Friday, May 30, 2014

A week of firsts...

Well, this week was insane. 

Let's start with Saturday...The office decided to cook 250 cookies to give away to our members to gain confianza. We had no pans, bowls, measuring cups and a ghetto oven. All of the Elders looked at me like, "Your a girl, how are we going to do this?"  Then I just laughed because the only thing I can make is gourmet toast. Basically set up to fail right? But, we totally made the best oatmeal cookies with white chocolate chips. The members will love us now. Cookies are the secret missionaries! Make the members cookies!!! After that we had Estuardo's baptismal interview! He is all ready to go!! His baptism is tomorrow! I am so excited for him! 

We made A LOT of cookies!
Sunday...The phone rang at 5:00 am and I woke up to my companion yelling at me, "Vos Minnick!! We have to go to the hospital right now!!" Five minutes later we were in a hospital with a sick missionary (the missionary is perfectly fine now).  I was worried because I had to speak in sacrament meeting that day, but luckily we made it right in time and everything went great. 

Monday...On this day I ate the BEST MEAL I HAVE EVER EATEN IN GUATEMALA. President took us to this way nice hotel and I had A CHICKEN BREAST with steamed VEGETABLES. Guys, I think I shed tears. Sometimes its a little stressful to be the nurse, but grilled chicken make it worth it. 

Tuesday...I drove a car in Guatemala. Have you ever driven in Guatemala? Well, it is literally INSANE. I always say that Guatemala is a country without laws...I think they have them, but I sure don't know what they are and neither does anybody else. I drove to Malacatan which is a six hour round trip. I clenched my jaw for the first ten minutes but after that my driving skills kicked back in. Tip: if you are going to drive in Guatemala you have got to be BOLD (Brother Zack Bradley -- thank you for passing on this tip)!!!  

Also, I think I hate speed bumps more than chocolate. There are literally a million of them. Its like running over an obese anaconda. I passed through Coatepeque, Pajapita, Tecun Uman and Malacatan. I thought it was hot in Reu until I experienced the heat there! Weston, I was right on the border of Mexico.. for lunch we ate tacos Mexicanos and I am so jealous that you will be eating like that for the next two years! SO GOOD!! P.S. Start eating spicy things...

Wednesday...It is the season of interviews! So this month we will be traveling the mission with President and Hermana Ruiz and the assistants. On Wednesday we went to San Pedro...THE MOUNTAINS! It is so beautifully freezing up there! All of the people have big chubby red cheeks and everyone is modest! I was freezing the entire time but I loved every second of it! While President did the interviews, Hermana Garcia checked the health of every missionary. Hermana Ruiz, the assistants and I left to check on all of the houses of the missionaries. I basically sat in a car this entire week but its okay because my jaw was dropped the entire time looking out the window. We went to Rio Blanco, it is in the middle of no where on this gorgeous mountain. To get there you have to drive an hour and a half on this horrible dirt road with death curves, but the view is seriously incredible! The whole time I was thinking about how the gospel really is being preached to every corner of the earth! The houses, they were realllllyyyy dirty. Now we know why the missionaries get sick! 

It was fun to get to know Hermana Ruiz, she was my companion for like two days. She is the sweetest person I have ever met! Anyway, that night we stayed in a hotel. The first thing I did when I walked through the door was run to the shower. Steaming hot water came out! Pretty sure I heard a choir of angels singing hallelujah. My first hot water shower in a year!!!!! It was the first time in a year I didn't scream when the water hit my head...

Thursday...Checked houses, sat in a car, was freezing, and loved every second of it. That night we drove back to Reu and it is nice to be back in my 95 degree weather. My lips got way chapped up there and my fingers were purple! I could see my breath! It was 60 degrees, but to me it felt like 30 degrees... 

Friday...Today I woke up and put on my missionary plaque. I love doing that. I am grateful for every day that I have to be a missionary set apart to represent Jesus Christ! This week I had a lot of meditating time driving in a car and I couldn't stop thinking about how extremely blessed I am. Seriously, we are truly blessed to have the gospel in our lives! At the end of the day, the material things of the world just don't have any significance! Family, spend more time with each other! Sit around the dinner table and eat more grilled chicken for me! I love and pray for you guys!

