CCM Hermanas

CCM Hermanas

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Baptisms, Pictures and Socks

Hello Friends! I'm afraid that I took all of Teigen's time this week and her email to us all was woefully short. If you are like me...those emails fuel me through the following week. Of course, she didn't communicate so frequently when she was at college. Hmmm.

At the end of her email...I will post the Q&A. Without further ado..

Happy New Year!
sorry, no time to write! spent it all answering questions that should appear on the blog and sending pictures that should also appear on the blog.
 
Good week! We spent christmas eve with a member family and ate really well! then watched fireworks and went back to our house. christmas was pday and we slept. and wrote letters and ate. it was AWESOME.
 
we should have a baptism soon! this week we're planning a wedding and a baptism and possiblyt a dia blanco! pray for us so that that can happen!
 
thats all the share with the time i have! love you lots and have a happy new year!

Love, Hermana Weatherford

Biana again. I have been asking and asking and asking for pictures of where Teigen is at. In our brief Christmas phone conversation she mentioned that it's completely against the rules for her to take her camera out. The reason is safety...it's a major attraction to thieves and of course, they don't want the sisters in jeopardy. I asked if it was possible to go out on her p-day with a larger group for security and she laughed. She then told me it was against the rule. Well, okay then...don't break rules. However, she was able to get a handful from the area where she is currently serving.

The first is the street where she is living. She says they spend a lot of time in this neighborhood. The following is a path that they take to get to a nearby pueblo. And the third is that pueblo. On the phone she told me about the metal walls.

 
Of course she can send picture of the members. It's great to see her working with people of all ages, and it's comforting to know that folks are taking care of her. The first is the family that she and her companion had lunch with on Christmas day. Please note that Guatemalans traditionally celebrate Christmas Eve with fireworks and parades and other excitment. Christmas day was pretty much a normal working day.
 
The next is a baptism!!


 


And finally...the Wall of Frogs! I'm sure there is a story behind all this, but I've yet to hear it!
 


I find that I want more information from Teigen about where she is and what she's doing and who she sees. I'm always asking questions but her responses are ...effecient, shall we say. So I sent her the list below and made the questions as detailed as possible. She gave me answers in a different color...and I think I can hear her eye rolling in here too!

i don't know if i'll be able to respond to all of your questions, but i'll try! some of them you already know the answers to. ugh. shame on you.

You said you were going to walk like 10 miles a day…how is it really? Did you get blisters? Are your feet always dusty? Do you walk on paved roads or dirt paths? How are your shoes/socks/feet? Are your legs totally buffed out now?
Yes, my legs are totally buff. it's kinda weird, but good i guess. No, i don't get blisters any more, i have calouses in all of the places that were once blisters. Paved roads all the time, only dirt roads to get to the one part of my area. my shoes are showing wear and tear, my socks are holding up alright (but more would be nice!) and my feet are beaten up. poor things. we do walk a ton. our area is REALLY small, so we don't walk as much as others, but i'd say we walk about 7ish miles a day.
Do you still have two companions? What kind of gifts did they get from home? Do you find a big difference between your Latina companion and your American companion…correspondence wise? Do they get lots of mail?
No, I only have one comp. Shes going home in January and so her family didn't send her anything. They're going to see her in 3 weeks anyways. She does get lots of emails, but no paper letters as i've ever seen.
When you got your holiday packages from home, did all the missionaries open their together or did you take yours home to open it privately? What do you wish you had gotten? What do you want more of?
We opened them privately in our houses at night when we got back from working. I would like more socks, hair ties and bobby pins. And chocolate. :)
What are the big differences in food? Does milk taste the same? Do you drink gallons like before? What about cheese and meat and broccoli? Do you have the same veggies?
The cheese is like mexican cheese. Not like cheddar or anything. Yes, the milk tastes the same, the only difference is the packaging. it's in a carton and you can keep it out of the fridge until you open it. No, i don't drink as much, i drink water now. yuck. meat, we can only eat chicken, turkey and beef. veggies are hard to get because they are really dirty here and so we have to go through a bunch of stuff to clean it. fruit too, so we dont usually eat too much of that.
What does you apartment look like? Do you share with another pair of missionaries? Is it like the flat in “Best 2 Years” or like the fake missionaries in “Suits on the Loose”? Do you have downstairs neighbors who come kill your giant spiders?
I dunno. It's pretty small. But it's only my comp and I. We do have downstairs neighbors, but i have the role of killing all the bugs. (my comp is super afraid of cucas) not too many spiders, but ants, holy cow, yes. tons. and cucas. but not too many of those. waaaaaay less than amatitlan.
What about shopping…is it like hitting Safeway? I know you have a Walmart, but do you go elsewhere for other things?
no, we don't have a walmart. we go to the despensa. yes, it's like a supermarket, but with nothing american. unless you go to a big one and we can only do that every once in awhile.
Tell me about mail call. You mentioned that you only get stuff on transfer days…what’s that like? How many letters are waiting for you? What’s it feel like? Do you look for dates or names or special sized envelopes? Who writes to you?
Oh my gosh, these questions are ridiculous. But yes, only transfers and zone training. I usually get about 4 or 5. or sometimes less. it varies. it's Dear Elders and handwritten letters. After the excitement of cambios (transfers), it's really not the most exciting thing, but a good note to end on. and then later in the night i can read them, and that's the best part :)
What clothes ended up working out well? Should I be preparing to send you more of that item or will you be able to find something locally? Have you taken up any local practices?
Local practices? like what? i'm the type of sister who just likes t shirts. blouses are too hot and restricting, so i don't wear them often and then a nice formalish skirt makes me look like i'm formal or whatever.
What is the local church like? How many members? In your area, how many wards? How far from the temple are you located? When will you get to go next? What’s different about your temple and the Portland temple?
My area, one ward. I'm not sure the number of members, but about 150 attendance every week. The temple is in Guate, which isn't in our mission. we only go on special occasions. the next time i'll get to go is when a convert family of mine or my comps gets sealed. so.... who knows. it's possible not before next christmas. the temple here is about a tenth or twentieth of the size of the portland temple. it's TINY.
Finally….are the members taking care of you? Do you get many dinner appointments? Do they help in other ways? (Yes, I did get an email from one of the members!) Is there a family that reminds you of someone back home? Anyone really special yet?
We don't eat with the members. And we don't eat dinner. We pay for a member to make us lunch every day. Only every once in awhile we eat with other members. But only really trusted ones, because we have lots of food rules. The family Delcompare is my favorite :) if a woman named Elsa tries to friend you on facebook or email you, accept her. she's the bomb. she also has pictures.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Navidad viene ya...

