Monday, April 27, 2015

La Salle week 2

Well its been another week down. Its been super crazy for me to try and get stuff down, but Im learning. I think that the hardest thing is that I dont fully understand spanish yet, but its getting better. Its been cool to see that the more we talk with certain investigators, the more Im able to understand. I think the hardest thing is to contact people in the street, Im not very good at that because Im not the greatest at just walking up to random people... I dont think I got the salesman gene like some of you guys haha. 

Its been better this week though. Ive been able to understand more in lessons and actually help teach rather than feeling lost. Sometimes theyll ask a question and Im actually getting the gist of what theyre asking now too. It was actually pretty rough in the beginning of the week, I felt like I wasnt helping, and especially when I dont understand I tend to lose focus and either just daydream or nod off. Its really bad, but Im working on it. So finally one night I just prayed for help and its been so much better. I know that the Lord listens to each of us, and he wants to help us, but sometimes we just need to ask sincerely. I love prayer, and Im really grateful for it. 

One of our investigators wants to be baptized on the 8th but wants the approval of her parents first. We taught her about fasting and we all fasted on Friday. In honesty, it was hard. It was around 104 degrees that day and just super hot, but we tried to just remember why we were doing it. We havent been able to really talk with our investigator again yet, but we are really hoping that she will be baptized for this day. Im really excited to visit her this week to find out!

Hermana Dansie and I have been talking a lot about obedience, we both think that its one of the most important things. Shes a really good example for me because we were talking about how important every minute is. Be up at 6:30, exercise for 30 minutes everyday, be studying by 8, etc. You can really feel the difference when you are trying your hardest. She shared with me that one of the leaders once said that there is no obedience and exact obedience. You are either being obedient or disobedient. Im way happy I have her as a companion that we are always trying to do better and be better. 

Im really learning a lot, and Im really excited for whats to come. I hope you all have a great week this week!

Love you all!

Hermana Leavitt

Monday, April 20, 2015

Week 1 in the Field

La Sallez

Well Ive had my first week here in Tuxtla, and its crazy! A saying that one of the elders always said in the MTC was, out of the frying pan, into the fire, and its so true! For one thing, its really hot here, but I love it. Its really not too bad, the humidity is just weird. The other thing is that I thought I understood spanish pretty well, but I was way wrong! Its getting better, but for the most part, I just try to listen during our lessons and occasionally I understand a phrase here or there. But its way cool when Im able to understand more things.

So my new companion is Hermana Dansie! Shes from Idaho, and she actually went to Dixie for a semester before she came on her mission. I was pretty happy to have an english speaking companion I do have to say. But we try to talk in spanish as much as possible, because thats the only way that I will be able to learn, and its good, I still dont know a ton, but Im learning. Shes way nice though, and Im the first person that shes trained, so we are kind of learning together. 

Tuxtla is a lot bigger than I thought it would be. I thought it would be like Saint George, but I was wrong. I pretty much just follow Hermana Dansie around because I usually have no idea where we are, but its getting better with time. We go run the streets every morning and thats helping me to learn the area better. 

This week we had a baptism! It was good, and the spirit was really strong. To be honest though, it was really hard because I dont understand Zoila, and I dont know her at all. But when we have had lessons, I can feel the spirit, and I can feel that she knows this gospel is true. Her son is a convert, and he was able to baptize her. It was way cool because she was actually really sick the day of her baptism, but her son gave her a blessing and she was able to be baptized and shes been feeling better. 

One really cool experience this week was with a recent convert. So we are supposed to teach recent converts after they are baptized too, and we stopped by to visit Ricardo. The lesson was mostly Ricardo and Hermana Dansie talking, but at one point I was thinking of an experience and that i should share it. I did, and after the lesson I asked Hermana Dansie if it even went along with what they were talking about, and it did! It was way cool to have that experience and feel the spirit. 

But overall, Im trying to have patience with the language, thats the hardest part. Hermana Dansie just says to give it a couple weeks and I will be good. So Im excited for that.