Con amor,
Hermana Minnick

In that hotel I ate really yummy chicken!

Look, I'm driving...

I didn't have any clothes to keep me warm, so this was my outfit...BYU sweatshirt three sizes too big, a black pencil skirt, and polka dot socks...

Up in the freezing cold mountains...

Team Utah! Shoutout to my gurl Sara! Love the shirt!!!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Black rolly chairs, air conditioning and conversion...

I'm worried. Why? Because I've been sitting in the big black comfy chair way too much. It's a rolly one (I like those). When I need something on the other side of the room I don't even stand up, I just roll my way on over. I just don't want to be gorda, ya know? I also freeze in this office. Its like Antarctica. I get cold in 80 degree weather when the sun sets. Its always a war with the Elders and the AC. (Tam note: good marriage prep! This will never end)  

But it's all good. I am totally not complaining because it has been a good break for my body. Less sun, less walking. However there is also a lot of running all over the place to take care of the missionaries and I'm fast asleep before my head even hits the pillow. It has been a fun and productive 2 weeks with Hermana Garcia!

This was me literally like 2 minutes ago... its me and my chair...

Parasites are giving us grief. They are such a pain. If I could, I would have the US import a bunch of hand scrubs that surgeons and surg techs use, I would teach all of the missionaries how to wash their hands correctly. Also I wish I could dump a bottle of chloro in every pila and put every street food place out of business. Or maybe I was thinking that I could put some type of  shock collar on all of the missionaries so that if they walk within a 10 ft radius of street food they won't have a second thought about eating it. (Probably not an option, but just throwin it out there) I would also remind the Elders that their Moms DID teach them how to clean and that they should pick up their brooms and take out their garbage. This doesn't apply to all of them...sometimes applies to me :)  Other than that, our missionaries are pretty healthy and happy!!!  I don't know who reads this, but I want you all to know that we really are doing our best to take care of the missionaries. We aren't perfect but we are working hard! 

As for the missionary side of things, life rocks. We don't get to work in our area a lot, but we are setting goals and accomplishing them!  We have so many people that are ready. Remember how I said that I wish there were more "Jorges"in Guatemala? Well, there are. There is always someone prepared! Estuardo is preparing to be baptized on May 31st! He loves reading the Book of Mormon. I have learned that The Book of Mormon is the most POWERFUL tool in conversion!! You should read it...just sayin'.

My smart nurse companion, Hermana Garcia!

Speaking of conversion, yesterday we had the opportunity to be in a conference with President Duncan (the new area president of Centro America). It was AWESOME!! First, he talked about how mission presidents are called. It truly is a call from God. I sustain my mission president fully. I have loved having the opportunity to work closer with President and Hermana Ruiz. They are awesome! Anyway, President Duncan said that before we get married, we should call the mission president of our "possibility" and ask, "President, what kind of missionary was Elder (the one you want to marry)?" President Duncan said that they will tell us the truth. So, I'm going to do that. 

Sorry, I totally just got side tracked...Conversion. With every single question asked yesterday, President Duncan always related it back to conversion! Conversion is not something difficult. It is simple!!! President Duncan is telling you, the scriptures are telling you, the prophets are telling you and will continue to tell you that by SMALL AND SIMPLE things great things are brought to pass. When it all comes down to it, we will NOT be shaken and we will NOT fall if we are searching and pondering the Book of Mormon every day. We can’t be led away if we pray morning and night, personally, and with your spouse and family. We won’t fail if we worthily partake the sacrament every Sunday. Blessings will not falter if we faithfully pay a full-tithe. The spirit won’t depart as we strive to keep our covenants. Our families will be protected as we attend the temple. I know these things are true. Conversion is simple. If we let go of the rod for a second, we can come back. Heavenly Father wants us to come back and that’s why he sent his son. I am so grateful for the atonement. I know that all of this is true. I am becoming more and more converted each day. I invite each of you to do these small and simple things! I promise blessings, so many blessings that there will hardly be room to receive them!

I love you Mom, Dad, Weston and Zane! You guys are the best. Please help the missionaries. They need you and you need them.

