November 25, 2011

November 23, 2011

Hello Friends and Family!!!

I've been in Peru for a week!!!! AAAAHHHHHH!!!! So the Peruvian MTC is kind of crazy, haha, but I like it. In some ways it's more chill then Provo, and in other ways its more strict. There are some random rules here, that have a good purpose they just seem strange. You can only take pictures on Preparation days, you can't take pictures in your rooms, if you are late to class you have to take laps around the building, you must eat EVERYTHING on your plate, if you don't they send you back to finish ... and that includes the juice, which is sometimes super nasty. Haha

The food here is WONDERFUL. It's like going out to eat at a Peruvian restaurant every night. But the juice, YUCK!!! Haha I had juice made out of husks the other night ... yeah...

I'm starting to learn about culture differences from my Latina companion. Haha For example, she wakes up at 5:30 every day, no alarm clock or anything she just does. I guess that is super common. Also she drinks warm water. Haha Um... oh even though she wakes up an hour before I do, she still manages to be running late to EVERYTHING. Haha Which is stressful because I don't want to have to take a lap around the building. Haha

The teachers here are very nice it's hard sometimes though. For example, if you are just really having a hard time with Spanish the last thing you want to do is try to explain to someone what is wrong IN SPANISH. Haha

My Spanish is improving, I think. Haha I understand alot of what is being spoken and almost 100% if its about the gospel. My vocab is growing and I am starting to understand the concept at conjugating verbs!! Whoot! My ability to do charades is also increasing. Haha

Pretty sure my Latin companions (mine and Hermana Meonos, we are all four of us always together so it feels like I have two) any how, I am pretty sure our Latinas think I am crazy (or know Haha). They laugh at my attempts to communicate and all my epic fails at communicating. For example, in Spanish when you are hungry you say, "I have hunger" instead of "I am". Also in Spanish the word for man and the word for hunger are very similar. So the other day I said very loudly "I have man" in Spanish. For some reason everyone at the table got a huge kick out of that. I'm not sure I will ever live that down. Haha

We got to go into the real world today! I am huge!!! Haha I have never been stared at so much. I got to go! 30 minutes is about up! Love you all! Please write me! I miss everyone and would love to hear how life is back in the good old USA. Oh one last thought, it doesn't matter where you are there is always someone else who likes Justin Bieber!!! My Latinas love him.

Love you all!

November 18, 2011

First Letter from Peru!

Hello Friends and Family!!

I am in Peru!!! Can you beleive it! My Peruvian adventure started on the airplane. I meet a man named Erik on our flight from Atlanta to Peru. He is from Peru but has been living in the states for 10 years, so he spoke English. SWEET!! Haha Anyways we were talking about why we were going to Peru. When I told him i was a missionary he asked, "What is the purpose of a missionary?" Are you serious!! Anyone who has served a mission knows that this is something really EMPHASIZED by the church! I can't begin to tell you how often we are told to share our purpose. It was awesome! We got talking about the Church. I told him about Christ, the apostasy, the restoration, and he LOVED it!! It wasn't like I was just talking, he would say things like, I love God but I feel like the Church Christ set up isn't the same anymore... I started to think he was actually LDS because his questions and comments were PERFECT! But then he drank coffee. Haha We talked for 4 hours about the gospel. I pretty much covered every lesson; we read from the Book of Mormon, again he loved it! He kept saying, "this makes sense", "this makes me happy", and "this gives me hope". He asked me how I knew it was true. I explained that I read the Book of Mormon and I asked God if it was true. I told him the Book of Mormon was either a complete lie or the word of God, and I had to know for myself. So I prayed and asked and I was given the most peaceful feeling as my answer that yes it is true. Then he says to me "I guess if I want to know what you know I must do the same thing. I want to read this Book of Mormon." AAAAAHHHHHHHH! I gav e him a pass along card and got his contact information to give to the missionaries! I can't even begin to explain the joy I felt while talking to him. This was a man prepared to hear the gospel. I wish you could all see the look in his eyes when I told him about eternal families, about baptism, about everything. He would smile, or sometimes even laugh. Not because it was funny, he would laugh and say, "How is it that such a young girl has all the answers to my questions?" I tried to expalin that it had nothing to do with me, but it was the Gospel of Jesus Christ and that the Holy Ghost was testifying that it was true. That's the only part I'm not sure if he really understood. He was so funny. We talked the entire flight almost always about religion. He had so many inspired questions. Oh this is another testimony I have of prayer. So that morning before I left the Provo MTC I said a prayer that if there was anyone on the plane that was ready and willing to hear the gospel that I would be seated by them. I know Erik was ready and willing to hear about the gospel. I hope that he will continue to have that desire to know if the church is true!! My first real missionary experience!!! IT WAS AWESOME!! I am so thankful to have the opportunity to help in this work. Nothing could be happier than sharing the gospel.

