Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Going Out and About

Just a short mom post before Kaylee's letter--Thanks to so many of you for your prayers in ours and Kaylee's behalf this past week-end.  We all felt strengthened.  After meeting with her mtc president last week, he encouraged her to write her thoughts about Lindsay and not being able to be together as a family as the anniversary date of the accident passed.  Then this kind man scanned them and emailed them to us on Monday.  It was good for all of us.  We can feel her growth and strong spirit as she works through things. 

Here is her letter for Oct 26th

Today is our special p-day. There are only about 25 missionaries here at the mtc right now. All of the other groups have left for the field. So today we are going to the temple and then we are going on a tour of Lima. I'm excited to get out and play tourist for a little bit.

This past Saturday we had the chance to go tracting again. But this time our challenge was to get into houses. We drove about 45 minutes away and then all broke up into groups.  We got quite a few people to let us have their information so that we could come back later and teach them. We got into a house and taught a lady a full lesson. It was so great!! She was so excited about the Book of Mormon and loves the bible. She seemed golden, but our teacher who was with us thought she was a little too good to be true. But anyways I'll keep praying for her. We ended up teaching someone else in front of her house and I couldn't understand anything she said. Things were coming out of her mouth but her lips weren't moving-- its tricky.

This past week I finished the Book of Mormon (remember we were challenged to read it in three weeks when i first got here). It was an awesome experience. I loved reading it fast and learning about the stories. I felt such a power after reading. I'm so excited to be able to share it with people for the next 18 months.  It’s true!!!

Now we are working on reading the new testament and the doctrine in covenants before we leave in less than three weeks. It’s about 34 pages a day and will be a little trickier with all of the parables and stuff. But I'm excited. So many people here are Catholic and have a strong conviction of the bible. It will be cool to know the stories in the bible and book of mormon and be able to compare them. So here is a scripture challenge for you! In Matthew 18:18 there is a scriptures about whatever you shall bind on earth...... where is this scriptures in the book of mormon? If you look under bind in the TG it won't be there, but I promise that it is in there. Good luck!

So on Tuesday all of the North Americans and Latinos left for the field. It was sad to see my latin companion go. She had been having a rough week, and it was affecting the spirit between us. She wouldn't ever pray and had a hard time wanting to teach our investigators. On the bus ride to the tracting on Saturday she opened up to me. She said she didn't know if God hears her prayers and has a hard time praying. She didn't know if she was supposed to be here, and she is scared of the field. As we have been companions, I have noticed that we are similar is some ways. Here is one of them that I noticed. She is from lima, and this is her town. Now she is leaving everything she has known and is going somewhere completely new! Sound familiar?  I was able to empathize with her, and try to testify and help her realize how much her Heavenly Father loves her.

I love this gospel; I love seeing the change in people’s lives when they come to know that it is true. When they see the Lords hand in their life. The Spirit is so amazing. It touches people’s hearts and gives comfort in the worst of situations.

I have had a really hard time this past week about not being with my family. It has been hard to go through this 3 year mark with out you guys. A lot of doors opened up, things that I thought I had buried a long time ago. It has been good though to be in a place where I can constantly feel the spirit and am reminded of Heavenly Fathers plan for us, and to remember the atonement. I have been constantly reminded this past week of the atonement and what it means to me.  And how to teach it.  We are incredibly blessed!! Christ has suffered for EVERYTHING we have been through.

I love you all so much, thanks for your prayers and your support!

Hermana Sandstrom!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Only 3 more weeks

Hola Familia!

Sorry for the delay this week, the head people of international mtcs were here visiting Wednesday and the president didn't want us all gone on p day, so it was moved to today-Friday. That made for a really long hard week but oh well. On the bright side we have another p day on Wednesday. yea

So good to hear from all of you! So good to read your emails. I haven't gotten any hard mail or dear elders since I came but I love speed reading your emails.