Things are getting up to Christmas season! This week is going to be pretty crazy fun!

Tomorrow we will work with the Stake President and then he will take us to San Miguel Petapa, where we will work with some other sister missionaries and spend the night at their apartment. The next morning we will wake up bright and early to be in El Frutal at 3:30 in the morning. From there our zone and a couple others will get on buses and go the temple in Guatemala City! We'll do a session there and then go play games, eat food, watch videos (approved, of course) and listen to a really special devotional. After that we go home and work!
 
Then on the 24th, we'll be spending a few hours after finishing working to eat with them! We'll spend a few hours there, then return to the house at 12 am and we have pday the next day! I'm pretty excited :)
 
This past week was really great. Hermana Cruz and I are working together really well. She tells me about Pachuca and how different Mexico is from Guatemala. She has such a great sense of humor and really helps me when I'm down.

We received a reference from the stake president for a young boy who is 9 years old. We went to visit him and he was really interested! We challenged him to baptism and he said yes! His family are all members and after we left they asked him how he felt and if he really knew what being baptized meant. He said yes and that he wanted to do it. So, we went back a couple times and visited him and everything was going great. Then 2 nights ago we went by and his father answered the door. He said that we shouldn't waste our time, that his son wasn't interested and that we need not come back. That made me soooooooooo mad. I was standing on the side of the street crying when Hermana Cruz offered to say a prayer. She talked about how everyone has their agency and we need to respect that, but that only the Lord can open the heart of the boy's father.
 
I'm thankful that my companion was able to see more of the long run in that moment. Agency is a God given gift and I'm so glad we all get to make our own decisions to follow Christ or not. We've gone back with the mother of the boy and she says that it's going to take time, but that we can visit the boy during the day when the father isn't there. He doesn't think his son is ready, or knows how big of a committment baptism is. So, we're going to keep teaching the son and one day he'll tell his father how he feels. Prayer are always appreciated :)
 
Well, that's it for this week! Thank you for all of your support and for the strength you give me everytime I read your letters and emails! Especially thank you for thinking of me during the holiday season! It's good to know I have people watching out for me!
 
Thank you, lots of love and merry christmas!!
Hermana Weatherford

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Countdown to Christmas!

Transfers are tomorrow and the verdict is in....

Hermana Cruz and I are staying together in Ribera del Rio and Hermana Conover is leaving!

This makes 7.5 months in a super tiny area for Hna. Cruz. Pobrecita... But that also means that after this cambio (when she goes home), I'll probably stay in the same area. So... 4.5 months in a suuuuuper tiny area? Bring it on!

This week was pretty fun. We learned a lot about the importance of unity in a companionship and the importance of exact obedience (again. we're always learning that lesson.)

We had a bit of a problem with our members... So we told President Brough in our weekly letters. We later found out he chewed out the Stake President, who then chewed out our bishop and the bishop chewed out our ward mission leader! Things are changing though, we can definitely see the difference.

In Guatemala on December 7th there is a tradition to burn little devil piñata things. It's Quema del Diablo or something. I dunno. But that was pretty fun! It wasn't really that crazy, because we live in a pretty safe area, but the fire crackers were LOCOS. They call them bombas. And that's really what they are. The worst is praying or teaching during those. You can't focus. At all. I hear they get pretty bad for Christmas. Also, the kinds that go up in the sky and rain down colored lights aren't illegal. So, it's pretty and also a little frightening...

I went on division on Thursday and went to an area near my first area, Amatitlan. We went to Sonora and in a part called Gran Plan. It's like metal roofs and rocky dirt roads type Guatemala. And there I saw my first dead dog! It's a surprise that it's taken me so long to see one before considering all of the stray dogs around here. It had only been dead for a day but it's eyes were already gone and there were 2 gaping holes in its side. One of the girls asked who is going to come clean it up, and Hna. Saavedra said that here they just let them rot away or other animals eat it. So, that's a new experience.

We have a bunch of investigators who are progressing really well! On the 22 of December we're going to have a Dia Blanco where a bunch of investigators get baptized in the stake center! We're planning a bunch of baptisms for that day. Give us a hand and pray for us to achieve those baptisms!

