A tip to make it easier, you need to pre-tin the pads with a bb sized blob of solder. Then you pre-tin the wire. Then put the wire on top and smush it with the soldering iron until the blob melts.
I actually had a fairly decent experience with the pads. My only issue (being new to this) was how much solder to lay down on the pads. So some have more than others. I went back and forth on soldering the header to the cam / vTx pins. Once I changed my perspective and seen how horrible the servo connectors were going to work, my decision was made. Those tinny pin-outs were nerve racking. The BATT connections are through-hole. And I really thought that these would be easier. But I think my problem is the large mass of copper that I'm trying to get enough heat to flow. I've got a #13AWG battery connection, a number 18AWG FC connection and a CAP all shoved into the through-holes. They all fit. But its full.
Sounds like you're really getting into the meat of things! I had a time getting used to the soldering as well. Putting the header pins on the FC was a big PITA for me. I'm used to working on motorcycles, not stuff this tiny. I like the theme idea and flying LOS is quite a chore for me. I've become quite comfortable with the goggles. Just had my best few hours of actually flying since I got into the FPV racing stuff. I've got tons of video to go through now. Blew off 11 batteries, 6 on the Crusader GT2 and 5 on the XSpd 250B. I feel like it was my first real day f good practice. I hope your FC shows up soon!