Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year! (almost)

December 30, 2013

Mi querido Familia,
This week has been crazy! On Christmas i loved talking to you! I'm sad it got cut short and the sad part is my companion never even got to talk to her family :( Don't worry it wasn't my fault! We didn't have all the information for calling and after going through a countless number of steps to try to find her brothers email, we found out he doesn't even have skype and he wasn't at home! We did get home by curfew and for dinner we had ice cream, cookies and chocolate.
But other then talking to you, I got the best present a missionary could ask for with 2 baptisms! One was a kid named Adrian, 11 years old, and the other a girl named Derly, 20! She is seriously so cute :) When i started teaching her,  teaching changed from teaching lessons to teaching people because she is so loving and friendly. I realized that people are forgiving of my awful speaking ability if I'm teaching them with love! I'm a little sad that it took my brain so long to figure that point of missionary work out!
The rest of the week was normal, Ecuador is a happenin' place at the moment with everyone preparing for the año nuevo. There are muñecas ("dolls") everywhere! Outside our apartment, our neighbors are building an airplane (i think) in the middle of the street!! And its ok that no one can drive that way because its for the New Year... People here are crazy! And i say that in the nicest way :)
Church was a little bit of a letdown because we only had 5 investigators at church and none of them are able to get baptized at the moment because of different things going on in their lives.. Which means all of our fechas fell this week, we are pretty much starting from scratch... bleh. AND we have cambios tonight.. so we'll find out tonight if I'm starting from scratch here or in a new sector! :)
I think that's it.. OH NO! The day after Christmas, Presidente came down because three missionaries weren't able to call their families. We tried to call Hermana Macahuachis family again but her brother was at work... and the other missionaries couldn't get a hold of their families either ...So President took us out for pizza!! Woot :)
Also, while Presidente was here, he looked at my compy's knee because it's hurting her all the time AND she wears a brace... so he looked at it and the next day we had to go into Machala for an MRI? i think it was... this Friday, we'll find out if she needs surgery or not!! YIKAS. Pray for my companion please :)
Well, now I'm sure that's it! Thanks for everything you guys do for me! I love being here and i love this work. It gets better and better everyday!
Hermana Whitmore

Monday, December 23, 2013

Feliz Navidad Prospero Año y Felicidad :)

Merry Christmas Family!!!
Christmas here is so weird... it doesnt feel like christmas at all. For one thing its freaking hot! For another thing i havent done anything christmasy... MINUS! we went caroling with the Relief Society and i made a tree out of Jesus pictures! and my companion has a cute little lighty upy christmas tree! we do what we can as sister missionaries to enjoy the season :)

This week has been crazy! Guess what? Im in a new area... big surprise! Monday last week i was in Los Esteros (Guayaquil) with one companion, Tuesday I was working in two sectors with 2 companions and Wednesday I got moved to Santa Rosa and I have a new companion! Her name is Hermana Macahuachi... yes thats really her name and its really not as hard to pronounce as you might think. Surprisingly Whitmore is harder :) But shes about 4' 10'' and peruvian and always happy! Shes great. This area is crazy different from the other 3 ive been in so far. We have our main sector and then 2 little ... towns? that are 15 minutes away by bus. My first two days here we set 5 fechas... i think people are ready for the gospel they are just lazy and dont want to do the going to church part so for every 10 fechas we get an estimated 2 baptisms... sad i know! BUT thats 8 more people that might get baptized in the future!

OH also here i understnad so much more spanish! its weird how people talk differently in different places. Here is slow and crisp and i actually understand whats going on ...60% of the time :) haha Also in my zone there are 2 elders from my district in the CCM AND Elder Duzett! The kid that i went to high school with.. thats still weird to me!
Well thats all I can think of! I love you all. Remember what this season is really about :)
Hermana Whitmore

Monday, December 16, 2013

December 9 & 16th letters

Dec. 9, 2013

Dearest familia,
As you know, I've been doing this choir thing for a week now and we've have 4 performances. All of them have gone really well! only one instance where the piano pages were in the wrong order and one forgetting of the words... which I'm not really sure how that happened because we hold the music but i don't think anyone here knows music well enough to know it was wrong so it was all good. after our first practice with the president, he came up to me and said that he knew i sang for our heavenly father before this life and i loved it so i should remember those feelings and transfer them to the people here in Ecuador. IT was really tender and i was all teary afterward... of course. Presidente Torres is AWESOME! So this week we've just had performances around Guayaquil and we have one more here and then we go to Loja on Wednesday Cuenca on Thursday and Machala on Thursday.. i think. i never know whats going on but I've learned not to worry about things  because i'll eventually get where I'm supposed to be, if i just follow ... someone that knows whats going on! haha
So sadness of the week: both of our baptisms fell through. i understand though because we haven't had any time to work with them this week! and we won't have any time next week but i think eventually both of them will get baptized. The president wants a "white Christmas" and in Ecuador that means everyone has a baptism the week of Christmas! so hopefully we will have 3 from all the people that have had to put it off because of the choir performances!
well that's about it... For Karli     HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
I love you all!
Hermana Whitmore

