Week 73 – 10/17/16

Heyyyooo,

This week has been slightly uneventful…but let’s see what I can remember.

Saturday we helped cook at the ward primary activity. Every single Guatemalan ward activity I’ve gone to has involved like 4 members who cook a TON of food for the whole ward (or primary) and serve every single plate and drink. They really need to master the art of the potluck.

A husky puppy moved in next door and it has huge puppy paws and it’s adorable. Seriously we need to teach it’s owners just so I  can play with it more.

We had an AWESOME lesson yesterday with an new investigator who we had given a Book of Mormon to previously. We really didn’t do much follow up with him, but he had been reading and praying without us and just started crying in the lesson we had.

I’ve been cooking a lot this week…with members and investigators. I’m excited to cook more when I get home! Proof:

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Okay it doesn’t look that big in this picture…but seriously it was ginormous.

 

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I broke a mirror when we went to go study with some hermanas. Mirrors are hard to come by here (like most mission houses just have one tiny one…) Whoops! 7 years of bad luck right?

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My comp is going to be the mission nurse starting this week! Wish her luck. Supposedly I was teaching her English all this time we were together so she can talk to the doctors and stuff so hopfully she learned something…

Coban is RAINY! And getting cold. I haven’t had any cold really my whole mission so I might actually have to buy a coat.

I’m tired. So tired. It’s the worst after lunch. Honestly physically I don’t know how we do what we do sometimes, but what doesn’t kill ya makes you stronger, right? And while I’m complaining..Guatemala has TOO MANY BUGS. I seriously always am scratching. Not just mosquitoes. Everything here eats me. And repellent does nothing.

As hard as it is. I really am enjoying it. I literally get to walk around and talk to strangers in Spanish about the gospel. I still am amazed that I can speak Spanish sometimes. The mission is the coolest experience!

This week we find about changes (MY LAST ONE). I think I’m leaving because I’ve been in my area for like 7 months…who knows!

Love,

Hermana Scott (yeah they use a toliet paper brand to remember my name)

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Week 72 – 10/10/16

Hola,

This week I think will be hard to top because the Lopez family got baptized!!! Seriously I cannot express how much this family means to me. I have been teaching, praying, fighting, fasting, screaming, dreaming, crying, and pleading with this family for the last 4 months and they did it! I still can’t believe it. I mean I can because we see miracles everyday out here, but I’m just so grateful.

This family lives in Cacic (the little America I have mentioned before, with wifi, cars, lots of higher education, and small pure-bread dogs.) It’s a HARD neighborhood to work in, but this family proved that reputation wrong. Well kind of…because teaching them has been hard, but definitely worth it. We started teaching them under the pre-text of coming to teach English. The senior couple of missionaries who used to be here started the friendship and thanks to them they’re now baptized! Talk to your neighbors!

This family used to be scared of Mormons. I actually had knocked on their door before and they told us no. We need help getting in the door. Now this family are going to be awesome pastors in the church helping lots of other little sheeps.

Inline image 1 My last comp Hermana Fernandez (who I started teaching them with) was able to come to their baptism as well. It was extra special that she got to be there. And President and Hermana Faundez came too! It was the perfect baptism, seriously.

This is a family who recently moved in a couple blocks from them. They have been such a huge help. We need members in this work! Our ward mission leader at the end of the baptism “You should all congratulate la familia mormon!” Next stop: temple! Wooohhoooo it honestly makes all the bad stuff worth it.

What else? We got pedicures on Saturday because a member is in beauty school and needed people to practice on. I felt really bad for her. 16 months as a missionary in Guatemala does wonders to feet and I’m pretty sure she wants to change her profession now. That scripture in Mosiah about how beautiful the feet are of those who preach the gospel is a lie.

Living with the new hermanas is lots of fun! More friends and more people to clean the house, so we’re all happy.

I went to an area called San Cristobal on Wednesday to work with an hermana. She is training and working in a really tough area with little support form the members. At the end of the day I was just really impressed with her desire to be obedient and her diligence. It’s something I wish I could see from all our companionships. She told me how stressed she has been feeling because she feels like things aren’t going well, but I just think she’s one of the most consecrated hermanas out here and I told her to keep it up. Then I took a shower and kept bumping my head on the shower head. This has happened multiple times in divisions. I’m too tall for this country. I finally understand how Buddy felt in the North Pole.

Quotes of the week:

-Me: “Hey do you get along with your companion?”

A wise elder: “We get along. Because I don’t say anything.”

