Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Week 7 (May 28, 2013 Warden, WA)

Hello Mom :)
I will get the negative news over with first and I wouldn't tell you it but I would think you would want to know at least a little. I am homesick. Each morning I get up and I panic sometimes because I realize that I will not be home with my family for a while longer. I pray for strength and faith and all those things everyday. I know Heavenly Father is answering my prayers though because once I get to work, I am happy and I don't think of home. Now I just have to figure out how to STAY that way haha :) I know my family will be taken care of but sometimes I just get these thoughts that something will happen to one of you and that I will just be devastated. I know Satan is putting these thoughts in my head. I want to work hard mom. I want to think about these precious people and this amazing work and I want to be selfless and charitable and LOVE my mission. And not that I don't, but I just wish I didn't think of home so much and how much I love my family and love being with you all. I have been taught so much already though. So I guess you cannot get up earlier than your comps which was news to me when I got in the field. I was waking up at 5:30 in the morning in the MTC and now I have to get up at 6:30. Oh my goodness what a learning process just that little thing has been haha. I actually wake up automatically at 5:30 still sometimes because I was doing it for 6 weeks. It is kinda nice because then I get an hour more of sleep! But it is hard! I went from getting ready in almost 2 hours to now getting ready (showering everyday because the white hand book says to) and eating breakfast in one hour! What a miracle right? Ha :) This is just proof that Heavenly Father takes care of me and gives me the time I NEED when I am trying to do what He has asked of me. Just like you said, I have to do my hair when it is wet and so I never have nice hair styles but oh well. And I also have had to use my black rain coat lots here so far and guess what? I have not a care in the world that I have to wear it with my brown outfits. You were exactly right there as well hahaha :) Those things just don't matter anymore it is great! I am learning mom! Finally! :) So I have more things to tell just you but I am hoping and praying that I can do them in a letter because I still haven't written my other email to everyone and I don't have lots of time left. Love you so much mom and I am so happy that things are going well at home!
Oh an would you mind forwarding this message below to dad:
Dear dad,
I just miss you ever so much and I love you! I just wanted to hurry tell you that I bought a bag of dove darks the other day and every time I have one I think of you and it is funny but they help me feel closer to you when i eat one :)  I just miss so many things about being home and one of them is hugging you everyday. I am doing good though, very good :) Things are hard, especially at this the beginning of my mission but I am doing great and Heavenly Father is guiding me and is with me. I know this for sure. Please stick around until I get home dad. I want a big hug from you first thing when I get home!!!! :) Love you so much
Your Tatey Tot

One more...
Mom! :) :) :) :) Thank you so much for the pictures! I LOVE them ever so much and I miss home! I just miss everything! Oh it is just so great to see everyone and to see the house and yard and just all the fun things that are going on back home. Everyone looks so happy and just the same as when I left :) I would like to see you though too you know ;) Are you losing weight now that I am gone? ;) I really think I am gaining weight mom and I am not kidding. I can see it in my face and it is freaking my out! I don't want to send pictures because I don't want you all to see me gaining weight haha :) And it is hard to send pics anyway because of the time. This is stressful stuff. I hope I will get my act together one of these days because this is just the beginning of my life and if I can't organized and stuff now then I will have a hard time when I am a mom. But anyway, thanks so much for the fun pics :) What a fun week for everyone! 

Thank you so much mom!! Tell everyone I love them! So I know I didn't write much about your fun week in my email and I wanted to because it just sound like so much fun! But I am so glad that it was a good week and I can't believe all the family was down! That is so great! I am jealous haha :) I like the pictures so you can keep sending them :) I have some to send you too but I am not sure when I can because the time just goes by so fast mom. Those shoes of yours sound amazing and I hope I can see them when i get back. I am glad you like them. And your new calling!!!! Oh my goodness that is so great! You will be amazing there I just know it. Oh goodness Sis. Nelson is hilarious I got a great laugh about of that one thank you :) I miss our ward so much! Please them that we have the best ward ever. The church is true here of course ha but the saints are not the same! I just miss the wonderful powerful spirit and love found in DV. Warden is great though and more people are coming into the fold which will make it an even better town :) Times up and I am sorry I can't write more. I hope you don't think I am not interested in your news. I really am I just never know how to balance these things! Its so crazy! But good, very very good. Love you and miss you mom! You are my angel!

