Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Week 8

So sorry this is late! Christmas has kept me busy but here is her letter! YAY she leaves tmr for the field!!! YAHOO! Ps don't send Dear Elder mail anymore!

Feliz Navidad Familia y Amigos!
This week wasn't too eventful, just trying to learn spanish and prepare to go to TEXAS! I am soooooo excited to get to Texas and get to work! I know my spanish is no where near where it needs to be but I know as I make mistakes in the language in the field I will learn quicker and more effectively. So, basically I cannot wait to fail hardcore in spanish haha. This last week our teachers have been doing the spanish joke of the day, and they make me laugh SO HARD, they are just so cheesy and I love them. This one is my favorite:
Cuál es la difrencia entre de un Argentino y una vaca?
El Argentino dice "dale che!" y la vaca da leche!
HAHAHA I know it makes zero sense to you but basically it says, what is the difference between an Argentinian and a cow? The Argentinian says "dale che" (which is just a slang phrase. Mexicans say dale pues, I am pretty sure) and the cow gives milk. It's funny because of how close the words sound, not because of the direct meaning, so sorry if it's not funny, but it makes me laugh every time.
On monday we had a teaching evaulation and once we got back to the class, all of the Elders starting yelling basically, "HERMANA TAETSSS the ceiling keeps asking for you!!!!!" There is an intercom in the building that is used to page the missionaries, and apparently it had asked several times for me and said I need to go to a room in the Admin. building as soon as possible. When I heard this my heart just dropped, because the only time Elders in my District had been paged to the office was to be notified of a death in the family, so I was so scared and I pretty much ran to the front desk. When I got there the secretary told me to go into Pres. Clegg's office (He is a couselor in the MTC presidency). I sat down and he was way nice, asked me how my day was going and about spanish and then he got right to the point and said "Well, I called you in here today because we would like for you to speak at the Christmas Eve devotional on Thursday night. You will have 5 minutes to share the story of your conversion and tie it into a principle that the missionaries can learn from." I was so shocked! I had never even met Pres. Clegg before, yet he was asking me to speak in front of 2,400 missionaries on thursday! I am sure he saw my surprise and said, "I didn't choose for you to have this assignment, I prayed about who should speak Thurs. night and the Holy Ghost gave me your name, so because you have been called by the Spirit you just need to teach by the Spirit and you will do just fine." So, tomorrow night I will be speaking to all of the missionaries here, only for 5 minutes, but I am still pretty nervous, maybe more like petrified. I feel extremely honored for the opportunity I will have to share my conversion experience and also teach the missionaries something of value for their missions...hopefully haha. Be praying that I don't make a fool of myself!
I hope everyone has a super duper awesome Christmas. Although it is difficult for me to not be with my family at this time I know they are in the Lord's hands and will be taken care of. I am also grateful for the opportunity I have to sacrifice 18 months of my life for Jesus Christ, whom this holiday is all about. 18 months is a meager sacrifice for someone who gave so much, including his life, for me, and for that I will work as hard as I can, and devote all that I am, to serving Him and representing Him as I teach the people of Texas. I hope this holiday everyone takes time to ponder what Christmas really means, that Jesus Christ would leave His throne in heaven and descend to become a baby, born in such humble circumstances. I am grateful for all of the love and support I have received here at the MTC! This is my last P-day here, I fly to Houston next wednesday morning, so I don't know when I will be able to e-mail again, since I don't know when P-day is in Texas. Also, all letters should be addressed to the mission home address (16623 Hafer Rd. Houston,TX 77090) from now on and also I will not be able to receive Dear Elders in Texas, so make sure you don't write Dear Elders after Monday. I love you all and miss you and think of you and pray for you often.

Hermana Taets

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Week EHHR 7?

Hola Familia y Amigos,
This week was pretty average, still lots of studying and teaching, we finish learning all the grammer principles in spanish this week so the next two weeks we will just be reviewing and teaching each other the principles. We did this really neat activity last week called the "Silla de Humildad" or "Chair or humility" where we each took turns sitting in a chair in the front of the room and then everyone else said something nice about you. I was actually really surprised by some of the things that were said about me. One Elder said he admired my courage, which is something that is never attributed to me, since I am an anti-risk, anti-danger, sissy-la-la. He said that joining the church and then serving a mission as the only member in my family must have taken guts and he admired my courage in getting here. I really appreciated that, mainly because I have never felt courageous before, so I felt like I could go do more courageous things...like go to Houston haha. Another Elder said that he appreciated my love for laughing and that I have a tendency to make everyone else in the District happy. Several elders talked about my love for laughing, so I was glad that I am known as a happy camper, and not for the times when I get grumpy haha.

