Week 80 – 12/5/16

HELLO!!!!!!!!

WOULD IT BE WEIRD TO WRITE THIS ENTIRE EMAIL IN CAPSLOCK???? BECAUSE THAT’S HOW I FEEL RIGHT NOW.

Okay maybe not. This week has been emotional. This next week is going to be emotional.

I have about 10 minutes to write right now, so sorry I didn’t respond to anyone. I’ve been running around all day long getting ready to leave. I’m coming home and I seriously cannot believe it. It feels unreal. But I know it’s happening because I just had my final interview with president and finally cried. Everyone has been waiting for me to cry all week and President finally got me to do it.

I’m so excited to come home. My heart is literally breaking in half leaving my mission, but I cannot wait to be home. My mission has been the best and hardest thing I’ve done in my life. When I started my mission, so stressed out of my mind talking to the mission shrink (that’s a fun story I’ll have to tell when I get home along with the other things I may have “forgotten” to include in these emails), I remember trying to find a calendar of 2016 to figure out what day I would be home and wow 18 months later it’s actually real. It’s real nostalgic.

A lot has changed in 18 months…people gettin hitched, having babies, a new president elect, MY MOTHER HAS A SMART PHONE, and a lot more. I’ll have to catch up quick. I feel numb after feeling so many emotionals. Okay deep breaths.

Alright SEE YOU ON WEDNESDAY.

Love,

Ellie (just testing it out…)

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Week 79 – 11/28/16

Hola hola,

Ummmm what happened this week??? Everything is a little blurry.

We taught a 7th day adventist on Tuesday. After the first scentence that came out of his mouth I already knew how the lesson was going to go. I think sometimes duct tape would come in handy as missionaries. (I probably shouldn’t say that, but it’s true.) The message of the Restoration is true and changes lives, but not if the people don’t stop talking long enough for us to share it!

Tac tic is awesome and it hasn’t been quite as freezing this week. There’s baby cows everywhere which I love. They also speak a dialect called Pocom which makes teaching really tough. The further away we get from town, the more Pocom we find.

We’re seeing progress here, slowly but surely. We still feel a little lost and don’t really know many people, but we’re working on it.

Glenda is going swimming with us and some members on Thursday. Well we will be watching from the side of the pool. She is going to get over her fear of water! I want to see her be baptized before I peace out!

Let’s get all the trunkiness out right here right now because these emails are basically journal entries for me and I have no here I can really talk to about it:

I don’t know why but the impact of finishing my mission totally hit me this week. It feels like I just ran into it like a huge brick wall. I had always seen hermanas (especially from the States) who were just so weird and emotional the last bit of their missions. I always thought it was so strange…they were going home! Now I get it. It’s not that we’re not pumped to go home, but to leave Guatemala and leave the mission is rough. I never get to do this again which I think is what is getting to me. Obviously there’s parts I won’t miss, but there’s so much I will. Just talking to strangers, getting to know them and loving them, the members, all the fun random experiences, the food! Tortillas! I will be having withdrawals. I should find a support group or something. Anyways, it’s just sad knowing it’s over. I think most missionaries want a break every once awhile, but to give it up completely is a little rough. Although being home for Christmas is the best!

And the transition is a bit intimidating. SOS any RMs reading this with good advice, it would be appreciated. I feel like I might be interesting to talk to for like an hour and then the awkward RMness is just going to take over. I’m going to want to walk everywhere, wake up early to exercise and study, then talk about what I studied, listen to EFY music, etc. I’ll have to watch a Disney movie or something to start, that seems like the least wicked. Or the GG revival…And I start school again! It’ll be great.

We’ll see if BYU wants to let me into their nursing program. If not, I may have to resort to chalkboard art, my only other marketable skill.

My last official day of missionary work is Sunday. Monday I’ll be in Coban for my final interview with President (gulp), I’ll get on my email for the last time, and a family home evening with Prez and Hermana Faundez. Tuesday we head to the capital and the TEMPLE.

Wednesday I’ll be home! Insane!

WOW I just tried to log on and email my mission president, but my missionary portal already says I’m released. They already want me out of here!