Hello Family :)
My first official week in Warden has been hard but very very very rewarding. I am learning to love this experience but I have been a bit homesick so I am trying to keep my mind on the work! When I am working I am so happy and I don't worry about anything but the people and the work and it is a great feeling. So last week I kind of went off on that experience with Marcelino and didn't say much else haha :) Well first off there is some sad news, Marcelino relapsed (which I didn't even know what this word meant until my comps told me) and ran away. We were devastated when we found out and fasted for him yesterday but still not luck. We thought he was doing so well and he was so ready! It is so strange how Satan can pull us down so quickly. I have been studying about becoming converted and I know that is is necessary for us to become converted to Christ if we want to stay on the right path forever. I thought Marcelino was doing great but there must have been something he was not seeing :( It has been very hard and we are praying for him everyday and hope that he will come around again. I just couldn't believe that he ran away after all the sacrifices that he made but we are being hopeful and we know that whatever happens will be God's will. So maybe praying for this sweet man would be helpful.
So Warden is 80% Hispanic, 20% English. So we teach in spanish and english. This town is nice but over the last week I have been able to explore it more and some parts are very very poor. We went looking for Marcelino the other day in a part of town called Camparosa. I asked Hena. Earl if parts of Warden could be compared to a third world country and she said the entire town is literally like a third world country. I knew it was poor but not that poor. Most of the homes are just broken down trailers and this is kind of gross but they smell like human waste because there is no plumbing. Camparosa is the most poor part of town and it was actually pretty scary going over there. All I know is that I would not have gone through that place if I did not know that the Lord was with us. We thought Marcelino might be there because that is where lots of people go to do drugs and hang out and such. He was not there but we found 3 new people to teach! And that was a miracle. These people are precious and I love them all. It is hard to see them living in these conditions but I think it helps me see how much more the Gospel message can benefit them. With the knowledge that we have about life and about Christ, I know these people will live happier and more peaceful lives. I have seen this already. Hna. Earl and Smith said that the work is progressing in Warden faster than they have ever seen it before! That is so great! We have 9 lessons tomorrow!! NINE LESSONS! That is a lot of lessons in one day...or at least that is what they said haha. I am still not sure yet. And last week we had 15 new investigators. People's hearts are changing and they are coming unto Christ. We have seen miracles everyday. I think it was the first or second day I was here and we were tracting and could not find anyone who wanted to listen. So we said a prayer that we would find someone who was prepared to receive the message. Well we finished the prayer and here comes two people our way: a teenage boy and girl. They were siblings and their names are Simon and Stacy. Simon was the younger of the two and he didn't say much but I am pretty sure he knew that what we were saying was true. It is in the eyes of the people that you can usually tell, and the spirit of course. We gave them a short message but they didn't give us their address so we have not been able to find them since. But everyday they are on my mind and I really think they want to know more or at least Simon does. I hope we can find them! The spirit was with us when we were teaching them and I believe they felt it as well.
We had another neat experience with a mom and her son. Their names are Mary and Carlos. So we were going to an appointment to teach a 16 year old girl named Brinda. She wasn't home and so here brother tried to give us directions to the house that she was at. We knocked on the door of the house that we thought was Brinda's friend and we met Mary. She let us in because it was super cold outside haha :) As soon as we started teaching her her son came home and joined us. We taught them the Restoration. She was intrigued the entire time and he knows a lot about the church already. They both said they wanted to get baptized and we asked Carlos why he wasn't baptized yet and said he didn't know because he wanted to be. He is not married but he has a child. We still need to teach them all the lessons but we are confident that they are two of the elect and that they will get baptized. I know that they felt the spirit and they both want to come closer to Christ. It was a beautiful experience! There have been many other experiences just as wonderful. God's hand is here and I can see it everyday. Even though it is hard sometimes I know that it is God's work and that is why I am able to do it.
I love doing service with the members because at this time of the year they are doing gardening and such and so we have been able to do some of that and also weeding and I love it! It helps me have that connection with home and I love talking with members and feeling the spirit that they have in their homes. Hna. Earl gave me a gift basket thing when I got here and it had gardening gloves in it and so I have been using those. It is so much fun and she was so sweet to give those to me. I am learning so much from my companions each day and they are a great help to me. I am so thankful for them :)

