Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Week 38: The Work is Blooming(dale)

Mom note: due to the holiday, Hermana DeBuck and her whole mission had their P-day moved to Tuesday, May 26th.  We got a note from the mission secretary to let us know not to be worried when we didn't get a letter yesterday.
5 questions:
1) What did you do different with P-day moved to Tuesday?
2) How often do you have conferences? District?  Zone?  Mission? Sisters'?
3) Are conferences always on Mondays?  Or do they always readjust P-days?
4) How are you doing with the tri-panionship still?
5) Do you ever hear from past compaƱeras?

1. Nothing, really. I mean, having P-day on Tuesday in this area isn't particularly fun because we have a dinner appointment every Tuesday at 6 and then we have MCM at 7 or 7:30. So we have literally zero time to work when P-day is on Tuesday. But other than that, everything is pretty much the same.

2. We have zone meetings every month, and every three months we'll have zone conference (the difference is zone conference is longer). We have district meetings every week on Wednesday. Mission conferences don't have a schedule. It's just whenever President wants to have them. In our mission, we have mission conferences more frequently than other missions, partly because we're all pretty close to the mission home/center, partly because President likes giving us more training so he interprets that part of his calling widely (he said so himself). Sisters conference is kind of the same thing. Under President Fenn, they've had sisters conference once every year, but it's entirely up to the mission president.

3. Actually, the only conference I've had on a Monday was a special mission conference on April 6, and it was only on a Monday because that's what day of the week April 6 was. Usually, I've had zone/mission conferences on Wednesdays or Thursdays. But I think it can be Tuesdays and Fridays too. It just depends on when they happen.

4. I think I'm doing alright. I mean, I'm not a big fan of people and so I've noticed that this transfer it's a lot easier for me to get irritated, which means it takes a lot more effort on my part to be not irritated. But it's good.

5. Occasionally. I get Hermana Capps' weekly emails, but as for the rest of my companions, who are all dead, not on a regular basis. Just every once in a while.

As for dad's question, my release date is 3 March 2016.

Also, FATHER: My iPad case cracked (it's not devastating, but now my iPad doesn't stay very well in the case all the time so I'm a little worried that it'll be more likely to get damaged if something happens.) But I can't return it to Walmart, I have to go to the manufacturer. And I have a 2 year protection plan thing so it's fine I think to wait. I just wanted your opinion too. I'm thinking I'm gonna wait until I get home to worry about it, and then replace it at home when I could go to an Apple store or something and get a better case. But anyway. That's that.

Nothing really thrilling happened this week, so nothing to report on. We're finally figuring out the  logistics of being a trio (we got a bike rack for three bikes this last week so now we get to use bikes again.) I've realized I've totally under appreciated naps until my mission. I took some pictures this  week (by me and by other missionaries I suppose) so I'll send those home this week and count it as my email. Sorry!

Know I love you all! And know the Gospel is true!

Love, Hermana DeBuck

Monday, May 18, 2015

Week 37: Hermana Hunsaker & I Are Like An Old Married Couple, Apparently

5 Questions:
1) Did you get any of the severe weather this weekend?  Looked like big thunderstorms were heading toward northern Illinois.  I was worried bout tornadoes, but didn't hear of any.
2) Whatever happened with the third hermana in your apartment at transfers?
3) Tell us about your new bonus companion--where is she from?  How long has she been out?  How is the tri-panionship working?
4) Have you ever thought you'd extend your mission?  Is it too early to ask that?
5) Hows' the local investigator pool?  Growing, I hope!

1. No.... I think we had some wind but that's actually pretty normal.  So I was told before I began my mission that the reason Chicago is called the Windy City is because of the politics--well that may be
true but now I'm here and it's actually really pretty windy too.... I think we had some rain too but that's about it. Last weekend was worse weather than this weekend. We haven't heard anything about tornadoes so if there were any, it didn't affect us.

