Friday, April 26, 2013

Week 2 (April 26, 2013 MTC)

Why hello family!
Before I begin telling about my week I will try to get some questions answered and such. First of all, thank you all SO MUCH for the wonderful letters/emails/DearElders, etc. I wish I could email everyone back and thank you personally but since I can't please know that I am so thankful for your love and support.
I can't believe that I have been here for 16 days now. Like they say here at the MTC "The days seem like weeks and the weeks seem like days." That is such a true statement haha :) Mom thank you so much for all your grand advice about so many things. I will try to get those notes done and limit myself to 1 page in the journal. That might take a while to get down though ha. And thank you for that scripture as well from Mosiah. That is very wise counsel and I really appreciate it. I have actually thought about that scripture a few times while being here and I am working on following it. You and dad take such great care of me, even when I am away from home :) Thank you! I hope to someday be as great of a woman/wife/mother as you are mom. So getting up early has been hard but I really have been fine. I do want to be a diligent, hard working, faithful missionary though and so if my getting up early starts interfering with that then I will work something out. It is hard to get up but once I am up I feel great. Thank you so much for the birthday package!! I haven't received it yet obviously but I am excited to touch something that was in my own home! Ha :) And thanks for sending those few things as well, I appreciate it. I think that I will soon need some more body wash (Dove sensitive skin), and something else which I can't remember right now. But I will let you know when I for sure need more. Thank you! I have been told that I need 200 dollars cash for when I leave on the 20th of May so I need to figure out how to get that. And I WILL be reassigned for sure because the consulate or however you spell that of Argentina will not be here for another few months. I am actually kinda excited for that though because like you said mom (or whoever said it), being reassigned can really help me get into things like the language and such before i head to Argentina. And about Mother's Day, we CANNOT call home :( I was pretty sad when I heard this but it makes sense because there are sooo many missionaries here and it would just be crazy so I won't be calling unfortunately.
This last week has been tough and challenging but very rewarding and special. We now have two new investigators and their names are Israel and Sergio. Oh and I don't know if I mentioned this before but our investigators are our actual teachers just posing as investigators that they had on their missions. But even though we are teaching our "teachers" the experience is so real and I have been able to truly want to help them come unto Christ and it feels so good. I can't even imagine how it is going to be with REAL investigators! :) I just can't wait. I hate to say this but my companion and I ran into a little bit of a rough patch yesterday when planning our lesson. I could tell that she was frustrated about something and so I was harder for me to focus on planning because I was getting frustrated and so I asked if we could say a prayer. That helped us to get the rest of our lesson planned but I could still tell that she was hurt about something. On the way to lunch I asked her if she was okay and she said she was just frustrated but not because of me, just other stuff. I told her that if she wanted to talk about it and let some of it out then maybe we would become more unified and that the spirit would be with us. She then responded, "I know that's how it works but I don't want to talk to you about it!!" Oh my goodness I felt so bad that I had asked that and because she did yell at me a little bit I started getting wet eyes. I said a prayer in my heart that Heavenly Father would help me to be more sensitive with Hermana Freestone and that we would be on good terms again. Well our lesson time comes and our message was on families. I could tell that it did not seem to flow as nicely as usual but Sergio really took interest in it because he is currently separated from his family. After the lesson, Hermana Freestone took me aside and apologized for that entire day. She was so sincere and I love her so much for that. She is a humble young women and I admire her for being so. She said that she really was not frustrated with me but that it was just personal stuff and that because she was frustrated, her mind went blank during the lesson and so that's why she didn't say much. Which I thought she said quite a bit and I mentioned that to her. Anyway, it was a humbling experience for both of us and we are now on great terms again :) She is such a hard worker and a great companion. Heavenly Father helped us through that experience and we both know that we could not be learning and growing at this rate without His help and guidance and blessing.
Me and Hermana Freestone at the Provo Temple


