Friday, November 29, 2013

Week Five (Nov 15th-21st)

I promise I'll stop titling the posts that when she gets out into the field.
Emily is doing great. This was her last full week in the MTC, as she flew to Albuquerque the following Monday. More details about that to come :) Now for her letter :)

Wow... okay, what a fast week.  Hmm where do I begin.  

After emailing you, my district went and played fútbol and volleyball.  It was great and lasted about 2 1/2 hours.  And at one point in time, a 6 year old kid joined us in our soccer game (son of one of the workers here on campus).  His name was Antonio and he was really really good at soccer.  But he was also 6.  At one point when I stole the ball from him, i got a ´es mííííííííííííííííaaaaaaaa¨ (it´s mine).  I feel like he got me back later through when he kicked a ball right into my face.  Don´t worry though, I guess I´m so think-headed it did´t really affect anything.

We walked into class to the news that we were getting 2 new investigadores and that we should be happy because we´ll want surprises like that in the field.  So that morning we taught Lugo (new), that afternoon we taught Daniel and Tyler (élderes in my district) and then we taught Raúl (Hno. V).  Ever lesson went pretty well.  When we asked Raúl if he had read, he responded by saying he thought it was optional.  Eh, not exactly....
After lessons, we gathered as a district again and had a demo teaching. Hno. V chose me as the investigador and started the lesson.  At one point during the lesson he asked me if I had done the reading.  Want to guess how I responded?  ¨No hice.  Pensé fue opcional¨ (I didn´t do it.  I thought it was optional) My companions and I about lost it, the elders who understood what had happened during the lesson lost it, and everyone one else was confused.  And Hno. Villanueva´s face was priceless.  First he was kinda shocked, and then he laughed.  And then he taught us how to respond to investigadores when they do read ahead of the lecciones (basically you just read with them, and talk about it with them).  

1 MONTH!!!!  How crazy is that?  

So typical Sunday.  No speaking in church, great devotional and awesome movie.  Devo was one from Oct 2012 right after general conference and it was Elder Bednar about study and get the most out of conference talks.  He used the scripture DyC 68:4 (recognize this one?) and then taught a pattern that can be found.  He taught the pattern of doctrine, invitation and then promised blessings.  If you go through and look at talks, you´ll be able to find this pattern.  What´s also awesome about this, is this is how missionaries are supposed to teach.  So the general authorities don´t teach any different way than the missionaries do.  The movie was the Testament one so it was cool to watch it, thinking about how Christ probably appeared to the Nephites 600-800 miles from here (or closer... who knows?).

Right after the movie and right before dinner, Hno May ran into our classroom and told us that he had a really big surprise for us.  We joined him after dinner (before devo) and he had skype called Victor.  Now Victor is the person we have taught for the last week or so (really it was Hno May but he was borrowing his personality from an old investigador of his).  Well we actually got to talk to the really Victor and it was SO COOL!  We were able to ask him about his process in joining the church and how he felt and everything surrounding that.  The spirit was so strong and it was a really neat experience to get to talk to Victor.  

Funny thing about this day.  We were teaching a lección and I told Raúl to read 1 Corinthians 6:15-16.  I meant to say 1 Corinthians6:19-20, but I was using my Spanish scriptures and when I saw the word cuerpo (body) I assumed I had the right scripture... oops.  Nevertheless, the lección went off as planned and it actually turned out to be a very good lección.

Devo again! And this time we sang.  We sang I know that my Redeemer Lives (Yo sé que vive mi Señor).  And then we listened to Elder Valenzuela and his wife talk about hastening the work.  It was a pretty good devotional.
Oh and today, instead of teaching, we were the investigadores.  It was a great change for once, and it was nice to practice what others might think.

We said goodbye to our maestros. Hno May was leaving to head back to Provo and Hno Villanueva is going to be gone Saturday for a stake conference, so wednesday was my last day with him.  We also got new investigadores, Octavio and Santiago (two other élderes in our district)

Temple again.  Laundry and then packing.  

