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

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