Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Last Week of Training

So this week... was my last week of training.. what?! yes!! haha. tomorrow they tell us about cambios, if I stay, if I go, if I train... I´m kinda terrified to train I am SO not ready. But if that is what the Lord wants, I guess I will do it. and wednesday morning we switch! Its gonna be weird not to be with Hermana Espinoza and have a new companion, but I´m excited for a new experience. I´ll let you know next week what happens! dun, dun, dun, dun....

And the good news of this week is... OUR INVESTIGATORS CAME TO CHURCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 3 of them!!!! One of them comes every week- they´re just waiting for the girls divorce papers to come so they can get married and he can get baptized. and another already knows its true and loves it all, she just needs 2 more times in church before she can get baptized. and the other is diligently searching an answer todavia...uh.. still
We were so excited!! and we found some more menos activos that want to come back to church and have her kids baptized. so we´re gonna work with them too! Well.. whoever stays here will work with them. I don´t wanna leave! And then again I do.. Change is good, and I can have like a new start but with more experience and the ability to actually understand and kinda speak spanish.. but i love the people here and I dont want to leave them! there is more work to be done here in Reducto. I´m so torn... the good thing is I will not be the one making the choice. I will go wherever the lord needs me, and be both happy and sad no matter which thing happens.

Well, thats it. Love you all!!
Talk to you soon :)

Hermana Urie

Monday, December 9, 2013

Thinking in Spanish

¡hola familia!

alright, time is seriously flying by. in one week i will have been out for 4 months!! what?!  yeah, thats loco. it`s basically great here. I was lying in my bed last night trying to fall asleep (unfortunately it still takes me like    45  minutes to fall asleep and i`m  basically exhausted every day, but hey, at least i`m not falling asleep in the lessons  like i did in that first week). Anyway, i was thinking... in SPANISH!!!! hahaha yes!! unfortunately, this morning i woke up thinking in English. . but hey, it`s coming along.
so i was thinking, and one thing i thought was, i`m gonna be really sad next week if they change me to a different area. I love it here, and we`re finally starting to find people that are ready for the gospel! i love it. i love the mission. it`s wonderful. oh and thank you my dear familia for the package. I have opened the box because i wanted the christmas decorations and the nutella, but the rest of the things are still in their packages, waiting till christmas. If there`s anything important that you want that I open before then, tell me and i will bust open the presents!! :)

So this week in Paraguay.
We were NOT attacked by any dogs this week! success!! but we also didn't practice the rock throwing thing in district meeting.. I was a little disappointed, but hey I`ll probably survive.
So I encountered a sad situation this week. we got the name of a less active family from one of the members this week, so we stopped by to talk to them. we found the mother and some kids outside of their house and started talking to them. and the mom was not at all interested in talking to us. and she started talking about how she doesn`t believe any of it anymore and that we are young and have no idea and no experience  and one day we´ll wake up, etc etc. and it basically broke my heart. this woman learned so much, was baptized and everything, and then fell away. and nothing we said made any difference to her. I seriously almost started crying, I just wanted to say,  please come back, repent, Christ can help you with all of this!! but she refused to listen. the sad part of missionary work.
but the funny part is that the elders were waiting for us to come to an activity during this and they called us to ask where we were, and hermana espinoza accidently answered instead of ignored and they listened to part of the conversation and told us later.. haha oops.

Anyway, back to spiritualness. so recently was some fireside or devotional or something by Elder Ballard. (I'm not exactly sure, we just go to the quote later on) and he says that if EVERY member of the church reaches out and invites ONE person to come unto the Christ and the gospel before Christmas, MILLIONS will feel the love of Christ this Christmas season. I don`t know the exact quote, you guys can find it, but its so true!! and how hard is that right. one person. and, they may not be a golden investigator and get baptized in 2  weeks. But they will feel the love of Christ in their life!! so I am reiterating that challenge to all my family and friends and whoever else happens to read this. Contact 1 person before Christmas. Invite them to church, to meet the missionaries, to learn more, to come unto Christ. Christmas is the time for miracles.

Alright, Teresa asked a question. No its true we do not have thanksgiving here in Paraguay. and not really any other holidays around this time other than Christmas.... EXCEPT....
Calcupe! hahaha. But as member of the church we do not celebrate this holiday. it is something about the virgin calcupe, its like the  `saint` for catholics of Paraguay or something and there's  this huge worship thing that happens December 8 in the city cacupe.  so half our investigators couldn`t come to church this week because they were in cacupe :/ hey what can ya do.

Anyway, that's all I remember right now.. so love you!! adios!!

hermana Urie

Monday, December 2, 2013


She sy porá, and the rest of my wonderful family as well (see bottom for translation),

Alright, this week... que paso... no recuerdo muy bien. time just FLIES.

So this week we had tons of rain. Going to ward council yesterday was fun. We live like 4 minutes from the capilla. So we left as it was just starting to sprinkle, it got worse, and by the time we got to the church, we were complete soaked. But hey, that's just Paraguay right? Oh and when we came home, our apartment was a little flooded because we forgot to strategically place the buckets, pots, and bowls around our house to catch the water from the leaks. But nothing was ruined, so todo esta bien!

This last week we had a zone conference! And not just like the monthly meeting with the zone. It was at the mission office with like 3 or 4 other zones, and we had a member of the 70 there! Elder Avila, de Argentina. It was so purete!! (Guarani for ´cool´- the missionaries use it all the time here) We learned about being guided in the work by the spirit and doing things the Lord´s way. How he wants it, not how we want it, because he knows better than we do. And then the other half was like major, spiritual pep talk thing. They shared a quote by Elder Holland that I really like that says ¨Salvation never was easy. It wasn´t for Him, it won´t be for us either." (something like that, mas or menos) and how the Lord is with us to bear us up. (it was a lot better than that but I have limited time and writing skills, so I can´t really do it justice right now.) Oh and they shared the thought that dad shared with me last week about how we can´t help people úp the mountain´(to salvation/Christ) without going there ourselves; taking the journey with them, etc. Muy poderoso, muy purete.

Next thing... So we´re having a little difficulty getting our investigators to come to church right now, BUT. tons of menos activos are starting to come back!! And the members are getting more excited about helping out with missionary work, and building each other up and doing home teaching and visiting teaching. So that's good (cuz seriously we have a ton of less actives here-gotta fix that).

Well that´s basically it. Except that we almost got attacked by dogs AGAIN on Wednesday, but I tried the ´pretend to throw a rock at it´ thing and it worked this time!! Elder Oscco (district leader) says we´re going to practice tomorrow in district meeting.. I´m not sure if he´s kidding or serious, but I wouldn´t be surprised if we did. haha

Oh and there are some weird sounding animals here. I´m not sure if they´re birds or frogs or what (did i tell you about the HUGE frogs here?) but its strange. I love it!

Anyway, eso no mas. Love you all hope everything is going splendidly!!

Until next week :)
Hermana Urie

p.s. o´ky (the y in Guarani is pronounced by shaping your mouth like you´re gonna say ´eeee´ and actually making an ´ooo´ noise) is Guarani for rain :)

She sy porá is Guarani for "my beautiful mother". The y is that same "ooo" sound and the á (supposed to be a squiggly line like ñ not ´ but I don't know how to do that on the computer) is really nasally (pronounce up in the nose). This is difficult to explain, find someone who knows guarani to show you! haha love you!!!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Learning Guarani

bueno, entonces. This semana was, well pretty great overall. It`s still hard of course and I get a little impatient when I`m speaking a sentence perfectly in Spanish and the people still don`t understand me for some reason, but I love it. And I`m starting to learn some Guarani! So that`s fun! The people love it when you talk in Guarani. They could be staring at you cold as a rock, and you say, "Mbaechapa" (Como esta/hola) and their faces light up and they say "Ipona" (muy bien) and todo esta bien and from that moment on they love you! Well, that`s not always how it happens, but a good share of the time.

