Monday, March 25, 2013

 Sweet Innocent Sister From Orem

Dear family and friends,
I got your package!  Thanks Ladd for the peanut butter bars and mom for the bread and spandex!  We pick up our mail for the week later on in the day and as I was walking out I noticed the box and I thought, that has to be for me because no one else would use a box that was for those running shoes.
So I've been thinking about Ladd and Karli a lot because it was their birthdays this month, but I still haven't written, so in case it doesn't come this week, I hope you two had a great birthday!
So this week we did actual tracting!  We have town homes in our ward and a lot of non-members so we decided to knock doors there.  So far we haven't seen anything, but there are two little kids from a less active family there that want to be baptized.  But their parents work so it's really hard to get in contact with them.  We also taught Ted this week and boy was he fun.  He does believe in God, but he says he doesn't have a desire for religion right now.  He wants us to keep coming over and he wants this for his kids, but not for him.  Since we're struggling to find people to teach right now, all our efforts are on him this week.  We're going to try and find out why he wants us to keep coming over and try to dig deeper.  We love the family though and his wife would be very active if he was.
We also did a lot of less active lesson this week!  I think I was called to this area so that I would learn exactly what not to marry into.  A lot of times, one of them is really active and then the other one brings them down.  A lot of the people we work with served missions and then just got busy.  We even talked to some old temple workers the other day.  Tragedies and jobs should make us want to come to church even more!  It's just sad to see that they lose their testimonies when they stop coming to church.  So go to church every week people.
This sunday I spoke in one of the wards on the atonement and how we can use it to overcome pain and loss.  I think I spoke for about 10 minutes and left Sister Hodgson 20 to speak.  She only spoke for about 15 so sacrament meeting ended early.  I think now they know to always put in an intermediate hymn when they ask the sisters to speak.
Last monday we played mafia, or actually werewolves, with our entire zone.  Elder Simon (the aussie) and I won as werewolves.  I think the zone learned very quickly not to trust the sweet innocent sister from Orem.  But it was a blast and although I didn't have time to take a nap, it was good to just relax a bit and be kids again.  Today we had zone workout so that we can be more unified as a zone or whatever.  This mission's weird.  I never expected to do this much as a zone or district.  But it's been a nice stress reliever and I definitely need those district lunches come friday.
Anyway, this week is going to be great.  We have a lot of potentials lined up and they will all be new investigators!  We're pretty excited!  I just want people to realize that we're out here on a mission not to annoy them, but to help them be happy, have faith, repent, be baptized, receive the gift of the holy ghost and endure to the end.  It's the only way to live with your family for ever!
Funny story!  We contacted a family this week and we were talking to the 17 year old son.  We asked if his parents were home and he said they were busy.  Just then, his dad comes up the the door and starts yelling at us saying that they weren't interested and they wanted to be off the person in charge's list (as if we were salespeople or something).  So we left just as the boy's friend came up to the house.  That sunday we saw the boy at church.  And then he came to stake mission prep.  Turns out he's going on a mission!  What?  I really want to keep seeing this boy and giving him encouragement to testify to his dad and get his brother baptized and into this church.
Got to go.  Love you
Hermana Borup
This week we also had dinner in a funeral home and the next night we had dinner with a lady that's a prison educator.  Interesting dinner appointments for sure.