December 16, 2013

Dearest Familia,
This week was crazy! i literally went to every part of the mission in 5 days.
But first! we got to go to the temple on Tuesday, do a session and then sing for the temple president and his wife. That night we had our last performance in Guayaquil. We left Guayaquil Tuesday night and took an 8 hour bus ride to Loja.  arrived in Loja at 6 in the morning.went to the sisters house and took a major nap. Practiced and then performed. I got to see Elder Whetton. That kid is awesome. His 4th day in the mission he got called to be 2nd councelor in his branch presidency... yeah hes cool. From Loja we went to Cuenca... my old sector. for Lunch we has shrimp with arroz... practiced and performed. Dinner salchipapas (hotdogs and french fries). (side note: my life is really healthy in these 5 days.) friday was Santa Rosa and the same schedule went down. In santa rosa I got to see Elder Kotter, Henline and Allen (elders from the ccm) and Elder Duzett (the kid i know from high school) Crazy!!! it was awesome. i love catching up with everyone :) we stayed that night in Machala and i got to stay with ...Guess who??? Hermana Bennett!!!!! Yeah probably not the best idea because we stayed up talking until 2... Saturday we performed in Machala and stayed at H. Bennies house again. Sunday we went to the new sector wankavilka. it was interesting to see the beginnings of a new sector. it was so small and humble. For lunch, the elders hunted... yes hunted... iguana.... yes iguana. and the members cooked it up for us and yes... i ate it! it really actually wasn't that bad... just very ... extremely chewy. i decided it was be good as jerky.
So my spiritual thought for the week really isn't that spiritual but i have a greater testimony of the Holy Ghost and how it can help in times of need. Because on the days that i was more focused on sharing my testimony through music, i sang so much better. and if my first song was awful i would say a prayer , refocus and my 2nd song was so much better! i know god has ways of teaching us the things we need to work on and learn! i love being a missionary! i love ecuador even if i eat iguana and rice everyday!
I love you all!
Hermana Whitmore

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Playing catch up! Three weeks, three letters!

November 18, 2013
Ok so this week the president gave us permission to go to the temple!!! WHAT?! It was amazing. Only me and my companion got to go and it was so weird to only have 12 people in the whole session. The celestial room was giant and the whole temple was gorgeous, Im so thankful for the opportunity i had to go experience that. 

So the big thing this week is that i finally got the transfer that everyone has been talking about. We are in an area in Guayaquil that is right on the coast.  So we live in a one bedroom, one bathroom apartment with 4 girls and its a little tight. also we have no door knobs. which is interesting. I'm the only gringa... and we are living out of our suitcases because the other hermanas took up all the room for putting stuff. Its good though because the ward is seriously soooo great. We always have a member with us and everyone is always giving us references. we contacted this woman in a rickshaw thing (its crazy how similar this place is to china) her life is so sad. she has 5 kids and one month ago her husband left her.   she has been really receptive to the couple of lessons that we have done. The first lesson was more of a lifeguard emergency because her son cut his foot open (2 inches long). so god was looking out for her in that moment because apparently she hates blood... But i think thats about it. This area is much more ... ghetto.. then the other areas I've been in, but its fun because it seems like everyone knows everyone! 

Not a lot this week. I love you greatly 

November 25, 2013
 I don't have much time today because we are supposed to practice for this Christmas program thing. Apparently the plan is to practice 4 hours a day for the next 3 weeks... yikes! and because i'll be spending so much time practicing, i might have to have cambios AGAIN! because my comp needs to be working, not sitting around while we try to figure out how to sing! anywho.. mas next week! i love you all. Im sending some snail mail. and i got yours last week... literally i think a snail carried it here! well i love you all again. 

December 2, 2013
Dearest familia, 

So much has happened and yet nothing at the same time. everyday i practice music from 11 to 6 and then we return to our sector to work with our investigators! even though we only have 2 hours in our sector everyday, somehow we still have 2 baptisms this week. how cool is that??? one is a girl, Samari, and she is friends with some recent converts but she isn't that excited about the whole thing, so that is our main focus this week. and then the other is this joven named Joel. he's 16 and super stoked about everything. he even goes to seminary. i didn't even do that! haha!  he's also friends with kids in the ward. seriously guys, work with the missionaries! share the gospel with your non member friends because they make the best converts. AND when we have members come work with us it makes such a difference because then investigators feel like they will be welcome at church! so great! also, a side note, feed the missionaries :) be their friends and play nice music  (like church music) because everyone here plays american music and its very distracting! and feed them good things... like hamburgers and chicken wings :) rant over! 

so fun story. on the buses here, people try to sell things and make money. so there was this comedian that came on the bus and he told me to move back more because i was standing in the isle and he needed room for his skit thing, BUT i couldn't move back and he thought i didn't understand spanish. So he started speaking in cave man english and he thought he was all funny. BUT I whipped out some english and he didn't understand what i said so he was all awkward and then all the people that understood English thought it was really funny :) ha ha, little victory because he was a cross dresser and he swore at me in spanish as he was getting off the bus! what up? approp humor pride!
That's really all.... this week, we have performances in the estacas in guayaquil and next week we are traveling around the mission. so that's fun for me! i think we have practice all this week too... if you want to hear the music, its the guy that wrote "His Hands" and there are 8 songs all in spanish! 

