Monday, December 8, 2014

Bye Guate

My dearest family,

Well, to be honest I am mostly in shock that this has all come to an end. I never thought this day would come. I was telling dad yesterday that being on a mission I kind of forgot that I even had a family, I thought that I was going to be an eternal sister missionary and right about now I am wishing that I could be!  Life is so simple here.  Life is so beautiful here.  I wake up, pray, study, pray again, preach the gospel, pray, sleep. I love my little protective Guatemalan bubble.

I'll talk about yesterday really fast. It was so weird. Sometimes I just look at dad and poke him because it feels so unreal. I would look at him during our lessons and be like, "Wait a second, why are you here!?" And then other times I feel like I never left! I missed mi Padre. The best part is watching him experience the culture shock of Guatemala. He is basically starving himself because he is afraid of the food. After about 5 minutes of convincing him -- I did get him to eat two peanut butter sandwiches. Also, I don't think I have ever seen anyone sweat so much. The Pajapita heat will kill ya! I am also noticing that if he is experiencing culture shock this bad, I will definitely be suffering in a couple of days! Please go easy on me!! I am so happy Dad is here with me, I'm going to need someone to yank me on the plane!

Jay's reunion with Hermana Minnick

So, I don't remember the last time I was this sad. Really, I am sad sad sad. I will say that it is way harder to leave the mission than to leave home. These little brown people are my family, I love them so much it hurts!  Many times as I am walking (sweating bullets), taking a freezing cold shower in my flip flops, or looking at the children play marbles in the dirt, I think to myself, "What a beautiful place and what a beautiful people!" Guatemala has my heart. 

I feel so full of love. I feel peace. I know that I gave it all that I had. Blood, sweat, tears, laughs, cries. Well, a little bit of everything! Mostly, I feel a deep gratitude and love for my Savior Jesus Christ. He is the perfect missionary and I hope that one day I can be just like Him. I know that he lives! I am grateful for the sacred privilege I have had to represent Him and to strive to do what He would do in gathering His sheep! 

If there is one thing that really stood out to me on my mission, it has been the importance of: 

1.  Keeping the Commandments 
2.  Sustaining the Prophet 
3.  Families and the Temple

1. The Lord has given us commandments, they are clear are they not? He has said, "If you love me, keep my commandments." He gives us commandments to protect us from harm, evil, and well, the wrath of Satan. We must be obedient to the commandments to receive blessings. God will never break His promises!  And we must also do our part to keep ours.

2. I know that Thomas S. Monson is a Prophet, Seer, and Revelator. He is God's mouthpiece on this earth. He holds all of the sacred priesthood keys necessary to obtain eternal salvation. I know that what He says, God says too. Also, President Eyring, Ucthdorf and the Quorum of the Twelve all are men called of God. I know what they say is true. I sustain them, I love them, and I know that if I follow the prophet I wont go astray. It's all pretty simple right? That's what I love about the gospel.

3. Families. I think if I hadn't come on a mission I would have become a cat lady. But lets face it, I hate cats so maybe, a goldfish lady. Yeah, that's better. Anyway, now I don't want to be a goldfish lady. I have no idea what Guatemala put in its water besides parasites but now all I want to do is get married and have a family. (But give me at least 2 years) To have an eternal family is to have pure happiness and joy. I know because I have one myself. My love for my mom, dad, Weston and Zaney has grown 100 fold. I am so grateful that my parents taught me to be obedient and righteous. I plan to do the same for my future posterity. Some would say that I am such a typical mormon sister missionary but you know what -- THE FAMILY IS WHERE IT'S AT PEOPLE, and also it is CENTRAL to God's plan!! So, maybe we should all act a little bit more like typical mormon sister missionaries and get this show on the road!  

Now, the temple. Being on a mission, attending the temple is a rare treasure. Every time I went I felt like I won the lottery or something way better. All of you Utahns out there, I really don't think you realize how INSANELY blessed you are to have so many temples on your door steps! They are there for some righteous purposes. Go to the house of the Lord!

I am so grateful that I have been able to understand just a little bit more, God's love for his children. He loves us so much, even when we stray. That's why He sent His beloved son Jesus Christ to save us from physical and spiritual death.

