Monday, July 29, 2013



Holy cow. I think I've turned into Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz! Everyday I'm like, "We are not in Kansas anymore" haha!  Everything is different, new, and interesting! I LOVE it... I mean there are some things that are.......interesting. 

LIVING CONDITIONS (for mom):  My area is called Peru! It's in Reu! It's BLAZING HOT! There is a tree that is growing through the window above my bed in my room. It's dead. I wake up everyday with leaves on my face - the leaves smell good though, so I'm not complaining! 
Also, I need a pillow... 
Each night I shower out of two buckets. The water is so cold it takes my breath away, but it is like 1000 degrees here so it feels good. Also our toilet doesn't flush so every time we go to the bathroom we have to fill up a bucket of water and flush it with that. There is no light so I usually shower in the pitch black which I prefer. I fall asleep to dogs barking and Spanish rap music (I'm glad I don't understand it). We have a little camping stove that I have never used because I don't know how to cook. We have two little desks and our beds. What else? Oh ya the bugs.. there are bugs everywhere and surprisingly they don't scare me. They are BIG bugs. We wash our own laundry every morning in the pilla and then we hang our clothes out to dry. I feel like I'm camping. It's pretty fun! 

FOOD: Boy have I struggled with the food. It is very very very interesting. I've probably lost 15 lbs this week! haha!  For breakfast I have like two spoon fulls of yogurt. We eat lunch at the member's houses, this is the hardest part of the day for me. I literally pray that what I am eating doesn't kill me. So far, it has worked!  One time we were eating some type of sausage except for I don't think it was sausage.. My eye was twitching and it took everything I had not to lose it. I remember two summers ago we went to a barbecue at the Erbs and Marshall made this really good sausage. I closed my eyes, said a prayer, and pretended that Marshall had just put his special sausage on my plate and then somehow how I ate it!  So, thank you Marshall Erb!  Other than that we don't really eat dinner because they feed us so much lunch. I have one bag of gold fish and I eat like ten pieces a night. I really am thankful for goldfish! Also yesterday a wealthier member family fed us eggs, beans, and bread. I have never been so happy in my life. I ate probably half of my body weight. That family feeds us every mom..DON'T WORRY!!! :) 

WHAT ELSE?:  The rain!!!  IT'S UNREAL! My jaw dropped the first time it rained! It rains everyday in the afternoon. It's like a shower x's 10 on steroids! The streets literally turn into rivers and umbrellas don't help at all! I love it! Also the thunder could blow my eardrums out. It is incredible.

ESPANOL: Estoy una gringita! The gift of tongues and interpretation is REAL. I'm definitely not fluent, but when the Lord wants me to hear something, I hear it. And when he wants me to say something, I am able to say it. I'm not worried about the language. It will come as I study and do my part. The Lord does not let his missionaries fail. He is right here with us. We are in his hands! So all of you missionary moms out there (especially mine)... 1. We love you 2. Quit worrying.

PEOPLE:  Wow. They truly are the most humble, warm, kind, hardworking people in the world. I love them. I love serving them. I love Guatemala! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY! The people here make it ALL worth it! They live in tin shacks. I think I've been in one home with real walls.  Their floors are dirt, they have no food, BUT...they are HAPPY! I teach with diseased chickens pecking at my feet, pigs running wild, dogs barking at me, but there truly is nothing better than looking them straight in the eye and testifying with conviction in their native language that Jesus Christ lives and loves them! That Joseph is in fact a prophet of God! That the Book of Mormon heals all!! This truly is the most important work! To save souls. I'm not afraid to share this gospel. It's a happy message, it's a life changing message. 

About two hours ago I looked a little Guatemalan family right in the eyes, I felt so much love for them. I can't imagine the love Heavenly Father has for us! I taught about the restoration in my broken Spanish and I bore my testimony from the depths of my heart. I could feel the spirit, and I knew they could too. I committed them to baptism. They said yes. I have never felt so much joy in one moment. I love this work.  

I love all of you. I pray for you. Please remember who you are, why you're here, and then stand up, press forward, be happy and serve others! Don't waste your time being sad. You have purpose, now act on it. Take advantage of everyday. Use the atonement daily. The Lord loves you, and I love you! I'm cheering for all of you! 

Write me at Choose Guatemala Retalhuleu Mission. Or, handwritten letters. Email is too hard to respond too!  I will write you back :) 

Stay classy.

Adios Mis AMIGOS!
Con mucho Amor,
Hermana Minnick

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Whit arrived SAFELY in Guatemala!

