Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Sorry its been so long since this has been update.  I'm serving in the Olmstead area AKA the Bronx !

We were on our way home when we saw a little boy walking all by
himself. He was looking around like he was lost so we went up to him
and asked if he needed help. He said he was walking home and when we
asked, he said we could walk with him. He said he lived in Parkchester
and that is only ten minutes away. He was super cute but talked really
quietly so it was hard to hear him. His name was King and he was 7
years old. He said he was walking home from school, but went the wrong
way and he didn't know why. We asked him if he thought his mom was
worried about him but he just shrugged his shoulders. So he led the
way home and took us in SO many circles. It was getting late so we
asked him if he wanted a police officer to take him home (cause we
were passing one) but he said that his apartment is "just behind that
building". He told us that so many times. We finally get to his
building and wait inside to be buzzed in, and a police officer walks
right pass us, and then stopped halfway through the second door and
look at the kid and said "King? Are you king???" The police had been
looking for him for 6 hours! They said he had walked home with his
friends from school, but when his mom called him inside he just ran
away and never came back.

We went on a split with the English STL's and I took over the Spanish
area! I had to teach in Spanish for 24 hours by myself. The hardest
part was translating Sister Zelayas testimony into Spanish. That was

Our ward is just the best. We were at a Relief Society activity and it
was pretty late when it ended and one of the lady's just yells out in
Spanish, "get the food ready the missionaries need to leave!" And then
later after we ate Hermana Payne told me to get more cake to take home
cause there was still a lot. So I got over there and ask for some and
the lady serving had a really thick Dominican accent and I didn't
understand what she said so I just answered "Si", and the bilingual 11
year old tells me "you don't have a clue what she said do you". Nope,
not at all. Hermana Payne told me later that she said we had
already ate, but whenever she said, this another member we go see,
Headalina, just tells her "she's a missionary" and puts two huge
pieces on my plate! Ah I love her!

We were walking down the street and this family behind us yells out
"Miss! Miss!" So we turn around and they are like "Oh, we were looking
for the Jehovah Witnesses". We tried to talk with them but they wanted
nothing to do with us. They started walking ahead of us and talked
about us in Spanish not thinking we could understand them

Hope everyone had a chance to watch conference! I know the prophet and
apostles are inspired and have been called of God. And by following
their council we can grow closer to Christ, I know that no sacrifice
is too great to give. Trust in the Lord! He is there!

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Dallin H. Oaks came to the CCM !

¡Dallin H. Oaks came to the CCM!


It was broadcasted to all the missions in Central and South America. It was kind of neat how they did it. Instead of having a translator up there with him like normal, all of the Latinos were given headsets to listen to it in Spanish. AND WE SAT FRONT AND CENTER. I forced my compañera to eat fast and leave dinner early with me so we could hurry and get to the auditorium. We were walking out of the Comedor and Hermana McDougal grabbed my arm to stop me. (which has turned into a normal thing with all the people I bump into) So I turned around and Elder Oaks was walking in the Comedor! The room was crazy still. He was smiling so big and waving at everyone.

The first speaker was Elder Whitney Clayton. Like an apostle of the Lord wasn´t enough, we got to hear a member of the seventy too! He stressed teaching investigators the importance of keeping commitments. He said that if investigators don´t keep commitments, they won´t keep covenants.

The beginning of his talk, Elder Oaks talked of miracles. He said that out of all the amazing miracles that have ever happened, the greatest miracle is when a man of the world becomes a man of God. Another quote I loved from his talk is that the difference between a green missionary and a mature missionary is that a mature missionary KNOWS he is a servant of the Lord. The whole thing was just so good! Ok, last thing he said that I loved- The purpose of the church isn´t to get people baptized, or even to teach them how to get to the Celestial Kingdom. But that the true purpose of the church is to show people how to be EXALTED in the Celestial Kingdom!! Whoa!

