- I have changed Katie's blog. I was having troubles posting and copying from my email. Her new blog is Sisterkathryncoon.blogspot.com
Thursday, November 21, 2013
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
Hola Mi Familia!
Ha sido un buen semana! Muchisimas gracias por sus cartas y emails, le ayudame mucho en mis animos! y....YO RECIBI DOS PAQUETES DE USTEDES Y LA FAMILIA DE ROB Y NIKI! Ok enough spanish...This week was changes and I received a whole bunch of letters and 2 packages from you and Rob and Niki! I was so excited! Packages and letters are literally the best. I never knew how important these were to missionaries until I actually embarked on this adventure! I love all the vitamins that you sent me and those GRANOLA BARS are to die for! THANK YOU! Oh man I miss healthy food and feeling healthy. Niki sent me the most beautiful type 2 shirt and I have worn in twice this week. She also sent me fun stickers and cosas asi. Tell them thank you so much and give them the biggest of biggest hugs for me.
Thank you so much for your inspiring, uplifting words every week. It is so nice to have family that is so supportive, loving, and my personal cheerleaders. I know that you will always be here for me, and I will always be here for you. siempre.
This week was very crazy...I am still in Progreso for me third change (I cant believe that I have been in this area for more than 3 months!) and I have a new companion!!! Her name is Hermana Herrera from Lima, Peru and she is AWESOME! She is so fun and is probably maybe 5 feet tall. She has so much energy in that little body. It is so funny...I have never ever felt tall in my life, but here, I am like a giant! 5"4 is so tall here. People say to me,"Hermana Coon, you are tall, can you get this for me?" Me TALL? I just laugh and take the compliment because no one has ever called me tall before. She speaks a little bit of english, so I help her with her english, and she helps me with my spanish. I have learned so much from her just in these past 5 days. Her mom is less active, but she is so strong and happy in the gospel. These latinos are so special, their circumstances are so different from us in the States. I feel very grateful. By the way, before I forget....MOM one of my really good friends here is Hermana Hansen! Do you remember her? Do you remember that we read her blog before I came here? She is so great and such a great friend to me! Also, tell Niki and Dawn that Elder Reay in their ward in Cottonwood is my district leader! small world! I also met Elder Hatch, which is grandmas friends grandson!
Ok, I have a funny story to tell you all.was cambios, so most of the missionaries in the mission head to a church building in Montevideo close to the mission home. We meet our new companions there and collect our letters and packages. It is really fun and I have made so many great friends here in the mission. I was talking to a new missionary, an oro, and she says to me, "Oh you are THE Hermana Coon? My companion from the CCM has been so excited to meet you!" And then she calls over her CCM companion, Hermana Bullock. Hermana Bullock starts freaking out, giving me hugs, I felt like a celebrity. Hermana Bullock then goes on to tell me that she has been asking everyone in the mission, even President Newsome if they know a Hermana Katie Coon. She told me that she saw my mission call opening video on youtube and has stalked my life. She has been so excited to meet me every since. I was laughing so hard at this....how funny!
It has been overcast and rainy all week. One day last week, it was POURING so hard. I have never been in rain like this before. Uruguay doesnt have sewage systems, and so there is no where for the rain to drain into, except to fill the dirt filled streets. And, you are going to freak out at this, but there is place to put human waste(?) so the streets smell so bad. Well it was raining and as we were walking in the streets, sopping wet from head to toe, we taught people. As we were in peoples houses, the sound of the rain was so loud on the tin roofs. You can probably imagine how loud it would be. Most people life only in cement houses and so the water drains and seaps through the blocks. As we were wading through the streets, we decided to stop by a menos activa, Olga to visit her. Olga is like our grandma in Progreso. ed on her door, she opened, and her eyes got very big. She through her hand over her mouth and started speaking in spanish really fast. "Probrasitas!" And there we were standing on her porch, sopping wet, and very cold. She brought us in, gave us new clothes to wear, fed us some cake and a hot drink, and we sang hymns with her and shared a scripture. We were so thankful for her. We love Hermana Olga even with her hair growing out of her chin. Its the little things where we know that Heavenly Father is aware of us. I am so humbled by the way people live here and I was so humbled by the generosity and Christlike love of Olga.
