Monday, March 31, 2014

Trunky for Tarija

"Trunky" adj: A term missionaries use when describing themselves or other missionaries that are ready to leave, to pack their bags- aka their "TRUNKS".


A lot of the time, Elders are "trunky" their last transfer. If they are still working hard their last transfer, they are not considered "trunky". On the other hand, if they have become lazy and use excuses such as ".. Pero ya me voy",(but I'm leaving)  they are DEFINITELY in the category of "Trunky".

"Otro Ejemplo" (Another Example): When a FUTURE missionary is at home with their call and they are ONLY thinking about their mission and just want to FREAKING LEAVE ALREADY.. also.. "Trunky"

My new cousin.. er.. second cousin? Beckham was blessed yesterday. Hopefully someday he'll read this and it will mean something to him.


So I am no longer in Tarija. Remember when I told you all last week that Hermana Lyon was probably heading out? Yeah, that backfired. And this change was the hardest thing I've had to deal with in my mission so far. 

People always told me that you learn to love your investigators, and I thought I knew what they meant. 

I didn’t.

I didn’t realize how unconditionally attached I was to each one of my investigators in Tarija. The night of Cambios, when the Elders call and let you know what is happening… was the most stressful thing EVER.

-          ON THE PHONE    -

Elder Merkley: "Okay, Hermana Cedeño. Before anything, you have to promise not to scream, cry or.. freak out"

Me: "Yeah, Elder, what?"  The elders allllways mess with us.

Him: "Okay.. You´re going…   "To Stay…"

Him:  "To Yaquiba."

Me: "Yeah, whatever, Elder. Who's my companion?"

Elder Boman in the background: "I told you she wouldn’t believe you."

It took a LOT of convincing before I believed them. And when I finally did, I handed the phone to Hermana Lyon and left the room.

I think literally some of the happiest moments I've ever had in my life have been on my mission. But I feel the same way about the saddest moments.

My companion is Hermana Ruiz from La Paz, Bolivia. I really love her she is awesome. She is definitely the highlight of this transfer so far.

The ward... isn’t very excited about missionary work. 3 other Elders and I gave talks in church yesterday and we all tried to get the ward excited to help us with the work. It didn’t help much. 

We went to ward counsel, and when we told the president our goals to baptize at least 30 people this transfer... he said it was too high. That we couldn’t do it. We have 6 missionaries in this branch and... I think we can do it. We´ll have to work hard.

Yaquiba is more south east of Tarija. Part of Argentina is in my Area. It is blistering hot and I feel like I'm swimming, its SO humid. There are bugs… everywhere. This is the first time in my mission when I've left the house with my hair already up. Its just TOO HOT

This transfer is gonna be.. something. I feel like sometimes I just get sent to areas to clean up messes and then as soon as I can see the blessings coming… I get changed. Its rough. It makes me really sad. 

But apparently… everything happens for a reason. So I really want to find out what that is because at this point.. I'm just upset. I really want to get the ball rolling here because I feel like this branch – too small to be a ward – is at a complete stand still. I just want to work hard. 

The opening song at church yesterday:
"A donde me mandes iré" ("I'll go where you want me to go")

I think God was trying to tell me something.

Sorry, it’s a short email. But a little update. Pray for the people here in Yaquiba, that they will be prepared to hear the gospel. 
Because I'm not leaving this area the way I've found it, and I'm not leaving this area with any "un-knocked" doors. 


Hermana Cedeño

Monday, March 24, 2014

I saw Scott Grow


So I didn’t really look at my calendar this morning.. so if It's someone's birthday and I'm missing a shout-out.. sorry. You´ll get it next week, te prometo. (I promise)  

BUT. Can I just give my Companion, Hermana Lyon, a shout-out. Because It has already been a WHOLE CAMBIO with her and cambios are TOMORROW. I just simply can´t believe that I have already been with her for a month and a half.  And we are pretty sure she is leaving.. and I am staying. 

But, ya never know, God just loves surprises.

Everyone told me that the first 2 transfers were always the slowest, and after that, time absolutely flies. 

