Semana Tres: Half Way Through the MTC

HOLA MI FAMILIA!!! I love you all so much!  I just saw that mama is on in case we can chat, so I am going to try SO hard to type this so fast so that I can talk to you!!! It is seriously the most stressful hour ever.  I have so much to say!! Here we go.  Don't worry, I prayed first.


Last pday... we woke up early to catch the first bus to the temple at 7 but we got to the temple and realized Hmna Kugath didn't have her recommend.  Haha so we stayed on the bus thinking it would just loop but it ended up just sitting in a parking lot for half an hour.... so we read some scriptures :)  Finally we got back to the apartment and I said "okay now everyone double check for your recommends!!" And good thing I did because Hna bratts wasn't in her wallet!! We searched the apartment but the bus was waiting for us so we just decided to go.  Luckily she had left it at the temple last week and all was all.  We did initiatories- I love the temple!!!  I am so grateful we get to go every week.  

Then to Main campus to print emails and take a dress to alterations.  We did SO well on all my clothes being mission appropriate, but that one grey textured dress has a slip in it that is way shorter than the dress and it is see through when you sit. So I took it to alterations and it only costs fifty cents!! For any alteration!!  Volunteers do it and it is so nice.  

Later in the day after Dinner Hna Boza and Hno mMeek taught us a lesson about recognizing the spirit in our teaching and planning RIGHT after I'd written Dad asking for help with the very same thing.  What a tender mercy!

We taught both Luisa and Alejandro tonight.  Luisa has been seeing the missionaries off and on for eight years!  She's heard it all already so we had to think of a creative way to approach the lessons.  We'd been getting the feeling that when she said she'd read the scriptures and prayed and got noothing that she was really not puttin gin the ffort neccessary and we didn't even know if she WANTED to know.  So we decided to play a game.  We bought a cinnamon roll and wrapped it up.  We had her play 20 questions to guess what it was and in the end we gave it to her.  Then we said, "Okay, what did you have to do to get the cinnamon roll?"-Learner Enabling!!- Together we came up with that she had to have a desire, had to ask SPECIFIC questions, had to think and ponder, and be patient.  We compared this to receiving an answer to our prayers and the effort we have to put into it.  I think she really understood!  It went so well!  It went so well, in fact, that we decided to do the same thing five min later for Alejandro.  This one didn't go poorly... but we were short on time and had to rush through it.  We just realized that just because it went well with Luisa and her needs... it wasn't what Alejandro needed.  We need to focus on each investigator individually and on their needs!! The coolest thing about that lesson was that we didn't really get anywhere and still didn't really know what he needed and suddenly I felt like I should commit him to baptism.... sooo... I did!  :)  I'm SO glad I memorized that... He said he needed more time to think about it and that we hadn't really talked about baptism before, BUT he DID say lots of other stuff that gave us some clues to his real needs.  It was awesome.  


Long day!!  They're all long.  Lesson with Mercedes... planned to teach POS, but when we got there we ended up talking about repentence and baptism and invited HER to be baptized!! (again... good thing I memorized it).  She seemed kind of shocked and said she'd have to think about it because it is a big deal.  We said of course and promised that as she continuesd to study and pray she would receive answers.

Then TALL and I sent y'all a package!! Hope you liked the shirts!! xoxo

Earlier in the day Hna Bratt decided to ask the Elders for a priesthood blessing.  She's been feeling sick off and on since we got her and then for three days straight.  The elders had their white handbooks our the whole time and din't really know what they were doing, but it was a great testimony builder that the Priesthood IS the priesthood... whether the blessing is from the Prophet or Elder Workman who only JUST BARELY turned 18 like the week before he came in (which explains A LOT) and has never given a blessing before.  It is the same power!

After lunch we taught Alejandro.  We decided we just really needed to figure out his needs so we planned on just asking LOTS of questions.  We asked a few and weren't getting anywhere but then he said he didn't understand what was so unique and important about our church.  So Hmna Bratt and I tried to explain priesthood authority and saving ordinances like baptism.  Hna Kugath didn't say a WORD!  It was a rough lesson but we did the best we coudl.  Afterward while evaluating, Hna Kugath sat and told us everything we did wrong.  I was so bugged because she was no help!  But she said the spirit told her to keep her mouth shut so I can't argue with that.  It is a REALLY humbling experience to have companions... especially two!!  Who have no problem telling you what you do wrong.  Esta Bien.  I'm leaning.  

After Dinner we had our first day at TRC which is when we go teach random people that could be members, but might not be!  IT was scary, but we got thisn ice old man from Salt Lake that told us about his Family History and gave us the A. of F. in espanol.  

Then we taught Luisa.  Again, not our best, but not bad.  So we taught four lessons today and it was exhausting!!  Physically, mentally, and spiritually.  Preparation for el campo!!!!  Then more class with Hna Boza.  HSE IS THE BEST!!!  She is just hilarious.  She is from Lima, Peru and has the cutest accent.  She always tells us to "Take it easy" and it just sounds hilarious.  She ALWAYS kisses us on the cheek and hugs us and tells us to have "dulce suenos" and calls the Elders couch potatoes.  :)  I love her. 

Today I got a postcard from Aunt Linda and Uncle Joe and a package from Brittany with chocolate and a music box!! So nice!


I got a package from the pages!!!!!! It was a "box of sunshine" with looots of pictures.  I was SO SO SOOOO GRATEFUL!!! I LOVE YOU!  I also got a letter from a girl Miranda Best that is reporting to Costa Rica in 30 days!