So this last week I think the Lord was teaching me patience and faith. Most of our teaching appointments fell through and we spent a good share of the week walking around Reducto trying to find our investigators or new people to teach. Lots of contacting. haha. And I was thinking "I`ve been improving. My Spanish is the best it`s ever been, I can understand the people, I`m teaching more, I`m teaching better, I`m trying harder, I`m really trying to follow the Spirit in everything I do and love the people and etc. etc., so why are all of our appointments following through! Why is everyone rejecting our message? and why are we finally finding the few people in Paraguay that dont kindly tell you no, but attack your beliefs, tell you your crazy, and just want to contend." But throughout the week, with all our experiences, things I was studying in the scriptures, and my companion`s constant optimism and hope, I finally started to realize a couple things.
First, the scripture in Ether 6 that says before you receive miracles there is always a trial of your faith. And I realized, I need to have diligence and keep going and keep trying and keep improving and have faith that the miracles WILL come, and then have patience and remember that they will come in the LORD`S time, not mine.
Second, as 2 Nephi 2:27 dice, people have their agency. Which sometimes can be really frustrating. haha. Sometimes you just want to shake people and say, "this is it! you want happiness, this is the way! choose the right!" and make them follow the commandments and come unto Christ. However, that kinda defeats the whole purpose of them CHOOSING the right doesnt it. They have to choose it. We can give them all the info and show them the way and do all we can to encourage them to follow it, teaching and testifying with the Spirit. But ultimately it is up to them. That is God`s plan. And after we do all we can, we have to pray and hope and have faith that one day, they will choose to accept the truth and act on it.
And third, even in these times when it seems like nothing is going right, there are still miracles. Everyday this week, at the end of the day, I could look back and find AT LEAST one miracle. Whether it was with one of our investigators that we did find who felt the Spirit and was really interested and wanted to know more, or helping out a member family with a problem they`re having, or finding someone in our contacts who truly wants to learn more, or even during those times when the people were attacking our beliefs and telling us we`re wrong- all that did was strengthen my testimony of this gospel even more as I thought about it and realized that I truly know that its true, and teach me to love those people and show them kindness no matter what they say or do. Everyday, there were miracles with other people and miracles for myself. This is hard, I know it is. But I am learning so much, and if I can help just one person come a little closer to Christ this week, as long as I keep trying my best and following the spirit, then at least I know I`m doing what God wants me to do, and its a success. story time. Today we almost got attacked by more dogs. but we backed up and their owners came in time. We were meeting the elders and they were running up, so they saw our pathetic run away thing. But hey, i tried the trick they taught me about how to scare the dogs away (pretned to pick up a rock and throw it at the dogs) and it DID NOT WORK. But hey, i`m alive, so all is well.

Anyway, that`s it for this week. Love you!! yayu topata (nos vemos/...we´ll see you later... )


Hermana Urie

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Strange Weather


So the weather is a bit strange here. One day we are walking down a
lone and dusty road and about to collapse because of the heat (okay
maybe I´m being a tad dramatic but not much) and then 2 hours later we
are huddled under plastic garbage bags running through the pouring
rain. Haha. and to answer kristi´s question. Technically it´s "spring"
but, at least in my unexperienced opinion, this is totally summer. But
I hear it gets a LOT hotter in December, January, and February. So
that will be a blast. The people here get cold at night sometimes, but
to me it feels like a day in May so its fine. But apparently july is
pretty chilly.

The work is great! While of course there are many disappointments all
the time due to the fact that people have their agency and often
choose not to accept the truth or keep commitments, there are all so
many miracles. For instance...
My one baptism so far. She stopped reading the Book of Mormon for a
few weeks, missed 2 and a half of the last 3 weeks of church, stopped
coming to the activities and was starting to have lots of trouble in
her life. We are startin to get a little worried about her. But
yesterday, she came to church! On her own, without us passing by or
reminding her! And she was really excited and happy to be there! And
says she wants to come to church every week from now on. Small

Another miracle.. We are having a baptism this Saturday! The problem
we had this week with her was this.. So when we started teaching her a
couple weeks ago, her ex-boyfriend/father of her children was living
at her house. Different rooms, they are totally separated, she said he
was just their for his kids and at first we were told this was fine.
But this week the zone leaders said, didn´t matter if they weren´t
together anymore, he still had to move out. So we spent a fair amount
of time practicing how to tell her in a simple, direct, loving, non
awkward way that she can´t get baptized until he finds somewhere else
to live. Well we get there, teach the law of chastity and then Hermana
Espinoza is like "Part of keeping this commandment and preparing to
get baptized is that you cant live with your ex-novio" and Rosa is
like "no. no no no no no. We don´t live together"
Appárently when we started teaching her, he was visiting his kids for
like 3 or 4 days and then went back to his own house in San Lorenzo...
So that´s why we haven´t seen him the last 2 weeks! haha
So she´s all set and ready and excited to get baptized this Saturday.
And she really loves this gospel and is ready to change her life and
raise her kids in the gospel. I´m so excited! This gospel is amazing!

Also, we had intercambios this week with the Sister Training leaders
(we do once every cambio) and I was with Hermana West again! Yay! I
freaking love her! They are in our zone so we see them quite a bit.
She is so excited about the work and always has so many things to help
me with whatever problems I´m having at the time. She kinda reminds me
a bit of Nessa and Savannah. So that was fun. And I learned so much
that I´m trying to apply in my teaching and everything to improve.
Cause I need to improve. haha mostly I´m worried about my Spanish. I
can understand so much now it´s so cool! ..but I still can´t speak
well at all. haha at least the people understand me mas o menos, and
they´re really patient and listen to my slow, gramatically horrible
Spanish. haha

Anyway, we have some new investigators too that we´re really excited
about with fechas in Deciembre (para bautismo), so hopefully they will
all work out and we´ll have like 3 or 4 baptisms right before cambios.
Wow, I can´t believe I´ve been here in Paraguay for almost 2 months
now! The last month has seriously flown by. Anyway, time to wrap it
up. I dont have time to send pics this week, but I will send like 20
first thing next week! haha
 Oh and dad isnt in the stake presidency?! Or a bishop?! Okay, I feel
lost, I can´t remember the meaning of life! My whole world just
exploded. I literally can´t remember a time in my life when dad wasn´t
bishop or 1st counselor in the stake presidency. Okay, really vague
memories when it was Bishop Sitake, but still.
haha anyway..

Love you so much!!

Hermana Urie

Monday, November 11, 2013


So I dont really remember anything that happened at this point in time... Oh yeah!! Cambios!! I am now in.....(drum roll...)..... the same place. With the same trainer! Yay! No cambio for me. But the elders in our ward both left and have been replaced with 2 new elders. They are both from Utah
but they are both half Latino so Im now the only blonde-ish "gringa" (and yes I am kinda blonde now. The sun has totally bleached my hair). But they speak English!! Seriously its great. I know I still need to learn Spanish, but still. And they have both been here for 3 months longer than I have and one of them is district leader! Seriously they´re moving up the time for leadership positions. Which means I´ll probably be training next cambio. um.. no. haha so not ready for that. But we´ll see.

Anyway, we were going to have a baptism this Saturday.. but she didnt come to church yesterday so we have to put it back a week.. again. One of the hardest things is getting people to come to church! But we´re workin on it.

I´m trying so hard to remember this week and legitamately I can´t. It went by SO fast. Probably because I´m finally figuring out how to lose myself in the work. And I can actually understand most of what people talk about! And then reply and they can understand.. kind of.. I hope. haha anyway, I´m getting more involved in the teaching and I´m really starting to love it out here.

