Monday, December 27, 2010

On to a New Year!

Mi Familia!

Can you believe we were just talking on the phone just a few days ago?  I am thankful that we had the opportunity to talk for a bit. And thank you for making sure Grandma and Grandpa and Gayle were there. This made me especially happy to hear them. haha I am glad that you thought my Spanish sounded good. I definitely need to work on my accent....I am still gringo through and through. Paciencia. Paciencia....

Interesting that you were supposed to have the missionaries for dinner last night and they didn't come.... We went to our dinner appt but no one was there! So we had dinner with Grandma instead! Meaning, we went back to our apartment and made the minestrone soup Grandma sent for Christmas. Hermana Rosas, Montenegro, and Barker all say THANK YOU GRANDMA! Hna Rosas said in her cute English, ¨It´s delicious!¨ Thank you Grandma for helping us keep the Sabbath Day holy and for feeding us. YUM YUM.

Tonight, we are planning on having FHE with Gio, one of our investigators and hopefully ward members. We are planning to talk about how goal setting is an act of faith and through Christ is how we reach our goals. (Ether 12:27).

I have found a few beautiful things about this city:
1. Cute little YELLOW birds
2. The fruit vendors--really, neatly stacked fruit is bright, colorful, and beautiful
3. The people!!!! I am not sure I have ever been kissed so many times a day in my entire life. I am grateful mom and dad that after family
prayer we kiss each other on the cheek. I had no idea this was actually preparation for my mission.
4. Actually, that may be all for this week

We went out into the streets for a few hours--during the appointed time we could-- on Christmas afternoon and we met two delightful families. I will tell you about one-- In one apartment lived a lady who is 93 years old with her three kids who are in 60-70 years old. It was an interesting experience. We are not exactly sure how to go about this because none of them can see well enough to read The Book of Mormon, they cannot walk the distance to church, and we are not sure how well they hear. And so, this is an interesting challenge. But I was thankful for the love I felt from them on Christmas. The mother, who was 93 just held my hand for a long time. We shared Matt 11-- come unto me all ye who labor and are heavy laden and I will give thee rest. A beautiful passage. And then we invited them to be baptized! One of them said yes, the others said they have been baptized before in the Catholic church, so we will see what happens when we visit them again.

Baptism is a huge focus in our mission. In the first lesson, we usually invite the person to be baptized in just 2 or 3 weeks from that date. We are finding those who are ready to hear this message. We do not have time to waste, and so we do our best to testify that this is the truth and that they can know it is the truth as well through prayer. And those who want to know it is true, will act. They will keep commitments and eventually, will know it is true. It is simple! Se bautizara? SI!

I am definitely being strengthened in this work. Especially Christmas night and afternoon, I was surprised at how peaceful I felt. It was just a quiet feeling of contentment with the choice to serve a mission and with being here in Ecuador. I was thankful for this reassurance. I am finding joy in this work. I hope the rest of your Christmas was a blast!

Hermana Garlock

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Feliz Navidad!


I am officially here in Ecuador. The last week in the Peru MTC was fabulous. It is hard to believe that my MTC experience has ended and now it's the real stuff from here on out. Saving souls....finding the injured....seeking the elect...etc. It's big time. I am working on realizing that I have been prepared for this experience and that Jesus Christ is with me in His work.

This has been some experience so far. Where to begin? First, the bug count has gone way up. I have seen a rat, cockroaches *I feel you Elder Garlock!, unidentified little bugs and ants, mosquitos every night, and I saw a spider within the first 12 hours of arrival. And so, my bug count has come to an end. I am here for a different work and as much as I would like to keep you updated on the bugs I have seen, I am afraid this is all I would have time for! You can count on hearing though if I see anything really crazy.

My companion's name is Hermana Rosas and she is from Costa Rica! She only has two transfers left and I expect we will be together for both of them. It seems that the sisters stay in one area for months at a time. Hna Rosas is a wonderful companion. She has a positive attitude and compliments me often, which I appreciate. We are opening a sector or something like that. The other missionaries in our area finished their missions so we are starting from scratch! We have had some interesting days so far. My nose is often in the map as we try to find the next place. I am pretty sure Heavenly Father has a sense of humor and that He laughs with me everyday as we try to navigate our way through the streets. Believe it or not, compared to many Latinos here, I have a sense of direction!!!! Unbelievable.

We live in an apartment with another companionship who are the mission nurses! I love them. They are way fun and I'm thankful for their friendship and knowledge of the city.

The city I am in is somewhat interesting....I'm not exactly sure how to describe it. Let's just say one of my goals this week is to find the beauty in the city. One thing I love is that there are hens! Similar to Sister Farnes' hens! I love these!!! One is making a lot of noise right now. The city is very noisy at times with sounds of people, animals, cars, and music. So far I like the food even more than the food in Peru! Bananas here are five cents. Incredible.

The work is going well so far. We found an older gentleman named Gio and are teaching him. He keeps us on our toes! Our ward I believe is called Bolivar. The members here are very supportive and I am sooo thankful for this. It helps a ton! We are praying to find find find.