Spanish is coming along. It is hard when I can't convey things to investigators that I want to but it is also good in a way because then I have to try and figure out a more simple way to say it with words that I know. And this is better anyway because investigators sometimes need the simple truths first in order to understand. I love my teachers so much! They are great. My district keeps me laughing and having a good time which I think is a good thing while being a missionary, just a long as the things you do do not distract the spiritual environment.
Okay so one of the highlight of this last week was the Tuesday night devotional: BYU MENS CHOIR! It was BEAUTIFUL everyone! And Erik let me tell you this, you are SO good enough to be in that choir. I was thinking about you the entire time in fact, and that it would be so cool to see you singing with them. When they started coming in I heard a girl behind me saying, "Call me maybe!" Haha, silly young woman. It was pretty funny though. But their songs were wonderful. I really believe that listening/singing good music is one of the greatest ways for the spirit to touch our hearts. At least for me anyway. It was a great night filled with joy and peace.
Each day I am here I learn many new things and most importantly I learn to rely on my Savior Jesus Christ. On Sunday Pres. Tyler spoke and his words were inspired and gave me peace. Sometimes I wonder if I really do have the spirit with me. He reminded us that in the sacrament prayers, it says if we always remember Him, keep His commandments, and take His name upon us, that we will ALWAYS  have His spirit with us. I have heard those prayed countless times of course and yet when he said this it touched me and gave me peace. As long as I am doing those things, I will have His spirit to help guide me in all I do. That is a great comfort to me.
I miss home but it is worth it and will just continue to get better. I love you all so much and I know that Heavenly Father is answering our payers. The love of Christ is everywhere although it may be difficult to find it. Because Christ loves everyone, there is something to love in EVERYONE. I firmly believe that. Here at the MTC I can see and feel Christ's love everyday and it bring me hope. Thank you all for everything. Love you!!
Hermana Katelyn Syphus

My red eye....from what...I don't know :(

Friday, April 19, 2013

Week 1 (April 19, 2013 MTC)

My Dear Family,
Oh my goodness I have no idea where to start because there has been SO much going on!! I wish I could just call you all up and tell you what has been happening because that would be a lot faster ha. And also, you all know how I can't summarize things very well. But I will try my very best :) First let me say that I am sorry that it has taken this long to write/email! My prep days are Friday (today) and so this is the first time that I have been able to use email. They actually gave us a short prep day last Friday but me and my companion didn't know we could email so we just wrote letters and I didn't finish any of them!! I tried to finish them throughout the week but honestly there is NO time to do anything like that unless it is your prep day. I really don't even know how missionaries can write in their journals and such because it is just one thing after another. We go back to our residence at 9:30 pm and lights have to go out at 10:30 pm, so we have that time to get ready for bed and write in journals and everything but I still seem to never have time to do that. I am sure trying though because I know that these experiences here in the MTC are very precious and I will want to remember them forever. So, the MTC. It has been a great journey so far and I am coming to love it here. The first few days were very hard for me and didn't want to come home but I missed you all so much. But one thing is for sure, Heavenly father is with me because I know I could NOT do this on my own. I have been so used to being with family and coming home everyday to you all and I really missed that the first few days. But I have felt Heavenly Father's love and I know that He is helping me through this experience. The first day was just how Trevor explained it. It was very busy and I was a bit overwhelmed but it was a great experience. It feels so wonderful to place my name tag with Christ's name on it over my heart each day. I am thankful that have this opportunity to be a representative of Jesus Christ and preach His everlasting Gospel. It is difficult to remember all the way back to last week and I really am shaking right now because there is so much I want to tell you about but not enough time! The range of feelings I have felt in this last week has been crazy. So the first here I of course met my companion. Her name is Hermana Freestone and she is from Morgan Utah. She has been a great example to me of having faith in Jesus Christ and of being happy. She is a much better spanish speaker than me and helps me a lot. Although, sometimes I think she gets annoyed with all the questions I have ha. I am trying to not ask so much and just figure things out on my own, and doing that will help me really understand things more as well.
The district I am in is wonderful!! I have come to love all of them so much and they are all such great people and missionaries. We have all bonded so well and so quickly and it has been a blast learning with them. There are 4 sisters in our district and 5 elders. The first day at the MTC one of the sisters in our district (Hermana Boothe), didn't have a companion because she didn't show up. So we were in a trio for the first few days and that is why that picture has the three of us in it. But a few days later, she was able to have a companion. But not her original one, she still hasn't showed up (Hermana Freestone believes that she got engaged the day before entering the MTC haha probably true but who knows). So her new comp is a sister named Hermana Boomhower. She was originally going to the Las Vegas West mission English speaking but her second day here she broke her foot and couldn't leave to go to vegas when the rest of her district did. So they actually put her in our district and now she is learning spanish but still going to the same mission. It is going to take her foot about 6 weeks to heal and so that is why they put her with us. She had a very hard time the first few days in class because she has no spanish background. She was very discouraged but she has been incredible. The last couple of days she had completely changed her attitude and has complete dependence on the Lord. She is a great example to me in that way.
Spanish is hard. Erik, if you have any advice for me I will happily take it ha :) I knew that being on a mission would be very hard, but oh my goodness it has been even harder than I expected. But the amazing thing is that I am soooo happy. I think about how busy and crazy the schedule is and how tired and exhausted I am, and then I ask myself  "Well then how in the world am I so happy?!" The answer to that is Jesus Christ. I know that I am happy because this is the Lord's work. There is no other explanation. If the Gospel of Jesus Christ were not true and eternal, I could not do this. Because it is true and good and right, I am happy no matter how exhausted I am or how busy it is being a missionary. The first few days I was so discouraged because I did not have enough faith that Jesus Christ would help me do this. Which was a very dumb thing to think I know. It was just so hard and rough and I felt like I was never going to be able to learn the language. The hardest part was teaching an investigator the first Friday I was here. Oh and the lesson had to be in spanish. Just like Trevor said. That must have been the hardest day of my life haha. Me and my companion prayed so earnestly and sincerely and we worked very hard to prepare the first lesson. It was definitely a humbling experience for me. I keep thinking that this mission would be so much better if I could just speak english. Which is funny considering how much I wanted to learn a nre language. I get frustrated because I want to say things in the lesson but I have no idea how to say them in Spanish. I keep thinking that this would be a much happier and spiritual experience for me if only I didn't have to speak spanish. BUT, I have stopped thinking this because really, the fact is that I AM NOT speaking english I am speaking spanish. And this call is a call from the Lord. And I know it is up to me to make this experience a happy experience. My purpose as a missionary is not to learn spanish, it is to help people come unto Christ. And I need to remember that. I know that Heavenly Father know me personally and my testimony of that has grown this last week because I see all these missionaries who are learning Korean or Japanese or Finish and I just think they are amazing! Spanish is one of the more easy languages to learn and it is rough. And I know that even if I did have to speak one of those harder languages, I could do it with the help of Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father but it would be difficult. I am so thankful that I am learning spanish and that the Lord knows me and my limits. It is hard but it is coming along slowly and I am receiving lots of help. Well I have lots more to say but time is out so hopefully I can do the rest through letters. I know I didn't really say much about what has been happening but I am going to work on writing better emails. Or at least I hope they will get better ha. I was really rushing through this email so sorry if it doesn't make sense. My brain is going 1000 miles an hour right now it seems. But thank you all so so much for the letters and email and for your prayers and love and support and just everything. I love my family so much and I think of all of you each day. Thank you once again for the letters and emails! They really are treasures! I love this work and I know I will grow to love it even more. Heavenly Father has not left me comfortless. Love you all!!
Katelyn :)
Me with Hermana Freestone and Hermana Boothe (my MTC companinons)

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

MTC Here I Come (April 10, 2013)

Note from mom:
My day was going to begin at the usual time at 5:15 am so I could get in my little bit of exercise for the day; however, at 2:00 this morning I woke up and let my thoughts get the better of me and ended up having a good first really good one over Katelyn's mission.  I have shed many tears, but this was a good cry.  So, since I couldn't sleep, I got up at 3:00 and wrote a letter to Kate and put it in her luggage.  After that I was finally able to sleep until 6:00 when we aroused the kids for prayers and scriptures.  And at 7:20 we were loaded and out the door, headed to the Provo MTC.  
Karson and Joy were kind enough to lend us their van so that we could fit everyone in it. 
 It was so AWESOME to be together!
We met Kylie, Greg and Axel who were living in the Salt Lake area and Erik who was in Provo at the Orem Chuck a Rama for lunch.  
Rob, Kari and their boys weren't able to get away to come with us :(
Kate with Axel and her sweet daddy.
After lunch we had a bit more time before checking in at the MTC so we went to the Provo temple for our final "see-you-soons" and pictures.

I was able to keep my tears in check until this happened.  
I knew that Joel would be gone on his mission when Kate came home so it has a tough time for them.
Since only one vehicle per missionary is allowed in the MTC drop off area we decided to break the law for a few blocks and all piled in the van. 
 It was so good to have everyone with us to see Katelyn off.

The elders were there waiting to escort her to the assigned area.  It was quick and PAINFUL to see her go.  She will be such an awesome missionary.  
She is so ready for this and has wanted to serve her Heavenly Father all her life.  
Argentina will be so blessed to have her!!!
See you soon sweet Kate!!!!!