Monday, June 2, 2014

Week 16 - May 27, 2014 - And then we had a flood...

Hello everyone! Once again I hope everyone had a wonderful week ;) are my FUN FACTS of the week!
1. Alicia was baptized by her son Washington! It was the cutest baptism ever.
2. We found out Dallin H. Oaks is coming to talk to us in June, and I am SO excited!
3. A man ran passed Hermana Peralta and I the other day, and as we tried to start talking to him, we realized he was running from the cops! 
4. We refer to everyone as ¨Hermana¨ it is a habbit! Well this week we contacted a lady, and she told us we could not call her that because she is not our sister. I felt bad, but we literally could not stop! We called her ¨Hermana¨ about 5 more times before we ended the conversation.
5.On Friday before Alicia´s baptism, we could not find a member to fill up the baptismal font. We decided that we would do it ourselves, because it had to be done. When we got to the chapel, the font was full of dirty water. We starting draining it, and realized the dirty water was not coming out of its usual pipe. Well, to make a long story short, we ended up flooding the boys bathroom, and had a disaster to clean up before the baptism started!
This week we had two people commit to baptismal dates, and I am so excited! ;)

On Monday we met with a 10 year old and his dad. His dad recently returned to the church, and wanted his children to have the opportunity to be baptized. Fernando was super excited to learn about the gospel, and accepted a baptismal date. He is so smart for his age. He answers all of our questions correctly, and most of the time he is the one teaching us!
The other person, is Cesar. He is incredible. One day we were going to visit a less active, and a member called us. He said there was a man in the chapel that wanted to learn about our church. When we got to the chapel, we met Cesar. He told us that he had been searching the internet, and came across a page of the church. He thought is was interesting, so he searched for a chapel close to his home and ended up in our ward! We taught him about the restoration of the church, and he LOVED everything. He accepted a baptismal date right away, and is progressing so quickly. He reads all of the pamplets we leave with him, and always wants us to choose chapters of the Book of Mormon, that he can read. I am so happy for him, and know that he was prepared to hear this message ;)
Gina is so excited for her baptism this week! She came to Alicia´s baptism, and when she found out the water is not heated, she was a little bit worried. We tried telling her that it really is not too bad, but she was not convinced. Who knows...maybe we will have to heat the water for her! Cold water or warm water, she is excited for her baptism, and tells us she already sees the blessings of the gospel in her life! 

Week 17 - Transfers!

Hello everyone! 
I do not have much time (what is new) so I am going to go ahead and start with my Fun Facts of the week!

2. I finished my training!...I cannot even believe I have been here 12 weeks! Time flys...
3. I got a new companion!
4. My hair got stuck in a fan...It was pretty funny!
5. I decided I will never like cold showers!

Okay, last night we found out that Hermana Peralta was going to have a transfer...which meant I was going to get a new companion. I cried! Haha in the beginning, things were pretty hard with Hermana Peralta, because I did not understand a word she said! Plus, I had NO clue what I was doing here! Now, she is the only person I can understand perfectly, and she helped me with everything! I did not know what I was going to do without her. However, today I got my new companion, Hermana Flamm! She is also from Utah, and we actually wrote each other before the mission, so we are already friends! She is absolutely darling, and I am so excited to work with her! :)

Cesar and Fernando are still preparing for their baptisms, which is awesome! However, we have not had to much success finding new people to teach this week. This seems to happen a lot. We will have NO ONE to teach, and then the Lord blesses us with MILLIONS! So hopefully with a little patience we will find people :) 

We had a conference this week with all of the sisters here in the mission. It was so neat. Our president and his wife have so much love for us. They really stressed that we are daughters of a king, and we need to live up to our potential :) Soooo this week I hope  you can all live up to your potential! :) Love you all!

Week 15 - May 19, 2014 - YAY for missionary emails :)

Hello friends and family :) 
How are all of you?! Hopefully fantastic! This week we did not have too many crazy adventures, but the missionary work was great :) Anyways, here are my Fun Facts of the week...