Service makes the days so much longer.  Today we scrubbed shutters.  They look nice.

Then we went to teach Alejandro, but Hmna Bratt got called to Main Campus.  And you know... when your companion has to go somewhere... you get to go too!! So we were all bussed to main campus and found out she has a doc appt tomorrow with an opthomologist porque she told her mom about how her eyes go cross eyed and she sees double vision when we play volleyball and she is tired.  It's funny.  So we had to pick up our shuttle pass for tomorrow... which means we are leaving the MTC!  Haha woo hoo!

Then back... taught Alejandro.  Not bad... but we have MUCH to improve one.  I always end up doing all the talking.  I try not to... but when I don't... no one says anything.  I hate it so I just talk.  It's no bueno.  Hna Meek encouraged "us" (me) to get used to silence.

Then gym... REAL HARD EXERCISE and sack lunches.  I wasn't hungry again so I just go cookies.  My companeras got all serious about how their afraid of my low eating.  So I ate lots of Dinner and esta bien.  I'm just not hungry here!!! It's weird but it's fine.

Then back to teach Luisa.  It well, again... much to improve on.  Then Hna Boza taught us about the importance of the Book of Mormon and how to teach it.  So good.  She is amazing and I love her.  

Today we had to take this language assessment where we had to speak in espanol and record our answers... .NO BUENO!! They ACTUALLY score it and I'm guessing it will say something like "Will be successful in field" "Will struggle in the field"  "SHould go home now"  So ya know.  Maybe I'll see ya sooner than we thought ;)  Just kidding. It's all fine.  My spanish isn't bad.  But it's not outstanding either :) 


First lesson of the day at 8:30 with Luisa.  Not bad, but it just felt like something was missing...

Hna Boza taught us past tense.  I LOVE HER and her teaching style.  And just her.  Then she did coaching with us and taught us some key principles about teaching and keeping our purpose in line with God's purpose and figuring out our investigators intentions.

TALL lunch and then... SHUTTLE TO THE REAL WORLD for a doc appt!! I took a picture of our first day in the wild I'll send.  It was fun!  The drive took us to the wrong place so we had to walk a few blocks. It was so fun, people were honking and waving.  I was pretty famous. Hna Kugath was REALLY grumpy and complainy about it but we tried to make it as fun as we could.  Hna Bratt's crazy eyes are okay.  We got back a few hours later and apparently they never checked us out or had us in the records and had no idea we were gone.... So we could have ditched and no one would have known!! No worries... there's NO way I'd ditch on this GLORIOUS work!!  

Lesson with Alejandro... again... not bad... but not very good either.  Something is missing in our teaching!!  But I don't know what.  Then Hno Meek taught us future tense.  I LOVE Hno Meek.  All our teachers are so different, but I love them each SO much.  At the end of the day, he told us he loved us and that we increased his faith.  Then he prayed for us and his prayers are always SO sincer and special.  I felt the spirit so strong... I'm so blessed!!

It feels like I have more to give.  I hav emore focus, more effort, more positive attitude, MORE to give.  And I'm gonna do it!

No letters today.  Not a single thing for our WHOLE district all day!  Esta bien... I don't NEED letters... I just love them.  :)


I love sundays.  BUt man can they be rough!! We woke up and went to a district meeting and the hermanas were in charge of teaching.  We taught about the changing powers of the B of M and it went really well!! Then I was supposed to teach the District how to lead music like President asked me to... But Brother Dowdle filled my 15 min :)  Esta Bien.  

Then music and the spoken word.  This was hard for me... It was all about Father's and I just sobbed because I MISS my daddy!!! I have the MOST amazing dad and I am incredibly blessed.  I love him forever and can't wait to see him!! And all the men in my life- my brothers and my nephews.  (and my mommy and my sisters and my future niece too)  17 months will FLY by!!

Speaking of flying time... Today half our branch left for the field (well technically tomorrow at 6 am).  It is SO crazy to me.  We are in the point right now that they were in when we got here and the past three weeks FLEW by!!  We only have three weeks exactly left.  I can't believe it.  So we spent most of the day saying goodbyes and getting emails and pictures (I got pictures of our WHOLE branch but they are on someone elses camera and I don't know if I'll ever get them...)

Then Devo and Films.  Devo was AWESOME.  It alwyas is.  Sheri Dew spoke about Grace and the power of God.  She said, "You can either do this mission alone, or you can do it with the help of Heaven."  Well I KNOW I can NOT do this alone.  And so I must turn to the Lord in faith!!  I know He will help me!!  Film- Watched the Legacy.  Cheesey, but I still cried.  I cried a lot today :)  Actually, I cry all the time here.  Spirit or emotional?? ;)  Oh ya, I forgot about relief society!! It was AWESOME!!  2 sisters spoke.  One about not being hard on ourselves and the other about the blessings of climbing the mountains before us.  Mountains seem to be the theme of my MTC experience so far.  Sis Dew also said something about them.  She said, "The Savior doesn't move mountains for you, but he ALWAYS helps you climb them."  I know that through the Lord's grace and power I can climb ALL the mountains before me!!


Okay first of all.... LETTERS!! YAY!!!  I've been trying so hard to not be upset at the lack of communication with the familia this week and focus on the work and it paid off!!! haha Today I got a letter from Grama with some extra money- so nice, thank you1!! And Dear Elders from Brittan, Samanth Hancock, KATELIN AND DADDY!! And then a package with those delicious cookies dad loves from Mama with a letter from Her, Kenn, and Lettie.  I am SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GRATEFUL!!!  Made  my day.  You have no idea how much your letters mean to me!! I almost cried in a lesson today when I mentioned how I am away from my family.  Miss y'all so much.  How cool would it be if we coudl serve missions as familias???  Maybe in the next life :)  Esta bien.  I love the work and I know you will all be fine while I'm gone... because I pray SO hard for you cada dia and I know you will be blessed!!!

