called to serve

called to serve

Tuesday, November 24, 2015 doesn't speak Spanish, but I gather from emails that this link will connect you to a press release from the church about the change in the time that native speaking missionaries will spend in the MTC.  Megan's smiling face is front and center in front of the Guatemala MTC!

Happy Thanksgiving

Buenos Tardes! 
Another good but super hard week at the MTC. The Spanish is improving...but its been slower over the past few weeks as we have been working more on our teaching skills. My companion and I did a companionship inventory and it really is making all the difference... Our teaching has improved alot! Good thing too...we went out on the street for our first time this week! It was a little frightening..the streets here kind of scare me. It makes me nervous to get out there but I also cant wait to leave and start teaching real investigators! We placed two Book of Mormons though! We saw these two men fixing their tire on their car at the gas station down the street and after a few minutes of hesitation decided they were our guys. We understood only about half of what they said but enough to be able to place a book of mormon with each of them! They seemed interested so that was a plus! Then we headed down towards the mall on the other side of the CCM and saw a nice looking woman...that we then pretty much ran after to catch up...first mistake. We tried to talk her into taking the Book of Mormon at least four different ways...but she kept coming up with an excuse so we had to give up. Kinda put us down...but Im hoping Leandro and Cesar will enjoy their Book of Mormons. Also got their hopefully they will be getting a call from the missionaries in Guatemala Central soon! 

Happy Happy Birthday to Grandma Petersen. I didnt realize until right after I got offline last week that I didnt have another Pday before your birthday! Love you so much and hope you had a good day! 

It is hard to believe I have been here four weeks. Two of the elders in my district informed me yesterday that dogs still probably speak better Spanish..but ya know. Its coming. haha We are doing our best to do solo Espanol. Hermana Ball is our Hermana Training Leader and she has really been pushing it. I can already see a difference. It has been hard to remember this week though because the CCM is pretty much just Norte Americanos ahora. El latinos salieron por su misions,...uhhh...last week on Friday...5 days early because the mission presidents have some big meeting all week this week and wanted to be there when they got there. SO since they has just been the 20ish i flew in with, the 10ish Queqchi elders and like 3 other people. But the quietness will die this week. WE ARE GETTING 97 LATINOS THIS WEEK. and also roommates...which me and Hermana Schiess are kinda bummed about.But we will love them I am sure! I love the Latinas. They are the sweetest people. I just really need to work on conjugating my verbs. The vocab isnt hard...just the grammar. Sometimes when we feel our heads are going to explode all 5 of the hermanas I flew in with and me run out on the volleyball court and sing our hearts out to Taylor Swift or One Direction at lunch. Its a good stress reliever. We also sing Nearer my God to thee in place of the cup song...its a thing now here. haha 

We have had some really good devotionals all week as fav was a video devo with elder bednar. He talked about how we all need to TURN OUT when we think our lives are getting hard. He talked about how the Savior after He suffered in Getsemane, he healed the ear of the soldier and then worried about his mother as he was being lifted on the cross. And then while on the cross...he was still more worried about the men hanging by him. That is true selflessness. I gain a stronger and stronger testimony every day of the Atonement of the Savior. If there is one thing I would want you to all know, It is that I love the Savior with all of my heart. Yo se que Cristo sufrir en la cruz y en la Jardín por cada una de nosotros. Yo se que si nosotros seguir el ejemplo de Jesucristo en la tierra, nosotros podemos regressar de Dios y vivir con Dios para eternidad! 
Love you all!
 Hermana Stoor

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

November 17, 2015

Buenos Dias!
Love the letters...thanks so much! We got out of the temple late and went through our letter time today but luckily our teacher is suuuuper nice and snuck us in after lunch. The weeks move so fast here. It really doesn't seem like it has been a whole week since I last wrote. But it is so nice to get your emails...sounds like lots of good things happening around home. Congrats Dad on the new job with the school board...that is so exciting. Wish I was there to celebrate the news with you. Sounds like from a few emails I got this week it is starting to get a little chilly in the valley. Everytime we see or hear anything about snow me and my companion freak out a little. In fact, today in the temple I cried a little because of how much I miss Idaho. I have now seen all 4 of the videos that they show in the temple. And the one that we watched today had quakie trees all over..I shed a few tears. But I also love Guatemala. The weather is so perfect here all the time. I love the rain..and i love looking out the windows at all the trees. The mountain by the CCM looks like a true rainforest....with great and spacious buildings all over it. haha 