1. The ward had a late Mother´s Day activity, and asked us to sing...I cannot even put into words how horrible it was! Hermana Hansen and I forgot most of the Spanish lyrics, and the other two sisters did not know the tune. It went downhill really fast...
2. One night we had 5 minutes to walk home, but a member insisted that we take home food. By the time we got the food, it was way later than our curfew, so we had to RUN home with plates of rice and chicken! We looked like robbers! 
3. Whenever we give away a Book of Mormon we write a small message inside. This week I wrote the message, and later realized I had written it in English instead of Spanish! Hah ooops. 
4. We taught an investigator the Word of Wisdom, and she told us she was going to stop drinking tea. Well before we left her house, she made Hermana Peralta and I a cup of tea! 
5. On Saturday, I am pretty sure we were given rubber meat for lunch. The hermanas and I were laughing so hard, because we could not eat this meat! We could not cut it or chew it, so we ended up hiding it inbetween dirty dishes :) 

Unfortunately things with Estela did not work out, and she is not going to be baptized. It is okay though, because we had lots of success in other areas this week! On Tuesday we taught Katerine, and she asked if we could change her baptism date from the 24th to the 23rd. It was not a huge difference, but we were thrilled because in the beginning, Katerine did not want anything to do with the church. Later on that day, she called and asked if we could change her date to the 17th. We did not think it was possible because she had only been to church two times, but we decided to ask. Our president gave us permission, and she was baptized Saturday! 

Alicia is the mom of one of our recent converts, and she comes to church every Sunday with her son. She is really good friends with the bishop´s family, but has never had a desire to join the church. On Saturday we asked if we could teach her, and she agreed to being baptized! Her baptism is going to be this Friday, and we are so excited because her son is going to baptize her :) 

Gina is our perfect investigator. Everytime we visit her she shares with us something new she has learned about the church, and always wants to learn more. She loves participating in all of the ward activities, especially the meetings on Sunday! :) One of our lessons this week was with her cousin, and we asked him to say the closing prayer. He was super nervous, but said the sweetest prayer I have ever heard. He asked for a blessing to be upon all of those people in the streets who do not have breat to eat, and for more thankful people in the world. So I hope that all of you can be thankful for all of the things you have :) 

Well I love you all, and wish I had more time, but I do not! Soo...Have a great week!!

Hermana Roestenburg :)

Hermana Roestenburg and her companion with Katerine

Week 14 - May 13, 2014 - It's raining, it's POURING

Hello everyone! :) This week I decided that Sister Maeghan Peters is the smartest person in the world because she starts out her weekly letters with all of her adventures...Sooo, I am going to copy her :)
Here are my fun facts of the week!
1. Hermana Peralta and I got kicked out of a taxi after the taxi driver drove us to the wrong place
2. There was a rainstorm one night, and the city honestly looked like a river! We had to walk through 12 inches of water! 
3. We visited a member in the hospital, and the hospitals here look like something out of a WW2 movie. It was one big room with 50 beds lined up against the wall. 
4. I had two boys greet me with a kiss, and I was SO embarrassed! I know it is a part of their culture, but it was horrible! 
5. The elders in my zone found a Dominos add with a picture of a girl on it. They said she looks like me, and have asked me everyday since to bring them pizza.
6. I saw one man carrying a bucket of dead fish, one man carrying a dead chicken, and one man carrying three dead birds all in one day :)
7. I talked to my family for Mother's Day and realized I cannot speak Spanish or English! Oh dear...
As far as missionary work goes :) things went really well this week! In the beginning of the week, we dropped a lot of investigators because they just were not progressing. At first, I was really sad about it, but later, during my personal study, I read a scripture about people who are ready to accept the gospel with joy. This gave me hope, and I knew we just had to find these people! :) Well later that day, we met a lady named Estela. She invited us into her house, and loved our message. She had a hard time understanding me because of my acccent, but when I asked her to be baptized, she said "YES!" At first we thought maybe she did not understand me, so Hermana Peralta asked her again, and she said, "Yes, I want to be baptized!"
Later on that day, two other ladies accepted a baptism date! One of them we have been working with FOREVER, and I am soo excited for her :) The other, Gina, we met one day when we were looking for her brother. She loves the church, and is always so excited to learn more.
We had a conference with our mission president yesterday, and he stressed the importance of remembering who we are. He said that if we constantly live up to who we are, being obedient will come naturally, and we will be successful missionaries. He also told us that in July an apostle is going to come speak to us. However, only the missionaries serving within 2 hours of Guayaquil city get to listen to him! So we are all hoping and praying that we are one of the few that get to hear him :)
Well, I hope you all had a great Mother's Day! I love you all!!
Hermana Roestenburg