What even happened today.  So much happens every day but its always the same shcedule so it gets confusing.  

Lesson with mercedes at 9... but when we got there she had two other sets of missionaries waiting to teach her. haha.  So manana.

Volleyball... the WHOLE branch is gone now except one other district so there's only like twelve of us total.  And the other district leaves on Sunday!! So it will just be us for a couple days until we get some new people!!  
Then Hna Bratt and I started playing name that tune... aaaaaand then an hour went by.  haha woops.  Waste of time, but it was fun because she knows musicals!!  

Then we thought we were teaching Alejandro, but apparently that's not until manana tambien.  But Hno Meek taught us some great things!  Then we were about to go into grammar lessons when we realized we are in week FOUR which means that today was our first day of REAL TRC when we get this investigator- not a member- and we teach him every day for two weeks.  His name is Jose Luis and we just got to know him a bit and briefly started in on the restoration... but we ran out of time before Joseph Smith.  Haha woops.  Guess we'll start there tomorrow!

Then class with Hna Boza.  First we taught Luisa and it went well!! We asked MUCHO preguntas inspirado.  Then Boza taught us some grammar and demonstrated teaching a family and told us ALL about her life in Peru when she had a PET MONKEY in the house and iguanas and parrots that spoke espanol and llamas and horses and rabbits and turtles.  WOW I LOVE HER!! And the mission.  And my family.  And the gospel.  And the Lord!!



Lesson with Mercedes=AWESOME!  This is the third time we have come prepared to teach her the plan of salvation but after following up on commitments and asking inpired questions it ALWAYS goes a different way.  The spirit was so strong as we shared our testimonies and gave her encouragement and she called us her angels!!!

Right after we went to do tall and "randomly" Hna Kugath suggested we did it in a different room for once.  Half way through a Latin man came in speaking WAY too fast Spanish.  We finally understood that someone was supposed to teach him 15 min ago but never showed.  We started chattting with him (our elders were in there too) and all 6 of us spent the next hour sharing with him our testimonies of how he can be healed through the Savior.  All 6 of us are teaching him again next week!!

Then later we taught Alejandro.  We had a lesson planned, but again asked many inspired questions.  The spirit was honestly the strongest I've felt yet.  He is sturggling with knowing for sure of the truth and recognizing answers to his prayers.  We asked how he felt when we were here teaching him and he said peaceful, happy, and cloeser to God.  I then- so inspired I tell ya- asked him if that could be an answer to his prayer and after a LONG silence, he said yes! That was his answer! W recommitted him to baptism and he said he still didn't feel ready, but he would work towards it as a goal.  

Then we taught Jose Luis the rest of the restoration.  Got through the first vision and I bore (what I felt) was a POWERFUL testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith and as if he hadn't heard me he turned to Hmna Kugath and asked where she got her cards/pictures.  *sigh*  It was a good lesson though.  Hard but good :)

Devo tonight= ELDER M RUSSEL BALLARD!!! SOOOO GOOD!!  He said to focus on the Doctrine and to keep your eyes on the prophets and apostles.  They CANNOT and WILL NOT lead you astray.  I am going to write a long letter to Katelin with some more of those notes so if you want to hear about it ask her!!!

I also got another postcard from Aunt Linda and Uncle Joe and a Dear Elder from Andrea!!! I am SO grateful to have had such amazing young womens leaders.  All you people involved in young womens...... you have SUCH an impact on these girls lives for the good!! Even if they don't notice it.

I am running out of time and still need to send pictures and I wanna chat with the family so HASTA LUEGO!!!!!  Two more PDAYS until I am in the BEAUTIFUL COUNTRY OF COSTA RICA!!!!  Sidenote... Yes... I have been called to the most beautiful country ever... but I we live in a preeeeeetty beautiful place too!! I love Utah.  And I love YOU!!! MUAH FAMILIA!!! THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING!!!

Semana Dos: Turning Outwards

HELLO!!!! I am officially Two Weeks Old on the mission!!! I honestly feel like it has been two years already.  wowza how in the world am I going to get all this week's info in?!?!?  Here I go!


Last wednesday after I wrote you we did laundry and wrote loooooots of letters and then taught another lesson with Karina!  It actually went pretty well.  We invited her to be baptized!  She said there were too many new things right now but as she came to know it is true she would!  We teach again tomororow and also mercedes.  IT is getting SO much easier to understand what they are saying!! And I personally was able to say almost everythin gI needed to.  I had a lot of experiences where the spirit prompted me to say things... por ejemplo when we were trying to explain how to feel the spirit I felt prompted to ask Hermano Meek, "How do you feel the spirit in your life?"  and also to share experiences of struggling to recognize the spirit.  It went so well!  It is AMAZING how much we have learned and grown in only one week!

We goofed off so much today... It was bad because we don't feel as focused but it was SO good because we are closer now and really had a good mental/emotional break.

Today I got letters from JD and Kelsey.  I wrote back to JD'S but I couldn't to Kelsey's because I got it after 6 and pday ends at 6 :( (don't worry kels, I'm getting you today! Still waiting for those baby pictures though) :)  So excited you are having a boy!!