The Truth?

Unfortunately.. that is the truth.

THIS TRANSFER WENT SO FAST. I just can´t believe that in 2 transfers, I'm going to be half way done with my mission… that makes me a little sick to my stomach. It just came to me yesterday, as we were sitting in a conference with the Stake of Tarija and everyone was singing the closing song. I just listened. And I've grown to love hymns in Spanish and I just couldn’t imagine going back to English and it just hit me that, that moment.. will be a lot sooner than I expect.  

I've made myself a promise to not waste 1 minute of my time here. The thing is... that I have ALLLL of this time here, and I can waste it, or use it. The Lord will NEVER waste my time, I can only waste his. I'm really trying to take advantage of every minute I have here.

This week, C. Scott Grow came to have a conference with us.

And it only took me about ½ a second to realize that his name is a sentence.  :-)

Elder C. Scott Grow is a member of the seventy and it was actually really cool to hear from him and to learn how I can better my work here as a missionary.

During the Conference, Elder Grow started talking about "BAPTISMAL DATES".   About if our investigators baptismal dates are "OUR" dates, or are they the investigator's dates? 

I started thinking about an investigator we have, her name is Pilar.   I really felt like maybe her date, which was for this weekend, wasn’t ours. Hermana Lyon and I talked about it and last night we had an appointment with her.
We asked her if she was sincerely ready and if the date was "OURS" or "HERS".   She, after a lot of thought, let us know that the date was ours.   It was hard to hear for a minute, but she chose her own date and is really going to put forth her part now. 
I feel SO MUCH BETTER about it.   It was really cool to be able to apply something I learned to my work so fast. I really want to make sure that my investigators have testimonies and have a desire to continue forth in the Gospel even AFTER their baptism.

I've really learned to look beyond the font and to the real goal- The Celestial Kingdom. I've learned to stop looking at investigators in a white jump suit, but in white clothes at the Temple. It has helped me be able to prepare them so much more.

We have found a lot of inactive families that are SO unbelievably ready to come back to church. We are so excited to help them make goals to reach the Temple and become eternal families – because isn't that every member´s dream?

Leslye Uño, an investigator that Hermana Lyon and I have been teaching since the 2nd week of the transfer, is getting baptized THIS SATURDAY. And she is so excited! I love my ward here in Paraiso, Tarija. It is right by the University so we work with a lot of College Students. It’s the best because I feel like I can relate to them, and they can relate to me. They are trying to figure out their lives and get on track, and the Gospel of Jesus Christ does JUST THAT.
That´s what Leslye´s dong. She is my first Convert, guys! I just.. ugh. I can´t express how much I love her. I knew people grew to love their investigators.. I just had no idea how much.
Okay, I don’t have much time, and something is wrong with my memory card or something because.. I CAN'T SEND PICTURES. I'm dying, I don’t know whats wrong with it. I'll find out later.



Hermana Cedeño

Monday, March 17, 2014

You don't need a name tag to be a missionary


I'm having a hard time writing today. I had a lot to say, but I'm feeling super overwhelmed. Just so much is happening back home.

A good friend of mine and many others, Elder Miller Toa, passed away on his mission this last week. I'm having a little bit of a hard time wrapping my head around it. I just wanted to give him a shout out. For being such an example to me, and soo many others, during my high school years. I know that he gave himself to the Lord completely during this past year, and I know that he is continuing the work on the other side. He will never be forgotten. Please keep his family in your prayers.

So does everyone remember last week when I said the Elders were hiding like 20 packages in the corner.. yeah. 

Elder Silvestre- "Hermana Cedeño. Cuando es su cumpleaños?" (Sister Cedeno.  When is your Birthday?)

Me- "Agosto, porque?" (August, Why?)

Elder Silvestre- "EN SERIO??" (ARE YOU SERIOUS??)

Me- "… si.. porque?" (Yes, Why?)


My family is so amazing, thank you so much for all the Valentines wishes, Hermana Lyon and I have enjoyed the food. I also received rain boots. THANK YOU.