Oh yeah, mom wanted to know more about my companion. Her name is Hermana Espinoza, she is 23 years old, she´s de Peru, and she´s been in the mission exactly one year longer than I have. And I´m her 3rd hija (trainee). At first was a little difficult because I couldn´t speak Spanish super well and she couldn´t speak English super well, so that was fun. But Im actually really impressed with how well she speaks English!- she´s had a lot of American companions. and sometimes we study English during language study because the Latino missionaries are supposed to learn English tambien. Anyway, things are really great now that we can actually communicate better, but yeah shes great. And shes learned a lot here in the mission. I´ve been learning so much from her.

So today, we get to go practice with the choir again which means I get to see Hermanas Thacker and Mills and Macintyre and West! (hermana Macintyre was in our group from the CCM and Hermana West is my sister trainer leader. She´s also in our zone so we see her quite a bit. She is amazing!! I have learned SO MUCH from her already. And she was only in the mission 7 months when she became a sister trainer leader! Loco!) Anyway, the choir is like my cielo (heaven). I miss music! And this Wednesday.. D. Todd Christofferson!! Yay!

Anyway, time is short. Love you tons!! I´m trying to sen pics but no funciona muy bien. so we´ll see...

Hermana Urie

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sorry This is Gonna Be Insanely Short

So the internet place here doesn't work super well and I just wasted my first half an hour. Nothing I did saved and I´m now on a different computer that actually works but I have to start completely over so I only have 25 minutes of internet time today. I will write a lot more letters to send to make up for it. I promise and I´m sorry. I love you!!

So this week was full of adventure. In like a week and a half D Todd Christofferson is coming!! yay!! so there are some missionaries in a choir and we´re going to sing, so last p-day we went to the office to practice... and i saw Hermana Mills and Hermana Thacker!!!!!!!! You have no idea how excited i was. Me and H. Mills saw each other, squealed and screamed and hugged and jumped up and down and said "i love you i miss you so much i just love you" over and over again. It was great. then we freaked out again when we saw Hna. Thacker. It´s crazy how much has happened since we all last saw each other. We had so many stories and just wanted to talk, but we focused on the singing instead. But that's okay cuz we saw each other again on Wednesday!! Yay!!
Wednesday we had like a "test" thing to see how our training was going and sign some legal papers.. not really sure.. so everyone that came this last cambio with me was there and I got to see my companñeras and the elders from our district in the CCM! Then we actually got to talk. Elder Fox already has 3 baptisms!! and Elder Jardine and H. Mills are learning quite a bit of Guarani! So cool.
anyway, fun fun.. Oh and our choir sounds amazing by the way! (oh and if you have any friends in this mission, don't tell them about this till after Elder Christofferson comes cuz were supposed to keep it on the DL for now-its a surprise..

Okay, last week I read the 4th missionary. It is AMAZING!! Please read it. It´s good for life even if you aren´t a missionary.

funny story for the week. I accidently tripped over a frog. Well kinda kicked it and then realized what it was and freaked out. just so ya know, the frogs here are HUGE, like "some as big as your head" (name that movie!)-- but seriously. They are awesome.

Your missionary,
Hermana Urie

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Month #2 in the Field

Alright, month #2 in the field begins.

This week had ups and downs. Overall it was great. I can finally understand most of what the people say (the more gospel related the easier to understand, but the rest is getting better too), but talking is still pretty dificult. It´s okay, I´m getting better.

So last Saturday we had a service project- cleaning a river. Awesome right? well basically we just picked up garbage and leaves and stuff on the bank of the river, cleared lots of dead branches, and cut down a couple trees with machetes. And yes, I did use help with that last part. I´ll send pictures of that next week :)
There were tons of missionaries there. It was weird seeing all of them in jeans and t-shirts instead of skirts and suits. And it was weird to wear jeans. Haven´t done that for a while.

Also last Saturday we were supposed to have a baptism (Deisy´s sister Liz) pero right before her baptismal interview she changed her mind because she was unsure. Later she told us she feels like everything is moving too fast and she wants to know more about the church. She really likes the church and the book of mormon and everything we´re teaching her and says she knows it´s true, but just doesn´t want to get baptized yet. As she was telling us this and a few of her other concerns, I was just so sad because I know she knows its true and that it can help her so much, she just doesn´t realize how great of a blessing this can be in her life yet. But we´re going to keep teaching her, and we set another baptismal date for November 9 in 2 weeks, so hopefully by then she´ll be able to resolve all her doubts and know for sure that this is the true church and be excited for her baptism.fingers crossed! And she came to church Sunday so that´s wonderful. We actually had 3 investigators come to church this Sunday! So exciting!

So no more exciting dog stories this week, but I do have another wonderful story I think you will enjoy. So to preface this.. aqui in Paraguay, the personas greet each other either with a handshake or the whole cheek to cheek thing on both sides/kiss on each cheek (you know what I´m referring to-hard to explain in writing). As sister missionaries, we only do the cheek thing with women and handshakes with men. so now to my story. A couple Sundays ago we were at church. In our ward we have us and a companionship of elders serving. The elders have an investigator, a man about.. 40 or 50 years old, not really sure. Well, he likes to drink, and this particular Sunday he was slightly, a little bit.. yeah. So we walk up to greet the people (because you greet everyone here that you pass whether you know them or not because otherwise its just rude- it takes like 5 minutes for everyone to greet everyone else at the beginning of activities), and this investigator shakes my companions hand. Then i put out my hand to shake his. He grabs my hand with one hand and my shoulder with the other, pulls me in and kisses me on the cheek. The elder hurried and grabbed him and pulled him off and I was just flustered and walked away. Then I heard Elder Nelson saying "Don´t do that. Don´t ever do that, okay?" Later we were talking and he said he thought the guy kissed me on the lips and he was like "I'm sorry, I am so sorry!" haha, it was hilarious.

Anyway, I can´t remember anything else right now. I´ll write more about my exciting Paraguay life next week. I love you all! Keep writing me!! Be safe!

Monday, October 21, 2013

One Month In!

So again, no time. but I will tell some stories.

I got attacked by a dog in the street last week. I don´t know if I´ve told you yet, but there are tons of dogs here in Paraguay, who knows how many of them actually belong to people, But seriously they are everywhere on the streets and almost everyone has at least one. So last week my companion got bit by a dog, and so the next day we´´re walking down the street and a dog is following us and barking, so I turn to snap at it and try to get it to go away, and then I see someone pointing behind me. So I start turning to see what it is, and this huge dog is suddenly right there and tries to bite me. It didn´t get me but it got my dress so there is this huge hole in my favorite dress, and a bruise on my leg.. but no bite!! yay! the lord is protecting us! anyway, I´m hoping that's the only time I get attacked by a dog.
We got a lot of new investigators this week! hopefully they will actually read the book of mormon and pray. That´s the hardest thing- getting people to keep commitments. If they would do that, I know so many of them would gain a testimony and understand the beauty of the gospel and want to come. It´s just getting them to take that first step.
Anyway, out of time, and I´m sorry i didn´t send any pictures, I forgot my cord. But next week for sure! I also forgot my list of things I wanted to email about, so I can´t remember anything that happened this week. And I´ll start sending letters that will be longer, I promise!! I love you all so much!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Week 3 in Paraguay

Alright, again no time.
Conference was amazing and we got to watch it ALL in ENGLISH!! YAY!! and the Relief society session too!
Quickly before i forget.... Dad, happy birthday 3 weeks ago!! I always remembered like an hour after we finished emailing! Teresa happy birthday next Sunday!! and Catherine happy birthday the next week!! love you all, you are amazing.
We had the first baptism Saturday!! She was late, and I was totally like "no! she´s not going to come!" but she did. She really has been a miracle. She´s so ready and excited. We were teaching her her last lesson before baptism and she was like, "why didn´t you guys come a year ago? I´ve been waiting for you." (because she wanted to get baptized before but her dad wouldn´t let her and then she has to change some things in her life, but she did and has been waiting for missionaries to come ever since) I am so excited for her! She´s already learned so much. It´s really a miracle.
We also had our first Paraguayan rainstorm! yay! it was (mostly) in the morning so we didn't have to work in it, but its been muddy ever since and continues to rain off and on. Sorry i haven´t sent any pictures, i promise i will next week first thing!
 I´m out of time but i love you more than anything!! Have a great week!!

