Monday, March 31, 2014

Big Sister Advice...

My dearest Westifer, my email time is dedicated to you!

MEXICO!!!!!!! When I saw Queretaro I thought, "Canada?" (Quebec is basically the same thing)  My companion laughed hard at that one! She lives like 3 hours from your mission and she says that it is one of the most beautiful parts of Mexico. There are people waiting for YOU Weston!!! I am so excited for you! I just thought I would send you some big sister advice. I'm no expert so take it or leave it. (but you should probably just take it).

Things you should do/not do before your mission...

1. Obviously: Study the scriptures daily, preach my gospel, pray. Just do'll be more prepared when you enter the field and therefore happier!
2. Don't ever say one time before you leave, "Ugh. Get me out of here! I just want to leave RIGHT now!" I said that a million times before I left, and do you want to know what it was? Just a big fat waste of my precious time! Enjoy NOW! Especially enjoy our family because I'd say that on most days we are enjoyable people. Go hike a mountain, blast your favorite music, and take Zane for ice cream! Hang out with mom and dad because they are awesome parents. Don't do anything dumb that would cause broken bones or bad gotta be ready to serve 2 years with all of your heart, might, mind and strength!
3. Go swimming.
4. Sleep in...but only twice. There's a scripture in D&C about not being idle... 
5. Don't get a girlfriend. Just have friends that are girls to write you letters for two years. Prepare to "lock your heart" buddy boy. Don't be the Elder that flirts in the MTC.
6. Don't wait to pack. Don't pack ugly ties. Short sleeve shirts. Trust me. 
7. Don't wait the night before your farewell to write your talk. (Learn from my mistakes. I didn't even write a talk.  oooops)
8. Start being a missionary NOW! TODAY!
9. Have Dad teach you how to bear your tesimony and say prayers in Spanish. You'll be grateful for any head start.
10. Write me letters.

What I have learned on my mission that I would like to share with you...

11.  Be obedient. Why? Because its the first law in heaven. Why? Because obedience brings blessings. Everyone wants blessings but not everyone wants to be obedient. The children of God in Queretaro deserve to hear the message of the restored gospel from a missionary who is righteous, obedient and has the spirit. When it comes to obedience, there are no questions asked. Never let a companion, member, or investigator convince you otherwise. We aren't perfect, but we can strive to always be perfectly obedient! You will hear this a million times on your mission. "Obedience brings blessings, but exact obedience brings miracles.  I testify of that.
12.  Choose to love your companion. Look for things you have in common. Be patient. Sometimes you will want to punch them. Don't do it. Remember who they have to put up with: YOU. Do your comapnion a favor and chew with your mouth closed and keep your room clean. 
13. In your shopping cart every Monday you should have three things:
       a. Eggs...they are so easy to make. If you are really Jay Minnick's son, you better know how to make eggs.
       b. Snack pack chocolate pudding. Enough said.
       c. Something green, because after your mission you have to get married. Don't come home fat. 
14. Always study for your investigators!
15. It doesn't matter where you are, who you're with, if you're a district leader, zone leader, or even assistant to the president. You are there to serve the Lord...not to receive recognition. Serve quietly and humbly, always submit to the will of the Lord. Don't compare yourself to other missionaries! Don't judge them either!  Serve, love and always be faithful first to the Lord, then to your mission president, then to your companion. 
16. Tanner (here's your Shoutout) sent me a quote last Monday and now I will share it with you, "I don't stop when I'm tired, I stop when I'm done."  I dont want to see your face until 2016.  Kapeesh?  *Exception Mother's Day and Christmas.
17.  Don't be a robot. Missionaries aren't robots. They are disciples of Christ. Our Savior is happy and joyful. So are you, share that with others! You make people laugh, your personality is warm, and WESTON,  you are a people person! You got that from Mom (I wasn't lucky to inherit that trait).  La gente en Queretaro will LOVE you!  Be you and be happy!  Especially laugh at your mistakes because you will make them.
18.  Be patient with the language. It will come! vas a poder hablar como un latino a no time!!! Never ever be afraid to open up your mouth and talk, even if you sound like a dying gringo goat.
19.  Start practicing your FUTBOL skills. 
20.  Never contend with your investigators! Here's what I do when someone wants to rip apart the pure doctrine of Christ. I scoot forward in my chair and look them right in the eyes and I wait until I have their attention. Then, I bear my testimony. The purest testimony I have! Always bear testimony because that is when the spirit works the strongest!  With conviction, power, authority and sincerity, nobody can deny that. A pure testimony!
21.  Your time to serve as a full-time missionary is short!  Use the Lord's time wisely.  Give it all you've got, even when you think you can't!  The Lord qualifies those He calls! I love you Weston! You will bring many unto Christ!!!!