Con amor,
Hermana Minnick

P.S. The other day President asked me if I could drive…I said yes. (I almost said no) Wish me luck driving a huge truck in Guatemala.

Whit didn't send any shoutouts today, but here are her answers to a few questions I asked her today while emailing:

Me: "What is your housing like?": 
Whit: "Not nice, BUT we are moving into the senior couples house that left in June and it has a WASHER AND A DRYER -- I THINK I MIGHT CRY!"

In response to the pic I sent her of Jay, Weston & "sleepy bear" in Alaska:
Whit: "Holy crap. I don't like that they are killing bears. That's sad. They are just minding their own business!!!!!!!"  

Me:  "Do you have your driver's license?  Do you need more paperwork to drive?" 
Whit: "Yeah, I have my drivers license... its just crazy to drive here. There are NO laws."
Me: Sigh...  calling insurance agent    (Whit is a great driver)  

In response to a pic I sent of Whit's cousin, Elder Bench (the model missionary), on a pamphlet for missionaries using technology:

Elder Bench - Blond in dark suit!!
(Pamphlet for missionaries who use technology -  interesting!!!!)

Whit: "WE HAVE A GALAXY PHONE with internet at all time....I like it...I like technology!  I think its cooler than the iPhone...hahaha jk"  
Me:  "Samsung is a swear word at the Minnick's..."  I also have laughed all week at this pic.  Reminded me of one of the letters Whitney wrote while in the MTC... just for your weekend enjoyment, I pasted a portion of that letter below!  The pic of Jordan on the pamphlet was what they were doing that day!!  :)  

Repost from Whit's blog in the MTC 7/6/13  
"Funny Story (At least I think it's funny, but I may have lost my sense of humor): On Tuesdays we do a service project. This week we were the lucky ones who got to empty out ALL of the trash in the women's bathroom-if you know what I mean. It was not fun. You would think the sisters here would be clean, but NO that would be a lie. Anyways, we were looking really beautiful in our grungy work out clothes with our hair on top of our heads, sweating too! We had to carry literally like 20 bags full of trash out to the dumpsters. I guess on the same day the MTC was doing a photo shoot with the more attractive looking missionaries. Well, that photo shoot was taking place right next to the dumpsters and there was no way to get to the dumpsters other than walking straight though the photo shoot. There were two sisters (from our zone) who are literally drop dead gorgeous and also two elders... I bet you can guess who! Yes, Elder Bench (my cousin) and his companion. To make things worse, we were each carrying three huge black leaking smelly bags full of who knows what! It was so embarrassing! The head photographer said to us, "Um, do you mind running through?" So, because I felt bad I tried to half run jog walk but that doesn't work when you only have two arms and three bags bigger than your own body. So trash was falling out left and right and juices of every kind were spilling all over me. It was a good time. All four of us had to make three trips! I wanted to jump in the picture and yell, "THIS IS WHAT A REAL MISSIONARY LOOKS LIKE!" Hahaha. We are the Cinderellas of the MTC. We laughed about it all day! Elder Bench did a great job modeling though! He is my claim to fame!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Drink water and take Pepto!

Hey amigos!

Surprise! I'm writing on Friday! I'm sitting in the beautiful air conditioned mission office writing on a functioning keyboard. BRILLANDO! This is incredible. Its not because I'm disobedient, it's because I'm the new mission nurse! Yay for sick missionaries! Our new P-day is Friday. Although the office really doesn't have P-day because something always comes up. But, you should expect my letters to come on Fridays...sometimes Mondays because you never know...our schedule is crazy.

To answer your questions mother:

My companion is Hermana Garcia (her calling is the be the nurse, so she knows what she's doing) she is from Mexico! I love everyone from Mexico! I went back to Las Palmas... I guess they missed me too much. Our area is Pedregal! Awesome ward! There are 6 missionaries. The zone leaders, Hna Moreno, Hna Keltner and us. 

What do I do as a nurse? Well, every day sick missionaries call us and then we try to fix them so that they can save souls. We are all over the mission buying medicine and then delivering it and also taking missionaries to doctors appointments. We are also in the office a lot because this is a church of order so we have to document everything we do. Its a fun job. Although, there are many missionaries who make fun of the nurses. There is a joke in the mission that no matter what kind of illness you have the nurses say, "Well, just drink more water and take pepto." Sometimes its true. There are a lot of weird diseases, skin rashes, worms and gross stuff here. I guess I'll learn how to treat it. I'LL DO MY BEST! 