So time is pretty much up. Let me know if my emails are not how you want them to be or if you want to hear other things. There are just so many experiences and things that happen here and so it is hard to decide which to tell about and I wish I could tell about all of them! Just know that miracles are happening here in Warden everyday and even though there has not been a baptism in one year, we are having so much success and progression according to my companions. They can't believe it and I am just going with it because I am a newby haha :) We are so busy but I like it this way because it helps me focus on the work and on the people and on the Lord. And that is what makes me happy! I love my mission and I know I will continue to love it even more. Thank you everyone for your continuous love and support and for all you do. I love and miss you all so much!
Hermana Katelyn 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Week 6 (May 20, 2013 Warden...Washington Spokane Mission)

Hola Family and Friends!
WOW. What a crazy past few days it has been. I can't even believe that I am here right now in the mission field! It is so wonderful and I don't know if I have fully comprehended the fact that I am not at the MTC anymore haha :)

I flew on an airplane for the first time on Saturday and boy was I scared. I flew from Provo to Phoenix and from Phoenix to Spokane. I thought I was going to be going alone but it just so happened that there was an elder that was going with me and so that was a tender mercy. Saturday morning I asked Heavenly Father to please help me have angels with me that day because I has no idea what I was doing and I was just so scared because the whole airport process was completely new to me. Heavenly Father answered my prayer and there really were many angels with me that day. One was a lady who sat by me on the plane. She is actually from Moses Lake Washington and I was able to sit by here on both plane rides. She helped me feel good and not so nervous and she was so sweet. I was so thankful for her. I know that Heavenly Father is aware of us and our needs and I am so thankful that He answered my prayer! The plane ride was good. It felt a little weird but it was fun still :) When Elder Heward and I got to the Spokane airport there were two Elders waiting for us. 
A sweet lady, Tracy Compton, saw me at the SLC airport and took my picture to email to my mom.
Of course mom was so happy to receive it!

