Monday, December 28, 2015

Feliz Navidad


This week went by a lot faster than my first week, which is great.  There is so much adjusting to do on the mission.  Every transfer, every new area, every new mission president.  I am learning a lot. 

So this week we had a Christmas party with the whole mission!!! It was so great.  We had a devotional at the beginning with lots of testimonies from the people that are dying (missionaries that are going home) next transfer.  I am still getting used to the dialect of missionaries...It's pretty funny.

 Here is what I have learned from the missionary dialect so is trainer, grandma is trainer's mom, dying going home, greenie or verde in Spanish new on the mission, white wash is when two new missionaries go into a new area without anyone with experience.  That's all I can remember so far, but it's so hard to get used to people saying, "Oh! She is my mom!" Haha. 

But anyway, back to the Christmas party, I had a real American lunch full of stuffing, sweet potatoes, potatoes, green beans, turkey, rolls, and pumpkin pie!! It was so good.  In the CCM I guess you could call what I had American food, but it did not even come close to this meal.  They even gave us leftovers too! That was pretty much the only American thing I have had on the mission, but I think it was good enough to last me.  I love Mexican food even more!  It's pretty funny every time I go to a member's house to eat, they question the amount of salsa I put on my food. It's not even that spicy!! Haha. 

Anyway, after lunch, we got to perform 10 minute skits.  They were all so funny.  One was of a returned missionary and he called President Maluenda and asked how to hold a girl's hand, and President Maluenda answered the phone call and said, "Don't you remember from the last training we had?" It was interesting to see President Maluenda like that. He is pretty funny :).  Then we got to have a gift exchange from gifts that the mission parents sent.  We each got 2! Since it was the last Christmas of the Maluenda family, they made it special for all of us missionaries. 

The next day was exchanges. I found out that I was going to be in my area and I was basically going to be the Senior comp, so I was to drive.  That was pretty interesting because I usually just follow Sister Messer around, not knowing my way, but we had maps and we only got lost once! I was with Sis. Ingleby. She is featured in the picture with the chalk board that says Merry Christmas.  I learned so much from her, and we were able to work so hard and talk to so many people.  We each were able to give each other commitments.  Sis. Ingleby also lives in the apt. with us. I love her so much! 

The rest of the week was filled with lots and lots of tamales (yummm) and people being really busy, but I know that everyone has their agency. Even when people said they were busy I would be annoying and give them a little lesson on the restoration.  The people are so nice down here that they never shut the door if you just keep talking haha. 

Yesterday at church it was pretty strange because we didn't have a piano player for the opening song.  It was literally the worst song I have ever heard haha.  Latinos tend not to be very good singers at all haha that's why they always tell us to sing for them I guess.

I challenge all of you to read Alma 29 this week.  It talks about the reason we should be serving a mission.

Love you all,
Hermana Findlay

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Monday, December 21, 2015

First Week in Texas

To family and friends,

My last week at the CCM was so special.  We had so many testimony meetings and so many great firesides!! One fireside that I really remember was by an area seventy named elder Salinas and he talked about how we all as missionaries need to have an experience through the atonement.  It was such a good talk!!

Also, before we left all the Hermana's in my district got priesthood blessings from the elders. I was so happy that we did that!!! In mine, it basically said that I have a gift of love so much so that I will be given the hard companions that others have a hard time to love, and that I am a strong young woman along with other things.  It was so powerful and I knew that it was God's words, not Elder Connell's.  It was so hard to say bye to the elders!! Luckily, I did not have to say bye to the sisters because we are all here in McAllen, Texas.  Also, we are going to see each other tomorrow at this big Christmas party.

My flight from Mexico City here was crazy!!! Hahaha we left the MTC at 8 in the morning and didn't get here until 9 at night.  Long story short we missed our plane from Houston to McAllen.  I met my trainer the next day and everyone here is surprised at my Spanish!!  I get to serve in a Spanish-speaking ward!!!  It's great!!

So my trainer is Sister Messer and at transfers we hugged and she literally picked me up. hahaha!  It was pretty funny.  I am learning to love her. 

One of our investigators is Diana and she is pretty much a golden investigator!! It is so fun to teach her!!

Love Hermana Findlay

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

 Trip to the Mexico City Temple

This week I had the opportunity to teach my district some Spanish.  My teacher was busy, so she asked me to teach a little part of the lesson.  It was pretty funny. 

This weekend, it was pretty cold for Mexico City, but there was a Utah girl that let me borrow her jacket.  It was so sweet!!  Also, on the way home at night, Hermana Rivera took off her jacket to shield us both from the rain.  It was so nice of her! 

