Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Week Tres!!!

Mi familia!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOLA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! so. um. I am a missionary. Weird huh? Sometimes it just doesnt seem real to me... But yeah. Hermana Goudie here. Going on week 4. Oh and Happy Halloween everyone! They dont really celebrate that here but they do have Dia de los Muertos on Noviembre uno y dos. So thats cool. Excepto I probably wont get to try their signature pan de la muertos. Which is supposedly really yummy bread that they make for this holiday. For those of you that no entiendo espanol dia de los muertos means day of the dead. Weird right? They celebrate the dead people. Oh Mexico. How I love you. }
So I actually had a WAY cool experience this week that really made me realize that I really am a missionary! We had a sub for our morning class because mi maestro (teacher) Hermana Coleman decided to go out and hike some waterfalls or something cool like that. The teachers like to brag about how they can leave the walls of this place while we are trapped inside for 6 weeks with no way out! Just kidding we get to go out every other P day to go to the temple which was today by the way and it was great ;) And Im kinda making it sound like its bad being trapped here and thats not necessarily what I mean. I love it here! Its just sometimes I wish I could go hike to some cool waterfalls or go see Wicked! Yeah thats right. They had a touring company of Wicked come here. And yes. It was in Spanish. And yes. My other teacher Hermano Smith went out and saw it. NOT FAIR. So... back to my long lost story. Our sub had us go out during our class time and go and give a little message about Joseph Smith to whoever around the campus. It could be other missionaries or other teachers or workers or whoever we felt like needed to hear it. Right before we left she said not to be afraid to ask for a reference and have them write down their name and address. Like a family member that they might have that wanted to hear about the gospel. Our sub also said that there are a few workers here that arent members. So Hermana Murri and I go a walkin down the street and see this worker with his head down inside the ground digging at who knows what and we both knew. This is who we had to talk to. So... we walk up to him and I dont even think he knows we are standing there until we say hi and then he finally pulls his head out of the ground. We ask how hes doing and tell him we have a message about Joseph Smith for him and at the end of the message I asked if he believed in what we were saying. He said that hes not familiar with Jose Smith. We didnt know if he was a member or not so Hemana Murri then asked if he was a member. He said no. We then asked if he believed in God. He said yes. We asked if he had a Book of Mormon. He said no. We testified of the Book of Mormon and then of Joseph Smith and then asked if we could have him write down his name and address so the missionaries here could teach him more about the gospel and the Book of Mormon. He said YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am a missionary. And his name is Juan. Me gusta Juan! I dont think you are actually say me gusta with people but Im saying it anyways. I was so excited! It was so cool. And yes this was all in Spanish. Broken spanish mind you but spanish nonetheless. It just really hit me when I was actually teaching a real person named Juan. All of our other teaching happens with our teachers who are pretending to be someone else. But Juan! HE WAS REAL!!! And we told him about Joseph Smith. HOW COOL?????? Being a missionary is the best!
So now to just the random events of the week. Dad thank you so much for that Tide to Go! It has saved me multiple times but more than me the Elders in my district use it EVERY. MEAL. Seriously. Its almost gone though :( I guess I should stop letting the Elders use it... PING PONG! Its the best sport ever. During gym mi companera likes to play basketball or soccer but honestamente I just would rather play ping pong. Todo el dia cada dia ;) The other day I played with a bunch of nativos and it was just great. I beat a lot of them. Im just pro is really all it is. And Im super humble about it too ;)
This week we had our first TRC which is where members from Mexico (occasionalmente there are non members that come if they get talked into it) and we go in as companionships and teach them with whatever. Our purpose it to invite others unto Christ so we usually just find out if they are struggling with anything and share a scripture or two with them. It was scary but good. My companion is the at Espanol and I dont know what I would do without her.