Week 13 - May 5, 2014 - BYE SWEET MEMORIES

Hello everyone!!! I hope you all had a fantastic week :) My week started off with some horrible experiences, but all is well now! Anyways, one night we were taking pictures, and I do not know what I did, but somehow I deleted ALL of my pictures! It was horrible. I wanted to cry! Three months of my mission GONE! I keep telling myself it could have been worse, but I am still a little bit sad about it :( The next day we went to visit an investigator, and I was super happy because we were preparing him for his baptism. When we got to his office, he told us that he had prayed real hard, and decided he was not going to be baptized. At first I was super bummed out about it, but I have to remember everyone has to make the decision for themselves. He said he wants us to continue reading the Book of Mormon with him, and he is going to continue coming to our church. So who knows, maybe one day he will be baptized! :)
On Wednesday we recieved a reference, named Alex, from a member. References are the best because they usually have a desire to listen to our message :) I called him one night to arrange a visit, and when I hung up I could not decide if I had understood his Spanish really well, or if he had spoken to me in English. We went to his house, and sure enough he was speaking English! Haha my poor companion could not understand a word the guy was saying. He speaks both languages, but English is more natural for him, so a lot of the conversation was English. It was so weird! Unfortunately he is not too interested in the church, but we are going to keep trying with him.
We have so many investigators right now, but none of them are progressing. A lot of them have accepted baptismal dates in the past, but for one reason or another, plans fell through. It is okay though. It just means we have to work harder, and find people who are ready to accept this message :) 

I do not know who decided I can lead music, but somebody did, and it is horrible. They ask me to lead the music all of the time! In baptisms, in church meetings, in zone meetings, EVERY meeting! I do not have anything against leading music, but I do not know it is a problem. I just kind of wave my hand around like a crazy person, and everybody seems to like it! :) Maybe I should try to learn, so I can do it the correct way.
It is still one thousand degrees here, and my house is still covered in all sorts of odd creatures, but I love it! Definitely an adventure everyday! I hope you all have a great week :)
Hermana Roestenburg

Week 12 - April 28, 2014 - 3 Months Tomorrow!

Hello everyone!! 
Guess what? Tomorrow is my 3 month mark! Time is flying by! Anyways, this week was great :) Yesterday we brought the Suarez family to church. They have been investigating for quite some time now, but each family member has a different belief, so we haven't been too successful with them. Anyways, during the sacrament, one of their daughters started choking on the water. It was kind of bad...but she ended up being just fine :) Later in Relief Society, Teresa, the mother, referred to us as "Mormons" instead of "Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints"...Well, let's just say some of the members did not like this, and we had a small argument in church. Haha oh dear. Hopefully the Suarez's allow us to keep teaching them :)
This week we worked like crazy to find people to teach. We literally talked to everyone we could see, and 90% are only here Monday through Saturday for work! It is so frustrating. The ward members try to give us references, but this week we did not have too much success with them. We have to think of a new way to find people though! Right now the majority of our lessons are with inactives, and investigators who are not progressing :(
Our house is infested with worms! They are tiny, white, and turn into moths! When we come home at night, our ceiling is COVERED in worms and moths. This morning we decided to have a major duty cleaning session. We started cleaning one cupboard, and found out that it was full of cockroaches! AH! It was the grossest thing ever. However, I think that we killed them all! Plus we cleaned the house really good, so now I just have to keep telling myself that everything is fine :)
We have a new Zone now, and our new leader is awesome! He is almost done with his mission, so he has a lot of experience. He gave us tons of advice, and I think it will help us a lot!
Happy moment! Yesterday I realized I was not translating words in my head...I was actually understanding the Spanish! I do not know when that happened, it is all so gradual, but the gift of tongues is definitely real!! :)
Anyways! As always, I have NO time! So have a great week!
Love, Hermana Roestenburg
The Roestenburg Easter Bunny made it to Ecuador! 

Week 11 - April 22, 2014 - Tres Triste Tigres!

