Saturday, February 28, 2015

Saturday, February 28, 2015 -- Week #2, Day #12 Guatemala MTC

2/28/15  4:43 pm

We got back from deportes [sports] and I have a little bit of time to write before we go to dinner! We normally don't have sports time so late in the day, but I got to do some yoga stretching with Hna Vargas, so that was very enjoyable for both of us. She is so friendly and pretty and helps me out with Spanish, I'm gonna miss her when we have transfers on Tuesday.

Note to self:  I need to watch Gilmore Girls and also get one of those Quest Journals that you write in for 5 years...Hna Brady has one and it's pretty neat.  click: One Line a Day: 5 Year Memory Book

I took the nail polish off my toes last night so I can give them a rest before I paint them again on Tuesday, and it always surprises me when I see my little naked toes! But they're doing well and I think I'm developing a tan-line on the tops of my feet, the sun is very intense here. But the air is in the cool 70's and is constantly moving, so overall it's a very nice effect. I wish we could spend more time outside, but once I get out in the field I'm gonna be wishing I could spend more time inside. The grass is always greener!

We were blessed to fall asleep quickly last night, so I'm glad about that. I'm always sleepy in the morning and my poor little obicularis oculii are just so tired (thanks anatomy!) but once I get finished praying and start moving around I wake up more. So my body is still resetting itself to the schedule in some ways, but we help each other out. Hna Kleinman has the responsibility of turning the lights on and off, so that's extremely helpful to have bright lights flicked on in the early morning. I'm grateful for that to help wake me up.

9:51 pm
WE DID ANOTHER WEEK! Yahoo! Well, technically it's our 11th day here [+1 day traveling to get to Guatemala = Day #12], but it's a Saturday and I wanted to celebrate. We're just about 1/3 of our way through being at the CCM! Crazy!

Last night one of the songs playing was "Pura Vida" by Omar something, I forgot his name [Don Omar], but I wasn't able to look up the lyrics before I left (I have that song on my computer) but I understood most of the lyrics this time around and it's actually a pretty happy little song.  click: AWESOME "Pura Vida" music video!

I just wanted to also say that our district sounds really good when we sing hymns everyday, we do all the parts and it is so awesome! Elder Cox has the best bass voice, and Hna Brady has the loudest soprano, and the rest of us fill in between them and it is so good to listen to. Ah, I love singing hymns in Spanish!

As a funny story from today, an hermano came to our classroom and said that he needed some of the missionaries, myself included, to follow him so we could get blessings. We were all so excited and everyone got up and followed him out and downstairs close to where the clinic was. He then announced that the sisters got to go first, so I went into the clinic hallway and was blessed with a tetanus shot in my arm. Turns out some people here still needed some vaccinations, and apparently my tetanus wasn't up to standard. But it really is a blessing to have vaccines so we lower our risk of contracting diseases out here. So in the end we were grateful for that opportunity, even though we were expecting a different kind of blessing!
We talked about stress management in part of our classes today, and I'm glad that we can know that literally every missionary in every MTC has the same feelings and frustrations that we do now. Hna Giron gave the encouragement that lots of missionaries serve missions, and they are all still alive! Because if they couldn't do it and murmured like Laman and Lemuel, "they die!" She is wonderful. "You know what happen to Laman and Lemuel because they don't believe God help them? They die!"
There is a good quote from Elder Cecil O. Samuelson about missionary work: "Just as we should not lower the standards that the Lord has established for the conduct of His servants, we are also not authorized to raise them...Be sure that you do not have higher standards for yourself or others than that Lord has established." Good counsel in all areas of life, too.

Also, the scripture in John 5:17 "But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work."

Even God has to work! It's not an easy thing to become perfect, it takes constant effort and choosing the right choice every day, which is hard to do in this life. But we can certainly practice and become perfect in our obedience to God and what He asks us to do so we can be like Him. And we can have perfect obedience in Him when we have faith that He can help us with all things. He knows us and knows how much work it takes because He has done it, too. He has felt our frustration and disappointment with our shortcomings and He still has perfect love and hope in us. He so wants for us to follow Him and do the things He does, so we can have the happiness He has. I think that's pretty encouraging to think about.