Well Family, I love you and am so excited to talk to you on Christmas! Only a few weeks away! Thank you so much for your prayers. I could definitely feel them this week. I know Heavenly Father answers prayers and he knows our situations, our desafios, and our weaknesses. I am trying everyday to recognize the han of the Lord in my life and in the lives of others and as I am studying the life of Christ, I am learning of him and growing closer and closer to him everyday.
I love you all so much! We are going to be together for eternity!
p.s. Hermana Chavez received all your letters! We read them together this morning. She was and is so touched by your generosity and love. Thank you!
You are probably going to scream when you see the first photo. Yes, that is a tarantula and yes, It lives in the campo, and yes it is alive. Pray for me. haha. chiste.
This is the Dotta Family! He is the Branch President.
Sweet Hermana Olga.
Also...I cut my hair. Its really short now. I needed a change, but the hairstylist was like Heather Torriente and cut it all off. haha. Maybe its because I couldn't really express what I wanted in spanish. Who knows. Quien sabe? Good thing hair grows!
My new companion Hermana Herrera! Pray for us! We have so much faith in this area that there are people ready and prepared for this gospel.
Monday, October 28, 2013
Hello! or Hola!
I am so happy that you received the letter from me!
I have been dying all week to tell you all the eventful, dramatic story of the week! It is so funny. We were visiting a less active, Margarita Buela and su familia. We had just got done reading the scriptures together and singing How Great Thou Art. The spirit was nice. I just love this sweet family. Their son, Disney, brought us out some sandwiches with bologna and juice. We never eat dinner, so it was nice to have something to eat. I took a bite of the sandwich. The bread was hard as a rock and all of the sudden...I felt something empty with my tongue. "OH NO!" I thought to myself. I started freaking out inside. My worst nightmare on my mission has come true. "I lost my tooth!" I thought frantickly. I started whispering loudly to Hermana Harris. "My tooth, my tooth!" And then it was made known that Hermana Coon was toothless. It was super funny because I was totally in shock and I began speaking in English to the family. They couldnt understand a word I was saying and I could not think in Spanish at this moment. Good thing Hermana Harris was there to translate for me! It was hilarious because the first thing they said was, "Where is your tooth?!" (in spanish of course) and then the second thing they said was, "Oh, esta bien! It happens all the time!" Hermana Harris and I had a good laugh about that one. No, this does not happen all the time...only in Uruguay! Hermano Buela gave me his denture cream. We had such a good laugh, but I had mucho verguenza! They were laughing so hard at me, but I think that this experience has only made them more endeared to us.
But like I said, the next day during proselitismo, everyone understood me so much better! I talked with a lisp and more like a Uruguayan! haha! And NO ONE, not even one person said anything to me about my rotten, dead tooth. I am becoming an Uruguayan to the extreme! The first dentist we went to was no bueno, the second was in Las Piedras. I was so scared and I will FOREVER be grateful for dentists in America...land of the free! I was sitting in the waiting room hearing the sound of the drills and my nerves were getting the better of me. I began reading my scriptures as I waited, but then, all of a sudden, my name was called. I walked back to the dental room, actually more like a mad scientist lab. The dentist looked like a mad scientist wearing JEANS. I sat in the 1970s chair with the light shining right in my face. Hermana Harris, my translator, told him the problem. He began drilling away my tooth to nothing...without my permission. He glued the temporary tooth back on and then I told him that I was concerned that my retainer wouldnt fit. He pushed that retainer in my mouth and then took it to drill it down! I freaked out! "Tell him to stop!" I told Hermana Harris. He shrugged his shoulders like I was crazy and said, "Its not like retainers do anything anyways." Yes they do! haha. I was quite tramatized from everything...the santication, the setting, everything. I was quite tramatized from the experience. Tell Doctor Wold that I will kiss the ground of his office when I come home. Afterwards, we bought icecream from Gritos and called Hermana Pugmire, who is the nurse for the missionaries. I am going to find a dentist in Montevideo because this temporary is only suppose to last for maybe 2 months. I am on an all liquid diet! haha just kidding, but I am trying to be so careful.
So that was my exciting experience for the week! But, asides from almost getting proposed to from some random guy on the street, it was a great week! It is amazing how the spirit works. The spirit is definitely not a loud voice, but yet a still small voice that is so quiet you have to be really paying attention to hear it. We found this sweet daughter and father, Mario and Julianna, this week. As we were walking past them and say them in their front yard fixing a bike, Hermana Harris and I both had the thought that we should talk to them. We talk with everyone we see, but this time it was different. We began teaching them and sharing our testimonies. Julianna is 10 years old and is so sweet and intelligent. She wants to be baptized. We just love her.