Hello everyone! 
Okay, this week P-day is on Tuesday because we had a zone meeting yesterday. Two Elders finished their missions, and we had lots of transfers. We were given a new rule, our investigators have to attend church 3 times now before they can be baptized. Before it was only two, so this is better, but now we have to wait longer to baptize. Also, we were told that President Dennis wants to change our computer time from 1 hour to 40 minutes because too many missionaries are getting onto Facebook. Hopefully this does not happen, because we have no time as it is!
Up to this point, I have been really lucky with most of my food. However, this week was fish was pretty brutal. I do not know what it is about fish, I just cannot eat it! Everytime a member placed seafood in front of me, the other hermanas would start to laugh. It was horrible! I was always able to eat all of it though, so that was a blessing :) 
The people here are so loving, especially in our ward. They love to laugh at my Spanish with me :) but it is okay! There is a tongue twister here that starts out 'tres triste tigres," and I guess North Americans really struggle with it. Anyways, everytime I go to church, someone will ask me to say the tongue twister. It is pretty funny. A lot of the ward members know a few words in English, so they like the practice with me...the only problem is, I understand their Spanish better than their English! Hah I always feel bad, because I have no idea what they are trying to say to me! At least twice a week, I get asked if I am from Chile. I guess I look like it!
Right now we have 3 investigators who were doing so good, and recently stopped progressing. One, his name is Ricardo, is pretty funny because he told us he believes everything that we have taught him. However, he does not like making decisions, so for now he does not want to commit to a baptism date. Jacinto is another, and he loves coming to church. He is there every Sunday, but wants to read the Book of Mormon before making a decision. This is great, except for he only reads when we read with him. He says he wants to read it for himself, but never has time. So hopefully he will have more time eventually! :) We have been working with a lot of inactives, and it is pretty hard. They commit to coming to church, and then on Sunday we cannot find them :( I guess we have to try harder with them! 
Anyways, I am still enjoying every second of this work! My favorite thing is visiting with the recent converts, and hearing their testimonies about the church :) Hope you are all doing well!
Hermana Roestenburg

Week 10 - April 14, 2014 - Robbed?!

I hope all of you back home are doing great! Let's see here, this week was quite the adventure! On Tuesday my companion had a meeting, so I went with other hermanas to drop her off. To get back to our sector, I wanted to take a taxi (way easy) but the other girls wanted to take the bus (way hard) because it is cheaper. I even said I would pay, but I lost the argument and we ended up taking the bus. Well, when we got back to the apartment Hermana Hansen went to make a phone call, and guess what?! Somebody stole our phone..ON THE BUS! So we did not have phone, and it was awful. 
Because my companion is a leader, we do splits all of the time. This week was the first time that I stayed in my sector, with another Hermana. I was so nervous because I do not know the area too well, but I only got us lost once :)

For the most part, our area is pretty safe. There are places that we cannot be in after 6:00ish, but it is easy to avoid them. The other night we were walking in an area, and I told my companion that I did not like the area. She told me that was because it was dangerous. Reassuring, right?...yeah, no! However, we had an appointment, so we needed to be in there. When we got done teaching, the lady told me that I had to tak off all of my jewelry before I left her house, because the people in her neighborhood are crazy. We started to leave, and she asked us who was picking us up, when we told her no one she looked at us like we were crazy. She ended up calling her son, and he walked us out to the main roads. The whole time I was TERRIFIED!! but I am alive and well, so everything is fine :) 
As far as missionary work goes, this week was not so great. We had a lot of baptismal dates planned, but they all fell through because our investigators did not come to church yesterday :( Hopefully this week is better! Have a great week! 
Hermana Roestenburg

Week 9 - April 7, 2014 - Lizards and Chicken Feet

Hello everyone! 
Okay, this week was fantastic! We four baptisms! :) One fell through, but another boy ended up being ready, so he was baptized yesterday. Jose, the 72 year old, was baptized and afterwards he bore his testimony. He kept refferring to Hermana Peralta and I as his angels. It was really sweet! Most of our investigators came to conference, and they all loved it. I could understand the first talks of every session, but by the end I had to focus so hard to understand. It was amazing though. Everyone here wants to go to conference and see the Salt Lake Temple so badly, so all of you who were able to go are pretty lucky! 

On Friday we went to feel the baptismal font, and there was a lizard running around in it! I was terrified! There was also a lizard in our shower the other day, so I guess I should learn to love them. On Tuesday, we had lunch with the Arango family. I sat down, and my companion said something about a foot..I looked down, and there was a chicken foot in my soup! I almost had a heart attack! The whole time I ate the soup, I was thinking about how I was going to get out of eating this foot. Luckily the family was really nice, and told us that we did not have to eat it. They wanted me to at least try it, so I was gross. I have gotten really good at eating things I do not like, and pretending to like them :) it is quite a gift really! Hermana Hansen and I made French toast one night, and now the Latina sisters want to make french toast all of the time. They love it! They also love ketchup...on EVERYTHING! Hermana Delgado eats ketchup sandwiches everynight. I always tell her that is gross, and she tells me peanut butter and jelly sandwiches are gross. So it is kind of funny how different cultures like different things! It is still one thousand degrees here, and I do not know how I have not melted away yet! The bugs do not bite my legs it is my arms :) I love it here though, the members are amazing, and help us whenever they can! This week we are hoping the find new investigators, because we have not taught anyone new for a while! Hopefully we are successful :) Have a great week! 
Hermana Roestenburg

Week 8 - March 31, 2014 - So much to say, no time to say it!

