Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 -- Week #7, Day #43 Letter from Pres. Dester - Arrived at Honduras Mission Home!!

31 de Marzo 2015
Estimadas Familias de los Misioneros,
Solamente quisiéramos hacerles saber que su misionero llegó sin novedad a Honduras y está aquí con nosotros para una cena en nuestra casa hoy por la noche. Ya los amamos a todos, y esperamos ansiosamente conocerles aún más. Tendremos una reunión de capacitación mañana donde conocerán a sus primeros compañeros, y saldrán de allí para sus primeras áreas. Gracias por sus oraciones y amor.  Les agradecemos muchísimo por haberlos enviado a nosotros.
Con mucho cariño, Presidente y Hermana Dester

March 31, 2015
Dear Missionary Families,
We just wanted you to know that your missionaries arrived safe and sound this morning to Honduras, and they are with us tonight in our home for a welcome dinner.   We already love them all and can't wait to get to know them better.   They will be going to a training meeting tomorrow morning where they will meet their new companions and then leave for their assigned areas.   Thank you for all your prayers and love.   We are so grateful that you sent them to us.
With love, President and Sister Dester
Arrived at Honduras Airport!

Tuesday, March 31, 2015 -- Week #7, Day #43 ARRIVE San Pedro Sula

March 31, 2015  9:20 pm

Alright, that was a rough day of traveling, and I've been having trouble staying awake, but I am safely in the beautiful home of Pres y Hna Dester in San Pedro Sula, and I'm showered and fed and ready for bed, finally!
Hna Kleinman and I got up on time and got dressed and packed last minute things away, and got ourselves and suitcases and backpacks downstairs and outside, and got our stuff loaded on the bus and hopped on the bus, and got driven over to the airport, and got our stuff weighed and checked to our destinations, and waited, and went through security and waited, and waited and waited, and finally got on our plane from Guatemala.
Looking good at 2:00 am with Hna Kleinman

Then Guatemala to San Salvador, El Salvador, where we waited some more, and then she and Elderes Ang y High and other latinos got on their plane to Tegucigalpa, Honduras (I think they´re taking a bus over to their mission in Comayaguela) and I got on the plane for San Pedro Sula with Hnas Gutierrez, Garcia, y Escobar and Elderes Escalante y Chube, and we all parted ways.
Flying From Guatemala to Honduras

Flying From Guatemala to Honduras

So I'm the only new norte in my arrival group, which everyone thinks is a bit odd, but Hna Gutierrez and I are buddies and she's helping me with my Spanish, and I with her English, and she's so wonderful and I love her, so it all worked out quite well.
President and Sister Dester -- Honduras Airport
So we finally got to Sula, and we were greeted by Pres y Hna Dester, and the APs and other elderes in charge of different parts / things of the mission etc, and hopped on a bus to go somewhere, I think it was a chapel, but it looked like a house, I'm not quite sure... maybe it was the mission offices.
Looking around the Benque (Stake Center)

Me at the Benque (Stake Center)

Anyway, we dropped our stuff off and went through the rules and expectations and all that fun stuff and introduced ourselves and got to know one another better, and then we finally went over to the Dester's residence for a delicious dinner, and got ready for bed, which I'm almost ready for.
View at President Dester's house

More beautiful view at President Dester's house

Hna Mower, Gutierrez, Garcia, Escobar
at President Dester's house
So yeah, it's been somewhat of a crazy day, and we hit the ground running tomorrow, so that's gonna be pretty darn fun, too, and I look forward to this challenge, call it my hard-headedness, I suppose, but I refuse to get all sad and overwhelmed my first few days here. Not gonna happen. It will happen, but not right now, because I gotta get my feet under myself first before I can fall over and be a mess for a short time. So there, goal for the next few days:  let things wash over me and just take it stride, it's gonna be ok.
But yeah, Honduras, and specifically Sula, is hot and humid and so darn green, it's beautiful. I love it! I think I'll be quite happy here, so that's good. Literally every person I ever talked to said in reaction to the fact that I was going to Sula, "Ay! Hace MUCHO calor!!!" which means that "it's very hot here".  And I believe it, Guatemala was much cooler than here, but I'll be alright. Half the battle is the mentality, so we're just working on positive affirmations right now.
But I simply love the Desters, they are incredible people. I am so blessed to have had so many amazing people in my life! Thank you, all my awesome people! Pres. Dester is a remarkable man and very genuine, and has some good things to say, and I look forward to working with him during my mission. They have about a year and a few months left, so I'll have a new mission president the last month or two of my mission, but that's alright, I'll be happy to meet them, too.  And Hna Dester is just so wonderful, she reminds me so much of Hna Kleinman in her gentleness and earnestness, I like her a lot.  And she cooks very well, so I definitely appreciate that, and she's so sweet and doesn't know much Spanish, so she jokes about that too, she really does remind me of Hna Kleinman, and it's nice to have that kind of person with me still, as I don't have my fantastic "Three Musketeers" anymore [Hna Brady, Kleinman, Mower], but they're just the best people ever and I like them a lot.
President and Sister Dester
But yeah, today was kinda crazy, and I'm really quite exhausted, so I'm gonna head to sleep now, and figure out this next day and get to work, I'm sure I'll have some interesting things to say tomorrow.  Buenas noches!

