Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Nov 30, 2010

hola, thanksgiving in the mtc was so amazing! thanks mom for my thanksgiving dinner. my companions and I loved it. muchas gracias. Although the letters with all the fun stuff you were doing made me a little home sick missing out. i still loved hearing about it. i could picture it all in my head, and i felt comforted even though I wasn't there. here we had a morning devotinal in which elder holland and his wife spoke. It was much more informal than he would usually do. his whole family was there and his grandchildren sang a primary song for us all. he said he wanted his family to be our family that day. He is so amazing, and I could listen to him all day long. we maybe not all day, but it was one of those meetings in which you walk out a different person. i have never felt more thankful in my life. it is the greatest blessing I could receive to be able to be here on a mission carrying some of the load of sharing this gospel with the world. i am realizing more and more each day that although by serving this mission I am trying to repay my heavenly father for was he has given me, but I will never be able to even come close to giving as much as he gave to me. I have lived my whole life knowing there is a God that loves and knows me by name. I have lived my whole life knowing my family will last for eternity, i have lived my whole life with food on the table and a roof over my head. none of these blessings and so much more have ever been challenged, and i feel so underserving, but He has blessed me anyways. I am eternally indebted to my Father in Heaven and to my Savior for giving me eternal life and eternal happiness. And i am so thankful for my savior's sacrifice and suffering for me, so that he may succor me when I am in need. (Alma 7: 11-14). I could not serve this mission without the help of my Savior. I would be a wreck. But he is here right beside me everystep of the way, and I know it. thank you mom and dad for raising me with love, for teaching me what it right and giving me the tools to find my way through life. I love you so much and wish I could tell you this in person right now, but this will have to do for a while. On that note. i won't get to call on christmas if you didnt already know. but I will be inthe airport like 2 days later in which I can call then.
I cant' believe how much snow y'all got up there. they closed down byu and told a lot of the workers at the mtc not to come because of this crazy big storm that was supposed to hit, and then nothing happened. it did finally snow and stick, but nothing too bad. i thought that was funny. all this panic for nothing. They have all the walkways throught he mtc covered, so we don't have to walk through snow or anything. but we aren't allowed to touch it. i thought it was funny that pres smith said that over the pulpit. but i guess I am here with 2000 19 yr old guys. not always the most mature. but they definitely step it up as missionaries. it is quite incredible.
Thank you for your prayers with spanish. yesterday wasn't as bad as i though it would be. i can't believe i can talk in spanish for basically an hour straight after only 4 1/2 weeks. i have to remind myself how much I have learned when I get impatient. It went great. Spanish is hard, but everyday when I see tags you can't even read, I thank God for Spanish.
I have to go, but i love you all so much. I miss you, but I learn a new reason every day why i am here. i am so blessed with a wonderful family.
Love, always
Hermana Plummer

