This week was really cool because it´s been raining a lot and I love this type of weather. Our investigators have been going through a rough patch and they´re giving us a lot of excuses, but I know that with time, we´ll be able to find those people who are ready to receive the gospel. I got your letter and I really enjoyed being able to hold on to your letters here. we learned how to make braided bread from the member that we live with. It reminded me of making bread with Mom. It´s surprising how much I´ve learned about making bread that I didn’t think I learned. The weeks here go by so fast. It´s crazy. Also, I complete two months in my mission today!
here is a pic of Mary with her mission president and wife and one of herself alone after completing her MTC training in Spanish and the Gospel.
I´m currently serving in San Arate (Sanarate). My companion is Hermana Bonilla and she almost has a year into her mission. She´s sweet and very kind and in some ways, reminds me of you. We´re safe, and I have my mailing address.
Hermana Mary Elizabeth Mackelprang
Apartado Portal 340 A
Yesterday, I absolutely adored conference and all I could think of was the moments we spent at home, sitting around the TV as a family, and listening to the Prophet. I was privileged to be able to listen to conference in English. Yesterday I was homesick and Hermana Sonia, which is the woman we live with was making pancakes for dinner. She asked me how many I wanted and I told her two, she made me a third in the shape of mickey mouse. It wasn’t perfect but it was a tender mercy from the Lord because after conference while we were teaching a young boy named Angel all I could think about was home. I don’t think she had any idea how much that really meant to me, but I know that the Lord did. This is further proof that he is in the details of our lives and He knows how to comfort us, when we don’t have the adequate words to express it to other people.
We’re teaching a lot of people, two families went with us to conference. One woman named H who’s investigating the church wants to be baptized but her daughters are fighting against it. Then we have a less active member who came with her twelve year old daughter and much younger son. Her children aren’t members, we asked them to be baptized. I could see the light in their eyes when we talked about the temple and how much they desired to have an eternal family. I am so grateful to have been born under the covenant.
We’ve also been riding in these things called Tuk Tuks and I don’t know how to explain them. Some of the streets here are like San Francisco and it’s so refreshing to look out and see the beauty of the earth God has created for these people, I love where I am.
I love you and I pray for you. With much love, Mary
Mary’s first area of serving is Sanarate in El Progreso (region) with it’s 15,843 habitants is located in Guatemala – about 25 mi (or 41 km) North-East of Guatemala City, the country’s capital town. Sanarate is the largest city in the El Progreso department of Guatemala.
Sanarate is a town within El Progreso. Sanarate has 43 aldeas (villages). some of the most popular are El Upayon, Agua Salobrega, Los Izotes and El Monte Grande. El Barranquillo is one of the many villages that belong to Sanarate. El Barranquillo celebrates its “virgen de Fatima festivities” from October 28 through November 1 or 2. Its festivities enlarge due to a national holiday called “el dia de los santos”.
Here is a pic of Mary and the missionaries in the Mission Home on 10/1/15
Below are some maps which show Mary’s first proselyting area in and around Sanarate Guatemala.
Sanarate is in the LDS Jalapa Guatemala Stake and has a ward in the city.
According to Mary, her most common mode of transportation is the “tuk tuk” as pictured below. Great gas mileage right??
You´ll never believe it. I sang There is a green hill far away solo, a Capella, for a devotional this Sunday. And so many people since then and told me that they felt the spirit and that I sang good. So that´s cool. This week has certainly been better, and it´s going by so fast. Today we ran into some sisters who were from my mission at the distribution center on the way back to the temple. So that was really cool. Our district has been playing a shooting dart game and that´s pretty fun too. Also, in the temple today, one of the old temple workers told me that my Spanish was good. I find myself questioning whether I even spoke English very much prior to now. Also, President Cox has workout videos and he worked out with us and it was pretty hilarious. Also, I´ve lost one pound. Every day our district gets closer and closer, we had some issues with our DL, but since then, we´ve been able to work through them and bond even more than normal. As we get closer as a district, I feel the love that God has for each of his children. I´m also learning alto for another song that my comps and I are going to sing with another district. I think I´ve finally mastered it. I also finished reading the Book of Mormon and I was so excited to finish reading all the last pages that I could hardly contain myself and my heart was beating inside my chest. I´d love to hear from other people from our family. Also, today we´re doing a plank relay, where other hermanas, 4, are each planking for two minutes all against just me. This week I made it to a solid 5. Whoever said you get fat in the MTC was wrong. I´ve been getting quite fit. I don´t know what else to say, but I love you both dearly and I wish the best with mom´s schooling and dad´s … I pray for everyone every night. Especially you both.
God be with you.
We got to watch (the movie) Ephriam´s Rescue and it reminded me of going to see it in Utah, a couple years back … I was really frustrated about the language and about speaking in a trio, but this week, after teaching our teacher who pretended to be an investigator, stopped me and he told me that everything is okay and that the lesson went really great. Going to the temple is such a peaceful experience. it´s so crazy how hard Satan will try to implant doubts into my heart about serving my mission. I get silly little doubts every day, but I know that that´s just Satan trying to tempt me and get me to go home. One quote I really liked from the movie, was “you´ve got to lose your life to find it.” I like it so much because I feel like that´s exactly what I´m doing right now. I know I´m being tempted and faced with so many silly doubts, that this is exactly where I’m supposed to be. Why else would Satan try so hard to discourage me? This week has been frustrating, but ultimately, I´ve learned a lot. I´ve learned to call upon the Lord in everything. Even little things. Today, I was able to talk to someone. I also experienced a tender mercy this week. I was having a rough time teaching in a trio and I ended up crying in one of the lessons with one of the new sister missionaries from this week. A teacher stopped me after, and asked me if I was okay, and I told her I was fine, but then I ended up admitting that I really wasn´t feeling all that well. She explained to me that on her mission she was in a trio for 9 months, and that she understood what it was like and how it felt and how important it was to communicate. I felt like she was the lord reaching his hand out to me as if to tell me that he understood that it´s hard, but no circumstance is beyond his power of consolation or understanding.
