Monday, December 30, 2013

Feliz Navidad Prospero Ano y Felicidad

       Oh family, what a wonderful time it is to be a missionary. Wow. The members of the ward and the other missionaries make this time of year so fun! We had a Specialized Training this past week and it was great! I got to meet all the other Spanish missionaries and we even said "Goodbye" to the missionaries that are leaving after this transfer. It is so funny because that seems like a thousand years away, but I know it will be great! For the last part of our training we split up into our districts and had a competition on who could make the best rap to "Deep in the Heart of Texas." It was so funny!! My Zone Leaders are the best and they rapped theirs. Everyone was cheering and I got it on camera! For the end of the training, we got to watch a movie. Missionaries are allowed to watch one movie for Christmas so we all watched Ice Age! My Mission President is the best, and he really pushes for excellence. It is amazing how he can really lift your spirits and make you excited for missionary work. It is sad that he will finish in June, and we will get a new Mission President but I am sure he will be great as well.
For service this week we sang carols with about 18 other missionaries from the English Zone and then our Spanish District! It was so fun, they appreciated us and they were singing along and dancing! This is such a fun time of year. We also tried to stop by a less active family in our area and see how they were doing and it turns out that the mom just had surgery and no one knew about it. So Hermana Vigil and I went in and cleaned her dishes and then we noticed that the Christmas Tree wasn't set up or decorated, so we asked if we could help. We were able to make this tree beautiful with the help of the 7 year old and the 4 year old and we listened to "Feliz Navidad" for a solid hour! It was so fun, the little boys were screaming the lyrics at the top of their lungs and we were laughing. The funny part was that they only knew the Spanish part of the song and then they mumbled the English. We were laughing and having a great time. We were also able to find a member in the ward to come and give Hermana Hernandez a blessing after her surgery. It was a great way to serve another family and also lift our spirits after we had been knocking for hours.
I got to go on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders on Thursday night and that was fun. I got to go into Garland Texas and it is very different from my area. There are so many Hispanics and we taught so many lessons in 24 hours. I got to go with Hermana Ostler and I got to learn some new ways to teach lessons and to better my Spanish. Hermana Ostler is fluent so she helped a lot. It is very different seeing different areas, but I know that I am in Lewisville for a reason and there are specific people that I need to meet, even if there isn't a ton of Hispanics here!! Speaking of people I needed to meet, the Reyes family is amazing. They are the best investigators and we taught them this week. Hermana Reyes is just broken and needs people to lift her spirits so they sang "Abide with Me 'tis Even Tide" during the lesson and she was just balling. We have set a date for their baptism and it is a goal that we are working towards. They aren't married to we will have to throw a wedding for them, which is going to be so fun, but it is just great to see a family that is so open to the gospel. I will keep updating you guys on this family. Yesterday they came to church and we didn't even have to ask them. It was amazing, a Christmas miracle!
Yesterday, we had the Christmas program in the ward and the Missionaries got to sing in sacrament meeting. There were kids that were playing the flute and saxophone and it was just a wonderful meeting. We had the ward Christmas party on Saturday night and it was some nice Americanized food but also some tamales! Hispanics can cook really well and they love to be in the kitchen so I know that this week is going to be filled with some amazing food!! We are going to a family in our wards our for Christmas Eve to Celebrate "La Noche Buena" which is what they call Christmas Eve. They always make tamales for this event, so I am so excited. The family that we are eating with is so funny and they are just great company. Hispanics really don't celebrate Christmas Day so we are going to the Boyd's house in the morning to open presents and have a Christmas Breakfast and then for Christmas Dinner we are going to another family in our wards house named the Beards. They are a wonderful family of 8 kids, and she is for Puerto Rico and he served his mission there so that is how they met, so they are very Americanized. It is going to be an amazing Christmas and one that I will never forget!
I hope everyone has an amazing Christmas and spends it with the people that they love. Make tons of memories and eat good food! Also remember the true meaning of Christmas. Read Luke 2 and act it out, I think we are going to do that with the Boyd family, I am so excited! I hope you have a fabulous holiday season!
Feliz Navidad!
Hermana Cattich


Family! This week was just amazing! (I know I say that every week but the mission just keeps getting better!) We saw so many miracles and made so many memories. Christmas on the mission is amazing! It is a blessing to be able to work and see miracles on "La Noche Buena" and Christmas Day.

Our Investigators!

Reyes Family: I have told you guys about them before with the dad from Ecuador that was baptized and then fell away from the church. We have a baptismal date for them to be January 26! We had the Law of Chastity talk with them because they are not married and they are praying about a date. They are most likely going to get married around the 18th of January in the church by the Bishop! I am so excited for them. Their whole family is planning on getting baptized and then in a year if they decide then they can go through the temple. We are so excited for this family and the wife who is very receptive to our messages. We pray for them every night that they will have the courage to act on their faith and continue to work towards their baptism date!

Putz Family: This family is wonderful. We received a referral from a Ward Mission Leader in another city and we stopped by them last Monday. We taught them and they were so eager to have us return. They told us that they had been expecting us. We went back and the mom told us that she had read in the Book of Mormon the Introduction and even more. She was so excited. This family is from Monterrey, Mexico and they have 3 boys. We asked them if they had plans for "La Noche Buena" and they didn't so we invited them to a party of some of the members in our ward. The members were wonderful to them, it was such an answer to our prayers. We had to leave the party at 8:30 but they ended up staying until 10. It was a Christmas miracle. We have a baptismal date for this family too and it is also January 26th. We are so excited for them. They love having us over and learning more. Tonight we are teaching them the Plan of Salvation at a members house for Family Home Evening or Noche de Hogar, so fingers crossed that it will go well!!