I arrived safe and sound at the Spokane airport on May 18, 2013 

They are the AP's in the area and were very nice and welcoming. They greeted us and helped us with our luggage and then we waited a few minutes for Brother and Sister Killian to arrive. They took the elder and I to our different destinations. Elder Heward I think was going to Moses Lake and I was to be taken to Warden :) The drive was a few hours I think. We stopped at Subway on the way and the Killian's got us dinner. It was  very kind of them to do that. They were great company. They are an old couple and they have 12 kids!! Isn't that neat! Anyway, we had a good time with them :) They dropped me off at a chapel where I met my TWO new companions :) :) So yes, I am in a trio :) And I am loving it. My companions are Hermana Earl and Hermana Smith. They are my trainers of course and have been nothing but wonderful to me. Hna. Earl is from St. George but she went to Pine View so I don't know her. She said she knows Nathanial though!! And Hna. Smith is from Phoenix Arizona. They are extremely hard workers and are perfectly obedient and I love it so much. I hope all of my companions are like these two. Hermana Earl always has a smile on her face and is soooo happy all of the time :) Hna. Smith works so hard and is very diligent in the Lord's work. They both speak such great spanish and so I have a hard time not comparing myself but I know it will come! They have also been out for 7 months so they have a few months on me ha ;)
 My comps:  Hermana Smith and Hermana Earl
Once they picked me up we drove to Warden and they showed me around the house a little bit. I didn't get to unpack because they wanted to go "fear busting." That is where you talk to everyone that you see and share a message with them. I had no idea how my first day would be but I was actually very excited to be able to start working right away. I was super tired and worn out because I had only got three hours of sleep the night before but I was happy to get working and I was happy to see that my trainers didn't slack off even with a new missionary :) I talked to a few people but they didn't want to listen so they just walked off when I started talking. I wanted to cry. But I think I need to get used to that. We had an appointment that night with a named Marcelino. He is one of our investigators and had been visited a few times before by my comps. The experience we had with him on Saturday night was so incredible. I couldn't believe I was actually with a real investigator. It was just so amazing. He is Hispanic and so it was hard for me to teach him but I was able to say the opening prayer and say a few other things in spanish throughout the lesson. At the MTC, I could understand my teachers pretty well when they spoke spanish, but as soon as Marcelino started speaking, I was kinda lost haha. But I actually understood more than I though as the lesson went on. Surely it was the Lord helping me understand because the spirit that was there was so strong. So this is Marcelino's story: He is in his 40s and lived in California with his family but then moved to Warden to earn money for them. He is a migrant worker and lives in a house with other Migrant workers. When he got here, a women offered him cigarettes and drugs and he tried them. He wants to be a better man and he wants to quit drugs and smoking. The people he lives with do not like us coming to teach him. They are not threatening or anything but they just don't want us to be there really. Marcelino wanted to talk with the missionaries because He wants to be good with God again. We taught him the word of wisdom on Saturday. He mostly just talked to us about his life and told us that he wanted to change and that he wants to be better for his son. He was crying a lot and would just start praying to Heavenly Father right in the middle of the lesson. We wouldn't know he was praying until a few seconds after he started because he didn't say Dear Heavenly Father or anything. The only reason we knew he was praying was because he had his arms folded and he was closing his eyes and crying. I can't describe how beautiful that experience was. I had only been in the field for a few hours and already I wanted to be a missionary forever. This experience was so incredible and so real and so powerful and I was so blessed to able to experience this my FIRST day out. But it gets better. After I committed Marcelino to live the word of wisdom, he said he wanted to and he was just crying and saying things in spanish that I couldn't understand but I sure did feel the spirit when he was speaking. He was so sincere and so genuine. I couldn't believe I was actually involved in this. I was seeing someone change right there because of Jesus Christ. Oh my goodness I just wish I could explain better how I feel but it is so hard so explain something so sacred and real! Well he started to pull something out of his pocket and it was one of those glass tube things that you put drugs in and smoke them. I didn't even know what it was when he pulled it out, my comps had to tell me. He was sobbing and then said (in spanish of course) "I am going to throw this away right now. I want to quite right now." He got up from the table and went out the front door. Then he walked over to the green garbage and threw it away. At that point I was sobbing because I could literally feel the power of the Atonement in that moment. It was incredible. I told Marcelino in my broken spanish that through him and his desire, I could feel God's love and I could feel the power of Jesus Christ's Atonement. I told him that I was sorry my spanish wasn't very good. And then he told me "That is not important. I know that you are all messengers of God and I can feel it." I was touched by this and I just was in awe at what had just taken place. Heavenly Father was there! It was such an amazing experience. My companions knew exactly what to teach him and they followed the spirit. I hope I will be able to do the same soon.
My comps are waiting for me to get off even though I have more to say as usual. I know I only told one story and that it was really long but I just didn't want to leave anything out! I am doing well and I am so happy and Heavenly Father's work is progressing here in Warden. I am so blessed. Thank you everyone for your prayers and words of comfort. I love you all so much!
Hermana Syphus

Mission Home Address
820 South Pines Road
Suite 101 Spokane Valley Washington

Home Address
6794 Road S. SE
Warden Washington
Come July 1st, our mission home address will change to the Kennewick Washington Mission, just FYI :) Also, next week our p day will be on Tuesday not Monday.
And mom, I wasn't able to read you entire email so I just printed it off and I will write you a letter if I missed some of your questions. So if I didn't respond to anything that is why. Sorry! :(
                                                                Pres. & Sis. Mullen

Friday, May 17, 2013

Week 5 (May 17, 2013 MTC)

