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 [-]