Thursday, September 29, 2016

Week 5

Hermana Green, Hermana Holton & Hermana Erskine

Last Day in the Dominican Republic Mission Training Center WHAT!!!!!!

I cannot BELIEVE that I only have a couple days left in the mtc! This is crazy. On Tuesday I wake up at 4 am to go to the airport to go to PUERTO RICOOOOOOOOOO. This is crazy. Life is so weird. I feel like I just got here but I also feel like my life before the mtc was just a dream hahahahahahaha. But seriously though.  I've made so many amazing friends, teachers, and President and Sister Romney have been sosososo incredible and have treated me like one of their own. I am sad to leave, but excited to start my new adventure! 

I ate squid. The whole body. Tentacles and all. Just on my plate. (wasn't too bad not gonna lie.)  So the cool thing about this mtc is that we get to go on splits and go proselyting out in the field twice! We went last Friday for the first time, and a couple days ago on Tuesday. Both days and experiences made me SO excited for the field! You really never know what's going to happen haha. For example:
The churros are AMAZING. They are better than Disneyland AND Costco churros, and that's saying something. 
There are a lot of stray dogs, cats, and chickens. On Tuesday my companion and I were out walking in this neighborhood and this chicken started following us for a while. It was kinda scary haha.I also saw a three legged dog. Weird.

Out of both days we didn't teach a lot of lessons, but we got probably around 4 lessons in. It was so cool to actually be out in the field with real life investigators and not just our teachers with wigs on haha. But last Friday, we were in one of/if not the most poor areas here in Santo Domingo. To give you and idea of what it looks like, there's piles and piles and piles of trash, a lot of homeless people and families, and if they do have a home, it's extremely small. Not to mention that in order to make your way around the neighborhoods, you had to duck and squeeze through small alleyways, and watch out for motorcycles speeding down the alleys. Power lines are super sketchy, they're in tons and tons and tons of knots so we get power outages a lot here. We went to go teach this one woman and she invited us in, and her house was big enough to fit her stove, and two beds. I almost started crying because I immediately thought of my home, and how lucky I was to even have one, let alone one that was able to withstand weather, and provide for my family. Being out here really makes you appreciate all that you have. (not that I didn't before, but you get the idea). But, these people, are the most humble people I've ever met. They are happy, friendly, and are very open to listening to the gospel. With every lesson we were in, it was incredible to see how they changed when we start talking about the First Vision. You can see the change happen almost instantly in their eyes. They become more attentive, and the spirit is so strong. I have never felt the Spirit stronger than I did in that lesson, it felt even stronger hearing it in Spanish. 
All of these experiences have made me so excited to go start meeting people in Puerto Rico. I know without a doubt that this is where I am supposed to be right now in my life. This last month has been life-changing, and I am slowly seeing myself become the person I've always wanted to be.
And General Conference is this week!!!!!! AHHHHH. 
I can't wait to watch it.
I hope you all have a wonderful week, and thank you for all your love and support! 

Love always,
Hermana Green.

This is an excerpt of Kali's Email to Gary & I.

We Asked Kali the question.  What have you learned in the 5 1/2 weeks of being in the MTC?

What have I learned most? Oh goodness.. many things. but the things that stick out to me are these
  1. Have Faith in Christ and in myself
  2. Listen to the promptings of the Spirit. I learned that half the time we get promptings from the spirit, we wont even realize until after that they were from the spirit at all, but as long as we act upon the thoughts and promptings we receive, and are obedient, then all will work out.
  3. In order to be an effective missionary/member of the church, you HAVE to convert yourself first. Having a testimony builds the foundation for full conversion. It's insane how immersed I am in the gospel. 
  4. Setting aside time for scripture study really helps me feel the spirit throughout the day. You and dad should do it together! 
  5. I've received revelation in the temple. Super cool.
  6. I've learned a ton of patience. To let things go, don't sweat the small stuff, it's not worth it. Take deep breaths and love everyone.

OH I forgot to include in my group email but I sang Where Can I Turn for Peace a solo again making it the fourth time I have sang in sacrament hahaha. But I really hope I can share the gospel through my talents!


I cant wait to hear from you!! 
Love you both.

