Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Amados Hermanos Mios!

Saludes from Guatemala!

First some items of business...

1. I apologize for my letter last week.  I was being a whiner and a little bit negative.  A representative of Jesus Christ is neither of those.  Entonces, I have repented and I am sorry mom and dad if I scared you... I will try to censor my letters more. I'm trying to be as real as I can so that future missionaries can get a real taste of the mission life.

2. MERRY CHRISTMAS!! I hope you are freezing your toes off in Iceland.  I honestly keep forgetting it is Diciembre because it is getting hotter here.  There are palm trees and sunburns and then BAM I hear the Mariah Cary Christmas song blasting from some random house and I'm like, "What the?" Plus, they really love fireworks here and so it's really confusing me.  But hey, they are combining two of my favorite holidays...the 4th of July and Christmas. I get the best of both worlds! Christmas in Guatemala is beautiful!

Every week here has a theme. One week it was cockroaches jumping out at me, the next "call the sister missionaries fat week", this week? "Dog poop meets foot" 

I call em' Guatemalan land mines!

 This country contradicts the general conference talk that says, "It's better to look up." Yeah no.  I'm looking forward to when the theme of the week is "Baptism" or "Hey Hermana Minnick here is a golden reference, and another, and another!"  

Anyway, this week I had the goal to have a happier demeanor walking through the streets of Guatemala --- say hi to everyone and smile with my eyes.  I did a really good job for the first twenty minutes when de repente, I felt warm slosh running through the holes in my crocs.  (I was a croc hater before but if you're coming to Central American they are a must) This has happened four times and counting... watch out for the Guatemalan land mines people.  I learned:

1. I still need to look up and smile with my eyes but...

2. I've gotta stick with the black rubber boots.  (Thank you mom for the foot cream! Works like a charm!!)

I learned an even more important lesson this week and well I guess I have seen it my entire mission, but this week it hit me even harder as we were sharing The Family: A Proclamation to the World  with a struggling less active family.  This family has every material thing in the world they could want... pretty clothes, nice phones, cars, a beautiful home, everything.  But, I have never seen such sadness and contention in my life. They are so unhappy.  Why?  Because they are not living the gospel of Jesus Christ!  This Christmas you can receive every gift on your wish list, but I am telling you, if you aren't reading your scriptures, praying, keeping your covenants, or going to church, your life is going to be just a little bit harder. We can't find true and lasting happiness in the material things of this world. 

The greatest gift I have received in my life is the knowledge and conviction that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God. He is the Savior and Redeemer of this world. He lived a perfect life, healed the sick, went about doing good and established His perfect gospel with prophets, apostles, and the holy priesthood. And, after a long time of spiritual darkness, because God loves us, He restored the fullness of the gospel of Jesus Christ again on the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith. We have the Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ. There is a living prophet on the earth today!!!   What are the prophets and apostles teaching us?  

--Spouses, love and respect one another. 
--Teach children faith and who they can turn to when they need to repent. 
--Pray and read the scriptures together. 
--Go to the temple! 
--Share the gospel, share the truth! The truth is the greatest gift we can receive and after we have received it, share it with others.

I love my mission! I'm learning a lot of good lessons! This past Saturday we got to go to the temple!!!!!!!  I don't think I can adequately describe how extremely happy I felt!!!  It was AWESOME!!!!  Why?

1. As we were pulling up my companion saw the missionary that baptized her 6 years ago. There were a lot of happy tears! I hope I can have experiences with my recent converts one day!

2. The food there rocked!

3. I got cold for the first time on my mission.

4. All of the sudden I heard "HERMANA MINNICK, HERMANA MINNICK!!"  I thought it was just the Elders in my zone trying to play a trick on me so I didn't turn around.  But then Hermana Arevalo said, "Hermana Minnick, who is that tall white kid running through the parking lot?" I turned around and there was Elder Rodgerson! The first thing I said was, "OUR MOMS ARE GOING TO DIE!" He is doing well Kristi!! We love and miss you both!

5. I GOT TO ENTER THE TEMPLE AFTER A LONG 6 MONTHS!! I love the peace, comfort and revelation we can receive there! 

Anyway, I hope you are all happy and healthy! Family, I can't wait to talk to you in 9 days!!

Hermana Minnick

Shout out:
Congratulations to Lauren, Josh and Jimmy for breaking my grape record.... I'll beat you next year. You better keep practicing!
Note from Tami -- this is what we do at the Minnick Family Christmas Party....see how many grapes we can shove in our mouths.  Whitney WAS the reigning champion, now the title goes to her cousin Josh--sad day for Whit!  :)  I sent Whit a very short video of the contest!  

This is for Mom and Kristi -- WE LOVE YOU!

My Cute Companion!

I love the TEMPLE...A LOT!
The most beautiful Temple....

Calling All Nations!

This was probably the best day in my mission so far!

When I saw this, I shed a tear!

My worst enemy!

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