I really feel like I am serving with all my heart, might, mind, and strength. I know that this is the Lords work and he is and will put people into our paths to teach and bring to the gospel. A lot of our planned baptisms had fallen through, but like I said, I know the Lord has a plan. He loves his children so much. I spoke in church yesterday. It was my goal to really speak from my heart and not to have it written in spanish word for word. I began my talk by saying something like, "I know you all know that I am learning spanish and I hope and pray that you will all understand me, but what I hope for more is that you will be able to feel the spirit and the truthfulness of the words that I will speak." My heart is beating so fast as I type this because I am reflecting on each and every experience and I know that Heavenly Father has helped me. This is an experience that I will never forget because it is so true that the lord really put words into my mouth. I spoke of Revelacion Personal and shared the experience of my decision to serve a mission and then how Joseph Smith received personal revelation. The branch of Progreso is so small and it is so cute because when I have troubles finding a word, people sitting in the congregation just shout words out to help me. It is tender. I love my mission. I love this time in my life where I am able to grow spiritually. Yes, a lot of times it is really hard, but most of the time it is really fun and rewarding.
Goodness, thank you all for your love and support. And thank you for writing Hermana Chavez. She is mi mejor amiga. She loves receiving letters from you. I feel like we were friends in the pre existence. So cool! I love you miss you all so much, but I will be home so soon. Time is going by so fast and I know it will only go faster and faster.
Mom, look up this song by Hillary Weeks...its called "Dancing in the Rain" or something like that. It will remind you of me, I hope!
Until Next Week! Be Missionaries! Share this light with all your friends!
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Hello my beautiful family!
You are all probably wondering why you are getting an email from me on a! Lets just say something very urgent has happened! haha. My fake tooth has fallen out! I cant wait to tell you all the story in detail because it is crazy, but for now that is all I can say.
Today, Hermana Harris and I went to the dentist here in Progreso (a little sketchy) to try to figure out what to do. I have two options. I can either have a tempory fixed for 2 months which would cost about $20 or I can have a permanent implant where they put a pin in the root of the tooth and they build a new tooth around it. This is probably about $300. I am a little nervous since the dentistry is very different here. My tooth is completely dead and is cracking because it has no life. Also, these arent the only options because I still need to have xrays taken.
Needless to say, I have gone all day today with a rotten tooth. I am trying to look at the blessings of it...and you know what!? People actually understand me better! haha it is awesome! I am becoming a Uruguayan! (Most Uruguayans have no teeth or they are rotten!) The funny thing is, out of all the people we have talked to today, not ONE person has said anything about my tooth. Its completely normal here I guess. too funny.
I will come to the cyber to check my emailwith your responses. Uruguayan time. Just a quick little email to let you know my little dilemma. Off to teach an english class!
Love you all! Enjoy the pictures!
Hermana Coon and Hermana Harris!
Monday, October 21, 2013
I. am. so. tired. All the time. I remember before I left, Sunshine told me that I will never be as tired as I am here on the mission because we are working hard spiritually, physically, and emotionally. Spritually obviously because we try so hard to have the spirit with us at all times, physically because we walk and walk and walk some more, and emotionally...I have a story to tell you about this....
I have told you all about our investigator Monica. Yesterday, after lunch with the Familia Dotta (our branch president), Presidente Dotta, his wife, and us went to visit Monica and su hijos. We wanted Dotta to be there with us and to share his testimony as we taught about tithing. We knew that this would be a little difficult for Monica because she is sooo poor. She lives in an old house that is probably the size of our tv family room, it smells so bad and is so dirty, flies and animals fill the kitchen. During a lesson with her, I probably have 8 flies buzzing around my head at one time. Last night, as we visited with her, we found some more things out about Monica that we didnt know before. Monica told us that she is a spotter...I didnt know what this was before, but apparently it is someone who has no where to live, so they find an abandoned house and live there. Spotters dont pay rent, water, electrical, nothing. The people whose house she is living in are trying to kick her out...shes breaking the law, but she has no where to go. She doesnt work because she doesnt want to leave her two sons. Her situation is so sad...she doesnt have anywhere to go or to live and her kids are suffering because of this. As we sat there attempting to teach about tithing, promising her blessings, I looked over my shoulder to see Presidente Dotta in tears. A full grown man completely in tears looking at her surroundings. We had just, 10 minutes earlier, had come from Presidente Dotta´s house, which is almost as nice as a house in the states to the house of Monica. As we left the house and piled into the Dottas car, Presidente Dotta burst in to tears, and so did the rest of us. He was sobing because she has nothing and we have so much. "Did you think that you would experience things like this before you came on your mission, Coon?" he asked. "What would Presidente Monson do if he was here or better yet, what would the Savior do?" We just sat in the car and we were all crying, completely touched by what we had just experienced, how we all recognized how blessed we really are. Presidente Dotta did as the Savior would do. He gave us 2000 pesos to go buy some new shoes for the children because they pretty much have no shoes and to buy some groceries.
