Wednesday, February 26, 2014

I Will Go and Do


I think I said this last week, but I feel like I"ve been here for 2 months and this is only my 3rd week! I only have 2 1/2 weeks left in the MTC! Can you believe that? The weather here has been so much nicer! I think it might rain or snow again before I leave, but I'm enjoying the nice weather while I have it!

All my days seem to blend together here! We started teaching an investigator in the TRC this week. These are people who are paid to act like real investigators. I've been trying really hard to do as everyone has been telling me and not to worry so much about the Spanish and it's totally working! This week has been so much less stressful (I've had my moments, but so much better)! I'm starting to realized that knowing the doctrine is WAY more important than anything because guess's the doctrine and the spirit that converts people, not my words. Of course, words help in guiding people to find out for themselves, but somehow I've able to figure out how to say things and it's ok. She is really good at asking hard questions! But studying and preparing always helps.

I was reading in Preach My Gospel (a book everyone should read) and it was saying that I'm the Lord's authorized servant in the area of the world I've been called to. It really hit me that I am literally a representative of the Savior. I should act as He would act, think as He would think, speak as He would speak. Wow.

We talked about the "gathering" and who is really doing the gathering in this work. People, the Lord is gathering His sheep...not the missionaries. We are just finding those who He is preparing/gathering. I've thought many times before and since being here "Who am I? I'm just some random girl from Nevada telling people about Christ. Who is ever going to listen to me?" But here is the cool thing, the Lord is preparing people to hear His gospel...and to hear it from my voice. I know there are people in Mexico that will be prepared and that I have been prepared with specific experiences in my life to help them. 

Also, someone told me that it is projected the missionary force this summer will hit 100,000 missionaries...the most in the history of the church! THAT IS NUTS!! And makes me so excited! If the Lord is preparing all these missionaries, he is OBVIOUSLY preparing His children to hear His message. But us missionaries can't do it alone so make sure you are opening your mouths and sharing your testimonies with others. You won't regret it! 

I saw Carly Schiess at the Main Campus on Sunday night. She has been there for 7 weeks and has 2 more weeks to go. That poor girl! Haha...she said "I've been praying a lot!" I can't even imagine learning Russia or whatever she is learning! 

Yesterday we had a devotional from Elder Steven E. Snow and his wife. His wife mentioned the Nephi's Courage song "I will go...I will DOOOOOOO the things the Lord commands. I know the Lord provides a way! He wants me to obey!" I loved that reminder. The Lord truly qualifies those whom He calls. I've felt that here and I'm sure I'll feel it a LOT more once I'm in the field. I've realized how essential relying on the Savior is. It's been hard for me because I'm a little stubborn (thanks, pop :) and like to do things myself, so my faith is really being tested but I love it...but mostly after I realize my trials have helped me. 

Elder Snow also talked a lot about how to be a good missionary and how early missionaries planted seeds that we get to sow. He served in Germany in the 1960s and said their motto was "For every door we knock, they get another baptism in Mexico!" haha...Thanks Elder Snow! But seriously, I'm so excited to work with the members and people down there. I'm sure we will also be involved with a lot of reactivation. Find those less actives or inactives and invite them back to church! He said to think of ourselves as "Ward or Branch Builders." I love that. 

Funny least I think it's funny. We had some of Grandma's cake left over last Wednesday and we were home with the cleaning check people came. They usually do surprise checks to see if we are keeping our apartments clean. Well, we had lots of treats so we offered them cake and candy and they gladly accepted AND gave us 100% on our cleaning check! Well, they came yesterday and our apartment was far from spotless...and they totally gave us 100% again!! Not sure if it was the cake or something else, but we were blessed. I'll take it! So thanks again, Grams and Gramps!! :)

Thanks again to everyone who keeps writing me even though I can't write back all the time! Also, CHELSEA -- I was totally going to call you out since I hadn't heard from you but I logged on today and saw your email! Your baby bump is adorable and I can't wait to see pictures of that cute baby boy! 

I went to the temple today. I miss working in the temple so bad! I seriously just wanted to stay there and help. I miss my dear friends at the Las Vegas temple! I'll be back in 18 months! 

I'm attaching pictures. 
1) My district
2) My comps and I with Sister Price (she is in the branch presidency)
3) My FAVORITE Elders leaving this Monday for Mexico! Jealous!
4) Our zone at the temple this morning. We are small but we are getting 2 new districts today!

