Wednesday, July 24, 2013

I LOVE the MTC!! - July 24th

The District
Hermana Martinez or Magana??
Hermana Martinez or Magana??
It pours in Mexico City
Bottom bunk

Hey fam fam!! 

First of all thank you so much for your emails!! I cried the whole time! I miss you guys so much!! But I am having a great time! Also, I have taken Cristin Drewes wonderful advice and I came early this morning and printed off your emails and read them. Now I am emailing you with more time! Second of all, I have NO IDEA what pictures I sent you last week... haha! I literally hit send on my email when there was 1 second left on my timer! So I am glad you like them :)

I absolutely love the MTC here! It is so beautiful!!! I kinda feel like the “others” in LOST because we are living in the perfect little secluded community all by ourselves. Haha! I also LOVE how much it rains here! Every day it rains! And not a little bit of rain, but it like “monsoons” and I love it!!!! One of my favorite things here is when we sing hymns! Hymns in spanish are prettier than english! Haha! But seriously. Last night at our devotional I almost started crying when we were all singing, it is just so beautiful and the spirit was so strong! Another thing I am loving is how laid back it is here. I know the Provo MTC is way strict, and it is not here at all! And I am grateful! It probably will be later, but since it{s so new, they haven{t figured everything out. Haha!

I love my teachers so much! I have 3 different teachers! Hermano Wadsworth (who is hilarious!) and Hermana Saucedo. They are my morning teachers. They are so fun!! My teacher at night is Hermano Hoskisson, who is related to Paul Hoskisson!! And he goes over to their house for sunday dinner! He told me that Quina{s mom only died 2 months ago! I loved her.

Something that has been kinda hard for me is that I am the only sister going to Fort Collins that is not in the same house or district with the other sisters. There are 4 other sisters going (including Ally) and they are all companions and roommates and in the same district. So I feel like they are spending so much time togehter and I only see them in passing or when the whole MTC meets. It{s kinda hard, but I try really hard to spend as much time with them as possible, and I am just really grateful I have Ally! 

I am really liking my district! The elder{s have stopped throwing pesos! Haha! And they are being nicer  to us! I have been playing basketball with them which is super fun! It{s really hard though cause I{m not allowed to touch them, and they are not allowed to touch me... so its a little awkward...not my best basketball moves - lol. I still try and get in there, but i have to be careful! Hermana Larsen hates basketball! So I have recruited another sister, Hermana Johnson to play with me :) And then we just go on exchanges!

We had to say goodbye to our roommates on monday morning! It was the saddest thing ever! I cried! I love them so much! I am so grateful for the friendship we have made! I know we will stay in touch! Hermana Martinez is so funny!!!! I showed them pictures of you guys and when she saw Max she feel in love!!! So we have already arranged that Max and her are going to get married! There is only 5 years difference :) But every day she would say something about Max! So dude, you’re even a heart stopper in Mexico!! Haha! And Lennon, one of the Elders in my district is 6 feet 7 inches. He played basketball and got the same kind of offers you did to play ball. He is from west virginia and is sooooo hilarious! He totally has a southern accent. When I told him you were 6 1 all the elders were like “you have to marry her!” So you guys need to go on a date when he gets home cause he is going to go to byu! haha!

In class this week, we watched a video on stress management and guess who was in the movie!?!? UNCLE LYLE!!! I screamed and yelled, That}s my uncle! I felt pretty cool :) Haha! Also, one of the devotionals we watched this week was from Elder Holland. (We watch devotionals from the PRovo MTC) When it started, Brother Brown from our ward, was directing it! So between him and Lyle I felt like my family was looking after me. Then Elder Holland spoke. And HOLY COW!! (SANTA VACA) Haha ;) It was fantastic!! I took 4 pages of notes! The spirit was so strong! I love that man so much! I hope I can meet him one day!

Lets, see... I have a mosquito bite the size of Texas on my shin and it makes it look deformed... haha!! Demarie should have gotten here last night! But I haven{t seen her yet! I will be looking for her today! GOOD NEWS!!! I GET TO CALL YOU WHEN I GET TO ATLANTA ON MY WAY TO DENVER!!!!! I AM SO EXCITED!!!! Also, will you please leave $200 in my account for emergencies!? Thanks! 

Also, HOW IS PHOEBE!?!?!?  I miss her so much! Does she miss me?? Thank you for taking such good care of her!! I LOVE YOU GUYS SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH!! The time is flying by! I know we will see each other sooner than we think!!!

Con Amor,
Hermana Mangum

Thursday, July 18, 2013

HELLOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!‏ - JULY 17TH

Mi Familia!! 

