March 23, 2012

I'm Gonna Be on TV again.....LOOK for me!!!

Hola Todos!
Time here at the CCM is a crazy thing. Some days are SOOO long and then BAM it's pday again. It's so weird. This week has been SO GREAT. SO much better than last week. I am refocused and utilizing all my study time to prepare for Argentina.

-I'm finishing up my EIGHTH week here at the CCM and my departure date is 4/2... next Monday. But I'm pretty sure we'll be staying here longer. We haven't got our travel plans yet either... they were supposed to come yesterday. The group before us hasn't gotten their visas and they'll be starting their 12th week here next week. That's as long as the Mandarin and Russian missionaries! Ah! We are all pretty sure that we'll be here longer. Sad. The mexico missionaries are being reassigned to wait for their visas, but the Argentina ones are waiting at the MTC still. There's a group of 30 missionaries ALONE going to Bahia Blanca on 4/2... so we'll see who gets their visas. I actually wouldn't mind getting an extra week... only one though :). It would be nice to review Spanish and work harder.

- The Bahia Blanca mission is expanding... by June there will be 270 missionaries... our President wrote and said they were trying to get a temple... you better believe I'm going to work hard to get more people baptized so they can get a temple!

- Ok so EXCITING NEWS!!!! I'm going to be on TV again! But this time... you all get to look for me! Yup! I'll be singing in the MTC choir AT GENERAL CONFERENCE on Saturday afternoon!!! What the! This girl, who's not so much of a singer, will be singing for the prophet, apostles, and THE WHOLE WORLD on Saturday! So set your DVRS and look for the girl in peach (the sisters will be wearing pastels... so we'll look like a big bouquet of flowers... that's what Sister Brown said... so look for me in all my pastel glory. PS who wears pastels anymore? Anyone??? No offense people! This is a ONCE IN A LIFETIME opportunity and I am just so humbled to be a part of it. We've been working hard to memorize our parts so we won't let you down!

- On Tuesday, we got to hear from Elder and Sister Oaks! So great! I loved Sister Oaks talk. She told us that we came to the MTC to learn about Christ and how to love as he did... not to learn our language. She told us we need to be BOLD because we can teach others how to achieve SALVATION!!! A few weeks ago we had a talk from someone of the 70. He told us that if we had gold to pass out to everyone, we wouldn't say, "Hey um... I've got this gold here... do you, uh, want some?" NO! The restored gospel of Jesus Christ is our gold! We should be like, "HEY EVERYONE!!! I've got GOLD HERE!!!" The gospel is much more precious than gold and we should NOT be timid in sharing it. Elder Oaks talked about the importance of preparing ourselves for taking the sacrament and how through that we are promised to have the Spirit with us always. And a missionary ALWAYS wants the Spirit with them! It is the main teaching tool! We have such a small part in the conversion of investigators. The Spirit does 95% of the teaching, so it is VITAL for us to teach by the spirit.

- Every Tuesday, we get the opportunity to go to TRC. We teach a lesson to members and it really is one of my favorite times of the week. So this week, we walked into the room and shook hands with this young guy. I recognized him! We were like "HEY! I KNOW YOU!" And what do you know, it was Blake Lewis, recently returned from serving in Ecuador. We graduated from high school together and it was so nice to be able to chat with someone I know! TRC really is so great!

- Brother and Sister Malan were released on Sunday. They'll be going to China for a year to serve with the BYU Kennedy center. It was SO SAD! I love them both so much. Sister Malan served in Bahia Blanca too! We all cried when they left. We got a new couple put in, Brother and Sister Tedrow. They are from Highland and are so sweet! Also, Sister and Brother Nally, who are in the MTC presidency are from Highland too! I always like seeing people from my home town. The Nally's know President Bangerter and Bishop Millar too! We got a new district this week... 8 going to Mexico, 2 going to Peru! It's always fun to have a new district. Ours is now the oldest in the zone! So crazy!

- So on Sundays and other times during the week during meals, President Brown (the MTC president) trolls around and finds a district to sit with. Sometimes it can be bad news because then he makes you get up during firesides and bear your testimony or something! So we usually try to avoid eye contact, haha. So on Sunday we saw him walking with his tray and I said to Hna Hinze, "watch out, Brown on the prowl!", and what does Elder Robertson do? He says, "President Brown! Come sit with us!" I was dying! It actually was really great and he didn't make us go up during the fireside. We were quizzed on the Doctrine of Christ and I have to say, I was sweating a little!! He is such an inspired man and I LOVED listening and learning from him.

