Monday, October 28, 2013

First Impressions...

Hola Familia!!

Sooo...I was sooo sad when my battery died on the plane!! We ended up waiting for an hour to take off!! We could have had sooo much more time. Oh well. So, as you know, my last few days at the MTC were awesome. My district sang in church, we packed lots, talked with each other lots, studied...(not as much as we should have but still lots), we took lots of pictures, said goodbye, cried a bit, and then got on the plane!! All those goodbyes were apparently for nothing because when we got to Argentina all the missionaries from our district but 2 were in that big meeting we had in the area office. So...we had a round two of goodbyes. Awesome. We didn't fly to Comodoro until 7:30PM on Thursday night. President and Sister Rogers were on our flight. They were coming back from a mission president conference. As I mentioned in the letter, Hermana Kuhn and I stayed at the mission home on Thursday and Friday nights...which is like a 5 star hotel (just a small version) it wasn't until Saturday night that I got a little taste of what the next 18 months is going to look like.

We were assigned companions and areas on Saturday afternoon and then Saturday night we took a five hour bus ride to....TRELEW!! My first area is Trelew South, specifically Rawson, and my companion is Hermana Cortes from Colombia. She's amazing!! She doesn't speak English, which is equally frustrating when I don't know the word in Spanish as it is helpful for learning. But we're going to get along really well and work really hard. I'm excited. Anyway, my pension is tinyyy! Probably 5 of them could fit in our house in Orem. Don´t even get me started on the toilet or shower. Let's just say I´m reallyyy grateful for the flip flops I have:) It´s really not terrible, just very different from home. It works though and it´s not like we spend tons of time chillin´ in our apartment anyway:) Sooo...we got in around midnight and went straight to bed. We met our zone leaders and the mission leader and his wife from our ward. They´re amazing!!

Sunday morning church is at 9:30AM. The members here are incredible. So friendly and so strong in the church. We start with Relief Society, then Gospel Doctrine, then Sacrament Meeting. I could feel the Spirit so strongly as I tried to catch everything that was being taught. I´ve never felt the Spirit so strongly in church. These people truly know what it means to have the gospel in their lives. It was so cool. And, Sacrament Meeting? Primary Program. Everyone knows that this meeting is my FAVORITE of the entire year. OH. MY. HECK. Just a heads up, I might never come home. The kids were soo cute and they sang so well! It´s such a different culture...but I love it!! Everyone was so welcoming and so kind about speaking a little slower than normal for me:) I can understand about 85% of everything people say if I´m really paying attention, and when someone´s talking directly to me about 95%.

So, the first night in the mission home, I was talking to President Rogers while Hermana Kuhn was in the shower and he told me that he takes really good care of the Hermanas and so do the Elders in the mission. He was right. There are 6 missionaries in my district here in Trelew, 4 Elders and my companion and me. They came over yesterday morning and brought us breakfast since we hadn´t had time to shop for food...still haven´t now that I think about it...and they walked to Church with us so we wouldn´t get lost. They call us every night to see if we need anything. They brought us to the cybert (internet cafe) this morning to talk to you. They´re great. Only downside...they are all also in case you don´t understand what that means...I´m the ONLY one in my district who speaks English!! Wohoooo. But really it´s the best. I have learned soo much. It looks like I´ll be in Trelew until after Christmas (12 weeks for training, and then most likely I´ll be a trainer. FREAKY. I´m hoping for at least one more transfer before I have to train...fingers crossed.)  Anyway, dad, I´m still working on my address. I have no idea where we are most of the time, but I´ll try to have my address by next week.

Sooo...Sunday after church Hermana Cortes and I ate at the home of the Family Nievas. They are an extended family living together and are a part-member family. It was so cool. We ate lots and lots of MEAT. We shared a message about service and the Savior and then we visited the Mayor family. They´re an awesome member family who is very involved with the missionaries. It´s a custom in Argentina (and South America) that whenever someone comes to your home you have to serve them some sort of food. I never want to take people´s food, but it´s rude not to. Anyway, in Argentina like I told you before, dinner doesn´t exist. Lunch is at 1:30ish and then no one eats again until breakfast. Weird, right? I guess they do eat whenever someone comes to their house, but not much, only a few crackers and juice or something. I don´t understand. Anyway, after we visited with the Mayor family, Belen, their 19 year old daughter, came out with us and we knocked on some doors of some menos actives. We spent time with the Family Reyes. The mom is the only one that is active. The father hasn´t been to church in 10 years. He says he knows what he needs to do, but he´s not humble and that it´s hard to always live the gospel and do everything he´s supposed to. He doesn´t always have the desire. The kids are all grown and making their own decisions and followed the path their dad chose. We talked about the Atonement and how it can help us change and overcome the natural man and invited him to church and he said he would see. Hopefully he shows up next Sunday with his wife but I wouldn´t be super surprised if he doesn´t. Fingers crossed.