We received an email From President Ruiz (and a few pictures) -- Whitney arrived safely in Guatemala!  We talked with Hermana Minnick last Monday night before she left the states and she was sooooo sick.  She was mostly mad that she would have to meet her mission president and new companion in such a sorry state!  But it looks like she is trying to eat pizza???  Hopefully we will receive her first letter on Monday -- which is P-Day in Retalhuleu!  



"Hello Family Minnick

We wish to inform you that your daughter came well to Guatemala Retalhuleu Mission. We are pleased to have your daughter with us in one of the best missions of the Church.

Many thanks

Presidente Ruiz
Mision Retalhuleu"

Friday, July 19, 2013

The mEjor Week en el CCM

This week in the MTC has been the mEjor week!

Here's why:
1. Carole Mikita spoke to us in Relief Society! Who doesn't love Carole?! She has a really soothing voice.

2. Both of our investigators are getting baptized...Edith and Marta! I love them!!

3. I found almond milk in a deep corner of the MTC cafeteria and literally shouted, "BEST DAY EVER!!! ALLLLMMOONNNDDD MIIILLLKKKK!!" Yeah, dumb move Hermana Minnick!! 20 other Hermanas heard me and came running. It's okay though, I've learned to share aqui. Everyone should be able to enjoy almond milk here in the MTC.

4. Richard I. Heaton spoke for Sunday Night Devotional! He is incredible! I went up to him afterwards and shook his hand. I told him who I was and he said, "Oh I LOVE LeRoy and Esther!" I also met Grandpa Heaton's sister-in-law! She was so kind and sweet!

5. My district has MTC senoritis. We are all stir crazy! At night we have light shows (don't ask), we have puppet shows with flashlights on the wall, we make up missionary raps, and dance.  Also last night I hit rock bottom and sang a beautiful opera rendition of "God Bless America" in Spanish to my class. I used a black dry erase marker as my microphone if you were wondering. 

6. Hermana Bontempo and I were chosen to be examples to the new missionaries on Wednesday. We taught investigators (members) who were actors. There were like 100 new missionaries we were teaching in front of and they had their notebooks out, writing down every word we said!  I was like don't write that down! I don't know what I am saying!  On top of that, it was in would think that would be easy for me, but NO. I have zero grammar/language skills in ingles ahora. Teaching in spanish is much easier for me now!  It was so fun though! The investigators we taught were converts. They used their real stories! One of them, Hely was from Guatemala! We were so excited to talk to her! I said, "We are so excited to go to your country! We have only heard good things!" She looked at me like I was insane and then she started talking about the war there and how many people she saw killed. It was so sad! She was so kind though, I love the Guatemalan people! The next investigator we taught was Arnold. He was really in to the acting... He had a witty sense of humor and keep shooting snide comments at me. His witty humor brought out mine and we had fun!  Totally related.  

Me teaching the ley de castidad (law of chastity)

7. Yesterday was in field orientation. IT MADE ME SO EXCITED/SCARED/READY to leave the MTC and get out into the field!

8. On Tuesday night Richard Hinckley spoke to us! He sounded exactly like President Hinckley and I'm not going to lie, I definitley teared up. We are so lucky here at the MTC to hear from incredible people! I think in every talk I have heard the speaker makes a point to tell us that we need to be worthy to keep the spirit with us at all times! When we receive promptings, we must ACT right away!

9. We sang "Sirvamos Unidas" (As sisters in Zion) in Sacrament meeting on Sunday. I sang with the altos again. I'm not a quitter. When I get home I'll being fluent in Spanish, Kekchi, and I'll sing alto like a boss. I'm becoming one of those weird Mormons who bursts out in song at random times in the day. People enjoy my renditions here. If I were in Draper, I'd probably have a black eye.

10. Kekchi... Mom, thanks for sending us those BOM's.. they scared us to death. Kekchi looks like a mix of Chinese, Russian, German, and Spanish!! Today we found another hermana who went to Guatemala last summer. She told us that SO many people speak Kekchi and that we will learn it. She said the people there are incredible!