Lastly, on a totally not spiritual note, we all decided that something that helps us through this time of transition is having humor, and mis companeras and I are very good at that! Hna Brady started joking about how Russell Crowe sings the "Stars" song in Les Miserables (still a good actor and all, of course), but it sounds even funnier when we imitate the way he sang, so we just walk around going "Staaahz! Inyumultitoooodz!" and we just crack up.  click: Russell Crowe "Stars" Oh, we're so great together!

Friday, February 27, 2015 -- Week #2, Day #11 Guatemala MTC

2/27/15  10:07 pm

Today was a good day. Right now there's a very active fiesta going on next door, so it's gonna be tricky to fall asleep, so I'll probably be somewhat tired tomorrow. The joys and sacrifices of missionary work! But I'm so glad the people are enjoying themselves tonight. It's Friday night and these people are done with a week of work and are having a good time and I am so happy for them. These people are good people and are living their lives the best way they know how, and we are here to help them be even better.  So cool!

In other news, we discovered today that mis companeras and I all only have a dimple on our left cheeks, we are so awesome! Go genetics! We get along very well and can still be different, but we complement each other in our strengths... almost like we're 3 different versions or sides of the same person....it's amazing how the Lord puts us in situations and with the people that we need so we can be happy and do the best things for others and ourselves. He has a plan for us and it's a bumpy ride, but it can be so rewarding when we choose to follow that Plan of Happiness.  click: Plan of Salvation

I will say that it takes a lot of strength to be humble. I have always been able to do things on my own and don't need anyone, but this mission is something that there is absolutely no way I can do on my own.  I need mis companeras to support me, and my teachers to teach me, and the Latinas to talk to, and the Holy Spirit to bring things that I've heard to my remembrance, and my Savior to help me when I trip over my pride, and my Heavenly Father to let me know that He loves me. It truly takes a village to raise a child, and angels go before and behind us as we press forward in faith. So cool! God is pretty smart, ya know.
Today we had one on one counseling from Hno Garcia, and he helped me sort through my mixed emotions some more. He is just so good! He has such faith in us and want to help push us to be the powerful and confident representatives of Jesus Christ that he knows we fully have the capacity to be. He told me that he knows that I have been called to learn Spanish and teach God's children in Honduras. I was chosen from all the missionaries to that responsibility because I can handle it and become great because of it. He has such faith in these little 18 and 19 year-old's that come to him, not knowing what we've gotten ourselves into, but it is his stewardship to help mold and direct us into what we can be.  Incredible.

And Hna Giron is crazy awesome too! She served in the DR [Dominican Republic], and got back only 4 months ago! She started teaching in the CCM on her 2nd day home. Crazy! She is amazing, so happy and sweet and sincere. I want to follow the example of my teachers, because I know without a doubt that they follow the example of Christ. We all have that capacity in us. Sometimes it takes some serious sandpaper to get us smoothed into something beautiful, but we can do it when we have the desire to change. They're inspiring people, and I am privileged to know them.

I had good experiences teaching in our appointments tonight, and my confidence is bolstered up again. I can speak Spanish, and I'm getting better at teaching. I can do this! Espanol es facil [Spanish is easy]!


Thursday, February 26, 2015 -- Week #2, Day #10 Guatemala MTC

2/26/15  10:03 pm

Well, today was an interesting day.  In good news, I have the "Commitment for Baptism," "The First Vision," and "My Missionary Purpose" all memorized in Spanish, so I'm pretty proud of myself for that.  I still need to memorize DyC 4:1-7 and DyC 20:37 [DyC is Spanish for D&C = "Doctrine and Covenants"] and the "How to Begin Teaching" principles from PMG ["Preach My Gospel"], but we're getting there! click: Preach My Gospel Manual

Hermano Garcia also taught a neat way of explaining the Restoration with the pillars of a building, I'll have to show/talk about that sometime, it helped me understand the importance of it and made a lot of sense.

