Monday, November 10, 2014

Week 10: No Me Gusta El Invierno

Pues. Los días están largos pero los años están cortos cuando está un misionero, pienso yo. Y pienso que los traslados estarán cortos, también.

Mom translation: So.The days are long but the years are short when you are a missionary, I think. And I think that the transfers will be short, also.
Mom Notes: 
5 Questions:
1) Did you really want your winter clothes that were in the yellow tub in your closet sent to you?   I have 2 packages ready to send--and can get them to the UPS place tomorrow if you do--if you really want them.  I also included a few more space bags, so you can either send home your summer things so you can fit it all in the the suitcases when you have to transfer, or store them all really tightly and make it fit.
2) Did you finally get the package of treats?
3) How was
the new missionary training meeting in Naperville?  What did you do?  What did you learn?
4) Did you know that Naperville is where Pam's son Andrew and his family live?  They were going to look out for you!
5) Can you ask Hma Israelsen for her mom's mailing address?  I'm making something for their family for Christmas.  She has been so lovely and I'm thinking we could be good friends, whenever we finally meet in person.  I'm happy to communicate with her in the meantime via email.
Mis respuestas:
1. I thought my winter ropa was in a grey tub... but, regardless: I have made a list.
- there should be two or three "wool" skirts (dark grey and purple/black houndstooth.....I think....) basically whatever skirts are in that tub: please send.
- scarves (there should be quite a few; I believe I bought a hanger thingy for scarves so if it's not too much hassle, you could just send the scarves with that...that'd be great for me anyway.)
- cardigans--I'm not sure if I have a grey one, but if I do, could you send it. If not, you could count that as a Christmas wish. Also, I think there's a brown one that's kinda thick ish...that might be good. Those would probably be hanging in my closet, unless you guys have moved stuff around.
- in the tub, there should be a big cream sweater...well, two. One is striped, one isn't. One or both of those would be nice to send... Also, I can't remember if I bought a teal sweater or if I only thought about it. If I have one, will you send it? If not, I'm just kinda crazy is all, so don't worry about it. There is also a brown/tan sweater that would be great...pretty much any and all sweaters would be's goin' get cold here, stat...
- fuzzy socks. I should have a thick pink pair and then a not-so-thick black/white/grey pair.....also there's a light blue pair. Somewhere...sorry I'm not more help on where stuff is.
- will you please send me my slips? I don't need the ankle length one, but there should be two others. Those would be great momma.
- that peplum black/white houndstooth blazer we got at the Sister Missionary mall would be greatly appreciated....
- I decided this is what I want for Christmas: my black boots. I bought a pair of tan ones at Walmart, but I would like a black pair, but don't need a black pair.
- also, these aren't winter specific things, but would be nice if there's room: black with white thin stripes short sleeve shirt, green sleeveless shiny blouse, light blue short sleeve shirt, grey short sleeve shirt. And, I'm not sure if I actually have a black blouse but I think I do...will you look and see if such a thing exists? I have a black blouse here but it irritates me to wear I don't need another but it would be nice.
Really, whatever warm you send me will be fine though. Don't worry so much, momma. Also, I don't really need any of this (except the skirts...and probably sweaters) so just whatever works. And sorry for the misunderstanding. That was my bad. Lo siento, mama.
2. Yes. Santa vaca, momma. So many treats! I brought it all to district meeting the next day and shared with all the other missionaries in our area. They enjoyed that. I cannot and should not eat that much candy...I have  funny story about some of it too, but I'll get to that later.
3. Okay. Training meetings are probably the greatest things of all time. First, let me say that I have the greatest mission president of all time. He's seriously like Elder Holland--he's a literal scripture master and he's funny and he's fiery. It's awesome. I could listen to him speak all day and just take notes. For reals. So, I learned a lot. We also did a lot of practices and so many people tell me that my Spanish is so good. I still think they're all just saying that.... more specifics on this later. Just know that we have the best mission president of all time--for example, he said he's sent home fewer missionaries than any mission in the US (early return missionaries I mean). And then, according to a church survey thing, this mission has the most obedient missionaries of all the missions......just sayin'. (:
4. I think I knew that at one point...but now I remember. If I ever serve in Naperville, that'd be awesome!
5. Okay, here it is:
135 East 200 North 
Providence, Utah 84332
I would suggest not posting this part on the blog though...just as a precaution.
Also, while I'm thinking about it: I'll give you our apartment address, but here's the deal: you're only allowed to send letters to his address and I would highly recommend not sending them the week before transfers, every time they come around. (Mom note here:  Technically the next week of transfers would be Thanksgiving week)  Because I won't know I'm being transferred until the Saturday beforehand. But it's your job to know when transfers are (every six weeks). So yeah. Here it is:
1111 Ekstam Dr #108
Bloomington, IL
So, just be aware of that. Feel free to send them here, but if I get transferred before the letter gets here, I may not ever get it.... Also, you are NOT allowed to send packages to this address or any other apartment address I may have. Only send those to the mission office. Okay? Okay.

