Thursday, December 26, 2013

Feliz Navidad

Merry Christmas from Mexico

Raini departs the MTC on Monday! She'll be back in the States and we can send her letters and packages with a normal delivery time! Yay! We have a big box we are filling each day to send. We missed her so much on Christmas. 
This was the card her teacher sent to all the families of the missionaries on Christmas's her MTC district...all American kids going on missions all over the Spanish-speaking world.

But here is her letter she was able to write on Christmas Day:
so, today is christmas!! this is so weird that i am in Mexico and on a mission..and it's christmas!! its all just so crazy. haha but it honestly has been one of the biggest blessings I think to be here in the CCM on christmas. They have helped us remember the TRUE meaning of christmas. Usually I am so caught up in the hustle and bustle of getting presents for people and stuff. But this year we really have just been focusing and talking about why this day is so incredibly important! The other night me and my district went around and shared our families christmas traditions and told some fun stories.. then yesterday night i was in charge of the district devo and we went around and read the first part of Luke chapter 2 like we do every year as a family, and then we all talked about and shared our favorite part about the christmas story and christs birth or our favorite thing about our savior and what he has done for us through his atonement. It was really cool.. I love to read and talk about the amazing life that Jesus Christ lived. To read Isaiah 53:3-5 and think that he came to this earth knowing that his purpose was to live and die for us and when he came he was so rejected of his own people and then they killed him in the worst way possible.. and he did it willingly, and gave it up to the Father because he knew it had to be done in order for us to over come our sins and death.  Some of my new favorite scriptures are in 3 Nephi 11-17 where christ comes to the americas and has the people all come to him and touch his scars in his hands and his sides.. It makes me so excited to think that that is what we will get to do one day. And even though he has a perfected body, he still has those scars because his atonement is infinite for us. I am just so grateful for Christ and so grateful for this day that the entire world celebrates his birth because honestly even though we all give eachother gifts and stuff, we on this day have been given the greatest gift possible. Our Savior, Lord, and King. Our Redeemer and Advocate. I love him so much. 
I learned a lot of new things this week in about the symbolism of so many different things in the birth of christ. Such as: bethlehem means house of bread, and the Savior a.k.a. the bread and life of the world was born there. Also when he was born he was laid in a manger a.k.a. a feeding trough.. And again, he is the water and bread of life. Another one was the fact that shepards were there to see him be born and the main job of a shepard is to care for young lambs and stuff, and he is the Lamb of God. I dont know, i guess i probably have heard this all before, but i found it really interesting and cool. 

Hmm.. what else to tell you?! I am starting to really freak out because I am going to the mission field in 4 days. 4 DAYS!!!!!!!!! what the heck!! I am so incredibly excited to finally teach real people. man. Its gonna be great. As for the weather.. im a bit scared because i was freezing today and it was like the high for where i am going was the low this morning. woo. haha

Right now its really interesting, there are no latinos in the MTC! and we have been the oldest group of missionaries here now for the past week and a half. I realized i havent ever told you really about how the language and stuff is here.. Our whole zone is american. Majority of the people here are american. so there is actually a lot of english spoken here.. our teachers are all mexican and speak english too.. but not really really well..just enough to understand us when we dont know how to say things haha. But yeah.. all of our church meetings on Sundays are in English even! except for Sacrament Meeting. I had to give a 5-min. talk last week ALL in spanish!! it went pretty well, i guess.
well.. I love you guys so much. and if i think about it too much I get really sad that i am not there with you guys for christmas but i am so glad to be here and to have all my focus on the true meaning of christmas. I love this gospel and I am so pumped to get out to the field. 
Talk to you again tomorrow
Have a wonderful day and dont forget to remember the real meaning of this wonderful holiday. I love you sooooo much. 
con mucho amor,
Hermana Weller

This is Raini's "new" zone at the MTC as of last week.

These are the snowflakes she mentioned last week that they had a contest to create the best one! haha

This is her district...she's the only one going to NC, by the way.

Her district, acting funny..."pretty much sums up my MTC district", she says

Her companion made these stockings out of paper for each of them!! How cute, and a relative of hers sent one of the candy bar packages so she could disperse them to everyone! How nice, huh!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

This week's photo is of all the sisters in the zone she's been in...but half of them have left already to missions like Ecuador, Peru, etc....Raini says they just got a group of new sisters in this week to replace those...and now she's teaching them how to teach. On the downhill of MTC time already!!