Its hard, but Im really happy to be here. I know that the language will come as long as I keep working hard. Its really a cool experience to be able to share the gospel everyday. 

I love you all!

Hermana Leavitt

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I Made It!!!!

Made it to Tuxtla, but not much to talk about. Hopefully a lot more next week though when I find out where I'm going and etc. The CCM was great though, and I'm really happy I was able to go the one in Mexico, really just the best teachers and the best district too!

pic 1: Hermano Hernandez was seriously the best teacher, we were pretty blessed to have him!

pic 2: All of us new missionaries in Tuxtla

Hermana Leavitt before leaving the MTC in Mexico City.
Tuxtla Gutierrez here I come!

The Real World

Wow, I can't believe the time has come and I'm leaving to Tuxtla on Monday. I'm probably going to be lost for a week, or more, and I probably won't understand anyone for a while, but we can all tell that it's definitely time for us to go out into the field. 

It really stinks to say goodbye though. It's like leaving home again, but it's going to happen every six weeks, so I better get used to it. We hope that in two years we can all meet up again, but the part that stinks is that we're probably never going to see our teachers again, and they've made some really great impacts on us. 

How was General Conference! It was a really cool experience in the MTC! It was cool to have specific questions answered. I think my favorite session was probably Sunday morning, I really liked Brent H. Nielson's talk about the parable of the prodigal son. It's always been one of my favorite parables. And of course I liked Elder Holland's talk right after, he always reminds me of home. And he talked about Saint George and rockclimbing, so how could I not love it! But I know that Christ does know each of us personally, and that he knows what we are going to do and is there to help us. I am so grateful for Jesus Christ, and that he would perform the Atonement for each and every one of us so that we never have to be alone in our times of pain, and so that we are able to repent and try to become like him and live with our Heavenly Father again. 

Earlier this week as a district we studied Ether 2. It is really a cool chapter, and it's amazing how when you try to understand the verse itself you can learn so much from it. We probably only read 5 or 6 verses but we talked about it for over half an hour, I love our Book of Mormon study time. Something that I really learned was that we need to trust in the Lord. When Heavenly Father asks us to do something, he will provide a way. Sometimes we have to be tested though and try to find that way by our own means. But as long as we do our best, Heavenly Father will make up for the part that we fail to achieve, and it's by the grace of the Atonement this is able to happen. 

I love you all, and I'm really grateful for each and every one of you. Have a great week!

Hermana Leavitt 

​Sunrise's are beautiful in the mornings. Plus the time changed this weekend so we're up an hour earlier and actually get to enjoy them. 

​There's this little stone that we walk by every day, so we figured we should take a picture with it.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Happy Easter "Warning" There is a lot this week!

I'll start with the funny stuff this week!

1. So for fast Sunday we had to fast for dinner on Saturday and breakfast on Sunday. During those thimes it was just free time for us so on Saturday after class we taught our teacher how to play signs. It's a pretty fun game and we're all getting pretty good at it. Our teacher did pretty good for never playing before, but there were times you'd just hear him say 'estoy confundido', it was pretty funny. 

2. Earlier that same day I had told our teacher that we were fasting and wanted to teach him a game. Later he asked me again if I said I was fasting, and somehow I thought he asked if I had said I was in foster care, I'm still trying to figure out how I got that mixed up. It was a confusing couple of minutes until I realized what he really said, but I was pretty embarrased haha. 

3. Hermana Cook and I have been really trying to work on our Spanish more this wekk. On Monday we tried to speal solo espanol, it worked until about lunch time, but it really helped us a lot during our lessons and when we taught our investigator that day. We haven't tried another day yet but I'm going to try more because 1. it's getting really close to leaving here, just a week and half, and 2. I've already noticed how much harder it is to answer in spanish when I've been talking in english all day. But there was one day that we were walking to class and she just said, 'Yo quiero peaz.' (peace=paz) That's some true spanglish right there!