Oh Mom, thank you so much for that email :) Family is one of the things that is getting me through and I thank Heavenly Father so sincerely for my family each and everyday. That is so wonderful about Kylie and Greg and Axel! I can't believe it, how awesome!! Sometimes I wish I was there to see everyone, especially after you said that about baby Axel, but I know that I am supposed to be here and that my family is being taken care of. Oh how I miss everyone! The babies will be so grown up when I get home and it will be hard but you are right, all will be well :) It was so great to talk you you all for that short time yesterday. I was so happy to hear your voices. Tell Kam that I am sorry if I sounded mean to her, I was not trying to sound mean at all! :/ I was just so excited to hear her voice and I just love her so much! I am okay but I am so nervous and I this is all so new to me but I also know that Heavenly Father will not make me do it alone. It will be hard but because I know what I know, it will be doable! I have so many other things to tell you mom but I can do that over the phone tomorrow!!!!!! :) :) :)
Dear sweet family and friends,
I GOT REASSIGNED YESTERDAY!!!! :) :) And I am going to the Washington Spokane Mission! Oh my goodness I am so happy and I just know that Christ's Church and Gospel have been restored and that I really am so blessed to have this opportunity to be a missionary in these the last days. So when I read where I was going, it was just like getting my call for the first time! I saw that the paper said that I was leaving Saturday and so I thought to myself "Oh ok, I am going to be leaving 5 days later than my original departure date. But guess what everyone? I kept reading and I said Saturday the 18th of May! And I couldn't believe it!! That is tomorrow! I am leaving Utah in the morning and will be in the mission field TOMORROW! That is so crazy and it was so unexpected and I am as nervous as something that is really nervous but I cannot wait! I am so excited to get out there and meet more of God's children who have been prepared to receive this glorious Gospel. Thankfully today is p day so I can pack and prepare as much as possible. So this email might be short because I don't have a lot of time! :) :) I shed some tears when I read it because I am going to miss this place so much. I am going to miss my district and my sweet companion and my teachers and the amazing spirit I have felt here. I am going to miss Sundays at the MTC! It will be so hard to leave all these things but it has been confirmed to me that there will be even greater things and even greater miracles in the mission field. And I don't know if I am ready but I do know that God will help me prepare and will help me to do His work as long I as I am faithful and worthy. I am happy :) He is the source of my happiness. And I will never doubt that.
THis week has been absolutely amazing. Sunday was just wonderful as usual. First, it was Mother's day and I couldn't help but think about my own sweet mother and the angel that she is in my life and in the lives of so many others. Our district watched a video on lds.org about mothers and by the end of that 2 minute video, there was not a dry eye in the room. It was so beautiful and it made me realize again that my mom really is an angel and that I am so blessed and I just don't know how I was so blessed to have Kim White Syphus as my mother. But I will never complain about that :) So, I just want to hurry and say thank you not just to my own mother, but to ALL those women in my life that have been mother's to me. My aunts, my grandmas, my sisters, my friends moms, my leaders in church, and so so many others. Like the video we watched said, "Life does not come with a manual. It comes with a mother." I agree completely 100% with that statement and I hope that as I grow and get older, Heavenly Father will help be be that kind of wife and mother that my mom is to me and that so many other "mom's" in my life are to me. The speaker in Relief Society was... JANICE KAPP PERRY!! So perfect for Mother's Day. Just so perfect. And let me say this right off, this sweet disciple of Christ reminds me so much of my mom and my grandma's. She was just incredible and the spirit she brought into that room was oh my goodness, so sweet and beautiful. And I believe that the spirit there was so strong because we pretty much just sang songs the entire time and she talked about music and missions and it was unforgettable. Sis. Perry wrote many of the well know primary songs and she also wrote As Sisters in Zion. We sang a medley of all her primary songs and then, the best part, we sang a NEVER BEFORE SUNG version of As Sisters in Zion that she rewrote specifically for sister missionaries. It is called "The Sisters of Zion." It was one of the greatest most amazing things that I have ever participated in and it was so beautiful. I wish we got a copy of the words but we didn't. It was hard to even sing the song because the Holy Ghost was touching the hearts of every single sister in that meeting I believe. And my testimony of music and the power it has and also in missionary work was strengthened and I am so happy to be able to be a missionary, a sister missionary, at this time. It really is a blessing and I hope I will do it in the way the Lord wants me to do it. What a wonderful way to start off Mother's Day and just the week in general. I wish the entire world could have been there to feel the power that was in that room. Because it was there and it was real. I got to shake her hand and her husband's hand after the meeting and they are wonderful wonderful people. I love them and I am thankful to Heavenly Father for blessing them with the talents the have and that they shared with us that day.
I am out of time but I want to say real quick that Russell M. Nelson came on Tuesday for the devotional!!! :) What another wonderful treat and blessing! It was so great to see his personality a little more. He is such a sweet man and I know that he is an apostle of the Lord and that his words are from God. His message was uplifting and was about how angels are with us and that we need to work harder than ever before. I was thankful for his message. Maybe I can say more about it next email.
I love all of you. I know that I have not written many of you back that have given me letters and I hope that you have not lost hope in me! I don't have lots of time to write letters because even p days are busy but I want to tell everyone thank you SO SO MUCH for your letters and packages and emails and all. They are much appreciated i promise. And please don't think I do not care about you because I have not written back. That is definitely not the case my friends. I am thankful for all of you and I love you all so much. Your letters are treasures to me and I hope I will get better at prioritizing my time better so I can write you all back! I hope you can forgive me. The Lord is helping me everyday and He is helping me realize my MANY weaknesses so that I can come to Him for strength. His Atonement is real. I love Him and I love His Gospel. And I love you all!!
Hermana Syphus :) 