Monday, March 30, 2015 -- Week #6, Day #42 LAST DAY Guatemala MTC

March 30, 2015  10:18 pm

Last day in the CCM! Agh! Today was good, very crazy, but we´re waking up at 2:00 am to hop on a bus to the airport to go to our missions, so that's certainly something to look forward to.
Today we taught Frederman for the last time, and it went very well, Hna Kleinman and I taught him the Word of Wisdom, or Palabra de Sabiduria.  click:  Word of Wisdom  I love teaching with Hna Kleinman, she's so cute, I had just shared 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 click:  1 Corinthians 6:19-20 with Frederman and explained how our bodies are gifts and we need to stay clean so we can have clarity of mind, and the Holy Spirit with us, and all that stuff, and then I turn to Hna Kleinman for her to say something, and she starts and flips to the pamphlet and asks him to read 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 click:  1 Corinthians 3:16-17, which is the "mas fuerte" version of what I had just shared 2 seconds ago, and Frederman remarked, "wow, muy poderoso....pero tiene sentido....ay" which means "whoah, that's very powerful, but it makes sense...yikes."  So we gracefully recovered from that, and then at the end of the lesson when we were bearing our testimonies, dear Hna Kleinman was talking and she said "...y Yo se que cuando nosotros somos obediente a La Ley de Castidad, Dios promete a bendicirnos..." and trailed off when I looked at her funny and started giggling because we had been testifying about the Palabra de Sabiduria and here she was talking about the blessings of keeping the Law of Chastity. My goodness I love my wonderful companion, she is so sweet and cute, and I just love her!
And later that day we had some instructions on our flight info and packed and weighed our suitcases -- I made weight! I carried all of my books in my backpack, so that's quite heavy with all my happy Spanish stuff... I fit my entire desk stuff in there! and had some info on our safety procedures in the event of robbing or kidnapping, and everyone was surprised and a little frightened of me that I had taken self-defense, so that was funny, and we had goodbyes with mis maestros, Hno Garcia and Hna Giron, and that was awesome, and I'm gonna miss them and their great spirits, but our district will honor them and make them proud to have taught Distrito Jeremias, as they told us, they are just amazing people. So good, and I'm privileged to have known them and worked with them everyday for 6 weeks.
Also, we watched "Meet the Mormons" click:  "Meet the Mormons", and that was pretty neat, as I hadn't seen it before, and I also gave the spiritual thought in our last Devocional de Hermanas. I shared my mission scripture, 2 Nephi 33:4 click:  2 Nephi 33:4, and my current lema, or motto, in D&C 122:8-9 click:  D&C 122:8-9, and talked about those and shared my testimony, and then we all sang "God Be with You Till We Meet Again" Hymn 152, and it was beautiful.  click:  select "vocals and music"
So, we're ready for bed, and we're gonna get up in like 4 hours, so Hna Kleinman and I are super excited about that. Our time has come to leave the CCM and enter the mission field, and I want to hit this thing running.

