Friday, July 12, 2013

Emma's Going To Peru!

Week 5

July 11, 2013

Hellloooo! Hope you all had a great week!
This week I found out I am flying to Peru on Monday! Before I thought it was very likely that we would be here for 7 weeks then be re-assigned for a while because that is what has been happening to groups of Peru missionaries that reported to the MTC before me. It was very exciting to find out we're going to Peru after only being in the MTC 5 1/2 weeks instead of 6 or 7. I feel very blessed that the timing worked out so perfectly! My companion and both my roommates and others are going too. We do not have our visas, but are traveling on our passports. I think we can be there for a while as tourists and our visas will come while we are there or something, although I am not exactly sure.

In other news, Spanish is still a trial. I am glad the Lord has blessed me with this opportunity to learn Spanish, and am also grateful that He knows me well enough that He knew that if He had given me a harder language I would have pulled out all of my hair by now. Peru will hopefully help me learn faster though as I try my best and rely on the Lord.

This week we were teaching a man on skype and I told him to keep Saturday holy. Oh dear. It was pretty funny though.

Fourth of July was pretty fun here. In the evening we had a speaker and watched 17 Miracles (seriously good movie about the pioneers that everyone should see) and sang patriotic hymns. We then went outside, ate Magnum Chocolate ice cream bars, and watched fireworks that were going on at the Stadium of Fire. They were pretty good fireworks too. It was pretty great 

 I saw Sister Megan Matheson today! Woot!

Mostly I don't have much to say about this week because the main highlight is Peru and I don't really remember much else that happened. I will be sad to say goodbye to my investigators (especially Bryan) and teachers (especially Hermana Haycock) at the MTC but there is sooooooo much to look forward to. This mission is just getting started! Trust in the Lord!

Love you all!
  Hermana Beckstead

Week 4 in the MTC

Week 4

July 4, 2013

Hey guys! Happy fourth of July! I hope you are having tons of fun on this excellent holiday! Here at the MTC, we celebrate the fourth of July by wearing red, white, and blue and by getting to watch fireworks tonight! We won't be at the stadium,  we will watch the stadium of fire fireworks from afar. Also, we are having a special devotional tonight as well.
On June 28, 2013, I woke up to a blaring fire alarm probably between 6:20 and 6:30. Surprisingly, I don't remember being very surprised, and my elementary school fire drill training kicked in. I put on some shoes, grabbed my keys, kicked out the doorstop (like we always do before we leave the residence. Safety, people, safety!) and filed outside. It didn't take very long before my mistake was pointed out. I LEFT MY COMPANION IN A POTENTIALLY BURNING BUILDING! I am a terrible human being. Poor Hermana Coffey had been showering at the time of the alarm. Even worse, I had kicked out the doorstop so she had to come outside in her robe. I am a terrible human being. Now since you all probably think I'm like the worst companion in the history of all time, I will tell you a story that is pretty much the opposite. In this story, we had just climbed the four levels of stairs to reach the level our classroom was on. There on the landing between the stairs and the hallway is this huge set of doors. On this particular day, Hermana Coffey was on the side of the doors closer to the classroom and I was on the side that was still on the landing. Suddenly, this weird alarm started going off (what is it with fire alarms here?) and the huge doors started to close. The doors were about closed and my companion was about to be out of my sight and sound. With desperation, I shoved my body through the narrow opening just as the gigantic automatic doors were closing. And for the record, this story happened before the fire alarm story, so I do have some loyalty to my companion.
On Sunday nights we get to watch a movie and this week we chose to watch the classic Mormon film, "Legacy". I love the pioneers and the movie is pretty tender, but Sunday I was reminded of the hilarity of the acting in this movie. There is a lady in the movie that says the classic line: "We will get to Zion, we will!" In this really obnoxious high pitched voice. If you don't know what I'm talking about, watch this movie right away. So many awesomely corny quotes to choose from. Also, the funny thing about watching Legacy in the MTC is that the film contains quite a few romantic scenes. When the pioneer guy kisses the pioneer girl (Eliza or Liza I think) applause and cheers erupt in the room.
 Sadly, the Provo Temple is now closed for cleaning, so we don't get to go anymore! This is sad, but I am glad I was able to have some good experiences there before I left. And maybe we will get to help clean it.
Visas. I don't know. But I heard of some missionaries in Wisconsin, I think, are getting their visas so they are now in Peru (or at least on their way, I'm not sure). So I hope that means that visas are coming in. If not, we will probably stay at the MTC for 7 weeks instead of 6 just in case the visas come, and then be reassigned somewhere in the US until they come.
On Sunday, our Relief Society speaker was Sherri Dew and she was incredible! One of my favorite things she said was- "Do you think Heavenly Father would risk the outcome of the last days by sending women He couldn't count on?" No, I don't think He would. I know the same idea is true for all of us here right now. If we weren't strong enough to handle it or not strong enough to help hasten the work of salvation on the earth right now, we simply wouldn't be here. We can do it! Also, it makes me think about sweet little Carson and Clara. They are super strong and awesome and are going to do a lot of amazing things during their lifetimes.
This week we got to teach a lesson to members who were native Spanish speakers. Via Skype. I was really nervous because this was like real people who are really good at Spanish! But it turned out. We talked with two young adult girls from and in Spain and they were awesome! They are both getting ready to serve missions! So it was really fun to talk with them. Sometimes I would have no clue what they had just said, and I must have had a blank face, because they would repeat themselves slower. It was fun because sometimes they would just laugh at us (in a fun way of course). I probably made lots of funny mistakes. One thing they would say is "que why", which I guess is a term for "cool" in Spain. We asked them if they knew what cool was in Peru and she said no idea but to me it sounded like it was word cause it was all cool and fast and Spanish-y. I repeated back to her, oh "noidea." Then they laughed some more. They had to explain what they had said. They had no idea what it was, not that the word for cool was "no idea". Haha oh dear. I have a long ways to go, but I definitely wouldn't have been able to do that when I entered the MTC, so I have learned. Plus, the Spirit will help me when they know I need it most.

