Monday, April 29, 2013

Puerto Rico

Hermana Cole is finally in Puerto Rico!

so i made it my first week.. barely.  extremely tired and sore bruises and bug bites galore, and im always hungry! its been so crazy.  so i got to puerto rico and surprise! im the lucky one who gets to train herself haha... in a new area.. My companion's name is Hermana Howell. We were in the mtc together.  She was in the other district though, but we know each other.  She's been speaking spanish for 7 weeks.. so you can imagine how well we teach with our limited vocabulary and communication skills.  When I got here, I had to wait for a few hours to find out what was going on.  There were two flights to puerto rico, so some of us from the mtc were on the later one.  I was on the earlier one with the majority of people.  When i got here everyone met their companions but me.. they kept telling me mine was coming but didn't tell me what was going on.  So a few hours later when the next flight came in, I met my new companion.  We were both in shock.  They told us that we are opening a new area.  There hasn't been any sisters there for at least 6 years, so there is a ton of work to be done and not much help in our area book.  Even if there was neither of us know very much about how to use it yet.  But we are learning very fast!  The first day instead of going to the mission home for interviews and stuff we went out into the field.  My companion and I live with two native speaking sisters who have been out for about a year.  They helped us that first day and then we were on our own figuring out stuff.  President told them that they aren't our trainers, more like our moms.  On wednesday we went to the mission home for interviews and meetings and had a nice dinner with the President and his wife.  He is super nice and friendly and has a lot of trust in us.  He said that it is going to be really hard for us to learn everything on our own and not speak very much spanish, but that that's what the Lord wanted for us.  I thought that we had to train ourselves because there weren't enough sister missionaries but there are.  We just get to train ourselves because that's what we are supposed to do!  So you can imagine how difficult the first few days have been.. haha.  We've been pretty good at keeping a positive attitude and trying not to be too stressed and overwhelmed.  We are learning really fast on how to rely completely on the spirit.  We've been led to a few people already that are prepared for the gospel and we already have one baptismal date!  I am so excited!  I was really nervous to ask her to be baptized because I thought it was really soon, but she was really excited and really wants to be.  I have to remember that we are all baptized when we are 8 years old, and you don't need to have a ton of knowledge, just a desire to follow Christ.  So hopefully we can prepare her by the 11th!  She has a few kids and a husband and we are working with them too but I'm not sure they will be ready by the 11th.  Anyways.. that was a really good experience, but that night my bike tire popped and we got stuck at a shopping place and our "moms" had to pick us up.  I guess i ran over a tiny earring and it really put a big hole in it.  So the zone leader took it back to get fixed so i don't have a bike for a few days.  Speaking of bikes.. apparently i have no idea how to ride one.  It is so hard in a skirt.  Also there are more hills than imaginable here and we have to get off and walk them for a while.  I think that our area needs a car because we cover three cities and we can't even get out of the first one on a bike.  Its like 15 minutes away in a car! So we have some problems there haha but we are working on finding members to give us rides.  The problem is theres only one or two women near us in the ward.  So hopefully we will get a car in the next few weeks.. probably not though. So i need to learn how to ride a bike.  It really has been so crazy the last few days but we are trying our best.  Hopefully next week we will start getting a hang of things.. and maybe speak more spanish. If sending packages, tape the edges of the box and put a picture of Jesus on the box.  Supposedly people have a harder time opening packages when there is a picture of Jesus on it! hahaI got all the dental problems figured out and I sent you a few pictures of me and a girl from the mtc after the dentist cause the dentist took us to get wendys! Best food ever.  I will try to send a few more pictures if i can!  i don't have much time.  Keep sending letters and emails.  Sorry if it takes me forever to write back.. it takes me like 4 days to just read a letter becasue there is no time at all to even sit.  I hope you guys are all doing well.  And I love you all!  Thanks for all the support.  we get to talk on Mothers Day in 2 weeks!  yay1  ps michelle send this to the list because i am only allowed to email immediate family members now, but they can still email me!  And thanks Chito for telling me to read the sons of Mosiah story in the Book of Mormon, it has really helped this past week! I will keep you all in my prayers! Loves xoxo   

Friday, April 26, 2013

April 18th

Sorry I forgot to post her last letter! Below is Hermana Cole's letter from April 18th.