There's a lot more advice I could give, but you'll learn and re-learn all of these things for yourself!! I LOVE YOU WESTON!!

Okay...update on my area:
1. Jose did not get baptized. It was a little devasting to receive a text message on the day of his baptism that said, "perdoneme" (forgive me).  He is having trouble with some of the commandments, but we are going to set goals again. We won't give up! 
2. It is HOT. I'm talking, "Let's make scrambled eggs on our sidewalk" kind of hot!
3.The church is true and I am happy and blessed to be a missionary!

I love you my family,
Hermana Minnick

Marta Cooper! Thank you for the letter! Voy a escribirte hoy! 
Renee Bontempo!! I loved the package!! THANK YOU!!
Ashley Russell!! I loved your letter and I LOVE SAM!! Playing in the toilet water is not THAT BAD!
Grandma Linda! I got about 10 letters from you!! I LOVE YOU!!

Folks, its mango season.

My area!

My investigator's "house"

All little kids throughout the world have on thing in common..they play in dirt.

This little girl was practicing writing her "q's" in cursive.

             Hermano Beto and his wife getting ready to leave for church.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Put on your glasses!!!

"Stop squinting Hermana Minnick!" I hear this everyday, followed by, "Put on your glasses! Do you want lines in your forehead when you get older?" (That's one of the many things I love about my Latina companions..they help me with my outer beauty, although because I'm stubborn I tend to do the exact opposite of what they say).  

I don't like putting on my glasses here:

1. The people laugh at me and they are a huge distracting object on my face.
2. I look like a scientist...not that that is bad, but I am supposed to look like a cute sister missionary (impossible to be cute here #iSweat).

Anyway, after many times of telling me to put on my glasses, my companion did it for me. I kept them on...for a day. I don't have horrible vision but they do make a difference. I was like, "Wow! How cool is that! I can see! I can read that sign and see every detail in the tropical flower!" And my investigators...I could see them from a mile away (some of them didn't like that!!!)

Right now you're probably wondering if I am an eye doctor or missionary...but on my mission I've developed this new talent where I can relate anything and everything to the gospel. Cool right? When I put on my glasses I was awed by the beauty of Guatemala...things that I had walked past a million times a day I saw with new eyes. It made me think, is this what its like when we haven't read the scriptures for a while, but then one day we pick them up and start reading? Or when we have become "too busy" to get down on our knees and pray but suddenly something reminds us, "kneel. pray." Is this what its like when we remember our blessings and covenants after a long time of being caught up in the routine of life? I think so. That's why I love the atonement. It allows us to put our glasses back on-so that we can see with an eternal perspective what truly matters, who we truly are, and what we are doing here on earth. I love it when an investigator puts his glasses on and prays or reads the Book of Mormon. They start to see the world and themselves with different eyes...The way that God sees them. 

We have an investigator named Jose. We have been working with him for a while now but something was still missing! After a lot of pondering about his challenges I felt that he needed to read Enos 1. He read it, and he prayed about it and his eyes were opened to who he truly is. A son of God. This Saturday is his date to be baptized! Please pray for Jose!

I think it is hard for us to understand how much potential we truly have and how important we are to our Father in Heaven. But, I do know that as we "put on our glasses" our eyes will open and maybe we will be able to understand just a little bit better the perfect love God has for each of his children. 

I noticed that for a long time I was walking through my area asking myself, "Is that a person or a tree? A platano or banana? (the truth is even with glasses I can't tell the difference, but they both taste good so who cares). The point is that if we don't have our glasses on, Satan can trick and deceive us. He is so so smart at making bad things look good. Satan attacks us slowly at first, small things...He is so smart-- I've learned that on my mission. But you know what, I am smarter and so are you, if we keep our glasses on! 

Put on your glasses! If you aren't studying the scriptures -- Study!  Daily!

If you're struggling to pray, get down on your knees until you feel God's love for you!

If you are struggling to feel the guidance of the Spirit, evaluate your life. Live in harmony with the teachings of our Savior Jesus Christ and then listen. He will lead, guide and protect you.

If you are sad, smile. Even if you don't want to. Then, get a piece of paper and stare at it until you can write at least 10 things that you are grateful for. If you are worrying about tomorrow or next week, think about eternity!

I know its easier to say than do. But just try it, okay?

When you put on your glasses people will notice. I put mine on right before Zone meeting... 