After visiting them we went to choir practice and then we visited Hermano Cortez with the four Elders from our district. He´s not active and has a problem with the way the church is run in some parts of South America. It´s really sad. He seems to think that because the gospel of Jesus Christ is perfect, that the church is perfect. Obviously we still make mistakes, but he doesn´t seem to be able to accept that. We´ll keep trying:) The Elders walked us home and then we got ready for bed. First experience with the shower. Here we go. So, the shower is a little square (about 3ft x 3ft) but there can only be about 2 inches of water at the bottom before it flows out of the shower....the drain is EXTREMELY slow. So to shower and wash your hair, you have to turn the shower on for a few minutes and get wet, then turn it off while you shampoo. Turn it back on and rinse it out and then turn it off again. Then repeat the process with conditioner....get the picture? You always have to be watching to make sure you don´t flood the apartment. Fun times. Yay!!

Well, I hope you're all doing well! I love you all so much and I loved talking to you last week!! I'm doing well despite the culture shock. Everything is still very new. Milk comes in bags. What the?! Dogs are EVERYWHERE. Oh...I do have to tell you, that the music here is great. I know, I know, we're not supposed to listen, but when it's playing on the bus or the streets there's not much you can do. Anyway, they listen to a lot of the American music but only the good stuff. The very first song I heard in Argentina was John Lennon "Stand By Me" then a few songs later was Michael Jackson "Bad" then a few songs later was Queen. We even had some Rolling Stones...haha.. Matthew you'd like the music down here:) only the classics:)

Well, I gotta go! Love you all and talk to you next week! Hopefully I'll have some good stories and I just realized that this whole letter I've been using the accent mark on the keyboard for all of the apostrophes. I hope they come through on your computer. :)

Love you all forever and always!!
Hermana Heath

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Welcome to Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina!

Querido Familia,

Como le va?  How's it going?!  I am officially in ARGENTINA!!  (...comodoro rivadavia to be exact...)  I'll be honest, the getting here was long and extremely tiring, but it was worth it!!  So, as you know, we flew from SLC to Dallas to Buenos Aires (24 hours of travel) then we got on a bus and drove to the area office in Buenos Aires for a quick information devotional...mostly visa stuff.  Then we ate some lunch, went back to the airport and waited for our flight to comodoro which left at 6:55PM.  About 2.5 hours later we landed in comodoro and then took a shuttle to one of the senior couples home (the Carters) and had some Argentine sandwiches.  Yum.  Then, because not all the Hermanas could fit in their home for the next two days, Hermana Kuhn and I went with President and Sister Rogers back to the mission home.  The Rogers were on our flight to comodoro.  They were coming back from a mission presidents seminar.  They are wonderful!  It was so fun talking to them last night.  Unfortunately, by the time we left the Carter's home it was after 11:00PM and when we got to the mission home it was nearly 11:20PM.  Only one shower in the home meant we didn't get to bed until 1:00AM.  I'll be honest, 6:30AM came really early!

Anyway, today (Friday) we are doing some training with all the new missionaries, and then I think tomorrow we'll meet our companions and head to our areas.

So, first impressions of Argentina?  18 months is going to go WAY too fast.  It reminds me a lot of Costa Rica.  Driving is a little bit nuts...stop signs are more of a suggestion, and lanes are pretty much nonexistent.  SO MANY DOGS!  Also a few cats. The dogs are so cute :)   The people are really friendly.  All the Hermanas give kisses on the cheek.  Everyone is polite and the kids are so cute.  We drove past the Buenos Aires Temple yesterday.  BEAUTIFUL.  I wish we could go!!!  Soccer is everywhere!  It's gonna be so cool to be down here during the World Cup!  Everything I see reminds me I'm in South America.  (...well except for Walmart & McDonalds...)  The mission home is pretty close to the coast, so we got to see the ocean.  It's not humid down where we are...and oh man are we down.  On our flight from Dallas to Buenos Aires we each had TV's in front of our chair and I watched the flight path as we slowly flew over Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Colombia, LIMA (I thought about Corbin:)), Chile, and then finally Argentina.  Basically we flew straight down for 10ish hours.  Then we flew another two and I couldn't help but think that I had been lied to my whole life...I was sure we were going to fly right off the end of the earth.  When I finally accepted that we wouldn't, the next thought to come into my mind as I was stepping off the plane was that I am UPSIDE-DOWN.  Weird.  I am at the bottom of the earth...and did I mention UPSIDE DOWN?!  Woah.  As we were flying from Buenos Aires (a big city) all signs of civilization slowly started to disappear...that's when I realized how far down we were going.  The sunset was beautiful from the plane though.  There was a deep dark red line across the horizon, and then it slowly got lighter higher up.  AHH!  I'm so excited to be here!  Like I said, 18 months is going to go by way too fast...I can just tell.  The castellano is different to listen to...but not as bad as I thought.  It's the "vos" form that's throwing me off.  When Hermano Rios told us that the "tu" form doesn't exist in Argentina, it was like that time in Algebra 2 where I learned about the unit circle exactly ten minutes before the test.  Good times.  I'll get it though!

Welp, I hope you're all doing well!  I was sad when the phone battery died yesterday, but it was so good talking to you!  I love you sooo much.  Thank you for your support and prayers.


Hermana Heath

Hermana Heath with President and Sister Rogers

New Comodoro Rivadavia missionaries

Thursday, October 17, 2013


Querida Familia,

I can't believe that I've only got 6 days left in the MTC! ...just in case you missed that...6 DAYS!! Where have the last 5 weeks gone? I haven't got a clue. I was laying...(lying? haha...who knows) in bed last night trying to figure out how I've been here for 5 full weeks and I just couldn't figure it out. It's crazy how quickly time flies. I'm so excited and grateful to be heading directly to Argentina, but I'm sad to leave the MTC. I have loved every second of my time here and I will miss the friends and teachers that I've come to love. I won't ever have an MTC experience like this one again, but I can't WAIT to go to Argentina!