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Nov 23, 2010

hola again. i seriously can't believe that i am emailing again already. a whole month has gone by as of tomorrow and I am almost half way there! well, at least through the MTC. i am so jealous of the missionaries who are here for only 3 weeks and get to go the the peru mtc. it would break things up a bit. honestly though, the MTC isn't that bad. the thought of how much i have to learn overpowers the drag of sitting in a classroom all day. oh and let me know if i am saying the same things in all my emails. you know me. I follow after mom. i can't remember what I have said, and nothing different really ever happens. just the same thing every day. This week is Thanksgiving though! i can't believe it. we don't have classes and such on thursday since they dont' want to make people work, so we have service projects and stuff all day. it should be great. Our service job each week is one of my favorite times, but mostly because I can be in my jeans. Thanks mom so much for the package of clothes and stuff. It was so perfect and just what I needed. I will probably just send my coat back to you when I leave. I don't want it to get ruined in Paraguay. So many sisters here have all these nice clothes and stuff, but personally, I don't want to ruin all my clothes. It is a bit different in Paraguay. But then I see sisters who are going to Thailand. I would freak out. When Spanish gets hard, I am just grateful I can read my tag. Spanish is coming very slowly. I have to be patient and remember that I am not going to know spanish tomorrow. i get discouraged realizing how much I have to learn. I have been here 4 weeks and still feel like i don't know anything. but I actually have learned so much. At first I thought it would be impossible to get the name of our church down. such a tongue twister. and so long in spanish. la iglesia de jesucristo de los santos de lost ultimas dias. try saying that fast. k well it was hard for me. but now i am already preparing to teach in spanish for the first time in a week. Pray for me please! haha. i know heavenly father is helping me so much. He really blesses his missionaries. i am getting really good at praying in spanish since I pray like a billion times a day. Let's see. what happened this week? i played the prelude music for church on sunday. with much persuasion i agreed to prepare to play next week for the meeting. I hate playing in public. you remember how bad my recitals were. my foot would shake so much that I couldn't even press the petal. Sacrament meeting is interesting. everything is in spanish of course. it is just my zone in our branch. used to be 6 of us girls, but one hermana just left yesterday for ogden. not there is 5 and the other hermanas leave next wednesday. the would have left yesterday too, but they have visitors center training a week extra. they are going to the mesa arizona temple visitors center. anyways, we all have to prepare a talk every sunday (in spanish) because the branch president calls on anyone he wants on the spot. So you find out you are giving your talk when you give it. It is kind of scary. I haven't given one yet. but it is really good because we will all have talks already written when we go out into the mission field. sundays are the best here. at 7pm we have a fireside which is always great, and then they show movies. like last week we watched the testaments. I cried. and this week we watched the joseph smith movie. it is easy to get distracted from out purpose as missionaries, but the mtc is good training ground to get my mind trained since they constantly have ways to keep reminding me. I have to always remember this 18 months (now 17) is not my time. This is the Lord's time, and i do not intend on wasting this opportunity. such a blessing to have the opportunity to dedicate everything. no other time in my life will i be able to in such a way as this. but I have already decided that when I go on a mission with my husband, it will be in the middle east because by then it will be open. just you wait. well, my time is almost up. remember I love you so much. thank you so much for the love and support. i know this is the one and only true gospel and that this is the Lord's work. i can't believe I get to be doing this. i love it. love and miss you so much.
hermana Plummer

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Nov 16, 2010

hola family, p day again finally. although I like sundays much better than p days here because they aren't stressful. Pdays everyone is furiously writing and it flies by way too fast. Plus, i am practically in my missionary clothes all day anyways. oh well. I love being able to write and have some sort of connection with home. This week has been hectic. Like every week I guess. The days are long, but I swear i just wrote an email yesterday. i have loved hearing about everything going on from mom, and my pictures from raelyn, hudson, and harper. it makes my day when I get a letter. the packages are great mom. I love you so much. My companions think you are so cute with your scripture notes and poems. I just smile and am reminded how much I love you. i am so glad you had a fun anniversary going to your favorite restaurant. oh how I long for food of the outside world. The food here is...okay. not bad not way good. they do well considering how many they have to fee constantly all day. there are about 2100 or so missionaries here but they have had up to 2800 at one time before. i can't even imagine! it would be so crowded!! it is good though. Oh and mom, remember it is Lavaka, not kavaka. we tease her sometimes because la vaka is cow in spanish. haha. oh and before I forget, will you send me addresses?!! i would really like katy giles' also. i was so spaced apparently before I came. I didn't come with practically any addresses.
Well, last tuesday elder Bednar came to speak at our devotional. 4 apostles in a row. fun stuff. his words of wisdom seriously changed my mission and how I think, teach, plan, study, everything. i wish I could go into more detail, but he is so incredible and will always have a place in my heart. i have to learn that as a missionary, I am not the one doing the teaching, the doctrine, the principles, the scriptures, and more importantly the holy ghost are doing the teaching. i am just a mouthpiece. i am humbled more even when I think i have been sufficiently humbled. obviously i haven't learned my lesson. i love it here though. Knowing how much I have to learn gets me over the fact that i am in class all day every day. i know I need this. Boy I wish I hadn't slept in seminary. i knew in the back of my mind back then that i should have been paying attention, but I was just so tired. Now I am way more tired, but somehow stay awake. I guess I am too stressed to think of falling asleep. thank goodness hermana lavaka keeps me sane and making sure i don't stress out too much.
I guess though that I am getting the hang of things. sleep, study, eat, study, eat, study, eat, study, sleep. Somewhere in there is soem gym time. i have never wanted to work out more in my life. yes, mom, the early morning runs have ceased. Not falling asleep very easily with all the snoring going on in the room and then waking up way early, was not working well. but I still run during gym time during they day. it has been an answer to my prayers to be able to run. i run about 2 miles or so every day and my knee hasn't hurt at all. Also, abotu half of the sisters in my room have been sick. two of them slept for three days straight, and I have been so blessed to stay well. heavenly Father knows that i would freak out if I got behind because I was sick.
I guess I am just continuing to do the same thing every day. haha. there is so much to learn before I head out to paraguay. I love and miss every one so much, and hope everyone is doing well!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Nov 9, 2010

