Monday, June 30, 2014

Guat's Up? June 23, 2014

Hola hola hola!!!

 Hi Fam bam! How is your life in the good ole valley of Cache? Summer is just whipping by. (Is it really summer? My district leader sitting next to me said it snowed n utah last week. Why am I not surprised) Things are great here and   I had a good week. I was a little frustrated with sSanish as usual, but  I am learnnig that thsi  is my life so whateva. 

So listen up folks, cuz some drama went down here In Los Campos this week. Ok so last week me and Hna Cerrato were walking along to lunch and this lady comes runnng after us. 'Elders Elders!' And we were luck uhhh..... Hermanas? Anyways apparently she came to Coban from the capital looking for her cousin with her daughter and grandaughter and  have no idea what happened but they had no place to stay so out of the kindness of their hearts the people who feed us lunch let them stay there. They were not very polite and sort of were taking advantage of them. So after a week they politely asked them to leave. Holy hanna folks, Stuff went down! The Lady got Way MAD  and started to physically fight and hit one of the hermanas in the house. We are sitting in a lesson when we get this call and the mom is freakiing out. So we run our little legs over there and her face is all scratched up and the ladies are gone. It was odd. All I can say is God bless America. Cuz they tried to call the police but noone Knows the number for the police in Guatemala So... yeah. It was loca folks. Thats all. Ok moving on with life.  I'll answer your questions now!

So, chica. . do you have  running water. . and/or warm water?  What do you eat? Yeah  have running water but not for drinking. We buy this big tub of water here. And when investigators give me drinks I sneak in some water purifier they gave us just in case. If I put the shower juuuuussst right, I can have a warmish shower, but usually it's pretty chilly. But it's good cuz it wakes me up for study time. I only cook breakfast in our apartment. We have whatever. Eggs and beans, Pancakes, cereal... Usually one of those three. And also they have this stuff here called mush. Basically it is really watery oatmeal that is a drink and i LOVE that stuff. Im bringing home a whole suitcae full. 
Sometimes people give me drinks like peppermint tea but we always have a drink in almost all our visits. 
The weirdest thng I've had... hmmm.... Well I don't really know what she gave me but the other day a member gave me this drink that looked like mush... no. it. was. not. it was like corn squash pumpkin poop. I donno but it was really thick like mucus and I had to give myself a mental pep talk to get it down.
 I have't really missed much food from home but I have missed using utensils. WHen i get home my manners will be even worse if that Is possible because they eat EVERYTHING here with their hands... except soup.... and rice. So Yeah be prepared for that.

Which clothes are your favorite?  Are they cool enough?     The weather is kinda weird. it's never super hot. But in the mornings it's usually real warm and by the afternoon its a downpour of pyschoness. But I like the weather. it's usually pretty cool. My favorite clothes are my guat skirt I bought in the CCM cuz it's like denim and has pockets which is perfect and all of my short sleeve active basic shirts have been amazing. Oh and also my half undershirts have saved my life.

How is your hair holding up in the humidity?  Yeah I look like poopl everyday. The Humidity actually isn't horrid here.... but my hair is a little more frizzy but not bad. I just don't even care haha and literally Every. single. human. I talk to, even if its for thirty seconds comments on my hair. They are obsessed with it here. They love colchita canchas. But I am good on hair supplies. Probably soon i will just give up cuz by the afternoon all of my makeup and hair stuff is gone. I have a real zitty face... i'm just a pretty human being here, but noone knows I'm ugly cuz they never see gringas often so.... its good.

  Life is good and I'm learnnig a lot. I'm trying to apply happiness is a way of life, not a destination right now. There is no reason  I can't have the time of my life right now just cuz I cant speak! This morning we had an activity with our zone and we made pancakes and played Uno! WaHOO! I love humans.

Oh yeah duh! i had my first baptism.. haha this is why I am here and I almost forgot. But it was for the little boy Juan Carlos who can't understand me hahah. It was really special to see him go in the water (which was dirty... side note... we don't know why) And know that now he can be welcomed back home into God's kingdom. Oh it was so special! I'm excited to baptize the heck outta this place!

Love you all lots and I pray for you EVERY SINGLE NIGHT! thank you for your support. Its what keeps me going. 
Peace and blessings sugar pies.

Hna. Lexi

God Blesssss America!

My District is giant and amazing!  

I learned how to make tortillas this week!

Happy fourth of July, nortes! Haha But for real I hope you have a lovely week in the blessed land of America.  This week was good and I got many compliments on how much better my Spanish is. I can understand almost everything people say and yesterday in church i kept up with thespeakers. It was soo cool! Little by little I will learn. I was sick the past 3 days with a bad case of the runs, a stomach ache and headache. But  I feel a lot better now! The work must go forward! I just walked around and wanted to cry but esta bien.