When the devotion was over we all got to SHAKE HIS HAND! After my turn to shake hands WITH AN APOSTLE we stepped outside the doors and I was so excited I jumped around. Hermana McDougal was entertained by that

Earlier before the devotional Elder Oaks van drove past our Elders and Elder Simonton told him he was named after him, cause his name is Dallin. And Elder Oaks told him when he shook hands tonight he would give him a hug, and he DID!! Everyone was a little jealous. When he came out the doors every Elder in our zone started hugging Elder Simonton so that they could claim to have "hugged" Elder Oaks too. We all lined up outside the doors and sang God Be With You Till We Meet Again in Spanish for when we came out, but he didn´t end up leaving that way, so that was sad. 

Now the rest of the week:

For TRC (where we teach real people) we went on exchanges and I taught with Hermana Asay. It was hard teaching with someone new and not given a lot of time to prepare well. One of the people we taught was a 14 year old girl who didn´t even try to pretend to understand what we were saying. So that was a wake up to how little we know. 

Made some new Latino friends! We play volleyball with them a lot and I forget my name tag pretty regularly when I change clothes, so they can´t ever remember my name, so now they all call me Nueve York! They yell it out whenever they see us in the cafeteria, it´s the best. 

A representative of the MTC director in Salt Lake sat in on one of our lessons! He came in at the very end of the lesson and pretended to be our investigators friend and wanted to know what we had been talking about. So then we summarized the whole 30 minute lesson in the last five minutes we had left. It was an experience for sure. We found out later our teacher didn´t know that that was going to happen, he was just as shocked as us! 

The elders do all sorts of crazy things. One of the elders in our zone, Elder Evans who is a generation above us, even had a goal to get the whole CCM talked to, and has succeeded more than once! The first time was our first week here, it happened because he had been teaching all the newbies the "pass out game", were you lock your knees until you pass out. Last week they stole a traffic cone and climbed on each other’s shoulders to stick it on a light post, it stayed there for a super long time! The past two weeks what has been HUGE in the CCM, is hiding spoons in peoples bags and pockets. Written on the spoons was " Pass me on, Don´t be seen" Later, they upped the stakes and wrote on them "Get me to Pres. Call and you win". There were over 50 spoons circulating the compound. Then this Sunday before our class with the CCM presidency, President Call shared a spiritual thought and scripture about being mature and growing up. After he finished, he was very silent, and just held up a spoon. The reaction was priceless. The new generations didn´t understand at all. All of the girls in my district just turned around and we gave our Elders “The Look”. Elder Evans made his goal. Twice!

That night the devotional was by Sean Cates, the CCM coordinator. He is a super funny guy, and has a brand new little baby we get to see in the Comedor a lot! I want to share his opening line. He stated the 14 Article of Faith:

"We believe in meetings, all that have been scheduled, all that are now scheduled, and we believe that there will be yet scheduled many great and important meetings.

We have endured many meetings, and hope to be able to endure all meetings.

Indeed, we may say that if there is a meeting, or anything that resembles a meeting or anything that we might possibly turn into a meeting, we seek after these things. "

Yesterday we got very dressed up for district pictures and our teacher Hermana Arnoud let us know that we need to look that good every day and that we don´t put enough effort into getting ready. We just laughed! I don´t think we will ever let her live it down that she called us ugly. ;D

Monday, February 22, 2016

The toaster is on Fire, The Toilet is a Geyser, and the Sink is a Waterfall !

We have a dysfunctional companionship…

We tried to make toast in a fancy toaster and the bread got stuck in the back and it caught on fire!

I had always heard stories of how the toilets here, on occasion, will erupt.   I’m not sure I really comprehended the severity of it, until it happened to me. The automatic flush went off and water shot into the air! I have never run out of a stall so fast. And I stayed dry!

Then Hermana McDougal was washing her hands and the faucet cap must have broken, because water rushed out. It couldn’t drain fast enough and made quite the mess.

70 new missionaries came this week. Biggest group sense we have been here. There are a little over 200 missionaries in the CCM now. Because it´s so small and everyone stays so long, we all know each other really well. Yesterday I was getting my lunch tray and a missionary I didn´t recognize named Elder Reidhead told me Buenas Tardes. He was way too relaxed to be new, but I hadn´t seen him before. After we sat down him and his companion came and ate with us. We found out that they are assistants to the president in one of the Mexico missions and were there picking up new missionaries. He has 8 months left of his mission and was full of great stories. 