We got to go last week to the little market down the street and it was so humbling. The people are so nice and they have so little. Also a little scary. I feel like the guys with machine guns are always staring at us....maybe because our elders in our district like to stick us right in the middle of them. Its kinda cute...and partially annoying. haha But my district is so good. I am so blessed. Hermana Schiess and me were talking the other night about how it felt like when we got here, we had known them all for years. We just switched district leaders..his name is Elder Taylor and he is already doing such a fantastic job...I have been amazed how much closer we have gotten with each other because of some of the things he has done. Elder Rock is my favorite elder in our district...not that anyone but him knows that....but we are about on the same level with our Spanish and he reminds me of some of my good friends at school. He is literally my ROCK some days. This week has been more of a struggle than any of the rest of them...mostly because me and my companion have not been getting along. Elder Rock has helped me so much with that...through him and my teacher I think we have mostly worked things out. We had a "companionship inventory" and told each other all of our feelings...and I think its going to all go up from here. We are great friends when we don't have to work together. hahaha but as soon as we start preparing or teaching a lesson...we get super frustrated. BUT we both have things we know we need to work on now and it is already getting better.

This week there isn't too much that is new...its hard to know what to write because it is literally the same thing every single day. I did have to speak in sacrament meeting this week which was TERRIFYING. You are supposed to prepare a five minute talk for every Sunday and they call you on the spot. My district also sang...then as soon as we sat down he started calling out the names....He always announces the mission and then the person....i just heard him say "El Salvador Santa Ana mission" and then he was fumbling through his papers trying to find my name but I knew it was me because I am the only person going there. I sometimes wonder if my mission actually exists. haha Pretty scary giving my first talk in Spanish...but President Cox said he thought I gave a really good talk. Whether or not the Latinos could understand me or not I don't know,,,but he could so that's all that matters. haha :) 

Today I did get some pretty exciting news! Hermana Cox came and asked me if I would be willing to sing at the Christmas lunch we are having at the CCM on December 2nd. Don't know all the details yet but I'm pretty excited. Most exciting part...the Guatemalan dignitaries..the whole government for Guatemala City and our area 70 and who knows else are going to be there...guess I better start practicing up on my Spanish Christmas songs! 

Sorry I haven't been good at answering questions...wrote some down this time so I could remember so here we go! We have devos ALL day on Sunday...we had one big devo a couple weeks ago with Elder Ochoa of the seventy...we have another seventy coming tonight...and Elder THEE Elder Nelson is coming I think next week! Most of our Devos are with the senior couples that serve around Guatemala...they all come to the CCM for church and it is so so wonderful. I love LOVE  LOVE the senior couples. Annnnd Box....I want pictures...just get all the pictures you can and print them off...I didn't bring near enough. The other stuff I have thought of I could get here....but if you want to send it that's great too....a waterproof watch...mine are both soaked from just the few times i have been out in the rain....a gray or blue cardigan....and PEANUT BUTTER M&MS. I would kill for some of those right now. Also in an email if you can....the lyrics to Follow Your Arrow wherever it points and Family is Family...I miss those songs. haha Love you all so much! SIEMPRE! 

Hermana Stoor attached these 2 pictures & wrote:
These are the only pictures I am allowed to send...but you will get more in three weeks when I'm in El Salvador for sure!
That is my RAMA (branch). there is a whole other Rama...those pictures were from the first week half of them are gone. The Mtc is alot smaller now...but next week we have 97 Latinos coming in so its going to get pretty crazy...we will be the ONLY Nortes here....6 girls...and about 16 elders.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Nuns, Guns, and tons of fun

Hola mi Familia! 
  Things are so good here in Guatemala. I think it gets more and more beautiful here ever day! I love the rain..the weather is so perfect..I would guess somewhere around 70 degrees every day. We go outside any chance we get (which isnt much but at least a few times a day). The MTC is so great...I wish I could send you pictures but we are not allowed to have our camera in the building unless we are going outside...I will ask about bringing it to send some pictures next week. We did take some with our district at the temple last week and I have a few with a couple of my good friends here. 

   I guess I should somewhat explain the title of this email. Sometimes I totally forget I am in a different country because we are in class all day long....until I get to my room at night. My bedroom window overlooks this school for nuns. Every night we hear the Nuns playing basketball...its a super funny sight for a small town Idaho girl. It gives me and my companion a good laugh. The other night after the nuns went to bed I was talking with my roommate Hermana Martinez and we heard what sounded like a gunshot right outside our window on the street. Then about five minutes later we heard a bunch of sirens and saw a bunch of flashing lights. This is DEFINITELY not Grays Lake. 