So, now to answer the questions of the week:
Miracle of the week? So, I'm learning about how everything happens for a reason. This week was kinda slow but still. good. No lie, almost all of our appointments fell through this week and I was so bummed and grouchy So this leads to knocking doors and knocking more doors. Well, we found this family who lives in the middle of nowhere to teach! They are so cute! 4 boys and one little girl. They literally live in a tin shack with sheets for walls. IF our appointments wouldn't have fallen through, we wouldn't have ever found them! I hope that we can help them!
Another miracle is that also I felt your prayers a lot this week. You know how I told you Sundays are the hardest days for me for some reason? Yesterday I didn't want to kill myself! And my Spanish is so much better!

Scriptural passage or spiritual thought that helped you through the week? One thing I learned this week that I really liked is if we are Christian, why don't we use the symbol of the cross more? Well my fellow humans, let me tell you. Its because we want to focus on the fact that Christ is Stiil alive! I love that! I know it with all of my heart –because I feel Him with me everyday! That's just one of many wonderful things I learned!

What is the coolest bug or animal you saw this week?Hm.... well there are dogs EVErYWHERE! I never thought I would hate dogs, but I do. Really those are the only animals I see here. There is a really loud bird that wakes me up every morning....I hate that thing. 

New saying that you learned from one of the kids?"A la gran chucha!" I die laughing everytime....
Funniest thing that happened to you this week? So one day me and Hermana Cerrato were walking along and these people started to wave to the people behind us. Being myself, I got real excited "Hollllaaaaaaa" And I was waving and smiling..... yeah.... it was really awkward. When I realized they weren't waving at us. Also, one of our investigators asked me to say the opening prayer in English.... my English is as bad as my Spanish people! Where doibelong.? I have no idea. But I was in the middle of the prayer and hna. Cerrato goes, “amen.” She hought I had said amen. Oh my it was so funny.

I don't have much to say cuz' this week was freakin 'fast and also i wrote you a novel last week so I don't wanna repeat. And I like reading more than writing. But I love you. I pray for you. I brag about you and everone thinks my family is TAN BONITA. Thank you for everything and see you soon!

Monday, June 16, 2014

The World Cup is Cray up Here!

                                                     This is the rich area where I live.
                                                      My area is reallll pretty.
                                      So this is Juan Carlos who is getting baptized this Saturday.

I like green trees and the family we eat with everyday. This picture is minus the grandma and the little sister. Love these folks. My comp is the greatest!
Happy 2 months to meeeeee!!! Well that was either the longest or quickest 2 months of my life! I'm sure that is how most of my mission will go. But I was talking with Hna Cerrato and she only has 5 months left! Which is only THREE transfers. That made me realize I only have NINE transfers after this WHHHAATTTTTT! That's cray folks. Once I learn Spanish, I'm pretty sure this mission is going FLY. And I will be so sad and wish I didn't whine about something as stupid as communicating with others. I read a talk the other day about a general authority who served a mission in Germany and was also having troubles with the language. After praying the thought came to his mind " I didn't call you to speak 'Spanish'. I called  you to serve with all of your heart might mind and strength." This too was revelation for me. Kinda a slap in the face like "duh Lexi, you can just convert people with your beauty." Juuuuuust kidding. But yeah that was great for me to read.

So now to answer your questions:
What did you do this week? I had an absolutely great week! My Spanish really is coming along so great. I'm taking more and more parts in lessons. It's funny to see people turn their heads to try and listen to me but the thing is that they usually do end up understanding me somehow. (ahem. Gift of tongues.) But we invited 2 people to baptism this week! Wahoo! 1 of them is this lady named priscila and she has parkinsons. She is so sweet and it just breaks my heart. But her spirit is so strong and I know she wants to be close to Christ. The other is this 10year old Juan Carlos. He lives with his grandparents who are members. He doesn't understand me but I believe he likes me as a human being. Oh another highlight is on Monday we played games with my fav fam bam who feeds us lunch everyday with our Elders. It was Charades. It's quite hysterical and I just love those people a lot. Sometimes I wouldn't understand a word so elder stuart would have to tell me what it was. What a great way for me to learn more spanish!

Who did you bear your testimony to? I try to bear my testimony in every lesson about everything we teach because a lot of times this is the only thing I can do. But I did bear my testimony to the set two siblings we are teaching about the importance of going to church. They are currently praying for an answer if this church is true but don't feel like they are getting an answer. I told about how I received an answer about serving a mission in church and I really believed that they could find an answer there to but they HAVE to go.... Well I think that is what I said.