hola, before i forget, will you send these emails out to the family? i don't have time to write everyone's name in. i think it would be best for you to send me dear elders or written letters bc i don't have enough time to write if I have to read emails. i love hearing about everything though. I hope this yellow fever card works for travel. if that is what it says though. I will go into the immunization office and talk to them about it to make sure. thanks for the package. my companions ate all the candy. I love getting the dear elders so much. I will misss gettting them so often once i leave. i can't believe it has already by almost 2 weeks. the days are long, but the weeks go by way fast. Oh and before i forget, say hi to marilyn and gary for me. I am so happy you go to see them for a bit. Tell emily she is in trouble for not writing me and telling me she got her call. but also that i am way excited for her. Brando was in a different mission, but that is so cool. We will be neigbors. I did see Elder smith today actually for the first time. he seems to  be doing well. We got to go to the temple again. every week. We did sealings today. It was way cool. It really strengthened my testimony of the plan of salvation, which it good, because we will be practicing teaching that lesson this week. After the 4th week we teach in spanish. yikes. i will send you a letter with some of what i have learned. Dad said he wanted me to send some spanish phrases. anyways, this week was good. i am getting more used to the schedule and am sleeping better. but half the time i hear snoring in the room before i finish my prayers. it takes me a while in spanish. surprisingly, since i can't say much. I am trying to think of what to say. i guess there is a lot, it just isn't coming to me at the moment. sheri Dew spoke at our sunday fireside. she is amazing. I loved it so much. I swear, if they didn't have firesides and devotionals to give us encouragement, the MTC would be so much harder. they really help out so much. last tuesday elder ballard came. it was the 3rd apostle in a row. we are special here at the mtc. i feel my testimony growing stronger every day. When we have to go out around the mtc practicing contacting in spanish, somehow I am able to say enough to get my point across. don't know much spanish yet, but i will get there. the gift of tongues is truly a blessing for missionaries. when people say that the mormons somehow have soem amazing teaching method as the reason missionaries can learn languages so fast, it isn't true. the teachers only teach a little bit, and we have to study on our own. it is very self directed learning. the secret is the gift of tongues. and I can testify of that truth. i have two teachers though, who teach some spanish but spend most of the time teaching us how to teach. they focus on having us teach people and not lessons. focusing on the investigator's needs. preach my gospel is an inspired book, and teaches perfectly how to connect with people. my teachers are different, but each push me in a different way to be better and inspire me. i am amazed at their wisdom as college students. and i am reinspired every day to do better, be more obedient, sacrifice more, and pray every more fervently to my heavenly father for strength and direction. no one would be able to handle what missionaries do without the help of the Lord. I want you all to know how much i love you and miss you. It is hard being away, but i am constantly reminded why I am here and feel this is where i am supposed to be. You are all always in my prayers.
much love,