Pday at the Dominican Republic Temple

The 3 Amigas
Hermana Garcia & Hermana Green (Hermana Garcia is One of Kali's Teachers at the DR MTC)
Hermana Garcia contacted me on Facebook and said Hermana Green Is a very
Special Missionary. Hermana Green will be serving with Hermana Garcia's
Sister for her first 6 Weeks when she gets to Puerto Rico.
Hermana Holton, Hermana Garcia (MTC Trainer) Hermana Green
and Hermana Erskine.

Hermana Green and Hermana Holton will be going to Puerto Rico together.
Sister Erskine will be staying in the DR

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Week 4

Picture is of Hermana Green, Hermana Erskine, Elder Chapman & Elder Dayton

                    ONE MONTH DOWN WOOOO PARTY

As of yesterday, I have officially been out in the field for ONE MONTH.This is so weird. Time flies.

So this week has been such an amazing week! 

-Last friday, we went contacting again down by the beach, and we talked to four people! Each person we talked to was super interested in the church and were absolutely lovely people. 
This one woman we talked to was sweeping trash around the park, so we decided to go help her. After helping her clean for about 10 minutes we got into talking to her and got to know her and she was really interested in the church. We were able to get her name, number, and a date scheduled for her to be visited by the missionaries in the area and afterwards she gave us each a lollipop and hugged and kissed us goodbye. It was so sweet! We were also able to handout two Book of Mormons. I've gotta say, there really is nothing that brings me more joy than seeing the light that the gospel brings to people. 

-Also on friday, it was one of our teachers, Hermano Medina's birthday, and he didn't tell anyone! He didn't show up to class on that monday, but on tuesday we decorated the board and the room and wrote happy birthday everywhere, and brought some snacks from our snack stash, turned off the lights, and surprised him by singing happy birthday to him. I think we almost gave him a heart attack when he walked in but he was so happy so it was all worth it haha.

But onto the more serious part of my email this week, I learned a lot about Charity.
Before I left, my dad gave me a book called,"100 Favorite Verses from the Book Of Mormon (its an amazing book with tons of insight and quotes and inspiring things, I highly reccommend it, thanks dad!) and it has the topic of charity in it, so i read it, and a lot of what I am about to say comes from this book.

So we learn that Charity consists of three things:

1. Charity is the pure love of Christ, which is the highest, noblest, and strongest kind of love. It is love that looks beyond outward appearances and sees the intent and goodness of others hearts.

2. Charity endures forever. It is not a fleeting emotion, but one that can be counted on in all places. Charity is motivated by the Savior's example of unconditional and enduring love.

3.Charity is not a last minute acquisition, it is a trait to be cultivated, nurtured and practiced on a daily basis"

Christ loved everyone. He was the perfect example of someone who loved all kinds of people, and we should try and do the same, everyday. Showing our love for others increases our happiness and improves the quality of not only their lives, but ours as well. I testify that Christ lives and that He loves all of us. I see His love for others, as well as myself, everyday. So I challenge you all to try and show charity to one person a day. It doesn't need to be big or small. Just one thing could change someone's day, and sometimes, even their life. I know that to be true.

Thank you for all your love and support, it never goes unnoticed! Adios!

 Here is one of our nightly Pictures as a trio.  Hermana Green, Hermana Holton and Hermana Erskine. (Kali's companions 

Here is part of the Letter Hermana Green wrote to us that we wanted to share.

So I have learned so much this week.  Something that I have learned,

I have finally recieved answers to questions I've had for years. especially about how the holy ghost reveals answers to us all personally. It finally clicked, what the difference was between my own thoughts and the spirits promptings, I've always wondered the difference and for a long time up until a couple days ago i thought that maybe there was something wrong with me haha but look up the video of elder bednar talking to the provo mtc about his story about the 20 marcs (german currency) story. Its absolutely incredible.
My spanish is getting better and better each week. I can understand and speak so much better than i ever thought i could. Its crazy because sometimes I'll hear things and think that theyre in english, but really its in spanish. Thats how easily i can understand spanish now.

I get to go on my first splits with real missionaries. (We thought this was so cute.  Does Kali not realize that she is a real missionary and she is serving with real missionaries?)