Afterwards, as Hermana Harris and I were talking about what had just happened, we couldnt help but talk about our many many blessings. What did we do to deserve such a good life as we have? We have a family who loves us and is strong in the church AND we were born in AMERICA! Home of the free. Tears streamed down our eyes as we thought about this. My life will never be the same after my mission and after what I have seen. My heart aches for Monica. My eyes are actually teary as I write this. Today for Pday, we traveled to Las Piedras to buy some shoes and after this we are going grocery shopping. We have to teach her to be self reliant...that she can work and that she has so much potential. This is just one experience of how the mission is emotionally draining. Its like you love these people so much and you spend so much time with them and to hear, see, and witness things like this is so hard.
This week I read about the Stripling Warriors in the Book of Mormon, about how their mothers had taught them. This has caused me to reflect about my own mom and dad. Thats another blessing. I have, that I have righteous parents who teach their children the gospel. Mom, thanks for telling me about that talk in the ensign. I really needed to hear that. Trying to learn a language can be so frustrating and it is so scary teaching in spanish. I feel like I am starting from the very beginning again. It is so challenging. Yesterday, for Sunday School, my companion and I taught the lesson on the spot because the teacher didnt show up. We taught about the creation and it went well. After lessons like these, I think, "How in the world did I just do that?" And I KNOW that it was the Lord helping me. It is his work and he will not leave me alone to fend for myself. We have been working so hard with visiting the less actives and trying to reactivate them and yesterday, we had 7 Less Actives at church! It was so great. I love each and everyone one of them and want them so desperately to be active once again.
This whole week and last week, Hermana Flores (my best friend in the mission and roommate) have been going running. It has been so fun and really good for our social aspect and health! She is the greatest. I love running through the campo with the red sunrise and seeing the fog over the vineyards.
Well family, I love you all so much and miss you all muchisimo! James congrats on your new job and fun stuff! So exciting to hear about our temple and other fun things like that. haha and dad, the shot gun story will forever be one of the funniest memories. Goodness, life is grand.
p.s. Hermana Chavez just gave me a big hug and said that you guys emailed her! She is so happy and so am I! THANK YOU! MUCHISIMO GRACIAS! Besos!
This is a picture of us and Monica. We taught her how to sew a cute quilted purse to make more money.
Oh ya, crazy to think that the ward split again! WOW! Life will be so different when I come home.
Give everyone a biiiiiiig hug for me...James, Annie, Hannah, cousins, aunts, uncles, grandma, grandpas, friends, ward members, everyone!
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Hey mom and dad!
Still no package from ya, but thank you so much for sending letters for Hermana Chavez! Also for the scrapbook, just stuff like paper, cute stuff, etc. It is so fun starting a scrapbook!
jaja the way they sell cars here is hilarious! They put like an empty bottle on top of the cars if they are for sell. super weird and random. And the dogs...I cant even talk about the dogs...they are so gross! I have been really practicing patience with these animals because i cant stand when they jump on me, bark in my ear, and lick my legs. haha. All i can do is take a couple deep breathes and then scrub my legs like no other when I get home at night and take a shower. Haha.
Could you also send me some dietary supplies to clean out my system? Vegetables here are very limited and I feel very....soft. I have never been this out of shape in my life. It is actually pretty sad and I really know now how important eating healthy is.
Love you both! Thank you so much for your love and support. Each day gets better and better. And I am enjoying myself more and more. I just always have to rely on Heavenly Father because I know that he is always listening. Its been different because usually I would just tell you both everything that was on my mind, but now you arent here. I have turned to my Heavenly Father instead to tell everything too. Its a good relationship.
I love you!
Your hungry for vegetables daughter,