Love you all! have a fantastical week! 

Hermana Whitmore

one of the member families that comes out with us everyday! 

my companion had her 9 month birthday this week! 

Monday, November 11, 2013

November 11, 2013

Buenas Familia,

So,the first piece of news i have is that i didn't get transferred this week, they called and said it was moved to Saturday and then on Saturday they called and told us to get ready, so we left the zone meeting and got all packed up THEN they called and told us to bargain with them for a couple more days so they moved it to tomorrow! But tomorrow should be for reals. It is believed that we are just moving to another part of Guayaquil but who knows really?

so this week we were going to have the baptism of Jeremy BUT on Monday night he told us stuff that he hadn't before and so we had to put his baptism off for a while. :( Kevin is on a good track though. He came to church yesterday and we actually had a real lesson with him the other day! AND we found out that he cant read!! so we started teaching him with the cover of the Book of Mormon. 

Yesterday was a crazy day because we had two crisis. One was with this recent convert and i didn't really understand a lot of what was going on but there was something about how her kid was getting taken away and she was drinking again... i don't really know. The other was this girl in the ward was missing. No one knew where she was and so everyone was calling everyone and looking everywhere. The police were involved and then finally she showed up to her house and we have no idea where she was and if it was actually an emergency or if she just didn't tell anyone where she was going. 

So Karli had some questions: We need to get transferred because there are other misioneras that need to be in the house with the enfermeras. BUT we haven't moved yet so we have been living in a house with 6 people... really not to bad because the new hermanas just stay in their room the whole time. My companion is amazing. Really a saint.  She is 21 and from Columbia. After the mission she wants to be a police officer. I love that she is patient with me and she tries to learn the english words that i am learning in spanish. I literally love everything about her! Perfect companion.  and Tender mercy this week was that when we were having the big halabaloo with Jeremy there was Elder Bennett and he translated the big stuff for me! Elder Bennett is one of the APs, he and his companion are awesome! so funny and so helpful with everything. (We are in the same area as all the office people). 

Yeah pues...  i think that's it. I didn't eat anything too crazy this week... bad news is I'm going to come home 200 pounds heavier then i left... because I'm gaining about 2 pounds a week from all the food we eat!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

I love you all! 

Hermana Whitmore

La cumpleanos de Elder Pomares ( AP) we smashed the cake in his face and then ate it... yeah kinda gross... BUT its tradition so it has to happen.. not looking forward to May 10th

Kathiuska: one of the members, she is awesome and walks around with us while we are trying to find people to teach.

Jaicob. He is a recent convert of 5 weeks and he is so cute! 14 and he gives us hand hugs because he can't give us real hugs. in this picture he stole Elder Bennetts name tag and wrote cabeza (his last name) on his finger!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

November 4, 2013

Dearest familia, 

Holy Cow, the weeks here seem like millenniums. But another week has come and gone. Many things happened this week like: i got the package from Karli and Brett! on Halloween, which was even greater because we took it home and decorated the house... aka a window with all the skeletons and webs and spiders. i put one of the spiders on the door going outside and i think i got everyone to jump at least once. including me! haha

so the reason i got my package was because i was in the mission office with my companion because she is sickly and had a meeting with the president. While we were there the president said  he had caught wind that i could sing so he asked if i would learn all this music to sing at Christmas for a special mission something or other. of course i was all yeah! i love singing. BUT the catch is i have solomente p-days to learn it and its 90 pages long... AND i don't have like a cd or anything so i will definitely be relying on the spirit to have it learned and MEMORIZED by Christmas

in other news, we got to move up Jeremys baptismal date because hes already come to church twice!!! woo so that will happen this week instead of next week. Kevin missed church but he is still on for next week. also we are getting transferred to another part of Guayaquil so we have to say goodbye to all of our friends here :( luckily i get to stay with my companion!!! woo! 

So in Ecuador there was a big hallabalu about guess who: Justin Beiber... i think im supposed to find him and share the gospel with him or something becauase im almost postitive he was in china when i was too... 

speaking of china... everyone here asks me if im chinese. which i think is a bit funny considering that i actually lived there.. but apparently i have chinese eyes and the fact that i have extrememly blonde hair and im taller then most chinese (and ecuadorians) doesnt matter! 

well thats all for this week! 