Also, making a note here to watch the "Oh yas!" cat video when I get home.  Hna Brady was talking about how there's this cat that meows and looks like it's saying "yes", so they did a voice-over of someone saying "YAS, oh yas!" and it sounded pretty funny... I'm gonna have 18 months of things to catch up on!  [click: Oh Yas! Cat Video]

In some not so fantastic news, I finally hit a wall today and totally lost it just as we were supposed to go practice teaching to the latinos.  I've been doing well these past days, but I guess the stress of having 12 of your 16 hour days be constant input of gospel in Spanish and teaching in Spanish, and talking in Spanish and thinking in Spanish and being surrounded by people you haven't met before and being so submerged in a way of life that I'm not used to living for all hours of my waking day finally got to me. And I miss my family and being home and comfortable and doing easy things, and things that are familiar and easy before are now hard and frustrating. We have a demanding schedule that I appreciate, but with everything compounding together, it is difficult sometimes. So I pretty much had a panic attack or something in front of my district and the poor latinos right before we were supposed to practice together, and I started crying and couldn't breathe, so a sweet latina maestra [teacher] took me aside and we walked around outside and prayed and she talked to me (all in Spanish of course... I can understand everything they say perfectly and respond to normal questions, but I have such difficulty, emotionally and mentally when I have to practice teaching lessons to someone, it's kind of an annoying stumbling block) and I calmed down mostly, she was so gentle and nice to me, she smiled and held my hand and told me how great I was doing.  I realized that I missed having human touch this whole time, which kinda makes me sad.  I still feel kinda emotionally turmoiled about everything, and it felt good to kinda work through that, albeit violently, but I really am OK being here.
Resilience
Mis companeras [my companions / friends] are strong and supportive, we help pull each other through all this. And they're so funny! I love them. So I know that God is mindful of his silly little daughter trying to figure out how to be the missionary I need to be, and He loves me so much, and He will help me do anything He needs me to do.
So I'm doing ok now, and I'll keep learning, but this made me think that maybe all those missionaries who are trying so hard to learn a language might need a little extra help from your prayers, and I think of Nate and how he's learning Russian right now, and how hard of a time I'm having with Spanish, something I am familiar and comfortable with, and how much help and support we need as we are changing and growing into the amazing people we can be. 
So please remember the missionaries who are literally giving up a period of their lives and giving all of themselves, mind, body and soul, to serve others who they don't yet know but love so much, and are trying their best to understand and learn and so they can teach these people in their own language so they can better understand the love God has for them. This is humbling experience, and makes you knock everything down and build a better structure from the ground up, and it is incredibly hard, but the end goal is so awesome.  click: LDS Missionary Work

There is nothing to prepare you for the way this stuff works, being a full-time missionary is the hardest thing I've done in my life so far. But it is so rewarding now and in the future, and I am thankful for the opportunity to be doing it, even though it takes so much time and effort to start from the beginning and kinda falling in head first. Hna Brady shared the counsel that we are called to the areas and languages that we will be the most effective in teaching the Gospel in, and I know that to be true. For me to reach my potential, I need to serve in la mision de Honduras San Pedro Sula Oeste, speaking the Spanish language to the people living there. I know this is the right thing for me to do, and I'll keeping progressing, mostly slowly, but most definitely surely, in an upward and forward direction.  Vamanos!



Wednesday, February 25, 2015 -- Week #2, Day #9 Guatemala MTC

2/25/15  9:54 pm

Today was a little crazy--teaching lessons in Spanish is hard! But things are going well and I'm still learning.  Reading the Book of Mormon and el Libro de Mormon side by side is helping a lot, I learned 14 new words just from doing that. Also, Alma has some awesome counsel on missionary work, you should check it out!  click: Alma - Missionary Work

The CCM is very small compared to Provo and Mexico City [Missionary Training Centers], we only have about 90 or so missionaries here. But I love it and wouldn't want it any other way. We get to know and recognize each other much better, and it's a more personal, friendly atmosphere. I love the CCM, even though I get frustrated with my lack of language skills sometimes. We also don't have the little dots on our name tags to identify the newbies, since we all know who's who, Hna Kleinman really wanted her dot! :P  [Hna = Hermana = "Sister"]

I was so sleepy today!  Gah!  But after deportes [sports] I felt a lot better. I have made myself a very silly goal to be able to do the splits by the end of my mission, and I am proud of my progress all 6 days I've been working on it. I think we all need a silly personal thing to do or we'll go crazy, but it's fun to have a funny little thing to work on for yourself in the midst of so much hard work and effort in learning a language and how to teach lessons and answer questions the investigators have. So that's a little fun fact. I challenge you to pick a little thing for you to work on during this time as well, I think that would be good to do.