-“A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small bundle.” -Benjamin Franklin -“Courage isn’t always a lion’s roar. It’s sometimes the heart at the end of a day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”

Well there is a constant feeling of inadequacy as a missionary. I don’t know how God trusts us to do this work, but He does. Seeing miracles like the familia Lopez just make me speechless how the heck I could get to play a part in this…but somehow I do!

Okay I got distracted looking at college classes. This is insane. Seriously I’m like hyperventilating thinking about it. Help.

Have a lovely week!

Hermana “jajajaja de donde viene su apellido?”

We went to go looking for more future members in Cacic! Did I mention it’s hard working there?

Week 71 – 10/3/16

Hello beautiful people,

Woah I don’t even know where to start so much happened this week. This will probably be out of order and very long.

Conference!!! Awesome. Doesn’t get much better (or more nostalgic) than an MTC choir. They were cute with their shiny shiny plaques. Did you know in Spanish Called to Serve has 4 verses? Fun fact. I’ve been blessed each conference to be around other Americans and watch Conference in English. We understand each other and talk about America and understand the need to eat snacks during Conference.

Well I loved Conference because it was all about missionary work and simple doctrine. Prayer, Sabbath day, the Plan of Salvation, etc. Basically everyone was talking about the JOY the gospel brings. Love it. That’s why we do this because the gospel makes people happy. Honestly I never appreciated Conference before my mission but now I understand how incredible it is to have a living prophet and apostles.

We have 2 hermanas moving into our house tonight. I’m excited. I always thought it would be fun to live with another companionship. We’ll see how I feel once they’re actually living with me, but I’m sure we’ll have a ball.

Concilio happened on Monday. I didn’t take many pictures this week, so I’m including this picture. The elders always steal my camera. I love concilio and working with the ZLs. I think it’s one of the things I’ll miss most.

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THE FAMILIA LOPEZ IS GETTING BAPTIZED. Their daughter has had a baptismal date now for a couple weeks but her mom was basically the one who still couldn’t decide. I have been teaching this family since June. It’s extremely rare that we teach anyone for that long but something has kept us going back. We had one more chance to but the baptismal date with Aziza (the mom) before they left on a trip. I was pretty sure we were going to have to stop teaching her becuase she kept saying the same things over and over and over again. Finally we just bore our testimonies and the Spirit was so strong…and she finally said “me voy a bautizar el 8” It was a miracle. We are SO grateful. They are future leaders in the church!

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We played Blackjack with gummie worms today in the church. Is that bad? President Faundez didn’t say anything…Have I ever told you I love sister missionaries? Friends from Chile, Nicaragua, Honduras and the Dominican Republic!

Speaking of Presidente…we had interviews this week. It’s always nice to get to chat one on one with him and Hermana Faundez. Hermana Scruggs must be getting close to finishing her mission because we were talking about marriage and college half the time….

I ate pig intestines, liver, and cow tongue this week.

Quotes:

-“The man who can master his time can master nearly everything.” -Bernard M. Baruch -“Hermana Scruggs by the time Hermana Faundez and I finish our mission you will be married, have two children, and be pregnant with your third.” -President Faundez

Question: Are you causing a problem or helping someone fix theirs? I’ve been asking myself a lot this week.

I’m learning hard lessons about leadership. I feel like I’ve maybe lost a couple friends this week. Our zone is having a lot of obedience problems and we have to help them be obedient. Unfortunately they don’t want to make changes, but doing nothing isn’t what a good leader should do. So I’m trying to deal with the consequences and honestly it’s hard…but we’re learning. Sigh. Lots of pressure sometimes, but we’re happy.

Have a great week!

Hermana Scruggs

Week 70 – 9-26-16

Hola hola,

Well I just got off the phone with Bank of America after being on hold basically for an hour which didn’t put me in the greatest mood, but I’ll try to make this a peppy email. Anyone who knows how to un-block debit cards from another country your advice is greatly appreciated.

This week has been pretty average. We went to another district’s district meeting on Wednesday to visit some hermanas. The chapel had such a pretty view. I definitely need to live near mountains because it just makes everything look more pretty and majestic.

Friday we were in divisions. When I went to Salama to pick up my comp I found her washing cucumbers in a farm in the middle of nowhere. She also got to milk a cow.

PSA: you should all wash your vegetables because we were basically wiping cow poop off these cucumbers with cow-pooped water. Sorry if that’s gross. Reality isn’t pretty sometimes.