What is the best part about being a missionary? Wowie wow wowza. I can't even tell you! Being a missionary is the biggest roller coaster I have ever been on. Every day I just really hate my life and then I go to being the happiest I have ever been knowing that I am building God's kingdom. I think my favorite part about being a missionary is the spirit. You really always have the spirit because your thoughts are so centered on Christ and his atonement. It's incredible! I also love that for the next 16 months I get the amazing opportunity to not ever have to worry about myself. All I have to do is worry about others and I'm walking with Christ people. Every minute of everyday. That's pretty special.

What are you the most grateful for? 2 main things. First the people. I am so grateful for my companion. She is just like my sister and helps me so much! She is so inspired. The members here are so kind to little awkward gringa me. And the people in my district as well. Also as weird as it sounds I am so grateful for how HARD this is. The only way to get closer to Christ and our Heavenly father is through trials. I want so badly to be close with them.

What was the most difficult challenge and how did/do you meet it everyday?
The most difficult challenge I have is Spanish. Because I so badly want to share my love for the people, and the gospel and my knowledge of Christ and how he can help them and how much He loves them. But I get so nervous and frustrated I can't find the words. I know If I will stop worrying and just let God work through me, it would come but I'm having a hard time doing that. It's a work in progress. But I just pray REALLY hard and sing a hymn or think about other missionaries and how they did this so I can too!

How is your Health? Are you taking good care of your self? I'm taking great care of myself! I think I am losing weight walking around a lot. Which is good cuz people here aren't afraid to tell you if you are a gordita and Hna cerrato has made this known to me. haha. But I drink my silver shield, stretch out my back and have distress remedy like candy. It's great. I feel wonderful!
I love this work and I love the Lord. Life is rough but I can get through it. I really do feel your prayers. I can feel the difference. I am so grateful for your support. When I show pictures of you all to people they just die over how lovely we all are. I miss you real cray but only cuz' I'm real lucky. Go and find someone to bring to church this week. God wants his Children to know of his love for them. And that's for all of us to do not just missionaries. You'll be blessed for it LOVEEE YOU!

Hermana Sorensen

Monday, June 9, 2014

A whole new world (Gringa Edition!)

Hellooooooo!   How are you beautiful people?

Things are great here in Los Campos. I am still struggling in a big way with my Spanish, but it gets a little better every day. Sometimes I would like to trip and fall and get sent home, but then I have a conversation with someone and all is well in the world cuz I’m a missionary, that’s why.  Anywho I had a very great and wet week. It rains BUCKETS here! For reals people it’s insane. But if you wanna know  a miracle; my first few days I didn’t have a backpack, umbrella, or rain boots-- NO rain at all, then this week it rained so much. If that’s not a tender mercy, I don’t know what is!  

The work is picking up here and we are finding more investigators. For three of them, Spanish is their 2nd language, so we give them all our reading material in Queqchi. This is rough people because first of all, they are trying to understand Spanish, then when I talk, I am probably saying it wrong, with my gringa accent--and on top of that Hna. Cerrato says that between my accent and the fact I have a raspy voice, it makes it even harder for people to understand me. But it’s OK cuz’ that will make me work harder on my accent and I’ll be a real pro. . . . Someday.  So basically I just try to love everyone a lot. That’s fine. Actions speak louder than words, right? It’s not hard to serve people here because no one has anything. One of my favorite families to teach lives in a one room shack with a dirt floor.  They are just so nice and ready to learn. But I hope it works out because the dad is SUPER Catholic and the wife doesn’t think he will want them to listen. BOOOOO! :But,  oh well, at least we are trying.

So my favorite scripture of the week is probably Alma 26 27.”Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold the Lord comforted us, and said:  Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.”   I‘m really trying to work on my patience. I know my Spanish will come eventually because I am working really hard and I have no choice. It's really a big blessing I have a Latin comp. because I have no choice but to learn, so I am grateful for that.... most the time. Sometimes I would like to screw my eyeballs out and I wonder what the heck I am doing in this blasted place ‘cuz all I really want to do is have a normal conversation with someone. But miracles are happening every day! I can't quite have a normal conversation with someone yet, but I understand most of what people are saying and I can communicate. This is amazing. So progression will continue!