This week to start off my fast, I had a whole bunch to eat for lunch.  I had tilapia flavored with cheese and tomatoes, 4 corn tortillas, lettuce with salsa, pineapple, half a chicken scone thing, a little bit of rice, 3 oranges (so good!), and 2 ice cream bars.  Who knew that I am still losing a little weight here at the CCM.  It is probably because my workouts are so cardio intense.  

Then, at dinner, we didn´t have anything scheduled, so we got to play games with the district.  That was a lot of fun.  We played a game called psychiatrist.  

On Sunday, we got to watch the Christmas devo!! So good!! I loved Elder Bednar´s talk, and all that music.  I don´t think I have ever appreciated mo tab that much in my life.  It´s crazy how my desires to be better change.  Here, I am developing such good habits too.  I even make my bed every day now!!  

Also, on Sunday, I started reading My Search for Happiness, and it said something about how when our desires to become like Christ change, we will be exalted.  I feel that so much on the mission!

Today, there were 57 of us who got to go the the Mexico City temple.  So pretty!!! I loved being there with so many missionaries.  Also, it was only my second time seeing Mexico City, so that was cool.  I could not stop staring out the windows.

Love Hermana Findlay

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Thanksgiving in the CCM

So I don´t know if I have mentioned this yet or not, but my companion is a total farm girl.  She even has llamas on the farm, and I love that she knows how to work hard, and that we both aren't girly girls at all. I love all her stories of butchering the chickens and of eating llama meat.  She lives in a town in Idaho with a population of only 500. We actually get along really well.  We also really love gym time too so that´s good.

Hna. Rivera and I are now in week 5 and we are teaching so many lessons now.  We have 6 investigators, and we teach about 2 lessons to each one.  Also, on top of that, we are always practicing in the classroom and teaching people from the Mexico City that are mostly recent converts.  We taught 3 from Mexico City this week.  Since I know the lessons so well now, I can take a few seconds to think of what the investigator needs, and it is so great teaching from the Spirit.

This week, it rained for the second time here at the CCM, but it was our first hard rain.  It was so fun looking out the window to see all the rain.  I love when it rains here too because for a little bit the air is actually clean.  Also, we get a little break from the gross stink of the CCM.  Our roommates call it the 4 o´clock stench haha.  It seriously smells awful sometimes, but it´s okay.  I love being here at the CCM because there are so many opportunities to speak with Latinos.  It was really funny this week when Hna. Rivera and I sat with Latinos this week, because we did the same thing as we usually do when we sit with them like have small talk, and then when we said mucho gusto, I realized that one of the hermanas name was one that I already knew. We felt silly haha.  I bet the Latinos get sick of us talking to them because we always try to work on our Spanish, and we are taking the time away from them talking to the rest of their district. They are so loving all the time.  I love it!! I teach them English words and they teach me Spanish words.

Thanksgiving here was great!! We had a devotional in the morning by Elder Oaks and his wife with a lot of musical numbers.  I thought it was interesting that both Washington and Lincoln said that the purpose of Thanksgiving was to give thanks to God, and for religious freedom.  Later, we had a Thanksgiving lunch, and it wasn´t the best Thanksgiving meal I´ve had, but they tried so hard!!! There was apple pie, pumpkin pie, ice cream, turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, and gravy. They even had red, white, and blue tablecloths out.  The latinos were confused about the different food haha. It was pretty funny. Also, later, Elder Connell shared a bottle of Martinelli´s with our whole district.  He got the Martinelli´s from a package that his mom sent, and it finally felt like Thanksgiving was complete.

On Sunday, we got to watch Meet the Mormons and it was sooo good.  It was really funny at the end because there was a song by David Archuletta playing, and everyone looked at Hermana Arculetta.  I felt bad for her though because when she heard her Brother´s voice, she was crying because she missed him so much.

My most spiritual experience this week was listening to a devotional by Elder Bednar.  It was an old Christmas devotional broadcast, but anyway, he talked a lot about how the word repent can be replaced with turning outward, and that we, as missionaries, need to turn outward in love, compassion, and service.  It was a really good talk!!

Hermana Findlay

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

A mission is a marathon, not a race

Group email: 
This week went by super fast, even faster than last week.  I think it is because we have something to do every minute of the day.  At night, it is kind of hard to focus on studying though, and my district gets super chatty.

This week Hermana Rivera and I got called as sister training leaders!!! We basically make sure that all the Hermanas are doing okay.  We got called because the Hermanas that were sister training leaders left for Florida yesterday.  It was sad saying bye to that district, but it was also good because I am excited for them to go out to the field.  Also, every Sunday after the movie we have a slideshow that says what districts are leaving.  This week, 7 whole districts, or 64 missionaries, are going out to the field.  Just imagine how many are leaving from the Provo MTC.  It´s awesome.  