Hello everyone! 
Okay, so much happened this week, but we never have much time to write...such a bummer! First of all the other hermanas had a baptism for a lady who is eight months pregnant! It was really pretty cool, and we were excited that she did not want to wait until after she had the baby to be baptized :) We did not have baptisms this last week, but right now we have 4 scheduled for Friday. Three of them are certain, but there is one man who still has a lot of questions. I guess we will just have to wait and see what happens! Jose, the old man we have been teaching, is for sure going to get baptized, and he is hilarious. Yesterday when we went to pick him up for church, he was not even a little bit ready, and insisted that he make soup before church. We did not have time for that, so we told him we would make his soup while he got ready. He wanted to supervise though, and would not get ready for the longest time! Luckily a member came and waited for him so we could go to church, but we still ended up being really late. 

Testimony meeting here is so different! The bishop told everyone no stories, just testimonies, and then practically the whole ward got up to share their testimony. A member would share a 15 second testimony, and then quickly they would move onto the next person. I would guess 40 people shared testimonies! Crazy! The weather here is unpredictable. Some mornings it is blazing hot, and by the evening it is POURING rain. We come home soaked! I have a rash from the sun :( but it is okay! :) One member who fed us lunch this week had just returned from Columbia. He brought home so many candies, and wanted us to try them all. It was super nice of him, but they were way too sweet, so the other Hermanas and I had the hardest time eating them. He kept bringing out more and more and MORE! By the end, we were all laughing and cheering each other on, becuause we literally could not eat anymore! It was horrible! A man told me something this week, and since I did not understand I just smiled. Later my companion told me that he said we are getting married. Hah! Oops! I do not want that! Good news though, the Spanish is actually starting to sound like Spanish. They have a lot of different words here, but they are starting to make sense to me. Sometimes I get really excited about something, and half way through my sentence I realize I do not know the words to what I want to say. It is embarrassing! Oh well :) The computers here are awful, and I have not found one that let's me send photos! Hopefully soon! Anyways! Have a great week! 
Hermana Roestenburg

Monday, March 31, 2014

Week 7 - Life is More Fun On the Dangerous Side :)

Hola everyone! 

I hope you are all doing well. This week was pretty exciting. First of all, let me explain why my subject is what it is. On Tuesday we were waiting for a taxi and a random car pulled over. Well Hermana Hansen explained to me that random cars act like Taxis here, but we usually do not take them because they are not safe. As she is telling me this, my companion hops into the car, and Hermana Hansen says, ¨Well I guess we are taking this one!¨ I was terrified the whole time, but we were fine and I have been in others since, so no worries. Also, we have a list of things we cannot eat (It includes basically everything) one of the foods is berries because they carry a disease here. Well we went to a members house, and they gave us some really good juice. Later I asked what it was, and it turns out they had made it out of berries! OOPS! However, I am still alive, and the experiences were great, so all is well! 

This week we had lunch at a members house. She lives on the 14th floor of her building, and the elevator was broken! Haha climbing those stairs was fun. Now the important stuff! We had a baptism! I did not know it was going to happen, because I did not understand completely! So I was super excited when my companion told me we had to plan Victor´s baptism. Other missionaries found him, and we have continued teaching him. It was amazing! We are teaching Jose, I think I wrote about him last week, he is 72 and is going to be baptized soon. He is sooo hard to understand. Usually I can pick out a few words, but with him, I have a REALLY hard time. Yesterday when we taught him, Hermana Peralta had to call someone real fast. He talked to me, and I just sat and hoped that I would not have to respond anytime soon, because I did not have a clue about what he was saying! The Spanish does not feel like it´s coming along, but I know it is :) One of the sisters we live with helps me a lot, I am soo thankful for her. We have a lot of recent converts in our ward, and I love hearing about the ways the gospel has helped them. It is amazing! Anyways, I love this work...even if I cannot understand it! :) Have an amazing week!

Hermana Roestenburg

Week 6 - Patience, Patience, and Then More Patience

Hello everyone! 