JD gave such great advice about how we grow the most during trials so we can do the work the Lord has for us.  I am so grateful for everything I am experiencing and for all the prayers from you guys.  I really need them!! I love my family!!!


Good day again!  Lesson with Mercedes.  It went so well!!  We had no notes... we just told her with the spirit about temples and went into the four things you need to be able to enter (faith repentance baptism H.G) so that we could lead into the next lesson with those.  We are planning to teach the Restoration Monday.  Also, we showed her pictures of our families and their temple marriages!! Buuuut I forgot mine :( :( haha woops.  NExt time.

Exercise time... was kickball with the zone.  Ummm I sat out and memorized the first vision instead!! Hahaha.  I like it when we ACTUALLY exercise.  But I guess it's really important to be close as a zone?  Hermana Kugath REALLY wants to so whatever.  

Lunch, more language  and coaching.  Then dinner and our LAST lesson with Karina!  It actually went really well.  We retaught repentaance and how it distances us from God until we repent.  We asked if there was anything she needed to repent of to be able to come closer to christ and better feel the spirit and committed her to repent.  She said si and then we bore more testimony and asked if she would be baptized on july1 and she said yes!!!  Wahoo first baptismal commitment! haha She's not a real investigator though.  In fact... rumor has it that she is our next teacher!  But it feels so good to know that I can bring someone closer to Christ as an instrument in the hands of the Lord.  I love Karina and when I say that I mean it!!

Mom sent me the BEST package!  SHoes, laundry detergent, batteries, treats, mints, cough drops, tissues, meds, her favorite mentholatum, cards, envelopes, stamps, anything and everything I could need.  THANK YOU!  She also wrote the best letter ever about how everyone is praying and fasting for me.  THANKYOU!! I need it so much and can feel your prayers!! I love you mommy!!

Also I got a dear elder form Maddie Beecher and Collettie!! Maddie... I don't think I got your address... but just so you know... I AM eating gluten again haha :) So muddy buddies are welcome! :)  And collette- thank you for the week update!! I'll write you a letter!


Guess what we realized?!? We leave exactly a month from tomorrow!  I cannot believe only 4 weeks left!  The days go by sooooo slowly, but the weeks go by so fast!! Yet it feels like I've been here eons... I don't know it's weird.

Today we wake up at 6 again for service :)  Yippee.  We always laugh because the service we do is cleaning the classrooms... which each class is in charge of doing on their own anyways... so it's always clean... and we are ALWAYS in charge of sweeping the floors... and there's nothing to sweep.  It feels like a waste of time.. but we figure that must be what its like to clean the temple!  You don't clean it when it's dirty... you clean it to keep it from becoming dirty!! (Still doesn't feel worth waking up at 6 for though) ;)

Class with Hno Bliler and Hno Meek.  We learned about the importance of studying as a missionary.  You know that "seek first to obtain my word" scripture?  The blessings for doing this are TREMENDOUS in the verse!!  If I study and then desire, my tongue will be loosed (which is HUGE for my poor espanol) and we will have the power of God unto the convincing of men!!!

After that we did a review of our first investigator Karina.  Turns out as we though Karina wasn't the REAL Karina.  The real Karina was baptized in 2009 and married in the temple.  Our Karina is really name hmna Boza and is best friends with real Karina.  She made a video about her experience with us... as I watched it I was so overcome with love for her- for the REAL karina AND Hmna boza.  I thin kit is the first time I have really truly FELT God's love for His children.  I shed a few tears and afterwards an observing Maestro asked what I felt while watching.  I could NOT control my tears as I tried to explain my joy- my joy that REAL Karina could partake of the blessings of the gospel and the temple and that Hmna Boza could feel the Spirit and come closer to Christ from us teaching her.  Us- who have no idea what we are saying.  We were able to be instruments in the hands of the Lord.  I truly felt love an djoy!  Alma 29:9 (I don't know exact words but it is on my mission plaque)  I know that which God has commanded me and I glory in it.  I do NOT glory in myself, but I glory in that which God hath commanded me- that I might be an instrument in the hands of the Lord to bring SOME soul unto repentance, and THIS IS MY JOY!  It is truly a joyful experience to help in this work- even though Karina wasn't a real investigator.. our purpose is to invite OTHERS to come unto Christ.  That doesn't mean it has to be a nonmember!  It could be YOU! :)  

Gym... real workout.. back to class.

We were supposed to have a new teacher today.. but instead we had the floating teacher Hno Thoreson.  He is the one that went to Costa Rica.  We talked more about studying.. then he told us some stories about the Latin American people.  He said that they LOVE missionaries.  Even if they are dirt poor they'll do all they can to feed you and take care of you.  He told a story about His sister serving in Nicaragua.  The family that feeds her lunch asked what her favorite drink was and in her broken spanish she said the (dr. pepper) was "like a coke"  The next day when she went to lunch, thi sfamily who could barely even feed themselves had an ice cold coke on the table for her.  Their love is amazing and I love them already!!

I got a letter from Smantha Hancock, My old roommate, which was so nice, and from Daddy.  Everyone reading this... our Dad is the BEST!  He told me about this talk by Pres Kimball about Mountains we have to climb to receive blessings.  At the end he quoted that one Randy something song that saiys " If there's a mountain I need to climb, give me that mountain, I'll make it mine."  I know that these things I am experiencing are difficult.. but I know it will be worth it!! Give me that mountain, I'll make it mine!!! Vale la pena!!


No letters or anything :( But esta bien.  

