Sunday, May 11, 2014

New Page

I've loved being The Girl in the Dress.
I've loved this blog and all it has seen me through.
But it's gotten heavy. I've been carrying around too many memories.

So I'm starting on a new page:

thesilenceiseasy.blogspot.com

This is my new blog.
Be warned, it's not all happy or light. But it's honest and it's me.
Hope to see you there.

Love,
Hermana Kimberly
The Girl in the Dress

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

One.

Babies don't learn to speak starting with full sentences and my mind doesn't re-learn writing with entire, fleshed-out similes.
I lost-- no, I sacrificed-- my words on October 9, 2013.
It was a beautiful sacrifice: No blood but a whole lot of heart.
I think that's what a sacrifice is supposed to be.
I traded my closet of words, passions, and trinkets for a suitcase of skirts, pamphlets, and schedules.

In the end, it wasn't a sacrifice at all. I received much more than I gave. I got la rama y el CCM y mi primer distrito y mis companeras y mis investigadores (and a little bit of broken Spanish, obviously).

Maybe the heart I gave ran out of room. Maybe I had to make space for all of those blessings, so I had to clean out my locked chests and half-used notebooks.
And somewhere in the six month long purge I accidentally knocked over my Pandora's Box.

Anxiety spilled out and depression seeped through my heart and inched their way up to my mind.
I spent nights suffocating in my own head trying to drown out the despair.

I read a story once where a princess trapped a witch by putting a curse on her. A curse that made the witch lose the ability to want to escape her prison.
That's what depression does to me.
It ties me with weak excuses and half-formed explanations, but robs me of the ability to want to break free.
How can you escape a captor when they are always inside your mind?
The obvious answer is to stop thinking.
The desperate way to stop thinking is to stop breathing.
When I got to the point where I thought that dying was the best option, I knew it was long-since time for help.

In the end, I came home. 6 months after I left and 12 months earlier than planned.
Left with none of the past and a future that seemed like it had been stolen from me, all I have is a near-empty heart.

For rent: Rooms in the heart of Kimberly.
Price: A smile and understanding eyes.
Date Available: Immediately.
Description: Visible scar tissue on the walls, but sturdy and warm. Looking for long-term tenants.

I'm relearning everything. How to love, how to have faith, how to let people in, how to feel. How to write.

There is nothing so simultaneously terrifying and liberating as a blank page.
So I might as well start writing.


Monday, March 24, 2014


Hello out there!

Well, this week has definitely been a whirlwind! It was week 6 of the transfer... which means transfers are tomorrow! I'm getting transferred! Crazy. The only place I have been is in Everett. It'll be weird to serve somewhere else. But it'll be good. I know these streets a little too well. You know it's time to go when like every hispanic person you talk to is like "Yeah, I know you. You've already talked to me when I was at my friend's house/on the street/at work." Haha. :)

Hmmmmmmm what happened this week? Got some new investigators... dropped some other investigators..... yep yep yep.
We got a really good member referral. Her name is Evett. She really really wants to learn about the gospel. She came to the relief society activity on Saturday and brought her kids to church on Sunday! All three hours! We were really happy. We love her. :)
OH!!!!! Guess what? Last Monday our tires got slashed! Yeah we were at the library to help teach an English class. We came out of the library and our tires were slashed! Crazy! We were pretty excited. The APs had to come and help us out. We got a big van for a day when our tires got changed. We had to fill out a police report and everything! It was crazy. :) I will attach a picture.

Did I tell you? A member from another branch opened a restaurant in our area. So we go eat their sometimes and it is sooooo good. Real tortas and tacos and everything. Mmmmm I love it. On that note, I made Mexican rice by myself for the first time! It turned out okay.
We got to go to a baptism in Mount Vernon because Hermana Martinez helped teach the family. It was so fun to be out in the country! Hermana Luna drove us. She's not a member, but her son is. And she will be! One day. We're working on it. I love her so much! I'll attach a picture of us together.
It is spring here and a lot of the trees are budding. There are these bushes that have these sort-of roses on them. I love them so much!