This has been the biggest adjustment of my mission so far. Hermana Salmon was sent to another city 10 hours away and I am here in the main city in Guayaquil! I miss Hna Salmon dreadfully but I have hope we will get to see each other again later on in our missions. She has been such a dear friend to me throughout my mission! My heart is full of gratitude for her. The first day we arrived we all went to the beautiful temple in Guayaquil. It has been a bit of a whirlwind and I am excited to get to talk to you all on the phone!!!!!!!!!!!!!

THANK YOU For the ELFudge cookies. They are half gone. We love them. Thank you for the Reeses. Holy cow. Love them.

I love you and am thankful for your support and prayers. The gospel of Jesus Christ is true and what a special treat it is to be a missionary during this time of year. I love it.

Hermana Garlock

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas in Peru and on to Ecuador!

Hola Familia!

It is so good to hear that you have a Christmas tree and that it was obtained without any tears. It sounds very exciting. There is a Christmas tree in the CCM auditorium that Hna Salmon and I got to decorate. It is beautiful of course. The Elders put the tree up and we put on the teddy bears. haha.   Can you believe it is Christmas time??? There actually are Christmas lights on a lot of the trees here at the CCM, and the best part is that there is little music to go along with it.

Last night Hna Salmon and I were teaching our maestro in "the park" and we decided to sing, "Did You Think to Pray?" as part of the lesson. The challenge was singing louder than the singing Christmas lights. :) It was a special moment. Besides the Christmas lights and the fact that I am listening to Christmas music, it is so odd to me that it is Christmastime! It feels like summer still. As I hope it will feel during my whole mission. I love summer! And thus far, I love my mission!

I would like to make a short list of things that have changed my view on the world. These are not really very deep points....these are the superficial ones, but interesting nonetheless:
1. I found out this morning on our bus ride to the temple that 50 people can fit into a tiny bus. In all reality, only 30 people should fit. It was crazy.
2. You can use the same type of soap for your toilet and for washing your clothes and for washing the walls and for washing the sink. Who would have thought? It´s a one soap for all kinds of things we use
3. During musical numbers here, the Latinos often join in singing. It is great fun!
4. Eggs do not need to be refrigerated. Good to know since I want hens in the future.

This week has flown by so quickly, and in just another week I am headed to ECUADOR!!! I am sooo excited. I have loved the past two months in the MTC and CCM. Every morning when my alarm goes off, I look at my alarm and also see a painting I brought by Simon Dewey of Jesus Christ washing someone´s feet. This is the best reminder to me of my purpose as a missionary. First, I represent Jesus Christ and because of this I must bring others to Him! I think one of the focuses of my mission so far has been to understand my calling as a missionary. As I understand it better, I can fulfill my responsibilities as I should. When I begin to feel discouraged about the language, about what in the world am I doing in Peru, etc, I remind myself that this is the best thing I could be doing with my life right now. And this is a once in a lifetime call. I will never
again be 21 years old in Peru preparing to go to Ecuador. So I better soak in every moment. I am doing my best to do this.

This past Saturday for proselyting, we went to some area of Lima that we heard was somewhat interesting. As missionaries though, we cannot worry about this because there are people who need to hear about the
gospel in every area. Hna San Francisco and I met a man who had been a drug addict, had read parts of the Book of Mormon, now believed in God, but he did not want to become a member of the church. When I
could understand bits and pieces of what he said, I was very touched by our Heavenly Father´s love for His children. I could just feel this. Even though this man had such a difficult background, I knew Heavenly Father loves him! I love sharing my testimony with people here.

It is amazing to me how much I have been blessed in learning the gospel and the language. When I left the Provo MTC, I was able to bear my testimony and this was a huge milestone. Now I am at another milestone I believe. Hna San Francisco and I are friends! We can talk and tell each other about our lives. The sister missionaries here are amazing.

This week we had representatives from the US Embassy visit. Hna Salmon, me, and 4 other North American Elders met with them. I got to share my experiences here in Peru with learning the language and everything. It brought me back to being a Daffodil Princess for a few moments. I loved doing Daffodil. That was such a fun, worthwhile experience. I want to always be involved in my community. That way I can always have people to share the gospel with!

I leave for Ecuador on Tuesday!!  I cannot wait for Ecuador. The real adventure beckons.

I love you! Thank you for your love and prayers. I get to talk all the time about how families are forever and I am so thankful to know this. I am thankful for your examples of faith to me.

Hna Garlock

Thursday, December 2, 2010

In front of the Peru MTC with Hermana Salmon!
                        Peruvian houses built into the landscape.
                          Fun Peruvian hats!  So Stylish!
   Me with my new companion and two elders from Ecuador-Guayaquil
                        So fun to be in the market with a llama!

Best week yet!

Hola Familia!

This week has been one of the best yet!  
The news of the week.... I have a new companion! Hermana San Francisco. She is from Arica, Chile--- in the Norte part. I love her! She is amazing. All of my roommates are converts to the church and inspire me. Hna San Francisco and I often end up playing a game that reminds me of Catch Phrase. If anyone would like to know how good they would be at communicating in another language, play catch phrase. Seriously, it is the same idea- try to describe the word in every way possible without saying the word. Only you can´t cheat at all because you don't know the word. It´s a lot of fun. My companion and I have become friends quickly and this helps with communicating.