"Hermana Minnick, you have glasses?! How cute!!"   or...   "Oh how nice..." Then ten of them asked to try them on. They wanted to put on my big, geek, glasses. When we put on our glasses people notice and they want to put on glasses too. When we begin to pray, read the scriptures, smile, and LIVE the gospel...people notice. They feel and see the warm light that radiates from you. They will want what you have and you will be able to help them "put on their glasses".  

President Uchtdorf says, "Everyone wants to be happy. When we members of the church radiate the light of the gospel, people can see our happiness and sense the love of God filling and overflowing in our lives. They want to know why. They want to understand our secret. That leads them to questions such as, Why are you so happy? or Why do you always have such a positive attitude?" 

That's why I love the gospel. It's contagious. I've seen investigators, members, and missionaries put on their glasses and usually two or three people follow their example. 

I know that we can't always have a huge plastered smile on our faces. We're not clowns, we are humans. But, share the gospel by the way that you live. Show others that through your trials you can find strength and peace in the gospel of Jesus Christ! I am grateful for Guatemala and that here I am learning to put on my glasses. I know the church is true! Thomas S. Monson is our living prophet and we get to hear from him soon! The Book of Mormon is true true true!  Put on your glasses and read it!

Hermana Minnick

P.S. Weston! Here's your homework:  Listen to "The Divine Call of a Missionary" by Elder Ronald A. Rasband!  Listen tonight!  I am so excited for you!  Your call truly is divine and you are and will continue to be an outstanding missionary!  I give you permission to open your letter that says "open right before you open your mission call", tonight! Open it tonight! I LOVE YOU!! Don't forget to tell me where you're going!  

NOTE from Tam...I don't think we will forget to tell Whit where Weston is going....does she know who she is dealing with?  I've already stalked the mailman this week :/

P.S.S.  TYSHA and MASON!  I love you!!!  Congrats on a beautiful wedding day.  My mom sent me lots of pictures!!!  You are a beautiful bride and I was so sad to miss your incredible day!  Love you!!!

Put on your glasses!!!!!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Just keep on keepin on....

Many prophets have said that the best way to be happy in the mission field is to "WORK WORK WORK!" True story guys. I didn't give myself 10 minutes to sit down and think. It was awesome!! 

Anyway, Guatemala continues to be crazy. For instance, while teaching my investigator Lucy the plan of salvation all of the sudden her one-year old sat down on my foot and went to the bathroom. She was so embarrassed... but I just laughed and went and found a rain puddle after to clean it off. It has rained everyday!!! Truly a blessing! Also yesterday in church everyone decided to forget their hymn books so I sang the sacrament hymn all by myself!!!  And, it was acapella!!!  

La obra en Samala is moving forward! We are working so hard to baptize these precious souls! It has been challenging but we are reactivating a lot.

La familia Chaperno:
He is a returned missionary who is the only member in his family. He served an honorable mission to Honduras, and then came home to a less than supportive family. He started to fall away. It was the little things you guys, he didn't pray.  He didn't read the scriptures. He stopped taking the sacrament weekly. He fell away completely. He drank, a lot. Even though he was always drinking, he found his wife and they got married and had their first son (my favorite baby in Guatemala). My companion and I started to visit them. We felt that there was a definite need to teach the atonement. The spirit was strong and he cried. He met with the Bishop and started the beautiful process of repentance. Now, they come to church every Sunday. His wife teaches in the relief society. His son, Santiago, even has a badge that says "futuro misionero". Two Sundays ago we were sitting in Stake conference and I was feeling sad..investigatorless. But, I looked up and saw their family sitting up front on the comfy benches. I was so happy that this family could return. In December they will be sealed in the temple. That is what the work of salvation is all about! The temple! RESCATAR!

I love this work! It is the most important work we can do! I hope that you are all praying daily to recognize and experience where you can share the gospel and save a life. Never forget what the Lord did for you, and what He expects of you. Especially remember that He loves you.

"Si me amais, guardad mis mandamientos."

"Keep smiling... even if your teeth are crooked..." the Guatemalans taught me that.

Hermana Minnick

P.S.  Weston...Mom sent me your mission pictures. My Latina companions saw them and ALL week long they have called me "cuñada".  Do you know what that means? Sister-in-law. They think you are "muy guapo".  I love you soon to be Elder Minnick!  The Lord will call you where He needs you!

Tan Chulas! 
 "Too Cool"

TWINS for a day!

I live in a pueblo where the women wear "wraps"  and work really hard...

Hermana Leyva!

Monday, March 10, 2014

"Look unto me in every thought..."