Monday, October 14, 2013

1st Letter - CCM

Beautiful Familia!! Oct. 7, 2013 (& Oct 14, 2013)
Alright, my first letter!
   So technically I’m in Paraguay right now, but I’m going to write about México because Mom asked about life in the CCM.

The CCM was amazing. Seriously one of the best experiences of my life. I miss it so incredibly much! So Basicallly we studied all day. Haha. We woke up at 6:15 (companion choice, CCM norm was 6:30), had personal study, went to breakfast in the comedor (cafeteria), & then went back to our classrooms for 4 hours of: teaching our ‘progressing investigator’ – Jonathan (who was actually our teacher Hermano Lloyd), then class: language, teaching (learning how & practicing), studying the Book of Mormom or preach my Gospel – etc. Then lunch! Oh! I forgot! Gym was originally at night, but the 2nd week they switched our schedule, so it was right after breakfast (only 3 hours of class in the morning) We played volleyball almost everyday: me & my compañeras, Elders Robinson, Fox, & Jardine (from our district), & the other people changed a lot (some left the CCM, new people  came, etc.) It was so fun. I now love volleyball, though I’m still super bad at it.
   So after lunch, we had personal study, then language study (with companions – and/or elders in our district.) Which we usually did outside on the beautiful CCM campus, with the sun, gras, mountain views, birds, & constant honking & sirens. Oh how I miss that.
But really.
      Then we had class for another 3 hours: other ‘progressing investigator’ (Hermano Tapia – our other teacher (our afternoon teacher) – he’s a native Mexican & speaks very little English – both our teachers were absolutely the sweetest men ever. Oh & Hermano Castallenos taught with Hno. Tapia for a couple of weeks because he was training him or something. Hno. Castellanos was our first ‘investigator’ Ulisses the first week we were here); more language learning, & learning fundamentals or practicing teaching, and then TRC – where we taught other missionaries who sometimes pretended to be nonmembers, sometimes were just themselves. We only had TRC on Thursdays. The TRC in Provo has members volunteer & pretend to be investigators (me & Nessa volunteered there once), but Mexico rarely has people come in so we teach each other. Then dinner! Oh & on Wednesdays after lunch we had service project. (like sweeping & breaking the ‘C’ on the CCM sign… I’m actually surprised how quickly they fixed that.”
    After dinner… we wasted a lot of time, haha. It was back in the classroom for 30 min ‘Additional study,’ 30 min. ‘Language study,’ TALL for an hour (Language practice on the computer program “TALL”), then 30 min for Daily Planning Session. Since our schedule was mostly there for us, we spent most that time talking/spiritual thought as a district. Honestly we didn’t get tons done after dinner. The district just talked a lot. Some got more done than others. And the last couple weeks TALL didn’t work, so another hour to talk/learn. Wow, I miss elders so much! They’re so fun. I miss our elders. They were amazing! And I miss my trio. Trios can have so much fun. It’s a little hard to be in a trio, with 8 great elders you are with almost 14 hours a day for 6 weeks, & tons of other missionaries you see & talk to everyday – and then suddenly be in a companionship of two, & you only see the 4 elders in your district a couple times for a couple hours a week. I miss missionaries surrounding me all the time. The CCM is seriously an AMAZING place!! I really can’t tell you how much I miss it.
   P-day: every other week was the temple, which took out a good 5 or 6 hours of the day w/the bus time, waiting, & session (s) – but was amazing. We got to see the city & we sang hymns on the bus. WE did laundry, once played sports, Hna. Thacker got a haircut, took naps, took pictures, read scriptures, printed & read emails, then returned and wrote back later, cleaned, went to the tienda (store) on campus, the post office (again on campus), etc. Sometimes just relaxed & talked. It was a fun, much needed break. And our P-day was Tuesday, so after dinner instead of returning to normal day classes, we had devotional (every Tuesday) so P-day really was a great break if you had it Tuesday.
    Then Sunday (this is what mom actually asked about-realized that after I started writing the – sorry!)
6:30 – wake up (slept in a bit to normal time Sundays & P-days),
7:00 – personal study – at the casa instead classroom (but we usually ended up taking more time to look cute for Sunday)
8:00 – breakfast (all meals on Sunday are 15 minutes later than usual) in the comedor (but Sunday breakfasts were just HUGE juice boxes & cereal with warm milk – unless you came right after they brought out more milk, then it was cold – they also had apples & sometimes a sandwich of some kind – usually fair questionable. The workers didn’t work Sunday mornings – which is great! – but also meant breakfast wasn’t as extravagant). Sorry, more information than you needed…
9:00 – Relief Society – ALL Hermanas (English speaking) together in the auditorium. Hermana Pratt (wife of CCM Presidente Pratt) taught if every week. – It was always amazing. & in English. (:
10:00 – Priesthood/ additional study time for Hermanas. (This was when I usually wrote my talk for the week, wouldn’t have time to translate it to Spanish, and prayed I wouldn’t be called on to speak.)
11:00 – District Meeting (which we did as a zone, but the last week figured out we were the only zone doing it as a whole zone instead of districts & the last week we changed to only as a district :( - at least we only did that once before leaving It was more fun as a zone. Oh, and this was basically Sunday School.) – Also in English!!
11:50 – Sacrament Meeting (as a zone/branch) The only meeting on Sunday in Español (mostly). We usually had 6 speakers – sometime more if there was extra time. They didn’t tell us who would speak until we started. Fast Sunday is wonderful because no one is nervous that they might have to speak 5 minute talks Our topics included: Restoration (week 1), resurrection (week 2), fast Sunday, the sacrament, don’t remember week 5, & the Atonement week 6 (I was sure I wouldn’t speak, didn’t prepare a talk went quite well though & was almost all in Spanish so yay! So I talked twice, Hermana Mills talked twice, Hermana Mills talked twice, & Hna. Thacker didn’t talk at all! There were 4 in our district that didn’t speak at all actually. Oh yeah! Week 5 was Charity. I actually wanted to speak that week. Charity is my favorite topic like ever. It’s so beautiful. But later that week I gave the spiritual thought in district at the end of the day & used some of that material I’d prepared to share about charity & Christlike attributes. So Bueno.
1:00 – lunch (Sunday lunch was always AMAZING & always had ice cream).
2:00 – class w/MTC Presidency. A.K.A. naptime. More people slept during this meeting than any other meeting all week long. Afternoon, right after lunch – bad time. I fell asleep hardcore during this the 1st 3 weeks, then I stayed awake most the time the last 3 weeks. This is all English speaking missionaries in the auditorium. Almost always President Pratt, but sometimes other Presidency member. It was like another Sunday School for the whole MTC – this is where he talked about not during tie swaps (see earlier email about tie swaps). Great lessons but hard to stay awake. He often told us to hit/elbow our companions to wake them up for really important parts of the lesson. Hilarious. & in English
3:00-4:15 – study time (in the classroom – so just talking to the elders) / Interviews w/Branch President. We met with him twice during our MTC stay.
4:30 – MTC Devotional – YAY! Usually devotionals (Sunday & Tuesday devotionals) were previous Provo MTC devotionals that the CCM has on DVD. Those were always members of the Quorum of the 12. A few times we had life devo.’s by Elder Holland. He’s absolutely amazing & so powerful. Again in English the live one was once both (he spoke Spanish & someone translated) – the only devo. That the American & Latin missionaries had together.
6:30 – dinner. Then additional study time until the movie at 8:00, but we usually went straight to the auditorium to get good seats (same for devotional). If you aren’t there at least 15 minutes early you don’t get good seats. So we went early & saved seats for our whole district to sit together. This is when me & Hna. Mills would sing with whoever was playing piano. The piano was up on the stage (and a baby grand, so it sounded good). It was great. Once after, Presidente Pratt thanked us & said we had the voices of angels. (: Sometimes, other missionaries would come join us. Usually the same elders everytime, but not always. It was so fun to get to sing. And Hna. Mills is an amazing singer so we sounded good too!
8:00 – The MOVIE!!!
    Each week we watched an LDS movie, basically what we looked forward to every Sunday. Haha, no it was all amazing!
    The movies we watched during our stay were (again in English): The Testaments, Legacy, the Joseph Smith Restoration movie, The John Tanner story/movie, the one with Parley Pratt (& some guy in Italy – cool story), the Stonecutter & Faith in Christ (both in the same week – short movies). I feel like I’m forgetting one, but that’s 6 movies, so maybe not. The movies were all so good! Loved it. It was in the auditorium & we always sat by our district. I miss my district! My compañeras & all those great elders! But it’s okay because we’re planning a district reunion after the elders all get back.
Well, that was my life for 6 weeks. I miss it more than I can explain. I had so many spiritual & fun & funny & learning experiences & got so close to those people. It was some of the best weeks of my life. I wasn’t as homesick there, but I think that’s because we weren’t really on our missions yet so it didn’t feel real. It was like after those 6 weeks (that went by WAY too quickly) we were just gonna go back home, so I wasn’t missing anything that much (I still did, but not as much).  But coming here to Paraguay, I realized, I really am not going home for another 16 months. But as I’m spending more time out here, understanding Spanish more, getting used to the culture & everything, & getting more invested in the work, it’s getting easier & times is starting to go by quicker. I can already tell that the last year of my mission is going to fly by.
Well, that was the life in the CCM. In the next 3 weeks or so, I will write down funny & spiritual (etc.) stories from the CCM, as I remember them, and then send that letter in a few weeks when it’s done. Then I’ll start writing about other things that are happening here in Paraguay that I don’t have time to email about (because as you can tell – I have basically no time to email after emailing the President & reading emails/copying to print in a Word document.) The stories from here are fewer, but probably stranger as well. I’ll probably send a letter with those things every 3 weeks or so.
So that’s it for this letter, more info than you probably wanted,… too bad. More to come… I love you so so SOO MUCH!! Miss you like CRAZY!!!! Love/Your favorite missionary, Hermana Mary Urie