Last P-day, we went on a tour of the city with the North Americans. This was fantastico! We ate Pizza Hut, Dunkin Donuts, and saw beautiful buildings and the OCEAN. The ocean is one of my most favorite things. As soon as I saw it, I was reminded of home and Long Beach. I immediately felt so light and happy. Heavenly Father´s creations bring me so much joy--especially nature. I have heard really encouraging reports about the beauty of Ecuador so I am excited!

I also met missionaries from Guayaquil this week! They are going to missions in Peru. I cannot believe I am going to Ecuador in just two weeks!!! I can distinctly remember opening my mission call and reading
Ecuador, and now I will be there shorty. The Elders from Ecuador are my favorite. I love talking to them and hearing about all I have to look forward to. My level of excitement for Ecuador has escalated.

I am thankful to be in the CCM in Peru right now though for a few reasons. One reason is that President Whetton is from the United States meaning we actually had a Thanksgiving dinner last week! I could have cried tears of joy. I am not sure I have ever been more thankful for mashed potatoes. That is possibly the only way we do not eat potatoes here, and I was so happy to have them. During the dinner, the sun was setting outside and I marveled at how much I have been blessed with on my mission. I love being here and I love all that I am learning. The miracle of it is that the more I learn, the more I want to learn. You would think at some point you would max out of learning. Don´t worry, if that point exists, I do not think I am anywhere near it.

I am so excited (if you couldn´t already tell) to go to Ecuador and share the gospel with every person I meet. I know that Jesus Christ is the Redeemer of all mankind. He lived a perfect life and understands exactly all of our insecurities, weaknesses, temptations, and trials. Because of this, He is the way to find true lasting joy. I can feel this every day as I learn more about Him and how to become more like Him. I know that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of God and that through him, Heavenly Father restored the Church of Jesus Christ to this
earth. I love sharing this with people because there is so much hope in this message. I know that Heavenly Father wants His children to be happy and even when we do struggle, as we turn to Him, He will give us
the strength we need to endure faithfully. I love this gospel and I love representing Jesus Christ.

Hermana Garlock

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving from Peru!!

 Mi Familia!!!!
It is a highlight to hear from each of you and to hear about how everyone is doing!  It sounds like you are having a great time with the family and Thanksgiving preparations. I will miss being with you to cook all the delicious foods!
This week has been fabulous. Saturday we went to another part of Peru to go proselyte and I had some really wonderful experiences. Hna Catu and I met a girl named Barbara who is 15 years old and was so cute. We talked to her about how Heavenly Father knows her individually. I definitely felt the love of Heavenly Father as I shared this with her. As we talked, I pictured my EFY girls from this summer and my sisters.  I was thrilled to be with youth again. It is a trying time of life and I know the gospel can bring hope to people of every age!
I get a new companion today from Nicaragua. Her name is Hna Nunez, but she will not be here until tonight. I am so excited to meet her!!!! I will miss Hna Catu´s laughter and fun but she will be a rocking missionary.

Ok because it is Thanksgiving, I will take the last few minutes to list what I am thankful for!
1. My family! I love each one of you and am thankful for your support and testimonies. I can feel them.
2. Espanol. The best way to learn a language--immersion and with the Spirit.
3. Hna Salmon- I just know Heavenly Father wanted us to be friends!
4. The people here...They are so generous.
    TANGENT:  Saturday when we were proselyting, a family invited us to eat lunch with them. I quickly said no we just ate lunch and we were not hungry. Hna Catu is simultaneously saying, YES! Thank you so much! Of course!  And I am thinking ohhhhhhhhh dear.
#1 Against mission rules to eat with the people for various reasons
#2 MY stomach. oh no!!! 
#3 I´m not even hungry. Oh dear. Well the Spanish speakers dominated and I was given a large
     plate with food. It was actually delicious but I passed a lot of it to Hna Catu when they were out of 
     the room. I would like to report I am thankful my stomach has been very happy and has not been
5. The gospel of Jesus Christ. I know my Savior has made it possible for each of us to find true joy.
 I love each one of you!!!

Hna Garlock

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Peru MTC

 Dear Momsicle, Popsicle and friendsicles,
This week has flown by. I am realizing that a mission is really good for me. I am learning lots and loving it. Entonces... let´s dig in.

On Saturday we went to a city called Haural to contact, teach inactive members and investigators. We went by bus and it was a 2.5 hour drive. I would be interested to know how many miles away it actually is. I believe it is actually not that far but the traffic in the city is awful. I cannot believe it--I´m not sure if there is any place in the US to compare it to. Possibly WA DC. Mom you would like all the honking that goes on. :) It is a bit out of control. The best part of the drive was when we drove along the ocean. It was absolutely
beautiful. At some points we could not see the ocean because of the mist/fog, but when we did see it I just smiled with glee. The road was pretty treacherous--two lanes with a sand mountain on one side and a drop off with the ocean on the other. I am not sure how fast we were going since the speed here is measured differently. I think it was around 35 mph. It was an exciting drive...

