Monday, December 19, 2011

Hola de Hermana, 19/12/12

FELIZ NAVIDAD!!!  I love you all so much!  Thank you for your prayers!  After Monday I felt a LOT of peace.  Stability.   I have hope.  And I know your counsel and the scriptures are going to help me know how to teach.  

Yesterday Carlos (an abuelo) attended all of church with us, and we're excited he knows an older gentleman in the ward, who is going to start attending lessons with us.  I'm grateful we could meet with the barrio consejo yesterday, and they gave us additional names of members for our other investigators.  I'm very very grateful for Hermano Coyoy, our lider misional de barrio: he and his wife are totally amazing and dedicated to the work of the Lord.  Obispo Paz y Hermano Coyoy feel like the members need to understand the Atonement and the law of sacrifice to be more dedicated to the work of the Lord, and I'm thrilled about working with them to accomplish that objective.

And I've been very grateful for tender mercies throughout this week.  Such as a new investigator, Nicole.  She is about the same age as mis abuelos, and I love her.  I love the little girl I spotted in a bus with a sweet smile looking out the window.  I love the young man Luis who called us after finding a pamphlet Hermana S had given his abuela, and Luis asked if he could buy a Book of Mormon.  Hermana S said out of the thousands of pamphlets she has given out, he is the first to call.  

I have been astounded at how much love I have felt.  If I've felt love like this in the four weeks I've been here, what will 15 months be like?  What will being a mother feel like?  What love does our Heavenly Father and His Son, have for us???!!!  

And God so loved the world, that He gave His Only Begotten Son...

I testify that Jesus Christ came to this world and lived and died for us, His children whom He created, and in whom His Light resides.  Joy to the world that He came, that He fulfilled the Atonement and broke the bands of death through His Resurrection.  Glory be to the Father and the Son that they have provided a way for us to return to live with Them and our loved ones forever as we follow the example of the Son.  Glory be to the Father, and the Son.  I am so grateful.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.


--Hermana Ivy [-]

Monday, December 12, 2011

Hola from Hermana, 12/12/11

Hola mi familia!

I love you so much!  I'm so sorry not to write more in email--it takes so much time to copy and paste and write the President.  I've mailed at least two letters to you, maybe three.  So you should be getting some mail. 

I don't know what to write, except that this week was really hard.  REally hard.  I was more homesick then I've ever been, and I wanted your hugs and to talk with you.  But there were always tender mercies to help me.  Yet please pray for me, that I can receive understanding for how to share my testimony and also how to teach it.  That has been, perhaps more than anything, what is most difficult. 

The temple dedications were beautiful.  We attended all three sessions, and the Spirit of the Lord was strong and sweet.  Elder Anderson accompanied President Uchtdorf, and I loved hearing them.  Elder Andersen spoke in Espanol, and while he knew more vocab and grammer, his accent wasn't any better than mine.  :)  hehe  :)  And Pres Uchtdorf, bless him, struggled speaking with an interpreter.  He wanted so much to speak and declare that often he started speaking again before the interpreter had finished, which didn't do much good because most Guatemalans do not speak NEARLY as loud as Pres Uchtdorf.  :) 

Jesus Christ LIVES!  He is our Redeemer and our Savior!  Because of Him we can have happiness here in this life and forever!  And I know each of you fought a war in the premortal life and succeeded, and you can succeed now as you do the work of the Lord and bless His children!  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I invite you to pray for inspiration how you can invite others to come unto Him this Christmas season.  :)


--Hermana Ivy [-]

Monday, December 5, 2011

Hola de Hermana, 5/12/11

Hola mi familia! 

First, Thank you for your emails!  I'm able to copy and paste them into a word doc and print them, and love reading them!  Even if I don't respond to the details!  Thank you!  Also, Mom, I got your letter from the MTC Nov 29th, and Jane's letter she sent Oct 9 on Nov 29th, and please tell cousin Hazel I got her picture and love it!  (I got it Dec 3).

Thank you for your iPod!  I didn't realize how much I'm grateful for it until yesterday morning when it froze for a bit and we didn't have music.  Thank you!  I can imagine how crazy your power outage for three days was!!!  Way to go to all of you for your service!  And I'm so grateful you are all safe!