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Week 2 in Paraguay

I have like no time again, so this is gonna be very short and sweet.

The members here (at least many of them) are amazing! There´s a family with 4 teenages kids 15-19 years old, and they are all planning on missions and so excited and already sharing the gospel with their friends. They are so energetic and love talking to us. All the members are so helpful. And the people here in Paraguay are such a beautiful people!! And so amable.. friendly, sorry. So the good thing is: everyone will talk to us. The bad thing is... everyone will talk to us.. even when they aren´t at all interested or open to our message. So we spend a lot of time talking to people who end up refusing to accept anything we say, but they are usually very nice about rejecting us, so I guess that´s good.
Also, we found a girl this week on the street, and she wants to be baptized! She´s already gone to church many times and learned quite a bit, she just couldn´t get baptized before because she was underage and her father wouldn´t give her permission, but now she is 22 and can decide for herself so her baptism is hopefully going to be this saturday!! (fingers crossed that it all works out!) This will be my first investigator to get baptized! Can´t wait. She´s adorable, I´m so happy for her!

Also, one of my favorite things about Paraguay is how we clap at people´s houses. No knocking (well, usually), just standing at their gate and clapping for them. I love it. I think I´m going to continue doing that when I come home and see if it works... probably won´t, but I will still try. Oh, and I want to get a motorcyle. Everyone here rides motorcycles and I now want one. Oh, haha, and riding the colectivo is a wonderful experience that everyone should have. It´s the bus system here. It´s nice because there are no bus stops. You just stick your arm out like a hitchhiker and they always stop and pick you up and drop you off wherever along the street. However, to keep the system fast, they don´t come to much of a stop like ever. It´s not unusual to be half way on or off the bus and it will start moving again. A bit frightening but you get used to it. And they don´t mind packing the people in either. But yeah, its fun.

I have no more time, but I just want to say that Conference was freaking AMAZING!! And yes, I actually stayed awake for the whole thing! It was so great! If anyone missed any of the sessions or talks, go back and watch them ahora! (now!) Seriously.

Well I love you all! Have a good week! Talk to you soon!!

Hermana Urie

Friday, October 4, 2013

First Week in the Field..

Alright so I have a ton of awesome things I seen here that I want to tell you about and basically no time to tell them. So to sum it all up in one paragraph:
Paraguayans are awesome and so, so nice, but I can`t understand their accent AT ALL. One man told me I`m going to be fat in 6 months, which wouldn`t surprise me considering I`ve basically only eaten meat and bread since getting here. I saw a HUGE frog on the street; I see chickens and cows on the street; and I saw a dog dying with its blood and guts all over the street. So pleasant experiences overall. It`s absolutely gorgeous here. Everything is so green, the dirt is red, and the houses are colorful. The kids all love me because I`m American, but a couple of them call me elder, and one of the Paraguayan women accidentally called me elder as well. What is this?! do i just have a manly face or something? Empanadas are amazing. I haven`t had to eat anything very strange yet. I`m exhausted all the time and keep falling asleep during lessons, but hopefully when I start understanding better my mind won`t wander and that will happen less. I accidentally said "no tengo hombre" instead of "no tengo hambre" ("I don`t have man", instead of "I`m not hungry"... oops..). On Friday, we got lost for a while. My area is called Reducto. My compañera is from Peru, but speaks English pretty well. She`s been here for a little over one year.
Oh, and we met a midget. So overall crazy fun.

We have one investigator with a baptism date in a couple weeks, and we`re starting to teach a couple other people. We whitewashed the area (meaning there were no sisters, and we`re replacing elders in this area, so we`re both new to Reducto). So we`re still trying to get to know the ward and the neighborhood and find people to teach, but it`s coming along. Well time is up, so I got to go.


Hey, I am in Paraguay! Alive and quite well. We are going to be here at the mission home for the rest of today and we're staying at a hotel tonight. then we get assigned companions and areas tomorrow!!! I can't wait!
We traveled for a total of 32 hours. If I never had to fly again, I would be completely okay with that. I guess the next 17 months is long enough. There's not really much to report from the last 2 days besides the contacting we did in the airport. I was feeling sick most the time so I only talked to 4 or 5 people, but as a group of us hermanas, we gave away a total of 9 El Libro De Mormon, a few pamphlets, and lots of pass along cards. And I shared a scripture and bore my testimony to a lady. While a few people were not very interested, some people really were. The Lord truly prepares people!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Last Week In the CCM

This last week has been great but so sad! Whenever I think about leaving it breaks my heart. I love my district and my compañeras so much and I can´t imagine not seeing them for at least 2 years, if ever again. We´ve had a lot of lasts this week. Last Tuesday devotional, last class, last lessons with our investigators (which went pretty well, we´ve definitely improved a LOT since being here), last church- where I got to give another talk, on the Atonement (my and Hermana Mills have both talked twice, and Hermana Thacker didn´t talk at all!), last pictures, last goodbyes with some, and the rest last goodbyes with our district will be tonight. This has been such a great experience and I´m so sad for it to end and to leave all of these people that I love so much! But I know that it´s time to move on to the next step and start teaching real investigators and doing the work. I´m also really looking forward to getting to a point where I can actually speak the language without stopping and taking forever to figure out how to say what I want to say. I´m slightly terrified that they are going to put me with a native for my first companion (which they probably will so I´ll have to learn the language) and I won´t be able to communicate like at all! But I know whatever I need to do, the Lord will help me with.

fun story of the week..
Tuesday when we went to the temple, I stepped out of the temple ground gates! I have officially walked the streets of Mexico!! (just let me have this one)
Also, I couldn´t convince my teacher to go out of the CCM (because they are allowed to leave) and get me real horchata from the streets of Mexico. I would´ve paid for it, but even still, apparently it´s either against the rules or frowned upon or something. And we also apparently live in a sketchy place in Mexico, so this horchata run would carry a lot of risk. While I was willing to risk it, my teacher was not. Hahaha just kidding, I´m not either. But I really want homemade horchata!! I´ll just have to come back one day and have it then, because I doubt the airport is going to have any horchata of acceptable quality.

