Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Grateful for las pruebas!

So I´ve been really sick.... the doctor has no idea what´s wrong, pretty sure it´s a stress reaction but this is way more prolonged with more side effects and it hits at random times.... two Sundays ago was the worst. I just got super naseus, light headed basically felt like I was going to pass out and have my body oooze out.... so not fun. So that´s been going on for the past week, I´ve had several blessings and it´s getting more under control.... paying more attention to what I eat, drinking more and then just praying a LOT. My district is super great with prayers and blessings. Anyways, the Saturday before we sang I felt the most normal I had in a week and just had a great day. Sunday out of no where the stuff hits me again and i was miserable through Relief Society and Sunday School and Sacrament meeting.... so I had Elder Lund give me another blessing and I just really wanted to be able to sing in devotional.... it was a super great blessing. I felt pretty good right until two minutes before we were going to sing and it hit me again and I was pretty sure I wasn´t going up, two minutes before. But we all stood and said our theme and I just didn´t sit down, walked on the stage and basically felt God keep me standing and pushing out the music.... I´ve learned how to be a decent Soprano here but that was the easiest and the most in tune I´ve ever been.... It was literally a miracle. I was good for the rest of the day and yesterday, but today the super bumpy, long, hot, dangerous bus ride to the temple got me... slept a lot and still not feeling hot.

I´m definitely excited to be in the states next week. Fresno is actually generally a lot warmer than Mexico City if you can believe it. Super excited for that during the winter... not so much next summer haha.... So Elder Lund´s mom sent him a Halloween package last  week that happened to have a pack of like 30 pirate eye patches.... so we´re wearing them as a district. Until someone yells at us. Which will probably be pretty fast. But at least we have that to look forward to haha

I´m trying to decide how to blog up date you.... ummm... been sick. Getting better. I see miracles every day. I see angels every day. I love the work. The Book of Mormon is the truest book on the earth. The church is true. We all have a divine destiny and God wants nothing more than our success. Our bodies are temples and are amazing blessings that most of us take for granted every day. During this sickness I have never been more grateful for my body. As hard as it has been, it works so much better than so many other people´s bodies and it enables me to do so much. Such a blessing. I have also never been more grateful for las pruebas (trials) because it only means that God is working harder on me to help me be stronger. Every night I try to express gratitude for them. I know that He loves me and is watching out for me. I couldn´t be more grateful to be on a mission and to get to wear my Savior´s name next to mine on my name tag every day. I love Him and I will do anything for Him...... If you could attach that song clip some how and tell an edited version of the story that would be super great.... I´m trying to think of some funny story to tell you about the week.... but I feel like Mexico is just Mexico at this point. Life is beautiful. Spanish is exhausting but great. Love it here.

OH MY GOSH!!!!! SUPER FORGOT BIG NEWS!!!! So My afternoon teacher is this guy Hermano Tapia. Super love him, we are so close to our teachers... I realize I don´t write too much about them in here, but like they are so family. So there´s another teacher, Hermana Valasquez. She´s not our teacher, but she taugh another district that´s in el campo (the field) now and so she comes and helps us sometimes. She´s also family, Hermana Hurley and I are particularly close to her. So come to find out from a chat with Hermana V that she´s dating Hermano T. WHAT?! We totally guessed before she told us, but it was great. It was supposed to be a girl secret with Hermana V and us, but then Hermano T spilled the beans to the district. So they´ve been good friends for a while but only dating for three weeks. So we´d been talking to Hermano T and he said they knew they were going to get married, didn´t know when. Well Friday he comes in with her from some devotional.... outta no where he proposed to her in front of the whole district!!!!!!! She said yes, we were all going crazy, it was beautiful. So my two favorite Mexicans are getting married. So. Happy. That´s how close we are to our teachers.... they propose with us there.... I have learned to love deeper here than I have ever loved in my life. It´s amazing.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013