I know that the plan is real. One day we will return as resurrected beings to the presence of the Father to be judged of our works. Now is the time to repent, mend, heal, reshape, and clean our lives!  Repent, repent, repent! The Lord is waiting to heal you and me.

I love the Book of Mormon, it is true. It contains the fullness of the gospel. As the bible does, it testifies of the Savior Jesus Christ on every page. If you have not read the Book of Mormon, I invite you to start reading it TODAY!

Mostly, I love missionary work!!  In fact, I think someone might have to take off my plaque for me. I am not capable of doing it! This is a work of miracles. I have seen them everyday. It is not only the work of full time missionaries, but of members, and angels too. I am praying that I can have missionary experiences for the rest of my life. I love being Hermana Minni! 

Thank you family, and friends for the prayers, love and support! It's been a crazy good ride!!!

Here are my favorite scriptures, read them out loud!
DyC 6

 32 Verily, verily, I say unto you, as I said unto my disciples, where two or three are gathered together in my name, as touching one thing, behold, there will I be in the midst of them—even so am I in the midst of you.
 33 Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sow good ye shall also reap good for your reward.
 34 Therefore, fear not, little flock; do good; let earth and hell combine against you, for if ye are built upon my rock, they cannot prevail.
 35 Behold, I do not condemn you; go your ways and sin no more; perform with soberness the work which I have commanded you.
 36 Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.
 37 Behold the wounds which pierced my side, and also the prints of the nails in my hands and feet; be faithful, keep my commandments, and ye shall inherit the kingdom of heaven. Amen.

Con amor,
Hermana Minnick

P.S. Mom please bring me a coat to the airport. I'm gonna die....and also, I CAN'T WAIT TO GIVE YOU THE BIGGEST HUG!

Whit teaching!

Virgin Mary Parade


Notes from Tami:  
Most of the captions on the pics come from me.   Jay has a ton more pictures but his Verizon phone doesn't want to send them.  AT&T works great!!  :)    

Quotes from Jay's texts - live from Guatemala:

--It's beautiful and green in Guatemala... I have never seen so many volcanoes.  Active too!  

--Pajapita is having a Fair - Christmas Festivities. The main road is shut down for the rest of the year!

--The people r playing band music and its 6:30 in the freaking morning.  :/  

--It is 100% humidity and 100 degrees.  I am sweating like a pig.  I do not know how these missionaries do it.  

--There are fireworks going off here -- right, left, and sideways.  

--Whitney teaches with power and authority!  When she shares her testimony the people listen!  My grandchildren will be raised by a mother who knows and teaches perfectly the gospel!  This I know!

--Being here is so much fun...well except the heat and the internet cafe!  I love winter!

Quotes from Whit (texting on Jay's phone):

--Haha this is unreal!  And this phone is bigger than my face!!  (iPhone 6 Plus)

--Yeah...I can tell I'm going to have culture shock just seeing how dad is reacting to Guatemala.  He is sweating like a pig!!  I love you mom!!!!!!

--Dad stop whining!!!!  (this was stated out loud... not least 10 times in the last two days)

--My fan is my very best friend!

--Only three more cold showers!!!

Hermana Minnick Teaching!

Beautiful Family!!  Notice the gift bags in the children's hands.  We made 50 of those for Jay to hand out to the kids.  It goes right along with the #sharethegift initiative in Guatemala!!  The gift bag has nativity hand puppets, picture of Christ, glow sticks and some candy!  

Whit and her comp, Hermana Natividad.  Jay and Percy the driver!!!  He is a great guy!!  He gave Jay a book about the history of the church in Guatemala.  Most of it started in REU!

Elder Amundson on far left is the one who filmed the "reunion"!  Worked out perfectly because Jay wasn't waiting around and this Elder knew how to run an iPhone and knew how to RUN!!  Thank you Elder!!


There is a FAIR going on in Pajapita right now.  Streets closed.  Crazy bands.
ALL THE TIME!!  SO awesome!

More hotel... can you tell Jay was waiting around!!

Out Jay's hotel window!

Got this text.... "three more cold showers!!!!"

On the way to Waterfalls for P-Day!


This is the best picture I received all day!!
SOOOOO STRANGE to see Jay and Whitney together.  Have to admit, this got me!!  

I did it!!