Last Saturday in the TRC we taught this sweet woman from Honduras and it was...interesting. I feel like I understand a lot in spanish and can speak a lot as well, but because she spoke so softly and quickly I probably understood 36.9% of what she was saying. So, she would talk and I am sure my jaw was just hanging to the floor. I felt pretty bad, but I was able to pick our words and phrases so hopefully I taught her correctly.

Ohhhh mi lanta, I am only here for another 2 weeks!!! Craziness, no? I am really grateful that I will be here on Christmas, my district has become like a family and I am glad we will get to spend the holiday together right before we depart for our separate mission fields. I am SUPER excited to get to TEXAS and get to WORK and get chased by dogs, get doors slammed in my face, make ridiculous mistakes in the language...etc. No, that was not sarcasm, we aren't supposed to be sarcastic as missionaries, I am actually excited for this character-shaping experiences.

Well, I love you to pieces and think of y'all often!
Hermana Taets

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Week 6

Hola Familia y Amigos!
It has been a fun week here in the MTC, I feel like I never stop laughing. It snowed all weekend, and believe it or not, I actually really like the snow! It makes it seem warmer outside, it makes a cool crunching noise under my shoes, it makes everything look like it has a thick layer of frosting on it. My companions told me to stand under this big snow covered tree and kick it, and of course I did it, and they took a picture while I did it that turned out so awesome! (I keep trying to keep pictures printed out to mail home but the kiosk has been sucking it up lately). The MTC grounds are covered in Christmas lights, and we are celebrating in the classroom too with a baby Christmas tree that Elder Leonard's family sent us. I feel like we are singing Christmas songs allllll throughout the day, and they are soooo much more fun in spanish, BTW. :)

Speaking of spanish...I just love the language! It is so much fun! We had our first spanish lesson in the TRC on Saturday and it was alrigggghhhhttt, it was pretty random because we would just skip parts of the lesson that we couldn't teach effectively in spanish. So, the lesson was totally random and not real good. I made a big boo-boo during the lesson; The couch I was sitting on was old and squeaked really loud every time I moved and at one point and decided, without thinking, to say "esta sofa es ASCO!" (this sofa is gross!) and the investigator said, "mi sofa?....en mi casa?" in kind of a sad voice. My jaw just dropped, I felt so embarrassed, but then he laughed and then we all laughed for a good while. My roommates have also informed me that I have been speaking spanish in my sleep and waking them up, oops. I have been caught saying, "Qué Malo Elderes!" (That's evil/bad elders!), "Quiere luchar?" (Do you want to fight?), and "Dios es nuestro Padre Celestial" (God is our Heavenly Father). So, at least I did some teaching in spanish...not too proud of the stuff I say in my sleep haha. My roommates find it very entertaining so Esta todo bien! (It's alllll good).

Right now the District is semi-tripping out because we might get shipped out to our missions a week early! I guess there is a big need for spanish missionaries so they are changing the spanish program to 8 weeks. We don't know if that affects us since it changed after we got here, but we are all hoping we leave the 29 still so we can all spend Christmas together. My District is like a big family, we all love each other and take care of each other, I am so lucky to be surrounding by such good missionaries.

Well, not much else going on, I hope everyone is doing well! I love you all very very very much!

Hermana Taets

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Week 5

Querida Familia y Amigas
Thanksgiving was pretty great. In the morning we heard from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and that was AWESOME. I love hearing from the apostles! After that we had nice meal with turkey, taters, gravy, stuffing, pie, the works, and it was pretty good. Then we had a service project where we put together medical emergency kits that the church distributes around the world after natural disasters and the like. I felt so good knowing that I am helping someone in need. In the evening we had a devotional where there were several beautiful musical numbers and also the had mics set up for missionaries to come down and have about a minute to say what they are thankful for. I felt strongly that I needed to do this and actually was one of the first people to share. I was so nervous that I forgot to say who I was, where I am from and where I am going, but I said some like this: "I am extremely grateful for my family. Although they aren't members of the church they are great people and they raised me to be honest and to always strive to be the best I can and I know that without realizing it they prepared me to accept the gospel. Even though they don't understand why I am serving a mission they write me every week and their letters mean more to me than anything and I am going to try and be my best as a missionary for them."

