Wednesday, October 23, 2013

i'm alive! i'm in colombia!

Yesterday was the worst/best day of my life. I'm in Colombia! 

So after I talked to you in Atlanta, I didn't end up sitting by any of the Elders I met. It was okay though, I sat by a man that lived in Bogota and He helped me out a TON. Plus... practice teaching the Gospel. It was awesome.

As soon as I got off the plane I was SEARCHING SO HARD for my District. After about 22 years, I saw Elder Robison y Elder Pacheco. Best moment ever. ahhh.

The CCM es soooooo different than the Provo MTC. En Serio, I can{t even explain it. I wish you could see it. The food is ammmmazing. Just like Dad said. Avocado slices the size of watermelon slices, soup for lunch, the juice rocks. The hot chocolate rocks (sorry ashley... guess you bettter come to Colombia on your mission) Es da best.

They took our passports. And Cameras. Our food. And no more listening to Music of any kind.

I love it though. Super hard to get used to. Colombia is BEAUTIFUL. Just outside the MTC is just... ah. unbelievable. The humidity rocks, windows are always open. And... sirens are always going outside. like 223232 jewelry stores are getting broken into every day or something haha I really love it though. PDAY is on Wednesday! MUAH!

I love it here!

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

This kind of thing only happens to me.....

Okay so this is in the words of my mom, not me because I haven't had a chance to even think while all this is going on.  Here's my mom's side of the story...

We went to the airport to meet Sister Cedeno (we know this is "highly discouraged", but that's how we are, we couldn't help ourselves) to see her off to the Colombia MTC and to meet her district (her other family).  We arrived about 5:45 AM and waited, and waited and waited...  We met Jimmy, he's the man responsible for checking in the missionaries and making sure they all get tickets with Delta, he's awesome by the way, we love him.  We told Jimmy our daughter was going to Colombia and he informed us the Colombia crew had not arrived yet.  at approximately 7:00 AM Jimmy said, "Is your daughter in that group because they are all going to Colombia"  We said no and waited a few minutes longer.  Ashley said, "Mom is that Elder Pacheco?"  She recognized him from the pictures Nicole had sent home.  We went over to talk to him and he said, "Oh my gosh I don't even know how to tell you this.  Sister Cedeno lost her passport on the train and she is with a travel agent from the church and they are trying to find it."  Of course this kind of think "always" happens to Nicole so I'm not surprised but slightly panicked.  

Quick Note:  We absolutely lover her little district!  They are absolutely adorable and we know exactly why she loves them and why she is wants to be with them.  This alone is a huge blessing for her and for us just to meet this group of people.

Fast Forward two hours later...  Sister Cedeno Calls me from the MTC in Provo and tells me that she has her passport.  Apparently someone found it on the train and made sure it got back to the MTC.  It made it there before she did and she is scheduled to go on a flight to Atlanta, Ga in 2 hours, she's headed back to the airport on Front Runner and she'll be in Colombia tonight.  She actually arrives in Colombia 12 minutes before her entire district!  Whoo Hoo!

I'm not sure why Sister Cedeno is on another flight or who the Lord needs her to meet or what lesson she needs to learn but I am grateful she is able to go and will be with her family soon.

Friday, October 18, 2013

"nobody saw that"

Holy cow. SHOUT OUT TO Michelle Baires, Ann Flint and my awesome Grandparents for writing me letters! Mail is the best thing ever here! Ill do my very very best to get back to you ASAP. Also. My family sent me the best package ever :)

AND shout out to Andie, Mikel and Grandpa this past week and a half! Happy Birthday!

This week, we REALLY dived into "missionary mode". It was soooo awesome. I learned so much. At one point my companion was sick AND the other Hermana's companion in my room was sick. So me and Hermana Ellison went on Splits. It was awesome. We were teaching an "investigator" this week. Only in espanol, so it gets super hard at times. There was a point where we didn't even KNOW what we were trying to say. We wanted so badly to express ourselves, to let the investigator know that the Book of Mormon is TRUE. And we didn't know what to say. So Hermana Ellison flips through her Spanish Book of Mormon and asks him to read the only highlighted scripture she had. 

It flipped the lesson around. I could feel the spirit. The investigator seemed to understand what we wanted.

After ending the lesson we searched the scripture we had asked him to read in english and, i can't remember what it was right now.. ah, but it was PERFECT. It explained how Praying helps you receive answers to know things are true. We were in shock. 

I mean.. I always here stories of missionaries teaching by the spirit. How things just "come out" and it's exactly what you wanted. But WOW. I didn't think it would happen to ME haha It was just unreal. I noticed that lessons I followed the spirit, rather than my notes, went a LOT better.

Spanish is coming along SO well. Everyone speaks it here ALL THE DANG TIME. I would pick it up even if I tried not to. It's coming easily, and I'm excited to keep getting better!! ahhh!!!

So.. this is a fun story. I had my tray of food in the cafeteria.. totally ready to dig in. And of course, I set my tray on the counter to get a drink and I didn't put my TRAY ALL THE WAY ON THE COUNTER so as soon as I let go.. FOOD EVERYWHERE. And it goes quiet. And then:

1 Elder: It's okay, NOBODY SAW THAT!

2 Elder: I did!

Me: -_-


Anyway. Gym time is the best time. It's nice to... wear pants. And sweat and look unattractive for about an hour a day. Skirts get old quick.

Another story. All of the Missionaries in my District were teaching the investigator in our companionships. And one Sister companionship came back SO embarrassed. The investigator had asked them "Como Estan?" meaning "how are you both?" and The missionary said "Muy Bueno" which in Colombia I guess means... She thought she was sexy. So she told the investigator she was pretty hot stuff. Awk.