Tomorrow we have infield orientation, saturday is back to normal classes.  Sunday is sunday and then monday I leave.  

And finally, some pictures!

Emily and her Companas and Hermanas Porter and Baker
 Em with all the hermanas in her branch
 Em with one of her classes. Hermano Villanueva, their teacher, is in the center with the serious expression.
 Emily in front of the sign at the Temple. The sign says The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Mexico City Temple
Even though its not of Em, I had to add this one. She says these blues circles are all over campus, marking the safe spots where people should go in case of an earthquake.

Week Four (Nov 8th-14th)

Sorry this is so delayed! due to that I don't have a whole lot of commentary....

How ya all doing?  This week has been super crazy, I don´t really even know where to start...

First some crazy points
1. Guess who came to the CCM this week.  No one.  We had no new missionaries coming in from the states.  Apparently we´re in a missionary lull right now.
2. Any English speaking  missionary who enters the ALBQ mission the same time I do, entered the provo mtc wednesday.  HOW CRAZY is that?  I have less than 2 weeks left and they´re just starting.
3. Yesterday it was colder here in Mexico than Salt Lake.  Yeah we all froze and broke out the tights, long sleeves, heavy jackets and such.

Thank you so much for Come thou Fount last week! (we sent her sheet music for a hymn, Come Thou Font of Every Blessing)  So I don´t quite remember why I wanted it, but thank you for sending it.  I remember telling some of the Hermanas in my zone that you were possibly sending it and they were so excited.  Because we had the music, the other district was able to preform a musical number in church last sunday.  And I also found out that it is one of the favorite hymns of my branch presidente and so when I came him an extra copy I had printed, he got really really excited because he hadn´t seen it in Spanish.  And then he gave it to his wife and she was really excited too!  It was awesome, so thank you so much!

Okay so this past week;
Friday;  It was pretty much a normal Friday.  We had class, we taught and during exercise time we played foursquare. 

Sunday:  I gave a talk in church.  In typical emily fashion, I had prepared by reading several scriptures and then just writing down 4.  So I then got called on and basically shared a couple of the scriptures and then a story and it was 5 minutes and I was good.  I felt like I didn´t do that great language wise, but everyone else said I did fine, so I guess that means they understood my talk.

Devotional on sunday was really good.  It was by the director of the MTC, Hermano Cates.  We talked alittle about Lot´s wife and the story and how we need to leave our old lives and focus on our lives right now without worrying about the before or the after.  It was a really really good devotional.  Here are some of my favorite quotes
-Faith is always pointed towards the future.
-It doesn´t matter why you came.  It matters what you do now you´re here.
-Stick to your task until it sticks to you for beginners are many and enders are few.
-Life isn´t easy, it´s a test not a reward.  The reward comes after.

And here´s a cute little poem that Hno. Cates quoted from Elder Holland (who may have been quoting something else)
"Come to the edge"
"´Come to the edge.  No we´ll fall.  Come to the edge.  No we´ll fall.  Come to the edge.  So we came to the edge.  He pushed us and we flew"

Sunday night ended with cockroaches.  Or one...  We went to the casa, and as we were going into our room Hna S. saw a cucaracha (cockroach) in the hallway.  After a lot of screaming, I killed it with one of my running shoes and Hna. F cleaned up the mess. We definitely conquered that cockroach.

Monday we picked up 2 new investigadores, Daniel and Tyler, both inactive members who agreed to talk to the missionaries as a favor for a friend.  In reality, they´re both elderes in our district, but it´s a new challenge to think about what they need lesson wise and how to help them.  Monday night we said good bye to Hermanas Porter and Baker as they left for their missions early Tuesday morning.  