Another game us missionaries find interesting here en la CCM is this game called What are the Odds. So what you do is think of something super embarassing like What are the Odds you will trip up on the stage during a devotional in front of everyone while walking up for your musical number (one elder had to do that it was funny) or come up with some disgusting concoction at dinner with whatever there is and say what are the odds you will drink this? Anyways so then you have to pick like 1 to 10 or 1 to 5 or 1 to 50 if you really dont want to have to do it and then someone counts down from 3 and at the same time you and whoever is challenging you has to say a number between whatever numbers you previously decided to do and if you say the same number you have to do whatever you were playing for. Does that make any sense? Anyways so Hermana Murri did it to me the other day and I had to eat whatever Hermana Pettit was eating off of her fork every time she went to take a bite and she didnt know what was going on. It was hilarious. Tonight hermana Murri has to make a necklace out of fruit loops and wear it around. Haha :)
The other night Hermana Bain and I had a race down our hall in our casa with cardboard boxes. It was great. Oh and we got natives in our casa today! So cool! Except they speak so fast I cant understand what they are saying! But there are 4 of them and they are so cute! My districts musical number went really well! So funny story. You know how randomly on Sundays they call out 6 people to speak. So I had a lesson planned and whatever. But right at the last second before Sacrament started Hermana Pratt and President Pratt (The President of the MTC) walked into our branches Sacrament (keep in mind there are only about 30 people in my branch and a lot of them have already spoked and I havent) an Elder in front of me then turns around and says Good luck. You are speaking today. I saw your name on the program. I started freaking out a little bit. But the Elders in my district like to tease me a lot and he was just joking thank goodness. But Pres. Pratt got to hear our musical number. So that was fun!
So on Tuesdays Hermana Murri and I try to only speak Spanish. I forgot to tell you this last week. But last week and yesterday we only spoke espanol. It is so hard but really good practice. Our days are usually a lot funnier those days because we end up saying things we dont mean and not understanding excatly what eachother means and what not. Its great.
Savanna Elder Backus is here. Cody Backus. It was funny I was in the post office because Hermana Murri had to send something and in the window I saw a note that said Elder Cody Steven Backus you have one package. I was like Hey I know him! And I was always trying to find him. Donde esta Elder Backus. But I finally found him. And hes doing great! So this Sunday night we watched the Joseph Smith movie. It was wonderful. I love watching movies on Sunday nights! Oh and the other day I ran a mile in 10 min. Thats right I am getting better. Thats what happens when you have a companion that wants to run like 3 miles everyday. Shes so good at running.
Yesterday because we got natives in our room we were locked out of our room because for some reason they had to change our keys (they are like hotel keys) and so we had to reactivate them and we went back to change for gym and realized they didnt work and the guy that is supposed to change them was eating lunch so we did gym in our skirts for like 45 min. I just played Ping Pong so it wasnt bad but we kept getting weird looks from everyone because we were in the gym in our skirts. Oh well. Who cares right? Yesterday we also had servicio. I dont know if I mentioned this last time but we folded sheets. And guess what we did again for our third time? Fold sheets. Im pretty much a pro folder sheeter (yes its a real occupation in my head) so I should probably work at a hotel when I get back ;) After service we had some time so we played soccer with a bunch of other hermanas. It was just dandy. And hot. Hows the weather there by the way? Its still in the 70s here. Not to brag or anything. There actually was a hurricane a few hours away so it got pretty cold at the beginnning of the week but now its nice and hot again. Just the way I like it. Tuesdays are great. We get pizza from Costco for dinner every Tuesday. MMMMMmmmmm!!!!!!
So today we went to the temple and we had to do everything in Spanish this time. Last time was in English but this time we had to listen to it and say everything in Spanish. Lets just say it was interesting. Well thats it for this week. Love you all. Pictures are on the way. I have to hurry though. Only 15 minutes left. Ah! It is so hard to email everyone I want to in one hour so dont be offended if I dont email you back. Hopefully in the field I will have more time. But I love you all and thank you so much for all the emails and pictures and love you have shown me. Adios amigos!
Love, Hermana Goudie
Elder Bagley and Mi Companera