I am finally in Ecuador! How crazy is that?! Okay, so when I first arrived, the heat absolutely took me by surprise. It is soo hot here, and soo humid. We cannot even wear our hair down (I hate wearing my hair up!) because it gets frizzy and sticky. So gross! My first day was great. We went to the mission home and ate and stuff like that. The next day we got our companions. I am with Hermana Peralta. She speaks only Spanish, so communicating with her can be hard. She is 22 and from Argentina. In July she will go home. I love watching her teach because it is so natural for her, and I learn so much...when I can understand. She has been training her whole time here, so she was hoping not to be a trainer. I feel bad! Spanish...ahh! I can hardly understand anything here. I can understand gospel words, and that is about it. They speak SOO much faster than my mom´s family does, and they cut out most of their letters. So it is a bunch of mumbling! We live with another companionship. One of the Hermanas is from Utah, she has only been out 3 months and is already a trainer! When I asked her and other Americans for advice on learning, they said to pray for patience, and then pray again, and then some more. Ah! I want to learn things right now, but I know I have to have patience :) 

Our apartment is nice...but there is TINY brown bugs that run around everywhere, kind of gross! We wash our clothes by hand, so that is a fun new experience. My sector right now is right in Guayaquil. There are so many bugs, and no matter how much repelant I wear, I come home covered in bug bites. I have seen two rats here..gross! Iguanas are everywhere, they are pretty fun to look at! The streets here are pretty dirty and have random holes everywhere! If you are lucky, they will be covered with a piece of wood. People are crazy drivers, and I constantly feel like I am going to get hit by a car! There are lots of hills here, and soo many stairs too. I am going to come home with muscle legs! Haha! We make our own breakfast, and then a member feeds us lunch everyday. Some food is good, some is...well...not so good. We have white rice with every meal, and then meat, that is usually salty, and vegetables. Sometimes they give us a drink that is similar to apple sauce, but it is soo sweet/sour/weird! and it has corn things in it..hahah way different than anything I have ever had. They feed us SOO much, and eating it all is hard because we have to eat so quickly. The members are so nice though, I really like them.Everyone here loves everyone, and I think it is funny that the woman always greet with a kiss when everyone is so sweaty and gross! Ha oh well :) We have little vans that take us to the top of the hills, and you sit practically on other people's laps. No personal space here! Most of the homes are made of cement, and because nobody has airconditioning, many do not have doors or glass windows, just bars! OH! The other day I was in a house, and it started shaking, I think they were yelling "earthquake" but I am not really sure! Oh well, I am alive :)

We met a man named Jose yesterday and I asked him to be baptized, he said yes, and then I could not understand anything else! I was so excited though! We also have a 15 year old boy who is supposed to be baptized the 29th of this month. He did not come to church though, so I do not know if he will be able to. It is hard to find people to teach here because most people work in the city and live somewhere else. Hopefully we can find more people, and hopefully I can learn the language quickly! Anyways, all is well!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Week 5 - Ecuador Here I Come!

Hello everyone! 

I leave the CCM tonight at 9:00, and then I am off to Ecuador! I am sooo excited!!! Everyone let me know how much I would hate the MTC, but they were all crazy. It has been amazing. One of the nights this week, we returned to our house and there was a sign on our door. It said that our water was going to turn off at 10 that night, but it would be back on by 6 in the morning. Well, at 9:40 our water turned off, and by 6:30 the water still was not on! So that was quite an adventure :) I had to pack this week and realized I forgot something very dad! I do not know how to pack by myself, so that was quite a problem. We had in field training on Friday and that was really fun. We learned how to find people and work with members.We were able to take a lot of pictures, and got lots of last minute advice! I wish I had more time to talk more about this week, but I have to go for now! So I love you all! Have a great week!

Week 4

Hey Everyone!

Sooo if rumors are true, I leave next Monday to this is my last P-day in the CCM!!! The time has flown by. I cannot even believe it. Being a missionary has been amazing though! Sometimes I see elders and think, "Oh there's the missionaries!" and then I remember I am a missionary too! 

This week was great. New Latina's came, and I love them. Talking with them helps me with my Spanish more than anything else. One of them told me that she cannot understand Ecuadorean Spanish because it is too fast...that was comforting...not! This is kind of embarrassing, but this week, I got stuck in my skirt! Hahah! The zipper on it broke, and all of the girls in my house tried to help me, but we kept making things worse...eventually I got it off, so no need to worry! Then I turned into a professional sewer and sewed the zipper shut! I have to put it on over my head now, but it's worth it because I love it :) 

For our service activity we had to fold blankets for an hour. I have never folded so many blankets in my life. Hermana Huff and I folded at least 300!! Good news everyone! I have officially figured out how to do my laundry correctly. I have had all sorts of horrible experiences with that, but I finally am a professional :) Our fake investigators are starting to throw us curve balls all of the time. The worst part is knowing what you want to say, but not being able to say it in Spanish. It is horrible! We have Devotionals on Tuesdays and Sundays. They are amazing. I love when we get to watch old devotionals from members of the Twelve. Last week we watched Elder Holland. He is my Favorite!...and his talk was so motivating. It made me want to study for the rest of my life. I am definitely turning into a weirdo missionary! I think it is pretty funny though :) I am learning so much, and cannot wait to learn more. I love and miss you all soo much!! Have a great week!