This week has been, as usual, packed with crazy things! For one, our water on Tuesday was purple for several hours.... so we couldn´t do laundry... found that out once I got home from emailing. So we had to do laundry at night, which is almost impossible, you´re never home. so that´s good.... also our smoke detector ran out of battery so it just beeped super loud for like 24 hours until reception remembered to come fix it.... also we´ve had a new clothes dryer sitting in a box in our laundry room for a week... today they came and took it out of the box... so that´s good...still not hooked up.... maybe by next week haha. Also, luckily the Mexicans are holding some local week long festival that includes Mass at 5:30am.... and if the Mexicans ever feel much of any emotion they set off fireworks... cada dia. So the first couple days we were all pretty crabby, having woken up to fireworks from 5:30 until it was time to get up anyways,... now we sleep through it... or they stopped... no sé. Just always sirens, fire works and gun shots here. So. Loco.
So onto spiritual stuff. Guess what?!?!?! Both of our investigators committed to baptism this past week!!!!! We were the first in our district. It was so amazing. They love you feel for these people when you understand the importance of the decision they are making is amazing. We just really followed the spirit and taught them the way they needed to be taught. One of them we brought a member... one of our other teachers. She was instrumental, so HEY. GO TEACH WITH THE MISSIONARIES. I know you guys are super great with that, but I just really learned how important members are. It´s one of my number one goals to get my wards super into missionary work, especially the youth. Travis and McKay, shout out to you guys, cuz seriously the practice I got with our missionaries helped me to be a better teacher out here and made me want to go on a mission even more.... I use them as examples all the time when we share stuff in our district. Seriously, huge deal. Make sure Dylan is getting involved in missionary work! It´s so great. We´ve learned so much about our teaching this week. We bring a specific general conference talk almost every time about a personal issue they could use help on. We also have learned to teach them how to use the Book of Mormon. We pick a chapter that has to do with their life and then we read about 7 to 10 verses with them, pausing and teaching them how to receive answers by asking them the right kind of questions. Then we assign the rest for homework and they actually get excited to read more. It´s been so amazing. And we pray with them right there in our meeting about the questions they need answered. It´s literally the most amazing thing.
I´ve also been blessed with a lot of personal revelation lately... who knew it, but the Book of Mormon is like the best "How to be a Stellar Missionary" guide ever! This past week I´ve been studying in Alma 11 to 18.... just wow. So great. Also I´ve been having a hard time (again) the past few days.... just feeling down and kinda worthless... and so I asked the zone leaders to give me a blessing.... these two 18 year old boys just astound me cada dia (every day). They are so young and at times goof off but when their priesthood is called on they are some of the most righteous men I know. It was one of the most amazing blessings I´ve ever received. In Doctrine and Covenants 84:80-88, God spells out some specific blessings given to His missionaries... in one of those last verses it talks about the angels He will  send to support you.... between all the emails, the letters and packages, and my district and zone, I could entirely fill the margins with the names of my angels that are supporting me. This is one of the hardest things I´ve ever done, and  I have never been more blessed or known how loved I am more.
So life is great! Been a little sick lately, but it´s definitely on the upswing. I´m starting to get excited to be back in the USA and rely on things more... it´s pretty tricky here!
Well, I love you all!!!!! I miss you all a ton. Thank you for your prayers and thoughts, it really helps! We listened to a devotional from Elder Holland the other week and he told us that besides the prophet we are the most prayed for people in the entire world... and then added that not many people who pray for the prophet don´t immeditately add the missionaries, so basically we´re prayed for as much as the prophet. Without all of those prayers, it would be nigh impossible to get through everything. You´re whole heart is invested in loving and teaching people the most important message in the whole world.... and that leaves a lot of pressure, stress, and heartbreak. Whether it´s leaving the area and people you love, not speaking as well as you want to or understanding as much, or watching them not accept, it kills you!!!! And I haven´t even had a real investigator yet! So, thank you for all the prayers and love, and keep them coming for all those missionaries out there!
Love you all!!!
Hermana Z

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Life is Still good!

