Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Second week in the mission field...

So first off I just want to say Happy Birthday Charles!!! I hope you had a great day!

So this week was really busy for us! You know how I said in my last email that we were supposed to have a baptism this past Saturday for Eduardo??.....well it didn't happen.  He's been having some word of wisdom issues and he was doing really well but then this past week he caved and starting smoking again.  The whole situation was crazy how it happened.  My companion and I had just finished a lesson and we were heading back to our home but felt prompted to go home a different way where we would pass by Eduardo's apartment.  As we were driving past it we saw him in his car and he had just lit up a cigarette.  We ended up talking to him for a good half hour.  He felt so bad and couldn't believe he had done that.  We didn't bring him down at all, we told him it was ok and these things happen and that if anything this is going to make you even more strong.  We then had to tell him he couldn't be baptized this week and that he would have to wait another 2 weeks to get baptized.  He took it a little hard but knew the reason for it.  We were worried he might be embarassed to go to church but he still went and you can tell he's super solid now! His testimony is amazing! His new date to be baptized is August 31st! It will be such a great day for him.  He has had a pretty messed up past but he has changed and grown so much.  We are very proud of him!

We also have another baptism on August 31st! Her name is Carmen and before I came here, my companion and her other companion taught her the first lesson and in that lesson she already wanted to be baptized and committed to a date! So we have been meeting with her a lot to teach her the other lessons to make sure she is ready! She seems so ready, she loves coming to church! She says she gets such a good feeling when she comes to our church! It will be a great day for her too!

Also this week I went on exchanges with Sister Drevins.  She is the sister training leader in our zone.  I had the opportunity to teach all lessons in English with her since she is english speaking, it was great haha! It was good for me cause I was able to participate more in lessons that I do in spanish and with more practice hopefully I will be able to do that when teaching lessons in Spanish!

On Saturday, our spanish ward had a picnic! Lots of tortillas, meat, rice, etc....They know how to throw a feast!! It was really fun and it was good for me to get to know the ward members and try to talk to them in spanish haha.  Some of the younger people in our ward speak english which is nice haha!

So Sunday was another crazy day!! I had to give a talk in our spanish ward and it  well! I practiced it a lot with my companion and she helped me a lot with it which was really nice.  It was maybe about 5-7 minutes long haha.  The ward members were really sweet and said I did a good job.  Also we had to speak in another english ward and I had to talk for like 25 minutes.  I only prepared a 10 minute talk so I was a little nervous but I did it, I spoke for 25 minutes haha.  My mouth was super dry by the end haha.  We then taught a lesson to eduardo and then we had a 3 hour training with a few of the stakes we cover and then we went to a mission prep class and shared some experiences on how missionary life is and then we taught another lesson.  It was such a long day, we crashed when we came home!!

Tomorrow we are going to the Provo Temple as a district which I am really excited about and we have zone conference this Wednesday! Also on Tuesday the Young Women and and Young Men in our ward are doing a service project.  We are cleaning out an apartment 8 plex.  All 8 families in the apartments are hispanic.  It is super trashed so we are going to clean it up.  Eduardo actually lives there so we are hoping that he can be a great example to the people that live around him!

Anyways I am out of time! Thanks again for all of the love and support! Keep sending letters, I really appreciate them! Love you all!

Hermana Veronica Garces

Sunday, August 18, 2013

First week in the mission field!

Ok so here is the new address you should use.  It is the mission home address, they said it would be easier to just send things there and then they would just forward it to me wherever I am.

Sister Veronica Garces
Utah Provo Mission
Provo, UT 84606

So lets see I left the MTC Tuesday and we went to the mission home! We met the mission president and his wife (President and Sister McCune), had dinner, orientation, interviews, and a little devotional.  The mission president told us a lot about the mission.  We are able to go to the temple twice a month which I am really excited about! A big thing that he told us is that we have access to facebook now.  I can only use it for missionary purposes so I had to take a lot of things off.  It will be a great way to share the gospel with others and communicate with the investigators I am teaching.  The Utah Provo Mission is one of 8 missions in the world that is using Facebook! Also we will each be getting ipads in the next couple of months!! The internet will be a great way to bring forth missionary work.

So the elders stayed the night at the mission home and all of us sisters went to different members homes to stay the night.  I spent my last night with Hermana Read, it was really sad.  But I know we will see each other throughout our mission here.  The next day we had a little bit of training and told us some rules about the mission, etc.  One thing President McCune said that really stood out to me was "Don't ever say a mission is hard because it is not, you just wake up in the morning and go be a missionary.  It can be a challenge at times but challenges can be overcome".  He's really great, I can tell he cares about each and everyone of us.  O and by October we will have 270 missionaries in our mission which is a lot!!