- This week we have been learning about teaching PEOPLE not lessons. That is one of the hardest things! To go into a lesson with a plan that is subject to change according to the needs of your investigators. We practiced teaching our teacher as himself, not as an investigator, and we were literally inspired to talk about aligning our will to the Lord's. He told us it was exactly what he needed. I hope all my lessons can be like that. About that subject... sometimes we think that WE know how we can be happy and WE know the ways we can get there. But we must remember that we have a loving Heavenly Father who has a plan for us and knows how we can have the most happiness. Sometimes it's hard to realize that and give up what you think should be your plan for God's plan. But it is a DIVINE plan and He knows our potential. Don't forget that... especially when you feel like you are being stretched to your limits.

- Sergio and Ruben get baptized tomorrow! The whole process has been so great and I'm so HAPPY to see the hard work and studying we've done pay off. Sergio has made a 180 and I am just so impressed. I can't wait to see what that's like in the field. After their baptisms, our teachers are bringing in pictures and telling us stories of the REAL Sergio and Ruben! So exciting!

- This Sunday marks the 9 year anniversary of my brother starting his mission on the other side. I have never felt closer to him than I do now. We are united in purpose and I know he is proud of me. I know that there are TWO missionaries from my family out in the field, bringing the gospel to those who need it. We miss him every day, but he is on the Lord's errand, as am I.

- Shout-outs: Aunt Lori- thanks for the email... BOUT TIME! I love you all and say hi to everyone for me! Aunt Jeni, thanks for the dearelder! Glad you can put the rumors to rest about David Archuleta (he's not here people). Taylor- thanks for the dearelder... you, Paige and Kris are ultimate creeper stalkers... YOU KNOW WHY! Haha but I LOVE you and congrats on the decision to go to DC! I'm jealous!  Susan, thank you for the dearelder and spiritual thought. Loved it. Ashton, your Spanish is great! Sorta... thanks for the dearelder! WOOBIE!!! Adrienne- I'm going to send you some hand sanitizer soon! Don't you worry! And I'm sure your YW lessons are amazing :). Squire grandparents: Love you! Thank you for the email. Sis. Wirig- Thanks for the email! I love hearing from you and I wish I could have Laurel lunch at your house still. I miss that! Venice- I could understand your letter! THANKS for writing... ESPECIALLY in Spanish! I miss you! I got so much love from everyone this via dear elder and letters. THANK YOU! You are ALL an inspiration to me. I love you all and hope you have a great week.

Besos y abrazos,
Hermana Squire

Cydnee and her Lone Peak missionary friends!
Elise Leavitt, Kaitlyn Brunsdale & Shelby Curtis

March 16, 2012

Cabin Fever!!!

