Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Week 3 in the MTC

So it might look a little like Michelle is in jail but . . . she is here with Kathryn's MTC companion. Sister W's zone got to go to the temple and so she sent some elders to find Michelle. So nice of her to take a picture and send it to Kathryn. Good to see Michelle is alive and well!

Especially since she has been sick. Here is her letter from this week--June 18, 2013.

It has been an...interesting week. Basically I died, but I am alive again, so that is a positive, right? I got a crazy fever on Monday night and it only went downhill from there. My whole district is getting it. Sore throat. Hacking up a lung. Headaches. Tired. Pure bliss. We have nicknamed ourselves "Districto Enfermo". My póor companion has just been dragging me around all week. But, it has allowed for some cool experiences. One night I was up all night sick and so I was kind of just sitting on my bed and found out that 2 of my roommates sleep talk. Thats fun. One started talking to me and the other went off screaming in rapid Spanish and then slept walked out of the room.  But, on a positive, I was able to get a priesthood blessing from my district leader and I think it was a good experiece for all of us. I met with the Doctor on Sunday and he gave me some miracle pills and I have been great ever since.
With the arrival of new missionaries we got a new classroom. It is a piece of heaven. It is a house next to the temple that they use for Family history. it is the cutest thing ever. We can have class outside all day and it is the most picturesque experience. Life is good. I convince our teachers to play "actividades" almost everyday. But they are helpful, and diverting, so I don't feel bad. Last pday we had an excursion to WalMart! Who knew I could be so excited to go to WalMart. It was a humbling experience. We realized how much Spanish we didn't know. My companion needed an alarm clock, so I got to show off my talent at charades and the guy knew pretty quickly what we needed. Fun fact: an alarm is called an "alarma". Quite the jump. No wonder we didn't think of it ourselves...
Because our class is next to the temple, we walk past the temple everyday. One day there was a woman who came there with her family and started asking us things in rapid Spanish. No one understood, so we just looked blankly and sincerely apologized. We then got the reprimanding of our lives! She screamed, "what are you doing in Guatemala if you don´t speak Spanish!?!?!" It was a fair question. We laughed pretty hard.
This week we did an "Ayuno de Ingles" where we didnt speak English for an entire 24 hours. Luckily I was sick and had no voice to talk anyway, so it wasnt that hard, but it was a great learning experiecne. We are doing 2 more this week. Last night, one of the instructors told my companion and I that if we understood everything he said in Spanish we could talk in English for the next week. He then went off in rapid fire spanish and my companion and I understood EVERYTHING and recited it back to him, but we didn't mention one tiny detail, so he pretended we failed. You could tell by the expression on his face that he was pleasently surprised. Take that! My companion and I kind of own. At everything. Just kidding. We work really hard and it shows :)
Fun facts: Sometimes I start humming and my comp harmonizes with me. Its fun. We´re Cute.
Sometimes I tell people in lessons that Christ paid for all of their fish instead of sins.
We asked our same investigator that we had already asked if he had a novio if he had an esposo. 2 for 2. (he was pretending to be 2 different people. He is our teacher)
That is all I have this week. It was kind of brief because I was sick and didn't have the opportunity to make so many memorable moments. But I am learning a lot here!


Monday, June 10, 2013

Group Photo from the MTC

Week 2 in the MTC (or the CCM if you speak Spanish:-)