Anyways... When we landed in Peru it didn't seem real, after all you are in an airport so everyone is different. No one looked Peruvian or anything. But as we left the airport there were tons of Peruvians waiting to meet their families as they got out of the airport. That's when I realized I was not in Kansas (or Provo) any longer. As we walked throught he crowd I thought, let the starting begin. Haha We got on a bus and traveled to the CCM (MTC). By the time we got settled into our beds it was almost 2 in the morning! So needless to say I am very tired. If my grammar is terrible it's a mix of not hearing English and tiredness.

As far as my companions go I have 2 companions again. But it's different than it was in the Provo MTC. How it works is I have a native companion, Hermana Cumba from Peru, and I have a North American companion, Hermana Meono from Bountiful. How it works is during meals, gym, personal time, preparation day, etc. I am with Hermana Cumba. But for class and other similar things I am with Hermana Meono. It's wonderful.

Meal times here in Peru, very different than in Provo. Oddly enough I like the food here better than the Provo MTC. One thing is you MUST finish everything you take. That can be a little challenging. Today at lunch people kept offering me plates as I went down the line. I didn't know if I had to take them or if I could just say no thank you, so I took them all ... UGH... For the most part it was good but man alive, IT WAS SO MUCH FOOD! Hermana Cumba noticed and helped me understand that I don't have to take everything. Haha So far I love both of my companions. Hermana Meono and I haven't had much time to talk but she seems chill and I don't foresee any problems. Hermana Cumba is so sweet and patient. She helps me with my Spanish. Me and Hermana Meono agreed that we are going to only speak Spanish when our Latino companions are with us. I think it's making a huge difference. It's common for the Latinos and the North American sisters to just talk amongst themselves because of the communication gap. It usually makes people feel excluded and hurts companionships. I can already tell that our effort to speak Spanish and our companion's efforts to have us understand is helping. I hope we are able to keep it up.

So in Peru instead of red numbers they just start flashing! I think thats worse. Haha I better go! I love you all!! I am safe and sound in Peru. I love it so far! My preparation day is on Wednesday. So until then! Love you all!!

Hermana Taggart

November 16, 2011

Last Provo MTC Pictures

Sadie left for Peru today!!!! Yesterday she sent home some pictures of her last few days at the Provo MTC. And here they are!!...

Sadie, Sister Gee, Sister Boyer

Sadie & her companions in the computer lounge

Sadie, Sister Stephenson, Sister Coakwell, Sister Gee, Sister Boyer,
Sister Johnson (Roommates)

This is where she left to today!

Sadie, Sister Gee, Sister Boyer

Saide's District

November 15, 2011

Last Provo MTC Letter

Hello Family and Friends!

Can you believe it, I leave for Peru TOMORROW!! CRAZY!!!! I am in shock! Nothing feels real in the MTC so it hasn't hit me yet that I am leaving. I realized this is my first time leaving the country! I'm super excited.

So my third week in the MTC was great, probably my best week so far. Brace yourself, I have lots of stories and I am just going to type them as fast as possible.

So Wednesday we went and taught in the TRC lab (it's where LDS members come and you teach them a gospel lesson in your mission language). So we were teaching a man named Scott. He was about 45-50ish years old. Nice guy. My companion was asking him some get to know you questions so we could try and decide what message we wanted to teach him, when all of a sudden I had the strongest feeling. A voice in my head said "You should ask him how his parents are doing." Which I felt was odd, but the prompting continued. So I scrabbled through the Spanish in my head and asked the man, "Como es su Pardes?" He seemed suprised. He then told me that his  mom was having a really hard time because almost exactly a year ago her husband (his father) passsed away. All the sudden a scripture came to my mind, Revelations 21:4 and D&C 138. I was able to talk to him about the plan of salvation in SPANISH!!! In awful Spanish, but still it was Spanish. Afterwards I felt so humbled. I realized I CAN NOT teach without the spirit, but the Lord is with me and when he wants me to speak he will help me do so. So that was an awesome experience.

