Younger sister Kylie felt that she needed to find out more about this mission...and just why her sister was so far away and for so long. Here are Kylie's questions (in blue) and Teigen's answers (as usual, in purple). Stay tuned for more!
You sent a picture of you with
a horse, what's the story behind that horse? Does it belong to a member or was
it just some rando horse you passed?
We found a new path (shortcut)
to get to the chapel. One day we were crossing and found the horse! So we took
some pictures with it. Simple as that. [folks might not know….T isn’t a fan of horses, and
that’s an understatement]
I remember you saying that you
don't eat at member's houses every night, what do you do on the other nights?
What do you do for lunch?
We don’t eat at night.
Actually, it’s a rule in our mission that we don’t eat dinner (to have more
time to visit people!). But it’s okay, because the large meal here is lunch. So
sometimes (Wed, Fri, Sat and Sun) we eat lunch with members (different ones every
time) and the other days (Tues, Thurs) we have district meeting and weekly
planning, so we usually eat a bit later than normal with our cook! She’s pretty
good and gives a lot of food J
What is the church (structure)
like down there? Are there wards/branches different than those here? How so?
This is the cool think about
Sometimes there are wards and sometimes branches, but EVERYTHING is the same!
Even the lessons taught!
How do people react when they
see you in the streets? Do they holler and wave like here?
Umm, no. They say “Adios,
hermanas!” And that’s it. Oh, what I would give to be a sister in the states! J
Roughly, how much do you walk
per day? How much did you walk in your last area?
How much do we walk…? I’m not
sure in miles. But we don’t count and the metric system is kilometers here. But
I walk at least double than my last area. Or triple. And LOTS of hills here!
How big is your area (Patriciza)?
The area last transfers had 2 wards (which isn't normal) and so it was pretty big. Now we only have 1 ward so it's half (or less) the size. About a square mile I'd guess. O ra little less. But that's in a town, out of town we can go in car/bud for 20-30 minutes and still be in our area. But it's pretty far away so the people there have a hard time going to church.
How many missionaries are in your areas? How many in the last one?
In an area, there are only 21 missionaries. In a district 3-4 companionships (we have 4) In a zone (depending on how much success) it changes a lot. In this zone, about 18 missionaries. Where I started my mission, about 30.
You mentioned something about your newest companion being the only Spanish speaking one NOT from Mexico, is this right? Where are the majority of the missionaries from if not Guatemala?
I lied. I had forgotten that my trainer is from Ecuador! I've had a total of 6 months of my mission with Mexican comps thought! A lot of Mexicans are here, about 50/50 Latinos and Gringos. But there are only a few missionaries who are from Guatemala actually.
Do you like singing all of the hymns in Spanish? Is it totally weird?
People here don't know to read music or to sing without changing keys or slide too much. So they change the rhythm and melody A LOT. ALso no one sings any part other than soprano. Alto, tenor, bass...they don't exist. But I do like hymns in Spanish.
How different are your favorite hymns? Do you now have a new favorite?
My favorite hymns are the same, just different words! There are a few ones in Spanish that don't exist in English...and one about missionary work!!!! LOVE IT.
Do you have a new appreciation of understanding of some songs?
Um...not really. I do really miss being in choi though! And all singing talent that I had before has gone out the window!
Is there a ward choir that you get to sing in or do you only get to sing during church?
No ward choir. We sing in church and sometimes in lessons. This weekend I'm going to sing a solo during a baptismal service.
Do the members bake/make you things like I do the Sisters here? What kinds of things?
Um...not really. They give us lunch! One investigator gave us mini pies one time! But not really.
When you do scripture study do you use English or Spanish scriptures? How many tabs have you put in them? [she regularly asks us to send her the colored 3M post it tabs]
We're advised to use our natural first language when we study to better understand what we're reading. In my English scriptures I don't have tabs, but in my spanish i have a TON! Each color represents a lesson and I can flip to each scripture quickly!
I heard that you are supposed to do Language Study in the morning for a half hour or so, what do you do? Does your companion help out?
We have 1 hour after comp study. It's nice! My comp doesn't help much, but I've basically learned the majority of grammar stuff. So sometimes I just read my scriptures on Liahona in Spanish to learn new vocab!
Sister Porter was telling a story of the people in Mexico, how they were told that the gods would come back on day, and that's why conquering them was easy...they thought the gods has returned. That's also why the Gospel is so strong and so prominent there, because out missionaries go and tell them that what they were originally taught of their history was true...that there is going to be a Second Coming, it just hasn't happened yet. Scholars believe that Jesus went and visited Guatemala after He was resurrected. Have you come across that connection?
That's really cool. I hadn't thought of that! No, I haven't heard of anything like that yet.
Is the work easier or more prominent than you expected, either flat out or because of their history?
...I'm not sure i understand the question. There's really nothing easy about the work. Like, at all. And here in the mountains it's even harder. But it's definitely progressing!
What kinds of plants are there? What are some of the most common plants you see? Anything that might grow well here? Probably not :)
Plants. Palm trees (some), all kinds of trees: pine douglas, shrubs, weeds. Basically normal. But a TON of fruit trees! And lots of fruits I'd never even heard of before.
How much service work do you do? What kinds? How often?
We're allowed 3 hours of service a week. It's only allowed during the week (Tuesday-Friday) and it's usually like washing clothes (BY HAND) or dishes or sweeping or taking corn kernels off the cob or making tortillas. That kind of thing :)
Do people talk to you and joke with you like we do the missionaries here?
Yes! They love to joke around! Especially our bishop right now! He's so FUNNY!
You mentioned that you watched General Conference in English to make sure you got the whole experience, what were some of your favorite talks or parts of talks? What stood out to you the most?
I loved the Olympics talk about 4 minutes. THAT WAS SO GOOD. (yes, I did watch in English for that reason!) ANd Elder Oaks' talk during priesthood about the priesthood. It was way cool.
How does your clothing style differ from that of the natives? Do the members dress a lot differently than the non-members?
Here the people use guipiles and corte. We are missionaries aren't allowed to :( But in the capital they don't use the traditional clothes. They use jeans and shirts like normals.