Thank you for all of your support! I love you all!
Hermana Weatherford

PS. here's a picture from a couple pdays ago when we ate with the president as a zone!
 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Post Thanksgiving Letter:

Adding a few pictures of our district pday yesterday! Then I'll send another with the rest of our week, including Thanksgiving! (don't get your hopes up, it was pretty sad.)
 
This week was pretty crazy! It suddenly got cold. And by cold, I mean 60 degrees and really windy. But still, I have 2 sweaters and one of them I lent to our Ward Mission Leader's daughter. I doubt I'll see it again :(
 
I have a knack for getting attacked by dogs. Who knows why, but they hate me. They always attack me. I got chased by one in the street and ran away screaming while my comps tried to beat it away. The people just looked and laughed at the hermanita running away from the dog.
 
On Thanksgiving we did nightly planning in 20 minutes and rushed to make the most pathetic and satisfying thanksgiving dinner I've ever had. We had powdered potatoes, slices of turkey and beans. Because, beans are with everything here. The lunch we had was way better, but definitely not even slightly gringo. Puro chapin. (Note from Biana: I google translated this...I still don't understand)
One of our investigators is BOSS: We taught the word of wisdom and he accepted it so fast! He's so prepared. We're going to see his baptism in december. I just know it! He also has 12 dogs and he prayed for them in his ending prayer. That made my heart all squishy. This guy is SO COOL.
 
So... one problem we had this week was the members. I think they hate us. The bishop is complaining about us in meetings of all the bishops in the stake with our zone leaders. Our ward mission leader and the son of the bishop kept interrupting us during lessons and don't like the way we teach. The 2nd counselor and his wife say that we're too forward and are scaring people away. It's been pretty hard. I'm not sure what we're going to do, other than remind them of our divine calling. We're going to tell them about what their role is and how they can better fulfill it. And stop correcting the poor little hermanas who are working their butts off to help Ribera del Rio.
 
Members are really important and I've come to realize that during the past week. They can bear strong testimony, they can friendship investigators and they can help the missionaries find the people prepared by the Lord to accept the gospel. It's SO important that the ward members know their role and strive to fulfill it to the best of their ability! I'm grateful for the support we do receive from the ward and all the enthusiasm they have for the work! And I can't wait to be a ward member and do my best to help out the mission work when I get home!

 
Love you all and wish you a happy holiday season!!
 
Hermana Weatherford


 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Only 15 days left!

We're over halfway into transfer and things are going!

This week was a hard one, but we also had some good times!
One of our investigators is kinda wacky. Last week we had a lesson with him and he said he didn't believe in God, but he believes in telepathy. He then said "I called you with my mind and you came today, not Thursday". So.... yeah. Then later in the week we stopped by to say hi and he shook all of our hands and I was last and he kissed my hand, called us "princesas" and "angelitas" and then we left. Fast.

We have a weekly english class that we teach that is SO FUN! We had such a good time with it! People love it and it's super nonthreatening. It's a good way to get investigators :)
A woman that we visited to sing a song and share a message died about 2 days later. That was really sad, but I think her family is okay and she died peacefuly.
Last transfer the Zone El Frutal was the most successful and so yesterday we got food from President and Hermana Brough! We ate ham, funeral potatoes, salad and sugary bomb cookies. (Ham and lettuce are against the rules for us because they're so hard to get clean. but when the president makes them, we can eat them :)
Stake conference was great! We heard Richard G Scott and President Eyring and Sister Wixom. Who knew that Richard G Scott could speak spanish?!? That was awesome!

We're trucking along here. We're having a hard time find new investigators and setting baptismal date (everyone here is so scared of committment! gah!). We're working together and trusting in the Lord! Things are going to turn out alright and I feel like before the end of the week we're going to have a baptismal date. I just know it :)
Thank you for your support and love as always! If you want to send me a letter or whatnot, send it to

Hermana Teigen Weatherford
Guatemala City Central Mission
Apartado 921-A Zona 9
01009 Guatemala City
Guatemala Guatemala
All of the love from Guatemala!
Hermana Weatherford


I suspect that Hermana is hinting for us to write her letters! Just remember...international postage is $1.10. And you can use Dear Elder for free.  Now, I've got to get back to my letter! ~B

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

3 Weeks into the Transfer!!


Today is the halfway mark in the transfer and I've given myself the right of looking back to see how much I've learned! I've definitely progressed as a person, learned more about the area, how to be a better teacher, how to push myself and how to rely on the Lord at all times! Oh, and my spanish has progressed too :)
This week was very eventful.

I've had a few opportunities to speak English while proselyting and that has been HARD. I forgot the word chapel. I usually try to speak in Spanish as soon as I can, so that I don't sound like an idiot.


We went to a sketch restaurant and I'm pretty sure the water wasn't pure... The next day I had a bit of a fever and felt off all day. That wasn't too fun.
I was chased by dogs 3 days in a row. One of them ripped part of my skirt. So.... I'm finding myself liking cats more and more every day!