Happy 1 Month!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Week 3 - Halfway There!

Hello everyone! 

This week was awesome...except I was DYING to find out where Kenzie had been called to! I'm soo jelous of the people in Dallas Texas because they get to be with my best friend for a year and a half! 

On Valentines Day my teachers kept asking me if I had family in Mexico City. Every time I said no, they seemed weirded out, and I was weirded out too! Haha well later that day, I got called down to the reception center. No one ever gets called down there, unless they're in trouble, so I was SO nervous. Guess what?! They gave me an order of roses from my dad! It completely made my day, and then a little while later they called me down to the post office. He sent me chocolates too! Best Dad ever award!!! :) 

My companion is hilarious. It's kind of a problem, because sometimes when we teach our "investigators" (my teachers) we can't stop laughing! This week after we taught one of our teachers, she pulled us aside and told us our Spanish and our lesson was the best she has heard from us the whole time we have been here. I was so happy!! For sacrament meeting, we all write talks and then people are randomly selected to give them. I can understand the Americans who speak Spanish, but usually not the natives. Guess what?! This last Sunday I understood almost EVERYTHING! The gift of tongues is real :) The temple is closed for remodeling, but today we got to go to the visitors center. It was AMAZING! I want to go back when I can go through! Oh, and I understood all of the Spanish there too! Our Latina friends left for their missions yesterday, and it was so sad. I have come to absolutely love those girls. Luckily new ones come today, and I'm sure they will be just as great :)

 The Mexican food tasted like rubber this week, and the American food was good! It was strange. I helped in the cafeteria for a service project this week, and now I am SO much more grateful for those workers. I had to wrap probably 300 burritos (maybe that is why the Mexican food tasted weird) and it was hard work!! I cannot believe they do that everyday! We have really funny experiences with Spanish all of the time. One elder in my district kept mixing up the words "better" and "woman" in our lesson, and ended up saying some not-so-good things! When the Latino Elders don't think we understand them, they will tell us they want to marry us and things like that. We respond in Spanish and they are so embarrassed! One elder told us that his dad was 86 and he has 24 siblings. We figured that we were not understanding him correctly, so we clarified with him for a good 10 minutes! His dad is indeed 86, and he does have 24 siblings. Kind of crazy! Everyone LOVES looking at pictures of my family. No one can believe how tall my dad is. All of the Hermanas want to marry my brothers, and none of them believe Ben is only 14. Oh my! Embarrassing story time. In one of the bathrooms, the doors do not lock! Well the other day, I got one to lock and I was so excited!...then I realized it was permanently locked! I was locked in the stall! The hermanas in my district and I were laughing SO hard! I had to do some crazy ninjas skills to get myself out of there! Our district saying is, "Remember the people." I love it! Whenever things get hard around here, we just have to remember the people who we are preparing to serve, and that makes it so much easier! Things here are still great! I cannot believe I have been here for 3 weeks! Time is flying by :) Well, I love you all and hope you have a great week!

Love, Hermana Roestenburg 

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Week 2

Hi everyone!!!
Now that I have gotten used to things here, I love it!! This week was amazing! The MTC was dedicated, and I was able to be here for it!! President Oaks came, and seeing him was so cool. Hearing him pray and share his testimony with us was amazing! Spanish is coming a long good..I think? Some days I feel like I know a lot, and some days I don't know if I know anything. I will never again make fun of people who come home speaking their mission language still, because I am already mixing my English with Spanish. In my journal I won't even notice it, but I will constantly write "y" instead of "and" and make small mistakes like that. 