Email time is great--I just didn't realize how much time it takes to write to Pres Bautista and copy and paste other stuff...  So I'll copy and paste some from his email and to Mom.  I also am not able to mail my letters to you consistently--when we pass by the national mail office.  I did email a letter to you either Wed or Thurs, and hope to get todays in the mail today or tomorrow.

Candi wasn't able to attend church yesterday, and as such we need to move her baptism date.  Saturday night we called to check up on her and she said her mother's brother had died two hours previously.  We bought some flowers and booked it to her apartment where we were able to meet with her and her mother and her mother's sister (a member).  We sang Families Can Be Together Forever, read Alma 40:11, and sang Mas Cerca Dios a Ti.  Candi was really happy to see us and has kept her reading commitments.  We're excited to meet with her this week and hope more of her family will want to listen.  I'm excited for her.  :)

Usually members feed us for lunch (and then usually meat and no beans :(  ) and we fix dinner.  I've grown to love yogurt and fruit to combat all the white carbs we're fed and also love fast tomato pepper and egg stir frys for dinner.  The blessing was finding that a local bakery chain, Xelapan, ACTUALLY MAKES DELICIOUS CORNBREAD!  I found it about two days after Thanksgiving and couldn't be happier.  I was craving cornbread on Thanksgiving.  :)  We have portable two-burner electric stovetop we use to cook on.  I'm grateful I did so much of my own cooking at college, that's made it much easier. 

Last night we were able to watch the Christmas Devotional broadcast, and I thought about you watching your broadcast too.  And in Dad's email when he talked about you all decorating the Christmas tree, I can hear Peggy Lee singing in my head.  :)  I think my favorite quote from last night was "God doesn't expect us to commit to move mountains, but He does expect us to present to Him our very best." I don't remember if that was from President Eyring or President Uchtdorf, but I loved it.  I also felt touched while watching the wise men make their journey to see the Newborn Jesus.  I felt touched that I too must be willing to make the journey back to Jesus the Christ, no matter how long the way, and be willing to give Him my all. 

I testify that Jesus Christ LIVES!  Glory be to the Father for giving His Only Begotten Son for us!  That through Him we might be saved!  I testify that through Him we may have peace and joy here and now and forever!  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen!

I love you TONS!

-Hermana Ivy [-]

Monday, November 28, 2011

Hola from Hermana, 28/11/11

Hola mi familia!  :)

Estoy muy agradecida!  It's been a great week.  I'll see how much I can get through in the time I have left.  :)

Because mail is so sketchy, we've been told we can email friends!  Please post my email on Facebook and if other people need it, please send it to them via email, not on my blog.

I love President and Sister Bautista.  They are both very kind and inspired. 

My new companera is Hermana S, from Nicaragua.  I'm so grateful to have a Latina trainer!  I'm with her for three months (two transfers), and we are using the new three month training program the Church produced, which includes guidelines and resources for what to study and what goals I should be meeting. Hermana S is very patient with me, and has a gift for being able to explain simply and clearly when I don’t understand.  She often asks me for my opinion and what I want to do, includes me in planning and in teaching, and is happy and optimistic.  :)  I am grateful.  :)  We are in Quetzaltenango City.  

Wednesday through Saturday we spent five hours every day at the Queztaltenango Temple!  It is GORGEOUS!  We were at the end staffing tables with ~6 other Hermanas answering questions and helping people fill out comment forms that would all us to contact them later.  I had some really sweet experiences.  We handed out copies of The Living Christ and The Family: A Proclamation to the World.  Wednesday night before leaving for the temple I grabbed some pamphlets of the Plan of Salvation.  I gave a copy to the wife of a man filling out a comment form, and she started to read it.  About 15 minutes after they left, they RETURNED and asked if I had another copy, which I gave them.  The Spirit was so sweet and strong.  I am so grateful for them and for the guidance of the Holy Ghost. 

Yesterday we taught the first lesson to Candi, a single mother who lives with her brother Leonardo and their parents, Leonardo and (?).  She accepted our baptismal invitation, and we extended Viernes Dec 16 for the date.  She was excited because it is her birthday!  I was grateful to teach the First Vision part and extend the date part of the invitation, and very grateful Candi was blessed with the gift of understanding in tongues with my English!  :)  We had thought her whole family would be at the lesson, and hope to teach more of them this Jueves.