   This week was busy busy busy. We are teaching usually two if not three lessons a day so lots of planning. By the way, if you have any tips on effectively planning a lesson with your companion please let me know. We are super struggling with our lessons because we can never get on the same page with our planning. I am blessed with a good companion and district that will laugh with me through all of my mistakes. I will tell you the best from this week. Oh so embarrassing. We were teaching Angel (Hermano BAJAN) and he asked how to come to know whether or not the Book of Mormon was true. So I starting digging through my scriptures to have him read Mosiah 10:4, but since I was hurrying so quick I didnt double check myself and handed him Mormon 9:4 instead. I told him to think about how he could apply this scripture in his life and asked him after he read it to say a quiet prayer to know whether this scripture was true. I then bore my testimony of the truthfulness of that scripture in his life and asked him to read it. Well...because my spanish is muy poquito I didnt understand the scripture when he read it. Then he looked at me with this super super angry face. I panicked...he started saying all these spanish words to me i didnt understand and finally I looked at the scripture and realized...rather than the scripture about praying to know whether or not the word was true....He read Mormon 9:4..look it up....I basically told my investigator to pray to know whether or not he was too filthy to live with God. Good thing hes just my teacher and not my real investigator. hahaha

   This week they started bringing in REAL PEOPLE. It is terrifying. We didnt get to teach because something came up....but tomorrow...we will start teaching our first REAL investigator. We know nothing about them...not even how many people will be teaching...all we know is they are less actives. So I will let you know how that goes next week! Our other new investigator this week is Joel (Hermano Abadilló). I felt like it went really really well. My companion has been struggling alot this week with the language so i have really had to take the lead in the lessons. It amazed me when i got out of our first lesson with him how much Spanish I actually know! I love this is so so hard...but it makes so much more sense than English. It is getting harder and harder to remember some words in English already because I have to completely block them out of my mind so I dont use them in class. This week we are also going to the market to do some so nervous Im not going to be able to understand the natives. It really does help though to talk to the Latinos here in the CCM. This week there were several of them who became some of my best friends! Look up Quirian Noreli Tecún and Dinorah Martinez on facebook...they were my roommates..I was so sad to see them leave! Also...Leila Jorquera Chavez and Sarahi besties! I sit with them at lunch...I have learned so much Spanish from them! I also learn alot of Spanish on the volleyball court every night! Deportes is my favorite time of the night...the Latinos have taught me alot. They now fight over whos team i am on in volleyball. Guess my calling can help me to learn more than just Spanish and teaching skills super quick on a mission. 

   My Spanish has improved alot over the past week. On Wednesday night I was reading my scriptures in Moroni 7 and it was like a brick wall hit my heart. It talks about the things that we need to have before we can have faith. I have strived every day this week to make it my goal to have charity for those around me and to worry about their needs before my own. It has made all the difference. When you devote your time to helping others...the things that you need seem to come alot easier. I have had some super hard days out here on the mission, but I have my mind set on it and I know I can do it. The hermana who taught relief society this week compared missionaries to the pioneers. We leave everything behind...everything we have ever known to come do the work of the Lord. It is hard...but so was it for the pioneers. She then compared us to the Savior. She told us to never quit. She asked a question that I will remember every day through my mission. She said, "What would have happened, if in the most anguishable part of His mission, the Savior of the world would have quit?" This is the Lords work. We have been called to usher the work in the dispinsation of the fullness of times. I am here. I am a missionary with a holy calling from the Lord. And I am so ready to get out there and not let a single person pass me by. I love the Lord. I love the people of Guatemala and El Salvador. And I love YOU!

Much love!


Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Tuesday - November 3, 2015

Hola mi familia!
I will start of with...this is the hardest things i have ever done in my whole life...BUT I KNOW [THIS IS R[IGH[T. I love really does smell so fresh almost all the time. The flight was good...there were 24 missionaries i believe and i made some of my best friends in thos 12 hours! We tallked and laughed the whole time and i am so glad because they are mostly in my district here in the CCM. there are 10 of us in my and hermana Riley Schiess are the only hermanas...all the elders feel like extra brothers. My companion is great! We struggle sometimes but things are always getting better..she is super patient and is a hard worker! My roommates are also such a blessing to me! I am rooming with two Guatemalan Latina hermanas...Hermana Martinez and Hermana Tecum. They help me with Spanish almost every night. It is such a blessing. My teachers here are wonderful...Hermano Bajan and Hermano Abadilló. Yesterday I was having such a hard day..missing home...struggling with the language...just all together dropped to my lowest of lows. Hermano Abadillo  sat down with me for a good half an hour and talked to me about the things that i need to do to improve my spanish and gave me so comfort. We are separated in our classes English and Spanish...but we are also not allowed to use any really it just feels like with latina people all day long. The language is hard....but i am getting so close. I can have full conversations with the latinas at lunch and in the hall ways. I can sit in devotionals and not feel totally lost, I just have to keep reminding myself everyday that Jesucristo struggled every day of his life and he understands me. 

The day we got here...we put our stuff in our rooms...ate breakfast...wrote to you...and got some time to clean up after our flights. Then we started right away with class. When they said this would be hard...i had no idea just how hard it would be. You wake classes at 8ish and work work work until about 9 every day. BUT IT IS SO SO WORTH IT AND SO GREAT. The blessings are already starting to flow through the door. We taught our first lesson on Friday...our investigators name is Angel Lopéz. We struggled through the first two lessons with him...mostly because of the language barrier. We invited him on Saturday to be baptized, but we hadn't even thought to explain to him what baptism he asked. I looked at my companion..she looked at me..we shrugged our shoulders and with all my knowlege of the language I said, "Bautizmo igual felicidades." yup. that was it. haha it was so so so embarrassing. I prayed and prayed and prayed that i could find the best way to explain it to him in our next lesson....and yesterday morning my prayer was answered! I was reading in second Nefi 31 and found my answer. Go check it out! So yesterday (monday) we explained to him baptism and he agreed! We are baptising him on November 28th....after we work through his drinking and smoking problems. (by the way...hes just our teacher pretending to be an investigator.) 

I love the Latina people...they are so loving! Lots of hugs...lots of kisses..lots of comfort! We went to the temple today and it is thee most beautiful temple i have ever been in for the spirit and the cleanliness. You will have to look up how long ago it was built but when the church leaders came down to decide whether or not it needed some restoration...they told the templo president that it was in as good of shape as the day they built it. The apostle told the presidente that he had never seen a temple so taken care of anywhere in the world. And it is so true! 

The CCM is beautiful! It is like a super super nice hotel. I love my CCM president and his wife...there names are Presidente and Hermana Cox! We have had the opportunity several times to learn from them and they always bring the spirit in so strong. They love can just tell. Presidente Cox tells us over and over there are three things we need to remember to become a missionary..."work. work. and work." ...also ice cream. He is a big fan of ice cream so it is never is short supply here. The food is AMAZING. We are so blessed here! I love meal time when we get to meet with both Norte and Latino Americanos. It has helped me so much at lunch to just sit in a group of a bunch of Latina sisters and listen and pipe in when i actually understand and can say something in Espanol. I dont know if we are allowed to have favorites...but my favorite Hermana is Hermana Zambudio...she is from Chiwawa (however you spell that), Mexico and she had found my instagram before we even got here..I walked in the door of the CCM and she yelled out my name. We are besties. Unfortunately there is nobody else in the CCM going to my mission,....but hopefully some Latina sisters will come soon! Elder Sims is a legend here...better tell his mom he was well loved! He is so cool! he left his flashcards that i am sure took him HOURS to make with the Presidente Cox for me. I just got them on Sunday...they are going to help me so much. Tell his mom to give him a HUGE thanks from me.

I loved reading all of your emails and hearing what is going on back home..I am more homesick than I ever thought i would be, but as long as I keep myself busy (which is impossible not to do here) I am okay. The temple was a good refreshment for me and i cant wait to be able to go back again next week! I need your prayers as always. I pray every night that the gift of tongues will be given to me. I know I have it somewhere deep inside...and through my patience in waiting on the Lord and through my hard work, I will get there. I also keep having to remind myself that I have only been here for 6 days...and i can do way way more than i ever thought possible in just that short time. This is the Lords work. Thank you Mom and Dad for having faith enough in Christ and in me to help me get here. I know my letter may seem like im not having a good time here...but i really really am. The comforter has been so good to me. 

Yo se que el iglesia es verdadero y Jesucristo es el Salvador. Dios es bien! haha  Never forget it.

All my love,
     Hermana Stoor