First class... surprise!! Rumors were true! Fake Karina real Hermana Boza is now our teacher!  We were scared because she is a REAL latina (no one else has a real latin teacher!) and she is SO dificil to undrestand.  But it was actually AWESOME!  I surprisingly understood most of what she said and she helped what we didn't get.  She's really fast paced which helped us not fall asleep and we had to understand concepts quuickly.  She used LOTS of different methods and had us standing sitting, talking out loud, running around, using computers etc. which really kept my focus!  She is GREAT!  She taught at the Peru MTC before this.  I truly love her... and think of how great I'll sound after learning form a REAL latina!!

Gym... oh ya Hmna Boza taught us about stress.  The video said that signs of stress include loss of appetite and trouble sleeping.  My companions were like "YOU!" haha but I swear I'm not stressed.  I'm just not hungry and it takes me a while to fall asleep.  Esta muy bien.  

Anyway.. gym we played volleyball with the zone.  It was fine.  Hmna Kugath loves it so whatever.

Lunch, PSC, Dinner, last lesson of the week with Hnos Meek y Bliler.  They demonstrated how to teach the first lesson.  They are AMAZING!!!!  It was another reminder of how far I have to go and how much I can improve on, but I'm grateful to be in the hands of such GREAT teachers.

I'm so happy tomorrow is sunday!!! It is the best in the MTC.

Oh and we get two more investigators now, Alejandro and Luisa (who are really Hmno Meek and Hmna Boza)  AND Mercedes.  Three investigators!

Vale la Pena!


First we went to Music and the Spoken word after our district meeting.  You were probably watching too... right???/ I loved how Lloyd K Newell said that if you are shy and uncomfortable entering a group of people... turn it around!  Think that this group is uncomfortable with someone new and you need to put them at ease and make them comfortable.  This is again turning OUTWARDS.  How awesome.  I needed that!

Then Relief Society was Sister Robin Bonhim from the General Board.  She spoke about priesthood power.  She said that any  Woman young or old, set apart by Priesthood keys has power and authority to perform that work.  The same is true for any office of the church set apart by priesthood keys.  So mama you have priesthood power- power from God! To be able to accomplish the work set before you as Stake Young Womens Pres! And you Kate with your calling!  All of us!

Then we stayed for the New Sisters meeting (even though we are officially no longer NEw... but last sunday was Fast Sunday so we didn't get it)  And they basically just taught us about modesty.  Some things I liked were that they said, "Spread the gospel, not germs." haha and also that modesty is crucial to having the spirit and is not just about how we dress, but how we talk, act, and interact.  Be attractive without drawing attention.  Our calling is not casual so our dress should not be either.  reflect Respect.

Then Sacrament Meeting.  Pres Shallenbergers mother was litterally dying as he was speaking to us AND he had just had eye surgery a day or two before to stop his Glaucoma from blinding his other eye.  I can't believe he was there with us!  He said that no matter the challenges we face, there is a state of happiness because of the gospel.  So it will be OKAY!

Then interviews.  Bro Slingerland told us that our teachers report on us everyweek and that they said we are really progressing as a companionship and that we are an example to the Branch and the whole area!  that we were a breath of fresh air!  I don't know if that's true, but it led us to set a lot of goals to help us truly become better!

Devo by Brother Richard I heaton.  He taught us how to teach the Law of Chastity so that our investigators FEEL about this law the way God does.  It was great.

Sunday film- Elder Hollands "For such a time as this".  It was awesome!  About how we don't understand what we have in these latterdays.. that prophets of ancient times prophesied and sang and wrote about our day because FINALLY it is going to work!!  There will be no more apostasy!! WE CANNOT FAIL!

I saw MAika Walters at Devo!! It was so nice!!! She is doing great.


Lesson with Mercedes at 10... we taught her the 1st lesson.  It was going SO well and the spirit was SO strong!  We were about to bear testimony of the first vision and talk about the Book of Mormon and then she said she needed el bano and asked if we could finish anohter time... haha so tomorrow at 10.

Then TALL, gym- volleyball otra vez.  It was fun.  Hermana Kugath LOVES it.. Hermana Bratt HATES it... I'm in between.  That's how most things are in our companionship ;)  Sack lunches... then class with Hno Bliler.  He is a great teacher.

Lesson with Luisa after dinner... MUY DIFICIL!! she has been taught by the missionaries for EIGHT YEARS so she already knows alll the lessons.  During our coaching, Hna Boza/Luisa/Karina/but really Hna Boza.. told us that we need to think of a creative way to teach her instead of the same way missionaries have for 8 years.

Lesson with Alejandro.. not easy, but not bad.  We taught the first lesson and didn't do poorly, but we have much to imporove on.  Hno Meek/Alejandro told us we did really well but to be always trying to figure out the needs of Alejandro.

Then Grammar with Hna Boza!  She is awesome.  We have the BEST TEACHERS EVER! Seriously.

Package from mom and the little girls and friends!! Loved the cupcakes!! We saved them for out PDAy eve party!  I hope you guys go to seven peaks ALL the time so I get more packages!! :)  And THANK YOU for the workout clothes!! I am seriously so grateful1!!  Letter from Clair (I didn't get her address and have no time to email her so mom if i send a letter for her to you could you maybe get it to her?)  Letter from courtney (YAY THANKS!) Letter from Leslie (it only took 7 days to get here from Finland!!!!!!) and letter from Brittany with great advice.. and a letter todo en espanol from Uncle Stan.  I could KIND of get the gist of it!! :)  Uncle Stan if you are reading this... I forgot the email of that sweet sister but I PROMISE I'll remember it next time!!! I hope she is doing okay and will keep her in my prayers.