Como estan? First off, HAPPY 33rd ANNIVERSARY to my wonderful parents! I love them SO much. They are the BEST examples, as you all know, and it's because of their influence, teachings, and nurturing that I am here today.
Well I can't believe I'm writing again. This week flew by. It was kinda a rough week, to be honest. All of us in one way or another lost our marbles. WE WANT OUT! I want to leave the MTC sooo bad! I love it here, but I want to get to the field!! Looks like I need to work on being patient this week... because it is 98% sure that our visas will be delayed. They are having delays with Mexico and Argentina visas, and a lot of us...mostly all of us... are getting delayed. It is likely that we will stay here a few extra weeks. We have no idea on the progress of our visas, and no way of knowing until the day before we leave. We'll get travel plans on Thursday, which gives us a seat on the plane, but we can't go if we don't have our visas :( So that was a bit of discouraging news, but we all have been praying and fasting hard to get our visas. The travel office said they are getting 6 visas PER DAY! For like 100 missionaries that need to leave! Ah man, the Argentina missionaries could use some of your prayers.
- So I was horribly sick almost half of the week. I'm not sure what it was, but the doctor just told me to take sutafed and I would be fine. I WASN'T FINE! My nose was so runny and yucky and my head felt like it was going to explode. I got sent back to the residency almost every day (Sat-Wed) by our teachers to go sleep. I wanted to stay and study, but I was grateful for the rest. I'm feeling SO MUCH better now, so don't worry!
- We got a new district this week... all going to Argentina! They're going to be a good group of Elders, I know it. I got the opportunity to help the ZL's out with orientation, and they are all excited to be here. On Monday, TWO of our districts leave! The newer district is going off to Columbia MTC and the district above us will be headed out to Columbia and Lubbock! So WE will be the oldest district in our zone! Crazy! We'll get another district this week, so our zone won't be super small for long. We also get to host next Wed, which means we get to shuttle the brand-spankin new missionaries around the MTC! I feel so old!!
- Hermano Romney told me about BYU's miracle win when we were down by 25 points. He said angels came down and helped us! GO COUGS! But then I was sad to hear that we lost to Marquette. :( I miss cougar basketball!
- This week we had Elder Cardon of the 70 come speak to us. I swear, that man is going to be a part of the 12 one day. SO INSPIRIED and SO AMAZING! He told us to always remember that we are VALIANT sons and daughters of God. The adversary will try to convince us otherwise, but we have to always remember that we are sons and daughters of a KING and we have divine potential!
- This week, I have been studying the power and authority that missionaries have. I never realized how much we actually have! We are LITERAL representatives of the Lord Jesus Christ and we have the power to act in His name! If we are prompted to promise someone something, and if they take that promise to the Lord, it will be granted to them! The calling of a missionary is SO amazing and SO powerful. We are given special certificates that say we are authorized to minister and preach the gospel in our countries! So cool! Every day I am honored to put on my plaque that says that I am a representative of Jesus Christ.
- Ruben and Sergio get baptized a week from Saturday! They are doing so great and I love teaching them. The spirit guides our lessons and we teach what they need to hear. It is an amazing thing.
- Supposedly David Archuleta is in the MTC right now? I have no idea. I haven't seen him, nor do I know where he is going. It's ridiculous how many rumors are going around about him.
- Shoutouts: Anna and Dave: AHHHH I LOVE YOU BOTH! Thank you for the email and picture! I am SO EXCITED FOR YOU! Tio Hector- congrats on retirement! You deserve it for all your hard work! Tahnee- bout time you wrote me. ;) Love you and thank you for the laughs :) Paige- light wash painter pants and new balance sneakers... seriously almost died! Never stop writing me stuff like that. Kristen- I would love to see a picture of you wrestling Paige. Please email that to me sometime! I love you and I hope you are still enjoying massaging the gluteals of the football team! Bud- THANK YOU for writing to me! I was so excited to see I had a dearelder from you. Thank you so much for the advice, you are great!
- I love you all and am so excited to start this work in Argentina. I seriously am DYING to get out there. Thank you all so much for the prayers and the support. It means the world to me. Quiero compartir mi testimonio con ustedes: Yo se que esta iglesia es verdadera. El Libro de Mormon contiene las palabras de Dios. Jose Smith fue un profeta y tradujo El Libro de Mormon. Jesucristo es mi salvador y mi redentor y estoy MUY agradacida por el ejemplo de el. Estoy MUY MUY MUY agradacida por la oportunidad ser una misionera. Esta obra es la obra de El Senor. Les Quiero mucho mi familia y amigos!
Besos y Abrazos,
Hermana Squire

March 9, 2012

Pray for Visas!

Que tal mi familia y amigos?

24 days and COUNTING until ARGENTINA! What the crazy? I'm so pumped and so ready to get out there. This week was so great, but every week is great when you're a missionary!

- I am now officially coordinating sister. Pretty much I take care of the Hermanas in our zone (3 of us), go to branch council, and tell people off in the residency for not observing quiet time... in a loving way of course. Then when new districts come in, I help the zone leaders do orientation and teach them a little about the MTC and such. We got a new district last week, they're going to Columbia and are leaving before us! But they'll be in the Columbian MTC for 6 more weeks. Hopefully we get a new district this week... there are only 3 districts left! Maybe we'll get some Hermanas, who knows!

- This week, we got to leave the MTC TWICE! Hna. Hinze's retainer broke so we had to go to the orthodontist. I got to venture out into the REAL WORLD! It was weird, but I liked it. They had real music playing in there too! It was hard not to stand up and sing along... " I LOVE ROCK AND ROLL, PUT ANOTHER DIME IN THE JUKEBOX BABY!" Don't worry, I refrained. We get to go back next week! Woo!