There is a less active family that I love. The mom is English and the dad is Mexican. I love love love Tonya. She's been through so much!! She's trying her hardest though. So we went over there and she was so sweet! She gave me bows for my hair. :)
I've gotten into a habit of saying "gracias" even when people aren't speaking to me in Spanish. Oops!
Martin found some anti-mormon stuff. Heartbreak. This is just his test of faith, I guess.
I don't really have much to say, sorry! I love you though!

Love,
Hermana Pellegrini

Monday, March 17, 2014

You can count the seeds in an apple... but you can't count the apples in a seed

Pdayyyyyyy. Oh man  I am just so happy to be sitting at this computer emailing you. :) Ah. I get so excited for these 2 hours!!!

Okay so some really little random things first: On one of our calendars it says the birthstone and birth flower for each month. I always knew my birthstone was sapphire, but I found out that it represents wisdom! And my birth flower is aster or something like that and it represents memories! I was a tad bit creeped out because it was so spot-on. Other random thing: Mom sent me the little pamphlet from the Gilbert Temple open house (thanks mom! I love it!) and I was looking through it. There are only 3 scriptures referenced in the pamphlet, but one of them happens to be John 10:10-- my mission scripture! So I was pretty stoked about that. Also, Presidente Waite was using this really cool fountain pain in our coordination meeting. I asked him where he got it and then he just gave it to me! Oh it is the coolest pen. I was so pleased. :) Okay so I know those little things are only interesting to me... but just in case you were wondering.

Other thing-- you know how I like to balance things on my head? Hermana Martinez puts me to SHAME. She is this pro mexican folk dancer. She dances with jugs of water on her head. It's astounding. So yeah, I'm working towards that. :)

Okay missionary work. That's what you guys like to hear about, right? ;) It's going well! Here's a funny story: Okay so we had an appointment with 2 of our investigators, Teno and Elvira. We were told that this member from Marysville opened a restaurant in our area. Right by Teno and Elvira's house. So we were like "Great! We'll go to our appointment and then we'll go to eat at this little taco place that the member owns." So we park in the parking lot of the restaurant and then we were going to walk across the street to Teno's. But I glance in the window of the restaurant and I see Teno! They weren't at their house for their appointment... they were eating lunch. Where we were going to eat lunch. So we were like... um....... I guess we'll go eat lunch right now? So we go into the taco place and we're like "Hi, Teno and Elvira!" and they're like "Oh! Hi! What time is it? Sorry!" Turns out the member who owns the restaurant is their friend! She is so nice and her name is Betty. She made us tortas and gave them to us for free! There was no one else in the restaurant so she sat down and told Teno and Elvira how much the gospel has blessed her. Accidental member present lesson? Yes yes yes! It was sweet. 

Also, we had an exchange this week! So Sister Goode came to my area with me. She speaks no spanish, but she was a trooper. Also, so proposed best-friendship to me. Oh my goodness we had so much fun. I'll attach a picture. I love her. We laughed the whole day long. She loves Doctor Who and all of the same music that I do. She's the bestttttt.

Last night we went to contact a referral. A guy named Tony opened the door. He had just moved into the house a week before. He. Was. Awesome. He totally understood about the priesthood and he prayed at the end of the lesson without even hesitating! We were stunned. So we have high hopes for him, like we do for everyone. But him especially. He was definitely a tender mercy.

Other than that.... this week was pretty normal and great. I had a dream that one of the members in the branch bought McDonald's. I was excited because all of our investigators could work at this McDonalds and the member would never give them shifts on Sundays. *sigh*. Wouldn't that be great?

Okay please keep asking questions because I obviously don't know what to say without them.