11. I leave the MTC in tres days. In the past six weeks I have learned A LOT! I have had a lot of fun- as much fun as a missionary can have! But, I will leave this place with the most important knowledge. That I am a daughter of God, the most powerful being. He knows me. He knows you. His son Jesus Christ LIVES. He suffered for ALL of our pains, afflictions, sins, worries, and heart aches. He knows us, He knows how we feel. The atonement covers all! The price has already been paid! Place your burdens on the Lord. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love you! They want you to be happy. That is why they have given us modern day prophets, the Book of Mormon, the ability to receive personal revelation, and temples!!! Live to your potential! Try to see yourself the way Heavenly Father sees you!! Yo se´ que Dios les ama! Se´ que esta iglesia es VERDADERA! JesuCristo es nuestro redentor y salvador! El Libro de Mormon es Verdadero! I know it is true. I am so happy. We are so blessed.

12. Now, I´m off to GUATEMALA! Pray that I won't get bit by a huge jungle spider, that the water won't kill me, and that puedo aprender Espanol!
I LOVE ALL OF YOU! Thank you for the letters! Keep them coming!
Con MUCHO amor,
Hna. Minnick

sidenote: I'm sorry my emails are not very entertaining/uplifting. I'll make sure I improve when I write from Guatemala! Les Quiero!! 

Amigos! If you want to write me here's the mission home address for now:

Hermana Whitney Minnick
Guatemala Retalhuleu Mission
Iglesia Mormona, Boulevard Centenario
Salida a Coatepeque, Zona 2, Apt. Postal 26

Doing my laundry at 6:30 AM.... p.s. I haven't ruined any of my clothes!

Hermana Bontempo is an AMAZING ARTIST!

This is how I feel about sitting in a classroom for 9 hours


Don't you just want to squeeze our cheeks??? 

Elder Perez!

Elder Killpack!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Call Me Mozart

Call me Mozart. Hermana Mozart. I can now play, "I Like to Look for Rainbows" (the baptism song) on the piano like a boss. And I'm not talking like some 12 year-old mormon girl clunking the keys with her right hand. Like, people might mistake me for a piano master. Hermana Bontempo taught me. She's a pro. Sometimes during additional study we go into a piano room...she plays beautiful songs and I cry tears of joy because music is so rare. She has pure talent! Anyway, I feel pretty accomplished in the music department right now. I finally sang in the choir. I decided to be adventerous and sing with the altos. I won't ever do that again. We sang "Sweet Hour of Prayer". I was praying alright. My face was on the big screen and I was lip syncing for my life. I didn't want to mess up anyone around me! Thank goodness for all of those lip syncing practices with Tan-Man! Everyone thought I was singing my guts out.
Anyway, because the temple was closed last Friday, we cleaned the men's locker room for 4 hours. Just two disticts in our zone were there! The entire time we sang hymns. I learned that no matter where you are in the temple you can feel the spirit - even cleaning out lockers. I love the temple. I'm sad because the rumors about them busing us to Mount Timpanogos were false. So I don't know what I'll do all day! Probably write you all nice letters :)
Hermana Bontempo is an artist!  Beautiful drawing of the Provo Temple!

Sunday was fast Sunday.. Here was my schedule:
7:15-9:00-personal study
2:00-3:00-Sacrament Meeting
Do you see how that schedule kind of scared me? Whitney+Classroom+Spanish+ zero food = mal cosas.  BUT, I ended up being perfectly fine. My stomach did have an orchestra playing inside but I never got hungry! I love fast sundays! In sacrament meeting I bore my testimony. ALL in spanish! And guess what, I pounded the pulpit. I know that the Lord blesses his missionaries with the gift of tongues! I am amazed. When we teach our investigators, somehow my vocabulary increases ten fold and I'm saying words I've maybe only seen once! The power of the Holy Ghost is real! I feel it when I teach, study, and learn here everyday! I love the MTC. You walk through the gates and the spirit hits you like a wall!
This week Hna. Bontempo and I left the MTC 3 times! Each time we came back I could feel the world slip away, and the sweet spirit here would rest upon my shoulders once again. But, it was really exciting to leave!
1. The Police Station
Note from Tami: I actually think Whit is wearing the skirt that Madel gave her for her birthday.... It has cute notes and scriptures sewn into it all over the place!