Saturday was a really neat day. We walked around the city with a member from the area. We visited people and I got to share my testimony and beliefs at every home. I tried to ask questions and we invited lots of people to church on Sunday. It was really a neat experience. My shoes were completely covered in dirt by the end of the day. The people here live in very simple houses. We visited an inactive member and she was so welcoming. We sang her favorite hymn at the beginning, "Count Your Many Blessings" and she was so touched that she just cried through the whole hymn. She had the cutest little boy I just wanted to pick up and kiss. He did kiss me when we left which was sooo cute. What wasn´t so great was the father also gave me a cheek/air kiss.....No bueno. OOPS! I was so caught off guard I did not even know what to do. In this culture men and women greet each other with kisses so I´m sure he thought nothing of it, but I was soo surprised. Not exactly ok for a sister missionary. But I have repented and next time will make sure I only greet with a handshake.

Any ways, besides this and a few other shocking experiences (such as a man answering the door in his underwear), it was a typical day in the life of a missionary...Or so I think. I realized we gave away three
Book of Mormons and this is how many I have given away in my whole life I am pretty sure. How great is that! I love The Book of Mormon. My life is put into the proper perspective when I read it. I feel the peace and calm that comes from having the Spirit in our lives. When I gave it to people, I really felt like I was giving a gift. I loved getting to meet so many new people and just soak in the culture here. People are so friendly and everyone said hi when we walked down the street. I learned to say ¨"buenas dias" only for the morning greeting. I kept saying it in the afternoon and Hna Catu thought this was hilarious. I am not sure what percent I understood of what people said, but it took all my focus to figure the gist of every situation.
The first person we taught I was able to understand quite a bit of which was really fun. I think I usually get the general idea, but sometimes I am not exactly sure if I just turned the words into what I want to hear. Slowly but surely I am understanding more espanol. THANK HEAVENS I am learning Spanish. Truly, I am so thankful to learn this language. I cannot imagine how hard it would be to learn a language like Flemish that sounds nothing like English. I can say a word in English and often times we can figure out the Spanish word.

Hermana Catu is a great companion-- she has a lot of enthusiasm for the gospel and is good about letting me talk in our practice teaching appointments. We are very different from each other--- it is hard to know what are personality differences and what are culture differences. Hna Salmon and I have such similar ideas about study and time and teaching so it is very different to be with a companion who has opposite ideas. Sometimes I think that I must not have understood what she said in Spanish, but then I realize nope! I understood it's just a different idea. This is a good growing experience for me. :) We only have one week left together because she will go to the field (a name in Peru that I have no idea how to spell...Piuda?) and I will get a new companion. One thing I have realized is that even when we cannot easily communicate using words, there is a feeling that exists between us. I try to always keep this a positive loving feeling instead of a distant isolated feeling....which can happen when it´s hard to understand the words she says or when it´s hard to understand why she does things differently. I am glad though that both of us like to laugh and we both love the gospel.

I am overwhelmed by the lifestyle here. Last Pday, I taught all the Latinos in the laundry room how to use the washer and dryer. None of them had ever used a washer/dryer and had no idea how to use it. Hna Catu was sooo funny about it. She wanted to prewash her clothes in the sink first and then she insisted that we separate her whites, lights, and darks. I know this is good practice to separate your clothes, but what was funny about it was that she just had about 3-4 pieces of clothing in the lights and darks. I think her clothes were really clean in the end though. I felt completely overwhelmed though. I did not know whether to laugh or cry about the whole experience. I chose to laugh.

On Pday here we get to ride the bus to the temple and to the grocery store, Totus. Totus is similar to Walmart. This is really interesting because all of the foods I am used to are very expensive. But Hna
Salmon and I found oreos!! I also bought some kind of banana chip things and a few other things I needed. The bus ride is an adventure in and of itself!
Believe it or not, I have found myself missing random foods here. Like E.L. Fudge cookies, rainbow chip frosting, and teddy grahams....I cannot find them here and they are mine and Hna Salmon´s favorite. I think I´m going to pull out the peanut butter from my bag. A whole month without peanut butter may be my limit. :)

I am thankful to be serving a mission. This is the neatest experience. I am astounded all the time that I am actually on a mission!

Hermana Garlock

Pictures in Peru

Peru Temple!  The flowers are beautimous!
Latin American and North American District in Peru
Companions and Roommates
oooh OREOs in South America!! They taste a bit different but they are  delicious!!!  Hermana Salmon and are are thrilled to have Oreos in Peru!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

This week has been something else! Everything is so new and yet so fabulous. The Peru MTC is sooo different from Provo. Because the MTC is small, we actually know the mission president. President Whetten
and his wife are wonderful. They run a tight ship here but I´m pretty sure it is because we would have way too much fun otherwise. Time here is very structured. Everything is much more structured. For example,
there are two sisters called to be coordinating sisters for the sisters. (Make sense?) In Provo, this meant they would check on us and see how we were doing and let the branch presidency know if we needed anything. Here, this means that the Latino coordinating sister walks around with her alarm clock in her hand, frown on her face, and says, "Quiet Time". The first night Hna Salmon and I did not realize this meant we could not go to the bathroom. We quickly found out we needed to be in our rooms QUIET by 10:15 pm. It was actually quite comical and I have made it my personal goal to warm up the heart of this Latino sister.

