Beautiful Guatemala

Beautiful Guatemala
Me with a random field worker. I love the knife!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

5 Days Left in the CCM

Hola Familia and Friends!
You all are starting school! Crazy! Hillary, you need to write me and tell me all about byu! I better hear from you next week...
Life at the CCM has been good this week. I only have 5 days left here, and then its off to the real deal in Reu!!! Yay I'm so excited! Its great here, but 9 weeks of basically sitting on my bum has gotten old...I'm ready to go. I should be leaving Tuesday morning and probably taking a bus for like 5 hours out to the boonies of Guatemala! Wow! 
So this week we got to do 2 cool and real-ish missionary things. On Saturday we got to teach an inactive member. It was fun to teach someone real, not a fake teacher. It was a great experience testifying to him about things that we felt prompted to say. I loved it and it made me excited to get out there. Also, on Monday we went tracting again! It was a similar area as last time, really really poor. My companion didn't let me talk as much as I would have liked, she gets excited sometimes and goes off...but its OK because Ill be doing exactly what we did for the next 16 months of my life. It was great. I felt really comfortable with my Spanish, just having conversations with the people. Ive really been blessed with this Spanish stuff, and I'm really grateful. I'm so excited to be doing this for real in 5 days!!!!
My Latino district is great, I've really bonded with them and have gotten past the language/culture barrier. It is crazy to be in classes in Spanish all day long....
Well, that's pretty much all Ive been up to. I appreciate all of you and your prayers! I hope school goes well!!!
Love, Hermana Gilland

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

My Companion Has Never Used a Washing Machine or Dryer!!!!!

Hola familia y amigos!
I hope everyone has had a great week! 
I am officially a "Latina"! Ive been in the Latino district for a week now. My companion is Hermana Villanueva from Peru. She is very sweet and we haven't had any trouble communicating and planning lessons together, which is a miracle ha ha. Interesting fact -- today we did laundry and she had never used a washing machine/dryer -- WOW! She doesn't speak a bit of English except for the things Ive taught her. I'm picking up lots of Spanish from her and all day in my classes all in Spanish. It is pretty challenging but I'm really glad I made the switch, I needed a challenge, and I have learned SO MUCH! Not just in the language -- I'm learning lots about the culture. Before having my Latina companion I hadn't really given much thought to how challenging it will be in the field with a trainer who I can hardly talk to. I'm learning that its hard but totally possible through the Lord's help. Ive also learned that these people really are so humble. Before my mission when people told me that, I just thought they were mostly using it as a nice word for "poor", but they really are HUMBLE, they listen carefully to everything anyone says and take it into consideration, and they don't judge like we tend to do in the states. I really hope I can adopt some of their traits for my own before this is over :)  My district is great and we're all warming up to each other. I'm totally the odd-man-out in class now, but its OK. They're really sweet and when I tell them how nervous I am to talk in front of them, because I sound like a little kid and can hardly function, they don't understand ha ha, and its because they don't judge my lacking Spanish abilities. Another interesting fact -- almost all Latinos are completely tone-deaf. I almost laugh every time we sing a song. And Ive had a cold this week so I really fit in ha ha.  The other Latina sisters are also sweethearts, they are so helpful to us nortes.
I really love it here in the CCM, and I cant believe we only have 12 days left! Yikes! I'm super excited and terrified and all that. It will be awesome. Sometimes I don't know if we're ever going to learn Spanish, but I suppose it will come. Thanks for all your support! Sé que ésta es la obra del Señor. Jesucristo vive. El Libro de Mormón esta verdadero. Dios tiene un plan para nosotros. Dios nos ama. El Evangelio está en la tierra hoy! I love being a missionary! It is the best! I am so glad to be here and so honored that the Lord allows me to be a part of His work.
Have a great week!
PS good luck Hillary! You are going to have the time of your life! Meghan S, look up Hillary and yall give her a hand up there in Utah :) Good luck with school everyone!!!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Museums and a Mercado