Alrighty. First off: I'm a terrible family member...
Happy belated birthday to my favorite 14 (?) year old cousin, McKay!! Woohoo.... You're probably older than 14. In fact, I bet you're almost a Laurel, if not a Laurel right now.... sorry. Your cousin is losing her mente.
Also, I do believe Allie had a birthday as well. Happy birthday cutie!
Also, to my favorite tía roja, happy birthday! haha I hope it was a good one Aunt Brenda!
Lastly of the catching up, happy birthday two days ago to my Grandpa Herb! I hope you're doing well, and sorry I can't be there to give you a hug in person. 
Love you all!
Also, in this upcoming week, my cousin-in-law has a birthday. Happy birthday Phil!

So, here's some more random information about being a missionary from yours truly:
We exercise every morning (except Sundays) for half an hour. Who'd've thought it would take a mission to get me to dry land on a regular basis? Yeah, not me. But, there you have it. The first week was a struggle because I was so exhausted and didn't want to do anything. But, in my handy dandy notebook I brought, there's a section on exercising and has work out suggestions. One such page has a short work out for every day. So that's what we do. Monday is by far the worst. I dunno if it's just because it's Monday, but I think the work out itself is actually harder.... But hey, if it helps me stay healthy, I guess I can keep going it. However, can anyone tell me what "bird dogs" are? Cause we have no idea...and it's on our list. So either we skip it or just replace it. haha ah well. We do what we can.
Then, there's the matter of feeding ourselves. Dinner is usually a bit of an adventure. This is how it usually goes: pasta? Sure, we've got a lot of it. What can we put in to add more flavor? can of chicken? Great. Oh hey we've got sauce too. Let's open this can of green beans too. Oh and we can eat carrots and ranch while we wait for the noodles to cook. And grapes. Always grapes.
So, yeah. It's a little sad, but at least we don't starve. haha there are definitely worse things that what we've got.

The other night, I had a dream/nightmare I was getting married. It ended with a black widow's egg sac breaking open and spewing forth these tiny demons sent from the depths of the infierno. Yeah, I'm definitely supposed to be on a mission right now. I don't need no ring; I've got a black name tag.

So this past weekend we had exchanges. I admit, I was skeptical at first, because I'm simply not a people person. But, I should've known that the Lord would only call hermanas/sisters to be training leaders who are easy to get along with. So I had nothing to worry about. In fact, I had a great time. I was with Hermana Johnson, who was just called as an Hermana training leader the transfer I got here, and she and Hermana Israelsen were companeras in the CCM. So that was cool. She was awesome.. It really is so cool to see how other people do missionary work. It helped me realize what things I can better and the areas that I most need to improve in. We had such a good time together. Already I'm looking forward to the next exchange. So it was definitely a good experience.

Tuesday, for new missionary training, we had a two hour drive, one way (the sisters that picked us up had already driven an hour when they reached us; I feel for them...) and it was just a really good meeting. President Fenn talked to us for 2-3 hours, I'm not sure, and it was amazing. Like, it wasn't even long enough for us to be satisfied. That man is a genius. No wonder Elder Bruce R. McConkie allowed him to marry his daughter....No joke. It was great. Plus, I got to see Hermana Capps again! Oh man. Love that girl. We're hoping near the end of our missions, we get to be companions again. (: I am praying for that... Also, I did get a big puffy "marshmallow" coat from the mission office to use (it goes down to my knees) so I should be mostly set for winter. I just gotta get some winter boots, but I'm not sure exactly what to do about
Oh, you asked what I learned, too, huh? Well, I'd tell you but I just can't sum it up. In however many months you can look through all my notebooks. Cause you can bet I"ll bee rereading them too.