Here is her letter this week:

Hola familia y amigos!
este semana estaba muy bien..that means, "this week was really good" my spanish continues to really improve! I am get kinda stuck with some phrases though because the new things we have learned are things i havent ever learned in school before.. and so i dont think to use them while i am teaching yet. But honestly teaching is getting so much easier.. its great! We have no problem going and teaching someone the first lesson. And the other day we had to first be taught and then switch roles and teach these sisters that are only a week behind us. Sad thing is they literally cant say anything in spanish. It was bad. I felt horrible for them! They didnt know anything when they got here. Glad i took spanish and have a foundation at least..
So we got called to be the sister leaders for the zone because we just got a new district last night! There are 4 new girls.. so awesome. They all seem fun and nice but we havent really gotten to know them all that well yet. One of them is from Tucson though! and she says she has seen me at the institute at some point haha. hermana dunne is her name. But idk really much about her ha. So anyways about getting that leadership calling-- i have realized i need to step up my game cause this week is the first time I feel like I'm getting a little sick of the MTC...cause I want to get out into the field having this leadership opportunity helps me feel more like I have stuff to learn still before I get out there for real!! But, every day is pretty much the same.. we teach like 3 times a day.. we practice spanish and we do personal study go to some devotionals some nights.. it just gets boring at times. But I realized that I really dont want to waste any time I have here in the MTC... because when i get out to the field in a couple weeks.. I want to be able to speak well and be able to have a firm testimony in everything I am teaching!! 
So. Two things that influenced my realization that I need to be better and work even harder this next couple weeks-- 1. hermana miller gave a district devotional the other night and it was about service. We all went around and shared an experience we have had with serving others.. it was really good. and then she assigned each companionship a different companionship to do service for this next week.. and to get a little gift for christmas haha..hand-made! then after that we all picked out of a hat one of the Christ like attributes from preach my gospel and we are all supposed to work on that this next week.. I got "diligence" ha. so i have been trying to just shut out all distractions and diligently study when i need to. 2. being called as the sister leader for the zone (even though we were the only district in our zone for the past 3 days hahah) I just know I need to be the best example for the new girls as possible and I just realized how close it is coming that i am going to be gone from here.. craziness. 
Oh my goodness!! ok the other night it was the coolest thing and probably the most fun thing we have done since we have been here haha. We got to go to this mexican cultural celebration. Its some kind of traditional thing they do here in mexico to celebrate christmas. but i didnt see the correlation of christmas with it until joseph and mary came out with the baby.. It was just super fun and crazy.. tons of dancing and music and cheering and it was just so much fun. they beat a piƱata at the very end and threw it out into the crowd haha so we got some mexican candy! After that i was just like so amped and excited and happy it was christmas time haha!! 
which leads me to the next amazing thing that we did this week.. I taught everyone how to make LEGIT snowflakes and we put them all over our door of our district room. Its so funny because anyone who comes in we ask which one they like the best and so far its between me and elder favero for the win.. all the elders have had fun with it so its pretty great. We also decorated the last white board in our classroom and every day we slide the other ones over it so our teachers cant see it because we dont want them to erase it because before we moved into this new classroom we decorated the other one and it got erased;( so i wrote at the bottom of the board "no borrar. o muerte" hahahah..that means "don't erase..or death" so i think it has really discouraged people erasing it. haha
hmmm.. lets see. I cant really think of anything else that happened this week. It was all good.... i have pictures of stuff to send but i cant find my cord!! ugh! of course haha. 
I am so excited because i am in charge of the district devotional on christmas eve so i am going to do our family tradition of reading luke 2 and do a little testimony meeting.. any ideas of other good stuff i can do? i want it to be good.. 
So every district passes the frisbee down a few days before they leave for the field to the next "frisbee lord" and they do a "ceremony" and so it was HILARIOUS because they did the little shark bate who-ha-ha thing from finding nemo. Our district leader got deemed frisbee lord and we are already planning our ceremony for the next district haha! its gonna be great. BTW. my ankle is feeling good. Its pretty bruised.. like my entire ankle and foot are purplish, but its way less swollen and i am starting to play sports again. So it is good. 
Well.. I love you all very much. I miss you all lots and I hope you are having a good time getting ready for the holidays. I will get to call home and talk while I am in the airport for my layover so make sure you are all prepped for that cuz its gonna be great. and it will be another 6 months until i get to talk to you again.. 
anyways. I love you again!!!!!!! 
talk to you later
hermana weller

Friday, December 13, 2013

 The Temple in Mexico City, Mexico
Raini and her companions again.
Rainer with a reindeer :)

Week #3 MTC

Hola familia!!