About Mary’s mom she said ” I don´t think I´ll ever really get homesick. I think I´m just momsick. I´m so grateful that we had the opportunity to become best friends because I don´t know how I ever would have lived the rest of my life before my mission, had you and I not become so close.”
Fotografias del grupo 6 de septiembre de 2015
Well, this week has been interesting. We as a trio really struggled with the language and bringing in the spirit but we´re getting better and I can feel our progress in each lesson. Our district is full of hilarious people who all make jokes but are also serious and it takes away from the stress and I really enjoy it. The food here is really good. Also, some new nortes (north American missionaries) came this week and also Latinos but none of them are from my mission yet and it makes me sort of nervous. I’ve been thinking a lot about you guys. My companions and I have a really close bond and Hermana Cox is like my mother sometimes and we´re always busy so I haven´t gotten as homesick as other people say they are the first week. I really enjoy it here. We listened to a talk by Elder Holland about the Atonement at the MTC in Provo and it was a couple years back (2006) but I really enjoyed it. It´s been hard to keep enthusiasm every day but I know that it´s worth it. This week, one of our teachers was really disappointed in our lesson, but we´ve really made a comeback. I pray for you guys every day.
I´ve been thinking about you a lot this week and I miss you. But things are going great here. On Saturday we got to teach a less active member, but we figured out today that she´s actually a(n active) member because she works at the temple and one of the elders who also taught her saw her. We taught an impromptu lesson on Sunday about the spirit and my trio is getting better at teaching.
Sundays here are amazing. The spirit is always so strong and me and my companions get along so well. I´m really lucky to have them. I also got back into running and I´m really proud of myself. One of the Latina Hermanas left early this morning for Costa Rica and she´s from Belize and she´s really sweet. I´ve also been thinking a lot about your homemade bread for some reason too.
Every time I sing a hymn I get shivers from the spirit and my companions and I are finally learning how to teach in a trio. It´s also election time here and there´s quite a few riots and I don´t think we´ll be able to go to the market because of them. I also ran into my mission president´s wife today and she was super nice and really tall.
Reading the Book of Mormon and doing anything here is so different than at home. The spirit is always so strong and my love for the people around me has grown so much. I´m so anxious to teach real people. Part of me thinks I´m ready for the field, but the other half of me knows that it´s not my time yet. So far, I´ve been the only hermana going to cuidad sur (city south). I´m nervous to meet people who are actually from my mission, but I know everything is going to be okay.
The food here is really good. I´m definitely well taken care of. We went to the temple this morning and it´s so amazing, even though it is smaller. I miss you guys and I love you guys. I know you´ll be strong because every day for me goes by so fast. I´m in here for six weeks. The first week is already over, and it doesn´t feel like it. I´m in a companionship trio because I guess they were expecting another girl to come but she didn´t.
I can definitely attest that what she´s saying is true. The Lord cares about his children, siempre. No matter who they are or who they used to be. The Spanish is coming slowly but surely. I know that by the end of these six weeks, I´ll have improved. I see improvements in myself every day.
Every day is so busy but I´m never tired. I know it´s the Lord´s work and living your purpose in life never gets tiring. The only time we have to ourselves is exercise and personal study. It´s crazy because I know everything I´m doing is for the lord and I love that I´m here. I´ve been really strong since I got here and often times, my companions look to me for help because I know Spanish and I can talk to people in Spanish. There are two Latina Hermanas that have become my best friends and I’m so sad that they only stay here for two weeks. It´s hard having to see them go, but I know somehow we´ll stay in touch. Also, police sirens and ambulance sirens go off almost every thirty minutes. It´s crazy. We´ve been outside a few times, and we´re safe, but I heard there´s a lot of riots going on because the Guatemalan VP or someone of importance, got arrested.
I only have five minutes to write to you guys, but I’m doing good and I made it here safely. it’s like the jungle version of Mexico. I’m safe and they’re already speaking Spanish to us. everything here is so different, but I know that its where I’m supposed to be. never before have I felt like I belong so strongly and so well. I’m typing on a Spanish keyboard so almost every word I write is underlined in red. the flight when really well and I’ve already made a friend. her name is sister hill and she’s from Utah. the weather was perfect when we got here and I had a burrito with eggs and guacamole in it with a black bean puree type of sauce. It feels so official and i hope that everyone is doing okay. …
We rode to the MTC in yellow school buses and the traffic was crazy. I feel like I’m going to learn the language really quickly. Guatemala is sort of like a mix in between civilization and jungle. where we are looks like a normal city, except there’s a lot of trees in the area and its really green here. it’s nothing like home. the air is fresh and cool. I hope everyone is doing okay. Hermana Mackelprang’s MTC