So here’s a recap of this past week. We got to go out side of the mtc and act like real missionaries. On Saturdays we get to go out and tract. We went out last Saturday night and did some street contacting. I was so nervous!! I could hardly eat my dinner of chicken and rice (I know, I don't know what I was thinking ;)  as we were finishing eating Hermana Adams and I were joking around and she said watch you will go out there have an awesome time and maybe even speak some English to someone. We just laughed. So as we were out tracting we just started stopping people on the street and got to know them, we would tell them about the church. We ended up getting 7 references for it!  It was so awesome. But here is the funny part. We had stopped a guy and were talking to him. I gave my very fast version of "we are members of the church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints" (everybody talks so fast here, its nuts) and he asked where I was from. I laughed because he new my spanish was so bad, I told him the united states and he started speaking to me in english! It was so funny! He works with a company in the states and could speak english really well. I had a hard time trying to think of how to teach the gospel in english. I we ended up talking to him for quite some time, and I ended up being impressed to share the Book of Mormon with him. The only copy I had with me had markings in it that I should use for teaching and notes in the margins. I really felt like he needed it though. So all in all I gave him the copy. I felt so great!!! If this is what its going to feel like for 18months I’m so excited. So it ended up being just like Hermana Adams predicted.

But here is the scary part. Tomorrow when we go out, our goal is to get into 5 families houses and teach them the first lesson and have them want to have us back. Ah!! I'm so so nervous again. I have a hard time understanding fast spanish, and thats the only language people speak outside the mtc. haha

So remember how I love diving in and studying the scriptures. Well I love it and everyday this past week I have become to love it more and more.  Hermana Adams, another elder in our district and I have been going at it. We ask some pretty hard questions or get some hard questions from our investigators and we have to find the answers in the scriptures. Here is one for you… in Matthew 18:18 it says.... and this same scripture is where in the Book of Mormon?  Good luck. And another one is why can't women in our church hold the priesthood?  Back it up with a scripture. Or find any scripture about the apostasy. It so fun! I wish I knew the bible better. It is such a great teaching tool down here because they are all Catholics. Which I think is awesome because they have a base and a belief in Jesus Christ. That makes it so much easier than atheists.

So there really isn't anything new going on here.  All of the advanced North Americans leave on Tuesday along with our Latinas. Then we will all get new missionaries from the states and Latinas for our last three weeks. It’s so weird that I only have 3 more weeks here in the mtc. It feels like I need a lot more time, but at the same time I feel like I have been in the mtc forever.

So this past week I had a pretty good break down. We have to write a letter to our mission president every week and he asked us to share stuff that we would be having a hard time with.  Well I wrote him about Lindsay and ended up having a break down later that night.  Not just a small break down -- I haven't had a break down like this for almost 2 years. Hna Adams stayed up with me most of the night crying, it was bad.

I love you and thanks for remembering me in your prayers.  

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Lima MTC one week in

Hola Familia!!

(this was directed at Connor and Parker and in response to Connor’s recent stitches under his eye from a football incident) You boys are going to love it here. Soccer is the biggest thing!! At our gym time all the elders just play soccer hard core. An elder in my district went to head the ball the other day, and ended up colliding with another elders head. They both left our cinderblock area for the real world to get stitches. Soccer is so intense. I can't wait for you boys to come you can get some awesome jerseys and soccer shoes for super cheap, so save up your money. I MISS YOU.

Things are going better here. My spanish is definitely improving, I think, but you'll have to ask my latin companion. Hermana Sanchez. She is from lima and understands some english. I still have lots to learn. I didn't really talk much the first couple of days because I didn't feel like I knew how to say things. Then after a fireside where we were asked questions about our companion, we decided we needed to break out and start getting to know each other as best we could. It’s so funny as we try to piece sentences together.

Our schedule is a lot the same. We have class all day, 45minutes for meals, which every meal consists of chicken rice and bread. They are very sensitive about food, so if you take it you have to eat it. Yea its kind of annoying, I'm scared to try new foods because if I don't like it, I am stuck with the whole thing.  Its pretty good but most of their food is served cold. but oh well. one of my favorites for breakfast is a less sugary frosted flakes with yogurt, pretty good.

Just like in provo, monday was my hardest day yet on my mission. We had to teach a REAL investigator and she spoke so so fast! It was nuts. I didn't understand a single word, we had a member (a teacher) in with us and he asked me mid lesson if i wanted him to translate. He is one of the only teachers that speaks english. So he translated and at the end I shared a scripture and bore my testimony at what I later learned they were talking about. It was a mess. But then again, same as before in Provo, Tuesday was my best day teaching.  H. adams and I have stopped preparing as much. We study the basics but not word for word. Our lessons go so much better when we do that. We can actually teach by the spirit and answer the questions of our investigators. It went great and each day it gets better.

This morning we got to go to the Lima temple. It was awesome! I didn't use the translating head phones at all and I knew what was actually going on and what was being said by pulling out the words that I know. It was awesome. I didn't need to understand it, I mainly just need a spiritual recharge for the next week.