 I got your packages Mom, thank you sooo much. I cant even express. The only things I think I didn't get out of them were my shirts, my dress, jar of peanut butter, nutella, slippers or any shampoo or conditioner.  So basically all the things I would've really wanted. hahaha  (Be warned, they go through every single package and take whatever they want.)

The beginning of this week we went and visited a less active. As we were finishing up the appointment, she decides she wants to feed us. 
The thing is, Hna. Lyon and I are already so full from lunch, and we had an appointment in 10 minutes. We tried so hard to tell her not to worry about it, but she insisted.  So she brings out bread and eggs. And I'm like "sweet, hard boiled eggs, ill just pop the whole thing in my mouth and we´ll get out of here."   


I crack that crap, and it comes out on my plate.. and its an egg. Like.. fresh out of the chicken. And Hermana Lyon is like trying SO hard not to laugh as I just stare at it.. and the Less Active is like.. "AH, perfecto!" and starts dipping bread in it like its Nutella. And.. she ate it all. 

Ain't no way...

Later that day, we´re walking down the street like laughing uncontrollably about something that happened earlier that day and this lady RUNS UP TO US and says, "DO YOU SPEAK ENGLISH".. but she says it in Spanish.
And we tell her yes,  that we´re missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and that’s why we're here. She tells us she is an English professor and she doesn’t know English. She says she wants us to teach her English. And then she's like-

And I'm like trying to tell her that they don’t all speak English at the church and she is just totally fine with that she just wants to come sit with us...
And I'm just like so confused because usually these roles are switched and I'm the one begging people to come to church. So I'm like.. okay, lady, if you can come to church with us. Haha We´re excited to get to know her a little more.
I kind of wanted to talk about my investigators for a little bit.
An investigator named Pilar had a baptism date for THIS Saturday and Hermana Lyon and I were SO excited. The problem? She cant stop drinking TEA every morning. She drank it yesterday, so we had to postpone her date another week. The poor thing wants to be baptized and is just having the hardest time leaving behind such a worldly, useless.. THING

We are helping her realize that she is stronger than she realizes. We are praying she will be able to be baptized in the next two weeks.

Also Leslye. She is golden. We found her and have been teaching her since the beginning. She is getting baptized on the 29 of March and she is progressing so well! We are so proud of her. Her father is menos (less) active and her mom is catholic. She is so excited to be baptized and is inviting everyone. She is such an example to her family!
Fernanda, Pablo´s (the ballerina) "wife...", also has a date. The problem… is that her and Pablo need to get married first! So her date just keeps getting pushed back again and again. She is still trying to find her answer through prayer, scripture study and church attendance, but we are trying to find another way to help her. Hermana Lyon and I have come to love her dearly and we are trying to do all we can to get her on track and keep her there!
Another one we have is Yolanda, the lady that cut my hair a few weeks back. She is a hard core Testigo de Jehovah (Jehovah Witness) and it is like scripture combat every time we go visit her haha We are just.. almost arguing and it totally drives the spirit away.. and its hard because we are all three so close and such good friends, but religion is just so hard to talk about with her!! 
We really want to try next time to teach with the SPIRIT. To testify of what we know to be true and how we came to know it. We really think that will help her and we really think that that's what she has needed this whole time.

 This is last P-Day!

Yesterday.. I gave a talk in church.  I WAS SO SCARED.
I don’t give talks.. in Spanish. Haha but I just told the ward about how my family and I started going back to church when I was about 13. It all started with leaders from the ward and friends sharing the gospel with us. That's what members need to do. I'm so grateful that when I have to end my mission.. I can still be a missionary. Maybe I wont have my plaquita on my shirt, but I will have it on my heart. I will never stop sharing the Gospel. I love watching the Gospel change peoples lives right before my eyes just the way that the church leaders watched the Gospel change the lives of my family and I.  We will always be so grateful to them, and they know EXACTLY who they are :-)

 He is sooooo attractive!  I had to get a picture with him ;-)

The Church is true, love you all.

Hermana Cedeño