One of my favorite quotes from Conference:

“Essential to the plan is our Savior, Jesus Christ. Without His atoning sacrifice,all would be lost. It is not enough, however, mer ely to believe in Him and His mission. We need to work and learn, search and pray, repent and improve.We need to know Godʼs laws and live them. We need to receive His saving ordinances. Only by so doing will we obtain true, eternal happiness.”

-President Monson

Don’t just believe in the Gospel, live it!!

This is going to be a great week! As horribly distracted as this email makes me sound, I actually still am working hard I promise.

It’s the final sprint and I’m not giving up yet.

Have a lovely week!

Hermana Scruggs

Week 78 – 11/21/16

Hello beautiful people,

What’s the point of writing these anymore??? I will see you all so soon! Not that I’m thinking about that…

Anyways. Tuesday we had our conference with Elder Duncan. It was fabulous. He literally just gave us like a missionary Ted Talk all day. Usually when we have conferences like that it’s really formal, but he was just walking around chatting with everyone. His wife is also adorable. My favorite point he talked about was inviting us to imagine every area where we are serving as a stake! I think he surprised everyone by saying that, but we need more faith to help the church grow! I think my favorite part of the conference was singing Called to Serve with the entire mission. Seriously I could have cried. It was the best.

It was so fun having the whole mission together. Seriously a blast. Lots of pictures were taken. And we ate so much food.This is the group I came with from the CCM. We used to be 11 😦

Well we finally got reassigned. We’re in an area called Tactic (tack teek) now. It’s close to where we were before, just more freezing! We got here Saturday. It was a long 2 weeks not having an area. And once again I am dropped off where I know no one. We just did this and then had to leave. It’s challenging (let’s say because these emails are supposed to sound positive.) It’s FREEZING. Like I am struggling to type because my fingers are numb. More freezing then Santa Cruz which is why I’ve been wearing that stupid hat. It’s like Seattle winter without heat or cars. It’s so freezing but so pretty here. I feel like seeing mountains with trees sould have gotten old by now, but it still blows my mind. It doesn’t look that neat in the pictures, but trust me!

Elders lived in our house before us. We are disinfecting.

There’s a 12 year old named Glenda who was supposed to get baptized Sunday but was afraid of the water. We’re praying for her. We get to work with her and maybe give her swim lessons. We’re going to take her to chapel with hot water which I think will help too!

Best quote of the week:

Me: “Woah you had 5 baptisms?? How’d you do it?”

Other hermana: “Well it was a family and their TV broke which helped a lot.”

How do I feel about finishing? Weird, sad, but happy! It’s every missionary’s dream to actually get to finish their mission! It’s a very satisfying feeling. Leaving is going to be really really sad. I feel like I’ll be leaving half my heart here…but I have a lot to look forward to at home too! I’m trying to just not think about anything so I can keep working, but it’s just a lot of emotions.

Happy Thanksgiving!!! There are turkeys that run around in peoples houses here and it’s kind of gross. Yummm turkey. Although we all know Thanksgiving is really all about the mashed potatoes and stuffing!

Well got to go. We’re off to buy coats, gloves, and tights! Hermana Scruggs

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The pics with all the hermanas are my 3 daughters, 2 granddaughters and my great granddaughter!

Week 77 – 11/14/16

Hello hello,

This week has been real strange. Why you may ask? Well we had some safety problems in our area and got taken out on Monday night 😦 It was such a bummer. I loved Santa Cruz. We didn’t get to say bye to anyone, we just left. I think I had 2 of the best weeks of work of my mission there.

We set up camp with the hermana leaders in Coban…the area I just left. And we’ve been working with them in their area all week.

It’s so weird. I literally just left and said goodbye to everyone and they’re all confused why I’m here again. They thought they got rid of me. It has been fun going around and seeing some of my converts and investigators again. Do you remember Juanito and Victor?

They got baptized awhile back, Here’s the rest of their family:

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Hermana Gomez (my last comp) is in an area right next to the hermana leaders, so I’ve gotten to work with her a little bit too. A member made us pens with foam Hermana Scruggs and Hermana Gomezes hahahah.

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This is my new comp! My camera dried itself out, so I can finally send pictures. This is us being driven around by the church security guy in his fancy car. Yessss.

