Monday, February 24, 2014

Honor thy Mother and Father

Time is moving like the speed of light and sometimes I just wish it would hit a brick wall and move forward turtle style. Seriously, I have a pile of bad habits and a mountain of weaknesses that are just chilling on the sidelines. I have a lot of changing to do and sometimes it feels like I am not even putting a dent in my bad habit pile. I'm definitely in the refiners fire and it hurts (so good....if that makes sense).   I want to be the kind of missionary that the Lord wants me to be. Sometimes I walk in the door at night feeling like a failure and think, "Well that was a...valiant...effort Hermana Minnick, here's half a gold star - stick it on your forehead!"  But there are other nights when I walk through the door so grateful for the opportunity the Lord has given me to recognize my weaknesses so that I can become stronger and more like Him. That's why I love the atonement. It's changing me. Slowly, yes.  But surely.  Ether 12:27

I honestly can't believe that it is Monday again. I repeat. Time flies.

Anyways, this past week we taught the commandments a lot... surprise!  But this week I really wanted to meditate them.  I wanted to make sure that I was living them fully before I taught them.  So, I started with the 10 commandments, "Thou shalt not kill"... (nope), "Thou shalt not steal"...( does stealing some of my companions milk count?), "Honor thy mother and thy father" (ooppss). I really thought about that one. Have I honored my Mother and my Father? Before my mission I was under the category of "Moody, Rude Teenager." The other day I heard someone say something along the lines of, "Would you have friends if you treated them the way that you treat your parents?" Yeah. Think about that one kids. 

So Weston and Zane, are you honoring our parents? I encourage you to do it because it is not only a nice thing to do, but also a commandment of God. I love you parents. Forgive me for being a rude teenager and whining about doing the dishes and picking up my pinkie finger to do you a favor. I truly love my mom and dad! You guys are the best! Thanks for teaching me the gospel.

Moving on to my scene here... its really super frying hot. I love what Samala is teaching me: Patience. I have never developed this attribute in my life, what is a better time than now? I am learning to accept the Lord's will. His time. His way. All that I can do is give my heart and soul to His great cause and let Him do the rest. I have studied a lot about grace in these past two weeks. I think I almost understand it. Jesus Christ doesn't make up only what we can't do. He covers it all. Trust in Him. Remember Him. Strive to become like Him. All that He requires of us is practice. 

I love you family. Thanks for your prayers, love, and support. Mom, thank you for the Valentine's package. I just about died when I saw the goldfish! 

I LOVE YOU ALL!
Hermana Minnick

p.s. I am the only gringa in my district. 

p.p.s. If you have parasites and your companion from Mexico dares you to eat a chili that will kill you, don't do it, AND especially if you have parasites.  I think these little buggers are with me for the duration. 


Its always an exciting day to be a missionary!
Shirley, a recent convert that we are reactivating!



The sisters in my zone... except for there were changes and a lot of them left.

Hermana morris went home last Wednesday! I love her, but now I am happy that I wont have baggy feelings! Love you Morrriisss!


Look what Hermana Bontempo made for me for Valentines Day!


Goldfish make the world go around!  WHIT LOVES THEM!

Monday, February 17, 2014

LAUGH or CRY

Well, it was a hard week!  But, "what doesn't kill you makes you stronger."  Right? 

Hermana Leyva and I have worked really hard this change to turn this area around. We have seen a lot of miracles. We know that the Lord is preparing people in our area!  We have seen fruits, and while we might not be baptising a lot, I feel good about our work. We have reactivated MANY!

RESCATAR. I love to do it! This people have forgotten the covenants they've made and we need to remind them! We have reactivated the Chaperno family,  Alma and Claudia.  It is definitely not easy to reactivate but wow...It is so worth it to see the power of the atonement work in the lives of these people! 

Every change I have in the mission I feel like there is a theme. This change:

The Commandments 

Every day I bore my companion to death with long rants or lectures about the commandments and how we should keep them (I think I am turning into my dad).  Seriously,  I have seen people  truly suffer here as a result of ignoring the commandments of God. They are just so simple. They really are easy to keep if we make the firm decision today!! 

Sundays are the hardest for me.  Especially in the morning as we round up people for church.  I always want to pull a Jay Minnick and say, "I'm not asking you,  I'm TELLING you!"  We have to keep the Sabbath Day holy.  Its simple.  

This change I have also warned the people a lot. Sometimes I feel like I am scaring them, but someone has got to let them know the consequences of what they are doing!  