Ok so we also met our new companions (trainers).  My new companion is Hermana Lish. She has been out over a year now.  She started her mission in Chile and then was reassigned to the Utah Provo Mission because she got sick.  She is from Idaho and goes to BYU-Idaho, like me!!! She's 22 and she goes home in December.  She's really nice and super good at spanish.  She speaks really fast, she learned how to speak fast being in Chile.  We are serving in the Payson East area, it is about 25 minutes away from Provo.  Something unique about this mission is that we cover stakes, not wards since there is so many members here.  We cover 5 stakes.  It was a new area that was opened last transfer.  We have a car to drive! It is a 2013 Corolla!! Hermana Lish drives though cause she knows the area and she's training me.  I will probably start driving next transfer.  So we live in a mansion, its so big!! We live in a members home, we live in the basement.  We have a room we share, the bathroom is huge, and we have a kitchen too! They even have a basketball court in their house, its crazy!! But sad news we will have to leave that house soon because they are having family move in so we will have to move to a different home.  We don't know when that will be though.

So first day we were already teaching lessons.  Second day we taught like 8 lessons.  We are busy all the time.  We are non stop working.  I thought the MTC was exhausting but the mission field is much more.  We get home arounf 9/9:30 and we plan for the next day and then I go straight to bed.  I am so tired by the end of the day.  We teach some lessons in english especially to younger people because the prefer english.  We have a ton of people we are teaching, a lot of investigators, less active families, and part member families.  We have a baptism for this Saturday!! Hermana Lish and her old companion taught him last transfer.  His name is Eduardo, he is from Mexico and he's 20 yrs old.  He seems super ready.  From what I heard it has been a long journey for him so it will be exciting to see him get baptized!

So as for my Spanish, I really wish I knew more.  When we teach in Spanish I only say like the prayer and maybe a few phrases here and there.  When they see my last name they all think I speak fluent spanish.  They will just ramble to me and assume I understand them but I don't.  I just keep saying estoy aprendiendo (i am learning) haha.  Dad, you should have taught me spanish growing up haha.  It has also been tough for me to understand what people are saying because they talk so fast.  Seriously some spanish people talk wayyyy toooo fast for me haha.  Hermana Lish has been helping me a lot and we spend an hour each day to study spanish so I can get better at it.  I really hope I can get better so I can start really feeling comfortable teaching people in spanish. 

So Sunday was crazy busy.  We had to go to a 6:30 correlation meeting in the morning with one of the stakes we work with.  Then we had our spanish ward at 9 and I had to introduce myself and bear my testimony in spanish during sacrament meeting.  I was a little nervous about that but it went well.  Everyone in our spanish ward is so nice and welcoming, its great! Then we has to give 2 talks in english wards.  They sometimes ask the missionaries to come to wards and give talks.  So my first sunday in the mission field I gave 2 talks but they were in english which was good haha.  The topic was serving others and I tied it into missionary work.  I was worried my talk wouldn't be long enough because I didn't practice it but I ended up talking for a good 15 minutes which was good I guess.  I know I had the spirit helping me.  We had other meeting too we had to go to, Sundays are so busy for us! Next Sunday we have to give another talk in a english ward and we have to give a talk in our spanish ward.  I'm so nervous to give a talk in our spanish ward because it is all in spanish.  I really hope I can do it! I will be praying a lot this week that I can. 

So yeah first week in the mission has been good.  I'm taking it a day at a time.  I'm sure things will get easier for me as time goes on especially with spanish.  I am already loving the people that we are teaching.  There is a lot of potential for a lot of them. 

Thanks again for all the love and support.  Keep writing to me, getting mail is the BEST!!

Hermana Veronica Garces

Last week at MTC...

So I am emailing my last time here at the MTC! These past 6 weeks have gone by so fast, I have learned so much here.  My testimony has been strengthened so much and I know how important it is to listen to the promptings of the spirit.  I am so excited to get out into the field! I am a little nervous with my Spanish but I know I will get better with time.  Since I am leaving the MTC this means no more Dear Elders which is sad because I loved getting those everyday.  Just snail mail and email.  In my next email I will post my new address! Thanks again for all the letters, dear elders, and packages!