Sunday, March 29, 2015 -- Week #6, Day #41 Guatemala MTC

March 29, 2015  10:13 pm

I have determined that it might be easier to teach in the field than in all our practices, because it is so much easier to be real with real people. When we had CRE the other day (CRE is where they invite actual non-members and investigators to come to the CCM and we teach them lessons, so that's pretty neat), we just taught this one guy, that I won't even try to spell out his name, but he was so awesome and happy, and wanted to come back to the church, and we just talked and shared some scriptures and went over the First Vision and stuff, and it was just really neat. Granted, the field isn't gonna be all daisies and rainbows, but it was nice for once to just have a happy, normal-ish lesson. So I enjoyed that this week.
Also, I've been learning about faith this week, and it occurred (I don't know how to spell English anymore... note to Mom:  you have full privileges to edit my spelling!) to me that our little "Seed of Faith" click:  Faith grows into our "Tree of Life"  click:  Tree of Life.  And the quality of the seed and the nourishment we give it determines what fruit comes of it. Kinda neat, huh?  I've always struggled with the "faith is like a little seed, if planted it will grow"  click:  Alma 32:26-33 thing, as I really haven't had to exercise much faith up to this point in my life, but I'm starting to gain somewhat of an understanding of how this whole faith thing works. So that's pretty neat to pick up on, I'll keep working at it, goodness knows I'll be using a lot of it!  click:  Faith in Jesus Christ 
Also, fun fact of the day, we practiced baptism for one of our Sunday meetings with Pres and Hna Cox, which was pretty fun. He called Hna Kleinman and I up to the front to have me demo how to position the arms and explain what happens etc, so that was interesting, and now I know the baptismal prayer in Spanish. So that's kinda neat. I obviously won't be baptizing anyone, but it's good to walk your investigators through what's gonna happen and answer any questions they have a day or two beforehand so they know what's going on and don't feel silly, so I actually liked that a lot today.
Also, we had a Fast Sunday today, and I shared my testimony in Spanish, of course, and later Pres Cox complemented me on my use of the Spanish language, and how I have some of the best sounding Spanish he's heard from nortes in a long time, so that's encouraging. I still have a LONG way to go in terms of vocabulary and grammar, but at least I sound good!
But back to the fasting, I was wishing all day that I could have some mac and cheese and KFC, and lo and behold, for dinner to break-our-fast we had pasta salad and fried chicken and mashed potatoes and green beans, and it was the yummiest thing in the world. So the Lord is mindful of us, even in something as silly as dinner. I was quite pleased during that meal, oh, it was so good!
Also, some good scriptures from today:
Alma 26:27  click:  Alma 26:27
John 6:5-13  click:  John 6:5-13
Alma 13:3, 24  click:  Alma 13:3
So yeah, today was a good last Sunday here in the Guatemala CCM.

Saturday, March 28, 2015 -- Week #6, Day #40 Guatemala MTC

March 28, 2015  10:02 pm

Hna Loli is teaching some girls the haka dance right now, so that's fun. She's a Samoan from Australia, and Hna Kleinman knows it from her sports teams and stuff, so they're making quite the team right now, very fun to watch!  click:  Haka Dance 
Today was good, we got a lot of feedback / instruction, etc. of how to better our teaching etc, so that was good, and went over grammar and vocab that we've learned all this time. Also learned that "mochilita" is a word, and I absolutely love it, it means "little backpack", so cute! Spanish is awesome.
I also got the good counsel today that "You are not here in the CCM to learn Spanish. You are here to learn how to preach in Spanish", and that was kinda encouraging, as we get closer to leaving and we don't feel that our grasp on the language is the best it could be. But we will continue to learn in the field in 3 days, and it will be so hard and so great. So yeah, looking forward to that adventure.
Also, John 15:18-21 click:  John 15:18-21 is a good scripture I was going over in personal study this morning that I felt was relevant to missionary work, because it's hard work and it's not always fun or easy or the popular thing to do, but Christ has done more for us, and we need to keep that in mind, that we can do it, and He will help us, because He has done it, too. So that's encouraging as well.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Friday, March 27, 2015 -- Week #6, Day #39 Guatemala MTC

March 27, 2015  10:14 pm

Oh my gosh they had THE BEST HORCHATA today! Oh, it was so good, it's my favorite, right by mango juice. Good stuff, man. If you don't know what I'm talking about, go the store or a Mexican restaurant and grab yourself some horchata and be a happy person! [horchata = rice milk with cinnamon and sugar]

So we had workshops all day, which were good, we were quite tired of sitting all day long and having presentations, but it was good. I was proud of our district, we didn't use the headphones for translation, and distrito mateo did, but that's alright.

At 4:15 pm it rained here for the first time during the day while we've been here, so that was pretty exciting, Hno Garcia taught me the name of rainbows... "arco iris" (ar-coh-ee-rihs) like Iris, Greek goddess of rainbows, and arco like a curve or arc. So I thought that was pretty neat.  I also got some more notes through Dear Elder the other day, and I finally had time to read them, so that was great, I don't think it works out of the CCM, so it will have to go the paper mail here pretty soon.