Next awesome experience has to do with prayer. You may laugh when you read this and I admit it is silly, but that doesn't take away how AWESOME it was. So it's about 2 am, I'm sleeping when I am awoken by the loudest snoring known to man!!!!! For about 30 minutes I put up with it till I just couldn't take it anymore. So I rolled over onto my knees and said "Heavenly Father I really need to sleep will you please stop her from snoring..." As soon as I finished my sentence BAM she stopped snoring. Hahaha Lik I said, kind of silly, but still it worked! Prayer is wonderful.

Lots of things have been great about this week. I had three friends come into the MTC. Sherlynn Porter, Cheree Kamp, and Jo Gullo!! It was great to see all of them. I have pictures that I will send as soon as possible. I always love seeing people I know here. It makes me feel normal. Haha I tell you what Jo, or Sister Gullo, or whatever you want to call her, is just amazing. We went running in the morning and she caught me up on her life since we haven't seen each other since high school. I was just blown away! Her conversion story is amazing! Her testimony is going to work miracles.

One awful thing about serving a mission is you get a really lame sense of humor, it's true. You start to make stupid scripture jokes and then at one point they actually start to get funny. Let me give you an example, so you know just how lame my humor is getting. I was reading in Proverbs 28:25 because I was doing scripture study on pride. At the end of the scripture it says "... but he that putteth his trust in the Lord shall be made fat." Well that has pretty much become a huge joke to me and my companions about why we get fat in the MTC. Haha See I think it's funny and you don't, but that's because I am a lame Sister missionary and you are not. :)

Good news though, I have lost weight in the MTC. Bad news, I obviously haven't been trusting in the Lord.

Onto the subject of leaving to Peru!! I leave the MTC at 4am and I don't arrive in Peru till 10pm their time. With all the time zone changes between here to Atlanta, and then Atlanta to Peru, I am not sure how long I will be flying for, but I bet it's going to be a tough flight. No movies, no iPod... really I haven't missed that stuff, but I know on a forever long flight I will be missing it.

The hardest part about this week has been saying goodbye. Saying goodbye to Hermana Gee, who is still here till she gets her Visa. Saying goodbye to my District, I'll miss those Elders so much. Saying goodbye to my teachers! It's crazy to think that my District and my teachers have only shared such a small part of my mission experience.

One thing that has had me really scared is the idea of going to Peru when I don't speak Spanish. I am not kidding when I say it's a blessing from the Lord if I am able to speak, really my Spanish is terrible. So obviously I'm scared, but there is one scripture that has helped me a lot, its Luke 5:1-11. I won't type it all out, but basically Peter is fishing and having no luck what so ever. Christ tells him to "Launch out in the deep." Now Peter had "toiled all the night" and had no success, but on the Saviors word he casts out his net. He catches so many fish that the nets broke. After that experience Peter and others brought their ships to land and "they forsook all, and followed him." I feel like sending me to Peru right now is asking me to "Launch out in the deep," and I have "toiled" with Spanish these three weeks. But I know that I am supposed to be on a mission and I know the Lord will not leave me as long as I do what I am supposed to do. Spanish will come as long as I trust in his words.

AAHHHH!!!! The red numbers again!! I have to finish up!

I love you all! So not to put you all on a guilt trip, but I am super scared of having everyone stop writing me when I get to Peru, you should write me so that my fear doesn't come true. :)

Love you all!
Hermana Sadie Jean Taggart

November 10, 2011

November 8, 2011

Hey Friends and Family!!

Week two at the MTC flew by! I'm not one of those missionaries that loves it here, but I am also not one who hates it. There is good and bad. It's crazy how busy they keep you here. From 6am-10:30pm my day is scheduled out completely! It's insane. At first it bothered me that they didn't give us any free time, but then a lesson from one of my teachers really put things into perspective. Basically she said, "You didn't have to serve a mission, but you chose to. You chose to give your time over to the Lord. Now it's the Lords time and you need to make the best of that time. At the end of your mission you will be accountable for what you did with the Lords time." It was bold but it made me realize this is the Lords time. So I'm trying my best to do the most with the time he has given me.