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Week 4 1/2 (May 14, 2013 MTC)

Hey Mom! :) First, I love you ever so much. Second, I know that today is not my pday but I received permission from President Tyler to email you. Third, the reason I am emailing you is to let you know that I will be finding out my reassignment this week on either Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday. Ha, I know that is really vague but I just wanted to let you know that whatever day I find out, I get to call home for about 5 minutes and let you and dad know!! YES!! :) So I don't know if dad will be home when I find out and I don't know what time to tell you so that is a bummer :( But just wanted to tell you this so someone answers the phone on those days haha :) Well I wish I could go on but am only able to tell you this one thing. Love you mom, so very much. I think about you and dad every single day. I also can feel the Lord lifting me up every single day and I love that feeling. I hope you had an amazing mother's day by the way! :) Love you!
p.s. you can call be Katelyn by the way, it doesn't matter to me. I like it :) But either one is fine. Oh and I wanted to email this to dad as well but I don't know his email so would you mind giving that to me? Thanks so much mom! Tell dad that I love him too, so very much! xoxoxox

Friday, May 10, 2013

Week 4 (May 10, 2013 MTC)

Dear Family,
First I want to tell my angel of a mother Happy Mother's Day! Mom I hope you have a great day and that everyone is good to you :) Thank you for all you do for me and for the world in general. I hope your day is splendid. I love you SOOO much! I wanted to get a letter to you before Sunday but I am sorry that probably won't happen :(  I just came from the temple because every p day we go to the temple at 6:30 in the morning to do a session. It was so beautiful and I wanted to stay there forever. While in the temple I thought about my family and how grateful I am to have been blessed with the family that I have. I couldn't help but tear up a little thinking of you all. I thought I loved you all before my mission but being here for only 5 weeks has helped me realize that I love my family so much and I am so thankful for the knowledge of the Plan that Father has created for us. I cannot wait to teach people about this truth and see the light in their eyes when they too realize that the can be with their families forever. What a wonderful doctrine to hold in our hearts.
Once again this week as been super busy but very good. Thanks to everyone once again for the letters and emails and sweet messages :) I appreciate all of them and I am sorry if I haven't written everyone back that has written to me :( But please know that my love is there and that I am so thankful for everything everyone has done. Mom and dad it was great hearing the news from home. Thank you for all of that :) I love the babysitting stories because they make me laugh so hard :) I also appreciated that insight you gave me about that book you are reading mom, thank you :) You know, I have been reading lots about giving all my heart, might, mind, and strength to the Lord so what you told me went right along with that. In D&C 4 it says to give all your heart, might, mind, and strength to the Lord. I have never really thought about all of those things carefully. Being on a mission though, I have realized that the STRENGTH part of that really is true. I thought about that for a while, about giving up all of our strength to the Lord. And then I thought well if i do that, then how am I going to have strength to do the Lord's work? Then I thought more and realized that when we give up all of OUR OWN strength in service of the Lord and His work, that is when we receive HIS strength. A scripture in Philippians says that we can do all things, through the Lord who gives us strength. There are also so many other scriptures that I was able to study about this topic. We receive His strength when we give up ours in service to Him. At least that is what I got from studying it ha :) That really has helped me though and I do I appreciate that insight mom :) Dad thank you for your dear elder as well. I always appreciate your wonderful advice and love :)  
This is random but very funny. So there is an Elder in my district named Elder Marrow. Well we were practicing a hymn to sing in church on Sunday next and he was telling the guys that they needed to sing bass or "the low notes". Well when they started singing (including Elder Marrow), they all just sang random low notes and no idea what they were doing. But when we finished the song, Elder Marrow says, "Okay that was a lot better guys." HAHAHAHA it was sooo funny! And maybe you had to be there but it was just so cute and great and I got a good laugh from that :)