To be real, sometimes I would like a break from being hermana leader because the thrill of it has kind of worn off and now it just feels like a lot of extra work….and sometimes we get to do stuff like this and I remember it’s really fun sometimes.

Women’s conference was great!!! I mean you already know that, but seriously Conference is the most anxiously awaited weekend for missionaries besides Christmas and Mother’s Day. All day long we are fighting with people and trying to defend the most basic doctrines of the church. So Conference is a breath of uplifiting fresh air. I LOVE Bonnie L. Oscarson. She is just so powerful. We need more women like that!

Food for thought:

“I have made a ceaseless effort not to ridicule, not to scorn human actions, but to understand.” -Baruch Spinoza

Ummmmm we started teaching 2 kids..Berlyn and Angelito. Their dad has been inactive but recently came back to church. We happened to walk by him earlier in the week….then later on we showed up where his mom sells tortillas and he was just like “hermanas my kids need to get baptized! I saw you earlier this week and I didn’t talk to you, but now I get a second chance!” God really puts people in our path sometimes. We had walked and walked and walked like pioneer children that day and no one was letting us in…then we met this dad!

All my other investigators are still alive. Taking over my thoughts, dreams, and conversations like usual. Aziza is studying psychology and chose to study the missionaries as her thesis project which is super neat! We’re all being tested tonight in our leadership meeting.

The gospel works. I believe there is a direct relationship between faithfulness in the gospel and success in life. I see it. People who live the gospel are happier, they have balanced lives, and things just seem to work out!

Coban wheather report:

8:00am-1:00pm HOT

1:00pm-6:00pm RAIN

6:00pm-9:00 COLD

Makes getting dressed a lil’ complicated.

Love,

Hermana Shamms (when I actually hear my last name pronounced correctly I might not recognize it anymore.)

Week 69 – 9/18/16

Hello hello,

Things are going really well in my area!!! Which is great because I’ve been here forever so it helps that we see some stuff happening.

Irene and Hector got married!!! It was hilarious. The member (and lawyer) that married them seriously just screamed at them for an hour about how they have to hold hands more and that they have to start introducing each other as their husband and wife. They’re about two of the most shyest (is that how you spell that?) people ever, so it was awesome. Seeing them get married and officially starting their family was SO neat.

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Their son Junior was a witness 🙂

Then the next day Irene got baptized! Teaching her has been easy. She just did everything we asked her to do. Lots of little changes that took a lot of courage.

She’s a great example to her family. Hector is now coming back to church. As well as 3 other family members. And now Irene’s sister is investigating too.

Missionaries LOVE teaching families.

 

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I cannot make this picture flip, but you get the idea.

A random member from the capital somehow got our number. She called us to have a lesson with a girl who works with he- Iris (who came to church yesterday). We had a great lesson with them. Then Dary took us to McDonald’s and dropped us off at our house in a taxi. For missionaries who walk everywhere and eat rice and beans all week long it was VERY uplifting.

I contacted a house that smells exactly like Trader Joes this week. I also met a woman who has had the same cellphone for 12 years (mom she beat your record.)

We’re still teaching familia Lopez. Aziza, the 24 year old daughter has a baptismal date for October 8th! I’m running out of patience and ideas for her parents though…We had a family home evening yesterday with them and some members and the mom (also named Aziza) is still saying the same things she said 2 months ago sooooo we’ll see what happens.

Quote of the week:

“I cannot hear you. Your actions speak so much louder than your words.”

We had a bunch of hermanas stay with us at the beginning of the week because of transfers. That was insane, but fun because it’s like a big pajama party.

Also September 15th is Guatemala’s independence day. There was a huge stake activity and everyone wore typical clothes (I can’t think of how to translate that.) Always lots of fun and tamale-filled.

I’m trying to talk to more people in the street. I don’t like it and it’s hard to find people’s houses after a street contact. However, yesterday we stopped a woman who wasn’t really interested in talking to us but she told us to walk down this little path I had never noticed before because there was a woman crying. We found her and turned out she was hiding from her abusive husband. Honestly, there wasn’t much we could do to help her, but maybe it helped he feel a little bit better? Anyway it made me want to talk to more people in the street.

Thanks for you emails. Really it’s fun to hear from you. I cannot stalk you on social media like I want to, so I really love reading your emails. I miss you all!

Everyone should put on a sweatshirt, jeans, and take a nice long ride in your car for me.

Love,

Hermana Scruggs

Week 68 – 9/12/16

HELLO,

I forgot to mention this last week, but were starting a new transfer right now. I know you’re all dying to know where I’m going right? Well I’m staying here. I’ve been in the same area in Coban now for 5 1/2 months. 4 transfers for those of you who have served missions. I’m going on 5. It’s kind of a long time, but I really like my area and my investigators so I’m happy.