I love you all :)
Hermana Whitmore

 the package from Karli and Brett!

 me and my companera cooking unhealthy empenadas late at night!

our investigator, Kevin

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Cuenca and Guayaquil

(This letter is from last week October 21, 2013)

hey mom,
Well this week happened. Wednesday was good because we got three baptismal dates HOWEVER we haven't met with either of them since then and none of them went to church so we have to push their dates back. We only have to have people go to church 2 times before they can get baptized. Yesterday, we had a meeting with a family and they are Jehovahs witnesses and Catholics. The brother that was a jehovahs witness was making this huge deal about how god is Jehovah and Jesus Christ isn't a god but he believes that he is the savior and it was all very confusing especially because i don't understand this language and i felt even worse because my companion was having to do all the work.
So about the culture.... well it's super cold. That's not really a cultural thing but its a Cuenca thing. We eat different forms of rice, beans and chicken everyday for lunch. But lunch is huge so they give us soup, which is always really good and then a giant mountain of rice and beans and some kind of meat, usually chicken. One day they gave me cow heart... that was an adventure. They didn't give it to my companion because she said she didn't like it and and i was all i don't know because i'd never tried it before! so yeah that goes on top 3 weirdest things eaten list. i haven't eaten guinea pig yet so that's super fortunate!
i dont really know what else to say....
I love you all!
Hermana whitmore

Hermana Whitmore & Hermana Ureta

Noche de hogar in Cuenca (Home Evening)

(This is the current week's letter!  October 28, 2013)

Dearest Familia,
This week was actually so much better then last week. I got transferred Monday night. They called at like 10 pm and said hey you are getting transferred, be ready to go at 8 in the morning. In the morning, we found out our that we (me and my comp) were going to Guayaquil. We got here and i got a new companion, she got new companions and we went on our way. My companion is Hermana Viloria of Columbia. She has 7 months in the mission and has been in this area for 3 months. So its really awesome, everyone knows her and she knows were everything is, super chevere :) [that's cool in Ecuadorian]. So real fast, everything here is different then Cuenca,  prices, weather, traffic, people. i already have a tan line from my shoes! awesome :)
 So we just got right to work. Our three big investigators right now are three guys. One is 15, his name is Kevin. His story is really sad because both of his parents died and his aunt didn't want him so he lives in a garage and doesn't go to school and he works with his cousin. His cousin is another one of our investigators. Jeremy he is 18 and he is super into it! He is so prepared!! They came to church!! ah! and he was paying attention in sacrament meeting and answering questions during sunday school, talking to all the members!!! Both Kevin and Jeremy have baptismal dates for 2 Saturdays from now. Then, there is their friend that actually lives with Kevin. He is 26 and is super into drugs and tattoos, the whole deal. He doesn't have a baptismal date yet because we need to commit him to the WOW(word of wisdom) first.
on Saturday, we had a baptism of a girl whose brother got baptized like 3 weeks ago. It was amazing! Her name is Jaira and she was sooo ready! Now we get to work with their other sister! one family member at a time :)
Yeah, i decided this week that i would just start new. If i think about the 16 months i have left, i start freaking out, so i just want to take this one day at a time. live it to the fullest. Everyday i ask Heavenly Father to help me learn as much as i can in that day, not to make me fluent or anything but that i can learn! i just want to be able to understand people. My biggest problem has been understanding what's going on because i'm not really afraid of talking its just i don't know when to say it! But my companion has been working with me so much. She wants to learn english so we take turns teaching the other language and it helps a lot. Also she pushes me to talk with everyone, even if its just the hi we are missionaries and then she does the rest! She is amazing :)
Yeah pues.... i think that's pretty much it! i love you all :)
Hermana Whitmore

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I survived the first week! (in Ecuador)

oh wow! What to say? well lets start with this week has definitely been longer then my first week in the MTC. OH guess what? i placed 4 BOMS on my way here. so awesome. anywho, we got here and the president took us to the temple, then we had a whole day of training and talking... most of it in spanish, then we met our new companions. My comp is from Peru and she knows exactly no english! Her name is Hermana Ureta and she is pretty great. The language barrier is a little difficult but its getting better... sort of. So we thought we were going to Machala but really we were going to Cuenca (yes the city) so we had to go get all of Hermana Ureta's things from Machala (4 hours by bus) spend the night in Machala and then take a bus at 6 in the morning to get to Cuanca (3 hours by bus) when we got here, the elders weren't at the bus station yet so we had to wait for about an hour. When they showed up they took us straight to our casa, which is awesome! Its the best house in the whole zone and everyone is a little jealous. Its new and has 2 floors, 2 separate bedrooms for the 2 companionships and 3 bathrooms, also, separate rooms for studying and a kitchen! So great. Anywho, missonary life is so different then MTC life, i dont know if this is how it always is or its just the way my comp works or what but i feel like we take forever to do things and we never make it to appointments we set up with people on the street. No se. anyways, we do a lot of contacting and spending time with people in the ward. The people here are so nice and open. A lot of them don't really care about what we have to say, but they will listen and are willing to talk to us again. so that's awesome. 