Last Saturday we taught our last english lesson in the TRC, so from now on we can only teach in spanish, prettttty exciting. So after we taught, our teacher had us all write break up letters to English, it was basically hilarious. I wish I had time to tell you more, maybe next week. Hna. Wardle's letter was the most brutal: "English, you make me vomit" hahaha.

On monday I had an awesome experience in the RC. I was chatting with a catholic woman for about a half hour and then she asked if I could call her and I did and we talked about the church for an hour, and she met with the missionaries on tuesday and asked me to call her back wed. (today) to talk about it. I love being a missionary and having the opportunity to help and to teach people. After the call I just felt so happy! It was lunch time and I couldn't even eat, the food had no taste compared to what I was feeling. This is why I decided to come on a mission, because I feel more joy than I can describe when I am sharing my testimony of Jesus Christ with others and helping them come to know that they have a Savior who loves them more than they can possibly know.

I love you alll!!!!!!! Please keep writing, letters are like insta-joy for missionaries :)

Hermana Taets

p.s. I only received letters from Dad, Mom, Addie, and Tina this week. It's nice to know who my true friends are ;) tee hee

Sunday, November 29, 2009

4th week

SORRY ITS LATE... I was busy on Thanksgiving break, but here it is!

Querido familia y amigos,
Thank you for all of your letters and support, I love hearing from everyone so much, it just brightens my day! Things are going great here at the MTC, I still love spanish, still learning an insane amount of information each day. Yesterday Hna. Patterson went home on medical release so her companion is with me and Hna. Wardle now in a "tripanionship" as Addison calls it haha. She is really sweet, but we are having a rough time adjusting to teaching in a threesome and planning together.
RC on monday sucked. I think the whole District felt like crap afterwards ha ha. We all received a ton of chats so we didn't make many calls, and most of the chats were just people playing tricks on us, cussing us out, and saying things that are really crude. I had a really bad experienced that I won't discuss in detail, but I felt very discouraged and heart broken afterwards. I said a prayer for strength though and got right back to work. I tried to call the woman I talked to last week but she wasn't home, so I will try again today. I hope this means she found a job! I hope I can get ahold of her and see how she is doing.
Yesterday for the Tuesday Night Devotional we had the honor of hearing from Elder Dallin H. Oaks (one of the Twelve Apostles) and his sweet wife. Something that really stuck with me that he mentioned was that missionaries usually struggle with "becoming" a missionary, and said that something should change inside of us. As I pondered about how much I have changed I felt a little ashamed that I haven't changed that much since I have been set apart, or at least I don't feel like I have. After the devotionals we have a district discussion and I brought up my thoughts and the elders all said they feel like same way but that we really have changed, we just haven't noticed, so that made me feel better. We also all took a few moments to describe how it felt when an Apostle of Jesus Christ walked into the room. It was a beautiful experience and I loved watching the elders describe the feeling with tears in their eyes. I wish I had time to describe the experience but I could never do it justice, it was a true blessing and I know that he is a true Apostle of the Lord.
Happy Thanksgiving! I am super excited for tomorrow because we don't have any classes tomorrow wooooo hooooo! We have the big dinner in the morning and then we make sack meals for the rest of the day so the cafeteria workers can be with their families. Then we are doing a humanitarian aid project, I am not sure what it is, but I hope we get to color ;) After that we have study time and then at night we have a devotional, most likely another Apostle, wooooooo! I hope you all have a wonderful holiday, I love you all so much!
Hermana Taets

