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'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 piƱata 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