So the language barrier... yeah. I'm getting to the point that if i listen super carefully i can understand the jist of what is going on but usually im lost. ive heard that the first transfer is for learning to understand and that the second is for learning how to speak so im giving myself 3 months before i get too frustrated. This morning, my comp said i had to memorize all these points in PMG(Preach My Gospel) and so i made a deal with her that if i memorized them in spanish she had to memorize them in english and i think it helped her understand how hard it is to learn a new language. She gets a little frustrated with me when i speak in english to Hermana Clark, who is one of the Hermanas we live with, i was actually in the MTC with her so she is going through the same things right now! i love her mucho :) 

Que mas? oh my bishop is totally american so thats really nice and one of our mamitas is american too and she speaks no spanish so i am actually the one that has to translate for her... sometimes its a confidence booster and sometimes its not. So the mamitas here are just the people that feed us so we have like 7 mamitas... 

I cant really think of anything else. Ecuador is awesome, i hope i learn this language soon. 

I love you all!

Hermana Whitmore

This is the picture the mission office sent, along with a letter, to let Krista's family know that she had arrived safely in Ecuador!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

They want to keep me here FOREVER!!!!

Dearest Familia,
So today has been the longest day EVER! It started off just a normal last day at the CCM, we were going to go print off our boarding passes. When we arrived at the computer lab and i typed in my confirmation number, big suprise! i dont exsist in the system. However, many a person said that this was normal so i remained calm and called the travel people. On the phone they kindly gave me a new confirmation number and then he said something strange: From mexico city to bogota to quito... WHAT? Quito?! Yeah definitely that is on the other side of the country from where i want to be going. I politely told the man this and he had the gall to say i was WRONG! Anywho... after many hours, they got me a new confirmation number and a plane to the right half of Ecuador. But as i was looking for which seat i would like to sit in, my dear Elder Dickerson noticed that his seat wasn't blocked out... strange... i go back and check and low and behold im on a different flight 8 hours later from Bogota to Guayaquil. So awesome i get to spend 8 hours by myself in the Drug capital of the world. no Bigs. Anywho, i call the travel people who recognize my voice by this point and ask if i can be changed to the flight that at least has my companion on it... yeah THEY have no available seats so im stuck in Columbia. But then they decide its probably not wise to have a sister missionary in a strange land by herself for 8 hours so they say go find some elders to switch you tickets. I thought they meant a companionship of elders so they could be alone together but when i asked Elders Whetton and Surowiec, they only changed Elder Whettons seat. This is still in the happenings so nothing is set in stone. I just checked my number and im still on the later flight but they said come back at 8 and see.... Keep your fingers crossed that someone will  get everything straightened out! Anywho that is the update on that.
Other happenings this week, oh well today, we had an amazing ... blessings meeting? with the whole district. Everyone got a priesthood blessing and it was amazing! Elder Dickerson gave me a blessing. His first ever. He did a fine job i might add :) All the elders did great! it was most of their first time giving a blessing so it was really fun to see them overcome that fear of "the first blessing" and follow the spirit. Also today, we had to pack up all our stuff and Hermana Bennett left a whole bunch of stuff so we found the cleaning lady and said she could have it. She was sooo excited but she was like you have to write a note that says i can take it. So we just wrote a note that said she could have everything in the basket. It was like a hair curler, my straightener, jewelry, books and food. So simple and she was so grateful. It was really tender!
Alright... que mas que mas? OH DUH! General Conference!! Favorite GC moments:
1) Carole M. Stephens whole talk!
2) President Uckdorf's talk... the whole thing. It is so applicable to everyone. Best quote "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith" nuff said.
3) Jeffery R. Holland "Live by faith, live fast by hope, and show compassion one to another"
4) M. Russell Ballard something he said made me realize that i need to take investigators by the hand and INTRODUCE them to Christ. I cant just talk to them about him but let them know him for themselves.
5)Elder Richard J. Maynes how we need to develop spiritual strength and perserverance.
6) and of course Elder Christofferson! That guy is awesome :)
In the CCM they schedule those whole 2 days around conference so the schedule was literally: get up, eat, study, GC, study, eat, study, GC, study eat study, RS and EC repeat for sunday.BUT it was so awesome. Apparently they took pictures of us that might be in the Ensign/Liahona so look out :)
On Friday, we had infield training. It was literally all day!!! We talked mostly about working with the members and quick contacting. we also covered planning and goal setting. It was a long day and it kind of feels like we didnt talk about that much. Crazy.
Other then that its been pretty normal. just scootin along waiting to head out to Ecuador if they will even allow that to happen for me!
I love you all!
Hermana Whitmore