This change I've also said to myself, "Hermana Minnick, you can laugh or you can cry. You choose."  (From Tami: Should I be worried that Whit is talking to herself???)  Sometimes I laughed.  Sometimes I cried.  Sometimes I laugh/cried.  It was always better when I laughed.

So, here in Guatemala EVERYONE knows the missionaries. EVERYONE! I am pretty sure as an army we have contacted every last house in Guatemala. So, we have had to come up with more creative ways to get people to listen to us...


One night this past week I walked past a house and thought I saw a naked man. I almost fainted.  But then, I realized it was just a "wooden man" and it was all good.  In order to get in this house we told him how beautiful this wood man was. I told the guy that I was going to bring him some clothes on our next visit.  (From Tami: Props to Whit who DID NOT SAY to this contact, "We were walking by and saw a naked man on your porch..."  
Also, below is a picture of Hermana Minnick holding the hand of the "wooden man". PROGRESS!  :)  



I love my mission.  I am eternally grateful for the impact the Guatemalans have had on my life. 

I love you Mom, Dad, Weston and Zane! Every day I become more grateful for you...I hope that makes sense...

Love from Retalhuleu,
Hermana Minnick

Shoutouts!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY SARA WASHBURN!

Learning to play church songs on an electric guitar!
The transportation in Samala.  It's a little bit dangerous....We don't have tuk tuks!  I have wondered my whole mission....
"How am I going to lose this weight?"
Walking.  Walking.  Walking.  Hermana Walking Minnick
Just doing some housework on my back patio!
This thing was in my bathroom at home.  P-Day is always so nice because we get to use the bathrooms at McDonalds!
Meet Nicol
Santiago!
We made our neighbors OREO SHAKES!








Monday, February 10, 2014

Whit's Comps Learning English - VIDEO


There is a big push in the REU mission for the English speaking missionaries to teach the native Spanish speakers English.  I love this program.  Not only does Whit get to learn awesome Spanish…she gets to help her companions learn a skill that will help them in their future educational goals, prospective jobs, and ultimately help them be great leaders in the church when they return home.  Plus, the sisters in this video are incredible.  

I had no idea we would love Whit’s companions like we have.  Sister Betancourth (on the right in the video) is from Honduras.  She is one of the head sister training leaders now (Sister AP) and Whit said she loves learning English.  We were able to send her the Scriptures in English for Christmas.  Whitney’s companions have been INCREDIBLE!!!  

This video is so fun!  I love these beautiful Hermana's!!!

video

Parasites Strike Again!

I don't understand! I am a surgical technician! I know how to wash my hands...and I know how to wash them good! I open doors with my skirt. I never touch my face, I go through the bath and body hand sanitizer bottles like a baby wets his diaper! Seriously, I haven't lost my sterile technique! It's true, I have gotten a little bit lazy about what I put in my mouth...its been 8 months and I thought my stomach would be invincible. ha. ha. 

When I got to Samala, i was just finishing my first round of parasites. My companion and I decided that we should give our bodies a break, so we stopped eating with the members. I hope you know I have become a real CHEF GIRLRD with my camping stove. Anyway, for a while (1 week) I felt so good...the best I have felt my entire mission because I was enjoying green smoothies everyday. Nothing ever lasts forever. Well, we went to the Bishops house one night and of course right when we get there the obispis wife goes running into the kitchen (I'm thinking please no, I'd rather eat dark chocolate for the rest of my life). Two minutes later I see two huge plates of "food".  Lets see... warm mayonnaise, processed meats, a curly black hair, and some platanos with a pound of grease on top. After that we were gonnnerrrs. We both have parasites. My poor companion has it worse than I do. We gotta stay close to the house...yeah.
Other than that, my spirits are high! This week was another challenging one. I lost my voice. So I sounded like a gringa horse speaking Spanish. I bet you've never heard that one right? We found a lot of positive people this week and I am really excited about it! Each one of them needs the gospel in their lives.
So many things happen in my week I never know what to tell you guys and I just saw an email from dad that says he is going to change my room into the "weight room".  Distracted.  Don't even think about it dad. 

Here's a list because I don't know any other way to do it!

1. What did I study this week?
Well there is a really good chapter in the Book of Mormon. I have to admit that before my mission I would skim past this chapter because it is super long and its a parable about trees and fire. It just didn't catch my attention. That was really dumb of me. This chapter rocks! It's Jacob 5...go read it! It was just what I needed to read! We have had a lot of challenges in our area and one day I found myself asking, "What am I supposed to do here? Where do I start! It is a mess!" (example of bad missionary attitude) In this chapter the Lord of the vineyard asks FOUR different times, "What could I have done more for my vineyard?"  After that I was like duh Hermana Minnick, try something new! Be creative! Use the brain that Heavenly Father gave you! So, every night during planning Hermana Leyva and I asked, "What could we have done more for the barrio Samala, the members, the less actives, recent converts, our investigators?"  We saw so many miracles because we asked this question. I encourage you to ask yourself the same.