Well I´d better go start packing!! I love you tons and I´ll email you in a week or so if not sooner!

Hermana Urie

picture #1. Me, my compañeras, and some of the other hermanas in our branch that we play volleyball with.
picture #2. self. explanatory.
picture #3. me, my compañeras, and Elder Mastergeorge (yes that´s really his name). He´s hilarious as well.
picture #4. me and my original district

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Almost Out Of The CCM!

¡Hola! ¿Como estan? I can´t believe we´re almost done with the MTC!! It feels like we just got here a week ago! I am so excited, but a little terrified to go somewhere where they legitimately only speak Spanish. You´d be surprised how much English we speak here at the CCM. But compared to where I was when I got here, I´m pretty impressed with myself. I can actually have a real conversation in Spanish now. The more gospel related, the better, because I don´t know any actual everyday words, but I can officially teach lessons in Spanish and have the investigator actually understand what I´m saying, even though my grammar is awful. It´s pretty wonderful.

So life here is basically the same every week. Eat, sleep, go to class, teach investigators, play volleyball, and be with hilarious people 16 hours a day. Though this last weekend was a tad bit different. It was Independence Day for Mexico!! So on Saturday night we had an awesome show/party thing! They put a stage in the gym and had dancers come and perform traditional Mexican dances and a couple singers singing songs (that all the Latino Elders were singing along with, so I assume they were popular songs. But honestly understanding people speaking Spanish and understanding people singing Spanish is a completely different skill). It was awesome. Then Sunday night the President of Mexico did some sort of nationwide ¨grita¨ (don´t know if that´s how it´s spelled) and basically said great things about Mexico (I assume) and after every phrase everyone would yell ¨¡Viva!¨ It was fun I enjoyed it. Oh and people set off fireworks here all the time whenever they are happy. Usually they do it during the day because they mostly just like the sound, so we don´t get to see them. But last weekend, there were fireworks goin off all times of the day and night, so we got to watch some fireworks! I love it here! I love the city and the people and the culture! I´m actually a little sad to be leaving it all in a week, but I know that I´ll fall in love with Paraguay just as much, probably more. I just can´t wait to go!

So I think my district is a bit nerdy.. We quote Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, and Star Wars ALL. THE. TIME. Like seriously. We quote lots of movies, but those ones come up the most. Oh I forgot to tell you! So the Elder with the fanny pack. He has a storm trooper alarm clock that he often carries in his fanny pack.

Also, I think my fear of spiders has gotten worse here. And by the way, they either love me and want to be around me, or hate me and decide to haunt me. So far, I have found 4 spiders near me, as well as... a spider on my notebook in my backpack, a spider on my Book of Mormon, a spider in the shower with me (and it was like swimming towards me in the water on the floor and was the creepiest thing I´ve ever seen), and a spider on my towel- right when I was about to use it. Needless to say, I can never use that towel again and have consequently given it to Hermana Thacker. So thanks for sending me that other towel. Though I really like that towel so I may steal it back and just wash it 15 times before I use it again. We´ll see.

Alright, to a more spiritual note.. This week was amazing.
In Relief Society on Sunday, Hermana Pratt (CCM President Pratt´s wife always teaches Relief Society) referred to some General Authority´s talk that he gave in some mission in Spain many years ago (I know, real specific of me, lo siento). Anyway, he talked about how home was like a ¨Garden of Eden¨ for us, and going to the MTC was like being ¨thrust out into the dark and dreary world.¨ and by the end of the MTC stay, the MTC was the ¨Garden of Eden¨ and going into the field was the ¨dark and dreary world.¨ Then the first transfer was like being ¨thrust into the dark and dreary world,¨ etc, etc, past our missions into the rest of our lives. I definitely understand the ¨Garden of Eden¨ feeling right now. I´m comfortable and have learned so much and gotten so used to being here, and leaving to another country with another companion, teaching real investigators and doing completely different stuff, while still not speaking Spanish very well, is kind of intimidating. But the point is.. Adam and Eve had to leave the Garden of Eden because they had progressed as far as they could there. The only way to continue to learn and progress was to leave the Garden of Eden and enter the ´dark and dreary world.´ And that´s how our lives are. We hit a point where we can´t progress further without a change, without a trial. So yes, life is hard, and as soon as you get comfortable, something new pops up to surprise you, but that´s the point. We have so much potential and we can become so great, but not in our ¨Garden of Eden¨´s. And then, referring to 1 Nephi when Lehi takes his family out into the wilderness (or the ¨dark and dreary world¨), we can choose to either be like Laman and Lemuel, who murmured, lacked faith, and chose not to turn to the Lord; or we can be like Nephi and Sam, who knew they were children of God, and that by exercising faith and turning to the Lord they could learn and progress so much and they became amazing men who served God and others, and who were true followers of Jesus Christ. I know that trials, even though they are really hard sometimes, give us the opportunity to learn and grow so much and become so much stronger and so much closer to God and more like Christ- if we will have faith, and turn to the Lord. He will help us through it, and make us stronger and better because of it.

Also, our devotional on Sunday was Elder Holland again!! Seriously, as soon as they showed the computer screen over the projector and we saw that it was going to be another Elder Holland talk, there was a fairly loud-ish ¨yes!¨ that sounded through the auditorium. That makes 4 Elder Holland devotionals (not live of course) since we´ve been here, out of 10 total devotionals. I had already watched this one before I left on my mission, but it was great to watch it again. It´s the one where he talks about Christ coming to the apostoles (forgot how to spell that in English..) after he was resurrected and how he found them back on their boats in Galilee with their nets fishing, because they didn´t know what to do with him gone. I don´t know what its called but it´s amazing, so if you can find it, read it! It´s so powerful! Basically it says how, when Christ asked them, and us missionaries, and everyone really, to follow him and to ¨feed his sheep¨, it was forever. This work is so important and we must follow him forever. When you decide to follow Christ, don´t ever go back to your ¨nets¨ or fall away. He says it so much better than I can, so find it and watch him say it because it´s great.

We´re making progress with our investigators!! I don´t have much time to talk about it, but I just had to mention them. I think Angel is really starting to understand how the gospel can bless his life and really starting to want to learn more about the scriptures and about eternal life and eternal families. And I think Jonathan is really starting to understand that he is a child of God and that God loves him so much and he can be forgiven and live happily. There´s so much I could say about them, but I´ll just be satisfied with that for now. Amazing things can happen and people´s lives can be so blessed when you teach with the Spirit and with love. I can´t wait to get out into the field!

The elders here at the CCM (like a lot of them throughout the entire MTC) got together one night and had a major tie swap (it´s actually happened a couple times in the last couple weeks). Some elder took a picture and somehow the MTC President saw it and apparently they were breaking curfew rules and the president didn´t really approve of this tie swap. So when he was reminding us about obedience he had the picture in the slideshow and was like ¨what you should NOT do with your hour of personal time before bedtime is THIS...¨ and showed the picture and everyone started laughing. It was hilarious. Maybe you had to be there. But it was seriously hilarious.