- So, the prayer for devotional went well on Tuesday. Except President Brown called me Cindy Squire. Yup, that's me. I sorta knew it would happen, but oh well. I was SO DANG NERVOUS that I couldn't eat dinner before. Ridiculous, I know. Elder Evans came and spoke to us and it was really great. We've been hearing the recurrent themes of Enduring to the End and using the Book of Mormon more. Missionaries HAVE GOT TO ENDURE after their missions! One of the saddest things is seeing a RM go inactive. We teach our investigators to endure to the end, SO WE HAVE TO ENDURE TO THE END TOO! It's so important. I don't know how one can go inactive after experiencing all the miracles of missionary work. This gospel is so engrained into me, I cannot possibly fall away. When investigators call me up when I'm 50 years old saying their son/daughter is marrying in the temple I want to say, I'LL BE THERE!

- On Sunday night, we had an interesting fireside. Alex Boye came and did sort of a talk/singing session. It was great. He was pretty hilarious but then got spiritual. He told his conversion story and promised that years from now, people we helped to convert will speak our names with reverance and with a heart full of gratitude for sharing what we know with them. That hit me hard. It made me think about how I want to be remembered. I want to be remembered as a humble missionary who was so full of love for the people and for the gospel.

- Investigators! Sergio: I love this man!! On Saturday, we went to teach him. We left him with Ether 12 and he told us that he loved the chapter. He read it 3 times and focused on Ether 12:27 (weak things become strong), and told us that he was up all night thinking about it and decided that he wanted...NEEDED... to be baptized. WHAT! The Book of Mormon works miracles!! The Hermanas are the only ones who have a baptismal date set in stone... why? Because of the Book of Mormon. That's why. Later, Hno. Larsen told us that Ether 12 was the EXACT scripture he shared with the REAL Sergio and it made him finally decide to be baptized. I was floored and so humbled by that. THE SPIRIT IS REAL!! It prompts us and tells us of the things we need to teach and share. We had more lessons with him, and we taught about how Satan was going to try and change his mind and be working on him really hard. We told him to write down his feelings of when he decided to be baptized and used the BoM a lot. After that, Hno Larsen told us that it was our best lesson by far. He told us that we, as 6 week missionaries, were teaching like we had been out for 6 months. It was the best compliment I could have ever gotten. Ruben- Sweet Ruben! I love this kid. We finished up the plan of salvation and talked a little about how to enter the celestial kingdom we needed to continually stay on the path and continually repent. He was like what is repentence and how can I do it? That right there is a proud moment for a missionary. When someone wants to do something without you even asking. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!

- Spanish is coming along great. I feel like I can speak more and more every day, and my fluidity is getting better during lessons. It's exciting!

- We're slightly worried that our visas won't make it on time. Other Argentine missionaries have been delayed. So, PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR VISAS! I want to get out there! If we don't get them, we'll be temporarily reassigned to a state side Spanish speaking mission for a month or so. I would go if the Lord wanted it, but I WANT TO GET TO MY PEOPLE!

- Shoutouts: Squire Grandparents: thanks for the dearelder! Love you! Paige and Taylor- thanks for the dearelders! You two never fail to make me laugh until I'm crying. Tio Hector- I hope your surgery went well! I love all you Texas people! Grandma Hobson- You are a sweet angel! Your cookies are legendary on the 4th floor! Thank you so much! Dunn family- I was so sad about Lucky. I don't remember a time when you didn't have him. Love you all. TAHNEE OWENS: get your hiney in gear and send me a dearelder or SOMETHING! I miss you! A quick note on dearelders. I just found out that we CAN get those in Argentina! They can be sent via pouch and they send them out once a week! Who knows how long it will be till I actually GET them, but it is still an option! I don't know how, so ya'll are on your own on this one.

Being a missionary is one of the most rewarding things ever! I love it! It's challenging, but I know with the Lord's help I can do ANYTHING! This is HIS work and He will not let me fail! Thank you all for the prayers and support. I love each of you so much!

Con Amor,
Hermana Squire

March 2, 2012

I'm Going to Be on TV....sort of...

Here I am again, stunned that another week has gone by here in the CCM. We are now HALFWAY through our time here! This time next month I will be on my way to Argentina! I have some exciting things to share this week so I'd better start!

