Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Bodas, Bautismos, y RATS!

Well, I hate rats. I had never seen one until I came to Guatemala! Rats are taking over my house. I´ve gotten really good at using my matrix skills to dodge them when they pop out in unexpected moments! Just pray that I don't get bitten by one...I hear those rabies shots kill!!!

Anyway... We had a wedding!!!!! And a baptism!!! It was the best, most stressful day of my mission!! We had some paper issues and suegro issues, but in the end, it all worked out! I have never prayed so hard for my investigators. On my mission I have learned to become a hair dresser, floral arranger, and a rat killer. Hermana Jimenez and I did Maylin's hair for the wedding, we didn't know what we were doing but it turned out great. We also decorated for the wedding...in 3 hours. When in doubt: streamers, white balloons and flowers... they love that stuff here! It all turned out beautifully. When I will get home I will tell you the details of the story. Its too long and crazy and you probably wouldn't believe me. But, thanks for the prayers!! Luis and Maylin are awesome, they already gave us references of all of their nonmember family members that came to the wedding and baptism!

Maylin's Hair

Witness at a wedding!

I bought every flower that the mercado had and then put them all together...

What else? OH YA!! I forgot to tell you guys last week... I am living with Hermana LEYVA too!! My dos hijas!!! It has been a real party! Hermana Leyva brings out my crazy side, so that's fun. 

I feel so scattered brained right now. 

Remember my goal that I have to invite 1000 people to be baptised? Yeah, well I have had to edit that goal a little bit because I am training, and if I am a good trainer I am going to let my hija do most of the challenging. So, as a companionship we are going to challenge 1000 people!! Its been two weeks... we only have 100. Pray for us! hahaa! 900 people are waiting to invited. 

Update on purple hair: now it is red. And no, mother... I did not have lice. Thanks for asking.

This week is general conference!!! I am so excited!!! Our goal as a zone is to bring 75 people. There are 12 missionaries in our zone. We have faith! Zona Pajapita is a zone of miracles!!!!!! I know that Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet! Listen to and apply his words to your life!! 

I love you guys a ton!!!!
Hermana Minnick

Pray that the satellite in Pajapita will work so that we can watch GC! On Saturday for the Women's session it didn't work!!!! Pray really hard!!!

The water in the baptismal font, I also shower with that water, and wash my clothes with that water... 

Maria Jose´s baptism...she has a lot of supporters!

We love weddings! We love baptisms!!   Maylin y Luis
(Tam: Whits new comp is a doll!!!!!) 

Tam Note:  
Email:  whitney.minnick@myldsmail.net
Blog:  www.whitneyminnick.blogspot.com  (lots more pics…on blog)

Also…I had a good reason to ask if she had lice….  dying your hair will kill the little critters.  It was a valid question!  :)  I also had fun chatting with her on Monday…Chatting is just typing really fast back and forth for a very quick hour.  I am trying to help her get registered at BYU.  Never enough time — but, if you have any BYU MyMap / Registration questions… I am your gal.  I wanted to register her for "Marriage Prep” - a class at BYU.  Didn’t make her list….  WHAAAAAAT????  

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

That one gringa with purple hair...

You guys, my hair is purple!!! I have learned many life lessons on my mission. I will share one with you now because it is urgent! Never ever ever dye your hair out of a box from the store! No matter how desperate you may be. Everyone is like, "Oh Hermana Minnick...your hair..." and I’m just like, "Yeah, the sun's UV rays dyed it purple. Aren’t you jealous?"  Let's just hope that my head and shoulders shampoo doesn’t turn it green or something. So yeah, starting a new sister missionary fad! PURPLE is the new black.

There’s so much to say today. 

Starting with last Monday...After I wrote you wonderful people, my zone hopped on a bus and went to Reu to have a Noche de Hogar with President Ruiz for winning a challenge of how many investigators we brought to church. It was fun! We ate real food and watched Avengers. But back to the part about how we rode a bus there...and not just any bus!! It was one of those huge Puma buses with AC and comfy seats...for the first time in a while I didn’t have to share my seat with a random Guatemalan. I like those buses... But that’s beside the point. My whole zone was sitting in the back of the bus minding our own business (staring out the window, snoring, or reading the scriptures) when an evangelical pastor stood up and started preaching his beliefs.  I started to think, here we are, 10 missionaries set apart to preach the gospel with power and authority and well I looked over at my DL Elder Amundsen and I knew he felt the same as me.  I told him to get up and preach. We waited until the pastor finished to be respectful. Then, Elder Amundsen stood up, walked to the front of the bus, and started sharing his testimony. I got up and followed him. Our zone looked at us like we were crazy. After he shared his testimony, I shared the story in John about Nicodemo and Jesus. I shared the scripture John 3:5 and challenged about 40 people to be baptized. It was fun. If I am going to reach my goal of 1000, I need to become bus preacher Minnick.