I love the Hispanic missionaries here. We are really good friends with some of the Latina Sisters, (even though we can't speak to them very well) and they help us with our Spanish. The Latino Elders are easier to understand, I think they speak slower! They are the nicest people though. You have to be careful about what you say around them, because if you tell them you like something of theirs, they give it to you and insist that you keep it! They are so giving with what little they have. It's amazing to see. Every day they tell me I look like a princess and my name is "Hermana Princess" because my last name is too hard for them. They are adorable. This week we had a "stress release" class, and we had to do a relay race...well all of the sisters tried to tell the instructor that we couln't run in our skirts, but she kept telling us it would be was not fine. Every time it was a sisters turn to run, she had to hold down her skirt, and it would still fly up! It was HORRIBLE!! hahahaha!! So we stopped that activity fast. 

The President of the CCM, President Pratt and his wife were in Utah when I first got here, so I did not meet them till this week. Everyone warned us that they are very strict and have high expectations...which they do! Anyways, last night we had a family home evening because one of the districts in my zone was leaving. We got done setting up, and my district leader and another Hermana decided to see if they could fit in the back shelves. They did! We were laughing, and one hermana took a picture (which is only allowed on P-day), and then the room kind of went silent. I turned around and say President Pratt staring back at us. It was horrible, especially because my district is usually the perfect district that gets used as an example all of the time! The missionaries climbed out of the cupboard, and President asked if we were practicing contorting our bodies for missionary service. We all apologized to him, and then he seemed fine! Ha it was definitely a good learning experience for us, and I'm sure we will not be goofing around ever again. Sidney Williams got here this week, and Madi Hill and Josh Falcon left, but for a time there were five of us here from Jordan including Matt and me! It's so good seeing people you know! I received my first letter today, and found out mail takes 15 days to get here and 15 days to get there! Way sad! Thank you though to those of you who have sent things! Oh we teach fake investigators, and right now I have 2! Sometimes the lessons go really well and sometimes the investigators do way funny things, and it's hard to take them seriously! I am so excited to teach real investigators though!! Being a missionary is such an awesome experience :) I will talk to you all next week! 

Hermana Roestenburg

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Week 1 - Hello Mexico CCM (MTC)!

Hello everyone!!
 I miss you all so much, but everything here in the CCM, or Mexico MTC has been great! I traveled here with 19 elders and one other sister. When we got to the Mexico airport, one other elder and I had to do all of the translating...It was so hard! We were able to get our points across though, and we ended up in the right place, so I guess it is all good! I did not like the first night! No one was in my room, so I was all alone. Around midnight my roommates and my companion finally showed up, so that made everything better! 

My family probably won't believe this, but I am like the pro-bed-maker here! I help everyone make their bed because they all struggle with the bunk-beds. Matt Jensen, from school, is here and so is Madi Hill. Matt is my district leader. There are 8 of us in my district, and 24 in my zone. 13 girls live in my house...and guess what?! My house is PINK! so are my sheets!! I was soo happy. The beds here are rock hard. I do not notice when I fall asleep because I'm always exhausted, but when I wake up I am so sore! It's really funny. Class here is good. Both of my teachers are named Hermano Martinez. They speak Spanglish with us most of the time. In the morning we do a short language lesson, and then they teach us how to teach. I can bear my testimony and pray in Spanish! My accent is horrible....but that's okay!! In Utah I felt like I knew some Spanish, in Mexico, I realized I do not! We are teaching an investigator right now, her name is Lenina, and the language barrier is the hardest part. We have to focus solely on having the spirit and testifying because we struggle with words. I can only speak in the present tense, so trying to explain things about the past or future is almost impossible! We got her to commit to baptism though, so that was an awesome experience! 

Gym time is the best time, and I love running...who thought I would EVER say that?! The Mexican food here is really good! I get tamales from breakfast :) hah but the American food is sketchy. We always have fruit, cereal, and nutella those are smart alternatives. My companion and I could not be more different even if we tried, but we get a long and work together well, so that is all that matters! Her name is Hermana Huff, she is 22 years old from Oregon. I already knew her because we traveled to DC together to get our visas!  The spirit here is so strong. You find people praying everywhere you go, and the elders treat the hermanas like princesses! This really has been a great experience so far! I miss you all!! 

Hermana Roestenburg :)

Her pink house!

Hermana Roestenburg and Hermana Huff

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

And... She's off!

Sister Roestenburg left this morning for the Mexico MTC! To write her, here are her addresses.

MTC (till March 11):
Ecuador Guayaquil West Mission
Mexico Missionary Training Center
Carretera Tenayuca-Chalmita #828
Colonia Zona Escolar, Gustavo A. Madero
07230 Mexico, Distrito Federal

Ecuador Guayaquil West Mission
Casilla de Correo 09-04-206

OR email her at: