Tuesday, June 24, 2014

June 24, 2014 letters to dad and mom

June 24, 2014

Hi daddy!

I love you!

Yes, I love the people of Guatemala. I love the people that we teach and love seeing how the Gospel can change their lives and how it changes their lives.

 Girls camp will be good - you always enjoy Girl`s Camp. And I can`t believe that Chester is 8. That doesn`t seem real to me. But, that`s life, I guess. It`s always going by faster than you think and faster than you want.

That`s a great idea - having the missionaries work more with the youth to help them prepare. It`s true - the more you know before your mission, the more time you can spend in your studies studying for the people you`re going to teach.

And yes. That is true. You will have at least one convert on your mission if you`re doing all you can - yourself.

Yay...Sister missionaries! Just love them. It`ll be good for the ward.

President Brough is going home today. By the end of the day, we`ll have President Markham. We`re all a little sad to see President Brough leave, but here`s to being exactly obedient and diligent in all things, still. We`ve learned principles from President and Hermana Brough and those won`t change.

We had a "last conference" with President Brough last Thursday and it was amazing. We learned about principles that aren`t going to change in our lives (being exactly obedient, having faith, working diligently, and a few others). I know that as we learn principles in our lives, we can move forward in the faith that everything will be alright and that we`ll have the guidance of the Spirit. 

Thank you for all the prayers and the support of coming on a mission. Something that President Brough told us was "Be changed". Allow the mission to change you. I know that in the mission, you learn so much. About service, the Gospel, yourself, and how to work with other people. It prepares you for life. And I can`t think of my life now without my mission. I know that this is the Lord`s work and anyone who comes on a mission to work hard, to give it your all, will be blessed. Heavenly Father will never curse someone for serving a mission - only blessings. Will it be hard? Definitely. Will it tax your strength? Without a doubt. Is it worth it? Yes - infiinitely worth it. I know that. I can`t see the changes in me, but I know that I am changing for the better and that this work is bringing souls unto Christ and when we "lose ourselves and go to work", we``ll be converted, too.

I love you, dad! I pray for you and mom and our family every night! I love you!

Con MUCHO amor,

Hermana "Your Sunshine" Conover

June 24, 2014

Hi momma!

I love you!

Thanks for sending the package!

Interesting stuff happening at home, right? I`ll keep it to myself - but thank you. It`s good to know. And of course I`ll be nice to the other missionaries. We are different, but we`re working towards the same goal of bringing souls unto Christ in His vineyard. Thanks for the reminder. Really.

Today, president Brough goes home. We`re getting a new mission President - President Markham. He`s from California (but I don`t remember where). I`m excited to work with another mission President and to continue working with everything I have. With all my heart, might, mind, and strength. 

Today in District Meeting, we talked about the importance of listening to the Spirit in our daily doings (chapter 4 in Preach My Gospel). Sometimes, as missionaries, we count too much in our own strengths and abilities and don`t listen as we should. We get caught up in what we`re doing wrong with the language or something happened that makes us sad, or what have you. But as we listen and rely more on the Spirit, we can have the assurance to do what the Lord wants us to do. If we`re being exactly obedient, wee are being diligent, and have our faith and help it to grow through our studies and prayers, then we have the promise of having the guidance of the Spirit. I know that learning to listen to the Spirit is like learning a language - it takes practice and effort on our part. But I also know that as we are learning to recognize the Spirit and ACT on these promptings, then we can see the guidance of the Spirit in our lives and our testimony grows a little bit more. And then, after a time, we have the assurance and testimony that we can listen and follow the Spirit. I love being able to see the Spirit work in missionary work. I know that the Lord guides is through the Spirit. Hermana Claudia - she was a contact I had on a flete and she was mas o menos. Not extremely positive but not negative, either. But, one day, we were working in an area and I had the thought to look for her. We did and she was a three week miracle. I know that it was the Spirit that guided us to her house. It wasn`t us - it was the Spirit. We put forth our effort - we contacted, we talked, we opened our mouths, and followed through, and then the Spirit guided us to her home. 