My male teacher, Hermano Garcia, is amazing. He always bears his testimony during class, and it is still so powerful every time. He is kind and patient, but still has high standards for us because he wants us to be the best we can and be obedient, righteous servants of God. They are also having the teachers here learn another language as we learn Spanish, so he's learning Portuguese now. He and some other teacher are also learning Q'eqchi' from a sister teacher here so they can teach missionaries that go to Coban, so in a while he will know Spanish, English, Portuguese, and Quechi. Crazy, right? He's a very good example to follow.  [Coban is the capital of the department of Alta Verapaz in central Guatemala.  It is 219 km / 136 miles from Guatemala City.  The dominant ethnicity and language is Q'eqchi' mayan.]

I've enjoyed seeing how the names of the books in the scriptures change a little into Spanish, my favorite is that James is Santiago, and Job is said "H-oh-b". It's a fun transition to say all the names in Spanish, they sound nicer.

Because I was so tired, I got cold very easily, so the hairs on my arms were always standing up all day, and at cena [dinner] I finally lost it and told Hna Brady, "Look! My arm is like a tree-field!" instead of "forest" ...and also that an "aquarium" was an "underwater zoo" ...I was so tired!
But I'm doing good, getting through the days, enjoying my time here, doing lots of learning and stretching!  "Hurrah for Israel" !!!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015 -- Week #2, Day #8 Guatemala MTC

2/24/15  1:52 pm

It's Pday ["Preparation Day"]!  We made it through a whole week! It feels like a month has gone by, but I've enjoyed my time here at the CCM ["Centro de Capacitacion Misional" - Spanish for MTC - Mission Training Center], it feels like a whole different world and I lose track of the fact that I'm in Guatemala City. Crazy. But I've definitely done some serious learning and growing the past 7 days that I am so grateful for, even if I had to leave today and go preach the gospel I would feel so much more comfortable and confident, it's incredible what this does to you.

I've noticed that the latinos here have very fitted suit pants compared to the norte elderes [northern Elders = Americans], and they prefer the thinner, pointy toed shoes, makes for a unique look.

Also it's quite windy here, and the clouds are constantly moving and changing all day, you look at the sky after 10 seconds and it's completely different! It is beautiful here.

The temple was wonderful today, everyone was very helpful and kind, and we had our session in English, and I felt wonderful after leaving. And the grounds are so gorgeous! Hydrangeas and petunias and blooming azalea bushes and palm trees and lots of other beautiful plants all vibrant and colorful, it was so nice to walk around and look at the landscaping.
Guatemala City LDS Temple
I got to email today! We have computer time on Tuesdays from 2-3 pm, and I was so excited! I read all my emails and I cried from love and happiness. I appreciate that I am supported so much, it means a lot to me. The AlphaSmart works perfectly and helps me to send my daily record stuff in about 10-15 mins, then I can spend the rest of my time reading and emailing. It helps when everyone does 1 email each so I can find and answer them easier :P But this was the 1st week and there was a lot of information to get back and forth. Sometimes the computers don't cooperate and I can't put returns or formatting on my text, so it comes out funny, but all the correct words are there, I think [no worries!  Mom is editing when necessary! :) ]

Today as part of Pday we had the tienda (store) come and I bought a bag! It's yellow and green and has these beautiful red flowers embroidered on the front, and it's big and has a padded shoulder strap, so I'm super excited to have something to use to carry around my stuff while I'm in the CCM and probably into my mission as well. Also I got a dark blue "Guat's up?" t-shirt, to remember my time at the Guatemala CCM, it's a play on words and sounds like "What's up?"

We are also not allowed to have gum while on missions, and that is actually an adjustment I've done very well with, to my surprise. I'm pretty much over missing it, and it's actually a speech impediment when speaking Spanish. Sometimes we have a rule and we don't understand what it's for, but then later we learn through being obedient that it is a good thing and we are blessed.  [Like Noah building an ark!] Even if it's not missing gum!

