Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Will you still love me if i come home with fleas??

Hola mi familia! Yup that is right, I have discovered it is absolutely certain I will get fleas on my mission! Who would have thought? Aparently most of the missionaries apts are fine but the members and investigators are not. To be honest, I am far more terrified about the spiders that will be sharing my bed with me next week... bring on the fleas if I can stay away from the spiders:)
This was a great and eventful week yet again! So first off, a great ´nobody understands my spanish´ moment. Last wed after I emailed we were supposed to teach Rudy. So as we were walking out, I asked my Mission Pres here how to ask if Rudy was here. He told me and I said the exact phrase to one of the other guards. They all acted like they understood me perfectly so I was pretty pleased... well next thing we knew the same guard was trying to let us out the back gate of the CCM thinking we wanted to leave the CCM. Maybe this doesnt sound funny, but trust me it was!! How in the world did they get we want to leave from me asking is Rudy here?? Who knows!! Thankfully one of our latina friends was with us and she explained what I really wanted. Sadly he wasnt there and there was a misunderstanding. But we all had a good laugh that the guard thought we wanted to leave the CCM... out the back instead of the front!
Thankfully I got to have a redeeming moment with my spanish. We got a surprise on Monday and learned that we would be going contacting. They had told us we wouldnt because they are trying to implement the MTC program here. Our pres thinks it is way too good of an opportunity not to so we got to go!! I got to experience for the first time their bus system:) Took me back to Michigan being stuffed on the bus to the point that you had absolutely no where to move... good old days:) The only difference is these buses are smaller and I think more people stuffed into a smaller space. It was pretty funny and I loved every minute! This time Hna Parker and I went by ourselves... and let me just say SUCCESS!!! We got eight addresses and phone numbers, gave out two book of mormons and like 14 pamphlets. It was so fun and I cant wait to do it for real. Here it is hard because we just hand them off to other missionaries and have no idea if they actually get contacted. One lady that Hna parker gave her BOM to was so sweet. She talked with us for 10 or so minutes and as we were getting ready to leave, she told hna parker to take her watch off because it was dangerous... mind you all this was in spanish!!! She was a really sweet lady and she seemed absolutely ready for the gospel! Hopefully they contact her! We had so much fun again and I am getting excited to leave the CCM and be a real missionary. 9 weeks is a long time to sit and do nothing all day but read, study, read, and eat... The first few days will be interesting but I know God will help me move along!
So along with the fleas, some other fun things I have learned I will probably experience. Many of the missionaries in central america only have water in the morning and at night... some of which have no idea when it will turn on so they just pray and hope it turns on when they need it. That is a step up from the missionaries that take showers with buckets:) Doesnt that sound fun?? I am so excited to share my adventures of this beautiful place!
So two other great stories from this week!
First Rudy... he didnt show when we scheduled an apt... we were pretty sad and were SO ready to teach him. But he did show up to the second one (our teacher is really good at the whole guilt trip thing... a skill every missionary learns I guess. I need to start working on it so that when I try to guilt trip I dont feel guilty) Anyway, he came and once again I hardly understood anything. I am telling you, he speaks different than everyone else I talk to! Anyway, long story short because time is running low, we challenged him to baptism and he accepted!!!!! I havent even left the CCM yet!! Anyway, we couldnt do a date with him because he needs to get married and I have learned that is the true issue here. Nobody is married! We are going to talk to him about that tomorrow and hopefully he is open. He started crying during the lesson after wed challenged him to baptism. It was such a neat experience. I also bore the strongest testimony yet about how he wont be tempted above what he can handle. For the first time ever, I threw spanish out the window and just started talking to him... in spanish of course but I didnt care if I didnt know a word. I just kept going and every time I needed a word I just asked my teacher. It was great and I pray and hope it touched his heart. Satan is definitely working on him and I pray he will have confidence that he can overcome!
Second... really awesome really fast!! Last night we had an AMAZING devotional. Our pres was telling us a story, reading from pgs of his missionary journal. He had some friends visiting and they had born their testimonies at the beginning. Then at one point while reading his journal, he asked the man to come up. There were these two amazing men standing next to each other, my pres began to cry and we learned that he converted his friend while on his mission. It was such a touching story and for the first time I didnt use the translation head phones. I didnt understand his friend, but it is amazing how the spirit can touch your heart even when you dont know the language. It was such a great experience and I am so glad I got to hear it before I leave.