       Went to the temple again today, super great.... life here is crazy as usual... Spanish is getting better and better! Man, it´s so hard to talk about the week because everything requires so much of  a story it´s almost better to just say nothing! haha.... almost. So.... most recent injuries.... ripped off a chunk of my foot last week playing volley ball in the sand.... mi hermanas had to do surgery and I was literally screaming... but it´s almost healed now! And my wrist is completely healed. So that´s good. Although my pinky toe is either having an allergic reaction to a band aid or i have staff infection in it... as far as I can tell, I only discovered the swelling and pus last night, haven´t had time to poke around. SO LIFES GOOD haha.... still love my district! The oldest district just moved out, so my DL and his comp are now ZL, Elder Roundy is DL now and the other hermanas became the sister trainers! Like sister zone leaders. So great! Busy busy busy! Lessons are going really well, I´m really learning how to teach by the spirit! Almost every lesson we plan never gets taught that way.... we end up scrapping it mid-lesson to teach what they actually need.... luckily Hermana Hurley and I are super insync and mind read!!! It´s so great!..... So.... funny story time? There´s like a million and five to be told each day, but theres one that happened yesterday. So the maintenence people fumugate our casas (houses) to get rid of bugs....extermely toxic. So they were supposed to do it last week. Well as we´re leaving our house for gym time yesterday, a lady comes and tells us they´re going to fumugate while we’re gone. But that means that our house was nasty toxic by the time it was time to change... so we waited outside for like twenty minutes... but it was class time and we had an investigator that morning... so we covered our faces, ran in and got all our clothes and stuff and then walked across campus to class to change.... but me being me, super sensitive, i was sick like all morning... almost puked a million times and was really light headed. but it was a good time, super crazy! I got LETTERS THIS WEEK! Mail is just starting to come in from when I left.... So i got a card from Brenda´s family last Wednesday, Jackie´s package Thursday, and a letter from Taylor Friday! So great. I´m writing back to them today. Also.... I can´t speak English or Spanish well at this point... all the words get so mixed up it´s so hard to write letters!!!!!  Well, I love you!!!!! I´ll try to send more pictures soon!!!!!!

Aaand I had more time than I thought I would, so I´ll write a little more.... Hey, could you send recent picutres of everyone? so I can show my district. Gracias!                Anyways, life is so nuts here. I´m basically always sick.... naseua is always there. Between the food and the water, it´s exciting stuff. It´s always difficult to get up in the morning. Oh, did I tell you my district is really good at singing?? so we are doing a musical number for the CCM este domingo ( this Sunday).... medly of Nearer my  God to Thee and Where can I turn for Peace..... I´m learning how to sing a lot better here cuz we do it all the time. The last line of Where can I Turn for Peace everyone else is humming their part and I´m singing it in English.... we´re so good I wish I could record it for you! Ummm.... what else.... I don´t know... every day is ridiculouly hard, and  yet I´ve never laughed so much in my life. I learned how to play ultimate frisbee last week, HIGHLIGHT it´s so much fun. Today we went to the temple again.... going to play volley ball as a district in about an hour.... I have tons of friends here. It´s so great. The sad thing is I don´t want to leave them at all. My district is so tight. We all take really good care of each other. Mi maestra (teacher) said that she´s never seen a district as unified and funny as ours.... we have so many inside jokes and we all talk about everything together and build each other up  spiritually and in español. Me encata mi distrito (i love my district. technically i´m enchanted by mi district, pero they use it like i love) i don´t think I´ve told you my regualr schedule yet have I?............ wake up at 630, get dressed, in class by 7 for study time, usually we´re planning a lesson for one of our two investigators, (pamela y Carlos) but we only teach one investigator a day, alternate days. Then it´s breakfast at 745 then gym. class again at 945. either we start class with investigator teaching or it´s language time or she coaches us... our main teacher is Hermana Haws, I LOVE  HER she served in Chicago, she´s like our big sister. She´s so great, she´s an amazing teacher. Then lunch at 1245 and then class around 130, usually personal study followed by like half an hour of language. Then it´s investigator time if you didn’t teach in the morning. Then it´s Hermano Tapia time (I call him Hermano Tapioca sometimes.... whoops) who was our first investigator named Josue. He was just acting, and then one day he comes in in a suit and like, hey, i´m you´re teacher, you didn´t have to worry about me soul... haha funny. oh well. He´s a native and doesn´t speak too much english, but he´s super nice and funny, he´s 22 and served in Mexico. love him. So we have class like language and more coaching until dinner at 615. Then it´s typically personal study and language study till 8, then TALL (technology assisted language learning) which is just a program we use to practice LDS lesson specific spanish and grammar through BYU programming.... super boring but I try to take it seriously. Then we go back to class at 9, plan for the next day and have a district slash family prayer and hymn and spiritual thought from the White Handbook of rules and then home... I shower at night, the other girls talk and lights out at 1030. Repeat. Haven´t been sleeping too well with the sirens and dogs always barking the past few nights pero está bien. So there you go! Shoulda sent that a few weeks ago, lo siento (i´m sorry... literally translates to it I feel, but yup, that´s sorry in spanish... kinda funny haha)..... well I LOVE YOU! hasta proxima semana! Until next week! Se amo mucho!!!! Hermana Z

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Life Is Good!

