Monday, September 30, 2013

General Conference Week!


Are you guys excited for conference? Don't make fun of me but sometimes when I think about it I cry because I'm so excited...

I feel like I wrote yesterday. The weeks are flying by, which scares me because I have A LOT of work to do here! This last week was weird. 

Every Wednesday we have intercambios because my companion is the Sister Training Leader.  Hermana Ostler and I usually work together which is a blast!  But on this day Hermana Byington (Hna. Ostler's compa) worked with me. Hermana Byington is probably the funniest missionary in the mission.  I love her.  However, bless her soul she woke up sicker than a dog.  So I ended up taking care of her all day while Hna. Ostler and Hna. Betancourth tried to work in both of our areas.  I actually got a lot done!  I listened to like 30 General Conference talks, I did two hours of language study which is like unheard of,  I unpacked (finally),  I cleaned,  and attempted to work out... 

We woke up at 5:00 am and I bet you guessed it...I woke up sicker than a dog.  On this day our entire zone went to La Maquina to "attack the area".  La Maquina is on the coast of Guatemala, it is about 2 hours away from my area by bus.  Have you ever experienced a bus ride in Guatemala?  Probably not.  I don't recommend you try it either.  Basically you get in a bus that can fit 40 but we fit 1,002 people plus 2 dogs and 50 buckets of maiz. The road to La Maquina is like the road to Hana but with twice the amount of potholes.  Let's just say it was not the most fun two hours for me.  Also, the drunk hombre sitting next to my companion threw up all over.  I think I can relate to the feelings Nephi had when they arrived to the promised land.  Anyways, our purpose there was to invite EVERYONE to an activity on Saturday called "Una Tarde de Talentos." (more on that later) and also to la conferencia de rama en Domingo.  I was seeing stars so I figured I should ask for a blessing.  I have complete faith in the power of the Priesthood.  After, they took me to a members house.  I fell asleep in a hammock, woke up three hours later completely sopping wet with fruit flies all over me, but I felt like a new person.  I'm good now mom, don't worry! 

We took the bus again back to La Maquina. The ride there is beautiful. I looked out of my window and all of the sudden I realized I was crying because it was so beautiful. Really, I have said it a thousand times, but my mission is BEAUTIFUL. 
The view from my roof!

This is what it is like....truly humbling!

The "Tarde de Talentos" was like Christmas with vanilla ice cream and snickers with a bag of lays chips on the side. Best thing of my life. I was laughing the entire time. The people here are so happy! 

Here is a glimpse of a Guatemalan "Tarde de Talentos" 

Basically, I am sick of excuses.  "I have to work",  "I have to wash",  "Tengo gripe",  "My Mom's aunt's half brother 3 times removed is coming to visit."  I don't want to hear it people! Sunday is important!!!!!  Why?  Because it is when we participate in La Santa Cena. It is the most important and sacred hour of your week.  Arrive to church on time, prepare, show the Savior your love for him by renewing your covenants with Him.  Repent.  Repenting is a beautiful thing. The price has already been paid.  The Savior's arms are always open. What are you thinking about during the sacrament?  If you are thinking about the food you are going to make when you get home, the cute baby in front of you, or picking your nose, I challenge you to remember WHY we take the sacrament.  Remember what the Savior did for you.  "Remember the Sabbath day to keep it HOLY." 

I love the Casas azules!

I love you guys.  Keep pressing forward!  Seguir adelante!  Jesus Christ lives and loves you! The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church on the face of this earth. We have a prophet named Thomas S. Monson and this Saturday and Sunday we get to listen to his counsel!  Are you excited?!  I am!!!!!!  Take notes, not naps!!!

Con Mucho Amor,
Hna. Minnick

"Tarde de Talentos" 

Story of my Life! ... my comp and another Elder in the rain!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013



First, an item of business. Etiquette School! Parents, could you please do me a favor and save one dollar a day so that when I come home I can learn to be a girl again. Yesterday I completed 2 months here in Guatemala. I remember my first day looking down into my lunch bowl of flaming hot oil with a half-dead chicken and thinking:

"If I pour this into my backpack and my himno is ruined, I can just lip sync from now on!"
"Where are the mutated dogs?"

"Hermana Petersen, if you eat this, I will give the datos every night for 2 weeks!" 

I would like to report that now I pick up the half-dead chicken and as Hermana Petersen taught me, "Hermana Minnick, ya gotta suck to the bone. Clean the plate!" I have no problems anymore. What is a napkin? What is a fork? I don't know, they're non-existent in my world. Also, I have said "Ten second rule" one too many times in the past week!!  So yes, Padres, a dollar a day so that one day I can have nice enough manners to get married. Gracias.
I am acostumbrada. I look down during sacrament meeting to my shoes filled with dried mud...coooooool, it's great exfoliation. My body automatically wakes up at 6:10 without an alarm. The rain is my shower. The people laugh at my Spanish. Mosquito's love my blood. The fruit is to die for. The grass is greener, the sun shines brighter, and the church is true! I am acostumbrada and I love it. I am here because I know. 