I love love love Jesus the Christ. I love it. So I was reading it and I came across this that I liked: (talking about the analogy of the seed growing secretly found in Mark 4:26-29) "The sower in this story is the authorized preacher of the word of God; he implants the seed of the gospel in the hearts of men, knowing not what the issue shall be. Passing on to similar or other ministry elsewhere, attending to his appointed duties in other fields, he, with faith and hope, leaves with God the result of his planting. In the harvest of souls converted through his labor, he is enriched and made to rejoice. This parable was probably directed more particularly to the apostles and the most devoted of the other disciples, rather than to the multitude at large; the lesson is one for teachers, for workers in the Lord's fields, for the chosen sowers and reapers. It is of perennial value, as truly applicable today as when first spoken. Let the seed be sown, even though the sower be straightway called to other fields or other duties; in the gladsome harvest he shall find his recompense."
I love it because of this quote that President Bonham shared my first day here: "You can count the seeds in an apple, but you can't count the apples in a seed." A lot of times we don't get to see the results of our efforts or influence. I have a vague memory of dad telling a story about how a family was going to get baptized and then he got transferred-- maybe even midnighted out? I don't remember. Anyway now that I'm a missionary I realize how sad I would be about that. But even though he didn't get to report those numbers, his reward is still great in heaven. So I've had experiences where I've given referrals to other missionaries and the person ends up getting baptized. They aren't my investigator... but I get to be a tiny part of their growth. So like the parable that Christ shared, we plant the seeds and then we move on. It isn't going to do any good to stare at the earth and scream "grow! Growwwwwwww!!!" The seed will sprout when it is ready. Sometimes investigators aren't ready... but they will be in a couple months or years. But we planted the seed and that's what they needed. 

Okay so that's all I can think of! I love you all!

Love,
Hermana Pellegrini




Sunday, March 9, 2014

March. 2014.

Let's just all take a minute and be baffled: IT IS MARCH 2014!!!!! I can honestly say that I am stunned. Not because my mission has gone fast (it hasn't, but it's starting to pick up pace!) but because I distinctly remember March 2012 and saying to myself "March 2014 will never come." I could imagine the end of the world better than I could imagine March 2014. And for all the world I did NOT imagine myself on a mission. If you asked me where I would be in March 2014, I would have told you that I would be in Provo going to BYU. I would not have said Everett Washington. It just goes to show that you can never predict what is going to happen in life. Wow. March 2014. Baffling. Side note: Tomorrow is my half birthday! Happy half-birthday to me!