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Week 4- The ULTIMA Semana

Dearest Familia,

What happened this week? OH! I went outside the wall (the giant 15 foot barbed wire wall that surrounds the CCM). After i finished emailing you last week, we went to the clinic so i could get my eyes checked and they just wisked us away and we were gone for the rest of the day! The traffic here is crazy and it didnt help that it was rush hour. It took us 2 hours to get to the eye doctor and then she made me wear these goof-tastic glasses that looked like the ones on national treasure. I, however, do not have a picture because we had nothing with us when we left the CCM. After the optometrist figured out my perscription, she gave me one frame to choose from. I picked the blue ones because they look the LEAST giant on mi cara. Picture to come.
Que mas, que mas? This is my last week here!!!! It is seriously so crazy. I can not believe how fast the time goes here. But we have this saying that days seem like weeks and weeks seem like days. Even the head honchos know this saying. One of them mentioned it in a meeting we had on Sunday. It is was pretty funny. He also mentioned the 14th article of faith... yeah... Id never heard of it either but here it is. "We believe in meetings. We believe in all meetings, we hope for meetings, our rears have endured many meetings and have yet to endure many meetings." It goes on but i dont remember it... haha Anywho. we actually used that in a lesson we had with some other missionaries that are a week behind us. the topic was the importance of church. it was crazy. Ive never had the spirit yell at me so hard to say something. Luckily they spoke english so i could say it without having to think of it in spanish first. Also this week, my espanol has improved immensly. Its because i just read it as spanish instead of trying to translate it into english. it makes it so much better! Im not at the point were i can read the scriptures in spanish but im getting there!
My testimony has grown so much this week too! i thought i had a testimony before but compared to now it was nothing!!! I cant even imagine what my life would be like without this mission and its only been 5 weeks!!!
Sorry its short today but nothing really that exciting happened. All our native friends left so we have no one to play soccer with anymore :(
Te amo todos! and there is no place i would rather be but aqui! (That was a little language rhyming for you :) )
Hermana Whitmore

nuestro nativo amigos that play futbol with us!

the cage. this is where we play soccer!

mi distrito con  rama (branch) presidentes. our last week of church was on sunday because of GC.

They made me pay $50 for these babies because im "norte americano"... they thought i wouldnt understand spanish when they said that one :)

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Week 4- "Lo siento, por su tiempo! Me gusta comer.... hotdogs!"

Dearest Familia,
What to say about this week? It has been crazy. Full of spiritual growth and a crazy amount of learning. Sometimes I have to take a step back and look at things from the outside so that i can see the improvements that have actually been made. This whole week has been a crazy week of faith. I swear everywhere i turn im learning something new. I think the Lord is trying to tell me something, what say you? I had this crazy experience during early morning study. I was just sitting there and I prayed to know what to study and what i needed that day, and this overwhelming feeling came over me to turn to Alma 32. That whole chapter is on faith, it was perfect!!!!!
My language skills havent gotten that much better but every once in a while ill just spit out something and im like "donde en el mundo did that come from?!" So thats pretty cool. We have this program called TALL to help us study but its been down for a week and it finally came up yesterday and everyone was freaking out because it is so awesome!! Seriously though we have language study right after TALL time and so this week has been a three hour a day language study and do you know how hard it is to concentrate for that long on a language that makes no sense. Well, its hard!!!
We play soccer pretty much every day and i realize why i gave up on soccer so early in life.. there really is no hope for me and that sport. It doesnt really help that we play with natives and they are naturals and look like they are dancing around with the ball... its crazy but sooo fun! OH! also i love the attitude the natives have towards games. They are all lets fit as many people on this court as we can! when its just nortes (north americans) they are all lets split up into teams and we´ll swith out when we get a goal... so lame! But when the natives are playing it is a free for all!!! So FUN!
Yesterday, we have a crazy day! our whole schedule is switched around. we have super early breakfast and gym, then class, then lunch and service, then class, TRC, class, dinner, language.BUT i love service! it is so fun. we go to this secret laundry room and fold sheets. Sounds lame but as missionaries, we have the ability to make anything fun! So we have very friendly ....contests, because "competition" is not allowed at the MTC, to see who can fold sheets the fastest (of coarse i win every time, but not really because there is no winning and losing). Anywho, its fun. Yesterdays TRC was so amazing. Hermana Bennett and I finally had a good lesson! Sure it was with other missionaries and sure it was mostly in english, BUT it was amazing. We had the spirit with us and we were making sense. We both felt awesome!
OH MY WORD! I cant believe i almost forgot to tell you! Our "investigator" decided that she didnt really want to hear our message anymore so she shut the door on us! i didnt even know that was allowed at the MTC! arent they supposed to be building up self esteem?? Well anyways now we can either try to get her to let us in again or we can just get an new investigator... WE have no idea what we are going to do. I feel like our situation is teaching the whole district though. we can all learn from this!
My funny thing for this week is the title. Mi compañera made up that song one day while she was getting ready for bed... so its been our theme for the week! Its crazy the things we come up with to entertain ourselves here!
I love you all!! I hope that you all have a great week!
Con amor,
Hermana Whitmore

  There is a scandelously clad man right outside the walls of the MTC! Also pictured is the 15 foot high wall keeping us from escaping the convent.
 I may or may not have sent a picture of this already.. but DAD this is me by that sign that you said i would never see!!! QUE PASO?
this is the panic circle... they are not very stratigically placed because if there really ever was an earthquake... we would die from falling trees and light poles...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Week 3