Life is good. 
I love you both more than you can comprehend. Thank you for everything

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Week 3

                        Hermana Green and Sister Romney (MTC Pres. Wife)

Hola familia y amigos! And yet another week completed over here in the DR.(Dominican Republic) This has been an interesting week..

-Last saturday night right before we were about to go to our rooms to get ready for bed  Elder Chapman and Elder Raps (two elders I've gotten close to) came up to me saying,"hey! you ready for our trio musical number in sacrament meeting tomorrow?" and I laughed thinking they were joking around. They weren't haha. So I sang Come Come Ye Saints with them the next day in church. Second week in a row that i've sung in sacrament haha. And I was just informed while typing this that my district is going to sing in sacrament this week. So that's three hahaha. Woo! But what made singing Come Come Ye Saints so special was that every district except mine was leaving that following tuesday to go out in the field and leave the mtc. The song was really applicable and really moved a lot of people. Which leads into my next subject..

-On tuesday ( a couple days ago) all of the districts left, leaving the 10 of us in my district the only missionaries in the mtc for a day and a half. So that was interesting. It was also really sad because i've only known these people for 3 weeks, and it feels like we've been lifelong friends. The new missionaries arrived yesterday, and all ten of us get a silver sticker on our tags to show that we are "MTC vets". Fancy. I feel old. haha.

-So I'm pretty good at working out everyday and going outside to play a sport during our physical activity time but I have never sweat so much in my life until I played ULTIMATE FRISBEE in the DR (Dominican Republic) Do you know that you run a TON in ultimate frisbee? BECAUSE I DIDN'T. But it was super fun hahaha.

-Last night, Hermana Holton (one of my companions) asked me to cut her split ends off because it was driving her insane. She had been asking around the last week to see if anyone actually knew how to cut hair. It ended up being me, and I didn't screw it up! Oh the surprises a mission brings you.

-The last and most important part of this email: Yesterday we watched a Devotional that was Broadcast at the Provo MTC in 2011 given by Elder Bednar. His overall theme was about how we need to "turn ourselves outward towards the Savior rather than turning inward towards ourselves". It was one of the most amazing talks I've ever listened to. He really focused and dissected the idea of understanding the true character and nature of Jesus Christ and how through him we can become more compassionate and converted through his image, rather than give in to the natural man and focus on ourselves. If you have the time, go find it, watch it, read it, it will change your life. It changed mine. I can see that change happening in my own life. 

On friday we were able to go contacting by this beach and the Dominican people are so incredibly polite and nice. I was able to share my testimony of the gospel and how it has blessed my life with strangers, and they were able to feel of that same truth. It made me so beyond excited to get out and serve. 

I love you all, and thank you for your support!
-Hermana Green

Here are some pics for ya, sorry if some of these are repeated haha.
But the first picture (Above) is of Hermana Romney, my mission presidents wife, the second is of Hermana Fullmer and I , her and i got super close and she just left to go into the field,
the last one is of a bunch of the hermanas and I before prayer meeting!

                            The Hermanas in the Dominican Republic District

                       Hermana Fullmer and Hermana Green (Forever Friends)

                                         Hermana Fullmer and Hermana Green

                                       Hermana Green's Desk at the MTC

Hermana Green's MTC Bunk Bed

Below is a portion of our email from Hermana Green that we wanted to share with everyone. Love that Hermana Green has a testimony that Families Can Be Together Forever!!!

I love you both more than you know. Thank you for raising me the way you did. I am crying while typing this because I dont know how i got so lucky to be in the family, stake, and have the people in my life that i have now. I am beyond grateful and every time i go to the temple i am overwhelmed with joy because i know that no matter how far away I am, or if something happens to one of my family members, I know that we can all be together for time and eternity sealed as a family, and my desire for that same thing is stronger than ever.
I love you both so much.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Week 2

Hermana Green with her Companions

Hola familia y amigos!

Man the days here can go by really slow at times but also fast. The weeks fly by. but the days can be long. But hey! Its already pday again. So thats exciting. Haha.

Let's see.. this week was busy. Ha.