General Conference was so great, we got to watch it in English. So. Nice. Although my spanish is really improving. It´s starting to effect my english though. Like I can´t spell in English very well anymore, and sometime I´ll be speaking in spanish and then slip into english with a spanish accent... it´s bizarre. So i´m in between languages now. So all week I´ve been writing down a list of things to tell you because I forgot a million of them last week. So here we go. One. Our shower is tempermental. Our first week here the pressure was so hard it literally caused you to cry out in pain every time it touched you. Difficult to shower when the water can´t touch you. So we put a pair of my nylons over it and that softened it but it misted everywhere! Then this past week it super mellowed out so you could hardly get wet and now just one place has the dagger water pressure. Fun stuff. Two. I got a pet catepillar. His name is Moctezuma. Actually I don't have him anymore, he seemed to have escaped. My roommates hated him, and didnt want me to bring him home but then they like changed his paper when he pooped and helped me get leaves for his cup cage and put him back in when he got out. It was great fun. Hopefully he got out the window cuz they did a bug bomb yesterday.... but I'm sure he´s happy somewhere. Three....Can you send me a picture of McKay Morrison and Avery Turnman??? One of my roommates looks so much like McKay and an Elder in my district looks like Avery and I need to show them.... thanks!!! Four.... everyone I meet asks about Zollingers. Everyone knows a Zollinger.  It´s crazy. Five. I´m becoming known as Hermana (Katniss) Everdeen. An elder came up to me last week and said that he and his buddies had been calling me that ever since I got here and another sister told me the other day. It´s so funny. Six. All prayers and hymns and testimonies are done in Spanish since like day one. It´s way cool, but tricky at times. A lot of the prayers say the same thing because we don´t have a very big vocab yet. Seven. My district leader and zone leader are 18. Actually all the elders in my district are 18. Then two 19 year olds including me and two 20 year old sisters, including my comp. Eight, please send my white stretch undershirt to Calli along with my peach and my brown flats por favor, I don´t really wear my gray ones they're too hot and the heals are ridiculous. ¡Gracias! Nine, could you send me a copy of the General Conference Ensign when it comes out??? I really feel like I need to study it. Ten, mom, could you please check my tithing and  my last pay check??? GRACIAS. Eleven, please pray for nonawkward  missionary experiences!!! Members really make all the difference in missionary work, I know our family can do so much even though we´re busy!!! General conference was so great, I loved it! just pray for what you need and God will give it to you. Twelve can you please Facebook Spencer Ballard for me and get his email address??? Muchas gracias!!!! Finally, the Mexicans kill me!!!! They are so crazy!!!! A lot of our leadership are Mexican, one gave us a devotional before General Conference on Sunday.... to illustrate the blessing of paying tithing to some people at a different conference that he told us about, he used the story of his first bus robbery and his first kidnapping (he was being robbed and kidnapped, he´s not an excriminal) they are so funny! And they say it the funniest ways.... they also always say "this needs to be done, and so I do it" or something..... man it doesn´t do it justice without the tiny man and the accent, you lose it all... but it´s hilarious! They kill me. Ok on to story time..... this week got hard again. I felt like I didn´t know why I was here after a bad lesson yesterday. I felt like I wasn´t buckling down and doing my part and I didn´t feel like I could. So Hermana Hurley talked to me and a sister teacher found me and helped me out. It was great.She told me to pray and open the Book of Mormon at random and read.... I flipped to 3 Nephi 3 verse 3 and it said "It seemeth me a pity (insert Kelsie) that you should be so foolish and vain...." we had a good laugh and I knew what God was saying. So I´m trying to get over myself and move on and work hard. Hermana and I are trying harder to live with exact obedience, which is pretty tricky. Also, if you want to help the kiddos prepare for a mission, the only thing I felt like I´m really lacking that I should have developed is time management. I did what I had to when I was earning a grade or working, but the only way to measure success here is your effort all the time, which is really hard for me. So if you can find a clever way to help the kids with that, they will appreciate it on the mission!!!!! Well I feel like I have so much I´m missing.... but if I told you everything I´d have to call you for three hours every night! Tonights pizza night! and  we just played volley ball as a district for like two hours. I´m getting pretty decent. OH!!!!!!!!!! I forgot! I got a sweet injury from volley ball last week!!!! So we play every day and I guess it can be hard on your body.... my wrist was really hurting but it always hurts cuz the ball is really hard. So I just kept playing. Eventually I looked down at the inside of my wrist and an inch and a half long section of MY VEIN was STICKING OUT OF MY WRIST. Not like outside of my body, it was just raised like a centimeter out, it was NUTS! It looked like it was going to pop. We didn´t know what was going on so Hermana and I went to the doctor wondering if it was like a clot or something. They wrapped it super DUPER tight in this freezing cold bandage.... so tight... for fifteen minutes and then gave me a compression sleeve. The blood decompressed and relocated so I have a sick huge bruise covering my wrist now. It just happens when I serve so if I serve too much I have someone else keep going for me. Esta bien. But its cool. I´ve also had a huge bruise on my knee since I got here cuz I always dive. I love volley ball with my district. Ok.... welll I think that´s it! We think we figured out pictures, so if the other hermanas finish with the upload cord and I have time I´ll send you some. LOVE YOU ALLL!!!!!! Hermana Z 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