Finally, last night I had a sweet realization that I'm going through a process similar to what I'll be asking all our investigators to do: stop doing that which is keeping me from doing the work of Christ (English), and diligently do that which will enable me to work for Christ (Espanol).  I'm grateful I can ask God for the same divine help I promise our investigators.  

Suggestions for incoming missionaries:
--Quetzaltenango is COLD.  At night the temperatures are similar to Wyoming when we went camping.  Cement houses retain the cold throughout the day.  At night I wear socks, sweats, long-sleeved shirt, my red sweater, my gloves, and my ski hat.  The little blanket from Deseret Book doesn't help a whole lot: I use a thick flannel blanket and another Spiderman fleece blanket from the mission.  I'm also going to buy another blanket today because I've been told it gets even colder Dec-March.  Hermana S and I are opening an area with two other Hermanas, and our apartment was new: no blankets.  The first night I was freezing.  So, I would suggest that incoming missionaries bring their own pillow and blanket (if possible).  I was also really grateful for the cans of beans Mom sent me because it was a couple days before we bought food.  For Hermanas, bring multiple tights.  I wear them every day, and will probably buy a third pair of wool tights.  It gets really cold after about 6 pm, when it gets dark.  The wind also blows a lot, and Hermanas with "shorter" (knee length) skirts have problems... While it would have been nice to fit everything in the two medium bags I brought, I’ve decided to purchase a big duffle bag to replace one of my hardshells.  I hadn't expected to receive so many books in the MTC (a full third of a half of one of my suitcases), and I am ALWAYS going to take both my little blanket and new blanket and my pillow with me in future transfers.  

Mom, I have felt all your prayers.  I've felt the sweetness of the Spirit often and unexpectedly throughout these past few days, and last night I understood that it was because of all the prayers being offered for me.  That means so much.  I can't thank you enough.  I love you!

I testify Jesus Christ LIVES!  He has established His church once again on the earth, with all the ordinances and covenants necessary to return to live with Him and our families forever!

I love you!

--Hermana Ivy [-]

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hola de Hermana, 22/11/11

Hola mi familia! 

I head out to the field tomorrow!  So many mixed emotions.  All but one elder from my district left at 1 pm today for their respective missions, and I feel a bit like I just got separated from my family.  When my latina companera came back to give me hug before she left, I had one of those heart-crack moments where I just started sobbing.  I’ve felt very tender since then.  I’ve grown to love and respect my district so much, and my latina companera (Hermana H).  What has been comforting has been the thought that I can always increase in love!  I’ve grown to love much in just these six weeks--I can hardly imagine what 16 more months of service and learning and saving will do! 

On Friday we had all day training to prepare us to go to the field.  At the very end, our teacher talked to us about raising our vision.  He had a numerical sequence for how if every missionary contacted 10 people a day, with something like a 5 % conversion rate, about half a million people would be gathered in every year!  I felt the Spirit testify that this is truly the Lords work, and is of the utmost importance, and I felt the thrill of catching a glimpse of His work filling the earth.   If I could, I would shout from the mountain tops for young people to prepare themselves to serve in the Lords army starting NOW.  I would plead for married couples to evaluate and plan NOW for how they can prepare to serve as senior missionaries.  There is SO much work to be done, and there is so much that I wish I had done before coming!  Can you imagine how powerful entering missionaries would be if they had grown up practicing being missionaries in Family Home Evening, like teaching five minute lessons from Preach my Gospel, or practicing how to contact in FHE?  I invite you to evaluate how you can be a missionary now, and also prepare for service later, whether as a young elder or sister or as a couple! 

