Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Week 20!

So this week was another crazy week but then again every week as a missionary seems pretty crazy haha.  We found out about transfers, some people left and new people came in! Once we found out we went home to tell the Andersons (the people we live with) that we were staying together! Sister Anderson was so excited but sat us down and told us that we would be leaving this house and moving somewhere else.  They have kids moving in and they need the space.  We both started crying because we absolutely love living with the Anderson's.  They have had missionaries living with them for decades so we got pretty emotional about it.  We will definitely miss them, we don't know when we are moving but it is within the next week or two!

So funny story....I think it was on Thursday.  Hermana Bumstead and I were walking to the temple booth for the Provo City Center temple.  Our shift started at 10 and we left the house around 9:15 to have time to walk.  A lady stopped and offered us a ride and we took it because it was super cold.  So we were like 30 minutes early to the temple booth.  O and the temple booth used to be a canopy  outside and now they built a legit booth for us.  Its like a little house and they are putting a TV inside and pictures.  So its going to be like a little visitor center.  So we saw that there were some people in the temple booth and we just thought they were people working on it but we walked in and we saw President McCune there and that's the last person we thought we would see there haha. He was like Hey Sister Garces and Sister Bumstead we were just talking about you.  He was in there with a stake President getting a picture.  So yeah the whole situation was funny because we walked in looking so cold and just not expecting to see our mission president in there haha. 

So Saturday was a super busy day for us.  We had a baptism for Hannah and it was our ward Christmas party.  Unfortunately not many people came to her baptism.  It was such a busy day and a lot of members were busy with the Christmas party.  Her family was there, the primary president, the Bishop, our ward mission leader, and our zone leaders came to support us.  And people that were supposed to give the prayers, lead music, and play piano didn't show up so we were a little frustrated.  It ended up being a really spiritual baptism though.  Hannah looked so happy and her family looked so happy.  Hannah wanted Hermana Bumstead to give the talk on Baptism and she wanted me to give a talk on the Holy Ghost.  So I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost in Spanish, only my second talk in spanish haha.  It went really well and I just focused on Hannah and looked at her and told her how much the Holy Ghost can help her in her life and that Heavenly Father is super happy with her decision to be baptized.  After her baptism we asked how she felt and she said I feel so good, I felt so clean coming out of the water and she gave a big hug.  Despite not many people showing up what mattered most was that she was happy and could feel the spirit and she did. 

After the baptism we went straight to our chapel to help with the ward party.  Our relief society president, Hermana Brett was pretty much in charge of all the food so she had us help a lot in the kitchen and help with serving food. It was really fun and it was a great way to get to know all the members in our ward.  The food was sooooooo good! Before we had dinner they put on a very nice program with singing, a live nativity, and there was a narrator.  It was really nice, the spirit was really strong there.  After dinner and desert they took down all the tables and started dancing.  Unfortunately we couldn't dance but everyone looked like they had so much fun!

So I am about out of time! Thanks for all the love and support!

Family- I can't wait to talk to all for Christmas!!

Shout out to Elder Hodges- I saw your brother this week at the mission office, he was dropping off Christmas presents for you! Such a small world in the Utah Provo Mission haha

Love you all!!

Hermana Garces

Week 19...

So first off Hermana Bumstead and I are staying together!!!!!!!!! We are so excited!! This is going to be an awesome transfer especially with Christmas coming up! Also our zone leaders are staying together and they are still going to be a trio which means they can still give us rides when they can!!! :)

So this week was crazy because it snowed so much and was bitterly cold!!!  We weren't able to teach as much this week but we were able to serve a lot of people. There were calling for snow and they said only like 3 inches, it snowed over a foot, CRAZY!!!! Tuesday was when the snow hit and it was coming down sooooo hard.  We were like we really can't go out and walk in this so we ended up doing service all day and helped shovel driveways.  People were so appreciative of the help, we shoveled at least 10 driveways if not more. 

Also this week I went on exchanges with Sister Smith, the sister training leader for our zone.  She came to our area.  She is so sweet! I felt really bad because she has a car so she wasn't used to walking a lot and it was super cold! We made it work and were able to get some rides! Its nice here in Provo because we will just be walking on the main street and people will just pull over and offer to give us a ride.  Sister Smith was awesome! She kept telling me that I was such an amazing missionary and that she can tell I really love the people.  I really do love the people here, the people we are working with I have gotten so close to! Whenever I have to leave this area, it is going to be super tough.