Plus, they’re about to split my gigantic ward into 3 so my area boundaries are going to split sometime into this change which will mix it up for me. So all is well.

I’m SO excited for the ward to split. It is going to be pure chaos at first but it will be great for the members. I’m probably going to finish my mish here. CRAZY.

Yeah I’m officially starting my second to last transfer. Yeah it’s crazy. It’s exciting, sad, overwhelming, and happy. Ask anyone who has served a a mission…lots of feelings. During the week I try not to think about it. But Mondays it’s hard to avoid. Elder Uchtdorf said to imagine we’re always in the middle of our missions, so that’s what I’m planning on doing.

Our cellphone got robbed (IN A BAPTISM OF THE ELDERS. That’s like a triple sin…robbing missionaries, in a church, in a baptism.) And we are using payphones. It’s very vintage. And let’s note that Guatemala still has payphones. Actually it’s very inconvenient because we have a zillion people who will be sleeping at our house in the next 2 days and we have no way to talk to them.

This last week has been full of concilio, zone meetings and divisions. We were dumb and somehow they all ended up on the same week. I love and hate busy weeks. They go by quick but they are exhausting. I went to Salama and got to teach some people I taught when I was there a year ago. Crazy.

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My comp said I looked rich sitting in that chair, drinking that drink so she took a picture of me hahah.

 

My daughter and granddaughter. It might be the last time we’re all together 😦

I don’t know if I’ve already said this, but we live in a hostel (permanently). I met a Seattle U student this week who is hear finishing her grad in public health nursing. Basically living my dream life. All this is a very small world.

Well Irene is doing good. She should be married this week. All my other investigators are great. It’s neat staying in an area and seeing lots of progress with recent converts as well.

I was reading in 2 Nephi 31 today. The gospel is the ONLY way to get back to our Heavenly Father. The one and only. How I wish people here could understand that better.

Have a lovely week!

Hermana Scruggs

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Week 67 – 9/5/16

Hello everyone!

After reading my emails…apparently it’s Labor Day? Well happy Labor Day! I’m in a different world here. I also had a dream last night that I opened my email and had 0 emails. Luckily that didn’t actually happen.

Biggest news of the week: Mario got baptized! The process of teaching this guy has been so so awesome. He’s totally changed. He loves the gospel. He had 3 interviews and also had to be dunked 3 times…but he he did it!

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Him and Gunter (another recent convert so gave us Mario as a reference) got up to bear their testimonies on Sunday. Mario said before he started going to church every Saturday a friend would call him and they’d go drink and he would wake up feeling horrible Sunday morning….but now he goes to church instead. Gunter is also such an awesome example of member missionary work. He literally did everything for Mario. Now they’re both preparing to serve missions. They brought 2 less active members to church on Sunday too.

They’re seriously just the best. Ahhh so many feelings.

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We had to buy these. Best 3 dollars I’ve spent in awhile.

What else? We had interviews and a multi-zone conference. Things are certainly changing with interviews and conferences with President Faundez. It’s not bad, just different. Both of my mission president’s have just totally blown me away in all the interviews I’ve had with them.

Familia Lopez is still driving us insane, but they’re getting closer. We had a really really horrific lesson this week trying to help them meet members. I’ll spare you the details. I say a couple really horrible lessons now and again help me realize that the bad lessons aren’t that bad hahah.

Fun fact about Guatemala (and probably lots of other parts of the world): couples live together for 20 years, have 5 kids together but say they can’t get married because it’s “too big of a commitment.” I find it incredible. I really don’t understand it, but what can you do? I’ve been wanting to help a couple get married my whole mission. Anywho. We have an investigator named Irene who is getting married this week! Her and her boyfriend have a cute little boy named Junior. If all goes as planned she’ll be baptized this coming Saturday!

I’m trying to think if anything funny or embarrassing happened this week but nothing is coming to mind. So here’s an embarrassing picture of me eating wings.

 

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The elders lent them their name tags after the baptism. Got me thinking how blessed I am to wear one myself!

I miss you all. I really do. Think about one person who needs the gospel and go tell the missionaries! No “buts” about it! I bet you they’re a lot more ready than you think. When we pull references out of members, usually their friends and family are totally receptive. Usually it’s us as members that keep them from hearing the gospel. Don’t be afraid!

Lots of love,

Hermana Scruggs