Tuesday, January 28, 2014

January 28, 2014
Hi daddy!

Yes, we drove back and forth 2 times last week to the Capital. it took about 4 hours, each way. It was fun. We got to know our new companions well and the new people in our zone, so it was worth it. So we had about 3 P-days last week, but we still had a lot of lessons this week, so it was good and it all worked out.

Afton is going to be a fantastic missionary. I hope she has success in her mission. She´ll do amazing things in Michigan.

It´s true - the sisters can help people in ways that the elders can´t. we´ve had three people basically pour out all of their worries to us in the past two days. Not in long 3 hour meetings with them. Just in twenty minutes each time. And we were able to help them. two of them, their son is on diverse paths and the other person, her family is being attacked by Satan in different ways. And we were able to help. During those lessons, I felt the Spirit so strongly and felt it guiding or words and what scriptures to share with them. Both types of missionaries are excellent in different ways and both have their strengths and weakenesses. I love missionary work and it is so important that we share this message with as many people as we can with the time that we have.

This past week in reading the Book of Mormon, I have been really impressed by Alma and Mosiah and their sons (that´s where we´ve been reading as a mission this week). Alma the older was a sinner that repented. Mosiah was the son of King Benjamin. both of these men were righteous men. They had sons that were the "vilest of sinners" that were trying to destroy the church of God. And then, they repented. They completely turned everything around in their lives and Alma the younger (or "Alma, hijo", in Spanish) was the High Priest and Chief Judge. And the sons of Mosiah couldn´t stand that there were people that hadn´t heard the Gospel (Mosiah 28:3). Alma the older taught about faith in Jesus Christ and repentance.
 All things he taught stemmed from those two things. All of the Book of Mormon testifies of Jesus Christ and the repentance process. I love that. I wish that I had studied more diligently from the scriptures before my mission instead of just reading them. there are SO MANY things in the Book of Mormon that are important for us to know (1 Nephi 6:4-6).

And we´re having a BAPTISM this weekend! We´ve been working with her since the end of december and she´s getting baptized this weekend with her husband´s younger brother. And her husband is going to baptize her. It´s going to be excellent.

And Spanish is coming along. there are words now that I can only think of in Spanish. Like "cumplir los mandamientos" takes a lot of brainpower to translate into "keep the commandments". Anyway, poco a poco, as always.

I love you, dad! I hope that everything is going well and thanks for the picture! And I´m also glad that the Temple is reopening this week. There are blessings there, too, that people are waiting for. On this side of the veil and on the other side, as well.

I love you!

Con MUCHO amor,

Hermana Pumpkin Conover

January 28, 2014

Hi momma!

Favorite scripture (or, my mission scripture) is Alma 26:12. I love that scripture. And if it can be Hermana, that´d be great.  That´ll be good. [Michelle is responding to her mom's questions about what she wants on her missionary plaque at the church.]  The three of us [Afton Jensen, Eleni Lui and Michelle grew up together] are hundreds of miles apart, but we´re still together. [on missions]

I´m excited for Afton. She´ll be a fantastic missionary.

The trip sounds fantastic and relaxing. I´m glad that you and dad got to do that. And it´s true that yes, the Temples are grand and big, but the ordinances that are done inside are priceless. And the picture that dad took of you isn´t cheesy (he sent it to me). you look like you´re doing well, and that makes me happy.

SueMac is 60? [a wonderful, dear  family friend]  She does not look 60. And you can tell her I said that. And tell her a happy belated birthday, as well.

This week was crazy. we basically had 3 p-days and not a lot of time to work, but hermana Euceda is a hard worker and obedient and diligent and I love working with her. We´ve been having more lessons in half days than we sometimes would have in a full day. Anyway, WE´RE GOING TO HAVE A BAPTISM THIS WEEKEND!!! we had to get special permission from president Brough for her to be baptized (it will have only been 8 days since she drank coffee and tea, it´s usually ten), but she´s getting baptized! We´re excited for her and she´s going to be a really good member of the church. she wants to teach in the church (like Relief Society teacher) and she´ll be a great member.