Well time´s up! But I love you all and I love getting emails and letters from you! I´m so excited and loving it here, but ready to get out into the field and get to work! I can´t believe how time is flying by. I love the quotes and scriptures I get from you, keep sending them! Hope everything is going well!

Con todo mi amor,
Hermana Urie

1. I mentioned a couple weeks ago how an elder in my district broke the ¨C¨ on the CCM sign. Well here´s proof.
2. Me and Hermana Mills with most of our original district that we were only with for about 6 hours that first day.. But we´ve stayed friends and see each other a lot still so it´s fun. Oh, and a random guy photobombing in front of us making a super weird face.
3. Me and my district in front of the Mexico City temple for the last time.
4. One more picture, because this is just so wonderfully my district.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Week... 4 I think?

Some stuff I wanted to say last week and didn't have time:
I freaking love my companions. They are weird and hilarious and I love them to death. Also, our district sang Book of Mormon stories in English for our closing song one night. Yep, we are that cool. Also, I wanted to say ¨what the heck?¨ once, but it was our ¨todo en español¨ day (all in Spanish) so I tried to translate it into Spanish, but I don-t know if there-s a word for heck so I automatically just used the other word which in infierno (or something like that)... and then realized what I had just said and I felt so bad for the rest of the night. Never making that mistake again. also, last week was the first and only time I've cried at the CCM. It was after a lesson that I thought went awful because I felt like we weren't helping our investigator who wasn't keeping his commitments and I didn't know how to help him. And then when I did know what to say to him, I couldn't figure out how to say it in Spanish and make him understand that God does love him and he can be happy, but he has to want it, and he has to work for it or it-s not gonna happen. And I felt like the lesson was a complete failure, so after I went into the bathroom with my companions and I just broke down and cried because I didn't know how I was going to be able to help anyone if I couldn't help him. Anyway, I was talking to our teacher (who is pretending to be Jonathan) and he said what I said was exactly what Jonathan needed, so apparently even though my Spanish was horrible, he still understood. I guess that-s what happens when you try to say what the spirit wants you to say. Anyway, our lessons have (overall) been getting better with him and I think we-re starting to actually help him, which is good. He also said we need to be more patient with the investigators, so I guess we-re just expecting too much of a change too quickly. But that-s the point of being here is to learn.
Now to this week.
We saw a huge mosquito. And I mean huge. Like probably at least 8 inches long. It was during¨a lesson at TRC and our ¨investigator¨ (a different one) was jumping around trying to kill it with a pillow, which he eventually did. It was hilarious! Also, there was a huge moth in the comedor (lunchroom). It was under a table and at first people thought it was a bat and my compañera Hermana Thacker was so excited (because she used to work with bats and other birds back at home- something about endangered species, I-m not completely sure), until she saw it and realized it was a moth. Not a bat. But the point is, for people to think it was a bat, it was pretty freaking big.
On Sunday, the talks were about charity and one elder was giving his talk and said ¨we need to have the same love Christ has. Like the ¨legit love¨ of Christ.¨ I found it funny.
There is an Elder in our district, Elder Smith, who is the funniest person ever. He-s such a hipster, and he carries around a fannypack and this week he wrote a rap about his fanny pack. it-s called ¨fanny pack sway¨ they-ve got a beat and everything and their going to record it with someones camera today and i-m going to get it from him and send it to you next week because it is basically the best thing ever. We seriously have the funniest district here.
also, there is an elder in our district who is basically in love with this Hermana in another district in our branch. He is such a sweetie. And at first he didn't know her name, so he just called her ¨Angel face.¨
I am totally a volleyball player now. Like I-m good... Okay I suck, but i-m getting better! We play everyday during gym time and it-s so fun! We are pretty serious about our volleyball. We-re about to start breaking the rules by getting too competitive. But I couldn't hit it right at first so I had a huge bruise, probably about 1.5 inches by 3 or 4 inches, on my wrist for a week. It-s basically gone now, but I was very proud of my volleyball battle wound. My blisters from walking around airports and the MTC those first couple days are practically healed too! Well, I thought they were healing 2 weeks ago, but they-re still here and sometimes they still hurt. Hopefully they-ll be completely gone before I go to Paraguay.
Awesome story!! Our MTC president, Presidente Pratt, was companions with Elder Holland!! What?! Basically the highlight of Sunday afternoon.. except for, you know, Elder Holland-s devotional (not live, our devotionals are usually recordings from previous devotionals at Provo MTC).
Also on Sunday we watched Legacy for our movie, which Hermana Thacker is in love with. I found it pretty cheesy, but hey, after 4 weeks here it-s nice to have some cheese. And it was hilarious watching it with 800 elders.
Also, before anything in the auditorium (movie, devotionals, most of our stuff on Sunday after church), you have to be there like 20 minutes before or you-ll be sitting in the back corner on the hard chairs. So we always go super super early and just read our scriptures in there instead of in the classroom. On Sunday, Hermana Mills wanted to go up and sing with the guy who was playing the piano for prelude music (she sings super well) so we went up and the two of us were singing. And since everyone was basically already there, it was loud so no one could really hear us which was good. But the last 10 minutes everyone is supposed to be quiet and listen to the prelude music, and they decided to enforce that that day. And Hna. Mills wanted to keep singing, so we did but then people could hear us and I was completely terrified. But another elder came up and was singing with us as well, and President Pratt thanked us at the end right before they started the movie and said we had the voices of angels, so that was kinda cool. But my heart was going like 100 miles a minute. but Esta bien. it was kinda fun.

Hermana Urie

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Week 3

Time is flying by!!

I feel like I just got here, and like I´ve been here forever at the same time. I love it. I love my companions, I love my district, I love my teachers, I love everything (almost) about it!!! And now i feel like that little 5 year old girl from that youtube video saying everything she loves. it´s great watch it.

So usually I write down things throughout the week that I want to include in my letters, but I kind of forgot to do that this week, so I can barely remember what happened this week because everything is blurring together. so if you´ve already heard some of this, I´m sorry. too bad. also, I only have 10 minutes, so it's gonna be kinda short.

I love the priesthood. I really do. Yesterday I was sick and it was just getting worse throughout the night. So finally I swallowed my pride and was like, alright elders, I need a blessing. Also, the elders in my district 
we´ve decided are "blessing hungry" which is by no means a bad thing! they just really like giving blessings. If anyone says that anything is wrong with them, from supposed food poisoning to cramps to a headache to seriously anything, one of them is bound to pipe up with "do you need a blessing?! we can give you a blessing!" I just love how excited they are about it, but usually we decline because we really are fine. But last night I decided it was time. So all the elders gathered around me and they were all helping Elder Arrington looking at the instructions or whatever (because it was his first time giving a blessing) and then they did it. But from the moment they all stood around me, I could feel the spirit and the power eminating from them and it just grew the whole time. and when he gave me the blessing I was just like "I know Elder Arrington and this does not sound like him. These are the Lord´s words. This is by the Spirit." It was amazing.

So today we saw our teacher in p-day clothes.. that was weird. also, cochroaches still love us so that´s annoying. Seriously, killing 16 cochroaches in 3 minutes is not okay. i guess it´s just to prepare us for Paraguay right?

Lexi Capson and Annie Hoj from school are here!! I don´t have a picture with hna. Capson, but I got one with hna. Hoj (attached in one of my emails).

There is an elder here (in my original district) and every time he sees me he calls me Elder Urie. The first 10 times were on accident, then it just kinda became the norm. Funny funny... sorry this email is way too short but I spent most my time trying to figure out how to send all my pictures!! plus, there´s not really much to report this week anyway. It´s basically the same things. But I´m learning a lot and the Spanish is getting easier, and our investigator is finally starting to progress and the other one committed to baptism! Yay!