A cute nativo that left on Monday. :(

Our first real reference JUAN!!!!!!!! The missionaries here in the ciudad
better teach him this week or else... ;)

We got a little fiesty in el bano...

Mi districto es loco!!!

At the temple today with Hermana Pettit and Hermana O very. They live in nuestra casa.
Oh and by the way we sang himnos all the way to the temple today in espanol . It was so fun!!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Week 2 at the CCM!

HOLA mi familia and anyone else that reads this! How are you? I am doing great here :) Having lots of fun :) So last week was my birthday as you know and it was just grand. It started off with the three hermanas in mi cuarto (my room) singing Happy Birthday to me to wake me up. It was lovely. My companera gave me a cute note with a coupon for an ice cream sammy from the tienda. I love those! The elders in my district gave me a cute note with some sour candies from the tienda and also a weird long skinny packgae that was wrapped in normal like printing paper but it was yellow and they didnt have any tape so they used string and sewed it shut. Oh elders. Anyways after the many minutes I tried to open it I finally decided to get out my finger nail clippers and cut the string. Long story not so short it was a cute pink pen from the store that had the CCM name on it. It was so nice of them! Another hermana in mi casa gave me a note with $10 in it! So nice of her :) At dinner the hermanas at my table started singing happy birthday to me in espanol of course and pretty soon everyone in the comedor was singing. It was a bit embarassing. But all is well :) I also played PING PONG again (I usually do everyday. Its like the highlight of the day for me) and I won both games that I played and I even played against Elder Medling who is really good at ping pong and I beat him!!!!!!!! It wasnt until after the game that he told me he played with his left hand for a few minutes... oh well. At least he was being nice to me on my birthday and letting me win although I think it wouldve been a better present if he hadnt have told me that ;)

So teaching here is still really scary for me. A lot of times I dont even know what I want to say in Enligsh let alone Spanish. My companion is awesome at spanish though and almost always can find a way to say what she wants to and have it make sense. Im slightly jealous. Im not to that point yet... but its coming. Slowly but surely. I am understanding more spanish and can write more but speaking is hard for me. Anyways we had our last lesson with Chris (our investigator who is actually our night teacher now) and we committed him to baptism and he said YES!!!!!!!!!! Cool huh? Even though it wasnt real it was awesome to hear and I cant wait to have that feeling with real people who will actually be baptized. It is kinda weird he is my teacher now but oh well. Hes pretty awesome actually. His name is Hermano Smith. When he teaches its awesome. He helps a lot with spanish and grammar and such. Hermana Coleman is more the teacher for spiritual things and Hermano Smith is more for the language in my opinion. But he is fun and messes around with us a lot. My district is crazy! I love them! But we have a hard time staying focused sometimes because we just have too much fun together.

So the other morning at 5:30 in the morning it sounded like WWIII outside. It was a warzone. We sleep with our windows open and you know how I mentioned that bombs (really they are just fireworks but the sound like bombs and for the sake of it it just sounds funnier to say in my opinion) go off a lot here. Its just part of there culture for if someone dies or if there is a wedding or pretty much whatever. It doesnt really make sense to me but thats because I live in Utah not Mexico where people are crazy ;) But they were going off like nothing else this past week and it was so hard to sleep through them because whoever was setting them off was super close to the CCM and it was SOOOOOOOOOOOOO loud! Come to find out they are having this festival thing and the first mass starts at 5:30 in the morning. Who would be crazy enough to go to a mass that early I dont know but they set off like 20 bombs at once and keep setting them off until like 6:30. The best part about it is that the festival lasted a WEEK. It was miserable. But by the end of the week I think I started sleeping through them and we shut our windows so that mightve helped a little bit.