Earlier last week we were in the computer lab for TALL and Elder Simonton told us in Spanish that he was completely fluent in Spanish and it was only his "quatro" week. Just then Hermano. Ortiz walks in and corrects him saying "quatra" and walks right back out another door. A lesson on humility.

That same class when we kneeled down for closing prayer, Hermano. Guerrero (now known as Hermano. Mentir) walks in and falls to the ground next to us and mock worships Allah! He is the funniest person here.

Also, I found out that at the end of every day, our teachers write an individual report on each missionary that our mission presidents have access to! Motivation to work right there.

For one of our progressing investigators we made the coolest analogy with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and Super Mario Brothers. We spent our whole study time drawing pictures on index cards for it. We said that the sacrament is like hitting a checkpoint in the game and it makes you bigger. And we told her that she was Princess Peach and Christ wants to save her.

Some words are so similar to each other in Spanish. Hermana Arnoud was telling us about one of her companions, that in the SAME LESSON said that Jesus called twelve "cakes", we are forgiven of our "fish" and that she was "pregnant" instead of "embarrassed"

The Latinas in our casa left yesterday morning, they were the best! We took pictures with them and the next morning when we woke up we found chocolates and a note outside our door with all their email addresses. 

Love the CCM Life!

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Hermana McCoen

Hermana McDougal and I (now known as Hermana. McCoen) have finally gotten to the point where we can communicate in Spanish! Well... we thought we had, until we started sitting next to Latinos at dinner. They make fun of our Spanish, a lot, and the way we eat our food, but they are all super nice.

Yesterday we were talking with a Latino janitor in the hallway named Gabriel, and he was the greatest ever! He had us bear our testimonies in Spanish, and then he tried in English. Before we left, he was so excited to show us what the elders in another district taught him. And then he started to "whip" and he had the lyrics so wrong, but when he threw his hands in the air and sang "Now watch me Nay Nay!" We DIED laughing. He was the greatest.


Teaching is definitely starting to improve, our teacher Hermana Arnoud told us that we were the best and most dedicated in the class. And she is starting to have us join the other companions’ lessons as "members" so we can try to guide them more.

I found out that both of my districts teachers, Hermana Arnoud and Hermano Ortiz are known for being the toughest teachers in the CCM. Sometimes it’s rough but I enjoy how much they push us.

I got a care package from my momma with two boxes of donuts, so we invited the Latinas in the casa to our room to share. They are the cutest EVER. The next morning when we had woken up we found sticky notes all down the hallway that read:

5 Febrero 2016

"Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares." Hebrews 13:2

¡Gracias por las donas!

The next day having Fast Sunday in the CCM with a box of donuts on the table was ROUGH. But the day was great. Elder Alfredo Mirón of the 70 came and talked about how we all need to make changes in our lives: not tomorrow, today. It was such a wonderful talk. He didn´t speak in English so a member of the CCM presidency translated the whole thing for us English speaking folks.

The whole CCM has the cold, me included. The Presidency even asked us to all stop shaking hands! 

Weekends in Mexico are full of parties. All through the night you can hear music playing and so many fireworks! It’s the best.

My funny stories for the week: 

Elder Simonton was speaking Spanish to an older Latina and she told him his accent was so bad she thought he was speaking English!

Elder Winegar was asked " ¡Hola! ¿Cual es su nombre?" (What is your name?) and replied "¡Bien! ¿Usted?" (good, you?)

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Everything is Funnier in the CCM (MTC)

Everyone one is getting sick at the CCM, I am one of the few who are ok! My companion Hna. McDougal was sick for a few days, it was rough.

Teaching in Spanish is really hard, but it is already getting so much easier! Tomorrow is our first time teaching someone other than our teachers ( a TRC) and im pretty nervous. Odds are it will be a member or a less active.

One of my language teachers is so funny! An elder from my district, Elder Winegar had to get on the floor and do 5 pushups repeating "mensajero, messager" with every pushup. Made my day!