I love you all!! I will send more next week i promise!!!

This is the mountain next to the CCM (MTC), Mary loves it, she thinks it's really cool. 

Mary and her companeras.

Mary and her companeras by the sign at the temple.

Mary and Hna. Hoj

Mary and her district at the temple.

CCM sign. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Week 2 in Mexico

So last p-day we went to the Mexico City temple which is gorgeous!! the outside looks kinda like a Mayan design or something, i-ll send pics. anyway, we got back to the CCM (MTC) late, so lunch sat out for about 2 hours before we ate it. basically, a fourth of the CCM got food poisoning, including my whole district so Wednesday was just dandy, as you can imagine. One of my companions got super sick and got a blessing from the elders in our district and she was great! it was such a great experience! i seriously love the priesthood more and more!

We have amazing devotionals!! Often, they are previous Provo MTC devotionals that they just have on DVD, but they are great. So far we've had Elders Bednar (Tuesday devo) and Holland (Sunday). They are amazing!! I love their talks! I love the spirit and the knowledge we get from it! I basically just love it here. Oh! we also watched The Testaments on Sunday! If you haven{t seen it, watch it. It is so great!

This last week has gone by so quickly!! its been so fun with so many funny stories that i wish i could remember!! its also been hard though. The Spanish was coming pretty great the first week, but this week seems harder for some reason. I think we've been getting kinda lazy and losing focus a little in our district this last week and that's probably why. we had a great lesson yesterday about pride and charity though and i think that will help us a lot. You can{t have charity, that pure love of Christ, if you have pride. They just cannot exist together. And you can{t teach and love your investigators if you don't have charity. alright, well I'm about to launch into some long thought about this lesson and i only have 5 more minutes, so to sum it up. Pride is bad- stop having it. Love others instead. the end.

So funny stories time.
Last night it was raining during gym time, so we danced and sang in the rain for like half an hour. It brought us joy. haha. So it rains here for at least a little bit every day. Like a random 10 minute downpour. its wonderful! however, it doesn't have a "rain smell" like in Utah, so that is extremely disappointing, but other than that it is wonderful!!

They have horchata. "nuff said. its basically the most wonderful thing I've ever tasted.

We have lots of random earthquake "drills." they-re not really drills, but the sensors are SUPER sensitive or something, so we don't actually feel the earthquakes at all, but apparently during one of them a light pole thing was quivering, so that's fun!

Elder Smith is hilarious. just so you know. every day he is funnier. basically one of my favorite people.
Last week during the service project (sweeping the already well kept sidewalks) Elder Robinson (in my district) decided to sweep of the CCM (MTC) sign. He joked about breaking the "C" before he started and then 10 seconds later was like "crap! i broke the "C"!!) at first i thought he was kidding, but he wasn't. the second "C" is now missing from the sign. I-ll send you a pic next week.

One of our teachers (who was our first investigator) is from Mexico and speaks almost fluently (and he started learning 3 months ago!!) but he is still learning lots of stuff, so we have taught him a few words including: swag, yolo, sketchy, and bounce (as in "leave", like he said "everyone grab your stuff and lets bounce"). It's great.

Mary and her companeras.

Mary and her district.

Mary and her companeras at the Mexico City Temple.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

First Week

The CCM (MTC) is great. I told you before that my compañera was Hermana Mills right? Well now we are a trio- the 2 of us plus Hermana Thacker (who we were behind in line at the SLC airport). They are really sweet. I kind of like being in a trio, it's fun. The español is coming along pretty well though and it's fun learning a new idioma (language). I've already learned a ton!
Thanks dad for the thought and mom for the talk!! I'll read it tonight!!

So we live in casas (houses) with about 10 girls. The houses look cool (I'll send pics soon i hope). Our casa is white and turquoise! basically the cutest casa around. I like it except we have cockroaches!! EW! and they refuse to die. Hermana Mohun (in my casa) split one in half and it was still alive and moving! apparently we're the only casa with this many so they fumigated our casa during the day once I guess, but it didn't work in our room because we still have a ton! at least they aren't too big though- only like an inch long or so. Anyway, all we really do at our houses is sleep. Besides that we're up at meetings, meals, but mostly studying and class.
There is a playground behind our house. It's basically great. They told us we could go there to have joy, haha. But we haven't really had any time since we've been here.

The CCM is gorgeous. I love the palm trees and the ones that look like giant pineapples. Our first day here we heard some super loud birds making a sound i've never heard before up in the trees. I'm loving the different culture here. Though, inside the compound (what we call the CCM) doesn't really feel all that different than home. Though there are mountains pretty close on all four sides. And you know, the constant traffic, honking, sirens, barking dogs, and the occasional "fireworks"/gunfire all night and day is a bit different. (Don't worry, I think most of the sounds that one night were actually fireworks for some Mexican holiday-the rest were probably gunfire. But we're completely safe here. It's like a seriously guarded MTC.)

Outside the CCM is definitely Mexico though. The bus ride here and the bus ride to the temple today was awesome! Though I'm pretty sure there is really only one traffic law: if you see an opening, take it. It doesn't matter if the light is red, or if there is oncoming traffic, or if someone is trying to get in your lane, or if you're trying to get into someone else's lane where there is barely an opening, or if you're a pedestrian and it's not actually a crosswalk and you just walk through the cars, or if someone wants to pass you and there's not actually another lane there- whatever. doesn't matter. If there is any opening you take it. And even if there isn't. I'm surprised we haven't seen like 30 car accidents in the 2 hours I've been on a bus. And people walk between moving cars, some of them trying to sell the people in the cars cigarettes and gum. Yep, definitely not in Utah anymore.

Oh and our view of the houses and stuff from here is gorgeous! I'll send pics soon (maybe today if I have time at the end). There are houses halfway up the side of the mountain and they are super colorful and at night they have their lights on and it's just beautiful!

The food here is actually pretty similar to what we have back home, but it just tasted slightly different the first few days. Not anymore though- I think I've just gotten used to it. And I've gotten used to the water (because it definitely does NOT taste like Utah water).

Okay um, story time.
First- In my district someone was trying to say "we are all servants of God" in Spanish and instead said "we are all farm animals of God." It was basically the highlight of my day.

Second- In our second lesson with our investigator (in Spanish by the way- our first lesson went great, second was iffy because we weren't really teaching with the spirit, and third was also pretty good, next one tomorrow) our investigator said for fun he likes to go drinking with his friends, but he said it in Spanish. All me and Hermana Thacker heard was "amigos" so we were both like "¡Si, bueno!" and Hermana Mills was just silent. Later she told us what he actually said... oops.

Third- for sacrament meeting, we all prepare talks, and then in the meeting they announce who will be speaking. So when they called my name on Sunday, I just wanted to cry. I would have if no one had been there. I am definitely not a fan of speaking in front of people and I hadn't had time to translate it to Spanish so it was completely in English. And of course I was reading it off a paper, and I messed up, and my face was super red. But afterward people said I did great. I think they may have just been trying to make me feel better.. No you know what, it was a great talk, thank you very much! haha, who knows.

Fourth- yesterday our elders in our district started talking about politics and it started getting contention-ness, so one Elder Smith was like, "lets learn Spanish." He walked up to the board and wrote yolo=swag. He's basically hilarious, like all the time.

A little more time I guess...
We went to the temple today and it was beautiful and I loved it!!! The city is really fun to drive through and really different. It rains here like everyday for 10 minutes and then stops.. random.. but I love it. I love you!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

After being set apart yesterday Mary became a full time missionary. This morning we took her to the airport at 5 am and she caught her flight to Mexico City. This afternoon we got an e-mail saying that Mary made it safely to the MTC in Mexico City.