So at gym my companera is muy loco! She loves to exercise. We usually go running but sometimes we do other stuff. But you know how I said that I ran a mile last time in like 12 or 13 minutes? Which is pretty pathetic I realize because my companion laps me like twice every day but I got my mile down to 11 minutes the other day. So 10 minutes is my next goal. And I also play ping pong almost every day. Its great. Oh and we played soccer the other day with some hermanas and lots of elders. I went up to get the ball because it was coming to me (usually thats what you do in soccer incase you didnt know) and another hermana started running towards it and I got to it first and started dribbling it and all of a sudden she like body slams me and I fall to the ground in front of everyone. It was pretty great. and embarassing. But oh well :)

The other day there was a CRAZY thunderstorm! It was lightninging and thudnering (yes I realize those arent words) a lot! And pouring rain. Hermana Murri and I didnt have our umbrellas so we had to run to our casas to get them and we got drenched! I played piano in sacrament meeting on Sunday. That was fun. Each Sunday we dont know who is speaking until right before so we all have to prepare a talk before hand. It can be on anything. But my companion had to speak. Which was weird because there were like 4 hermanas that were there for there last Sunday and they never had to speak... anyways. I hope I dont have to speak this Sunday because my district is doing a musical number. My companion is playing violin, I am playing piano, and the 6 Elders are singing. We are doing Did you Think to Pray. It sounds good. However there might possibly be one or two Elders that are tone deaf... but besides that it sounds good!

Sundays are great here. I dont know if I told you last week but we get to watch movies every Sunday night. No. Not normal movies but church movies. Its not the same as going to a movie theater or anything but when you are living the mission life it is pretty great. Last week we watched something like "how great a treasure" and this week we watched the "legacy." One thing thats tough for me here is that it is REALLY hard to wake up in the morning. I am always the last one up... But I always make it on time. And another thing thats hard is staying awake during lectures and devotionals and stuff. I have never fallen asleep yet because I usually end up writing a bunch of stuff down to keep me awake or braid my hair or do something but I have gotten pretty close a few times.

We had the weirdest meeting this week. We all thought it was going to be on like modesty or something like that. But no. It was on hair. And makeup. She basically told us that we dont look good enough and need to spend more time in the morning making ourselves look presentable. Sad huh? Its kinda been the joke between all the hermanas this week though. Although I do understand where she is coming from like we need to look professional because it also shows how we feel about the message we are sharing I just didnt really feel like it was necessary because usually almost all the hermanas I have seen always look super cute.
We got a new investigator this week. Her name is Roberta. And yes. It is hermana Coleman. Weird right? But we had our first lesson with her on Monday and it went really well. The Elders that went before us didnt even get in the door and we were able to get in within the first 3 minutes and taught the whole 1st lesson on the Restauracion. I didnt talk much because my companion usually talks a lot and is able to say what she wants to in Spanish. But I did talk about the parts I had prepared because I had most of it written down... haha ;) Some day I hopefully will get to the point where I dont have to read stuff and can just speak it.

Laundry is going good. My companion is very patient with helping me. I also ironed today. Weird huh?

My water bottle was super stinky this week. I decided to wash it. It was definately a process. I didnt have any soap so I had to use a hand bar of soap and it didnt fit so I had to like fill my hand up with soapy water and put it in. And then I squirted foam in it and rinsed it out. It smells a lot better now.

Today I did laundry, organized, cleaned my room, and yeah. It was a pretty relaxed day. We also practiced the musical number with the Elders and then we might have had a little jamming out session afterwards. It was super fun! Well I love you all and hope that life is still going good en Los Estados Unidos! LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Love, Hermana Goudie

Just another beautiful morning in MEXICO!!!!!

TAKIS!!!!!!!!!!! They have them here in tienda.

Just Hermana Goudie.

A beautiful bird that I spotted. 

A weird stone head for no reason.

My favorite number and favorite day of the week because I get to email!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

I survived the first week in the Mexico MTC!