Finally, today we had a departure devotional from President and Sister Steimle (of the CCM).  I recommend you Youtube search a video by Nolans cheddar, about a rat trap and their motto "seriously strong".  It is so funny.  :) 

(here is the link, included by Ivy's brother:

They also should us a clip from the movie Facing the Giants called the Death Crawl.  It was so moving!  The Atonement of our Savior was an act of perfect love.  He has asked us to give him our hearts, and it is when we do so that He is able to work miracles through us!  I testify that Jesus Christ LIVES!  He is our SAVIOR!  He reestablished His church, as was on the earth anciently, through the prophet Joseph Smith.  The Book of Mormon is tangible evidence that Joseph Smith was a prophet: you can read it and pray to God to know that it is true, and I promise that as you seek to know with a sincere heart with the intention to ACT on the witness you receive, you will receive an answer.  I testify that we have a living prophet today, Thomas S. Monson, who is the Lords watchmen on the tower.  I testify that you are a son or daughter of God, and He knows and loves you.  In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

I am so grateful for this opportunity to serve.  I testify that the work of bringing others to Christ and enabling them to be saved and exalted through Gods ordinances and covenants is of crucial importance, and that we may participate in this work no matter what stage of life we are in.  I am grateful for my relationship with my Savior, and I am grateful that this Thanksgiving, I will be working to bring others to the same Tree of Life.

I love you!  I love you TONS! 

--Hermana Ivy [-]

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Hola de Hermana, 16/11/11

Hola mi familia fantastica!  :)

It has been a great week!  I’ll see if I can get most of what I want to say on here before tiempo runs out.  First, Mom and Dad, estoy MUY EMOCIANADA por su trip a Germany!!!  Have a BLAST!  And siblings, I hope you tell me about your adventures while they’re gone

I am leaving the CCM for the FIELD on TUESDAY!!!   (as such, I don’t know if I will get email time next week)  WHOA!  Time has flown!  I can hardly believe I only have 16 months left!  Gah!  I am trying to learn how to best use my time now.  One of the most enlightening moments from this past week is when one of teachers asked us if we’d accomplished our goals for the CCM, and I had this awful sort of realization of "I don’t know.  I didn’t set specific goals before coming here."  That was a MAJOR wakeup call.  And so now I am working to learn and apply how to better set inspired goals and make inspired plans so that instead of just working, I can be diligently focused on ACCOMPLISHING the PROGRESS I must make in order to be an effective instrument in the hands of the Lord.  A lot of thoughts that have touched me have been on this topic this week.  An Area Seventy authority came and talked to us last night, and he said that there are two ways to learn a habit, by obligation or through conversion, and it is ONLY through conversion that we will keep that habit through the rest of our lives.  One habit he talked about is the importance of setting daily goals, and than EVERY DAY following through by evaluating how we met that goal, and then planning for the next day.  This is a habit I want very much, and I commit to learning it by conversion so that I can apply it the rest of my life.  I invite you to do this too!

Mom, the elders and Hermana TOTALLY LOVED the bubbles you sent.  Bubbles have been floating in our classroom for a week now.  That and the Thanksgiving decorations have made our classroom chipper, and much more fun.  The elders love you.  :)

I was called on to give a talk on Sunday in Sacrament meeting.  When I got to the part about being patient with others and their weaknesses, I got choked up.  How on earth can we expect others to want to listen to us, representatives of Jesus Christ wearing His name, if we don’t act, live and love like Him?!  I testify that Jesus Christ lives, He knows you individually, He understands your trials, and He loves you.  We too must seek to understand, love, and help others.  I testify that as we sincerely seek for inspiration, we will receive it. 

A quote I loved from Preach My Gospel, "You can be certain the Lord is pleased when you feel the Spirit working through you"

My favorite language bit from this week: we were walking up the stairs and it smelled like fish.  I told my companion, "It smells como pecados!"  And then we both collapsed in laughter.  It was hilarious.  :)


--Hermana Ivy [-]

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Hola de Hermana, 9-11-11

Hola mi familia!  :)

Como estan?  Estoy muy feliz, porque grammar principios are beginning to click together and I’m learning so much.  :)  I know these emails are short, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have tons I wish I could tell you--its just days, weeks, and now these past TWO months all kind of run together, and I don’t know what to tell you,...  

One of the biggest wake up calls I had this week is we were in a meeting and the teachers played recordings of missionaries learning English, from very low ability to fully functional (though not fluent).  It was the most bizarre experience to listen to the low level missionaries, who are my age, who sound like 3 year olds.  I sound like a three year old when I speak!  And the reason I didn’t feel like a three year old in my French classes is because we were ALL, more or less, at the same level, so all us three year olds could understand each other!  So, so crazy!!!  Hehe, I’m pretty sure M le Prof never ever told us we sounded like toddlers...  He is awesome. 