The best part about tuesday was the devotional.  This week it was a broadcast from the Provo MTC and it was ELDER PERRY!  It was a great devotional and he talked about we need to love our companions and learn to work with them because it will bless us in our later lives.  Elder Perry promised us that when we get home, we will be in demand because of our ability to communicate with other and because of are ability to look people in the eyes and talk to them.  Elder Perry in the devotional was hilarious and it was great to see a slightly more relaxed side of the apostle than you get during general conference.  Favorite quote from this devotional was "when you are in the service of the Lord, you just can´t keep up."  How awesome is that?  And since devo from Provo we heard about the tsunami and everything that happened.  That was the first we heard about it.  

Wednesday was our last day teaching Victor.  So we´ll get a new investigator next week.  And next week is our last week with one of our teachers, so we currently have 2 in the morning as the transitition out Hno May.  Oh and this past week I was able to talk to Hna Young (someone Em knows from home who is down in the Mexico City MTC teaching spanish).  She´s doing great!

I think that´s the main points of what happened this week.  Everything is going great with my companions and we are getting along great!  My district is wonderful too and I am going to miss them all so much in a week and half when we all head to our own missions.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Week Three (Nov 1-7th)

Finally Updated! You might want to go down two blog posts and read these in chronological order, starting with the first week, then the second and then this post.

Just a reminder that I am new to blogging and I have no idea why some of this is in white and some isn't! I'll have to talk to some of my cousins and see what they have to teach me about Blogging :) Also, my comments during her letters are in italics so that you know it is Mary, not Em.

On to Emily! Another successful and busy week, another letter! Here are some parts:

"So this week was pretty awesome.  We spent the last couple days
teaching our investigadores (investigators) Raúl and Victor.  Teaching them has been
awesome because it´s a great experience to learn how to teach by the
spirit. Sometimes it´s hard going into a lesson having no idea how
it´s going to go, but it´s always a great experience walking away from
the lesson, knowing that you didn´t teach but that the spirit did.  I
feel like we had several of those lessons this week where we were able
to put aside our own lesson plan and then just focus on the needs of
the investigadores.

Oh and last Thursday, after i wrote you guys, my district got together
and played volleyball (and other games) for 3 hours.  We also had a
¨camp fire´around a bunch of candy to celebrate Halloween.  So that´s
how we celebrate in mexico.   Oh and our presidente de rama (Branch president or minister) brought us
mexican candy too.  it was AWESOME!  Good stuff!

So exciting news from the rest of the week. .  Oh and fast
Sunday was interesting too.  We started fasting saturday night and
then finished before lunch Sunday. (LDS members fast the first sunday of every month)
  Oh and relief society was pretty
nice Sunday too.  We talked about patterns in the scriptures and in
the gospel and how if we can learn to follow and identify patterns it
will make it easier to live the gospel.  The pattern that we
identified in class was  the Garden of Eden pattern.  Basically you
live in comfort, but then you are moved into a new experience (like
Adán and Eva were kicked out of the garden) to learn how to grow and
progress in life.  In relating it to a mission, I was in the garden of
eden at home, and then left for the mtc (being kicked out (metaphorically speaking)).  The mtc
has become a garden of eden and soon I´ll be kicked out again (into
the mission field).  And the pattern continues throughout my mission
and life.  We also studied John 15 in connection with this pattern.

Devotional Sunday night was Elder Richard G. Scott, but it was from
April 16, 2013. It was about prayer and was really nice. Something
interesting about prayer and the Spanish language.  As missionaries we
are supposed to use formal language when addressing anyone other than
niños (or the formal version of you or usted).  In prayers, we are
taught you address God using the informal form of you (tú), but this
is because we want to be familiar with our Father in Heaven.  It´s
just different, because sometimes it it´s the opposite in english
because we use more formal words like thee or thine.