Holy cow it has been SO hard not to write to you for over a week!! I am having such a great time!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The campus here is SOOOOOO beautiful!! I will try and write you a quick run down of the last week. I have an hour to emaiL, but it took me 32 minutes just to read all of your emails! Haha! Thank you so much for them! So... I am not in the same house or district as Ally. But our houses are right next to each other! I see her everyday and it is wonderful!!! I see David ike every day too! And it is so hard to not be able to hug him!! My companion`s name is Hermana Devery Larsen. She is great! She is actually 24! She turns 25 next week! She is from Washington State and she already graduated with her masters in speech therapy! We get a long really well! And we have the same sense of humor! We have Native roomates! WHO I LOVE!!! One doesn{t speak any english, the other is fluent! So she translates everything for us! Their names are hermana Martinez and Hermana Magana! Hermana Martinez is the one who doesn{t speak any english, but she is hilarious!! She makes fun of us... but I love it! LIke the other night I was telling her what time is was and it was 9:47, but i said ``90:14&7`` HAHAHAHA!!!! So now she calls me Hermana Noventa! I love it! Hermana Magana is so sweet and is obsessed with starwars! She wears star wars pjs every night! Her journal is star wars too! My district... haha! We are the only girls! I love half of the Elders! The other half act like 18 year old boys! During study time they just throw pesos around the classroom or lay on desks and are super distracting! So hopefully they start acting like missionaries soon!

So, how our church works is everyone writes a talk and then when we get there they announce who is speaking! Ah! And it{s all in spanish! I wasn{t called on this week - thank goodness! I was super nervous! BUt we had a devotional after church on sunday about prayer and it was FANTASTIC! I wanted to quickly tell you one of the stories! The devotional was about praying specifically. The speaker told us a great story about a missionary in mexico who left his backpack in the back of a taxi. The elder had been out for 21 months and all of his pictures and scriptures and everything was in his backpack. He went home and said a prayer and said that tomorrow he was going to be at a
7-11 near his house with a sign for  an hour and he prayed that the taxi driver would drive by and give him his backpack. And he prayed that nothing would have been stolen out of it. So the next day he went to the 7-11 with his companion and they stood outside for 58 minutes and he started to lose hope, when the taxi driver came and gave him his backpack and told him he didn{t steal anything because he is christian! I was crying! Holy cow what a great story!!! So I just want to tell you guys to start saying specific prayers! THere was another story he told but I don{t have time to write it, so I will tell you later!

So, we have already started teaching lessons in spanish to some of the teachers. Our investigator's name is Carlos. And oh my goodness! IT IS HARD! I can barely follow the conversation and I have to read my notes any time I say something! Haha! I feel like I have a learned a lot for only beiung here for 1 week, but I get frustrated and pray that I learn the language fast! IT{s hard!!
So, this morning I went to the temple!!! Oh my gosh, it was such an amazing experience!!! THe temple is beautiful!! THey gave us headphones which was nice. BUt next time we go I am going to do the whole thing is spanish! The spirit was SO strong there! And everyone was so nice and helpful to us!

A little about the campus... ITS GORGEOUS! It rains pretty much everyday. One day it was like a full on monsoom! We were soaked!!!! but it was really fun! The water here isn{t that great... haha! But the food is pretty good!

Also, don{t send me any handwritten letters or packages until I am in colorado. IT takes 6 weeks for us to even get mail from the states! So I probably wouldn{t even get it! And Lennon, Thank you so much for the candy!! I eat a little bit everyday :) I am trying to make it last! Haha!

Thank you so much for the bachelorette updates as well as hgtv star! It made me really happy! I{m so happy to hear you are all doing well!!! I miss you guys so much! BUt i really am having such a great time and I am learning a lot!

MAX your pictures are ridiculous!!! Holy cow! That is so cool that Mrs jdawgs wrote on your instagram!

The Korean sounds super nice and cute! That{s so cool that uncle dave flew with PAUL MILSAP!!! I apologize for the terrible spelling! and when i used } it is supposed to be an apostrophe, but the keyboards are different here and I can{t find it... haha!!
Hermana Mangum!

