Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Twins, New Shoe, "Sin" vs. "Fish"


Twins!!!  Hermana Eubanks and Hermana S

1.  Tell me about your companions.  What are they like?  Exactly where is Hermana K from?

I'll start with Hermana S. She's super funny!  Honestly, she's probably the rock of this companionship. Hermana S is the best at Spanish so far (not that I'm comparing myself or anything) and is also the best at working with Hermana K. I'm the one who makes sure things sort of get done on time, she's the one who adds life to the group. These companionships really are inspired, because I know that if she wasn't a part of the trio I might not have made it past those first few weeks. She teaches me all about Utah culture and Mormon history stories, too, since I'm apparently lacking in that department. She's always super stylish and very good at being a friend. She always makes fun of me for saying "y'all" and in turn I pick on her for saying "Oh my heck".

Hermana K is from Kiribati Island, or the Gilbert Islands. Fun fact, the first missionaries were sent there in 2006. They had no way to learn the language, so they were sent to the MTC here to study doctrine and how to teach, and then sent to the Island to learn it by themselves. One of the teachers here told us that.   One of his friends was one of the first missionaries to serve there. 

Hermana K is hilarious! She’s always doing something funny. She eats lots of food, too. She has ice cream with every meal, and puts ketchup on just about everything, including cucumbers, rice, Chinese food, breakfast stuff, etc. She is always singing songs or laughing about something!

2.  Do they have any workshops there for you missionaries?  When I was there they had a workshop on scripture study, one on driving (for those who would be able to drive a car), etc.  Or do you just go to class every day as usual?

Just class every day. Lately we've been convincing some of our teachers to help us understand some things, like the Second Coming and the Book of Revelations.  

3.  How are they teaching you Spanish?  Do you have grammar time, vocabulary time, teach discussion time, or how is it structured?  Does that even make any sense?  Lol

Ok, we have an hour of learning something new (grammar), an hour of teaching, an hour of how to teach, and then usually in the night we teach and learn about the scriptures and how to help others come closer to Christ. We teach maybe two or three lessons a day. Everything we learn is taught to us in Spanish, too, so we are constantly learning the language.

4.  Do you exercise every day?  If so, what do you do?  If not, why not?  J

 YES. Gym is probably my favorite time of day. We play Volleyball every day. Hermana S and Hermana K are really good. I feel like I've started to get a lot better.  Hermana S almost always plays on the team opposite of me, and she does this thing called "Jump Serving" where she throws the ball up, runs, jumps, and hits it super hard in the air. I'm usually the one who has to try and return it, and it’s like trying to stop a meteor with your arms.

5.  What was good in the cafeteria this week?

Chicken Cordon Blue with mashed potatoes and vegetables. Hermana S doesn't like vegetables so I always eat hers :)

6.  Evan wants to know if you have tried the orange juice.  (Some of the missionaries serving in our area told Amy not to drink the orange juice because it makes everyone feel sick.  Sounds like a rumor to me…)
 Ew, no. Orange juice is gross. (Amy doesn’t like orange juice!)

7.  Evan said you smelled the tree that smells like cream soda.  What was that like?  What kind of tree is it?

Evan is wrong, I didn't get to smell it, but I asked Sister Ramsden where it is. She got her Visa, by the way! Tell Evan that he better send me a letter... or else...

8.  Have you heard anything about your visa? 

Nope. I'm starting to get concerned. Nobody has heard anything about theirs either. 

9.  Do you realize you are halfway done with the MTC?

YES. ITS WEIRD. Seriously, that first week was so so so so slow, and now it’s like I blink and a week goes by.  In three weeks Imma be in Argentina.

10.   Did you know that the actress who plays Snow in Once Upon a Time (Ginnifer Goodwin) and the actor who plays Charming (Joshua Dallas) are married in real life and she is very pregnant?  Ha ha – that has absolutely nothing to do with your mission!!!

Nope, I didn't know that. I told my district so they could know too. They didn't know that either.

11.  Who was your devotional speaker last week?  What was it about?

Dallin H Oaks. I'm gonna be honest, I don't remember what he talked about. I'm sure it was interesting, but I was feeling particularly homesick that night and I was considering some of the stuff that I learned and I was mostly lost in my own thoughts. Yeah, I know, I should have paid attention.