After the temple we went with our assigned group to to-tus, which is their version of walmart. It was great. We had to turn in all food that we had when we got here so it was nice to find some real food before we ventured back to the ccm (which stands for Centro de Capacitacion Missional or mtc).  Now we have to rest of the day to take a nap and write letters               

Thanks again for all of the love and support!
ps. here is the challange for this week. Go watch the Joseph Smith movie in salt lake (we get to watch church movies on sunday nights) and find something in that movie that really inspires you. Not joseph smith but a quote or something you can change in your life to become better.

love and hugs!!

H. Sandstrom

MOM NOTE - WE JUST FOUND OUT YOU ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO SEND LETTERS TO KAYLEE AT THE MTC AFTER OCT 26TH- because she won't get it before she leaves.  AT THAT POINT SEND THEM DIRECTLY TO HER MISSION.  EITHER THROUGH DEARELDER.COM (choosing the Peru Trujillo mission) or the pouch: Peru Trujillo Mission POB 30150 SLC 84130-0150 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Mom's post

It was so great to talk to Kaylee on the phone Wednesday morning when she was at the airport.  She was so excited.  She sounded so good and on fire.  She couldn't tell us enough about how wonderful the MTC was.  She thoroughly enjoyed General Conference and wanted us to all tell her what our favorite talks were and what we learned.  She was quoting speakers right and left and telling us how she had been impacted by it all.  She was feeling good about being able to pray, testify and teach parts of the lessons in Spanish.  She said she had become quite the crier though, always being so touched by the spirit.  She sent her love to everyone and thanks for all the love and support.  Maybe we'll get to talk to her again in six weeks when she flies to Trujillo.  We did get an email Thursday morning from Peru (see previous post).  You can still write to her at - and if you submit it by Sunday at midnight, it will go in Tuesday's pouch to Peru.

Made it to PERU

Well we made it to Peru! Late late Wednesday night.  We had a great time finding 20 missionaries luggage and getting through customs. It was a very long day of flying. I was so exhausted by the time we got here. But I did have a very cool experience on the plane. I gave away my first Book of Mormon and talked to this man all about the church. It was awesome, and David was so curious. he is from long beach California and has taught high school Spanish for years. He is retired and just travels around the world. He has a house in Spain, Long Beach, Argentina  and Peru. He just rents them out when each visa expires and moves on to the next place… such a great life. He was incredible and i had a great time getting to know him. Hopefully he will continue to read the book i gave him and will follow Moroni's promise.

Well Peru is an interesting place. It is a huge adjustment.  So different from utah, and the provo mtc.  There are only four bedrooms (so 20 hermanas) of hermanas compared to the 2 plus buildings we had in provo. I love them already though. we have two compaions, one english and one latina. But my latina companion never showed up last night. I don't really know what is going to happen with that though. they aren't very organized, so we'll see.  But to the best part.  My english companion is HERMANA ADAMS (from my mtc district)!  So wonderful to see her last night when I walked in my bedroom. I missed her so much.

Since I got here last night it has been rough. Things are so different and EVERYTHING is in Spanish. I'm so lost and confused. I’m in a foreign country, not just for a month or a couple of weeks but for 17 months. WOW. Its so overwhelming and the adversary is getting to me. Please send prayers and love my way.

Our ccm (mtc) president is challenging us to read the book of mormon in three weeks. Just to get the whole story, no underlining. Just reading. Who wants to join me? After that for the last three weeks we are here, we will read the new testament or doctrine and covenants. It will be an awesome experience. I met with the ccm president this morning and he is very nice, he is retired from the military so things around here are pretty strick. but taht will be good. I have heard that it is mainly for the latinos, because they have a hard time with a schedule and rules.

This ccm will be great, and we get to go on a tour of Lima and experience the culture when we get to our three week mark. so that will be fun. the food this morning was awful. it was some kind of egg thing with about a cup of salt in it. I tried to put it inside my roll thing, but it didn’t help. the milk is so watery  and they eat their cereal with yogurt. oh man this is going to be an interesting experience. hopefully I loose 100 pounds from not eating. :) 

Love Hermana Sandstrom

Leaving behind great friends at the Provo MTC 

Hermanas Sandstrom & Bosco
Elder Ensign - my 'little' brother

Sister Marilyn Foster from our old Holladay ward

My Awesome District

a bunch of new 'little' brothers
Hermana Ray in Peru - she was in the Provo
Hermana Adams from my MTC district is my new companion in the CCM