hola familia
so im almost done with the mtc! yayy im so excited to get out into the field! on friday we went on splits out in the real world.  it was so awesome.  way better than the mtc.  i even got to see the ocean pretty close because it was across the street from some of the houses! it was so pretty!  So we tried to visit some people to teach lessons but they werent home so we ended up contacting people and inviting them to attend church.  then we knocked on one door and it was a members house so we talked to her for about 15 minutes and gave her a little message.  it was awesome because i could understand a lot of what she was saying and communicate with her.  im super excited to be out in the field! on sunday we got to meet our mission president because he came to the temple.  He is so awesome and im sad i will only get him until July.  He said that we have a ton of work to do in Puerto Rico and that we will be expected to do more than those before.  So they dont have very many girls there now so some of us will have to be companions with eachother and not have a trainer.  Some of us will have to open new areas and stuff and some of us will be trainers after 6 weeks.  That is so crazy.  Im a little nervous but I he had a lot of confidence that we would be able to do it.  Basically the Holy Ghost is our trainer, which is good because thats the best training you will get!  Monday i was flossing and as you know part of my tooth fell out so im in the process of getting that all fixed.. im going to a really nice dentist so i think it should be good.. my mouth feels normal so far.. except for my wisdom teeth holes started bleeding but they are fine now, just inflamed  but the dentist said they are healing.  umm.. what else.. haha i leave for Puerto Rico on Tuesday probably really early in the morning.  Im not sure if im going to be able to call but if i do it will be like 4 in the morning your time maybe idk what time the flight is.  but if i call you better answer! i dont know my companion and i dont know if i will be with one of the girls in the mtc or not yet.  one of the sisters there said its getting pretty hot and the mosquitos eat you alive so send me the bug spray!1 we don't get to see the dr really.  well actually we are goign on splits tomorrow again so i will see more tomorrow.  

its hard to believe its still cold there it is beautiful weather here!  the food is alright except for the left over soup.  they say the average weight gain is 35-40 pounds in puerto rico so im not about to let that happen.  and fyi i have not gained any weight yet haha 

i will send letters in response to everyones emails when i get the chance.  i haven't gotten grandmas letter so hopefully they forward it to me if it ever comes.  dont send any more dear elders or any letters here i wont get them.  send to puerto rico.  thanks for all the emails and stuff i really appreciate the love and support.  Thursday mornings are the best when i get to look at all my emails!! oh but p day is puerto rico is monday so i cant write until the next monday so like a week and a half.  I can't believe Logan is going to England too thats awesome!!! Tell him congrats i will try to write him a letter when i get around to it!  

i cant send pictures so you are going to have to wait like a week.  i did more family names at the temple today but i wont be going to the temple for another year and a half but there are still names ready. well i have to go.  hopefully i can call at the airport and you don't sleep through it. but if not im sure i will email within the next week.  love you guys lots!! remember obedience brings blessings but obedience with exactness brings miracles!!! adios
con amor Hermana Cole

Thursday, April 11, 2013

¡New Letter!

so basically i am almost done here! tomorrrow i go on splits with the real missionaries.  Im super nervous but way excited.  I guess i will find out how much i dont know tomorrow. The week went by pretty fast.  Friday we went contacting at the university so that was pretty cool.  Everyone is super nice and friendly.  We talked to one guy for like a half an hour.  Saturday and Sunday were awesome because it was conference and one of the senor missionary couples made us cinnamon roles so that was just really nice.  And it was a super relaxed but spiritually full day!  Conference was awesome.  Everyone says conference is the best when youre in the mission because its the only time you ever really listen haha.  but ya i really enjoyed all of the messages. Monday we picked up trash at the university again and a girl came up and talked to us for an hour about the gospel.  She was just really interested in the church because of our examples of picking up garbage haha.  So always be a good example!  It was funny because she said what we were saying really wasn{t making that much sense because our spanish isnt good but she said she felt goose bumps and felt happy when she talked to us so that was a really cool experience.  Umm Tuesday we watched an awesome devotional that changed my perspective on a lot of things.  One of the best talks I{ve ever heard but its not available to the public yet becuase it was an mtc talk.  But It was Elder Bednar speaking on learning of Christ not just about him.  We looked of the characteristics of Christ through the Bible stories.  Christ always looked outward and never inward.  I wish I could explain it like he can!  But whenever you struggle or any other time we need to focus on others and not on what we need.  Anyways it was a lot better than im making it sound.  Yesterday was the best because it was two peoples birthdays and we had cake and ice cream!! It was so good.  Oh and we had hamburgers!  So ya it was a good day in the food world.  Wasnt red velvet cake but at least it was cake.  And today we went to the temple and I took some of our family names.  And next week Im taking some more! So thats fun.  Also I did some of the session in spanish and was able to understand a lot of it.  My spanish is improving a little.  Mainly my speaking and stuff and Im starting to get a little Dominican accent haha.  Im so excited that Dallin is home now!  That went by pretty fast actually.  So im not too worried about me out here.  And my guess for  Logan is Mississippi!  or some place in the south! Or if its international.. Puerto Rico!! Or maybe the DR! haha i hope!  My address for Puerto Rico is on the little cards we made i dont{ have it with me right now.  Also just send all mail there now.  Dont send anything here anymore.  Even Dear elders.  I enjoy all of the pictures so thank you so much!  