"Look unto me in every thought, doubt not, fear not."  DyC 6:36

He is always there, His love is always there...happy, sad, frustrated, weak, strong...whatever you may be feeling... He knows. His love is there for you. Do you have faith in Him? Do you believe that HE suffered and bled for every pore for you? I found myself asking myself this question a lot this week. Well, if there is anything I have learned on my mission it is God's love for His children, that He would send His only begotten son. I know He lives. I know He paid. His love is perfect and present. 
I thought a lot about faith this week too. I teach this principle a million times a day but I found myself asking, "do I even have faith?"  So, I studied it. "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." 

Believe. Act. Remember Him.  I also asked the question, how can I have more faith? Its simple...

1.  Pray
2.  Study the scriptures.
3.  Listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost and follow them.
4.  Listen to and study the words of our living prophets and apostles.
5.  Repent, trust in the Savior. He loves you.

If you want your mountain to move, say a prayer in your heart, read the scriptures, pick up your shovel and start digging.

We can mope and whine, cry and wail, but in the end the only place we will end up is back at the grocery store in aisle 9 searching for the cheapest box of tissues. We will all have these moments, because life is hard. 

Have faith. Believe in the Being who created you. Stand tall because you know who you are and you know where you're going.  My Dad once told me,  "Whitney, focus on the drama of the restoration and the great plan of salvation." It truly is the most important drama out there!

We will all return back to our Heavenly Father one imperfect step at a time. In your journey, don't judge others, rather serve them. President Uchtdorf says it clearly, "This topic of judging others could actually be taught in a two word sermon. When it comes to hating, gossiping, ignoring, ridiculing, holding grudges, or wanting to cause harm, please apply the following: STOP IT! Its that simple. We simply have to stop judging others and replace judgemental thoughts and feelings with a heart full of love for God and His children." Love, serve, lead by example. 

I am trying so hard to apply all of this to my own life. I want to line up my life with the Saviors. Only through repentance and His atonement can I achieve it. I read something this week... I can't remember where, that said something along the lines of, "It is not a choice between repenting or not.. It is repent or suffer." 

I love the gospel of Jesus Christ. I love the Book of Mormon. Please read it!

I love all of you. Thank you for your prayers.
Hermana Minnick

P.S. Mom, I am spraying bug spray like a 13 year old boy sprays his first bottle of cologne...don't worry.

Shoutouts to: (received letters)
Grandma Linda and Grandpa Sherrell! Love the letters!
Anne, Jane, Kate and Hope! I love your drawings, I hung them up on my wall!!!

My GRINGAS!  (Hermana Page and Hermana Webster)
Hermana Leyva!!!!  My darling comp!

This fan saves my life!

Hermana Leyva!!
Note from Tami: Zane was mesmerized with this picture
because Hermana Leyva is wearing HIS shorts.
I guess Whit took them to Guatemala!  HAHA! 
We went to the beach today!  I was so happy to see the ocean!

I almost cried when I saw that guys shirt!

Monday, March 3, 2014


Fact. I have 34 mosquito bites on my right arm. (I counted twice to make sure.) 

Fact. It itches.

Fact. If I could create a world, the following creatures would not be inhabitants: ants, mosquitoes, rats, mice, scorpions, dogs with disease, flies, spiders. 

Fact. 9/10 Guatemalans will look at my arm and try to put lemon or a leaf from their back yard on my skin and tell me if I don't get myself cleaned up I won't find a husband.

Fact. The Book of Mormon is true.

Hello Utahns. Or whoever else reads this...

So this week was less challenging than the last 4!!  WHOO HOO!  We had 3 investigators in church yesterday and that hasn't happened for a very long time -- I was so excited!! We also found a positive FAMILY yesterday!!! The Lord answers prayers!  Even if its 4 weeks later, a year, or in the next life... He answers prayers and He knows how to answer them right. 

So I have writers block right now. If you guys have any questions about missionary life in Guatemala you can email me and I will try and answer them in my next email / letter.  (From Tami: You can email Whit--  

For now, here is my testimony...The Church is true. God lives. Jesus is the Christ and His church has been restored through a prophet. Thomas S. Monson is our living prophet on the face of the earth today. The Book of Mormon is true.The atonement is real, it heals everything. 

Please pray and read your scriptures everyday! 


ERIN! Happy Birthday!! Miss you!!

WESTON!!! CONGRATS ON BYU!!! In like 2 1/2 years we can go to school together!

Hermana Minnick

This is a picture at a school where 600 students received a Book of Mormon and a lesson from the missionaries.  Part of the curriculum for all students is to learn about other religions.  I stole this picture from the blog of the new mission couple in Coatepeque (Elder and Hermana Wetzel)!
Pretty awesome if you ask me!!!    

Book of Mormon and the Jungle!!!  

Retalhuleu and Las Palmas Zones!