I don't know what paper work I filled out, but whatever it was it was important and I hope I did it right! All of the missionaries going to Reu came! I believe whole-heartedly that Heavenly Father decided to send the funniest, kindest, and best missionaries to Reu. (No offense to you other missionaries, you're great too!) We took a picture in front of the police station. Okay, more like 5...the whole time I was thinking, "This is weird. We are weird." I'm chill with it though. I like being weird and pictures in front of the police station are fun. You'll notice in those pictures that Hna. Bontempo and I were drinking Dr. Pepper. That stuff is rare here. Mom, Hermana Bontempo told me to tell you are an angel for sending it to her!
2. We went to the BYU Health Clinic to pick up some pills for our messed up backs. Which leads to...
3. The Chiropractor
Because we sit in hard plastic chairs for 9 hours everyday you can probably imagine just how wonderful our backs feel! (*TIP FOR MISSIONARIES COMING IN: bring a butt pad!!!!*) Sometimes I stand up too fast and I almost pass out because a pinched nerve sends the sharpest pain every which way and I fall to the ground in fetal position for 20 minutes…K that was a little dramatic but you get the point.. So we went to the Doctor here at the MTC, and I hate going to the Doctors! (Which is kind of ironic because I got into the BYU nursing program) Hermana Bontempo went to one and I went to another. She obviously got the nicer Doctor because he gave her the okay to go to the Chiropractor. I was mad because I only go to the Doctor when something is wrong and there is really something wrong with my back!! All I got was, "Take ibuprofen and stretch." I was already doing that, but okayyy.. So, the next morning we got on a bus and went to the Chiropractor. I watched her in a jealous rage as he cracked her back and rubbed out her knots. I tried to copy everything the doctor did to her on myself. It didn't work. But, I'm confident that when I get in the walking field of Guatemala my back will heal and a new body part will hurt! Ya win some, ya lose some. It's okay, I'm willing to sacrifice my body for my mission. I'm willing to sacrifice everything!
Wednesday we got the opportunity to host the new missionaries! Before we hosted, the leader guy over it all was like, "Make my Mom happy. Make the MTC sound like Disneyland." Basically his message was "Smile or I'll kill you." Well, I'm the worst host ever because the very first car that pulls up, yeah I lost it. The little girl was just so cute and sad and hanging on to this sister missionary's leg for dear life!! I cried. Hermana Bontempo cried. We pulled it together and I hosted two cute sisters! It was fun! They were both out of it - I was the same way! I felt better when I saw an Elder in my district running around like a nutcase because he lost his missionary in the first two minutes who was right off the plane from Japan.
Ready for a funny story? Okay, so first we need to have a vocabulary lesson:
Situation: In TRC teaching two moms from Utah valley (all in Spanish)
Me: "Yo se que su conocimiento estarĂ¡ mujer (You're knowledge will be woman)" I also said something along the lines of, "Your relationship with God will be mujer (woman)" they were giggling.. I didn't know why..Hna. Bontempo told me later..
It gets worse. I didn't learn my lesson. Two days later in class we were practicing spanish exercises. I said in Spanish, "When I was a child I did everything I could to be more woman (mujer instead of mejor)" You had to be there for the teacher's eyes popped out of her head and she died laughing. I proceeded to say, "Estoy muy embarrasada." (I am very pregnant) The class was rolling on the floor while I was tearing through my dictionary to see what I said! I am not very pregant, nor did I try very hard to become a woman as a child. To make things even worse, 10 minutes later I got hungry, and when I get hungry I announce it hoping that someone will share comida with me. I said, "Tengo hombre."  (I have man) instead of "hambre" My class was dying. I will never forget these words!
So yeah. I'm super good at Spanish! ahah

Yesterday we got to skype for TRC with a guy named Edkin. He lives in Honduras! It was seriously a blast! The people in Central America are angels! It made me SO EXCITED for GUATEMALA! 10 days, folks! 10 days! Which means I have one more P-day! You all have one week to write me a buttload of letters! Mail in Guatemala is called snail mail! I WILL write you back before I leave :) I have fun cheesy stickers that will put a smile on your face! Also, I recieved my travel plans yesterday! I leave July 22nd from the SLC airport at 10:00 pm! Mom, send me one of those phones that Jenn sent Madel! People, if you want a phone call next Monday evening, email me your phone numbers by next FRIDAY! I arrive in Guatemala the next morning at 6 am! I AM BEYOND EXCITED!
I love being a missionary. This time in my life has by far been the greatest! I am having a blast and a half. I love this gospel. I love my Savior Jesus Christ. I love the plan of salvation. I love our prophet Thomas S. Monson. These things are true. I know it!
I LOVE ALL OF YOU! Keep me in your prayers as I leave this country. I will pray for all of you, I already do:)
Remember who you are. Stay classy!
Con Amor,
Hna. Minnick

Tami:  So excited to see Whit doing her laundry! Tired you think??

Friday, July 5, 2013

Halfway Done!