One of our investigators told Hna. Cruz that she needed to talk to her ¨sacerdotes¨(or priests) and make right with her God. That KILLED me! I was trying so hard not to laugh during the lesson! He kept saying that Hna. Conover and I radiated with the love of the Lord, but that he felt Hermana Cruz needed to repent. hahaha.... We just said thank you, thank you, thank you and had a good laugh after we left.
We were told by many people this week that we need to be more smooth in getting people to make bapstimal commitments. One told me specifically that I was too direct and was pushing her and her husband away from the church. I felt really bad for about a day and a half, but then Hermana Brower (my ex comp) said that if we're not challenging people to come unto Christ by inviting them to make promises to the Lord, then we aren't doing our job as missionaries. People in Ribera del Rio don't want to change. We have lots of people who know it's the truth and are still wasting time! This does nothing! I've felt myself get more direct, but I also feel that the more direct I am, the more love I feel for the person. I KNOW that their life can change if they make the baptismal covenant and follow through on it for the rest of their lives! I KNOW this church is true. I KNOW that we need to show our love and gratitude for the Lord in all times and I now KNOW that by challenging people to make this decision, I'm fulfilling my purpose as a representative of Jesus Christ.

Thank you for all your support!

Love,
Hermana Weatherford

 
Just a few pictures: The first is of my companions and I last week, the other is the view outside of the chapel in Villa Canales.
 

Friday, November 15, 2013

Cumpliendo La Semana Perfecta...

This week was La Semana Perfecta and it was awesome!! We worked our little tails off and had such a good time with it! Met a bunch of newbies and a couple people we're hoping to set baptismal dates with this week!
At the end of the week we needed a baptism. We were looking and looking and looking and we found one candidate, but weren't able to teach him the Word of Wisdom in time (10 days before baptism, at least). His mom told us he drank coffee and we were reeeeally bummed at that. We went back a few days later and taught the Word of Wisdom and he told us he had only had FAKE coffee for the past week and a half! Our jaws dropped through the floor! It was fantastic! We then started making plans to teach him a super long lesson of 2 or 3 hours of all the lessons so that he could be baptized 2 days later. He wasn't quite sure about that, but we KNEW he was ready. We knew it to our very cores! Well, we went back to teach him and he wasn't there. We stopped by about 4 times that day and never found him. The next day his mom said to drop by around 3. We went by around 2 and 4. Still didn't find him. So we gave up for that weekend. We didn't have a baptism, and that's okay, but we're going to have one this weekend for sure. His mom then told us later that he was waiting for us at 3, but he was only home for about 45 minutes! GAH. That just about killed me! But we're going to visit him today or tomorrow and prep him for this weekend!
We had interviews with the mission president today and those were fantastic! I swear, give it 15 years and that man will be an apostle. He is perfect. Okay, maybe not perfect, but he's pretty close. I got SO lucky in terms of the mission! The Guatemala City Central mission is obedient, diligent, hard working and hopeful! There are miracles happening right and left and we're going to see more and more, I'm sure of it!
One of the things President Brough said to me is that he's urging missionaries to pick a gift to give to Christ for Christmas. This could be an attribute you choose to develop, a sacrifice or something that requires effort on your part to change! Mine I chose would be charity, or Christlike love. It's something I've really wanted to develop, and now I have the perfect opportunity! I invite all of you to also pick something that you want to develop and dedicate that change to Christ. Set goals and try to achieve it by Christmas! It'll be a worthwhile project, I just know it :D
That's all I have to say for now! I know that the Lord loves us. I know we just have to try our best until we just can't give any more and then we'll have done our part, and He'll give us all He has in return. I'm so happy to serve a mission and to serve the people of Guatemala!
Love you all!
Hermana Weatherford

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Ribera del Rio

I'm in a new area! Woopdeedoo! It's richer, smaller and less receptive to the gospel, but we're working our tails off here!
 
I'm in another trio! It's not too bad, but I'm a little curious as to how this "preaching the gospel two by two" thing works! haha, only a few more weeks until I find out! I'm with Hna. Cruz (from some place in Mexico) and Hna. Conover (from near San Francisco) who I entered the CCM with! She's a whovian, it's fantastic. We have a good time, but we also work reeeally hard. They're both really good examples to me :)
 
We went to the temple on Friday for some converts of my companion's! It was incredible!
 
Everyone in the mission is working on the Semana Perfecta. We have different goals each day we have to hit and we're working on it with all of our force! At the end of the week we all have to have a baptism. Every companionship... We had about 2 or 3 lined up and they all fell through. Praying for a miracle would be really appreciated about now!
 
We're exactly obedient in everything. We obey all the rules and then some more. We study hard, pray all the time and walk devilishly fast. We're doing everything we've been asked and I have faith we're going to get that baptism!
 
Well, that's it for this week! Know that I love you and pray for you all daily! The Lord has a plan for us and we just gotta trust in Him to find it :)

Love,
Hermana Weatherford

PS: sorry for no pics, i can't find a USB port and i don't really have many to send anyways :)
ps: i can't send pictures of what i see day to day because if i take my camera out people will steal it. sorry, but ill try to get what i can

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cambios!!!

This weeks title comes from Hna W herself! Apparently there are some changes happening this week. Fabulous. For the format of today's letter....I asked her a bunch of questions and she was happy to answer. Please let me know if there is something you would like to know more about. Honestly I think it helps her come up with things to write!

This is a new week and we have gotten the call the tomorrow at the transfer meeting I will be going somewhere new! Who knows where, but I'm sure it'll be where the Lord needs me!
 
Just a quick recap of the week before I get to the question and answer section.
 
-Two of our investigators turned out to be members. That was weird. We even asked one of them if she was a member and she said no, but then she said she was baptized and sealed in the temple. So... that's a weird thing.
 
-We had to go all the way to the Capitol just for me to sign some visa papers yesterday. We lost a ton of pday time and I have so much left to pack! Eek!
 