MI FAMILIA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HOLA!!!!!!!!!!!! Que tal. So the question mark doesnt work on this computer for some reason. So I will just use this + for a question mark I guess. AH!!! I only have like half an hour so this might be short but I will try to write as much as possible. And warning you now some Spanish words might be included on accidente... okay I put that one there on purpose ? OH! thats how you do the question mark. I was trying to figure out how to make a smiley face and the button I use for the winky part of the smiley face is randomly a ? haha. Anyways I have to hurry. So this week was AWESOME!!!!!! I love it here. I cant figure out the smiley face now either. But its weird. I feel like I have been here for like a month already. Not sure if thats a good thing or a bad thing. But Hermana Murri and I will be like remember the other day when... and it was like this morning. Haha its a weird feeling. But I am great and loving it here. So just some things mom that I forgot flip flops for the shower. Dont worry I bought some in la tienda today. The showers are kinda gross and sometimes the water is brown. But it usually goes away if you let it run for a few minutes. I also forgot my grey tank top to wear with one of my dresses. If you could send it to Arkansas that would be great. And my little red and white polka dotted earrings, my white half cardigan thingy. Its the one with one button in the front and the sleeves are kinda poofy, Savanna should know which one it is. But its only like the half jacket things. Does that make sense? And one more thing. My plain black shirt with the dark blue flower on the shoulder that I wear with one of my skirts. So if you could send that stuff to Arkansas that would be lovely. Except the flip flops. I got some. So Hermana Murri (my companion who is awesome!) and I workout hard core during gym. Shes a lot more athletic than me but she pushes me to work really hard and motivates me so thats great. We go running a lot. The other day I ran a mile in 12 and a half minutes. So I thought that was pretty cool considering that I havent run since like Jr. year when we had to for P.E. haha thats pretty pathetic. But it was fun. They have a track outside that we run on but its kinda hard because the track is like made up of little rocks. This place is HUGE by the way. And yesterday for our workout we did like a circuit workout kinda thing. We like jump roped for two minutes and then did another exercise for two minutes and went for 18 minutes total. It was lovely. Mi maestra (teacher) is the bestest ever. Her name is Hermana Coleman. Every morning when we have class she gives like the most inspired lessons and they are always what I need. She only speaks in Spanish to us. So thats fun. I usually am able to understand almost all of what she says though. My district is in the intermediate class so its a lot quicker paced than other classes. I feel like I might be at the lower end of the class in my spanish but esta bien! It is good! I am learning and its so fun. Being a missionary is just the best. In my district there are 8 of us which is like one of the smallest districts. Me and Hermana Murri are the only girls. We get kinda crazy some times and have gotten ourselves into trouble for being too loud sometimes. We just love eachother too much and have fun together. But we are learning to balance having fun and studying.
The food is okay. Its kinda hit and miss each meal pero I love the rice and beans! they always have rice and beans for lunch and thats usually what I eat. They also always have pb a j sammys if you dont like what they make and lots of fruit and cereal. So I am eating just great. I have also discovered a yummy ice cream sammy that I love here that I buy in the tienda quite frequently. I feel like I might be losing a little weight just becuase I havent been over stuffing myself like I usually do at home and I am working out hard everyday. Oh and also about working out. THEY HAVE PING PONG TABLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I ususally play con mi districto todos los dias. (with my district every day) There is only one Elder in my district that has beat me so far... But I love playing that here.
Life here is very busy. I dont have much time to think about home too much because I am just going from meetings to classes to language study to teaching to gym to service. Its crazy. But I love it! The weather here is perfect! Actually today is pretty hot. But the other days it is perfect. In the mornings its kinda chilly walking to class from mi casa but it warms up. My shoes are doing good. The black new ones that I bought gave me one blister but I just put a band aid on it and its fine. My shoes get really stinky here though... not sure why. I leave them by the window over night though and I think that helps. So in my house there are 8 of us which usually there are 16. So our house is pretty empty. The hermanas in my house are AWESOME!!!!!!!!!! I share a room with my companion and two other hermanas who are going to Washington. My companion is going to Ecuador. I sleep on the top bunk.
Oh and noonies. Tell Mike thanks for the hymn book. I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!! I use it all the time and having like which number it is in English and Spanish is the best. People always ask me what number the songs are in the book and thanks to little big mike and can just look it up! So tell him thanks! One of the things my district did this week that was fun is we played a grateful game. We threw an apple around the room and when you caught it you had to say what you were grateful in Espanol. It was fun. By the end of it thought the apple was like getting mushy and leaking out and then it cracked in half. Oh the things us missionarys do to keep entertained...
Oh something weird about here is that there are firework and gunshots sounds going off all the time! Its so weird. I guess in this culture its just what people do for happy times or sad times is set off fireworks. The other night there were like 8 in a row and it reminded me of the Hunger Games when each night they set off a boom for how many people died. Im so sad Im going to miss seeing Catching Fire when it comes out!
It is really hard to wake up in the morning. I am always the last one out of bed and I usually dont even hear the alarms going off. But somehow I always seem to wake up and make it out the door in time. I am usually actually quicker than mi companero at getting ready in the mornings. Cool huh?
Elder Bagley is here! (Mitchell Bagley. you know that one?) He is in my zone so I actually see him all the time and his class is right next to mine. We have eating times and gym times and church together. Its pretty cool. I still want to get a picture with him sometime. One Elder in my district, Elder Kerby is hilarious! He reminds me of Jim Carey. Like exactly. Hes awesome and keeps us all laughing!
Mom about the blog whatever you think is cute will be great. Thats so sad Dad was sick. I never did end up getting the flu (knock on wood) so I was pretty happy about that. Dad the boat looks SO nice! I am so jealous! I cant wait to see it and go to Lake Powell when I get back yeah? I didnt have to rush to get to the gate in Georgia but right when I got there we had to board. I didnt get my pillow out and I slept for a little bit on each plane. 
I only have a few minutes but one of the things that is really hard for me here is teaching. We have a fake investigator Chris and we have to teach him in Spanish and its really hard! But I know I will be able to do it soon. I usually just use notes right now because I dont have the Spanish vocab down yet but hopefully one day I will be able to just say what I want to without having to read it. The language is really hard but it is coming. I understand a lot and can write a lot but speaking it is hard for me.
Love, Hermana Goudie
P.S. thanks for all the birthday wishes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My closet. Beauty Huh? 