We met another couple named Antonia and Martin. They keep having us come back to teach them more but they don't talk much so we are working with them. The Lord really has prepared this part of his vineyard. We find so many miracles everyday and I know that I am supposed to meet every single person that I do. Hermana Vigil and I pray everyday for our investigators and to find success. I am so lucky to be a missionary.

Christmas was wonderful. For "La Noche Buena" we went to some members house and ate Tamales which is a Christmas Eve tradition. They were spicy but it was still good food. We were able to eat with some Spanish Elders too so that was fun! On Christmas morning we went to the Boyd's and opened Christmas presents and stockings with the whole family and the English Elders. Then we were able to Skype our families. That was the best! After, President asked us to work on Christmas Day, so in the afternoon that is what we did. We didn't teach any lessons but we set up some appointments. We ended the night at another family from our wards house for Christmas dinner. This Christmas was a Christmas to remember. We saw miracles with the Putz family and we were able to enjoy the good company. I am excited to have one more Christmas out here!

The other Hermanas, Hermana Lebaron and Maxfield got kicked out of their house for a few days because the members that they are living with are having company, so they are living at our apartment. We will all be able to celebrate new years with us. They are living in our dinning room right now with some mattresses. It is so fun and we laugh a lot!

I hope everyone had a good Christmas filled with great memories. I love you all and I am so thankful to have your support. Best of luck for the New Year. This is the year of my mission :) I am so excited to spend the whole next year in Dallas, Texas!

Much love,
Hermana Cattich


p.s The subject for this is "Me encanta los frijoles" because last night this is what I said in my sleep. It means I LOVE BEANS!! Which is not true in any way but hey I am dreaming in Spanish!!! WOOOHOOO

Monday, December 9, 2013

Let it ICE, let it ICE, let it ICE (December 9, 2013)

Well there is not much to tell you this week considering that we had an ice storm and we have been locked inside for 3 days. We received text messages from the Assistants to not go outside. The Elder's power went out, so we were all rescued by the Boyd's. We had to hike out of our apartment complex and they came to pick us up. It was a nice little adventure. Everywhere has been an ice rink and we haven't seen the sun in 5 days. The ice was crazy but the Boyd's took all of us in and we have been playing games and reading scriptures. The Boyd's are great!
Church was cancelled yesterday so we went out and knocked a little bit. We taught one lesson but it was just so cold. We try to talk to everyone. People were nicer to us yesterday because it was so cold, some people must think that we are extremely weird for knocking on doors when it is 15 degrees outside, but I just try to keep a smile on my face.

We had transfer calls and drum roll please.......Hermana Vigil and I are staying together for Christmas!! WOOHOO We get the Boyd's for Christmas and we are so excited. The sad thing is that Elder Harms, one of the English Elders, has been transferred. But all will be well.  I wish I had more to talk about this week but all of our lessons had to be cancelled because of the weather. We had zone meeting and we all went out for pizza afterwards. I really do love missionary work and the other missionaries are really an example to me.

I have loved this experience so far in my mission. There has been so many up's and down's, everyday but how I measure success is "going from failure to failure without loosing any enthusiasm."  I have really grown personally. Sometimes I look in the mirror and wonder who I actually am and I just tell myself, "I am a missionary. I am a representative of Jesus Christ." That just brings a smile to my face. My love and my relationship with the Savior has grown as well. I was never super consistent about personal prayers when I was younger, but being out here in the mission field where you only have you, your companion and the Lord, requires you to use prayers and family a lot more. We pray just as a companionship almost 10-15 times a day. When I was back at home and I had a problem I could usually just put in my music and block out the world or I could go do other things to get my mind off my problems but now being out in the mission field, I have to rely on the Lord. My faith has been strengthened and my love for the scriptures grows every day as I study them. This gospel really is amazing.
At the end of the day, I am thankful for my testimony and my family. I don't know where I would be without these things!

 Yo se que el vive mi senor!
I hope you all have a wonderful week and are staying warm!

Love you all.
Hermana Cattich


Wednesday, December 4, 2013

It keeps getting Better and Better!! December 2, 2013

Happy Late Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgivng dinner with family and friends. My Thanksgiving was one I will never forget.
This week I have really been thankful for all the miracles, even though we still did have doors slammed in our face, it was still a really rewarding week! We find more people everyday, even if they don't progress, it is just another way for them to hear about the church.
The family from Ecuador that we found last week, is the best family in the entire world! They are the perfect investigators. We have been teaching them and the mom just wants to learn more and more. The dad was baptized as a member when he was 21, but his family fell away, so we are trying to excite him about religion again. We taught them the Plan of Salvation becuase the mom has had a hard time with her mom that passed away. The Plan of Salvation is the longest lesson that we teach and it is a lot to take in, so I think she was a little overwhelmed. After the lesson, she asked us if we wanted to have lunch with their family. We made these fried banana things, (it wasn't really a banana but it looks like one) and then you eat it with Queso Fresca and hispanic hot chocolate. They use a different type of chocolate, and it tasted a little different but it was all right. The banana thing though was so good! I will have to make them when I get home! By the end of my mission I will be able to know how to make all this amazing food, it will be awesome!!
We then invited this family to church with us on Sunday. We called them Sunday morning and the mom said that they would be there! We were so excited! When I saw them walk into the chapel, I was bouncing off my chair. They brought 2 of their 3 kids and stayed for the first 2 hours of church. It was amazing. In Gospel Principles, they asked the family to introduce themselves. The wife stood up and said, "I am Claura Reyes, and I am so thankful that the missionaries knocked on my door. We love having them in our home." (In spanish of course though) Hermana Vigil and I were so exicted! We have another lesson with them on Tuesday night, so we are excited! It is awesome to see how the gospel changes lives. When we first met this family the wife said that she was missing something in her life, and while we were teaching her, we brought her to tears. You could feel the Holy Ghost there so strong, I almost wanted to cry. This gospel is exactly what this family needed and this is my exact purpose as a missionary!
For Thanksgiving, we ate with the English Elders recent converts and our investigator. It was so fun. There was some spanish food, a kind of soup called Postole (I think) but it was really spicy. They also made Mac-and-Cheese, so that was fun! The family is so nice. Last night we went to their house again, to use the bathroom while we were out knocking, and they invited us to go with the English Elders to the old folks home to visit a member that is living there that could really use the company, so that was fun!
I got to go on exchanges with Hermana Malekamu this week. It was so fun and I got to drive!! WOOHOO!! First time driving in 2.5 months and it was so much fun. I got so spend the night in the city of Dallas and just have the opportunity to work with different missionaries. It was so much fun!! Hermana Malekamu goes home at the end of this transfer. She is such a hard worker and she literally made me talk to every single person that I saw. It was hard to get over those nerves but it was great at the same time!
This morning Sister Boyd, dropped off a little Christmas tree to our apartment with some ornaments and lights that we could get to decorate it! I am so excited because I know that Christmas will be a little hard for me, but I am so excited to be a missionary right now. The work is really moving forward and there are people that want to hear and learn more about the gospel. It is amazing everyday to see the little miracles or the people that we know that we were supposed to meet.
I hope you all have a wonderful week!! Work hard and have fun this holiday season! Also, don't be scared to share the gospel! It is actually really easy and the missionaries always love when members work with them and give us referrals!
Te quierro,
Hermana Cattich

Hola! Soy la Hermana Catita!! November 25th 2013

This week has been great! I don't think I can explain enough how much I love being a missionary. This week I have survived my first Texas thunderstorm, eaten more beans than I ever have in my entire life, attended my first Hispanic baby shower and taught a whole Gospel Principles class in complete Spanish!!
Yesterday was so good! At first, I dreaded church because I can't really communicate with the members, but yesterday was great. My companion and I taught a whole class for recent converts and investigators in complete Espanol. It was so awesome but I was scared out of my mind. After the class, a man came up to me and told me that my Spanish was really good. That was a huge confidence booster. Yesterday, my district had its first baptism. It was interesting because people in Texas make a HUGE deal about cold weather and yesterday there was supposed to be an ice storm, so they decided to have the baptism for the 3rd hour of church. The whole ward watched it. It is such a cool experience to see how the gospel has changed someones life. They are the cutest couple, and they will just do amazing things in this church. Oh and about the weather, there was no ice storm, it is just REALLY cold. On one of the week nights it was pouring rain and there was some crazy thunder and lightening it was so exciting! The Boyds decided to take all of us out to dinner that night because we were soaking wet. My goal is to just smile and sing hymns at every situation because there are so many times where I just want to cry, but it really is all about your attitude!
       After church, we were knocking on doors and people were being rude, as normal, but then we ended up knocking into a family from Ecuador. The dad was baptized into the church but fell away. The man's dad was the Branch President down there. What was interesting is at the beginning he acted like he had never even heard of the church then as the lesson went on, we found out he was just inactive. He could tell us all this stuff about the temple and baptisms, it was really interesting, like how did we not know he was a member at one time. We are going to work with them this week and hopefully baptize the rest of the family and bring him back to activity. He seemed really excited to have us over again, so hopefully we can work with them.

Our investigators are great! The investigator that was jumping off of her seat with excitement couldn't say my last name so she came up with my name as Hermana Catita. Hispanics can't really pronounce the "ch" and the double t's is really hard for them too so they end up saying something really weird but esta bien. I love the little miracles everyday that I see. Even if it is a hard day, there is always something that I can laugh about. Everything is a new experience that is for sure.
My companion and I are eating with one of our investigators for Thanksgiving and her family and the English Elders. We are so excited. I don't know how Americanized it will be, or how many beans I will eat, but Hispanics just want to know that their food is good, so I just have to smile and eat it! We went to a baby shower of a less active lady that is in the English ward but speaks Spanish, so both the English and Spanish missionaries work with her. The English Elders were with us and she had made spaghetti. Well let me just say, that was not Spaghetti!! AT ALL!! That is just another thing where you have to just smile and eat it anyway. My companion laughs at me cause she knows I struggle with the food but the English Elders just chow it down. It is a great experience!
I love missionary work and it is so rewarding. Watching people change because of the gospel is amazing and it strengthens my testimony. Everyday there is something fun to look back on and realize that this day was wonderful! I am so thankful for the opportunity to be a missionary and to have a wonderful family that supports me. I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving, filled with great food and good memories.

Have a great week,
Te quiero,
Hermana Cattich!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Bueno!!! Bueno!!! Alex's 3rd week in Dallas!! 11-17-13

This week has been great! Our first investigator came to church and it was so cool to see her there. Her son was just baptized into the English ward with his wife and kids, but his mom (our investigator) speaks spanish so the English Elders passed her off to us. It has been amazing!! We play games with her and read from the Book of Mormon 3 times a week and we send her text messages everyday. She is so funny and has a ton of questions! I love seeing how the gospel changes lives. She wants to accept the gospel because of her son and she has seen a change in his life, but we are working on her having faith for herself because that is what she really needs. She cooks for us all the time, traditional Mexican food. I have tried some interesting things and mom you would be so proud of me for the things I have eaten. Eating the food is an experience of its own! I
On Tuesday, we had zone conference combined with an English zone. It was so fun. We learned how to teach certain commitments and we had games that we would play after each lesson. All of the missionaries in my zone are so competitve during the games. One of the Elders was so competive that whenever he would score a point, he would say, "Quiene is su padre?? SOMOS!!" Which translates to, "Who's is your daddy?? We are!!" Everyone would laugh and just have a great time. It is a nice stress reliever after a hard week. I love being surrounded by missionaries, it helps me be excited for the work! On Wednesday, I was able to go to the Dallas temple for the first time with my Spanish zone. The temple was the place that I needed to be. It was so great to just feel the peace again!
One night, my companion and I were out tracting and it was about 8:55. We have to be heading back to our appartment at 9. We decided to knock one more door and the lady that answered invited us right in and gave us water. We had to leave her with a short message and then we set up a return appointment. Our appointment was for yesterday (Sunday) so we stopped by and luckly she was home. We taught her the Restuaration. She was bouncing off of her couch and asking so many questions. Every time we told her something new she would say, "OH MY GOSH" is a very crazy way. It was so funny. I am pretty sure that is the only thing she knew how to say in English but is was great. She wanted to learn more and more and more, but we had another appointment so we left her with another appointment for tomorrow (Tuesday!). After we shared with her about the Book of Mormon, she just asked us, "Well when is church??" My companion and I were so excited hopefully she will come to church next week. I wish I could have filmed the lesson that we had with her because it was so funny!!
It is experiences like these that I love missionary work! I am so excited to be a missionary! There have been some interesting people that we have met though and some people are just rude. One guy answered the door and said, "I'm Christian, and we don't believe the same thing so I am going to shut the door now." My jaw dropped, I couldn't believe it. Some people answer the doors with Bibles in their hand ready to argue with us. Everytime we knock on a door, it is a new experience. I have to learn to love everyone though because I know that Heavenly Father loves them. Some people will actually run away from us when they see us walking toward them. For my companion and I, it just makes for a good laugh!
We are teaching the English Elders a little bit of Spanish, so that is why my email is titled, "Bueno Bueno." When Hispanics answer the phone, they say Bueno Bueno, so we told the Elders that and now when ever we call them or they call us, they will just scream Bueno into the phone 10 times. It is so funny and we get a great laugh out of it. Another miracle this week is the English Elders helped us get rid of our "cat-pee" smelling couches!! It was a miracle! Our appartment smells soooo much better!! There was so much hair and grossness on it that when the elders were taking it out, they just wanted to throw it over the railing. It was actually really funny!! I wish I had had it on film!
I wish you guys could all be with me right now! I can't believe it is already Thansgiving....almost! I miss you all so much, but I hope you have a wonderful week!!
Hermana Cattich

Monday, November 11, 2013

Alex's First week in Dallas November 4th, 2013 "That is not the language they taught me in the MTC"

Hello family and friends,

Can I just say, "OH MY GOODNESS!" So much has happened since I was able to email you last. It was hard to say goodbye to all my friends at the MTC but I was so ready for the adventure in Texas! 

I had to leave the MTC at 4:30am and I got to be in a travel group with a bunch of Elder from the West Campus that were being reassigned to the Dallas Mission while waiting for their visas!

We arrived in Texas, and the minute we landed I could feel the humidity! Oh goodness! I then had to say good bye to my "companions" Elder Tai and Elder Sharp in the airport and then collect my bags. We walked right out and met up with the assistants and the mission president!! President Durrant is so tall!! I also got to meet the Hermanas and Elders that came from the Mexico MTC. I asked them if by chance they knew and Elder Wandry. They were all so excited and said yes and that they loved him. It was fun to make that connection! We then went to the Dallas Temple and took pictures then headed to a church building.

We were in training all day and told about everything that was going to be happening. You could tell everyone was so tired and no one really had a good night of sleep. We were all falling asleep, but it was fine! After dinner, the sister training leaders picked us up and took us knocking. I couldn't even comprehend what was going on I was so tired and I couldn't believe they were having us tract on our first night. It was so funny. I didn't say anything they whole time because i was so overwhelmed and then I realized I knew no Spanish at all, it was great!!

I met my trainer the next day and her name is Hermana Vigil! She is from Syracuse, Utah and she is exactly what I needed for a trainer. We are opening a new area so there is a lot of work to be done. Sadly, it is a lot of door knocking and talking to people, not really lessons, but knocking is part of the work I guess! We knocked a lot and didn't have much success but the people here are so nice. Sadly, I can hardly understand them. There are so many different accents and depending where they are from there are so many different speeds at which they talk!

I had my first "native" Spanish meal, and I didn't like it but I gladly ate it anyways. It was like a fried pancake that was corn based and it had chunks of hot dogs in it. It was the weirdest thing because it did not have a taste, but I ate two and then we told the lady we would take them home and eat them. 

In an apartment where we tract there is a lady named Lupita and she is so nice. Part of her family just became members but she didn't. She told us we could stop by and use her bathroom and she would give us food anytime we needed it. Every time she sees us, she gives us chips and drinks. It is so nice of her and then her neighbor Ericka, who is not a member, taught us how to make homemade tortillas one night after we cleaned her kitchen for her. Every time we see her now, she gives us homemade tortillas! They are soooo good. 

Everyone in that apartment complex knows the "missionaries" and they all think that it is so funny that I can't speak Spanish. My trainer has to translate a lot for me, I LOVE IT!! Erika's daughter though is 6 and she is the cutest little girl I have ever seen. She known a little English because that is what they speak in school. She is helping me learn Spanish. I was saying a prayer with their family and during the prayer I was saying something wrong and Diana, the little girl, corrected me. It was so cute. She was standing there with her arms folded and her eyes closed and she was helping me with my pronunciation. I LOVE THE PEOPLE HERE!!

Funny moment of the week:
So we were visiting a less active family. We were inside sitting on the couch and the little boy who was about 4 comes over and is dangling a little bird in his hands upside down. The birds head was just dangling back and forth and I had no idea what it was. Hermana Vigil then told me that it was dead. I am now tramatized whenever I see little birds that people have as pets. I was like screaming inside.

This week there has been quite a few times that I have thought to myself, "What am I doing here?" It has been a crazy week with a lot of struggles but I know that this is where I need to be. I have also been so humbled. I grew up with amazing parents and we had a lot and here I am going into a trailer home or an apartment and these families don't have anything. They don't have a couch or a kitchen table and the floor of the living room is where their bed is. I just love the people that I meet and I want them to feel the same joy that I have in my life. I have taken so much for granted and I honestly wish I could just help them and let them know that everything is going to be okay. This week has been an eye opener, but I am so excited to spend the next 16 months of my life helping these people!

My new address is

Hermana Cattich
200 Oak Knoll #1735
Lewisville, TX

This is my direct address and I would love to hear from you guys that way!!
I hope you all have a great week and as Thanksgiving is coming up, remember what you are thankful for. I am sure thankful for this gospel and my wonderful family!! I am also grateful for my friends and for the opportunity that I have to serve in the Dallas Texas mission!

Hermana Cattich


November 11th, 2013 Alex's second week in dallas!!

Hey family!!
Okay, so I am just going to be honest, this has been the hardest week of my life. Saturday was the worst day. We started off knocking doors and at our first door, an old, extremely overweight man, answered the door with his shirt off. He said to us, "It is the same answer as last time," and then slammed the door. Every door after that just continued to get worse. Everyday this week, it literally felt like we tried and then we failed. Appointments were cancelled one after another, and people were lying to us and being completely disrespectful. I don't think I have every been lied to more in my entire life, it is crazy. Throughout the week, we were trying to maintain a positive attitude, but after awhile it just starts to ware on you.
Yesterday, during Sacrament meeting, all of this week's emotions had just built up inside, and while the deacons were passing the sacrament, I just began to cry to myself. After the sacrament, Hermana Vigil said that she needed something from the library so we quietly left. In the hall, we ran into a family named the Boyd's. I had met them my first night in the mission at the church because their ward was having a Halloween party. I had made a connection with them that we both knew the Robinsons, Kristen and Scott. In the hall, Brother Boyd asked us how we were doing. I just started to cry. My companion was explaining our situation and how we had just had a really hard week. He then asked us if we had been fed by any of the members, and Hermana Vigil said no. Brother Boyd then invited us over to his house for dinner with his family and Hermana Vigil just started to cry. We were so thankful to this family. For dinner, we had the best meal that I had had in 2 months and the family was so nice to us. We left them with a Spiritual message and at the end of the night they invited us to come over for Christmas. My companion and I both started crying. It was the best answer to our silent prayers. I couldn't believe it. After the week that we had had, we needed it. I am forever grateful for the Boyd's and their willingness to open their house for us.
Being on a mission is one of the hardest things I have ever done. Through all the hard times though there are definitely little miracles all throughout the week that we can count. It has just been really hard to find a place where we belong in this new ward because there are 5 sets of missionaries in this ward. There are 3 sets of Hermanas and 2 sets of Elders and sometimes it feels like, "Everyman for himself" with lessons, investigators and meals with members. Since both my companion and I were doubled in, we didn't know anyone. It has been really hard. We were invited over to a members house for a meal with one of the sets of Elders. It was a native meal, and it was probably the weirdest thing ever. I just decided to stick with the rice. It is definitely and experience eating with people.
Even though the week has been really hard, our area is pretty much a bilingual area. There are 2 Elders, Elder Harms and Elder Ramsdale. We find them English investigators and they find us Spanish. It is fun to run into them and I feel like on the days that are really bad, we always end up knocking doors in the same apartment or see them walking around. It fun to run into them cause it reminds me that there are other missionaries out here that are having a hard time just like me but we are all here with a common goal. They are also going to the Boyd's for Christmas! 

Through all the hard times that we had this week, we did have another miracle this week. We met this family named Victor and Lauda. They have 3 girls Ashley, Stephanie and Mia. Mia is just 3 weeks old. We met this family knocking in an apartment complex. Only the mom was home with the 3 girls at the time, and so we taught her a little bit of the first lesson and then gave her a Book Of Mormon. We set up a return appointment and asked when her husband would be home so that we could teach his as well. The thing with Hispanics is that the women are so open to letting you into their house, but if their husband doesn't like it or he says no then it means no. We have lost a lot of investigators that way because the dad didn't take time to listen to us and told his wife no, so when we would go back the family just wouldn't answer the door even if they were home. (That was really hard for me!) Well when we went back to our return appointment, we got to teach both the husband and the wife. Victor started out a little skeptical and said that he was Catholic and was explaining how he was Catholic but he didn't like some of the things that the Catholic religion did. We were able to explain to him what made our church different and we ended up committing them to read in the Book of Mormon. It was so great. This family was such a blessing to us this week, and tonight we have another appointment with them to teach them a little family home evening. I am so excited!
I know that every week will bring a new adventure and at the end of the day I am so excited to be here. I know that Heavenly Father is just giving me trials that I need so that I can grow into the missionary that he wants me to be!
Also, right now we are at the Boyd's house emailing and their daughter is going to take our pictures for a "Christmas card with Elder Harms and Elder Ramsdale, so hopefully next week there will be some "Christmas Card" pictures!!
I love you all and this week Romans 8:28, 34-39 have really helped me!! I hope you all have a great week!
Hermana Cattich

Sunday, October 27, 2013

That Just Blew My Mind and a Ton of "Hasta Ver's" Alex's Last Week In the MTC!!! 10-25-13


So this week, I lost (well she left for the field) a companion, we lost a whole district and I moved to West Campus. I know it has been an exciting week so far. If anything, I am ready to go to Texas. I cannot wait!

My companion got to leave on Wednesday morning for Argentina, as well as my cousin zone! It is weird without them and it is crazy to think that right about now they are landing in Buenos Aries. SAY WHAT?!? The MTC has it's own circle of life. Missionaries go through the cycle and when others come, others leave. What is sad is you know you most likely won't see them again, but you rejoice in the fact that we are all apart of the Missionary Force. We have been sent out in every direction to preach the gospel. How cool is that?? (I think it is pretty cool.) The night before Sister missionaries leave we all sing, "Hasta Ver" (God Be with You Till We Meet Again)  to the departing missionaries. It is sad but it is also cool to sing Spanish hymns! Because I don't have a companion anymore, I am now a "SOLO SISTER" which means I am in a trio with 2 elders. My companions are now Elder Tai and Elder Sharp. It is really fun but they have to escort me everywhere and pick me up for class and meals. I can tell they get annoyed sometimes, but for the most part they find it pretty funny to always have to be with an Hermana. 

In class this week, we had a sub for one night. To end class, we read out loud for 30 minutes, the Book of Mormon. The teacher suggested we read Ether 3. As we were reading it, we would stop and talk about what is going on in the chapter. After we would talk about it, we would make so many connections to everything. It was crazy and awesome at the same time. The teacher went on to tell us how the book of Mormon was like an onion. There are so many layers! Each time we read a verse, Elder Sharp would yell, "My mind has just been blown," and then he would do some action to demonstrate how his mind was being blown. It was really funny and we all laughed! We were so intrigued by this "mind blowing experience" that we decided to read the Book of Mormon in Spanish as a district from the beginning and try to look for the deeper meaning. It has been really fun! There is so much, even in 1st Nephi, that I have just skimmed over every time that I have read it in the past. I am also reading the Book of Mormon for myself in Spanish. It takes a lot of patience for sure and I know I am going a lot slower because I don't understand what is being said, but it is a very cool experience to see how much Spanish I actually do know.

This week, I felt so confident about my Spanish. I feel like even if I don't know the language, the investigator will understand what I am trying to say because of the Spirit. I went into an "investigators house" and I just decided to not care about my Spanish at all I would just say exactly what came to my mind. I wouldn't worry about conjugations or little filler words but just go for it. You could tell the difference. The "investigator" said that is was the best lesson that my companion and I had ever taught. We were learning how to teach the people not just the lessons and learning how to really teach by the Spirit. Without the Spirit, you couldn't teach! I actually got to practice my Spanish more when they called me up in Sacrament meeting, on the spot, to give a 5 minute talk about Baptism. TALK ABOUT STRESSFUL! It was really cool though. I was able to gather my thoughts and bear my testimony all in Spanish about the importance of Baptism. The gift of tongues is real!

On Sunday, we watched the movie Legacy! It was a great story about the Saints and their suffering as they were crossing the plains and building the temple. There was also a love story and everyone here is so awkward about love now. It is really weird, even I am to blame for thinking it was awkward. When I see just a guy and a girl together I think to myself, "Ummm where is your companion??" I told myself I never wanted to be that awkward missionary, but now I can't imagine being anything else! 

On Tuesday we officially moved to West Campus. It is weird over here. There is a lot more freedom and we walk around the BYU campus, to get back to main campus MTC, so that is weird. We also get to go to the mall and eat Jamba Juice. (No complaints about that) We live in an apartment with 3 bedrooms for 6 girls and it only has one bathroom. It is weird because we have classes in another apartment complex and we have class in the bedroom and another district has their class in the living room. The room is so small for my district that one of the Elders sits in the closet with his desk. It is tiny but really fun. The food is way better here though, I don't feel as sick. We also will be able to hear the thousands of screaming fans from the BYU vs. BSU football game this weekend. One of the Elders in our district goes to BSU so he has been very tempted to "sneak away" and go to the game! (Of course he won't but we always tease him and we have a little rivalry that BYU will win!) GO COUGARS!

Funny moment this week: My district had to have In-Field Orientation all day on Thursday and there was just one part of it that was kinda boring. I was sitting next to Elder Teio, the Tahitian elder that hardly speaks english, and he took out a piece of paper and drew the lines for a tic-tac-toe game and then gave me the piece of paper. I drew an X and then he drew 2 O's I explained to him that that was cheating. All he did back to me was hit his chest and say, "I no cheeta, I Tahitian." He drew another tic-tac-toe game and we started again. Once again he cheated. I tried to explain to him that he couldn't do that, but once again he just hit his chest and told me he was a Tahitian. So then I decided to draw out a hang man game. I drew out the lines and showed him the piece of paper. He shook his head like he understood the game we were playing, but he took the paper from my hand and drew his own game of hang man. I willingly agreed to play his word. I started guessing letters and none of them were working. Before I knew it my "man" was already dead. He filled in the rest of the letters. I couldn't even understand what the word was. I asked Elder Teio what word it was and he told me that it was Tahitian. Well, let me just tell you, playing games with a Tahitian and they always win. Elder Teio just laughed at the fact that I couldn't beat him at anything.

Random side note: My favorite thing to do at the MTC is laundry. I love the laundry room here! It is so fun. I know this is totally random and the laundry room is just a basement full of washers and dryers but you get to do laundry with your zone and you just laugh and joke around and write letters. I don't know why I find it so fun but I do!

I love it here, but I am even more excited to go to Texas! I leave Monday morning at4:30 am and I am actually on the same flight as Elder Tai and Elder Sharp, my companions, so that works out nicely! I can't believe that I will have my first companion and area in just a few days. Thanks for everything you all have done for me. I have loved the letters and dearelders and emails. Thank you all for your support. I am sorry if my emails are too long. I am also using them as another form of a diary for my mission, so you guys don't have to read it all! If you need my new address, my mom has it.

Have a wonderful week!!

Hermana Cattich 


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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Alex's Fifth letter! only 10 more days in the MTC!! October 18th

Hola familia,
Como estas? 

Well my 5th week in the MTC is coming to a close. WOW, time has really flown!! My companion actually leaves a week earlier then me so I will have to move districts because I can't be alone with just elders! This will be hard for me, I love my district so much and they are all amazing but I guess it will just give me an opportunity to meet more people.

Okay, this week was amazing AS USUAL (when is it not a good week in el CCM) There are ups and downs everyday, but when I write in my journal at night (yes mom don't worry I am writing in my journal every night :) ) I can't seem to remember the negatives....only the positives. It's great! Life is wonderful! I am so happy to be here!
On Saturday, my companion and I had a hard day. My companion and I were tired and we kinda just wanted space from each other. It was just one of those days. We had to teach though so we went in and the spirit was not present. Our investigator asked me a question and I didn't know the answer at all. I didn't even know how to describe it in English let alone Spanish. I just started to cry. I tried to cover it up but it was not working. After the lesson my teacher, who is the investigator, pulled me aside and asked me what was wrong. I just explained today was just not the best day. He told me that people will ask me questions all the time, and I may not even understand the question but everything will be okay. The spirit, if it is present, will tell you what you need to say in a moment when there are no words in your mind. He told me that I could always tell the investigator that I will come back the next time and answer their question. After my meeting with my teacher (Hermano Park) I was determined to find out the answer to the question. The question was, "What is baptism by fire?" I searched everywhere, scriptures, PMG, even True to the Faith. I wanted to find out how I could explain this to someone. I ended up coming across the phrase, "Refiner's Fire." I have studied that out too. I have gained such a strong testimony about what a refiners fire is. 

Being here in the MTC is a "Refiner's Fire." You are becoming a new person and you are maturing, at a really fast rate I might add, and becoming more of a missionary. You are becoming a tool in the Lords hands. In my studies, I came across the scripture 1st Nephi 20:10 which basically says that you will be refined by your trials. Heavenly Father only gives you trials that you can handle and if you come out "on top" you become closer to your Heavenly Father and you become more like him. I have seen myself change and all the other people in my district. It is amazing what even a little time in the MTC will do to you. When you are studying the scriptures all day and you don't have the distraction of social media you really see change in yourself. I am so lucky to be a missionary right now, there is no place I would rather be, even thinking about who I was 4 weeks ago is really strange.

Being here, my testimony of Joseph Smith has grown so much! I have memorized the first vision in Spanish and on Sunday nights we watch films and I always watch Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration. I love that movie, if you haven't seen it, I know that it is on YouTube. Every time I watch it, I cry at the end and just think to myself, "How could anyone not believe that this is true?" This church and the gospel bring me so much joy, I am just so excited to tell the people of Dallas Texas all about it!

On Tuesday, we had a very special guest for our devotional. They wouldn't tell anyone who it was so my zone got there an hour early to get the best seats possible. Well all that waiting was totally worth it, the special guest was Elder Dallin H. Oaks. When he walked into the room, everyone stood up and it was silent. The peace and the feeling of the spirit was so strong it that room. It was amazing! He gave a fabulous devotional about change in the mission and also about what makes our church different than others. I took a lot of notes in my journal. It was a really cool experience to be in the presence of an apostle. 

The new districts are great, but sadly we are all moving to West Campus next week. They want West Campus to be ALL Spanish, so now anyone coming to the Provo MTC that is speaking Spanish will go to West Campus. We are kind of excited for the move, I am just a little mad cause I have to pack up and then unpack and then I leave 5 days after we move...oh well.

Funny moments this week:
Everyone has to mess up really badly at Spanish at least once. So this week we had a few experiences with that. The first one was Elder Tai. He was trying to explain that, "Through Christ we can be clean from our sins." The word for sins is "pecados" and the word for fish "pescado", so he ended up saying, "Through Christ we will be cleaned from our fish." The investigator was very confused. Then Hermana Boyce and I went to teach our lesson. She tried to ask the investigator, "Why have you kept making appointments with us?" The word for appointment is "cita" and the word for AIDS is "cida" so our investigator got really confused (if you insert the word in that sentence, it is just an awkward moment) and then just laughed at us. Well, everyone has to make their grammar mistakes at least once, but it was really funny! 

I love the MTC, but I am ready to move on to Texas! I got my travel plans finally and I will be leaving the 28th! I am going to email my mom my new address so if any of you need it (after the 28th) my mom will have it! Love you all and thank you for all the letters and dear elders, they are so fun to get!! 

Have a wonderful week,
Hermana Cattich


Saturday, October 12, 2013

Alex's 4th letter! October 11th 2013

Hello family!!

I know I start out every email the same but I am serious when I say that I love the MTC and I love it more everyday. This week was super special because of General Conference. 

General Conference was amazing! I tried something new this conference, I went in to the first session on Saturday morning with 5 questions in my mind that I wanted to get answers for. To my surprise all of them were answered in the first Saturday morning session! So I had to come up with more questions! I loved asking questions. I made conference more enjoyable as I was actually listening with intent and not just listening listen. I would challenge you guys that next conference, in April, come up with personal questions and pray that you will get answers to them. It is amazing when you do get answers, I literally jumped out of my seat. In the MTC you watch every single session of conference in an Auditorium. There were over 4,000 missionaries watching it all together. It was amazing when one of the rest hymns was Called to Serve. Being surrounded by the "newest generation" of missionaries and singing that hymn was AWESOME!! Words can't even describe the chills that I had!

My favorite talks were, "Come Join With Us" and "Moral Force of Women" There were some other amazing talks but these ones stood out to me the most and I have already printed them off and I read them daily.