I keep singing the Pura Vida song, and Hna Kelinman has been picking up bits and pieces, so that's fun to have a happiness buddy. Go life!  click:  Pura Vida by Don Omar

So yeah, long day, super tired, time to get my little self to bed!

Thursday, March 26, 2015 -- Week #6, Day #38 Guatemala MTC

March 26, 2015  10:07 pm

Tomorrow's Friday! We have workshops all tomorrow, so we're trying to get to bed a little earlier tonight so we can stay awake tomorrow. 

But today was good, we taught Frederman and that went kinda rough, I just completely blanked and left Hna Kleinman out to dry, but she did amazing and taught a wonderful lesson about faith. So I'm thinking that we'll do better next time we teach him, and will remember some things to say, whoops.

Also our lesson with Karen was interesting, it turned out that she brought her friend, Jorge, and he was Bible 'bashing and trying to convince her all throughout the lesson that we were wrong about the Gospel and the LDM [libro de Mormon = Book of Mormon] was false, and we didn't need prophets anymore, etc, so that was a little frustrating. But we didn't fight, and we explained as best we could and testified, so I guess that went ok? Anyway, that was interesting.

But our practices with the latinos went well tonight, we taught the Law of Chastity.  click:  Chastity  The elderes I was teaching were so nice and comfortable to teach, and they complimented my Spanish (different distrito than last night) so I guess I have Mexican sounding Spanish or something because both were from Mexico. I was totally able to understand them and was comfortable speaking with them, so that was nice. Mexicans and Guatemalans have the cleanest, slowest Spanish, Hondurans and Peruvians have some of the worst, apparently. So I'm gonna get really good at speaking fast and dropping half of my words like the Honduran Hermana I've been talking to during mealtimes.
Also, fun fact, we had chips and salsa for breakfast today, as well as some scrambled eggs and plantains, so that was fun. Always eggs! I like the way they prepare them at the CCM, there's usually some tomato or ham or something in them, and salsa on top, so they´re quite flavorful.

It was so funny, because this morning in class los elderes and Hno Garcia were comparing facial hair growing abilities and shaving stuff, so that was fun to listen in on, apparently none of them can grow a fully connected beard or something of that sort, and E Roth has an electric razor, and E Ang nicked himself the other day. So that was kinda fun to peer into the world of men for a few minutes, they are so funny.

Also, a good quote from today was "The scoreboard doesn't tell the whole story, so go play your heart out," so that's encouraging.  We know that what we're doing is right, and my goodness we are trying our best to do it, and it's gonna be OK. So there ya go, "Hurrah for Israel!"

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 -- Week #6, Day #37 Guatemala MTC

March 25, 2015  12:37 pm
Today is P-day! Yay! We have a different schedule today, as we're going to the temple for the 3:00 pm session. So we had an easy morning, wrote our families, painted my toes that icy blue I came here with (thought it appropriate to come and go with the same nail polish... I'm such a girl!) and went and played volleyball and got some sunshine for a while. Also, did some weights and stretched, I'm getting closer to having my right split! Yay for me! I'm feeling pretty good, physically, just got showered and dressed again, gonna head to lunch in a few minutes...the gym next door is playing  "Turn Down for What" by DJ Snake & Lil Jon really loud, and it made me smile for a second that they are always playing American music... 'MURICA!!!

So after lunch we have personal study time, I think, so I'm gonna mark some scriptures that are good in teaching, and get prepped for lessons tonight. And then we go to the temple, and come back for dinner, and then I think we have a grammar lesson and a whole bunch of practice teachings....the work must go forth, my fellow men! So yeah, it´s been a very good day so far, it's nice to have some time to get pumped back up and feeling good about myself. On to lunchtime!