I LEAVE!! OH MY GOODNESS! I leave Tuesday really early in the morning. I think I spend the first night in the mission home and then off to my area:) I am NERVOUS but I know I can do it and cant wait to start teaching the gospel!!! I have heard I will get to email one more time here before I leave. I think Monday afternoon or morning maybe. Anyway, In one week I will be an actual missionary!!!! It is going to be an adventure of a life time and I cant wait to share it with you! I hope everyone is doing well!! I miss you all and I am sad I missed Jordans setting apart as an Elder but I am SO SO excited for him! Everyone at the CCM knows it:) I love the CCM! My pres here and all the people, I am sad to leave but I know that I will fall in love with Xela too and that I will love the people I meet there. I have heard that my mission president is great! I am excited to meet him!! Keep me updated! Congrats meg on your job interview! Karli... where is that monthly pic you owe me?? :)
I LOVE YOU LOTS!!!! Talk to you soon!!
Love, Hna Nelson

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Dos Semanas!!!

Hi family!!!
Two weeks from yesterday and I will be a real missionary! HOLY SMOKES! I am getting a little anxious but cant wait!!! It will be an adventure!
This was an exciting week, full of fun events yet again. My comp and I got to escape the CCM again to go to the doctor to get her mole frozen off her back. While there we learned that the missionary who got attacked by a lion had to have his entire arm amputated. Apparently the doctor here looked over him for two surgeries and when the guatemala doctors started talking amputation they sent him to the states. He was at 18 months I believe, so almost done and now his life will be changed forever because of that decision! So sad huh?? Dont worry, I dont plan on getting too close to any lions while I am here in Guatemala.
Second! We taught Rudy!! The security guard! It was so amazing and let me just tell you, I DIDNT UNDERSTAND HARDLY ANYTHING HE SAID!!!! I understood everything my teacher and other latina missonary said, so everything I said was based off of their comments to him. He talks really fast and clips off the end of his words. It was great though because the spirit was so strong and it was amazing sharing my testimony to him in spanish and telling someone who doesnt know, that I know that God lives! So neat!! We were supposed to teach him on Saturday but we didnt because when he showed up, they needed him to work so he had to work. He supposed to come today too so hopefully he will show! He is amazing and we are really sad that we wont realistically be able to follow through with him. He has read from the book of mormon and read three pamphlets now! We are so excited but know, we will have to pass him off to missionaries in his area. His home is 45 minutes away from here so that would be better for him.
Other news, I was sick again on Saturday!! I slept for like 18 hours and I think I was more deeply asleep that day, than I have ever been in my life! It was nuts! I got up thinking we were going to teach Rudy, ate dinner and went to bed for another few hours, read my scriptures for a while and then went to bed for good. I had some really sharp pains in my stomach, but I got another blessing and I am fine now, with the exception of a head cold:) It is absolutely impossible to contain germs in this place! I dont feel sick which is great, so now I just need to be able to breathe and we will be good!! I think Heavenly Father is helping me get it out of my system here:) That is what I am banking on anyway!
I met an Hna that is going to Hna Parkers mission. She said that the previous week she walked 47 miles and that that was nothing compared to what she walks when she isnt in the city... 47 MILES!! Holy smokes... this whole 9 weeks sitting in a class and eating all day is going to an interesting adventure in two weeks:) So... those of you who feel inclined to send a package... please send a pedometer!! I cant wait to let you know how much I walk! I also heard today that the latins gain a lot of weight and that the nortes loose a lot... I am still banking on that, because gaining weight isnt an option!! I finally started telling the cooks más pequito!!! (less) I need to be able to walk in two weeks! Also, I could use more mints, who would of thought those would be so desireable. I am sure I can buy some here but if you have room, send me some! Also, make sure you send everything and anything to my mission at this point, or I might never see it!