Soooo....originally my entire district (with the exception of Hermana Kuhn and me) were going to leave on the 21st really early, but they changed all Argentina missionaries to the 23rd so we'll all leave the same day. My flight leaves Salt Lake at 12:30PM and we land in Dallas at 4:30. We have a three hour layover and then we connect to BUENOS AIRES!!! Our flight leaves at 7:30PM and we arrive in Argentina at 7:55AM. Now, originally I thought a twelve hour flight, right? Wrong. We land at 7:55AM Argentina it's more like a 15 hour flight I believe. Remember how I hate flying? Ya...I'm gonna die. That's sooo long. But, if it gets me to Argentina, I won't complain toooo much:) Anyway, we're starting to pack up some things today...CRAZY!

So, last Thursday we went to the temple which was incredible as always. I'm gonna miss going to the temple each week for sure. We had dinner and then personal gym time. It's funny because we can't listen to music really here at the MTC, so the gyms have TV's and they play Mormon messages, conference talks, and sometimes church movies. Anyway, I got to listen to Elder Holland's talk, "None Were With Him." Great talk. Then we had language study time. My companions and I decided we wanted to listen to the Priesthood Session of Conference, so we got onto and listened to a few of the talks in Spanish. I was very pleasantly surprised when I understood what was going on. I really liked Elder L. Tom Perry's talk about the Articles of Faith. I thought it was really powerful, plus it brought back so many memories of memorizing the Articles of Faith as a family all those years ago:) That night we had to clean our classroom, and Elder Jo (bless his heart), who is an only child and has never used a vacuum in his life (literally), was on vacuum duty. I'll say, it was absolutely hilarious. It took him a solid five minutes to get it plugged joke. (we all stood by and watching innocently while trying to suppress our laughter) Then, when he finally got the vacuum turned on and going, he broke it. Those of us watching (so all nine of us) couldn't hold the laughter in anymore. It was absolutely hilarious. Once we fixed the problem, he continued to vacuum and eventually finished the job. Good times.

Friday was one of my favorite days at the MTC, why? Because our travel plans came. We all waited anxiously that morning throughout breakfast, personal study, TALL, gym, and lunch. When we finally checked the mail together as a district, we all squealed (the Elders included) when we saw the big stack of papers that could only be travel plans. We all quickly scanned through and were jumping for joy when we all got travel visa's to Argentina. So exciting. All the missionaries around us were looking at us like we were crazy, but they had no idea what was going on. We were too excited to care. Then we had language study which I have to admit was not the most effective study time we've had as a district. Our minds were in Argentina and with the people there that we've been preparing ourselves for.

Saturday was a long day. We had class with Hermano Waddoups in the morning which is always hard, but Hermano Waddoups is amazing. He is always so fun and energetic and we laugh so much when he's in class with us, but he also knows how to bring the Spirit so powerfully when he bears testimony. I love it. I'm gonna miss my teachers here at the MTC. Hermano Martinez and Hermano Waddoups will always have a very special place in my heart. I can't even begin to describe how incredibly grateful I am to have had the opportunity to learn from them and spend three hours of class time with each of them every single day. They're the best. I hope that one day I will be able to teach with the same humility, love, and power that they do.

On Sunday we had church at 7:15AM. I got called on by President Ditmar to give a three minute talk about the Atonement. Each Sunday, we have two missionary talks and then one member of the branch presidency speaks along with their wife. We never know who's gonna speak so we all have to be prepared. Well, I had a scripture and a quote from Preach My Gospel, but that was it. It was the Atonement though which is always really easy to talk about and bear testimony about. It went really well and I was actually really grateful for the opportunity. Everyone told me I did really well and that "it's amazing how well you can speak Spanish after only 5 weeks in the MTC!" That was Sister Gurney, our second counselor's wife. She's so sweet, but I think she forgot that we all had Spanish before coming to the MTC:) We had several meetings throughout the day and we had our temple walk which is always one of the highlights of the week. For devotional on Sunday night the speaker focused on recognizing the Spirit and the importance of the Holy Ghost in conversion. It was really good. For movie night we watched a talk that Elder Holland gave at the MTC several years ago called, "Missions are Forever." SO GOOD. He focused on immersing ourselves completely in the work and not wasting a single minute of the time we've been given so that we can come home with no regrets. I don't know how to do that quite yet, but I'm working on it. I think there's a quote by President Hinckley that says something to the effect of "Kneel and pray to God like everything depends on Him, and then get up and work like everything depends on you." That's what I'm working on right now, and I hope that I will be a more successful missionary as I do that.