Lesson with Mercedes, followed up on commitment to read BOM.. She didn't so we read the last two paragraphs of the intro with her and taught how she can feel the spirit and know for herself.  It was awesome.  

Tall, picked up mail=nothing.  Gym-real exercise!  I memorized the Baptismal invitation during that so now I've got my purpose, the first vision, and the baptismal commitment down!

Class with Hno Bliler.  He is great.  He is leaving for a week long vacation which is SO sad because it's like a YEAR in mission time!! We talked about planning lessons and practiced teaching each other just as ourselves.  The spirit was so strong!

Dinner.. checked mail again.. TWO DEAR ELDERS!  Woot woot.  But one was just a reprinted copy of Courtney's letter from yesterday haha.  So really just one from Aunt Mel!!! She's the best- she is actually writing me every week like she promiesd!

We had an AWEOSOME DEVO with QUENTIN L COOK!  The moment he walked in the room I was overwhelmed with the spirit and knew that he truly is an apostle of God!  He told us not to be concerned that we don't feel capable.  He said we ARE GOOD ENOUGH!!  He said this is a spiritual work.. yes we need to learn the lessons... but this is a SPIRITUAL work.  He said the YOU ARE THE MESSAGE, your smile, your light, your love, etc.  He also pronounced a blessing upon us.. which seems like a pretty big deal.. that we will be able to set aside feelings of inadequacy and that EVERYONE WE LOVE will be blessed for our service.  THis meant SO MUCH to me because I REALLY LOVE you guys.  SO MUCH!  and I'm soooooooo grateful to know you are being blessed.

His wife talked about learning truth through song.  I am SO grateful for all the truths I learned through music from a young age from my goodly parents!!!


Here I am!! 2 weeks old and doing great.  This is hard work, but it's a great work.  The spiritual experiences and the joys I experience far outweigh the bad.  I am still missing you guys but doing SO MUCH better!! Please don't stop writing me!!!!!  I don't know how easy communication will be in the field (at least I know I'll have one dear elder when I get to Costa Rica... thanks kels) ;)  But please send me dear elders and letters and things!! I always go print my emails off on wednesday around 10 so you can write me an email and I'll just respond via letter!! Include your address and try to have it in by ten so I can read it!! Kate I just saw yours so Ill respond by letter!!!

I cannot express enough how much I LOVE YOU!!!  I am so grateful for you.  But I also love this work.  I love the gospel and I love my Savior and I know I can do this through Him!!!!


Semana Uno: Curb Drops and Homesickness

I did it!!! I made it a whole week.  I am one week old on my mission :) Hooraaay!!

I only have ONE HOUR so I am going to try so hard to answer everyone's emails and things!  It is actually much easier to respond to letters and DEAR ELDERS so you should all send me loooooooots of those and include your address por favor :) 


I arrived!! I don't know about you guys... but the drop off was ROUGH for me.  Sorry I couldn't really look at your faces.  I was going to lose it.
We right away went to our first class.  Which was taught COMPLETELY in espanol.  It was very very overwhelming... But by the end I could kind of understand a word or too! haha

Then we went to a people and our purpose workshop where investigators came and we all as a newbie group tried to get to know them and answer thir questions.  That was when it got real for me.  These are REAL people with REAL concerns.  I was actually pretty scared at that point!

Then we met out district... unpacked... and went to bed.  Fast and hard day!


Day two was SO much better.  First we did people and our purpose training part two and learned what our purpose truly is.  I sent home a letter talking about this and drew the diagram... well there is one thing I forgot that is very important in it! I drew the line between the missionaries and others as a straight line.  This is no bueno! It is supposed to be curved underneath so we are just lifting the others up and helping them come closer to christ.  Not just teaching them lessons!!  IT was an awesome workshop.

Then we had MTC over with a teacher that served in Costa Rica!  We ended up just talking a lot about what it is like there.  Our entire disctrict (which is me and my two companeras and a threesome of elders) are all going to Costa Rica except for Elder Workman who is going to panama.  We have every class and everything together and we have a lot of fun!!

Gymtime... Lunch... then Hermana Bratt had to go to main campus for the health clinic.  I saw SISTER HOLT there!! It was SO nice to see a familiar face and have someone hug me and ask me how I'm doing.  Soooo nice.  
Then we had more class yada yada met our Branch Presidency it was all great.  We are the greatest branch of the MTC!! 149th.  There is no number higher.  Also we are Disctrict D within that branch and there is no greater disctrict! So we really are the best ;)


Good but hard.  We had to wake up at 6 to do service.  yikes.  Then we taught our FIRST LESSON EN ESPANOL!!  IT was acgtually pretty fun though!!  We worked very hard to prepare and did our best to teach her.  The downside was that we had to read a lot so it didn't seem really like we were letting the spirit in.....  It is REALLY hard to understand her.  She blends all her words together!!! But she is so cute and so sweet and we love her.  More classes... More preparing for our next lesson with her and studying the language...

I got a dear elder from my sweetie Collettie Spaghettie!! I love you sissy!! And I LOVE dear elder.  Everyone use it.  please.  I also got one from Sister REcanzone which was SO nice.  Brittany Smart sent me a package with chocolate and carmels!! Sooooo nice.  I felt loved.  Getting mail is literally the best thing ever.