10:14 pm
Well, that was a fun day. We didn't teach Karen because los elderes went over time, so we'll teach Frederman, Lucy, and Karen tomorrow, in addition to our normal practices with the latinos. Yay for teaching! Also, during practices tonight, one of the latino elderes I was teaching gave me feedback that I shouldn't be frustrated while teaching, and that I should learn Spanish better. So that was interesting. I will be sure to try and put that into practice, as I'm already trying to do that.
Anyway, we were reading about Alma the Younger today in our estudio del Libro de Mormon, and I just thought that the part in Mosiah 27:14-15 click:  Mosiah 27:14-15  when the angel was speaking was pretty neat, you don't hear many angels talking about themselves like that, and I wondered who the angel was. So that was my spiritual enlightenment from today, I'll finish the rest of the chapter tomorrow. I like reading in the Spanish scriptures because they use a plainer language that the English ones do, so it's actually easier to understand the Spanish ones sometimes. And with all our grammar lessons and stuff, I can pick up on what´s happening a lot easier. The scriptures are so awesome, you should definitely read them sometime!
Also, our temple experience today was a little different than normal, since we saw one of the old presentations, which was interesting to watch. I think I can say that I like the newer ones better. But overall it was good, it was nice to go and have our last time in the Guatemala City Temple with just distritos mateo y jeremias, as we are the only nortes leaving next Tuesday.

In some fun news, my wonderful momma sent me the lyrics to "Pura Vida" click:  "Pura Vida" by Don Omar, which is a fantastically happy little song in Spanish that I love, and so I've been jumping around and singing it to Hna Kleinman because she's having somewhat of a rough day today, and I can get her to smile and laugh at my silliness. But it really is a nice song, and it makes me feel happy inside, so that whole exercise is partly for my benefit as well.  [Pura Vida = basically about living a good life, being happy, overcoming struggles]

"Pura Vida" by Don Omar
Tu melodía
El Rey

Debes empezar a vivir
A soñar, a reír
A gozar y sentir

Todo lo malo quedó atrás
Decide no sufrir
Piensa en ser feliz

Y solo baila
Olvida las penas y el dolor
Ven y derrama el sudor
Solo baila
La vida es una sola
Y mejor
Bailar con la luna y el sol

Vida, pura vida
La vida es una copa
Y se bebe gota a gota hasta el final
Vida, pura vida
La vida es una copa
Y se bebe gota a gota hasta el final

Hasta el final
(Don Don, Don Don, Don Don)
Hasta el final

Eres candela
Y llevas la llama por dentro
Déjala salir
Vive el momento
Y lo que pase mañana
Déjalo venir
Pero solo piensa en bien vivir
Y en reír

Mira a tú alrededor
Todos apostamos a ti

Y celebra que la vida es una
Que pa' tu cintura, temperatura
Esto sí que es vida, libera la tuya
Bailemos con el sol y la luna

Y celebra que la vida es una
Que pa' tu cintura, temperatura
Esto sí que es vida, libera la tuya
Bailemos con el sol y la luna

Solo baila
Olvida las penas y el dolor
Ven y derrama el sudor
Solo baila
La vida es una sola
Y mejor
Bailar con la rumba y el sol

Vida, pura vida
La vida es una copa
Y se bebe gota a gota hasta el final
Vida, pura vida
La vida es una copa
Y se bebe gota a gota hasta el final

Hasta el final
Hasta el final

Baila como si no hubiera gente
Que brille el sol bien caliente
Y lo que se va no vuelve
Vida es una sola
Vive sin miedo de lo que piensen
Ríe sin detenerte
Y ama sin contenerte
Vida es una sola

Vida, pura vida
La vida es una copa
Y se bebe gota a gota hasta el final
Vida, pura vida
La vida es una copa
Y se bebe gota a gota hasta el final

She's so awesome [Hna Kleinman], I love her, and I'm proud of the progress she's making. The elderes that she taught tonight also said that she needed to improve her Spanish, but you know, we just need to take that with a grain of salt, because we can see our own progress over 5 weeks, whereas they've only seen us for 5 days. So we're still learning, and that's OK. But our teachers have taught us well and are proud of us, and they aren't worried at all for us in the field. And Honduran Spanish is different than Guatemalan Spanish is different than Mexican Spanish is different than Peruvian Spanish, so in the end, we'll learn what Spanish we're using in the field and that's good enough. We really are doing great out here and I love it!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 -- The Parable of the Push-ups

[Andrea requested that I send her this story.
Thought you would enjoy reading it too!]

The Parable of the Push-ups
A boy named Steve was struggling in school. He been kicked out of several classes, but a kind seminary teacher finally allowed him into his sixth-period class. One day, the teacher planned a special lesson. He asked Steve to stay after class so he could talk with him. The teacher asked, “How many push-ups can you do?”

Steve replied, “I do about two hundred every night.”

