Monday, August 25, 2014

I believe in Miracles!

Yes. That is a song reference...

My cheeks hurt from smiling so much. This week was just too good!!!!!!!! I love Guatemala and all of its quirks. I love my investigators so much that it hurts!! 

We saw a ton of miracles this week! I´ll tell you about a few:

1. Maria Jose..or Majo for short! She is the granddaughter of the second counselor in the Bishopric, her uncle is the 1st counselor in the stake presidency, and her cousins are all returned is serving in Utah Central Mission right now..if you see him tell him hi! However, she is not a member. Her dad is less active and her mom is Catholic. The missionaries have worked with them for years. Maria Jose loves to go to church! She loves Young Women's and she has had the desire to be baptized for a very long time. But her parents told her that she had to wait until she turned 15. She turned 14 on Sunday. After meeting her, I was like, we have got to help this girl out! I have never seen anyone with a greater desire to be baptised! So, we went and talked to her Mom to help ask for permission. I was nervous, I had no idea what to say but I just prayed for the spirit and promised myself to be bold! Her mom was reluctant at first, we got to know her for a couple of minutes and then we got straight to the point! Her mom broke down and started crying, she said that she loved her daughter and only wanted the best for her. We shared a couple of scriptures and then her mom said, "First, teach her every discussion. Then, she will choose when she wants to be baptized." Maria Jose bear hugged her mom. It was the best ever. I am thankful for the missionaries who planted the seeds here before! Maria Jose started reading the Book of Mormon last week and is already in Alma!! 

2. 95 percent of my time I am thinking about families... not my family, Guatemalan families! I want to baptize FAMILIES! I have been praying and praying to find families!!! This week we found four.. I´ll tell you about one of them. La Familia Chilel.. We found the dad, Osbaldo contacting, we only talked to him for about 3 minutes because we had to catch the bus. We invited him to church and he said "Yes"! We got his address "at the top of that really long street". On Saturday we went to find his house on the "really long street" (addresses do not exist here). He lives in an area called Las Palmas, we are opening this area so we had never been there. We found the street that he pointed out and started walking down it. When I say street I mean a muddy road with a lot of frogs. We started asking everyone if they knew where Oswaldo lived but nobody had heard of him. However, we felt that we should keep going. We walked like what seemed forever down this muddy road and got to the very last house... There was a woman with 5 little kids running wild sitting in front of her house, feeding her pig. She said, "Hey my husband said that you guys would be coming!" Then we had a pretty awesome lesson with them about keeping the sabbath day holy and committed them to come to church. Getting them to church was the hard part. They live pretty far away from Pajapita, so we asked a member who has a car to help us out...bless her soul. Her car was filled with mud after -- we are going to clean it this week! When we got to their house to pick them up for church the little boy was screaming because a scorpion had bit him. The little kids were running wild and didn't want to change their clothes, but I convinced them with some Oreo cookies. It took an HOUR to get to the church and we still had more investigators to bring! It was insane! During the sacrament I looked over and one of the little kids started peeing...all over the place. I almost lost it laughing so hard. There was mud and pee all over the floor. I just smiled and gave him another Oreo cookie. They loved church! We´ll see what happens!

3. Magali and Brandon... they are probably my first investigators who actually read the folletos that we pass out! Every time we come they have the folleto (pamphlet) marked and they always have a ton of questions!! Magali asked, "What is the Priesthood?", "What is the difference between the celestial and telestial kingdom?" It is so much easier to teach when someone has the desire to learn! We also gave them a Book of Mormon and they have been reading faithfully. (picture included)  Brandon is 11, but he acts like he is 20. He is so smart and he is always reminding his mom (Magali) that they have to read and go to church! 

Yay for progressing investigators!

4. Just in case you were wondering, my English is deteriorating at a rapid rate. I go days and days without speaking English. Mom, please spell check and correct any grammatical errors. Please and thank you. 

I am so happy, I love missionary work. Mom, can I extend? hahaha 
This change is going by way faster than I want it to. 

I love you family! Pray for my Guatemalans!!!

Con mucho amor,
Hna Minnick

Shoutout: Feliz Cumpleanos Grandpa Chuck!!!!!

Monday, August 18, 2014

I love the Temple!

Well Family, 

This week was wonderful! We saw miracle after miracle and I wish I had time to tell you about them, but I will after the mission because it will be better in person...

I love my area. I love my companion. I love my investigators, my zone, and our dog named Toby. Yes, we have a dog... technically he is not ours, but the owner of our house lives right next door and so we share him. I am not a dog fan but I prayed to love Toby and it worked. Toby barks. All night long. 

Anyway, we had another baptism!!! Marbeli! She is 13 but she looks like she is 9. Her parents have been less active for about 5 years but they are coming around! They came to her baptism and loved it! I know they will come back!! 

Yesterday the second counselor in the temple presidency came and spoke to us in Pajapita...President Mortensen. It was awesome! He talked about the blessings we receive as we attend the temple. The Guatemalans are so blessed! They have two temples here!  My companion who is from Nicaragua has to travel to Honduras to go to the temple. 

I just want to remind you, family, how blessed we are to have a temple TWO MINUTES from our house... 15 minutes running (or 30 if you're out of shape like me). I hope that you are taking the time to go to the temple EVERY WEEK!! It is a privilege!! Man, I miss the temple!! I love the temple! And, I am so happy that my parents could be sealed in the temple 22 years ago TODAY!! August 18th!! I love you Mom and Dad!! I am so glad that in the Sandy Hillcrest YSA, Mom recognized "Mike's brother" and that Dad recognized "Troy's sister"! Last week in Relief Society the lesson was on "Eternal Marriage", and yesterday, "How to raise children in a Christ centered home." First of all, I am grateful for faithful parents who have kept the covenants that they have made in the temple. I am grateful that you taught me the Doctrine of Christ! All that I am, I owe to Jay and Tami Minnick!! Second, I promise to follow your example!! I LOVE YOU GUYS!!! Happy 22 YEARS! Here's to the next 22! 

Elder Minnick, I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!! QuerĂ©taro is ripe and ready to harvest!!!! You asked for some advice... I feel like I have given you all of the advice that I have! Like you wrote in your email, the best thing you can do is WORK! Work so hard and don't waste a minute because the time goes by faster than you think. Make sure to pray for and LOVE your investigators! Never think about yourself! Love your companion! Be obedient! I love you Westifer!! Don't eat the tortas in the calle... but maybe just try them once because they are really good!!! 

Zane! You still haven't written me! Good luck starting school... Weston said something about kissing girls... Don't listen to him...not yet!! You are awesome Zane!!!!! Keep mom and dad on their toes!! They are getting old... 

I pray for each of you by name every day! Keep the commandments!! Follow the prophet!! 

Que les vaya bien!
Hermana Minnick

Tam note:  Got these pics from another missionary!!  Whit's camera still not functioning!!   

Zona Pajapita!

The next bunch of pictures are from visiting Volcan Chikabal!  (I think they did this last week on P-Day)

Tam: Just a little further and she would be in the water!  :)  

Monday, August 11, 2014

Bienvenidos a PAJAPITA!

Holy cow guys! I feel like I haven't written in forever! So much to say!! Today we went on this high adventure hike up a Volcano called Chikabal... At the top there is a little lake...most beautiful thing I have seen!! The hike was so steep...I was dying... Pero, vale la pena.

So, going back out into the field has been a big slap in the face! (the good kind) the, "Hey! Wake up!" kind of slap in the face! It feels SO GOOD to be back out in the field!! I dont know what I did to have the privilege to come to Pajapita! I am so grateful to be here. My area is called "La Playa" (the beach). When my companion started showing me around the area I asked, "Hey compa, so where's the beach?" She just looked at me and laughed. That answered my question. My area is actually really small. It is full of bolos (drunks), iglesias evangelicas, mud, pigs the size of horses, and of course people ready to hear the gospel! There are actually more pigs than dogs and I am still trying to decide which I prefer! 

Pajapita is incredible. There are 6 missionaries in my ward... I am the only norte...haha. I am in a distrizone... There are only 10 missionaries! I am still trying to get used to it! I live with Hna Rodas from Honduras, Hna Ignacio from Peru and my companion is Hna Lopez from Nicaragua. She is awesome! She leaves in September. I am excited to be with her! 

Our house is huge!!!! WE HAVE FOUR BATHROOMS AND A TOASTER!!! That makes my life a whole lot better. 

More about is a branch! We only need 5 more full-tithe paying priesthood men and this branch will become a ward! That is so achievable! The heart of this branch: the youth! They are all so talented...all of them play musical instruments and they give us so many references! 

On Saturday we had a baptism... Kimberly! She scared us for a second when she started bawling about 10 minutes before the service started. I couldn't tell if it was a happy or sad cry. Of course the worst was going through my head! But we pulled her aside and she half sobbed and said, "Sorry, I am just really excited!" Then it all went beautifully from there! 

When I got on the bus leaving change meeting, won't lie, I was so nervous. The first thing my DL told me was, "Look Hna Minnick, out of the three areas is Pajapita your area is the toughest, an area of faith, also your companion is dying this change so you need to make sure that she stays focused." The further we got from Reu the more nervous I became...So, I just prayed really hard. If there is one thing I have learned on my mission, it is to love. To love the people, to love your companion, to love the mutated dogs (so that they don't bite you). So, I prayed really hard for the gift of charity. The thing about this work, is that if you don't love it, and if you don't love the people you are teaching, it doesn't work. When I finally got to my area, I felt a rush of peace. I need to be here in Pajapita. I need to love these people in Pajapita because I am representing my Savior. I pray that I can be a mouthpiece and instrument for the Lord here. I might not be the brightest or best teacher, I have numerous weaknesses, but I know the Lord qualifies whom He calls and it is my greatest desire to bring souls to Christ!

I LOVE YOU GUYS!! I know that I am leaving like half of my week out because I can't remember anything... It's a good thing I have my journal. 

Hna Minnick

Shout outs:
To all of you people getting hitched...thumbs up!

P.S. I took a ton of pictures today...on other peoples camaras bc mine no sorry no pictures!
 :( maybe one day...

Note from Tam:  We did get one pic that she was able to take before she left the office!!!
The office Elders bought me a cake because
they will miss me so much...

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Adios Oficina!

Hey! ITS AUGUST!! I can't believe it!! 2014 has gotta be on fast forward or something...

Anyway, this will be the last letter I write to you from the air conditioned office on a functioning keyboard... Oh, how I will miss the AC and cold water machine! Mostly, I am excited to be a normal missionary. I am nervous for changes... It is likely that where I will go, there I will end my mission. Or in missionary language, I will "die" there. I honestly have no idea where I am going, but I am sure that it will be the right place for me. So...BRILLANDO.

This week was awesome. Here's why: 

Starting with last Saturday.. Byron's baptism in San Francisco! When we pulled up I felt like I was back at home. San Francisco will always have a special place in my heart. I will go back and visit someday! I loved seeing all of the members and some of my converts. The best part was seeing Byron. He had no idea that Hermana Ostler and I were going to come and started crying when he saw us. I will never forget that baptism or Hermano Byron. That had to be one of the highlights of my mission.

 We went to the TEMPLE with Zona Las Palmas!! It was exactly what I needed. We were able to do a session with President and after we did baptisms.. President baptised us. I will never forget that experience. Not to mention that the Quetzaltenango Temple in Xela is so beautiful! My favorite part was sitting in the Celestial room. I felt completely at peace. I gave a report of my mission to the Lord up to this point and now, what I will accomplish with the rest of my time. I love the temple. I hope that you guys are taking advantage of the 6 temples within 45 minutes of our house! GO!

We found 9 new investigators this week. That is a record for the nurses. We hit a point in our area where we had nothing, so we have been contacting and asking for references like crazy. Now, we need to help all of them get to church tomorrow!

I can roll my RRRRRRRR's!!!  Finally!  After 5 Latina companions and hours of practice I can finally do it! I have to concentrate hard enough that my eyebrow twitches but... PROGRESS PEOPLE!  Perrrro.

We have started playing basketball every morning with the other missionaries in our ward. Its fun because none of us know how to play. I forget how good it feels to pull a muscle and sweat out all of the stress! 

More than anything, on my mission I have learned that as we directly apply the atonement to our lives, we will change. We will become converted by constantly doing the small and simple things! I have learned that instead of focusing on my weaknesses, I should work to fix them by using the atonement. I know that God is our Father and that His Son Jesus Christ lives. I know that His church is the kingdom of God on this earth. In reality, Joseph Smith saw the Father and the Son. He was called as a prophet and translated by the power of God, The Book of Mormon. I know that book is true! We have a living prophet today! Listen to his voice! Sustain him, keep the commandments, and always pray. I love you my family! Thank you for everything!

Con Amor,
Hermana Minnick

P.S. Weston, you redeemed yourself. Keep the letters coming. 
P.P.S. CONGRATS to the newlyweds -- Lauren and Colby! Good job!  And SEND PICTURES! 

The OFFICE... at your service.

I love these guys!

Gotta love Guatemala!

Zona Las Palmas
I will miss this Zone and these people!

This is where we play basketball every morning!  I am out of shape.