As you can see from the picture of our lovely apartment; we are moved in.  The lights were left here by the Elders.     Elders are grossy-- you have no idea. But,  yeah,  it looks a lot better now. 
I learned to sing ‘Book of Mormon Stories’ in Spanish.  It is a great song! I sing in English all the time too and it drives Hna Cerrato nuts!  But I am trying to teach her English, so we speak every night from 9:30 to 10:30. Which doesn’t really work cuz she knows none-- but I talk a lot.  This is a precious hour for me--or we just sit in silence and write in our journals which is also bien.

Oh, and another thing. I figured out how to describe the buses here. Picture the crazy bus on Harry Potter, but packed full like a concentration camp cart. This is not an exaggeration. I am going to die. I just know it. Also, I forgot to tell you, my favorite member is the family who feeds us every day. They are so kind and encourage me like nobody’s business and help me when I don’t understand; and laugh at me and with me. It’s rough, but great.

I love getting letters from family and friends.  I really want to reply and go in depth with everyone, but I can’t; so I’m really sorry! So. . . I feel bad; but please keep writing me and I will try to answer everyone in this big letter as much as I can! I get more time to read actual mail than email, cuz’ things on P-day are pretty rushed.  I appreciate your support more than I can say. . and your prayers!!!

After this we are going to buy groceries.  Ok I have to go! But I love you a lot and I really do feel your prayers whenever I feel down! Don’t worry about me too much cuz I know I have God with me; and I am surrounded by great people!  Life is good. Spanish is a coming along and I love life and I know this is going to go by so fast. . .as soon as I get through these first few weeks. Pray for me peeps. The devil is a nast.

Monday, June 2, 2014

The First Big Week!

Alright Welcome to COBAN people! Aye aye aye, This has been the longest, most crazy 2 weeks of my life.
So My last week in the CCM was very exciting but I'm not going to focus too much on that due to the fact the past 6 days have been insane. But, I did have a really special experience where we asked the elders in our district to give us a blessing before we left; and it was the most powerful experience I have ever had. I'm so grateful for priesthood power and they knew just what to say. AH! It was great!
Ok. so we left the CCM at 5 in the morning and got to Coban at about 10;00 and that's about the last of English I've heard ahah. We went in, had welcome meetings and then I met my trainer .Hna Cerrato. She is the cutest little lady from Honduras. NO she does not speak English. No. I do not speak Spanish. Yes, we are BFF'S. For reals, I love that lady though. She is 20 and has been in the field for 1 year. She is SO patient with me. When i first met her she was kinda rough around the edges but now we are Best friends and joke all the time. She is really funny and always knows what to say to make me feel better. She says there have been other people who have had Spanish as bad as mine and learned in like 2 or 3 months and thinks I will too because I work hard. Yes she is the best mom trainer in the world. I like her a lot.

After I met her , we went to our little apartment in our area which is Los Campos. It's the 2nd dangerous in the mission ,but God is protecting me so all is well. But the Elders before us left the apartment in a complete pig sty and didn't have very good record keeping; so this week the work has been pretty slow because we don't really know what is going on. LOTS of walking and contacting. I hope it picks up soon. I have been so humbled here because people literally have nothing. We are talking half the people with candle for light and no furniture. It's crazy. But we do have 3 investigators.... I think I literally just follow Hna Cerrato around and try to understand what is going on. But on eof them is named Juan Carlos and he is 10, the other is named Ana and she only speaks Qechi (ON a side note sometimes people will start speaking qechi here and I'm like heck Ill never learn Spanish and then Hna cerrato is like no... that was Qechi don{t worry your not dumb) Any who and the other is This lady named Irma and her 4 Kids which is my favorite family. Her kids are so funny and help me with my Spanish.
Everyday we have lunch at these members house and they are so nice and feed us A LOT. I love the food here.... it's so good. But they are really loving and all the people here are really patient and loving to me.
I've come to the realization I'm going to feel dirty for the next year and a half..... Cuz you are literally just hangin out camping 24-7. Alright... I love nature. Lets do this.

Oh heck what else... I{m trying to narrow it down.... Oh well one day I locked us out of the house and we had to break in.. that was exciting. Every night we have to have a member with us at 5{30 on cuz there are some sketchiness here but lots of times we can{t find anyone to go with us which is real frustrating so we just go to members houses and visit them. So everyone help the missionaries cuz it's dang annoying. Sometimes. actually a lot of times, I try to speak to people and they don't understand me so Hna Cerrato has to translate..... whoopsy.

I'm having the worst fun ever hear in Los Campos! I really do love and hate it at the same time and I'm really learning a lot about being patient! Spanish will come in time. It's so pretty and life is good! Thank you for your prayers! I pray for you all every night. Not gonnal lie.. I was pretty homesick this week but it's all part of the experience yeah!? God has blessed me so much! And I know I can do anything with Him!