Monday, January 27, 2014

Throw me a Snowball Because I Am Melting!

I know I say every week is CRAZY but REALLY they are all crazy. I've never had so many crazy weeks in a row in my life. In Guatemala every day is an adventure!

This week was challenging. La feria decided to stay until Saturday instead of leaving on Wednesday.  I was not very happy about that.  We are almost out of our Palabra De Sabiduria folletos.  We are still experiencing the after shocks of the bolos. However, I am starting to think that it is always crazy here.

There is one street in my area -- I've nicknamed it the Las Vegas Strip "Guatemalan Style". We try to avoid it at all costs but we can't because one of our only progressing investigators lives there.  I'm getting really good at dodging the bolos. I know which ones are the angry ones and which ones will fall over if I blow air right in their face. All I can say is that I am VERY grateful for the commandments.

We also had interviews with President and a test on Preach My Gospel. I was a little nervous. But, my interview with President was literally 2 minutes and 13 seconds (my companion timed it). After, I was expecting a huge exam on Preach My Gospel. I had flashbacks of my Book of Mormon classes at BYU and how hard the tests were.  But, it was on Christlike attributes, and if you are a missionary and fail a test on Christlike attributes you should probably read Preach My Gospel and the Book of Mormon a lot of times.

What else? I thought I would talk a little bit about the teaching scene here:

1. Most of the people in my area don't know how to read. When I find someone who can read, I get all giddy and rip out a Book of Mormon on the spot.

2. I live by this quote, "It is true intelligence for a man to take a subject that is mysterious and great in itself, and to unfold and simplify it so that a child can understand it."   -President John Taylor 

In every lesson I try to pretend that I am teaching a primary class. Many people here have never gone top school, they can't retain or focus very well (I am speaking generally. There are also some insanely smart Guatemalans that are 2 blocks ahead of me smart wise).  It is harder than you think to teach simple and clear, but that is always my goal!

3. Distractions. I don't remember what quiet sounds like. Sometimes I think, "How in the world will the spirit be able to touch these people in this environment?!"  But, it always happens. It truly is a miracle!

4. You have to ask a lot of questions. When I was first learning to speak Spanish I would just talk at the people because I didn't know how to ask questions. Now, I am working really hard to let them do the talking. I love the way Elder Amado (Presidente de area Centro America) teaches. He literally only asks questions and I always learn so much! 

5. Teach with objects. These people are visual.

This tower helps explain how the Church of Jesus Christ
is organized and what happens when you take out a cup...

We use these to teach lesson 1...The Restoration. The colored pencils represent iglesias. The white one represents The Church of Jesus Christ 
of Latter-day Saints. The yellow band represents authority or Priesthood. 
The people down here have a hard time understanding authority
but these colored pencils have worked miracles.

6. I always pray during the lessons that I can find their needs and address them with love. I have struggled a little bit on my mission because sometimes I feel as though these hermanos are being treated as a number.  They are real people, my brothers and sisters and God's children. He wants them to come back and we need to help them remember the truth!!

Anyway, sorry I am writing so late mom. The hondurainians in my zone cooked for us today and it took the whoooole day. Also I wasted my time with a rubix's cube for 45 minutes. I guess I'm just one of those people that if I got thrown on a stranded island and I had to finish a rubix cube in order to leave, I would never leave the island.

I love you all!  Here is a quote I love that you should apply, "It will be a great day when our people not only pray for the missionaries throughout the world, but ask the Lord to help them to assist the missionaries who are laboring in their own ward."   -President Hinckley

Hermana Minnick

I love Hermana Leyva. She is the Latina version of me,
BUT, I am teaching her how to clean!

Cute huh?

I am going to adopt a Guatemalan child one day!  :)  

The cow was the only living thing listened
to my companion and I this day! 

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Hammock Pride Hermana Minnick

The Hammock Pride Cycle, by Hermana Minnick

1.  Content and grateful for my hammock.  Peace, love, relax.

2.  Getting a little prideful.

3.  Getting a lot prideful.

4.  Oh Snap!

5.  The great fall.  Lesson learned!

Life Should Be Happy!

Este semana fue bien calidad! 

We had a huge mission conference, everyone was there. I didn't recognize half of the missionaries...but it was AWESOME!  Elder Suarez of the presidency of the seventy came. I loved his testimony and I definitely needed to hear what he said. I LOVED the entire conference, I wish I could share with you guys but there is just too much stuff I loved!

Anyway, this week I am going to share 5 pure moments of happiness I experienced:

The first one happened right after I finished writing you guys last week. We were shopping in la torre... it's a Guatemalan supermarket that has the "Great Value" brand which makes me jump for joy.  Anyway, this week I had a miracle in la torre. Wait for it...wait for it.... I turned my head and


But wait it gets better... I looked to the right and saw orange glorious carrot sticks already cleaned!!! However the next thing I saw made me scream right out loud... red. baby. CHERRY. TOMATOES. I FELT LIKE I WAS IN COSTCO!!!! Yeah. That's Hermana Minnick heaven right there. My companion looked at me like I was a psycho as I kissed the little plastic box of baby tomatoes and hugged the spinach greens like a new born baby. I felt like the goonies when they found the treasure. That good.

numero dos.
We have a hammock in our backyard. I love it. I hog it. But, I'm learning to share. One night at about 10:00 pm I layed in the hammock, listened to "This is the Christ" by the MOTAB and looked up into the Guatemalan skies filled with millions of stars. It's a moment I will never forget.

