Monday, July 29, 2013

Two Month Mark


Hermanas San Juan and Arcila
29 July 2013


So fun fact: today is my two month mark! I can't believe I have already been out for two months! Man time sure does fly by. This week has been SO hot. And it's the end of the month so we are almost out of miles on our car...which means we did alot of walking and riding bikes. But I don't mind because I got to burn off all the tortillas I have been eating somehow! And I am pretty lucky to have a car in the first place so it's all good.

Okay I just realized that I haven't really told you anything about my companions so here it goes. Hermana Arcila: She is the brown one in all the pictures haha. She is from Washington D.C. Her dad is Columbian and her mom is Guatamalan. So she knew Spanish before she came on her mission. Love her. Hermana Seely: She is from Mt. Pleasant, Utah and she is the sweetest thing ever. She didn't know Spanish before the mission so I can relate to her a little better in that way. And she is way good at Spanish now so it gives me hope!

Okay so cool story. On Tuesday this past week we were walking on the side of a pretty busy road to get to one of our investigator's houses. And all of a sudden this car pulls out in front of us and parks and we were like oh no it's a creeper. But this older lady got out of the car and the first thing she says is "I'M MORMON" haha. She was like "What are you sisters doing walking on the side of this busy road it's dangerous out here!" So she offered us a ride and we got in her car. Turns out she is from Provo and is in Texas visiting her mom who was with her too. Her last name is Weeks. They are such sweet ladies. They invited us over for dinner on Sunday so thats what we did yesterday! It was so much fun but man they made alot of food. I'm still full! Elder Poteki and Elder Mendenhall from my district came with us too becuase Sister Weeks is in their ward so it was a party. It was a little weird being with a non-hispanic family though haha but it was so much fun and they are such a sweet family.

Anyway I don't have much time! But the work is going good! I feel so blessed to be on a mission right now. I know this is what I am supposed to be doing and where I am supposed to be. This Church is true. This gospel blesses families. Heavenly Father loves each and every one of you. I know that if we have faith in Jesus Christ the hardest as well as the easiest of times in life can be a blessing. We never need to feel like we are alone becuase we never are. I love and miss all of you! :)

Hermana San Juan

Monday, July 22, 2013

Hermana San Juan


From: Katelyn St John, Monday, July 22, 2013 11:06 AM

Hola familia y amigos!

So you know when you go to write in your journal or something and can't remember anything that had happened that week or even that day...well that is how I feel right now haha. But I wrote down a couple of things I wanted to tell ya'll so hopefully I can remember more as I type!

First thing ya'll is such a catchy word! Everyone, and I mean everyone, says it here. And so therefore I am now saying it because I want to fit in, obviously. I never thought this day would come but I do say ya'll. People's accents here are awesome. Gotta love the South. 

Okay, so funny story. The other night we were going over to eat at a member's house for dinner and me and my companions thought it would be way funny if we told the three little boys that I was deaf because it was my first time meeting them. So we were walking up to the house and the 3 boys were outside playing.  Hermana Arcila introduces me to them in "sign language" and they were like WOAHH she's deaf! So me and my Hermanas talked back and fourth to each other in "sign language" for a little bit and the little boys thought we were so cool. They kept asking Hermana Seely how to say certain words in sign language so that they could talk to me and she would just make up random signs. haha It was SO hard not to laugh. And it was way hard to remember all the signs we said means what. haha Eventually we told them the truth but it was so funny.

So this week there have been lots of miracles! 

Miracle 1: We were walking over to an investigator's house to teach and as we were walking Hermana Arcila got a feeling that we should stop at this house that we were about to pass. So we knocked on the door and a teenage Hispanic girl answered the door. She saw our name tags and was like, "Oh sorry we already have a religion we are not at all interested in your church." You could tell that she really wanted us to leave. But we gave each other the "look" that means we should keep trying because we all had a really good feeling about this house. So we made conversation with her. Just simple things like where do you go to many siblings do you have..stuff like that. And by the end she totally opened up to us and invited us over for another visit. We were so excited. So we went back yesterday and taught her about the restoration. The spirit was so strong I know that she could feel it. We asked her if she would say the prayer at the end of the lesson and she said, "Thank you for sending these amazing hermanas to me and I am looking forward to our next visits." I couldn't help but smile. She went from being very standoffish to us to opening up to us and inviting us back to her home. She even wants us to help her paint her room! It's amazing what the spirit can do and the hearts that it can touch. I am looking forward to our next visits with her too.