I had another experience this week that was so funny, I could not handle it. We went outside to exercise and lo and behold, there was a fitness instructor. He was a short, tough looking Peruvian. We spent gym time jumping over benches, doing push ups, squats, and lunges. My ab workout was primarily laughter. Turns out every Monday we have drill sergeant time. I look forward to next Monday.

On a different note, my teachers are from Peru and they served their missions in South America...Hence, they do not speak very much English. Hna Flores speaks hardly any and Hno Morales speaks a good
amount. They are excellent teachers and I love them. It is easy to learn from them- they are so clear and understand their language well. For many reasons, it is a huge blessing to be here. My Spanish has
improved immensely since being here. Most of class time is just with North Americans and our companions are in another district for class time. We do the majority of teaching with our Latino companions and
spend mealtimes, etc with them. In class, we are mostly learning Spanish applied to the gospel. Yesterday in class, it was my turn to stand up and tell about the Elder I had asked questions to...I ended
up saying something like, "His mother is his mother." This is a humbling experience overall....I don´t always sound very intelligent!  But I do sound funny, and people usually like this and so, I am certain there will be people willing to listen to me in Ecuador even if I do not say everything perfectly.

My Spanish is better than I would have thought possible. It is truly because the Spirit teaches
me all the time. I now understand how there is more to communicating than just words. The first day here the Mission President´s wife, Hna Whetton, said, "You will learn that here we touch. This is a culture
where touch is very important." This is true! The hermanas greet each other by touching cheek and blowing kisses in the air. I love this.  Hna Catu is a wonderful companion--she is so patient and will use actions to explain things often.

The other day I was trying to ask her if she wanted to study inside or outside. She said in a knowing voice, "Si, Hermana, si" which is what I always say when I have no idea what she just said. We both laughed
about this. I have started using huge facial expressions and hand gestures while talking--I think it is helpful...It produces a lot of laughter, which is a good thing. I have also started a trend. I gave Hna Catu a "high 5" and some of the elders saw me do this. Now we give each other "chacolas!" or something like that all the time. Chacola is the word for high 5 I think---it´s what everyone says when they do it.  At breakfast the other morning, I learned another funny word-- "chipi-chipi" This is the word they use in Nicaragua for rain. It is best said in a higher pitch with a serious face.

Meal times are very interesting. I try something new and learn new words everyday. There is rice at breakfast and dinner! I do not eat it both times, but I´m pretty sure I eat it everyday. I think I have tried potatoes in every form the Peruvians can imagine. Thank heavens I like potatoes. There is fresh squeezed juice at every meal, but usually we have no idea what fruit it comes from. It is usually very exotic tasting. We can recognize the apple, watermelon, and cantaloupe juices. The other Hnas do not like the papaya juice, so I have not tried it yet, but I am sure I will. Something very odd is happening...One day I will say, "I would love to have____________" and then the next day we have that item. It has happened with zucchini, beans, and bananas. My companions want me to wish for chocolate cake.  We will see....I do not dare to wish for peanut butter because I don´t think it will happen. But I have learned the Spanish words for your
wish is my command so I can say this when someone wishes for an item of food. :)

For my mother, Annie, and any others interested, I would like to give the bug update. Thus far, I have only seen one odd looking bug. It was a fairly small bluish black beetle. The beetle was located in the classroom which was of slight concern, but the fact that it was not a spider was extremely comforting. I will keep you posted on any abnormal bugs. No spiders yet. Thank heavens!

I love being here. I cannot imagine doing anything more worthwhile right now than serving a mission. I think of Grandpa M. often as I am learning how to be a better teacher. I appreciate Grandpa so much
more now because he is so good about asking questions to get to the heart of things. This is a huge focus for me--getting to know the hearts of the people I will teach. We all have problems, needs, and questions and the gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone. One of the keys to successful missionary work then is to discover the needs of the people and apply the teachings of Christ to their lives so that they can be blessed by the glorious truths of the gospel. The gospel blesses my life and my relationships with all of my friends and

Thank heavens I am here in the Peru MTC. This is a perfect middle spot between Provo and Ecuador. Hna Salmon and are close friends now and when I talk to her I feel just right at home.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Hola de Peur!

Hola Familia!!!

I can hardly believe that I am here in PERU. P E R U. It is simply delightful. I wish I could have each of you experience it. We finally got to the MTC at 1am last night and when our bus pulled in, there
were missionaries waiting outside in cute hats and sweaters to greet us! Already we could tell this was going to be very different from the Provo MTC.