“Two hundred?” the teacher said. “That’s pretty good. Do you think you could do three hundred?”

Steve answered, “I don’t know—I’ve never done three hundred at a time.”

The teacher said, “Can you do three hundred in sets of ten?”

“Well, I think I can,” Steve answered. “Yeah, I can do it.”

“Good! I need you to do this on Friday.”

Well, Friday came, and Steve went to class early and sat in front. When class started, the teacher pulled out a big box of donuts. Now these weren’t the normal kinds of donuts. They were the big, extra-fancy kind, with cream centers and frosting swirls. Everyone was excited. It was Friday, the last class of the day, and they were going to get an early start on the weekend.
The teacher went to the first girl in the first row and asked, “Cynthia, do you want a donut?” Cynthia said yes.

He then turned to Steve and asked, “Would you do ten push-ups so that Cynthia can have a donut?”

Steve said, “Sure,” and jumped down from his desk to do a quick ten. Then Steve sat again at his desk. The teacher put a donut on Cynthia’s desk, then went to the next student and asked, “Joe, do you want a donut?” Joe said yes.

The teacher asked, “Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Joe can have a donut?”

And so it went, down the first aisle, and down the second aisle, until they came to Scott, the captain of the football team and center of the basketball team. When the teacher asked, “Scott, do you want a donut?” his reply was, “Well, can I do my own push-ups?”

The teacher said, “No, Steve has to do them.”

Scott replied, “Well, I don’t want one then.”

The teacher then turned to Steve and asked, “Would you do ten push-ups so Scott can have a donut he doesn’t want?”

Steve started to do ten push-ups. Scott said, “Hey! I said I didn’t want one!”

The teacher said, “Just leave it on the desk if you don’t want it,” and he put a donut on Scott’s desk.

Now, by this time, Steve had begun to slow down a little. He just stayed on the floor between sets because it took too much effort to be getting up and down. You could see beads of perspiration on his brow. The teacher started down the third row. Now the students were beginning to get a little angry.

The teacher asked Jenny, “Do you want a donut?” Jenny said no.

Then the teacher asked, “Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Jenny can have a donut that she doesn’t want?” Steve did ten, and Jenny got a donut.

By now the students were beginning to say no regularly, and there were many uneaten donuts on the desks. Steve was also really putting forth a lot of effort to get these push-ups done for each donut. Sweat was dripping onto the floor beneath his face. His arms and face were red from the effort.

The teacher said he couldn’t bear to watch all of Steve’s work for those uneaten donut, so he asked Robert to make sure Steve did the push-ups. The teacher started down the fourth row.

During his class, some students had wandered in and sat along the heaters on the sides of the room. When the teacher realized this, he did a quick count and saw thirty-four students in the room. He started to worry if Steve would be able to make it.

The teacher went on to the next person and the next and the next. Near the end of that row, Steve was really having a rough time. He was taking a lot more time to complete each set.

A student named Jason came to the door and was about to come in when all the students yelled, “No! Don’t come in! Stay out!”

Jason didn’t know what was going on. Steve looked up and said, “No, let him come in.”
The teacher said, “You realize that if Jason comes in you will have to do ten push-ups for him.”

Steve said, “Yes, let him come in.”

The teacher said, “Okay, I’ll let you get Jason’s out of the way right now. Jason, do you want a donut?”

“Steve, will you do ten push-ups so that Jason can have a donut?” Steve did ten push-ups very slowly and with great effort. Jason, bewildered, was handed a donut and sat down.
The teacher finished the fourth row, then started among those seated on the heaters. Steve’s arms were now shaking with each push-up in a struggle to lift himself against the force of gravity. Sweat was dropping off of his face, and by this time there was not a dry eye in the room.

The last two girls in the room were cheerleaders. The teacher went to Linda, the second to last, and asked, “Linda, do you want a donut?

Linda said, very sadly, “No, thank you.”

The teacher said, “Steve, would you do ten push-ups so that Linda can have a donut she doesn’t want?”

Grunting from the effort, Steve did ten very slow push-ups for Linda.

Then the teacher turned to the last girl. “Susan, do you want a donut?” Susan, with tears flowing down her face, asked, “Can I help him?”

The teacher, with tears of his own, said, “No, he has to do it alone. Steve, would you do ten push-ups so Susan can have a donut?”

As Steve very slowly finished his last push-up, with the understanding that he had accomplished all that was required of him, having done 350 push-ups, his arms buckled beneath him and he fell to the floor.