12.  What new things have you learned this week?

About the Second Coming and how it is extremely possible, if not likely, that Christ could actually return while I'm alive. Spanish-wise we learned future tense and past tense and NC/PIG.

13.  Are you feeling confident about being a missionary?

About being a missionary? Yeah. About Spanish? No. I know all the things I want to tell people, I know what I want to say, what I need to say, but I don't know how to say it.

14.  What new thing have you learned in the scriptures this week?

That the Doctrine and Covenants are really cool. It’s not just writings of a prophet, it is things that God has said to us. It’s not "Joseph said" its "God/ Jesucristo said".  And about the seals in the Book of Revelations.

15.  How is it reading the scriptures in Spanish?  Does it make any sense to you yet?

Nope. Before bed me and my companions all read together and I still have no clue what's happening most of the time. There are some words and tenses that I'm starting to recognize now, so I'm making some kind of progress.

16. What requests do you have for your next package?

Could you send me a few pairs of socks? And a small sketchbook? Haha, and maybe some pretzels? I'm going through withdrawals. If there is anything else you want to send, too, that would be awesome!!

17.  Did you do anything different today for P-day?

Not today, really. We went shopping on main campus, which is always an experience -  haha. They have more things to do up there. 

18.  What was the funniest thing that happened this week?

I wrote it to you in a letter, so if you want to transfer it to the blog you can. It’s the contact conversation practice that Hermana S and I did with Hermana K.  (Note from Mom:  I haven’t gotten the letter yet)

Something else funny that happened this week is that Hermana K hurt her foot and has to wear an ankle brace (that’s not funny, I know, but the funny part is after). So she gets out of the doctor’s office for the last time (we had to travel to main campus, then off campus to a medical place, then back to main campus) and she shows us her brace and says, "I have a new shooooe". She later stopped liking her shoe, though. 

She gets her “L’s” and her” R’s” mixed up.  So she asked "How do you say in espaniiiirrr?" (Instead of “espanol”)and "No me guster este zabaters" (No me gusta este zapato - translation "I don't like this shoe"). There is also the way we all keep mixing up the words "Pecado" (sin) and "Pescado" (fish).

 It snowed yesterday, actually. Is Utah even real?! What kind of crazy place snows in the summer??

Love,

Amy

Hermanas S and K


Hermana K....was she cold?


Our district and one of our teachers


Hermana K's new shoe


At Sub-Zero


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Easter, Protestors, and President Uchtdorf


Those mountains!


1.  How is the Spanish going?  Is your head swimming with Spanish? 

Spanish is hard. I know in reality its nothing like Mandarin Chinese or something, but learning a new language is still really tough. I can say what I want, what I can do, and what I should/must do, what I like, what I need, and pray and bear a testimony effectively in Spanish now. That’s progress. There are still tons I don't understand, but after only being here for two weeks I can sort of carry on a conversation, so I guess that’s impressive. The gift of tongues is seriously real. El don de Linguas, the gift of tongues in Spanish, is something that really happens. It isn't what everyone thinks it is, like being able to suddenly speak perfectly, but we learn so fast because of it and we remember things in the moment so well.

2.  What has the weather been like there?  Do you go outside at all during the day, like walking from building to building? 

Windy and sorta chilly. We walk outside everywhere. Everything requires walking outside, which I love because we get a lot of fresh air between those crazy long classes.

3.  How do you like the MTC choir? 

Yeah, I love the choir!!! I love the director and the music. It’s nice to sing. Honestly, it’s probably keeping me sane, too. They've broadcasted every performance we've had so far because of the speakers. All of the other MTCs (there are 15 throughout the world) got to hear us sing!