 Tambien, we were in the TALL lab working on language exercises on the computers and another district in our branches teacher, Hno. Guerrero, left his phone sitting on the desk. So our teacher, Hno. Ortiz, stole it! We watched him look for it and told him we hadn´t seen it.

We were back in our classroom for personal study when he walks in and says "you are all LIARS!" We died laughing. He told us that judgment day will come and he will look down on us from the Celestial Kingdom and say "HA HA HA!" Right then Hno. Ortiz walked in and Hno. Guerrero glared at him a says really deep with a intense glare "Usted Tambien -_-" (you too) He is the funniest person.

Yesterday in the TALL lab, me and Hno. Guerrero sang Do You Want To Build a Snowman together in Spanish. It was so fun! Knowing Disney songs in Spanish before I came has turned out to be useful in more that one instance.

 Last night when we went back to the classroom to get our bags we found letters and candy on our desks from Hna. Asay and Hna. Nusink!! They are our casa mates. They left me a bueno bar that said "having you in our district is bueno". Bueno bars are AMAZING. They are kind of like nutella waffers. Almost everyday we make bets and we always bet on Bueno bars. We are all planning on stocking up before we go back to the US.
We went to the temple today! IT WAS AMAZING!! So gorgeous. The temple workers had the hardest time finding a dress long enough for me,( as I'm 5'11")  I ended up with a super huge dress so the length would work.
The Temple is gorgeous here. Inside when they dimmed the lights, the chandeliers glowed and orange red color. It was beautiful.
On the bus ride back to the CCM we sang hyms and we sounded professional. People in Mexico are crazy on the roads though, and the public busses are so full of people that they litterally hang out the door to stay on. We were at a stoplight and when we moved forward the mirror on our bus hit the back of a guys head on the bus next to us! The guy looked pretty stunned, but for the most part he didn't seem to care. 

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Mexico City Here I Come !

Estoy en Mexico!


On the plane to Mexico none of the flight attendants spoke Spanish, the seating got all mixed up so I sat in a random seat next to a teenage Latino. Halfway to Mexico I found out he spoke English! We had a long talk about the gospel, he had so many questions, so I gave him a pass along card.
When we landed in Mexico at 4.30 everything was crazy. I still hadn’t met up with any other missionaries and I had no clue where to go. My Latino friend Erik helped me get through immigration, and we waited outside the terminal doors to find my people. We waited FOREVER, and Erik refused to leave me until I found my group, even though he had a 4 hour bus ride home.

 He later left me and came back a little later with another young boy that was there to get me. I guess he had just been sitting on a bench waiting for me, but he had on street clothes so there was no way of knowing. After Erik left, me and the other boy waited for his dad’s brother in law to get us. But the boy didn’t have cell phone and his relative didn’t know to find us. 2 hours later his relative found us. The ride to the CCM was crazy!! People in Mexico are the WORST drivers. We almost died. And then we got pulled over by the police! But he just wanted to check his registration, and that was all. Got to the CCM at 9ish and all my roommates were already in bed. 

 My companion is Hna. McDougal and she is super cool. Her and one other roommate Hna. Nusink are coming to NYNYN too! Everything here is so wonderful. The food is good but sometime really really gross. It’s hit or miss. All our teachers are SO nice. None of us know Spanish very well but I know less than all of us. I really feel like I am falling behind. 

 The Latinos laugh at us A LOT. You can tell they think we are so odd. But they are all so nice! The side of the mountain was on fire right next to the houses so we all stood watching it for a long time! Then the Latinos walked by laughing. I guess that is something that happens all the time and they are just burning old trees.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Going Through the Temple

I took out my endowments!! BEST day ever. I went through the Albuquerque, NM temple and it was absolutely amazing, not to mention I had the greatest escort ever! I just love my aunt Teresa! I could really feel God's love for me the entire day. So many friends from the ward and family members came to support me, it was lovely. I really am blessed, Heavenly Father has given me so much <3 I am already planning my next trip!
After the temple and lunch with everyone at Dion's Pizza, we went shopping! My AMAZING aunt Caren and uncle Marcum offered to buy all my mission clothes. We got A LOT of fabulous things and had the best time together. My mom tells me I'm going to be the best dressed sister there ;)