Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Going into week 4.....

Hola mi familia!!!

I hope you are all doing well! I love and miss you all and pray for you all the time!
So first Mom, I can't send a box of stuff home. For some reason we can receive packages but we can't send them. Also thanks for sharing your journal entry with me! That was so beautiful! I would be so lucky to have a dream like that!
Also THANK YOU so much for the package! I loved it and so did my companion! :)
Goodness, I can't believe I'm at the halfway mark of my stay here!!! My companion and I were talking about how the days are so long but then at the end of the day we're like "Where did the time go???"
We also figured out that for the most part we get 7 hours of sleep and have 17 hour days. On a good day we get 8 hours of sleep and have 16 hour days. There is totally no way I would be able to do this with out the help of Heavenly Father! I thank Him each and every day for the help He gives me.
So let me just tell you a little bit about this week. So one of our Elders, Elder Johansen, came up with this insane scenario and asked everyone in our district about it. Okay, so his scenario is that the CCM is being attacked by zombies\robots...Haha! How he came up with that I have no idea. His question for us was that if we only had enough weapons for ourselves and one other person who in the district would we pick to help us defeat the zombies\robots. Now we were told to pick someone that we trusted to have our backs so we could make it out alive. Well Elder Johansen ended up picking me! It came down to Elder Wasden and me and he ended up choosing me! Haha! He told Hermana Bown she probably wouldn't even be able to hold the weapon. LOL! I was flattered that he trusted me and chose me over all of the Elders.
Okay, another surprise that happened this week was that I saw Kathleen Billings, from up at school here! I had thought she wasn't going to get here until my last two weeks but then I was at breakfast and I saw her! It was so great to see a familiar face ! She saw me from across the comedor and yelled out loud "Tara!" Haha! So now several Elders and Hermanas know my first name but oh well! I don't ever really see her because we don't have the same schedule but hopefully I'll be able to get a picture with her before I leave.
One of the districts in our Zone that we always played volleyball with left this week so that was sad but we'll be getting a new group of missionaries this Wednesday. Speaking of volleyball...we were playing with the new district the other day and my team was losing. Now Hermana Bown and I aren't the best players but we do pretty well sometimes and I'm good at serving. Anyways, one Elder on the other team said, "Just send the ball to the Hermanas," basically implying that we suck. Lol. Well right as he said that the ball came my way and I hit the ball and scored a point! Haha! You should have seen their faces. It was awesome. My team gave me hi-fives and all the elders were telling the other team that it wasn't cool to call out the hermanas like that. They were pretty much being big brothers.
One of the talks we watched this past week was Elder Bednar's talk called Becoming a Preach my Gospel Missionary (I also read this one at home). I absolutely loved it! A lot of things he said really touched me and one of them was when he said, "You can do this." He then bore his testimony that he knew that all of us are capable of fulfilling and completing our missions. Sometimes I get the feeling that I am never going to learn this language because it is so difficult for me and that I am inadequate. However, when I heard Elder Bednar say that, right at that moment I pictured myself in white. Missionaries are always told to picture their investigators in white but at that moment I pictured myself in the temple dressed in white. I took it as a sign of faith and hope that I can do this! It also reminded me of a beautiful quote by Gordon B. Hinckley's wife. I don't remember it word for word but the main point of the quote was about how she wanted to arrive at the gates of Heaven. She said she didn't want to show up in a brand new car; she wanted to show up in an old Volkswagen; she didn't want to show up with manicured nails; she wanted to show up with dirt under her nails from helping someone plant a garden, and so on. She wanted Heavenly Father to know that she really worked on earth and that she really lived. Well, I want Heavenly Father to know that I am really giving this my all. That I am putting my whole heart into this. I want Him to know that I am going to do my best to study and prepare for my investigators. I want Him to know that I am dong my best to live as a disciple of Christ and be an example to others.
Gosh, I am just so happy to be here and I feel honored that I get to have this experience!
I still have a long way to go though on learning Spanish. Seriously, it's so confusing for me. Why are there so many verb conjugations?? Haha!!
I love you all and remember to pray ALL the time! Also when you can pray on your knees.

Till next time!


Hermana Soliz

Yes...we get a doughnut...sometimes.
Our classroom with our names and assignments
Finally got antibiotics - now to get better!

My amazing companion playing the piano!
Fun name tag pics

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Week 2 down and on to 3...

My district! I love them!
My schedule
The grounds at CCM
Mi casita!
Having fun!
Baptism Power!
Laundry time
The wall around the CCM
My companion and other room mates - casita #11
Map pic #1
Map pic #2

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Hola from Mexico!