The Argentine Consul came on Monday and we went to visit with him and we signed so papers and it was pretty simple. He talked to us a lot about Argentina and I got really excited about it. I can't wait to get there! He was super nice too. He is white with blond hair and blue eyes which was kinda funny to me ha :) So hopefully I will get my visa soon! One thing he said about Argentina was "If you go there, you can't escape soccer." YES!! I was happy about that :) I think it will be fun to play with the little kids even though they will kick my trash I am sure ha :)
Chad Lewis came on Sunday and talked to us for the devotional. His message was so amazing. He is a former BYU football player and then played in the NFL as well. His talk was like a spiritual pep talk before a game that is for sure. He mostly just reminded us of why we are on missions and what our purpose is and that we are where we are supposed to be. He told us some inspiring stories and after his talk, our district was so pumped up and we just wanted to be missionaries forever. It was great! :)
I had the wonderful opportunity of hosting on Wednesday and it was so much fun. I hosted a foreign sister from Seoul Korea :) I asked her if she knew an Elder Bennett but no luck ha :) She was the sweetest sister and I was able to help her with some things she needed to do. She showed up in pants because she just came from the airport I believe. She was great and just so excited to be a missionary. She was attending BYU Hawaii and studying music before she came out. She plays the violin :) As I watched the families say goodbye to their kids, I couldn't believe that I was doing that exact same thing just 5 weeks ago. It was a precious moment for me seeing the families and their love for each other. Of course it made me miss my family again but it was neat to be on the other side this time, helping the sisters that were just getting to the MTC. I loved it and it wanted to keep doing it because it just made me so happy!
Things with my comp and I are great. We can mostly say everything we want to say in our comp prayers now. We set a goal a few weeks ago to only pray in spanish in our comp prayers and so we have been trying to do that and now we can see the difference from when we first started doing them all in spanish. It is still hard to teach a spanish lesson everyday but I can definitely see that the gift of tongues is a real gift from God and I am so thankful for it.
I wish I was a faster typer or something because time is almost up and this email is really short and I still had TONS to say. How am I going to do this Mom and Dad, it just stresses me out! I am sorry if my emails are just lacking in information and if they contain useless information. I want so badly to just call you both up and tell you about everything! It is driving me nuts that I have so much to say and can't say it all. But anyway, thank you for the calling card number and also for the picture of the house :) My skirts and outfits are already falling a part ha. Mom I don't know if you can do this but I never have time to organize this email account of mine and I don't know if you can or even want to do it but if you had time could you maybe do something to organize it? I don't want to place anything hard on you so if that will be too hard then that is fine :) I am worried about my luggage weighting too much because I have all these new spanish books and such and so I hope it all works out :/ I just feel like I don't know how do anything! So many people have written to me and I have not responded to them because I just can't. Can you please tell my grandparents that I love them so much and I am so sorry that I haven't written them yet but that I am thankful for their letters and I love them so much.  
Things are great and it is hard but like I say all the time, the Lord is walking beside His missionaries and I can feel that. I am praying for my family and friends everyday and I am so thankful for all of you. I love being on my mission because it is helping me realize so many things that I thought I knew already. The love of Heavenly Father is one of those things. I cannot wait to be in the field and experience great things there. Oh! This sister is going to St. George on her mission and was wanting to know if anyone we know of wants to hear the Gospel message, if y'all know of anyone, just let me know and I will tell her, she leaves on Wednesday :) Love you all and thanks again for everything! Hope everyone has a great week and I hope all of the Mothers that receive this email have a wonderful Mother's Day!!!
Hermana Syphus :)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Week 3 (May 3, 2013 MTC)