2. We saw a miracle...
Yesterday was Sunday, as you all know. Sunday is a day of stress...for the missionaries at least! Give them a good pat on the back next Sunday! Anyways, we were doing our weekly pass by the house and take our investigators to church and the nobody was home, I got like 30 excuses..I was thinking "Please not again! Someone has to come!!" Finally we got to our last investigators house..Antonio. His little girl came to the door and we asked for her Dad... She said, "He told me to tell you he is sleeping." Uh huh. We were sad. But, the Lord has a purpose and so we started passing by every less active we knew. We made sure that we did our part, then we went to church. We waited and waited at the door and there came Antonio (he was riding his grandsons tiny bicycle) I have never been so excited to see a grown man roll in on a kid bike! When we do our part, the Lord pulls through!

3.  Two quotes I love:
"Salvation was NEVER a cheap experience!" Jefferey R. Holland
"As He died to make men holy, let us live to make men free."  Battle Hymn of the Republic
I love you guys so much!
Dad please don't ruin my room.

Love,
hermana minnick

Monday, February 3, 2014

Bittersweet!

Hi Fam.

How are you? I miss you and I love you!

This week went by super fast. On a scale of 1-10 (ten being the hardest, one piece of cake)... this week was an 8.2. We got hard core rejected everyday! Every single one of our possibilities that we had fell through. Yesterday, we passed by 10 of our investigators houses and none of them came to church. It was super sad to take the sacrament alone (investigatorless), without someone who needs to feel the spirit in this sacred meeting. I want these people to come to know their Savior! Next Sunday, before you go to church, I want you to think of someone who isn't going. Go for them. They need the sacrament! They need to be reminded of the sweet spirit in this meeting! 

Besides the fact that this week was rough, it was also beautiful. I came to know my Savior a little bit more. I love the power of the Atonement. After a rather difficult rejection, I thought about Him. I can't even imagine how He must have felt in that garden. He bled from every pore. He served them, loved them, taught them the truth. And they rejected Him. I know I will never even come close to understanding what our Savior went through, but this week I think I understood just a little bit better His love and atonement.

We laughed a lot this week. Missionaries: if you're not laughing everyday, you're doing it wrong. No matter what happens, you just gotta smile! One day last week we were walking in the street and all of the sudden my companion grabbed my arm. I looked over and she had her eyes closed. I asked her what she was doing but she kept quiet, so I just let her hang on to my arm and I led her as we walked. About 5 minutes later she opened her eyes and said, "Hermana Minnick, I am so thankful for my eyes." I don't know why but this one liner made me tear up. We had had a rough day and she reminded me that I needed to be thankful for the countless blessing that I have!



"If you can't laugh, you are doing it wrong!"


We laughed really hard another time this week when we got chased by a drunk man. I told you last week that I know all of them...the angry ones, funny ones, creepy ones...etc. etc. Well, what I didn't know was that one of them can run. And fast. This one in particular is an old investigator of Hna Betancourth and Hna Morris (the other sisters that live with us). Anyway, I guess that they tried to help this guy and his girlfriend get married so las hermanas had their "papers".  To this drunk guy, apparently I looked like Hermana Morris. So we walked past him, he said a couple of mean names and I ignored him. But, all of the sudden I looked to the right and my companion is gone. I looked forward and she was hauling it, full on sprinting. I look back and the drunk man is right on my tail running -in a straight line- yelling about his papers. I was laughing so hard but also I was a little bit nervous because he has long legs for a Guatemalan. Luckily a guy in the bishopric saw us running/screaming/laughing and he saved us. It felt really good to run, but I will be avoiding that street!

The mission field is awesome. I truly love Guatemala. I love to be a representative of my Savior! I love to share the truth!


I love all of you!!! I hope you all have a wonderful February filled with many Valentines.
Hasta ver,
Hermana Minnick

SHOUTOUTS:
Congrats ky ky hunt on the engagement! LOVE YOU!



"I tried this for like 5 minutes... that's all I lasted!"  


This gives me a major headache!!!

Sent to me by Hermana Ostler:  At a training meeting
for trainers y trainees with my girl Hermana Minnick.
Our two companions were companions in the MTC.