The teacher turned to his class and said, “And so it was that our Savior, Jesus Christ, prayed, ‘Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.’ With the understanding that Jesus had done everything that was required of Him, He collapsed on the cross and died—even for those that didn’t want His gift. And just like some of us, many choose not to accept the gift that was provided for them.”
Jesus Praying in Gethsemane (Christ in Gethsemane), by Harry Anderson

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 -- Week #6, Day #37 Guatemala MTC


[Andrea wrote about the events from March 19-20 with Hermana Brady in the ER... they are posted on those respective dates]

click:  "Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing" - Mormon Tabernacle Choir

We sang "Come Thou Fount" in Spanish during class the other day, and that was pretty neat. I love that song and it was nice to remember the words and what they all mean:

Fuente de mis bendiciones, ven y a fina el corazon,
rios de misericordia elogiemos con cancion,
un soneto de los angeles me ensenas por amor
alabamos hay el monte, monte de tu redencion.

Yo por tu socorro vine ante ti a adorar
y un dia si tu quieres gozare en tu hogar,
cuando era un forastero del redil vagaba yo,
me buscaste, me salvaste con tu sangre, mi Senor.

Cuando libre de pecado a tu cara mimare,
yo lavado por tu sangre, homanaje cantare,
Jesus ven no te demores, mi alma limpio tomaya,
que tus angeles me lleven, a tu reino celestial.
Come thou fount of every blessing
Tune my heart to sing thy grace
Streams of mercy never ceasing
Call for songs of loudest praise
Teach me some melodious sonnet
Sung by flaming tongues above
I'll praise the mount I'm fixed upon it
Mount of thy redeeming love

Here I raise my Ebenezer
Hither by thy help I come
And I hope by thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home

Jesus sought me when a stranger
Wandering from the fold of God
He, to rescue me from danger
Interposed His precious blood

O to grace how great a debtor daily I'm constrained to be!
Let thy goodness like a fetter, bind my wandering heart to thee
Prone to wander Lord I feel it, prone to leave the God I love
Here's my heart, O take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above

Music:  John Wyeth
Arranged By:  Jenna Mosley

Tuesday, March 24, 2015 -- Week #6, Day #36 Guatemala MTC

3/24/15 10:26 pm

Today was a good day.  Hna Kleinman and I taught Karen for the first time, finally, and it actually went quite well. We got in the door, and prayed opening and closing prayers, and she accepted to come to church, so we were quite pleased with that. It's strange to teach with 2 people, but I think we did a good job and we'll practice and get some more unity. It's a little tough with first visits because we're mostly getting to know the people and establish some sort of need to go off on for the next visit's lesson. We missed Hna Brady and her words of knowledge while teaching, but we're doing alright.

Also, fun fact, they seriously just have straight up fruit juice here, it's so cool! The mandarin juice tastes like you're drinking clementines, and there's watermelon juice, and this flower juice that tastes like cinnamon-pomegranate, oh it's so good, and melon juice and all the other juices are so yummy tasting, it's different than American juice.

Fun fact, E Roth is very good at chair racing. We moved a table out of our room because we no longer needed it, so there's a good 2-3 feet of space on either side of our line of tables now, so E Roth took advantage of that and scooted himself around and around the classroom a few times and was quite pleased with that activity, he is so funny. E High tried it, too, and didn't enjoy it quite as much, but it was good to see our elders having some fun.

That afternoon, Hna Kleinman and I were planning in the CRE space (where our investigators usually "live") for Karen while the elders were teaching Frederman (and Hno Garcia was in a "meeting") so we weren't in the classroom when they all came back and took off for lunch. Hna Kleinman and I walked around the corner and to the classroom, and Hno Garcia was closing the door with his back turned to us, quietly singing a pop song, and when he turned around and realized we were standing right by him and asked what he was doing, he made the funniest embarrassed face and was like "oh, ehm, I waaaas....singing a hymn! By Brother Bruno Mars.....yeah. It's time for lunch!" He's so funny.
Also, E Cox found a word in the dictionary that meant "to machete", as in chop things with a machete, which is "machetear" I believe, and when he mentioned it in class and explained what it meant, Hno Garcia immediately began conjugating it into different tenses and forms, and it was hilarious. The word of the day was "bird", by the way, since "the bird is the word", as per the elders in way of explanation. Guys have an interesting train of thought, sometimes.