Tuesday was a blur. Saying goodbye with Hermana Lopez was sad. I miss her!!  She is such an incredible person!

Wednesday. You guys, I was so nervous for this day!! You have no idea!! But, now the nerves are all gone and it is just time to WORK WORK WORK!!  My trainee is Hermana Jimenez!!!  She is from Costa Rica!! The first time I saw her I thought she was a gringa because she is whiter than me!!!  Needless to say, we have gotten a lot of attention in Pajapita.  She is AWESOME!  She is so polite and picking up everything so fast!  President had all of the trainers stand up in the meeting, he challenged us to find 16 new investigators before Sunday with our new greenies.  I don’t know what special power my hija has, but in 4 days we found 23 new investigators with four families!!  Also, I am the new sister training leader in Pajapita...we will see how that goes...

Thursday we saw a huge miracle! I guess all of you must have prayed for Maria Jose? Well, THANK YOU!! On Thursday morning I got down on my knees and prayed for a good thirty minutes for Majo.  I feel like she is my little sister.  I have never had an investigator with a stronger desire to be baptized and it started to make me sick how long this process was taking. Thursday night we went to her house and her Dad was home...RESTING! (That never happens).  Maria Jose basically jumped on top of me so excited because we were going to get permission TONIGHT!  I called Jorge, her cousin, and he came and helped us. After about an hour and a half, the registro was SIGNED!!  Best day ever!!

Friday... the baptism was beautiful! Her Mom AND Dad came. I looked over at her dad's face when Maria Jose descended into the font and he had tears in his eyes. I know that his heart is softening! We are going to see miracles with this family! It was the best baptismal service I’ve been to in my mission! 

The rest of the days were a blur. Hermana Jimenez and I worked SO HARD. I think I finally understand what it feels like to entirely lose myself in the work. My poor hija has shin splints from walking so much! We are happy and working hard!! This Friday we have a wedding and baptism of a partial family! Please pray for Maylin and Luis! I know that Satan is going to work hard this week. I also know that we are going to work harder!!

I love you all dearly. Keep your hands on the rod! Hold on tight and don’t let go!

Hermana Minnick

P.S. Weston, YOU HAVE A COSTCO IN YOUR MISSION!!!!!!! I don’t want to hear any complaints from you!! THANK YOU for the advice. I will make sure that my hija is trained to the best of my abilities! Keep baptizing!!!!!!!!!


ZANER! Happy Birthdayyy!!!!!! I can’t believe you are 13!! When I left you were 11!!!! You are so grown up!! I can’t wait to play volleyball with you!! Have the best day ever!!! LOVE YOU!!!!!!! 

Tam Note:  Whit didn't send any pics.  She said she was on a ghetto computer.. wouldn't work.  I am hoping it doesn't have anything to do with the purple hair...but I stole a pic from my dear friend Sue Outsen.  Her daughter serves with Whit.  Love Hermana Outsen!!!!  

Hermana Maren Outsen!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Happy 15th!

Today is Guatemala´s Fourth of July. Currently there are a million firecrackers going off in front of this internet cafe. I can hardly hear myself think, but I´ll do my best! Viva Guatemala!!!

So here´s some news... last night I was almost entering into my sleeping coma when I got a call from Elder Barrus (the assistant). I was worried. First, because it was 11:00 pm and second because usually when you get a call from the assistant that means you should start packing your bags for emergency changes. But, don´t worry,  I'm still here in Pajapita!!  I'M TRAINING!!!  I am 99.9% sure that she will be a latina because only one gringa comes. I am excited! I love training!! Weston, you're being trained right now... do you have any advice? Do´s and Do Not's?

This week was weird for many reasons, I´ll list a few:

1. I was obligated to eat unwanted street food and pulled the longest black hair out of my mouth. I almost lost it in front of my investigators...its a good thing I have a strong stomach.

2. I tried a piece of chocolate and liked it!!!! WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME?

3. We went to REU every other day!!  I went back to my old area Pedregal for a day with Hermana Garcia while my comp went to the temple. Gotta love the good ole days in the office.

4. I watched my companion pack her bags last night!! I will miss hna Lopez! One of my favorite companions!!

5. I let Hermana Rodas dye my hair from one of those 20 dollar boxes from the store. It turned out better than I thought it would...