On Sunday, I had to play piano for all of the North American missionaries.  It was scary because I prepared to play I know that my redeemer lives, and then when I got there they asked me to play something I didnt know how to play because they didnt have the lyrics to project on the screen.  However, they were able to switch it back to I know that my redeemer lives, so I was happy about that :).  I made a few mistakes, but overall it was good.  

This week, we had something called TRC where we teach real people that talk super fast and dont know English, but they are members.  It was scary, and it made me realize that in the CCM I am overconfident about my abilities in Spanish speaking.  the first investigator we had was an older lady, and I had a really hard time understanding her, but it was better with the soon to be Elder that we taught.  He said a really fast prayer at the end, and I understood it!! It was probably because Hermana Rivera and I prayed before that one, so that it would go better.  

I guess there was a 5.5 earthquake that hit somewhere near us.  On Saturday, we had an earthquake drill, and then yesterday it was the real thing.  I didnt feel it at all though! I guess the CCM is lower than the rest of Mexico city, so maybe that´s why.  Did you know that the altitude is nine thousand something feet elevation here???  It is super hard for me to run, but I was able to go for a 20 minute run one day this week.  I usually run for 15 and then either play basketball, do yoga, jump rope, or play volleyball.  Also, there has been lots of smog, which isnt fun, but it hasnt been hot so I cant complain.  Also, one day while we had language class, we were outside, and I saw a bunch of parakeets flying over head.  There are such pretty birds here!! Also, I was worried that Mexico City was going to be super loud and it would be hard for me to sleep, but I havent even had any problems yet. I sleep soundly every night.  One night, my companion even heard me laughing in the middle of the night.  I guess I was having a good dream :)

I am now in week 4, and now we have many more goals to accomplish.  My morning teacher is also very strict, but she is helping us prepare so thats good.  Also, we have been teaching her like we would an investigator and she has been a really hard investigator to teach, but she told us later that the reason she is so hard on us is because she knows that we can do it.  I have so many things to improve on in my teaching, and I love knowing what i need to improve on too, because i want to be the best missionary out there. 

Last week, my most spiritual experience is when we saw a broadcast of Elder Andersen.  The most powerful thing he said was probably that a mission was a marathon not a race.  This also relates to life in enduring to the end.  I also memorized D & C 4 all in Spanish this week.  

Love you!
Thanks for all the letters :)
Hermana Findlay

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

"Sister Taquitos"

To family and friends,

For a service project this week, we were supposed to help out the newbies that were arriving to the CCM but turns out that there aren´t any newbies that day.  I don't know if we´re going to have more this week or not just because it is the holiday season.  

I feel like we´re in a big bubble here in the CCM.  I just heard about the terrorist attacks in Paris and the church´s new policy about gay parents.  It´s weird.  Sometimes I hear Spanish music and I say "Oh, I know that song!" Ha ha its funny that it´s the same music that I listened to just yesterday it feels like.  The first week didn't go very fast, but now I know that we have a little break on both Pdays and Sundays.  Sundays we get to watch a movie!! It´s awesome :)  I had no idea how much I liked movies until I got here.  This week we watched How Rare a Possession.  It wasn't as good as last week´s movie (the testament) but it was good.  

I am surprised that I haven´t been bit by any mosquitos since I have been here.  I hear about some other people that are getting bit all the time.  Maybe it´s because I am trying to live the Mexican life as much as i can.  There is usually both a Mexican entree and an American entree and I always choose the Mexican one.  With tamales and all! I love it.  However, one day for dinner this week, the only option was hamburgers and french fries, and that´s just too American for me to eat.  I didn't have any of that entree, but instead, I made myself tacos with their bar full of beans, rice, salsa, and corn tortillas.  I love it.  

So I found out that Hermana Archuleta AKA David Archuleta´s sister is in the adjacent classroom!! I don´t think they look very similar, but I talked to her twice this week! She even gave me a compliment on my dress and we played basketball together too along with other Latinos.  Hermana Archuleta is so nice! Also, I loved how the Latinos all gave me a hug after I played basketball with them because they had to go.  The Latinos are all so nice :)

Also, I gave a talk this week in Sacrament meeting all in Spanish.  I didn't know that I was going to speak until right before the meeting started.  I got up there and my Spanish just flowed though.  My branch president said to use 5 min, but I gave an entire 10 minute talk (it was okay to go over).  I talked about the gift of the Holy Spirit and how important it is to have when we teach. God knows our investigators so much more than we do!  At the end of Sacrament meeting, my branch president told me that if he didn't look up at me, he would´ve thought that I was a Latina talking!! That was so good to hear :)

Me and my companion went on an adventure with a worker here at the ccm.  He´s our good friend and even calls us "Sisters Taquitos" in his really funny accent.  Anyway, we were planning for the next day, and Elder Lima comes into our classroom and says he has a little secret for us. Then we get in this golf cart and go for like a 2 minute ride across a little part of campus.  It was so funny because Hna Rivera and I had no idea where he was taking us.  We were glad that we just went for a ride and then went back to our classroom though. 