After three hours of our citas falling through and 45 minutes of a menos activo yelling at us about diezmo (tithing), we prayed on a calle hon (little street) and asked that the spirit could help us find the "truth seekers" here in Samala. About an hour later we found 3 teenage girls that smiled when we told them that they were daughters of a King. I love the jovenes here. They are prepared!! 

Okay this one is awesome you guys.. So I don't remember if I told you this, but in the MTC it was my teacher's mission to help me learn how to roll my Rs. He was like, "Every day for 20 minutes you need to repeat the word Dracula over and over again." So, everyday I would go to my favorite window, stare at my Provo mountains and chant "DRACULA" -- much to my districts dismay. Well, that didn't work and to this day I still can't roll my Rs. But, something maravillosa happened! Hermana Leyva said, "Hermana Minnick, I am going to teach you to roll your R's if it's the last thing I do!" I just thought to myself, I've heard that one before. 

Anyway, we walked through the streets and
she would say: Perrrrro.  
I would say: Pedddddro.
Of course all of the chapinas are laughing their heads off at me!   Pero, de repente (But, out of the nowhere) I WAS ROLLING MY R's!  It was the weirdest thing ever!  I got so excited that when I went to do it again, a lot of spit came out and nada mas (nothing more). Anyway, I was happy. I'll keep practicing. Ya gotta keep the faith right?

There is a huge feria (fair) happening here in Samala. I've actually named it "Satan's Birthday Party". I've never experienced so many drunk people in my life! The horrible part is that it is right in the center of our area. We have to enter the house at 6 until Wednesday... Anyway, this isn't the happy part. On Sunday morning we left 2 hours before church started to round up our investigatores. I was thinking,
 "Oh this will be great! Nobody goes to the feria at 7 in the morning!" I was wrong. Every single one of our investigators had left, probably to the feria. Also, I could not hide from the bolos!! Within 15 minutes, one had sang to me, one had sat down and cried in front of me, another gave me a rock. I was thinking, "Is this real life?'"

My companion was just looking at me laughing the whole time and then she told me she was going to paint me brown. I honestly was really sad. I felt sick to my stomach for the people here. We felt so small... two 19 year old girls walking through Satan's Birthday Party, trying to invite people to come to church. We both had tears in our eyes. Then, behind us there were drunks tripping and falling trying to keep up with us.  We finally both looked at each other, and broke into a fit of laughter.  So hard!  It was all we could do!  After, we both said a prayer for a miracle. Ten minutes later we heard someone yelling our names! We turned and saw Evelin, one of our investigadores. Long story short, after a couple of drunk men encounters we made it to church with Evelin! I am so thankful for this miracle. I know Heavenly Father loves Evelin and I know He put her in our path! The members at church were so awesome with her too! 

I'm happy to be here in Samala. We have a lot of rough moments but the Lord blesses us more than we know. I'm thankful for the trials we face everyday. Our trials help us grow, they test our faith, and they help us to appreciate the small miracles and happy moments that the Lord blesses us with everyday! He is aware of us!!

I love this quote by Presidente Eyring:

"There is not one of us but what God's love has been expended upon. 
There is not one of us that He has not cared for and caressed. 
There is not one of us He has not desired to save, 
and that He has not devised means to save. 
There is not one of us that He has not given His angels charge concerning. 
We may be insignificant and contemptible in our own eyes, and in the eyes of others, but the truth remains that we are children of God, and that He has actually given His angels- invisible beings of power and might- charge concerning us, and they watch over us and have us in their keeping."

2013 October General Conference  To My Grandchildren

I know this is true. i have felt the presence of the heavenly angels assigned to me! Family and friends, I know that there are angels watching over and protecting you! YOU are important. Don't ever forget that!

I love you Mom, Dad, Weston and Zane!

Hermana Minnick


WESTON!!! MINNICK!!!! HAPPY!!! BIRTHDAY!!! I can't believe you are an adult!!! I love you with all of my heart and it makes me sad that I can't be with you on your birthday or when you receive your mission call. I will be there in spirit. I LOVE YOUUUU!!!

My cute compa!
Hey Birdie Birdie!

That awful moment when you smash a Gecko in the door. :(
A Guatemalan Cowboy

I like that they paint their houses neon colors...
Dad, ask Marshall if the HOA would let us paint ours neon green?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Ch Ch Ch..Changes!

Okay mom to put you out of your misery:
  1. I am pretty sure I am clean of my parasites -- thanks to the pills I took every 8 hours for 3 weeks. I feel AWESOME! Parasite free baby!!
  2. Yes, I had changes. Where am I?     Zona - Las Palmas /  Area - Samala  / City - San Sebastian up to San Felipe.
  3. Who's my companion? Hermana Leyva from Mexico! She is the cutest, hardest working missionary. I am finishing her training!! Yes, I am training...and I don't know how, but I'm going to learn very fast!
There. Are you happy? I'm happy. 