Miracle 2: So on Saturday last week we were walking to another appointment and we saw three boys sitting on their porch. They were Hispanic so we decided to go talk to them. We found out their names are Miguel (who is 19), Alfonzo (who is 17), and Alex (who is 14). Alfonzo and Alex are brothers. We also found out that they just moved here from Mexico about a month ago and while they were in Mexico they actually met with Mormon missionaries a couple times! So we talked with them for a while and then we set up another appointment with them for the next day at the park down the street. We honestly didn't think they were going to show up, but sure enough when we got to the park they were there sitting on a bench waiting for us. We have met with them 4 times and oh man are they awesome. They are probably some of the funniest, kindest people I have ever met. Seriously they are Hilarious. Our last appointment with them I was laughing so hard I was crying. And I love meeting with them because they have really good questions. They really do want to know if this is the true church for themselves. They even came to church yesterday and it was all of their first times going to any church except for Miguel. And guess what.....yesterday I asked them if they would get baptized when they come to know that these things are true and Alfonzo said yes.  The other two were a little bit hesitant but I know that if they pray with real intent and faith that they will get an answer that this is the true church. 

So those are some miracles that happened this week!

Also, oh man I don't know if any of you have been checking the weather in Houston (probably not because why would you?) But it has rained EVERY DAY this week. And on Thursday it was raining SO hard. Like I don't think I have even seen it rain that hard in my life. President Crawford wouldn't let us leave our apartment in cars that's how hard it was raining. So since we couldn't go to our appointments we decided to go play in the rain haha. It was so much fun! I was completely drenched by the time we came back inside. Warm rain is the best!

Okay, also I keep forgetting to tell you guys! A sister in my district in the MTC, Hermana Barlow, has an album on iTunes and had a couple videos on YouTube that are pretty popular! You should check them out for me and tell me how they are! Her name is Carli Barlow and her popular song on YouTube is called "Two Years". She played us the live version our last day at the MTC actually! It is SO good. Check it out. And it's actually about missionaries!

So the food here is so good - oh my gosh. I love Hispanic food. But the food is way spicy sometimes and I'm still getting used to that haha. One of the members told me to eat this tiny green thing and was like "It's not spicy, just try it," so I did and it was SO spicy my whole head was burning haha. Why do people think it's so funny to play tricks on me?! But other than that the food is awesome.

So this week I had a little break down (Don't panic). It was during Spanish study and I just started to bawl. And my companions rushed over to me. I was just to stressed out because SPANISH IS HARD AND I WANTED TO PUNCH SOMEONE. Not really punch someone but you know....Ahh sometimes you just gotta let it out. It's just hard because I just want to know Spanish right now so I can talk to these people and help them the best way I can. But my amazing companions helped me realize that I just need to be patient with myself and have faith and it will come. 

This is the true Church. I know Joseph Smith saw what he said he saw. I know that if we pray with faith miracles can happen. I love you all so much. Thank you for all your letters and e-mails and love. I seriously have the best family and friends in the world. LOVE YOU ALL.

Hermana San Juan (what everyone calls me because they can't say St John)  

Now here are the pictures she sent today with her comments.  They are mostly of her last few days in the MTC. I love pictures, so I have to post them.

These are pictures of my district and our AWESOME! teachers.  Oh and a pic of the ceiling in our classroom.  Nifty right?  We had a celestial room.  

Fourth of July!  Oh and me and Camrie Smith.  Man do I miss seeing her every day. 

My District at the map. 

 Our District singing "God Be With You 'till We Meet Again" 
as our goodbye song at our Zone!

Okay, this is Sister Price. Ahhh I love her so much.  She was my MTC mom.  I miss her already. 

Me and Hermana Shannon on the bus heading to the airport!

Okay so this old man is my FAVORITE.  He is the dad of a member in our branch and he is not a member. So we have been teaching him a little bit.  But it's hilarious because he always just randomly whips out his harmonica and starts playing! Even in the middle of our lessons!  haha  It's so great.

Happy one week anniversary to us!

Monday, July 15, 2013

I'm in a Tripanionship!

15 July 2013, 10:30 a.m.


Okay I'm in Texas....this is not real life. I can't believe I am actually out in the mission field. Ahh so crazy. So I'm sure you are all dying to know what my companion is like, where I live, what it's like in Texas, how the language is going....but I'm not going to tell you until next week. Just kidding, okay so my trainer. I'm pretty lucky because I actually have two trainers! I'm in a tripanionship! It is SO much fun. My companions are Hermana Seely and Hermana Arcila. They are the best. They are so funny and just crack me up all the time. But they love to play jokes on me because I don't know any of the rules or how things go around here. So for example, when missionaries back out of parking spots in cars it's a rule that one missionary has to get out of the car and back the other person out (yeah IDK kinda weird). So my companions were having me do that and they were like "one second." And they opened the trunk and pulled out this neon vest and were like, "You have to wear this when you're the person backing the car out." And I was just like, okay this is kinda a weird rule that you have to wear the vest but I'll do it. So they have made me wear the vest every time I back them out and I just found out yesterday that YOU DONT WEAR A VEST WHEN YOU DO IT. hahaha I was so mad at them but I was also laughing my head off. They are never going to let me live that one down haha. But other than playing mean jokes on me they are great I really do love them so much. They have taught me so much already (mostly not to be to gullible). But really they are awesome. 

Okay so my apartment is so tiny. It's adorable. It is basically made for one person but we have three so it's great. We have three beds shoved in this tiny room haha. And we live on a street named Jimmy Johnson Blvd so that's fun!