Monday, March 18, 2013

March 18, 2013

Hello family and friends,
Man it's an exciting time to be a missionary in the Salt Lake City South mission!  Everyone here in Riverton loves that I'm younger and they really just want to help and talk about the new missionary ages.  I think they're all curious to see how good of a missionary I'll be because I'm younger.  But I found out this week that I'm still older than most of the Elders in my district and I'm a girl so I'm obviously more mature, so I really don't think the missionary ages will change the work.
This week we did a lot of contacting the referrals we got from the leadership.  And boy was it hard.  People can be awfully mean when they're contacted several times a month and they don't want to be.  But we did get a lot of lessons set up for this next week and I'm pretty excited.  One is with a man that claims to be atheist and the other is with a family that has a religion with no name, and meets in homes like Jesus did.  I was confused because in the bible Jesus met on hills and in the temple and in the streets.  Not sure what he was talking about, but our lesson will be interesting with him.
We only taught two main lessons this week.  Definitely need improvement.  One was with a less active family.  We were focusing on the twins that are 11 but we really wanted to get the parents involved.  We have another lesson with them this week and hopefully we'll see them at church on sunday.  The other lesson was on tuesday with a part member family.  The dad is inactive and the two kids are adorable.  The mom was excommunicated when she was 16, but we've been working with the bishop and he wants to see her back in the church.  I love them and they are the P's.  The girl, she's 5, and she right at the start told us that her mom smokes and drinks coffee.  Haha no secrets in this house.  It reminded me of teaching the primary kids and how they just say whatever with no reservations.
Well I got to know my district a little more this week.  We see them a lot what with district workout, weekly planning, and district meeting.  On friday, after weekly planning, we had district lunch and it was uncomfortable.  I'm going to be frank here... I can see that me being 20 is very different for the elders.  They asked me about boyfriends, about my sisters and friends, about basically every part of my life.  It was just strange.  All week you're only thinking about missionary work and then all of a sudden bam, nothing about missionary work.  My companion, Sister Hodgson, told me next time that happened, we'd leave early.  Love the elders to death, but they still need to mature a bit.
Also, we had a surprise zone meeting this week.  The zone leaders texted us at 10:15 pm and it was at 7am the next morning.  We were ticked.  They checked our planners and then our district was allowed to leave, and Hermana Leavitt and her companion as well but the others were chastised.  We're not on good terms with the zone leaders right now and Sister Hodgson and I have to do our companionship study with them tomorrow.  Great...   
So what I really want to say is this week we were trying to contact someone and they weren't home.  Across the street a group of teenagers were hanging out (it was saturday night, I forget that that's normal for people to do).  We went over there and talked to them a bit and then asked if they knew anyone that needed to hear about the gospel.  All at once they said, "Troy".  A boy that was up the street practicing his scooter tricks.  He's a senior in high school.  The boys were super excited and talking about how they wanted him to be baptized before they left on their missions, sound familiar Shams?  Anyways, I was super excited for them and I just kept thinking about Shams.  Sister Hodgson hasn't caught the spirit of it yet, but she will.  Yesterday we went over to one of the friend's houses and he was so willing to ask Troy to meet with the missionaries.  This kid is going to be baptized and it's going to change his life and I'm just so excited about it.
We also met a gay lady this week.  With two kids.  Fun stuff.
I'm loving it and there's still no word on the visa situation.
Hermana Borup

Monday, March 11, 2013

First Week out in the field!

Dear family and friends, 
Well I'm here in Riverton, Utah!  Saturday morning we woke up and ate breakfast and then said goodbye to our district.  It was really sad to say goodbye to them because I probably wont see them again.  But then we left for the train and they got the weekend schedule mixed up with the weekday schedule so we were waiting there for an hour and the mission president here was really worried.  I guess we should have called.  Oops.
My new companion's name is Sister Hodgson and we're only covering one stake.  We live in the basement of a member's home so it may be hard to find me dad.  The really sad part is neither Hermana Leavitt nor I are serving spanish investigators.  If we find one, we have to turn them over to the spanish elders.  That made me really sad, but I still get an hour of language study and all the elders in my district are native speakers, ha again.  Except these ones are taller.  I met them today at district workout.   Yes folks, I played basketball!  With elders!  I really am turning in to a more accepting person because there is no way I would have done that before I got out here and actually have fun doing it!
More about my companion: she's from Missouri and she's different from me, but we're getting along just fine.  She's been out for 9 months and she was really excited to hear that I was only 20.
Our area is SLOW.  Saturday we had two baptisms and now we have 0 investigators and I think we're working with one less active.  It's sad.  We're on bikes so yesterday we went to 3 sacrament meetings, asked for referrals from everyone, met a bunch of members, and then biked around and contacted some of the referrals.  I met a crazy catholic man that gave me a free bike helmet and one lady actually slammed the door in our face without letting us speak.  I guess that really does happen.  It's hard being in Utah because everyone knows about the church and "knows" they're not interested already.  But I have faith that there will be someone soon!  Also, my companion doesn't eat breakfast or lunch and the members feed us dinner.  It's rough.  Good thing I didn't give all the food away that I got at the MTC!  Because that has saved my life!  But we're going grocery shopping today so hopefully we can get something good.
Also, I have a lot longer to email now, 1.5 hours, and I can email whoever so my email is  But I also really love getting letters!
More on the next email!