 Devotional Monday was by Elder Daniel Johnson and he talked about the first principle of the first
missionary discussion-  Dios es nuestro amoroso Padre Celestial (God
is our loving Heavenly Father).  Elder Johnson talked about teaching
this priniciple and how it´s important because so many people have a
different view of God than we do.  He challenged us to go home and to
pray about 5 specific questions.  1) Heavenly Father, do you really
exist? 2) Do you really have a body of flesh and bones? 3) Do you know
that I exist?  4) Do you know my name? and 5) Do you really love me?
Elder Johnson promised us that if we prayed sincerely about these
things, we would receive and answer that would change us and our
missions.  And while, you guys aren´t on missions, I think it´s
something to pray about too.  My teacher the other day said that
´faith has a short self life´ so we need to continually working on our
faith and praying.

 Oh and something awesome is that I was able to buy
a children´s song book when I went to the temple today.  So that was
super exciting and I can´t wait to go use it!

The weather here is wonderful!  I love it.  like I said last week,
mornings are a little chilly, but most days it then warms up again.
Everyone in my district has been sick and so I´ve caught a little
something, but I´m working on keeping it maintained so I don´t get
super sick (yay super Cs and zinc and airborne). "

 She loves it!! As a family we miss her quite a bit but shes serving the Lord and we know that she is where she needs to be. We love her and are grateful that we get to share her with the wonderful people of Albuquerque. And now for some pictures!

Top Left: The Mexico City LDS temple, where Emily has the opportunity to visit while in the MTC
Top Right: A poster made by Em and her companions, talking about the Church and their purpose
Bottom: Emily and her companions, hermanas Feigel and Schumacher, as well as another companionship, infront of the Temple.

If you have any questions about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, please ask! You are welcome to comment on any post, talk to any missionary you see, or check out these websites!

Week Two (oct 25-31st)

Almost up to date! Here are parts of her letter from week 2:

"On Thursday Carlos (our investigador who we finished with Wednesday) became Hermano Villanueva, and is now our afternoon teacher.  This is great because in the manañas we have Hermano May (from Provo MTC) and then we have Hno Villanueva in the afternoon so we´re getting good practice with the language. 
Saturday we did service and helped out cleaning the seminary building, or the church building, getting it ready for church on Sunday.
Sunday night we had the opportunity to listen to Elder Steven B. Allen~ the managing director of the mission department for the Church.  He came down and talk to us about how Satan pushes our buttons and tries to make us quit, feel inadequate or discouraged and how we need to stand up and endure to the end.  He shared Alma 26:27-35 as an example of good missionary work, because they continued even though there were discouraged.  And he also talked about obedience and using common sense as a missionary because we are representatives of Jesucristo (Jesus Christ) and Dios (God)
Tuesday (pizza night and devotional) we watched an old devotional of Elder Holland.  He used the story in John 21 when Jesus came and visited the apostles after his death and told him to ´to feed his sheep´.  Elder Holland talked about how we have been called and that we are supposed to feed this sheep.  This is my favorite quote from the devotional
'You can´t go back. You´ve left your nets and you´re going to feed sheep."
After devotional is when we got together as a district and talked about the devotional and bore testimonies to my presidente de rama y su esposa y primo. (Branch president/Minister and his wife and cousin)
Tuesday night we also had our first night in the TRC or (CRE en español).  That is when we teach volunteers.  It was a good experience to teach someone who isn´t a teacher.  Oh and this week too, we started with two new investigadores- Victor and Raúl."

She is having a good time, and not missing her little sis too much :) Here are some pictures from that week:

 L: Emily and a friend of hers from BYU, plus a chef from the kitchen. Em says he makes good food :)
R: Em and her district, or the 3 hermanas and 8 elders she talked about in her first letter, standing at the front of the MTC (CCM in Spanish)
Above: A Mexico city street, Em loved seeing the hills and all the houses! she says its a beautiful area.

Questions about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints? feel free to comment on any post and ask! or, try these websites

Her First Week! (October 16th-24th 2013)

Wow this was awhile ago. I am so sorry the blog has not been updated, I will do better. I'm going to be mostly posting her letters here, however if I need to interrupt them to insert something in, I will do so in italics so that you know it is not her words, but mine (Mary).