On Monday we had service again...whoppeee.. We taught Angel that afternoon and we were focusing on the Atonement. He kept saying, "That's really cool. If it were true that would be neat." Finally I got tired of him saying that, so I asked him how HE could know. He said when he died he would know. I wasn't letting him off the hook so easy so I made my question more specific. He thought about it for a second and then said by praying and reading the Book of Mormon. BINGO. So, we testified one more time and then invited him to pray with us right then. He said no at first, but we weren't taking no for an answer. Hermana Ward told him he needed to demonstrate his faith and ask God. Hermana Kuhn said something similar and asked him again. He declined for a second time and said, "maybe on another day." I gently said, "Angel, God wants to hear you today." He gave me the 'how do you know' look, but finally agreed. I asked if we could kneel, and he nodded but not before trying to get out of it one more time. We all knelt together as he prayed, and it was the COOLEST EXPERIENCE EVER. The Spirit was so strong as he asked God if He was there and as he asked God to answer his prayers. I love Angel. It's amazing to see someone exercise their faith and to help someone grow closer to Christ. I can't even imagine what that will be like with "real" people in Argentina. Ah. I'm so excited!!

Tuesday was an awesome day. We had skype that morning again for TRC. We talked with the same sister, Aye. She got all of our emails so we can keep in touch. She's so sweet and I feel like we're really good friends since I've only talked with her for about an hour in total. Weird how that works. We went to choir practice that night. For devotional we sang "Praise to the Man." I love that song. One thing that I've noticed here at the MTC is that I've never not had the Spirit witness to me that what I am saying is true when I testify of Joseph Smith, and singing is no different. What an incredible man! The choir director, who is amazing and always tells us about the song and shares a very powerful spiritual thought, told us a lot about the life of Joseph Smith and who he was as a person. I love the Prophet Joseph!! For devotional tonight we had....drum roll please....ELDER DALLIN H. OAKS. We knew it was going to be one of the Twelve beforehand, but we didn't know which one. He and his wife spoke. It was so good. A member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles came and essentially taught us the plan of salvation. I guess that's important right? It was so good. He talked about our pre-earth life and our potential in the next life. It was a really powerful talk. That night we had Brother Evans from the branch presidency in our devotional review meeting. At the end he talked to us about Argentina and gave us some advice which mostly centered around love. He said, "Just love them. Embrace their culture and their traditions. Love the people, because they will love you." It was obvious as he talked that those people he served in Argentina so many years ago are still very dear to him. It was really neat to hear him talk about them.

Wednesday was a long day. I had a doctors appointment in the morning because I've had a fever and sore throat since Monday. Fun stuff. The doctor told me to go home and try to sleep it off a little bit. I nodded and then left with my companions to go host the new missionaries and then have class with Hermano Martinez. There was no way I was sleeping through class. I can count the classes I have left with my teachers on one hand and you better believe I'll be there for all of them. Plus, I wasn't feeling that bad and the doctor said it was just a cold probably from the stress and demands from the schedule. We all had individual interviews with Hermano Martinez. I forget...have I mentioned how incredible he is? Ah. I love him so much. Last night we had class with Hermano Waddoups which was as always amazing. I can't get over how amazing my teachers are. They're so close to the Spirit, so full of love and humility, and they're just...well...Christ-like. That's the only way to describe them.

Sooo...that was my week. It was amazing. Just like every other week here at the MTC. Oh, and on my way down to email guess who I ran into? Sra. Petrie!! I was so excited!! We got to talk for a minute which was nice. I love love love her! So sweet. Thanks for all the dear elders. They make my day. Especially cause they give them to us during meal times. It's so perfectly Hogwarts-esque. I'm still waiting for my Nimbus 2000. I'll let you know when it arrives. Craig, congrats on your win against...wutang? I was especially excited to hear about that game. It sounded fun! I'm always cheering for you!! Unfortunately parents, my window was NOT wide open at either of those times on Monday night. I stood in the stairwell window on the south side for about ten minutes from 10:15-10:25PM but I knew you would still be at Craig's game. Anyway, I hope you're all doing well! Hope school is going well for everyone and the office for you dad. Mom, I'm sure you're still keeping busy:) I guess the next time I talk to you will be at the airport!! Please please PLEASE send me that phone!! I got your package today with everything in it! Thanks! But I want to be able to talk to you for as loooong as possible. I should have about 3 hours in Dallas and who knows how many from Salt Lake. I guess we'll find out. Oh...and someone wanna fill me in on the government shut down? We don't hear ANYTHING here...but apparently it's kind of a big deal.  If that's the case, I, for one, am grateful to be fleeing the country in exactly 6 days. Peace out USA.

I miss you all everyday and you're in my prayers!! Love you forever and always!!

Hermana Heath

Elder Jo and the broken vacuum.
Once was hilarious.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Is Amy Joining the Penguins?

Hola Familia!

How's it goin'?  Today (Friday, October 11) has been a fantastic day.  Why, you ask?  No big deal or anything, but our TRAVEL PLANS CAME TODAY!  So, at lunch when we checked the mail together (fingers crossed because we thought those plans were arriving today) there they were.  A stack of 10 small packets that determined our fate.  The lucky ones from my district going straight to Argentina are Elder Scruggs, Elder Merenluoto, Elder Woodall, Elder Butts, Elder Goodwin, Hermana Ward and Hermana Kuhn.  Elder Jo is going to San Fernando California, and so that's cool :)  Elder Rallison doesn't know about his travel plans yet but he's going to Colombia anyway.  As for me?  KENTUCKY!!  Who called it?  I did!!  I guess we just didn't get my visa stuff in early enough.  But anyway, I'm really excited!  I leave on October 23rd...two days after everyone else in my district.