4. Last night we were working on our language study and it was pretty hard, so we decided to take a little break and walk around for a few minutes outside. Instead though we walked around and practiced our pronunciation and trying to roll our R's becasue neither of us can. We were definitely tired though because I'm pretty sure we laughed at eachother more that we actually spoke spanish, but it was great and much needed. 

5. I think the funniest thing that happened this week though was April Fools! We (hermanas in our district) didn't know what to do to the elders so before class started we told our teacher it was april fools day and explained it to him and asked if he would play a joke on them. Later he told all of us that we weren't using the language program correctly and that he got a thing from BYU saying a couple of the elders needed to start over and finish all the lessons before we leave or else they'd have to spend a couple hours in the offices while on their mission working in this program. I'm surprised they didn't catch it was a joke because we were all laughing and had to leave the room before we gave it away, and even our teacher told us he was going to kill us while he was in the middle of explaining all of this. Later he pulled us aside and said his mind was saying 'yes! this is so great' but in his heart he felt so bad. But he decided to just tell a couple of the elders because he knew they were really stressed out about it and that they have been working hard, but we can't tell the other elders until we're done with the program next week becasue he thinks that it will help them to really study the language more. It was really funny though, and we can't wait to see their reactions next week, and we hope that it does help them to use this program more because it's really helpful. 

So as you can see, it's been a really funny week, but there's been so much I've learned too, and the spirit has really been so strong in our classes. 

One of the things that we've really been talking about a lot this week is becoming more like Christ and remembering that we are his representatives. We really have almost talked about this every day, whether it be in our classes, and sometimes it wasn't even planned, and even in relief society. I've decided to work on being more patient, and I'm really learning a lot and I've found it's helping, but I have a ways to go. 

On Sunday we watched a talk by David A. Bednar about being Christlike that was really good. He really emphasized that as human beings when times get tough we tend to turn inward and think selfishly. He compared us to the cookie monster from sesame street, "give me more cookies! Give them to me now!" But when times were difficult for Christ, he still turned outward to help others. He encouraged us to find stories in the bible where he does this, and I also encourage you to do this too. And that as we try to become more like Christ, we won't just have a testimony of the gospel, but we will be converted to the gospel.

One of the other things that David A. Bednar shared to do was to buy a new Book of Mormon, just one of the cheap ones, and to think of a question about life or about the gospel in general. And to read that book of mormon with just that question and to mark it whenever there's something that helps or applies to that question. If we did this about every question we had, at the end of our lifetimes we would have a library full of answers to specific questions about this gospel, life, etc. We are going to try and do this, and for myself, I'm going to read the book of mormon and find how I can be more like Christ. I really encourage you to do this also, and to search the book of mormon with a specific question, because it will be answered. 

I just want to share with you a couple quotes that were shared this week. From Elder Robert D. Hales, "Our love of the savior is the key to savior-like obedience." And from Elder David A. Bednar "Saint means we become more like the savior." David A. Bednar shared with this, that sure, our ancestors may have come across the plains and have helped with so much of the work, but what are we doing now to become converted to this gospel?

One last thing is there is a new video about easter and the resurrection, I don't know what it's called exactly, but it's something like Because He is Risen. It's really good and I encourage you to find it and watch it. It's just a couple minutes. And also, watch conference! I'm really excited to watch it this weekend, and I know that if you have a question and write down not was they say, but what you hear through the spirit, you will receive revelation, especially for you question. 

I love you! Have a great week, and a great conference sunday and easter sunday!

Love, Hermana Leavitt

These are some of the latinas from our casa. They really helped us with our spanish and always told us that we needed to wear shoes haha. It was a really cool experience this week though. There are 5 rooms in each house, and there were about 10 or 11 latinas leaving and we all sang a hymn and prayed together and the spirit was so strong. I'm really grateful for that experience. And next time all of us from our house will be leaving, how cool is that!