The day she left we got an email just before bed, saying

"I safely made it to the CCM! (MTC or missionary training center in Spanish)  Flights where very uneventful and I mostly slept the whole time.  Probably the best part of flying was when I was transferring planes and knew I was in the right place because of all the elders I could see.  I´d say there´s probably close to 20 elders (Male missionaries) and only 4 of us sisters (female missionaries) that came in on the flight from Atlanta.

From what I saw of Mexico, it is beautiful!  I love it.  It is huge though, but really colorful.  Driving through was different too because while it was beautiful, you could also see the poverty.  Buildings really close to each other, crowded buses, buildings that seem to be built on top of each other.  Very different than Bellevue and Seattle.

The CCM is beautiful too.  It´s dark now, but I can already tell how pretty it is.  Since coming in, we have received our welcome packets and information about our stay.  It looks like my p-day (preparation day, or the day when the missionaries have the chance to email home, do laundry and such.) will be Thursdays so the next time I´ll write will be next Thursday.  Tomorrow is when I start everything else, like orientation and tours.  Oh and I finally received my NAME TAG!!!  So stoked for that to happen."

Clearly she was enjoying everything :) The next Thursday we got another email, Here is some of it:

"So after writing you guys, I got to head to my room and meet my companions (yep! i have two!).  Hermanas (Sister in Spanish) Feigel and Schumacher.  Hermana Feigel is from California and is headed to San Antonio Texas and Hermana Schumacher is from Minnesota (she´s headed to Vegas).  They are awesome and are great and we have had no problems. 
So the first night was kinda hard.  Um the drive in was awesome (you could probably tell from my last email).  And then i headed to my room.  Hermanas live in Casas (houses) and so it´s just me and my compañas in one room.  We have our own bathroom.  And even better, there´s a laundry room in the casa too.  But back to the first night, well I made my bed and was feeling alittle down so I tried looking for the scripture mom shared the night before (Dy6:23.  Read it, because it brought me a lot of peace that first night.

