utah fly through Atlanta and I go to CA. My group of travel is small I think we might be between2 or 6 idk I need to find out but I think donuts would be better!!!!! After nine hours flying all night we will be hungry and they will have connecting flights, but I got my final flight plans from the church today and well it looks like the end is actually coming.......the dream is ending. It feels so weird, its a day you thought never would come and when it comes you don’t want it.....idk I love being here it hasn’t been easy but it the Lords work and there is no other work like it. I just wish all could feel the same joy and happiness that I do, because if they did they would see and taste the bitterness of the water of the world. After drinking of His living water and thye would never want the bitter stuff ever again. I know the Lord loves us and wants all to partake of the salvation. HE LIVES and directs His church.
I hope you all have a great week and that the baby is good and healthy, you all need to tell me asap when she pops out haha. I love you all so much and cannot wait to see you all. Take care and be safe. Have a great week!!!!!
Love, Eric
PS will Gpa & Gma Kuykendall or Gma Hofheins becoming for my homecoming I would like them there if they can come.

Words from Elder Holland, an Apostle of the Lord May 30, 2011

Well how is it going? Trunky yet? Well sounds like I will stay nice and thin when I get home because mom doesn’t cook anymore haha no just kidding with you all. This week was a tough one but a good one with some things, work wise we got our butts kicked this week and I tell you last night I was pretty down about it but Elder Haws got my animo up as usual. I don’t know but these past couple weeks have hit me hard as the work, we haven’t gotten into a new house in 2 weeks, so it took a toll on me I think but this week will be a great week and I cannot wait to tear it up. Did 2 entrevistas bautismales for the Elder of Tomé A and it went great, Francisco and his mom Elizabeth were baptized Saturday and on Sunday the Bishop didn’t have the confirmation in the program so I ran up to remind him and ended up doing them after the sacrament.....from what I know it should be done that way but oh well, the Stake High Councilor was there and he told me thanks for doing the right thing and that he would explain to the Bishop why it should be done before, so I did my best.....in this ward I have been here so long they treat me like a member which sounds cool but isn’t because the respect has gone down.....but I am determined to keep working hard and help this ward. It can be a great ward with more help and willingness by the members, the stake is trying to work to help more young men go on missions and so naturally it falls on us to do it all and everybody just watches. I am a little frustrated with the ward, but the Lord left me here for a reason and I need to help with a lot of prayer and fasting oh and of course study haha, I am speaking in 2 weeks in Sacrament meeting and I don’t know what to talk about......there are just so many things. but así es!

Well the best part of the week was the conference we had Friday in Conce. It was by far the best zone conference of my mission, Elder Holland spoke.....via recorded talk from the MTC (Missionary Training Center, Provo UT). The talk is being shown to all missions around the world to help the misioneros understand their calling and the importance it holds. He had given the talk in the MTC back in January, he talked about why Pedicad mi evangelio was written and he shared words from Pres. Hinckley, He said “I have seen too many returned missionaries go inactive and there is something seriously wrong if young men and women who served 18 or 24 months of their life serving and teaching the gospel and yet don’t have testimonies strong enough to stay the course and be active members of the Lord’s church.” (it isn’t an exact quote but this is what I got) you can imagine the list of names that flew through my head in this moment......he said PMG(Preach My Gospel) was written to first convert the missionary so that he can help others do the same! He said “All missionaries need to be peach my gospel missionaries!” He then talked about the great responsibility that returned missionaries have in the church and the impact that they will have in not just the church but the world, community, friends and family. he finished talking about enduring to the end.......I tell you the biggest fear for me is to come home, I have gotten so used to doing the same thing everyday, to be with my comp 24/7 and to feel the Spirit all the time that I know it will be a big shock when I get home, it wont be the same.....and if I didn’t become 100% converted I will fall and it will be harder than ever. I have made big changes in these 2 yrs and I am not the same as I was before if it shows or not I am different, and going back to what I was before is just as if I were to turn my back on the Lord and fall back into the hands of the opposition. Elder Holland used the example of the apostles after the resurrection, they went back and fished.....the Lord asked Pedro do you love me? three times and Pedro responded 3 times yes I do......the Lord told him “FEED MY SHEEP!” He told them to leave their nets and go and preach His gospel. that is the Lords call to all missionaries that we drop our nets and follow him, Elder Holland finished by saying “When you sent the letter and signed to accept your call it wasn’t for 2 yrs or 18 months” he said “it was for the rest of your life” this talk hit me hard, I cannot go back to who I was, I am not perfect nor will I every be in this life and I know I will stumble and fall and get lazy and mess up but I have to continue repenting and leaving “the nets” or sins and bad behind. That is the call the Lord extended to me and I accepted it wont be easy but its is possible through daily scripture study and reading and prayer. I know Christ is my Savior and is reason why we can change, He died so we could change and progress to live with God again. I love this gospel and I know it is true it is the only true gospel of jesucristo. I have much more to change but I know He will help me. I know the Book of Mormon is true and any member who reads it everyday and studies the teachings it contains with prayer will never go inactive because and will have the strength and testimony to vencer and superar all the problems they face.