Querida Familia,
It has been quite the week. I couldn{t love this place more. 1. I am still in love with PMG and I think my district is getting sick of me quoting from it 24/7, but, hey, Imma be a "Preach My Gospel" missionrary, so back off. Just kidding. Kinda. 2. Church is like 12 hours here. Its weird. BUt great. I call it "Video Domingo". We watch so many movies. Last sunday we watched three and yesterday we watched 3. Woohoo. And I get to have RS twice. Life doestn{ get better than that! I am working hard to win the love of the Hna. Nicholaysen because she reminds me of Noni. And I just want everyone to love me. 4. Holy Ghost= best friend forever. I sooo did not appreciate his companisionship enough before the mish. And I am really grateful that I have the opportunity to recognize his companionship more in my life. It is great, because I rely on him SOOO much. Spanish is way easier when we are pals.
We get to go to the temple every Pday and I love it. I am still pretty new at it, but my pal, Hna. Amone helped me because she was an ordinance worker. We go again tomorrow. The area pres. and his wife, Pres. and Sis. Martino came and spoke on Tuesday and it was probably the greatest thing of my life. So rejuvenating. I am so happy every time I review my notes.
Teaching in Spanish is a treat. We teach all the time. Remember that one time I was bad at teaching in English, well it isn{t easier doing it in Espanol. We went to CRE, which is like the TRC in Provo, and we were supposed to be teaching a menos activos. That was funny. We get there and it is a tiny little lady who apparently forgot she was supposed to be acting, so she was a strong member, went to Churhc, read her scriptures everyday and when she left she headed straight for the temple. There went our lesson plan! I tried to steer it more towards, "Heavenly Father is proud of you and continue to preserverar hasta el fin" but that is hard to get my companion to read my mind. Fun fact: Remember that one time I thought I spoke spanish kinda well? The lady we taught in CRE made me realize I know nothing. I maybe understood 20%. She talked way fast and barely opened her mouth. We got in there and she started talking and my companion and I just looked at each other and started to pray REALLy hard. At one point I told her in Spanish that if she read 2 Ne. 31 she would feel the spirit confirm what it was saying. She looked at me and said "YOU JUST DONT UNDERSTAND WHAT I HAVE BEEN SAYING" I have never been more confused. That is pretty general advice for anybody, despite their activity level. It was fun.
MUSIC= My companion loves music, and as a result, I have had way too many awkward situations with it. The lady from CRE mentioned that she loved to sing and after the prayer she wanted us to sing with her. Neither my comp or I brought our hymn book, so we hummed as she sang I Am a Child of God. I think we all chose different keys. I am never forgetting my hymnbook again. Then, My comp wanted to start off a lesson by singing a hymn with our investigator, but it turns out our investigator didn{t like to sing, so it was a duet, and then my comp randomly started harmonizing with me and so I had to carry the melody. It gets better. I couldn{t reach some of the notes, so at some points I just went silent. It was beautiful.
PEOPLE= I love everyone here. My faves= Hna. Amone, it was her birthday and I spread the word to EVERYONE. I love birthdays. I couldn{t help it. I gave her the cookies I got on the plane and Hna. Mcgill gave her nail polish. A birthday to remember. Hna. Sanchez and Hna. Peguero might be the most patient people I know. They help me with my spanish so much and I attempt to help them with English. They leave tomorrow and I am way sad. I can{t even express how much I love Hna. Mcgill. She is da bomb. I want to be like her. Luckily, we go to the same school, so we can reunite post mish.
Fun fact: we got a new teacher and he served in my mish. This knowledge=interrogation. HE is a little more strict than our other teachers and I lvoe it. If we are late, we have to contact. My companion and I are always first in the classroom.
I found an elder waiting for his visa to go to mom and dad{s mission. I asked if he was a good missionary, and he said yes, so you can hold him to it. Elder Tercero.
Tomorrow we get to go to Walmart. I have never been more excited to go. I get to go outside. I feel like Rapunzel from Tangled.
My companion and I have memorized over 100 words, 3 scriptures, the purpose, the first vision, and the baptismal invitation. Boom.
#Spanishproblems: I tried to speak Spanish more this week. I am not sure if the results are promising. Here are some of the many mistakes I made:
" Is your teacher delicious?"
"Is the Church close to your table?"
"The Book of Mormon has all of the questions"
To our male investigator: "Do you have a boyfriend?"
Then we made the mistake with the investigator of not knowing what "tal Vez" meant, so we were thinking he was accepting our committments, when in reality, he was just saying maybe.
Those are all the mistakes I can remember. And I call every girl a man and every man a girl. That is always fun.
Love you all!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Week One--Ahh the MTC Life!!