So I am leaving tomorrow at 4:45pm at the front desk of the MTC! All of us that are going to Provo got a letter from the mission president and he said him and his wife are going to pick us up! He also told us that we will be spending the first night in the mission home and it will be an evening of orientation, interviews, dinner, and sleep! Wednesday is when I will find out who my new companion will be (trainer) and where my first area will be! Also we asked the front desk if we will be able to call home and according to them they said probably not because usually it is just missionaries that are going out of state or country that get to call.  We're thinking maybe the mission president will let us but then again we don't really know.  So Mom and Dad if you don't hear from me, i'm sorry! Just look forward to Christmas and then I can talk to you!

So my last week here at the MTC has been amazing! Hermana Read and I finished up our last lessons to our investigators and they went really well.  During language study Hermana Read and I have been studying with our district leader, Elder Hodges.  We would read a chapter out of the Book of Mormon in spanish, we each would read a verse in spanish and then try to figure out what it said and then we would read the verse in english to see how well we did.  It actually helped us a lot with spanish and understanding the words.  We were able to study our Spanish and have spiritual insight of what we were reading at the same time, it was great!

So Thursday we had In field orientation which was for all missionaries leaving this week.  It was an 8 hour long workshop thing.  We had different workshop classes on things such as planning with your companion, working with members, contacting, and many other useful things that we need to know to go out into the field.  We practiced contacting people with each other.  They told us that we need to take advantage of talking to every person we see whether it be at an airport, park, out in the street, etc and give them a pass a long card where they can find out more about our church at  We can't let those moments pass, we need to share what we know to be true to everyone!  

On Saturday night we had out departing district testimony meeting for our zone.  It was so emotional.  All of us pretty much cried as we bore our testimonies.  We all pretty much did it in english and then closed with a little spanish.  It is amazing how close we have gotten these past 6 weeks.  All of the elders in my district feel like my brothers and all the hermanas feel like my sisters! We are such a close family, I know we were put together as a district for a reason.  I know I was put together with my companion for a reason, we have progressed so much together as a companionship these past 6 weeks. 

On Sunday we had mission conference which was really great!  As a zone we sang God be with you till we meet Again in spanish.  We sing that every time a district leaves and it was crazy to think that we were singing because MY district was leaving! Whenever a district leaves they do a musical number in sacrament meeting and like I said in my last email we sang the EFY medley in spanish.  Not gonna lie I wasn't sure we were going to be able to pull it off cause none of the elders in my district can sing haha.  They are all pretty much tone deaf haha.  Us Hermanas had to work with them a lot and we were able to pull it off.  It sounded amazing actually.  When the elders came in to sing armies of helaman they sounded so good.  We were so proud of them! We had our last temple walk and then had a departure devotional for all departing missionaries giving us instructions on cleaning, packing etc.  We also had our last Sunday devotional ever at the MTC! As a district we decided we wanted to get there early to get good seats for our last devotional.  We got to sit in the second row and I saw Jenny Oaks Baker and all her kids there and freaked out.  I was like no way, I can't believe she's here!  And then I saw on the screen that she was the speaker for our devotional and she was performing!  My district was all like it is a good thing we got good seats for this! She talked about having spiritual gifts and that we all have been blessed with spiritual gifts.  She played Beautiful Savior, Amazing Grace, A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief, and I know that My Redeemer lives.  All 4 of her kids were there and played an arrangement of I am a Child of God, they are incredible! She is seriously so amazing! Watching her play brought tears to my eyes.  It made me realize how much I love music and how powerful music can be to touch peoples lives.  Her passion while she plays is so amazing to watch.  Since we were in the second row we could see everything! It was awesome! My whole district was like "Hermana Garces, you need to talk to her after this and get a picture with her!" So after the devotional since we were so close to her I went up to her and talked to her for a little bit.  I told her that I love her music and that I have her CDs and that I have some books of hers and she was like awe that's great keep up playing the violin, the power of music can touch so many peoples lives.  I then got a picture with her! My whole district was like this was the best last devotional ever for us! It was so awesome!

Tonight is our last class time with our teachers, Hermano Roden and Hermana Taggart. It will probably be very emotional! Our teachers are so amazing! They have been such incredible examples to my whole district.  Again I know they were assigned to teach us for a reason.  As a district we got them their favorite candy bar and each wrote them a note about how much we are so grateful to them and what an amazing impact they have been to us.

So I am pretty much out of time! I love all of you and thanks again for all the support.  I can't believe my next email will be when I am out in the field! I am so excited!

Hermana Veronica Garces