Remember when I was the nurse for my first change and I didn't like it to so much? Yeah, well now its a lot better because I can speak Spanish, I know how to be a missionary, and I'm not in culture shock! I'm excited this time. 

We have some investigators that are progressing! Whoohoo! Because we are in the office a lot and always everywhere else but our area, it is easier to see the Lord's hand in the work. Miracles happen and Hermana Garcia and I are going to work hard to be the Nurses that baptize. 

I am more thankful to be here each day. I LOVE my mission. It has by far been the best thing for my life! I know with conviction that this is The true Church of Jesus Christ. He is the head. I know that the Book of Mormon is true! I've read it in English and Spanish and both times it has been true. If you don't believe me, read and ask for yourself!   This change I am going to focus on developing charity. I'll let ya know how it goes! 

Special birthday shout out to my main padre J Mark Minnick!! Te amo y te extrano y ay que praticar tu espanol porque westy y yo solo vamos a hablar en espanol por el resto de nuestros vidas. I can't believe you're so old. Cuarenta y cuatro. Anciano. Jaja. Thanks dad, for teaching me everything that I know. Also mom probably helped a little bit more but you definitely have some credit because I'm your twin!

Anyway mis amados, I love you all very much and I hope you are all happy and healthy and reading your scriptures. Keep being awesome and eat grilled salmon for me.

Con demasiado amor,
Hermana Minnick

I got letters from:
Hermana Hubbard
Gma Linda
Gpa Sherrell
THANKS I LOVE YOU ALL!! I'm sending letters back soon!

TANMAN!! Thank you so much for the package!!! I almost cried when I saw.... (slim jims) and I love EVERYTHING! Love you!

Shout out to my main man Zane. You just get one because you're you!

Also, Madel. I'm glad that you have experienced my pain with stubborn doors. Keep echando fuego en Chile!!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Smell the flores...

First of all, I LOVED seeing all of your beautiful faces yesterday!!! It was weird how normal it guys haven't changed at all. I'm glad you're all still crazy and weird and everything. This will probably be short because well, I told you everything yesterday...

1. We had a wedding. It was on my birthday. Satan didn't want it to happen, but it totally did and it was beautiful! We had doller (how in the world do you spell doller $..that looks so weird) store balloons and white lace. We also bought this really tasty cake (technically it was wedding cake but I just pretended it was birthday cake). The wedding was great but the whole time I was picturing Blanca and Jorge in the temple a year from now. That's when it really counts! 

A Guatemalan Wedding!
(Tam: remind me to show Whit this pic when
we are planning her wedding-- SIMPLE!) 

2. Jorge and his daughter Lourdes were baptized the next day! They are seriously awesome! Our ward is really excited about Jorge because we need some more sacerdocio!! He left church on Sunday with every single manual under the sun! He was glowing!!

I love baptisms more than volleyball, surgery, and
everything else that I love a lot!

3. Last the best of all the game... I know I already told you this yesterday mom, pero, HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!! I actually thought about you a lot more on my birthday. I think we all have birthdays backwards! I didn't do anything to be here! You did all the hard work! So, thanks mom for being literally the most wonderful, hardworking, and loving person on this planet! WESTON, hang out with mom while ya can! You will MISS her...mark my words!

4. La Obra Misional en Guatemala is moving FORWARD! I love this work and I know that it is true! Read your scriptures, say your prayers and SMILE because frowns are ugly and nobody wants to look ugly! In this change I have learned to just smell the flowers instead of the dog poop. There is always gonna be dog poop but we don't need to waste our time smelling it. I've learned that I cannot control everything, even though I'd really like to, that is just not possible! Do your best and smile and laugh when you mess up. I love you family!! 

Con amor,
Hermana Minnick

Turned 20 in a jungle!!!

Can you please hang up a hammock in my room?
Hermana Terry and Hermana Parker made me these cool balloons!!
(Tam: Julie Terry your craft lives on!!  Jac is on it!!!)

We finally bought umbrellas!