We had the yummiest breakfast today, and I think it might be similar to typical Honduran food, but it was so yummy! It was a fresh flour tortilla spread with black bean paste, then another tortilla, topped with 2 sunny-side up eggs and a sort of cheese sauce. It was very delicious and very filling. There are A LOT of eggs in our foods here, they're a cheap source of protein because meat is so expensive and hard to buy. So it's a good thing I've learned to like them quickly!

An interesting fact about the language is that they say "ehhh" for their filler words instead of "umm" or "and" or "sooooo" like in English. They also keep rolling their R's when they're thinking of a word, like when we stretch the vowel sound when we're forming a thought. Por ejemplo: "nececitamos a repentar porrrrrrr...." es como cuando nosotros dicimos "and so then we went to theeeee...." I just thought that was interesting to notice about Spanish.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Monday, February 23, 2015 -- Day #7 Guatemala MTC

2/23/15 10:12 pm

Today was great! I got a sunburn on the side of my neck from the sun during sports, I am so white! It was crazy because we were playing volleyball as a zone (distritos mateo y jeremias) and some latinos joined in and it was fun, but the latinas are much more shy and didn't play with us. But I got the sunburn on my left side, that was towards the sun during the game, and my forearms are covered in these little sprinkles of pockmark bruises from hitting the ball so hard, but I am really good at serving, and it was nice to be outside in the sunshine.

I did laundry today, so it's nice to have most of my clothes back and clean.  It's fun to see all the sisters' outfits for the first week or so, I'm sure I'll start seeing the same clothes again sometime soon as we only have a few outfits to wear. But I'm happy and comfortable in mine, I am thankful I have such pretty clothes!

There's an ice cream brand here called Saritas, and they make the creamiest, smoothest, most yummy ice cream!  We are allowed to have one a day during almuerzo [lunch], and that is always a bright spot in my day.  My favorite is the little cup kind with strawberry and sweet cream....es muy delicioso!

Tonight we taught Daniela for the third time and we committed her to a baptism date! March 5th, and that's her birthday as well. These lessons are difficult because we are a trio, so we need to split up time and parts more, and Hermana Kleinman doesn't know any Spanish, but she tries so hard and we help her and she is like a little sister and I love her so much and want her to be so successful and I know she will be, so Hermana Brady and I usually carry most of the conversation with Daniela.

But tonight was so special because that was the first time I truly felt the Spirit bring things to my mind to say and lead my thoughts and send me to scriptures and be able to give explanations that I had no previous plan of doing, all in Spanish, it was amazing for us to have that experience.

We've been talking only in Spanish all day, that's everyone's goal in the CCM [MTC] for the week, and it has been just so interesting, because even though we have a very limited vocabulary, we're able to see how much we actually know, and we can communicate quite well, actually, and it felt kinda empowering and comforting to know that I can speak Spanish!  I'm not fluent, but I can speak with clarity and I am learning so many new words everyday, and it is frustrating and overwhelming but I am just so proud of us, we're doing amazing things.
Guatemala MTC Branch
Here's me! Hna Kleinman is to my left and Hna Brady is on my far left. I love them!
Today we took pictures with our rama (branch) in front of the CCM, and Saturday we had district pictures outside the Guatemala City Temple. Tomorrow [Tuesday] we can go to the temple because it's our P-day [Preparation Day], and I am so excited! I've missed the temple, even though it's only been about a week since I went my last time in San Antonio with my parents and grandparents, I am so excited for tomorrow!

Also our showers are always cold, maybe getting tepid the last 20 seconds of them, and we need to brush our teeth with water-bottle water, even though the water here is safe, it's to get us in the habit for when we're in the field, it's interesting!

I'm also translating the national anthem into Spanish for our latinas for fun, it's not a perfect translation, but I think it's pretty fun and it's good to have to rethink an idea into another language so that it's still understandable.  It makes the hymns make more sense because I've always noticed that there's slightly different meanings, and I like having both English and Spanish so I can get both meanings. So cool!

I haven't been dreaming hardly at all, that's still kinda strange, we have such long and hard days that I hardly feel like I've slept at all, but I'm still OK and can stay awake!