So on a funny note, let me paint a picture for you. One of my comps came out of the bathroom and it wouldnt flush... clogged. Now imagine me talking to the man at the front desk trying to describe in spanish what the word for plunger is... it was SO funny and dont you worry, he got it after a few minutes:) That is my favorite part about my broken spanish, we all have a party when I start trying to explain things in spanish. All my comps enjoyed watching me think of words that would help him understand. Another funny note, there is an Elder here from Ohio! When I was sick, my companion accidentally asked him if he was from Michigan. You can imagine his response... DONT EVER say that again! I didnt witness it but it was so funny! Later I told him I went to U of M and he told me hed have to think about whether or not we could be friends. He hasnt talked to me when I have seen him so I think I got the answer:)
We listened to a MTC devotional from Elder Holland last night and it was so good! He made an amazing analogy between studying and tuning an instrument. Of course I loved it!! There was a musical number in the devotional and the cellist tuned right before performing. Elder Holland asked him why he didnt just do it in the morning and later led into this amazing idea that when we teach, we must tune up until the very last second so that we give the performance of a life time every single time. We need to perfect our teaching up until the last second and never stop tuning... aka teaching. I loved that so much!! It was a very powerful devotional and it helped me to see that the apostles and first presidency are behind me 100%. I think Sammy might have been there when he gave it... I am not positive, I cant remember when she left.
Speaking of which, mom will you get me her address so I can write her? I am not allowed to email her, so I need her address so I can start handwriting her letters. I cant wait to tell her about Guatemala adventures and hear about hers. Mom will you forward her emails to me when Toni sends them to you?
Sadly I am out of time, really truly, start praying that I get more time in the mission field!!
Anyway really great quote about the savior that I wanted to share: La razón porque Jesucristo fue perfecto es porque sabía quien era y porque estaba aquí... basically means the reason Christ was perfect is because he knew who he was and why he was here... it applies to all of us and I loved it! I LOVE spanis so uch! The scriptures are so much more simple in spanish and I cant wait until I understand them completely. Often times I will read a scripture in english and if it is confusing I will open my spanish scriptures and more often than not the scripture makes more sense. My teachers are amazin and so are the people here. I am learning a lot and have two weeks and counting before I am out in the real world. I love you all SO much and pray for you! Please update me! I love hearing about your days and everything that has happened. Until next week! I LOVE YOU!!
Love, Hna Nelson

Monday, August 22, 2011

HOLA!! 3 weeks to go in the CCM!!

Hola mi familia! This has been a crazy eventful week!! So much to tell you and 30 min is just simply NOT enough time! I have heard rumors that we have more time in the field. I pray and hope so!
(the Enter button works this week!)
So one of the highlights this week was a package of letters and goodies from my ward in Michigan. It made me SO happy and I loved hearing from people. Congrats Chalsea and Jake, Dana and Barry... and all you others getting married soon!!! MIKE AND KATE!! OH MY GOODNESS!!!! I called it:) Ok probably not really, but I am so happy for you! SOMEONE NEEDS TO KEEP ME UPDATED MORE OFTEN!! I need to know the Hill Street happenings! The letters were such a happy surprise and blessing and they only took 8 days to get here! That was exciting! Mail and packages are always unexpected and a pleasant surprise. Hna Lawson, hna in my room, got some dr pepper from her mom this past week and almost started crying... it was priceless! She also got grahm crackers and frosting which was a great surprise and we all enjoyed it!
Guess what we had for lunch this past wed?? Cafe rio salads!! Guatemala style... unfortunately I was fasting so I didnt get to try but I was informed that they were really good!
Other exciting news... my comp and I have been called to be the Coordinating Sisters! (Similar to the assistants... Zach and Karli can explain I am sure) We are so excited about it and so excited to help the new sisters feel welcome and to serve our mission pres and wife. They are FANTASTIC! We love them so much and always enjoy our time with them!
Tomorrow, we are teaching a REAL investigator... in SPANISH! We are nervous but so excited! His name is Rudy, I think I told you about him last week, but he ended up having to work so we rescheduled. We just saw him and he is still planning on tomorrow so that is exciting! He is a security guard here and full of life. Hopefully our lesson will go well!!