I have been called to represent my family and my Savior here in the area of San Francisco, in the zone Mazatenango, in the mission Guatemala Retalhuleu. What a blessing and a privilege I have!  I have never felt so blessed, loved, protected, and happy. There are challenging times, times to test my faith and obedience. I will always strive with all of my heart to stand on the Lord's side of the line. I invite you to do the same! Don't let Satan attack you. Remember:  Wickedness never was happiness. Don't make excuses!  Never say, "I'll only do it just this time won't hurt." No!  Take your stand. Be obedient, think clearly, pray for the spirit to guide you!  I promise you that if you are doing the small and simple things, you will be protected and guided by the spirit!  Remember your worth! You are important and your purpose is clear if you center your life around our Savior. 

Last Saturday the Chavez family was baptized. I love them!  I didn't know it was possible to love my investigators like this. I have seen this family gradually center their lives and home in our Savior. What a difference it makes. I now understand the meaning of the word "joy".

The Chavez Family, minus Flora my abuelita...she will be baptized this saturday! This family is my heart.

To my family: I love you!  Thank you for raising me in a Christ centered home. Please remember to keep an eternal perspective. Pray for my Guatemalans!  Give thanks for the blessings you have!  Lastly, be a good example. The prophets have said, "every member a missionary."

I am Hermana Minnick, I enjoy tone deaf melody's of Soy Un Hijo de Dios accompanied by a recorder (a story for another day), eating exotic fruits, attempting to catch fireflies, learning Espanol AND I know that The Book of Mormon is true.


1. ZANE!!! Happy late birthday! I hummed the happy birthday song for you when I woke up on Sunday! I am so proud of you! Remember to be a priesthood man!

2. Don Miguel Julio Juarez the 3rd! I got your dear elder. HERE IS YOUR SHOUTOUT!  
I LOVE YA!!!!!!

3. Grandma Linda, I love your letters!  I love you! Papa Sherrell!  I get all of your dearelders! THANKS!!!!!!

4. I got a package from Stacey with a filtered straw. THANKS STACE -- love you! 

5. Grandpa Chuck, Grandma Lauradean! Thanks for the letter!  I love the poem at the end! Love you!!

Thanks for all of the letters and emails!!  I love all of you!
Much love, stay classy,
Hermana Minnick

I love this person. Hna. Ostler.

My group. We drove 5 hours to Guatemala on a bus yesterday to sign our names on a paper. Also they took a picture of me and didn't even count to three so that I could smile...

The fruit here is heaven!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Hola Mis Amigos Amados!

Hi! Are you sick of me yet? Probably.
This week was crazy...just like all of the other weeks!! 

On Tuesday Hermana Ostler and I were left alone to be companions all day long! At first we were nervous. Why? Because we are in a foreign country, speaking a foreign language, we don't know where in the world we are, and we were trainer-less. I found out two things:

1. I know more Spanish than I thought I did. 

2. As long as you smile and say, "Hola, somos misioneros de la iglesia de Jesu Cristo de los santos de los ultimos dias...podemos compartir un mensaje con usted?"  Then,  smile again extra big, they will let you in the door. 

I love the people here.  Hermana Ostler and I found a family contacting, we taught all of lesson three in our broken Spanish and then challenged them.  It was AWESOME!  I love being a missionary! 

On Thursday President Ruiz dropped in at our zone meeting and after he took Hermanas Byington, Ostler, Betancourth and I to McDonald's!  Guys, I have the best mission President!  After lunch Hermana Ruiz came out and taught all day with Hermana Betancourth and I! It was awesome! 

Right now Hermana Betancourth and I are teaching TWELVE families.  At the end of the day I don't even remember my name, but it's more than worth it! This Saturday is the baptism of the Chavez family! My first FAMILY!! I have never felt such joy. If there is one thing I have learned in 3 months it is that...FAMILY IS IMPORTANT. 

Here, I have seen happy families and miserable families. The families that keep the commandments, read in the scriptures, pray together, and spend time with each other are happy and successful. I have also seen broken families. My heart literally tears in half to see the pain and hurt. It is a result of not heeding to the commandments. I love this quote by President Harold B. Lee, "The most important of the Lords work you will ever do will be within the walls of your OWN homes." Family is more important than anything else. Satan is targeting the family. Don't let him in. Make sure that your home is centered in our Savior Jesus Christ!
Whats new with me?

1. I tried to say a prayer in English and I couldn't do it... (I am now an English teacher for my comp) 
2. I am 15 lbs fatter thanks to the bread here.
3. I ate SUBWAY!!!!!!!
4. Today we went to this huge waterfall deep into the jungle and I would like to remind you all that I have the best mission in the world.

Anyways, I have to go preach the gospel! I love all of you! Please don't forget who you are: sons and daughters of the most high Being! 
Have a beautiful day!
Con mucho amor,
Hermana Minnick
P.S. I got all of your dear elders! Thank you!!!!!

Missionaries gone wild!

Reunited and it feels so good!
My roomies from the MTC (missing Hermana Bontempo)
Ostler on the left and Parker on the right.


Helping this Hermana with her laundry!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Cambios y temblors y espanol OH MY.