I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH! Again, thanks for the love and support. 

Until next week!

Hermana Durham

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Feeling the LOVE!

 HELLO!! I made it another week...and it feels like I've been here a month! Welcome to the MTC.

First off...a BIG SHOUT OUT TO MY OLD(est) BROTHER BEN! Happy birthday on Monday. I thought about you all day! I will leave off your age since this will be published on the internet. That's your birthday present from me. You're welcome! :) Also, check your mail because I sent you a card.

ALSO...did I read mom's letter right? Easton has a PERMIT?! Where has time gone? It seems like yesterday he was this little butter-ball-4-year-old chasing trains and ice cream trucks. STOP GROWING SO FAST! But seriously, be safe out there on the road. And congrats!

Ok, Valentine's day was literally the best day ever. I got so much love. I can't tell you how much letters and packages help here that the MTC. Each day you just feel like there is so much to do and so little time but a letter of encouragement or a funny story can brighten any gloomy day. And trust me, days have been gloomy here. Provo needs to warm up, stat. Or I just need to get to Mexico. I checked the weather there today...84 degress. Perfecto.

Anyway, back to packages. THANK YOU! It pays to #1 have lots of sisters!!!!! YAY! and #2 be an old missionary because all your friends have already served missions so they are home to write you letters. Also, one of the biggest surprises was a package from my dear friends at the Testing Center!! I got a letter written on a red bubble sheet. Not too many missionaries can say that. I LOVE THE TC! I loved all the Valentine's from my nieces and sisters! Also, I got Grandma's chocolate bundt cake hand delivered by Uncle Tom. It was enjoyed by all! Then I got home that night and found a package on my kitchen table from Katie and her family! I'm one lucky Hermana.THANK YOU! I love my friends and family. 

This week was good. On Sunday we had a devotional and President Matthew Holland from UVU spoke. Guess who else was there? Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. We were sitting in the front section of the room on the right side. They have reserved seats for family and friends but they saved too many so this usher asked me and my comps if we wanted to move up and over. I was literally 3 rows back smack dab in the center from Elder Holland. I just cried when he walked in. I love that this church is led and guided by Christ through living prophets and apostles! He introduced his son so he didn't actually speak, but his presence was awesome. President Holland was awesome, though! He got up and said..."I'm sorry you drew the short stick. In two months from now, my dad, Elder Holland will be speaking to the missionaries here. I want you all to write this in your journals...LIFE ISN'T FAIR!" hahahaha....Yes, I was a little disappointed that we didn't get to hear from Holland but the talk was awesome. It was all about Joseph Smith and how a testimony of him is necessary as missionaries. He talked about the road to Palmyra. Many may not know but Joseph's life was NOT EASY. Especially leading up to the first vision. He had it rough...and his life continued to be rough. But that is how God makes good men great. Our trials shape up into who God needs up to be. Joseph needed to be tough to withstand the horrible persecution he would face. I LOVE the prophet Joseph Smith. I know that is the prophet that restored the gospel of Jesus Christ back to the earth in it's fullness. Without him, I wouldn't be serving a mission.

I"m glad you all had a good time at the Gilbert Temple Open House! I hear it's a gorgeous temple! I want to go there in 18 months, ok? Who's in?

Mom-I did see Annamarie Hoer. I forgot in my last email to mention that I saw her at the first Sunday devotional and she was leaving the next day for CO! It was fun to see her. 

Something I've been working on is patience...especially with myself. I really appreciate the emails and letters I"ve received from my family and friends about being patient with learning Spanish. Everyday I feel like I need to be fluent and everyday I have to remind myself that I won't'll come little by little. Poco a poco. :) 

Oh, I got called at the Sister Training Leader in my zone. The other STL left this Monday. The only sisters in our zone right now are my comps and me so that's nice for now. I hope we get some more sisters next week...we won't get any this week! Basically I have a few more meetings I need to go to on Sunday and make sure that the sisters in my zone are taken care of. 

We met our second teacher this week. He was and still is our "investigator" Fernando...but his real name is Hermano Zenger. There are SO many great teachers at the MTC. I met one-on-one yesterday with a resource teacher to help me with setting spanish goals. Hmo. Zenger is an AWESOME teacher. He and Hma. Vawdrey really want to help us become the best missionaries possible. I'm grateful for them. 