Good news!! I got my Visa! I leave for Peru on the 16th. No worries I am pretty much pro at Spanish now so I'm not even worried... haha ... so honestly my Spanish is terrible!! I'm screwed! haha But it will be ok. The Lord has always helped me when I've given talks or taught in church, so I am sure when the time comes that he needs me to speak he'll make sure I can speak. I am working my hardest though. I have NEVER put this much work into any class in my life. I also have never not given up when a class was this hard for me. So I guess Spanish is teach me something, even if its life lessons instead of Spanish.

My favorite parts of the MTC are showering and playing volleyball. I love my companions and roommates. I am very blessed to have such fun, normal girls, but I really miss my alone time. Showering is pretty much the only time you are just alone! It's wonderful!! The volleyball here is so much fun!! We have our "noncompetitive" games and they are great fun. haha

The weirdest thing about week two was this random identity crisis. Apparently it's something a lot of missionaries go through. It's hard to explain. I talked to a lot of missionaries about it and they all seemed to know what I was talking about in a different way. What it all seemed to come down to was a pride issue. haha I have a feeling a really humbling experience is on its way. It's a terrifying feeling really. It's kind of like that 'dunna dunna' before Jaws eats someone. But instead of a shark eating you, you get humbled beyond all reason. I think that experience is going to Peru.

I'm scared about going, I'm not kidding when I say that I DO NOT SPEAK SPANISH!! Worse than that I DO NOT UNDERSTAND SPANISH!!! Oh boy...

I feel bad one of my companions didn't get her Visa :( If anyone who is going on a foreign mission is reading this, DO NOT put off applying for your Visa. Nothing could be worse than being stuck here when you know you should and could be moving forward.

I feel like I have so much less to say than last time. Mostly because not much changes from day to day here. haha It's weird when on Saturday nights your teachers leave to go have a life and you aren't even aware that today is any different than a Monday or a Thursday.

I love my teachers here. Hermana Baum is probably my favorite. She's an RM. So she's kind of like the cool Senior on the volleyball team and I'm the little freshman. (Did I say that last time? Oh well if I did its still true haha) I pretty much think any advice from her is gold haha.

Honestly missions are odd. I'm in a place with about 1,900 young adults who are giving up 18 months-2 years of their lives for their religion. It amazes me. And we are just the people waiting to go. To think of how many people have served, are serving, or will serve just blows my mind. I have a lot of respect for the 19 year old boys who are here for the right reasons. I use to think that it would just be easy to up and leave. Now that I understand this better I have so much more respect for the Elders, you just have to remember that sometimes when they act super ridiculous. haha

I've been studying A TON about the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It blows me away. Sometimes it just seems too good to be true. The most wonderful part about it all is that it is true!

AAHHH!!! The red numbers again!! I hate the red numbers!

So a cool experience we had last Preparation Day after I emailed. We went to the temple and we ran into a woman and her husband. They stopped me and my companions and talked to us. They told us how when they lived in Washington, two Sister missionaries knocked on their door, taught them about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and they were now married in the Temple and were an eternal family. She told me that she would never have let two men into her house but because they were Sisters she let them in. She then bore testimony about the importance of missionaries. It was wonderful to meet her.

Well my time is running short!
Thanks for all your love and support. Oh, and thanks for the letters. I think my guilt trip from the last email worked. haha

Love you all,
Hermana Sadie Jean Taggart

Pictures from the Provo MTC

Hermana Taggart recently sent home some pictures!

Sister Shurtz (childhood friend) & Hermana Taggart

Sister Shurtz & Hermana Taggart

Hermana Taggart & her companions (Hermana Gee, Hermana Boyer)

Hermana Taggart and her companions

MTC District at the Provo Temple

MTC District at the Provo Temple

November 3, 2011

First MTC Letter

Hello Friends and Family!!
Greetings from the oh so exotic and exciting Provo. I've been in the MTC for 6 days now. Every day is getting better. The first day was crazy. You get dropped off, then another sister, called your host sister, takes you in, shows you around, gets you your name tag, and drops you off in this room with a bunch of elders and hermanas and a teacher. When I first got into the room I was SHOCKED! My teacher was only speaking Spanish!! Not to mention most of the people in the room seemed to be understanding what she was saying. Some were even responding. I started wondering if maybe they had left me in the more advanced room or something... they hadn't haha.  I am just on the very low end of my beginning Spanish class. The group of people in my room is my district. There are 6 elders and 2 Hermanas, 3 including me. The two Hermanas, Hermana Boyer and Hermana Gee, are my companions. I am in a trio. Other missionaries who have been at the MTC keep saying they don't know how to we deal with being in a trio, but I guess we don't know any different so it's fine. Sometimes it's hard having to fit in the needs and wants of three women instead of two, but we make it work.