Okay so yesterday was so, so crazy. A big part of having people progressing is to have them come to church. Up to this point in my mission, I've only had Arnulfo come to church and that was because he had a crush on us. And a former investigator came that same day. But that doesn't really count. So we've really, really been pushing for church attendance. Daniela PROMISED she would come and then she didn't. (I think that she is deciding right now that this isn't for her... PLEASE right now say a prayer for her. Our next lesson is tomorrow and she needddds to recognize the spirit!) Martin was out of town so he couldn't come to church. But we were praying and fasting so hard for investigators to come! And then Sandra called us. I don't know if I've told you about Sandra. She's from Columbia and I want her to be my best friend. She always says "chevre." Which is kind of like the equivalent of "groovy." She's so cool. But she works at McDonalds and always has to work on Sunday. But anyway she called us and asked for the address of the capilla again. When we hung up Hna Martinez and I both started dancing with joy! And then we went to pick up Juana. We've tried to drop her like 3 times but Heavenly Father keeps being like "no, keep trying." So we went to her house. She was still asleep. Gah! So as she got ready we helped do her daughter's hair. It's amazing how you can start to feel love for someone when you serve them. Because this little girl is annoying. But after that I liked her so much more! So Juana, Adrian (the 16 year old who just had his baby) and Jackie (the little girl) came to church. We got there, and 3 of our investigators were there! They are sisters and teenagers and they are so cool. We have high hopes for them. We were 20 minutes late to church but then we taught the lesson and it was great. Sandra wasn't there and I was sad, but then we went to Relief Society and there she was! So pretty and all dressed up. I was so, so happy! And then I was worried because it was testimony meeting and sometimes people's testimonies.... well, you know. I bore my testimony and I LOVED to look out in the congregation and see the faces of my investigators! These people I love so much!!! The Spirit was there. Sandra cried. Before the meeting started she told another member she met (thank goodness for kind members!) the story of how she met us:
       Sandra was a referral. Basically her neighbor was like "They are from Columbia." We had knocked on her door like 3 times, but we were trying again anyway. She loves God, and she had been praying to him to know what she should do to follow him. When we knocked, she looked out her window and saw us. She never answers for missionaries. And then she heard the Spirit say "This is what you've been looking for! Open the door!" So she did. And she invited us in right away (we were shocked).
I wish that this meant that she keeps commitments and does everything perfect, but we met her in December. She finally came to church yesterday. But she did! Slowly but surely she is progressing. Her husband was killed by guerilla warfare in Columbia (this is sounding familiar.... have I told you this? Sorry!) when her son Kevin was 4. She was very happy to hear about the plan of salvation. I gave her a picture of the Columbia temple as a gift. When she told her story to that member in sacrament meeting, she grabbed my hand and said I am her "querida." I cannot tell you how much I love Sandra. She loves old Spanish movies and hanging out with her son and she's so. cool. I think she's one of the people that I am here to meet.
Something that is really, really hard for me is how much LOVE I have for all these people! I love them all SO SO SO MUCH! Sometimes I feel like I am choking because of how much I love them. I think of what Jakob told me: "we are called as missionaries to have our hearts broken trying to help other people. But I guess that is a small parallel to what our Heavenly Father felt as he gave his Son to break his heart for all of us." My heart is broken every day. But the heart is a muscle, right? The way we build muscle is by making little tears in in. So our hearts rip and then they get bigger. And we have more of a capacity to love. This week Noelia texted us and told us she doesn't want to meet with us anymore. Heartbreak. But we have to use that heartbreak to become better missionaries. To keep moving forward with hope because the next person we meet might be looking for the gospel. 

My challenge to you this week is to make your personal definition of charity. Look at 1 Corinthians 13. So it says "Charity suffereth long...." what does 'suffereth long' mean to you personally? For each of the things, rewrite it to apply to you and your life. For example, one of mine is "Does not get annoyed with her companions or district." How can the definition of charity be a definition of YOU? I did this like 2 years ago and I did it again 2 months ago. It's amazing how my definition changed and progressed. I would love to hear what you come up with!

Can you tell us about someone you are teaching that has felt an increase in personal worth?
     Ramiro has been very tempted to start smoking again. Some people he works with will not let him rest about it. But he is gaining the self worth to know that he is bigger than his temptations. Also, he used to be very proud. He never let Daniela buy anything secondhand. Now he is a lot more loving. Daniela told us that she is falling in love with him again. That she wants to spend forever with him, whereas before she was only with him to be with her son. It's really awesome to see that just feeling the Spirit can change a person's heart and let them see what is truly important to them.

How do the personalities in your district work?  
     Remember how I had problems with my old district? Did I ever tell you that we all became best friends? We had so many inside jokes. We used hashtags all the time and we had long debates about milk. I miss them. The new elders in the district are fine. Very focused on missionary work. So.... we are missionaries. That's about it. Maybe soon we will be friends, too!

If you could say only one thing to every investigator and have them believe it, what would that one thing be?
This church and gospel hold the answers of what you are looking for. A lot of people love us because we are sweet and bring the Spirit and are great. But they don't want to do anything because they are comfortable with the way they are living or it will take too much effort to change. I think that if they really see that what they are missing is RIGHT HERE if they just DO THE WORK it will be awesome. :)

Phew I'm emotionally drained after writing this letter! I love you all!
Love,
Hermana Pellegrini

Sunday, March 2, 2014

There is Hope for Me Yet!

Hola!!