Sunday, February 22, 2015 -- Day #6 Guatemala MTC

2/22/15 10:17 pm

Today was our first Sunday, day number 6! It feels like we've been here a month! But it's been good. The only thing I wish was a little more consistent is the schedule. We spend 30-35 min or so planning the next day and writing all these goals and spending so much of our time, and then they just change it on us and don't let us know what we need to bring or where to go or anything. So that's a little annoying, but I guess it just teaches us to be patient and flexible.

In personal study, I read through 3 Nefi 11, and the fact that Jesus had glorified Heavenly Father's name stuck out to me. In Moses 6:57 He has the name "Man of Holiness", and I just thought that by Jesus taking on his Father's name and honoring it by being obedient and holy and accomplishing all the things he was asked to do, and not abusing it or doing anything not aligned with His will, Jesus really did glorify his Father's name, and that's the example we need to follow as well.

We also watched a missionary address from Elder Scott from April 26, 2013, I think, and it was amazing and comforting to hear! Elder Scott is so gentle and earnest in his counsel to the missionaries, and I felt more comfortable and at peace with my being here in Guatemala and Honduras for 18 months.

We also accepted the commitment to only speak Spanish this week, except in our letters home, so that's gonna be interesting! But I look forward to it, I will grow so much and get more comfortable with the language.  It's starting to click better now, we had a break through with the Latina's during lunch today, and we talked so much and laughed and it was just so fun, I love them, and am sad I only have 1 more week with them.

Saturday, February 21, 2015 -- Day #5 Guatemala MTC

2/21/15 3:52 pm

We have deportes [sports] everyday for an hour, and they are so fun! We played volleyball as our 2 districts (mateo y jeremias (my district!)....we're the nortes, "northerners" and it was so nice outside. Also I do bike and elliptical, and stretch, and I love it!

And the Latinos are so tiny! I'm not that big of a person, but I feel like a giant white person when I am next to them. They are very shy and don't speak hardly any English, but most of them are very patient and try to help us with words when we try to talk to them at meal-times.  Hermanas Cabrera y Zelaya usually sit by us and we practice our Spanish.

Last night we had our first investigator discussion all in Spanish (Hermana Giron, our female instructor for Distrito Jeremias (me!) was role-playing) and it was so hard!  It didn't go very well, but now we definitely know what we need to work on to be able to be successful in the future. We will teach at least 1 or 2 lessons every night, that's gonna be really fun, but we will get to be so good at teaching and understanding the language, and I am so excited to be an amazing missionary! Not being proud, but I want to teach well!

9:36 pm
In class today we watched a video from Elder Holland about how we should be held to higher standards of teaching, and how we can't expect our investigators to do things that we don't already do. Good to hear that, helped make more sense in my mind of how I should think and act and feel towards missionary work. He also talked about the difference between testimony and conversion. Testimony is "I know it", and conversion is "I live it". Good to think about.

We went over how to use ser y estar in language study today, and it started making more sense of how to speak Spanish, since they are used in almost every sentence, so I was very happy about that. Just have to see the charts in my mind and know the correct conjugations. I have a lot of work to do, but we're on a good start!

Also, our second lesson tonight went so much better!  I was so happy! We got Daniela to pray with us and promise to read 2 Nefi 31 to learn about the importance of baptism, and she seemed happier and more interested. We're supposed to pick her up for church tomorrow, and we invited her to be baptized (she is not quite ready).  Also, we set a tentative appointment with Victor y Monica for Monday evening, so we'll see what we can do with that.

We used the phrases from the books we have and the lesson went so much more smoothly and we had a better train of thought than our first lesson last night, I feel good. We are getting more used to working in a trio while teaching and I love mi companeras! I love my 2 teachers and our 2 companionships of guys in our Distrito Jeremias! We are such good people and are trying so hard to learn and teach the Gospel in Spanish, we are making such good progress and we've only been here 4 days! Wow! The gospel is a beautiful thing and such a great blessing to have.
Distrito Jeremias
My district! E Roth, Cox, High, Ang, Hna Brady, me!, Kleinman

Friday, February 20, 2015 -- Day #4 Guatemala MTC

2/20/15 3:47 pm

We need to write a 5 min talk and prepare a 10 min lesson as a companionship for every Sunday, so that's gonna be fun, in addition to our daily lessons for investigators and language study and everything else. Fun!