2. Um, she's here....oh, do you mean furniture and stuff? Well, it's all good. We actually ended up getting an actual bed the very first day so no one had to sleep on an air mattress (Hna Hunsaker was
disappointed), and then two days later, on Thursday, we got a desk and a dresser too. So it's all good. And this apartment is huge so everything fits well without making us feel too squished. And
showering in the morning is actually better than I thought. I go last every day (I like being last) and the other two just shower somewhat quickly, occasionally one at night, and it all works out--we don't get any extra time in the morning even though we have an extra companion. But it's all good.

3. Okay, so our new companion is Hermana Lunt. She's from Arizona, and she's actually been out 10 months--same as Hermana Hunsaker's total from Peru and here--but she's only been a Spanish missionary for about a month. She was companions with Hermana Capps, my CCM companion, and
they were in a zebra companionship (one English, one Spanish). Then when Hna Capps left, Hna Lunt got another Spanish Hna and I guess President Fenn called them at some point to see if Hna Lunt wanted to be a Spanish Hna and she said yes. So we're helping her with her Spanish and it's so fun! haha it makes me feel a bit like a trainer but I think it comes without all the stress of being a real trainer.

She's actually really good with Spanish; she understands pretty much everything, but just can't speak a ton yet. But she is improving by leaps and bounds every day. The only weird ish thing is teaching in a trio, because you don't want anyone to not be talking enough so we have to really work hard to teach with unity. Well, not really super hard because we all get a long really well and have a good time and teach well together, but it's just an added layer of something you need to be aware of. But it's good. haha if I'm completely honest, being in a trio was the one thing I prayed to never have happen to me on my mission. And, here I am. haha so far, so good. It's an adventure every day, but it's worth every minute. (: haha the other thing is trying to figure out bikes.....so here's the thing: we actually have 4 bikes (the 2 we use actually belong to elders but we're borrowing them) but the bike rack on the car will only hold two bikes. So we called Elder Hall in the mission office, he's the vehicle coordinator, last Monday, and he said he would work on getting us one for three--the mission doesn't have any available so they'll have to buy one. So we don't know how long that will take. Then the other problem is the bus. They only have a rack for two bikes as well, and we asked about bringing a third on the bus, and they said no. So.... we're not sure exactly what will happen now. Walking is NOT viable because it takes FOREVER. We threw around the idea of buying a Razor scooter (Hna Hunasker was ALL for that idea, haha) but it probably isn't very missionary appropriate. We actually figured out a plan where we can make three bikes work, even without the new bike rack, but it just takes a lot of planning. But it's so much better than walking, so: vale la pena.

4. I've thought about it, yes. Of course I'd love to because I love being a missionary. But my understanding was that it had to be for a very specific purpose. But I don't actually know. I do know that the mission president has to approve it, and maybe it has to come originally from him, I dunno. I'll have to ask Presidente Fenn about it next time I have an interview. I get the feeling it isn't very
likely to happen because I've killed two companions and been around many that go home and they all LOVE being a missionary, so I feel like they would have asked to extend but since they didn't, I imagine it's difficult to get an extension. I have received more light and knowledge: you can extend for 30 days, but you do need mission president permission.

5. It's doing alright here. We haven't been able to do a ton of finding lately so we don't have many new investigators. We're kind of working on cleaning out the pool so that we actually have people that want to progress. Speaking of.....