That also brought a whole new light to the scripture "out of the mouth of babes".  I bore my testimony, en español, on Sunday.  The most rudimentary espanol ever, with hand gestures, and I struggled to communicate.  But the Spirit was so strong.  I testify that the Lord qualifies those He calls, that even though we are weak, simple, mortal, and totally not perfect, when we give Him our hearts He is able to use us to build His kingdom.  That the language of the Spirit breaches all barriers, even that of spoken language.

Please thank cousin Taylor and our other servicemen and service women for me. 

Hermana G and I are having an incredible experience being coordinating sisters.  Our responsibilities have included finding help for unlocking a bedroom door at 10 pm and another locked door two nights ago that resulted in a crowbar, screwdriver, hammer, and a door without a handle at 1015.  It was way funny.  Chiste! 

I LOVE YOU ALL TONS!  Testifico Jesucristo Vive!

--Hermana Ivy [-]

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Hola from Hermana, 1-11-11

Hola mi familia! 

Surprise!  This week we're mailing today instead of tomorrow because we went to market today!  This also means I have no more preparation time other than maybe going to the temple tomorrow, and will probably not be able to write any letters!  Gah!  Lo siento! 

Yesterday your totally awesome package arrived!!!  I could hardly believe the cans of beans!  I’m pretty sure nobody else would have received anything like that.  Thank you!  H, the pumpkin note ROCKED (thank you!), bro, I can’t wait to really read the letter and symptoms of culture shock  (really!  :)  ), Dad, I loved your Thankfuls!  (That is something I never get tired of--your thankfuls), Mom THANK YOU for the note with encouragement and reminder to live NOW, and D, I would love to read a sample of your writing that makes people laugh!  (Dad mentioned it in his letter)  :)


Today we went to a market!  Some things were the same as in India (lots of small booths close together, stalls with gorgeous fresh fruit and burlap sacks full of grains, spices, BEANS, haha, goodies...)  Others were new and different: it was UNDERGROUND, and had GORGEOUS NATIVITY SETS  little figurines in small flatish bowls...  I hope to bring one home, they were gorgeous.  Some were carved from wood, others sewn from cloth.  Also really cool candle stalls, a rug maker...  I loved the sight of a small little boy sleeping on what resembled a yoga mat in a darker corner of a stall near a stack of brightly colored scarves. 

After the market we went to an upscale mall, big and Americanish with an awesome museum.  Dashed trough and saw Mayan artifacts.  Loved a small stone armadillo, learning that women used two bowls for cooking (one to mix and one to bake), a stone carving of a man that looked like he was sticking his tongue out, and small stone statues called "mushroom stones".  I feel the same way I do about the blunderbusses in India.  :) 

I can’t wait to really get to know the people here.  My teachers are so kind.  The Latinas are so humble, strong in testimony, and fun.  :)  Hermana G and I are the new coordinating sisters, so for the next three weeks we are in charge of watching over the 28 sisters!  Huge group coming in--well have 100 missionaries the next three weeks, and will be cramped. 

I’m starting to mispell in English.  I wrote "profet" the other day.

I loved a District testimony meeting we had Sunday.  My heart felt so full of gratitude as I listened to the Elders (all are 19 years old) and Hermana G bear their testimonies.  I am grateful they gave up what they were doing to take time to serve the Lord.  I know we are called to preach His gospel and invite others to come unto Him.  I know the Lord knows and loves us.  I know He is our Redeemer, and that through Him we can be cleansed from our sins, made whole and perfect, and return to our Heavenly Father to not only live with Him but to become LIKE Him! 

I LOVE YOU ALL!  Via con Dios!

--Hermana Ivy [-]

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hola from Ivy, 26-10-11

Hola mi familia fantastico!  or -a....