Okay, so confession.  My visa DID come through and I am going to Argentina with all the missionaries in my district!  (Elder Jo actually got called to Cali)  However, Hermana Kuhn and I fly together and we do leave the day after... actually two days after the rest of our district.  We have to be at the travel office at 7:30AM on the 23rd (is that a wednesday?) but our flight doesn't leave until 12:30PM.  We connect in Dallas to Buenos Aires.  12 and a half hour flight.  That's just to Buenos Aires.  That's where the list of flights ends.  Unfortunately, comodoro is 1,093ish miles from Buenos Aires.  21 hour bus ride anyone?  I sincerely hope they fly us, but as of right now we're going by bus.  I might die.  The good news is that I have at least a couple hours at the Salt Lake Airport & a four hour layover in Dallas when we can talk.  I hope I can take a disposable cell!!  I've got loads to tell you.

Anyway, there are 8 comodoro missionaries in my group, and another group of 8 going to comodoro too.  I think we're all on the same flight just different "groups."  Probably easier to keep track of the missionaries for the travel leader.  Who knows.

Anyway, just thought I'd share the exciting news! :)  Gotta go!

I love you all!

Love forever and always

Hermana Heath

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Week 4 - MTC - No pressure or anything...

Hola Familia!!

Como le va?! Espero que todos esten bien!! How are you?! I hope you're all doing well! This has been a great week at the MTC....and an EXTREMELY fast one. I can't believe we're down to a week and a half left in the MTC. Yikes!!

Anyway, I think I'll just tell you about my week day by day....So, last Thursday my companions and I did initiatories at the temple, but I think we're doing a session today. I'm super excited. I always love going to the temple! When we got back from the temple we had 2 1/2 hours until dinner...with nothing to do...we napped! Yayyy! It felt so good. I only actually slept for about an hour because I spent some time writing letters, but it felt so good to catch up on a bit of sleep. It seems like there's never enough time for sleep here at the MTC.  That night Hermano Frey taught us about the Atonement and the significance of Lehi's dream and a few things about the temple. He studies the scriptures in so much depth...I learned soo much. It was the coolest thing ever. Mostly I learned that my purpose is not just to invite people to come unto Christ, but invite them to become like Christ.

Friday was a really great day. We got to teach an investigator named Olga because Melvin was "out of town." Haha..we missed Hermano Waddoups in class that day, but it was fun to teach a new investigator. This last week we focused on the subjunctive for language study as a class. I'm not gonna lie, I hate the subjunctive. It's a mood of speaking that we don't use in English, so it's hard to recognize when we're supposed to use it. I'm getting better at it but I think I won't fully understand it until I get to Argentina. Oh, and on Friday I got a package from Jenni Boyle. Wanna know what it was? Cinnabons. Booyah. In addition...six dear elders. It was the best!

On Saturday we watched general conference which was the coolest thing ever!! The whole MTC watched it together and it was cool to get a missionary's perspective on general conference. There was so much said that applied directly to us!! I especially loved Elder Bednar's talk on tithing! It was weird because I was definitely not in my usual general conference attire (which means pajamas), but it was neat and the weekend flew by. We finally got to watch the Relief Society broadcast while the Elders watched Priesthood. I loved it! President Monson's talk was amazing! Thanks for the coffee cake!! It was soooo yummy!! On Sunday we watched conference again. Awesome. When they announced that one of the hymns would be "Called to Serve" everyone in the MTC just laughed. I think we've only sung that one like...maybe 50 times? was really cool though. It's always a neat experience to sing that song with a bunch of missionaries. In Spanish though it talks about the "celestial cause" that we're working for..which I've always thought is really cool:) After conference we walked around the temple which is always so great. For devotional Vocal Point came which was really cool!! They sang a bunch of hymns and church songs that they arranged. I loved it. That night we watched the President Monson documentary. What an incredible man! We are so blessed to have him leading and guiding us today. I have no doubt that he is called of God.

On Monday for service we stocked the bathrooms again. No more dropping keys in the toilet so that was improvement...hahaa. I didn't feel super well on Monday, but it ended up being a great day anyway. We taught Angel again and he's progressing slowly but surely. He still doesn't want to pray so we're going to try to focus on that tomorrow and pray with him...again. Hermano Castro, who served in Buenos Aires, came in to class and told us about Argentina for the last fifteen minutes to prepare us for'll never guess. On Monday Brother Christensen who helps run the MTC came and told us that on Tuesday the Immigration Representative for ALL OF ARGENTINA was coming to the MTC and she was going to visit our class. forward to Tuesday. We all got to the classroom and hung an Argentine flag. Then we cleaned our room completely and organized all of our books. Brother Christensen told us that we were representing 80,000 missionaries to this lady. All the Elders had to get haircuts and shine their shoes. Basically, Brother Christensen told us that if we impress this lady, she has the power to make one phone call to the President of Argentina and get every missionary their permanent visa in a heartbeat. On the other hand, if we didn't impress her, missionaries could have an even harder time getting their visas and maybe even stop getting them all together. No pressure, right? Basically, the missionary work in Argentina is resting upon one 20 minute visit with a very important and powerful ambassador from Argentina.