Today I have been missing you sooooo much. I actually cried for the first time...feeling homesick. But, we went to the temple this morning which helps. It's hard to do it all in Spanish, but it is really cool to think that the lady I went through for was able to get her temple work done in her own native language... I think that is something special about being able to do a temple session in a different language.
OK! First off: THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE CINNAMON ROLLS! Wooooh!! They tasted slightly different than normal Cinnabons but oh well. I shared them with my district and everyone loved them! Thank you none the less. That was so good :) 

Ok. NOW, the explanation for the title of this email.... yup. I sprained my ankle playing ultimate frisbee the other day. I was just running and the grass is like real grass here haha.. its longer than i am used to and my shoes aren't the lightest shoes i have (which btw for Christmas I would loveeee Nike Frees..haha). So I was running to block the throw and then all of the sudden bam! my foot twisted out and POP. i knew it instantly that it was hurt for real cuz that freaking distinct sound that i HATE. so yeah.. it got super fat.. and now its brusing. But I have been icing it like crazy and wrapping it and taking it easy. which has been really hard because I love to play ultimate frisbee every week.. but oh well. maybe its helping me slow down a little bit to be with my companions a little bit more. The Lord does work in mysterious ways. By the way, things have been so much better this week with my comps...we have worked things out and are on the same page now with planning and teaching lessons.

Next, thank you mom for also sending pictures. I need them so badly. I need more physical ones of our family to be able to look at during the week haha. Thanks tho :) 

Ok so... Let me tell you more about the CCM/MTC! Every day goes by super fast now.. its weird. I cant believe we are starting week 4! We said goodbye to the last district on Monday so now its just us and one other district in our zone. They leave on this Monday so we will be the only district in our zone until next Thursday when we will get some newbies! that will be fun. 

So, our zone plays this game every day during our meals.. its called "What are the odds?" We made it up. Haha. So basically we concoct something really gross (left over foods all shoved into a cup with some kind of liquid) and then you play against someone and the loser has to eat it/drink it. It ts so funny.. I dont participate very often because i don't want to throw up! hahaha. But yesterday I played and I lost. So I had to eat FLAN. Ughhhh. So gross! haha. It actually wasn't as bad as some of the things people put together tho... like they take a bite of a habanero... or they have to eat watermelon covered in hot sauce...or drink soup of some sort haha. Anyway, it's hilarious. 

Last night we played Pictionary for like half an hour in our classroom before dinner, and it was the most hilarious thing... Seriously these guys in my district are so funny. We were on teams and my team name was "Team Luz" because I always go around singing "Jesus es mi Luz" everyone knows that that is like my thing. Anyways.. we start going and I keep getting extremely easy words like diamond, rainbow, judge and the other teams are getting stuff like Giddeon, Moroni, ect. hahaha So it was so funny because it just kept happening...I was crying from laughing so hard. 

So this week I came upon this scripture: D&C 67:10 
And it hit me really hard: We all have the ability to be able to come to know Christ and see Him if we humble ourselves enough; if we have that strong unwavering faith, and just believe He is there.  
It has been so awesome lately as I have been reading my Book of Mormon...that is, when I don't have a lesson to be studying or planning for (which now is gonna be never because we are starting to have 3 investigators this week) and it is so cool because I am finally understanding the Book of Mormon as a story line, not just random events or a chapter of scripture that I read. We talked this week in a class about how the Book of Mormon doesn't contain anything that isn't of importance in some way. In Jacob either like 2 or 3... It says something like how difficult it was thousands of years ago to write on the plates of gold...we know that it took a lot of effort to engrave their writings. So literally everything, every story is important, if they felt it was that important to engrave. 

We also were talking about the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith and how perfectly planned out the timing was of the Gospel coming back to the earth. It really is amazing to think about all the preparations the Lord was making for the world to be ready for Revelation on the earth again. And then I found this awesome scripture in Mormon 8:16 ... that whole chapter is really good. Go read it if you can! haha...It talks about how the world wouldn't be in darkness forever and that the Word of God would be brought back onto the earth through the power of God.. so yeah. basically.. its been just an awesome week of building my testimony on all of that.
OK i am done for today. I love you all soooooooooooo much. I miss you TONS. But it's great here. We go to the tienda and get snacks when we need them.. but its all Mexican stuff haha. They have these mango ice cream bars that are to DIE for :)

Talk to you again soon. 
Hermana Weller

Friday, December 6, 2013

email Raini:

Hermana Raini Weller Pics @ MTC in Mexico

Here are the pics Raini sent yesterday...I will be posting them to Facebook, too.