Hey Family,
This week has been pretty crazy. The whole country has been going loco because of independence day! Every night there are fireworks and gunshots and sirens... pretty crazy. So on Saturday Presidente Pratt put together an independence day program for all the missionaries. We gathered in the Gym and watched cultural dancing and fireworks (yes inside) and a movie on Mexican history. That was really fun, especially because we sat by the natives and they were going crazy! The next night, Sunday, was the "Grita", which is a shout for the independence of Mexico. The best part, or worst part (depending on how you look at it) was that the "Grita" was at 11:00 PM so we were out way past bed time. Which will never happen again with permission from the mission president. Anywho, that was crazy because the Presidente of Mexico would read "Viva (a name of a famous guy)" then the whole country would shout "VIVA!". Pretty much it was awesome. Before the program started, the security came in and warned us to get home as soon as possible afterwards because of all the bullets that would be flying through the air. Dont worry, i didnt get hit with anything.
So that was probably the most exciting part of my week, its been pretty hard. We teach our investigators everyday and pretty much we are getting no where with them. Ive realized that there are 4 parts to learning a language... 1. Be able to understand what people are saying. 2. have the words to respond 3. be able to write it. 4 ( and this is the hardest one) relearn the parts of english so you can understand what the teaching books are talking about.
OH! also this week, we got kicked out of our house so that was fun. We came home for gym one day and there was a sign that said the bathrooms were unsafe so everyone gets to move to a casa around the corner. We have 2 new roommates and they are super cute. I felt bad though because we totally killed the schedule they had. They havent had roommates and they have been here for 4 weeks!
Um.... One of my teachers is actually studying chinese history, and wants to study in none other then NANJING! So I got to talk to him about that, and it was pretty fun :)
I got to go to the temple today, and i actually understood some of it this time. It was really fun!
Love you all.
I love being missionary and someday I will actually understand the people im teaching instead of just loving them!

Hermana Whitmore
The hermanas and i with one of the dancers at the independencia celebracion!

 This one is just me being artistic!! :) Woot
  it rains everyday here... Yes everyday! And dad will appreciate this... my umbrella totally broke the first week... just like he said it would!

Week 2

Dear Familia,
Im glad you shaped  up and all send me letters :) I really appriecieate it even if i dont ahve as much time to write you! The plan was to come print everything out so I could write back later becauase pday is from 8-5 so we can split up our computer time thoughout the day and it is all on the honor system that you use only an hour. ´pretty much all the elders in our district fail at that... But im working on obeidience with exactness (even if I can{t spell it). But yeah i ran around trying to find a printer that worked to no avail so that wasted like 20 minutes of my time. Whatevs.
So this week has been pretty amazing, so many amazing talks and learning so much. Our maestra gave us the smack down and told us to shape up. The day after that happened another class from our branch cam in and their teacher apologized for the example that they had been for us because they were not at the point they shoud be after 6 weeks. It was a very powerful experience of the atonement and a great lesson for everyone in our branch.
Whatelse what else? oh mom! coconut oil really can be used for everything. I used it on my extremely squeeky closet door and the squeeks went away but now there is this creepy like ticking that comes from the offset of the hinges. So i guess the living arrangments are pretty strange i might have told you about them in the last letter but we live in a casa with 5 rooms and 4 girls to a room but it is suprisingly roomy. We have way more room then we would at Provo, and i lot more freedom too. I think the elders dont really understand that because they have never lived away from home and in a college dorm...
We finished teaching Martin and he actually became our teacher. Super weird to get use to that but for some reason i can understand his spanish now and not when we were teaching him... i think he slurred his words on purpose! We also started teaching a "new investigator" who is really our other teacher and she is soooo har dto teach but its definitely a step up from martin!!! but in our lesson with Luz i was actually understanding her and responding! it felt so good. it is crazy to think how much ive learned in 13 days.
So sunday is always funday and we have devos all day and RS and Sacraments.. all that good stuff. in Sacrament meeting we are all assigned a topic to be prepared for and then its like a raffel almost to see who will talk and they dont tell you until they announce it in sacrament!! They say its training for the real mission which freaks me out a bit but i guess thats one of those things i have to accept. Anywho, i survived this weeks reaping and lived to speak anouther week.
We listened to the most amazing devo from president holland... i tried to look it up to see if you could watch it from LDS. org but alas i couldn{t find it. It was an MTC devo given in January and it was so powerful about how if you only come back with one convert it better be yourself! Amazing.. try to find it if you can. especially Kevin.
I love youall!!! Love Herm. Dubs
OH my word!! how could i forget?? mi companera toally got bitten by a radioactive spider... ok not really but a spider yes. her whole elbow swelled up and i even picked a pincer thing out of it... SO cool!!!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Week Numero Uno