Buenos Dias!

You have no idea how excited I have been to write you this week! I miss you all so much, but I have never grown so much in one week in my entire life. But seriously. In so many different ways. 1. The food at the CCM is ridiculously good and I may need mom to send me new skirts. Just kidding. Maybe... 2. The Spirit here is so strong! I love it! I have definitely been able to recognize the hand of the Lord in my life.

I am so grateful for all of the different people here that I have come in contact with! Mi compañera is the best! Her name is Hna. Larsen and she is muy fuerte. She keeps me in line and we rock it. We are good for each other. She is the oldest of 7 so she is good at being bossy and I am the youngest so I am good at following her and bugging her to make her realize she doesnt miss her younger siblings as much as she thinks she does. There is a girl here name Hna. McGill that I absolutely love! She is going to a different mission, but she goes to BYU so hopefully we can reconnnect later. She has been such a strength because I miss everyone less knowing she is there. There is a sister here named Hna. Amone who is so so strong. She is 28 and from Australia and is going to serve as a nurse in the El Salvador Mission (Mom, you are jealous, aren't you?) But she has never even heard any Spanish and it is really hard, but she just keeps going! So strong! She is such an example to me! She, Hna. Mcgill and I throw down when we play basketball durning deportes. Unfortuanately we arent allowed to keep score, but we are comforted knowing that we know we won. Most likely we demolished every team... What else would you expect? There is also another sister from Bolivia named Hna. Sanchez that I practice my Spanish on every mealtime. Poor girl. She is beyond patient. But I also teach her a little English, so I don't feel as guilty.

The mission pres. and his wife are so great! I think their last name is Nicholayson. It was so so nice of them to let me Skype my parents for the setting apart! So many miracles this week!

I have a confession: I am in love. WITH PREACH MY GOSPEL!! It is the best thing that has ever happened to this world! I seriously love it so much! So so so inspired! Everytime I read it along with my scriptures, revelation just flows like the Mississippi River. But seriously. So good. Read it. Love it.

Kat totally has my back for the whole MTC thing! There are so many teachers who mention they knew her and how much they loved her. I have some of the same teachers as she did and becasue they knew her, they like me more. One is Hna. Garrido and another is Hna. Melgar (?) love them both! So helpful!

I love everyone in my district! They are so spiritual and fun! Hna. Amone told me, after I was sunburned (thanks Gma for the sunscreen, it has saved my life!) that I have great capillary refills. I now make it a point to let other people know that when I meet them. I don{t know how to say it in Spanish yet, but I am working on it.

Speaking of Spanish, the Gift of Tongues is real. It is crazy how much more I can say and understand when I am feeling the Spirit. Without the Spirit, I am useless. Yesterday I was feeling pretty good and I  may have been a tad prideful, then I was definitely humbled. Spanish has definitely been a challenge. I try hard to speak it whenever possible. I volunteered to say the prayer in my district and skipped saying "Dear Heavenly Father" and went straight to What I was grateful for. Mi compañera helped me. Super embarrassing. Then I did it again the next morning. 10 points for me! But now I remember. I bore my testimony in Spanish on Sunday and it may have been the scariest thing of my life. I sweated for a good 5 min afterwards.

One night we heard gunshots outside. My sweet companion was convinced it was fireworks. My time in Mexico led me to believe otherwise.

Life here is really great! I love it so much! I am so thankful for the opportunitly to be here and feel the Spirit todos los dias. And I am grateful for the advice from Dad to only think about one day at a time. I have broken it down even farther to just making it to the next meal. The food is soooo good.

I love you all! Pray for me and my Spanish!

Hna. Wagner