In the talk, "Come Join with Us", a quote that stood out to me was, "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." Oddly enough this was an answer to a question I had. Many times in the MTC, because you are under a lot of pressure to learn all of the missionary lessons and learn them in a new language, I would often question my faith and if it was strong enough to support me on my mission especially when I was going through a rough time. When President Uchtdorf said this quote tears came to my eyes almost instantly. I couldn't believe it. I was in pure shock! My companion and I both looked at each other in awe, as the quote echoed in the auditorium. To any of my fristd that read my emails and are struggling with their faith or actually wondering if they should invesitgate the church, I want you to read this talk. If any of you have ever been offended by someone in this church and that is why you may not go to church anymore, I want you to read this talk. It is amazing. Seriously, "COME JOIN WITH US"

"Moral Force of Women" stood out to me because so often in the MTC many of the teachers tell the Hermanas that the Elders need us in each district because we bring a sense of calmness and maturity to the room. When Hermanas are present, Elders will act more respectful and they will stay more focused. "Hermanas are huge examples to the Elders," said one of my teachers. The quote in this talk that rang true to me is kind of long but part of it is, "We have enough vanity in the world, we need more virtue." This quote made me so happy to be and LDS sister and also a missionary. For the next 18 months I am putting aside everything of the world and thinking solely about serving Heavenly Father and bringing his children the joy and happiness that I have. 

This week has been extremely spiritual to me not just because of Conference but also because of our lessons that we teach our investigators. O feel like my purpose as a missionary is becoming more defined and I am way more comfortable with my Spanish. My companion and I are teaching 2 investigators right now. Our lessons are usually about 30-45 minutes. Understanding and being able to speak the lanugage here in the MTC makes me so much more excited to be in Texas where I will meet real investigators and get to share with them the message of the gospel. It makes me so excited to leave! Don't get me wrong I do love the MTC and the people that I have met here are wonderful, I also have a lot more to improve but I am just so excited to be in Texas!

On Sunday nights, we have devotionals! Because we had been listening to conference talks all week, we didn't really want to sit in a devotional and listen to another speaking. To our suprise the guests for the devotional was, Vocal Point. The AMAZING BYU men's singing group. Look them up on YouTube, because they are wonderful. We have a musical devotional where we did hymn shares (sang hymns) and inbetween each song a memeber of the group got up and said an experience that he had had on his mission. It was so cool!!

On Tuesday we also have devotionals. The MTC presidency told us that the speaker was going to be a General Authority so everyone was super excited. There was increased security and people waited in line to get into the devotional an hour early. To our not so pleasant surprise, it was no one we had heard of. Everyone was bummed but it still was a great devotional.

The oldest 2 districts left this week. It was really hard to see them leave. The hermanas left at 4:30am on Wednesday morning. Hermana Boyce and I woke up to say goodbye to them. The night before (tuesday night) our zone and our "cousin" zone, has a tradition where we get together and sing "Hasta Ver" all together. (God Be With You Till We Meet Again) All the girls came to our room and we all sang the hymn together in Spanish, it was really cool! These hermanas were like older sisters to me, I miss them so much already. Our room is now silent at night, and there isn't nearly as much laughter and jokes, but we try to still have fun. We said goodbye to our Elders on Tuesday night at the devotional review. They are going to do amazing. One of the Elders, Elder Padgett, who is going to Colombia, is actually staying an extra week because his visa didn't come through. He has been reassigned to the San Diego California mission and he is so excited!! It is actually only an hour away from his house, but he is so ready to leave on Tuesday!

Because we lost 8 Hermanas and Elders this week, we gained 18 NEW MISSIONARIES!! THat is unheard of, especially because 8 of them are Hermanas. Our zone is now huge!! It makes it fun, but it is harder for people to all connect with each other when there are so many people. I do love meeting new people though so these last 2 days have been fun for me. 

On Wednesday. I was able to host new missionaries and wave to people as they drove into the MTC loop. The thought occurred to me that I came into the MTC almost a month ago. I can't even believe it! Time is seriously warped! It is crazy! What is even more weird is I only have 17 months left of my mission, no longer 18. I JUST WANNA BE IN TEXAS ALREADY!!!

Funny moment this week:
Each class starts with a little spiritual message given by a member of the class and it has to be in Spanish. When I came into class, I saw that my name was up on the board and I started freaking out, it was the first day that our class had done this. I went outside to get a drink of water and I was nervous. An Elder came up to me from our "cousin" zone and said "CATTISSSHHH, why are you so nervous?" I explained to him my situation and to that he responded, "Well here is what you have to do, stand infront of the class and say this: El libro de Mormon es verdadero por que es verdadero. En el nombre de JesuCristo, Amen." (The Book of Mormon is true because it is true. In the name of Jesus Christ amen.) "And then CATTTISSSSSHHHHH just sit down." I just laughed at him because he gives the worst advice but he is so funny! 

Everyday is a new adventure here at the MTC let me tell you! We actually had to explain to Elder Teio this week that he could wash his clothes and wear them again. He had been wearing the same socks for about 2 weeks now. He doesn't understand that you can wash the clothes and they will be cleaned. This was a really humbling lesson even for me. Elder Teio only came with the clothes that he had on his back and a little carry on. Each week the church gives some more clothes that he can use but he doesn't understand that you can clean them. I am guessing he just grew up not having very much. Hermana Boyce and I were crying when we were helping him do his laundry! It was such a cool expereince. 

I love the MTC and I would love to hear from all of you! Send me a dearelder, email or even a letter in the mail and I will respond! I love you all and thank you for everything you have done. I am excited for my next big adventure and I can't wait to see what the Lord has in store for me in Texas!

Have a great week and I love you all,
Hermana Cattich