August 8, 2011

Family and friends!
I hope everyone is doing great! School is starting soon for most of y'all! I can't believe that! I just feel like I'm starting one giant, 16-month long summer, so that's crazy to me that y'all are about to start school. Today we got to spend the day in Guatemala City going to a few museums, a Mercado, and a really nice mall. It was really fun to get out and be in the real world for a bit.  The museums were really interesting, and the leader that was with us was telling us all about how the things we were seeing all point to Guatemala being the place where the events in the Book of Mormon took place. No one knows any of that for sure, but it is really neat to learn different theories and where in the country different things might have happened. The Mercado was cool. Everything here is so colorful and beautiful. I didn't get anything because I don't want to have to haul anything else around this place for 16 months, but I definitely will be loading my suitcases full of neat authentic stuff. We also went to a normal mall, it was really nice. We got to eat American fast food! Ha-ha I never thought I'd be excited about that. Today was really fun and made me excited to get out in the real world in 3 weeks.
Nothing else really happened this week...we pretty much just study our brains out, its fun though. And here's some exciting/scary news: my spanishhas improved enough that they are putting me in an all-Latino district for the last 3 weeks. At the CCM every 3 weeks a new batch of Latinomissionaries come in and stay for only 3 weeks because they aren't learning a language, and every 3 weeks new nortes come (like me) and stay for 6 weeks. So starting tomorrow when the new Latinos come I'll be learning as if I just arrived at the CCM and will only be here for 3 weeks, except everything will be in Spanish. I'm really nervous, but I think it will be really good for me, not necessarily to make my Spanish a whole lot better (I think that will just take time) but it will help me feel more comfortable with the culture, because I still feel pretty shy talking to Latinos! I had better get over that quick! I'm most likely going to be in a trio with 2 Latinas. I'm really excited for the challenge...hopefully I'll have good things to say about it all next week!
That's pretty much all for now! I hope everyone is doing well. I really appreciate all the prayers on my behalf. I love being a missionary! It is the BEST for so many reasons! I am learning so many amazing things that I can't wait to apply to my mission and to my whole life. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is on the Earth! It gives us all a plan and a purpose here! It is wonderful! I know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ can heal us all if we apply it in out lives. Have a great week!
Hermana Gilland

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Tracting in Guatemala

August 3, 2011


This week has been pretty good. I don't have too many cool things to share, but I'll try!
1. So the first cool thing is something that one of my teachers told me and my companion -- She pretends to be 2 different investigators and we practice teaching her, one investigator in English and the other in Spanish. She told us that we teach better in Spanish than we do in English!!! Wow! (I hope that doesn't just mean we're bad teachers he-he) That made me pretty excited about how my teaching and Spanish are going.
2. CONTACTING!!! We got to go contacting/tracting yesterday for a few hours in a little neighborhood here! It was so much fun! we took a bus (the buses are like American school buses, except with tons of adults crammed on) out to this little ghetto neighborhood. They switched up companionships a little bit so all of us newer missionaries wouldn't be out on our own, and so I was with another American who has been out 
3 weeks longer than me, so her Spanish is a little bit better. Anyways, we got to talk to lots of neat people and it was so fun. My Spanish was alright, I could understand most of what was going on and was able to hold conversations. It was amazing to testify of Christs love for these people and to explain to them about principles of the Gospel. We got their information to give to the missionaries serving in the area, and I really hope some of them are pretty interested. It was great. I absolutely cannot wait to get to do that all day every day, in only 4 weeks!  We'll get to do that again while in the CCM in a few weeks. I just loved going!  That's pretty much what's been going on here.   

 Yo sé que el Evangelio de Jesucristo es en la tierra hoy y que tenemos unprofeta hoy. Sé que podemos usar la Expiación diariamente en nuestras vidas. Sé que Dios tiene un plan para nosotros. Estoymuy agradecido por mi misión. 

I love being a missionary!! Have a great week and thanks for everyone's support and prayers!

Hermana Gilland