Anyways, it was just a weird week. 

My investigators are doing well. All of our families are having issues getting married!!  We are dealing with passports and birth certificates and all kinds of stuff and it is all a big headache!  But, totally worth it!! Also, please pray for Maria Jose!!

This last week we also had a multi-zona conferencia with Pres. Ruiz! I love my mission president! He is so awesome! He challenged us all to put 5 goals to achieve before we go home. I am going to share with you guys my goals so that you can cheer me on and pray for me...haha

1. Invite 1000 people to be baptised.

2. Baptize two families.

3. Reactivate 2 priesthood holders in Rama Pajapita.

4. Write a card to every one of my converts with my testimony.

5. Read (study) The Book of Mormon in my last 3 months.

I like what Zaner told dad, "Dad, I can do anything I put my mind to." That´s right Zane!! 

I love you guys!!! 

Hermana Minnick

P.S. Okay, one dog was pushing it... BUT TWO!?!? 

Note from Tam:  
SHE DYED HER HAIR?  She has twelve weeks left and she dyed her hair!!  OH DEAR!!!  Also, she is going to need ALL of your prayers....inviting 1,000 people to be baptized in the next 12 weeks is about 13.89 people per day receiving a baptismal invitation...  that's excluding P-Days!!  :)  We are praying for you Whit!  Love the faith of our missionaries!  

My investigator's kitchen

RIP reloj!  It snapped in half after 15 months...
such a sad day.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Livin la vida eternaaa

Hola family,

Como estan? I hope your week was awesome! Mine sure was! I have LOVED this change and I can't believe it is almost over! Everyday I beg my companion to extend. Hermana Lopez is so cool... its always nice when you and your companion are on the same page. I love my small distrizona and I love being the only gringa! Sometimes I go days and days without even muttering an English word. I dream in Spanish. I think in Spanish. Yay Spanish!

There aren't adjectives good enough to describe just how awesome Pajapita is! The members know what they are doing, they have their heads screwed on straight. They are all super talented and dedicated to the Lord. They are excited to be member missionaries! Yay Pajapita!

My investigators are the bomb! In the last two weeks we have found 10 families. Some more positive than others. Almost all of them seem to have the same problem.. they aren't married! BUT GUESS WHAT? We are going to marry them, and then baptize them. Yay families!

This letter is just going to be random...try and follow me...

I love it when my investigators ask, "What is the Priesthood?" That is such a good question. 1. Because that means that they actually read what we left them to read. and 2.  When investigators understand the importance of the priesthood, they get baptised! The Priesthood is what makes us different.

On Friday we went to Xetulul. (Guatemalas Disneyland) as a result of reaching our goals. I'm lucky because my companion is a dare devil like me. We went on every single ride. The rides were good for Guatemala, but I think I got more entertainment watching the faces of some of the latino missionaries experiencing their first roller coaster...so funny!

Honestly, I feel extremely blessed and incredibly grateful. Like those shirts and hat's say, "Life is good!" Obviously there are tough times too. Every once in a while I step in some fresh dog poop and sometimes it is so hot I think I might just incinerate on the spot. Sometimes I just want to hibernate like a bear! But, there is nothing more liberating than overcoming the natural man!

Now directly my letter to Westifer... I don't know what you're talking about! Your letters are 20 times better than mine! I am learning from you and I have 15 months in the mission! So, keep them coming! Just an FYI... my trainer was from Tremonton too. Twinners! I hope your Spanish is coming along and I hope all of the Latinos laugh at you.

Zane. I still have yet to hear from you! We're going on 6 months dude. If you don't write me a letter soon, when I get home I will personally kick you right in the behind! Get on it mister! Also, keep your perro off of my bed and give him a good name. In fact, you need to approve his name with me first. I love you Zane. (TAM NOTE -- Zane wrote Whit a letter... hasn't reached her yet!!!)

Mom and Dad, thank you and I love you guys!

Hermana Minnick

P.S. I know that I have forgotten like 20 birthdays. Forgive me? Half the time I don't even know what day it is!  Only Saturdays...because that's when I challenge my investigators to get baptised. Anyway, happy birthday. I am glad you were born!

P.P.S. Like my companion always says, "Run Forrest Run!!" I have no idea where she learned that...


Ridin dem rides!

My Zone!

my hair needs help...

little chapinos

high 5

I can't get enough of the children in Guatemala!

Eating lunch yesterday...hot soup!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Thoughts and Observations...