REALLY hard day.  When I woke up at 6:30 I felt quite ill and my allergies are making my throat KILL but all is well.  We went straight to class to finish preparing our second lesson with Karina.  We thought it went well and she followed up on our commitment to pray and we taught her about the Restoration and she said she'd pray about Joseph Smith!! (this is all in spanish.. by the way) :) But then we started asking the Elders about theres because they took an HOUR and we started to feel reeeeeeeeeeeally down and discouraged.  We just didn't know what we were doing or what we were saying or what she was saying or how to improve and all the stress of the MTC just hit me.  I felt like I was getting NO instruction and I was just lost and I missed my family and I just wanted to go home.  Honestly.... I really did.  I miss you guys SO much and it is really rough.  So anyways... Saturady was hard.  We had been SO obedient and just didn't get why the Elders were having success and we weren't. 

 We also had two study cycles this day which means an hour of personal study.. an hour of companishoship study... an hour of language study.. TWICE.  Just six hours of basically studying on our own.  So I got really consumed by my thoughts and my homesickness and I just really struggled... 

Also this day we found out that we can ONLY write letters on PDAY so it was another discouraging thing.  I really struggle with not being able to just call or text y'all and tell you about the day and what I'm struggling with.  So I loved writing you letters... but now I can only write on PDAY.  At the time I was REALLY upset... but now that I have studied the white handbook and experienced the difference.... it is SUCH a good thing that I can only write you on PDAYs.  Otherwise... ALL I think about is you guys and I get really sad and can't focus on the work.  

Also on this day I got a letter from the pages!!!! The boys drew me pictures and I LOVED them!!!!!!!!!!!  It was really what I needed that day... except for that I broke down and cried again haha.  Also why the rule is that you can't read letters until you get home..... :) Courtney- you were right.  I opened the envelope like a mad woman so I am SO grateful for your address.  Everyone send me your address!! In a letter or Dear Elder preferably!!!  I love you boys!!!


Sunday was the turning point for me in the week and I think for my whole MTC and mission experience.  As a companionship we fasted to be able to know what to ask Karina to help her be able to see that the gospel is what will make her happy, for help with the language of course, and to be able to feel happy with and recognize our successes.  I personally added to be able to overcome my extremem homesickness and focus on the work.  

First we went to Distric Meeting where President shalenberger taught us to counsel together and have comp inventory

Then we went to Mission Conference where we received GREAT counsel about how we all have little mountains blocking our spiritual vision (homesickness) and that we can climb and overcome them.

Then we had sacrament meeting with testimonies.  I came to know and feel close to my Zone.  I bore my testimony and again had it confirmed to me that I am supposed to be here and that the Lord will help me climb my mountains!!

Then we were interviewed by Brother Dowdle (counselor in Branch Pres) He shared about how the Book of Mormon must be true because of how it was translated in only two and a half months.  Though I understood that he was sharing how important the Book of Mormon is, the spirit testified to me that if the Book of Mormon could be translated in two and a half months.. then think of all the Lord can do with me in only 6 weeks!! And then 18 months!!!

then we had comp inventory.  My sweet Hermanas told me that they admire so much how my testimony is so internalized and they know everything I say is sincere.  They also said they can always count on me to bring the spirit.  We grew so much closer and set goals to continue to do so (like to NEVER AGAIN compare us to others and to only say encouraging things and to have a question of the day that we answer to get to know each other before Comp prayer)

Then sunday walk... DELICIOUS break-the-fast dinner with BYU creamery ice cream.

Then Sunday devotional on main campus.  It was AWESOME!  We were told how the Lord is preparing people for US to teach and we need to exercise faith.  He also said that we need to use FACEBOOK to share the gospel... I can't do that but YOU can!! The Lord has given us this technology for a reason!!! Look through your list of FB friends.  pray about who may be prepared to hear the gospel and SHARE IT1!!

The VERY best  part was that after Devo we watch a film.  We watched the Character of Christ by Edler Bednar.  This was EXACTLY what I needed to hear.  He talked about how the Character of Christ is turning OUTWARD to bless serve and love when the natural man would turn us inward.  In the midst of the Savior's deepest anguish and trial, he wasn't focused on himself and what He wanted.  "He was focused on OTHERS.  He talked about how the Natural man is like the cookie Monster.  I want cookie NOW!  I want Baptism now!! I want to be with my family NOW!  I want to know the language now.  I want to be with my family and write them all the time.  I want to tak e a nap.  I want more instruction.  I want I want I want.  He said, "WHO CARES WHAT YOU WANT!  GET OVER YOURSELVES!! THIS MISSION IS NOT ABOUT YOU.  SO FORGET YOURSELVES AND TURN OUTWARDS!"   Woooooooooooooooooooow right???  Who cares what I want?  Up unti lthen I was feeling so sad and lonely because of the things I wanted.  But now.... I know that it truly is NOT about me.  So who cares what I want.  Looking inward is what makes me discouraged and homesick and sad.  NO MORE!!  I just need to look OUT!!


Another good day!  We decided to start keeping Celestial Time which means we are always at least five minutes early to everyitng.  It's awesome  So we woke up at 6:25 and went to breakfast at 7:25 and Personal Study Cylcle at 7:55.  For language study we do a computer program called TALL which is actually pretty fun.  Its the only time we get instructions on how to speak spanish in ENGLISH so I love it.

Then for Gym time we decided to ONLY speak spanish... and sometimes Spanglish... haha it is actually REALLY fun.  We were laughing so hard because I just didn't know any words so I make them up.  It works. 