Brother Christensen told us which questions she would most likely ask, what questions we should ask (absolutely no proselyting), and then that we had to be doing a grammar lesson about Jesus Christ when she came in...oh...and did I mention she would have an armed escort? Awesome.'s safe to say that we were FREAKED out. Elder Scruggs and I were joking at lunch that in 20 years we'll be talking to our kids and saying either, "You know, when I was a missionary, visas to Argentina were really hard to get, but my district at the MTC helped to change that!" Or we would be saying, "You know how there are missionaries in every country in the world EXCEPT Argentina? Well that's a funny story. See, while I was in the MTC...." was mostly a joke, but at the same time, we all knew how important the meeting would be. Well, she came, she was so incredibly friendly, we talked about tourist sites in Argentina, soccer, and we all introduced ourselves and told her where we would be serving. She told us some things about each of our areas, and then we went outside and took a picture with her and the Argentine flag. I'll try to send that to you next week. Anyway, Brother Christensen came back later once she had left and told us that the meeting was perfect and that it couldn't have gone any better! That was a relief. It's a good thing God has a plan for his work to move forward!!

On Tuesday morning in class we talked about the role of the Holy Ghost in conversion..the Spirit was really strong. Coincidence? I don't think so. Also on Tuesday morning we did TRC via skype. The sister we talked to is living in Mexico and it was the coolest lesson I've been a part of. We talked about the importance of the Book of Mormon, and then we talked about the Holy Ghost and receiving answers. Then she told us that she's been considering a mission but hasn't felt like she had received an answer, but at the end of the lesson she told us that we were her answer and that she was going to start her mission papers that night! It was sooo cool to see how the Lord works through his children!! The Spirit was so strong!! On Tuesday night we had devotional which was amazing. This week in class and during study we focused on the Atonement, and that's what the Elder talked to us about. He said one thing that really stood out to me. He said, "Can you imagine the reunion in Heaven after Christ's death?" Woah. I have never really thought about that. The people on earth mourned Christ's death, but people in Heaven celebrated his homecoming. The great act of love and mercy that would save us all had finally been completed! I know we were there celebrating and rejoicing with everyone else. So cool to think about.

Yesterday we got to host the new missionaries! It was really a lot of fun! Maybe we'll do it again next week...the only weird part is you're not with your for a solid two and a half hours, I had no idea where they were. Weird. Haha...but it was really cool to see the excitement of the new missionaries and remember my first day here at the MTC. We taught our new investigators, Nick and Max (Elder Scruggs and Elder Merenluoto) and it went really well. We're getting so much better at teaching to the needs of the investigators.

I can't believe we've only got 12 days left with everyone in our district/zone. It goes by so fast!! I'm having a hard time accepting the fact that I have to leave this amazing place despite how excited I am for Argentina!! Mom, thanks for all the updates about visas. That gives me hope! We should find out either tomorrow or Monday what our travel plans are...crazy!! It seems like only a few days ago I was still getting lost on my way to the cafeteria. Good times.

Oh, the new district of missionaries. They're awesome, but there's this one Elder with flaming red hair who can be a bit...well immature at times...and he totally looks like buddy the elf. It's absolutely hilarious. Just the way he's kind of a zone joke. Sooo funny. I will take credit for coming up with that connection.

Mom, let me talk to my branch president and make sure that I can use a disposable cell phone before you send one to me. I'm sure that it's fine but I want to double check. I love the idea of not having to use a pay phone!! Also, the whole "profets" thing. I just noticed last night as I looked over some of my journal entries and planned what I was gonna write today that I've been misspelling a lot of English words lately... I'm gonna read my journal in 50 years and wonder why in the world I couldn't spell the word protection ("protecction") right. Hahaha...I guess the Spanish is kinda taking over. That's the first thing I've noticed is that spelling in English is much harder than it ever has been before. I love learning and speaking in Spanish. I'm excited to keep getting better. Hermana Ward's Spanish is good. She took classes at BYU. Hermana Kuhn is still working and has a harder time understanding, but she's come a long way. The Elders in my district are the same way. They've all improved so much, but it's still hard for them to understand Hermano Martinez at times since he tends to talk a lot faster than the other teachers since he's a native. For him, he's talking slow still:) Hahaha...but we're all moving along really well with the language. It's so cool to see!! I definitely have a lot more to learn, but it's coming!!

I miss you all and you're always in my thoughts and prayers!! I hope Craig's game went well last night. Wish I could have been there!! The church is true!! We are so blessed to have the gospel. I'm so excited to go share the simple, yet profound message of the gospel to the people in Argentina!! Yayyyy!!

Love you forever and always!!
Hermana Heath

 Jenni sent me cinnabons!!

  Temple walk - conference weekend

Vocal Point

Following is the letter and picture Amy forwarded to us from Brother Christensen of the MTC.  For a long time now, missionaries have had a difficult time obtaining visas to Argentina.  Many of them have been temporarily reassigned stateside until their visas come through, and some have even been permanently reassigned to other missions.  We were told that over 200 missionaries were sent to Argentina this week.  Especially exciting was the fact that many of these missionaries were "visa waiters" who had been waiting weeks or months for their visas.  We are grateful for Mrs. Guzman's visit to the MTC this week and pray that it marks the beginning of the hastening of the work in Argentina.

Dear Family and Friends:
On October 8, the MTC hosted Ximena Guzman, the National Director of Immigration for Argentina; she is shown in the attached photo in a red jacket.  The gentleman standing next to her on the front row is Lon Nally, MTC President.  The gentleman next to him is Victor Salas, a professor of law in Argentina.