Background: Ana and Leo have been investigating the church for about a year now. Their two kids, Heidi and Chris, were just baptized in February (I think) and they're two of the greatest kids I've ever met.  I love them so much. Ana has told the hermanas that if she could get married today, she would get baptized tomorrow. She really loves the Gospel, and she's basically a member--she just doesn't have a record. haha. The hold up has been that Leo wouldn't marry her. But, I guess, after coming to two weddings in about a month, maybe five weeks, they've decided to get married! We were by the branch Presidente's (because they had donuts) and then Heidi told us and the general vicinity that on the way to church today her dad said he would marry her mom. Hna Hunsaker and I were both like "WHAT?" I think my heart stopped for a moment. When she told us, her parents were in a meeting with Presidente Montecino. So instead of going to third hour on time, we waited to see what would happen... (I don't normally do things like that, but I think this time was okay....haha) Eventually, Chris and Heidi were called into the office too, so then we were waiting with baited breath for a little bit. A short time later, the door opened again and Heidi came running out, almost screaming, "THEY'RE GETTING MARRIED!" Oh man. We were so excited we were almost crying/passing out. haha we had to sit down. Then Ana and Leo came out and Ana was crying and then we were all almost crying. Man. It was one of the greatest moments of my life....I'm so happy for them. The date they picked is in September, but it's a date with meaning for them so we can't really be too upset. Now I'm REALLY hoping that I get to stay in Bloomingdale for six months like I did in Bloomington....man. I'm so excited for them. Just thinking about it makes me happy (:

The only other things that are notable enough that I can remember them are as follows:
1. On Saturday Clarita (our investigator) and Omar (a member) got married. Woohoo! I'm still not a huge fan of Mexican weddings as a missionary, but this one was better because we got to help serve the food so we weren't in the same room as the music the whole time.

However, when we were in there I literally sat right in front of the speaker. Oh man. I thought my ears were bleeding. My poor stereocilia....

2. Had a bit of a scare Saturday night and thought I'd slipped a disc in my back. But it's all good and nothing is actually wrong. I just need to work on sitting up straighter in lessons and I prayers,
instead of almost bending in half.

3. On Thursday, we had to walk for a while (about an hour) and then it started to drizzle a bit and this random guy pulled up into a driveway in front of us, got out of his car and gave us a couple of umbrellas. Wow. So cool. And then, it was even better because his name was Juan, we're pretty sure he was Latino (I think he had that disorder where the skin loses its pigment because he was whiter than me, but had a Spanish accent in his English) and the umbrellas he gave us were from a Mexican store named La Rosita. Oh man. It was awesome. Made the day.

4. Yesterday we ended up teaching a man who basically laid out his beliefs and told us that all churches have some truth but no one has everything. And, I seem to have developed into quite the bold missionary--I think you'd be surprised--and I was able to testify that I know the whole and complete truth of the one true and living God is in fact on the earth today. Man. It was so amazing, because I could feel the spirit so strongly. If he felt even a portion of what I felt, I'm content. He admitted after I asked him to that he hadn't asked God if the entire truth is on the earth and we committed him to do so. It was one of the more interesting lessons of my mission but it's one I
want to remember forever.

This is the reason I love being a missionary: I feel the spirit so strongly when I testify of what I know is true. And I know that they must feel at least a portion of that same spirit that I feel. I know the the gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored to the earth through the boy Prophet Joseph Smith. I know the he translated the Book of Mormon: Another Testament of Jesus Christ through the gift and power of God. I know that Thomas S. Monson is the living prophet of God and that he speaks for God on the earth today. Most of all, I know that Jesus of Galilea is my Lord and Savior, and that He paid the price for each and every one of my sins; he satisfied the demands of justice that I may claim mercy through His Atonement and His Gospel. I know that my Heavenly Father lives and He loves me, and He wants me to return to live with Him after this life. I know that it is possible through the merits, the mercy, and the grace of Jesus Christ after all I can do that I will be saved. And because I know all this, I want to share it with the rest of God's children, because I know that eternal life is available to each and every one of us. I love this Gospel and He who gave it to us. I know He lives. And I know He will do everything He can to help me,  if I will just let Him in.