I gave my farewell talk with other 20 missionaries at the end of the conference and it was powerful, I have come a long way and yet I haven’t reached the 1/4 mark I just hope I can do it. I love this work and hope to be able to have the energy and boldness to share the gospel for the rest of my life. I love you all so much and cannot wait to see you all, I hope you have a great week and all is well at home. I love you and pray for you all everyday. I love you have a great week. Paz fuera!!!!!!Love Eric

Friday, June 3, 2011

Time to say Good-bye, Where has 2 years gone? May 23, 2011


Well first off Mom don’t worry about it....it is for a good purpose!!!! I might have covers for my scriptures if they are done in time if not I will have to pay to ship them $$$$$$$ lots of dollars if you know what I mean....lol well moving on I am doing okay the cold is still kicking me down but I am trying to fight it with nuclear warfare it helps my comps but me not so much....ooops haha

Well I am doing well and this week was a tough one but oh well that is how it goes....haha just got to pick yourself up and do it . The fence for Clara was a new one because the old one was destroyed in the storm a couple weeks ago. She is awesome. I am not trunky,,,,,,maybe a lil but it is my goal to make others trunky haha NO IT IS ALL GOOD TIME GOES AND I JUST STAY THE SAME HAHA. but time is lame because it does its own thing regardless what we do. Last night we stayed up late........now think what 4 missionaries would stay up and do......you got that right we talked about the organization of the church and priesthood......no lie it was fun haha They told me I would be Bishop one day and I said no I smoke haha jk. I told them I would take any calling that let me read the handbook....I just want to read the handbook there is good stuff in it....haha. it was funny, we ended with...its late.......and then went to bed it was funny haha. we are all on diets....and have been running in the morning to drop the pounds haha I got to look good when I get home haha. I had a question for you all but it went away......nope its gone haha.

We had an investigator in church yesterday Juan he is a referral from a member. He is good but has a doubt about the foods we can and cannot eat....it is about the Law of Moses... I studied so much on it so hopefully he just feels the spirit and understands. He has good questions very educated ones too. I like it because it is making me stretch my study skills. I learned a bunch about the Law of Moses.....I like the new covenant Jesus made though it is simpler haha. well I don’t have much to say .

On Friday Iwill give my farewell testimony at zone conf........ugh I don’t know what to say........it weird to think it has come because you never think it will and the next thing you know its here and you are gone.....weird my little world I have lived in will soon be taken from me......wow but asi es.

I love you all so much and cannot wait to hear from you all next week and here the good news. I am looking for gifts for you all so I need ideas please.....I am looking for collectable spoons but I cannot find them anywhere.....ugh well have a great week.
Love you all a lot
Love Eric

The Joy of Hard Work and Service May 16, 2011

Hello to all!!!!!How are you doing this fine week? Today is cambios here and well....I will be dying here in Tomé, I am excited the only bad is that I will not get to see my converts and members in Talca and Cauquenes but I will call them for sure to say goodbye. I am doing good a little better from my cold but the cough and congestion seem to be lingering with me. I am finishing my drugs so I hope it ends soon. I am good though the past 3 days have been pure fog in Tomé we couldn’t see the ocean for 3 days I thought it might have disappeared haha but it cleared up today but here in Concepcion it is cold and cloudy but oh well. There are 15 missionaries going home today and 20 of us this next cambio with me wow!!!! Time is flying by........haha. but asi es no mas
On Saturday we did a service project up in the house of Clara. We put in a new fence in the front and it went great have pictures but this computer is lame so next week if you remind me haha. It was s fun I sure do love working on construction and stuff.....I surprise the members on how much I know about it....I tell them gringos aren’t all stupid when it comes to stuff around the house...jk but I was a little sore in the arms from digging the holes but it was good sore...I was less sore than Hermanos Ariel and Geraldo haha they were sore haha. they finished the bed frame and delivered it that night too, Clara was so happy and we were too, her dad was grateful too. (Clara was sleeping in a twin bed with her 2 children, someone had a double mattress but no frame so the Elders built a frame and gave both to Clara as a Mother’s day gift)
This week I went to Coelemu on a mini cambio and then had one with the zone leaders....fun haha....it was chill I was telling Elder Carlstrom that he will get to meet you I think he will because they have to change terminals and you will get to meet Elder Thomas my MTC comp he is cool too. I need to see them when I go out there. The week was a tough one but good learning experience I guess. We had one investigator in church yesterday, Katia, it is the friend of our ward mission leader, Jose, we are working with her she said she doesn’t have a strong belief in God but I think she is starting to realize that she does...she is praying and the pure act of going to church was a big step in the right direction. We are working to find people to baptize before I leave I don’t want to leave on a dry spell.......we will find them!!!!!
It went good in Chillán last Monday and I got to see Alejandra and Hermana Miriam. Alejandra and Ignacia were happy to see me and I was too. Nacha is so big and she knows my name perfectly she can even spell Kuykendall...haha. I cannot believe it, she is in first grade and Francisco in 3rd. She kept telling me I have to come back to baptize her haha idk if it will happen but well see jaja. It was nice to be back there. I will be going again to see other people in June I think...just need to ask Pres.
I don’t have much to say because this week was chill but I am good not too trunky, but happy to know I am staying here to finish the mission I love the members here they are awesome sometimes hard to work with but awesome.
Oh, yesterday we had a great success. We have been working with a menos activo familia, Flia, Albornoz Teran, for over 6 months and the mom, Juana, and daughter, Yesenia, had come a bit and the other daughter , Yeins , couldn’t because she works solo los domingos ,but yesterday she took off work to go to church!!!!!!!!!!!! it was so amazing I was so happy to see them there and I know they felt good too. The Dad isn’t a member and is starting to listen...little by little. He doesn’t participate but he listens......we have lunch wit them this week too. So awesome the spirit works miracle, and they have progressed because they started to read the Book of Mormon and saying their prayers daily...it is key!!!!!!! It is so simple and yet we sometimes are so stubborn because it looks too easy!!! ugh I love this work and I know it is true. I love you all so much and hope you have a great week. Love Eric