We finished Mosiah this morning and what has impressed me in the last few chapters of the Book of Mormon is that it says Alma (the older) taught nothing save it was about faith in Jesus Christ and repentance. And the last few chapters have been about faith in Jesus Christ and repentance. the conversion process of Alma the younger (or, in Spanish, Alma, hijo), the fact that the sons of Mosiah had been the "vilest of sinners" and went to teach the Lamanites, and faith in Jesus Christ. It shows that even if we mess up, if we commit errors or sins in our lives, we can repent and be forgiven. Like if says in Doctrine and Covenants, if we truly repent, "I, the Lord, remember them (the sins) no more". 
I love the Book of Mormon. I wish that I had read more intently before my mission, but I love reading the words of the prophets about Christ. EVERYTHING in the Book of Mormon points to Christ and if people say that it´s about Joseph Smith or is not doctrine of Christ, then they haven´t read it and are only listening to their preacher talk about the Church and haven´t asked Heavenly Father, in prayer, about the veracidad (truthfulness) of this message.

Well, on the Spanish side, there are now words that make more sense to me in English than in Spanish.[She means they make more sense in SPANISH than in English.} 
For example, for the life of me, I can only think of "estamos cumpliendo los mandamientos" and it takes A LOT of brain power to think of "we´re keeping the commandments". there are a few others, too, but that one if the most recent and prevalent. But, that´s O.K., I can relearn English when I get home. :)

I love you, mom! I hope you´re doing well and I hope you´re activity goes well (or, the planning for it).

Con MUCHO amor,

Hermana Bugaboo Conover

Thursday, January 23, 2014

January 23, 2014

Hi daddy!

I love you! I pray for you and mom and our family everyday.

I´m doing really good.  I have a new companion - her name is Hermana Euceda (A-u-say-da) and she´s from Honduras. She´s pilas (awesome, fantastic, etc., in Guatemala) and she´s obedient with exactness and diligent and we´re going to do fantastic things in Sololá. She only has one more change [transfer] than I do and we´re going to get along great, I can feel it.

The Spanish is coming along, como siempre. And We don´t learn the dialects.  There´s only one part of our mission that learns a dialect and there are Elders there, so I kind of know a few things (like what´s your name and goodbye), but I can understand a lot of it. It´s not pure Chat´chi´kel (I
have no idea how it´s spelled, that´s just how it sounds to me) and I can understand a little bit. Or, at least about Gospel stuff, I can understand. 

That sounds nice, going to Pismo. I hope you and mom have a good time.

Yeah, Afton [Jensen--newly called to serve a mission in Michigan] has been emailing me, expressing some of her concerns about the mission and I´ve just been helping her how I could. I would have loved to help her prepare more for her mission, but being hundreds of miles apart doesn´t help that. Anyway, I´m glad it helped her. And I love the things we learn in our BYU classes.

I do feel you love and the love of Heavenly Father, as well. We had the wonderful opportunity to hear from Elder Cook yesterday. And we got to shake his hand. Every missionary that was there. There were about 800 (missionaries from Sur, Este, and Centrál [South, East and Central Guatemala City Missions]). The talks were definitely inspired (from Elder Cook, his wife, 4 of the Area Seventies(. It wasfantastic. Elder Cook talked about how, on our missions, we have to have 4
different types of love for people - the people of Guatemala, our companion (and to learn from them), our Mission President and his wife (and Elder Cook explained how sometimes they assign missionaries because they feel hey need to be with a specific Misison President(, and love for the Lord.  I loved the talks and the Spirit was so strong.

And after, I saw my friend Savannah Roll who was in my Sophomore ward and is now serving in Guatemala Este. It was good to see her. And we´re definitely where we´re supposed to be where we´re assigned. Elder Cook explained the choosing process for calls and there is no mistake that
we´re where we´re supposed to be.

And I love two talks that I read from conference this morning - Wilt Thou be made whole? and Drawing Closer to God. I love those talks.

And in the work right now, we have a few investigators that could be baptized. We´re working with a girl right now who can be baptized this Sunday (she said that she knows the church is true and she´s gone to church 4 times), so we´re praying hard for a miracle baptism this weekend.

Anyway, I love you! I hope you´re doing well! I pray for you and mom andour family everyday!

Con MUCHO amor,

Hermana Pumpkin Conover

January 23, 2014

Hi momma!

I love you! I pray for you and dad and our family everyday.
You are one amazing woman and example to me. You´re always working with the ward and with our family. As you say, there´s no rest for the weary and I´m really beginning to understand that now.
I´m doing really good. 
I have a new companion - her name is Hermana Euceda (A-u-say-da). She´s from Honduras and she is pilas. I´m excited to work with her. She´s obedient with exactness and diligent as well. We´re going to do amazing things in Sololá.