Hola Amigos!
Can you believe I'm halfway done with the MTC?! It's insane! The weeks are flying!! I will be in Guatemala is 17 days... whoa!
I feel like there really isn't a lot to update on. We study a lot! The spanish is coming!! I can teach all three lessons in PMG and mostly get the point across! Both of our "investigators" are committed to baptism! The MTC is fun. I'll be sad to leave everyone here!
Friday: We ate at the temple cafeteria. It was like a Thanksgiving Feast. No joke. It was the best meal I've had in three weeks, and probably the last best meal because now the temple is closed for cleaning! I am pretty depressed about that. The temple was my favorite part of the week. BUT, there are rumors going around that they will bus us to Mnt. Timpanogous (i can't spell anymore)... Speaking of spelling, I can't speak english anymore either so please excuse my horrible grammar. In my class I was voted for "best spanglish." Example: "You don't beso of the first date."-me
Sunday: Sunday's are always the best here.The Hermanas get to watch Music and the Spoken word. It is my second favorite part of the week. I cry everytime we watch it because it is so beautiful! Here, music is rare. So, we make music!! A BYU music major in my zone asked me why in the world I wasn't a music major. Apparently, some of the Heaton's music talent runs through my veins too! Everywhere you go someone is singing... My favorite is listening to sisters sing in the showers...last night someone sang a pitchy version of "You Raise Me Up" by Josh Groban. I plugged my ears, but hey, whatever floats their boat! That night Sherri Dew spoke to us! It was great! Then, we got to watch an old MTC devotional by David A. Bednar. His talk was called "Character of Christ." It is my FAVORITE talk ever. But, it is not on so I can't find a way to print it off! If you find a way to get it, pleasssseee send it to me!!
Funny Story (At least I think it's funny, but I may have lost my sense of humor): On Tuesdays we do a service project. This week we were the lucky ones who got to empty out ALL of the trash in the women's bathroom-if you know what I mean. It was not fun. You would think the sisters here would be clean, but NO that would be a lie. Anyways, we were looking really beautiful in our grungy work out clothes with our hair on top of our heads, sweating too! We had to carry literally like 20 bags full of trash out to the dumpters. I guess on the same day the MTC was doing a photoshoot with the more atractive looking missionaries. Well, that photoshoot was taking place right next to the dumpsters and there was no way to get to the dumpters other than walking straight though the photoshoot. There were two sisters (from our zone) who are literally drop dead gorgeous and also two elders... I bet you can guess who! Yes, Elder Bench (my cousin) and his companion. To make things worse, we were each carrying three huge black leaking smelly bags full of who knows what! It was so embarrassing! The head photographer said to us, "Um, do you mind running through?" So, because I felt bad I tried to half run jog walk but that doesn't work when you only have two arms and three bags bigger than your own body. So trash was falling out left and right and juices of every kind were spilling all over me. It was a good time. All four of us had to make three trips! I wanted to jump in the picture and yell, "THIS IS WHAT A REAL MISSIONARY LOOKS LIKE!" Hahah. We are the Cinderellas of the MTC. We laughed about it all day! Elder Bench did a great job modeling though! He is my claim to fame!

You can't even give your cousin a hug????  

"Model....ooops! I meant Elder Bench"

Yesterday was my favorite! My favorite holiday is the 4th of July!! The missionaries looked like a walking American Flag. It was awesome! They let us watch 17 miracles and then stay up past our bedtime to watch the Stadium of Fire fireworks!! I felt a lot better knowing that my family was watching the same light show as me!! I missed you guys! That was the fist time I felt a little bit homesick!
The entire time we watched 17 miracles I thought about Honor and Mariah Watson Kirby. I am so proud of where I come from. They did hard things, and I can do hard things too! I am so grateful for a country that supports religious freedom. I'm grateful for the prophet Joseph and the restoration of the gospel. I know that God lives and lovs us. I know that His son, Jesus Christ atoned for the sins of the world. I am beyond excited to share this message with the Guatemalans! I love this gospel. I love being a missionary! So far, this is the best experience I've ever had. I love wearing the name of the Lord over my heart. If you are reading this, remember who you are, and why you are here! Remember that there is a God above whpo knows you personally. He will answer your prayers!!
Thanks for writing me!!! I love all of you!! Keep the letters coming!
Con Amor,
Hermana Minnick

Classic Whit jumping Pic


Whit accepted to Nursing School at BYU.  She will start Winter Semester 2015

Love the red boots!  Happy 4th of July!

Missionary Trek to Marriott Center