Anyway, I'm sure I'm forgetting things, but that is bascially my week. 

Please keep writing! Use dearelder if you can because I onlyl check email on Wednesday! Also, Mom, I used the Dora stickers for Valentines so I may need some more. Stickers are the best! Thank you. And I loved the recipe book! Awesome!! "Como se dice YUMMY en espanol?" Haha. So great. 

Love you all so much! 

Con MUCHO amor,

Hermana Kylie.

Me and my comps on our way to get our visas last week
Me on the train to SLC reppin' the BOM 
My district on V-Day. Selfie to the extreme.
My whole zone before the district with the other Hermanas left. They were super awesome and I'm going to miss them!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Drinking From a Fire Hose

Hola Familia!

Wow, where do I even start? I survived my first week at the MTC and now I'm no longer the newest group since a new group is coming today! Yay!  My p-day is on Wednesday, FYI.

First off, shout out to EMILY LYDIA!. Also, GRAMS AND GRAMPS!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE COOKIES. They were so appreciated and I will write you soon. Also, the bubble wrap in the box was also a great surprise. Thank you to everyone else who wrote me. is a great way to send me letters and I recommend everyone go and send me a letter as soon as you finish reading this. It will brighten my day. Plus, with as many siblings as I have, I should have been getting more mail! Guilt trip, anyone? But thank you to everyone who wrote me so really helps.

So the first day here was a blur. I was dropped off, whisked away by another missionary, taken to get my tags, books, etc. and put on a bus headed to the west campus. It's pretty awesome over here. Everyone speaks/learns Spanish so it's really unique. 

I met my companions...I'm in a trio with Hma. Hoffman and Hma. Chambers. They are both going to Cuernavaca with me We have 4 other elders in our district.One of the elders is coming to Cuernavaca with us, too so that is fun. I'm starting to really like my district. I think it took a while for everyone to warm up to each other. There are also a TON of other sisters going to our mission but they are in different districts/zones. 

So my companions. Hma. Chambers is from Virginia and Hma. Hoffman is from Bountiful. Hma. Hoffman is literally a mix between Kasidy and Luna Lovegood. She falls asleep in class all the time and during a devotional, I caught her drooling! Haha...She is really happy and positive all the time. Hma. Chambers is super nice, too. We get along well. I'm still adjusting to having to be with someone ALL THE TIME! I'm also a freak about being on time and they aren't the fastest movers so that has been a struggle. 

So, for anyone who was wodnering, I didn't cry my first night! You can tell Tom Longenecker that. He was wondering if I would or not. But don't worry, it all came out on Friday night. Missions are so overwhelming! Especially learning a language. We are in intermediate but I feel like I should be in beginner. It's slowly coming back to me but I was feeling frustrated with myself. We had to TEACH AN "INVESTIGATOR" on our 3rd day Spanish. He is going to be our teacher in like a week, so I know it isn't real, but it is still so nerve-racking! I was just really getting down on myself. I felt like I needed to be fluent in SPanish and needed to know everything RIGHT NOW! Luckily we have AMAZING teachers here at the MTC who really know what's up. My teacher is Hma. Vawdry and she is super nice and helpful. We have other teachers who come in and help when she isn't here so that is nice. 

Anyway, the first few days were a little hard. My first day everyone was saying "Make it 'til Sunday and you'll be fine!" I thought they were all being so dramatic because the first day was ok...but I realized what they meant when Sunday came. It was the BEST. We actually have time to breath and church and relief society was really uplifting. I saw Uncle Tom for the first time in the cafeteria on Sunday. IT WAS SO HARD NOT TO HUG HIM! I had to shake his hand and started crying becuase it was so nice to see him. He is an angel...literally. I was telling him that it has been a bit overwhelming and he said "It's like drinking from a fire hose, isn't it?" Um...yes. That is exactly what it's like. Literally, we are learning so much it is impossible to absorbe everything. He gave me some good advice about not have such high expectations and that the language will come soon enough (like when I'm in Mexico). I'm realizing that I'm a bit of a perfectionist with myself and need to just chill out a bit. 