Skype time - Hermanas Outsen & Minnick


Monday, May 5, 2014

April Showers bring May...SHOWERS...

Volleyball and Tennis at the Presidents Home!
Does that pool look incredible, yeah we couldn't jump in...

Holy cow guys, thanks for all of the birthday wishes! I seriously didn't realize that it was this week until I got on to write and there were like 50 emails! Also, I apologize in advance because this computer screen has an ugly purple tint to it and it gives me a head ache. También I played volleyball all day in the sun so I am happily exhausted and I don't know if I will be able to make complete sentences for much longer!

So, you know how I said there are spacers in between our windows and anything smaller than my head can sneak into our house?  I hope you know it just took me 3 minutes trying to figure out how to do that question mark...Guatemalan keyboards!!!!!  Sorry, anyway, so I don't know what animal it was (I think it was a cat, I'm sorry but I just despise cats) came in and pooped all over my backpack sitting on the floor. It was a lot. And it was sunk deep into the material. When we got back from working out that morning we were all dry heaving because the entire house reeked and we could not figure out where this stench was coming from. Then, I heard my compa scream and start laughing her head off. I was so mad. I have an attachment with my mochila, we've been through a lot. So, I retired it, but not with out a fight! I washed it with hand sanitizer and febreeze and detergent like 5 times... RIP mochila. So, the next day I was kind of backpackless and President and Hermana Ruiz came to our zone to give us this awesome pump up talk. After everyone was laughing waaay hard at the picture and Pres y Hermana Ruiz saw it. So, they gave me this way awesome new one that says, "Misión Guatemala Retalhuleu",  I guess I should say thanks to that cat. 

           Its not a clear picture because I was shaking...haha

I have a cool investigator. When I say cool I mean like one of those rare ones who is just ready to apply every principle of the gospel to his life right when we invite him to do it.  His name is Jorge.  He came to General Conference and first thing he received a testimony that -- Thomas S. Monson is a living prophet. That made things a lot easier and I think Guatemala should have some more Jorges. He stopped drinking alcohol, coffee, and this Friday on May 9th he will marry his wife. I think that is a great birthday present don't you?!  The great thing is that he totally did this all by himself.  We taught, testified and invited and he just did it.  BECAUSE HE IS READY!!  I LOVE finding these precious souls! Jorge and his daughter Lourdes will be baptized this Saturday. We are still working on Blanca (wife) but I know she will be baptized.  

What else? Its rainy season again and I have yet to see an umbrella that will last so I've just given up and now I use a piece of plastic to at least keep my scriptures dry...

      My orange piece of plastic that keeps 1 percent of my body dry...

I ALMOST FORGOT!!!! Guess what... I got to go to Leonel's baptism!!!!!! We don't have permission to go back to our old areas to see investigators so I didn't really get my hopes up.  But I prayed and Hermana Betancourth somehow got me permission to go. It was such a tender mercy. I don't know if you guys could tell, but Samala was tough and la familia Hernandez always kept me going!  I spoke at his baptism and it was so wonderful to get to say a real goodbye to all of the ward members too! His wife will be baptised soon too! Miracles are real.

I look like a giant but its whatever...LA FAMILIA HERNANDEZ

Anyway, I just love you guys. Hermana Outsen and I talk about how much we love our families every day! I miss you all!  Remember to serve someone!

A cool tree and a cool companion!
Con amor,
Hermana Minnick

Okay all you lovers...
LAUREN AND COLBY!!! CONGRATS!! SO excitedddd!!!!
KYLEE! You looked so beautiful in your dress! I love you and I am so sad I couldn't be there!

To all of those people in my birthday video...I definitely shed tears and I wish I could watch that 20 more times. 

A special shout out to mom and dad because I reached 20 and I didn't do anything really dumb...yet. Do you guys feel old, cause I do...

To all of you who sent me a birthday email, card, pkg. etc.....Muchas gracias y I love you.  I wish I had more time to write all of you back.  I just really am grateful for your support and love!

So, I have always meant to send a chucho picture...they are EVERYWHERE
(Mom note: Zane wants this dog--he has already started begging)

This is what Batman did, and now I can share this picture because he is GONE.

Hunting in my jungle!