-L was baptized!!!! She has yet to be confirmed, but she was baptized! How fantastic :) We are all super super super happy for her!
 
That's the highlights of it all. Tomorrow Hna. Garcia goes home to Ecuador, Hna. Brower stays in our area and gets to welcome a new trainer and I get a new trainer and a new to me area!

Questions:
Why are you in a triple? Is it because there are too many new sisters? Because of the language barrier? Culturally appropriate?
Because a lot of new sisters came in at once and they didn't have enough trainers. I think pretty much most of the trios are being broken up now though for our second 6 week part of training
*Are you in an area that celebrates dia de los muertos? If so, what are the celebrations like? If not, what kind of holidays are local? And what do they look like?
Holidays we haven't really seen. There was Dia de Niños, but i'm not really sure about other days. There is one day where we saw a bunch of catholic tradition stuff with flower petals in the street and bread and candles. That was kinda cool and smelled pretty good! Apparently there is a holiday here in december when they burn all of their garbage to ward off spirits. My lungs are really excited.
*Lynda really wants to know about the weavings. Apparently it's a thing. She wants to know if you have seen anyone doing theweavings, if this is for local use or just tourist stuff, if they use wool or cotton (or other), what kind of plants etc do they use for dyes, are all the looms straight? Essentially anything you can learn about the weavings of Guatemalan natives. And she's aware that this will probably take a bit of research and conversation!
Umm... It's really only for tourists where I'm at. And I don't know that anyone has this hobby, but I'll keep my eye out for more info.
*What do you normally eat? Cereal for breakfast? Tortillas with every meal? Why does your fridge smell like bananas? What about the produce...exotic or do you see stuff that you recognize like broccoli?
Cereal for breakfast, chicken or another type of meat in a sauce with rice and tons of tortillas on the side. and for dinner, nothing. We just eat cookies until we get in the house at night and eat around 10 pm. Pretty much the same, just a few new fruits I've never had. I'm loving a fruit called jocotes (see below) right now. So good. We always see the pits in the streets. We buy bananas and never eat them but my comp doesn't want to take them out of the fridge until garbage day cause they'll go bad, but we always forget. They've been in the fridge for about 2 months now.
*Speaking of meals, how do the locals eat...like 2 big meals or 5 small ones. Do families eat together around a central table or are they all broken up at different times and places? Do they have individual plates or eat from a communal bowl?
Individual plates, breakfast, lunch and dinner and lunch is the big meal. It depends on the family if they're going to eat together or not.
*What kinds of games to people play with their children?
I dunno. I don't really see parents playing with their children. I've seen a lot of people playing marbles in the streets, and soccer. But that's about it.
*Are people fashionable?
Not really. You'll see a few people that are pretty fashion, but for the most part, no.
*Are there tall people?
Some, not many. I'm taller than pretty much everyone.
*What does your foliage look like? I doubt you are seeing the wildly vibrant fall colors like I am, but are you surrounded by lush greenery or is it barren because it's city?
Pretty green. Trees, bushes, ivy, the likes.
*Animals...what do you see everyday? Big giant rats? Lots of deer? Capybara roaming the streets?
Lots of stray dogs. Some cats. I think a lady by the park has a pet raccoon.

Just going to add a couple pictures of the baptism and other things and that's all!


Does this look like Taco Bell to you??

 
 


I'm sorry folks...I cannot get the pictures any larger.

Those who are interested, like me, in what a jocote is....click here. I'm thinking I need to try one, or two.

 There is Sunshine In My Soul Today!

 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Smiles, Duckface and Burgers...

Without further ado....

Not going to write much this week, because I have pictures! Tons and tons of pictures.
 
We had a good week. Nothing really strange happened. We went shopping yesterday for pday and spent tons of time in the mall. It was awesome!
 
Also, I ate my first McDonald's hamburger in over 10 years. Yeah. It was a milestone. There's a picture of that. You're welcome.
 
We're preaching the gospel and for the most part, people are listening! We have a baptism this Saturday of L (female). She's really excited and we're excited for her! I'm so glad that their child will be born into the church! What a great way to give that kid a good start! On the foundation of Christ :)
 
This week I held a duck, hit my 1 month in the field mark, shook hands with a guy who obvious was covered with blood and drugs, was mistaken for a latina, got a ton of letters(!!!), and was close to the shooting of two young men. That was really sad. But, the work is moving on and we're moving with it :)
 
Picture time!!

Doing the Work:
 




Having Fun:

 
Word has it....Hermana W and her companion Hermana Brower get along quite well. I guess so, if these pictures are an example.


 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Zucaritas, Claro, and Humidity

I just LOVE Tuesdays!! Don't you?


Hello Family!
 
We're almost 4 weeks in the field, which puts me at more than 2 months in Guatemala! Time flies when you're having fun! scratch that- time flies when you're working your flipping butt off! haha, but it's good :)

Weirdest thing I've eaten: Once upon a time last pday, I made mac and cheese. My companions think I'm a fantastic cook because of it! (what can i say?) Well, we put the mac and cheese in the fridge and after a week it absorbed all of the banana flavors of the fridge. That was really nasty.

I found chocolate frosted flakes at the grocery store. They have marshmallows too. In spanish they're called "zucaritas" which literally means "little sugars". So I ate them. We're still waiting to find out if I got diabetes from it.
 