As part of Mrs. Guzman visit, we took her to your missionary’s classroom to show her how missionaries are trained.  She was extremely impressed by the missionaries and commented on them several more times that afternoon.

Mrs. Guzman is responsible for authorizing visas into Argentina.  We pray this visit will help resolve the issues the Argentine government has with extending visas to missionaries in a timely fashion.  We hope you’ll join us in that prayer.

Thank you for sharing your wonderful missionary for this extraordinary Work.


Spencer Christensen
MTC Operations

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Week 3 - MTC - Half Wayyy!

Hola Familia!!

This week has been so so good! I LOVE being at the MTC. There's so much to learn and so many opportunities to grow! It's the best. I honestly have no clue what I've told you and what I haven't so I think this week I'll just go day by day starting from last P-day and tell you what's been happening here...

So, last Thursday we went through the 12:40 session at the Provo Temple, (Dad, we always go through the same session) but they showed the old film. I'm not sure why because there was no one who needed a translation, but it was still cool to see the old film again. It was also really neat being there all together as a zone for the last time before our Elders left. For gym time we went to the gym in 2M and used the ellypticals(?) hahaa...I have no idea how to spell that...but it was really nice to do something active. Hermana Kuhn and I memorized flash cards and got to know the three new elders for a little while which is always fun.

On Friday for gym time some of the campus workers asked if we could help them for 10 minutes moving mattresses out of the buildings that they're tearing down to make the campus bigger. We of course agreed, but "10 minutes" shortly turned into our entire gym time. It was fun to be able to serve people and help them get their job done faster. The unfortunate thing about gym time is that we've only ever had two zones - ours and Mark Kruger's. Well, since Mark's zone left and half of our zone was leaving, we got three HUGE zones that have gym time with us. Instead of having 30 people in the gym, we now have close to 60. Yikes. It's packed. We were spoiled for the first few weeks for sure:) We had class with Hermano Martinez and Hermano Waddoups...who are still as amazing as ever. I learn so much from them. I just found out that Hermano Martinez just got back from his mission 3 months ago...MIND. BLOWN. He knows sooo much. Also, do you wanna know where he served? Mexico City East Mission. Do you wanna know who else is in that mission? Elder Aaron Lainhart. And do you wanna know who picked Elder Lainhart up from the airport? You guessed it, HERMANO MARTINEZ!! Isn't that the coolest thing? I thought so.

Saturday. This morning Hermana Kuhn and I got to take a field trip! She had to get some medicine for her acid reflex because her parents hadn't sent it in time so we got to ride in a van to the pharmacy! We went to the Rite-Aid in Provo right next to Macey's. It was the weirdest thing ever being outside the MTC. Everyone was super friendly to the Sister Missionaries though:) It was a fun break from our schedule for sure!! After lunch on Saturday Hermana Kuhn and I taught our newest investigator Angel (Hermano Martinez). Angel is a really hard investigator to teach because he doesn't believe in God. He doesn't believe in Jesus Christ or that he came to the earth and he only lets us come over because he thinks we're nice people. He's not really interested in our message, he just tries to confuse us. For example, Angel couldn't understand how a God could have feelings like anger and jealousy (which are human traits). Hermana Kuhn and I were stumped. I had no idea how I would answer that in English, let alone Spanish, but I just kinda started talking and managed to say something about how God gave us the gift of agency and when we misuse that agency there are consequences. As we learn in the scriptures, because he is God, our Heavenly Father can't look upon sin with the least degree of allowance; therefore, he hates the action, but continues to love the person. Angel seemed to accept that answer, but we still haven't been able to help him understand that the Gospel can help him individually and that it can bring him peace and joy in this life and the life to come. We'll keep trying!! He has kept his commitments to read in the Book of Mormon which is good. He still won't pray, but we're getting there!!

Sunday. Fast Sunday. Remember how we eat dinner at 4:30 here? Well, they didn't feed us on Sunday until 6:30PM. If I've done my math correctly, that's a whole 26 hours. It was a reallyyyy long day, but it was my favorite day at the MTC so far. For Sacrament Meeting we had the opportunity to bear our testimonies which was amazing. The spirit was so strong as each missionary stood up and testified of the Book of Mormon and the Gospel and our Savior, Jesus Christ. The missionaries that left on Sunday night bore especially powerful testimonies as they were down to hours until they were going to be "real missionaries." It was the best meeting of my life, and then the departing district sang, "Placentero nos es trabajar" for the closing song. It's a hymn we don't have in English which in my humble opinion is a sin. The song is about missionary work and it's the BEST. You can listen to it on if you want. It's hymn #88 in the himnos. The Elders did such a good job and a few of them started tearing up in the third verse. It says "Oh Hermanos Adios, pues Adios. El momento de ir vino ya. Si guardamos la fe en el gran Dios, nos veremos aun mas alla." The verse talks about leaving brothers to go and preach the gospel and says that if we keep our faith in our great God we'll see each other again. It's such a pretty song. I got to say the closing prayer in Sacrament meeting which was awesome too! We had a two hour mission conference given by the MTC presidency which was great and then we went on our temple walk. We went as a zone and then talked and hung out mostly with the departing missionaries. They were all so excited to leave. They're gonna be incredible missionaries. Hermana Kuhn and I taught our district meeting which was on Faith in Jesus Christ. Easy Peasy. It was a 45 minutes discussion and President Ditmar observes. We went to the devotional which was great and then we said goodbye to the Elders that left on Sunday night and Hermana Kuhn and I went to watch The Restoration movie. Makes me cry every time.