4.  Who was your “mystery speaker” for Easter?

UCHTDORF. MOM, PRESIDENT UCHTDORF CAME AND SPOKE ON EASTER. IT WAS AWESOME. HE SHOOK MY HAND AND TOLD ME TO HAVE A HAPPY EASTER. He walked around afterwards and shook as many hands as he could, and since I had one of the front row seats (sorta) HE SHOOK MY HAND!!  His talk was amazing! He talked about the incredible resurrection of Christ, and the fearlessness of Peter after the resurrection. Look it up on the Church News. Since I sang in the choir and I was on the front row, they took like 50 pictures of me for the Church News, so you should check it out and see if any of them made it on there. It was probably the best Easter I've ever had. The Spirit was so strong the entire day, and I've never considered the amazing Resurrection of Jesus, our Savior, as much as I did this past Sunday. Neil L. Anderson also spoke last Tuesday. We have someone else tonight, too, and word on the street is that it’s Holland, but we'll see.

Note from Mom:  Here is a link to the Church News about President Uchtdorf's visit. 

Amy isn't in any of the pictures - but there are only five of them posted.

5.  How is “Salvador?”  Do you have any new "fake" investigators?

Salvador agreed to be baptized, but then the teacher playing him graduated, so we don't have any more lessons with him. We now have Jordan, Gabriela, and Nelson. "Nelson" is from Argentina, so I'll get to hear the Castashano (sp?) Spanish, which is what they speak down there.  (Note:  She is referring to “Castellano” Spanish.  The Argentines pronounce the Spanish letter “ll”, which is normally pronounced like an English “y”, with a soft “sh” sound.)

6.  Have you learned anything new about Argentina?

Nope. 

7.  Just how dry is it there?  Is your skin dry?  Are you lips dry?

Yeah, I put on lotion all the time and Chapstick has become my new best friend (sorry y'all). My hair dries super fast here, though, so I can shower in the morning and my hair will be completely dry in like twenty or thirty minutes.

8.  What impresses you most about the MTC?

Honestly, how wonderful the grounds always look. We refer to the MTC as holy ground, not like a temple, but still holy ground. Think about it, this is one of the places where God sends His missionaries to be trained to bring others closer to Christ. You can practically feel the Spirit radiating everywhere.

9.  How large is your branch on Sunday?  Where do you meet?

There are maybe 15 people in my branch total. We meet in the chapel near my apartment. I lead the music, lol.

10.  How do you like the Provo Temple? 

I like it, but I like the Atlanta one better. This morning, though, I had the most amazing feeling afterwards. It was the Spirit and it gave me the most reassuring and happy feeling. This has been a tough week, so I really needed to feel that.

11.  Have you been wearing makeup?  Do your compañeras wear makeup? 

Yes. Every day so far except yesterday. Hermana Kantoa had never worn makeup before, but she bought some and we've showed her how to put it on. We taught her how to straighten her hair, too. She loves makeup and hair styles :)

12.  What did you enjoy eating this week in the cafeteria?

There was this pot roast stuff that was super good. These westerners are crazy. Literally, there are potatoes with every meal. EVERY MEAL. I mean, I love potatoes and all and they taste great, but get some green beans or something. Sheesh.

13.  Are you getting used to the water there?

Yeah. Sometimes its gross but lately I've been ok with it. It helps that I'm always super thirsty.

14.  What are you studying in the scriptures now that has impressed you?

Ammon and Aaron. They are the best missionaries ever. The conversion stories that are in the Book of Mormon that are about them are the best! It is a wonderful guide about how to bring others closer to Christ. The Book of Mormon is just amazing. Everyone should read it. It is the most correct book in the world and it is the word of God. I know it is.  I've read it. 

15.  What is the funniest thing that happened this week?

Oh man where to start. First of all, everything Hna Kantoa says is hilarious. She gets her 'L''s and her 'R's mixed up. She asked how to say something in españir (instead of español), and we found out that she didn't know Hna Saunder's name because it's too hard to pronounce. We spent a whole night quizzing her on everyone's name. The best thing was that we were trying to explain to her what having a crush meant. Just so you know, the MTC is filled with cute guys. Seriously, everyone here is good looking. So my district and I talk about them a lot lol. We don't flirt, don't worry, but we were explaining how we had some crushes and Hna Kantoa didn't know what that meant. So we explained it to her and then a few days later a guy waved at Hna Saunders and Hna Kantoa whispers, "You crush him?" It was hilarious, so no, we don't have crushes on people, we just crush them. 