Weirdest thing that's happened: We were doing contacting with a member and she brought a friend of her's over to me and said "i'd like you to meet my missionary friend" (she didn't say my name cause I guess it's like impossible or something in spanish. ugh) then he said hello and i asked him if he was a member. he said no and then i said "pues, podemos cambiar esto..." and he said "claro!" and proceeded to give me his address. Some people are just prepared by the Lord :)

La Obra Missional: Super good stuff! We contacted 414 people this week and 109 families. Wooh!

Update on Abuelita. Well, this week we found out the the family who was taking care of her told her that if she got baptized that the bishop would pay for her to live in an old folk's home. That was the most tragic 45 minutes of my mission so far. Pobrecita :( We're still going to visit her, but hopefully this time she can get baptized for the right reasons.

Shadow, Candy and Candy's boyfriend Ricky! We met all of them the other night and that was an awesome lesson! They were all paying attention and answering questions and none of them was left out. Plus, Candy and Ricky have been dating for almost 4 years and are so cute together :) That's pretty darn rare around here! We can only visit them on sundays, so that's a bummer, but they have potential!

L and L are married! Sweetest thing ever! They're really sweet and show a lot of affection towards each other. I doubt that he only married her for free english classes. She'll be baptized this Saturday and we're hoping that he can baptize her :) that would be really cool! Fingers crossed!

One more family: The Family Newton. Sweet people. I think they have 5 boys or something. The 2nd oldest was baptized the week after I got here. He's lost a little of his animo in the past week. His dad keeps drinking and lying about it, but you can find him hobbling down the streets every hour of the day. It's depressing. We're going to visit them with the bishop tomorrow and hopefully that helps him turn his life around and get his family back to church!!

Well, that's all I got for you! Love you all lots and hope that you're having a blast in the fall weather! It's 70 degrees every day. Then 80 in the afternoon. Of course it's humid, so it feels worse than that. If we're lucky, the temp drops down to 60s in the night! It doesn't feel like fall! But at least it's not raining much any more :)

 Talk to you next week!

Love,
Hermana Weatherford

 

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

CIA, contacts, and scary tshirts

Hello!
 
Another week has past by and I am still alive. Countin' my blessings. I don't think this email will be as long or nearly as interesting as the last, but if you're reading it, I don't think you'll mind.
 
Weirdest thing I've eaten: Mole. But it was way good. We helped a member in our ward make it yesterday for pday and it was fantastic! But I'm pretty sure she used water from the tap at one point.... Later that night I had a stomach ache. But it was worth it.
 
Weirdest thing that's happened: I went to contact this little old man in the street. Hna Brower went with me and just as we were introducing ourselves he interrupted us and said "I already know all about your church" (in english. fancy that.) He then proceeded to list off BOM prophets. So we just decided to testify and leave it at that, not to get into an argument. As we said good night and began to turn away, he looked at us and whispered "Ustedes son de cia?" We were confused to say the least. Then he said "C-I-A?" This little old man thought we were gringa spies sent to infiltrate Guatemala! We said no, and walked away laughing under our breath.
 
La obra misional: Things are going pretty well. We had divisions with a sister training leader this week and she set some goals for us. We now contact 20 people a day and 5 families (per hermana in our companionship). At first it was a little difficult, but it's turned out to be just fine. I think I'll be upping my goal soon.
 
One of our investigators (we'll call her Sir) told us that she thought everyone thought they had the truth and were right. It was sad as she shut down even our committments to pray with an open heart. That's all we asked and she said no, cause she'd already found Jesus. Well, after 3 visits, we say goodbye to Sir and hope that some other missionaries to visit her later.
 
The young couple we are visiting has decided to get married! The girl (her name shall be L) is 4.5 months pregnant and has wanted to get married for some time. Her boyfriend (also L) has agreed and they'll be getting married soon :) Only problem: we found out recently that L (male) only wants to get married to L (female) because there's a program that he qualifies for after marriage that allows him to learn english in 4 months. GRR. ...well, i have faith that if they do the right thing first and get married, the Lord will later give him the desire to do it for the right reason.
 
A couple weeks ago we found the cutest little old lady. We call her Abuelita. She can't hear to save her LIFE. Or see. It's made teaching her be a shouting match. My trainer said that we should try to use only simple clear words. Lucky me, I only know simple and clear words in spanish!! :D This sweet little old lady always wears a cardigan and a graphic tee. One day it was spongebob, the other day it was high school musical.
 
---Side note: Tons of people wear shirts with English on it and don't know what it means. I've seen baaaaaaad shirts. Ones that you should talk to your bishop about. And also some pretty funny ones. Yesterday we saw a man wearing a random girl's softball team shirt.
 
Spotlight on one more investigator: We'll call her Shadow. Shadow is the girl who I contacted after the tragic incident of September 2013 (reference earlier email to clarify). She's super sweet and has the cutest little baby girl ever. She lives with her mom (who speaks english. not that many people speak english, i swear.) and her sister. We're going to call her sister Candy. Now Candy is gorgeous. Drop dead gorgeous. And outgoing and nice and charismatic. She's so great that she's everyone's favorite. Even her mother. We went to teach Shadow and all her mother could do was talk about Candy. Until Candy arrived. And then she talked more about Candy. Poor little Shadow. Thus, we call her Shadow, because she is always in the shadow of her sister. Well, we went to talk to them 2 days ago for our appointment and Shadow said her sister wouldn't turn off the TV and when she asked, she still wouldn't turn it off. Then we set another date and as we left, her mother said "Somos evangelicas. No queremos escuchar su mensaje." That was weird. We're going to keep going back, but it's going to be hard to get Shadow away from her family who wants to control her.
 