Oh and by the way the area that I am in is called Port Arthur. We are the only Spanish speaking missionaries in this area!

So my mission presidents ROCK. I'm not kidding they are so awesome. We stayed over at their house Monday night and they were so welcoming and sweet. Ahh I just love them so much, I feel so blessed to have them. We went running Tuesday morning with Sister Crawford and it was so much fun. She is so easy to talk to. But it was gross because by the time we got back to the mission home I felt like I had just gotten out of the shower because it is soooooo humid here.

So oh my goodness Spanish is hard. For the first couple of days I basically just sat there wide eyed. The people talk so fast!!!! S.O.S. But as the days went on I feel like I could understand ALOT more and now I can almost understand everything it's just the details that I miss. One of my biggest challenges so far, I feel like, is being afraid to make mistakes when I speak Spanish. Sometimes I don't say something I feel like I should say to an investigator because I am afraid I am going to mess up. I need to work on that. The people are so nice here and I know they would just help me if I messed up but It's scary!

Okay so Grandma sent me a list of questions that I need to answer so here is another one! My ward is so awesome. It's actually just a branch because it's too small to be a ward. There are about 50 people in our branch. We are the only missionaries in the ward. They are such great strong people. Oh and we have a car! Which is nice. we have one because our area is so big but we only have a certain amount of miles so we do have to walk or ride bikes sometimes!

Okay so something weird! Do you remember the Haffords from California? Like my best friend Holly? Well her Brother Aaron is in this mission and I saw him! He came up to me and said, "Hi."  It was so weird!

Anyways I don't have a lot of time left but I just want you all to know that I love you so much and I think about you all the time. And I want you to know that this Church is true. I know it is. This gospel changes lives and can bring you joy even in the hardest times in your life. A lot of these people that we are teaching have nothing. But when we teach them about the joy of the gospel it is the best feeling ever. It doesn't matter who you are or what you have done, you can always come back. Heavenly Father and Jesus love you so much. I LOVE YOU ALL.

Here is my address!
4710 Jimmy Johnson Blvd Apt. #45
Port Arthur TX 77642

P.S. We are moving in like 2 weeks into a different apartment so I'll let you know when it changes!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Excited - But a Little Sad

 1 July 2013


So this is my last week in the MTC! I can't even believe how fast the time has gone by, I feel like I just got here! I got my travel plans Friday and my flight leaves at 6:00 in the morning on Monday July 8th! I have to be at the travel office at 2:30 a.m.! So everyone please pray for me that I will be able to wake up haha. Getting my travel plans was the weirdest thing ever. So many emotions and running through me....excited, excited, excited, a little sad to say goodbye to my district and zone, a little nervous (because you know Spanish is hard and people's salvation will be in my hands) but mostly I'm excited! I feel so ready to just go out there and share what I know. Also another weird thing about my travel plans is that I have a layover. haha I thought that was kind of funny. I have a layover in Dallas from 9:40 a.m to 11:05 a.m. So if everything goes as planned I should be in Houston at 12:10 next Monday, ahh so excited! There are 21 people in mine and Hermana Shannon’s travel group. Hopefully they are all going to the same mission as us, we haven't met anyone here at the MTC that is going to our same mission so as of right now we are pretty convinced that we are the only people in the world going to our mission.

So as you all know I got to host this week and it was so fun! I cried a couple of times because watching people say goodbye to their families just brings back so many memories and it always gets me when an Elder is crying and saying goodbye to his family. But I get to host again this Wednesday so that will be fun!

We got new Hermanas in our zone this week and new Elders! They are so cute I love them all. The sad thing is that we only get to be with them for one more week!

So today me and Hermana Shannon were talking to a Mexican worker here at the MTC and we were like....WHATTT. haha it was so funny. It was a really great reality check for us. You don't realize how slow your teachers talk to you until you talk to someone that speaks Spanish all the time.

This week we had some AWESOME devotional speakers. Janice Kapp Perry came and gave a devotional on Tuesday and it rocked! We sang all the Primary songs she wrote and she sang us a couple of songs. It brought me back to the good old days of Primary I loved it. And for Relief Society yesterday Sheri Dew came and talked to us and that was Incredible. She talked to us about things she has learned throughout her life. I feel so blessed to be here at the MTC at this time.

So the craziest thing happened to me this week. Do any of you remember Chelsea Pilkington? She was in my ward in California and we were friends? Anyway I saw her, she is in the MTC right now. I can't believe we recognized each other! I got a picture with her I will have to send it.

This is probably my last e-mail I will be sending from the MTC. Kinda sad but Very Very exciting. I want all you you to know that this is the true church. The spirit has confirmed this to me many times. If any of you are struggling with this truth, ask God. He will confirm the truth of this gospel to you. I love this gospel so much and I can't wait to go out and share this truth with the people of Texas! I love all of you with all my heart!

Hermana St John

P.S. For the Fourth of July we get to go up on the MTC soccer field and watch the stadium of fire - Fireworks! Wahoo we get to stay up until 11:30 rock on!