Ok, so there are protestors here. Only a few, but even just one protestor is enough to be annoying. First they were on main campus earlier this week. They had these huge signs and were yelling and one guy was playing this weird horn thing. We had an appointment up there and we got stuck on a street corner with one. He started asking me if I saw the blood moon and was going on about the Passover, and then realized that Hna Kantoa is a foreigner and started asking her where she's from and that was able to save us because then the bus came before he could start harassing us. The other sisters in our district weren't as lucky. They missed the bus and one of the guys started following them and was yelling about Joseph Smith and how they don't know anything about their own religion. They went and hid by security. Today they were protesting outside the temple, and we went the long way to avoid them. Some other sisters got yelled at by them about how we are sending people to hell and blah blah blah. I don't get it. Why would you protest at the MTC? We've all just devoted our lives to serving God. Yelling at us isn't going to make us change.  I guess the fact that people protest for the sake of degrading The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints only proves just how true this church is. If the true church of God was on the earth, then wouldn't Satan do anything to oppose it? This is the True Church. This is the Church Jesus Christ himself established. It has been restored and is run by a living prophet of God. People are going to protest. The world will try to stop us, but that won't ever change the church. That won't ever make us stop growing and following Christ.

Mi Corazon,

Hermana Eubanks


Superhero Easter Bunnies???






Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Settling in at the MTC

(Note from Mom:  Each week we will send her a list of questions in an email.  We are hoping this will help her know what to write since she will have a limited time on the computer each week.)

Ok, here goes the question answering thing.

1.  What is your daily schedule like? 

Wake up at 6:30. Wake up my compañeras. Eat at 7:45, class until 12:45, lunch, Class until 5:45, dinner, Class until 9:30, then we go back to the apartment and I shower and we go to bed. One of those class periods is usually personal and companion study, and language study.

2.  What is your favorite thing in the cafeteria so far? 

Maple Donuts!  lol. The meals change every day, so I always try and get one of the meals instead of eating just cereal or something. They usually have the donuts at breakfast so I like to eat one then :)

3.  Tell us about your teachers. 

My teachers are all super cute, and by cute I mean hot. Except the girl ones, but they are really funny. There is Hermano Day, Hermano Litzenberger, Hermano Wilkes, and Hermana Arbon.

4.   What is the funniest thing that has happened this week? 

There are too many to choose from!! Hermana K is hilarious. Yesterday I was taking a picture of Harold the duck and she just jumped clear over the stream, chased him, then jumped on a rock, sat down, and just stared singing. Hermana S and I were just like, "What? No!! You can't be in there!!"

5.  What is the most important thing you have learned this week? 

To chill out. Listen for the spirit in lessons and don't stress too much about knowing how to say everything. Stress is bad and if you spend too much time freaking out you won't be able to work properly.

6.  Is your bed comfortable?  Are you in bunk beds, and if so, are you top or bottom? 

No bunk beds and no, my bed is awful. I only have one blanket, so I've been sleeping in those cuddle dud things because it gets real cold at night. We would have had bunk beds, but because we are a trio we had to bring in a mattress from another room so we can all sleep in the same room. Hmna K has the floor mattress because she says she will fall off if she sleeps on the bed. lol

7.  How many books do you have for your Spanish study?  

Five and a Spanish set of scriptures.

8.  Are you in the MTC choir?  I highly recommend it – it is an awesome experience.   

YES. FIRST PRACTICE IS TODAY!!!

9.  What are you doing on your first p-day? 

First we went to the temple, then we swung by main campus, now we are emailing and next we will be doing laundry and eating lunch.

10.  Where are your compañeras going for their missions? 

Hma S is going to the same one as me, and Hma K is going to Dominican Republic West.

11.  Are there any turtles in the MTC? 

NO :( But there are ducks, who I have named Harold, Tony, and Denise)

12.  Have you seen any cute guys?  (Not that you are thinking about that, of course!  J

There are cuties EVERYWHERE. Sometimes it’s hard to concentrate at meals because some cute guys in my district will start talking to me.  lol

13.  Is your compañera from the islands as happy and nice as Elder Balewai was?  (The Elder from Fiji)

Yeah, at first she was super closed off and scared and unhappy I think because she doesn't speak good English and she felt different because she isn't going to the same mission, but now she has opened up and is super happy and funny. She just does the cutest things!