One of the things we´re doing in Sololá is working with a girl who´s 16 and she just got married in December. She can be baptized this Sunday, but things are happening in her in-laws family and she says she´s going to wait till February. I know she can be baptized now and we´re going to continue to work hard and pray harder for her to be baptized sooner. She´s gone to church 4 times and she´s said that the church is true, so we´re going to work with her. And we´ve found some people in our area that (I think) are ready to listen and will be good members if they continue to listen.

And I love the people of Sololá. The members that work with us are amazing - they can speak the dialect and sometimes they contact people because they don´t seak Spanish. On Sunday, we did divisions (splits) and I went with one of the members of the ward. We ended up having 5 mini lessons in 3 hours. It felt good. We ended up having 9 lessons that day. It was good.

We had a conference yesterday with Elder Cook and misisons Este and Sur and Centrál. And everyone there got to shake Elder Cook´s hand. And The messages were amazing and inspired. Elder Cook talked about 4 loves we need on the mission - for our companions, the people, our mission President and his wife, and the Lord. Sister Cook did a singing activity with us and bore her testimony. And the area presidency was there, too. It was a really good conference. 
I saw my friend Hna. Roll (she was in my 2nd year of college in my ward). She´s in Este. One of my other friends said, "I heard they work you hard in Central" as in, "I´m sorry you´re working so hard" and I thought, I love it. It´s not bad. I love the work and it´s important to give EVERYTHING in these few months we have. I love the mission and I love that we work with diligence and obedience with exactness.

I read two conference talks this morning - Wilt thou be made whole (which talks briefly about Corrie ten Boom) and Drawing closer to God. They´re both great.

Food wise - breakfast, oatmeal or cereal with yogurt and O.J. and lunch changes everyday, 
Usually chicken, with tortillas, and some side (pasta with mayo, rice, black beans, etc.) and dinner, a sandwich or cereal after we plan.

I love you, mom. I hope you´re doing well! Don´t kill yourself by doing everything that you do!
I love you!

Con MUCHO amor,

Hermana Bugaboo Conover

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

January 14, 2014
Hi dad!
I love you!
About the Temple - I know I am going to go AT LEAST once a week when I get back. I love the Temple and not having the opportunity to go when I want has helped me realize that. I also want to work in the Provo Temple when I get back to Provo, but we will see how that goes.

Agency is a good thing. It is central to the plan that God has for us, so it´s kind of important. :)

This week, we taught a lesson where we taught 5 commandments in 20 minutes. It was pretty awesome. It was with a girl that just got married to a member. We´re teaching her and we think - really think and believe - that she can be baptized on the 26th. We´re praying for her and teaching her. She´s going to get baptized, it´s just a matter of when.

This week, I thought about the parable of the currant bush. I don´t remember who talked about it in conference, but someone did. It´s about a gardner who cut back a currant bush that was trying to grow into a tree. And the currant bush leaked out sap in the trunk as if it was crying and saying, "Why did you cut me back? I was growing into a grand tree and you cut me back. Why did you do that?" And then, with help from the gardner, the bush grew into a fruitful currant bush. 
We´re like that sometimes. We´re living our lives and then, God shows us a weakness. And we might have a reaction like the currant bush, "Why did you have to tell me or cut me back?". It´s a promise, actually, that Christ has made with us. As we come unto Christ, He will show unto us our weaknesses (Ether 12:27). As we come closer unto Christ, we see things in ourselves that we need to fix. And then, with the help of the Atonement, we can change. And then, we see something else, and the process continues. I mentioned that to my companion today, how the closer we get to Christ and as we work with our personalities to better ourselves and improve, we see more things that we need to improve. We´re continually becoming more Christlike (or, at least, that´s the goal) and He will show us what we need to improve.
Anyway, there´s my insight for the week. And something from the Book of Mormon, "O be wise; what can I say more?" (Jacob 6:12). That´s one of our favorites for the week.

I love you, dad! Have a wonderful week! Do good things!

Con MUCHO amor,

Hermana Pumpkin Conover

January 14, 2014

Hi mom!

I love you!

Wow, your weeks still sound as busy as they usually are. I feel tired for you. :)

NOTE: This next week, we won´t be emailing till THURSDAY the 23. DO NOT email or call President about this. I´ll email Thursday. Promise.

This week, we taught a lesson in 20 minutes and we taught 5 commandments in those 20 minutes. It was an inspired lesson plan, let me tell you. It was with a girl that just got married to a member and we´re planning that she´ll be baptized on the 26th. She´s going to get baptized - it´s just a matter of when. So we´re working with her and praying really hard.