This week I found a real live pear in the cafeteria! Not canned, but real! Not exactly sure why that was the only day I've ever seen one, but I ate it and boy, was it good.

This week we had the opportunity to be new missionary hosts. It was kind of fun to do something different than just class and I had fun showing the sister I hosted to her residence, to the bookstore for her books, and to her classroom. However, it was also bittersweet. Watching people say goodbye to their families made me sad because it kind of brought back my own drop off. I got to see the other side though. I know when I was dropped off, after I hugged and said goodbyes I just tried not to cry because that would make everything harder and I just followed my host and the instructions they gave me and tried not to think about how sad it was. But this time I watched the families cry and drive away without their missionaries and it made me really sad. So I don't really want to host again, but we'll see.

This week we were playing a game to practice learning weather words. Each team would send a representative. An English word would be given, and the representative had to try and say the Spanish word first. One of my teammates was up there with the word snow. The word for snow, is nevar, and I am still my competitive, sneaky little self, so I said to my team mate, "I hope it neeevvvar snows!".  

We are supposed to be learning Spanish but I think we have also started creating our own language. For example, a favorite reply of ours is, its true, or es verdad. Unfortunately, this is incorrect of something, so we had to start saying " es la verdad". Over the course of a week or so, as we spoke faster and less clearly and correctly, a new word was born(of Elder Stirling I think). The new word is slobberdog. If we say it fast, you can hardly even tell it's not Spanish. Spanish, I am so sorry for slaughtering you. You poor little language.

We have matching Peru Shirts. Cuatro Cuadro is going well, but now we also play some basketball.

Anyways, I'm having lots of fun here, but I am also trying to be a better missionary, and use more of my heart, might, mind, and strength. I am really tired every night, but I try to work even harder so that I am exhausted every night. It's how it should be.

Love you guys!
Hermana Beckstead

The Work of Salvation

Week 3

June 27, 2013

The apostles, first presidency (supposedly), and the mission presidents have been here this week to train the new mission presidents. I heard Hermana Hansen say on the way to our room, "maybe we will seen an opossum." Or at least that's what I heard. Really she said, "Maybe we will see an apostle." Sunday Hermana Coffey and Hansen spotted Elder Christoferson they thought, but I missed it so I just saw the back of him. Because they have been using building 1M for training the mission presidents, we have been eating most of our meals in the gym. I won't go into too much detail, but I never thought I would be so happy to return to eating regular MTC food in the cafeteria. The best part of the the mission presidents being here, though, is that I GOT TO MEET MINE! The missionaries here at the MTC going to the Peru Cusco Mission met with President Harbertson and his wife. I love them a lot. Something interesting is that my mission president and his wife don't even have their visas yet. They are going to Peru July 1st on a tourist visa I think is what it's called. There are 100 MTC graduates serving the US waiting for a visa to go to Peru. 75% of the missionaries in my mission are Latino, and about half of those missionaries are from Peru, so good chance I will get to be trained by a native Peruvian. He also said that Cusco is just like the quaint city we think it is. It is as awesome as we are imagining! Our mission has 11 zones. The lake Titicaca area with the floating islands has a dedicated chapel on one of the islands built out of reeds. Then he gave us some awesome advice. It made me really excited to get to Peru!

 On Sunday we got to go to the worldwide broadcast. It was kind of stressful at first because everyone kept hinting at some huge announcement. We were told of the "historic announcement" that was going to be made. That made us crazy because our imagination was going wild with all our guesses of what it could be. Are they opening China? Are they going to let sisters serve 2 years? At the beginning of the meeting we were just going nuts with anticipation. Well, the announcement wasn't nearly that big, but still very cool. I'm not sure how quickly the internet will get to Peruvian missionaries, but we see. I think the church tours are going to be really cool too. I am really excited for missionary work to become even more effective as missionaries and members work together better. I also had the wonderful opportunity to be in the huge choir. I watched our song later, and you could see Hermana Coffey teeny tiny in the background. I was standing right next to her, but my face was covered with a larger (on TV), much closer up person. The apostles weren't facing us, but it was fun because they would turn around and watch sometimes. I especially love love love Elder Nelson for turning around and waving at the missionaries with his cute smile on his face. I also really liked when Elder Scott looked right at me and gave me a thumbs up. Okay, maybe not right at me, but maybe so. It's hard to tell.

Quatro Quadro is going well. We played with our district and it was super fun. It gets intense. Someone told me it looks like I'm doing like a tennis stroke while I play. So that's probably why I'm doing well at it. I am also very pleased with the term-"You just got Becksteaded" that I have heard used a couple times. Four square makes me very happy. Not as happy as the gospel, but it's definitely up there.
      Welp, I love you all a lot. And I love your emails and letters and dear elders! Please keep letting me know how things are going for you! I love hearing about it!
Love you!
Hermana Beckstead

I love the gospel!
 Mormon messages are the best.  Tell everyone to watch them!

Really good quote from the broadcast: "As we act in faith, the blessings are different than we expected, but better than we imagined."