Dear Family and Friends,
Have I ever told you that i have the best family and friends in the world? Probably but it's not going to hurt to say it again: I have THE BEST family and friends in the world. I received packages and letters galore from so many people this past week for my birthday. I think there were like 15 letters! Holy cow that's so many. I love you all so much. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Your letters and emails and packages made me ever so happy just like they always do :) Thank you so much! Erik, your package was so thoughtful and also delicious. Thank you so much for that. The donuts were a bit messy but they didn't taste any different so it doesn't even matter :) When I opened it the first thing that came to mind was "I have the best brothers ever." And the next thing that came to my mind was "Are you a fan of delicious flavor?" And of course I responded, "Why yes, yes I am." Thank you so much. They are yummy and my comp think so too :). Mom thank you so so much for the sweet package you sent me. I absolutely love the calendar and I spent a while just looking through the pictures on it. The chocolates are delicious thank you so much for those as well. And my companion and other roommates want me to tell you that the apples are the best things ever. They couldn't believe that they were made at home haha :) They love them and they think that I have the parents ever. Which they are right about :) Thank you for the stamps and letters and everything else! It was great and I was so happy with everything. I can't believe everything that has happened at home! I love hearing the news. Oh how I miss seeing our yard and trees full of fruit. The garden sounds amazing! The birthday's sounded like a lot of fun and I loved reading about Kendyl's surprise ha :) how fun for her. I can only imagine how great Shaun's recital went. Thank you for telling me about everything. Joel has a job!! Oh my goodness that is so great! And I can't believe you won those tickets again mom! That's so funny. I am happy to hear about Kylie and Greg and Axel and their soon to be move :) How exciting for your family. Can't wait to see the house when I get back.
This week as been great. I had a meeting this morning with many other missionaries going to Argentina. We got finger printed for our visas and on Monday the consulate of Argentina is coming to get our visas started. I think I will still be reassigned but we will see. My birthday was great! I absolutely love my district! Besides all the wonderful letters and packages I received from family and friends, the sisters in my district decorated my door with sticky notes and that was a great surprise. They are so sweet! Then my comp. got me a twix and some chap stick and wrote me a note that was really sweet. Lots of people that day told me happy birthday and everyone was so kind. They all helped me to have a great day. We also taught a lesson that morning and it went really well so that was another great present. So you know how Hermama Boothe's dad works here at the MTC? Well he brought a cake secretly and gave it to Hermama Boothe and that night my district surprised me with a cake! It was so great! I couldn't believe that they would do that! They sang to me and it was all just really wonderful. They are so thoughtful and I am so thankful for them.

Hermana Boothe's dad works in the MTC kitchen and made me a birthday cake!

My 20th Birthday at the MTC.  My friends put stick it notes on my door.  So KIND!
On Sunday night I asked my comp if she wanted to go to choir practice and she said sure so we did and it was so great! Music is something that is helping me through the difficulties of being a missionary. I know that it is a tool that God uses to bring peace into our lives and to help us feel the spirit and His love for us. It was so fun to sing with all of those missionaries! We were planning singing at the Devotional on Tuesday night. So when Tuesday came around, we received some news that made us feel overwhelmed and stressed for a bit. So at that point we had two investigators because we had two teachers right? Well one of our teachers wasn't able to work everyday anymore so we now have another teacher which means we also have another investigator. I think that in the moment we heard this news, we all wanted to cry haha. It's not that we don't like having investigators, it's just that it is so hard to plan and prepare lesson in spanish in the little time we have. And now were getting three?! It is very rare to have three investigators in the MTC so we got lucky ;) But in a way we are actually lucky because now we will have more experience with teaching and learning how to rely on the spirit to help us teach. I have really learned that being here and it has been so wonderful. So after we heard this news, Hermana Freestone and I decided that there was no way we could make it to choir practice on Tuesday AND prepare a lesson for our new investigator. So we decided to not do choir this last week. It was a sacrifice but it was good because we were able to have lots of time to prepare a lesson. Having three investigators now is very difficult but when things like that happen I am reminded of the simple yet powerful truth that God will not give us anything we cannot handle. We have committed tow of our investigators to baptism and they have said yes! It was a very special and sweet moment when they said they wanted to get baptized. The Lord is really with us each day. Jacob 5: 72 says "And it came to pass that the servants did go and labor with their mights; and the Lord of the vineyard labored also with them; and they did obey the commandments of the Lord of the vineyard in all things." This is absolutely true! The Lord does labor and is laboring with us. This gives me so much comfort. I love knowing that the Savior of the world is in fact walking beside us and helping us to spread His Gospel.
Hermana Boothe is very sick and had to stay in bed today. Would you all mind praying for her? Mom things with my comp are great thanks for asking :) My eye is getting better. Still a little red but getting better :) Pres. Tyler is not the MTC pres. just the pres. of our zone. Very wonderful and inspiring man. The Pres. is Pres. Nally :)
Well there are more things to say but no time left so maybe next time. But please know how much I love and appreciate all of you and your love and support. This has been a trying experience but it has been so rewarding already. I am nothing without God and he has given me everything. I am so thankful for His love and for you all. Hope you all have a great week!
Hermana Syphus