I know this is the Church of Jesus Christ in these latter-days. We need to help our brothers and sisters find the Gospel. There are many waiting and don`t know where to find the truth, but are waiting. We need to give them as many opportunities as we can to help them see the light of the Gospel and find this path back to our Heavenly Father with our families.

I love you, mom! I pray for you and dad and our family every night! I hope everything is well back home!

Con MUCHO amor,

Hermana "Sweetie" Conover

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

June 17, 2014 letters to dad and mom

June 17, 2014

Hi daddy!

I love you!!!

Happy (belated) Father`s Day! 

Aw, man - I wanted to drive the Bobcat when I got home...I guess that won`t happen, nwo that yuo`ve moved the rocks. Oh, wait! You`re going to change it again, so I still can next year! :)
That`s funny that you should mention water running downhill - there`s a place a little outside of our area where the water runs uphill. There`s a dip in the road where it looks like you`re going downhill and if you put your car in neutral, you`ll start rolling up the hill. I`ve never been there, but I`ve heard about it. So that`s good that water still runs downhill there. 

And yes, we had 5 baptisms this week. I still can`t believe it. And her husband is going to come to church next week and we`re going to help him be prepared to be baptized for the 6 of July. I`m excited for them - they`re going to be a strong family in the Church.

It`s ok - we all make mistakes. There are days when I make some pretty silly mistakes that I usually never do - switch a word in Spanish, what have you - but it`s ok. If we make mistakes, it means we`re trying to do better. There are still some parts of Spanish grammar that are hard for me and I still make mistakes with it, but we move forward. We correct, repent, and move forward with a firm faith in Christ.

This week I`m reading Helaman (well, I finished it today) and I was impressed by samuel the prophet and how he proclaimed repentance and faith to the people. hat`s what we`re here for - to invite people to come unto Christ through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, Repentance, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. And the first two principles are really what start it all. If people have faith, they`ll want to repent and will have the faith to be forgiven of their sins. If they repent, they`ll want to show that repentance and their willingness to change through baptism. And baptism by water isn`t complete without that of fire, through the Holy Ghost. And after that, we don`t just sit back and relax but we work, we endure to the end. I know that this is the Gospel of Jesus Christ and how it is the only way we can return to the presence of our loving Heavenly Father (2 Nephi 31:20-21). 
I love you, dad! I pray for you and mom and our family everyday! I hope that you are doing well and remember that "It`s all good! ¡Está todo bien!"

Con MUCHO amor,

Hermana Pumpkin Conover

June 17, 2014
Hi momma!

I love you!

The crafts sound fun and that it kept the kids focused on other things than bugging Kelly. :)
That`s cool how you got to talk to a former mission president`s wife. What kind of questions did she ask? The CCM president is President Nicolayson. He`s home now, there`s a new CCM president. 

It`s weird to think that in a week we`re going to have a new mission President.  We`re going to have two conferences this week - one for one half of the mission and another for the other half. We`re having ours on Thursday.  It`s also weird to think that for a lot of the missionaries, this will be the last time that they`ll see President Brough. Maybe not for the Nortes (North Americans), but for some of the Latinos, it will be the last time (in this life). But, we`re excited to meet President Markham and his wife and to learn from them, as well. We`ll still continue being exactly obedient and diligent and work on increasing our faith. I am grateful for the lessons that President and Hermana Brough have taught me here in the mission about obedience and love and faith and diligence. I will carry these lessons with me throughout my life. And now, we have the opportunity of learning from another man called of God to be a mission president and work and pray hard. I know that this is the Lord`s work and He calls people to do this work. He doesn`t call the qualified, but qualifies the called.

We had 5 baptisms this week on Sunday - and the Elders in our branch also had 5, so we had a joint baptism. It was really good and I`m excited for them. They`re going to do great things in the church. And the sister that we baptized, we`re going to help her husband prepare to be baptized the 6 of July. He`s going to come to church this week and I`m excited that they`re going to be a strong family in the church.