The "right answer" for every teacher at the MTC is "To bring others unto Christ" and I always get it wrong!! I forget.

TEACHER: why did you wear that skirt, Hermana Cedeno?

ME: I dunno.. it was clea-


oh yeah. That's why. Or:

TEACHER: Why are you eating food in my class?

ME: Oh sorry I jus-


I just always forget why I do things. Problem. I'm trying. 

So on WEDNESDAY our whole District is sitting in class and the "beep" goes off. Meaning they're about to call missionaries to the front desk over the intercom. And BEFORE THE LADY EVEN SAID ANYTHING (you guys wont even believe me... this story is insane) I SAY:

"Guys, they're probably gonna call our whole district down to tell us we got our visas and we're leaving haha"

and then she starts.. "Elder Lohmeier, Elder Pacheco, Elder Robins, Sister Ellison..." AND SAYS EVERYONES NAME BUT MINE!

So everyones freaking out that I "called it" and I'm freaking out because I'm the only one not going!! But then no worries.. 

I'M GOING TO COLOMBIA. I LEAVE TUESDAY MORNING AND I CAN'T WAIT. Next email will be from South America. Holla.

I love it here. Who said Disney Land was the happiest place on earth? pah.


Hermana Cedeno

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Colombia here i come....

It's Official!  Nicole leaves the Provo MTC for the Colombia MTC on Tuesday October 22nd.  Last chance for you to send a quick easy letter in the mail to her.  Anything after that will take weeks to get to her.  She'll spend approximately 1 month in Colombia and then its off to Bolivia for her. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

short, sweet and to the point...

I can't believe I am actually typing an email from the MTC right now. I cant BELIEVE I'M DOING THIS!!! I've only been here 2 days and I am so happy. I really am, I absolutely love it here. Being a missionary es sooo much fun. I can't believe how much I've learned the last 48 hours.

It was SUCH a fast goodbye leaving mi familia, but so bitter-sweet. I was walking into the MTC like.. SO BLIND. I had no idea what was happening, it was crazy. The Hermana and Hermano that helped me out were THE BEST. I love them. The Hermana sent me into a building to get my GIANT BAG OF ESPANOL LIBROS and I'm walking down the hall and LO AND BEHOLD one of my bestest friend in the WHOLE world Hermana Ashlee Hatch yells my name from behind me. With my emotions right on the surface after leaving mi familia, I teared up soo hard. Best hug I got that day. It was so nice to know she was there with me!

Along with knowing she was there with me... I came to the quick realization that there were A LOT of missionarios in the same boat as me. 601 missionaries showed up on the 9th, the same day as me, from AROUND THE WORLD. From everywhere! It was crazy! People from China, from Tonga, from Australia, Brazil, Bolivia, Colombia, California, East Coast, Texas, Canada, Figi, Hawaii, EVERYWHERE. Accents I've never heard before, they talk to me and I'm like.. "...come again?". I LOVE IT. 

We rushed into everything. It was straight to class after arriving. I met my District, and though I didn't know them my first day, we reaaally clicked yesterday. I have loved getting to know them, and I love that I get to spend SO much time with them. You learn to love your District super fast. Last night we had a testimony meeting, and if that doesn't make everyone in the room BFFs... I dunno what does. The Gospel fixes everything

After the Testimony meeting last night, I was made "senior companion".. which doesn't really mean anything, it's just practice with responsibilities we will have while being the Senior companera in the mission field. Honestly, I'm the one always losing things, forgetting things, asking the time, "when is lunch?" "when is dinner?" "where's the vending machine?" 

Me and mi companera, Hermana Davenport, are SO different! We say things different, we talk different, we think different things are funny and different things aren't. But she has SUCH a strong testimony of the Gospel, and that is something we definitely have in common :) 

Not a long email.. not a short one either. But I've only been here for a bit. I love it. I. Am. Happy. I can FEEL that this is where I am supposed to be. I can't wait to serve. I still can't believe I'm doing this, but I can't believe I ever thought I wouldn't.

Yo se que la iglesia es verdadero y que el Libro de Mormon es verdadero. Yo se que Jesucristo es el Redentor y Dios es nuestro Padre Celestial. Este conocimiento ayuda me vivir feliz y superar desafios. 

Hasta Luego!
Hermana Cedeno

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

Sister Cedeno was so happy to start her journey.  She will be an amazing missionary serving the people of Bolivia.  Stop #1 the Provo MTC.

a few goodbye's

One Last Photo of the Fam before she heads off to serve...

Saying Goodbye wasn't easy for these three...
One last group Hug

Friday, October 4, 2013

it doesn't get better

I remember that short span of time when I was the only endowed member of my family. I went through the Temple for my first time on August 9, 2013. It was hard finding people to go to the Temple with and it was hard not being able to discuss my experience with my parents as to keep the ordinances sacred.

Because my father is not a member of the church (yet...), my parents were not married in the Temple. These past couple of months, my mother prepared to go through the Temple on her own. 

Yesterday was the day! After 19 years of waiting, she made the decision and went through the Bountiful Temple. It was such an amazing day, one I'll NEVER forget. 

I am soo lucky to have been able to experience this before I leave for my mission in Bolivia in only 4 days (AH!).  It doesn't get better than this. I can't even believe how much just the decision to serve a mission has blessed my family's life. AMAZING. I am so grateful for the Gospel. It really changes lives for the better. The Church is True!