My last thoughts before I fell asleep last night were of how wonderful it was to be finally in a bed and to have a nice pillow and starchy sheets! I woke up sometime early morning to the sounds of a JUNGLE outside of my window. We slept with the window open and I seriously thought it sounded like one of those amazon soundtracks when I woke up. The animals or birds or whatever they were, made so much
noise. I could not stop smiling and I wanted to wake the other Hmas up in my room to say HELLO!!! We are IN Peru!!!!

The CCM-which is the spanish abbreviation of the MTC, is incredibly nice. I was prepping myself to be as Catniss (in the Hunger Games) when she leaves the capital and goes to the arena. I had this a bit
wrong. The Provo MTC was Distric 12 and now I´m at the Capital. So I´m thinking that Guayaquil may be the arena. We will see.

The grounds here are absolutely beautiful. I heard it does not usually rain here in Peru so they have special dirt and fertilizer for the grass to grow nice and green. The flowers are beautiful and the only types I
recognize are marigolds and roses. There are about 137 missionaries here right now and half are native and half are from North America.  The cafeteria is small, but the food has been excellent so far! Today
for lunch I had a salad that had avocado and beets on it! They want us to eat all of our food...this will be interesting. The key is asking for a small amount. The food is different but I liked what I had for
breakfast and lunch. The eggs were the best at breakfast and the yogurt was more milky but good. The juice here is squeezed fresh- I am planning on trying some for dinner. For lunch I had rice with some kind of meat (pork maybe) with a gravy over it. Oh Amanda-- remember how you signed your letter *Candied yams* Well, I have had yams twice since then. Maybe you could sign your next letter stuffed zucchini and we will see what happens.

There is a huge nice soccer field with turf, sand volleyball, and even fuse ball (I think that´s what it is called.) This morning I exchanged my money for Peru currency--soles. This made me smile. I am officially in Peru.

Hna Salmon and I are in the same room but we have native companions.  We get the best of both worlds! I´m not exactly sure how to spell my companion´s name but it is something like Hermana Catu. She is from
Guatemala. I spoke to her a little this morning and I am not sure what she said about where she lives... I´m sure I will figure this out eventually. She does not speak English so it took a while for us to communicate that we are companions. Its like solving little mysteries all the time.

Hna Salmon was friends with Drew G in Mesa! She has told me about some of the funny things they did together. She was on a date with him and they were in the grocery store and he got on the loud speaker and started singing, *When you need somebody to love.* Another time he gave them some kind of fluffing gas in gum. She said it was awful. :) Hna Salmon went to his wedding reception too.  Small world. I love hearing stories about Drew--- they all make me laugh.

It is so different to be surrounded by spanish. I love it because it forces me to speak it.´The administration gets on the loud speaker to make announcements and sometimes they do not say the english translation. The sisters who are from here are so nice. There are about 20 sisters here, but Hna Salmon and I are the only ones going to our mission. The weather today is beautiful. We heard it is almost always overcast, but today it is sunny! It is warm and humid, but still pleasant.

I am so sorry I did not get to talk to you for very long yesterday. The Elders ran over and found us and said that they had been saying our names on the sound speakers for final boarding. Yes. I don´t want to admit it but we almost missed our flight to Peru. It was bad news bears. Hence, the frustration on Elder Applegate and Elder Storm´s faces in the picture I sent. They would have had to have waited behind with us as well. We almost gave them heartaches three times yesterday. I won´t go into details, but I believe those elders have aged. They are now prepared for future travel with their families. Nothing will seem too stressful to them after yesterday.

The plane ride yesterday was not too bad! It actually went by quickly and Hna Salmon and I blew kisses as we flew over Ecuador. (We could tell we were flying over Ecuador by the little screens on our seats).
I sat by a young man from Belgium who was going to Peru for 6 weeks to do humanitarian work. It was so neat. Thankfully, he spoke Flemmish, Spanish, French, and English so we were able to talk with ease. He
shared with me about his family, his goals, and his beliefs about God. He does not believe in God, but he wanted to look into different religions. I could see how the gospel of Jesus Christ would really bless his life. I shared with him about The Book of Mormon and my testimony of God´s love for us. I also gave him a pass along card and he said he would go to It was a wonderful experience!
Oh last thought! Elder Ballard´s talk was amazing. It was all about becoming a master communicator and teacher. It was extremely helpful. I feel so blessed to have heard three apostles at the MTC. Also, Hna
Salmon and I have seat angels, because miraculously every week two seats in the front and center open up 10 minutes before the devotional begins and we get to sit in them!

I am soooo happy to be here in Peru. The just started sending missionaries who are going to Ecuador to this MTC this past summer. It is a blessing to be here.

I love you! Thank you for your love, support, prayers, emails, letters, and all you do for me.
Hermana Garlock

Friday, October 29, 2010

Somehow It Just Keeps Getting Better!

This week has gone by so fast. Actually, time has gone by fast since I got here to the MTC. I know I have changed though in that short amount of time. If nothing else, I notice I am having a hard time spelling words (in English) correctly. This usually is not a struggle for me, but I think it's the effects of learning Spanish. I will embrace it as a good thing for now.
This week was fabulous! On Sunday, Sister Denise Doxey who is on the RS General Board came and spoke. The part about this that was so wonderful is that she is my old roommate's Mother in law!  Chels and Dan came to hear her speak so I got to see them!!! I love Chels!!! Sister Doxey's talk was wonderful- she talked about how we are fighting a war right now. It is real and we have to give it our gusto.
This week Hna Salmon and I had a teaching evaluation appt. We signed up with an MTC teacher and did getting to know you in Spanish. It is to practice the initial meeting and sharing a bit of the gospel with someone. We thought it was going great until the teacher stopped us and said, "Frankly I just feel weird." Uh-oh. I guess he felt like we were conducting an interrogation. Which we were. It was really funny and a good learning moment. Sis Salmon and I are usually pretty capable English speakers, but Spanish kinda turns us around. I end up moving on when I do not understand what the person says. Not the best thing! But I am sure I will be learning more in Peru. I am excited for this!
Elder Richard G. Scott came on Tuesday night to speak to the whole MTC. This was an amazing experience. I could not believe how my prayers were answered. He said some very specific things for sister missionaries and I was SO thankful to hear them! Elder Scott expressed his gratitude for the sisters serving and said, I would like to make a suggestion. Actually, not a suggestion but a REQUIREMENT to the sister missionaries to watch your health! He said that there are times when we will need more rest and we should exercise wise judgment and REST. We do not always need to be putting in as many hours as the elders. It is not worth it to be sent home over illness if we could have just taken better care of ourselves when we needed the rest. I appreciated this sooo much. My health is very important to me--- without it I will not have the energy or the ability to share the gospel! Another significant moment was that Elder Scott said he had a personal witness of how Heavenly Father takes care of the Sister missionaries-- he protects them and watches over them. Then Elder Scott said, I would like to exercise the authority and power I hold as an Apostle of God and make an apostolic promise. He then promised that the Sister missionaries would have a shield of protection and no danger would come to us. He said that if we listened to the Spirit, we would be protected from any possible harm. There will be times when we will be prompted to choose a different path or change our plans and we should follow these promptings. What a comfort this promise was to me and to all of the sister missionaries! I felt so loved and watched over. I know I will be safe on my mission! I am very thankful for the knowledge that Heavenly Father loves His children and me! Elder Scott ended his talk by saying, "I know Jesus Christ lives. He is the personage of perfect love and our intermediary with the Father. He lives. I know this because I know Him." This was very powerful to say the least. I am thankful for my Savior Jesus Christ. The reality of His love for us is that we can overcome anything through Him.
I love being a missionary. There is so much I am learning about myself and about the Lord's work. I have still been going to the aerobics classes and these are fabulous. I love my companion Hna Salmon-- we still love laughing and talking about random things in Spanish. It makes everything more exciting.
Have a Spooky Halloween!!!!!!!!
Seeesta Garlock

A Bed Fairy in the MTC?

Hola Familia!
Well it has been an eventful week! I love the MTC. Still. I don't think that is going to change. Especially since I only have another couple of weeks here. We got our travel plans for the Peru MTC. We leave Nov 3rd in the morning and stop once in Georgia for a short layover and then it's straight to Peru. I'm not sure how much I should tell you about the MTC or if I should just wait to see what it's really like. I have heard some interesting things.... The most interesting being that this summer there was a lice outbreak and the Elders had to shave their heads. I'm almost postive the sisters did not have to shave their heads, but then again I haven't heard so no guarentees!
I have actually heard really good things-- it is a small MTC about 100 missionaries. There are 14 missionaries going to Ecuador and we are all going to the Peru MTC.  At the MTC, we will get to contact with the people there. This will be amazing-- we will get to actual share the gospel with people.
Speaking of sharing the gospel with people, Hna Salmon and I have our first teaching appt on Monday in the Teaching Resource Center. So a woman from the community who is LDS volunteered to come in and act as an investigator and we get to know her and teach. The first 15 minutes of the lesson were in Spanish and it was all just getting to know you. I're probably very impressed we could carry on conversations for 15 minutes. Don't be too impressed- there were plenty of pauses. It went well, except for when I accidently asked if she had a wife. OOPS! I meant to ask if she has a husband. I was just a little confused. And so was she. :) But she said she would read the Book of Mormon so she must not have been toooo offended.
Tuesday nights are devotionals and this week the apostle Elder Russell M. Nelson spoke!!! This was WONDERFUL!!! We had no idea he was coming but when he walked in, we were singing Prelude and all of a sudden everyone started singer louder. It was very powerful. His wife Sister Wendy Nelson came also and she spoke. They actually only spoke for about 35 minutes. It was fabulous. Elder Nelson began the fireside by telling us how much he and the Prophet and Apostles love the missionaries and our families! He ended the talk in the same way. He really expressed how much he loved our families. I was also very grateful for the promise he gave at the end of the talk. He invoked a blessing of health, safety, and protection. This was very reassuring to me.
Hna Salmon went to health training this week since she will be the mission nurse. And I am VERY convinced that the missionaries' health is a top priority. Guess what else we got in our packets when we first got to the MTC? A water filter!! Just like the one you had me bring mom. And that filter was made specifically for missionaries and now even the army uses it. It is so amazing that it will even take out caffeine from pop or safely filter the muddy water an elephant has stepped in. Pretty cool.
Sister Tanner (the past YW General President) came and spoke in RS this week. This was excellente. I learned a lot about the point of RS and how the sisters faith will bless the work of God. She said that RS was not intended to be a sewing club. Thank heavens!
I am having a wonderful time here. I wish I had more time to email you details...I will do my best.
Hna Salmon's and my favorite cookies are the sugar cookies. Delicious.
We also seem to have a bed fairy. It's actually me but maybe the other sisters haven't realized yet?! The beds are tricky to make so its a lot of work for the bed fairy, but she likes to do it.
Hna Salmon and I went to an Enhancement Class for sister missionaries. We actually did not know what this meant until we got there. Turns out it was our faces that would be enhanced. I will send pictures... Nothing too drastic. 
I love you! Thank you for your letters! 
Hma Garlock