This week I have been learning about humility. Humility isn`t a weakness, but a sign of spiritual strength (Preach My Gospel, chapter 6, "Humility"). The opposite of humility is pride. But being humble means that we submit to the Lord`s will and do what He wants us to do. We pass through trials, it`s true, but we can have the faith and peace and strength to move forward and learn from our experiences. Through the Atonement, we can have help to do what we need to do and change what we need to change. I know that through the Atonement of Christ - His sacrifice for each of us - we can become better and clean from our sins. It`s only through this sacrifice that we can go back to the presence of our loving Heavenly Father. It`s only through this sacrifice that we can find peace - true, everlasting peace that is only the peace Christ can give and not the peace of the world.

I love you, mom! I hope that you are doing well and know that I pray for you and dad and our family everyday!

Con MUCHO amor,

Hermana Conover

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

June 10, 2014

 Hi daddy!

I love you!
That`s great about Sarah`s baptism. 
Yeah, I understand about a hot house - every time we get back to our house, it`s pretty hot inside. But, we have fans and we`re living the mission life. :)Well, I don`t know. I actually don`t know how hot it is here. But I`m pretty much used to it now. It`s not that bad. 
And I usually just eat cereal, too, at night. In the morning it`s cereal or oatmeal or a scrambled egg sandwich, but at night, it`s almost always cereal. 
This week I have become very grateful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. And prayer. And how the two are connected. To access the Atonement, we need to pray for help. We need to have the humility to bend our knees, kneel down, and ask. Heavenly Father knows what we need, but He waits for us to ask. I know that. I also know that Heavenly Father always answers our prayers, but we have to wait in His time and His way. We don`t always get our answers when WE want them, but we will receive them when He wants us to have them. One example of that was yesterday. I prayed to have the strength for this upcoming week (we have 5 people we`re preparing to be baptized this Sunday, and we know Satan is going to attack either us or them or both) and received strength last night and during today. I know that God answers our prayers. We just have to have the patience to wait for the answers and miracles. And we have to work to get them, as well, and not just sit back, relax, and wait. With diligence and obedience with exactness, we will see miracles in our lives and the lives of other people, as well.
I love you, dad! I can`t wait to see the shirts you picked out for me! (mom told me) I love you and pray for you and mom everyday! And our family, too. 
Con MUCHO amor,
Hermana Pumpkin Conover


Hi momma!

I love you!
I`m using my contacts here in Patulul - it rains so much and so hard that it`s a ton easier to use contacts than glasses. 
I was reading a talk by President Eyring yesterday that`s about challenges. It`s from April Conference 2012 and it`s called "Mountains to Climb". I`ve been looking for this talk and I finally found it. He talks about why we have challenges and I liked what he said towards the end. He said that we have challenges because our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ want us to "fit" in their presence with our families. He then spoke of his mother and how she went through 10 years of cancer before she died and how President Kimball said that it was because Heavenly Father wanted her to be more "polished". If we`re going through challenges, we can learn from them. It might be through our disobedience or because our loving Heavenly Father wants us to grow, but we can always learn from our challenges in life. 
It`s like you said, Jesus Christ knows what we go through and our feelings. The nurse of the mission went home two transfers ago and she bore her testimony about how she doesn`t know of any doctor that took the sickness in their own bodies to know how to treat it. Christ did. He took all of our challenges and sicknesses and everything over Himself so that he would know how to "succor" us (Alma 7:12).
Thank you for getting the package ready and for the prayers. I have felt them this past week. I love you and pray for you and our family everyday.
Con MUCHO amor,
Hermana Bugaboo Conover

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Letters to Dad and Mom June 3, 2014

June 3, 2014

Hi daddy!

I love you!

I did not get your email last week, and that`s why it was a joint letter. 

¡Que bendición! (what a blessing!) Working with the Stake Young Men program? That will be exciting. Just remember to help them prepare for their missions. :) It starts in the home and after, the young men program.

I love the pictures - I can`t wait to see those name tags for real on them. :)

And what a great experience with doing baptisms and helping more with the other side of missionary work (because it`s the same work, like it says in Preach My Gospel).

