Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Week 1...DONE!!

Buenos Dias familia!! This first week has been amazing!! I have learned sooo much and grown so much!! Emotionally I feel stable, don´t get me wrong, this is by far the hardest thing I´ve ever done, but my desires to serve and teach outweigh everything else. My district is the best district ever, consisting of the 7 other hermanas and 3 elderes I flew here with. Hermanas Bond, Fraga, Hastings, Holland, Koehler, Hansen and Skousen, and Elderes Andreason, Tarin and Flake.  Our district name is Malaquias and we are rama (zone) B. We have strict rules, I´m only allowed 30 minutes on P day to email you guys and I can´t take any pictures or send any pictures. I´m sure the rules out in the field will be different, but in the CCM (MTC) these are the rules. My P day may change to Tuesday next week, so be aware.  I haven´t seen much of the city, just from the airport to the CCM, but there is a busy street right in front of the CCM and let me just tell you, Guatemalans drive flipping crazy!!! They´re way dangerous!! There´s laws and lights and things like that, but it´s all defensive driving because no one follows the traffic laws. It´s nuts, and I´m sooo happy I´m not going to be driving at all on my mission. The CCM has guards everywhere!! For the safety of the missionaries. I don´t live in the CCM, I live in a rental house a block down, right across the street from the temple. It´s great cuz we don´t have to share showers with anyone. The CCM doesn´t let us walk home at night by ourselves, they drive us home. It´s crazy what safety precautions they take here. Also, the computers we use don´t always work, so if there´s a week you don´t hear from me, it´s because of that and they don´t give us another time to make it up. I hate typing on this keyboard too because it´s way different from the US keyboard. So pardon my spelling mistakes and things like that. I don´t know if you guys heard, but 58 new missions are opening up worldwide!! One of them is in New Zealand!! It´s the Hamilton New Zealand mission!! Michael served there if I recall. It´s amazing how fast and how widespread this gospel is spreading!! Truly a blessing and a sign of the Second Coming!! So wonderful!! I went to the temple this morning and had a great experience, it is a small temple but it is beautiful. Now for the language, I´m learning very fast, and I am proud of my achievements this week. I talk a lot with the Latinos since they out number us gringos (white people, North Americans) by far. In the whole CCM out of 150 missionaries, there are only 22 gringos. It´s awesome!! I taught an actual investigator this week as well, in espanol!!! His name is Jose and he is golden!! Our whole district has been teaching him and we actually have him committed to be baptized on March 16!! We are so excited!! One week into the CCM, and we are already teaching in Spanish!! It´s awesome!! Hermana Garrido is our maestra (teacher) and she is awesome!! We love her and call her Hermana Madre (Sister Mother), lol!! She takes good care of us and she loves us. Madre and Padre (Mama and Daddy) I just want to thank you guys for raising me to be who I am and that I have made it this far, I love you both more than you can ever know, I love you more than anything and I miss you. Michael, thank you for being a wonderful example and an amazing big brother for me. You have taught me so much and I love you more than words can say. Ryan and Rachael, gosh I miss you guys and your  sense of humor!! Thank you for always making me smile, we´ll be together again soon. I love you both more than words can say. I want you all to know that I´m doing great, I truly am. This is really hard, and I am already antsy and ready to go out in the field, but I have more Spanish to learn first, but I´m going to try to get out of here early, because that is possible. Right now I am schedule to leave the CCM on April 2 or 3, but hopefully, we as a district can leave earlier because that is our goal. Anyway, pray for us, for our success, understanding and the comfort of the Holy Ghost that we may be the best missionaries we can be. Next week I´ll try to be more organized in what I tell you and stop jumping from subject to subject, but there is so much I want to tell you and I don´t have the time. Anyway, remember I love you all sooooooooo much and I love what I´m doing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! La iglesia de Jesucristo de los Santos de los Ultimos Dias is true!!!!!!!! Have a great week all of you, and look for those opportunities to be missionaries!! Ustedes amo mucho (I love you all so much)!!!!

Love, Hermana Melissa Belnap

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

I'm here!

Hola´ familia!! Regardless of an extremely uncomfortable sleep on a 4
and a half hour flight, I´m in the CCM (MTC) safe and sound and I have
absolutely fallen in love with the city, the people, my district, my
teachers and most importantly the work! I´m super excited and I´m
having a blast! My teachers are amazing, Hermana Garrido and Hermano Lopez, they´re great! My CCM companion is Hermana Bond from Collieville, Texas and she´s a sweetheart!! All the sisters in my
district and my casa (house) are way neat and we all get along great!!
There are only 3 sisters serving in Guatemala, and the rest are going
to Panama, pretty awesome!! The city is beautiful and busy, and so
warm and humid!! The weather is perfect, it´s springtime weather!! The
CCM president is awesome, very spiritual and has a good sense of
humor, he gave us a warm welcome and put all our fears and concerns to rest. I can see the temple pretty much everywhere I go around the CCM and it is BEAUTIFUL!! Muy bonita!! And the food... ay ay ay, muy delicioso!! Breakfast this morning was sunny side up eggs with pico de gallo and chili verde, real black beans, a roll and real cream of wheat with natural cinnamon. It was awesome!! Also, madre and padre (mom and dad), to put you at ease, I will not be flying back to LA, the church has to purchase a flight back to the US because I currently don´t have my visa, but since I will actually be in the CCM for 6 weeks, I will have it by then and the booked flight to LA will be canceled. So, no worries!! Well, my time is up, but I will write again on my P day, which I believe is on Wednesdays in the CCM. Anyway, talk to you all later, and take care!! Te´amo (I love you)!!
Sister Belnap