Funny story first? Okay.
One day last week, we stopped at an investigator's house as kind of a last chance. It was her drop-or-not day, as I like to say it. She ended up being there and let us in, but soon after her friend dropped her kids off for our investigator (Ariana) to cuidar. there was a baby and a little kid, maybe three? I'm bad at judging kids' ages. But anyway. The older one's name was Santiago, or just Santi. The kids were kind of distracting so I took it upon myself to keep Santiago busy so that the lesson could progress (this sort of tag team effort happens a lot, so I'm told). So I pulled out one of those Life Savers mints you sent, momma, and offered it to him. He needed help with the wrapper, so I opened it and gave it to him. That kept him quiet for a few moments, then he got a look on his face that said "what is this thing in my mouth?!" I'd forgotten it was kind of I put my hands out in a cup form to take it from him and he daintily put the saliva-y mint in my hand. I just left it there because I was focusing on the lesson. A minute or two later he comes back and puts the mint back in his mouth. It was kinda funny. My hands were kinda sticky after that, but at least he was busy. Also, I had pulled out the smiley face stickers you gave me and he started putting them on his hand. He had probably eight on there and I convinced him to put them on his shirt, so he moved them all and then began adding more, one at a time. haha he ended up with probably 20 bright orange smileys on his shirt....with one or two blue ones. It was funny. I'm definitely not at the point where I want one of my own though, so no worries there... (we had a conversation with a member about seeing babies and wanting one of our own. I said I have never experienced that....and that's the truth.)

So, one of our miracles this week: (because there are always a lot)
Thursday we had stayed in the apartment a little longer than normal to plan better for exchanges the next two days. We were trying to decide where to be during some time and I said, "we could go see Lucia and Juan Antonio..." And right after I said the second name, the phone rang. The caller ID said "Juan Antonio". So that was a little freaky/cool. It was his wife, Marcela, asking us to come over. [In case you didn't know, that pretty much NEVER happens....] so we told her we could be over in an hour or so and then got all ready and whatnot. When we got there, she told us about what's going on. To sum it up, her grandson, whom she has raised, was taken from her by thee boy's mother, Marcela's mother. And she's really upset about it. And that was just the most recent thing. She's had trouble with work and some false accusations and then she had a health scare (a lot like yours a while ago, momma, actually.) So she was really just in distress. SO we just comforted her and testified that God really is listening, even if it seems like He isn't. I felt prompted just before we left to ask if she wanted a priesthood blessing. She readily agreed to that. So we called the elders in that area (the zone leaders) and asked if they would have time sometime that day to do that. So we got that all figured out and we ended up back at Marcela's that evening. The elders asked to know a bit about what was going on--but the thing with most hispanos is that they don't sum things up; they just tell you the whole story. So we were there for longer than expected and we ended up just having to interrupt them to get the blessings going....but it was fine. Also, just so you know, these elders speak zero spanish. For real. (the one asked how to say hello/bye in spanish.....haha pobrecito) but luckily the family actually understands a lot and speaks quite a bit of English. And the blessings were absolutely perfect.. Elder Nielson (not a zone leader--they were on exchanges) couldn't say her name, but the entire rest of the blessing was perfect. He was definitely listening to the spirit. And same with Elder Skinner. So it was awesome. The concerns Marcela had told us earlier that day were directly addressed in the blessing. It was awesome. I love sitting i on priesthood blessings. It's great. Then, on Saturday, Hermana Johnson and I went back to this family and taught them the restoration with two members from the ward (he speaks spanish, she doesn't) but we ended up doing most of the lesson in English because the youngest daughter, who is 8, understands english better. And, to sum it up, all three of them accepted to be baptized on December 13! Oh man. We're so happy. Like, I cannot even describe to you how I feel. The best way is from the scriptures: "my heart is brim with joy". So, needless to say, this was a really good week.

Well, I think that's about it. I mean, obviously more happened, but I'm hoping to get somme real letters written and I've only got about three ours to do that plus clean and whatnot, so. I hope you're happy. (:

Oh, also, here's a small thing that would be cool for Christmas that I would actually use: a Book of Mormon perspective chart. You might be able to find it at Deseret Book or online at I believe. It's SO cool. Go find one. (:

Thanks for all you (all) do for me! I can feel the prayers and love from home and wherever you are. I love you all so much! I know this Gospel is the true restored Gospel of Jesus Christ and I love sharing it with the people I meet. Pray for missionary opportunity and don't be afraid to seize them! The worst that can happen is they say no. (:

Con Todo Mi Amor,
Su Amiga y Hija,
Hermana DeBuck

Sent from my iPad

 I'm not a fan of the non-grid street system, but they sure do have great names for their streets here.

At the thrift store, lookin' fabulous.

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