Internet Cafe!!!  Quote from Jay: "If I were a missionary and had to spend more than two minutes in this stinky, hotter than hades internet cafe... no one would get more than a two sentence letter from me".  --It doesn't look that bad to me!!! 

Monday, December 1, 2014

I love Guatemala!

Muy buenos dias familia!

Como estan? Mom, I hope you know that I am going to attempt to teach you Spanish so that you don't feel so left out. You can teach me German too. Deal?

Well, I feel a lot of emotions right now. I'll try to pick one and write about it. Mom, I am just going to answer one of the questions you sent me.

Why is Guatemala special?  Why does God love "your" Guatemalans???  

Let me see if I can answer this how I want to... 

Guatemala is special to me because here I honestly and truthfully received a confirmation so firm from the Holy Ghost that all of this is TRUE.  In fact, there is a God that lives, He has a body of flesh and bones, we are His children and we were created in His image. His son Jesus Christ lives. He descended below it all. He felt every pain, sickness, and sadness. For me, and you, He bled through every pore.  My sin sick soul can be healed through Him and only Him. 

In Guatemala I learned of the perfect life that the Savior lived. I strive to follow His example. I teach, love and serve like Him. In my first area, on my broken-tile, grime-stained floor, I got on my knees and I learned how to really pray.  I learned how to imagine myself stepping into the presence of my Heavenly Father and talking to Him. I learned how to repent. But, really truly repent. And right now, I want to invite you to repent because there really isn't another option but to do so. REPENT! It hurts so good!

It has been here in the Book of Mormon lands where I have come to LOVE the Book of Mormon. I have read it four times here and well, I hope to read it over and over again for the rest of my life. It contains the FULLNESS of the gospel and it is TRUE.

I love Guatemala because in every place I have taught I have defended the Prophet Joseph. I know that he saw God the Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. I know that the priesthood keys were restored through Him. I know that Thomas S. Monson is our living prophet today!

Here, I have learned that if I want to be happy, then I HAVE to keep the commandments!!! Seriously, if you want to have a nonstop smile then live the gospel and do it with ZEAL I LOVE MY GUATEMALA because HERE in the pouring rain, and in the striking sun I have come to know more perfectly this perfect plan that God has for all of us. The Church of Jesus Christ is the only true church on the face of the earth. It is His church!

I love Guatemala because it has the best sunsets and the clouds here are so insane. I love the exotic fruit, I love the bright colors, the food (sometimes). I love the rainstorms. I could go on and on but I'll save some to tell you later.

Why does God love my Guatemalans?

They are SO faithful. When they commit to something they give it their all!! They have the faith to move a mountain, I'm not kidding! God loves the Guatemalans because they work hard and they don't complain. I have never heard so many sincere prayers in my life. He loves them because they love Him and they show it! The Guatemalan Saints are so happy, they shine! They prosper! They share the gospel! I love my Guatemalans!

I cant wait to bring all of you here!

Hermana Minnick

Hermana Valeriano, Hermana Outsen, Me!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Turkey Week

Hey family,

So I'll start out by saying that I feel 100% better. Hooray. HaHa!
Next, this week was so packed full of work and I loved every second of it!  However we had a sad moment.  Hermana Jimenez is currently in the mission home with a cast on her foot.  For the past month she has had a ton of pain when she walks.  I guess I worked her too hard...But, she is stubborn like me and refused to do anything about it.  Our area is pure rock and she wasn't really used to walking a ton so she pulled a lot of the ligaments in her foot and she has tendinitis.  In the United States they would usually just give you one of those ugly looking shoe things but since we are in Guatemala they just put a cast on it.  She gets her cast off on Dec 2nd, I hope that she comes back to me!  For right now I am with Hermana Natividad, she is awesome! She brings out my sassy side. I don't know if that's good or bad...

I am so happy. All of our converts are on fire!!  It has been such a blessing to be able to see them progress after baptism.  They are all giving us referrals or references (what is it in English) of all of their friends and family.  We are seeing huge miracles in our area!

Well, I really have no desire to keep writing. I promise I'll tell you guys everything later!!


Hermana Minnick
p.s.  Read the scriptures. Right now I am in Helaman 8. I have to finish before Dec 12th...pray for me...haha

p.p.s...Can we have Thanksgiving in December too?


Be Kind!

Mi area!

It could last me two more weeks?!?!?!