We had pancakes in our breakfast food, and it was too sweet! Weird how your palate changes....the breakfasts here are more substantial, almost like a lunch. We also had pasta with alfredo or some white sauce for dinner last night, and I didn't like it as much as I usually do at home. American food is strange now! It will be interesting to adjust back when I come home, I like the food here a lot.

And the fences are covered with what I think are morning glory plants, the flowers are huge and very beautiful, dark purpley-blue and purpley-pink, almost as big as my hand? Very nice.

Thursday, February 19, 2015 -- Day #3 Guatemala MTC

2/19/15 9:37 pm

So today was like having a fire-hose aimed at me, or being in a giant wave pool 20 feet deep and being expected to swim! Crazy! But it was good.

The food here is amazing:  they have some little sweet pastry or something with each meal, and it is so good, our only sugar all day and it is so sweet!

We sit by la latinas at mealtimes, and we each try to speak to each other in the other's languages, it's interesting times!  They are here for 2 weeks, we are here for 6 weeks. We are growing closer together as a companionship and have strengthened each other and helped each other become better people already.  During one of our meetings, we watched a video and it talked about how we need to know our investigators as people, and children of God. There was a quote somewhere along the lines of:  "God sees us as the glorious beings we are capable of becoming".

God has faith in us!  We are also learning to pray in Spanish today, it is hard.  I also bought a set of scripture cases for my escrituras en espanol, they are so colorful and beautiful!  They took our cameras (will be returned when we leave CCM) so I will have to send pictures sometime after I leave, but Guatemala is a beautiful place, although the streets are absolutely crazy!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 -- Day #2 Guatemala MTC

2/18/15 10:18 pm

So that was an incredibly crazy day!  We didn't have anything with us that we needed, and we had no idea where we were going or doing. But hopefully tomorrow goes smoother.  Hermana Brady is going to my same mission, so we're hanging pretty tight, and we make a trio with Hermana Kleinman. They are seriously like the most  awesomest girls ever. We are rooming next to a group of Latinas next door in our suite-thingy, so I'm sure we will need to get to know each other fairly soon, as we are seriously jumping in to the Spanish language.


We had interviews with the CCM Presidencia today, and Presidente Alvarado asked me to speak to him in Spanish...did fine, was kinda interesting. Presidente Cox is our president, he is great and speaks Spanish very well, Hermana Cox's accent leaves something to be desired, but I can understand everything she says.  They're nut farmers from California, good people.


The Spanish is starting to come back as we've heard it all day long, hopefully I'll pick it up again quickly, I hate being unable to communicate. New experience because I have always been able to express my feelings and wants, it's quite debilitating to not have that opportunity. So we hit the ground running tomorrow and pray that we can stay awake and have our understandings open to the things we need to learn so that we may go forth and teach the children of God.


I thought I might quickly bear my testimony in the limited Spanish that I remember at this time:


Yo creo que Jesucristo es my Salvador y Redentor.  El Libro de Mormon es verdadero, y la Iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimo Dias es la unica iglesia que es verdadera en la tierra en este dia. Yo creo que mi familia puede ser para todo el tiempo, y yo quiero esta cosa con todo my corazon. Me encanto mi experiencia misional, y yo tengo amor por mi Padre en el cielo. En el nombre de Jesucristo, amen.


English translation (Thank you Francisca!!):

[I know Jesus Christ is my Savior and Redeemer.  The Book of Mormon is true, and the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints is the only true church on the earth this day.  I know that my family can be together for ever, and I wish this with all my heart.  I love my missionary experience, and I love my Heavenly Father.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.]

Wednesday, February 18, 2015 -- Day #2 "I'm here!"

2/18/15 

My room in the CCM, my bed is the
bottom bunk on the right
Hey, I survived the trip, chilling in the MTC, or CCM now. Put bags in room, had bfast, gonna go shower and take a nap, have lunch, and start the day.  I will be able to write on Tuesday or Wednesday, don't know. Still write me on Sundays, I'll always get it on Monday, just can't respond then right now.

I love you! It's gonna be great.
Send happy thoughts and keep smiling!
Love you! Andrea