1st letter from the MTC

Here I am at the MTC having the greatest experience of my life. Dramatic I know, but true. First, I love being back in Provo by the mountains! Second, I am doing what I have dreamed of doing-- serving a mission. And I love it.
My teachers at the MTC at Brother Barrios who is from Chile and Sister Smith who knows Amanda from their freshman year at BYU. She served her mission in Spain. So far, classes are fabulous. We spend time studying the gospel and then studying the gospel in Spanish. Surprise?! Not really... :) But I am learning a lot. Last night we had a zone training and we learned about planning and goal setting. Mom you would have loved it. It is like the Stephan Covey class missionary style. I was soaking it all in trying to figure out how to make the most of my time here at the MTC.
Oh by the way, I am leaving the Provo MTC on November 3rd to go to the MTC in Lima, Peru. I found out the first day here and I was SHOCKED to say the least. I say by the way because that was how we found out too. In an envelope they gave me on the first day was a slip of paper on it with my address and date I was leaving the MTC. It was fun to find out this way... It showed me how I am turning my life over to the service of the Lord and I will go wherever I am sent and whenever I am sent! I am very very very excited about it. It should help me learn espanol quicker and will be a very neat experience. I have wanted to go to Peru for a year now--- after hearing about some of my friends and Uncle Guy and Craig's time there last summer. I think the Peru MTC will be very different. I'm pretty sure they will not have the graham canyon BYU creamery ice cream that I am enjoying so much at this MTC. :) I am really looking forward to it and it has added motivation to study and learn and focus because soon I will be in another country learning the gospel.
My district is excellent. I am amazed by the elders. They have such enthusiasm for the gospel and for the work. My respect for valiant Elders has grown immensely. Elder Garlock-- I can picture you being in my district and LOVING it. Except for the fact that I don't think my district is very musically inclined! But overall we are all very motivated and are focused and fun. It is a great balance to the hermanas in the district. There are four of us. Hna Boyles is going to SLC, UT and Hna Hatch is going to Ventura, California.There are two other elders in my district going to the Ecuador Guayaquil South Mission also. They are awesome missionaries so I am excited about serving with them. Three elders are going to the Sydney, Australia mission! Any advice for them Dad? That is where our district leader is going-- I think you would get along great with him Dad... He's from a small town in WY I think and he is a BEET farmer. I should ask him to have his family send us some beets.... yum and so nutritious. I haven't found beets in the cafeteria yet but there is plenty of food I like here.
I have heard plenty of people say that living with a missionary companion is much more difficult that being married because when you get married you get to choose your companion.... I have to say I may disagree! I think Heavenly Father is MUCH better as choosing companions for me than I would be! :) I love Hma Salmon!!! Besides the fact that she doesn't like fish and I do, we have A LOT in common. I am loving getting to know her and have so much fun with her. There is a principle at the MTC known as Quiet Dignity. It is define as representing ourselves as the Savior would. We are trying to implement this into our companionship because we think we may have too much fun! We laugh all the time and are constantly smiling. We have not had any problemos yet, but I'm not expecting any. We talk about everything together- the gospel, dating, what we like, etc. It is so good to have a friend here.
The other two sister and hma Salmon and I go to the workout classes for the sisters in the mornings. They go from 6-6:30am. We also have the 50 min gym time later, but I am very thankful for the classes. I love them! It is such a good start to the day. Today was toning, Thurs was pilates, and Fri was kickboxing. I have actually gotten a little sore from them. The teacher is 5 months pregnant and does a great job. She says things like, "Sisters, today is going to be a great day, isn't it? I can tell. You aren't going to miss out on having that extra sleep at all. You will just be smiling and feeling great all day!" The classes are very similar to the classes I have been to at BYU except for no one cheers and claps during class. Probably because of the quiet dignity principle. Or maybe the class is just really early.
Thank you for your love and support. I am so thankful to be on a mission. It is a rare opportunity for sisters to get to serve and I am thankful I am here. I am learning and growing so much already.
I love you! Have a fantastic week!!!!!
Hermana Garlock