Then language class with Hermano Bliler (shown in picture by white board) 

Then dinner

Then we taught our third lesson with Karina.  for the first time... we didn't write down everything we were going to say.  We prayed about it and decided that in our past lessons... we weren't giving the spirit and the gift of tongues even the chance to work in us because we were writing things out word for word.  It was pretty rought because we just didn't have the words to express what we needed to.  And we couldn't understand her.  But we were able to bear testimony!  We taught about the BOM a bit and then tried to teach about the plan of salvation.  B ut it was NOT working.  We were trying too hard to go over every detail and not paying attention to her needs.  luckily Hermono Meek (our second teacher) was with us acting as a member (he looks SO much like Trace and even acts like him.  It's crazy).  So he helped a LOT to get us back on track.  Overall it went really well.  The spirit was REALLY there even though the words weren't.  We committed her to read the bom and she said she would!  Afterwards... HErmano Meek broke the alll Spanish rule (All the teachers on campus ONLY speak spanish to you ALWAYS) to tell us that he actually thought we did a great job and gave us direction on how to improve.  

I got a package from mi mommy today!!! SCOTCHAROOS!! I could not be more grateful.  Also a letter from her, daddy, kennedi, Tyson, Clair, and Aunt Mel.  Thank you all SOOOOO MUCH FOR WRITING ME!!!  I am already running out of email time but if you mail/dear elder me your addresses I will respond to you I PROMISE!!  It means SO Much to me to get mail and hear from you all.  I love you sooooooo much I can't even express it.


Another great day here at the CCM.  Started out rough becaaaaause I woke up at six desperately needed to go to the potty.  Well there was no water in the bowl so I flushed it... and then it started OVERFLOWING!! luckily my daddy dear has taught me enough that I knew to push down the rubber thing to stop the water from flowing into the bowl.  Well the water was still to the top of the bowl and I REALLY had to go.  So I prayed for about half an hour and finally the water went down.  so I used it and flushed buuuuuuuut then it started overflowing again. Yikes.  Hahaha we ended up laughing about it and got someone to fix it.

Then first class time was personal study cycle.  All our studying we do is focused on our investigator.  We decided that we need to teach her the doctrine of christ:  faith, repentance, baptism, recieving the gift of the holy ghost and enduring to the end.  We want to empahsize that the holy ghost can tell her the truth of ALL things (because last lesson we THINK we understood that she wants to know how to make decisions) and then.... commit her to baptism!! Haha we will see how it goes.  It's tomorrow.

So for language study we did TALL again and right when we finished this investigator came in and we started chatting with her.  We told her we were only on our sixth day here and way bad at spanish.  She asked if we wanted to practice with her so we went into a room and just started chatting IN SPANISH.  Then somehow... we started talking about the ATonement and then about why we don't have crosses like she does and then I talked about how I was familiar with cathedrals cuz of art history and she asked us to come back and teach her about TEMPLES!! It was so cool because it felt like a real missionary experience.. not one set up by our teacher.  It really fueled us up!!

Class dinner... then DEVO!!

The Schwitzers of the seventy talked and really taught us a lot about how to LOVE the people.  by the end of our missions we should want to live there because we LOVE the people so much.  Awesome.


Now here I am!!!! One week old and doing great.  We went to the temple at 7 AM then went to main campus to print all our emails to read because THAT doesn't count as email time.  Thank you Katelin for the email!! I love you so much.  As I've said... send me your address so I can write you personally.

Then we went to Jamba Juice at Brighams Landing and Burger Supreme.  Jamba gives us half off and free oatmeal!!!!! Awesome.

After this we will write letters and do laundry... then we have dinner and our fourth lesson with Karina!

So it started out REALLY rough.  I wanted to come home.  But I'm okay now!  I've worked through that and will keep working hard to turn outwards.  I just miss you guys SO Much and I think I'll always be working to overcome that... If you guys just weren't the most incredibly amazingly outstandingly BEST family in the ENTIRE WORLD maybe it would be easier.  But it's not sooo :) I love you guys.  Don't worry... I'm learning to focus on the work during the week.  

PLEASE write me letters or DEAR ELDERS and send me your addresses!! It's so much easier than email.  At least at the CCM maybe not in the field.

My companions are AWESOME!! I'm in a trio instead of a twosome and they are great.  One is from Rexburg and looks EXACTLY like the main girl from Vampire Diaries... look her up.  The other girl is from Provo and is just the sweetest sweetheart.  Hermana Kugath and Hermana Bratt.  Love em.

The food here is actually really good!! There's always a main course and then LOTS of other options.  Like... cereal!! :) And a salad bar and a soup bar and lots and lots of stuff.  Usually for lunch we just get a sack lunch after gym time and eat it at our apartment or outside.  

Did I mention I am on west campus at Wyview?  Where Kelsey lived?  It's nice.  All of our classes are in Raintree across the street.  

My allergies have turned into a bad cold.  I have a nasty cough and feel pretty crappy.  I take a walatin d every morning and a mucinex d every morning and night.. plus two shots of nasal spray per nostril morning and night..... haha it will be fine.  I am calling upon the blessings from my setting apart that I will get over this quickly!! I have been SO obedient!!

Okay you guys I am out of time!! I am going to try to attach pictures from the week.  I just cant say enough how much I love you!! This is so hard but I know the Lord is helping me and I'll be able to do it!!!! Don't forget about me!! Write me!!! Send me your addresses!!! I LOVE YOU!!

 My District
 My compaƱeros
 I'm official!!
 Collette made my PRAY pillow
 Language Class with Hermano Bliler
 Mama sent scotcheroos:)