Just a tid bit about General Conference: I hope you all watched it, cause as I heard things, I thought of you all specifically. I heard things that I know the apostles were inspired to say for your benefit. If you didn't get to watch or listen to it, I encourage you to please, please, please PLEASE take the time out and listen to the words of our Heavenly Father through His prophet and apostles. I promise that if you listen attently, you will find answers to the questions you didn't even know you had and you will leave a better, wiser person more ready to face the troubles of the world. Take my word for it, watch General Conference.
 
Well, that's it for this week. I have written a novel, and hopefully you'll all be done reading it by next week ;) Love you all lots and lots!
 
Hermana Weatherford
 
The missionaries are encouraged to share stories of the investigators that they meet with so that friends and family can pray for those people specificially. Some missionaries use names like Julie or Jose, some use initials and Teigen uses codes! This is going to be interesting!
 
Those who are interested...you can find General Conference online at www.lds.org. There were some amazing talks. Personally, I loved Saturday morning President Uchtdorf and Sunday afternoon Elder Vinson and ALWAYS Elder Holland (Saturday afternoon). I add my voice to her testimony...it was uplifting and so inspiring!
 
We Thank Thee for a Prophet
 
 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Mollejas, Slang, & Samuel the Lamanite

Without further ado:

Didn't get to write last week, that was a real bummer. But fun story- i'm alive!! Things are crazy different here. The culture, the food, the work. I love it all.

Weirdest thing I've eaten: Mollejas. People keep calling them mollejitas, but i'd like to say that they were definitely mollejotas. They're chicken stomachs for those of you who have not had the pleasure of eating them. THEY'RE DISGUSTING. Truth.

Weirdest thing that's happened to me: We were walking down the street and a guy on a motorcycle did a drive by butt grab. I think that's probably the most violating experience of my life. Yep.

Cool thing that happened afterward: I was busy complaining about how I wanted to go home (not really, but close.) when a woman walked by and I felt like I should contact her. So I did and she said she didn't know her address (not unusual) so I told her where the church was and said goodbye. A few minutes later she came back down the street to where we were and said she had found out her address and we set up and appointment right there. When we went to visit her this week we found out she is sooooo prepared. She has tons of questions and I am so excited for our next appointment. Moral of the story: whenever it rains, you know a rainbow is around the corner.

About my comps: I am companions with one of my best friends from the CCM, Hermana Brower and our trainer is Hermana Garcia. She's from Ecuador and thank the stars above, her spanish is clear and perfect. Hallelujah. We have such good times! We're supposed to teach our latina companions english, but all we've taught her so far is "what's a girl to do?" "swag" "too legit to quit" and various other slang. It's the best. she already knows "ain't nobody got time fo dat" and "what the heck" and "ewww". So, she's basically fluent in english.

My area: We're in El Lago in Amititlan. It's hot, but not as hot as the coast. And we baptize TONS here. Our goal for October is 9. The mission rule is 3 per month. The people here are super receptive to the gospel and out of all our contacts each day, we get tons of addresses. It's fantastic! The only thing I don't really like is the drunks (here they're called bolos) and the creepies. People think I'm latina, so I get hit on a lot. Like a lot, a lot. It freaks me out, but I have my pepper spray with me always!

Something I like: Here when we ride buses it's a rule that we have to contact them. So in order to do that you ask the bus driver to turn down the music and stand at the front and preach. It's BOSS. I'm so bad at it, but when I do it I feel like Samuel the Lamanite crying repentance unto the people. The only problem is that ever since I've gotten here I've lost all sense of balance. I can barely kneel for prayers. It's bad. So when I'm on the bus I hang on for dear life and hope my skirt doesn't come up. It's SO FUN. But I have received many the bruise from being slammed into a bench or worse, a bar.

Something I don't like: Cucarachas. There are more than I'm comfortable with. During a lesson yesterday, one flew onto my comp's backpack and I literally jumped onto the couch. They all had a good laugh at the gringa who's afraid of cucarachas. Tons of ants too, but not many spiders though, which is good.

We had 2 baptisms on Sunday and that was so so so so good. There was a 15 year old boy and an 8 year old boy. They both were so excited to be baptized and come from families that don't exactly do what they're supposed to, so it was good to see them being strong examples. Pilas. Both of them.

Well, that's pretty much it. I have tons more to say, but I don't think I can write it all out. Love you all and hope that things are good back in the states!

Hna. Weatherford
I looked up PILAS and it said "batteries". I then asked Teigen if she really meant "batteries" and she informed me it means "batteries or hard working\righteous". We will learn some Guatemalan slang folks!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Tech. Difficulties, Amatitlan & E/mail


Personally, it's been hard not hearing from Teigen for so long. She and I were trying to solve a problem via weekly emails and suddenly she was silent. It was very difficult trying to wait patiently and not worry about the situation...to trust that God would take care of her. I waited, counting the days and hours before I got her email this week. But her email isn't working for some reason and I ended up getting a note that had been routed through her companion, to her companion's grandmother and finally to me! Whew!

Hi there! I can't sign into my email for some reason, so this is just an email to let you know i'm alive in guatemala and i'm having a great time! I'm in Amatitlan in a trio with Hermana Brower and our trainer Hermana Garcia. The people are really receptive to the gospel and other than technical difficulties and a little bit of a cough everything is peachy keen!