So, this week was insane! 

The nuevos:
On Tuesday the nuevos came!!! I got to talk to Hermana Terry for a while...she got sent to the mountains! We were in the office all day as usual so I was able to meet all of the new missionaries! That night we ate at Presidents house and it was HEAVEN! I dream about lie.

I had changes!!! Holy cow my suitcases are so heavy I need to get rid of some stuff. Not to mention.. I now live on the third level of a bonita casa amarillo! My new area is called Mazatenago! I am in the San Fransico area in the foothills below the volcanoes!
The view from my roof!
I work out every morning on our roof and watch the volcanoes smoke...its crazy! My new companion is Hermana Betancourth from Honduras! She is seriously incredible. She has six months in the mission. She is the Sister Training Leader! Hondurans are known for speaking really fast...I can attest to that! She is seriously so patient, kind and loving! I am so blessed to be with her. We have a lot of fun! I know that the gift of tongues is real. 

Mi nueva companera, Hermana Betancourth de Honduras!

Also we live with two others Hermanas....HERMANA OSTLER and Hermana Byington (both from Utah)!  When I saw Hermana Ostler I legit cried (one of my MTC roommates y BFF). We hadn't seen each other for 7 weeks!  

Our house is so beautiful. It's on the third level, members live below us. It doesn't have any bugs!!! Also we have a LIFE SIZE FRIDGE. But, we NEVER have water. So that has been super interesting. I haven't done any laundry...To flush the toilet we walk down to the first floor fill up a bucket, and haul it back up. My legs are gonna be ripped!! Gotta love the buckets, right? My area is awesome too! In every single lesson we have a member. Right now we are teaching about 8 families. Yesterday we left the house at 6:30 am to round up the families for church at 9. The Family is where it's at people!!! Strengthen your families!!  

My beautiful room, without bugs or tree branches!

EARRTTHHHQUUAAKKEE: So that was pretty crazy! I survived a 6.5!! We were in the middle of a lesson and BAM everything was shaking!! It's pretty dangerous here because their houses are shacks and you do not want to be in one when it we booked it out! The family was balling, and I was like THIS IS AWESOME!!  We said a prayer and they calmed down. When we got home everything had fallen! Our fridge moved like 5 feet. Also my toothbrush fell in the toilet, I wasn't very happy about that. Through the night there were mini earthquakes and since we are on the third floor they are exaggerated so I woke up every time. I think I'm going to make a 72 hour kit! haha!

This week has been the best week of my mission. I am so happy and privileged to be here! I love being a missionary!!! Have fun, be happy and say your prayers!!

Con mucho amor,
Hermana Minnick
P.S. rumor has it my area hardly ever gets mail because we are far from the office.... email me :) 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Hello Fellow Americans!

Hello Fellow Americans!

The people stare at me here.
1. Because I am "alta"... tall which I have never been called in my life. 
2. Because I am a white gringita.
3. Because I wear church clothes 24-7.
4. Because I have a big black tag on my shirt.

I love when people stare at me, I smile at them and their jaws drop! I love representing Jesus Christ. I don't think I ever truly understood that I am literally a representative of Him. I have to remind myself everyday that I represent my Savior and my family. It makes all of the difference when I remember that. He loves everyone. I hope that one day I will have the pure love of Christ.

These past 6 weeks have been hard, happy, tiring, fun, and frustrating all in one. I wouldn't have it any other way!! I know that the Lord takes care of His missionaries. I know that as I work hard the Lord will prepare people for me to teach!!

In other news, I have 3 baptisms coming up this Saturday!!! Fatima, Susan, and Moises!!! Technically I won't be there but I'm still counting them! I love the people here! I am praying really hard that I can find a family to teach. I want to get people to the temple!!!

BIG news!!
Drum roll please.....

I'm going to have changes on Wednesday!!!! This past week Hermana Petersen and I LIVED in the office. There were A LOT of sick missionaries. Dengue fever is a beast!! President has decided to have the mission nurses work more in the office. So, he talked to me and we decided that right now I need to focus on the work, learning the language, and on my training! I am almost positive that on Wednesday I will have my first native companion!!!  Pray for me!! I struggle with Spanish but last week I talked on the phone to natives so I can see a little improvement! Whooo Hooooo! I am excited to focus on the work and learn this language. In two or three months I might be the nurse again, but rumor is that they are sending a nurse that will work only in the office.  I am so happy and excited!


MOM! I got all 3 packages! WOW! Thanks! The almonds saved my life. Also thanks for the jump rope and TRX thing... The school supplies are perfect for the kids here!

Belgica!!! You are an angel! Thanks for those bars! Good Luck!!! You will love the MTC!
Grandparents...I got all of your letters!! I love and miss you!

I also got letters from Brooklyn and Shanoah!! 

All of you letter writers - I LOVE YOU!

Remember to read your scriptures and pray!!!!
Stay classy,
Hna. Minnick

My mission is beautiful!
Fatima & Susan, getting baptized on Sat. They are teaching me Spanish.  I am on a 3rd grade level!  WASSSSSSUUUUPPPP!
Ali & Fernando, Hijos of recent converts!