Hermana Mangum y Mehner en el Centro de Capacitacion Misional Mexico

Mexico City Temple on first Pday

The grounds at MTC

SHE IS GONE - JULY 9, 2013

Hola Familia! I haven´t read your emails yet... I don´t have time :( I am not sure yet what day I write to you guys... I guess I´ll find out soon! BUT I had to let you know I am at the MTC! It´s pretty amazing! I got really excited once we got here! Some Elders started singing hymns to us when we pulled up. It was pretty awesome! I think there are about 300 missionaries at the MTC right now.
I got my first companion! Her name is Hermana Larson! I met her for like 30 seconds and then I had to come and email you. So I don´t know anything about her. Haha! Ally is here and doing great! She loved the bracelet :) We are having fun together. We aren´t in the same house... but she´s in the one right next to me! There´s another girl that flew with me that is going to Fort Collins. Her name is Hermana Luke.
Let´s see... We almost missed our connecting flight from LA to Mexico... That was scary! We literally boarded when the plane was supposed to take off. The flight from SLC was delayed... So we were racing around LAX and barely made it! Haha!
Everyone seems super nice! I was feeling pretty freaked out on the plane, but as soon as we got on the bus and came to the MTC I got really excited!! I miss you all so much already! Pero, yo soy muy emocionada! Haha ;) I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can´t wait to spend more time writing to you guys and give you details on what is happening here! TE QUIRO!!!!!!!!!!
Hermana Mangum :)

Bittersweet to say goodbye!

Wowza! She is walking away...

She wasn't by herself for long! They picked up Ally in LAX and headed to Mexico City - let the mission begin!!!



Fabulous banner made by Miss Lennon Jane :)

Rachel, Hannita Bonita and Carly - the Interior Designers!!

Aunt Lori and Uncle Dave! And Tiffany and Glen (Ally's parents -
in background) in total shock about THE SAME MISSION CALL!!

Aunt Renae and Uncle Bart :) And, yes, that is Uncle Kim photobombing!!

Way to build that cookie, Craig!

Coolest. Cousins. Ever.

Wait...these guys are WAY COOL too!!

Gpa and Gma Mangum :)

Hermana Mangum and Gma Danielson!

Big Ed, aka Gpa Danielson :)

Lennie Lou and Liz - BFF's

Diane and Robin and a large plastic object :)

You can't get two better guys than these: Pat and Dave :)

Ruben and Roxana Garces - Hannah's second parents! They
taught her Spanish when she was a little girl - let's hope it is
still in there somewhere!!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Hannah's Farewell Talk - June 23, 2013

Good morning Brothers & Sisters. I am so grateful to have the opportunity to speak to you today. I have been called to serve in the Colorado, Fort Collins Mission, Spanish speaking and I report to the Mexico City MTC on July 10th. I am so excited to go and serve the Lord! 

I would like to begin my talk by sharing with you a few experiences I had after opening my mission call. After I opened my call in front of my family & friends, I was overwhelmed with the spirit. My body was shaking & I could not even stand up. The spirit was SO strong! Putting yourself & the next 18 months of your life into God’s hands, is a wonderful, yet scary thing to do. I had no idea where I was going & I had just committed that wherever I was assigned, I would go. After I had time to process my call, I started getting a little nervous & honestly I was shocked that I was staying so close to home, but I was grateful to be learning another language. I then felt ashamed & guilty that I would feel this way. Soon after I realized that this is a normal way to feel & about 20 other people told me that they had felt the same thing when they opened their calls. But let me tell you about 2 experiences I had the very next day from when I opened my mission call that changed these feelings of fear into such gratitude, excitement, & made my testimony of the Gospel even stronger.

To begin this first story, I need to give you some background information. About 8 and a 1/2 years ago, my family lived in the Riverbottoms. My Mom’s really good friend, Tiffany, who was in our ward at the time, was on vacation with her husband in Mexico when he had a heart attack & passed away, leaving 6 children behind. The oldest was 16 & the youngest was 18 months old. Tiffany flew home from Mexico, where my Mom & others were at her home waiting for her. My Mom has often told me that it was one of the most spiritual experiences she has ever had. There was an undeniable spirit that testified everything was going to be ok and even Tiffany knew this was in God’s plan. About 2 and 1/2 years later, Tiffany remarried. Glen, her new husband, had lost his wife to cancer. He has 4 beautiful daughters. So now, between the 2 of them, they have 10 kids. They moved to Southern California & we have stayed great friends with them, such great friends, that I would consider them family. We go and stay with them in California every year, and they will come up here and spend some time too. I have been friends with Tiffany’s kids since they first moved into our ward in the Riverbottoms, but I have now become great friends with Glen’s daughters, especially the youngest, Ally. She came to BYU this last year. She & her brother would come over to our house every Monday night for Family Home Evening... Which I am ashamed to admit, consisted of watching The Bachelor. Ally turned in her mission papers a couple weeks before I did. While we were waiting to get our calls, we would joke around during our Monday night Bachelor Party, that we were going to get called to the same mission. My mom just looked at us like we were very naive & would sweetly tell us that it was very unlikely. Despite her realistic point of view, we continued to say we were going to get called to serve in the same mission. We could imagine ourselves as companions.