14.  How many people are in your district? 

Five, including myself. We are the second all girl district in the history of the MTC, I think.

15.  How did you like your first Sacrament meeting in the MTC? 

I appreciate church so much more now that I'm on a mission. Sacrament was awesome! Relief Society was great and I'm the official music leader for sacrament (no surprise). We also watched Music and the Spoken Word (a radio/TV broadcast with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir [MoTab for short] each Sunday morning) which was just what I needed. The MoTab sang pieces from Handel’s Messiah. My district doesn't appreciate that kind of music like I do, but I loved it.

16.  Did you already attend a weekly devotional?  If so, who was the speaker? 

We had a devotional on Sunday and the BYU Men’s Choir came and sang to us! IT WAS AMAZING. Tell Alan that one of the songs they sang was O Magnum Mysterium. They sang some cultural songs from Africa and New Zealand, hymns, and some Latin pieces. Look them up, they are super good!! We are having another devotional tonight and a mystery speaker on Easter :)

17.  What do you get when you cross a turtle and a flu shot?  A slow-poke!  

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

18.  Have you learned anything there about Argentina that you didn’t already know? 

They use the 'nos' word. . . thing. I don’t know, teachers haven't explained it because it’s not proper Spanish. None of my teachers served in my mission, by the way.

Everyone thinks it’s weird how I say “y'all”, by the way. It’s better than “Oh my heck”, though. lol
Sorry about all of the typos (Mom fixed them for her). I have less time to fix them because I have a bunch of emails and I have to help Hma K with her email. She doesn't have a camera so I'm taking enough pictures for the two of us so she can send some to her family too.

I love you all!

Amy

Hermana K, Hermana S, and me

Our room

Hermanas C and M

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Amy's First Email

Its not my p-day, but the branch president gave us ten minutes to email our family because he's the best branch president in the world. He is President Brady.

I'm in a threesome. My compañeras (companions - the n has the squiggle over it) are Hermana S, from Utah, and Hermana K, who is from an island off of Fiji and Tonga. I can't remember the exact spelling but I will send you the name of the island on my p-day, which is Tuesday. Both are super sweet! Hermana S and I work really hard to help Hermana K with her English, which is already really good. She has to learn English AND Spanish! She's incredible!  There are two other girls in our district: Hermana C and Hermana M. 

This is hard. The first day was the hardest. I was kinda homesick, but I haven't gotten too bad. As long as I'm focusing on working then I'm OK. Spanish is hard, but I've learned more over the past two days than I did in high school. 

I'm the senior compañera. I was scared that I would be the sister training leader, but they put Hermana Saunders in that. Senior companion is just enough responsibility for me to be busy and a little stressed, but not too much.

I'm on west campus for the MTC. I've only been to main campus a few times. West campus is for people who are learning Spanish. Unless we have some kind of special appointment (we did have some but I'll tell you about that on p-day) then we don't ever go there. 

I'm out of time! Be safe!  Tell everyone I love them! Bye!

Hermana Eubanks

Note from Mom:  "P-day" is "preparation day."  This is one day each week for the missionary to "prepare" for the coming week.  On this day they do things like shop for groceries, laundry, sight-seeing, or relaxing.  It normally ends at 5 p.m.

Missionaries are organized into "districts".  A district can be made up of anywhere from 4 to 12 or more missionaries.  While in the MTC Amy will spend her classroom time with the members of her district.  There are both Elders (the guys) and Sisters (or in this case, Hermanas) in each district.

Goodbye to Amy!

On the morning of April 9, 2014, Amy flew out of the Atlanta Hartsfield Airport to leave for her mission.
Dad, Evan, Alan and Amy

Goodbye to Evan

Alan never cries...

Sweet goodbye hug with Dad

Mom couldn't hold back the tears

Neither could Amy

Amy and Mom

Going through security

Christine picked Amy up at the Salt Lake City airport, made a quick stop at Temple Square, then drove her to Provo to the MTC (Missionary Training Center)

Amy will be greatly missed by her family but we are so proud of her desire to serve the Lord.

Note from Mom:  Each week I will post Amy's email and some pictures.  All  names will either be abbreviated to an initial or a nickname, which will protect their privacy, unless they give Amy permission to use their name.