- On Tuesday, we had our weekly devotional. AND GUESS WHO IT WAS? ELDER HOLLAND!!! Just my favorite apostle in the world! Oh my gosh. IT WAS AMAZING! He walked into the room while we were singing prelude and we all stood for him. A wonderful spirit FILLED the room! It was such a special witness to me that THIS MAN is an apostle of the Lord! I sang in the choir again this week (are you all shocked?!) so we had great seats. We sang 'come thou fount' which is definitely one of my favorites, as well as Elder Holland's! He started off by telling us that we are one of the miracles of this church and probably the most prayed for, save the Prophet. He expressed deep love and admiration for us and told us that he prayed for us as well. Morning and night. Then, the real fun started. I don't think I've ever felt so chastised but so loved in my whole life. He practically yelled at us, but with tears in his eyes. It was so great. He told us that The apostles and the prophet expect a lot of us. They expect us to 'pull our socks [or tights] up to our armpits and get to work'. He told us that we do NOT have the right to compromise our mission. There is 200 years of restoration tradition on our shoulders and we do not have the right to compromise what we are seen as. Missionaries are the image of the church. We are known by it. He also told us we need to come back CHANGED for good, even if we were terrific before. We are never supposed to go back to what we were before. He told us that we shouldn't fade after our missions, if we are just going because our parents want to and just want to get it over with, THEN WHY ARE WE GOING?! We need to come back from our missions with the gospel burned into our souls and into our countenances. Young people should say 'I want to be like them' when you speak. We won't be perfect, but we better try! He told us we would be apostolic... a witness sent to declare His word. We learned that we need to use the BoM more. It is so important! If investigators read the first 10 chapters, they will be well on their way to a testimony of the restoration. Elder Holland also said that the BoM contains the spirit! It physically dwells there. We also learned we need to PERSONIFY the spirit into our personalities. Persuade and never force, be individual, be simple, this leads to ACTION. That is something I've never thought about before. It was such an amazing talk, I wish you ALL could have heard it. I left feeling edified and feeling the need to improve... A lot. I feel so blessed to have been able to listen to an apostle of the Lord.

- Now for the subject of this email... It's too bad Elder Holland couldn't have come next week because... I'll be giving the closing prayer at devotional. Yup, Elder Kelly and I were chosen from our zone to give the prayers at the next devotional. Did I mention that they are broadcasted to 15 MTC's?!! What?! How did I get chosen for this job? Do I know how to pray in English anymore? I hope that I don't slip Spanish in there. AYE! AYE AYE! Hopefully it goes well because, my lands, I am terrified.

- Real quick: We sing the hymn Armies of Helaman sometimes... but instead of singing, 'and we will be the Lord's missionaries' we sing ' and we ARE NOW the Lord's missionaries'. I LOVE THAT! I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!

- Investigators: Ruben. Our sweet golden investigator. We have a fecha for him to be baptized on March 24. He is well on his way! We brought a ward member, Eduardo (actually Hermano Romney) to help fellowship him and teach him about getting baptized and getting the priesthood. Ruben is SO excited to get the priesthood because then he can baptize his mother! So sweet. Now there's Sergio. He is such a hard man and has so many questions. It's hard to find out what he needs, but we definitely have made progress. We did have a terrible lesson where he asked about infant baptism and I led him to Moroni 8. I forgot how strong that chapter is! He was like 'Es muy fuerte, no?' ahhh then he had 100 more questions that we didn't know. Hno. Larsen told us after that he just saw the wind blow out of our sails, and we looked like we wanted to crawl under a rock. Which was TRUE! Aye. But he did say never to feel bad for teaching the truth. We had another lesson with him yesterday, and it was SO GREAT! We tried to pay attention to the spirit more and decided to talk about faith. We read Ether 12 and he loved it. (no witness till after trial of your faith). It went so well and HE FINALLY ACCEPTED A FECHA FOR BAPTISM! Same day as Ruben. He did say if he wasn't ready he wouldn't do it. BUT HE WILL BE READY. That's a promise. I wish I could tell you more about them!

- Happy Birthday to my awesome cousin Greg Dunn! I hope you had a great day. And Happy birthday to my amigas mejores TAYLOR AND PAIGE! I love you guys and I wish I could be there to draw awkward portraits of you and sing weird songs. Hope each of your birthdays are GREAT. Thank you Serna family in Virginia for the dearelder! I love reading those! Love you! Thank you for all the prayers and support. I feel it every day! I have never been so tired in my life. But I am SO DANG HAPPY! I don't get it! I love you all so much and hope you have the best week!

Besos y Abrazos,
Hermana Squire