Also, we go up to main campus for a devotional. This Sunday it was Steven Allen, the managing director for the church's missionary dept. and it was a great devotional. He showed all these old LDS Homefront commercials and talked about each tag ling. You know...the ones that say "Family...isn't it about time?" and stuff like that but there were so many and they just warmed my heart. They also helped me realize that I needed to stop being so hard on myself and just do the best I can. After devo, we stayed on Main Campus and watched a recorded devo from Elder Bednar called "Character of Christ" and let me just say it literally changed my life. I LOVE Elder Bednar. I love all the general authorities. How blessed are we to have guidance and direction from God through these mighty men?! THE CHURCH IS SO TRUE! Anyway, i wish everyone could see that devo. He talked about how the character of christ is to turn outward when the natural man wants to turn in. WHen we are going through trials, generally, we turn inward and focus on all the hard things. Christ is different, in His times of trial, he turned out...he helped others. I just sat there thinking, I'm been so focused on my limitations this week that I have been forgetting what I'm doing here. I'm a representative of Christ. I literally have His name on my chest and i get to share His love and gospel with others full-time. He trusts me! Why am I so worried? Of course, it's hard to remind myself of that in the moment when I'm trying to explain to my investigator Fernando that God loves him and that Christ is the savior and that we have the fullness of the gospel on the earth today in Spanish and I can't remember what words to say...but they cool thing is, is that it doesn't matter. The spirit is the real teacher. Can you tell that I love Sundays?

Do I sound like a missionary or what? hehe

Monday I got my visa! What what! I went to Salt Lake City with about 9 other missionaries to appear at the consulate. It took about half the day. There were 9 sisters - 6 of us going to Cuernavaca and 1 Elder going to our mission, too. Grams-- he is in your stake in Lindon. Last name is Belliti (I think that is how you spell it). He says he knows your name because Gramps was the patriarch. Anwyay, it was fun to get to know the other Hermanas going with me to the mission! Also, random story! At the consulate there was this guy who was there helping us. I found out that he was mission comps with Justin Felkner and is in Kortni Seegmiller Rojas' ward right now! It was so fun to find a random connection! I wrote a note to Kortni and gave it to him telling her to have Kasidy write me! HELLO!!! :)

Tuesday we had a devotional at main campus again and it was W. Craig Zwick from the 70. His wife also spoke and it was great. It was funny because he was all "I was chatting with Elder Bednar this morning and he sends his love. Also, I had a bowl of soup for lunch with President Uchtdorf and he told me to say hi and that he loves you." Like it was no big deal! haha. 

Last night after the devotional, we were heading back to our classrooms for district meeting and the elders were behind us. I jokingly said "race you back!" but of course I wasn't going to run. My comps and I thought we were ahead of them the whole time and got back to a dark apartment (that's where are classes a converted apartment) and we were walking back to the class room and the elders jump out and scare the living daylights out of me! Also, I had to pee and they are luck I didn't wet my tights! Hahahaha! I still don't know how they got back before us because we never saw them pass us...they got a kick out of it. I thoguht it was pretty funny too. I'm glad we are able to have fun here. 

Today is P-day and we went to the temple. It was nice to be there! I love the special spirit in the temple. I must admit, I was so tired it was hard to stay awake, but it was lovely. I also ran into Sean Gilmore today at the main campus when I went to print off some emails! I also wanted to give him a hug but I couldn' I gave him a handshake and instructions to give Cory a big hug for me! 

MOM AND POP!! HAPPY 41ST ANNIVERSARY! Holy cow that is a long time! I'm so grateful you are my parents! I'm glad that Top of the World was fun

Also...SHOUT OUT TO BEN! #40 is less than a week away? How are you feeling? Old? haha! I love you and I better get an email for letter from you soon! That goes to all my sibs. But seriously, I hope you have a great birthday on Monday! I'll be thinking about you. :)

Mom- you said you have a bunch of questions but didn't actually ask many in your letter. If you have some, just write them and I'll be happy to answer! 

I love you all! I'm so grateful for great family and great friends! I don't know how i got so lucky. 

I'm grateful to be a missionary. This will be the hardest thing ever...but I know this is where I'm am needed most and I'm so grateful to know that! The church is true. Seriously, people. It is. I'm so grateful to know that my Savior lives and loves me. I'm so glad that I know there is purpose to this live and that I can be with my family forever someday. 

Until next time!

Con amor,
Hermana Durham

Monday, February 3, 2014


It's official, I'm a missionary!

Next time you hear from me will be from the MTC in Provo, UT.

Wish me luck!

But seriously, write me sometime:

Love you!

Con amor,
Hermana Durham :)