The power of fasting is AMAZING. Our mtc did a 24 hour fast starting after we had lunch on saturday afternoon till lunch on sunday afternoon. I thought it was going to be super hard, considering I had never done a 24 hour fast before, but it wasn't difficult at all. It was such an amazing experience getting to see the blessings of fasting happening right before my eyes. 

I sang in sacrament meeting! It was exciting and kind of nervewracking haha. That was also a really cool experience. I remember seconds before I walked away from my parents, my mom grabbed me by the shoulders and looked me right in the eyes and said," use your talents you've been blessed with to share the gospel". I was asked about a week and a half in advance to sing so I had a lot of time to pick a song. I prayed throughout that week to try and figure out which song would have the biggest impact on the missionaries in my zone. It all came down to ,"Be Still My Soul". At first I didnt think much of it, but then I realized that maybe this song was also meant for me. This last week has been a little more challenging, so hearing the words and really thinking about the meaning of the song reminded me that God is very very mindful of each and every one of us and what we go through on a daily basis.

My last cool experience was when we were teaching one of new investigator Socrates. (note: all of our "investigators" are our teachers, acting as real investigators they had on their missions.)
One thing we knew about him was that because he was a lawyer, he didnt have that much time to spend with his family, and was interested to find out how the gospel could bless him and his family. We were in the middle of our lesson, and it was my turn to say part of the lesson I had memorized, and I was completely overcome by the Spirit and instead of saying what I had planned, I talked about how every family has their trials and that my family had faced quite a few at certain points in my life, but that through the power of the gospel and through the example of Jesus Christ, we were able to overcome those trials and strengthen our bond and love. I got emotional and it was insane to think that this was just a practice, but that I was able to feel the Spirit so strong in the lesson.

Some other cool things that happened this week:
-We went to the store on tuesday and it was POURING. But it was so fun to actually go outside of the MTC and see the city.
-My district is like a small family. We can be super serious and spiritual, and then the next moment be crying because we are laughing so hard. I feel like ive known them for years.
-Yesterday during our service activity at the local college park, we were picking up trash and I went to go pick up this wrapper and it turned out to be a SUPER GREEN AND BLACK BUTTERFLY (betsy I know you'd appreciate this) It was so cool. Hahahahha.

But that was all the exciting things happening here in the DR.

Thank you for all the love and support! I love you all very much. Till next week!
-Hermana Green.

Here are some pictures!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Week 1

Hello friends and family! 
I am sorry in advance if this email is weird because writing emails for the first time is kinda stressfull hahaha. 
But this is my first email! Woo!

Okay, so this last week has been one of the longest and most challenging weeks of my entire life. But, it has also been one of the most rewarding.

There have been a lot of trials already but hey, no one said a mission would be easy, but I KNOW already that it's going to be worth it.

I have two companions, Hermana Holton y Hermana Erskine, both from sandy, Utah. (yay English) okay a lot of people speak English but I was scared there weren't going to be haha

The domincan republic is absolutely incredible, and the people here are so nice. The food is pretty good! 
My days are super long, 16 hours long to be exact, filled with tons and tons and tons and tons of Spanish. I've picked up the language pretty quickly, but I still have a lot to learn.

So the third day we were here, we had to start preparing lessons for our "investigator" Jeremy. (I use quotes because it's not actually a real investigator, its one of our teachers with a bowl cut wig on. Pretty funny.)  Lessons are actually kinda stressful to plan sometimes but in the end it all works out, usually. Haha. 

There have been plenty of times this week where I have wanted to give up, I've asked," what am I doing here, I don't know Spanish at all, and I don't feel good enough to be a missionary". But one of the most important things I've learned this week is to not give up in a moment of weakness. I make the decision not quit, no matter how hard it gets(and trust me, it gets hard), Because I remember that I have the most amazing work to do, which is to preach the message and gospel of Christ to the people of Puerto Rico.

Remember: " Al que cree todo le es possible" aka " To he that believeth, all things are possible"

I promise my emails will get better as the weeks go by but I have a lot of emails to read and if I don't respond I promise I will soon!

I love and pray for you all every night, and I can feel your love and prayers from here.
Thank you for all the love and support! Love you all!