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Being area-less is horrible. Honestly I think it’s the worst thing for someone who’s about to go home and someone who is just starting. We need little sheep to take care of. We can’t plan, we can’t do anything really! It feels like we’ve been on vacation a little bit. Hopefully we will have a new area soon!

The ENTIRE mission is in Coban right now for a conference we have tomorrow with Elder Duncan. He’s a member of the 70 who spoke a couple conferences ago about forgiveness. He used an analogy about using cream to take a thorn out of his finger I think. It’s the first time the whole mission has been together at once because some areas are 8 hours away from Coban!

My birthday was fun! I mean it’s basically a normal day…but some members baked a cake for me which was really nice. It’s a tradition in Guatemala to bite the cake which is why I’m seen just chomping at the cake in some of the pictures I sent. There’s another hermana in my district who’s birthday is today, so we ate more cake! All of 20 I’ve been in Guatemala. Nuts! 19 was college.

18 was my senior year of high school. Crazy.

Quote of the week:

“Faith is for the future. Faith builds on the past, but never longs to stay there. Faith trusts that God has great things in store for each of us and that Christ truly is the ‘high priest of good things to come'”. -Elder Holland

Love,

Hermana Trump (Yeah an investigator was like “your last name is hard to say…but it sounds a lot like Trump so I’ll just call you Hermana Trump.”)

Week 76 – 11/7/16

Helllllo,

Ugh I’m not much in a mood to write right now, but let’s see what I can remember from this week…it went by FAST! Faster than normal.

We went to contact a reference on Tuesday but the lady did not seem interested at all. Then, we noticed a little parrot who had gotten his wing stuck on a wire a ways up in the air. We tried climb and slingshotting to get him down for about half an hour until we finally were able to get him. This expirience of saving the little parrot clearly bonded us and the lady let us teach her! This got me thinking also…how the heck did that bird get stuck on such a thin wire when there was so much space for him to fly? Satan can trap us starting with really small things.

Instead of Halloween they celebrate day of the dead here. We went with members to give service in the cementary cleaning and painting headstones. The members were really excited to teach and give us references from people they met. I felt kind of weird trying to proselyte (is that how you spell that?) while people were honoring their ancestors, but it ended up being a good activity.

I really really like the members here. I didn’t want to, because it’s going to make leaving harder. However, they have certainly won me over.

My companion had to head to the capital to sign her visa and I got to hang out with one of my favorite hermanas in the mission, Hermana Hererra for a couple days. I would send pictures because I got my camera cord back but my camera just got wet and won’t turn on. So hopefully that rice thing works with cameras too….

A 16 year old boy in the group named Giovanni passed away this week. I really didn’t know him, but it has taken a big toll on all the members here. It’s been really really sad. What makes me the most sad is I’m almost positive he died because his family has no money and wasn’t able to take him to the hospital or do anything to help him. And they’re not the only family. Death, sickness, starvation is the norm here. We really need to count our blessings.

Finishing is hard. Honestly, every member and every missionary only wants to talk about me going home. I think all the missionaries who go home soon should be quarantined so we stop distracting everyone.

Luckily, I have some awesome people to teach who are helping me keep at it. Andi a little 9 year old who has been coming to church for years finally got permission to be baptized from his parents. He doesn’t feel much like a convert baptism to me because he’s basically a dry member, but it’s always fun (and SO much easier) teaching kids.

We’re not supposed to talk about politics as missionaries, but here’s to Hilary winning! If not I might have to stay in Guate for 4 more years and I don’t know if I can handle that…

Have a fantastic week!

Hermana Scruggs

Week 75 – 10/31/16

Heyooo family and friends,

First things first, my camera cord got lost during transfers, so I don’t have any pictures. I promise I look the same, just now I have a coat on because my area is SO cold. Luckily it hasn’t rained yet. I can handle cold as long as it’s not wet and cold. But honestly I sleep with 3 blankets and 2 sweaters on.

I LOVE SANTA CRUZ! Like I’m kind of obssessed with this place. To be honest I was not interested in training or hopening an area whatsoever, but it has been an awesome week!! And just super fun exploring. I think so much time in my old area had me working kind of on autopiolot. I feel like a new missionary. So this was a perfect change for me. The members here are incredible. Seriously incredible. They just live at church. They wake up at 6 on Sundays to invitie people to church and then go visiting after church to see why people didn’t come. We had 7 investigators at church who the members invited. They all beg to go out visiting with us. It’s not normal.