C 31), but couldn´t find it.  And just as I was about to give up, I flipped the page in my scriptures and my eyes fell across DyC 
Basically this was our orientation day.  We met our district, our teacher and then went through the rules and regulations at the CCM.  In my district, there are 3 hermanas (so just me and my companions) and 8 elders.  Basically we spend all day together in classes and stuff like that. 
Our normal schedule is getting up at 6:30, in the class by 7, breakfast at 8 and then back in class at 8:30.  Then from 8:30-11:30 we have class with our teacher, Hermano (Brother in Spanish) May.  These classes can be language based, scripture/doctrine based or he works with us one on one while other groups study or prepare lessons together.  At 11:40 we have excerise time until 12:30 and then at 1 we have lunch.  At 1:45 we get an hour on the computers to work on TALL, a technology based language program and then at 2:45-3:30 we have additional study time.  From 3:30-6:30 we either teach someone, work on lessons with companions or have other classes, depending on the day.  Dinner is at 6:30, language study time starts at7:15, more personal study starts at 8:15 and then at 9, companionships plan for next week.  9:30 we head back to our casas and at 10:30 it´s lights out.  And sometimes, 10:30 doesn´t seem to come soon enough.  It´s crazy how fast the days seem to go around here... but yeah, it´s a lot of studying.
We taught our first lección in español on Friday (so my second full day in the CCM).  It was a different kind of experience, but wasn´t absolutely horrible.  My companionship taught Carlos and mostly, Friday was getting to know him and answer the questions he had. (In the MTC or CCM, member volunteer to act as non-member investigators in order to give the missionaries practice at teaching someone who has no background knowledge of the Gospel, or even Christ. It allows the missionaries to learn how to really teach from the very begining. Carlos is an example of one of those volunteers.)
Saturday- basically just the same as Friday.  We taught Carlos again and we thought that the second lección went pretty well.  Oh and as a side note, outside the CCM there was a feria going on this week (street fair) and will the street fair there was a mass starting every morning at 5:30.  So cada manaña fuegos artificales (every morning fireworks) went off at 5:30, and then at 6:30and then throughout the rest of the day.  Luckily they have kinda died down a bit so that´s been good, no more being woken up at 5:30 by fuegos artificales. 
So it started off with personal study (as always) and then the hermanas had relief society (a sunday school for just the women).  Then the whole district met up for district meeting (like sunday school) and then we had sacrament.  Every week, we have to prepare a 5 minute talk (sermon) (in español), that we might end up giving in Sacrament meeting (the sermon part of a LDS meeting) (the presidente de rama (minister) may or may not call on you).  Well it just happens that the CCM president happened to be in our branch (rama) this week.  And it also just so happened that the elders that spoke didnt´t speak in español.... So after they all spoke, we had a talk by Presidente Pratt on being obedient and following the rules to speak and prepare our talks in español.  Don´t worry- I didn´t speak, but my talk was in español.  And then, later that night, at 8, instead of studying more, it was movie time!! We watched the Legacy. 
Typical CCM missionary day.  Study-eat-study-exercise-eat-tall, you get the picture.  
We as a companionship decided to study, pray and think about what to teach Carlos.  At some point in time, we decided to prepare a lección (lesson) around the concepts of the Articles of Faith, because our purpose in the lección was going to try and get to know carlos better.  Well we get into our lección and we start asking him about different things that are going on and ended talking about something else completely different.  It was a true testament to me, that we are doing the Lord´s work, not our own, because we taught what needed to be taught to Carlos, through the Holy Ghost (espíritu santo).  We were able to teach to help Carlos with his problems and forget about our own agendas to help him understand better that he is a child of God and that someone out there is watching out for him and cares for him.
We also had a live devotional this night and it was awesome!  Elder Johnson of the seventy spoke to us about missionary work and working with the wards once we get out into the campo misional (mission field). 
So weird to think that a week ago I had left home...
Today was our last lección with Carlos and we taught him about the Atonement (la expiación) of Jesucristo and how he could apply it to his life.  We focused more on how la expiación worked with sufferings and pains than with sins, because we felt that was the answer Carlos needed to hear.  It was another great lección with the Spirit being strong.  Wednesday was also pizza night and the day newbies arrived.  We´re no longer new missionaries!

Hoy (today)-  Well it´s cleary p-day because I get to write, but what was awesome about today was that we also got to go to the TEMPLE!! It was awesome.  We get to go at least 2 or 3 times.  The first time we get to use translators and English if we need to, but I opted to go completely in Spanish.  It wasn´t bad at all!  And the temple is beautiful and amazing! It is so nice to know that where ever you are and what ever language you´re speaking the church and the words are the same. 
Okay and some last general information:
 the food here is AWESOME.  It´s like I died and went to Mexican food heaven.  I think that´s the reason I came here, just for the food (I´m kidding, but it really is that good)."

As you can see she just loves it! You can also tell that shes getting really into Spanish because she accidentally writes half a sentence in Spanish every once in a while :) We love getting her letters and are so happy that she is loving doing the Lords work :)

The Pictures she sent the first week: on the left is her and her two companions, and on the right is EM :) you can see how excited she is for everything! 

Thursday, November 7, 2013


hello friends and family!

i am so very sorry for not updating this! Emily has been out three weeks and there is nothing on the blog! it is due to lack of time/family discussions/forgetfulness. however, i will have an update up by Sunday night i promise!! for now, ill just give you a few details.

She made it safe and sound to the Mexico City MTC, missionary training center, (or CCM in Spanish) that night, and we got a quick email just letting us know that.

Since then we have heard lots about her companions, her meals (Mexican Food Heaven as she calls it :)) and what she has been learning. We've also gotten lots of pictures. Her email day is Thursday, so email her by Wednesday night if you want to get anything to her, and often times she will respond by snail mail to emails as she does not have a long time to be on the computer.

More details soon!!