Dearest Familia,
Oh how i miss you!!! the work here is so hard, but i know it will be worth it in the end. So of coarse i got here late and I have felt behind ever since. But you know how I was joking around about my companion being the girl that I met at the airport... yeah nope thats totally my companion! She is amazing and I love her to death, her name is Hermana Bennett and she is from Vegas. My district is so awesome: There are 8 elders and 4 hermanas, we are all going to the same mission expect the other 2 hermanas. Yeah, Im the oldest and I feel super old! All the elders are 18 years old and just barely graduated from high school! It is so sad to see them be homesick because none of them have been away from home before. I mean I have homesickness pretty bad and Ive lived in another country, I cant even imagine what they are feeling.
The MTC here is called el CCM and the cool thing is that everyone here is learning spanish so everyone is working on it all the time, so we get lots of practice!
They seriously throw you into the deep end here-no joke! On Thursday we taught our first "investigator"- Martin. Yeah, he only speaks spanish... but not really because his real name is Hermano Wolfe and we saw him at breakfast!!!! He plays this investigator that he had to teach and he is all " i don{t know if i believe in God, i dont want to pray for you, I dont have faith, god cant love me because ive done to many bad things." It is seriously so hard, we go in there and I can feel the spirit but I don{t have the words to explain what we believe. I just have to keep telling myself that this is only this first week here and to give myself time, just because missionaries are blessed with the gift of tongues (el don de linguas) it doesnt mean I can become bilingual overnight.
Alright, what else? what else? I got a calling in my districto to keep all 4 of us in check, its pretty easy because no one is too crazy!! Yesterday I like broke down because i was not understanding spanish and i was all homesick and it was awful, so during language study me and a couple elders had races on the whiteboard to memorize words and it helped so much!!  Today we got to go to the templo en el ciudad de mexico. It was so nice to feel peaceful and just stop thinking about how hard the next 18 months are going to be. We listened to the whole thing in spanish so its a good thing ive gone enough times to know what was going on. It was so beautiful and it was amazing to be there with so many missionaries.
The food here really is not too bad. It is strange sometimes but i havent gotten sick and for the super picky people they have pb and nuttella and bread, fruitloops and frosted flakes. Every once in a while i indulge and get some cereal but it never keep you satisfied because we go all day! that part is kind of weird, i thought it would be harder because i was a super-bum before i left but the 6:30 to 10:30 hasnt been bad at all! All those early morning swim choir and seminary are finally paying off because im the only one in my room to get up in the morning when the alarm goes off! So my days pretty much go like this: 6;:30 wake up and get ready, 7 personal study, 7:30 breakfast 8-12 language, personal and companionship study, 12 lunch, 12:30 more studying 4:00 teach martin 4:30 freakout because i can{t understand spanish 6:00 dinner 6:30 language study 7:15 more language study 9:30 plan and get ready for bed! whew. and that is everyday!!! Sunday are nice though because they do devos and church and movie night.
 I love you all immensly like so much its not even funny :)
 Hermana Whitmore
P.S. the keyboards here are different so thats why all my punctuation is awful.
 Mi districto at el temle
 My little hermanos in my district. They are so amazing and cute and spiritual!
Me and Hermana Bennett

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Day Has Finally Come... Apparently!

Today was my last day to prepare to depart on my mission. I thought! 

This morning was great. I took my time to pack my bags, make sure everything is spread out amoungst the bags evenly, and that my bags only weighed 50 lbs each. My aunts and Grandma are so amazing that they took the time to go for a final lunch with me at Cafe Rio. After lunch, we went and messed around at DI and found a table for Grandma, then took it to her new apartment in Tooele and then slowly made our way home. Upon arrival at home it was about 1:00 PM, so we start checking items off our to do list: finish loading music on my music player, finish setting up blog, print out passwords for the madre, all the usual last-minute stuff. Whilst I was being productive, my mother was finding out how much money I would have to shell out to get my bags to Peru, and decided to see if she could check me in on-line. She tried many times to type in the right number and when she finally got it, all she could say was “OH NO....OH” 

By the 3rd or 4th “oh no”, I kindly let my mother know “Mom.... you’re scaring me...”. To make a long story short: my mother turned the computer and on my itinerary it said that I was to go to the Mexico MTC. 7 hours ago! Let’s just say that there was crying and there were calls made. After a while and no one really explaining anything to me: I found out that all three sources that SHOULD have informed me of my changed departure failed. Those three sources being my stake president, the mail, and multiple e-mails. Somehow, none of these sources worked and I had no record of the change made to my itinerary!! The weird thing is that I specifically asked my stake president and he said that he hadn’t ever heard of a change (I believe him because none of these other things worked.) Anywho, the lady I talked to on the phone said that she had an e-mail sent to me, I probably just never received it. Also, there WAS a new itinerary sent to me and I just never got it in the mail. 

After much deliberation and crying, I realize that this is all O.K. Like my mission scripture says “Trust in the Lord, and lean not unto thine own understanding”. Maybe some event is supposed to take place tomorrow that I need to be involved in. Maybe, the yellow fever shot I got to go to Peru really will come in handy down the line. Maybe we would have gotten in an accident going to the airport this morning... I may never know, but I do know that the Lord has a hand in all things and I need to trust in the things that happen! 

I can’t wait to be a missionary... tomorrow! See you all in 18!