We’ve been visiting a lot of them, trying to get to know them and they’ve all given us a ton of food. Imagine the kid from Matilda…that’s been me this week. Just instead of chocolate cake it’s been a never ending plate of tortillas and beans.

Seriously we’ve just been attacking the area. Unpacking, buying water, cleaning, visiting everyone we can. The members have given us a ton of references and like Ash, we want to catch them all. The only hard thing is the area is huge and we still don’t know our way around, but we’re working on it. I’ve definitely felt closer to Heavenly Father this week, just relying on Him to help us learn our area.

My new comp is awesome! Her name is Hermana Sanchez from El Salvador. She’s ready to work and really sweet. And really tired. Poor thing. Starting your mission is hard. I mean all missionaries are exhausted always, but she’s not used to it yet haha. She doesn’t speak English so I’m back to full-time Spanish. I haven’t done that since Feb! She’s handled the first week really well. From what I’ve seen the mental breakdowns usually start week 2 or 3, so I am just trying to keep her stress level down as much as possible while still helping her learn.

Goals this change…

  1. Be more patient. Every missionary needs a perfectly patient trainer and I want to be that trainer! I’m also trying to talk less and just be a good example. I think the other times I’ve trained I just wanted to explain everything but I’ve realized I should just set a good example and can keep my mouth shut a little bit more.
  2. Find a miracle everyday and write it down.
  3. Stay focused! I have made a rule for myself not to talk about home or finishing my mission because it’s distracting for me and other missionaries. I’ve notcied it’s other people that bring it up actually more than me. It’s fun talking about it in emails, but during the week I try to avoid it!
  4. 3 converts! There is so much potential here. A ton. And it makes me nervous because it’s our job to take care of everyone!

The group here wants me to start teaching piano lessons. Yikes. They have 1 piano, 12 people that want to learn, and I have 5 weeks left so that’ll be interesting.

Well Happy Halloween! Guatemala doesn’t do Halloween. It’s a bummer. Although if today’s Halloween that means Christmas starts tomorrow, right?

Love,

Hermana Scruggs

Week 74 – 10/24/16

Hello hello,

Week 1!!!! New transfer. I’m training. It’s insane. When the assistants called me I seriously thought it was a joke. No one finishes training. I figured I was going to stop being hermana leader because they have to train some new ones…but really I wasn’t expecting this. And to be quite honest I’m worried. Everyone says your first and last transfers are the hardest (to stay focused, obedient, etc.. I guess I needed one last thing to push me out of my comfort zone and keep me focused and obedient! But real talk, it’s going to be hard. I just feel bad for whoever my hija is going to be…sending your mother home after one change???

We’re heading to an area called Santa Cruz about 20 minutes from Coban. I’m happy I’m staying close. We’ll be the only missionaries there working with a group (smaller than a branch.) I’ve done divisions there The area is gorgeous and freezing! Training and cleaning an area is hard. You kind of have to do everything at first. Wow how many times have I said hard in this email?

Anyways I meet my hija tomorrow. She’s probably getting her travel plans and her how to not get kidnapped talk in the CCM right now.

Oh man. We’ll have fun.

After 7 months in my area here it’s definitely emotional leaving. Breaking up with areas is always sad. What makes it worse is my companion is leaving too…So all of our converts and investigators are just like “ehhhh?” Man I really love the people here. I hate mission goodbyes because you never know if you’ll ever to see them again.

Me with all my comps that are still alive. This week we also had a meeting just for hermanas with three zones of hermanas. Planning it was almost as fun as the meeting itself. We made it super girly and I felt like I was in YW again. It was awesome and I think everyone needed a couple hours to just be reminded that we’re daughters of God. The mission is extra tough on the hermanas sometimes…lots of stress. So I think it was good for everybody!

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One of my favorite families.

My life is in disarray right now. I have more packing to do. And the next couple days are going to be exciting (let’s say.) Sorry this was kind of short!

Love,

Hermana Scrabble