Oh, this morning we found out that the mailing address in my mission call packet for this MTC isn’t actually through the church pouch mail, but through the Guatemala mail service.  Which helps explain why I haven’t received the package you sent or the written letters you told me about (I’m sad I didn’t get them, but not upset--I’m really doing great and love the emails you sent today)...  I did receive Dads dear elder letter last Wednesday after email time.  So I would suggest sending all written letters and packages to the Quetz mission office.  :)  I have printed off your emails this week and will respond to them in my written letter home.  :)

I’m doing fabulously!  Around last Thursday was another turning point of "I’m back":  happy and positive and focusing on the work.  On Monday Hermana A 1 (one of two twin sisters who are our teachers) took us outside for ten minutos to ponder, and it was one of the most peaceful pondering moments Ive had here.  I was prompted that I have needed to be more grateful, and that as I do so, I will be able to receive the Holy Ghost and, consequently, the gift of tongues more fully.  I am grateful for that prompting, and have been blessed to see the promise being fulfilled already.  :) 

Random--I’ve been hearing Speedy Gonzalez´s "arriba ribba!!!" from Bugs Bunny in my head so often you’d think I was a broken record player, or the random car alarm that goes off outside regularly...

I’ve had frijoles three times since I’ve been here and loved them all.  I can’t wait to eat them more often!  My most favorite new food this week was starfruit juice, agua de carabola, like lemonade but with a floral zip to it.  Turns out the fruit themselves are super bitter too.  :)  Also tried eating mulberries, which look like blackberries on steroids, and liked them a lot. 

Yesterday was AWESOME!  As a group, paired with our Latin companions, we took a bus to the Central Plaza and proselyted/contacted for an hour!  It was great!  I understood more than I thought I would, and spake more than I’d anticipated (even though I sounded like a five year old).  I was grateful for Hermana C who made sure I was included by sharing my testimony.  I gave away all three of our Book of Mormons, and felt that at least two of the people would follow up.  I’ll write more in my letter home.  :)

This morning I had a little epiphany about the Saviors example of exercising faith through positive visualization.  He knew He had to fulfill the Atonement if He was going to save us from physical death and provide a way back to Heavenly Father.  So He ALWAYS talked about the Atonement as though He had already fulfilled it, even though He hadn’t really completed it!  See Mosiah 16:6 and John 16:33 (the last verse of that chapter, talks about be of good cheer He overcame the world).  That was really powerful for me because I realized I need to visualize myself as the missionary God sees I can be.  That really meant a lot to me. 

I love you all tons!!!!!!!    Via con Dios!

--Hermana Ivy [-]

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Hola from Hermana Ivy, 19/10/11

I'm actually in Guatemala!  and I only just learned yesterday how to properly pronounce it!  (Watt-a-mala)  It is beautiful here, not terribly humid and relatively constant nice temperatures, and has rained every day, usually in downpours.  My most-used phrase is "Como se dice?", and I've learned many words, even if I'm still working on stringing sentences together.  The CCM (MTC in Español) is very small, with about 80 students compared to the MTC's 1800ish.  My new compañera is Hermana G, from Nevada, who is going to serve as a mission nurse in Nicaragua!  She is super nice and patient and kind, and I'm grateful to work with her.  Four latina compañeras also live in our 'cuarto', and my latina comañeras that I eat with are Hermana C y Hermana G, from Guatemala y Chile respectively.  They have been patient with how little I speak, are happy to teach me how to pronounce things, and are eager to learn English.  So far they have a VERY hard time making the "i" sound in "icky", and I have yet to come up with a way to teach them how to say it. 

The food they serve us is delicious, though definitely not rice and beans.  I haven’t had the same entree twice.  They actually have served hamburgers, crepes, chicken pie, barbecue rib, and even a curry.  It has been a little difficult eating so much meat, but I'm grateful I now know how to ask for only one thing, or "un pocito, por favor". 

I haven't been really homesick.  What surprised me is how much I've missed our district in Provo.  They are excellent young men and I wish them the very very best.  I'm excited to get to know our current district.

Last week we went to the Guatemala Temple and talked with members there, asking for referrals.  It was one of the funnest experiences I've had!  Mi Español was no bueno, but I smiled and attempted to talk and they understood the message.  And one man actually gave us valid contact information!  I was very happy.  :)

I'm understanding more of what our maestros are saying every day.  That has been encouraging, and I'm excited to be a better teacher.