My bed. I. Hate. Making. My. Bed. We have to every day and I hate it. Haha I dont make it very well. Probably because I am so tired in the morning... Oh well.

So this is a typical mealish. With rice and beans!

Mi casa.

These are circles where if there is an earthquake you have to run to and stay in the circle until it is safe. They are everywhere here! I am deathly afraid of earthquakes so hopefully there wont be one while I am here... I guess the first week the CCM opened there were 4 earthquakes. Crazy huh?

  Me doing laundry. Weird right?

My district at the temple!

Me and Hermana Murri in front of the sign at el templo
Me in front of the sign at the CCM

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

She Has Arrived!!

Chantelle has arrived safely in Mexico and it seems her spirits are super high! It is so good to hear from her and know she is safe! Here is her first E-Mail from Mexico! 

I AM IN MEXICO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
I am alive. And safe. And loving it :) This keyboard is really weird so Im sorry if I type some weird things... How are you guys doing? Oh cool I can use this little button ¿ so my flights went well and on our second flight they gave us sandwiches and a brownie so I had like two lunches and I think I still get dinner. It wasnt that hard to carry around my luggage. 
There were only 7 hermanas on my second flight. There are only the three of us going to Arkansas though and the rest are going to Ecuador. The space key on this keyboard keeps squeeking and its really annoying... haha ;) I got my hermana badges though! and my companion is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have only talked to her for a few minutes but I know I am just going to love her already :) She plays violin and she brought her violin so thats fun and we can sing and do cool stuff like that. On both flights I sat next to Hermana Millington (the red head that I saw in the SLC airport) and she is awesome too! I love her :) Hermana Mitchell going to Arkansas is also so fun and really hyper! Shes so happy and excited to be here and she is just smiling and laughing non stop. Its great. 
I am SO exhausted and cant wait to go crash but Im so excited to be here!!!!!!!!!!!! Driving here was crazy. It wasnt quite as bad as the traffic and drivers in the Philippines but pretty darn close. Am I allowed to say darn? ;) It is raining here right now and it is kinda chilly. Not cold though. During the day I'm sure it will feel great :) So I have pictures maybe I can try and send you some. I will do that I think... So heres this email and I will try to send more.  
LOVE YOU ALL SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!