1. Sometimes investigators ask questions that I don't know the answers too. I have learned that is okay. You say, "You know what, that is a good question, I don't know the answer. But, I  will study and get back to you on that."  Also, there are some questions that no one knows the answers to...questions that can demolish a lesson if the missionary doesn't keep it under control (if you have served a mission you know what I'm talking about). Questions like, "is the glass half empty or half full?", "What came first the chicken or the egg?" "Why did the chicken cross the road?"  Well, I don't care why the chicken crossed the road and if he is a Guatemalan chicken he probably got hit by a tuk tuk and died before anyone could even mutter, "porque cruzo la calle la gallina?"  I'm set apart as a missionary to teach the DOCTRINE OF CHRIST!  Faith, repentance, baptism, receive the Holy Ghost and endure to the end!! Nada mas! I always have to remind my investigators to stick to the basics. Milk before meat! Let's not forget the small and simple things! Did you pray today? Have you read today? Will you come to church on Sunday? Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized?

2. Do you know what makes the world go round? Home and Visiting Teaching!!! I'm serious. Before my mission I did not understand it nor did I enjoy it! What a sin! I've learned on my mission how truly important it is! Now, I'm going to pull a WWJD on you... If Jesus were your home teacher would he bake a dozen chocolate chip cookies, staple a conference talk to a paper plate, set it on the front porch and doorbell ditch you? No. He would make 2 dozen, and he´d get to know you well enough to be your best friend. Don't go once a month! Go twice! If Guatemala had some more dedicated home and visiting teachers, the member of the church here would double. Now go and read the prophets words... 

3. Here is a quote by Spencer W. Kimball... 

“If only you could see the vision as I have, I wish I had your bodies to do the mission work, I would run to every house to teach the gospel and when I could no longer run then I would walk, and when I could no longer walk, I would crawl on my knees, and after my knees were so bloody that I could not use them, I would use my arms to drag myself, and once every muscle in my body was gone I would begin to yell! Oh that you could see the vision that I have."  

I haven't gotten to the point where I am dragging my body through the streets using my arms but all I know is that at the end of the day I can't even make a complete sentence. This last week was HARD! Hermana Lopez and I are tired but we are WORKING with everything that we have!! The best feeling as a missionary is collapsing on your bed after planning every night, knowing that you have nothing left to give that day!! 

4. I will never understand why Guatemalans feed me scolding hot soup in 100 degree weather. But, I am grateful for them, even though they are feeding me too much food. 

5. I've decided I am a missionary that just plants a lot of seeds. I am happy about it. I don't know what my problem is, but I always get attached to stubborn investigators. Investigators that move slowly. Remember Paulino from Pedregal? He got baptised this last Saturday!! My entire time in the office I worked with him and fought for him!! Many times people got mad at Hermana Garcia and I for not "dropping" him. The thing is that, there is only one door to enter into the kingdom! There is no other way! So, we need to fight for our investigators and make sure we have done EVERYTHING in our power to help them enter the door!! I'm so happy for Paulino!!!

6. I have learned that if I open my eyes, there are miracles in every single day. This is the Lord's work and he wants us to move a little faster. The awesome thing is that, he is right there next to us pushing the work along! Yesterday, Hermana Lopez and I left really early to gather people for church. All my ears heard were a whole lot of excuses...But, miracles happen. Remember Majo? I wrote about her last week...Well her mom showed up to church! The black sheep of the family, the woman who has been so against the church for all of these years came!! Her heart is softening and I know that she will be baptised!

I know that I had more to say but as usual, I forgot it all.

Mostly I want you all to know that I KNOW that God lives. I know that His Son, Jesus Christ lives too. They have a plan and we are a part of it!! I finished reading the Book of Mormon yesterday again. That book comforts me and teaches me more than any other book I have ever read. Please, please read it every day for extra strength and guidance!

You guys are the best. If you want to punch Satan in the face, preach the gospel!!

Hermana Minnick

I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU GUYS BOUGHT A DOG!!!! What in the world?! Someone send a doctor to my parents house to check their temperature. Please don't let it on my bed.

Pics of Kimberly, Marbeli and Maria Jose

All my companions...minus Hermana Petersen, Hermana Bontempo, and Hermana Avendano.
My future husband must thank each of them personally for making me more tolerable and cooler.
I love them!!

Don't you miss your cute sister missionary?

Chopping wood

Following pics taken from the "Mision Guatemala Retalhuleu" Facebook page...

Hijas al servicio del mas grande Dios.

Hermana Minnick y Hermana Lopez con la mejor carpeta de Area.

Mi primer Grupo de hermana que conoci en PROVO en Junio 25 en SLC.

Equipo de Voleyball Ganador.