Monday we had our cleaning assignment. We stocked the bathrooms which is not the most exciting job in the world, but it's way better than cleaning the showers. Count your blessings, right? For gym we threw a frisbee outside at the field since we're not allowed to play ultimate. We went to class. Amazing. Went to dinner...they tried to feed me fish. Cereal it was that night. After study time we had TRC which I don't think I've told you about yet. We basically meet with members and share a short message with them and talk and get to know them. 20 minutes tops. The first man we talked to was from Chile. He was converted just a year ago and was sealed to his family last week! He was so sweet and has one of the strongest testimonies I've heard. He taught us way more than we taught him! The second lady we taught was also from Chile and she was really sweet. I'm happy to report that I understood about 85% of everything they said. Unfortunately, Chilean Spanish is not even close to Argentine Spanish. Hermano Castro, one of the ZRT's, served in Argentina and he gave us a sample of what they speak like. They mumble, everything's all shhhshy, and it's like they're singing their words so all the words flow together. Yikes. I'm not gonna understand a thing when I get down there. If I get down there. The last missionaries going to Argentina got reassigned. Haven't heard anything about Visas except that the President of Argentina isn't the LDS church which is rather unfortunate for missionaries. I'm keeping my fingers crossed...

Tuesday. It's already October? How did that happen?! Hermana Ward and Hermana Kuhn and I are officially a trio again. It's no fun at all teaching with three people, but what can you do? For everything else, being a trio is the very best!! We taught Melvin again and he's working towards baptism on Oct 21. Oh, and I was really excited to hear about Justin Keener's baptismal date! That's so cool!!!! Tuesday was just a hard day for me and I was having a harder time speaking, I didn't feel great, and I was a little homesick. When class was over Hermano Martinez stopped me and asked if he could talk to me for a minute. He told me he noticed I seemed a little off and wanted to make sure I was doing alright. We talked for about 15 minutes and he shared lots of experiences from his mission with me. He then expressed his confidence in me and told me not to worry about anything and almost directly quoted a line from my patriarchal blessing. See what I mean when I say he's amazing? I felt so much better after talking to him. He always knows exactly what to say and he reminded me that Heavenly Father knows and focuses on my strengths, while Satan focuses on my weaknesses. It ended up being one of the best days here at the MTC so far. I love Hermano Martinez. He's amazing. That night during my personal devotional with Heavenly Father I read my patriarchal blessing again and prayed more sincerely than I have in my entire life and I just knew that everything would be alright:) God is good, people. He knows us perfectly and he knows exactly how to help us.

Wednesday. Yesterday was a super long day. We had the normal schedule, which is very demanding, and I was super tired, BUT! I finished the Book of Mormon again which is always a great feeling. I learned so much about the Savior's character as I read it this last time. Also...the first 4 chapters of Mosiah are AMAZING. Some of my favorites. Last night we welcomed the new district of 8 Elders and 2 Hermanas. They seem to be a good group and we're really excited to have them...especially the Sisters!! As much as we love our Elders, it's nice to have some Hermanas to talk to:) We now have 5 in our zone...and like 25 Elders. Hahaha:)

Well, that was my week! Sorry it's a little scattered. Like I said, it's been a great week!! I got tons of dear elders this week which always makes my day so much better! Letters from home are the best. Also, Dee wrote me again and Miriam continues to write me every week. Please thank them! I love hearing from them. It means so much that they take the time to write to me! Also, another connection that I discovered this week. Elder Tayvin Woodall in my district is from Cedar Hills, and he played club soccer with most of the boys soccer team at Timp. He knows Trent Blackman and Dominick. Weird. Hahaha...always fun connections though!! Mom, my orange blanket is my best friend at night. My companions like to turn the AC wayyy down so I'm almost always cold, but since I started using my blanket I'm nice and toasty every night:) I love being a missionary. Whenever I think about going to Argentina I just want to jump for joy. I'm so excited to go! Matthew, I hope school is going well and your internship too! What are you doing? Kimberly, thanks for the dear elder! It made my day and I shared some of what you wrote with my companions. They loved it. I hope you're still loving TDT and that Mr. Nagro isn't driving you completely nuts:) Em, thanks for all the dear elders and keeping me updated on you and Craig. I love getting them! Craig, good luck with hockey. I thought about you last night and was cheering you on silently in my head:) Mom, thanks for the dear elders and the packages. I love hearing about your days and how you're doing. I miss talking to you every night! Daddy, my neck misses you. I know of some people that get to go see a chiropractor before they leave...haha...maybe I'll try to swing that. Hahaa, but the rest of me misses you too! Thanks for keeping me updated. I always look forward to hearing from you! I miss you all and you're in my thoughts and prayers every single day! The church is true!!

I love you forever and always!!
Hermana Heath

"Service" ...also known as chores

Awkward missionaries

Temple walk!!

Sisters!! (Hermanas Heath, Kuhn, Ward, and Baker)

3rd cousins?! Me and Elder Morgan :)

My district (minus Elder Rallison who just joined
our district last week)