I looked up Amatitlan and found that it's about 20 miles from where she was. Probably like many folks, I heard "Guatemala City Central Mission" and thought she would be in the city the whole time. I know, that's not how it works but it's how my brain processed the information! I'm going to have to get myself a map so I can document where she's been!


Additionally, I got a letter from the Mission President:
Dear Family of Sister Teigen Olivia Weatherford:

Please enjoy this photograph of Sister Weatherford, whom we had the joy of welcoming into our mission on September 18th, 2013. We truly appreciate your efforts in preparing her according to the standards of the Lord now that the bar has been raised for missionaries entering the field of labor in Guatemala and everywhere in the world.


We require our Elders and sisters to write home weekly. We would encourage you to do the same, as evidence of your support for her labors in this part of the Lord´s vineyard. It is important to encourage continuous spiritual progress, as we guide Sister Weatherford to become a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ, so that she will know her doctrine and delight in teaching it.
Along with your missionary, we pray for your family´s safety and protection. Again, we will strive to teach and protect Sister Weatherford, so that she can have a wonderful mission serving the Lord Jesus Christ in Guatemala.

Yours Faithfully,
M. Joseph Brough
Mission President

 

And due to the fact that Teigen has not been getting my emails…I asked the mission home for the correct mailing address.  Thankfully, I did not have to wait another week to get that answer!
Thank you for your inquiry, and thank you for supporting your daughter as she serves the Lord here in Guatemala. All correspondence intended for your daughter can be sent to the following mailing address:

Sister Weatherford
Guatemala City Central Mission
Apartado 921-A Zona 9
01009 Guatemala City
Guatemala
Guatemala
That is the address of the mission office. Once we receive it, we will be sure to deliver it to your daughter.

For those that perfer the Dear Elder option, I have updated that on the side bar.

All of this information came yesterday and today…after 2 weeks of hearing nothing. It was rough, as I mentioned and I spent a significant amount of time in prayer. What I learned was that the Lord is watching out for her. I don’t NEED to hear from her all the time to know that she’s doing great! (Of course, I still WANT to hear the daily news) I am grateful for the knowledge that even though I cannot be watching over her, someone is!
Great is the Lord!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Note from Biana...

I received a short email saying that the mission home would send an email stating that Hermana Weatherford had arrived safely at the mission home. They said it would come this week. I've been waiting for it to arrive so that I could share, but it's not here yet! I'm not worried that she's lost in Guatemala because they would have contacted me...I'm impatient though!

I will share when something arrives.

Word is...she will probably email this coming Tuesday. Probably.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

#, Earthquakes, and Visa!

So much happened this week and I don't have much time to explain it
all! Here's hoping I can get it all in :) Also, my enter key is
broken, so whenever you see #, that means that it's a new paragraph
#So this week I did 3 language fasts, where I didn't speak any
english. I was great! Really hard, but not for the reason you'd think.
It was hard because people kept looking at me to translate things into
English for them, but I couldn't. I felt bad, but it was more
important for me to not speak English at all than to translate things
(usually for my companion who doesn't speak Spanish that well). # One
day this week while I was fasting I went up to a North American lady
at the church and asked her how I could help clean and the woman
thought I was latin and that I couldn't speak English so she actually
brought someone over to translate! It was real awkward. # The amount
that people think I'm latina is craaaaazy. I counted 5 times this week
that people told me I looked latina. It's ridiculous. One girl said
she thought I was from Honduras until I started speaking Spanish...
ha. So I guess I need to work on my Spanish some more... #This week I
experienced my first earthquake! It's called a temblor or sismo here
because it was pretty small. The earthquake was closer to the border
of Mexico and was a 5.9, but we're a little ways away from it.
Apparently it was felt country-wide! It was kinda fun, but for the
first bit I thought it was because I had been sick and was going to
pass out! #Everyone gets sick around here. I'm on the recovery of my
second bout of a cold. It's a blast. My companion is sick today and so
I've been on splits with other girls in my district, but amazingly, my
comp made a recovery just in time to write her family ;) #GREAT NEWS:
My VISA is in!!! Everyone else in my district has to go get temporary
visas tomorrow but me and my comp! It's a Christmas miracle :) #BAD
NEWS: My debit card doesn't work, so that's really stressing me out. A
lot. It's alright, the Lord will provide a way! #I won't be writing
next week until who knows when because I leave for the field Tuesday
morning. It's a little scary, but I'm ready to be done being sick.
That's really a bummer. #I finally got dear Elders from the middle of
August! I don't know what took them so long to appear, but I got it!
Thanks for your letters :) #Last parting note: I'm really feeling the
temptation to cut my hair. Like real bad. It gets in front of my
nametag all the time and it's heavy as all get out. But I think I'll
just try to get it trimmed and layered and thinned. And if that
doesn't work, I'm chopping it. You've been warned. #That's all for
this week folks. By the time I write you next, I'll be in the field!
Write you on the flipside! #Love, Hermana Weatherford


I know I could have fixed the # issue, but it was kind of cute! And it shows how she's adjusting to the challenges that come her way. As a mother I'm saddened to hear that she's sick. Again. That happened when she was stateside too...so I guess it's just business as usual.

Like you, I will find it hard to get through next Wednesday without an update from Teigen. But, this is why she went to Guatemala. So,

Go Forth with Faith