This week, I was reading in Ether 12, and I came across Ether 12:19 and I thought it was really cool that because the brother of Jared had so much faith, God wasn't able to hide his finger from him. Then later, it says that the veil was taken off of him or something.  After reading this, I thought about how I should be like that and have that much faith.  It sometimes is hard in lessons to know that the Holy Spirit will tell me everything I need to say, but I am getting better.  I just have to take one step at a time. 

Love You All,
Hermana Findlay

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

First Week in the Mexico MTC

Nov. 10, 2015

To Family and Friends,

I´m sure most of you heard about my long day at the airport but after I finally got out of the airport in Mexico City, I saw a neon sign for me...I felt pretty special. There were only latinos there and the first thing he said to me was habla espanol and i said si :).  The guy needed to see that my passport had a valid temporary visa first and he noticed that it only had 30 days.  He said that it was fine, but hopefully it will be.   Anyway there was only one other missionary that rode to the CCM with me and her name is hermana R.  I thought she didn’t know English at first because her dad is from Peru, but her mom is from idaho.  She actually went to BYU and I discovered that she was going to the Texas McAllen mission.  We were making jokes in the car with the hermanos who picked us up and now everytime they see Hermana R. and I they call us Taquitos because Hermana R. said something about taquitos.  

By the way, Hermana R. and I are companions now, and we were overjoyed.  She is the best companion ever!! And she took 4 years of Spanish in high school and even one year in BYU.  I bet we passed each other all the time at BYU without even noticing, but we always talk in Spanish together and we both love to be active, and she is really funny.  She helps me with my pronunciation, and I help her with her grammar and vocabulary.  

At first, we both thought we were in the wrong district because we were learning basic things in Spanish, and we know Spanish pretty well in comparison to the rest of our class, but then we asked our teacher Hermana Alonso and she said that most of the class is intermediate so I guess I’m in the right class.  I’m just not learning a lot in spanish class.  But I have my ways to learn Spanish.  For example, we talk to each other mostly in Spanish,  we teach lessons in Spanish, and most of the time we eat with the latinos.  I love the Latinos! Also, every time i write in my journal now, I write in spanish and i don’t even catch myself until after I wrote it.  

Our first lesson con Hermana R. y Hermano H. was okay...our Spanish was really good, but we didn’t really teach the lesson that well.  The second was the opposite, but LET ME TELL YOU about the third!! When we were preparing to teach we wanted to finish up with the plan of salvation and the doctrine of Jesus Christ, but I felt that we should explain the atonement in the plan of salvation more and we should not yet teach about the doctrine of Jesus Christ, so we went with that plan.  Also a teacher told us that we should address their needs more, so we mentioned in the lesson that unless they wanted to change and have a better relationship with each other, the gospel wasn’t going to help them with that. I taught the atonement and I was again impressed with my spanish.  The gift of tongues is so cool!!! But it doesn’t just  come out of nowhere.  I have to take action.  For example I have a goal of learning 25 new words every day and learning a new scripture every day and I have done those things every day so far!! But anyways back to the lesson. .After Hermana R. talked about the different degrees of glory, she asked if they would follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone that had the authority of God. They basically said that they feel that this gospel is true and they would.  I could not stop smiling after they said that.  

The CCM has such good food!!! I don’t eat very much for breakfast and dinner usually.  But for lunch, it is so good.  It’s like celebration time.  I usually have cereal and fruit for breakfast and salad and fruit for dinner, but for lunch it’s always different.  They lay out everything.  There is always soup too!!

Also, today, I played volleyball, tennis, soccer, kickball, and did yoga on my pday.  It was so great to not sit for a change :)

A good scripture that I found this week was 2 Nephi 2:13.  It talks about our whole purpose here on earth.  I was able to share it with my district.  I have felt the Spirit so strong and being on a mission is way harder and way better than I ever imagined it.  I am so thankful for the knowledge I have and the testimony I have about Jesus Christ and his Atonement, the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith.  You really need to know all these things before teaching someone else.

I have become so close with my district and my companion. It’s crazy how much all of us have changed already. I love Mexico City too...It´s always the perfect temperature, and I have the opportunity to speak spanish all the time with everyone!!  I’m happy here. :))

Love You,
Hermana Findlay

Friday, October 30, 2015

First post

This is my missionary plaque picture.  The scripture that I chose is Alma 36:24, which says, "Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost."  I love that after Alma the Younger felt the joy from being forgiven, he wanted to let others feel of the joy he felt.  I am so excited to serve a mission, and teach people about the gospel.