Raini and her MTC district in front of the Mexico City Temple.

This is her district on the bus driving to the temple. They go there on Thursday mornings to start P-day.

 Raini, with her 2 companions
 Raini and a couple elders on the bus...
 The exercise area and small mountain at the MTC
 Hermanas: Weller y Bingham
 Hermanas: Weller y Miller
 Again, her district, in class
The trio companionship...

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Week 2--MexicoCCM (MTC)

Missionary Training Center, week #2

Centro de CapaciaciĆ³n Misional, semana 2 

It was so great to email back and forth today with Raini...she must be reading and typing so fast to cram all the reading of emails that piled up for the week and then try to respond to all of them in just ONE HOUR!! 
(they get one hour per week to correspond on the internet)
So, if you don't hear back from her right away, please don't give up on her...she had about 15 emails in her inbox today. And, she actually added photos this emai! Yay! I've been wondering why it's been 2 weeks and still no pics?! 
(I guess she left her cord here at home)

Hola,                          5 Dec 13
Its so weird that I have been here over 2 weeks now.. where has the time gone? So this week was good. We started teaching two new investigators.. but we just have one per day. One of them is a 50 year old man who is blind and lives alone and the other one is 18 and just parties every weekend. His mom is a member of The Church. They are both fake, of course..haha...they are actually both our teachers for language, so they come into our other classes and give us opportunities to practice teaching the Gospel. But, its kinda weird since we know them for real. It's tough.. Because they aren't real people it is some times really hard to think of them as real investigators and to care about them like that, because they're not real. But its been getting easier to teach in Spanish. I love it when I am able to actually say what I want to say in the language. But a lot of time I have to stumble through it.. haha. 

This week was really hard with my companions. The past few days we have been on such different pages, and its really hard to have the Spirit with us when we aren't on the same page. [Shauna's side-note: I remember telling Raini prior to her leaving how companionships were one of my greatest struggles on my mission. And even though I had heard that, I didn't think I would have problems--'cause I thought I was so easy to get along with! Hahha! But, a little tidbit for those who don't know what "companions" are: as LDS missionaries, you live, sleep, eat, and breathe with your "companion" ...they are like roommates, but you don't know them ahead of time, you don't choose them, and you never know how long you will spend with them (anywhere from 2-6 months). And you are not allowed to ever be by spend every minute together. The only time you can be by yourself is in the bathroom! It's very challenging...but is such a great way to learn charity, tolerance, patience, kindness, "on-the-job training" can see below how she's learning this lesson already--] is better. I am just praying so much to try and feel more love towards my companions and to be able to see their strengths so that we can work together better. 
I decided to ask our district leader for a blessing to help me with this companionship stuff...All I can say at this point is that I am so grateful for the Priesthood! To have this power back on the earth is such a powerful gift that we have been given from God. It can truly work miracles. I love it.

The other thing that this week I have felt is a huge thing for me is FAITH. Faith has such a short shelf life that we have to constantly be working on it and doing things to strengthen it... When we keep strong faith and trust in the Lord and keep all His commandments.. that's when we see the reward of our faith. I need to be more diligent and more faithful! 

This week I have definitely had my faith tried and then strengthened in my Savior. He is such the perfect example to me. As a representative of Him I really have to try and be as loving, kind, and charitable as He was when He lived on the earth. I know that He is willing to forgive and make us feel confident and clean again if we truly utilize his atonement.
I am so grateful to have him as my example, my brother, my Savior, Redeemer, and Advocate in the final judgement. 
I love this church! We had a pretty cool experience in class the other day.. our teacher took us to the little grove of trees and told us to have a question in mind of what we wanted to know.. something that we wanted God to answer for us. Then he gave us 10 minutes to just go into the trees by ourselves and to pray about it. It was so cool.. If we ever have a question- we can go to Him and humbly ask. And if we have true faith that we can receive an answer, we will. This is something we all can do. Go into a quiet place and pray and then just wait to hear the answer. Usually you can get the answer.. sometimes God will take time to give it to you. but it will come eventually.
OK well that's all for today. I have to go and have some more fun while we still can.. Love you all. 

Please send me some pictures if you can. That goes for everyone! Oh, and can you post on my Facebook some of those pictures and tell people to write to me! haha.. I miss people from home sometimes. But tell them they cant send me old fashion letters after like December 10th or so....I probably won't get them. It's just that emailing everyone is really hard 'cause of time so.. maybe I should just wait till I get back into the States??
Oh well, I love you Mom and Dad and everyone! 
-Hermana Weller