I want to share some blessings I’ve learned about that come from paying tithing.  In a Provo devotional, the speaker talked about the verses in Malachi 3:11.  In ancient times the Israelite people were totally dependent on what they harvested, and if their crops were devoured they would have died, or the worst possible thing that could happen to their family.  When God promises that He will "rebuke the devourer," He will prevent the thing that would totally devastate our family.  The other promise of paying tithing is that those things we are working for will come to fruition, instead of rotting before ever becoming ripe.

I love you LOTS!  I’m sorry not to type more, the half hour goes fast!  I’ll write more in a letter.  LOVE YOU!

--Hermana Ivy [-]

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Hola from Hermana, 12/10/11 (Arriving at Guatemala MTC)

Hola mi familia!  :)

Guess what, it's possible to (slowly) type on Spanish keyboards!  And I'M IN GUATMALA!  And we did get on the right chauffer bus home (thank goodness for "The Living Christ" in Espagnol on the back window), and I'M HERE!!!  Totally crazy.  I didn't sleep much on the plane, and slept the most deeply I've ever slept during the hour nap we had when we got here.  Grateful for the experiences I had on the way here, meeting Sara and giving her El Libro de Mormon, and for talking with you all! wed is pday
Ustedes quiero MUCHOS!   (If I didn't butcher that....)  :)

--Hermana Ivy [-]

Thursday, October 6, 2011

6/10/11 – Last week in Provo MTC

Hola mi familia!

Next week I'll be in Guatemala!  WHOA!  It really hasn’t sunk in yet, but I am excited to be totally immersed in Espagnol to speed the learning process.  I'm continually reminding myself to be patient with myself...  and just the past 24 hours have actually caught a vision for HOW I can actually study to learn.  So I feel optimistic.  :)

I’m not sure when I’ll be able to call you from the airport...  Our plan leaves SLC to Los Angeles at 8:12 pm, and we leave there to Guatemala City at 12:50 am, and then arrive in Guatemala at 6:28 am.  I’m not sure if I will call you at SLC or in Los Angeles, and will leave it up to you whether or not to send a calling card.  If I don’t have a calling card I assume I just use my debit card? 

Mom, thank you for your packages!  We're going to have the brownies tonight with our district and we want to surprise our district with the salsa and chips later this week.  :)  Thank you also for the items I forgot!  What I don’t need I’ll send back. The written materials and photos are just wonderful.  :)  :)  :)  I got them laminated today--monsoon proof!  :)

Over this past week:
--One of our teachers wrote an example of a "bad" study plan on the whiteboard and I cracked up because it was my plan: 20 minutos El Libro de Mormon, 20 minutos vocabulary, 20 minutos practicing "r"s...  :)  Today I learned some study principles including: use morning study time to prepare for activities to do throughout the day, study a principle in the morning and listen for it throughout the day, keep records of your plans and goals but write what you actually study on disposable materials since it wouldn't be good to hoard them.

--I LOVED General Conference!  PRESIDENT UCHTDORF is dedicating our temple!!!  SO THRILLED!  Our companionship actually squealed when he announced that...  or maybe it was just me squealing and the others were gasping...  I don’t' remember.  A favorite part from General Conf: Matthew O. Richardson's talk about teaching by the power of the Holy Ghost.  A couple days ago I read 1 Nephi 11-> about Nephi's vision of the Tree of Life.  I read it as though Nephi was the investigator and the angel was the instructor.  It was a powerful learning experience!  The main lesson I learned is that the Spirit leads investigators in inspired self-discovery through asking inspired questions and extending invitations.  So, so cool.  Reaffirmed what we've been taught in class.

Also struck by how many times the Exodus came up during Conf.  I reread that story, and was struck by the faith Moses had to stretch out his hand in front of a million people, command the sea to part, and than thought how it must have felt to have needed to wait an entire night for the sea to be parted.  Reaffirmed that patience is a requirement for miracles.

Yesterday we had a workshop talking about the Atonement.  I felt my heart swell with fervent gratitude and felt the sweet love and joy of the Holy Ghost.  I testify that Jesus Christ lives!  He loves us!  And through His Atonement we can be saved, made whole, and be enabled to get back to our Heavenly Father and become like Them.  In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

I love you all!!!  LOTS!!!

--Hermana Ivy [-]