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

First Email from MTC

hola! I finally get to email you! my p days are on tuesdays, so expect emails on tuesdays. i can also only write letters today too. anyways, thanks for the dear elders. it just makes my day to get a letter, and i love it so much. just hearing about everything that is going on back home makes me feel connected somehow. thanks also for sending me taylor's note and uncle john's email. they were so sweet. i would love for you to send me taylor's adddress. could you get that? also, my debit card doesn't expire until july 2012 or something, so I am good with that. also, thanks so much for sending the deferment email and getting that done. one thing. in order to get into paraguay, i need some official card with special stamps or something proving i have yellow fever immunization. they did not give that to me and what we have will not work. please look into that and call them. the people here were really surprised that I wasn't given one. lame. when I went to the immunization place, a sis knapp had taken my name out so she would remember to talk to me. she was at stake conference and wanted tell me that she enjoyed my talk and that if i ever needed anything to come see her and she would hook me up. so unexpected. very sweet though. I just love having someone know me when i feel like i don't know anyone. i did see elder larsen and hermana russel who were in my mission prep class a few times. it was nice seeing a familiar face. and and you will never guess who i saw here and keep seeing. elder david noren. he is going to the ukraine. i was walking in the hall and saw him! i was like, no way! small world. also, i arrived here to have a letter from mrs wallace. so sweet. she had some great advice and meant alot. expecially it being such a long day that day. to have a letter was so great. anyways, the past few days have been the most humbling 6 days of my life. so much to do and think about I hardly have time to miss home. yes, I did have some tears the first night. sitll can't sleep very well yet, but I am jsut trying to do my very best and dive into the work. that is what i am here for after all. it will take some getting used to. we wake up at 5:45 every mornign and go running so that during gym time we can get some things done. and the rest of the day is spent studying and in classes. we have two awesome teachers that switch off. I already can only pray in spanish. it makes it kind of hard to say what I want to say, but I know that heavenly father knows what is in my heart even though I can't express it in spanish. yet. I have two companions, a trio. hermana kavaka and hermana gonzales. they are so great. we clicked right away. hermana kavaka is tongan but from reno nevada. she is so fun. hermana gonzales is half mexican and from so cal, but her dad never taught her spanish. so we all are kind of in the same boat. and they both have boyfriends back home who plan to wait for them. also, that elder holmgren is in my district. so i see him everyday. there are us 3 hermanas and 2 elder companionships in my district. we are slowly getting to know the guys, but i have been so blessed to have the companions that I do. we get along so well and they both have such a pure desire to share the gospel. it is a bit tricky teaching with a trio, but we will figure it out with practice. everyone in my district is going to the same mission at the same time except for one elder who is going to oklahoma spanish speaking. he kind wishes he was going with us to paraguay. I have already learned so much. I wish I had time to say it. i only have 30 minutes to email, and it is so much pressure to get everything out. haha.
well, ya this is going to be a tough experience, but i am learnign to rely on the Lord and let him mold me into the best missionary i can be. I have never felt so reliant on Him, and have been so humbled. during relief society, the woman who spoke said that "I choose to let adversity bring me closer to God." Even though I feel overwhelmed abotu my capacity, I know I can do it and that the difficulty will only bring me closer to God. He isn't going to take away our trials, but he will strengthen us to overcome them . I jsut try to keep in mind my purpose and why i am here. it is easy to lose track and get discouraged with everything going on.
We got to go to the temple today, and that was so great. just what I needed to get a boost for the coming week. I will need it. remember you are always in my prayers. I love and miss you so much. time is going to fly by. also, please keep hermana lavaka in your prayers. she is really struggling with spanish and could use some prayers. sorry everything was so sporadic, I tried to fit everything in. can't wait to hear more about the outside world!!