¡Hola todas personas!

 ¡Hola todas personas! Oh my goodness. Disclaimer. I can´t even tell you a tenth part of what has happened the past 5 days. Whatever you read has happened, but is no where near the full picutre. Just sayin.                    
     SO. I love Mexico. The Mexicans are crazy. There are always police and ambulence sirens and the Mexicans are CONSTANTLY setting off fireworks so there´s always loud random banging. Estan lo.cos. Pero (but) I love it!!! It's exactly like the movies.... I was going to put some pictures here, but I'm still figuring out how to do that here. Lo siento. The food is.... very Mexican. It's kind of hit or miss. Either I super love it or I eat it because I´m starving. Pero esta bien.          
     Mi companera (my companion) is Hermana Hurley! She and I are literally the same person. We get along SUPER well. We are literally the funniest people on campus..... jk.... pero really, we have so much fun!!!! (picutre of her I was going to put here....) We share a room with the other hermanas  in our district, Hermana Lees y Hermana Flamm. They are so great! (picutre of the four of us I can´t put up yet....) I LOVE MY DISTRICT. We are super close. We have to do pretty much everything together... basically all day everyday the 9 of us (one companionship of 3 elders) are stuck in the same classroom studying espanol y el Evangelio (the gospel).          
      This week has been really hard and discouraging. My espanol has improved a ton in just the past few days. I can understand pretty well if it comes from a non-native speaker, it´s a lot harder when they´re native. For some reason I can speak decent spanish until we teach our investigator (Josue, ponounced Ho-sway). Yes, we taught a lesson a day and a half into the CCM (MTC). Super intimidating thought, but he is super nice and helps us along. He doesn´t know english but if we say enough spanish words that are close enough he helps us find the right one. Anyways, my mind tends to go completely blank when we teach him. Hermana Hurley is very good at spanish, and she helps me a lot, but it's frustrating. I´m in one of the first intermediate classes, I don't know how the beginners do it. We know about as much spanish to start with as they will finish with so I´m grateful for that. Anyways, I was having a very hard time being here and just dealing with the rules and structure... it´s just so constant you never get a break and I like to have fun.... haha. Luckily we have about an hour of gym time a day so we play epic volleyball and that helps. ANYWAYS I was struggling, just being happy and feeling the spirit. It was hard. So Sunday Hermana and I had a companionship inventory and talked about our frustrations and how to fix them. And then we went to go teach our District sunday school and our lesson had to change on the fly and it ended up being an amazing testimony sharing bonding time that pretty much turned everything around for our whole district. Everything has been a lot better since then.      
      Today is P day. Most of it was taken up with going to the TEMPLE. So amazing. In spanish... I had a headset for english, you´re only allowed to use them your first time, but it was really cool. I have pictures, but you guessed it.... can´t get em up yet. The drive was super long... not because the temple is super far away but because Mexican streets are terrible, overcroweded and full of crazy drivers. There are  basically no rules. It´s crazy. All the buildings are super old, basically the streets are just lines with shops that have garage doors to close the shop. Graffiti everywhere. Anything that isn't graffiti is a primary color. It's way cool. Picutres to follow.                  
       Well.  A ton more has happened and I don´t have a ton more time so I LOVE YOU! Thanks for all the emails!!!!! Although it made me sob I really appreciate it. It feels like I´ve been here for years, and I can´t even tell you how nice it is to get so much love and realize just because you´ve left the outside world people still care and love you!!!!               ¡Adios!      Hermana Z