I was a little to sad to leave San Francisco. Actually a lot sad. San Francisco is the paradise of the mission and anyone who has been there will tell you that. I love the people there! Hermana Ostler and I cried -- A lot! But, I am happy for a change. I like change. I told President I wanted to be sent to an "area de fe" and that's where he sent me. I feel like I have been sent to a different mission! 

In the area where I am, missionaries have been in and out fast. I have been told that they haven't baptized anyone here for 9 months. For the first time in my mission, I have had a lot of doors slammed on my face. All of the people WORK WORK WORK. My area is ginormous! In the pueblo every street looks the same and me and my companion got lost a couple of times this week because she has only one change here. This area will be a great challenge. But, I know that the Lord is preparing people here. I know we will see miracles in Samala! There are 600 less active members. The asistence is 150. This week we found more less active members than investigators. I am here to help save them! RESCATAR! 

It is so weird to be back in Retalhuleu! I forgot how HOT it is here. Yesterday my Bishop said, "Hermana Minnick, just wait until February and March." For the first time in my mission I want it to rain again!! I sleep with my fan on FULL blast and no blankets! Also, I got sunburned pretty bad!  

I wish you guys could throw snowballs to Guatemala! :)

I love this gospel. I know its true. If I didn't know 100%, there is no way in the world I would be sweating every drop of water out of my body, getting doors slammed in my face, and taking tests for parasites. But, I will tell you something, its worth it in every way. The truth is worth it!!! I know God lives and He has a plan. He knows us inside and out. Use the atonement everyday of your life! Read the Book of Mormon everyday!  Pray everyday! 

Smart people do the simple and small things consistently

Until next Lunes... much love,
Hermana Minnick

Willes family!! Thank you for the package! I love the watches!!
Hermana Hubbard! I got your letter from Spain! LOVE YOU!

“Love this person”
Hermana Bontempo - MTC comp.
YOU have to read her blog this week!  JUST WOW!!!

“She makes my top ten favorite people list”
Hermana Camille Ostler - Whit has been roomies with this darling missionary for the last 7 months.

This thing gave me a fright!
Adios Mazatenango!

I left my heart in San Francisco! life!

Back to REU and swollen feet!

My new companion, Hermana Leyva from Mexico!

 “Packing is the worst part of my mission…next to cold showers”  
Note - this pic includes two Hermanas stuff.  I sent Whit with TWO SUITCASES and ONE BACKPACK.  Imagine getting on one of those busses with all this stuff!  Oh dear!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Hi my name is: I have writer's block.

Hi my dear family,

I just found out that there is a possibility that I will have changes this week, and I wasn't expecting it...So, every single thought has left my head but I will do my best...

How goes it over there is Utah? Here it is hotter than hades! On the bright side, I am starting to get tan again. This week 3 drunk men proposed to me in English. I was impressed because their eyes were crossed, but their English was almost perfect: 

Them: "You be my wife?" 
Me: "No. Drink water and come to church."

Family, I love you! I love you! I love you! I forgot to mention in my last letter how awesome it was to see your faces and hear your voices! 

Dad -  the lady cut your hair too short, but it will grow back (I hope) My companions also think you are hilarious! I hope you are feeling better!!!  
Note from Tami- it may take all year for Jay's hair to grow back! :)

Weston - Your voice has changed and you look more buffer. Good work. Also...Elder Minnick...start preparing NOW!!!

Zane - You are the cutest human being. I'm glad you're my brother and volleyball peppering buddy for life.

Mom - WHY DID YOU MAKE ME CRY!? You looked so beautiful and I realized that I sound exactly like you! Also, I know that everyone says this but you seriously are the best mom in the world, you would smoke every other mom out of the water!! 

Family, I just want you to know that this is all worth it! I know that you miss me, but I'm telling you, 15 minutes after I get home you'll want to send me right back to Guatemala! 

I love my mission! I love it! I love it! I love love love it!! I keep thinking that my mission is the MTC for my life (how chessy, but so true). I am learning the best lessons you would want your daughter to learn, such as: 
  • I'm learning how to study and apply the scriptures to my life. 
  • I'm learning how to be a leader. 
  • I'm learning how to listen to the spirit. 
  • I'm learning how to love and serve God's children. 
  • I'm learning obedience, diligence, patience, gratitude, humility and charity. 
Weston and Zane, a mission is the best place to be! Set your goals NOW! Today! 
The Lord will prepare people for you, but, you need to prepare for them! Weston, read with Zane in the Book of Mormon. It will be some good brother bonding time! I am so proud of you two! Remember for both of you, this is a commandment of the Lord- to serve a full-time mission. It will be the best two years FOR your life. Honor your priesthood and take care of Mom! I love you both. Prepare now.

I love you my wonderful, beautiful, awesome family! I hope that in 2014 you can all accomplish your goals and write Whitney more letters! 


Hermana Minnick

P.S. Weston, today I sent you a birthday package. Pray hard!