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Transfer From MTC
Hello family and friends,
I don't have very long this week because we are trying to make it to dinner on time.  We've had so much to get done today with the temple, and running, and packing, and getting things set up to leave tomorrow, and laundry.  It's been a busy busy day.  So sorry this is coming a bit late.
For those who haven't heard yet, I've been reassigned to the Salt Lake City South Mission.  I know what yall are thinking... That Stinks!  But I'm actually really excited about it.  Yes I was surprised at first but I'm going with Hermana Leavitt and with an elder in my district that was also called to Rosario.  And guess what, the Elder is from West Jordan.  Yes, he's going to the mission that he lives in.  Weird right?  After I heard that I didn't feel bad.  There's a reason we're all going there and I'm so excited to get out and teach!  And I've only been in the MTC for 9 days!  That has to be some sort of record.  9 days for a non-native spanish speaker going spanish speaking?  I feel blessed but way overwhelmed.
So this week started off really badly.  Hermana Leavitt and I taught Jean (our teacher, brother Johnson) on monday morning and we came out thinking it went alright.  But then the other Hermanas in the group taught him and came out telling us all sorts of things that made us feel super bad.  But the day got better when we taught out TRC investigator, Hely.  And then that night we had class with Brother Andersen and he wanted Hermana Leavitt and I to practice starting a lesson out with him.  So we went into another room and practiced and it went wonderfully well and then he added at the end that sometimes we may think we didn't teach very well, but if we felt the spirit, the investigator will understand and continue to progress.  And I started bawling.  I don't even know why and it was super embarrassing.  And then we told him about our experience with Jean and he just starting teaching us and lifting our spirits and told us stories from his mission.  I don't know how long we were in that room but when we came out I felt like a new missionary.  Since then, I haven't compared my progress with the other missionaries and I feel so much better.  I've seen my own progress and that's been enough for me this week.  Our teachers really are the best.  I'm sad to leave them.  Last night we had our last lesson with Brother Andersen and during our closing prayer he prayed for Hermana Leavitt, Elder Lopez, and I individually and thanked heavenly father for our strengths.  That man sure can make me cry.  I'll send pictures that we took on my next p-day. 
Tuesday night devotional was amazing and so was the movie we saw sunday night, The Character of Christ by Elder Bednar.  I wish I could stay here to learn more and to hear more devotionals!  But again, I'm excited to teach real investigators and change their lives for the better.
Yesterday we had in field orientation all day long.  I learned a lot but it sure was boring.  We practiced street contacting and getting refferals and helping members.  And we watched a cheesy play at the end.  I feel bad saying this, but it definitely wasn't my favorite day.
Can you believe I'm leaving tomorrow?  I sure can't!  I'm taking the train up there too and I'm the travel leader of our little group.  There's an elder from the other district in our zone that's going up wednesday, but that's his permanent mission so that's why he has to wait.  The rest of us are visa waiters.  Mom, it was good talking to you.  Thanks for all the support I've received!  I love every letter and every package.  And my district also loves every package haha.  I don't think dearelder is free for salt lake but please don't let that stop you from sending me letters!  It will soon be free again when I get to Argentina!  And I have high hopes that I'll be there soon.  After all, Santa Fe's waiting for me and it won't forget me and it will let me come and stay.  Yes, that song's still stuck in my head. 
Funny moment of the week, an elder in our district named Elder Carillo thought he lost the key to his room.  He couldn't find it in the classroom or in his room and we don't go anywhere else so he was really worried.  And then it came time for gym time and while he was working out he told his companions he had to get a rock out of his shoe.  He found his key!  Ok so it doesn't seem that funny now, but it was.  And there's been a lot of funny stories since.  Oh well, maybe I'll have a real funny one later.
Love you all!  And dad, please update my salt lake address under the tab at the top called "contacting me".  I REALLY want letters because they help me get through the day. 
Hermana Borup
First and Only Letter From MTC

Dear Family,
     The newbies came today and they are adorable.  But I hope I didn't look like that last week.  I probably did, but no se importa.
     Spanish is coming along great and I'm learning a lot.  Really, I love it here.  I never thought I would, but I love my teachers, I love my district, I love the investigators we have and I love my companion.  I'm a very happy camper. 
     I found out yesterday that I will probably be reassigned tomorrow.  But if the Argentina consulate guy doesn't come this week, then I'm staying an exra week.  That would be hard.  Again, I love it here, but I'm excited to leave and teach.
     I'll write more on Friday, but I wanted to ask you for a few things before then so you have time to get it to me.  I don't need more treats, I'd love them, but I'm getting fat.  My district loves them though. Especially the elders.  So on second hand, you can send more if you want.  But I do get juice at every meal and I love it!  Don't worry, I run every day so I still feel healthy.  Oh, and I did see Schuyler Tuesday night and he left this morning.  He looks just oh so happy.  Well, I want to write Whitney back so I got to go! Love you!
Un abrazo desde el CCM,
Hermana Borup