I like my companions, when I first found out they were my companions I was very excited. My first though was "Oh good! They look normal!" They are both beautiful! Turns out they are about as normal as they look. We get along well. They like to wake up early for the exercise classes here at the MTC so that is nice.

Day two was really rough. I think it hit me that I was actually doing this for the next 18 months. Also Spanish class really ran me into the ground. I felt like I was in Math class again and somehow everyone knew what was going on but me. Turns out everyone in my district (except for me and one other elder) have all taken Spanish. It was tough that first day. The teacher was really meeting the needs of everyone else not knowing how much me or the elder were struggling and I was too scared to point out that I have never hear of anything he was talking about (keep in mind he spoke in Spanish the WHOLE TIME!). We have a couple different teachers. Our main two are Hermana Baun and Hermano Daiz. Hermano Daiz is from Peru!! Cool right!! Anyhow the second day was just rough. Thankfully after dinner I got a letter from my sister Haley. It was my first letter at the MTC and it seriously saved me that day. I never realized til now the difference a letter can make in a missionaries life. I wish I had been better about writing my friends and family while they were out.

Every day since then has gotten better. I have learned a lot about prayer. When you have no one to talk to and everyone around you is a stranger, you really learn to depend on those conversations with the Lord. The Spanish is ... still awful ... but I have hope. I have been reading my Book of Mormon in Spanish and English side by side. It's really helped my vocab. I can feel  myself understanding more. All in all it's very humbling.

The food in the MTC IS AWFUL!!!! Anyone who told me otherwise was lying haha. I eat a lot of PB&J's and fruit haha.

One weird thing about being around 100% new people is they don't always understand you, or your sense of humor. For example, my companions found out after a day or so that my dad had died. Then later we were in class and the teacher had me pretend to be an investigator for practice. Then he says for this situation lets pretend that Hermana Taggarts dad has just died .... so I laughed. Because what are the odds of that right? I look over at my companions and they are just shocked! Mouths open! I made a joke to my teacher, that you would only get it if you knew my dad had in fact died ... and my companions just sat there. it made me realize that only my close friends and family understand the whole, laugh or you'll cry concept. Or just have the same sick sense of humor that the members of my family have at times haha.

Halloween at the MTC was ... exciting... best costume I saw was this: So on your first day at the MTC they give you an orange dot to put on your name tag. It lets people know you are new so they help you out more and are more welcoming. Well the "cool" thing to do is to take this "Dork Dot" and put it on the back of your name tag after day one. So anyways the best costume I saw were a group of sisters who put their "Dork Dots" back on and dressed as new missionaries ... Yes as sad as that may be that was my favorite haha.

Oh one wonderful thing about the MTC is you can always find someone you know. Michelle Shurtz, aka Sister Shurtz, has been with me my whole first week. She left early this morning. Having her here with me was the GREATEST blessing. It was so nice to feel normal and to feel like Sadie. I think my companions have a much different idea of who I really am. So it was nice to talk to someone who knows me. Someone who I can tell the dead dad joke I made in class and they will just laugh at me. Really I will miss having her here SO MUCH!!!

AAAHHHHH!!! The count down is red I have to finish up. I only get 30 minutes!! Ok. I also saw Sarah Rice, Shaee Taylor (from comp volleyball when I was little) and Savanna Smart (from Dixie State) talk about random!

So far the MTC is a hard but positive experience. Spanish is the pain of my existence but I can probably use the humbling experiences that it is giving me. The church is wonderful. I am always amazed at how put together and organized everything is. I'm gaining strong testimony of prayer. I feel like I am really starting to depend on my Heavenly Father. I love you all! If you want to make my day you should write me, just saying. My companions are super popular so it makes me feel really special when I get mail ;) No pressure though.

Thanks for all your love and support.
Hermana Sadie Jean Taggart