Love you all. Don't forget to read your Book of Mormon today--and everyday.
Hermana DeBuck

Monday, May 11, 2015

Week 36

Man, I'm so glad that you (and the mission) taught me to be modest, Mama. Thank you for your example and testimony. I know working in the temple is going to be one of the greatest blessings in your life, because this mission is one of mine--the only difference between us is that I'm doing the work of salvation for the living, and you for the dead. I know D&C 18:10-16 applies just as much to you as it does to me. 
One of the biggest things I've learned so far (I'm compiling a list and I can only imagine how extensive it will be after 18 months...) is about the commandment to be perfect. I'm sure you know that the translation actually means "whole" or "complete" but there are a couple interpretations of that, or levels I suppose. The first is that we are perfected by entering into the ordinances of the Gospel--baptism, endowment, sealing--and therefore, in that sense, you are perfect. However, Joseph Smith taught that no man has reached perfection in a moment, and Elder McConkie taught that no one will reach perfection in life. What we do have to do is get on the path and stay on the path. We keep moving forward, becoming perfect line upon line, grace for grace. And if we stay on the Gospel path, once we pass from this life to the next, we will never fall off the path. This life is the time to prepare to meet God, so that is exactly what we must do. We are here to be proven, but not graded. The final judgment will not pass upon us u till after the resurrection, and I have it on good sources that the second coming is still yet a ways off--many things must happen first. Our responsibility in this life is to enter into sacred ordinances and to remain true and faithful to our covenants until the end of our earthly lives. And I know with all that heart that even if perfection as we consider it is not possible, that that type of perfection is. And I know that you are on the right path.
I love you so very much Mama. And I know I'm where I need to be, and that you're where you need to be. Thank you for everything you've taught me over the course of my nearly 20 (gag) years.
Todo mi amor,
To Hija,
Hermana DeBuck

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Week 35: See Ya in 7 Days...

5 Questions:
1) What are the plans for the Mother's day call next week?
2) Have you been able to get back to work after that wonderful weekend last weekend?
3) How long has Sister Hunsaker been on the mission?  Did you tell me this?  I can't remember.
4) What size shoe do you want me to pick up at modern Show in Provo?  You know, the kind Sister Hunsaker has that you like?
5) Any chance that Sister Hunsaker is related to our old dentist?  Kenneth Hunsaker?

1. Okay so we decided it would be best for us to call last thing on Sunday (because we don't live in our area and we have to go back to the apartment building to call to use the Martinez family's WiFi) so we'll be calling at about 6:30 or 7:00 at night. Sorry I can't give you a more set time. We're going to tell people 6:30 so that if we have a cita that goes super long we'll be calling by 7 or so.

2. Of course! We always work. Haha it was a really good week, though I can't tell you any specifics really as to why..

3. Okay, so Hermana Hunsaker is special. She actually began her missionary service last spring, just before General Conference I think. She was called to a mission in Peru and so she went to the CCM
in Peru for six weeks. She then was in her mission for another transfer, but she got sick, so sick that she had to go home. They figured out that she had a blood virus as well a parasite, which wore
her stomach lining down. So she was home in Utah for about four months and then received the new call to this mission. She reported here the same day I did, in October. So she and I are co-senior companions because we've been here the same time, but she's actually been out for
about 9.5 or 10 months.

4. Uh, I think 7.5 is my shoe size. If they don't have half sizes, probably a size 8. Preferable a size 7.5 though.

5. She said nope.

I honestly can't think of anything to say. I mean, I'm gonna see you in seven days, so there isn't much to say right now.

The senior photos look good. You certainly haven't changed, ya nerd. Haha

That's awesome you get to work at the temple mama! You're so lucky....

I found out this zone went to the temple last transfer so I've gotta wait another two (?) transfers to go.

Speaking of transfers, transfer calls are this Saturday. Say what?! I don't think either of us will be leaving but I can't believe the transfer is almost over already. Crazy...

That's it. The Gospel is true. Heavenly Father loves you. If he loves me enough to prompt me to ask my companion if she has the keys because neither of us remembered them, he loves you enough to know the minutest details of your life. I know that's true.

Todo mi Amor,
Tu Hija y Amiga,
Hermana DeBuck