Ok...can I just say WOW!! I cannot believe the time has gone by so fast! Tomorrow will already be a week that I have been here in the Mexico MTC. Im going to do my best to answer all of your questions and tell you about my week but there is just so much to say and not a lot of time. So first off, here in the MTC my P-Days are on Tuesdays so thats when you can expect an email from me. Ok so the  girl I met on the plane here is Hermana Webb and she is also going to Federal Way but she is not my companion here. My companion is Hermana Bown and she is so awesome!She also knows a lot more spanish than I do so she helps me out all the time! I am loving it here in the MTC! Things are super busy! They have every minute of our day planned out from 630 am to 1030 pm. But it is super great and I am constantly being uplifted by the spirit.
Hermana Bown and I share a room with Hermana Daines and Hermana Macllellan and they are also great! I absolutely love my District!! They are so amazing! Our District Leader is  Elder Dahl and the other people in my District are Elder Johanson, Elder Gonzales, Elder Wilkerson, Elder Macdonald, Elder Black, Elder Knight, Elder Wasden, and of course me and Hermana Bown. 
Oh! And I was put into the INTERMEDIATE spanish class.....I know...I need to be in the beginning, but hey it will all work out. The other day I played beach volleyball with my district and another district and it was muy bien. We also went on a jog around the MTC this morning as a district which was refreshing. Its funny when we are in class studying and the guys get distracted talking about Pokemon or other nerdy things. 
The weather here is pretty rainy and it can be chilly but it hasnt been too bad. The food is pretty good most of the time but it can also be extremely weird. And they always put some kind of fruit in their salad. Our first day here we were told that the milk was goat milk because there wasnt enough cows in Mexico. Apparently its a joke they play on newbies. Last night was the first time I was able to take a hot shower and it was glorious! Oh, one thing I like here is that all of the Elders are super nice and helpful! They always let the Hermanas eat first, offer to carry our bags, put our desks and chairs up, open our doors, ect...its great!
The third day we were here we taught our first "investigator." It was pretty disasterous but it was a great learning experience. We've taught him four times already and we're slowly improving. My spanish is pretty bad compared to the others in my district but it will come.
I don't have a lot of time but I love it here! We watched one of Elder Bednar's talks the other day and it was all about how man turns inward and God turns outward. I wish I could go into detail about it but just now it was a definite testimony builder!

Sorry about all of the errors in this email...I'm still trying to figure out how to use a mexican keyboard. LOL!
Love Hermana Soliz!
Hermana Webb and I on the airplane, headed for Mexico!
My first Sunday
My name tag really makes it official!


"Paco", the pancho was left behind by an hermana, and we are supposed to pass him on, lol!
Me, wearing Paco!

Look at the colorful houses, mine has the orange trim.

These are found all throughout the MTC and we are supposed to gather here in case of an earthquake.

Our appointment time to teach our investigator, Cristian.

Waking up from our rest time.

So much STUDYING!!!

Called to serve

Mexico MTC! AKA Best place on earth!

Our view!

Our classroom is the Brigham Young Building--perfect!
My companion!! Hermana Soliz and Herman Bown

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

It's Official!! Meet Hermana Soliz

It's been super busy the last two days, getting Tara ready to leave for the Mexico City MTC.  We had a wonderful visit Tuesday evening with Stake President Brown and his family. She was set apart as a missionary that night and we stayed up late rethinking the packing situation and rearranging things over and over.  She had to let go of many things to get within the weight limits.  We went to bed exhausted! We left for the airport this morning and spent an  hour with her before she boarded.  Her sister Brooklynn had the flu and was not able to accompany us to the airport.  Tara said her goodbyes to sister, brothers, and grandma at home. Also a quick stop to see Aunt Doris and Uncle JR. We had a surprise visit from Aunt Regina at airport. I tried to get the airline to allow us to walk her to the gate, past security, but it wasn't happening.  Of course it was a bittersweet moment when we said our last goodbyes....we all cried. We are so proud of her desire to serve the Lord and to help people learn more about Him, but we will miss her sooo much!  She is in great hands and we trust she will learn so much and grow in ways unimaginable.  Can't wait to hear about it all!
On my way the the Stake President's house!


Hermana Soliz with Stake President Brown


Mom, me, and gramma


Late night packing

Leaving to the airport
Last look at home

Butterflies in my tummy...can't eat breakfast

Dad is a great helper!

Surprised by Aunt Regina!

Love mom and Dad

Always daddy's lil girl!

Our last glimpse!


Sunday, August 3, 2014

My last Sunday

Today was my last Sunday attending my wonderful little Beeville Branch for 18 months!
It was very bittersweet but it was awesome that today was also testimony meeting!
I was able to hear many wonderful and heartfelt testimonies that touched my heart.
I also was able to bear my personal testimony which was great! I love having the opportunity to do that! :)
I love my Beeville Branch family and I will miss you all dearly!!!
You have all been there for me as I have grown up and have been amazing examples to me!
Thank you for the support and encouraging words you have given me!
I hope you all are well when I am gone and hopefully, when I come home our growing branch will be a ward!!

Me and my Primary class. 

 Me and my branch president, President Seals.