Today we had an amazing day! We go to leave the prison as some call it:) I dont quite feel that way, but it could very quickly... we arent allowed to leave the walls of the CCM except for when we are going to the temple or our CRE teaching practice. Today they took us to the Mapa de Relieve... I think that is what it is in spanish. It is the first wonder of guatemala!! Cool huh? It was really neat and I LOVED it! Quetzaltenango is surrounded by volcanos which is pretty cool! There is one that is a water volcano that apparently if it goes off, all the surrounding ones will too... sounds fun huh? Oh and ps... did you know that Guatemala has tremors on a regular basis in their winter months?? We have felt a few since we have been here... not big at all, but the ground does shake. New experience!! So one of the members of the mission presidency here took us to the map and explained all the places scholars believe the book of mormon took place! That was SO neat and if we ever come here and go see it, we will HAVE to study and figure out the different places or take a member scholar with us because it was so interesting! After we went to the Relief Map we went to a mercado (market...) It was just like the ones in mexico but WAY more people stuffed into the area. It was a little nerve racking to be in public, stressing about people stealing money and stuff, but still fun. I bought some earrings and attempted to bargain... mom could have done a much better job. It is also difficult because we have to do the exchange in our minds from Quetzales to dollars. That is when I wish we carried phones... I miss my calculator... That was really fun and we got to see a food market too. They had EVERYTHING! Avecados, raw beef (you all know I loved that part) including the workers dealing with it WITHOUT gloves! That sure grossed me out, as you can imagine! I didnt buy too much but when I am getting ready to come home, I would love to go back to get souvenirs! After the mercado we went to a mall/museum... OH MY GOODNESS!!! Their mall is 100 times bigger than ours!! It was crazy and we definitely realized Guatemala City is VERY developed. They still have lots of poor people and poor living conditions in some areas but this mall was GIGANTIC! I dont remember if I told you but because of weight I had to ditch my shampoo and conditioner and today was the first chance I have had to buy more. You will all appreciate that Guatemala is already humbling me... maybe Megs will be the only one to appreciate but I have been using Head and Shoulders! Not that that is bad of course, just not my favorite pick:) So I got some stuff today and probably paid way too much for it since it was in the mall, but at least I have some of my own now, because the head and shoulders wasnt even mine! It was one of the sisters who left!
So because Hna Parker and I are the coordinating sisters, we had to move rooms. The CCM is in the shape of an L. One side is for the missionaries and the other is for members who come from far away to go to the temple. We moved into the members housing because there are too many sisters to stay in the CCM. There are 6 of us to the room and only one shower so that will be interesting... Hopefully we will be in two different groups so we dont have to get ready all at the same time. Things are good, the schedules here have been so crazy and that is why our emailing is a different day. To my knowledge we will email on Wed again next week but we really never know!
I hope you are all doing well! I miss you all and pray for you everyday! I leave the CCM three weeks from today and will be a real missionary! HOLY SMOKES!! I love you all so so much and cant wait to hear what everyone has been up do! Happy belated Birthday megs! Did you get my card?? I hope so, I wasnt sure if you are still in Utah or AZ but I sent it to Utah! I love you all! Talk to you next week!! I might be able to print off emails in the morning, so write me:) and hopefully I will be able to get on and print them off and write responses! PLEASE PUT YOUR MAILING ADDRESS!! Or I cant write a response! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!
Buenas Noches:)
Love, Hna Nelson

This is Megan :) to anyone following this, if you would like something to be passed on to erin at any time.. just comment on a post and i will make sure she knows what you said :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Semana Cinco :)

Hola family!! Holy smokes it has been an eventful week!! it is a tiny temple! From the outside it looks really big actually but on the inside the rooms are pretty small. We did our session in english and will again this week but i think after that they will be in spanish. It is crazy and i cant wait to see how much i can get in spanish! There are so many people at the temple every day that it is open. Families with children of all ages!! Cute little boys in adorable suits and little girls in gorgeous winter coats. (yes they think its winter here... it is more like fall in Michigan) I love it though! We talked to a few real people (not CCM employees) and the older people are difficult to understand. they dont finish their words and have a pretty heave accent. I am sure it will come with time though... I have also learned that i will probably pick up on some Cetche while i am in Xila... you should see the BOM in Cetche, it is HUGE!