Saturday, March 2, 2013

First Missionary Training Center Letter

Dear Family and Friends,
Well I finally get to write and it feels so good.  Here at the MTC every minute of every day is planned for you.  I thought I would have time to write letters at night, but we have to plan and study and write in our journals and they usually let us out late anyway.  But I'm loving it.  I can't say on thursday I loved it, but this place is growing on me. 
The first day I was the third person to come to class.  I met my companion, Hermana Leavitt, later in the day and we began with our first lesson.  My district is mostly natives and we actually have more sisters than elders, 6 sisters and 5 elders.  We live with all the sisters and so that's fun but we don't really get to meet anyone else.  Hermana Leavitt studied spanish is high school but that's it, so she's struggling a little bit but I am so impressed with her spanish.  If that were me, I'd be in the beginner class no question.  We have a companionship of hermanas that are also caucasian, and then an hermana from ecuador and one from mexico.  The elders are from all over, but all of them are native speakers.  It's hard because I feel intimidated sometimes, but I'm working on that and I feel like my spanish has already improved.  Even though we don't ever have language study.  Really, never.  We are basically english speaking missionaries, just in spanish.  12 days total at the MTC. Yikes!
We have two teachers, brothers Anderson and Johnson.  Both of them served in Peru and I'm learning so much from them.  I love class time when they direct us and help us learn.  Personal study on the other hand is a little disorganized and our district likes to talk, so that's hard but it's getting better.  Brother Johnson likes to pick on me.  I think it's because I'm on the end desk and he can get to me easier.  Thursday I had to teach him one on one and that was super scary.  And then yesterday I had to play the investigator in front of the whole class when he was showing us an example of how to teach about prayer.  And then Hermana Leavitt and I had to be the first ones to teach him as the investigator Jean.  It's good though because although I'm being thrown into the fire, I'm not getting burned, just feeling the heat.
The food is excellent and I think I'm gaining weight already.  We just got our mail yesterday for the first time and because of timing I wasn't able to get my package until just barely.  I can't wait to open it, but whatever's inside I know it's good so thank you.  I also got a letter from Karli this week and that was great.  Letter's really are the best and my district makes fun of me because I'm "the loved" one of the group.  But after reading the letters yesterday, I really felt so much better because I felt your support.  So please send more!  Also if you could, please send zip lock baggies and a new loufa, I already lost mine in the shower yesterday. 
We met our branch presidency thurdays night and I met the second counselor's wife.  She told me that Kelly was her best friend and that she dated Brett for a bit.  Her name's Laura Hughes now but I don't remember he maiden name.  She told me to tell Dad hi for her.  That was a very funny connection.  She dated Brett... interesting.
I saw Schuyler on the first day and I've seen him about 4 times since.  He looks extremely happy and it makes me happy to see him.  I think he's opening up and I can already tell this mission is very good for him.  I've also seen sister donakey, fotu, and a handful from timpanogos and oak canyon, elders McGinn, Adams, and Spencer Harris as a teacher and so many more.  It's fun to see someone you know because you don't feel so alone in this thing.  Jacob Lopez is my zone leader, that was a funny surprise, and erica oldroyd is in my zone, but not my district.  Another girl that was in my spanish 206 class is also in my zone.  So many people!
Well I honestly don't know what else to talk about.  I'm starting to love it here.  Missionary work is great.  When we were teaching Jean (Brother Johnson) yesterday, I got to teach the first vision and it was a powerful experience.  I'm so excited to share this message every day for the next 18 months.  Although I'm tired and frustrated, I'm so excited and happy to be here. 
Weston, good job at the assembly, I hope London's not taking this band thing even more seriously.  Dad, I miss Izzy too.  Tell her that for me.  I miss running outside with her!  I have to run 10 loops around the track here before I've run a mile, but I take them easily and talk with other missionaries so it's not too bad.  Mom, I'm excited for Alissa.  We have an elder in our district going to Eugene too and I told him to say hi to Elder Covey for me.  Which he'll see him soon because we leave in 9 or ten days!  Maybe Hermana Leavitt and I don't (she's going to the Argentina Resistencia mission), but the rest do.  Well hermanas Reyes and Pirir are going to independence visitors center and washington dc visitors so they get a week in salt lake after this.  The rest are going everywhere. A lot to california, one to texas, and one elder to my mission!  Well I have 6 more minutes, but I better end this now.  Sorry for the disorganization in this letter.  To tell you the truth, my brain is fried.  My p-day next week will be on friday so that's when I'll write next.  Goodbye for now and I miss you all lots!
-Hermana Borup