This week we also had ZTM (zone training meeting).  We talked a lot about how to work better with members and get them involved more.  We also talked about using Preach my Gospel and that we should be using it our entire mission.  President McCune challenged all of us to read the Book of Mormon and Preach my Gospel everyday in our personal studies.  I can already see the difference that challenge had made on me.  We also talked a lot about Jesus Christ and his atonement.  We all had the opportunity to bear our testimonies about the Savior.  When I got up to share mine, I started to get emotional.  If anything my testimony of the Savior has strengthened so much since being on the mission.  Everything I have gone through I couldn't have done without the help of my Savior. 

This week we went over to Caty's house.  She is less active and she's a single mother with a 5 year old son.  We go over to help her fold boxes and do service for her.  This week we helped put up her Christmas tree and other decorations around her apartment.  Her son is so cute, when we put up the Christmas tree he was so excited! He kept saying "LOOK AT THE CHRISTMAS TREE, IT'S SO PRETTY. I AM SO EXCITED FOR CHRISTMAS. THANKS HERMANAS FOR HELPING MY MOM.  I just loved seeing how excited he was for Christmas.  It reminded me how precious this time of year and that everyone should feel that joy of Christmas that this little boy feels.

This Saturday we have a baptism for a 10 year old girl named Jana.  Her family is less active and we have worked to reactivate them and they all have been going to church for the past several weeks.  We have to still teach her one more lesson tonight and then the Elders will do her baptism interview and then she will be good to go! We are super excited for her, she has grown a lot since I have been here and really knows that this is something really special that she wants to do.  Also on Saturday we have our ward Christmas party.  We are super excited because there will be a lot of great food and it will be lots of fun.  Spanish wards really know how to party haha but really they do. 

Well I am about out of time.  Thanks again for all the love and support!

Mom and Dad, Happy Anniversary this week! Thanks for getting married so that I could come into this world and be a part of this wonderful Gospel. You both are amazing parents, thanks for everything you do! Can't wait to talk to you and the whole family for Christmas!!

Love you all!

Hermana Garces

Week 18

This week was so crazy but then again every week of the mission is crazy haha. Last P day I got a call from the mission office saying that there were 4 packages for me and they were all from my parents! Thanks Mom and Dad for all the Christmas goodies especially the tree, it is so cute!

Thanksgiving this week was really nice.  We started our morning having a turkey bowl, we played with 2 zones! Our zone leaders made us have football practice the morning before at 6 in the morning so we could win haha.  They showed us sisters how to play football because none of us really know how to haha.  They made us do a bunch of drills, it was actually pretty fun even though we were all dead tired.  So Thanksgiving morning my companion and I woke up at 5 and the zone leaders picked us up to go to Orem to get donuts for breakfast for the 2 zones.  Long story short, there is a less active lady we are teaching and she works at krispy kreme and in the past she has given us free donuts because they throw them out because they can only sell them fresh.  The elders really wanted donuts for this turkey bowl and the lady said that the only time we could get them would be early in the morning.  So we were like ok elders if you want these elders you got to pick us up at 5 and take us to Orem to get the donuts.  They did, it was quite the morning we were all sooooo dead tired haha.  The turkey bowl was really fun, President said that Sisters have to participate so that the elders don't go too crazy.  Our zone ended up winning, the practice paid off.  The first house we went to was the Villalobos house (our ward mission leader's family's house), we love this family so much, they make us feel so at home.  They didn't make the most traditional Thanksgiving food but the food was still very good.  We suggested that we go around the table and share what we are grateful for and we did! After that we went to the Zavala family home for dinner.  She made turkey, empanadas and a bunch of other food.  It was soooo much food.  I kept looking at Hermana Bumstead and was like "I CAN"T EAT ANYMORE".  She was like I know but we have to haha.  I literally sat there after I ate everything and really thought I was going to throw up, I felt so sick.   We got home and felt so sick and tired and we went straight to bed haha.  I never want to have 2 thanksgiving dinners again, it was crazy!!!!

The next day we were so sore and still felt really sick, our stomachs were upset the whole day.  We still kept working though and the end of the night the elders saw us going home on our bikes and we talked to them for a bit and went home and then they came back to give us some sprite so we could settle our stomachs, it was really nice of them!

On Saturday we had a baptism for 8 year old Amber and it went really well, she was so excited! We have another baptism coming up on December 14th which we are really happy about.  We are trying  this week to get to know the ward members more and get them excited about missionary work.  We are going to visit a lot of the ward members this week and hopefully we can find more people to teach this way and have them come out with us to teach.  Also its a good way for them to have missionary opportunities as well.

Well I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! This time of year is so special.  I hope everyone is enjoying this Holiday season.  Thanks again for everything!

Also next Monday we find out about transfers.  I hope I stay, this area is amazing and I hope I stay with Hermana Bumstead, she is super great!

Hermana Veronica Garces