If you`re making jam, just remember that it`s the sugar that makes it good. :)

Yeah, my new companion is named Hermana Flores. She`s from Peru and a really hard worker. We`ve only been together for a week, but I love working with her. We teach well together and help each other. She only has four more months in the mission than I do. And she has been a trainer two times.

And we had a baptism this week - Julia. She`s the daughter of the hermana that got baptized last week. And we found a family this past week that came to church (without the dad) - the mom and her 7 kids came to church. Four of her 7 kids are older than 8, so we`re planning on helping them be baptized the 15 of June. 

Today I read in Alma 56-57 about the sons of Helaman. And I love verse 48 in chapter 56 - "they did not doubt their mothers knew it" and I thought of you and mom. You and mom have raised us in the Gospel and are still helping us with your testimonies. I don`t doubt that you and mom are strong in the faith and that you both do what the Lord wants you to do.

Thank you for everything, dad. Maybe when I wsa growing up I didn`t appreciate all the lessons you taught me, but now I do. I am grateful for the things I have learned from you and all the love that you have for us.

I love you, dad! I pray for you and mom and our family everyday!
I love you! It`s all good!

Con MUCHO amor,

Hermana Pumpkin Conover

June 3, 2014

Hi momma!

I love you!

Yes, we have a cook. She cooks lunch for us. In our area, we have a washing machine (I think the only house in the mission of normal missionaries that has one). We get up at 6:20 and start exercises at 6:30, get ready from 7-8 (breakfast, shower, etc.), study personally from 8-9, study as a companionship from 9-10. On Mondays, we have P-Day from 10-5. on Tuesdays, we have district meeting from 10-11 and internet. The rest of the days, we have language study from 10-11. On Thursdays, we have weekly planning from 11-1. And the other days, teach in the morning and have lunch around 1. We work from 1_30 to 9. 9-9:30 we plan for the next day and from 9:30 to 10:30, we get ready for bed, eat, and prepare for the next day. 

My new companion is from Peru and is named Hermana Flores. Hermana Johnson went to Sololá (my old area). And yesterday it rained all day and when we started to work, it had stopped, but there were all these little bugs flying around everywhere. It was weird, but interesting. And no other critters have been found recently.

There are always mosquitoes in the coast and yes, we use bug spray. Usually it rains pretty hard for an hour every day, and then it`s nicer outside (not as hot). There are these stores called "tiendas" that are like mini marts, but have more food. And we have a "dispensa" and it`s a branch of Wal-Mart that`s a lot cheaper. We email from internet cafes in town.

Yes, we have a church building here in Patulul. We have one branch here and I don`t know how many youth - maybe 15? And our attendance is usually 130.

Yeah, they`re called "alfombras" and there are still stencils on the ground - they painted them with paint.

That`s so funny - the dinner with CV1. I can imagine. And the Hoys are back rfom their missions? When did that happen?

And this idea about "grow the ward" is interesting. There`s a part of Preach My Gospel (chapter 13) that talks about working with ward leaders and I really liked the end of the chapter where it talks about what the members can do to have missionary experiences. I know that when missionaries and members work together, the work progresses so much more.

And yeah, dad told me that he`s the new 1st counselor in the stake young men presidency. That`ll be good for him and fun, as well. Just remind him about missionary work and helping the young men prepare for missions.

We found a family this past weekend - a couple and 7 children. 4 of the children are above the age of 8 and we`re helping them prepare for baptism this 15 of June. They came to church on Sunday (without the dad - he works everyday in the morning, but we`re working with him). I`m excited for  them.

I read Alma 56-57 today and kept thinking of you and dad. Of all the things that have changed in my life, the knowledge that you and dad have testimonies has not changed. "They did not doubt their  mothers knew it". I don`t doubt that you and dad know that this Gospel is true. Your testimonies have helped me through the years and are still helping me with your examples. I have my own testimony now (in comparison to when I was younger), but your testimonies strengthen mine.

I love you so much, mom. I pray for you and dad and our family every day. 

I love you! It`s all good.

Con MUCHO amor,

Hermana Sweetie Conover