In other fun news, I'm still talking in Spanish in my sleep, and apparently I was talking more than usual the other night and Hna Brady heard me and was laughing a lot at what I was saying. The top quotes she remembers are along the lines of "....pero necesitamos a....uh, personalize?....nuestros lecciones para los investigadores....." and "...tengo sueno de Presidente Cox, pero, estamos bien!" which translate to "but we need to -personalize- our lessons for the investigators" and "Presidente Cox made me sleepy, but we're good!" I might be more entertaining while I'm asleep rather than awake! I still don't really dream, and I don't remember talking, so I wonder what my little brain is doing all 8 hours I'm unconscious.  Fun stuff!

Monday, March 23, 2015 -- Week #5, Day #35 Guatemala MTC

3/23/15 10:10 pm

So today I lost my companion.  Hna Brady is leaving for home early in the morning. Her allergies aren't able to be fixed here, so they are sending her home to have the issues resolved because they can't send her out to the field with what's happening with her. So it's been an interesting day, as we've absorbed that information and had her pack and teach for the last times. It's gonna be so weird just having Hna Kleinman and I as a companionship, we're always gonna be looking over our shoulder to see where she went.  My dear sister is gone, and I miss her.

 And I know she can hopefully come back if this issue gets resolved, and she is doing well, but a part of me has left! I think back to in the temple when all three of us sat together in the celestial room and all was right in the world. And things will be okay, and I know she can recover and get whatever this thing is figured out, and I know that. But it is just so hard to see her go, when she has done nothing wrong, and we now have the responsibility to fill that hole and regrow ourselves a little to make up for her awesomeness. Dang Hna Brady is a good person. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Sunday, March 22, 2015 -- Week #5, Day #34 Guatemala MTC

3/22/15 10:24 pm
Today was Sunday! Yay!

I think I might have done something weird to my quads during deportes [sports] the other day, so I'm having a fun time walking around, getting in and out of chairs, and constantly climbing stairs and such. I think it's for learning how to endure to the end or something? Anyway, mis companeras are enjoying having a little grandma toddle after them all day today!

In more happy news, we watched a devotional by Elder Holland about Christ and His Atonement from June 26, 2006 and it was awesome. Our teachers have been stressing that we should teach with short, powerful statements, and he did a wonderful job of showing how to do that. Elder Holland knows how to teach with power and conviction, and be truthful and real, and still be loving. He has achieved an amazing balance of those qualities of teaching and speech, and he is a wonderful example to emulate.  So cool.

Also, so scriptures from today:  click:  The Book of Mormon  and click:  The Doctrine and Covenants
2 Nephi 22:2, 4, 6
Mosiah 4:9
D&C 78:17-20

And the word of the day was "zooxanthellae" [a yellowish-brown symbiotic dinoflagellate present in large numbers in the cytoplasm of many marine invertebrates... thank you Aquatic Science junior year of HS!] as suggested by my wonderful self, since I think they are awesome and I like them.

Back to today, it was just a good Sunday overall, kinda took things slow and easy, Pres and Hna Cox talked about "temples" and "enduring to the end," and we had a very good district meeting where we discussed some good points and got ourselves recommitted to our purpose here and how we should accomplish this missionary work.
Also, sweet Hna Kleinman gave her talk in Sacrament Meeting about faith, and we were so proud of her. I had another talk prepared, but I left my notebook in the classroom by accident, so I could have given it with just the scriptures, but I was a tiny bit grateful that I didn't speak again this week, but I would be happy to next week should I be called. "If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear"...and the Boy Scouts of America!  My parents have raised me well.

In other news, they don't have "Be Still My Soul" in the Spanish hymnal, so I'm attempting a translation of English to Spanish, which should be interesting to go the reverse of what I usually do. I don't know if I can make it sing-able, but it will be a good exercise to think about the words. It is a beautiful song and one of my favorites, and it's somewhat especially appropriate in light of missionary work. Because my goodness, it is a lot of work, and it is hard. And sometimes you wonder what it would be like to give it up, and then that little voice inside you helps you get back on track, because it's not worth giving up, the joys are so great to be had, in spite of these little moments that are just so hard.
Hna Brady shared a scripture in Romans 8:18 that talks about this, and I really like it, especially in conjunction with verses 14-17 before it.  click:  Romans 8:14-18 The scriptures are just amazing, and I am learning to develop a love to read them and study things out and apply them to my life. Good stuff!