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Hola mi familia y mis amigos!
Time is finally starting to fly by, thank goodness! I am so anxious to get to Texas and start teaching people about the restored gospel! I love speaking spanish and think I must be learning because last week I was blessing my food and I wanted to thank Him for something but I could not figure out how to say it in english or in spanish! It was a little frustrating but luckily around 10 at night I remembered, MOTIVATED! Ha ha.
I had the most awesomest, lo maximo, experience in the Referral Center this week! Ok so every monday my district goes to the RC for an hour or so and in the RC we answer phones and make calls. I guess there are comercials on tv advertising free dvds and books and such and so when people call those numbers they call the MTC and we missionaries speak with them, and then we also call them back to make sure we received their items, and people can go to mormon.org and do a live chat and they can ask us questions. So before I made my first outbound call I said a prayer to be able to reach out and help God's children today and the very first call I made a man picked up and said that the person I was calling for was not home, that he was a roommate. So I explained I was calling from the LDS church and asked if his roommate received the free Bible he ordered, he didn't know. Then I asked him if he read the Bible, and for awhile we talked about what he liked to read and then I told him about the Book of Mormon and that it helps me to learn about Christ as well and then I asked if he would read it. He said YES and he said I could have missionaries bring him the Book of Mormon! I was so excited, and I think he could tell, haha!
Next, a chat window popped up from someone named "Jesus". I said hello and asked how he was doing, and he responded, "Madison, do you believe in me?" Right away I knew this guy was messing with me, so I said I believed in Jesus Christ as my Savior and that I also believed in the person I am talking to and that's why I am here willing to help him. Then he said "Do you believe it is I talking to you now?" and I said "Jesus Christ communicates with us through the Holy Ghost, not a chat messenger" and then he said, "Your lack of faith appalls me, SUCK MY....bleep....bleep...bleep". At this point everyone was looking at me because I had kind of yelped and put my hands over the screen, ha ha. I immediately signed out of the chat, took a few minutes to compose myself, and then I received an inbound call.
The call was this sweet woman, late 30's, from California, who was calling to receive a free Bible. I asked her if she attended a church, she said she started attending a Christian church recently and I said I was so excited for her and then I talked about how much I love the Bible and reading about Christ in the New Testament. Then I asked if she knew about the Book of Mormon and she said no, so I told her it was another testament of Jesus Christ and explained a little more about it. I asked her if she wanted one and she said, "Is it free? I have been umemployed since January and can't afford anything." I could just hear the sorrow in her voice and told her it was free and told her I was sorry for her situation. Then I felt it was appropriate to ask if I could pray for her and then she started crying over the phone and said, "would you please?" I told her I would and told her God loved her and as she prayed if would help her. I asked if it would be okay to send the missionaries to her because they could introduce her to the church's unemployment program and help her find a job but she said she wasn't ready yet, which is fine, I am hoping I will be able to call back next week and see how she is doing.

Well time is up, I love you all and love hearing from all of you! I love being here in the MTC and love helping other people come unto Christ :)

Te Quiero
Hermana Taets

Friday, November 13, 2009

Letter #2

Madison sounds so good! And it sounds like she still has her sense of humor! Gotta love that girl! Enjoy :D

Hola Mi Familia y Mis Amigos!
Things are going great here at the MTC, I feel like time is started to go by a bit faster (thank goodness, I am ready to get to Texas and get to work). One of the Sisters in my District got sick last week and she had all of the symptoms of swine flu so she was moved to the quarentine dorms and will be there until 5 days after she shows no symptoms. So, the health clinic put all of us in the District on a legit anti-viral called Tamiflu and I have felt no symptoms of flu, so don't worry! Because her companion is in the quarentine, My companion and I also have another sister in our companionship. Hermana Wardle says that this is all my fault because she knew I had been praying for charity and patience, and we are definitely struggling with that with our new companion. She is a smart, nice girl, I think our personalities just clash a bit. Yesterday I told her that her lunch smelled like dirty shoes and she told me that I was going to get colon cancer because I eat so much beef.....we get along just great :) I love Hermana Wardle, my real companion, we are like two peas in a pod, she seriously keeps me sane.

Last Saturday we had our first task in the Teaching Resourch Center (TRC). This is where members of the church from the Provo area come and volunteer to act like investigators and let us practice teaching them. First we had to contact two people in spanish and ask them if we can teach them more, that was fun, the first guy we didn't gage time very well so when our teacher said it was time to switch I hadn't even brought up the gospel at all, so I quickly said "Cree en Jesucristo.....Adios!" Basically I asked if he believed in Jesus and then ran to the next room haha. After contacting we were supposed to teach a 35 minutes lesson on the Restoration of the church as a companionship and me and my two companions were assigned to teach this older Japanese woman. We started the lesson by getting to know her and found out that she is very very negative, she felt like she had no hope in her life, that God didn't love her because he didn't help her, and she had no family, friends, or job. Instead of teaching about the Restoration we all taught her for 35 minutes that God loves her and will answer her prayers. As I taught her I felt such strong emotions, as if the lesson was real and this woman really felt this way, and I felt such a strong desire to help her and for her to know that God loves her. After talking to her and helping her to see all of the blessings in her life we challenged her to prayer to God and promised that she would feel His love and we promised to help her in anyway and to be her friends and not leave her alone. After this the woman buried her head in her hands and began to cry, and then we all shed some tears as well. I think the lesson was all too real for us, and not just pretend. I know the Lord is in this work, why else would I feel so much love and why would I feel so much sorrow for the pains of this stranger, who was merely pretending anyways. I know I am supposed to be on a mission and that there are people in Texas, specific people who the Lord has prepared, who need my help in coming unto Christ and finding lasting happiness.

I am so grateful for all of the letters and support I am receiving, I am truly blessed. After lunch when the District leader gets the mail it is seriously like Christmas morning and everyone is so excited. So, don't every worry that I am getting too many letters ;) I love hearing from all of you and love you all very very much!

Hermana Taets

Saturday, November 7, 2009

YAY! Madison's First Letter!

So it got to me today! and I am so excited for you all to read it! She sounds so happy! And if you haven't written her yet, DO IT!

Hola mi familia y mis amigos!
Today is my p-day (wednesday) so expect an e-mail from me every wednesday, and today is the only day that I am supposed to write letters home. The MTC is great! The long days were a little rough to get used to at first, we wake up at 6:30 am and have a full schedule until 9:30 pm, with 6 hours of class, 4 hours of studying, and other activities in between. My companion is Hermana Wardle from Utah and she is great, we get along perfectly and I am so grateful for her. We both are really committed to learning spanish and try and speak it as much as possible. I have a personal goal to meet 3 random people and get to know them in spanish each day and I have kept my goal thus far and feel like it has really helped me to feel comfortable speaking spanish. I also say all of my prayers in just spanish and feel it really helps my prayers to be more meaningful because I have to really think about what I am saying and then translate it.

I had a really great experience with spanish on sunday! During the week my teacher, Hermano Coles, was telling us that if we have true faith in Jesus Christ we can draw upon the powers of heaven and call down miracles. This struck me to my core and I knew that if I am a bold, courageous missionary, having faith that God will provide for me in the very hour of my need, then I can witness miracles during my mission. This sunday happened to be fast and testimony meeting and for missionaries who have just arrived they can bear their testimony in english if they want, everyone else has to do it in spanish in our branch. During church I knew it was time to exercise my faith and have courage, and I knew I needed to bear my testimony in spanish, even though I had only been learning the language for 3 days. My heart was beating so fast it felt like it was in my throat, but I approached the stand and began to bear my testimony in spanish. It was really shaky at first, probably because I was so scared, but after the first phrase I really got going and was able to speak clearly and correctly in the spanish language. Ever since that morning I feel like I have been blessed with the Gift of Tongues in learning the language and being able to understand and communicate the language. When I speak to other spanish missionaries they are always shocked that I have only been here a week! :)

I am learning so much about the Gospel as well, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ has new personal meaning to me. I have felt so strongly the love of Jesus Christ and of my Heavenly Father during my short time here. Everyday I feel their love through the Holy Ghost and I know they are pleased with the decision I have made to serve their children in Texas. I know that I will be blessed for the rest of my life for this decision and my family will be greatly blessed in my absence. I love you all so so so much and miss you! If you want to write me and don't want to use postage you can go to www.DearElder.com and type up a letter to me and the MTC prints it out that day and hands it to me in class :) So yeah....write me, I haven't gotten any mail this week and would really like to hear from you, especially Mom, Dad, and Alli, I miss you so much, please write so I don't have to wait until next Wednesday to read an e-mail.

Te Quiero Mucho!
Hermana Taets