There is this song that I really, really like. I listen to it probably every day. This is what the chorus says: "There is hope for me yet/ because God won't forget/ all the plans He's made for me/ I'll have to wait and see/ He's not finished with me yet." Man, I love that song. The bridge says: "Still wondering why I'm here/ still wrestling with my fear/ but oh, he's up to something/ And the further on I go/ I've seen enough to know/ that I'm not here for nothing/ He's up to something." Love it.

Well, as opposed to last week, I have SO MUCH TIME TO EMAIL YOU THIS WEEK. So much time.

I actually got a picture of me and Hermana Martinez this week, so I'll attach that. We learned to make tamales! With corn husks. Next week I should be learning how to make the banana leaf ones *fingers crossed* which will be super awesome, too. And I learned to make mole yesterday. That is pronounced mol-lay and I love it. It's like chocolate for dinner. Mmmmmmmm. So basically my children are going to be real Mexicans. Tamales was super fun and super easy-- you just need a lot of people! Or even just a couple. By yourself it would take forever.

Well, nothing much to report! Lots of rain. Did I tell you in the last email that it hailed? Because it did. Counting our many blessings that we have a car! And other awesome thing-- the sun is staying up longer! At one point it was dark at 4 pm. Now it's pretty normal timing. In the middle of the summer it will still be light after 9 pm! Crazy! 

Martin is still progressing to baptism. Thanks for your prayers for our investigators, because he needs it. He has a hard job and he always drinks coffee in the morning, but after we taught him the Word of Wisdom he stopped drinking coffee! Please keep praying for him because his family loves loves to party and drink beer. On Saturday he had to get up at 3 a.m. for work and he chose to drink hot chocolate instead of coffee. I'm so happy. :) 

We also went and visited a baby that had just been born! His dad, Adrian, is a son of one of our investigators. Adrian is 17 and so is his girlfriend. We went and saw the baby when he was 12 hours old! But we walked into the room and it was like we were totally intruding on a family thing. Awkwardddddddd. I wanted to awkward-moonwalk out of there so fast! But I mean, we were invited, so yeah. :)

I think it is funny you got a dog because I probably say this sentence about every other day: "I will never, never have a dog." Honestly. When we knock on a door and I hear any type of barking I die a little inside. So please train Kody to not bark at the door.

So I have been praying every day for grace. To enable the power of the Atonement so that I can overcome my natural tendencies and respond in the way that Christ would respond. Saturday was one of those days when everything falls apart. Your investigators are "in the shower" for the 50th time in a row, you have to drop other people, no one is home, and it's cold. But amazingly, I was happy. There were some moments when my heart broke. But I still felt this little sunshine in my heart warming me from the inside out. And that is the grace of God. He makes me happy when skies are gray. 

I also thought about how Christ is the perfect judge. I think that ties in with how Christ looks on our hearts instead of our stature. If I want to be able to judge what other people need to increase their faith in Christ, then I need to look on their hearts instead of their outward situation. So that just means I have to have charity, and if I have charity then I can discern.

So what is your favorite phrase to say in Spanish? 
Que le pasa, calabasa? I think it's so funny. :) It's like how we say "see you later, alligator." but it's "what's up, pumpkin?" And no one really says it. I say it to babies and the members laugh at me.

Have you found any interesting places to eat?
It's all pretty normal up here. My favorite thing to do is cook. 

How are your investigators doing?
Fine. It's a constant process of finding and teaching and finding some more. Sifting the wheat from the tares. Daniela went to Catholic mass with her mom yesterday to see if she felt like that was the church for her. Gahhhh so we'll see how that went when we talk to her tonight.

Are you getting tired of dresses yet??
I will never get tired of dresses. Am I tired to MY dresses? Yes. I wish I had more! 

This week is going to be crazy because every week is. I don't know what's going to happen tonight or tomorrow or the next day. Scary, but exciting. So hopefully I have more stories for you and getting better and happier next week. 

I love you!
Hermana Pellegrini
 This is an old picture, but I'm not sure if I sent it. Our area is right on the water next to a naval base. It's pretty cool. But we don't go over there much because no people that speak Spanish live by the waterfront.
 Hail!
Tamales!