So! I was way sick on sunday! Something has been going around the CCM and everyone has been sick in some way or another! i had really bad aches and my comp was really nautious. I spent basically the entire day in bed and i havent done that in forever! It was nice though and i feel so much better now. while i was sick and half zonked i killed my first bug!! Zach and Karli imagine the reaction to the spider in judy's kitchen before my faerwell, combined with drugs in my system and you have the moment. It was a cockroach or something like it! First i threw my shoe, next i got up and tried to step on it but missed, and last i was screaming as i finally killed the thing! My comp was very entertained... i was also screaming the whole time and I'm in trouble!! The bugs are going to be HUGE in Xela compared to this one! oh well, i will just have to cope :)
We went contacting this past week and i LOVED it! Real people, real contacting, real missionary :) just to paint a picture.. it was pouring rain (the kind of rain in michigan when the drops aren't very big and yet you are still soaked!!) At one point i got sprayed by a passing car so the next time we came to a skinny sidewalk all three of us were running to avoid being hit by water, giggling all the way! Hna parker was in the back yelling, Oh my gosh! oh my gosh! It was so funny! Anyway, it was originally just going to be me and my comp but luckily a teacher ended up coming with us or we would have died! The teacher was great and told us to say hi to everyone and that is exactly what we did! i gave away my first BOM as a missionary!! His name was Jaime :) it was so awesome and my spanish was so great i couldnt believe it!! i told him what it was about and bore my testimony... all in spanish of course and he actually understood it! in the hour and a half we got 14 peoples addresses that want to meet with the missionaries later and gave away like 20 pamplets. One of the people we gave a Bom to was a maid who works in a house. Here they live with the family they are maids for so that was interesting and something i have never seen before. We talked to a bunch of security guards with their huge shotguns in their hands... that was fun! One man that was totally a golden contact too! His name is Abel, he is in Hna Parkers mission and said so many people had told him about their churches but nobody ever invited him and we did! So he is going this sunday and hopefully the missionaries will find him and start teaching his family. Hna Parker and i pray for him every day! Another fun experience contacting... we passed this woman trying to fix her car. something was wrong with the battery... our teacher Hna Morales went up to her and asked if she needed help. So Hna Morales moves some wires around and picks the battery up and sets it back down and tells them to start it! Of course since were missionaries, what do you think happened??? It started right away!! We walked away basically yelling... it was DIOS, DIOS!! (God!) It was so funny! Before this day i was starting to regret sending my blow dryer home and not getting a straightener. After this experience of what the life of a missionary is really like, I Quickly changed my mind :) You will get pictures of this great day eventually, but we arent allowed to send pics on the computer so i will have to wait until i am actually in the field. Ps Mom, you said i only had one more week here... I have three and a half!!! we are in provo for three and the CCM for six. Thankfully i love it here so six weeks is flying by! By the time we came back from contacting, my feet were stained black from my shoes and i truly understand what it means to be a missionary :)
Teaching here is so fun and i love it!! Yestereday i realized that Hna Parker and i have unity that is very unique, we have yet to see any other missionaries that can teach as unified as us. Yesterday we went to CRE (our pretend investigator that is a teacher here) and when we finally got in (she ALWAYS gives us trouble and i basically had to beg her to let us in by promising she would feel the spirit... funny!) and she said right off that she felt like god didnt love her because she had been fighting with her husband. We had planned to teach the plan of salvation and she said we had ten minutes, so i turned to Hna Parker... said ditch the lesson plan and moved forward on the fly! It was so fun and when Hna Parker didnt know where i was going with something, she just smiled (one of her greatest tools) We did so greay and it is amazing how much our spanish has improved! Teaching is my favorite part, but we do it so much that we never have time to reevaluate and figure out what we can do better! it is great though!
Last night was great, we had a fireside from a member of the second Quoram on the 70! It was great and unfortunately we had to use a translator. I can understand basically everything but i didnt want to miss anything! I learned last night that i can probably pick up more listening in spanish that english though... He is apparently really important in missionary work in Guatemala. You will have to look it up and let me know! I dont know what role he has played. I got my second letter today! This time my friend sent it through regular mail and it only took 2 weeks... I know that seems like a long time but mail is a coveted thing here and 2 weeks is fantastic! So i think the pouch is probably faster but i am not positive. If youi mail letters after next Wed make sure you send it to my mission home in Xela. Times up! Jordan, before you leave practice typing so you can type as fast as possible! 30 Min goes by so fast!! I am doing good and am loving my time here. i thank Heavenly Father for Hna parker every day! We laugh and giggle all the time and i love it!! i love you all and i will talk to you next week!!
love Hna Nelson