Well, Ally got her call in the mail about a week and a half before I did. But she wanted her family to be with her when she opened it. And because they live out of state, they were not able to come for another week and a half, so the envelope sat on her dresser in the dorms. As she waited, my call came in the mail. She came over to my house on Thursday night to watch me open it with her brother. The very next night, on Friday, her family came into town & she was able to open her call. I went with my family to watch her open it. She started reading her call & to everyone’s complete surprise she read that she has been assigned to labor in the Colorado, Fort Collins Mission! The screams in the room were deafening & I have a video to prove it! I ran up and gave her a huge hug before she was even able to finish reading. When she was finally able to continue, she read that she is preaching the Gospel in the Spanish language, & she will report to the MTC on July 10th. Believe it or not the screams got louder. I thought our parents were going to pass out. This is the same mission, same language, and same day as me. Brothers & Sisters, the spirt was SO strong that night. I cannot even begin to explain it. I knew right then that Heavenly Father had a plan for me. And that I am supposed to go and serve in Fort Collins, Colorado. My fear about going was gone, & I became overwhelmed with excitement to go and serve with Ally. 

In D&C 84:88 it says, “And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.” I testify to you that God has a plan for each and every one of us. Sometimes his plan is not made known to us right away. Sometimes it takes a day, a week, a month, a year, and sometimes longer. But I know that if we trust in him, we will experience those miracles he places in our lives & His wonderful plan will be made known to us. 

I would like to share with you another experience I had that same day Ally opened her call, but just a few hours before. I was driving home in my car, still feeling scared to go to Colorado, & I was listening to my music, when the song, “Home” by Phillip Phillips came on. I would like to read the lyrics to you today. They were so powerful to me. 

Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave is stringing us along
Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you’re not alone
Cause I’m going to make this place your home
I wish this song could be our closing hymn today. As I listened to the words of this song I started to cry and I knew right then, that everything was going to be ok. I am preparing to travel down an unfamiliar road, but if I hold on to Heavenly Father, He will help me along & will make Colorado my home.  The second verse in this song is the one that really gets to me. “Settle down, it’ll all be clear. Don’t pay no mind to the demons, they fill you with fear.” At that moment I had been filled with fear. I just committed to leaving my family, friends and job behind to go and serve a mission. But I told myself right then, to stop being scared. Heavenly Father has a plan, and at that time, I did not know what that plan was. As Phillip Phillips said, “Settle down, it’ll all be clear.” And it was made clear to me that very night when I found out that I get to serve a mission with my dear friend, Ally. I am really hoping our Mission President makes us companions. We are 2 girls who have experienced a lot in our lives & I know our testimonies would combine together with great force. 
President Monson said, “If there is a design in this world in which we live, there must be a designer. Who can behold the many wonders of the universe without believing that there is a design for all mankind? Who can doubt that there is a designer?” I really love this quote. I just graduated from college in April, with my degree in Interior Design. My goal as a designer is to make my surroundings beautiful. I know that this was Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ’s goal as well when they designed and created this beautiful world we live in. I know that at times we may feel scared and alone, but we don’t need to because, like Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ created this earth, they also designed every last detail of our lives. They know the experiences we will face, good & bad. This thought gives me comfort & is a good reminder that everything will be ok. 
We experience many trials in this life. But I know that the trials we are given are given to us to make us stronger. I have gone through some tough experiences in my life already, and I know that when I have turned to Christ, he has helped me get through those hard times and has made my testimony stronger. Anything is possible through the Gospel. I don’t know how I could have gotten through some of my trails without feeling the love of Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ, and without knowing that there is a plan. I know that I will continue to face trials on my mission and through out the rest of my life. But I know that I can get through anything as long as I live worthily. And as I stay worthy, Heavenly Father will continue to place wonderful miracles in my life, like having such a great friend to serve a mission with. 
Missionaries have been a huge part of my families life. My Mom’s parents are converts to the church. A great member family in California introduced them to the gospel & sent the Elders to their house, where they taught them the lessons. I know that experience influenced my mom to serve a mission and it has me too. I am excited to be a part of this great work.
I would like to bare my testimony to you, that I know this Gospel is true and that Heavenly Father has a plan for each and every one of us. And His plan is beautiful. I testify to you that President Monson is the true and living Prophet on the earth today. The Book of Mormon is the word of God, and if we read it, blessings will be poured upon us. I know the temple is a sacred and holy place. I took my endowments out at the Newport Beach temple a couple of weeks ago with Ally & her family & my mom by my side. That was a sweet experience. I am grateful that I have been able to attend it each week after leading up to my mission. I know that if we hold on to Heavenly Father, that he will never leave us alone. He has a plan, which in time, will be made clear to each of us. I am grateful for His unconditional love for me, and that He has for all of His children. I know that I am supposed to go and serve the people in Fort Collins, Colorado, and I am so excited to go and bring this wonderful Gospel to the people there. Thank you for all of your love and support. 
In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.