We have changes [ed. note "transfers"] next week and Hermana Peterson thinks that she´s leaving (President told her as much this past week). So I´ll be in Sololá with a new companion.
[this next two paragraphs were a repeat from Michelle's Dad's letter.]
Currant bush story and comment paragraph--see above

In the mission, there´s always something that we can improve (I couldn´t remember that word in English - I had to ask Hermana Peterson what "mejorar" meant). Anyway, here´s to always improving in the mission and in life.

Oh - I´m still talking Spanish in my sleep and in my dreams. So here´s to moving forward with Spanish.

I love you, mom! Stay strong and I love you! Thank you for everything you do - your prayers, your example, and everything.

Con MUCHO amor,

Hermana Pooch-a-Rooch Conover

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

January 7, 2014 email to dad

To my favorite dad on earth,
I´m doing excellent. I love the work in Sololá and we´re finding people and teaching and preaching with authority and power. I love this work.
The bugs aren´t that bad. There´s only a few areas in our area where they´re bad, but if we keep walking, we´re usually good. And I´ve only woken up once from scratching my legs, but it´s not that bad.

Oh, and HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY!!! I thought you were turning 45? What did I miss? =)
We taught a Evangelical Pastor this past week and he kept bringing up polygamy and how the church of God is "without stain" (I think that´s what it is in English - it makes more sense in Spanish). Anyway, during that lesson, I realized how important it is to have a testimony that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God and that he received revelation from Heavenly Father. And, also during that lesson, the pastor kept saying, "Let´s JUST talk about Christ" and every time we tried to explain prophets or something else, he always brought it back to "just Christ". EVERYTHING in our message is about Christ and we teach about Christ, we write about Christ, and everything is about Christ (see 2 Nephi 25:26). Everything. Without Christ, we can´t get back to our Heavenly Father. Everything in the Book fo Mormon points to Christ and everything the Prophets preach about points to Christ and this Church is The Church of Jesus Christ. The thing is, we just have to teach about the things that point to Christ, but people don´t see that it points to Christ. I know that this is The Church of Jesus Christ in these Latter-Days. Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and loves us SO MUCH. That´s why He performed the Atonement and did everything He did for us and continues to do for us.
Last night, we had a lesson where we were teaching about prayer (well the Restoration and prayer) and when I was teaching how we pray, the Spirit was so strong. I realized (again) that prayers are answered. If we have a desire to know something or need something and ask with faith in Christ and that we´ll get an answer, real intent (we´re going to do what God tells us to do), and sincerely ask, we will be answered. The Lord will always answer in His own time and way, but He always answers our prayers.
Anyway, I love you! I hope everything is going well! Have fun with your new and old excavator! 
I love you!
Con MUCH amor,
Hermana Pumpkin Conover

January 7, 2014 email to mom

January 7, 2014
Hey Mom!

I don´t know where you heard that we have a computer, but we don´t. And we don´t have cell phones, either. We use phones in tiendas (stores on the corners) to make phone calls. [Michelle usually uses computers at e-mail cafes. [Mom misunderstood what Michelle said in an email to us.]

On a fun note—Hermana Peterson said that I talked in Spanish in my sleep last night.  Take that as you will I just think it means I’m learning a lot.

Tender mercy this week - we found a place in Panajachal that sells Grape Jelly. So that, along with the peanut butter Laura sent me, I´ve been able to have JIF and Concord Grape Jelly sandwiches. It´s almost gone, but what can you do. I´m just grateful that we found it. And it was only 24 quetz (which is like 3 dollars).
Anyway, this week has been good. We had divisions on Saturday to Sunday and it was fantastic. Hermana Turley (from Utah) is a hard worker and loves this work. Anyway, she helped us a lot and gave us new ideas to try in our area.

Can we still do volunteer work AT the Bishop Storehouse? Or no?

I love this work. It´s the best. This week we taught some really powerful lessons. And I´m getting to a point now where I can adapt what I say for the person we´re teaching. I think I did it before, but it really happened a lot this week, where we were changing the type of information we taught (not that it changes a lot, but you just emphasize different parts of the lesson). Last night, we were teaching someone who mostly understands Spanish, but the Ward Mission Leader helped a lot in translating for us. And for some reason, when we were teaching prayer, I really felt the Spirit really strongly in my heart. I almost started crying and Hermana Peterson was asking, "What´s wrong?" Nothing. Just the Spirit. I know that our loving Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. Maybe not in the time we want, but always in His time and His way. I love that knowledge. When we sincerely ask, are disposed to do His will, and have faith that we will receive, He will answer. I know that.

I hope that you´re doing well and I pray for you all the time!

I love you, mom.

Hermana Conover