Thank you for all the love and support and stuff. I will try to send more pics if i can!!  Love you guys!! Mucho amor !!! Hermana Cole

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Week 3 Recap

New letter from the Hermana

So Ive made it another week. Now Im on my downward slope of the mtc. Which is actually freaking me out because i still have soo much to learn. Also the whole spanish language. This past week went by much faster than the first. Last Friday instead of going to the university we went to the park because it was easter so the school was closed. So that was a good experience. I felt like a real missionary for once. At first i was super nervous to go talk to people but my companion helped me get over that and we talked to one of the guards. We just gave him a pamphlet and talked for a few minutes. He was really nice. I didn't give him much time to talk though I was so nervous I just spit it all out in spanish and said adios! ha ha I was surprised at how well the spanish came out though. After we just went and talked to all the guards and all of them were super nice and listened and all of them took our pamphlets. Probably because they felt bad for us haha but watevs at least they have them. And we even saw them actually reading them after so yay! But it was a good experieces. I can't understand them liked at all when they talk though. i can say whatever i need to with what i know but understanding is a differnt story. so hopefully i will get used to it.

Sunday was an awesome day.  It was Easter so i made a mini easter egg hunt with the cadbury eggs so that was cute and fun.  then we had church and for our doctrine calss we talked more about the plan of salvation.  one of the counselors gave a good talk about God{s angels behind enemy lines refering to the people that are waiting to hear our message!  After we watched a movie on teh Resurrection and had some sort of Easter dinner.  Then we watched a MTC provo devotional.  One of the best ive heard! Elder Bednar spoke on how to determine wheter its the spirit or just me.  His response was Quit worrying about it and press forward in faith.  His point being that as long as we are being a good boy or girl and keeping our covenants , the spirit will guide us and put thoughts into our minds.  The more we listen to the spirit, the more the spirit trusts us and doesn{t need to give us huge impressions every time.  So quit worrying and analyzing everything and just be a good girl!  It was an awesome talk.  After we jsut did our little temple and ice cream walk.  

Monday for our service activity we went to the university to pick up garbage wo we wore our jeans and jeans are the worst thing in the world here.  so hotttt.  But it was cool because we had at least four different grups of people just come up to us and talk to us while we were cleaning.  These two guys came up and started talking to us trying to get our numbers and add us on facebook it was funny.  I cuoldn{t understand them to well but I tried to explain that we were missionaries and I ended up sharing a message and getting their numbers!  One guy seemed interested and the other probably just thought wed be the ones teaching them haha.  Esta bien we still got their numbers to contact them! And i got to be a missionary.  We are going to the university tomorrow too to hand out pamphlets and share our testimonies so im not so nervous for that anymore. 

Tuesday we watched a devotional by President Uchtdorf.  It was really good too.  One thing he said that really stuck out to me was God has prepared people to recieve the gospel but we wont meet them unitl we are prepared to meet them.  So we have to do everything we cvan to prepare ourselves for these people who are waiting for us. 
I appreciate everyones emails and letters!  i will wirte back to everyone in letter form when i can but keep them coming.  i like having stuff to read in the week! also i will try to send more pics if i can. 
much amor

Maybe her companion? Twinners

Yes, she brought Zeke and Daphanie with her